The Abortion Wars: Abortion Worker Conversions and Modeling Christ

Some of the most committed pro lifers are former abortion workers.

Only people who have walked the other way can really know how horrific abortion is. That makes their dedication stronger and their testimony more compelling. They are among the most effective pro life warriors that we have.

Most pro life people are familiar with Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood Director who just got up from her desk at Planned Parenthood one day, went to the 40 Days for Life headquarters and sobbed, “I want out!”

What many of us don’t know is that in the past five years at least 70 abortion workers have experienced similar conversions. That may not sound like a lot of people, but each one of them is a miracle of God’s grace; a Saul on the Road to Damascus reversal of life direction. These people gave up their jobs, friends, maybe their family, because, in Abby Johnson’s words they “want out.”

What drives them to step out and take the risks involved in this huge reversal of the trajectory of their lives? I believe that it is the Holy Spirit, Who does not want any of God’s children to be lost. But I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is acting on the abortion workers alone. I think that pro life people are responding to grace and changing their tactics, as well. This combination is what is leading to these conversions.

In a Catholic World Report article, Shawn Carney, Campaign Director of 40 Days for life, says

In recent years, however, the exodus from the abortion industry has increased. Over the past five years alone, at least 70 abortion workers have had a change of heart and mind and left the industry.

“That is one statistic we wouldn’t have predicted,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director for 40 Days for Life, which has kept track of the abortion-industry departures.

“We hoped that mothers would choose life and that abortion businesses would close, but the abortion workers were another story,” said Carney. “They’re the ones who, on paper, are supposed to be our enemies, and yet the difference has been that the prayer and the peacefulness of our campaigns really wears on the workers.”

We have come a distance from the bad old days when pro-life people competed with one another in insulting and attacking pro choice, or pro abortion people. Somewhere along the line, the Holy Spirit helped pro life people figure out that they couldn’t convert people by slandering them.

There is still plenty of that type of pro-lifer around. I encounter some of them right here on this blog; people who denounce me because I distinguish between those who are genuinely (if confusedly) pro choice in their thinking and those who are just plain pro abortion. But better ways are taking hold within the movement, and they are bearing fruit.

I doubt if Abby Johnson would have left her office that day if she hadn’t felt there was a chance that the people at 40 Days for Life would welcome her. If she had felt that by leaving Planned Parenthood she was jumping directly into a volcano of hate, I daresay she would have toughened up and stifled her reservations until callouses formed around her heart and the opportunity to save her had passed.

I think that this change in us is part of the reason why we’ve begun, after all these decades, to see a rise in the number of abortion worker defections to the pro life camp. We have changed, and for the better. We’ve begun to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and model Christ for them.

There is a lesson in this for the Year of Faith for all of us. Faith is doing what God wants, using God’s tactics, not our own.

I’ve said that you can’t fight the devil with the devil’s weapons. That is true in all arenas, including this one.

“Legitimate Rape” Senate Candidate Arrested in 1980s Pro Life Protest

Mr Foot-In-Mouth, Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin, just rose in my opinion. 

Remember Todd Akin? He was the senatorial candidate who basically affronted the dignity of everyone with two X chromosomes by making a statement to the effect that if a rape was “legitimate” the woman’s body would protect itself and not allow her to get pregnant. Aside from the garbled way he expressed himself and the fantasy biology he seemed to believe, his apparent attitude toward rape victims was … well … horrible.

His own political party pressured him to withdraw from the race but Akins refused and doggedly campaigned on. He must be doing surprisingly well. The reason I say this is that opposition groups, including People for the American Way have “researched” his past, looking for an embarrassment or two. In my opinion, they might have left well enough alone.

It turns out that Todd Akins was arrested a number of times back in the 1980s for criminal trespass and resisting arrest in front of a St Louis abortion clinic.

According to the St Louis Post-Dispatch archives,

a 37-year-old William Akin from Creve Coeur — whose name and address matches other information about the future lawmaker — was among a group of protesters arrested on March 15, 1985. The newspapers account said: “Nineteen anti-abortion demonstrators who refused to leave the waiting room of an abortion clinic in the Central West End were carried out by St. Louis police officers.”

Three weeks later, another six protesters, including Akin, were arrested at another St. Louis demonstration. “Police had to carry Akin into an elevator,” the story said.
On April 5, 1985, Akin was arrested again as one of 10 protesters who were “attempting to block entrances” at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Ill., according to the paper. One clinic employee told the paper that the protesters caused minor damage and leveled “verbal abuse” at women entering the clinic.

Akins has confirmed that he was arrested 25-years ago, but won’t give out further details. “We’re not talking about that at all,” Akin told the AP. “It was 25 years ago, and I think it underlines the fact that I stand up for the things I believe and I’m pro-life, and we’re just leaving it there.”

I think these opposition researchers would have done better to have stayed with the outrage over Akin’s earlier comments. The arrest they discovered seems more like confirmation of his dedicated pro-life stand than a scandal. It sounds as if he was practicing the time-honored tradition of non-violent civil disobedience as a form of protest. It confirms that no matter how bad he is at expressing himself — and he deserves some kind of prize for that — he has a life-time dedicated pro-life stance.

Bad Boss Contest: Fired for Escaping an Armed Robber

Arby’s just went off my list of places to buy lunch.

No one can accuse Maria Archer of being a job hopper. She has worked for Arby’s for 23 years. The Fairborn Ohio Arby’s where she worked has been robbed three times in the last six months, and she didn’t quit.

Arby’s did not install alarms, security cameras or hire protection for their much-robbed location. They did, however, seek to enforce a “safety” rule that no employee should be in the building alone. Evidently Maria Archer broke that rule by staying late to close the restaurant last Friday. About 1 am the doorbell rang. She thought it was her co-worker who has just left and answered the door.

Instead of her co-worker, she was confronted by a man with a knife who tried to push her into a corner. She somehow managed to push the man away and escape through the drive-through window. Her thought: “I’m not going to die at Arby’s tonight. I’m just not.”

Arby’s response to all this? When Ms Archer returned for work, they fired her for violating their “safety rule.”

“I just never thought this would happen to me. Especially since my life was a stake.” Ms Archer told a local reporter.

Frankly, I can’t imagine returning to work after what she went through last Friday. This lady’s loyalty to Arby’s is way beyond anything I would have felt. But then, the first of the three previous robberies would probably have been enough for me.

As I said, Arby’s is off my sandwich for lunch list. This is just one more incentive to go to Chick-Fil-A for my fast food.

 

For Your Shopping Convenience: Five Christian Companies That Bring Their Faith to Work

Boycotts work best when you can narrow it down to one or two businesses. It’s impractical to boycott the whole wide world of commerce.

That’s a problem for Christians who want to their dollars to walk the talk of their beliefs. The amoral, anti-Christian ethos penetrates our corporate/entertainment industries to such an extent that it’s almost impossible to pick just one.

The logical thing for us to do is to turn the whole question on its head. Instead of boycotting the bad, we need to go out of our way to support the good. That’s why I was so glad when I found the following article which described five companies that bring their Christian faith to work.

I know Tyson Foods, Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby. I’m going to check in to the others. If there’s anything the sell that’s on my “buy” list, they’ll get my trade. If you know of other companies that deserve a mention, let me know.

I’m going to reproduce the article completely. If you want to read more great articles like it, check out the Blaze.  Here it is:

Chick-fil-A isn’t the only company willing to share its Christian faith with the world. While attaching a specific religious view to a product or service holds the potential to turn a portion of consumers off, some business leaders and companies stick to their values and intentionally include them in their packaging and messaging. Some of these brands include: Forever 21, Interstate Battery, Tyson Foods, In-N-Out Burger and Hobby Lobby.

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

Forever 21:  Forever 21 is a clothing store that was founded by Don and Jin Chang, devout Christians who moved to America from Korea in 1981. The small store they opened in Los Angeles in 1984 has grown into a mass business comprised of hundreds of locations across the globe.

On the bottom of each bag, shoppers will find “John 3:16,” the popular Bible verse that reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

Image Credit: Los Angeles Times

Interstate Battery: Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, a company that sells — you guessed it, batteries — is also a believer who discusses his faith and salvation publicly. In fact, he even takes to the company’s web site to invite customers and visitors to write to him for prayer advice.

“Norm Miller is also a believer in God’s power to change lives, because it was that power that turned his own life around after years of drinking as hard as he worked,” reads Miller’s personal testimony on Interstate Batteries’ web site.

Click here to find out more!

 

But, the company goes well beyond merely mentioning God. Miller encourages everyone to accept Jesus Christ as personal savior — a central tenet of the Christian faith. Here’s more from the site:

You can accept Him right now, just like I did, by repeating this prayer and making it the commitment of your heart. Just pray…

“Dear God, I want freedom from the slavery of my sin. I believe Jesus is the Truth, and I accept Him now as my Lord and Savior. I ask you for forgiveness of my sins, because He paid for them for me. Please give me the power to live a life pleasing to You. Thank you for this gift of new and eternal life in Christ! In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

If you prayed this prayer, I’d like to send you some additional information that will help you grow in your understanding of Christianity and in your faith in God. Write to: Norm Miller, “Growth,” 12770 Merit Dr. Suite 1000, Dallas, Texas 75251.

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

Tyson Foods: Tyson, yet another company that refuses to hide its faith, offers employees chaplain services at plants across America. If people are saddened after the loss of a loved one or coping with a family emergency, these individuals are brought in to pray and assist those in need with coping.

John H. Tyson, the current chairman of the company, is a born-again Christian who believes his values shouldn’t be pushed to the side when he enters Tyson’s doors.

“My faith is just an ongoing evolution, trying to understand what faith in the marketplace looks like, giving people permission to live their faith seven days a week,” Tyson said back in 2010. “If people can talk about the football game on Monday, why can’t they talk about their faith?”

Tyson Foods is also known for donating mass amounts of food to America’s poor.

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

In-N-Out Burger: Much like Forever 21, In-N-Out Burger, a fast-food chain based in California, uses John 3:16 as a way to advertise its faith. In fact, the company places the popular verse on the bottom of cups. Here’s what 11Alive.com reports about the popular business:

Western U.S. burger chain In-N-Out has printed citations of Bible passages on cups, wrappers and other pieces of packaging since at least the late 1980s. For instance, “John 3:16″ appears on the bottom of soft drink cups, a reference to the Bible passage…

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

Image Credit: In-N-Out.com

Hobby Lobby: Last, but not least, is Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based crafts store chain that very-openly embraces Christianity. Like Chick-fil-A, the company closes its more than 500 stories on Sundays and vocally mentions God on its web site. Here are just a few of the proclamations presented Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. [...]

Providing a return on the owners’ investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.

We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future.

As TheBlaze recently reported, Hobby Lobby’s owners are also preparing to build a Bible museum in Washington, D.C., just blocks away from the National Mall. The museum, which is currently being organized, planned and designed, will provide visitors with thousands of Biblical artifacts along with a better understanding of the Old and New Testaments.

5 Companies Like Chick fil A That Share Their Christian Faith

While these certainly aren’t the only Christian companies out there, they are some of the most notable. Do you know of any other faith-based businesses that operate at the national level? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section and we may include them in a future edition of “5 Christian Companies That Publicly-Proclaim Their Christian Faith.”

 

Reverend Katharine Marple at Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally

Reverend Katharine Marple blogs at Keep Life Legal. She is one of Public Catholic’s most stalwart supporters and a dear sister in Christ. I am going to reproduce her testimony, There is Beauty for Ashes below the YouTube video. The video is her speech at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally in her state.

Reverend Katharine Marple: My Story, There is Beauty for Ashes

I was on my way to the abortion clinic with my mom. It’s been so long ago that I don’t remember the day of the week or what month it was; but I do remember that is was 1978.

Isaiah 61:3 says, …..‘To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.’

When I found out I was pregnant, my mother told me that under no uncertain terms was I going to have a baby and live in her house. My grandmother (who lived with us) wouldn’t look at me. You’re smarter than this, they said. So I left. There’s not a lot of places a pregnant 17 year old girl can go who doesn’t have a job or a car. I ended up at my aunt’s house. I knew she would be empathetic because she loved children and had many of them. She might be able to talk my mother out of the abortion. Actually, she stayed strangely neutral. I didn’t know I needed a savior, not a way out.

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I felt like I was in a bunker waiting out the enemy. But my back was against the wall and it was only a matter of time that I would cave and go home to tell the enemy that I would go to the clinic.

‘And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me….’*

Two years prior, my mother confessed to me that she had an abortion. She had been in a relationship with a married man that was her high school sweetheart. I never liked the guy for the way he used my mother up without waiting around long enough to see the results. She would come home from one of their weekends and I could see the dried tears on her face when he would once again tell her he can’t leave his wife yet. Yet another man that talked a woman out of motherhood – she aborted their child just like he aborted her from his real life.

Maybe that’s why Mom wanted me to get rid of my baby – because she was cheated out of hers? I’ll never know the answer. I can’t make myself ask her.

‘The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.’**

You know, I have thanked God for many, MANY things but I am especially thankful that I really don’t remember much about the procedure. I was a basket case and scared out of my mind. I mean, how does a doctor suck a baby out of the womb? I knew nothing about what was going to happen. Abortion wasn’t talked about much so I didn’t understand what was really going on. I had no idea that there was a viable life inside of me. Everyone said it wasn’t a baby YET.

When my mom made the appointment, I remember the woman at the clinic told her that we needed to go into a back door so we wouldn’t be ‘assaulted’ by the pro-life protesters. There wasn’t very many of them as I recall. And honestly, I don’t remember anything after that. THANK YOU GOD.

‘….and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’***

I wish I could say I learned something from that experience and I lived a chaste life with the knowledge of the world that I desired no more, but the truth is that I was too drunk for too long to care. Abortion kills everyone – it killed me. While most other women I knew had at least one abortion apiece, I was the one that took it hardest. They said I was too young to get so maudlin about such a small thing. But what they didn’t realize is that their drug and alcohol abuse was why their abortion(s) didn’t matter.

How do I end this story? It really doesn’t end. Every Post Abortive Woman remembers that day every day of her life. I spent the next 23 years after the abortion in on and off drinking binges and two lousy marriages. But one December day in 2001 I met Jesus and in 2005 I married the man God set aside just for me. Now I have beauty for ashes and joy unspeakable! The missing piece of the puzzle had finally been put in place; now I am complete. Do I still think about the abortion every day? YES – because God has a plan for me and my ministry to help women that have gone through the horror of abortion.

‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV)

*Psalm 27:6 (KJV); **Psalm 103:6 (ESV); ***Hebrews 8:12 (KJV)

St Kateri, First Native American Saint, Canonized Today

Archibishop Lopez Quintano, the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, holds a basket made by Mohawk basketmaker Sheila Ransom that will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI by the Mohawk delegation to the canonization of Kateri Takakwith. To his right in the photo are Alma and Orlo Ransom; to his left are tribal police Detective Matt Rourke and former St. Regis Mohawk Tribe  Chief Wally Oaks.
Indian Country, Gale Courey Toensing

Most people in Oklahoma have Indian blood. 

I know that politically correct types are going to chide me because I didn’t say “Native American,” but I’ve called the Cherokee that flows in my veins Indian blood all my life. There’s also some Potawatomi mixed in there, but I’m not quite sure how. All I know for certain is that I have relatives who are elected officeholders in the Potawatomi tribal government.

My personal family history doesn’t matter except that it explains why I feel proprietary toward one of the new saints that was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI today.

Blessed Kateri Tekawitha is now Saint Kateri Tekawitha. Saint Kateri was a member of the Canadian Mohawk tribe. She suffered greatly for her conversion and faith in Christ, particularly because she refused to marry and took a vow of perpetual virginity. Considering the sexual mores that are foisted on young girls today, St Kateri’s insistence that her sexuality was her own, and that she could chose to NOT have sex seems especially apt.

As you might expect, the Mohawks came out in numbers to celebrate the canonization of their sister. According to an Indian Country article, almost 2,000 Mohawks made the journey to the Vatican for the celebration.

I share their joy. St Kateri, pray for us.

The Indian Country article says in part:

What is likely to be the largest delegation of Mohawk Indians ever to assemble in Rome will take place this weekend, October 20–21, for the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk woman.

Almost 2,000 people from Akwesasne and Kahnawake will flock to the Vatican for the ceremony that will grant sainthood to Kateri Tekakwitha, the first indigenous woman of Turtle Island to be canonized by the Catholic Church. The canonization will take place on Sunday.

About 150 people—three busloads—left for the airport a week ago, and others, like Alma and Orlo Ransom and three members of their family, were leaving on Thursday, October 18, for the ancient city.

“The Vatican is topping off what we feel by making her a saint,” Alma Ransom told Indian Country Today Media Network. She has played a critical role in the canonization effort over the years.

“In Indian words she’s been a saint all along to us. When we refer to Kateri [pronounced Ga-da-li in the Mohawk language] we call her a holy person, and I think saints are holy people. We’re very proud and happy,” Ransom said, then added with a laugh, “We’re proud for her because she was so humble and timid—and we’re not!”

She and her husband were in the final stages of preparation for their trip when they were reached at their Akwesasne home.

“Oh, yes, we’re ready!” she said. “Last December when the pope declared that Kateri would be canonized, that was it. And the preparations, of course. We had travel agencies that wouldn’t take us because we didn’t have an exact date, but we have an Indian-owned, Mohawk-owned travel agency that cut to the chase and said it’s going to be this much no matter what, and we’re still with him.”

Read more here.

Christian Persecution: We Must Fight Persecution With Knowledge, Prayer, Courage and Unity

Standing Against Christian Persecution

Joanna Bogle is an author, journalist, and broadcaster living in London. She served for some years as a London Borough councillor and has also worked as a research assistant for Members of Parliament. She writes for various newspapers and magazines in Britain, America, and Australia, including Britain’s Catholic Times, and America’s National Catholic Register.

She is, in short, well-informed and well-spoken; a person that serious people take seriously. She has her finger on the pulse of European Christianity, particularly in the UK. When she says that persecution of Christians is in our near future, the statement carries weight.

That makes her recent article A Frightening Chat With a French Colleague an important read for all of us. Ms Bogle and her French colleague agree that the legal and social discrimination against Christians in Western Europe are growing. They also agree that the situation will probably worsen in the future.

Her fear that many Christians will fall away when the trials come are, I believe, accurate. I agree with her conclusion that, if we are to stand, we will need “a real knowledge of the Faith, a sincere and deep prayer-life, courage, and unity” with other Christians.

We must start standing up for our faith and we must stand together while we do it. I also think that we should pray for ourselves and for one another that we will each have the courage to stand for Jesus today and in the future.

I can think of no better time for us to begin this than now, in the second week of the Year of Faith.

Her article says in part:

A frightening chat with a French colleague.

We last met, very agreeably, in 2010 during the Pope’s visit to Britain which he was covering for a French Catholic newspaper. Late at night, after that glorious vigil in Hyde Park, we gathered at the house of friends, over glasses of wine and bowls of soup and slices of buttered toast, with lots of talk and a sense of rejoicing as the Papal visit was going so well and writing a memorable chapter in British history.

Today, still much talk and still a rejoicing in our shared faith and all that it means…but a gloomy sense of foreboding. Back in 2010, we knew full well that things were getting bad for Christians generally – that was why it was so good and necessary that the Pope’s visit lifted all our hearts and encouraged us – and now, two years on, things are measurably worse. Jean was in London to report on anti-Christian discrimination in Britain (problems over wearing a cross at work, nurses told they must take part in abortions, and the whole same-sex “marriage” horror, and so on). I had no good news to tell him, and he had none to tell me.

In France, as in Britain, the drive for same-sex “marriage” is going fiercely forward. Evangelicals and Catholics are united in opposition but face lethargy, confusion (“Surely if two people love each other, it doesn’t matter what sex they are…” etc), ignorance (“I can’t see there’ll be any problems!”) and prejudice. People who, ten years ago, would not have accepted that marriage could mean anything other than the union of a man and a woman now feel obliged to say that they think same-sex unions are really quite normal and right. It is harder and harder to achieve an open discussion as many people feel intimidated: a teacher, a social worker, a public official, can face sudden unemployment and possibly social disgrace for saying something deemed to be unacceptable and incorrect on this issue.
The conversation turned, as it so often does these days, to the future persecution of the Church. Nothing meriting the word “persecution” at the moment, we agreed, but young Catholics in their twenties assume it will arrive in their lifetime. It’s as if the New Movements and things like World Youth Day are boosting and helping them, urging them to get trained and ready and spiritually alert for tough times to come.
It will not be fun for any of us – those who talk eagerly about “a bit of suffering doing us good” or imagine fighting gloriously for noble traditions under a splendid banner may well be the first to succumb to pressure to abandon the Church…tough times call for real faith and love, and not for grand-standing. The need is for a real knowledge of the Faith, a sincere and deep prayer-life, courage, and unity.(Read more here.)

Miracle Story: Sometimes You Don’t Have to Ask, Redux

I published a post a few weeks ago telling the story of a young girl who saw a vision of Jesus while she was trapped in a sex-trafficking brothel in India.

The post said in part:

… taken as she was walking to school when she was around 7 and put in a brothel. She suffered terrible things which I will not go into here. She was confined in a tiny room and forced to have sex with many men each day. Her life was mostly that room and her tormentors. She had never heard of Jesus Christ in her young life.

She was alone in the room at one point, and she said that she saw a spot of glowing light in front of her. Then, she saw a man in the light who told her “I am Jesus and I will take care of you.” She did not know who this Jesus was, but she did understand that she was in the presence of God. In the face of every objective criteria to the contrary she believed Him when He said “I will take care of you.” Through a series of incredible events, she ended up here in Oklahoma, free from her captors, and living a new life.

When she talks about this experience, her face glows. Her life, even more than her words, are a testimony to the redemptive power of God’s love. She is going to school, and plans to be a missionary to the trafficked girls in her native India. (Read more here.)

Several readers told me that Jesus is coming to Muslims in visions all over the world. I did a small bit of on-line searching and found numerous links to stories of Muslims who have been converted by a personal visit from Our Lord.

I think many of these stories are true. When a person who says that Jesus has come to him or her, converts and then is willing to face prison, torture and death rather than recant, I accept that at the very least, they believe what they are saying is true.

People will lie for attention, for money, for a competitive or social advantage. Some people even lie for recreation. People will certainly lie to avoid torture and death. But very few people will stand up to imprisonment, torture and death to defend one of their lies. This willingness to die for Christ has been one of His strongest witnesses for 2,000 years.

I’m going to chose one article out of the many I found, primarily because I found it in an August 24 issue of Christianity Today, which is a reliable publication. The article says in part:

… Tom Doyle has spent the last 11 years working as a missionary in the Middle East. He was initially skeptical about reports that God was speaking to Muslims in supernatural ways.

But his mindset changed when his friend told him: “God showed me that my theology does not determine his action.”

He’s made dozens of trips out to the region as director of e3 Partners’ work there, and heard many stories from Muslims about how they came to faith as a result of seeing Jesus in a dreams or vision…

…In one amazing story, a Muslim kidnaps a Christian in Cairo, one of the most dangerous places in the world to spread the Gospel, and takes him at gunpoint to an abandoned warehouse. Inside, he meets a group of 10 imams, who tell him they have been having dreams about Jesus and ask him to teach them about the Bible.

Dreams and visions have become common among Muslims in the Middle East who have embraced the Christian faith. Doyle says the dreams open the door for Muslims to hear about Jesus in countries where spreading the Gospel is forbidden.

While the West associates Islam with terrorism, Doyle believes the majority of Muslims are peace-loving.

“I believe Islamic terrorism is Satan’s attempt to keep the Gospel message away from Muslims,” he writes.

But Tom knows that even Satan can’t stop the Gospel from spreading.

“More Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus today than ever before,” Doyle writes. “In fact, we believe more Muslims have become followers of Jesus in the last ten years than in the last 14 centuries of Islam.” (Read the rest here.)

The article runs parallel to discussions about the New Evangelization which took place at the Synod in Rome this past week. I am a strong supporter of the New Evangelization. These miracles serve to remind us that all evangelization of any era must begin with prayer and hearts that are yielded to the Holy Spirit.

God is not just the object of our desire. He is also the source of our strength and the guide for our actions. We have been timid for a long time about evangelizing anybody, particularly in areas of the world where such work is greeted with violence. I think it’s interesting that these places are the precise ones where Jesus is taking things into His own hands and beginning the work for us.

In this Year of Faith we would do well to remember that nothing we do is of or for ourselves. We the instruments of His grace in this fallen world, and the doorway to that grace is prayer and a humble heart.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Historic Soviet Posters Exhibited at Protect Freedom of Religion Event

A woman throws away icons in a propaganda poster which states The Bright Light of Science Has Proven That There Is No God CNA 10/17/12

Is this poster a relic from a distant past that has no meaning for us today, or is it a reminder of what can happen to anyone who takes their freedoms lightly?

Given the rancor and aggressiveness of today’s militant secularists, that is a question all Christians should ask themselves.

This poster and 39 others like it were exhibited at the Protect Freedom of Religion event at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver this weekend. According to an interivew Father Doug Grandon, the priest who first discovered the posters, gave to CNA, the posters

” … remind us that societies can turn very deadly when you have a kind of radical secularism which manifests in an anti-Christian attitude … you see it in all its ugliness through the lens of these posters.”

Father Grandon “believes the posters are important for Coloradans to see because they “give us a warning that this could happen again. Where you have a disrespect for the freedom of religion, a rampant kind of secularism, this could happen again.”

“If we forget these horrific historical examples, and if we become lethargic in our political involvement, our prayers, in our practice of religion, our culture could be lost. It could happen even here.”

The CNA article says in part:

The October 1917 revolution in Russia led to the atheistic, communist government of the Soviet Union which hoped to eradicate religion, and in particular the Catholic Church, from its empire.

To do this, the government produced thousands of different propaganda posters which denigrated Christianity and which the Soviet Central Committee described in 1931 as “a powerful tool in the reconstruction of the individual, his ideology, his way of life, his economic activity.”

Between 1919 and 1922, 7.5 million of these posters were distributed in the Soviet Union. As many as 250,000 copies of a given poster could be made in the 1930s. The propaganda posters continued to be made through 1983.

The posters showing the Bolshevik worldview fall into three basic categories: icons of the worker, women, and the enemy. The Soviet government also produced anti-religious cartoons and postcards.

The posters contain such imagery as Lenin sweeping clergy from the earth, hypocritical priests, and Christians as sheep being fleeced by their priests. (Read more here.)

HHS Mandate: It’s That Simple

The strum und drang surrounding the HHS Mandate complicates the issue beyond comprehension for a lot of people.

The mandate attacks religious freedom. I think it’s a bellwether of government enforced religious discrimination to come. As such, it as serious as any issue can be. It puts the government of the United States in the position of attacking the first freedom guaranteed to the people of the United States, the freedom to practice their religious faith without government interference.

In addition to those high-flying arguments against the HHS Mandate, we also have common sense. That is what a new ad by the Catholic Archdiocese of St Louis brings to the discussion about the mandate: Common sense.

The ad, which is called It’s That Simple, begins by saying, “You wouldn’t force an atheist to buy a Bible,” and goes on to “You wouldn’t force a vegetarian to buy a hamburger, then why would you force a Catholic employer to buy your birth control?” Each question is punctuated by the statement “It’s that simple.”

And it is. That simple, I mean.

It’s That Simple is well worth watching. Have a look below.

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