Standing atop a mountain plateau in the stark Judean wilderness, one can look down at the remains of Roman siege camps that eventually trapped some 960 Jewish men, women and children who had fled Jerusalem to Masada while the Romans slaughtered Jews by the thousands in the Holy City in A.D. 70.
Masada stands as a stark testimonial to a chapter in history most thought would never happen again. The scope of Roman savagery is a study in the fallen nature of godless, corrupt tyrants who have no regard for human life.
However, almost 2,000 years later, Christians and an estimated 40,000 people of the Yazidi sect sat trapped last summer on another mountain, awaiting death by starvation, exposure or execution while praying for deliverance. The United Nations estimated that 5,000 Yazidi men were executed and bulldozed into mass graves, while 7,000 women were being kept as slaves. This horror involves the annihilation of Christians and others who refuse to submit to the demands of the jihadist ISIS hordes running rampant through Iraq and Syria. more >>
Although a federal funding bill the House passed on Thursday includes language urging the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure Obamacare's federal health exchange provides consumers with transparency on which plans include a separate elective abortion surcharge, pro-life advocates are skeptical that HHS will actually listen to Congress.
Pro-lifers in the House sought to include in the CRomnibus appropriations bill, which would keep the federal government funded through next September if it passes the Senate, two concrete amendments that would have forced greater abortion transparency on the exchanges and created a legal course of action for those individuals and institutions discriminated against because they do not cover abortions for their employees.
But to the ire of pro-life advocates, neither the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act nor the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act were included in the base bill. Instead, pro-lifers had to settle for non-binding language, which is seen as just a slap on the wrist to HHS for not providing consumers with enough detail about which plans on the exchange cover elective abortions. more >>
An atheist whose recent invocation at a Florida city's meeting prompted a walkout of some of the commissioners is fighting to give an invocation at another city meeting elsewhere in the state.
Preston Smith of Miami, who saw four members of the Lake Worth County Board of Commissioners walk out on his previous invocation, was denied a request to give a secular invocation at a Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Smith explained that "my next invocation was aimed at the Palm Beach County Commissioners Meeting. However, they have denied my request, opting instead to strictly allow the Commissioner's themselves to give (overtly Christian-themed) invocations. I consider this a monopoly of a certain religious viewpoint, the very opposite of the Supreme Court's intention." more >>
Some minority Christians in Israel have expressed concern for the proposed "Jewish State" bill that is set to define the country as the "nation-state of the Jewish people." Other commentators have said, however, that it would be incorrect to assume the bill will infringe on the rights of minorities, and instead can be seen as a move to back Israel's right to exist.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the bill seeks to define Israel as "the nation-state of the Jewish people" and reinforce the use of "Hatikva" as the national anthem, and the use of the Hebrew calendar.
While some of the nation's Christians, who make up only two percent of the population, have reportedly expressed concern for the rights of religious minorities in the country, other voices have said it is unlikely that the bill would pose such dangers. more >>
Concerned that the project will promote religion in violation of the separation of church and state provisions of the U.S. Constitution, the state of Kentucky has retracted approximately $18 million in tax incentives for the proposed Noah's Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky.
Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis, the group behind the $172.5 million project, is now considering a federal lawsuit challenging the decision, according to The Courier-Journal.
Answers in Genesis had applied for and was granted preliminary approval to participate in a state tax-incentive program which would have allowed them to keep 25 percent of the sales tax collected at the theme park for 10 years, amounting to more than $18 million. more >>
A military base in Georgia has been accused of unjustly punishing a Christian chaplain for sharing his faith during a training class on suicide prevention.
Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was given a "letter of concern" from a superior at Fort Benning for explaining to the class about how his Christian faith helped him through his depression.
Colonel David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, delivered the punishment. more >>