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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Persecuted Pakistan Christian Sakharov Prize Nominee


John R. Houk
© September 19, 2017

Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian that has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for a better of a decade wondering if the Pakistan government will ever proceed on the death sentence passed against her for breaking the anti-religious freedom Blasphemy Law.

Asia has been nominated for a prestigious award from the EU that I pray places more pressure on the Pakistan government to release her with the ability of Asia Bibi and family to receive political asylum in a more civilized nation. The award is called the Sakharov Prize.

About the Sakharov Prize:

The European Parliament also supports human rights through the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, established in 1988.  The prize is awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe, drawing attention to human rights violations as well as supporting the laureates and their cause. (The European Parliament supports human rights; European Parliament)

The nominees were announced on September 14, 2017. Here is the nominee list which Asia Bibi is listed first:

The nominees for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are:

Asia Bibi (Aasiya Noreen), a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death in 2010 under the country´s blasphemy law. Bibi is on a death row for almost seven years and her appeal to the supreme court has been postponed to an undetermined date. She was nominated by ECR.

Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, a human rights defender from Guatemala. She is a member from the Council of Ki’che’ Peoples (CPK), an organisation that fights to protect natural resources and human rights from the expansion of mining, logging, hydroelectric and agro-industry sectors in the territory and has been subject to threats. She was nominated by Greens/EFA.

Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, co-chairs of the pro-kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey arrested in November 2016 on terrorism charges after their parliamentary immunity was lifted. They were nominated by GUE/NGL.

Democratic Opposition in Venezuela: National Assembly (Julio Borges) and all political prisoners as listed by Foro Penal Venezolano represented by Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos and Andrea González. The situation in Venezuela has been seriously deteriorating as regards democracy, human rights and socio-economy, in a climate of growing political and social instability. Nominated by EPP and ALDE. Political prisoners in Venezuela as well as the democratic opposition in Venezuela were also shortlisted for the Sakharov Prize in 2015.

Dawit Isaak, a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer, who was arrested in 2001 by the Eritrean authorities during a political crackdown. He has been imprisoned without a trial since and was last seen in 2005. Isaak was Sakharov finalist in 2009. He was nominated by S&D as well as by Wikström and 46 other MEPs.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, a Burundian human rights activist and founder of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH). He was detained in 2014, escaped an assassination attempt in 2015 and is now living in Belgium. He was nominated by EFDD. (Sakharov Prize 2017: discover the nominees; EU affairs; 9/14/17 18:05)


In case you have been out of the loop or have forgotten the idiotic reason for Asia’s death sentence, here is an excerpt from a past post which was dated 7/25/15:

The women said in their charge that Bibi asked "My Christ died for me, what did Muhammad do for you?" — a statement considered blasphemous in the South Asian country. (Bold Text Mine Christian Post)


Asia life behind bars has not been a bowl of strawberries and cream. Check out this excerpt from a New York Post article in 2013 that encouraged people to buy Asia’s memoir to help her now persecuted family and to pay Pakistan lawyers to working legal issues for an appeal:

To her neighbors, Aasiya Noreen “Asia” Bibi, a poor mother of five in the tiny village of Ittan Wali in central Pakistan, was guilty — guilty of being Christian in a nation that is 97% Muslim. For four years she has languished in a prison cell for this, facing death by hanging. 

Her new memoir, “Blasphemy,” was dictated to her husband from jail, who relayed it to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet. Fifty percent of the proceeds the book will go to support Bibi and her family. Tollet says the situation is dire.  

 Embarrassed by Bibi’s case but still refusing to release her because of angry protests by extremists, the Pakistan government has transferred her to a more remote prison, hoping the 42-year-old dies quietly behind bars, perhaps poisoned by another inmate. Already two government officials who have spoken out on her behalf have been murdered, including Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, who was killed by the Taliban. In this excerpt, Bibi explains the simple “transgression” that led to her plight.


 I want the whole world to know that I’m going to be hanged for helping my neighbor. I’m guilty of having shown someone sympathy. What did I do wrong? I drank water from a well belonging to Muslim women, using “their” cup, in the burning heat of the midday sun.

 I, Asia Bibi, have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty. I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers. 

 That day, June 14, 2009, is imprinted on my memory. I can still see every detail.

 That morning I got up earlier than usual, to take part in the big falsa-berry harvest. I’d been told about it by Farah, our lovely local shopkeeper. “Why don’t you go falsa picking tomorrow in that field just outside the village? You know the one; it belongs to the Nadeems, the rich family who live in Lahore. The pay is 250 rupees.” 


When I got to the field, around 15 women were already at work, picking away, their backs hidden by the tall bushes. It was going to be a physically exhausting day in such heat, but I needed those 250 rupees. 


A hard-faced woman dressed in clothes that had been mended many times came over to me with an old yellow bowl.

 “If you fill the bowl you get 250 rupees,” she said without really looking at me.

 I looked at the huge bowl and thought I would never finish before sunset. Looking at the other women’s bowls, I also realized mine was much bigger. They were reminding me that I’m a Christian. 

 The sun was beating down, and by midday it was like working in an oven.  

 But since the river was nowhere near, I freed myself from my bushes and walked over to the nearby well. Already I could sense the coolness rising up from the depths. 

 I pull up a bucketful of water and dip in the old metal cup resting on the side of the well. The cool water is all I can think of. I gulp it down and I feel better; I pull myself together. 

 Then I start to hear muttering. I pay no attention and fill the cup again, this time holding it out to a woman next to me who looks like she’s in pain. She smiles and reaches out . . . At exactly the moment Musarat pokes her ferrety nose out from the bush, her eyes full of hate: 

 “Don’t drink that water, it’s haram!” 

 Musarat addresses all the pickers, who have suddenly stopped work at the sound of the word “haram,” the Islamic term for anything forbidden by God. 

 “Listen, all of you, this Christian has dirtied the water in the well by drinking from our cup and dipping it back several times. Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!”

 It’s so unfair that for once I decide to defend myself and stand up to the old witch. 

“I think Jesus would see if differently from Mohammed.”

 Musarat is furious. “How dare you think for the Prophet, you filthy animal!” 

(NY Post - 8/25/13 4:00am)


It’s been over two years since I posted the original excerpt above. As far as I know, NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Asia Bibi (or her less well-known name - Aasiya Noreen) is still languishing in jail.

The closest update I have found is from an online French Catholic publication called Aleteia which also publishes in English:

Condemned to death in 2009 for insulting Islam, the Pakistani Catholic is still awaiting her final verdict.

On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi was thrown into jail. A year later she was sentenced to death for blasphemy, and since 2013, after two transfers, she has been languishing in one of the three windowless cells on death row in the southern province of Multan in the Punjab Penitentiary. A year after the Supreme Court of Pakistan postponed her appeal amid death threats by 150 muftis (Muslim legal experts) against anyone who would assist “blasphemers,” the case has not progressed by one iota. On August 30, Asia Bibi had spent 3,000 days in prison.

Her family lives underground. The only thing we know comes from her lawyer, the Muslim Saif ul Malook, who has visited her in recent months. He says she is doing well and is still hoping for her release. On the other hand, the Supreme Court seems to have forgotten the case, and has still not decided whether to confirm her death sentence or to release her.

During those 3,000 days Asia Bibi has never stopped praying and asking for prayers. As a tribute to this Christian who has become an icon for all those who struggle in Pakistan and the world against all violence in the name of religion, this is the prayer she composed last year on the occasion of the Easter celebrations, and which accompanies her in her detention:

Resurrected Lord, allow your daughter Asia to rise again with you. Break my chains, make my heart free and go beyond these bars, and accompany my soul so that it is close to those who are dear to me, and that it remains always near you. Do not abandon me in the day of trouble, do not deprive me of your presence. You who have suffered torture and the cross, alleviate my suffering. Hold me near you, Lord Jesus. On the day of your resurrection, Jesus, I want to pray for my enemies, for those who hurt me. I pray for them and I beg you to forgive them for the harm they have done me. I ask you, Lord, to remove all obstacles so that I may obtain the blessing of freedom. I ask you to protect me and protect my family.

After eight years of suffering, anguish and disappointed hopes, let us keep up our prayers and our actions of support for her, because through her we support all the persecuted Christians in their sacrifices. (Asia Bibi has spent more than 3,000 days in prison for blasphemy; By Isabelle Cousturie; Aleteia; 9/18/17)

The organization Prisoner Profile has a post tracking Asia Bibi’s Pakistan legal system difficulties/persecution with the dates 6/2009 through 5/2017.

Dan Wooding the Chief Editor of Assist News Service (ANS) sent the email alert notifying me of Asia Bibi’s Sakharov Prize nomination. Below is my cross post of that ANS article.

JRH 9/19/17
*****************

By Dan Wooding - Founder of ASSIST News Service 
September 17, 2017 23:58


Free Asia Bibi campaign

PAKISTAN (ANS – September 17, 2017) -- Pakistan’s most famous Christian prisoner, Asia Bibi, has been nominated for the European Union’s high-status award, the Sakharov Prize.

Ms. Bibi, a mother-of-five, who is currently behind the bars waiting for a hearing of her appeal against capital punishment, was nominated by a group of European legislators.

According to Madeeha Bakhsh, writing for Christians in Pakistan (https://www.christiansinpakistan.com/), “Asia has been nominated for ‘Freedom of Thought’ by the legislators who form an influential group European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR). This European Conservatives and Reformists Group is the third largest group in the European Parliament,” she wrote. “The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), nominated Asia Bibi late on Wednesday, September 13.”


Peter van Dalen, a Dutch European parliamentarian and member of ECR’s faction, ChristenUnion-SGP, said: “Her case is a symbol for others hurt in their freedom of expression and especially freedom of religion. It is good that my colleagues in the ECR and I continue to defend the rights of [Asia] Bibi and many others.”

Members of the entire European Parliament will soon be casting their votes in favor of their favorite candidate.

“If a majority casts [their] votes in favor of Asia Bibi; she could win the 50,000 ($59,670 USD) award for the Sakharov Prize, which is considered Europe’s most prestigious human rights award,” said Madeeha Bakhsh. “This award is named after Andrei Sakharov, a scientist and dissident hailing from the Soviet era.”

Sakharov died on December 14, 1989, and the award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg, France, on December 10.

Asia Bibi, a berry picker, was accused of committing blasphemy by her co-workers back in 2009. Later on, in 2010, a court in the Punjab district of Nankana found her guilty and she was sentenced to death by hanging, a verdict later challenged and upheld by a two-member bench of Lahore High Court in 2014.

Her appeal case is currently pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“Supposedly her final appeal hearing on October 13, 2016, was meant to wind up the most high profile case of the country, however, it was delayed as one of the judges refused to be a part of the three member bench that was to hear the case,” added Bakhsh.




She said that on the date of the hearing, Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, one of the three judges due to hear Asia Bibi’s appeal case, suddenly withdrew saying, “I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that.”




The judge was referring to the case of the then governor of Punjab, who was assassinated on January 4, 2011, at the Kohsar Market in Islamabad by his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, who disagreed with Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy law and his support for Asia Bibi. Qadri was later sentenced to death by a Pakistani Anti-Terrorist court at Islamabad for murdering Taseer, and was executed on February 29, 2016.

Consequently, the hearing was adjourned and Ms. Bibi is still on death row in her lonely prison cell.

Note: Christians in Pakistan is a non-profit organization and a leading source of news related to Pakistani Christians. They can be contacted by e-mail at: ChristiansinPak@gmail.com.

Photo captions: 1) Asia Bibi. 2) Andrei Sakharov on the cover of Time magazine. 3) Salmaan Taseer meeting with Asia Bibi after her arrest. Many believe that this meeting cost him his life. 4) Ashiq Masih, the husband of Asia Bibi with some of the children. 5) Dan Wooding

About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning
author, broadcaster and journalist, who was born in Nigeria, West Africa, of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. Dan now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 54 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder/president of the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of numerous books. He has a radio show and two television programs, all based in Southern California.
______________
Persecuted Pakistan Christian Sakharov Prize Nominee
John R. Houk
© September 19, 2017
_______________
ASIA BIBI NOMINATED FOR EU’S PRESTIGIOUS SAKHAROV PRIZE

** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the above website and signing up there.

PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609

About ANS, excerpted from a Hub Pages post linked from ANS:

The ASSIST news site gives you access to stories that are of interest to Christians worldwide, some of them would never be told without Dan Wooding's help.  

Dan interviews people whether famous or intriguing every day.  He writes their stories, shares them on international radio shows, and videos as well.

If you have a heart for missions and helping Christians around the world, get to know Dan Wooding and his work at ASSIST Ministries today.


Monday, September 18, 2017

State Department Waging "Open War" on White House


Either Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is working against the Trump agenda or he is not competent enough to drain the State Department Obama hold-over swamp. I believe it is the former more than the latter. Either way, President Trump needs to fire Tillerson and get a Secretary of State that can competently execute the Trump agenda in foreign policy. ESPECIALLY as pertaining to Israel!

JRH 9/18/17
****************
State Department Waging "Open War" on White House

September 17, 2017 at 5:00 am

§  "It's not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss's rapprochement with the Israeli government." — Foreign policy operative, quoted in the Washington Free Beacon.

§  Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump's key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

§  "Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created." — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress.

The repayment demand, championed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was described as an underhanded attempt by the State Department to derail a campaign pledge by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to improve relations with the Jewish state.

The dispute is the just the latest example of what appears to be a growing power struggle between the State Department and the White House over the future direction of American foreign policy.

The controversy goes back to the Obama administration's September 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Jerusalem over the next decade. The MOU expressly prohibits Israel from requesting additional financial aid from Congress.

Congressional leaders, who said the MOU violates the constitutional right of lawmakers to allocate U.S. aid, awarded Israel an additional $75 million in assistance in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.

Tillerson had argued that Israel should return the $75 million in order to stay within the limits established by the Obama administration. The effort provoked a strong reaction from Congress, which apparently prompted Tillerson to back down.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) "strongly warned the State Department that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel," according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:

"As Iran works to surround Israel on every border, and Hezbollah and Hamas rearm, we must work to strengthen our alliance with Israel, not strain it. Congress has the right to allocate money as it deems necessary, and security assistance to Israel is a top priority. Congress is ready to ensure Israel receives the assistance it needs to defend its citizens."

A veteran congressional advisor told the Free Beacon:

"This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to f*ck with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship. There's no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you're trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won't work."

Another foreign policy operative said: "It's not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss's rapprochement with the Israeli government."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict Trump's key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

August 10. The State Department hosted representatives of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group established by the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of mainstreaming political Islam in the United States. Behind closed doors, they reportedly discussed what they said was Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and the removal of all Israeli control of the Temple Mount and holy areas of Jerusalem. Observers said the meeting was part of larger effort by anti-Israel organizations to drive a wedge between the Trump administration and Israel. The USCMO includes a number of organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which promote "extreme anti-Israel views" and "anti-Zionist" propaganda, and which support boycotts of the Jewish state.

July 19. The State Department's new "Country Reports on Terrorism 2016" blamed Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews. It attributed Palestinian violence to: "lack of hope in achieving statehood;" "Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank;" "settler violence;" and "the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount." The report also characterized Palestinian Authority payments to the families of so-called martyrs as "financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners...to reintegrate them into society."

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) called on the State Department to hold the PA accountable in State Department Country reports: "The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism.... At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause — PA leadership."

June 14. Tillerson voiced opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that such a classification would complicate Washington's relations in the Middle East. During his confirmation hearings on January 11, by contrast, Tillerson lumped the Brotherhood with al-Qaeda when talking about militant threats in the region. He said:

"Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran."

June 13. During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson said he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs. One day later, Palestinian officials contradicted Tillerson, saying that there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis.

May 22. Tillerson sidestepped questions on whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while telling reporters aboard Air Force One they were heading to "Tel Aviv, home of Judaism." Asked directly whether he considers the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, Tillerson replied: "The wall is part of Jerusalem."

May 15. In an interview with Meet the Press, Tillerson appeared publicly to renege on Trump's campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

"The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding what such a move, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have."
Tillerson also appeared to equate the State of Israel and the Palestinians:

"As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine. And so I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process."

Critics of this stance have argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would, instead, advance the peace process by "shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel."

March 8. The State Department confirmed that the Obama administration's $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority, approved just hours before Trump's inauguration, had reached its destination. The Trump administration initially had vowed to freeze the payment.

In July 2017, the Free Beacon reported that Tillerson's State Department was waging an "open political war" with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters:

"The tensions have fueled an outstanding power battle between the West Wing and State Department that has handicapped the administration and resulted in scores of open positions failing to be filled with Trump confidantes. This has allowed former Obama administration appointees still at the State Department to continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House's own agenda."

A veteran foreign policy analyst interviewed by the Free Beacon laid the blame squarely on Tillerson:

"Foggy Bottom [a metonym for the State Department] is still run by the same people who designed and implemented Obama's Middle East agenda. Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created."

Notable holdovers from the Obama administration are now driving the State Department's Iran policy:

Michael Ratney, a top advisor to former Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria policy. Under the Trump administration, Ratney's role at the State Department has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine issues. Ratney, who was the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2015, oversaw $465,000 in U.S. grants to wage a smear to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in 2015 parliamentary elections, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Ratney admitted to Senate investigators that he deleted emails containing information about the Obama administration's relationship with the group.

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., a career foreign service officer who serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon, the State Department's fourth-ranking official, has warned that scrapping the Iran deal would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. "Any effort to step away from the deal would reopen a Pandora's box in that region that would be hard to close again," he said. His statement indicates that Shannon could be expected to lead efforts to resist any attempts to renege or renegotiate the deal; critics of the deal say that Iran's continued missile testing has given Trump one more reason to tear up his predecessor's deal with the Islamist regime.

Chris Backemeyer is now the highest-ranking official at the State Department for Iran policy. During the Obama administration, Backemeyer made his career by selling the Iran deal by persuading multinational corporations to do business with Iran as part of an effort to conclude the Iran nuclear deal.

Ratney, Shannon and Backemeyer, along with Tillerson, reportedly prevailed upon Trump twice to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post explained:

Washington was briefly abuzz on the afternoon of July 17 when rumors began to circulate that President Trump was eager to declare that Iran was in breach of the conditions laid out in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).

Those receptive antennas were further heightened given the previous signals sent. After all, the State Department already released talking points to reporters on the decision to recertify Iran. The Treasury Department also had a package of fresh sanctions on over a dozen Iranian individuals and entities ready to announce to appease the hawks who were eager to cut loose from the deal.

But Trump didn't want to recertify Iran, nor did he want to the last time around in April. That evening, a longtime Middle East analyst close to senior White House officials involved in the discussions described the scene to me: "Tillerson essentially told the president, 'we just aren't ready with our allies to decertify.' The president retorted, 'Isn't it your job to get our allies ready?' to which Tillerson said, 'Sorry sir, we're just not ready.'" According to this source, Secretary Tillerson pulled the same maneuver when it came to recertification in April by waiting until the last minute before finally admitting the State Department wasn't ready. On both occasions he simply offered something to the effect of, "We'll get 'em next time."

______________________
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Follow Soeren Kern on Twitter and Facebook

© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

[Blog Editor: Unfortunately, I did not wait to get permission. You may wish to get permission to use any portion of this GI cross post.]


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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Extreme LGBTQ Minority Crazy Political Clout

John R. Houk
© September 17, 2017


 The ungodly LGBTQ must be concerned if sentient non-earth people will be offended if a Family/Biblical values person heads NASA. Apparently, the homosexual lobby fears space aliens might be influenced in the space exploration of the final frontier.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-OK) NASA nomination is being opposed because he is wise enough to not agree with a Gay lifestyle. Of course, the Leftist MSM is lining up behind the godless LGBTQ. How can a group of people who ONLY represent 4.1% of the population (Pew Research 2016) have that kind of political clout? If you can’t agree that the LGBTQ is a special Rights group of people you must be a racist evil homophobe. As if homosexuals are a race of people rather than a group of people that chose a deviant lifestyle.

Yup, I said “deviant”. I don’t care if Medical organizations, Psychologist organizations, and/or Psychiatric organizations were essentially pressured decades ago into normalizing homosexuals rather than keeping with their original analysis that same-sex relations is deviant.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) was harassed by political pressure rather than scientific data to end the mental deviancy listing of homosexual practices:

They [i.e. Rogers H. Wright and Nicholas A. Cummings] got established and revered practitioners to write chapters which explore these important issues. The following regarding the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1973 was written as a matter of verifiable fact:

“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association yielded suddenly and completely to political pressure when in 1973 it removed homosexuality as a treatable aberrant condition. A political firestorm had been created by gay activists within psychiatry, with intense opposition to normalizing homosexuality coming from a few outspoken psychiatrists who were demonized and even threatened, rather than scientifically refuted. Psychiatry’s House of Delegates sidestepped the conflict by putting the matter to a vote of the membership, marking for the first time in the history of healthcare that a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis was decided by popular vote than by scientific evidence”(page 9) - The truth on how homosexuality was removed from the DSM by APA – Commentary on Dr Yik’s response to Lawrence Khong; POSTED BY CONCERNEDSGCITIZEN; Homosexuality and Science; 9/14/13

I can’t blame the article writer using a pseudonym. Homosexual activists use both defamation - to shame - and violence - to strike fear - against truth tellers to silence them from the American public.

Here is a brief description when science was abandoned for submission to political pressure:

§  1973 – Board of Trustees of The American Psychiatric Association (APA) approves the deletion of homosexuality from the DSM-II and substitutes a diagnosis of “sexual orientation disturbance.” Intense discussion and debate followed.

§  On Dec 15 1973, the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to delete homosexuality altogether from the DSM. Opposition from several psychiatrists immediately followed. A referendum on the Board’s decision was called.

§  1974 – the entire membership of the APA was polled for their support or rejection of the Board’s decision. žOf the 10,000 voting members, nearly 40% opposed the Board’s decision to normalize homosexuality. Decision was hardly unanimous. (Controversially, a survey conducted in 1979 asked 10,000 psychiatrists if they felt homosexuality “usually represented a pathological adaptation.” 69% of respondents said “yes,” and ž60% said homosexual men were less capable of “mature, loving relationships” than heterosexual men.)

The author of Destructive Trends in mental health was right to conclude:

“Diagnosis today in psychology and psychiatry is cluttered with politically correct verbiage, which seemingly has taken precedence over sound professional experience and scientific validation.” (Ibid.)

Since the APA barely removed homosexuality as a deviant mental disorder, the American Left and Homosexual Activists were well armed with the needed propaganda to slowly persuade the American public to accept ungodly homosexuality.

Even a recent scientific study revealed by Life Site circa November 2016 show homosexuality is not normal:

Those who are setting our so-called “values”, such as the small but powerful group of academics, mainstream media, and homosexual activists, do so by attempting to impose strange myths and ideas that have no scientific basis.

These myths include the one that homosexuals are “born that way”, can’t change, and must be accepted for “who they are”. Further, those claiming they are a different gender than that with which they were born, i.e. the transgendered, who “feel” they belong to other than their gender at birth, must be accepted as such.

The public is supposed to put aside its intelligence and common sense, and respectfully bow collectively in obeisance to these “expert” opinions. These opinions, however, are complete and utter hogwash.

However, the myth-makers attempt to force their nonsense on us by the heavy hand of the law, claiming that it’s “discrimination” to refuse to accept the myths as truth.  Jurisdictions which don’t obey their rulings are economically punished, parents are forbidden to protect their children from the monstrous “bathroom” laws that permit males to use girls’ showers, lockers and change rooms.  It’s all a fraud based on propaganda with no scientific legitimacy.

Bombshells Explode The Myths


The first bombshell was a landmark study published in The Journal – The New Atlantis, (August 23, 2016). The Journal is a well-known journal of science, technology and ethics based in Washington D.C.  This article analysed [sic] the scientific evidence of LGBT issues published to date in scientific journals.

Dr. Mayer stated he supports every sentence in this report without reservation since it is about science and medicine.  He also stated he was alarmed to learn during his review of over 500 scientific articles that the LGBT community bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole.

§  The other author is Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the leading psychiatrists in the world. These scientists reviewed hundreds of peer reviewed studies on sexual orientation and gender identity from the biological, psychological and social sciences.  Their conclusions were as follows:

§  The belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex – so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ – is not supported by scientific evidence.

§  Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behaviour will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

§  Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

The second bombshell was exploded by a top researcher for the American Psychological Association (APA), lesbian activist, Dr. Lisa Diamond, co-author-in-chief of ‘the APA Handbook’ of sexuality and psychology and one of the APA’s most respected members.  She admitted that sexual orientation was “fluid” and not unchangeable.  By doing so, Dr. Diamond confirmed that the myth that “homosexuals can’t change” is now a dead-end theory.  She summarized the relevant findings in a lecture at Cornell University stating that abundant research has now established that sexual orientation – including attraction, behaviour and self-identity – is fluid for both adolescents and adults for both genders. (The LGBT fraud has been exposed, and they’re definitely not happy about it; By Claire Chretien; Life Site News; 11/15/16 1:37 pm EST)

The Multiculturalist Left and the lying Homosexual activist-lobbyists have been brainwashing Americans for decades. Even now I am guessing NO one has heard the recent science confirming the brainwashing lies.

ERGO, the reality of the Will of God found in His Word shows the purpose of the Creator of one male and one female is the standard He intends for His creation. If God’s Word calls same-sex relations an abomination in His sight, then it is so - Leviticus 18: 22; 20: 13 NKJV:

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

God in Christ is no less approving -Romans 1: 18-19, 26-27 NKJV:

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And yet, it is not God’s will that any human should perish in eternal separation from His Presence. All humanity is born in a sin nature. That is the reason the Almighty emptied Himself of Divine prerogatives and became fully human to born as a perfect human to be the sacrificial lamb for Adam’s hereditary disobedience.

Jesus the infant was conceive in the womb of a human female by the power of the Holy Spirit (not human copulation as the Muslims erroneously believe). The infant Jesus became a man. Jesus as the Son of God and the son of man simultaneously, ministered His Divine purpose for three years then became the Lamb of God dying for humanity’s sin nature so that all that believe in the Resurrection of Jesus are re-united with God Almighty in spirit now and in our resurrection from the dead our natural appearance will be changed spirit, soul and body -Galatians 3: 10-14 NKJV:

The Law Brings a Curse

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”[a] 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”[b] 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”[c]

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”[d]), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

I have no idea how those of the Jewish faith handle the brutal punishments of the Law in this modern era, but for Christians the punished prescribed in the Law in this life has eternally been paid for by the Lamb of God. That includes the numerous sin punishments that is also applied to heterosexuals and as to the subject of this post, those who have made the choice of a homosexual lifestyle.

I am fairly certain that homosexual apologists and Leftist Multiculturalists will try to disarm God’s Word by attempting to twist it to bend to human academics to fit their world view. That is unfortunately the problem with Humanist thinking. Humanism intentionally dismisses the Divine paradigm because world order darkness blinds Humanists unable to see the Light of Salvation of Jesus Christ the Son of God/Lamb of God that can Redeem those stuck in Humanist darkness.

That is the plus of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, President Trump’s nomination to lead NASA. If Bridenstine is a good Christian, he will not make a person blinded in homosexual darkness suffer for their social choices but rather direct them according to merit. That is probably unlike a virulent homosexual that would make it their life’s aim to persecute a Christian employee for their beliefs with shaming or worse – violence.

In essence, the Left and Homosexual activists are actually attempting to utilize a religious test to disqualify Jim Bridenstine from being the next NASA Administrator. I like the observations made by Mark Whittington on the Bridenstine nomination:

However, it appears that Bridenstine is being subjected to a religious test for the position that he has been nominated for. Many people oppose some items on the LGBT agenda out of sincere religious conviction. Bridenstine’s private and political beliefs are being used as a disqualifier for becoming head of NASA, even though those views would not affect his conduct as administrator. The space agency has no influence whatsoever on whether or not people of the same sex have the right to marry. That issue was decided by a ruling of the Supreme Court and is now the law of the land.

One wonders if these questions are going to come up during the hearings when they finally take place. Bridenstine will likely reply that he will follow the law, as he is obligated to do, and perhaps openly wonder what these issues have to do with returning to the moon and re-establishing American dominance in space. (Now Jim Bridenstine is in trouble with the LGBT community; By Mark Whittington; Blasting News; 9/14/17)

The LGBTQ ungodly nuts are trying to same political muscle they used way back in 1973 to disqualify Jim Bridenstine in 2017. The Left-Wing Washington Post actually has a news story of those that are supportive of the Bridenstine nomination largely due to the fact his Congressional record demonstrated a huge support for NASA’s space exploration agenda with the addition of private capital cooperation:


Bridenstine’s nomination comes as NASA is increasingly relying on the private sector to perform tasks that were once the exclusive domain of the government. 

Now, under Trump, the growing private sector is looking to capitalize on its momentum and partner with NASA to go even farther — to the moon and deep space. And it regards Bridenstine as someone who would be good for business.

“NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said S. Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry group representing many space companies and start-ups.

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, representing many of the big legacy contractors, said it also welcomed the nomination, saying Bridenstine “has been an active and vocal advocate for space on Capitol Hill.”


NASA is poised to ask the private sector for proposals to develop a lunar lander that could take experiments and cargo to the surface of the moon, with flights starting as early as 2018. Bridenstine, who serves in the Navy Reserve, has advocated a return to the moon, writing in a blog post last year that “from the discovery of water ice on the moon until this day, the American objective should have been a permanent outpost of rovers and machines, with occasional manned missions for science and maintenance.”


In addition to backing work with younger, entrepreneurial firms, Bridenstine has also voiced his support for the traditional industrial base, made up of behemoths such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing. They want to ensure that programs such as the Space Launch System, the massive rocket being developed by NASA, and the Orion crew capsule continue


Mike Gold, the chairman of a commercial space advisory committee for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that Bridenstine would be able to unite the industry with “his support for a diverse array of activities such as deep-space exploration, private-sector partnerships, Earth science and technology development.” (Support builds for Bridenstine to lead NASA despite past skepticism on climate change; By Christian Davenport; WaPo; 9/11/17)

WaPo gravitates to the Left so it is unsurprising that the article continues by stating that in Congress Bridenstine was critical of Obama spending more on Climate Change than on weather forecasting.

The Senate will be involved in the confirmation hearings for Bridenstine. The Multiculturalist Dems in the Senate were extremely displeased that Bridenstine does not share the concerns of the immediacy of a doomed earth from constantly fudged statistics pointing toward Climate Change disasters.

Between Homosexual activists and Leftist Eco-Marxists, Bridenstine at the very least can be grilled by Leftist Senators about issues that have zero to do with the science of space exploration.

My fellow Okies, write, email or phone Senators Inhofe and Langford to make a stir about the real issues that Jim Bridenstine should be judged as a capable Administrator of NASA.

JRH 9/16/17