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Culture and Religion

In Spite Of Intense Persecution, Christianity On The Rise In North Korea

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It’s no secret that the citizens of North Korea endure a life devoid of basic freedoms under the Communist yoke of the Kim family. As North Korean escapee-turned-human rights advocate, Yeonmi Park stated in a speech, “North Korea is the only country that will put you to death for making unauthorized international phone calls.”

It’s of little wonder then that for the last 16 years, Open Doors, a watchdog site dedicated to keeping an eye on Christian persecution, has ranked North Korea #1 as the deadliest place for Christians to live. According to the website, North Korean Christians face a brutal life that is subject to hard labor camps, imprisonment and even execution. The high level of surveillance in the country, it is nearly impossible for small groups to come together in worship, nor do they dare close their eyes to pray for fear of being spotted.

The Blaze’s Brandon Morse wrote a compelling piece regarding the treatment of North Korean Christians. In it he wrote that while North Korea possesses a constitution which asserts a non-discriminatory policy toward religion, it’s all an act. Morse states in his article:

“Foreign diplomats and tourists are wheeled past state-run churches and mosques for various faiths. Each of these churches has the appropriately dressed clergy worshiping at the appropriate alters with congregations of people passing around collection plates.

According to the Korea Risk Group, this is a show performed by hand-picked state workers. The reality is that Christianity is seen as dangerous to the state, according to Fox News. Those caught practicing it face the harshest penalties.”

The piece goes on to say:

“Christians are accused of being imperialists seeking to overthrow the government and those who are caught practicing their faith are arrested, horrendously tortured, imprisoned and [sometimes] immediately put to death,”

Reading through Morse’s piece, I was reminded of an apology (a letter making a defense of the Christian faith) that Tertullian wrote in the second century during  a time when the early Christian church was facing horrific persecution. First and second century Christians were also accused of trying to “overthrow the government” by refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods who were believed to help hold the empire together.

Tertullian wrote:

“We all pray without ceasing for all emperors, beseeching for
them a long life, a secure reign; that their families may be preserved in safety, their armies brave, the senate faithful, the people honest, the
whole world peaceful, and whatever other things either the people or the emperor can desire and yet the Christians are treated as public
enemies, because they refuse to ascribe vain, and lying, and unauthorised honours to the empe­rors; because, in the spirit of true religion, their services are seated in the heart, rather than displayed in wanton excess.’

He goes on to say:

“If, then, we are commanded to love our enemies, whom have we to hate ? If, when injured, we are forbidden to return evil for evil, lest we should be like our adversaries, whom can we hurt ? And on this point do ye yourselves be judges. For how frequently do ye use violence against the Christians, sometimes at the instigation of private malice, and sometimes according to the forms of law.”

It’s sad to see how, with all our supposed progress, in many cases around the world, not just in North Korea, the character of human beings has changed very little since the second century.

The Blaze’s article concludes by saying, “Despite efforts to eradicate Christians, we have found the church is North Korea is actually growing,”. It’s estimated that currently in North Korea, there are around 9 million Christians and that number continues to grow.

Perhaps there is something to be said about what Tertullian wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

Watch Yeonmi Park retell her story of escaping North Korea:

Born in West Virginia but raised in Chicago, Misty is a Fellow of the C.S. Lewis Institute and radio broadcaster. She has a passion for history, Christian apologetics, and great food! Misty also has a heart for spreading awareness about multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that claimed the life of her mother in 2013. She also occasionally writes for the Christian apologetics website AClearLens.org

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Culture and Religion

Gay Americans speak out in support of Christian Baker, against the gay lobby

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The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

-Patrick Henry

As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Now, however, after years of radical LGBT activist domination over the nation’s dialogue surrounding civil rights, liberty-loving gay Americans are pushing back.

All wheels have begun to squeak.

Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled (7-2) in favor of Jack Phillips, a devout Christian and confectionary artist. In 2012, after declining to lend his artistry skills toward the custom adornment of a cake intended for the celebration of a same-sex wedding, Phillips was sued for discrimination and was later found guilty by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Although the Commission had deemed Phillips’s art – confectionary art is a subset of sugar art – as expression under the First Amendment, his religious views were publicly attacked by commissioners. It was this blatant governmental bias which persuaded the Supreme Court to reverse all previous rulings against Mr. Phillips.

Despite of the Supreme Court ruling’s narrow scope, by mid-day on Monday, freedom-loving gay Americans had begun to speak out in support of Jack Phillips’s Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, and celebrate the Supreme Court ruling in Mr. Phillips’s favor.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must… undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

-Thomas Paine

Pushing Back: Live on the Radio

Speaking with Rush Limbaugh on Monday, a Seattle woman who identified herself, saying, “I’m gay, I’m Hispanic, I’m female, I’m middle-aged, and I’m conservative,” stated:

I wanted to comment on the cake thing, on the Supreme Court judgment ruling on the cake matter. I wanted to say that I am so pleased to hear that, because I just don’t understand how people in this country can keep fighting against having their negative rights, against having what makes this country great, and against that which are the people that came to this country and come to this country, come here for. I just don’t get it… we are the country on this planet that stands for everyone to come and have liberty.

…[P]eople want to have freedom. But what they don’t understand is that freedom never needs to be defended. It’s liberty that needs to be defended. God gives us our freedom. God gives us the right to be free. We have to defend our liberty.

Another Limbaugh caller who identified himself as a wedded gay man, expressed disdain for the radical LGBT activists, describing them as “militant,” asserting:

…[I]t does not make our situation any easier when these militants are on the news because they do not represent me.

His {the husband’s] family didn’t show up at our wedding because they believe a marriage is between one man and one woman. And I don’t want to brand them a bigot or a homophobe for the rest of their lives when I could have an opportunity to have a relationship with them. I’d rather understand where they’re coming from and try to build off of what we have in common than brand them over a decision like a cake and then not have a relationship with the man I love’s family.

The caller continued his frank criticism, stating:

I think these militants make it worse, not better, and they don’t have me — in mind when they’re out there doing it… I just think they’re really loud and obnoxious, and so they get on the news.

They went on TV, and they said what their case was. They said it was never about the cake; it was about making them do what they wanted them to do. 

And I would rather go get a cake from somewhere else and not be on the news and have a chance at understanding where other people are coming from than force my will on them any more than I want them to force their will on me. I know a lot of people don’t accept gay marriage. However, it’s a lifestyle choice I made. They choose not to bake me a cake. I’ll get one somewhere else.

My sexuality makes up so small of who I am as a person; it really shouldn’t matter.

Pushing Back: Speaking Out on Twitter

Other non-totalitarian, liberty-loving gay Americans chose to push back by making their voices heard via social media.

Pushing Back: The New Squeaky Wheels

The phenomenon of gay Americans, fellow freedom-fighters, pushing back against the radical LGBT lobby isn’t unique to the Masterpiece Cakeshop court case. Since 2013, Chad Felix Greene- a wedded gay man – has “been writing in favor of religious freedom for those asked to participate in gay weddings.”

After Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Greene stated:

LGBT’s hysterical denunciations and hair-on-fire rhetoric has not changed. Fortunately the argument has. We must continue fighting the rhetoric.

This case is not over.

Back in December of 2017, a gay duo – T.J. and Matt – made headlines for their open support of Jack Phillips and all who wish to exercise religious liberty and freedom of speech.  In a video for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the pair, standing outside the front entrance of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, explained:

We’re here to buy stuff from him and support him, because we don’t think any artist should be forced to create for something that violates their beliefs.

On Monday, echoing the same sentiment, Mr. Greene explained to his followers on Twitter:

The LGBT movement needs to understand that tolerance goes both ways. They have been behaving as though they are entitled to special treatment from everyone under the guise of ‘equality.’

We have equality. But we don’t have the right to demand others violate their beliefs for us.

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages is what every part is entitled to and ought to enjoy.

-Benjamin Franklin

Reason to Hope

The trappings of authoritarian identify politics are being rejected and the walls are beginning to crumble. Liberty-loving Americans representing a plurality of circumstance and lifestyle, often hidden from the limelight of the media, are joining together in good will.

As a Christian and an artist, I count the mounting acts of ideological divergence – examples of bravery – from those in the gay community, as true blessings!

Alas! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

 

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Culture and Religion

Religious liberty lost and judicial tyranny won in Masterpiece Cakeshop decision

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Yesterday, in a narrow 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple based on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious liberty.

Wait a minute! 7-2? How is that a “narrow” decision?

While it’s true that Mr. Phillips was the victor in a lopsided vote total, the root issue concerning his case—freedom of religion—was left unanswered. The court’s decision wasn’t so much pro-First Amendment as it was anti-Colorado Civil Right Commission, which is why it’s being called a narrow decision.

Writing for the majority, Anthony Kennedy—the Justice responsible for Constitutionalizing same-sex marriage—confirmed this fact when he noted that the case created a “difficult situation” when it comes to how the LGBT agenda impacts religious liberty and how he believes that the issue “must await further elaboration” in the courts.

While people like Franklin Graham—a so-called evangelical who winks at Trump’s indiscretions because he was chosen by God’s hand”—proclaim that the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision was a “huge win for religious freedom” and serves as proof that God answers prayer, the reality is that religious liberty is no safer now than it was before this ruling.

In his analysis of the Supreme Court ruling, Daniel Horowitz, Sr. Editor at Conservative Review and an expert on judicial matters, points out how yesterday’s decision falls short of protecting religious liberty because the Court never addressed whether the state or federal government has the power to make laws forcing individuals to violate their consciences.

Meanwhile, the ACLU—who represented the plaintiffs in the case—was pleased with the Court’s decision, saying that it was “based on concerns unique to the [Masterpiece Cakeshop] case but that it reaffirmed its long-standing rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.”

Translation? According to the ACLU, the Court affirmed the right for states to pass laws forcing businesses to serve anyone, anytime, anyplace for any reason; First Amendment be damned.

By the way, isn’t it a pretty good indication that this ruling failed to protect religious liberty when the lawyers representing the plaintiffs agreed with it?

In the end, this case is just another example of how we have become a post-constitutional America where judicial tyranny has replaced the checks and balances provided by three separate but equal branches of government. While Masterpiece Cakeshop won this case, the ruling could have just as easily gone the other way with a different set of judges hearing the same evidence.

Liberty isn’t supposed to be subject to the whims of special interests where political parties are pulling the strings, but that’s what we witnessed yesterday. Judicial tyranny will increase so long as so-called conservatives continue to rely on the Supreme Court to protect our Constitutional rights instead of fighting for the America created by our Founding Fathers.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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