Family Farm Dying

With the continual march toward the end of family (organic) farming, the coming end of America dream is reeking with the stench of death as well. Mega, big, globalized, corporate business have been supported by our so=called representatives of both political parties for a long time. It seems all have forgotten that Adam Smith, the acclaimed founder of modern Western capitalism, was against what is still taking place today. Government is supposed to regulate quasi-governmental corporations so as not to undermine small business, aka, family farmers.

That is my opinionated introduction to an article written by a heart broken small dairy farmer, Jim Goodman, about his farming experience and the slow dying of family dairy farm. It really is worth reading. Click here.

The Gift of Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Time off from school or work. Time with family and friends. Inspiring music fills the air and soul with joy. Dramatic plays direct our minds to real meaning of this holiday.

The history of Christmas go back beyond the man named Saint Nicolas, who went around giving gifts to make people merry. He is as real today as in medieval times. A number of years ago he was seen driving a red and white Cadillac and visiting hospitals and orphanages throughout the United States. Yes, his white hair, beard and mustache are not fake, neither is his fat belly or name: Saint Nicholas. Santa Clause must be a modern make-over for commercial reasons. How St. Nick got the name Kris Kringle is anyone’s guess. What we do know is history leads us back to ancient times when Christmas actual began.

It was around 4 BC, when angels appeared to a group of shepherds, most likely on their way to the annual Jewish Festival of Booths, announcing the birth of the long awaited messiah. During this festival, people of Israel celebrated their freedom that began with the Exodus experienced by their ancestors. Around the same time, Parthia’s ambassadors, also called Magi, came to Jerusalem accompanied by a military escort, looking for the newly born Messiah-king of Israel. Along with indigenous Jews, they too came to celebrate the prospect of liberty from Rome’s imperial influence. The disturbing problem for King Herod and Caesar by the magi’s visit was the fact that Parthia was an independent kingdom with whom Rome has a military truce based on formal treaties. What could they do about representatives of a foreign power creating expectations of a new messianic era of independence?

The expectations and hope spread by the magi, shepherds, and even priests were not to be fulfilled. The boy conceived during the Festival of Lights–a celebration of freedom and salvation–and born during the festival of the an even more ancient experience of God’s salvation and independence from dehumanizing bondage—was destined to save the world from an even more ancient evil: bondage to sin. It is this power over human thought and behavior that Jesus was sent by God to destroy, and not the empire of Rome. This would come in God’s predetermined time.

The power of sin is the prevailing source of all the human atrocities, wars, moral crimes, envy, jealousy, pride and greed that motivate violence and murder, resulting in poverty, social disintegration, distrust, alienation, divorce, and the like. In infant innocence, Jesus came via the manager to deliver humanity from the power and consequences of sin.

The real difference between Exodus and “the Cross” is this: Exodus liberated socially, politically and economically; it changed social status, resulted in a new political amenability, created greater potential for economic independence, and was intended to produce a new social morality reflecting God’s nature. Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection accomplishes the same but by changing human nature, which is accomplished by the overmastering power of God’s spirit. This is the Spirit who created the first sinless human, and recreated a second sinless human to redeem the progeny of the first, which includes us. If this babe who came via Bethlehem’s manger is taken seriously as God’s light and covenant, then God is free to accomplish his redemptive goal in and through our lives, society and world. For the life of baby Jesus is a model of the God who delivers from every form of bondage and the power behind it. Amenable to his word and rule, liberty and prosperity of soul and society produce peace, joy and good will. As God leads the way through adversity and opposition, Christ empowers loyal believers to a good and eternal life in God’s kingdom.

Why not accept God’s Christmas gift.

Christmas: Promise and Purpose

By Daniel Downs

Christmas is a multifaceted story about real events wrapped in two narratives. The two narratives are found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Like a new train and its track, these two narratives are part of one colorfully packaged gift given to humanity by God. Together they show the meaning of Christmas.

Some scholars and teachers rightly say the reason for the season is God’s love, peace, and forgiveness of sin.

The first gospel begins with teen pregnancy. Yes, it’s true the Hebrew word translated virgin actually means young woman or teen girl. It’s equally true that in ancient Jewish culture teenage girls were expected to marry and then bear children. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies were as unlawful as immoral. The social stigmatism would have been as illiberal as Scarlet Letter puritanism. Just as a barren wife, a young unwed mother would have experienced the discriminating scorn of a religious society. Therefore, it is reasonable to interpret the transliterated Hebrew word almah as virgin (Mt. 1:23; Isa. 7:14).

Rabbinical literature originating in Babylonia portrays young Mary as mistress of a Roman soldier. Whether because of sinful consent, seduction or rape, Mary’s pregnancy was conceived by rabbis opposed to the gospel message as adulterated sin. The Palestinian view, as scholars call it, is considerably different. It lacked any negative diatribes against Mary or her son. Just as the Palestinian Talmud reflects its local context, the two gospel narratives were rooted in local events and daily life in Judea and Samaria.

We also will find the meaning of Christmas grounded in the same geographical, cultural, ideological, and historical situation of then current events.

While reading our two narrative gifts, two bright themes twinkle like lights reflecting off shinny wrappings. Those themes are promise and purpose. As if sitting prominently under a Christmas tree, the two themes are wrapped with bright colorful interpretations of unfolding events. Those events appear to be fulfillment of promises made by God through even more ancient prophets. As such, they reveal as well as affirm the purpose of God.

For example, the gospel of Matthew begins the story of Jesus’ birth with marriage. “Mary has been betrothed to Joseph…her husband (1:18, 19). In ancient Jewish culture, engagement was regarded as the beginning of a marriage. While Joseph was thinking about divorcing her, an angel told him to keep his wife because her pregnancy was God’s doing (1:19-20). Why would God do such a thing? The angel continued telling Joseph that Mary’s son would save his people. At that time, most Israelis were expecting a Messiah that would deliver them from the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire and puppet kings like Herod. That was not God’s purpose. Jesus was adopted and formed in the womb of Joseph’s virgin wife to save his people from their sins (1:20-21). This was seen by ancient writers like Matthew as fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah (1:20-21; Isa. 7:14). As evident in writings like Psalms of Solomon, 1 Enoch, and Dead Sea Scrolls, the Messiah of David would represent the holy presence of God and lead all Jews into sinless living. In fact some believed the law would pass away when the true Messiah began to reign. For the law not to be needed meant all had to live holy lives at all times. Being capable of doing so meant the Messiah had to be as holy and sinless as those he would make holy or sinless. That is what the name “Immanuel” or “God with us” meant to those same ancient people.

If we trace the biblical history of God’s redemption, God chooses marriage and family as part of the means to its end.

The purpose of marriage is narrated in Genesis (2:18-25). After their moral crime, Adam and Eve were given a promised future in which God’s purpose would continue. Adam and Eve would create a society of families who would make God’s creation productive and who would overcome temptation and immorality (Gen. 3). It was for married society that God offered the first animal sacrifice in order to cover the naked guilt and shame of the first traditionally married couple. The clothing also served to minimize temptation (Gen. 3:21-23). Nevertheless, sibling rivalry and sexual perversion motivated by jealousy and lust followed (Gen. 4:1-24). One result was the rise of the first walled urban city, according to archaeology. Beginning with Adam’s grandson, the descendants of Adam began seeking God’s redemption (Gen. 4:25-26). Why? Because human decadence also continued until it dominated society. This was followed with the family of Noah being saved from the flood as well as the continuation the covenant of redemption that began with Adam (Gen. 6-8 & 9-10). The fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose was given greater specificity with the family of Abraham. Through this family, God promised to bless the entire world (Gen. 12-17). At the same time, the sterile couple, Abraham and Sarah, was promised a son, Isaac, through whom the promise would be fulfilled in history (Gen. 15, 18). Yet, the promise was The same could be said about the family of David and the promised Messiah (2 Sa. 7:12-16; Rom. 1:1-4). Not only through a specific descendant of David would Israel’s redemption be realized but all people across the globe would have access to it as well. With the virgin birth of Jesus, the promised redemption began to be fulfilled.

As we have seen, God chose a young married couple to bring His adopted son into the world. The fact that an angel visibly announced God’s adoptive purpose for Jesus’ life before his conception gave them a solemn mission of parenting. Their purpose was to raise God’s son to fulfill his life purpose—the salvation of Israel as well as rule of the kingdom (Lk. 1: 32-33). All of this was affirmed first by the priestly shepherds who were told by a host of angels that the salvation this new born King would bring was for all people (Lk. 2:10-14). Further affirmation came at Jesus’ dedication by the temple priest Simeon (Lk. 2:21-32). Simeon again affirmed that Jesus was salvation for both Jews and gentiles according to Isaiah 49:5-6. Finally, the ambassadors of Parthia, the Magi, came escorted by a military regiment to pay homage to the newly born Messiah (Mt. 2:1-6). Consequently, Mary and Joseph were parents with a holy mission to deliver God’s gift of salvation holy and sinless for both Israel and the world. They had godly relatives and friends as well as a culture defined by God’s word (however tainted by sin and the influence of Rome’s presence) to assist them.

This was God’s Christmas gift to all people for all times. Jesus’ parents wrapped him in a Hanukkah candle wick because God wanted all people to see that His son is true light of the world (Lk. 2:12-14). While his destiny was to suffer the shame and judgment for all sins of all people on the cross and in hell, God saw the fulfillment of his redemptive purpose advance toward final fulfillment (Isa. 53). Having fully satisfied divine justice, God raised His son from hell, from death’s tomb, and from the rejection of ignorant men. And, by lifting His son up to His side in heaven, the light of His peace, grace, and holy life forever shines for all to behold and embrace. God’s just forgiveness, His presence and empowerment, and His acceptance are continually held out by our gentle risen Shepherd and Lord Jesus. The gift only has to be received and lived. When all parents and their children do, society will finally realize the common good of God’s will. Then peace will then reign on earth.

Open letter to the Beavercreek City Council, November 12, 2012

My name is John Mitchel. I live on Maple Grove Lane. I oppose the Beavercreek city income tax, but I want to make it perfectly clear I do not mind paying taxes…..my concern is lack of accountability from our elected officials in local, state and federal governments who irresponsibly launder our tax dollars to their friends in the private sector who in turn keep the campaign cash flowing to allow their surrogates to remain in office. Here are three examples.

The first is the Beavercreek Golf Course, which is costing Beavercreek taxpayers $845,000 a year to service the debt. We suffer those consequences while the politicians who passed the enabling legislation continue to receive campaign contributions from private developers who have made millions from taxpayer subsidized investments.

The second is The Greene at I-675 and Indian Ripple. It’s bad enough that Beavercreek City Council conspired to keep a voter initiative off the ballot that would have offered an up or down choice by the citizens, but while we were debating that, I asked Yaromir Steiner, the private developer, if he would make the investment without the $14.8 million from Greene County taxpayers and $2.7 million from a Dave Hobson-sponsored earmark. His tortured response was “No.” To put this in perspective, Mr. Steiner is on record as saying he would not invest his private wealth in The Greene without taxpayer subsidies in excess of $17 million.

Finally, I will address the 2003-2006 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Initiative Agreement where our Greene County Commissioners, enthusiastically supported by Rick Perales, former member of the Beavercreek City Council, sent $1.9 million dollars to the Dayton Development Coalition, a private, not-for-profit organization. Once it arrived there, the Coalition divided it up by paying their CEO $285,000 in 2005 and paying Washington lobbying firm, The PMA Group, $560,000 during the period of performance of the BRAC Initiative Agreement. It’s important to note that $285,000 paid to the Coalition CEO* is about double what the governor of Ohio earns, and more than the Vice-president of the United States. Furthermore, it’s important you know that PMA’s founder and President is now in federal prison for illegally bundling campaign contributions, some of which went to Dave Hobson and Steve Austria. Unlike dozens of other members of Congress who returned the illegal contributions, there’s no evidence to indicate that Mr. Hobson or Mr. Austria did so**.

To summarize, our elected officials have not been good stewards of our tax dollars, and there’s no evidence they will do so in the future. The only way we can fix our local, state and federal governments if we stop electing these so-called public servants who are consumed by power enabled by a career in politics. In the meantime, our only choice is to stop sending our tax dollars until those that are in office can prove they will be accountable for their spending when those who do not have a voice continue to struggle in this anemic economy.

* Source: Dayton Development Coalition’s 2005 IRS Form 990

** Source: www.fec.gov

X*ACT Thrift Store Closing to Make Way for Arts Center

As 2012 winds down, the Xenia Area Community Theater is making a big move toward fulfilling their long term Arts Mission. For the past few years they have been relying on income from their Second Act Thrift Store to help cover their operating expenses. As they continue to grow, the thrift store revenue has been replaced by growing audiences, memberships and sponsorships. Accordingly, they are transitioning away from the thrift store in favor of what the Transition Team is calling the Xenia Arts Center.

According to X*ACT President Alan King, “The vision we have of the Xenia Arts Center is a creative arts cooperative where local artists, artisans, and fine crafters can display and sell their works.” X*ACT envisions art classes and art related activities as well. Starting immediately, they are actively recruiting local artists to help plan and execute this change. They plan to begin renovations at the New Year and to open the new Arts Center in early 2013.

So now they are faced with clearing out their huge inventory of quality donated items to make way for the artists.

Today they are announcing a big 50% OFF CLEARANCE SALE at the Second Act Thrift Store. They have a large selection of Holiday Decorations, Gifts and Stocking Stuffers, Children’s and Adult’s Clothing, Vintage Furniture, Books, and Household Items.

Everything must go. The 50% OFF CLEARANCE SALE will continue through November or until all of their inventory is gone. Stop in soon to get the best selection of gently used and vintage items. Your purchases will help to fund the building improvements necessary to open the Xenia Arts Center this spring. No reasonable offers will be refused. If you have good second hand items to donate to X*ACT for this sale, please drop them off before Friday, Nov. 16.

Former President Cheryl Dern says, “We’re excited about the future and you can be part of it.” Xenia Area Community Theater and the Second Act Thrift Store are located in hospitable downtown Xenia at 45 E. Second St. Special Clearance Sale hours are Mon – Thurs from 9 AM to 3 PM, Fri from 12 to 6 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. For further information phone 937-372-0516 or visit X*ACT online at XeniaACT.org

Unsustainable Spending Drives Local School Levies

In a November 2 policy brief, Buckeye Institute reveals the real reason for the Ohio Education Association claim that state-level funding cuts require many school districts to introduce new levies.

The Institute presents historical evidence for school district overspending. Average annual inflation has been around 4.2 percent since 1975 while school spending has increased by 5.5 percent on average during the same time period. In many Ohio school districts, average teacher compensation is 50% higher than the average income of residents in their communities. While the current legislature has increased school funding, median income is declining. Since 2001, median has declined 16 percent.

Because employee compensation consumes 96 percent of most school budgets, Ohio overspending on schooling is simply unsustainable.

How can this problem be fixed? The Buckeye Institute makes the following proposal:

“Simply providing more tax revenue is not going to solve the problem. If taxpayers in this state are ever to get a break from the hamster wheel of local levies, compensation reforms are essential. To accomplish this, collective bargaining reform cannot be swept under the rug indefinitely.” Changing Ohio collective bargaining law, local school boards would have more flexibility to adjust compensation to reflect current fiscal reality.

To read the policy brief, go to http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/issues/education-k-12-and-higher-ed.

Passing the Xenia Schools 6.5 Mill Emergency Property Tax Levy: The Bottom Line (corrected)

by Daniel Downs

Since the Xenia City School District attempted to pass a 1.5 earned income tax levy in August, not much has changed. The economic situation is still uncertain. Employment is still near 8%, and growth is still very slow. The Congressional Budget Office estimates remain the same as is the outlook of economists like Nouriel Roubini and financial experts like John Mauldin. (see Passing Xenia Schools Income Tax Replacement Levy)

Also unchanged is the claim by Xenia School officials of a huge deficit looming over the election season horizon. On November 6, Xenia Community School officials want voters to agree that there is a dire need for landowners whose property value is $100,000 to pay an additional $200 per year in taxes. That is on top of the bond issue tax, the half-percent income tax, three or more previously renewed property taxes, Greene County Career Center taxes, city taxes, county taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, utility usage taxes including electricity, gas and communication taxes, sales taxes, business taxes, and many other taxes.

Why do school officials need more money? Past budget cuts made by the school district was due to rising costs of health insurance, utilities and diesel fuel costs, according to a recent Xenia Daily Gazette article. A Dayton Daily News article claims passing the emergency property tax levy will alleviate the looming budget deficit. Of course, giving Xenia schools $200 dollars more of your hard earned income each year will meet the most important need of all, benefiting student learning.

Will it not also assure administrators and teachers that they will continue getting union determined pay raises, health insurance that is continuing to rise, retirement, and other benefits?

We can thank our union President Barak Obama and congressional Democrats for rising health costs, and Capitol Hill bureaucrats and oil cartels for rising gas and utility pricing, part of which is funding research and development of new energy technologies.

But, what about the budget deficit? Here I want to make several observations based on the school district’s current 5 year budget forecast. The estimates assume a continual decline of daily attendance, which also means less revenue. The amount of taxes dollars returned to our school district by the state is determined by the number of students enrolled and attending. The forecast estimates that there will be 200 fewer students attending Xenia schools in five years. If we begin with 2012, the estimated decrease in the number of students attending our schools adds up to 430.

In a presentation to the Ohio School Boards Association, Randy Overbeck said, “the district enrollment has been fairly consistent over the past 15 years. ADM (average daily attendance) has remained around 4800-5100.” The school district estimated attendance to be 5,028 in 2012, 4,748 by 2013 and 4,548 by 2017, which figures are historically unprecedented.

The school’s 5 year budget forecast also assumes property and income tax revenue growth without a new levy. Actual property tax revenue was $17,092,007 in 2012. By 2017, property tax revenue is estimated to be $18,687,908. Income tax revenue estimates follows a similar trend. It grows from $3,197,402 to $3,239,094. While personal property taxes are still being phased out, the state was still reimbursing our school district over $2.9 million in 2012. It is estimated that the state will continue compensating our school district with over $1.8 million for the next 5 years. With the amount of personal property taxes still being collected, our school will continue receiving over $3 million, according to the budget forecast.

Of course, Xenia School District payroll expenses will continue to grow by 41.4 percent over 5 years. That is an annual increase of 8.3 percent, 90% of which covers insurance and retirement benefits. When the contracted services are included, payroll expenses increase to 54 percent, an annual increase of 10.8 percent.

Consequently, while the number of students served by Xenia Schools is estimated to significantly decline, Xenia taxpayers are expected to increase their tax burden to cover the presumed loss. If the decline turns out to be real, the school district revenue will certainly decrease because the state funding is based on daily average attendance.

There is a problem with Xenia school officials blaming the state funding formula for declining school attendance. It is even worse when they assume voters are dumb enough to believe that the nearly $4 million going to charter, STEM, and other nearby school districts is a real expense. It is not a real loss because the school district received revenue for those students to give to the school public school of their parents’ choice. How terrible it must be for families to have the freedom to choose how and where their children will be educated. Yet, the same school officials fail to inform the public about how much they receive from students from other districts enrolling and attending Xenia schools.

Xenia school officials are not loosing tax revenues because it was never theirs. Unlike county and state governments redistributing local tax money, it is unfortunate that Ohio law mandates the primary local school district to distribute tax dollars to other public schools like charters, STEM school, and now other nearby school districts.

Whether the estimated decrease of 200-430 students over the next 5 years is the supposed to be the result of families moving out of Xenia or attending other nearby schools is a question that is anyone’s guess.

What is not unknown is the ultimate goal of the proposed emergency property tax levy. That goal is same as identified in my last post about the school’s earned income tax levy. It is to increase cash flow so that school officials have an on-going year-end surplus of $5-6 million. The budget forecast estimates a $2 million surplus at the end of 2013 and $700,000 at the end of 2014. By that time, Romney may have been able to move the economy forward to a growing economy and 6% or less unemployment. Many more taxpayers would be making more money and would be able to afford giving schools $200 or more for five years and thereafter.

In the final analysis, Xenia School officials estimate a steady decline in student population, steady income revenue, and significantly rising costs. Most of the increased costs are due to above inflation employee benefits. Unless taxpayer annual income increases about 10-12 percent, Xenia taxpayers will not be able to afford the emergency property tax levy or any additional taxes. Based on the school’s estimates, the budget forecast is unsustainable. That is the bottom line.

Broadway Hit “A Few Good Men” Continues Playing at Xenia Area Community Theatre

For ticket information, click here.

Presidential Candidates’ Stand on Life Issues

Live Action, known for its investigative journalism,came out with a guide to the position of the candidates running for president and vice-president. Those candidates are Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as well as Democrat incumbents Barak Obama and Joe Biden.

After stating each candidate’s stand of the right to life, the guide present historical statements and positions of each candidate to prove the validity of each candidates views.

To read or download a copy of the guide, go to http://liveactionadvocate.org/LAFLYER.pdf.

Humanitarian Hypocrisy

by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
October 26, 2012

The world’s double standards concerning which peoples qualify as oppressed and deserving of help are staggering. Two recent stories illustrate this point:

First, a report exposed, in the words of the Turkish Coalition of America, “Turkey’s continued interest in expanding business and cultural ties with the American Indian community” and “Turkey’s interest in building bridges to Native American communities across the U.S.” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., even introduced a bill that would give Turks special rights and privileges in Native American tribal areas, arguing that “[t]his bill is about helping American Indians,” and about “helping the original inhabitants of the new world, which is exactly what this legislation would do.”

The very idea that Turkey’s Islamist government is interested in “helping American Indians” is preposterous, both from a historical and contemporary point of view. In the 15th century, when Christian Europeans were discovering the Americas, Muslim Turks were conquering and killing Christians in Europe (which, of course, is why Europeans starting sailing west in the first place). If early European settlers fought and killed natives, only recently, Turkey committed a mass genocide against Armenian Christians. And while the U.S. has made many reparations to its indigenous natives, Turkey not only denies the Armenian holocaust, but still abuses and persecutes its indigenous Christians.

In short, if Turkey is looking to help the marginalized and oppressed, it should start at home.

But of course, Turkey is only looking to help itself; the American Indians are mere tools of infiltration. One need not elaborate on the dangers involved in thousands of Muslim Turks settling in semi-autonomous areas in America and working closely with a minority group that holds a grudge against the United States.

Yet if one can understand Turkey’s machinations, what does one make of another recent report? Fifteen leaders from U.S. Christian denominations—mostly Protestant, including the Lutheran, Methodist, and UCC Churches—are asking Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel, since “military aid will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

These are the same church leaders who utter nary a word concerning the rampant persecution of millions of Christians from one end of the Muslim world to the other—a persecution that makes the Palestinians’ situation insignificant in comparison.

If Muslims are subjugated on Israeli land, at least one can argue that, historically, the Jews were there first—millennia before Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the 7th century. On the other hand, millions of Christians—at least 10 million in Egypt alone, the indigenous Copts—have been suffering in their own homelands for 14 centuries, since Islam burst in with the sword.

Nor is this limited to history: from Nigeria in the west, to Pakistan in the east, Christians at this very moment are being imprisoned for apostasy and blasphemy; their churches are being bombed and burned down; their women and children are being kidnapped, enslaved, and raped. For an idea, see my monthly Muslim Persecution of Christians series, where I collate dozens of anecdotes of persecution every month—any of which, if Palestinians experienced, would make headlines around the world; but as it is only “unfashionable” Christians who are experiencing these atrocities, they are regularly overlooked.

Nor are Palestinian Christians immune from this phenomenon: a pastor recently noted that “animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA continues to get increasingly worse. People are always telling [Christians], Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam.”

Indeed, the American Jewish Committee, which was “outraged by the Christian leaders’ call,” got it right by saying: “When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others.”

By any objective measure, the atrocities currently being committed against Christians around the Muslim world are far more outrageous and deserving of attention and remedy than the so-called “Palestinian Question.” Incidentally, Israeli treatment of the Palestinians—some of whom, like Hamas, openly declare their intent to eradicate the Jewish state—is largely predicated on the aforementioned: Israel knows Islam’s innate animus for non-Muslims and does not wish to be on its receiving end, hence the measures it takes to exist.

There is a final important point of irony concerning the differences between Turkey’s Muslims and America’s liberal Christians: the former engage in hypocrisy to empower Islam; the latter engage in hypocrisy to disempower Christianity, even if unwittingly. Just like secular/liberal Americans who strive to disassociate themselves from their European heritage—seeing it as the root of all evil and championing the rights of non-whites like American Indians—liberal American Christians strive to disassociate themselves from their Christian heritage and champion the rights of non-Christians, hence their keen interest for Muslim Palestinians.

And all the while, the one religious group truly persecuted from one end of the Islamic world to the other—Christians—are devoutly ignored by the humanitarian hypocrites.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.