The Killing of Innocents

Islamic-JihadistPresident Obama has finally stated his administration’s strategy for responding to the barbaric terrorist-group known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL). He and his spokesmen have now repeated their well-crafted statement so often that you may know it, as well: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

But, what is not clear is what he later said he meant to make clear, by distracting from and then defending the religious source of the violence of this terrorist group. He said: “Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents…”

The “Islamic State” is not Islamic? Only the naïve, uninformed or misled would say that Islam does not condone the killing of innocents. Dedicated disciples of Mohammed have been following the teachings of their holy Qur’an and Hadíth and killing infidels and un-faithful Islamic followers through a “legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery” for fourteen hundred years!

Christian martyrs have been and will be persecuted and even beheaded for their faith, until the day King Jesus comes to righteously judge the living and the dead.

Thirteen Septembers Ago…

9-11The Emergency Number 911 took on a new significance 13 years ago, on September 11, 2001, when we all were shaken in our souls as the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were hit and destroyed.

The terrible tragedy unfolded first with intense interest at what seemed to be an awful accident at the South Tower. Then, as the nation watched live coverage, the second tower was hit and it was clear we were under attack by some evil source.

Our modern “day of infamy” continued as other planes hit the Pentagon, in our nation’s capital, and, finally, the field in Pennsylvania. In the end, thousands of innocent men and women died for simply being Americans. Many others died demonstrating the heroic American spirit of selfless determination to aide their fellow man.

Though we were initially stunned with anxiety and angered by what had happened, hope surfaced. Our nation turned to God in the hours and days that followed! In tragedy’s shadow, our houses of worship will filled with penitent and praying people. We prayed for God’s mercy. We sought His word for hope.

As then-President George W. Bush noted the evening of that September 11th, we learned to rest in the arms of “a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me’.”

Now, 13 years later, at this solemn anniversary of 9/11, may we resolve that those we lost will be honored–not just for a few minutes in memorials and editorials, but in the ultimate victory for faith, family, and freedom. May God continue to bless America!

Another Inconvenient Truth:

God-Less-AmericaSocial-change advocates have tried to treat gender equality and romantic attractions as “civil rights,” as fought for by ethnic minorities in our country in the 1960s. Predictably, some activist judges are now even ruling in favor of a minority who want to practice polygamy!

Activists have worked to get a sexual-orientation question on the government’s national health survey by the Center for Disease Control. They succeeded in 2013 and now the results reveal that, “1.6 % of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% consider themselves bisexual. “

So, there’s the inconvenient truth: less than one in 50 Americans identify themselves as gay! But our activist president and judges want to redefine marriage, restrict freedoms of conscience, speech, and religion and force our “one nation, under God” to engage in a massive social experiment, based on this tiny percentage of our population!

Foundational Reality

St_Francis_Dam_cropThe recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa Valley, just north of the San Francisco Bay area, has reminded Californians that we live in a precarious state, where certain sections are prone to temblors and tremors, as well as devastating droughts.

The great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 still holds the record in our state for the most lives lost in one disaster, but close behind is the aftermath of the collapse of the St. Francis Dam in 1928. This Southern California area, night-time calamity, nearly ninety years ago, swept some 600 slumbering people to their deaths, when a 700-foot-wide earthen dam collapsed—pouring 38,000 acre feet of water into the Santa Clarita river bed, flooding all the way to the sea, near Ventura.

Engineering investigations sited several causes for this calamity, but the chief among them was a “defective foundation.” This engineering problem points to a reality with broader implication for our society and personal lives: If our moral foundation is cracked, it will inevitably lead to a catastrophe.

 

Hamas & Rosh Hashanah

Hamas-TunnelsOver the past months, Israel has again been drawn into a “rocket war” in the Gaza Strip, with the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas launching thousands of missiles at Israel’s civilians—often from highly populated areas.

This terrorist group has introduced a new element of warfare by digging and fortifying “complex and advanced” tunnels, from under houses and mosques in Gaza and reaching beyond the boarders into southern Israel. They intended to kill or kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers, as well as to attack Israel’s southern Jewish communities.

When Israel responded to this new terrorist model, they captured plans for a major terrorist attack intended for September 24th —Israel’s biblical Feast of Trumpets, known as Rosh Hashanah. Apparently, hundreds of Hamas operatives were planning to use these concrete-lined tunnels and carry out deadly attacks and kidnappings on that Jewish Holy Day!

May our God protect His “chosen people!”

Bill of Rights Limitation?

US-Constituion-RippedDuring the Senate’s brief pre-election legislative session in mid-September, Harry Reid (D-NV) intends to call for a vote on an amendment to the United States Constitution. This partisan-motivated vote would essentially overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions on campaign finance and political speech. Alarmingly, it could also limit critical freedoms in our Bill of Rights.

Although amendments to the U.S. Constitution require 2/3 support in both the House and the Senate, and then ratification by 3/4 of the States, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), warns that this proposal could have serious consequences for all the “free speech” freedoms of the First Amendment. It could be, he said, “detrimental to liberty and equality, preparing the way for the government to prefer one voice over another – or to suppress one voice under another.”

This ill-conceived amendment includes a section reiterating the freedom of the press, but is silent on the other First Amendment liberties – namely, religion, speech, assembly, and petitioning the government. Dr. Johnson noted, “In essence, this would establish the press as a super-class of speaker (without defining what the press is), but could well leave expression by the rest of Americans at the mercy of the federal government.

Religious Freedom is a Human Right

Iraqi-Security-ForcesPresident Obama has finally responded to the violence and persecution against Christians and other religious minorities by the barbaric militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The President has ordered airlifts of humanitarian aid to over 40,000 Iraqi religious refugees, said to be trapped in the mountains of Iraq and Kurdistan, and potential airstrikes to protect them and U.S. personnel still in Iraq. Another 100,000 displaced Christians are said to be fleeing elsewhere on foot.

Religious leaders in the U.S. have signed a “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action” on behalf of Christians and other religious minorities in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria. The Pledge, spurred by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), highlights their concerns: “Now facing an existential threat to their presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots, the Churches in the Middle East fear they have been largely ignored by their coreligionists in the West… American religious leaders need to pray and speak with greater urgency about this human rights crisis.”

Christians need to pray for persecuted believers, here and around the world. We must also urge the Obama Administration to actively advocate to the international community the principles of religious freedom as a human right, as declared in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.