Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
From USA Today:
WASHINGTON — It’s been a long and arduous journey from Guatemala to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but Mayra Ragon says the trip was well worth taking.
Ragon is among thousands of immigrants and their supporters who gathered under a hot sun Wednesday to show support for proposals that would grant a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.
Ragon, 30, and her husband, Saul Lopez, 35, live and work in Maryland. Both are in the country illegally.
Both are violating the law, and while still actively violating the law, are protesting demanding that they, illegal aliens, foreigners who came to the country illegally in total disregard for the law, be given the right to cut in line ahead of someone who worked hard to get here.
Ragon says she and Lopez want to “get papers to be legal, but nobody is helping.”
If she wanted to get papers to be legal, she would’ve gotten them before she came. She’s breaking the law and asking for amnesty. She kicked in your house door, camped out on the couch, and now wants you to invite her to stay because she thinks she’s entitled to your house.
The 28 Catholics from St. Mary’s Student Parish in Ann Arbor Mich., road a bus for 10 hours to attend the rally and to support the Hispanic community in their congregation. Deportation is a “very real problem in our community” said Father Dan Reim, a Jesuit priest at St.Mary’s.
Deportation in the “Catholic hispanic community” isn’t a real problem. The problem is that they harbor illegal aliens who by their first step in the country are breaking the law. The problem is their criminal acts.
That’s like the same Jesuit priest saying “incarceration is a very real problem in our priest community”. No, the problem is you molest little boys. The problem is the criminal acts.
The effect of criminal behavior is being felt because there is a criminal act being conducted. Hispanics aren’t being deported. Illegal aliens are being deported.
A Sikh man is suing the state of California over its gun laws, arguing they violate his First Amendment rights to practice his religion by barring him from carrying the kind of weapons he says he needs for self-defense.
Gursant Singh Khalsa, a practicing Sikh for 35 years, charges in the lawsuit filed this month that California’s laws banning military-style, semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines violate mainstream Sikh doctinre requiring Sikhs “be at all time fully prepared to defend themselves and others against injustice.”
Standard capacity magazines.
“We’re required to wear what’s called a kirpan” or dagger, he said Thursday. “I feel, as far as my religion goes, it dictates that we should have all weapons of all kinds to defend ourselves. By not being able to carry an assault rifle or weapon that has a high-capacity magazine, I don’t feel that I can defend myself or my family.”
Mr. Khalsa, who lives in Yuba City about 40 miles north of Sacramento, said he believes such a right should be available to all Americans with the proper training but that it’s also specific to the Sikh religion, which has roots deeply tied to self-defense.
“Some splinter groups attempt this by wearing symbolic miniature daggers in their turbans, to comply with this requirement,” he argues in the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California. “But mainstream Sikhs believe this requirement is a literal and true moral duty. As Guru Gobind Singh instructed his Sikhs; ‘Without uncut hair and weapons do not come before me’.”
The Kirpan is traditional, but it’s also a symbol. Sikhs some places are forbidden to wear the swords as local laws oppress them, and are left with daggers, or even pocketknives or pins in the shape of a kirpan.
Guru Gobind Singh clearly chose these words very deliberately – He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab – but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, race or creed.
Mr. Khalsa makes an especially relevant point in that Sikhs themselves, who by their religion must protect the oppressed, have also become targets of madmen.
Mr. Khalsa, in his lawsuit, argues that the “sword” goes beyond the literal object.
“Decrees from the Tenth Sikh Guru state in the most vigorous and clear words that a Sikh’s conception of God is the sword of dharma,” he argues. “Not only the sword but every weapon became an attributive symbol of God for the Sikhs.”
Sikhism teaches that all of humanity was created by the Onkar, which is addressed by many names and understood differently. Sikhism teaches to respect all other religions (tolerance) and that one should defend the rights of not just one’s own religion but the religion and faith of others as a human right. At the end of every Sikh prayer is a supplication for the welfare of all of humanity. ( Tere Bhanne Sarbat Da Bhala )
Denying them modern arms is religious oppression:
The lawsuit also says that California’s laws infringe on the Second and 14th Amendment rights of Mr. Khalsa and others.
Mr. Khalsa, the suit reads, “fears arrest, criminal prosecution, incarceration, and fine if he were to possess loaded weapons with 11 or more round magazines within his home, within his vehicle on the streets, or within his temple. But his religious beliefs require no less.”
One of their religion’s core tenets, again, is defense of the rights one one’s own and of others’ faith, and defense from oppression for all. Mr. Khalsa gets it.
From America Magazine/The Nationl Catholic Review, a long piece with the familiar anti-gun spiel and their conclusion here:
Americans must ask: Is it prudent to retain a constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms when it compels our judges to strike down reasonable, popularly supported gun regulations? Is it moral to inhibit in this way the power of the country’s elected representatives to provide for the public safety?
There is nothing reasonable about any steps towards disarmament. It is only “reasonable” to the tyrant, who lies until he has total power.
It is absolutely moral to inhibit the power of government. And somebody else already came up with 95 reasons to inhibit the power of the Catholic Church.
Does the threat of tyranny, a legitimate 18th-century concern but an increasingly remote, fanciful possibility in the contemporary United States, trump the grisly, daily reality of gun violence?
There have been plenty of tyrannies since the 18th century, and the tyrannies since the 18th century have killed many more people. The grisly, daily reality of violence is man upon man. The apocalyptic reality of government violence goes far beyond any of that is scale.
There have already been concentration camps inside the US. There is nothing “fanciful” about it.
Just to really hammer the point home hard in a very critical way – to many people today, God (especially by Catholicism’s claims) is an increasingly remote, fanciful possibility in the contemporary United States. The Catholic Church and their particular belief system have been rejected quite a lot, as they claim their moral and sometimes physical authority based on their remote, fanciful possibility of a God they can’t prove (otherwise there wouldn’t be Protestants who reject the Catholic dogma, agnostics who question it, or atheists who outright reject it).
You can visit Heart Mountain. You don’t have to believe, and there are no massive institutions set up to develop belief in it (and thereby develop their own power around it). It simply exists. It is there.
The answer to each of these questions is no.
It is time to face reality. If the American people are to confront this scourge in any meaningful way, then they must change. The Constitution must change. The American people should repeal the Second Amendment.
No. That is not reality. That is a willful rejection of reality.
You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
- Jesus, Matthew 12:34
I’m with the Jewish carpenter.
In a recent interview, Tommaso Di Ruzza, the expert on disarmament and arms control at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, explained that an individual does not possess an absolute natural right to own a lethal weapon: “There is a sort of natural right to defend the common interest and the common good” by the limited use of force, but this applies more to nations with an effective rule of law, not armed individuals.
What a surprise, an expert on disarmament says individuals don’t have rights to self defense – that they must be part of a collective. According to the “expert on disarmament”, an individual life is irrelevant to “the common good”. An individual has no right to arms to defend themselves with effective tools, so the individual life is forfeit, unless the collective agrees.
It’s almost like there’s somebody who taught us a lesson about persecution at some point in the past… Maybe something about one guy being killed because the many wanted him dead… There might’ve been a few lessons to that story that that guy’s death was supposed to teach us… I’m sure the Catholic Church hasn’t heard it before.
In the wake of Newtown, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said that “the fight for greater gun control in the country” is a pro-life position. “The unfettered access to assault weapons and handguns, along with the glorification of violence in our ‘entertainment’ industry…is really all part of a culture of death,” Cardinal Dolan said.
Oh really? Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan?
A week before Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan is set to leave New York for Rome, where his name is being floated as a candidate for pope, he was questioned in Manhattan for three hours on Wednesday behind closed doors in a legal deposition concerning the sexual abuse of children by priests.
The lawyers deposing Cardinal Dolan represent hundreds of people who say they were sexually molested by priests in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which he led for seven years before his appointment as archbishop of New York in 2009. The lawyers want to know when Cardinal Dolan, as archbishop of Milwaukee, learned of allegations against certain priests, and how quickly he made those allegations public.
Cardinal Dolan is one of two American cardinals who are being deposed in sexual abuse lawsuits this week…
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.
Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”
But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.
I’m going back to what the Jewish carpenter said:
You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
- Jesus, Matthew 12:34
They speak of disarmament while they molest children. They speak of collective rights which make the individual defenseless. They reject the facts of what happens when governments become tyrannical, they reject crime statistics they don’t like, and they then demand that the US changes its laws?
In the national imagination, the Constitution is too often thought of as a kind of sacred text. Yet neither our founders nor our forebears held to that view. The Constitution is mere human law. It is excellent law, but it is not divine law; it is not revelation. We should be wary of amending the Bill of Rights. We should also be wary of idolizing it. The Constitution is the man-made law of a self-governing people; the people, therefore, are entitled to ask basic, critical questions about it. In our time, is a given constitutional provision a good law or a bad law? Does it promote the common good? The secular dogma of constitutional immutability must yield to careful, critical inquiry.
The origins of who wrote it, how they were inspired to write it, and all the history makes it pretty darned close to sacred text. It isn’t “mere human law”, it’s the best governmental law there is, and it provides for an environment wherein religious groups can worship as they choose, creating an environment in which the free and open discussion of what is right and wrong in a religious sense can be decided without coercion or holy wars.
The Constitution is a law of self-governing people. If you take away the arms of the people, they are no longer self-governed. Then there is a government of the Ruling Class who rule the rest of the people.
Ben Franklin famously said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” The “common good” means the lamb should be the wolves’ dinner. By 66% vote, the wolves have it. The “common good” is unacceptable, and has for millenia been the cry of tyrants who oppress minorities… like some people in a book that some people’s entire religions are based off of.
The Constitution is a social science model, not in the mushy sociology of today, but in the “what form of government works” analysis of generations past. It works. It does provide for the individual and common good as well. It does benefit it to have a moral, invested citizenry to uphold it, but it is closer to laws of science and how people work together in groups. It’s worked demonstratably well for an incredibly long time because it was written by men with a very good understanding of how people work together, the natural tendencies of one group to oppress another, and with the best system of opposing checks and balances to help keep the individual citizen as free as possible. It’s not just some transient thing scribbled down on parchment. The Founders wrote it down the way an engineer writes blueprints for a well-constructed house.
The Catholic Church inserting itself into science and declaring that only one view of how the world works is acceptable is part of the reason Galileo ended up under arrest for a long time.
Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.
Does not happen. Never happens. Disarmament leads to genocide, and it does so every damned time, just at different speeds. When one group has uncontested power and authority over another, the weaker is exploited. Altar boys know this.
Government, too, is people. Putting power in the hands of government simply leads to oppression. A religious argument for governmental tyranny is every bit as invalid as a secular one.
If only there were a crystal clear example of putting power in the hands of one group of “well-meaning” religious people that resulted in torture, execution, persecution and mass murder of people they disliked…
We’ve got a Constitution to prevent this.
And the Jewish carpenter would agree.
And if you don’t have an AR-15, sell your cloak and buy one.
Well, he’d say it today.
Update: Another point to add that I omitted yesterday – the National Catholic Review’s anti-2A stance also rejects the life of any individual – including the individual Catholic – as worth defending by denying effective tools of self-defense.
Consider that one of the main tenets of the KKK was anti-Catholicism, and that an argument for disarmament of the individual against the mob would leave individual Catholics defenseless.
For a church that’s both persecuted the defenseless and itself been the target of persecution, the need for effective self-defense against any oppression is probably pretty well understood by the rank & file Catholic; while the Ruling Class theocracy is simply out for the same kind of power that secular Ruling Class people are out for.
Go figure, it’s a news story from Florida:
Lake City, Florida – A gun-wielding burglar who recently attempted to rob over a dozen women attending a residential jewelry party is behind bars after he fled the scene when the women ordered him out in the name of Jesus.
The incident happened last Friday when homeowner Jacquie Hagler had fourteen friends over for the party. Derek Lee, 24, who was wearing a ski cap and a bandana, entered the home with a gun and demanded that the women hand over their money and phones.
…Hagler, a born-again Christian, understood that the situation was indeed real. Some reports state that Lee even showed the women the bullets in his gun to prove that the robbery was not a prank.
“When I realized what was going on, I stood up and said, ‘In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now!’” Hagler told local television station WJXT-TV. “And he said [again], ‘I’m going to shoot someone.’”
“I said it again real boldly,” she continued. “Everybody started chanting, ‘Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!’”
Lee was stunned.
“The look on his face was just astonishment. He was totally captivated by whatever he saw,” Hagler explained. “[H]e did a quick scan of the room, and ran out the door as fast as he could go.”
Whatever works, I guess.
Tags: Starship Troopers
A very interesting piece over at The American Vision:
Imagine the following scenario: At church this Sunday, while reviewing the list of announcements and upcoming events for your church, your pastor added, “Oh, and don’t forget: on Sundays we have our regular target practice. Make sure to bring your rifles. Make sure to bring your pieces to church.”
Absurd, right? Not so. It used to be the American way. For example, a 1631 law in Virginia required citizens to own firearms, to engage in practice with them, and to do so publicly on holy days. It demanded that the people “bring their pieces to the church.” Somewhere along the line we have lost this mindset. Today the ideas of church and arms are assumed to be at odds, as if loving your neighbor has nothing to do with the preservation and defense of life and property.
But the idea of Christian society and an armed, skilled populace actually have deep historical roots.
Self-defense was viewed as what it is – a testament to the fact that you cared about life, liberty, property, happiness, and freedom. In this case, it’s often the freedom to worship, but still, interesting even so.
The American Second Amendment did not spring into existence from nowhere. It had a long pedigree. The Christian society emerging from the old laws of Alfred continued to include the ideal of an armed populace as a means of securing human liberties. The Founders, many of them lawyers, had studied that legal tradition and would have read William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–1769). The first part of the first volume elaborates on the subject of our “principal absolute rights… of personal security, personal liberty, and private property [i.e. life, liberty, and property].” It then covers five means of securing and protecting these rights “inviolate”:
The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
Blackstone was noteably cited in DC v Heller.
Locke elaborated these views within the context of belief in God’s ultimate sovereignty, ownership, and law-order over all of creation:
Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself… so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.
Locke’s elaboration there and in the Second Treatise of Government is also noteworthy because it can exist even if you don’t believe and thereby don’t equate God’s gift of life with the morality of self defense. If you are a die-hard atheist who believes totally in the accidental creation of the universe by the FSM or something, your survival – your own personal survival, is ultimately of paramount importance to you. If you don’t believe in God, you still know that there’s something that came before the big bang, you still know there’s some Higgs’ boson or something out there left to discover, and the ultimate answer to existence (since you say no to God) means it’s left to be discovered. In the meantime, you need to survive, learn, and most likely procreate so your descendants will learn from you and ultimately you’ll find that purpose.
Yeah, yeah, 42, but what’s the question?
Survival becomes, and is, an absolute moral. Your life is the most important thing there is.
I mentioned Starship Troopers in the last post, and I’ll mention it here again. Within the book (the movie is an abomination), there’s much discussion of how survival is the basis for all morals, and morality has become almost mathematical because of it. Your life is the most important thing in the world. But the value you put on your family’s life may exceed that you put on your own. It doesn’t mean that yours is less valuable, it just means that you have taken it upon yourself to value their life more, and put your own at risk to protect them. This starts with spouse and children (with whom you share a link to the future), but ultimately extends outwards to encompass all of your region, culture, society, and humankind. It takes great understanding to put your own life at risk for someone you’ve never met, which is why this is such a virtuous thing to do.
And at the same time, it’s also why a tyranny that views even one life as unimportant (let alone millions) is an invalid entity – because that one life has value on its own.
Thus even if you choose the advancement of human knowledge as your deity instead of Yahweh, Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, Ahura Mazda, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you can still find that these principles apply, and agree with the wisdom here:
Evil ever advances upon our families, churches, and states. Evil seeks positions of power, such as government, and from there seeks to eliminate the avenues of power that threaten it (an armed people). Thus tyrannical government seek to pass gun control laws.
Perhaps it’s important to note something else Heinlein put forth: that “an armed society is a polite society”. Tyrants don’t try to oppress those who can fight back, just like bullies don’t torment those who fight back. It’s a preemptive move against tyranny, and creates a more peaceful state. No wars were ever started because a pacifist was too strong.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Newsweek also offers alternate gay Obama covers. Some are the usual, with homages to murderer Che Guevara:
But another is somewhat more sinister:
The supreme all-powerful leader has now deigned what shall now be acceptable. He shall dictate society to you. He is all powerful, and he will cradle those he chooses and protect them… and woe betide those who oppose him.
Scrolling through many of our other entries here on Obama (he keeps showing up in a lot of posts, too), you can see that while he (and his cronies) want more power, they don’t really know how to exercise it well, as all his theories – mostly economic fallacies and failures – are self-defeating. While his team’s creation of it’s own seal of office, and the “office of the president elect” podium, and the greek columns, etc., during his initial rise convey a great hubris, as well as most of his actions since then; these images actually represent the media’s viewpoint. To them, he is the all-powerful all-father, he is the secular messiah come to rescue them from the rising oceans and heal the discord. And anyone who opposes him is a racist heretic.
Not really a new observation, but couple the same observations you’ve seen on the subject with the media image portrayed and you end up starting to scratch the surface of the dogmatic adherence to the cult of Obama personality that exists.
One could write a whole book on this topic.
Tags: Embracing Islam, POTUS, Religion, Supressing Religion
Just a few examples of just how “Anti-Christian” and “Anti-Judiasm” this president really is:
Here are a few “acts of hostility towards people of biblical faiths:” (to keep it brief I will use one example from each year Obama has been either in office or a candidate)
- April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
- April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech.
- October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
- January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
- February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion.
Here are a few examples of the United States military actions while Obama has been Commander-in-Chief:
- June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.
- February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read.
To further continue making the point, here are a few examples of hostility towards Biblical values:
- January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.
- July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.
- July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778.
The author, David Barton, also goes great lengths to show the president’s preference of all things Islamic:
- May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
- August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location.
- October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House.
- February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.
Mr. Barton gives SOURCES for every one of these claims including the SEVERAL I did not list here. If you don’t believe me check him out. I provided the link at the top of the post and I’ll post it again here.
I’d say this is concrete evidence that the president is not who he says he is. I learned a long time ago that a person’s deeds will betray a lie every time.
From Gadi Adelman at Family Security Matters:
The story of the U.S. State Department funding mosques overseas was uncovered in July 2010 when reporter Justin Farmer from ABC affiliate WSBTV Channel 2 in Atlanta Georgia did an investigative report. Farmers’ story focused on how the U.S. was spending its tax payer dollars while supposedly trying to cut the budget.
That backstory here at WSBTV:
Updated: 5:23 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Posted: 3:57 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
Mosque Makeovers With Your Tax Dollars
WASHINGTON, D.C —
A Channel 2 Action News investigation found that the State Department is sending millions of dollars to save mosques overseas. This investment has received criticism as the United States makes an effort to slash nearly $4 trillion in government spending.
Plenty of outrage following the announcement made Thursday afternoon by a government commission that suggested huge cuts to the budget, including eliminating the interest education for home mortgage. This juxtaposed with United States investing millions to refurbish mosques as a good-will effort in Muslim countries has upset many taxpayer groups.
Watch The Video And Subscribe To The WSB-TV Youtube Channel
The Channel 2 Action News investigation found a 1,300-year-old Egyptian mosque that was almost flooded by contaminated sewer water that is one of many ancient Cairo mosques and churches that were saved from destruction by the U.S. taxpayers.
This is part of a $770 million program to rebuild Cairo’s sewer system, paid for by the U.S. State Department’s USAID program.
“We are spending money we don’t have. This is all on a gigantic credit card right now,” said Jared Thomas, a taxpayer advocate.
Millions more dollars have been sent to places like Cyprus. The State Department displays before and after pictures of mosques refurbished with U.S. tax dollars.
The FSM piece goes on (no not that FSM):
But what was supposed to be a ‘sewer’ rebuild is much more. The USAID website shows both before and after pictures of one such mosque in Cairo, Egypt.
Adelman continues, noting that spending money on building mosques is illegal:
205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, it states plainly,
(b) Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from USAID under any USAID program may not engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services directly funded with direct financial assistance from USAID
Long story short, these aren’t just mosques they’re subsidizing, there are also mosques that are being rebuilt in the West Bank and Gaza. Given that the main exports of those places are terrorism, specifically terrorism of the islamic variety, it seems odd that we’re rebuilding religious infrastructure in an area that uses those religious buildings as places to recruit and attack their neighbors from (mainly Israel, but the same recruitment centers would also send terrorists around the world – most notably nearby Iraq).
Section 4 is titled “Contractor’s Vetting Information Was Incomplete”. In this section it actually stated,Weaknesses in data accuracy also weaken the project’s efficiency and antiterrorism efforts.Antiterrorism efforts? I thought this money was going to health reform and development. Perhaps proper health care will keep people from wanting to blow themselves up, I’m not sure on that one. At the end of section 4 as expected two more recommendations.
Now, maybe the program was specifically to rebuild infrastructure to prevent terrorism, and maybe it’s just rebuilding mosques tended to by reform clerics, and so maybe it’s just violating law spending US taxpayer money on mosques on the other side of the globe because… why? But that part has already been addressed. Adelman’s wondering where the money really went – and did we directly fund terrorism.
From the audit:
The unreliable partnership with the Minister of Health developed because of the lack of focus in the original statement of work for the project. USAID/West Bank and Gaza also allowed the relationship to develop in this way by approving whatever the Minister requested, regardless of how the requests fit into the mission’s vision and focus for the project.
The final part of the audit was the ‘scope’ and it states,
We reviewed compliance by the mission and Chemonics with Executive Order 13224, “Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism,” and with USAID/West Bank and Gaza Mission Order 21, “Anti-Terrorism Procedures.” Our antiterrorism compliance testing included reviews of relevant documentation, such as USAID/West Bank and Gaza’s agreement with Chemonics and eligibility notifications for trainees, subcontractors, and grantees.
I for one am glad that the compliance of “transactions with persons who commit terrorism” was reviewed through relevant documentation, especially since that documentation was provided by the group that “did not establish a reliable partnership”, “reported results that were not reliable”, “reported of achievements that were sometimes misleading” and provided “vetting information that was incomplete”.
Yes, our debt is growing and in the time it took me to write this it has risen over 2 million dollars. But no worries, we will still give money to our enemies to rebuild their mosques, after all we are sitting down with the Taliban, right?
For info, this is Gadi Adelman’s bio.
This isn’t the first time that US taxpayer money has been pushed to fund mosques. Even lefty-Annenberg Obama-supporting Orwellian-named Factcheck.org can’t dodge it (of course they say “well, we’re funding other religions, so it’s okay!”). Daily Caller had this piece on it a while back.
First off, why are we funding any religious buildings? Especially overseas? There should at least be atheists up in arms that not only are we not separating church and state, we’re actively rebuilding chuch-states around the globe. The idea of rebuilding historic artifacts is nice, but there are musuems to do that, there are private charities to do that, and there are the actual nations wherein those historic sites reside to do that.
Second, if we’re funding mosques in hotbeds of terrorism, aren’t we de facto supporting terrorism? Aren’t we rebuilding terrorist recruitment centers?
Third, even if we aren’t funding terrorism, aren’t we supporting gender discrimination and theocracies?
Not that the west has a particularly good recent history on that. Note the above picture is from Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. The boys pray up front, the girls in back, the girls on their periods are way back and not allowed to pray, since they’re unclean. Enlightenend liberalism becomes enforced segregation. The effects of cultural relativism.
So at absolute best, we’re supporting institutions that push treating women as “unclean” the same as pigs, dogs, and other things that islam hates.
But let’s check that other law:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By Congress approving funding for USAID, they’re supporting/respecting an establishment of religion. By fedgov supporting all of these religious programs, they’re supporting religions, some more than others, and some more dangerous than others. If we were rebuilding Shinto shrines or Zoroastrian temples, it would still be just as objectionable on the tax aspect, but Shintoists pretty much gave up on suicide attacks over 60 years ago, and have been mostly harmless for a while now.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation seems to be the ones screaming the most about Marine scout snipers using SS as their mark, which they co-opted from the old, bad guy SS that wore Hugo Boss uniforms.
So who is the MRFF?
At it’s head is Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force lawyer turned lawyer turned lawyer turned lawyer a couple more times turned founder of a nonprofit charitable organization he created “to directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical religious fundamentalists: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation.” He’s on a crusade to stop fundamentalist Christianity from it’s evil crusade to do something-er-ather, as noted below. Hmm…
He’s also seems to be kind of an apologist for Islamic jihad.
In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, Weinstein attracted attention once again to the possibility that a hostile environment dominated by “fundamentalist Christians” constantly trying to proselytize others played some role in contributing to the psychological pressure on Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan himself reportedly had made claims that he had faced harassing insults related to his Arab ethnic background and Islamic faith.
Maj. Hasan, according to the New York Times, had allegedly been harassed by fellow soldiers because he was Muslim.
“It’s obviously too early to know what all the salient facts are,” Weinstein said. “But MRFF is the only subject matter expert on planet earth that can speak authoritatively with regard to the effects that religious persecution has on members of the US military, particularly those of minority faiths like Islam. It would absolutely strain credulity to presume that this clearly sick perpetrator’s actions had nothing at all to do with the fact that his faith may possibly have been Islamic.”
That last sentence is so lawyer-speak it’s hardly recognizable as a sentence. Glad to know they’re the only subject matter experts on planet earth that can speak authoritatively to say that yes, the Christians persecuting him made him do it.*
*guarding clause, weasel words, some assembly required, batteries not included, past history does not indicate future performance, could be total nonsense, may not actually be caused by anything legalese legalese legalese
Armed with a hundred years of case law, he is most formidable in court. In 2004 MRFF was alerted by service members that chaplains embedded in combat units were handing out vernacular-language Bibles in Iraq and Afghanistan in violation of a Pentagon General Order that prohibits proselytizing of any kind. After MRFF took up the case, the Pentagon responded by confiscating and destroying isolated caches of Bibles, although according to MRFF such evangelizing continues in both countries.
Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.
The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.
Well yes, because they execute people for apostasy.
MRFF is also a big supporter of atheists’ rights to worship nothing. I guess making fun of atheists is easy, but if you want to have a religious service for something you don’t believe in, that’s sort of like teetotalers saying they want time for a kegger. Or abstinent people committed to chastity throwing a swingers’ party. Just makes no sense.
The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is “to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense.”
In January 2010 Weinstein exposed a private contractor who was supplying rifle scopes to the Defense Department imprinted with coded references to Christ-related biblical verses. After ABC News did a report on the “Jesus rifles,” as Weinstein called them, the Defense Department ordered that the scopes be sanitized of any subliminal content.
Srsly? Unless you know exactly what you’re looking at and someone tells you, it’s as meaningless as the gibberish that the Esoteric Order of Dagon writes next to the NSN, which stands for N’gthel g’ylek N’rokk (Depth Beyond the Vastness), and the numbers are a non-Euclidian coordinate in space-time.
MRFF sounds sort of like the effect of someone whose free speech has been halted. A very good comic book effect for Robin:
It’s also probably relevant for an organization that’s set out pretty much to target Christians and Christianity, muffling them and actually squelching free speech – quite Orwellian that they have so many things in their name that they oppose. MRFF isn’t going out in an actual spirit of tolerance and moderation, toning down hard-core evangelicals, but in a “they are an army of zombie zealots who must be stopped!” kind of way. Really – see below.
Interesting that MRFF supports a non-existent wall that restricts free speech, going so far to use it for their fight for donations:
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.
January 1, 1802
Individuals are choosing to exercise their religious beliefs. There is no order coming from the Pentagon saying “you shall pray to Ba’al after colors”. There is an active element trying to prevent the free exercise thereof. Like it or not, the nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and those faiths are predominantly represented in the more traditional elements of society – especially the military. Seeking to destroy them helps no one in this nation or any allied nation.
The intro to his book “No Snowflake in an Avalanche: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Its Battle to Defend the Constitution, And One Family’s Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places” starts off like this (via Amazon):
An army of zombie zealots prepared to fight and die in order to usher in the dispensational reign of Jesus Christ on earth?
His other book has an equally interesting title: “With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against An Evangelical Coup in America’s Military“. Some of the other books MRFF endorses are also interesting titles. Notably most of the authors are peacetime Air Force vets.
MRFF Compensation to Michael Weinstein:
That’s a fair sum for someone who does little more than publish diatribes filled with alliterative hyperbole against religious freedom in the US military. It’s also notable that over the course of his “charity’s” existence, with the exception of the outlier in 2007, he’s taken an average of 47% of his charity’s revenue as his personal compensation.
In other words, nearly half of every dollar sent to his charity has gone directly to his paycheck.
Not a bad gig if you can get it.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) teamed up with the liberal veterans group VoteVets.org and with anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to petition West Point to disinvite Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (USA-Ret.) from the February 8 event.
But he’s at least a proponent of self-defense, so he’s not just a staunch crusader in his fight to end the scourge of Christianity, and does have some redeeming virtues:
He retains a detail of security and explosives experts, and he has positioned firearms—from a twelve-gauge shotgun to semiautomatic handguns—throughout the house. (Amber, Weinstein’s 23-year-old daughter, sleeps with a .357 revolver by her bed.) The guard dogs have been trained to fend off intruders for at least eight seconds, which security consultants estimate is the minimum amount of time the Weinsteins would need to get to their guns.
Dunno where one gets the money to hire a detail of security and explosives experts, as those tend to be expensive contractors, even with his self-appointed salary. His personal experiences with assholes at the USAF academy may have really scarred him, to the point he doesn’t see that the real bad guys are the ones flying planes into buildings, wearing shoe and underwear bombs, suicide bombing troops and citizens in foreign nations, and contributing to a new regime of oppression in the Middle East as a result of the last year’s unrest. Oh well, he’s entitled to his overreacting opinion. But it makes him sound like every other chicken little anti-Christian, anti-western, anti-US blame-America-firster, and certainly diminishes his own personal story – a story that by itself, would be pretty significant and noteworthy, and paints him in a respectable light. But for every story by his supporters or himself about generations of military service and his own service and all that, once taking into account the rest of what he does, all it sounds like is a racist joke prefaced with: “I have a black friend, so it’s okay”.
But back to the Marines as his organization’s new target. Perhaps the most notable thing is that the Marines up there, who don’t care, who live (or rather lived, since the picture was reportedly taken in 2010) with the threat of death every day, aren’t bad guys. They just do not care what some former Air Force lawyer turned anti-Christian crusader back in the states has to say. Nor do they care what anyone else has to say. They live in a kill-or-be-killed world.
They are the very harsh type-A personalities you want in those jobs. Would it help if somebody reins them in every so often? Sure. Those who aren’t familiar with the rather tight scout sniper culture will probably find it offensive. Those who aren’t in that circle don’t understand that they don’t view it as a Nazi symbol, because they don’t care. It looks badass, and they used it. No one rending their garments and yelling back in the world is going to make a difference; and the Commandant and SgtMaj coming down on them will just reinforce that people don’t understand what they do. (Edit: Given that the SgtMaj used to be a scout sniper, I now doubt there will be as much grumbling in the sniper community. His words will carry a lot of weight.)
If Carlos Hathcock (were he alive) to write them a letter and say “Devil dogs, don’t use the SS runes anymore. There’s a reason we went to war with them, there’s a reason we had to stop them. We as a nation defeated them, and we don’t need to be associated with that,” it would be over.