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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Obama holdovers in D.C. are sanitizing the "ISIS genocide against Christians"


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Bob Unruh (WND) says the Obama administration repeatedly fudged on the issue of Islam.

Barack Obama himself said Muslims were a key to the founding of the nation and after all, the U.S. wasn't a Christian nation.

Muslim advocates, including some fairly radical, were installed in influential positions in Washington.

Never were the words "Muslim" and "terrorist" to be used together, it seemed.

Now, a report is confirming that those left in the government, and there are many, from Obama's tenure are busy trying to erase the references to ISIS' "genocide" of Christians in the Middle East.

And the American Center for Law and Justice that is, well, a little upset.

"In a startling revelation, news is breaking this week that Obama holdovers within the State Department are actively attempting to scrub its records to remove any mention of the ISIS genocide against Christians," the organization reported.

"This is outrageous and the ACLJ has had enough, so we are preparing a new set of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to find out why -- and to expose deep state operatives who would use the delay of confirming new State Department officials as cover to strip legal protections from Christians facing genocide."

The activist team quoted from the Washington Free Beacon that, "The State Department's top lawyers are systematically removing the word 'genocide' to describe the Islamic State's mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches before they are delivered and other official documents, according to human rights activists and attorneys familiar with the policies.'

Get the the book that exposed CAIR from the inside out, and the only book ever to provide the real "inside" story of jihadism run amok in the U.S., "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America."

"This is absolutely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. And it begs the question, 'Why?'" the ACLJ said.

It has been documented that Muslims running amok across the Middle East have burned Christians, crucified them, beheaded them, stabbed them, drowned them and more.

And not just adults, or fighting forces -- the victims have repeatedly included children and women.

The ACLJ reported, "Unelected deep state holdovers are quietly trying to undo everything we have accomplished in our campaign, which began years ago, to pressure the U.S. government and the international community to recognize the ISIS atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities and to take meaningful action to protect the victims.

"We worked tirelessly making the case to the Obama State Department that the legal threshold for genocide was satisfied, and that ISIS specifically targeted Christians as victims. And finally, in March of 2016, after embarrassing resistance and delay, then-Secretary of State John Kerry relented and announced his judgment that ISIS was in fact committing genocide and that Christians were victims."

That created a new level of obligation, because of the Genocide Convention, the group said.

But instead of a federal bureaucracy that would recognize the atrocities inflicted by Muslims on Christians, and work to reduce those, something else happened.

"What became eminently clear is that the Obama administration never intended for that legal determination to matter. In fact, we filed a FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit against the State Department to determine what, if anything, the Obama administration did to protect Christians or end the genocide itself," the report said.

"After more than a year of delays and stonewalling from the State Department bureaucracy, it has become crystal clear from the limited documents the State Department has finally turned over to us -- under court order -- that the Obama administration took no discernable action to protect Christians or end the genocide. Our FOIA case continues and we hope to uncover more information, but so far what we feared appears to be reality. The Obama administration was all talk and no action on genocide."

Now, the group said, that "holdovers" from Obama's years "are actually attempting to reverse course shows that the Obama administration NEVER intended its genocide recognition to carry any weight whatsoever."

The ACLU called it "some kind of Orwellian propaganda machine" in which bureaucrats who first ignored the ISIS genocide of Christians now are working hard "censoring words that acknowledge the genocide."

The report cites a claim from a human rights lawyer that Richard Visek, of the State Department's Office of Legal Adviser, "is behind the decision to remove the word 'genocide' from official documents."



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Beckwith

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Obama's State Department lawyers are removing references to genocide against Christians

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Susan Crabtree (FreeBeacon) is reporting that the State Department's top lawyers are systematically removing the word "genocide" to describe the Islamic State's mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches before they are delivered and other official documents, according to human rights activists and attorneys familiar with the policies.

Additionally, Democratic senators are delaying confirmation of Mark Green, Trump's pick to head the U.S. Agency for International Development who has broad bipartisan support.

These efforts guarantee that Obama-era policies that worked to exclude Iraq's Christian and other minority religious populations from key U.S. aid programs remain in place, the activists said.

Richard Visek, who was appointed by President Obama as head the State Department's Office of Legal Adviser in October 2016, is behind the decision to remove the word "genocide" from official documents, according to Nina Shea, an international human rights lawyer who directs the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.

"I don't think for a minute it's a bureaucratic decision -- it's ideological," said Shea, who also spent 12 years as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or CIRF, from 1999 to 2012.

A State Department spokesman on Monday said he would look into the matter and respond.

The latest moves from the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser appear aimed at rolling back then-Secretary of State John Kerry's March 2016 genocide determination. Kerry's much-anticipated genocide designation came after months of equivocation and detailed documentation by interested parties that the Islamic State is responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.

It was one of the few times in history that the United States designated ongoing mass murders against ethnic or religious minorities as meeting the legal definition of genocide laid out in a 1948 treaty. That agreement requires signatories, including the United States, to take steps to "prevent and punish" genocide.

A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers and activists, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.) were hoping the designation would help direct millions of dollars in U.S. relief funds to Christian, Yazidi, and other persecuted religious minority communities.

ISIS murders and kidnappings have decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2002, reducing it to fewer than 250,000 now. Without action, activists and charities say, Christians could disappear completely from Iraq in the near future.

After meeting with Pope Francis in May, President Trump vowed to do everything in his power to defend and protect the "historic Christian communities of the Middle East."

Activists and Catholic leaders are now calling on Trump to turn the rhetoric into action on the ground and help get U.S. aid to these persecuted communities trying to rebuild their homes and their lives in Iraq.

These advocates want the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations to allow church groups and other religious-affiliated relief organizations to receive government aid, a practice prohibited during the Obama administration.

In early May, Congress allocated more than $1.3 billion in funds for refugee assistance and included specific language to try to ensure that at least some of the money is used to assist persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims -- all groups the State Department deemed victims of genocide in 2016.

Nevertheless, only $10 million is specifically earmarked for Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities. The Trump administration has until the end of September, when the stop-gap funding bill runs out, to ensure it distributes the funds in the most effective way.

"There is congressional legislation … that calls for the U.S. government to stop excluding the genocide-targeted minorities in Iraq," Shea said. "This has been a pervasive problem that this aid has not been getting to them."

"Iraq is home to one of the four largest remaining Christian communities in the Middle East that are about to become extinct," she said. "Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama made catastrophic mistakes that left these communities on the brink of extinction, but it's going to be on President Trump's watch as to whether they survive or become extinct -- it's going to be his policies that make or break the situation."

Instead of going through Iraqi government agencies or other internationally recognized groups, activists say the best way to get the aid to Christians and other persecuted minorities is through local Iraqi Catholic dioceses and parishes and other religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, which have spent years on the ground working with these communities.

The money would be specifically designated for relief efforts for these persecuted communities and could not be used for other purposes, such as church-building or more general church operations.

Groups say the special allocation is needed because Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities often do not go to Muslim-dominated refugee camps out of fear they will be targeted, killed, or kidnapped.

After the Iraqi army retook Mosul from the Islamic State with the help of U.S. forces, much international attention has focused on helping rebuild the Sunni community so that ISIS cannot regain its influence there through sleeper cells or other supportive Islamic terrorist groups.

Shea said Christians will also play a key role in stabilizing the area in and around Mosul if they have enough aid to rebuild their homes in the area and other parts of Northern Iraq.

They could also combat Iran's colonization of northern Iraq, where pro-Iranian militias are buying up Christian land in the area to try to broaden their influence.

"Christians and Yazidis need to be able to go back to their towns just to hold them -- it's a big national security priority for the U.S.," she said.



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Beckwith

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President Trump reverses Obama's anti-Christian refugee policy

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Joseph Klein (FrontPage) is reporting that after declaring that Christians have "been horribly treated" by the refugee program under Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has reversed the Obama administration's disgraceful discrimination against Christian refugees

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data, during the period from January 21, 2017 - President Trump's first full day in office - through June 30, "9,598 Christian refugees arrived in the U.S., compared with 7,250 Muslim refugees. Christians made up 50% of all refugee arrivals in this period, compared with 38% who are Muslim."

From April through June 2017, Iraq was "the only Muslim-majority nation among the top six origin countries." The number of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. from January 21, 2017 through June 30, 2017 was 1779. Comparing the number of refugee admissions from Syria for the entire month of January with the entire month of February 2017, the number dropped by nearly half. By June 2017, the number of refugees admitted from Syria was about 26 percent of the already low number of 673 admitted in February. 

By contrast, Pew Research Center reported that in fiscal year 2016 -- Barack Obama's last full fiscal year as president -- "the U.S. admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since data on self-reported religious affiliations first became publicly available in 2002." Overall, the number of Muslims admitted as refugees exceeded the number of Christians who were admitted.

Of the 12,486 refugees from Syria admitted to the United States during that same fiscal year by the Obama administration, about 99 percent were Muslim and less than 1 percent were Christian. Estimates of the Christians' proportion of the total population of Syria have ranged from 5 to 10 percent since the onset of the Syrian civil war. Muslims made up 87% of Syria's total population.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry declared in March of last year that the Islamic State had been committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the Obama administration decided that Christians and other refugees belonging to minority religious faiths did not deserve any priority for admission to the U.S.  In fact, the Obama administration discriminated against Christians. It admitted proportionately less Christians relative to the total number of refugees from Syria than even the lower end of Christians' estimated proportion of the total population of Syria. Incredibly, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, approximately 96% of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States by the Obama administration were Sunni Muslims even though ISIS and al Qaeda jihadists are themselves Sunni Muslims. The ideology of Wahhabism fueling the jihadists' reign of terror, exported by Saudi Arabia, is of Sunni Muslim origin.  

Obama followed a deliberate anti-Christian refugee policy, while condescendingly lecturing Christians to remember the misdeeds he says were committed in the name of Christ many years ago. During a National Prayer Breakfast in 2015, for example, Obama said: "And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."

Obama's walk through his version of Christian history somehow balances out in his mind the genocide committed by jihadists against Christians on his own watch.

Obama not only insulted Christians who have been facing persecution and death on a mass scale at the hands of Islamist terrorists. He twisted history in trying to invoke his moral relativism. He conveniently left out that the Crusades were a response to Muslim invasions that had resulted in the capture of two-thirds of the old Christian world and that Christian churches took a leadership role in the fights against slavery and segregation.

Thus, it was no surprise that Obama sharply criticized the suggestion that persecuted Christians be given preference for admission as refugees. He said that "when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that's shameful."  Obama added: "That's not American, it's not who we are."

Obama's refugee policy was both "shameful" and "not American." It discriminated against Christians and other non-Muslim minority religious groups who needed refugee status protection the most, while vastly favoring the one group of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries who needed protection the least– Sunni Muslims. The policy ignored the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defined the crime of genocide as including "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a religious group." (Emphasis added)  Obama's refugee policy also ignored the fact that "refugee" is defined in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as including "someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted" because of that person's "religion." 

Christians and other religious minorities seeking refuge from genocide and persecution in Syria and other Muslim-majority countries are clearly the most at risk today if they are forced to remain in those countries. Any just refugee policy for the United States must be based on the principle that those most at risk receive the highest priority in admission decisions. President Trump has tried valiantly to correct the misdeeds of the Obama administration by following that principle, which explains at least in part his administration's reversal of the number of Christian versus Muslim admissions. When refugee admissions to the United States resume after President Trump's temporary suspension order expires, President Trump should continue to undo the Obama administration's inexcusable discrimination against Christian victims of Muslim jihadist persecution.



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Beckwith

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President Trump ends Obama's tradition of celebrating Ramadan in White House

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The cultural Muslim, Barack Obama, enjoyed celebrating his Iftar dinner each year.

Jim Hoft (GatewayPundit) is reporting that President Trump just ended a longtime White House tradition and skipped the Ramadan celebration this year.

For the first time in two decades the White House will not celebrate an Iftar Dinner on its grounds.

Allahu Akbar!

The Washington Post reports:

Ramadan, which falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, started on May 27 this year and ends at sundown Saturday. Muslims around the world will mark the end of the holy month by celebrating the holiday Eid al-Fitr, the "feast of breaking of the fast."

For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar "months in advance" and didn't anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.

White House officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

In late May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly said the State Department would break with recent tradition and not host a Ramadan reception, as it had done nearly annually for two decades. On Saturday, Tillerson released a brief statement sending "best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr."

"This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity," Tillerson said in the statement. "This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.


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Beckwith

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1 Christian is murdered every 6 minutes while Obama golfs

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S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) says Christianity will soon become extinct in its ancient homelands because of a global massacre of Christians. It is ignored by Barack Obama and the U.S. media or glossed over. If you want to know what is going on in the world, you need to go to foreign newspapers.

Barack Obama simply does not care if Christians are slaughtered. He will say Muslims are dying in larger numbers. It is Obama who sat by while nearly a half million people died needlessly in Syria. Our Syrian allies were slaughtering Christians. When Nigerian Christians are murdered, he says nothing, absolutely nothing.

Syria, North Korea, Eritrea, Nigeria, Iraq and Egypt are among those that are most dangerous for Christians. Christians are being persecuted in China, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Russia (particularly the North Caucasus, where the Tsarnaevs [Boston bombers] trace their heritage).

Christian children are being tortured and beheaded in this pogrom. They have their heads cut off with axes.

In 2014, British MP Jim Shannon said the persecution of Christians is "the biggest story in the world that has never been told." He said that more than 200 million Christians will be persecuted this year alone. Syrian Christians have been cleared out of Homs, Sada and Maaloula, and 2 million Christians have been killed in the Sudan over the past 30 years. Hundreds have been imprisoned in Nigeria, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Moroccco, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia, and China.

In Iraq, Christians are "frightened even to walk to church because they might come under attack. All the churches are targets... We used to have 1.5 million Christians, now we have probably only 200,000 left… There are more Iraqi Christians in Chicago than there are here [Iraq]," said MP Shannon.

Almost 90,000 Christians died for their faith in 2016 , according to an Italian research group.

The Center for Studies on New Religions (Censur) will publish their annual report next month with the devastating numbers. One Christian was martyred every six minutes.

The Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) is described by The Berkley Center at Georgetown University as an independent international network that engages in scholarly research and provides accurate information to the public on new religious movements, always protecting religious freedom while acknowledging the criminal nature of certain cult activities

That 90,000 number means in 2016 one Christian was martyred every six minutes.

The center's director, Massimo Introvigne, told Vatican Radio last week that this number makes Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world. The are also the most populated, however, according to The Relevant.

Seventy percent of the crimes, Introvigne said, resulted from African tribal conflicts when Christians refused to participate in the violence. Another 30 percent were the result of terrorism and government persecution.

What country can say that Muslims are persecuted by Christians?

Last year, of all the refugees we took in, almost all were Muslim. We took in Syrians and 98.8% of them were Muslims. Why? The Christians don't merit saving? Their values are consistent with ours.

The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali said in 2014 "… the persecution of Christians was taking place in more than 130 of the 190 countries in the world at the moment."

"We should be crying out with the same abhorrence and horror that we feel about the atrocities towards Jews on Kristallnacht and on other occasions during the Second World War,"  said British MP Fiona Bruce in 2014. At that time, a Christian was killed every 11 minutes.

Last year, CNN reported, was the most violent for Christians in modern history, rising to "a level akin to ethnic cleansing," according to a new report by Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that advocates for Christians.

Before the U.S. invaded Iraq, in 2006, there were 1.2 million Christians in Iraq, now there are 250,000. Many have fled to the Kurdish area. This is according to Open Doors. They want to return home eventually.

In total, the survey found that more than 7,100 Christians were killed in 2015 for "faith-related reasons," up 3,000 from the previous year, according to the group's analysis of media reports and other public information as well as external experts.

The group's report defines Christian persecution "as any hostility experienced as a result of one's identification with Christ." Open Doors found this persecution ranged from imprisonment, torture, beheadings and rape to the loss of home and assets, the loss of a job, or even rejection from a community.


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Beckwith

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Iraqi Christians say Obama abandoned them to the Islamic State

"Obama has never helped the Christians. In fact, he despises them. In the last 26 months, he has shown he despises all of them. But we have hope in the new president, Trump."

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"Christians claim Obama "abandoned" them to sick ISIS jihadis -- and back Trump election win," by Oli Smith, Express, November 6, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

IRAQI Christians will pray for Donald Trump's election victory after they condemned Obama's government for "abandoning" them to the barbaric terror of Islamic State.

The Christian community in the latest Iraqi town to be freed from ISIS have opened up about how they were terrorized at the hands of the twisted jihadi militants.

The once-bustling Qaraqosh, which boasted of more than 50,000 Christian residents, was recaptured from the jihadis last week.

Residents who stayed in the town have described how ISIS told every Christian to pay a massive tax, convert to Islam or face execution.

Those who survived the terror have now voiced their outrage that President Obama refused to protect them when Iraq's largest Christian city fell to ISIS more than two years ago.

A man in the village said he hopes Donald Trump -- a widely favored candidate in the town -- will bring a different approach to Iraqi Christians.

He told the camera: "Obama has never helped the Christians. In fact, he despises them. In the last 26 months, he has shown he despises all of them.

"But we have hope in the new president, Trump."

The first mass in the freed Christian town for more than two years

Donald Trump has previously spoken up about how Christians have been left to fend for themselves by the US government.

A Catholic priest in the town said: "The US government led by President Obama could have protected us -- or at least helped us to protect ourselves.

"But unfortunately Obama abandoned us, and chose not to get involved."

A young girl wearing a crucifix then added: "We hope this new guy called Trump will help us more than Obama did."…


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Beckwith

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13,210 Syrian refugees so far in 2016 -- up 675% from 2015 -- 99.1% are Muslims

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Unless they are Christian

According to CNSNews, Barack Obama has resettled 13,210 Syrian refugees into the United States since the beginning of 2016 -- an increase of 675 percent over the same 10-month period in 2015.

Of those, 13,100 (99.1 percent) are Muslims -- 12,966 Sunnis, 24 Shi’a, and 110 other Muslims -- and 77 (0.5 percent) are Christians. Another 24 (0.18 percent) are Yazidis.

During the January-October period in 2015, 1,705 Syrian refugees were admitted, of whom 1,664 (97.5 percent) were Muslims and 29 (1.7 percent) were Christians.

Meanwhile the surge of Syrian refugee admissions initiated by the administration last February has continued into the new fiscal year, now one month-old: A total of 1,297 were resettled during October -- a 593 percent increase over the 187 admitted in October 2015.

October’s arrivals were once again dominated by Sunni Muslims, accounting for 1,263 (97.3 percent) of the total. Another seven were Shi’a Muslims and 12 were other Muslims. The rest of the October intake comprised 15 (1.1 percent) Christians -- eight Orthodox, four Catholics and three refugees self-described simply as Christians.

That comes after last fiscal year saw a total of 12,587 Syrian refugees admitted, of whom 12,363 (98.2 percent) were Sunnis, and 68 (0.5 percent) were Christians, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

The rest of the Syrian refugees admitted during FY2016 were 103 other Muslims, 20 Shi’a Muslims, 24 Yazidis, eight refugees with religion given as "other," and one with "no religion."

Syrians of all religious and ethnic groups have been victimized in the costly civil war, which has pitted a regime dominated by Allawites -- a sect of Shi’a Islam -- and its Shi’a allies against mostly Sunni rebel groups. A Sunni-majority population and Christian and other minorities are caught in between, with some supporting warring groups on either side.

But jihadists among the rebels, and especially the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL), have also targeted Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in particular. Last March 17, Secretary of State John Kerry announced, in line with a legislative requirement, that the treatment of Christians and other minorities in areas controlled by ISIS amounts to genocide.

I could have placed this item in the "Obama's jihad" or "Barack Obama and the ummah" thread -- even the "Obama and immigration" thread.

I chose to place it in this thread because these numbers clearly demonstrates the affection Barack Obama has for Muslims and the animus he holds toward Christians.



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Beckwith

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Federal judge asks why Team Obama isn't admitting Christian Syrian refugees

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Your honor, it's because Obama relates to Muslims more than Christians

Hans von Spakovsky (DailySignal) is reporting that in an otherwise unremarkable opinion over the federal Freedom of Information Act, a federal appellate court judge has issued a sharp rejoinder to the Obama administration over an issue that has been discussed in the news -- the almost complete lack of Syrian Christian refugees being brought over to the U.S.

The Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center, a progressive liberal advocacy organization "dedicated to ensuring human rights protections" for immigrants and asylum seekers -- including apparently terrorists -- filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security.

The lawsuit claimed that DHS was refusing to release the identity of Tier III terrorist organizations, unlike the identities of what are defined as Tier I and Tier II terrorist groups that are publicly identified.

Tier III terrorist organizations "tend to be groups about which the U.S. government does not have good intelligence, making it essential that [DHS] be able to obtain information about them during screening interviews that are as focused and complete as possible."

The government argued that Tier III terrorist organizations are exempt from disclosure under FOIA because it would disclose "techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations."

Individuals in Tier III groups are more likely than other asylum seekers "to commit violent or otherwise unlawful acts." The court accepted the government's assertion that if immigrants become aware of the identity of these Tier III organizations, which the Heartland Alliance made clear it intended to publicize, then members of the groups would "have a very strong incentive to falsify or misrepresent " their "encounters, activities, or associations" with the terrorist groups.

If the immigrants don't know a terrorist organization they have been associated with has been identified by the government, they are "likely to be less guarded in answering questions about [their] activities or associations with the organization."

All three members of the panel agreed that the FOIA exemption applied, particularly because the Heartland Alliance could not "explain what the government would gain by pretending that harmless organizations are actually terrorist groups."

The Heartland Alliance also made it clear that "its goal in the litigation" was to "discredit" the government's classification of terrorist organizations, according to the court. Both "the tone and content" of its briefs "signals its disbelief that the government has secrets worth keeping from asylum seekers and their helpers."

However, in a spirited concurrence written by Judge Daniel Manion, the judge expressed his "concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country."

According to Manion, it is "well-documented" that the refugees are not representative of that "war-torn area of the world." Ten percent of the Syrian population is Christian and "yet less than one-half of 1 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian."

President Barack Obama set a goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., and by August that goal had already been exceeded. But of the "nearly 11,000 refugees admitted by mid-September, only 56 were Christian."

Yet Christian Syrians have been one of the primary targets of the Islamic jihadists infesting Syria and butchering, murdering, and killing civilians. The Islamic State has made it clear that it is going after Christians because it intends to "conquer Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women."

Thus, one would expect that Christian Syrians would represent a significant portion of the Syrians being accepted into the U.S. as refugees. But that hasn't been the case, and, according to Manion, the Obama administration has no "good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy." Thus, we "remain in the dark as a humanitarian catastrophe continues."

This is also relevant to the complaints of various states about the Obama administration settling Syrian refugees in them without providing any information about the people arriving. As Manion points out, "the good people of this country routinely welcome immigrants from all over the world. But in a democracy, good data is critical to public debate about national immigration policy."

The courts and the Obama administration "demand high evidentiary burdens for states seeking to keep their citizens safe, and then prevent the states from obtaining that evidence" on these refugees. That creates a catch-22 for state governments.

So while the administration brings Syrian refugees into the country by the thousands, it is concealing basic information about those refugees behind a wall of government secrecy. This, despite the fact that the Syrian refugee crisis has been the catalyst for the infiltration of terrorists into Western Europe.

Yet the administration refuses to tell the American public or the states how it is making its decisions on who it is accepting for resettlement in the U.S., or even what steps it is taking to ensure we don't have the same infiltration here.

Or why, in a religious civil war where Christians are one of the main targets of the Islamic terrorists engaging in indiscriminate slaughter, it is bringing in almost none of those victims of one of the worst human rights atrocities of the new century.



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Beckwith

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Obama's wedding ring

I have a small piece about this in the Archive but Jerome Corsi did a thorough piece:

http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/obamas-ring-there-is-no-god-but-allah/

What is interesting, is that Obama has been wearing this ring long before he met and married Michelle.

This photo is from 1986.  He married Michelle in 1992.

[img1050] 


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SocalJay

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I read an article posted years ago (I believe it was on this site) that spoke about the ring he has been seen wearing for most of his adult life.  Some time in the past, someone got a high-rez picture of the ring and deciphered the writing on the band.  It was said that the writing was Islamic and indicated everlasting commitment to Allah.  Now I can't find it.
Beckwith

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This is such a disturbing story, it's hard to even know where to begin

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Onan Coca (FreedomOutpost) says let's start with the facts we all know.

  • The BBC tells us that about 10% of all Syrians are Christian.
  • Barack Obama, John Kerry, and pretty much anyone paying attention to the chaos in the Middle East tell us that the most persecuted group in the world today are Christians living in the Muslim world (particularly in ISIS dominated Syria).
  • The media has long been complaining about Donald Trump's idea that perhaps we should put a temporary halt on importing Muslim refugees until we can properly vet them.

Now let's analyze one fact that is apparently not common knowledge.

How is this possible? If Christians are the group being most persecuted by the forces of violence in Syria, shouldn't they be the ones pressing the hardest to leave the war-torn nation? If, as the Obama administration has finally admitted, ISIS is enacting a pogrom of genocide against Christians, shouldn't they be the people that the administration is most interested in saving from the terror? Instead, it seems that Elliot Abrams is right: the Obama administration has enacted a ban on receiving Christian refugees, and the media has remained silent.

Sure, in that we do not and could not legally ban Christian refugees any more than we could or should bar Muslim refugees. But when you have been running a refugee program for years, and you have accepted 10,612 Sunni refugees and 56 Christians, and it is obvious why and obvious how to fix it, and nothing is done to fix it, well, the results speak more loudly than speeches, laws, intentions, or excuses. In effect we make it almost impossible for Christian refugees to get here.

So I'll stick with that title. And I agree with Nina Shea: "This is de facto discrimination and a gross injustice." 

The Reverend Franklin Graham decried the injustice of the Obama administration's policy in a recent post to his social media.

Did you know that 10,801 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S. in the last year? And reports state that only 56 of them are Christians -- yes, 56! "It's disappointingly disproportional," attorney Matthew Clark told reporters. He said, "The Obama administration has not prioritized Christians and it appears they have actually deprioritized them, put them back of the line and made them an afterthought." Tragically, it's estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million Christians have fled Syria, while many have been targeted and slaughtered by the Islamic State. Join me in praying for the Christians who are trying against all odds to survive in the region of the world where Christianity was born.

We must call on the Obama administration (and the media) to handle the humanitarian disaster in the Muslim world fairly. If they are scandalized by the idea of a temporary ban on Muslim refugees, then they should be even more aggrieved by the reality that Christian refugees have actually been banned by our government.

The question of whether Obama is a Muslim or a Christian has been booted around for years.

This short report answers that question for me.


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beadaniel

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Reply with quote  #12 
If we have a decent court, this will never pass a constitutional application.  Government cannot, under our current Constitution, tell a church what to do about their religious beliefs, especially beliefs delineated in the Bible.
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Another state issues transgender rules for churches

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Bob Unruh (WND) is reporting that Barack Obama's transgender agenda has taken huge leaps forward in the last year or so. There have been orders for public building managers, for colleges and even for public schools to allow a male who says he's female to use locker rooms and restrooms set aside for women.

The privacy and feelings of the biological females who are in those facilities are of no account.

Now a second state has decided that churches, too, are bound by the agenda.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination this month released a "Gender Identity Guidance" that imposes its demands on society.

"The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination enforces [state law on discrimination]. The MCAD developed this guidance to educate the public about discrimination based on gender identity, to describe what evidence may be submitted to support a claim of gender identity discrimination, to inform individuals of their rights, and to assist employers, providers of housing, mortgage services, and owners, managers and agents of places of public accommodation in understanding their obligations."

The conflict arises under the instructions for "places of public accommodation."

"Under [the law] places of public accommodation may not discriminate against, or restrict a person from services because of that person's gender identity. For example, a hotel or motel may not refuse to book a room for a person because of the person's gender identity," the state threatens.

It continues, "Even a church could be seen as a place of public accommodation if it holds a secular event, such as a spaghetti supper, that is open to the general public."

The demands include having church officials, and even members, use whatever pronouns a person would demand, irrespective of their actual gender.

At the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog, a commentary pointed out that "churches hold events 'open to the general public' all the time -- it's often how they seek new converts."

"And even church 'secular events,' which I take it means events that don't involve overt worship, are generally viewed by the church as part of its ministry, and certainly as a means of the church modeling what it believes to be religiously sound behavior."

Eugene Volokh's commentary continued: "My guess is that most churches would not turn someone away from a generally open spaghetti supper. … But some religious leaders, as well as the church employees and volunteers, may refuse to use pronouns that they believe are inconsistent with God's plan as revealed by anatomy."

"Under Massachusetts law, refusing to use a transgender person's preferred pronoun would be punishable discrimination. (At least this is true of 'he' or 'she' -- I saw nothing in the document about 'ze' and other newly made-up pronouns.) The Massachusetts document … makes that clear in the employment context, and it also makes clear that the antidiscrimination law rules apply to places of public accommodations (including churches, in 'secular events' 'open to the public') just as much as to employment."

Volokh warned: "Indeed, a church might be liable even for statements by its congregants (and not just its volunteers, who are acting as agents) that are critical of transgender people. Tolerating such remarks is generally seen as allowing a 'hostile environment,' and therefore 'harassment.' Indeed, the statement … specifically encourages people to 'prohibit derogatory comments or jokes about transgender persons from employees, clients, vendors and any others, and promptly investigate and discipline persons who engage in discriminatory conduct'."

WND previously has reported on the issue in Iowa.

There, a church sued the state in federal court, demanding that officials withdraw their threats of prosecution because of the content of the church's sermons, specifically what is said about homosexuality, same-sex "marriage," transgenderism and other related topics.

That case erupted when the state's Civil Rights Commission first claimed the authority to control the content of sermons and then to define what's religious.

At issue is the state's nondiscrimination requirements that specify any "public accommodation" can be ordered not to say anything that might make a homosexual or a transgender feel "unwelcome," such as even reading from the Bible a condemnation of such behavior.

Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing the church, have filed a reply in support of their motion for a preliminary injunction that would protect the church members' constitutional rights while the case plays out.

Without that order, they contend the speech of the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ and its pastors and members is being unconstitutionally limited.

The state commission declined several times to respond to a WND request for comment.

Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for ADF, said the issue is about the basics of the Constitution.

"Churches should be free to communicate their religious beliefs and operate their houses of worship according to their faith without fearing government punishment. It's not good enough for government officials to say we should simply trust them to tell us what is religious and what isn't. The law must be clear, and at present, the only thing that's clear is that the law gives too much power to government bureaucrats who don't even seem to understand the most basic constitutional principles," she said.

ADF Senior Counsel Steven O'Ban said that in the meantime, the court "should issue an injunction that makes certain that this law won't be enforced against our client while this lawsuit proceeds."

"Neither the commission nor any state law has the constitutional authority to dictate how a church uses its facility or what public statements a church can make concerning human sexuality," he said.

The Iowa Civil Rights Act bans places of "public accommodation" from expressing their views on human sexuality if they would "directly or indirectly" make "persons of any particular … gender identity" feel "unwelcome."

The state claims churches are a "public accommodation."

But the state's interpretation could be used by bureaucrats to bar churches from making "unwelcome" public comments during an activity the commission deems not to have a "bona fide religious purpose."

The state commission also claims the state law demands that people be given access to church restrooms and locker rooms according to "gender identity."

The new brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa said the commission's "overreach is entirely predictable in light of Iowa's constitutionally flawed definition of public accommodation, which clearly encompasses churches. The commission has twice tried to inform 'churches' and then 'places of worship' what activities will bring them under the act. But in doing so, the commission only highlights how the act interferes into the internal affairs of houses of worship, and why a preliminary injunction is absolutely necessary to protect the church from further chill of its constitutional rights."


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Beckwith

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Obama admits 10,126 Syrian "refugees" -- 58 are Christians

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Patrick Goodenough (CNSNews) is reporting that Barack Obama is expected to achieve his goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year -- a month ahead of schedule.

As of late Sunday, 9,902 had been resettled in the United States, but more than 200 more are expected to arrive from Jordan and surrounding areas over the next day. U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells told reporters the 10,000 target announced by President Obama last September will be reached on Monday.

Barring an unlikely last-minute shift, the number of Christians among the 10,000 will be less than half of one percent.

Of the 9,902 before Monday's arrivals, just 47 (0.47 percent) are Christians, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

The vast majority of the Syrian refugees permitted to resettle in the United States are Sunni Muslims -- 9,726 of the 9,902, or 98.2 percent. Another 20 are Shi'a Muslims, and a further 85 are identified in the data simply as Muslims.

The 47 Christians comprise seven Catholics, four Protestants, six Orthodox, one Greek Orthodox and 29 refugees self-reported simply as "Christian."

Apart from the Muslims and Christians, others admitted during FY 2016 are 14 Yazidis, four Jehovah's Witnesses, five refugees identified as "other religion," and one as having "no religion."

The drawn-out and complex Syrian civil war, which began with a crackdown on dissent in March 2011, has seen numerous act of terror and evident war crimes committed by the Assad regime and its allies, Islamist extremists and other combatants. Millions of Syrians have fled their homeland.

Obama announced last fall that the U.S. would admit 10,000 refugees from Syria during the fiscal year -- a six-fold increase from the total 1,682 admissions in FY 2015, which in turn was up from a mere 105 in FY 2014 and 36 in FY 2013.

The initiative took off slowly and by the end of January -- one-third of the way through FY 2016 -- only 841 Syrian refugees had been admitted.

Then in February the State Department set up a refugee resettlement "surge" center in Amman, Jordan, drastically reducing application processing times.

Between February and April, Department of Homeland Security officers carried out interviews in Jordan with around 12,000 Syrian refugee applicants referred by the U.N. refugee agency, Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard told a briefing earlier this month. She described the screening as "rigorous and exhaustive."

The number of Syrian refugees admitted since the start of FY 2016 has increased significantly since June. (Data: State Department Refugee Processing Center / Graph: CNSNews.com)

The "surge" saw the pace of admissions gradually quicken: After just 330 admissions in March and 451 in April, the number jumped to 1,069 in May, 2,406 in June and 2,340 in July.

So far, August has brought a further 2,351 Syrian refugee admissions, but by month's end on Wednesday the number is expected to exceed 2,600, surpassing June's monthly record high.

And if the admissions continue at a similar pace, by the time FY 2016 ends on September 30 the year's total could well exceed 11,000.

‘Religious test'

From the outset, Obama's proposal drew strong criticism from Republican governors and lawmakers, citing security concerns and fears that radical groups could use the refugee program to infiltrate terrorists into the country -- as has occurred in Europe.

Some criticism focused on the miniscule proportion among the successful applicants who are Christians, Yazidis, or members of other minorities that have borne the brunt of atrocities carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) -- atrocities which the administration has determined amount to genocide. A Syrian Christian leader estimates that at least one million Christians have fled the country since the conflict began.

Among those calling for greater priority to be given to Christians were former GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, while Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced legislation designed to give priority status to members of religious minorities fleeing persecution at the hands of ISIS or other groups.

Administration officials have largely dismissed the criticism, arguing that an exceptionally tough screening process applies to applicants for refugee status from Syria.

In the case of appeals for more non-Muslims to be included among those admitted; the administration has characterized the calls as un-American.

"When individuals say we should have a religious test and that only Christians, proven Christians, should be admitted, that's offensive and contrary to American values," Obama said last fall.

In fact, most prominent figures raising the issue have not argued for "only Christians" to be admitted, but rather that as a directly targeted minority, a larger number should be admitted than has been the case.

About 10 percent of Syria's population is Christian, but fewer than 0.5 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. in FY 2016 are Christians. Over the entire civil war, the proportion of Christians admitted to the U.S. is just 0.8 percent (95 out of a total of 11,775).

Around 74 percent of Syrians are Sunnis, yet the proportion of Sunnis among the Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. in FY 2016 is 98.2 percent, and the proportion since the conflict began in March 2011 is 97.2 percent (11,445 of a total of 11,775).

Obama is due to an international refugee summit at the U.N. in New York in September. He is also expected next month to announce his plans for refugee admissions in FY 2017.

Assistant Secretary Richards said this month she expect the U.S. to "continue to welcome large numbers of Syrians" in FY 2017, but said it was too early to talk about target numbers.

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Related:  Obama wants to "ramp up" commitment to admitting Syrian "refugees"

Obama plans to release every last Islamist from Gitmo and import as many "refugees" as he can. Americans will die as a result and Obama couldn't care less.

As an aside, it's amazing how efficient the federal government can be when it's motivated.


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Beckwith

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"Obama's leftist lens"

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Obama doesn't want to say "Islamic Terrorism."  It's obvious he doesn't want to condemn Islam in any form. He'd much rather attack the 2nd Amendment and "bitter clingers."

Looking through his liberal lens Obama wants to make sure the focus and blame always goes to conservatives or Christians, who progressives call "racist" and "hater" -- especially conservative Christian gun owners. Obama uses the lens to help him to avoid looking at a harsh reality -- Islamic terrorists DO exist. They are created in part due to the policies of Barack Obama.

Most Muslims want Sharia Law which is not compatible with the U. S. Constitution. Yet Obama wants to import tens of thousands.

Americans are fed up with excuses, obfuscation and lies told by leaders who refuse to connect with reality. Americans are sick and tired of being called "racist" or other names simply because we don't want to import people who won't assimilate into our culture.

It's time to put down the leftist lens when viewing reality.



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Beckwith

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No refuge for the victims of jihadist genocide

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Joseph Klein (FrontPage) is reporting that Team Obama is rapidly accelerating its admission and resettlement of Syrian refugees.  The administration is well on its way to meeting its target of taking 10,000 Syrians into the country by the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th.  In the first five months of 2016, 2,099 Syrian refugees have been admitted, compared with 2,192 for the whole of 2015, according to a report by CNS News. However, only a very tiny percentage are Christians, a beleaguered minority who are facing genocide in their home country. Clearly, Barack Obama is immorally discriminating against Christian Syrian refugees.

"Out of the 2,099 Syrian refugees admitted so far this year, six (0.28 percent) are Christians," CNS reported.  Ten (0.3 percent) are Yazidis. Over 99 percent are Muslims, andhe trend line is worsening as the year progresses.  Last month, only two Christians (0.19 percent) were admitted compared to 1,035 Muslims.

Christians are estimated to have made up approximately ten percent of the total Syrian population at the outset of the conflict in Syria, according to the CIA Factbook. As Christians have come under attack by both the regime and jihadist groups, including ISIS, the Christian population in Syria has declined. 

Patrick Sookhdeo, the founder and international director of the charity group the Barnabas Fund, which has worked to rescue Syrian Christians, said: "In Aleppo, to give you one illustration, there used to be 400,000 Christians four years ago. Today there may be between 45,000 and 65,000." 

Yet, according to data compiled by the U.S. State Department Refugee Processing Center, only 47 Syrian Christians have been admitted to the United States in all that time -- slightly over 1 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees admitted. The current rate of Christian admissions is running far below even that miniscule level. 

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines the crime of genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group." 

After receiving significant pressure, the Obama administration finally yielded to the obvious. Secretary of State John Kerry declared last March that the Islamic State has been committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the Middle East. 

Note that while Kerry included Shiite Muslims on his list of ISIS's genocide victims, Sunni Muslims were not included. Nor should they be, considering the fact that ISIS jihadists are themselves Sunni Muslims. Al Qaeda jihadists are Sunni Muslims. The ideology of Wahhabism fueling the jihadists' reign of terror, exported by Saudi Arabia, is of Sunni Muslim origin.  

Therefore, one would think that Christians and other targeted minorities would receive preference for refugee status in the United States, not Sunni Muslims. Think again. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, approximately 96% of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States by the Obama administration have been Sunni Muslims. 

Obama sharply criticized the suggestion that persecuted Christians be given preference for admission as refugees.   He said that "when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that's shameful."  Obama added: "That's not American, it's not who we are." 

It is Obama's Syrian refugee policy that is both "shameful" and "not American." It has amounted to what is in effect a "religious test," vastly favoring the one group of migrants from Syria who needs refugee protection the least– Sunni Muslims. Moreover, some of these Sunni Muslims are bringing their Wahhabi jihadist ideology with them.

Whatever self-righteous statements Obama, Pope Francis and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon make regarding the moral responsibility of Western nations to admit many more refugees, there is no moral imperative to commit cultural suicide. That is perhaps why the Dali Lama warned a German newspaper this week that "too many" refugees from the Middle East and North Africa are heading into Europe. He knows of the problems Buddhists have been having with their own Muslim populations. He is also aware of the history of many Buddhist countries that were converted to Islam, including Afghanistan where invading Muslims overran the native Buddhist and Hindu populations.

We don't even have to look as far as Europe to see what can happen to a culture under the increasing influence of Islamization. For example, the Muslim population in Canada is growing faster than that of any other religion. A majority of Muslims already living in Canada have favored being able to live under some form of sharia law, and a number of local governments have made accommodations in that direction. 

Now enters the Barack Obama of Canada, Justin Trudeau, as Canada's new prime minister. His Liberal government is hoping to admit 50,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. 25,000 Syrian refugees have been admitted in just four months.  Trudeau also appointed Member of Parliament and senior adviser Omar Alghabra, a sharia law supporter who has denied that Hamas is a terrorist group, as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Alghabra was born in Saudi Arabia, but emigrated to Canada from Syria several decades ago. 

While Trudeau's predecessor Stephen Harper had prioritized the admission of persecuted Christians, Yazidis and Kurds, Trudeau said that he will "absolutely not" continue that practice. He and Obama are in sync that saving persecuted Christians from an ongoing genocide is less important than reaching out to Muslim refugees as proof of the country's diversity and inclusiveness. When the two leaders met at the White House last March, they were effusive in mutual admiration for each other's compassion towards the refugees. However, they are oblivious to the enhanced security risk to both countries they have created.

For example, some of the recently arrived refugees in Canada were welcomed last February with a call for jihad by the Imam of a Muslim congregation in Edmonton, Alberta, who was previously a "scholar" at al-Azhar theological school in Egypt: 

"O Allah! Strengthen the mujahideen [jihad fighters in the path of Allah] everywhere, make their hearts firm and strong, let them hit their targets, give them victory over their enemies.

"O Allah! Destroy the oppressors.

"O Allah! Destroy your enemies, the enemies of religion (Islam)."

The Obama-Trudeau policy of opening doors widely to Muslim refugees, while allowing hardly a crack to open for the Christian and Yazidi victims of jihadi-inspired genocide, is risky, to be sure. It is also immoral.


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beadaniel

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Reply with quote  #17 
This is so wrong on so many fronts.  Obama and his allies hate Christians.  This is seen not only in Hobby Lobby, but in Little Sisters of the Poor, the denial of Syrian Christians to be refugees, his treatment of Israel, the silent approval of the murder of Coptic Christians, to name a few.  Periodically he will do something to mask this underlying hatred, but the truth is in the total picture, both in this country and abroad.
beadaniel

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Reply with quote  #18 
This is so wrong on so many fronts.  Obama and his allies hate Christians.  This is seen not only in Hobby Lobby, but in Little Sisters of the Poor, the denial of Syrian Christians denial to be refugees, his treatment of Israel, the silent approval of the murder of Coptic Christians, to name a few.  Periodically he will do something to mask this underlying hatred, but the truth is in the total picture, both in this country and abroad.
Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #19 

Hobby Lobby to close 500 stores in 41 states

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Jim Clayton (CNSNews) is reporting that arts and crafts and home decor retailer Hobby Lobby may be forced to close all its' stores all because of the Obama administration's law that says they must provide abortion causing drugs in their insurance policy. Hobby Lobby has always been a Christian organization that pays their employees very well (80% above minimum wage to start) and gives them honorable benefits, but now thanks to Obama all that will come to an end. Now all those employees will lose their jobs. Thanks Obama.

A government should not force people to go against their beliefs. It's one thing if you are a baker or florist who doesn't want to serve a gay couple etc. because that is none of their concern, but to force a company to provide abortion inducing drugs is quite the opposite in my book.

David Green the owner of Hobby Lobby recently posted the following letter on his Facebook page and sent it to all his employees so I 'll let him explain the situation. I report, you decide.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word.

From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do.

We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest.

We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that.

A new government healthcare mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.

Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs.

It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.

If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy.

Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running.

Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true.

The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business.

We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult.

The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.

The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.

Since you will not see this in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.

Sincerely,

 David Green
 CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.


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Obama wants to force Christian nuns to pay for abortions

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Conor Beck (LifeNews) says that as a general rule, one is typically on the wrong side of the issue if they are fighting against a group of nuns providing care for the elderly and poor. "One," in this case, is unsurprisingly the Obama Administration.

The pending U.S. Supreme Court case Zubik v. Burwell involves the Catholic charity the Little Sister of the Poor and other religious organizations' desire to not provide services in their health plans that violate their religious beliefs. Namely, this includes free access to contraceptive drugs, including some that may cause abortions.

The Obama Administration claims that they include a workaround that should satisfy objectors, but the religious groups are not buying it. New evidence makes it appear that the administration has little interest in finding a solution that satisfies the religious organizations.

The Washington Post details some of Professor Michael McConnell's thoughts about new developments in the case. After oral arguments, in a rare move, the Supreme Court ordered both sides to submit supplemental briefs to entertain potentially less restrictive alternatives to Obama's current contraception mandate.

The government's response to the court request was long-winded, unclear and unhelpful. In sharp contrast, the petitioners for the religious groups said in response to whether a possible solution exists, "The answer to that question is clear and simple: Yes."

McConnell says in his case against the government's position: "I continue to think that the best accommodation is to allow petitioners' employees to do what the millions of other Americans without access to employer plans covering contraceptive do: buy a plan from an ObamaCare exchange, with the same subsidies everyone else gets. The government has never explained why this is not a sensible solution to this problem."

The government exempted a number of big companies from the mandate, but it refuses to provide exemptions or special accommodations for these religious groups.

Yuval Levin writes in National Review, "It's important to see that the Obama Administration picked this fight." He argues that Obama deliberately did this to stir up a cultural fight over a problem that is not an actual problem.

It says something unfortunate that the administration chose to pursue a case so weak, all in the effort to prevent religious organizations from helping the vulnerable.


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Atheists lose their case but still demand the destruction of memorial

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Bob Unruh (WND) is reporting that the World War I memorial known as Bladensburg's Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, is under attack from atheists and Muslims.

A coalition of atheists that lost a fight against a cross-shaped memorial in Prince George's County, Maryland, to 49 World War I soldiers still demands that the site be demolished.

The American Legion is defending the 40-foot-tall cross at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1 in Bladensburg as an honor to the soldiers.

To destroy it would be to "exhibit a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause tradition," contends a new brief filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by First Liberty Institute on behalf of the legion and others.

The case centers on the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial, which has been a target of the American Human Association and others for several years because of its shape: a Latin cross.

The AHA, joined by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, claimed in district court that the memorial violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But a federal judge decided the claim was nonsense and upheld the rights of the state to maintain the memorial.

"This veterans memorial has stood in honor of the fallen for almost 100 years and should be allowed to stand for 100 years more," Noel Francisco, lead counsel for the American Legion said earlier in the case. "We stand ready to defend the memorial and the men it honors against this meritless attack."

"The humanist group is facing an uphill battle on this appeal," said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute. "After a thorough analysis of the facts and the law, the court was clear that the memorial is completely lawful. We are confident the Fourth Circuit will agree and uphold the constitutionality of this historic veterans memorial."

The 40-foot-tall Latin cross rises at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1 in Bladensburg.

It was proposed by a community group at the time of World War I and later completed by the American Legion to contain a plaque listing the names of 49 men from Prince George's County who died in the conflict.

The ownership of the site had changed hands several times. And the court found it wasn't yet clear who owned it at certain points. But Judge Deborah Chasanow said that didn't matter, as WND previously reported.

The judge applied U.S. Supreme Court precedent and found that the disputed location has a secular purpose, meaning its primary effect does not support or oppose religion and it does not excessively entangle the state in religion.

In a new brief submitted to the 4th Circuit, lawyers working for the memorial said the cross is an internationally recognized symbol honoring men who gave their lives in World War I.

Shackelford said the American Humanist Association "is using the First Amendment to attack a 90-year-old veterans memorial simply because it is in the shape of a cross."

"That is sad and that is not the law," he said. "We must protect these memorials and other monuments that honor our nation's military heroes."

The new filing submitted to the 4th Circuit explained the purpose and reason for the shape from one of the original sponsors, Mrs. Martin Redman, who in 1920 said: "The chief reason I feel so deeply in this matter, my son, William F. Redman, lost his life in France and because of that I feel that our memorial cross is, in a way, his grave stone."

The brief points out that the builders chose the cross shape but "not out of religious motivation" and specifically to represent the wooden crosses under which the fallen soldiers were buried overseas.

"A reasonable objective observer, acquainted with the purpose, content, setting, and history of the memorial, would understand that the commission's highway expansion purpose was mundanely secular; that the original builders chose the cross shape for the memorial not out of religious motivations, but specifically to recall the foreign grave makers of their fallen loved ones; that because of those grave markers, the cross shape became an internationally recognized symbol uniquely associated with WWI; that the builders did not merely erect a cross, but also included secular, commemorative symbols; that the memorial has only ever been used for commemorative purposes; that the community has only ever regarded the memorial as a WWI memorial; and that the memorial stood for 90 years without complaint before plaintiffs initiated this litigation."

The site came under government control because although it was built on private land, the local highways over the years expanded to the point the state thought safety issues were significant enough to take control of the site, which is now in a median.

"The AHA's arguments boil down to a claim that the memorial's employment of a cross shape should inevitably lead to its unconstitutionality. This is simply not the law," the brief argued. "The memorial was built as a memorial, it has only ever been used as a memorial, and it has always been regarded by the community as a memorial. The Establishment Clause does not require the court to reach into this community and tear out a cherished landmark."

While atheist groups for years have been opposing any public images of a cross, the cooperation of Islam-promoting CAIR makes for strange bedfellows.


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Killing Christianity in America

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Fay Voshell (AmericanThinker) says the secular extremism characterizing much of the contemporary political scene sometimes makes it hard to realize Christianity was once the primary motivating force behind the great human rights movements of America.  

Men and women of faith fought for decades to achieve victory over the great human rights issue of the 19th century -- freeing the slaves. The issue of slavery had festered from the time of its introduction into the colonies in 1619. It would be Pennsylvanian Quakers, who believed in the inner light of conscience, who filed the first formal protest against slavery in 1688.

Abolitionists fought ferociously because of their unyielding and undying belief that all human beings were made in the image of God and were entitled to equal protection under the law. Bolstered by the constitutionally guaranteed rights stated clearly in the first amendment of the American constitution, they fought to end slavery and to guarantee equality of all human beings before the law.

The roots of that great reform movement as well as many of the continuing reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries -- including the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s -- were profoundly Christian.

How radically things have changed.

Now, at the inception of the twenty-first century, constitutionally guaranteed rights of the exercise of faith and religious freedoms are jeopardized by a sex cult that has borrowed but completely distorted the underlying principles of the abolitionist movement and its heir, the Civil Rights movement.

The radical fringe of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s coincided and was parallel with the Civil Rights movement, gradually poisoning and then determining to kill outright the Christian religious conscience that was and still is the backbone of reform in America. The radicals behind the sexual revolution substituted in the place of Christian conscience answerable to God a militant view of self-determination that held to no god but the inner god of human will and power.

In an astonishing perversion of the Quaker idea of the inner voice of conscience answerable to God, the inner voice of the individual human being was determined to be infallible in matters of sex and practice -- "If it feels good; do it." What any individual believed to be his or her inner voice granted unqualified authority to remold the world according to the latest revolutionary fatwa concerning sexual freedom.

Over a period of a few decades, activists for the LGBT movement transitioned steadily from their initial demands for equal protection under the law to demands for gay marriage, to denaturing the very construct of humanity by insisting on a gender free society, to promoting the right to force society at large to accept as infallible an individual's ability to discern and to declare one's self to be whatever sex one chooses.

To put it another way, the LGBT agenda will brook no contradiction from the rest of us mere mortals to argue about the inerrant inner light of the gods and goddesses who declare themselves to have divine ability to transform themselves into any sex they wish to be. The "right" to be or not to be man or woman resulted in the fanatical demand that bathrooms must be retrofitted to conform to "gender free" standards, meaning that in practice either sex could use public facilities as they wished, including those who are physically men but believe themselves to be women.

But even victories in the bathroom bill fights have not been enough for radicals. Encouraged by the recent decision of the Supreme Court ratifying a pillar of the LGBT movement; namely, the constitutional "right" of same sex couples to marry, the movement has set its sights on destroying Christianity itself. By insisting that no minister or priest can refuse to marry gay couples, and by asserting no organization or institution, including churches, can refuse to hire people diametrically opposed to Christian beliefs, the LGBT movement reveals itself to be a cult radically and viciously antithetical to Christianity.

And, yes, it is a cult.

A basic definition of a cult is an organization whose beliefs are so far separated from the real world, that if society were to incorporate those beliefs, it too, would go mad. Therefore, insane beliefs completely divorced from the ground of being can only be established by force of law and strategies utilizing persecution aimed at eventual elimination of entities in opposition to those beliefs.

The result is that open war has been declared on Christianity in America.

For proof of that war, we need only to look at the mad consequences we now observe in Georgia, where the governor of that state has vetoed a bill that would have offered absolutely minimal protection to ministers and churches. World Magazine reports:

"Claiming the bill would 'give rise to state-sanctioned discrimination,' Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal today vetoed a law that would have provided legal protection for pastors, faith-based organizations, and business owners who, in good conscience, refused to service gay weddings. The veto leaves Georgians with no statewide religious liberty protection and vulnerable to lawsuits over belief in the biblical definition of marriage."

Apparently completely ignorant of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's clear statement of religious protection, the governor added: "In light of our history, I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask government to confer upon them certain rights and protections."

Let that sink in.

In an era in which our Secretary of State has finally admitted genocide is being committed against unprotected Christians in the Middle East, the governor of Georgia says religious communities don't need the government to confer rights and protections on people of faith.

Irony of ironies, Nathan Deal is a Southern Baptist -- a Southern Baptist who just gave over his own denomination to corporations for thirty pieces of silver. That his own church holds such retrograde and discriminatory positions as marriage being a covenant between a man and a woman and that the scriptures hold very pronounced views on sexual behavior seem to come as a surprise to Governor Deal.

But they do not surprise Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, and stalwart defender of orthodox Christian views on the sexes and marriage. One wonders if Deal -- what a perfect name -- is prepared to see Dr. Mohler sued and hauled away to jail for advocacy of orthodox Christian doctrine concerning marriage and sexual mores.

Certainly Deal's capitulation to corporations and the LGBT radicals helps explain why a plurality of Georgian evangelicals, among them Southern Baptists, voted for shameless secularist Donald Trump. Apparently neither Deal nor the plurality of so-called evangelicals think faith and Christian doctrine have anything to say about the character of candidates who wish to lead a nation or about radical policies antithetical to and aimed directly at Christians.

The leftist rage directed at American Christians should come as no particular surprise.

Historically, the Left has always sought to eviscerate and even to eliminate Christianity. The all-out assault on Christians in America by the Left resembles the wars socialism and communism waged against Christianity, the most obvious example being is the attempt of the communist Soviet Union to bury Russian Orthodoxy.

A less noted example, yet a clear provider of an almost exact pattern of what is happening here in the U.S., is the persecution of Mexican Roman Catholics by radical socialists during the Cristero war of the 1920s. During that war, Mexican socialists sought to eliminate Christianity from Mexico, which at the time was 95% Catholic.

For over 70 years, from about 1917 onwards, the Roman Catholic Church was actually outlawed. It was not allowed to own property, run parochial schools or convents or monasteries. Foreign priests were deported, and many native priests killed outright. The Church was not allowed to defend itself publicly or in the courts.

As Catholic Gene writes:

[The Church] was hardly allowed to exist. According to historian Jim Tuck, "This was not separation of church and state: it was complete subordination of church to state".

"It was not until 1992 that the Church was restored as a legal entity in Mexico. During the period of the strictest enforcement of these draconian laws beginning with the rule of President Calles in the late 1920s, Mexicans were often imprisoned for wearing religious items, saying "Adios" in public (which literally means "with God"), or even questioning the laws. Public worship was a crime punishable by hanging or firing squad."

The Mexican Constitution of 1917 included the following restrictions on Catholics:

"According to the religious liberties established under article 24, educational services shall be secular and, therefore, free of any religious orientation. The educational services shall be based on scientific progress and shall fight against ignorance, ignorance's effects, servitudes, fanaticism and prejudice… All religious associations organized according to article 130 and its derived legislation, shall be authorized to acquire, possess or manage just the necessary assets to achieve their objectives... The rules established at this article are guided by the historical principle according to which the State and the churches are separated entities from each other. Churches and religious congregations shall be organized under the law."

The new constitution obligated the registration of all churches, declared all priests and ministers were ineligible to hold state office; and stated they could not advocate on behalf of any political parties or candidates. The State would regulate the number of priests in designated regions and no priests could wear religious garb in public. Nor could religious ceremonies be conducted outdoors without strict regulation by the State.

One needs only to read the restrictions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 to recognize a similar pattern of persecution and restrictions against churches and people of faith in the United States, land of the free.

In retrospect Christians, at least partially, have only themselves to blame, as they have yielded time and again to state intrusions and restrictions with only sporadic guerilla warfare. On the whole, Christians have reacted to anti-Christian decrees and restrictions such as the SCOTUS decree on abortion, the elimination of Christianity from public schools, and the muzzling of priests and pastors concerning politics by retreating into a subculture.

As the attacks ratchet up, Christians urgently need to understand continued capitulation to the demands of the radicals who are pushing for the fringe demands of the LGBT movement means the death of religious freedom in America. It also means a cult's radical doctrines replace Christian mores.

Are Christians in America prepared to see their pastors sued and/or sent to jail, their children continued to be subject to indoctrination in public schools, their state and federal governments continue to kowtow to extremists determined to eradicate the influence of religion; the free exercise of religion in the public square eliminated; Christians consigned to what would essentially be a caste system, with people of faith considered untouchables who are not worthy of public office or even employment?

If they are not prepared to strongly confront a cult's takeover of America's governments, churches, and major institutions; if they wish to see Christianity once again regain its status as a major influence for societal reform; if they want to once again see Christianity as salt and light in the society in which they live, they have no choice but to stand and fight.

Otherwise, the Church in America will die.


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Obama fails to issue statement on the murder of Christians in Pakistan

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Keith Koffler (WhiteHouseDossier) is reporting that a faction of the Islamist Taliban claimed credit Sunday for a horrific Easter attack against Christians in Pakistan that killed at least 65 people and wounded more than 300.

Barack Obama failed to issue a statement on the bombing, leaving the job instead to a spokesman for the National Security Council. The White House statement did not mention the religious motivation behind the bombing. Obama refuses to describe terrorism as "Islamist" and seeks to minimize or ignore the religious motivations behind Islamist attacks.

A bomb was set off near the children’s rides in a park in the city of Lahore. The park was filled with members of Pakistan’s minority Christian community celebrating Easter. A spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar told the Associated Press that a suicide bomber with the faction deliberately targeted the Christian community.

Many Christians in Pakistan say the government does little to protect them, failing take serious steps to improve their security, according to Reuters.

The death toll is expected to climb. Witnesses described a gruesome scene at the park with women and children standing in pools of blood and body parts strewn about the ground.

Obama and his family made a rare appearance in church Sunday, attending services in Alexandria, Virginia.



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Obama's foreign policy empowers jihadis and kills Christians

CBN News recently interviewed Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the Center, about his article How U.S. Foreign Policy Made 2015 the “Worst Year in Modern History for Christian Persecution.”  The five-minute video interview follows:


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Barack Obama needs more evidence to determine if ISIS is committing genocide

Update: Team Obama calls it genocide!

Note: Obama's State Department had today as a deadline to identify ISIS's atrocities as genocide.

Pamela Geller says the The mountain of skulls is not enough.

The wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Middle East is not enough.

Obama is as culpable as ISIS. He armed them. He covered for them, and he is still covering for them.

Christianity has been wiped out of Muslim countries in the Middle East. The only country they are safe in is Israel, so why won't Obama designate it genocide? Because this evil clown thinks it will tarnish his "stellar" legacy. That and it might reflect poorly on Islam, God forbid. What a lowlife.

I can assure you that in ten years, twenty years time, when people say Obama's name, they'll spit.

"Kerry Needs More Evidence to Determine Genocide by ISIS and Assad," Aaron Kliegman, Free Beacon, Mar. 16, 2016:

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State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday that his boss, Secretary of State John Kerry, needs more evidence to determine if the Islamic State has committed genocide with its slaughter of thousands of innocents throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Congress had set Kerry a deadline of March 17 to officially determine whether atrocities committed by ISIS constitute genocide, but Toner told reporters during the State Department’s daily press briefing that the department will not have a decision by that date.

"Determining these kinds of legal definitions, such as genocide and crimes against humanity, require a very detailed, rigorous legal analysis," Toner said. "[Kerry] is a lawyer, and, of course, that’s going to weigh into [how he makes his decision]."

"There are a lot of lawyers on [Captiol] Hill, too," Associated Press reporter Matt Lee said in response, referring to the House of Representatives unanimously voting 393-0 on Monday to pass a resolution labeling the barbarity ISIS has perpetrated against Christians and other religious minority groups in the Middle East as "genocide."

Toner clarified that his "only point is that he [Kerry] wants to base his decision on the best evidence available, and he has requested additional evidence, information, in order to [do so]."

"It just seems like there is a lot of evidence already out there," Lee said in response.

The international community has decried ISIS’ slaughter and enslavement of anyone who does not submit to its uncompromising brand of Sunni Islam, killing Muslims as well as other religious and ethnic groups.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum determined last year in a report that ISIS is guilty of carrying out genocide against the Yazidi religious minority in northern Iraq, a term the museum rarely uses.

"We believe Islamic State has been and is perpetrating genocide against the Yazidi people," the report says. "Islamic State’s stated intent and patterns of violence against Shia Shabak and Shia Turkmen also raise concerns about the commission and risk of genocide against these groups."

The jihadist group has also carried out brutal violence against Christians and other groups, with Muslims making up the highest number of its victims.

The European Parliament voted last month to describe ISIS’ atrocities in Iraq and Syria as genocide.

There has been some debate as to whether using the term "genocide" with ISIS in an official capacity would legally obligate the U.S. to take further action against the jihadist group, which some people have argued is why the Obama administration is reluctant to do so.

Toner made clear at Monday’s press briefing that no legal requirement comes with using the term, but he stressed the international community has an obligation under the United Nations to stop crimes against humanity and other such atrocities like the ones being committed by ISIS.

In addition to the resolution on genocide passed Monday, the House also voted 392-3 to pass a measure calling for the creation of an international tribunal to try the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for war crimes.

Assad triggered the Syrian civil war in 2011 by slaughtering his own people for peacefully protesting his authoritarian rule. He has since waged a war against the Syrian people who formed an opposition in response, resulting thus far in about 400,000 deaths and the displacement of millions of others.

Assad has received help from Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Russia to stay in power.

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