Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

The 50 worst countries for anti-Christian persecution

Kirsten Powers explains in the leftist Daily Beast, of all places.

Excerpt:

In their annual report of the worst 50 countries for Christian persecution, Open Doors found that Christian martyr deaths around the globe doubled in 2013.  Their report documented 2,123 killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. In Syria alone, there were 1,213 such deaths last year. In addition to losing their lives, Christians around the world continue to suffer discrimination, imprisonment, harassment, sexual assaults, and expulsion from countries merely for practicing their faith.

Once again, the worst persecutor of Christians is North Korea, where an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 followers of Jesus are suffering in prison camps for “crimes” such as owning a Bible, going to church, or sharing their faith. In November 2013, it was reported that 80 prisoners were publicly executed, many for possessing Bibles. Last year, North Korea sentenced an American missionary, Kenneth Bae to 15 years of hard labor in a prison camp.

[...]It’s chilling to imagine worse treatment than what the average North Korean prisoner has reported, including a mother forced to drown her own baby in a bucket, and tales of subsisting on nothing more than rats and insects. According to first-hand accounts from former prisoners reported by Amnesty International, “every former inmate at one camp had witnessed a public execution, one child was held for eight months in a cube-like cell so small he couldn’t move his body and an estimated 40% of inmates die from malnutrition.”

Syria, ranked as the third-worst country by Open Doors, has devolved in the last year to a horror show for Christians. The Hudson Institute’s Nina Shea noted in December 2013 a message she received from a contact in Syria who reported, “Kidnapping, killings, ransom, rape . . . 2013 is a tragedy for Christians in Syria. All Syrians have endured great suffering and distress. The Christians, however, often had to pay with their lives for their faith. Our bishops and nuns have been kidnapped, our political leader killed by torture. After our Christian villages have been occupied, our churches have been destroyed and even mass graves were found in Saddad. [T]he Islamists have put [to] the Christians the alternative: Islam or death. Why [is] the West just watching?”

Some of the most harrowing stories about how Christians are persecuted have come from the African country of Eritrea, which Open Doors lists as the twelfth worst country in the world for Christian persecution. In his 2013 book, The Global War on Christians, reporter John L. Allen Jr., writes that in Eritrea, Christians are sent to the Me’eter military camp and prison, which he describes as a “concentration camp for Christians.” It is believed to house thousands being punished for their religious beliefs.

Prisoners are packed into 40’x38’ metal shipping containers, normally used for transporting cargo. It is so cramped that it’s impossible to lie down and difficult even to find a place to sit. “The metal exacerbates the desert temperatures, which means bone chilling cold at night and wilting heat during the day….believed to reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit or higher,” Allen writes. One former inmate…described [it] as “giant ovens baking people alive.” Prisoners are given next to nothing to drink so “they sometimes end up drinking their own scant sweat and urine to stay alive.” The prisoners are tortured, sexually abused, and have no contact with the outside world. One survivor of the prison described witnessing a fellow female inmate “who had been beaten so badly her uterus was actually hanging outside her body. The survivor desperately tried to push the uterus back in” but couldn’t prevent the inmate’s excruciating death.

Lately, I’ve been blogging quite a lot about the difference between the Judeo-Christian morality and atheist morality. Christians have a objective standard to condemn what is going on in these other countries. Christians believe in human rights. Christians believe in religious liberty. Christians are grieved when we hear about these crimes being committed against followers of Jesus. On the Judeo-Christian view, every human being is made to be in a relationship with God – a relationship that lasts into eternity. That means that when Christians see someone in distress, we are rationally compelled to try to try to help them. In fact, the earliest Christians used to take in abandoned babies, because of that reasoning. If Christianity is true, then what these people are doing to persecute Christians for their beliefs is really wrong.

But on atheism, you can’t condemn violence against Christians in other countries as wrong:

Rule #1: Relativists Can’t Accuse Others of Wrong-Doing

Relativism makes it impossible to criticize the behavior of others, because relativism ultimately denies that there is such a thing as wrong- doing. In other words, if you believe that morality is a matter of personal definition, then you can’t ever again judge the actions of others. Relativists can’t even object on moral grounds to racism. After all, what sense can be made of the judgment “apartheid is wrong” when spoken by someone who doesn’t believe in right and wrong? What justification is there to intervene? Certainly not human rights, for there are no such things as rights. Relativism is the ultimate pro-choice position because it accepts every personal choice—even the choice to be racist.

And that’s why in the secular mainstream media, crimes like this are seldom talked about. Secularists have no basis to condemn these actions, they would rather crusade for late-term abortion and same-sex marriage, which is nothing but the celebration of the selfishness of adults at the expense of children.

If you would like to the difference that Christianity makes when dealing with a real threat of danger, then click through to this National Review article, which talks about Christians living in Syria.

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Gang-raped teen burned to death in India, corrupt police try to cover it up

Map of India

Map of India

From the UK Daily Mail. Excerpt:

The body of a gang-raped teenager who was burned to death after her attackers threatened her family was ‘hijacked’ by police who attempted to forcibly cremate it, reports today suggest. The girl, 16, was gang-raped in October in Madhyamgram, near Calcutta, by a group of six men – who are believed to have links with West Bengal’s ruling party, the Trinamool Congress. They again attacked her the following day as she returned from reporting the crime to police with her father, it is claimed. The group were arrested – but the teen and her family say they received a series of threats from the men. The alleged threats included one saying the girl’s taxi-driver father would be killed if she continued to pursue charges. The family’s landlord, who is reportedly related to one of the gang, allegedly told them they must leave their one-bedroom property also. On the morning of her death, two friends of the accused allegedly visited the girl’s home and verbally abused the girl. The teen victim was set alight on December 23 and died from her injuries on New Year’s Eve. Doctors said the victim – who had 40 per cent burns – had suffered severe damage to her throat and face, making it difficult for her to breathe. Earlier reports suggested the victim had committed suicide – a story that initially came from police – but today it was revealed the girl said two men poured kerosene over her and burned her before she died. Doctors have also said the girl was pregnant when she died. Reports today suggest police ‘hijacked’ the hearse carrying the girl’s body and attempted to have it cremated despite the family’s wishes to wait to give her a proper funeral. On Tuesday evening police are alleged to have intercepted the hearse, which was travelling from RG Kar Hospital to a mortuary. They took it to a crematorium where the body remained for three hours, it is claimed. Officers are then said to have gone to the home of the bereaved family at around 2am and threatened to break down the door if they did not give them the death certificate needed for the cremation. The girl’s father refused, but officers allegedly tormented the family all night. In a letter written to Govenor M K Narayanan the father said: ‘The superintendent of police and other officers reached our house in the dead of the night and asked us to open the door.

I think it’s very important in cases like this to let them break down the door so that there is evidence of what they did. They will not want to do anything like that, because it can be photographed. It leaves a trace.

The fact that this went right up to the superintendent of police just chills my blood. Imagine living in a country like India where people who gang-rape and murder a child can go to the police and get support in covering it up because of corruption and connections.

I remember my Indian co-workers telling me how surprised they were not to have to bribe American police officers when they got pulled over for speeding. I think there is something to that. In Judeo-Christian America, we still believe that God is watching what we do, by and large. So we tend to do the right thing, especially conservatives. But Hinduism and Islam seem not to have the same requirement.

Even if religion played no role in this, the culture as a whole seems to condone corruption to the level where you cannot expect basic honesty like you can in Western countries. I have heard horrifying stories about what it is like to be a woman and ride on public transportation in India. For the Islamic religion, there seems to be an epidemic of gang rape and sex-trafficking going on in Western countries from Muslim men. The idea of chastity for men seems to be more of a Judeo-Christian value.

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Gay New Jersey waitress hate crime revealed to be a hoax

NBC News reports:

Excerpt:

After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note.

Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”

Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews – including with NBC 4 New York – that the customer wrote that line.

But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.

The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.

“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that,” the wife said.

The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn’t vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn’t support gay marriage.

“Never would a message like that come from us,” he said.

Morales told NBC 4 New York on Monday that she was certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers. When asked if there had been some sort of misunderstanding, she said, “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”

A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more.

This is actually not the first time that the left has faked hate crimes against itself. Here is a fairly recent article by respected writer David Freddoso that catalogs over a dozen recent hate crime hoaxes by the political left.

My favorites:

2013: Award-winning liberal blogger and 28-year-old University of Wyoming student Meg Lanker Simons goes on trial in October for allegedly anonymously threatening herself with rape on Facebook, then lying to police about it.

2012: A Montana man admitted he’d made up a story about being attacked because he was gay. He was embarrassed that he’d hurt himself doing a backflip outside a Missoula bar, so he made up an attack.

2012: Aimee Whitchurch and Kristel Conklin threatened themselves by painting their home with anti-gay graffiti and hanging a noose on their door, then reported the incident and insinuated that their neighbors were responsible. They pleaded guilty and got off the hook with 12 months’ probation and community service.

2012: Olivia McRae and Tanasia Linton, two students at Montclair State University in New Jersey, reported that racist graffiti had been scrawled on their door. Days later, they were charged with making a false report, accused of writing the message themselves.

2012: Alexandra Pennell, a student at Central Connecticut State University, claimed to have received threatening anti-gay messages. When it was discovered she’d sent them to herself, she was expelled and barred from all state universities for five years.

2011-12: Khalilah Ford was expelled from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for an especially frightening hoax that reportedly prompted some students to drop out of school from fear. She circulated an anonymously penned list of black students with a threat that they’d be dead soon, including herself on the hit-list. A second student, Janet Uppman, was also expelled for writing a racial epithet on a white board as part of the hoax. Both hoaxers got off easy — they were issued tickets for $400.

2011: UNC-Chapel Hill freshman Quinn Matney claimed to have been branded with a hot object by someone who called him an anti-gay slur. In fact, the wound was self-inflicted. When friends noticed it, he made up the story out of embarrassment to explain the injury. A friend, believing he’d actually been attacked, urged him to report it to police, and he did.

2008: Elmhurst College student Safia Jilani claimed to have been attacked in a bathroom by a masked gunman and to have had her locker marked with a swastika, both because of her Islamic faith. At the time, her report caused a campus lockdown. She was later indicted for making a false report.

2007: Colorado University student Alta Rae Merkling claimed to have been attacked by a group of men who cut an “X” into her face, shouting, “X marks the f*ggot!” She was later charged with filing a false report.

2007: Case Western Reserve statistics Prof Ramani Sri Pilla mailed hate letters to herself and then falsely accused her co-workers to the FBI — apparently an attempt to bolster a racial discrimination lawsuit she was bringing against her university. She got six months in prison and must pay the costs of the investigation — $66,000.

2004: Claremont Professor Kerri Dunn slashed her own tires, and broke her own windows, and vandalized her own car with anti-semitic messages. An activist who constantly inveighed against hate, she had been seen vandalizing her own car by two random people in the parking lot. She ended up being sentenced to a year in prison for insurance fraud and was forced to repay $19,000.

He provides links to all the stories exposing the hate crimes as hoaxes.

The political left is always interested in lying in order to portray themselves as helpless victims, while normal, healthy, moral people are portrayed as evil, vindictive bigots. Famous cases like the Matthew Shepard murder and the Jamie Leigh Jones rape have been revealed to be misrepresented by the political left. The reason why these tactics work is because people on the political right still care about being good and just, and so they are easily bullied into acceptance of things we disagree with, like binge drinking and promiscuity. The hoaxes are always trumpeted loudly as fact by the liberal media. The retractions come months or years later, after the elections are done.

UPDATE: Linked by Blazing Cat Fur, who linked to this list of 32 hate crime hoaxes.

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Gay activist honored by Barack Obama charged with sex crimes with a minor

From KTAR News in Arizona. (H/T Mysterious WGB)

Excerpt:

A former LGBT youth and diversity liaison for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has been charged with 13 counts of sex crimes with a minor.

Caleb Michael Laieski is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy last year. He was 17 at the time, but Arizona law said children under the age of 15 can’t legally consent to sex, even with another minor.

[...]Laieski gained national attention in 2011 when he appeared in a documentary about bullying and discussed issues involving gay youth with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Life Site News has some more details.

Excerpt:

An openly homosexual teenager, who was given a position as an “adviser” to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and honored by President Barack Obama at a White House “gay pride” dinner, has been indicted on more than a dozen counts of sexual misconduct with a minor under the age of 15.

[...]Laieski rose to national prominence after he and a 35-year-old friend, Casey Cameron, sent e-mails to 5,000 Arizona schools in 2011 demanding special protections for gay students and threatening legal action if they failed to bring their policies in line with his demands. The teen then dropped out of high school, got his GED, and traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

In 2012, Laieski was given a position in Mayor Stanton’s office as a “youth and diversity liaison,” advising the mayor on matters of policy having to do with youth, particularly gay youth. He was an “advocate on loan,” meaning his salary was funded by an outside group, called “One in Ten.”

According to police records, part of his job was to represent the mayor’s office at local homosexual protests, which is how he got to know Wilson, who was usually assigned as the officer in charge of policing such events.

[...]Initially, investigators saw Laieski only as a victim in the case, but police records show that Laieski actively pressured his young friend not to tell anyone about the abuse in order to protect his rising star from being tarnished, even after the younger boy became suicidal.

[...]When the younger boy begged Laieski to go with him to the police, Laieski told him no. He said he was negotiating with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over a possible White House job, and he worried that if anyone found out he’d been involved in a crime, he’d lose the opportunity.

[...]“I have a phone call with the Secretary of HHS about me working at the White House,” he added. “I am not going to allow this to get in my way. I don’t think you understand that reporting this [to the police] doesn’t only affect Chris [Wilson]. It defiantly [sic] would affect me as well.”

I notice in the stories that there is no mention of the 14-year old having a father anywhere in his life, which would explain a lot. Fathers are the ones who normally look out for predators. Children really need women to do a better job of picking men who will commit before having sex, and stick around when the children appear, but that seems to clash with the need to be “feelings-led” that is valued to highly. Desire trumps reason, but there is a price to pay.

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Leftist Slate to college women: stop binge drinking to avoid being sexually assaulted

Absolutely shocking common sense from the radically leftist Slate.

Excerpt: (links removed)

A 2009 study of campus sexual assaultfound that by the time they are seniors, almost 20 percent of college women will become victims, overwhelmingly of a fellow classmate. Very few will ever report it to authorities. The same study states that more than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently both the man and the woman have been drinking. The men tend to use the drinking to justify their behavior, as this survey of research on alcohol-related campus sexual assault by Antonia Abbey, professor of psychology at Wayne State University, illustrates, while for many of the women, having been drunk becomes a source of guilt and shame. Sometimes the woman is the only one drunk and runs into a particular type of shrewd—and sober—sexual predator who lurks where women drink like a lion at a watering hole. For these kinds of men, the rise of female binge drinking has made campuses a prey-rich environment. I’ve spoken to three recent college graduates who were the victims of such assailants, and their stories are chilling.

Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.

Experts I spoke to who wanted young women to get this information said they were aware of how loaded it has become to give warnings to women about their behavior. “I’m always feeling defensive that my main advice is: ‘Protect yourself. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to the point of losing your cognitive faculties,’ ” says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who has written on rape and teaches feminist jurisprudence. She adds that by not telling them the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—she worries that we are “infantilizing women.”

The “Campus Sexual Assault Study” of 2007, undertaken for the Department of Justice, found that the popular belief that many young rape victims have been slipped “date rape” drugs is false. “Most sexual assaults occur after voluntary consumption of alcohol by the victim and assailant,” the report states. But the researchers noted that this crucial point is not being articulated to young and naïve women: “Despite the link between substance abuse and sexual assault it appears that few sexual assault and/or risk reduction programs address the relationship between substance use and sexual assault.” The report added, somewhat plaintively, “Students may also be unaware of the image of vulnerability projected by a visibly intoxicated individual.”

“I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” saysChristopher Krebs, one of the authors of that study and others on campus sexual assault. “But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”

Stuart Schneiderman surveyed feminist responses to this article.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Before you knew it, Yoffe’s example of responsible parental advice had produced a feminist freak out. From Katie Baker to Amanda Hess to Erin Gloria Ryan to Ann Friedman to Emma Gray the voices of contemporary feminism rose up to denounce Yoffe for, they seemed all to believe, blaming the victim and going easy on the male perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

If I may summarize it, they seemed to be reasoning that when a woman is raped it is not her fault. True enough. Thus, any suggestion that she might have avoided placing herself in a dangerous situation can make her feel that she was at fault, and thus will impede her recovery.

Yoffe was saying that she wants her daughter to do everything in her power, as an individual with free choice, to avoid being raped. Feminists believe that her message circumscribes the freedom of young women and tends to blame them when they are victims of sexual assault.

Feminists want to focus the maximum of outrage against rapists. Any suggestion that a woman might have knowingly herself in harms’ way diminishes their outrage.

[...]True enough, none of the feminists mentioned above says that young women should go out and binge drink. Yet, they are in such high dudgeon over Yoffe’s recommendation that one would easily forgive a young woman for coming away believing that binge drinking was a way to assert her independence and her liberation.

Apparently, feminists believe that liberation means that a woman should be free to do as she pleases when she pleases how she pleases and not to have to suffer any ill-effects. They fail to see that freedom for responsibility is not the same as freedom from responsibility.

Worse yet, Yoffe was suggesting that women, far more than men, possess a specific vulnerability to sexual assault. It inheres in the biology of sex. And she was taking account of the fact that women are generally, significantly weaker then men.

If you take these realities into account, you will be advising your daughter to exercise caution when imbibing alcohol. You will be telling her to act responsibly.

For decades now, feminism has been telling women that they are strong and empowered. Yet, when you tell women that they are strong and powerful you are suggesting that they are invulnerable.

Yoffe’s feminist detractors did not specifically say it, but they must have been seriously incommoded by her willingness to accept the fact that a young woman is weaker and more vulnerable than a young man.

Let us not forget that some feminists, one of them Tufts professor Nancy Bauer have publicly said that equality means matching a man drink for drink and hookup for hookup.

If women are drinking more than ever it’s not because they are following advice given them by men. Most young women today refuse to accept any advice from any man.

While it is well known, as Yoffe documents, that women who get very drunk are more likely to be sexually assaulted, it is also true that women who choose to hook up, that is to perform consensual sexual acts with men they barely know often use alcohol as a psychic lubricant.

This is not surprising. In a previous post, I blogged about feminist professor Nancy Bauer urged women to act more like men in every way, including binge-drinking.

Look at this New York Times article by Ms. Bauer.

Excerpt:

If there’s anything that feminism has bequeathed to young women of means, it’s that power is their birthright.  Visit an American college campus on a Monday morning and you’ll find any number of amazingly ambitious and talented young women wielding their brain power, determined not to let anything — including a relationship with some needy, dependent man — get in their way. Come back on a party night, and you’ll find many of these same girls (they stopped calling themselves “women” years ago) wielding their sexual power, dressed as provocatively as they dare, matching the guys drink for drink — and then hook-up for hook-up.

I think that quote is a pretty good summary of what radical feminism amounts to, in practice. Women avoiding the traditional roles of wife and mother by destroying their own ability to marry and raise children with alcohol and promiscuity. This is very much the design of feminism – it is the goal. That’s why they push for taxpayer-funded contraceptions and taxpayer-funded abortions. Women who choose recreational sex over and over make lousy wives and mothers. This is what feminists want – they want marriage and at-home motherhood to disappear.

Here’s Ms. Bauer’s bio:

Nancy Bauer is associate professor and chair of philosophy at Tufts University. She is the author of “Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism,” and is currently completing a new book, “How to Do Things With Pornography.”

It’s very important to understand that older feminist women are deliberately pushing young women into situations where they are likely to be raped. If there were no radical feminism, there would be much less rape. Older feminist women will do and say anything to create enmity between younger women and men. It furthers their feminist agenda when young women have this deep suspicion of men – a suspicion that is confirmed by their own poor decisions with alcohol and sex. Old feminists want young women to choose men based on shallow criteria that have nothing to do with marriage, and break themselves up against them like ships on icebergs. That way, women will throw themselves into their careers instead of marriages – at least until they reach a certain age and then determine to have fatherless children. But that suits radical feminists just fine, too.

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