Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Martyr under the Sword of Islam, Arnaud Beltrame of France

By God's providence, even as Europe collapses before the onslaught of Islam, we are given an inspiring example of a believing Christian, in this case a French lieutenant-colonel gendarme who was also a practicing Catholic, who faithfully witnessed to his faith in Jesus Christ, even unto death. 

New Martyr Arnaud Beltrame shines especially through his self-sacrificial act of love, volunteering to take the place of a hostage being held by the murderous Muslim, laying down his life for another, adding Christian martyrdom to valiant heroism for his country.

Arnaud Beltrame, Hero-Martyr Of France

Compiled from Rod Dreher's post at The American Conservative and a related article from Familie Chretienne:

France has produced a second martyr — the first was Father Jacques Hamel, slain at the altar while saying mass — in the contemporary battle against radical Islam. From Familie Chretienne, this news about Arnaud Beltrame, the French gendarme who willingly exchanged places with a hostage held by an ISIS militant. (Translated by Google.)

It turns out that the lieutenant-colonel was a practicing Catholic. The fact is that he did not hide his faith, and that he radiated it, he testified. We can say that his act of offering is consistent with what he believed. He went to the end of his service to the country and to the end of his testimony of faith. 
To believe is not only to adhere to a doctrine. It is first to love God and his neighbor, and to testify of his faith concretely in everyday life. In the happy or unhappy, even dramatic circumstances of our lives. The woman, to whom he offered to take his place to save her, took on a particular humanity. Arnaud Beltrame was suddenly close to her to take his place. The anonymous person who, suddenly, becomes close,

Monday, March 26, 2018

Can There Have Been Two Annunciations?

Islam claims the archangel Gabriel came to Muhammad commanding him to "Recite" and ushering in his prophetic calling. What are we to make of this "Second Annunciation? 

On March 25, the Orthodox Church commemorates the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.  As the hymn for the Feast says,

Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace...

Islam also begins with an annunciation of sorts, to Muhammad, (not) coincidentally by a spirit being also identified as the angel Jibril (Gabriel). However, the nature and outcome of that annunciation is quite different from the one to the Virgin Mary six centuries earlier. As St Gregory Palamas noted in the 14th century, Muhammad's actions were "instigated by the devil":

"[Muhammad] came with war, knives, pillaging, forced enslavement, murders, and acts that are not from the good God but instigated by the chief manslayer, the devil."  (Source)

This article contrasts the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, with that 'second annunciation', to Muhammad. This is one of the most significant and revealing facts about Islam, one which forces us to confront at least two very serious questions:

  1. If Muslims worship the Same God as Christians, how could that Same God possibly send two such radically opposed revelations and messages? 
  2. And, could the sender of those two messages be the Same God if He chose to send His revelation to Muhammad through such a dark, threatening and blatantly evil "annunciation"?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Leo Hohmann - 'Deep state attacks: Gov’t ‘Fusion Centers’ spying on patriots concerned about Islam'

"[Government] fusion centers know no boundaries, including the U.S. Constitution, says constitutional attorney and civil liberties advocate John Whitehead. 'The word mosque, it’s key words like that. If you don’t like mosques, they’re gonna be after you, they’re watching you', said Whitehead, founder of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute. Being an 'activist' also draws the attention of the fusion centers, he said.

Deep state attacks: Gov’t ‘Fusion Centers’ spying on patriots concerned about Islam

By LEO HOHMANN,, March 16, 2018:

Brenda Arthur received an unexpected visit on March 8 that, one week later, leaves her feeling more than a little uneasy. 
At her door that day was an officer with the West Virginia State Police. He wanted to know about her involvement in a Freedom of Information request regarding a local mosque. 
Arthur, who will turn 67 this summer, serves as leader of the West Virginia chapter of ACT For America, whose mission is to educate Americans about the advancement of Islamic principles in Western societies. 
As a Jewish American, she was concerned about a major expansion of the Islamic Association of West Virginia in her hometown of South Charleston. This mosque has hosted an openly anti-Semitic preacher in the past, and so she went to city hall in late January to have a look at its construction permits and site plans, something that is within the right of every American citizen under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and state open-records laws. 
She had no idea that this perfectly legal activity, performed every day by citizen watchdogs across the U.S., would prompt a visit from the state police. 
Arthur was not available to answer the door when Sgt. R.C. Workman came knocking, but Workman left his business card with a hand-written note on the back: 
“Brenda, please contact me at: 304-573-6190.” 
Workman’s unit is part of the West Virginia Intelligence Exchange, a secretive outfit that works closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “intelligence fusion center” in West Virginia.
All 50 states have at least one DHS fusion center, and the story of Brenda Arthur lends credence to the views of civil libertarians that these centers, whatever their stated purpose, have been weaponized against law-abiding American citizens. 
Fusion centers were established a few years after the 9/11 terror attacks by the George W. Bush administration and expanded under Barack Obama. 
The West Virginia Fusion Center website says its mission is to “Embrace proactive intelligence efforts. Those efforts are key to inhibiting criminal networks, whether those groups are terrorists, drug-related groups, organized crime, or other criminal enterprises.” 
Fusion centers work with “non-traditional sources,” including corporate America, to build threat assessments on people. 
But what is it about Brenda Arthur that could garner the attention of this specialized police unit? She seems like an unlikely candidate to be involved in terrorism or organized crime. 
Arthur is a senior citizen who’s never broken a law in her life. She is a professional insurance broker, a great-aunt to six children, one of whom she helps with financial support for a private education at a Montessori school. 
But fusion centers know no boundaries, including the U.S. Constitution, says constitutional attorney and civil liberties advocate John Whitehead. 
“The word mosque, it’s key words like that. If you don’t like mosques, they’re gonna be after you, they’re watching you, because everything is determined by algorithms,” said Whitehead, founder of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute. 
Being an “activist” also draws the attention of the fusion centers, he said. 

‘Do not talk to them’ 

Whitehead has strict advice for any law-abiding citizen who is approached by law enforcement asking questions about their personal activities. 
“If they come to your door, do not talk to them. If they call you on the phone, do not talk to them.” 
Whitehead said the intimidation tactics used by fusion centers are similar to the East German Stasi and other secret-police agencies. 
“They’re copying the tactics of former totalitarian regimes and the slightest mistake can get you in trouble,” he said. “That’s why you shouldn’t talk to them. The threat assessments are very dangerous. Don’t talk to them. Call someone like us, let us issue one of our letters and that usually shuts them up, and also puts them on record.” 
“Once you’re in their system,” Whitehead added, “you cannot get out.” 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

VIDEO: Robert Spencer, 'Why Muslim Persecution of Christians Has Escalated'

In this new video, Robert Spencer, bestselling author and director of Jihad Watch, explains "why Christian communities that have existed in the Middle East since the time of Christ have in recent years been attacked, and in many cases obliterated, by Islamic jihadis. Why are the jihadis attacking the Christians now?"

Robert Spencer reveals the surprising answer, rooted in an historical anomaly dating back 150 years.

Thank God for Robert Spencer's indefatigable work in reporting and exposing the threat from Islam, Jihad, and Sharia.

Robert Spencer, 'Why Muslim Persecution of Christians Has Escalated'
Jihad Watch, March 19, 2018:

Robert Spencer from DHFC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Islam, Totalitarianism, and the 'catastrophic spiritual ruin ahead of us'

"I am begging you to pray that if there is catastrophic spiritual ruin ahead of us, that God would open our eyes to it before it is too late. If you have not been praying with heartfelt sincerity and desperate dependence on God – start tonight."
~ Rev. Peter Sanlon, Church of England

Rod Dreher has posted an interview with Rev. Peter Sanlon, a young CofE pastor, over at his blog at The American Conservative, which is startling for its unflinching honesty and penetrating insights concerning the frightening rate of the post-and ever more stridently anti-Christian sentiment sweeping the West, and the immanent collapse of establishment Christianity as a result.

Rev. Sanlon identifies three movements, which he states are "certain to sink the ship": "Radical sexual gender ideologies, Islam, and governments’ totalitarian instincts." How he describes the dynamics of these three forces shows he has thought deeply on contemporary trends, and is not spinning hastily composed conspiracy theories.

It may well be the case that the Orthodox Church, due to our smaller numbers, may fare better than mainline Protestant denominations, Evangelicals, and Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, because Orthodoxy is by its nature more traditional and less subject to change with the times, it may be especially singled out and targeted by the forces of the spirit of Antichrist, as described in the most significant Christian book of the 21st century so far.

I cannot do justice to Rev. Sanlon's incisive and prophetic analysis, and urgently recommend you read the entire interview. Key excerpts below. I have made a few comments, which are bracketed and not indented.

Christian Life In Exile

by Rod Dreher, The American Conservative, March 5, 2018:

DREHER: Dr. Sanlon, you’ve mentioned to me that the situation for faithful small-o orthodox Christians in the West today is a lot like passengers on the Titanic refusing to believe that the ship is sinking. What do you mean?
SANLON: The Titanic was believed to be the ‘unsinkable ship’ – yet 1,503 souls perished in the icy Atlantic waters. The designers, financiers, media, crew and passengers held that the ship was unsinkable — and therefore were unable to consider or prepare adequately for her sinking. People are shaped and formed by their beliefs: if you believe something cannot occur, you will not think about it or prepare for it. This is all the more true if the thing you believe cannot happen is something that would be deeply unpleasant to you. 

"I do not believe the Church itself will be sunk. What I do mean is that the public, easy, culturally acceptable way we do church is sunk." — Rev. Peter Sanlon

The human heart has an astonishing capacity for self-deception, and together with those who are similarly disposed we have almost infinite abilities to participate in mass delusion. Consider how the shudders of the Titanic liner impacting the iceberg were dismissed as insignificant. Those down in the hull of the ship could see water pouring in — but those in the restaurants and cabins above them would not believe warnings. Those bringing the warnings were uncouth, less cultured, not as intelligent — and crucially theywere bringing warnings of tragedy that were unpalatable. The mind rationalizes what the heart desires. 
What then do I mean when I say that orthodox Christians in the West are like passengers on the Titanic? 
I mean that the Church in our Western nations has already hit the iceberg. Water is flooding into the hull — the ship will sink. The grinding judders of our ship impacting the iceberg have been felt — but the majority of Christians will do what the Titanic passengers and crew did — explain the evidence away and refuse to help one another prepare to save one another’s spiritual lives. 
The iceberg that has has ripped open the Church is composed of not frozen water, but three things. Radical sexual gender ideologies, Islam and governments’ totalitarian instincts. 
Why is it that these three movements are so certain to sink the ship? The reason is that the mainline churches in the West are deeply compromised. Over many decades our leaders have fostered the hope that by political action, legal efforts or even by embracing the cultures’ ideologies in these three areas, that it can prosper or survive. This has severely weakened the Churches and leaves us unprepared for the future. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mark Durie: 'The threat is not extremism, but Islam'

"Mark Durie warns a cognitive dissonance is stopping many of us from understanding Islamist violence. No, we are not facing the threat of 'extremism' but of Islam."

Another in our series, 'Reconnecting with Mark Durie'. 

Thanks to Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun for the lede above, and for spreading this excellent analysis more widely. This is a good article to share with friends and family members who insist that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism, or that there are as many dangerous Christian extremists as Muslim ones, or that there is no difference between Islam and Christianity (a variant of the 'Same God' heresy), or ... "What about the Crusades?!"

Excuse me, but your cognitive dissonance is showing

by Mark Durie, June 19, 2017

Herald Sun issue on the June 2017 Islamic jihad
terror attack in Brighton, Melbourne, Australia.

On June 5 in Brighton, Melbourne, at a spot I have driven past countless times, there was a terrorist incident. An armed Muslim, Yacqub Khayre, crying out support for the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, took a hostage, killed a hotel worker, and engaged police in a shootout, until he was shot dead. It is hard to imagine a less likely place for jihadist violence than affluent, Anglo Brighton, with its tidily quiet tree-lined streets of multi-million dollar homes. If it could happen in Brighton, it could happen anywhere.

Islamic terrorism has been a shock to the secular soul of the West. We have tried to address the security challenge, but are not across the intellectual challenge. Recently in the Australian, Jonathan Cole exploded three myths that hamper efforts to counter terrorism: the essentialist claim that Islam is a religion of peace; the idea that jihadists are political actors exploiting religion; and the idea that jihadists are deranged psychopaths. In response, Cole argued that the terrorism debate needs to engage with Islamic theology.

There is a fourth myth not canvassed by Cole, the ‘myth of the extremist’. This is the idea that the jihadist’s condition is a case of ‘extremism’, a state which transcends any particular religion, and which therefore has nothing particular to do with Islam. The myth is that the problem is not what jihadists believe, but the way they believe; not the content of their faith, but the blindness with which they pursue it. This was the view of Charles Wooley’s recent article ‘Blind faith breeds barbarity in Islam as it did in Christianity’.