Police in Egypt recently arrested five Coptic Christian children after angry Muslim mobs accused them of blasphemy for being featured in a circulated prayer video with their Coptic teacher that showed them making fun of the Islamic State terrorist organization.
In a report published Tuesday by Fox News on how Christians have become the target of Muslim extremists in the Minya Governorate in northern Egypt, it was reported that Muslim mobs in the village of Nasreya in Minya gathered around the residences of five Christian students and chanted that they had "insulted" Islam.
The angry Muslims claimed that the students and their Coptic teacher were guilty of blasphemy, which is a crime in Egypt, because their video mocked ISIS, a barbaric Islamic terrorist group that has claimed chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria and also has affiliate groups located in Egypt and Libya. more >>
Representatives of eight pro-life organizations based in Washington, D.C. signed a joint statement saying they will not comply with a new law passed by the City Council that would prevent them from making hiring and firing decisions based upon an employee's position on abortion.
"Despite the enactment of this unjust law, we will continue to hire employees who share our commitment to the dignity of every member of the human family. We will not abandon the purpose of our organizations in order to comply with this illegal and unjust law. We will vigorously resist any effort under RHNDA to violate our constitutionally protected fundamental rights," the Monday statement says, in part.
RHNDA is a reference to the "Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act," which went into effect in the District of Columbia this week. It states that employers in the capital city cannot take opinions about abortion or an employee's decision to have an abortion into account for hiring and firing. more >>
NEW YORK — Kim Hye-Sook, who survived 28 years of agonizing pain and suffering in a North Korean prison camp, offered a detailed account of the forced labor, starvation and torture she endured under the Communist dictatorship while speaking at the U.N.'s "Victims Voices: A Conversation on North Korean Human Rights" event on Thursday.
Organized by the United States and South Korea, the event took place at the U.N.'s New York City headquarters and featured testimonies on human rights abuses in the DPRK from Hye-Sook as well as two other North Korean defectors. With help from a translator, Hye-Sook detailed her harrowing experience, which started when she was captured alongside her family at just 13 years old for reasons withheld from her at the time.
"I was taken to prison camp 18 and I was imprisoned there for 28 years, living in a life that is unimaginable, a life that is worse than a dog's, living a life like a slave," the North Korean defector began during the panel on human rights. more >>
Jim Geraghty asks a great question: "If you want to change American culture, should you be running for president?" With two new candidates, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, both talking culture change, it's definitely worth asking whether that's a proper or realistic goal for a politician, even one with a bully pulpit as powerful as the president's. Here's my best answer: If your primary goal is culture change — especially in America's most vulnerable communities — you should probably do something else with your time. A president's cultural influence is profoundly limited. In fact, the very nature of our partisan political culture may even render it less likely that a conservative president can influence the constituencies most in need of positive change.
Presidents are held up as role models typically for those who already agree with their cultural values. For those on the other side, an entire political and cultural engine works overtime — spending billions of dollars — to turn the president into a literal hate object, an object of cultural derision. Ben Carson — a very good man with one of the most compelling life stories of any recent presidential candidate — may ironically end up having less cultural influence in the African-American community as a result of running for president as a Republican. Mike Huckabee is a Baptist pastor and one of the best pure communicators in the Republican field, but is there a good argument that he'll be able to reach those communities most impacted by fatherlessness and abortion, transforming hearts and minds? In reality, those communities represent the base of the Democratic Party and are most likely to tune out candidate Huckabee or president Huckabee as one of "them" — an enemy.
That's not to say that culture change isn't possible, but it's a long-term and often unpredictable byproduct of policy changes. Let's suppose a president Huckabee succeeds in replacing the current income and payroll tax system with the FairTax. American culture would almost certainly change as citizens responded to new — and powerful — financial incentives. Some of these changes we can predict, but many of them would certainly surprise even the most forward-thinking policy wonk. Human civilization is extraordinarily complex, and we simply can't predict how changes in even one variable will play out through the whole system. Even when it comes to reforming a welfare system that has been one of the most culturally destructive forces in American life, politicians should approach with great humility any claim that policy changes by themselves will increase marriage rates, increase productivity, or decrease abortion. We should reform the welfare system, but we should also treat with suspicion any sweeping cultural claims or aspirations. more >>
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised to back a path to "full and equal citizenship" for illegal immigrants, and has accused Republicans of treating illegals as "second class."
"This is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistake, not a single Republican ... is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one," Clinton said during a campaign stop in Nevada on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. "When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status."
Clinton further said that she backs President Barack Obama's executive actions that allow some with an illegal status to temporarily stay and work in the U.S. The president has also sought to expand a program that protects people from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. more >>
Answers in Genesis CEO and President Ken Ham has criticized a couple of Baptist pastors who've joined the Americans United for Separation of Church and State group in putting pressure on Kentucky to deny the Ark Encounter project the opportunity to participate in a state sales tax rebate incentive program.
The life-sized Ark project is currently being constructed, with the opening planned for 2016. Ham's organization filed a lawsuit against the state in December after Kentucky officials said AIG cannot show religious preference in its hiring when it comes to workers helping with the construction.
Ham said that this denial points to "attacks on religious freedom" in America, and accused the AU of applying pressure on Kentucky officials to come to such a decision. more >>