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Legendary actor Gary Sinise, best known as the hard-charging “Lt. Dan” in the movie “Forrest Gump,” is not just a hero on a Hollywood screen — he’s also a hero in the real world, helping disabled veterans through his Gary Sinise Foundation and providing a voice for those who fight for our country.
After President Obama held a Rose Garden ceremony for the parents of alleged-deserter Bowe Bergdahl, with National Security Adviser Susan Rice claiming that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction,” Sinise once again used his celebrity platform to be a voice for the families of the fallen soldiers who died searching for a man who allegedly deserted his post in the middle of a war.
When the U.S. Army brought charges against Bergdahl earlier this year, Sinise took to Twitter to demand that the White House explain exactly why the now-infamous prisoner swap, in which Obama traded five high-ranking Taliban commanders for the alleged traitor, took place — for the sake of the families who lost sons, brothers and husbands in the process of searching for Bergdahl.
Watching an industry full of sheep who worship Obama’s every move, we’re always grateful to see patriotic Americans in Hollywood, who stand behind our troops, separate themselves from the rest and not hesitate to call out the commander in chief for his questionable actions.
Gary Sinise was a voice for veterans long before Forrest Gump. In the 1980s, Sinise was profoundly moved by a play written by Vietnam veterans called “Tracers,” which highlighted how America treated returning soldiers from Vietnam.
Because of personal experiences with his brother-in-law serving as a combat medic in Vietnam along with other family and friends and seeing how they were treated upon returning to their homeland, Sinise vowed to use his platform to make sure such mistreatment never happens again.
We salute Sinise for taking his time to stand up for veterans, especially disabled ones, to get them the help that they most certainly deserve after putting their lives on the line so the rest of us can sleep peacefully at night.Watching an industry full of sheep who worship Obama’s every move, we’re always grateful to see patriotic Americans in Hollywood, who stand behind our troops, separate themselves from the rest and not hesitate to call out the commander in chief for his questionable actions.
We salute Sinise for taking his time to stand up for veterans, especially disabled ones, to get them the help that they most certainly deserve after putting their lives on the line so the rest of us can sleep peacefully at night.
May 28, 2015
Galatians 3:1-29 (Good News Translation)
God’s Renewing Word
Galatians 3:1-29: Paul continues his discussion of what it means to be saved by faith (see 2:15-21 from yesterday’s reading). Paul uses the example of Abraham to demonstrate that faith in Christ makes one a child of God and a descendant of Abraham. Paul contrasts depending on obeying the Law versus a life of faith that is dependent on God’s promises. The chapter concludes with Paul assuring the Galatians that, through faith and by living in union with Christ, there are no differences among people.
Today’s Scripture: Galatians 3:11b
“Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”
Law or Faith
1You foolish Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Before your very eyes you had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross!2Tell me this one thing: did you receive God's Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it?3How can you be so foolish! You began by God's Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power?4Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something!5Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it?
6 Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, “He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”7 You should realize, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith.8 The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: “Through you God will bless all people.”9Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believe are blessed as he was.
10 Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, “Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!”11 Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.” 12 But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, “Whoever does everything the Law requires will live.”
13 But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse.”14Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God.
The Law and the Promise
15My friends, I am going to use an everyday example: when two people agree on a matter and sign an agreement, no one can break it or add anything to it.16Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural “descendants,” meaning many people, but the singular “descendant,” meaning one person only, namely, Christ.17 What I mean is that God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to keep it. The Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, cannot break that covenant and cancel God's promise.18 For if God's gift depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on his promise. However, it was because of his promise that God gave that gift to Abraham.
19What, then, was the purpose of the Law? It was added in order to show what wrongdoing is, and it was meant to last until the coming of Abraham's descendant, to whom the promise was made. The Law was handed down by angels, with a man acting as a go-between.20But a go-between is not needed when only one person is involved; and God is one.
The Purpose of the Law
21Does this mean that the Law is against God's promises? No, not at all! For if human beings had received a law that could bring life, then everyone could be put right with God by obeying it.22But the scripture says that the whole world is under the power of sin; and so the gift which is promised on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ is given to those who believe.
23But before the time for faith came, the Law kept us all locked up as prisoners until this coming faith should be revealed.24And so the Law was in charge of us until Christ came, in order that we might then be put right with God through faith.25Now that the time for faith is here, the Law is no longer in charge of us.
26It is through faith that all of you are God's children in union with Christ Jesus.27You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself.28So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.29 If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants of Abraham and will receive what God has promised.
According to Paul, who are the descendants of Abraham (verse 7)? In verses 10-13, Paul references from Deuteronomy 27:26, Habakkuk 2:4, Leviticus 18:5, and Deuteronomy 21:23 when he says that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings.” What is the blessing that such redemption brings (verse 14)? What does Paul say regarding the purpose of the Law (verses 19-25)? Reread verses 26-29. What does it mean to you to be “in union with Christ Jesus”? What does this say to you about your relationship with other believers?
Lord Jesus, you have redeemed me from the curse that the Law brings by becoming a curse for me. I belong to you and, through faith, I am an heir to God’s promises. Holy God, thank you for calling me to be your child and that, through faith, I am in union with Christ Jesus and heir to your promises. Amen.
Galatians 4:1-31: Paul continues to express his concern for the Galatians.
Frustrated American pilots and retired generals are striking out at the Obama Pentagon’s restrictive rules of engagement and White House micromanagement they say are crippling the war against Islamic State terrorists before it even gets off the ground.
“There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage,” one F-18 Navy pilot told Fox News.
“They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them,” he added. “It was frustrating.”
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Pilots are forced to seek approval before engaging each target, a process they say takes an hour on the average. By the time approval is received, conditions on the ground or the air often change.
“You’re talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel,” retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan, told Fox News.
“These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage.”
And he places the blame directly on the steps of the White House.
“The ultimate guidance rests in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “We have been applying air power like a rain shower or a drizzle. For it to be effective, it needs to be applied like a thunderstorm.”
The U.S. Air Force’s Central Command pushed back at the complaints.
“We refute the idea that close air support strikes take ‘an hour on average.’ Depending on the how complex the target environment is, a strike could take place in less than 10 minutes or it could take much longer,” a central command spokesman said, according to Fox News.
“As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately.”
Fox News Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin told Shepard Smith Wednesday that U.S. pilots are averaging 14 strikes per day targeting the Islamic State.
“Compare that to the first Gulf War,” she said. “The United States averaged 1,125 strikes per day. In Kosovo 135 strikes a day.”
But a senior defense official called those unfair comparisons.
“The Gulf War and Kosovo are not reasonable comparisons. In those instances, we were fighting conventional forces. Today, we are supporting a fight against terrorists who blend into the civilian population,” he said. “Our threshold for civilian casualties and collateral damage is low. We don’t want to own this fight. We have reliable partners on the ground.”
But it’s not just the pilots who are frustrated — allies are too.
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Iraqi officials are complaining that the Obama administration’s excessive caution in approving airstrikes is giving the terrorists a huge advantage, according to The New York Times.
The seven buildings comprising Islamic State headquarters, located in Raqqa, Syria, for instance, have been off limits for targeting in the 10 months since they were first identified, out of a fear of collateral damage to the civilian population.
They also cite numerous missed opportunities to strike troop movements. The Times reported:
And just last week, convoys of heavily armed Islamic State fighters paraded triumphantly through the streets of the provincial capital Ramadi in western Iraq after forcing Iraqi troops to flee. They rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recently charged that 75 percent of U.S. pilots return to base without having released a single weapon, according to Fox.
It’s not a way to win a war.
Marine Appeals Court-Martial Over Bible Verse
Last year, Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was court-martialed for refusing to take down a paraphrased Bible verse on her computer
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord”. Isaiah 54:17King James Version (KJV)
With the help of a non-profit legal organization, she’s planning to fight that ruling with an appeal.
Celebrate your Freedoms each day be Thankful for the Price Americans have paid.
"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."-- Daniel Webster
Reports from the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) suggest that some in Europe think Not. The Gates of Vienna blog covered the recent meeting at:
Posted on May 27, 2015 by Baron Bodissey
Last week four Counterjihad activists representing various NGOs attended two days of an OSCE/ODIHR (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) conference in Vienna. Below is an overview of the event written by one of the participants.
" A human rights organisation falling off the cliff " --by Henrik Ræder Clausen
At the imperial castle Hofburg in Vienna, Austria, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) hosted a conference named “Security Days” about dialogue and bridge-building as tools to prevent radicalization and terrorism. A series of high level international organisations participated, including the Anna Lindh Foundation, the foreign ministries of the United States, Egypt and Turkey, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the UN organisation Alliance of Civilisations, and the Saudi-sponsored center for dialogue KAICIID. But despite the fancy surroundings and the high level participants, the result was disappointing.
-- Can the truth constitute “Hate speech”?
On the first evening of the conference, there was a “Night Owl” session about how to deal with the new media, and in particular how to ensure that they cannot be used to radicalize and recruit terrorists. Also discussed was the difficulties of reconciling freedom of expression with the desire for security. The contributions from the panelists and the first rounds of discussion constituted mostly of friendly yet non-committal comments about the new media, and the fascinating fact that anyone can now publish whatever he finds meaningful with a click of the button, and consequently how to deal with “hate speech” and other unpleasant content.
-- Have we investigated what our enemies say?
Friday featured four major sessions. The first topic was the identification of the root causes of radicalization, and how to convince the public that no religion (in practical terms, that means Islam) must be held responsible for the increasing terrorist threat. Panel members stressed the importance of not calling the Islamic State the “Islamic State”, for doing so could give the impression that Islam motivates people to war, terrorism and other crimes.
The audience challenged the panel for talking away from the real problem. One suggestion was to map the stated motivations of the terrorists, in order that we might attack terrorism on the level of ideology. The panel reacted by mentioning cases where terrorists had complained about feeling marginalized by society, but did not discuss the proposal in itself.
-- Should education be based on facts?
A recurring theme was that international organisations (such as OSCE) should be more active in directing education of the coming generations, in order that they understand the principle of universal human rights, with the implicit assumption that they will then abstain from terrorism. The words “bridge-building” were used repeatedly, despite the fact that large number of Europeans are sincerely weary of the bridges built thus far and the problems they bring.
The audience was quite clearly dissatisfied with the non-committal comments from the panel members. One audience member proposed that any such education guidelines should be based on what Islamists themselves say about their ideology. An example brought forth was that the Al-Azhar Islamic university in Egypt has stated that they do not consider Islamic State to be un-Islamic. Another audience member encouraged Turkey to stop the institutional denial of the Armenian Genocide, in order that the truth might become widely known. Again, the panel gave vague and unclear responses.
-- And what about equal rights for women?
After a delicious buffet brunch, discussion continued to the need for increased participation by women and the young. A woman from Afghanistan related how it became possible for a significant number of women to participate in the country’s large legislative assembly. Then there was no elaboration on how more female and young participants would materially improve our security.
As in the previous sessions, it was remarkable how few hard facts were presented. One audience member inquired if any systematic surveys had been conducted about Islamic leaders and their attitude to equal rights for women. In addition she asked if the position of women under Sharia law is not a severe problem that requires addressing. A panel member responded that Sharia is a tradition, not a fixed system, and that women are valued highly in Islam.
-- Practical proposals ignored
In the closing session, one audience member proposed that efforts should be initiated to convince Islamic leaders to respect human rights, so they would stop radicalizing people to become terrorists. For if Islam really does not have anything to do with terrorism, it should be easy to show imams and other Islamic scholars their misunderstandings of Islam.
Another suggestion put to the panel was to confront and close extremist Islamic organisations directly, in order to put an end to their radicalization of Muslims. The European Council for Fatwa and Research was mentioned as an obvious example, for on the previous day, May 20th, they had reiterated that according to Islamic law, persons leaving Islam should be killed.
These practical proposals were not given serious consideration by the panel.
-- Unanswered questions
The apparent ignorance, and in some cases obviously contrafactual statements, caused an American expert to ask: didn’t the panel members, given their elevated positions in a variety of international organisations, had a professional duty to know this material, and base their work on such knowledge?
Eventually, the panel gave up even pretending to respond to the challenging questions. They held a series of additional monologues with little relevance to what the audience had asked about, until no time was left to address them.
The OSCE, which in its time contributed significantly to the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union, does not seem able and willing to use human rights as a serious weapon in the battle against the ideology of Islamists and terrorists.
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