Martial Arts as War (MAW) and Martial Arts as Sport (MAS)—these are the two paradigms that, by and large, define the contemporary universe of the martial arts. Or so I have argued in previous essays. Now, it’s true, of course, that—as my own Master-Instructor observed to me in one of our countless conversations over this […]
On April 25, USA Today featured an article on its first page beneath a big, bold headline that read: “Gays face reversal of anti-bias protections.”
This is but one more case of Fake News.
Fifty-one Republican lawmakers have implored President Trump to keep a campaign promise to restore the religious liberties of Americans that came under assault courtesy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Among these is the liberty of non-profit groups like Catholic Charities, the largest charitable organization in the world, to adopt children to heterosexual couples only.
By the lights of the left, as exemplified by USA Today, Christians (and, by implication, anyone and everyone else) who think that, all things being equal, it is better for a child to be raised by a mother and a father rather than by two mommies or two daddies is guilty of “homophobia.”
That Christians work tirelessly to spare the lives of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn, and provide them with families is of no consequence. As long as they insist upon placing these children exclusively in heterosexual-headed homes, they deserve to be morally condemned and legally punished for “discrimination.”
If the owners of a small, family-run bakery are Christian, and if they refuse to bake a cake for a gay “wedding,” the champions of “gay rights” besiege them with a tsunami of moral criticism and seek to bring the weight of government crashing down upon them.
It is no overstatement to say of Christians, or at least of those Christians who are determined to practice their faith in peace, that they do indeed meet with some degree of persecution or oppression in the America of 2017. Though Christians had been mocked for decades, the law was used against them during Obama’s tenure in office when the former POTUS, via “Obamacare,” required Catholic employers to subsidize abortion services and contraceptives for their employees.
And contrary to what the left would have us think, it is not Muslims and gays who suffer the greatest degree of persecution worldwide, but Christians who hold this distinction.
What Christians experience in America, while unjust, is of nothing compared to what their brothers and sisters in the faith are made to endure around the globe.
To note one recent and particularly grisly illustration of what Christians are up against, in Egypt, on Palm Sunday, two churches were bombed by Islamic militants at congregants who gathered to celebrate the first day of Holy Week. A minimum of 45 people were killed. According to Human Rights Watch, two parishioners and a pastor from one of the targeted houses of worship informed the organization that they suspected that some of the police that were supposed to be guarding the church allowed the terrorists to execute their murderous designs.
Human Rights Watch reports:
“In Tanta…a man wearing concealed explosives managed to pass through a security check outside St. George’s Church and detonate himself near the front pews, killing at least 28 people and wounding 77 [.]”
Meanwhile, in Alexandria, “church security camera footage showed another bomber trying to enter St. Mark’s Church through an open gate and being directed toward a metal detector guarded by police officers. When an officer stopped the man, he detonated his explosives, killing at least 17 people and wounding 48.”
Just 11 days before these attacks, police had to defuse a bomb that was arranged to be detonated right next to St. George’s church. That the police were supposedly caught off guard by the Palm Sunday slaughter in spite of what had happened a week-and-a-half earlier is what led some to think that the officers may have been complicit in the bombings.
A pastor from one of the churches, a man who lost his son in the attack, stated bluntly that the church security that the government had provided was mere “decoration.” “There’s scenery,” he said. “Just scenery.”
Of course, Egypt is hardly unique in respect of the subject of the fierce persecution of Christians. According to Open Doors, an organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world, there are 20 countries in which Christians actually have it worse off than do their Egyptian brethren.
Of the Earth’s 2 billion or so disciples of Christ, one in 12 is subject to “high,” “very high,” and “extreme” persecution for no other reason than that of their faith.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity found that over a ten year period, from 2005 to 2015, about 90,000 Christians per year were killed for their commitment to Christ.
According to Open Doors, during the span of a mere one year period, from the end of October of 2015 to the beginning of November 2016, 1,207 Christians were martyred, i.e. murdered for their faith. The actual number is doubtless significantly higher, for statistics are difficult to come by when dealing with some of the planet’s largest purveyors of anti-Christian oppression. North Korea, for instance, is ranked by Open Doors as the single most egregious violator of the rights of Christians—yet there is no formal statistical data documenting Christian casualties.
The same is true of regions of Iraq and Syria, two other bastions of anti-Christian oppression. (Iraq specifically has witnessed a precipitous decline in its ancient Christian population. In 2003, 1.5 million Christians resided in Iraq. At present, only about 275,000 remain.)
Between 2015 and 2016, 1,329 churches worldwide were attacked.
Eighty-percent of the world’s most hostile climes for Christians—40 of 50—are found within Islamic-dominated lands.
Perhaps this goes some distance toward explaining why leftist agents of tolerance, like the folks at USA Today, spill little to no ink in covering this global phenomenon.
Or maybe it’s simply that they lack empathy for Christians, i.e. those who they suspect may “discriminate” against gays by refusing to enthusiastically embrace “gay marriage.”