Richard Dawkins praises Christianity (sort of)

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In a text that is coursing about on social media, professional atheist Richard Dawkins begrudgingly admitted that Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world.

“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”

In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.

Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.

“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,” he said.

Although the text originated in 2010, it has taken on a second life, being sent to and fro on Facebook and Twitter and providing fodder for discussions, even among atheists, of the benefits of Christianity for modern society.

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65 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins praises Christianity (sort of)

  1. One needs to look at the history of Christianity and what hit has brought to know how it can “our best defence”

    Christianity has played a leading role in directing the course of history. It was sociologically pivotal as it made possible the forms of thought without which those institutions defining the West would likely never have existed. Christianity and its ethics brought rule of law, democracy, capitalism, science and education. Christianity was the single greatest driving force in the development of Western civilisation. Other countries, like China have seen this west and acknowledged Christianity. Now Africa, South East Asia and other pockets of the world are struggling to stand as the west has done.

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    • huh ?

      So much to say, so little time. 🙂

      Let me first start by saying democracy is traced back to ancient Greece. The Middle East were having leaders selected by consultation while most of Europe lived mostly under monarchies and emperors.

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      • Greece, yes but it flourished and grew in Christian nations. Democracy also allows capitalism to work.

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      • When I mentioned all the drone attacks, illegal invasions etc that are committed by Christian countries you are quick to distance Christianity from these countries,

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  2. Postmodern thinking, its relativists, its destruction of absolutes makes us all aware of hypocrisy but gives us no standard of truth to expose and correct it. The world wide growth of markets through capitalism, freedom through technology and travel and the dysfunctions through the breakdown of the family, we are facing the greatest human rights crisis of all time. It is through truth can we stand up to deception and manipulation. For all who care for justice and human dignity then truth is remedy. It will be through Christ and His redemption that this will happen. A country like the US is fast declining and it parallels its move away from Christianity. South Korea is a modern phenomenon and it is the growth of Christianity that has helped shape it.

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  3. One of the most famous letters written to a newspaper was by G.K. Chesterton. The Times had run an article entitled “What’s wrong with the world?” to which Chesterton had written the following reply:

    Dear Sir,

    I am.

    Yours, G.K. Chesterton.

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  4. It was once said that “chief difference between the novelist who is an orthodox Christian and the novelist who is merely a naturalist is that the Christian novelist lives in a larger universe.” The Christian believes the natural world contains the supernatural. This does not mean they discount the natural or lessen its importance, but that they confront the limits of this world. The black box is indeed opened up. Mother Teresa is proof of that. It would have to be a larger universe in order to accommodate Mother Teresa and others who charge head long into a greater universe. And there are many others like her if we would only have eyes to see…

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    • Christians “confront the limits of this world”? It’s actually quite the opposite. They deny them in a futile attempt to pretend that they can never die if they just convince themselves to believe the right words.
      We are all going to die and are snuffed into oblivion. Face that.

      It’s nothing to be worried about. As far as we all are aware we will always be alive. But the moment we are dead all consciousness and awareness of anything will be snuffed out, so we will never know that we are dead.
      Facing that with integrity just means living the best life you can in the here and now, and helping to make the world a better place while you are here, trying to ensure a just and caring society.
      Yes, wicked people will not be punished in any “next life”, nor will pious people be rewarded.

      There is only this life and there only ever has been. It can be wonderful and fulfilling so learn to have faith in yourself and your ability to deal with it, instead of psyching yourself up another way and pretending it’s one of the many gods humanity has imagined since its earliest, infantile guesses about the nature of the world and the universe.

      “Holy” books are simply the first baby steps in science, law and philosophy. We have progressed a long way since those times. When you get past the never ending praise for cherry-picked quotes of dubious origin and notice some of the rest of the confused, ignorant and even wicked rubbish, perhaps you might step back and realize that.

      Just stop talking to yourself and calling it God. That’s all it takes.

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  5. A GOD OF LOVE and MERCY (from a Christian perspective)

    “I Do Not Remember”

    “Let me share an experience. A certain man of God had been gifted with revelatory insight into people’s lives. During an evening service he ministered to a Presbyterian pastor and his wife. By the gift of the Spirit, he revealed the couple’s past, uncovered their present situation, and then disclosed to them what was to come. This work of God greatly impressed the couple, and as the prophecies were fulfilled, one month later the Presbyterian minister brought two other pastors, each with their wives, to another service for personal ministry.

    The word of knowledge was exceptionally sure that night, and the second minister and his wife marveled at the accuracy and truth in the prophetic word. The third couple stepped forward for ministry, and again the word of knowledge was present. The prophet spoke to the husband, revealing his past, present, and insight into his future. Then the man of God turned to this third minister’s wife. As he began to speak of her past, suddenly he paused. Then he said, “There was a very serious sin in your past.” The woman, with her worst fear upon her, turned pale and closed her eyes. The congregation hushed and moved to the edge of their seats.

    The prophet continued, “And I asked the Lord, ‘What was this sin that she committed?’ And the Lord answered, ‘I do not remember!'”

    The Lord had been faithful to His covenant promise: “I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25). Although many times this minister’s wife had asked for cleansing, still she could not believe the depth of God’s forgiveness. Christ had placed her sin in the sea of His forgetfulness. He removed it “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). From everywhere but the prison of her own mind, her sin had been paid for and removed. And now, in His great mercy, He removed it from there as well!

    Oh, what burdens we carry, what guilt and limitations surround us because we do not accept God’s total and perfect forgiveness. In Isaiah we read, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25).

    How great is the God we serve. How wonderful is His love toward us. He is our Redeemer, our Savior! If you are willing to forgive others and will but ask Him to forgive you, He will pardon your debts as often as you contritely turn to Him. He promises He will remember your sins no more.”

    Ps. F. Frangipane

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  6. What determines our maturity in Christ, Alexie?

    “Is it how many visions you see? Is it how many people you lead to the Lord? Is it how many battles you endure? Is it how many friends or enemies you have? None of these things make that determination. Is it how many prophetic words you get, how many dreams you get or how many people get healed when you pray for them? No! In fact, none of this determines your level of spirituality.

    There is only one thing that can determine where you are spiritually, and that is the level of divine love you walk in. Not how much you’re loved, but how much you love. Not how much people give to you but how much you give to others. You are a mature son of God when you have learned to walk the way Christ walked. Until then, we are growing and learning and thank God He gives us a lifetime to do so!”

    Nita Johnson

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    • Very Good Monica.
      I would add to the list in that to become mature one must face trials and grow in your trusting of God. Day by day to grow in wisdom, not just knowledge and most of all realise how much you need Jesus.

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  7. China believes that Christianity is responsible for much of the historic success of Western Europe and the United States, said Dr. William Jeynes, senior fellow of The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., during a presentation at the Family Research Council on Tuesday.

    But while the Chinese government is open to Christianity, it also “wants to control Christianity.” Those in authority are very much aware of the Church’s role in bringing down the Berlin Wall and advancing democracy in the Soviet bloc.

    “They view Christianity as a belief system that if not controlled will potentially overthrow the government,” said Jeynes during his lecture titled, “God, China & Capitalism: Is Christianity in China the Key Ingredient for Economic Success?” “But on the other [hand], they see that if you try to oppress Christians that it could lead to this explosion as it did in Eastern Europe and [they could] lose control that way.

    “So they want Christianity for the benefits but they want to control it, and that is the balance they are currently trying to achieve.”

    The scholar, who has multiple degrees in different disciplines and graduated first in his class at Harvard University, recalled an incident that confirms that China believes Christianity is responsible for the economic prosperity in the U.S. At a Harvard Business Conference years ago, Jeynes recalled top Chinese CEOs one after another asking Harvard scholars not about their talking points but about the relationship between Christianity and economic prosperity in the United States.

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/50287/#uBJH0dkxSDiePPLo.99
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/50287/#AAKDRL8mwBqmGBef.99

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  8. One major advantage of Christianity is the concept of Grace. In some religions, if you think you don’t deserve to go to Heaven you may seek to solve that by martyrdom. Which may be very bad news for some others!

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  9. “Christianity is responsible for the way our society is organized and for the way we currently live. So extensive is the Christian contribution to our laws, our economics, our politics, our arts, our calendar, our holidays, and our moral and cultural priorities that historian J. M. Robers writes in The Triumph of the West, ‘We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.’ ” (From the book What’s So Great about Christianity by Dinesh D’Souza.)

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  10. I have to disagree with Richard. Just as the West rightly or wrongly sees the Middle East as being a collection of Muslim countries. The Middle East rightly or wrongly sees the West as a collection of Christian countries. They see all the drone bombings, illegal invasions, torture and crippling medical sanctions as being done by people put into power by Christian majority.

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  11. “Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror”

    I think it is very important to understand this. Just as Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” He could see that the teachings of Christ were something different. It was something that in part helped him with his non violent opposition to injustice.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

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    • Jesus pbuh was not in a position of leadership or had any responsibility for the Earthly safety of those around him. That will come later when he returns. He is speaking about our personal interactions. Greek echthros means “the (personal) enemy”.

      There has been many prophets and you need to listen to them all to get the full message.

      We see now in the US in particular and the West in general, that God has been taken out of politics because it is impossible for a leader to keep his Christian belief and to run a country. A Christian leader cannot love his enemy in the Christian sense. The knowledge of how to act in every circumstance is taken away from him.

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      • “The knowledge of how to act in every circumstance is taken away from him.”

        every circumstance??? Do not think so.

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      • You obviously do not understand Christian leadership. The Bible never says it will be easy for anyone, leadership included. You also do not understand the separation of Church and state. A Christian leader will not always get it right but also they do not make decisions by themselves. In the West you will have noticed people were against the wars in Iraq, this is possible in a free country. Sadly this is not possible in many other countries.

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      • I have had Christians explain to me that Christians can never rule a country. Maybe they were ignorant. I am not up to speed on Christian Leadership. Perhaps, if you have the time, if you can enlighten me then on how a Christian Leader should act if their country was illegally invaded ? Which bible verses are applied in that circumstance.

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      • Christian can never rule a country?? Strange belief for any Christian to say. Why? Then they cannot rule a state, a council and as we go down the list they cannot rule anything in case it might contradict their Christian belief.
        There is a heirachy within Christianity, within government, economics etc. Maybe the “Christians” you were talking to were baby Christians or only nominal. I just do not understand how or why they would say that.

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      • For you Dom, war and Jesus.

        Firstly, as followers of Christ we have freedom. But our choices have consequences too.

        There is private and public life. If privately one is a pacifist then one would not become a soldier. War is never good and Jesus said if you live by the sword you shall die by the sword. Very sobering words. Jesus had Peter stop his violence.

        In Christianity the individual cannot carry our revenge. Only governments, and not individuals, have the right under God
        and this mean terrorists have no authority to do what they do.

        In the end one must follow ones conscience.
        The leader of a country must also follow his/her conscience. But being in public life they may have to go against their conscience or be a single voice against many who would want to go to war. As I said, it is not easy for anyone.

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      • “Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror”

        From what you stated above Alexie this is incorrect.

        In the end one must follow ones conscience.
        The leader of a country must also follow his/her conscience.

        So basically you are stating there is no teachings that a leader can fall back to. If the only restrictions on the leader in the global arena is his conscience then someone that has a bad conscience will terrorise the world. We just need to look at the previous US president..

        http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121656

        and his legacy

        http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/5/29/a-war-on-terror-that-terrorised-the-world

        I know you love copy and paste so I put some of it here.


        PSR’s investigation concludes that more than one million died as a consequence of the Iraq war. Now add on the 220,000 deaths in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan.

        According to PSR this scale of death and misery amounts to a crime against humanity approaching genocide .

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      • “So basically you are stating there is no teachings that a leader can fall back to”

        I did not even remotely state this. A Christian leader has the whole Bible and its morals and ethics to fall back on. You know that. And you know from many years where I stand on my faith So why would you assume that it is only conscience at work?

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      • A Christian leader has the whole Bible and its morals and ethics to fall back on

        Then Christianity, just as Islam, is open to those that read the verses not knowing the context.

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      • Again, I said no such thing. I think you are just being mischievous. The Bible and Koran are poles apart.

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      • “The Bible and Koran are poles apart.”

        Meh not really from where I’m sitting. Must depend on perspective.

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  12. Human Rights. The concept of universal human rights and equality comes exclusively from the biblical idea that all people are created in the image of God.

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    • Hi Alexie

      Can you please provide verses to support it is the belief we are created in the image of God that Human Rights exclusively come from ?

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      • Islam has their own declaration of human rights. The one we have now must not be good enough!

        “The Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights i based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and has been compiled by eminent Muslim scholars, jurists and representatives of Islamic movements and thought. May God reward them all for their efforts and guide us along the right path.

        Paris 21 Dhul Qaidah 1401 Salem Azzam
        19th September 1981 Secretary General”

        These rights are based on the “law” as contained within the Koran and Sunnah. If Islamic countries are any indication I would rather not go this way.

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      • These rights are based on the “law” as contained within the Koran and Sunnah. If Islamic countries are any indication I would rather not go this way.

        Another question. do you think the killing of 1 million Iraqi, 220,000 Afghani and 80,000 Pakistani is a good way to go ?

        Most of the atrocities by the West is done by government elected and representing the people. Most if not all atrocities in the Middle East are committed by those that elected themselves or a puppet leader put in their by the West,

        Remember the leader that killed over 1.25 million people in Muslim lands was reelected. Let that sink in a moment.

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      • “Another question. do you think the killing of 1 million Iraqi, 220,000 Afghani and 80,000 Pakistani is a good way to go ?”

        How did you get these figures and who exactly killed them?

        “Most if not all atrocities in the Middle East are committed by those that elected themselves or a puppet leader put in their by the West”

        Which puppets/leaders? Do you have evidence for each one or is this just your usual conspiracy theory?

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      • Iraq from 2004 to today approx 150,000 casualties. Many of these not civilians. The US itself has killed only a tiny fraction of the total.

        Most of the killers have been islamic against muslim.

        “Among the 17,049 civilians recorded killed, many deaths were attributable to the actions of specific armed groups while the perpetrators of many killings remain unknown. 1,748 civilians were reported killed by Iraqi military air strikes, while 4,325 were killed by ISIS. A further 10,858 civilians were reported killed by unidentified actors, where it has not been possible to establish which of the major actors, or possibly other, less well-identified groups, were involved. 118 civilians were reported killed by US-Coalition air strikes, the first time since 2011 that civilian deaths have been directly attributable to US-Coalition actions.”

        https://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/2014/

        “The US began its semi-covert campaign of drone strikes in 2004 to kill Al Qaeda and Taliban forces based in Northern Pakistan. The strikes are obscured by secrecy and are of questionable legality. There is also a debate about who and how many have been killed in the strikes. According to the highest estimates, these strikes have killed between 2,000 and 3,800 people as of early January 2015.”

        “Almost 57,000 Pakistanis – combatants and non-combatants – have been killed since 2001. Of these, about 21,500 are civilians. Nearly 40,000 civilians have been wounded. There are about 1.4 million refugees or internally displaced Pakistanis.”

        Most of these killings are by Muslims against Muslim.


        According to the paper, the vast majority of casualties (nearly 90 percent) resulted from “ground engagements, improvised explosive devices, complex and suicide attacks and targeted killings.”

        “Afghan civilians have suffered far too long from this destructive conflict. The devastating consequences of this violence against civilians as documented in this report should serve to strengthen the broad conviction that peace is urgently needed,” said Nicholas Haysom, head of UNAMA.

        Most harm comes from “anti-government elements” – nearly 70 percent of all casualties – says the UN body, adding that 16 percent have been either injured or killed by “pro-government forces” while other 10 percent of casualties are the results of fighting between the parties.

        “This report lays bare the heart-rending, prolonged suffering of civilians in Afghanistan, who continue to bear the brunt of the armed conflict and live in insecurity and uncertainty over whether a trip to a bank, a tailoring class, to a court room or a wedding party, may be their last,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.”

        Most killing are Muslim against Muslim.

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      • https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/saudi-arabia-cant-find-its-way-out-of-yemens-messy-war/2015/11/12/4d70ce26-84e1-11e5-8bd2-680fff868306_story.html

        I suppose the west is to blame for this too.

        “Saudi Arabia is the region’s Sunni Muslim powerhouse and fears that Shiite Iran is using the Houthis, who are also Shiite, as proxies in Yemen.

        The rebels toppled the Yemeni government in February, forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition — which includes Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — responded with airstrikes and then a ground ­offensive in an effort to return Hadi’s government to power.

        Speaking by telephone, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said it “is too early to make judgments” about the campaign.

        But as the conflict drags on, mounting civilian casualties and a worsening humanitarian crisis have drawn criticism from international rights groups and lawmakers in the United States, an arms supplier for the key oil producer. More than 5,400 people have been killed since the intervention began, and U.N. officials warn of famine in the desperately poor country of 25 million people.”

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      • Dom, With Said Arabia and Jordan killing in Yemen and Iran backing Houti Rebels do you think this will escalate into something bigger? Russia is now in Shia Syria fighting off sunni backed rebels and ISIS terrorists. Iran is also backing Syrian government. These two conflicts could merge into one very easily. In the middle sits Turkey. Its a powder keg ready to explode.

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      • I wonder, Dom, if your idea of human rights from God encompasses the 260 million people killed through Islamic jihad over the past 1400 years?

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    • Creation, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:26-27).

      The fact that Man was created in the image of God plays a major roll in the relationships of human beings to each other.

      In other words, in relation to Article 21 of the UDHR, a “good government” forms when a relationship exists between the state and its citizens. The state appoints ideal representatives to punish wrongdoers and praise loyal citizen. The Christian value, as well as Article 21, supports the idea of democracy.

      Christians regard their freedom of thoughts and feelings as important between God and others, as servants of God or being set free by Jesus, Christians are urged to not use their freedom for evil but for good and in the service of others.

      “Philip Potter writes that the Protestant effort on behalf of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights began as early as 1943, when the Federal Council of Churches and the Foreign Missions Conference (which later merged to become the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.) established a Joint Committee on Religious Liberty, with O. Frederick Nolde as its executive secretary.3 The following year a statement on religious liberty was sent to the president of the United States and his secretary of state, all members of Congress, fifty-three heads of diplomatic missions, and the leaders of thirty-five churches abroad.

      In 1945 three memoranda prepared by the Joint Committee on Religious Liberty were among those considered by the Conference on International Organization at San Francisco. The first related religious liberty to Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which Nolde describes as a “corner-stone” for human rights.4 The second emphasized the relationship between religious liberty and civil rights. The third urged that….

      …Additional support for this proposal came from the International Round Table at Princeton in July 1943, involving sixty-one Christian leaders from twelve countries in North America, Europe, and Asia and from Australia and New Zealand; support also came from the second National Study Conference on the Churches and a Just and Durable Peace, which met in January 1945 and recommended, as an amendment to the Dumbarton Proposals, that “A special commission on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms should be established.”6

      The Federal Council of Churches assigned Nolde the responsibility of pressing human rights concerns at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. On May 2nd, after it had become obvious “that prompt and virtually drastic action was needed if substantial provisions for human rights were to be inserted in the Charter,” Nolde led a delegation of nongovernmental representatives to a meeting with U.S. secretary of state Stettinius.7 The secretary of state indicated there was little chance of securing additional human rights provisions in the Charter, but Nolde made a strong statement urging reconsideration. The representative of the American Jewish Committee, Judge Proskauer, also firmly supported the human rights additions.8

      The effect of this intervention was summarized in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 4 May 1945:

      The rights of individuals, as well as the rights of nations, will be incorporated in the San Francisco Charter it was learned today, largely as the result of the efforts of a Philadelphia clergyman [Nolde, who was a professor in the Lutheran Theological Seminary there]. . .. The “revolt” from the “little people,” who had previously been complaining that they were completely out of touch with the American delegation and were not being consulted although they are consultants, reportedly made a great impression on Mr. Stettinius.”

      http://religionhumanrights.com/Law/UDHR/cornerstone.fhr.htm

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  13. The Christian faith has influenced literature in such Christian writers such as Dante, Donne, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare and Dickens. There may never have been the concerto or the symphony. Christian art tries to bring out the best of mankind. All the architecture too.
    Handel and Bach, amongst others, were Christians who worked to honor God with their work. Bach, for example, signed all his works with Soli Deo Gloria.

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    • Beethoven himself said music was “the language of God”. And he was merely dictating the notes from his creator. He said music was a higher revelation than wisdom or philosophy — a mediator between spiritual and sensual life.

      All great art — not just great music — has the ability to touch us on the deepest parts of ourselves. It is powerful

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  14. The US constitution is not specifically Christian, but have a strong biblical doctrinal backdrop.
    At least 50 of the 55 signers of the U.S. Constitution were orthodox Christians.
    America’s foundational idea of The Rule of Law rather than the authority of man.
    The existence of moral absolutes as within the Bible is also found in the Declaration of Independence. Many other aspects of US laws come directly from the Bible and civil liberty emphasised 2 Corinthians 3:17 as the basis for American civil liberty. The slogan on the Liberty Bell is “Proclaim Liberty throughout the land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof” is from Leviticus 15:10.

    Australia too, not being a Christian Nation was founded with rule of law and many of the founding fathers were Christian men. Much of the West can be thankful to their Christian heritage.

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    • The US was started by Free Masons. The currency is full of occult symbols.

      Washington chose Washington , D.C. in 1791 and commissioned Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French engineer, to create a plan for the physical layout of the city, with the Capitol as the center of the city.
      “[He] took the road for the relatively brief ride to the Federal City. It was September 18 [1794], the date for laying the cornerstone of the Capitol. The President found the splendor of music and drums, of flying colors, of many Masons in their symbolic regalia, of happy spectators generally. It was a memorable affair for the Masonic Order, magnified by Washington’s participation as a member.”

      Anderson’s Constitutions, the handbook for English Masonry, explained Albert Mackey’s mandate for the True Noahides or Gentile Freemasons:
      “…(A) revision of the Old Charges…contained this passage: ‘A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the Moral Law.’ In the edition of 1738, Dr. Anderson has, without authority, completed the sentence by adding the words, ‘As a true Noachida. …the only religious laws which a Freemason is required to obey are those which are contained in the code that has been attributed to Noah. This sentiment is still further expressed toward the close of the ‘Old Charges’ where it is said that the Mason is obliged only ‘to that religion in which all men agree,’ excluding therefore atheism and requiring the observance of such simple laws of morality as are enjoined in the precepts of Noah.”

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  15. “whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments”

    The difference between Islamic government and constitutional monarchies and republics.

    In the west representatives of the people or the monarch in engage in legislation.
    Within Islam the legislative power and laws belong exclusively to Allah. The law emanates through the Koran and sunnah (tradition)

    The problem are the laws themselves, which cannot mix with Western law but more seriously, which Islamic law? Sunni, Shia, Wahabbi or secular Islam such as Turkey? There are so many differences of opinion and tradition. You are not a real Muslim one more stern than the other will cry out. There is no respect for government unless its the one run by the right “group” or sect.

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    • he problem are the laws themselves, which cannot mix with Western law but more seriously, which Islamic law? Sunni, Shia, Wahabbi or secular Islam such as Turkey?

      This posts makes out as if there are huge groups of people disunited and confused in what they should follow. 87 to 90% of Muslims are Sunni. It is fairly clear 87 to 90% should know what they should follow. Knowing and doing are two different things.

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  16. Turkey takes the load of Refugees while other Arab states do noting or little.

    Growing numbers of Syrian refugees are returning to their war-ravaged homeland from Jordan because they can’t survive in exile after drastic aid cuts, can’t afford to pay smugglers to sneak them into Europe or are simply homesick.
    The returns, along with the increasing migration to Europe, signal that conditions in regional host countries have become increasingly intolerable, the refugees and aid officials said.
    “We stopped getting any aid,” said 47-year-old Adnan, waiting at the UN-run Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan to sign up his family for the return bus to the Syrian border, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. He only gave his first name for fear of repercussions from Syrian authorities.
    The UN refugee agency views the rising number of departures with concern.
    “It is a dangerous choice for people to make,” said Andrew Harper, head of the UN refugee agency in Jordan. He said the return of refugees, mainly women and children, to war-torn Syria “signals a failure of the international protection regime.”
    More than 4 million Syrians fled civil war in their country, now in its fifth year. Most settled in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, a majority living in urban areas. Banned from working legally, they depend on aid and odd jobs. Recent aid cuts by underfunded agencies, particularly the World Food Program, have been devastating.

    http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_syrian-refugees-increasingly-return-to-war-zones-in-homeland_400623.html

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  17. I love the Turks

    Former diplomat Öztürk Yılmaz, who spent three months in captivity at the hands of the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the summer of 2014, told Today’s Zaman in an exclusive interview that not only has ISIL turned into a global threat, but no country in the world is mounting an effective fight against it.

    “This is a global topic at this point. It’s indeed a deeper topic than it even appears from the outside. No country in the world is fighting it [ISIL] hard enough. That includes Russia. From this angle, all countries need to examine the case more and do more to help,” the former diplomat stated.
    The Turkish Consulate General in the Iraqi city of Mosul was raided on June 11, 2014 by ISIL militants, who took not just then-Consul General Yılmaz, but some 48 consulate personnel hostage for what wound up being 101 days. Following intense talks, the ISIL militants released Yılmaz and the other staff. Yılmaz does not like talking much about the tough days he experienced as a hostage.

    You were held hostage for 101 days by one of the most violent groups in the world. What sort of an organization is the world facing with this group?

    ISIL is a Salafist radical group. It has both religious and ideological motivations. Unlike some other terrorist groups, it wants to take over and control pieces of land. When we talk about jihadist groups though, it’s not like we’re just talking about ISIL. While these groups have lots of different names, the mentality is the same. There’s not really much difference between what the Taliban’s done in Afghanistan, what al Shabaab does in Somalia and what Boko Haram does in Nigeria. These are groups in different areas of the world, but with methods and ideologies that are the same. ISIL is a break-away group from al-Qaeda; it just represents a more radical side of al-Qaeda. However, the real difference is this: ISIL wants to take over and control large swaths of land, becoming essentially a state. They want to declare a new caliphate. From the northern reaches outside Baghdad to the borders of Turkey, ISIL now controls a big piece of land and lots of resources. After all, once they take control of a region, they use all the resources in it. They take everything over. First they loot and plunder things, and then they place their own men in charge of the resources, according to their systems. If there is somewhere that has deeds to it, they take those, too. Anything, from money in the bank, to a car, to a house. So in this way, they’ve actually amassed an extraordinary amount. But their ultimate goal is to declare a caliphate, and in fact, in some regions, this has already happened.

    Where are they most powerful?

    Today in Libya, we see an 80-mile coastline area under their control. In Mali, a group close to ISIL controls large areas. The same thing in Nigeria and Somalia. One section of Yemen is under their control. Their primary aim at this point is to takeover wherever in the world the state has collapsed and there is a vacuum. The stage that comes after this is the declaration of a caliphate. Then comes tying these regions to a central caliphate center. They want to carve out a role for themselves as a caliphate representative for the Muslims in the world. But they do this in the most cruel way possible, of course. So really, the essential thing for this group is to control lands that spread far and wide. When they meet trouble or difficulties in one region, they pull out, but then they inevitably spread into another region. For example, ISIL is present in the coastline area of Libya now. Their fighting cadres are staying there right now. Tomorrow, when they leave Syria, they’ll move somewhere else. So really, ISIL is a global threat. In other words, the whole idea that we can somehow finish off ISIL by taking over Mosul or Raqqa is just incorrect.

    So what is possible? How to finish off ISIL then?

    The paths that lead society toward radicalization in Muslim countries need to be shut off. And the best way to do this is through providing a secular education. You just don’t get that kind of fanaticism in a secular societal structure. But unfortunately, it does appear that radicalism is fast spreading throughout Muslim countries. Societies are watching as all their rights are being taken away and religion being imposed as a strict ideology. So we’re really talking about a global threat here. And as terrorism unfolds in the Muslim world, fear also spreads in places like Paris, attempts to ruin the fabric of the West. They tell those people, just sitting there sipping their coffee on the Champs-‘Elysees, “I am everywhere now!”

    Does the world see ISIL as a global threat?

    There is definitely an awakening to this reality. Places like England, Germany and France are all busy taking precautions now. So the tendency to both see this as a threat and take precautions accordingly is growing. And we in Turkey need to join in this movement. Because as Muslims, we need to act before the West and struggle effectively against this mentality.

    Read whole interview from link below:
    http://www.todayszaman.com/interviews_diplomat-held-captive-by-isil-world-far-from-an-effective-fight-against-isil_407980.html

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      • Sorry I meant Dawkins.

        It’s been pointed out that the Oregon Militia is an example of white privilege in action. And a few commentators have asked the question that what would happen if instead the militia was people of colour rather than white men.

        So are Dawkins comments along the same lines?

        For example Ted Cruz has stated that if he were to become president his approach to ISIS would be carpet bombing. The “shock and awe” tactics used in the invasion of Iraq have been described as a kind of terrorism. And I’d bet that there are plenty of people in Iraq / Afghanistan who would disagree that there are no Christian’s blowing up buildings.

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  18. THE MASTER IS ALIVE
    By Rev. Juha Ketola

    THERE MAY COME A TIME in our lives when we lose heart and become discouraged. The sadness, caused by our disappointments, begins to rise in us and soon robs us of any joy or courage to take initiatives and be pro-active in life. Our dark feelings make us lose sight of the bright promises in the Word of God, even though they are still available to us, unaffected in their power to give life, shining like stars in the night.

    There is real power preserved for us in the promises of the Bible, but we need the presence of the resurrected Lord Jesus to make them come alive to us and revive our spirit. In the gospel of Luke we can read a beautiful story about Jesus’ ability to take the eternal Word of God to comfort the sad and the discouraged.

    Two disciples on their way to a village called Emmaus were engaged in a conversation about all the things that had happened to Jesus in Jerusalem three days prior (Luke 24:13-35). While they were talking, Jesus Himself drew near and started walking with them. Their eyes, however, were ‘restrained so that they did not know Hi’ (v. 16). They shared with this ‘stranger’ accompanying them the latest news about the crucifixion and death of their Master. They spoke with great sadness, as all they knew was this: Jesus had died.

    And then something wonderful started taking place. Like only the resurrected Lord could do, Jesus takes His companions on a journey through Scripture, from Moses and through all the Prophets. Luke records that their hearts began to burn while in the presence of Jesus who was showing them what was said about Him throughout the Bible.

    As a result of being in His presence and studying the Word of God, their countenance began to change. They once again grasped the eternal value and power of the Word, and the sadness within them vanished. Their spirits were filled with fresh life and new hope. Finally, the two disciples recognized that the ‘stranger’ among them was no one else but Jesus Himself.

    Life had returned to their souls and spirits. They were once again overcome with grace. They had been completely revived by the Living Word and by the presence of the resurrected Jesus. They received the latest news directly from Him: He was alive!

    Your road today may be dry and hot like the one leading from Jerusalem to Emmaus 2000 years ago. You may be struggling with heaviness in your heart just like the two disciples. But our Master is alive and He is drawing near to you. Open the Gospel of Luke to chapter 24, welcome His presence through prayer, and start reading. Allow the Master Himself to speak to you through His eternal word. Receive the latest news in your spirit: Jesus is alive and He is with you!

    WORD from Jerusalem

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