Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nazit-Ali: When Egypt emerges from its bloody chaos, it needs true democracy, not a dictatorship of the majority

August 22, 2013
By Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali     

There is considerable anguish and hand-wringing amongst the armchair orientalists and strategists over the situation in Egypt. Those who thought that the "Arab Spring" was a harbinger of secular, Western-style democracy can now see it is nothing of the kind. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led regime was headed inexorably towards a Sunni theocracy based on an unreconstructed imposition of Wahabbi-type Sharia which had led already, for example, to the harassment of women who would not abide by Islamist diktat over dress, freedom of movement and associating with unrelated males. Then there are those who had put their money on "moderate Islamism" being the future for the Middle East and beyond. If this meant sacrificing the freedoms of women, religious minorities and others, so be it. It had happened before, had it not, with Assyrians, Armenians and Jews? They have been surprised and even angered by the sudden reversal of fortunes.

The West has a long history of backing dubious Islamist groups in the region, often at the behest of this orientalist elite. By supporting the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, for instance, in their struggle against the Soviet-backed government there, it unwittingly created not only the Taliban but, arguably, international Islamist radicalism and terrorism. Similar stories can be told of Libya, Syria, and now Egypt.

Fifteen million people signed the petition to remove the Brotherhood from power, and many more were involved in demonstrations up and down the country. In the absence of a parliament, how else was the will of the people to be expressed? Attempts were made, again and again, to make the government more inclusive of Egyptian society, but they were always thwarted by the intransigence of Islamists, who saw their chance of turning the largest Arab state into an Islamic one. Even after the intervention by the armed forces, offers were made to include Islamist representatives in the government, but they were rejected in favour of a "purist" rather than a "realist" solution. How unsuccessful does even a democratically elected government have to be before some kind of change becomes necessary?  the rest

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scrolling around...August 19, 2013

Air Force OK with drag queens ... but with Christian faith, not so much
..."It’s almost unfathomable that you would have a branch of the United States military invite drag queens to perform on a military installation,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And then that you would have a brigadier general defend that and say look this is what the military is all about; these are the values that we want to celebrate – is beyond the pale."...

Obama math: under new Common Core, 3 x 4 = 11

On a mission to save godless Massachusetts
...ONCE UPON A TIME, Boston was a “city upon a hill.” Anyway, that’s what Governor John Winthrop told future Massachusetts residents sailing here in 1630. Evangelism practically started in this region in the 18th century, with Northampton’s Jonathan Edwards and his fiery sermons like “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Yet today only about 11 percent of New Englanders consider themselves evangelical Christians, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That’s compared with 26 percent nationwide and more than 50 percent in Bible Belt states.

Those numbers are for evangelical Christianity, but the rate of religiosity doesn’t seem to be much higher regardless of what (if any) faith New Englanders practice. A 2012 Gallup Poll found that the five least religious states in the country, based on the percentage of self-identified “very religious” Americans living there, are all in New England. Vermont is the least religious, followed immediately by New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. At number 11, Connecticut might as well be New England’s shining beacon of faith.

It’s no wonder church planters are eyeing the region. I spoke with a pastor who is at the center of the push for new Boston area churches — Joe Souza, who works for the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. Five years ago, Souza says, 87 percent of new churches trying to reach wayward New Englanders failed. But thanks to a bold rethinking of their top-down strategy, 95 percent of today’s new churches are succeeding. “Basically,” Souza says, sponsoring denominations are “letting the guys in the field call the shots.”...

M, F or Blank: 'Third Gender' Official in Germany from November
Germany is set to become the first country in Europe to introduce a third, "indeterminate" gender designation on birth certificates. The European Union, which is attempting to coordinate anti-discrimination efforts across member states, is lagging behind on the issue...

Attorney for Fort Hood jihad massacre victims: Obama and Army "twisted rules" to avoid admitting that Hasan is a jihadist
As the attorney for the victims of the Ft. Hood massacre, and their families, I can say unequivocally that at every turn the Administration and the Army have twisted rules, regulation and common sense into pretzels to avoid acknowledging what Hasan himself has admitted prior to the attack and now in court: that he is a committed and devout jihadist who is fighting for an enemy.

The question which needs an answer: in light of his admission why has he not been tried for treason, as was Bradley Manning? While his crimes are most serious, he's not a mass murderer...

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood supporters torch a Christian school, parade nuns through streets as "prisoners of war"   After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like "prisoners of war" before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.

In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism....

Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged since Wednesday, when chaos erupted after Egypt's military-backed interim administration moved in to clear two camps packed with protesters calling for Morsi's reinstatement, killing scores of protesters and sparking deadly clashes nationwide...

Christians Being Slaughtered in Egypt by Radical Islamists
...There's no doubt the radical Muslims in Egypt see the current situation as a holy war. The Christian Science Monitor reported yesterday that Christian churches and homes were marked with red ink before being attacked or burned...

Only Canada, China, North Korea, and U.S. Allow Abortion After Viability for Any Reason
Carly Fiorina is making headlines for her claim on ABC that, “There are only four countries in the world that have, that legalize abortion after five months: China, North Korea, Canada and the U.S.”

This isn’t quite right. In fact, there are nine nations that permit abortion after twenty weeks: Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Vietnam, and the United States.
But Fiorina was still right to group the U.S. with China, North Korea, and Canada...

DC Planned Parenthood awarded $375K to promote Obamacare

Fraud: More People Selling Food Stamps for Cash
...A database of 200 million Electronic Benefit Transfer records from January 2011 to July 2012, obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information request, showed welfare recipients using their EBT cards to make dozens of cash withdrawals at ATMs inside Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx...

Chicago Tribune: Time to Delay and Rewrite the ‘Clumsy Monstrosity’ That is ObamaCare
We doubt Obama will even listen to his hometown newspaper because he’s above criticism. Besides, he’ll just sic his attack dogs on them, so they should probably be expecting the IRS goon squads to be descending upon them today...

South Carolina clergy deposed

by George Conger
August 19, 2013

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has announced it will depose over 100 clergy loyal to the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence and the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.  On 10 July 2013 the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church published a list of clergy whom it said remained in good standing with the Episcopal Church for having expressed its loyalty to their leadership. Those who had not given their allegiance to the minority faction would be removed from the ordained ministry.

Last month a “Notice of Restriction” was mailed by the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to the bishops of the national church and the clergy pension fund saying those who had backed Mark Lawrence were “found to have abandoned The Episcopal Church.”

The letter followed a 21 June 2013 vote by the standing committee of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to depose the clergy. While political considerations will likely give force to the decision in most dioceses, the entity known as the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has no legal meaning under the canon law of the Episcopal Church. Other members of the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England, have not recognized past depositions of clergy by the American Church for abandoning the Episcopal Church, and the move has yet to be tested in the civil courts in conjunction with the church’s pension fund. the rest

Scapegoating James Tengatenga
Dartmouth College President Philip J. Hanlon’s decision to nix the appointment of Bishop James Tengatenga as dean for moral and spiritual life has sparked spirited commentary from left and right  — and some solid reporting. An article in the Boston Globe entitled “Words on gays cost bishop post at Dartmouth” is a well sourced, balanced story that succinctly summarizes the issues at play...