Updates: Youcef Nadarkhani & Mia Rivera

head shot of man and small boy snuggling

Nadarkhani with son Yoel, 2009

Today is Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s 841st day in prison. He’s waiting to be hanged.

For being a Christian.

In a country whose constitution guarantees religious freedom. Go figure.

According to a central European news agency, human rights activists in Iran have reported that, on December 30th, the government offered Nadarkhani release in return for a public statement that Mohammed was “a messenger sent by God.” Nadarkhani declined the deal, saying that the statement would be tantamount to repudiating his faith in Christ.

Now the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is reporting that the Chief Justice of the Gilan Provincial Court is again pressuring Nadarkhani to recant his faith.

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The face of gendercide

A month ago, I posted (“Gen XY and the war on women”) on 163 million missing girls and women, aborted specifically because they were female.

But 163 million is such a hard number to get your mind around.

I could tell you that if you put 30 little girls in a classroom, put that classroom in a school of fifty classrooms, each filled with thirty little girls, and put that school in a district of 50 schools that size, it would take 2,173 of those school districts to accommodate all those girls.

I could tell you that last summer the U.S. Census Bureau was forecasting that, by comparison, we would have a mere 55.5 million children enrolled in pre-K through 12th grade in this country in 2011-2012.

Or I can introduce you to Dr. Mitu Khurana, 35, a New Delhi pediatrician and the mother of six-year-old twin girls.

Mitu Khurana holding her baby girls 2005

Mitu Khurana with her daughters, 2005

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Washington’s gay marriage bill: a frontal attack on religious freedom

The gay marriage bill in the Washington State Legislature specifically claims to protect religious freedom. HB 2516/SB 6239 bills itself as:

AN ACT Relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom. . . . [Emphasis mine]

But, as always, the devil is in the details.

three-column stained glass window of the

CCL Danie Van der Merwe

Section 4 (2) of the proposed legislation says that:

No regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination is required to solemnize any marriage.

Sounds good, right? The Section goes on to say that:

A refusal to solemnize any marriage under this section by a regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination does not create a civil claim or cause of action. . . .

It doesn’t create a civil claim or cause of action. A civil claim is when one private person (or group of people) sues another private person or group. Notice that the Section is silent on whether a refusal might create any other kind of legal claim.

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Melinda Guido, Roe v. Wade and cognitive dissonance

Melinda Guido in NICU incubator with adult hand beside her

Over the weekend, the media covered the heartwarming story of Melinda Star Guido. Melinda was born August 30th at 24 weeks gestation. She weighed just 9 1/2 ounces–”less than a can of soda,” both ABC and HuffPo point out–and was the size of an adult hand. Awake, alert, and weighing over 4 1/2 pounds, she went home with her parents Friday, and slept for the first time in her own bed Friday night.

Here’s a video from ABC showing footage of her from both last summer and last Friday.

In other news this weekend, the President released a statement Sunday, on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

 As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. . . .

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Online piracy and the Church of Kopimism

Last Friday, I mentioned in passing Sweden’s new Church of Kopimism. The Missionary Church of Kopimism was founded by two baby-faced college students, philosophy major Isak Gerson, 20, and economics major Gustav Nipe (who, except for being tall, doesn’t look a day over 12). Their sacred symbols are the kopimi (pronounced “copy me”–wink, wink–get it?!) logo:

Letter K inside a triangle

and, in fact, any symbol that represents and encourages copying, e.g.:

Yin-yang symbol with Ctrl-C in the black portion and Ctrl-V in the white portion

Its 4,000 members hold information and the sharing of it (including illegal file-sharing) to be holy. (Here’s a link to the English page on the church’s official website, and an interview with the founder.)

A reader comment on last week’s post suggested that perhaps the whole thing was (gasp!) just a scam. I’m guessing my Dear Reader was operating under the suspicion that perhaps Messrs. Gerson and Nipe were just trying to get the protection of religious freedom for online piracy.

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“Where are you taking us?”

Wohin bringt ihr uns? In English, "Where are you taking us?"

The Aktion T4 Monument, Berlin: "Wohin bringt ihr uns?" ("Where are you taking us?") Words of a disabled person on the way to a Nazi extermination camp (CCL Matt Wetzler)

Remember when President Obama first began touting his health-care program?

Remember how The Washington Times editorialized hysterically about how we were headed down the same path as Nazi Germany? (Germany, you’ll recall, began killing disabled newborns in October, 1939. Their Aktion T4–”T4 Program”–went on to legally murder a quarter million men, women and children because they were blind, deaf, senile, retarded, epileptic, paralyzed and so on.)

Remember how The New York Times graciously reassured our quivering hearts that it was all lies and silly rumors?

Well, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The death panels are here.

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The problem of MLK’s plagiarism

Lyndon Johnson shakes hands with Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Lyndon Johnson shakes hands with Martin Luther King, Jr., after signing the Voter Rights Act of 1964

We’re not much these days for icons. Washington owned slaves, and Jefferson almost certainly slept with at least one of his slaves, whom he never freed. JFK was a serial philanderer, Tricky Dick actually was a crook, and MLK was an academic fraud no more entitled to be called Doctor King than I am.

Oh, wait, I forgot: King is our one remaining icon.

So, like the naked emperor’s subjects, we just don’t talk about the fact that, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica’s Executive Director Theodore Pappas, King lifted a mind-boggling 60% of his doctoral dissertation from other sources without crediting them.

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