As the Senate Armed Services Committee was conducting hearings about prospective military action in Syria, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was not paying full attention to the testimony by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Jack Dempsey.
Washington Post Photographer Melina Mara caught McCain passing time playing poker on his iPhone. In case one is skeptical about the photographic proof, Senator McCain responded to the charge by tweeting about the Syrian Strike scandal.
|Burnt Coptic Church in Minyan, Upper Egypt (Photo: David Degner)|
Since ex-Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi was deposed from power in July, 2013, there has been increasing violence targeted against Egypt’s eight million Coptic minority. In the past fortnight, 58 Christian Churches (14 of them Catholic) throughout Egypt.
Aside from torching these churches, agitated Islamists also paraded three Franciscan nuns through the streets like prisoners of war before a Muslim woman gave them refuge. Alas, two other women working at the school were sexually harassed as they fought to get through the mob.
When an Obama Administration spokesman was asked about whether the violence in Egypt crossed a red line on the Obama Doctrine’s “Duty to Protect”, the White House flack chose to make a snarky comeback.
Fortunately, not everyone took the Muslim Brotherhood inspired attacks against the Copts and other Egyptian Christians as a laughing matter. The Catholic Bishops in Egypt released a statement: “This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims. It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism.”
Due to the threats of violence, the Coptic Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram Monasteryi in Degla, Upper Egypt, did not celebrate Divine Liturgy for the first time in 1600 years. But Fr. James Martin, S.J. posted an inspiring photo on his Facebook account which showed the faithful celebrating Mass in a burnt out church.
While people may hold different religious tenants and express their faithfulness in different ways, this site celebrates religious freedom and the freedom of conscience. These attacks seem to be targeted against Christian faithful in Egypt, which predates the introduction of Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood may be using the unrest as a means to impose shariah upon Egypt, which is contrary to Egypt’s history.
Although it is not my creed, count me as a Copt to standing up for their faith and supporting the freedom in conscience throughout the world. There is a campaign to show support for beleaguered Christian believers in Egypt with the #iamcoptic campaign. This is not like the trend in the Nineties to show how much you care by wearing ribbons. This is to recognize that the Islamist persecutions of Copts in Egypt may represent a Christian Krystallnact in 1938 when Nazi Germany ramped up persecution of their Jewish scapegoat minority before embarking on their diabolic final solution of the Holocaust.
Using a similar rhetorical formulation as when the President first spoke about Trayvon Martin–If Barack Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit.
To echo 2012 campaign slogans with the clarity of reality– Government Motors is alive and Detroit is dead because of unions and progressive government.
He slapped him across the face and yelled,
Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted,
As Obama lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Obama wept and said,
|NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan|
Today is the start of the second Fortnight for Freedom as urged by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. It is a period of prayer, fasting, education and action to preserve the fundamental natural right that is enshrined in the Bill of Rights–the Freedom of Religion. This effort was started last year by USCCB President New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Appreciating the First Amendment is particularly poignant as there are so many challenges to religious liberty and the freedom of conscience, such as the HHS Qualified Health Plan Mandate (a.k.a. the Contraception, Sterilization and Abortifacient rider), the exclusion of non-compliant adoption organizations who will not service same-sex couples, states which have approved , states co-ercing traditional marriage believers to conform to same-sex so called marriage, the military labeling Catholics and Evangelicals as extremist groups for upholding their moral beliefs, military chaplains being forced out of service if they did not tow the new Politically Correct line on homosexuality.
When President Obama marked Religious Freedom Day in 2013, he framed religious liberty as the “freedom to worship as we choose.” That might have been acceptable public policy shorthand, but such a charitable assessment is not borne out by the actions of the Obama Administration. This is especially exemplified in the HHS contraception mandate.
Secular society has been championing a concept that America was founded on a separation of church and state and that religion was ancillary to education of the times. While it is true that there is not a state religion, history shows the profound motivation of our founders to pursue religious liberty. The Fortnight for Freedom should remind us of our proud history of religious liberty and point out how state incursions are strangling this fundamental freedom. Part of this education about religious liberty should include how sweeping state regulation of secular values will end vital social services in adoption, immigration, adoption, feeding the destitute and health care by religious groups which are serious about their core beliefs.