A house divided against itself cannot stand.
It’s written in the Bible (Mark 3:24-25), and it is the foundation of one of President Abraham Lincoln’s most important speeches.
On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. At 5:00 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. At 8:00 p.m. Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Representatives. The title reflects part of the speech’s introduction, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” a concept familiar to Lincoln’s audience as a statement by Jesus recorded in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). House Divided Speech, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858. Read more HERE.
Decades later, running on a platform that publicly declared his intention to “fundamentally change America,” against the wishes of millions of Americans, President Obama has succeeded in is goal to piece by piece dismantle and disrespect the very foundation of our nation: our Constitution and the rule of law.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
“Throughout our nation’s history, division has been the rule; unity, the exception. That goes back to the Revolution. When it was clear to the Founders and outraged colonists that the British had no interest in redressing their grievances, they elected to divide, to fight for independence.
“Lucky for us and the world that they chose to do so.
“Today, many Americans aren’t acquainted with the fact that colonists weren’t unanimous for independence. A sizeable minority — Tories — backed the Crown. They supported British troops and some fought alongside them.
“The nation’s early, formative political era was marked by sharp divisions. Federalists versus Jeffersonians. Pro-Jackson versus Anti-Jackson factions. Disputes over slavery were ongoing. There was a whiskey rebellion and another war with the British.
“By the mid 1800s, the nation divided into sections and fought a civil war. That, assuredly, was a tragic division. 620,000 military casualties, north and south, say so. A ravaged South and a depleted North say so, too.
“But as Lincoln stated, the war came, despite efforts at reconciliation. The good that resulted from the war was the abolition of slavery. And though it would take another hundred years, and yet more divisions and trials, abolition set African-Americans on the path to gaining their full God-given rights.
“In the 20th Century, Americans divided about other wars as well. World Wars I and II, Vietnam and the Iraq War. Toward the end, they divided about the Cold War.
“And they’ve divided about the New Deal, the Fair Deal, The Great Society and the Reagan Revolution. They’ve divided culturally, starting in the 1960s, over drugs, sex and rock and roll. They’ve divided over abortion.
“As we look back over the long arc of the nation’s history, we see that from divisions came resolutions. Freedom, more often than not, was advanced. Our rights better secured. Our nation, strengthened.
“We live in a time of momentous divisions. Many of us will not live to see the resolutions completely. Since the early part of the 20th Century, a great conflict has not only been playing out abroad, but at home, between statism and freedom.
“At home, the statists – call them progressives, liberals or leftists – have worked diligently to advance government, to centralize authority in a political elite and bureaucracy and to, thereby, abridge the rights of the individual. They dismiss the original intent that undergirds the Constitution, claiming a right to make interpretations that are frequently aimed at pressing their causes and increasing their power. Many disdain our values, faith and traditions.
“Where shall we find common ground with the statists? Compromise? Compromise must invariably lead to less, not more, freedom. And wasn’t that tried by our parents’ and grandparents’ generations? Aren’t we, in part, struggling against a looming tyranny – albeit a soft tyranny – because of the good will and accommodations of our predecessors?
“Note, too, that overseas, in the 20th Century and now, tyrants, established or aspiring, all sought or seek unity. Unity under their rule in the service of the state. Inevitably, they use force to achieve that end. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot and an assortment of lesser dictators all bullied, imprisoned, maimed or killed millions who failed to unite with their will.
“Today, the Castro brothers are still at it. Hugo Chavez is attempting it in Venezuela. The mullahs are at it in Iran. Kim Jong-Il has been at it in North Korea. So are the Chinese. Putin isn’t far from reasserting unity in service to the Russian state.
“In our nation, we are fortunate that the Founders had great insight into human nature and the wisdom to arrange our government in ways that divided and authority. They instituted checks and balances to thwart the tyranny of any faction, or combination of factions, to impose unity on us.
“In the last ninety years, the barriers erected by the Founders to protect us from the tyranny of unity have been breached. But they still stand. It falls to us to repair and strengthen those barriers. To reclaim the full measure of freedom which is our birthright and was intended us by the Founders. And pass on that freedom to our children and theirs.” Read more HERE
If you listen to both Hillary and Bernie, they are so angry, so victimized, so … dead set on the next chapter in the self-destruction of America, that cannot or will not change course. Even the “driveby” media has nothing good to say, nothing hopeful, nothing uplifting to point to in anything going on. MORE coming soon.
"the War on Poverty", Acheivement, compassion, dependency, fdr, general-welfare-clause, government freebies, great-depression, handouts, Individual rights, Indoctrination, limitations, limitless, Personal responsibility, The "New Deal", The Other America
All the images that pass before our eyes … starving babies, homeless Veterans or single moms, so many struggling to make it … No, not in some remote third world country RIGHT HERE, in America – the wealthiest nation ever! It’s virtually impossible to wrap our heads around it. It’s overwhelming and heart wrenching. Surely, we can do better! Something more has to be done, right? No question! But what?
In response to those who hold that the”General Welfare clause” of the Constitution means taking care of the people, America, as a government, has tried several different programs over the past few decades to help those in need to find their way to the American Dream and alleviate suffering. “The New Deal,” inspired by the Great Depression, opened the hearts and minds of Americans under FDR (D), way back in 1933–1937.But did it solve the problem of poverty in America? Short answer, no!
Neither was the “War on Poverty” initiated under President Johnson a success. More recently, the policies and programs of President Obama have done exactly the opposite of their so-called intent. They have found more people, not fewer, in the unemployment lines, applying for food stamps and other social programs.
In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.
It’s a funny thing about human nature that philosophers seldom seem to consider well … There are specific things that motivate humans to productivity and achievement, and certain things which subdue those inclinations. The “war on poverty was a costly, tragic mistake,” the article, “Why the War on Poverty Failed: Handouts Provide the Wrong Incentives,” begins. “Possibly the most influential policy book in history, The Other America Michael Harrington’s The Other America, published in 1962. (Harrington died in 1989.) was cited again and again by the politicians, activists, and administrators who set up welfare programs in the 1960s. In it we find the fallacies that sent reformers down dark and tangled paths into today’s social tragedies.”
The tragic error of this thinking is in the assumption poverty is strictly a lack of material goods. “While the state of neediness we call poverty does involve a lack of material resources, it also involves a mass of psychological and moral problems, including weak motivation, lack of trust in others, ignorance, irresponsibility, self-destructiveness, short-sightedness, alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity, and violence.” The article continues, “It was a perspective that led to intolerance. Since poverty was so simple to remedy—the activists reasoned—it was unethical not to act. “In a nation with a technology that could provide every citizen with a decent life,” Harrington thundered, “it is an outrage and a scandal that there should be such social misery.”4 For the activists, welfare programs did not involve complex relationships and intractable problems about which honest people could disagree. They were simple moral imperatives, and anyone who opposed them was seen as selfish and insensitive. (This dogmatic view has by no means disappeared from so-called liberal circles.)”
Yes, poverty is wretched wherever it appears, but the rational answer (contrary to the sentimental response) is not handouts or “freebies.” The answer is the proverbial “hand up,” instead of the “hand out!”
- Basic education and training, which sadly is no longer flourishing in our public schools, does more to cripple our children than prepare them for a productive adult life.
- Trade schools, long hidden by some pseudo-intellectual pride, hunger for eager students, but are shunned by a populace who want to start as CEO’s, rather than work their way up the ladder.
- Food banks, soup kitchens, and clothing closets are a great start to elp the hurting and many communities have such things, but more are needed, not from government, but from us … you and me.
The Biblical concept of compassion isn’t issued to the government, but to the individual. The Golden Rule (you remember, Do unto others …?) is not for governments, but people, whether people of faith or not … people helping people. Governments have no idea how to help as evidenced by 80 years of welfare programs initiated in an vain attempt to curtail poverty. The secret to overcoming poverty, in most cases, is personal responsibility, we all ought
Now, we have an avowed “democrat socialist”(whatever that is) asking for our votes so he can increase taxes on the wager-earner so he can also increase the number of programs handing out “stuff”to those now trapped in a unemployment and dependency on the government programs that were supposed to free them from poverty.
Isn’t 80 years of failure enough to make a statement to try another tact? It isn’t the rich that are the bad guys here. It is our own greed that as crippled the most successful, productive, innovative, creative, and compassionate culture it the world, and ALL of us are guilty of the same greed, both the have’s and the have not’s!
America, use your HEAD to choose our next president. Use your HEART to make a personal investment in your neighborhood and your neighbors. Vote for individual rights and personal responsibility!
Paul wrote, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up” (Romans 15:1–2)
- Economic policies highlight partisan divide among governors
- Was the New Deal a success or failure?
- The War on Poverty After 50 Years
- Why the War on Poverty Failed
- What does the General Welfare Clause really mean?
- Allen West: Government Handouts a Form of Slavery
- Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits
- Uncovering the Bad Math (or Logic) of an Economic Analysis Embraced by Bernie Sanders
During the last several years, I have been increasingly embarrassed by the number of Americans who have sold out to the well-intentioned but misguided concept of COMPASSION. It is an age-old deception passed down through the generations that says if we are to be kind, we must be willing to compromise our standards. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, true compassion, the self-sacrificing noble compassion can only be rooted in solid, absolute but merciful moral code.
The question is, what is the best way to alleviate the suffering or hardship of others. Pain and suffering are part of life, and not necessarily the worst part. Though no one desires pain and hardship, many people around the world manage to endure it with joy, or at least acceptance knowing that good always follows pain … eventually.
It saddens me that in today’s America, we seem to have forgotten the benefits of struggle, or working toward a goal, of fighting through disease, of sacrificing for the good of others. This is the essence of compassion.
Instead, we have opted for the shortcuts. Problem is, “No pain – no gain” is completely accurate! We are left with a nation of Americans who have no idea what it cost to build America into a nation where, at least before the current administration, people of all races, religions, and backgrounds could live together in relative harmony. We are no longer taught of the price the Founding Fathers paid for their rebellion against the status quo. Of course, humans are imperfect, and today’s educators and political liberals choose to focus on their imperfections rather than the enormous gifts they gave and the heavy costs they paid.
Today is July 4, 2015. For any who are not aware, July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule.
Now, there are many whose lives reflect the same selfless sacrifice in service to others. Recently, police have come under irrational scrutiny because of some ideologues political agenda. Of course, there are imperfections and abuses. As long as they are human, that will be the case. But we dare not overlook the tremendous personal sacrifices made by our first responders and military service members (and families.)
As we celebrate this weekend, I pray we remember … the tremendous cost of freedom that allows us the many choices we have, and it is my prayer that we will work to overcome evil with good…each of us…one kindness at a time!
Father God, many in our nation have turned away from You, but you know each one and love us still. Father God, please turn our hearts back to You in gratitude for all You have provided. Heal the divides between neighbors. Restore our yearning for self-reliance with You as our Source and our Guide … for the sake of the lost people of the world.
By Greg Richards
Why did it take until 100 years after the Civil War, until 1964, to pass a Civil Rights Act? Because the Democratic Party would not take its boot off the neck of the black man until Martin Luther King made the black vote a political force. Dedicated to being in power above all else, the Democrats had to make a U-turn on their race policy in the 1960s and join the Republicans in passing the Civil Rights Act because they realized that after the black vote was counted, they were not going to win any more national elections without it.
But there was a problem. How was the Democratic Party going to overcome its deplorable record on race? It was the party of slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Klan.
What to do now? Get back in front of history with comprehensive rather than palliative welfare — the Great Society. The Democratic Party would become the friend of the black community by giving it things it wasn’t asking for, but were hard to resist.
But there is a big problem with comprehensive welfare: it destroys the role of men in the community and this was disproportionately true of the black community. There is nothing worse than taking away a person’s mission in life, making that person unnecessary and thus unwanted. That is evil. And today we see the results of that evil.
Single mothers can cope, but the family as a force in the community cannot flourish without men as a responsible presence. Without men, there is nobody to show boys how to behave, have someone to look up to and emulate, to set them straight when they go off the path, to show them how to be men. This has been true of every civilization in history.
But over the last 50 years, the Democratic Party wiped out the black family by wiping out the role of black men in order to stay in power. The black family had withstood 250 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow, but was destroyed by 50 years of Liberalism. In 1960, the illegitimacy rate in the black community was 30%. Now it is 78%. And as Star Parker has pointed out, there is nothing unique about blacks. Whites are now where blacks were in 1960 and are on the same path.
What is the result of this devastation? There are now two Americas — Welfare America and Enterprise America.
The Democratic Party is the party of Welfare America and the Republican Party is the part of Enterprise America. Enterprise America is that part of America that is hands-on in its affairs. That does not mean the top managers of big business, which either out of necessity or out of temperament, in many cases cozy up to Big Government. There is also the billionaire effect, where billionaires, unaware of the wellspring of their own success, do not preach what they practice and support Welfare America for reasons of social standing.
Let’s compare the cultural attributes of Enterprise America and Welfare America.
Around the beginning of the year, a new chapter began in my life, and I want to share some of it with you. It had to do with His WORD, His Promises, and my (us, as believers) position “In Christ!”
Every promise contained in the New Testament
belongs to every believer.
Everything God asks from us,
He first gives to us so He knows
we have it to give back to Him.
If something ugly is happening in our life, we must meet it with something GOOD because we “overcome evil with ________!!!” (GOOD Romans 12:21)
Find the Promise(S) God has assigned to your circumstances, and hold on tightly!!! Look for His GOODNESS!!!
“In every area of struggle in your life, God has granted you life and godliness. The truth is in every area of need and struggle, He has placed a promise there so that by the exercise of that promise, you would know the fullness of His affection for you and you would wake up to greater love.”
From FULLNESS NOW ~ Graham Cooke
Does this mean pulling the “cliche” promises into practice? The promises that so many of us quote without really apprehending their power? The ones we sometimes throw toward our friends when they’re in trouble and we don’t know what to say or do? Those promises?
OK So … I thank you, FATHER, for this opportunity to challenge the veracity of Your word and since I can do nothing, FATHER, I depend on You. Teach me how to “exercise” Your promises for Your glory! What is the promise(s) for my current situation?
- Phil 4: 6-7 NASB
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Phil 4: 8-9
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
- Phil 4: 11-13
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
- Phil 4:19
19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Cor 2:9
But as it is written (Isaiah 64:4):
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
While the WORD has been familiar to me for decades, God is opening my eyes and my heart to … MORE!
More abundant life,
More Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control!
GOD is GOOD, and every transaction with Him must result in GOODNESS!!! But I leave you to chew on this a while.
“There is no security is what God is doing.
There is only security in who GOD is!”
9 Ways to Become Happy, changes, compassionate, contentment, depression, despair, discouragement, goodness, grief, harassment, hopelessness, humble, humility, humilty, joy, kindness, life answers, life struggles, life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness, LONELINESS, morality, mourning, persecution, poor in spirit, suicide, Teacher
9 Ways to Become Happy
Who among us does NOT want to be happy? Silly question! Happiness is a universal goal or desire of mankind something all humans have in common. Even our “Declaration of Independence” includes happiness in its list of “unalienable rights” guaranteed by our Creator.
What IS happiness? The dictionary defines it as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. Some people define happiness in terms of achievement of personal goals like a six figure salary, or a new car. Others seek that perfect relationship (which, btw, does not exist!) Some seek temporary gratification by putting others down or using the weaker ones around us for our personal advantage. Still others just want everyone to agree with them … on everything!
Whatever your definition, I’d be willing to bet it includes some element of human comfort, so as I post these 9 methods toward happiness, you may find them foreign. They are, however, proven over centuries in a variety of cultures and circumstances.
9 Ways to Become Happy
- “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. (or “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”)
- “Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad. (or “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.)
- “Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.(or “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.)
- “Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. (or “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.)
- “Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy. (or “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.)
- “Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God. (or “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.)
- “Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children. (or “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.)
- “Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. (or “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.)
- “Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you. (or “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.)
These are commonly known as “The Beatitudes,” a message delivered by Jesus. Most Americans have some knowledge of Jesus, and even if they do not believe Him to be the Son of GOD, as He claimed to be, they see Him as a great Teacher.
Maybe He’s on to something here, eh? With suicide rates up, depression, despair, & discouragement overtaking the lives and hearts of many Americans, perhaps our culture’s compass has become skewed? Perhaps, all the “selfish feel good” mentality is counter productive? Maybe money isn’t the answer to all our problems, after all. Maybe it’s time for a new direction, as taught by an ancient wise “Teacher?”
How badly do you want to Be HAPPY? Badly enough to try a different way of thinking? A different way of living? You decide.
**Warning: This post may make you feel bad.
**Warning: That feeling may be appropriate.
There are moments in life that feel like a swift slap in the face.
No one courts that.
No one wants to feel that pain.
But, if it’s a slap that rearranges your priorities to align with God’s heart,
then you will thank God even for that bracing offense.
I received that slap today
when I read the Washington Times news item that Kim Jong-un
has ordered the execution of 33 Christians
reported to have been part of planting over 500 underground churches in North Korea.
I imagined thirty-three of my Christian friends executed for leading people to Christ, facilitating worship, praying, or offering praise to God.
I would be horrified, sad, and angry
but I would also know that God has the last word on their lives not Kim Jong-un or the evil power behind him.
Still, I would want their deaths to motivate the church of Christ.
I would want their deaths to galvanize other believers to put feet to their own faith,
To fuel their passion for Christ,
To remember to pray for those who suffer,
To spread God’s word with more zeal, persistence, and creativity than ever before.
While we in the West argue over worship styles,
sleep in when there’s a visiting preacher,
bemoan having to endure a boring prayer request or off-key soloist,
serve up the pastor’s sermon over lunch,
or sit home and judge the church unworthy of our attendance altogether
there are other brothers and sisters
gasping their way to every precious moment
when they can gather, in hiding, with other precious believers
and hear a whispered message from God,
bathe in the reading of His word,
and pray with passion and tears for strength to endure
and the courage to continue speaking the truth under threat of death.
God placed us all where we are.
He assigned us to our stations.
There is no guilt in being born in the land of the free as opposed to a country under harsh rule.
But there is guilt if we use our freedom to indulge our petty preferences,
to pad our comfort,
to drift through this dark world basking in our own light
rather than using it
to serve those who waste away in prison cells wondering if they’ve been forgotten
or their families left to struggle alone with hunger, fear, and lonliness,
or those serving the Lord in dark, dark places who need our prayers for their protection, deliverance, courage, and strength.
This blog is just a bunch of words. It costs me absolutely nothing to write. I am free here to say whatever I want without fear that it will cost me or my loved ones their lives.
But the words I speak on my knees have the power to move forces in the heavenly realm
and make a difference for those who know the names and faces of those 33 facing execution,
to comfort those who know their touch, their dreams, the plans they had for this life that will end any minute now
and to strengthen those who pick up the bloody batons these 33 will be forced to release
and continue to build the kingdom of Christ in lands where the enemy of God rules.
Worship will be different for me this week, with the report of 33 gunshots bouncing around the inner chamber of my soul
reminding me that we aren’t home yet.
***This article is reblogged from “Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island” Thank you!
North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong Un seems to be acting like a regular playboy these days, according to recent press coverage. The very young dictator, who is 31-years-old, was seen cavorting around with a group of blushing female pilots during a series of drills at a North Korean air strip – practically reenacting a scene from the popular TV series The Girls Next Door, which featured “Hef” and his Playboy Bunny girlfriends. Although Jong Un almost channels an odd version of Hugh Hefner during the event, outside of that fun-loving image stands a man who plans on executing a group of 33 Christians, suspected of “no good”.
On Friday, North Korea’s Workers party released a few choice pictures to Korean Central News Agency. These very cheerful photos show Jong Un smiling, laughing, and happily posing alongside a gang of seemingly smitten female pilots at an air force based. The imagery harkens back to a time of Hugh Hefner, sitting in his mansion, surrounded by admiring women, looking on in awe of his success and manhood. The 1940’s style uniforms worn by the North Korean ladies certainly helped to round out the strangeness of the scene. More HERE
I wonder how many American churches will even pray …
Will you pray?
Jesus said, “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.”
John 16:33 (NCV)
By Raymond Ibrahim
Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.
According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, “extreme persecution” (other designations are “severe,” “moderate,” and “sparse” persecution).
Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three-Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya-were “liberated” thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled “terrorists.”
The Syrian situation alone indicts U.S. foreign policy. According to Reuters:
“Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123 “martyr” killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said. “This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.”