Tom Schweich, Missouri's Republican state auditor who was the frontrunner for the governor's office in the upcoming 2016 election who died in an "apparent suicide" at his home Thursday, was worried that his political rivals were planning to spread rumors that he was Jewish even though he was a member of a Christian church.
According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Schweich confided in Post-Dispatch Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger on Tuesday morning that he believed John Hancock, the newly elected chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, had been misinforming people that he was Jewish. The Post-Dispatch notes that he was a member of the Church of St. Michael & St. George, an Episcopal congregation in Clayton.
The 54-year-old father of two was hospitalized Thursday following a "medical situation at his home," according to Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy in a KSDK report. He said Schweich suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital's trauma center Thursday. An autopsy was expected to be performed at 7:30 a.m. Friday but officers indicated that the evidence so far points to suicide. more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Jeff Ballabon, a Jewish activist and former senior vice president of CBS News, says Republicans and Evangelicals have always been more pro-Israel than Democrats or liberals.
Ballabon, who's also columnist, told those gathered at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday afternoon that over the past few decades Republicans have supported Israel far more than Democrats.
Using data collected by Gallup polling, Ballabon took issue with what he described as "the myth of bipartisanship," which is the claim that Democrats have been as supportive of Israel as Republicans. more >>
Over at The New Republic, Elizabeth Bruenig has penned a lengthy report on the "failure of macho Christianity," focusing on the rise and fall of two "macho" Christian pastors: Mark Driscoll and the lesser-known Heath Mooneyham. Except for the twist that both pastors adopted self-consciously masculine styles and condemned the feminization of the church, there is nothing exceptional about their stories. After all, prominent pastors fail all the time. Jim Bakker — perhaps the biggest pastor to fall in the last 50 years–was hardly a paragon of aggressive hyper-masculinity. Famous pastors on every conceivable spectrum of masculinity have crashed and burned.
Pastors are people, and people are sinful. When pastors become celebrities, they are subject to the same temptations as all celebrities (with the added bonus of sometimes-titanic egos.) That's no excuse.
But I will agree with Bruenig's attack on "macho Christianity" to one, limited extent: When anything becomes a gimmicky modifier to Christianity, it's problematic — whether it's self-conscious masculinity, self-conscious hipsterism, self-conscious femininity, or self-conscious activism. The Evangelical world is prone to gimmickry, with celebrity pastors bringing their fresh take and unique style — often building huge followings. more >>
Megachurch pastor and author Erwin Raphael McManus appeared on a CNN program to comment on the debate surrounding the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, Jesus Christ's purported burial cloth. During his brief appearance, McManus made it clear, however, that the show's anchors had failed to ask the most relevant question.
McManus, pastor of California multi-site MOSAIC church, appeared Thursday on CNN's "This Hour," morning program hosted by John Berman and Kate Bolduan.
Berman and Bolduan wanted to know the pastor's thoughts on why there's so much curiosity about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and why anyone would need scientific evidence to prove Jesus' existence. more >>
Speaking in a discussion on Islam at the National Religious Broadcasters' International Christian Media Convention on Tuesday, New York Times bestselling author and Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg explained that the biggest threat facing the Western world is not the rise of radical Islam, but rather the rise of "apocalyptic Islam."
In one of four Islam discussions held at the three-day conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Rosenberg, who authored the bestselling book series The Last Jihad, criticized the Obama administration for refusing to acknowledge the threat posed by radical extremist terrorists as a threat from "radical Islam."
Rosenberg continued by saying that although many people feel that the rise of radical terrorist groups is one of the biggest threats to America and Western nations, a bigger cause for concern in the West should be the rise of two nation-states — Iran and the Islamic State — with leaders promoting an "apocalyptic" brand of Islam focused on the "annihilation" of the United States and Israel. more >>
Recent news has brought to light several deeply disturbing global phenomena: the precipitous rise of radical Islam, an increase in anti-Semitism, and the decimation of Christian populations in the Middle East. Amazingly, there is one small nation on the frontlines of all three conflicts: Israel.
These troubling phenomena, of course, go hand-in-hand. Where radical Islam grows, so does the violence against Christians and Jews. In an eerie resemblance to the January massacre in France that resulted in 17 murders, another gunman reportedly swearing allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group struck in Denmark at a free speech rally and a synagogue. The war-torn countries of Iraq and Syria, having long ago been made Judenrein, or "clean of Jews," are now seeing the destruction of their Christian populations by ruthless Islamist terrorists who envision a fundamentalist state free of any other religious influence. This assault on Judeo-Christian values and those who hold them dear was again witnessed last week with the barbaric execution of 21 Coptic Christians and this week's abduction of 150 Christians from villages in Syria.
The Jewish people have been the first target in a battle to exterminate opposition to an ideology that has declared war on dissidents. But we have all learned that a threat to people of moral fortitude anywhere is a threat to people of moral fortitude everywhere. more >>