Wednesday, July 2, 2014

As we gather with family and friends this week to mark the Fourth of July, let us keep in mind the defining value that sets this nation apart – the founding principle that stands as our greatest cause for pride and celebration: that every American deserves an equal opportunity to achieve a happy and fulfilling life. 
Equality of opportunity is the driving force behind the American Dream. Yet while this Dream was born on a July day in 1776, one of its greatest strides toward full realization came on a July day in 1964. The enactment of the Civil Rights Act 50 years ago today helped bring the American Dream within reach of millions who had been excluded from its promise.

By outlawing discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or country of origin, the Civil Rights Act gave legal backing to our core value of equal rights so that America could begin to heal its racial fractures and, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “live out the true meaning of its creed.”

The movement that gave rise to this legislation was the work of many men and women in many cities and towns around the country, but Florida is proud to be home to one of the central fronts in the entire Civil Rights Movement: the city of St. Augustine.

The struggle against racial discrimination and segregation in St. Augustine lasted for years and attracted nationwide attention. Even today, many are familiar with the images of the marches down King Street, the chaos in the swimming pool of the Monson Motor Lodge, and peaceful integrationists met with violence on the beaches of Anastasia Island.

Many have credited the images of horror and the stories of courage that came out of St. Augustine with helping to awaken the conscience of a nation and propel the Civil Rights Act toward passage.

As we’ve seen in the papers in recent weeks, many of the Floridians who showed outstanding courage in the St. Augustine Movement are with us to mark this anniversary. To them, we say thank you for having the courage to stand up for what was right, and for setting our people and our nation on the path toward equal opportunity for all, and toward a more complete American Dream.

When President Kennedy spoke on the need for broad civil rights legislation in 1963, he underscored the meaning of the American Dream and called for it to be fully realized. “Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation,” he said, “but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.”

The fight for equal opportunity has come a long way since President Kennedy said those words, but work still remains ahead.

In this century, like the last, we must expand the American Dream to reach more people than ever before, so that every child in America – no matter what color their skin is, who their parents are, or what neighborhood they are born into – will know they have the chance to go as far as their talent and work will take them.

Every generation before us has succeeded in passing a better America on to their children, and today we have the chance to reflect on one of the most notable successes. We honor those in St. Augustine and elsewhere who dared to stand up for their God-given rights, and in doing so helped secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and created a better America for all.

The Muslim Jesus?

Jesus is Muslim billboard
Aleteia has published an extraordinarily irresponsible piece by Philip Jenkins, entitled “The Muslim Jesus.” Jenkins is the politically correct professor who has claimed to have found that “the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible.” In this new piece he claims that the Islamic tradition has preserved some sayings of Jesus that could be authentic — basing his argument on the fact that they sound rather like other sayings attributed to Jesus, particularly in their exhortation not to value this passing world. He produces six sayings to support this, three from Islamic tradition and three from Christian non-canonical sources, claiming that the impossibility of distinguishing them from each other supports the authenticity of the Islamic sayings.

This is, of course, palpably absurd. Otherworldly sayings can be found in all manner of non-Christian traditions. The fact that they’re otherworldly doesn’t mean that Jesus said them. What’s more, his own argument cuts against itself, for he says: “Such words would have been treasured by Eastern Christian monks and hermits, in lands like Syria and Mesopotamia. We also know that from earliest times, some Christian monks and clergy accepted Islam. The Koran reports how their eyes filled with tears, as they prayed, ‘We do believe; make us one, then, with all who bear witness to the truth!’” If such words were treasured by Eastern Christian monks and hermits, and only some but presumably not all Christian monks and clergy accepted Islam, why is there no trace of these sayings in Eastern Christian traditions? It just happened that all the Christians who had preserved these sayings converted to Islam?

And even if these are authentic sayings of Jesus that have been preserved only in Islamic tradition, what are we supposed to get from that? What is Jenkins’ point? There is nothing in the supposed Islamic sayings of Jesus that he quotes that adds anything to our understanding of Jesus, or to the font of the world’s wisdom. Also, significantly, Jenkins does not bother to inform his readers that the Qur’an says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers (5:17, 5:72), or that Jesus was not actually crucified (4:157), or that those who say Jesus is the Son of God are accursed (9:30), or that Muslims should wage war against Christians until they submit to Islamic hegemony (9:29). He makes no mention of this notable hadith:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Bukhari 3.34.425)
Breaking the cross and killing the pig signifies abolishing the false Christianity, the Christianity that holds that Jesus was crucified and does not keep food laws. By abolishing the jizya, this Muslim Jesus is destroying the dhimma, the “protection” that Christians have when they submit to Islamic rule, thus leaving them with the choices only of converting to Islam or being killed.

This supremacist and violent vision is at the heart of the Islamic idea that Christianity in all its forms, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, is a twisting and hijacking of the original religion of Jesus, which was and is Islam. This is replacement theology par excellence, and renders all current forms of Christianity renegade and illegitimate. This idea is at the core of the Muslim persecution of Christians worldwide, from Nigeria to Libya to Egypt to Syria to Iraq to Pakistan to Indonesia. But Jenkins makes no mention of that escalating persecution, either. The thrust of his piece appears to be that sure, they’re killing Christians and dismissing Christianity as a mutant version of the teachings of Jesus, but look, they have some of Jesus’ original sayings! It thus appears as if his article is designed to render Christians uncritical and complacent in the face of the advancing jihad.

“The Muslim Jesus: Jesus sayings we never thought we had,” by Philip Jenkins, Aleteia, June 30, 2014:
Around the year 1600, the Indian emperor Akbar built a splendid ceremonial gate at Fatehpur Sikri, and on it he inscribed words attributed to Jesus, son of Mary: “The world is a bridge: pass over it, but do not build your house upon it.”
It’s an evocative saying, one of many attributed to Jesus in the Islamic tradition. But is there any chance that such words might have any authenticity, any connection with the historical Jesus? Actually, the chances are greater than you might think, and like a good professor, I am going to illustrate that with a short quiz.
The Koran includes a good deal of material about Jesus. More relevant for present purposes are the many stories and saying gathered by Muslim sages over the following centuries, which have been collected by modern scholar Tarif Khalidi in his book The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature. Khalidi argues that together, these constitute a whole Muslim Gospel.
Often, the Muslim Jesus closely recalls the language and thought of early Christian scripture, with only the slightest modifications from the familiar gospels. This is particularly true in the oldest layer of sayings and stories, from the 9th century. Jesus points to the birds of the sky and how God cares for them; he urges his followers to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven; they should not cast pearls before swine. In perhaps 30 cases, the resemblances to the Synoptic gospels are overwhelming. Also, very few of these “Muslim Jesus” sayings include any distinctively Islamic ideas.
These texts seem to take us back to an authentically primitive stage in the formation of the New Testament. Scholars agree that the earliest records of Jesus took the form of sayings, or sequences of sayings, with very little of the narrative that we know from the canonical gospels. One such (hypothetical) sayings collection was “Q,” which was a critical source for both Matthew and Luke. Christians remembered Jesus’s words, and only later did authors come along and sew those isolated fragments into more complete units, which were then written down. Sayings that did not find their way into the canonical text continued to float free as agrapha, “unwritten,” or unrecorded. We know them because they appear frequently in quotations by early Church leaders, or in alternate manuscript readings of the New Testament.
And that takes us back to the Jesus sayings recorded by early Muslim commentators, which in their style and format bear a surprising resemblance not to the canonical gospels, but to a sayings source like “Q.” It looks almost as if those scholars had access to sayings and constructed a plausible narrative around them, but that was not necessarily the same framework provided by the Christian evangelists. Might they have used something like “Q,” perhaps even a now-lost Jewish-Christian sayings source?
To illustrate the “early Christian” feel of these sayings from the Muslim Gospel, I offer a random mix of sayings credited to Jesus, with some taken from the early Christian agrapha (non-canonical writings), and the rest from the Muslim Gospel. Which Jesus said what?
1. Be in the middle, but walk to the side.
2. Become passers by.
3. Those who are with me have not understood me.
4. Blessed is he who sees with his heart, but whose heart is not in what he sees.
5. I am near you, like the garment of your body.
6. Satan accompanies the world.
Here are the answers: 1, 4 and 6 are Muslim; 2, 3 and 5 are Christian. If I had not supplied that information, it would be very difficult to tell the two categories apart. Apart from New Testament textual specialists, I doubt that even most scholars of early or medieval Christianity could get a perfect score on deciding which was which.
This degree of similarity is amazing given the chronology. All the Christian examples date from the second or third centuries, none of the Muslim examples is recorded before the ninth century. Yet they breathe exactly the same atmosphere.
It’s actually not too hard to see how such early sayings would have been preserved and transmitted, and the clue might be in the world-denying quality of many sayings — the world is a bridge! Such words would have been treasured by Eastern Christian monks and hermits, in lands like Syria and Mesopotamia. We also know that from earliest times, some Christian monks and clergy accepted Islam. The Koran reports how their eyes filled with tears, as they prayed, “We do believe; make us one, then, with all who bear witness to the truth!”
But however it happened, here is a startling thought: perhaps the Muslim tradition gives us several dozen more plausible Jesus sayings than we ever thought we had.

Murdered Jewish Schoolboys Teens Put Up ‘Serious’ Fight

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

That a teen boy had to put up a hell of a fight because he was Jewish best illustrates the evil of Islamic Jew hatred. Imagine a culture celebrating it, giving out candies — this is an evil beyond the comprehension of any rational human being.

The savages should be destroyed.

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Photo: Side-by-side graves of the slain teens. Photo: Ch. 2 News
“Israeli Forensic Expert: Murdered Teens Put Up ‘Serious’ Fight Against Captors,” Algemeiner, July 1, 2014
“One of the abducted youths put up a serious fight against his captors,” a source connected to the forensic examinations of the bodies of the three teens, told Israel’s Walla News on Monday.
Mourners gather around the bodies during funeral in the West Bank Jewish settlement near Hebron
The families of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frankel, 16, on Tuesday, eulogized their sons in separate ceremonies in their communities, Elad, Talmon, and Nof Ayalon.
Yifrach “died a hero,” his grandfather Ezra, said in his eulogy.
“He didn’t go like a lamb to the slaughter,” he said, according to The Times of Israel. All three youths had “glorified the name of God,” he said. “You united Israel for the first time in many years.”
“We’d hoped they’d be found alive,” he told the Israeli Walla news site. “But since we were informed, it’s been really hard within the family, among friends, and among all of the House of Israel,” he said.
The three will be buried side by side at the cemetery in Modi’in, northwest of Jerusalem exactly 24 hours after they were discovered by searchers, hidden beneath stones in a shallow grave near Halhoul.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to speak at the funerals.
The IDF on Monday discovered the bodies of the teens following extensive searches.
The boys were abducted on June 12 as they returned home from school.
The post Murdered Jewish Schoolboys Teens Put Up ‘Serious’ Fight appeared first on Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs.

Obama Mocks GOP: 'So Sue Me'

By Cathy Burke and Greg Richter

President Barack Obama mocked what he described as a do-nothing Congress Tuesday, saying he won't apologize for taking executive actions on political issues without the legislative branch  —  and defiantly daring them: "So sue me."

"As long as they insist on taking no action whatsoever that will help anybody, I'm going to keep on taking actions on my own that can help the middle class, like the actions I've already taken to speed up construction projects and attract new manufacturing jobs and lift workers' wages and help students pay off their student loans," Obama told a Department of Transportation gathering on Washington's Key Bridge.

Story continues below video.


"Middle-class families can't wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they're doing nothing, I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something."

The president's taunt referred to the lawsuit threatened by Speaker John Boehner over Obama's go-it-alone administrative actions — a tactic he has called a "stunt."

On Tuesday, Obama took particular aim at House Republicans for inaction on the Highway Trust Fund, a fund paid for through a gas tax to help fix roads that will run out by the end of summer, ABC News reported.

"All told, nearly 700,000 jobs could be at risk next year," the president said. "That would be like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver or Seattle or Boston," he said. "Soon states may have to choose which projects to continue and which ones to put the brakes on because they're running out of money."

Obama said Congress' inaction on the fund is "obstruction" that "keeps the system rigged for those who are doing fine, at the very top. It prevents us from helping more middle-class families."

"We could do so much more if we just rallied around an economic patriotism, a sense that our job is to get things done as one nation and as one people," he said, according to ABC News.

"Economic patriotism would say that instead of protecting corporations that are shipping jobs overseas, let's make sure they're paying their fair share of taxes. Let's reward American workers and businesses that hire them. Let's put people to work rebuilding America. Let's invest in manufacturing so the next generation of good manufacturing jobs are right here made in the USA."

"It's not crazy. It's not socialism. You know, it — it's not, you know, the imperial presidency or, no laws are broken. … But so far, House Republicans have refused to act on this idea. I haven't heard a good reason why they haven't acted. It's not like they've been busy with other stuff. No, seriously. I mean, they're not doing anything. Why, why don't they do this?"

Later Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus accused the president of using executive actions as a "power grab."

"The president wants to be president, he wants to be speaker of the House, he wants to be majority leader of the Senate, and he wants to be the court," Priebus said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

While other presidents have used executive powers, Obama "takes the cake," Priebus said.

"He takes the blue ribbon. He's been struck down over 13 times in the past two years by the Supreme Court saying that you are overextending your power, that you are not respecting Article 1 of the Constitution which grants the power to the House and to the Senate."

Obama complained House GOP lawmakers have refused to act on extending unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, and a fair pay proposal, yet "they criticize me for this."

"Boehner sued me for this," he said. "And I told him I'd rather do things with you; pass some laws; make sure the Highway Trust Fund is funded so we don't lay off hundreds of thousands of workers. It's not that hard."

Earlier Tuesday, the president told members of his Cabinet to "be creative" in figuring out ways he can act on his own.

"When you tell your Cabinet members, I want you to find ways in order to circumvent the Constitution, the president's forgetting about the fact that the entire basis of this Constitution that made this great country is that the power vests in 'We the People,'" Priebus charged, noting though the president once taught constitutional law, he now seems to have forgotten about the separation of powers doctrine.

"I think, actually, he intends to change the laws of this country on his own," Priebus said. "I think he's going to be as cute and as clever as he possibly can to do it."

Priebus said he backs Boehner's threatened lawsuit over Obama's use of executive powers.

"There is no other option with this president," Priebus said. "He doesn't want to work with Congress. He wants to write the laws with a pen and his telephone."

Because they were Jews 
By: Diane Sori

"It’s not foreign policy. It’s not a cycle of violence. It’s not the 'occupation'. It’s Islam."
- Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center in New York City upon hearing of the deaths of the three Israeli teenagers
“If he did the kidnapping I’ll be proud of him. I raised my children on the knees of the (Islamic) religion, they are religious guys, honest and clean-handed, and their goal is to bring the victory of Islam.” 
- Statement by the mother of Amar Abu-Eisha, one of the suspected kidnappers and killers of the teens

One statement speaks the truth...the other speaks of those who do NOT deserve to live let alone walk amongst civilized men. 
Saying NOTHING in his Monday all for show photo-op news conference with amnesty advocates...a news conference where he as usual lambasted the TEA Party and where he told of his plans to circumvent Congress to push through his open-borders agenda via his pen and his phone...Obama had the perfect opportunity to say say anything...about the three teenage boys MURDERED and found buried under a pile of rocks, debris, and garbage...about the American his brethren. But as expected NOT a word was said...NO anger expressing over the MURDERS...nor did he demand a call to justice for those muslim bast*rds who did this.

Instead this Israel-hating, (I believe) anti-Semitic president said NOT a word and that silence speaks volumes. However, later in the day in a carefully worded statement issued by his new mouthpiece Josh Earnest...Obama had the audacity to caution Israel to exercise “restraint” in regards to whatever payback options she undertakes both now and in the future. 
Continuing on with Obama's statement Earnest said, "...From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. I also urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation. As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States."  
Oh really...the words "full support and friendship" mean NOTHING to this man as he has done everything every chance he gets to stab stab the Jewish the back.

And in this silence of empty words...words spewed NOT even out of his own mouth...memories are brought back of the ghosts of Benghazi and Extortion 17...yet when a traitor recently came home this miserable excuse of a president went all over television praising God...or in his case...allah.

Following along in his course of saying NOTHING while an American pastor still languishes in an Iranian jail, while a U.S. Marine still languishes in a Mexican jail, while Coptic Christians are still being slaughtered like animals all over the Middle East and North Africa, this stain of a man dared to issue a statement full of empty words showing he cares more about "destabilizing the situation"...a situation that has his hand all over it I might add...than he does about the boys MURDERED or the grieving families they leave behind.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu... the world's last great statesman...on hearing that the boys bodies had been found said words that needed to be said...words our very own 'enemy within' will NEVER say...when he vowed "Hamas will pay a heavy price" that "They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals." Then he quoted Israeli poet Hayim Nahman Bialik saying, "'Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.'"
Maybe NOT yet created but know that Israeli payback will indeed be swift and focused for these terrorists who murdered the teenagers are NOT operating alone...they have help...they have supporters...and I believe one of them resides in the White House. And so Israel must now and forever send a message for all the world to hear that NO one will ever lay a hand on a Jew again...NO one will ever spill Jewish blood again simply because they are Jewish...and NO one will ever dare to kill Jewish children again for every Jewish child killed will see consequences NOT seen before.
And as Israeli jets...who had struck 34 locations in Gaza overnight...went silent when, wrapped in blue and white Israeli flags, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrah were laid to everlasting rest side by side in the town of Modiin. And as yesterday became an Israeli national day of mourning...NO...a national day of mourning for Jews everywhere...their families can maybe take some comfort in knowing that the three boys left behind a legacy of bringing a nation together as echoes of 'Never Again' have been awoken within the hearts of the Jewish people NOT only in Israel, but in the hearts of the Jewish people wherever they may be.

And while Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned Israel against any broad offensive in retaliation, Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense, Danny Danon, called on the international community "to end all aid to the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas-backed government" as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "cannot continue to claim to want peace with Israel, while at the same time partnering with Hamas as they kidnap and brutally murder teenagers."
How right he is, but as long as this abomination of an American president remains in office...and while Israel's domestic security agency has already named two Palestinians...Marwan Kawasma and Amar the Hamas operatives who kidnapped and MURDERED the three boys...Israel will be on the losing side of any diplomatic actions for Israel's hopes and dreams of living in peace are just NOT on the agenda of Barack HUSSEIN Obama or his muslim brethren. 
And I leave you with this ancient prayer that has been on the lips of Jewish mourners for centuries...a prayer heard echoing throughout Israel yesterday for the souls of the three boys as they enter forever into God's embrace:

Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba.  B'alma di v'ra chirutei,  v'yamlich malchutei,  b'chayeichon uv'yomeichon  uv'chayei d'chol beit Yisrael,  baagala uviz'man kariv. V'im'ru: Amen.
Exalted and hallowed be God's great name in the world which God created, according 
to plan.

May God's majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime and the life of all Israel --speedily, imminently, to which we say Amen.

Blessed be God's great name to all eternity.
Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded be the name of 
the Holy Blessed One, beyond all earthly 
words and songs of blessing,praise, and 
comfort. To which we say Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, 
and life, for us and all Israel,
to which we say Amen.

May the One who creates harmony on high,     
bring peace to us and to all Israel.
To which we say Amen.