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January 04 2013

  1. If any of the victims were pious, faithful, moral people living as Jesus taught — and since the majority of them were hardly more than babies, it is a safe assumption that they were mostly free of sin — why does that get ignored because they happened to be in a public building? The Supreme Court has upheld the right of students to pray in public schools; the prohibition is only against school personnel leading or enforcing prayer. Would God have protected non-pious individuals in a church or on private property where separation of church & state do not apply? Is where you are physically located in a crisis the determinant of God’s protection or abandonment, or must you be both pious and not in a public building?
  2. What about mass shootings that have occurred in places not subject to separation of church & state, such as malls, theaters, or restaurants? What about the ones at religious schools or churches (such as occurred at the Sikh temple, Wedgewood Baptist Church, or the Living Church of God)? Indeed, these occurred in God’s own house where one can only assume He is “welcome.”
  3. If God loves His children, why let His children’s children be slaughtered simply because they are in a place where they cannot worship publicly? If He gave us free will and we used it to create rules that keep government and religion separate, does it seem fair to condemn people who follow those rules in an attempt to be good citizens to execution by armed gunmen?
  4. If God really could have protected those children but chose not to as a means of teaching us a lesson because we dared to keep institutional prayer out of public schools, what about that is worth worship? Is an omnipotent deity that opts not to intervene to save innocent children from violent, painful, terrifying death truly a God of love and forgiveness, or is He a God of wrath? And if the latter, what reason other than fear of reprisal is there to worship?
  5. If God does not have the ability to intervene and couldn’t have stopped the massacre even if He wanted to, then what does it matter that He is “not welcome” in public schools? If He cannot intervene, then welcome or not, prayer or not, their fate was in the shooter’s hands, not God’s, wasn’t it?
  6. Simply by virtue of offering an explanation for why God permitted this atrocity, are people not presuming to know God’s mind and intent? If He is angered by human arrogance in the separation of church & state, would He not also be angered by the arrogance of this presumption?
Six Questions for Christians Following the Newtown Massacre

July 14 2012

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

May 29 2012

A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards has admitted that Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Syrian army being aided by Iranian forces | World news | guardian.co.uk

They took us inside and told us to gather in the corner of the room. A man started shooting in the air so we all hid behind my mother. We were about 15 people.

Then they opened fire. After they shot us they started to step on us, and one of the men asked the other to check whether we were all dead. Then they went outside and started shooting in the air.

We were eight siblings, including myself, and my sister-in-law and her son - she was also six months pregnant. With us as well were my father, my uncle's wife and her daughter, as well as our neighbour and her three kids.

My aunt and her two daughters - one of them was only injured and she's here with me - she is one month old, the other one died. We were all in the house.

I survived with my mother and the one-month-old girl and my sister. They shot at us but we survived.

What's going to happen to us?

In a massacre of unprecedented savagery that brings Syria close to civil war, some 32 children and 60 adults have been slaughtered in villages in the Houla area of central Syria. Anti-government militants blame pro-regime gunmen for carrying out the butchery in which children and their parents were hacked and shot to death.
Exclusive dispatch: Assad blamed for massacre of the innocents - Middle East - World - The Independent
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