Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Disgusting: Pakistani woman murdered just for marrying the man she loved

From ABC News, a story to chill you and anger you.

Excerpt:

A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved.

The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.

Stonings in public settings, however, are extremely rare. Tuesday’s attack took place in front of a crowd of onlookers in broad daylight. The courthouse is located on a main downtown thoroughfare.

A police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal, 45, against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.

Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, said her lawyer, Mustafa Kharal. He said she was three months pregnant.

Nearly 20 members of Parveen’s extended family, including her father and brothers, had waited outside the building that houses the high court of Lahore. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the relatives fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.

When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, according to Mujahid and Iqbal, the slain woman’s husband.

One of these days I am going to write a post contrasting the Christian view of courtship and marriage, where the man has to PROVE that he is trained and ready to love the woman, provide for her needs and raise the children to be moral and spiritual, and the Islamic view.

Meanwhile, there was this horrible story about the pregnant woman in Sudan who is in chains in jail just because she is a Christian, not a Muslim.

Excerpt:

A doctor who is facing execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian gave birth to a baby girl in prison today.

Meriam Ibrahim, who has spent the past four months shackled to the floor in a disease-ridden jail, gave birth five days early.

The baby was born in the hospital wing at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum and is said to be healthy.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, her lawyer Mohaned Mustafa Elnour said: ‘This is some good news in what has been a terrible ordeal for Meriam.

‘I am planning to visit her with her husband Daniel later today. I think they are going to call the baby Maya.’

Meriam, 27, was sentenced to death by hanging earlier this month after being found guilty of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

She will receive 100 lashes before she is executed – sometime in the next two years.

Before the birth, Meriam made the defiant claim that she would rather die than give up her faith.

In a heart-wrenching conversation with her husband during a rare prison visit, Meriam told him: ‘If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I’m not going to change my faith.’

An Islamic Sharia judge said she could be spared the death penalty if she publicly renounced her faith and becomes a Muslim once more.

Meriam insists she has always been a Christian and told her husband she could not ‘pretend to be a Muslim’ just to spare her life.

Another areas where Christianity is in sharp contrast to Islam is the area of evangelism. We don’t have to respond to people changing their minds, because in Christianity, the truth stands clear from error. Each person should decide for themselves – there is no compulsion in Christianity. But Islam is conversion by the sword, or by the threat of the sword.

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Obama administration betrays Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran

Letitia posted this article by Jay Sekulow from Fox News.

Excerpt:

In its quest for a “deal” with the hostile, jihadist Iranian regime, The Obama administration has thrown an American Christian, Saeed Abedini, under the bus – the latest American victim in the administration’s continual, naïve (at best) quest to bargain with Islamic radicals.

[...]Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Idaho resident, last year received permission to enter Iran to help build an orphanage.

Shortly after his arrival, Iran’s radical Revolutionary Guard arrested him, threw him in one of Iran’s worst prisons, and tried and convicted him on trumped-up “national security” charges – charges that had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with his Christian faith.

Even after President Obama raised Pastor Saeed’s case directly to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran responded not by releasing Saeed but by transferring him to an even worse prison — a prison full of murderers and rapists, where his life is in danger at every moment.

The Iranian regime rebuked the president of the United States, and we’re now supposed to believe it’s acting in good faith?

President Obama is now trying to spin our stunning act of weakness as a breakthrough for peace.  In fact, we were so weak that (according to the administration) that the State Department did not even raise Pastor Saeed’s during the nuclear negotiations.

[...]Iran’s record of wrongdoing is long and sordid.

Beginning with the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, moving through repeated terrorist attacks – from the deadly Marine Barracks bombing in 1983, to the Kobar Towers bombing in 1996, to the direct intervention of Iran’s Quds force against American forces in Iraq – and including ongoing deadly support for terrorists fighting American forces in Afghanistan, Iran has proven by its deeds and words that it is America’s enemy.

If Iran had released Pastor Saeed we would have at least one concrete action to give Americans confidence that this deal was anything other than a disaster.  Instead, we are left with nothing but “commitments” from a regime that has proven itself committed only to killing and imprisoning Americans.

To make matters even worse, we have squandered a position of strength.

Iran was suffering under sanctions that were finally beginning to truly bite — wrecking its economy and causing deep discontent within Iraq. This was our opportunity to drive a hard bargain, to reach a deal that didn’t depend solely on Iranian “commitments.”

But we squandered that opportunity and left an American behind.

The Obama administration has betrayed Pastor Saeed.

One country that’s done a good job on promoting human rights and religious liberty is Canada, because they have a Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Here’s what Canada said about the deal: (H/T Dennis Prager)

The Canadian government was “deeply skeptical” on Sunday of Iran’s agreement to temporarily freeze its nuclear program, saying Ottawa’s sanctions against the regime would remain firmly in place until the new deal’s words turned into actions.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird appeared to take a stronger stance on the newly brokered deal than the United States and other allies, saying Canada would be watching Iran closely over the coming weeks and months.

“We have made-in-Canada foreign policy,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“We think past actions best predict future actions. And Iran has defied the United Nations Security Council, it has defied the International Atomic Energy Agency. Simply put Iran has not earned the right to have the benefit of the doubt.”

It’s striking to me that the American government is now to the left of Canada on foreign policy – making deals with dictators that actually set back the cause of freedom and universal human rights. I would not be surprised to see a full-scale war in the Middle East because of this deal. I guess that the Obama administration is so anxious to appear as if they are doing something that they don’t care if Iran nukes Israel in a few months. Because that’s what’s going to happen unless Israel attacks Iran first. Iran was threatening to nuke Israel as recently as last week. It’s hard to interpret the Democrat treaty with Iran as anything other than their stamp of approval on that plan.

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How the ADF kept nurses who wouldn’t perform abortions from being fired

In 2011, a story came out about New Jersey nurses being forced to perform abortions (or be fired). I blogged about it, but we didn’t really know the details. Well, now the details have emerged and the case has finally been decided. Here’s a press release from the heroic Alliance Defending Freedom, which protected the nurses involved from violating their consciences.

Excerpt:

Promoted from that team to a supervisory position over all the nurses, the new assistant manager announced that – since she and others had to help with abortions – she saw no reason why every nurse shouldn’t help. Hospital officials agreed, and passed a new, mandatory policy to make it so. The assistant manager quickly set up a training program that would give each nurse on the unit hands-on experience in how to assist with and clean up after abortions.

“As long as you work here,” she told the 12 nurses who openly protested, “you’re going to have to do it. If you don’t, you’re going to be fired or transferred out.”

“We were all shocked,” Fe says. “All these years I’ve been a nurse, I was never told to help kill children.”

But the managers remained adamant. Hospital administrators supported them.

[...]“Our jobs were hanging by a string,” Beryl says. “We were like, ‘All right. If they’re going to fire all 12 of us, fine. But this is against what we believe God wants us to do.’ We didn’t come into this profession to do [abortions]. We told them we weren’t comfortable with it and didn’t feel they should force us. And if that meant our jobs, well… God was going to provide.”

When even their own union declined to help them, Fe wrote a letter to hospital officials saying that she and her coworkers would not participate in abortions. She passed it around for the other nurses; 15 signed it. She gave the letter to her manager, who took it to the director of nursing.. Response was swift. A meeting was called for the next day, with each of the signing nurses, the labor board, a union official, the managers, and “an expert on ethics” scheduled to be on hand.

I think so often in this world today, Christians are on the defensive when it comes to acting on their convictions. My expectation is that we will never win when we do the right thing. The other side is so strong, and we have so few conservative Christians who are intentional about studying well, earning well, and reaching positions of influence. But sometimes we do win, because there are still some Christians left who have paid the price to get the education and training that allows them to do something when the freedoms of Christians are threatened.

This time, it was the Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers who saved the day:

The day of that announcement, Pastor Terry Smith, of Life Christian Church in West Orange, New Jersey, returned from a trip. A staff member told him that one of his parishioners – Fe – had called, shared what was happening at the hospital, and asked for advice. The pastor immediately phoned Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council.

“I’ll be all over this,” said Deo, who hung up and called Alliance Defending Freedom. Shortly afterward, staff attorney Matt Bowman was on the phone with a local allied attorney, Demetrios Stratis, enlisting him to help defend the nurses. The two immediately called Fe.

[...]Amid all the tension, threats, and growing media coverage, the judge in the case stunned everyone by suddenly announcing, in a preliminary hearing, that a settlement had been reached.

“We had gotten everything [the 12 nurses] requested,” Stratis says. “We’d gotten the hospital to agree not to force them to perform these abortions. There would be no retaliatory measures against them, and they could feel free and sleep at night, knowing that the next day they would not have to be trained on the abortion process or help a woman kill an innocent child.”

“I was crying – really crying,” says Lorna, who heard the news from one of the other nurses. “And very thankful. The next day, I went to work, and all of us were hugging and very happy.”

“Before, I used to think that some prayers won’t be answered,” Fe says. “Sometimes, I’d feel very hopeless. But with this case, I saw how the Lord moves… providing the resources, the people who would help us out. It just strengthened my faith. I really thank God for Alliance Defending Freedom.”

Where does this desire to force people to commit murder come from? Well, it comes from the political left. In fact, the Obama administration actively opposes conscience protections for medical workers, and actively opposes conscience protections for military chaplains. This is to say nothing about the HHS mandate, which forces entire organizations and businesses to subsidize abortion-causing drugs.

I think that Christians need to be thoughtful, calculating and realistic about how we are going to deal with threats like this. Although some of us may prefer to study things that are easier, and do jobs that are comfortable, there is a real need for more of us to study hard things and do hard jobs. We need people with the right degrees in the right fields, and we need people who are good at earning and saving money. The truth is that this is the way the world works, and wisdom requires that we do what we have to do (not what we like to do) in order to be ready for the the challenges we are likely to face. The other side is certainly doing their job of getting the degrees and the money that they will use against us.

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U.S. Army tells troops that Christian pro-family group is a hate group

Letitia the Damsel notified me about this story from Todd Starnes of Fox News.

Excerpt:

Several dozen U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values.

The briefing was held at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and listed the AFA alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam.

[...]“The instructor said AFA could be considered a hate group because they don’t like gays,” the soldier told me. “The slide was talking about how AFA refers to gays as sinners and heathens and derogatory terms.”

[...]Later in the briefing, the soldiers were reportedly told that they could face punishment for participating in organizations that are considered hate groups.

[...]Earlier this year, I exposed Army briefings that classified evangelical Christians and Catholics as examples of religious extremism.

Another briefing told officers to pay close attention to troops who supported groups like AFA and the Family Research Council.

One officer said the two Christian ministries did not “share our Army Values.”

“When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem,” the officer wrote in an email to his subordinates.

[...]“The American Family Association has received numerous accounts of military installations as well as law enforcement agencies using a list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which wrongfully identifies and defames AFA,” reads a statement they sent me.

Letitia the Damsel commented on her blog about this story and the SPLC:

This is a “Strike two!” occasion because, as Todd Starnes pointed out, this briefing by the Army is itself a dangerous hate move not unlike how the Family Research Council was also labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a potential target for a truly hateful fascist to attack, which then happened. In fact, Army officers have come to see themselves as idealogues and the mechanism of the Army as a force for activism.

She quote from the Fox News article:

One officer said the two Christian ministries did not “share our Army Values.”

“When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem,” the officer wrote in an email to his subordinates.

And comments:

The US Army has values? And it is incumbent upon the American public to conform to those “Army Values?” Call me hog-tied to the text (or paranoid!), but I’m certain that whatever Army Values exist are supposed to be reflective of the US Constitution which in no way acknowledges that one must campaign to “address concerns” of average American citizens that are “inconsistent with (so-called) Army Values.”

So if the Army is going to fling open that door, then I’m not paranoid, and it’s safe again to trod out Hitler references to things I find smack of fascism. I ask that our government root out the Nazi dictator who compiled this briefing and jack him/her up for conspiracy to deprive the people of the AFA of their First Amendment rights and for putting them in potential physical harm.

Previously, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group” because they are also pro-family and pro-marriage. A gay activist found the FRC listed as a hate group on the SPLC web site, and charged into the FRC building armed with guns. His intent was mass murder. Is that what the U.S. Army was trying to achieve by telling soldiers that the AFA is a hate group? It seems we should avoid using words to encourage people to commit acts of domestic terrorism, like the attack by the anti-FRC gay activist. I certainly never expected the U.S. Army to imitate the SPLC in demonizing pro-family groups – and at taxpayer expense. If this anti-Christian hate speech by the U.S. Army results in actual violence, can the victims then sue the U.S. Army? That seems fair to me.

Related posts

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Colorado man faces fine and/or jail for refusing to bake for gay couple

The Heritage Foundation reports on the latest episode of the conflict between gay activism and religious liberty.

Full text:

A same-sex couple in Denver has filed a discrimination complaint against baker Jack Phillips for refusing to provide his services to help celebrate their wedding.

Phillips declined on the grounds that participating in such a ceremony violates his religious beliefs about marriage. Similar cases have involved a Washington florist and a New Mexico photographer.

Even though the Colorado celebration was for a marriage actually performed in Massachusetts, and Colorado does not recognize same-sex marriage under its laws, the baker stands accused of violating Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. Heritage’s Tom Messner has written how situations such as those in Colorado are triggered:

Conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious freedom will often involve some type of previously adopted nondiscrimination law or policy, and nondiscrimination laws can impose burdens on religious freedom even in jurisdictions that do not legally recognize homosexual unions as marriages.

Colorado is proving the point. Same-sex marriage is not formally recognized in the state, but nondiscrimination law can, even in states without same-sex marriage, produce conflicts with religious freedom.

In this case, the attorney general of Colorado issued a formal complaint at the behest of the ACLU. The case is expected to go before Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission. The complaint urges Phillips to “cease and desist” his activity. Phillips could face fines of $500 and up to a year in jail.

For Phillips, the issue at stake is whether law will force him to use his creative services in a way that violates his faith.

Phillips told a reporter he serves non-wedding cakes to all customers—regardless of sexual orientation. It’s the same-sex marriage to which he objects.

Phillips’s attorney believes that actions against him are yet another example of recent trends that restrict conscience.

“At its heart, this is a case about conscience,” said Nicolle Martin, his attorney. “It would force him to choose between his conscience and a paycheck. I just think that’s an intolerable choice.”

Phillips refuses to compromise and remains determined to stand up for his religious views. “If it came to that point, we would close down the bakery before we would compromise our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to,” Phillips told KCNC-TV.

There was a pretty good article on this issue a few days ago on the Public Discourse, and it’s worth reading and sharing with people who think that gay marriage won’t affect them. The truth is that gay marriage is not compatible with religious liberty, and gay activists are willing to use the state to push their views onto anyone who refuses to celebrate and affirm their lifestyle.

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