Senators can make a difference if they try!
Lunch with Senator Marco Rubio – On February 5th I attended a small, invitation only luncheon with Senator Marco Rubio four blocks from the Capitol Building, at a townhome on East Capitol Street owned by one of the numerous large groups representing industries that maintain offices near the Capitol. There were a total of twelve at the lunch, including myself. Several who were present represented the citrus industry in Florida and they gave Senator Rubio a briefing on the horrible blight on the citrus trees in Florida that has cut the orange output by more than 50% in the last ten years.
I did not attend the lunch to talk about citrus — although I was shocked that more than 14,000 jobs had been lost in Florida because of the imported disease and that the entire industry was in danger of collapse. My purpose there was to thank Senator Rubio for a letter he and seven other Senators had signed to the king of Saudi Arabia concerning the sentence of ten years in jail and 1,000 lashes given blogger Raif Badawi for being mildly critical of the Saudi Kingdom’s failure to honor basic human rights. In the letter the Senators called the punishment “barbaric.”
Since the death of King Abdullah this letter has disappeared from the Internet sites of most of the Senators who signed it, even though his successor King Salman is just as evil and despotic, having approved four beheadings his first week as king. This was a powerful letter from the Senators, as can be seen from the paragraph below:
At a time that the world is wrestling with and mourning violence committed in the name of religious intolerance, such an example of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful religious dialogue is highly troubling and helps legitimize the extremist view that violence is a justified response to the free exercise of speech and religion. As such, we urge the immediate halt to this barbaric punishment and the immediate release of Mr. Badawi.
The letter was sent after Raif Badawi was lashed fifty times to start his sentence. Because one thousand lashes would kill even the strongest man, his torture was to be dragged out through twenty weeks by this evil government that uses the Koran as its constitution. Bagdawi was to be lashed fifty times each week for twenty weeks, and then confined in a prison for ten years. The letter also demanded the release of Mr. Badawi’s lawyer, prominent human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was sentenced to fifteen years in prison on dubious charges by a “Specialized Criminal Court.” The letter ended with what is basically a threat:
We value the important partnership between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on many critical issues. However, any further violence or criminal proceedings against Saudi citizens exercising nonviolent freedoms of speech and religion will unfortunately be a source of continued divergence between our two countries.
As soon as the letter was received the beatings of Raif Bagdawi were “postponed” by the Saudi government. Senators have power – if they will use it!
My entire purpose of being at the lunch with Senator Rubio was to encourage him to continue to intervene as best he can to stop rulers of nations that are supposed allies of the United States from brutally suppressing basic freedoms.
Raif Bagdawi is a secularist, not a Christian. In photos of his family his wife does not wear the hijab. Just imagine what would have been done to a Christian who dared to be critical of the Saudi government if this is what is done to someone who is a Muslim secularist.
The very first barbaric beating of Bagdawi could have been stopped if President Barack Obama would have objected to the punishment, which he did not. Meanwhile President Obama’s top general, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, asked the National Defense University to set up an essay competition in honor of despotic King Abdullah who ordered the flogging, limb amputation, beheading or stoning to death of numerous Saudi citizens. The King had also ordered the arrest and torture of dozens of Christian guest workers in Saudi Arabia who were discovered praying in private homes.
Some of the arrested Christian guest workers were accused of “trying to convert Muslims” which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. Bagdawi’s official crime was listed as “insulting Islam,” although a judge in the case recommended he be charged with apostacy from Islam, which carries the death penalty. The ease with which people can be accused and convicted of capital crimes just because of what they say is one of the great dangers of sharia law.
Again, I remind you that the Koran is the constitution of Saudi Arabia, just as it is inside the so called Islamic State that is fighting to overthrow the secular government of Syria. The burning alive of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS was conducted according to Islamic law, just as are the beheadings, floggings, stonings and other tortures in Saudi Arabia.
Back to Senator Rubio … I also spoke with Senator Rubio about the continued persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East and I can assure you he understands the issue. Senator Rubio is a true believing Christian. When he won his Senate seat in 2010 he opened his victory speech with these comments:
“Let me begin tonight by acknowledging a simple but profound truth. We are all children of a powerful and great God. Of a God who isn’t always going to end – things are not always going to end up the way you want them. His will is not always going to be yours.
But I promise you this. No matter what you face in life, He will give you the strength to go through it. I bear witness to that tonight as so many of you do in your own lives and must always be acknowledged in everything we do and everywhere we go.”
I am recounting my meeting with Senator Rubio and referring to the strength of his faith for a reason. The news media in general and Christians in particular are constantly critical of members of Congress referring to all of them as dishonest and immoral. That is simply not the case. There are many really good, godly men and women on Capitol Hill who do their best to follow the Lord and the will of the people in what they do. I can say in all sincerity that if Barack Obama were not president, with the current Congress this nation could be steered in a better direction.
Obama, the Crusades and the Prayer Breakfast
Barack Obama’s refusal to call Islamic terrorism what it is does not surprise me at all, as it is part of the liberal mantra that Christianity throughout history has caused the miseries of the world. Liberals, particularly Christian liberals, hold the unshakable belief that Native Americans were peaceful and productive until their forced conversion to Christianity. Of course there was aggressive evangelism, but there was no “forced conversion” as there is in Islam, where individuals are given the three choices of “convert, die or leave.”
The history of Native Americans prior to 1492, which included taking of scalps of men in rival tribes while raping and enslaving the women and young boys, is ignored by the liberal culture. Despite the fact that slavery pre-existed Christianity by thousands of years, leftists blame the church for its existence in the Americas and Europe.
The left, whose ideology runs in the veins of Barack Obama, views Islam as the religion of the downtrodden and dispossessed. They believe that Islam is the faith of the victims of Western colonialism and capitalist exploitation. This allows leftists such as Obama to ignore Islam’s flagrant misogyny, anti-Semitism and genocidal rage at those who refuse to submit to Islam. The hatred the left and Islam share for Western heritage supersedes all their differences.
It was therefore no surprise to me at all when President Barack Obama took to his podium at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast and mentioned the defensive actions of the Crusades a thousand years ago to stop the expansion of Islamic terror in the Holy Land, as being somehow equivalent to the horrid modern expansion of Islamic terror.
Yes, I said defensive action of the Crusades. Despite what is taught in modern European and American schools with a liberal agenda, the Crusades were initiated at the request of the Emperor of Constantinople to stop the expansion of Islam and the forced conversion and murder of the region’s majority Christian population. Syria, Egypt and other majority Christian nations had already been conquered by Muslim armies, their people enslaved and their property stolen.
Muslim armies destroyed ancient Christian communities throughout the Middle East, attacked Christian pilgrims and occupied various parts of Spain for 800 years. A Muslim army breached the walls of the Vatican and scattered the bones of St. Peter in 846, more than 200 years before the Crusades began in 1096.
So liberals teach that Christians went to the Middle East (which had been Christian for centuries before the first jihad) in an aggressive act against peaceful Muslims? Everyone also forgets that Islam slaughtered its way across Europe, occupying Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary from the 14th century to as late as the early 20th century.
Barack Obama’s history exists only in the liberal realm of thought, not in reality. Thus he made this statement in defense of modern Islam’s terror tactics: “And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
Obama then blamed Christians for slavery and Jim Crow in America saying: “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Of course Obama did not mention the Underground Railroad operated mostly by churches that moved slaves out of the South into the North. Nor did he mention Abraham Lincoln’s dedication to our Lord and his belief that slavery was contrary to the Natural Order.
Christianized nations were the first in the world to abolish slavery, usually as in England, without violence or war. Slavery was not officially abolished in Saudi Arabia until 1962. In reality, slavery still exists to some extent in much of the Islamic world.
The delusional mindset of Barack Obama was evident at the National Prayer Breakfast from his attempt to take Islam off the hook for the terror of the Islamic State by comparing it to the Crusades of a thousand years ago, and distorting history in order to make his point.
Obama could have copied his comparison of current Islamic terror to the Crusades directly from propaganda statements issued by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The United States is often referred to as the “Crusader nation” by Islamists. The current terror, they say, is revenge for the “Crusades” against Muslims and for the two Iraq wars and Afghanistan, along with the drone killings in Pakistan.
All that said, nothing else should be expected from Barack Obama who at a White House Ramadan dinner said, “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
Post Card Program Continues
Has your congressman or Senator responded – I am continuing to receive copies of letters from those whose congressmen and Senators have replied to them in response to receiving a post card demanding a stop to continued funding of Islamic Sunni fighters. It is very important that I continue to receive copies of these letters, and not just to analyze the tone. If I find factual errors, I will directly contact the office of the author and attempt to correct the misconceptions that they may have.
So far no one has sent me copies of letters from Senators in several states, including California. In fact I have not received a single copy of a letter from a Senator from west of the Mississippi river. If you have received a letter, regardless of the position the member of Congress has on the issue, please send a copy to me. This is important and helps our efforts to stop the funding of those who are dedicated to wiping out Christians in the Middle East.
If your congressman or Senator has not responded to you, please call his local office in your state and ask why you have been ignored.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990