Sunday, February 07, 2016

The 3 - February 7, 2016

On this week's edition of The 3, my week-in-review feature, I relate news about more violence in Nigeria at the hands of terrorists there.  Also, the Iowa caucuses have come and gone, and the evangelical vote was key on the GOP side.  Plus, the President spoke at the annual National Prayer Breakfast this week, the day after he spoke at a mosque.

3 - Reports emerge of brutality toward children in Nigerian village

The brutality of the terrorist organization Boko Haram in Nigeria was on display just over a week ago, according to WORLD Magazine, which reported that even children were burned alive in an attack.  Boko Haram, in fact, had spent four days last week brutalizing villages across northern Nigeria. The article says that by last Sunday afternoon,  Nigerian workers had collected 86 bodies from Dalori village, which is around three miles from the city of Maiduguri.  Boko Haram terrorists had invaded the Muslim village on Saturday night, throwing firebombs into homes and gunning down fleeing victims.

These attacks came just three days after suspected Boko Haram militants reportedly entered the Christian village of Chibok, disguised as women carrying babies on their backs. The terrorists carried bombs and set off multiple explosions that killed 18 people in the village, from which terrorists kidnapped some 200 girls from a school there nearly two years ago.

WORLD reports that the Nigerian military has made Maiduguri its headquarters for fighting Boko Haram, but soldiers initially couldn’t thwart the assault on the nearby villages. The article points out that the attacks "underscored Boko Haram's ongoing vendetta against Muslims who don’t embrace the group’s deadly agenda."

2 - Evangelical vote is critical in Iowa caucuses

The Iowa caucuses are now history, and even though he was trailing Donald Trump in polls leading up to the event, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, with Trump in second and a surging Sen. Marco Rubio in third.

There were two pieces of data in the entrance polls that can illustrate what helped Cruz to win. According to a piece at the National Review website that cited the data, from Edison Research, caucus-goers were asked: What quality is most important to you in a candidate? Respondents had options — “Can win in November,” “Shares my values,” “Tells it like it is,” and “Can bring needed change.” 42 percent said, "Shares my values.” Ted Cruz won 38 percent of those voters, followed by Marco Rubio at 21 percent, Ben Carson at 15 percent, and Rand Paul at 7 percent.

With regard to evangelical turnout, the National Review piece stated that the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics survey before the caucuses projected that just 47 percent of GOP participants would be Evangelical. But, the entrance polls showed that 62 percent of Republican caucus-goers considered themselves Evangelical or born-again Christians, compared to just 38 percent who didn’t — that was a net increase of eight points from 2012. Among that group, Cruz won easily, earning 33 percent of the vote while Trump and Rubio took 21 percent apiece.

1 - President visits mosque; speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

Just a day after addressing Muslim-Americans at a controversial mosque in Baltimore, President Obama took the stage at the National Prayer Breakfast and offered a message about fear, saying, according to a report on the Christian Examiner website: "Like every president, like every leader, like every person, I've known fear, but my faith tells me that I need not fear death – that the acceptance of Christ promises everlasting life and the washing away of sins."

The President said that he has spent time over the past year reflecting on 2 Timothy 1:7.  That Scripture says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

The Christian Examiner points out that:

The president's address to the gathering this year took on a decidedly Christian tone compared to previous years, and especially to last year when he focused on the suffering caused by the Catholic Church during the Crusades. His mention of the centuries old crusades and failure to mention the rise of radical Islamism (ISIS and Al Qaeda) was widely criticized as both pandering to the Muslim community and patronizing to the Christian community.

The President also devoted a portion of his address to Christian persecution in the Middle East, saying that Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has now been released and is back home, had been imprisoned by Iran "for no other crime than holding God in his heart."

The day before the prayer breakfast, the President addressed the Islamic Society of Baltimore and, according to the article, called for greater acceptance and dialogue between Muslims and Christians. In that address, he said religious liberty guarantees Muslims the right to practice their faith, but he also called for the Muslim community to distance itself from Islamic extremism.

WorldNetDaily had reported that the mosque was affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, which, according to the  report, was started by members of the international Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s. The Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is banned in many countries as an extremist organization.  Investigative Project on Terrorism founder and executive director Steve Emerson told WND his organization was told by FBI sources that Obama was presented the evidence against the Islamic Society of Baltimore.

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