Rubio and Russell Moore Team Up, Demand Obama Acknowledge Christian Genocide Too

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Kudos to Sen. Marco Rubio for teaming up with Southern Baptist leading thinker Russell Moore to demand Pres. Obama acknowledge the Christian genocide taking place in the Middle East.

Of course, it is not just Christians; other minority religions are being persecuted too. But the word is that the Obama White House is balking at including Christians in the designation of victims of genocide:

“Reports suggest that the State Department is ready to designate the Islamic State’s terror against the Yazidis as genocide, which it clearly is, but they might not to do so for equally embattled Christian communities,” Rubio and Moore wrote. “This is only one part of a refusal to come to grips with the full weight of these facts.”

Doing so is not just symbolic; it triggers treaty obligations. It is the least we can do for all these victims: name the truth they are experiencing.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Just Who Is ISIS Really Featuring in Recruiting Videos?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with former President Bill Clinton (photo credit: Karen Murphy via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

There was a Democrat debate over the weekend. Did you notice? Many pundits commented on the fact that the timing of the debate — competing with the newest Star Wars movie and the last weekend of Christmas shopping — seemed designed to keep viewership low and to protect Hillary Clinton’s status as the Democrat front runner. Not surprisingly, Saturday’s debate had the lowest ratings of any debate — Democrat or Republican — held in 2015.

The candidates talked a lot about GOP front runner Donald Trump. In fact, it was a comment about Trump that got most of the post-debate attention.

Hillary Clinton claimed that ISIS was using Donald Trump’s rhetoric for its recruiting videos. PolitiFact checked out her claim and determined there was no evidence for it, and labeled her remark “False.”

Once again, Hillary seems to be having trouble with the truth. Remember her comments about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire? How about her leaving the White House “dead broke”? How about her immigrant grandparents? And who can forget her comments about the Benghazi video.

But in its own way, Hillary’s comments on Trump and ISIS are very revealing about the left. To many on the left, virtually anything we say or do that exposes radical Islamists is an excuse for recruiting more jihadists.

For example, Barack Obama says that the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is a major terrorist recruiting tool. Continue Reading

Obama’s Religious Test: Christians Don’t Count

Orthodox Christians worship at a church in Damascus (photo credit: michael_swan via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Barack Obama says it is un-American to have a religious test in our refugee policy. But as we have pointed out, American law already states that we must have a religious test in deciding whether a certain group is in danger and should be given sanctuary. Here’s a quote right from the State Department’s web site about U.S. refugee policy:

Under U.S. law, a refugee must have a well-founded fear of persecution based on one of the five ‘protected grounds’: Religion, Political opinion, Race, Nationality, Membership in a particular social group.

Notice the very first category of “protected grounds” — RELIGION!

Previous administrations have followed that rule for Soviet Jews, Catholics from Vietnam and Christians and Jews in Iran. It is Obama who is not reflecting America’s values (or the law) when he insists that we should not have a religious test for refugees.

The reality in Syria and Iraq is that Christians and Yazidis are the most at risk of being murdered by ISIS. There is a genocide taking place and there is something deeply wrong with the refugee system now because only a miniscule percentage of Syrian Christians are being allowed in compared to Syrian Muslims.

Here’s something else to consider. Muslim refugees have a lot of options — Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. Christians and Yazidis have no comparable haven in the Middle East. So again, priority ought to be given to Christians and Yazidis. Continue Reading

Trump: The Out-of-Touch Outsider

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Outsiders often respond to the critique that they are inexperienced by countering that the silver lining is their freedom from the problems of Washington.  “Sure, I’ve never been elected, but that’s why the people want me – I’m like them, I know what they’re like and what they want.”  That response falls apart for GOP front runner Donald Trump, who manages to display both flaws in a “yuge” way:

  • The “Deportation Force” – This could demonstrate his lack of understanding of the nation’s current military/ police capabilities.  It could demonstrate that he’s unaware of how sensitive the issue of policing is.  It could demonstrate that he looks to speak or take action before considering a budget – a point further proven by the bankruptcies of his companies.  Rather than suggest greater empowerment of the Border Patrol, the GOP candidate suggests expanding the federal government to forcibly remove people from their homes.
  • The Starbucks Red Cup “Outrage” – The only name I’ve read who seriously thinks this is a “controversy” is Josh Feuerstein, but, otherwise, it seems the majority of Christians don’t care.  However, according to the GOP front runner, Starbucks has for the first time removed the words “Merry Christmas” from its seasonal red cups, even though the depths of a Google search reveal that the Starbucks cups have simply had wintry decorations, such as snow foxes, snowflakes, and ice skaters, rather than anything remotely Christian, for at least the past five years.  In fact, the first red cup had a drawing of a “jazzy Santa,” which is not the most accurate depiction of St.
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What Do Bush, Walker, and Graham Have Against Christians in Syria?

Orthodox Christians worship at a church in Damascus (photo credit: michael_swan via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Jeb Bush’s August 11th speech at the Reagan Presidential Library laid out a six-point blueprint for driving the remaining Christians out of Syria — unintentionally, perhaps, but effectively nonetheless.  Each element of his plan for Syria was contrary to the interests of those beleaguered Christians.  A point-by-point discussion of the plan and its defects is published here.  Scott Walker gave a decidedly less substantive speech on the same subject at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., on August 28th, which also embraced policies contrary to the interests of Syria’s Christians.

By way of background, the Christian population of Syria was roughly two million before the civil war began in 2011 and is today under one million.  Most of the Christians in Syria live in areas controlled by the government of Bashir al-Assad, with some living in areas along the border with Turkey governed by a de facto Kurdish government.

Firstly, both Bush and Walker are calling for the violent overthrow of Assad before the defeat of the Islamic State.  This will plunge Syria into an even more violent competition for control between the extremist al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the more extremist Islamic State in which there will be literally no place for Christians to hide and which conflict will certainly spill over into Lebanon.

The greater monster in the Syrian conflict is the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), not the Assad regime.  Continue Reading

“Most Iraqis Believe the Islamic State was Created by the United States.”

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014 (public domain image via USAID)

“Most Iraqis believe the Islamic State was created by the United States.”

This observation was made not by a conspiracy theorist, but by an Orthodox priest who along with his whole Christian village was forced to flee Daesh (as the Islamic State is known by Iraqis) into the safe haven of Kurdistan.  He told me this on Wednesday as we spoke in a Kurdish village in the mountains of far-north Iraq, not far from the Iraqi-Turkish border. I had come here to learn of the condition of the Christian refugees and to explore ways to help the Christian Church in exile.

To American ears, the charge that the U.S. created Daesh is absurd.  To Iraqis, it has a compelling logic.  In their minds, we are the creators of their current reality; for better or worse, we made the State of Iraq as it exists today.  We are said to have allowed Daesh to occupy Mosul (a city of 1.5 million taken over by 3000), and they think we can eliminate Daesh easily if we really wanted to.  “How long did it take the U.S. to defeat Saddam Hussain?  A month?  And he had a powerful army.”

But most disappointing about the Abba’s charge is his belief that our policy in the Middle East is entirely motivated by the desire to work our will in the region.  “You promised us democracy.  Where is the democracy?”  If Iraq is today not democratic, the reasoning goes, that is because we never wanted it to be democratic; we wanted it to be compliant.  Continue Reading