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Tony Perkins / January 16, 2020

The Unrest Is History

Ten seconds. That’s all the time he had to make a decision: fire on the target or not. The officer on duty fired. And the entire world, as we know it, changed. When the Ukrainian plane fell out of the sky that day, killing 176 innocent men, women, and children, the wreckage didn’t end at the crash site. Iran itself was in ruins. Days later, people still march on Tehran’s streets — their fury, sources say, only growing.

Ten seconds. That’s all the time he had to make a decision: fire on the target or not. The officer on duty fired. And the entire world, as we know it, changed. When the Ukrainian plane fell out of the sky that day, killing 176 innocent men, women, and children, the wreckage didn’t end at the crash site. Iran itself was in ruins. Days later, people still march on Tehran’s streets — their fury, sources say, only growing.

“It’s getting more and more intense,” Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries says after constant contact with people on the ground. “The shooting down by mistake of this airplane… [people] are disgusted with the government.” The years of anger over the lies, the oppression, and violence, it’s all erupting now. “People want to change the government,” Hormoz explains, “but they don’t have the power. So… all they can do is come out on the streets and get killed.” In Azadi Square, bloodstains darken the pavement, marking the spots where protestors have been mowed down.

Six thousand miles away on Capitol Hill, Democrats aren’t just ignoring the outcry — they’re siding with the Ayatollah! “The president is escalating things,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed. No, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) fired back, “The president is responding to 40 years of dereliction of duty by policymakers… who’ve been in appeasement mode.” And it’s not just liberals, he points out, but Republicans too. Until Trump, he told me on “Washington Watch,” “We would do anything to placate Iran, hoping that they wouldn’t increase their [hostility].” Sometimes, we’d even outright disregard their activities, “even when it meant the deaths of literally hundreds and hundreds of Americans — and the maimings for life of literally thousands more than that.”

Perry ought to know. As a brigadier general, he flew 44 missions in the Middle East and understands better than anyone the steep price of these policies on the battlefield. “The hard Left,” Scott shook his head, “[is] literally defending terrorists and quibbling over these little issues that are of no consequence.” And of course, he went on, these same politicians criticizing Trump for taking out General Qassem Soleimani “weren’t the people that were sent to war to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, who were dealing with the malign activities of Iran and losing their lives, their legs, their arms, and their good night’s sleep… as a result of their time in combat [thanks to] these known combatants [like Soleimani] who were left on the battlefield.”

It might help people to know, he pointed out, that even former Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, a Democrat (and no fan of Donald Trump) agrees with the Justice Department and has defended the action as legal “in every context.” “It’s a combat zone,” Perry argued, “with a known designated terrorist who is not supposed to be traveling [there and] where we are congressionally authorized to conduct combat operations. I mean… any of these assertions that they’re making are absurd.”

“… I know that [Democrats] are immune to hypocrisy, but your listeners need to know that [there were] about 526 drone strikes under the Obama administration. Most of them outside of the combat zone where they have no authorization whatsoever… None of the Democrats complaining now had a thing to say during 526 separate drone strikes — [where] literally thousands of people [were] killed by the Obama administration. And suddenly, they’re consulting the Constitution and crying foul when this president is keeping Americans safe? These are [politicians who] are willing to send your sons and daughters to war knowing that this [enemy] combatant, Soleimani, is out on the battlefield killing Americans — but [they are] unwilling to do anything about it. It’s disgusting.”

If liberals want to cloak their attacks on Trump as “concern” for the Iranian people, good luck. Anyone with an internet connection can see that this country doesn’t hate America. In a sign of respect, they refused to even walk on our flag when it was painted on the street — but had no problem trampling the picture of their supreme leader. “Most people do not know [that] Iranians love Americans,” Hormoz told me. “America is for them is an ideal society. They want if they have freedom, they would have a democracy, American-style.”

But to him, what makes this uprising so important, is that the Iranian people aren’t just rejecting the regime — they’re rejecting Islam. “One thing about Iran,” Hormoz explains, “is that Islam and government are one.” So the backlash against Iran is actually turning into an historic opportunity for Christianity. That’s why Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world. That’s why millions of Iranian Muslims are open to the gospel — because they’re done with Islam.“ That’s why believers around the world must pray, he urged. This is an open window. "Sometimes I feel the Christians that the West are missing the opportunity to impact the nation for Christ. Pray for Christians in Iran to be bold. I know there are political things and they need to pray for that. But on this spiritual side, this is the time for the gospel to go forth.”

Originally published here.

Space Bible Prompts Some Real Solar Searching

The Space Force just got off the ground — but thanks to secularists, it’s already logged its first controversy! Over the weekend, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) flew into a rage when pictures surfaced of the Air Force’s Chief of Chaplains having a Bible blessed at the National Cathedral for anyone who wanted to be sworn in on this “official” Space Force copy.

Convinced he’d seen a UFO (Unacceptable Faith Object), MRFF’s Mikey Weinstein unleashed a wild statement that would make any thesaurus publisher proud. We “condemn," he seethed, "in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism.” This ceremony, he argued, “validates the villainy of unadulterated Christian privilege at [the Defense Department] and its subordinate military branches.”

This latest “villainy of Christian privilege” apparently started when the Rev. Randolph Hollerith, dean of the National Cathedral, prayed over the King James version Sunday, asking God to “accept this Bible which we dedicate here today for the United States Space Force, that all may so diligently search your holy word and find in it the wisdom that leads to peace and salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”

Of course, to reasonable people, none of that should be hair-raising — let alone court-worthy. The Space Force, led by General Mark Walsh, isn’t taking over the galaxy for Christ. It’s simply giving officers the option to put their hand on the Bible when they’re finally sworn in. It’s a “personal choice,” Air Force spokesperson Lynn Kirby said. “There is no official religious or other sacred text, nor is there any requirement for a member to use any sacred or religious text, during swearing-in ceremonies.” It’s a tradition, she pointed out, not a mandate.

That may be, but Weinstein is still threatening legal action. That’ll be a waste of time, First Liberty Institute's Michael Berry argued. “The tradition of using a Bible for swearing-in dates back to the very founding of our nation — with presidents and members of Congress doing so since George Washington. It is in every sense part of our historic heritage and is perfectly legal.”

The First Amendment isn’t rocket science. So, Space Force: if you’re looking for signs of intelligence, by all means — skip these irrational activists!

Originally published here.

CA Animal Shelters: A Tell-Tail Sign of Hypocrisy

If he sensed the irony, he didn’t show it. “We want to be a no-kill state,” Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) said. It was a jarring statement coming from Newsom, leader of one of the most prolific taxpayer-funded abortion operations in the country. But of course, Gavin wasn’t talking about people — he was talking about pets.

His budget, which Newsom unveiled at a press conference, happens to include a new $50-million line-item for animal shelters. The goal, he insists, is to stop euthanizing dogs and cats. Unborn babies and dying patients, on the other hand, are fair game. “It’s time to promote adoptions,” Judie Mancuso explained, one of the groups that lobbied California for the money — just not, unfortunately, for unwanted humans.

For most people, the idea that California wants to save its dogs and cats isn’t objectionable. What is objectionable is the fact that they don’t extend this same compassion to living, breathing babies. And in Governor Newsom’s case, he doesn’t just tolerate abortion, he encourages it. Last year, he went so far as to make the procedure a statewide tourist attraction. If you don’t want your child, he insisted, come to California! We’ll destroy it for you. And while you’re at it, how about giving a lonely puppy a home?

“California is famous for misplaced priorities,” FRC’s David Closson agreed on "Washington Watch,“ "but this takes that cake. We want to be a ‘no kill’ state, he says… [when] you can abort a baby up until the moment that that baby is delivered. If you’re wondering what inverted morality looks like, this is it.”

And it isn’t that Christians can’t or don’t love animals. “Animals are great,” David points out. But there’s a fundamental difference between “human beings who are made in God’s image and everything else in their world.” And Genesis 1 is very clear about that when God breathed into man at creation. That’s a very important distinction. Animals don’t have the breath of God — they don’t have the spirit of God or a soul. But this is the path you go down when you reject God’s creative order. You reject Him as the author and creator of life.

God created humans to be distinct. He gave them dominion. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect God’s world and everything in it. I love the outdoors, and I think we have a stewardship responsibility. But if you lose focus on the order of God’s creation, you start worshipping the earth. You start placing animals above people.

As the president pointed out on Twitter, there’s a major homeless epidemic in California’s big cities like San Francisco. Couldn’t that $50 million be put to better use helping them? But again, this is all part of the moral hypocrisy. Liberals are either to blind to see it or don’t care, but they’re building a culture where cats and dogs should be protected, and babies are seen as disposable.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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