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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 3, 2013/ 28 Elul, 5773

Around the world, the cross is in the crosshairs

By Christine M. Flowers

Christine M. Flowers


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) I've sat in countless church pews, all over the world. I've listened to homilies in French, Spanish, English, Italian and — the most beautiful of all — Latin. I've spent hours gazing at the refraction of light through stained glass windows, lighted countless candles, and knelt on so many kneelers that my shins carry the permanent indentation of the lifelong Catholic.

I've always taken for granted that I can enter by the front door, sing loudly in celebration, seek communion and absolution without worrying about who might be looking on. Unquestionably, I live my faith in the light of day. This week at Mass, I was reminded of those who can't when the priest asked me to pray for my brothers and sisters who are forced to seek God in the shadows, and risk their lives in the search.

In this country, like most of the Western world, there is no such thing as true religious persecution. This is not to say that people of faith don't come up against discrimination. Those who've challenged the health care birth-control mandate know that the current administration is not particularly sympathetic to claims of religious freedom. Worse, it has become obvious that anyone who questions the validity of same-sex marriage based upon strongly held religious principles can expect to be called a bigot and, perhaps, find himself slapped with a civil-rights lawsuit, as recently happened to a wedding photographer in New Mexico.

In this 50th anniversary year of Abington v. Schemp, the local case that abolished prayer in public schools, we pat ourselves on the back because of our tolerance for those who choose not to believe. This is probably a good thing, even though you can't help but note the glee with which certain groups greet the heavy-booted march of secularization. They don't want to torture people of faith, but they don't mind making them sweat.

But sweating and being the object of suspicion or derision is nothing compared to what is going on in the rest of the world, places where owning a Bible is a death sentence (North Korea) and going to Mass is a suicidal act (Nigeria).

Unfortunately, this doesn't attract the attention of the homegrown media, because we in the West have a problem seeing religious folk as victims. (We also find Miley Cyrus and her impersonation of a slut to be much more interesting.)

Americans in particular are more accustomed to complaining about the Catholic Church's attempt to "impose" its views of abortion on the rest of us, or we see the file video of the Westboro Baptist kooks and equate theology with pathology. We also prosecute parents who refuse to give medical treatment to their children in the name of "religious freedom" and prefer "Interior Design" to "Intelligent Design." It's all part of the balancing act.

Tragically, there is no balancing in some parts of the world, particularly when it comes to Christians. In the 21st century, the cross is in the crosshairs, and the most brutal attacks are reserved for those who follow Jesus. This is not to diminish the historical persecution of Jews, which is, perhaps, the only similar template that we have for deadly intolerance. The Holocaust is the single worst incident of religious-based violence in modern memory (with the possible exception of the extermination of Armenians by the Turks.)

But as Archbishop Charles Chaput observed in an afterword to the book "Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians," "We are living in an age of intensifying, anti-Christian persecution."


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Again, it is hard for the average American to understand how perilous it is for a Christian to openly profess his faith in a place like, for just one deadly example, Iran. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani sat in a jail cell for years under a death sentence because he converted from Islam to Christianity. In Iraq, Catholic students were murdered on their way to school. In China, an elderly priest was abducted, never to be heard from again. In Pakistan, a woman was given a death sentence for insulting Muhammad.

And this past month, Egypt's Coptic Christians saw their worst fears realized as the persecution that had begun decades ago increased exponentially as the Arab Spring became a summer of hell. Churches were burned, nuns brutalized, worshippers murdered, and the rest of the world called it a "political problem."

This is not about politics. This is about human rights. Westerners need to realize that just because we prize our "freedom from religion" and stand on top of that euphemistic wall screaming "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries," people in other parts of the world are dying for their faith. And most of them are dying at the hands of people who subscribe to a twisted vision of Muhammad's prophecy, one that feels threatened by believers in Christ. It is the same mentality that motivated Hitler to destroy G0D's chosen people, the same diseased rationale that led Stalin to burn the churches and imprison its children.

Wake up, people. It's 1939 all over again.

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Comments by clicking here.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Previously:



08/19/13: Blood is on stop-and-frisk judge's hands
08/13/13: Hey, social progressives: Women can actually think with an organ other than a uterus
08/06/13: Media make our enemies seem friendly
07/29/13: Mrs. Anthony Weiner = Hillary 2.1
07/08/13: A voice of reason, from the dustbin
07/04/13: Heroes are all around us
05/27/13: Vietnam vet's words soothe modern tragedies
05/22/13: Circling the presidential-protection wagons
05/15/13: Divorce can't be just the pursuit of happiness
05/07/13: We knew Jackie Robinson, and Jason Collins is no Jackie Robinson
05/01/13: Blame pro-choice lobby for Philly monster
04/23/13: Of damnation, and staring back
04/15/13: Margaret Thatcher changed the world, and didnít have to be a feminist to do it
04/08/13: Taking great pleasure in the death penalty
04/01/13: An easy prediction --- bet on the unpredictable
03/26/13: 'The personal is political' is no reason to change
03/19/13: A word to the whines --- it was just some high jinks
03/11/13: The Great Race Debate, revisited
03/04/13: Marriage goes beyond love
02/19/13: 2 women, and what they're fighting for
02/04/13: Sadly, Scouting seems poised to give up the fight
01/15/13: Reflections from Gettysburg
01/02/13: The mentally ill vs. those who love them
12/27/12: Rapper learns he's just another guy on probation
12/20/12: Cold, hard truth about the killer
12/10/12: When a warm heart meets a cold manipulator
11/22/12: Some women don't know how good they have it


© 2013, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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