Category archives: Religion & Culture

Get Serious!

by Krystle Gabele

April 2, 2009

Recently, I had the pleasure to meet Peter and Helen Evans, authors of the book, Get Serious: The Church’s Stand on Contemporary Culture. The book’s subtitle asks, “Who ever said Christianity was nice?” Last Saturday, I read their book to really find out how the church views issues, such as euthanasia, animal rights, welfare, and genetic engineering. This book provided no sugar-coated response, rather, a thought-provoking and insightful look into these issues with various representatives from the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches. The book is written in an interview style format and answers the questions one may have about the Christian perspective on these issues.

For example, on the topic of euthanasia, Mr. and Mrs. Evans ask an Eastern Orthodox priest, Jonathan Tobias about euthanasia and focus on recent events, like Terri Schiavo’s case, how the church views life support measures and suicide. Fr. Tobias provides detailed answers to the questions from a religious perspective.

Overall, the book is well written, and it offers a perspective that provokes serious conversation with a pastor or a small group.

Remember the Fallen.

by Bill Saunders

March 30, 2009

On March 4, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Omar Ahmad Al Bashir, the president of Sudan. The warrant charged Bashir with individual responsibility on five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes. Specially, it alleged he is criminally responsibility for a campaign of murder, rape, torture, pillage, and forcible transfer against the civilian, and largely Islamic, population of Darfur. The ICC alleges the campaign, conducted over the 5 year period from April 2003 to July 2008, was planned at the highest levels of the Sudanese government. The attacks were carried out by the Sudanese armed forces, the Sudanese police force, the Sudanese national security service, and allied “Janjaweed” militias. The warrant claims Bashir either coordinated the design of the campaign or, as head of state, used state agencies to implement the campaign.

 

We should recall that before the atrocities began in Darfur, they were widespread in the south of Sudan and in the Nuba Mountains (which I will collectively refer to as “the south”). In fact, the explosion in Darfur essentially coincided with the winding down of the war in the south. Cynics will say that the Sudanese government signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the south, in part, to enable it to divert forces to persecute the people of Darfur.

The genocidal war against the people of the south (recognized as such by the United States government) has been largely forgotten in the justified world-wide outrage over Darfur. But millions of innocent people were killed by the government in the prior war. The government, dominated by the radical National Islamic Front, targeted civilians, destroyed Christian churches, and revived the slave trade through a declaration of “jihad” against the “infidels” of the south.

My point is certainly not to assume the wisdom of having an International Criminal Court. Rather, the occasion of the issuance of the warrant for the arrest of the president of Sudan is an opportunity to remember the dead, many of whom were true martyrs, dying for their Christian faith.

The occasion of the issuance of the warrant is also an opportunity for remembering the living, the millions who live without religious freedom, who are persecuted, who are enslaved, who are tortured, and who are rendered homeless through the destruction of their homes and villages. In the weeks leading to Easter, we should pray for them and do whatever we can to help.

First Freedom Deniers

by Bill Saunders

March 27, 2009

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (“USCIRF”), established by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (“IRFA”), issued a press release today. It took to task the State Department, which, under President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had failed to release publicly its 2008 list of countries of “particular concern,” that is, countries where the denial of religious freedom is particularly severe. Such a list is required yearly under IRFA; however, it took an official inquiry from USCIRF to get the 2008 list released by the State Department (“DOS”).

The USCIRF issues its own yearly list of offenders.

The two lists are substantially the same, though the USCIRF’s list includes four countries that the DOS list does not. 

One constant between the two lists, however, is China. 

This is no surprise.  Reports of the last several weeks, for example, have recounted increased oppression in Tibet in connection with the anniversary of the invasion by China of that land. 

China had a great opportunity to improve its public image by changing the facts on the ground in connection with the 2008 Olympics.  As we noted at the time, the sad fact was that repression of religious believers of all stripes, including Protestant and Catholic Christians, actually increased during the year-long run-up to the Olympics, despite promises by China that it would do the opposite. 

Tomorrow, March 27, China will inaugurate a new holiday, “Serf Liberation Day.”  China claims the life of ordinary Tibetans has improved greatly since they intervened 50 years ago.  However, this claim shows China continues to miss the point.  Whether or not ordinary life has improved is beside the point.  Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, secured in America, of course, under the First Amendment.  It is not up to China to tell the people of Tibet what to believe. 

 

The War against CNBC (and Free Speech) Escalates

by Chris Gacek

March 18, 2009

            You can’t say the FRC blog isn’t timely.  Over the past two weeks my colleague Michael Fragoso and I have written on this blog about the emerging position of CNBC as a major, national news source and the adverse impact of that development on the Obama administration.   

            This state of affairs escalated enormously over the weekend after CNBC’s Jim Cramer was slapped silly on Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central program last Thursday.  Stewart is part of the Democrat-Left-Borg collective that hurtles through space attempting to bludgeon those who oppose their agenda into abject submission.  (For an excellent analysis of Stewart’s completely dishonest attack on CNBC’s Rick Santelli read this post by Dan Gifford on the Big Hollywood blog.)

            Stewart has been on television for years, but I don’t recall that he ever attacked the integrity of CNBC before.  Of course, CNBC never before pointed out that the Obama economic program was failing miserably.  Therein lies the difference.  When was the last time Stewart viciously sandbagged a Lefty guest while declaring his righteous outrage?  Answer: [Hear crickets chirping] Never happened.

            In short, we have entered an unparalleled time in which the Hollywood-media-“news”-industrial-complex makes little or no attempt to pretend that it is not advancing the socialist, anti-family, anti-church agenda of the Left.  Where will Barack Obama be tonight?  On the Jay Leno show, I believe.  The alliance begun during the presidential campaign appears to grow stronger daily.

            In the last couple weeks The Politico (www.politico.com) has published a series of extraordinary stories describing planned attacks originating from the White House and Leftist activist groups targeting political enemies. Read this piece as an example.  As such, it was not surprising that Tony Blankley observed here in today’s Washington Times that the atmosphere in Washington has become incredibly poisonous and ugly.

            Well, folks, about two months down and forty-six to go.  It’s going to get interesting.

Interesting column by George Will on food and sex.

by Cathy Ruse

February 27, 2009

I think Mary Eberstadt may be on to something, and I surely hope the theory follows through to mean more prudishness in sex will follow! But I have my doubts. People quite easily can measure the negative effects of gluttony by the numbers on the scale and their cholesterol count, etc. But an STD? Why that’s not MY fault, it was so-and-so who gave it to me. People who are honest and introspective, however, will be able to conclude that a lifestyle of serial monogamy has led to their unhappiness. Isn’t it interesting that the simplest answer that so many refuse to consider - faith in the God of Abraham rather than Lord Vegan — will make you both physically and psychologically healthier and happier?

By the way, my husband and I know Mary well and of course this article made me think of what she served us for dinner at her house not long ago — pulled pork sandwiches from a local deli!

 

Jewish World Review Feb. 26, 2009 2 Adar 5769

Prudes at Dinner, Gluttons in Bed

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com  

Put down that cheeseburger and listen up: If food has become what sex was a generation ago - the intimidatingly intelligent Mary Eberstadt says it has - then a cheeseburger is akin to adultery, or worse. As eating has become highly charged with moral judgments, sex has become notably less so, and Eberstadt, a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, thinks these trends involving two primal appetites are related.

In a Policy Review essay, “Is Food the New Sex?” - it has a section titled “Broccoli, pornography, and Kant” - she notes that for the first time ever, most people in advanced nations “are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want.” One might think, she says, either that food and sex would both be pursued with an ardor heedless of consequences, or that both would be subjected to analogous codes constraining consumption. The opposite has happened - mindful eating and mindless sex.

Imagine, says Eberstadt, a 30-year-old Betty in 1958, and her 30-year-old granddaughter Jennifer today. Betty’s kitchen is replete with things - red meat, dairy products, refined sugars, etc. - that nutritionists now instruct us to minimize. She serves meat from her freezer, accompanied by this and that from jars. If she serves anything “fresh,” it would be a potato. If she thinks about food, she thinks only about what she enjoys, not what she, and everyone else, ought to eat.

Jennifer pays close attention to food, about which she has strong opinions. She eats neither red meat nor endangered fish, buys “organic” meat and produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, and has only ice in her freezer. These choices are, for her, matters of right and wrong. Regarding food, writes Eberstadt, Jennifer exemplifies Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative: She acts according to rules she thinks are universally valid and should be universally embraced.

Betty would be baffled by draping moral abstractions over food, a mere matter of personal taste. Regarding sex, however, she had her Categorical Imperative - the 1950s’ encompassing sexual ethic that proscribed almost all sex outside of marriage. Jennifer is a Whole Foods Woman, an apostle of thoroughly thought-out eating. She bristles with judgments - moral as well as nutritional - about eating, but she is essentially laissez-faire about sex.

In 50 years, Eberstadt writes, for many people “the moral poles of sex and food have been reversed.” Today, there is, concerning food, “a level of metaphysical attentiveness” previously invested in sex; there are more “schismatic differences” about food than about (other) religions.

If food is the new sex, Eberstadt asks, “where does that leave sex?” She says it leaves much of sex dumbed-down - junk sex akin to junk food. It also leaves sexual attitudes poised for a reversal. Since Betty’s era, abundant research has demonstrated that diet can have potent effects, beneficial or injurious. Now, says Eberstadt, an empirical record is being assembled about the societal costs of laissez-faire sex.

Eberstadt says two generations of “social science replete with studies, surveys and regression analyses galore” have produced clear findings: “The sexual revolution - meaning the widespread extension of sex outside of marriage and frequently outside commitment of any kind - has had negative effects on many people, chiefly the most vulnerable; and it has also had clear financial costs to society at large.”

In 1965, the Moynihan Report sounded an alarm about 23.6 percent of African American children born out of wedlock. Today the figure for the entire American population is 38.5 percent, and 70.7 percent for African Americans. To that, add AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the unquantifiable coarsening of the culture and devaluing of personal intimacy.

Today “the all-you-can-eat buffet” is stigmatized and the “sexual smorgasbord” is not. Eberstadt’s surmise about a society “puritanical about food, and licentious about sex” is this: “The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone - and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat.”

Perhaps. Stigmas are compasses, pointing toward society’s sense of its prerequisites for self-protection. Furthermore, as increasing numbers of people are led to a materialist understanding of life - who say not that “I have a body” but that “I am a body” - society becomes more obsessive about the body’s maintenance. Alas, expiration is written into the leases we have on our bodies, so bon appetit.

Live Blog from CPAC 2009: New Challenges in the Culture War

by Krystle Gabele

February 26, 2009

CPAC definitely offers a vast array of speakers in the conservative movement, and this year’s conference is no exception to the rule. Right now, I am live blogging from the New Challenges in the Culture War panel discussion, which features many renowned experts in the pro-life movement. The panelists include: Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse of The Beverly LaHaye Institute and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Liberty University School of Law.

Dr. Crouse is right now discussing how Obama’s agenda will be particularly devastating to the pro-life movement, in addition to promoting a feminist agenda. Crouse is also mentioning the damaging decision to reverse the Mexico City policy. The Obama administration is using a portion of the budget to expand funding of reproductive services through increasing Planned Parenthood funding.

Additionally, Dr. Crouse is also mentioning how the Fairness Doctrine will effectively close down conservative talk radio, further expanding the liberal encroachment in the media.

Hollywood has also been a threat to our culture, whether it is Sean Penn portraying Harvey Milk in the movie, “Milk,” or Kate Winslet’s character in “The Reader.”

Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel is now speaking. He is mentioning how the Obama administration will be threatening traditional marriage through the open promotion of homosexual marriage. Staver said that 30 states have successfully passed marriage amendments, as well as amendments to state constitutions declaring marriage as being between one man and one woman. The marriage amendments have been championed by pro-family African Americans and Hispanics, who believe in traditional marriage. Staver also mentioned that the RNC has one of the most conservative, pro-family policy platforms. This platform was revised during the RNC Convention in 2008.

Rep. Chris Smith from New Jersey is now addressing the audience. Abortion is violence against children and is hurtful to women on the emotional and physical level. It is a violation of the child’s human rights. The Obama agenda is one of the most pro-abortion agendas in history, and Obama will be known as the abortion president. Smith is also discussing the negative effect of the repeal of the Mexico City policy.

Obama also wants to reinstate the U.N. Population fund. Smith said if we want to look at the detrimental effects that this policy is going to have on America, we need to look at China’s treatment of women and children.

Overall, this was a great panel that offered insight into the challenges that the pro-life movement faces in the next four years. We need to remain strong to prevent these policy proposals from being enacted into law.

2.20.09

by Robert Morrison

February 20, 2009

We’ve all seen the bumper stickers. They are a somber black with white numbering: 1.20.09. They appeared shortly after George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004. In one sense, they were reassuring. Those who hated Bush-and they were intense-were indicating their willingness to wait for the end of his constitutionally prescribed term. The real crazies wanted to impeach him. Some members of the loony Left wanted something even worse.

It’s now just one month after the day longed for by millions. I’ve been struggling to recall anything said in that Inaugural Address. I remember the day-cold and clear. I recall the wonderful crowds-millions of people, cheerful and hopeful. At least 1.8 million folks came to the National Mall and not one person was arrested. God bless them.

Still, it is strange, isn’t it, that we cannot recall any ringing phrase, any soaring statement from that long-awaited day of days?

Memory failed, so I checked the text online. Yes, it was there, that odd formulation:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture…” This was perhaps the first time in American history that Muslims preceded Jews in such a ceremonial listing.

Why is this significant? Perhaps it is because this nation was founded by Protestants deeply imbued with the Hebrew Scriptures. For the Pilgrims and Puritans, for the Anglicans and Quakers, many of whom were literate in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, the Jews were no strangers. Jews came to colonial America early. They were admitted to Dutch New Amsterdam in 1655, long before America became an independent nation.

Over a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt congratulated the Jewish community on 250 years in America. He made an exception to his rule against such letters, he said, because of the extraordinary suffering of the Jewish people in Russia, Eastern Europe, and in other parts of the world.

T.R. loved American history. Like President Obama, he studied at Harvard and at Columbia. But he seems to have drunk more deeply from the streams of America’s storied past. President Roosevelt wrote to the Jewish organizing committee:

The celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the Jews in the United States properly emphasizes a series of historical facts of more than merely national significance. Even in our colonial period, the Jews participated in the upbuilding of this country, acquired citizenship, and took an active part in the development of foreign and domestic commerce. During the Revolutionary period, they aided the cause of liberty … During the Civil War, thousands [of Jews] served in the armies and mingled their blood with the soil for which they fought.

Why did President Obama give priority of place to the Muslims over the Jews? To be sure, America does extend the rights of full citizenship to all. America does recognize the right of all to freedom of worship. But when in 1790 President Washington became the first leader in history to recognize the Jews as equal fellow citizens, he also spoke of the need for all to obey the laws of this great new republic. His Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport pledged the United States to “give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” One hopes all Americans-including Muslims — will read this vital letter.

Was President Obama’s odd formulation just a figure of speech? Or does it portend something else? Israel has just elected Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister. He has vowed never to allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. President Obama has vowed to talk directly to the Iranians without preconditions. Ahmadinejad has responded to the President’s extended hand by launching a satellite, proving to the world that if Iran does develop a nuclear weapon, his Islamic Revolutionary regime has the means to deliver it-to Jerusalem, or to Washington, D.C.

The Psalmist tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. America was the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel. President Harry Truman, a strong Democrat, overrode the objections of his Secretary of State, the great George C. Marshall, in doing this. Truman regarded Marshall as the greatest man in America. Yet he was willing to risk Marshall’s resignation rather than to abandon Israel to five invading Muslim armies.

Does President Obama know this history? Does he appreciate the meaning of Washington’s letter? Or will his promised message of change mean a change in America’s relationship with the Jews at home and abroad? These are heavy tidings to ponder just one month into the new era.

That “Muslim World” Formulation

by Robert Morrison

February 10, 2009

President Obama gave his first interview to the Al Arabiya television network. He talked of a new U.S. effort to reach out to “the Muslim world.” He’s hardly the first one to use that phrase. Think tank director John Esposito of Georgetown University regularly speaks of the Muslim world.

Question: What would be the reaction from the pundits and the talking heads if the President spoke of the U.S. reaching out to Christendom? That word used to describe the collection of countries in which Christianity predominated. You can well imagine. He would be denounced immediately as a theocrat. The very idea of Christian countries offends the cultured despisers of religion. Or, at least it offends the despisers of some religions.

When I hear Western leaders and intellectuals speaking of the Muslim world, I’m reminded of the late Meg Greenfield’s comments at the time the American hostages were being held in Iran. Some of her fellow liberals were so eager to see things from the other fellow’s point of view, she wrote in Newsweek, that if they were missionaries stewing in a pot, they would try to see the situation from their captors’ perspective.

I miss Meg Greenfield’s commonsensical liberalism. I doubt that anyone would have complained if the President had spoken of reaching out to Muslim friends in the Middle East, in South Asia. Or seeking to repair relations with majority-Muslim nations. But when we concede that there is something called a Muslim world, are we not at the same time conceding that there is a region of the world in which Christians and Jews may not go, may not live peaceably, must suffer dhimmi status if they survive at all?

George W. Bush was often accused of wearing his Christianity on his sleeve. He certainly didn’t wear it on his flight jacket. President Bush invited the king of Saudi Arabia to his Texas ranch. There, he was photographed walking hand in hand with King Abdullah.

I confess I prefer the photo of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board the USS Quincy back in 1945. There, the commander-in-chief sits with Saudi Arabia’s legendary founder, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud. The two men look serious, but restrained. The pose is formal, dignified, and correct. There’s no gush. No obeisance. No apologies. Maybe that’s why no one thought of throwing a shoe at FDR.

FDR on USS Quincy

We do need a new relationship. We should speak candidly to the Arab states and to those Muslim-majority nations where some claim to be offended by American conduct. We should tell them of our own happy experience with religious liberty. When George Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport in 1790, he said America must be a land where all enjoyed civil liberty and legal equality. He prayed to God and cited the Hebrew Scriptures: “Let each sit under his own vine and fig tree and let there be none to make him afraid.” This bold statement, regrettably, has not always been true in America. Still, it is true that the government of the United States, in the timeless words of George Washington, “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Where in those regions where Islam predominates can this be said to be true—either in history, or today?

The Bells of Britain

by Robert Morrison

February 9, 2009

My wife and I took our teenage children to London ten years ago. We tried to get in to Westminster Abbey for Easter sunrise service, but England’s ancient church was filled to overflowing. So we darted in to the smaller, more accommodating St. Margaret’s Chapel next door. Following a powerful resurrection sermon, we stepped out to be greeted by the booming bells of the Abbey. We could not hear the vicar’s Easter greeting for the din. We could not hear one another’s voices as the pealing of the Abbey bells was so thunderous. With a motion of my head, our family trooped off, marching a mile away before we could speak and be heard.

Those bells are the voice of Britain’s past. In 1940, they were silenced by order of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. With the daily threat of German invasion, no church bells sounded in the island fortress for three years. Church bells ringing during the Battle of Britain would have signaled Hitler’s landing. Only with the defeat of Rommel’s Afrika Korps at El Alamein in November, 1942-where “the glint of victory” reflected off their soldiers’ helmets-did the church bells of Britain joyfully ring forth.

Britain’s Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali returned to that theme of church bells during his recent visit to Washington. The Pakistani-born prelate was asked whether Muslim muezzins should be permitted to call the faithful to prayer in British cities. “Certainly,” the Anglican leader said, “as soon as church bells ring out in Mecca.” Bishop Nazir-Ali came to sound an alarm-but for a different kind of invasion. He said Britain’s national existence is menaced by a cringing Establishment. Britain is a Christian culture supported by centuries of English law. Both of these elements are being undermined by a quiet surrender to the demands of political correctness and relentless Muslim pressure.

Should Britain expel the Muslims already there? Should Britain cut off future Muslim immigration? No, the Bishop replied. As Christians, Britons have a duty to welcome the alien, a duty to show him hospitality and not contempt.

The European Union is all for human rights,” he said, “but they are unwilling to say where human rights come from.” They come, he maintains, from the Judeo-Christian ethic. Jews and Christians believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Thus, we are endowed with our fundamental human dignity. It is from this source, and not from the Koran, that we derive our laws.

To Bishop Nazir-Ali, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s acceptance of Muslim shari’ah law probably reflects the opinion of the Britain’s deracinated elites, the Establishment. Nazir-Ali said that many times, Muslim women who are coerced into so-called cousin marriages plead for help from the police. In their distress, they are handed over to Muslim police officers, who simply return them to the very families that threaten them with death. “All people in Britain must have access to British law,” Nazir-Ali firmly said.

London is now the center of international Muslim investment, fueled by petro-dollars. The power of that moneyed interest is driving many government decisions.

There is something else at work here. The secularists in Britain and Europe can give no reason why humans should have rights. They cannot say that one culture recognizes human dignity and another crushes it. Their cringing before Muslim threats only encourages more concession. Already, there are vast areas of British and European cities where the police fear to go.

In lands where Islam has predominated, the status of Christians and Jews has been clear for centuries. They are tolerated at best, but subordinated. They are called dhimmis. This Arabic word is often translated as “second-class citizen,” but it is hardly that. It is best understood as a caste system to which the dhimmis are consigned-and to which they are forced to consent. In this caste system, dhimmis are forever marked with the badges of servitude-legal and spiritual inferiority.

The very enlightened secularists of Britain, Europe and the U.S. still hold nominal power. Increasingly, however, they use that power to give way, to salaam, before the daily growing power of their demanding guests. While holding temporary sway, these cringing elitists can best be described as dhimmicrats-empowered only to be impotent.

Listening to Bishop Nazir-Ali-who has received death threats for his fearless Christian witness-you have to wonder why the rest of the Church of England clergy are not standing up and speaking out—or at least ringing their church bells.

Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

by Constance Mackey

February 5, 2009

I listened this morning to President Obama as he addressed the National Prayer Breakfast. I was filled with awe. Not because of his smooth delivery or his gracious style.  Rather, that his style so completely belies what his motives are.  This president is the most pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-life movement president in the history of the United States, and oh by the way, very likeable as he glides through with his wrecking ball on life and marriage issues.  When he refers to the fact that religion should not divide people, does any thinking person doubt that he is speaking of abortion and marriage policies?

This president seems so completely owned - not just politically, but mentally as well - by the liberal philosophies which are drummed into students’ brains on college campuses, that he has the audacity to tell a Prayer Breakfast audience that he will change the Faith-Based Offices from faith-based to faith-based plus non-faith-based groups. What might some of those be? Perhaps, Planned Parenthood because they have done such “fine work” in the community? 

He can get away with diminishing the purpose of the faith based offices with Americans who are not familiar with the ways of politicians, but this writer sees right through to his intent. His gleaming smile cannot hide the giant wrecking ball he wields.  He has begun the dismantling of the protection of marriage (because standing up to the gay attack on Christians and their beliefs is “divisive”), he has voted against protecting human life in and out of the womb (because to defend the voiceless is “divisive”) and he will put in place those people and those organizations who know just how to do it (read bios here.)

Sadly, he is popular enough to attend a national prayer breakfast and deliver a speech that carried more criticism of religion than the worth of it.  I know that by blurring the tenets of all religions he was sending a message of hope to radical Muslims who have pledged to kill those who disagree with them.  Oddly, I get the feeling he was sending the same message to those of us who would stand and defend the unborn and who would demand that the sacrament of marriage be left alone.

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