ADMINISTRATOR’S NOTES: I have heard some say they think it is wonderful the new emerging church, so many turning to Jesus Christ, this ew revival taking place. Oh it is so great all these young people coming to the Lord!
Coming amiss. Walking the path of false teachings. Walking the path of destruction. Walking the path that will lead right to the door ushering in the false prophet and the antichrist!
Just because someone says they believe in Jesus does not make them a Christian, or saved, if they do not have the Holy Spirit abiding within them, leading them. Not if they do not serve and obey God and His Word. Not if they embrace all faiths and dilute and pollute the Christian faith, the only faith with the Living Yeshua, who was always with Jehovah Elyon, always will be with Jehovah Elyon, and came to earth as a man to take upon Himself the sins of everyone so they might have life should they not only see and hear, and become washed in the Blood, but if they also have the Holy Spirit reside within them leading them, guiding them.
What passes for the majority of Christianity in our days is an abomination. It is blasphemy. True believers see this, know this, and should prepare for what is coming. To those thinking they can turn Christ the Lord into one of their imaginary friends, or that the corrupted translations of Scripture mixed with the false teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, the New Age Movement, and every other lying faith and movement and make a better Christianity will learn one day soon just how in error they were.
Wide Is The Gate: The Emerging New Christianity DVD – Today’s new brand of Christianity has a different gospel and is targeting thousands of the younger generation with a so-called hip, cool, experiential spirituality, much of which is embracing a form of mysticism with the ecumenical philosophy of uniting people from all faiths to work together and bring about a new world of peace and harmony. This notion dovetails with the heart of New Age thinking and the utopian ideals of many world religions who all await their religious leaders and dreams of world domination. The dangerous result of this new spirituality in the church is bringing about the rise of today’s “Christianized” occultism. It’s stretching its tentacles around the souls of unsuspecting youth, setting them up for the lie that subjective emotions of “power” and “experience” are “feelings” to be held higher than an objective walk in the Christian Faith, based in Truth found in the Pure Word of God. The Bible warns of great heresy and apostasy in the church of the last days. It foretells of false teachers, prophets, doctrines of lying spirits and their signs and wonders. For 2000 years, since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the Bible has been attacked. Alongside the Apostolic Church, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles, counterfeit Christian heretics, apostate denominations and false movements have proliferated. Ecclesiastes says, “There’s no new thing under the sun”. (I:9) Learn what Scripture teaches about the times we live in, the ways in which Christians are being seduced away from Biblical Truth, and the methods used by the New Spirituality to usher in the counterfeit Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world” and “Narrow is the Way which leadeth
unto life and few there be that find it.”
New Study Indicates American’s Religious Faith Waning
Despite the prominence of religious believers in politics and culture, America has shrinking congregations, growing dissatisfaction with religious leaders and more people who do not think about faith, according to a new study by a Duke University expert.
In “American Religion: Contemporary Trends,” author Mark Chaves argues that over the last generation or so, religious belief in the U.S. has experienced a “softening” that effects everything from whether people go to worship services regularly to whom they marry. Far more people are willing to say they don’t belong to any religious tradition today than in the past, and signs of religious vitality may be camouflaging stagnation or decline.
“Reasonable people can disagree over whether the big picture story is one of essential stability or whether it’s one of slow decline,” said Chaves. “Unambiguously, though, there’s no increase.”
Chaves, who directs the National Congregations Study, used data from that research and from four decades’ worth of General Social Survey results to draw what he aims to be an overview of contemporary American religion. The study will be published this week.
Today, as many as 20 percent of all Americans say they don’t belong to any religious group, Chaves found, compared with around 3 percent in the 1950s. Yet, those people aren’t necessarily atheists, agnostics or others. Instead, about 92 percent of Americans still profess belief in God, they just don’t use religion as part of their identity.
“It used to be that even the most marginally active people wouldn’t say they have no religion, they’d say `I’m Catholic’ or `I’m Baptist’ or `I’m Methodist’ or whatever,” Chaves said. “That’s not the case today.”
Even signs of robust religious faith may not be what they appear, Chaves found. The strength of religious conservatives in politics, for example, has coincided with a growing disillusionment about faith’s role in the public square. Chaves found that between 1991 and 2008, the percentage of Americans who strongly agreed that religious leaders should stay out of politics rose from 20 percent to 44 percent.
At the same time, those who remain devout have become more conservative. In the mid-1970s, knowing that someone attended church regularly wouldn’t reveal much about their political leanings; today, regular churchgoers are far more likely to be Republicans than Democrats.
“It’s not random who’s leaving churches,” said Bradley Wright, a University of Connecticut sociologist who studies American Christianity and wrote the 2010 book “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told.”
“As Christians affiliated more through the Republican Party, liberal, marginal churchgoers became offended and left,” she said.
The notion of decline misses important developments like the enthusiastic devotion of Christian immigrants, argues Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
“Much of our immigration is coming from countries where Christianity is blossoming,” he said. “I think God’s doing some great things in African-American churches and among Hispanic immigrants.”
Anderson thinks the change is better described as a shift than a decline, as people become more willing to leave the denominations or faiths in which they were raised and look elsewhere for spiritual nourishment.
Wright also believes that a decline might be overstating the case, and says polarization is a better description. He recently plotted survey data over the last 25 years recording what Americans say about the importance of religion in their lives. Those who say it’s extremely important have grown slightly, along with those who say it’s not at all important. But the number of people who said it was “somewhat” important dropped from 36 percent to 22 percent in about 20 years.
“Forty or 50 years ago, it was almost a form of deviance not to be religious,” he said. “When you take away that external form of motivation, people either drop away or they find their own kind of motivation.”
Chaves agrees, saying churches are likelier today to consist largely of a “hard core” of believers, and to have fewer casual or lukewarm members that used to swell the ranks.
“That’s what’s changed,” he said. “Certainly as a percentage of their time, it’s less important than it was.”
These trends developed slowly over decades, Chaves said, and he doesn’t think they can be reversed by ramped-up evangelism or other conscious decisions by religious groups. The main force may be demographic, since the data show that the households most likely to be devout consist of two parents and children. As fewer people have children and more couples split up, religious institutions see their numbers dwindle.
“Religious leaders know this,” Chaves said. “That’s why they look for ways to attract single people and people without kids. But it’s hard, because on the whole, mainstream religion is kind of geared toward families.”
The study wasn’t all bad for religious groups, though. Older people are more likely to be religious than the young, and America is on the cusp of having the largest elderly population in its history, Chaves said.
Immigrants to the U.S. also tend to be active religious believers, and birth rates may also favor the faithful. Devout families usually have more children than the kinds of non-traditional arrangements contributing to the demographic drain on religions, Wright said. Finally, there’s an extraordinary amount of good will toward religious faith in the U.S., especially in contrast with other Western countries.
“It’s not like there’s a lot of hostility toward religion in the United States,” Chaves said. “It’s just that there’s been a softening of religiosity.”
Signs Of The Times – UN Vote In Sept Could Divide The World Over Israel
Israel is gearing up for what could be massive Palestinian protests in September, when the United Nations may move forward with the recognition of a Palestinian state.
“The most immediate one is the decision of the Palestinian Authority to reject negotiations with Israel,” former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold told CBN News.
Palestinians want the United Nations to accept them as a member state in September. Gold said they want to use mass demonstrations in the West Bank to challenge Israel.
Turning World Opinion
“There’s a strategy in the field to create an atmosphere of violence that leads TV networks to give it special coverage and forces public opinion, as well as Western governments to shift their position from one of questions about what the Palestinians are doing to strong support for what they’re trying to accomplish,” Gold explained.
Israeli Messianic leader Chuck Cohen said any such action would be dividing God’s land to make an Islamic state in the territory promised to the Jewish people.
“The Palestinians never had it in the first place, and yet here we are facing this threat,” Cohen said.
And they want to divide Jerusalem.
“God is saying, I’m testing your hearts with Jerusalem that I’m giving back to my people,” he added.
If Israel defies the U.N., author Joel Rosenberg warned that the international community could team up to cut off Israel diplomatically and even economically.
“Think of what we did with Iraq for example. We built a coalition to cut her off economically and then eventually we sent a military to overthrow a regime,” Rosenberg said.
Weapons of War
And what if Israel agrees to divide its land with the Palestinians?
“That will go badly for Israel as it did the last time they divided the land, giving Gaza away. They ended up getting 8,000 rockets and missiles, not peace,” Rosenberg said.
“When they divided the land and gave back a sliver of the north to Lebanon, they ended up with 4,000 rockets and missiles as thank you presents from the Lebanese,” he continued.
Cohen said Palestinians have other tools at their disposal.
“The latest thing they’re trying is called lawfare – instead of warfare – lawfare. They trying to legally destroy us,” he said.
Lawfare means exploiting courts in democratic countries to harass Israelis, accusing them of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It’s part of a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, which ranges from accusing Israel of being an apartheid state to rewriting history that denies any Jewish connection to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount.
Threats All Around
Then there is the direct threat to the land and all its people.
“Iran hasn’t gone away…anyone who reads the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency is aware that the amount of low-enriched uranium, which can later be converted to weapons’ grade, is still growing,” Gold said.
Rosenberg said there’s no doubt Iran is pursuing nuclear arms.
“Iran clearly is working on nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad is even starting to speculate publicly over whether they should just come out and say they’re going to build nuclear weapons,” Rosenberg said.
And Iran’s allies already threaten Israel. To the north, Hezbollah has some 50,000 rockets and missiles pointed its way.
Syria could move from cracking down on its own pro-democracy demonstrators to picking a fight with Israel.
To the south, Hamas rules Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood may soon rule Egypt, Israel’s first Arab peace partner.
And don’t forget Turkey, a one-time ally that’s shifting allegiances.
“With all the threats Israel is a very strong country. It’s a country which has economically been stable…It’s a country where there’s a huge amount of creativity,” Gold
“And as much as it faces these difficult challenges, it will learn to live with them and solve them over time,” he said.
Time for Ezekiel Prophecies?
Still Rosenberg said wars can happen suddenly.
“The place is a tinderbox, one spark and the whole thing can go up in flames so it’s hard to say,” he said.
“One thing we know prophetically is that Ezekiel 38 and 39, the war of Gog and Magog comes after a period of security for the Israeli people and prosperity. Now you’d have to say that right now Israel is experiencing both,” he explained.
Rosenberg said Israelis are feeling more secure than at any time in their 63-year history.
“In fact they’re feeling more secure as Jews here then any time in the last 2,000 years, maybe 2,500 years. But the greatest risk for Israel right now is that Israel is not
focused on the Lord,” he said.
That, Rosenberg said, is crucial so the Lord can help Israel deal with the challenging times ahead.
Jerusalem: Capital of ‘Palestine’?
Throughout all of history, Jerusalem has been the capital of only one nation: Israel. From the time of Kings David and Solomon, late 11th – 10th centuries B.C., to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D., almost 1,100 years, Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish nation.
From the onset of Islamic rule in 638 A.D. to its end 1917, except for Crusader rule from 1099 to 1187, Jerusalem was never the capital of any Muslim state, nor even a provincial capital, until late Ottoman times (19th c. A.D.) when it became a special provincial religious site (vilayet) separate from its larger provincial area.
Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qur’an. “The Night Journey,” in chapter 17:1, recounts Mohammed’s magical flight on the back of the winged horse, el-Buraq, and his landing in “al-Aqsa” (literally, the faraway mosque), which is interpreted by later Muslim scholars to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; but Jerusalem is not mentioned in the text. The Temple Mount, however, is acknowledged in Muslim tradition to date back to Solomonic times. In A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, published by the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem in 1925, Muslim scholars expounded upon the antiquity and sanctity of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, stating that it dates to earliest times, certainly to the time of the Israelite kingdom, and is identified beyond dispute with the site of Solomon’s Temple.
In a description of the Temple Mount area known as “Solomon’s Stables,” which Islamic Waqf officials in Jerusalem converted into a mosque in 1996, the guide states: “…little is known for certain about the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple… According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”
And the above is consistent with Muslim tradition. Islamic post-Qur’anic texts recount that originally Muhammed prayed toward Jerusalem (and not Mecca), making Jerusalem Islam’s first Qibla (direction toward which Muslims should pray). This tradition is based upon the account on the Qur’an’s chapter 2, verses 144 &149-150, where we read that Mohammed changed the direction of prayer to Mecca. The Qur’an does not state where the first Qibla was, and Jerusalem is not mentioned in the text; but later
tradition preserved in biographies of Mohammed and in some Hadith collections (especially Sahih al-Bukhari) indicates that the original direction was toward Jerusalem. However, today there is some rather acrimonious debate among Muslim scholars of Islamic history about when and why the change came about, and if it came about at all; but what is important for this study is that the change, if it did happen, effectively nullified any religious significance that Jerusalem might have had for Islam. If it did not happen, then Jerusalem had no religious significance for Islam, ever.
For centuries thereafter, Jerusalem played little or no role in the religious affairs and development of Islam. In the 13th century, Ibn-Taymiyya, a major Muslim cleric and ideological godfather to later Saudi Wahhabism, wrote extensively about Jerusalem, demonstrating from Muslim sources that there were only two holy cities in Islam – Mecca and Medina. Ibn Taymiyya went to great lengths to explain that the veneration of Jerusalem was nothing more than the “Judaization” of Islam.
So how did Jerusalem become Islam’s third most sacred place? — By subterfuge.
In the late 680’s, just 50 years after Mohammed’s death, a civil war erupted among the Muslims. The Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik, who at that time ruled from Damascus, wanted to put down a revolt by his Muslim enemies who controlled Mecca, the place of pilgrimage. In order to weaken them, he created a counter-pilgrimage site in Jerusalem in 691, to compete with Mecca and to which to redirect pilgrims who might have decided, once in Mecca, to take up the rebels’ cause. He therefore built a mosque, the “dome of the rock,” on the site where Solomon’s Temple had been build in Jerusalem, and declared Jerusalem “al-Quds” (the sacred place). So Jerusalem’s sanctity to Muslims originates with a political and propagandistic ploy.
Under centuries of Muslim and Crusader rule, Jews were prohibited from, or limited in their access to, the city’s holy sites. Even the sacred precinct of the Temple Mount fell in to neglect and disrepair and disuse, due to the Muslim world’s lack of interest in Jerusalem.
With Zionist immigration to Israel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Jerusalem again blossomed; and with the growth of the Jewish population in the city, the non-Jewish population grew too. Under British control (British Mandatory Palestine, 1917-1948), the city expanded even more, growing to a population of almost 300,000, more than half of whom were Jews.
The UN Partition Plan, UNGAR #181, Nov. 29, 1947, declared Jerusalem to be an international city under a special mandate. Israel accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it and declared a genocidal war against Israel. Against all odds, the Jews won, but Jerusalem was divided by the 1949 UN Armistice lines. West Jerusalem, in Israel,
flourished, and became again, for the first time in almost 2,000 years, the capital of the Jewish state. East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, under an
uncaring and illegal Jordanian sovereignty, languished, impoverished and neglected, much as it had during the centuries of Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid and Ottoman rule.
After the 6-day war (June 5-10, 1967), Jerusalem was re-united, under legal Israeli sovereignty, and East Jerusalem was annexed to the State of Israel. The West Bank was not annexed, as the Israeli government had offered, at the UN, to cede back to Jordan all of the West Bank except for Jerusalem. Jordan spurned the offer.
But Arafat recognized the PR value of al-Haram ash-Sharif in Jewish hands, and he milked it for all it was worth. “The Dome of the Rock turned up in pictures everywhere, from Yasir Arafat’s office to the corner grocery. Slogans about Jerusalem proliferated and the city quickly became the single most emotional issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The PLO began to specifically mention Jerusalem in its 1968 constitution as “the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization.”
Other Muslim leaders followed Arafat, and the importance of Jerusalem for Islam spread suddenly throughout the Muslim world. “….the Islamic Republic of Iran has made Jerusalem a central issue, following the dictate of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, who remarked that Jerusalem is the property of Muslims and must return to them.”
So today there can be no “Palestine” without Jerusalem, thanks in large part to Arafat’s adroit machinations.
It is obvious from the above that the importance of Jerusalem to the Muslim world is a function solely of political circumstances. The high religious sanctity for Muslims of the Holy City and the Temple Mount, and the claim that Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest site, are all convenient political ploys.
Today Muslim scholars and political leaders deny the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem, and claim Muslim veneration for the city and for al-Haram ash-Sharif from the days of Adam for one reason only: Jerusalem is now under Jewish sovereignty.
Behind The Scenes – Gaza War Narrowly Averted, For Now
When Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived at the Defense Ministry Headquarters’ meeting room last Saturday, a thick war book titled “Operation South” was already awaiting his approval on his desk. In those hours, Israel was on the verge of embarking on war in the Gaza Strip.
The book did not pertain to a limited operation. The selected targets would have certainly prompted a major flare-up, including difficult regional implications. Just like in Operation Cast Lead, the political leadership granted immunity to no one in the Strip, regardless of his position or stature.
The detailed plans – the targets, scope, power and timing – would have left Hamas no breathing space and time to debate its response. It would have gone for the jackpot, right away. Indeed, Israel’s war plan included preparations for massive rocket fire from Gaza, including long-range missiles aimed at central Israel in general, and at Tel Aviv in particular.
Last weekend, the General Staff Headquarters looked like on the eve of war. Officials were working around the clock and sleeping in their offices. While formulating
the plans, top officials recalled the curse of arrogance of the Second Lebanon War. Back then, the decision to launch a war was taken without sufficient
preparation. The military and political leadership decided to deliver a blow, immediately, without taking into account the implications, the enemy’s response, the home front’s condition and the ability to counter rocket barrages. This time around, a full, detailed plan was drafted; it also included the IDF Home Front Command’s deployment. Only then was the scheme presented to the political echelon.
Another lesson learned from the miserable confrontation vis-à-vis Hezbollah is to start such assaults with great fire power, in order to minimize as much as is possible the home front’s suffering. This lesson was already implemented in Operation Cast Lead; in other words, the power utilized during Cast Lead was to constitute the starting point of the next operation.
Most of Israel’s regular army was to be enlisted, at one point or another, for the operation. Hence, last Saturday all regular army units were placed on alert. Air Force squadrons undertook their final preparations. The time given to the army for preparations also gave international parties – namely the United States and Egypt – time to examine alternatives to the war.
Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the terror offensive on the road leading to Eilat, officials started to formulate the operational doctrine. At that point, the targets were only Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC.) Hamas was not yet a clear target, with the exception of several symbolic hits meant to signal to the group that it holds the responsibility to prevent attacks from the Strip.
A short while after the PRC’s top brass was eliminated by the IDF in a surgical strike, Hamas’ entire leadership, both military and political, disappeared to various
hideouts. They quickly realized where Israel’s response was headed to; hence, junior spokesmen were sent to address the cameras.
The next phase of Israel’s operation included the extension of the assault to Hamas as well. The assumption was that Hamas’ chiefs must have been aware of the PRC terror cell
that headed to the Sinai to carry out attacks from there. A week before the Eilat offensive, PRC terrorists fired Grad Missiles at Kiryat Gat, and Hamas proceeded to detain the shooters, further demonstrating that it is deeply familiar with what goes on among “rogue groups” in Gaza.
In retrospect it turned out that not everything works by the book: To the great amazement of Israel’s experts, Hamas was truly surprised by the Eilat-area attacks.
Zero hour for the large, comprehensive facet of the operation was set. The countdown began. The manpower numbers at some units were complemented with reservists. Less than 24 hours remained before a war broke out. Yet then, Saturday night, a diplomatic opportunity to end the escalation emerged. Hamas initiated a ceasefire.
Hamas doesn’t want war
Officials quickly discovered that Hamas was embarrassed and confused by the fact that someone in the organization assumed responsibility for ending the lull and firing rockets at Ofakim and Beersheba that caused casualties. As it turned out, Hamas did not fire the rockets, and even sent police officers in an attempt to curb the shooters. Hamas heads directly approached the Americans and Egyptians and sought a ceasefire. Israel was aware of these inquiries virtually in real time.
Hamas chiefs did not plan or want this confrontation; not now. They were concerned about being blamed that they are pulling the rug from under Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the September independence bid. Moreover, the economic situation in Gaza is worsening. The government is having trouble paying salaries, with the amount of money pouring into the Strip at this time being a fraction of past fund transfers.
At this time, officials in the Strip need calm and support from Cairo in the contacts on the Gilad Shalit swap. Hamas also fears that Egypt would close the Rafah Crossing.
Furthermore, Hamas leaders in Gaza realized that what Israel characterized as a “disproportional response” to the rocket fire was merely the groundwork for a
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh dared leave his hideout only on Tuesday, some 24 hours after the ceasefire. Top Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are still huddled in bomb shelters, for good reason apparently. On Wednesday, an Islamic Jihad member was killed. Another one was assassinated early Thursday. This pattern will continue. The message in the wake of the Eilat-area offensive is unequivocal: Pinpoint eliminations are back, even if the price of each surgical strike is a night of mortar shells and Grad
rockets aimed at southern Israel.
Shin Bet supports op
Saturday night, the Egyptians and Americans asked Israel to adhere to the ceasefire and refrain from launching a military campaign. Simultaneously, Egypt’s supreme
military council made efforts to curb the anti-Israel wave sweeping the streets. If you act aggressively, the Egyptians told Israel, we would not be able to
mediate vis-à-vis Hamas and we may not be able to contain the masses who seek to target Israeli symbols in Cairo.
During last weekend’s discussions, Israel’s forum of top eight government ministers did not only address the fears of collapsed ties with Egypt. They also spoke of the concern that a military operation would bring Israel into September in an inferior position, with states currently sitting on the fence opting to support the Palestinians. Officials
also spoke of the shaky state of the Jordanian regime, which may be further destabilized as result of great shocks in Gaza. They also discussed further deterioration in our relationship with Turkey, which has become Gaza’ patron.
There was no consensus among participants in the meeting. The Shin Bet, for example, supported a military operation, despite all the diplomatic considerations, and promised to deliver the targets. However, some military officials noted that Hamas did not fire during the Gaza escalation. This was the first time the group’s facilities were hit, its people were killed, yet it held its fire. Several officers said this constituted clear proof that our deterrence is still stable.
And so, by midweek the army lowered its alert level, although it was immediately raised again; one warning elapsed but others emerged. Wednesday morning, inspectors cleared the Ashdod beach. Warnings about planned suicide attacks remerged. Meanwhile, The Shin Bet detained some 150 Hamas members, including political activists and parliamentarians, in the Hebron region early last week. This was characterized as the biggest arrest operation, in one night, since the peak of the second Intifada in 2002.
As September approaches, the IDF is being stretched beyond its means, and there will apparently be no escaping the need to call up reservists. Our leadership is navigating through a minefield. Just like we were on the verge of war Saturday night, with most of the public being completely oblivious to the unfolding drama, it can happen again tomorrow morning. The war book is ready.
European ‘No-Go’ Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating
Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of “no-go” areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.
Many of the “no-go” zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.
The “no-go” areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.
In Britain, for example, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls “Londonistan” – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British
The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.
In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets), for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring “You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced.” And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.
In the Bury Park area of Luton, Muslims have been accused of “ethnic cleansing” by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighborhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers have been accused of “hate crimes” for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: “How dare you come to a Muslim area.”
In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered “no-go” zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street
demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.
Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with high Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and
offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of “Allahu Akbar” via loudspeakers
into the streets.
The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and which have been denounced as an “occupation without tanks or soldiers,” have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.
In the Belgian capital of Brussels (which is 20% Muslim), several immigrant neighborhoods have become “no-go” zones for police officers, who frequently are pelted with rocks by Muslim youth. In the Kuregem district of Brussels, which often resembles an urban war zone, police are forced to patrol the area with two police cars: one car to carry out the patrols and another car to prevent the first car from being attacked. In the Molenbeek district of Brussels, police have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat a
sandwich in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
In Germany, Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut, in an August 1 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, revealed that Muslim immigrants are imposing “no-go” zones in cities across Germany at an alarming rate.
The interviewer asked Witthaut: “Are there urban areas – for example in the Ruhr – districts and housing blocks that are “no-go areas,” meaning that they can no longer be
secured by the police?” Witthaut replied: “Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left ‘to themselves.’ Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.”
In Italy, Muslims have been commandeering the Piazza Venezia in Rome for public prayers. In Bologna, Muslims repeatedly have threatened to bomb the San Petronio
cathedral because it contains a 600-year-old fresco inspired by Dante’s Inferno which depicts Mohammed being tormented in hell.
In the Netherlands, a Dutch court ordered the government to release to the public a politically incorrect list of 40 “no-go” zones in Holland. The top five Muslim problem
neighborhoods are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Kolenkit area in Amsterdam is the number one Muslim “problem district” in the country. The next
three districts are in Rotterdam – Pendrecht, het Oude Noorden and Bloemhof. The Ondiep district in Utrecht is in the fifth position, followed by Rivierenwijk (Deventer), Spangen (Rotterdam), Oude Westen (Rotterdam), Heechterp/ Schieringen (Leeuwarden) and Noord-Oost (Maastricht).
In Sweden, which has some of the most liberal immigration laws in Europe, large swaths of the southern city of Malmö – which is more than 25% Muslim – are “no-go” zones for non-Muslims. Fire and emergency workers, for example, refuse to enter Malmö’s mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escorts. The male unemployment rate in Rosengaard is estimated to be above 80%. When fire fighters attempted to put out a fire at Malmö’s main mosque, they were attacked by stone throwers.
In the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Muslim youth have been hurling petrol bombs at police cars. In the city’s Angered district, where more than 15 police cars have
been destroyed, teenagers have also been pointing green lasers at the eyes of police officers, some of whom have been temporarily blinded.
In Gothenburg’s Backa district, youth have been throwing stones at patrolling officers. Gothenburg police have also been struggling to deal with the problem
of Muslim teenagers burning cars and attacking emergency services in several areas of the city.
According to the Malmö-based Imam Adly Abu Hajar: “Sweden is the best Islamic state.”
Critical Of Islam On Facebook – Prepare To Be Arrested In Islamic Countries
This is the kind of law that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is trying to compel Western states to adopt.
The OIC’s campaign, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu emphasized in June 2011, was “a matter of extreme priority for the OIC.” And it has met with a good deal of
In November 2010, the UN General Assembly voted to condemn what it called the “vilification of religion.” Every majority-Muslim state, without exception, supported the resolution. This wasn’t the first time. The UN has previously passed resolutions condemning the “defamation of religion.” A Reuters report claimed that the language was softened in the November 2010 resolution from “defamation” to “vilification” in order to win more support from Western nations, but these words are essentially synonyms, and both dangerously subjective: if a binding resolution were passed, what constitutes “defamation” or “vilification” would presumably be left up to some UN body, which would mean, essentially, that it would be up to the OIC.
The OIC hopes ultimately to compel Western states to criminalize criticism of “matters regarded by followers of any religion or belief as sacred.” The latest iteration of the UN resolution specifically condemned “Islamophobia, Judeophobia and Christianophobia,” but if anything was a sop to Western nations and their bothersome notions of the
freedom of speech, it was the inclusion of the last two. Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, Chris Ofili’s dung- and pornography-encrusted Holy Virgin Mary, and a thousand anti-Semitic caricatures in the Arabic media vilifying Jews and Judaism in the crudest terms, never gave rise to any calls for United Nations action against “defamation” or “vilification” of religions. The OIC is the driving force behind such resolutions, and its aim is to proscribe “Islamophobia.”
In other words, it wants the U.S. and Europe to adopt Islamic blasphemy laws, such as the one this Facebook commenter fell afoul of in Egypt.
“Egypt police arrest man for Facebook ‘Islam insults,'” from AFP, August 21:
CAIRO (AFP) – Cairo police arrested a man who allegedly ‘insulted Islam’ in postings on Facebook after they tracked him down through his internet address, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
The agency said the 23-year-old, identified only as Ayman Y.M., posted comments ‘that were insulting to the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed and Islam and Muslims.’ It did not disclose what he allegedly said.
The youth was referred to the prosecution, which may charge him under a law that penalizes ‘insulting religion.’…
Church-affiliated college offers homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and or transgendered scholarships
A church-affiliated college in suburban Chicago is offering scholarships to students who identify themselves as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual or transgendered.
Elmhurst College, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, is the first in the country to ask students on admissions applications about their gender identity and sexual orientation.
The college’s dean of admission, Gary Rold, says applicants who respond that they’re part of the “LGBT” community may be eligible for a scholarship that pays up to a
third of their tuition.
Rold told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement.”
Military to chaplains — resign or conform to acceptance of homosexuality
A coalition of chaplains and other service members is urging members of Congress to stand up for religious freedom in the wake of the appeal of the ban on homosexual military service.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty comprises mostly retired chaplains who on behalf of their faith groups represent thousands of currently active military chaplains who believe what the Bible says about the homosexual lifestyle. The bill repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was passed by the lame-duck Congress in December and subsequently signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Col. Ron Crews (USA-Ret.) served as a chaplain for 28 years, including stints with the storied 82nd and 101st Divisions. He now serves as a chaplain endorser for Grace
Churches International. Crews says one of his chaplains attended a briefing by Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
“My chaplain asked him, ‘Will those of us who hold biblical orthodox views concerning homosexuality be protected in this new environment to speak about those views?'” the retired chaplain reports. “And the response he received was, ‘Chaplain, if you can’t get in line with this policy, resign your commission.'”
Despite Mullen’s veiled threat, Crews says his alliance is encouraging chaplains to stand fast in their support of biblical truth about homosexuality — and he says they are
prepared to help their people.
“We are taking steps, working with organizations like Alliance Defense Fund and other groups like that, to say that if there are chaplains who are in anyway harmed or become victims in this process that there are some legal recourses we can take to provide protections for them.”
Crews says they sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to protect military religious liberty from the dangers created by the government’s decision to force open homosexual behavior on the military.
United Methodists Look To Change Belief That Homosexuality Is a Sin
Hundreds of United Methodists trying to make their 12 million-member, worldwide denomination more gay-friendly are meeting in Huron this week for a national conference.
They hope to soon change their church’s official position that homosexuality is a sin — an issue that has caused a raging debate among the laity and clergy for decades.
Unlike other mainstream Protestant denominations in the United States — including the United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, Episcopal and Presbyterian USA — the United Methodists prohibit clergy from engaging openly in same-sex relationships.
And they disallow ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.
“The practice of homosexuality is incompatible to Christian teaching,” reads a section in the Methodists’ Book of Discipline.
But the nearly 700 people expected to attend the four-day conference at Sawmill Creek Resort, beginning Thursday, are working to rewrite the Book.
To do that they will call on the denomination’s General Conference in April in Tampa Bay, Fla., to vote on new language that would allow openly gay clergy and the
blessing of same-sex unions.
They tried to do that at the last General Conference, in 2008, but were defeated.
The Rev. Troy Plummer of Chicago, an organizer of the Huron conference, conceded, “We might not get everything we want, but we’ll get some of it.
“I think something dramatic will happen in Tampa,” he said. “The vote will be close, by just a handful of votes this time. We’re about to make it happen.”
Previous conference votes showed the movement prevailing in the United States but failing in Europe and Africa, said Plummer, noting that Methodists in those two
continents tend to be conservative.
He said the vote in 2008 lost by less than 5 percent of the 1,000 votes cast.
“We have the votes in the U.S.,” he said. “Now we’re working to get the votes worldwide.”
United Methodists number about 8 million in the United States. The other 4 million are mostly in Europe, Africa and the Philippines. In Ohio, there are about 365,000
United Methodists worshipping in more than 1,800 churches.
Plummer said the state, reflecting its position in national politics, is a swing state about equally divided on the issue.
But the Rev. Ken Chalker, pastor of University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, said an Ohio vote to allow openly gay clergy would lose by a substantial margin.
“I don’t know what tea leaves he’s reading,” said Chalker, referring to Plummer. “The rules on ordaining gays or blessing same-sex couples are not going to change in
Tampa. It would be wonderful if there were changes. I certainly would support them.”
But the Rev. Chet Harris, pastor of the Dueber Church in Canton, certainly would not. He believes homosexuality is a sin, on the level with adultery and sex outside of marriage.
Harris said the push within the church for approval of same-sex relationships could be gaining ground and should be taken seriously.
“The movement is strong,” he said. “These people are sharp. They wouldn’t be doing this unless they thought they could pull off a coup.”
Harris predicted that if the gay-friendly movement prevails, there would be a mass exodus of United Methodists, including himself.
“I will not serve in a church that will ordain homosexuals,” he said. “I will not serve in a church that affirms their lifestyle. If this thing goes the distance
— and I think it has the potential — it will splinter us like bamboo.”
The New Christianity – Pastors Who Don’t Believe In God
As the BBC reports, some church leaders in the Netherlands want to transform their small nation into a laboratory for rethinking Christianity — “experimenting with radical new ways of understanding the faith.”
Religious Affairs Correspondent Robert Pigott tells of Rev. Klaas Hendrikse, a minister of the PKN, the mainstream Protestant denomination in the Netherlands. Pastor Hendrikse doesn’t believe in life after death, nor even in God as a supernatural being. He told the BBC that he has “no talent” for believing historic and orthodox doctrines. “God is not a being at all,” he says, but just an experience.
Furthermore, as Pigott reports, “Mr. Hendrikse describes the Bible’s account of Jesus’s life as a mythological story about a man who may never have existed, even if it is a valuable source of wisdom about how to lead a good life.”
By any normative definition of Christian belief, Klass Hendrikse is an unbeliever, but in the largest Dutch denomination, he is considered a minister in good standing. As a matter of fact, he is not even unusual. A study undertaken by the Free University of Amsterdam determined that about one of every six Protestant ministers is either agnostic or atheist.
Hendrikse is very open about his views. In fact, he published a book in recent years entitled, Believing in a Non-Existent God. Conservative church leaders demanded a heresy trial for the pastor, but the denomination decided that Hendrikse’s views are too commonly held to be considered out of bounds.
In other words, the church has embraced a straightforward form of atheism within its own ranks — and among its own ministers.
The BBC report also introduces Rev. Kirsten Slettenaar, another minister of the church, who openly rejects the divinity of Christ. She refers to “Son of God” as a mere
title. “I don’t think he was a god or a half god,” she says. “I think he was a man, but he was a special man because he was very good in living from out of love, from out of the spirit of God he found within himself.”
The Dutch ministers featured in this report dismiss the doctrines of biblical Christianity as “outside of people” and “rigid things you can’t touch any more.” Like the
liberal theologians of the last two centuries, they insist that the “real meaning” of Christianity can survive, even if its central truth claims are denied.
One layperson cited in the report celebrated the liberation of Christianity from truth claims, allowing her to recreate the faith “to my own way of thinking, my own way of doing.”
Professor Hijme Stoffels of the Free University of Amsterdam called the new approach to Christianity in the Netherlands “somethingism.” The majority of Dutch citizens, he explains, desire some form of spirituality, but not the God of the Bible. “There must be something between heaven and earth, but to call it ‘God’ and even ‘a personal God’, for the majority of Dutch is a bridge too far.”
Professor Stoffels went on to argue that Christian churches in the Netherlands are “in a market situation.” As he explained, “They can offer their ideas to a majority of the
population which is interested in spirituality or some other kind of religion.”
Another pastor argued for using the words of traditional Christianity, but meaning “something totally different.”
All this is familiar, at least in general terms, to anyone who has been observing mainline Protestantism — in either the United States or Europe — for the last half-century or more. The central doctrines of Christianity are first sidelined and hardly mentioned, then revised, and finally rejected.
Behind that process is the argument that the world has changed, and that Christianity must change with it. Harry Emerson Fosdick, one of the most influential leaders in
American Protestant liberalism, argued that the modern world has simply rendered traditional Christian doctrines unintelligible to the modern man and woman. John
Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, put the issue bluntly: “Christianity must change or die.”
Well, as even some conservatives left in the Dutch church recognize, if the church changes in the way the Dutch liberals are changing it, it is spiritually and theologically dead
already. There is a new religion of “somethingism” in the Netherlands, and it is not a new form of Christianity. It is a new religion meeting in historic Christian church structures.
All this in a country that was once pervasively Christian. Theologian and conservative church leader Abraham Kuyper was the nation’s Prime Minister from 1901 to 1905. The Dutch once claimed to model a Christian culture. All that is now in ruins.
The radical experimentation of the Dutch churches may well be a response to market pressure, as Professor Stoffels explains, but it is the substitution of a new religion in
place of Christianity. Christianity stands or falls on its central truth claims. Without the knowledge of the full deity and humanity of Christ, there is no Gospel and no salvation of sinners.
Of course, if you no longer believe in a personal God, or any existent deity of any sort, then you will not be worried about salvation from sin.
A church that lacks the doctrinal conviction and courage necessary to prosecute an atheist pastor for heresy is a church that lost its Christian identity — a long time ago. The doctrinal experimentation embraced by these Dutch churches is hardly limited to the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Dutch situation makes one point transparently clear — this is a laboratory for the destruction of Christianity.
Learn more about the emerging new “Christianity” and the many compromises the Western Church is facing by our spiritual leadership:
August 27, 2011
The Soros-supported Center for American Progress blames rich Jews for stoking Islamophobia
The Obama-allied Center for American Progress has released a report that blames Islamophobia in America on a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America, whose views are being backed by millions of dollars. This “network”, according to the news release, have “have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.
Who are the figures mentioned as the promoters of prejudice? Most of them are prominent Jews and supporters of Israel, such as David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson (the founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism). The eight foundations mentioned as funding this effort include are almost exclusively ones founded and funded by Jewish donors, and lest readers not be aware of this fact, the Center for American Progress lists not only the other beneficiaries of the charities and foundations (most of them having Jewish or Israel in the title) but also goes to the trouble of naming the individuals behind these charities — not just the donors but also those who serve on the boards.
Why include this additional information except to highlight that Jewish people are behind this effort to “defame” Muslims? By “outing” the people involved, the report puts endangers them. Furthermore, this “report” relies on the conspiracy and age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews fan prejudice towards others and promotes divisions for their own nefarious purposes (to support Israel in this case). This mindset is straight out of Mein Kampf.
The report also stokes the view that rich Jews operate behind the scenes and use their wealth to control the media and government policy (politicians are also mentioned as being ensnared in this web).
The Center for American Progress was founded by Herbert and Marion Sandler (prominent mortgage bubble billionaires who partner with George Soros in his political activities). The Center for American Progress to a great extent is funded by George Soros and his Open Society Institute. George Soros is a fierce opponent of Israel and alleges that the Israel “lobby” all but controls American foreign policy. This view is echoed by Stephen Walt who flags this report in his column at the Foreign Policy website.
CAP has very close ties to the White House. It is headed by John Podesta, who was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and headed Barack Obama’s transition team. A man closely linked to the last 2 Democrat presidents is publishing this kind of material. Podesta’s group remains influential with President Obama. Bloomberg News noted this relationship in its column, “Soros-funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Front.” Some key administration officials have come from the CAP, as well. These include such anti-Israel figures as Van Jones, who, after he was forced to leave the White House when his views became known, returned to his sinecure at the Center.
Clearly, this is a well-funded effort to chill legitimate criticism of Islamic extremism in America. There are also political motivations behind this report since it also tries to refute allegations of ties between Muslims and Barack Obama. But what is most shameful about this “report” is that it employs classic anti-Semitic tropes, blaming conspiratorial Jews for stoking fear and hatred of Muslims.
This will work its magic in the Muslim world, a substantial fraction of which believes that “defaming” Islam is legitimately punishable by death at the hands of any righteous Muslim. By thoughtfully providing a hit list, the CAP does its part to spread fear and — yes — terror among the opponents of radical Islam.
August 27, 2011
It doesn’t take much to conjure up memories of Natalee Holloway and Joran van der Sloot as we contemplate the fate of Robyn Gardner at the hands of Gary Giordano in Aruba. Although the facts are still being collected in Gardner’s case, it’s worth revisiting these cases and taking away some life lessons.
Joran van der Sloot is a killer, having confessed in Peru to the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez. It is likely that he is responsible for the death of Natalee Holloway, who disappeared at the age of 18 during a high school graduation trip to Aruba.
Nothing justifies the death of either girl, although van der Sloot did attempt to cast Stehany’s death as accidental — the result of an argument they had when he caught her researching him on his computer without his permission.
When we hear these horrific tales, our hearts break. We shake our heads from side to side in disbelief and sorrow and thank G-d it wasn’t our daughter. We swear we’ll never send our daughters to exotic vacation resorts or any place else on Earth. We clench our teeth and raise our fists in the name of justice while champing at the bit for the killer to be caught and aptly punished. These are natural and common reactions.
But does anyone ever discuss why these young women put themselves in such precarious and vulnerable places and times, with young men they barely know? And let me clarify right off the bat I am not in any way suggesting that these girls asked for it or got what they deserved. Not even remotely.
While Robyn Gardner was a grown woman, one has to wonder, “What was she thinking taking off to Aruba with a man she barely knew?”
We have to stop kidding ourselves: the behavior each one of these women engaged in is risky and we have to start telling our daughters that when they are on their own, they cannot put themselves in such high-risk situations, and not just because of the sexual risks. Literally, this behavior can kill.
Young women find themselves in these life-threatening situations simply because they exercise bad judgment. This poor judgment stems from years of misguided sexual messaging and education.
In today’s world, the messaging to our children is that anything goes — what they wear, how they act, what they need to do to fulfill their sexual needs. They can wear and say almost anything they want in school today. They are supposed to fulfill sexual needs on demand. Sex begins at increasingly younger ages and results in greater STD risks than ever before. Because having sex at a young age is so commonplace and sex itself is no longer considered as private as it should be, one university had to require students to sign contracts stating they will not have sex in front of their roommates. We have so failed our children that we actually have to tell them that! Are any warning bells going off here?
Our sexual indoctrination starts young and teachers are prohibited from imparting to their students any values or behavioral expectations regarding sex. Few parents realize that these components to sex ed have been eliminated from the curriculum and, thinking the school is taking care of it, neglect to provide those values or behavioral expectations at home. In the end, children are being taught only the mechanics of sex and are left with the impression that this is what is expected of them — and at a young age.
Parents need to take the time and explain to their children that someday they will probably be under pressure to have sex, but (1) sex at a young age is not healthy, (2) sex with multiple partners is not healthy, (3) sex with someone you don’t know involves high risk, (4) sex with someone you don’t know when you are drunk or high is off the charts in terms of risk, and (5) every time you get drunk or high you put yourself in a vulnerable sexual position and forfeit any ability to make good judgments or exercise control.
The classic retort to this is that they are going to do it anyway. Wrong. Some will do it anyway. Most are dying for these boundaries, crave the advice, want to know their parents care (even if they act contrary), need the tools to make good choices and exercise control, and are generally reluctant to engage in such risky behavior.
Most of us do not want our kids to drink in college, but how many of us actually tell them never, ever let someone else get you a drink — either drink from a can or bottle you open, or bring your own drink. Booze is spiked all the time and the date-rape drug is still in use. It’s good advice and kids will take it, if you offer it to them.
Same with sex: don’t go off with someone you barely know, all alone, to the beach or a hotel or dorm room. If you don’t know the person well, he could hurt or even kill you.
As experienced as young adults think they are, if you tell them this it will lodge in their memory banks so that when confronted with certain choices, the ammo to make good decisions will be available. A few minutes of your time, and maybe some eye-rolling, could save a life.
As a society we have made some colossal errors. We put too much decision-making pressure on our kids at a young age, by putting them in situations that are rife with choices and freedoms, mistakenly thinking they are mature enough, worldly enough, and informed enough to choose the right paths. They aren’t. We put them in situations where they travel alone, staying at hotels or hostels where the expectations are drinking, partying, and hooking up. Since we facilitate these arrangements, in their minds, we approve.
We send them to colleges with co-ed bathrooms and absolutely no supervision — where sex is so commonplace, they don’t even realize it is supposed to be private. Some colleges like UC Santa Barbara have student ghettos like Isla Vista where unsupervised young adults live on their own, drink, do drugs, and couple as they will. It’s like a scene from Lord of the Flies — only the college edition. Sure, it’s a big party, and all fun and games until someone gets hurt, develops an addiction, fails out of school, or gets an STD.
What is lacking in this entire equation is the notion of self-control, that what distinguishes us from the animals is our ability to reason and exercise restraint. Learning how to control one’s urges is part of becoming an adult. We need to remind our children of that.
Back in the ’50s, colleges had dorm mothers who lived in the dorm and saw to it that no boys came in after a certain time. Boys were not allowed in a girl’s dorm room. These were rules of behavior that protected young women and men. Yes, some young men and women found ways to circumvent the system, but most welcomed it.
Parents also laid out expectations — most young women knew not to invite a young man to their room/apartment, would never attend a man’s apartment alone, wander the streets alone at night, or take off with a virtual stranger. And most young men wouldn’t extend such invitations. I’m not saying these things didn’t happen. They did, but they were infrequent. Today, this kind of behavior is not only expected, but it is the norm.
Knowing what your parents expected of you as a young woman, while not foolproof, did result in a society where the number of rapes, sexual assaults, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, abortions, and STD transmissions was much lower than it is today.
There are some things parents can do. Insist that this wanton and reckless way of life on college campuses be stopped; insist that young men and women live in separate buildings; do not allow them to share bathrooms or floors or suites; insist on curfews for guests; demand that schools do something about the drinking and drugs on campus. If resident advisors won’t enforce the rules, then maybe we should go back to the concept of dorm mothers.
Parents, tell your daughters that when they go to a bar or party and drink, at home or on vacation, they are more vulnerable not just to having sex, but to being abused, getting hurt, and even being killed. If a guy wants to get together, meet him in a public place at a reasonable time. Don’t go into his room or apartment, even if you want to. Wait until you really know someone before you do that.
And just because you are a grown woman doesn’t mean you are immune from the risks and can take off to an exotic paradise with a man you barely know.
This is all about self-control, self-respect, and taking control of your own safety.
Not Natalee or Stephany or Robyn had to die at the hands of a monster. Feminists talk about empowering young women by focusing mainly on sexual expression and liberation, but do they ever talk about empowerment through self-restraint? A little restraint goes a long way towards empowering women and is much more effective than a condom or pepper spray.
August 27, 2011
Michelle Blames it on the Kids
Michelle Obama must think most people are easily duped. To quell the disapproval of Americans who struggle to come up with the extra money to fill their gas tanks, Michelle has to spend lots of time — between booking vacations and deciding how big a wardrobe chest to load into the cargo plane — coming up with justifications to subdue the public’s disapproval of her obvious addiction to pricey vacations.
Last year, prior to heading off to Martha’s Vineyard, Michelle took Sasha on an exotic summer visit to Spain. The I-dare-you-to-say-something excuse for that excursion was that it was a “private mother-daughter trip with longtime family friends,” which in itself is a contradiction in terms.
A “private mother-daughter” trip with 40 “close” friends and a taxpayer-funded security detail of 68 is hardly an intimate family outing. The entourage was so large that the group required 30 rooms in “Spain’s most exclusive hotel the Villa Padierna, a golf and spa resort located along the coast from Marbella.”
Sorry, but throwing around mother-daughter language, as if Sasha and Shelley were going to Spain to spend one-on-one “Mommy and Me” time, was nothing more than a manipulative shield used to suppress well-deserved criticism for a four-day trip rumored to cost $375,000.
Every Christmas the Obamas kick back for a low-key holiday in Hawaii on a “family” break that runs about $1.5 million for transport planes; exorbitant rent on a mansion called the “Winter White House”; and lodging for security, staff, and medical backup. Before anyone dares criticize, it’s important to remember that the break is a longtime family tradition where two darling little girls get to make an annual visit to walk the hallowed ground that is their father’s putative birthplace.
Every couple of months Michelle has to pray that America is either consumed by the economic pain inflicted by her husband or afflicted with short-term memory loss, because between tagalong official trips barely a couple of months pass before the first lady partakes of on-site international cuisine and global sightseeing, compliments of the nation’s taxpayers.
If White House sources are correct, Michelle is doing one of the following: either floating another lame excuse to bunk in some exclusive $2,500-a-night hotel somewhere, exploiting lunch with her daughters as an excuse to shop in Paris, or treating her liberal body to an expensive massage accompanied by a martini made with “top-shelf vodka.”
Take for instance how, after Obama encouraged America to save money by skipping vacation, less than 50 days after returning home from Oahu Michelle commissioned AF1 to ferry her as chaperone to a 2010 giggling-girls ski trip in Vail, Colorado. Besides not heeding her husband’s austerity advice, the first lady of healthy eating dined on ancho-chili short ribs at “141 grams of fat per serving.” Then, after dessert, she chose to camp out like a girl scout in the “upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.”
Lest we forget, Michelle and her daughters spent time tasting and touring their way through New York City, sightseeing in Los Angeles, barbequing and memorializing on Memorial Day in Chicago, hiking in Maine, bobbing for tar balls on the Florida Gulf Coast, and recovering from a whirlwind of activity on an annual vacation in Chilmark.
Ever family-minded, Michelle also accompanied her husband to Indonesia, South America, Ireland, the UK, and Paris, trips that incorporated retail therapy, seeing the sights, fine dining, and recreating in between official duties that included breaking English protocol and forcing conservative Muslim men to shake her hand.
This year, just prior to heading to Martha’s Vineyard, Mrs. Obama managed to squeeze in a pre-vacation/official business/vacation to South Africa, accompanied as usual by an entourage of tagalong family and friends. If cost estimates for travel and security are correct, the jaunt cost American taxpayers anywhere from $500,000 to a reported $800,000.
Before Americans jump to conclusions and protest unfairly, “U.S. Embassy Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau made clear that the trip was partially a personal pilgrimage for the first lady” — another sentimental crusade with a huge price tag partially financed with tax dollars deducted from the unemployment checks of 3.5 million people, a fraction of the 13.9 million unemployed individuals presently collecting benefits.
Thus, justification for spending a half a million dollars obviously demanded playing the trusty old “family card,” which may be why Mrs. Obama brought along Sasha and Malia, Grandma Robinson, and her brother’s two kids. Prior to the trip, and in hopes of evoking the “awww” factor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in South Africa said, “A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family.”
The African “excursion included tourist stops to historical landmarks and museums” and a “chance for Mrs. Obama to meet privately with Nelson Mandela — an experience she described as ‘surreal'” — an opinion one can only hope had nothing to do with Mr. Mandela’s shirt.
Nevertheless, the rationalization for spending an exorbitant amount of money on a private family safari included the standard Obama-family-Hallmark-moment excuse, as well as Michelle addressing “youth leadership” and “education,” and sharing with Africa her views on “health and wellness” between scarfing down French fries, huge sausages, and fried fat cakes in Muchudu village in Botswana.
So, after three years and the reported millions in taxpayer dollars spent this year alone on Michelle Obama’s vacation expenses, family time, “private” family vacations, and the “long-planned family trip” excuses are starting to get old.
Especially for Americans whose chances of ever taking a family vacation again are almost as likely as Mrs. Obama wearing a designer outfit twice, staying at a Motel 6TM, or going 60 days without taking off on a costly excursion financed with other people’s money, justified with the excuse that visiting Costa del Sol is “quality time” with the kids.
Author’s content: www.jeannie-ology.com
China expanding its nuclear stockpile
Pentagon discloses network of bunkers
By Bill Gertz
Thursday, August 25, 2011
China is expanding its nuclear forces with a new multiwarhead mobile missile and keeps its strategic stockpiles in deep underground bunkers, the Pentagon disclosed in its annual report to Congress on the Chinese military.
China is thought to have up to 75 long-range nuclear missiles, including hard-to-find, road-mobile DF-31 and DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), according to the report, which was released Wednesday. China also has 120 intermediate- and medium-range missiles.
“China is both qualitatively and quantitatively improving its strategic missile forces,” the report states. “Beijing will likely continue to invest considerable resources to maintain a limited nuclear force … to ensure the [People’s Liberation Army] can deliver a damaging retaliatory nuclear strike.”
The report states for the first time that China appears to be developing a third road-mobile ICBM, possibly capable of carrying a multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicle.
China also has built its first Jin-class ballistic-missile submarine that “appears ready,” but its missile, the JL-2, a variant of the DF-31, is still being flight-tested.
A disclosure in the annual assessment reveals China’s deep-underground facilities in the north that is connected with more than 3,000 miles of tunnels. The facilities are used for storing and hiding missiles and nuclear warheads, and for command bunkers hardened against nuclear attacks.
The facilities were built on the Chinese belief that the weapons and headquarters are less vulnerable to attack. The Chinese military has been using the underground facilities since the early 1950s.
U.S. officials said most details of Chinese nuclear arms previously were kept secret.
“China’s strategic missile force, the Second Artillery Corps (SAC), has developed and utilized [underground facilities] since deploying its oldest liquid-fueled missile systems and continues to utilize them to protect and conceal their newest and most modern solid-fueled mobile missiles,” the report says.
The facilities include an “obscure tunnel network” stretching more than 3,000 miles.
The report said China’s underground nuclear sites are based on Beijing’s assumption that “it might have to absorb an initial nuclear blow prior to engaging in ‘nuclear counterattack,’” the report says.
According to the newsletter the Diplomat, a recent presentation at the Naval War College disclosed that the underground facilities were made public by China’s state-run CCTV in March 2008. The television network showed some of the tunneling at a location in mountainous northern Hubei province. The facilities reportedly are located hundreds of yards below ground.
“Although secrecy and ambiguity remain China’s predominant approach in the nuclear realm, occasional disclosure of information on some missile-related [underground facilities] is consistent with an effort to send strategic signals on the credibility of its limited nuclear arsenal,” the report says.
The published reports have shown images of tunnels, modern network-based security and control centers, and advanced camouflage measures, the report says.
The underground military facilities also are used to protect and hide command posts and communications sites, to store weapons and equipment and to protect people.
Richard Fisher, a China military-affairs analyst, said the report is significant for listing strategic nuclear forces that show an estimated increase of up to 25 new ICBMs, some with multiple warheads, in a year, and the first references to China’s program for nationwide missile defenses.
“Taken together, a well-protected, growing ICBM force that will soon have active defenses should be of great concern to the United States,” said Mr. Fisher, of the International Assessment and Strategy Center. “China will not reveal its missile-buildup plans or its [anti-ballistic missile] plans, so this simply is not the time to be considering further cuts in the U.S. nuclear force, as is the Obama administration’s intention.”
Mr. Fisher said China’s hints and unofficial signs for decades that it does not seek large nuclear forces are not credible and are in line with similar disinformation themes, such as China’s claims that it is not preparing for space warfare, not selling arms to rogue states and not seeking global hegemony.
Chinese military officials on at least two occasions since 1995 have threatened to use nuclear weapons, directly or indirectly, against the United States.
In October 1995, Gen. Xiong Guangkai said of any conflict over Taiwan that “if you hit us, we can hit back.” The general then said that “in the end, you care more about Los Angeles than you do about Taipei,” reported to the White House at the time as a threat to use nuclear weapons.
In 2005, Gen. Zhu Chenghu told reporters in Beijing that if the U.S. military used conventionally armed weapons on Chinese territory, “we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.”
China’s military in January rebuffed an appeal from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to hold strategic nuclear talks.
A classified State Department cable from Beijing in 2008 quoted Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei as telling visiting U.S. officials that “China does not favor displaying the same transparency regarding nuclear-weapons holdings or delivery platforms that the United States, U.K., and France have shown, since doing so would eliminate the value of China’s strategic deterrent.”
On missile defenses, the report for the first time revealed that China is developing a nationwide “umbrella” of nonexplosive, high-speed interceptors that can hit missiles and other aerospace vehicles at heights of up to 50 miles.
China frequently criticizes the similar U.S. missile-defense system as undermining stability.
China also is continuing to develop anti-satellite weapons that were first tested in 2007, causing a debris field in space that continues to threaten orbiting spacecraft, the report says.
“China continues to develop and refine this system, which is one component of a multidimensional program to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by potential adversaries during times of crisis or conflict,” the report says