Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Assyrian Christians persecuted in Iraq

Bomb attacks on Christians in Baghdad kill 37

Published December 25, 2013

Associated Press

BAGHDAD – Militants in Iraq targeted Christians in two separate bomb attacks in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 37 people, officials said.

In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church during Christmas Mass in the capital's southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said.

A little bit earlier, a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in the nearby Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21, the officer added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraq's dwindling Christian community, which is estimated to number about 400,000 to 600,000 people, has often been targeted by al-Qaida and other insurgents who see the Christians as unbelievers.

Along with Christians, other targets include civilians in restaurants, cafes or crowded public areas, as well as Shiites and also members of the Iraqi security forces, who are targeted in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government and stir up Iraq's already simmering sectarian tensions.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Wednesday's bombings came amid a massive military operation in Iraq's western desert as authorities try to hunt down insurgents who have stepped up attacks across Iraq in the past months, sending violence to levels not seen since 2008.

The Christmas Day attacks brought the total number of people killed so far this month in Iraq to 441. According to U.N. estimates, more than 8,000 people have been killed since the start of the year.

Christmas a day of terror for Christians in Iraq, say human rights groups

By Cristina Corbin

Published December 30, 2013


While millions of Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas, a dwindling number of believers in Iraq will be forced to mark the birth of Christ in private, if at all.

Christians are afraid to put up a Christmas tree or other decorations, according to one Christian pastor in Iraq. Such displays of faith in an increasingly extremist nation can bring threats and violence, say human rights groups. Christian churches must be regularly guarded, but congregants are even more on edge during their holiest days.

"There's a culture of fear that has developed there that makes it hard for people to want to go to church to express their faith, especially at the holiday season," David Curry, president and CEO of the organization, told FoxNews.com. "These extremist groups desire religious cleansing and they're increasing in number particularly in northern Iraq" -- once considered a safe haven for Christians.

Iraq, which was once home to more than 1 million Christians, has seen an exodus as persecution has risen, according to Open Doors, a human rights group which monitors treatment of Christians in the Middle East. There are now an estimated 330,000 Christians in Iraq, and the nation ranks No. 4 on Open Doors' 2013 list of nations considered the worst persecutors of Christians. North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan rank as the top three.

"We're deeply concerned that Christianity is being squeezed out to extinction maybe in the next decade or so in the Middle East," Curry said. "Some of these countries, especially Iraq, have environments that are very hostile because of extremists in the region."

Curry said the consequences for practicing Christianity range from threats and harassment to homes attacked and businesses ransacked, to physical assaults on worshippers -- violence that continues to force Christians to flee the country.

On Sept. 22, a bomb was detonated outside the home of Christian politician Emad Youhanna in Rafigayn, part of the Kirkuk province, wounding 19 people, including three of Youhanna's children.

Open Doors is in contact with various church leaders on the ground, many of whom report that there are attacks on Christians every two or three days.

A pastor in Iraq, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said common Christian traditions, such as purchasing a Christmas tree or decorating a home, are no longer observed out of fear of persecution. Many Christians have even lost their jobs over their faith, according to the pastor and others on the ground.

One of the group's field workers, identified only as William, said, "It remains urgent to pray for the future of Christianity in this country. If the present trend continues, there might be no Christian left in the whole of Iraq by 2020."

Last week, Archbishop of Baghdad Louis Raphael I Sako told a conference in Rome that the West must help stem the "mortal exodus" of Christians from the Middle East.

"Suffering became an everyday struggle for all Iraqis, but especially for Christians," Sako told a conference called "Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives."

Since 2003, more than 1,000 Christians have been killed in Iraq, and more have been kidnapped and tortured, Sako said. Some 62 churches and monasteries have been vandalized or even destroyed, he said.

A fraction of the 1.2 million Christians who lived and worshipped in Iraq in 1987 remain, Sako said, adding that the "numbers continue dropping."

The United Nations Committee for Refugees recently stated that 850,000 Iraqi Christians have left since 2003.

Central African Republic: 450,000 Christians flee from Muslim attacks

The media, of course, obfuscates the root cause yet again. "450,000 Christians Flee From Muslim Attacks in the Central African Republic," by Pierre Leblanc and Lee Jay Walker for Modern Tokyo Times via Asia News, November 27 (thanks to Filip):

The United Nations is demanding immediate support for the Central African Republic (CAR) during a very difficult period. Apparently over 450,000 people have fled their homes after the Muslim dominated Seleka took power and began persecuting Christians irrespective of the alleged government of national unity during the transitional period. Not surprisingly, Christians are trying to protect themselves against Muslim forces within Seleka which are clearly out of control. Therefore, bloodletting is sowing the seeds of distrust and clearly the international community needs to do something before the crisis reaches a point of no return.

Unlike Christian communities in Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, and in other nations, whereby various sects are persecuted, it is clear that in the CAR -- just like in South Sudan -- that Christians will not just sit back and wait to be slaughtered or become trapped in ghettoes. It is hoped that the international community will be fair in pointing out the real factors behind communal violence. After all, it is clear that religious tensions erupted after Seleka troops began to ransack Christian areas. However, the same media which always points out the "Buddhist" angle in Myanmar (more Christians have been killed in Myanmar than any other non-Buddhist religion in the last few decades) in relation to the persecution of Muslims in this country; they appear to loathe to point out massacres by Muslims forces in the CAR against Christians; just like the persecution of Buddhists and others in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is barely mentioned in Bangladesh.

In must be remembered that when less than two thousand people had been killed in Kosovo the West intervened rapidly and took this part of Serbia away from the indigenous Orthodox Christians. Yet when northern Cyprus was occupied by Turkey and Orthodox Christians were cleansed then Western nations did zilch apart from sell more military arms to Turkey. Similarly, when millions of black African Christians and Animists were massacred in Sudan (many forced into slavery and forcibly converted to Islam) you never had the threat of Western intervention. Likewise, the mainly Christians of West Papua are currently facing Javanization and Islamization in Indonesia but the world is turning a blind eye once more just like they did when the Catholic Timorese were massacred in vast numbers by the same forces.

Elizabeth Kendal reports in Christian Today that the "Central African Republic is French-speaking and its population is around 76 per cent Christian. On Sunday 24 March 2013, Seleka -- a coalition of local and foreign Arabic-speaking Islamic militias -- seized control of the capital, Bangui, in an orgy of violence and looting."

"But Seleka does not rape, loot and kill indiscriminately. Rather, Seleka attacks Christians and spares Muslims, causing traditional community trust to evaporate, and creating a sectarian tinderbox."

The same author reports that Christian militias are now retaliating and massacres against Muslims are happening based on the actions of Muslim forces within Seleka. Indeed, just like you have countless militias in Libya then it is difficult to define Seleka because many are mere rogue elements which are focused on economic goals alongside anti-Christian persecution. However, while religious agitation wasn't enforced by the usual Christian leaders of the CAR, it is abundantly clear that you have an Islamist cause within all the chaos and common criminality of forces within Seleka and clearly the so-called government of national unity isn't in control of the situation.

Christian Bishop Albert Vanbuel stated "a rebellion of religious extremism with evil intentions, characterized by profanation and planned destruction of religious buildings, especially Catholic and Protestant churches" is now in power. In other words, the new government under Djotodia is based on an agenda which threatens the religious mosaic of the CAR because elements within Seleka clearly have a religious angle....

(Reuters) - Some European countries will send troops to support a French-African mission to restore order in Central African Republic, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday, as more violence was reported outside the capital Bangui.

France has deployed 1,600 troops to its former colony to prevent worsening violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted ex-President Francois Bozize.

Fifty percent of the population of CAR are Christians (Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%), while 35% of the population maintain indigenous beliefs. Islam is practiced by 15% of the country's population,[7] but by nearly all members of the ruling Seleka group, including the President. There are many missionary groups operating in the country, including Lutherans, Baptists, Catholics, Grace Brethren, and Jehovah's Witnesses. While these missionaries are predominantly from the United States, France, Italy and Spain, many are also from Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other African countries. Missionaries left the country when fighting broke out between rebel and government forces in 2002–3, but many of them have now returned to continue their work.


Duck Dynasty Censored!


Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are the foundations of America. These attempts by the Left to marginalize sincerely held religious beliefs are disturbing and a threat to freedom. Islam shares the same beliefs about homosexuality that many conservative Christians hold. Would the Left support Muslims being fired for expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs? Of course not. It is only Evangelicals that the Democrat Liberal Establishment that controls the News Media, Academia, Publishing, and Entertainment seek to destroy. Americans must aggressively oppose these attempts to censor the Bible and biblical beliefs. I am not going to allow liberals to diminish or limit my freedom of speech and religion. Stand up to the intolerance of the Democrats NOW-before they begin overt persecution of Christians. That day is not far off. Coptic and Assyrian Christians are already being murdered for their faith-as are Christians in Central African Republic. It seems to me that the liberals don't mind that kind of treatment of Christians-and want to see that here as well. Phil doesn't hate homosexuals-he just doesn't agree with their lifestyle. He has a right to his beliefs and the right to freely express them.

Excellent article on The Duck Dynasty Controversy:

The Genuine Conflict Being Ignored in the Duck Dynasty Debate

An evangelical Christian points out that there is, in fact, a tension between orthodox Christianity and homosexuality. Saying otherwise robs American society of an honest debate about how to reconcile sexual tolerance with religious tolerance.


Tolerance is not the same thing as acceptance, and acceptance is not the same thing as an endorsement. The message A&E's decision sends is that there is zero tolerance on television for Christians who are conscientious objectors to homosexuality. More than that, it implicitly suggests that the campaign for tolerance has advanced to a campaign to pressure 45 percent of Americans to recant their beliefs and endorse a lifestyle to which they are opposed, conscience be damned.

We stand at a crossroads. The country must decide. Is the endgame here to be that orthodox Christians will henceforth have no voice within their own culture? If so, does this mean we have become a nation of bullies, forcing conformity while calling it tolerance?



A&E goes duck hunting, shoots self in foot

By Dan Gainor Published December 19, 2013 FoxNews.com

Talk about defecating in Sarah Palin's mouth? You are allowed to resign a few weeks later. Be known as an actor with a violent temper and anger issues who even called his daughter a "pig," you get rewarded with your own MSNBC show. But run afoul of the LGBT police at GLAAD and you are pulled from one of the most successful shows on cable TV.

That's not reality television, that's the reality of television, where traditional values are hated even when they bring in big ratings. And liberal attacks are tolerated until even liberals can't stomach the result.

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson was quoted in GQ describing how homosexuality is, newsflash, a sin. (He also discussed many other sins, but they don't all have activist defense organizations – yet.) Yes, he did so in his typical folksy way which some might call inartful, but what he said was straight from the book. THE book – the Bible.

And the network execs couldn't stand it, bowing instantly to the gay agenda as practiced by GLAAD. Free markets have nothing to do with TV. It's all now about not offending some victim group.

And it's not about free speech either. TV networks want nothing to do with that archaic concept. They only support free speech they agree with and that most diehard lefties approve.

The conflict was inevitable. Television used to love people from what the media call flyover country. TV scored with hits such as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres," "Hee-Haw," and "Mayberry RFD." Those were celebrations where Americans were reminded of their roots. And when country met city, it was always country that won out with homespun wisdom triumphing over big-city egos and fancy degrees.

But "Duck Dynasty" comes from another era where TV doesn't celebrate ordinary people, it mocks them. This is the time of "Honey Boo Boo," and "Buckwild," the "Jersey Shore" style shows about rural people. These programs were designed so coastal liberals could watch and mock and feel better about themselves while reading their New York Times. That's likely what A&E bosses thought they had with "Duck Dynasty."

Boy, were they wrong.

A&E created a show that tried to make fun of rustic rubes and discovered it had inadvertently created the opposite. Instead of Hollywood values triumphing as we watched the stars' backward ways, traditional values won out every time. They weren't Obama's bitter clingers. They cared for each other and kept their faith close. Each episode even ended in a family prayer. Before network execs could try to figure out what John 3:16 meant, they had created a program where faith, family and freedom ruled.

And it became wildly popular.

The bearded stars soon were everywhere, with promotions seemingly in every store. That success didn't matter. The network still wanted to rein in its stars. Back in April, Phil Robertson said the network had even wanted to delete mentions of "Jesus" from the family prayer, trying to bleep the Savior like He was a four-letter word.

A&E didn't want its high-profile stars mentioning Jesus. And it sure didn't want them saying anything else out of the Bible. When Phil did, GLAAD cried foul and that was it.

That's GLAAD's typical strategy. It's a hardcore lefty organization that wants to ban opponents to gay marriage from the airwaves – even the news shows. It even helped get liberal Alec Baldwin kicked off MSNBC. It runs its Commentator Accountability Project that tries to brand traditional marriage supporters as "extreme" and not worthy of TV time. Its list of commentators reads like a Who's Who of the conservative movement. Yet to GLAAD, they "do not accurately represent the 'other side' of" gay issues.

To the left there is no other side. There's only their side. All other views must be silenced.

Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.

Nazarene Arab Christians to Honor Jesus

As Christians from across the globe flock to the Holy Land in time for Christmas prayers and ceremonies, some in the community in Nazareth are seeking to reaffirm the historical importance of their town by erecting a statue of Jesus that would tower more than 100 feet above the city.

The idea for the statue comes from Bishara Shlayan, a Christian merchant seaman who lives in Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Shlayan has seen the demographics of Nazareth change considerably in recent years, with the Christian community becoming a minority while the Muslim population has grown to 70 percent of the 80,000 residents of the northern Israeli town.

"Slowly, but surely, the Christian identity in Nazareth is beginning to disappear," said Shlayan, noting that signs in the main square declare that "There is no power but Allah."

The plan is for the statue of Jesus to be sit atop Mount Precipice, also known as the Mount of the Leap of the Lord, the promontory where according to Luke 4:29-30, a mob attempted to drive Jesus off the hilltop only for him to pass through them without injury. Shlayan is raising money for the project, but recently got what may be even more important backing: Israel's Tourism Minister Uzi Landau gave him the green light, saying, "Start it, and we will bless it."

"I don't believe in statues, but it is a symbol of love and peace," Shlayan told The Jerusalem Post. "People who are against it, it comes from jealousy."

The statue is inspired by the iconic Christ the Redeemer figure that dominates the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, but would be even taller, said Shlayan.

In addition to honoring the town's most famous resident, the statue could prove a boon to tourism. Last year, some 3.5 million tourists visited Israel, of which 58 percent were Christians. Mount Precipice is the starting pointing of the already popular Gospel Trail, a 37-mile pilgrim route that opened in 2011, winding down from the heights of Nazareth and ending at Capernaum, 680 feet below sea level, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Shlayan's dream is not shared by the Muslim majority, which has long considered his outspoken Christianity troublesome. But he has worked to build ties with Israel's Jewish population. Together with Father Gabriel Naddaf, a high-profile Greek Orthodox priest, Shlayan created the B'nei Habrit Christian Party of Israel. Although yet to be officially registered, the party has encouraged young Christians to join the Israeli military as a route to full integration into Israeli society. In 2013, the first year of their campaign, the number of Christians volunteering for military service has risen to 120 from 35, while the number volunteering for civilian national service has more than doubled to 500.

Muslims and Christians have co-existed in Nazareth for many years, but lately many of Nazareth's Christians have left to live elsewhere, uneasy at the changing face and apparent new direction of their town. In 2002, following a two-year campaign by local Christians as well as the Vatican, the White House and an array of both Catholic and Protestant organizations, a controversial plan to build a new mosque alongside the Basilica of the Annunciation was eventually cancelled.

Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist who can be followed on twitter @paul_alster and at www.paulalster.com

'Duck Dynasty' Star's Firing Proves You Will be Made to Care by Steve Deace December 23, 2013 - 12:46 PM - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/steve-deace/duck-dynasty-stars-firing-proves-you-will-be-made-care#sthash.P87s3KdK.dpuf

A nation founded by pilgrims seeking out religious freedom, and the chance to worship the God of the Bible without interference from big government or persecution from the culture, has now come full circle.

In August, Duck Dynasty returned for another season with a record 12 million viewers, which was the largest audience for an original show in the history of cable television.

Four months later one of its stars, Phil Robertson, was essentially fired today by A&E Network which carries the show because he's a Christian that believes the Bible. And the Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin and goes against God's plan for His creation.

You will be made to care.

When a network fires arguably its biggest star for believing the Bible, and expressing those views in a way that was not inflammatory or incendiary, it's essentially saying it would rather bow at the altar of political correctness than make a profit. Duck Dynasty has become A&E's biggest cash cow. If Duck Dynasty and all the wealth, jobs, and prosperity its success provides cannot trump the homosexual agenda, then nothing can. Pop culture is essentially choosing the promotion of sexual deviancy even over its own greed. The truth is many companies in corporate America have been doing the same for years now, and so does most of the media as well. The tolerance mob and its gaystapo are out to silence all opposition to their brave new world of deviancy.

You will be made to care.

This is a day and age where the government can order you to bake a cake, take photos, and provide lodging in the name of acceptance of homosexuality-and you're not allowed to conscientiously object on religious grounds. In fact, your Constitutional rights to religious liberty and free speech will be taken away in order to make way for the new, make believe right to sexual deviancy.

This is no longer the America we were supposed to be, and it hasn't been for quite some time. This is no longer about saving the republic. This is about restoring one.

Let the record show which side are the ones pushing their agenda down everyone's throats, and using the coercive force of government and mobocracy tactics to bully its opponents. Let the record show that the sad truth is too many Christians in America are too wimpy to fight back, and actually are more inclined to criticize those fighting for them instead. Nevertheless, although most American Christians would gladly choose a "live and let live" fantasy land rather than actually taking a stand, that option does not exist. The bully aggressors in the tolerance mob have ordered their gaystapo to seek out and silence Biblical teaching and belief regardless of the wimp factor of the believer.

You will be made to care.

Soft-headed conservatives and libertine libertarians now have a choice to make. Either they can realize the homosexual movement is an enemy to freedom and liberty, and is being used by those who want to impose statism in order to silence the Christian Church, which has always been the greatest obstacle to statism. Or, they can continue their willful ignorance and continue to believe the lie neutrality is a viable option. Understand, of course, that if you choose the Neville Chamberlain road the statists will take you down next after they're done driving the Christian Church into the cultural catacombs. And without a vibrant, bold, and courageous church shining its light in the darkness, you'll be as vulnerable as a flock of ducks on a Robertson family hunting trip.

You will be made to care.

Our low-information-voter friends and family with their equal signs as Facebook avatars are this movement's useful idiots. They may think it's none of their business what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms, but the homosexual movement begs to differ. They are making their behavior very public, and have no intention of co-existing with religious liberty anymore than Islamists want to co-exist with Christians and Jews. There is no co-existence, there is only unconditional acceptance. And that unconditional acceptance will also have to include you and your children's belief system-no exceptions. No more gender, no more morality, and no more restraint.

You will be made to care.

Now that everyone knows once and for all where the tolerance mob truly stands, there are no excuses. Your friends and family that think they can have it both ways will eventually turn against you unless they come to know and worship the God of the Bible, so they can avoid being shunned by the culture.

You will be made to care.

You will eventually see American media, even "conservative media" in some circles, refuse to provide those with a Biblical worldview access to their platform or treat their perspective as a valid one worthy of consideration in the arena of ideas. Christians with a Biblical worldview will be treated like racists, even if they're black or Hispanic.

You will be made to care.

Any politician who thinks he can incorporate even 1% of this worldview into his coalition is either a complete and total moron, or speaking to you with a forked tongue. Ask yourself this simple question: has the tolerance mob shown any willingness to tolerate, accommodate, or compromise with Christianity at all? Any politician who claims the contrary is either too gutless to defend your freedoms or unwilling to, and isn't worth voting for no matter what the alternative is because the end result is still the same-liberty lost.

You will be made to care.

I will be mocked by lefty blogs and called paranoid by some of you for even writing this. But that's because you're either a liar or a fool. Most of you are liars, and have been lying to the American people for decades about your true goals to turn America into a pagan, progressive mobocracy-which are now becoming clear.

The rest of you are fools. You just don't want to know because you're governed by nothing other than emotion. Regardless, all of you are the same people who promised us if we accepted homosexuality as the new normal nobody would lose their freedom, and that those of us who warned the country to the contrary were scaring people with red herrings. Now that the day has come when those red herrings have become our reality, you are silent-proving you're either liars, fools, or both.

But I am not angry with you. Instead, I pity you, for you are unknowingly sealing your own fates. You are suppressing the only antidote to the hole in your own souls, and what's rotting away at the soul of our nation. While you may be successful imposing your will on people who believe like me in this life, all of your predecessor persecutors throughout history have learned in eternity that you're on the losing side of HIStory.

So instead of encouraging those like me to give you a taste of your own medicine, I will encourage them to pray for you instead. You've already lost this debate, but you don't have to be eternity's losers. The Lord Jesus Christ you seek to erase from public view offers you forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. He's willing to erase all of your offenses against him, just as he once erased ours. He loves you every bit as much as he loves those you disagree with. He loves you so much he laid down his life for you.

We pray that you figure that out before it's too late. Otherwise, one day...

...You will be made to care.

- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/steve-deace/duck-dynasty-stars-firing-proves-you-will-be-made-care#sthash.P87s3KdK.dpuf




5 Lessons From the 'Duck Dynasty' Controversy

By Ben Shapiro



A&E's indefinite suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson over his comments regarding homosexuality, and the subsequent backlash, is an important cultural moment in American life.For the first time in decades, traditionally religious Americans have come out of the closet en masse to speak out against anti-religious bigotry from proponents of gay rights. This, in turn, has made many on both the right and left uncomfortable: uncomfortable with a loud and proud segment of religious believers standing up for the expression of Biblical views, and uncomfortable with the notion of such religious believers being allotted a seat at the political and cultural table.In all likelihood, Robertson will eventually be reinstated by A&E. In the meantime, we can learn some valuable lessons from this culture clash.Hollywood hates conservatives and kowtows to GLAAD. It's been an open secret in Hollywood for years that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation routinely prescreens many television shows and movies, vetting them for anti-homosexual biases.This began in the 1980s, when NBC actually invited the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to provide input on programming. CBS has changed the writing of its shows to add gay characters after receiving a flunking grade from GLAAD; GLAAD forced the Vince Vaughn flick "The Dilemma" to cut a joke about an electric car being "gay." The story is different with conservatives. Anti-religious bigotry runs rampant on television, which is why A&E tried to cut "Jesus" from the Robertson family prayers. It is no surprise to find that GLAAD called A&E before A&E dropped Robertson.Americans like conservatives on TV. Conservatives are routinely pilloried on television. A&E likely greenlit "Duck Dynasty" in the first place because executives believed Americans would laugh at the redneck antics of the self-described "white trash" family. This is the same reason CBS originally greenlit "All in the Family" — it believed Norman Lear's Archie Bunker would be universally derided. Robertson is no Bunker, but they do have this in common: The American people resonated to them. And liberals in Hollywood can't stand when Americans resonate to conservatives on television.Too many conservatives are uncomfortable with religious conservatives. A shocking number of conservatives simply want the "Duck Dynasty" controversy to go away. Many of them think talk of the Bible is uncouth, and that conservatives should ignore cultural battles, instead focusing on economics. The truth, however, is that the conservative movement is animated in large part by Bible believers — and by ignoring that constituency and great good it represents, coastal conservatives do the entire movement a disservice.The media don't understand or want to understand sin. The attempt by the media to portray Robertson as homophobic is a deliberate misreading of religious Americans. The media set up a dichotomy in which you are either pro-homosexuality or someone who wants to brutalize homosexuals. This is not the view of the Bible, which makes clear that sin is common and ought to be condemned, but that human beings have the capacity for repentance. The left masks its distaste for the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality in a straw man argument that Bible believers are violent bigots. They are not. Citing the Bible doesn't make you a bigot against human beings — it makes you a bigot against sin, which is a good thing.The market works. Presumably, A&E thought that it would avoid market trouble by suspending Robertson. But it looks as though A&E will pay a heavy market price for its decision-making. Cracker Barrel originally pulled "Duck Dynasty" merchandise starring Robertson; the market forced Cracker Barrel to reverse itself. It has been decades since conservatives used their market power in the way leftists routinely do. With both Chick-fil-A and "Duck Dynasty," they are learning that the market is the best way to act out their beliefs.In the end, the "Duck Dynasty" controversy is a lesson in leftist intolerance. In leftist America, babbling for 11 hours about the moral imperative of killing unborn 21-week-old children is a virtue, while citing Corinthians is sin. Traditionally religious Americans must take note of this clash of values and recognize that the culture war is indeed a war for the spiritual soul of the country. An anti-Biblical America is a worse America. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/ben-shapiro/5-lessons-duck-dynasty-controversy#sthash.1XheDB2J.dpuf


Ancient textile may contain lost Biblical blue dye, Israeli researcher says

An Israeli researcher says she has identified a nearly 2,000-year old textile that may contain a mysterious blue dye described in the Bible, one of the few remnants of the ancient color ever found.

Naama Sukenik of Israel's Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that recent examination of a small woolen textile discovered in the 1950s found that the textile was colored with a dye from the Murex trunculus, a snail researchers believe was the source of the Biblical blue.

Researchers and rabbis have long searched for the enigmatic color, called tekhelet in Hebrew. The Bible commands Jews to wear a blue fringe on their garments, but the dye was lost in antiquity.

Sukenik examined the textile for a doctorate at Bar-Ilan University and published the finding at a Jerusalem conference Monday.

Women, wake up, men have made your life better, not worse

By Suzanne Venker, Published December 31, 2013. FoxNews.com

There's a reason the text version of Camille Paglia's opening statement at the Munk Debate, "Resolved: Men Are Obsolete" garnered 10K likes on Facebook and received more than one thousand comments at Time.com: it hit a nerve. It was a nerve that needed to be hit, and Paglia did it beautifully. Not only was her choice of words fitting, she delivered them with the perfect amount of exasperation. America must revisit its distorted view of gender equality, implored Paglia, and start being fair to the other half of the human race. It's time to stop pretending men are oppressors and to start recognizing the extraordinary contributions men have made to society. Paglia says, "History must be seen clearly and fairly: obstructive traditions arose not from men's hatred or enslavement of women but from the natural division of labor that had developed over thousands of years during the agrarian period and that once immensely benefited and protected women, permitting them to remain at the hearth to care for helpless infants and children. Over the past century, it was laborsaving appliances, invented by men and spread by capitalism, that liberated women from daily drudgery."

She adds, "Every day along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, one can watch the passage of vast oil tankers and towering cargo ships arriving from all over the world. These stately colossi are loaded, steered and off-loaded by men. The modern economy, with its vast production and distribution network, is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role — but women were not its author."

It is a truth rarely acknowledged: Men's success in fields such as medicine, engineering and technology have done more to liberate women from the constraints of their former lives than a busload of feminists could ever hope to do.

In almost every era, it was a male invention that provided women with the means to an easier life.

- In the 1940s, it was the washing machine.

- In the 1960s, it was the birth control pill.

- In the 1990s, it was the Internet. Other inventions include electric lighting, the sewing machine, the frozen food process, and the automobile. Such inventions changed everything.

In the past, just getting through the day was a full-time job. Those days are now gone -- because of men.

It is their ingenuity and hard work that provided women, mothers in particular, with what they've always craved: time. It gave them the kind of cushy lives our grandmothers could only dream about.

If men are born Neanderthals, as the culture suggests, why would they create products that ease women's burden? Only those who carry a grudge as a result of personal biases would ignore this fact and instead blame society for their woes.

Paglia understands this temptation. "I discovered through a long process of search as a dissident personality…I did not identify at all with my gender role as a child and blamed society completely for everything…But through the course of study and research, I began to understand that it's actually Mother Nature who is, at this point in history, women's greatest obstacle," she tells interviewer Rudyard Griffiths about women's interminable quest to "have it all."

Unfortunately, most elite feminists, such as those who opposed Paglia at the Munk Debate, haven't made this discovery, and they're not likely to do so.

This group needs something to do with their "putative leftism," or "implicit privileging of bourgeois values and culture," notes Paglia.

The irony is that it's because of the sweet life men created that these women even have time to ruminate over their place in the world -- and demonize the very group to whom they should be indebted.

"A peevish, grudging rancor against men has been one of the most unpalatable and unjust features of second- and third-wave feminism. Men's faults, failings and foibles have been seized on and magnified into gruesome bills of indictment. Ideologue professors at our leading universities indoctrinate impressionable undergraduates with carelessly fact-free theories alleging that gender is an arbitrary, oppressive fiction with no basis in biology."

It is precisely this propaganda -- the idea that biology isn't real, and that men are prone to oppress women -- that's caused women so much anguish.

"Is it any wonder," asks Paglia, "that so many high-achieving young women find themselves in the early stages of their careers in chronic uncertainty or anxiety about their prospects for an emotionally fulfilled private life?"

It is no wonder at all. Women must accept that what they've been taught by the culture just
isn't true. They will never be content until they do.

Suzanne Venker has written extensively about marriage and the family and its intersection with the culture. She is also the founder of Women for Men (WFM), a news and opinion website committed to improving gender relations and to providing much-needed support for the American male. To learn more about Suzanne, visit www.suzannevenker.com.


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