Haniya to Lead Hamas

Yesterday, Ismail Haniya, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip since 2006, was selected as chief of the Hamas political bureau, which exists in Gaza and other Middle Eastern countries. This is a move in the right direction for Hamas. For the past few years, I have somewhat followed the career of this handsome, 53-year old father of thirteen children. There have been several things he reportedly has said over the years that I like.However, I don't think I'm under any illusions about this. … [Read more...]

Trump Is “Supporting Free Speech and Religious Liberty”

Yesterday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order so named. It repeals the Johnson Amendment. Named after Lyndon B. Johnson--who was a senator from Texas at that time and later became president--this amendment was added to a Congressional bill in 1954. Until then, the Treasury Department exempted all religious organizations from paying taxes. But this amendment required it to disavow a tax exemption to any religious organization that promoted or endorsed a politician.Yesterday I … [Read more...]

Should Trump Relax Rules on Churches Being Political?

For a long time, the U.S. has exempted religious organizations from paying taxes. The main reasoning has always been that much of their activity includes helping poor people and thereby being a humanitarian organization. Another reason is that many politicians have believed that religious organizations have a positive moral and ethical influence on society. Since the federal government has many programs to aid the poor, it is thought that religious organizations simply further this goal. Some … [Read more...]

Comey Was More Wrong

My post yesterday was about FBI Director James Comey being questioned that day by a Senate committee hearing that was televised. Mr. Comey explained publicly for the first time the reasoning for his decision to inform Congress on October 28th, eleven days before the presidential election, that he had reopened the investigation into Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's use of her emails. Yet he had not informed Congress or the public that several weeks before that he had started an investigation … [Read more...]

Comey Was Wrong

Today, FBI Director James Comey appeared before the Senate committee public hearings investigating two things about last year's presidential race: the Clinton email mishap and possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government operatives. For the first time, Comey spoke publicly about his reasoning when he announced eleven days before the presidential election why he gave Congress a letter that day, which was immediately made public. The letter said he was looking … [Read more...]

Is Jesus God Because of His Virgin Birth?

One of the most important elements of church doctrine has been Jesus’ virgin birth. (The miracle was conception, not birth, so it can more properly be called “the virginal conception.”) Jesus’ virgin birth is only mentioned in two New Testament (NT) gospels (Matthew 1.18- 25; Luke 1.26-38; 2.1-21). Together, they relate that Mary miraculously conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, and she remained a virgin until Jesus was born.Many Christians have believed that Jesus was God b … [Read more...]

Does Jesus Say in John 6 He Literally “Came Down from Heaven?”

The institutional church has always claimed that the Bible says Jesus preexisted as God in heaven and came down to earth to become a man, called “the incarnation.” The Nicene Creed says of Jesus, “For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven.”The church also has claimed the incarnation is based on the Bible. Yet there is nothing in the first three gospels of the New Testament (NT) to indicate this. In contrast, the church has cited the Gospel of John as incontrovertible evidence of t … [Read more...]

Abbas Announces No More Electricity for Gaza

Mahmoud Abbas is president of the Palestinian Authority that governs Palestinians living in the West Bank. Hamas governs Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. These two governing agencies have been at odds with each other ever since 2007. The history is that Israel unilaterally relinquished the Gaza Strip to Palestinians in 2005, Hamas won elections there in 2006, and Hamas militarily defeated the Fatah (military wing of the Palestinian Authority) there in 2007 to take full control of the Gaza … [Read more...]