U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama's recent condemnation of medieval Christian history to exonerate modern Islam is a reminder of how woefully ignorant (or intentionally deceptive) a good many people in the West are concerning the true history of Christian Europe and Islam.
The problem is that those Islamwho condemn things like the Crusades—including "mainstream" academics, journalists, moviemakers, and politicians—do so without mention of historical context. Worse, they imply "we" already know the context: evil popes and greedy knights exploiting Christianity to seize Muslim lands and wealth. Or as Karen Armstrong put it, "the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."
The true story of Christendom and Islam is the antithesis of such claims. Consider some facts for a moment: more >>
President Barack Obama is expected to ask Congress to approve of new war powers aimed at fighting terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Members of the House and Senate will subsequently be faced with the first war vote in Congress in 13 years, since the last Iraq war.
The Associated Press reported that Obama is set to make the request later on Tuesday, and will present Congress with a blueprint for America's continued operations against ISIS, which has captured several cities and executed numerous westerners, including Americans, on camera.
The last time Congress faced a war vote, it authorized in 2002 former President George W. Bush to use force against the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein, who at the time was suspected of harboring weapons of mass destruction. more >>
This morning I woke up as I usually do, to the sounds of my daughter babbling through the baby monitor. I heated her milk and watched her happily slurp it down. I put the coffee on while my wife prepared for work. It was a morning like any other, filled with the sheer goodness of normal life.
And then—because I clearly spend too much time on Twitter—I thought to myself, "#ThankYouPetrov."
As vividly depicted in the new film The Man Who Saved the World, Stanislav Petrov was the on-duty officer at a Soviet advance warning base on Sept. 26, 1983, when computers indicated a surprise nuclear attack by the United States. If Petrov had authenticated the attack, as protocol required, the USSR would have certainly launched a (mistaken) retaliatory strike, initiating nuclear war, the deaths of hundreds of millions and social collapse on a planetary scale. more >>
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that President Obama will soon "unleash hell" on the Middle East if he carries on with his plans on striking a nuclear deal with Iran without listening to Congress and his critics.
"The Arabs and the Israelis are not going to allow the ayatollahs in Iran to have a nuclear capability only contained by the UN. … So Obama is about to unleash hell on the Mideast," Graham said on the "Hugh Hewitt Show."
"He's about to create a nuclear arms race by wanting a deal with the Iranians so badly that he's about to make the mistake of a lifetime," added Graham, who might run for president. more >>
President Obama called on people of faith to reject those who use religion to justify evil – and in doing so – reminded people about the terrible things done in the name of Jesus Christ.
Obama told a gathering Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast that we have seen "professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good but twisted in the name of evil."
"From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith – their faith – profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it," he said. He did not mention radical Islam or jihadists or Islamic extremists. He did, however, call ISIS a "brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism." more >>
The courage and sacrifice of today's Christian martyrs should not go unnoticed and unappreciated. One such heroic figure, the 94-year-old Roman Catholic bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang, has recently died in Chinese custody, according to an official government statement, reported on February 2 by an independent Catholic news service focusing on Asia. His generation felt the brunt of Chinese Communist cruelty, but his death as a religious prisoner reminds us that religious repression in China is far from over.
Altogether, since 1954, Bishop Shi was held captive for over 40 years by the Communist government for his religion, making him one of the longest serving political prisoners of our age. (I intend in no way to minimize the suffering of Nelson Mandela and Alexander Solzhenitsyn by pointing out that Mandela was imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid government for 27 years, and that Solzhenitsyn was forced to spend eleven years in the Soviet gulag.)
He was incarcerated for refusing to submit to government religious oversight — oversight that precludes, for example, preaching against abortion and female infanticide. His final detention, at a secret location, lasted 14 years and nothing is known about it. His first prison term spanned 23 years, from 1957 to 1980, and was mostly spent doing hard labor, first at a labor camp in Heilongjiang province, then in coal mines in Shanxi province. He was rearrested in 1989 and released in 1993. Though his health was ruined, he continued to serve as bishop in the years in between. more >>