The War on Poverty, Part 1: Poverty Won

The US War on Poverty turned 50 this year. What have we learned?

As a young man in college, I was confronted with poverty during a six-week stay at an orphanage in Mexico City. This experience set the course of my life. It comprised a call to work to alleviate poverty in the “developing” world. Almost 50 years later my passion has not abated. In those years, I have discovered that some things create the conditions for people to escape poverty. Other things perpetuate or even exacerbate poverty. The latter include the “War on Poverty” in the US. In fact, the War on Poverty hasn’t merely failed; it has actually increased poverty.

When a government creates 126 agencies and spends $15 trillion (1.5 thousand billion dollars … some say $21.5 trillion) over a 50-year period fighting poverty, what outcome might we expect? Surely such an unsparing effort should eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, poverty in a nation!

Poverty levels haven’t changed since the War on Poverty started in 1964

But poverty levels are about the same as they were when President Lyndon Johnson declared his famous War on Poverty in 1964. The facts are undeniable, yet whole segments of the establishment leadership witness today’s continued poverty and conclude we need to spend more money.

President Obama, for example, wants to add $56 billion to the current $1 trillion in federal spending to help the poor. Jamelle Bouie, a staff writer for Slate, wrote, “By and large, the easiest solution is to mail larger checks to more people.” Bouie was responding to a proposal from Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget committee, to help poor families develop life skills to earn their way out of poverty.

Obviously, many people assume that money solves the problem of poverty. It does not. $15 trillion has not solved poverty because the root of the problem is not the lack of money.

On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson used his State of the Union address to announce an audacious government undertaking: to end poverty in the USA. Johnson stated, “This administration today, here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” His stated goal was, “…not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”

Johnson’s goal was noble indeed. He did not want to simply “relieve the symptom of poverty.” He did not want to put a band-aid on the problem. He wanted to attack the root of the problem, to “cure” poverty, and beyond that to assure that the conditions that created poverty would be destroyed. He wanted “to prevent it” from coming back.

Has the war on poverty succeeded … or failed?

Has the war on poverty been a success or failure? What do we have to show for the trillions of dollars and dozens of federal programs? Setting aside the goal of solving the problem at its root, have we even dealt with the symptoms of poverty?

Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and one of the nation’s leading experts on poverty issues, has written:

Fifty years later, we’re losing that war. Fifteen percent of Americans still live in poverty, according to the official census poverty report for 2012, unchanged since the mid-1960s. Liberals argue that we aren’t spending enough money on poverty-fighting programs, but that’s not the problem. In reality, we’re losing the war on poverty because we have forgotten the original goal, as LBJ stated it half a century ago: “to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities.”

The federal government currently runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans. . . . If converted to cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all official poverty in the U.S.

In terms of Johnson’s goal of moving people towards self-sufficiency, away from dependency on government largesse, the war on poverty has been a failure. As the graph below shows,1 self-sufficiency has declined as government funding has increased.

poverty rate in America

 

The graph pictures the unintended consequences in the war on poverty.

The intended outcomes are obvious: the more money spent to eliminate poverty the less poverty there would be. The actual result was the opposite: money spent and the growth of poverty track together. Those who have lost their dignity, become enslaved and dependent on the government are far more than those who have become free, independent producers of wealth.

The more money spent by the government on programs to help the poor, the more people have become dependent on government programs. The unintended consequences of the implementation of the war on poverty has left more families enslaved and fewer families self-sufficient and free.

Michael Tanner, a senior research fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, has written extensively on poverty. In the abstract for his 2012 research paper, The American Welfare State: How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty — and Fail, Tanner writes:

News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs. Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

Welfare spending increased significantly under President George W. Bush and has exploded under President Barack Obama. In fact, since President Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year. Despite this government largess, more than 46 million Americans continue to live in poverty. Despite nearly $15 trillion in total welfare spending since Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in 1964, the poverty rate is perilously close to where we began more than 40 years ago. 

This analysis is devastating.

  • Federal, state and local spending on welfare programs averages a trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) a year.
  • For every poor person the government spends $20,610 a year.
  • The amount of money spent in government “means-tested” programs is five times the amount needed to eliminate poverty in the US.
  • The outcome: 15% of Americans live in poverty, roughly the same percentage as before all that money was spent.

What is wrong with this picture? Tanner continues:

Clearly we are doing something wrong. Throwing money at the problem has neither reduced poverty nor made the poor self-sufficient. It is time to reevaluate our approach to fighting poverty. We should focus less on making poverty more comfortable and more on creating the prosperity that will get people out of poverty.

How do we define success in this matter? Some measure success by the amount of money spent. By this reckoning, surely the United States has been wildly successful. Perhaps no country in history has spent more on helping its poor citizens.

But such a definition of success is unhelpful. As Tanner points out, “Shouldn’t we judge the success of our efforts to end poverty not by how much charity we provide to the poor but by how few people need such charity?”

Yes. Success means fewer people on welfare, more people thriving in their God-given potential. By this metric, the war on poverty has been a dismal failure. Poverty has won in America.

– Darrow Miller

1http://dailysignal.com/2014/07/28/index-culture-opportunity

 

 

 

  
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Women Rebelling Against the Masculinization of Women

women are pushing back against feminism

In the world of women, something is stirring. Women are pushing back against modern feminism. Young women are engaging through social media to declare that they have no interest in the feminist movement. Many are using Tumblr.com (“a microblogging platform and social networking website”) to post pictures of themselves with handwritten signs expressing their anti-feminism rationale.

Some messages are unsophisticated: “I do not need feminism because my boyfriend treats me right.” Others address national/global issues: “Modern feminism in Western states looks pathetic when compared to misogynistic states, especially the Arab world. Women should not be fighting for superiority in the Western world; they should be fighting for equality where it is absent.”

For photos and messages see Women Against Feminism and Stop Fem-Splaining: What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right.

Why might any woman be against feminism?

Before we attempt to answer, it is important to distinguish three waves of feminism. The postmodern feminism now making inroads in the 21st century is the third wave. The well-established modern feminism of the second half of the 20th century is the second. (I’ll get to the first wave shortly.)

Modern feminism was led by four women: Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique (1963); Germaine Greer, an academic and author of The Female Eunuch (1970); Patricia Ireland, President of the National Organization of Women; and Gloria Steinem, one of the founders of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s.

This movement based its understanding of feminism on secular humanism (read atheism), a meta-narrative of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modern feminists centered life on self rather than others. Ironically, they promoted—subconsciously, no doubt—a male value system. They actually stood against a value system that supported the feminine and the female. Males were valued in their roles; females were not. To be equal to a man a woman must become like a man. Such thinking was evidenced in many ways (remember the 1997 action film, G.I. Jane?), but the ultimate marker was abortion. Why? Because, more than anything else, sex without consequences made females like males. Thus modern feminists were, and are, avidly pro-abortion.

Increasingly, the term “feminism” evokes the postmodern iteration of the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. This is third-wave feminism. It was driven by Michel Foucault, the French philosopher and social critic who wrote extensively on sexuality (including “queer theory”). Foucault promoted the idea that one’s sexuality and gender identity is a personal construct. He could be called the father of androgyny and established the foundations for postmodern sexuality.

If third-wave feminism prevails, one shudders to contemplate the outcome

Postmodern feminists deny any transcendent sexuality, obliterating even the biological reality of human sexual distinctive – male and female. Sexuality is a personal construct. This plays out in practical ways as the redefining of marriage, the gender-neutral toilet and laws allowing children to determine their sexual identity when they enter school.

In some jurisdictions, birth certificates are dropping “mother” and “father” in favor of “parent A” and “parent B.” Loosed from divine revelation and biological reality—both of which insist we are male and female—postmoderns construct their own identity out of fantasy. To elude the limitations of biology, Facebook has identified 51 separate gender options.

If third-wave feminism prevails, one shudders to contemplate the outcome. But, as mentioned at the beginning, something is stirring.

The truth is, many women are neither modern nor postmodern in their thinking. Perhaps a majority value female and feminine over the culture’s abandonment of the wonder and beauty of womanhood. Many women long to be valued in both their unique transcendence and sexuality.

Christian apologist, novelist, academic, and medievalist C. S. Lewis has written of the relationship between transcendent nature and human sexuality:

Gender is a reality and a more fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adoption to organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created beings … . The male and female of organic creatures are rather faint and blurred reflections of masculine and feminine ….

Psychologist Larry Crabb concurs with Lewis: “… a biblical view of masculinity and femininity reveals that gender isn’t moldable and plastic, but something hard-wired into each of us—something that goes beyond our bodies to our very souls.”

The sexual confusion of modern and postmodern culture is evidence that we have forgotten what the Bible teaches, and science recognizes: the form and function of living things reveal the purpose for which they were made.

They have revived first-wave feminism

Sexual confusion comes from separating creation from Creator, design from Designer. Thankfully, many women have not succumbed to sexual confusion. They have understood their design for the beautiful, vital, and fulfilling purpose of bearing and nurturing children. They want to shape the next generation of leaders in the society. These women celebrate feminine and female, marriage and motherhood.

Perhaps many of the “women against feminism” mentioned above are writing from this understanding. They consciously or intuitively understand their design, long to fulfill it, and have chosen to push back against a feminist culture that seeks to deny them a place in society.

In that sense, they are the true feminists. They have revived first-wave feminism, the domain of maternal feminists.

Yes, before postmodern feminists, before modern feminists, there were  first-wave feminists – maternal feminists. These pioneers were led by women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the Grimke sisters: Sarah and Angelina.

Maternal feminists lived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They functioned from a biblical worldview. Rather than fixating on their own narrow self-interests, they attended to the needs of others, especially their children and families, but also the larger community. First-wave feminists valued women (and men) in both their humanity and glorious function. They fought against the male value system and power structure rather than capitulating to it and joining it as second-wave feminists did.

One of the champions of maternal feminism was the American poet, hymn writer, and women’s activist Lydia Sigourney. In her popular book, Letters to Young Ladies, she writes of the sheer importance of the reign of women and mothers over their households:

For as surely as the safety and prosperity of a nation depend on the virtue of its people, they, who reign in the retreats where man turns for his comfort, who have power over the machinery which stamps on the infant mind its character of good or evil, are responsible, to a fearful extent, for that safety and prosperity.[1]

As the first champions of feminism, maternal feminists recognized that the maternal reign over a healthy home was fundamental to a healthy and flourishing society. Women were made for a purpose: to nurture, to protect, to show compassion. These virtues, and the particular feminine leadership traits they create in the women who practice them, are absolute necessities for flourishing families, communities, and nations. Where these virtues are lacking or not appreciated in a society, women suffer. Men suffer. Families and nations suffer. (For  more on this subject see my book Nurturing Nations. Go here for reviews.)

Perhaps this explains the movement of women against feminism.

–          Darrow Miller

 

[1] Sigourney pg. 77

 

 

 

  
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Is the Culture War All About Sex?

culture war all about sex

“The culture war isn’t really about culture, and it never has been. It’s about sex.”

That’s Damon Linker’s provocative claim in his article, “What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex.”

Linker’s statement caught my attention. My initial reaction was Yes! But on thinking further I thought No! And finally I decided, Yes and No!

No, the culture war is not about sex. It is about conflicting belief systems that lead to what Samuel P. Huntington called the “clash of civilizations.” And, of course, belief systems define all of life, including our sexuality. In the West today the clash is between Judeo-Christianity and post-Christian culture.

On the other hand, yes, the culture war is about sex. The heat in the culture war is generated by issues of sex. This war is not merely a clash of civilizations; it is a clash of behaviors that, at their most basic level, are about sex. Differing belief systems will see the nature and role of sexuality in radically different and mostly incompatible ways. This distinction could be simply described as a “hook-up” culture vs. a culture of glorious intimacy.

I have repeatedly said that no one embraces atheism for metaphysical reasons: they don’t decide in some impassive, philosophical fashion to deny God’s existence. God has clearly revealed himself in what he has made. The universe is so precise that the slightest variance in any number of areas would mean that life could not exist. The cosmology of the universe is evidence enough of the existence of the Creator. There are no grounds for people to reject God from lack of evidence. People are atheists because of sex! They want to be able to engage in sex as if they were merely animals, without moral constraint.

The culture war is ultimately driven by sacred belief systems—worldviews. Today, three major worldviews compete for adherents: Judeo-Christian Theism, Pagan Humanism and Pagan Animism. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:18-24,

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [Judeo-Christian Theism], so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being [Pagan Humanism] and birds and animals and reptiles [Pagan Animism].

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

Note the significant behavioral consequence for suppressing the truth. The worship of man (Modernism) and the worship of nature (Neo-Paganism) are reflected in our sexuality. Judeo-Christian theism leads to a culture of life the other two lead to a culture of death. One presents a transcendent beauty of sexuality. The other leads to dehumanized and debased sexuality—a hook-up culture and date rape—and millions of aborted children.

Professor Harvey Mansfield of Harvard University published a cogent and well-written piece, “Feminism and Its Discontents: ‘Rape Culture’ at Harvard.” Mansfield describes the competing concepts of sexuality in terms of “modesty” vs. “good sex.”

Modesty is related to one’s character and is derived from the Judeo-Christian framework where human beings are imago Dei and our sexual identity of male and female is derived from the transcendent masculine and feminine. Our understanding of sexuality in the physical realm flows from the larger and splendid vision of love, family formation, and cultural creation.

Believe or not, the virtue of modesty, not much in vogue these days, was at one time the hallmark of feminists! Because feminism, in its first iteration, meant something very different from what it means today.

A first-wave feminist, Lydia Sigourney wrote much on modesty. She saw, as we seldom see today, the transcendent nature of feminine, and the need to cultivate that nature. She understood the importance of inward adornment and not merely outward adornment. She writes:

She who contemplates her own image too constantly, will be less disposed for higher subjects of thought. Neatness, comfort, and a becoming costume, are objects worthy of attention. But a profusion of ornament, is neither necessary nor graceful to the young. There is a beauty in their own fair season of life, and in the sweet and happy temperament which ought to accompany it, that strikes more strongly on the heart, than “gold or pearls, or costly array.” A showy style of dress, is peculiarly inappropriate to those who are pursuing their education. It indicates that something besides study, has taken possession of the heart.[1]

Note that modesty is an internal character, a virtue based on transcendent nature. Modesty lived out manifests itself in external fashion and behavior. Sigourney contrasts the virtue of modesty with mere external adornment. The former has gravitas, and reveals character and nature. The latter is insubstantial, revealing a very different nature.

In previous generations women were expected to be modest. They were to protect themselves and their lovely sex by their modest behavior. Men were to respect women and look out for their interests. Men were expected to be gentlemen. Do not the words modesty and gentlemanliness sound strange to the ears of our generation?

Today, too many males are bereft of these values and disciplines. They function as brutes, more like animals than like gentlemen. Some women are known as “bad girls” because they are available and easy. Women are too often seen as objects to be conquered and men as the conquerors.

Mansfield’s term “good sex” is derived from one of the pagan cultures in which there is no transcendence; human beings are merely animals who do what feels good. “Good sex” has nothing to do with character and everything to do with techniques. It has nothing to do with transcendent vision and everything to do with what C.S. Lewis called “four legs in a bed.” It has nothing to do with a whole life, family, and community; it has everything to do with narcissism and instant gratification. It has little to do with living for others and everything to do with living for self. It has nothing to do with monogamous fidelity and everything to do with pleasure by all means and at all cost.

It was the Western adaptation of the secular worldview that birthed radical feminism and changed sexuality from modesty to “good sex.” In the secular worldview, there is no transcendence and thus no transcendent nature. Men and women are equal and therefore the same. Sex is 24/7 without consequences. Instead of men being called to a higher standard of virtue, restraint, and gentlemanliness, women were enticed to the lower, brutish standard of unprincipled men.

We have entered the world of the hook-up culture. Men and women often “dress to kill,” get raging drunk, hook-up and walk away. The chorus from The Bloodhound Gang’s song, the “Bad Touch,” says it all:

You and me baby we ain’t nothin’ but mammals

So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Do it again now

You and me baby we ain’t nothin’ but mammals

So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Gettin’ horny now[2]

The modern world sees the loss of sexual restraint as progress; it is, in fact, regression.

It was Judeo-Christianity that broke the pack of pagan culture and the debased sexuality derived from that culture.

The Jews were, to use Dennis Prager’s term, sexual deviants: they deviated from the anarchy of pagan sexuality and began to restore the Creation Order. God’s view of human sexuality is high and beautiful. The Song of Songs in the Hebrew Old Testament is one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry about sexuality ever written, and has a  civilizing effect on society.

After the death and resurrection of Christ, the triumph of Christianity over the pagan Roman culture brought a higher vision and standard of sexuality. The sacredness of marriage and sexuality led to a growing respect for women, civilizing of the human, and ultimately of whole societies. Think of the uncivilized treatment throughout the world today: sex trafficking, female infanticide, gendercide, female genital mutilation, honor killing, etc.

Now we have the return of pagan culture. First, modernism brought us a pagan humanism (the worship of man) and now more recently we see post-modernism’s pagan animism (the worship of nature). The effect of this two-phase pagan revival has been the erosion of sexuality to its current low point: date rape and casual hook-ups.

As I have argued elsewhere, the goal of the second-wave feminists of the latter half of the 20th century was to be like men. The way to be most like a man is to be un-pregnant. The ideal: to be available for sex 24/7 and simply walk away. This has led to the contraception culture we know today. Third-wave feminism, derived from post-modern culture, sees male and female as social constructs. There is no fixed identity, even in our biological sexuality. Thus as we enter the 21st century, all bets are off as to the survivability of the family and civilization as we have known it since the beginning of human history.

– Darrow Miller

 

[1] Sigourney pg. 104

[2] http://artists.letssingit.com/bloodhound-gang-lyrics-the-bad-touch-d88dkkm#ixzz3AaNl7pCv

 

 

  
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A Human That Doesn’t Thrive is Like a Fruit Tree That Doesn’t Bear

human not flourishing like butterfly that can't flyImagine a butterfly with beautiful wings that couldn’t fly. A whale unable to dive. An otter that never learned to swim. In each, something important is missing, something related to the Designer’s intent.

If an orchard keeper finds an apple tree that looks beautiful but doesn’t bear fruit, he cuts it down! In fact, Jesus told a parable about that very scenario.

A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’  And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9 ESV)

A fruit tree is made to bear fruit. When no fruit appears, the tree is useless. But an apple tree bearing fruit is a thing of beauty.

In his wonderful book, The Evidential Power of Beauty, Thomas Dubay elaborates on this.

Form is the deep root of a being’s actuality, which gives it its basic whatness. It is the actualizing principle of a thing, the mysterious taproot that makes that thing to be what it is, and thus why it is different from every other kind of being. The inner form (not first of all an outer shape) of a palm tree makes it different from an oak, a corn stalk, indeed, a squirrel—even though all are made of atoms.[1]

This is another way to say that any created thing flourishes according to its inherent nature and design. As Dubay says, “The splendor of a duck is limited to ‘duckness’ and that of an oak tree to ‘oakness.’”[2]

For something to flourish, it must function in accordance with its nature and design.

Naturally, the principle extends to the human race. If a human being is to flourish, he or she must discover the design with which the Creator formed the human, and pursue the purpose for which the Creator made the human. We are not here as accidents of long eons of evolution. We are not merely animals or super consumers. The human was made in the image of God. Our lives have meaning, our choices matter. Wisdom teaches us to function according to the Creator’s purpose.

Many people never learn to do this. As a result, their lives are marked by folly, never fulfilling their incredible God-given potential. In addition, their circle of friends and family miss the blessing of their flourishing. I (Darrow) know a very gifted painter who, for some hidden reason, has not painted for twenty years. I think of how many people have missed the joy of seeing all the paintings this person has not painted, and the pleasure God has missed in seeing this person not fulfilling all the potential of their gifting.

Wisdom is pictured in the blessing of humans—as well as butterflies, whales, and otters—functioning as God intended.

- From a forthcoming book by Darrow Miller and Gary Brumbelow.

[1] Thomas Dubay, The Evidential Power of Beauty (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999), 50.

[2] Ibid, 43.

  
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Post-Christian Tolerance Dismissed the Rape of 1,400 English Girls

Muslim rape was covered upWhen she was twelve years old, Lucy, a British school girl, was gang raped by nine men in their 20s. During the ordeal the men “stood over her, cheering and jeering, and blinding her with the flash of their cameras.”

It gets worse. This was not an isolated crime, but a pattern in the northern England city of Rotherham. From 1997-2013, some 1,400 (mostly) white girls, as young as 11 years old, were raped, gang raped, trafficked to other cities and/or sold.

It gets even worse than that. Police and city officials knew about these crimes and equivocated. For 13 years city officials enabled the abuse of the very citizens whose health and safety were their responsibility. Why? Because the perpetrators were Asian Muslims.

Now the truth has finally been revealed by Alexis Jay, Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and past Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government. In a devastating report on child abuse in Rotherham, Jay writes: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”

In addition to being raped and gang raped, girls were “groomed” for trafficking to other cities. Lucy’s story has now been told:

It started on the bumper cars in the children’s arcade of the local shopping mall. Lucy was 12, and a group of teenage boys, handsome and flirtatious, treated her and her friends to free rides and ice cream.

Over time, older men were introduced to them. One man in particular, a Pakistani twice her age, flattered her and bought her drinks and even a mobile phone. Lucy liked him.

The rapes started gradually, once a week, then every day: by the war memorial in Clifton Park, in an alley near the bus station, in countless taxis and, once, in an apartment where she was locked naked in a room and had to service half a dozen men lined up outside.

She obliged. How could she not? They knew where she lived. “If you don’t come back, we will rape your mother and make you watch,” they would say.

Jay’s report summarizes the pattern of “grooming” young women for abuse:

… a period of courting with young men in public places like town centers, bus stations or shopping malls; the gradual introduction of cigarettes, alcohol and sometimes harder drugs; a sexual relationship with one man, who becomes the “boyfriend” and later demands that the girl prove her love by having sex with his friends; then the threats, blackmail and violence that have deterred so many girls from coming forward.

Many of the girls were kept silent by threats. Professor Jay: “There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

Five Rotherham men are now in jail, with ongoing investigations into other possible perpetrators. In other British cities nine Muslim men with Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan background are in prison after the abuse of 47 girls.

I became aware of this horrible abuse when a friend sent me a link to the transcription of a National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast. As I read, like many others, I was shocked. Both the crimes and the scope of the cover-up were stunning. I kept asking myself, “Who were the perpetrators?” Not until well into the article were they identified as Pakistani. NPR never did classify them as Muslims.

In one article the men were labeled pedophiles, in another Asians. Why the refusal to expose their Muslim identity? Fear? Is the lack of transparency a result of multi-culturalism? Perhaps these publishers had the same fear that motivated the police and Rotherham City Council to stall the investigation: fear of being called Islamophobic or culturally insensitive. Consider what this political correctness cost in suffering, pain and life-long scarring in thousands of precious girls and their families. It was the arrogance of the multi-culturalist that covered up this atrocity.

 

Multiple rape cases went uninvestigated for 13 years

Jay’s report detailed that local authorities received accusations for years but had ignored, denied, or failed to pursue them. They walked on egg shells so as not to offend religious or ethnic minorities.

The South Yorkshire Police that had jurisdiction over the incidences used a variety of mechanisms to avoid engagement in these cases. Often they dismissed charges by claiming the sex had been consensual. One researcher was silenced when trying to expose the pattern to the police. Often police would not respond for 24 hours to frantic calls from parents. They suppressed and ignored evidence. Some parents were fined for “wasting police time.” Police arrested some fathers, who in frustration of police inaction, tried to track down their own daughters.

Jay’s report cited the attitude of some civic officials: “Some [Rotherham city] councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away. Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

Before Professor Jay’s report saw the light of day, three other accounts were suppressed by the authorities. One whistleblower was told, “You must never refer to that again, you must never refer to Asian men” and then assigned to a two-day “ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues.” She went on to add, “I was subjected to the most intense personal hostility. There were threats made from a range of sources. … I still feel extremely angry about that.”

This is collective failure, malfeasance even, on the part of the city leaders.

Why was the truth suppressed? Because of the modern virtue of tolerance! Moral relativism leads to cultural relativism. The climate of political correctness means that anyone who exposes such abuses could be labeled racist and Islamophobic. And so this spiral of silence allowed the police and city council members to evade responsibility.

Rape played down by media outlets

In the meantime, NPR and other media outlets played down the Muslim connection. They did not want to be accused of racism and Islamophobia so they remained silent as to the reality.

How did we get to such a level of denial and civic incompetence and multicultural blindness? It began when Europe and the USA abandoned their historic roots in Judeo-Christian faith. That desertion began the slow death of objective truth, moral clarity, and beauty. In their place has risen moral and cultural relativism. What we are witnessing, as exampled by the events in England, is political correctness run amuck.

We see a potent mixture of Islam’s animus towards women and the West’s failure to respond because of moral and cultural relativism. This creates a perfect storm for the abuse of young girls over long periods of time. How many millions of young women around the world suffer because of this witches’ brew? The silence of the West, especially western feminists, at the plight of women in the Muslim world (and Hindu and animistic worlds) is deafening. Do feminists only care for certain women? Do they not care for women born into poor or middle-class homes? Do they not care for the plight of hundreds of millions of females in the developing world?

Europe and the United States abandoned the Judeo-Christian foundations of Western legal structures. That vacuum gave rise to cultural relativism and now another sinister framework is advancing as well. Sharia law is gaining acceptance in more and more Western communities. The atheist elites of the Western world control the boundaries of discourse in Western societies. While they seek to silence people of biblical faith, they are empowering the Muslim community by creating a space in Western societies for sharia law.

There’s a powerful irony: the tyranny of Islam’s sharia law is at the opposite end of the spectrum from cultural relativism. It seeks to destroy pluralistic societies, replacing them with rigid male-dominated societies. The cultural relativism of the West is providing an opening for sharia law. That same sharia will eventually destroy the societies led by those elites who promote tolerance and multiculturalism.

Under Western legal tradition the British girls would be protected by the community and its leaders against the kind of abuse they suffered. Or, if abused, they would have had an avenue for redress. Under sharia law, they have no protections and little-to-no opportunity for redress.

Dennis Prager wrote about this story in his Town Hall article, 1,400 English Girls Raped by Multiculturalism:

So why did the judge “question whether it was a cultural problem”?

Because morally judging cultures (except Christian, Israeli and American cultures) is forbidden by the left. Indeed not judging non-Western cultures is the very definition of “multiculturalism.”

And finally, from the same report: Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim organization the Ramadhan Foundation, “to suggest that this is somehow ingrained in the community is deeply offensive.”

“Offensive?” But what, Mr. Shafiq, if it’s true?

The answer is clear and important. For the multicultural left and the victim-status groups it defends — and for the millions of young people the Left has indoctrinated at schools and universities — whether something is true is not what matters. What matters is whether it can be deemed offensive by the left.

If truth were the coin of the realm this would have been exposed and dealt with years ago. But because in post-Christian culture the coin of the realm is tolerance, this evil was sustained for over a decade in Rotherham, and has existed for generations in Moslem, Hindu, Confucian, and Animistic societies around the world.

We live in a time of no-fault car insurance and no-fault divorce. Now we have no-fault culture. Cultural relativism means no one may make a judgment on culture and no one is at fault for cultural consequences. No one needs to connect the dots between a culture, its behaviors, and the consequences of those behaviors. An irresponsible press remains silent about the religious/ethnic background of the perpetrators. In fact, why even call them crimes? An irresponsible police department and an irresponsible city council ignore the reality of rape and brutality of young girls. All this out of the fear of being called racist and Islamophobic.

The Quran endorses polygyny and the right of husbands to beat their wives. It sanctions Muslim rape of non-Muslim women and selling the same as brides to Muslim men. Too often Islamic culture institutionalizes misogyny and vicious sexism. The prophet Muhammad modeled such behavior: to his existing trove of wives, he added six-year-old Aisha and consummated the marriage when she was 10 and he was 53!

At least 1,400 young British girls have been brutalized and will carry physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives. Millions of girls and women around the world are suffering pain and violence because of no-fault culture.

What folly that such atrocities could be covered up in the name of tolerance. Surely such a trail of folly cannot indefinitely continue. Will we wake up, or will we walk off into an abyss from which no society can return?

What real price are we willing to pay for the illusion of multi-culturalism’s no-fault culture?

  • Darrow Miller
  
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Enslaved to Our Screens

Last week, I read an article and was sent a link to a YouTube video, both of which addressed the same problem. Both are prophetic statements about the times we live in.

The article (“The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy and What We Can Do About It” by Kenneth Berding) appeared in Biola Magazine. Here’s the pertinent part:

In 1986, Neil Postman published an influential cultural essay titled “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” He argued that personal freedoms would disappear not when totalitarian government imposed oppression from the outside (like George Orwell pictured in his book 1984), but rather when people came “to love their oppression, to adore technologies that undo their capacities to think” (like Aldous Huxley depicted in Brave New World). Postman wrote:

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture…”

As Huxley noted in a later book (mentioned by Postman), we have “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distraction.”

Here’s the video.

What can you do today, or this week, to push back against the cultural tyranny of the multiple screens in your life?

– Scott Allen

  
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Bestiality: the Logical Extension of Evolutionism

As Dr. Ben Carson recently implied, bestiality is on a spectrum with homosexuality. Why? Because both are the natural fruit of evolutionism.

Peter Singer approves of bestiality

“Singer1″ by Bbsrock – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons

Australian moral philosopher and Princeton Bioethicist Dr. Peter Singer fully understands the implications of evolutionary ideology. Because evolution has replaced the biblical worldview in the West, human life is no longer considered sacred and sexuality has no boundaries. These two notions are apparent in Singer’s work.

First, the “whole cloth” of evolutionary biology leads Singer to extrapolate, in the area of human life:

Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons; therefore, the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.[1]

At one time, our society regarded human beings as creatures made in the image of God. That view gave intrinsic worth to the unborn and the elderly, the well and the infirm, the productive and those unable to be productive. This understanding is no longer the foundation of society. According to the new standard it is “self-awareness” that gives human beings significance. When does self-awareness begin? Sometime between one and three years of age! By this standard, evolutionary biology establishes “moral” justification for infanticide. The abortion cycle is thus extended, no longer restricted to the first trimester of pregnancy, or the second, or third. Now, in the culture of death, children in the “fourth trimester”—fully born—are fair game.

At the other end of life, the logic leads to euthanasia. What of the years between birth and natural death? How does the rationale of evolutionary biology play out there? Hitler took it to its logical end in the extermination camps, eliminating any “life that was not worthy of life.” This is the reasoning of evolutionary ideology. The whole cloth of the Darwinian belief system produces unspeakable behaviors and consequences for human life.

Why is there so much heat over issues of life? Because abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia are all policies and procedures cut from the whole cloth of atheism. It is this system that rids the universe of a moral framework and thus allows human beings to live as they choose without moral constraints. “No one is going to tell me what to do!” “If it feels good, do it!” It is a system that justifies lifestyles of nihilism and license.

Second, the same system that redefines human life also redefines marriage and human sexuality. Singer applies the same thinking to promote bestiality. In 2001 he wrote a piece titled “Heavy Petting”for Nerve, an online magazine on “sex, relationships, and pop culture.” In it he argues that humans are sexual beings, whose sexual experience is most closely related to their mammal cousins with similar sexual equipment. He begins by arguing that it was Judeo-Christian theology that separated us from the animals.

The existence of sexual contact between humans and animals, and the potency of the taboo against it, displays the ambivalence of our relationship with animals. On the one hand, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition — less so in the East — we have always seen ourselves as distinct from animals, and imagined that a wide, unbridgeable gulf separates us from them. Humans alone are made in the image of God. Only human beings have an immortal soul. In Genesis, God gives humans dominion over the animals.

With the modern abandonment of the Judeo-Christian worldview in exchange for the Darwinian worldview, the distinction between man and animals disappears. After all, human beings are only animals, related to our nearest cousins, the chimpanzees, and through them to the rest of the mammal world.

Singer continues his argument for the logic of bestiality: On the other hand there are many ways in which we cannot help behaving just as animals do — or mammals, anyway — and sex is one of the most obvious ones.” He further argues that human animals are sexually equipped the same way other mammals are equipped, thus there is no reason not to engage sexually with animals.

With the prohibition against bestiality removed by the abandonment of the Judeo-Christian morality and metaphysic, there is nothing to prevent the broad implications of evolutionary biology from playing out. We are only animals. So “just do it” like animals and with animals.

If the biological evolutionists are correct, there is no prohibition against any form of “human sexuality” be it heterosexual, homosexual, adult-child, or human-beast. To push back, as Dr. Carson did, is to violate polite speech, to exhibit a “hateful” attitude. But the thought police in politically correct Western society are wrong. From creation, the line is clearly drawn. On the one hand is natural marriage as the framework for the expression of human sexuality. All other conceptualizations of human sexuality lie on the other side of that line.

In the modern world, sexual freedom is rapidly replacing religious freedom as the cause to celebrate. In fact it is religious freedom, established by the Judeo-Christian worldview and its moral code, which is seen as the enemy of sexual freedom. For sexual freedom (read license) to increase, religious freedom must be jettisoned.

This is why Dr. Carson received such swift and through condemnation. His association of bestiality with homosexuality and pedophilia could not be allowed.

Ben Carson connected the dots. He is right in his analysis and statement. But the modern world does not want to connect the dots, at least not all at once. The nature of sexual “freedom” – license, derived as it is from the Darwinian metaphysic, will lead inevitably from homosexuality to pedophilia to bestiality.

Moderns want to connect the dots in their own timing, allowing the momentum for sexual license to build. They do not want to scare off the general public with the exposure of the logical consequences of their ideology. First it was sex outside marriage. Then homosexuality. Now we are sliding to pedophilia. Joining Peter Singer is Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of the popular book The God Delusion. Dawkins speaks without condemnation of what he calls “mild pedophilia.”

The logical consequences inevitably arrive at the legitimacy of bestiality as merely some other form of “human sexuality.”

As Christians we must wake up. We must be people, who, like Ben Carson, connect the dots. We need to speak prophetically to these growing trends fueled by the ideology of evolution. Nancy Pearcey, in her remarkable book, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, writes:

In other words, Darwinists are connecting all the dots, tracing everything back to origins. And that is why Christians had better connect the dots as well. If they offer “universal Darwinism,” then we had better offer “universal Design,” showing that design theory gives scientific support for an all-encompassing Christian worldview.[2]

With which will the West be finally dressed: the whole cloth of Darwinism or the whole cloth of Design? Will we continue to celebrate religious freedom or slide into the logical, unthinkable “freedom” of uninhibited sexual practices?

Ordinary people will make this choice. We must be people who connect the dots.

–          Darrow Miller

[1] Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 1st ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 122–23

[2] Pearcey pg. 216 (author’s original emphasis)

  
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Leaders of Muslims Condemn ISIS Tactics

Muslims cresent moon star symbolThe world has witnessed Muslims celebrating Islamist attacks on the World Trade Center and other Western sites. Muslims have remained silent while Christians in Islamic countries have been slaughtered. They have protested as Israel defended herself against Hamas attacks. They have quietly accepted Muslim-on-Muslim violence: since 1948, ten million Muslims have been killed by Muslims.

I have often wondered, “Where are the moderate Muslims who long to raise their children in a stable and peaceful world? Where is their condemnation of such wanton violence?”

Of course there are secular Muslims, people born into Muslim families who have rejected Islam and embraced secularism, and these often speak out against the violence. But protests from religious Muslims have been few. One exception is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix, Arizona, medical doctor born in Syria. Dr Jasser is a devout, “reformed” Muslim. He has boldly spoken out against the Islamist movement.

In 2003, Dr. Jasser, along with a small group of other American Muslims, formed the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to advocate for the separation of mosque and state. Kudos to Dr. Jasser. But in Muslim communities around the world, leadership condemning the violence and tactics of the jihadist movement has been, from my observation, sadly lacking.

However, recently a friend drew my attention to an article, “World’s Top Muslim Leaders Condemn Attacks on Iraqi Christians.” The article was written by Matthew Willingham, Communication Director of the Preemptive Love Coalition.

Two of the leading voices in the Muslim world denounced the persecution of Christians in Iraq at the hands of extremists proclaiming a caliphate under the name Islamic State.

The most explicit condemnation came from Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the group representing 57 countries, and 1.4 billion Muslims. In a statement, he officially denounced the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” of Christians, calling it a “crime that cannot be tolerated.”

The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith, and coexistence.”

Go here to read the entire article.

Will Muslims begin to publicly challenge the jihadist narrative?

This condemnation by some of the world’s foremost Muslim leaders is not insignificant. Whether it becomes historic only time will tell. Will grassroots Muslim leaders begin to speak out against the violence? Will Muslims begin to publicly challenge the jihadist narrative and speak out against radical Muslim clerics? Will the global Muslim leaders develop communications strategies to condemn the Islamists and pressure those Muslim governments and individuals who are financing the Islamists movement?

Here’s another question: Why has the mainstream media ignored this hopeful, possibly historic event? The story was published by the little-known Preemptive Love Coalition, a small non-profit working in Iraq to bring lifesaving heart surgery to children. Thank you, Preemptive Love Coalition, for informing us about this declaration by global Muslim leaders.

Christians are seeking to reach Muslims with the gospel, and that’s good. Here’s another needed outreach strategy: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, (Romans 12:18 NIV). Christians need to build bridges to moderate Muslims who want to live in peace in a pluralistic society.

We saw Christians and Muslims standing together three years ago when young Egyptians who longed to live free demonstrated in Cairo. At the 2011 Tahrir Square protests it was encouraging to see Christians and Muslims joining together to make common cause for freedom in Egypt.

The same context gave rise to one of the most moving scenes I have ever viewed. The video below shows Dr. Maurice Sameh, Pastor of Qasr El Dobara Church in Tahrir Square, the largest evangelical church in Egypt and the Middle East, welcoming a friend, Imam Mazhar Shaheen, from Azhar Mosque in Cairo, to a Christmas Day celebration in 2012. Watch this incredible scene and be prepared to be moved to tears by this moment of Shalom.

Let’s pray for Shalom peace to come to the troubled Middle East and North Africa. Let’s work towards securing that peace as we have opportunities to engage with Muslims and Arabs in our own communities.

–          Darrow Miller

  
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Is Bestiality the Next Sexual Frontier?

Could Ben Carson be right about bestiality?

Ben Carson mentioned bestiality

“Ben Carson, MD” by V. Aceveda, U.S. Air Force – National Institute of Standards and Technology

Dr. Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital, was the first to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. Celebrated and brilliant, he is an outspoken critic of the political correctness which has eroded free speech in the United States. Recently, his fearlessness may have been somewhat tempered by the uproar of the nation’s political elite. They chastised him for linking homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality. On the popular television show Hannity, Carson said the following in defense of natural marriage:

Marriage is between a man and a woman, it’s a well established fundamental pillar of society …. And no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition, so it’s not something that’s against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society–it has significant ramifications.

The uproar from the LGBT community and their allies was swift and severe. Dr. Carson was forced to cancel the commencement address he was scheduled to make at Johns Hopkins University. Student and faculty pressure was overwhelming. He apologized for any offense his words brought, but seems to be standing by his basic opposition to those groups who are seeking to redefine the nature of human sexuality and marriage.

Whether or not you agree with Carson’s word choice, consider the heart of his assertion. It’s well founded.

Evolutionary science is not simply science, it is an ideology, a comprehensive worldview. We learn the science of evolution in biology classes, but few acknowledge that evolution is a dogma, a belief system that affects every area of life.

Dr. Randy Thornhill is one exception. This biology professor at the University of New Mexico has boldly stated what few have being willing to concede: “Every feature of every living thing, including human beings, has an underlying evolutionary background. That’s not a debatable matter.”[1] Thornhill’s view goes beyond the evolution-as-accepted-science position. He says the “fact” of evolution implies that everything has its own evolutionary story. History is explained by evolution. So, too, are psychology, sociology, and humanities … and every other field of study. Evolutionism defines our understanding of human life and sexuality.

The science is not debatable, Thornhill claims. Why is that? Because the belief system is assumed to be true.

Philosopher of Science Dr. Michael Ruse has said just that. He admits that evolution is not merely a science, but a religion that seeks to replace the Judeo-Christian worldview that created Western civilization. Evolution as a belief system is destroying the Western world. It is eroding the hope that Judeo-Christian theism offers humankind. Ruse writes,

Evolution came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity…. [It] is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion – a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality.[2]

Yes, evolution is not merely science; it is a religion, a moral and metaphysical framework that infects all of life. Thus, there is a logic to naturalistic philosophy that impacts our understanding of sexuality.

This logic includes:

–          We are merely animals.

–          Sex is simply physical, at its root a biological urge.

–          The end is a hook-up culture, sex as entertainment, recreation. The “one-night stand” has degenerated further; now it’s “hook up and walk away.”

–          Sexual lawlessness prevails.

Naturalism is a denial of our humanity and our transcendent sexual nature, the feminine and the masculine. There are not and cannot be any moral or metaphysical limitations on our sexuality. There is no priority given to conventional, lifelong commitment of marriage between a man and a woman.

This is the reason that atheism is so hotly and passionately defended. It allows people to define their own sexual terms and to have sex without moral boundaries. In fact, I believe atheists embrace atheism for moral rather than metaphysical reasons. Without a moral universe, there are no boundaries on sexual behavior.

–          Darrow Miller

[1] http://www.worldmag.com/2000/03/darwin_s_dirty_secret

[2] As quoted by Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, pg 172

 

 

  
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What Gaza Could Be But for Hamas

Exactly what is Hamas’ vision for Gaza? Is it the same as the vision of the Palestinian people who call Gaza home?

Here’s an observation rarely noted in all the back-and-forth about the Hamas-Israel conflict: as (part of) the land of the Palestinians, Gaza abounds with potential for development.

If only the goal of Hamas were the building of a prosperous nation rather than the elimination of Israel.

The potential for development in Gaza is immense

While Gaza is a small belt of land, its potential is immense. Of course Gaza is one part of the larger Palestinian homeland. But let’s contrast the state of development in the Gaza strip with the development of another small nation, one with fewer natural resources than Gaza.

Many people argue that one of Gaza’s major problems is population density: her 1,428,757 people share 147 square miles of land. That’s 9,719 people per square mile.

But another small country with  twice the population density and none of the natural resources is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Singapore’s 4,492,150 people are crowded onto 241 square miles of Pacific island, a population density of 18,645 people per square mile. Singapore has the second highest population density in the world!

There’s more: 50 years ago Singapore was one of the poorest countries in Asia. You could think of Singapore then as the Gaza of Asia. Yet today it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. (For more of the Singapore story, go here.)

Gaza’s economic potential is tremendous. Her people are capable. They have shown great ingenuity. Gaza has reserves of both oil and natural gas, while Singapore has virtually no natural resources. Yet Singapore’s per capita GDP in 2013 was $55,182 (ahead of both the USA at $53,143 and Israel at $36,161). In Gaza, the current annual per capita GDP is $1,600.

When Israel pulled out of the Gaza strip in 2005, it left the people of Gaza with agricultural and other infrastructure. International aid and good will from around the world began to pour in.

Gaza has wonderful Mediterranean coastline

“Sea view from Al Deira hotel, Gaza” by Marius Arnesen

This largesse left Hamas with a decision to make. They could lead in building a new nation or work to destroy another nation. The entrepreneurial Palestinians could have taken the infrastructure left by the Israelis … plus their oil and natural gas … plus their farm land … plus their beautiful Mediterranean coast and built a thriving Palestine. Consider, for example, the potential tourism.

Tragically, Hamas chose instead to apply its foreign aid to the furtherance of its charter: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” In the process, it destroyed the infrastructure left by the Israelis. It diverted the international aid intended for development to preparing for war with Israel. Cement and reinforcing steel meant to build houses and hospitals was used instead to build tunnels to invade Israel. It is estimated that the 32 tunnels discovered so far cost about $2 M each. That is $64 M not used to help the Palestinian people. Monies that could be used to build infrastructure and provide capital for business was diverted to build or buy 10,000 missiles.

Our hearts ache for the Palestinians in Gaza

Our hearts should ache for the plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Their suffering is beyond imagination. But they suffer because their leaders are more concerned with destroying Israel than with building their nation. They are more interested in building tunnels to invade Israel than meeting the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.

Dennis Ross, counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote:

At some point, Hamas will stop firing rockets — if for no other reason than its arsenal is depleted. For the people of Gaza, however, the price has been staggering. But Hamas’s leaders have never been concerned about that. For them, Palestinians’ pain and suffering are tools to exploit, not conditions to end.

While the Palestinians have suffered greatly in this latest war, they played a consenting role. They elected Hamas leaders, and they tolerated Hamas villainies. Palestinians had to see what was happening all around them. Many must have known that hospitals, schools, and mosques were being used as storage depots for missiles and mortars, as command centers for the military wing of Hamas, and as tunnel entrances for the invasion of Israel. The people’s silence may imply support for the Hamas tactics. Or perhaps they fear what Hamas might do to them if they protested.

The people of Gaza have a choice: they can live free and create a beautiful and thriving nation on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, or they can follow Hamas and live in fear, poverty, and slavery. Freedom for the Palestinian people must begin in their hearts before it is established in their circumstances.

–          Darrow Miller

NOTE: We rarely solicit funds at Darrow Miller and Friends. However, if you have been moved by the plight of ethnic cleansing among Christians and Yezidis in Northern Iraq, and want a way to help, here are a couple of worthy avenues. My friends, Dr. George Grant and Dave Dillard, have been working in northern Iraq for some 15 years and have contacts with the church in Kurdistan. If you would like to help, see the links below. These will provide you, or your church, a way to get resources to those who are suffering. Please pass this information on to your friends. And please pray.

George Grant’s Fund for Kurdistan

Dave Dillard’s (founder of Servant Group International) Fund

 

 

  
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