Monday, December 21, 2015

Until next year...thank you

Dear friends,

I just wanted to thank all of you for reading my blog this past year and for sharing your thoughts, kind support and honest critiques. I appreciate it all more than you know and hope to see you all back here in 2016.

For now, I am allowing my fingers a much needed vacation from all things digital and will pick up again, God willing, in January.

I wish all of you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year.

Thanks again for everything!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Despite Christian genocide, more Muslims than Christians allowed entry to US

Christians in the Middle East are the victims of the worst religious persecution on earth, and are not even safe in UN-sponsored refugee camps. That's because the UN’s failure to make refugee camps safe is allowing intolerant Sunni Muslims — who share a creed with ISIS — to violently “cleanse” such camps of Christians.

According to British media, a terrorist defector asserted that militants enter UN camps to assassinate and kidnap Christians. In addition, an American Christian aid group reported that the UN camps are “dangerous” places where ISIS, militias and gangs traffic in women and threaten men who refuse to swear allegiance to the caliphate. Such intimidation is also reportedly evident in migrant camps in Europe, leading the German police union to recommend separate shelters for Christian and Muslim migrant groups.

Sadly, most of these helpless, unarmed Christian survivors of ISIS’s murder squads cannot even reach the “first safe” countries outside the Middle East that could welcome them, and instead live in windblown tents and unheated metal storage containers in places like Mt. Sinjar, just miles away from ISIS-controlled territory.

All this makes it particularly revolting, especially following the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks -- that President Obama insists on giving priority welcome to Syrian Muslim immigrants over Christian refugees.

In fact, though more than a million Christians were driven at gunpoint from Iraq following the US's abrupt withdrawal from that country, the Obama administration is detaining Iraqi Christians at ICE detention centers - and refuses to let an Iraqi nun even visit America – while it is explicitly excluding Christians from lists of known victims of ISIS’s genocide.

The numbers make Obama’s actions even worse. Though 10 percent of Syria is Christian, on Obama’s watch, only about 2.5% of refugees that have been granted entry to America since Syria’s civil war broke out have been Christian. Put more numerically, at last count, Obama has welcomed 2098 Muslim refugees into America, and only 53 Syrian Christian refugees.

Even worse, since the Paris attacks alone, Obama has allowed 236 Sunni Muslim refugees to the US, and only one Syrian Christian. This is despite the fact that Syrian Christians in the Middle East— unlike their Muslim compatriots —have nowhere in the Middle East they can go to be wholly free of persecution.

Today’s persecuted Christians have been targeted for death, sexual assault, slavery, displacement, cultural eradication and forced conversion by ISIS. But the US government’s response has been to show the Christian refugees about as much respect as ISIS shows them.

Not only do Obama’s actions expose us to blatant threats of terrorism here in America, he exhibits an astonishing lack of compassion that can only be described as diabolical. On what grounds can anyone possibly defend what he is doing?

For information on how you can help endangered and displaced Christians, please see below for a list of non-profit organizations sending aid to Middle Eastern Christians and advocating on their behalf: Assists in the funding and development of several projects geared toward helping the displaced Christians and other minorities of Iraq.

The Iraqi Christian Relief Council helps Christians from Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Founded by Juliana Taimaroozy, it exists to support and protect the indigenous people of Iraq, the Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs), by providing emergency humanitarian aid, prayer support, advocacy and education. ICRC has helped thousands of displaced Christians throughout Iraq with food, shelter and medicine. Today, ICRC tirelessly promotes the cause of Assyrian Christians throughout the world. Current projects include a drive to provide electric heaters, cooking oil and modest Christmas presents to the abandoned Christians of Iraq and Syria.

·    Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Over 3.2 million Iraqis have been displaced since January 2014 — the majority were forced to flee in the wake of ISIS advances. Many escaped with little but the clothes on their backs. As ISIS fighters remain in control of large swaths of their country, families are seeking refuge in tent camps and unfinished buildings, relying on the generosity and hospitality of local Christian hosts and international support. Samaritan’s Purse staff in northern Iraq have been helping these suffering families for over a year by supplying food, shelter, clean water, winter clothes, and more. It also supports local ministry partners throughout the region as they provide physical relief in Jesus’ Name.

·    Aid to the Church in Need was born out of the ashes of World War II in 1947 when a young Norbertine priest named Father Werenfried van Straaten — whose name means “Warrior for Peace” — set out to meet the material and spiritual needs of homeless and dispossessed victims of the war. Since 2008, in the Middle East, ACN has worked to counter the persecution and killing of Catholics (especially clergy and nuns) by Islamic fundamentalists, and is reaching out to the millions of displaced persons in Iraq, and other countries in the region.

·    The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, was founded by Anglican Canon Andrew White, who was dubbed by media the “Vicar of Baghdad” for his years of courageous service as a pastor and leader to the besieged Christians of that city. In just one of its projects, the Foundation has helped turn a former British military base into a new home for internally displaced Iraqi Christians. Tents that were once used by the British Army at Camp Bastian in Afghanistan will now provide winter shelter for approximately 600 Iraqi men, women and children, many of whom were forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Iraqi Christians fled their homes last summer, escaping to the relative safety of north east Iraq. However, the vast majority have no proper shelter, regular food, or access to medical care. FRRME’s team on the ground, led by Dr Sarah Ahmed, has been providing vital relief for many of these people. The new camp, which is near Semele in the Dohuk region of Iraq, has been named ‘Sawra Village’ (Sawra means ‘Hope’ in Assyrian) and will comprise of 26 heated tents, three diesel generators, washing machines, showers, toilets, and a tent which will be used as a church.

Friday, December 11, 2015

You should stop praying for police - atheists demand it

The Johnson City Police Department in Tennessee has begun a program called, “Adopt a Cop,” in which citizens pray for an officer’s safety each day, and occasionally send them thank you notes. Predictably, anti-religion activists are not happy. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is trying to silence the prayers of cops and citizens alike.
Earlier this week, the group sent a letter to the JCPD’s Chief Mark Sirois arguing that a prayer campaign is “not actually any protection for your officers.”
The FFRF also complained about JCPD’s chaplaincy program, in which a chaplain is employed to assist with death notifications, support victims in times of crisis, respond to suicide incidents and a variety of other duties.
The FFRF writes, “The employment of chaplains, even if volunteer, demonstrates government endorsement of religion, which is a violation of both the federal and Tennessee constitutions.”
The key word, by the way, in the Freedom from Religion Foundation's name is "from" - as in the Constitution does not guarantee our freedom from religion, but our freedom of religion. And the Constitution guarantees against Congress's establishing a formal religion, not endorsing  a religion.
This simply means that Congress (the only lawmaking body) cannot make any Christian sect or any religion a state religion. This does not mean that the government has to exclude all religious prayers or activities from government. It also means that Congress cannot keep any Christians from practicing their religious beliefs or modify that practice according to their liking. 

Since Congress cannot make a law to make a state religion or abridge religious practice, there can be no law that does so. Therefore,  if anyone wants to pray for the police or any other government officials he can do so, and if any government official wants anyone to pray for him, he can request people to do so -- there is no law that prohibits it.

The opinion of atheists is that there is no God, so prayer is of no effect. But if it has no impact in their minds, then what's the issue? Besides, there are many who have prayed and received answers to their prayers and, therefore, do believe that prayer works. Why should government bend to the opinion of these negative naysayers who have only opinion to go on? Our country was founded by those who believed in God for believers to practice their religion freely, unlike the oppressive country they left.

Whether prayer actually works or not, it's clear as day that since Bible reading and prayer were banned from schools, test scores have gone down (until the tests were dumbed-down, anyway), immoral behavior has increased, violence has increased, drug use has increased, and our society in general has declined.
Atheists don’t think there is any benefit from praying but there is an obvious negative effect since we publicly banned God from the public square. Should we conclude, then, that atheists want more destructive and negative effects for our society? It certainly seems that way since a prayer can do no harm, whereas turning away from God appears to be having terrible effects on our world. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Will progressives require doctors to kill?*

*From Wesley J. Smith….

Secularist threats against religious liberty are spreading like a stain. Thus, I was attracted immediately to Bruce Abramson's Mosaic column, How Jews Can Help Christians Live as a Creative Minority.

Abramson warns Christians that the space to practice their faith in the way they live is shrinking. Tell me something I don’t know, I thought. But my attention focused when Abramson (citing political scientist Peter Berkowitz) cast the trending secularist oppression we are witnessing as a clash between classical “liberalism” and contemporary “progressivism.”

Liberalism stands for “freedom and the rule of law,” he writes, “a system of ‘negative rights’ that no government may legitimately infringe (as in the U.S. Bill of Rights).” In contrast, progressives seek to ensure “equality and justice,” by guaranteeing these outcomes through the enactment of a series of “‘positive’ rights like housing, food, and health care” that someone must provide—be it government or the private sector.

Abramson’s description of the conflict between liberalism and progressivism explains the drive to promote “patients' rights” over the consciences of doctors and other medical professionals in the abortion, assisted suicide, prescription, and other contexts. In this regard, mere legalization of these procedures does not guarantee the free and open access to them deemed by progressives as a positive right. Achieving that goal will require coercion; that is, forcing doctors (and other medical professionals, such as pharmacists) to participate—even when it violates their religious beliefs and deeply held moral convictions.

This kind of progressive authoritarianism is aborning in Canada. Earlier this year, that country’s Supreme Court conjured a Charter right to euthanasia. The debate has now shifted to whether doctors with deeply-held religious objections to killing patients should be able to opt out.

The trends are bad news for physicians who believe it would be a grievous sin to administer lethal injections or assist suicides. The Ontario and Saskatchewan Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons have issued ethics opinions that would require doctors to perform every legal medical procedure paid for by the government’s socialized system upon demand—which will include active euthanasia when the Supreme Court’s ruling goes into effect next year. If the requested physician has religious or moral objections, the Colleges have determined, the MD's have a positive duty to find another doctor willing to do the deed to ensure that the patient receives the death she wants.

If a willing doctor cannot be found, the Saskatchewan College requires the dissenting physician to do the deed personally, “even in circumstances where the provision of health services conflicts with physicians’ deeply held and considered moral or religious beliefs.” To guarantee the positive right to die, doctors will be forced to kill. Ontario’s College even requires doctors to euthanize or refer if the person asking to die is not the doctor’s patient!

Demonstrating how thoroughly progressive thought—as defined by Abramson—has shattered classical liberalism in Canada’s medical ranks, 79 percent of the Canadian Medical Association doctors recently voted against conscience protections for physicians opposed to participation in euthanasia. In other words, in Canada, becoming dead when one is ill or disabled and wants to die counts as a positive right that trumps the negative right to “freedom of conscience and religion” enumerated in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms

What about the USA? Our physicians currently receive conscience protections against required participation where assisted suicide is legal, provisions promoters understood as necessary to gain enactment. But that approach is in danger of erosion. Some assisted suicide boosters are already grumbling about the difficulty of getting doctors to participate in ending patients' lives where it is legal.

Moreover, the same progressive tide sweeping religious freedom aside in Canada is also flowing here. The Supreme Court has ruled that the “negative right” to the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment does not prevent individuals from being coerced into obeying laws of general applicability when doing so violates their religious beliefs. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling—the law that protected Hobby Lobby from forced coverage of abortifacient contraceptives—is now opposed energetically by previously strong progressive supporters like the ACLU. If Washington is ever controlled again by political progressives as it was in 2009, expect efforts to repeal.

Not only that, the federal RFRA does not protect against state laws that infringe upon religious liberty, and state religious protections are now vociferously opposed by progressive political adherents and large corporations—as Indiana discovered recently when it was threatened with economic ruin for attempting to pass an RFRA that extended to the operation of businesses. Thus, the stage is already set for the creation of a positive right to die here that could, one dark day, subsume the religious liberty of doctors not to participate—as is occurring now in Canada, and afflicts pro-life doctors in Victoria, Australia regarding access to abortion.

The only guaranteed way to prevent medical martyrdom is to maintain laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia. If that wall ever crumbles, orthodox Christians (and others) here may, as their Canadian brethren will next year, be forced to choose between being a doctor and violating the Sixth Commandment.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's time to attack sin, not guns

The only thing that brought the deadly massacre in San Bernardino to an end yesterday was when the good guys with guns showed up. Imagine if the workers at the social services building were allowed to carry guns (and had them with them). How much less bloodshed might there have been? 

Had it not been a "no gun" zone, chances are the Muslim employee and his accomplice wife would not have even attempted to shower his coworkers with bullets (ironically not long after his co-workers had thrown a baby shower for him and his wife).

Astoundingly, I still heard hot-air talking heads say if "we" would only treat Muslims better, we would not have these problems. Are you kidding me? Tell me where non-Muslims are systematically killing Muslims while they are at work, at a theater, a soccer game, or on a plane? And if throwing a baby shower for someone isn't treating them well, then I don't know what is. Enough of the brainless, politically correct spinelessness - it's exacerbating the problem by enabling the problem.

Also adding to the problem is our collective turning of the back on God. The New York Daily news sported the headline today "God's not fixing this" in response to Ted Cruz and other Republicans telling the victims of San Bernardino that they're in our "thoughts and prayers". 

Apparently only thoughts are allowed. But tell me, if you were facing some serious incident, what would you rather have from someone: their thoughts about you, or prayers for you? Once again, liberals want to put humans above God as having more power.

While they make the charge that "God's not fixing this," I've got news for the godless liberals: God's not causing this either. Nor is prayer or guns or republicans. Sin and sin alone is causing the sick violence in the world and until we start a very loud and unwavering assault on sin in whatever form of violence it takes, we will get more of the same. 

Of course the liberals will only use the astonishing violence that's coming our way as a limp-wristed excuse for demanding more gun control. They will ignore things like the fact that the shooter of church goers in South Carolina originally targeted another place for his rampage until he found out that concealed guns were allowed there. He then chose a gun-free church instead. The liberals will ignore the fact that the murderer at the theater in Louisiana back in July originally chose another theater location for his assault until it was determined that it was not a gun-free facility. He then handpicked a theater that had a strict no-gun policy. The liberals will also ignore that we have a serious radical Islam threat in our world today. All we need to do is treat radical Muslims better and radical Muslims intent on sinful jihad will not want to murder us, liberals say.

All I can say is, wake up, liberals. Enough is enough.

What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Temperatures more dangerous than terrorism? Here's Obama's take...

President Barack Obama’s attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this week on the heels of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks there is interesting considering he has blamed terrorism on climate change and sees it – not terrorism – as the greater threat.

Case in point, in his 2015 State of the Union address he said, “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” and he told Vox earlier this year he "absolutely" believes the media "overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism: as opposed to "climate change."

Oh, really. Tell that to the people in Paris, Beirut, Mali and elsewhere as they flee gun-wielding, bomb-strapped terrorists.

The climate change movement does have teeth as evidenced by its support from virtually every left-leaning organization in the world. Then again, as a $1.5 trillion dollar-a-year industry, there’s a lot of financial incentive to back it. But is it really about concern for the planet considering there is only, at most, conflicting evidence of a threat, or are other motives, besides financial, at play?

Climate alarmists warn about melting glaciers, but ignore National Park Service data on glacier expansion in some parts, and they cite storms like Katrina and Sandy as evidence of global warming-induced calamities, but don’t acknowledge these weren’t even the worst storms in history (regarding intensity, not physical damage due to today’s denser populations/infrastructure).

Alarmists present global warming as unquestionable fact, but ignore National Climatic Data Center, NASA and other findings that temperatures have risen and declined regularly for the past 100 years as part of normal weather patterns that pose no threat and that any warming of the past century is virtually insignificant at 0.8° C, or that we may even be in a cooling trend.

And while Obama likes to cite NASA’s recent assertion that 2014 was the hottest year on record, he doesn’t mention that NASA also later admitted it was mistaken.

The bottom line is, findings are conflicting, making the issue debatable (a debate some climate alarmists want outlawed), whereas it’s indisputable that people really are dying at the hands of terrorists.

Nonetheless we spend about $22 billion annually on dubious climate threats that even scientists at the Climate Research Unit in England were caught saying was a hoax. But despite the enormous spending, former Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Charles McConnel testified that “at best” all our climate efforts might reduce the global temperature by only “one hundredth of one degree.”

When asked in a congressional hearing about the benefit of this to the planet, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted, “The value of this isn’t measured in that way. It’s measured in showing strong domestic action."

At least McCarthy’s confession gets us a little closer to what the real motives behind the climate change movement might actually have been all along. As cited by Forbes, former US Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO) said at the 1992 Rio Climate Summit, “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we’ll be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy.” 

Former Canadian Minister of the Environment, Lucien Bouchard, told the Calgary Herald in 1988, “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony, climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

Adding their two cents, Mikhail Gorbachev said in 1996 that using the threat of an environmental crisis was key to unlocking a new world order, and in 2000, Jacques Chirac said France supported climate change initiatives as an instrument of establishing global governance.

Most recently, the UN's Christiana Figueres said in July 2015 about climate change objectives, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we’re setting ourselves the task intentionally…to change the economic development model that’s been reigning since the Industrial Revolution.”

Still believe it’s about the weather? Unfortunately, Obama is right on board with the agenda, ostensibly to protect future generations, while terrorism is impacting us right now.

He underscored his priority this past September at the UN Climate Summit when he said, “For all the challenges we gather to address this week…there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the growing threat of a changing climate.”

And he is using that unproven threat to explain away proven terrorism and other civil unrest. “Severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by Boko Haram,” he said about the terrorist group’s kidnapping of hundreds of girls, and he warned that climate change in general will cause more unrest around the world just as it has, by his assertion, in Syria.

So should we all start behaving immorally anytime our personal comfort level is not ideal? Talk about a recipe for civil unrest. Instead, how about we hold accountable those who are beheading Christians, raping and murdering children, burning and/or drowning men in cages, throwing homosexuals off rooftops, and committing mass murder at theaters, soccer games, sidewalk cafes and hotels –all in the name of jihad, by the way, not in the name of unpleasant weather.

Instead of focusing on reducing the planet’s temperature imperceptibly for the broader purpose of establishing some new world order, why not commit boldly to closing our borders and rooting out the murderous brutes who pledge to unleash their evil everywhere, including America? Why not at least put a moratorium on allowing astonishing numbers of refugees to enter our country, about whom FBI Director James Comey says it's impossible to vet for terrorist ties?

Even if Obama personally believes weather fluctuations are a future threat, his first obligation is to prioritize the immediate dangers of today, both in word and deed. Anything less is a dereliction of duty that can only serve to embolden those who seek to do us harm.