Democrats ‘too in love with’ abortion to appeal to Christian voters, ex-Obama staffer says

President Barack Obama bows his head during a prayer at a St. Patrick's Day luncheon for Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama bows his head during a prayer at a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon for Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The days when Democrats believed abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” are long gone, according to a former Obama White House staffer.

Michael Wear, who spearheaded President Obama’s 2012 faith outreach efforts, said Democrats have become “too in love with” abortion to bring Christian and pro-life voters into the fold.

“The Democratic Party used to welcome people who didn’t support abortion into the party,” Mr. Wear said in an interview with The Atlantic published on Thursday. “We are now so far from that, it’s insane.”

Pointing to the party platform’s call to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to finance abortions, Mr. Wear said Democrats made minimal effort to reach out to religious voters during the 2016 presidential race, which saw 81 percent of evangelicals and a majority of Catholics back Republican Donald Trump.

Read More

Christians Most Persecuted Religious Group in the World, Study Says


Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with around 90,000 killed for their faith in 2016, the director of a leading religious study group has said.

Massimo Introvigne, Director of the Centre for Studies on New Religions (Cesnur), told Vatican Radio that around half a billion Christians in the world are unable to express their faith completely freely, while around 90,000 – one every six minutes – died for their faith in the past year alone.

Referring to statistics from the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, Mr Introvigne said around 70 per cent of Christians murdered in 2016 died in tribal conflicts in Africa. These deaths were included, he said, because very often they involved Christians who refuse to take up arms for reasons of conscience.

“The other 30 per cent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution,” he added.

He told Vatican Radio that the Catholic Church is currently considering possible sainthood for individual Christians killed in territories controlled by the Islamic State terror group. Some Christians, he said, had risked almost certain death by staying in these territories to give testament to their faith.

Read more


Israeli Ministers Approve ‘Facebook Law’ Against Web Incitement

Israeli courts could demand that companies such as Facebook Inc. remove content deemed as incitement, under a bill that that will head for parliamentary approval amid concerns about free speech.

The law would give Israel the tools “to have content liable to lead to murder and terror removed immediately,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said via text message after an Israeli ministerial committee approved the bill Sunday.

Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked have continued pushing the bill even after Facebook agreed in a September meeting to create joint teams to deal with Internet incitement. Israel’s Cabinet said Sunday it would discuss even tougher measures against violent content on the web, without indicating what those measures might be.

The Internet giants aren’t ignoring the problem: Facebook, Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and YouTube said earlier this month they were creating a shared database to help enforce policies against online terrorist content. After the September meeting in Israel, Facebook said it has “zero tolerance for terrorism.”

Read more

Berlin plans ‘center of defense against fake news’ ahead of elections

© Dado Ruvic / Reuters
© Dado Ruvic / Reuters

The German government is seeking to create a center of defense against disinformation ahead of next year’s elections, in the wake of ongoing “fake news” and “Russian hackers” hysteria generated during the election cycle in the United States.

The Federal Press Office in the Chancellery, which has a staff of over 500 professionals, will take the leading role in establishing the fake news defense center, Der Spiegel reported quoting a note from an anonymous Interior Ministry staff member.

According to the Interior Ministry plan, the center will focus on offering “intensification of political education work” with groups susceptible to “fake news” – namely “Russian-Germans” as well as “Turkish-speaking people.”

The creation of the center “should be negotiated very quickly,” the magazine said quoting the note, which also urged that political parties establish ground rules for the 2017 election campaigns. According to report, the Interior Ministry also urged politicians not to use social bots and disinformation techniques during the election cycle.

Read More