Archive for July 18th, 2007

“Perspectives: Bess Truman and the Jews” by Marcia Segelstein

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

In an excerpt from Michael Beschloss’s new book Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989, there is a brief, but striking anecdote relating to Harry Truman which should give all Christians serious pause.

The late talk-show host David Susskind was spending time in Independence, Missouri, interviewing Truman shortly after he left office. Each day, Susskind would appear on Truman’s doorstep at the appointed time. They would then make their way to Truman’s office nearby to talk. One day Susskind asked Truman why he was never asked to come into the house, even while waiting. Truman replied, “You’re a Jew, David, and no Jew has ever been in the house. Bess runs it, and there’s never been a Jew inside the house in her or her mother’s lifetime.”

Almost sounds as though it was a point of pride with Bess and her mother. A tradition handed down from one generation to the next. One wonders how Bess would be have reacted had, say, Jesus, or his mother Mary, or St. Paul decided to pop in for tea.

Call me naive, but I have never understood the disconnect between Christians and Jews. How could Christian thinking and teaching have devolved to the point where Bess Truman would not allow Jews inside her home? How have we managed to set aside the rather critical point that Christ was a Jew? And that Christianity was founded by Jews? How is it that Christian children aren’t taught that in the time following Jesus’ death and resurrection, an issue arose in the early Church over whether the gospel should even be preached to Gentiles? And in case you’re wondering, that would be me, most of you reading this — and oh yes, Bess.

Maybe a little history lesson is called for here. The tenth chapter of Acts addresses the very issue of Jews entering the homes of Gentiles, for in those days it was a real and serious issue. In fact, Jews were forbidden from entering the homes of Gentiles because they were considered unclean. It was part of the Law, handed down not by mother, but by God. Peter had a vision, however, which changed that —

“[H]e fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” (KJV)

The vision prepared Peter for a visit from three men, who sought him out on behalf of Cornelius, a Gentile described as “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.” The three explained that their master, Cornelius, had been instructed by an angel to request Peter’s presence at his home. When Peter arrived, he addressed the many who had gathered: “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” As Peter preached the gospel, telling of Jesus’ death and resurrection, “the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished … because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The message of Peter’s vision was clear. Much to the astonishment of the (Christian) Jews present, Gentiles were no longer to be considered unclean. God’s offer of salvation was, and is, for all mankind, even if it was first for the Jews. That’s right: first for the Jews.

If Bess Truman were alive today and I had the opportunity, I hope I would have the courage to confront her. Certainly it would be my obligation as a Christian to do so. Once the dust settled, I might recommend to her a book by Roy Schoeman called Salvation is from the Jews. (For the record, Schoeman didn’t invent the title. It’s John 4:22.) Schoeman is a Jewish convert to Christianity.

He writes about the role of Judaism in the salvation of mankind. Ultimately, God’s revelation of himself was in the person of Jesus Christ. “In order to make sense of the Incarnation,” Schoeman writes, there would have to be people “prepared for it beforehand through prophecy, so that they would be able to recognize, acknowledge, and understand it, at least to some extent, when it happened.” There would have to be a people with some understanding of God, who had been purified from the influence of false “gods” and idols. “There would have to be a family, and more specifically, a mother to whom the God-man would be born; she would have to be of sufficient purity and virtue not to make the Incarnation itself a sacrilege. Since God relies on man’s prayer to bring about his plans, this people would have had to have been taught for generations to pray and beseech God to send the Messiah.”

The Jews prayed for the Messiah’s coming. Their prayers were answered, and — thanks be to God — enough Jews understood and believed that — thanks be to them — the good news was spread throughout the world. Do we Christians, by the same token, humbly, respectfully and lovingly pray for the conversion of the Jews who don’t believe?

Whatever gave rise to Bess Truman’s aversion to Jews — anti-Semitism, small-mindedness, prejudice, her mother’s example — she is sadly, but clearly, far from alone.

How sad to think of the opportunities she missed to demonstrate by kind deed or thoughtful word the true meaning of Christianity. How sad to think of the opportunities we all miss, either in our role as Harry by allowing such behavior, or as Bess by engaging in it. How unspeakable the very idea of restricting from our homes, and thereby our hearts, a race of people from whose lineage comes Jesus, Mary, and the very founders of the Church.

Shame on us.

Marcia Segelstein (mvsegelstein@optonline.net), a former producer for CBS News, is a freelance writer and mother. She resides in Weston, CT, and is active in her church, The Anglican Church of the Advent in Greenwich,CT.Opinions expressed in ‘Perspectives’ columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Original Link.

Report: Christians Crucified by Terrorists in Iraq

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

The terrorist representing the so-called “ever so tolerant and peaceful” religion of Islam, have added a new way to die, this one earmarked for their Christian victims: death by crucification on a cross.

Christians in Iraq, including converts from Islam and people involved in mixed-faith marriages, are being crucified by Muslim terrorists, according to a Dutch member of Parliament studying the war-torn country.

Several Iraqi Christians “are nailed to a cross and their arms are tied up with ropes. The ropes are put on fire,” Joel Voordewind told BosNewsLife, an online news agency focusing on Christians and Jews in difficult circumstances.

According to the site, Voordewind described how a person, who “survived” a crucifixion, “even showed holes in his hands,” apparently from nails.

Voordewind said victims of the crucifixions are “in most cases Christian converts who abandoned Islam or people who, religiously speaking, are involved in mixed marriages.”

He did not specify how many Christians have been crucified in recent weeks and months, as an official report is expected soon. Voordewind is slated to present his findings to Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen within the next few days.

The report comes as thousands of Christians are said to be fleeing Iraq due to ongoing threats and violence against them. Just yesterday, over 80 people were killed in bomb blasts in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Most of the casualties resulted from a suicide truck bomb which detonated near the offices of the Kurdish political party led by Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani.

BosNewsLife says Voordewind was part of a Dutch delegation visiting several countries in the Mideast, including Syria, where several lawmakers held talks with the terrorist group Hamas.

Original Link.

Family Activist: Proponents of Hate Crimes Legislation Ignoring ‘True Threat’

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Well, in looking at this article, I saw one lie right off the bat:
“H.R. 1592, which is known as the ‘Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.'”
In 2004, ABC’s 20/20 aired new evidence that the attack against Matthew Shepard was not motivated by “homosexual hate” but was “a robbery and a beating gone awry” based on trying to get money for drugs from someone they felt would not fight back.
The homosexual activist, of course, have jumped all over the report, claiming bias (that’s calling the kettle black).
I do not mean to make light of the death of Matthew Shepard. He died a horrible, unnecessary death. A good young man’s life was taken for no reason at all.
What I am trying to point out here is that the homosexual activist are misrepresenting this horrible act in order to advance their agenda. And, as I have said on this blog before, this “hate crimes legislation” will be used to silence Christians on the topic of homosexuality, despite reassurances to the contrary.

The president of the Virginia-based Family Policy Network (FPN) says Christians need to know the real agenda behind proposed hate crimes legislation — and must stand against it.

On Monday, a coalition of liberal-leaning groups — the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights — took out a full-page ad in USA Today supporting hate crimes legislation. The ad states that pastors have nothing to fear from H.R. 1592, which is known as the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

Section 8 of the bill states it will not prohibit free-speech or free-exercise activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But it does call for more intense prosecution and greater penalties for crimes committed against certain classes of people, including homosexuals.

FPN president Joe Glover contends homosexual activists would use the bill as a tool to silence Christians. According to Glover’s group, those activists — in their efforts to silence opposition to homosexuality and the perceived threat of crimes against those who, in Glover’s words, “commit same-sex immorality with one another” — ignore “the true threat” to a homosexual’s safety: other homosexuals.

“If homosexual activists were really concerned about what’s driving so many [practicing homosexuals] to an early grave, they would either address the deadly health consequences associated with their lifestyle,” says the FPN leader; “or number two, they would address the fact that you’re 244 percent more likely to be hurt and murdered by another homosexual than you are by someone who is straight.”

Glover is referring to statistics from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a self-described pro-homosexual organization that gathers statistics on same-sex domestic abuse and hate crimes against homosexuals. FPN analyst Alex Mason compared NCAVP data from 1999-2003 indicating 24,455 incidents of “same-sex domestic violence crimes,” and 10,022 “hate crimes” committed against homosexuals during the same period. FPN argues that is proof homosexuals are 244 percent more likely to be the perpetrators of violence against other homosexuals than are heterosexuals.

Glover is convinced there is a hidden agenda behind hate crimes legislation. “They’re seeking to inflate numbers,” he charges, “and they keep recalling cases where these things have happened many years ago because they want to try to create a sense that they’re victims and that they’re at risk — and they really are not.”

If homosexuals indeed are at risk, says Glover, it is because people who are also engaging in homosexual conduct are harming them — at a rate almost two-and-a-half times that by heterosexuals.

Original Link.
Wikipedia article on Matthew Shepard.

Feinstein to Bush: Free Ramos, Compean

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Some of you might remember us blogging extensively about the prosecution of Border Agents Ramos and Compean. To quickly recap, these agents attempted to apprehend a known drug smuggler, and in the process, shots were fired. The drug smuggler was wounded in his bottom.
As a result of this encounter, the federal prosecutor, Johnny Sutton, pressed charges against the border agents and gave the drug smuggler full immunity if he would testify against the agents, which he did.
The agents were convicted and sentenced to over 10 years of jail time each.
There are several points in this case that were bothersome:
The agents violated rules of engagement. For that they should have been fired, not prosecuted. The penalty does not fit the “crime”.
Why was it so important to prosecute the agents that full immunity was given to a known drug smuggler?
Why was evidence, that could have cleared the agents, suppressed and possibly even tampered with?
Why doesn’t the president take a more active role? He has been petitioned by both the legislature and the grass roots to look into the situation.
This case just does not make sense. Either there is something we don’t know about it, something that hasn’t come to light yet, or something is “rotten in Denmark”.

After presiding over a Senate hearing today, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has decided to ask President Bush to commute the sentences of former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, an aide for the California Democrat told WND.

Feinstein will have a letter delivered to the White House tomorrow, said spokesman Scott Gerber.

Following the Senate judiciary committee’s examination of the controversial prosecution, according to Gerber, the senator said “it became very clear the sentences did not match the crime.”

Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively, after a jury convicted them of violating federal gun laws and covering up the shooting of a drug smuggler as he fled back to Mexico after driving across the border with 742 pounds of marijuana. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s office gave the smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, immunity to serve as the government’s star witness and testify against the border agents.

Feinstein concluded the hearing today with a vow to look further into why prosecutors charged the men under section 924(c) of the U.S. code, which requires a 10-year sentence for using or carrying a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.

Feinstein, during questioning of Sutton, argued the statute did not apply to Ramos and Compean in their pursuit of a drug smuggler at the Mexican border, because there was no underlying crime.

Gerber told WND that Feinstein has concluded the use of 924(c) was “prosecutorial overreach.”

Feinstein, during questioning of Sutton, argued the statute did not apply to Ramos and Compean in their pursuit of a drug smuggler at the Mexican border, because there was no underlying crime.

Gerber told WND that Feinstein has concluded the use of 924(c) was “prosecutorial overreach.”

Revival of interest

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. – who will chair a similar hearing in the House July 31 – told WND he believed today’s session helped revive flagging interest in the case as Ramos and Compean pass 180 days of imprisonment while awaiting their appeals.

He would prefer a pardon, but said he is pleased Feinstein is taking action and finds it ironic a “liberal Democrat” would do more than some “squishy Republican senators.”

“I was gratified and just overwhelmed with admiration for Sen. Feinstein, that she definitely is taking this issue seriously and decided she is going to step up and fight for these little guys that are being squashed,” Rohrabacher told WND.

Rohrabacher asserted the hearing today “made clear this case is, on the face of it, rotten.”

“I think it has a lot to do with an attitude in this administration that refuses to admit any mistakes and protects its own clique but nobody else,” he said.

Many supporters of Ramos and Compean have argued that if the president could pardon or commute the sentence of former White House aide “Scooter” Libby, he should show mercy to border agents who were prosecuted while a drug smuggler went free. The president commuted Libby’s 30-month prison sentence earlier this month.

Rohrabacher told WND Sutton has refused to testify at the July 31 hearing of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The congressman will examine alleged involvement of the Mexican government in the decision to prosecute the agents and others, including Texas Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez. Sutton’s Western District of Texas office also prosecuted Hernandez, who was convicted of violating the civil rights of two illegal aliens injured from shell fragments that struck them as the officer shot at the tires of a van in which they escaped from a routine traffic stop. The van driver had tried to run over Hernandez.

Rohrabacher said Sutton also has refused to provide information concerning a special visa, or transit pass, given to Aldrete-Davila in the immunity deal, allowing him to travel back and forth across the border. The congressman wants to know if the pass was used in an alleged second attempt by Aldrete-Davila to smuggle marijuana into the U.S., eight months after the February 2005 incident at the center of the case.

When confronted today with the fact information about the alleged second smuggling attempt was kept from the jury, Sutton argued the judge made the decision.

But Rohrabacher points out the prosecution initiated that demand. If the jury had known about the second attempt – an apparent violation of the immunity agreement – the panel likely would not have convicted the agents, the congressman believes.

The hearing has given Ramos and Compean new life, Rohrabacher said.

“It really looked like the issue would die, and we now have at least a fighting chance,” he said. “But nothing will happen until the American people rise up in a righteous rage to save these guys.”

Original Link.

Choices – Fool or Saved

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

I read an account of a mom who is suing the power company because her son was hurt when he climbed a power pole on a bet and was exposed to 19,700 volts. He received bad electrical burns and other injuries from the 35 foot fall to the ground.
As I was reading these post, I asked myself “what about the boy’s ‘personal responsibility’? When is it a person’s fault for doing things that “aren’t very smart” and when is someone else’s negligence?”
The legal system will come to some conclusion in this case (although with our sue happy society, I don’t hold out much hope for common sense winning out).
But what about the choice this young person made? Despite the obvious dangers (climbing a pole with without proper safety equipment and getting close to high voltage electric lines), this young person made a choice to ignore the dangers, warnings and follow what his “friends” told him to do.
This young person can be the poster child for our world today, in regards to people’s salvation with God.
Like this young person, we are all faced with a choice: to accept God or to reject him. Like this young person, we have all been informed of the dangers. And like this young person, we are constantly “dared” to take the dangerous path.
The 19,700 volts coursing down the electric line didn’t give the young person another chance. It didn’t say “well, he only grounded against me once, so I won’t electrocute him unless he does it again”. No, once the connection was made, the boy’s body became a wire for 19,700 volts.
Someday, whether you believe this or not, you will stand before God to be judged. God has already provided protection to you against this “19,700 volt live wire” in the form of Jesus Christ dying on a cross in order to erase your sins. God has provided warnings (the Bible) much like the power company did (a 35 foot, hard to climb pole).
Now the choice is yours. Do you follow the “dare” of your “friends”, or do you obey the warnings? Do you come into contact with the deadly “19,700 volts” of God’s wrath after you die, or do you accept the protection offered through Jesus Christ?
The Bible teaches us that we are ALL going to have to make the choice to either accept salvation through Jesus Christ, and as a result spend our eternity with God in Heaven, or we are going to reject this salvation and spend our eternity in hell. The choice is yours.

Matthew 7:26 “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin’s control.
– Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a “…The wages of sin is death…”
Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain.
– Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can’t earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it.
-Ask God to forgive you and save you.

Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”
When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin’s penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us!
-Give your life to God… His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you — not religion, or church membership. God loves you!

Romans 10:13 “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!”
-Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 “…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
-If you know that God is knocking on your heart’s door,ask Him to come into your heart.

Jesus said, Revelation 3:20a “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”
-Is Jesus knocking on your heart’s door?

Believe in Him. Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open the Bible to the Gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again.

God will help you. He loves you.

You need to look for a local church where God’s word is preached. The Bible says that we are to desire God’s word like a newborn baby desires mother’s milk. Aren’t you hungry to know the truth?

Water baptism is one of the ways you first show that you have been joined to Jesus. This is an action, and actions will not save you. However, it is an act of obedience and a symbol of commitment. The symbolism is this: When you go down in the water you show that You have been crucified and buried with Him,

And when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life. (See Romans chapter 6)

You have been born again. (See John chapter 3)

Your body has become God’s temple. Your heart is where He lives.

Forgiveness is yours in Jesus. And you belong to Him.

You were sin’s slave. But now…

You are a child of GOD!

John 1:12 “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!”

“Stupid lawsuit of the day” By Michelle Malkin.
“Climbed electric tower on dare” Posted by Walter Olson at Overlawyered.