Good Friday Hymn: O sacred head now wounded

The tune of this remarkable reflection of the death of Christ, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, comes from the Passion Chorale, by J. S. Bach. The poem in the original Latin is often attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), but is now attributed to the Medieval poet Arnulf of Louvain (died 1250).   It was translated into German by Lutheran hymnist Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).

There are several English translations:

The hymn was first translated into English in 1752 by John Gambold (1711–1771), an Anglican vicar in Oxfordshire. His translation begins, “O Head so full of bruises.” In 1830 a new translation of the hymn was made by an American Presbyterian minister, James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859). Alexander’s translation, beginning “O sacred head, now wounded,” became one of the most widely used in 19th and 20th century hymnals.

Another English translation, based on the German, was made in 1861 by Sir Henry Baker. Published in Hymns Ancient and Modern, it begins, “O sacred head surrounded by crown of piercing thorn.”

In 1899 the English poet Robert Bridges (1844-1930) made a fresh translation from the original Latin, beginning “O sacred Head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn.” This is the version used in the 1940 Hymnal (Episcopal), the 1982 Hymnal (Episcopal; stanzas 1-3 and 5), and the Church of England‘s New English Hymnal (1986) and several other late 20th-century hymn books.

The DePaul Community Chorus sang “O Sacred Head”  at its Fall 2008 Concert in Chicago. Stephen Blackwelder, conductor. Lisa Kristina, accompanist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: The Pope and the Pentecostals Unite

Via Elizabeth Scalia, a wacky and wonderful video for a Sunday afternoon.

To watch only the pope is to be moved, but to ultimately miss the point. To watch the whole thing is to be blown away; Pentecostals, praying for the pope! The tongue-speaking is odd for most of us to witness, for sure. But as I did, I kept thinking, “Is that what the wind sounded like, at Pentecost, as the Holy Spirit approached?”

Marcel writes:

This is what Christian unity looks like. It doesn’t ignore the differences that we have with our non-Catholic brothers and sisters. It isn’t triumphalistic. It isn’t us vs them.

Rather, it is the love of Christ for all people. Jesus prayed for Christian unity and we must all acknowledge that the fact is – division within Christianity is both scandalous and a counter-sign to a God of unity to a world that needs Him.

So, Pope Francis recorded a video for his friend, Tony Palmer (An Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) Bishop.) He took the video to show to Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the unthinkable has started to happen – we actually pray for one another and acknowledge one another as true brothers and sisters.

Scalia recommends that you don’t fast forward to the pope – ‘watch it from the beginning and hang in there through the parts that can feel challenging to watch and might seem (to us, as Catholics and as jaded Americans) like “Protestant weirdness”’.

Another inspiring video for a Sunday afternoon,  via Geo:

Should this man get the Nobel Peace Prize?

Baby Box – South Korea: Hundreds of babies are abandoned every year, but this brave men is trying to save them. So why is the government trying to stop him?

In this heart-breaking report, we follow a man who’s dedicated his life to saving South Korea’s unwanted babies. With hundreds of them being abandoned every year, why has the government ordered him to stop?

Video: Scott Hamilton Talks About His Faith

I’ve been enjoying former Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton’s excellent commentary for the figure skating events at this year’s Olympics. He’s a likable guy – always has been.

I didn’t know anything about his back-story. Until now.

I think you’ll be as moved as I was to hear him explain in his own words his journey of faith through life’s triumphs and tragedies.

“The only true disability in life, is a bad attitude. God is there to guide you through the tough spots.”

Via Beyond the Pale, H/T Kathleen McKinley on Facebook.

Judge Jeanine Torches Obama For Going After the Little Sisters of the Poor (Video)

Judge Jeanine started her show, Saturday night with a lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions for the country (pretty much Obama, actually) culminating in her wish for a country that respects religious freedom.

Then she addressed Obama directly: “Mr President”, Pirro purred, “now that you’re back from your Hawaiin vacation, how’d you hit em? How’s that  handicap? You come back, and you try to take away from the Little Sisters of the Poor – a 175 year old religious organization that cares for low income elderly who are dying –  their right to exercise their 1st Amendment freedom of religion.”

She continued, “you PROMISED the Catholic church you would not, under Obamacare, force those with religious objections to provide contraception to employees, which of course,  is contrary to their fundamental beliefs and their exercise of religion. In spite of your promise, you’re spending millions in legal fees to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, who spend their lives serving the sick and the elderly, to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients to their employees?!”

The judge marveled that the president, supposedly a constitutional scholar, refuses to exempt the Little Sisters of the Poor from the contraception mandate. “YOU!” She exclaimed incredulously.  “The same guy who grants exemptions and waivers left and right to unions, political buddies, bundlers…..but not to the women who devoted their lives to God and caring for the sick?!”

Concluding her opening statement, she declared, “Mr. President, it’s 2014, and we are NOT getting off to a good start.”

She had on the Pastor of the Church of the Holy Family, Father Gerald Murray, to talk about the case.”

“The message here is, if you like your religion, you can’t keep it”, Father quipped. “That is a horrible message from the president of the United States and members of his administration.”

She had the always excellent Trey Gowdy on to talk about the widely panned NYTs Benghazi report, and the Regime’s attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Always good for a few good soundbites, Gowdy quipped, “up until two weeks ago, Susan Rice was the only person on the planet who thought that a video had something to do with the attack, and now that number has increased by 100% – it’s gone from one to now two.”

On the HHS mandate, he said “this is not a complicated legal analysis…..legally they lose and you would think a constitutional law scholar would know that.”

“This is not about the law – it’s about politics”, Gowdy explained. “They want us to carry the burden of persuasion for political reasons.”

He pointed out that “the last time this administration went before the Supreme Court on a religious liberty case, it was Hosanna Tabor,  and it was nine to nothing against the administration. You can’t get the Supreme Court to agree nine to nothing on which direction the sun rises…but nine to nothing they said the administration was wrong.”

” It’s not about the law”, he reiterated, “it’s about politics and trying to gin up this manufactured ‘war on women,”  and shame on us if we let them get away with it.”

Video: Priests for Life Wins Emergency Relief From HHS mandate

On Saturday, December 28, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was on Fox News with  Mike Huckabee to talk about the contraceptive mandate and explains why it is an important issue. A federal judge in the NY Archdiocese had recently granted an injunction against the contraception mandate, but on Dec. 19, a judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government in the Priests For Life case prompting Pavone to  file for an emergency injunction.

“I love my Church and I love my country and I want to be able to do both at the same time,” Pavone told Huckabee. “I do not want to be told that I have to choose between being a faithful Catholic and being a good citizen.”

Priests for Life’s  emergency injunction was  granted on New Year’s Eve.

Father Pavone released the following statement on his Priests For Life website:

4:58pm  An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful  his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.
“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”
“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger.  We have to take action.”
On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.
Father  Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.
Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”
Andrew McCarthy explains what the ruling means….
The ruling holds that, at least for now, the government may not coerce religious believers, against the tenets of their faiths, to provide coverage for abortifacients and contraceptives. (The religious liberty position would not prevent those who want abortifacients and contraceptives – which are very affordable and easily accessible – from obtaining them; it would just prevent the government from forcing religious believers violate their beliefs by providing them.) Of course, as we’ve seen before, President Obama often does not deem himself bound by such trifles as judicial rulings and congressional statutes, so we’ll have to see how the administration reacts.

Father Pavone thanked  Rob Muise and his team at the American Freedom Law Center in his video announcement of the ruling:

On New Years Eve, Justice Sotomayor also granted a temporary Obamacare exemption to Catholic nuns who would have faced ‘draconian fines’ if they had failed to provide contraceptive coverage, as the healthcare law requires.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary exemption late Tuesday to a small group of Catholic nuns that shields it from having to comply with a part of President Obama‘s healthcare law that requires it to provide contraceptive coverage in its insurance plans.

She acted on an emergency appeal from lawyers for the group who said the nuns faced “draconian fines” beginning on New Year’s Day if they failed to comply with the law widely known as Obamacare.

Sotomayor gave the government until Friday to file a response in the case. Her order extends only to the group of nuns and does not apply more broadly to the Affordable Care Act and its requirements.

The Regime’s contraception mandate isn’t even central to the law – it’s not necessary for ObamaCare to survive — but out of anti-Christian hostility, they’re fighting like Demons to force Americans to violate their conscience, anyway. Forcing people to violate their beliefs and pay tribute to the almighty State is crucial for the forces of tyranny, and I fear,  a harbinger of a terrible things to come, if they succeed.

Thomas More Law Center Sues DoD For Shutting Down Catholic Services On Navy Base

church kings bay naval base

The church at Kings Bay Naval Base in happier times.

The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in reaction to what they call “an astonishing attack on the religious freedom” of Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia who have been denied access to religious services on the base and whose priest has been locked out of his chapel.

Because of the priest shortage on military bases, contract priests are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.

Due to the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide have been banned from working –  even volunteering  – despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act that for provides the funding of employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale and well-being of the military. Reportedly, Protestant services continue to take place and only Catholic services have been shutdown.

Via The Thomas More Law Center:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest contracted to serve as base chaplain and Fred Naylor, one of Father Leonard’s parishioners and a retired veteran with over 22 years of service. Fr. Leonard is a civilian Catholic Pastor contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as a military chaplain at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.

Fr. Leonard who served Tibetan populations in China for 10 years, informed the court in an affidavit; “In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”

On October 4, 2013, Fr. Leonard was ordered to stop performing all of his duties as the base’s Catholic Chaplain, even on a voluntary basis. He was also told that he could be arrested if he violated that order. The approximately 300 Catholic families, including Fred Naylor’s, served by Fr. Leonard at Kings Bay have been unable to attend Mass on base since the beginning of the shutdown.

Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.

The submarine base is remotely located.  It consists of roughly 16,000 acres, with 4,000 acres comprised of protected wetlands.  There are approximately 10,000 total people on the base.

A Catholic Church is located off base in the town of St. Mary’s.  However, many of the parishioners both live and work on base and do not own a car and cannot otherwise access transportation.  Therefore a sixteen (16) mile journey to and from the off-base church is simply not possible.  Moreover, many of the sailors have an extremely limited amount of time off.  With their time highly regimented, they are not given a long enough break time for this exceptionally long walk and the Mass service.

Defendants in the lawsuit are the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus.

Andrew Montalvo, a Talkshow Producer for KFYO out of  Lubbock, Texas says this attaclk on religious liberties is “pure spite” coming from the White House.

The chapel is small, regularly unmanned, and when not being used for religion is used also for special events, as the religious symbols are easily removed.

In addition to the argument that it costs nothing to keep open, several times I assisted in setting up and tearing down special events at the chapel, not under order, but voluntarily.

There is absolutely no reason why the chapel would be closed other than the White House going out of its way to hurt the religious and trample on their liberties.

This is why Obama appointed the dim-witted Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary – he was expected to be a “Yes Man” to the Regime’s far- left  agenda and he is delivering.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.

In other news, via Publius Forum, Obama Administration Says Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Speech’ Can be Punished.

Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said that inflammatory material against Islam might be a violation of federal civil rights laws. Such a violation could bring the federal government down on those opposing Islam here in the US.

As reported by The Tullahoma News, Killian and the FBI’s Kenneth Moore hosted a “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” to “help” the community learn how anti-Islam speech could land an American before authorities.

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told the paper. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Obama Regime’s MB Connected Islamist Advisors Downplay Coptic Suffering

In a recent article at the Daily Beast, Kirstin Powers decried the silence of American Christian churches in the face of overwhelming Christian persecution all across the globe.

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

Back in August, during the height of the terror campaign against Coptic Christians in Egypt, Powers reported:

The news coming out of Egypt is staggering. USA Today reports that “forty churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged” in one week. According to the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches in Egypt, 160 Christian-owned buildings have also been attacked.

The tally of torched Christian churches in Egypt has grown to more than 80.

American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.” “It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

The Obama administration certainly hasn’t done anything to stop it. In fact, they always seem to come out on the side of the persecutors.

Remember the reports a couple of years ago that alleged Muslim Brotherhood members had infiltrated the White House? (Or were perhaps invited in?)

Remember how horrifying and outlandish it seemed that a US President would actually take counsel from these dangerous, radical Islamists? Well, a couple of them are speaking out on the Christian persecution.

Via Jihad Watch:

Dalia Moghaed [sic], credited with helping President Obama draft his June 2009 Cairo speech about American relations with the Islamic world, recently downplayed attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians on a Facebook page.

More than 80 Coptic churches were burned by Brotherhood supporters after the Egyptian military’s crackdown last month on Muslim Brotherhood encampments in Cairo. A local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party appeared to sanction violence in retaliation for the Coptic Church’s backing of the Egyptian military.

Nonetheless, Mogahed pointed the finger at the Egyptian media.

Dalia Mogahed

“The Egyptian media took advantage of the Copts to achieve many personal/political gains, which has angered the West,” Mogahed said in a Sept. 22 post which appeared on the Facebook page of the Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR).

The EADHR was founded by members of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which in turn was founded as an “overt arm” of the Egyptian Brotherhood.

Mogahed isn’t the only American Islamist tied to the Obama administration to slam the Copts on social media.


Then there Mohamed Elibiary, who was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas titled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary.”

“The visionary in question”, Robert Spencer tells us,  “was none other than the founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini.”

When I questioned him about his appearance at such a conference, Elibiary claimed that he hadn’t known what kind of conference it was going to be, although he didn’t explain why he went ahead and appeared there anyway once he found out. Among those who found this explanation wanting was journalist Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News, whose skepticism angered Elibiary. The great moderate subsequently threatened Dreher, telling him: “Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe.”


In a Sept. 15 Twitter post, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, accused American Coptic activists of fanning hatred of Islam.

Microsoft Word - islamists in government.docx

“For a decade since 9/11 attack extremist American #Coptic activists have nurtured anti #Islam & anti #Muslim sentiments among AM RT wing,” Elibiary wrote.

In earlier tweets, Elibiary attacked American Copts for protesting against how their relatives in Egypt have been treated by the Islamists.

“Good read by @mwhanna1 on need to reform #Coptic activism in #US including stop promoting #Islamophobia,” Elibiary wrote Sept. 14.

I think I’m going to be sick…

Hat tip:

Photo: Egyptian Muslims Do Friday Prayers In Front Of Coptic Christian Church To Protect It From MB Attack

muslims protecting churches

Via Ramez Atallah on Facebook:

MUSLIMS PROTECTING CHURCHES: this is a moving picture Muslims doing their Friday prayers in front of Church to protect it from attack by militants! This is the Egypt we all dream of.

Hat tip: Brian B.

Meanwhile….Egyptians continue to lash out at Obama for backing the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists…


See more pics at Gateway Pundit.

Via Weasel Zippers: In case there was any doubt: Memo Shows Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Gave Their Blessings To Church Burnings, Attacks On Christians…

Via IPT:

A memo posted on the Facebook page of a local office of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows a clear call to incitement against Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, giving its blessing to the burning of churches.

Over 40 Coptic churches have been burned by Muslim Brotherhood supporters since the Egyptian police cleared demonstrators protesting the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday. Brotherhood supporters also reportedly blocked the road between Cairo and Aswan in southern Egypt looking for Copts, taking seven Copts hostage Thursday. They were later released after a ransom of 150,000 Egyptian pounds, roughly $21,500, was paid.

Muslim Brotherhood rioters who torched St. George Cathdral in Sohag were heard screaming “Allahu Akbar!” as they carried out their deed.

Obama’s Silence Equals Consent As His Muslim Brotherhood Allies Torch Dozens of Coptic Christian Churches

Discrimination and violence are nothing new for Christians living in the Middle East, but after the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt in the wake of the 2011 “Arab Spring”,  emboldened Islamists increased their attacks. Terrorist attacks on Christians at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood increased even more after Mohammed Morsi was ousted on July 3.

“The world is watching”, Mr. President:

After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like “prisoners of war” before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.

In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism.

Via The New York Sun:

In the past 48 hours alone, some 57 Egyptian churches have been burned to the ground in the Nile valley. It will not be lost on the Egyptians that Mr. Obama has spent the crisis playing golf at Martha’s Vineyard.

Scores of Christians are being consumed in this conflagration, some burned beyond recognition defending their churches, even as Mr. Obama’s much-despised envoy in Egypt, Ambassador Patterson, still tries to effect a reconciliation between the the Muslim Brotherhood conducting this devastation and the Egyptians who revolted against the Brotherhood’s rule.

Mr. Obama came out against a pastoral background to urge the Egyptian military and government to take it easy on his favored Islamists and to hint at even more sanctions if they do not. As Mr. Obama retreated back to the beach, his aides warned of a cutoff of the $1.5 billion a year that American has been providing, though such aid is now being overwhelmed with a package of $12 billion that began flowing from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates only last month.

In Arab culture, such language and mannerism, including the wagging of fingers, will be seen as insulting, which at least partly explains the rush by the oil-rich countries to help the revolutionary government in Cairo.

Unless the president puts out a strong statement condemning this latest spate of attacks on Christian in Egypt, I think it’s reasonable to assume that he consents to violence against Christians.

Obama has rarely mentioned religious freedom, or made a point of condemning violence against Christians in Muslim countries. He’s airbrushed over it a few times – but the growing problem of Muslim atrocities against Christians  has been given short shrift by the Obama administration. This has been the appalling pattern since he took office.

Now, his allies, the Muslim Brotherhood,  want “the world to believe that it is comprised of persecuted and repressed underdogs that it is not,” according to former Muslim Brotherhood terrorist, Walid Shoebat.  “On the contrary, the Brotherhood is a group that will lie, cheat, steal, and murder while fooling others into believing it is on the short end of that stick.”

Western media continues to play along with the Brotherhood’s Pallywood script. It’s simply not believable that these figures are dupes too, which makes them accomplices in a despicably deceptive narrative.

Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) released a scathing statement Saturday  accusing the media of “steer[ing] away from objectivity and neutrality,”  resulting in “a distorted image” of events in Egypt to their audiences.

Via Foreign Policy: 

“Egypt is feeling severe bitterness towards some Western media coverage that is biased to the Muslim Brotherhood and ignores shedding light on violent and terror acts that are perpetrated by this group,” the statement read.

The SIS laid out seven ways in which international coverage of Egypt was lacking. In addition to ignoring the Brotherhood’s “thuggery and sabotage,” the statement said, some media “are still falling short of describing the [anti-Morsy protests] of June 30 as an expression of a popular will.” The Egyptian government, in other words, objects to international coverage describing Morsy’s ouster as a military coup.

The statement also accused foreign press of ignoring the support that the Muslim Brotherhood is allegedly drawing from foreigners and jihadists. It accused the media of “completely ignor[ing]” that the Brotherhood had sought support from al Qaeda elements, alleging that five vehicles flying the Islamist “black flag” and armed with automatic weapons had driven into Cairo’s Ramses Square during pro-Morsy protests there on Friday. “[The foreign press] also ignored making reference to the participation of non-Egyptian elements from Pakistan, Syria and Palestine in violent acts committed by the Brotherhood,” the statement read

Egyptian officials have also echoed the statement’s criticisms in their public remarks. In a press conference yesterday, Egyptian presidency spokesman Mustafa Hegazy opened with remarks in English — a sign that his message was geared to foreign media. He said that Egyptians were “bitter” that the foreign press had ignored stories of Brotherhood supporters killing soldiers, burning churches, and using women and children as human shields. The events in Egypt were not a political disagreement between two sides, he said, but a “war with terrorism … and Egypt will defend its sovereignty.

Egyptians are Lashing out at Obama: “Damn You Obama! Damn You!”


Israel Matzov links to a report that Egyptian army chief Abdel Fateh al-Sisi is refusing to take phone calls from  Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Egypt is bleeding and angry. While the army and Muslim Brotherhood clash in the streets, at a high cost of hundreds of casualties in just one weekend, many Egyptians — especially the military — are furious at Washington. The United States, Egypt’s number one ally in the world with an annual aid package of $1.3 billion, has all of a sudden become irrelevant. One can assume that this is not what the American president had in mind when he delivered his famous Cairo speech in 2009. In Egypt, Obama is seen not as the person who did not prevent Mubarak’s downfall, rather as the person who supported the Muslim Brotherhood. At the same time, Obama could be perceived at home as breaking the law due to his refusal to recognize a military coup in Egypt, which would prohibit him from transferring aid funds. This is without doubt an awkward situation for the president.

Obama is humiliated. After he refused to answer U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s calls, Col. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, currently the strongest person in Egypt, also refused to answer a call from Obama. The Egyptian defense minister is waging a military campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood while simultaneously opening a diplomatic front against the United States. The cancellation of a joint military exercise with the U.S. is not much of a concern for Sissi. On the contrary, the cancellation is more of a concern for Jerusalem, which needs a friendly, professional and strong Egyptian army along its southern border.

Four short years ago, Obama seemed on top of the world when he gave a speech to the Muslim world in Cairo (to mixed reviews at best.)  Open Doors USA, a ministry to persecuted Christians, pointed out that Obama had failed to elaborate on the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt or the plight of minority Christians in other Muslim countries.

A year later,  a bipartisan government commission  criticized Obama and  the Regime’s handling of religious freedom in the world.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its annual report stated that Obama has rarely mentioned religious freedom since his Cairo and Ankara speech last year. The president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the report stated, have also exchanged the phrase religious freedom for the narrower phrase “freedom of worship.”

It took Obama more than two years to fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, that works against religious persecution across the world.

Obama filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and Congress. Suppose that there was a country where Muslims were being massacred every month, would the Obama Administration and media remain silent on a Muslim holocaust?

Every month we have thousands of Christians massacred around the world, but Obama and American media ignores the Christians holocaust around the world. A mob attack on Muslims in Burma immediately resulted in a condemnation from the State Department and Obama. But a carbombing and shooting attack on two churches in Nigeria have not been similarly commented on by the State Department.

Atlas Shrugs bluntly asks, “why is the Obama administration in league with these jihad butchers?”

At PJ Media, RAYMOND IBRAHIM writes:

With the recent decision to arm the opposition fighting Syrian President Assad, the United States has effectively declared a proxy war on Syria’s indigenous Christians — a proxy war that was earlier waged on Christians in other Mideast nations, resulting in the abuse, death, and/or mass exodus of Christians.

Ironically (if not absurdly) this proxy war on Christians is being presented to the American people as a war to safeguard the “human rights” and “freedoms” of the Syrian people.  Left unsaid by the Obama administration is the egregiously inhuman behavior these jihadis visit upon moderate Syrians in general and Christians in particular, from bombed churches to kidnapped (and often beheaded) Christians.  Days ago they massacred an entire Christian village.

Nor can one argue that the Obama administration is unaware that Christian persecution is an ironclad aspect of empowering jihadis.  Both past precedents and current events repeatedly demonstrate this.

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that a Regime that has been conducting its own war against Christians here at home, would be aiding and abetting acts extreme persecution and violence against Christians abroad — but it’s appalling nonetheless.

Did you ever think you’d live to see a president this horrible?!

Father Dowling’s Mystery – The Case Of The Disappearing Priest (Video)

The good father really had us going there. People all over the world heard the inspiring story about the otherworldly priest who came out of no where to a crash scene and prayed over the  critically injured girl…..a sense of calm came over the workers and the girl. A mysterious voice was heard saying the tools would now work and the girl would be rescued. Almost 70 pictures were taken at the crash site and Father Dowling is in none of them. And no one remembers seeing him leave.

Rescue workers on the scene were almost certain they had witnessed a miracle. Even the Sheriff who let the priest enter the crash site, and shook his hand on the way out thought there was something uncanny about him. No one recognized him, no one knew how he got there….

Now the man himself speaks.

Father Patrick Dowling, a priest in the Jefferson City Missouri Diocese, stepped forward this week. He was travelling Highway 19 between mass assignments two weeks ago when he stopped at a crash site. The Missouri priest got out and prayed with 19-year-old crash victim Katie Lentz and first responders. Then he disappeared.

The humble Father told the KHQA reporter that he was pleased to be able to help and that he was only one of many who responded to help the victim.

“You must remember, there were many people praying there, many, many people … and they were all praying obviously for healing and for her safety,” Dowling told Carl Bunderson with Catholic News Agency. “I was probably part of the answer to their prayers, I came by and Anointed and absolved, (but) I didn’t say another word … I did not say anything  like the machinery would begin to work or they would succeed in getting her out of the car.”

Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow Father Dowling all the days of his life.

Artist Creates Sketch of “Mystery Angel Priest”


Via Fox News:

An artist has created a sketch of the mysterious “angel priest” who witnesses say appeared at the scene of a Missouri car accident Sunday, anointed and prayed with the teenage victim and then vanished without a trace.

Fox4KC reports Tucson-based artist Randall Sands created the sketch using online face sketch software at based on media reports, hoping someone would be able to identify the cleric.

Officials are still scratching their heads over the priest, who they say appeared out of nowhere. Perhaps more mysteriously, the local fire chief said he does not appear in any of 80 photos from the accident scene.

“I think that this time I’ve actually witnessed a guardian angel at work,” Jeremiah See of the New London Fire Department told ABC News.

Some have noted that August 4, the day of the crash, is the feast day of St. John Vianney, but Vianney doesn’t resemble the artist’s rendering of the mysterious priest.
Others have noticed a resemblance between the sketch and Father Luis, the priest who “died of joy” following a vision of the Virgin Mary in Garabandal, Spain in 1961.
The young Father Luis
Father_Louis_Maria_Andreu_rightside_SJIn the photo to the left, Father Luis is pictured to the extreme right, alongside his mother Maria Luisa
On the 8th August, 1961, he was among the crowd observing the girls at the pine grove where the visions often took place. Suddenly his face became tense and falling on his knees, he cried out loud : ‘Miracle, miracle, miracle, miracle!’
The four girls could see Fr. Luis, even though normally when in ecstasy they would see only the vision and each other. The Virgin told them that the priest was seeing her and a miracle, too. Conchita later wrote in her diary that the Virgin seemed to say to him, ‘You will soon be with Me.’

Fr. Luis left by car that same night with his travelling companions. They paused for a while at Cosio, three miles down the mountain road from Garabandal, where he went to meet the parish priest and said : ‘Don Valentin, what the children are saying is true, but I ask you not to repeat what I have just told you, for the Church can never be prudent enough in this kind of event.’
On the way home it was clear that Fr. Luis was overwhelmed with joy, repeating the words : ‘I am so happy! What a wonderful favour the Virgin has bestowed on me! How fortunate we are to have a Mother like that in Heaven! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have shown us how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There’s no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. But why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life!’ The final time he said this, he lowered his head to his chest, made a slight coughing sound, and then died.He was just thirty-eight. The news spread fast. Everyone was shocked. The next day, when the Virgin appeared to the girls, she told them that she had appeared to Fr. Luis as well as to them and had shown him a preview of a great Miracle to come, after which he had died of joy. This was not the end of the priest’s involvement with Garabandal, however. Just eight days later, on 16th August, the Blessed Virgin said to all four of them, ‘Fr. Luis will come and speak to you now.’ As Conchita recorded in her diary, A moment later, he called us one by one. We didn’t see him but only heard his voice. It was exactly like the one he had on earth.’

Federal Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Hobby Lobby


Via The Conversation:

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hobby Lobby, and its sister company, Mardel bookstores should be allowed to seek exception from the part of the ObamaCare mandate that violates their religious beliefs.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the companies can proceed with their lawsuit and can probably win, great news for Hobby Lobby, Mardel,and for the dozens of lesser known businesses with similar lawsuits in various states.

Hobby Lobby was facing fines of up to $475 million for failing to comply with the law, or pay $26 million to the government if it dropped its health care plan altogether.

The judges indicated that the Oklahoma court should have granted the companies an injunction with such serious financial penalties on the line.

The judges unanimously sent the case back to a lower court in Oklahoma, which had rejected the companies’ request for an injunction to prevent full enforcement of the new law.

“Hobby Lobby and Mardel have drawn a line at providing coverage for drugs or devices they consider to induce abortions, and it is not for us to question whether the line is reasonable,” the judges wrote. “The question here is not whether the reasonable observer would consider the plaintiffs complicit in an immoral act, but rather how the plaintiffs themselves measure their degree of complicity.”

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., Mardel Inc. and their owners, the Green family, argue for-profit businesses — not just religious groups — should be allowed to seek an exception if the law violates their religious beliefs. The owners approve of most forms of artificial birth control, but not those that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg — such as an IUD or the morning-after pill.

The appeals court slapped down the DOJ’s obnoxious argument that  allowing for-profit corporations the option to exempt themselves from regulations that violate their religious beliefs, was somehow allowing the businesses to force their  religious beliefs on their employees.

The 10th Circuit cited a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that for-profit corporations have rights to political expression.

The judges said, “we see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression.”

Judge Harris Hartz wrote, “no one suggests that organizations, in contrast to their members, have souls. But it does not follow that people must sacrifice their souls to engage in group activities through an organization.”

Emily Hardman, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, called the ruling a “resounding victory for religious freedom.”

But Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the judges were wrong.

“This isn’t religious freedom; it’s the worst kind of religious oppression,” executive director Barry Lynn said in a statement.

On Friday – one day after the court ruled that their regulation was probably a violation of religious liberties,  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius  announced a  finalized version of the contraception mandate in Obamacare that provides an “accommodation” for non-profit organizations that have a religious objection to the mandate…

The Washington Examiner reported:

HHS said that the final rule includes an “accommodation” for non-profit religious institutions that oppose the use of contraception. “Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost,” HHS said.

How convenient.

Somebody remind me what that whole “Republican War on Women” thing was about, last year, ’cause if I remember right, it had something to do with Republicans objecting to the grotesque, unconstitutional  overreach of the federal government that just got  unanimously slapped down by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.


The Conversation: HHS Accommodation Is No Accommodation At All:

the final rule only includes an accommodation for non-profit  institutions that oppose the use of contraception. “Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost,” HHS said.

A more careful reading on my part would have seen that the final regulation issued yesterday provides no accommodations at all for individual Christians or private for-profit employers who morally object to the mandate.

CNS reported:

Catholic and other Christian individuals in the United States will now be forced by the Obama administration to buy insurance coverage that pays for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs–whether they want that coverage or not and even though it forces them to act against their faith.

What these final adjustments to the regulation do is provide what the administration calls “accommodations” to religious non-profit organizations only–or what the regulation calls “eligible organizations.”
The Regime’s War on God continues apace – but the 10th Circuit ruling, Thursday indicates this is one battle they will almost certainly lose.
(Unless, of course Obama’s NSA has dirt on any of the OK  judges…)

Video: Rear Admiral William Lee Speaks Out Against the Military’s Assault on Religious Liberty at Natl Day of Prayer Event

Last Thursday at a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill, Rear Admiral William Lee spoke out against the growing hostility toward Christians in the military under the Obama administration. He had a long, carefully worded speech prepared, he said – but opted at the last minute to speak from the heart.

The Admiral confessed that he had violated military rules many times – rules that ban him from simply giving a Bible to a soldier who had attempted suicide.”Every sixty-five minutes a veteran pulls the trigger or takes their own life, the admiral explained.

“The problem that men and women like me face in uniform who are in senior leadership positions, is that higher you are, the more vulnerable you are to being taken down. You come in the crosshairs of those people who lay in wait outside the gate – waiting to take us down to task for expressing our faith for so as much as whispering to a young man who is on his last hope, that there is hope that I can just simply whisper (raising the bible) in here is the answer – take it home.”

He continued, “the lawyers tell me that if I do that, I’m crossing the line,” Lee said. “I’m so glad I’ve crossed that line so many times.” He pledged not to back down from “my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope.”


Standing O.
General Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council’s Executive Vice President lauded Lee with the following comments:

The speech follows a week of controversy after a recent Washington Post report stating that anti-Christian activists had met with senior Pentagon officials to press for the court martial of Christians in the military who “promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.” According to the Post, the activists were given assurances that an instruction booklet on proselytizing would be forthcoming within the next few weeks. Since then, the Pentagon has issued several statements but none of them have explained what assurances were offered in the meeting and if none were offered, why the Pentagon has not made clear that anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein has misrepresented his relationship with the Air Force. Since Monday evening, more than 130,000 people have signed an FRC petition calling on the Pentagon to protect religious liberty.



Video: Pentagon Ban on Proselytizing Discussed on America Live With Megyn Kelly

In a  recent statement the Pentagon confirmed that “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)

Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.

So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime–possibly resulting in imprisonment–for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains—military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)–whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.

As I wrote in my post at the Conversation, Monday, the US Army has taken on a bizarrely hostile stance toward the Christian faith in recent weeks, blocking the Southern Baptist Convention website because of its “hostile content”, labeling Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons And Jews ‘Religious Extremists’ during a briefing on religious extremism, and labeling Christian Ministries as ‘Domestic Hate Groups’ in an email.

It should come as no surprise that Weinstein endorses the ultra-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who publishes a list of what it deems “hate groups.”

Some Republicans in Congress have been alerted to the problem and have taken some preliminary action, sending a letter to the Secretary of the Army demanding that he rescind and apologize for the absurd briefing that labeled Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mormons and Catholics as religious extremist groups alongside Hamas, al Qaeda and the KKK.

Megyn Kelly had Pete Hegseth of Concerned Veterans For America on her show, Thursday, to discuss what is going on at the Pentagon.

Hegseth called Weinstein’s group, “anti-Christian zealots that the Pentagon never should have allowed in for a meeting.

FRC has launched a petition here calling on Secretary Hagel is stop working with Weinstein and his anti-Christian organization to develop military policy regarding religious faith. As of this writing, 124,814 signatures had been received.

Southern Baptist Convention ‘Hostile’ According to the US Army


If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the US Army is being run by the left-wing, anti- Christian hate group SPLC. They seem to be trying to stamp out any and all religious sentiment in its soldiers, as well as trying to discourage those with religious beliefs from even serving in the Army. Unless Congress steps up and does something to stop it, religious freedom in the military will be a thing of the past.

In its latest enemy action against Christianity, the United States Army blocked the website of the Southern Baptist Convention from government computers.

An Army officer assigned to a U.S. base says he tried to access from his government computer but instead got a message that said the site was being blocked by “Team CONUS.” The message he received read:

“The site you have requested has been blocked by Team CONUS (C-TNOSC/RECERT-CONUS) due to hostile content.”

Team CONUS is the Department of Defense management and computer network overseer of the military’s Continental U.S. (CONUS) Theater Network Operations and Security Center (C-TNOSC) and Regional Computer Emergency Response Team (RCERT).

“So the Southern Baptist Convention is now considered hostile to the U.S. Army … It just corroborates the recent string of events highlighted by AFA,” the officer wrote in an email to American Family Association (AFA).

Earlier this month, a shocking story broke about an Army instructor in Pennsylvania who labeled Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Orthodox Jews and Mormons “religious extremists” alongside Hamas and al Qaeda during an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism. An Army spokesman told Todd Starnes of Fox News that this was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Dept. of the Army.”

It was not an isolated incident.

A few days later, Todd Starnes reported at Townhall that an Army officer at Ft. Campbell, KY had recently sent an email to subordinates using similar descriptions to describe two mainstream Christian ministries that were put in the same category as Neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads, White Nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., told Fox News that soldiers have been seeing a steady attack on faith and religious freedom in the military. “We are getting a lot of calls from soldiers saying, ‘We’re afraid of going to church. We’re afraid to be seen praying. We’re afraid that would hurt our careers, our promotions.’”

Forbes questioned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the religious liberty issue during a recent House Armed Services Committee meeting.

A couple of weeks ago, at least a dozen members of Congress signed a letter demanding the Secretary of the Army rescind and apologize for the patently absurd briefing that labeled Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mormons and Catholics as religious extremist groups alongside Hamas, al Qaeda and the KKK.

Fox News obtained a draft of the letter:

“This is astonishing and offensive,” read a draft of the letter written by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO). “We call on you to rescind this briefing and apologize for its content and set the record straight on the Army’s view on these faith groups by providing a balanced briefing on religious extremism.”

It’s almost like Obama  is trying to cultivate an Army of left-wing atheists.

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