Think Shariah Law is not Already Here?

I wonder just what percentage of the American citizenry has not even heard of Islamic shariah law, let alone is aware that it has  already infiltrated our system of justice.

About a year ago, I responded to an online poll concerning the latter.  Ignorantly, I joined about 65% of respondents who believed that shariah law was not present in American society.  Today, I know differently.  So if you are thinking something like ‘Preposterous!  Impossible!’ – think again.

Last October (2011),  a Halloween parade participant, dressed as a ‘zombie Muhammed’ and wearing a sign declaring, “Only Muhammed can rape America!”, was assaulted by an offended Muslim man.  It is reported that the Muslim attacker grabbed the costumed man, pulled his beard, choked him from behind & spun him around in an attempt to pull off the sign.  Now, in the U.S. legal system,  the assaulted parade-goer would be considered a victim.  The attacker, as defendant, would normally be the party jailed, fined, etc… or at least reprimanded!    Somehow, in this case, we find a complete reversal.

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that this case should have been judged purely as an assault incident.  An American citizen, exercising his free speech rights, was roughly man-handled because of that.  The attacker should have been judged to be the one in the wrong.

But the judge was a Muslim.

He dismissed the charges( filed by the police officers on the scene) against the Muslim attacker.

Judge Mark Martin informed the parade-goer that he was “way outside {his} boundaries of First Amendment rights.” Really?  Really?  That doesn’t even make sense.  Free speech is free speech.  Who sets up boundaries?  Decency, kindness or tolerance may indicate the use of tact or discretion, but such a choice is voluntary.  Sure, often it may be the wise choice, but even if so, again – voluntary, not a legal mandate.  Judge Martin accused the man of using his First Amendment rights to enrage Muslims, suggested he learn more about Islam before mocking it, slammed a Quran down & allowed the attacker defendant’s lawyer to tell him to read it.  Martin announced that he himself was a Muslim and was offended by the actions of the Halloween parade-goer.  Martin also introduced into the proceedings the fact that such actions, in many Arabic-speaking countries, are against the law and punishable by death.

So?  This is America, not an Arabic-speaking country.  Why would the judge even mention that?  Such a practice does not factor into Constitutional law.

So are you seeing that this case was made to be primarily about Islam?  Not Constitutional law, but Islamic practice and shariah law.  Which have no place in an American court room.

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The Judicial Conduct Board issued a ‘ letter of caution’ to this judge, as a private rebuke, and closed the case.

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Since then, the victim of the attack has been bombarded with threats of all kinds, from being shot, run down or hanged to…well, enough said.  Of these threats, 471 are reported as being verifiable.

(Source)

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This is happening in America. This particular case occurred in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, but similar events have occurred throughout the nation.  I recently read that 53 court cases in 28 states have been tried according to shariah law.  American rights are trampled right here on our own soil, and some in our legal system allow it.  Don’t you see how insidious such patterns are?  And to what they are leading?  Nothing, at first, seems like it will really happen…then, one day, it has taken over.

Several days ago, Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona, chairman of the House Constitution subcommittee, repeatedly questioned Tom Perez, the progressive who runs the Justice Department’s civil rights office, regarding their support of free speech – specifically, religious free speech.  Rep. Franks asked Mr. Perez four times if he could promise that this administration will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?”  Mr. Perez would not give a clear and simple answer.  He would not commit to protecting religious free speech.  Wonder why…..

Late last year, Perez had attended a meeting which included the leader of the Islamic Society of North America.  During that meeting, this leader called for “legal punishment of people who criticize Islamic texts that call for violence against non-Muslims and for the subordination of women to men.” Are you getting this?  Another Islamist at this meeting called for the Justice Department to “redefine religious free speech as illegal discrimination.”  It is reported that Mr. Perez said nothing in response, yet he complimented these Islamists on protesting airline security measures.  And he actually embraced the Islamic Society’s leader – that’s right, the man who wants to punish you and I for speaking out against Quranic instructions to harm us.

What’s wrong with this picture?

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I usually try to look at a situation from the other’s perspective.  It helps to understand through empathy.  So, in a way, I don’t fault the upset & offended Muslim who assaulted the Muhammed-costumed man.  His core beliefs catapulted him into the fray, so to speak.  Perhaps he didn’t know we in America have no such beliefs.  It is not in our law, that we should kill the infidel! I’m not saying this Muslim should be allowed to continue such behavior, just that I can see how he would behave such a way in the first place.

And though we surely and absolutely have the right to free speech in America, I’m not so sure that I don’t agree with some of Judge Martin’s statements.  The judge issued a challenge to find anywhere in the Quran where it states that Muhammed rose from the dead, meaning, it doesn’t & he didn’t.  So ‘zombie Muhammed’ means what?  I don’t get it, myself.  And crudely ridiculing one’s beliefs, especially religious ones, helps how?  Though I am concerned about the death threats directed towards this man, I can see why Judge Martin called him a ‘doofus’ during the trial proceedings.

I could list other points of more-or-less agreement on my part, but bottom line, this issue is Constitutional.  It is a case of shariah law operating in a United States courtroom, if not overtly, then influentially.  It happened.

I repeat, it happened.

Wake up, people.

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Safeguard your Independence Days !

I wasn’t necessarily planning to publish a Fourth of July piece today.  I’m working on something else, almost done, and thought I’d finish that instead.  But then I got this Independence Day email from ACT! for America.  Included in it is a link to a video recorded at a recent Arab Festival held in Dearborn, Michigan.  The description of what transpired at the Festival was a bit incredulous – do these kinds of things really happen here?  In America?  Worse, a previous email explained that such incidents have occurred before.  So I watched the video a couple of hours ago.

Now, I’m not totally naive’…not anymore.  But to actually see & hear what I saw & heard in this video has sealed the deal for me.  Though I have read about, and believe that free speech is and has always been under assault in America (and elsewhere in this world), and that certain elements of Islam are a real danger to our freedom, period!…actually witnessing such an event is very sobering, and finalizing.

A group of Christians at this festival were being assaulted by a crowd of Muslims.  The Muslims involved appeared to me to be mainly younger, even adolescent.  They were throwing water bottles and other ‘projectiles’ at the Christians.  I watched the video three times, carefully. I did not see one Christian retaliate in any way.  Some were carrying signs declaring basic Biblical messages and Scriptures.  Whenever the camera caught any of the signs in its range, they were always still being held up as normal, not skewed about or at an angle, because their bearers had not let go to throw objects at the Muslim assailants.  Christian hands remained on the signs at all times, as best I could tell. 

My point is, the Christians were being ‘attacked’, and did not attack back.  As best I could tell.

The outcome of this incident?  A police officer threatened to cite the Christians for disorderly conduct, if they did not leave.  He added that they were creating a disturbance, and said to the Christian man who was questioning the officers’ handling of this situation “I mean, look at your people…”  HUH???  HIS PEOPLE, in that particular shot, were just standing there.

This incident could be considered and analyzed from a few different perspectives, but my perspective here is the American one.  Americans were threatened with the loss of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech because a group of Muslims, who were not being peaceful nor allowing freedom of speech, created a small riot.  No one stood up to them.

Maybe it didn’t seem like a big deal to that police officer.  Maybe escalating violence was prevented because of his actions.  Maybe the Christians could’ve gone about spreading the Gospel in a different way – I don’t know if Jesus would’ve shown up at an Arab Festival with a crowd carrying ‘religious’ signs…but none of these surmisings are the point.  

American rights were trampled on and denied.  Because of certain & specific Muslims.  In a nutshell, people, there you have it.  And certain  American law enforcement let it happen. 

…and I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if this situation was reversed, and Christians were pelting Muslims with water bottles and such?  I think we know.

 *** 

 

ACT! for America reminds us through this video, “how fragile liberty is.”  I have thought that myself lately.   The more I learn of government, the more I see how easily things could turn.  So we need to become even more aware, more concerned about safeguarding our freedoms here in America.  And more than ever, ‘We the People’ need to vote more carefully, and put into office men & women who love & will truly uphold our grand and powerful Constitution. 

There is still time.  There really is….

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Below, ACT for America’s Independence Day message – 

 {Today}… America celebrates the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and its 236th year as an independent nation.
This remarkable document, along with other “founding documents” such as the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and, of course, the Constitution, stands as a testimony to the uniqueness of America“American Exceptionalism.”
It is this exceptionalism that has been the magnet for countless immigrants from every corner of the world.
It is this exceptionalism that has undergirded a rugged dedication to freedom.
It is this exceptionalism that has helped America overcome even its greatest flaws, such as slavery.

The ACT! for America motto is “Rising in defense of our security, our liberty and our values.”

In other words, rising in defense of American exceptionalism.

***

Freedom of speech is under assault by the forces of radical Islam, from the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, to the halls of the United Nations, where the Organization of Islamic Cooperation continues to press for a resolution that would be incompatible with our first amendment.
Freedom of speech is under assault by government officials, such as those in Dearborn, who in the past have arrested Christians for exercising their rights, and by police officers this year who threatened to arrest, not the Muslims assaulting the Christians, but the Christians who were being assaulted.
Freedom of speech is under assault by the enablers of radical Islam, those pied pipers of political correctness who generally refuse to debate the facts and the issues, instead resorting to name calling and other propaganda techniques to suppress any and all critique of radical Islam.

…ACT! for America…continue{s} to stand firm in the defense of our security, our liberty and our values.

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Please join with them!

Constitutional Sovereignty…Yay or Nay?

 “The American response should be that we recognize no higher earthly authority than the Constitution, which no valid treaty can supersede or diminish.”  

 (John R. Bolton, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, concerning ‘international law’ versus Constitutional authority)

    

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In the Hillsdale College lecture series “Introduction to the Constitution”,  Part 4,  Dr. Larry Arnn, president of the College, distinguishes between Constitutional rule and bureaucratic, centralized government rule.  Both, he points out, are at work in our nation today.  He believes the time is coming when Americans will have to make a choice.  He uses the analogy of a house divided, stating that it cannot remain so indefinitely.  I wish he were wrong, but I fear he is not.  I wonder if the majority of Americans realize that such a crisis situation is and has been developing in our country, and that a day of reckoning may be appearing on our national horizon in our lifetimes.  If many American citizens are not even aware that liberty-threatening danger exists, how will they know what path & course to choose to avert that danger, when they are asked to do so?  Or when they must do so?

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of upholding the Constitution of the United States of America.  As I am not  a student of Constitutional law, I can only assume that interpreting it must often prove to be complicated, depending on circumstances – not so black and white.  Yet, in seeking this ultimate goal of upholding the Constitution, there are no shades of gray.  To the very best of our ability, abiding by this powerful founding document is the only wise choice for those who love liberty.

Our Constitution was not something created to be pushed aside or dismissed.  According to Dr. Arnn, the very word ‘constitution’ embodies the idea of something very big being set firmly in place.  In comparison to its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution waxed triumphant. Whereas the Articles allowed for no executive, judicial, taxing or enforcement powers to be given the central government of the new young nation, the Constitution authorized, arranged, and yet restrained these things for the common good.  Whereas the Articles rendered the government of those days so impotent that George Washington attributed the near-disaster at Valley Forge to it, and Thomas Jefferson, in a still Revolutionary 1781, lamented the future of the United States to be “going down hill” because of this weakness, the Constitution granted the government, through Congress, the right & duty to remedy such potential catastrophes. Congress was given the right to prepare for & declare war. (Article I, Sections 8.11 – 8.16)  The Articles of Confederation merely bonded the states in a “firm league of friendship with each other.”  Without some centralized authority, States could and often did disregard requests from a government that had no power.  Bickering & animosities, boundary quarrels, commerce and money issues developed between states.  Civil officials and American representatives overseas went unpaid, as well as our soldiers, who then mutinied.  State sovereignty was operating on overkill, resulting in riots, mobs, revolts, exorbitant taxation & business closures. Talk of monarchy was beginning to be heard, even among its opponents.  George Washington saw conditions “…fast verging to anarchy and confusion.”  He wrote, “I do not conceive we can exist long as a nation without having lodged somewhere a power, which will pervade the whole Union…”   (Robert G. Athearn, The American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States, Vol. 4,  p.282,283 )   Radical government restructuring was critical to the survival of the United States of America. A convention called for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation produced instead the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of the United States of America.

And that has made all the difference.

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy

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With the exception of the Internet and technological advancement in every area, I would submit that any kind of situation or crisis that may develop today existed back in the days of America’s founding.  Essentially, people are the same. We still want and need the same things today as our forefathers and their families did back then.  Sure, travel & communications time is greatly reduced and weapons have much greater destructive capabilities, but the people who produced these commodities & inventions…still people like those who sat in the Constitutional Convention, like those who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Saints & sinners alike.  Perhaps impatient, wanting freedom and/or power, needing to eat, wanting to socialize & marry…with the potential for both good & evil…able to think and speak and act.

We, and they, can go or could’ve gone either way, towards liberty, towards love…or over to the dark side.  (Sometimes within the same hour!)  So my question is, if this Constitution of the United States of America pulled a struggling, near desperate nation out of the jaws of the lion back then, and lifted her to heights only dreamed of  & debated about by other societies in other times, why would abiding by its principles not prove just as effective and beneficial today?

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So…it’s not going to be Nominee Gingrich?

Personally, my choice for the Republican presidential candidate is still Newt Gingrich. Yes, I know that is not looking to be a likely outcome at this point. The Speaker himself basically admits that. Concerning Mitt Romney, Gingrich stated on FOX News Sunday, “He is far and away, the most likely Republican nominee.”

But I threw my hat into Newt’s ring awhile ago, and it’s still there.

Some months back, an online acquaintance of mine shared his belief, based on his relationship with the Lord, that Mitt Romney would be our next President. While I didn’t necessarily jump on that bandwagon, I also did not summarily discount it. As time has passed, and we’ve witnessed various surges & slumps in the polls, primaries and caucuses, I’ve remembered that prediction and hoped it was wrong. I wanted to see Newt Rising! An at times undisciplined personality aside, and several marriages, Newt Gingrich has the heart, passion, stamina & vision that I believe our country needs. He has more the heart of a Founding Father than many, and that would do America, and the American presidency, good.  (Newt Gingrich: an Underrated Candidate?)  But if my acquaintance has heard from God, Who has appointed Romney, then…it’s a done deal. Mitt Romney it will be.

As I’ve slowly begun to accept this, I’ve wondered if sometimes people are placed in a competitive public arena more for the purpose of airing their plans & ideas than for actually winning the competition. Words spoken may have long-term future effect. Wheels may be set in motion, though yet invisible, for the good to come.

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Sometimes, it seems, the more excellent contender is not the one who walks off with the prize.

For example – and this is just my opinion – I think it was the second or third season of American Idol, when a young man named Taylor Hicks walked off that stage with the prize. Really? Taylor Hicks? Sure, he had talent, and I believe something was said about showmanship, but come on! Kat McPhee or Chris Daughtry had the goods on him any day of the week, hands down! Over the years, I’ve seen and heard about both of them, but pretty much nothing about the guy who actually won the title.

And the year that Dilana lost to some young punk rocker with black eye makeup named Lucas, for the Rock Star: Super Nova top spot still has me annoyed. She was the one. She was. (I think it was the guy’s black eye makeup that put him over the top. Screams Satan, and he’s big with that crowd…) (Well, that’s not to say Dilana herself doesn’t present an extreme picture!  so I admit my reasoning may be faulty & prejudiced…!)

Sometimes, perhaps, the prize is not the best way for those who ‘lose’ to showcase what they’ve got. It may not provide the best opportunities for effective use of knowledge, skills, experience and/or talent.

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My last thought on this, for today’s post, might be a bit ‘out there’, but it’s crossed my mind several times lately. I’ve wondered if many Americans would not be prepared for too drastic a return to the visions of our Founders. Maybe, though these goals & principles hail from the past, they are, in a way, ahead of their time. Perhaps time is what we need – time to teach, to reinforce these basic principles, time to learn or re-learn the fundamentals and foundations from which we sprang.

Speaker Gingrich spoke of wanting to stay around to participate in the evolving of his party’s platform. Sounds like a plan.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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The Founding Vision isn’t Dead

Sunday morning, I watched the Republican nominee debate on Meet the Press It was the first time I’ve ever been interested in such a political event.  I loved it. Following the candidates’ challenges & responses was easy;  I found myself absorbed and enlightened.  Wow.

But the best & most thrilling part, for me, was realizing that, in some of our country’s elected officials, politicians and aspiring presidents, the vision of our Founding Fathers is not dead.

Let me repeat this:  the vision of our Founding Fathers is not dead!

It may have only been on two or three occasions throughout the debate, but strong & clear statements resonating founding concepts were hallelujah music to my ears.  Governor Rick Perry boldly & directly called Barack Obama a socialist, pushing big government, then declared, “I am a Tenth Amendment believing governor. I truly believe that we need a president that respects the Tenth Amendment, that pushes back to the states…”  Ron Paul reminded his fellow candidates and ‘we. the people’ “…that {what} made us great was our founders understood what liberty meant, and that is what we need. We have deserted that.”  Jon Huntsman spoke of  “…a citizenry being able to live out the meaning of our founding documents–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  And while maybe not exactly a reference to a specific founding vision, Rick Santorum, referring to President Obama, announced: “… he has required…programs not to talk about marriage, not to talk about abstinence, if, in order to get federal funds…He’s working exactly against the things he knows works because he has a secular ideology that is against the traditions of our country…” 

These sentiments, these beliefs are a powerful confirmation to my own unwavering core belief that what America needs, as much as is possible, is an ongoing returning to first principles.  Just as the Lord Jesus called for a return to their first love from the church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:4),  America needs a new love affair with her Founders.  And America needs a next President with that same affinity.

What I brought out of that debate (aside from an eyebrow-raising respect for Speaker Gingrich‘s head-on demand for an apology from Mitt Romney!) was not who the winning candidate should be – every one of them, in my opinion, is a worthy adversary of any other – but a confidence in a river of life that has flowed forward in time from the womb of a new nation.  And yet continues its path in the minds, hearts & spirits of some of our leaders today.

Hope is not lost.

May the man who captures the Republican Presidential candidacy and defeats Barack Obama be one who is a bearer of our founding principles.  If their light has dimmed in him, may it once again flare.  If it has died out, may it be re-ignited, with passion strong and true.

This I pray, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

America Needs Answers

“To the end of his life, Jefferson adhered to the principles which animated the American patriots during the Revolution…”

(Edward Dumbauld, ed., The Political Writings of Thomas Jefferson)


Today, Americans must do the same.

Caught up as most of us are in the daily struggles & pressures of life, the responsibilities that threaten at times to overwhelm…other, broader issues in which we are, nonetheless, involved, often escape our notice. Understandable, for sure. Increasingly, though, such issues are pushing to the forefront, and even otherwise-involved Americans cannot help but notice. Making appearances as slight as a minor headline that we don’t have the time to think about at the moment, to the horrific BP oil spill catastrophe that does not allow us not to think about it! the crises of our day at some point claim our attention.

Any manifestation of trouble, even just inconvenience, is pointing us to an underlying problem. Like the tip of an iceberg. It is to one’s great peril to ignore that ! so…wisdom dictates seeking solutions. For myself, I am entirely convinced that America’s only real hope lies in returning to the counsel of our Founding Fathers, in that seeking of solutions. Theirs are not antiquated, dust-covered words from “back then”. Many of our Founders were educated men, intelligent to the point of brilliant, and often wealthy. They were “men of means”, men who “had security, but…valued liberty more.” (Spirit of America Liberty Quotes) Their words, and their solutions, blood-bought that liberty.

Why would we, today, not once again, HEAR them?

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(I’m just getting started…)