Thursday, September 26, 2013
Christian convictions not allowed on Fox Sport?
Attorneys representing former NFL running back and former Republican senatorial candidate Craig James said Tuesday they are prepared to proceed with legal action against Fox Sports unless the company takes steps to return James to the air as a college football analyst on Fox Sports Southwest.
Liberty Institute, a Plano law firm that specializes in religious freedom cases, said in a three-page letter sent Tuesday to Fox Sports officials that the network committed "a severe violation of Mr. James' religious liberty" by hiring and then dismissing him as college football studio analyst based on lifestyle-related comments made during his 2012 campaign for a U.S. Senate seat.
"Fox Sports has an opportunity here to resolve this in a friendly way and get this behind everybody, and we are hopeful that is what is going to happen" said Hiram Sasser, an attorney with Liberty Institute, whose letterhead reads "Restoring Religious Liberty in America." "We are not interested in the blame game. We're interested in resolving the issue and getting Craig back on the air."
James, who worked for ESPN, ABC and CBS as a sportscaster following his football-playing days at Houston Stratford, SMU and the New England Patriots, was hired in August to appear on Fox Sports Southwest's college football studio shows. It was his first broadcasting job since he left ESPN to make an unsuccessful bid in the Republican Primary for the Senate seat now held by Ted Cruz.
During a candidates' debate during his Senate campaign, James was asked "Do you think people choose to be gay?" and replied, "I think it's a choice, I do. . I think that you have to make that choice. But in that case right there, they are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions."
His campaign website included the statement: " I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, as ordained by God. I do not support the legalization of gay marriage."
He appeared on the network's Aug. 31 shows, but Fox Sports officials announced the following Monday that he would no longer be appearing on Fox Sports Southwest and that his hire by Jon Heidtke, the general manager of the Irving-based regional sports network, had not been fully vetted by company officials.
A company spokesman told The Dallas Morning News: "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."
James has not returned several messages seeking comment since his removal from the air but said in a statement issued Tuesday to Breitbart News that he believes his dismissal stemmed from comments that he says are consistent with his religious faith.
"I was shocked that my personal religious beliefs were not only the reason for Fox Sports firing me but I was completely floored when I read stories quoting Fox Sports representatives essentially saying that people of faith are banned from working at Fox Sports," he said. "That is not right and surely someone made a terrible mistake.
"I have worked in broadcasting for 24 years and have always treated my colleagues with respect and dignity regardless of their background or personal beliefs. I believe it is essential in our business to maintain professional relationships with people from a diverse background and have tolerance for those of different beliefs. I have never discussed my faith while broadcasting and it has never been an issue until now."
In its three-page letter addressed to Heidtke and Mike Anastassioiu, FSSW's executive producer, and to Fox Sports Media Group executives Eric Shanks and Randy Freer, Liberty Institute general counsel Jeffrey Mateer said he would begin legal proceedings within 48 hours of the letter's transmission Tuesday unless James is rehired.
"If you refuse to reinstate Mr. James, millions of Americans will be left with the impression that you do not respect religious liberty," he wrote.
Mateer said the firm's first step would be to obtain documents and seek depositions from Fox Sports officials under provisions of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Blaming the Crusades for Jihad
The cultural relativists on the Left and apologists for radical Islam like to blame the Crusades for almost everything. The Muslim extremists are only responding to the deeds of Christian extremists, the argument goes. In his new book, Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies, former Muslim Ibn Warraq takes on this misleading theme intended to blame the West for the Muslim world's troubles.
The claim that the Crusades are the starting point of Islamic jihad is basically the political application of, "For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction." It equates the Christian beliefs driving the Crusades with the Islamic beliefs driving jihad.
Ibn Warraq's new book tackles this misconception. Islamic atrocities were not provoked by the Crusaders' own reprehensible acts, but preceded them. Islamic jihad was not triggered by the Crusades; it preceded them.
In fact, as explained by Warraq and in books like The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and What's So Great About Christianity, the Christian world was reduced to about one-third of what it was by the sword of jihad. The Crusades were launched with the objective of, without any exaggeration, saving Europe and Western civilization from Sharia.
My personal experience in school is that the opposite was taught. The Crusades were framed as offensive and the jihads as defensive. The Crusaders were depicted as barbarians, particularly to Jews. I cannot recall hearing about a single Islamic atrocity before or during these wars.
This is a common phenomenon, Warraq explains, and it's part of an overall trend when it comes to education about the history of Islam.
"What are seen as positive aspects of Islamic Civilization are ecstatically praised, even exaggerated, and all the negative aspects are imputed to the arrival of the pestilential Westerners, and where the Arabs, Persians and Muslims in general are seen as passive victims," Warraq said in an interview.
As proof, Warraq and the other authors mention the countless mass killings and persecutions of Christians and Jews before the Crusades. The destruction of over 30,000 churches during a 10-year period starting in 1004 AD is little-known. So is the burning of crosses, the beheading of converts to Christianity from Islam, the destruction of Christian holy sites like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the forced tax for non-Muslims (the jizya) and the list goes on and on.
Modern-day Islamists and their apologists point to these times as proof of the historical tolerance of Islamic civilization. Islam-ruled Spain (Andalucia) and the city of Cordoba are held up as the golden examples of interfaith coexistence. For example, the Islamic Society of North America's official publication included an article in its March-April issue titled, "Andalucia: Paradise Still Lost?"
One of the most interesting claims made in Waraq's book is that the Crusades did not have a permanent impact on the Muslim psychology. Part of the reason is because the Muslim world viewed the wars as an overall victory.
"Many believe that modern Muslims have inherited from their medieval ancestors memories of crusader violence and destruction. But nothing could be further from the truth. By the fourteenth century, in the Islamic world the Crusades had almost passed out of mind," Warraq said.
This begs the question of what revived the relevancy of the Crusades in how the Muslim world views the West.
Warraq says that the Crusades were reentered into the discourse by Europe. Imperialism was purposely framed as a continuation of the Crusades; something particularly agitating for the growing Arab nationalist movement.
"Nineteenth, and even early twentieth century Europeans unashamedly used crusader rhetoric and a tendentious reading of crusader history to justify their imperial dreams of conquest," according to Warraq.
The Arab world's insecurities over its falling behind were blamed on the European colonists that were viewed as Crusaders. This theme "eases the guilty consciences of the Arabs themselves: it is not their fault that they are such abject failures-it is all the fault of the Crusaders."
In addition, attributing the backwardness of the Muslim world to the "Crusaders" allowed Sharia Law to escape responsibility. At the same time, complaining about the Crusades actually provided Muslims with hope in the face of Western superiority.
As Dinesh D'Souza explains, "So the Crusades can be seen as a belated, clumsy and unsuccessful effort to defeat Islamic imperialism."
However, Warraq emphasizes that his point isn't to blame the West for its use of Crusader rhetoric. The jihad existed before the Crusades and during the period when they "had almost passed out of mind" of the Muslim world.
"My point is that Islamic jihad did not end with the defeat of the Crusaders. On the contrary, in Islamic doctrine all the later Islamic conquests were seen as a part of the religious duty of carrying out jihad until the entire world submits to Islam," he said.
Blaming the Crusades is a way of denying the Islamic supremacist ideology that has driven the conflict from the beginning.
A devastating truth
by Melanie Phillips
The clear-eyed Palestinian journalist Khaled abu Toameh points out that, if the Palestinian Authority wants the world to take it seriously as a `partner for peace' with Israel, it is going a mighty strange way about showing it.
In separate incidents in the past few days two Israeli soldiers were murdered in the West Bank - one of them having been lured there from Tel Aviv to his death - with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claiming responsibility.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the armed wing of Fatah. Fatah is the party of Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, who does not distance himself from such atrocities committed by his own armed wing.
The PA has also been involved in `a massive campaign of incitement' against Israel, with some officials calling for an escalation of `popular resistance' and with others disseminating inflammatory lies about Israeli behaviour - creating the kind of toxic atmosphere which fuels attacks such as the killing of the two Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian Authority is deemed by Britain, the US and the EU to be a `moderate' body with which Israel must negotiate an agreement for a Palestinian state.
How can the PA possibly be moderate when it openly and routinely supports murder and promotes incitement to hatred and violence against Israel?
The answer, of course, as I have been saying here for years, is that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA are not `moderate' by any reasonable definition of that word; nor are they interested in peaceful co-existence with Israel at all.
More tellingly, they do not feel they have to convince the world that they are. And that is because they know that, whatever atrocities are carried out by their own people, whatever incitement they promulgate and whatever bad faith they show in a myriad different ways, they can rely on Britain, the US and EU to ignore it all and pretend that Abbas and co are indeed seriously interested in a settlement - and then blame Israel for the inevitable breakdown in the peace process.
So how can Britain, the US and the EU possibly subscribe to such a wicked travesty?
Because they have convinced themselves that, when terrorist godfathers in suits and ties tell them what they want to hear, that is because those terrorist godfathers really want nothing more than to become statesmen, turn their swords into ploughshares and build a peaceful and unthreatening society with those they have sworn to wipe out.
How can Britain, the US and the EU possibly be so deluded? Because they think there is no alternative if there is ever to be peace between Israel and the Arabs.
Why do they subscribe to such a muddled non-sequitur? Because they don't want to face two demonstrable facts.
What are those facts?
The first is that the Arab-Israel nine decade-plus war is not a boundary dispute about the division of land. It is a war of extermination by Arab aggressors against the internationally-agreed right of the Jews to govern themselves in their own historic homeland.
The second fact is far more devastating. The single most important reason why this Arab-Israel war continues apparently without end is that, from the very start, first the British and then the Americans and the EU have rewarded Palestinian Arab aggression and punished its Jewish victims or pushed them to surrender. Not surprisingly, the Palestinians have therefore been encouraged to continue to attack Israelis with impunity, to this very day.
And so the devastating fact that Britain, the US and the EU refuse to acknowledge is that the main reason the Arab-Israel war continues is not the intransigence of Benjamin Netanyahu, nor the behaviour of the Israeli `settlers', nor the absence of a Palestinian state. It is nothing other than the behaviour of Britain, the US and the EU themselves.
Vatican Chief Justice: Nancy Pelosi Must Be Denied Communion
Because of her longstanding support for abortion, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a Catholic, must be denied Communion under the law of the Catholic Church, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the highest court at the Vatican.
Cardinal Burke referenced his remarks about Pelosi to Canon Law--the law governing the Catholic Church--and specifically Canon 915, which says those Catholics who obstinately persevere "in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
"Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied," said Cardinal Burke in an interview reprinted on Sept. 5 in The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly. "This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin--cooperating with the crime of procured abortion--and still professes to be a devout Catholic."
"This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must--in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family," said the cardinal.
In mid-June at a Capitol Hill press conference, Pelosi was asked if there is a moral difference between aborting a baby at 26 weeks and what Dr. Kermit Gosnell did in Philadelphia in delivering babies alive at 23 weeks and then severing their spinal cords to kill them?
Pelosi did not answer the question directly but said, "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don't think it should have anything to do with politics, and that's where you're taking it and I'm not going there."
It was in reference to that quote that Cardinal Burke was asked, "How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied?" Burke replied: "Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied."
The cardinal went on to say: "What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death."
"To say that these are simply questions of Catholic faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong," said Card. Burke. "I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life."
St. Thomas More (1478-1535) was Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII. When Henry VIII broke with Rome and declared himself head of the church in England, More refused to swear allegiance to the king's Oath of Supremacy. As a result, Henry VIII had More beheaded. More's last words were, "The king's good servant, but God's first."
Pelosi has a long history of supporting abortion and and has a 100% rating by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."
The Catechism further says: "From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a `criminal' practice (GS 27 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.