As opposed to the massive, worldwide show of solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo journalists who were murdered by Islamic terrorists in Paris this month, there was no such show of solidarity when four religious Jews were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists as they prayed in their synagogue in Jerusalem last November. Why?
It is true that there was the occasional "I am a Jew" sign during the Paris demonstrations against the attacks (this was in memory of the Jews killed in the kosher deli in Paris). But such signs were like a needle in a haystack, while worldwide, "I am Charlie" was everywhere and "I am a Jew" virtually nowhere.
This is not to downplay for a moment the absolutely horrific nature of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter or to minimize the trauma it brought to France. These were professional journalists and staff, and to gun down 12 of them in broad daylight in the heart of Paris was shocking beyond words. more >>
In a widely praised January 1 speech, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Al-Azhar University to address the country's religious leadership, saying the time had come to reform Islam. He's won Western plaudits for this, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I have reservations about the speech.
To begin with, no matter how fine Sisi's ideas, no politician – and especially no strongman – has moved modern Islam. Atatürk's reforms in Turkey are systematically being reversed. A decade ago, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan gave similarly fine speeches on "the true voice of Islam" and "enlightened moderation" that immediately disappeared from view. Yes, Sisi's comments are stronger, but he is not a religious authority and, in all likelihood, they too will disappear without a trace.
As for content: Sisi praised the faith of Islam and focused on what he calls fikr, literally meaning thought but in this context meaning wrong ideas. He complained that wrong ideas, which he did not specify, have become sacralized and that the religious leadership dares not criticize them. But Sisi did criticize, and in a colloquial Arabic highly unusual for discussing such topics: "It is inconceivable that the wrong ideas which we sacralize should make the entire umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction for the whole world. This is not possible." more >>
What a sight!
Over 25 times from the top of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I have seen a sea of people marching to proclaim the dignity of unborn human life, and how death-dealing abortion sends the unholy message that some human beings are disposable.
And as I write, I plan to march with and view that sea of people once again, during the 42nd annual "March for Life" on Jan. 22. It's always a moral and spiritual shot-in-the-arm for me. more >>
At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, a packed theater in Franklin, Tenn., was completely quiet. As the credits rolled, some folks were filing out, but many more were standing, still looking at the screen, honoring the man whose life they'd just seen portrayed on the silver screen.
Before the movie, I'd never seen the parking lot so crowded. I had to park more than a quarter-mile away, hidden in the corner of a restaurant parking lot (hoping I wouldn't be towed), and watched in amazement as people were streaming into the theater from parking spaces scattered far and wide. It almost goes without saying when a January movie release breaks $90 million in three days, but I felt as if I was witnessing an important cultural moment. This movie was striking a chord in America beyond any post 9/11 movie — beyond even the best of movies about the War on Terror, including Lone Survivor. I think I know why.
First — and most important — it's a phenomenal movie. America is awash in "message movies," left and (recently) on the right. While there are some people who'll attend movies just to make a statement, most of us want to see good movies, with the right statement merely an optional bonus. American Sniper is better than good. It's one of the best war movies I've ever seen, and is now in the pantheon of my all-time favorite movies of any type. Bradley Cooper is outstanding, and the movie pulls off something I've never truly seen in a war film: It creates fully realized characters both inside and outside the combat environment. By the end of the movie, we feel that we understand who Chris Kyle was, who is wife is, what they endured, and what motivated them. They're not one-dimensional heroes but fully realized people who did heroic things. more >>
For anyone familiar with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, he is passionate about America and passionate about solutions. While he says much worries him about America, "$18 trillion in debt, Obamacare, a country that refuses to stand with Israel as it fights off terrorism," a paramount concern is the secularization of American culture.
"Just electing the right candidate, just passing one more bill isn't enough to get America on the right path. Repentance and prayer," he claims, will be enough if America "turns back to God."
Mr. Jindal has invited Americans to join him on Jan. 24 at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. If people cannot attend in person, they can watch online. more >>
David Oyelowo just played the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the hit movie "Selma." This actor knows that God led him to a role of a lifetime. He's now opening up about it and it's amazing!
Hearing this British actor profess his faith so confidently will have you saying AMEN! Instead of playing this iconic figure as a legend, he decided to play him as a human being. Doing it this way has helped David understand and embrace this role even better. If you have not seen this movie yet, you should try your best to get to the movie theater soon, because you will truly be touched by David Oyelowo's performance.
Listen to what David had to say about his faith below: more >>