theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Thursday, June 30, 2016

OpEd: Bill's friendly, persuasive manner

theodore  M I R A L D I.

Oh come on! Bill Clinton is a sly fox, to be sure he seems to be able to talk women out of their clothing. Schmoozing AG Loretta Lynch was a calculated move to make things personal. After all,
he is an ex-president and nexus of much of the bad behavior we now see in politics. 

This was no chance meeting. And whether Lynch and Bill talked about his grand-kids, the Clintons will use every tool in their subversive arsenal to get Hillary off the hook.

The power of persuasion works well when dealing with people on a personal level. They will often use emotion when making important decisions. This was a political move by one of the best.

Unfortunately it puts Loretta Lynch in a awkward position. Or maybe I have that backwards, maybe this is what Lynch needed to save her career. By rescuing herself because of the meeting, she's free to appoint someone else to make the tough decision to indict if Hillary gets smoked by the FBI.

Hillary is on the ropes, regardless of what the press is forcing down our throats. Watch for a sudden illness as we get closer to the FBI's final decision, and a deal with the DOJ.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

The tables have turned in this week’s White House Watch. After trailing Hillary Clinton by five points for the prior two weeks, Donald Trump has now taken a four-point lead.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 43% of the vote, while Clinton earns 39%. Twelve percent (12%) still like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Last week at this time, it was Clinton 44%, Trump 39%. This is Trump’s highest level of support in Rasmussen Reports’ matchups with Clinton since last October. His support has been hovering around the 40% mark since April, but it remains to be seen whether he’s just having a good week or this actually represents a real move forward among voters.
Trump now earns 75% support among his fellow Republicans and picks up 14% of the Democratic vote. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Democrats like Clinton, as do 10% of GOP voters. Both candidates face a sizable number of potential defections because of unhappiness with them in their own parties.
(More below)
White House Watch - 06-30-16
Clinton appears to have emerged relatively unscathed from the release this week of the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s report on her actions as secretary of State in connection with the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans by Islamic terrorists in September 2012. Rasmussen Reports will be releasing new numbers on Clinton and Benghazi at 10:30 a.m. Eastern today.
Trump made a major speech on jobs and trade on Tuesday that even the New York Times characterized as “perhaps the most forceful case he has made for the crux of his candidacy …. that the days of globalism have passed and that a new approach is necessary.” Some also speculate that last week’s vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union signals a rise of economic nationalism that is good for Trump. Despite the media panic and market swings that have resulted, Americans are not particularly worried that the “Brexit” will hurt them in the pocketbook.
The latest terrorist carnage - this week in Istanbul, Turkey - also may be helping Trump who is arguing for a harsher response to radical Islam than Clinton. Voters remain lukewarm about President Obama's national security policies and expect more of the same if Clinton moves back into the White House next January. Trump, if elected, will definitely change things, voters say, but not necessarily for the best. 
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 28-29, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The U.S. economy historically has had an average annual growth rate of 3.3% but has fallen short of that number in every year of Obama’s presidency. Still, his fellow Democrats give the president positive marks for his economic performance and think Clinton would do more of the same. Trump is expected to make the economy better by all voters - except Democrats.
Trump how holds a 14-point lead among men, while Clinton leads by six among women. The candidates are tied among those under 40, while Trump leads among older voters.
Clinton continues to hold a wide lead among blacks. Trump leads among whites and other minority voters.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Trump leads by 18 points, but 28% of these voters like some other candidates or are undecided.
Eighty-nine percent (89%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job Obama is doing choose Clinton. Trump has 86% support among those who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance.
Clinton has called for more gun control following the recent terrorist killings in an Orlando, Florida nightclub; Trump disagrees. Support for additional gun control has risen to its highest level ever, but voters are evenly divided over whether more gun buying restrictions will help prevent future shootings like the one in Orlando.
Fewer voters than ever think the government gives the right amount of attention to the threat of Islamic terrorism here at home.
A tie vote in the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld a lower court ruling that halted Obama’s plan to exempt millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. Clinton has vowed to take the president’s amnesty plan even further. Trump wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and deport many of those who are here illegally. Most voters continue to oppose Obama’s plan as they have from the start and believe instead that the U.S. government needs to more aggressively deport illegal immigrants.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.


Belaboring Free Speech

Judge blocks new Labor regs as ‘impossible to enforce,’ threat to free speech

Tom Perez

Bill McMorris

A federal judge barred the Labor Department from implementing a new policy that would force companies to disclose any advice they seek during union elections.
Texas District Court Judge Samuel Cummings granted an injunction against the Department of Labor’s new disclosure requirements known as the Persuader Rulejust days before the rule was to take effect.
Previously employers were forced to disclose their use of consultants and advisers who spoke with employees about the negative effects of unionization during organizing campaigns. The Obama administration adopted a proposal in March that would force employers to make public any legal advice they sought regarding unionization regardless of whether those consultants actually interacted with employees.
Judge Cummings issued a nationwide stay that will prevent the department from enforcing the rule until the court rules on the merits of the case. Cummings dismissed the rule because it violated statutory language that specifically exempted legal advice from disclosure. The court said that the case could threaten the free speech rights of employers.
“The chilling of speech protected by the First Amendment is in and of itself an irreparable injury,” Cummings said in an order released Monday. He added that the new rule was so vague as to make it “impossible to enforce.”
“DOL replaced a long-standing and early understandable bright-line rule with one that is vague and impossible to apply,” he ruled. “There is substantial risk that associations, employers and consultants, including attorneys, will not be able to determine with reasonable certainty whether their actions require reporting.”
The Labor Department did not return request for comment.
Three separate lawsuits have been filed against the department to block the rule. Judge Cummings’ ruling came just days after Minnesota District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz denied the request for an injunction, but concluded that the rule will not survive a judicial challenge on the merits of the case.
“The Court concludes that plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their claim that portions of the new rule conflict with the LMRDA,” Judge Schiltz ruled.
Cummings referenced the Minnesota case in his own order. He distinguished between the matter before Texas and Minnesota by focusing on the plaintiffs. The Texas case was filed by employers, while lawyers were the plaintiffs in Minnesota. Cummings said that it was easier to prove harm done to a small businessman than the lawyers whose advice is sought.
Labor lawyers said Cummings’ order foreshadows what will come when the court undertakes arguments on the merits of the case. David Phippen, a management-side labor attorney at Constangy, Brooks, Smith, & Prophete, said the department is a high bar to clear in order to sway Cummings into upholding the rule. The strong language in Cummings’ ruling indicates that the judge does not see the law as constitutional.
“The court’s pretty much already said that this rule’s invalid,” he said. “The writing’s on the wall.”
Roger Quillen, chairman of Fisher Phillips, said that the Judge Cummings understood the plaintiffs’ argument that the new rule threatened attorney-client privilege. Smaller businesses may eschew seeking legal advice rather than deal with union pressure campaigns.
“The harm would have been severe and clearly not reparable because confidential dealings will become a matter of public record,” he said.
Labor critics celebrated the ruling. Heather Greenaway, spokesman for the free market Workforce Fairness Institute, said that the rule would have been a giveaway to organized labor. The vagueness of disclosure would leave companies susceptible to unfair labor practice charges.
“The persuader rule is yet another example of the administration’s efforts to tip the scales in favor of union bosses and at the expense of America’s business community,” she said in a release. “Chilling first amendment speech and subverting attorney-client confidentiality is unconstitutional and far exceeds the authority of the executive branch.”
The department can appeal the ruling. Quillen and Phippen both said they would be surprised if the department did not attempt to bring the new rule before the Supreme Court. The Department faced stark opposition from employers while it was considering the rule for a number of years and ignored thousands of critics in the legal and business communities during the rule’s public comment period.
Phippen said it was an ideological, rather than a legal battle for the administration. Quill agreed.
“The Department of Labor has been dogged in pursuit of this rule even in the face of massive opposition. It’s remarkable to me that they were just so undeterred,” he said. “Politically speaking they’ve made the decision that is in the interest of organized labor. They’re going to fight for it.”
The rule was set to go into effect on Friday, but will be put on hold until the case is resolved or the judge decides to lift the injunction.

Fox targeted by FEC Dems in first-ever vote to punish debate sponsorship


Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News' sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.
It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet's debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report.
The punishment, however, was blocked by all three Republicans on the commission, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote and no action.

A Republican FEC commissioner leading that fight, Lee E. Goodman, revealed the vote to Secrets Wednesday and said the official report of the May 26 executive vote will be released Thursday.
Goodman has led the fight against several other efforts to censor conservative media by Democrats on the FEC.
"The government should not punish any newsroom's editorial decision on how best to provide the public information about candidates for office," he said. "All press organizations should be concerned when the government asserts regulatory authority to punish and censor news coverage."
At issue was the Aug. 6, 2015 Fox presidential debate. Initially, the network planned to host one debate featuring 10 candidates. But as the date got close and the nearly two dozen GOP presidential candidates were close in the polls, Fox added a second debate that included seven other candidates.
One of the candidates left out filed a complaint to the FEC, charging that Fox was essentially making a contribution to the 17 candidates by letting them have a voice in the debate.
CNN did the same thing, but there is no indication that they faced a complaint.
Goodman provided details about the vote to Secrets in hopes of highlighting the anti-conservative agenda pushed by Democratic FEC Commissioners Ann Ravel, Ellen Weintraub and Steven Walther.
In a statement, Goodman wrote:
A complaint was filed with the FEC alleging that Fox News' editorial decision to expand the debate from one debate to two debates, and to include 7 candidates in the undercard debate, constituted an illegal corporate contribution by Fox News to the candidates who participated in the debate. The FEC had to decide whether to enforce the corporate contribution ban against Fox News.
Astonishingly, three FEC commissioners (Weintraub, Ravel, Walther) concluded that Fox News violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by making a prohibited corporate contribution to the 7 candidates invited to the debate. That is, by expanding the debate format to a broader group of candidates, Fox News violated the law.
He added:
Three FEC commissioners (Lee Goodman, Matthew Petersen, Caroline Hunter) blocked this regulatory overreach into newsroom editorial judgments. Commissioners Petersen and Hunter and I voted to free Fox News' editorial judgments from the FEC's regulatory jurisdiction under the Free Press Clause of the Constitution and the Press Exemption in the Federal Election Campaign Act. Congress included in the Act an explicit exemption for the press and we respect Congress' decision.
Only once has the commissioned threatened sponsorship of debates. In 1980, the commission moved to censor the Nashua, N.H. Telegraphfor planning a debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The paper pulled out, so Reagan paid the costs himself. It is a debate famous for Reagan barking "I'm paying for this microphone" when a moderator tried to cut him off.

Courts say living by Christian faith illegal

2 cases establish wide range of government punishments



It started out with hints of official, United States governmental oppression of Christianity in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, such as “discrimination” complaints against people who refuse to celebrate homosexual behavior.
Bakers, photographers and marriage-venue owners were penalized, and government officials publicly vilified their Christian faith and ordered them, in some case, to be re-educated.
Now two rulings have cemented the American court system’s determination that Christians must not be allowed to express their faith in public life.
The U.S. Supreme Court left standing a lower court decision that Washington state pharmacists who are Christian must violate their faith in order to practice their profession. The second decision came from a federal judge in Mississippi with a reputation for ruling against Christians who said county clerks in the state must violate their faith to hold their office.
The Supreme Court’s move alarmed Justice Samuel Alito, who warned there was evidence that the “impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the state.”
In the Mississippi ruling from Judge Carlton Reeves, who once punished a school district for allowing a voluntary prayer at an optional awards ceremony, said clerks in the state cannot cite their religious beliefs to excuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual duos.
That case already had been litigated in Kentucky, where Judge David Bunning reached the same conclusion, ordering Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to violate her faith. When she declined, Bunning abruptly jailed her with no due process.
But Kentucky’s legislature simply adopted a provision protecting clerks’ religious rights, and Davis asked that the federal case be closed.
In Mississippi, however, not even action by state lawmakers was sufficient for Reeves, who ordered not only that clerks be required to provide services that violate their faith, they must be given “formal notice” of the requirement that they violate their faith.
Documentation of hate against Christians
WND previously has documented the Big List of cases where there have been government rulings that removed religious rights from Christians.
Missouri State University, for example, dismissed a student from a counseling program for expressing opposition to counseling same-sex duos.
In Texas, David and Edie Delmore, who own a bakery, were approached by Ben Valencia and Luis Marmolejo about a cake for a “gay wedding.” They declined, referring the potential customers to other bakers. Subsequently, they claim their home has been vandalized and their son has been threatened with rape by a broken beer bottle.
One business even was attacked for answering a hypothetical question on the issue.
Family owned Memories Pizza in Indiana came into the crosshairs of homosexuals when an owner was interviewed by a local TV station in the aftermath of the adoption of the state’s religious freedom law. Responding to a reporter’s question, the owner said that while her restaurant serves “gays,” her Christian faith wouldn’t allow her to cater a “gay wedding.” The restaurant immediately became a focal point of outrage toward the law, with threats of death and destruction, causing the owners to shut down their business.
The pharmacists
It was the case involving the pharmacists that drew outrage from a minority on the Supreme Court. Washington state adopted rules forcing pharmacists to sell abortion pills to customers regardless of religious beliefs that consider abortion tantamount to murder.
The state provided no exception for religious beliefs and refused to allow an accommodation that would simply allow pharmacists with abortion objections to refer customers to another location.
After the Supreme Court refused to even review the case, Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom said all Americans “should be free to peacefully live and work consistent with their faith without fear of unjust punishment, and no one should be forced to participate in the taking of human life.”
“We had hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would take this opportunity to reaffirm these long-held principles,” she said.
Waggoner noted the state of Washington “allows pharmacists to refer customers for just about any reason – except reasons of conscience.”
“Singling out people of faith and denying them the same freedom to refer is a violation of federal law. All 49 other states allow conscience-based referrals, which are fully supported by the American Pharmacists Association, the Washington Pharmacy Association, and 36 other pharmacy associations. Not one customer in Washington has been denied timely access to any drug due to a religious objection. As the trial court found, the government designed its law for the ‘primary – if not sole – purpose’ of targeting religious health care providers. We are disappointed that the high court didn’t take this case and uphold the trial court’s finding.”
Alito, whose concerns were endorsed by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, said the case is “an ominous sign.”
“At issue are Washington State regulations that are likely to make a pharmacist unemployable if he or she objects on religious grounds to dispensing certain prescription medications,” the three agreed.
“There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for – or that they actually serve – any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the state.
“Yet the Ninth Circuit held that the regulations do not violate the First Amendment, and this court does not deem the case worthy of our time,” Alito wrote.
“If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern…. Ralph’s [pharmacy] has raised more than ‘slight suspicion’ that the rules challenged here reflect antipathy toward religious beliefs that do not accord with the views of those holding the levers of government power. I would grant certiorari to ensure that Washington’s novel and concededly unnecessary burden on religious objectors does not trample on fundamental rights.”
Judie Brown, president of American Life League, shared the concern:
“The Supreme Court is not interested in protecting the conscience rights of Christians. If this does not send shock waves down the spines of every believer in America who knows the difference between good and evil, not to mention what God expects of them, then they do not realize what is at stake. Five members of the Supreme Court of the United States apparently believe that their power is omnipotent. That perception of their power is not only wrong, but dangerous. God’s power is Supreme; theirs is not!”
The issue there is that previous Supreme Court precedent not only bans favoritism to a religion, it also bans antipathy toward a religion or its beliefs.
Mississippi’s fight
In Mississippi, Judge Carlton Reeves has established a reputation for going for the jugular when an issue of faith is at play.
He first ruled that a Mississippi school student’s rights were violated because she was offended by a prayer at a public school event.
Then he reached off campus, fining the school $7,500, for allowing a pastor to prayer at an optional awards ceremony.
The judge determined that Rankin County schools must work harder to excise Christian faith from its students’ education, and he threatened the district with a $10,000 fine if it happens again.
His latest broadside to Christian beliefs, the AP reported, was in a lawsuit over same-sex marriage.
Reeves said “clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” AP reported.
He also demanded that all 82 clerks be given formal notice.
“Mississippi’s elected officials may disagree with [the same-sex marriage mandate], of course, and may express that disagreement as they see fit – by advocating for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, for example,” the judge ordered. “But the marriage license issue will not be adjudicated anew after every legislative session.”
The report said Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, no relation to the activist judge, pointed to the crux of the problem immediately.
“If this opinion by the federal court denies even one Mississippian of their fundamental right to practice their religion, then all Mississippians are denied their 1st Amendment rights,” Tate Reeves said. “I hope the state’s attorneys will quickly appeal this decision to the 5th Circuit to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of all Mississippians.”
Message to Reeves
It was the ruling by Reeves regarding the school that later created a stir in Mississippi.
His decision resulted in the school’s band being benched from a halftime show at a football game, because as part of their musical presentation, they included the melody from “How Great Thou Art.” Columnist Todd Starnes at Fox News said the judge may issue an order, but the people may not necessarily bend to his whim.
He reported the people decided “a message had to be sent to the likes of Judge Reeves.”
“And what they did – would become known as the musical shot heard around the world. During halftime of Friday night’s game – a lone voice began to sing the forbidden song. ‘Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,’ the singer sang. Brittany Mann was there and she witnessed the entire moment of defiance,” Starnes wrote.
“We were just sitting there and then one by one people started to stand,” she told Starnes. “At first, it started out as a hum but the sound got louder and louder.”
Soon “hundreds” were singing.
“At that moment I was so proud of my town – coming together and taking a stand for something we believe in,” she told Starnes. “It breaks my heart o see where our country is going – getting farther and farther away from the Christian beliefs that our country was founded on.”


Judge upholds voter citizenship checks

A voter marks a ballot for the New Hampshire primary inside a voting booth on Feb. 9 in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

Stephen Dinan

Kansas, Alabama and Georgia can demand their residents submit proof of citizenship before signing up to vote even if they’re using the federal government’s registration forms, a judge said Wednesday, delivering a win to states concerned about voter fraud.
The League of Women Voters and the Obama administration had tried to halt the practice, arguing that federal law doesn’t require an extensive citizenship check when people register to vote, and saying the three states were imposing an extra burden on voters.
But Judge Richard J. Leon said that while it may be an inconvenience to require proof of citizenship, and voter registration drives may have to do more work to get folks signed up, it’s not an insurmountable burden — and certainly less so than trying to explain Obamacare.
“The organizational plaintiffs and their members will undoubtedly have to expend some additional time and effort to help individuals,” Judge Leon wrote. “But let’s be candid: doing so pales in comparison to explaining to the average citizen how the [Affordable Care Act] or tax code works!”
Since the voter groups didn’t show a real and irreparable harm, he rejected their request for a preliminary injunction.
The ruling is the latest in a years-long struggle by some states to combat potential voter fraud by insisting voters prove they are citizens. In one Kansas count alone, officials count 25 instances of non-citizens attempting to register to vote.
“This is a very real problem and the only way to solve the problem is to require proof of citizenship on the front end,” said Kris W. Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state.
Voting rights groups dismiss those concerns, saying the bigger problem is barriers that prevent eligible voters from registering and showing up on Election Day. They and the Obama administration said requiring proof of citizenship adds to the burden, and said an oath affirming citizenship should be good enough.
The voting-rights groups said they are confident in their case, and they’d already begun to set up an appeal.
“While we are disappointed in today’s decision, we will appeal to protect the critical rights of voters in these three states, especially during this election year,” said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters.
Hours before Judge Leon’s ruling, the voting-rights groups had filed a request for a new hearing to pressure him to decide, saying that time is running out to get folks registered for the November elections. Figuring they knew the outcome of his decision, they wanted to ensure they had enough time to appeal.
The case stems from what’s become a confusion patchwork of federal and state voting requirements after Congress wrote the so-called “Motor Voter” legislation in the 1990s. That law was designed to boost voting by making it easier to register, pushing state agencies to offer the chance to register when folks come in to use their services.
Federal forms are supposed to respect states, which under the Constitution are allowed to set most voter requirements.
But when states began to demand proof of citizenship at the front end, and asked the federal forms to respect their laws, some voting-rights groups balked. They tried to get the federal government to invalidate those state demands.
The Election Assistance Commission, which is the federal panel set up after the voting problems in the 2000 election, had previously sided with the groups — but earlier this year it approved requests from Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to reflect their demands for proof of citizenship.
The League of Women Voters says the EAC broke its own procedural rules in approving the states’ requests.
The Justice Department is supposed to defend the EAC in court challenges, but the Obama administration refused to do so in this case, saying it believes the EAC is going beyond the requirements of federal law.
That drew a rebuke from Judge Leon, who said it was unprecedented in his years on the bench for the department not to defend an agency it was required to represent under the law. He said it was even more stunning for the department to side with the voting-rights groups and demand the court overturn the EAC’s decision.
Mr. Kobach said the Justice Department is supposed to defend agencies whenever they have a plausible argument for their actions, and in this case the EAC can show it’s following the law.
“Here, the Justice Department discarded the law and discarded tradition and is going purely on partisan impulse,” Mr. Kobach said.
Kansas is already enforcing its citizenship requirement, but Alabama and Georgia have theirs on hold right now.
Mr. Kobach is also fighting another case in which a federal judge in Kansas ruled against him, finding that the state can’t demand proof of citizenship for voters who sign up at motor vehicle offices. Judge Julie Robinson said the motor-voter law says voters only need to provide a minimum amount of information, and that doesn’t include proving their citizenship.
She ordered Mr. Kobach to re-register thousands of people who’d tried to register but failed to meet the proof of citizenship requirement.
Mr. Kobach has appealed that decision.

Shouldn’t we first help the Christian victims of Mideast genocide?

Zoroastrian Kurds, known as Yazidis, were forced to flee in August 2014 after their town of Sinjar was massacred and taken over by ISIS.

 Phyllis Chesler

Before dawn Monday, four suicide bombers killed five and wounded at least a dozen in the Lebanese Christian town of al-Qaa. Later that night, as townspeople prepared to bury their dead, four more suicide bombers hit.
The attacks underscored just how endangered are Christians who live in today’s Muslim world. As the United States debates how many Mideast refugees to accept and who should get priority, the answer is staring us in the face: Those most in need of refuge are Christians and Yazidis who live among Muslims.
On June 19, a suicide bomber killed three people as he detonated himself at a memorial to massacred Christians in Qumishi, Syria. On June 9, a Pakistani Muslim mob badly beat a man merely because he was a Christian. On June 5, two people were killed when Islamists targeted a church with rockets in Syria; the same day, a Christian man was hacked to death at his shop by Islamists in Bangladesh. On June 2, in Nigeria, Muslim youths beheaded a Christian woman for allegedly insulting Mohammed.
And that’s just this month — a typical month, sadly, for the world’s Christians.
In May, similar Muslim attacks against Christians took place in Niger, Turkey, Syria, the Philippines, Uganda, Pakistan and Bangladesh. On March 27-28, a Taliban group murdered 69 Christians and wounded 30 more, mainly women and children, as they were celebrating Easter in a park in Lahore, Pakistan.
The list goes on.
Yet President Obama seems to value endangered Muslim lives more than the lives of endangered Christians and Yazidis.
In April, America built a temporary “surge” center in Amman, Jordan, to more rapidly process Muslim immigrants from Syria. The vetting process has been “fast tracked,” perhaps in order to meet Obama’s desired number of 10,000 Muslim Syrians to be admitted by September.
The Obama administration has called for an openhearted and massive acceptance of Muslim refugees from war zones. Democratic leaders insist that it would be wrong, morally, legally and politically, to stop Muslim immigration — but concede that it’s currently impossible to identify would-be jihadists among refugees or homegrown radicals among their descendants.
The United Nations has more modestly suggested that Western nations accept Muslim “women and children” first.
Obama has paid no attention to what has happened in Europe, namely the large number of sexual assaults of girls, women and homosexuals by Muslim men, as well as the staggering financial cost of hosting hostile, non-productive immigrants who may have no desire to assimilate to Western customs.
Here’s another suggestion.
If we want to accept refugees in flight from Arab and Muslim war zones, why not start with Christians who are being slaughtered by Muslims in Muslim-majority countries? Although they’re Arabs, Africans or Central Asians, the fact that they’re also Christians might make them more inclined to assimilate to Western ways — and, even if they assimilate imperfectly, they’re more likely to respond to Western freedoms in nonviolent ways.
Why has the pope offered symbolic asylum in the Vatican only to Muslims and not to fellow Christians?
Recently, according to my colleague Ashraf Rameleh, a Coptic Christian advocate, “Pope Francis, who is ‘building bridges to build peace’ around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims.” Rameleh notes that the pope has “grieved with the Orthodox of Egypt and offered his prayers over the spilled blood of Christians in Libya, recognizing the Coptic Christian martyrs.”
However, the pope has remained silent about the systematic destruction of the Eastern Christian Church. He hasn’t supported Egyptian President Abdel Fatta el-Sisi, who is trying to break the stranglehold that the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood still has on Egypt.
I have been told by the director of the Hatune Dogan Foundation, Hans Erling Jensen, that Christians stuck in refugee camps in Turkey have arrived penniless; that Muslims don’t look out for them but, instead, continue to persecute them. Most are starving. Many don’t have money to buy food or to pay traffickers to smuggle them out.
Why not bring Christians and Yazidis from the Muslim world here first? Why not bring Muslim dissidents, ex-Muslims, and Muslim homosexuals here second?
Finally, why not bring Muslim girls and women who are already in flight from honor-based violence, including from honor killing here, next — before we extend visas, green cards and asylum to Muslim boys and men?