On Christianity - page 15
-- Pakistani Christian boy tortured, mutilated, burnt
-- Christmas is Not about a Homeless Couple
-- Judge says people can't be jailed over intended speech
-- Next Step, Persecuting Churches
-- An Angry Anti-Christmas at School
Christian boy tortured, mutilated, burnt
Published: 24 August, 2012,
With the hysteria over the arrest of a Christian girl with Down’s syndrome on a charge of blasphemy yet to blow over, the brutally tortured body of an 11-year-old Christian boy has been found in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The body of Samuel Yaqoob, was discovered with his lips and nose cut off, his stomach removed and his legs mutilated. According to police the body was later burned and could hardly be recognized.
Relatives identified the corpse from a distinctive mark on the boy’s forehead.
Yaqoob, a resident of the Christian Colony of Faisalabad, had been missing since August 20, last seen on his way to a local market. His mutilated remains were found on Eid-Ul-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan.
Detectives are investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had previously been filed against the minor. Yaquub was believed to be an orphan, but The Telegraph reports that his mother was quoted in the local press denying any allegations were made.
"We neither received any phone call for ransom nor were we told that Samuel had committed blasphemy," she said.
When a Christian group is suspected of transgressing the blasphemy laws, the consequences can be brutal, reports the World Public Forum NGO.
The death of the 11-year-old comes a week after a young Christian girl with Down’s syndrome was charged with blasphemy after reportedly burning pages of a Koran.
Rifta Masih was beaten by local Muslims after they witnessed her allegedly torching pages of the sacred book when cooking. Several hundred Christians have fled their homes following the incident in fear of violence after local mosques reported the alleged incident over loudspeakers, and hundreds of Muslims taken to the streets.
In Pakistan, those accused of blasphemy are subject to instant imprisonment and most are denied bail to prevent mob violence. As a rule, the accused are placed in solitary confinement for their own protection against harassment from inmates or guards.
Those that have been acquitted from the charges, often leave the country, one of the strictest enforcers of Sharia law in the world, reports the Washington Post. In Pakistan, slandering Islam or its holy book is punishable by death.
There have been no executions for blasphemy, though Asia Bibi, a mother of five and a Christian, was sentenced to death two years ago. Bibi has not been executed as of yet, and may be pardoned of her death sentence.
Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Pakistani government politician Salmaan Taseer were both assassinated for opposing the blasphemy laws in connection with Bibi’s case.
Last month, a man accused of desecrating a Koran was dragged from a police station by a mob and beaten to death.
According to Human Rights Watch researcher Ali Dyan Hasan, "The [country’s blasphemy] law creates this legal infrastructure which is then used in various informal ways to intimidate, coerce, harass and persecute."
© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005 - 2011. All rights reserved.
Christmas is Not about a Homeless Couple
Written on November 25, 2011 by The Godfather
Christmas is Not about a Homeless Couple
Filed under History, Politics, Religion, Socialism
Today is “Black Friday,” as to be “in the black rather than in the red.” Retailers look forward to this day even if employees don’t. People have been camping out to get those special deals. My wife prefers to shop early and online.
With Congress wrangling over amnesty for illegal aliens, the budget, taxes, earmarks, and the extension of unemployment benefits, it won’t be long before we hear liberals telling conservatives how unchristian they are. And they will appeal to the Bible in an attempt to make their point.
Every Christmas season we hear the inevitable revisionist version of the Christmas story in order to further government programs.
Jesse Jackson was the first to turn Joseph and Mary into a “homeless couple” when he claimed that Christmas “is not about Santa Claus and ‘Jingle Bells’ and fruit cake and eggnog,” of which all Christians would agree, but about “a homeless couple.” He repeated his “homeless couple” theme at the 1992 Democratic Convention:
We hear a lot of talk about family values, even as we spurn the homeless on the street. Remember, Jesus was born to a homeless couple, outdoors in a stable, in the winter. He was the child of a single mother. When Mary said Joseph was not the father, she was abused. If she had aborted the baby, she would have been called immoral. If she had the baby, she would have been called unfit, without family values. But Mary had family values. It was Herod — the [Dan] Quayle of his day — who put no value on the family.
Jackson made a similar claim about the biblical record in 1999 when he stated that Christmas “is not about parties, for they huddled alone in the cold stable. It isn’t about going into debt to buy extravagant presents; the greatest Gift was given to them although they had no money. It is about a homeless couple, finding their way in a mean time.”
Barbara Reynolds, a former columnist for USA Today, following Jackson’s early lead, scolded the Christian Right for opposing government welfare programs: “They should recall,” she writes, “that Jesus Christ was born homeless to a teen who was pregnant before she was married.”
Hillary Clinton, in comments critical of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s homeless policies, sought to remind all of us that “Christmas celebrates ‘the birth of a homeless child.’”
Rev. William Sterrett told The Providence (RI) Journal that the true Christmas story is about the poor and needy. “We have a very clear picture about the whole thing,” Sterrett said. “But the truth is Mary and Joseph were homeless. She gave birth to Jesus in a barn. This image captures the essence of a Christmas story because you cannot get any poorer than that.”
Pat Nichols, writing for The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA), concludes, “At the core, the story of Christmas is about a homeless couple about to have a baby. It is a story about poverty that most of us never experience, people with little more than they carry on their backs and a donkey to provide transportation.” Have these people ever read the Bible?
¦Mary did not engage in premarital sex. Her circumstances, to say the least, were unique (Luke 1:26-28). Many young girls got married as teenagers, as they do today.
¦Mary went to live with her cousin Elizabeth upon hearing about her pregnancy and “stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home” (Luke 1:56). Presumably her parents owned a home and did not throw her out when they learned of her pregnancy.
¦Mary and Joseph were actually married at the time she learned she was pregnant even though a formal ceremony had not taken place. Joseph is called “her husband” (Matt. 1:19).
¦Joseph was a self-employed carpenter (Matt. 13:55).
¦An edict from the centralized Roman government forced Joseph and Mary to spend valuable resources of money and time to return to their place of birth to register for a tax (Luke 2:1-7). Joseph’s business was shut down while he took his very pregnant wife on a wild goose chase concocted by the Roman Empire to raise additional tax money.
¦Typical of governments that make laws without considering the consequences, there was not enough housing for the great influx of traveling citizens and subjects who complied with the governmental decree (Luke 2:1).
¦Mary and Joseph had enough money to pay for lodging. The problem was inadequate housing. The fact that “there was no room in the inn” (Luke 2:7) did not make them homeless. If we follow liberal logic, any family that takes a trip is by definition homeless and finds “no vacancy” signs, is technically homeless.
¦Joseph and Mary owned or rented a home. It was in their home that the wise men offered their gifts: “And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
¦Joseph, Mary, and Jesus became a family on the run when Herod, a government official, became a threat to them (Matt. 2:13–15).
In 2006, Jesse Jackson got it right: “The story of Christmas is about a couple — Mary and Joseph — forced by an oppressive imperial government to leave their home to travel far to be counted in the census.” I’m amazed how politicians and social critics are quick to quote and misquote the Bible when they believe it supports their quirky political views. When conservatives appeal to the Bible, we hear the inevitable “separation of church and state,” “you can’t impose your morality on other people,” “religion and politics don’t mix.”
The Bible is clear on moral issues that are culture killers: homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and abortion. The Bible is also clear on the moral issue of poverty. Nowhere in the Bible is civil government given authority to help the poor by raising taxes on the rich to pay for wealth distribution schemes. In fact, as history shows, the “war on poverty” became the war on the poor.
We would be more accurate to say, the Christmas story is about how taxes hurt the poor and government decrees can turn productive families into the disenfranchised by enacting and enforcing a counterproductive law.
1.As reported in The Atlanta Journal/Constitution (December 28, 1991), A9. [?]
2.Jesse Jackson, “The Homeless Couple,” Los Angeles Times (December 22, 1999). The version of Jackson’s message “The Homeless Couple” used be located here: www.rainbowpush.org/commentaries/1999/122299.html It has since been taken down, and for good reason. [?]
3.Barbara Reynolds, “These political Christians neither religious nor right,” USA Today (Nov. 18, 1994), 13A. [?]
4.Cited in “Washington” under Politics in USA Today (December 1, 1999), 15A. [?]
5.Pat Nichols, “It’s time to offer a helping hand,” The Berkshire Eagle (December, 12, 2004). [?]
6.Jesse Jackson, “Peace is at the Heart of the Christmas Story,” Chicago Sun-Times (December 19, 2006). In a January 8, 2009 article, Jackson once again describes Joseph and Mary as a “homeless couple”: “The real story is about a homeless couple, immigrants ordered by the government to return home to be counted.” [?]
7.Thomas Sowell, “‘War on Poverty’ has left nation in poorer condition,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (August 18, 2004), A13. [?]
Read more: Christmas is Not about a Homeless Couple | Godfather Politics http://godfatherpolitics.com/2237/christmas-is-not-about-a-homeless-couple/#ixzz1erIp2Pmn
Judge says people can't be jailed over intended speech
Pastor who wanted to condemn Shariah behind bars over 'peace bond'
Posted: November 12, 2011 WND
Pastor Terry Jones
The Florida pastor who wanted to protest jihad and Islamic Shariah law in Dearborn – but was jailed by a judge who worried about what he "intended" to say – has been cleared.
According to officials with the Thomas More Law Center, a circuit judge in Wayne County, Mich., has overturned the decision by Dearborn District Judge Mark W. Somers.
According to the ruling from Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolowski, Somers violated the constitutional rights of Pastor Terry Jones and his associate, Wayne Sapp, when he held a "peace bond" proceeding last spring and ordered them to pay a $1 peace bond and ordered them not to go into the vicinity of a Muslim mosque, including on the surrounding public property, for three years.
Because the "bond" violated their constitutional free speech rights, they refused to pay, and the judge locked them up overnight.
Somers had required the bond because of what he thought the men intended to say.
But the Thomas More Law Center appealed the verdict, and the decision was overturned.
"Pastor Jones had committed no crime and was not charged with a crime. Yet, he was forced into court and ultimately jailed because he intended to speak out against jihad and Shariah law," said Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the center.
"Regardless of how one feels about Pastor Jones, he has a constitutionally protected free speech right to express his message. The heavy-handed actions of the city of Dearborn and the Wayne County prosecutor's office give us a glimpse of how imposition of Shariah law, which forbids any criticism of Islam, will destroy that fundamental constitutional right."
It was in April when Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Fla., announced plans to protest jihad, Shariah and the radicalization of Muslims in America on public property in front of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. It's the largest mosque in North America.
Dearborn officials, who have a history of anti-Christian policies, denied Jones a permit to exercise his free speech rights because of opposition and threats of violence from Dearborn's Muslims, the law center reported.
When Jones indicated that he intended to hold the free speech event anyway, the Wayne County prosecutor, in cooperation with the city of Dearborn, filed a complaint in the Dearborn district court. Under threat of arrest, police authorities forced Jones and Sapp into court where they had to stand trial to determine whether they intended to break the law.
The Thomas More Law Center said those actions violated the First Amendment and due process rights of Jones and Sapp.
The Law Center also argued that the three-year speech restriction violated the First Amendment.
In yesterday’s ruling, in addition to finding a violation of due process, Ziolowski overturned on First Amendment grounds the district court's three-year injunction limiting Jones' free speech rights by keeping him away from the mosque.
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June 29, 2011 By Terence P. Jeffrey CNSnews.com
When the New York legislature passed a law last Friday legalizing same-sex marriage, all of New York's Roman Catholic bishops signed a statement warning that they now expect efforts to enact laws attacking churches that defend the truth.
"We strongly uphold the Catholic Church's clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love," said the bishops.
"But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves," they said. "This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths."
The bishops are wrong -- about the timing. Efforts to sanction churches for defending the truth will not be starting now, they have already started.
America's liberal establishment has already shown how it can flout the Constitution and use government to force churches to act against their own moral teachings.
As I wrote in my book "Control Freaks," the 2004 case of Catholic Charities of Sacramento v. the Superior Court of Sacramento County demonstrated this.
In the Catholic Charities case, a six-to-one majority of the California Supreme Court upheld a law enacted by the California legislature that required Catholic schools, hospitals and charitable organizations to provide prescription contraception coverage for their employees if they purchased any prescription drug coverage for their employees at all.
It did not matter to the majority in California's legislature, who passed the law, and then Gov. Gray Davis, who signed it, that employees of Catholic organizations were free to buy any kind of contraceptives they wanted -- with their own money. These politicians wanted to force the Catholic Church to buy contraceptives against its teaching.
The Catholic Church argued that it deeply believed and clearly taught that artificial contraception was wrong. The church also said it believed it had a moral obligation -- as part of its duty to treat workers justly -- to provide prescription drug coverage for its employees.
The liberals behind California's contraceptive law no doubt relished putting the Catholic Church in this box: force Catholic authorities to choose between upholding their church's teaching on artificial contraception or upholding their church's view of the just treatment of workers.
They wanted to force the Catholic Church to choose one wrong or another. It is hard to imagine an uglier or more tyrannical impulse in a politician.
The church resisted. Catholic Charities of Sacramento sued the state, seeking to protect its own and everyone else's freedom of religion.
"This lawsuit has very little to do with health insurance and everything to do with our fundamental rights as Americans," Roman Catholic Bishop William Weigand of Sacramento explained at the time. "It boils down to a very simple question. Under the Constitution, does the state of California have the right to tell its citizens how to practice their religion?"
Three Protestant churches - -including the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and the Worldwide Church of God -- joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in filing an amicus brief supporting Catholic Charities.
"The state proposes a rule of law that forces a church institution, in violation of its own self-identity and constitution, to pay for something in its own workplace that the institution holds and teaches to be sinful," the churches said in this brief.
"Today's case is about contraceptives," they said. "Tomorrow's will present some other issue that elicits public division, such as abortion, assisted suicide, cloning, or some issue of self-governance, such as the use of resources for evangelization or who a religious agency may hire to do ministry work."
The California Supreme Court's decision was bold and simple. It conceded that the California law demanded that the Catholic Church act against its own teachings.
"We do not doubt Catholic Charities' assertion that to offer insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives to its employees would be religiously unacceptable," said the court.
But it concluded that the state's interest in eliminating "gender discrimination" trumped the Catholic Church's freedom of religion.
"Assuming for the sake of argument the (law) substantially burdens a religious belief or practice, the law nevertheless serves a compelling state interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest," said the court. "The (law) serves the compelling state interest of eliminating gender discrimination."
Catholic Charities appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court refused to take the case up, letting California's law stand.
Apologists for New York's same-sex marriage law argue that it includes a religious exemption that protects churches from having to officiate over same-sex marriages and protects them in "taking such action as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained" -- including in its employment practices.
That is, of course, until the same kind of ideologues who are now pushing same-sex marriage laws begin suing churches in states where same-sex marriage is a "right" because, they argue, the churches have made them victims of "gender discrimination."
Then Anthony Kennedy gets to decide.
Published on CNSnews.com (http://www.cnsnews.com/)
An Angry Anti-Christmas at School
December 27, 2010 By L. Brent Bozell III
The metaphor “The War on Christmas” can be mocked – as if Santa and his reindeer are dodging anti-aircraft fire. But many of our public schools have church-and-state sensitivity police with an alarming degree of Santaphobia.
Anyone who's attended a school's “winter concert” in December with no traditional Christmas music – not even “Frosty the Snowman” – knows the drill. The vast Christian majority (that funds the public schools) is told that school is no place to celebrate one's religion, even in its most watered-down and secularized forms.
There are real-life stories of Scrooge-like school administrators, like the one at the appropriately named Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. A group of ten boys calling themselves the Christmas Sweater Club were given detention and at least two hours of cleaning for tossing free two-inch candy canes at students as they entered before classes started. They were “creating a disturbance.” One of their mothers, Kathleen Flannery, told WUSA-TV that an administrator called her and explained "not everyone wants Christmas cheer -- that suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps."
Of course, that level of sensitivity is not applied when it comes to slamming Christianity during the Christmas season.
On December 16, The Washington Post paid tribute to another suburban school in northern Virginia, Langley High School, for warming hearts during the season with “The Laramie Project.” This play is a political assault, using transcripts of real-life interviews by gay activists out to blame America's religious people for the beating death of homosexual college student Matthew Shepard in 1998.
The Post championed how in the play, “there is a Baptist minister who says he hopes Shepard was thinking of his lifestyle as he was tied to the fence...There is a young woman who grew up in the Muslim faith in Laramie and thinks the town and nation need to accept what the case has laid bare. ‘We are like this,’ she says.”
This account actually underplayed what the character “lays bare” – a guilt trip. In the script, she says “there are people trying to distance themselves from this crime. And we need to own this crime. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. We ARE like this. WE are LIKE this.” (Emphasis by the playwright, Moises Kaufman.)
That attack keeps coming. A Catholic priest insists the killers "must be our teachers. What did we as a society do to teach you that?" A character also reads an e-mail from a college student: “You and the straight people of Laramie and Wyoming are guilty of the beating of Matthew Shepard just as the Germans who looked the other way are guilty of the deaths of the Jews, the gypsies, and the homosexuals.
You have taught your straight children to hate their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters – until and unless you acknowledge that Matt Shepard's beating is not just a random occurrence, not just the work of a couple of random crazies, you have Matthew's blood on your hands.”
This is vicious anti-Christian propaganda, plain and simple. Any teaching that homosexuality is a sin is an invitation to murder? These mudslinging culture warriors are celebrated as compassionate by administrators, while just down the road, the Christmas Sweater Club is given detention for spreading Christmas cheer.
The Langley High students putting on this play are candid. They are trying to walk people away from the Bible. "I hope that this changes some people's perspectives on gay rights and maybe opens their minds a little bit," proclaimed Lauren Stewart, 17, the student-director. "I think the way to progress on issues is to talk about them." Another student added, "If one person comes into the theater and is on the fence about...any discrimination and leaves questioning their beliefs, I think we've done this play justice."
Making people “have conversations” is presented as glorious. But it wouldn't be a constructive conversation if students were trying to convert people to Christianity – only when you try to convert people away from it.
A little research shows plenty of “socially conscious” public high schools have staged this propaganda bombing, aiming to crush biblical “discrimination.” But it takes a really special school administrator to let it be scheduled in the last two weeks before Christmas.
It's amazing that at Battlefield High School, the accusation was that Christmas cheer invited suicides, but plays about murderous “hate crimes” that America has collectively committed by our “fear and ignorance of the Other” somehow should make our spirits bright.
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