Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Radio Program
American Family Radio serves a vital function in keeping American Evangelical Christians abreast of important issues and events. Right now there is a crisis for the Christians in the Middle East.
Most American Evangelicals have a profound ignorance about our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Arabic and Islamic world.
It is important to support Israel, but there are Christians in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt of whom we need to be aware, who we need to pray for and advocate for. It seems that Evangelicals view the Middle East through the prism of Israel, but there is a significant Christian population, certain important dynamics that are playing out, and other perspectives of which Evangelical Christians must be aware.
Now is a critical time. The population of Christians in Iraq has declined to less than 1/3 of what it was ten years ago. If these trends continue, we will see the disappearance of Christianity in the land of its birth. And, Christian communities that have survived 1,400 years of Islamic persecution will finally die out, during our life time.
It is imperative for Evangelical Christians to act now. I want to appeal to the American Family Association to consider starting at least a weekly one-hour radio program that focuses on issues of Christians in the Islamic world. The program can focus on the historical legacy of Middle Eastern Christianity, its history and theological contributions, and issues of religious persecution and discrimination arising out of Islamic extremism. I believe this is an urgent crisis.
I have lived in many countries of the Middle East and have extensive knowledge about the Assyrian Christians of Mesopotamia and the Coptic Christians of Egypt. I have visited Egypt, Israel and the “Palestinian Territories,” Lebanon, and Syria. While I served in the Iraq War, I lived in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar.
I have several videos up at my youtube channel if you want to check me out (www. youtube.com/aramaic12). I have graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. If you are interested, please contact me at 832-455-2978 or 281-592-4104. I reside in Cleveland, Texas. Perhaps, at the very least, some of your hosts for your radio programs can let me call in and we can discuss who the Christians of the Middle East are and what are the problems that they are currently facing.
Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus
I have done a lot of research on the Exodus. I like his approach. Most people are unaware of the debates surrounding the question of when the Exodus occurred or even if it did. The preponderance of evidence places the Exodus at mid 1200s BC. It seems like he is trying to make a case that the Exodus occurred much earlier. I doubt it-but I like hearing arguments-if they are based on solid archealogical evidence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2skx69TxLXk
Pregnant Sudanese Christian women sentenced to death for not converting to Islam
International outrage is mounting over the death sentence a Sudanese judge ordered for the pregnant wife of an American citizen — all because she refuses to renounce her Christian faith. Meriam Ibrahim, 26, was sentenced Thursday after being convicted of apostasy. The court in Khartoum ruled that Ibrahim must give birth and nurse her baby before being executed, but must receive 100 lashes immediately after having her baby for adultery — for having relations with her Christian husband. Ibrahim, a physician and the daughter of a Christian mother and a Muslim father who abandoned the family as a child, could have spared herself death by hanging simply by renouncing her faith. "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam," Judge Abbas Khalifa told Ibrahim, according to AFP. "I sentence you to be hanged to death." But Ibrahim held firm to her beliefs. “I was never a Muslim,” she answered. “I was raised a Christian from the start.” Ibrahim was raised in the Christian faith by her mother, an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia. She is married to Daniel Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan who has U.S. citizenship, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Arab/Mexican Salma Hayek sports “hash-tag” #BringBackOurGirls
Conservative commentators have criticized Michelle Obama for showing solidarity with the Christian girls enslaved by Muslims in Nigeria by holding up a sign with a twitter hash-tag. They are right-it does make America look weak. However, the good new is that celebrities and the Democrat news media have picked up the story and it has gone “viral.” The Left and the Democrat media usually suppress stories of Islamic oppression of Christians. So, while the conservatives do have a point, it is good to see the general public finally becoming aware of how Islam treats Christians.

Persecuted Christians flee Iran, find hope and homes in Germany

Fox News.com
Iranian-born Muslims who converted to Christianity are breathing new spiritual life into communities across Germany, where they are fleeing to in increasing numbers to escape persecution back home. Men and women, who have been sentenced to the lash or worse for apostasy - converting from Islam - are forming a thriving community of Christian ex-pats in German cities and towns. The Iranian immigrants seek asylum, or simply pay up to $30,000 to enter the country illegally with a fake passport, a new name and plans to start their lives over in new churches. “The growing number of Iranian Christians fleeing their homeland to come to Germany should alarm us that Iran's regime is getting more and more radicalized and repressive - on a daily basis,” Saba Farzan, a German-Iranian expert on human rights, told FoxNews.com. A telling example of Iran’s heavy-handed crackdown on Christians is the case of a 40-something Iranian woman named Afsaneh. A spiritual display brought down the full force of Tehran's hard-line regime. “I was so excited about Christmas that I put up a tree in my home and work," Afsaneh told The Guardian
However, she along with her cousin would pay a steep price for their embrace of the Christian faith in the Sharia-dominated Islamic Republic. Iranian authorities imprisoned both converts and imposed more than 70 lashes on Afsaneh and her cousin for merely practicing Christianity. After securing refuge in Germany, Afsaneh said she resents her homeland's lack of freedom.  “I want Iran to have respect for my perspective, about what religion I choose,” she said. “Not just to tell me that I have to be a Muslim.” The number of Iranian Christians fleeing to Germany has grown to nearly 4,500 in 2012 from less than 1,000 four years earlier, according to The Guardian. Although Germany is not the only destination for Iranian Christians fleeing from persecution, its strong economy make it more desirable than other choices, such as The Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. Iranian immigrants have helped double the size of the congregation at House of God's Help church in Berlin, church deaconess Rosemarie Götz told the Christian Broadcasting Network. "It came like an unexpected summer rain," Götz said. "Suddenly new people started coming every week and asked to be baptized." The flight from Iran underscores the divide between the Muslim and secular worlds, said Richard Landes, an associate professor of history and director and co-founder of the Center of Millennial Studies at Boston University. “Nothing illustrates the contrast between the Muslim world and the West than Christians fleeing Iranian persecution," Landes said. "On the one hand, the Iranians, poster-boys for a medieval religiosity that feels it only has honor by degrading and demeaning other religions; on the other, the West, whose ‘secular’ public sphere is actually welcoming to those seeking religious freedom.” Hamid, a 37-year-old Iranian, fled the Islamic Republic year ago and is seeking asylum in Deininghausen, Germany. His case has garnered media attention because the German authorities want to send him back to Italy—his first country of origin into the European Union. The Free Evangelical Community in Deininghausen is working to secure him asylum. His troubles in Iran began when authorities found a bible in his desk. Fearing he and his family were at great risk, Hamid, his wife Maryam and their five-year-old son, Ayra, paid a smuggler nearly $25,000 to flee Iran. Hamid told the German paper Ruhr Nachrichten that his family secretly converted from Islam to Christianity “because the idea of the grace of charity is more pronounced”  in the Christian faith. "We must do everything in our power to help those endangered refugees by granting them asylum and at the same time by changing the situation on the ground," Farzan, director of political studies at Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, told FoxNews.com. "Not through continued fruitless talks, but through tougher policies against one of the worst human rights violators this world has seen. Only once the Iranian dictatorship learns that viciously oppressing religious groups has a price, Iranian Christians and many other religious minorities will be safe in their native country.” With the help of Sadegh Sepehri, an Iranian minister based in Berlin and affiliated with the American Presbyterian mission agency, a burgeoning Iranian Christian community has found life free from religious persecution. He has baptized hundreds of Iranians, according to a report in The Guardian. The report noted that Iranian converts to Christianity in the East German city of Leipzig at St Luke’s Church now form one-third of the congregation. According to a recent UN report by Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, at least  49 Christians were being held in Iranian jails of January, 2014. In 2013, Iran’s regime arrested at least 42 Christians, of whom 35 were convicted for peaceful religious activities in house churches. But amid the Iranians seeking religious asylum are emigrants who some believe could be using religion as pretext for escaping Iran. Church groups have rallied around Iranian Christians, helping to support them while they go through the application process. For some, an accepted application means the end of their relationship with the church. “There were occasions where we were very deeply disappointed,” the Rev. Hugo Gevers, who works with Iranian converts in Leipzig at St Luke’s Church, told The Guardian. “We were supporting them for years, they had the court case and a positive answer and the same day they separated from us.”
Benjamin Weinthal is a Berlin-based fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter@BenWeinthal.
Is Conservative Free Speech banned in America?
By Wayne Allyn Root
Is there free speech left in America...if you're a conservative or Christian?

Isn't free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution? Can your views cost you your job, career or property? Don’t look now but it’s happening. Views considered "too conservative" “old fashioned” or “politically incorrect” are no longer tolerated by Obama’s socialist cabal or the “thought police” (I know, I repeat myself).
Let me give you just a few examples of political correctness run amok. Interestingly, in each of these cases I disagree with the views expressed.

Let’s start with the case of openly gay football player Michael Sam. On Saturday he became the first gay player drafted into the NFL. I say congratulations. I’m happy for Sam. I was rooting for him. I actually thought he should have been drafted higher. But have we traded one prejudice and civil rights violation for another? Many religious Americans were offended by Sam’s publically affectionate hand holding, hugging, and kissing with his boyfriend on national TV after his NFL draft selection. 
If it’s called "progress" and a sign of "freedom" that two men can openly kiss on national TV, what is it called when someone offended by that same scene can be fined or suspended from their job? Is that progress? Is that free speech?
Ask Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones. He
 tweeted about how disgusted and offended he was by that kiss. Jones was immediately fined and barred from team activities until he finishes "training for his recent comments made on social media." Training? You mean like a “reeducation camp?” I may disagree with Don Jones’ comments. They may have hurt Michael Sam’s feelings. They may have offended gay Americans. They may have been politically incorrect. But that’s not the point. Just because you disagree with someone’s opinion, does your employer have the right to suspend you from your job? Can that same employer demand “thought training” to get your job back? In America? This is a NFL football team. Whether you are gay or straight should not matter. But neither should your views on two men kissing. All that should matter is how well you tackle in the open field. If you happen to get grossed out by two men kissing, that’s none of your employer’s business. I don’t happen to agree with what Don Jones said publicly, but I think the Miami Dolphins and the NFL should be sued for $100 million dollars for a violation of the employee rights of Don Jones. He has every right to say what he wants and believe what he wants. Where is the public outrage? Where is the ACLU? If we allow employers like the Dolphins to censure, fine, suspend or fire a player for his thoughts, political or religious beliefs, have we made progress? 
Just realize this cuts both ways. How will liberals feel when their views get them fined, suspended and fired? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. This is not a road we want to head down. But Don Jones is far from an isolated case. It's happening across America. Free speech is no longer tolerated by the left. Even CEO’s of a private business are under attack. Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich recently lost his job for making a donation to support Prop 8, the ballot initiative that barred same-sex marriage in California. Once again, I happen to disagree with the opinion of this CEO. I personally think government should stay out of our boardrooms and bedrooms. I don't believe government should tell people whether they can be married or not. But that's not the issue here. Remarkably, a CEO in America was fired for his personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Worse, he wasn't fired for leading the battle, but rather just for writing a check to a cause he believed in. This isn’t supposed to happen in America. Where is the public outrage? Where is the ACLU? What’s next? Should we tar and feather CEOs whose views we disagree with? Do employees also lose their jobs or careers for making a political donation? Who has been appointed as the judge and jury to determine which donations result in the loss of your job? It’s great that anyone can be openly gay in America nowadays. I’m cheering. But should conservatives be forced into the closet? Why trade one civil rights violation for another. Is that progress?

For the first time in my life I’m rooting for the ACLU to take a stand. Because soon in Obama’s America it will be conservatives forced to sit in the back of the bus. Soon it will be justified not to serve Christians because they stand in opposition to gay marriage or abortion.  Soon CEO’s will be forced out of their jobs for publicly opposing minimum wage increases.
Soon we’ll see signs openly displayed “Republicans need not apply for the job.”

Where does this witch hunt end?
Wayne Allyn Root is capitalist evangelist, entrepreneur, and Libertarian-conservative Republican. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. Wayne's latest book is "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: Secrets to Protecting Your Family, Your Finances, and Your Freedom." For more, visit his website: www.ROOTforAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter@WayneRoot.
Cultural double standard: Michael Sam, Tim Tebow and free speech
By Cal Thomas
Once, Social Security was the "third rail" of politics. Touch it and face political death. Now it is homosexuality. Criticize anything gay people do and you risk ostracism, fines, suspension or loss of your livelihood. Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by a National Football League team -- the St. Louis Rams picked him 249th in the last round -- is being treated by the media and those in the gay rights movement as the equivalent of an early American pioneer. Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones, apparently, didn't get the memo. Jones tweeted "OMG" and "horrible" after he saw Sam and his boyfriend kiss each other live on ESPN. His tweet was quickly taken down, but the political correctness police swooped in anyway. Jones has been fined and suspended. He's also being forced to attend "educational training" to get his "mind right," to borrow a phrase from the film "Cool Hand Luke." This sounds like the old communist "re-education" camps. Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin called Jones' comment "inappropriate and unacceptable." Jones issued a statement that read like it had been written by a lawyer, apologizing for his "inappropriate" tweet and taking "full responsibility" for his comment. How quickly things have changed from the recent experiences of Tim Tebow. When the quarterback heroically led the Denver Broncos to a playoff victory in 2012 and dropped to one knee, as he often did to express gratitude to God (a move that quickly became known as "Tebowing," which spawned countless YouTube parodies), he was widely ridiculed by many of the same entities that now defend Michael Sam, including some NFL players and even "Saturday Night Live," which in a skit had "Jesus" offering Tebow advice while sitting next to him on a locker room bench. When the Broncos released Tebow, he was mocked again, not only for his faith, but for claiming to be a virgin who wanted to save himself for marriage. In an increasingly secular and licentious culture this sort of thinking and expression, apparently, must be silenced. During Tebow's brief professional career, TV ratings spiked, jerseys and other gear with Tebow's name on it sold well and, according to Ad Age, "In terms of influence, Mr. Tebow is now in the top 40 of 3,000 celebs ... on par with Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston and Steven Spielberg." Yet, Tebow endured a sometimes silent and often shouted campaign to brand him in a negative way. He was called "polarizing." It was said he had "baggage," though his "bags" were considerably lighter than many other professional athletes who have had drug and alcohol problems, incidents with guns at strip clubs and numerous out-of-wedlock children. The Nation's Dave Zirin revealed the secular left's real problem with Tebow when he wrote, "(Tebow) is a religious figure in a country that is uncomfortable talking (about) religion."  Really? I would venture to guess there are probably more people attending church on Sunday mornings than attend NFL football games on Sunday afternoon. Such is the bias of those who hold disdain for people of strong faith because it apparently exposes flaws in themselves they prefer not to see. After the Broncos cut Tebow, haters took to the comment page of The Huffington Post: "Awwwww. I bet this makes the Baby Jesus weep. Tim should have prayed more." "Hey Tim, are you getting the message now? Nothing fails like prayer." "We're all going to h--l and we're excited about it. Don't be jealous." "Where is your God now, Tebow?" NFL players who joined in the mockery were not fined, disciplined or forced into education training camp. Such is the cultural double standard between the way Michael Sam is being treated and the experience of Tim Tebow. But what should one expect these days when anything goes, except for free speech critical of the LGBT crowd?
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.

The Veil
Some prior-Muslim women’s activists have described the Islamic veil as a sensory deprivation-social interaction  isolation chamber-ambulatory body-bag. Thousands of Iranian women are protesting their nation’s oppressive culture by tossing aside their hijabs and taking selfies that are turning up in a growing Facebook gallery. The page, titled “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women,” has garnered nearly 180,000 likes in just two weeks. The women pictured on it are seen joyfully shedding the Muslim garb in various locations around the Islamic republic. The page was created by London-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, who came up with the idea after hearing from women in her homeland who told her how lucky she is to have Facebook photos with her hair blowing in the wind
Is Easter a Pagan holiday?
It is unfortunate that English calls the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus “Easter.” The etymology of this word is uncertain and the Venerable Bede thought it was the name of a Norse goddess. However, it seems that there was no such thing as a goddess Easter and Bede was in error. The goddess (or goddesses) of sexuality was (were) Frigga (and Fria). (Our week-day Friday-is Fria’s day.) Scholars of Norse mythology believe that there was no goddess Easter and Bede was in error. He is the only ancient source for the Germanic goddess Easter. In other European languages, the Aramaic word “Pascha” is used for the festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Regardless of the origin of “Easter,” even if Bede was right, there doesn’t seem to be a connection between Germanic and Babylonian religion and the ancient Babylonians didn’t use eggs or bunnies in any of their holidays.
This Easter, Richard Dawkins was publicizing false information about the “pagan origins” of Easter.

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