VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS of the now open ‘impeachment’ process

Posted by Eeyore

More will be added as the day progresses.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes Blog column with videos is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Ilhan Omar and ‘Western Imperialism’ by Hugh Fitzgerald

On November 3, at a political rally with Bernie Sanders in Minneapolis, Ilhan Omar exclaimed that she was happy to have endorsed, and to campaign for, a candidate who “will fight against Western imperialism and fight for a just world.”

One would like to know what Omar meant by “Western imperialism.” The Americans never had an imperial empire; they never turned the Philippines and Cuba, that they had won in the Spanish-American War, in 1898, into colonies; there was no large-scale settlement of Americans in either place. There never has been an American colony in Africa; Liberia was not an American colony, but rather was intended to be an independent state populated by former slaves. The only place in the Americas where the United States has not a colony but a “territory” is Puerto Rico. Far from being exploited by American imperialists, Puerto Rico receives $21 billion a year from the American government. The Puerto Ricans apparently do not feel they are victims of American “imperialism” who demand independence – in 2018, 500,000 of them voted for statehood, while only 7,000 wanted independence.

Perhaps Ilhan Omar was thinking of the British as the quintessential “Western imperialists.” But the British Empire is long gone. The British pulled completely out of what is present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in 1947. They are nowhere else, as an imperial power, in Asia, including Hong Kong, which they turned over to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. In the Middle East, the British were in Iraq only as holders of the Mandate, tasked with guiding that country to full independence, as was achieved in 1932. The British also helped create the Emirate of Transjordan, which was never a British colony. There was a small British garrison in what was called the Crown Colony of Aden, but there were no “British colonists” in evidence; Aden was merely an entrepot to resupply ships going to and from India. In South America, the colony of British Guiana became independent in 1966. British Honduras, another colony, became independent, as the country of Belize, in 1981. In Africa, all of Britain’s former colonies, with one exception, had received their independence by 1968. That one exception was Southern Rhodesia, which received its independence, and a new name – Zimbabwe – in 1980. What examples of British imperialism does Ilhan Omar have in mind? Bermuda? Anguilla?  Two tiny vacation spots that are not exploited by British colonials, but profit handsomely from Western tourism? Does she really think those islands would want to sever their ties to Great Britain?

Or could Omar be thinking of the French “imperialists”? Where are those French colonies that so offend her? The French left their last colony in North Africa, Algeria, in 1962, nearly 58 years ago. The vast territories of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa were given their independence by 1960. Perhaps Ilhan Omar has some vague notion that the French still rule these lands. As for the two Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and the two even smaller islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, these are not colonies, but juridically parts of France itself, with full representation in the French Parliament.

There is one great imperialism that we can be sure Ilhan Omar does not recognize. This is the imperialism of the Muslim Arabs, who not only managed to conquer many lands and many peoples, but to impose their religion, and even their ethnic identity, on those peoples. Many of those peoples who converted to Islam, whether willingly, or out of a desire to escape the onerous conditions imposed on them as dhimmis (tolerated non-Muslims under Muslim rule), were so eager to identify with their conquerors, that that they took Arab names, and in some cases, assumed as well the name “Sayyid,” which meant they were declaring themselves to be descendants of Muhammad’s own tribe, the Quraysh. That is why the writer V. S. Naipaul, the scholar of Islam Anwar Sheikh, and many others have described Islam as the most successful imperialism in history, because those who are its victims identify completely with those victimizing them. Naipaul writes about this in Among the Believers — the Pakistanis, Malays, and Indonesians who , he discovered, all want to be “little Arabs.”

This desire makes sense. After all, the Message of Allah was delivered in Arabic, and to a 7th-century Arab. Ideally, the Qur’an must be read and recited in Arabic. Muslims who prostrate themselves in prayer must always turn toward Mecca, in Arabia. They make the Hajj, too, to the same city of Mecca, again in Arabia. As a consequence of all this, Arabs enjoy the highest prestige among Islamic peoples, and non-Arab Muslims seek to identify with them.

Many of those victims of Muslim Arab imperialism were taught to regard their own pre-Islamic histories as of no interest or significance; they dismissed those pasts as belonging to the Jahiliyya, the Time of Ignorance. A good example of this is the singular lack of interest shown by Muslim Pakistanis in the spectacular remains of Mohenjo-Daro, which dates from 2500 B.C., and is one of the world’s earliest major cities. But it is from the pre-Islamic times of ignorance, and consequently is of no significance to Muslims.

Among those conquered by Muslim Arabs, many people replaced their indigenous languages with Arabic; speakers of Coptic in Egypt, Aramaic in Syria, and Tamazight in North Africa have noticeably decreased over the centuries. Even after the conquered peoples converted to Islam, as non-Arabs they were regarded as inferior. The Berbers in North Africa, the region’s original inhabitants, today suffer from Arab cultural supremacism within their own lands, where their language, Tamazight, for a long time was prohibited from being taught or recognized as an official language – now it can again be taught in a few schools – and Berber culture continues to be suppressed. The Kurds, too, though Muslim, have been on the receiving end of Arab imperialism, that reached its apotheosis in Saddam Hussein’s murderous Anfal campaign, when his Arab soldiers murdered 182,000 Kurds.

Many may not know that the greatest mass murder in history was that conducted by Muslims in India, during several centuries of Mughal rule, when 70-80 million Hindus were killed. Those Hindus who chose to convert were the ancestors of today’s Muslims in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Does Ilhan Omar even know how Islam spread, through conquest, in India, and how many Hindus were its victims, and how many converted to Islam to avoid being killed? Perhaps she can be asked publicly about these matters; her display of ignorance will be most telling..

Where else do we see Muslim imperialism on display? Wherever Muslims are murdering non-Muslims in order to increase their own power, as with Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, or with Muslims killing Copts in Egypt. These are attempts to strike terror in the hearts of non-Muslims, and if possible, to frighten some to convert, and to seize the lands, and sometimes to murder, those who refuse. Muslim imperialism is on the march, in a different way, even within European countries. Muslims have managed to carve out for themselves many No-Go areas, where non-Muslims fear to tread, and firemen enter only with police protection, and the police themselves enter only in groups. It’s a new kind of imperialism, where the conquerors enter not as armed invaders, but as economic migrants, then begin to live,  just as Western imperialists used to do, off the indigenous peoples in the countries they conquered. They do this without having to conquer others with weapons. Merely by being allowed to live in these Infidel lands in Europe, they find they can have every conceivable benefit lavished upon them: free or subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, unemployment benefits, family allowances. The huge sums transferred to these Muslim migrants by the state can be seen as a new form of imperialism, where one people lives off of another, in a conquest that is conducted through non-violent means, perfected by those Muslims who have been allowed to settle deep behind what they have always been taught are enemy lines, the lines of Dar al-Harb. This Islamic imperialism is just as effective as imperialist conquest in the classic sense, and is all the more dangerous for not being recognized by its victims for what it is.

A few questions might be addressed to the self-assured Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is so eager to fight alongside Bernie Sanders against “Western imperialism.”

Ms. Omar, can you give us examples of “Western imperialism” today that you think need to be addressed? Just to refresh your memory, the last American quasi-colony, the Philippines, received its full independence in 1946. Puerto Rica is a territory, not an exploited colony; it receives $21 billion in aid from the American government each year; in 2017, 97% of Puerto Ricans voted for statehood; that certainly suggests they do not feel exploited by the United States. The last two British colonies of any size, Southern Rhodesia and British Honduras (now Belize), received their independence in 1980 and 1981, respectively. The small city-state of Hong Kong that was by then the very last Crown Colony was turned over to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, much to the regret of its inhabitants. The last French colony to receive independence was Algeria, in 1962. A handful of tiny French islands – Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Pierre and Miquelon — are now politically fully part of France, sending delegates to the French Parliament. So we remain puzzled about your determination to fight a non-existent “Western Imperialism.” Please tell us what you had in mind.

Ilhan Omar might consider abandoning her attempt to find examples of that “Western Imperialism” that so concerns her and to consider other imperialisms, outside the West. She might look into the Muslim Arabs who have not only conquered many peoples outside of Arabia during the past 1,400 years, but have convinced those peoples to identify completely with their conquerors, the Arabs, even taking Arab names upon conversion, and in some cases, assuming the name “Sayyid”  in order to identify themselves as descendants of the tribe of the Prophet.

Does she recognize the conquest by Muslim Arabs of many lands and peoples as “imperialism,” or is that something that she insists pertains only to the Western powers?

She might be asked what she makes of Egypt, where the entire population consisted of Coptic Christians before the Arabs arrived. How did that country go from being nearly 100% Coptic to becoming  85% Muslim? Does Ilhan Omar have any comment on how the Coptic Christians who remain are treated by the majority Muslims? She might be asked, too, what happened to the Zoroastrians of Persia, who disappeared almost entirely when the Muslim Arabs conquered that land, save for a group that found refuge in India where, ever since, they have been known as the Parsees. She might be asked, too, to comment on the situation of those Berbers today in North Africa, that is,  those Berbers who have managed to withstand Arabization in Algeria and Morocco, who have had to fight hard to retain their Berber language, culture, and identity.

There are so many more questions she might be asked, but let’s end our inquiry with two final questions for the Congresswoman.

“Ms. Omar, the Muslim imperialists who conquered India murdered between 70 and 80 million Hindus over several centuries of Muslim rule. Would you care to tell us what you make of that fact? And even today, Muslim terrorists, some based in Pakistan, still target Hindus in India. Think of those who have attacked the Parliament Building in New Delhi or, in 2008, hit 10 different sites in Mumbai. What do you believe they are after? Much of Indian territory was in 1947 given over to the creation of Muslim Pakistan (then West Pakistan) and Muslim Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). Yet Muslim terrorists continue to strike within India. Do they now want to conquer the rest of India? Does their Jihad against India’s Infidels have no end?

“And one last thing, Congresswoman.  The late scholar of Islam, Anwar Sheikh, who had grown up as a Muslim, famously wrote that ‘Islam is the vehicle for Arab supremacism.’ Would you care to discuss what he meant by that lapidary formulation?”

Raising these matters might just make Ms. Omar more hesitate to inveigh against “Western Imperialism” and possibly cause her to tiptoe very carefully around the subject of “imperialism” altogether, now that she realizes that others are ready and willing to discuss the Arab and Muslim varieties, that have been much more extensive, and have claimed many more victims, than anything done by “Western imperialists.” Should she choose, uncharacteristically, to shut up entirely about “imperialism,” that is an outcome devoutly to be wished.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: ‘Popular Vote’ Movement Would Shift Power to Big Cities, Experts Warn

The Electoral College is under threat from states looking to enact legislation that ignores local voters in favor of national election results, experts said during a panel Thursday at The Heritage Foundation.

Responding to a wave of 15 states that have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact since the 2016 election, they argued that the Founders instituted the Electoral College to ensure stability and representation to all states.

“We only got the Constitution because the Constitutional Convention persuaded the states to enter into a federation arrangement,” Allen Guelzo, a history professor at Gettysburg College, said. “Federalism is in the bones of our nation, and I would be concerned that we can’t start removing bones without the whole body collapsing.”

The panel, titled “The Fight to Preserve the Electoral College,” featured Guelzo as well as Trent England, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at Heritage.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a legislative partnership among states that agree to award all their electoral votes in future elections to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote, disregarding the results of ballots cast in each individual state.

The compact would take effect only once enough states join to determine an election by awarding all 270 electoral votes needed to secure a presidential win.

So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact. Lobbyists actively are looking to expand the agreement to more states whose leaders were upset by the results of the 2016 election, when Republican Donald Trump won the presidency despite losing the national popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Guelzo argued that the Electoral College slows down presidential elections by design, providing legitimacy to the presidency and combating voter fraud.

“The Electoral College embodies a fundamental instinct of the Founders, which is to say ‘slow down,’” he said, adding that “gridlock is not actually an accident.”

The history professor pushed back on objections to the Electoral College, including by some analysts who have argued that the current system violates the principle of one person, one vote.

“If one man, one vote is to be the rule, then as soon as a president loses popular support we ought to have another vote,” Guelzo said. “So we could have presidential elections every six months, three months, eight months—every time there’s an unpleasant tweet.”

England based his arguments on the 2000 election, when Republican George W. Bush lost the national vote to Democrat Al Gore and a recount in Florida for that state’s electoral vote threatened to decide who sits in the Oval Office.

“This is not just going on in blue states, this is going on across the country,” England said of the movement to bypass the electoral college. “This is a serious threat wherever you live. Red state, purple state, there are people there lobbying to hijack the Electoral College.”

England said the movement for states to bypass the Electoral College without going through the difficult process of amending the Constitution gained renewed strength after the 2016 election.

Grassroots activists and lobbying organizations, he said, are driving a message that misleads many voters about the facts of the current electoral system.

Von Spakovsky, manager of Heritage’s Election Law Reform Initiative, turned to voting numbers to argue that rural areas would be left behind if the Electoral College were abolished.

“The whole point of the Electoral College is to balance the states’ demands for greater representation and sovereignty against the risk of what James Madison liked to call the tyranny of the majority,” von Spakovsky said.

Looking again at the 2000 election, he warned that without the Electoral College, the chaos that voters and the nation at large experienced during the Florida recount would be extended to every state and county across the nation, as candidates demanded recounts in every region that potentially could sway an election in their favor.

As a result, von Spakovsky said, the decisions of the president would be seen as illegitimate by significant portions of the nation, and voter fraud would run rampant in areas unprepared to deal with it.

“What we’ve had for over 200 years with the Electoral College system is unbelievable stability,” he said.

“There is no reason to change it now.”

COLUMN BY

Aaron Credeur

Aaron Credeur is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

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NYC: Humanitarian Worker Beheaded by Ethiopian Husband

He also is alleged to have slit the throat of their five-year-old daughter before hanging himself.

The woman’s distraught family says she wanted out of their marriage.

You may have already seen the news—the slaughter happened last Wednesday—but I hadn’t.  Thanks to reader ‘meanymom’ for bringing it to my attention.

The first thing I did was to see what the UK Daily Mail said about the case because they manage to get more details and definitely more photos especially when the story involves something that goes against the non-tabloid US mainstream media’s desired story line.

By all accounts, the Tedlas were living the progressive family dream-life in upscale Harlem.  They had been seen out recently trick or treating on Halloween, so the horror that went on behind closed doors came as a shock to the racially and ethnically mixed neighborhood.

But, even the UK Daily Mail didn’t report on how the brutal killer had become a ‘new American’ describing him only as an African immigrant from Ethiopia. There is no mention of his religion.

Below are some snips from the UK Daily Mail:

Husband, 46, decapitates wife, 42…

Police in New York City are investigating a grisly double murder-suicide in which they say a man decapitated his wife, slit the throat of their five-year-old daughter and then took his own life by hanging Wednesday night, just hours after the woman tried to get an order of protection.

According to the NYPD, at around 9.18pm officers responded to a 911 call requesting a welfare check inside an apartment at 151 West 121st Street in the Harlem section of Manhattan.

Upon entering the unit, officers found Yonathan Tedla, 46, Jennifer Schlecht, 42, and their five-year-old daughter, Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla, dead inside.

It is unclear how long the family had been dead before their bodies were discovered.

Schlecht’s heartbroken father, Kenneth Schlecht, 74, tells New York Daily News that his daughter’s marriage was unraveling, and that his son-in-law had threatened to ‘take them all out’ if Jennifer tried to serve him with divorce papers.

[….]

The New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources, that Schlecht was found decapitated, with her severed head resting in her lap.

Her daughter suffered a cut so deep to her neck that she was partially beheaded.

The five-year-old’s father was found hanging from a rope tied to a bedroom door.

[….]

Kenneth Schlecht, Jennifer’s father, tells the Daily News that the last time he spoke to his daughter was last Sunday and she was in tears.

‘She said her husband had indicated that if she served him with divorce papers he would ruin her or take them all out, which was apparently what he did,’ he said.

Jennifer and Yonathan Tedla, an immigrant from Ethiopia, met in the early aughts [early 2000s—ed] at Columbia University, where she was attending graduate school and he was working as an IT technician.

Jennifer Tedla was a senior adviser for a UN Foundation project called FP2020 which advocated for the rights of women and girls to make reproductive decisions for themselves.

UK Daily Mail continues…

Schlecht [apparently she used her maiden name—ed] served as a senior adviser for emergency preparedness and response with the humanitarian partnership Family Planning 2020.

Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, sent a statement to DailyMail.com addressing the tragedy.

‘Jennifer Schlecht devoted her entire career to ensuring that women and girls in crisis situations have access to the best medical care possible including family planning and other reproductive health care,’ it read. ‘Most recently, she has been a vital part of the FP2020 family at the United Nations Foundation.

She was a leader in the field of family planning and humanitarian response, and chose to work from New York so she could have more time with her darling daughter.

There is more here. There are links to other news accounts plus many more photos.

If anyone sees any information about how the killer became a ‘new American’ send it my way.  We do admit many refugees from Ethiopia, so I’m wondering if he came as a UN chosen refugee.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

This Impeachment Effort About Ideology, Not Constitution

Two American women of color.

Two diametrically opposed views about America.

This clash of worldviews helps us to understand that what is going on in our nation is not a legitimate impeachment process but an attempt to wipe out a sitting president for personal and ideological reasons.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib was sworn in as a freshman Democratic congresswoman from Michigan on Jan. 3, 2019.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


At a reception following the event, Tlaib, speaking about the president of the United States, said: “We’re gonna impeach the [expletive].”

It had to be unprecedented that a newly elected representative publicly used that kind of language about the nation’s president and expressed an intent to impeach him, with no support from leadership of her own party.

Were there grounds for impeachment? No.

The alleged basis was the Mueller investigation, which subsequently found that allegations that President Donald Trump and his campaign conspired with Russia to interfere with the presidential election were false.

What happened to the sacred principle of innocent until proven guilty?

Tlaib had already convicted Trump. He’s guilty for being Donald Trump and for what he stands for. The law is irrelevant.

Months later, she held a press conference calling Trump a racist and again calling for his impeachment. She noted: “I represent the third-poorest congressional district in this country. … I was elected to fight for them.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just issued its October jobs report, which The Wall Street Journal called “impressive.”

“The current job market is attracting middle- and working-class workers who have been on the sidelines for years,” reported the Journal.

And, black unemployment ticked down a notch to 5.4%, another new historic low.

But just as legal facts mean nothing to Tlaib, economic facts mean nothing.

Let’s now turn to another American woman of color: Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley recently spoke at a dinner at Washington’s American Enterprise Institute.

Haley, who as Republican governor of South Carolina had the Confederate flag removed from the grounds of the state Capitol, said at AEI: “When we retreat into identity and grievance politics, we make the choice for victimhood over citizenship. By constantly blaming others, we reject personal responsibility for ourselves, our families, and our communities.”

Are you listening, Congresswoman Tlaib?

Haley spoke about her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from India: “We were different. We stood out. And my family felt the pain of being judged by our difference. … But my parents refused to let it define them. They chose citizenship over victimhood.”

Haley quoted Lincoln, who in 1862, when the country was torn apart by civil war, called America “the last best hope of Earth.”

She added:

President Trump is a disruptor. That makes … some people very mad. But if we are a country that lives by the rule of law, we must all accept that we have one president at a time and that president attained his office by the choice of the American people.

Haley hailed the American freedom and exceptionalism enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and noted how, at the U.N., representatives from despotic countries would approach her in private and express admiration for our country.

Tlaib is a poster child for her party. Despite the Russia conspiracy charges discredited by the Mueller report, Democrats have not given up looking for an excuse to impeach a president they hate.

Now we have the ridiculous claims from a tainted whistleblower about a conversation Trump had with the president of Ukraine.

It’s not about Russia or Ukraine. It’s about Haley or Tlaib; loving our free country or hating it; citizenship or victimhood; rule of law or guilty until proven innocent.

I meet so many wonderful Americans in my travels around the country.

I’m optimistic we’ll make the right choice.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Two former Twitter employees accused of spying on Saudis and ‘thousands of others’ for Saudi Arabia

“Thousands of other Twitter users”?

What were they looking for? Are the Saudis behind the Orwellian treatment of opposition to jihad terror as if it were “bigotry”?

Twitter is so resolutely opposed to foes of jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women, it’s no wonder that they didn’t catch these guys.

“Two former Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia,” by David Shortell, CNN, November 7, 2019:

Washington, DC (CNN Business)Federal prosecutors accused two former Twitter employees of spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi national, and Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, used their access at the social media giant to gather sensitive and nonpublic information on dissidents of the Saudi regime, the Justice Department alleged in a criminal complaint.

The case, unsealed in San Francisco federal court, underscores allegations the Saudi government tries to control anti-regime voices abroad. It also recalls a move reportedly directed by the country’s controversial leader to weaponize online platforms against critics.

The accusations are certain to renew scrutiny of tech companies’ abilities to protect the privacy of their users.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” US Attorney David Anderson said in a statement. “U.S. law protects U.S. companies from such an unlawful foreign intrusion. We will not allow U.S. companies or U.S. technology to become tools of foreign repression in violation of U.S. law.”

A third man, Ahmed Almutairi, also from Saudi Arabia, allegedly acted as a go-between to the two Twitter employees and the Saudi government, which according to the complaint rewarded the men with hundreds of thousands of dollars and, for one man, a luxury Hublo watch.

While no Saudi government officials are named as running the spy operation in the complaint, the Washington Post, citing a person familiar with the case, reports a Saudi national who groomed the two employees is tied into the inner circle of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

BREAKING: Are Democrats endorsing the use of ‘fake news’? [+Video]

FIRST AMENDMENT:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Is the Democrat Progressive Caucus endorsing the use of fake new?

The Progressive Caucus sent out a fundraising email titled Dan Rather’s CHILLING warning. The message states:

BREAKING: Conservative media empire Sinclair Broadcasting to DOMINATE local news

Sign your name to stand with Progressives calling on Congress to BREAK UP this right-wing media monopoly:

STOP RIGHT-WING PROPAGANDA →

The email has a graphic featuring Dan Rather, former White House correspondent for CBS News, and this quote, “It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

Remember is was Dan Rather who in a 60 Minutes segment in 2004 on George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service pushed what was exposed as a lie (i.e. fake news). This fake news became known as Rathergate. According to Wikipedia:

Rathergate involved six documents that are critical of President George W. Bush‘s service in the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73, allegedly typed in 1973. Dan Rather presented four of these documents[1] as authentic in a 60 Minutes II broadcast aired by CBS on September 8, 2004, less than two months before the 2004 presidential election, but it was later found that CBS had failed to authenticate them.

The quote used by the Progressive Caucus is taken from a Tweet by Rather criticizing Sinclair Broadcasting:

News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.

What is the “script” that the Progressive Caucus and Dan Rather are so against?

Sinclair has told its stations to air this public service message:

Fake news is a threat to our Democracy!

Questions: Is Rather’s Tweet Orwellian designed to silence dissent and support fake news? Are Progressive Democrats endorsing fake news?

Fake News – A Danger to our Democracy

The Hill reported:

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather tore into Sinclair Broadcasting Group over its move to require anchors at its local television stations to read an on-air promotional message warning against “fake stories” in other media outlets.

President Trump called Sinclair Broadcasting ‘superior’ after the media giant made anchors at its TV stations across the country say the same script about ‘false news.’ So who is right President Trump or Dan Rather.

Is fake news a danger to our democracy?

On April 15, 2017 the BBC published an article titled The rise of left-wing, anti-Trump fake news stating:

Since the US election presidential race, fact checking websites report what seems like an increase in anti-Trump, ‘liberal fake news’.

The fact-checking site Snopes told BBC Trending radio that in the past week, for example, they have debunked many more anti-Republican party stories than pro-Republican ones.

Project Censored has published a book titled Censored 2020: Through the Looking Glass.

Censored 2020 scrutinizes the looking-glass logic of the corporate media—where imaginary threats outweigh real existential crises, privacy is a luxury, and consent must be manufactured at all costs—and it celebrates the work of independent journalists and news organizations who courageously refocus our vision on the type of news we need to act as engaged community members and informed citizens.

Censored 2020 demonstrates that the best independent journalism is constructive as well as critical—not only exposing dire problems, but also uniting communities to take action.

Americans experience fake news on social media platforms, on television and in newspapers. Telling a lie is a sin. Telling a lie to push a particular political agenda is a threat to our Constitutional Republic.

It is up to each citizen to discover the truth because the truth will set you free.

© All rights reserved.

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26 Muslim Candidates Won off-year Elections on November 5th, 2019 for Total of 34 Muslims Elected in 2019

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),  Jetpac and MPower Change, reported that 26 Muslims were elected nationwide in the November 5th, 2019 off-year elections.

CAIR, Jetpac, and MPower Change’s preliminary statistical breakdown of American Muslim candidates running for office in 2019 shows:

  • 81 Muslim candidates in total ran for an elected office in 2019
    • 29 women
    • 52 men
  • Of those, 34 Muslims won elections in the 2019 calendar year
    • 16 women
    • 18 men
  • Of those, 26 Muslim candidates won their election on November 5th,2019.
    • 13 of those Muslim candidates won an election for the first time
      • 7 women
      • 6 men
    • 13 of those Muslim candidates were incumbents won reelection
      • 5 women
      • 8 men

SEE: American Muslim Candidate Master List

On behalf of the American Muslim community, CAIR, Jetpac, and MPower Change congratulate the following Muslim candidates on their hard-fought and trailblazing victories:

Maine

  • Pious Ali – Portland City Council (reelection)
  • Safiya Khalid – Lewiston City Council

Maryland

  • Fazlul Kabir – College Park City Council (reelection)

Massachusetts

  • Mehreen Butt – Wakefield Town Council (reelection)
  • Afroz Khan – Newburyport City Council (reelection)
  • Sumbul Siddiqui – Cambridge City Council (reelection)

Minnesota

  • Nadia Mohamed – St. Louis Park City Council
  • Abdisalam Adam – Fridley School Board (appointed in 2018 to fill a vacant seat but elected by the public for the first time yesterday)

New Jersey

  • Jamillah Beasley – Irvington Municipal Council (reelection)
  • Mustafa Al-Mutazzim Brent – East Orange City Council (reelection)
  • Denise Sanders – Teaneck Board of Education (reelection)
  • Raghib Muhammad – Montgomery Township Board of Education
  • Adnan Zakaria – Prospect Park City Council (reelection)
  • Esllam Zakaria – Prospect Park Board of Education (reelection)

Ohio

  • Omar Tarazi – Hilliard City Council

Pennsylvania

  • Omar Sabir – Philadelphia City Commission

Virginia

  • Buta Biberaj – Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • Ghazala Hashmi – Senate District 10
  • Babur Lateef – Prince William County School Board (reelection)
  • Harris Mahedavi – Loudon County School Board
  • Abrar Omeish – Fairfax County School Board
  • Sam Rasoul – House of Delegates District 11 (reelection)
  • Ibraheem Samirah – House of Delegates District 86 (reelection)
  • Lisa Zargarpur – Prince William County School Board

Washington

  • Turan Kayaoglu – Puyallup School Board
  • Zahra Roach – Pasco City Council

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Did Schiff’s witness Lieutenant Colonel Vindman violate the Manual for Courts-Martial?

I received an email from a fellow retired officer about U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Alexander Vindman. The officer sent a link to an article published on American Greatness titled Retired Army Officer Remembers Lt. Col. Vindman as Partisan Democrat Who Ridiculed America by Debra Heine.

Heine wrote:

A retired Army officer who worked with Democrat “star witness” Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in Grafenwoher, Germany, claims Vindman “really talked up” President Barack Obama and ridiculed America and Americans in front of Russian military officers.

In an eye-opening thread on Twitter last week, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman said that he “verbally reprimanded” Vindman after he heard some of his derisive remarks for himself. “Do not let the uniform fool you,” Hickman wrote. “He is a political activist in uniform.”

The officer believes that LTC Vindman’s testimony violated the Manual for Courts-Martial. Specifically:

14. Article 88 (10 U.S.C. 888)—Contempt toward officials

a. Text of statute.

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a courtmartial may direct.

In the transcript of Vindman’s sworn testimony released by the House Intelligence committee, Vindman stated:

I was concerned by the call [between Trump and Zelenskyy]. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security.

Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.

It is clear from the transcript of the call between President Trump and President Zelenskyy that there was interest in the possible Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, but there was no request by President Trump to investigate “the Bidens and Burisma.” It was Zelensky who brought up the Bidens and Burisma. What President Trump said was:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

The officer in the email referred to the below quote from Ms. Heine’s article:

Hickman said he decided to come forward because Vindman “disobeyed a direct order from the commander-in-chief, his boss,” made his testimony “about his foreign policy opinions versus facts,” and “wore his Army service uniform to make a political statement” against the president.

Vindman may have violated another section of the Manual for Courts-Martial as follows:

69. Article 123 (10 U.S.C. 923)—Offenses concerning Government computers

a. Text of statute.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Any person subject to this chapter who—

(1) knowingly accesses a Government computer, with an unauthorized purpose, and by doing so
obtains classified information, with reason to believe such information could be used to the injury
of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, and intentionally communicates,
delivers, transmits, or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted such information to any person not entitled to receive it;

(2) intentionally accesses a Government computer, with an unauthorized purpose, and thereby obtains classified or other protected information from any such Government computer;

or

(3) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a
result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization to a Government computer;

shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Both of these sections of the Manual for Courts-Martial, and perhaps other articles, could cause Vindman to be investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. Depending on what they find it could lead to a courtmartial.

The plot thickens in the effort by Democrats to impeach a sitting President based upon, so far, foreign policy differences, speculation, hearsay and third hand knowledge.

As most people understand if you read the transcript of the call there is nothing there. All the rest is a dog and pony show.

© All rights reserved.

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PODCAST: Why These Women Walked Away From the LGBT Lifestyle

Those struggling with same-sex attraction or hoping to walk away from a homosexual lifestyle may find some encouragement from Liz Flaherty and Elizabeth Woning, who both once lived a lesbian lifestyle.

While leading their own organizations to help individuals transition out of homosexuality, Flaherty and Woning are also a part of a growing movement called Changed—a supportive and loving community of those who once identified as LGBTQ+.

In today’s episode, we sit down with Flaherty and Woning to hear their stories and discuss some of the current legislation being advocated that could have detrimental effects on organizations that offer counseling services for those struggling with homosexuality. Read the lightly edited transcript, posted below, or listen on the podcast.

Virginia Allen: I am joined by Liz Flaherty and Elizabeth Woning. Liz and Elizabeth both lead or co-lead Christian organizations that work with people who are seeking to walk away from the homosexual lifestyle or who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Liz and Elizabeth, thank you both so much for being here.

Liz Flaherty: Thank you.

Elizabeth Woning: Thank you.

Allen: So Elizabeth, you co-lead a ministry called Equipped to Love in California with Ken Williams. And we actually interviewed Ken [on the] podcast back in May and heard a bit about his journey from struggling with same-sex attraction to now being married to a wonderful woman and having a family. But today I would love to hear a bit about your story.

You lived as a proud lesbian for quite some time and even as an openly homosexual pastor in the Presbyterian church. So when did you first come out as a lesbian and how long did you live in that lifestyle?

Woning: It’s a little bit hard for me to say when did I first come out because I first really started questioning my sexuality when I was 16, when I first got involved with a woman. But I still tried to make relationships with men work. I still dated men. I got married briefly after graduating from college. So in all of that time I didn’t come out. But here I was questioning.

So I think it’s important that people recognize that the point at which you come out is not the time when you begin your lesbian life. Like for most of us, starting as a very young child is when the confusion begins. And so I had years, and years, and years of grappling with whether I was a lesbian before actually coming out. But I had a mental breakdown while I was married to my first husband.

And after coming out of the hospital, really, I decided that I would come out. And so I left my marriage and moved into a metropolitan gay community and started that new life. And I lived in the community for about 10 years before going to seminary, openly gay, which was a really big deal. Now, it would be a big deal today, but that was 20 years ago when I did that. And so 20 years ago, it was a monumental deal.

At the time, I was an elder in my local church, and when I decided that I would pursue a seminary degree, I remember telling my pastor—of course I had been talking to my pastor for about a year as he was really ministering to me as I struggled with mental illness.

I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with that first hospitalization, and so I was grappling with how to survive my life really, and I felt that going the route of doing a seminary degree and pursuing theology was something that would give me really deep hope and purpose.

And so I was going that route. But that meant coming out to my church. I was an elder in my church, and so coming out to my church, the first thing that happened was I was asked to resign [from] my position as an elder, even though I didn’t have any intention of being in a relationship with a woman. Back then, the phrase that we used was chastity and singleness.

So I was going this route of pursuing a seminary degree in a really nonsensical environment. I was one of probably five or six students that they admitted who were gay, openly gay. And the Presbyterian church was not ordaining gays and lesbians. So it was a big deal.

While I was in seminary, we were grappling with how to understand our sexuality in the context of Scriptures. So there was a great rewrite of the Bible that took place in that season for my life. And really, it wasn’t until I graduated from seminary and began trying to do ministry.

Now I understand I couldn’t be ordained, but I had a heart to do ministry. It was really in that first year after I graduated that I had an encounter with Jesus that caused me to begin questioning my theology, the doctrine that I had believed.

Allen: Could you explain just a little bit about what that looked like? What kind of shifted in your mind, or what did the Lord shift or change in your heart to where you all [of] a sudden realized, “I don’t want to be living this way anymore”?

Woning: Well, put in the context of my life at that point … by that time [I had] had about 10 years of managed care for mental illness. And so I didn’t have kind of walking depression where you kind of cope with life and you work in your job. No, I had very, very severe bipolar disorder. And so I was not really high-functioning in a way.

By the time I graduated from seminary, I finished my year with a 30-day hospitalization. So I was really desperate. And in that season I met a charismatic pastor and he invited me to a youth outreach meeting where the Holy Spirit showed up and in … I always call it the worst case scenario for a Presbyterian.

It was total chaos. People laying on the ground, kids being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, mayhem like I’d never seen before. Because I was a dignified hymn-singing Presbyterian.

In that context, a 17-year-old boy approached me with what he called a word from the Lord. And it turned out to be a very specific answer to something I had been praying about. And I was having a crisis of faith at that time. And I thought, for the first time in my life, I thought God knew specifically who I was. …

As a seminary graduate and a theological student, I knew God was there. I knew he was existent, but I didn’t know he was a relational. And that caused me to have this moment where I thought, “If he knows who I am, then I have no idea who he is.”

And I began a study. … That’s my context for connection with God, I study. And so I … completely re-read the Bible and took a close view at what did God say specifically about himself? In fact, I did this entire study, not questioning my sexuality, not questioning my identity, but questioning his. And it was in the context of that study that I began to see something entirely new and fresh that I’d never seen before that I wanted to be a part of.

I began to question whether there was something in my life that had hindered me from experiencing that. And that’s what caused me to question my sexuality. I thought, “Has my mind, my life, my dedication to this theological view driven me away from God?” And when I began to unpack that, I found perhaps that it had and I began repenting.

I just began following this walk of identifying what holiness was and [what] righteousness was. And I recognized that God perhaps could give me life.

So in the context of I had tried to commit suicide, I was, although I started my college career at 20-ish, really very hopeful for my life. By that point, I was in desperate need and he began to give me the thought that I had value and he was pursuing me. And so it became the most important thing in my life to experience communion with God. With that, I was willing to question my sexuality, question my theology, question my lifestyle.

So, at that point in my life, I didn’t own any women’s clothes. I shaved my head, I had many piercings. I have several tattoos. So, I went through a very personal, internal, complete breakdown of everything that I had believed just for the sake of experiencing communion with God.

Allen: Wow. Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing. That’s just incredibly powerful to hear and just so significant to hear what you personally experienced. And Liz, I want to take a minute to ask you a little bit about your story.

Flaherty: Sure.

Allen: You’re the executive director of a ministry based in Tennessee that also works with those coming out of the homosexual lifestyle, or are struggling with that same-sex attraction. So what was your journey into and then out of the lesbian lifestyle?

Flaherty: Sure. And I just have to say, I never tire from hearing [Elizabeth’s story], even though we do functions together and we hear our stories all the time, every single time, it’s just so wonderful. I get another nugget of God’s goodness in each other’s stories. So thank you Elizabeth for sharing that.

So, I grew up in Northern California. My parents were pastors. … And they had two high-paying jobs at Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley. I was born in Silicon Valley and we moved up to this little town of 1,200 people when I was 7 to pretty much become missionaries is the way I put it. And I very much struggled early on with feeling that I belonged and that I had a voice and that I was received.

I think growing up, as a contrast, in that environment, highly liberal environment, being one of the few Christians. Although I dearly love that community, I value what we took from that time there. But, in that, … we were just trying to survive financially, socially.

My parents worked very hard at feeding the transients going through the town, the homeless, and dealing with a lot of mental illness that was coming to their door. The church was right next to the house. So with that I struggled with a lot of anxiety and depression and I told people I was probably agoraphobic, just not diagnosed, because I had such bad anxiety. I couldn’t travel, I couldn’t go on field trips.

They tried to homeschool me. I was in and out of the school system. And so there was a constant trying to just assimilate into the normal life of my peers.

And to back up a little bit, I was molested at the age of 6 by a family member. And that definitely set me on a projection of putting up barriers toward men to protect myself.

Of course you don’t realize until later on that that’s what was happening in your life. But the narrative of my life began to change from a beloved daughter of God to one who was scarred and renamed by that abuse.

So with that, I enter into sort of those formative years. I was being bullied. I just carried such a spirit of rejection. I was a super heavy kid, chunky girl in a small town. And so in this fish bowl, so to speak.

With that … I found [myself], even though I tried to intimately connect with men, just doing all I could to not feel abnormal because same-sex attraction started to enter in, like Elizabeth said, early on in my adolescence.

So that just looked like when I was with my friends … I felt safe. I could connect, I could open up. I felt valued. When I was with any sort of male peers, there just was not a connection.

And I experimented, or I lost my virginity at 17. I tried. I tried to press in … so that wasn’t happening. And I think I just grew tired of not being very open and transparent with where I was. I would go to church and my parents just love the Lord. …

My parents just loved the Lord. They both had come out of a lot of sexual brokenness and had stories of the Lord redeeming them, and they were amazing. At the same time, it just felt like there was no power of the gospel transforming our lives; we were just surviving, trying to keep our heads above water.

So with that, I reasoned, “I am lesbian. This is why I can’t connect. This is why.” Even though I knew the Word said it was wrong, I knew that it was an error of our theology. I didn’t see any way out of my pain.

So I came out my senior year, much to the confusion and pain of my parents, and I moved out. I went to college in Eureka, California, which is a very interesting place to go to school, and just tried to live my life out with my peers and be on my own way. And during that time, during my first semester of college, my mom passed away of cancer very suddenly. And so that left me very much spiraling.

There came a point where … I didn’t really have a grid for grace. I didn’t understand that I could move toward the Lord in my brokenness. It was very much … I would sober up. And I was pretty addicted to pornography since the age of 12, wherever I could have access. And now that I’m in college and I have full access, I’m just deep in sexual sin and relationships.

And although I say I was not a very successful lesbian, because I was not a very social person, so, “I had all these barters.” Nope, it was on me. I was pretty much a loner.

But with that, I had an encounter with the Lord midway through college, and I was high in my living room and my roommates were gone and … I know it was the looming of the Lord, this moment where I said, “I don’t think I’m supposed to talk to you right now; I’m high, but I have no way how to get out of this. I know this isn’t life.”

And in that despair, I felt the Holy Spirit come in the room and it was like this bursting, fresh breath that I had been so longing for. And I just knew in that moment, I had surrendered and he had responded in love. And I went on this journey through the next few years of having a grace to come out of pornography and lay down my relationships, or my few relationships, and to allow him to guide me.

A whole world opened up from that. But I still went to a school of ministry at Bethel. That’s how Ken and I have known each other about 20 years from the changed moment.

So with that, I still walked through a time of having same-sex attraction, but surrendering to the Lord and being sober, I guess, is what you would call it. And it wasn’t until I hit another trauma in my life where my dad passed away; it was only three years after my mom. And my brother had come to live with me and he was nine years younger. So I reached this place again of brokenness, of, “OK, I don’t know how to manage my sexuality any longer. I can’t sustain on where I’ve been with you, Lord.”

And through some failures, moral failures, it led me to a ministry called Living Waters. It was there that I met with men and women who had walked the same struggle and part of that authority of like, “Here’s how you walk with the Lord in your sexuality.” …

The Lord just is so kind and so generous and … I’m amazed at what he’s done, that I get to go and share, my deepest, painful failures and what he has done and redeemed it.

And I’m married. I’ve been married for 14 years to my wonderful husband, Andy, and so it’s just such a joy to walk others through that and see the Lord do the same transformation.

I don’t struggle with same-sex attraction anymore. As I healed from the trauma of abuse and things like that, those barriers came down and I understood my heart more and how the Lord had created me to welcome in the masculinity, really.

Allen: Liz, thank you so much for sharing.

Woning: Wow, so good.

Allen: So good. And now you all are privileged to walk with other people who are walking a similar road or are struggling with those same things that you all have walked through.

So what do you say when a young woman or any woman comes to you and says, “I’m attracted to other women”? Or a young man comes to you and says, “I’m attracted to other men”? What’s that first thing that you say to them?

Woning: Well, typically … I just resonate with them. … Depending on why they’re coming to me, the very first thing I do is listen to everything that they have to say.

I love inviting people into my space because I completely understand what they’re going through. And very few people have the opportunity to just completely expose themselves early in their pain with someone who’s been there. And so, I don’t know about you, Liz, but I’m sure you’re very similar in that.

Flaherty: Yeah.

Woning: There’s actually something, honestly, very healing [about] being able to expose some of that deep pain and being seen. And then beyond that, then I simply start working on connecting to the Lord.

My first two steps are, I’m going to listen very deeply, but then I’m also going to make sure that that person knows how to hear from the Lord, because ultimately, nothing I say is going to be as important as what the Lord has to say.

Flaherty: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

Allen: … I know I’ve had these conversations with friends of mine who’ve come to me and said that this is something that they’re struggling with, that they’re struggling with same-sex attraction, and it’s honestly difficult in those moments to know how to respond and really how to love them well.

So what would you say to friends, to family members who—you maybe have had these conversations—will have these conversations with people that they love dearly? How do we walk with those that we love through this?

Flaherty: I think what’s really important is to start with our own narrative with the Lord and our own brokenness, and not so much making it about the specific manifestation of that, but actually understanding our own walk with the Lord and how … the power of the gospel translates to every need and covers every sin. …

I think when you disarm that … like, there’s this pinnacle sin of homosexuality. I’m not saying that there aren’t different consequences to different sins, but when you bring it back to, “We’re here. We’re happy to be with you. We love you and we want to hear what’s going on in your heart. Let us share about what the Lord did in our life.”

And you come in that posture of humility that disarms a lot of fear. I think people have a tendency to hide when they think they’re going to be persecuted, and creating a space where, like, “No, we all come before the Father in the same way.”

Woning: I think most of us who have experienced same-sex attraction have a deep sense of rejection. I think it’s first internalized rejection; I think you’re rejecting yourself. There’s an element of that there, and so then you tend to project that onto every person around you. And there’s so much fear.

Rejection is so painful and there’s so much fear that everyone will reject you. And so then most Christians grapple with, “OK, how do I tell you, ‘Please don’t embrace this life’?” And so that creates actually this, “All right, I don’t get to embrace this sense, this thing that is feeding my need for intimacy.” So it just perpetuates that self-rejection.

So it’s a very complex issue. It’s very complex how to meet it. And so one of the key things for me is making sure that there’s a bridge where people can fully express themselves and feel fully seen and valued in the conversation.

Your first contact with someone when they come out is not to correct their behavior, it’s to meet them right where they’re at and to be available to walk with them through everything. And so it’s to say, “Oh man, I’m so sorry. How is this impacting your life and how do you want me to support you?”

And it might be, “I want you to embrace my lesbian life.” And that, I think, that’s the deer-in-the-headlight moment for a Christian, where you say, “No, I don’t think I can embrace that in your life because I don’t see that that will bless you. God’s not going to bless you in pursuing that lifestyle, but I’m going to be with you in this as you grapple with this. And I want you to know that I will never sever our relationship on this issue.”

Because honestly, even our friends or our children who come out who want to go pursue that life, they’re pursuing it because everyone has a deep-seated need for intimate connection with other people and this is the way that they see most clearly will satisfy that need.

And if there isn’t some superseding opportunity, like the love of Jesus and the supportive parents and friends, if there’s not something that can also meet or compete with that need for intimacy, then there’s no help that can be given.

Allen: Yeah.

Flaherty: I think, if I can just speak to parents—my father, when I came out my senior year, he did ask me if he could find help for me. I wouldn’t take it because I didn’t really see how they weren’t helping themselves.

So that’s a real key that I tell parents is, “Make sure that you have, really, a lifestyle of going after wholeness in your own life, dealing with things that might be holding you back in intimacy in your relationship.” Just asking the Holy Spirit, “Lord, is there work here that we could be doing with you, partnering with you to demonstrate to our children, ‘This is the path that you grow in the Lord. This is the path that you address things’?”

And my father told me, “I can’t. I’ve gone to the Lord, I’ve gone to the Word. I can’t accept this as, I’ve tried,” because he saw the years of rejection of how I grappled with this, and so I think there was a part of him that actually wanted to support me in this, that maybe this road, I’d find fulfillment. But because he went to the Lord and he held to this boundary, it was a place I could come back to after … the Lord was willing me back.

So I just would say, don’t be afraid to hold to your convictions in a way that leaves the door open to your children, but your home is to be an atmosphere of the Lord.

And I know that manifests in different ways and that you could have a whole podcast on that, but just to say, it will feel heart-wrenching because you want to draw your children close and sometimes they’re choosing to leave with their inheritance.

Allen: Yeah. Well, and of course, this is an issue that increasingly we’re seeing in America, that the LGBTQ community is getting louder and you can’t ignore it any longer.

So with legislation such as the Equality Act, how are you all viewing that sort of thing? If that was passed, what kind of effect would that have on the work that you all are doing, ministering and working with those and counseling those that are maybe seeking to come out of this lifestyle?

Woning: Well, first of all, H.R. 5, the Equality Act, and similar bills like that … I think the No. 1 impact that that’s going to have is the imposition of an ideology that all of us who’ve left the LGBTQ life … So anyone who has gone to the work of questioning their sexuality and found resolution, like Liz and I have, we know that perpetuating the lifestyle, at least for women, places this bondage essentially on a person, never opening the door for them to understand kind of repressed needs, repressed traumas.

So we’re imposing an ideology that would perpetuate brokenness, emotional brokenness, on a generation.

I talk to so many people who might never entertain the possibility of being gay or lesbian were it not for unobtrusive thought, someone’s bullying or someone’s suggestion, “Oh, you’re gay. You’re a lesbian. You don’t meet the stereotype for what a man or a woman is and so therefore you’re obviously lesbian or gay.”

And if just the mere suggestion would cause you to begin questioning your sexuality … Because for me, for example, until I met my first girlfriend and we began exploring lesbianism, I had never heard of it. I’d never entertained that idea. And that was years ago. But nevertheless, it was a new thought for me. And that thought then became, “Oh, this must explain why I am the way I am.” And there was not any other narrative offered. …

So Ken and I have formed this movement that’s become a movement called Changed of people who have this story of coming out, so that there’s this other narrative that’s offered. And it’s not a rhetorical narrative. It’s stories, so that people begin to say, “Oh, there’s another way.”

So H.R.5 would put this blanket over that and then stifle the opportunity to share those stories. Real censorship. Censorship is happening now.

What will happen when it becomes illegal to suggest there’s another narrative, which is what H.R.5 would do? It would stifle the voice of every Christian pastor to share the full gospel or to make restrictions on a church’s ability to protect its leadership against an ideology … And no opportunity for dissent.

So that bill doesn’t just impact us and how we help people who are realizing, “Hey, this could not be the ultimate truth of my life,” but then it stifles any opposite narrative in such a totalitarian way. …

I can hardly express how odd H.R. 5 is. It saddens me that America is willing to entertain a bill that would supersede the protections that the 1964 Civil Rights Act gives African Americans.

So it’s like America is willing to forget the current endeavors of the African American community that stand on the Civil Rights Act and divert its attention to the LGBT issue. I think that’s a travesty, really. But then beyond that, the restrictions that this bill poses are really dramatic for American liberty.

Allen: Elizabeth, you also mentioned a Senate bill that you’re quite concerned with. Can you speak to that for a moment?

Woning: Yeah, so there’s a Senate Bill 2008 and a matching House Bill 3570. They are called the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. And those center on the dialogue around, I’m going to say it, conversion therapy, which, honestly, no one’s quite sure what that is. Everyone has a different opinion of what that is, and there is actually no definitive understanding.

And the LGBT community would say any sexual orientation change effort, that would be everything from an altar call asking you to repent to meeting with a licensed psychotherapist, would be conversion therapy.

But it would hinder anyone questioning their sexuality from pursuing restoration or resolution of conflict when they feel that there is an inner conviction that it’s not the truth in their life.

So basically it says, “No, if you’re questioning your sexuality, there’s only one path for you, and that’s to embrace lesbianism, and every other opportunity should be banned.”

And there’s not any scientific evidence. There’s not enough [studies,] really, that indicate that it should be banned. But it is definitely our politicians caving to what is politically correct in America. And I mean, I can go on at length for that. That’s an entire podcast, really.

Allen: Yeah.

Woning: [There’s a] significant lack of study and help for people who are questioning their sexuality because of political correctness. There’s an entire history with the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations of really recusing themselves from real, direct scientific study and pursuit of clinical help for people, based on political activism from the LGBT community.

And that activism has created this vacuum where certain helps for people who are questioning their sexuality [have] simply … never been offered, they’ve never been pursued … by the APAs. What we presume today is impossible is really based on years of a great wall of never even pursuing understanding. So, there’s a lack in America of professional care for people.

These Therapeutic Acts, they are actually perpetuating brokenness in our culture. And I really wish that the APAs would promote study that would help, that they would actually raise up some adequate professional care for people who are questioning their sexuality, particularly for women, because scientifically what we see for women is that sexuality tends to be much more fluid.

And then there’s the added problem that many women who are sexually abused pursue a life of love of lesbianism because they don’t feel safe with men. So there’s added complexity for women in this issue.

These bills would say, “OK, even though you’ve been sexually abused or molested, if you have same-sex desires, we’re going to assume that they have nothing to do with that abuse, and you don’t have the right to any care other than affirming care for that new sexual orientation.”

Allen: Liz and Elizabeth, you all are here in Washington, D.C., to talk to a number of different leaders about this, about this sort of legislation, how it would affect the work that you all are doing. Have you been receiving a positive response from those on the Hill? What maybe have been some of those interactions? What are your hopes for some of those interactions?

Woning: … First of all … the main reason we’ve come to Washington is to share our stories. Really the mandate for Changed and the Changed Movement is just to share our stories because no one here gets to hear from us. And so, most of what we’re doing is just doing that.

We’ve been received with curiosity mostly. And people who might presume that we’re anti-LGBT really don’t know what we’re doing or talking about.

On the Hill we’ve mostly raised eyebrows. And I think that when people talk to us, they realize that we [are] coming in as low as we possibly can, trying to create an atmosphere of dialogue and conversation around this divisive issue, so that there’s a new way.

We just need a new way to dialogue about this issue in America, and I think Americans are capable of embracing that.

Allen: Well, Liz and Elizabeth, I am so thankful for you all joining The Daily Signal Podcast and for your time today. Really, really appreciate it.

Woning: Thank you so much.

Flaherty: Thank you.

Woning: Can I just say that the Changed Movement right now has a growing Instagram page. And I’d love to invite people to it. It’s just more and more of our stories. You can find us at @changedmvmt.

And we also have a closed Facebook page that people can come into, comprised of people who are questioning their sexuality or people like Ken and I and Elizabeth, or Liz, who have found complete restoration in their sexuality.

There are so many men and women who have gone the route that we have, who now are married. Many have their own biological children, who have moved on with their lives. And so, there are things happening right now in America and across the world.

Honestly, I want to call it revival, that God is meeting LGBT people, sharing with them that he loves them, calling to them with wholeness, and really meeting their deepest needs for intimacy. And I think that we’re about to see something incredible happen across the world because LGBT people know how to do community well. They know how to support one another well. And when they come into the church, there’s just such a beautiful dynamic of care and concern for each other.

The church really needs the LGBT community. They need to embrace people who’ve experienced same-sex attraction and learn what it means to love sacrificially once again. I think God’s really restoring the church in this generation.

So, even though we’re seeing this huge conflict in America, it might look very dark, a lot of us want to say, “Oh, it’s the end and we’d better just buckle down,” there’s such a huge silver lining. There’s such a huge silver lining. God is going to do something incredible through what’s happening right now.

Allen: Yeah. OK, one more time, can you share your social media and your websites?

Woning: The Changed Movement can be found on Instagram at @changedmvmt, #changedmovement. Same thing on Facebook. Or equippedtolove.com, which is where Ken and I can be found at Bethel Church.

Flaherty: And mine is lizgflaherty.com.

Allen: OK, great. And we’ll be sure to have links for all of those in our show notes.

Woning: Thank you so much.

Allen: Thank you all again. Really appreciate it.

Woning: Thank you.

COLUMN BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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HHS to Lift Obama-Era Restrictions on Grants for Faith-Based Adoption Services


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal podcast is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Watch Nigel Farage’s exclusive interview with President Trump

Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC) radio published an interview with President Donald J. Trump hosted by Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party. According to LBC radio:

In the wide-ranging discussion, the President talked about:

– the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the EU
– his friendship with Boris Johnson
– whether the US want a deal over the NHS
– how Corbyn would be “so so bad” for the UK
– Meghan Markle
– his respect for the Queen
– Harry Dunn and the meeting with his parents
– And much much more

© All rights reserved.

Muslims operating slave markets on Instagram, Google Play, Apple apps

Slavery is acceptable in Islam. The Qur’an has Allah telling Muhammad that he has given him girls as sex slaves: “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty.” (Qur’an 33:50)

Muhammad bought slaves: “Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man).” (Muslim 3901)

Muhammad took female Infidel captives as slaves: “Narrated Anas: The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said, ‘Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.’ Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet. The Prophet made her manumission as her ‘Mahr.’” (Bukhari 5.59.512) Mahr is bride price: Muhammad freed her and married her. But he didn’t do this to all his slaves:

Muhammad owned slaves: “Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!’” (Bukhari 8.73.182) There is no mention of Muhammad’s freeing Anjasha.

But what are Intagram, Google Play and Apple doing getting mixed up in this? Too busy clamping down on foes of jihad terror to notice this?

“Slave markets found on Instagram and other apps,” by Owen Pinnell and Jess Kelly, BBC News Arabic, October 31, 2019:

Drive around the streets of Kuwait and you won’t see these women. They are behind closed doors, deprived of their basic rights, unable to leave and at risk of being sold to the highest bidder.

But pick up a smartphone and you can scroll through thousands of their pictures, categorised by race, and available to buy for a few thousand dollars.

An undercover investigation by BBC News Arabic has found that domestic workers are being illegally bought and sold online in a booming black market.

Some of the trade has been carried out on Facebook-owned Instagram, where posts have been promoted via algorithm-boosted hashtags, and sales negotiated via private messages.

Other listings have been promoted in apps approved and provided by Google Play and Apple’s App Store, as well as the e-commerce platforms’ own websites.

“What they are doing is promoting an online slave market,” said Urmila Bhoola, the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

“If Google, Apple, Facebook or any other companies are hosting apps like these, they have to be held accountable.”

After being alerted to the issue, Facebook said it had banned one of the hashtags involved.

Google and Apple said they were working with app developers to prevent illegal activity.

The illegal sales are a clear breach of the US tech firms’ rules for app developers and users.

However, the BBC has found there are many related listings still active on Instagram, and other apps available via Apple and Google….

Posing as a couple newly arrived in Kuwait, the BBC Arabic undercover team spoke to 57 app users and visited more than a dozen people who were trying to sell them their domestic worker via a popular commodity app called 4Sale.

The sellers almost all advocated confiscating the women’s passports, confining them to the house, denying them any time off and giving them little or no access to a phone.

The 4Sale app allowed you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category.

“African worker, clean and smiley,” said one listing. Another: “Nepalese who dares to ask for a day off.”

When speaking to the sellers, the undercover team frequently heard racist language. “Indians are the dirtiest,” said one, describing a woman being advertised.
Human rights violated

The team were urged by app users, who acted as if they were the “owners” of these women, to deny them other basic human rights, such as giving them a “day or a minute or a second” off.

One man, a policeman, looking to offload his worker said: “Trust me she’s very nice, she laughs and has a smiley face. Even if you keep her up till 5am she won’t complain.”

He told the BBC team how domestic workers were used as a commodity.

“You will find someone buying a maid for 600 KD ($2,000), and selling her on for 1,000 KD ($3,300),” he said.

He suggested how the BBC team should treat her: “The passport, don’t give it to her. You’re her sponsor. Why would you give her her passport?”…

Google said it was “deeply troubled by the allegations”.

“We have asked BBC to share additional details so we can conduct a more in-depth investigation,” it added. “We are working to ensure that the app developers put in place the necessary safeguards to prevent individuals from conducting this activity on their online marketplaces.”

Apple said it “strictly prohibited” the promotion of human trafficking and child exploitation in apps made available on its marketplace….

Yeah, sure you do. The only thing Google and Apple “strictly prohibit” is opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and to the Left’s agenda.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

A Halloween impeachment hoax—and other spooky stories

The first act of House Democrats’ impeachment sham operated in secret, depriving President Donald J. Trump of the due process rights entitled to every American citizen. Today, Democrats moved into phase two of their phony inquiry—and continue to leave both the American people and the White House in the dark.

“We don’t [even] know the rules yet, for the White House,” Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News today. “Are we even going to get to be involved? I don’t think so. It’s my understanding that we’re not going to get to defend ourselves until it goes to the Judiciary Committee—and that’s not how it works in America.”

White House Press Sec: The President did nothing wrong. Democrats know it.

For weeks, Democrats and their media mouthpieces tried to push the narrative that some Republicans in Congress could join Democrats in voting for their impeachment hoax—offering their probe a veneer of bipartisan credibility. The left hoped that repeating that storyline over and over again might help turn it into a reality.

The opposite happened. Two House Democrats joined with every single Republican member in voting against the Pelosi–Schiff impeachment sham. So the media was right that a bipartisan consensus might emerge. It’s just not the kind that they’d hoped for.

Today’s vote puts Democratic leaders in an awkward spot. Just months ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she opposed moving forward with an impeachment effort that didn’t earn overwhelming bipartisan trust. With members of both parties now objecting to impeachment, she must decide whether House Democrats should ignore their own words.

“I’m not for impeachment,” she told CNN in March. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.”

The left’s media allies will try to help spin today’s vote for House Democrats. Over the next few days, watch as the coverage focuses entirely on the Republican response to impeachment—and ignores the Democrats who joined them. They don’t fit the narrative.

Americans are clearly frustrated with this hypocrisy. “There’s polls out today that show people are frustrated and disappointed with all the impeachment farce that’s happening,” Press Secretary Grisham said. “We know that in the White House. We’re going to keep working”—to deliver peace, a booming economy, and real national security.

Congressional Democrats have declared the President guilty until proven innocent. It doesn’t matter that the released Ukraine transcript contradicts their own version of events. It doesn’t matter that they announced impeachment efforts before gathering any of the evidence—or before even calling for a vote on whether to move forward.

This impeachment hoax began with a top Democrat reading a fake phone transcript of President Trump before quickly moving the proceedings behind closed doors. Instead of attracting Republicans, it has only repelled Democrats.

Speaker Pelosi is right that a partisan impeachment is wrong for America. It’s time for her to stand by her words. It’s time for the House to have a real leader once again.

Read today’s full statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.

WatchDemocrats are “blatantly ignoring” the real needs of Americans.


Video of the day: Trick-or-treat at the White House!

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump celebrated their third Halloween at the White House on Monday evening, welcoming military families and local schoolchildren with their parents for festivities on the South Lawn.

With the White House grounds decked out in Halloween decorations, kids dressed as tiny dragons, ghouls, ghosts, witches, and other fun things joined the celebration as the President and First Lady handed out commemorative candy.

READ: First Lady announces Halloween at the White House.

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Double Standards and the Impeachment Farce

Impeachment Push Bares Ugliness of Washington Establishment

These 2 House Democrats Voted ‘No’ on Impeachment Inquiry

California’s Disastrous State Illustrates Limits of Progressivism

Florida May Become 13th State to Give Illegal Immigrants Driver’s Licenses

Illegal immigrants could get valid Florida driver’s licenses under proposed legislation that would accept foreign passports, international birth certificates and Mexican consular cards as proof of identity. As is the case in most states, current Florida law requires residents to prove U.S. citizenship or provide a resident alien greed card to obtain a driver’s license. Two separate measures—introduced this month in the House and Senate—would let illegal aliens in the Sunshine State get valid cards.

The House bill, co-introduced by an Orlando Democrat who is a senior director at Planned Parenthood, would allow the following documents to obtain a license; a birth certificate issued by a foreign government; a consular identification document issued by the government of Mexico or a document issued by another government which the department determines is substantially similar. In a local news report the state representative, Anna Eskamani, behind the measure said this: “I always ask the question about why not build trust with those who are already marginalized, versus pushing them farther and farther away from us. I think what this bill does is it helps to build that trust. It also helps ensure public safety.”

The Senate version was introduced by Miami Democrat Javier Rodriguez, who asserts that “it doesn’t matter your immigration status. If you are on the roads, you should have access to a driver’s test and the ability to get car insurance.” The wording in his measure is identical to the House version accepting foreign passports, birth certificates, consular IDs and similar documents as proof of identity. Neither measure has been heard by legislative committees and the senate version was recently referred to a state infrastructure and security subcommittee on transportation. Rodriguez is well known for protecting illegal aliens and is working to combat a measure to crack down on sanctuary cities in Florida by ensuring local law enforcement agencies fully comply with federal immigration detainers. Rodriguez refers to the bill, which is moving forward in the state Senate, as “anti-immigrant.”

If either of the Florida driver’s license bills pass, it would become the 13th state—along with the District of Columbia—to offer illegal immigrants the privilege. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington issue a license to applicants that provide a foreign birth certificate, passport or consular card. Washington State was the first to pass a law, in 1993, granting illegal aliens driver’s licenses. The next two states—New Mexico and Utah—enacted their measures in 2003 and 2005 respectively followed by Illinois (2012) and Vermont, Nevada, Maryland, Connecticut, Colorado and California in 2013. The District of Columbia also passed its law in 2013 and Hawaii and Delaware followed in 2015.

In 2013 Oregon passed a law that let illegal aliens get driver’s licenses but voters overwhelmingly approved a citizen’s veto referendum to suspend it a year later. Incredibly, a group of Mexican illegal immigrants sued to reverse the decision by Oregon voters, claiming that it was unconstitutional because it arbitrarily denies driving privileges “based on their membership in a disfavored minority group.” A federal judge in Eugene dismissed the lawsuit, finding that there was no discriminatory animus on the state’s part for refusing to issue illegal aliens driver cards.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Illegal Immigration is the Reason California is Burning

Licenses, ID Cards Sold to Illegal Aliens by Corrupt State Workers Used for Voter Fraud

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EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

U.S. ISIS Strike Named in Honor of Christian Martyr


Kayla Mueller: “by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.”


by Anita Carey  •  ChurchMilitant.com

WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – President Trump is honoring a Christian martyr by naming the mission to kill a top ISIS leader and her captor after her.

In an address at the White House on Sunday, Trump announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special forces raid in Syria while he and his security team watched.

Also on Sunday, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the mission was named in honor of  Kayla Mueller, captured in Syria in 2013 while working with humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders. Mueller spent 18 months in captivity at the hands of al-Baghdadi before she was murdered in 2015.

“Think of the things he did to Kayla,” Trump said in his address. “She was a beautiful woman, beautiful young woman, helped people. She was there to help people.”

Trump added, “And he saw her and he thought she was beautiful and he brought her into captivity for a long period of time and then he killed her. He was an animal. And he was a gutless animal.”

In his address to reporters, Trump described al-Baghdadi’s final moments. He “died like a dog,” Trump said, “whimpering and crying and screaming,” like a coward.

According to a report in the Military Times, no Americans, except a military canine, were hurt in the raid. The ISIS leader was chased down a dead-end tunnel, dragging three of his own children with him. Before American forces could reach him, al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the three children.

The canine is recovering from its injuries and is back on active duty.

The ISIS leader’s capture was a top priority for the Trump administration — proof of that was the $25 million bounty the U.S. was offering for al-Baghdadi’s capture.

Several witnesses to Mueller’s treatment by her captives testified to her strength, selflessness and unwavering faith.

During almost all of her 18-month captivity, she was kept in solitary confinement. During one six-week period in 2014, she was held with other Western hostages in an abandoned oil refinery in Syria.

In an interview with ABC News, those witnesses detailed Mueller’s abuse. She suffered prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, stress positions, forced labor, verbal abuse and sexual assault. She was reportedly raped repeatedly by al-Baghdadi himself.

At one point, Mueller was paraded in front of the Western male prisoners as an example of a Muslim convert. One of those hostages, Daniel Rye Ottosen, a Danish photographer, said he was surprised by her response.

Speaking to ABC News, he relayed what his captors said: “Oh, this is Kayla, and she has been held all by herself. And she is much stronger than you guys. And she’s much smarter. She converted to Islam.”

Ottosen said she refused, saying, “No, I didn’t.”

The release of ISIS hostages is often negotiated on an individual basis with their government and many of the hostages Mueller was detained with were eventually released or escaped. One of these was able to smuggle out a letter she wrote to her parents.

Kayla wrote that she could only write the letter to her family a paragraph at a time because “just the thought of you sends me into a fit of tears.” She wrote:

If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all, in the end, the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no one else…. + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful.

I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another.

While in captivity, Kayla attempted to arrange support for her family and told them they weren’t responsible for negotiating her release:

None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.

Kayla ended her letter with: “Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.”

Mueller was confirmed dead in February 2015. ISIS claimed she was killed by a Jordanian airstrike in Syria, but American officials were unable to confirm the circumstances of her death.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.