Megachurch Pastor James MacDonald Poses as Homeless Man

Image credit: James MacDonald/Facebook

Well-known megachurch pastor James MacDonald recently posed as a homeless man stationed outside several campuses of Harvest Bible Chapel before Sunday morning services to see just how his congregation would react to his presence.

MacDonald, who founded and leads the megachurch in the Chicagoland area, posted a video of the experiment to his Facebook page Monday. He told his congregation he was blown away by the treatment he received as he crouched next to the door of the church campuses, donning a gray, mangy beard as he leaned against a TJ Maxx shopping cart overstuffed with his life’s belongings.

“The closer a person is to us and the less common the struggle, the easier it is to love,” the pastor explained in the video. “[H]ow common is homelessness? How frequently is the homeless person someone dear to us personally? Never.”

Moments later, the undercover MacDonald is seen walking into the church sanctuary, pushing his shopping cart in front of him. When he reaches the pulpit, MacDonald removes the fake, raggedy beard and oversized coat, revealing his true identity.

“Do you know that your father in Heaven is giving the same graces to the person that is hardest for you to love? He is giving it. He doesn’t play favorites. He is giving the grace to everyone,” he said. “If we are going to love like our father in Heaven loves, we don’t get to play favorites. By favorites, I mean, so often we love the people when there is some benefit in it for us.”

The crux of MacDonald’s message — and the intention behind his brief social experiment — was to show his congregation that it’s “hardest to love when the problem is most common and the people are least known.”

Many of the interactions he had with his fellow believers, though, left him “crying inside that beard.” MacDonald then showed a highlight reel, revealing a number of congregants praying with him, bringing him food, handing him cash and inviting him inside the sanctuary.

“I dressed up as a homeless man and sat outside our church,” he said. “What I witnessed blew me away.”


A special thanks goes out to the First Church Pearland and Pastor Ken Gurley for supplying a tent to the Highland Park Church. Volunteers from Chipley, Crawfordville, Perry, Sopchoppy and Tallahassee solved the puzzle of erecting the tent. We now have it up and operational in Highland Park for that congregation to hold service in on Sunday.

The Westville church with the Open Pond congregation furnished volunteers to the Office Depot location on 23rd Street, in Panama City. Reach Out America, Feed the Children and Office Depot supplied food and necessities for hundreds of people and our wonderful apostolic people passed them out.

Thanks also to the Men’s Director of Alabama; Brother J.B. Sims, and those that came with him for bringing a backhoe and a skid-steer to the Panama City church for operation “clean up.” A lot of the debris was removed and they now can hold services in their pavilion.

We shall also commend with special thanks, the National Guard who set up their operations in the parking lot of the Panama City church. They indeed, have been an incredible blessing to that congregation. Our prayers are for those deployed in this time of need.

Special thanks to our fellow pastors and their men and ladies for the relief ministered to our brothers and sisters in Christ this week.

Larry Sims

Florida Disaster Relief Coordinator

Hamas scales back Gaza riots; truce ‎efforts to renew ‎

Despite several attempts to breach the security fence, fires sparked by arson terrorism, IDF official says the weekend was “the quietest” since Hamas’ riot campaign began • Palestinians: Over 100 protesters wounded in riots • Egypt continues with truce efforts.

Hamas appears to have scaled back the violent riots on Gaza’s border with Israel, as seen in Friday’s demonstration – a weekly demonstration that had been getting increasingly more violent in recent weeks – which was ‎relatively low-key, defense officials said over the ‎weekend.‎

The military said that 10,000 ‎Palestinians rioted ‎near the border, torching tires and hurling stones, ‎grenades and explosives ‎at the troops across the ‎fence.‎

Video: Reuters

Three attempts to breach the security fence were ‎foiled, the IDF said.‎

Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that over 100 ‎‎Palestinians were wounded by IDF fire during ‎‎Friday’s riots. ‎

An Israeli Air Force aircraft bombed a Palestinian arson terrorism cell ‎on Saturday. The Palestinians reported that one man ‎was killed in the strike. ‎

In a separate incident, several explosive devices ‎discovered near the border fence on Saturday were ‎neutralized safely by military sappers. ‎

In a third incident, the Israeli Navy stopped a ‎Palestinian fishing boat carrying what the IDF described as “suspicious items neutralized by sappers.” Two ‎fishermen were arrested. ‎

Palestinian terrorists also launched dozens of ‎incendiary kites and balloons across the border over ‎the weekend, sparking nine fires in Israeli frontier ‎communities.‎

Palestinian protesters trying to sabotage coiled barbed wire placed near the Israel-Gaza border, Friday

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot met over ‎‎the weekend with GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. ‎‎Herzl Halevi and senior commanders in the Gaza ‎‎Division and held several situation assessments.‎

‎”This was the ‎quietest weekend along the border since the riots ‎began [on March 30]. There were points along ‎the security fence where Hamas operatives were seen ‎instructing protesters to keep away from the fence,” ‎one IDF official noted.‎

Still, “In other places, where violence raged, ‎security forces took the proper action. This is not ‎something the IDF is willing to tolerate and the ‎demand from Hamas is that all the rioting stops entirely,” he ‎said.‎

On Thursday, Israel reinforced its deployment along ‎the Gaza border, a day after a Grad rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in Beersheba.‎ The attack prompted Israel to threaten a ‎forceful response if Gaza violence continues. ‎

On Sunday, after the relatively calm weekend, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered ‎the reopening of Israel’s border crossing with Gaza ‎‎– the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing and ‎Erez ‎pedestrian crossing – which were shuttered in the ‎wake ‎of Wednesday’s rocket fire. ‎

Egyptian security officials held separate meetings ‎in recent days with Israeli counterparts and ‎with the heads of Hamas and the other terrorist ‎groups in Gaza, in an effort to prevent an ‎escalation of violence.‎

Arab media reported that Egyptian intelligence chief ‎Abbas Kamel, who canceled his visit to Gaza after ‎Wednesday’s incident, is expected to visit the ‎coastal enclave and Israel on Thursday to cement a ‎truce deal. ‎

Kamel is also scheduled to meet with Palestinian ‎Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he hopes to ‎convince to lift the economic sanctions imposed on ‎Gaza.‎

Still, Egyptian and Palestinian sources were quoted ‎by Arab media as saying that Hamas has not promised ‎Cairo that it will halt all border riots or its ‎arson terrorism campaign, but rather said it would ‎ensure protesters will remain 500 meters (1,600 feet) ‎away from the fence.‎

‎”This aims to allow Egypt to reach agreements with ‎Israel that would allow dozens of economic plans to ‎go through and improve life in Gaza,” one ‎Palestinian official said.‎

Some Arab media reports said that, despite Egypt’s ‎objections, Abbas plans to impose additional ‎sanctions on Gaza as part of effort to wrest ‎control of the coastal enclave back from Hamas. ‎In 2007, Hamas routed Abbas’ Fatah faction from Gaza in a particularly violent coup.

Qatar is said to be gearing up to circumvent these ‎sanctions and funnel the money with which Hamas ‎would be able to pay wages to its workers in Gaza. ‎ Doha has gone over Abbas’ head on the matter earlier ‎this month as well, sending energy-starved Gaza some ‎much-needed fueldespite Abbas’ attempts to stop it. ‎

King Abdullah Revokes Parts of Peace Treaty with Israel

Jordan will terminate revoke the appendices to its peace agreement with Israel relating to the leasing of Naharayim, or Baqoura, in Jordan, which is adjacent to the Israeli border, where the Yarmouk River flows into the Jordan River. The area includes the Island of Peace, over which Israelis were awarded private ownership and other rights under the 1994 peace treaty. Another area where the king wants to delete the appendix is Ghumar, an assortment of agricultural fields in Moshav Tzofar in the Arava desert.

Both areas were transferred temporarily to Israel for a period of 25 years, which is due to end on October 25, at which point the king must decide whether or not to renew the leases – although the actual term “lease” is not mentioned in the peace agreement appendices.

On Friday, a mass demonstration of tens of thousands took place in Amman, under the slogan: “The people want national honor.” The demonstrators demanded that the Jordanian government return the territories in question to Jordanian sovereignty. They also called for canceling the peace treaty with Israel altogether, expel the Israeli ambassador and close down the Israeli embassy.

Naturally, the thousands of demonstrators were drinking fresh water drawn from lake Kinneret and other Israeli water sources—as part of the same 1994 peace treaty. Many of them probably cashed their checks earned by working for one of the numerous Israeli owned manufacturing plants in and around Amman.

عبدالله بن الحسين


لطالما كانت الباقورة والغمر على رأس أولوياتنا، وقرارنا هو إنهاء ملحقي الباقورة والغمر من اتفاقية السلام انطلاقا من حرصنا على اتخاذ كل ما يلزم من أجل الأردن والأردنيين

Jews have held ownership rights in Naharayim since 1926, when a Jewish engineer from Russia, Pinchas Rutenberg, purchased a concession to build an electric plant there. The plant was overtaken by invading Jordanian Legion forces in 1948.

In Moshav Tzofar, the land was purchased legally from Jordan in 1994, and should the king insist on taking it back, the least he must do is pay its full value. Except that in a recent TV interview, former Jotdanian PM Abdul Salam Majali said he was hoping the Israelis would give the land back to Jordan free of charge.

Kenya: Two Christian teachers killed by suspected Al-Shabaab attackers

The house near Arabia Boys Secondary school where the two non-local teachers died after an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants last week. (Photo: Facebook)The house near Arabia Boys Secondary school, Kenya where two Christian teachers died after an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants last week. It’s 1km from Somali border.(Photo: Facebook)

Two Christian school teachers were killed in an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Kenya’s Mandera County, near the Somali border, last week.

Philip Okumu, 26, and Daniel Wekesa 39, died on Wednesday (10 October) after assailants raided the house for non-local teachers in Arabia Boys Secondary, about one kilometre from the Kenya-Somali border.

According to Olaka Kutswa, the Mandera County Commissioner, over 20 assailants stormed the school around 1 am, outnumbering the four Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) on guard. They threw an explosive device into one of the rooms of the house where the school’s four non-local teachers stayed, setting it on fire, he said in a statement.

Both Okumu and Wekesa were shot when they tried to escape the fire.

Police said yesterday (15 October) that the attack had been planned by Hassan Hodey, a Somali national from the Damasa area, and said Al-Shabaab appeared to be preparing further attacks in the Kenya – Somalia border region.

The school’s other two non-local teachers, Elijah Nderitu and Kelvin Lomusi, survived the attack.

“All the other teachers, students, and workers are safe, and the County Security Committee has held several meetings with the County Education Board to arrange for necessary psychological support and counselling services for them,” said Kutswa.

Survivor Lomusi told Kenya’s The Citizen TV that the attackers had forced open the door to his room before one of them entered to check if there were any survivors. He then fled when a mattress caught fire.

“I was hiding between the bed and the wall,” said Lomusi, who sustained some burns on his face after the mattress caught fire. “Going out was not a simple step to take, since I feared they may still be around.”

“After witnessing the attack and the killing of my colleagues, I can no-longer endure working there anymore,” Elijah Nderitu, the other survivor, told the TV station.

Transfer of all non-local teachers

The teachers, originally from western Kenya, were fairly new in the area. Okumu had worked in the school since 2016, while Wekesa had joined the institution in 2017. Both men were Christians, Fr. Nicholas Mutua, a Catholic priest, told World Watch Monitor.

The attack comes as fear is growing that Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based east African affiliate of Al-Qaeda, is targeting education, and its proponents, in the predominantly Muslim region.

Following an attack by the group on Garissa University College in April 2015, in which gunmen killed 149 students, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta suggested the attacks were an attempt by the militants to create a caliphate in Somalia and north-eastern Kenya. Observers say that ‘eliminating’ non-locals from the Muslim-majority region would fit that strategy.

In February, the government ordered the transfer of all non-local teachers from regions near the border with Somalia after two other non-Muslim teachers and the fiancée of one of them were killed in neighbouring Wajir County.

Following those killings the Teacher Service Commission (TSC) transferred 108 teachers (both Primary and Secondary) away from the volatile border areas. An estimated 18, however, chose to remain in the region.

Although the transfers were criticized by local political leaders, a June 2018 report by the TSC showed that non-local teachers were frequently harassed on basis of their religion, race, culture, dress and language. Female teachers were being forced to wear deras (a large dress) and the hijab (veil), and both male and female teachers were frequently attacked by students.

While Al-Shabaab has increased attacks in Kenya, especially since the country sent troops to join the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), some observers fear that local politics and power struggles among local clan leaders may also be fuelling some of the attacks.

According to Mutua, the attacks appear well-planned because non-local citizens are harmed or killed, while the local Muslim teachers and other workers were left unscathed.

In October 2016 Al-Shabaab militants carried out an attack in Mandera town, killing Christian Kenyans who were not from the local area.

“We have been saying that while the actual attacks are carried out by Al-Shabaab militants, local collaborations should not be ignored,” said the priest.

“We have observed that the killing of the teachers tends to occur as national examinations approach. The same trends is repeated when results are released. We need to investigate if the attacks are related to examinations and the control of results,” he said, adding that local people fear that non-locals may reveal secrets related to cheating in the exams.

However, Fr. Alfred Murithi, a Catholic priest in Wajir town told World Watch Monitor in February that Christian teachers say they face many other challenges, such as discrimination by the local communities along religious lines, since they are not Muslims.

Wajir, like Mandera and other counties in the region, are predominantly Muslim, but in both public and private schools, the majority of the teachers (roughly estimated at 60 per cent) are Christians.

Arsonist Throws Molotov Cocktails into Seattle Church During Worship Service

As a group of about 50 congregants attended a worship service at a Seattle-based church, an arsonist hurled several Molotov cocktails toward the sanctuary.

Witnesses told authorities they saw a person throwing lit bottles filled with an unknown substance at Iglesia ni Cristo just after 8 p.m. Thursday and immediately called 9-1-1, according to KCPQ-TV.

The Molotov cocktails started a fire outside the church, Seattle Fire spokeswoman Kristen Tinsley said, causing minor damage to the exterior of the building. No injuries have been reported.

50+ scholars expose UK agenda restricting transgender criticism

LGBTQ on campus

More than four dozen scholars from the United Kingdom signed onto a letter warning that the government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act and interpretation of the Equality Act – as well as politically correct campus politics – are restraining and censoring academics and analysts from critically investigating, researching and teaching about transgender issues.

The 54 scholars representing a newly formed network of more than 100 scholars – most serving at U.K. universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, along with some from American universities, including MIT and George Washington University Law School – are alerting the public about higher education’s censorship of information that reveals the danger a transgender lifestyle poses to gender-confused individuals … and to society, at large.

In addition, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne allowed the dozens of scholars to submit several letters to the U.K.’s consultation earlier this week that express their fears over the government’s introduction of self-ID for gender reassignment – legally identifying transgenders as their opposite, non-biological sex.

Only speak positive … or else …

A major concern of academic leaders – from the fields of sociology, philosophy, law, criminology, evidence-informed policy, medicine, psychology, education, history, English, social work, computer science, cognitive science, anthropology, political science, economics, and history of art – was voiced about how professors are essentially handcuffed by the government, university officials and LGBT activist groups from revealing any scientific information explaining the detrimental effects that transgenderism has on sexually confused individuals and vulnerable women and children.

“[T]he scholars … aired their complaints about how they have faced an unusual amount of opposition for what they consider to be normal critical analysis of scientific and political assertions,” The Christian Post (CP) reported. “The group also condemned the influence that LGBT political organizations are having when it comes to the limiting of academic freedom on college campuses.”

The academic professionals’ signed document discusses how they are continually being silenced from dispensing reliable information concerning the harm that transgender medical practices and lifestyles entail.

“We are also concerned about the suppression of proper academic analysis and discussion of the social phenomenon of transgenderism, and its multiple causes and effects,” the scholars’ letter published on Tuesday in The Guardian reads. “Members of our group have experienced campus protests, calls for dismissal in the press, harassment, foiled plots to bring about dismissal, no-platforming, and attempts to censor academic research and publications.”

The politically correct opposition faced by scholars wanting to reveal the truth about transgenderism – fierce resistance that has been waged in the name of “tolerance” and “anti-discrimination” – was criticized as being irresponsible, anti-intellectual and unacceptible.

“Such attacks are out of line with the ordinary reception of critical ideas in the academy, where it is normally accepted that disagreement is reasonable – and even productive,” the scholars wrote.

Anti-intellectual movement in universities?

Instead of having an allegiance to dispense academic knowledge and encourage critical thinking, it was argued that a large proportion of universities in the U.K. are loyal to pro-LGBT groups that fervently promote alternative lifestyles and fiercely oppose those who don’t.

“Many of our universities have close links with trans advocacy organizations who provide ‘training’ of academics and management, and who – it is reasonable to suppose – influence university policy through these links,” the letter continues. “Definitions used by these organizations of what counts as ‘transphobic’ can be dangerously all-encompassing and go well beyond what a reasonable law would describe.”

The new terms and euphemisms concocted by LGBT activists are argued to be suppressing intellect and harming society.

“They would not withstand academic analysis, and yet their effect is to curtail academic freedom and facilitate the censoring of academic work,” the scholars contend. “We also worry about the effect of such definitions on the success rates of journal submissions and research grant applications from governmental bodies such as the AHRC and ESRC.”

The scholars ended by dismissing claims that offering a critical analysis of transgender behavior and medical practices is hate speech or intolerance.

“We maintain that it is not transphobic to investigate and analyze this area from a range of critical academic perspectives,” the letter concludes. “We think this research is sorely needed and urge the government to take the lead in protecting any such research from ideologically driven attack.”

Hitting the transgender nail on the head …

University of Sussex philosophy professor Kathleen Stock – one of the letter’s 43 signatories – publicly and candidly voiced her take on the matter earlier this month in a column.

“A range of structural inequalities between females and males are widely recognized,” Stock wrote in her op-ed for The Conversation, donning the headline, “Why self-identification should not legally make you a woman.” “These material facts about female oppression must be acknowledged when we think about two questions at the heart of a bitterly disputed U.K. government consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act.”

She listed off the facts supporting her argument that changing genders is science fiction – not a reality, as most LGBT activists would like to believe.

“The first is whether self-identifying as a woman without medical certification should be sufficient criteria for legal gender reassignment,” Stock continued. “The second is whether self-identifying transwomen should be allowed into women-only spaces and have access to women-only resources.”

The respected professor stirred up more controversy and outrage from the LGBT community this summer when she indicated that simply having a sex-change operation does not convert a man into a woman – any more than wearing women’s shoes make a man a woman.

“[T]rans women are still males with male genitalia,” Stock told the U.K.’s The Argus in a July interview.

The same month, she upset more LGBT activists when she questioned the label the transgender community ascribed to her for being vocal about her politically incorrect take on the controversial social issue.

“I emphatically deny that I am transphobic,” Stock insisted to Pink News in July, according to CP. “I vocally uphold the rights of trans women to be free of violence and discrimination, but I question whether the only way to protect trans women from violence is to allow trans women into female communal spaces.”

The British scholar impressed that it is biological women who need society’s protection – not biological men pretending to be women, who naturally have the physical ability to better defend themselves from sexual predators.

“Violence against females is endemic,” Stock stressed. “Trans women are biologically male, and though most are law-abiding, some small proportion are not. There is a general social need to continue to protect females in communal female-only spaces from the possibility of male violence.”

Ala. Sup. Ct. rules ‘Roe v. Wade’ ‘patently illogical’

Roe v. Wade 1973 sign

A ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court has called the landmark United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision Roe v. Wade“patently illogical,” declaring that a preborn child is a “person” under law, whose intentional death can be punished by means of execution with a guilty verdict against the killer.

“[Alabama Supreme Court] Justice Tom Parker called on the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade – the 1973 ruling that created a ‘right’ to abortion,” WND reported.

Saying ‘no’ to Roe …

Parker indicated in a special concurrence that the SCOTUS judges’ ruling in their infamous 45-year-old decision created a right that never should have been granted.

“I write specially to expound upon the principles presented in the main opinion and to note the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade,” Parker declared in his concurrence in the Alabama Supreme Court’s opinion in the case Jessie Livell Phillips vs. the State of Alabama, obtained by Liberty Counsel. “I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”

He corroborated the recent reasoning of Alabama’s highest court in a capital punishment lawsuit, which maintained that “unborn children are persons entitled to the full and equal protection of the law” – a direct contradiction to SCOTUS’s ruling that has resulted in the deaths of more than 60 million preborn children over the past four-and-a-half decades.

“[Roe v. Wade is] without historical or constitutional support – carved out an exception to the rights of unborn children and prohibited states from recognizing an unborn child’s inalienable right to life when that right conflicts with a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion,” Parker stated. “This judicially created exception of Roe is an aberration to the natural law … and common law of the states.”

Parker then urged SCOTUS to take action steps to make things right – especially now …  with what it knows from the field of medicine about preborn children.

“It is my hope and prayer that the United States Supreme Court will take note of the crescendoing chorus of the laws of the states in which unborn children are given full legal protection and allow the states to recognize and defend the inalienable right to life possessed by every unborn child – even when that right must trump the ‘right’ of a woman to obtain an abortion,” Parker expressed in his opinion. “[By giving preborn children broad legal protections – including under Alabama’s capital murder statutes] – we affirm, once again, that unborn children are persons with value and dignity equal to that of all persons.”

Right to life … not to death

He backed Alabama Supreme Court’s October 19 ruling, which affirmed the lower state court’s jury verdict unanimously recommending the death sentence for Jessie Livell Phillips – who was convicted in the Marshall Circuit Court of the capital offense of intentionally murdering his wife, Erica Phillips, and their preborn baby.

“[The] obvious truth [is] that unborn children are people – and thus entitled to the full protection of the law – [and the court’s decision to reject the defendants’ arguments] that the unborn child he murdered, Baby Doe, was not a ‘person’ under Alabama law, [was correct],” the Alabama court reasoned in its opinion rejecting Phillips’ defense.

In coming to this conclusion, the court also rejected the reasoning behind SCOTUS’s Roe v. Wade ruling.

“The state Supreme Court affirmed the sentence, rejecting claims that Phillips could not be sentenced for the unborn child’s death because the child was not a ‘person,” WND’s Bob Unruh pointed out. “The fault in the Roedecision was cited by Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion, [and] said the justices didn’t have the scientific evidence to determine if an unborn baby is a person, but ‘personhood’ is the foundation of the case.”

With today’s medical knowledge about the full humanity of preborn children that justices did not have 45 years ago, Roe could be in serious trouble in the near future – upon review.

“[If the] suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment,” Blackburn explained in the opinion.

Cases cascading against Roe

Another recent ruling also contended that there was an erroneous reasoning behind the Roe v. Wade decision.

“In August, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Alabama law banning the gruesome, second-trimester abortion procedure in which limbs are removed from a baby’s body in the womb,” Unruh pointed out. “At the time, Chief Judge Ed Carnes lamented in his opinion that he was bound by U.S. Supreme Court precedent to rule against the state, writing that ‘dismemberment’ is the best description of the procedure – which clinically is known as dilation and extraction.”

Carnes went on to call the history of SCOTUS’s rulings on abortion cases an “aberration” of constitutional law.

“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it,” he decried in the August opinion.

Similar reasoning was given in a different discourse on abortion in the opinion, as Judge Joel Dubina sided with SCOTUS Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in their argument in the Gonzales v. Carhart case.

“I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence – [in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade] – has no basis in the Constitution,” Thomas wrote.

Durbina stressed his qualms with SCOTUS, and it can be noted that politically correct terms – such as “choice” and “women’s rights” – had no place in the Alabama court’s opinion.

“The problem I have – as noted in the Chief Judge’s opinion – is that I am not on the Supreme Court, and as a federal appellate judge, I am bound by my oath to follow all of the Supreme Court’s precedents – whether I agree with them or not,” Dubina expressed in writing. “This case involves a method of abortion that is clinically referred to as Dilation and Evacuation (D & E) – or dismemberment abortion, as the state less clinically calls it. That name is more accurate because the method involves tearing apart and extracting piece-by-piece from the uterus what was – until then – a living unborn child.”

Alabama has a recent history of going head-to-head with Roe.

“[A] year ago, eight members of the Alabama Supreme Court revived a wrongful death claim against a physician – even though the life that was lost was that of a ‘pre-viable’ unborn child,” Unruh recounted. “That ruling set the state in direct conflict with the Roe v. Wade decision, [as] the Alabama judges at the time criticized the Roe decision’s ‘incoherent standard’ of viability.”

In the Phillips case, preborn children are treated just as they should be – as children.

“The newest opinion notes that Alabama law states an unborn child is a person under the state’s intentional murder statute,” Unruh stressed.

Major takeaways from Alabama …

The God-given and biblical right to life given to children inside and outside of the womb – as pointed out by the Alabama Supreme Court – was commended and supported by one of the nation’s leading Christian legal groups.

“Justice Parker wrote separately to emphasize how broadly and consistently the law and judicial decisions in Alabama and around the country protect the rights of unborn children,” Liberty Counsel stated, according to WND.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver expressed optimism that the problematic reasoning behind the Roe v. Wade decision could result in more and more lower courts in states across the nation rejecting its rationale legalizing abortion – which could ultimately result in overturning the landmark decision.

“There is a growing chorus of voices urging the Supreme Court to overrule its abortion decisions,” Staver asserted Friday in a Liberty Counsel news release. “The Supreme Court has created a constitutional aberration and caused incalculable harm by its abortion decisions. In 1992, Justice Kennedy voted with the majority to overrule Roe v. Wade, and then flipped his vote 30 days before the opinion was released to uphold Roe. It is time to correct course and overrule this horrible chapter in American and Supreme Court history.”

The legal expert commended Parker’s boldness in butting heads with the nation’s highest court concerning its flawed and outdated abortion precedent.

“We applaud Justice Tom Parker in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and once again protect precious children, women and families,” Staver expressed. “Abortion is simply a euphemism created by activists to soften what it really is – the murder of innocent unborn children.”

He stressed that Americans should do all they can to make sure that millions of innocent preborn children are no longer slaughtered with the backing of the law.

“We must stop this human genocide,” Staver continued. “We must demand that the Supreme Court undo the horrendous ruling and make the womb a safe place again in America. As we hear about the horrible descriptions of the dismemberment of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, every breathing person naturally shutters. Yet, every day in America, helpless, preborn children are dismembered while they are still alive. We, too, must shutter at this horrible act and stop it.”

Justice for the preborn

As an associate justice of the Alabama’s highest court, Parker is currently in a race to become the state’s chief justice after winning the state primary in June.

“[A] person is a person – regardless of age, physical development or location,” Parker declared in his concurrence. “Baby Doe had just as much a right to life as did [mother] Erica Phillips. … Phillips was sentenced to death for the murder of two persons; Erica and Baby Doe were equally persons. In spite of voluminous state laws recognizing that the lives of unborn children are increasingly entitled to full legal protection, the isolated Roe exception stubbornly endures.”

He then took aim at renegade left-leaning SCOTUS judges.

“Some liberal justices on the United States Supreme Court adamantly defend the isolated Roe exception,” Parker added. “I have written extensively explaining why the Roe exception lacks legal foundation and is patently illogical. [The ruling] stands as an indictment against the United States Supreme Court. [The only way legalized abortion in the U.S. can continue is if SCOTUS Justices] insist – against all scientific evidence and reason – that unborn children are not human.”

High School Football Players Pray before Game after Pastor is Barred from Praying with Them

High School Football Players Pray before Game after Pastor is Barred from Praying with Them

After a video of a pastor praying with a high school football team went viral in September, the pastor was told he could no longer pray with the team.

Georgia pastor Russel Davis was asked to stop praying with the Dawson County public school’s football team after a viral video garnered a complaint from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

In the video, Davis prayed for the players to “unite people together” and to recognize God’s purpose for their lives.

“The Word says when they came out they compelled Him to carry the cross, and then Jesus went to the hill and He won victory on the cross,” Davis says in the video. “Your goal tonight is not to die on the cross. It is not to die on the field of battle. We’re calling you out tonight to carry their cross,” he said pointing at a group of child football players who joined the high schoolers in the locker room.

The Christian Post reports that after the video surfaced, the FFRF issued a letter to the school district demanding that they terminate Pastor Russell from his position of character coach and end the allowance of prayer led by him or any other volunteer or employee. FFRF called this schools allowance of prayer a “serious and flagrant violation of the Frist Amendment.”

Christopher Line the FFRF legal fellow who penned the letter to the district’s attorney argued that Davis’ prayer was unconstitutional and violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The school district’s attorney Philip Hartley responded to the FFRF on Monday saying, “The district is committed to complying with the principles set forth in the First Amendment including the Establishment Clause while protecting the rights of students to exercise their freedom of religion rights under the Constitution.”

Hartley continued, “The Superintendent has spoken with appropriate individuals and employees and is confident that any prayer in a school setting that involves students will be voluntary, student initiated and student led so as to protect the rights of all students in the district. This appl[ies] to staff as well as volunteers.”

According to Dawson County News, the students did not let this decision stop them from praying. The local news outlet reported that after Davis was barred from praying with the players, the high schoolers decided to pray anyways, only this time without coaches.

The Tiger’s played their rivals Lumpkin County High on Sept. 21 and won 36-3.

Photo courtesy: Riley McCullough/Unsplash

Another Church Building Sealed Shut in Algeria

Police at doors of Church of Jesus Christ on Tuesday (Oct. 15) in Azaghar village, Akbou, Algeria. (Morning Star News)

Police at doors of Church of Jesus Christ on Tuesday (Oct. 16) in Azaghar village, Akbou, Algeria. (Morning Star News)

Compliance with building codes not enough to prevent closure.

TIZI-OUZOUAlgeria (Morning Star News) – Authorities in Algeria sealed shut a church site on Tuesday (Oct. 16) even after Christian leaders complied with orders to meet building codes, sources said.

In Azaghar village near Akbou, about 185 kilometers (114 miles) east of Algiers in Bejaia Province, Kabylie Region, eight policemen sealed shut the doors of the Church of Jesus Christ, pastor Ali Benkhelat told Morning Star News.

Government officials had ordered the closure in February after local administrators visited the 300-member church’s worship site in December 2017 and January, he said.

“After their visit to our place of worship, they asked us to provide another emergency exit door and fire extinguishers, which we have done,” Pastor Benkhelat said. “We even had to close the premises for three weeks for different development work. If they let us work until today, it’s because they had nothing to reproach us for.”

The five-year-old church is a legal entity by virtue of its affiliation with the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), but the government order stated that its building was originally meant to be used for a poultry business. Christian leaders said it was clean and never had chickens in it.

Police first went to the building owner, Da Amar, at 4 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 15) and asked him to go to the police station at 5 p.m., which he did, Pastor Benkhelat said. The officer on duty told Amar, who makes the building available to the church free of charge, that police would close the building the next day on orders from Bejaia provincial officials.

“This after having reminded him of a notification which had been delivered to him on Feb. 18, 2018, and in which he had been informed of the closure of the premises for reasons of nonconformity,” Pastor Benkhelat said.

Besides citing lack of an emergency exit and fire extinguishers, the Feb. 18 order mentions use of the building to receive foreign pastors as being against Law No. 11-08 of July 25, 2008 as a reason to stop using the building, “under pain of making a decision to close the premises within 15 days.”

After Amar called Pastor Benkhelat on Monday (Oct. 15), the church leader immediately made contact with EPA President Salah Chalah, who arrived from about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away with EPA Vice President Youcef Ourahmane on Tuesday (Oct. 16).

The owner, pastor and EPA representatives went to the Akbou police station to try to get the closure order reversed.

“We presented the necessary documents, including the affiliation of the church to the EPA, but unfortunately their decision only obeyed an order issued by the head of Bejaia Province,” the EPA’s Pastor Ourahmane said.

The closure order this week was issued by a new Bejaia Province head who took office on Oct. 1, the Christian leaders said.

“It was ordered to proceed with the closing of the premises of the church with the sealing of the main entrance door,” Pastor Benkhelat said. “A brigade of eight gendarmes thus appeared around 11:30 and proceeded to execute the established order.”

The sealing of the church building comes amid a rash of church closures in the past year in Algeria. Three churches closed in Oran have since been allowed to re-open, but church buildings closed in Maatkas, Tizi-Ouzou Province, in May, and in Riki on July 11 remain shut, Christian leaders said. The Riki church, near Akbou, continues to hold worship services in the open air outside their closed premises.

On May 26 authorities ordered the closure of a church building in Ait-Mellikeche, also in Bejaia Province.

In addition to orders to close Protestant places of worship, Algerian authorities are trying to block evangelical activity in the country, Christian leaders said. In Oran Province, pastor Rachid Segheir visits provincial offices weekly to appeal for the reopening of his bookstore, which was closed and sealed by police in Oran city.

All churches affiliated with the EPA have been visited by investigators and ordered to comply with requirements for non-Muslim places of worship or face closure.

A 2007 executive decree requires all non-Muslim places of worship in Algeria to register with the state, according to the U.S. State Department, but a government freeze on new EPA members has kept churches from registering.

Idir Hamdad

At the same time, the case of a Christian previously acquitted of frivolous charges again surfaced this month.

Idir Hamdad, a 29-year-old convert from Islam, had been acquitted on July 8 of importing unauthorized (Christian) items without a license, but a prosecutor appealed the decision. A judge on Oct. 9 rejected the appeal, acquitting Hamdad again and ruling that he was prosecuted solely for his faith, though the court did not reveal the decision to his lawyers until Thursday (Oct. 18).

Algeria ranked 42nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.