Pork Has Nothing to Do with Funding the War

Pork Has Nothing to Do with Funding the War
By Sharon Hughes
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 25, 2007

While most of the media attention about the various Iraq-war funding bills has been focused on the battle between the Democrat-led Congress and President Bush on a time-table for troop withdrawal, more attention needs to be given to the ‘pork’ that has been added to the Democrat-sponsored bills, pork the White House calls, “excessive and extraneous non-emergency spending.”

Pork for items such as:

Billions of dollars in domestic spending for farm drought relief, medical coverage for poor children and hurricane recovery

Projects on the reconstruction of New Orleans levees and peanut storehouses in Georgia

$25 million for spinach growers hit by last year’s E. coli scare

$500 million for wildfire prevention for the West Coast

$120 million for shrimp and Atlantic menhaden fishermen

-$15 million to prevent salt water ‘intrusion’ on Louisiana rice fields

And there’s more as the New York Times Caucus Blog lists:

-$3 million for funding a sugar cane Hawaiian co-op
-$24 million for funding for sugar beets
-$2 million to the University of Vermont Education Excellence Program
-$25 million for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program
-$48 million for disaster reconstruction for NASA
-$13 million for mine safety research
-$25 million for asbestos abatement and tunnel repair at the Capitol Power Plant
-$640 million for LIHEAP
-$13.2 million for avian flu research and monitoring
-$3.5 million related to guided tours of the U.S. Capitol

-$22.8 million for geothermal research and development
-$12 million for forest service money (requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget)

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that this amounts to the Democrats trying to buy votes — even trying to buy the President’s vote with the last one listed. But it’s not working.

Here’s an example that the The Washington Post points out: “For more than a year, Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R) has tried unsuccessfully to secure federal funds to prevent salt water from intruding on rice fields in his lowland Louisiana district. So it came as a surprise last week when Boustany found $15 million in the House’s huge war spending bill for his rice farmers. He hadn’t even asked that the bill include it.”

Fortunately, Boustany is not buying it. He said, “It gives me no satisfaction to vote against measures that I have been working for since even before [Hurricane] Katrina, but I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that does this to our troops,” Boustany said yesterday, decrying what he called the “cheap politics” of using disaster aid to win votes on a measure this controversial.”

Isn’t it interesting that Nancy Pelosi said in response to the president’s refusal to sign the last version of the bill, “It is clear that the difference between the Democrats and the president is the issue of accountability. He will not accept any accountability or responsibility for what is happening (in Iraq).”


Is filling the bill with pork to get votes being responsible and “accountable”?

John Bolten, former Ambassador to the UN, said the Democrats have made it impossible for the president to sign the bill because of insisting on a timetable for troop withdrawal. “Whether waiveable or not, timelines send exactly the wrong signal to our adversaries, to our allies and, most importantly, to the troops in the field.

Again, the The Washington Post reported, “Republicans say the Democrats’ failure to pass a “clean” funding bill without any conditions has hurt military operations around the world by requiring Pentagon planners to juggle money among accounts. Democrats say there is enough money to fund Iraq operations into July — more than enough time for the deadlock to be resolved.

I say, forget the strong-arming troopwithdrawal requirements, cut the pork, and fund our soldiers!

Congress can come up with other bills for the ‘pork’ items and even on a time-table for troop withdrawal, but let’s stop the “unaccountable” antics of loading a much needed funding bill, now.

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Memorial Day Thoughts What is to be done about the Muslim menace?

Memorial Day Thoughts

What is to be done about the Muslim menace?

It threatens civilization like no foe since Nazi Germany.

It openly plots and plans our doom and destruction.

It is developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

It commands seemingly endless hordes of suicide bombers.

It worships, practices, glorifies terrorism.

It brainwashes and indoctrinates, preaches violence and hate.

It is hopelessly reactionary and repressive.

It is incredibly barbaric

It enslaves and oppresses.

It spreads like cancer.

It is violent and ugly.

It is truly evil.

What is to be done?

Diplomacy and dialog will do no good.

Coexistence is impossible.

Appeasement will backfire.

What is to be done?

This is what is to be done:

The Muslim menace must be annihilated.

By any and all means necessary.

If that means the destruction of Mecca, so be it.

If that means deporting the Muslim aliens, so be it.

If that means attacking Iran with nuclear weapons–before Iran nukes America and Israel–so be it.

Whatever it takes, the Muslim menace must be utterly destroyed and defeated.

By any and all means necessary.

We did not start this war, but we must fight and win it.

There is no alternative.

Non-Arab Iran Commands Two Arab Legions

Non-Arab Iran Commands Two Arab Legions

Islamist non-Arab Iran now has two Islamist Arab foreign legions at its command: Hezbollah and Hamas. The former proxy is Shiite and Lebanese; the latter force, Sunni and Palestinian. Both groups function as forward strike forces for Tehran’s monstrous mullahocracy; both groups are committed to the destruction of Israel and the defeat and expulsion of the United States from the Middle East.

Iran’s secular (for how long, who knows?) Arab ally, Syria, is going along; when war breaks out, it will almost certainly join the conflict with its missiles and, even, perhaps, chemical weapons.

The situation is unprecedented and dire–and completely beyond the comprehension of America’s worst-ever Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and Israel’s worst-ever Foreign Minister, the intellectually and ethically challenged Tzipi Livni. Their collaboration has hurt their nation’s interests immeasurably.

Israel is basically left with no alternative except all-out war against its enemies, which, as we have reported, are actively planning to change history on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s dramatic Six-Day War victory in June 1967.

North Korea’s Real Target Was Washington

Friday, May 25, 2007


North Korea’s Real Target Was Washington

The missiles that North Korea test-fired Friday–modified, longer-range versions of Chinese-built, Silkworm anti-ship missiles– were physically aimed at Japan but politically directed at the United States.

When all is said and done, the Stalinist/Kimist regime–which is protected and sustained by China–is still fighting the Korean War. The North will not rest until it succeeds in driving the US military from the Korean Peninsula.

But America’s accommodating, dumbbell diplomats are likely to downplay the importance of Pyongyang’s fresh provocation.

The party line by the US State Department will probably be that while the incident is “not helpful,” we should take comfort in the fact that the missiles launched towards the Sea of Japan Friday were of the shorter-range variety and not Rodong or Taepodong 1 ballistic missiles. Merely routine exercises, the diplomats and their friendly media mouthpieces will assure us. Besides, they will remind us, the North has signed onto nuclear disarmament; excessive criticism of the test-firings could kill the deal, or at least complicate matters needlessly.

And so on and so forth.

Last month, North Korea used a massive military parade to display a newly developed ballistic missile capable of reaching the US territory of Guam.

In July of last year, North Korea–or the DPRK, as US Assistant Secretary of State delights in calling the giant concentration camp–test-fired a salvo of short and longer reange missiles, including the Taepodong-2, which can reach parts of the US.

Pyongyang provoked the US again in October with its first-ever explosion of a nuclear device. (China Confidential predicted the nuclear test–to the day.)

The State Department and its friends in the US foreign policy establishment responded true to form–by making the case that the nuclear detonation actually showed that North Korea has yet to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon.

In Frebruary, North Korea agreed to begin dismantling its nuclear program. But the regime blew off a key deadline and remains in clear violation of the flawed accord.

In addition to its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea has a robust biological weapons program that the US and the international community have decided to ignore.


North Korea Stages Fresh Provocation

Iran’s nuclear tag-team partner is back in the ring.

North Korea fired a salvo of short-range missiles towards the Sea of Japan on Friday morning, Kyodo news agency said, quoting Japanese and American officials.

Pyongyang’s provocation comes nearly a year after its July 2006 test-firing of ballistic and short-range missiles.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The realities of Muslim Immigration

The realities of Muslim Immigration

James Lewis
The time for taboos is over. We have to talk about the way in which immigration will change the United States and the world.
In particular, much of the world has never understood why the United States gives such warm support to besieged democracies — like Israel, Taiwan, Poland during the Cold War,  a near-dead Britain during the Nazi Blitz, the Free French, and many other  democracies under assault. Today Europeans pretend not to understand why we overthrew the Nazi-clone Saddam Hussein — even though they continue to benefit from our actions against the Nazis and Soviets, every single minute of their self-indulgent lives.
Many Muslims come from utterly indoctrinated countries in the Middle East, where Jew-hatred and anti-democratic ideology are daily fare, pervading radio, TV, newspapers, and the educational system. Wall-to-wall propaganda works. Single individuals cannot withstand total saturation of their lives by ideologies of hatred. All Arab countries, Iran and Turkey, have shown the TV soap opera version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on their state-sponsored television channels, to wild  applause. http://www.memri.org  
Yet  millions of Muslims are eager to move to the United States, in good part to make America more like the societies they are leaving.
The crucial question is: Will immigrants become Americans?  Or will they turn this country into Europe or the Third World? Because that is their clearly stated intention — ranging from Mexican Azatlan nationalists, to Muslims, and to European socialists. They have all been taught that America is evil, but they still want to come here to make us enlightened — by their standards. Liberal legislation is designed to do exactly that.
Steven A. Camarota is the director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. His 2003 essay, The Muslim Wave: Dealing with Immigration from the Middle East is required reading in the crucial time of debate on the Senate immigration bill.

“… continued Mideast immigration appears likely to lead to changes in U.S. policy, as elected officials respond to Muslim Americans’ growing electoral importance. Their increasing political influence was evident earlier this year when three Democratic House members from Michigan, whose districts contain fast-growing Arab immigrant communities, were among only 21 members voting against a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel against terrorism.”

This is four years later, and we need to think and act clearly about the coming decades for America.
As Camarota pointed out:

Reducing legal immigration from the Mideast is a sensible policy, but the only way this could ever happen would be the enactment of an immigration cap that would apply across the board – to all immigrants, wherever they might hail from. The same holds for efforts to deal with illegal immigration: Given limited resources, in a time of war, it makes sense – over the short term – to pursue with special vigor those immigration-law violators who are Middle Easterners. But over the long term, such a policy would be unfair and politically unsustainable. Reducing the overall immigration level is the wisest plan, for the decades to come.

But we have not succeeded in regulating immigration in any sensible fashion. Current legislation may triple legal immigration. The Senate bill proponents are now trying to silence and twist rational opposition.
Don’t accept any taboos on free speech when it concerns the vital future of this country — which is still, as Abraham Lincoln  proclaimed, the “last, best hope of mankind.” 
Please let it remain that.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com

The most expensive ex-president ever

Thomas Lifson
Bookworm catches ex-president Clinton (I love that phrase, especially the first syllable) shamelessly seeking a lavish taxpayer subsidy for his career as an ex-president, one which has proven extraordinarily lucrative (for him, not for those of us subsidizing him). Clinton wants $1.16 million, with his office in New York costing half a million of that sum. This compares to $175,000 for G.H.W Bush and $102,000 for Mr. Peanut.

The Washington Post laid out the facts , but Bookworm did a little digging and puts it all in perspective.

I personally don’t recall asking him to headquarter himself in the most expensive city in America? Did you? And if he voluntarily chooses to pay a premium to be near the best babes . . . um, I mean business opportunities, should we be forced to pay for that decision?
The other little tidbit was the fact that Clinton has earned nearly $40 million six and a half years. That’s not Hillary’s money. Just Bill’s. And that doesn’t even count the $191,000 pension the American taxpayers give him annually (money that I’m okay about). And speaking of that nearly $40 million in speaking fees, money he’s pocketed without regard to us, it appears that he’s booked some of those engagements using phones he’s now trying to charge to the American taxpayers. Oh, and did I mention that he wants to have us pay an extra $10,000 a year for added health insurance, a surprising overlay given his wife’s superb Senatorial coverage?
Considering Bill’s huge income, and potential income, not to mention his “I’m one of you little people” position, you’d think that he could donate his costs to the American people. For him, the $1.6 mil he’s sticking us for is a drop in the bucket.

As Bookworm notes, the man has no shame.

Pacifism and the Sword: Fight or Flight?

Pacifism and the Sword: Fight or Flight?

By James M. Arlandson

After I finished the series on Pacifism and the Sword in the New Testament, someone wrote me these questions:
What if the Church is targeted for persecution by the government or by large groups of extremists, but the government does not come to the aid of Christians? For example, rioting Muslims in Nigeria or Sudan attack churches on a wide scale. Can Christians defend themselves, because the State does not come to their aid?
Those questions slide into areas that my series did not cover exactly. But the reality behind them is deeply moving and tragic, so I decided to tackle them in public, after thinking about them for a while.
By way of review, all of the articles in the series before this addendum are directed at a readership that lives in relative freedom and peace under a tolerant government.
I also write in nearly every article that the Church should never convene a council or general assembly to raise militias in the name of God or of the Church, in order to wage war or attack nonconformists. This New Testament teaching speaks against aggression to force people to convert or to rob their resources. This is not self-defense or the protection of the oppressed.
In Part Four I analyze Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 and 4:15, which say that God ordains governing authorities. But in the larger context the passages assume that the government does not become extreme or fall apart, so that anarchy or extreme persecution prevail.
Finally, in Parts Two and Four I conclude from Scripture that individual Christians may own a firearm (or not) for the protection of their home, for example.
Therefore, I do not deny that an individual Christian may own a firearm to defend his home, for example. But he must obey the law and avoid vices like over-inflated egos and recklessness. Also, he does not officially represent the Church as an institution. He owns a weapon privately, as a citizen of society. It is best to keep the kingdom of God (which creates the Church) and the kingdom of Caesar separate. Then we will have clarity.
However, those questions (above) are about anarchy and self-defense and the protection of the oppressed. The assumption is that the State no longer exists or is unable or wrongly unwilling to protect its persecuted citizens. The questions also assume forming groups for self-defense, not only maintaining self-defense individually. All of this is a thorny challenge.
Under those extreme conditions, here are two options that a network of churches may follow, very cautiously and wisely. The options come out of my study of the New Testament sketched out in the entire series. I will assume that readers have carefully read each article.
Option One: Fight
It must be conceded from the outset here that this option may be the worst one for many situations around the world. It assumes that a large region or nation is chaotic and anarchic. It assumes that the government is unable or unwilling to come to the aid of most or all of its persecuted citizens. We are not talking about an individual Christian getting slapped on the cheek or church windows being broken. So the context of Option One is crucial. Readers must not gloss over it. Also, extreme cases make bad general policies, so readers must be careful about applying Option One out of context. Thus, no country in the West can claim such extremities, particularly America. That insults the truly oppressed, who are stuck, for example, in refugee camps and are regularly attacked by thugs. We live in the freest society in the world; therefore, neither the far right nor the far left hiding in the mountains, so to speak, can justify violence for political ends.
With that said, Option One must be explored when real-life and extreme circumstances rapidly develop. It serves only as a last resort. Two New Testament bedrock principles guide the ten practical suggestions (not the Ten Commandments) that follow.
The first principle says that people have the right to defend the weak and persecuted and themselves from attacks, according to the full teaching of the New Testament (see Part Five) in the series and especially the Conclusion). The entire ministry of Jesus was devoted to helping the weak and harassed members of society. Fortunately, in his historical context, the religious bullies he confronted – or to be more accurate, they confronted him – did not destroy homes or places of worship or attack people physically on a large or small scale. But they were not above devouring widows’ property (Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47). Also, the entire Bible is filled with references about protecting and helping the downtrodden (Ex. 23:6, 11; Ps. 41:1; 82:3-4; Prov. 19:17, to reference only these). And we saw in the Introduction to this addendum that individual Christians are permitted to defend their homes, according to Scripture, as explained in Parts Two and Four. The timeless principle from these passages and Jesus’ ministry says that defending the oppressed is God-ordained, even if done in a physical but lawful way. So we should not take “turn the other cheek” too far, according to Part Five.
The second bedrock principle says that the kingdom of God must be kept separate from the kingdom of Caesar or the State. That is the clear teaching of the New Testament, expressing divine wisdom. When the Church (which is created by the kingdom) was fused with the State, the Church sometimes (not always) in its history committed unjust religious violence. Excessive religious zeal is unattractive, and religious violence coming from such zeal is doubly repulsive. The evidence for the two-kingdom theology is brought out in the entire series, so we have no time to cover old ground now. Readers are invited to click on Parts One and Two at the end of this addendum to get a start.
So, under real-life extreme conditions like those in Africa, what is the best way to defend and protect the persecuted and to work towards not fusing the two realms together, in the long run? Here are ten practical guidelines that are based on the two bedrock principles. For clarity and emphasis I repeat key clauses throughout this section.
(1) In extreme circumstances and as a last resort, if Christians are forced to form armed organizations to defend themselves and to protect the needy (and organizing in this way is a dangerous prospect because so many things can go wrong), then they must still fight for the freedom of all peoples of all religions. They must be religiously neutral. In effect, they become secular in their public actions and goals, though they are Christians in their personal and private lives. Such organizations nobly and unselfishly seek to reestablish the State without themselves becoming extremists and taking over the neutral government and turning it into a religious state, of sorts. The ultimate goal is to reestablish religious freedom and to throw off religious oppression, as seen everywhere in Islamic countries (see points three, five, and ten in this addendum, below).
To understand the importance of the public and private spheres, click on Part Four in the series, and find the section “Public and Private.” Though the distinction may be nuanced, it is critically significant.
(2) The first point means that such armed organizations, fighting to keep the kingdom of God separate from the State and to help the downtrodden, must not fall into the trap of becoming thuggish Christian militias. After the pain of persecution has gone away, they may become violent, suppressing religious dissidents or non-Christians. These organizations must not fall prey to the policies and goals of the very radicals who are attacking them. State-sponsored religious violence is especially repugnant.
(3) To fill out the second point more fully, such organizations must not copy the radical policies of original Islam that impose religion on people and that pass anti-apostasy laws, for example. These unjust laws – unjust  because they suppress religious freedom – forbid people to leave Islam, whether becoming atheists or Christians. “Apostates” may be executed under the Islam of old and of today.
(4) These organizations taking a religiously neutral stance and becoming secular in their public practices and goals must not adopt odd names like “the Lord’s Resistance Army.” This misrepresents the essential message of the gospel. If they insist on a name, it should reflect the purpose of gaining religious and political freedom for all people of all religions. The use of names may seem technical, but names and purposes are important for the public that is watching closely, especially under severe circumstances. However, see point ten (below) for a cautionary note about radical Islam, politics, and the freedom of religion.
(5) Here are some acts (only representative samples) that such organizations must not do. They must not exact revenge on civilians. That is, they must not attack innocent Muslims, for example, in reprisal for radical Muslims attacking innocent Christians. The protectors of the weak who are fighting for all people under a religiously neutral banner must not lower themselves to the level of Muslim radicals. Proper defenders must follow justice and fairness. They fight only against the opposing militias or military. To cite more representative examples of what not to do, they must never force children or adolescents to fight. They must never enslave people. They must never rape anyone. They must not rob or pillage. If individual Christians serving in these last-resort organizations are confused about justice and fairness during conflicts, then the Geneva Conventions still has good guidelines. Leaders in the African self-defense organizations protecting everyone who is oppressed should study the rules of the Geneva Conventions and inform their individual fighters about them.
(6) As to purpose, after the organizations in Africa have restored order, no one should believe that shariah or Islamic law is just. Click on the link to find out why it is unjust by its very nature. No society should yield to it, if that society values religious and political freedom. It must be resisted by words and legislation alone, after peace has been effectuated.
(7) After a religiously neutral government has been established, then African Christians will be free to preach their message in an environment of peace and tolerance. That is the best way to spread the message of the gospel – preaching alone. (It is the best way for members of other religions to spread their message too.) Any conversion to one religion or another should come out of a free conscience and a free choice, after hearing words alone. No conversion should happen with swords (or modern weapons) in the foreground or in the background. And no conversion to another religion should be stopped by threats of violence, “legal” or illegal. For Christians, spreading the Word is the ultimate goal. Listeners vote with their feet. That is, if they like the gospel, they will follow it gladly. If not, they are free to go their own way without fear of harassment. To repeat, Christians must not copy Islam that too often oppresses people who refuse its message.
This translation and report says that six million African Muslims leave Islam each year. The link in point six (above) about shariah gives us a hint as to why so many leave.
(8) To repeat and summarize the main thesis of the entire series and of this addendum, the kingdom of God must be separated from the kingdom of Caesar or the State. In the extreme case of a State not existing either de jure or de facto, all armed African organizations in the process of defending freedom for all must accomplish their goals as religiously neutral public organizations, though individual Christians make up the organizations. This may seem too technical, but, again, click on Part Four in the series, finding “Public and Private.”
(9) Once peace and order has been restored, keeping the two realms of the kingdom of God and the State separate expresses the wisdom of God, according to the New Testament. In contrast, this divine wisdom is not found in the Quran, the Sunnah, and Islamic law, as Islamic scholars understand them, fusing together Mosque and State. Both institutions are embodied in the one person of Muhammad. In any case, fighting to keep the two realms separate and even to reestablish a religiously neutral state is the highest and most virtuous goal of these religiously neutral and last-resort organizations made up of individual Christians. They justly do this so people of all walks of life and religions can breathe free. No citizen should ever have to come under a church and a state that have been fused together. To judge from history, it is a sad fact that the two institutions (fused as one) may eventually impose a religion on everyone or require a tax from unconverted “second-class” citizens.
This Reaction Statement by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria strikes the right balance on the heartbreaking problem of Muslim extremists attacking Christians and churches on a large scale. He asks the government to restore order, church buildings, and homes. If I understand his Statement correctly, he seems to value the separation of Church and State, following the New Testament. But the Statement assumes that Nigeria still has a government intact; Option One does not assume this.
(10) Once lasting peace and order have been restored, the organizations defending the weak and persecuted for secular-neutral goals must disband. They should return to normal life. They should, however, get involved in the legal political process. Ballots, not bullets, are the best way to ensure a lasting peace in a nation that permits free speech and free political parties (plural or more than one).
But a word of caution. The political process must not yield to radical policies as reasonable people understand them. As noted, shariah is not moderate. It oppresses people, especially women, by its very nature. The policies of fundamental Islam are incompatible with liberal democracies. To step outside of the African context only for a brief moment, Lebanon must be careful not to surrender to shariah and fundamentalism. (It goes without saying that terrorist groups are not invited to form political parties.) Extremists, such as Hizb’allah, by their nature are unreasonable. If given enough power, they will impose shariah, believing (wrongly) that God is leading them. And it is a fool’s errand to talk them out of their extreme and barbaric goals that typically hide behind sweet words and warm smiles and are implemented in small steps.
These ten New Testament guidelines based on two bedrock principles reflect what the Founders of the USA worked out, for the most part. However, chaos and anarchy did not prevail in the eighteenth century compared to situations in Africa today. Did militias in the American War of Independence make mistakes? Yes, because all humans do. But on the whole the early Americans followed the divine order laid out in the New Testament, whether all of them did this with full knowledge of the sacred text or not. It is a blessed fact that things worked out well. Now all Americans of all backgrounds and religions enjoy a lot of freedom, both political and religious, and a lot of prosperity today.
All reasonable people around the globe want this kind of freedom and prosperity, except the radicals and fanatics, who are unreasonable by definition. After all promoters of true freedom restore lasting order, the radicals and fanatics must be resisted only by words alone and by moderate laws that ensure freedom for everyone, especially women.
Option Two: Flight
This option may be the best one during times of severe and widespread persecution, particularly for civilians caught in the crossfire of bullets. But the option assumes that a moderate, nonextremist government has the opportunity and the means to restore peace and freedom, eventually.
This option depends on a brief history lesson from the early church. Saul (later known more commonly as Paul) used to persecute the early Christians, before he had his Damascus Road experience and converted (Acts 9). He received this permission from the high priest and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Saul approved of Stephen’s martyrdom in this passage. Then he seems to have ignited or been a leader of a general persecution of all believers. Acts 8:1-3 reads:

1 And Saul was there [at the stoning of Stephen], giving approval to [Stephen’s] death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:1-3)

Though suffering greatly, the Christians did not raise a militia to defend themselves or the weak-most of them were the weak. They did not assassinate Saul. Rather, they defended themselves by wisely fleeing the severe persecution.
These New Testament Christians practiced wisdom that is relevant to today. Civilian populations in our times must flee from conflict and severe persecution. If the church, in its entirety, has the option to seek refuge away from the conflict and severe persecution, then it should take that path. Christians may return to their homes after order has been restored by a just government, as reasonable people understand it (see the last paragraph under Option Two here for a minimal definition of a “just government”). It seems that the early Christians eventually returned to theirs, after the persecution stopped (e.g. Acts 11:1-2; 15:4).
Of course, no one needs any sacred text to tell him or her to flee persecution. But the New Testament is important for hundred of millions of Christians who may not know it fully. So it should be explained, for they may believe wrong things about it. For example, deliberately seeking or fatalistically submitting to martyrdom is nowhere taught in the New Testament. Jesus had a unique and special call to die for the sins of the world. No one else has his call.
Simply said, it is often best to walk or run away from trouble (Matthew 10:23; Luke 21:20-21), though flight itself is a hardship. No one has to fight all the time. In fact, fighting (Option One) is the last resort, under extreme and specific circumstances. But each conflict is different, so churches must seek the wisdom of God in their own context.
I used the words “just government” but how does one define them? At a minimum, a just government has these three policies: (a) freedom of religion for all individual believers, without imposing a second-class tax on non-Muslims or members of another religion, and without imposing anti-apostasy laws, and without imposing Shariah; (b) free speech that may criticize the government or a religion; and (c) political freedom so people may form political parties. Any government that does not allow, at a minimum, all three is unjust.
The New Testament offers options and therefore freedom. Option Two may be the best in most cases, but no church should follow rigid rules. It may be possible to merge both options, in one way or another, selectively done. Or churches may come up with their own options. These ten guidelines could be expanded and more could be added in; they could also be applied to other extreme cases around the globe. In each extreme situation in which the church finds itself, leaders have plenty of discretionary choices. But I would urge all churches to follow the clear teaching of the New Testament, particularly the separation of the Church and the State, if they are forced, as a last resort, to form armed organizations for self-defense and for the protection of the oppressed living under anarchy and widespread and extreme persecution.
Next, historical events and the ideals of the New Testament may conflict, despite the best intentions of the ones who are defending themselves and the persecuted. As terrible events unfold rapidly, African Christians may not follow ideals. We should be careful not to judge them too harshly (though all criminals should be prosecuted). At least with these ten principles and with the option to flee, all Christians everywhere now have the basics of the New Testament, which provides a lot of divine guidance.
In the long run, once lasting peace and order are restored and the refugees have returned to their homes, voting is the best way to establish religious and political freedom for all. Ballots, not bullets, ensure lasting peace in a nation that allows freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of political parties (plural or more than one).
Despair is to the mind what starvation is to the body. No one should live without hope. That is a terrible plight. The free and prosperous churches around the globe should help in practical ways persecuted churches and all oppressed peoples, especially those stuck in refugee camps.
Here are the other articles in the series:

Part One:  Christians, Pacifism, and the Sword

Part Two:  Pacifism and the Sword in the Gospels

Part Three:  Soldiers, Officers, and God

Part Four:  Church and State – and the Sword

Part Five:  Should a State turn the other cheek?

Part Six:  Q & A on pacifism and the sword

Part Seven: Pacifism and the Sword: Conclusion

Many translations of the Bible may be read here.
James M. Arlandson may be reached at jamesmarlandson@hotmail.com
Compass Direct News keeps track of the persecution of Christians around the world.
Samaritan’s Purse, overseen by Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), delivers materials and food to oppressed people. I strongly recommend a donation to this organization.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide follows the plight of persecuted Christians.

Al-Qaeda in South Africa

Al-Qaeda in South Africa

By Douglas Hanson

Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury intelligence analyst, and director of policy for the Jewish Policy Center, writes in the Weekly Standard that South Africa is the newest home for worldwide terror groups.  Schanzer notes these troubling developments:

  • In May, South Africa’s intelligence minister invited Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas member and prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, to lead a delegation to South Africa.
  • In June 2003, South Africa’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Aziz Pahad, met with representatives of Hezbollah.
  • According to a U.S. intelligence estimate, al Qaeda leaders are operating throughout South Africa and are exploiting the country’s banking system; South African passports are finding their way to al Qaeda operatives worldwide.
  • In January 2007, the U.S. Treasury named two South African cousins–Junaid Dockrat and Farhad Dockrat–Specially Designated Global Terrorists for their support to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The entire article is a must read, as Schanzer cites detailed evidence of extensive terror group and the South African government.  In his words concerning the diplomatic row over the Dockrat cousins mentioned above,

Pretoria appears to have cast its lot with the two terror suspects, rather than the United States.

But after describing the detailed intelligence supporting his assertions, Schanzer soft-pedals the reasons for the South African government’s alignment with terror groups.  The history of the post-apartheid government is much more malevolent than most Americans realize.  The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated the country’s politics in the post-apartheid era and is often spoken of in neutral terms while given a pass in the international community for its efforts to “redress social injustice.”
The ANC was labeled a terrorist group prior to 1990, but despite its mainstreaming in the 1994 transition government, it officially formed an alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), and defines itself as a “disciplined force of the left.”  This is simply whitewashing the fact that the ANC was and is the political arm of global socialists who have been on the march  in Sub-Saharan Africa for decades.
Thanks to our inattention during the 60s and 70s, and the willing cooperation of the American left PR machine during its fanatical and simplistic anti-apartheid campaign during the 80s, the global proxy war in Africa has at least for the moment, tipped in favor of the forces of tyranny and their terror agents.  What at one time was a prosperous, resource rich country, with a military powerful enough to take on the forces of South-West Africa People’s Organization, the Soviet Union and Cuba, is now wallowing in the pit of failed socialist programs and officially sanctioned retribution under the guise of public unburdening and confession.
Even the normally soft Foreign Affairs magazine can’t ignore the deteriorating situation.  Jeffery Herbst notes that in effect, the ANC has a one party rule with “former Marxist activists turned top government officials” who discourage Western style economic development.  These ostensibly social justice types and their pet theories,

…have resulted in little more than the enrichment of a few black patriarchs. Meanwhile, this South Africa is being ravaged by AIDS, thanks in part to the government’s bizarre refusal for years to acknowledge the link between HIV and AIDS and its insistence that the disease can be treated with a homemade remedy.

On top of all this, the left’s institution of strict gun control measures has made South Africa such a haven for criminals that violent crime is second only to the drug cartel dominated Colombia.  These draconian gun laws have placed law abiding citizens in the crosshairs of organized criminal groups and now Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.
Like all good intentioned causes of the American left, the anti-apartheid movement focused on a truly horrible form of government and the racial oppression it engendered.  But the campaign ended up throwing the baby out with the bath water while the social justice types walked away to find their next cause.  We know that Democrats and the left take every opportunity to delay or deny the implementation of US global strategy.  What’s next?  The de-funding of the President’s and the military’s effort to deal with the African threat they helped create?
Douglas Hanson is national security affairs correspondent of American Thinker.

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