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-Pakistan: Christian Girls Raped and Forced to Convert and Marry Muslim Captors

by Dr. D ~ April 26th, 2016

Pakistan_(orthographic_projection).svg

                                  (Map: Wikipedia)

Last week I wrote an article exposing how the US State Department continues to ignore Pakistan’s poor record when it comes to the persecution of Christians. I indicated that I could write at least one post a week documenting the ongoing abuse in that radical Muslim nation. Here’s just one story demonstrating what I am talking about. From the Christian Post:

Five Christian girls have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam just this month, according to a human rights group that monitors ongoing abuses of religious minorities in Pakistan.

"In April in the area of Kasur alone, five Christian girls were kidnapped and converted to Islam and forced to marry their captors. These girls are denied the legal protection of individual rights," said Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a lawyer with Legal Evangelical Association Development in Pakistan.

Fides News Agency reported Monday that the latest victim was 23-year-old Laveeza Bibi from the Kasur district in Punjab, who earlier this month was kidnapped by two Muslims who stormed her house armed with guns, kidnapping the girl and threatening her parents.

One of the abductors, identified by the name Muhammad Talib, reportedly forced Bibi to marry him and become a Muslim.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Incredibly when the Christian parents go to the police and make out a complaint against the Muslim captors they are totally ignored and told that their daughters are now ‘legally’ married and have converted to Islam. The authorities not only refuse to do anything about it but actually commend and support the actions of the ‘kidnappers’ and rapists.

This or something similar happens every week to Christian families somewhere in Pakistan.  Just this week the wife of a Christian serving in the Pakistani army was raped and tortured while he was gone serving his country. Again the authorities refused to do anything about it even though the perpetrators were clearly identified. In another case, a pregnant Christian wife was burned alive but the Muslim who did it was allowed to go free on bail.

Just another example of how the laws are applied differently and justice rarely prevails if one is a Christian in Pakistan. Meanwhile the US State Department continues to ignore these obvious abuses against international human rights.               *Top

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-Doctor Fired for What He Said in Church?

by Dr. D ~ April 22nd, 2016

1ano8

A doctor in Georgia has been fired for nothing he did or said on the job but because of what he said in some sermons that he preached as a lay minister in church. Here’s the story from PJ Media:

Dr. Walsh accepted the position of director for the northwest part of Georgia at the state’s Department of Public Health in May 2014. Only one week later, state officials request copies of sermons Walsh had given as a lay minister for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Walsh’s sermons had come under fire in the past. In California, he was chosen to give a commencement speech at Pasadena City College. Student activists objected, referencing his "controversial" stances on issues such as sexuality, evolution, Islam, and popular culture — stances which fall in line with the orthodox Seventh-Day Adventist line. When Walsh canceled his commencement speech, the city put him on administrative leave.

The Georgia Department of Public Health responded similarly. The director of human resources sent an email giving his colleagues the "assignment" of listening to his sermons. Then the department left a voicemail on the doctor’s machine, letting him know his employment was terminated.  …

<Read the whole article>

Response: So now Christians have to worry about being fired from public positions because of what they may have said in the context and confines of a church service? Even if they never expressed their closely held beliefs to anyone while on the job?

This is a case where LGBT activists have taken their efforts to an entirely different level. There’s no evidence that Dr. Walsh ever discriminated against anyone. So the Doctor is not being condemned for any behavior or action at all, or for anything he said on the job, but for expressing traditional Biblical teaching in a church service. What is the next step after this?

I have said on this website before that if things continue as they are in America, conservative Biblical Christianity could become so marginalized that many jobs, professions, and types of businesses may no longer be open or available to conservative believers in the future. The action against Dr. Walsh demonstrates what I am talking about. In this case he was fired for saying in church what Christians have believed for nearly two thousand years.

This is happening a lot faster than I ever expected. The next step could be disqualification for those who are merely members of conservative churches since that alone could be an indication of attitudes and closely held beliefs that are no longer acceptable in the larger PC culture?  

This may seem far-fetched to many but I have personally experienced similar discrimination in the past. In one case I was applying for a job as a social worker and scored near the top on the exam and seemed to be assured a position but was ‘disqualified’ by the administrator during the interview because I had a degree from a Christian seminary which, according to her, indicated that I would be too ‘judgmental.’  Then when I was applying for a position as a college professor at a public university, the department head dismissed me during the interview because he didn’t like the denomination I was a member of at the time.               *Top

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-A $1,000 Tax on The 2nd Amendment and Possible Applications to Religious Freedom?

by Dr. D ~ April 20th, 2016

220px-Constitution_of_the_United_States,_page_1

There is a new trend in America started by those who oppose the second amendment and gun ownership. The idea is to tax the 2nd amendment out of practical existence. One American jurisdiction recently passed a $1,000 tax on the purchase of a gun and some cities like Seattle, Washington have already added an additional tax to the 2nd amendment purchases within their borders. Here’s the story from PJ Media:

If you are thinking about purchasing a gun and live in the Northern Marianas Islands, your decision just got a lot more expensive. The Northern Marianas Islands, a U.S. territory, just approved a $1,000 per gun tax.  …

Will this new plan to tax the public out of gun ownership be coming to state near you? The city of Seattle has a $25 tax called the "gun violence tax" to pilfer more money from law-abiding citizens. What’s to stop other states from slapping on a ridiculous tax as an impediment to purchasing a gun?

<Read the whole article>

Response: The whole idea is to circumvent the 2nd amendment without going through the nearly impossible task of actually amending the Constitution. If this tactic is successful and the courts go along with it; look for opponents of Biblical Christianity to explore new ways to limit or restrict the ‘establishment clause’ of the 1st Amendment.

Muslim countries in the Middle East claim to have ‘freedom of worship’ but tax individual Christians for the privilege of exercising this so-called freedom and restrict or even prohibit the building of new churches. I don’t see how a tax like this could happen anytime soon in America. But the building of new churches is already being restricted in many places in America and there are other startling possibilities for restricting religious freedom in the works.

Many major law schools are teaching their students that the traditional understanding of the 1st Amendment and freedom of religion should be re-interpreted as ‘freedom of worship’ which would restrict religious practice within the four walls of an official place of worship. If some future Supreme Court recognizes that popular ‘international’ interpretation then the 1st Amendment establishment clause will easily be circumvented without even a vote.

Already cities and counties all across America are restricting the building of churches through zoning laws in order to increase their tax base. There have even been reports of churches which have paid huge ‘fees’ (taxes?) in order to get permission to build on their own property. Then there are the recent court decisions that are stopping churches from renting schools and government buildings for meetings.  Also the alternative of meeting in homes for Bible study, worship, or prayer is already coming under assault in many cities. So where will churches who don’t already have their own buildings meet in the future?

Bottom line, religious freedom could be re-interpreted and through local zoning and fire laws the 1st Amendment could be restricted out of practical existence. Right now that possibility would seem to be remote and many might consider this article to be rather alarmist. But if you asked folks just 10 years ago about same-sex marriage becoming legal most would have thought it impossible. Yet it all changed rather quickly through court decisions which circumvented and by-passed the vote of the people.

If conservative Biblical Christianity continues to become more marginalized and culturally unpopular in the future, many social activists may look for new ways to legally restrict it for ‘the greater good’? Some may even suggest that traditional conservative Christianity can no longer be considered as a ‘religion’ but in reality is nothing but an excuse for prejudice and bigotry. Similar to the KKK. In fact I have already read a number of articles pressing that opinion, so it’s really not as farfetched as it may seem.  I do think that this may be a possible reality in our near future unless there is a major Christian revival or new spiritual awakening in America.                *Top

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-State Dept. Ignores Pakistan’s Poor Record of Christian Persecution?

by Dr. D ~ April 19th, 2016

125px-Flag_of_Pakistan.svg

Pakistan is consistently ranked among the worst countries in the world for Christian persecution. Yet the US State Department seems to continue to ignore that fact when they list the nations that they are particularly concerned about when it comes to religious freedom abuses. Here’s the story from CNS News:

For a record 14th year in a row, the State Department has overruled the advice of an independent statutory watchdog and decided not to blacklist Pakistan for religious freedom abuses.

The decision not to designate Pakistan a “country of particular concern” under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) comes despite its government’s continuing rejection of calls to amend or rescind the world’s most notorious blasphemy laws – which carry the death penalty and are frequently used to target Christians and other minorities.

It also comes just days after a new U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report highlighted dozens of instances of intolerance of religious minorities being promoted in public school textbooks in the Islamic country.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This really doesn’t make any sense when one continues to view the evidence. We could literally write about one abuse if not more against Christians in Pakistan every week.

Why is the State Dept. ignoring the obvious abuses carried on in this country against religious minorities, particularly Christians? Many will think that President Obama may have had some thing to do with this but it actually began long before he was in charge.

The following are my conclusions on why Pakistan is getting a pass:

First of all there is a secular environment at State that continues to define foreign policy regardless of who is in the White House. It has been a long time policy for professional US diplomats stationed in the Middle East and in Muslim dominated countries to go out of their way to de-emphasize any connection with Christianity.

Second, Pakistan is a nuclear power in a chaotic part of the world. The US needs to maintain a positive influence with those who have their fingers on the buttons if at all possible. 

Third, the kid glove treatment of Pakistan began 14 years ago when the US sent troops into Afghanistan. I believe that the State has turned a blind eye to the many abuses and outright persecution going on in Pakistan in order to preserve access to a major supply road going into Afghanistan from Pakistan.                 *Top

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-Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ Supports Jailing Climate Change Skeptics?

by Dr. D ~ April 18th, 2016

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                  (Bill Nye: via Wikipedia)

In a recent interview, TV’s famous Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ seemed to support the idea that ‘climate change skeptics’ should be convicted and jailed like war criminals. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

In a video interview with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano this week, Nye was asked how he feels about environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy’s call to jail climate skeptics for treason and lock them up at the Hague.  …

Nye, …continued, "For me as a taxpayer and voter — the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen. So I can see where people are very concerned about this, and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this… That there is a chilling effect on scientists who are in extreme doubt about climate change, I think that is good."

<Read the whole article>

Response: Scary. There are so many folks lately calling for some kind of limits to free speech and academic freedom for a variety of different reasons.

Christians and others who do not completely accept or adapt to the current popular thinking in various fields of study are already being locked out of academic positions and promotions. That’s bad enough but now there are voices actually calling for convictions and prison time for those who do not agree with the current prevailing ‘scientific’ views .

It really does remind me of what happened to some of the early scientists who challenged the popular thinking of their day during the middle ages and found themselves in jail or worse. The church many times was to blame for those abuses but now modern scientists and academics who are horrified by those historical limitations on study and speech are now calling for similar actions today?

Scientific ‘facts’ have always been in flux. The prevailing thinking of former years is consistently being overturned. The same evidence is sometimes interpreted differently by scientists. Do we really want to add political force to the equation and demand a certain PC outcome for all scientific investigation when it comes to global warming or climate change? It is ironic at the very least that folks like Bill Nye are actually displaying the same type of doctrinaire attitudes and demands that put early scientists in dungeons and chains.                 *Top

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-Responding to Those Who ‘Do Not Get Religion’

by Dr. D ~ April 15th, 2016

t_Preachers005

One of the biggest adjustments that I have had to make in my life is facing the fact that an increasing number of Americans that I come in some kind of contact daily may have little or no experience with religion. I can’t begin to put a number on the times that I have been surprised, shocked, or saddened by comments made by others which demonstrated a certain amount of ignorance or bias when it comes to faith and particularly Christianity.

The folks that I have the greatest problems with in this regard are those in the news media who are supposed to be ‘unbiased’ truth seekers. But when it comes to religion their personal attitudes, predispositions, and lack of knowledge and understanding readily comes through. One of my favorite websites- “Get Religion” exposes some of the major mistakes made by the media when it comes to religion.

Here’s a short article I read by Eric Metaxas that got me thinking about this today- “Not ‘Getting’ Religion.” It begins with a story about how a person of faith was mischaracterized on a college campus. But here’s the quote that really got me thinking:

In an increasingly secular age, ordinary Americans know less and less about Christianity and much of what they claim to “know” is wrong, sometimes hilariously so.

Our response should not be anger or resignation. It should be a willingness to set the record straight in a way that does service to our faith. There’s ample historical precedent for this. The first great Christian apologetic work, The Apology of Justin Martyr, did just that. It defended Christianity against charges of atheism, immorality, and disloyalty to the Roman Empire.

<Read the whole article>

On a number of occasions I have recounted on this blog the fact that I grew up in a time (1950’s) when the vast majority of Americans were believers (98%+) and most folks in my old neighborhood attended some kind of church on Sundays except for the Jewish family down the street who went to synagogue on Saturday and the Adventist couple next door.

Things are obviously different now even in my own extended family when it comes to religion. Over the years I have had to learn to drop references to Bible stories that everyone used to be familiar with in my daily conversations and limit my use of ‘Christian’ terminology that are no longer part of the larger American culture.

Older Christians like myself have had to make a number of adjustments since our use of ‘religious’ language may have ended up separating us from others in unintended ways. Christians in general mostly fail to recognize that our community language may sometimes be meaningless or even offensive to others that ‘do not get religion.’

I really like what Metaxas said about how we should respond to displays of obvious religious ignorance:

Our response should not be anger or resignation. It should be a willingness to set the record straight in a way that does service to our faith.

Toward that end, I really do hope to be a better model of grace and love in the future and better reflect the guiding Biblical passage of this website:

   "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. . . " (1 Peter 3:15)

 *Top

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-Lawsuit to Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions Dismissed

by Dr. D ~ April 12th, 2016

ACLU

An ACLU lawsuit to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions has been dismissed this week by a Federal District court. From Townhall:

A federal court has dismissed the case American Civil Liberties Union v. Trinity Health Corporation, which sought to force Catholic hospitals and staff members to perform abortions regardless of their religious beliefs or personal objections to the procedure.

The suit was filed by the ACLU in October of 2015. Trinity Health is one of the largest Catholic hospital systems in the country.

<Read the whole article>

Response: It is great to see this effort by the ACLU fail. We posted about this case last October when the lawsuit was initiated. It would have been a huge infringement on religious liberty. Which is ironic considering that the ACLU organization is supposed to be all about supporting civil liberties in America. But lately they have been involved in numerous cases where religious freedom was compromised or suspended in favor of other ‘rights’ as it would have been in this case.

As I stated in my article last year: “The Catholic Church looks upon their institutions as part of their religious mission and ministry. To force Catholic hospitals to do abortions and sterilizations would be oppressive. The Bill of Rights and the First Amendment in particular were written in the first place to protect citizens and the church from government oppression. But times are changing and our rights are under assault.”  Fortunately the ACLU failed in this case.                *Top

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