The ‘separation of church and state’ and ‘religious persecution’

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Thomas Jefferson asked for the "the following inscription, & not a word more" on his tombstone: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson asked specifically for the “the following inscription, & not a word more” on his tombstone: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia”

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.” – The Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776

The founding fathers believed in religious freedom, not religious suppression and persecution. The Library of Congress confirms that “the great majority left Europe [to come to America] to worship God in the way they believed to be correct.” In Europe, “majority religious groups who controlled political power punished dissenters in their midst.” The “New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland,” the article continued, “were conceived and established as ‘plantations of religion.'”

While most of the founding fathers were undeniably deeply religious, they also wanted to ensure that the federal government would impose “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It is quite unfathomable that their intent has been somehow interpreted over time to mean that all semblance of religion should be removed from the public square. That action, one could reasonably conclude, is suppression of religion, or “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.

Read more here…


Egyptian judoka Salafi-style: No withdraw, no win, no handshake

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts


The ancient Greek Olympiad, the origin of today’s Olympic Games, was held in honor of Zeus. The games were used as a political tool between rival city-states. It was all about victory and the assertion of dominance. The inception of the Olympiad dates back to nearly nine hundred years before the moon god, Allah, whispered his special message into humanity through the angel Gabriel. So, it is not odd that upon completion of the August 12 judo match of the Rio Olympics between Egyptian competitor, Islam el-Shehaby, and Isaeli champion, Or Sasson, that the devout Salafi publicly observed his god by refusing, according to Quranic commandment, to shake the extended winning hand of Sasson, the Jew.

When the match was over, Shehaby ignored Sasson, following the Quranic verse 2:65 (And will ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected”). This was not the case of a sore loser. The devout Muslim was paying homage to Allah. Deference to Allah is why Egyptian Copts are barred (unofficially) from Egypt’s Olympic training camps at an age when children are singled out for athletic talent. Christian family ancestry (the name of one’s great-great-grandfather) or simply the mandatory Egyptian ID card indicating Christianity will shut any candidate out.

Shehaby was internationally ranked very high at 25 in his weight class. As Egypt’s state champion, Salafi Shehaby’s chances were very good for victory; predictions were made that Islam would dominate. The Egyptian Olympic Authority knew it risked the dreaded possibility that Shehaby could face an Israeli champion. Sure enough the 32nd round of the judo matches determined this to be when the draw brought Sasson, ranked at 5, to face Shehaby. Cries of protest from the devout of Egypt (and other Islamic countries) for Shehaby to withdraw were deafening.

To settle the matter, Khalid Abdul Aziz (Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports), relegated religious considerations to the rules and regulations of the world games. Shehaby’s potential triumph over an Israeli Jew would not be relinquished when the possibility of his dominance would bring great honor to Islam. Aziz went on CNN Arabic to quote the Olympic Charter, “Egypt is committed to the Olympic Charter, which does not recognize withdrawal of a participant, and it is not acceptable for any Egyptian athlete to withdraw from any competition. This would expose the player and country to sanctions. Egyptian athletes must accept competition with everyone, regardless of any other considerations.”

This actually gave the 34-year old Salafi judoka a choice. Reminded of his duty to the Charter and his country, he could stay on track. Otherwise, withdraw from the contest and abide by the religious dictates of his conscience (embodied in the disapproval of fellow believers). Shehaby, no doubt, had in mind fellow athlete, Ramadan Darwish, who overpowered his Israeli competition in the 2012 Dusseldorf quarterfinals of the German judo games delivering Egypt the Bronze medal. Darwish brought a double honor to Allah when he disregarded the after-match handshake in submission to the laws of his religious doctrine.

However, what Shehaby didn’t know choosing to go forward was that two days hence he would honor Allah in front of the world only by half his former teammate – losing the combat and likewise refusing the sportsman’s handshake. The final push for his decision to engage came from the president of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, Hisham Kattab, who confirmed that no one can force Shehaby to withdraw and shatter his hopes of an Olympic competition just because he happens to face an Israeli player. He went on to wish Shehaby a win and the achievement of an Olympic medal.

On the day of the match, reporters described Shehaby looking haggard, stepping onto the mat with his eyes darting and knees quivering. Bigotry is not easy. Just the thought of proximity is unnerving and, in this case, weakened resolve. Like Nasser’s ‘67 five-day defeat, in five minutes it was over for Shehaby. The Egyptian president returned from the world stage to apologize to the Egyptian people as Shehaby needs to do now. Egyptian government authorities and their Olympic committee publicly condemned Shehaby’s behavior calling the player back home. Meanwhile, Shehaby’s success resides in his contribution to the expansion of Islamic ideology.

Christian Coptic participation in Egypt’s Olympics is tokenism, if and when we see it. In their formative years, Egypt’s Christian children know they haven’t a shot at striving for the pinnacle of athletics and, for that matter, government, academics, politics or the military. Only just recently are there a handful of elected Christians to the Egyptian parliament. However, this will not yet lead to the reversal of institutionalized second-class status for minority religions.

Shehaby’s scraggly Mohammed-style beard, worn by devout Salafi Muslims, contradicted the ideal of former Egyptian participants in past Olympics, placing worship over country. Reaction to Shehaby upon return can be summed up in the malicious mockery found in the comments of media host and secularist, Dr. Khaled Montaser, who blogged on social media, “It’s clear that our judoka player is a cocktail of crap. He also refused to shake hands with the president of the Olympic Committee [a woman] during the investigation because it is haram [a sin]!!” An investigation by the Olympic Commission was made into Shehaby’s refusal to bow to his opponent according to regulation when the match ended. Montaser then evoked Osama Bin Laden’s hideout to say, “Even if this were the Tora Bora team one would never act like that!! El-Shehaby thought that he was in the Khaybar Gazwa.” He added, “Who sent such an Uncle Salafi to shame and disgrace us?”


The Left’s War on American Dreamers

By: Lloyd Marcus

I admit it. I have this corny obsession with the baseball movie, “The Natural.” At the end of the movie it is the bottom of the ninth ending with two outs. Roy Hobbs is at bat. The game and his teammate’s hope of playing in the world series is on Roy’s shoulders.

In his youth, life threw Roy an unexpectedly curve ball which shattered his dream of baseball stardom. Several years pasted. Beat up by life and having lost his confidence, Roy decided to give his baseball dream one last try.

For a nefarious reason, a scout signed the older player who never played major league baseball to a contact with a last place major league team. Roy started his baseball career at an age players typically retire. Despite his age and an old gun shot wound, Roy’s gift for baseball was still alive and well. With his natural talent and leadership, Roy led his team from last place to the championship game.

No matter how much good you attempt to do there are always haters who try to destroy you and your dream. Evil people poisoned Roy to stop him from playing in the championship game. A doctor cautioned Roy that due to his age and old wound, playing in the final game of the season could kill him. Feeling physically weak, Roy drug himself to the final game. Because of his time away in the hospital, Roy’s timing at the plate was off. Every at bat Roy struck out.

There he was in the bottom of the ninth ending with two outs and two strikes. The second was a fowl ball which broke Roy’s famous bat (Wonder Boy). Roy instructed the bat-boy, “Go pick me out a winner Bobby.” Bobby brought the bat that Roy helped him carve from a chunk of wood. http://bit.ly/2bdTkv9

Sweat rolled from Roy’s brow. A small blood stain appeared on Roy’s uniform from his stomach wound. Roy’s final swing was an amazingly powerful home-run, sending his team to the world series. That scene always makes me cry. Hitting that mammoth home run was the culmination of Roy’s years of disappointments, loss of confidence and frustrations. It is also touching that by fulfilling his baseball dream, Roy touched many lives in a positive way; fulfilling the dreams of his old coach, teammates and others. http://bit.ly/1vFLbAZ

It is unfortunate that liberals have distorted the individual pursuit of a dream to be viewed as selfish and somehow even racist. Crabs must be cooked alive. Any crab trying to climb out of the pot is pulled back by the others. Liberals are like the crabs, always seeking to pull achievers back to spread mediocrity equally.

Roy generously spent time with Bobby helping him carve his bat (Savoy Special). Roy had no idea that would be the bat he’d use to fulfill his dream. Many times helping others to pursue their dreams unexpectedly contribute to you fulfilling your dream.

With liberals dominating government, education and entertainment, it is unfortunate that so many things traditionally viewed as good are now viewed as bad; selfish and racist. For example. Our nation was built upon small business owners willing to risk everything in pursuit of a better life for their families and themselves. And yet, Obama has been hostile towards small business owners, scolding them saying, “You didn’t build that.” http://fxn.ws/2biS2xL Obama was implying that somehow they owe a debt to society. This supposedly justified him over-regulating, over-taxing and redistributing their hard earned wealth to buy the votes of the lazy and entitlement minded.

Frankly, American small business owners should be celebrated rather than demonized. By pursuing their dreams, they bless their fellow Americans with jobs, goods and services. This is called trickle-down-economics. Trickle-down-economics is another thing liberals have twisted to be viewed as bad; selfish, racist and sexist. However, trickle-down is a good thing and how all economics work.

Since he was 9 years old, my 88 year old black dad benefited from trickle-down economics. The natural entrepreneur shined shoes for 5 cents a shine on the corner of Baltimore and Gay Streets. He shined shoes at the Greyhound Bus station for $1 per day. He earned around $4 in tips by putting on a good show; twirling his brushes and popping his shoe shine cloth. After the shine he used a whisk broom to brush down his customer’s suit. Dad chuckled saying he always found a spot on the back of the gentleman’s suit which required a little extra attention. Dad, a little boy, made $1.25 per week working with the fish man who sold fish from his horse pulled wagon.

The proud American dreamer still beams telling me how he paid rent to Aunt Nee who raised him. When Dad purchased a sport shirt for 45 cents, he bragged to his buddies that he was buying his own clothes. Dad said he was outraged when they raised the admission into the movies from 10 cents to 11. He budgeted 5 cents for the movie snack bar. Dad jokingly said youth today are smarter than him. Instead of working to earn money, they hit someone over the head. I thought, or Obama takes it from achievers to give to the lazy and irresponsible.

Folks, here is a perfect example of an American tragedy created by democrats. http://bit.ly/1TLhZWa My cousin who recently passed away at age 68 was a product of generational welfare; total government dependency. She had 6 kids, 25 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. Dad said she never held a job. The vast majority of her offspring are following in her footsteps. Imagine all of the natural gifts and talents laying dormant in that family; unfulfilled. The democrats provide them with just enough free stuff to survive and keep them loyal democrat voters. It is truly tragic folks.

My sister-in-law is a grandmother. A few years ago, she decided to pursue her dream since her youth of becoming an actress. After taking acting lessons, performing in local productions and trips from her hometown Baltimore to New York, she has landed a few impressive acting jobs. This does not surprise me. She has always been a natural.

Lloyd Marcus: The Unhyphenated American
Chairman: Conservative Campaign Committee