Glenn Beck: Why Do American Christians Care More About Memories Pizzeria Than Christians Beheaded by ISIS?

BY SAMUEL SMITH , CP REPORTER

glenn-beckIn his Monday program on TheBlaze TV, popular conservative commentator Glenn Beck criticized American Christians for giving an outpouring of support to Christian-owned businesses that are being attacked for their beliefs while doing nothing to rally in support of Christians who’ve been beheaded for their faith by the Islamic State.

Before making his point, Beck played a clip of the ISIS video, which was released on Sunday, that showed the beheadings of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Beck then asked why it is that most Christians in the U.S. don’t care about the barbaric killings of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Beck found it weird that when the Christian owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, received death threats for saying that they would not serve a gay wedding, there was an overwhelming amount of support and charity given by other Christians. But, when Christians in Libya were beheaded by ISIS because of their faith, Christians in America looked away and did not seem to care.

“When we talked about a Christian pizza parlor just the other day, Christians responded in large numbers when Christian-owned businesses are threatened for their beliefs. Here people are getting executed,” Beck stated. “Shouldn’t the response be exponentially greater when Christians are literally being beheaded and crucified, children being raped and killed every single day? Why is the response so muted? I don’t have an answer. I have this question and I cannot find an answer that I am comfortable with.”

Beck said he can understand why people in other parts of the world don’t care about ISIS’ persecution of Christians, but he can’t figure out why Christians in America are so apathetic toward it.

Beck further explained that Christians in China and the Middle East have become so desensitized to violence toward Christians that it has become a normality in their lives, and it makes sense that they don’t care as much. He also explained that Europe has become so immersed in multiculturalism that Europeans are afraid to speak out against Muslim acts of violence toward Christians.

“I guess I can kinda see how the rest of the world doesn’t react to this. But I don’t understand us. It is not an excuse [that] Christianity just isn’t their thing,” Beck asserted. “That can explain the lack of major action from all of them but what is our excuse?”

In trying to answer his own question, Beck reasoned that since the Christians that have been featured in ISIS’ publicized mass execution videos have been Ethiopian and Coptic, Christians in America don’t identify with them well enough to care about their slayings.

“We don’t know what the Coptic thing is. Are they Christian? Would we care if the victims are Methodists or Baptists or Catholic or Mormon? I guarantee you we would,” Beck said. “Is the president right? If the victims were white instead of Arab or black, would we care more? I thought maybe we are too far removed in our creature comforts here in America that it is not even real to us. And we don’t have the energy to care about something that is happening half of the world away because our world is burning down here.”

Another reason that Beck came up with was that American Christians are “helpless” and don’t know what can be done to prevent more Christians from being beheaded by ISIS.

“The only thing that I come up with that I am comfortable with is that we feel helpless and we don’t know what to do, so we do nothing. … [T]hat is not an excuse, not for Americans,” Beck argued. “Necessity is the mother of invention. We are told all the time that we can’t go to the moon, you can’t do that, can’t have the Internet. We always think our way out of the box. We are told that we can’t do it and we do it.”

The notion that American Christians can’t do anything to help Christians who are at the mercy of ISIS is completely false, Beck contended, explaining that some Americans are already making efforts.

“There are soldiers right now, we have shown you, soldiers, American soldiers, who have joined the fight, not for ISIS but against ISIS. [They are] going over there on their dime, risking their life because they couldn’t take it anymore,” Beck explained. “There are churches who are clothing and feeding the Christians over there. … I don’t buy into the fact that we don’t know what to do.”

Beck also criticized the fact that Americans don’t want to watch the sickening ISIS beheading videos but they will watch graphic TV shows like “The Walking Dead.” He further asserted that it’s important for Americans to watch the ISIS execution videos.

“They will win if we don’t watch it. They want you to look away. They need you to look away,” Beck commented. “Did you hear what he said? ‘We will haunt you even in your dreams.’”

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Bashir cancels Indonesia trip over denial of flight permissions: sources

April 20, 2015 (KHARTOUM)— The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has canceled his visit to Indonesia on Monday to attend the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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FILE – The aeroplane of Sudan’s leader Omer Hassan al-Bashir lands at Beijing International Airport June 28, 2011 (REUTERS/Liu Jin/Pool)

Reliable sources told Sudan Tribune on condition of anyonymity that Bashir’s trip was scrapped due to several countries denying him permission to fly over their airspace en route to Jakarta.

The names of these nations and reasons behind their decision were not disclosed. Continue reading

Nuer leaders in government advocate for homegrown peace

April 20, 2015 (JUBA) – Senior officials and military officers from Nuer ethnic group in South Sudan government are advocating for people-to-people dialogue in a bid to unite internal front in support of government plans to resolve the country’s ongoing conflict.

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Nuer dancers celebrate Human Rights Day in Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, on 11 December 2013 (ST)

The group comprising of governors from Unity, Jonglei and Upper states, ministers, lawmakers, military officers, religious leaders, civil servants and women groups held a meeting on Sunday at which several resolutions were passed. Continue reading

South Africa betrayed fellow Africans

By Mike Cohen, Bloomberg
April 20, 2015

At least five people have died in clashes in the eastern port city of Durban, Johannesburg and other towns since last week, while thousands have fled their homes. South Africa’s cabinet warned on Friday that companies operating in the rest of Africa may be targeted, just as Johannesburg-based Sasol Ltd. announced it’s repatriating South African employees working on projects in Mozambique for their own safety. Continue reading

SPLM leadership discuss ways to achieve peace in South Sudan

April 15, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president and leader of the ruling party Salva Kiir convened a leadership meeting on Wednesday, bringing together members of the SPLM political bureau to discuss strategies aimed at ending the ongoing conflict.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir (AFP)

Held at the South Sudanese presidency in Juba, Kiir in his capacity as the chairperson of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), told the meeting he will try his best to end war in order to bring peace to the country but not at the expense of those who did not rebel. Continue reading

Nigerians Have Made History Through the Ballot – APC

Mohammed made the statement in Abuja at the APC secretariat while fielding questions from newsmen.

According to him, by voting into power someone not in government, Nigerians have reclaimed their power at the polls. Continue reading

South Sudan’s warring parties clash around Bentiu town


March 23, 2015 (BENTIU) – Fighting between the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and the rebel forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar reignited on Monday around the oil-rich Unity state capital, Bentiu, with the opposition group accusing the government of being on the offensive.

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South Sudanese soldiers patrol the streets of Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP)

The newly appointed spokesperson in the office of the opposition governor in Unity state, Major Weirial Puok Baluang, told Sudan Tribune on Monday that government troops had attacked their defence positions around the capital.

He claimed that forces loyal to president Salva Kiir have launched an offensive to the south and east of the state capital Bentiu in areas which have been held by the rebels.

“This morning we came under heavy attacks from Juba faction in multiple frontlines surrounding the state capital. We have all repulsed several attacks retreating the government toward Bentiu town,” he told Sudan Tribune by satellite phone from around Bentiu.

Baluang also added that the government attacked their position in the west of Rubkotna town, a twin town, about 5km north of Bentiu capital, further claiming their forces pushed the pro-government troops back into the heart of Rubkotna town.

The latest fighting, he said, resumed in the area after the rebels laid a deadly ambush against government troops, just some 10km north of Rubkotna town.

The government’s military spokesperson, Col Philip Aguer, on Monday confirmed the clashes, but accused the rebels of shelling Bentiu town, adding that government troops had responded and repulsed opposition forces.

Another source from Bentiu who spoke on condition of anonymity said there was indication that the rebels were planning an imminent retaliatory attack on government in the south and east of Bentiu capital, as well as north and west of Rubkotna town.

He said a large number of rebel forces were intercepted on Monday as they were advancing towards the capital Bentiu from the northern direction.

The source also accused pro-government forces of allegedly preventing civilians from fleeing into the United Nations protection camp in the twin towns when the capital came under intensive shelling by the rebels.

“Today it has been a horrific shelling in Bentiu town, we have tried this afternoon to go to UN camp in Rubkotna, but pro-government [forces] blocked our ways. We do not know what to do by now,” he said.

He warned that should anything happen to their family members it was the government that would be responsible for denying them access to safer sites.

The two belligerents have been accusing each other of being on the militarily offensive in various frontlines in Upper Nile and Unity states for the past week following the collapse of the peace talks in Addis Ababa on 6 March.

Upper Nile province, which is the richest region in South Sudan with oil, has been the scene of fighting for over a year between the rival forces.

The stalled peace process under the auspices of the East African regional bloc of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is however expected to resume in April with expanded mediation beyond players in the continent to try to end the more than 15-month-long conflict.

 

 

Donors Warn Ethiopia of Omo Conflict Risk From Rapid Sugar Plans

 By William Davison

(Bloomberg) — Development of the Ethiopian sugar industry in South Omo that will bring in migrant laborers may exacerbate conflict in the ethnically diverse region, according to the U.S. aid agency and other donors.

The state-owned Ethiopian Sugar Corp. is tapping loans from the Development Bank of China to build six sugar-processing factories and plant 150,000 hectares (370,700 acres) of sugar cane in the region bordering Kenya. It’s part of a plan for Ethiopia, Africa’s most-populated nation after Nigeria, to turn from net importer to exporter of the sweetener, and eventually become one of the top 10 sellers globally.

Farming of the crop may disrupt the traditional lifestyle of pastoralists native to the area, while the arrival of “hundreds of thousands of migrant workers” may fan ethnic tensions, the 27-member Development Assistance Group said in a statement on Wednesday. The area is populated by at least eight ethnic communities, including the livestock-rearing Bodi and Mursi groups.

“This, as well as the rapid pace for planned development, may significantly increase the chances of the risk of conflict, as the Bodi and Mursi are increasingly exposed to external influences, and could lead — if not handled properly — to destabilization,” according to the donors.

Officials with the Development Assistance Group visited South Omo in August, the most recent of several trips over the past three years to assess a government resettlement program that is being implemented alongside the sugar schemes.

Forced Resettlement

Advocacy groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch say the initiatives in South Omo involve systemic abuses, including the forced relocation of people from their ancestral property. The donor group said it found no evidence of people being compelled to move in the areas they visited.

Development in South Omo is aimed at preventing conflict and the community has been widely consulted about the plans, Federal Affairs Minister Shiferaw Teklemariam said in a phone interview from the capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday.

South Omo is a remote, mostly low-lying area populated by about 200,000 people who have experienced bouts of conflict caused by resource competition and cattle raiding.

Changes in the environment caused by sugar development may affect beekeeping, cattle herding and crop growing, activities which local residents depend on for their livelihoods, the donors said.

One of the biggest concerns for the Mursi and Bodi communities is accessing grazing land, said the group of donors, which also includes European nations, India, the United Nations, African Development Bank and Turkish aid agency.

Residents say they are concerned they will lose pasture and fertile land once the flow of the Omo river is regulated by the Gibe III hydroelectric dam.

The government should increase transparency about the sugar projects, listen better to the communities and consider slowing the pace of change to “allow a softer transition, avoiding conflict,” the donors said.

 

 

 

A Retrospect into the Latent Days of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) and the Current Wail for the Release of the Budget

By Ajoda Odolla

Seven moons ago in 2014, the next day after GPAA seceded from Jonglei State and has become a separate administrative area in South Sudan, my friend and I phoned each other and agreed to partake in a party our compatriots, the foremen of GPAA, threw at their quarters in Juba. On arrival you could see the halo, aura of rays of joy and glory emitting from the glowing faces and gleaming teeth of these procreators of GPAA. It looked as that of Moses when he came back from Mount Sinai with the tablets the 10 commandments inscribed on them.

A feeling commensurate to yogic relief was palpable. They deserved it .Weeks and moons passed by and they waited apprehensively with bated breath. Those who were not familiar with one step at a time motto had difficulty reconciling to the tortoise gait the process was taking. Optimists, majority protagonists of GPAA, called for patience to let the politics run its course. Pessimists, who were bent on search for loopholes to criticize, were mockingly saying that the men had been conned. The cessation of hostilities and drastic peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa between the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army-Cobra Faction (SSDM/A-Cobra Faction) and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GoSS) was just nominal to ease friction and placate the people. They said that the promise to create a separate administrative area for Greater Pibor (GP) was a temporizing and an emollient move by President Kiir in case Riek Machar led rebels anted up their assault on the government or merely to appease Apee Ochudho, the lead coordinator for the establishment of GPAA’s government.

Mr. Kiir proved them wrong though, an overture that did not receive much ovation from the SPLA’s diehards. His unparalleled and unsung magnanimity is his indelible legacy. Even though it is overlooked by South Sudanese at this time, in the years to come it will be a fetish they will cherish; a prototype to be adopted and emulated by other African leaders.

With dissuading and debilitating words that constantly come from antagonists, every tick of the clock seemed to be dashing away hope from those waiting for the creation of GPAA. However, it is never over till it is over. The highly anticipated promulgation came from the media, duly official; the GPAA was born. The mooring had been let loose setting the ship free to sail in the direction envisioned by its captains helmed by General David Yau Yau (DYY), the head of GPAA, with their people to their promised land.

Back in December 2013 at the eruption of the putsch (coup attempt) led by Riek Machar, sadists were expecting the SSDM/A-Cobra Faction of David Yau Yau (DYY) to jump into the fray and strike while the iron was still hot. The duo assault, they reasoned, would hamstring the government rendering it a cripple. These myopic fellows were not prescient that this vicissitudes created the chute needed by the Cobra Faction to reveal its true colour, peace lovingness. Nevertheless, the SSDM/A-Cobra Faction proved its allegiance and integrity to the observers that its motives for lifting arms against the government were not vague vie for power nor thirst for bloodletting, rather they were tenable grievances that would have preferably been channeled through peaceful dialogue.

As we entered the lounge at the hotel, where our compatriots were parting, we were welcome and I, not to be overtaken, was quick to utter, ‘’Mabrook’’ (the Arabic term for congratulations) and simultaneously tapping each others’ left shoulders and shaking hands, a South Sudanese custom of affection and respect. “Mabrook, we did it,” everybody responded.

We were shown comfy seats at this air-conditioned lounge in one of Juba’s posh hotels. I ensconced and was enthralled. But my mite brain began reeling in a nostalgic reflection making this anachronistic that may be I was at a different part of the globe. That casted ambivalence on me , enjoyment on one side and fear of not wanting to return to the scorching sun of Juba awaiting me once I set foot off this place, on the other side. That didn’t curtail the jubilation we indulged in. I managed to bring myself back from this brief daydream and joined the heated discussion. This time it was around how we successfully got to this win-win situation. “By opting for peaceful dialogue we restored peace to our region and subsequently our nation,” one man said, “we staunched bloodshed by averting possible ethnic clashes. That was an epitome of South Sudan’s potion works best for South Sudan’s malady.”

“Even Neanderthals, our progenitors, I guess,” another man called out from the other corner mimicking chimpanzee , at this moment a gale contagiously filled the room, “ Neanderthals,” he continued, “ used to lay their sticks and bones down and hug each other ululating and howling reaffirming their brotherhood and signifying reconciliation. We, as their descendants, therefore, have done the same by putting our differences aside and focused on our common grounds. Above all, we share a common mother- South Sudan. Let it go Y’all!”

Then I came into an eye contact with Mr. David Yau Yau. I bashed away trying to avoid it but I realized that it was just a picture on a pamphlet lay on the table in front of me. I picked it up and it riveted me to my little world of reading, again. I thumbed and skimmed through the next page. Then I saw Mr. DYY quoted to have said that the factors that gave rise to the conflict and this divorce from Jonglei were absence of fair and equal treatment to all people of Jonglei. That has set the record straight for the critics who endeavor to detract Gen. DYY’s quest for egalitarianism. The men claimed that DYY hopped into Litila’s bush, Pibor as a sheer effort to reclaim his stars that were plucked off. “It was lack of infrastructure and uneven distribution and delivery of resources and services such as health facilities, schools, roads to name a few,” Mr. DYY continued, “the vastness of Jonglei as a single state contributed to this failure of observing all its corners and tending to the needs of all its inhabitants fairly and equally.”

As I was trying to register this, a big raven on the TV screen stole my attention, but gave me the perfect scenario I was searching for. A mother bird with fledgling chicks in its nest may mistakenly feed some of them repeatedly more often than the others. Because in every turn the mother returns to the nest, every chick splays its beaks exposing the hole wide open, and expecting some savoury crumbs to be crammed in. That means since the CPA was enacted, the administration in Bor, Jonglei made that blunder by dropping the food crumbs in the gobs of few of its favourite chicks. The hapless, the ilk of the ones who now call themselves heirs of GPAA, ended up with nothing.

One may say, “Pibor filed for divorce and it was granted. That is definitely right. GP is now directly under the Office of the President. GP has received overwhelming support from the central Government of South Sudan (GoSS) except that thing – the budget for public and civil services. Therefore, I would like to broach this issue up to His Excellency, the legitimate democratically elected President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Your Excellency, the people in GP are now in state of unbearable lassitude, and their patience is growing weary day by day. Please, Mr. President, listen to the wails coming from mothers and children in GP who bear the brunt of this budget delay. The market area in Pibor teems with emaciated kwashiorkoric kids who could push a doughnut down in a single gulp if they could get it. Mr. President, please spur your illustrious and industrious men working on the budget for GP to step up the gear a bit. The delay of the budget hampers everything in GP and is causing us teething troubles. At this juncture, its immediate release is crucial for stability in the region and to end further suffering. This is not to downplay the concessions and strides your office have made so far in regards to this matter. But this issue of budget calls for your exigent response as everything is tied up to it. With due regards!

I hope the 9 months we have passed so far after the peace agreement was signed in Addis Ababa on May 9, 2014, doesn’t extend to 40 years odyssey that Moses and his Israelites mass spent astray en route to their promised land . If it lags that long , unlike Moses who got cotton on his head and under his chin, am afraid that constant brooding may push further my receding fringe line to my nape, leaving a gleaming highway in its wake. PEACE!!

The writer can be reached at Ajoda Odolla on Facebook or on 0927194689