Last summer, I posted about the Restoring Unity event held in Birmingham, Alabama in August. At that time, it was announced by conservative commentator Glenn Beck that the humanitarian division of his company Mercury One would begin raising funds to evacuate thousands of Christian and Yazidi families who had been displaced from their homes in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists. The ambitious fundraising goal to raise $10 million by Christmas is called The Nazarene Fund, after the mark (see below) that ISIS paints on the homes and property of Christians living in their path to mark them for death.
Though Beck at the time realized this was a huge goal, that goal was met in about 3 months, and now stands at more than $12 million. Just a week ago, the radio and internet TV mogul traveled with a team to evacuate the first group of 149 families to Slovakia. These Christians originally lived in areas of Iraq and Syria that lost everything they had when ISIS swept through in mid-2014. Most had been professionals with families, homes and businesses. Beck said that when he arrived, he found them living in refugee camps in deplorable conditions—but even so, he told his radio audience earlier this week how full of joy these refugees were and grateful to still be alive.
The Blaze reported donations to The Nazarene Fund came from Beck’s millions of listeners and viewers of his internet programs, with average donations being around $100. The refugees were heavily screened by Peregrine Consultants, in a process that “exceeded present international standards.” Yes, they are being asked questions about their religious beliefs in order to screen out any potential jihadists that seek to infiltrate the refugee population in order to get into western nations. Beck said they are working with parish priests and pastors on the ground to verify identities and level of commitment to Christianity (i.e. how they came to Christ, how long ago, have they been baptized into the faith).
These families will be resettled in and around Nitra in central Europe, which is often referred to as the Cradle of Christianity. That seems fitting for them, since the areas they were driven from by ISIS had some of the longest-running Christian churches in the world—churches that were begun by the Apostles themselves.
Johnnie Moore, an author and advocate for these oppressed people, assisted in the evacuation. Moore spoke in Birmingham last summer and at that time shared stories of the atrocities being committed by ISIS against these people. He told The Blaze this rescue mission is just the first of many being planned in the months to come because Christians in the Middle East are “facing an ongoing genocide”.
As these families look forward to a new future in a new country, they won’t be left alone to make the adjustment. Mercury One has agreed to assist the Slovakian government to fund a three-year integration program to include education and training to learn the new language and other services needed as they assimilate into Slovakian society. Needless to say, this chance to begin again without having to live in fear is something the refugees were thankful for. One said, ““It’s something that makes me tremble and makes me very, very thankful, so thank you so very much for doing that.”
Beck has mentioned a number of times over the past few months that he had the names of 12,000 families here in the United States that were committed to taking in families from these areas of the Middle East if and when our government decides to allow them in. As of this writing, the Obama Administration refuses to acknowledge that there is, in fact, genocide of Christians happening right now.
The next time you hear some liberal pundit drone on about how bigoted and insensitive conservatives are, keep in mind the work being done through The Nazarene Fund…and it’s being done by people just like you and me, with lots of help from Above.
An Oregon couple recently found out what the going price is for dissent when “love wins”. Apparently it’s about six figures: $135,000 to be exact, as well as barring them from talking about their case publicly. Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa declined to participate in a same sex “marriage” by supplying a wedding cake to 2 lesbians who had been regular customers, due to their belief in traditional or Biblical marriage.
The couple has until Monday, July 13th to come up with the entire amount or arrange a payment. The Klein’s bakery has since closed (they operate out of their home now), and Aaron took a job as a garbage collector in order to support his family. He stated, “Basically, the state of Oregon is saying we can kick you out of your house and make you homeless. They have no qualms about the fact that they’re doing this to my five kids as well.”
The incident goes back to early 2013 when the lesbian couple, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, asked if the Kleins would provide a cake for their upcoming “wedding”. The Kleins refused and supposedly “quoted Leviticus” to them. Instead of just looking for another bakery—surely there were others—the offended ones complained to Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). They waited several months to make their complaint to the agency which not only investigates human rights and discrimination cases, they also prosecute and judge them.
So here you have, as National Review writer David French says, an organization run by un-elected bureaucrats with little or no in-depth knowledge of the Constitution, deciding Constitutional matters. “In the administrative agencies of the deep state,” says French, “a single, highly ideological entity can function as rule maker, investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, and enforcer”. French has followed this story at length and the implications it has for future religious liberty and other First Amendment issues across the nation since virtually every state has an agency like BOLI. French has described the close ties BOLI (via its commissioner Brad Avakian) has with pro-LGBT organizations in Oregon. Avakian, who ordered the Kleins to pay the money and not speak publicly, was making public comments about the couple before they ever appeared before him.
Some impartial judge. The Kleins never stood a chance. Avakian seems to be just another political hack with too much power that he plans to use to punish those he sees as enemies. As for the lesbian couple, they claimed that because the Kleins refused to bake their “wedding” cake, they suffered emotional damages that included (but were not limited to): “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “loss of sleep,” “impaired digestion”, “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock,” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
This reminds me of the atheists who complained that the now-famous Cross at Ground Zero gave them indigestion. Not that I’m comparing lesbians to atheists, it’s just that it seems too easy in our lawsuit-crazed society to bring charges against people with whom you disagree—claiming maladies that are common to most people for any number of reasons. Why did the lesbian couple wait several months after not getting their cake to file their complaint against the Kleins? Could they have been preparing for the media attention that they had to know would come from a case like this? Are they looking to make a huge sum of money? Why do the Kleins have to pay them while they are still appealing BOLI’s decision? What’s going on in Oregon?
This case raises more questions than answers and it won’t be going away anytime soon. Last Wednesday, Aaron Klein, ignoring the gag order, said in an interview with The Blaze Radio, “I think every Christian better get ready for this because with the Supreme Court ruling, we’re going to have issues.” He said they never intended to discriminate against anyone (they had served this couple on previous occasions)—they just wanted to live out their faith.
Where’s the love now? If love had really won on June 26th, the gay community would have gotten to work to mend fences and heal the open wounds with those who disagree with them. Instead, there was more in-your-face, we-won-you-lost-so-get-over-it attitudes expressed throughout social media and elsewhere.
If love had won, the gay community (a very tiny minority of the American population) would have been working to change hearts towards their cause, not forcing acceptance onto the majority by conjuring up phony lawsuits and complaints to get courts and regulatory agencies to do their bidding.
Since when, in America, do we all have to believe everything exactly the same, or risk our livelihoods, financial futures and good names if our beliefs differ from that of the hashtag of the moment?