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Federal Court Rules in Favor of Catholic School Upholding Biblical View of Marriage

By Family Research Council

In a decision hailed by religious liberty advocates, a federal court is upholding a Catholic school’s right to require employees to conform to Catholic teachings when it fired a teacher for entering into a same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that a North Carolina Catholic school was within its rights to dismiss Lonnie Billard, a drama teacher and substitute English teacher at Charlotte Catholic High School (CCHS), after he announced he would be marrying another man. The court’s ruling said that “because Billard played a vital role as a messenger of CCHS’s faith,” the school could dismiss him from his position for contradicting Catholic moral teaching.

Billard announced on social media in 2014 that he intended to marry another man, shortly after the state legalized same-sex marriage. In response, CCHS dismissed Billard from his position for violating the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte’s employee policy prohibiting actions contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Billard and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued CCHS, the diocese, and Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools for alleged Title VII violations. A district court ruled in favor of Billard in 2021, but that decision was reversed by Wednesday’s ruling.

Fourth Circuit Court Judge Pamela Harris, an Obama appointee, wrote Wednesday’s majority opinion. She found, “Although CCHS offers separate secular and religious classes, religion infuses daily life at the school.” She noted that the school is expressly devoted to teaching and furthering Catholic principles, citing the school’s motto and mission statement, as well as the diocesan mission statement. “CCHS’s expectations of its teachers extend beyond the classroom,” Harris wrote. “It does not require all its employees to be Catholic. But, Catholic or not, it requires its employees to conform to Catholic teachings: CCHS prohibits employees from engaging in or advocating for conduct contrary to the moral tenets of the Catholic faith, including the Catholic Church’s rejection of same-sex marriage.”

Although Harris said that, as an English and drama teacher, Billard “did not have a responsibility to educate his students explicitly in the Catholic faith,” she did note, “CCHS’s commitment to integrating faith throughout its curriculum meant that Billard had to account for religion in his classes.” CCHS had previously made numerous and even novel legal arguments to defend its actions, but Harris ultimately found that the school’s dismissal of Billard was protected by the “ministerial exception” to Title VII. “Because we conclude that Billard’s role at CCHS was ‘ministerial’ for purposes of the ministerial exception, we resolve the case on that ground,” she wrote.

The ”ministerial exception” bars the application of certain anti-discrimination laws to religious institutions when dealing with the hiring of its “ministers.” Of note, Harris stated, “The ministerial exception does not protect the church alone; it also confines the state and its civil courts to their proper roles.” Noting that certain religion-oriented disputes are beyond the authority of the courts, she wrote, “The First Amendment’s Religion Clauses … ‘bar the government from interfering’ with ministerial employment decisions or involving itself in ecclesiastical matters.” She clarified, “That means civil courts like ours are ‘bound to stay out’ of employment disputes involving ministers — those ‘holding certain important positions with churches and other religious institutions.’” Relying on U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Harris wrote, “We conclude that the school entrusted Billard with ‘vital religious duties,’ making him a ‘messenger’ of its faith and placing him within the ministerial exception.”

In response to the court’s decision, Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand, “It’s encouraging to see this decision from the appellate court. No religious schools should be required to employ individuals whose actions and advocacy violate the school’s core religious beliefs.” She continued, “The main point of sending your child to a religious school is for them to be formed in their faith and taught their classes through the lens of their faith. As such, it’s important for such schools to hire teachers that share and affirm that faith, inside and outside the classroom.”

Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, agreed. “This decision is important for many reasons, but especially for parents and families who are seeking an educational setting outside the home that reflects their faith and values. In our secular society, that is increasingly difficult to find, even in ostensibly Christian organizations,” she told TWS. “Decisions like this one that reaffirm the school’s right to expect and demand agreement with major doctrinal questions are much appreciated. And as a parent, I would hope that Catholic schools would strive to have faithful and practicing Catholic teachers in every class, not just religion class.”

Kilgannon added, “This situation also reminds us of the important relationship teachers have with their students/our children. Even in a substitute teacher setting, the influence of adults on children is profound.” In fact, the court also addressed that point. Harris wrote that a religious institution’s instruction that employees abide by particular religious moral codes does not automatically place all employees within the ministerial exception. But, she added, “teachers are different.” Quoting the Supreme Court, she explained, “’[E]ducating young people in their faith, inculcating its teachings, and training them to live their faith are responsibilities that lie at the very core of the mission of a private religious school’ like CCHS.”

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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Student Demonstrations: Power, Not Freedom of Speech

By The Catholic Thing

Randall Smith: We will either teach our young people the skills and self-discipline required for republican self-government and fill them with the faith in it and love for it they need to preserve it, or we will lose the privilege – a gift bequeathed to us at great cost.


“Did you get caught in the student riot?” asked a friend.  “What riot?” “The Pro-Palestinian demonstration at the University of Texas.” I am at UT on a sabbatical. “We don’t have student riots in Texas,” I informed him; “we have temporary misunderstandings between students and state troopers about who controls public spaces. The students learn.”  The authorities in Texas are not as feckless as those running the East Coast Ivies.

As Wilfred McClay points out in a recent article in The New Criterion, demonstrations aren’t “speech.”  They may be “expressions” – of anger, frustration, sometimes boredom. But they’re not “speech” in the classic sense of logos, “reasoned discourse.”

In speech, you express an idea; you make an argument; and you invite others to respond.  The demonstrations on college campuses are not invitations to dialogue; they are the opposite.  They demand that dialogue stop and obedience begin.  In this, they are similar to groups shouting down speakers with whom they disagree.  It should be no surprise, then, that both have become standard practice together.

It’s not as though the demonstrators are inviting reasoned responses to their position.  They’re not willing to hear contrary opinions.  They have “demands” and those demands must be met.  They are a mob, and mobs are something, along with tyranny, that the Founders of the country feared most.

When demonstrators are pretending to be engaging in free speech when what they are really doing is showing the power of a mob to get others to conform to their will, they shouldn’t be surprised if authorities respond to their demonstration of power with a demonstration of power of their own.  Those Texas state troopers weren’t on campus to argue.  But neither were the demonstrators.

Perhaps the most ridiculous feature of these recent protests is the shock the students evince when, having violated repeated orders to disperse, they are finally arrested.  That many must be hauled away because they’ve “gone limp” belies their wide-eyed innocence, since it shows they’ve received training in “what to do for the cameras when the police haul you away.”  Perhaps we can all agree that it’s no way to run a republic.

Some years ago, a bright student of mine had a complaint about something on campus.  “Okay,” I said, “so what are you going to do?”  After a moment’s thought, she said: “Gather people together to demonstrate?”  “How about getting elected to student government, writing an op-ed in the paper, seeking to convince others of your position?” I replied.  Those options either hadn’t occurred to her, or she had no faith in them.

Democracy is a messy business; it requires patience and skills of its own.  It’s not like driving a car that moves in the direction I steer, accelerates to the speed I want, and stops when and where I determine.  It means dealing with other people.  And other people have ideas and concerns of their own.

Show no interest in the ideas and concerns of others, and they are likely to return the favor.  Like you, they want to drive the car in the direction they want.  And as everyone who spends time on America’s highways knows, this highly individualistic lack of concern for others is bad for everyone.

As we need “rules of the road” to provide the order that ensures everyone can get to their destinations “freely” and in relative safety, so too if speech is to be “free,” if it is to be a “common good” and not merely the privilege of one powerful group, speakers must observe a set of procedural norms meant to preserve this freedom for everyone.

At the University of Texas, the Provost sent out a note outlining the rights and duties of the members of the community.  Among the rights were the right to “assemble peacefully to protest,” to “hand out flyers and brochures,” and to “invite guest speakers to present in common outdoor areas.”  But with this freedom comes responsibility.  Thus individuals, said the Provost, may not “disrupt the operations of the university, including but not limited to:

Making loud sounds that interfere with learning; teaching, or other official actions; blocking entrances, exits, and walkways; calls for immediate lawless behavior, and vandalism.

Camping or attempting to camp on university property (including bringing tents on campus and sleeping on university property, with or without a tent, later than 10:00 p.m.).

Refusing to identify themselves to university officials or law enforcement.

Refusing to comply with directions given by university officials or law enforcement.

Using amplified sound without prior approval.

Wearing masks or disguises.

Coercing attention by following students walking away from the protest.

Campuses around the country would be better off if they posted those rules and enforced them.  Students would be better off if they abided by them respectfully and stopped screaming like little children for the cameras when they get hauled away by the authorities for violating reasonable rules.  Such demonstrations of political theater are attempts at emotional blackmail.  They don’t help the Palestinian people, but they make the American public more cynical about real acts of government suppression and police brutality.

Government can be overly coercive in suppressing speech it doesn’t like, and we’ve had too many examples of that recently.  But mobs are not “democratic governance in action.”  They are simply another form of tyranny.  Which is why they are often found in the same places among the same people.

We will either teach our young people the skills and self-discipline required for republican self-government and fill them with the faith in it and love for it they need to preserve it, or we will lose the privilege – a gift bequeathed to us at great cost.  Catholics should lead the way in educating their students for this level of civil engagement and discourse. This would show that what St. Augustine argued in The City of God is true: Catholics aren’t dangerous aliens. Quite the contrary, their Christian faith makes them better citizens.


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David Warren The Present Desolation 

Brad Miner Is a Free Society Stable?


AUTHOR

Randall Smith

Randall B. Smith is a Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. His latest book is From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. © 2024 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

As Boy Scouts ‘Go Woke,’ Door Opens for Christian Alternatives thumbnail

As Boy Scouts ‘Go Woke,’ Door Opens for Christian Alternatives

By Family Research Council

The Boy Scouts were originally founded to ensure young boys were being taught how to become strong men. But just last week, after roughly a decade of slowly caving to social pressures, the Boy Scouts released the new title for the organization: Scouting America (SA). Although SA President Roger Krone said their “mission remains unchanged,” many have taken issue with the claim.

Krone insisted that they are still “committed to teaching young people to be prepared for life,” but critics argue that this statement differ from the Scouts’ original purpose. In 1910, their mission was not centered on “young people,” but on boys specifically. Their purpose was stated as such: “to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.” The organization was created “by men who were concerned about the disappearance of traditional boyhood and the cultivation of masculine virtues as America rapidly urbanized,” National Review’s editorial board wrote.

But, as they emphasized, “America is currently undergoing another acknowledged crisis for boys and men, [but] the Boy Scouts of America won’t be there to meet their needs.” For parents who care about the original purpose of the Boy Scouts, there’s a group that’s already stepped up to fill the gap.

The Christian organization, Trail Life USA (TLUSA), took root 10 years ago when SA first showed signs of surrendering their values. On Friday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” TLUSA Chairman John Stemberger joined guest host and former Congressman Jody Hice to discuss why this alternative is an important option in today’s climate.

“It’s sad,” Stemberger lamented, “because what [SA has] done is they’ve neutered the DNA of who they were as an organization.” He added, “They were literally a boy-focused organization, and now they’re just … generic, plain vanilla, any young person can come here” kind of organization. You can be “gay, trans, [a] girl — doesn’t matter anymore,” he said.

According to Hice, this was a “decade-long drift from the values and virtues it once celebrated.” But as Stemberger pointed out, the drift happened when leadership prioritized not offending anyone, which has “transformed it into a kind of … youth group with neckerchiefs without any core meaning.” Hice agreed, adding that there have been numerous “incredible leaders over the years that the Boy Scouts have helped create, and in essence, all of that’s erased. It’s all tossed out the window … at this point. … It’s just sad to watch this.”

Hice wondered if there could be more to this shift than simply “going woke,” to which Stemberger replied, “The real tragedy here … no one’s talking about” is that SA is not merely promoting LGBT ideology, but they’re actively putting young boys and girls in harmful situations.

He explained, “[A]ll these changes are producing more boy-on-boy and now girl-on-boy sexual contact. I mean, that’s exactly what’s happening here, because they do not separate out kids that claim to be openly gay.” But the problem, he emphasized, is that there’s a reason “we don’t tent boys and girls [together] … because they’re attracted to each other.” And yet, this organization is now “going to allow an openly gay boy to decide who he’s going to unilaterally sleep with on his own. And this absolutely creates a radical increase of boy-on-boy contact issues that are very hard to prevent, much less report. … It’s a scandal.”

In a separate interview with Owen Strachan, a senior fellow at FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, Hice noted that what we’re seeing is “a violation of what God intended these young men to be.” Strachan agreed, explaining how “masculinity is made by God and is designed for his glory.” He added, “Every man … needs the gospel of divine grace to live and flourish as a man as God intends.” All of these ideologically driven shifts have “opened the door for more parents of boys to consider a Christian alternative,” Hice said.

As Stemberger emphasized, “[W]e need to be concerned with our young people.” Ultimately, it’s about “men becoming men [and] learning what it means to be a man.” As far as Stemberger is concerned, “[O]ur conviction is that you have to learn how to be a man from another man. … It’s a pretty simple concept.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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Invitation to join the Global Prayer for Israel on May 15th, 2024

By Dr. Rich Swier

Shalom from Jerusalem, I pray this finds you well.

I am pleased to share that the Genesis 123 Foundation will be producing a very special prayer event for Israel, the Global Prayer for Israel on May 15.  The date is significant because it’s the day that Israel’s enemies call the “nakba,” the catastrophe of Israel’s birth. With a war still raging in Israel that may get much worse before it gets better, and rampant antisemitism threatening Jews all around the world, the time is urgent.

Global Prayer for Israel – May 15, 2024

We are bringing thousands of Jews and Christians together on ONE live platform globally to pray for Israel’s safety and protection at this perilous season. Each of the first three hours will be according to the following prayer points:

  • praying for ALL the 133 hostages to be released,
  • praying for the IDF’s safety and success, and
  • praying that God will change the hearts of Israel’s enemies.

The same themes will be repeated in the second three hours, and the final hour plus will be in Spanish.

I am pleased to invite you to join us. 

We will also be thrilled for help promoting the Global Prayer for Israel, using this registration link, attached graphic, this short promotional video, and perhaps a personal note of endorsement about why this is so important, and why now.

In order to defray costs, we are asking all participants to join as sponsors and hope that you’ll consider doing so using this link.

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so today. Either way, please share widely.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your positive response and participation.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Jonathan Feldstein
President, Genesis 123 Foundation
+972-53-761-4220
www.Genesis123.co 

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Special interview with Rabbi Jonathan Hausman on current events in Israel and America and their historical significance. thumbnail

Special interview with Rabbi Jonathan Hausman on current events in Israel and America and their historical significance.

By Dr. Rich Swier

In this compelling episode of Dissent Television host Dr. Rich Swier interviews Rabbi Jonathan Hausman on current events in Israel and America and their historical significance.

WATCH: Special interview with Rabbi Johnathan Hausman on Dissent Television.

ABOUT RABBI JOHNATHAN HAUSMAN

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman hails from Bridgeport, Conn. He is the eldest of four brothers.

Rabbi J, as he is known, received a B.A. in Religion and Judaic Studies and an M.A. in Middle East and Jewish Studies from The George Washington University. He received a J.D. from Emory University and received his rabbinic ordination from Tifereth Israel Rabbinical Yeshiva.

He is a Past Treasurer and President of the Stoughton Clergy Association. He is a past Board Member and first Vice President of American Friends of ALYN Hospital.

Rabbi J has taken roles in numerous administrative and director capacities in religious schools and community-based educational programs in southwestern Connecticut before his arrival in Stoughton in August 1996. He served Congregation Sinai of West Haven, Conn.

He is an avid cyclist, having ridden throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic states as well as overseas.

©2024. Dissent Television Channel and host. All rights reserved.

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Our Pagan Revolution and What to Do About It

By The Catholic Thing

Auguste Meyrat: America’s gradual separation from Christian morality in the twentieth century has resulted in an equally gradual encroachment of pagan morality.


It’s no secret that Christianity is on the wane across America. Even before the COVID-19 lockdowns, church attendance was steadily decreasing and the religiously unaffiliated ‘Nones’ were becoming the largest “denomination” in America. After COVID, this decline has been even more precipitous.

Many believe that this is simply a consequence of social progress. As society dispenses with religious traditions and superstitions about the afterlife, it will become more rational, practical, and tolerant. Even if sentimentalists like Richard Dawkins lament the loss of Christmas carols and pretty churches, it will allow more cultural inclusivity, material abundance, and scientific development.

John Daniel Davidson, an editor for The Federalist and a devout Catholic, debunks this myth in Pagan America: The Decline of Christianity and the Dark Age to Come. Far from ushering in a futuristic DEI utopia, a post-Christian America will come to resemble pre-Christian dystopias – that is: backward, brutal, and barbaric.

As Davidson reminds us, nature abhors a vacuum, and this applies to religion most of all. Not only does all of history show this time and time again, but current trends also confirm the resurgence of paganism in modern America. Left unaddressed, Christian culture and Christians themselves will face persecution and erasure, which will end modern liberal democracy and its many blessings.

Davidson begins by describing a few of the pagan civilizations preceding the arrival of the Christian gospel, specifically the Vikings, Aztecs, tribes in Western Africa, and the Romans. Without exception, human sacrifice, torture, sexual exploitation, and slavery were widespread. Because of its insistence that all men are created in the image of God, Christianity largely purged these communities of these evils.

In this way, Christian doctrine laid the foundation for the rise of democracies in the modern era. Davidson explains how America was indeed founded on Christian principles, not just Enlightenment ideals: “Reason alone, in the Founders’ view, would not be sufficient for the great mass of citizens to choose virtue over vice, or to maintain public morality. . . .A pagan or atheist neighbor, or too many of them, might endanger the liberties of a nation.”

America’s gradual separation from Christian morality in the twentieth century has resulted in an equally gradual encroachment of pagan morality. This happened through a series of pivotal court cases, which effectively removed Christianity from the public square on the misguided notion of separating church and state. Over the years, neopagan leftists unleashed a host of deeply immoral policies poisoning American culture: abortion, euthanasia, transgenderism, and pedophilia.

As paganism grows, Americans are increasingly experiencing loss of community, friendship, and fulfillment. The things that inspired virtue and action from Americans no longer exist because they are treated as limits on personal freedom. Davidson concludes, “Americans are increasingly living alone and dying alone, and their civilization could very easily die with them.”

Politically speaking, the decline of Christianity spells disaster for American democracy. As Davidson shows, the freedom and security that most Americans once enjoyed were the direct fruits of Christian morality: “respect for individual and religious liberty, freedom of speech, constraints on government power, were all part of America’s Christian inheritance, and would lose legitimacy – as they are losing it now – in the eyes of a people without Christian faith.”

In practice, this leads to persecution of minorities, unchecked propaganda and censorship, elimination of vulnerable populations, and the establishment of a totalitarian state. As Davidson ominously puts it, “if you want a picture of the future, to paraphrase George Orwell, imagine a boot stamping on [Christian cake-maker] Jack Phillips’s face – forever.”

The substance of neo-pagan religion is less clear. Davidson surveys what non-Christians believe these days, ranging from Satanism to occultism to scientism. All these new religions foster subjectivism, relativism, and narcissism, and promise absolute ruin for anyone who adopts such creeds: “it eventually leads ‘into the void,’ where there is no objective truth apart from the self, whose emotions and brute desires rule the mind of man and all sense of transcendent reality (to say nothing of beauty or goodness) is destroyed.”

Davidson offers a way out at this dire situation: the Boniface Option. In contrast to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, which calls for Christians to make tactical retreats from the world and establish Christian communities, in the style of St. Benedict, Davidson’s Boniface Option emphasizes the responsibility of Christians to “defend the faith” and to fight back against today’s pagan forces, in the style of St. Boniface.

Most of this would happen at the local level, which is under attack from neo-pagans embedded in bureaucracies across the country and working to undermine Christian values. It’s completely unrealistic and unhelpful simply to tell those under threat to retreat ever further into the American hinterland. Rather, they need to take a stand, protest, and elect people who will faithfully represent their interests.

Davidson knows that this is easier said than done and expects a rough road ahead. In his final pages, he cites Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (a different Benedict) who once predicted a global contraction of the Catholic Church. In the short run, Christian culture will continue its decline, and life will be hard for the shrinking number of faithful Christians.

Overall, the book is a fine articulation of the spiritual crisis afflicting the developed world. Where it falls short is in not sufficiently taking into account progressive non-Christians who are so insulated from the issues brought up in the book that they will likely dismiss Davidson’s heavily documented argument as mere “Christian nationalist” claptrap.

Except it’s not claptrap. Davidson speaks the truth and does so forcefully and directly. He’s not simply preaching to the choir, but to everyone – whether they want to hear it or not. Christians wanting to join the struggle to recapture the culture and save souls would do well to read Pagan America. Everyone else, should read the book – and reconsider which side will allow them to flourish, and which one will, ultimately, destroy them.


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AUTHOR

Auguste Meyrat

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area. He holds an MA in Humanities and an MEd in Educational Leadership. He is the senior editor of The Everyman and has written essays for The FederalistThe American Thinker, and The American Conservative as well as the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2024 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

NYC: Pro-Hamas Thugs Deface World War I and Civil War Memorials, Burn U.S. Flag thumbnail

NYC: Pro-Hamas Thugs Deface World War I and Civil War Memorials, Burn U.S. Flag

By Jihad Watch

Just in case you weren’t sure what was coming next, here is a salutary reminder.

Anti-Israel activists deface WWI and Civil War memorials, burn US flag

by Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post, May 8, 2024:

Anti-Israel activists vandalized American memorials to veterans of the First World War and a Union Civil War general and burned an American flag during the New York City Day of Rage protest that coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday.

The One Hundred Seventh Infantry Memorial in Central Park, dedicated to US infantry who fell in battle during the war, was desecrated with stickers and graffiti that proclaimed “free Gaza” or “free Palestine,” according to photographs published by NYPD Deputy Commissioner Operations Kaz Daughtry.

The statue was also tagged with a red triangle, a symbol used in Hamas propaganda to denote a target. A protester set the United States flag on fire at the base of the statue, according to the New York Post.

The Grand Army Plaza Memorial honoring Union General William Tecumseh Sherman was also vandalized with similar graffiti as the infantry memorial, one “free Gaza” scrawl including the Anarchist “A” in the spelling of the Palestinian territory.

“F**K Empire,” read the graffiti. “NYPD equals KKK (Ku Klux Klan).”

Mayor Eric Adams gave a press conference in front of the Central Park memorial on Tuesday, in which he severely reprimanded the “cowards” who vandalized the statue.

“I want to be extremely clear, despite the unpopular notion that people don’t want to say, I want to say it: I love America,” said Adams. “And I’m proud to be a citizen of America. And the reason that we are here is because of men and women like this statue behind us, and we cannot remain silent when our symbols of freedom are desecrated by people who hate our country and hate our way of life.”…

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

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POST ON X:

JUST IN: The mayor of Wildwood, New Jersey just said that they expect 35,000-45,000 people in attendance for Trump’s rally tomorrow.

Could one of be the biggest Trump rallies ever.

pic.twitter.com/U44D0i4LM1

— Ian Jaeger (@IanJaeger29) May 11, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘A Post-Religious America’ Helped Spark Anti-Semitism in Schools, Experts Say thumbnail

‘A Post-Religious America’ Helped Spark Anti-Semitism in Schools, Experts Say

By Family Research Council

Pro-Palestine protests on college campuses have boomed across America with a staggering escalation of anti-Semitic acts such as breaking into buildings, defacing statues, setting up encampments, and violence toward Jewish students and faculty from Hamas sympathizersMass arrests have been made in response to this pandemonium. The anti-Semitism, as spectators observe, is boisterous and grotesque — but not limited to college campuses. Anti-Israel protests have also broken out at a number of high schools since the October 7 attack on Israel, and they continue.

In November, The Christian Post reported, “Hundreds of students rampaged through the halls of a New York high school for around two hours after learning a Jewish teacher attended a pro-Israel rally, vandalizing school property and forcing the faculty member to take refuge in a locked office.” This incident outraged many, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), who described it as a “vile show of anti-Semitism.” Even so, similar events continue to occur.

Just last week, hundreds of students from various Chicago high schools held anti-Israel “sit-ins … in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.” A student who helped organize the protest told The Times of Israel that the high schools students were, in large part, motivated to support “growing encampments around the country, including Northwestern, Columbia and general protest for Palestinian genocide.” And while these sit-ins did not result in any violence, several Jewish high school students expressed how unsafe they felt as students marched together, shouting chants such as, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest!”

To address the increase in school protests, a House education subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday “focused on combating antisemitism in K-12 education.” New York City Department of Education Chancellor David Banks was among those who testified, as well as Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel and Montgomery County School Board President Karla Silvestre. The point of the hearing was to address anti-Semitism on college campuses, but it also heavily emphasized “that younger children are being brainwashed in these ways” as well, said Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, on Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”

Perkins, who serves as president of FRC, explained, “We’re not [just] talking [about] college campuses. We’re talking about the little kids. The fact that they’re being indoctrinated with anti-Semitism … that’s shocking.” Kilgannon agreed, emphasizing that what we’re seeing on campuses doesn’t just “happen when kids get to college.”

She elaborated, “It certainly can happen when kids get to college. But the foundation is laid in high school and in elementary school as well. Where is that coming from? The fact that we are, in many ways, a post-religious America, unfortunately, and the fact that the elementary schools and high schools are using an oppressor/oppressed kind of a paradigm.” An ideology, experts note, that is rooted in Marxism. And for Perkins, this is a reality — a vacuum — “created by pushing God out of the public square,” which then means it’s “going to be filled by something else.” Not only is it filled by something else, Kilgannon added, but “it’s filled by something much worse.” Which then “gives rise to this darkness,” Perkins chimed in.

According to Perkins, the proper response should not just be about snuffing out the anti-Semitism but about proclaiming the gospel. “[W]e need to be aggressive … in spreading the gospel and encouraging Christians to live out their faith,” he urged. “What I mean by that [is], it’s time to be bold, it’s time to be courageous, because we’re now seeing the fruit of our being complicit with the idea that there was supposed to be some kind of neutrality in the public space. There is no such thing as neutrality.”

Kilgannon added, “And the proof of that is the fact that when we have any sort of quasi neutral space, it’s not neutral. In fact, horrible things are flooding into the space.” And Perkins highlighted how Jesus, in Matthew 12:30, said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” And so, he continued, “[T]his idea that there’s … this ‘de-spiritualized zone’ that we go into in public is a lie of the enemy. … There is no such thing as moral neutrality, and what we see happening on college campuses, what is now working its way into the hearts and minds of young people across this country, is evil taking advantage of that idea that there can be moral neutrality.”

And “if we believe we have the truth,” Kilgannon said, “we shouldn’t be ashamed to share it.” On the contrary, she insisted, “We should be very proud and … honor bound to do so.” To which Perkins responded, “[I]t is the truth that will set us free,” which is taken from John 8. “[W]e have no reason to apologize,” he said. “We share the truth out of a love for others so that they might come to know the truth, find the purpose and meaning that life has when we’re in relationship with Jesus Christ.”

And Perkins made sure to emphasize “public education is not off limits to the truth.” Which then led to the question, could what’s happening in schools with anti-Semitism “be a booster rocket for parents and others to move in and begin to influence education even more?” “The opportunity is here,” Kilgannon replied. “The need has never been greater. And so, I hope that people will take this opportunity to really engage in their communities and most especially engage with your own children, make sure they know the faith and make sure they’re not afraid to share it either.”

She concluded, “The good of the public is to have the truth. That is the point, right? And so, I think … we love our country, and we want to enjoy its blessings and have our children enjoy the blessings of this nation, [but] we have to be ready to stand and to proclaim … what is true.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

RELATED PODCAST: Deconstruction of Christianity with Alisa Childers

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Doctrinal Criminal Behavior: Conflating Terrorism with Jihad thumbnail

Doctrinal Criminal Behavior: Conflating Terrorism with Jihad

By J.B. Williams

The difference between terrorism and jihad is that terrorism is an act of defiance, while jihad is a cultural, legal and religious act of devotion. Terrorism has few, if any, rules governing purpose and conduct, whereas jihad, as a separate legal theory is replete with limits and rules of engagement. Acts of violence not grounded in Islamic law (sharia) are not jihad.

Islamic based crime is usually discussed in Western criminal justice manuals, not through the lens of doctrine and values. Islamic doctrinal sources are absent from criminal justice, terrorism, and counter terrorism bibliographies. Western theories of crime are being applied to Islamic behavior. A key indicator linking behavior to doctrinal belief are the words uttered by the assailant during an assault, but the words are not being evaluated in terms of the originating doctrine. Words indicate motive and, in the case of cross-civilizational attacks, can highlight the cultural doctrinal basis for the attack.

A neglected field of criminal justice-the study of religion for its crime- inducing effects suggests that religion be examined objectively in terms of how it induces crime and what doctrinal tools in sharia (Islamic law) are used to act out criminal behavior.

Shallow study of the issue of jihad limits inquiry to modern on line text and magazines, and only rarely venturing into the core texts: the Quran, Hadith, Sira of Mohammad or the judicial texts where doctrine is detailed.

Religion is not important for most Western Scholars, so they assume this is the case for others also. Religion is a topic that makes most Western writers uncomfortable: not only do they not understand the Islamic religion, but dwelling too much on faith based ideology risks accusations of bigotry. So they negate faith based ideology as a casual subject. Scholars do not want to denigrate Islam thus avoiding casual writings about the religion.

Most criminal justice, terrorism, and counter terrorism writers fail to list any Islamic doctrinal texts with the exception of the Quran. See literature gap attached. Law enforcement in America cannot continue to ignore the “Death to America” chants of the Islamic culture in Dearborn, Michigan. Please take this seriously and purchase and train your staff now using the complete compendium written by William Gawthorp Ph.D. “The Criminal Investigator-Intelligence analyst’ Hand Book of Islam.”

©2024.  J.B. Williams. All rights reserved.

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The “Death to America” Crowd

By Jerry Newcombe, D. Min.

We’ve all witnessed the recent drama of the pro-Palestinian, anti-Jewish protests on college campuses. A recent discovery at one of the protests speaks volumes about the whole movement.

In the tents of the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas protesters at NYU, the police who cleared out their den of dissent uncovered signs which said, “Death to Israel! Death to America!”

Surprise. Surprise.

People who care about America’s godly roots as a nation—yes, our Judeo-Christian roots—know how principles revealed in the Bible are linked to the American experiment in self-liberty under God.

In contrast to our nation’s founding are sentiments held by many young Americans today: “Death to Israel and Death to America.”

There is a sense in which Jews and Christians are tied together for freedom’s sake both in America and in the country of Israel.

I’ve interviewed Rabbi Daniel Lapin a few times for Christian television. He is the founder and head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.

He once told me, “No country in the last two thousand years has provided the same haven of tranquility and prosperity for Jews as had the United States of America. And, this is not in spite of Americans being Christian; it is because of it. You might say that America’s Bible belt is the Jewish community’s safety belt.”

And he added: “Jews need to understand that our safety and security in the United States is dependent upon the health and vitality of American Christianity.”

Therefore, says the rabbi, the very safety of Jews (and others) is put at risk when the Christian faith is undermined in America. That is certainly borne out more and more in the protests and the rise of anti-Semitic violence we see today.

Recently, as the executive director of Providence Forum, I had the privilege to participate in our ministry’s Faith and Freedom Tour in Philadelphia. Dr. Peter Lillback, the founder of Providence Forum, was our tour guide. Providence Forum is now a part of Coral Ridge Ministries, headed up by Dr. Robert J. Pacienza, our host for this memorable weekend.

At one of our stops, Dr. Lillback highlighted the old synagogue there. Because of the Christian attitude of that city’s founder, the Quaker minister and lawyer William Penn, people (including Jews) would be free to practice their religion in his settlement without harassment. A rarity in that day.

As Dr. Lillback noted in one of our videos how Penn cared deeply about conscience rights, and it showed in the colony and the city he created in America: “Philadelphia, named from the Bible, brotherly love, established on the Golden Rule, freedom of conscience to each other. That becomes, then, the model of America. When Thomas Jefferson and George Washington look at Philadelphia, they say that place has succeeded far better than Virginia that imposes religion on others. Their view of conscience, their view of freedom is extraordinary.”

One of the Jews who came to Philadelphia almost a century after Penn helped the American cause in pivotal ways, for which he should be remembered. Haym Salomon was a very successful Jewish investor, who fled Europe because of anti-Semitic persecution.

In his 2022 book, Rediscovering America: How the National Holidays Tell an Amazing Story About Who We Are, Scott Powell, a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, writes: “Washington and the Continental Army were in fact perpetually short of financial resources. Fortunately, even before the Revolutionary War started there was a young Jewish lover of liberty being raised up, Haym Salomon.”

Thankfully, Scott Powell was able to attend our tour and to provide some information about Salomon, a man to whom America owes a debt of gratitude. Powell notes that Salomon was not only savvy and successful as a financier, but he had an “impeccable reputation of integrity.”  That was probably a key element of his success.

Powell notes in his book: “After the war, financial records sum up that Haym Salomon’s fundraising and personal lending provided over $650,000 [which would translate to a staggering amount of money in today’s dollars]…for Washington and the war effort.”

One interesting footnote about Haym Salomon is that the terrific actor Claude Rains played him in a short dramatic film made in 1939—entitled, “Sons of Liberty”—by the eminent Casablanca director Michael Curtiz.

The film may not hold up well today, but the man—Haym Salomon—deserves to be remembered by whole new generations of Americans.

America was built by the sacrifices of many Christians and some of their Jewish friends, like Haym Salomon, a man that modern Americans have almost completely forgotten.

So, we fast forward to today, and we see modern nihilist protesters with mottos like “Death to Israel! Death to America!” Truly, our nation is overripe in the need for a genuine spiritual revival.

©2024. Jerry Newcombe, D. Min. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Democrat Voters Chant Death To America

Republican National Committee and Republican Jewish Coalition Release Video Contrasting Biden and Trump on Anti-Semitism thumbnail

Republican National Committee and Republican Jewish Coalition Release Video Contrasting Biden and Trump on Anti-Semitism

By The Geller Report

The Biden Administration has abandoned Israel and the American Jewish community, in order to advance Obama’s jihad against the Jewish state.

This presents President Trump with an enormous opportunity to increase his share of the Jewish vote. Jewish Americans have enough voting power in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and even Michigan to possibly help President Trump win in November.

“This is my pledge to you:  We will confront antisemitism. We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness. And we will act.”

-President Donald Trumppic.twitter.com/AB1yxeFX71

— GOP (@GOP) May 6, 2024

RNC, Trump Campaign, and RJC Release Video Contrasting Biden and Trump on Antisemitism

By RJCHQ, May 6, 2024

Washington, DC – Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, “Yom HaShoah,” the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Trump Campaign, and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) released a video contrasting Biden and Trump’s response on antisemitism.

“Joe Biden’s weakness is on display for all the world to see as he refuses to condemn the antisemitic violence on college campuses and continues to backtrack on his support for Israel. As chaos envelopes the world, this is no time for ambiguity – we need President Donald J. Trump back in office to restore order, support our critical ally, Israel, and bring peace through strength once more.” – Michael Whatley, RNC Chairman

The video highlights the pro-Hamas riots terrorizing college campus nationwide. The rampant antisemitic violence continues to rise as Tuesday, May 7th  marks the seven-month anniversary of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel.

“It took Joe Biden weeks to even talk about the Biden Campus Protests, and he refused to outright condemn the pro-Hamas, pro-genocide mobs and the sad truth is that he needs their votes. These violent, antisemitic riots all started because of Joe Biden’s failed foreign policy. He enabled Iran, which led to the war in Israel. Joe Biden weakness and failure is why chaos is breaking out across our country and all over the world. Americans can rest secure in the fact that on day one, President Trump will restore peace through strength abroad, and demand law and order at home.” –  Karoline Leavitt, Trump Campaign National Press Secretary

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

Geller Report Staff

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The Jews of America are rethinking their situation. And the Democratic Party, which is utterly indifferent to them, is likely to pay a deep price for its anti-Semitism
I discussed with U.S. elections expert Richard Baehr on my latest show.https://t.co/Z3TAbgRld7

— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) May 6, 2024

A non-partisan word to our elected #Democrats: Do not take American #Jews for granted. Be careful: The results of the upcoming elections do not only depend on Michigan. pic.twitter.com/mLE79B91Hy

— Ammi Hirsch (@AmmiHirsch) April 14, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Biblical Marriage Must Remain Intact in the Republican Party

By Family Research Council

With the Republican National Convention set to be held this summer, this means that also on the horizon is the decision of whether or not the Republican Party keeps in place its current party platform adopted in 2020 or puts forward an updated version with changes.

Aside from its pro-life stance against abortion, the platform’s support for natural biblical marriage is a major distinction that has always set Republicans apart from Democrats — the saints from the sinners. We are the party of rule and law, civility and decorum, discipline, and honor; not debauchery, rioting, lewdness, or indecency. This is because we stand for truth. But if Republicans compromise on the fact that marriage is only between man and woman, this would mean a departure from Truth. It would create such an irreversible crack away from our core principles that the party would lose its way and ultimately lead to breaking apart. Therefore, any attempts to weaken our platform’s position on traditional marriage should be squashed at the outset.

The possibility that the GOP’s current language on marriage could be challenged is very real. Conversations and debates among leadership and delegates about the Republican Party’s platform occur every four years and coincide with the timing of the party’s convention, which is planned this year for July 15-18th, in Milwaukee. When the last Republican Convention was held in 2020, the Republican Party leadership and delegates came to an agreement to not amend but keep in place the platform’s language in its entirety that had been adopted in 2016 — and which still is in place today. Our current platform has language that upholds traditional marriage and properly states: “[t]raditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.”

Amen.

Behind-the-scenes discussions are underway about whether or not to keep the current Republican platform in place as written or to make changes to it, so if any debate and negations occur, this will all be done prior to the actual main convention gathering. But make no mistake — there is a contingent within the Republican Party plotting to change our position on traditional marriage. After all, the woke agenda to soften Christian teachings on marriage has crept into American churches — so no place is off limits to this sinful agenda.

LGBT advocates will likely cite and point to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision from 2015 and make a false claim that this is now the law of the land, set in stone, and therefore conservative Republicans should move forward and let others in the party modernize the platform and appeal to more voters. But the Republican platform’s current language rightfully addresses this argument and outright “condemn[s]” the high court’s past ruling against marriage, which is worth pointing out, was made during the Obama administration. In fact, when the current Supreme Court decision decided to reverse Roe v. Wade, in his opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that Obergefell v. Hodges should also be reconsidered, which implied overturned. And his suggestion is not such a long-shot possibility.

Many may recall the bravery shown by Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky, who rightfully stood by her moral convictions and refused to write out a marriage license to two gay-identifying men. And while she has faced enormous persecution since then, being slapped with a penalty of $360,000 (and just last month was denied appeal), her lawyers plan to take her case to the Supreme Court; the same path that was taken to overturn Roe v. Wade.

While having pro-marriage language included in our platform is no guarantee that all Republican elected leaders will fall in line (as we saw when 12 Republican U.S. Senators voted against natural marriage and supported the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act), if this critical language were to be removed, then it is all but guaranteed that our Republican representation becomes even weaker in fending off the Democrats’ side to turn all of America into Sodom and Gomorrah. This is because the Republican platform that is decided and written this year will serve as a guide for influencing current and future Republican candidates and elected leaders, both at local, state, and federal levels.

This is why any born-again believer who disconnects themselves from American politics and thinks that the fight for marriage within the Republican Party has nothing to do with them, needs to understand this is delusional thinking and they are only lying to themselves.

There is no other matter before us more important than the cultural fight for marriage. Supporting marriage, as created by God, is the starting point from which all other policy issues flow. This one matters most because it affects children. By natural design, children need to be reared by both a mom and dad, and for their mental and physical well-being, they need their parents to be married to each other. As a national advocate to protect children from being exposed to perverse drag queen story hours and pornographic materials in school, I can make the argument that there is a direct correlation between the growing trend to legitimatize the homosexual lifestyle on par with marriage, to children being sexually exploited and abused.

This means that the time for all true born-again believers, including American pastors, to engage and rise up publicly in support of traditional marriage is now and well past overdue.

Our democratic system involves various levels of engagement. Voting on Election Day (which is absolutely critical) is just one piece of the process. Engaging in the court of public opinion is another, and it is something we can do. And it starts within our inner circle of friends and family. Turning a blind eye and self-censuring oneself in conversation about marriage is the wrong choice. Speaking up in defense of natural marriage is a good thing and nothing to be embarrassed about. As Psalm 119 shows us, if we truly love the Lord, then we love His law, including His Natural Law.

Most informed born-again Christians, especially those of older age, align with the Republican Party, and the reason that the platform has always upheld both marriage and a pro-life position (two fundamental biblical principles) is due to countless faceless Christian believers who have over the years served as delegates and made sure of this. What is vitally important to recognize is that the ability to withstand any upcoming challenges to water down our solid stance on traditional marriage (or our pro-life position) can be eased with the help of fellow believers.

Writing op-eds, speaking from the pulpit, doing media interviews, and attending local and state political meetings to advocate for marriage can make a big difference and are small prices to pay when taking into account how we are beyond privileged to live in this nation, thanks to the selfless Americans who have gone before us and sacrificed life and limb.

American pastors in particular can help turn the tide and use their influence and public forums to speak up; though some may try to use the Johnson Amendment as an excuse not to. But the fact that LBJ authored this law as revenge against conservatives who believed him to be a communist, should be enough revelation to make the case that the Johnson Amendment should be repealed. And considering how liberals faced no real obstacle in getting the Defense of Marriage Act repealed, it should be sufficient proof to show just how far behind the eight ball most American churches are.

None of us can afford to be lackadaisical anymore. Marriage is primary to the foundation of America and fundamental for a functioning healthy society. If we don’t stand for marriage, then we stand for nothing. The Republican Party must continue to support traditional marriage. Keep the language as written and add no language to it that would compromise this position.

This article originally appeared in The Christian Post.

AUTHOR

John Amanchukwu

John K. Amanchukwu Sr. is an influential preacher, author, and activist who spreads God’s truth. Along with serving his local church in North Carolina, John travels nationally to speak, preach and confront school boards.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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Rape as a Weapon of War — Why Israel was Traumatised by Oct 7

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

Screams Before Silence is a harrowing, yet sensitively crafted and ultimately viewable, documentary film about the weaponisation of rape by Hamas during the atrocities committed on October 7 last year.

The film features Sheryl Sandberg, who was chief operating officer of Facebook and Meta Platforms until August 2022. She is also founder of LeanIn.Org, a women’s leadership network. She has become an outspoken advocate for Israeli women who suffered the full force of the violence of October 7.

Produced by Kastina Communications and directed by Anat Stalinsky, the film provides a platform for the testimonies of survivors, eyewitnesses, first responders and forensic experts to be heard by the general public as they recount what they saw or heard and, in some cases, endured as a result of the attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel.

In a rampage of killing in streets, homes, kibbutzim and at a music festival, some 1200 Israelis were murdered, thousands more wounded and 240 hostages taken to Gaza.

Make no mistake: the subject matter is distressing in what it reveals of the extent to which the bodies of women and girls were sexually abused, tortured, slaughtered and mutilated, especially at the site of the Nova music festival.

However, Screams Before Silence is no horror film of gruesome pictures, nor a demonisation of Palestinians. It is a sensitively delivered piece of storytelling and truth-telling that showcases not only the depravity of which human beings are capable, but also examples of extraordinary courage and human resilience.

Relying largely on a series of interviews by Sheryl Sandberg and video footage from October 7, the film draws the viewer into the violent world of the massacre without plunging into a sea of traumatising images. Apart from the people speaking, most of the footage shows destroyed homes and cars, not dead bodies. Occasional images of a corpse are fleeting and have been deliberately blurred. The film carefully leads the viewer down into the depths of its dark subject matter before moving upwards towards the light (if one may call it that) of an ending that strikes a note of resilience, purpose and empowerment.

Screams Before Silence places front-and-centre what should be an uncontroversial message: that weaponisation of rape and sexual violence is never acceptable, can never be excused by a larger political “context”, and must be condemned forthrightly by every decent human being and treated as criminal conduct without prevarication.

What makes this film especially relevant is that the crimes of October 7 are not over. Some 129 hostages remain in Gaza, including women and children. From the testimony of released hostages we know that there is good reason to fear that sexual abuse of those who remain behind continues. “Bring Them Home Now!” should be on the lips of every vocal feminist protesting violence against women.

It is not wise for all people to see this film. Protection of one’s mental health must be a priority. However, I urge those who feel they can do so, to watch the film. Its content and message need to be processed, in the same way that Holocaust documentaries play a critical role in our grasp of historical and present-day events. Holocaust footage is always disturbing to watch, but it is downright dangerous for societies to turn a blind eye.

And, just as Holocaust denialism is widespread today, so too has October 7 denialism been embraced by some anti-Israel activists. Such a wilful distortion of history is inadvertently exacerbated by the tendency of good and well-intentioned people to downplay these crimes through half-hearted reporting or utter silence, whether for political reasons or simply out of discomfort, ignorance, or confusion.

Rather than wallow in a sense of helplessness, the gift of this film is that it empowers a constructive response. By simply setting aside an hour to view it, anyone can bear witness to what actually occurred on October 7. I believe strongly that non-Jewish people have a special responsibility to view the film, so that Jewish communities are not left alone to bear the burden of witness.

So, I appeal to all non-Jewish adults who are able to do so: Please, set aside an hour to watch online Screams Before Silence. Allow yourself to be confronted by the raw truth of what occurred on October 7. Deal with your emotions: your tears, grief, anger, or disbelief. Pray for the dead and the bereaved. Then, share the link; discuss the film with family, friends, and colleagues; if you have a public platform to write or speak, then write, then speak!

Be a voice for the voiceless — for the women, and for the men too, who were mercilessly abused on October 7 in unspeakable acts which appear to have been part of a calculated, targeted, systematic plan to destroy not only the bodies of women, but the soul of a nation.


If you have watched “Screams Before Silence”, tell us what you think in the comments box below. 


AUTHOR

TERESA PIROLA

Dr. Teresa Pirola is a Sydney-based freelance writer and faith educator, and author of Catholic-Jewish Relations: Twelve Key Themes for Teaching and Preaching (Paulist Press, 2023).

EDITORS NOTE: This Mercator column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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A Palestinian Visits Auschwitz, Tells Jews ‘You Belong Here’

By Jihad Watch

The first Palestinian to have visited a Nazi concentration camp was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin el Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the 1920s to the 1940s, who spent the war years in Berlin. He had a nice chat with Hitler on November 28, 1941, captured in a famous photograph here. Al-Husseini expressed to Hitler his enthusiasm for the Final Solution. He was befriended by Heinrich Himmler, and there is some evidence, not conclusive, that the Mufti may have been taken to Auschwitz by Himmler, or possibly by another person he had befriended, Adolf Eichmann, to see how swimmingly things were proceeding there. It is certain that the Mufti visited the concentration camp at Tebbin, for there are numerous photographs of him at the site together with high Nazi officials, as can be seen here.

As his contribution to the Nazi war effort, Hajj Amin el Husseini is known to have raised several Waffen SS battalions consisting of Bosnian Muslims. He also broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda to the Arab world throughout the war.

In January 2020, in quite a different spirit to that exhibited by the Mufti, a group of 25 Muslim faith leaders visited Auschwitz, in what was at the time called a “groundbreaking” visit. “To be here… is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” the Saudi head of the Muslim World League said during a tour of Nazi death camp with members of the American Jewish Committee.

Now another Palestinian has just been in the news for his visit to Auschwitz, not undertaken In the spirit of sympathy for the victims that the delegation of Muslim faith leaders exhibited but, rather, in a triumphant mode, demanding that Jews everywhere “return” to where they belong — that is, to the Nazi death camps. Robert Spencer wrote about this briefly here, and more on this latest example of a Palestinian expressing murderous antisemitism can be found here: “Palestinian man visits Auschwitz, publicly calls on Jews to return there ‘where they belong,’” Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2024:

A video was posted on X earlier this week that showed footage of a Palestinian man visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he called on Jews to return to the site of the extermination camp, a place he claimed where they belonged.

Footage of the man can be seen walking through the Auschwitz memorial, calling to free Palestine.

“From these ghettos from which the Zionists came, I say Allah have mercy on all the Palestinians and our martyrs. Free Palestine,” he exclaimed….

These were not ghettos, but death camps. And so very few survived them. But that doesn’t bother the unnamed Palestinian who filmed his visit. He only sees these as places from where “the Zionists came” to inflict pain on poor Palestinians. And he wants “the Zionists” — the Jews — ideally to return to Auschwitz where they can be dealt with appropriately, that is, put to death. But if that is not possible, then at least the Jews must leave the land they stole from the Palestinians and go back, he says “to your countries.”

Though the campus brats accuse Israel of a “genocide” in Gaza, the only “genocide” that has been attempted was that carried out by Hamas on October 7, when 3,000 Hamas operatives smashed into Israel from Gaza, in cars, on motorbikes, and on paragliders, and proceeded to rape, torture, mutilate, and murder 1,200 Israeli men, women, and children. A great many Palestinians — 82% — have expressed approval of what Hamas did on that day. Now we have a Palestinian, cheerfully videotaping himself as he tours Auschwitz, so that his fellow Palestinians, and indeed all Muslims, can see him calling for “the Zionists” — he means “the Jews” — to “all [be returned] to the concentration camps” where, Allah willing, they can be put to death.

Would any of the thousands of campus nitwits now chanting “Say No To Genocide” care to comment on this Palestinian’s heartfelt desire to send Jews back where he knows they belong — to Auschwitz?

AUTHOR

HUGH FITZGERALD

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IDF soldiers hang the Israeli flag in Rafah 🇮🇱💪 pic.twitter.com/MSXTKObhOK

— Inbar Cohen (@InbarCohen13) May 7, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Does the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act ‘Criminalize the Gospel’? thumbnail

Does the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act ‘Criminalize the Gospel’?

By Family Research Council

With the heated anti-Semitism protests booming on college campuses, lawmakers, school authorities, and even average citizens are wrestling with how to deal with the chaos, hatred, and slander of Jewish people and the Jewish state. Law enforcement has made their fair share of arrests as pro-Hamas protestors violate policies and incite violence. Many have voiced something must be done to reign in the anti-Jew hostility, and last week the House of Representatives responded by passing the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (AAA).

The bill’s definition of “anti-Semitism” is not new, but one of the examples it includes is drawing greater scrutiny. Back in May 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a coalition of all of the largest Jewish organizations (conservative and liberal), agreed on a working definition of anti-Semitism that has since been widely adopted, including by the U.S. State Department in 2016 and by the Trump administration (by executive order) in 2019. The definition states, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,” and includes concrete examples (which both the Trump executive order and the current bill included).

While most of the examples have drawn little commentary, there’s one that this time around has sparked concern and controversy, even though it was included in the 2019 Trump executive order: “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” The words within the parenthesis are drawing all of the attention.

The second phrase in the parentheses, “blood libel,” is not. Blood libel is defined as the “accusation that Jewish people used the blood of Christians in religious rituals,” and this is a form of anti-Semitism widely acknowledged. But the first part has stirred immense tension, causing many to interpret it as a hinderance to the gospel, which teaches that Jesus was hung on a cross by some hateful Jewish leaders. However, what experts want to point out, including the lead sponsor of AAA, is that this section of the legislation has been heavily misinterpreted.

On Thursday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), the sponsor of the legislation, discussed with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins the details of AAA in order to clear the air of what the law is really saying. But before addressing the controversy, the congressman took the time to explain why the legislation matters, and the importance of getting it right.

Considering the anti-Semitism on college campuses, Lawler said, “[T]hese protests are so overwhelmingly anti-Semitic and need to be rooted out at every turn.” He emphasized how out-of-hand they have become, and how they’re “not a function of free speech,” they’re “not a function of … protesting against decisions made by the Israeli government or the United States government. That’s constitutionally protected. This is anti-Semitic hate at its worst.” As such, sharper definitions are needed to crack down.

Perkins re-emphasized how “the main thrust” of the Act “is to adopt a standardized definition of anti-Semitism, which actually takes a definition that’s already in existence.” But “there’s been some opposition raised about this,” he added, specifically when it comes to that one example. As Perkins explained, some are concerned it “would criminalize the gospel.” But according to Lawler, that’s simply not true.

“I’m a practicing Catholic,” Lawler stated. “[B]orn and raised. [I] go to church. I believe very deeply in the gospel and in Jesus Christ.” And so, when people suggest that the claim of “Jews killing Jesus” is somehow a symbol of anti-Semitism, it’s crucial to understand the context of that kind of statement. Lawler insisted, “[N]obody is saying that the Bible should be criminalized. Nobody is saying that anybody who believes in the context of the Bible is somehow wrong.” What it is saying, he continued, “is if you are trying to use something for the purpose of attacking an entire group of people and trying to associate them with some action that someone else may have taken for the purpose of discriminating against them, then that can be considered anti-Semitic.”

Ultimately, “[I]n no way is anybody objecting to or trying to target Christians with this bill. This is about putting in place protections on college campuses for Jewish students.” And, as he went on to highlight, the legislation specifically states individuals have a right to “criticize the State of Israel as you would any other government.” He insisted, “We want robust public debate. People should be free to voice their opinions, their objections to decisions made by the government. Nobody is disputing that.” What the legislation has in mind is the violent protests that have emerged. “[T]he moment those protests turned violent,” Lawler asserted, is the moment “you lose that right” to protest.

Perkins agreed that clear definitions are necessary. Currently, “it’s like silly putty. It’s stretched to accomplish whatever someone wants [it] to do.” Perkins also emphasized that the legislation addressed constitutional protections, stating, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to diminish or infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” As such, Perkins said, “[R]eligious freedom is not affected by this.”

Lawler also noted that this bill, which passed in the House Wednesday, has “broad bipartisan support.” As he said, “You saw 320 members of Congress vote for this bill. None of us would put forth something that would curtail free speech and First Amendment rights or violate someone’s constitutional freedoms. … [W]e’re trying to provide … a clear path forward on how to deal with these instances of anti-Semitism.”

In comment to The Washington Stand, Quena Gonzalez, senior director of FRC’s Government Affairs, took the time to detail why the misinterpretation of AAA is vital to rectify. While there still may be parts of the legislation some disagree with, Gonzalez carefully addressed the main controversy at hand:

“The example in question only applies to ‘using … claims of Jews killing Jesus … to characterize Israel or Israelis.’ No biblical Christian preaches that Israelis or the Israeli state is responsible for Christ’s death. All of Jesus’s first followers were, in fact, Jews. To be subject to the Education Department ‘reviewing, investigating, or deciding whether there has been a violation of … the Civil Rights Act,’ a covered entity would have to blame Israel or Israelis for Christ’s death, which no orthodox Christian entity does (or really can).

“The language of this bill has applied to all federal agencies since 2019. It was issued as an executive order by President Trump and retained by President Biden. No one objected then, and for the past four and a half years no one has been harassed for preaching the gospel as a result. But as we can see on the news, the Biden Department of Education is not enforcing this long-standing policy, so Congress is acting to enforce it by making it statute.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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IDF soldiers hang the Israeli flag in Rafah 🇮🇱💪 pic.twitter.com/MSXTKObhOK

— Inbar Cohen (@InbarCohen13) May 7, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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The Bible Does Not Justify Anti-Semitism

By Family Research Council

A bill (H.R. 6090) to make the Department of Education adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism “is unnecessarily raising concerns” about its effect on the gospel message, said Quena Gonzalez, senior director of government affairs at Family Research Council. The IHRA definition includes “contemporary examples,” he told The Washington Stand, among which is “using … claims of Jews killing Jesus … to characterize Israel or Israelis.”

But “no biblical Christian characterizes Israelis or modern Israel, just because they’re Jewish, as having killed Jesus,” Gonzalez responded. “Christians have long denounced this trope, going back to the church fathers of the first few centuries, and Christians today need not be concerned that this bill implicates proclaiming the gospel.”

The New Testament is clear that ethnic Jews and ethnic Gentiles both stand condemned before God as sinners and can only be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. The same God “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything,” and “he made from one man every nation of mankind” (Acts 17:25-26). Yet both Jews and Gentiles have broken God’s law, so “both Jews and Greeks are under sin,” Paul declared (Romans 3:9). “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law … the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift …” (Romans 3:21-24). Now “there is neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

As to who killed Jesus, the Bible’s most comprehensive answer holds Jews and Gentiles equally responsible — although God was ultimately responsible. As the apostles prayed, “in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27-28). In fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 4:25-26, Psalm 2:1-2), God so orchestrated the circumstances that representatives of all mankind — both Jews and Gentiles, the people and their leaders — participated in Jesus’s death, giving no one group reason to boast against another.

God’s sovereign involvement does not nullify human responsibility, but it does add to the significance of Jesus’s death. Jesus died in this way so that he might be the Savior of the whole world. “The gospel is, that I killed Jesus by my sin,” said Gonzalez. “The gospel (literally, the ‘good news’) is that God the Father sent His Son to die for my sins; God killed Jesus.” In fact, three times Jesus said that he laid down his own life as a sacrifice for his people (John 10:11, 15, 17).

Regrettably, some people — even some Christians throughout history—have lifted biblical texts out of context in an attempt to justify anti-Semitism. In the earliest recorded Christian sermons, preached several months after Jesus’s death in Jerusalem, Jews who believed in Jesus as the Messiah rightly declared to a Jerusalem audience that they had played a role in causing Jesus’s death:

  • “This Jesus … you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men … this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:23, 36).
  • “Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life …. To this we are witnesses” (Acts 3:13-15).
  • “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified” (Acts 4:10).
  • “Your fathers … killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered” (Acts 7:52).

This accusation only applied to those present in Jerusalem at Jesus’s crucifixion. When the Jewish apostle Paul preached to Jews living in modern-day Turkey, he did not accuse them of Jesus’s death but “those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers” who “asked Pilate to have him executed” (Acts 13:27-29). He warned these Jews not to imitate those who did not believe in their Messiah.

None of these passages condones anti-Semitism. In each instance, the Jewish preacher aims to convict his hearers of sin so that they might turn to the Messiah and repent. Thus:

  • “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:38-39).
  • “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,” whom God sent “to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness” (Acts 3:19-20, 26).
  • After “being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man,” who was enabled to walk and leap by Jesus’s power, Peter declared, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:9-12).
  • As some men (including Paul, prior to his conversion) stoned Stephen to death for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus, he prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).

If God intended to judge the Jewish people for having Jesus killed, then why did he offer them salvation, healing, forgiveness, and blessing? Those who twist these texts into a warrant for anti-Semitism presume to inflict a greater judgment than God, the Judge of all.

In fact, these same passages even show God’s sovereign agency behind Jesus’s death:

  • “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God … know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:23, 36).
  • “The God of our fathers glorified his servant Jesus … whom God raised from the dead. … What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:13,15, 18).
  • “Jesus Christ of Nazareth … whom God raised from the dead … this Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone” (Acts 4:10-11, paraphrasing Psalm 118:22).
  • “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).

Thus it was prophesied, “it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand” (Isaiah 53:10).

Furthermore, those who would abuse biblical texts to justify anti-Semitism must overlook the New Testament’s multiple positive references to Jews. Paul expressed “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” over their unbelief (Romans 9:2). Jews not only received “the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2), but “to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:4-5).

Paul further testified that God has always preserved a believing remnant among the Jewish people (Romans 11:1-5). “A partial hardening has come upon Israel,” he admitted, but only “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved. … For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:25-26, 29). Paul’s concern — and God’s concern — is that the Jewish people might believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to magnify God’s mercy (Romans 11:32). Anyone concerned with inflicting punishments on or discrimination against the Jewish people is not aligned with God.

To summarize: Jesus willingly laid down his life according to the eternal plan of God, and both Jews and Gentiles, the leaders and the people, were equally complicit in his death. The Bible does not hold Jews especially responsible for Jesus’s death, nor does it hold them especially accursed for their complicity. It certainly does not implicate the modern state of Israel and modern Israelis, who were not there, any more than it implicates modern Gentiles, who were not there. But it does hold out future hope that Jews will come to believe in Jesus.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism “does not criminalize the gospel,” insisted Family Research Council Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs Travis Weber on “Washington Watch.” Even in the one example causing confusion, the anti-Semitism “has to be attached to the state of Israel,” he added, and that’s not what Bible-believing Christians do. So, “for Bible-preaching churches that are preaching the gospel, this is not an issue,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Why the U.S. Ignores Islam’s Threat & What to do about Iran? thumbnail

Why the U.S. Ignores Islam’s Threat & What to do about Iran?

By Amil Imani

Why the U.S. Ignores Islam’s Threat

Forget the left; they are already in cahoots with the Islamists, and they will assuredly be among the very first victims of Islam as soon as it assumes power. They both share an ideological milieu with an authoritarian mindset. Islam, with the help of the leftist media and the Democrat Party, has been using the US Constitution against the American people to advance their Islamic agenda.

The left has put America in a very precarious position by allying with America’s enemy. We are in a state of subversion, and most of us don’t even dare to name the enemy, which is Islam. It is no surprise. The so-called Democrat Party always allies itself with America’s hardcore enemies. It could be radical Muslims, illegal aliens, terrorists of all stripes, etc. For as long as they hate America, the Democrats consider them friends.

Many Americans are confused as to why Democrats back Islamic ideology, honor their holidays and customs, and promote them as “the religion of peace,” knowing full well that Islam is not a religion of peace. The answer is quite simple: The Democrat Party will do anything to stay in power. They stand with anyone who dislikes America and the Republican Party.

For those who wish to serve this great nation and hope to keep it on its course toward its glorious destiny, the left recoils. An unholy coalition has been placed by homicidal liberals with Islamists who wish to destroy our existing order of freedom and liberty.

When Democrats and their newfound allies don’t like what they hear, they resort to ridicule, accusations, and name-calling. In fact, they call everyone their favorite word, “racist” or Islamophobes. The Republican Party is not far behind on this issue. No one, not a single elected official in the US Congress, has dared to raise the Islam issue and speak about this extremely important topic that is eating America alive.

So far, nothing has phased our representatives to get serious about Islamic issues and their agenda.

Not even the 9/11 attacks, when a group of Muslims killed nearly 3,000 people, made them think twice about stopping Islam’s ideology. Not an Islamic extremist massacring forty-nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, not San Bernardino, CA, where 14 people were killed, not Major Nadal Hassan, a Muslim psychiatrist who gunned down thirteen unarmed soldiers and injured 30 others while yelling Allah-o-Akbar at Ft. Hood, TX. Not Muslim snipers killing three men and two women in separate attacks over 15 hours in Montgomery County, MD. Not even Islamic terrorists detonated a massive truck bomb under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring over 1,000 trying to collapse the towers in New York City, and six people died. Not when ten members of a local mosque phoned in a false alarm and then ambushed the responding officers, killing one, in New York City. Not when a Pakistani with Mujahedeen ties gunned down two CIA agents outside of their headquarters, killing them in Langley, VA. Not when a ‘devout Muslim’ staged a suicide attack on a recruiting center at a strip mall and a Naval Center, which left five dead, in Chattanooga, TN, had any effect on US officials. The list goes on, but you get the point.

What can these elected officials do? The least they can do is pass laws that protect American citizens. It’s that easy. They can ban Sharia law in all 50 states, but they won’t. As you can see, these are not isolated issues. As a representative republic, it is incumbent upon these officials to make sure their fellow citizens are safe. But, these officials are also victims of another form of ideology: political correctness. The executive and legislative branches must sit down together and find a solution to this crisis; otherwise, future generations will find themselves in a political and religious war that they have never seen.

In Islamdom, they can dish out insults to non-Muslims and arrest Christians, Bahia’s, or the Jews just for praying. They can confiscate their Holy books and toss them in the trash. They call Jews pigs and monkeys and spit on anyone who isn’t Muslim. But they go into frenzies of self-righteous outrage at the slightest criticism of their barbaric and highly dangerous beliefs.

They never need to challenge the existing political order in our country but can achieve all their goals without bothering or violating the Constitution of the U.S. because the Constitution guarantees complete government non-interference toward religions. Finally, and the most important element perhaps, is the extreme coziness and appeasement of U.S. officials towards Islam and Muslims, which will recklessly and unknowingly drag the entire country and her citizens into an everlasting Islamic inferno, an inferno like the Islamic Republic in occupied Iran and other Islamic terrorist countries.

Even if most Muslims seek to adopt an American lifestyle, a great many Muslims are dead-set on using violence to make America conform to their barbaric way of life. Islam is a cancer. Cancer cells are always few at the beginning, and if left unchecked, they keep multiplying, eventually devouring the non-cancerous organism.

What to do about Iran?

The most promising solution is in the free world’s united support of the Iranian opposition groups to the rule of the Mullahs.

There is no shortage of proposals regarding what to do about the present Iran conundrum. Some proposals are authored by experts such as Henry Kissinger, while others are put forward by a variety of lesser luminaries.

I am one of the lesser luminaries. I have been observing and worrying about my country of birth, Iran, ever since a gang of murderous Mullahs and their functionaries assumed power. To my infinite regret and the regret of millions of Iranians, the situation in Iran under the fascist rule of Mullahs is rapidly deteriorating in every respect.

The Iranians, historically among the most civilized and tolerant of mankind, are now viewed as the base recruits of a primitive seventh-century barbaric campaign of Islamofascism. Iran, under the stranglehold and machinations of the Mullahs, has been transformed, in less than four decades, to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity.

The “Iran Problem” is now a world problem. The question is, what should we do about Iran?

Pivotal to the success of any solution is first the realization that Islam is a religion of death and misery. A few facts are presented below to support this assertion.

  • The Quran itself repeatedly glorifies death, killing, and dying for Islam. It promises the faithful infinite rewards for his Jihad in Allah’s paradise.
  • Nearly all Islamic holy days, particularly those of the Shiite sect, are observances and re-enactments associated with death.
  • The Palestinian territory is festooned with huge portraits of the “martyrs,” the suicide bombers that the rest of the world calls them for what they are.
  • Streets, parks, and all manners of public places in the Islamic Republic are named after “martyrs” of various sorts.
  • Sheikh Hasan Nasrullah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the pawn of Iran’s Mullahs, assured the world of Hezbollah’s victory over Israel by proudly announcing: “We will prevail because the Israelis want to live, and we relish death.

The litany of Islamic death-based beliefs and actions is long indeed. It is, therefore, understandable that Iran’s Mullahs are obsessed agents of death. Islam, the Mullahs’ and their fanatic followers’ system of belief, denigrates life and glorifies death. To these people, death is not death. It is martyrdom, a sure passage to the unimaginably magnificent eternal paradise promised in the Quran.

Under the rule of these adherents of death, everything in Iran is deteriorating and dying. Despite huge oil revenues, the per capita income of the Iranians is now about one-third of what it was before the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Every form of misery has also skyrocketed. Drug addiction, prostitution, and suicide have gone through the roof. The young and the educated continue deserting Iran and family, fleeing to the four corners of the earth in search of a decent life.

To make matters worse, the agents of death, the Mullahs, divert the sorely needed funds at home to sponsor and support adventurous Islamic trouble-making abroad. They supply weapons, provide funds, and train any and all takers who share their wanton campaign of terrorism anywhere in the world.

Dissatisfaction with the rule of the Mullahs is widespread. Students, traditionally the vanguard of political and social reform in Iran, continue their valiant struggle in the face of torture, imprisonment, and death. Labor unions, although tightly controlled, are in a constant state of rebellion against the inhumane treatment by the state. Ethnic and religious minorities suffering under ruthless Islamic injustice and Pogrom-like measures are ripe for mass eruption.

The lifeblood of Iran’s economy is oil and natural gas. The criminal neglect and squandering of these vital and irreplaceable resources hold a future of even more severe hardship for the Iranian people. Impartial expert studies show that Iran’s oil production, at the present rate of exploitation and absence of maintenance, will decline by nearly ten percent per year and will hit zero by 2024.

Corruption and mismanagement, combined with the huge allocation of resources to acquire nuclear weapons, are bound to burden the country’s badly ailing economy and will likely bury the Mullahs in the rubbles of their own making and grant them their death wish. Regrettably, these purveyors of death aim to hurt and kill many innocent people along the way to their inevitable looming graves.

Over the years, much of the world has been preoccupied with its own problems and showed little concern for the plight of the Iranian people until the Mullahs installed a firebrand Islamist, Ahmadinejad, as the President of the country. This man, called by many Iranians “The Monkey,” is was alarming the world by being in control of the Islamofascist train and throttling it full speed ahead for a cataclysmic collision. Former IRI President Ahmadinejad and the current mass murderer, Raisi and their gang are loading their guns and doing all they can to obtain the bomb to bring about the biggest and most dreadful death that would usher in the “Mahdi,” their savior-ruler of the world.

What can the world do is a huge question. Some advocate military solutions of various types, ranging from surgical bombings of Iran’s nuclear facilities to military occupation of its oil-producing regions along the Persian Gulf to a full occupation of the country. Each and every one of these trigger-happy solutions is doomed to failure since they will play directly into the hands of the Mullahs. Any military action against Iran will encounter Iranians’ fierce sense of national pride that would rally the people to support the regime. Military actions would compound the problem by creating a greater worldwide Islamic solidarity against the perceived “Crusaders-Zionists” conspiracy.

Some see the solution in negotiation with the Mullahs. These people are either naïve or dishonest. Mullahs’ negotiation is Islamic to the core. They take all, and you give all since you, according to the Islamic fiat, are not entitled to anything. One can see how Muslims negotiate even among themselves in places like Iraq, the Palestinian territory, Pakistan, and every other Islamic land.

The most promising solution is in the free world’s united support of the Iranian opposition groups to the rule of the Mullahs. The Iranian people themselves are fully capable and are determined to remove the cancer of Islamism from their country. The United States, Israel, and other democracies have a huge stake in the success of the Iranian people to rid themselves of Islamic tyranny.

As I have briefly outlined above, the Mullahs are highly vulnerable. A comprehensive political, moral, and economic measure by the United States and others offers the best chance of ending Mullah’s reign of terror and diffusing the existential threat they pose to the world. The Bible says, “From those who are much given, much is demanded.” Perhaps it is for this reason that the people of the United States of America are again called upon to make huge sacrifices to defeat another tyranny. It is important that this great nation stays the course and enlists its power in support of freedom-loving Iranians to topple the ruling Islamofascists who are bent on wreaking death and destruction in the world.

It is also important to keep in mind Albert Einstein’s warning, “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

When it comes to doing something prudent, it is good to follow the advice of the ancient Persians: “The lion of the meadow of Mazandaran can be captured by no other than a Mazadarani warrior.” The best match for the ruthless Mullahs and their hired Islamic stormtroopers are the Iranian warriors themselves. The people of Iran themselves are the best solution for the present Iranian conundrum. The valiant Iranians need a bit of help. And the last thing they need is appeasing negotiators to give the Mullahs a new lease on life, an invasion by the Marines, or a shower of bombs from the sky.

©2024. . All rights reserved.

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Bomb Threats Target 20 New York Synagogues

By The Geller Report

What’s it going to take?

What will make the Democrats happy?

Piles of Jewish corpses?

Bomb threats target multiple NY synagogues

By JNS, May 5, 2024;

At least 20 synagogues were targeted by bomb threats over Shabbat, according to a New York State representative.

At least four of the targeted Jewish houses of worship are in Alex Bores’s district, the assembly member wrote.

“I’ve spoken with rabbis and the police; they have investigated the specific threats and found them to be not credible,” Bores wrote. “Antisemitism is unacceptable, and the perpetrators should be prosecuted.”

On Saturday evening, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote that the state is “actively monitoring a number of bomb threats at synagogues in New York.”

“Threats have been determined not to be credible, but we will not tolerate individuals sowing fear and antisemitism,” she wrote. “Those responsible must be held accountable for their despicable actions.”

Several other city and state lawmakers commented on the threats.

Rebecca Seawright, another New York state representative, called them “disgraceful.”

“There is zero tolerance for antisemitism and those responsible must be held accountable,” she wrote. “We must keep our community safe for all New Yorkers.”

Mark Treyger, the CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, noted that the threats came on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Not normal. Not peaceful. Not lawful,” he wrote.

Keith Powers, a member of the New York City Council, wrote that the threats thankfully “don’t seem credible at this point in time.”

“But it’s a clear attack on the Jewish community here in New York City,” he added. “Unacceptable and reprehensible.”

“This is a clear effort to sow fear in the Jewish community,” wrote Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, adding that this “cannot be accepted.”

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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Careful What You Wish For thumbnail

Careful What You Wish For

By The Catholic Thing

David Warren: The Western peacenik believes peace can be advanced by dialogue “between the faiths.” We might have hoped this notion would have perished on October 7th, rather than so many women and children.


For many years, according at least to the U.S. State Department and other Western diplomatic agencies, the “Palestinians” were wishing for a separate state. This is the “two-state” solution to the “Israeli” problem, said to be otherwise intractable. (I will be placing my scare quotes carefully.)

Most Americans, and probably most Catholics, have been willing to concede this as a diplomatic fix; it gives us something glib to say. Most Israelis are, also, willing to be glib. They offer, or used to offer, “land for peace.” This never worked for them.

I do not have the space or patience to rehearse the whole history of the Arab response to “Zionism,” from Ottoman times to the present. Since 1948, it has often been expressed with murderous violence, through aggressive wars and acts of terrorism. Repeatedly, neighboring Arab states have tried to wipe the “new” entity off the map.

This was unwise, on the part of the Arabs, because they lost every war, to an Israel fighting valiantly for survival; including at the beginning when the odds were entirely on the Arab side.

A fecund people, the Arabs in and around the old British mandate of Palestine had essentially two options. They could stay and become citizens (there are two million Arab Israelis now), or they could flee and become refugees. Half fled: voluntarily, unlike the Jews who were evicted from almost every Muslim country.

These hard facts will not be accepted by the enemies of Israel. They continue to wish Israel would go away; yet it won’t, and the genocidal fantasy has led them to a terrible fate.

Of course, the “Palestinian” leaders have earned the greatest punishment for this, because they established a vile, psychopathic “education” system over their refugees, with much supplementary propaganda. They have in effect brainwashed this population, to entrap their loyalties. That they have been successfully brainwashed can be demonstrated, for “Palestinian” views are not shared by the larger Arab world, who are even less welcoming to “Palestinians” than to Israelis.

It takes some effort to create a class of fanatic Jew-killers, such as we saw on October 7th. It is morally worse even than the corruption with which these leaders have enriched and armed themselves; and even than the specific acts of hostage-taking, savage torture, and gratuitous killing done to whoever comes their way. They have delivered their own people into the Hell that is Gaza.

By the concept of Intifada, they have spread their scheme of violent chaos wherever Arab emigrants can be found, and who have children who can be radicalized. For Muslims living away from the traditional Ummah are easily infected with the Islamist bacillus, a disease that invades and spoils Arab life and religion.

This is the reason why conversion to Christianity has become the only practical alternative for Muslims who find themselves at a dead end. For Christianity provides a path out of the quagmire (whereas atheism negates even Islam’s merits).

The Catholic Church could help, by welcoming the Muslim convert and caring particularly for his needs, in the spirit of a Holy Crusade. Her present attitude, of avoiding trespass into Muslim territory and showing timid, artificial “tolerance” for the very Islamic doctrines that are used to oppress Christians, is a failure of our obligation to the Muslim neighbor, and an abandonment of  Christ.

Instead, let’s grow spines.

The excuse for spinelessness is mostly fear. We think the Muslims might kill us if we make an evangelical approach, and sometimes they will. But Saint Francis did not hesitate in his journey to Damietta, or in his approach to the Sultan of Egypt, when he lovingly presented the basic Catholic truths.

(If God is on our side, who can be against us?)

From what I could follow in the news this week, events on the campuses of Columbia, Fordham, UCLA, and so on suggest a reversal of our pusillanimity in the face of Hamas rioting. We begin to see that a large majority of Americans – about three-quarters of those polled – understand the points I was making above, and that they believe the “Palestinians” are not victims, but have often got what they deserved.

The “beatdown” administered by blue-state police is thus a hopeful sign that Americans are not incurably stupid. Moreover, developments in the Sunni Arab world give hope, too, that they will stand with Israel in opposition to Iran and its proxies. Certainly, their sympathy with the “Palestinians” evaporated long ago.

We must be careful what we wish for. Under terrorist leadership for many decades, the “Palestinian” wish for freedom, “from the river to the sea,” and thus for the extinction of Israel, created a situation for them in which their only friends are malevolent crazies.

It is not just a question of prayer, for prayer is not always beneficial. As Christians ought to know, it matters what you pray for. Praying for peace, while setting conditions, is praying to the Devil. And it gets worse when the Devil sets out to reward our prayers.

We do not love with CONDITIONS. God makes His answers indifferently to them, and He helpfully ignores what is not good for us.

The Western peacenik thinks that peace and all good things can be advanced by dialogue, and in this case dialogue “between the faiths,” under rules written by those who have no religion at all. It is one of many propositions we might have hoped would have perished on October 7th, rather than so many women and children.

“Peace talks” have generally contributed to the occasion for war, and all the peace talks in which Israel ever participated, have ended poorly. The most promising, such as Oslo, cost them most dear.

Hamas was the anfractuous reward for the painful Israeli evacuation of Gaza in 2005, the product of some “peace process.”

For Israel has something to learn, too: that glib wishes bring the opposite result, in every case.


EDITOR NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2024 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org.The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Washington’s Troops, Today’s Protesters

By Jerry Newcombe, D. Min.

Many of the anti-Israel protesters at Columbia and other college campuses are dwelling in cushy tents on the quad. These tents look pretty modern and uniform; one could only wonder who is paying for all this?

In 1754, an advertisement for Columbia (then known as King’s College), promised, “The chief thing that is aimed at in this college is to teach and engage children to know God in Jesus Christ.”

How far Columbia et al have strayed from the Christian faith that gave them birth.

Are today’s aggressive pro-Palestinian protests in line with what our forebears sacrificed to give us here in America?

George Washington was pleased, as were the other founders, that Jews here in America, whom he calledthe children of the stock of Abraham,” would be free and not harassed for their religion. Washington viewed this land as a place described in his favorite Bible verse, Micah 4:4, where “every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and Figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Alas, there are many today to “make him afraid” on these campuses of higher learning, where, for example, the tuition per year is $75,000 for Columbia. A lot of these protesters not only denounce Israel as a colonialist, white supremacist country, but they often denounce America in the same way.

Contrast these future leaders of society (!) with young people of the founding generation of this nation. Those committed to American independence, young and old, underwent many sacrifices as they fought hard for their (and our) liberties.

Speaking of the young dwelling in tents, imagine spending months in tents in the freezing, open fields of Pennsylvania. Beginning around December 1, 1777, thousands of America’s rag-tag army spent the brutal winter in Valley Forge.

Many of them were hungry and poorly equipped. It was said you could see where the troops had trod by the bloody footprints left in the snow. About 2,000 soldiers died—not from battle, but typhus, typhoid, influenza, pneumonia.

They slept in tents (not supplied by a camping goods superstore) until they were able to complete building the many wooden huts for their shelter.

It is reported that George Washington, their commander-in-chief, chose also to sleep in a tent until the log cabins were finished. Only then did this servant leader move into his headquarters there at Valley Forge.

Recently, I got to visit Valley Forge, Pennsylvania again. I was impressed by how incredible was the sacrifice that the early Americans went through for our freedom.

Visiting Valley Forge was a part of a faith and freedom tour of Coral Ridge Ministries, and our host was the head of the ministry, Dr. Rob Pacienza. Providence Forum, for which I serve as executive director, is a division of the ministry. The goal of Providence Forum is to teach Americans about our nation’s rich Judeo-Christian roots.

Our tour guide was Dr. Peter Lillback, the founding president of Providence Forum. He and I co-wrote a big thick book on the true faith of George Washington. It was the Christian faith of the father of our country that sustained him during trials like Valley Forge. He repeatedly and publicly thanked Providence (a reverent reference to God) for His help in our becoming an independent nation.

Why did the troops hunker down in Valley Forge? The British defeated the Americans at Brandywine on, what Dr. Lillback called, “our nation’s first 9/11.” September, 11, 1777.

What this fiasco for the fledgling new nation meant to the discerning eye of General Washington was that Philadelphia, our nation’s capital at the time, had become indefensible.

Soon the Congress and other government officials would have to flee. The Continental Congress ended up in York, Pennsylvania, and Washington led thousands of his troops to a defensible place called Valley Forge. Through months of hardship, the troops were forged into a stronger, more effective army.

Washington prayed fervently. God provided. The troops were drilled regularly and learned soldierly discipline there in Valley Forge. The many who went through the tribulation of Valley Forge came off battle ready.

On May 2, 1778, after their time of testing and sharpening, Washington wrote his troops from his Valley Forge headquarters, “To the distinguished character of a Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian.”

Modern protesters at elite universities, endowed with some of the greatest privilege the world has ever known, sit in expensive tents eating readily-available food in fashionable protest against Israel. But George Washington, one of the Jewish peoples’ greatest supporters, led men (by personal example) through the roughest of times and conditions, to sacrificially lay the foundation for the freest nation on earth—a nation despised by the pampered protestors. Let us have more true leaders and fewer spoiled children.

©2024. Jerry Newcombe, D. Min. All  rights reserved.