Politics and U.S. Current Events
Posted 9/18/14 at 1:20 PM | Bill Blacquiere
After six years, the United States is lifting a ban on adoptions from Vietnam, allowing vulnerable children from the country to be adopted by loving, forever families. Adoption of Vietnamese children was prohibited by the United States in 2008, following allegations that babies were being sold in Vietnam. I strongly supported Washington’s decision then to prohibit adoptions from Vietnam until that country’s government took the necessary steps to protect its waiting children. That said, I’m pleased that our government is confident Vietnam has taken such steps and that the country’s vulnerable children now have a greater chance for placement with couples who will provide the love and nurturing they need.
In 2013, Vietnam reported 236,224 orphans in the country.1 They currently have no foster care system, and domestic adoptions are rare. Poverty is widespread in Vietnam, and there is sometimes a belief that an orphanage can better provide for children than impoverished parents.
Vietnam has put in place a new legal framework under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and two organizations have been approved to operate in the country—Dillon International, Inc., and Holt International. Initially, perspective adoptive parents will be able to adopt only children who are older than five, have special placement needs, or have siblings. FULL POST
Posted 9/17/14 at 1:26 PM | Carrie Stoelting
September 17, 1787 was a special day. Why? Because the U.S. Constitution was signed. Thirty-nine Founding Fathers signed this important document. It's the longest lasting Constitution in the world. This day is monumental and it should be celebrated. Hence, America calls September 17 Constitution Day.
How much do you know about the Constitution? Have you ever read it? We encourage you to read it this week. It's important that we Americans know what is in the Constitution because it's important to know our rights. We also encourage you to learn about the background of the Constitution.
The Founding Fathers provided detailed information about the intent of the Constitution and the meaning behind it. We know through documents (such as the Federalist Papers) what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Today secular leaders and judges try to erase our very well documented Christian history and they attempt to secularize the original intent of the Founding Fathers. It's up to us to educate ourselves and our kids about the truth. (There are many excellent resources available from historians David Barton and Rick Green of Wallbuilders. Their web site has a lot of free resources, too.)
Today we hope you will enjoy this very special edition of Unite the USA and learn all about the Constitution. (Read it here: http://www.unitetheusa.org/id122.html) And join us in saying "Happy Birthday" to this fundamental, monumental document!
God bless you,
Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting
Posted 9/16/14 at 8:17 AM | Karen Farris
While the number of ISIS jihadist fighters continues to swell, we shouldn't let that be our greatest concern. More problematic is the vast financial resources they have acquired with the conquered oil fields of Syria and Iraq. Thanks to the black market established during Saddam Hussein’s rule, over 80,000 barrels of oil per day are sold at half the price of free market oil. But don’t let that half-price fool you, it adds up to $3.2 million PER DAY.
ISIS is well funded. While we’re on the subject of oil—the surrounding Arab states in agreement with our government that ISIS must be stopped, can offer their assistance—and pay for it in oil bucks. They’ve got the money to fight, we don’t. Something President Obama didn’t specify is how long this “war on terror” will last. Let’s just say it will last at least a generation. That’s a lot of money that oil revenue can offset. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/14 at 4:19 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
It’s been quite “interesting” over the past week to see various Americans weigh in on whether Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom or become an independent nation, with most American journalists and bloggers favoring the unionist status quo.
There was virtually no mention of Thursday’s vote until the last week or so when a couple of opinion polls showed a surge in support for independence, bringing both sides neck and neck. That probably has nothing to do with North Korea coming out in support of an independent Scotland!
As you have to be resident in Scotland to vote, I cannot participate. At first I was a bit miffed about that, especially because tens of thousands who have come to Scotland from other nations can vote, even if they are not Scottish citizens and even if they’ve only stayed there for a few days. However, as I’ve made my home in Grand Rapids for the past seven years, and hope to apply for American citizenship as soon as is legally possible, I can’t really complain about being voteless. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/14 at 12:36 PM | Bill Blacquiere
What should we do when people from other countries flee to our borders to escape dangerous conditions? Earlier this month the United States Border Patrol reported more than 66,000 unaccompanied immigrant children were apprehended at the U.S. border during the first 11 months of the fiscal year. Another 60,000 individuals entered as families. The vast majority reported they were fleeing various forms of violence and exploitation in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
As the leader of a faith-based organization committed to serving vulnerable children and families, I struggle with this challenge. I haven’t discovered any easy answers, but a new book underscores my own conviction that before we offer pronouncements on this topic, we need to stand in the shoes of those who risk everything to come here.
Where the Wind Leads (Thomas Nelson, 2014) shares the story of one family’s escape from Vietnam shortly after communists from the north invaded the U.S.-backed south and established a brutal dictatorship. Author Vinh Chung was only 3 and a half years old when his mother, father, grandmother, and five siblings shoved off in a boat with 285 other Vietnamese fleeing the oppressive regime. Stripped of their wealth and ability to earn a living, they knew it was only a matter of time before their communist captors exacted revenge. FULL POST
Posted 9/12/14 at 3:20 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
At only 14 she was captured from her dusty village on the western Ninevah plains by ISIS fighters, then given as a bride – a trophy of war — to one of their 50-year-old commanders. By God’s grace, she was able to escape one Friday evening, while he bowed before Allah in the mosque.
On Aug. 3, relatives called Narin’s* family with alarming news: ISIS fighters were approaching their quiet village, Tel Uzer. Fearing the worst, her Yazidi family fled on foot, carrying only their clothes and a few valuables, according to Narin’s firsthand account told to The Washington Post.
Their immediate thought was to take refuge on Mount Sinjar, along with thousands of other Yazidis, because they heard the descriptions of ISIS brutality and what they had done to non-Muslims. But they never made it to Mount Sinjar.
“Suddenly several vehicles drew up and we found ourselves surrounded by militants wearing Islamic State uniforms. Several people screamed in horror; we were scared for our lives. I’ve never felt so helpless in my 14 years. They had blocked our path to safety, and there was nothing we could do,” Narin told The Post. FULL POST
Posted 9/12/14 at 10:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Phillip Jensen
Two questions for today: Is ISIL Islamic? Is ISIL a State?
President Obama objects to the name ‘Islamic State’ (IS) because he says it’s neither Islamic nor a State.
This may well be good politics and wise diplomacy in a time of great world crisis. However, as truth is 'the first casualty of war' so truth has little to do with either politics or diplomacy. The patron of all politically wise diplomats is the man who asked the rhetorical question “What is truth?” (John 18:38).
Politics and diplomacy usefully deal with the present and short-term future but rarely address the long-term problems of humanity. They deal with the symptoms of distress but not the causes of conflict. FULL POST
Posted 9/11/14 at 11:09 AM | Sunny Shell
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I remember. Do you?
I remember where I was, who I was with and what I was doing. I just returned home from dropping my two precious sons off at their elementary school. When I walked in the door, I could hear the television on, with a newscaster's voice detailing a terrible accident in New York City, New York. My husband was sitting quietly on the couch, watching and listening intently as one of the Twin Towers was burning because an airplane had crashed into it. It seemed surreal.
I stood there confused, "How can an airplane accidentally hit a building?" Just as I was thinking this, 18 minutes after the first plane crashed into the north tower, I see another plane crash right into the the south tower. This was no accident. I wept and dropped to my knees and began praying. I prayed, wept and watched. I listened intently to the newscasters and my heart broke for all those innocent people in the airplane, in the building and for their families. FULL POST
Posted 9/11/14 at 9:57 AM | John Dillard
Posted 9/11/14 at 9:14 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Justin Amash
When our government orders our young men and women into harm's way, our leaders have a duty to define the mission, set a plausible strategy, and explain why the risk of our children's lives and our citizens' resources is justified. President Obama has failed to fulfill those obligations.
The president boldly claimed, contrary to the Constitution, that he alone can order our Armed Forces into a protracted war. And he left unanswered the basic questions responsible Americans and their representatives must ask before going to war.
Whom, specifically, will the mission target and what, specifically, is the threat to our homeland?
For how long do we expect to put our young people's lives at risk? The administration leaked to newspapers Wednesday morning that Americans must prepare for at least a three-year war, long after the president has left office. In his address, the president did not limit his proposed war to even that time frame. FULL POST