Air Force Surrenders at First Whiff of Grapeshot
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 1:42 PM

It was on this date, September 18, 1947, that the United States Air Force became an independent branch of the military.  Although the beginnings of the Air Force go back to 1907, it was only in 1909 that the Army bought its first airplane.  By the start of World War I, the Army owned five airplanes.  From the humble beginnings, at its height in World War II, the Army Air Corps, as it was known then, had as many as 80,000 airplanes.  Today, the Air Force has approximately 5,600 active airplanes.

On these pages, I wrote earlier this week about the unnamed atheist airman from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, who the Air Force was not allowing to re-enlist because he refused to conclude his oath with “so help me God.”  Although the “so help me God” language has long been included in the enlistment oath by federal statute, until October 2013, an airman could opt for an alternate phrase and omit the “so help me God” language.  Because he was not being allowed to re-enlist, the airman threatened to sue the government with assistance from American Humanist Association attorneys.

However, at the first whiff of grapeshot over this matter, the Air Force has surrendered.  Effective September 17, 2014, both enlisted members and officers may omit the words, “so help me God” from their oaths if they so choose.  The Air Force made this change based upon a legal opinion from the Department of Defense General Counsel (an Obama appointee).  According to the legal opinion, an individual may strike or omit these words if preferred.  So again, under the Obama Regime, a long-established federal law only means what he wants it to mean.  Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James (also an Obama appointee) stated, “We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously.  We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.”  I suppose that the rights of Christian Air Force Academy cadets aren’t included.  A copy of the Air Force press release is available here.  Please continue to pray for our soldiers and airmen, particularly for those who serve in harm’s way.  Or should we no longer care?



Atheist Airman Denied Re-Enlistment For Refusing to Say “So Help Me God”
Monday, September 15, 2014, 9:57 AM

In October 2013, the United States Air Force adopted policy AFI 36-2606 (available here) that required enlistees and re-enlistees to conclude their enlistment oath with “so help me God.”  Prior to that time, an airman could opt for an alternative phrase and omit the “so help me God” language.  The “so help me God” language has long been included in the enlistment oath by a 1962 federal statute, 10 USC Section 502.

In recent days, an atheist airman was told by the Air Force that either he will have to take the oath concluding with “so help me God,” or he will be denied his request to re-enlist.  As one can expect, the unnamed airman from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada is now poised to take the military to court over this requirement.  He is represented by Monica Miller, an attorney with the American Humanist Association, an organization about which I have written on these pages over the years.  Ms. Miller has stated, “The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being.”  Then, in his usual bombastic rhetorical style, Mikey Weinstein, Esq., founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, wrote the following in a letter to Secretary of Defense Hagel regarding this matter:

In a time of increasingly polarized fundamentalist theocratic hostility, what good will be accomplished by deliberately leaning the singular most lethal organization ever to exist on this planet towards a reflection of ISIS? . . . . Any efforts to do so are a disingenuous and disgraceful interpretation of the law, serving and pandering to what is nothing more than a pathetically partisan, conservative theocratic agenda. . . . With a single command directive, Mr. Secretary, you can immediately remediate this bigoted issue and prevent any valuable airmen from being wrongfully discharged from the military for failing a BLATANTLY unlawful religious test.

Emphasis in the original.  Other branches of the United States military do not require the reference to God in the oaths, and make the phrase optional.  Of course, if I had some healthy cynicism, I could think that the Obama Pentagon mandated the “so help me God” requirement in late 2013 to get it challenged in federal court where a friendly judge would find the requirement unconstitutional, thereby creating a precedent for other courts to follow.  An argument could be made that the Article 6, Section 3, of the Constitution bars religious tests to hold office.  Specifically, that provision provides:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Emphasis added.  So could this provision apply to the military?  And should it apply?  After all, the military is subject to its own Code of Military Justice, and has special courts to hear military cases.  While this provision would apply to the Secretary of Defense as a federal executive officer, nothing is stated here regarding its application to members of our nation’s military.  Our understanding of the meaning of this provision is quite different from the view of our nation’s Founders.  Most Americans do not know that many of the original 13 states had “state” churches.  The South was traditionally Anglican, but had a growing Methodist and Baptist population.  New England was traditionally Congregationalist.  Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams, a Baptist, as a refuge from the Massachusetts Congregationalists.  The middle colonies mixed Catholics in Maryland, Presbyterians and Quakers.  Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and South Carolina paid churches out of the public treasury well into the 19th century.  The First Amendment so-called “Establishment Clause,” which has now mutated into meanings unimaginable to our Founders, simply precluded Congress from establishing the Church of the United States as England had done with the Church of England.  Further, the purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the power of the federal government to advance, for example, Roman Catholic or Anglican doctrines over Baptist ones.  Fundamentally, the religious oath provision prohibited a person elected to Congress or to a state legislature from being denied his seat merely for his religious views.

We will see whether Secretary Hagel will issue his directive.  But with Mr. Obama’s recent declaration to use American airpower against the Sunni terrorists in the Islamic State to bail out Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist groups, our airmen will truly need to ask “so help me God” in their daily responsibilities.  Please continue to pray for our soldiers and airmen, particularly for those who serve in harm’s way.



Mikey Weinstein Does Well At His “Foundation”
Monday, September 8, 2014, 3:22 PM

On these pages, I have written a number of blogs regarding the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”) over the past several years.  The MRFF’s stated objective is to ensure “that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they . . . are entitled.”  In actual fact, the MRFF’s goals have been precisely the opposite, and it seeks to take away the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion for Christian believers in our nation’s military.  The MRFF has reportedly been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize numerous times, but has not won yet.  The MRFF founder, president, and sole employee is Michael L. (Mikey) Weinstein, Esq.  A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Mr. Weinstein served as one of the White House West Wing attorneys for President Reagan, and later served as the general counsel for H. Ross Perot and his company.  He is the author of several books which describe his fight against “coercive” Christian practices in the military.  In 2012, Defense News named Mr. Weinstein as one of the most influential members of today’s military-industrial complex (ahead of former CIA Director, General David Petraeus), and Mr. Weinstein has important contacts at the highest levels in the Obama Administration.  As one example of his immense power and influence, Mikey Weinstein will testify on September 19, 2014, before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, regarding the current state of religious freedom in the military.  Mr. Weinstein also recently spoke at the Military College of Georgia, and at Duke University Medical School’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health.  He is scheduled to address the students and faculty at the evangelical Patrick Henry College in late September.  (I hope that the College is not paying much in a speaker’s fee.)  My most recent blog regarding MRFF, Mikey Weinstein Strikes Again, available here. is prominently featured on the front page of the MRFF website.  (Thanks, Mikey!  But I am not so sure that you are going to link to this one.)

The past few years have been tough on the MRFF, but they have been very good for Mikey.  MRFF revenues decreased from $698,698 in 2011 to $584,347 in 2012.  Importantly, as MRFF’s annual revenues are well below $1 million, most charity-rating agencies, such as Charity Navigator, do not evaluate the efficacy of expenditures for smaller non-profit entities.  However, the MRFF is quite a sinecure for its sole employee.  Mikey Weinstein’s salary from the MRFF in 2011 and 2012, as reported in its Form 990 tax filings, were $263,098 and $284,009, respectively.  (Did you get a $21,000 raise in 2012?)  Although his salary might seem high to a few of my readers, Mikey affirmed in his tax filings under penalties of perjury that he worked an average work week of 80 hours at the MRFF.  Given that the MRFF asserts that more than 38,000 active duty, veteran, and civilian personnel of our nation’s armed forces have sought out MRFF assistance, with “hundreds more contacting MRFF each day,” it is little wonder that Mikey has had to work so hard.  So in light of his important and powerful influence, and all of his hard work and dedication to his cause, one should not be surprised that he earned in salary almost one-half of MRFF’s total revenues for 2012.  It will be interesting to see how well he continues to do for 2013 when those numbers are published in the coming weeks.  I am certain that his donors see his valuable contributions to the MRFF, but to put things into some perspective, in its 2013 CEO Compensation Report, Charity Navigator determined that the typical CEO at a non-profit entity receiving between $1 million to $3.5 million in annual revenues earned $95,661 in 2011.  The median CEO salary for a larger non-profit entity receiving up to $100 million in annual revenues was $285,753, an amount similar to Mikey’s salary.  Of course, the other CEOs are not among the most influential members of the defense establishment, and few will claim, under penalties of perjury, to work an average of 80 hours each week.  Some jokesters have quipped that the MRFF actually stands for “Mikey’s Religious Fund Foundation.”  It seems to me that our Internal Revenue Service might wish to investigate the MRFF’s 501(c)(3) status.  After all, should donors to the MRFF be entitled to a tax deduction when the primary “charitable” purpose is to pay Mikey’s high salary?  So for having earned over $547,000 over two years, it is too bad that Lois Lerner, Esq., is no longer in the saddle at the tax-exempt division at the IRS.  She would certainly know what to do to investigate the MRFF fully.  Christians do not and should never fear religious freedom, for where there is freedom, God’s Holy Word and his Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will be known, for He only is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  But those opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ have throughout history sought to silence the voices of His children.



Feminist Professor Convicted of Grand Theft, Vandalism, and Battery
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 10:49 AM

photo 150x150 Feminist Professor Convicted of Grand Theft, Vandalism, and BatteryThe University of California at Santa Barbara (“UCSB”) is one of the elite public universities in the United States.  It is often described as one of America’s “Public Ivy” universities, recognizing its important contributions to research and academic excellence.  Among its many degree programs, it offers various degrees in feminist studies. One of the UCSB star faculty in feminist studies, Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor, teaches courses involving black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work.

Last March, two teen-age sisters and pro-life activists, Thrin and Joan Short, were in the “free speech zone” at UCSB (I suppose that in California, First Amendment free speech rights are limited in public forums. Who knew?)  The Short sisters were exercising their freedom of speech and displayed photographs of the aftermath of abortion on posters to engage students in discussion about abortion and the alternatives to abortion.

Professor Miller-Young was walking past the young women, and became deeply incensed at the pro-life literature and photos. She forcibly took their posters, and later assaulted the sisters. You can watch a video of the incident here.  Afterwards, police were called, and Professor Miller-Young told police that she found the prof-life literature and graphic photos “disturbing” because she teaches reproduction rights. (One could think that she would welcome, as an esteemed and learned professor, an opportunity to challenge the thinking of two teen girls. But I digress.)  Following the police investigation, Professor Miller-Young was charged with multiple offenses. After trial in July, she was convicted of grand theft, vandalism, and battery, which are non-trivial offenses. In August, as Professor Miller-Young sat in the front row dabbing her eyes, Judge Brian Hill handed down his lenient sentence: 108 hours of community service to be performed in conflict-resolution workshops (no, I am not making this up), ten hours of anger management classes, restitution of $493 to the Short sisters, and three years of probation. No response was received for requests for comments by Mere Comments to UCSB Chancellor Henry Tang and Professor Miller-Young.

In our society, one can disagree vehemently with pro-life activists, but even at UCSB, disagreeing doesn’t give anyone, particularly one in a power position as a university professor, the right to steal the young women’s property, and then to attack them when they tried to get it back. Of course, one can expect that Professor Miller-Young will soon receive a promotion to full professor, and an invitation to the Obama White House for being another “victim” in the evil, pro-life war on women reproductive health rights by people of faith. Why are pro-death advocates afraid of two teen girls and depictions of the aftermath of abortion? Kudos to the Short sisters for reminding us about the horrific effects of abortion in a society where the institutions of influence hate any notion of protecting the unborn.

 



Obama Administration Doubles Down After Hobby Lobby
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 9:48 AM

It has been observed by many that President Obama has a fundamental disrespect for the traditional concept of rule of law.  Many have observed that Mr. Obama’s administration strictly follows laws it likes, completely disregards laws that he doesn’t like, makes up constitutional principles out of whole cloth, and disregards other rights and principles in the Constitution.  But then again, he did promise the “fundamental transformation” of this country, and our constitutional principles and notions of the rule of law make such a transformation difficult without an overwhelming national consensus.  As one recent example, even after his Administration’s loss last June at the Supreme Court about whether family-owned businesses and non-profit organizations that objected to paying for abortions and abortion-causing drugs for their employees could be compelled to do so, the Obama administration has now doubled down to ignore the 5-4 Supreme Court decision.

The Obama administration recently released a fact sheet on the newly-proposed federal mandate rules pertaining to non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit entities, such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the plaintiffs in the case decided by the Supreme Court last June.  A copy of the federal government’s fact sheet is available here.

On the surface, the government factsheet on the new rules makes it clear that the new rules will also violate the conscience rights of the leadership of both non-profit organizations and family businesses.  According to the factsheet, the Obama administration will publish two new regulations relating to the “preventive services” mandate.  One is an interim final rule regarding an additional mechanism for non-profits to notify the government of their objection to the mandate.  The second is a proposed final rule and request for comment on applying an accommodation procedure to for-profit businesses, like family-owned companies Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties.  Under the new rules, upon an objection by the entity, then the federal government will:

notify the insurer for an insured health plan, or the Department of Labor will notify the [Third Party Administrator, the “TPA”] for a self-insured plan, that the organization objects to providing contraception coverage and that the insurer or TPA is responsible for providing enrollees in the health plan separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan.  Regardless of whether the eligible organization self-certifies in accordance with the July 2013 final rules, or provides notice to HHS in accordance with the August 2014 IFR, the obligations of insurers and/or TPAs regarding providing or arranging separate payments for contraceptive services are the same, as discussed in this Fact Sheet.  The interim final rule solicits comments but is effective on date of publication in the Federal Register.

Failure to comply will result in fines of $100 per day per employee.  As reported in LifeNews, Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, explains in real English what these new rules mean:

Effective immediately, this latest rule still orders charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, non-profit Christian colleges like Wheaton College, and religious broadcasters like EWTN to violate their consciences simply because they legally contract for health coverage.  The government uses their contract as the basis to force their insurers to provide their employees with free contraception and drugs that can kill human embryos, against their sincere conscientious beliefs.  [This creates] the threat of crippling fines on non-profits who stand up for their freedom of conscience.  What remains an insulting accounting gimmick does not protect the rights of Americans with sincere conscientious objections.  It is simply another clerical layer . . . because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees.  It’s very disappointing that the Obama administration is doubling down on its plans to punish charities and non-profits that assist the poor and homeless, who in some cases have nowhere else to turn for assistance.

Emphasis added.  Yes, Ms. Grossu, these rules are very disappointing, but hardly surprising.  Abortion, to Mr. Obama and the members of his party, is the highest social “good.”  With these new rules, Mr. Obama, paraphrasing Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, takes the Hobby Lobby decision and ignores its meaning.  “’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’”  Of course, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, the proper government rule would be to offer a full exemption from these mandates to charities and family-owned businesses that have sincerely-held conscientious objections.  But in Obama World, religious liberty must move to the back of the bus for abortion absolutism.  But I can see how many could reasonably ask the important question about how God could bless my business and employees if I were complicit in the murder of unborn children.



We Are All The Giffords Now
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:22 AM

Screen Shot 2014 08 25 at 8.20.19 AM 150x150 We Are All The Giffords NowCynthia and Robert Gifford own the Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York.  Each year, the Giffords open their farm to the public for raspberry and blueberry picking, fall festivals, and yes, even pig racing.  On occasion, they rent out the main barn at their farm for weddings.  In 2012, Melisa Erwin McCarthy and Jennifer McCarthy contacted the Giffords to rent the farm for their lesbian “wedding” and reception.  Why did they wish to marry on a farm?  Jennie had proposed to Melisa while they were apple picking at an orchard, and so the lovebirds wanted a farm and rustic theme for their wedding to “honor the memory” of their “engagement.”  Mrs. Gifford declined their request.  The Giffords explained that as they live on the upper floors of the main barn, they open part of the second floor of the barn as a bridal suite, and could not in good conscience host a lesbian “wedding.”

As seriously aggrieved and traumatized victims of this purported hatred by the Giffords, they filed a complaint against the Giffords with the New York Human Rights Commission for illegal discrimination.  At their hearing, Melisa and Jennie were represented by Arthur Eisenberg, Esq., of the New York Civil Liberties Foundation.  Being fully coached by Mr. Eisenberg for their hearing, Melisa testified that she was “shell-shocked” and felt “horrible” at the rejection by the Giffords.  Jennie found the rejection to be “heart-breaking,” and testified that it was a “blow” to her lesbianate coming-out process.  (No, I am not making that up; that is what she testified.)  In fact, the couple testified that they were so upset and traumatized by the Giffords’ rejection that they stopped looking for a wedding venue for several months.  (Perhaps it was the vision of big dollar signs that led to the supposed delay?)

After a hearing before the Human Rights Commission, on August 8, 2014, the Honorable Judge Migdalia Parés found that that “the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law warrants a penalty.”  Accordingly, Cynthia and Robert Gifford were fined $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman.  ($1,500 to each of the gals, and $10,000 to the State of New York.)  In one sense, the Giffords dodged a bullet in that Judge Parés could have fined them up to $50,000.  The judge further ordered that all employees of the Giffords undertake “anti-discrimination training.”  Of course, one can ask whether the government should be in the business of “re-educating” its citizens to change their moral beliefs.  That sounds more like North Korea or China to me.  And should the government, even a Democrat-controlled New York state government, be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a lesbian “wedding?”  The Giffords were given sixty days to pay the fine.  Whether they do remains to be seen.  But this case reminds me of what Henry David Thoreau wrote in his Civil Disobedience and Other Essays, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?  Why has every man a conscience then?  I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.”  It isn’t in the Holy Bible, but it so true that it could be.

In a free society, family farms should operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners.  Frank Donatelli, writing recently in What Part of the Constitution Do Liberals Still Support?, available here, observed the following:

The last vestige of American liberty is certainly the First Amendment’s core guarantees of freedom of speech and religion. . . . If you doubt that, just check out how the bureaucrats are interpreting Obamacare and religious liberty.  Though not specifically required by Obamacare or any other law, Department of Health and Human Services bureaucrats working with legal abortion absolutists, have issued regulations mandating that every business provide coverage for “morning after”-type contraceptive devices and drugs in their medical plans.  The Obama Justice Department argued that such an edict promulgated by bureaucrats trumped the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993, as well as the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom.  Fortunately, plaintiffs prevailed in the Supreme Court (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores), but only by one vote, with four liberal justices siding with the bureaucrats.  In a related case, the Obama administration is attempting to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to adhere to the dictates of HHS regulators.  Apparently, even the core guarantees of the First Amendment must be sacrificed for the Greater Good.

Emphasis added.  Mr. Donatelli concludes his essay, “Be afraid.  Be very afraid.”  Indeed!  Please pray for the Giffords and their colleagues, but rejoice with them because they are blessed for being persecuted for standing for righteousness, for as our Lord Jesus taught us, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  We must never forget that Satan is at work whenever anyone, including another Christian, approves, supports, enables, or encourages others in any sinful behavior.  If you wish to write a note of encouragement to the Giffords, you can reach them at 29 Bevis Road, Schaghticoke, New York 12154.  And if you wish to telephone the Honorable Helen Diane Foster, Esq., the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, to express your views, you can reach her at 718.741.8400.  I am sure she would enjoy hearing from regular folks.



Is Ms. Turner the Victim of An Anti-Christian Government Teacher?
Friday, August 22, 2014, 9:12 AM

Dyer County High School is a government-run school located in Newbern, Tennessee, a small town of 3,300 souls in northwestern Tennessee.  Prior to a recent event, Newbern was best known as the site of a terrible tragedy that took the lives of sixteen people, who were killed by a tornado on April 2, 2006.  In recent days, Kendra Turner, a high school senior at the high school, was suspended for breaking an important class rule.  What was the serious infraction that merited her suspension?  After a classmate sneezed, Ms. Turned said, “Bless you!”  Please note that she did not say, “God bless you!” which might have earned the umbrage of strict separationists of church and state in the educational establishment.  However, because she said “bless you,” Ms. Turner implicitly invoked the benediction of a Supreme Deity on her classmate, so that was close enough to actually saying “God” in a government-run school.  Accordingly, such speech cannot be tolerated, even in small-town Tennessee.  As a result, the unnamed teacher told Ms. Turner that such language should be confined to church.  According to media reports, Ms. Turner said that the teacher then announced, “We’re not going to have godly speaking in her class!”  (Would anti-godly speaking be permitted in class then?)  When Ms. Turner affirmed her constitutional right to free speech, she was sent to a high school administrator.  School administrators later told Ms. Turner’s parents that the “bless you” was a classroom distraction.  However, the school administrator made no statement regarding whether the instigating sneezing student was a classroom distraction.

Media reports indicate that the high school teacher has demeaned other Christian students since the beginning of this academic year several weeks ago.  In fact, Rev. Becky Winegardner, Ms. Turner’s youth pastor, spoke with a number of other high school students who complained to her about the same teacher and her prior remarks.  Rev. Winegardner reminded the students of their constitutional rights.  In response to Ms. Turner’s suspension, a number of other students wore shirts to school emblazoned with hand-stitched “bless you.”  (Kudos to them!)  Attempts by this writer to obtain a statement from school administrators or Ms. Turner’s teacher regarding Ms. Turner’s suspension were unsuccessful.

Just as the alleged conduct by Ms. Turner’s teacher, anti-Christian opponents regularly attempt to privatize religious expression confining such statements solely to church.  Some extremists would not permit any religious sentiment or expression in the broader society, such in privately-owned places of business or even in political discourse.  I urge that the local school board and superintendent of the Dyer County School District undertake an independent investigation to determine whether Ms. Turner’s teacher violated her constitutional rights.  If they were, then disciplinary measures should be taken against Ms. Turner’s teacher.  If you wish to telephone the high school to express your views, you can reach them at 731.627.2229.  However, the high school was not answering the telephone yesterday.  But it seems to me that if the teacher’s conduct against Ms. Turner can occur in small-town Tennessee, it can happen anywhere in the United States.



Threats Made Against Pastor Steven Khoury
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 11:09 AM

On these pages, I recently told the story about my friend, Rev. Steven Khoury, who pastors several evangelical churches in Israel.  Pastor Khoury is an Arab Christian, and he recently traveled to the Israeli-Gaza border to pray for peace.  In addition to visiting Messianic Jews and Arab Christians in southern Israel, he also visited Jewish families.  Each of these families bear the brunt of the rocket and tunnel attacks from operatives of Hamas.  Many of the families in this area are poor, and Pastor Khoury brought tangible aid for those families.  However, showing the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to Jewish families has incited supporters of anti-Christ Hamas to threaten Pastor Khoury.  As a sample of a few of the comments left on his Arabic-language Facebook page, we read the following:

“You are a failure and a disgrace to the Arab Palestinian world.”
“We know your efforts to evangelize the Moslems in our land Palestine.  You will pay the price.”
“This pastor Steven, we know his location, and we should all rise up against him and protest outside his church.  He needs to be taught a lesson.”
“Why are you telling the Jews about your Jesus and helping them?  You are a traitor for comparing us [Arabs] to the enemy, the Jews.”

However, despite the threats, he is unafraid.  His father, also an evangelical pastor, was shot by Islamists, and his uncle, a devout Christian believer, was martyred for his faith.

It is a truism that Pastor Khoury, in showing love and kindness to the Jews, the enemy of Hamas, is a grave threat to Hamas and other radical Islamists.  It is the default position of Hamas that all Arabs, including Christians, must hate Israel and desire its complete destruction, and Moslems must work to kill all Jews, wherever located.  As many of my readers have heard, the Charter of Hamas, which is part of the Moslem Brotherhood, has declared that “Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”  Further, Article Fifteen of the Hamas Charter declares, “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem.  In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of jihad be raised.”  You can read the entire Hamas Charter here.

Please pray for Pastor Khoury and his family, and for the peace of Jerusalem as we are instructed in Psalm 122:6.  Pastor Khoury, in seeking to be a Good Samaritan to people in his nation, has become a target of threats by radical Islamists of Hamas.  If you want to learn more about the ministry of Pastor Khoury, you can learn much more at www.holylandmissions.org. I also encourage you to watch the introductory 15-minute video.



Paying Forward Mikey Weinstein’s Support
Friday, August 15, 2014, 4:32 PM

I was pleasantly surprised at the support by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”), and in its founder and president, Michael ”Mikey the Whiner” L. Weinstein, Esq., to my recent blog post regarding the removal of Bibles from the rooms at Navy Lodges and base hotels.  For those readers who may have missed my blog from earlier this week, you may read it here.  In response, there were some interesting comments, both supportive of Bible removal and in opposition.  Further, there were numerous Facebook likes which disseminated the blog widely, for which I am always grateful to my readers.  You can find the MRFF link to Mere Comments here.  Of course, it was wholly appropriate that MRFF would link to my blog at Mere Comments as I did their homework for the almost 62 MRFF members and supporters.  The supporters were encouraged to contact Rear Admiral Robert J. Bianchi, the head of NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command), to express “sincere thanks that he continues to stand by the U.S. Constitution.”  Admiral Bianchi ordered housekeeping staff to impound all Bibles from the 34 Navy Lodges and the 24,000 rooms at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites.  Admiral Bianchi’s directive came after MRFF filed a formal complaint over the placement of Bibles in the Navy hotel rooms.  Of course, given that Mr. Weinstein is apparently an “advisor” to the Pentagon on religious matters for military personnel (no, I am not making this up!), I presume that Admiral Bianchi just did what he was told by senior Pentagon officials who had free time to work on this important matter since nothing of significance is going on in the world today requiring their attention.  But after all, who can blame Admiral Bianchi for not wanting to screw up a high six-figure Navy pension?  (Did you know that an admiral’s pension after 40 years of service is 100 percent of their base pay, so approximately $10,000 to $16,000 monthly?  Plus lots of other free stuff.  I also bet they can jump the queue at the Veterans Administration hospitals.)

So to pay kindness forward and as a reciprocal courtesy to the MRFF, I would encourage each of my readers to go to the MRFF website and sign up for their newsletter.  You can find the link to subscribe here: http://www.mrff.org/.  Finally, in an utterly shameless, but related, commercial plug, tomorrow night, Saturday, August 16, 2014, former governor Mike Huckabee, a tireless advocate for the constitutional rights of all Christian believers, will examine the Navy’s plans to remove Bibles from the base hotels on his Fox News program.  Please check your local listings.  I just might stay in this Saturday night to watch Governor Huckabee’s program.  And if you wish to contact Admiral Bianchi or his deputy, Michael Bockelman, you can reach them at 1.757.631.3600 or 1.757.502.7496, respectively.



Mikey Weinstein Strikes Again
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 9:55 AM

Screen Shot 2014 08 13 at 9.54.43 AM 300x211 Mikey Weinstein Strikes AgainA number of years ago, I had the privilege to stay overnight in room 19 at the Central House Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin.  In 1898, John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill shared this room in the crowded hotel.  They realized that both were Christian believers and had their evening devotions together.  That night, the two men decided to form an organization dedicated to Christian evangelism.  And on that meeting, Gideons International, a Christian organization devoted to evangelism through the distribution of Bibles, began.  From that humble beginning, Gideons presently operates in 194 countries and disseminates Bibles in at least 93 languages.  Perhaps best known is the fact that the Gideons place Bibles in hotel and motel rooms, but they also distribute Bibles to hospitals, colleges and universities, and jails and prisons.  Among the hotels where the Gideons’ Bibles were placed were hotels operated by our nation’s military.

On these pages over the past several years, I have written numerous times about the mischief caused by Michael “Mikey the Whiner” Weinstein, Esq., the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”), a decidedly anti-Christian group.  While completely ignored by the Pentagon during the presidency of George W. Bush, he has been given an open door by Mr. Obama’s civilian leaders at the Pentagon and sycophantic generals and admirals.  You may recall that several years ago, Mikey Weinstein stated that U.S. troops who proselytize for their Christian faith are guilty of sedition and treason, and should be punished, by the hundreds if necessary, to stave off what he called a “tidal wave of [Christian] fundamentalists.”  Of course, there is a small, pesky issue raised by the First Amendment to the Constitution, but I digress.

Now by September 1, 2014, housekeepers at Navy Lodges and base hotels are being instructed to remove Gideon-placed Bibles from the rooms.  This comes from a directive from Rear Admiral Robert J. Bianchi, the head of NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command).  Admiral Bianchi ordered housekeeping staff to impound all Bibles from the 34 Navy Lodges and the 24,000 rooms at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites.  Admiral Bianchi’s directive came after MRFF filed a formal complaint over the placement of Bibles in the Navy hotel rooms.  This decision is particularly jarring as President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, wrote the introduction to the Armed Forces’ Gideon Bible that was given to every soldier, sailor, and Marine during World War II.

Of course, our Lord Jesus had a hard time getting a room at the inn, and now, His Holy Word will no longer be welcome either.  It seems to me that if the MRFF doesn’t want to see a Bible in the Navy hotel room, they can simply leave it in the drawer.  In 2012, the U.S. Air Force tried to remove Bibles from its hotels and lodgings, but reversed its decision after great public outcry.  If you wish to contact Admiral Bianchi, or his deputy, Michael Bockelman, to ask him to reinstate the Bibles in Navy hotel rooms, please call 1.757.631.3600 or 1.757.502.7496.  I have already left my message for Admiral Bianchi, and I am sure that he will enjoy hearing from “regular folks,” as our president refers to us.  Navy veterans are particularly encouraged to call.  Oh, I think that your congressman and senators might have an interest in this topic as well.  The Navy hotels are apparently simply throwing out the Bibles.  It should not be so.


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