Why Germany is welcoming refugees

Many European countries are dismayed at all of the refugees pouring in from Syria and other war-torn Islamic countries. But Germany is welcoming them, going so far as to promise to take in 800,000 of them.  So why is that?

Because Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world (8.2 babies per 1,000 people), and the population is projected to drop from today’s 81 million to 68 million in the next few decades.  Germans know that this population implosion could be devastating to their economy and their society, and they hope that an injection of people who don’t mind having children will help.

Does anyone know why Germans and other advanced nations have virtually stopped having children?  Is this a symptom of the sexual revolution?  Feminism?  The decline of marriage in favor of living-together and perpetual singleness?  Or what? [Read more...]

Obama wins with Iran deal

Senate Democrats rallied behind President Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran in return for its promises to slow down its nuclear program.  Enough senators supported the agreement to sustain a presidential veto against Congressional attempts to stop it.

UPDATE:  You have got to read Charles Krauthammer’s account of what just happened.  President Obama packaged the deal so that it isn’t considered a treaty (even though it is one), which would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.  “To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, he got the deal approved by the UN, making it international law, even before Congress approved it!

Now Iran will immediately get $100 billion from their blocked accounts and full access to the oil market and foreign investment.  Since their nuclear program is legally branded as “peaceful,” the West, according to the terms of the agreement, must give Iran aid in developing it and must defend it against cyberattacks from Israel, which the leadership of Iran is bragging won’t be around in 25 years!

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Muslim refugees converting to Christianity

Thousands of refugees from Syria–as well as Iran, Afghanistan, and other Islamic countries–have been pouring into Europe, creating big problems and provoking all kinds of controversy.  But many of these Islamic refugees have been converting to Christianity.

Some Europeans are skeptical, thinking the conversions are simply a facade to get asylum.  Religious beliefs aren’t supposed to be factors in immigration decisions, but a Muslim who converts to Christianity can make a good claim that deportation would mean a death sentence.  But taking that step, for a Muslim–publicly renouncing Islam and becoming Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–would surely be existentially difficult unless it is sincere.

And 90% of the newly baptized keep coming to church, unlike much of the nominally Christian populations.  Perhaps this will be a way of revitalizing European Christianity!  After the jump, an Associated Press story on the subject.

UPDATE:  The “priest” Gottfried Martens referred to in the article is actually a pastor in the SELK church, a confessional denomination unaffiliated with the state church that is in fellowship with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  Thanks to commenter Bror Erickson for that information.  And to sapling_Alex for pointing out that these Lutherans are taking the lead in refugee evangelism.  I would also add a reminder to the discussion about immigration that “Islam” is not a race but a religion, so that when Muslims convert to Christianity they are no longer Muslims.

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Did the Q’uran pre-date Muhammed?

Carbon dating of what has been called the world’s oldest Q’uran suggests that the manuscript may have been written before the Muhammed was born, so that the book of which this is a copy would be even older.  Islam teaches that the Q’uran was delivered directly to the prophet from Heaven, but this would indicate that he may have been drawing on a pre-existent text in formulating the new religion.

But in fairness, it is possible to put a different construction on the evidence.  The carbon dating has the manuscript as having been written between 568-645 A.D.   Muhammad lived from 570-632 A.D.   Islamic tradition says that the Q’uran was given to the prophet between 610-632 A.D., with the writings formally collected into a single book around 650 A.D.

Carbon dating gives a range, not a precise date.  And it seems to me that the traditional accounts still fall within this range. [Read more...]

We’ve reached a nuclear deal with Iran

The Obama administration, along with 5 other countries, reached a deal with Iran, cutting sanctions in return for a ten-year moratorium on that country’s nuclear weapons program.  So now, without sanctions, Iran can potentially sell its oil and grow rich and powerful, and possibly after a decade become a nuclear power.  Israel is profoundly worried, if not panicked, and the balance of power in the Middle East is altered.  But at least maybe the Shi’ite Iran can counter the Sunni ISIS.  What do you think of this deal? [Read more...]

ISIS “serves the best lattes and cappucinos around”

A propaganda booklet being circulated by ISIS promises great food, stylish technology, and cosmopolitan diversity.  The author, a British citizen named Abu Rumaysah al-Britani, then looks forward to the day when ISIS will takes over London, Paris, and Washington, D. C., “because not only will we spill your blood, but we will also demolish your statues, erase your history and, most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers.”  Bridget Johnson reports. . . . [Read more...]