Debate about religion in American public life existed well before America's independence. Many talk about religious freedom, the First Amendment, and mistakenly argue that the U.S. Constitution delineates a "separation of church and state." Yet, the highest court of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court has never formally defined what actually constitutes "religion." Nor has the Court ever defined "God." In fact, its standards for referring to "religion" evolve, change, and remain inconsistent.
For example, in 1890, the Court referred to religion in traditional theistic terms, referring to a "Creator."
By the 1960s, when interpreting the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Court referred to religion as it relates to both a person's belief in the existence of a particular God and another's disbelief in a particular God or belief in no God at all. When ruling on conscientious objector status, the Court expanded the concept of religion from believing in a "supreme being" to include "deeply held moral and ethical beliefs." more >>
Here I expose another big lie from Mideast Studies professors.
Is jizya-the money non-Muslims historically paid their Muslim conquerors-meant to buy them "protection," including from outside enemies, as modern Western academics maintain? Or was it simply extortion money meant to buy non-Muslims their lives, as Islam's scriptures mandate?
The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29: "Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (emphasis added)." more >>
The Arabic "nun" symbol, or N, which stands for Nazarene and refers to Christians, ominously began appearing, stamped in red, on Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, two weeks ago.
By mid-July, it was accompanied by another statement, painted in black, "Property of the Islamic State." And with that, the Christians found their worst fears confirmed.
On July 19, ISIS, the Sunni Muslim insurgent group declaring itself the Islamic State, carried out unabated and unabashed religious cleansing against Christians and the non-Sunni Muslim communities. Today, in this place of Nineveh of the Bible, the ancient heart of Iraqi Christianity, there's not a single Christian left. All have been stripped of their possessions and deported. more >>
The plight of U.S.-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini was highlighted by Secretary of State John Kerry during his remarks for the State Department's 2013 Report on International Religious Freedom, with Kerry promising to continue to work for the pastor's release.
"In Iran, U.S. Iranian citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned. The Iranian authorities sentenced him to eight years behind bars simply because of his religious beliefs. We will continue to call for his release and we will continue to work for it," Kerry stated.
"And make no mistake: We will continue to stand up for religious minority communities under assault and in danger around the world, from Jehovah's Witnesses to Baha'is to Ahmadi Muslims." more >>
Chinese police in the city of Wenzhou have removed a cross from a local church in their most recent crackdown on Christianity in the Asian country, specifically in the Zhejiang province. Media outlets report that local church members gathered around their fallen cross, weeping and praying.
Although congregants attempted to protect their church, hundreds of police arrived at the Longgang Huai En Church in Wenzhou on Monday and removed the 10-foot-tall red cross from the church's steeple. Wenzhou is considered to be "China's Jerusalem" due to its large Christian population.
According to the Associated Press, about 200 congregants attempted to protect the cross from being removed, but ultimately allowed the police to take down the religious symbol using a crane. Police officials have said the cross violated a city ordinance regarding the height of buildings in Wenzhou. The cross was returned to congregants, who reportedly wept and prayed around their destroyed religious image. more >>
A mob in Pakistan has reportedly killed a mother and two of her granddaughters over a Facebook post that was deemed "blasphemous" to the Islamic religion.
A 600-person mob attacked the local Ahmadi sect in Gujranwala, located about 140 miles southeast of Islamabad, setting fire to five homes and several shops. Ultimately, the mob killed an Ahmadi woman in her 40's and her two grandchildren, ages eight and 7-months old.
The three females were killed after an Ahmadi man, 25-year-old Aqib Salim, reportedly posted a "blasphemous" and "objectionable" image to his Facebook that showed the Islamic holy site Kaaba next to a woman wearing minimal clothing. The Ahmadi sect of people have been denounced as "non-Muslim" because they believe that a second prophet came after Mohamed. While the Pakistani government has denounced the sect as "non-Muslim," Ahmadis still consider themselves to be of the Islamic religion. more >>