The spirit of the laws
Christian Fraternities & Sororities Can’t Be Officially Recognized Campus
Group, Affirms Supreme Court
SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a request by Christian groups on a college campus to allow them to limit membership based on religious beliefs.
Justice turned back a legal effort by a Christian fraternity and sorority at San Diego State University that challenged an anti-discrimination policy at California state universities.
The lawsuit filed in 2005 said the plaintiffs should be allowed to insist members follow their religious standards of conduct and avoid sex outside of marriage between a man and woman.
Susan Westover, head of the California State University system’s litigation unit, welcomed the Supreme Court decision,
“We don’t want our students to discriminate, just like we don’t want our employees to discriminate,” she said.
The Alliance Defense Fund, based on Scottsdale, Ariz., argued the case for the groups, David Cortman, senior counsel for the fund, said San Diego State will “remain a stronghold of censorship” as a result of the court decision.
The Alpha Gamma Omega-Epsilon Chapter fraternity and the Alpha Delta Chi-Delta Chapter sorority continue to exist but have struggled.
Refusing to go along with the school’s nondiscrimination policy made the groups ineligible for a host of privileges such as getting student funding, posting signs on campus, reserving office and meeting space, using the school name or mascot and promoting themselves on the university website.
With Monday’s decision, the justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling that found San Diego State University’s nondiscrimination policy doesn’t violate the Constitution.
In that case, the court on a 5-4 judgment upheld the lower court rulings saying a Christian group’s First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college’s nondiscrimination policy.
Several religious groups recognized by San Diego State also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to stay out of the 2010 case.
“I think it’s a great policy. I don’t think there should be any discrimination at all, in any way,” said Curtis Lester, 22, a fifth-year student and president of the Aztec Christian Association.
Lester said school recognition has been critical for his group. Along with being able to use the school mascot in its name, the Aztec Christian Association posted signs on campus for a meeting that drew about 80 people on campus.
Jayson Nicholson, assistant for the Agape House Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry at San Diego State, said recognition allowed that group to recruit students at a table during Welcome Week for new students and hold religious services on campus. He enthusiastically backs the school policy.
“I personally feel it is positive not to discriminate in any way, shape or form,” he said.
The case is Alpha Delta Chi-Delta Chapter v. Reed, 11-744.
America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President
by David Barton
When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical. And then when his hostility toward Biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-Biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-Biblical actions.
Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.
1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:
- April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” 1
- February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 2
- April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. 3
- May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 4
- April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 5
- October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 6
- November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 7
- January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 8
- February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 9
- April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 10
- August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 11
- November 2011 – Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. 12
- November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 13
- December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 14
- January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 15
- February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 16
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:
- June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 17
- August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America). 18
- September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 19
- September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 20
- November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 21
- November 2011 – The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. 22
- February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 23
- February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 24
- February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 25
3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:
- January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. 26
- January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 27
- March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 28
- March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 29
- March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 30
- May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. 31 He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 32
- May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 33
- July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 34
- September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 35
- July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 36
- August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 37
- September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 38
- February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 39
- March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 40
- July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 41
- September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 42
- October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 43
4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:
- May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 44
- April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 45
- April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 46
- August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 47
- August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 48
- 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 49
- October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 50
- February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, 51 but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. 52
Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.
1. Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’,” Christianity Today, April 13, 2008. (Return)
2. Aliza Marcus, “Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Christianity Today, February 18, 2011. (Return)
3. Jim Lovino, “Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech,” NBC Washington, April 17, 2009. (Return)
4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House,” Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009. (Return)
5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009. (Return)
6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010. (Return)
7. “Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia,” The White House, November 10, 2010. (Return)
8. LadyImpactOhio, “ Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt,” Red State, January 14, 2011. (Return)
9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012. (Return)
10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011. (Return)
11. Chuck Donovan, “HHS’s New Health Guidelines Trample on Conscience,” Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2011. (Return)
12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011. (Return)
13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011. (Return)
14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011. (Return)
15. Ted Olson, “Church Wins Firing Case at Supreme Court,” Christianity Today, January 11, 2012. (Return)
16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012. (Return)
17. “Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011. (Return)
18. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011. (Return)
19. “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion,” Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011. (Return)
20. “Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines,” Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
21. “Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity,” Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011. (Return)
22. Jenny Dean, “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011. (Return)
23. Ken Blackwell, “Gen. Boykin Blocked At West Point,” cnsnews.com, February 1, 2012. (Return)
24. Geoff Herbert, ” Air Force unit removes ‘God’ from logo; lawmakers warn of ‘dangerous precedent’,” syracuse.com, February 9, 2012. (Return)
25. Todd Starnes, “Army Silences Catholic Chaplains,” Fox News Radio, February 6, 2012. (Return)
26. Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles, “Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding,” Reuters, January 23, 2009. (Return)
27. “Obama pick: Taxpayers must fund abortions,” World Net Daily, January 27, 2009. (Return)
28. Steven Ertelt, “Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK,” LifeNews, March 5, 2009. (Return)
29. “ Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding,” Fox News, March 9, 2009. (Return)
30. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)
31. Steven Ertelt, “Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education,” LifeNews, May 8, 2009. (Return)
32. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin,” LifeNews, February 14, 2011. (Return)
33. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist,” LifeNews, May 5, 2009. (Return)
34. “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” The White House, June 17, 2009. (Return)
35. Matt Cover, “Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals,” cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010. (Return)
36. Tess Civantos, “White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say,” Fox News, July 22, 2010. (Return)
37. Steven Ertelt, “Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study,” LifeNews, August 26, 2010. (Return)
38. Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)
39. Brian Montopoli, “Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA,” CBSNews, February 23, 2011. (Return)
40. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos,” LifeNews, March 2, 2011. (Return)
41. Elisabeth Bumiller, “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778. (Return)
42. Luis Martinez, “Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?,” ABC News, October 12, 2011. (Return)
43. Jerry Markon, “Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups,” Washington Post, October 31, 2011. (Return)
44. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009. (Return)
45. “Franklin Graham Regrets Army’s Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service,” Fox News, April 22, 2010. (Return)
46. “Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’,” Fox News, May 27, 2010; “‘Islamic Radicalism’ Nixed From Obama Document,” CBSNews, April 7, 2010. (Return)
47. Chuck Norris, “ President Obama: Muslim Missionary? (Part 2),” Townhall.com, August 24, 2010; Chuck Norris, “President Obama: Muslim Missionary?,” Townhall.com, August 17, 2010.(Return)
48. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; “Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero,” Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, “Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero,” American Thinker, July 21, 2011. (Return)
49. “WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation,” Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; “President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional,” American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)
50. “Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House,” Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
51. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012; “USA/Afghanistan-Islamophobia: Pentagon official apologizes for Quran burning,” International Islamic News Agency (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
52. “Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan,” CNN, May 22, 2009. (Return)
Netanyahu: Biblical Values Set Israel Apart
JERUSALEM, Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the shared biblical values of Jews and Christians set Israel apart from Iran and other nations in the Middle East.
Netanyahu made the remarks duing gathering in Jerusalem Sunday evening of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the organization founded by Pastor John Hagee.
“And these shared values set Israel apart from regimes like Syria that butchers its own people mercilessly. And from countries like Iran, whose leaders foment terrorism and violence around the globe and all for our destruction,” he said.
“I think I don’t have to explain to you why this [Iranian] regime must never be allowed to have nuclear weapons,” he said.
Netanyahu also told CUFI participants that Israel is the only place in the region where Christians are free to practice their faith.
“At a time when Christians are under siege in so many places and so many lands in the Middle East, I’m proud that in Israel, they are free to practice their faith,” he said. “They don’t have to fear, they don’t have to flee.”
Poll: Americans Own Many Bibles, But Rarely Read Them
A poll by LifeWay Research of over 2,000 Americans who read the Bible at least once a month found that only about a third of them read it almost every single day, although the average reader owns 3.6 copies of the Bible.
“We learn from this study among American Bible readers that owning multiple Bibles is much more prevalent than regularly investing time in reading it,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, on the organization’s website.
LifeWay Research spoke with participants over the phone, and gathered information on the habits of Bible readers – including where and when they read their Bibles. There seemed to be a wide range of responses at to how frequently Bible readers actually read the Scriptures. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they do it nearly every day, while 22 percent read it three to five times a week and another 22 percent read it once or twice a week. Up to 11 percent read the Bible two or three times a month, and eight percent read it only once a month.
In comparison, 84 percent of Americans owned on average more than one Bible – individuals usually possessed 3.6 copies of the holy book. Despite this statistic, 74 percent of respondents had one primary Bible that they used most of the time.
“When people say ‘my Bible,’ that has a meaning that includes translation,” Stetzer commented. “Bible readers usually have multiple Bibles but three out of four have one physical Bible that they use most of the time.”
In addition, the higher the reader’s education and household income, the less likely they were to use one primary Bible most of the time. For example, 79 percent of readers with an annual household income of less than $30,000 used one primary Bible compared to 68 percent of readers with an income of $100,000 or more. Sixty-six percent of readers with a graduate degree had only one main Bible, compared to 83 percent of readers whose highest level of education was high school.
Another statistic of note was that regular Bible readers were also more often involved in other religious activities. In a typical month, 85 percent attended worship, 72 percent read religious books, 53 percent attended Sunday school or Christian education classes, 51 percent attended a small group, 50 percent read religious magazines, and 47 percent were volunteer leaders.
Israel’s fight with U.N. heats up
Nation files 3rd protest in less than a week
by Stewart Stogel
UNITED NATIONS – Israel’s clash with the United Nations is quickly intensifying.
In less than a week, Israel’s United Nations mission has filed three official protests with the office of the secretary-general.
And, throughout, the U.S. mission to the U.N. has remained silent.
This, despite a visit last week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to attend a special Security Council summit on the Middle East.
Clinton blasted the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad for the ongoing civil war. She also complained about the efforts by Moscow and Beijing to support Assad, but she said nothing regarding Israel.
Israel recently sustained a week of rocket attacks from Hamas locations inside Gaza.
A U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs official posted on Twitter a false photo of a Palestinian girl said to be killed by Israelis.
And – until the appearance was canceled Monday – a Hamas senior official had been invited to the U.N. offices in Geneva to address the Human Rights Council.
Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor blasted the Human Rights Council invitation.
“Inviting a Hamas official to lecture the world about human rights is like asking Charles Manson to run the murder investigation unit at the NYPD,” he said.
The ambassador complained that the Geneva-based council continues to dedicate a “separate agenda item” to debate human-rights issues related to Israel. He insists that “no other country is singled out with its own agenda item.”
The U.S., which boycotted the council during the Bush administration, rejoined the body in 2009. Its three-year membership expires later this year.
The U.S. mission to the U.N. did not respond to requests for comments on the Israeli complaint or whether its delegates had planned to attend the Hamas address.
Richard Grenell was director of communications at the U.S. mission and the longest- serving diplomat of the Bush administration in New York City, from 2001 to 2008.
“The U.N. had a chance to change the membership requirements for the HRC so that violators couldn’t join,” he explained. “They not only failed to change the rules but then the Obama administration gave credibility to the broken committee by rejoining it after the Bush administration defunded it and quit. Sadly, last week the Obama team had the U.S. taxpayer paying for this circus.”
Prosor complained that the Security Council, despite an extraordinary ministerial summit on the Middle East, said nothing about the Hamas rocket attacks.
In a March 13 letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prosor said: “More than 75 rockets have been fired into communities from Gaza in the past day. … More than 250 have been fired over the last week. That’s one rocket every 20 minutes. Israeli citizens have less than 15 seconds to find shelter.”
More than 1 million Israeli citizens were said to have been affected, yet U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said nothing.
The following day, in yet another complaint, Prosor took aim at the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs.
In that case, the Israeli-U.N. mission accused Khulhood Badawi, a public information and media coordinator, of knowingly perpetrating a fraud.
Prosor insisted that a photo Badawi posted on Twitter of a Palestinian girl allegedly killed by the Israeli military during the recent Gaza attacks was an archived Reuters image from 2006.
The ambassador insisted that the child was killed in a local accident not involving Israeli troops.
Reuters verified the origin and history of the controversial photo.
Yet the U.S. mission, despite repeated requests for comment, opted to remain silent.
The U.N. would only say it is investigating the incident.
Vatican’s twisted priorities
Instead of focusing on decline of Arab Christianity, Catholic Church chooses to demonize Israel
Twal’s position on Israel and the Bible has been embraced at the highest levels in the Catholic Church. The Vatican synod in 2010 declared that Israel cannot use the Biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people. “We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people”, the synod’s document said. “There is no longer a chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.”
A few days ago, Patriarch Twal responded enthusiastically to the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah. He also denounced “the Judaization of Jerusalem” and attacked Israel for “trying to transform it into an only Hebrew-Jewish city, excluding the other faiths.” Elsewhere, Iraq’s Archbishop, Louis Sako, asked to “separate between Judaism and Zionism.” Indeed, in the most influential quarters of Christianity, Jews are still regarded as an apostate group not entitled to a sovereign state of its own.
Backed by the Catholic clergy, for the first time in history the Palestinians asked the United Nations’ cultural body to register Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity under the name of “Palestine.” According to Omar Awadallah, who heads the UN department in the PA Foreign Ministry, “Jesus is the Palestinian prince of hope and peace and Christians all over the world want that church to be a World Heritage site.”
In a period when the Vatican’s anguish at the catastrophic decline of Arab Christianity should be palpable, the Catholic Church chooses to demonize Israel and to increase its collaboration with the PLO. The confirmation comes from the intensity of high profile meetings in recent weeks and the participation of bishops not only from Arab countries, but from Europe and the United States as well.
‘Zionism racially exclusive’
A Vatican delegation comprising Ettore Balestrero, the Holy See’s Under-Secretary for Relations with States, and Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Delegate in Israel, just met in Ramallah with Palestinian ministers and officials for an agreement with the PLO. Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, in a first-ever interview for a cardinal on al-Jazeera, declared that Israel must adopt “an internationally recognized statute for that part of Jerusalem where the Holy Places of the three monotheistic religions are open to believers.”
Meanwhile, Catholic and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on “How to live together in a future Palestinian state.” Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, and Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, attended the event organized by Al-Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center. Sabbah signed a document condemning Zionism as “racial exclusivity” and “the ideology of empire and colonialism.”
Last January, eight Catholic bishops from Europe and North America, including UK Archbishop Patrick Kelly and French Archbishop Michel Dubost, visited Gaza. “I asked prisoners in the largest prison in Europe (in Evry) to pray for you,” Dubost told Gazans. The inference was clear: Palestinians are living in a big prison terrified by Israel. In the same period, Father Manuel Musalam, head of Gaza’s Catholics, met with Hamas leader, Mahmoud al Zahar, and declared that “Christians are not threatened by Muslims” but that everyone faces the same problem, that of Israel’s “humiliation.”
Last November, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, head of Lebanon’s Catholic Church, sent his envoy, Father Abdo Abou Kassem, to Tehran for a conference in support of a “Zionist-free middle east.” The conference was also attended by Hezbollah ideologue Mohammad Raad and by Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal.
If in the wartime period the Vatican had taken a moral stand against Nazism, the outcome might have been different for the Jewish people. But that was 1943. By 2012, the Church should know better. Yet it seems that as was the case in World War II, the Vatican is again pursuing a joint cause with evil forces to buy temporary security.
The Vatican’s criminalization of Zionism, which Arab Churches made a basic condition for Muslim-Christian rapprochement, grants the elimination of the Jewish State priority over defending the rights of their own beleaguered communities. After Arab nationalism failed to eliminate Israel, Arab Christianity and the Vatican are now building a Palestinian identity hostile to Israel and the Jews.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism
California Pastor Who Believes in ‘One God, Many Paths’ to Hold Easter
Services at Mosque
A plan to hold Easter service at a Sacramento, Calif., mosque is drawing a mixed reaction from the Christian community.
Some are commending the event, especially the generosity of the Muslim community to provide a place for a Sacramento community needing space, as a needed expression of mutual respect between cultures. But the good news of a resurrected Christ won’t be part of the service.
“I know that I don’t believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus but I do believe his spirit ascended and his teachings are very valid and transformative,” the Rev. Michael Moran, senior minister of The Spiritual Life Center, told The Christian Post over the phone.
SLC will be holding all of their upcoming Easter services at a mosque owned by the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) – the result of an expiring lease on their building at Pioneer Christian Church.
The church is part of the Unity movement, founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889, which holds beliefs not in line with traditional Christian teaching. Their ministry embraces the controversial “one God, many paths” belief and desires to create peace and harmony among all the world religions. Though they see Jesus as a great teacher, they do not see him as the only way to eternal life.
“I graduated seminary from the Unity School of Christianity,” Moran told The Christian Post. “It’s s a very liberal form of Christianity and so Jesus is very central to my spiritual path but I would not pass the litmus test of very fundamental Christian beliefs. But for me, Jesus is the most important teacher of my life and he is the one that I strive to be like.”
When asked why then he was holding an Easter service in April, which celebrates a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, he responded, “I think there are many ways to look at that.”
While many of his own congregants believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, he does not.
“I believe it was more of spiritual resurrection and that it’s symbolic of what everybody does when they rise above old beliefs and that we all can have a personal resurrection experience whenever we overcome the world.”
During the Easter service, Moran will be speaking to that effect. “I’ll mention that there are many different beliefs in our congregation. That there is the physical belief, looking at the story as a metaphor for personal resurrection and … that Jesus showed us a different way of living life.”
Professor Erik Thoennes, chair of Biblical & Theological Studies at Biola University, however, asserted that “an Easter service where the physical resurrection of Christ is not believed, is not an Easter service in any sense, biblically or historically.”
“A church that does not follow the risen Christ is not a true church,” he told The Christian Post in an email.
Because the SLC would be out of a home by the end of March, the leaders knew they would need to plan ahead and secure a separate area for their Easter service, which draws more than 1,000 people –twice as many attendees as their regular services.
While their regular Sunday services will be held inside a small auditorium at a country club during the month of April as they look for a new building, only their Easter service is set to take place within the Islamic center.
Though some question SLC’s views on what to celebrate on Easter, many are receptive to the idea of holding Easter service in a mosque, according to Moran.
“It’s almost overwhelmingly positive except when you read the little blogs. But within our community and within the Sacramento community we’re getting tremendous feedback.”
Those that do oppose the services at the mosque, however, are responding with the same argument that Moran says he always fears – “Let’s make them wrong, us right, they’re damned, we’re saved. He wasn’t paying much attention to the criticisms, he noted.
Moran said the idea to hold the Easter services at SALAM’s mosque all started with a vision. “In my dream state when I was wrestling with this problem I actually saw a newspaper on my kitchen counter that said ‘Easter at the mosque’ and I thought, ‘oh boy that’s really far out, that will never happen,’ but the next morning as I was driving into work it ran across my mind again,” Moran expressed to CP.
Calling up his friend Dr. Metwalli B. Amer, who co-founded SALAM, he asked him if his church could use their building to worship during Easter.
Amer, a professor emeritus at California State University asked Moran to give him some time to think and pray about it. After a few days, he called back and said that SALAM would love to welcome him, his choir, and his congregation to use their facilities during Easter and all for no cost.
“We were fully prepared to pay and he said, ‘this is our gift to you. You’re in need, you don’t have a place and we do and hospitality is part of all of our great spiritual traditions so please come in and be our guests,’” the reverend described.
Moran believes that “Easter at the mosque” would be a great message for those in the community. “Muslims and Christians can play nice together,” he explained to CP. “There doesn’t have to be this animosity.”
“All of our great spiritual traditions, all of the Abrahamic religions have hospitality to those outside of your community as a core belief. Jesus talked about the Good Samaritan, the Quran talks about for those who love Allah you must serve those outside your community, it’s a part of Buddhism, Hinduism – every one of those says care for those that are not like you that live outside of your belief system. That’s not always followed but do unto others as others would do unto you. So Metwalli said, ‘you’re in need and this is what I would hope somebody would do for us.’”
When asked how Moran reconciled many of his beliefs with what was in the Bible, which he taught from along with other religious scriptures on Sundays, the senior pastor said, “I don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. I believe over the years it’s been changed, politicized, but I believe that in the Bible that there is great truth and there is also a lot of misstatements in it.”
Selecting passages that focus on Jesus’ teachings of love, generosity, acceptance, and forgiveness, Moran chooses to speak on “beautiful scriptures of love,” and not hate and condemnation.
In regards to the afterlife and heaven, he teaches that no matter what someone’s belief system is whether in heaven or in reincarnation, “where you go and what happens to you is determined by how you live your life now.”
“I trust that whatever is waiting for me will be good and that it will be as good as I am able to live now on a daily basis. If I can be more Christ-like then I don’t think I have a whole lot to worry about.”
Thoennes rejected those views. “A pastor who redefines the Christian faith to fit with contemporary sensibilities, rather than the whole counsel of God’s word, is not a pastor, but a false teacher.”
“We live in an age where people feel great freedom to use weighty words with vapid content,” he concluded. “[Moran] may call himself a Christian, but Jesus still gets to define what Christianity really is.”
“Tolerance without truth is profoundly unloving. Christ told us to speak the truth in love, and make disciples of all nations. Love should typify our lives, but the church’s most loving what is faithful to its calling as the pillar and buttress of truth.”
March 5, 2012
Islamic Circle of North America Launches Nationwide Shariah Education
Campaign to Promote Religious Freedom & Combat Islamophobia
Historic Initiative Will Tour 25 U.S. Cities within the Next 6 Months
Outreach has already started, including a seminar in Pittsburgh, billboards and radio ads in Kansas City and public service announcements in San Francisco. The next scheduled event will be in Miami on March 10th, followed by Washington, D.C. on March 27th and Los Angeles on April 17th. More dates will be announced shortly.
The campaign will include these elements:
Shariah education and interfaith events, town hall forums and activities in 25 cities including New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Kansas City, Detroit and Hartford
Billboards in 15-20 cities nationwide including Kansas City, New Jersey, New York (near the Lincoln Tunnel, seen by 120,000 people each day), Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami
40 national ICNA chapters mobilized, including thousands of volunteers
National hotline dedicated to answering questions about Shariah and the Islamic faith. The toll-free number is: 1-855-SHARIAH
A public service announcement campaign distributed and aired in 20 cities nationally
Seminars on 20 college campuses including George Washington University, Bradley University, George Mason, and University of Delaware in March and April
Radio ads aired in approximately 20 cities nationally
Local media outreach by trained spokespeople and leaders from 30-35 ICNA chapters across the country
ICNA annual convention in Hartford, CT, during Memorial Day weekend, attracting over fifteen thousand people as it did last year
“The First Amendment guarantees religious freedom for every citizen. Muslim Americans are asking for the same fundamental rights to observe Shariah, a component of the Islamic faith, in our personal, familial and religious affairs within the boundaries of the United States Constitution and all local, state and federal laws.” says Dr. Zahid H Bukhari, President, Islamic Circle of North America.
In each city visited on the “Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah” education tour, ICNA plans to hold town hall events that foster positive discourse about religious freedom and the state of Islamophobia in our country. The plan is to clear up common misconceptions about Shariah and the Islamic faith and present the facts through open dialogue with Americans of all faiths.
“ICNA is making an honest attempt to reach out and connect to our fellow Americans and introduce them to our Islamic faith,” says Naeem Baig, Vice President of ICNA Public Affairs. “We see it as our responsibility to clarify misconceptions about American Muslims.”
To interview ICNA representatives, contact Jillian Nannery at The TASC Group. Phone: 646-723-4344; Email: Jill@thetascgroup.com
About The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts. Visit www.defendingreligiousfreedom.com .
SOURCE Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Belgistan? Sharia Showdown Looms in Brussels
The graffiti on a building in Belgium says it all: “Welcome to ‘Belgistan.” Muslims are still a minority in Belgium, but in the capital of Brussels, they’re already the largest religious group, comprising one-quarter of the city’s population.
In less than 20 years they’re expected to be the majority.
The most confrontational Muslim group here is Sharia4Belgium.
Many don’t take the small group seriously. But Sharia4Belgium head Fouad Belkacem, alias Abu Imran, sounded very serious when he told CBN News he expects Muslims to dominate Belgium and the world.
“The Sharia will dominate,” Imran said. “We believe Sharia will be implemented worldwide.”
Sharia4Belgium is a public relations nightmare for those Muslim groups that try to play down their ties to radicalism and Sharia law.
Imran was completely open with CBN News, saying Islam and Sharia law are inseparable, and that democracy is evil.
“Sharia is Islam, to be clear,” he said. “There is no difference between Islam and Sharia, it’s just a name.”
“Democracy is the opposite of Sharia and Islam,” he said. “We believe Allah is the legislator. Allah makes the laws. He decides what is allowed and what is forbidden.”
CBN News asked Imran about self-described “democratic Muslims” who are against the extreme parts of Sharia law.
“That’s really funny when I hear someone say I was speaking to a ‘democratic Muslim,’” he replied.
“It’s the same thing as saying I was speaking to Christian Jew, or a Jewish Muslim or something like that. It’s impossible.”
“How could you meet a Jewish Muslim or a Christian Jew?” he continued. “And the Muslim who says he’s against Sharia, he’s not a Muslim. It’s impossible.”
Like in many countries across Europe, a culture war over Islam is well under way in Belgium.
Last month, the mosque of Charleroi was desecrated when a pig mask was affixed to its gate. Then the daughter of the head of Belgium’s right wing party, An-Sofie Dewinter, posed in a bikini and burqa with the words in Dutch, “Freedom or Islam.”
Someone later painted over the poster, giving her a full burqa. Dewinter received death threats.
On YouTube, Imran called her father, politician Filip Dewinter “a pimp” for letting her pose in a bikini.
“This community is a dirty, perverted community. We see that this community is breaking down, so we need to save this community like we saved it in Spain,” Imran said, referencing the Muslim invasion of Spain 1,300 years ago.
“We need to save this community and enlighten this community with Islam,” he told CBN News.
And Islam is flexing its muscle. Girls in bikinis have been attacked, and in some Muslim neighborhoods, Sharia law is enforced.
A ‘Fascist Ideology’
“The big cities in Europe are first places we can see what will happen when the majority is Muslim,” warned Sam van Rooy, co-editor of an important new Dutch language book called Islam: Critical Essays on a Political Religion.
“We see it in the big cities: Brussels, Amsterdam also, Rotterdam and Antwerp,” he said.
“Islam is a fascist ideology, and it’s not a religion like Christianity and Judaism,” he told CBN News. “The danger in it is that it has a religious side, not like Communism and Nazism, which are only ideologies, but Islam has a bit of both.”
Imran is looking forward to someday replacing Belgian law with the Sharia law, including amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and death to homosexuals.
“A lot of people, when they hear about Sharia, immediately start thinking about amputations, stoning, killings. That’s just, I don’t know, one-thousandth of the Sharia,” he said.
“Did you know that in 1,302 years of the Islamic state, with the Sharia implemented, we had something like 60 hands cut off, amputated? So in 1,300 years, 60 hands,” he noted.
“Is that really a number that you can say is frightening to everyone? And if you’re not a criminal, why should you be afraid of Sharia?” he challenged.
Sharia Showdown Looms
A showdown over Sharia is coming because the high Muslim birthrate is changing the political landscape. The most common baby name in Brussels for four years running has been Mohammed.
CBN News asked Imran if he thinks it’s just a matter of time before Muslims are the majority in Belgium.
“Of course,” he replied. “Even the disbelievers themselves — they say in 2030 something like that — there will be a majority of Muslims here in Belgium. Here in Antwerp in the schools, 40 percent of the children are Muslim, so no problem.”
And Imran offered this advice to the white native Belgians who want to stop the coming Muslim majority:
“If they want to push us back or something, I don’t know, maybe they can start by marrying four wives and have a lot of children,” he said. “Start with that and they will have a chance, but I don’t think so.”
Van Rooy also said he sees a Muslim future for Belgium.
“I don’t think it’s going to stop,” he told CBN News. “I am very pessimistic. And I think more and more Belgian people will leave Brussels, so it will become a real Islamic capital in decades.”
“I don’t think we’re very far away,” Imran agreed. “The victory of Allah is very near. So, I think the West and Europe needs to prepare itself for a wave of Sharia and Islam.”