Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Catholic bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

WashingtonTimes

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.

The revised paragraph had said “people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy.” But the paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod — whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion — also failed to pass.

It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The revised paragraph had deleted the words of acceptance of gays’ sexual orientation and acknowledgement that gay unions can provide “precious support” to partners that had been contained in the draft.

Francis insisted in the name of transparency that the full document — including the paragraphs that failed to pass — be published along with the voting tally. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October.

The Savage Lands of Islam

DanielGreenfield

There are two Islams. The real Islam of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and an imaginary Islam that exists only in the mosques of air and card table Korans of academics apologists and political pundits who have decided that Islam cannot be bad, because no religion can be bad, not even one which kills and kills, it must just be misunderstood.

But then why not tell the Grand Mufti that he has misunderstood his own religion, the religion that he and his ancestors have dedicated themselves to purifying and reforming back to its roots? Telling him that would be a dangerous thing on his own turf, but it would also be foolish. The Grand Mufti’s controversial statements contain nothing that Mohammed had not said.

Can the founder of a religion misunderstand his own teachings?

Islam is savage, intolerant, cruel and expansionistic, not due to a misunderstanding, but an understanding of the worst aspects of human nature. It is what it is and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise.

We have opened the door to the desert and a hot wind blows through into the northern climes. Either we shut the door or get used to living in the Saudi desert.

Oh, really Barry?

Obama defines US as “Muslim Country”

A few days ago President Obama, in an interview he gave France’s Canal+ TV Channel, said that the American people need to be better educated about Islam, since US could and should be regarded as a Muslim country. He said that the number of Muslims residing in the US makes it “one of the biggest Muslim nations”.

In reality the US has one of the smallest percentages of Muslims of any Western country. The number of Muslims in the US is approximately 4.5 million, 1.5% of the population, one of the smallest minorities in the US.  Since there are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the number of Muslims in the US is approximately 0.3% of the world Muslim population. By comparison there are between approximately 6 million Jews in the US, who account for approximately a third of the world’s Jewish population. Whereas many Americans regard it as a society based on “Judeo-Christian values”, it is doubtful if there is one sane American who would define it as a Jewish country.

By President Obama’s yardstick, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and Holland should all be regarded as “Muslim nations”. In France, which has the biggest Muslim population in Europe, its 4.5 – 5 million Muslims account for 7.5% of the population. In most other Western European countries, Muslims account for approximately 3%-5% of the population.

The only EU citizens who regard their societies either as Muslim ones, or as societies that should be Muslim are those Muslim immigrants and the 2nd generation who have not succeeded in integrating into the societies in which they live, and as a result have become alienated from them.  Even if half of Europe’s Muslims have this attitude (most likely the true number is far less), we are talking at most about 2%-3% of those countries.

Bully pulpit: Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons, then backs off amidst outcry

WashingtonTimes

After calling church sermons “fair game” for subpoena, Houston Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance.

The city had asked five pastors for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” on a variety of topics, including the mayor, and “gender identity.”

The subpoena prompted a storm of criticism when it became public Tuesday. The pastors are involved in legal efforts to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as the “bathroom bill.”

The pastors and their allies called the city’s broad demand a threat to religious freedom and proof that gay and transgender rights bills can be used as weapons to demonize Christianity.

“The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

Ms. Parker’s office initially doubled down in the face of such criticism but issued a statement late Wednesday saying the mayor “agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastors’ sermons.”

City of Houston’s Subpoenas of Pastors ‘Shocking & Shameful’

Breitbart

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has weighed in regarding the controversial subpoenas that the City of Houston sent to several Houston area pastors, demanding copies of their sermons and speeches, as well as communications with church members.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the dispute stems from an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by Houston regarding discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The pastors’ churches were part of a coalition of hundreds of churches in the Houston area that opposed the ordinance. After a referendum petition seeking to get a repeal measure on the November ballot was tossed out over allegations that the petition signature gatherers were not qualified under Texas law, a lawsuit was filed, but the pastors were not a part of the litigation. The pastors have obtained legal representation and filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, arguing that they were an illegal demand of their “their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications.”

Cruz agreed with the pastors and their attorneys, releasing a statement Wednesday that echoed the religious liberty and free speech arguments they made. “I’m proud to stand with the pastors,” said Cruz. “Religious liberty is the very first protection in the Bill of Rights, the foundation of all our liberties. The City of Houston’s subpoenas demanding that pastors provide the government with copies of their sermons is both shocking and shameful. For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight. This is wrong.  It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.”

The senator also criticized the subpoenas as a “grotesque abuse of power” by the city government. “The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons. These subpoenas are a grotesque abuse of power, and the officials who approved them should be held accountable by the people. The Mayor should be ashamed. And we should all be proud to stand up and defend the pastors who are resisting these blatant attempts to suppress their First Amendment rights.”

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, remains stubborn in her desire to pursue these subpoenas against the pastors, posting two tweets just before midnight last night calling the sermons “fair game” and taking a swipe at her critics as uninformed:

Atheists’ Claims About Prayer and ‘Salvation’ Led Hundreds to Converge on a High School Football Field to Issue This Major Response

Pretty much what you’d think it was…

Hundreds of residents took to a high school football field Friday night to collectively bow down and pray — a massive response to atheist activists’ recent accusations that a local school district is guilty of at least two violations of the separation of church and state.

But the prayer event wasn’t the only noteworthy response to secularists’ complaints, as local resident David Hoover placed three large Christian crosses on land he owns across the street from Licking Valley High School in Newark, Ohio — 10 to 13-foot symbols intended to send a message.

As TheBlaze previously reported, a free speech debate touched off in the city after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a secular activist group, accused the Licking Valley High School District of violating the First Amendment by allowing high school marching band members to wear T-shirts with the word “salvation” on them during a recent performance.

And in a separate complaint just days later, the Freedom From Religion Foundation cited a 2013 Facebook photo showing a member of the school’s football team leading his fellow players in prayer as evidence of yet another purported violation.

While players are permitted to lead team prayer, it was the presence of three coaches participating in the invocation that drew atheist ire, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

After Licking Valley Superintendent David Hile recently dismissed the band grievance, but said that the prayer concern was potentially legitimate, residents decided to take action.

So locals took to the field at Randy Baughman Stadium Friday night, where they kneeled down, recited the Lord’s Prayer and cheered — all acts taken in response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s complaint letters, according to the Newark Advocate.

Report: ISIS Used Chemical Weapons Against Kurds

We have failed the Kurds. Again…

The Syrian city of Kobani on the border with Turkey is under attack from ISIS fighters. Three months ago ISIS tried and failed to take over Kobani despite the fact the terrorist group used a chemical agent, most probably mustard gas, in its attack.

As reported by the Middle East Review of International Affairs​:

Prior to the current campaign, the most serious (but unsuccessful) attempt to conquer Kobani came in July 2014, shortly following the dramatic IS advance into Iraq.

It was during this assault on Kobani that evidence emerged which appeared to point to the use by the Islamic State on at least one occasion of some kind of chemical agent against the Kurdish fighters of the YPG (Peoples’ Protection Units).

According to the MEMRI report, an incident at Avdiko village in Kobani on July 12th suggests that ISIS may well have succeeded in making some of this material available for use in combat. The pictures below seem to verify a mustard attack.  If the chemical agent was taken from the Al Muthanna facility, it means that this terrorist group has WMDs in its arsenal (additional photos at MEMRI).

Seems like they always have a loophole…

ISIS: Sexual Enslavement of Yazidi Women Helps Muslims Avoid Sin

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria says that shari’a law allows the enslavement of women from Iraq’s Yazidi minority because they are pagans, a religious class deemed even worse than “apostates” like Christians and Jews who may be given the convert-or-die option.

An article in the latest edition of the terrorist group’s propaganda publication, Dabiq, also attempts to justify its widespread enslavement of Yazidi women by saying it was needed to prevent Muslim men from being tempted into sinful sexual conduct.

Keeping a slave woman is “the shari’a alternative to marriage,” and when slavery is not available, then “a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin,” it says.

Further, a Muslim man who employs a maid at home may be tempted to have sex with her, “whereas if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal.”

The article concludes that the abandonment of sexual slavery gave rise to an increase in fornication and adultery, as Muslims pursued worldly pleasures rather than jihad. It praises “the Islamic State” for restoring this and all aspects of the correct Islamic order.

The destruction of Syria’s Christian treasures

More destruction from the “Religion of Peace”

The Islamist extremist destruction of historical treasures in the Middle East is nothing less than a crime against civilization. News accounts do not do justice to the loss these barbarians cause as they work their way across Syria, destroying anything that doesn’t fit into the world as they see it.

In June 2001, just three months before Sept. 11, when Western perceptions of Islam and the Middle East were changed forever, I spent two weeks in Syria, visiting the very foundations of Western culture and civilization. Today, it is slowly being destroyed.

Bashar Assad had just come to power, having been called in from practicing ophthalmology in London when his Stalinist father died, and to fill in for his older brother Bassel, the heir-apparent who had wrapped his Mercedes around a tree at 100 miles an hour in 1994. Poor Bashar appeared lost in his new role, and left control of the country to the bagmen and thugs who had run things for his father.

As Islamist extremists continue to terrorize Syria, more Christian villages will be “liberated,” more priceless historical sites destroyed, and many of Syria’s nearly 2 million Christians will be killed. It’s a tragedy for civilization.

Ya think??

Pregnant Austrian teens in ISIS: We’ve made a huge mistake

The teenage girls who abandoned their families in Austria to become jihadis for ISIS feel they’ve made a terrible mistake by joining the barbaric lifestyle and they want to come home.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.

Dubbed by Austrian media as the poster girls for jihad, the young friends now believe their lives have been turned upside down by their new lifestyles.

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.”

Kesinovic and Selimovic grew up in Vienna, where they became accustomed to talking to whomever they wanted, saying whatever they pleased and wearing whatever clothes they liked. They did not have to live a life being controlled by people telling them what they can and cannot do.

But Kesinovic and Selimovic decided to leave all that behind and shack up with the same people they’ve now grown to hate.

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

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