Tuesday, March 19, 2013


American pastor imprisoned in Iran due to his Christian faith.

Obama Silent on American Christian Pastor Held in Iran

By Todd Starnes The wife of an American pastor held captive in an Iranian prison for nearly a year said she has yet to hear from President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry and to her knowledge the administration has not done anything to help free her husband. "I have not received a telephone call from President Obama," said Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Rev. Saeed Abedini. "I have not received a telephone call from Secretary of State John Kerry – unfortunately." Her husband is serving an eight year sentence in one of Iran's most dangerous prisons where he has reportedly been tortured and subjected to death threats. In 2009 Abedini made an agreement with the Iranian government to stop serving as the leader of a network of house churches. But he made clear to the regime that he could not stop professing his faith in Christ.He had also received permission to build an orphanage – and traveled between Iran and the United States nine times without incident. It was on that ninth trip when he was arrested and detained without public notice of the charges. On Jan. 27, 2013 he was convicted of endangering national security through is leadership in the house churches and sentenced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court's "hanging judge" to eight years in prison. The American Center for Law and Justice said he was actually arrested because of his Christian faith as well as his efforts to help Iranian Christians in underground churches. He had been building an orphanage at the time of his arrest."The president has done nothing," said the ACLJ's Jordan Sekulow. "The president has not said the word Saeed. He has not said Saeed Abedini. He has not called for his release. He has not publicly spoken out." Sekulow said he was outraged that the administration has not made the Abedini case a national concern. "This is an American citizen," he said. "This is not just someone's human rights being violated. It's an American whose human rights are being violated." Last week State Dept. spokesman Victoria Nuland said they remained concerned about Abidini. "We also remain deeply concerned that the Iranians have not yet granted access to him by our Swiss protecting power. We continue to believe he should be released immediately."White House spokesman Jay Carney also called for Abedini's release. But so far there have been no public pronouncements from either the president or secretary of state and the ACLJ said that's troubling. The plight of Abedini and religious persecution in Iran will be the focus of a congressional hearing on Friday, said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). "This White House is a disaster on this issue," Wolf told Fox News. "There is an innate bias against Christians and the faith community in the State Dept." Sekulow speculated that the reason the administration has not been more vocal is because Abedini is a former Muslim. "It's because he's a Christian and it's because he left Islam," Sekulow said. "I think it's the fact that he left Islam and became a Christian that the administration has this policy of 'well, what did you expect from a religion that tells you we will threaten your life if you leave the religion?'" Wolf said that may be the reality."This administration is one of the weakest administrations to advocate for people (of faith)," he told Fox News. "Whatever his denomination, we should advocate."The lackluster support for Abedini stands in stark contrast to how the administration handled two other high profile incidents. In 2009 President Obama dispatched former President Clinton to North Korea – where he succeeded in winning the release of two American journalists. In 2011 the White House released more than a dozen mentions of three American hikers arrested and put on trial in Iran. President Obama issued a lengthy statement condemning their capture and demanding their release. The White House also published links to websites supporting the hikers. By comparison – according to a search of the White House online archives there have only been three mentions of Abedini – and one of those included Press Secretary Jay Carney saying he had no information about the incident. "Our president and our secretary of state need to speak out for Saeed," Sekulow said.. Naghmeh Abedini said that her husband has been suffering in the Iranian prison. "He's been beaten, tortured – suffering internal bleeding and suffering from medical issues," she said. "He's been there long enough." She appealed to President Obama as one parent to another – but so far – the administration has not responded. "I would expect him to step in and demand his release," she said. "I would expect our government to take every action to want him released now. Every day in there is horrific and he's only there because of his religious belief." The Abedinis have two young children – Rebekkah 6, and Jacob 4 – and Nagmeh said that it's been difficult raising her children as a single mother. "The kids don't understand," she said. "My daughter has cried out, 'Daddy, where are you? Daddy why aren't you coming home? Daddy, I miss you.'" And she'll start talking to him at night and just crying and I hold her as she has tears coming down her face. She's only six years old.""It's just hard seeing them in so much pain but you can't do anything about it," she said. The Iranians told the Abedini that if he renounced his faith in Jesus Christ – he might be released. But in a letter he wrote to his wife, the American pastor said that won't happen. "Saeed is pretty stubborn," she said. "He won't give in. I smiled to myself and said, they don't know who they are dealing with. He's a pretty stubborn person when it comes to his faith." The most difficult part of their ordeal has been bedtime rituals – when Saeed would sing songs with his children. "They still ask me to sing the songs that he used to sing to them," she said. "And for them it's comforting – but for me it's heartbreaking. It's remembering him."

A note from Stephen- OKAY: People need to accept the fact that Obama is a Muslim. Not only that-he is an agent of Saudi Arabia/Al Qaida. Within the next five years-there is no doubt in my mind that Obama is going to go public with his Muslim identity. As long as Obama is in office-Pastor Saeed Abedini is going to rot in jail. He is going to be imprisoned for four years-unless Obama is impeached or assassinated first. We need to pray for Pastor Abedin-that God would give him endurance-and help him to survive Obama's term of office. Also, Major Hassan, the Fort Hood Terrorist, is going to remain in jail-and not see his day in court-until Obama's term is over. And I believe that it is very likely that Obama will give Maj. Hassan, his fellow Muslim, a presidential pardon. I wouldn't put it past Obama to give a presidential pardon to all the terrorists detained in Gitmo. The only explanation there is for Maj Hassan not having had his day in court is that he is being protected by powers in high places-in this case the president of the United States.

The Revolt of Korah

I was researching the Egyptian religion. Egyptian priests would shave off their beards and their hair off of their head. The Canaanite and Carthaginian (Carthaginians were Canaanites) priests also shaved their heads. I was reading Hoffmeir and he was discussing the name "Korah," which apparently means "shaved head." Hoffmeir argued that Korah was a priest of the Israelite community and was following the Egyptian practice in having a shaved head. The reason that there was a revolt of the priests of Korah was that their priesthood in Egypt had been displaced by the Aaronic priesthood. (Korah died but However the children of Korah were spared and remained alive (Numbers 26:11) and later wrote some Psalms. In the Korah/Dathan revolt the earth opened up and consumed some of the rebels-fire consumed others. It seems like Dathan was swallowed by the earth and Korah was burnt up.) Now, apparently, Yahweh's priests also shaved their beards and heads in according to the ancient practice. Numbers 8:7, ""Thus you shall do to them [the priests], for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them, and let them use a razor over their whole body and wash their clothes, and they will be clean." Now, here is some interesting information about Korah-The chief cause of Korah's revolt was, according to the Rabbis, the nomination of Elizaphan, son of Uzziel, as prince over the Kohathites (Num. iii. 30), Korah arguing thus: "Kohath had four sons [Ex. vi. 18]. The two sons of Amram, Kohath's eldest son, took for themselves the kingdom and the priesthood. Now, as I am the son of Kohath's second son, I ought to be made prince over the Kohathites, whereas Moses gave that office to Elizaphan, the son of Kohath's youngest son" (Num. R. xviii. 1; Tan., ora, 3). Korah plied Moses with the following questions: "Does a allit made entirely of blue wool need fringes?" To Moses' affirmative answer Korah objected: "The blue color of the allit does not make it ritually correct, yet according to thy statement four blue threads do so" (Num. xv. 38). "Does a house filled with the books of the Law need a mezuzah?" Moses replied that it did; whereupon Korah said: "The presence of the whole Torah, which contains 175 chapters, does not make a house fit for habitation, yet thou sayest that one chapter thereof does so. It is not from God that thou hast received these commandments; thou hast invented them thyself." He then assembled 250 men, chiefs of the Sanhedrin, and, having clad them in allitot of blue wool, but without fringes, prepared for them a banquet. Aaron's sons came for the priestly share, but Korah and his people refused to give the prescribed portions to them, saying that it was not God but Moses who commanded those things. Moses, having been informed of these proceedings, went to the house of Korah to effect a reconciliation, but the latter and his 250 followers rose up against him (Num. R. xviii. 2; Tan. l.c.; comp. Targ. pseudo-Jonathan to Num. xvi. 2). Korah consulted his wife also, who encouraged him in the revolt, saying: "See what Moses has done. He has proclaimed himself king; he has made his brother high priest, and his brother's sons priests; still more, he has made thee shave all thy hair [comp. Num. viii. 7-notice-here is a case of Jews not understanding the historical context of scripture-this being the Ancient Near Eastern practice of priests shaving their heads and their beards] in order to disfigure thee." Korah answered: "But he has done the same to his own sons." His wife replied: "Moses hated thee so much that he was ready to do evil to his own children provided the same evil would overtake thee" (Midr. Agadah to Num. xvi. 8; Yal., Num. 750; comp. Num. R. l.c.; Tan. l.c.; Sanh. 110a).Korah incited all the people against Moses, arguing that it was impossible to endure the laws instituted by the latter. He told them the following parable: "A widow, the mother of two young daughters, had a field. When she came to plow it, Moses told her not to plow it with an ox and an ass together (Deut. xxii. 10); when she came to sow it, Moses told her not to sow it with mingled seeds (Lev. xix. 19). At the time of harvest she had to leave unreaped the parts of the field prescribed by the Law, while from the harvested grain she had to give the priest the share due to him. Thus unable to support herself with her field, the woman sold the field and with the proceeds bought two sheep. But the first-born of these she was obliged to give to Aaron the priest; and at the time of shearing he required the first of the fleece also (Deut. xviii. 4). The widow said: 'I can not bear this man's demands any longer. It will be better for me to slaughter the sheep and eat them.' But Aaron came for the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the maw (ib. verse 3). The widow then vehemently cried out: 'If thou persistest in thy demand, I declare them devoted to the Lord.' Aaron replied: 'In that case the whole belongs to me' (Num. xviii. 14), whereupon he took away the meat, leaving the widow and her two daughters wholly unprovided for" (Num. R. xviii. 2-3; Tan., ora, 4-6). The question how it was possible for a wise man like Korah to be so imprudent as to rebel is explained by the fact that he was deceived through his own prophetical capacity. He had foreseen that the prophet Samuel would be his descendant, and therefore concluded that he himself would escape punishment. But he was mistaken; for, while his sons escaped, he perished (Num. R. xviii. 7; Tan., ora, 12). This parable by Korah is very interesting. Of course it wasn't composed by Korah but by a later Jewish thinker who pondered what an actual Torah Observant community would look like. Even today, it is expensive to have a "kosher kitchen" and to be "Torah Observant." Korah is illustrating what strict Torah observance would look like to the poor in ancient times.

What Stephen is up to: I am working on teacher's certification. Hopefully I will complete it within a month and begin teaching in the fall. On Memorial Day weekend I will be promoting my books and artwork at the comic-palooza in Houston.

Disturbing Advertisement:

Sign from 119 Ministries says "Y'shua (Jesus) was a spirit filled Sabbath keeping KOSHER EATING feast day observant JEW who came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Jesus gave his disciples a great commission to go into all of the world to share his gospel with all mankind. Jesus was Jewish-but in his life and teachings-and most fundamentally in his death and resurrection-he brought fundamental change-and his message, from the very beginning transcended Judaism. It is good to explore the Jewish roots of Christianity-but this picture shows the dangers of the movement. Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself." We must lift up Jesus-not the Law of Moses. The purpose of the Law is to bring us to Christ. Jesus was about bringing people to his heavenly Father and not about strict Torah observance. That is why he rebuked the Pharisees for their strict Torah observance while at the same time their lack of mercy and love for their fellows. Jesus said mercy, love, kindness and compassion-are what is most important aspects of the law-not rules about diet, observance of days-or even hygiene. Also, my research has convinced me that Jews did not have the prayer shawls depicted above in the first century.

Bob Woodward and the Corruption of the Media in America There is no longer a free press in America. Recently, Bob Woodward, of "Watergate" fame wrote something critical of president Obama. Obama reacted by having one of his toadies threaten Bob Woodward-warning him that he would "regret it" if he published a piece critical of the Obama administration. Mr. Woodward responding by going public about the threats. In response, the Liberal News Media attacked Bob Woodward. This shows the amazing level of bias and corruption on the part of the News Media. Now it is obviously that the News Media is the propaganda wing of the Obama administration. This is very sad-and indeed very frightening.

Gas prices and Obama When Bush was president and gas prices were high, it was Bush's fault. However, now that gas prices are higher and Obama is president-no one blames Obama. Isn't that odd?

Laura Bush at the Academy Awards Michelle Obama gave the "Best Picture" award at the Academy Awards. I don't remember Laura Bush being given his honor during the previous administration. Rush Limbaugh had an interesting insight. The "best picture" award went to Argo-a movie about the CIA rescuing American embassy staff in the Middle East-given by a representative of an administration that was responsible for the death s of American embassy staff in the Middle East (at Benghazi).

Sequestration and the Muslim Brotherhood Obama gave millions of dollars and brand new fighter jets to the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt-while at the same time he has taken away soldier's financial aide and has refused to allow children to tour the White House-while citing budget cuts due to the sequestration. This shows his priorities.

Islamist radical Samira Ibrahim and the State Department

Bill O'Reilly said, "This woman, Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian women's rights activist was supposed to be honored by the State Department tomorrow in Washington receiving the International Woman of Courage Award. Scheduled to attend Secretary John Kerry and First Lady Michelle Obama, who is set to laud her for challenging Egypt's so-called virginity test where women were abused by government doctors. Now there's no question Miss Ibrahim has shown bravery but she's also shown something else. Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. At the attack in Bulgaria last summer that killed five Jews Miss Ibrahim tweeted "Today is a very sweet day with a lot of sweet news." Last August she quoted Adolf Hitler. "No act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place except with the Jews having a hand in it." And when a mob attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo last September 11th Miss Ibrahim tweeted "Today is the anniversary of 9/11, may every year come with America burning." Amazing right, that this woman, this woman was chosen by the U.S. State Department to be honored? "The Weekly Standard" edited by Fox News guy Bill Kristol who first exposed the madness and today the State Department surrendered. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VICTORIA NULAND: We at the department became aware very late in the process about Samira Ibrahim's alleged public comments. After careful consideration we've decided that we should defer preventing this award to Miss Ibrahim this year so that we have a chance to look further into these statements.(END VIDEO CLIP) O'REILLY: Careful consideration, please? "Careful consideration" should have gone into choosing the international honorees and obviously it did not. For the record, Miss Ibrahim says her Twitter account was hacked, but that's hokum. Her statements have been displayed for months without her ever taking them down. The secretary's position speaks for the chaos that is the U.S. Department of State. We saw it in Benghazi, Libya. We are seeing it again now. John Kerry better reorganize this very important department quickly. It is an acute embarrassment to America" What happened next was that Ms. Ibrahim finally admitted that no one had hacked into her account and that she had indeed wrote those remarks. The state department then said that (covering their butts) they did not give her an award and were not going to give her and award. She said that the refusal to grant her the award was part of a "Zionist conspiracy" against her. In 2012, she was given a "Person of the Year" award by Time magazine and was praised in a similar manner by the now defunct "Newsweek Magazine." (Also note: the Liberal News Media would rather go out of business, as we see in the case of Newsweek-than show neutrality or balance in their reporting.) According to communist journalist Elenor Clift, " It's understandable that the State Department would have selected her for its "Women of Courage" award. She seemed to have been publicly vetted a long time ago. This is the sixth year of this international award, which was launched in 2007 by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to coincide with International Women's Day. It probably shouldn't surprise us that after a six-year track record of stunning selections that one of the women chosen would come undone because of social media. Ibrahim vaulted to the forefront of a movement generated in large part by social media, which thrives on emotion and spontaneity. According to administration sources, she had apparently tried to delete some posts over time, but poisonous tweets live on in this world of mirrors and in the end, she is a product of the culture that created her. Back in Egypt, she is being lionized for standing up to the State Department. I suspect that returning home with an award from the infidels would have been a lot more problematic." (Elenor Clift chose not the quote the disturbing tweets in her article. Ms. Clift is correct that Ms. Ibrahim's extremism is typical of the Middle East.)

Christian neighborhood burned by Insane Islamic Mob in Pakistan Hundreds of Christians protesting the burning of their homes by a Muslim mob over alleged blasphemous remarks made against the Islam's Prophet Muhammad clashed with police on Sunday in eastern and southern Pakistan. Around 150 people have been arrested for setting dozens of Christian houses on fire in the eastern city of Lahore after a non-Muslim was accused of making offensive comments about the prophet, police said. Christians across the country rallied against the incident, but the main demonstrations were in Lahore, the southern port city of Karachi, the capital, Islamabad, and the adjoining city of Rawalpindi. The Christian demonstrators blocked a main highway in Lahore and police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who demanded assistance from the government, said police official Malik Awais. He said the protesters damaged several vehicles, uprooted a fence along the road and burned an electricity generator. Seven policemen were injured when the protesters pelted them with stones, he said. He said the police, who used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd, detained six of the protesters. Government spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed promised the government would help hem rebuild their houses, but the Christians expressed dissatisfaction with the way the government was handling the incident. "I have been robbed of all of my life's savings," Yousuf Masih said, standing close to his burned house. He said the government's announcement that it would give 200,000 rupees ($2,000) compensation to each family was a joke. Awais, the police officer said, the protesters demanded the government raise the compensation amount from 200,000 rupees ($2,000) to 1 million rupees ($10,000). In Karachi, more than 1,000 protesters blocked a road in a main market and damaged about 25 vehicles, said police officer Ali Raza. He said some of the protesters also attacked 10 shops and looted valuables and cash. He said the police beat back the protesters and fired tear gas shells to disperse them. At least two protesters were taken into custody, he said. The protests are a response to an incident that began on Friday after a Muslim accused a Christian man of blasphemy — an offense that in Pakistan is punished by life in prison or death. On Saturday, a mob of angry Muslims rampaged through the Christian neighborhood in Lahore, burning about 170 houses. The Christian man is in police custody pending an investigation into the allegations. Those who rioted are being investigated for alleged arson, robbery, theft, and terrorism, said police officer Abdur Rehman. The Pakistani police usually arrest rioters to tamp down public anger, but those accused are rarely convicted and the law is often misused to settle personal disputes and rivalries. Akram Gill, a local bishop in the Lahore Christian community, said the incident had more to do with personal enmity between two men — one Christian and one Muslim — than blasphemy. He said the men got into a brawl after drinking late one night, and in the morning the Muslim man made up the blasphemy story as payback. Such accusations of blasphemy in the past have prompted huge crowds to take the law into their own hands. Once an accusation is made it's difficult to get it reversed, partly because law enforcement officials and politicians do not want to be seen as being soft on blasphemers. According to Human Rights Watch, there are at least 16 people on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy and another 20 are serving life sentences. Last year, there was a rare reversal of a blasphemy case. A teenage Christian girl with suspected mental disabilities was accused of burning pages of the Quran. But she was later released after a huge domestic and international outcry about her treatment. A local cleric where she lived was arrested and accused of planting the pages in her bag to incriminate her, a rare example of the accuser facing legal consequences. However, he was later freed on bail. (But don't assume America is safe-)

Coptic Christian Beheaded by Muslim-in Obama's America By Bob Unrah (WND) Authorities in New Jersey allege a Muslim man beheaded two Coptic Christians, burying their bodies and heads and hands in separate graves near Philadelphia, bringing the horror of the persecution of Christians in Islamic nations to the United States. According to New York's WABC-TV, the Muslim was identified as Yusuf Ibrahim, 28. He was taken into custody after the bodies were found. The report said investigators alleged Ibrahim killed the victims then severed their heads and hands, and buried the remains in the back yard of a home in Buena Vista, N.J. The report said the victims were from the Coptic Christian community in the area. One of the victims had come from Egypt not many years ago. While the report said police did not indicate a motive, friends of the victims wondered if it was something to do with religion. WABC reporter Jeff Pegues wrote: "To members of the close knit Coptic Orthodox church the pain is real." "It's a shock, something like this doesn't happen to people like that," one resident told him. The report said police described the suspect as "ruthless" and "calculating" and said he belongs behind bars.Pamela Geller, who blogs about Islam at Atlas Shrugs, said it "appears to have been a ritual killing, religious in nature." "The victims were Coptic Christians and the murderer was Muslim (and we are painfully aware of the status and treatment of Coptic Christians under Muslim rule in Egypt)," she wrote. "The killing evokes this passage in the Quran: 'When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, 'I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers' hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!" – Quran 8:12." Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/muslim-accused-of-beheading-2-christians-in-u-s/#lUSTXpLp0R5fsowE.99

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