Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow

Probably Not the Best Time For Lectures In Mideast

As you know, Jay, I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the many of the people you represent around the world.  There are strong human rights arguments to be made in asylum cases in Europe–and frankly strong ones to be made in the United States as well.

However, tomorrow’s speech by the President in Cairo is probably not the time or place to highlight with great specificity religious persecution in the Islamic world.  I would expect him to do what he did in Turkey earlier this year: explain that the United States is committed to democracy and religious freedom and expect those principles to be exemplars to the rest of the world.  The President noted at that time: “I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is- although as I mentioned we have a very large Christian population- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation.  We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”


I know that some on the Right did not like the President’s comments, because they do think this is a Christian nation, which of course it is not.

The Cairo speech is likely to be conciliatory (not apologetic) because as most people are starting to realize again: we are still at war in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The President cannot be expected to give a lecture on how every Islamic nation should immediately amend their constitutions to read like the First Amendment in the United States.  He cannot give the impression that his goal is to demand the impostion of democracy, American-style immediately throughout the Middle East.


If I ran a “one world government” (don’t worry, I’m not running and it is not happening), I’d be insisting on a program of political, religious and economic rights that go far beyond that found in any country.  However, President Obama has a complex set of political and military considerations which for the moment must be balanced against criticisms of current rights policies.

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Comments read comments(14)
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J. Timmons

posted June 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I feel Obama was apologizing, “hat in hand” to, in particular, Saudi Arabia that has exported their terrorist mosques to the USA; there have been many “non-Christian”, a.k.a. known as secular programs that have documented this including Muslim ones.
Perhaps we are not a Christian nation but we are a nation founded upon Christian principles as our fore fathers and those like Thomas Jefferson demonstrated when he penned the Declaration of Independence. To deny this is like a person denying their heritage and birth; what nonsense! If you don’t believe it then you should study the history of all three branches of our government in America.

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N. Lindzee Lindholm

posted June 3, 2009 at 10:43 pm

The issue of religious persecution should be raised. Since Congress and the President are required by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to refer to issues of religious freedom when constructing United States’ foreign policy, the pump should be primed in regards to this issue by mentioning religious persecution on the Middle East trip. This can be executed without requiring nations to be democratic. It does not have to be white or black, all or nothing, but the gray gloom of non-Muslim people suffering from the refusal to conform to Islam should be highlighted rather than abruptly introducing the topic come policymaking time.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 1:37 am

J. Timmons,
I get rather weary of hearing a person state that “we are a nation founded upon Christian principles” without really providing a specific example of what this pathetic glittering generality really means.
And, since you haven’t provided one, I will take up the cause. Given that the Constitution is our founding document that lays out our democratic structure and our most basic rights, I think we can look into this document for the revered Christian principles of which so many are quite proud. I did find one of those Christian principles upon which we are founded. The fine institution of slavery. Right there in the ink used by our noble founders. What a wondrous thing these “Christian” principles were!
Since you are quite sure that Christianity is a great thing, I will leave it to you to explain how such wonderful people in the throes of Christian rapture, could do such a vile thing. The only thing I can think of is that Christian principles are pretty anemic when it comes to doing anything of value such as preventing the codification of slavery.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 1:42 am

N. Lindzee Lindholm,
Tell you what…
Before we tackle religious persecution around the world, why don’t we start at home. Right here in America we have religious group banding together to demand and enforce discrimination against gays. The good religious folks of America are rather rabid about making sure that these folks are treated pretty badly and denied basic rights.
Yes indeed, religious persecution in many forms occurs all around the world, even right here in the USA. While, I would certainly like other countries to improve their treatment of all citizens, we would be a better example to them by not being complete hypocrites.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

Slavery… elevation of one’s rights above another. Should the states decide their own policy for slavery or should the Fed jump in and make war to set men free? I think we agree the right decision was made for slavery… It was Christian men and women that lobbied to end slavery. Abortion… elevation of one’s rights above another… Should the states decide their own policy for abortion or should the Fed jump in and make war to set babies free? Abortion is slavery… We did not do the right thing here… Marriage… an institution established by God in creation for men and women to create the family and be fruitful and multiply. Cannot be defined by men in any other way. Gay marriage is an oxymoronic statement, a counterfeit of the real thing. It does not produce life, or offspring, or family. Should the states decide their own policy for marriage or should the Fed jump in and make the law in this instance. Well, states are deciding for themselves… Doesn’t matter… By nature humans are disobedient and will always do what the flesh desires regardless of the consequences. Consider the issues of addiction… hunger… sex…

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posted June 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

We’re in the middle of two violent wars, and our Secretary of State recently announced publicly that we’re also engaged in (and losing) a media war in which extremist beliefs still have the upper hand in many corners of the world. But you think this is probably not the best time for a peaceful, inspirational lecture from an American President in the Middle East? When would be a good time?

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posted June 4, 2009 at 11:48 am

You are a revisionist, it was churches and good Christians who promoted and perpetuated slavery. Try not to take credit when it is not due.
Abortion is not slavery. A statement like that is moronic at best. In a free country women should be given the dignity to make their own medical decisions. They don’t need a cadre of morality police deciding for them.
As to gay marriage, not all heterosexual marriages produce children. Would you invalidate those? Your definition seems to be a bit shaky there. And that is your definition, not God’s. Unless you are arrogant enough to presume that you speak for God, which you just might be.
Humans are disobedient? You sound like a willing and eager slave to authority. Wow, go pray to Big Brother. I will live my live on my own terms. Quite happily I might add.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm

GetRightorGetLeft is partially right. Christians were on both sides of the issue – as were non-Christians. Most modern denominations were formed as a result of the split in ideology. The Baptists residing in the north were opposed to slavery while the churches in the south were pro-slavery. The Southern Baptist Convention as well as some Presbyterian and Methodist presbyteries/districts are examples of this. While there were some within the local churches that were pro-slavery landowners, most of the churches (at least their official position) was that they were not pro-slavery, per se, but against the Federal government forcing its will upon individual state sovereignty. To them, this was a state issue; not a federal issue. (by the way, I disagree with that). It had less to do with religion, and more to do with economics, state sovereignty and a way of thinking that had prevailed since the dawn of man.
To paint Christians as begin all for slavery is a form of revisionist history. Let’s not forget individuals such as John Newton, the famous slave trader who become convinced from Scripture that it was an evil. By the way, he was the one who penned, “Amazing Grace.” How about William Wilberforce, British member of Parliament, who was the leader of the abolitionist movement in England? A simple Wiki search will produce numerous examples.
You have the right to hate conservative Christian thought – which is apparent by your tone. As a conservative Christian, myself, I’m willing to fight for your right to hate me. But, let’s get into some meaningful dialog. Even though it’s a maxim of Jesus, we’d all do well – both Christian and non, right and left – to “turn the other cheek” when I am villified, and not repay “evil for evil” in dialog.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Pay attention people: Abraham Lincoln was the candidate of the new Grand Old Party and was assassinated when he reversed course and issued the Emancipation Proclamation to try to stop the Civil War, believing it would be declared unconstitutional. The United States of America institutionalized racial separation right up until President Harry Truman desegregated the US Army in 1950, when the running joke was that 11:00am Sunday morning was the most segregated time in America and that the policy of “separate but equal” was never really equal. This is the same GOP that is today’s Republican Party that that was recently joined by Dixicrats (Southern politicians who were Democrats in name only because for a century they refused to join the “nigra-lovin'” GOP after what Lincoln did.) The pro-slavery Southern Baptist Convention is still the largest Christian denomination, followed closely by the pro-slavery, pro-holocaust Roman Catholic Church.
There is always a small remnant of Christians that recognizes the blatant hypocrisy of most official church policies, whether it’s slavery, genocide of indigenous populations, conversions by sword-point, gay marriage, reproductive choice, or murdering doctors and bombing womens’ clinics. For every Newton or Wilburforce, there are and were 10,000 “Christian Taliban” zealots.
Obama is hardly in a position to confront religious persecution in Arab countries, while it is so widespread right here at home.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Wow, its apparent that you cannot possibly have meaningful dialog. Good luck with the bitterness.

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posted June 5, 2009 at 1:45 am

Yep, indeed. You are right. There have been a few voices of reason within the Christian community from time to time. Not enough to take the taint and stink off of Christianity in general but they certainly make good poster children for the overall cult.
I guess I should be impressed that a worldwide cult that has a captive audience numbering in the millions every Sunday that it incessantly barrages with supposed sermons about morality has actually produced a few moral people. Must be a miracle. I would think that blind statistical luck would yield better results at generating an ethical human than the real world record of Christianity but hey, why bother to examine the facts.
Yeah, your cult has a few good guys. Way more worse ones though. As DSJulian quite skillfully points out, Jesus and Jim Crow were the best of friends for many years. Not all that long ago either.
So, the question always comes down to this: If Christianity is such a moral beacon, just how in the heck was slavery, misogyny, separate-but-equal, poll taxes and lynching ever tolerated by those who believe in Jesus. If you can believe in Jesus and support or do those things, then just really what good is it all? A bunch of ineffective yammering? Moral posturing? Mindless blatherings? People are people, we all really do truly understand that we are just a bunch of self-centered primates, not far removed from the savannah.
As for meaningful dialog, you understood my point. I understood yours. Communication established. Since I don’t have any respect for Christianity, I would be silly for me to feign any. As well, respect is always earned.

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Tim McGrath

posted June 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

The idea that the government of the United States was founded on the Christian religion is a dishonest fallacy. Many theocrats, particularly those among the American evangelical right, claim that our founding fathers, while considerate of religious tolerance for people of alternative faiths, sought to establish a Christian nation. If this were true it would surely be revealed in our founding documents, but there is not a single reference to religion of any sort in the US Constitution. In fact, to the contrary, there are examples existent in other early American documents that clearly demonstrate the founder’s secular intentions. Take, for example, the Treaty of Tripoli. Drafted in 1797 under the direction of George Washington, its opening line unambiguously states that: “the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion.” This treaty was passed unanimously by Congress and signed in to law by the succeeding President, John Adams. The founding fathers, despite their varying personal religious convictions, were all governmental secularists. Jefferson was particularly ardent in this belief. A brief survey of his writings on the topic of religion reveals this. See, for example, his letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802.
These points are fact, not opinion. They are inarguable by anyone who claims to be learned in American history. Those who submit an alternative point of view are at best misguided, and at worst seek to advance a dangerous and un-American evangelical agenda through a distortion of facts.

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Cara Floyd

posted June 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Extreme Republican :
Against killing children who are not yet born.
Against gay marriage
Love people
Stand for purity
Believe that a marriage is sacred ground
Love God
Love the bible
C. Floyd

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Your Name

posted June 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Yes,killing the posterity is against the constitution, seeing how they are our posterity. Or should I say were our posterity. They didn’t even get a defense. Religion- What is the point of pointing out documents which do not have the Bible in them? Is that to somehow sway the opinion of others to turn against the bible and make their own opinions be put up on a platform of ethics with no ground but their own views of what is right and wrong? Somehow does taking one’s own values against the Bible somehow, make the world more …………? As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord. I am not saying that I am perfect by any standards. But, let’s face it, when it comes to deciding how our country should be run, I am certainly not going to base it on my own grey matter. Seeing how the God of the universe created us with such complexity, I think that I would ponder his suggestions, don’t you think, to say the least? It is when we forget who made us, and what we are supposed to do for him that we run into the problems of today’s world and society at large. Yes, I know that people do not believe in the Word Of God. It is when you try and analize the truth that you find it is the truth. I for one, might not have decided that their was a heaven and a true hell for poeple to go. I might just have wanted everybody to live in perfectly groomed little houses with a dog and a cat and never die or eat chocolate all day long and never get sick. But, he did give us free will to contend with, as well as a decision making processes to contend with. So when a person does wrong, such as kill others, there needs to be some sort of check and balance system in place for people who are just plain evil at will. Cara Floyd

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