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Category Archives: Religion
Last December, Isaiah Martinez brought his first grade classmates at Merced Elementary School candy canes. Attached to each treat was a message explaining the religious legend surround the candies. The legend references a candy maker who created the candy cane to symbolize the life of Christ.
When the six-year-old boy arrived at school, his teacher noticed the religious message and immediately confiscated the gifts, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
The teacher, identified by the AFF as Valerie Lu, then consulted with the supervising principal who instructed her to prevent Isaiah from distributing the candy canes.
“Ms. Lu then spoke to Isaiah and told him that ‘Jesus is not allowed at school,’” Tyler wrote in a letter to the West Covina Unified School District. “In fear that he was in some sort of trouble, Isaiah then watched as Ms. Lu proceeded to rip the candy cane legend off of each candy cane and then throw the Christian messages back in to the box.”
Tyler said the little boy watched as his teacher threw the box and the messages into the trash.
“She then told Isaiah that he could distribute the candy canes now that the Christian messages were eliminated,” Tyler wrote, noting that the teacher was following the “explicit instructions” of her supervisor, Gordon Pfitzer.
Here is the first Amendment to the Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Questions for you to consider…
If Martinez were allowed to hand out candy canes with messages attached, would that be tantamount to Congress making a law respecting an establishment of religion?
When a student is told by a government employee that “Jesus is not allowed” in a location the student is lawfully required to be, might that be considered a prohibition of free exercise of religion?
When a government official tears a lawfully written message from an item that is being legally distributed, can that be considered an abridgment of freedom of speech?
Discuss your findings.
Traditional Marxism predicted that proletarian workers would be the class leaders that would bring about the communist revolution. Followers of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School, however, argued that improvements in working conditions changed the traditional Marxist calculation and that a different revolutionary class would need to be cultivated in order to bring about the revolution.
In order to bring about a Hegelian dialectic situation, a class of libertines who eschewed traditional morality would need to be cultivated. These Marxists believe that bourgeois consciousness is a false consciousness shored up by traditional morality. Undermine traditional morality and the false consciousness of bourgeois capitalist society collapses and the revolution is ripe.
This is why hard core leftists always attempt to undermine religion, promote policies that disintegrate families, create programs that erode the work ethic, promote abortion, push for the equality of gay relationships, praise atheism and generally undermine all traditional morality. They know that Western Capitalist Civilization is built on a foundation of virtue and morality and they can’t destroy capitalist civilization without first destroying the foundation on which it is built.
Destroy morality and virtue and you destroy Western culture, economics and civilization. That is their goal and that is their plan. Counterculture movements and political correctness advance the Marxist agenda.
Conservatives intuitively understand this assault on traditional values and, rightfully, resist it. One area in which this occurs is in the discussion of evolution and religion. As Revoista “Slinger” said in a comment…
My resistance is to those that proclaim evolution is devoid of a creator. I personally don’t care too much “how” God created, but I get testy when someone claims that there is no God and therefore no Creator.
Slinger recognizes the influence of the Frankfurt School in the promotion of evolution by leftists. If evolution exists, they argue, there is no creator and if there is no creator, there is no God. If they are successful in this assault on religion, they would damage “traditional morality and the false consciousness of bourgeois capitalist society” and advance the Marxist agenda. Therefore, they press the assault.
The Administration has handed out exemptions to Obamacare like after dinner mints but it draws the line at this group of nuns. Obama and his crew are fighting them in the Supreme Court demanding that the sisters provide staff with “free” abortion drugs. Obama’s battle against the sisters is being funded with your tax dollars. The Little Sisters are on their own.
Though he’s had plenty of opportunities to compromise on his overreaching contraceptive mandate, President Obama has defiantly refused them all. Now he’s fighting a group of nuns in US Supreme Court.
The nuns are the Little Sisters of the Poor, and they run nursing homes for the elderly. The Little Sisters argue they should not be forced to offer coverage that violates their religious convictions.
The Obama argument is astounding. The gist is that the nuns really aren’t religious enough to qualify for the church exemption. The administration backs up that position with hefty fines for the Little Sisters if they don’t cave. For example, just for their home in Denver, where there are 67 employees, it could run to $6,700 a day. That’s money the Little Sisters simply don’t have.
The Obama Administration’s case is based on the argument that the Little Sisters don’t have to provide abortion drugs and that, ofcourse that would be against their Catholic faith. The government, therefore, has accommodated the Little Sisters, they argue. The Little Sisters down’t have to provide abortion drugs. They simply must hire a third party to provide abortion drugs on their beahlf.
See? The Little Sisters aren’t being forced to kill the unborn. They simply have to hire someone else to kill the unborn. The Administration tells the Little Sisters that this should resolve their religious issue. Not surprisingly, the Little Sisters disagree. To the Little Sisters hiring a hit man to do your killing is still a sin.
This is an important case and, if the Little Sisters were to lose, religious freedom would be all but dead in America.
By the way, this argument that an employer not providing contraceptives for free is tantamount to denying employees access to contraceptives is weapons grade idiocy. By that logic, that my employer has not provided me with a free AR-15 means I am being denied access to firearms.
That I am being denied access, by the way, is a far worse Constitutional offense. The right to keep and bear arms is, unlike the right to use contraceptives, is actually spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
You may recall that during the 1990s the US and its NATO allies began bombing Serbians on behalf of Kosovar and Albanian Muslims. Here is a anecdotal update.
Orthodox church dedicated to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist in the village of Samodreza near Vucitrn, was desecrated and turned into a garbage dump. The altar of this Serbian shrine, built on the place where Prince Lazar received communion with the army before the Battle of Kosovo, Albanian children turned into a public toilet, writes “Kurir”.
All attempts to stop the desecration of the Orthodox church were unsuccessful because the Albanian population is against its renewal. The church was burned, vandalized and desecrated for the first time in 1999 after international forces arrived in Kosovo, writes the daily.
The roof of the church was destroyed, windows and the metal door on it broken, and over the apse a large hole was breached. The interior of the church is turned into a public garbage dump and a toilet in which people and the cattle relieve, writes “Kurir”.
I said it then and I will say it now: We shouldn’t have been bombing anyone in Kosovo but, to the extent we were, we were bombing the wrong side.
The catastrophic AGW inquisition has banned heresy the same way the medieval Church of Rome banned all comments skeptical of the geocentric universe.
This sort of thing is the final death shudder for the catastrophic AGW movement. Once the AGW inquisition isolates itself in its own little echo chambers, it is all over.
A content editor on Reddit’s science forum wrote Monday that the site has banned climate-change skeptics, and asks why more news outlets haven’t done the same.
“About a year ago, we moderators became increasingly stringent with deniers,” Reddit content editor Nathan Allen wrote in grist. “When a potentially controversial submission was posted, a warning would be issued stating the rules for comments (most importantly that your comment isn’t a conspiracy theory) and advising that further violations of the rules could result in the commenter being banned from the forum.”
Allen explains that climate change became an ironically heated topic among commenters on Reddit’s science forum, /r/science, which he described as “a window into the Ivory Tower” for “non-scientists” to connect with experts like himself.
A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.
In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.
Maldacena’s idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity. It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a ‘duality’, that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena’s ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.
The answer is that of course the Universe is an illusion. All of existence is in the Mind of God.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?
Call it a lack of Christmas cheer.
An organization that promotes the separation of church and state plans to deploy more than 50 billboards in the Sacramento, Calif. area to highlight atheists who are ignoring religion and the December holidays’ spirituality, its co-president said Monday night.
The messages are part of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation’s campaign to encourage non-believers to “come out of the closet” and be open about their atheism, Annie Laurie Gaylor told FoxNews.com.
If the existence of God can be neither proved nor disproved and yet atheists are are “certain” God does not exist, doesn’t that make atheism a faith based belief system? Isn’t it very hypocritical for people of faith to criticize others for being people of faith?
In the 1999 sci-fi film classic The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is stunned to see people defying the laws of physics, running up walls and vanishing suddenly. These superhuman violations of the rules of the universe are possible because, unbeknownst to him, Neo’s consciousness is embedded in the Matrix, a virtual-reality simulation created by sentient machines.
The action really begins when Neo is given a fateful choice: Take the blue pill and return to his oblivious, virtual existence, or take the red pill to learn the truth about the Matrix and find out “how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Physicists can now offer us the same choice, the ability to test whether we live in our own virtual Matrix, by studying radiation from space. As fanciful as it sounds, some philosophers have long argued that we’re actually more likely to be artificial intelligences trapped in a fake universe than we are organic minds in the “real” one.
I have the answer: Yes. We are living in the Matrix. The entire universe is an illusion that is a subset of a much larger reality. If you want to find out more about the Matrix this Sunday morning, attend the church of your choice.
It is a religious holiday in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by the Lutheran Church. Allow me to provide a quote by Martin Luther of which I believe Revoistas would approve. Luther’s pamphlets against the Catholic Church were often worded to promote rebellion against the church hierarchy. This led many peasants to believe he would support a secular attack on the wealthy in general and the redistribution of wealth. Uprisings and riots occurred. Luther did not approve.
Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel … For baptism does not make men free in body and property, but in soul; and the gospel does not make goods common, except in the case of those who, of their own free will, do what the apostles and disciples did in Acts 4 [:32–37]. They did not demand, as do our insane peasants in their raging, that the goods of others—of Pilate and Herod—should be common, but only their own goods. Our peasants, however, want to make the goods of other men common, and keep their own for themselves. Fine Christians they are! I think there is not a devil left in hell; they have all gone into the peasants. Their raving has gone beyond all measure.
Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United Nations report blasted the Islamic republic for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims.
The four men were sentenced Oct. 6 after being arrested in a house church last December and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the theocracy’s strict laws, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. They were among several Christians punished for their faith in a nation where converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty. According to a new October UN report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, such persecution is common, despite new President Hasan Rouhani’s pledge to be a moderate.
Of course it isn’t the first time Christians have felt the sting of the pagan lash.
Several dozen U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values.
The briefing was held at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and listed the AFA alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam.
A soldier who attended the briefing contacted me and sent me a photograph of a slide show presentation that listed AFA as a domestic hate group. Under the AFA headline is a photograph of Westboro Baptist Church preacher Fred Phelps holding a sign reading “No special law for f***.”
American Family Association has absolutely no affiliation with the controversial church group known for picketing the funerals of American servicemembers.
Other “hate” groups that oppose same sex marriage and support traditional family values: The Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church…
All “hate groups” in the opinion of the United States Army?
Soldiers told of the horrific torture meted out by terrorists in the Nairobi mall massacre yesterday with claims hostages were dismembered, had their eyes gouged out and were left hanging from hooks in the ceiling.
Children were found dead in the food court fridges with knives still embedded in their bodies, it was claimed.
Men were said to have been castrated and had fingers removed with pliers before being blinded and hanged
Most of the defeated terrorists, meanwhile, were reportedly discovered ‘burnt to ashes’, set alight by the last extremist standing to try to protect their identities.
The horrifying details came yesterday as the first pictures emerged from within the wreckage of the building, showing piles of bodies left strewn across the floor.
Exemptions are for unions, connected individuals and megacorporations. Not for nuns.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized a contraception mandate that ignores the fact groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor are religious organizations, according to a lawsuit filed to protect them against fines for refusing to comply with an Obamacare mandate.
“We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs,” Sister Loraine Marie said of a class-action lawsuit filed against the mandate on behalf of multiple religious organizations that provide health benefits.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no Catholic right to be granted Communion, said the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican.
Mrs. Pelosi should be denied Communion until she changes her advocacy views on abortion, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said, according to the Western Center for
That’s canon law, not opinion, he said. Canon 915 states that Catholics who are stubbornly contrary “in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
And Cardinal Burke said Mrs. Pelosi fits the definition.
“Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied,” he said, the Western Center for Journalism reported. “This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic.”
One mother, Kamal Kaur, who had been shopping with her family, posted a string of shocking tweets about her ordeal when she got home.
‘I just washed my hair and wailed like a child. Blood in my hair. Not mine. That little boy who died right next to me… My son almost had his head blown off. Missed by an inch. Hit wall. Bounced and killed the little boy next to him.’
Kenyan IT engineer Charles Karani, 41, said: ‘I hid under a car with my daughters, and I saw the men line up maybe 40 people and ask them who was Muslim, and if they were, to prove it by saying the name of the Prophet’s mother. Those who got it wrong were shot. There was blood everywhere.
‘Two ladies under the car with me had gunshot wounds on their legs. Other people for sure are dead. I saw four people lying, not moving.
‘A grenade was thrown and it rolled near us. My daughter said, “Papa, there’s a grenade” – but thank God it didn’t go off and I kicked it away.’
Pope Francis made one of his strongest attacks on the global economic system on Sunday, saying it could no longer be based on a “god called money” and urged the unemployed to fight for work.
Francis, at the start of a day-long trip to the Sardinian capital, Cagliari, put aside his prepared text at a meeting with unemployed workers, including miners in hard hats who told him of their situation, and improvised for nearly 20 minutes.
“I find suffering here … It weakens you and robs you of hope,” he said. “Excuse me if I use strong words, but where there is no work there is no dignity.”
He discarded his prepared speech after listening to Francesco Mattana, a 45-year-old married father of three who lost his job with an alternative energy company four years ago.
Mattana, his voice trembling, told the pope that unemployment “oppresses you and wears you out to the depths of your soul”.
I agree with the Pope. Unemployment weakens you and robs you of hope. There is no strength or hope in the dole. Strength and hope come from work. This Sunday morning please pray for meaningful work for all who are able.
By now you’ve heard about the Egyptian military government’s bloody attack on the supporters of deposed former president Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. The last body count on the Wall Street Journal’s site was about 275, with the number likely to grow higher. The coordinated assault on squatter camps of protesters is occurring all around the country of Egypt and is meeting fierce but ultimately futile resistance. In addition to the sweep and clear, the nation is going into a 30-day state of emergency with martial law being issued in many areas.
The White House has condemned the violence and the 30-day state of emergency. Other condemnations are coming in from around the world. Even Egypt’s vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned in protest of the heavy handed action of the state.
All of those people are dumbasses.
These so-called leaders are the international political equivalent of co-dependent housewives. They are more concerned with maintaining a state that, while relatively free of large-scale violence, is saturated in small-scale violence and is entirely unworkable. They have attempted to co-opt the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic entity determined to destroy any form of Egyptian government other than their own, and are surprised not only at their failure, but that the majority of Egyptians think them idiots for doing so.
While the loss of life is regrettable, particularly the loss of those who are innocent or otherwise caught up in the mess, it’s certainly not the worst thing that can happen. What we are seeing is meatball surgery on the body politic of Egypt. There is a cancer that must be excised before the true healing can begin and the world’s most populous Arab nation can rejoin the rest of the world in the 21st century. If this operation fails and the cancer is allowed to metastasize, then 60 million people are condemned to a new dark age that threatens to pull the rest of the world in after it.
In the Obamanation, the federal government spends tens of millions to support Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills and to teachpre-pubescent “lesbians” about mutual masturbation, but if you mention God, you are shunned.
A Louisiana lawman is livid over the federal government’s decision to cut off funds for two programs to help troubled young people, all, he says, because he refused to sign a pledge to bar prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.
Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program. Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”
The sheriff was told he would not be given any money unless he wrote a letter pledging not to pray or use the word “God.”
Father Frank Pavone, national director for Priests for Life, sent an open letter to Nancy Pelosi. Read it all.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Dear Mrs. Pelosi,
Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, “What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?”
Given the fact that the Gosnell case has been national news for months now, and that Congress, where you serve as House Democratic Leader, was about to have a vote on banning abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, this was a legitimate question.
Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, “You obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.”
Mrs. Pelosi, the problem is that you’re not interested in giving an answer.
Your refusal to answer this question is consistent with your failure to provide an answer to a similar question from me and the members of my Priests for Life staff. Several years ago, we visited your office with the diagrams of dismemberment abortion at 23 weeks, and asked the simple question, “When you say the word ‘abortion,’ is this what you mean?” In response, nothing but silence has emanated from your office.
In what way is this refusal to address an issue of such national importance consistent with the leadership role you are supposed to be exercising? Public servants are supposed to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Apparently, you can’t. Otherwise, you would have been able to explain the difference between a legal medical procedure that kills a baby inside the womb and an act of murder — for which Dr. Gosnell is now serving life sentences — for killing the same baby outside the womb.
Moreover, you stated at the press briefing on June 13, “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”
With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible.
You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them.
Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.
Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason.
And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not “have anything to do with politics” reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.
Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office. We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Syrian rebels beheaded a Christian man and fed his body to dogs, according to a nun who says the West is ignoring atrocities committed by Islamic extremists.
The nun said taxi driver Andrei Arbashe, 38, was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that fighters against the ruling regime behaved like bandits.
She said his headless corpse was found by the side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs. He had recently married and was soon to be a father.
Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.’
Maybe Obama should do universal background checks on these guys before we give them weapons, huh? Nah, that’s just for Tea Partiers.
For the record, the slogan below was created for situations EXACTLY like that which exists in Syria today.
There you go. Nice exchange. Woman handles it well. So does Blitzer. No big deal, right? Yeah, over at the Daily Kos they are having conniptions.
WTF was he asking that question anyway? Can we please live in a secular nation? So tired of this. Everyone can believe whatever they want and worship or not worship anyway they want, but does religion of any sort have to be brought up every 5 mins?
it was a panderingly rude question he assumed all in Oklahoma were openly religious just because it’s a conservative state.
Well their god “let” her live. Who the fuck are they to question that OR her? That’s my answer to any idiots who think they get an opinion about what her religion, or lack thereof, should be.
She should have answered, “Which Lord? Whose Lord? Anyway, why thank him if he allowed so many, including children, to die?” I mean there might still be children half alive, buried. WTF kind of a Lord would deliberately allow that?
Why would anyone *thank* the lord for a massive, horrifying tornado that kills and injures so many people and animals, destroys a huge swath of homes and businesses, rips life to shreds? It drives me crazy when religious people “thank the lord” for every ray of sunshine, but never once blame him for any of the terrible things that happen or what he fails to prevent or who he refuses to save. It’s ridiculous. Thank him? I don’t think so.
It’s lazy and patronizing. There is absolutely NOTHING courageous about praising the lord. Just more dumbed down media.
You would think that Oklahoma being the Jesus capitol of the US that they wouldn’t keep getting hit with these kinds of tornados. It just goes to show that god is an angry god, or god is just biased in who he wants to save and who he wants to die. The truth is that if there was a god who sends tornados and hurricanes to kill people wouldn’t we be better off without him or her? LOL.
Thanks for the Mass Murder, Lord
Don’t you just wish you could hang out with these people?
In a loss for Sandra Fluke and her crusade for “All You Can Eat Birth Control Pills”, the Obama Administration has backed of on a religious organization. The Administration’s previous position was that a non-profit business that does nothing but print Bibles wasn’t, in fact, a “religious organization” and, therefore, must provide abortifacients to its employees. Now they don’t.
At the government’s own request, a federal appellate court Friday dismissed the Obama administration’s appeal of an order that stopped the president from enforcing his abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher. The administration’s retreat marks the first total appellate victory on a preliminary injunction in any abortion pill mandate case.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Tyndale House Publishers say the administration is apparently nervous about trying to defend its position that a Bible publisher is not religious enough for a religious exemption to the mandate.
Why did Obama back down? It is hard to say but I am guess that, because the morning after pill is to be available over the counter, companies won’t be required to cover it anyway.
Anybody else here a little uncomfortable with the government deciding who is and isn’t “religious enough”?
Mitt Romney spoke recently at a commencement for Southern Virginia University. MSNBC used the occassion to mock him for quoting Psalms; an Old Testament book common to all Christians and Jews.
Watch as leftist fanatics mock not just Judeo-Christian values, but the bedrock foundations of civilization itself.