Tag Archive for: Christian

Why Is It So Difficult To Define Anti-Semitism?

Even among those who condemn it, there is little consensus about what constitutes antisemitism. Is it disdain for Jews as a faith community or as a people? Is it motivated by hatred of doctrine or ethnicity?


Antisemitism has been around since the dawn of Jewish history and yet the mainstream media only found it newsworthy after October 7th. Since then, it has become ubiquitous in universities and pro-Hamas demonstrations – where progressives celebrate terrorism and demand the destruction of Israel and the Jews – and in a Democratic Party where progressive radicals demonize the Jewish State.

But even among those who condemn it, there is little consensus about what constitutes antisemitism. Is it disdain for Jews as a faith community or as a people? Is it motivated by hatred of doctrine or ethnicity?

Those who mistake it simply as prejudice against a faith do not understand the nature of Jewish identity, which is at once religious, ethnic, and national. The definition of hatred, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some antisemitism is religious to be sure, particularly among other Abrahamic faiths that must disparage Jews and Judaism to justify their pretensions to be the fulfillment of Jewish scripture and prophecy. Christians and Muslims both acknowledge the holiness of Tanakh and yet deviate significantly from it. To rationalize their divergence from Hebrew scripture, they must claim they supplanted Judaism or that the Jews corrupted their own scriptures.

Christianity

The Christian gospels, for example, are replete with anti-Jewish invective, associating Jews with darkness, evil, lies, deceit, and Satan (e.g., John 8:37-39; 44-47), blood libel and murder of the Prophets (e.g., Matthew 23:31-33; 1 Thessalonians 2), and hereditary blood guilt (Matthew 27:25). Assertions of insidious influence and control are central to the myth that the Jews compelled Pontious Pilate to kill Jesus at a time when Rome occupied Judea and the Sanhedrin had no leverage or authority to impose or even demand the death penalty. The passion narratives likewise contain demonic anti-Jewish caricatures that inspired persecution and massacres throughout Christian Europe.

Furthermore, the New Testament alters Tanakh (e.g., misstating the number of people who accompanied Yacov to Egypt and the burial place of the Patriarchs), misquotes the psalms and Prophets, and decontextualizes passages from Torah.

Islam

Despite the myth of Muslim tolerance, Islamic scripture is not much better. Indeed, the Quran is equally unflattering when it accuses the Jews of “unbelief” and murdering their Prophets (as does Christian scripture): “So, for their breaking the compact, and disbelieving in the signs of God, and slaying the Prophets without right, and for their saying, ‘Our hearts are uncircumcised’ – nay, but God sealed them for their unbelief, so they believe not, except a few…” (Sura 4:155).

It also accuses the Jews of corruption and deceit:

“And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Book: ‘You shall do corruption in the earth twice…So, when the promise of the first of these came to pass, We sent against you servants of Ours, men of great might, and they went through the habitations, and it was a promise performed. Then We gave back to you the turn to prevail over them…Then, when the promise of the second came to pass, We sent against you Our servants to discountenance you, and to enter the Temple, as they entered it the first time.’” (17:4-7)

Moreover, Jews are frequently accused of scriptural corruption. “People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book, and effacing many things…” (5:15); “God assail them! How they are perverted…They have taken their rabbis and their monks as Lords apart from God.” (9:31.) Claims of textual manipulation seem necessary for explaining away fundamental discrepancies with Tanakh, for example, that Yishmael, not Yitzchak, was bound by Avraham on Moriah.

Racial and ethnic components

Christians and Muslims often misstate Jewish text, doctrine, and history. But conceding deviations from the original Hebrew would undercut their doctrinal narratives. So, both their traditions must accuse the Jews of corruption and deceit, using themes and stereotypes that have fueled Jew-hatred throughout Christendom and the Islamic world for centuries.

Historically, the aim was not merely to disparage Jewish belief, but to devalue or subjugate the Jews as a people; and this is illustrated by the persistence of antisemitism against those who submitted to Christianity or Islam (usually on pain of death). The ethnic and racial components of antisemitism are evidenced by its continuation even after the outward elimination of doctrinal differences.

Catholic antisemitism always had a racial component. On the Iberian Peninsula, for example, people of Jewish heritage were often banned from professions and public office because of ancestry, not belief. Even before the Jews were exiled from Spain per the Edict of Expulsion in 1492 (and later from Portugal), those who were forcibly baptized and designated “New Christians” were identified by their tainted blood. This was first codified in 1449 by the “Statute of Blood Purity” in Toledo; and while some church leaders denounced such enactments, the Inquisition embraced them when it infiltrated Spain in 1478, and later Portugal, Peru, and Mexico in 1536, 1570, and 1571, respectively.

Clearly, racial antisemitism existed long before the Nazis; and it also infected Protestantism.

In targeting Jews through “friendship evangelism,” missionaries strenuously deny Protestant complicity in antisemitism by blaming Catholicism for the most pernicious forms of Jew-hatred. However, Martin Luther embraced the Church’s racial antisemitism and incorporated it in his vile screed, “On the Jews and their Lies,” which advocated expulsion, enslavement, and extermination. These tropes were later adopted by other non-Catholics, many of whom were complicit or complacent during the Holocaust.

Then there are doctrines like replacement theology and evangelical fronts like the Lausanne Movement. Whereas replacement doctrine seeks to displace actual Jews (defined by ancestry and their relationship with G-d) with a faith community of self-defined “spiritual Jews” who falsely claim covenantal status, Lausanne and similar movements actively engage in Jewish evangelism while claiming to love Israel and the Jews. Though antithetical to Torah, both recognize the Jews as a people, not merely a faith community.

And this recognition had parallels in the Islamic world, where forcibly converted Jews often stayed connected to their heritage, married among their own, continued observing Jewish rites and customs in secret – and remained under lingering suspicion. Like the Anusim (Conversos) of Christian Europe, many of these forced converts forgot their heritage while paradoxically maintaining it through rituals and marriage restrictions they continued to observe but no longer understood.

Xenophobia

When the fathers of European Enlightenment rejected the primacy of faith and national allegiances, they were offended by the Jews’ continuing embrace of their religious, ethnic, and national identity. The refusal to assimilate rendered them strangers wherever their migrations took them, arousing xenophobia with religious and racial overtones. And their image as quintessential outsiders was reinforced by their faithfulness to Torah, Jewish language, and ancient blood ties – all of which distinguished them from their host societies and reinforced stereotypes that continued to fester and mutate.

Denial of connection to Israel

A unique form of antisemitism today is the denial of the Jews’ history and connection to Israel. Progressives often maintain that Jewish identity is “only religious” to delegitimize it compared to Palestinian national identity. This theme is echoed in the PA Charter, which denies the Jews’ national history and deems them colonial occupiers.

The claim that Jewishness is “just a religion,” however, is contradicted by the scriptural, historical, and archeological records, which confirm Jewish ethnicity, national heritage, and origins in Israel. The record does not similarly validate Palestinian Arab identity, which is a modern political construct.

Jewish children

Whereas the roots of antisemitism are disparate, they are not mutually exclusive, whether based on religion, ethnicity, racial theory, or xenophobia; and regardless of ideology, it is exacerbated by the Jewish refusal to assimilate. Unfortunately, many opponents of antisemitism unwittingly help perpetuate it through ignorance of its historical and theological foundations.

Even Jewish children understand this.

My generation was born less than twenty years after the Holocaust. Though my family lost collateral relatives to the Nazis and their Ukrainian accomplices, many of my friends’ parents were Holocaust survivors who constituted a significant portion of our community. And they informed our understanding of antisemitism as simultaneously religious, ethnic, national, and racial – which colored our self-perceptions and even our sense of play.

I grew up in a neighborhood where the streets had storm-sewers with removeable grates that we could crawl through. While other kids played “cops and robbers,” we often navigated our way underground playing “escape from the ghetto.” And the brutal kidnapping of the Bibas family brings that “game” to life.

Clearly, even children experience existential angst, and ours was shaped by an awareness of antisemitism in all its manifestations – something adult academics, politicians, and media personalities never seem to grasp.

But then again, perhaps it takes the untainted sensibilities of a child to recognize the nuanced complexities of Jew-hatred and understand its scope.

Copyright 2024. Matthew Hausman, J.D. All rights reserved.

Nigerian bishop says Muslim attacks on Christians are ‘very definition’ of genocide

No Jews are involved, however, and so no one cares.


Is the Persecution in Nigeria a Christian Genocide? This Bishop Says ‘Yes’.

by Peter Pinedo, CNA, January 30, 2024:

Bishop Wilfred Anagbe of Nigeria shared details of the worsening persecution of Christians in Nigeria, accusing members of the government there of being complicit in what he called a Christian “genocide” and an erasure of the Christian presence from the country.

Bishop Anagbe, who leads the Makurdi Diocese, warned that if greater action is not taken he believes the Christian population, which currently numbers over 86 million, roughly half of the total Nigerian populace, could disappear entirely in the next few decades.

Though the Nigerian Christian population is massive and is known as having some of the most devoted faithful in the world, Bishop Anagbe said the Christian presence in Nigeria is “gradually and systematically” being reduced by radical Islamists through “killings, kidnappings, torture, and burning of churches.”

In the last decade alone, since taking up the leadership of his diocese in Nigeria’s central Benue state, the bishop said that he has lost 160 churches because of attacks that he said are being perpetrated by radical members of a Muslim tribe known as the Fulani.

Bishop Anagbe is in Washington, D.C., this week to bring attention to the crisis in Nigeria and to participate in the International Religious Freedom Summit, taking place Jan. 30–31.

He gave his remarks Tuesday morning at a breakfast in the House Rayburn Office Building. The event was organized by the papal relief group Aid to the Church in Need….

Some Western politicians and media outlets posit that the crisis in Nigeria has been brought on by climate change, which they say is forcing nomadic Fulani herdsmen to fight with Christian farmers over scarce land. Bishop Anagbe, however, condemned this narrative as “lies and propaganda.” He said that the Fulani terrorists are motivated by hatred of Christianity first and foremost.

Bishop Anagbe told CNA that the attacks, which often kill hundreds at a time, are “targeted at Christian Indigenous groups in Nigeria” as “a way of eliminating this group of people who have the same faith from different places.” This, he said, is the very definition of a religious genocide.

“I keep asking how many mosques have been attacked versus Catholic churches? How many pastors and reverend fathers have been kidnapped versus imams?”

“They’re doing this systematically,” he said. “When you eliminate people who are not confrontational to you, who didn’t provoke you, and there’s no war, it’s an agenda they have to do.”

The agenda, Bishop Anagbe said, is the “extermination” of Christianity from Nigeria.

Read more.

AUTHOR

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

PODCAST: The Ethics of Voting As A Christian

As 2023 comes to an end, many Americans are looking into 2024 with one specific national event on their mind: the presidential election.

Be it Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, there are a lot of options to choose from, but how does one know whom to pick?

Host Joseph Backholm is joined by Andrew Walker, Associate Dean in the School of Theology, and Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to discuss the morals and methods that Christians should implement when voting.

To Walker, politics is about promoting the common good and loving your neighbor.

Listen now to better understand how to ethically vote for candidates that align with your values!

GUESTS

Joseph Backholm

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.

Andrew Walker

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Life-Size Nativity Scene Figures Beheaded

On Sunday night, all the nativity figures were decapitated: Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men and even the donkey.

Life-size nativity figures beheaded in the migrant stronghold of Rüsselsheim, Germany

By: Medforth, December 18, 023;

Attack on the life-size nativity scene in the city of the Opel car. On Sunday night, all the nativity figures were decapitated: Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men and even the donkey.

The people of Rüsselsheim are shocked: the nativity scene is located at the Protestant market church in the heart of the city, right next to the town hall, during the Advent season. The figures of the Holy Family with Jesus are life-size. Surrounded by two Christmas trees. Donated by the Rüsselsheim Trade Association 1888 e.v.!

But on the morning of December 17, the nativity scene looks like a battlefield. All the figures have had their heads cut off. Joseph has been kicked over, Mary beaten away. Jesus is first missing, later found under the rubble.
The trade association tries to play down the incident: “Unknown perpetrators have obviously allowed themselves a macabre joke and cut off the heads of the figures.”

This does not necessarily make the situation any better for the trade association. The situation is beginning to flare up in Rüsselsheim. A local resident told the newspaper BILD: “A joke is when you can laugh about it. What’s funny about beheading Mary and Joseph?”

People on the Internet are also stunned by the violence directed at the nativity scene. People are angry at the perpetrator(s). One person posted on Instagram under the trade association’s publication: “It’s a barbaric act! Criminal offences must not be trivialised.”

Some figures had their heads chopped off in 2021 and 2022. There were no such incidents in the many decades before that.

The trade association comments: “Despite the regrettable incident, we would like to try to face this situation with humour (…) We see this ‘headless night’ as an opportunity to stand together and bring light into the darkness.”

The police will bring light into the darkness. A spokesperson confirmed to BILD that charges have been filed and investigations are already underway – including into a religiously motivated offence.

Read more.

AUTHOR

RELATED VIDEO: Christians Devastated as Armed Moroccan Migrant Burns Historic Church and Nativity, Ruins 17th Century Organ Before Christmas

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

American Muslims for Palestine Director: A ‘Jewish Person or Christian Zionist’ is ‘Enemy Number One’

AMP’s co-founder also created Students for Justice in Palestine.

The Biden administration was forced to condemn CAIR after its boss, Nihad Awad, who had a history of supporting Hamas, attended the American Muslims for Palestine conference and bragged about how happy he was about the Oct 7 attacks.

Awad claims that his remarks were taken “out of context.”

Now here’s Taher Herzallah, Outreach and Grassroots Organizing Director for AMP, talking about how Jewish people are the enemy. “Anybody who has any relationship or any support or identifies himself as a Jewish person or as a Christian Zionist then we shall not be their friend, I will tell you they are enemy number one and our community needs to recognize that.”

I’m guessing this one will also be described as “taken out of context.”

The AMP conference included Awad, Herzallah, and Hatem Bazian, the co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as AMP, who pretty much single-handedly made antisemitism the norm on college campuses.

Also present were Lena Masri, CAIR’s Civil Rights Director, and Fatima Mohammed: whose deranged CUNY Law grad speech went viral.

See if you can spot the pattern here.

Taher Herzallah is just quoting the Koran.

“O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends with one another. He among you who taketh them for friends is one of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (Koran 5:51)

So this hatred of Jews or Christians didn’t emerge on Oct 7 or 1967, 1948 or during any recent period. It was always there. It’s just more out in the open now.

AUTHOR

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

There is No Moderate Jihad

And that’s why co-existence is impossible.

Civilized nations have spent generations trying to convince themselves that the primary religious and national impulses of the Muslim world come down to more than conquest and mass murder.

The horrors of the past few years in Afghanistan and Israel both came down to the mistaken belief that you could negotiate and reach an agreement with Jihadist movements.

Both D.C. and Jerusalem had become enchanted with diplomatic initiatives to the Muslim world, from the Abraham Accords to two years of relative peace with Hamas, politicians, generals and diplomats were convinced that they had finally unlocked the secret of coexistence.

But there’s no perpetual motion machine, no diet that lets you eat what you want and no coexistence with an ideology that is built on conquering and destroying all outsiders.

Individually, contextually and circumstantially coexistence is possible. But not in the long run.

How long that long run is depends not on building relationships, but showing strength. Civilized people treat coexistence as a means of developing bonds but the other side uses periods of coexistence to test for weaknesses. Coexistence on their side is a wholly insincere façade, no matter how authentic it may appear, that gathers information to be used when the attack comes.

Israeli Kibbutz residents thought that they were building relationships with day laborers from Gaza. They chatted about life, their kids and their various hardships. Then those same laborers returned to kill, rape and abduct them. But that is how that was always going to end.

That is how it will end for us with the millions of immigrants that we have taken into our nations.

It is a fundamental error to view Hamas as an “extremist” group. It is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood whose political parties rule a number of Muslim countries. Its political organizations also dominate Muslim communities in America and Europe. Most of Al Qaeda’s leaders were also members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The myth of a split between political Islam and militant Islam, between moderate and extreme Islamic movements was always just that.

As Erdogan, the brutal Islamist tyrant who became the poster boy for moderate Islam said, “Islam cannot be either ‘moderate’ or ‘not moderate.’ Islam can only be one thing.” He has since, despite previous claims of turning more moderate and rebuilding relationships, renewed his support for Hamas, and threatened western nations with a Jihad against the “crusaders”.

The trouble with all the dreams of coexistence is that Islam is Jihad and Jihad is Islam. The most fundamental external expression of Islam is a drive to conquer the entire world, not in some uncertain ‘end of days’ future, but here, now and in the present. The difference between the so-called moderates and extremists comes down to quibbling over when and how that conquest is to begin, where it is to be implemented and who is to take charge of it.

But the actual conquest is an ongoing project. Every Islamic war, whether against Muslims or non-Muslims, is waged as part of an agenda of global conquest. Muslim civil wars are waged between different factions under the banner of Islamic leadership. And the purpose of Islamic leadership is to impose Islamic law in its lands and then invade other lands to impose the same brutal theocratic repression there.

The Jihad is the defining force of Islamic political and religious life. Much as with Communism, coexistence with it is impossible. It was impossible to coexist with members of a movement that believed in conquering and subjugating everyone under the red flag and the little red book. Individually you could chat with a Communist or help them with their groceries, but the ideology doomed any long term relationship with someone who wanted you dead or as a slave.

This was a difficult lesson that we never learned during the Cold War. Is it any wonder that we’re incapable of grasping this concept now when our civilization’s future is once again on the line?

The Cold War was fought on the optimistic premise that everyone wanted the same things we did, and that once we taught them to want them, they would adopt our means of getting them. Convince Communists that color TVs were fun and they become democratic capitalists. What sounded like a good argument to us has failed in every country that it’s been tried, except those that, like Japan and Germany, were originally democratic and capitalist. Instead we convinced China that it should make and sell us the TVs and use the money to build up its military, and convinced the Muslim world to move here, kill us and take the TVs.

We are not the world and the world is not us. Not all religions, cultures and countries are alike. Most have things that they believe in every bit as strongly as our fanciful belief that all people are basically good and that if we could just get them in a room, we would agree on most things. That’s what we did with multiculturalism and it’s why we now have violent riots every few years because we don’t agree on basic things like what we want out of life or how we treat each other.

That’s why we should not delude ourselves into thinking that the Jihad is a fringe, the misbehavior of a tiny minority, and that even that tiny minority doesn’t really buy into it. Every religion and movement has its hypocrites, but the belief that the world must be purified by Islam is as sincerely held by the majority of its believers as by those who fought for Communism. That is the religious impulse, more than any other, at the heart of Islam and its promise to Muslims.

Each religion has elements that make it exceptional. What makes Islam exceptional is not the collection of beliefs, scriptures and rituals often cribbed from Judaism and Christianity, but what it offers that these religions do not, an imminent redemption of the world achieved not in the distant future, but in the present day through the violent actions of its followers. That, and not borrowed scripture and ritual, is what allowed Islam to defeat Jews and Christians.

Western nations view this as ancient history while Muslims see it as an enduring struggle. That is why they talk, as Erdogan does, about “crusaders” and taunt the Jews with the massacre of Khaybar by Mohammed’s bandits. Convinced that history can never repeat itself, we dismiss the idea that it’s relevant or that the people we are dealing with are serious about bringing it back.

Civilized people are shocked by the horrors that ISIS, Boko Haram or Hamas perpetrate because they refuse to learn history or to see how it might be relevant to current events. It’s fashionable to draw a line, whether it’s 5 minutes ago or in 1967, and begin the clock from there. Why is this happening, they wonder, as if this had not been the longstanding practice of Islamic armies to behead fallen enemies, mutilate bodies or to rape women for over a thousand years. They assume without a shred of evidence that such practices must have been abolished.

What we are experiencing is not a reaction to anything we did. It has nothing to do with our views on a ‘Palestinian’ state, whether we draw Mohammed or welcome refugees. The Jihad is the founding religious impulse of Islam with over a thousand years of history behind it. The Jihad not only predates the United States of America and the rebirth of Israel, but dates back to a name when pagan kings ruled the various parts of England. It predates colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, globalism, the dollar, WWI and the Carter administration.

The Jihad made Islam possible. It is also what gives it meaning. It is the precarious reality that colors all relationships with the Muslim world. We have learned to ignore it at our own risk. And every time we unsee it, people die. They die by the dozens, the hundreds and the thousands. And the killing and the dying happen because we mistake what is at best a Cold War for a rich relationship. We think that we are building bridges when we’re really welcoming invaders.

To survive, we need to see all the things that we’ve been unseeing. We have to recognize that these horrors are not aberrations, they are the norm. It’s the pleasantries and periods of coexistence that are the aberration. It’s not a problem we can negotiate away. It’s not solvable by spreading democracy or building up trade relationships. The only reason we weren’t living with these horrors on an everyday basis is that the Western world became too powerful to have our coastlines and ships raided for slaves as used to be common practice in the past.

What the Muslim world and it leftist allies call “imperialism” and “colonialism” meant that kidnapped European women stopped showing up in the harems of the Ottoman Caliphate and European children as slaves in his armies. It also meant that the Jews were able to rebuild their country and, briefly, Christians in the region were also able to freely lift their heads again. We forgot that we had become strong to stop ourselves from falling victim to the endless Jihad. And our sons and daughters came to sympathize with former enemies who would rape and kill them.

Now we have made ourselves weak and the horrors are returning. We struggle to coexist with those who want to kill us. And then we wonder why they keep killing us. There’s our answer.

Coexistence is death, resistance is life. Until we learn to stop coexisting with our killers, they will go on killing us. All else is an illusion. A fantasy that we keep feeding ourselves. There is no moderate Islam because there is no moderate Jihad. And there is no moderate Jihad because there is no moderate way to conquer and enslave non-Muslims. Islam is a state of perpetual war. To know Islam is to never know peace. We coexist with Islam and so we are at war.

AUTHOR

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

Gallup Polls Show Increase in Unbelief and Uncertainty, and It’s Not Surprising

Since 2001, Gallup News has polled Americans on their belief in five prominent “religious entities” — God, angels, heaven, hell, and the devil. After their fifth poll, which took place in May of this year, Americans seem to be straying further from belief in religious entities, and thus, closer to uncertainty or even complete unbelief.

According to the poll, “74% believe in God, 69% angels, 67% heaven, 59% hell, [and] 58% the devil.” When comparing these results with the initial survey conducted in 2001, Gallup concluded that “belief in God and heaven is down the most (16 points each), while belief in hell has fallen 12 points, and the devil and angels are down 10 points each.” In addition to this information, a 2023 study done by George Barna at the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University found that only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview, which has only recently dropped from the previous 6%.

Clearly, we are living in a time of depravity. Not in the sense of how humans are depraved on account of the fall in Genesis 3, but in the sense that Americans are deprived of truth while constantly being fed lies. Whether viewing these statistics from a biblical or secular worldview, the results shouldn’t be surprising.

From a biblical worldview, Christians see the enemy at work in the LGBT agenda, abortion industry, war on (biological) women, indoctrination of children, and many other aspects of society. In a short amount of time, these narratives crept their way to the surface of politics, education, and everyday life. Corrupt ideology is rampant among us, and it is difficult to escape from its gaping jaws without Scripture’s guidance.

But even from a secular worldview, the leftist agenda has been so loud that even those who were once neutral are now being swayed to adopt a distaste for religion. Again, not so surprising. Imagine straddling the fence of societal opinions when an army of “my truthers” come shouting their beliefs directly at you. The mere amplitude of their cries is enough to shove the indifferent onto the side of “inclusivity” and “acceptance,” even if solely out of fear of being hated or rejected.

“My body, my choice,” they scream.

“Gender and sexuality are subjective,” they proclaim.

“If you aren’t for us, then you’re against us and worthy of being canceled,” they threaten.

The list goes on for how these people tantalize those who disagree with them. They use the same tactics on the ones they see as vulnerable prey, just waiting to seize them with the bonds of worldly manipulation coordinated by Satan and his demons. To exasperate the matter, a sense of purposelessness plagues the unbeliever and often tempts the one who does believe. The 2023 Gallup poll only affirms this notion.

Regardless of what worldview one holds, it remains true that no human being enjoys feeling like they have no purpose. And yet, this is a common conundrum. If one does not find their purpose in Christ, Ecclesiastes makes it clear that all is vanity. For the one without God, purpose is impossible to find. So, when we see these statistics that say more Americans are committing to unbelief, or are trapped in uncertainty on what to believe, it is reasonable to attribute much of it to this desire of having purpose.

A biblical worldview comes with an agreed-upon objective of purpose found in Christ. Of course, the secular worldview has no objective truth, but rather a stream of various definitions of what purpose entails. David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, put it this way: “A fragmented worldview leads to confusion.” And this confusion is only becoming more prominent. As a result, we can expect the numbers of those who believe in spiritual entities to continue dropping as the heritage of biblical worldview becomes increasingly forgotten.

When discussing how Christians can respond to this reality, Closson noted two major obligations: to remember we live in a post-Christian world and to not take basic Christian doctrine for granted. “Even a lot of Christians probably don’t do well on these polls,” he said. “Why is that? Because people are not reading their Bibles and pastors are not giving theologically [rich] sermons.”

As Closson phrased it, Christians need to “re-double efforts in New Testament discipleship 101,” which he concluded is to preach the word, study the Bible, engage in Christian fellowship, and strive to strengthen our faith in and out of the church walls. Ultimately, if Christians don’t do what we know we are called to do according to Scripture, no one else will.

It is unlikely this poll will be the last of its kind conducted by Gallup. And it is likely the numbers will continue to fall. But rather than allowing it to serve as a hindrance to the Christian calling, may it fuel our hearts to good works, bold faith, and godly witness.

Christ’s church is being built as we speak — don’t you dare pull back now.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

MUSIC VIDEO: “Can You Hear Me”

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you are right.” — Henry Ford


With everything that’s been happening in the past few years, have you ever wondered if anyone is listening…

Can You Hear Me” is a letter to God.

Everyone at some point in life finds themselves broken.

Can You Hear Me” is for anyone who has ever been in that place. Life can be messy, it’s OK to be there…Beautifully broken, perfectly imperfect.

Messes can turn into messages.

A lot of Faith based content is shadow banned/censored on social media, especially those of a Christian/Conservative viewpoint.

Hope you’ll check it out and share.

Thanks for listening!

Blessings xo

Ava

©2023 Ava Aston. All rights reserved.

What Will Persecuted Christians Face in 2023?

The Bible radically challenges the status quo. It speaks truth to power.


During a recent conversation with Margaret, a woman who suffered life-changing injuries after Islamists assaulted a Catholic church in Nigeria last Pentecost Sunday, I couldn’t help but reflect deeply on the words of Christ:

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5)

Indeed, who is it that can forgive their enemies and overcome hatred, violence and abuse of the kind suffered by Margaret but he or she who knows Christ?

In my work for the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, I am frequently asked about how I deal with all the negative stories and the “doom and gloom”. But as St John’s letter reminds us, a strong faith in Christ’s ultimate victory upends this question: rather, how can I deal with all the pessimism and negativity without learning from the example of the modern-day martyrs?

Speaking to Margaret taught me two key lessons: that we in the West need the example of the persecuted Church, and they need us. The more that the opponents of the Church become emboldened in persecuting her, and the less we speak truth to power, the more severe will the persecution be this year. Our silence is a green light to violence.

2022 made this fact clearer than ever. More Christians suffer for their faith in Christ than any other religious group suffers for their faith, according to the Pew Research Center. This is borne out by fresh data from Aid to the Church in Need’s latest report Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2020-22.

The oppression or persecution of Christians increased in 75 percent of the 24 countries ACN surveyed. In Africa, the situation for Christians worsened in all countries reviewed amid a sharp increase in genocidal violence from militant non-state actors, including the jihadist groups Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram. Nigeria is in particular trouble. In the Middle East, continuing migration deepened the crisis threatening the survival of three of the world’s oldest Christian communities located in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

State authoritarianism has been the critical factor causing worsening oppression against Christians in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar). Religious nationalism has caused increasing persecution against Christians in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, among other countries. Fashionable holiday destinations like the Maldives fare poorly when it comes to the treatment of Christians. Football-famous Qatar has also been on our radar.

A key trend we are witnessing in the West which aids and abets the persecution of Christians is civil authorities’ frequent denial of the extent of the problem. This can stem from ignorance of and outright unwillingness to alleviate the suffering of Christians, but also takes the form of dubious arguments that reject explanations of the crisis rooted in anti-Christian hatred, instead preferring economic justifications or cries of “climate change”. But climate change alone cannot explain Christian persecution, as the UK parliamentarian Sir Edward Leigh MP explained in a recent article.

2023 will see these trends escalate, ACN’s research suggests. Our work proactively identifies the trends Christians face early on, rather than being purely reactive. This call to justice is crucial to waking up governments, decision-makers and the Church to the plight of the most vulnerable. We defend the persecuted Church and stand in solidarity with her but, perhaps even more importantly, we provide support and pastoral care so that she can persevere in her mission to preach the Gospel to all nations, whatever the cost.

Speaking to ACN last year after her release from captivity in Mali, west Africa, Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez said: “My God, it is hard to be chained and to receive blows, but I live this moment as you present it to me … And, in spite of everything, I would not want any of [my captors] to be harmed.”

The Franciscan sister was held by Islamist militants for over four years, during which time she was repeatedly physically and psychologically tortured. Sister Gloria made clear that her Christian faith was the source of the animus against her, describing to us how her captors became enraged when she prayed. On one occasion, when a jihadist leader found her praying, he struck her saying: “Let’s see if that God gets you out of here. Sister Gloria continued: “He spoke to me using very strong, ugly words…My soul shuddered at what this person was saying, while the other guards laughed out loud at the insults.”

As Christ says to the persecuted Church and to us: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

When I read these words, the smiling portrait of a humble and persevering Nigerian woman comes to mind. This year, like so many other Christians, Margaret will continue to suffer and to triumph. This year truth and falsehood will be asserted variably in the courts of power.

Yet, however worldly justice deals with the cause of persecuted Christians, long may their suffering smiles ring out the joy of victory.

AUTHOR

John Pontifex

John Pontifex is Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need (UK), an international Catholic charity which supports persecuted and other suffering Christians. More by John Pontifex

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

Secretary of State Blinken to Address Anti-Israel Group Along With ‘Infected With Jew-Hatred’ Activist

The Biden administration really hates Israel.


One would think this would be a problem. But it’s also routine in the Biden administration which, in recent weeks, elevated Hady Amr, a terrorism supporter, to a top-tier emissary to the PLO and sent the FBI after Israel. This is just one in a series of ugly hate messages, the latest being to dispatch Secretary of State Blinken to address an anti-Israel group set up by George Soros and some Hong Kong money laundering.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be the keynote speaker at leftwing J Street’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., the organization announced on Wednesday.

Blinken on Wednesday announced that he will serve as the headline speaker at the annual conference for J Street, which as recently as last month trashed Netanyahu, accusing the incoming prime minister of “building and bulldozing [his] way to permanent, undemocratic control of the West Bank.” The group also advocates conditioning U.S. aid to Israel, routinely attacks the Jewish state for defending itself against Palestinian terrorism…

The conference kicks off this weekend, with Blinken set to address the confab on Sunday, alongside former Bernie Sanders adviser and longtime Israel critic Matt Duss, Daily Beast writer Wajahat Ali, a cadre of pro-Palestinian activists, and several Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) and senator-elect Peter Welch (D., Vt.).

Duss, a Sanders ally, has gone well beyond being a critic.

Duss, whose writings have been described by a watchdog group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as “infected with Jew-hatred,” has been a leading voice in the anti-Israel movement for the better part of the last decade. His criticisms of Israel were too much even for the Obama White House, which said it was “troubled” by blog posts penned by Duss and his colleagues at the now-defunct ThinkProgress.

The Sanders ally gained notoriety in 2011 when he and several other writers at the Center for American Progress’s now-defunct ThinkProgress leveled charges of dual loyalty against Israel’s American supporters, calling them “Israel firsters,” a term that was widely condemned at the time as anti-Semitic.

In one 2010 posting on Israel’s deadly confrontation with a violent mob seeking to break its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, Duss claimed the country’s policies are like “segregation in the American South” and a “moral abomination.” Duss is also a defender of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and said in 2019 that congressional efforts to counter the anti-Israel crowd are a “con and Democrats need to stop playing along.”

Also there is Daniel Seidemann who had tweeted, “Israel’s policies have become so aggressive and unapologetic – defiant even – that even our staunchest supporters, if they have any intellectual and moral integrity – are compelled to acknowledge the systematic manifestations of apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

The anti-Israel program also includes panels such as, “Resisting Occupation: Non-Violent Activism on the Ground”, and “Demolitions, Evictions, and Displacement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank”.

A helpful reminder that the Biden administration is and always will be an anti-Israel operation.

AUTHOR

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

American Parents Who Protest Schools are Terrorists. Muslim Parents are ‘Multifaceted’

You can’t treat Muslims like terrorists.


The wave of protests against sexual materials and agendas in schools spreading around the country appeared in Dearborn, Michigan. Islamists in America had long grappled with how to manage both their leftist alliances and the sexual agendas of those allies. Most opted for public expressions of support and private repression. The breach broke out in the open in Dearborn with videos of angry Arab Muslims, among others, speaking out at school board meetings.

They waved signs, booed speakers, and denounced the board members. The same sort of stuff that led Biden and Garland’s DOJ to illegally coordinate a school board association letter preparing to treat them like terrorists.

But they can’t treat Muslims like terrorists.

The sheer awkwardness was captured by the local NPR affiliate’s story on the protests.

.Community members within the Dearborn Public School District have been in heated debate over several LGBTQ-positive books and their availability to students. The debate in Dearborn came to a head at a school board meeting this week.

It’s not the first time a religious, conservative group has opposed the availability of books that include LGBTQ-positive stories and sentiments.

However, unlike we’ve seen before, many of those religious conservatives are Muslim. It’s the first time someone other than Evangelicals and far-right constituents have been a sizeable force in the protests at the school board.

Reporter Niraj Warikoo provided some context on this multifaceted issue. We also heard from someone who’s taken a stand in favor of age-appropriate, LGBTQ-positive books.

When American parents protest sexual materials being inflicted on their kids, it’s terrorism. But when Muslims protest, it’s “multifaceted”.

That’s especially true since the local CAIR appeared to be involved in guiding some parents behind the scenes while cautioning them away from public protests. Others however, with fewer woke alliances, took a more vocal stand.

One of Michigan’s most prominent faith leaders, Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, urged people during his Friday sermon to attend the protests.

“Some of those books are completely inappropriate for our children to read,” Al-Qazwini said. “Some of those books promote pornography. Some of them promote homosexuality. We don’t need this. Go and attend this meeting.”

Al-Qazwini and others said that they have the democratic right to decide what is appropriate in their schools since their faith is now in the majority. Dearborn is about 47% Arab American, most of them Muslim, and Dearborn Heights is about one-third Arab American, according to census data

What’s the Left going to do? Shut up and take it. At least in public. And explain how multifaceted it all is, and double down on pushing this stuff anyway. Publicly, dissent is impossible. And impracticable. The Left hopes to run the same routine that it did with the black community, but it doesn’t understand the territory. Or the players.

They’re the majority and they mean it.

When similar incidents happened in the UK, there was some handwringing and inspectors were sent to investigate Jewish and Christian schools. Expect the media and activist lefties to loudly shift attention back to safer targets. And then call them terrorists.

AUTHOR

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

Ilhan Omar Blasted for Anti-Christian Bigotry Over Video Comment

Noted antisemite and sharia-supporter Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) incurred a flood of social media condemnation — and rightfully so — over the weekend for her remarks about a video of passengers singing Christian music on a plane.

In the now-viral video, captioned “Worshipping Jesus 30,000 feet in the air,” passengers are seen singing a popular Christian worship song inside an airliner. The clip was originally posted by Jack Jensz Jr., founder of Kingdom Realm Ministries, who has been assisting Ukrainian refugees in Europe along with his congregation.

The Muslim congresswoman retweeted the clip, adding, “I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end?”

“I think you should shut up and stop being a bigot,” responded conservative author Kurt Schlichter.

“Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN attacks a group of Christian volunteers on an @easyJet flight in Europe delivering aid to Ukraine, because they’re singing,” wrote activist and businessman Avi Kaner.

“Why does this person who lives free and liberated because of the compassion of our country not appreciate that we’re a Judeo-Christian society uniquely founded to protect those of all faiths?” wrote talk radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo.

“Why does she constantly denigrate the place that offered her so much?” he asked. “Praying for her.”

“I spent decades flying in the Middle East. We weren’t even allowed to bring Bibles into the countries or worship. This sort of impromptu singing would turn into arrests and imprisonment,” wrote former congressional Republican candidate and Air Force pilot Buzz Patterson. “I’ll celebrate our freedoms here. You do you.”

“I doubt that people would care one bit. It’s the slitting of throats with box cutters and flying jetliners into buildings that we have an issue with. Next question,” wrote conservative commentator Todd Starnes.

“Stop with the Christianphobia, Congresswoman,” wrote conservative author and YouTube personality Mark Dice.

“If someone yelled Allahu Akbar I’d freak out, YOU’d freak out and ANY Muslim would freak out given the fact we still have many radical Islamists in our religion (Hizbollah, ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas etc) all would love to hijack a plane for another 9/11 who we kidding..,” wrote former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan.


Ilhan Omar

63 Known Connections

Omar Emphasizes That America Is a Racist Nation

On May 3, 2021, Omar told MSNBC host Joy Reid that she and her fellow black Democrats were becoming exhausted by people who refused to concede that America was a racist nation. “I think there is a lot of emotional exhaustion that many of us who are black lawmakers and black people in public service are experiencing,” said Omar. “Because every single day you know that there are ways to transform the justice system, the policing system, and you have to have conversation[s] with people who want to turn a blind eye to the injustices that exist within our systems, who continue to insist that this country is not a country that is racist, that our systems don’t have racism embedded in them.”

To learn more about Ilhan Omar, click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Did A Christian Just Blow Himself Up for Jesus?

Video: Robert Spencer on OAN on the Liverpool ‘Christian’ jihad suicide bombing.

My latest in PJ Media:

On Sunday morning in Britain, just as the nation was preparing to observe a moment of silence for Remembrance Day, a taxicab pulled up in front of Liverpool Women’s Hospital and exploded into flames. Moments later, the cab driver, David Perry, who had run out of the car, explained that he had noticed that his passenger, who turned out to be an Iraqi migrant named Emad Jamil Al Swealmeen, was wearing an explosive belt, so he locked the cab, whereupon Swealmeen exploded his bomb inside it.

This would be an unfortunately standard story of jihad terrorism were it not for a strange detail. Swealmeen converted to Christianity in 2017, in the same cathedral he had apparently planned to attack: he initially asked Perry to drive him to the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool, but traffic was heavy, and so he opted to go to Liverpool Women’s Hospital instead.

Islamic apologists have made much of Swealmeen’s conversion to Christianity, as it apparently validates their claim that terrorists are not prompted to commit acts of violence by religious teachings, but by poverty or desperation or psychological problems or some combination of the three. That certainly seems to be true in Swealmeen’s case, at least at first glance, since he seems to have renounced Islam and its promise of paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (Qur’an 9:111) back in 2017.

Malcolm Hitchott, who with his wife Elizabeth hosted Swealmeen in their home for eight months when he first arrived in Britain, recounted: “He first came to the cathedral in August 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity. He took an Alpha Course, which explains the Christian faith, and completed it in November of that year. That enabled him to come to an informed decision and he changed from Islam to Christianity and was confirmed as a Christian just before he came to live with us. He was destitute at that time and we took him in.” Elizabeth recalled that he was a wonderful fellow: “We just loved him, he was a lovely guy.” Obviously.

His conversion, however, may not have been sincere. Christian Today reported back in January 2017 that in Germany, “migrants increase their chances of winning asylum in Germany if they are able to prove that they would face persecution if sent home to a Muslim country….They can do this by showing proof that they are Christian or have converted to Christianity.” Dr. Gottfried Martens of Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin noted that “some Muslims come to his church and express interest in Christianity just to improve their chances of getting their asylum request approved.”

Asylum seekers in Britain have also shown that they know how to game the system: they claim to be Christian or gay and that they would therefore face persecution back home if their asylum claim was denied. But as soon as their application is approved, they return to Islam and/or heterosexuality.

There is more. Read the rest here.

RELATED VIDEO: The Forgotten Suicide Bomber.

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

Hamas-Linked CAIR Sues Maryland County over Christian-Only Chaplain Hiring Policy at County Jail

A Muslim man is embroiled in a religious discrimination lawsuit at a Maryland county jail, where job applicants for the position of chaplain are made to sign a statement affirming that they are Christians. Lawyers from the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “sued Prince George’s County on behalf of Edrees Bridges, who has been a volunteer chaplain at a county jail in Upper Marlboro since 2018.”

The CAIR lawsuit argues that “that kind of religious test is illegal under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause,” and “claims the statement violates Bridges’ religious freedom rights,” even forcing him to abandon his religious beliefs as a Muslim, should he sign the statement.

The challenge has legal and Constitutional merit, but it is no accident that it came from CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. CAIR has earned its reputation of finding legal and political loopholes to advance its agenda to the detriment of the greater good — in this case, for the inmates in Prince George’s County. In 2018, CAIR sued Riverside Regional Jail in North Prince George, Virginia for allowing for a Christian space. CAIR filed an injunction demanding “Islamic programming,” “pork-free meals,” and a dismantling of the Christian “God-Pod” for promoting what CAIR called “segregation.”

Statistical data on religious representation among prison inmates in America from the US Department of Justice reveals:

The Prison Service recognizes more than 40 different religious denominations. In 2000, the largest group of inmates was Anglicans, who formed 39 percent of the prison population. Next was the group with No Religion (32 percent) followed by Roman Catholics at 17 percent and Muslims at 7 percent. Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs each accounted about a half of one percent of the population. The fastest growing group was prisoners with No Religion, which more than doubled in size between 1993 and 2000. The prison population as a whole grew by 55 percent over the same period. Between 1993 and 2000, the number of Muslims doubled.

Although Prince George’s County may be different, overall, Christians constitute the largest representation of inmates in America, making up 56 percent of the prison population. Then follow those of no religion, and then Muslims at only seven percent, although “between 1993 and 2000, the number of Muslims doubled.” Inmate conversions are included — and among them are jihadi converts.

CAIR seeks Muslim representation among prison chaplains, without acknowledging how that representation has proven to be problematic. In 2011, Michael Downing, who was LAPD Deputy Chief at the time, addressed the House Homeland Security Committee; he warned: “We have ongoing cases that involve convert prison radicals that are out in the community now.” The hearing focused on the threat from “Prislam,” which Downing described as “an extremist ‘cut and paste’ version of Islam practiced by inmates.”

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Smith stated in that same hearing that the Prislam ideology was one which “he saw in some New Folsom prison inmates whom he prosecuted for plotting to attack Jewish targets in Los Angeles and the LAX airport.”

According to Patrick Dunleavy, author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection: “If we continue to downplay the threat, we do so at our own peril.” He added that he “would not be surprised to find a copy of al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine in any prison.” 

American federal prisons have more recently been described by experts as “breeding grounds” for terrorists. The implications are immense. “Prisons have long been criticized for a culture that can make some inmates more dangerous than when they entered, but the possibility that typical felons could become lone wolf terrorists upon earning parole is a disturbing new wrinkle.”

By contrast, Christianity has a longstanding positive impact in prison ministry. In the best interests of the prisoners collectively — and for society at large — programs in prisons have focused on restorative justice. Restorative justice is rooted in compassionate Christian beliefs.

“Prison Ministry of America, which also is named as a defendant in the suit, has a contract with the county to provide religious services to jail inmates. The statement on its job application says Prison Ministry of America employees are ‘committed to a lifestyle of Christianity and agree with our statement of faith.’”

The problem is not only an American one.  In the UK, jihad recruitment in prisons has earned them the reputation of being jihad training camps, where Muslim prison gangs beat prisoners who won’t convert to Islam. Prison staff are afraid to stand up to Muslim inmates for fear of being called “racist.” A Christian prison chaplain in the UK was banned for ten years for warning about “Islamic extremism” in jails.

Many prisoners may be adversely affected, depending on the outcome of the CAIR lawsuit, if it results in more Muslim representation and fewer Christian chaplains.

Lawsuit: Only Christians could apply for jail chaplain job

by Michael Kunzelman, ABC News, May 27, 2021:

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Applicants for a chaplain’s job at a Maryland county jail had to sign a statement affirming that they are Christians, a Muslim man claims Thursday in a federal lawsuit accusing the county and a contractor of religious discrimination.

Lawyers from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, sued Prince George’s County on behalf of Edrees Bridges, who has been a volunteer chaplain at a county jail in Upper Marlboro since 2018.

Bridges, 49, learned in April that the county was hiring a paid chaplain. He asked for an application but couldn’t complete it because all applicants were required to sign a “Statement of Applicant’s Christian Faith” that would force him to abandon his religious beliefs as a Muslim, his lawsuit says.

Prison Ministry of America, which also is named as a defendant in the suit, has a contract with the county to provide religious services to jail inmates. The statement on its job application says Prison Ministry of America employees are “committed to a lifestyle of Christianity and agree with our statement of faith.”

It also asks applicants to affirm that they “believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe,” that “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit” and that “the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word.”

The lawsuit says that kind of religious test is illegal under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from establishing a state religion. It also claims the statement violates Bridges’ religious freedom rights.

Bridges said he was shocked and saddened to learn that his Muslim faith would exclude him from the applicant pool.

“I have always encountered people that have been open to that diversity of ideas, diversity of thought,” he said in an interview Thursday. “As a chaplain, one of the core ingredients to being a chaplain is to be there for all.”…..

COLUMN BY

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

The New Savagery of the Oldest Hatred

Same old, same old. But not it’s America, not Germany. And you won’t find it covered by the Democrat media complex.

The New Furies of the Oldest Hatred

Take a good look at who is speaking out against Jew-hate. And who is staying silent.

By: Peter Savodnik, Bari Weiss Substack, May 21, 2021:

The furies have been unleashed. They were everywhere you looked these past two weeks, though you won’t read about them much in the papers.

We saw them on Thursday, when pro-Palestinian protesters threw an explosive device into a crowd of Jews in New York’s Diamond District. We saw them on Wednesday, when two men were attacked outside a bagel shop in midtown Manhattan. We saw them on Tuesday, at a sushi restaurant in West Hollywood, when a group of men draped in keffiyehs asked the diners who was Jewish, and then pummeled them. And in a parking lot not far away, when two cars draped in Palestinian flags roared after an Orthodox man fleeing for his life. And in the story of the American soccer player Luca Lewis, cornered by a band of men in New York demanding to know if he was a Jew. Then there was the caravan careening through Jewish neighborhoods in North London carrying people screaming: “Fuck the Jews! Rape their daughters!” And the rabbi, outside London, who was hospitalized after being attacked by two teenagers. And the demonstrator in Vienna shouting, “Shove your Holocaust up your ass!” — the crowd of young people, mostly women, cheering. The synagogue in Skokie that was vandalized. The synagogue in Tucson that was vandalized. The synagogue in Salt Lake that was vandalized. The pro-Israel demonstrators in Montreal pelted with rocks. And the pro-Palestinian agitators in Edmonton driving around in search of Jews. The teeming crowds in Washington, D.C.BerlinBangladeshPhiladelphia and Boston and San Francisco and, of course, across the Arab world. The seemingly ubiquitous accusations of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” The Turkish president, reaching all the way back to the Middle Ages, accusing Israelis of “sucking the blood” of non-Jewish children. Every hour on the hour, the celebrities posted their memes and the elected officials and the influencers — it’s hard to tell the difference — called Israel an “apartheid” regime. Apartheid regimes, like regimes guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing, are meant to be overthrown. Violently, if need be. So bloodshed is warranted, yes?The silence-is-violence people — those who are quick to “call out” anyone deemed inadequately antiracist, experts at digging up any dusty book passage — have been remarkably quiet when it comes to Jews being dehumanized and hunted down.


Let us dispense with the fiction, once and for all, that hating the Jewish homeland, which contains the largest Jewish community on Earth, is different from hating Jews. It has been exceedingly difficult in our blinkered, hyper-secularized present, so removed from the primal animosities of not so long ago, to conceive of a world in which tens or hundreds of millions of people who have never visited Israel or never met a Jew want Jews dead. We’ve been blinded by the oceanic success of life under the Pax Americana. We think this is how people are. This is not how people are. This is a wondrous aberration. There were 2,000 years of ghettos, blood libels and pogroms, of dehumanization and second-class citizenship that culminated with the Shoah. For the past several decades — a sneeze in the span of Jewish history — we American Jews have been maundering through the happy, mournful echoes of the recent past. That recent past meant that we weren’t shocked to see this violence from the Europeans, who have never stopped hating Jews, but who had been forced, by the camps, to camouflage their Jew hate in their criticism of Israel, their obsession with it. But America? We were not steeped in the Old World hatreds. We were deeply flawed — who wasn’t? — but our flaws were always in conflict with our identity. One of the many problems with antisemitism, like Jim Crow, was that it made a mockery of our ideals, which made it impossible to hold onto the old bigotries forever. One had to reject Jew-hate and support the Jewish right to self-determination for the same reason one had to dismantle literacy laws that limited voting rights: It was central to the American weltanschauung. It was part of our animating ethic. The progress was glacial and uneven but inexorable. It was America becoming more American. We were supposed to have transcended the old blood-and-soil stupidities. But they can’t be transcended. That was a beautiful myth, a myth that was fundamental to our idea of ourselves. But we are losing ourselves.


How did this happen? It’s inane to try to superimpose a tidy, monocausal explanation on all of the above. But we know a few things for sure. America’s great institutions, and the security and stability and rhythm they once provided, have been co-opted, and this has had an unbelievably destabilizing impact on all aspects of American life. We have lost this edifice, which took decades to build and about ten minutes to tear down, because of our remarkably spineless “elite,” who seem to have no concept what role they are meant to play, or if they do, simply don’t have the cojones. Then there is the transformation of the American left. The left used to imagine itself having one job. That job was to protect the interests of the working class. In fact, until not long ago, the left could not imagine a politics outside the framework of a Herculean struggle pitting the working class against the managerial elite, otherwise known as the Republican Party. Literally every conversation started and ended with class. Class struggle, class warfare, the working class, the middle class. But in the last quarter of the 20th century, the old fight against economic inequality gave way to the pressures of the market and geopolitics. The Chinese gave up on violent, socialist totalitarianism and embraced a kind of retrofitted capitalism. Then came Thatcher, Reagan, the end of the Cold War, the collapse of Soviet communism, the Indians (who, in 1991, embarked on a Reagan-like unwinding of the old Five-Year Plans), the internet, globalization, Bill Clinton, and the narrowing of our ideological differences. In just a few decades, traditional left-wing politics seemed to have lost its reason for being. There was a void, and a need for a new organizing principle to try to make sense of the world. Into the void seeped the new, soft-boiled thinking about race and gender, which had been fomenting, mostly on campus, for the past two decades. Identity soon acquired a new status among liberals, who now called themselves progressives. It comported with our shifting demographics, and it gave the Democratic leadership, which could no longer talk about soaking the rich, something to talk about. Over the past two decades, this obsession with identity has intensified and spread. Progressives are now incapable of talking about anything important without mentioning human beings’ immutable traits.Any politics of identity was bad for the Jew. On the right, the identiarians said that the Jew lacked whiteness — it was a new version of the old Nazi claim about our impurity. On the left, the Jew was said to have too much. In 2021, we are well-aware of the white-nationalist inanities. We have memorized the horrific footage from Charlottesville. We remember every Jew murdered in Pittsburgh and in Poway.But their chants of “Jews Will Not Replace Us” are now being joined by the identitarians of the left, who wield vastly more capital and power, in government, in the media, in the universities, in Hollywood, and in Silicon Valley. (It’s curious that Rep. Rashida Tlaib has accused Israel of “forced population replacement.”) Together, they form a bleating chorus of grievances. Somehow their roster of The Hurt never includes the Jew.The betrayal of the Jew has been building. It started with an unexpected moral relativism (one recalls Howard Dean, on the presidential campaign trail in 2003, saying it was not America’s place to take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). Then there were the apologetic Jews, the Jews who felt, as so many Jews have felt across the centuries, that they must have done something wrong, the self-haters, the internalizers, who fashioned themselves into perfect fig leaves. This escalated into a low-simmering hostility (with Joseph Lieberman, the one-time vice-presidential nominee, slowly exiting his party), and the coolness of Barack Obama, and his insistence on an Iranian nuclear deal that seemed to excite American progressives more than any Israeli (or Saudi or Emirati) general. Then there were the activists. All of them seemed to have a — what’s the word? — problematic relationship with the Jewish community. It wasn’t just an incident or untoward comment. It seemed characterological. The Women’s March was helmed by a Louis Farrakhan acolyte who was not shunned, but put in the pages of Vogue and now stars in an ad for CadillacBlack Lives Matter was birthed by a fake Marxist who apparently enjoys when her book is compared to Mao’s, and whose original charter accused Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.”The progressives will respond that there is nothing antisemitic about criticizing Israeli policy. They are right! All governments should be scrutinized. But criticism of Israeli policy is often just criticism of Israel’s existence. We know this because the criticized policies almost always involve Israel being able to defend itself against hostile neighbors (being able to exist); and because there is an obsession with Israel that distinguishes it from any other country or foreign-policy issue. Countless Muslims have suffered at the hands of the Chinese, Indians and Russians — to say nothing of the Assad regime having incinerated as many as 600,000 Syrians, the nearly 500,000 Palestinians confined to refugee camps in Lebanon, or the indentured servants, including many Palestinians, in the nearby Gulf. This is not whataboutism. It is perspective. Progressives will insist that we have progressed, as it were, beyond antisemitism. We don’t live in that world anymore. Don’t be paranoid! The violence in the streets doesn’t represent the movement! Note that the same people who insist that America hasn’t made one iota of progress on race — that we have so much work to do — also insist that we have resolved with the Jewish problem that goes back to Jesus. Sure. Elected Democrats, for a while, mostly held it together. They used to call the Jew hate what it was. Recall, for example, Senator Chuck Schumer, just two years ago, comparing Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks about Israel to Donald Trump’s comments about neo-Nazis. That was when Democrats embraced Israel’s right to defend itself, and condemned the loss of Palestinian life, but didn’t hesitate to note that it was Palestinians compounding Palestinian misery: a corrupt regime in Ramallah and an even more corrupt and violent and unimaginably inhumane regime in Gaza that was controlled by a terrorist organization backed by Iran.But over the past few years, progressives have slowly — and then not so slowly — abandoned those positions. They have succumbed, like so many on the right, to their partisan manias. Trump was “for” Israel; they had to be “against” it. They have stumbled into the bottomless rage of the identitarian left. They have embraced the new racial-gender taxonomy, which reimagines thousands of years of Jewish history into a wokified diorama. Today, the conflict can only be seen through this flattening prism, with Israel playing the role of the white, colonial settler and the Palestinian that of the settler’s dark-skinned, indigenous victim. All this cartoonishness has led progressives to erase the “lived experience,” as one is now trained to say, of the nearly one million Arab Jews who did not migrate to the Middle East but were expelled from their homes, in 1948, the year of Israeli independence, by Arab regimes. They have also ignored the pivotal role that was played, for two decades, by Egypt, which occupied Gaza, and by Jordan, which occupied the West Bank — a two-pronged occupation that presaged the broader Arab community’s attitude toward the Palestinians, whom they treated as fodder. The Palestinians, in the eyes of most other Arabs, were not a people but bodies they were happy to sacrifice to achieve what their armies could not in the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. That was the moral of the Arab military humiliation: Conventional armies could not defeat Israel, but maybe a protest movement pushing up against Israel’s borders — abetted by an adoring press corps, aid groups, repurposed Soviet propaganda and lots of E.U. cash — could. It was a brilliant segue.Now we are confronted with the spectacle of members of Congress droning on on the House floor about how the Israeli army is somehow guilty of systemic racism and superimposing complicated ideas concocted by a French philosopher they’ve never read onto a conflict they barely comprehend.They are an embarrassment and a disgrace and they are enabled by the cowards in their own party who are reluctant to criticize them for fear of being called racist or, God forbid, being primaried. That is not the worst that can be said. The worst that can be said is that, by squeezing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the Procrustean Bed of left-wing identitarianism, the new progressives have alienated the Jew, who, for the most part, remains attached to the Jewish State, from the American body politic. By transforming the Jewish State into a force for evil, they have forced the Jew to defend that attachment. They have created a space separating the Jew from America, and, in that space, they have legitimized violence against the Jew for defending the indefensible: “apartheid,” “colonialism,” “white supremacy,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide.”It is the Jewish youngs who are most vulnerable to the new idiocy. It is in their classrooms, on their screens. They find themselves in a sad lacuna. They have been steeped in Jewishness at home. But, on campus, on Zoom, on TikTok, on YouTube, on Instagram, they are pummeled by a ceaseless and acrimonious anti-Zionism.They respond predictably. Only 48 percent of American Jews under 30, in a recent Pew Research Study, feel close to the Jewish State (but 82 percent of Jews overall do). They prefer not to be affiliated with it. They say that Israel doesn’t represent them, that it doesn’t embody their version of Judaism, that it doesn’t align with their brand. They talk endlessly about Palestinian narratives and the need for the white settler to check his privilege, and they seem to forget that they are the most privileged Jews ever to walk the face of the Earth and that turning away from Israel is nothing more than exercising that privilege, flaunting their great fortune. One suspects their contemporaries raised in more antisemitic climates do not share their antipathy. The Jewish olds will reassure you that the sclerotic Democratic leadership — the 81-year-old Speaker of the House, the 70-year-old Senate Majority Leader and the 78-year-old president of the United States — are keeping the crazy in check. They are mistaken. This is not about who outmaneuvers whom in Congress, or the midterms, or the presidential primary. It is not about whipping votes or moving legislation. It is about the sea change that has engulfed us and that has exposed this most meaningless of distinctions without a difference: anti-Zionism and antisemitism.


The olds won’t be here forever. What will come next? For the 75% of Jews who vote Democrat, they will, presumably, continue to believe the right is unpalatable. That the G.O.P.’s lunatics are not tunneling their way into the party leadership, like they are on the left, but have already wrested control. Yes, the Abraham Accords are a great achievement, but what does policy matter when we can’t agree on who won an election? When members of Congress are comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust? Are there any other options?Right now, there is a single freshman congressman from the Bronx trying to hold back the tidal wave of insanity. Soon enough, Ritchie Torres’ colleagues will declare that anyone who is not adequately anti-Zionist is a white supremacist or else ok with white supremacy. Jews who refuse to disavow their Judaism and their Zionism will be discouraged from leadership positions or running for office. Their money will be welcome at closed-door meet n’ greets on Park Avenue or in the Palisades. Bagels, lox, a few Yiddishisms sprinkled into the conversation to make everyone feel tolerant, but please, no talk of that godawful abomination of a Nazi desert.Most of us will delude ourselves, Sarah Silverman-style.We’re good Jews. We’re not Israelis. I love Shabbat! I just don’t like Israel. We will wrap ourselves in our hypocrisy and self-loathing and fear. We will try to wish it away. We will post the right things, about defunding the police or hate having no home here or whatever. We will genuflect. We will pretend that we are not alone, like the Jewish State. That will be the only way to navigate our alienation. To lie and lie and lie to the world and, most importantly, to ourselves.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.