Part III: Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Multiple Motives for North African Jihadists

3d43ff9f-174e-4a34-8d0f-1c0ff85d0e04Why are so many North Africans keen to join the Jihadist effort? What stands behind this massive mobilization and readiness of young people to leave everything behind, cut their ties with family, disappear from their milieu without any announcement, smuggle themselves to the Syrian or Iraqi arenas (at great risk from their respective countries and under the constant watch of the security and intelligence agencies that monitor movements to and from the Middle East), and of course ready to sacrifice their lives in Syria, Iraq or in Europe for a cause fought thousands of kilometers away from their native North African country?
The explanation may be found in the following:

1. North Africans have always wanted to be close to the “core” of the Middle East, feeling marginalized by historical events taking place in the Arab-Israeli conflict away from their region. North African states sent expeditionary troops to the Middle East after the 1967 Six-Day War to take part in the battle against Israel. Morocco sent two brigades (one was deployed in the Syrian Golan Heights and one in Egypt) while Algeria sent a brigade to Egypt. Those troops were actively engaged in combat during the Yom Kippur 1973 war against Israel and suffered heavy losses.

2.North Africa is the setting for developing jihadist movements partly inspired by the war in Afghanistan and by the Khomeini revolution in Iran. But the unsatisfied needs of young, mostly unemployed people, left behind by the process of modernization and westernization and an unwillingness to accept the reality of power also plays a role. The disintegration of Libya after Qaddafi and the takeover of the country by jihadist militias have served as a contagious example to North African jihadists, meaning that what has been achieved in nearby Libya by jihadists could be repeated in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

3. The North Africa states have been exposed for a long time to Wahhabi proselytism that is opposed to the “moderate” Sufi Islam practiced in North Africa. Morocco and Tunisia were tolerant to the Wahhabi theological invasion while Algeria chose to fight it by all means. Identification with the Wahhabi ideology is only one step from joining soul mates to fight the “heretics” leading “heretic” regimes. Oddly enough, northern Morocco, which seems to be the area that has drawn the most jihadists to the Islāmic State, is a region were strict Salafi sheiks dominate the religious scene and do identify openly with the ideology of the Islāmic State and its targets.

4.There is also an economic factor one cannot ignore. Most of the Moroccans who have joined the Islāmic State come from the north of the country that has been neglected by former King Hassan II. The northern region of Morocco is hit by severe unemployment and subsequent radicalization. The fact that the Islāmic State pays salaries that cannot even be imagined in Morocco is a factor in the enrollment of jihadists by the Islāmic State.

5. Finally, one cannot under-estimate the geographic factor: North Africa is very close to southern Europe and the jihadist network existing there, which makes coördination and recruitment easier. Those networks appeared first during the second Iraqi war (2003) when people thought it acceptable to travel to Iraq and join the fight against the “American aggressor.”

What Are the Ultimate Objectives of the Islamic State?

The answer is simple, and it lies in the publications of the Islāmic State: establish an Islāmic Caliphate that would restore Islam’s historical splendor. According to the maps published by the Islāmic State, the Islāmic State will include Andalus in the West (Spain) and stretch from North Africa — the Maghreb — (and the whole of West Africa including Nigeria) through Libya and Egypt (considered one geographical unit – Ard Al-Kinana), include what is called in Islāmic state terminology, Ard el Habasha (from Cameroon in the west, Central Africa, the Lake Victoria states, Ethiopia and Somalia), the Hijaz (Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States), Yemen until Khurasan in the east – defined as the Central Asian Muslim Republics beginning with Azerbaijan and including Pakistan and the southwest part of China, land of the Muslims of Turkish origin, the Uyghurs. The Islāmic State also includes Iran and Turkey (named Anatol) in their entirety and parts of Europe (mainly the Balkans, more or less conforming to the borders of the defunct Ottoman Empire with the Austro-Hungarian territories).

The Islāmic State has made no secret who is its enemy: In an audio-taped message, Al-Baghdadi announced following his self-proclaimed caliphate that the Islāmic State would march on “Rome” in its resolve to establish an Islāmic State from the Middle East across Europe. He said that he would conquer both Rome and Spain in this endeavor and urged Muslims across the world to immigrate to the new Islāmic State.

On November 13, 2014, exactly a year before the Paris terrorist attacks, a voice message attributed to Al-Baghdadi vowed that IS fighters would never cease fighting “even if only one soldier remains.” The speaker urged supporters of the Islāmic State to “erupt volcanoes of jihad” across the world. He called for attacks to be mounted in Saudi Arabia—describing Saudi leaders as “the head of the snake” – and said that the U.S.-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq was failing. He also said that ISIL would keep on marching and would “break the borders” of Jordan and Lebanon and “free Palestine.” Al-Baghdadi also claimed in 2014 that Islāmic jihadists would never hesitate to eliminate Israel just because it has the United States support.

The distillation of these warlike declarations could only mean a continuation of the IS war effort directed at:

  1. Toppling the Shiite regime in Iraq and containing Iran.
  2. Taking control of the Syrian-Turkish border.
  3. Reaching Tripoli in Lebanon to secure a harbor on the Mediterranean Sea and by extension to destabilize Lebanon.
  4. Toppling the Assad regime in Syria.
  5. Destabilizing Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
  6. Destabilizing Europe and the U.S. through terrorist acts. Blowing up the Russian plane flying out of Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai and the Beirut and Paris terrorist attacks definitely fit in this IS strategy.

Christians Must Not Divide Because of Their Political Views

                           Republican candidates verbally spar in a debate. (Reuters)

Dr. Michael Brown puts forth a view that should be helpful to any Christian who seeks to be a responsible citizen. I appreciate his fairness with those who may be of a different opinion. I believe he models for Christians the way we ought to pursue what we believe to be the right choice but always in kindness recognizing there may be other thoughtful views. Read his latest post below for the purpose of being edified.

If you’ve been following my ministry for any length of time, you know I constantly address issues of concern to me in the news, whether they have to do with moral, cultural or spiritual issues and whether they pertain to America, Israel or the nations.

So, it should not surprise you that I’m frequently addressing the presidential elections, often with conviction and strong points of view.

That being said, if you and I love God and Jesus is our Lord and the Word of God is our final authority, it is important THAT WE DO NOT DIVIDE over these issues, as passionate as we might be.

We can respectfully agree to disagree without engaging in sinful judgment against one another, and above all, we can give ourselves to the gospel and pray for God’s best for our nation.

I endorsed Sen. Cruz because I was convinced that he was a committed believer who shared my core values and that he had a proven record of taking on the Republican (and Congressional) establishment, something I felt was absolutely essential if we were to see positive change come to our nation.

My feelings about Sen. Cruz remain the same to this day.

At the same time, I am not here to be his defender or apologist and there are other candidates I respect and would vote for if they were nominated.

I do have grave concerns about a Trump presidency and I have real concerns about evangelical Christians backing him, unless they said: “We know he’s not a believer or a God-fearing man, but we believe that God is raising him up, as unlikely as it seems, for His own purposes, and that’s why I support him.”

I still would not agree with that personally (but let God be God!), but I would not have a problem with that perspective.

My problem is when believers either overlook his massive character flaws or claim that he’s actually a Christian or a God-fearing man. That’s what concerns me.

Having said all that, my mission is to please the Lord, not to campaign for one candidate or bring down another, so my posts and comments and articles and radio shows and videos will reflect that.

So, let’s pray for our nation and let’s pray for the candidates, and let’s pray for one another.

Awakening must start with us, and if we view one another as enemies rather than co-workers, we’ll have an even bigger problem to face.

May God cause us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world like never before!

As much as many Americans reject the church, America desperately needs the church to be the church.

The fate of the nation will be determined by what happens in God’s house even more than what happens in the White House, as massively important as the presidency is.

Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown.

Chris Kyle – A Man From A Different Time

For those who may not know, here are a list of Chris Kyle’s awards.

•  2 Silver Stars with Combat Valor
•  5 Bronze Stars with Combat Valor
•  Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Valor…
•  2 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals with Combat Valor
•  2 Combat Action Ribbons
•  Navy Presidential Unit Citation
•  Joint Meritorious Unit Award
•  Navy Unit Commendation
•  Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
•  Navy Good Conduct Medal with 2 Service Star
•  National Defense Service Medal
•  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
•  Iraq Campaign Medal with 4 Campaign Stars
•  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
•  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
•  Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 3 Service Stars
•  Rifle Marksmanship Medal
•  Pistol Marksmanship Medal
•  United States Navy SEALs Insignia

Here is a description of his funeral, definitely worth reading:

Christ Kyle

This is apparently from a wife of one of the Navy Seals in attendance… it makes interesting, disturbing, but hardly surprising reading.

Chris Kyle became the US armed services number #1 sniper of all time. Not something he was happy about, other than the fact that in so doing, he saved a lot of lives.

Three years ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams because he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda. He did and wrote the book “The American Sniper” and 100% of the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their sons in Iraq .

That was the kind of guy Chris was. He formed a company in Dallas to train military, police and I think firemen, how to protect themselves in difficult situations. He also formed a foundation to work with military people suffering from PTSD. Chris was a giver not a taker. He, along with a friend and neighbour, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying to help a young man that had served six months in Iraq and claimed to have PTSD.

Now I need to tell you about all of the blessings.

Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport to the funeral… free of charge. The employees donated buddy passes and one lady worked for four days without much of a break to see that it happened. Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.

The Marriott Hotel reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only SEAL’s and family.

The Midlothian, TX Police Department paid the $45 a night for each room. I would guess there were about 200 people staying at the hotel, 100 of them were SEALs.

Two large buses were chartered (an unknown donor paid the bill) to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rental cars (donated).

The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.

At the Kyle house, the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire five days for the SEALs to meet in and so they could use the restroom there instead of the bathroom in the house.

Taya, their two small children and both sets of parents were staying in the home. Only a hand full of SEALS went into the home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on an hourly basis.
It was a huge coördination of many different events and security. Derek was assigned to be a Pall Bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was transferred from the Midlothian Funeral Home to the Arlington Funeral Home, and to be with Taya. A tough job. Taya seldom came out of her bedroom. The house was full with people from the church and other family members that would come each day to help. I spent one morning in a bedroom with Chris’ mom and the next morning with Chad Littlefield’s parents (the other man murdered with Chris). A tough job.

George W. Bush and his wife Laura, met and talked to everyone on the Seal Team one on one. They went behind closed doors with Taya for quite a while. They had prayer with us all. You can tell when people were sincere and caring.

Nolan Ryan sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks, chicken and hamburgers. They set up in the front yard and fed people all day long including the 200 SEALs and their families.

The next day a local BBQ restaurant set up a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again. Food was plentiful and all were taken care of. The  kept those inside the house well fed.

Jerry Jones, the man everyone loves to hate, was a rock star. His wife and he were just making sure everyone was taken care of….Class… He donated the use of Cowboy Stadium for the services because so many wanted to attend. The charter buses transported us to the stadium on Monday at 10:30 am. Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with bomb dogs and police. I am not sure if kooks were making threats trying to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALS in one place was a security risk, I don’t know. We willingly obliged. No purses went into the stadium!

We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was available. That was for about 300 people. We were growing. A Medal of Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police and Sarah Palin and her husband. She looked nice, this was a very formal military service.

The service started at 1:00 pm and when we were escorted onto the field I was shocked. We heard that about 10,000 people had come to attend also. They were seated in the stadium seats behind us.

It was a beautiful and emotional service. The Bagpipe and drum corps were wonderful and the Texas A&M men’s choir stood through the entire service and sang right at the end. We were all in tears.

The next day was the 200-mile procession from Midlothian , TX to Austin for burial. It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the people were out.

We had dozens of police motorcycles riders, freedom riders, five chartered buses and lots of cars. You had to have a pass to be in the procession and still it was huge.

Two helicopters circled the procession with snipers sitting out the side door for protection.

It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of Texas. People were everywhere. The entire route was shut down ahead of us, the people were lined up on the side of the road the entire way.

Firemen were down on one knee, police officers were holding their hats over their hearts, children waving flags, veterans saluting as we went by.

Every bridge had fire trucks with large flags displayed from their tall ladders, people all along the entire 200 miles were standing in the cold weather. It was so heart warming. Taya rode in the hearse with Chris’ body so Derek rode the route with us. I was so grateful to have that time with him.

The service was at Texas National Cemetery. Very few are buried there and you have to apply to get in. It is like people from the Civil War, Medal of Honour winners, a few from the Alamo and all the historical people of Texas .

It was a nice service and the Freedom Riders surrounded the outside of the entire cemetery to keep the crazy church people from Kansas that protest at military funerals away from us.

Each SEAL put his Trident (metal SEAL badge) on the top of Chris’ casket, one at a time. A lot hit it in with one blow. Derek was the only one to take four taps to put his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did it.

Another tearful moment.

After the service Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita , invited us to the governor’s mansion. She stood at the door, greeted each of us individually, and gave each of the SEALs a coin of Texas . She was a sincere, compassionate, and gracious hostess. We were able to tour the ground floor and then went into the garden for beverages and BBQ. So many of the Seal team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas.

They remarked that they had never felt so much love and hospitality. The charter buses then took the guys to the airport to catch their returning flights. Derek just now called and after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot, in a dangerous land on the other side of the world, protecting America.

We just wanted to share with you, the events of a quite emotional, but blessed week.”

To this day, no one in the White House has ever acknowledged Chris Kyle; his service, his death, his duty, his generosity, his caring, his life.

However, the President can call a sports person and congratulate him on his bravery for announcing to the world that he is gay.

He can say on national television that someone, a man who has committed a crime and was shot by police in the line of duty, would have made him a good son.

The SEALS have asked that you please, keep this moving if you think Chris Kyle would have made a good son.

Yes Christian, You Are Supposed to Judge Donald Trump

By Erick Erickson | January 25, 2016, 10:40pm
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One of the most ignorant responses to my piece about pastors and Trump is from those saying that the Bible says we are not to judge. Donald Trump says he is a Christian, therefore we should not judge him.

Statements like that reveal a shallow theology. In fact, because Donald Trump proclaims himself a Christian, we absolutely are to judge him. The Bible makes that explicit in 1 Corinthians 5.

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Donald Trump claims to be a Christian. He also claims the thing he has in common with his daughter is that they both have sex. He cheated on his first wife with his second and is now on his third wife. He, on several occasions, has said he has no need to repent and has never asked God for forgiveness. Contrary to Cain, who murdered his brother, we in the church are our brothers’ keepers. We are to hold each other to account.

When we are confronted by a man who calls himself a Christian and does not admit he is a sinner, says he has never needed to repent, has tried to take a widow’s home against her consent, has been divorced multiple times and committed adultery, you absolutely are called to judge. The Bible is explicit in this.

If you call yourself a Christian and support Donald Trump, feel free to. But don’t hide behind your faith as an excuse for supporting him as some are. And don’t get in high dudgeons when the rest of us point out Christians are supposed to repent. And do not dare say we should not judge. Not only do you flat out misunderstand Matthew 7, you ignore 1 Corinthians 5.

Ted Cruz: An Ezra for This Hour in America

6:00AM EST 1/25/2016 JENNIFER LECLAIRE

ed Cruz is a modern-day Ezra. (Reuters)

                                          Ted Cruz is a modern-day Ezra. (Reuters)

As I was preparing to head out to Texas to interview Senator Ted Cruz for an upcoming magazine article, I did more than study his voting record and where he stands on hot-button issues. I prayed about God’s will in what many are calling the most important presidential election in the nation’s history.

As I prayed over Cruz, I heard the Lord say “Ezra.” I studied Ezra’s mission, reading the book of the Bible he wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I also studied his actions in book Nehemiah, also penned by the Spirit.

After much prayer, reflection and study, I believe that the Lord wants to raise up Cruz, 45, as an Ezra in this generation. I believe the Lord wills to use this Cuban-immigrant-pastor’s kid-turned-United-States-senator to call the nation to repentance and lead America to re-covenant with God.

Who Was Ezra?

In case you don’t read much from this prophet, scribe and priest, he was one of the key leaders to leave Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem, which was sitting in ruins during his ministry. Although America is not in visible ruins and most of our churches are still standing, the discerning eye can see spiritual ruin from sea to shining sea as many predict a financial Armageddon is inevitable.

It’s important to note that God did not work through one man alone to bring an awakening to Israel. God raised up restorers of the walls and repairers of the breach. He raised up interceding prophets. He raised up builders—those willing to do hard work day and night. And he raised up governmental leaders who were touched by the Spirit of God to cooperate with His plans and purposes at a specific hour in history.

King Artaxerxes offered permission and provision to Nehemiah, who led the restoration of Jerusalem’s walls (see Neh. 2). King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild the temple Zerubbabel and Joshua led work to restore the temple as Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to the builders (see Ezra 5: 1-2). Ezra’s portion was to ultimately bring a spiritual revival to God’s people by restoring a reverential fear of Jehovah’s law and a heartfelt worship for one one true and living God who had so many times before delivered them from bondage.

What Ezra Really Did

Essentially, Ezra taught the people of God the Word of God. He set out to teach the Israelites, who had been carried away into Babylonian captivity, the law of God. Ezra did not set out to do this by his own smarts, strengths or timing.

Like Nehemiah, Ezra also rose up in the reign of Artaxerxes. The Bible describes him as “a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses, given by the Lord God of Israel” and says “the hand of the Lord his God was upon him” and later reiterates that “the good hand of his God was upon him” (see Ezra 7).

When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, he wasted no time on his assignment: “Because Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, he was doing so and teaching the statutes and judgments in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). With the walls and temple rebuilt, the family leaders and temple servants started returning to Jerusalem and sacrifices were made unto Jehovah (Ezra 8).

Then comes a turning point. Ezra learned that God’s people, “practice the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites” (Ezra 9:1).

“When I heard this, I tore my clothes and my robe, plucked out the hair of my head and from my beard, and sat down astonished. Because of the vile behavior of those who had been in exile, every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered to me, but I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice” (Ezra 9:3-4).

A Call to Repentance

At the evening sacrifice Ezra rose up from his heaviness and, despite having his clothes and robe torn, he knelt on his knees and stretched out his hands in prayer to God and started leading the nation in repentance:

“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, because our iniquities have expanded over our heads and our wrongdoing has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers until this day, we have been in a great guilt. It is because of our iniquities that we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered—by the sword, by captivity, by spoil, and by being shamed—into the hand of the kings of the lands. This day is like that, too” (Ezra 9:6-7).

This repentance goes on through verse 15. Then something happened. 2 Chronicles 7:14 happened.

“Now while Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large congregation of men, women, and children gathered around him from Israel, for the people too wept bitterly. Shekaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said to Ezra, ‘We have acted with vile unfaithfulness against our God and have wedded foreign women from the people of the land, yet there is now hope in Israel concerning this. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to sever relations with all the women and their children according to the counsel of my lord and those who tremble at the commandment of our God. May this be done in accordance with the law. Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. But we are standing with you. Be courageous and act!'” (Ezra 10:1-4).

Cruz is Believing for a Great Awakening

The Israelites confessed their sins, repented, and immediately started making the wrong things right. We get more of the story in Nehemiah 8. Ezra reads the book of the Law of Moses before all the people.

“When Ezra blessed the Lord as the great God, all the people responded ‘Amen, Amen!’ By lifting up their hands as they bowed their heads, they worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Neh. 8:6). “They read from the book, from the Law of God, with interpretation, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Neh. 8:8).

And the people wept but joy followed as true spiritual revival hit Israel.

“Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, ‘Hush! Because today is holy you should stop being so sorrowful.’ Then all the people went to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to enjoy a great celebration because they had understood the words declared to them” (Neh. 8:10-12).

Jerusalem, the Holy City, was restored. America can be restored. We may be on the brink of utter disaster, but it’s not too late—and Cruz is proclaiming that reality. When I sat down with him in Texas, I specifically asked him if he was believing for another Great Awakening.

“To turn America around today, I believe we need another great awakening, and I believe it’s happening,” Cruz told me. “It’s one of the reasons I’m so optimistic and so encouraged as I travel the country. People are waking up. They’re realizing that what we’re doing doesn’t make any sense. They’re realizing that we’re losing who we are, forgetting who we are.”

Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books,

Hope and Change – “Making America Weak Again”

A little more than seven years ago the fledgling political operative out of Chicago, stormed the country  with his captivating mantra of “Hope and Change.” It captivated the masses, and history records his grand parade to the White House. After seven years of his administration there has been enormous change, but little real hope. Of course he could never have won on a campaign slogan that is far more accurate in describing his rule as a monarch, “Making America Weak Again.”

As a young cleric serving the people of a great church, I remember so well John Harvey a great patriot. As a member of the Birch Society, his passion in life was to education his pastor about the present and what he believed was the inevitable decline of America as a super power and peace broker in the world. In the sixties and seventies I considered the Birchers to be a group of people who seemed to be the prophets of doom and gloom. They seem to find little right and much wrong with our political system. At that time in my life I did not take my friend seriously, I do now.

Many years have passed and John is now with the Lord he loved. I have not forgotten our long conversations as we would drive from the Antelope Valley to Bishop California, always with the intention of doing just a little more work on that unfinished cabin.

I never became a Bircher, however because of those conversations with my friend, I  developed what I felt was a healthy ability to question the unhealthy policies, presidential executive orders, the work of our congress and etc. I also became very pro active in a couple of organizations that endeavor to make America great again long before Donald Trump embedded that as his presidential slogan.

Act for American is one of those organizations I believe is providing Americans information about radical Islam that is not available anywhere. What you read below is not from their website, however they and others could very well make these statements and raising these questions.

Like most in American who consider themselves “concerned” citizens we don’t want to be identified with any fringe or “radical” group that declares our president is a Muslim. After all aren’t these people nuts and radicals themselves for even rasing such a thought We think of people in this group much like I thought of my Bircher friend. They are for the most part good people but out of touch with reality.

While I’m not willing to make such a statement about our president (that he is a Muslim), there have been shifts in our culture, policy changes, and presidential executive orders that by design appear to make America weak like in the early years of our history. We might ask the following questions about the product of his administration and see where that leads us.

Has everyone lost their ability to see what is happening in the USA? Think America! Before Obama, there was virtually no visible presence
of Islam in America.

All of a sudden, Islam is taught in schools

All of a sudden, we must allow prayer rugs everywhere and allow for Islāmic prayer in schools and businesses.

All of a sudden, we must stop serving pork in public places and institutions.

All of a sudden, we are inundated with law suits by Muslims who are offended by America. (For God’s sake, they are IN America)

All of a sudden, we must allow burkas to be worn everywhere even though you have no idea who is covered up under them.

All of a sudden, Muslim training compounds are popping up throughout the USA.

All of a sudden, Muslims are suing employers for being expected to do their jobs.

All of a sudden, all of our aircraft carriers are recalled for maintenance by Obama rendering the Atlantic unsupported.

All of a sudden, our troops are withdrawn from the middle east.

All of a sudden, there is no money for American poor, disabled veterans, jobless Americans, hungry Americans, or displaced Americans,
but there is endless money for Obama’s refugee programs.

All of a sudden, Obama fills the Federal Government with Muslims in key positions.

All of a sudden, there is an ammunition shortage in the USA.

All of a sudden, Americans are threatened by the Federal government for complaining about Muslims.

All of a sudden, the most important thing for Obama to do is disarm American Citizens.

Now, why is it so important for Obama to disarm America? Why? Because a disarmed country is ripe for takeover by the Muslim Army that Obama
has imported into the United States.

Nikita Khrushchev, the Russian dictator who visited the USA in the 1950s said the USA could never  be occupied by any army because of it’s citizen Army.

Could it be that Obama knows this fact and is doing everything within his power to disarm our Citizen Army? If Obama can’t do it legally, he will abuse his power and take
every gun from Americans because he knows he must do that to turn the USA over to Islam.

Be wary and watchful! Obama’s actions speak far beyond his words. Obama won’t even say the words “Islāmic Terrorist”, WHY?”.

You may leave with the thought this is another wild piece from the NRA, it isn’t. I am not a member of that organization, however I may join soon.

To provide us with some perspective, I share with you Michael Barone’s post from Friday, Jan 15, 2015

American Exceptionalism: How Has It Fared in the Obama Years?

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In his final State of the Union speech Barack Obama made at least a few bows toward the idea that America is an exceptional nation, an idea he once derided by saying, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks” — this was before their fiscal crisis — “believe in Greek exceptionalism.” We remain exceptional, he said in Tuesday’s speech, as the world’s strongest nation militarily and because we’re doing better economically than most other large nations.

But overall, has America become less exceptional in the seven years of the Obama presidency? Yale law professor Peter Schuck addresses that question in National Affairs, using as a benchmark “Understanding America,” a 2008 book he co-edited with the late political scientist James Q. Wilson.

America, Schuck summarized, is “unique on a whole host of fronts” because it’s “decentralized, diverse, competitive, contentious.” These factors have contributed, to varying extents, to the astonishing success of a republic that started off with 3.9 million people in 1789 and has 321 million today.

One way we are exceptional is that we have a Constitution that divides power among executive, legislative and judicial branches. Obama has gathered more power in the executive: passing Obamacare by legislative legerdemain, shutting down the coal industry by dubious regulations, attempting to legalize illegal immigrants by executive order, though the most recent attempt has been ruled illegal by federal courts. This trend toward prime ministerial government didn’t start in 2009. But Obama has extended it further than ever before.

In other ways Obama has not changed what is unfortunate about American politics. We tend to have relatively low voter turnout, and it’s declined during the Obama years. And American politics and government remains relatively decentralized, with different states going their own ways.

Although Obama was re-elected with 51 percent of the vote, most Americans have Republican governors and state legislatures. Most rejected what parts of Obamacare they could and, even as Obama touts gun control, every state now allows law-abiding citizens permits to carry concealed weapons.

On education America has become less centralized, sloughing off George W. Bush’s bipartisan education accountability law and increasingly rejecting Obama-supported Common Core.

Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman in his “Understanding America” book ascribes America’s exceptional economic success to its businesses’ flexibility and competitiveness, its largely unregulated and flexible labor markets and its soundly regulated financial institutions.

On this score critics have grounds for saying Obama administration policies have made the nation less exceptional — and less productive. Certainly American financial regulation proved less sound than thought shortly after Friedman wrote, but it’s not clear that Obama’s Dodd-Frank Act improved it.

Big banks’ market share has increased; bank loaning has not entirely rebounded. Entrepreneurship and new business formation this century has been lagging previous levels, an acceleration of a pre-Obama trend.

Friedman noted also that Americans tend to work more than people in other advanced countries. But our distinctiveness there has declined since 2009. American work-force participation — the percentage of adults holding or seeking jobs — remains at the lowest levels since the 1970s, even after several years of 2 percent economic growth. Disability rolls have skyrocketed, and young people have gotten a slower start on their working lives than in past generations.

Schuck notes, accurately, that American social mobility — the percentage that move from lower to upper economic classes — has for many years not been exceptionally high, as many Americans have assumed. But many Americans think it’s declining today. Overall, the case for the exceptionalism of the American economy seems increasingly to be based more on the weakness of other nations’ economies than on the strength of our own.

What about American diversity? Immigration continues, though at reduced levels as compared to the 1982-2007 period, and immigration from Mexico, our largest source of immigrants then, has tailed off to zero since the financial crisis of 2008.

But despite Islamist terrorist attacks and despite Obama’s warnings against anti-Muslim prejudice in the State of the Union, there is little sign of anti-immigrant violence. What has changed is public acquiescence in legalizing illegal immigrants — perhaps a response to Obama’s arguably illegal attempts to do so.

Which leads to American conscientiousness, one aspect in which even Barack Obama seems to concede America has become more pronounced during his presidency. Mainly because many Americans, operating through our decentralized politics and government, have been resisting his “fundamental transformation” attempts to make America less exceptional.

Dabo Swinney and Clemson Must Be Made to Care

Clemson-1-1144x834The Clemson Tigers ended their 2015 season 14-1 and with a bowl game win against the Oklahoma Sooners to boot. Their BCS game against Alabama was a memorable one with each teams’ players handling the outcome with the utmost class. But off the field, Coach Dabo Swinney and other Christians on the team face a much more tenacious opponent.

The litigious-loving Leftist group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, has found fault with Clemson’s football program saying it is too faith-based.

They claim that Swinney’s Christian faith, expressed through prayer with his players, church day events, and chaplaincy program is a breach of the US Constitution.

FFRF hopes to bring a lawsuit against the university (if they could only find a student who thought it was a problem) with the goal of coercing the university to, as staff attorney Patrick Elliott explained, “monitor” religious activity in the program.

Yes that’s what we need in America. More monitoring of our religious beliefs.

This is not the first time this organization has raised a complaint against Clemson and Swinney, who has been open about his Christian faith. They tried to raise a fuss in 2014, as well.

Swinney’s response was all grace but without apology: “We weren’t doing anything (wrong.) Ain’t nothing to change. People have just got to be who they are, it’s that simple. We’ve never tried to force anything on anybody. Everybody who comes here to Clemson knows who we are as people. There’s no surprises in that regard.”

And here I thought the Left was all about letting people be their authentic selves.

You know, like Bruce Jenner.

HERE COME THE BULLIES

Clemson and Swinney are not the only colleges being accused of shoving faith on their students.

Both Alabama and Auburn received a similar complaint from FFRF condemning their chaplaincy programs as unconstitutional, saying the schools fail to “properly protect your student athletes’ rights of conscience and pose(s) a high degree risk of discrimination.”

Auburn President Goge responded that the school’s chaplain works on a volunteer basis and that he was in no way an employee of the school.

But FFRF objected not simply to the appearance of a clergyman on staff but to Christian interaction with the team in general:

It makes no difference if the chaplain is unofficial, not school-sponsored, or a volunteer, because chaplains are given access to the team as a means for coaches to impose religion, usually Christianity, on their players.

What about the atheistic professors on college campuses across America who are given access to proselytize students each and every day in their classrooms? Shouldn’t students be free from religious coercion there, as well?

The FFRF have flown their true colors. They are, in fact a religious organization themselves.

They don’t really want freedom from religion. They only want us to be free of all religion save their own—progressive secularism.

Erick and I address this problem in the new book You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe (You can apply to join the launch team now!) and share more stories of how progressives are discriminating against truth on campus.

Secularism is a religion, the anti-religion religion.

And it is the secularists on the Left who are seeking to impose their faith on Christians and the students at Clemson and universities across America, not the other way around.

Obama’s SOTU VERSUS REALITY

David Limbaugh | Jan 15, 2016
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In their State of the Union speeches, all previous presidents presented their policies in the most favorable light, but did they go so far as to distort reality? Did they use them to trash their opponents?

I don’t think so. But in his last one, Obama did, and adding insult to injury, as always, he pointedly decried partisan sniping right before launching into another episode of partisan sniping. It’s as though he doesn’t even realize he’s being hypocritical on steroids.

Obama is also the first president to have framed his SOTU speeches, in part, as high-school debate rebuttals. He must tell his speechwriters to bullet criticisms of his record and then craft a point-by-point rebuttal. If you haven’t noticed, it’s a formula for negativity and partisan rancor — the very things he denounces.

In addition, no other president has presented his record so inaccurately that informed and unbrainwashed viewers must conclude that the primary target of Obama’s deception is Obama himself. If he were capable of digesting how bad his record is, he surely wouldn’t embarrass himself by portraying it so falsely.

Obama claimed that there are no existential threats facing this nation, that his economy is robust, that his educational record is stellar, that people who are skeptical that global warming is man-made are fools, that the United States is more respected internationally now than it was before he took office, that Obamacare has lived up to its promises, that the military is overfunded, that ISIS members are just fanatics and killers riding around in pickup trucks, that his “clean energy” programs are superior, that people who support entitlement reform are the irresponsible ones — saying we should actually double down on these bankrupting boondoggles — that proponents of an orderly immigration system are bigots, that Ted Cruz’s pledge to aggressively pursue the Islamic State is code for deliberately bombing innocent civilians, that he himself deserves praise for reducing the deficit, that he values bipartisanship and compromise and ideas other than his own, that it’s morning in America and that he’s just getting warmed up and planning on engineering further transformational change at the expiration of his term.

Can you imagine having this record of failure, bragging about it and promising to deliver more misery into the indefinite future? It would be like the owner of the Chicago Cubs pledging to keep winning the World Series.

As for existential threats, try ISIS, a government-sponsored invasion of our borders by immigrants whom the left encourages not to assimilate or embrace the American idea, out-of-control entitlements, the exploding national debt and the systematic assault on the Constitution and rule of law by a renegade executive branch and cynical, activist judiciary branch.

Obama’s recovery is the worst in 50 years. He insists we accept anemic 2 percent growth as the new, wonderful normal. The labor participation rate is at its lowest since the 1970s. The median household income has fallen to a 20-year low, as has homeownership. Dependency programs, including food stamps, have skyrocketed. The poverty level is soaring. And Obama is hellbent on doubling the national debt. If it weren’t for some mild Republican resistance, there is no telling how much higher spending would be. He mocks responsible people who would structurally reform entitlements, which are guaranteed to become insolvent and also bankrupt the nation.

Obama touts his clean energy program but omits that government is subsidizing it and sabotaging the natural gas and coal industries. It’s pretty easy to take credit for the winners when you abuse power to pick winners and losers.

Though Obama boasts that Obamacare has caused 18 million more to be insured, it has been a complete disaster. The overwhelming number of additional insured people are from Medicaid expansion. People have lost their doctors and plans in droves. Premiums and deductibles have not decreased as promised but increased enormously.

Though Obama ridicules non-joiners of the apocalyptic global warming cult, he has never explained how the draconian measures he favors, even if fully implemented, would make a dent in reducing mean global temperature over the next century.

He has made a consummate mess of foreign policy, engineering the decline of the United States as the world’s sole superpower, alienating our allies and coddling our enemies. He continues to defund the military; the Army will decline by some 40,000 more soldiers in the next two years alone, and we’re below strength necessary to fight in two different theaters — always viewed as the acid test for readiness. He has grossly mistreated Israel, to which Saudi Arabia and Egypt have now had to turn because of his untrustworthiness. He claims to have ISIS contained — though it is in 20 nations, continues to wreak havoc in the Middle East and is a significant threat in the United States and Europe in the eyes of former intelligence, military and security advisers.

 

Then there are things Obama didn’t mention, such as his record-breaking performance in dividing the nation along racial, gender and economic lines. His commandeering of the IRS to target his political enemies. His multi-pronged assault on the Constitution. His assaults on religious liberty. His nightmarish concessions to Iran, which have emboldened its tyrannical regime to be even more defiant — already violating the nuke deal with its ballistic missile program and lawlessly kidnapping our sailors.

Yes, folks, things are going swimmingly, and there’s nothing to see here, so let’s turn the volume down, OK?

Hillsong London CHURCH “Sleazy Silent Night!”

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 11.54.29 AMDo not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” …Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. — 1 Corinthians 10:7 & 14

The following video is wrong on so many levels.

Aesthetically, it’s just weird, confusing and embarrassing.

Hillsong Music Director: “Hey everybody, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s take the beloved and peaceful Christmas hymn ‘Silent Night’ and turn it into a loud, obnoxious, roaring twenties style, Las Vegas big-band production! You know, kinda like Christmas in a whorehouse! What’ya think?!”

Everybody Who Should Know Better at Hillsong: (silence)

But beyond the ridiculous nature of this one particular song/video there’s the more serious problem that this “thing” claims to be the church…

Hillsong leads the way when it comes to “churches” featuring worldly, gigantic and expensive spectacles to attract a large audience. They are laughing all the way to the bank, too, as this global empire continues to gobble up followers around the world.

“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world.”— 1 John 1: 15-16

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what it the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ”— Romans 12: 1-2

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
— 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5

Closing thoughts: For those of you who say “but this was a performance at a special concert event-this wasn’t an actual worship service; you need to see this in it’s proper context…” Here’s a question; why would a “church” have an event/concert with moral guidelines that are different from the moral guidelines that govern a worship service? Why be “a little more like the world” to attract people to a spectacle (like this video) and then “re-adjust” things for a Sunday morning service? If this video is supposed to be sleazy on purpose to somehow try and teach a lesson, Hillsong doesn’t mention it anywhere-and this is from their own YouTube channel. It seems that this is just a very obnoxious version of Silent Night to grab the attention of the crowd. Note: A few hours after we posted this video, it was “made private” by Hillsong; the video on this page now is a copy we put on Vimeo.

Now for a response from a respected Christian leader.

HILLSONG SILENT NIGHT AND THE DANGER OF JUDGING BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE 
9:30am EST 1/12/2016 Michael Brown

Jesus taught that we should “not judge according to appearance, but practice righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We can learn an important lesson about this from an incident that took place late last year concerning Hillsong, Australia’s Christmas presentation.

Along with many others who saw the video on YouTube, I was absolutely appalled by Hillsong’s super-slick, cabaret rendition of Silent Night.

It was the farthest thing you could imagine from the words “Silent night, holy night” and some viewers rightly dubbed it “Unholy Night.”

From the dissonant jazzy sounds to the cabaret dancers, it was nothing less than shockingly irreverent.

Not surprisingly, there were online articles denouncing Hillsong, and friends contacted me, asking me to please write my own article about this travesty.

Because I have no open door to interact directly with Hillsong leaders (despite my attempts to do so in the past), I could only ask myself how in the world they could produce something like this.

To be sure, I have differed with some of Hillsong’s methods and message over the years, but this seemed to go way beyond anything I could imagine, especially since they are famous around the world for their praise and worship.

Obviously, I didn’t have all the facts, but what possible explanation could there be? The whole cabaret arrangement was atrocious, inexcusable, irreverent, mocking … The list goes on and on.

Still, I did not want to speak or act without more information or a clear leading from the Lord, and while I was giving the whole matter prayerful consideration, a Twitter follower shared with me a comment made by one of the pastors at Hillsong in Australia.

He explained that this despicable version of Silent Night was designed to be cringeworthy in every way—in other words, it was intended to elicit the kinds of responses that it drew—and it was written and produced to portray Herod’s alleged desire to worship the newborn King.

This, then, was meant to be the world’s version of Silent Night, which was anything but holy.

The pastor also explained that later in the Christmas play, in adoration of Jesus, Silent Night was sung again, this time the right way, in stark contrast with Herod’s version.

Now, you still may not like what Hillsong did, and you still might not agree with their overall methodology, but the great reminder for me was this: I went through every scenario that I could think of, trying to figure out any possible explanation for this travesty, and I could find none.

Yet there was an explanation, and it was one that I had never considered. Honestly, who would have ever thought of it without being told?

In years past, when Nancy and I did more counseling, we would sit with a husband who would explain his side of the story and think to ourselves, “He’s obviously in the right. There’s no possible way that his wife could explain her way out of this.”

And we would rack our brains trying to think of another side to the story, but there was none.

Then, to our surprise, the wife would share an angle that we never could have considered, making us realize that there really were two sides to the story after all.

Of course, there are plenty of things that are black and white, such as when a professing Christian leader announces that he now embraces same-sex “marriage.” That must be confronted and addressed.

There are also times when the indisputable evidence clearly convicts someone of guilt, like stealing money or committing adultery, in which case the “explanation” does not explain away the guilt.

And we are always called to judge whether certain actions or words or practices are biblical or not.

We must use discernment and walk in wisdom, especially with so much foolishness in the body of Christ today, not the least in our charismatic circles.

But the Hillsong “Unholy Night” controversy reminds us that we must be very careful in how we make our judgments, not judging by mere outward appearances but rather judging righteously.

In this case, the outward appearances were damning, but there was more to the story than met the eye.

Again, you might still differ with Hillsong’s Christmas presentation, and you might still take issue with some of their teachings or with their overall approach to ministry. But for those who completely threw them under the bus because of their cabaret version of Silent Night, this should be a cautionary lesson.

It’s a lesson we should all learn well, since we will be judged in the same way that we judge others.

And it’s a lesson I try to remember before I ever write or speak, since it’s far better to wait and be sure than to launch an unrighteous attack.

Let’s make this a teachable moment.

Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown.

ISIS Reportedly Burning Christians Alive Inside of Caskets

An ACLJ report, January 9, 2016

ISIS is now reportedly burning Christians alive inside locked caskets.

1 to 1.8 million Christians in the Middle East have been slaughtered or forced to flee for their lives.

President Obama refuses to call this what it is – genocide. Demand the U.S. lead the fight to defeat this historic evil.

Read the ACLJ Eye Opening Report: Genocide – ‘A Problem from Hell.’