Get Off My Back!!

July 30, 2006

It seems that some people can dish it out but they can’t take it.

I’m talking, of course, about the people who come and write nasty comments on my blog, telling me how bad Christians/Christianity is, and praising Islam to the sky. Or the other people who have nothing but negative comments about anything but Islam.

I would like to remind these people that this is a free country, and that is exactly why I moved here in the first place! I had hoped that I could be friends, or at least friendly, with Moslems here, despite our religious differences, but it seems as though they won’t accept me unless I accept Mohammed.

That is even worse than the bad tradition in some churches that says you can’t marry someone from the same Religion but different church, or else you are an adulterer.

Why can’t everyone just tolerate everyone else and love each other? I do not agree with any of Big Mo’s “teachings” but I would never hate someone or even dislike them for believing them.

Can’t we agree to disagree? I’m SORRY I can’t accept what I have been taught is wrong, and I’m sure you’re sorry that you (Moslems) can’t accept Jesus as your savior, which you think is wrong, also.

I am very disturbed at this spirit of hatred that I have been noticing recently. Some of you may think that I have contributed to it, what with my acerbic posts, but I do speak in love. If you could see me saying what I have written, you would know that the expression on my face is a look of love, and that my voice is a relatively soft whisper of adoration for you, my Moslem brothers, whom I would die to save. Of course I am not sinless like Christ, so it wouldn’t make a difference whether I died for you or not, but at least you know that I would do it, and not just to “prove I was right.”

I am also very sad about the fighting between Egyptians, Christian and Moslem, and Protestant and Orthodox. But this is another blog altogether. In PEACE and LOVE,
Salib

Please note that I, Salib, have not written or contributed any of the following, I actually saw it on another blog. Please share this story or link with all of your Christian friends, for it seems as though we will need to help this Brother out at some not-so-distant time. Here you go, the full item:

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“Hooray for Michigan State University and Professor Wichman”

Well, what do we have here. Looks like a small case of some people being
able to dish it out, but not take it. Let’s start at the top. The story
begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named
Indrek Wichman. Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student’s
Association. The e-mail was in response to the students’ protest of the
Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The
group had complained the cartoons were “hate speech.”

Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following:

Dear Moslem Association:

As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest
your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things
like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings,
suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in
Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of
Scandinavian girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder
of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many,
many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and
uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceeded
with your infantile “protests.” If you do not like the values of the
West — see the 1st Amendment — you are free to leave. I hope for God’s sake that
that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral
homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially,

I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering”

Well! As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn’t like
this too well. They’re demanding Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory
diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination
for freshman. How nice. But now the Michigan chapter of CAIR has jumped into
the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently
doesn’t believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.
For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail
was private, and they don’t intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That
will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made
public and wouldn’t have used the same strong language if he’d known it
was going to get out.

How’s the left going to handle this one? If you’re in favor of the freedom
of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be
demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it.

Hey folks, send this to everybody and ask them to do the same and tell
them to keep passing it around till the whole country gets it.
We are in a war.

MIDLAND, Texas, July 14 /Christian Newswire/ — CAA learned that a prominent female House Church leader was imprisoned in Jilin province on July 14, 2006. Additionally, in the past few days, 17 House Church pastors were detained at Henan and Sichuan Province.

Photo: Detention paper by Langzhong City PSB, Sichuan province
According to eyewitness reports, on July 11, pastor WANG Jinhua, a prominent House Church leader in China was arrested along with her husband Mr. XU Jinfu and their 8-year-old son XU Enze from their home in Fengman District, Jilin City, Jilin province. Sources familiar with this arrest told CAA that the 8- year-old boy was released after some members of the church led by pastor Wang went to the PSB of Fengman District of Jilin city to ask for the boy’s release.

After being interrogated for three days and nights, pastor WANG was transferred to Baishan Prison in Baishan Town, Jilin city. Her husband Mr. XU Jinfu was released on the same day. The interrogators signed their date of pastor WANG’s transfer and Mr. XU’s release as July 12th instead of July 14th in order to cover their illegal extension of summon time.

Following the couple’s arrest, another major leader of that church pastor YU Peng was forced to flee and is now on the run because he was put on the wanted list by the government. At least 3 other leaders of that church were questioned by the PSB of Jilin city. They were asked about pastor WANG’s relationship with “Three-Grade Servant”. “Three-Grade Servant” was a controversial religious group whose six major leaders including its Founder XU Shuangfu were sentenced to death on July 5, 2006.

Pastor WANG used to be a leader in the “Three-Grade Servant” group. However she left that group ten years ago and started her current evangelical house church.

Meanwhile, at 9:30am on July 9th, 15 House church leaders were arrested at Nanyuan House Church, Wangcun Town, Wolong District, Nanyang city, Henan province. 20 PSB members with 5 police vehicles raided the church when about 30 church members were having their Sunday service. According to eyewitness reports, PSB members broke the door of the church and confiscated the church offering box and loudspeaker. Four of them were released in the afternoon on the same day. 11 of them are still being detained. Five of them received criminal detention papers at Shangzhuang Detention Center and six received administrative detention papers at Yong An Lu Detention Center. The arrested 11 leaders were accused of “engaging evil cult” activities. CAA learned 10 names of the arrested. They are pastor LIU Wanlong, WANG Jie, CHEN Tongqing, CHEN Guangzhou, CHEN Guangzhi, ZHANG Wei, Xiao Qin(whose last name is not available), Xiao Fei(whose last name is not available), DUAN Xiaotong and his wife(whose name is not available).

CAA also learned when Pastor CHEN Tongqing’s wife and son went to the detention center to look for pastor CHEN, both of them were beaten by the prison police and Chen’s son was forced to go back home handing in his dad’s bibles and other Christian literature. The police confiscated these books.

In Sichuan province, at 2pm on July 6th, two House Church leaders from Chongqing city pastor DAN Wei and his wife XIAO Tianmin were arrested and imprisoned by 4 members of PSB of Langzhong City with 2 village officials while they were leading a Bible study at a host family at Beiguan Town, Langzhong City, Sichuan province. Both of them were accused as “evil cult “ leaders.

“The international community should be aware of the recent escalating campaign against evangelical house churches by the Chinese government in the name of clampdown against the controversial Three-Grade Servant group,” said Rev. Bob Fu of CAA, “We urge President Bush and other administration officials to speak up more forcefully on the deteriorating situation of religious persecution in China.” CAA urges the Chinese government to immediately release these arrested pastors.

Communicate your concern to the Chinese authority at the following address:

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
http://www.china-embassy.org/
TEL: 202-7456743
Fax: 202- 588-0032 ; 202-7457473
Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 328-2512

Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC
PO Box 1741, The State Council, Beijing, PRC (zip code 100017)
Contact Phone:+86-10-66012399

Ms. Wu Aiying, minister of Ministry of Justice of PRC
Tel: +86-10-65205114
Fax: +86-10-64729863
Address: No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)

MIDLAND, Texas, July 6 /Christian Newswire/ — China Aid Association learned in the verdict of the first trial of a controversial religious group, three leaders were sentenced to death and another three were given two-year suspended death sentences. One more House Church leader was arrested at Sichuan Province today.

According to a reliable source that obtained a copy of the verdict issued by the Chief Judge Mr. Liu Qingyi of Intermediate People’s Court of Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province, June 28, and delivered to the defense lawyers July 5, 2006, among the seventeen convicted in this case, Mr. Xu Shuangfu (60-years-old), Mr. Li Maoxing (55-years- old) and Mr. Wang Jun (36-years-old) were sentenced to death for murder, Ms. Zhang Min (35- years-old), Ms. Zhu Lixin (37-years-old) and Mr. Ben Zhonghai were given two-year suspended death sentences on the same charge. The remaining eleven received 3 to 15 year sentences.

Ms. Xu Baiyin, Mr. Xu Shuangfu’s daughter, who was notified of her father’s death sentence by the lawyers, told CAA this morning she believed her father is innocent and said, “The truth will be revealed one day before God’s judgment seat even if the justice is not done in this life.” CAA learned Xu has instructed his lawyers to continue to appeal to the high court. Two well-known defense lawyers Mr. Li Heping, Esq., of the Global Law (Gaobo Longhua) Firm, Beijing, and Mr. Zhang Lihui, Esq., of the Beijing Branch of the Xingyun Law Office, Zhejiang Province believe their clients are not guilty based upon the government’s evidence. According to the defense statement, the two lawyers found Xu Shuangfu’s confession was obtained by severe torture.

According to the prosecution paper accusations, in the period from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Xu Wenku (also known as Xu Shuangfu and Xu Shengguang) along with sixteen of his top leaders, murdered twenty leaders of the Eastern Lightning group. Xu was also accused of defrauding his congregation of over thirty- two million Yuan ($4 million).

Xu has been the leader of the Chinese religious group known as the Three Grades of Servants with a nationwide membership of over half a million. CAA believes that while many of mainstream Chinese House churches identify Mr. Xu’s group as doctrinally cultic, nevertheless, their basic constitutional rights should be protected.

Meanwhile, one more House Church pastor was arrested at 2:10 PM, July 6 (Beijing Time) at No. 4 Village, Hongshan Town, Langzhong City, Sichuan Province. Pastor Wang Shixiu (46-years-old) was shopping in her village when she was arrested by the PSB. Seven of the thirty leaders who were arrested May 28th, are still in custody. Dr. Li Baiguang, a legal scholar who met with President Bush in May, has taken up this case as the pastors’ legal representative. The Langzhong City government has agreed to an administrative review on July 5th.

CAA also learned that in the past few months, the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province has launched a campaign to clamp down on house churches there. With the exception of the house church led by well- known leader Pastor Samuel Lamb, most of the house churches there have been pressured to close. Two major ones, Meixin House Church and Wu Yang House Church had already been forced to shut down. One leader, who wishes to remain anonymous, told CAA that the police even brandished AK-47 rifles in a recent raid on his church.

CAA calls upon the international community to continue to press the Chinese government to respect the Chinese citizens’ constitutional rights on religious freedom. CAA urges the Chinese government to immediately release these pastors.

Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC
PO Box 1741, The State Council, Beijing, PRC (zip code 100017)
Contact Phone:+86-10-66012399
Email: gazette@mail.gov.cn

Ms. Wu Aiying, minister of Ministry of Justice of PRC
Tel: +86-10-65205114
Fax: +86-10-64729863
Email: pufamaster@legalinfo.gov.cn
Address:No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)

Issued by CAA on July 6, 2006

Another excellent article on the topic, visit Dr. Sally Bishai’s op-ed about The Marriage Three Proposal.

By Andrea Lafferty
Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition
http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=2784

July 12, 2006 – Defenders of the institution of traditional marriage were encouraged by three state court decisions in the past week. The Supreme Courts of Georgia and New York came down on the side of judicial restraint in legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage. And, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court actually ruled correctly on a marriage amendment.

In Georgia, the court ruled that a marriage amendment passed by 77% of the voters in 2004 was constitutional and overturned a lower court decision violating the clearly expressed will of the people. Georgians have the right to amend their own constitution to define marriage as a one-man, one-woman union.

In New York, homosexual activists had challenged a ban on same-sex marriage, claiming that the New York Constitution mandated such marriages. The 4-2 decision declared that there is no constitutional right in New York for homosexuals to marry. The court also noted that such decisions should be in the hands of the legislature, not the courts. The New York Court of Appeals displayed judicial restraint, a welcome change from judicial activists who routinely impose their political agendas upon the American people.

In writing about the New York decision, Newsday described these judicial activists as individuals who view the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions and laws like Etch-A-Sketches. Noted Newsday, “These judges ignore what actually was intended and written, turn things upside down, shake and then write whatever they want.”

This is an apt description of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which found a “right” to homosexual marriage in the 1780 Constitution of that state. A review of history shows that sodomy was a criminal offense in Massachusetts in the 18th century (and elsewhere), so it is unlikely that the state Constitution mandates same-sex marriage. The Supreme Judicial Court obviously viewed the state Constitution as an Etch-A-Sketch and eagerly imposed homosexual marriage upon Massachusetts.

Fortunately, this same court recently ruled that the Massachusetts state legislature and the people could vote on a marriage amendment to overturn this tyrannical decision. It was good of them to acknowledge the democratic process. Perhaps, there is hope for Massachusetts after all.

Judicial restraint is an alien concept to many judges, who view themselves as the real rulers of our nation. Judge Robert Bork has described these judges as “our robed masters” and has warned against the dangerous anti-democratic values that motivate these men and women.

A decade ago, Bork warned about judicial activism on the Supreme Court, noting they are “… our masters in a way that no President, Congressman, governor, or other elected official is. They order our lives and we have no recourse, no means of resisting, no means of altering their ukases. They are, indeed, robed masters.”

This is why it is so important for the Senate to confirm judicial conservatives to the federal bench—including the next vacancy on the Supreme Court. We must have men and women on the bench who understand that their role is to interpret, not make the laws. We must confirm judges who believe in judicial restraint and are not motivated by a desire to impose their own wills upon the American people.

Our choice is clear: We will be ruled by the people and their representatives or by unaccountable robed masters. Americans must demand that the Senate confirm judicial conservatives to our courts—or we will continue to lose our democratic freedoms to judicial tyrants.

MEDIA ADVISORY, June 19 /Christian Newswire/ — In response to Texas congressman Michael McCaul’s resolution on the plight of Palestinian Christians, Open Bethlehem’s chief executive Leila Sansour, a Christian from Bethlehem, has sent a letter to congress expressing her community’s shock at the gross misrepresentation of the real threat facing Christians of the Holy Land and has urged congress to pay heed to the real threat to the oldest Christian community in the world.

The letter dated 13 June states: “We are disappointed by the latest resolution drafted by congressman McCaul and congressman Crowley purporting to act on our behalf. The resolution seriously misrepresents the situation facing Christians in the Holy Land”.

The ill-conceived resolution accuses the Palestinian Authority of discrimination towards their own Christian community and blames it for the current wave of emigration of the Christians from the region. The resolution was drafted without any consultation with churches or Christian organizations in the Holy Land.

The resolution ignores the numerous calls from churches in Jerusalem and Bethlehem – and the overwhelming body of reports from international human rights organizations – that warn of the devastating effect of the Israeli system of closure, collective punishment and the construction of the wall. In the Holy City of Bethlehem, the wall forcefully expropriates most of Bethlehem’s valuable land and historic landmarks, depriving many Christian families of their homes, barring access to family and jobs in Jerusalem and all the lands that are on the other side of the wall.

By perpetuating the misconception that it is their Muslim neighbors and the Palestinian Authority who are creating this crisis, rather than policies imposed by the Israeli government, congressman McCaul is further entrenching the problems facing the Christian community rather than helping to address them.

The Open Bethlehem campaign was created to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem with full support from the Patriarchs of the churches in Jerusalem and all Bethlehem Civil institutions. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received the first Open Bethlehem passport, lending his support to the campaign alongside international figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Jimmy Carter.

Open Bethlehem is encouraged by the interest shown by churches and church leaders across the US and the work of rep.Henry Hyde who has sought to bring congress’s attention to the plight of Christians in Palestine.

In a letter to the White House last Friday, Rep. Hyde stated that the Wall and expanding settlements are, “irreversibly damaging the dwindling Christian community.”

The report says that “the Bethlehem area is home to over 20 Israeli settlements and there are plans to build more. The settlements and the barrier completely encircle the Christian triangle of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour (Shepherd’s Field).” In addition to causing housing and land shortages, “this construction physically obstructs the Bethlehem community from its spiritual, cultural and economic lifeline in Jerusalem.”

Since 2000, approx. 3,000 Christians from Bethlehem have emigrated. The UN states that: “This economic emigration will have a long-term impact on the multi- cultural character that has defined the city of Bethlehem for centuries.”

Leila Sansour says: “Palestinian Christians could very soon become unsustainable as a community. Their erosion will mean an end to sacred Christian traditions that go back to the time of Jesus, and an end to the presence of Christianity in the Holy Land. At this critical time it is imperative that Christians around the world act and speak responsibly about this issue. It is imperative that those who want to see an open, democratic and peaceful Middle East engage honestly with our plight.”
Church leaders from across the Christian denominations have criticised the resolution. In the letter to US congress Open Bethlehem has urged the formation of a fact finding mission from congress that would help representatives become closely informed about the situation.

Full text of the letter and resolution see http://www.openbethlehem.org