KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List


Shamim Masih writes about Islamic Supremacism once again persecuting Christians in Pakistan by targeting unregistered Churches with closure under the poor excuse of security.

 

JRH 1/20/18

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KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List

 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan (formerly NWFP)

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/19/2018 9:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa [alternate spelling: Pakhtunkhwa] (KPK) province in Pakistan has sealed at least six Churches in district Abbottabad in the name of security after the United States placed Pakistan name in the Special Watch List. The officials claimed that only non-registered churches are closed. On the other hand, the KP govt. has announced monthly honorarium for 20, 000 Muslim clerics in the province.

 

According to the details the district administration at Abbottabad has officially ordered to close as many as six churches in the name of security and said the churches being established in the rental houses and non-registered are closed due to security risk. The District Police Officer (DPO) Syed Ashfaq said in his official statement that those churches have been sealed which had not been registered with the Auqaf Department.

 

According to 27th Convention of the United Nations, Pakistan is liable to take steps for the safety, protection of minorities and women rights and religious freedom in the country. And on January 04, 2018, the US placed Pakistan name in the list of those countries which are alleged violating minorities rights and religious freedom. Being on the Watch List means Pakistan is a step away from included in the “Countries of Particular Concern” list. The list includes “governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

 

In the meantime, on January 8, 2018, KP govt. proved it that religious minorities are not free to perform their religious services at their homes and even cannot worship in the rental houses they live in. To a rough estimate more than 10000 Christians live in and around Hazara Division and 5000 in Abbottabad district. And many of them are bared to perform their ceremonial and routine religious services.

 

Meanwhile, the Christian community across the country have termed the move as unjustified. Father Arshad Nayer, the local priest from Roman Catholic denomination said, “it would give a bad message if the government continued to seal worship places of religious minorities over minor issues.” Instead of providing security to the said churches the administration is on to close them, and it is violation of religious freedom. The poor Christians do not have enough resources to construct independent new church buildings, he added.

 

Pastor Christopher Shakar, one victim [of a closed Church – perhaps], said that his father Akram Shakar has started the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church (EPC) in 1985, and now he has taken this responsibility for seven years. On the celebration of the Christmas, the district administration has interrupted during the sermon and asked to close the service. This is violation of religious freedom given in the constitution of country. Another church, Assemblies of God has been established some 50 years back and now Pastor in charge Saleem Ghori is running it in his own house is also closed under the said so called security risk.

 

Chairman Community Development Foundation (CDF) Basharat Khokher strongly condemned the move by the KP govt. and termed it prejudicial behavior toward religious minorities in Pakistan. Talking on religious freedom, he said that the step taken by KP govt. is discriminatory and biased; the KP government is paying billions of rupees to Muslim clerics in the province and shutting down Christian worship places. From this move, it clearly shows that there is no religious freedom in the country and government imposed restriction and tries to snub the rights of minorities.

 

When asked Shireen Mazari, a senior Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) leader and member parliament, she said PTI is very clear in giving rights to minorities and not in the favor of closing any worship places. PTI central secretariat has sought written reply from CM KP Parvez Khattak on the matter of closure of 6 churches in Abbottabad district. The CM has been asked to explain the causes and motives leading to closure of churches. In a statement chairman PTI Imran Khan said that all the minorities enjoy full freedom of religion under the constitution of Pakistan. He said the PTI believes in full freedom of minorities, adding that such steps by the provincial government create a negative impression in the international community.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

 

 

Shamim Masih 

 

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

FACEBOOK BLOCKS FUNDING FOR MAJOR PRO-LIFE MOVIE


Facebook is using censorship to block the publicity of the Pro-Life movie exposing the nefarious behind the scenes lies and manipulation that was behind the Supreme Court making unborn baby-murder (abortion) on demand legal via Roe v. Wade in 1973. The flick is called ROE v. WADE the Movie.

 

VIDEO: ROE v. WADE The Movie INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

 

Posted by Roe v. Wade The Movie

Published on Jan 8, 2018

 

Indiegogo Campaign for “Roe v. Wade” Launches January 10, 2018.

[Blog Editor: You can donate to the cause with this link:] https://tinyurl.com/yaz6zehk

 

I’m running with the WND story on Facebook censorship, but should note that Breitbart claims Facebook is backing off on the censorship if “crowdfunding” for the movie. However, the Breitbart story shows how Facebook took crowdfunding page down, then restored the page and then took it down again. Ergo, as of this post, who knows how many times Facebook will remove and restore.

 

JRH 1/13/18

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FACEBOOK BLOCKS FUNDING FOR MAJOR PRO-LIFE MOVIE

Theatrical drama to tell ‘true story’ of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood

 

By ART MOORE

January 12, 2018

WND

 

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger

 

A crowdfunding site for a theatrical drama in production that promises to tell the “true story” of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a “right” to abortion has been blocked by Facebook.

 

The movie’s producer, Nick Loeb, told WND the content of the pro-life movie, which exposes Planned Parenthood’s roots in the eugenics movement, clearly is the reason for the censorship.

 

Actor and producer Nick Loeb

“They have even blocked people sharing the ads I paid for,” Loeb said.

 

“This is stealing or fraud.”

 

Facebook has not responded to requests for an explanation.

Loeb told WND he and his colleagues are looking for a lawyer to take on the case.

 

Learn the tested and proven strategies to defeat the abortion cartel in “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time.”

 

The executive producer of the movie is Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and the head of the group Civil Rights for the Unborn.

 

The film features Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight as a Supreme Court justice.

 

On the film’s Indiegogo crowdfunding page, the makers describe it as “the real untold story of how people lied; how the media lied; and how the courts were manipulated to pass a law that has since killed over 60 million Americans.”

 

“Many documentaries have been made, but no one has had the courage to make an actual feature film, a theatrical movie about the true story.”

 

The producers, calling it the “most important pro-life movie in history,” say Hollywood “only wants you to hear their version of the story,” noting there are three movies in development that take a pro-abortion stance.

 

“But you shouldn’t be surprised. Hollywood has always had an agenda to influence Americans to accept abortion, even if they have to re-write history to do it.”

The movie opens with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, speaking about her “Negro project” initiative aimed at reducing the growth of African-American population in the United States.

 

It continues as abortionist Bernard Nathanson joins with famed feminist-activist Betty Friedan and Planned Parenthood to recruit for a legal case “a broke girl with a 10th grade education named Norma McCorvey,” who became known as “Jane Roe.”

 

The opposition to the activists seeking to legalize abortion is led by the film’s protagonist, Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, who believed “that she became a doctor to protect life, not destroy it.”

 

Later, Nathanson, through the help of new sonogram technology, “realizes he is killing babies, confesses to all the lies and becomes a leading activist in the pro-life movement,” and McCorvey, realizing she had been manipulated, also joins the pro-life cause.

 

Internet freedom

 

WND reported last month censorship of Christian and conservative speech online by tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple is the target of an initiative called Internet Freedom Watch, launched by the National Religious Broadcasters.

 

The initiative has established a website, InternetFreedomWatch.org, to document cases, including Twitter’s removal of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in October and Facebook’s removal of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s post supporting Chick-fil-A in 2012.

 

NRB, which has published a chart with more than 30 instances of Internet censorship, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a former Federal Communications Commission commissioner have endorsed the effort.

 

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has accused Twitter and other tech companies of being disingenuous by arguing for a free and open Internet while they “routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.”

 

NRB also wants Congress to hold hearings on the “severe problem of viewpoint censorship on the Internet.”

 

In a recent case noted by Internet Freedom Watch, PJ Media D.C. editor Bridget Johnson was suspended from Twitter with no warning or explanation.

 

WND reported in August that days after the launch of a book arguing fascism and Nazism are ideological spawns of the left, author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and his promotion team were locked out of his Facebook page by hackers.

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Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless


Several days ago, Shamim shared about the U.S./Pakistan foreign affairs dispute over the State Department placing Pakistan on a special watch list relating to violations of religious freedom.

 

Shamim is a brave Pakistani Christian willing to criticize Pakistan’s lack of human rights against religious minorities. In Pakistan if you are not a Sunni Muslim, you can expect horrid discrimination up to and including violence, rape or even murder. Pakistani victims of this designation are often ignored in the legal system and oft times face the law for reporting victimizing crimes.

 

JRH 1/11/18

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Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/8/2018 10:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: There is an uproar in Pakistan after placing its name on a Special Watch List by the United States on the issue of religious freedom and Pakistan rejected U.S. decision and considered it as “Politically motivated”. Pakistan said on Friday that it “rejects the U.S. designation” and that the report is “not based on objective criteria”. “This placement on special watch list is a new categorization and we would be seeking clarification from the U.S. regarding its rationale and implications,” a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

 

“It is surprising that countries that have a well-known record of systematic persecution of religious minorities have not included in the list,” the statement added. “This reflects the double standards and political motives behind the listing and hence lacks credibility.”

 

Earlier in a statement, issued on Thursday, January 4, 2018, the U.S. state department added Pakistan to a Special Watch List, while re-designating a group of other countries as being of “particular concern” on the issue of religious freedom. The State Department spokesman, Heather Nauert said in a statement that the number of governments infringe upon individuals’ ability to adopt, change, or renounce their religion or belief.” “In for too many places around the globe, people continue to be persecuted, unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief”.

 

Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the U.S. annually designates countries of particular concern, and Thursday’s statement re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “The Secretary also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom,” Nauert said.

 

Let me tell you; though it makes no difference if the U.S. places Pakistan on a Special Watch list, but there are some facts which cannot be denied. Pakistan was declared an Islamic Republic where both the President and Prime Minister were required to be Muslims and Islam was the state religion. It promotes a certain Islamic mindset and the constitution called for the setting up of a Council of Islamic Ideology, comprising religious scholars and experts, to enforce the repugnancy clause. And number of discriminatory laws e.g. blasphemy laws are added in the constitutions against religious minorities and thus minorities are being targeted and facing challenges in Pakistan.

 

Now it is not only the matter of religious freedom for minorities but women are also suffering the same. Pakistan is the fourth worst country for women according to recently released ranking of the Women, Peace and Security Index. Isn’t it a fact that minorities in Pakistan are being unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief? According to the World Report 2017, at least 19 people remained on death row after being convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy law and hundreds awaited trial. Most of those facing blasphemy are members of religious minorities, often victimized by these charges due to personal disputes. The government continued to actively encourage legal and procedural discrimination against members of the Christians and Ahmadi religious community by failing to repeal discriminatory laws. Most recently, a week before Christmas celebrations two suicide bombers attacked a Church packed with worshipers on Sunday in Quetta, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically.

 

Suspects accused have no hope

 

Earlier former parliamentarian raised question on unequal, unjust role of law by the judiciary and authorities. Pakistan Today reported, “Former MP, Sindh Assembly Saleem Khokhar has demanded the release of 40 suspects in the Youhanabad lynching incident in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Khokher said that just like the Faizabad agreement, where all the cases were dropped against the protesters, the Youhanabad suspects should be released as soon as possible.” “Just because we don’t have weapons and that we are a minority, the state won’t do an agreement with us,” he questioned? He demanded that the same law should be applied to the Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Chief Khadim Rizvi and his supporters. They were involved in killing a police officer and beating several others, while also harming the state property, why were they all released? Since I am writing this there is no response from the authorities yet and two of the suspects [Indaryas Ghulam & Usman Masih] of Youhanabad have died during their custody and third one on the row.

 

The Christian community is one of the most persecuted minorities in Pakistan with a sudden surge in riots, mob lynching, target killings and bomb blasts targeting their congregations and Churches in the recent decade. And there is no rule of law and freedom and manifestation of religion and expression. This is very unfortunate that this community either cannot produce any visionary leader to fight for their rights or there are many so called leaders and thus they remained voiceless since partition of the subcontinent. However, I feel that there is a bigger need to look inward to ensure the rights and freedom of religious minorities, especially Christians.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

A Recognition of Reality


VIDEO: Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Justin Smith writes about the obvious fact that Leftists and Muslim apologists have been in denial for decades. Namely, that Jerusalem is the Capital city of the Jewish State of Israel. Whiners cry recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital city will harm or end the peace process. Just as Justin Smith correctly points out, “What peace process?

 

Israel has bent over backwards for decades to allow a sovereign Palestinian State – even though undeserved. The so-called Palestinian leadership has torpedoed every too generous Israeli offer. They refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State while unofficially (except Hamas which officially) wants to the total destruction of Israel and the death of its Jewish citizens (See Also HERE).

 

JRH 12/10/17

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A Recognition of Reality

A Historical Injustice Corrected

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 12/9/2017 2:15 PM (updated 12/11/17)

 

Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, according to President Donald Trump, who declared it so on December 6th 2017, rewarding our close ally Israel and correcting a historical injustice, although any sane person already understood this fact and the historical record removes all doubt. President Trump’s declaration sounded the death knell on the seven decades long world delusion that Muslims and the ideology of Islam somehow have any claim to any part of Jerusalem, which is a critical component of the mythical “palestinians’” simple ploy to undermine and ultimately destroy Israel, a sovereign Jewish state in the middle of the Islamic world, which is viewed in their eyes as an insult to Islam.

 

Along with this declaration, President Trump announced the plan to move the U.S. Embassy, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over the next few years, to ultimately fulfill the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, which originally called for this to be completed by 1999. A waiver signed by President Trump has delayed the move for six months, until a review can present an efficient and viable plan for the move.

 

President Trump was cautioned against this move, by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who feared it would enrage the Islamic world. While it did result in an immediate blowback, President Trump is convinced that this will aid the peace process in the long term; and even if this is not the case, God will bless him and America for his courageous and righteous decision.

 

Representative John Culberson (R-TX) told ‘The Hill’: “America should never change our foreign policy based on an assumption that we’re going to offend a group of Islamic radicals. America should always do the right thing and stand by our allies, and America has no stronger ally on earth than the people of Israel.”

 

Justifying his decision, President Trump mentioned the Parliament, Supreme Court and the prime minister’s home in West Jerusalem, as locations within the Old City, including Al Aqsa mosque. A bright, glaring focal point, he made no mention of any Palestinian rights to East Jerusalem.

 

Today, the Jewish Temple Mount is the third holiest site in Islam, behind Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina. Muslims believe once they claim a piece of land, it belongs to Islam forever.

 

However, there has never been a “Palestinian” state with Jerusalem as its capital, or a palestinian language or culture. There was not any such thing as a “palestinian” people, prior to 1948. They were ethnic Arabs and Muslims, who created the myth as a political tool to use against an unwanted Jewish state in their midst.

 

For the past three thousand years, since 1000 B.C., there has been an uninterrupted Jewish presence in the city of Jerusalem, which is the religious and cultural home for the Jewish people and their historic capital. Jews, wherever they are in the world, face Jerusalem when they pray, and each year at Passover, their hopeful prayer is recited, “Next year in Jerusalem”.

 

The Bible mentions the City of David, Jerusalem, more than 600 times, and Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Prophets (Nevi’im) and Writings (Ketuvim). The Psalms 137:5 state, “If I forget thee Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill“. Out of all the cities in the world, the Bible only calls on us to pray for the welfare of Jerusalem, but not once is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran.

 

In Mohammed’s lifetime, Jerusalem was an unimportant city in the Byzantine Empire and a Christian city without a single mosque. The Al Aqsa mosque is a conquest mosque [Tov Rose & CBN] built atop the ruins of the Church of Saint Mary of Justinian. And, although Islamic tradition says Mohammed ascended into Heaven from Al Aqsa mosque, there is no record of Mohammed having ever been to Jerusalem.

 

President Trump rightfully noted: “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

 

Many professional “peace experts” contend that President Trump’s capital idea will kill any chance for a negotiated settlement between the Palestinians and Israel. Palestinian Authority president-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, an old terrorist himself, characterized the move as America’s “declaration of withdrawal” from the “peace process”.

 

What peace process?

 

For nearly a decade, Abbas has refused to engage in direct talks, despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s open invitation, but no negotiation is better than the bad faith negotiations of the Palestinians. In 1993, under Yasser Arafat, they accepted extremely generous deals in the Oslo Accords and right away committed wave after wave of terrorist attacks, in an effort to force more concessions from Israel and the West.

 

And now, President Trump has sent the unmistakable message that murder will not be rewarded. No longer will violence over Jerusalem be tolerated.

 

Calls for Muslims to engage in “three days of rage” immediately sounded over mosque loudspeakers in Gaza, and hundreds moved on the Israeli border, after Trump’s speech, throwing stones and chanting, “We don’t need empty words, we need stones and Kalasnikovs”, while other clashes broke out in Hebron and Bethlehem. Thirty-one Palestinians were wounded on Thursday, and Friday after prayers was like all other Fridays, with the usual protests and anger.

 

The Palestinians don’t want to peacefully coexist beside Israel, in a two-state solution. They seek a one state solution and an Islamic State that exists in the place of Israel, and they cling to their fantasy of eradicating the Jewish state. To achieve this, they have created a campaign to revise history, and they attempt to erase the undeniable Jewish connection and birthright to Jerusalem.

 

Reprehensibly, on May 2nd of this year, near Israel’s Independence Day, the U.N.’s cultural body, UNESCO, passed a series of resolutions that stated Israel hasn’t any legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem. Largely comprised of an anti-Israel majority, the votes against the resolution came from the U.S., U.K., Italy, Germany, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay and Togo.

 

In the moments after the vote passed, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, draped in a large Israeli flag, addressed the meeting: “Even now, after this miserable vote, this blue and white flag is flying high above the Temple Mount and throughout Israel’s eternal capital city, Jerusalem, waving in the wind, saying to all ‘here we are, and we are here to stay'”.

 

Denying reality is how this game has long been played. For seventy years the world has pretended that Jerusalem wasn’t the capital of Israel. We even witnessed the U.N. become the poster child for the absurd, when it declared East Jerusalem “occupied territory”, on December 23rd 2016, because of President Obama’s anti-Israel sentiment. This advanced the insane and ignoble fantasy that, as a matter of international law, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem too, really belongs to the Palestinians. President Donald Trump just put an end to their game, with his acknowledgement of fact and his brave act and moral courage.

 

By Justin O. Smith

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links as well as text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Poland Withstand Muslim Invasion Like Yesteryears


John R. Houk

© December 2, 2017

 

You don’t hear too much in the American Mainstream Media (MSM) about the European Union’s (EU) devastating problems with Muslim immigrants (legal and illegal) as well as next generation Muslims from those immigrants. What are those problems? Simply put: It is the crimes of theft, assault, rape, rioting and Islamic Supremacism in general.

 

The sad part of these problems is that the EU Multiculturalist elites are doing their best to cover-up most of the illegal excursions of Muslims causing problems. The cover-ups are a part of the Multiculturalist efforts to brainwash their original citizens to accept the Muslim migration with open arms. The Elites have been doing a pretty good snowball sell to their communities planting sympathy with the altruism of humanitarianism.

 

Yet, even with the cover-ups and brainwashing, EU citizens are catching on to the societal disruption Muslims are causing as the Western EU voters are electing more and more power to anti-immigrant politicians. Eastern EU voters so far have been very convincing as a constituency with Eastern European governments refusing Muslim immigrants entry have zero intention to conform to Western cultural norms and laws.

 

There are a number of Eastern European governments on the anti-immigration boat. Poland got my attention today from a post by Ann Corcoran on her Refugee Resettlement Watch blog. Corcoran is actually introducing an American Thinker short post about Poland refusing Muslim immigration to the political displeasure of Western EU power-elites especially in Germany.

 

Corcoran picked up on Poland’s historical legacy of King Jan (John in English) III Sobieski leading a multinational European force against Muslim invading Ottoman Turks that had made it to Vienna (now in Austria). The Ottomans were about to breach Vienna’s walls when the multinational force came to save the day beating back the Muslim invaders in 1683 A.D. (Anno Domini – in the year of the Lord):

 

John III Sobieski (PolishJan III SobieskiLithuanianJonas III SobieskisLatinIoannes III Sobiscius; 17 August 1629 – 17 June 1696), was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death, and one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

 

Sobieski’s military skill, demonstrated in wars against the Ottoman Empire [Sobieski vs Ottomans], contributed to his prowess as King of Poland. Sobieski’s 22-year reign marked a period of the Commonwealth’s stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and the Khmelnytsky Uprising.[1] Popular among his subjects, he was an able military commander, most famous for his victory over the Turks at the 1683 Battle of Vienna.[2] After his victories over them, the Ottomans called him the “Lion of Lechistan“; and the Pope hailed him as the savior of Christendom.[3] (John III Sobieski; Wikipedia; last edited on 11/19/17 12:33)

 

And thus, the moral of the story is Poland was responsible for protecting Europe’s Christian heritage against invading Muslims in the past and has no intention of anti-Christian/anti-Western Muslims at this present time.

 

This cross post will use Corcoran’s intro then I’ll go strait to the American Thinker short article.

 

JRH 12/2/17

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The Poles remember their history, saved Europe from Muslim horde in 1683….

 

Posted by Ann Corcoran

December 1, 2017

Refugee Resettlement Watch

 

Sobieski’s Winged Hussars: “the badass Polish King Jan Sobieski led the single hugest and most balls-out cavalry charge in history.” http://www.badassoftheweek.com/hussars.html

 

….so they see very clearly their job today!

 

Longtime readers know all about the Polish King Jan Sobieski and the battle at the Gates of Vienna in 1683, but we get new readers every day and I need to continue to educate newbies.

 

We have an extensive archive on the ‘Invasion of Europe’ (mostly the modern day invasion), but it is important to repeat that Poland has a really good reason for resisting the migrants that both the EU and Mama Merkel would like to foist on the country.

 

Here it is, mentioned again in an article about Germany’s political difficulties at the moment, at America Thinker.

___________________

For Eastern Europe, Germany Is the Trouble

 

By Alex Alexiev

December 1, 2017

American Thinker

 

The inability of Angela Merkel and her putative partners to form a government has given rise to persistent calls, including from the chancellor herself, that what Europe needs now is a strong Germany. In fact, it is Germany’s unquestioned strength and willingness to throw its weight around that are to blame for much of Eastern Europe’s unhappiness with the European Union at the moment. A case in point is the growing rift between Berlin and its eastern EU neighbors on some of the issues discussed by Merkel and her potential government partners.

 

Take for instance Merkel’s position claiming that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline is simply a commercial project. To most of her eastern neighbors, this is nothing if not crass German hypocrisy designed to further German business, while facilitating  the monopolistic endeavors of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s energy monopoly, Gazprom, at the expense of Eastern Europe. Or the willingness of Germany’s Free Democrats to give Russia a pass on Crimean annexation, which suspiciously sounded like an apologia of the old “might is right” axiom. Or the asinine suggestion of the Greens to settle entire Syrian villages in Eastern Europe to make the migrants feel more comfortable and the locals less so.

 

Beyond these specific disagreements, there are fundamental, perhaps irreconcilable, differences between Eastern Europe and Germany on at least two issues – defense policy and migration. Regarding the former, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany, Berlin seems to have decided that there would never be another war in Europe and it stopped spending money on defense. As a result, in a short time the German military was transformed from being the second most powerful in NATO to a weakling spending barely 1.2% of GDP on defense instead of the 2% agreed minimum. Its personnel collapsed nearly four-fold (600,000 to 177,000) and it has glaring equipment shortfalls that make its functioning as an integral force very doubtful. According to Jane’s, close to half of its Leopard 2 tanks (95 of 244) are not combat ready, and neither are 28 of its 75 Tornado combat aircraft, nor are 41 of its 79 Eurofighters, nor are four out of ten Patriot air-defense systems.

 

More troublesome than these capability issues is Germany’s unwillingness to determine where the threat to Europe may be coming from. Unlike Eastern Europe, which invariably sees Russia as a clear and present danger, Berlin appears not to be sure. During the recent election campaign, Merkel’s socialist coalition partners called for disarmament and the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany, in the face of blatant Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere. This fundamental divergence in threat perceptions also results in stark differences in attitudes toward defense spending, the United States and NATO priorities. There is a palpable and growing fault line between East and West Europe on defense matters that does not bode well for NATO.

 

There is also a huge gulf in attitudes toward migration. Western Europeans cite the easterners’s refusal to take any migrants as a sign of lack of solidarity, populist prejudice and perhaps racism.  The easterners respond that nobody asked their views on opening the borders and point out the failure of western societies to integrate the migrants as a reason to not rush into this experiment. They point out that Muslims that have lived for decades in Europe, yet nonetheless voted for the Islamist dictator Erdogan in much greater numbers than their fellow Turks at home. There are also spiking numbers of migrant crimes and sexual assaults.

 

here is another powerful reason for Eastern Europe’s reluctance to accept Muslim refugees that is seldom discussed, though it is important and it has to do with the region’s historical experience with Muslims. Very few in Western Europe are aware of it, but every child in Poland knows that Jan Sobieski saved Europe and Christendom from the Ottomans at Vienna in 1683. They also know that much of Eastern Europe, including the Balkans, Hungary, Podolia in Poland, Wallachia and Moldavia were for centuries under the Ottomans and subject to infidel taxes, rapacious military levies, the boy tribute, and the depredations of the slave raiders. It was not a happy experience and many historians trace the backwardness of Eastern Europe compared to the rest of it to its unfortunate experience with Muslim obscurantism. Not an experience that is easily forgotten.

 

Alex Alexiev  is chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (cbbss.org) and editor of bulgariaanalytica.org. He tweets on national security at twitter.com/alexieff and could be reached at alexievalex4@gmail.com.

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Poland Withstand Muslim Invasion Like Yesteryears

John R. Houk

© December 2, 2017

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The Poles remember their history, saved Europe from Muslim horde in 1683….

 

About RRW

 

Update[d] April 26, 2015:

 

A few months ago A year ago  Two Three years ago, Six years Seven Eight years ago it came to our attention in Washington County MD that a non-profit group (Virginia Council of Churches) had been bringing refugees into the city of Hagerstown (county seat) for a couple of years. Some problems arose and citizens started to take an interest and ask questions about how this federal program works. Our local paper had no interest in finding the facts, so we decided to find them ourselves.

 

One of the many startling things we found out about this very quiet effort is that these non-profit groups bring to the US on average each year 15,000 (FY90-FY03) Muslim refugees from the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, etc, almost completely funded by the US Government through grants and contracts to these non-government agencies. Of the 168 refugees brought to our county since 2004, 125 are Muslim. Although we all have sympathy for persecuted and suffering people there are real questions to be answered about the wisdom of this policy.

 

It turns out that there are hotbeds of this refugee resettlement controversy throughout the US.  We have identified some of those.   Because the issue is much more complicated than we initially realized, we have set up this online community organizing center at https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/.

 

READ THE REST

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For Eastern Europe, Germany Is the Trouble

 

© American Thinker 2017

 

About American Thinker

 

American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

 

There is no limit to the topics appearing on American Thinker. National security in all its dimensions — strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military — is emphasized. The right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us. Business, science, technology, medicine, management, and economics in their practical and ethical dimensions are also emphasized, as is the state of American culture.

 

READ THE REST

 

In the Chain of Human Events


Save The Peace Cross

 

Intro to ‘In the Chain of Human Events

John R. Houk

Intro date: 11/20/17

By Justin O. Smith

 

Justin Smith writes about Secular Humanist atheists winning a 4th Circuit Appellate Court case against Veterans that demanded the Peace Cross in Bladensburg, MD be removed from public property because it is just too Christian for those subscribing to what is essentially a Humanist religion that denies the existence of God Almighty the Creator.

 

Here are a couple of Secular Humanist quotes that the 4th Circuit essentially embraced:

 

“There is no place in the Humanist worldview for either immortality or God in the valid meanings of those terms. Humanism contends that instead of the gods creating the cosmos, the cosmos, in the individualized form of human beings giving rein to their imagination, created the gods.” (Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism, (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1982) p. 145.)

 

“The classroom must and will become an area of conflict between the old and the new— the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian idea of ‘Love thy Neighbor’ will finally be achieved.” (John J. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983, 26.)

 

Both of these quotes are found on the PDF: WORLDVIEW-SECULAR HUMANISM FACT SHEET; Summit Ministries; © 2016 – 2 pgs.)

 

SEE ALSO:

 

Conservapedia: Humanism

 

Conservapedia: Secular humanism

 

JRH 11/20/17

Please Support NCCR

****************

In the Chain of Human Events

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 11/18/2017 7:36 PM

 

To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields” — Lt Colonel John McCrae / Second Battle of Ypres

 

The forty foot tall Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and US Alternative Route 1 and just five miles from the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Court’s cross-hairs, is the object of the American Civil Liberties Union’s and atheists’ hatred, along with their hatred for many other inherently Christian Latin crosses in America, and it is also the source of incoherent confusion for too many federal judges. If the American people do not battle most fiercely to reverse the 4th Circuit Court’s recent ruling on October 18th, that found the Peace Cross presence on public land to be unconstitutional, these anti-American groups will boldly continue their purge of anything in the public square that remotely resembles religion; and, liberty and freedom cannot long survive, unless Americans once and for all definitively crush these advocates of a public arena free from God.

 

Started in 1918 and completed in 1925 using contributions from private donors and the American Legion, the Peace Cross honors 49 men from Prince George’s County, who died in WWI. It was erected on July 13th, 1925, and it has stood as a memorial and a gathering place for the community for 92 years, inscribed with the words VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE and DEVOTION.

 

A two-to-one vote by a three judge panel overturned the Maryland District Court’s previous 2015 decision, that the use of a cross as a military symbol of courage, sacrifice and remembrance, does not mean the state sponsors a particular religion. The plaintiffs, American Humanist Association (AHA), alleged that the cross unconstitutionally endorsed Christianity, and the Court determined the memorial “excessively entangles the government in religion”, as they justified their decision through the fallacious notion of “separation of church and state”.

 

Chief Justice Roger Gregory wrote the dissent [***Blog Editor: Entire Dissent Below] and noted that the Establishment Clause does not require “purging” religion from the public square, but requires only governmental “neutrality” on religion. He added, “In my view, the court’s ruling confuses maintenance of a highway median and a monument in a state park with excessive religious entanglement.”

 

The First Amendment [Faith-Freedom.com & Wallbuilders] compels government not to eradicate religion from the public arena, and although it forbids the establishment of a state religion, it doesn’t forbid the sponsorship of religion. If the expression of religious beliefs is an inherent God-designed part of human nature, as the Declaration of Independence proclaims, then government acting to remove religion from the public square would have seemed to our Founding Fathers to be acting in a manner antithetical to our founding principles.

 

Even should the Peace Cross be solely a Christian symbol and not also a war memorial, the argument offered by the AHA is quite a stretch. Establishing a state religion is a deliberate act by the government, as in the manner the world witnessed the USSR implement militant atheism. It doesn’t happen through scattered memorials, that were erected by private groups long ago to remember the fallen.

 

However, the courts have not been consistent on this issue. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the five foot cross erected in 1934 on Sunrise Rock, in the Mojave National Reserve, and also honoring Veterans, did not violate the Constitution; but in 2012, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s notion that the 43 foot tall Mount Soledad Memorial Cross, in La Jolla, California, was a violation of the First Amendment.

 

The Bladensburg Peace Cross, listed in the National Registry of Historical Places, is one of the few WWI monuments in the United States. It was erected during a time when the Cross was a commonly understood symbol of suffering, sacrifice and hope.

 

When exactly did the Peace Cross begin to violate the Constitution? Never.

 

In 92 years, the Cross remained unchanged, but America’s judges became intolerant activists after the 1947 Everson case. Leftist activist judges at all levels of the judiciary, who wallow in a sewer of anti-Americanism, have advanced the flawed premises of the anti-Christian bigots from groups like the AHA, and they have violated the Constitution in impermissible fashion, by interfering with the free exercise rights of people, who simply sought to acknowledge their Christian heritage and honor their war dead.

 

The First Liberty Institute and other defenders of the Peace Cross fear, that if the 4th Circuit refuses their request for the full court to reconsider the case, a dangerous precedent will be set. This will endanger other national treasures, such as the 24 foot Cross of Sacrifice, which was a gift from Canada that has stood in Arlington Cemetery for 90 years. The Argonne Cross, also at Arlington, marks the graves of more than two thousand Americans, whose remains were interred in 1920 from battlefield cemeteries in Europe.

 

The American Humanist Association has also sued the city of Pensacola, Florida over a cross that has stood in Bayview Park for 75 years, built on the eve of WWII. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward describes the cross as “an integral part of my town’s fabric, a symbol to our local citizens — religious and nonreligious — of our proud history of coming together during hard times.” This case is on its way to the 11th Circuit Court.

 

Immediately after the October 18th ruling against the Peace Cross, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wrote a letter to his attorney general directing him to support a legal challenge against the ruling. In part it read: “The conclusion that this memorial honoring Veterans violates the (Constitution’s) Establishment Clause offends common sense, is an affront to all Veterans, and should not be allowed to stand. I believe very strongly, that this cherished community memorial does not violate the Constitution. Your office will be Maryland’s legal voice in this important litigation.

 

While it may seem like a win each time a legal team saves one of these crosses, by illustrating its importance as a war memorial and settling for a land transfer, as performed by Congressman Duncan Hunter in the Mount Soledad Cross case, rejecting the distinct religious value the Cross has traditionally held in Christianity is not the proper direction. Our soldiers died protecting the rights that are defining characteristics of our democratic Republic and, specifically, our First Amendment. And with our religious liberties central to this issue, Congress must provide clarity to an establishment jurisprudence in shambles.

 

The idea that the public display of a Christian cross on public land should be forbidden is deeply anti-American. Our country’s topography is indelibly marked by crosses, so where does this all end for the AHA and militant atheists in their unhinged agenda to remove any semblance of religious symbolism from the public sphere?

 

Where will the atheists ever draw the line?

 

Regardless of who likes it or not, America was founded by a people, who were 98 percent Christian well into the 19th Century, and they intended America to be a Christian nation tolerant of all other religions. The first calls for America’s independence, in 1769, were issued by a group of young writers from Yale College, who were fiercely Christian, led by John Trumbull and Timothy Dwight.

 

John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, wrote: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked to the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human governance upon the first precepts of Christianity.”

 

George Washington declared: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

 

This attack on the Peace Cross is also an attack on America and an attempt to undermine the idea of America, predicated on each individual’s inherent right that lies deep within our heart and soul to have individual recourse to a power greater than the state. This is a war against our Christian faith and our shared memories that we must win, if we wish to prevent America’s descent toward the darkest days of antiquity and preserve for America’s Children the Heritage of Liberty our Founding Fathers left for us.

 

By Justin O. Smith

______________________

*** Chief Judge Roger Gregory dissent begin page 34 of PDF

 

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

No. 15-2597

 

AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION; STEVEN LOWE; FRED EDWORDS; BISHOP MCNEILL, — Plaintiffs – Appellants,

 

v.

 

MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, — Defendant – Appellee,

 

THE AMERICAN LEGION; THE AMERICAN LEGION DEPARTMENT OF MARYLAND; THE AMERICAN LEGION COLMAR MANOR POST 131, — Intervenors/Defendants – Appellees,

 

=================

 

[Blog Editor: Chief Judge Roger Gregory dissent begin page 34 of PDF]

 

GREGORY, Chief Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part:

 

I agree with the majority’s holding that Appellants have standing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to bring this action for a violation of the Establishment Clause. But I disagree with the majority’s ultimate conclusion that the display and maintenance of the war memorial in this case violates the Establishment Clause. I therefore respectfully dissent in part.

 

I.

 

The Establishment Clause provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” U.S. Const. amend. I. To properly understand and apply the Establishment Clause, it must be viewed “in the light of its history and the evils it was designed forever to suppress.” Everson v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1, 14–15 (1947). The early colonization of America was a time marked with religious persecution. Immigrating settlers fled religious suppression in Europe only to be met with similar treatment in America. “[M]en and women of varied faiths who happened to be in a minority in a particular locality were persecuted because they steadfastly persisted in worshipping God only as their own consciences dictated.” Id. at 10. Those regarded as nonconformists were required “to support government-sponsored churches whose ministers preached inflammatory sermons designed to strengthen and consolidate the established faith by generating a burning hatred against dissenters.” Id.

 

The Establishment Clause was intended to combat the practice of “compel[ling individuals] to support and attend government favored churches.” Id. at 8; accord Myers v. Loudoun Cty. Pub. Sch., 418 F.3d 395, 402 (4th Cir. 2005). The Clause’s historical setting reveals that “[i]ts first and most immediate purpose rested on the belief that a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and to degrade religion.” Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 431 (1962). The realization of its goal meant that the government must “‘neither engage in nor compel religious practices,’ that it must ‘effect no favoritism among sects or between religion and nonreligion,’ and that it must ‘work deterrence of no religious belief.’” Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 698 (2005) (Breyer, J., concurring) (plurality opinion) (quoting Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 305 (1963) (Goldberg, J., concurring)).

 

But the Clause does not require the government “to purge from the public sphere” any reference to religion. Id. at 699. “Such absolutism is not only inconsistent with our national traditions, but would also tend to promote the kind of social conflict the Establishment Clause seeks to avoid.” Id. (citations omitted). While neutrality may be the “touchstone” of the Establishment Clause, it more so serves as a “sense of direction” than a determinative test. McCreary Cty. v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 454 U.S. 844 (2005). We cannot view neutrality as some sort of “brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious.” Schempp, 374 U.S. at 306 (Goldberg, J., concurring). Thus, in reviewing the challenged war memorial, this Court must seek general rather than absolute neutrality. We do so by engaging in the three-factor analysis delineated in Lemon v. Kurtzman (the “Lemon test”), which requires that the memorial have a secular purpose; have a principal or primary effect that neither advances, inhibits, nor endorses religion; and not foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion.” 403 U.S. 602, 612–13 (1971). The memorial “must satisfy each of the Lemon test’s three criteria” to pass constitutional muster. Lambeth v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Davidson Cty., 407 F.3d 266, 269 (4th Cir. 2005) (citing Mellen v. Bunting, 327 F.3d 355, 367 (4th Cir. 2003)).

 

A.

 

I will briefly reiterate the operative facts. In Bladensburg, Maryland, in a median at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1, stands a war memorial consisting of a forty-foot-tall concrete Latin cross (the “Memorial”). The Memorial and the median are currently owned by Appellee Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (the “Commission”). Intervenor-Appellee American Legion’s symbol is displayed in the middle of the cross on both faces. The cross sits on a base and includes a plaque that lists the names of the forty-nine Prince George’s County residents who died in World War I. J.A. 1891. The plaque also states, “THIS MEMORIAL CROSS DEDICATED TO THE HEROES OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MARYLAND WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE WORLD,” and includes a quotation from President Woodrow Wilson. Id. Also, each face of the base is inscribed with one of four words: “VALOR,” “ENDURANCE,” “COURAGE,” and “DEVOTION.” J.A. 1963.

 

In 1918, a group of private citizens led the charge to construct and finance the Memorial. The donors signed a pledge stating that they, “trusting in God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe,” pledged their faith in the forty-nine war dead, whose spirits guided them “through life in the way of godliness, justice, and liberty.” J.A. 1168. The group also circulated a fundraising flyer stating,

 

Here, those who come to the Nation’s Capital to view the wonders of its architecture and the sacred places where their laws are made and administered may, before this Cross, rededicate[] themselves to the principles of their fathers and renew the fires of patriotism and loyalty to the nation which prompted these young men to rally to the defense of the right. And here the friends and loved ones of those who were in the great conflict will pass daily over a highway memorializing their boys who made the supreme sacrifice.

 

J.A. 2303.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Memorial and for Maryland Route 450 (then known as the National Defense Highway) in late 1919. Several local officials spoke about the fallen soldiers and how both the Memorial and highway would commemorate their bravery and sacrifice. But the private group ultimately failed to raise enough money to construct the Memorial and abandoned the project. The local post of the American Legion, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization, then took up the task and completed the Memorial on July 25, 1925. That day, the post held a ceremony which included multiple speeches regarding the Memorial’s representation of the men who died fighting for this country and an invocation and benediction delivered by local clergymen.

 

Over time, additional monuments honoring veterans were built near the Memorial (known as the “Veterans Memorial Park”). Because the Memorial sits in the middle of a median and is separated by a busy highway intersection, the closest additional monument is about 200 feet away. Since the Memorial’s completion, numerous events have been hosted there to celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the Fourth of July, and the remembrance of September 11th. These ceremonies usually include an invocation and benediction, but the record demonstrates that only three Sunday religious services were held at the Memorial—all of which occurred in August 1931. J.A. 347.

 

Due to increasing traffic on the highway surrounding it, the Commission acquired the Memorial and the median where it is located from the American Legion in March 1961. Since that time, the Commission has spent approximately $117,000 to maintain and repair the Memorial. In 2008, it set aside an additional $100,000 for renovations, of which only $5,000 has been spent as of 2015. J.A. 562–65. On February 25, 2014, more than fifty years after the Memorial passed into state ownership, Appellants initiated this suit against the Commission under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging a violation of the Establishment Clause.

 

B.

 

By concluding that the Memorial violates the Establishment Clause, the majority employed the Lemon test “with due consideration given to the factors outlined in Van Orden.” Maj. Op. at 16. In Van Orden, a plurality of the Supreme Court determined that the Lemon test was not useful when evaluating a “passive monument.” 545 U.S. at 686. Instead, the Court’s analysis was “driven both by the nature of the monument and by our Nation’s history.” Id. As the majority recognizes, Justice Breyer’s concurrence is the controlling opinion in Van Orden. Maj. Op. at 14. Justice Breyer states that the Court’s Establishment Clause tests, such as Lemon, cannot readily explain the Clause’s tolerance of religious activities in “borderline cases,” as there is “no single mechanical formula that can accurately draw the constitutional line in every case.” Van Orden, 454 U.S. at 699– 700 (Breyer, J., concurring). “If the relation between government and religion is one of separation, but not of mutual hostility and suspicion, one will inevitably find difficult borderline cases.” Id. at 700. Instead of applying Lemon to the challenged Ten Commandments display, Justice Breyer exercised his “legal judgment” and evaluated the context of the display and how the undeniably religious text of the Commandments was used. Id. at 700–04. His concurrence, however, also noted that Lemon provides a “useful guidepost[]—and might well lead to the same result”—for “no exact formula can dictate a resolution to such fact-intensive cases.” Id. at 700.

 

Relying on Lemon, and drawing guidance from Van Orden, the majority determined that the Commission articulated a legitimate secular purpose for displaying the Memorial. Nevertheless, the majority concluded that the Memorial failed Lemon’s second and third factors, finding that a reasonable observer would conclude that the Memorial has the primary effect of endorsing religion and the Commission’s maintenance of the Memorial constitutes excessive entanglement with religion. In my view, the majority misapplies Lemon and Van Orden to the extent that it subordinates the Memorial’s secular history and elements while focusing on the obvious religious nature of Latin crosses themselves; constructs a reasonable observer who ignores certain elements of the Memorial and reaches unreasonable conclusions; and confuses maintenance of a highway median and monument in a state park with excessive religious entanglement.

 

III.

 

Because Appellants do not challenge the district court’s finding that the Commission has demonstrated a secular purpose for displaying and maintaining the Memorial (the first Lemon factor), I will discuss in turn the majority’s evaluation of the second and third Lemon factors—whether the Memorial has the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion and whether the government is excessively entangled with religion.

 

A.

 

Under Lemon’s second factor, we must determine “whether a particular display, with religious content, would cause a reasonable observer to fairly understand it in its particular setting as impermissibly advancing or endorsing religion.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 271. This reasonable observer inquiry “requires the hypothetical construct of an objective observer who knows all of the pertinent facts and circumstances surrounding the [display] and its placement.” Salazar v. Buono, 559 U.S. 700, 721 (2010) (plurality opinion). We should not ask “whether there is any person who could find an endorsement of religion, whether some people may be offended by the display, or whether some reasonable person might think the State endorses religion.” Capitol Square Review & Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753, 780 (1995) (O’Connor, J., concurring) (internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, we must determine “whether . . . the display’s principal or primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion; or, put differently, whether an informed, reasonable observer would view the display as an endorsement of religion.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 272.

 

It is undeniable that the Latin cross is the “preeminent symbol of Christianity.” Maj. Op. at 18. But we must be careful not to “focus exclusively on the religious component” of a display, as that “would inevitably lead to its invalidation under the Establishment Clause.” Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 271 (quoting Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 680 (1984)). Indeed, the Supreme Court “has consistently concluded that displays with religious content—but also with a legitimate secular use—may be permissible under the Establishment Clause.” Id. (citing Cty. of Allegheny v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 492 U.S. 573, 579 (1989)). A reasonable observer would be aware that the cross is “not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs,” for it is “often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people.” Buono, 559 U.S. at 721.

 

Despite the religious nature of the Latin cross, a reasonable observer must also adequately consider the Memorial’s physical setting, history, and usage. The Memorial was created to commemorate the forty-nine soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, as explicitly stated on the plaque attached to its base. See J.A. 1891 (“THIS MEMORIAL CROSS DEDICATED TO THE HEROES OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MARYLAND WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE WORLD.”). The plaque also includes a quotation from President Woodrow Wilson stating, “The right is more precious than peace. We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts. To such a task we dedicate our lives.” Id. Each face of the cross includes the American Legion seal and each face of the base is inscribed with one of four words: “VALOR,” “ENDURANCE,” “COURAGE,” and “DEVOTION.” J.A. 1963. The Memorial has functioned as a war memorial for its entire history, and it sits among other secular monuments in Veterans Memorial Park, though it is separated from the other monuments by intersecting highways.

 

The majority concludes that the size of the Latin cross making up the Memorial overwhelms these secular elements. In the majority’s view, the Memorial is unconstitutional based predominantly on the size of the cross, and neither its secular features nor history could overcome the presumption. But such a conclusion is contrary to our constitutional directive. We must fairly weigh the appearance, context, and factual background of the challenged display when deciding the constitutional question. See Lynch, 465 U.S. at 679–80; Cty. of Allegheny, 492 U.S. at 598–600. Although a reasonable observer would properly notice the Memorial’s large size, she would also take into account the plaque, the American Legion symbol, the four-word inscription, its ninety-year history as a war memorial, and its presence within a vast state park dedicated to veterans of other wars. Would the majority’s version of a reasonable observer be satisfied and better equipped to evaluate the Memorial’s history and context if the cross were smaller? Perhaps if it were the same size as the other monuments in the park? Though Establishment Clause cases require a fact-intensive analysis, we must bear in mind our responsibility to provide the government and public with notice of actions that violate the Constitution. What guiding principle can be gleaned from the majority’s focus on the cross’s size? Understandably, the majority’s decision would lead to per se findings that all large crosses are unconstitutional despite any amount of secular history and context, in contravention of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.

 

The majority also makes much of the Memorial’s isolation from the other monuments in Veterans Memorial Park, as it sits in the median of a now busy highway, making it difficult to access. But a reasonable observer would note that the Memorial was placed there as part of the concurrent creation of the National Defense Highway to commemorate the soldiers of World War I, not as a means of endorsing religion. And, though Veterans Memorial Park does not include any other religious symbols as memorials, there is no evidence that the state formally foreclosed the possibility of erecting any other religious symbol. Also, the reasonable observer would note that the Memorial’s physical setting does not lend itself to any religious worship. Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 702 (stating that religious display’s location in large park containing other monuments suggested “little or nothing sacred,” as it illustrated residents’ historical ideals and “did not readily lend itself to meditation or any other religious activity”).

 

Additionally, due to the Memorial’s location, the majority explains that a reasonable observer would not be able to easily examine the Memorial’s secular elements. Maj. Op. at 23. This is because the Memorial “is located in a high-traffic area and passers-by would likely be unable to read the plaque,” which is small and badly weathered. Id. at 23. However, the reasonable observer’s knowledge is not “limited to the information gleaned simply from viewing the challenged display.” Pinette, 515 U.S. at 780–81 (O’Connor, J., concurring). That the average person in the community may have difficulty viewing all of the secular elements of the Memorial while stuck in traffic or driving at high speeds is of no consequence, for the reasonable observer “is not to be identified with any ordinary individual, . . . but is rather a personification of a community ideal of reasonable behavior” who is “deemed aware of the history and context of the community and forum in which the religious display appears.” Id. at 779–80 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Thus, the reasonable observer’s ability to consider these secular elements is by no means diminished.

 

Further, quoting Trunk v. City of San Diego, 629 F.3d 1099, 1116 n.18 (9th Cir. 2011), the majority states that the large size and isolation of the Memorial “evokes a message of aggrandizement and universalization of religion, and not the message of individual memorialization and remembrance that is presented by a field of gravestones.” Maj. Op. at 22. In Trunk, the Ninth Circuit considered a forty-three-foot free-standing cross and veterans memorial erected in a state park. 629 F.3d at 1101. The court evaluated the history of the Latin cross generally, its use as a war memorial, the history of the particular war memorial at issue, and its physical setting. Id. at 1102–05, 1110–24. The cross in Trunk had no secular elements; instead, it was unadorned and without any physical indication that it was a war memorial until after litigation was initiated to remove it. Id. at 1101–02; see also Smith v. Cty. of Albemarle, 895 F.2d 953, 958 (4th Cir. 1990) (concluding that crèche, unassociated with any secular symbols, prominently displayed in front of government building, and unaccompanied by any other religious or nonreligious displays, conveyed message of governmental endorsement of religion). The court concluded that a reasonable observer would perceive the presence of the cross as the federal government’s endorsement of Christianity, due in part to its long history of serving as a site of religious observance, with no indication of any secular purpose for almost three decades. Id. at 1125.

 

But here, the Memorial has always served as a war memorial, has been adorned with secular elements for its entire history, and sits among other memorials in Veterans Memorial Park. The Memorial’s predominant use has been for Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations, although three religious services were conducted at the Memorial nearly ninety years ago. Also, the invocations and benedictions performed at the annual veterans celebrations are not enough to cause a reasonable observer to perceive the Memorial as an endorsement of Christianity in light of its overwhelmingly secular history and context. Further, guidance from Van Orden provides that the Memorial’s ninety-year existence and fifty-year government ownership without litigation is a strong indication that the reasonable observer perceived its secular message. See 545 U.S. at 702–03 (stating that challenged monument’s presence on government property for forty years provided determinative factor that it conveyed predominately secular message). The Memorial stands at a busy intersection, yet this case is the first time the Memorial has been challenged as unconstitutional. Those fifty years strongly suggest “that few individuals, whatever their system of beliefs, are likely to have understood the [Memorial] as amounting, in any significantly detrimental way, to a government effort . . . primarily to promote religion over nonreligion,” or to “engage in,” “compel,” or deter any religious practice or beliefs. Id. at 702 (quoting Schempp, 374 U.S. at 305 (Goldberg, J., concurring)); see also Buono, 559 U.S. at 716 (“Time also has played its role. [After] nearly seven decades[,] . . . the cross and the cause it commemorated had become entwined in the public consciousness.”). This significant passage of time must factor into the Court’s analysis and “help[] us understand that as a practical matter of degree [the Memorial] is unlikely to prove divisive.” Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 702.

 

With the foregoing facts, circumstances, and principles in mind, I conclude that a reasonable observer would understand that the Memorial, while displaying a religious symbol, is a war memorial built to celebrate the forty-nine Prince George’s County residents who gave their lives in battle. Such an observer would not understand the effect of the Commission’s display of the Memorial—with such a commemorative past and set among other memorials in a large state park—to be a divisive message promoting Christianity over any other religion or nonreligion. A cross near a busy intersection “need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs. The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society. Rather, it leaves room to accommodate divergent values within a constitutionally permissible framework.” Buono, 559 U.S. at 718–19 (citations omitted). We must be careful not to push the Establishment Clause beyond its purpose in search of complete neutrality. “[U]ntutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands,” but of extreme commitment to the secular, “or even active, hostility to the religious.” Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 699 (quoting Schempp, 374 U.S. at 306 (Goldberg, J., concurring)). Finding that a reasonable observer would perceive the Memorial as an endorsement of Christianity would require that we pursue a level of neutrality beyond our constitutional mandate. I therefore conclude that the Memorial does not violate the second factor of the Lemon test.

 

B.

 

The Lemon test’s final factor asks whether the challenged display has created an “excessive entanglement” between government and religion. Lambeth, 407 F.3d at 272– 73. “The kind of excessive entanglement of government and religion precluded by Lemon is characterized by ‘comprehensive, discriminating, and continuing state surveillance.’” Id. at 273 (quoting Lemon, 403 U.S. at 619). This inquiry is one of “kind and degree,” Lynch, 465 U.S. at 684, “and because some interaction between church and state is inevitable, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the ‘[e]ntanglement must be “excessive” before it runs afoul of the Establishment Clause,’” Koenick v. Felton, 190 F.3d 259, 268 (4th Cir. 1999) (quoting Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 233 (1997)).

 

The majority concludes that the Memorial fosters excessive entanglement because of the Commission’s ownership and maintenance of the Memorial. But the Commission’s maintenance of the Memorial and the land surrounding it could hardly be considered the sort of state surveillance that Lemon intends to prohibit. See Lemon, 403 U.S. at 615–20 (concluding that challenged action excessively entangled state with religion by requiring state to supplement salaries for teachers in parochial schools); see also Mellen, 327 F.3d at 375 (determining that public university’s supper prayer violated Lemon’s third prong because school officials “composed, mandated, and monitored a daily prayer”). Rather, the Commission is merely maintaining a monument within a state park and a median in between intersecting highways that must be well lit for public safety reasons. There is no evidence that the Commission consults with any churches or religious organizations to determine who may access the Memorial for events. Nor is there evidence that the Commission is required to be involved in any church-related activities to maintain the Memorial.

 

Further, the majority observes that “any use of public funds to promote religious doctrines violates the Establishment Clause.” Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589, 623 (1988) (O’Connor, J., concurring). But, in Agostini, the Supreme Court held that a federally funded program that paid public school teachers to teach disadvantaged children in parochial schools did not cause an excessive entanglement between church and state. 521 U.S. at 234–35. Likewise, the Commission’s use of $122,000 over the course of fifty-plus years for lighting and upkeep is not a promotion of any religious doctrine, as the Memorial is a historical monument honoring veterans.

 

I therefore conclude that the Memorial does not violate the third factor of the Lemon test.

 

*         *         *                              

 

This Memorial stands in witness to the VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE, and DEVOTION of the forty-nine residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland “who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.” I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very Constitution these heroes died to defend. Accordingly, I would affirm the district court’s judgment.

______________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source links as well as text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

Matt Barber: 27 church members slain were Martyrs for Christ


Jesus said:

 

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask[a]anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14: 12-14 NKJV)

Have you heard of or perhaps remember Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD? Dr. Klingenschmitt served as a Navy Chaplain. In 2006 Dr. Klingenschmitt prayed “in Jesus’ Name” as the Lord Jesus told His disciples to do.

 

Klingenschmitt, as WND has reported, has fought an extended battle with the Navy over its restrictions on religious expression by its chaplains. He appeared and delivered a public prayer “in Jesus’ name” at a White House rally last winter and was court-martialed for that. The Navy convicted him of failing to follow a lawful order because his superior didn’t want him praying “in Jesus’ name.” (NAVY DISMISSES CHAPLAIN WHO PRAYED ‘IN JESUS’ NAME’; By BOB UNRUH; WND; 01/12/2007 1:00 AM)

 

Dr. Klingenschmitt chose to obey the Lord over an absurd Navy order and got his walking papers for doing so. The silver lining was Congress passed legislation to pray in the Name of Jesus in 2007 (Ibid.). The bad news was the Navy never reinstated his commission as a Chaplain.

 

Anyone that stands with the principles of over any civil employer, government employer and/or military employer; is awesome.

 

In saying all that, I received Dr. Klingenschmitt’s newsletter today. The subject matter is about the Sutherland Springs Massacre, the victims’ faith and an interview with Matt Barber over the atrocity.

A heads up: the good chaplain fund raises by suggesting you join a mass fax of which money is required to send.

 

JRH 11/9/17

Please Support NCCR

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Matt Barber: 27 church members slain were Martyrs for Christ

 

From Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD

Sent 11/9/2017 7:18 AM

Sent via Pray in Jesus Name Project

 

Please select here to sign urgent petition, and we will fax all 100 Senators (saving you time!) to PROTECT MILITARY CHAPLAINS RIGHT TO PRAY “IN JESUS’ NAME” or according to their conscience.  Or sign free option here.

 

I just had the privilege of interviewing Christian attorney Matt Barber about the horrific shooting and death of 27 Christians in Texas, killed because of their Christian faith.

Matt Barber explained on our TV show several things:

 

1)  The victims were martyrs for Jesus Christ, including the 14-year old pastor’s daughter.
2)  The atheist shooter Devon Kelley hated Christians and repeatedly said so.
3)  The neighbor hero Stephen Willeford was a first-responder who shot the bad guy.
4)  The left blames the NRA but Kelley was not NRA and Willeford was.
5)  The left shoots Christians and then demands Christians disarm without self-defense.

 

Watch!  Dr. Chaps’ new TV interview with Matt Barber about the Texas shooting

 

Posted by Gordon James Klingenschmitt

Published on Nov 7, 2017

 

Sadly, this is a time of great mourning.

As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

 

We choose to love and forgive our enemies, and yet as we mourn, we also arm ourselves in self-defense to prepare for the left’s coming war against God and the Church.

If only the shooter Kelley had heard the gospel of Jesus’ love from a chaplain before his bad-conduct discharge.  Let’s petition Congress for chaplains rights to pray “in Jesus’ name”:

Please select here to sign urgent petition, and we will fax all 100 Senators (saving you time!) to PROTECT MILITARY CHAPLAINS RIGHT TO PRAY “IN JESUS’ NAME” or according to their conscience.  Or sign free option here.

Atheist shooter hated Christians, killed 27 in Texas Church

Interviews with those who knew the Texas church shooter now reveal his beliefs.

“According to former classmates of Devin Patrick Kelley, the 26-year-old man who killed 26 people and injured over 20 others in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday was an avowed atheist who mocked those who believed in God,” reports DailyWire.

“DailyMail.com spoke with former classmates who attended New Braunfels High School with Kelley. They all told a similar story: Kelley — who had a history of violence and was given a ‘bad conduct’ discharge from the Air Force — ‘preached atheism,’ acted ‘creepy’ and ‘weird,’ and seemed to hold a ‘very negative’ worldview.

“He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed,” Kelley’s former high school classmate Patrick Boyce told DailyMail.com. “He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why. I was just shocked [to hear the news].”

 

Devin Patrick Kelley

“Another former classmate, Nina Rose Nava, told the outlet that Kelley ‘was different in school and creeped me out,’ but she added that she ‘never’ would have thought he would do ‘such a horrific thing.’…It’s not something I expected from him. He was an outcast but not a loner. He was popular among other outcast[s].”

“Though Nava said the two hadn’t spoken in person since high school, until recently they had been friends on Facebook. In a post, she said she had ‘just deleted him’ from her Facebook account because she ‘couldn’t stand’ his insulting posts.

“[I]n complete shock! I legit just deleted him off my [Facebook] cause I couldn’t stand his post,” wrote Nava. “He was always talking about how people who believe in God [were] stupid and trying to preach his atheism.”
On Sunday, Kelley — armed with a Ruger rifle and several rounds of ammunition and wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest — opened fired during the 11 a.m. service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 and injuring 24, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the history of Texas. His shooting spree came to an end when a heroic armed man got into a shootout with Kelley and forced him into a high speed chase. Kelley died of what authorities believe to be a self-inflicted gun wound.

[Dr. Chaps’ comment:  If only a chaplain had reached this confused man in the Air Force with the power of Jesus’ name.  Atheists like Kelley believe there is no God, no consequence for sin, and no ultimate justice for the victims of this horrific murderer.  They will discover they’re wrong, and there is a God, and His justice will prevail.]

Let’s petition Congress for chaplains rights to pray “in Jesus’ name”:

Please select here to sign urgent petition, and we will fax all 100 Senators (saving you time!) to PROTECT MILITARY CHAPLAINS RIGHT TO PRAY “IN JESUS’ NAME” or according to their conscience.  Or sign free option here.

God Bless you, in Jesus’ name,

 

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD
_________________________

Donate to Pray in Jesus Name Project

 

Prefer to donate by mail?  Please write:  The Pray In Jesus Name Project, PO Box 77077, Colorado Springs, CO  80970.  

 

Who is Dr. Chaps?   Read bio here.

 

“A voice calling out in the wilderness of this world, Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD is a man on a mission.  As a statesman and Christian activist, ‘Chaps’ wants to liberate the world with no-nonsense messages of truth and prayers of discernment.  Through his strong personal convictions and direct communication style, he reaches into the hearts of people to help them become active disciples of Jesus, through television, prayer, petitioning, political activism, and education, drawing others toward their highest purpose and destiny.”

 

PhD Theology, National TV host, Political Activist, College Faculty, former State Legislator, and the former Navy Chaplain who dared to pray “in Jesus’ name.”

 

Dr. Chaps is TV news anchor of PIJN NEWS, a daily 1/2 hour show that reports the news, discerns the spirits, and prays the scriptures, in Jesus’ name

 

Read full Klingenschmitt Curriculum Vitae and Resume here

 

SUMMARY: Gordon James Klingenschmitt (aka “Dr. Chaps”) is the national TV show host of PIJN NEWS on the NRB network which airs in 54 million homes daily, former State Representative having won election to the Colorado legislature, occasional affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University, Air Force Academy graduate in Political Science, and made national headlines as the former Navy Chaplain who dared to pray “in Jesus’ name.”   An ordained Pentecostal minister, he earned his PhD in Theology from Regent University and is ranked among “the top 1% most endorsed in United States for Preaching” by Linkedin in 2013.

 

He is now a motivational speaker, telling his true story of READ THE REST