In a brief, nationally televised announcement on August 7th regarding the Islamic State, which invaded the multicultural, northern Nineveh Province of Iraq this summer, President Obama observed "these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yazidis."
The brutal persecution of Iraq's non-Muslim religious groups is part of a human rights atrocity that is as grave as it is overlooked in American foreign policy. The president's eight-and-a-half-minute speech hardly scratched the surface. In fact, what the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, is undertaking in Iraq, as part of its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate, is a religious cleansing intended to eradicate the entire presence of the country's non-Muslim citizens. Nor is this campaign restricted to Iraq. Similar campaigns are under way in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They are being carried out by a multitude of extremist groups and directed against a variety of minorities, although they are directed most commonly and with special zeal against Christian communities that in some cases have coexisted with Muslims for more than a thousand years. Militant groups such as the Islamic State are mostly to blame, but extremist influences have also gained official footing within some governments. In most places where religious oppression of Christians is taking place, Christians and other targeted religious communities find that their governments typically turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their plight.
In Iraq and Syria, for example, the two-thousand-year-old Christian communities are facing an intense wave of religious persecution that has led to a panicked exodus of their members from the region. Even before this past summer's attack by the Islamic State on the Christian centers of Mosul, Qaraqosh, and all other Nineveh towns, leaders of the Iraqi church reported that one million, or between one-half and two-thirds of their community, have fled the country since 2003. more >>
Republican lawmakers are split on what to do about President Barack Obama's pending executive actions on immigration.
At issue is whether to risk the possibility of another government shutdown by adding a rider provision to must-pass budget legislation that would prevent Obama from using executive action to enact an immigration reform that would likely permit nearly 5 million illegal immigrants to live and work legally in the United States.
On Wednesday, Fox News obtained draft proposals from a federal agency outlining a 10-part immigration overhaul, in which the president plans to use an executive order to implement the reforms without the consent of Congress as early as next Friday. more >>
WASHINGTON — The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is under increasing attack since the U.S. Supreme Court'sHobby Lobby decision that granted "closely-held" businesses an exemption from the birth control mandate, religious freedom lawyers claimed at the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention.
In response to the Hobby Lobby case and possible religious exemption cases citing it, there may come a "softening" of the decision by judges over the coming years, explained members of a panel event on Thursday on the topic of religious liberty.
Kim Colby, senior counsel at the Christian Legal Society, said to those gathered that since the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., efforts to undermine religious exemptions have increased. more >>
Despite the fact that Islamic State leaders have their eyes set on expanding the caliphate outside of Iraq and Syria, a recent poll surveying respondents from seven Arab nations and refugees in Syria found that ISIS is overwhelmingly unpopular among people there.
A telephone poll, conducted by the Arab opinion index team at the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, surveyed respondents from Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinian territory, and Syria (refugees) and found that 85 percent of its respondents view the Islamic State terrorist organization as "negative" or "negative to some extent." Only 11 percent of the respondents said they held "positive" or relatively positive views on ISIS.
The survey also found that nearly six in 10 respondents "strongly support" or "support" the U.S.-led coalition's aims to destroy ISIS, although 75 percent said they have "negative" or "negative to some extent" opinions about U.S. foreign policy in the Arab region. About one-third of the respondents said they either "strongly oppose" or "oppose" the international coalition's efforts. more >>
For purposes of this article, I set aside my Ph.D. degree: I am speaking strictly on the authority of my MOM degree.
Ok, everyone. I realize I have been out of the loop for a while. I have been trying to finish a book. And I had an unexpected family emergency to deal with.
But Mom's home now. Time to shape up. more >>
Some skeptics today like to argue that the founding fathers purposefully left God out of the Constitution. They say that a "Godless Constitution" was the intended design of the document---and they're wrong.
First of all, the authors of the Constitution not only mention God, they even mention that Jesus is God. They do this in the ratification clause. This was done "in the Year of Our Lord" 1787.
But some skeptics object. Yet law professor John Eidsmoe, author of the book, Christianity and the Constitution, notes in response to their objection: "Saying this [ratification] clause is not really part of the Constitution is like saying the attestation clause is not part of a will." more >>