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New York Jews Blast De Blasio Over AIPAC Speech


The Third Way

A group of prominent Jewish leaders in New York have sent a letter to the city’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio sharply criticizing him for the fawning and kowtowing speech he secretly made to AIPAC. It’s short and to the point–AIPAC doesn’t speak for these Jews and, I’ll add, AIPAC doesn’t speak for most Jews or Israelis. It’s high time these people, who are not only causing immense harm to Palestinians but are also determined to lead Israelis over a cliff and US Jews to the end of the era of our history most free of anti-Semitism were confronted in no uncertain terms. They have money and hate, and nothing else. They represent no one but themselves.

Here is the letter:

View original post 302 more words

Some Things to Consider: Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus


Freedom From Religion Foundation

Freedom From Religion Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Of course one can legitimately criticize Islam without being bigoted or racist. That’s self-evident, and nobody is contesting it. And of course there are some Muslim individuals who do heinous things in the name of their religion – just like there are extremists in all religions who do awful and violent things in the name of that religion, yet receive far less attention than the bad acts of Muslims (in the following article are recent examples). Yes, “honor killings” and the suppression of women by some Muslims are heinous, just as the collaboration of US and Ugandan Christians to enact laws to execute homosexuals is heinous, and just as the religious-driven, violent occupation of Palestine, attacks on gays, and suppression of women by some Israeli Jews in the name of Judaism is heinous”.

via Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

What do you think?

Stop Killing Terrorists


Brother Andrew’s Prophetic Plea: Stop Murdering Terrorists | Christianity Today.

The Hazards of Speaking Up for Palestine


Security Barrier between Israel and West Bank/...

Security Barrier between Israel and West Bank/Palestine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve told my story before, how I grew up unreservedly Christian in the United States and accepted the importance of Israel in our (Christian) lineage and prophecy.

When I met a Nazi prison camp survivor during my college years, I was overcome with emotion. He was sitting across from me at a “dish-to-pass” we held each week at the Messianic congregation I attended in Philadelphia.

These were the years when the JDL (Jewish Defense League) was threatening to attack Messianic congregations in Philadelphia. Each Sunday, as we worshiped in our little storefront building on Chestnut Street, danger was palpable.  Heads would cautiously turn towards the front door each time it opened during the sermon, wondering what to expect.

I counted it a privilege and honor to be a part of my Jewish friends’ suffering for their rights to worship as they wished.

For years, I never questioned my high view of Israel. Meeting a Jewish person was, for me, like meeting a celebrity, because they were “God’s Chosen”.

The first time I realized others in the world didn’t support Israel in the same way that Americans did was in Indonesia. A good friend asked us why America always sided politically with Israel against the Arab world.

I hadn’t realized there were sides.

This was the first step in my education which continued as we traveled across the world and then returned home to host international students who held very different opinions from traditional American views.

This was especially clear as we discussed international issues with our Arab students, especially the one from Palestine.

We selected Ahmed because he listed his home as the “West Bank“, and we wanted to learn about him.

His stories were wildly different from the beatific scenes we associated with Israel. Were they possibly true? We began to read up on this area and ask questions. One book was unforgettable, “Blood Brothers”, by Brother Elias Chacour.   http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Brothers-Dramatic-Palestinian-Christian/dp/0800793218

Blogs were written about life in Israel contrasting it with the very poor conditions behind a wall separating it from the West Bank/Palestine.

I wanted to see for myself, so Jon and I took several trips to visit our Palestinian students, and then met Palestinian Christians who told the same stories about Israeli abuses.

When one is meeting a diverse (Christian, Muslim, educated, working class) group of people and all writers from that area are telling similar stories you cannot afford to dismiss their story lines as fantasy.

So, I resolved to return home as an advocate for the Palestinians to tell their stories. I am not

Bantustans, Palestine 2006

Bantustans, Palestine 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

anti-Israeli, but I will not cover up what they do.

It hasn’t been popular to speak up for Palestinians, but I’ve had it easy.

Others, like Steven Sizer, who has a prominent place in the UK, has his way of life threatened.

Read on:

Stephen Sizer: Craig Murray Responds to anti-Semitism Allegations.

“The Most Hated Woman in Israel?”


Read about Haneen Zoabi n the articles and links below.

The Most Hated Woman in Israel – By Larry Derfner | Foreign Policy.

Brick by Brick: Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other


A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It takes courage and wisdom to know when to change our long-held beliefs doesn’t it? There are some that we will never change because we are persuaded from our source text, The Bible, that they are right. Others, like slavery, were once thought to be Biblical, and are now considered false beliefs. But, how do sincere Christians really know how and when to make that leap from one strong belief to the opposite belief?  When should we allow peers and culture to influence us?

These questions are best asked in a community of people who think somewhat differently, while valuing and respecting the principles upon which each person bases his/her life.

Questions need to be asked and that is why I think I related to the dilemma posted by David Williams of Inter-Varsity in North Carolina, on his blog “Brick by Brick”. (Read below)

I’ve had people ask me if I didn’t “like” the Church when I’ve spoken up about some of the weaknesses I see in the Body of Christ.

Some of my Christian friends have been hurt when I’ve made negative comments about people who claim to be Christians and then speak out politically in ways that deny the words of Christ.

I try to look for the inconsistency in my life before I criticize other people, but it’s easy to over look things because of stubbornness and pride. That’s why I usually learn from other people’s criticism even when I might not seem to listen at first.

Hopefully.

 Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other Brick by Brick

The Prayer Behind Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel Peace Prize


Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee (Photo credit: aktivioslo)

I love hearing women’s stories, especially when I can relate to them. Leymah Gbowee‘s story about bringing a peaceful revolution to Liberia is one I really connect with.  She recognized her weaknesses, her need for God, and she spoke truth to power.  Leymah Gbowee, mother and activist, is my kind of woman, and  she changed the course of an entire nation!

Leymah Gbowee is the narrator and central character in the 2008 documentary film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This Nobel Peace Prize winner helped to bring down former Liberian President Charles Taylor, by among other things, organizing the women of Liberia to stop having sex with their husbands until they laid down their arms to stop killing for Charles Taylor’s terrible regime.  The women even threatened to strip naked in the public square (a terrible shame and a curse in their country), if the men refused to do this.

These tactics worked, and the women kept their clothes on!

Gbowee’s story is not a lovely one, and her doctrine seems hardly evangelical…but…I’m proud to say we share a special bond. She received her Masters from my first university, Eastern Mennonite, in Harrisonbug, VA…and I know the atmosphere there was filled with the peace of Christ.

This is where I began to understand what it meant to love God with my whole heart, mind and soul…and to love my neighbor as myself, and to follow Christ regardless of where He led me.

I like to think Gbowee and I may have shared some of the same sacred places at EMU; maybe a shade tree on the hill-top overlooking the dorms, where we prayed for our Lord to give us a loving “makeover”.

She is presently advocating for women in her campaign against female genital mutilation, FGM, a practice that is very common in Africa and many Arab nations.

The Ceasefire Prayer Behind Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel Peace Prize | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.