Like his Democratic predecessor, President Biden has prioritized LGBTQ rights in both the domestic and foreign policies of the United States. The administration’s priorities were made most obvious in early June when an enormous rainbow flag was hung outside the U.S. embassy to the Vatican. While “trolling” the Roman Catholic Church isn’t usually a diplomatic priority, officials made their intentions clear by tweeting: “The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people”…
In just the last few weeks, two mass kidnappings took place, both at schools in northwestern Nigeria. In the first, “unidentified gunmen” attacked a boarding school in Niger state, killing one student and kidnapping 42 others — 38 of the abducted were rescued a week later, presumably by government forces. The day before that rescue, “unknown gunmen” in neighboring Zamfara state kidnapped over 300 girls from a boarding school. On Tuesday, the AP reported the release of 270.
Last month, after more than ten years in hiding, Lisa Miller surrendered herself to American authorities at the U. S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. Miller, now in custody at the federal detention center in Miami, faces kidnapping and conspiracy charges. She’ll likely be found guilty but, in reality, she’s a victim of bad ideas. She’s a mom, attempting to protect her daughter from her own bad choices and our society’s attempt to redefine marriage, parenting, and the family.
Three Years is Too Long
Three years ago, 110 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by terrorists from Boko Haram. After a month of negotiations with government authorities, 109 were returned to their families. The girl who was not returned was also the only Christian, 14-year-old Leah Sharibu.
According to Boko Haram (or, as it calls itself, the Islamic State West African Province), Sharibu refused to convert to Islam, their precondition for her release. A few months later, Boko Haram announced that Sharibu and Alice Loksha Ngaddah, a Christian nurse kidnapped in March 2018, would be enslaved for life.
The last time the world heard from Leah, she begged to be “treated with compassion” and asked “the government, particularly the president, to pity me and get me out of this serious situation.” Three years later, Leah remains a prisoner, a “captive for Christ.”
A COVID-Free China Still Isn’t Free
Recently, police in Hong Kong arrested 53 pro-democracy activists for holding a primary election. The Communist Chinese government made the sweep of political opponents under cover of its new national security law. The same day as these arrests, China-based tech firm Alibaba’s stock jumped 30 percent when word circulated that Jack Ma, Alibaba’s eccentric founder, might actually be alive. Ma vanished two months ago after publicly criticizing China’s banking system. Apparently, stockholders had assumed the Chinese Communist Party killed him…
Today’s BreakPoint: Disney’s Mulan and the Backdrop of Genocide
JOHN STONESTREET WITH DAVID CARLSON
Disney’s newest live-action movie, “Mulan,” was released Friday. So far, reviews have ranged from mostly positive to absolutely glowing: “an exciting, well-crafted action movie,” a “robust” and “family-friendly, live-action Disney fantasy,” and an “epic-scale tribute to female empowerment.”
However, the feedback on Mulan has chilled considerably after reports that Disney filmed substantial portions of the movie in China’s Xinjiang province, with the blessing and cooperation of the Chinese Communist government.
Xinjiang is the home province of some 12 million Muslim Uighurs. According to the U. S. State Department, over one million of them have been moved to concentration camps where “they are starved, abused, tortured, electrocuted, raped and even killed.” Uighur women have been “forcibly sterilized . . . [and] made to use intrusive birth control methods.” There have even been reports of forced abortions and even infanticide.
Today’s BreakPoint: Germany to Honor Sophie Scholl
In February of 1943, German university student Sophie Scholl was convicted of high reason against the Nazi regime and executed by guillotine. Last week, Germany announced it will honor this Christian martyr with a €20.00 sterling silver commemorative coin. Scheduled for circulation in time for her 100th birthday, which is in 2021, the coin will bear Sophie’s likeness with her words, “A feeling for what is just and unjust” along the edge.
Sophie Scholl was raised, along with her older brother Hans, in a nominal Lutheran household. Like most German children at the time, she was a member of the League of German Girls and her brother a member of the Hitler Youth. However, as they grew up, they became more and more disillusioned by the Nazification of virtually every area of German life and Hitler’s tyrannical opposition to much they believed to be good, such as works of art and music considered to be non-Aryan…
The ruling was an unpleasant surprise for many Westerners (especially Americans) who believe judicial activism is what courts are supposed to do.
Today’s BreakPoint: Mexico Rejects Abortion Imperialism
JOHN STONESTREET WITH ROBERTO RIVERA
Recently, Mexico’s Supreme Court refused a sweeping Roe v. Wade kind of ruling on abortion. This ruling was in response to another by a lower court judge which ordered the state legislature of Vera Cruz to amend its penal code and allow abortion in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. In a 4-1 decision, the Court ruled that the Vera Cruz judge exceeded his authority.
According to Justice Norma Piña, allowing courts to dictate the meaning of laws written by state legislators would be “to fall into judicial activism.”…
Today‘s BreakPoint: Hagia Sophia and the Armenian Genocide
JOHN STONESTREET WITH ROBERTO RIVERA
Despite protests from around the world, Turkey has decided to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. One supporter of Prime Minister Erdogan told Al Jazeera he’d been waiting fifty years for the holy site’s “original identity as a mosque” to be “restored.”
In truth, the original identity of the Hagia Sophia was as the Christian cathedral of Constantinople.
Now why should a building halfway around the world matter to us today? Well, that’s because, unfortunately, the Turkish government has a long track record of revising history. For example, between 1915 and 1923, in what’s known as the Armenian Genocide, an estimated 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed and expelled from the Ottoman Empire, what is now Turkey.
What the Ottomans did to their Christian subjects served as a model for the Holocaust. As Adolf Hitler told military commanders just prior to the invasion of Poland, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Well, to answer his question, certainly not the Turks. Turkey and its ethnically related neighbor, Azerbaijan, are the only nations in the world that deny that the Armenian Genocide happened. What’s more, Turkey has prosecuted scholars and journalists who say otherwise, accusing them of “insulting Turkishness.” One such journalist, Hrant Dink, was murdered while awaiting trial in 2007…