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August, 2012


Religious Freedom Means “Sticking up for All Believers”

Ken McIntyre  Aug. 21, 2012

The crowd erupted into disarmed laughter when Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson got to the point. “I have to say when it comes to religious freedom and the other great constitutional questions at the moment that are at stake: However bad you think things are, however bleak it looks, however dire it may seem—it’s almost certainly worse than you think.”

That’s as good a reason as any to be better equipped for the debates ahead. Hasson, founder and president emeritus of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, made those remarks nearly four months ago upon receiving The Heritage Foundation’s Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship.

His acclaimed 2005 book, The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America, is just out in a timely paperback reprint from Image (with a new afterword).

Examples of government’s intolerance toward personal faith in the public square have multiplied since Hasson’s “it’s almost certainly worse” crack—from Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that employers get over their faith and provide employees with “free” abortion-inducing drugs, to elected officials who threaten to make an entrepreneur’s religion a reason to deny a building permit in their cities.

Hasson’s The Right to Be Wrong, overflowing with real-life cases and reflecting the life’s mission of this Notre Dame-trained lawyer and theologian, is about why we need to protect religious freedom from tyranny in all shapes and sizes.

“We are manning the believer’s side of the barricades against the forces who believe in nothingness,” the essayist and scholar said in accepting the Salvatori Prize during an April 26 luncheon in Colorado Springs opening Heritage’s 35th annual Resource Bank gathering. He added:


“Therefore, we need to defend the rights of other people who believe in something—even if we think they believe the wrong thing. In so doing, we are sticking up for all believers against the nihilists. We are standing tall for those who are convinced there is a truth, against those who are opposed to the very idea of anybody making truth claims in public. That is the fight that we are in the middle of—repelling an assault by people who believe in nothing against the very idea of believing in anything.”

This article can be read in its entirety at



Obama Administration's War On Persecuted Christians

Friday, 03 August 2012
Right Side News

The Investigative Project on Terrorism
The Obama administration's support for its Islamist allies means a lack of U.S. support for their enemies or, more properly, victims—the Christian and other non-Muslim minorities of the Muslim world. Consider the many recent proofs:
According to Pete Winn of CNS:

The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports. The new human rights reports—purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered—are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role. For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011… (emphasis added).

The CNS report goes on to quote several U.S. officials questioning the motives of the Obama administration. Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Farr said that he has "observed during the three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration that the issue of religious freedom has been distinctly downplayed."

In "Obama Overlooks Christian Persecution," James Walsh gives more examples of State Department indifference "regarding the New Years' murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the ravaging of a cathedral," including how the State Department "refused to list Egypt as 'a country of particular concern,' even as Christians and others were being murdered, churches destroyed, and girls kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. "

And the evidence keeps mounting. Legislation to create a special envoy for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia—legislation that, in the words of the Washington Post, "passed the House by a huge margin," has been stalled by Sen. James Webb, D-Va.:

In a letter sent to Webb Wednesday night, Rep. Frank Wolf [R-Va, who introduced the envoy bill] said he "cannot understand why" the hold had been placed on a bill that might help Coptic Christians and other groups "who face daily persecution, hardship, violence, instability and even death."

Yet the ultimate source of opposition is the State Department. The Post continues:

Webb spokesman Will Jenkins explained the hold by saying that "after considering the legislation, Senator Webb asked the State Department for its analysis." In a position paper issued in response, State Department officials said "we oppose the bill as it infringes on the Secretary's [Hillary Clinton's] flexibility to make appropriate staffing decisions," and suggested the duties of Wolf's proposed envoy would overlap with several existing positions. "The new special envoy position is unnecessary, duplicative, and likely counterproductive," the State Department said (emphasis added).

But as Wolf explained in his letter: "If I believed that religious minorities, especially in these strategic regions, were getting the attention warranted at the State Department, I would cease in pressing for passage of this legislation. Sadly, that is far from being the case. We must act now…. Time is running out."

There was little doubt among the speakers that, while Webb is the front man, Hillary Clinton—who was named often—is ultimately behind the opposition to the bill. (Videos of all speakers can be accessed here; for information on the envoy bill and how to contact Webb's office, click here).

Even those invited to speak about matters outside of Egypt, such as Nigerian lawyer and activist Emmanuel Ogebe, wondered at Obama's position that the ongoing massacres of Christians have nothing to do with religion. After describing the sheer carnage of thousands of Christians at the hands of Muslim militants, lamented that Obama's response was to pressure the Nigerian president to make more concessions, including by creating more mosques (the very places that "radicalize" Muslims against infidel Christians).

In light of all this, naturally the Obama administration, in the guise of the State Department, would oppose a bill to create an envoy who will only expose more religious persecution that the administration will have to suppress or obfuscate?

Bottom line: In its attempts to empower its Islamist allies, the current U.S. administration has taken up their cause by waging a war of silence on their despised enemies—the Christians and other minorities of the Islamic world.

This article can be read in its entirety at:


Federal Court finds Obama appointees interfered with New Black Panther prosecution

July 30, 2012

By Conn Carroll
Senior Editorial Writer

The Washington Examiner

A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.

The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys’ fees.

Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.

In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.

The New Black Panthers case stems from a Election Day 2008 incident where two members of the New Black Panther Party were filmed outside a polling place intimidating voters and poll watchers by brandishing a billy club. Justice Department lawyers investigated the case, filed charges, and when the Panthers failed to respond, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the Panthers defendants. But after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department reversed course, dismissed charges against three of the defendants, and let the fourth off with a narrowly tailored restraining order.

“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”

This article can be viewed in its entirety at


NAPOLITANO: Restraining Arizona, unleashing Obama

High court allows president discretion in upholding law or not

The Washington Times

By Andrew P Napolitano
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When the Obama administration decided it had no interest in preventing the movement of undocumented aliens from Mexico into the southwestern United States, Arizona decided to take matters into its own hands. Based on a novel theory of constitutional law - namely, that if a state is unhappy with the manner in which federal law is being enforced or not being enforced, it can step into the shoes of the feds and enforce federal law as it wishes the feds would - Arizona enacted legislation to accomplish that.

The legislation created two conflicts that rose to the national stage. The first is whether any government may morally and legally interfere with freedom of association based on the birthplace of the person with whom one chooses to associate. The second is whether the states can enforce federal law in a manner different from that of the feds.

Regrettably, in addressing all of this earlier in the week, the Supreme Court overlooked the natural and fundamental freedom to associate. It is a natural right because it stems from the better nature of our humanity, and it is a fundamental right because it is protected from governmental interference by the Constitution. Freedom of association means that without force or fraud, you may freely choose to be in the presence of whomever you please, and the government cannot force you to associate with someone with whom you have chosen not to associate, nor can the government bar anyone with whom you wish to associate from associating with you.

Without even addressing the now-taken-for-granted federal curtailment of the right to associate with someone born in a foreign country and whose presence is inconsistent with arbitrary federal document requirements and quotas, the Supreme Court earlier this week struck down three of the four challenged parts of the Arizona statute, which attempted to supplant the federal regulation of freedom of association with its own version. It did so because the Constitution specifically gives to Congress the authority to regulate immigration, and Congress, by excluding all other law-writing bodies in the U.S. from enacting laws on immigration, has pre-empted the field.

The court specifically invalidated the heart and soul of this misguided Arizona law by ruling definitively that in the area of immigration, the states cannot stand in the shoes of the feds just because they disapprove of the manner in which the feds are or are not enforcing federal law. The remedy for one’s disapproval of the manner of federal law enforcement is to elect a different president or Congress; it is not to tinker with the Constitution.

Federal law cannot have a different meaning in different states, the court held. And just as the feds must respect state sovereignty in matters retained by the states under the Constitution (though they rarely do), so too, the states must respect federal sovereignty in matters that the Constitution has unambiguously delegated to the feds.

The court neither upheld nor invalidated Section 2B of the Arizona statute - which permits police inquiry of the immigration status of those arrested for non-immigration offenses - because the court found that, just as when the police stop a person for a violation of state or local law they may check their computers for outstanding warrants for the person they have stopped, so, too, they may check their computers for the person’s immigration status.

Shortly after the opinion came down, the Obama administration announced that it will cease providing Arizona police with the immigration status of persons in that state, and it will not detain anyone arrested by Arizona police for immigration violations unless those violations rise to the level of a felony, which undocumented presence in the United States is not. Thus, this constitutional rebuke to Arizona has become a personal license for the president. He has demonstrated that he will not faithfully enforce federal law as the Constitution requires. He will only enforce the laws with which he agrees.

So, because the Arizona police cannot arrest and incarcerate anyone for undocumented presence and because they cannot deliver anyone so arrested to the feds, what legitimate governmental purpose will be served by what remains of Arizona’s law? None. But the police still will harass any dark-skinned person in Arizona as they please.

Have we lost sight of the perpetual tension between human freedom and human law? Either freedom is integral to our nature, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, or it comes from the government, as the president and the Supreme Court demonstrated they think this week. If it is integral to our nature, no government can tell us with whom we may freely associate. If it comes from the government, we should abandon all hope, as the government will permit the exercise of only those freedoms that are not an obstacle to the contemporary exercise of its powers.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. He is the author of “It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom” (Thomas Nelson, 2011).

What do you think about this article? Does the Judge glide over the governments enumerated responsiblity to "protect and defend" at the expense of individual sovereignty? See the article at the Washington Times website, and see readers reactions.

Obama Overlooks Christian Persecution

Thursday, 24 May 2012

By James Walsh


Coptic Christians have resided in Egypt since the 1st century A.D., some 600 years before Muhammad began preaching and 630 years before he solidified Islam in the Arabian Peninsula.

Muslims entered Egypt in the year 639 and by the 13th century, Islam had taken over. By the 20th century, Christians, who formed only 10 percent of the Egyptian population, were finding themselves victims of on-again-off-again pogroms conducted by Muslim radicals.

The current turmoil in Egypt is increasing the number of Egyptian Christians seeking asylum in the West and especially in America. Most of these asylees are educated men and women who are professionals and entrepreneurs. Banking in Egypt historically has been in the hands of Christians.

Even so, under Sharia (Islamic law), non-Muslim “infidels” have to pay a tax called the Jizya for living in a Muslim country, even those whose families predated the Muslims.

Egyptian Christians and U.S. citizens of Egyptian ancestry feel abandoned by the United States, which currently refuses to acknowledge persecution of Christians by Muslims, lest it offend the Muslim world.

President Barack Obama banks on Egyptian Christians being too genteel to take to the streets in protest as the radical leftists do.

On June 4, 2009, when President Obama delivered his “New Beginnings” speech in Cairo, Egypt, he addressed the Islamic world. As with his other speeches, this one had an air of campaign rhetoric well-delivered with apology, empathy, and accolades for Islam.

The “We love you” chants for Obama in Cairo, however, cannot erase the terrorist acts committed against Christian “infidels.”

These terrorist acts, which began in earnest in the 1970s, escalated to a crescendo during the Arab Spring of 2011-2012 in Egypt and other Muslim countries. The chant in Egyptian streets is now “Allah Akbar” (God is great) and “We love death,” as radical Islamists take center stage.

In February 2011, then Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pulled an Obama two-step by deflecting to the U.S. State Department questions regarding the New Years’ murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the ravaging of a cathedral.

The State Department’s answer was silence. Human Rights Watch, however, did note growing religious intolerance and violence against Christians in Egypt — after additional murders of Christians and burning of churches.

The 2011 State Department Annual Report on International Religious Freedom refused to list Egypt as “a country of particular concern,” even as Christians and others were being murdered, churches destroyed, and girls kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. The Obama administration played politics by failing to acknowledge this terrorist behavior.

In May 2012, Christians fear that Islamists will be the finalists in the field of 13 presidential candidates for the June presidential run-off election. The candidates who happen to be Islamists are supported by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists.

The Salafists and the MB seek Islamic law as the basis for a new Egyptian constitution, which will consider all non-Muslims as infidels subject to persecution as third-class citizens.

During the Obama presidency, 31 major Islamist attacks have occurred worldwide, not counting those in Israel, India, and Russia. Yet the Obama administration and the Democrat Party continue to mislead U.S. citizens, claiming the need for empathy to assuage Muslim sensibilities.

It is time for a new foreign policy.

James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994.

© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

View article in its entirety at Newsmax.com: Obama Overlooks Christian Persecution

Commentary: Making the Fifth Amendment optional

The Detroit News

By Dale McFeatters

May 23, 2012  

The framers of the U.S. Constitution were admirably clear, or so they and we thought, when they wrote in the Fifth Amendment that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law ..."

Note that the framers didn't specify that the person had to be a U.S. citizen. And by "due process" they meant the right to be formally charged, to challenge those charges before a judge and to have defense counsel present.

So important was this right to due process that the 14th Amendment reiterated that its protections also applied to the states.

Clear enough? Perhaps not.

The U.S. House recently affirmed the government's power to detain indefinitely in military custody suspected terrorists, even if they are U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, without charge or trial. All that is required is suspicion.

This provision does away with the presumption of innocence. If the detainee is deemed an "illegal combatant," the prisoner is 90 percent of the way toward being declared guilty without the technicality of a trial.

A coalition of Democrats and tea party-movement Republicans, skeptical about the ever-increasing power of a central government, failed to roll back that power, their amendment losing by the dismaying margin of 238 to 182.

Basically, the House reaffirmed a provision in a defense bill that President Barack Obama signed on Dec. 31.

In a statement accompanying the bill, Obama wrote, "My administration will not authorize indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."

That's a commendable notion. But a right is not truly a right when someone else gets to decide whether and when that right should apply.

The Associated Press noted, "In a face-saving move, the House voted 243-173 Friday for an amendment that reaffirms Americans' constitutional rights."

It says something about our current crop of lawmakers that 173 of them would vote "no" on the Bill of Rights. Maybe for the past 220 or so years, the Constitution wasn't as clear as we thought.

Dale McFeatters’ column is distributed by the Scripps Howard News Service.

Article can be read in its entirety at




Jacksonville’s Moral Constitutional Patriots Speak

A Response By Dr. Gene A. Youngblood

Presented  at City Council Meeting of 5/22/2012


WHEREAS  Our City council has introduced ordinance 2012-296.  This bill is cloaked under the disguise of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in the marketplace.


WHEREAS This bill states that the city of Jacksonville seeks to build a reputation as a welcoming community for bright and talented members of the workforce, and seeks to be competitive in attracting new industries to the region.  However, the bill seems to focus only on a “special class,” ignoring the U.S. Constitution and religious liberties.


WHEREAS Jacksonville, Florida as well as other cities and states across America already have multiple layers of federal, state and local laws, boards, and commissions that prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin.  This bill would add any “perceived sex” (perceived sex, gender identity, or expression as found on pages 3 (lines 7 and 20) and page 4 (lines 1-2)) and would abridge free speech.


WHEREAS The U.S. Constitution, Florida Constitution, the EEOC, and several other civil rights laws, all provide more than adequate oversight and protection against discrimination in every area in the workplace.


WHEREAS Ordinance 2012-296 provides and would codify rules and regulations that would surpass and/or circumvent our U.S. Constitution, Florida Constitution, and present laws-  thus, the bill is unconstitutional.


WHEREAS Lines 22-24 on page 3 would bring about chaos, major additional workplace expenses, and confusion.  This provision would force every business to provide unisex restrooms.  States such as California among others,  that have instituted such practices are now watching industry, trade and new businesses leave their state, thus causing an extra burden on homeowners being required to pay higher property taxes.  Is this what we want in Jacksonville?


WHEREAS Ordinance 2012-296 clearly recognizes that the requirements of this bill go beyond the U.S Constitution as revealed in lines 1-5 of page 3, wherein the reference to the bill’s constitutionality has been stricken.


WHEREAS Page 4, lines 1-3, provides for a person’s actual or perceived sexuality, it would be impossible to legislate or police.  This will cause a major increase in tax money to investigate and/or enforce.  This means that a man may “onlyperceive he is a woman and can enter a woman’s restroom or demand special exceptions.  This would also allow pedophiles and multitudes of other perverts to file discrimination charges against businesses.


WHEREAS  Ordinance 2012-296 will be costly and prohibitive making the end result  a net loss of business or industry coming to Jacksonville.  This is clear, based on requirements in the bill as found on page 4, lines 6-8.


WHEREAS Ordinance 2012-296 would be overreaching and overly encompassing by forcing a business owner to go against his moral conscience, to comply with the essence of law that would be contrary to his moral, ethical beliefs.


WHEREAS Ordinance 2012-296 will create a specialsuper class” of protected people that the U.S. Constitution, Florida Constitution, and state laws do not recognize as havingspecial privileges.”  Remember: “Thou shalt not lie with a man, as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Lev. 18-22).


WHEREAS  Section 406.102 of ordinance 2012-296, “Declaration of policy” is clearly overstepping the bounds of the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution.  Furthermore, the major cost for the city to be in compliance will further increase our $58 million budget deficit.  The moral, ethical property owners will be charged increased fees and taxes to pay for this immoral law that would circumvent free speech.


WHEREAS Page 10 lines 7-16 of ordinance 2012-296 will further increase the cost of providing housing in our city.  This section will also cause very serious escalation of tax dollars for the city to be in compliance of this bill.



WHEREAS Page 2, lines 1-6 make it clear that 2012-296 is designed for more than just an equal rights bill for labor.  This bill would “in fact” make it illegal for anyone speaking out about any religion in any “antagonism.”  This bill would impose regulations on free speech in the public arena.  This bill is unconstitutional!


WHEREAS It is the position of the undersigned patriots, clergy and moral leaders that this bill should not be approved in any form or part thereof, based on the following summary:


1. This bill would establish a “special class” of citizens, contrary to our Constitution.


2. This bill would provide for broad application and enforcement of a law that is not in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.  This bill is unconstitutional!


3. This bill would greatly infringe Constitutional Rights in the free exercise of one’s moral conscience.


4. This bill would bring about a major tax increase for Jacksonville property owners.  We already have a $58 million deficit.


5. This bill would criminalize free speech as relates to various religions or homosexuality as prescribed in God’s Word, the Bible.  The Bible declares sodomy, and those who practice this vile, evil, lifestyle; God has given them over to a reprobate life.” Rom. 1:24-28.


6. This bill would marginalize Christians and “allmoral, ethical citizens of Duval County and give special privilege to the “sodomites”.


7. This bill would reduce, not increase the desirability and social climate for businesses to settle in Jacksonville.


8. This bill uses a “straw man,” false premise that businesses have in history past refused to come to Jacksonville because this bill does not exist.  Produce one such rejection of Jacksonville.


9. This bill will create division, discord, debate and declension in our city that is not welcomed or wanted.


10. This bill is in conflict with and contradicts everything moral, ethical, and Biblical.  We do not want Jacksonville, Florida to be another San Francisco.  Remember, a human law, regardless of good intentions, cannot circumvent or nullify God’s law.  God’s Word both in Old and New Testament is replete with God’s condemnation of sodomy!  Remember: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame, insult) to any people! Prov. 14:34




May 22, 2012




Bill 2012-296 is introduced as a works bill, but it is, in fact, a far-reaching,  overreaching, unconstitutional effort to develop and codify a “special class” of citizens under the cloak of “anti-discrimination.”


Do we have discrimination in Jacksonville?


Do we have discrimination in America?


Yes, We do!


What is discrimination?


1. Discrimination is:

When a Christian teacher in a government controlled school is threatened with dismissal just because as a Christian, he had his personal Bible on his desk.


2. Discrimination is:

When a teacher is forbidden to say, “God bless you,” or “We are praying for you,” to a student.


3. Discrimination is:

When a student is not allowed to wear a t-shirt with a Christian symbol, yet immoral or  anti-God slogans are accepted.


4. Discrimination is:

When a second grader is forbidden to thank Jesus over her lunch because the teacher said she was on government property.


5. Discrimination is:

When moral ethical parents are not told when the schools planned a recognition day for sodomites in our schools April 21, 2012.  This is unconstitutional!


6. Discrimination is:

When Christians are not allowed to have Christian clubs (after school) in most public schools, yet all other non-Biblical, ungodly clubs are allowed to meet.


7. Discrimination is:

When we are told that we cannot pray in Jesus’ name, yet, Islamic-jihadists are free to worship and pray to Allah in public schools in America which provide special “halal” meals.


8. Discrimination is:

When small startup churches are not allowed to meet in school buildings for services in many states.


9. Discrimination is:

When YouTube pulls Christian videos, but allows the ungodly garbage over the same internet system.


10. Discrimination is:

When a Christian school is persecuted by city government in America, and when the decision is questioned, the Christian school is levied with “retaliatory” taxes.


11. Discrimination is:

When Christian teachers in South Florida have to meet in a supply closet to pray, or be fired!  


12. Discrimination is:

When a Christian worker is forbidden to put a verse of Scripture on her private cubicle wall or be fired.


13. Discrimination is:

When Christians are required to pay taxes which are then used to support a “special class” of individuals who have chosen to live ungodly, dissipated lifestyles and demand acceptance.


14. Discrimination is:

When our city will not allow any religious ads to be purchased on the side of city buses, but will allow any other ads.


15. Discrimination is:

When street preachers are arrested in some cities for “disturbing the peace,” when Islamics, homosexuals, pedophiles and other deviants are free to assemble.


16. Discrimination is:

When any city council or branch of government codifiesany” law that is unconstitutional just to appease the “sodomites” in their chosen lifestyles.



We  publicly reject this entire bill and go on record that we will vote against any council person running for re-election or any public office in Jacksonville or the state of Florida.  We  will endeavor to call, email, notify and engage every ethical, moral, taxpaying patriot in Jacksonville to stand against the approval of bill 2012-296. 


Holder orders women's restrooms open to male

University caves in after warning from Obama DOJ

May 24, 2012

On orders from Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, officials with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith have given permission for a 38-year-old man to use the women’s restrooms on campus.

The report comes from Campus Reform.org, which explained that the individual also is seeking to have someone pay for a sex reassignment surgery to change from male to female.

Already living as a female, the individual, identified in the report as Jennifer Braly, started using women’s restrooms on campus, but quickly was the subject of complaints from women who saw him there.

The university had tried to make accommodations, designating gender-neutral restrooms in some buildings.

Not good enough, however.

Braly filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder, school officials reported. The DOJ contacted the school.

“[T]he office of civil rights basically made its expectations through the attorney and the decision was made to respond to that direction,” said Mark Horn, the vice president of university relations. “[T]he DOJ complaint caused revisiting of our thinking.

“In the eyes of the law this individual [Braly] is entitled to use the bathroom that she identifies with,” Horn said.

The DOJ complaint was filed by Braly after the university told him to use any of the gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

“One problem to this is there are not unisex bathrooms in every building,” Braly wrote in an online essay about how other people should contribute to his surgery costs. “Especially the two main buildings where most of my classes are, so I have to go to a completely different building to use the restroom.”

While the university offered to convert other restrooms to gender-neutral, Braly said that wasn’t satisfactory.

The Campus Reform report said while anatomy matters little to the DOJ, it still remains a concern for other students.

“‘I disagree with allowing a male to use the female restrooms,” Amanda Shook, a senior at UA, told Campus Reform. “Even if they are a transgendered person, they are still a man, and should have to use the men’s restroom.”

The DOJ and school both have declined to release the letter giving the school directions on the dispute, Campus Reform reported.

The DOJ told Campus Reform that the records “pertain to a currently active Civil Rights Division enforcement and access to the records should therefore be denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A) since disclosure thereof could reasonably be expected to interfere with Civil Rights Division enforcement proceedings.”

While Braly did not respond to Campus Reform requests for comment, there is an extensive monologue by Braly on the fundraising website WePay.

That reflects that $75 has been contributed to the estimated $18,500 costs of the surgery.

Braly writes that his finances are depleted because when a second marriage ended, a custody battle “drained all my funds.”

“I am now a full-time student at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Most of my life is pretty normal as fitting into female society. I am passsable (sic) and have a part-time job. At the university I am running into problems all over the place.”

Braly explains that the choice to use women’s restrooms was unnoticed for a time.

“Then I took General Psychology and had asked the professor if I could give a lecture on Gender Identity Disorders for some extra credit. She not only allowed me to speak to my class but her other 2 classes as well. She also referred me to another professor and I spoke in his class too.

“I was excited I was educating people about being a transsexual and the other types of Gender Identity Disorders. Those lectures would be the beginning of all my problems. As I did get many great responses from students how my lectures greatly changed their perspective of what transsexuals are, some students were not so accepting.

“Some saw me using the womens public restrooms and complained to the university that they didn’t think I should be using the restroom with them.”

The report also complains that Braly didn’t get special accommodations in living arrangements.

“There came a problem that they would not let me room with males, and I could not room with females either unless I became friends with them and disclosed all my medical information to them…” the report continues.

“I tried to be creative and work with them on this, but to no prevail (sic),” the report said.

“Regardless of where I am at in my transtion (sic) I should have the same rights as every other female.”

Part of the reason for requesting donations for the surgery is because Braly’s income goes partly toward the monthly costs of hormone treatments as well as “required psychotherapy for transsexuals.”

To read this article in its entirety at World Net Daily, click here.

A Sanctuary Amid Fears of Persecution at Home


Published: May 16, 2012

HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. — The Reformed Church in this prosperous suburb has for years packed a lot inside its walls, including addiction counseling, a housing program, dance groups, gatherings for developmentally disabled people, a restaurant, a thrift shop and space to worship for hundreds of people from half a dozen religious congregations.

Some of the Indonesian Christians seeking to avoid deportation wear ankle monitors to ensure compliance with court orders.

Many Indonesians came to New Jersey on tourist visas.

Now, the church is taking on another role: sanctuary for five Indonesian Christians facing deportation and fearful of religious persecution in their homeland.

“When I got here, I felt safety,” said Arthur Jemmy, 36, an Indonesian who had been scheduled to be deported on April 30. “I feel really terrified to go back to Indonesia.”

The situation has challenged the church’s co-pastor, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, to weigh the law against his moral and religious beliefs.

“You can read all sorts of stuff about the trouble you can get in if you prevent the government from doing its job on immigration,” Mr. Kaper-Dale, 36, said. “We have to stand with the oppressed even if the law of the land sometimes doesn’t exactly coincide with the teachings of peace and justice and love found in Scripture.”

Indonesian Christians in central New Jersey began seeking Mr. Kaper-Dale’s help a decade ago. Most had left Indonesia on tourist visas in the late 1990s and early 2000s and then stayed in the United States after their visas expired, finding jobs in the region’s warehouses and factories. They feared returning to Indonesia because of religious persecution by that country’s Muslim majority, they said. All filed asylum applications, but they were rejected by the American government because they had filed too long after their arrival.

In 2009, Mr. Kaper-Dale, who has been the church’s co-pastor, with his wife, Stephanie, since 2001, brokered an unusual agreement with immigration authorities: The Indonesians, then numbering 72, would be allowed to stay temporarily and work, but the permission could be rescinded at any moment.

With the extra time, Mr. Kaper-Dale hoped, the Indonesians would be able to secure permanent legal status, either through the courts or changes in immigration laws in Washington.

In any case, he said, the Indonesians should be eligible for long-term relief under the Obama administration’s policy of focusing its deportation efforts on serious criminals and immigrants who pose a threat to public safety.

But late last year, the Department of Homeland Security began ordering the Indonesians to appear at its Newark office, prepared to return to Indonesia.

Despite aggressive lobbying by Mr. Kaper-Dale and other advocates for immigrants, the deportations began. On Jan. 3, a member of the group, Freddy Pangau, was sent back to Indonesia. In the weeks that followed, another five were deported.

On March 1, the day Saul Timisela was scheduled to be deported, Mr. Kaper-Dale opened the doors of the church to him. Mr. Timisela was wearing an electronic monitor that immigration officials had attached to his ankle weeks earlier to ensure compliance with court dates and the deportation order.

“Today, we will cry out to God, and cry out to the president, asking that he stop deporting Indonesian Christian refugees who are neither criminals nor egregious immigration offenders,” Mr. Kaper-Dale wrote in an e-mail to reporters.

In interviews, the Indonesians said they were eager to find a path to legal status in the United States and continued to fear religious persecution in Indonesia. In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said that the Indonesian authorities had “failed to adequately address increasing incidents of mob violence” directed at religious minorities, including Christians, and that local governments had closed hundreds of Christian churches.

Mr. Timisela, 45, said that in 1998, several months before he left Indonesia, anti-Christian rioters decapitated his cousin’s husband, a pastor, and burned down his church. When Mr. Timisela arrived in the United States to attend a youth conference, his family urged him to stay.

“I hope they understand what we’re doing here,” he said of the American government. “We’re looking for a better life, freedom of worship.”

Immigration officials said they were reviewing appeals for prosecutorial discretion on a “case-by-case basis,” suspending the deportation of some of the Indonesians who posed no threat to public safety and had strong familial and community ties in the United States.

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Homeland Security Department, said the agency had extended stays of removal for 25 of the Indonesian Christians in central New Jersey since last fall “due to the specific circumstances” of their cases.

Mr. Kaper-Dale is banking on the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives that would allow certain Indonesians who fled persecution in their homeland from 1997 to 2002 to resubmit asylum claims that had been denied because they missed the one-year filing deadline.

On the bulletin board in his office, the pastor has posted a large spread sheet. It lists all the Indonesian Christians who have sought his help and the status of their cases, from their immigration registration numbers to the citizenship of their children, the status of their spouses and the date of their scheduled deportations.

“I used to have to keep very careful track, but now I have it in my head,” Mr. Kaper-Dale said. “I know their lives — inside and out.”

This article may be read in its entirety at


The United Church Observer

Compassion for the persecuted?


By Mike Milne

May, 2012

In the years following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s 300,000 Baha’is faced escalating persecution. Hundreds were executed or “disappeared,” and thousands were imprisoned or denied employment. Their crime: living in a rigidly theocratic state but believing in the ultimate unification of all religions.

At the United Nations last fall, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird cited the plight of Iran’s Baha’is, women, Christians and dissident Muslims while announcing plans for a Canadian Office of Religious Freedom. Six months later, it’s still not entirely clear how the office will operate or what it will do beyond a vague mandate to address religious persecution around the world. Baird continues to hold consultations with religious leaders in Canada and elsewhere.

Many of them have high hopes that the new office will fulfil Baird’s pledge at the UN “to defend the vulnerable, to challenge the aggressor, to protect and promote human rights and human dignity, at home and abroad.” Amid the hopeful voices, though, are accusations that consultations haven’t been broad or transparent enough, and fears that the office may simply be a ploy to lure religious voters.

Few dispute that religious persecution is a problem. According to the U.S.-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, restrictions on and hostilities over religion affect 2.2 billion people, a third of the world’s population.

Religious persecution ranges from hostility between faiths — such as attacks by radical Islamists on Coptic Christians in Egypt — to state-sanctioned suppression of all religions (as in North Korea), minority religions (Christians in Saudi Arabia) or any believers seen as enemies of the state (Jehovah’s Witnesses and some evangelical Christians in Eritrea).

Official restrictions on religion range from France’s ban on wearing face-covering veils, such as the Islamic niqab, to death sentences in Iran for abandoning the Muslim faith. Almost a third of the world’s nations have laws against apostasy, blasphemy and defamation of their dominant religion. A handful enforce them vigorously.

In China, where all religions are subject to state scrutiny and control, the banned Falun Gong alleges that practitioners of the movement have been used as live organ donors and then executed. China has consistently denied the charges.

In 2010, Christians were estimated to comprise 33 percent of the world’s population. The Pew Forum study found that Christians were harassed in more countries — 130 — than any other faith group. Muslims, harassed in 117 countries, were second. And although Jews make up only about one percent of the world’s population, they are fourth on the list, harassed in 75 countries.

Don Hutchinson, vice-president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), was a panelist at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s initial consultation on the proposed Office of Religious Freedom in Ottawa last fall. Subsequent media coverage implied that evangelical Christians were guiding the office’s design.

The notion that Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has teamed up with Christian conservatives is not new. In her 2010 book, The Armageddon Factor, author Marci McDonald outlines how Harper — who grew up in the United Church but now attends an evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance church — has carefully nurtured those connections.

Hutchinson, a lawyer with a long record of pro-Christian human rights work, brushes off those concerns and denies reports that the consultation was closed or secretive. He also says it’s natural that as a Christian and the chair of a group of evangelicals working on the issue of persecution (the Religious Liberty Commission), he is mainly concerned about Christians. “So, we’re out engaging on the persecution of Christians,” says Hutchinson, “but I can tell you that the Baha’i community is engaging for the Baha’is and . . . that the different Muslim communities are engaging on behalf of their communities. And we can go down the list.”

Len Rudner, director of community relations and outreach for the newly created Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, calls the proposed new office “a worthwhile endeavour.”

“This is certainly more than simply speaking out because we believe our community has something to gain,” he says. “It’s not just about us.”

If Baird’s office is attempting to push only the concerns of certain groups, it’s covering its tracks exceptionally well. In his speech to the UN, after promising to stand up for persecuted minority Buddhists and Muslims in Burma, Baird mentioned concerns about “gays and lesbians threatened with criminalization of their sexuality in Uganda.” That’s not a statement all evangelical churches would encourage. As well, Canadian representatives of Falun Gong have been welcomed at consultations, something that is sure to annoy Baird’s counterparts in Beijing when he travels there to promote trade.

Joining Christian, Jewish and Baha’i groups at last fall’s consultation were Shia, Sunni and Ahmadiyya Muslims, plus Hindus and Buddhists. Due in part to travel budget cutbacks, the Canadian Council of Churches monitored the event by Internet. The United Church sent Ottawa Presbytery staffer Rev. Lillian Roberts. If the creation of the office had any hidden agenda, she says, it wasn’t apparent at the consultation.

Still, says Imam Abdul Hai Patel, past co-ordinator of the Canadian Council of Imams, mainstream Muslim groups like his were not invited to the Ottawa meeting. He attended a later Toronto-area consultation along with Roman Catholic Cardinal Thomas Collins.

In the government’s defence, Muslim groups are numerous and varied. Reaching all of them is not easy.

The Muslim Canadian Congress, which did attend the consultation, claims to represent the majority of Canadian Muslims — who, according to the group’s founder, Toronto-based author and radio host Tarek Fatah, defy stereotypes by rarely attending mosques, by opposing Shariah law and by not wearing the hijab.

Fatah, who bills himself as an enemy of militant Islam, says the proposed Office of Religious Freedom is “quite timely.” And he’s blunt about why. “The main issue here is we’re not talking about the mistreatment of, say, Muslim immigrants in Greece, but the abysmal condition of Christians in Muslim lands,” says Fatah. He chides liberal Christian groups for their reluctance to speak out against the persecution of other Christians.

Announcing the beginning of World Interfaith Harmony Week earlier this year, United Church Moderator Mardi Tindal quoted the United Nations’ acknowledgment that “Our world is rife with religious tension and, sadly, mistrust, dislike and hatred.” Yet, as Fatah suggests, the United Church is one of those groups that rarely speak out against specific instances of persecution of fellow Christians. Gail Allan, in charge of the denomination’s interchurch and interfaith work, says the church is committed “to be attending to persecution of all communities of faith, wherever that might take place,” and works through the World Council of Churches and its own global partners wherever religious persecution is seen as a problem.

As Allan also points out, United Church analysis often sees non-religious forces behind what seems to be religious persecution. Early in 2011, for example, the church wrote Coptic Christian church leaders to express concerns over the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. The letter noted that church bombings in Egypt and Iraq had been “condemned by Muslims and Christians alike and are not at their root expressions of religious hatred or intolerance.” Allan says the ongoing tension between Copts and majority Muslims in the Middle East is “part of a political, economic and social conflict that needs to be addressed.”

“I have been challenged by the Jewish community . . . over the years for a general Christian inattention to the persecution of Christians around the world,” says Canadian Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Karen Hamilton. “That’s not to say there are any easy answers, but maybe we need to pay a little more attention.”

Former United Church moderator Very Rev. Lois Wilson says the proposed Office of Religious Freedom “sounds wonderful” — during her four years in Ottawa as a senator, she tried unsuccessfully to persuade the foreign affairs department to establish an advisory group on religion. She also learned a thing or two about how Ottawa works. “I can’t help but feel that this was put in place to get votes,” says Wilson. “That’s the only reason they do anything, including the Liberals and the NDP.” 


This abbreviated article may be read in its entirety at


From Rapid City Journal

Officials: Expanded drone strikes approved

Associated Press | Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012

The U.S. is widening the war on al-Qaida in Yemen, expanding drone strikes against the terror network a year after the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

U.S. counterterrorist forces will now be allowed to target individuals found to be plotting attacks on U.S. territory, even if U.S. intelligence cannot identify the person by name, two senior U.S. officials said.

Prior practice required militants to be identified as part of a lengthy legal vetting process. Now, tracking an individual in the act of commanding al-Qaida fighters or planning an attack on U.S. territory or American individuals can land the person on the shoot-to-kill list, officials said.

"What this means in practice is there are times when counterterrorism professionals can assess with high confidence someone is an AQAP leader, even if they can't tell us by name who that individual is," one of the officials said, referring to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The White House did not approve wider targeting of groups of al-Qaida foot soldiers, a practice sometimes employed by the CIA in Pakistan, and strikes will only be carried out with Yemeni government approval, officials said.

The new policy will widen the war against AQAP, Yemen's al-Qaida branch, which has gained territory in fighting against the Yemeni government… as al-Qaida's Yemen branch is seen as gaining ground against a government that is allied with the Americans.

The past year of political turmoil in Yemen, since the start of revolts linked to last year's Arab Spring, is "making it harder for them (the Yemeni government) to take a focused effort against al-Qaida" one of the officials said. "So these are counterterrorism tools designed to protect U.S. interests and homeland."

The expanded strikes would not be used in support of the Yemeni government's fight against internal opponents, the official added.

The U.S. has carried out 23 airstrikes in Yemen since last May, with twelve of those strikes in 2012, according to The Long War Journal, a website that tracks U.S. counterterrorism and militant activity.

Copywrite 2012 AP
This article can be read in its entirety at



The war is over?

Tribune Media Services

April 26, 2012

 "The war on terror is over," or so claims an unnamed senior State Department official, as reported by National Journal's Michael Hirsh in his recent article "The Post al-Qaida Era."

Really? Well, if the war is over, I must have missed the peace treaty signing ceremony. I also haven't noticed a decline in incendiary rhetoric, or the disarmament -- or at least laying down of arms -- that usually accompanies the end of war. Does this mean we can do away with full-body scanners and TSA pat-downs?

 The above column of Cal Thomas can be read in its entirety at


DFLers want U.S. constitutional amendment declaring that corporations aren't people, after all

By Joe Kimball



It's not only Republicans looking for constitutional amendments these days.

DFLers (Democratic Farmer Labor Party members) in the Minnesota House and Senate have introduced bills asking Congress to call a constitutional convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would clarify that corporations are not people.

There's been much consternation on this point, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a corporate political spending case that corporations have a First Amendment right to free speech.

The bill introduced by DFLers wants the constitutional amendment to say:

  • (1) The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
  • (2) Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and others established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the people, through federal, state, or local law.
  • (3) The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the people, through federal, state, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
  • (4) Federal, state, and local government shall regulate, limit or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
  • (5) Federal, state, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
  • (6) The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
  • (7) Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

In the state House, the bill was introduced and referred to committee.

This article can be seen in its entirety at


Catholic Bishops Urge ‘Campaign’ for Religious Freedom

In New York Times
Published April 12, 2012

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a proclamation on Thursday calling for every priest, parish and layperson to participate in “great national campaign” to defend religious liberty, which they said is “under attack, both at home and abroad.”

In particular they urged every diocese to hold a “Fortnight for Freedom” during the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, for parishioners to study, pray and take public action to fight what they see as the government’s attempts to curtail religious freedom.

“To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other,” said the statement, issued by the bishops ad hoc committee on religious freedom.

For more than half a year, the bishops have put the religious liberty issue front and center, but it has not yet galvanized the Catholic laity and has even further polarized the church’s liberal and conservative flanks. In an election year, liberal Catholics have accused the bishops of making the church an arm of the Republican Party in the drive to defeat President Obama — an accusation that the bishops reject.

“This ought not to be a partisan issue,” the bishops say in their statement in a section addressed to political leaders. “The Constitution is not for Democrats or Republicans or Independents. It is for all of us, and a great nonpartisan effort should be led by our elected representatives to ensure that it remains so.”

In the document, the bishops seek to explain that their alarm is not only about the mandate in the health reform act that requires even Catholic colleges and hospitals to have insurance plans that cover birth control. They cite seven examples of what they say are violations of religious freedom, including immigration laws in several states that they say make it illegal to minister to illegal immigrants.

They also assert that the government has violated the religious freedom of Catholics by cutting off contracts to Catholic agencies. Several states have denied financing to Catholic agencies that refused to place foster children with gay parents. And the federal government refused to reauthorize a grant to a Catholic immigration organization that served victims of sex trafficking because as a Catholic group, it would not provide or refer women to services for abortion and birth control.

Quoting from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the bishops say that unjust laws should be either changed or resisted. “In the face of an unjust law,” the bishops wrote, “an accommodation is not to be sought. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them.”

Article can be seen in its original entirety at


Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Spends 35th Birthday Behind Bars


American Center for Law and Justice

By Tiffany Barrans

April 11, 2012


Today, is Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s birthday, and our sources in Iran confirm that he is still alive. Thirty-five years ago, on the 23rd of the Farvardin month of the Persian Calendar, Youcef was born in Iran.

This is the third birthday that Pastor Youcef has been forced to celebrate behind bars, condemned to death in Iran for apostasy – becoming a Christian in a regime governed by Shariah (Islamic) law.

Tomorrow, marks exactly two and a half years of imprisonment – 913 days illegally held in prison for his faith.

Both the Iranian Constitution and the International Declaration of Human Rights, of which Iran is a signatory, not only forbid executing someone for their faith but expressly protect religious freedom. Despite these assurances of religious freedom, Iran continues to imprison Pastor Youcef indefinitely for charges related solely to the exercise of his faith.

Today, Christians and supporters of Pastor Youcef all around the world are holding a fasting and prayer vigil for the persecuted pastor to bring attention to his plight. Just last week, hundreds of Christians and supporters of religious liberty attended a vigil and march for Pastor Youcef’s release in Hamburg, Germany.

These are just a few examples of the increasing international pressure being placed on Iran to release Pastor Youcef. Nations like the United Kingdom, Brazil, and many others are directly demanding that Iran immediately and unconditionally release Pastor Youcef.

The ACLJ’s Tweet for Youcef campaign is now reaching nearly 1.5 million Twitter accounts around the world each day with updates about Pastor Youcef. His story has reached over 91 percent of the United Nations member states, including Iran. The Tweet for Youcef Brazil campaign in Portuguese also continues to see tremendous growth.

Even with this increasing international pressure on Iran for Pastor Youcef’s release, it is critically important to remember that Pastor Youcef is still in an Iranian prison under a death sentence that could be carried out at any time. The only reason that he is still alive today is because of the international outcry against this abhorrent situation. It is not enough that Iran remove his death sentence, rather we must demand his ultimate and unconditional freedom.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Youcef. As a Birthday present for Pastor Youcef and symbol of solidarity for those persecuted for their faith, please let the world know that you support Pastor Youcef by signing up to Tweet for Youcef today.

Happy Birthday Pastor Youcef.

Article can be seen in its original entirety at


Obama’s supremely damaging court battle

His accusations of judicial activism are off the mark


By Andrea Tantaros

 After years of barely mentioning Obamacare due to its unpopularity in the polls, it is now seemingly all President Obama and his aides find themselves talking about. But instead of defending the mandate’s constitutionality — the main issue in question for the Supreme Court — the President unwisely decided to launch an attack on the court itself.

At a press conference on Monday, Obama expressed the belief that the Court would not take an “unprecedented, extraordinary step” by overturning the law. He then went on to caution the “unelected” court against reaching any other conclusion, and spoke of concerns about judicial activism.

In fact, overturning unconstitutional laws is exactly the job of the Supreme Court.

But the real story is how he went after the justices. This is rare behavior for a President, but it’s not the first time Obama has ventured into this taboo territory. In January 2010, the President complained in his State of the Union Address about the court’s decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, holding that the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or oppose candidates in elections.

Judicial activism is seeing things in the Constitution that aren’t there just to get a specific result. The Commerce Clause is in the Constitution, but so is the 10th Amendment, meaning that whatever isn’t written down here is left to the states. While Obama might think he has no option but to demagogue the Supreme Court should his law get struck down, he has no business in meddling in its affairs, playing politics with matters of pure law.

The Constitution is designed to limit the vast growth of government. The Founders put many checks and balances in place to protect liberty and impede the progressive agenda of expanded government. The real activism is on the part of liberals who want to subvert the original meaning of the Constitution.

The judicial system, it should be noted, isn’t taking the President’s comments lightly. Following the President’s controversial comments, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, ordered the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law (Marbury v. Madison). The whole purpose of the Court, since Marbury v. Madison, is to make sure that laws enacted by Congress do not conflict with the Constitution. As Justice John Marshall said of Marbury in 1803, if the Constitution is not superior to an ordinary law, why have a Constitution?

It makes for a real conundrum for the President in a tough election year, but it’s one of his own making. Obama is asking the court to radically rethink the Constitution and read the Commerce Clause as giving him unprecedented power. He is turning the 10th Amendment into a guideline. And he is now putting the court in a position where it is reviewing two centuries of established precedent, all while he criticizes that same court.

If this mandate is struck down, he will have to defend more than his words. He’ll have to defend how he spent the last four years wasting his time, and ours, with a law that was never really constitutional.

This article can be read in its original entirety at


Is the Health Care Law Constitutional? No, Strike It Down


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Neither Porter nor his firm are involved in the ACA litigation.

This summer, the Supreme Court will decide whether Congress violated the Constitution when it enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which contains an “individual mandate” requiring virtually every American to purchase health insurance. Based on the Constitution’s text and structure, and judicial interpretations of the relevant provisions, the mandate should be struck down.

Pennsylvania is one of 26 states to have attacked the ACA’s constitutionality. They seek to uphold the Constitution’s basic division of power between the national government and state governments.

The framers and those who ratified the Constitution withheld from Congress a plenary police power to enact any law that it deems desirable. Instead, the powers granted to Congress in Article I of the Constitution are limited and enumerated. The 10th Amendment emphasizes this structure by affirming that all powers not given to Congress “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Given that background, the states’ argument against ACA is simple: Even under the broadest interpretation, Congress’ enumerated powers do not authorize a federal law that forces individuals to purchase health insurance.

ACA’s defenders argue that Congress’ authority to impose the mandate is granted by any of three constitutional provisions: the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, or the Taxing Clause. However, under the original understanding of those provisions and the more expansive interpretation given to them by the Supreme Court in recent decades, the mandate is an unprecedented assertion of federal control that violates the framers’ constitutional design.

As Congress itself said in the ACA, the mandate purports to regulate each individual’s “economic and financial decision” whether to purchase health insurance. But if that is a valid exercise of Commerce Clause power, then there is literally no end to Congress’ power over individuals.

Finally, ACA’s defenders argue that even if the individual mandate is not supported by the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause, it is nevertheless constitutional because it is a tax. For example, the penalty for noncompliance is calculated as a percentage of household income for income tax purposes, and it is self-declared on the taxpayer’s income tax return.

Congress foreclosed this argument by separating the individual mandate from the penalty. The mandate itself offends the constitutional separation of powers; it cannot be saved by pointing to a penalty for noncompliance. In any event, the monetary fine was deliberately structured as a “penalty” and not as a “tax.” Congress could have provided health insurance for all Americans by invoking its Article I power “[t]o lay and collect Taxes,” but following President Barack Obama’s lead, it refused to do so for political reasons.The federal government's Taxing clause argument has been rejected by every court that has reviewed the ACA, and the Supreme court is not likely to adopt it, either. Nor should it.

The Moral Liberal Guest Contributor, David J. Porter, J.D., is an attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a trustee of Grove City College, and a contributor to The Center for Vision & Values. The opinions expressed by the author are his own.

This article may be read in it’s entirety at:



Speech delivered by Dr. Gene A. Youngblood


In front of Federal Courthouse, Jacksonville, FL


Our Constitution (Amendment I) says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Ladies and gentlemen, our government, under the leadership of a socialist agenda that is determined to shred our beloved Constitution, thus destroying our freedoms.

We live in a very dark era, our national media have determined not to present real truth in news, or they report with such bias as to nullify the facts. We are watching a complicit Senate give right-of-way to the Executive Branch of Government to control our nation.

We now have a nation being directed and dictated to by about 200 un-elected czars that are proud socialists and/or sodomites. God help us to stand up, speak up, and act as the ethical, moral nation we once were. Believers are to be salt and light.

What is Freedom? Where do we get our freedoms? God has given us our freedoms and we have codified them, “…All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Senator Rand Paul said, “Without the right to life, there can be no liberty or pursuit of happiness.”

Ladies and gentlemen, God has provided us with the greatest nation and Constitution on the face of the earth. He has charged us with the responsibility of vigilance, commitment and involvement in the protection of our freedom.

What is freedom?


FREEDOM IS  a raw milk farmer not fearful of the Gestapo breaking into his home.


FREEDOM IS  praying in Jesus’name without fear or intimidation.


FREEDOM IS  a child who can take a sack lunch to school without fear of it being taken.


FREEDOM IS being able to fly the American flag without breaking a law.


FREEDOM IS to be able to read the Bible in a public classroom without arrest.


FREEDOM IS being able to reject Shariah Law as unconstitutional without threats from C.A.I.R.


FREEDOM IS going to be at night without fear of invasion by U.S. officials under the NDAA, which will give the President the sole authority without Congressional approval, if deemed “a national emergency”.


FREEDOM IS openness of our government in Washington, rather than Pravda style dictatorship.


FREEDOM IS deciding our own food menu, diet and medical care without governmental intervention or directive.


FREEDOM IS allowing every child conceived to have “life” protection under our Constitution.


FREEDOM IS living in a land where the government cannot intrude into the church.

Separation of church and state is Biblically God-based rather than mandated by a law of rulers. King Uzziah entered into the temple to offer sacrifice  though eighty one priests begged him not to, as is the fitting duty and responsibility of the church. Uzziah did it anyway, and God killed him, therefore we must say, “Government! Hands off God’s church! Stop the marginalization of believers!”


FREEDOM IS the ability to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and unto God, without the government (city, state or national) using back door fees to rob God’s offering plate. Where would America be today without our churches?


FREEDOM IS having a government that is restrained by the U.S. Constitution: American law and NO international, foreign, or Koranic-Shariah law in our courts.


FREEDOM IS having our educational system returned to our state and local leaders from the czars in Washington.


FREEDOM IS not having the government mandate faith/religious, Christian people to have to choose between conscience, constitution or confiscation by government. Our churches, church schools and universities should not be forced to provide abortion or contraception against our Biblical, theological or spiritual convictions.


FREEDOM IS not being forced to provide murder by abortion at taxpayers’ expense.


FREEDOM IS having Presidential candidates provide a legitimate birth certificate and proof of citizenship before running for office.


FREEDOM IS knowing that we have Constitutional Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.


FREEDOM IS knowing that our children in school are being taught TRUE American history without the distortions, deletions, and the promotions of Islam in our textbooks.


FREEDOM IS knowing that our fee simple title dees to our properties are secure without fear of the EPA Gestapo seizing it to protect a snail or rodent.


FREEDOM IS in the final analysis knowing God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, and NOT being fearful to call the name of Jesus from the highest mountain.


FREEDOM IS not apologizing for breaking things and killing people in a just war.

The book of Daniel, Chapter Three tells us of three young men who refused to bow to a law. They were thrown in the fiery furnace, but because of their faith in God, they did NOT burn! Daniel was thrown into the den of lions for refusing to obey a godless law. The lions became his pillow- God delivered him!


Ladies and Gentlemen, may I read you some quotes from our founding fathers-


“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as liberty without freedom of speech.” –Benjamin Franklin


“Those who would give up essential liberties to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin


“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a republic? The answer would be an inviolable respect for the Constitution and laws- the first growing out of the last- a sacred respect for the Constitutional law is the vital principle, th sustaining energy of a free government.”

- Alexander Hamilton


“When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when government fears the people, there is liberty. – Thomas Jefferson


“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – Thomas Jefferson


“In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand firm like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson


Ladies and Gentlemen- Let’s send a message to Washington, Loud and Clear- “We the People”:


WE WILL not surrender our Constitution on the account of convenience.


WE WILL not sacrifice our convictions on the altar of coercion.


WE WILL not submit our church rights to the rule of unelected czars in Washington.


WE WILL not be silent and allow socialism to subvert our Constitution.


WE WILL be vigilant, visible, vocal and vote in every election.


WE WILL have “Revolution” at the Ballot Box.


The Bible is very clear in Acts 5:29 that “we ought to obey God rather than man.”


May God Bless You and God Bless America.

Christian Missions Play Key Role Amid Rumors of 'New Darfur' Genocide

From The Christian Post
By Luiza Oleszczuk, Christian Post Reporter

March 13, 2012

As reports coming from Sudan paint an increasingly gruesome picture of the Khartoum government allegedly planning to wipe out the country's ethnic populations and non-Muslims in the southern region of the Nuba Mountains, local Christian missions are playing an important role, as even the United Nations has no access to the country's embattled southern regions.

Experts have been warning that Sudan's Islamist government might be planning a genocide comparable to the one conducted in the country's western region of Darfur between 2003 and 2004, when the Arab government targeted black tribes. It is estimated that 300,000 people died at the time. The government is reported to be conducting systematical killings of the people (including allegedly using air bombings) of the Nuba Mountains, a region in the south of the country that is approximately 30 percent Christian. Targeted are also the inhabitants of another southern region called the Blue Nile.

The south of overwhelmingly Muslim Sudan used to be traditionally Christian and ethnically tribal African, as opposed to the mostly Arab north. Most of the south seceded in 2011 and formed South Sudan. But many Christians and African tribes, which are being targeted, still remain north of the border, where they reportedly face a constant threat.

While the Islamist government forces were ravaging the south, including burning churches and killing pastors, foreign missionaries started entering the region. One of them was Samaritan's Purse, one of the most prominent missionary ministries in the world, administered by the Rev. Franklin Graham, his daughter, Cissie Graham Lynch told The Christian Post recently.

This mission, related to Billy Graham's Evangelistic Association (BGEA), opened a Bible school in the Nuba Mountains region in South Kordofan State in 2007, after many local pastors were killed, with the purpose of educating a new generation of Christian leaders.

"They built Bible college there because during the war the northern part of Sudan came down and burnt hundreds of churches," Graham Lynch told CP. She and her father attended the first graduation of the students there. "Samaritan's Purse built many of the churches back, but realized that many of the pastors were killed, so they built a Bible college there to be able to train pastors."

The Bible school was bombed on Feb. 1 this year by the Sudanese air force, the ministry claims. The mission also has a camp in South Sudan, which has been experiencing occasional bombings from the north through the past year. A Samaritan's Purse refugee camp there was bombed in November.

Many people of the Nuba Mountains region have been fleeing Sudan to South Sudan, and Samaritan's Purse has been the first foreign organization to establish camps able to accommodate the refugees, a source told CP recently.

"It's horrific what these Christians in southern Sudan went through," Graham Lynch told CP.

"We need to be praying for these people because this is a serious issue that cannot be ignored," she added.

Samaritan's Purse offices are in a constant state of prayer for the missionaries who risk their lives on the ground in Sudan and South Sudan, as well as other missions, Graham Lynch said. Those people are there "by God's will," she added.

"That is the major part of our ministry – praying for our staff members. Praying for the situation and praying for the people of Sudan," she said.

Another U.S.-based Christian mission with a prominent presence in Sudan is Persecution Projects Foundation. With missions in several locations across the country, Persecution Projects Foundation has been bringing relief, the Gospel and advocacy services to the persecuted people, its president told CP recently.

The presence of foreign missionaries seems particularly important given that the Khartoum government is reportedly not allowing official relief organizations, including the United Nations, into the region. The U.N., the U.S. and other world bodies and groups have condemned the attacks that are taking place against civilians.

"I recently returned from several days in South Sudan – specifically Yida refugee camp, where I encountered bone-chilling stories of the nightmare unfolding in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states just north of the border in Sudan," Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R –Va.) who visited a refugee camp in southern Sudan (featuring 25,000 people at the time) wrote in a blog last week. "In speaking with the refugees in the camp, I heard echoes of Darfur – accounts of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and rape of innocent civilians in the region."

Wolf recounted stories the local Nuba people told him, including those of rape and murder, as well as soldiers saying: "We don't want anyone who says they are a Christian in this village."

A former top U.N. humanitarian official in Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, warned last week that Khartoum's military is carrying out crimes against humanity in the region that remind him of Darfur. Kapila reportedly recalled seeing military planes striking villagers, the destruction of food stocks and "literally a scorched-earth policy," upon his recent visit.

"Darfur was the first genocide of the 21st century," he told The Associated Press. "And the second genocide of the 21st century may very well be taking place now, in the Nuba Mountains."

The former U.N. official also said the Nuba Mountains region is facing an oncoming hunger crisis because the region's residents were not working the fields for fear of airstrikes.

Recently U.N. has called upon the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to pick up non-violent efforts to settle the status of an oil-rich border region called Abyei, which is a subject of dispute between the two countries, on the economic and political fronts.

But the Nuba Mountains violence seems to be inspired chiefly by ethnic and religious differences.

Sudan is ethnically 70 percent Arab, with the rest of the population being indigenous African peoples like the Fur, Zaghawa, Massalit, Beja, Nuba, and Dinka Ngok. The country had been in the state of civil war for the past two decades largely on ethnic and religious grounds, until 2005, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, overseen by the United States. In July 2011, the southern, mostly Christian territory seceded, establishing South Sudan. That summer, the government of Sudan, which is a country that is 70 percent Muslim, broke the peace agreement and began targeting the ethnic Nuba people in the south, as well as Christians and any apostates from Islam, according to reports. The Nuba population numbers about 500,000, of which about 30 percent are Christians of various denominations.

In 2008, the prosecution of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed 10 charges of war crimes against Sudan's incumbent President Omar al-Bashir, three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Al-Bashir was accused of masterminding and implementing "a plan to destroy in substantial part" three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. Warrants for the arrest were issued by in 2009 and 2010. Nevertheless, al-Bashir remains the current president of Sudan.

 The article can be found in its entirety at

Judge: Insulting Islam Grounds for Beating

Chad Groening and Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 2/28/2012

Updated 2/29/2012  

 A legal expert, a former Navy chaplain, and a pro-family leader agree that a Pennsylvania judge should be removed from the bench for throwing out an assault case lodged against a Muslim who attacked an atheist dressed as a zombie Muhammad at a Halloween parade last year.

 Judge Mark Martin is an Iraq war veteran and a convert to Islam, according to George Washington University law professor Jonathon Turley. The incident, recorded on video, occurred on October 11, 2011 at the Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania Halloween parade. Ernie Perce, an atheist, was attacked by Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, because of the former's costume.

Judge Martin threw out video evidence of the assault, dismissed the testimony of an eyewitness officer, and then lectured the atheist victim about the sensitivities of the Muslim culture. He stated in court that Elbayomy was obligated to attack the victim because of his culture and religion.

"They are so immersed in it," Martin says in a recording made available to the media. "And what you've done is you've completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I'm a Muslim. I find it offensive." [Editor's note: Judge Martin has told Associated Press that he has received hundreds of calls, many under the mistaken impression he is a Muslim. He says he is, in fact, a Lutheran.]


Gordon Klingenschmitt is a former Navy chaplain who was forced out of the service for publicly praying in Jesus' name while in uniform. He now runs "The Pray In Jesus Name Project" and says the judge is basically conveying the message that if you mock Muhammad, you deserve to get beaten.

"He freed the Muslim attacker and said basically it's okay to choke atheists if they insult Islam," he comments.

Klingenschmitt also finds it outrageous that Judge Martin told Perce that mocking Muhammad in Muslim countries is punishable by death.

"This is a different country. We live in America where we have a free society," the former Navy chaplain points out. "And Christians have historically protected the rights of minorities to express their religious or anti-religious views."

So he believes Martin should be removed from the bench, and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel agrees. The latter tells OneNewsNow Judge Martin's decision an indication of what may be coming if sharia is used in the U.S. court systems. 

"This particular judge actually had the audacity to rule in favor of the attacker, saying that the attacker was compelled to attack this individual because it was an insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad," Staver reports.

And Diane Gramley, head of the American Family Association (AFA) of Pennsylvania, suggests that the judge's religion "tainted" how he looks at the law.

"That definitely changes everything, because if he's a Muslim convert, then that definitely has tainted his view of the law, and he is looking at sharia law and making his decision," she offers. "You cannot look at a situation where a Muslim has physically harassed, physically attacked an atheist -- granted the guy's an atheist who's in a parade; he's dressed as a Muslim -- but that's not against the law."

Staver finds the ruling to be almost unbelievable.

"This situation is one involving a judge that needs to be removed from the bench," the attorney suggests. "He is clearly instituting sharia from the bench, using sharia law as a basis to ultimately acquit a person who actually committed an assault and a battery against an individual."

Professor Turley also notes that another atheist, dressed as a zombie Pope, was marching beside the zombie Muhammad, but no outraged Catholics attacked him.

"If a Christian had been doing the harassing, I don't believe the judge would have dismissed those charges," Gramley contends. "I think in this case, Judge Martin is showing preference to the Muslim."

Staver concludes that this is the type of case that has prompted several states, including Oklahoma, to work on legislation to prohibit courts from using sharia or foreign laws and court rulings as a basis for decisions in American courts. In Oklahoma's case, however, the measure was overturned in federal court.

This article can be found in its entirety at

Stop Feeding the Islamic Crocodile

February 27, 2012 by Gary DeMar

 “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last — but eat you he will.” — Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was the consummate collector of great quotations. The one about the crocodile was borrowed and adapted from Winston Churchill. “Winston Churchill took a dim view of neutrals. For him there were only two options in the face of Hitler: fight or surrender. Each neutral, Churchill said on 20 January 1940, ‘hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear — I fear greatly — the storm will not pass.’”

What was true of Hitler and Nazism is equally true of radical Islam. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought the crocodile story up to date when he spoke before the 66th session of the General Assembly at the United Nations on September 23, 2011, following Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech:

And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.

Appeasers to the Islamic worldview keep telling us that only a small percentage of Muslims are radicals. Some say it’s about ten percent. I’m not great at math, but I do know that ten percent of one billion is 100 million. That’s a lot of radical Muslims who want to see every aspect of Western culture destroyed.

What has President Obama’s apology for burning already Muslim-desecrated Qurans done for America? “Nothing but burning the White House can relieve the wound of us — the Muslims — caused by the Burning of Quran in the US,” the commander of Iran’s Basij force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqd said.

He then added: “Their apology can be accepted only by hanging their commanders; hanging their commanders means an apology.”

The Islam world always saw President Obama as a dupe, a useful idiot, who would believe that appeasement toward a sworn enemy of the United States would bring about peace. In reality, the plan of the Islamic world has always been the destruction of all things non-Islamic.

President Obama’s June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, was the start of the appeasement process. The Muslims smelled fear and inevitable capitulation.

All of this reminds me of the long out-of-print book by John Ames Mitchell (1848–1918) — The Last American (1889) — that I have in my library. There is a sobering message on the dedication page and the book’s closing words:

“To those thoughtful Persians who can read a warning in the sudden rise and swift extinction of a foolish people [the Americans] this volume is dedicated. . . . Again upon the sea. This time for Persia, bearing our wounded and the ashes of the dead [the last American]; those of the natives are reposing beneath the Great Temple [U.S. Capitol]. The skull of the last Mehrikan [American] I shall present to the museum at Teheran.”

There are several ink etchings in The Last American. One shows “The Ruins of the Great Temple,” a devastated United States Capitol. Pray and act that it will not be so.

This article can be read in its entirety at



Homeschoolers can't be taught 'gay' sex sinful

You won't believe latest intrusion by government

Published: February 27, 2012


Homeschooling families will soon be forbidden from teaching that homosexual sex is sinful as part of their schooling program, according to the government of Alberta, Canada.

Under the province’s Education Act, homeschoolers and religious schools will be banned from “disrespecting” people’s differences, Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk’s office told LifeSiteNews just last week.

“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” said Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications. “You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction.”

Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada, told the news website the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes. A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed.”

According to the report, a government spokesman said, “You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life. You just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction.”

HSLDA and other homeschool organizations have expressed concerns that the new Alberta Education Act would to force “diversity” education on all schools – including private and home schools.

The legislation, known as Bill 2 in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, requires that all schools “reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.”

LifeSiteNews reports that the Human Rights Act has been used to target Christians and conservatives across the country, especially those who hold traditional beliefs about homosexuality.

McColl added that Christian homeschooling families can teach biblical lessons on homosexuality in their homes, “as long as it’s not part of their academic program of studies and instructional materials.”

“What they want to do about their ideology elsewhere, that’s their family business,” she said. “But a fundamental nature of our society is to respect diversity.”

According to the report, when McColl was asked by LifeSiteNews to explain the distinction between homeschoolers’ education and their family life, she replied that the question involved “real nuances” and said she would need to get back to reporter with specifics.

In a second interview, McColl explained that the government “won’t speculate” about specific examples and said she hadn’t been given a “straight answer” on what precisely constitutes “disrespect” – adding that families “can’t be hatemongering, if you will.”

The news site reports several Canadian provinces – including Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and now Alberta – have seen major battles in the last two years over “increasing normalization of homosexuality in the schools.”

Patty Marler, government liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association, told the website she was astonished at the Ministry’s candor. She wondered how the government would stipulate the difference between homeschoolers’ school and family time.

“We educate our children all the time, and that’s just the way we live. It’s a lifestyle,” she said. “Making that distinction between the times when we’re homeschooling and when we’re just living is really hard to do.”

She added, “Throw in the fact that I do use the Bible as part of my curriculum, and now I’m very blatantly going to be teaching stuff that will be against [the Alberta Human Rights Act].”

In 2009, the Alberta Human Rights Act was amended to classify marriage as an institution between two “persons,” rather than a man and a woman.

“When I read Genesis and it talks about marriage being one man in union with one woman, I am very, very clearly opposing the human rights act that says it’s one person marrying another person,” Marler said.

Faris noted that the most troubling issue is how government is attempting to control homeschoolers and how they teach their own children in their own homes.

He added that many homeschoolers have been receiving misleading information when they call the Minister’s office, which has been saying, “‘Look, there are no changes here. We’re not going to do anything differently,’ and other things like that.”

“The long arm of the government wants to reach into family’s homes and control what they teach to their own children in their own homes about religion, sexuality and morality,” Faris said. “These are not the words of a government that is friendly to homeschooling or to parental freedom.”

LifeSiteNews noted that the Progressive Conservative government has 67 of the 83 seats in the Alberta Legislature, so the bill is almost certain to pass. However, with an election coming up, the new right-wing Wildrose Alliance Party may have a strong showing.

Concerned individuals may email Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk or contact his office by phone, fax or mail.

This article can be read in its entirety at

Canada law would forbid homeschoolers to teach the Bible

by Joel McDurmon on Feb 28, 2012

For those who would like a snapshot of where liberalism and Statism lead, they need only look to our northern neighbor Canada. LifeSiteNews.com reports on Alberta’s new proposed law forbidding even homeschoolers from teaching what the Bible plainly says:

Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday evening.

“You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction,” she added.

Reacting to the remarks, Paul Faris of the Home School Legal Defence Association said the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes.”

“A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed,” he added.

I mildly disagree: such a government is indeed a tyranny, but it should not be “feared.” It should be opposed with legitimate organization, without fear, and resisted. We must stand for freedom and live without fear.

By the way, we have such liberals already stateside as well. I wrote about this very agenda—leftists wanting to pass legislation to control the curricula of homeschoolers—already a few years ago. Here’s a section from the longer article:

In fact, some recent leftists have come out openly in favor of controlling even homeschooling. I spoke at American Vision’s Worldview Superconference in 2007 on the topic “There’s an Atheist After Your Child!” I quoted from recent outspoken atheist Daniel C. Dennett:

We should have a national curriculum on world religions that is compulsory for all school children, from grade school through high school, for the public schools, for the private schools, for the home-schooling.…

“National curriculum”? “Compulsory”? Well, of course, we already have that in regard to some things: math, science, reading, etc. But Dennett wants in your house, and wants to control the content of the religious education of your children as well. He continues, “because if we taught the young people of a country this, then you could teach them whatever else you wanted and I wouldn’t worry about religions.”

The atheist wants to insulate your children against whatever you may add in catechizing them. Of course, this assumes that you catechize your children. These atheists hate the idea of religious catechism. Atheist Richard Dawkins, in a tirade against baptism, refers to the participation of “a superstitious and catechistically brainwashed babysitter.”[2] In these guys’ minds, religious catechism is “brainwashing,” but of course, it’s OK for them to call for a compulsory national curriculum of religion as they see it.

Dennett goes on: “I think any religion that can flourish under those conditions would be a benign, a valuable, a wonderful religion.”

I guess, for him maybe. Of course, he just assumes that he by default knows truly what is valuable. Truth is, he’s got no real standard by which to judge that which is benign, or valuable, or wonderful. “Valuable”? Valuable for whom? Who decides what is valuable and what is not valuable in education or in general? If you believe like Dennett that there is no transcendent Creator God, then aren’t words like “valuable” and “wonderful” left up to each individual to determine? In that case, “valuable” and “wonderful” will be determined politically and culturally by either a dictator (like Franco or Stalin), or a group of dictators (think Roe-v-Wade, 5–4 decision). You might just as well hear Franco say, “Any leftist who can flourish under my conditions would be ‘a benign, a valuable, a wonderful leftist.’”

So, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to let the atheists or leftists define for me what kind of religious instruction is benign, or valuable, or even acceptable. But Dennett wants this, and he continues to say,

I think … if you look at the “toxic” religions, they are all of the religions that survive by the enforced ignorance of their young; and all we have to do, I think, is, we can tell people, “You can home-school your kids, you can give them 30 hours a week of religious instruction, but you’ve also got to teach them what the people that are not of your faith believe, and you have to teach them about the history of all faiths in question, including your own.”[3]

Now, like I said, I have no problem teaching my child about other religions, and I (we) certainly have no problem teaching them the History of our faith (we can do it better than they can). But I sure am not going to sit by while this atheist assumes he has the right to tell me whether I can or cannot home-school, or how to do it, or what I “have to” include.

So who does he think he is? Where does he think he gets the right to assume that kind of authority? (Well, it’s because he’s an atheist and an intellectual, and he thinks there’s no One higher than him, and he’s smarter than most people.) But how does this work out? Dennett says,

Children below the age of consent are a special case . . . parents are stewards of their children. They don’t own them—you can’t own your children—You have a responsibility to the world, to the state, to them, to take care of them right. You may, if you like, teach them whatever creed you think is most important, but I say you have a responsibility to let them be informed about all the other creeds in the world, too.[4]

Children are a special case? Why are they being singled out? Because the atheists have realized the power of capturing the next generation. They’ve chosen the path of least resistance, which is the indoctrination of children. But they have to get around the influence of home-schools and private schools.

Other atheists such as Richard Dawkins argue “in favor of censorship” of family education for this so-called “special case of children” (that’s a direct quote from his book: notice the use of the same rhetoric by both guys). Dawkins quotes fellow atheist Nicholas Humphrey:

[M]oral and religious education, and especially the education a child receives at home, where parents are allowed – even expected – to determine for their children what counts as truth and falsehood, right and wrong. Children, I’ll argue, have a human right not to have their minds crippled by exposure to other people’s bad ideas – no matter who these other people are. Parents, correspondingly, have no God-given license to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally choose: no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insists they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.

In short, children have a right not to have their minds addled by nonsense, and we as a society have a duty to protect them from it. So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible or that the planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon.[5]

So, this group of atheists is unanimous in pushing that children are a special case, require special attention by the state, they should not be left to parents for their education without state supervision, even to the extent of State control of religious education in the home. The child has a “right” to be protected from these “toxic” beliefs such as belief in the literal truth of the Bible, which is equivalent, for the atheist, to physical abuse and masochism. Again, unduly associating conservativism with violence, all the while really just wanting more power over other people’s children than any genuine conservative ever has.

This article was originally found at


Freedom — and four fallacies

Religious liberty is a frail thing, easily abused or neglected

February 15, 2012

Think what you wish of President Barack Obama's attempt Friday to end a fierce skirmish over insurance coverage of drugs that prevent conceptions and induce abortions.

The president said he would guarantee that coverage, without cost to female recipients. Under his modified mandate, he said, "religious organizations won't have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly." It's the "directly" — and the persistent distinction between "religious organizations" and "religious institutions" — that's sure to keep this controversy aflame.

In Obama's scenario, that is, religiously affiliated institutions such as schools, hospitals or charities would supply insurance for their workers' other health services; employees who also want contraceptives would get them from the insurers. What's unclear is who actually pays for the drugs — the insurers or the employers? If insurers simply divert money from health premiums paid by the religious institutions to cover contraceptive costs, then employers who have religious objections to buying these drugs will end up footing the bill. We'll all learn, as more details come forward, whether this new directive is a full recognition of religious rights, or a shell game.

Our previously stated opinion, offered Feb. 3, hasn't changed: The Obama administration, by not providing a broad conscience exemption for this insurance mandate, is denying Roman Catholic and other religions their right — the first right enumerated in the First Amendment — to freely live by their faith.

This is, though, a useful debate: Mandated contraception coverage is but the latest twist in an endless American discussion about religious freedom. In the course of this debate, though, the White House and some proponents of compulsory coverage have relied on four fallacies that ought to give all of us pause — not only in this instance, but in the next, and in all that come after that:

Even Catholics say ... : While leaders of many faiths have objected to any contraceptive coverage mandate, no one has spoken more vociferously than the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops. Last week, though, The New York Times reported that a majority of Catholics favor the contraceptive mandate, according to "recent polls which Obama officials were pointing to on Tuesday ... " Problem already. What a majority of self-described Catholics (or Presbyterians or Sunni Muslims) thinks is of great importance to discussions, maybe disagreements, within each faith. But disagreement within the faith doesn't abrogate the constitutional right to practice that faith free of government interference.

Public opinion polls find ... : Planned Parenthood and other supporters of a mandate pointed last week to broader polling results showing that a majority of all Americans, not just Catholics, agree with mandated coverage. That's good to know. But to the extent this argument suggests that public opinion should dictate government policy in matters of conscience, no other questions asked, then this is perilous turf. Example: Should opponents of capital punishment surrender their objections because, in the most recent polling reported on its website, Gallup finds that Americans continue to favor the death penalty, 61 percent to 35 percent?

We offered a grace period: White House spokesman Jay Carney, among others, has noted that the original mandate included a one-year enforcement delay. The stated intent was to give religiously affiliated employers time to adjust. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York puzzled over that delay — "as if we might suddenly be more willing to violate our consciences 12 months from now." If any government action is an affront to a constitutional right, waiting a year to implement its enforcement doesn't make it any less objectionable.

If you keep to yourselves, you're exempt: Obama's continuation Friday to distinguish between "religious organizations" and "religious institutions" suggests that he still sees the latter as different, because they serve many people of other faiths, or of no faith. By that reckoning, the University of Notre Dame isn't exempted from a mandate that might exempt, say, the offices of Chicago's archdiocese. The head of Catholic Charities USA wryly observed early on that Jesus and his apostles wouldn't get an exemption from the Obama mandate, because they ministered to people of other faiths. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations objects that the White House position essentially is that "if a religious entity is not insular, but engaged with broader society, it loses its 'religious' character and liberties. ... The administration's ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organization's religious principles." Like the grace period, the administration's reluctance to offer a blanket exemption doesn't relieve believers from what they see as a collision of legal directive and religious belief.

We don't yet know every detail of the Obama administration's evolving policies on contraception. We do, though, take seriously the concerns — from the Constitution forward — that religious freedom is a frail thing, easily abused or neglected. Given that American heritage, the White House may have a difficult time establishing in federal courts that the policy separation of religious organizations and religious institutions is anything more than a distinction without a difference.

The right thing for President Obama to do is to exempt from his rules any entity that would be forced to contravene its religious teachings and beliefs. The president needs to consult what should be, in this and future similar disputes, our nation's guiding principle:

Make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Sound familiar? Many people gave their lives to protect those words — especially the unequivocal "no."

 This article can be read in its entirety at


King Barack’s power grab

New York Post

Posted: January 05, 2012

President Obama yesterday played a violent game of kickball with the US Constitution, making a number of high-level “recess” appointments — even though the Senate isn’t actually in recess.

He named former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board, a nomination Republicans have been fighting.

And then he named three new members of the pro-union activist National Labor Relations Board.

Presidents have the right to make temporary appointments when Congress is away from Washington, of course, and both parties have used that power.

But Obama is the first president to declare that he, and he alone, can decide whether the Senate — which must confirm his appointments — is actually meeting.

In order to block recess appointments, the Senate intentionally has been holding pro forma sessions every few days, each of which lasts only a few seconds.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — with then-Sen. Obama’s support — did the same thing in 2007 to block any recess appointments by President George W. Bush.

But now Obama, with Reid’s concurrence, contends that such sessions are actually “gimmicks” — and that the Senate actually is in recess.

So much for the separation of powers and the carefully calibrated system of checks and balances that are hallmarks of the US constitutional system.

Obama, of course, plans to run for re-election against Congress, painting it as Wall Street’s puppet.

But what he did yesterday was no shot across the bow; it was, rather, a direct hit — with the Constitution taking the brunt of the blow.

Moreover, as the Cato Institute’s Mark Calabria notes, the Dodd-Frank bill, which calls for the creation of the CFPB, explicitly requires that its director be “confirmed by the Senate.”

That means that Obama’s nonrecess “recess” appointment may well violate the law, in addition to coming as part of a blatantly unconstitutional overreach.

Then again, this is not the first time Team Obama has sidestepped Congress; just consider some of its aggressive regulatory measures done with no legislative authorization whatsoever.

Democrats like to criticize anything that smacks of an “imperial” presidency — but now it seems they’ve got one.

Read article in the New York post at: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/king_barack_power_grab_FQVJqAlOM3eplEuV7fNxDN#ixzz1ibwIqIMd

Christian Persecution Increased Most In Sudan, Nigeria, Report Says

Written by: Compass Direct News

January 4, 2012

By Jeff M. Sellers

Sudan and northern Nigeria saw steeper increases in persecution against Christians than 48 other nations where Christians suffered abuse last year, according to an annual ranking by Christian support organization Open Doors.

Sudan – where northern Christians experienced greater vulnerability after southern Sudan seceded in a July referendum, and where Christians were targeted amid isolated military conflicts – jumped 19 places last year from its 2010 ranking, from 35th to 16th, according to Open Doors’ 2012 World Watch List. In northern Nigeria, a rash of Islamist bombings, guerrilla-style attacks and increased government restrictions on Christians contributed to the region leaping by 10 on the list, from 23rd to 13th place.

“Nigeria continues to be the country where the worst atrocities in terms of loss of life occur, with over 300 Christians losing their lives this year, though the true number is thought to be far higher,” according to the Open Doors report, noting that the Islamic extremist Boko Haram (literally, “Western learning is forbidden”) became increasingly violent across the reporting period through most of 2011.

As it has the previous nine years, North Korea topped the list as the country where Christians are most persecuted, with a persecution index of 88. The list is based on a questionnaire filled out by Open Doors in-country field personnel and cross-checked with independent experts. Countries are then ranked according to their points total, or index.

Both Sudan and northern Nigeria saw their persecution indices rise more than other countries’ – Sudan by 16.5, from 37 in 2010 to 53.5 last year, and northern Nigeria by 9, from 44 to 55. The persecution index for three other countries rose by at least 5 points – Egypt from 47.5 to 53.5, Ethiopia from 30 to 36, and Indonesia from 26.5 to 31.5.

In terms of ranking, Egypt landed at 15 in the 2012 list after being ranked 19 last January, before political chaos loosened the grip on Islamic extremists; Ethiopia went from 43rd to 38th place, and Indonesia from 48th to 43rd place. Most of the countries on the list, 38 out of 50, have an Islamic majority – including nine of the top 10.

“As the 2012 World Watch List reflects, the persecution of Christians in these Muslim countries continues to increase,” said Carl Moeller, president/CEO of Open Doors USA. “While many thought the Arab Spring would bring increased freedom, including religious freedom for minorities, that certainly has not been the case so far.”

In the case of Sudan, the secession of mainly Christian southern Sudan left Christians in (north) Sudan “much more isolated under President Omar al-Bashir,” who is wanted for crimes against humanity, according to the Open Doors report.

“In response to the loss of the south, he has vowed to make his country even more Islamic, promising constitutional changes,” the report states. “On the ground, however, Christian communities have been attacked in complex battles over resources, and estimates of thousands killed by the Sudanese military are known of, yet impossible to verify.”

Territorial violence flared on border areas with South Sudan in the provinces of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and “Christian communities were disproportionately affected,” according to the report.

In Egypt, a bomb attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria killed at least 21 Christians on New Year’s Day, 2011, and the Feb. 11 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak was followed by a series of Islamic extremist attacks on Christians that culminated in the Maspero massacre in Cairo on Oct. 9, “when the military turned on its own citizens,” killing 27 Coptic Christian demonstrators, the report notes.

“Some were shot by soldiers or ran over by tanks, while others were killed by Muslim extremists,” the report states. “At the closing of 2011, Islamist parties flourished in the November elections, prompting some to speak of an Arab Winter instead of an Arab Spring for Christians.”

China moved from 20th place to 21st on the list, “mainly due to other countries comparatively getting worse,” though it still has the world’s largest persecuted church of 80 million, the report notes. That it dropped out of the top 20 this year “is due in large part to the house church pastors knowing how to play ‘cat and mouse’ with the government,” the report states – that is, knowing how not to attract the attention of authorities, such as not putting up church name signs, limiting worship attendance to no more than 200, and not singing too loudly.

A new addition to the list is Kazakhstan at 45th place, and Colombia returned to the list at 47th after being absent in the 2011 and 2010 editions.

Kazakhstan moved onto the list due to the passage of “an invasive and restrictive religion law” requiring the re-registration of all religious communities, the report notes. The law will make youth work virtually illegal and put all religious acts under government scrutiny, it adds.

Colombia had been included on the World Watch List annually before 2010, with left-wing insurgencies as well as paramilitary groups targeting Christian pastors. During the reporting period these movements “have branched into narco-trafficking, and Christian leaders that will not cooperate in the drug trade are targeted for assassination,” the report notes. “Five were killed this year, and it is thought the number could be as high as 20.”

After North Korea, the top 10 on the list are Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, the Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Pakistan. Pakistan entered the top 10 for the first time with a spike in radical Islamist violence that included the assassination of the nation’s highest-ranking Christian politician, Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, for his efforts to change Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

This article was found at


December 14, 2011

by Clare M Lopez



Saudi Arabia’s hardline ultra-conservative religious council, the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University, have just released a ‘scientific study’ that has come to some rather outlandish conclusions. 

In response to the growing pressure from women’s groups in Saudi Arabia to lift the ban on women driving, the report has warned that doing so would "provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce." Within ten years of the ban being lifted, the report’s authors claim, there would be "no more virgins" in the Islamic kingdom. And it pointed out "moral decline" could already be seen in other Muslim countries where women are allowed to drive.

Just a few weeks earlier, the Kingdom’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has proposed a law to stop women from revealing their "tempting" eyes to the public. Should this law be passed, it would in effect, force Saudi women to more or less cover their entire bodies from head to toe – including their eyes. 

The Saudi Kingdom clearly is passing through a stressful period: not because the Crown Prince died earlier this year and his likely successors are all tottering through their twilight years; not because the Kingdom’s arch rival, Iran, is driving for a deployable nuclear weapon; nor even because revolutionary forces are sweeping the region. No, to all indications in the international media, the real problem is all the Mutawain (Saudi morals police) jockeying for extra duty to select exactly which female eyes henceforth will have to be covered in public.   

This is the absurdity of Saudi Arabia today. Even as its aging royal rulers (King Abdullah is 88 years old) observe fellow Arab regimes going down around them like ten pins, the Kingdom’s leadership knows it lacks the most basic resources of a modern state to meet the inevitable demands of its youthful population. It’s not that this brutal police state lacks the repressive security forces or material resources to deal with a popular protest movement. It’s that neither these, nor all the vast oil wealth in the Peninsula, can stop the sands of time which are rapidly counting down the hours on a regime decked in the gaudy glitz of modern excess but trapped in a savage mindset from the 7th century. 

A new book  “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” presents a disturbing look at the realities of the Saudi Kingdom, whose rigid Wahhabist Islamic code locks it into a bigoted, jihadist, misogynist world view grounded in anti-Western animus and Jew-hatred. Without the Saudis’ key role in the global oil-based economy and calculated largesse to policymakers, think tanks, and universities to help smooth the way, it surely would be an uphill slog otherwise for their armies of well-heeled lobbyists. As it is, for decades the Saudis have counted on petro-dollars and Western cupidity to ensure official submissiveness in the face of blatant financial support to Muslim terrorist groups, mega-mosques and Islamic Centers, and the shariah-promoting literature and textbooks that stoke jihad in all of them. 

Before the well-organized onslaught of the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011, the Saudi Kingdom may well have believed its most critical challenges came from its Shi’ite Persian nemesis across the Gulf and Iran’s Sunni al-Qa’eda allies on the Peninsula (AQAP). In the space of months, however, it was no longer a question of escaping the turmoil but of damage control. Having dispatched three more-or-less secular dictatorships in 2011, the al-Qa’eda and Muslim Brotherhood forces on the march across North Africa have made no secret of their intent to take aim at “corrupt” monarchs next year. A young, restless population with inadequate opportunities for meaningful work, next to zero approved social outlets, and plenty of access to the latest technology toys with which to view how the rest of the 21st century world lives, leaves an unprepared Saudi leadership facing the inevitable clamor for expanded political and social rights.     

Only the lack of an organized opposition characterized by the total absence of political parties or trade unions and real fear among the Saudi urban middle class that revolt against the House of Saud could set loose chaos that would split apart the country’s regional, religious, and sectarian fault lines have kept the place together this long. But it is Western, especially American, willingness to turn a blind eye to Saudi terror funding, support for the Da’wa stealth jihad campaign led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and backing for the spread of Shariah Compliant Finance that enables the charade of Saudi “partnership” to stand. 

A few crumbs like King Abdullah’s September 2011 decree that Saudi women will be allowed to serve in parliament in 2012 and vote and stand as candidates in 2015 municipal elections are hardly enough to satisfy the pent-up energy of the 50% of the Saudi population whose every move in life remains chained to primitive, misogynistic and often violent notions of gender roles. Even as Saudi society deprives itself of intellectual and professional contributions from half its population, its aging, hypocritical rulers indulge in polygamous and hedonistic lifestyles  According to a WikiLeaks cable from 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reported that King Abdullah "remains a heavy smoker, regularly receives hormone injections and 'uses Viagra excessively.'" 

Change is coming to the Saudi desert kingdom whether the Saudis are ready or not. All things considered, trends already in motion do not look good over the long-term for the House of Saud, no matter how many hundreds of billions the King hands out. Foreign policy outreach to establish a network of economic and political ties with potential global partners such as China, Japan, and Russia is not a bad idea either, just inadequate to deal with what is essentially an internal problem: how to unleash the potential of all Saudis to compete in the modern world and loose the shackles that have hobbled them since the dawn of Islam. 

Saudi youth, both male and female, have some choices to make, choices their diminishingly lucid elders probably cannot make, about what kind of society they want to live in. U.S. and Western leaderships have some shackles of their own to cast off, beginning with energy dependence and willful blindness about the Saudi commitment to shariah Islam, jihad, and the subjugation of Dar al-Harb (the non-Muslim world) to Dar al-Islam (the Muslim world) Absent is the realization that equality, individual liberty, minority protection, pluralism, rule of man-made law, and tolerance are the building blocks of civil society that undergird a true democracy, and that these things are not necessarily genetically coded in human beings but must be defended and nourished, neither the House of Saud nor American exceptionalism can expect to weather intact the storms ahead.

 Clare M. Lopez, a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund, is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, and counterterrorism issues.

Article may be viewed  at


US Government to apply peer pressure to your Islamophobia

December 14, 2011

by J.E. Dyer

from Hotair.com/greenroom/archives

Hillary Clinton’s promise on this matter has been out there for months, but a virtually unadvertised conference in Washington, D.C. this week has resurrected the Clinton quote from July 2011.

Back in July, at a conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Clinton pledged that the US would take action against “religious intolerance” in America.

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that.  Clinton said, in her remarks, “No country, including my own, has a monopoly on truth or a secret formula for ethnic and religious harmony.”  But if any country comes close to having such a monopoly, it is, in fact, the United States.  One of the core principles of our founding was religious freedom; the purpose of guaranteeing it was, explicitly, to discourage religious strife; and to fulfill that purpose, the drafters of the Constitution prohibited Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The US has not avoided religious enmity entirely, but we have kept the law and the government on the side of enforcing a peaceful, quiescent environment for the practice of religion, to a greater extent than any other nation that has ever existed.  This environment has existed side by side with robust and sometimes disgusting criticisms of other people’s religions, which we have always allowed as free speech.

And it is worth taking another moment to remember why we determined to allow such free speech.  We didn’t do it because it is “good,” in any positive sense, for people to say vile things about each other’s beliefs.  It may be perfectly good, or at least not repulsive, for people to say reasonably critical things about religious beliefs.  But whether it’s ridiculous allegations about Jews, absurd accusations against Catholics, or today’s fresh-milled 20-something atheists calling Christians “Christofascists,” the point of free speech was never to encourage idiocies of this kind on the theory that we need more of them.

The point of free speech is to keep the government out of the business of deciding whether they’re “bad” or “good.”  Government is incompetent to decide such questions, and they should therefore not be within its scope of authority.  Precisely because government has civic authority, its involvement in classifying critical speech should be somewhere between severely limited and non-existent.  The step from government having an opinion to government repressing intellectual freedom is perilously short.  Government can’t wave a magic wand to kindly and gently fix people’s thoughts; it has only the hammer of force and punishment, and that means making every unapproved thought into a “nail.”  The American Founders understood this about government, and insisted therefore on keeping its powers limited, constitutionally explicit, and federally divided.

 So when Hillary Clinton promises the following, she is on wholly un-American, anti-liberal ground (emphasis added):

In the United States … we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.

OK, so the US government is going to use peer pressure and shaming on us.  (The tools, by the way, of “worker soviets” in the sanguinary workers’ paradises of the last century.)

What exactly is it that we abhor?  Elizabeth Kendal has an excellent summary at her Religious Liberty Monitoring website of the history behind the UN push to “combat religious intolerance,” and it is worth talking the time to understand how a number of terms – Islamophobia, “defamation” of religion, and “incitement” against religion – have been conflated over the last decade.  Getting forms of intellectual discretion wrapped up in “what we abhor” is an ongoing project in the misnamed effort to “combat religious intolerance.”

But another entry point is the definition of “Islamophobia” cited by the typical Islamophobia watchdog.  The definition was produced by a British think tank, The Runnymede Trust, in the 1990s, and was consciously constructed as an analogue to definitions of Judeophobia or anti-Semitism.  These are its basic elements:

1)  Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
2)  Islam is seen as separate and “other.” It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
3)  Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
4)  Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a “clash of civilizations.”
5)  Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
6)  Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
7)  Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
8)Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Most of these elements are susceptible of extremely ambiguous interpretation.  Credentialed academics like Samuel Huntington and Victor Davis Hanson would be indicted by some of them.  And in almost any case you can think of, deciding that these criteria correctly classify the actions of non-Muslims is a matter not of objective judgment but of partisan opinion.

Regarding #6, for example, both non-Muslims and Muslims are likely to reject some criticisms from each other out of hand – because our beliefs about some things are fundamentally different.  There are Muslim leaders, after all, who constantly reject Western criticisms of sharia out of hand.  And there are Muslim leaders who don’t.  There is no valid reason why any Westerner should be charged with “Islamophobia” for ignoring or rejecting criticisms of Western practices by Muslims.

Consider the practice of veiling women.  When an imam criticizes Western society for failing to veil women, I have no heartburn whatsoever in rejecting that criticism as invalid and inapplicable to my life and my society.  How absurd to suggest that I am being “Islamophobic” by doing this.

I recognize, of course, that many Muslim women don’t wear a veil, and many clerics are fine with that.  Muslims don’t do the same things in every part of the world.  And I prefer civic approaches in the West that seek to live with the practice of veiling where it is important to some citizens.  I disagree with the veil being imposed on women, but 99% of the time, the issue isn’t one that affects me directly or requires me to register an official political opinion.

But the fundamental issue here is the status of women.  Declaring it to be a “phobia” when people adhere to their original opinions about that is something no government should be in the business of doing.

At what point would a government decide that it was not Islamophobia when a person “rejected out of hand” criticisms of the West made by “Islam”?  Where would the line be drawn?  Can I reject, for example, Islam’s criticism that the West doesn’t accept Mohammed as a prophet of God?  Or does this criterion indicate that I am allowed to reject it, but only after giving some positive display of having considered it without “prejudice”?  And if so, how will that work, exactly?  Will I carry a card with me, certifying that I was observed by a competent authority to give due consideration to the criticisms of my society made by Islamic leaders?

This is not a laughing matter; the 20th century was a vast, vicious playground for exactly such measures of control over the intellectual lives of peoples and societies.  The criticism we should be leveling here is not against “Islam” or “Muslims,” it is against our own government, and the factions of our own, Western/American political spectrum that conceive of government as a method of administering anti-phobia measures.

The idea of government, for too many in America, has gone wildly off-track.  Hillary Clinton’s acknowledgment that the Obama administration can’t make black-letter laws against free expression about Islam, but that it will use peer pressure and shaming to try to shape and discourage the people’s expression, is a perfect example of the corruption of the governmental idea in our once-constitutional nation.  Our basic problem in this regard is not Islam; our problem is the growing failure of our governments at all levels to adhere to America’s own standard of individual liberty and limited government.  We chose that standard not because criticism of others is necessarily or absolutely “good,” but because intellectual liberty itself is.

Judaism and Christianity are, along with Western philosophy, the progenitors of that idea of liberty.  The positive, absolute good of liberty is what we must proclaim and defend.  And in our nation, on our terms, Islam has the opportunity to thrive as Judaism and Christianity have, by being consistent with it.  It cannot be the other way around.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,” Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

Read this article in its entirety at



Nov 1, 2011
ABC News

GOP Ad Turns Obama’s Words Against Him

If you want an indication of how Republicans – whoever their presidential nominee is – will run against President Obama, check out this slick new video from the Republican National Committee.

The video is made up largely of Obama’s own words; from his ’08 campaign and his Yahoo/ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos when he said Americans “aren’t better off than they were four years ago.” Also note the use of images from the Occupy Wall Street protests to make it look as though the primary target of the movement is President Obama.

Watch the video here.

Click here to see the original article on abcnews

Burma Crackdown On Local Bible Studies, Worship, report

October 31, 2011

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

RANGOON, BURMA (BosNewsLife)-- Authorities in Burma, also known as Myanmar, are imposing new restrictions on Christian and other religious activities in the Kachin State region, an influential religious rights group said Monday, October 31.

Britain-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which has investigated the situation in Burma, said local churches have received a letter warning them that advance permission is required for events such as worship and Bible studies.

CSW told BosNewsLife that the letter titled “Concerning Christians conducting cultural training" was send on October 14 by the government's Chairman of Maw Wan Ward in Phakant Township.

The document "refers to an order by the General Township Administration Department requiring Christians in Phakant Township to submit a request at least 15 days in advance for permission to conduct "short-term Bible study, Bible study, Sunday school, reading the Bible, fasting prayer, Seasonal Bible study and Rosary of the Virgin Mary Prayer," CSW explained.


"A request for permission must be accompanied by recommendations from other departments, and must be submitted to the Township Administration Office."

CSW said it had obtained a copy of the document in Burmese, and a translation, last week. Churches in Burma are already required to obtain permission for any events other than Sunday services, but this new regulation "imposes further severe restrictions," according to CSW investigators.

CSW's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers said that “For many years, successive Burmese regimes have suppressed freedom of religion and imposed serious restrictions on Christians and other religious minorities."

Rogers said both "Christians and Muslims in particular have been the target of discrimination and persecution. It appears that despite changes in rhetoric, there has been no change of attitude, particularly at a local level, on the part of Burmese authorities to religious minorities."

He claimed that Burma is already "regarded as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom" and is one of the United States State Department’s 'Countries of Particular Concern' list.


"To impose a requirement on churches and individuals to seek permission to read the Bible, pray, fast and hold a Sunday school is an extreme restriction and an extraordinary further violation of freedom of religion," Rogers said.

He added that his group had urged Burmese authorities to withdraw this requirement, in Phakant Township and in any other parts of the country where it may have been issued, "and to uphold freedom of religion for all the people of Burma."

Additionally CSW has urged the Burmese government to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief to visit the country, "and conduct an independent investigation.”

Burmese officials have not reacted to the latest allegations. However Burma's government has in the past denied wrongdoing describing reports to the contrary as "Western" or "U.S. propaganda."

Click here to read the original article in its entirety.


Look who's behind uprising in Orlando

Who'da thunk this group would be pulling strings?

Posted: October 19, 2011
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND

A lawyer linked through the Council on American Islamic Relations to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has been identified as the driving force behind the Occupy Orlando protests that have been staged in Johnson Park, according to a video report from Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council and The United West.

The report from the organization that "educates and activates freedom minded people" to strategize the propagation of the exceptionalism of Western civilization over "the totalitarian choke-hold of Shariah Islam" explains that the same attorney who represented the Islam-bent parents in the famous Rifqa Bary dispute obtained the permit for the Occupy Orlando event and was on scene giving directions.

"You're not going to believe ... the evidence ... that links this movement with a key Muslim individual who's associated with CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood," Trento explains on the video. "This individual has assumed a leadership [role] if [he is] not the leader of this movement in Orlando."

The "Muslim activist lawyer" was identified as Shayan Elahi, who was the losing counsel for the parents of Rifqa Bary in a custody dispute that developed in Florida.

Bary fled the Ohio home of her Muslim parents because she accused them of threatening her after they discovered her conversion to Christianity. She traveled as a teenager on her own to friends in Florida, and ultimately gained her independence when she turned 18.

Elahi was counsel for Bary's parents when they were seeking to have her returned home. CAIR also was integral to the parents' strategies regarding their daughter and the various parties cooperated on the effort.

Trento’s video report about Elahi's activities at Occupy Orlando:

The presence of Elahi at the events, and his signature on the permit that was issued for the gathering are not the only indications of a radical element behind the "occupations."

Trento noted that the "Occupy Orlando" FaceBook page reads; " ... we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America."

The group Mass Resistance reported that old-stream media reports on the Occupy Boston protests, "the flood of communist, anarchist, anti-Israel, and similar literature that permeates ... is simply ignored."

The organization's visit to the scene of the protests found "political ideology of communism, socialism and anarchism, with additions of anti-Israel, pro-Muslim, law-breaking, and other radical advocacy.

"Plus, like so many left-wing venues after a few days, the park they've taken over is now filthy and smells of urine."

In Egypt and in several other countries of North Africa in recent months, uncontrolled demonstrations and protests have led to upheaval, and those factions have been blamed for the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other leaders friendly to the West.

Their replacements have been almost without exception those groups and organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, a faction that has a worldwide Islamic caliphate as one of its goals.

The Florida Independent was able to reach Elahi, who confirmed he was at the protests, "volunteering [his] legal services as just another proud American and a member of the movement."

Trento  reveals in his video how Elahi repeatedly tried to intimidate his crew at the Orlando protests, pointedly calling him a "bigot" and a "racist bigot."

"Anyone think attorney Elahi, who lost the Rifqa Bary case, lost the race for a judgeship, is looking for a place to mark up his first win by co-opting an incoherent movement primarily made up of 'hippies and anarchists' so that he can build a political base for his Islamic goals?" Trento asked.

"We attended the 'Occupy Orlando' event to analyze and understand this movement, but the anger of an insecure Muslim attorney may have provided for us an important component to understand and defeat the cultural jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood, right here in beautiful, sunny Florida," he wrote.

Tom Tillison from the Florida Political Press also reported what Trento discovered: that the permit for the event was signed by Elahi.

Tillison also raised the issue of the city's concessions for the group, noting that while the permit was supposed to be submitted three days in advance, it actually was submitted and approved for a protest within 24 hours. And the application states the time was supposed to be from 8 a.m. until 8:59 p.m. on Oct. 15, yet the group remains camped there days later.

"Does this mean that the protesters are in violation of city ordinances government the use of city owned park facilities?"

Finally, he wondered about the extended stay, since there are no restrooms on site.

Click here to read the article in its entirety 

Burma Crackdown On Local Bible Studies, Worship, report

October 31, 2011


By BosNewsLife Asia Service

RANGOON, BURMA (BosNewsLife)-- Authorities in Burma, also known as Myanmar, are imposing new restrictions on Christian and other religious activities in the Kachin State region, an influential religious rights group said Monday, October 31.

Britain-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which has investigated the situation in Burma, said local churches have received a letter warning them that advance permission is required for events such as worship and Bible studies.

CSW told BosNewsLife that the letter titled “Concerning Christians conducting cultural training" was send on October 14 by the government's Chairman of Maw Wan Ward in Phakant Township.

The document "refers to an order by the General Township Administration Department requiring Christians in Phakant Township to submit a request at least 15 days in advance for permission to conduct "short-term Bible study, Bible study, Sunday school, reading the Bible, fasting prayer, Seasonal Bible study and Rosary of the Virgin Mary Prayer," CSW explained.


"A request for permission must be accompanied by recommendations from other departments, and must be submitted to the Township Administration Office."

CSW said it had obtained a copy of the document in Burmese, and a translation, last week. Churches in Burma are already required to obtain permission for any events other than Sunday services, but this new regulation "imposes further severe restrictions," according to CSW investigators.

CSW's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers said that “For many years, successive Burmese regimes have suppressed freedom of religion and imposed serious restrictions on Christians and other religious minorities."

Rogers said both "Christians and Muslims in particular have been the target of discrimination and persecution. It appears that despite changes in rhetoric, there has been no change of attitude, particularly at a local level, on the part of Burmese authorities to religious minorities."

He claimed that Burma is already "regarded as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom" and is one of the United States State Department’s 'Countries of Particular Concern' list.


"To impose a requirement on churches and individuals to seek permission to read the Bible, pray, fast and hold a Sunday school is an extreme restriction and an extraordinary further violation of freedom of religion," Rogers said.

He added that his group had urged Burmese authorities to withdraw this requirement, in Phakant Township and in any other parts of the country where it may have been issued, "and to uphold freedom of religion for all the people of Burma."

Additionally CSW has urged the Burmese government to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief to visit the country, "and conduct an independent investigation.”

Burmese officials have not reacted to the latest allegations. However Burma's government has in the past denied wrongdoing describing reports to the contrary as "Western" or "U.S. propaganda."



WND Exclusive

Congressman to keynote CAIR fundraiser with terror co-conspirator
D.C. group identified by FBI as Hamas-front features workshops on countering 'anti-Shariah campaign'

Posted: October 13, 2011
1:00 am Eastern


Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia is headlining a fundraiser this weekend for the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations along with an imam tied to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who urges the violent overthrow of the "filthy" U.S. government and the establishment of Islamic law.

CAIR's 17th annual banquet Saturday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., features the theme "Making Democracy Work for Everyone."

Imam Siraj Wahhaj, designated by the Justice Department as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the WTC bombing, is promoted as a keynote speaker along with Moran.

The evening banquet concludes a day-long leadership conference offering workshops on subjects such as "counteracting Islamophobia," "challenging scapegoating of Muslims in the 2012 election" and countering "the anti-Shariah campaign," referring to state legislative efforts to ensure Islamic law is not implemented in the U.S.

As WND reported, Moran, a longtime supporter of CAIR, was forced to step down from his leadership role as regional whip in 2003 after he blamed the influence of the Jewish community for the U.S. war in Iraq.

Wahhaj's presence at CAIR's 2009 annual banquet prompted an activist group to launch a campaign to urge the hosting hotel, the venue for this year's event, to cancel.

As WND reported, Wahhaj, a regular CAIR fundraiser and a former member of its advisory board, initially was a featured speaker but ended up giving only a short fundraising appeal at the banquet.

As late as nine days prior to the 2009 banquet, CAIR featured Wahhaj and White House adviser Dalia Mogahed in its promotions as its two marquee names. But on the eve of the event – after WND reports of Wahhaj's radical views as documented in WND Books' best-seller "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America" – a press release did not even mention them.

'Filthy' U.S.

Wahhaj is one of many Muslim leaders affiliated with CAIR who have been named or prosecuted in U.S. terrorism-related investigations. CAIR itself was named by the Justice Department as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land Foundation probe in Texas, the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history.

An imam at Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brooklyn, Wahhaj is on record urging a violent overthrow of the "filthy" U.S. government assisted by jihad warriors armed with Uzis.

In a videotaped May 8, 1992, sermon obtained by the authors of "Muslim Mafia" titled "Stand Up for Justice," Wahhaj makes it clear that, contrary to CAIR's media guide, he believes jihad means "holy war," not merely a "struggle to better oneself."

"If we go to war, brothers and sisters – and one day we will, believe me – that's why you're commanded [to fight in] jihad," the Brooklyn-based Wahhaj says. "When Allah demands us to fight, we're not stopping and nobody's stopping us."

Wahhaj preaches that Islam teaches violent insurrection in "infidel lands" such as America, points out the "Muslim Mafia" co-authors, counterterrorism investigator Gaubatz and "Infiltration" author Paul Sperry.

"Believe me, brothers and sisters, Muslims in America are the most strategic Muslims on Earth," Wahhaj says in the 1992 sermon, arguing the government can't drop bombs on warring Muslims in the U.S. without causing collateral damage.

The American government's "worst nightmare is one day that the Muslims wake these people up in South Central Los Angeles and other inner-city areas," he says in the video.

Wahhaj exhorts the faithful to go into the "hood and the prisons and convert disenfranchised minorities, and then arm them and train them to carry out an Uzi jihad in the inner cities."

"We don't need to arm the people with nine-millimeters and Uzis," he says. "You need to arm them with righteousness first. And then once you arm them with righteousness first, then you can arm them [with Uzis and other weapons]."

CAIR tells the public in its media guide, however, "There is a common misperception among Westerners that the Quran teaches violence."

Wahhaj makes it clear, nevertheless, he sees Islam as a uniquely militant religion.

Counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson obtained a video of a Wahhaj speech in Toronto Sept. 28, 1991, titled "The Afghanistan Jihad" in which the imam declared:

Those who struggle for Allah, it doesn't matter what kind of weapons, I'm telling you it doesn't matter! You don't need nuclear weapons or even guns! If you have faith in Allah and a knife! If Allah wants you to win, you will win! Because Allah is the only one who fights. And when his hand is over your hand. whoever is at war against my friends, I declare war on them.

Citing Emerson, "Muslim Media" notes Wahhaj once likened the U.S. to a trash bin and prayed it would "crumble" and be replaced by Islam.

"You know what this country is? It's a garbage can," Wahhaj said. "It's filthy."

Click here to view and read the article in its entirety


Texas School District Fully Vindicates Christian Student After Wrongful Suspension

October 11, 2011

Liberty Alerts, Liberty Counsel

The Fort Worth Independent School District has issued a letter to Liberty Counsel fully vindicating high school freshman Dakota Ary, who was given in-school suspension for telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. The letter is in response to Liberty Counsel’s demand letter requesting full vindication and a full retraction of the suspension. The district’s letter will be placed in Dakota’s permanent file to further clear his record. Liberty Counsel is representing Dakota in this case.

The District’s letter apologized for the delay in returning Dakota back to the classroom, and stated that “Dakota has the right to express an opinion in a manner consistent with law and policy.”

Dakota was in Kristopher Franks’ German language class at Western Hills High School when the topic of homosexuality arose. Dakota said to one of his classmates, “I’m a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong.” Franks overheard the comment, wrote Dakota an infraction, and sent him to the principal’s office. The class topic was religious beliefs in Germany. During the discussion, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student then asked to hear some translated terms such as “lesbian.” These questions provoked the conversation about Christianity and Dakota’s expression of his opinion to one classmate.

The discipline referral form says the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs. Franks charged Dakota with “possible bullying” and indicated, “It is wrong to make such a statement in public school.” Two weeks prior to this event, Franks displayed a picture of two men kissing on a “World Wall” and told his students that homosexuality is becoming more prevalent in the world and that they should just accept it. Many of the students were offended by Franks’ actions and his continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class. Franks was temporarily placed on administrative leave with pay last week.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “We are pleased that the school district vindicated Dakota Ary. No public school teacher should use the position of authority to bully students to accept homosexuality. That is what this teacher did, and he got his hand caught in the cookie jar. We want to make sure this never again happens to any student.”

Click here to view the original article

US Bishops Defend the Freedom of Religion in the Face of Growing Threats

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Media Relations

4 October 2011

WASHINGTON, DC (USCCB) -   The U.S. bishops have established a new Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty to address growing concerns over the erosion of freedom of religion in America. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), established the ad hoc committee after consulting with the USCCB Administrative Committee during the Committee's September 13-14 meeting in Washington.

The Administrative Committee meets three times a year and conducts the work of the bishops' conference between plenary sessions. He announced formation of the ad hoc committee in a September 29 letter to the U.S. bishops Archbishop Dolan also named Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to chair the new committee.

Support for ad hoc committee work will include adding two full-time staff at the USCCB, a lawyer expert in the area of religious freedom law, and a lobbyist who will handle both religious liberty and marriage issues.

Bishop Lori said he welcomed "the opportunity to work with fellow bishops and men and women of expertise in constitutional law so as to defend and promote the God-given gift of religious liberty recognized and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States."

"This ad hoc committee aims to address the increasing threats to religious liberty in our society so that the Church's mission may advance unimpeded and the rights of believers of any religious persuasion or none may be respected," he added.

In a letter to bishops to announce the ad hoc committee, Archbishop Dolan said religious freedom "in its many and varied applications for Christians and people of faith, is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America."

"This is most particularly so in an increasing number of federal government programs or policies that would infringe upon the right of conscience of people of faith or otherwise harm the foundational principle of religious liberty," he said. "As shepherds of over 70 million U.S. citizens we share a common and compelling responsibility to proclaim the truth of religious freedom for all, and so to protect our people from this assault which now appears to grow at an ever accelerating pace in ways most of us could never have imagined."

Archbishop Dolan said the committee will work closely with national organizations, charities, ecumenical and interreligious partners and scholars "to form a united and forceful front in defense of religious freedom in our nation," and its work will begin immediately.

He added that "the establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee is one element of what I expect to be a new moment in the history of our Conference. Never before have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith and as a service provider. If we do not act now, the consequence will be grave."

Archbishop Dolan said that, although he and his predecessor as USCCB President, Cardinal Francis George, had sent private letters to President Obama on religious liberty in the context of redefining marriage, none of those letters received a response.

"I have offered to meet with the President to discuss these concerns and to impress upon him the dire nature of these actions by government," Archbishop Dolan said.

Archbishop Dolan listed six religious liberty concerns arising just since June:

-Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations that would mandate the coverage of contraception (including abortifacients) and sterilization in all private health insurance plans, which could coerce church employers to sponsor and pay for services they oppose. The new rules do not protect insurers or individuals with religious or moral objections to the mandate.

-An HHS requirement that USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services provide the "full range of reproductive services"-meaning abortion and contraception-to trafficking victims and unaccompanied minors in its cooperative agreements and government contracts. The position mirrors the position urged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the ongoing lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of MRS's contracts as a violation of religious liberty.

-Catholic Relief Services' concern that US Agency for International Development, under the Department of State, is increasingly requiring condom distribution in HIV prevention programs, as well as requiring contraception within international relief and development programs.

-The Justice Department's attack on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), presenting DOMA's support for traditional marriage as bigotry. In July, the Department started filing briefs actively attacking DOMA's constitutionality, claiming that supporters of the law could only have been motivated by bias and prejudice. "If the label of "bigot" sticks to us-especially in court-because of our teaching on marriage, we'll have church-state conflicts for years to come as a result," Archbishop Dolan said.

-The Justice Department's recent attack on the critically important "ministerial exception," a constitutional doctrine accepted by every court of appeals in the country that leaves to churches (not government) the power to make employment decisions concerning persons working in a ministerial capacity.In a case to be heard this term in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Department attacked the very existence of the exception.

-New York State's new law redefining marriage, with only a very narrow religious exemption. Already, county clerks face legal action for refusing to participate in same-sex unions, and gay rights advocates are publicly emphasizing how little religious freedom protection people and groups will enjoy under the new law.

Click here to see the original article

More allegations heaped upon Iranian pastor

Yousef Nardarkhani faces execution on trumped-up charges

Posted: 4 October, 2011
Mission Network News

Iran (MNN) ― The life of an Iranian pastor continues to hang in the balance as the Iranian state media is now getting involved in the case. 34-year-old Pastor Yousef Nardarkani was arrested two years ago this month for protesting Muslim education for his children because he is a Christian. He was convicted of apostasy, but now new false charges are being leveled against him.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, "Now they're saying that what he's actually going to be executed for is not apostasy, not becoming a Christian, but actually rape and extortion that are the charges that he will be executed for. So it's really a 180-degree turn for the Iranian government."

According to Nettleton, this is mindboggling. "After an initial court hearing, an appeal to the Supreme Court, and then another hearing back at the local court -- after all those hearings where they never talked about extortion and never talked about rape, now they're saying he's actually going to be executed for rape and extortion."

A bit of good news about this case, according to Nettleton, is that "the international pressure is working. The Iranian government is hearing from people around the world, including regular people like you and me, as well as government officials and government agencies. They're saying, 'Listen, you cannot put this man to death for being a Christian. That's a complete violation of human rights.' The Iranian government is hearing that, and it's having an effect."

Please help Pastor Nardarkhani. Nettleton by praying for him as he continues to be in prison. You can also "go to PrisonerAlert.com [where] you can write Pastor Yousef himself and also send e-mails to Iranian government officials, including the office of President Ahmodinejad. So we can pray first, and then we can also have a voice for him, as well."

This article can be found in its entirety at

Land without peace: Why Abbas went to the U.N.

October 03, 2011

WASHINGTON — While diplomatically inconvenient for the Western powers, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' attempt to get the U.N. to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state has elicited widespread sympathy. After all, what choice did he have? According to the accepted narrative, Middle East peace is made impossible by a hard-line Likud-led Israel that refuses to accept a Palestinian state and continues to build settlements.

It is remarkable how this gross inversion of the truth has become conventional wisdom. In fact, Benjamin Netanyahu brought his Likud-led coalition to open recognition of a Palestinian state, thereby creating Israel's first national consensus for a two-state solution. He is also the only prime minister to agree to a settlement freeze — 10 months — something no Labor or Kadima government has ever done.

To which Abbas responded by boycotting the talks for nine months, showing up in the 10th, then walking out when the freeze expired. Last month he reiterated that he will continue to boycott peace talks unless Israel gives up — in advance — claim to any territory beyond the 1967 lines. Meaning, for example, that the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem is Palestinian territory. This is not just absurd. It violates every prior peace agreement. They all stipulate that such demands are to be the subject of negotiations, not their precondition.

Abbas unwaveringly insists on the so-called right of return,which would demographically destroy Israel by swamping it with millions of Arabs, thereby turning the world's only Jewish state into the world's 23rd Arab state. And he has repeatedly declared, as recently as last month in New York: "We shall not recognize a Jewish state."

Nor is this new. It is perfectly consistent with the long history of Palestinian rejectionism. Consider:

•Camp David, 2000. At a U.S.-sponsored summit, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offers Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza — and, astonishingly, the previously inconceivable division of Jerusalem. Arafat refuses — and makes no counteroffer, thereby demonstrating his unseriousness about making any deal. Instead, within two months, he launches a savage terror war that kills a thousand Israelis.

•Taba, 2001. An even sweeter deal — the Clinton Parameters — is offered. Arafat walks away again.

•Israel, 2008. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert makes the ultimate capitulation to Palestinian demands — 100 percent of the West Bank (with land swaps), Palestinian statehood, the division of Jerusalem with the Muslim parts becoming the capital of the new Palestine. And incredibly, he offers to turn over the city's holy places, including the Western Wall — Judaism's most sacred site, its Kaaba — to an international body which sit Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Did Abbas accept? Of course not. If he had, the conflict would be over and Palestine would already be a member of the United Nations.

This is not ancient history. All three peace talks occurred over the past decade. And every one completely contradicts the current mindless narrative of Israeli "intransigence" as the obstacle to peace.

Settlements? Every settlement remaining within the new Palestine would be destroyed and emptied, precisely as happened in Gaza.

So why did the Palestinians say no? Because saying yes would have required them to sign a final peace agreement that accepted a Jewish state on what they consider the Muslim patrimony.

The key word here is "final." The Palestinians are quite prepared to sign interim agreements, like Oslo. Framework agreements, like Annapolis. Cease-fires, like the 1949 armistice. Anything but a final deal. Anything but a final peace. Anything but a treaty that ends the conflict once and for all — while leaving a Jewish state still standing.

After all, why did Abbas go to the U.N. last month? For nearly half a century, the United States has pursued a Middle East settlement on the basis of the formula of land for peace. Land for peace produced the Israel-Egypt peace of 1979 and the Israel-Jordan peace of 1994. Israel has offered the Palestinians land for peace three times since. And been refused every time.

Why? For exactly the same reason Abbas went to the U.N.: to get land without peace. Sovereignty with no reciprocal recognition of a Jewish state. Statehood without negotiations. An independent Palestine in a continued state of war with Israel.

This is the reason that, regardless of who is governing Israel, there has never been peace. Territorial disputes are solvable; existential conflicts are not.

Land for peace, yes. Land without peace is nothing but an invitation to suicide.

Washington Post Writers Group

Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist.

See what Obama promises Arabs after 2012 election

Democrats fear treatment of Israel is voting liability

Posted: September 28, 2011
By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WND

The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections, a top PA official told WND.

The official, however, said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is re-elected.

"The main message we received from the U.S. is that nothing will happen in a serious

The PA official said Obama "will not accept the Palestinian request of a state at the (U.N.) Security Council and cannot help on the ground for now."

"We were told to wait for Obama's reelection, and that before then nothing serious will happen for a state," the official continued. "But after the reelection, the U.S. said the schedule will be short to reach a Palestinian state."

Obama's policies toward Israel have been highlighted in local and national campaigns, with many Democrats fearing voters will oppose them due to the perception the president is anti-Israel.

Obama's treatment of Israel was a significant issue in the recent election of Republican Bob Turner to former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat in a district that had not elected a GOP candidate since 1923.

Also, presidential contenders such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have been strongly criticizing Obama on Israel.

This article can be read in its entirety at:
See what Obama promises Arabs after 2012 election http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=349705#ixzz1ZMSYgbmM

End Pro-Abortion Judicial Tyranny
Through the Sanctity of Life Act

Ending Pro-Abortion Judicial Tyranny  

from the National Prolife Alliance

   There is no question that the largest obstacle in the fight to enact pro-life legislation to protect the unborn is the federal court system. Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the courts have repeatedly thwarted efforts to enact even the most modest pro-life reforms.

    With such a hostile court system resigned to blocking all meaningful progress, pro-lifers are now turning to the Constitution to end this pro-abortion judicial tyranny.

   National Pro-Life Alliance members are not waiting around for a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court to demand an end to abortion-on-demand.

    In addition to leading the fight to protect the Constitutional right to life of unborn babies from conception by passing a Life at Conception Act, National Pro-Life Alliance members are mobilizing grass-roots support for an additional measure to remove jurisdiction over abortion from the federal courts.

    Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to limit jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts.

    And this new legislation in Congress would do just that.

    By removing all authority from the courts to rule on cases involving abortion, the Sanctity of Life Act of 2011 [H.R. 1096] would restore the authority of popularly elected officials to pass laws to limit or ban abortion without interference from unelected, activist pro-abortion judges.

    Sadly, this judicial tyranny has caused many pro-life organizations to limit themselves to pressing for limited laws to slightly control abortion in the more outrageous cases, hoping not to offend the courts.

    But by passing the Sanctity of Life Act, Congress can finally put an end to this judicial tyranny once and for all.

U.S. Constitution Explicitly Grants Congress the Authority to Strip Courts of Jurisdiction

    Specifically, Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:

"The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."

    By creating such an exception for the issue of abortion, Congress can finally end judicial tyranny and abortion-on-demand. And simply by building grass-roots support to limit judicial overreaching, the Sanctity of Life Act will pressure activist judges to watch their step.

   Pro-lifers are urged to call   their Congressman cosponsor Representative Ron Paul's Sanctity of Life Act of 2011 [H.R. 1096] today.

Click here to read this article in its entirety

Click here to read update to this bill

WND Exclusive

Verdict! Christians convict pastor for 'giving out Bibles'
$300 fine, 1 year probation, ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from scene of his 'offense'

Posted: September 01, 2011
By Bob Unruh

The pastor of a Wichita, Kan., church who has spoken on public streets against homosexuality, the influence of abortion interests in his state and other biblical issues says he has been convicted on charges related to his decision to hand out Bibles at a Muslim mosque – in a courtroom staffed and filled with Christians.

The counts against Pastor Mark Holick of Spirit One Christian Center, known as the church "without walls," technically were two counts of loitering and one count of disrupting a business.

Click here to read more:

He was convicted by a six-member jury in Wichita District Court and today was sentenced to a $300 fine, a year of probation and ordered not to be within 1,000 feet of the Islamic center where last fall he handed out pamphlets containing portions of the Bible.

What is startling, he told the judge and courtroom during a 15-minute statement in court, is that the conviction came about through Christians.

He told the court and judge:

Wichita, you are confused, I am not your enemy, Islam is.

'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'

Islamists believe that it is okay to lie if it is to help in the cause of Allah.

My own government called a foreign Islamist to testify for them against me, a born American, Christian peacefully handing out free Bibles.

How sad, how incredibly sad.

WND previously reported on the dispute that brought Holick into court again. At the time of his arrest, he warned that Islamic law, Shariah, is creeping into American through preferential treatment provided by law enforcement and the courts.

Today, he told WND that he was handing out a book containing English and Arabic versions of the biblical books of John and Romans, as well as a DVD containing testimony from former Muslims.

He said he was able to make the accusation against the court and jurors because of information he's gotten from those who know the arresting officer and the judge and the prosecutor's statement about attending church. Holick said he has dealt with the city attorney in previous cases, and during jury selection four of the six jurors affirmed that they attend a regular Christian service.

He said his attorney talked with jurors after the conviction and found out they were swayed by the police statements that Holick didn't move, or didn't move fast enough, when police instructed him.

Holick had been handing out the Bible portions on a sidewalk adjacent to the Wichita mosque. He also went into the driveway where it crossed the sidewalk to do the same. It apparently was that action that the police cited for their counts of loitering and obstructing a business. Holick noted, however, there was no testimony that he had obstructed anyone.

According to the report in the Wichita Eagle, Sedgwick County District Judge Phil Journey handed down the sentence to Holick.

"The only reason you were the one arrested is because you were the only one who disobeyed the police orders," the newspaper reported the judge said.

The report also said Journey discussed how the First Amendment assured Holick's right to express his religious beliefs but also allowed laws that would regulate how he practices his faith.

A WND message requesting comment from the court left after hours was not returned.

Holick told WND he was a little surprised that the judge let him make a 15-minute statement but noted that the judge later stated his disagreement with the pastor's testimony.

He had said, "This is about an idolatrous government that has rejected the Lord God Jesus. This is about a government that has turned from the Lord God to the many gods of pluralism.

"Listen to the 911 call by the mosque. Not one reference to any traffic problems, no[t] one indication of cars being blocked. No, it is clear that the reason they called was because – we were there peacefully offering free Bibles," he said. "To which the police, city attorney, and courts were all too willing to act with expediency and malice to silence the Gospel of our Lord Jesus."

He continued, "Rest assured, your actions will have a great chilling effect on the Gospel of our Lord, but I suspect you know that and are glad. Rest assured that this conviction is already running through the Wichita Islamic social network like an August Texas grass fire. Because I use the public sidewalk to offer Bibles to those driving out, I stand here before this magistrate today."

He cited a consent decree reached with the city earlier when he previously was arrested for speaking of Christianity in a "traditional public forum."

The city paid $11,700 in damages and promised "to permit Mark Holick to engage in his First Amendment rights in the future on the same terms and conditions as all other citizens."

"Honorable men keep their word," Holick said.

In that earlier case Holick was arrested by police sharing his religious beliefs on a public sidewalk outside a homosexual festival in the city. He was arrested but, the charges eventually were dropped, and he later brought a civil case.

It was settled, and U.S. District Judge Thomas Martin described the arrest:

Plaintiff was preparing to share his religious beliefs with others on the public sidewalk near the entrance of Heritage Park in Wichita, Kansas, where a Gay Pride event was about to take place … within 5 minutes of arriving at that location, plaintiff was threatened with arrest if he did not leave, and then immediately arrested when he refused to leave, handcuffed, placed in a squad car in front of members from his church, including adults, youth, and children, processed at the police station by having his mug shot taken, fingers printed, and placed in a cell with others.

The judge noted that all charges against Holick later were dismissed, and the civil rights complaint was filed for the wrongful arrest.

"The defendants do not contest that they violated plaintiff's constitutional rights," the judge wrote.

“Christians shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs," said Joel Oster, a senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented Holick, at the time of the settlement. "We are pleased city of Wichita officials will now ensure that Pastor Holick is free to exercise his First Amendment rights in public without fear of arrest."

Click here to read the entire article at World Net Daily.


City to allow "annoying" Speech

Thanks to constitutional challenge

Posted: September 01, 2011
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND

Officials in Winchester, Va., will alter their noise ordinance and adjust its enforcement following a First Amendment lawsuit against city procedures that censored speech that might annoy some people, according to a legal team fighting the battle.

The city agreed to revise the challenged provisions, halt enforcement until the changes are made and pay undisclosed monetary damages and attorney's fees, according to today's announcement from the Rutherford Institute.

"We're pleased that the city of Winchester has finally agreed to recognize that the right to speak freely cannot to be conditioned upon how others feel about the message," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. "As former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black recognized, 'The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the government commands.'"

The issue arose over a city crackdown on a street preacher's activities. The speaker contended the policy should be abandoned because it's not constitutional to base an individual's First Amendment speech rights on someone else's "comfort." Police had shut down the preacher when a passerby allegedly complained he was "uncomfortable."

"The city of Winchester's noise ordinance goes far beyond the scope of permissible regulation for a traditional public forum," said a brief in support of a request for summary judgment in the case between Winchester, Va., and Michael Marcavage of the Repent America Christian ministry.

Marcavage regularly preaches the message of the Bible at street festivals and other occasions across the country.

Last year, he was at the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester. After checking with the police department ahead of time, he used a public address system to carry his message to listeners.

However, he was ordered to shut it down, resulting in a legal challenge to the ordinance.

"The ordinance constitutes an outright prohibition of certain verbal expression without any reference to objective characteristics of that expression, such as volume, and it does so through the use of vague terms and unascertainable standards," said the Rutherford Institute brief, compiled by Rita M. Dunaway.

Specifically, it pointed out the conversation in which Lt. John Danielson of the Winchester Police Department ordered Marcavage to stop using his equipment, which he earlier had been told was permitted.

"This complaint [from a passerby], according to the officer, rendered Marcavage's expression a violation of the city's noise ordinance, which prohibits sounds that 'annoy' or 'disturb' others. Marcavage immediately phoned the Winchester police chief, who had informed him prior to the Festival that street preaching with a handheld microphone would not violate any local laws. However, upon receiving Marcavage's call on the day of the Festival, the police chief insisted that the officers would enforce the ordinance against the preachers if any citizens complained about the noise," the institute reported.

"It was later revealed that law enforcement officials were ordered to go undercover for the purpose of monitoring the street preachers. According to one police officer's statement, he used a recording device to film the preachers as they expressed their sincerely-held religious beliefs during the 2010 Apple Blossom Festival," the group said.

Article may be read in its entirety at:


White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances

The Obama administration issued talking points for commemorations of the 9/11 attacks at home and around the world.

Published: August 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — The White House has issued detailed guidelines to government officials on how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with instructions to honor the memory of those who died on American soil but also to recall that Al Qaeda and other extremist groups have since carried out attacks elsewhere in the world, from Mumbai to Manila.

The White House in recent days has quietly disseminated two sets of documents. One is framed for overseas allies and their citizens and was sent to American embassies and consulates around the globe. The other includes themes for Americans here and underscores the importance of national service and what the government has done to prevent another major attack in the United States. That single-page document was issued to all federal agencies, officials said.

After weeks of internal debate, White House officials adopted the communications documents to shape public events and official statements, and they sought to strike a delicate balance between messages designed for these two very important but very different audiences on a day when the world’s attention will be focused on President Obama, his leadership team and his nation.

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. “The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.

Some senior Obama administration leaders had advocated a lengthy program of speeches and events to mark the anniversary, but the final decision was for lower-key appearances by Mr. Obama and other senior leaders only on the days leading up to the anniversary and on Sept. 11 itself.

Mr. Obama in his weekly address on Saturday said that this year’s anniversary will be one of “service and remembrance.”

“We need to make sure we’re speaking to a very broad set of audiences who will be affected by the anniversary,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

That may be, but some American counterterrorism and intelligence officials are complaining that the White House missed out on tying together the 10th anniversary with recently announced strategies to combat terrorism and violent extremism into a more coherent, longer-term plan. “They don’t do that kind of long-term planning,” said a senior counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary measures from the White House. Mr. Rhodes rejected that criticism, saying these themes have threaded through many of Mr. Obama’s speeches in recent months.

As the White House sharpens its messages for the commemorations, officials say they have also stepped up efforts to spot signs of foreign or domestic terrorist plots timed around the anniversary. So far, they said, they had not detected any specific plots or an increase in threats.

Officials interviewed at several federal departments said they would consult the White House guidelines, but had been given broad leeway to hold commemorative events at their agencies.

One significant new theme is in both sets of documents: Government officials are to warn that Americans must be prepared for another attack — and must, in response, be resilient in recovering from the loss.

“Resilience takes many forms, including the dedication and courage to move forward,” according to the guidelines for foreign audiences. “While we must never forget those who we lost, we must do more than simply remember them —we must sustain our resilience and remain united to prevent new attacks and new victims.”

At the same time, Obama administration officials caution that public commemorations here should not cast the United States as the sole victim of terrorism, an argument underscored by killings and maimings from extremist attacks overseas.

Some senior administration officials involved in the discussions noted that the tone set on this Sept. 11 should be shaped by a recognition that the outpouring of worldwide support for the United States in the weeks after the attacks turned to anger at some American policies adopted in the name of fighting terror — on detention, on interrogation, and the decision to invade Iraq.

So the guidelines aimed at foreign audiences also call on American officials to praise overseas partners and their citizens, who have joined the worldwide effort to combat violent extremism.

“As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world,” the overseas guidelines state. “We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.”

The death of Osama bin Laden was viewed as reason for officials to “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” While terrorists affiliated with Bin Laden’s network “still have the ability to inflict harm,” the guidelines say, officials are to make the point that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.”

The guidelines say the absence of Al Qaeda playing any significant role in the “Arab Spring” uprisings against longtime autocrats in the Middle East and North Africa should be cited as evidence that Bin Laden’s organization “represents the past,” while peaceful street protesters in Egypt and Tunisia “represent the future.” Left unsaid was that many of the deposed leaders were close American allies and partners in counterterrorism operations.

Resilience is a repeated theme of the communications. “We celebrate the resilience of communities across the globe,” the foreign guidelines state.

Or, as Mr. Rhodes put it in the interview: “It’s a statement of strength that the United States can outlast our adversaries. We’re stronger than the terrorists’ ability to frighten us.”

The domestic guidelines, entitled “9/11 Anniversary Planning,” are shorter and less prescriptive than the talking points created for overseas audiences. For example, they note that the ceremonies will honor Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attacks but also “all victims of terrorism, including those who had been targeted by Al Qaeda and other groups around the globe.”

But these guidelines also acknowledge that Americans will expect government leaders to explain what steps have been taken to prevent another 9/11-style attack and to encourage Americans to volunteer in their communities this Sept. 11.

The domestic guidelines also ask something of Americans that has been lacking in Washington: “We will also draw on the spirit of unity that prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.”

This article was found at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/us/politics/30terror.html

Iowa 2012 GOP Presidential Power Rankings:

Could the newcomer’s shake-up be shook-up?

 From The Iowa Independent

By Staff report   August 29, 2011

  If there has been a single thread that has connected the previous 11 editions of The Iowa Independent’s Power Rankings, it has been an overall feeling of discontent among Republicans as activists in the state search for someone who represents their views and that they believe also stands a good chance of unseating Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.

With the Ames Straw Poll a memory and, thanks in part to a timed entry by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, showing very little bounce for the top two finishers, our panelists seem more intent on the political end game and which candidate has the mixture of organization, charisma and “that special something” to take the race all the way to the finish line.

If the caucuses were held tonight, here’s how our panel believes they would end:

1.      Rick Perry — Despite the fact that the governor of Texas hasn’t yet proven himself from an organizational standpoint in the Hawkeye State — and won’t likely have to in advance of the caucuses due to his later entry — our panelists cannot deny that Perry has brought something to the race that has been missing.

“Many activists have said to me, ‘I’ve been holding out for a winner!’ Republican activists may agree with the agenda of a [Michele] Bachmann or a [Rick] Santorum, but they aren’t convinced those candidates can beat Obama. There’s a buzz around Perry that says he can,” notes one of our panelists.

Others on our panel, however, are curious if Perry’s lead is more of a honeymoon period — something that will wane as the newness of his candidacy wears off.

“His current buzz does make him the flavor of the month — just like [Mike] Huckabee and [Donald] Trump before him — but there is more to him than just that,” notes another panelist. “He appeals to all segments of the party, [at least] to varying degrees. That huge undecided number that keeps showing up in Iowa polls may have found their hairstyle of choice.”

Candidates may rise on appeal, but they must have substance to win the first-in-the-nation caucuses. What the panel wants to see from Perry going forward are signals that his campaign is organizing at the grassroots level in Iowa, working the ground and drawing increased support.

“If the caucuses were held today Perry would instantly coalesce a group of former Tim Pawlenty supporters and soft supporters of others to finish very strong, but at this point in time he doesn’t have the organization on the ground to marshal enough of them to pull it out.

“Still, there is little denying the initial roll-out of his candidacy has been impressive and, if things keep trending the way they currently are, he’s the one to beat.”

Perry’s performance in upcoming debates and his interactions on the campaign trail in Iowa and other early states could still sway his candidacy further up or down. And, while it is unlikely that more fiscally-minded Republicans would be swayed by the entry of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the race, it is likely that some more socially-minded Iowa conservatives could. That could spell trouble for Perry’s honeymoon, at least in Iowa.

“While it is true that there are some who simply won’t support a woman, there are some who will — even if that woman is Palin, who comes with history. She still appeals to a segment of the GOP that feels America hasn’t been promoted in that Ronald Reagan style it should be, and there is no one, perhaps other than Reagan himself, who makes Republicans feel better about themselves than Palin. That’s her advantage over other conservatives already in the race including Bachmann, although Bachmann has been pulling such references into her own speeches. Such ‘lifting up’ by Palin will be hard for Iowans to resist.”

2.      Michele Bachmann — For the first time since late June, the Minnesota Congresswoman doesn’t lead our Hawkeye State Power Rankings and, perhaps more importantly, she came dangerously close to being knocked out of the top two.

Since late March, when Bachmann began to seriously hint that she would pursue a White House bid, she has remained a favorite of our panelists. They viewed her as someone who could appeal to the state’s influential social conservative base as well as a candidate that could count on support from the tea party movement — both being influential for the upcoming caucuses. The straw poll should have been a proving grounds for her Iowa organizational skills (and to a certain extent it was) but, under the shadow of a Perry announcement, it simply didn’t provide a large boost.

“Winning the straw poll still has its privileges. One of those privileges is a vastly superior organization compared to a guy who’s been in the race for only two weeks, and has just made a handful of stops in Iowa while facing no real scrutiny from voters or his fellow competitors yet. That said, Bachmann is not trending in the right direction at the moment, and she needs to recapture the momentum she had heading into Ames. Perhaps letting voters see the woman of depth I have seen privately, and not the woman of talking points I often see publicly, is a good place to start.”

Another panelist notes that “Bachmann still has two big things going for her in Iowa: She’s from a neighboring state, which can only benefit her when it comes to ground organization, and she’s a known quantity.

“Let’s face the fact that despite some of rifts here in our state, many of which have been promulgated by supporters of other candidates, Bachmann is someone that activists here know and know well. There is very little shock value left when says things that maybe don’t completely add up, or when she ruffles feathers in local circles. It’s expected, and just like all other expectations in Iowa, when she exceeds them — when says things that really resonate and does well with retail politics — she really, really shines. If she comes into the state and works even the smallest bit to dispel some of the more negative press, it will do her campaign a world of good and she will win on caucus night.”

Criticisms leveled by Pawlenty that Bachmann was prone to misstatements may not have ultimately benefited his campaign, but our panelists believe they likely injured Bachmann’s, at least to some extent.

“One can dismiss occasional things like mixing up whether John Wayne was born in Winterset or Waterloo and maybe even whether August 16 was Elvis’s birthday or the day he died, but at some point one will start to wonder whether it’s just an occasional flub or a pattern that is worrisome. Recently Bachmann claimed that if she becomes president gas prices would go down to $2 a gallon. That’s not a factual mistake, but it certainly caused a lot of people, including a lot on the right, to roll their eyes. Bachmann fought hard to make herself be perceived as a serious, top-tier candidate. She needs to stop the mistakes if she expects to maintain that standing.”

3.      Ron Paul — The biggest news to come out of Texas congressman’s presidential bid in the wake of the straw poll were news reports that he was being ignored in the wake of his strong second-place finish. Our panelists took note of the strong finish, and they continue to believe that overall Paul’s fiscal message is resonating better with state activists than it did in 2007. But when it comes to the game of expectations, they feel Paul just managed to meet them in Ames and, thus, didn’t do anything overly extraordinary to warrant higher placement.

“Paul’s supporters certainly don’t want to hear it, but he probably peaked at the straw poll,” notes one panelist. “There were plenty of stories during the last two weeks about how the media were ignoring Paul’s very close second place finish straw poll. I suspect that it was less a matter of purposefully ignoring Paul as opposed to choosing to focus their resources on candidates who were perceived as more likely to be able to capture the nomination.

“Paul received over three times as many votes at the Straw Poll as he did in 2007. That speaks to both an improved organization and more focus on his economic message. Even so, when Paul starts to speak on other issues his libertarian roots show themselves. Many Republicans are not happy with the wars we are fighting, but they usually don’t think that we should just pull back to our borders. Some Republicans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, but that position isn’t one widely held. In other words, despite his obvious success at the Straw Poll, Paul will have a difficult time appealing to a broader Republican base.”

Another panelist has already moved on to wonder where the libertarians and similar factions of the party will go when “they finally figure out that their guy is not moving forward in this process.”

“Look, there’s a lot to be said for loyalty, and there is no doubt that Ron Paul’s supporters are loyal — but I have to wonder if they’ve ever heard the phrase about being ‘loyal to a fault.’ At this point, I don’t think they are doing their candidate any favors by ramping up his expectations to levels that he doesn’t actually have the base support to meet.”

Another panelist believes Paul could have won the straw poll — and beat expectations — if it wasn’t for his debate performance two nights before.

“His organization flexed its muscle at the straw poll, and that strong second place finish came after his brutal debate performance just 48 hours prior. That tells me two things: Paul’s support isn’t going anywhere, and Paul can’t grow beyond that base of support. I believe Paul would’ve won the Straw Poll if not for his queasy answer on Iran and nuclear weapons. That moment in that debate illustrated the dynamic Paul finds himself in. The current economic climate in the country has made his base coalition more loyal than ever because he’s been proven right all these years. On the other hand, his foreign policy positions are still too far out there to grow that coalition to a winning coalition.”

4.      Mitt Romney — There are more questions than answers surrounding the former governor of Massachusett’s campaign. That is, his Iowa strategy or, more aptly, his lack of an Iowa strategy seemed pretty well mapped out in advance of Perry’s entry. Our panelists now wonder if ignoring the Hawkeye State, or keeping Iowa activists at arms length, is going to be enough to put him in the state’s top three — something he critically needs to do, even if he is banking on a New Hampshire victory.

As one panelist notes, “Mitt still has the 23 percent he’s had since he started his presidential campaign (back in junior high school).”

But there’s more than just low poll numbers at stake. Romney was hoping residual 2008 supporters and here-and-there visits to Iowa would be enough to keep him “playable” in the first-in-the-nation caucuses. He had, for all practical purposes, conceded the state to a more social conservative candidate of the same ilk as a Huckabee — someone that the other early states wouldn’t find as appealing as his more moderate, if not sometimes conflicted, stances. But if Iowa and another of the leading four states go to the same candidate, Romney’s weak performances could be enough to shut him down before the contest moves on to states that are decided more by ad buys than retail politics (where he doesn’t necessarily excel).

“If a four candidate field emerges from the starting four states, that bodes well for Romney, who is extremely well financed and can move into a Super Tuesday situation with multiple ad buys and other voter outreach. But if Perry is able to land claim to both Iowa and South Carolina, Romney will need to provide more than just a New Hampshire victory. He will need to take Nevada, which might be possible because there is strong Mormon representation there. So far, however, I’ve not seen Romney doing retail in anywhere other than New Hampshire, and not a actively there as he did in Iowa in 2007.

“Either Romney will need to start paying more attention to Iowa, which isn’t likely given the past history, or he is going to have to start concentrating more heavily on South Carolina, which also isn’t likely given that state also has a social conservative bent, or in Nevada. He simply cannot allow any one candidate to pull more of a boost than he does from these early contests.”

5.      Rick Santorum — Most of our panelists agree that Santorum has a loyal following in Iowa based predominantly on his rigid social conservative stances. Most also agree that his base support has not yet grown to a point of making him a real contender in the upcoming caucuses, and that they aren’t sure where he will be able to garner more supporters in this current field of candidates.

“If this was 2007, Santorum would probably be faring better than he is now,” a panelist laments. “The fact of the matter is that you can’t build a campaign on issues — fiscal or conservatives — that are also held by your opponents. He doesn’t have anything, at least not yet, that makes him stand apart from the field. He doesn’t have executive experience. He lost his last election. He doesn’t have a compelling story to tell and, as a result, he seems to be a candidate that many activists like personally but are not supporting for the nomination.”

While a handful of our panelists still envision a scenario where Santorum could play spoiler (a la Huckabee 2008), even most of those believe his fortunes, good or bad, may actually rest with the undecided candidacy of Palin.

“Obviously, if Palin enters the race, there will be automatic buzz within social conservative circles — the same circles where Santorum has made the most headway. That could spell trouble for his campaign both from a standpoint of an established base, and from the standpoint of her much greater name recognition — which might be more appealing for any undecideds on caucus night.

“On the other side of that coin, if Palin decides not to run, there could be some social conservatives that have been holding their support that will move toward Santorum, giving him a greater edge on caucus night when Iowans speak on behalf of their chosen candidates before the GOP balloting. Such conservatives can give very impassioned speeches that can really help their chosen candidate.”

Unlike Democratic caucuses where second choices can play a distinct and defining role, GOP caucuses are a single secret ballot affair devoid of realignment and viability thresholds. So, just because Santorum appears to be a second-choice candidate for many, the situation doesn’t serve him as well as it would on the other side of the political aisle.

“There is a solid base of former Huckabee supporters I know that just will never buy into Bachmann’s presidential candidacy until they have to because they’re either uncomfortable with a woman for president, and/or she has not proven to them she’s ready for the job. On the other hand, Huckabee himself has done little to hide his skepticism of Perry, who chose to endorse Rudy Giuliani over Huckabee four years ago. So who’s the alternative? Clearly not Ron Paul, who some Huckabee supporters are as leery of as they are Mitt Romney — albeit for different reasons. That leaves Santorum, who more and more has been speaking their language the past few weeks.”

            Click here to read this article in its entirety at the Iowa Independent


 6,500 Bibles Confiscated in NW Iran

 8/14/2011 Iran (Mohabat News) – According to the Iranian Christian News Agency “Mohabat News” Doctor Majid Abhari, advisor to the social issues committee of the parliament in Iran, has announced the seizure of six thousand five hundred copies of the holy bible in the way between the city of Zanjan and abhar in north-west of Iran.

 He also said that “these missionaries with reliance on huge money and propaganda are trying to deviate our youth.” In an interview with a government news agency *(Mehr) he added: “with regard to the activities of these Christian missionaries to deceive people specially youngsters, they have begun a huge campaign by spending huge sums and false propaganda for deviating the public.

 He did not present any more details about the seizure of 6500 gospels and said, “these books were made with the best paper in the world in pocket size. He added, “The important point in this issue that should be considered by intelligence, judicial and religious agencies is that all religions are strengthening their power to confront Islam, otherwise what does this huge number of bibles mean?

 Prior to this, in November of 2010, police officers and revolutionary guards seized 300 bibles from a bus after its inspection and in a shameful action burned them all in the village of “darishk”.

Insulting the Christian bible is in the continuation of an organized campaign by agencies that view anti-Christian propaganda on the top of their agenda. There  have always been major concerns among Islamic republic officials about conversions to Christianity among people. This is after three decades of expensive Islamic propaganda and a generation that has been grown up in Islamic teaching and is facing this change in thought.
Islamic republic considers itself the responsible guide for people's thoughts. So what is their fear of the importation and distribution of non-Islamic religious books?

This article was found at mohatat news

WND Exclusive


Terrorist proclaimed himself 'Darwinian,' not 'Christian'

His manifesto shows Breivik not religious

Posted: July 24, 2011
© 2011 WND

 WASHINGTON – A review of Anders Behring Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto shows the media's quick characterization of the Norwegian terrorist as a "Christian" may be as incorrect as it was to call Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh one.

Breivik was arrested over the weekend, charged with a pair of brutal attacks in and near Oslo, Norway, including a bombing in the capital city that killed 7 and a shooting spree at a youth political retreat on the island of Utoya that killed more than 80 victims.

Piecing together Breivik's various posts on the Internet, many media reports have characterized the terrorist – who says he was upset over the multiculturalist policies stemming from Norway's Labour Party – as a "right-wing, Christian fundamentalist."

Yet, while McVeigh rejected God altogether, Breivik writes in his manifesto that he is not religious, has doubts about God's existence, does not pray, but does assert the primacy of Europe's "Christian culture" as well as his own pagan Nordic culture.

Breivik instead hails Charles Darwin, whose evolutionary theories stand in contrast to the claims of the Bible, and affirms: "As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science, and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."

The terrorist also candidly admits he finds no support within either the Catholic or Protestant churches for his violent ideas.

"I trust that the future leadership of a European cultural conservative hegemony in Europe will ensure that the current Church leadership are replaced and the systems somewhat reformed," he writes. "We must have a Church leadership who supports a future Crusade with the intention of liberating the Balkans, Anatolia and creating three Christian states in the Middle East. Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism. The Protestant Church had an important role once, but its original goals have been accomplished and have contributed to reform the Catholic Church as well. Europe should have a united Church lead [sic] by a just and non-suicidal pope who is willing to fight for the security of his subjects, especially in regards to Islamic atrocities."

While Breivik says he considers himself "100-percent Christian," he also expresses pride in his genealogical roots.

"I am very proud of my Viking heritage," he writes. "My name, Breivik, is a location name from northern Norway, and can be dated back to even before the Viking era. Behring is a pre-Christian Germanic name, which is derived from Behr, the Germanic word for Bear (or 'those who are protected by the bear')."

And while characterizing himself as "Christian" and "Protestant," Breivik says he supports "a reformation of Protestantism leading to it being absorbed by Catholisism." [sic]

Likewise, media reports frequently characterized McVeigh as a "Christian," though he adamantly denied any religious beliefs or convictions – placing his faith in science.

Breivik adds, "I went from moderately agnostic to moderately religious."

Religious worship and study is never noted in the manifesto as part of Breivik's routine in preparing for his mission of mass murder.

Breivik also points out that his association with Christian cultural values is one of political expedience rather than religious commitment or faith

"My choice has nothing to do with the fact that I am not proud of my own traditions and heritage," he explains. "My choice was based purely pragmatism. All Europeans are in this boat together, so we must choose a more moderate platform that can appeal to a great number of Europeans – preferably up to 50 percent (realistically up to 35 percent)."

Breivik also claims membership in the Freemasons, which many Christians consider to be a cultic organization. More specifically, he calls himself a Justiciar Knight.

Over and over again, Breivik goes out of his way to make clear to readers of his manifesto that he is not motivated by Christian faith.

"I'm not going to pretend I'm a very religious person, as that would be a lie," he says. … Religion is a crutch for many weak people, and many embrace religion for self-serving reasons as a source for drawing mental strength (to feed their weak emotional state [for] example during illness, death, poverty etc.). Since I am not a hypocrite, I'll say directly that this is my agenda as well. However, I have not yet felt the need to ask God for strength, yet."

Article can be read in its entirety: Terrorist proclaimed himself 'Darwinian,' not 'Christian' http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=325765#ixzz1TDs4Vp9Q

New weapon could sink NY same-sex marriage

Alleges 'corrupt legislative

Posted: July 25, 2011
By Drew Zahn
© 2011 WND

A pro-family lobbying organization in New York is challenging the state's new law legalizing same-sex marriage, claiming improper procedure and back-room payoffs should render the law "null and void."

In a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, officers of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms argue that the state's Marriage Equality Act was passed only with the help of suspended voting rules, shady campaign contributions and a violation of the New York State Open Meeting Laws.

"In what many are heralding as a big step forward for gay rights," the lawsuit charges, "others are questioning whether the corrupt legislative process by which the Act passed renders the entire Act a nullity."

Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo, blasted the suit as "without merit," but Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, disagrees.

"Back room tactics were rampant in the passage of this law," Staver wrote in a statement announcing Liberty Counsel's assistance in the filing of the suit. "New York law requires that the government be open and transparent to keep political officials responsible. When government operates in secret and freezes out the very people it is supposed to represent, the entire system fails. … The law should be set aside and the process should begin again to allow the people a voice in the process."

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the Act became law through:

  • Meetings that violated the state's open meeting laws, including a closed-door gathering reported by the New York Times in which billionaire and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbied with Republicans to vote for the Act;


  • The suspension of normal Senate voting procedures to prevent senators who opposed the bill from speaking;


  • Failure to follow Senate procedures that require a bill must be sent to appropriate committees prior to being placed before the full Senate for a vote;


  • Governor Cuomo's violation of a constitutionally mandated three-day review period before the Legislature votes on a bill by issuing a "message of necessity";


  • A private dinner with Republican senators at the governor's mansion, with the public and press excluded, in which Governor Cuomo attempted to persuade passage of the Act;


  • Fulfilled promises by elected officials and Wall Street financiers to make large campaign contributions to Republican senators who switched their vote from opposing to supporting the Act.

The New York Daily News reported that Bloomberg, indeed, contributed over $10,000 apiece to the campaigns of four Republican senators who voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

Βloomberg aide Micah Leaher told the paper, "The mayor said he would support Senate Republicans who stood up – and he did."

"It is unfortunate that state senators chose to protect their personal interests, rather than the people they were elected to represent," said Rev. Jason J. McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, in a statement. "Some of the players may have changed, but it looks like same old Albany game. It is time the curtain be pulled back and the disinfecting light of good government shine upon the Cuomo administration and our state Legislature."

Read more: New weapon could sink N.Y. same-sex marriage http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=326037#ixzz1TDoWXiwN

Jewish World Review
July 5, 2011

Gross Media Ignorance

By Walter Williams

There's little that's intelligent or informed about Time magazine editor Richard Stengel's article "One Document, Under Siege" (June 23, 2011). It contains many grossly ignorant statements about our Constitution. If I believed in conspiracies, I'd say Stengel's article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.

Stengel says: "The framers were not gods and were not infallible. Yes, they gave us, and the world, a blueprint for the protection of democratic freedoms — freedom of speech, assembly, religion — but they also gave us the idea that a black person was three-fifths of a human being, that women were not allowed to vote and that South Dakota should have the same number of Senators as California, which is kind of crazy. And I'm not even going to mention the Electoral College."

My column last week addressed the compromise whereby each slave was counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of determining representation in the House of Representatives and Electoral College. Had slaves been counted as whole people, slaveholding states would have had much greater political power. I agree the framers were not gods and were not infallible, but they had far greater wisdom and principle than today's politicians.

The framers held democracy and majority rule in deep contempt. As a matter of fact, the term democracy appears in none of our founding documents. John Adams said: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Stengel's majoritarian vision sees it as anti-democratic that South Dakota and California both have two senators, but the framers wanted to reduce the chances that highly populated states would run roughshod over thinly populated states. They established the Electoral College to serve the same purpose in determining the presidency.

The framers recognized that most human abuses were the result of government. As Thomas Paine said, "government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil." Because of their distrust, the framers sought to keep the federal government limited in its power. Their distrust of Congress is seen in the language used throughout our Constitution. The Bill of Rights says Congress shall not abridge, shall not infringe, shall not deny and other shall-nots, such as disparage, violate and deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given, or natural, rights, they would not have provided those protections

Other founder distrust for government is found in the Constitution's separation of powers, checks and balances, and several anti-majoritarian provisions, such as the Electoral College, two-thirds vote to override a veto and the requirement that three-quarters of state legislatures ratify changes to the Constitution.

Stengel says, "If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn't say so." That statement is beyond ignorance. The 10th Amendment reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

Stengel's article is five pages online, and I've only commented on the first. There's also little in the remaining pages that reflects understanding and respect for our nation's most important document.

Walter  Williams is a wise and thoughtful economist and editorialist who has had a lot to say about America and the Constitution over the years. This article can be found in its entirety at


or visit the archives of Walter Williams at


More Obama 'defiance' of Constitution

'Why elections if the executive branch rules by decree?'

Posted: June 30, 2011
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND

An organization that represents the 75 percent of American citizens who want more control over illegal immigration is calling for the impeachment of Barack Obama over his involvement in the transfer of weapons to Mexican drug lords and his efforts to provide amnesty to illegal aliens.

"President Obama is no longer the legitimate president of the United States," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, in calling for the action today.

"By arming drug and human smugglers with assault weapons that have been used to kill American and Mexican citizens and police forces, and by ordering amnesty for illegal aliens which has been rejected by both the Congress and the American public more than eight times, Obama has committed a form of treason against the United States and must be removed from office by Congress," he said.

His call joins a chorus of other voices who already have expressed the idea. Those comments have come from a number of columnists and commentators, one member of Congress, a former member of Congress and retired military leaders. Even Vice President Joe Biden, then a senator, at one point said he would support impeachment of a president who misuses the executive power to take the nation into a war.

Gheen cited the developing "Operation Gunrunner" scandal in which federal agents had gun shops sell weapons to customers suspected of links to Mexican drug gangs. He also pointed ot Obama's "recent edict instructing federal employees to establish a form of amnesty for illegal aliens in defiance of the Congress, existing federal laws, and the U.S. Constitution."

Gheen noted Obama's ICE director, John Morton, issued a memo June 17 to all ICE field office directors, special agents-in-charge and chief counsel, authorizing them to decline to remove illegal aliens who meet the qualifications for amnesty under the DREAM Act amnesty – which has failed repeatedly in Congress.

He also said congressional investigations have "determined that Obama's ATF and Justice Department have been supplying assault weapons to the drug cartels that import most of America's cocaine, methamphetamine, and illegal immigrants."

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is a national organization with more than 40,000 supporters who represent the majority of Americans who want America's existing immigration laws enforced, Gheen said.

He said the issue is that the president "made it clear to the American public that he does not care what they think, what the current federal laws are, what the U.S. Constitution says, or what Congress has ratified."

"Congress must take immediate action to stop Obama or the American Republic will fall. What use are elections, candidates, or the Congress, if the executive branch rules by decree?" he said.

"Never before in the history of the United States has an occupant of the White House displayed less concern for the Constitution and the rule of law than Barack Obama. It's about time somebody said it: It's time to impeach Obama," Farah wrote.

Attorney Larry Klayman, a former Justice Department prosecutor, founder of Judicial Watch and now of Freedom Watch, agreed.

Klayman cited Obama's decision to refuse to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, his pursuit of Arizona in court over its decision to defend its citizens from illegal aliens invading the state, his "visceral hatred and subversion of the state of Israel" and others.

The first statement from a member of Congress on the issue came from U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who responded to this question from Think Progress: "I know Newt Gingrich has came out (sic) and said if they don't reverse course [regarding trials for terror suspects] here, we ought to be talking about possibly impeaching either Attorney General [Eric] Holder or even President Obama to try to get them to reverse course. Do you think that is something you would support?"

Franks replied: "If it could gain the collective support, absolutely. I called for Eric Holder to repudiate the policy to try terrorists within our civil courts, or resign. So it just seems like that they have an uncanny ability to get it wrong on almost all fronts."

WND also reported that former congressman and GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo said for current members of the House and Senate to uphold their oath to defend the United States against enemies "foreign and domestic," they need to file impeachment charges against Obama.

Tancredo wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Times that Obama's "refusal to live up to his own oath of office – which includes the duty to defend the United States against foreign invasion – requires senators and representatives to live up to their oaths. Members of Congress must defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today, that means bringing impeachment charges against Mr. Obama."

Above are just several examples of a long string of  voices decrying executive neglect of upholding the oath to defend,  and as well as abuses of power that point to the impeachment remedy. To read this article in its entirety visit World Net Daily at:



Congressman asks IRS to probe 'Muslim Mafia'

Cites letter indicating CAIR sought funding from Libya's Gadhafi

Posted: June 28, 2011

© 2011 WND World Net Daily

Responding to the IRS removal of tax-exempt status for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Virginia congressman has asked the federal agency to investigate whether the D.C.-based Muslim lobby group has "illegally received or solicited funds from foreign governments or agents."

Republican Rep. Frank Wolf said in a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman that he wants to resolve the question of whether foreign and potentially hostile governments have funded CAIR, which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.

Wolf brought to the IRS's attention a copy of a recently disclosed letter from CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad to Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi in which Awad appears to solicit money for a CAIR project.

"I am concerned that Awad and CAIR may be soliciting – and receiving – funds from other unsavory foreign governments and organizations, including some that may be sponsors of terror," Wolf wrote.

The lawmaker also cited reports that indicate Awad and other CAIR representatives may have traveled to Sudan to solicit funds from Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir, whose hard-line Islamic regime has been held responsible for more than 2 million deaths in a jihad against Christians and animists in the country's south.

IRS earlier this month purged CAIR from its list of tax-exempt organizations. Donations to the group are no longer tax-deductible, even though CAIR continues to claim on its website that contributions are deductible.

The gross delinquency raises new suspicions that CAIR – identified in a recent terror-finance case as a front group for Hamas – is concealing from the American public details about its already shadowy financial activities.

CAIR is a regular staple of the cable news programs where it claims to be a "Muslim-American civil rights group."

The Washington-based group receives millions of dollars in donations, pledges and other support from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other terror-tied Arab states, as revealed in the bestseller "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America."

As WND has reported, CAIR has filed a lawsuit against "Muslim Mafia" co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son, Chris, who collected thousands of pages of CAIR documents destined for a shredder while working as an intern.

CAIR's complaint asks a federal judge to expunge all copies of "Muslim Mafia". A lawyer defending the Gaubatzes says CAIR is attempting to eliminate evidence that could lead to criminal prosecution.

"Muslim Mafia" presents evidence that CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper has misled Washington reporters about the source of most of CAIR's financial support.

Although Hooper has repeatedly denied that CAIR receives foreign support, smoking-gun video footage obtained during the Gaubatzes' six-month covert investigation of CAIR indicates otherwise.

A State Department cable citing Hooper by name, moreover, directly contradicts Hooper's denials about foreign support, according to "Muslim Mafia," which exposes the secret inner workings of CAIR, among other radical Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America.

CAIR in January 2007 prepared a secret "strategy" memo launching what the "Muslim Mafia" authors call a hostile influence operation against Congress to undermine homeland security and anti-terror efforts.

The memo states that CAIR would try to "influence" the intelligence committees, along with committees dealing with homeland security and justice, while placing interns in "congressional offices."

CAIR has been successful in both endeavors, using Mideast funds free of taxation in the process.

Read article in its entirety at World Net Daily at



Justices' free speech decision claim praised, faulted

By Bill Vidonic
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The solicitor for Pittsburgh Public Schools says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a former eastern Pennsylvania police chief couldn't claim free speech in a private employment matter was a sound one.

"I think it represents a common-sense distinction between getting up at a public meeting and saying, 'I'm an employee, I live here, and taxes are too high,' which are matters of general concern, and work-related speech," Ira Weiss said of the decision Monday.

But Pittsburgh labor attorney Joshua Bloom said the ruling is another example of citizens' rights in the courts being chipped away.

"The courts have ruled that people can petition and file grievances, but now they're saying it's OK (for governments) to destroy their lives if they do it. It makes no sense," Bloom said, adding, "The Supreme Court seems to be endorsing a culture of tyranny, secrecy and coercion in the public workplace."

The case originates in the Luzerne County borough of Duryea, which fired police Chief Charles Guarnieri in 2003. He filed a union grievance, and after an arbitrator returned him to the job, council drew up 11 directives for his return, including that he had to have council permission for overtime. The directives were thrown out after Guarnieri filed a second union grievance, and then he sued in civil court, saying the directives were in retaliation for the first grievance.

Guarnieri said the retaliation violated the petition clause of the First Amendment, which allows citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances.

In an 8-1 ruling, U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erred and that Guarnieri should have had to show he spoke as a citizen on an issue of public concern, which is what the First Amendment's speech clause requires.

"The right of a public employee under the Petition Clause is a right to participate as a citizen, through petitioning activity, in the democratic process," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. "It is not a right to transform everyday employment disputes into matters for Constitutional litigation in the federal courts."

He added, "It is precisely to avoid this intrusion into internal governmental affairs that this Court has held that, while the First Amendment invests public employees with certain rights, it does not empower them to 'Constitutionalize' the employee grievance."

Guarnieri's case has been sent back to the lower court for reconsideration.

The ruling hurts not only public employees, Bloom said, but also private citizens who depend on government workers to keep an eye on government.

"Public employees are in the best position to speak out about corruption, illegalities, incompetence, oppression and waste," he said.

"The Supreme Court recognizes that just because someone is a public employee, it doesn't give them the right to sue for matters that are purely employment-related for First Amendment issues," Weiss said. "If it's a complaint about their employment status, it's not a whistleblower case."

This article can be found in its entirety at




Wrong diagnosis, wrong cure for 'gay' youth
Posted: June 21, 2011
By Linda Harvey
© 2011 

What's worse than asking ninth-graders intrusive and sexually explicit questions on a school survey, even if they do live in a liberal district?

It's discovering misbehavior, coming to exactly the wrong conclusion about the causes and recommending more harm be done.

A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control shows that teenagers in public schools who believe themselves to be homosexual or bisexual are taking more risks all across the board. While this should not come as a big surprise to the average American with common sense, it is a stunning revelation to our psychobabbly federal public health professionals. After all, they can't even bring themselves to say "Stop it!" to men who have anal sex with other men.

But now that we have this information, it gives an important snapshot, if we evaluate it appropriately.

However, the CDC researchers jumped to predictable conclusions. Among the solutions was the need for "supportive" school environments – meaning, approval of homosexuality – including more "gay straight alliance" clubs and pro-homosexual teacher diversity training. Also, health-care settings and workers need training to be more "open and nonjudgmental."

The researchers believe these kids just suffer from low self-esteem – which may be true – but they assume it's the fault of others, including the general social stigmatization of homosexuality. Then, of course, with no supporting evidence, they apparently adopt the "gay" lobby's position that views against homosexuality are unwarranted and inevitably provoke bullying and self-harm. Homosexuality is either innate, or benign, or both, according to the unsupported, accepted narrative.

Yet let's look at some details of the CDC findings that don't jibe with these conclusions. For instance, are we actually supposed to believe that low self-respect or social rejection because of one's homosexual identity causes teens to refuse to wear seat belts? That was one of the risk behaviors higher among "sexual minority" youth. How about driving after having consumed alcohol? What about being abused by a date or being forced to have sex? Wouldn't that be "gay-on-gay" violence? This would put at least some "gay" kids in the category of "bullier/abuser." Whoops! There goes another talking point.

Seriously, the percentages reporting dating violence are distinctly higher among the "sexual minority" youth. Why aren't we seeing a proliferation of anti-violence programs aimed specifically at these kids?

Or how about having already, at their tender ages, had sex with at least four people? Is promiscuity a common reaction to real or perceived discrimination? Or failing to use a condom if they are having sex?

The problem here, of course, is the solutions themselves are biased and discriminatory. Nor would they be applied in comparable situations. For instance, there's considerable evidence that overweight students experience bullying and social rejection more than others. And, these kids more often attempt suicide and engage in other risky conduct. So, where are the obesity-affirmation school programs? Why not recommend those?

As usual, political correctness has swallowed common sense. This data reveal troubled kids with issues that often pre-date puberty, heading down a road of self-harm. Others along the way may contribute, but the core dysfunction doesn't go away by joining a "gay straight alliance."

Ironically, all this is being reported along with another alarming and related indicator. From another section of the CDC comes the latest HIV surveillance report with these findings about young males:

MSM [males who have sex with males] aged 13–24 had the greatest percentage increase (53 percent) in diagnoses of HIV infection from 2006 through 2009.

Yet public schools must keep on "affirming" this behavior? This is educational and medical malpractice. Truly caring adults would be looking at the big picture, not exploiting already troubled kids for a harmful political agenda. No matter what causes these kids to engage in dangerous behaviors, encouraging them to embrace one more – homosexuality – is only going to bring more heartbreak and harm into their already complicated lives.

This article has been abbreviated. It may be read in it’s entirety at



Students Don't Know Much About US History

June 14, 2011
by Christine Armario

Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, called the Nation's Report Card, showed a solid grasp of American history. Results released Tuesday showed the two other grades didn't perform much better, with just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders demonstrating proficiency.

The test quizzed students on topics including colonization, the American Revolution and the Civil War, and the contemporary United States. For example, one question asked fourth-graders to name an important result of the U.S. building canals in the 1800s. Only 44 percent knew that it was increased trade among states.

"The history scores released today show that student performance is still too low," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. "These results tell us that, as a country, we are failing to provide children with a high-quality, well-rounded education."

Education experts say a heavy focus on reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind law in the last decade has led to lagging performance in other subjects such as history and science.

"We need to make sure other subjects like history, science and the arts are not forgotten in our pursuit of the basic skills," said Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University and former U.S. assistant education secretary.

Of the seven subjects on the national test, students performed the worst in U.S. history. Officials with the National Assessment Governing board, which oversees the tests, say the results aren't comparable to the other tests because different students take each exam in different years.

The scores on the history test did not vary remarkably from years past; in 1994, for example, 19 percent of fourth-grade students scored proficient or better in U.S. history.

More than 7,000 fourth-grade students, 11,000 eighth graders and 12,000 high school seniors from a nationally representative sample took the test last year.

To be considered proficient, they had to get certain scores out of 500. For fourth-graders, the score was 243. Eighth-graders needed 294, and 12th graders had to get a 325.

Judy Brodigan, who was head of the elementary social studies curriculum for the Lewisville, Texas, school district for a decade, said history and social studies classes aren't as much of a priority for school districts as math and reading. She noted that many states only test history and social studies starting in middle school, which means elementary school students don't get the background they need in the subject.

"When the foundation isn't built in elementary school, these students are coming to middle school lacking crucial skills," Brodigan said. "What it means is that in what is becoming a more and more global society, American students are more and more at a disadvantage."

Educators said history is critical to students learning how to become better citizens and understanding how the country's political and cultural systems work. Students need to not only recognize leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, but also understand why they were important to the development of the country.

"Overall the quality and success of our lives can only be enhanced by a study of our roots," said Steven Paine, former state schools superintendent for West Virginia. "If you don't know your past, you will not have a future."

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Judges seem receptive to health care challenge

See lack of precedent for individual mandate

June 8, 2011
by Stephen Dinan

President Obama’s health care law received a chilly reception Wednesday from a federal appeals court that seemed wary of approving a major expansion of government coercion over the economic activity of millions of Americans.

Acknowledging they are breaking new ground in considering this case, the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Atlanta questioned whether there is any precedent in more than two centuries in which the Supreme Court has upheld a law that forces individuals to buy a private good or service - in this instance, the individual mandate that every American obtain health insurance.

“If we uphold the individual mandate in this case, are there any limits on Congress‘ power left?” said Chief Judge Joel Dubina, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, who seemed most hostile to the Obama administration’s defense.

The other two judges, both appointed by President Clinton, peppered each side with questions, but signaled their own concerns about the lack of specific precedent for upholding this type of mandate.

“I want to know, going back to the first principles, is there anything out there that actually suggests that Congress can compel a private party to buy a private product on the open market if they’re not disposed to do so,” Judge Stanley Marcus said.

Wednesday’s nearly 2 1/2-hour hearing is the third time an appeals court has heard a case on the issue, which all sides believe will eventually end up in front of the Supreme Court.

To read more of this Washington Times article


Our views: It's your democracy

Hold Florida lawmakers accountable for fair state districts

June 8, 2011

Now is the time for Florida voters to hold the Legislature accountable to obey the state Constitution on the critical issue of redistricting.

Enshrined in the document since the 2010 elections are two Fair Districts amendments that require lawmakers, using 2010 Census data, to redraw legislative and U.S. congressional districts in a nonpartisan way before the 2012 elections.

And end a long, sordid record of politicians drawing maps to favor whatever party holds the reins of power, protect incumbents against competition and give voters little choice at the ballot box.

Democrats wrongly did it in the 1990s, when they controlled Tallahassee, and Republicans wrongly do it now.

Just take a look at Florida House District 29 for evidence of the bizarrely shaped districts that have resulted from the gerrymandering. It trails south in a thin strip from North Brevard to rural Indian River County to maximize the number of Republican votes.

The seat was won by Rep. Tom Goodson in the GOP primary in August last year. Predictably, the Cocoa Republican faced no Democratic opposition.

Other districts in the state snake across as many as eight counties, linking far-flung cities or illogically divide communities.

Bipartisan support

Outrage at the practice led Florida voters to pass the Fair Districts amendments by 63 percent last year, a margin mirrored in Brevard County. That showed broad support across party lines for a less partisan approach to redistricting.

In a victory for democracy last week, the U.S. Department of Justice — which must review election law changes because of previous racial discrimination in voting in some Florida counties — reaffirmed the wisdom of Fair Districts, giving the amendments the go-ahead.

The ruling counters false claims by lawmakers, trying to preserve their hold on power, that Fair Districts would hinder minorities’ voting rights.

It also sends a loud message that tactics to obstruct the reforms must end, including from Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon.

The Winter Park Republican joined the House to a misguided lawsuit to kill the congressional Fair Districts rules coming from U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami. The suit should be dropped immediately.

That lawsuit is only the latest recent attempt by lawmakers to preserve their power and block the voters’ will. Here is the shabby history:

-- In 2010, then Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and other mostly GOP state lawmakers tried to sabotage the effect of Fair Districts, voting to put on fall ballots a tricky counter amendment that would have nullified the reform mandate.

In September, the state Supreme Court rightly yanked the proposed amendment as misleading.

-- Three days after taking office this year, Gov. Rick Scott secretly halted the routine clearance process for the redistricting amendments, refusing to send them promptly for review by the Justice Department, as required by law.

The Justice Department’s approval of the Fair Districts standards is big step forward, but no time for advocates to rest on their laurels.

Legislative committees are charged with coming up with new district boundaries by June 2012.

You can bet there’ll be more attempts to undermine the wholly sensible requirements that districts be contiguous, compact geographically, and not drawn to favor or disfavor any party or incumbent.

Citizen pressure is needed You can get more informed by visiting www.floridaredistricting.org, a website created by the Legislature to encourage citizen input.
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Shari'a and Violence in American Mosques

Posted by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi

Middle East Quarterly
Summer 2011, pp. 59-72

How great is the danger of extremist violence in the name of Islam in the United States? Recent congressional hearings into this question by Rep. Peter King (Republican of New York), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, have generated a firestorm of controversy among his colleagues, the press, and the general public. Though similar hearings have taken place at least fourteen times since 2001, King was labeled a latter-day Joe McCarthy and the hearings called an assault on civil liberties and a contemporary witch-hunt. Yet the larger dilemmas outlined by both the congressman and some of his witnesses remain: To what extent are American Muslims, native-born as well as naturalized, being radicalized by Islamists? And what steps can those who are sworn to the protection of American citizenry take that will uncover and disrupt the plots of those willing to take up arms against others for the sake of jihad?

Root Causes and Enabling Mechanisms

While scholarly inquiry into the root causes and factors supportive of terrorism has accelerated since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, there are few empirical studies that attempt to measure the relationship between specific variables and support for terrorism. To date, almost all of the professional and academic work in this field has been anecdotal surveys or case studies tracing backward through the personal profiles of terrorists and the socioeconomic and political environments from which they came.

An  item that may help to understand the growth of modern jihadism appears in Marc Sageman's 2004 study, which found that 97 percent of jihadists studied had become increasingly devoted to forms of Salafist Islam highly adherent to Shari'a (Islamic law) while on their path to radicalization, despite many coming from less rigorous devotional levels during their youths. This increase in devotion to Salafist Islam was measured by outwardly observable behaviors such as wearing traditional Arabic, Pakistani, or Afghan clothing or growing a beard.

When viewed together, a picture emerges that may give researchers, as well as law enforcement officials, a way to monitor or potentially to predict where violent jihad may take root. Potential recruits who are swept up in this movement may find their inspiration and encouragement in a place with ready access to classic and modern literature that is positive toward jihad and violence, where highly Shari'a-adherent behavior is practiced, and where a society exists that in some form promotes a culture of martyrdom or at least engages in activities that are supportive of violent jihad. The mosque can be such a place.

That the mosque is a societal apparatus that might serve as a support mechanism for violent jihad may seem self-evident, but for it to be a useful means for measuring radicalization requires empirical evidence. A 2007 study by the New York city police department noted that, in the context of the mosque, high levels of Shari'a adherence, termed "Salafi ideology" by the authors of the report, may relate to support for violent jihad. Specifically, it found that highly Shari'a-adherent mosques have played a prominent role in radicalization..

There is a need for the study and corroboration of a relationship between high levels of Shari'a adherence as a form of religious devotion and coalitional commitment, Islamic literature that shows violence in a positive light, and institutional support for violent jihad. By way of filling this lacuna, the authors of this article undertook a survey specifically designed to determine empirically whether a correlation exists between observable measures of religious devotion linked to Shari'a adherence in American mosques and the presence of violence-positive materials at those mosques. The survey also sought to ascertain whether a correlation exists between the presence of violence-positive materials at a mosque and the promotion of jihadism by the mosque's leadership through recommending the study of these materials or other manifest behaviors.

Identifying Shari'a-Adherent Behaviors

Shari'a is the Islamic system of law based primarily on two sources held by Muslims to be respectively direct revelation from God and divinely inspired: the Qur'an and the Sunna (sayings, actions, and traditions of Muhammad). There are other jurisprudential sources for Shari'a derived from the legal rulings of Islamic scholars. These scholars, in turn, may be adherents of differing schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Notwithstanding those differences, the divergence at the level of actual law is, given the fullness of the corpus juris, confined to relatively few marginal issues. Thus, there is general unity and agreement across the Sunni-Shiite divide and across the various Sunni madh'habs (jurisprudential schools) on core normative behaviors.

Surveyors were asked to observe and record selected behaviors deemed to be Shari'a-adherent. These behaviors were selected precisely because they constitute observable and measurable practices of an orthodox form of Islam as opposed to internalized, non-observable articles of faith. Such visible modes of conduct are considered by traditionalists to have been either exhibited or commanded by Muhammad as recorded in the Sunna and later discussed and preserved in canonical Shari'a literature. The selected behaviors are among the most broadly accepted by legal practitioners of Islam and are not those practiced only by a rigid subgroup within Islam—Salafists, for example.

Among the behaviors observed at the mosques and scored as Shari'a-adherent were: (a) women wearing the hijab (head covering) or niqab (full-length shift covering the entire female form except for the eyes); (b) gender segregation during mosque prayers; and (c) enforcement of straight prayer lines. Behaviors that were not scored as Shari'a-adherent included: (a) women wearing just a modern hijab, a scarf-like covering that does not cover all of the hair, or no covering; (b) men and women praying together in the same room; and (c) no enforcement by the imam, lay leader, or worshipers of straight prayer lines.

Sanctioned Violence

The mosques surveyed contained a variety of texts, ranging from contemporary printed pamphlets and handouts to classic texts of the Islamic canon. From the perspective of promoting violent jihad, the literature types were ranked in the survey from severe to moderate to nonexistent. The texts selected were all written to serve as normative and instructive tracts and are not scriptural. This is important because a believer is free to understand scripture literally, figuratively, or merely poetically when it does not have a normative or legal gloss provided by Islamic jurisprudence.

The moderate-rated literature was authored by respected Shari'a religious and/or legal authorities; while expressing positive attitudes toward violence, it was predominantly concerned with the more mundane aspects of religious worship and ritual. The severe material, by contrast, largely consists of relatively recent texts written by ideologues, rather than Shari'a scholars, such as Abul Ala Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb. These, as well as materials published and disseminated by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, are primarily, if not exclusively, aimed at using Islam to advance a violent political agenda.

Mawdudi (1903-79), for one, believed that it was legitimate to wage violent jihad against "infidel colonizers" in order to gain independence and spread Islam. His Jihad in Islam, found in many of the mosques surveyed, instructed followers to employ force in pursuit of a Shari'a-based order:

Similarly, Qutb's Milestones serves as the political and ideological backbone of the current global jihad movement. Qutb, for example, sanctions violence against those who stand in the way of Islam's expansion:

These materials differ from other severe- and moderate-rated materials because they are not Islamic legal texts per se but rather are polemical works seeking to advance a politicized Islam through violence, if necessary. Nor are these authors recognized Shari'a scholars.

The same cannot be said for some classical works that are also supportive of violence in the name of Islam. Works by several respected jurists and scholars from the four major Sunni schools of jurisprudence, dating from the eighth to fourteenth centuries, are all in agreement that violent jihad against non-Muslims is a religious obligation.

The caliph … makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians … provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax.

The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim … because they are not a people with a book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax.

The Fiqh as-Sunna and Tafsir Ibn Kathir are examples of works that were rated "moderate" for purposes of this survey. The former, which focuses primarily on the internal Muslim community, the family, and the individual believer and not on violent jihad, was especially moderate in its endorsement of violence. Relatively speaking, the Fiqh as-Sunna expresses a more restrained view of violent jihad, in that it does not explicitly call for a holy war against the West even though it understands the Western influence on Islamic governments as a force that is destructive to Islam itself.

Nonetheless, such texts do express positive views toward the use of violence against "the other," as expressed in the following:

Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The ties of Islam and the principles of the religion are three, and whoever leaves one of them becomes an unbeliever, and his blood becomes lawful: testifying that there is no god except God, the obligatory prayers, and the fast of Ramadan." … Another narration states, "If anyone leaves one of [the three principles], by God he becomes an unbeliever, and no voluntary deeds or recompense will be accepted from him, and his blood and wealth become lawful." This is a clear indication that such a person is to be killed.

Similarly in Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

Perform jihad against the disbelievers with the sword, and be harsh with the hypocrites with words, and this is the jihad performed against them

The survey's findings, explored in depth below, were that 51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari'a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

This article has been abbreviated, it includes specific writings and survey results that you will find of interest. The article in its entirety can be found at:


Middle East Quarterly

Summer 2011

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Netanyahu in Congress

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Israel National News
May 24, 2011

Israel is the only country that has guaranteed freedom of all faiths in Jerusalem, which must remain undivided, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Congress Tuesday. In unusually strong language, he told members of Congress that Judea and Samaria are part of the ancient Jewish homeland that our forefathers walked in and that the 650,000 Jews living there "are not ‘occupying’ the region.” He strongly criticized the changed versions of history that are being promoted by others.

Interrupted dozens of times by standing ovations, after minutes-long applause as he entered the chamber, Netanyahu also said that there are 300 million Arabs in the Middle East, but the only ones who are free are Israeli citizens.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted in his opening remarks that the "ground is still shifting” in the Middle East and that the uprisings in the Muslim countries represent people’s demands for liberty.

He thanked the United States for helping Israel reach its defense capabilities despite the “tough” economy. He jokingly said that the United States doesn't have to help build Israel--it is already built. More seriously, he said that the United States doesn't have to send soldiers to defend Israel, because Israel defends itself.

The Prime Minister did not change any of his policies, and put paid to rumors that he was going to announce new concessions. He expressed his policies in down-to-earth and homey language that clearly enthused the legislators. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was on the podium to receive him. U.S. President Barack Obama was on his way back to the United States from a visit to Ireland.  

He jokingly noted that Israel is larger than the Delaware, Biden’s home state, and larger than Rhode Island, “but that’s about it.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked that the entire length of the Washington Beltway is larger than the width of the Israel that the Palestinian Authority demands, which would be 9 km. wide, hardly "strategic depth"..

He made it clear that he is willing to agree to borders for a Palestinian Authority country that would place some Jews outside of Israel’s borders, but did not mention that this would  be only in settlement blocs and gave the impression of giving up less, rather than more.  

Netanyahu also stressed that the borders must be negotiated because Israel “will not return to the indefensible borders of 1967.” He relied on his interpretation of U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement that any future borders of Israel will not be identical with the 1949 Armistice Lines that existed until the Six-Day War in 1967. He repeated his insistence that the Jordan River have an Israeli Army presence, remarking that in the MIddle East, peace depends on the ability to defend oneself.

The president has called for “land swaps,” a concept that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not mention and one which has little chance of getting off the ground because Israeli Arabs have little interest in giving up their freedom and economic security as Israeli citizens.

The vast majority of Jews living beyond the 1949-1967 borders live in greater Jerusalem and greater Tel Aviv,” the Prime Minister said in his address. “These areas and other places of historic, strategic and national importance will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel," he asserted.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also buried the issue of “refugees,” meaning the Arabs who either fled Israel in the wars in 1948 and 1967, or their descendants.

"Jews around the world have a right to immigrant to the only Jewish state, and Arabs around the world should have the right to immigrate to a Palestinian state.” he told Congress.

In case anyone doubted his intentions, he added, “This means that the refugee problem will be solved outside the borders of Israel".

Repeating that the obstacle to peace is not the creation of a Palestinian State to which six successive Israeli Prime Ministers agreed, but the Palestinian acceptance of the existence of a Jewish State, Netanyahu called to Abbas to tell Palestinians clearly that Israel has a right to exist. Meanwhile, he said, incitement continues in PA school curricula, squares are named after terrorists and the only reward Israel got for leaving Lebanon and Gaza was 12,000 rockets fired at its children.

"Imagine a siren sounding and giving you 60 seconds to find shelter before a missile strikes. You couldn't live with that. No one can live with that,”   he said emphatically, adding, "Israel is not what is wrong in the Middle East. Israel is the only thing that is right in the Middle East."

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Obama wants more 'death panel' power

'Strip Congress of legislative role in favor of unaccountable experts?'

Posted: April 25, 2011
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

Most of the legal challenges to Obamacare, the president's signature legislation that allows the federal government to take over health-care decision-making, focus on the "unconstitutional individual mandate" that defines sitting in one's living room as "interstate commerce" and demands the purchase of government-approved health insurance.

However, there's a new round of alarms developing over what critics have described as the ultimate "death panel," concerns that have been raised because Barack Obama himself suggested giving an already-unaccountable board more authority.

It's the idea of Obama's Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is one of 150 board and commissions established by Obamacare but is the most notorious because it would be made up of 15 Obama-appointed individuals and would dictate Medicare policy affecting millions of seniors and disabled Americans with essentially no congressional or judicial oversight.

It was during Obama's recent speech in which he condemned a plan to cut the deficit by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., he referenced Obamacare and its critics.

"What they'll say is, well, you know what, that will never work because it's government imposed and it's bureaucracy and it's government takeover and there are death panels," the president said. "I still don't entirely understand the whole 'death panel' concept. But I guess what they're saying is somehow some remote bureaucrat will be deciding your health care for you."

Obama then specifically said his panel's authority should kick in at an earlier time than it already is scheduled to become the law.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who has authored "Doctor in the House" on the issue of the nationalization of health care, said the IPAB was a bad idea when ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., proposed it before voters removed him from office, and it hasn't gotten better.

"Now for the first time ever the primary party for health care for seniors, Medicare, is going to be able to tell you what kind of care you can get, where and when you can get it and worst of all, when you've had enough," he told WND today.

"If all you're looking to do is be able to figure how to take care of old people cheaply, this is the way to go," he said. "If what you want to provide is meaningful medical care, why would you set up or embellish a system that leads to waiting lists and rationing?"

He cited Obama's recent comments, and said the board will become "the central command and control system" and the "primary tool" to limit, ration, reduce or restrict treatments.

Among other reactions was Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online, who followed Obama's vague references with an explanation.

"They're back. Rationing, death panels, socialism, all those nasty old words that helped bring Republicans victory in 2010 … They're back because of IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is the real death panel, the true seat of rationing, and the royal road to health-care socialism.

"Policy wonks and political junkies may know a bit about this health-care rationing panel, but most Americans have barely heard of it. That has got to change," he wrote.

Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, initially referred to "death panels" in Obamacare referencing the end-of-life instructions that originally were included.

"But IPAB is the real death panel (as Palin herself later noted), a body of unelected bureaucrats with the power to cut off care through arbitrary rules based on one-size-fits-all cost calculations," Kurtz wrote.

It was in Obama's speech decrying Ryan's money-saving plan that he suggested expanding the authority of the individuals he would expect to pick.

"We will change the way we pay for health care – not by the procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services that seniors need," he said.

There were a multitude of similar alarms being raised after that speech, but those actually taking action on the issue are those at the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix.

Its attorneys have filed a lawsuit over the provision, arguing that nowhere in the Constitution is the concept of an all-powerful and non-reviewable panel.

"No possible reading of the Constitution supports the idea of an unelected, stand-alone federal board that's untouchable by both Congress and the courts," said Clint Bolick, litigation director for Goldwater.

The organization describes the authority Obama endorses for IPAB: It wouldn't have to follow the basic steps for adopting and enforcing administrative rules. Its payment schedules and policies couldn't be examined by courts and automatically would become law unless amended by Congress through a difficult and complex procedure. And even if Congress would repeal the board in 2017, Obama's strategy automatically delays the effectiveness of that repeal until 2020.

The Institute's lawsuit in federal court opposes IPAB as simply unconstitutional – and it apparently is the only lawsuit challenging Obamacare on this crucial argument.

'Protecting any new federal agency from being repealed by Congress appears to be unprecedented in the history of the United States," said Diane Cohen, the Goldwater Institute's lead attorney in this case.

The Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation represents a number of clients in this lawsuit including U.S. Reps Jeff Flake, Trent Franks and John Shadegg of Arizona. The congressmen have supported repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Other reactions to Obama's plans include:

  • The Wall Street Journal said, "Mr. Obama … is relying on the so far unidentified technocratic reforms of 15 so far unidentified geniuses who are supposed to give up medical practice or academic research for the privilege of a government salary. Since the board is not allowed by law to restrict treatments, ask seniors to pay more, or raise taxes or the retirement age, it can mean only one thing: arbitrarily paying less for the services seniors receive, via fiat pricing.

    "Now Mr. Obama wants to give the board the additional power of automatic sequester to enforce its dictates, meaning that it would have the legal authority to prevent Congress from appropriating tax dollars. In other words, Congress would be stripped of any real legislative role in favor of an unaccountable body of experts."
  • The New York Times noted that both Democrats and Republicans "fear" and oppose the board.

    "Mr. Obama said he wanted to beef up the board's cost-cutting powers in unspecified ways should the growth of Medicare spending exceed certain goals. Supporters say the board will be able to make tough decisions because it will be largely insulated from legislative politics. Lawmakers do not agree."

    It cited statements from Ryan, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa.
  • Dick Morris wrote, "The IPAB will be, essentially, the rationing board that will decide who gets what care. Its decisions will be guided by a particularly vicious concept of Quality Adjusted Life Years … If you have enough QUALYS ahead of you, you'll be approved for a hip replacement or a heart transplant. If not, you're out of luck.
  • From Kurtz, "Obama promised tax hikes for 'the rich,' and vaguely alluded to plans to expand IPAB's powers as deficits mount. Of course, even as he laid the groundwork for strengthening IPAB, Obama gave no real hint of the massive health-care rationing that would imply.

Meanwhile, Obama officials have granted 1,040 waivers to the new law already, because many groups, especially unions who supported Obama, and companies, contend they simply cannot meet its requirements, so shouldn't have to.

The total prompted a video commentary on Obama administration actions:

The site is sponsored by Let Freedom Ring, Americans for Tax Reform, CWA, 60 Plus, Independent Women's Voice and the College Republican National Committee. It allows visitors to e-mail the Obama administration asking for their own waivers. Visitors can select whether they want to ask for exemptions from the law's $500 billion in tax increases, taxpayer funding of abortion or the individual health insurance mandate, among others.

In the federal courts, Obamacare already has been declared unconstitutuional by at least two federal judges and it appears en route to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, numerous state legislatures are considering state legislation that simply would exempt their state's citizens from its requirements. One state had a proposal to make it a crime to try to enforce Obamacare provisions.

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Look who refuses to stop 'imminent' threat against Jews

Officials in Jerusalem warning 'planned attack is already in motion'

Posted: April 25, 2011
By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – The new Egyptian government has refused to share important intelligence information with Israel, including details of a terrorist plot against Israelis thought to be imminent, WND has learned.

Last week, officials in Jerusalem warned of the possibility of Hezbollah terrorist attacks against Israeli targets overseas, saying "a planned attack is already in motion," Israel's Channel 2 reported.

Security officials here believe Hezbollah is not planning an attack so large that it would lead to another war with Israel, but they said the Iranian-backed group would attempt a hard hit on overseas Israeli targets in the immediate future.

In light of the immediate threat, Israel requested an exchange of information on Hezbollah with Egypt's intelligence apparatus, but Cairo refused to cooperate, according to security officials here who spoke to WND.

The officials said such information sharing was routine under the previous regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

The officials said Egypt is thought to have an important bank of information on Hezbollah cells, particularly in the Sinai desert following the arrests and interrogations several months ago of a major Hezbollah cell accused of plotting against Mubarak.

WND reported the vast majority of that cell escaped from Egyptian prison in February amid the chaos then engulfing Mubarak's regime.

Members of the cell were arrested in June 2009. At the time, Egypt's public prosecutor, Abdel-Magid Mohammed, announced the country had arrested 13 alleged Hezbollah agents on suspicion of planning attacks inside Egypt.

In 2009, WND was first to report Iranian soldiers aiding the Hezbollah members were nabbed in Egypt.

A senior Egyptian security official, speaking from Cairo, told WND in 2009 his country had information Hezbollah cells – working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – had been coordinating terrorist activities inside Egypt with al-Qaida elements known to be present in the Sinai.

The accusation that Iranian-backed agents were working with al-Qaida could not be verified by Israeli security officials. If accurate, it would mark a major turning point for Hezbollah, which has openly clashed with al-Qaida over ideology. Hezbollah espouses a strict Shiite Islamic belief system, while al-Qaida adheres to fundamentalist Sunni Muslim beliefs.

Al-Qaida has been blamed for a string of major, deadly suicide bombings inside Egypt the past few years mostly targeting hotels and other tourist sites. The Egyptian government previously has admitted it was likely al-Qaida was still operating in the Sinai.

The Egyptian security official speaking to WND said the Hezbollah-Iranian agents in Egypt were working with al-Qaida to plot attacks against tourist sites, particularly those known to be popular with Israelis.

According to separate informed security officials with direct knowledge of the situation, Hezbollah, working directly with Iran, began setting up cells inside Egypt at least two years ago. The cells consisted of well over 80 agents, said the sources.

The goals of the cells operating in the country include plotting to destabilize the Egyptian regime to advance Iranian interests, planning attacks against Israelis at tourist sites, aiding Hamas in Gaza and establishing a base of Iranian operations along the strategic Suez Canal.

The pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported Egypt arrested the chief of the Hezbollah cell, identified as Sami Shehab. The newspaper claimed Shehab confessed his cell monitored tourist sites in the Egyptian resort cities of Taba, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh, and tracked Israeli ships passing through the Suez Canal.

Latest signs of Egyptian militancy

The purported refusal of Egypt to share intelligence information with Israel comes amid fears in the country of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood seeks to restore the Islamic caliphate, a political empire that once ruled the Middle East. Both Hamas and al-Qaida are Brotherhood offshoots.

Earlier this month, former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who had previously announced his intentions to run for the presidency of Egypt, said "if Israel attacked Gaza we would declare war against the Zionist regime."

The same day, Egypt's foreign minister said Cairo was ready to re-establish diplomatic ties with Tehran after a break of more than 30 years, signaling a clear shift in Iran policy since the fall of Mubarak.

"The Egyptian and Iranian people deserve to have mutual relations reflecting their history and civilization," said Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby after meeting with Iranian official Mugtabi Amani.

Days after Mubarak stepped aside, Egypt allowed the passage of two Iranian warships through the strategic Suez Canal for the first time since 1979.

Also WND reported last month the Egyptian military command met with Hamas to discuss ways to build a better relationship with the Islamist organization.

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Israeli minister: Annex Jewish communities

Warns Israel can take unilateral actions of its own if U.N. declares Palestinian state

Posted: April 25, 2011

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

If the United Nations unilaterally declares a Palestinian state, Israel should respond by immediately annexing the Jewish communities in the strategic West Bank, declared a Knesset member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party.

Danny Danon, the deputy speaker of Israel's parliament, pointed out the 1993 Oslo Accords restrict both Israel and the Palestinian Authority from taking unilateral action outside of negotiations.

However, he contended that if the PA follows through with seeking a U.N. declaration of a Palestinian state, and the international body approved the motion, the Jewish state should take unilateral measures of its own.

"We should (then) announce that we are annexing the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, immediately. The same way (Prime Minister) Menachem Begin did it with the Golan Heights and we did it in Jerusalem, we should do the same with the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria."

Danon was speaking in a radio interview with Aaron Klein, WND's Jerusalem bureau chief who hosts an investigative program on New York's WABC 770 AM Radio.

The Likud Knesset member was referring to the Israeli annexation of the eastern sections of Jerusalem, which contain the Temple Mount, after it recaptured the territory in the 1967 Six Day War.

Also, Israel in 1981 annexed the Golan Heights, which looks down on Israeli population centers, after neighboring Syria twice used the plateau to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

Danon told Klein that any U.N.-created Palestinian state would be "like a state on Facebook."

"They will get a lot of 'likes,'" he said. "People will support them. Countries will support them. But on the ground we will have to make sure that we control the borders. We control the security issues."

He warned a Palestinian country would be a "state of terrorism" that would be controlled by Iran.

Judea and Samaria, commonly referrer to as the West Bank, contains large Palestinian cities as well as Israeli communities, some in biblical cities, such as Beit El and Hebron.

The Palestinians seek a state in the pre-1967 borders, meaning the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem.

The PA been saying for at least two years they may seek a vote at the United Nations Security Council for the declaration of a Palestinian state.

Previously, PA officials stated the Obama administration would not veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a Palestinian state.

In 2009, Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee, told WND in an interview that the PA "reached an understanding with important elements within the administration" to possibly bring to the U.N. Security Council a resolution to unilaterally create a Palestinian state.

Asked to which "elements" he was referring, Qurei would only say they were from the Obama administration.

In a clear attempt to pave the way for a U.N. vote on the matter, the international body announced last week the PA possesses the capacity to function as a state.

"In six areas where the U.N. is most engaged, government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state," stated a U.N. report released last Tuesday.

The six areas were "governance, rule of law and human rights; livelihoods; education and culture; health; social protection; and infrastructure and water."

Still, the report cautioned, "The key constraints to the existence and successful functioning of the institutions of a potential state of Palestine arise primarily from the persistence of occupation and the unresolved issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The reference to "occupation" is controversial, since the territories were never part of any previous Palestinian state, and Israel is historically tied to the West Bank.

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U.S. government has no strategy to deal with Muslim Brotherhood

By Eli Lake  Wed., April 13, 2011
The Washington Times

Mrs. Myrick was particularly concerned about the role the Muslim Brotherhood plays in the United States.

The federal government has no strategy to counter the Muslim Brotherhood at home or abroad, according to the chairwoman of the House panel that oversees counterintelligence and terrorism.

“The federal government does not have a comprehensive or consistent strategy for dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated groups in America,” Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick said during a hearing Wednesday. “Nor does it have a strategy for dealing with the Brotherhood in Egypt or the greater Middle East.”

The North Carolina Republican is chairwoman of the House Intelligence subcommittee on terrorism, human intelligence, analysis and counterintelligence. Mrs. Myrick said at the hearing that she planned on scheduling closed classified hearings on the Muslim Brotherhood this session with government officials.

Established in 1928 in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood is widely considered the first organization to push for political Islam or Islamism, a movement that seeks to replace civil law with Islamic or Shariah law.

Islamists were repressed for decades by the governments in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. But with the wave of uprisings that have toppled those governments, political parties and social movements inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood may be poised to try to assume political power in those countries for the first time.

At the hearing, during which nongovernment experts gave testimony, opinions on this point differed.

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How legislators and governors nationwide are challenging a rogue president

Posted: April 05, 2011

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

While millions of outraged Americans protest what they see as a lawless and power-mad Obama administration, many wonder how much clout individuals can really have in reining in a wildly out-of-control government.

But suppose, in addition to citizens with little power beyond their vote, those standing up to the federal government were named Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Montana, Maine, South Dakota – and many more?

Incredibly, though under-reported by the establishment press, that's exactly what is happening right now, as the April issue of Whistleblower documents in-depth, in "STATES OF REBELLION: How legislators and governors nationwide are openly challenging a rogue president."

A wide-ranging rebellion is indeed under way – by a large majority of states – against what they claim are intolerable and blatantly unconstitutional encroachments by the federal government. And they are seriously intent on declaring such unconstitutional laws null and void in their state.

Here's how Thomas E. Woods Jr., author of the bestselling book, "Nullification: How to resist federal tyranny in the 21st century," succinctly lays out the issue in the April Whistleblower:

Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. It is void and of no effect. Nullification simply pushes this uncontroversial point a step further: If a law is unconstitutional and therefore void and of no effect, it is up to the states, the parties to the federal compact, to declare it so and thus refuse to enforce it. It would be foolish and vain to wait for the federal government or a branch thereof to condemn its own law. Nullification provides a shield between the people of a state and an unconstitutional law from the federal government.

Take Obamacare: Most people know the GOP-led House of Representatives repealed it (though the Democrat-controlled Senate almost certainly will not, nor will Obama ever sign it). And many also know 27 states are challenging Obamacare in court. But what few understand is that at least 11 states are attempting to legislatively nullify Obamacare within their borders. So far, an act to nullify the entire federal health-care law has become state law in Montana and Idaho, has been approved by one house in North Dakota, and introduced in eight other states – New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

What about the federal government's labyrinthine gun laws? Eight states have already passed laws – signed by their governors – telling Washington its firearms regulations are not valid in those states for weapons manufactured and purchased in-state. Many other states are on the same legislative track.

There's much more: Utah last month became the first state to make gold and silver legal tender in that state. Twenty-four states are defying Obama by copying Arizona's immigration law – the one the Obama Justice Department sued Arizona over. Lawmakers in 40 states are working to halt the epidemic of "anchor babies" establishing "birthright citizenship." And 13 states are considering laws that would require every presidential candidate – including Barack Obama – to prove he is a natural-born citizen before his name can be placed on that state's ballot in presidential elections.

Read more: STATES OF REBELLION http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=283237#ixzz1JJx80vpj

WorldNetDaily Exclusive

Supremes asked to restore fallen troopers' crosses
'One atheist group's agenda shouldn't diminish the sacrifice of officers'

Posted: April 21, 2011
1:00 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh


The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to bring a decision from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver into alignment with its precedents in a dispute over cross memorials to fallen Utah state highway patrol troopers.

Officials with the Alliance Defense Fund today said they have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court that asks the court to affirm the constitutionality of roadside memorial crosses honoring the fallen officers.

The high court last year concluded in another case that a cross erected by a private group on public property in honor of fallen members of the military was constitutional.

ADF argues that the precedent also should apply to the Utah dispute.

"One atheist group's agenda shouldn't diminish the sacrifice made by Utah highway patrol officers and their families. We are asking the Supreme Court to allow the families of the fallen to honor their loved ones through these constitutionally permissible memorials," said ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione.

"The Supreme Court recently signaled that individualized memorial crosses honoring fallen troopers simply do not amount to a government establishment of religion. That guidance applies directly to this case," he said.

A district court judge affirmed the constitutionality of the memorials, but when the dispute was elevated to the Denver court, the judges condemned the crosses on the narrowest of margins, 5-4.

The four judges who dissented raised strong objections to the censorship that the decision appeared to impose.

"The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm," the Supreme Court wrote in its 2010 decision regarding a cross memorial in the Mojave Desert. "A cross by the side of a public highway marking, for instance, the place where a state trooper perished need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs. The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion's role in society."

Argued the ADF brief, "The 10th Circuit's decision conflicts with this court's Establishment Clause precedent. The 10th Circuit invalidated the challenged roadside memorials by (1) fixating on their cross shape, (2) ignoring most of their features, history, and context, and (3) opining that the Establishment Clause forbids such displays unless the overall setting nullifies any religious significance."

However, "This court … has denounced each of these analytical missteps. In short, the 10th Circuit's approach, if allowed to stand, will prohibit the government from accommodating public displays of religious symbols, forbid a widely embraced means of commemorating fallen heroes on public property, and manifest an unconstitutional hostility toward religion."

ADF warned that if the Utah crosses are disallowed, the result "could jeopardize similar memorials honoring other fallen heroes across the nation, including 14 crosses on Colorado's Storm King Mountain where firefighters lost their lives in a 1994 wildfire."

The case originated with complaints from American Atheists who sued the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Transportation Department, alleging the memorials are a government establishment of religion.

That claim was pursued even though the memorials are funded and maintained by a private group, the Utah Highway Patrol Association, which supports patrol officers and their families.

WND columnist David Limbaugh, when the earlier ruling banishing the crosses was released, blasted the judiciary for its "allergy" to Christianity.

"Our politically correct-intoxicated culture is so allergic to expressions and symbols of Christianity that our courts leap to absurd conclusions to cordon off the chief allergen: Christianity," he wrote at the time.

"The egregious constitutional infraction here is not that the government put up the signs, which it didn't, but that the memorials were placed along public roads. Thus, 'reasonable' passing motorists – as opposed, I guess, to those afflicted with anti-Christian road rage – might well assume that the government is endorsing the Christian religion. Horror of horrors. My gosh, what would the largely Christian founders think?"

He continued. "I don't think it's a reasonable inference at all that the government is making a religious statement by permitting the placement of these memorials along the public highway. On the other hand, I think the government would be (and is) making a statement against Christianity by denying this group access because of its paranoia about going into Christian-spawned anaphylactic shock."

The memorials have remained in place during the court process, but their future depends entirely on the high court accepting the case and reversing the lower court's decision.

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China Breaks Up Christian Worship Services

Plainclothes security personnel film as they gather to load detained worshippers onto a waiting bus near a building that leaders of the unregistered Shouwang house church had told parishioners to gather in Beijing, China, April 10, 2011

Police in China detained  hundreds of Christian worshippers as they gathered for an outdoor service in Beijing. The detentions are the latest in a crackdown on individuals and groups deemed by the government to pose a threat to social stability.

The worshipers were from the unregistered, Christian, Shouwang House Church in Beijing.  Their church leaders asked them to gather at an open-air venue for Sunday services, after they were evicted from their usual place of worship last week.

Hundreds of uniformed and plain clothes police officers were deployed to stop the outdoor service.

Around 200 Christian worshippers were  rounded up and detained in a nearby school and others were forced onto buses by police and driven away to an unknown location.  Several foreign journalists were detained for short periods and some were physically intimidated by plain clothes police.

Shouwang Church Pastor Yuan Ling told reporters Sunday he was unable to go to the venue because police had put him under house arrest Saturday night.

The director of the Britain-based China Aid Association, Bob Fu, says the worshipers feel  this is the price they will pay gladly for what he describes as their faith and their freedom.

"We have seen the government use very harsh tactics against believers, including extra-legal procedures, like forced disappearance, kidnapping some of the most prominent Christian human-rights activists," said Bob Fu.

The round up of Christian worshipers is the latest in a far-reaching crackdown on individuals and groups the government says may pose a threat to social stability.  The communist government has been worried about uprisings similar to those in the Arab world taking hold in China, following anonymous online calls for demonstrations.

Prominent activist, lawyers, writers and artists - including internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei - have recently been detained and charged with a variety of crimes including subversion and tax evasion.