Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Off-duty policeman murders five Christians in Egypt

Yahoo News has the story.

Excerpt:

An off-duty policeman boarded a train and opened fire on Tuesday, killing a 71-year-old Christian man and wounding his wife and four others, the Interior Ministry said. The attack, less than two weeks after the suicide bombing of a church killed 21, sparked new demonstrations by enraged Christians who pelted police with stones in southern Egypt.

The church attack on worshippers leaving a New Year’s Mass in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria touched off three days of riots and demonstrations by furious Christians who criticized the government for failing to protect them and vented over what they see as persistent discrimination.

All of the casualties in the latest attack were Christians — four of them women — raising concerns it will ignite a new wave of protests by a community still traumatized by the suicide bombing.

[...]The ministry statement identified the policeman as Amer Ashour Abdel-Zaher, a 23-year-old Muslim, and said he boarded the Cairo-bound train at the town of Samalout in Minya province and opened fire on the passengers with a handgun.

This is actually happening a lot recently. The article continues:

In January 2010, gunmen opened fire on worshippers leaving a Coptic Christmas Eve church service in southern Egypt, killing six Christians and a Muslim guard.

Many Christians charge that the authorities are not doing enough to protect them and in fact allege some members of the security services turn a blind eye to anti-Christian incidents.

Do you know who isn’t afraid to side with Egyptian Christians against terrorists? Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in a round table discussion on security with Coptic Christian leaders.

A deadly suicide bombing in Egypt on New Year’s Day claimed the lives of some 21 worshippers.

And nearly 100 people were wounded in the attack as they left a midnight mass at an Alexandria church.

Harper condemned the attacks, saying the international community must stay vigilant against such violence against Coptic Christians.

Harper met with several priests at the Church Of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga Thursday.

He says he wants Coptic Christians in Canada to know the country stands behind their right to safely practice their faith.

Harper is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. The conservatives in Canada are actually pretty outspoken about the plight of Coptic Christians.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

James White debates Adnan Rashid on trustworthiness of the Bible vs Koran

It’s on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable radio show, from the UK!

The MP3 file is here. (60 minutes of debate)

The show starts with introductions by each speaker, then the debate begins.

James White’s opening address:

The Bible:

  • most Christians have a naive view of how holy books come to us from antiquity
  • the Bible and Koran were written and transmitted in two different ways
  • the Koran was written down and spread in a controlled way
  • the Bible was written in an uncontrolled way
  • Christianity was illegal until 313, so early Christians were persecuted
  • the Bible had to be copied and spread illegally by individuals
  • people risked their lives to copy pieces of the text
  • the good part of this is that there are tons of manuscripts
  • the manuscripts are earlier than the Church councils that define the Canon
  • a persecuted minority would not have been able to conspire to change the text
  • there are tons of minor variants from misspellings and typos in the manuscripts

The Koran:

  • the Hadith (writings that post-date the Koran) record how the Koran was written
  • the authorities worried that many fragments and manuscripts would cause disputes
  • the authorities got together and created an approved version to distribute
  • all the other Koranic materials (fragments and manuscripts) were burnt
  • this happened soon after the death of Mohammed
  • there are fewer variants with this centralized, top-down approach

Adnan Rashid’s opening speech:

The Bible:

  • the Bible we have today is not infallible, was not transmitted infallibly
  • none of the 4 gospels are written by eyewitnesses
  • there are around 400,000 variants in the manuscripts (cites Ehrman)
  • the huge number of variants touches on virtually every line of text
  • the manuscripts have differences – which manuscript is the inspired one?
  • editors are needed to adjudicate between all of the variants (cites Metzger)
  • editors have to rely on probabilities in order to choose the text itself

The Koran:

  • the text of the Koran was selected by Mohammed’s immediate successor
  • the purpose of this selection was to unify the Arab tribes on one text
  • rejected fragments and manuscripts were burned
  • no coercion was used to get the bad manuscripts burned

James White’s rebuttal:

  • 99% of the variants are technicalities of the Greek language
  • only 1500-2000 variants change the meaning of the text
  • there are many variants is because there are many manuscripts
  • more manuscripts makes it harder for any authority to change the text
  • the editors don’t hide the variants – that why everyone knows about them
  • the photographs of the fragments and manuscripts are available, not burnt

Adnan Rashid’s rebuttal:

  • we are in the process of photographing our fragments and manuscripts
  • what the photographs show is that the Koran has no shocking variants
  • Metzger is clear that editors are deciding the text based on probabilities

Crosstalk about Metzger:

  • James: editors decide the main reading and the rest goes in footnotes
  • James: Metzger doesn’t think that this makes the Bible unreliable
  • Adnan: prove it

Crosstalk about the Koran:

  • James: The Koran has variants too and manuscript issues
  • James: Mohammed appointed Ibn Masoud as the authority on the Koran
  • Adnan: actually Mohammed pointed out four authorities, not just one
  • Adnan: we don’t have manuscript problems or variant problems as bad as yours

Crosstalk about the crucifixion of Jesus:

  • James: the crucifixion is denied in Surah 4:157
  • James: the Koran is written 600 years after the cruficixion
  • James: the Koran is written hundreds of miles from the crucifixion site
  • James: non-Christians like Ehrman and Crossan do not deny the crucifixion
  • James: for 600 years after, history is unanimous that the crucifixion happened
  • Adnan: the gospel of Thomas doesn’t mention the crucifixion
  • Adnan:  Thomas predates Mark and is contemporaneous with Q
  • James: Thomas contains NO HISTORY – just sayings of Jesus
  • James: Thomas is not written by eyewitnesses to the events
  • James: Thomas is written in Coptic, originated in Syria, in the 2nd century
  • James: Thomas reflects gnostic theology, not Christian theology
  • Adnan: if the Koran says that the crucifixion didn’t happen, then it didn’t
  • James: Adnan believes one person 600 years later instead of the eyewitnesses
  • Adnan: Paul invented the crucifixion out of nothing
  • Adnan: The gospels are just theology, not history, written to confirm Paul
  • Adnan: some scholars say Thomas isn’t gnostic
  • Adnan: some scholars say Thomas is early
  • Adnan: Metzger says Thomas was rejected because it was non-Christian
  • James: I agree that it was rejected for theology because it’s gnostic

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scary happenings around the world that the Democrats ignore

I was trying to work my way through the latest voluminous post from my buddy Binks over at Free Canuckistan, and I thought that I would share some links with you from stories around the world. Warning, these are pretty depressing.

Brazil: Brazilian President Will Seek to “Criminalize Words and Acts Offensive to Homosexuality”.

In a written address delivered to the Third Congress of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transsexuals (ABGLT), Lula denounced groups, most of them Christian, who have objected to plans to outlaw such speech, calling them “hypocrites.”

“Some backward as well as hypocritical sectors … have criticized our government for supporting initiatives that criminalize words or acts that are offensive to homosexuality,” he wrote. “That has no importance.  I will continue, with the support of the entire government, to maintain that attitude.”

As LifeSiteNews has reported in the past, Lula has for several years sought to pass a “homophobia law” that would make it a crime to criticize homosexual behavior.

India: India is in peril. Obama is making it worse.

The real threat is of an Islamist takeover of Pakistan. Yet Obama’s strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan (or ‘Af-Pak’ in Washingtonese) inspires little confidence. Throwing more money at Pakistan and keeping up the pretence that the badly splintered and weakened al-Qa’eda poses the main terrorist threat risks failure.

…As Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley pointed out just before leaving office in January, ‘You can’t really solve Afghanistan without solving Pakistan.’

…Yet to mend a broken policy on Pakistan, Obama is doing more of what helped to create the failure — dispensing rewards upfront.It’s no wonder that even as the Taleban’s sway in Pakistan spreads, the US defense secretary Robert Gates declared in Krakow that the United States ‘would be very open’ to an agreement in Afghanistan similar to the one Pakistan made with the Taleban which ceded control of the Swat Valley to the Taleban. All this is music to the ears of the Pakistani military and its offspring — the Taleban.

Venezuela: In Venezuela, political opposition has a price.

In 2002-2004, almost 5 million Venezuelans signed one or more in a series of three petitions calling for an election to remove President Hugo Chavez from office. After Chavez survived the recall vote of August 2004, the names of those who had signed the final petition were compiled into a database using software called Maisanta.

Now economic analysis has found evidence that petition signers paid a price in lost employment and wages. This tends to corroborate long-held suspicions that the Chavez government used the Maisanta database as an enemies list. The analysis also quantifies the loss to Venezuela’s economy due to the regime’s apparent indulgence of political vendettas.

Middle East: Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, Jihadic Style.

…there were three carefully organized explosions on one day in Iraq, which killed a total of 80 civilians. One explosion was carried out by a woman in a black abaya, holding a 5 year-old child’s hand, (probably not her own). She killed herself and 28 other Muslims in a crowded market in a Baghdad slum. The civilians, many of whom were other women, were waiting on line for free flour, cooking oil, tea, macaroni, and other staples that the police were handing out. Of course, police officers died as well.

I have written a number of articles about Muslim mothers who have participated, both directly and indirectly, in the honor killing of their daughters; and about female Muslim suicide-homicide bombers who have specifically targeted other women and children.

For example, in 2008, in Iraq, one of four female homicide bombers entered a tent that provided shelter to weary female religious pilgrims. She sat down, read the Koran with them, and left a bag behind that, moments later, blew them all up. Please note that she targeted weary, religious Muslim women.

Thus, I was dismayed but not surprised when a Sunni, Al-Qaeda plot emerged, one in which male terrorists raped eighty Muslim girls and women, then turned them over to Samira Jassim who patiently, persistently, “maternally,” persuaded the rape victims, (many of whom had been targeted because they were depressed or mentally ill), to “cleanse” their shame by blowing themselves and other Muslims up. Twenty eight women did so.

Middle East: Nine Muslim countries among top 13 “egregious” violators of religious freedom. (Quote below is from CNN)

A U.S. government panel listed 13 countries Friday as “egregious” violators of religious freedom.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report named Myanmar, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Cuba: What Bob Gates Should Do With the Gitmo Uighurs.

So, Defense Secretary Gates now confirms for the first time that, yes, the Obama administration intends to release “some” Uighurs into the US–said Uighurs being the 17 Chinese Muslims at GItmo whom Andy McCarthy describes as being “steeped in jihadist ideology, trained in explosives and assassination tactics, and anxious enough to get that way that they high-tailed it from China to Afghanistan to become more lethal terrorists.”

Egypt: Coptic Priests and Women Assaulted.

The Egyptian State Security forces attacked and demolished on 26/04/09 at 7.30 am the services building belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Masrah Matrouh, assaulting the Coptic priests and Coptic women and men. More than 1000 Copts have surrounded the remains of the demolished building, ready for martyrdom, said a church member.

Scotland: Scottish Schoolchildren to Attend Government Funded “Islamophobia Workshops”. (from UK Press)

The Scottish Government is to back efforts to challenge Islamophobia in schools across the country.

More than £81,000 will be spent on holding more than 150 workshops in secondary schools over the next two years.

The move was announced by the Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop and welcomed by the charity Show Racism The Red Card, which will put on the 90-minute workshops.

And here’s one from Laura over at Pursuing Holiness…

Europe: Hey, Europe – don’t like U.S. control of the internet? Then build your own.

ICANN is a non-profit organization that coordinates things like the system that allows you to type hotair.com instead of 67.192.179.13 into your browser’s address bar.  It has that authority thanks to a Joint Project Agreement with the Department of Commerce.  It also manages domain name disputes like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals vs. People Eating Tasty Animals fight over peta.org.  (The carnivores lost.) That JPA is going to expire on September 30th, and the United Nations and the European Union are continuing their ongoing fight to gain control.

I’m not a big fan of ICANN for a number of reasons.  But turning control of basic internet functions that we’ve come to take for granted over to the nanny-state Europeans is even worse.  People who “issue binding regulations governing all aspects of public life on all member states, right down to the sizes of apples and oranges in street markets” are not fit guardians of the internet.

They micromanage business and their impulse is to criminalize and control dissenting opinion

Commenter ECM sent me this article from the UK Times featuring a video of actual torture.

The 45-minute tape shows a man that the Government of Abu Dhabi has acknowledged is Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan — one of 22 royal brothers of the UAE President and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince — mercilessly and repeatedly beating a man with a cattle prod and a nailed board, burning his genitals and driving his Mercedes over him several times. He is assisted by a uniformed policeman.

This act, by a member of the United Arab Emirates Royal Family, is actually torture. When the USA waterboards a terrorist, it’s not torture, and we potentially save thousands of lives from future terrorist attacks. Check out this article from the Weekly Standard regarding the Democrats’ politicization of national security and foreign policy.

Excerpt:

…In a letter to his intelligence community colleagues last Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair described those briefings. “From 2002 through 2006 when the use of these techniques ended, the leadership of the CIA repeatedly reported their activities both to Executive Branch policymakers and to members of Congress, and received permission to continue to use the techniques.”

That passage from Blair’s letter – along with another confirming that the interrogations produced “high-value information” that provided a “deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization attacking this country” – was dropped when language from the letter was released publicly. A spokesman for Blair attributed to the omission to normal editing procedures.

In an interview this morning, senior Bush administration official accused the DNI of “politicizing intelligence” by attempting to hide his judgment that the program had produced valuable results. This official also accused the Obama administration of double standards, citing its professed belief in transparency and its unwillingness – at least so far – to declassify memos that demonstrate the value of the interrogation techniques Obama has banned.

I have an idea. Let’s kick these bums out in 2010!

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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