American Christians may not see eye-to-eye on the justness or wisdom of their government’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but one thing on which they should be able to agree — because the facts are indisputable — is that the wars have been devastating for their coreligionists in those countries. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, including members of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have either fled from or been killed in Iraq since 2003. Now, according to the U.S. State Department, the situation for Christians in Afghanistan has become so dire that not a single church remains in that country.
CNSNews.com quotes the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for the second half of 2010:
There is no longer a public Christian church; the courts have not upheld the church's claim to its 99-year lease, and the landowner destroyed the building in March . [Private] chapels and churches for the international community of various faiths are located on several military bases, PRTs [Provincial Reconstruction Teams], and at the Italian embassy. Some citizens who converted to Christianity as refugees have returned.
Furthermore, says the report, “there were no Christian schools in the country.”
House bill H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, would end ObamaCare abortion funding and restore the conscience clause.
Homosexual activists continue to target Wheaton College, one of America’s most high-profile evangelical schools, most recently during the college’s annual homecoming celebration. According to the Chicago Tribune, on the evening of October 7, while other Wheaton students and alumni were involved in legitimate homecoming activities, hundreds of “gay and lesbian Wheaton College alumni, students, staff, and supporters” assembled at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in nearby Glen Ellyn, in the latest effort to force Wheaton College officials to concede that homosexual activity is compatible with the Christian faith — something the school’s administration has thus far been unwilling to do.
Reported the Tribune: “For the first time, members of OneWheaton, the recently formed group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender alumni, and allies of that community, met near the Wheaton campus to enjoy a concert from Christian singer Jennifer Knapp [a Christian singer who says she is now a lesbian] and lead a discussion about being gay and Christian.” The evening featured a panel of four openly homosexual Wheaton alumni who “answered questions from the audience and shared personal testimony about what it was like to struggle with questions about self-identity at a college where students sign a covenant that condemns homosexual behavior,” reported the Tribune.
A new study published in the October issue of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy confirms what thousands of former homosexuals know first hand: individuals tormented by unwanted same-sex attraction can change. The study, conducted by psychologists Stanton L. Jones of Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of Regent University, followed the progress over several years of 98 individuals (72 men, 26 women) seeking to change their sexual orientation through involvement in programs affiliated with Exodus International, a noted ministry for those wishing to leave homosexuality. Of the 61 subjects who completed the study and were “successfully categorized for general outcome,” noted a press release on the project, 53 percent were determined by Exodus International’s evaluation to have had successful outcomes from the religious-based therapy. “Specifically,” noted the researchers, “23% of the subjects reported success in the form of successful ‘conversion’ to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while an additional 30% reported stable behavioral chastity with substantive dis-identification with homosexual orientation.” Only 20 percent of the subjects “reported giving up on the change process and fully embracing gay identity,” found the study.
The researchers noted that, by and large, the “professional world” of psychology and psychiatry “proclaims that it is impossible to change sexual orientation, particularly homosexual orientation, and that the attempt to change sexual orientation is commonly and inherently harmful.” For example, they noted, “for many years the Public Affairs website of the American Psychological Association stated:
Genetic scientists at the New York Stem Cell Foundation lab claimed a major breakthrough in early October, reporting that for the first time they had used cloning techniques to produce embryonic stem cells which contain the genes of specific individuals. “The cells weren’t normal,” the Los Angeles Times explained — ”they contained three sets of chromosomes: two from the adult cell and an extra from the egg. They would not be fit for use in stem cell therapies.” Nonetheless, continued the report, the controversial creation “marked a first in stem cell research and may point the way toward treatments for diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”
One fellow stem cell researcher, Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California-San Diego, applauded the news, telling the Washington Post: “I think it will teach us a lot of how to control the generation of all the different cell types that we would like to study and use for therapy. I think it’s a really exciting development.”
But Daniel P. Sulmasy, a professor of medicine and ethics at the University of Chicago, pointed out that the researchers were toying with human life, a troubling reality. “They have created human embryos,” Sulmasy told the Washington Post.
For the past three weeks, protestors of various stripes have made their way to New York City’s Financial District as part of the movement known as “Occupy Wall Street,” a self-described “people-powered movement for democracy inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprisings.” Democratic Party bigwigs such as Al Sharpton, former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and countless other elected officials have lent their support to the cause, which has also merited the participation of numerous labor unions, and a host of socialist, communist, and other radical leftist political parties and groups, including the International ANSWER Coalition (which has demonstrably provided much support and strategic input to the Islamist and communist forces protesting in Cairo).
In addition, however, the Occupy Wall Street movement has also included a fair deal of anti-semitic protesters, who rely on classically leftist and communist anti-semitic arguments associating Jews with capitalism, and who are informed by the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian rhetoric espoused by those leftist coalitions fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.
As the protests enter their fourth week, centered around Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, several videos of protesters spewing anti-semitic rhetoric have surfaced, sparking new concerns about the groups and ideological positions represented at the protests.
Among those who have been disappointed by President Barack Obama, none is likely to end up so painfully disappointed as those who saw his election as being, in itself and in its consequences, a movement toward a "post-racial society."
Like so many other expectations that so many people projected onto this little-known man who suddenly burst onto the political scene, the expectation of movement toward a post-racial society had no speck of hard evidence behind it — and all too many ignored indications of the very opposite, including his two decades of association with the egregious Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Those people of good will who want to replace the racism of the past with a post-racial society have too often overlooked the fact that there are others who instead want to put racism under new management, to have reverse discrimination as racial payback for past injustices.
Attorney General Eric Holder became a key figure epitomizing the view that government's role in racial matters was not to be an impartial dispenser of equal justice for all, but to be a racial partisan and an organ of racial payback. He has been too politically savvy to say that in so many words, but his actions have spoken far louder than any words.
More than 2,000 Christian U.S. military chaplains have joined their Catholic colleagues in refusing to perform wedding ceremonies for homosexual soldiers who want to “marry” their partners. According to CNSNews.com, the evangelical and Orthodox chaplains are part of the newly formed Chaplain Alliance for Liberty, which will not allow member clergy “to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies under any circumstances.”
Dr. Ron Crews, executive director of the group, said chaplains are concerned about the implications of the September 30 directive that allows military clergy to perform same-sex “wedding” ceremonies. The Pentagon memorandum stated: “A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law.” The memo added that “a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion.”
Crews, a former chaplain with 28 years of service, told CNSNews: “By dishonestly sanctioning the use of federal facilities for ‘marriage counterfeits’ that federal law and the vast majority of Americans have rejected, the Pentagon has launched a direct assault on the fundamental unit of society—husband and wife.”
The military regime ruling Egypt is under fire after it responded to weekend protests by Coptic Christians in Cairo with deadly force, leaving hundreds wounded and dozens dead. An official investigation is ongoing.
Following another church attack last week blamed on Islamist extremists, Christian activists marched to the state-run TV station headquarters in the capital. The demonstrators were demanding government protection from Muslim attacks and the resignation or firing of a provincial governor.
“Down, down, Field Marshal Tantawi!” the protesters were also reportedly chanting, calling for the Egyptian regime’s chief to step down. Then the situation spiraled out of control.
According to news reports, thugs in civilian clothing unleashed a wave of violence against the Christians using swords, clubs, and other weapons. The government then sent armored personnel carriers and mowed down dozens of protesters. At least 25 were killed, probably more — some crushed under tanks, others shot.
Three months after a change to its denominational constitution went into effect, the Presbyterian Church-USA (PCUSA) ordained its first openly homosexual minister. Scott Anderson, 56, who had left the Presbyterian ministry back in 1990 after revealing to his California congregation that he was homosexual, “was welcomed back into the church leadership [October 9] as its first openly gay ordained minister,” reported the Associated Press.
Hundreds of friends and supporters gathered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, to witness the occasion. “To the thousands of Presbyterians who have worked and prayed for almost 40 years for this day, I give thanks,” Anderson told the crowd. “And I give thanks for those who disagree with what we’re doing today, yet who know that we are one in Jesus Christ.”
Anderson selected the Rev. Mark Achtemeier to deliver the sermon at his ordination. “Achtemeier used to be one of the most vocal opponents of gay ordination,” reported the AP, “but he announced a complete turnaround after friendships with gay Christians prompted him to re-evaluate scriptural teachings about homosexuality.”