"In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills," writes the prophet Isaiah.
"Many peoples shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the Lord's mountain … that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths. …
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again." 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 >>
Christians believe that God created the Earth and everything in it. He also created three methods for societal order by establishing the government, the family and the church, which altogether sustain right moral living and encourage human flourishing.
God cares about all of his creation, especially government, because without it properly restraining evil and promoting its citizens' well being, anarchy and lawlessness will prevail. Society's natural state is self-serving destruction, which is why Christians are required to impart righteousness in all areas of life.
A state that is righteous honors and protects the life that God creates. Its leaders are primarily concerned with protecting their citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. A righteous state enacts and enforces just laws, promotes economic growth, and peaceful living. more >>
The horror in Libya could have come from a Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell: 21 knife-wielding figures hacking the heads off 21 young men in orange jumpsuits along the shoreline, blood staining the surf red. But this was no imagined scene — it was the mass execution of Egyptian Copts who had been kidnapped by Islamic State terrorists.
The killers may have aimed to exploit sectarian hostilities — as they have in Iraq and Syria — and splinter Egyptian society. Paradoxically, however, this blatantly anti-Christian attack may finally lead to the easing of Christian-Muslim tensions in Egypt.
This week, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Sisi responded to the beheadings with acts that unequivocally recognized the Copts as "innocent victims" and true sons of Egypt. He declared a week of national mourning, dispatched envoys to appeal to the United Nations and ordered air force bombers to "deliver swift justice in retribution." more >>
Al-Shabaab, an African-based Islamic terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, released a video on Saturday threatening to attack shopping centers in the West, including the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Based in Somalia and designated a foreign terrorist group by the U.S. government, al-Shabaab is believed to have behind the 2013 deadly attack on a Kenyan mall.
"If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world," said the anonymous terrorist on the video. more >>
I'm virtually certain that David Frum was simply trolling Twitter (a popular pastime) when he tweeted on Saturday: "Hypothesis: the people who most want to carry are the very last people on earth who should be allowed to carry."
In the remote chance that an otherwise-thoughtful person was actually arguing that the people who most want to exercise a constitutional right are the "very last people on earth" who should be allowed to exercise that right, I thought I'd take a moment to explain why a person carries.
In my experience, those individuals who carry do so because they very consciously do not want to belong to the class of citizens that is inherently helpless — totally reliant upon the state to protect not just themselves but their family, friends, and neighbors. If the choice is between protectors and protected, they choose to be protectors. more >>