-- Park Service: Dissing Christians - 12/5/10
-- Lesbians, condoms go wild in attack on Christian church - 11/18/2008
-- Atheist, teacher threatens 'cracker abuse' with communion wafer - 7/12/2008
-- Christians guilty of praying in park appeal convictions - 3/24/2008
-- Time Magazine exposes Christians - causing their death - without apology and without regret. - 4/23/2003
-- Time outlines covert-missions story - causing their death - without apology and without regret. - 4/23/2003
| Park Service: Dissing Christians
12/5/2010 By Bob Unruh WorldNetDaily
Revising History during tours of American sites
Independence Hall in Philadelphia
The National Park Service is suggesting apparent mistakes about the historical record of the Founding Fathers presented by a tour guide to visitors to the Independence Hall National Historical Park in Philadelphia are just part of the "multiple points of view" that are designed to let visitors "draw their own conclusions."
That apparently includes the performance of a guide who "mimicked and mocked [a Christian] carrying and swinging an oversized Bible ... ."
"Even if I said the founders were Christians, how could we really know? Just because people carry a big ol' Bible in their hand, they can still be atheists!" said the guide.
"Each ranger leads a tour in his or her own way, weaving stories and information around core topics such as the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Our staff is taught to present tours from multiple points of view and allow visitors to draw their own conclusions or, hopefully, be inspired enough to seek out more information on their own," the agency responded to a chaplain who challenged the accuracy of some of the information.
The letter was signed by Cynthia MacLeod on behalf of the Park Service and it was addressed to Pastor Todd DuBord, now the chaplain for the enterprises of actor, martial arts champion and philanthropist Chuck Norris.
See the classic book on USA's Christian heritage: New edition of 100-year-old treasure reveals nation's true religious history
DuBord for years has worked with tours of patriotic citizens who have visited Washington and other locations to see the markers of America's Christian heritage. He previously exposed when tour guides at the U.S. Supreme Court building were denying the multiple representations there of the Ten Commandments.
He also exposed the agenda at work in the District of Columbia when the replica of the Washington Monument capstone, which is engraved with "Laus Deo," or "Praise be to God," was positioned in the visitors' center so observers were not able to see the inscription and the signs had been altered to remove any reference to the "Laus Deo" on the capstone.
His work has been documented at his National Treasures website.
During a recent visit to Philadelphia, he took a tour of the Independence Hall site, and noticed a problem when a question was raised about the religious beliefs of the Founders. Accompanying DuBord were Pastor Jim Garlow of Renewing America Leadership and history expert David Barton of Wallbuilders.
"The NPS guide went from being an expert on the Founders to someone who was fumbling to formulate his words and get even a coherent and accurate sentence about our Founders' religion," DuBord wrote. "It struck me from his initial utterances on their religious views that he knew very little if anything about the real issues at all – and that made me wonder how many presentations he had done over the years to school children and guests from all over the country and world without ever discussing the Founders' religious nature with any accuracy."
Among the guide's statements that DuBord challenged:
"George Washington didn't even attend church!"
"While the NPS guide physically hunched over, mimicked and mocked one carrying and swinging an oversized Bible in his hand, he said to the crowd: 'Even if I said the founders were Christians, how could we really know? Just because people carry a big ol' Bible in their hand, they can still be atheists!"
"Most of these men owned slaves. How could good Christians do that?"
"We know that Benjamin Franklin was a deist."
"We don't really know for sure about their religion. It's open for interpretation. You'll have to do your own study on that."
DuBord wrote to the facility that the statements simply are wrong.
Liberty Bell, with biblical quote: Leviticus 25:10
"Washington attended Christ Church (the first Episcopal Church) just a few blocks away from Independence Hall with Betsy Ross, John Adams (our 2nd president), Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Robert Morris and many other signers of our founding documents," he wrote. "He also had reserved pews at two churches in Virginia, at Pohick Church near Mount Vernon and one at Christ Church in Alexandria.
"The NPS guide could have cited any of a number of examples in Washington's life and even presidency," DuBord explained, citing Washington's reference as he took the oath of office in 1789 that, "we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
MacLeod did not respond to a request from WND for comment, but the park's media relations officer, Jane Cowley, said the letter was not intended to address the issue of historical facts.
She told WND the park "of course would try to correct" any misinformation.
She also confirmed the park would not stand by the statement, "George Washington didn't even attend church."
"We do take steps to ensure that all information provided by our rangers is historically verifiable. There are historical records out there. We expect the rangers to know those."
Regarding other statements reported by DuBord, she said she park's historical experts would not talk to a reporter, but she would ask them for comment.
In MacLeod's letter to DuBord, she suggested there are just too many good stories to include them all.
Failing to address the issue of accuracy, her letter said, "The number, scope and complexity of the stories that could be told on a tour of Independence Hall are enormous. Each guided tour can be only 30 minutes long, which does not afford the opportunity to cover all potential material adequately."
She explained that each ranger chooses how to give information to visitors.
"We regret that your guide may not have handled himself as deftly as we would prefer and that he was not able to get his point across in a clear and successful manner," she wrote.
DuBord, in a letter prepared for delivery to MacLeod, said the deftness was not the issues, but the accuracy of the information, as he detailed in an analysis at his National Treasures website.
George Washington statue outside Independence Hall
"His sentiment was bad enough that he retorted with only, and I mean only, negative comments on the Founders' religious views and practice, but that they were also lies or half-truths clearly used to attack and undermine their faiths," DuBord said. "In the very house in which our founders adopted a Creator-filled Declaration of Independence, should we not have expected at least one positive comment was made about any one of the founders' Christian faiths?"
He said it was sad to get a Park Service response that "sidestepped the NPS ranger's culpability by brushing over the blatant historical lies taught by him."
The chaplain also noted that he'd requested copies of the training materials for guides, and specifically how it deals with the religion and faith of the Founders, but has not seen it yet.
"The problem isn't how many stories were told, but that all of them discussed about our founders Judeo-Christian belief and practice were negative, misleading and/or flat out lies and biased distortions of history," he said.
He suggested there was either a gap in the training for guides, "or your guides are taking liberty to invoke their own bias, despite it being false – something I fear now is not only being allowed but condoned."
In fact, DuBord noted a Presbyterian minister (John Witherspoon) was among the signers of the Declaration. Two others previously had been ministers and others were the sons of clergy.
"Virtually all were Protestant Christians," the chaplain noted. And Christian confessions or affirmations of faith easily can be found among the historical records for Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Benjamin Franklin, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas McKean, John Morton, Robert Treat Paine, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, Richard Stockton, Thomas Stone and others.
"M.E. Bradford, late history professor at the University of Dallas, discovered that at least 50, perhaps 52, of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention professed to be orthodox, Trinitarian believers who were in good standing at various Christian churches. Bradford found that there were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, and only 3 Deists," he wrote.
Such information is "straightforward biography" and not subject to conjecture or private interpretation, he suggested.
"Teaching on multiple points of view is fine, but when those points of view are false and misleading histories, how else are visitors to 'draw their own conclusions' about what was true? Is that really the way the tours should be conducted at what you even admit in your letter is 'the most important sites related to the founding of the United States'? If it wouldn't be tolerated in any of the thousands of universities across the country, should it be tolerated in one of the 'most important sites related to the founding of the United States'?" he wondered.
WND has reported on a series of other efforts to remove mention of God and references to the religious faith and influences of the Founding Fathers from government grounds.
In 2008, an "oversight" at the nation's $600-million-plus Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., left the national motto "In God We Trust" absent from the historical displays and at one point prompted WND columnist and veteran actor Chuck Norris to ask if he could help correct the situation.
That "oversight" was fixed in 2009 after U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and 108 members of Congress expressed concern the historical content was inaccurate, prompting the committee's determination to make changes.
Also, WND reported in 2006 when DuBord told WND he was more than startled during his visits to the U.S. Supreme Court and two other historic locations to discover the stories of the nation's heritage had been sterilized of Christian references.
He visited the courthouse and was surprised that what the tour guides were telling him wasn't what he was seeing.
"Having done some research (before the trip), I absolutely was not expecting to hear those remarks," which, he had told WND, "denied history."
DuBord wrote to the Supreme Court and several other groups, asking them to restore the historic Christian influences to their presentations. He said he was most disturbed by what appeared to be revisionism in the presentations given to visitors at the Supreme Court.
There, he said, his tour guide was describing the marble frieze directly above the justices' bench: "Between the images of the people depicting the Majesty of the Law and Power of Government, there is a tablet with 10 Roman numerals, the first five down the left side and the last five down the right. This tablet represents the first 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights," she said.
"The 10 what?" was DuBord's thought.
Dubord began researching and found a 1975 official U.S. Supreme Court handbook, prepared under the direction of Mark Cannon, administrative assistant to the chief justice. It said, "Directly above the Bench are two central figures, depicting Majesty of the Law and Power of Government. Between them is a tableau of the Ten Commandments."
Further research produced information that in 1987 the building was designated a National Historic Landmark and came under control of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Under the new management the handbook was rewritten in 1988. The Ten Commandments reference was left out of that edition, and nothing replaced it.
The next reference found said only that the frieze "symbolizes early written laws." Then in 1999, the handbook referred to the depiction as the "Ten Amendments to the Bill of Rights."
"The more I got into [his research], the more I saw Christianity had been abandoned from history," DuBord said at the time.
DuBord encourages Americans to sound off to the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park by contacting them by e-mail, phone or letter via the information at the Park Service's website.
To view this item online, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=235361
Lesbians, condoms go wild in attack on Christian church
Posted: November 11, 2008 By Bob Unruh
Making out at pulpit, shouting blasphemies in front of children
Worshippers at a Bible-teaching church in Lansing, Mich., were stunned Sunday when members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back interrupted their service to fling propaganda and condoms around the sanctuary, drape a profane banner from the balcony and feature two lesbians making out at the pulpit.
According to a blog posting by Nick De Leeuw on Right Michigan, the Bash Back organization orchestrated a protest in front of Mount Hope Church to draw the church's security staff away from the sanctuary.
Then Bash Backers who had dressed up and mixed in with church worshippers took action.
According to De Leeuw, "Prayer had just finished when men and women stood up in pockets across the congregation, on the main floor and in the balcony.
"'Jesus was gay,' they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage. Some forced their way through rows of women and kids to try to hang a profane banner from the balcony while others began tossing fliers into the air. Two women made their way to the pulpit and began to kiss," he wrote.
He cited the Bash Back organization's own announcement of other items members brought into the church, including "a megaphone, noise makers, condoms, glitter by the bucket load, confetti, pink fabric. ..."
According to the alternative Lansing City Pulse – which reported it was notified of the protest ahead of time and sent a reporter along instead of warning the church – the protesters also screamed at parishioners and pulled the church facility's fire alarm. Printed material protesters distributed said, "We specialize in confronting homophobia, transphobia and every and all other forms of oppression."
The report said Bash Back issued a statement today confirming it targeted Mount Hope, which has about 5,000 church participants, because it participates in "the repression of queers."
On the newspaper's forum page, a contributor commented, "Homosexuals and anarchists. A perfect combination of human beings with no hope, no morals, no future." Many demonstrators fled and the rest were quiet after sheriff's officers were summoned.
"Mount Hope churchgoers were unclear as to what the purpose of the demonstration was," said a statement from David Williams, a spokesman for the church.
"The leadership of Mount Hope Church does not attempt to identify the church as anti-homosexual, anti-choice, or right wing. The church does take the Bible at face value and believes what the Bible says to be the truth," Williams' statement continued.
"According to the Bible, Mount Hope Church believes homosexuality to be a sin, just as fornication, stealing, drunkenness, and lying are sins. No sin greater than the next. Mount Hope Church strives to follow Jesus' example of loving the sinner but not the sin while helping people change their lives for God's glory and their improved quality of life. Mount Hope Church also recognizes that to each person God grants freewill."
The church then offered help for people "caught up in unwanted sexual sin, drug abuse, and many other areas."
De Leeuw reported "the 'open minded' and 'tolerant' liberals ran down the aisles and across the pews, hoping against hope to catch a 'right winger' on tape daring to push back (none did).
"This is what we're up against," De Leeuw wrote. "Amidst worshiping congregants and following unifying prayers that our president-elect be granted wisdom as he prepares to lead our nation through difficult global, social and economic challenges, the Michigan left declared open war on peaceful churchgoers.
"Mount Hope, for the record, is an evangelical, Bible believing church whose members provide free 24-hour counseling, prayer lines, catastrophic care for families dealing with medical emergencies, support groups for men, women and children dealing with a wide variety of life's troubles, crisis intervention, marriage ministries, regular, organized volunteer work in and around the city, missions in dozens of countries across the globe, a construction ministry that has built over 100 churches, schools, orphanages and other projects all over the world and an in-depth prison ministry that reaches out, touches and helps the men and women the rest of society fears the most. They also teach respect for all human life and the Biblical sanctity of marriage as an institution between one man and one woman," De Leeuw wrote.
"The church's response? After things settled down, the blasphemy ended, the lewd props removed and the families safe from fear of additional men and women running into and past them the pastor took the stage and led the congregation in one more prayer ... not for retribution, or divine justice or a celestial comeuppance (that's what I'd have prayed for) but instead that the troubled individuals who'd just defiled the Lord's house, so full of anger and hate, would know Jesus' love in their lives and God's peace that exceeds human understanding," De Leeuw wrote.
His blog attracted dozens of comments, including one that said it was just as well the protesters hadn't picked his church.
"It was well within the church members' rights to respond with non-lethal force to put an immediate end to this assault. It this happened in my house, I'd have every right to throw someone out a window or two."
In a statement posted on the Internet, Bash Back confirmed its "operatives" were in the service, "stood up, declared themselves fags, and began screaming loudly. … Another group threw over a thousand fliers to the entire … congregation. The fire alarm was pulled. Queers began making out in front of the pastor. And within a matter of minutes, everyone had evaded the guards and made their escapes."
The statement continued, "Let is be known: So long as bigots kill us in the streets, this pack of wolves will continue to BASH BACK!"
The report comes just a day after video documentation of pro-homosexual protesters in California challenging a 69-year-old woman to a fight because she was affirming the biblical perspective of homosexuality.
"This screaming and shouting, name-calling and pushing by homosexual activists is not unlike a small child throwing a fit because he doesn't get his way," said Randy Thomasson, chief of the Campaign for Children and Families, a leading California-based pro-family group. "The public is getting a clue that homosexual activists don't like democracy and are willing to trample anyone and anything that gets in their way."
California voters by nearly 53 percent to 47 percent last week adopted a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
Thomasson also has issued an analysis and a challenge called "How Shall We Live Under President-Elect Obama?" in which he describes the "moral free fall" encompassing the United States.
"America's greatness has been in people's self responsiblity, strong work ethic, moral character and knowledge of the proper role of government. But now a majority of Americans don't have these virtues and don't vote according to moral standards," he said.
Learn about the intimidating tactics and brilliant marketing techniques being used by "gay rights" activists – read David Kupelian's controversial blockbuster, "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom."
Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan and co-author of the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by Michigan voters in 2004, condemned the homosexual activist group's intimidation tactics.
"We will alert churches statewide of this now close-to-home threat of disruption of their members' freedom to worship in peace and safety," Glenn said, "but this is not the first time in history Christians have faced persecution or threats of reprisal for standing for their faith and values."
He predicted Americans, "particularly people of strong religious faith, are not cowards" and would not "be bullied by emotional adolescents who disrespect private property, the rule of law, and anyone who dares hold opinions diverse from their own."
"We will pray for and offer help to those who have gender identity and same-sex attraction disorders, but Americans will continue to reject their attempts to overturn the will of the people and impose their disorders on our children and society at large," he said.
Glenn said AFA-Michigan will join the Catholic League in urging Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to investigate the organized violation of the church's private property rights and the group's threat of future disruptions of worship services.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue today issued a statement condemning the group's actions and accusing the news media of failing to report it with the same intensity they routinely do complaints by homosexual activist groups.
teacher threatens 'cracker abuse' with communion wafer
Catholic League objects to 'hate speech' against beliefs
July 12, 2008 WorldNetDaily
The Catholic League has launched a campaign to bring public scorn on a University of Minnesota-Morris teacher who threatened to treat a consecrated communion wafer, which Catholics believe becomes the body of Christ, "with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse."
To which the professor in question, Paul Zachary Myers, responded: "Scumbags."
The issue arose over an argument that didn't even involve Myers.
As WND reported, a student at the University of Central Florida reported getting death threats after he stole and later returned a wafer from a Catholic Mass in Orlando.
The student senator, Webster Cook, originally claimed he merely wanted to show the Eucharist to a friend who had questions about Catholicism before consuming the host
Catholic League president Bill Donohue said then, ""For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage - regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance - is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion."
Into which argument Myers leaped.
On a personal webpage which was accessible from the Minnesota-Morris university site, until administrators apparently disconnected it, he wrote under the headline, "It's a Frackin' Cracker!"
"Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?" he wrote. "If any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won't be tempted to hold it hostage ... but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the http://www.morris.umn.edu/index.php."
The ellipsis deletes a reference to what might be described as a physical attack on the pope. But what got the Catholic League's attention was the ending of the web address, the University of Minnesota at Morris.
"The Myers blog can be accessed from the university's website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the 'Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.' One of the school's policies, 'Code of Conduct,' says that 'When dealing with others, 'faculty et al. must be 'respectful, fair and civil.' Accordingly, we are contacting the president and board of regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature," Donohoe said.
Myers, instead of backing off, stepped up his attacks.
"Extortionists and witch hunters, that's all these scumbags are," he wrote. "When dealing with others, I must be respectful, fair and civil. Hmmm. Doesn't seem to say anything about when dealing with crackers."
"Hey, Bill! I can think of something more vile! How about intentionally desecrating the bodies of young altar boys who respect the position of trust held by Catholic priests? I think that is a lot more vile than mistreating a cracker. In fact, I can think of innumerable vile acts going on all around the world right now, and not all of them even involve Catholicism. It takes the moral vacuum of a purblind ideological bigot like Bill Donohue to think that goring his sacred cow is the worst thing in the world," said the entry "Posted by PZ Myers."
In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Myers described himself as a card-carrying atheist, and said he'd gotten a few death threats over his words, "but I don't take them too seriously."
The newspaper, however, got dozens of comments about the situation, and Myers got hundreds.
"Would liberals feel the same if: Professor had blog ranting against blacks and showing nooses? It's only rope. Professor ranted against homosexuals and displayed burning rainbow flags? It's only fabric. Professor advocated taking pork into a mosque and called all muslims terrorists? It's only paper. With liberals, tolerance is a one-way street. You either agree with them, or are subject to thought crimes," wrote eloopd.
"If Mr. Myers made disparaging remarks against Islam, Jews or Buddhists - any religion but Christian - he would be fired, but since it is against Christians his remarks are tolerated as free speech. This is bigoted hate crime against Christians and Catholics. He should be fired. He won't because at the UofM this is acceptable," added KTG.
This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
To view this item online, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=69384
| Christians guilty of praying in park appeal convictions
'Christians shouldn't be punished for expressing their religious beliefs'
March 24, 2008 WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Wisner Park in Elmira, N.Y.
A notice of appeal has been filed on behalf of four Christians who were fined for praying in a public park in Elmira, N.Y., according to officials with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance that defends the right to hear and speak the truth.
"Christians shouldn't be punished for expressing their religious beliefs," said Joel Oster, a senior legal counsel for the ADF. "They have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America."
The case stems from a visit by seven Christians to a "gay" festival in a public park in Elmira last year. They were convicted of "disorderly conduct" even though the police officer who arrested them testified their actions were peaceful.
Charges against three of the defendants were dropped, but Elmira City Judge Thomas Ramich concluded Julian and Gloria Raven, Maurice Kienenberger and Walter Quick were guilty of disorderly conduct and fined them $100 apiece, plus court costs.
A local newspaper reported the judge determined Raven was reckless for going to the park.
Now ADF has filed filed with the Chemung County Court a notice of appeal for the Feb. 29 convictions.
"Arresting and prosecuting Christians simply because they choose to exercise their First Amendment rights in a public place in unconstitutional," said Oster.
"As no time did the peaceful actions of this group break the law. If the sit-ins of the 1960s were not a crime, then certainly this wasn't either. The law on this is well-established," he said.
The Christians were arrested June 23 after they entered Elmira's Wisner Park with their heads bowed to pray for the participants of the "gay" festival going on. Materials advertising the event stated it was open to the public and all were invited to attend.
The defendants had been told by a police sergeant they were not allowed to "cross the street, enter the park, or share their religion with anyone in the park."
The Elmira Star-Gazette reported police Sgt. Sharon Moyer told the court she warned Julian Raven that his rights at the event were limited..
"He said he was there to preach the word of God," Moyer told the court, the newspaper reported. "I explained he was welcome to be there (at the festival), but he would not be allowed to confront the participants."
The officer accused the street preacher of being antagonistic.
Raven, however, said it was Moyer who was "aggressive from the get-go" and said her orders amounted to a deprivation of his rights.
The ADF said the First Amendment rights of the Christians should have been the focal point of police concern.
"The police have a duty to protect the speaker," Oster told the Star-Gazette after the trial.
"It seems oxymoronic to say that by walking silently in a public park, with heads bowed, these people somehow disturbed the peace," Oster said of the case earlier.
The ADF said the issues are no less than the freedoms of speech and religion.
"If this violation of these Christians' rights is allowed to stand, the First Amendment rights of all people of faith are in jeopardy," the ADF said.
When the Christians were arrested, officials with Elmira justified their actions to WND.
Assistant Police Chief Mike Robertson told WND that the members were accused of a "combination" of allegations, including the "intent" to cause a public inconvenience, a "disturbance" of a meeting of persons and obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
He also said at the time that the accusations would include taking part in "any act that serves no legitimate purpose."
The prosecutor, Robert Siglin, said the city was concerned for public safety, and that's why the Christians were arrested while exercising their First Amendment rights.
This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
To view this item online, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=59769
Posted: April 23, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Editor's note: Time magazine editors are working on a major cover piece on the mostly covert efforts by evangelicals to preach the gospel to the Muslim world. Below is a copy of the memo, obtained by World magazine.
"We are planning a major piece on the flood of Christian missionaries, most of them evangelical, to Muslim countries. The trend began in earnest about a decade ago at the urging of an evangelist named Luis Bush, but has seen a major bump since the Gulf War, and an even greater surge is expected as a result of 9/11.
"At the very instant when American relations with Muslim states is most sensitive, a group of Americans with a rather different set of goals has been flocking to the region, engaging Christian evangelization, which many Muslim-majority states have ruled illegal.
"We will touch on all kinds of missionary work in Muslim countries, including what for decades was the preferred method of Catholic and liberal churches: providing aid and evangelizing only by example. But we will eventually narrow our focus to a more radical crew of proselytizers: those who proclaim the Gospel of Christ, even if that means risking deportation, imprisonment or death. (At least four missionaries have been killed in the last two years in Lebanon, Yemen and the Philippines.)
"Often, to avoid detection by authorities, this new breed employs a tactic called 'tentmaking' or 'tunneling.' Essentially, this means doing some kind of other work as a cover or pretext, when you real goal is preaching. A healthy handful of schools in the U.S. actually teach such techniques.
"We will be presenting an in-depth look at such people: both the details of their m.o. and their thoughts on the various issues that their work raises, reported both from the U.S. and overseas.
"We will need your help in two overlapping parts of the act. For the main story, we will need nominees, and in one or two cases, in depth on-site reporting on gung-ho Evangelical missionaries preaching the gospel in Muslim-majority countries in your area.
"For six boxes, we will need on-site profiling of six missionaries over the entire Christian spectrum: that is, not just the hard-core Evangelicals, but representative of all the Christian groups at work in Muslim lands, from the least invasive (many Catholic and liberal Protestant charities, for instance, don't evangelize at all, but merely provide aid) to the most.
"Part I: We would like to get a sense of the way American missionaries are regard in the Muslim-majority countries in your area. We get the impression that tensions are rising. Why? (Palestine/Israel? 9/11? Most Islamism and sharia law?) We would like you to nominate one or more Evangelical (conservative Protestant) missionaries in Muslim countries in your locale, preferably working in politically unstable or sensitive areas. We will probably ask you to do some phone interviewing on most of them, but select one or two cases for more in-depth, on-site reporting. For this part of the article, the most evangelistically gung-ho your subjects are, the better: best of all would be admitted tentmakers (see intro), who work in some kind of 'cover' capacity in order to do their real work as evangelists.
"We recognize that this can be very dangerous work and in at least one instance will be willing to accept assumed names or whatever else is necessary to protect our subjects. However, we will need photographs to make the act work, so we will need to have at least one stance where people are willing to have their pictures taken.
"We will need nominees as soon as possible in order to assign the more in-depth reporting. To help them quickly, we urge bureaus to get in touch with [REPORTER'S NAME AND PHONE NUMBER DELETED]. She will be calling missionary organizations in the States and trying to identify field operations you can cover.
"For a little background on the topic, you might take a look at the following Wall Street Journal article from 11/26/2001, by Robert Tomsho: A Difficult Mission: Some Christian Try to Convert Muslims - How-to Books, Islam Classes Prepare the Proselytizers.
"Here are a few thoughts of our own on it, rephrased as questions that might be put to the hard-core Evangelical crowd:
****** How exactly do they get away with preaching in such a hostile climate. (We are fascinated by this secret-agent aspect and would like to hear about it in great detail.)
****** Why do they see it as so essential to preach the gospel to Muslims at this particular point in time?
****** What special techniques have they found necessary to evangelize in areas where the government is, at a minimum, hostile to Christianity and may have made evangelizing illegal? Please include a detailed description and anecdotes.
****** What have their great successes/failures been thus far?
****** Do they regard Islam as diabolical or do they just see Muslims as one more group living in ignorance of God's word?
****** Has the work in Muslim countries become more dangerous in the last years? What is their response to the murders of several missionaries in Muslim countries over the last two years? To war tensions? To Sept 11? Have they considered the possibility that they might be martyred?
****** There appears to be a split among missionaries in Muslim countries. Some more moderate Christian groups have struck deals with Muslim governments whereby they may provide goods and services under a Christian banner and may evangelize to non-Muslim minorities, but agree not to proselytize Muslims. Such groups have often criticized the more hard-core Christians who insist on preaching to Muslims, on grounds that they create hostility toward all Christian enterprises. We'd like to know what the hard-core mission folks make of this criticism.
****** Another critique leveled against those who actively try to convert Muslims is that Muslims who convert to Christianity are often persecuted and (according to sharia law) can be executed. The missionaries can get out when things get hot, but they leave the converts behind to face the music. Fair?
****** Do the missionaries feel that their goals are consistent with those of the U.S. The State department must occasionally bail out missionaries. During the Gulf War, Gen. Schwarzkopf was furious with Christians who tried to smuggle Bibles into Saudi Arabia. Things are tenses then ever since 9/11 and because of Iraq. Is it appropriate for Christian to be further complicating the issue?
"Part II: Similarly we would like to ask you to nominate, with Amanda's help from New York, profiles for additional boxes on American mission work in Islamic countries. We will choose six: Two hard-core (actually, these can be culled from the nominees above), two who provide serious aid but also evangelize, and two who do only aid but are Christian organizations.
"We'd like to give a sense of geographic and ideological spread. The six will need to be reported on-side and photographed. We'll need to be able to describe what they are up to and quote their opinions on the whole questions of mission to Muslims.
"How do the missionaries who are /not/ preaching the gospel feel they are fulfilling their Christian obligation? Do they feel that charity is enough?
"What do they make of their more vehement coreligionists?
"MIDDLE EAST: One additional request: MIDDLE EAST: Some of the most biting criticisms of tentmakers have been leveled by works with religious charities that provide goods and services in Islamic lands but do not explicitly evangelize. Can you contact the Catholic archdiocese that includes Sidon, Lebanon?
"What American missionary Bonnie Penner Witherall was killed be a gunman at a prenatal clinic in Sidon, Lebanon, where she worked, acting Catholic Archbishop George Kwaiter was quoted complaining that Witherall had tried to convert local children to Christianity while giving them toys and was typical of over-aggressive attempts at conversion. Can you get him or someone else from the archdiocese to expand on that?
"FYI: Four missionary mishaps have made headlines in the couple of years. They are:
- the arrest of Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer in Afghanistan(2001)
- the killing of Bonnie Witherall, a missionary with Operation Mobilization in Lebanon (Nov. 2002)
- the kidnap/murder of Martin Burnhamin the Philippines (June 2002)
- the killings of three Southern Baptist missionaries in Yemen (Dec. 2002)"
targets Christian missionaries
Risk of prison, torture, death motivates church workers to avoid Time magizine's reporters
Posted: April 23, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Time magazine is working on a major cover piece to tell a story many evangelical missionaries don't want told - of their covert efforts to preach the gospel to the Muslim world.
The mission groups say the primary reason for keeping their work low key is to avoid the risk of imprisonment, torture or death for Christian workers in the Middle East, according to a report by World magazine.
Nevertheless, Time editors have sent a four-page e-mail to their reporters worldwide explaining their wishes: "We are planning a major piece on the flood of Christian missionaries, most of them evangelical, to Muslim countries. We will touch on all kinds of missionary work ... but we will eventually narrow our focus to a more radical crew of proselytizers: those who proclaim the Gospel of Christ, even if that means risking deportation, imprisonment or death."
The memo notes that "at least four missionaries have been killed in the last two years in Lebanon, Yemen and the Philippines."
The Time editors want to zero in on a tactic this "new breed" of missionary employs to avoid detection by authorities, called "tentmaking" or "tunneling."
"Essentially, this means doing some kind of other work as a cover or pretext, when [the] real goal is preaching," the editors said.
Among the questions they want asked is: "How exactly do they get away with preaching in such a hostile climate? (We are fascinated by this secret-agent aspect and would like to hear about it in great detail.)"
World commented, however, "it is precisely this level of detail - what the Pentagon calls 'operational security' - that most Christian leaders don't want publicly discussed."
Mission groups have warned staff not to talk to reporters, World said. Heather Mercer, a Christian aid worker imprisoned by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, and Gary Witherall, a missionary in Lebanon whose wife Bonnie was killed last year by Islamic militants, have refused to talk.
Jim Kelly, Time's managing editor, told World he is "sensitive to the consequences that any story has" and his magazine is "a responsible publication that weighs carefully anything that goes into the pages of the magazine."
Evangelical mission efforts to Muslims recently have drawn attention as groups prepare to assist Iraqis in the aftermath of the war. U.S. Muslim activists have reacted in particular to post-war plans by Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham.
The primary objective of Graham's Samaritan's Purse organization will be to assist Iraqi refugees and others who are sick, displaced and hungry, he said. But while "we can't just out and preach," he added in an interview with Beliefnet.com, "I believe as we work, God will always give us opportunities to tell others about his Son. ... We are there to reach out to love them and to save them, and as a Christian, I do this in the name of Jesus Christ."
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, warned that evangelical groups use humanitarian concerns as a cover for their true motive - to convert Muslims to Christianity.
"They go after them when they're most vulnerable and hope they can get them to leave their faith," he told Beliefnet. "It's a very despicable practice."
Last week, more controversy swirled around Graham - who has called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" - when he preached at a Good Friday service at the Pentagon.
|Home TOC Top|