Reflecting on my Jew-ish journey~Brad A. Greenberg

July 28, 2009 | 1:13 pm

Reflecting on my Jew-ish journey

Posted by Brad A. Greenberg


It seemed pretty obvious that the week before last wouldn’t really be my last at The Jewish Journal.

After packing up my desk, I still needed to pen my reflections on being a Christian reporter for a Jewish newspaper. And, not surprisingly, I struggled to get it done.

So last Tuesday I turned in my final version, slipped into the office to see a story on the page for the final time and grabbed the three boxes I’d left behind.

The first-person piece, “My So-Called Jewish Life,“ ran Thursday. I think I’ve only done this once before—not coincidentally when I celebrated Yom Kippur for the first time—but I’m going to republish the entire article below.

Here goes:

Should I tell him I’m not a Jew? I wondered this over and over as I sat in the Cal State Long Beach office of academia’s leading anti-Semite.

People make many assumptions about a reporter named Greenberg who lives in Los Angeles and writes for The Jewish Journal. Maybe, I wondered, Kevin MacDonald, a professor whose books on Jews have been compared to “Mein Kampf” and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” would speak more freely if he knew I was, in fact, a practicing Christian.

But then I thought about the personal setback I would be subjecting myself to for the sake, possibly, of a few good quotes.

I’d been writing for The Journal for a year, and while I was open about being a churchgoing Christian — my father, a Jew, and my mother, who was raised Catholic, both converted to Protestantism when I was a kid — I was adamant in my belief that the Jewish story was also my family’s story, that purpose and promise and persecution link my ancestors to Moses and Einstein and the Beastie Boys.

So I kept quiet. I let the professor think of me whatever he was inclined to think. As the interview progressed, I realized the disclosure would not have mattered to MacDonald. But it certainly would have mattered to me.

When, in 2007, I joined The Journal — which I am leaving now to enter law school at UCLA — the impetus was as personal as it was professional. Sure, I saw an opportunity to advance my career — and having received some top honors from the Los Angeles Press Club during my time here, including best blog and journalist of the year, I’d say the Prophets couldn’t have promised anything more. But, maybe more importantly, I thought the move would help me sort out my complicated Judeo-Christian identity.

I typically observe Passover in a church, and growing up in a San Diego suburb, the extent of my Jewish upbringing was being the target of money jokes. Despite having three Jewish grandparents, including both grandmothers, and facial hair that draws comparisons to Matisyahu, I was, at best, Jew-ish.

But at The Jewish Journal I began working on my Yiddish tongue; I went to Yom Kippur services for the first time. I traveled to Israel and even got hassled by El Al security screeners; I observed Shabbat in Sderot and experienced the terror of hearing a red alert and having only a few seconds to run for a bomb shelter; I haggled at a market (OK, I was already pretty good at that); and I learned that I had an incredible amount more in common with the Jews I was sojourning among than the gentiles I grew up with.

There was speculation among a few colleagues that my joining this paper was an indication that a Prodigal Son was coming home. But this had not been my father’s house for more than two decades. And not everyone welcomed me back.

“The ‘Jewish’ journal continues to employ this Christian with a Jewish name to tell us about Jews,” a reader of my blog, The God Blog, wrote in one of a handful of similar comments in 2007. “How ‘bout this: let the JJ change its name to the ‘Apostate Journal,’ and BG can change his name to Christian Berg.”

Those sentiments didn’t surprise me. In fact, I had assumed such opposition would be prevalent, and when Journal Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman contacted me at the Los Angeles Daily News and asked me to lunch, I quickly let him know that he might want to move on to a candidate who better fit the bill.

“It’s OK,” he responded. “Some of my best friends aren’t Jewish.”

Still, I had no illusions about the insider-outsider place I would occupy in the community. Nevertheless, I found that most readers evaluated me by the quality of my work, not by the fact that, much like most L.A. Jews, I didn’t daven daily.

I didn’t struggle with the alphabet soup of Jewish communal life — with discerning JVS (Jewish Vocational Service) from JFS (Jewish Family Service) from JFL (Jewish Free Loan) — but remembering all the holidays ... oy. I also found that there is much more to understanding the Jewish community than just being able to differentiate between an eruv and a mikveh.

Never was this more apparent than when I visited the Jewish State.

Not all Jews, I learned, looked like me: poor-sighted, fair-skinned, curly haired. In Los Angeles you could go years without running into a Jew who wasn’t either from Eastern Europe or Iran. But the breadth of diversity in Israel — where Jews arrive from India and Ethiopia and Australia and China and Argentina — pushed aside everything I thought I knew about who is a Jew, and what it means to be a Jew, and what it is to live a Jewish life.

Whether writing about the fragility of life in Israel or economic pressures on Jewish communal life or L.A.’s Jewish hoops hero, Jordan Farmar, I met Jews who had grown up with a strong identity and those just developing one; Jews who were Jews in name only and others who considered themselves Jewish only when others wanted them to be; Jews who felt a God-given obligation to defend the faith and those who felt just as strong a responsibility to reform it.

Like Los Angeles itself, I found that Jewish life is a vast landscape, ranging from sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains, from hardscrabble desert to dense forest. It’s a place where even a Christian named Greenberg could find a home.

I’m not a Messianic or a Jew for Jesus. I’ve never pretended to be a partial practitioner of Judaism. But I’ve also found that I deeply appreciate Jewish life — the commitment to community-building and supporting the less fortunate, to education and culture, to reading and writing, to remembering God.

Pretty early during my employment at The Journal, I realized how to definitively answer the question I had gotten so used to hearing: “Are you Jewish?”

“Well,” I would say, “that really depends on who’s asking.”

The issue of Jewish identity is, after all, a thousands-year-old debate; I don’t expect to be the answer.

I’m happy to be accepted by those who can accept me, but I understand if you can’t. Personally, I don’t think I could feel more Jewish. Except for that whole faith-in-Jesus thing. And he is kind of a deal-breaker.

Falwell boldly delivers House invocation in Jesus' name

Falwell boldly delivers House invocation in Jesus' name
Associated Press - 7/30/2009 7:35:00 AMBookmark and Share

Associated Press smallWASHINGTON, DC -

Rev. Jonathan Falwell has followed his father's footsteps to Washington, delivering the opening prayer Wednesday for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Falwell took over as pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, after his father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, died in 2007. The younger Falwell didn't know if his father had ever delivered the opening prayer. But Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority, which mobilized Christians to elect conservative leaders in the 1980s. Jerry Falwell's widow, Macel, was in the House gallery Wednesday to see their son give the invocation.

During his prayer, Jonathan Falwell asked God to forgive the nation's sins and guide its leaders.

"We know as our forefathers knew and as the scriptures tell us that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people," Falwell prayed. "And so today we ask Your forgiveness for the sins that we as a people and we as a nation have committed. We seek Your wisdom and Your guidance in all that takes place in this room. We ask You to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Above all, we ask You to continue to bless this great land that we call home."

He then concluded his prayer in Jesus' name.


A Note from David Brickner

Did you hear the hubbub over newly released tapes that recorded more of the conversation between former President Richard Nixon and evangelist Billy Graham? For many, the focus was on anti-Semitic attitudes that appeared in the conversation. But the mention of Jews for Jesus in these tapes sheds an interesting light on how and why many Christian leaders today shy away from Jewish evangelism. (If you didn’t know that Jews for Jesus was mentioned in these tapes and would like to read about it, click here)

The tapes contain a reminder that it is nothing new for Jewish community leaders to regard any overtures to reach Jewish people for Jesus as a threat. As it is human nature to “lobby” influential people to one’s cause, evangelists such as Billy Graham have been pressured to show friendship to the Jewish people by distancing themselves from those whose mission it is to reach Jewish people for Jesus.

The pressure often comes in the form of friendship proffered or withheld based on where one stands when it comes to evangelizing Jewish people. Nearly four decades later, we are seeing the “fruits” of this type of pressure as many Christian leaders are urging other Christians to demonstrate love and Honest to Godrespect for Jewish people by keeping silent about the gospel. Rich Robinson, scholar-in-residence with Jews for Jesus, has some keen insight into this trend. I want to commend the following book review, in which Rich shows how Christians can inadvertently diminish their love for the unsaved as well as their own obedience to the Savior:

Honest to God: Christian Zionists Confront 10 Questions Jews Need Answered by Victor L. Styrsky.

Reviewed by Rich Robinson

The title of this book may imply that Jewish people have ten burning questions for Christian Zionists. A closer look shows that the “10 Questions Jews need answered” are actually ten assurances that the author believes Christians need to offer the Jewish people. The author poses these questions as springboards from which to show Christians how to relate to Jewish people.


Richard Nixon, Billy Graham, and Jews for Jesus

June 26, 2009

The Rev. Billy Graham informed Richard Nixon of the Jewish community's concern about Jews for Jesus in a private telephone conversation in February 1973. Graham represented the group as being "set up all over the country," at a time when the organization was in its fledgling stage, with just a handful of workers.

The 20-minute conversation, released on Tuesday as part of 154 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House, took place on February 21, 1973, the day Israeli jets fired on a Libyan passenger plane that violated its airspace, causing the plane to crash and killing 108 people on board. Nixon and Graham are concerned that this event will turn world opinion against Israel.

They are also troubled by statements by Jewish leaders, in particular the late Rabbi Marc Tannenbaum, then the director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, denouncing Christian efforts to tell others, including Jews, about Jesus. They feel this may alienate the Christian community against the Jewish people.

Nixon and Graham were anticipating seeing Tannenbaum the following week at a dinner for Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Nixon tells Graham: "You tell him he's making a terrible mistake, and they're going to get the darndest round of anti-Semitism here if they don't behave." Graham explains to Nixon the concern of Tannenbaum and other Jewish leaders:

"And one of the things they're terribly afraid of is so many of these Jewish young people are turning away from Judaism. They're not turning away from Jewishness. They say they're remaining Jews, but they're becoming followers of Jesus. Well, that's just scaring them to death."

Graham continues, "They've set up all over the country, these Jews for Jesus at the various universities.... And this is frightening Jewish leaders, and they're overreacting in this country. I'm talking about the rabbis."

Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus and the director of the organization at that time, explains why a handful of staff could appear to be "all over the country."

"Our traveling musical team, the Liberated Wailing Wall, set up a number of church meetings," recalls Rosen, "and during the day we would go to the campuses. The group had some meetings in Texas, then traveled to Washington, Boston, and back to our headquarters in San Francisco. We probably appeared on fifty campuses in a three-month period. We were seen by a lot of people, but it was the same group!"

Rosen and Graham traded correspondence beginning in late 1977 after Rabbi Tannenbaum made a speech in which he referred to Graham's "repudiation of proselytizing of Jewish people through the deceptive techniques of such movements as Jews for Jesus." An article in McCall's magazine in January 1978 made a similar claim that "Billy is particularly opposed to evangelical groups such as 'Jews for Jesus' who have made Jews the special target of their proselytizing efforts."

In a letter to Rosen dated January 24, 1978, Graham said, "I regret that alleged statements by me concerning your ministry have caused you one minute's embarrassment or grief. So many people have reported to me what a blessing you and your group have been to them.... I can never recall ever criticizing your group by name in public or private!... Sometimes texts are taken out of the context to mean something more or less than was meant."

In the same letter, Graham said, "I have never publicly supported special missions to Jews—I preach to people as people! But you will notice when I give an invitation in my Crusades to accept Christ I usually say 'whether you are Catholic, Protestant or Jew.'"

Why Marriage Matters, State of Our Unions ~Chuck Colson

Why Marriage Matters

State of Our Unions

Say you’re having a conversation with a non-believing friend or a co-worker, and you want to defend the traditional Christian view of marriage. You are well prepared to appeal to Scripture-to talk about how God made man and woman, how He instituted marriage.

But your argument falls flat. Especially since your friend doesn’t believe there is a God in the first place, or believe the Bible.

Which is why sometimes the best arguments we Christians can make are prudential ones-those that appeal to common sense and the common good.

So the next time you talk about the importance of traditional marriage with a non-believer, be ready to cite the July 13th cover story from Time magazine.

In her article, “Why Marriage Matters,” Caitlin Flanagan provides a powerful, prudential defense of traditional marriage. Reflecting on the painfully public infidelities of Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign, and others, Flanagan laments the state of marriage in America and shows why its deterioration should concern us all.

She writes, “There is no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and misery in this country as the collapse of marriage.” That collapse “hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security, and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it the least: the nation’s underclass.”

And Flanagan isn’t shy about showing how marriage benefits children. She writes, “On every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households.”

She also believes that “few things hamper a child as much as not having a father at home.” I’ve seen this over and over in 30 years in our nation’s prisons.

And the voices corroborating this come from unlikely allies. Flanagan cites one feminist, Maria Kefalas, who confessed, “Women always tell me, ‘I can be a mother and a father to a child,’ but it’s not true. The mom may not need that man, but her children still do.”

Another study, by Princeton sociologist and single mother Sara McLanahan, shows that “children who grow up in a household with only one biological parent are worse off, on average, than children who grow up in a household with both of their biological parents, regardless of the parents’ race or educational backgrounds.”

Flanagan also challenges her readers by asking what is the fundamental purpose of marriage. If it’s “simply an institution” to make us happy, then she writes, we “might as well hold the wake” for traditional marriage right now.

If, however, marriage is “an institution that still hews to its old intention and function,” that is, “to raise the next generation, to protect and teach it, to instill in it the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation’s safe passage into adulthood”-well, that’s something worth defending and sacrificing for.

What seems like a juggernaut for gay “marriage” is aimed at us. This is a good time for us to give good, prudential arguments to our friends, neighbors, and churches. And don’t let up or accept the inevitability. Keep on fighting-truth is on our side.

If I forget thee o Jerusalem.., on Tisha B'Av

If I forget thee o Jerusalem..,

Let my right hand loose it's cunning, let my tongue cleave to it's mouth,
If I do not prefer thee above my chiefest joy...,

I lived in Jerusalem fourteen months, it was a time of trial, tribulation, great sorrow, great joy, and many lessons I am still living.

My Wife divorced me in Jerusalem.

She wanted to Follow her soul rather than her heart and decided to Live in Israel as a Orthodox Jew, and "undercover" be a follower of Jesus. My experience with the halachic court was remarkable and the "abandonment" by mature Believers in Jesus phenomenal, I resisted the "get" and in one "courtroom dialogue" God confounded a sage.

Eventually I released her.

In many ways I died in Jerusalem, much as I thought I would.

Days there were full of wonder, splendor, one minute a saint, next minute a sinner, and the miraculous followed me as at times there were moments like transfiguration and times people got "saved".

There was also Crucifixion, Gethsemane, and even Last Suppers with Judas never far away...,

I Love Jesus. He loves me. We love the City of God, the place the Temple of the Most High was built and God's presence once was.

But the fact is We are that temple now. We take Jesus where we go, and we could take Him to Jerusalem as a Witness or a tourist. We can take the Holy Spirit inside us to the place of caring enough for one neighbor or One Jew, or any other person be they Moslem, Mormon, Arab, Israeli or American and reveal that God is not dead but the Living God and we are the ambassadors of a City yet to come with a Land yet to be seen.

We are the Ones God chose to do this for him., To Declare to Jerusalem, Judea and all the World your time of mourning is gone, it is a Day of Salvation to this entire generation and we do not have much time to let someone Hear God Speak.

We can let this generation know, God has spoken, God does Speak and God will Speak to the person standing right next to you, if you will only open you mouth.

If you have forgotten Jesus, He never forgot Jerusalem, He told Paul, Jerusalem is the Mother of us All.

If you pray for Jerusalem and peace that is well, but if you would Save a Soul in Jerusalem, Please Speak Comfort to my people, Speak repentance to the hardened of heart, but for God's Sake stand up and Speak to the Jews you do know and Be not Afraid, God is with you.

Tell a Jew about Jesus.

Michael James Stone

The Department of Magical Thinking; Britain and Teen Sex~ Chuck Colson

The Department of Magical Thinking

Britain and Teen Sex

We’re all familiar with the condescending comments about Christians. We are anti-science, and live by the uptight rules of a magical sky God. How ironic, then, that there’s more and more evidence that Christians are the ones who rely on science, while secular thinkers engage in magical thinking.

Exhibit A: a branch of Britain’s National Health Service in Sheffield just published a leaflet titled Pleasure. The leaflet’s writers were concerned that-what with all the warnings about safe sex and all-teenagers might forget “the principal reason that many people have sex” in the first place: because it’s pleasurable.

Oh, sure. We all know that teenagers need to be reminded of what their hormones are screaming at them.

But the real magical thinking comes in here. According to the leaflet, daily sexual gratification is good for you. Since we all need plenty of cardiovascular exercise, why not meet that need with sex?

Well, if they really want to know why not (which I doubt), listen to this.

First, girls say they often feel pressured into sex-and then feel used afterward. Now, British girls will have to deal with even more pressure. Boys will be able to wave this leaflet in their faces and say, “See? The government says that daily sex is good for you!”

Second: Teen sex frequently leads to pregnancy, even with the use of contraceptives. (Possibly the Head Magician at the National Health Service in Britain forgot that British teens lead the civilized world in pregnancy rates.) Babies born to teens are more likely to live in poverty than the children of married adults. And if teens abort their babies, they will risk all the physical and emotional consequences of abortion.

Third, casual sex spreads disease, including HIV/AIDS. Women pay the highest price in the form of infertility and cervical cancer. Fifth, there is strong evidence that casual sex will damage teenagers’ abilities to form lasting marital relationships.

Whatever the authors of this pamphlet had in mind, it certainly wasn’t the physical, emotional, or moral health of teenagers. Instead, their writings reflect the teachings of Margaret Sanger and Alfred Kinsey, whose sexual views were based not on science, but on an intensely held personal belief system.

Sanger and Kinsey’s ideology elevated sexuality into a means of salvation. The goal of sexual liberation was not merely sensual gratification. It offers a complete worldview that aims at freeing the inner self from the evils of repression and then renewing all society.

But one test of whether a worldview is true is whether it corresponds to reality. That is, can you live with it? The truth is that sexual licentiousness has produced epidemics of abortion, disease, divorce, broken families-and great unhappiness.

And the National Health Service notwithstanding, pollsters tell us that those who report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction are monogamous married couples who were chaste before marriage.

But it this Britain, you say. Ok, but beware: This is what that British National Health Service thinks it’s appropriate to do with taxpayers’ funds. And we’re debating nationalized health care here? Hmm.

President Obama: I Pray All the Time Now

Obama: I Pray All the Time Now

President Obama says he starts his day with a devotional that the director of his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative, Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, sends to his BlackBerry each day.

And though he was in the habit of praying every night before going to bed, Obama says since becoming president, he prays “all the time now.”

“I've got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time,” he told ABC News' Terry Moran in an interview for “Nightline.”

“I think that every president who’s had [this job] is constantly humbled by the degree to which there are a lot of issues out there and the notion that one person alone can solve all these problems I think you're cured of that illusion very quickly,” Obama added. “This is something where you just hope that you are aligning your work with His purposes and that you're attuned to the needs of the people you're there to serve.”

Prior to winning the presidency, Obama had informed the public that Christ “is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis” for him.

“I know that I don’t walk alone, and I know that if I can get myself out of the way, that I can maybe carry out in some small way what He intends,” he said during his appearance last August at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

Though the Obamas are still without a home church, the president reiterated Thursday that he and his family have been attending services at Camp David’s nondenominational Evergreen Chapel, which insiders say could provide a robust worship community for the president despite not being a membership congregation.

As he has in past interviews, Obama said Thursday that his team is “still trying to figure out how to move this big apparatus called the presidency without being hugely disruptive to congregations.”

“How do we time that, how do we think about that? That's something we're still sorting out,” he confessed.

The Obamas have been without a home church since withdrawing their membership last May from Trinity United Church of Christ after controversy arose over sermons that his long-time pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had preached in 2001 and 2003.

In the sermons, Wright lashed out against the U.S. government, accusing it of “purposely infect[ing] African American men with syphilis” and “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.” He also suggested that American had brought the Sept. 11 attacks upon itself.

“America's chickens are coming home to roost," Wright said after bringing up the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII.

Obama, in response, said he was “outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle.”

World Net Daily Self Distructs over Obama birth and become another tabloid terrorism

Tabloid Terroism:

Creating a Story to induce panic, disharmony, lawlessness, propaganda and instill fear to upset the normal way of life by inducing fear and false accusation to inflame opinions against factual and legal redress.

World Net Daily has joined the ranks of Holocaust deniers, moonwalk deniers, and shock jock jock journalism to lay a veneer of respectability to a fact they are falsely portraying as questionable about President Obama's birth.

Almost all news agencies, as well as Bill O'Reilly, Fox, CBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Secret Service, the Intelligence community overseas, Israeli sources, and a host of easy accessible sites for files by any Blogger can find FACTS not fancy about the False Claims made by WND.

When is a Lie a lie? when it is used by manipulation to portray it as Truth, then it is not only a Lie, but Tabloid Terroism and should be investigated as well as censured.

When WND gets done trying to build it's readership, and is proven false. Remember, they will not print a retraction, or admit the facts. They will not move on to another post and if you think this makes them credible for Prophecy?

Recall this: Fleecing the flock they are making money off you.

Michael James Stone

WND Exclusive
Obama: Where have all his records gone?
Footprints of president's own history either vanish or remain covered up

Posted: June 09, 2009
8:34 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Obama's alleged kindergarten class (photo: Maui News)

While nearly 400,000 concerned citizens demand President Obama present his elusive "long-form" birth certificate, more than a dozen other documents remain unreleased or otherwise blocked from the public eye.

Numerous documents which have yet to be surrendered include the following.

Obama kindergarten records

The Maui News reported that Obama attended kindergarten at Noelani Elementary School on Oahu during the school year 1966-67. It released a photo of two teachers, Katherine Nakamoto and Aimee Yatsushiro, with five students. The teachers claim one of the children is Barack Obama.

According to the Hawaii Department of Education, students must submit a birth certificate to register. Parents may bring a passport or student visa if the child is from a foreign country.

So far, no records have been released by the school. Noelani Elementary School officials have not responded to WND's request for comment.

Punahou School records

Punahou's alleged 1979 yearbook photo of Obama playing basketball

Though from a modest background, Obama began attending the prestigious Punahou School in Honolulu, one of Hawaii's top private institutions. He reportedly received a scholarship and attended the school from the fifth grade until he finished high school, though no financial records have been released.

The Boston Globe reported, "In 1979, the year Obama graduated, tuition for high school students at Punahou was $1,990, a sizable expense compared with Hawaii's median family income of $22,750 that year.

Obama, reportedly a "B" student, studied among the island's richest and most accomplished students. According to the school's website, he also played forward on Punahou's 1979 state championship basketball team.

Occidental College records

Obama arrived at Occidental College, a small liberal arts school in Los Angeles, Calif., in the fall of 1979. He only briefly mentions the school in his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father."

Obama attended the school on a scholarship. Some question whether the financial aid he received was reserved for foreign students. Financial records have not been released.

In a legal action, handled largely by Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, officials at Occidental College were served with a demand to produce records concerning Barack Obama's attendance there during the 1980s because they could document whether he was attending as a foreign national.

Kreep petitioned the college with a demand for its records concerning Obama.

Occidental College library

"The gravamen of the petition is the question as to whether United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama, of Illinois, is eligible to serve as president of the United States pursuant to the requirements for that office in the United States Constitution," he wrote. "The records sought may provide documentary evidence, and/or admissions by said defendant, as to said eligibility or lack thereof."

College officials then contacted Obama's lawyers, who argued to the court that the election was over and that future concerns should be addressed to Congress.

The motion stated that the records, which could reveal on what name Obama attended classes at Occidental and whether he attended on scholarship money intended for foreign students, "are of no relevance to this moot litigation."

The motion also claimed the petitioners failed to serve the subpoena properly.

Get your "Where's the birth certificate?" bumper sticker here.

"The subpoena directed to Occidental College should therefore be quashed. Alternatively, this court should issue an order directing that the deposition of the custodian of records of Occidental College not take place," the firm working on Obama's behalf stated.

"The central issue in this lawsuit … is whether any Respondent had a legal duty to demand proof of natural born citizenship from Democratic Party's nominee," the motion said. "None of the documents sought by petitioners could possibly assist in answering this question."

A judge granted a motion to quash the subpoena.

"Obama's attorneys bent over backward to block us," Kreep told WND. "Obama doesn't want anyone to see those records. He's trying to hide them."

(Story continues below)

His efforts resulted in a threat from Obama's attorneys to seek financial sanctions against the plaintiff's lawyers.

Kreep said a notice of appeal will be filed next week.

A notice posted on the Occidental College website states, "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations protect the privacy of student education records. We, therefore, cannot disclose students' classes, grade point averages, majors or other such information."

Columbia University records

Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University in 1981, at the age of 20.

According to the New York Times, Obama "suggests in his book that his years in New York were a pivotal period: He ran three miles a day, buckled down to work and 'stopped getting high,' which he says he had started doing in high school. Yet he declined repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years."

Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told the newspaper in October 2007, "He doesn’t remember the names of a lot of people in his life."

In a 2005 profile in a Columbia alumni magazine, Obama called his time at the school "an intense period of study."

"I spent a lot of time in the library. I didn't socialize that much. I was like a monk," he said.

Columbia University hosts outdoor viewing of 2009 Inauguration on large screen

Obama claimed to be a part of the Black Student Organization and anti-apartheid activities. But according to the New York Times, several well-known student leaders did not recall his involvement.

Fox News made contact with 400 of Obama's classmates. No one remembered him.

The Columbia University chapter in Obama's life remains blank, according to the New York Sun.

"The Obama campaign has refused to release his college transcript, despite an academic career that led him to Harvard Law School and, later, to a lecturing position at the University of Chicago," the Sun reported in September 2008. "The shroud surrounding his experience at Columbia contrasts with that of other major party nominees since 2000, all whom have eventually released information about their college performance or seen it leaked to the public."

When the newspaper inquired, the Obama campaign did not offer an explanation for why the transcript had not been released.

According to the New York Sun, a program from Columbia's 1983 commencement ceremony lists Obama as a graduate. University spokesman Brian Connolly confirmed that Obama graduated with a major in political science but without honors. Nonetheless, he was later admitted to Harvard Law School.

Columbia thesis "Soviet Nuclear Disarmament"

Before applying to Harvard, Obama is said to have written a major thesis in his senior year. It has not been released.

Soviet nuclear missile

An Oct 30, 2007, a New York Times article stated, "[Obama] barely mentions Columbia, training ground for the elite, where he transferred in his junior year, majoring in political science and international relations and writing his thesis on Soviet nuclear disarmament."

Former Columbia professor, Michael Baron, told NBC News Obama excelled in his year-long honors seminar called American Foreign Policy.

He also said Obama spent a whole year writing a "thesis" or "senior thesis" on the topic of nuclear negotiations with the former Soviet Union.

"My recollection is that the paper was an analysis of the evolution of the arms reduction negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States," Baron told reporters in an e-mail. "At that time, a hot topic in foreign policy circles was finding a way in which each country could safely reduce the large arsenal of nuclear weapons pointed at the other … For U.S. policy makers in both political parties, the aim was not disarmament, but achieving deep reductions in the Soviet nuclear arsenal and keeping a substantial and permanent American advantage. As I remember it, the paper was about those negotiations, their tactics and chances for success. Barack got an A."

Baron said he saved Obama's paper and recently searched through boxes hoping to find it, but he told reporters he may have thrown it away during a move several years ago.

Baron wrote a letter of recommendation when Obama applied to Harvard Law School. According to Federal Election Commission records, he also donated at least $1,250 to Obama's presidential campaign.

On July 24, 2008, the Obama administration told NBC News Obama was unable to release copies of his thesis paper.

"We do not have a copy of the course paper you requested and neither does Columbia University," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said.

According to MSNBC, Columbia University officials claim they do not have a copy available in the college's archives.

Harvard Law School records

Obama at Harvard (photo: Obama campaign)

With less than steller marks upon his graduation from Columbia, Obama was accepted into Harvard Law School.

WND columnist Jack Cashill wrote, "If Obama's LSAT scores merited admission (to Harvard), we would know about them. We don't. The Obama camp guards those scores, like his SAT scores, more tightly that Iran does its nuclear secrets."

He continued, "We know enough about Obama's Columbia grades to know how far they fall below the Harvard norm, likely even below the affirmative action-adjusted black norm at Harvard."

Cashill wrote, Khalid al-Mansour, principle adviser to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, lobbied friends like Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton to intervene at Harvard on Obama's behalf. Al-Mansour reportedly mentored founders of the Black Panther party in the early 1960s.

Cashill suggests Obama's "shyness" about his Harvard experience may stem from his reluctance to broadcast his connections.

According to Politico, Obama's name does not appear on any legal scholarships during his time at Harvard. His campaign reportedly said his Harvard education was a product of hard work and student loans. Obama graduated magna cum laude in 1991.

Harvard Law Review articles

In 1990, Obama beat out 18 other contenders to become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, where he spent at least 50 hours a week editing submissions from judges, scholars and authors.

According to Politico, there were "eight dense volumes produced during his time in charge there – 2,083 pages in all."

Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told Politico Obama didn't write any articles for the Review, but he did leave behind numerous case analyses and unsigned "notes" from Harvard students.

As Matthew Franck noted in National Review Online, "A search of the HeinOnline database of law journals turns up exactly nothing credited to Obama in any law review anywhere at any time."

Susan Estrich, the first female president of the Review who served 14 years earlier, said Obama must have had something published that year, even if his campaign denied it.

"They probably don't want [to] have you [reporters] going back" to examine the Review, she said.

Staff of the 1990-1991 Law Review with Obama at center (photo: Obama campaign)

However, Politico later reported it had unearthed a 1990 article that "offers a glimpse at Obama's views on abortion policy and the law during his student days."

His six-page summary answers a legal question about whether fetuses should be allowed to file lawsuits against their mothers.

"Obama's answer, like most courts': No," Politico reported. "He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother's rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy."

The report continued, "His article acknowledged a public interest in the health of the fetus, but also seemed to demonstrate his continuing commitment to abortion rights, and suggested that the government may have more important concerns than 'ensuring that any particular fetus is born.'"

Despite its earlier statement, the Obama campaign later confirmed Obama's authorship of the article and claimed it was the only piece he had written for the Review.

University of Chicago scholarly articles

(photo: Obama campaign)

Obama lectured at the University of Chicago Law School, a top school where the faculty is known for voluminous scholarly publishing, from 1992 until 2004.

The university offered Obama a full-time tenure-track position, an honor typically reserved for published instructors. However, reporters have been unable to find scholarly articles authored by him. The university reports that Obama declined the tenure offer.

Sarah Galer, news editor at the Law School and Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, told WND, "President Obama wrote 'Dreams from My Father' while at the law school but did not produce any scholarly articles as far as I know."


According to March 2008 reports, State Department employees conducted an unauthorized search of Obama's passport files during the recent presidential campaign. CNN reported that three different contract workers accessed his information on separate occasions – Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14 – without authorization. Two workers were fired and another faced discipline.

Obama's files reportedly contained copies of passport applications, birth date, basic biographical information, records of passport renewal and possibly citizenship information.

The Obama campaign demanded a thorough investigation to determine which employees looked at the file and why.

"This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton told CNN in a statement. "Our government's duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes."

Meanwhile, a key witness who had been cooperating with federal investigators was later found fatally shot in front of a Washington, D.C., church. A police officer found the body of Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, slumped dead inside his car.

At the time, investigators said they didn't have any information connecting the murder to the passport case. After one year of investigation of the homicide, there have been no arrests.

The passport has not been released.

Medical records

During his first presidential campaign in 1999, Sen. John McCain released 1,500 pages of medical and psychiatric records collected by the Navy. In 2008, McCain allowed reporters to spend three hours sifting through 1,200 pages of health records.

In 1999, former Vice President Al Gore released medical records revealing "mildly elevated" cholesterol levels and removal of a common form of skin cancer from his forehead in 1997. The documents disclosed his weight, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness and a variety of other health details. Gore's records were compiled after a complete physical examination by several military physicians.

Likewise, President George W. Bush allowed the media to view about 400 pages of personal medical information in 2000 and 2004.

After initial reluctance, Sen. John Kerry allowed the Navy to release his full medical records in 2004.

While not all have done so, it has been common practice for presidential candidates to release medical records.

However, Barack Obama, a relatively young candidate who was said to have been in "excellent health," refused to release medical records. Instead, he simply provided a six-paragraph note from his physician briefly summarizing 21 years of doctor visits and health information.

The letter contained no supporting documentation.

Other documents

Couple said to be Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham (photo: Obama campaign)

According to additional records listed at the Obama File Report, other documents that remain unreleased include:

  • Complete files and schedules of his years as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004
  • Obama's client list from during his time in private practice with the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Gallard
  • Illinois State Bar Association records
  • Baptism records
  • Obama/Dunham marriage license
  • Obama/Dunham divorce documents
  • Soetoro/Dunham marriage license
  • Adoption records

Birth certificate

WND has been reporting since before the election on questions – and lawsuits – raised over Obama's birth and eligibility. He reported in his book he was born in Hawaii and his half-sister agrees. But the woman the president says is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, claimed to have been present at her grandson's birth in Mombasa, Kenya.

The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 380,000 others and sign up now!

Barack Obama

Complicating the issue are Obama's move to Indonesia as a child, where he reportedly attended that nation's public schools, and his later travels to Pakistan, raising questions about on what nation's passport was that travel accomplished. Then there are the multiple law firms hired to make certain Obama's long-form birth certificate information, and other documentation such as college records, remain sealed from public view.

Obama's presidential campaign released to select news organizations only what is known as a "certification of live birth," a document obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the country. However, Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, has been calling for the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate showing the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details to confirm his citizenship status.

Farah launched a national billboard campaign last month in an effort to keep the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased around the country, ask the simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?" Farah is asking the public to support his campaign with donations. So far, more than $75,000 has been collected.

The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly 400,000 names.

The campaign got a boost recently when WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn't release his birth certificate. Gibbs' response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.

It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly asked a member of the administration a question directly related to Obama's constitutional eligibility for office as a "natural born citizen."

Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a "natural born citizen," but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama's claim to a Hawaiian birth.

Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent "truth and transparency campaign."

The first sign to be posted under the campaign, a digital, electronic one, is up and online on Highway 165 in Ball, La.. In addition, based on the heavy volume of financial donations in the first days of the campaign, WND was able to commit to leasing three more standard billboards – one in Los Angeles, another in Orange County, Calif. and a third in Pennsylvania.

Birth certificate question being raised in Ball, La

Farah said the campaign was born of frustration with timid elected officials in Washington, corrupt judges around the country and a news media that show a stunning lack of curiosity about the most basic facts of Obama's background – especially how it relates to constitutional eligibility for the highest office in the land.

"As Obama transforms this country from self-governing constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established that he is indeed a 'natural born citizen' as the Constitution requires," Farah said. "Obama's promises of transparency have become a bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his birth certificate and his student records."

Your donation – from as little as $5 to as much as $1,000 – can be made online at the WND SuperStore. (Donations are not tax-deductible. Donations of amounts greater than $1,000 can be arranged by calling either 541-474-1776 or 1-800-4WND.COM. If you would prefer to mail in your contributions, they should be directed to WND, P.O. Box 1627, Medford, Oregon, 97501. Be sure to specify the purpose of the donation by writing "billboard" on the check. In addition, donations of billboard space will be accepted, as will significant contributions specifically targeted for geographic locations.)

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Previous stories:

2nd major billboard company rejects eligibility campaign

Obama's 'birth certificate' not acceptable in Hawaii?

Eligibility billboards dubbed 'misleading'

All topics open to discuss – except Obama eligibility

'Birthers' take eligibility to next level

Cover-up: CBS bans eligibility billboards

White House dialogue site scrubbed of eligibility posts

Eligibility explodes on White House 'dialogue' site

Surprise for Obama on White House 'dialogue' website

If that's a birth certificate, I'll …

Obama mouthpiece laughs off birth certificate request

Americans vote with wallets to see Obama birth certificate

Birth certificate billboard mania continues

U.S. bonkers for Obama birth certificate billboard

THE FULL STORY: See listing of more than 200 exclusive WND reports on the eligibility issue

Chelsea Schilling is a staff writer for WorldNetDaily.

Silent No More~Peggy Shapiro (Support Israel)

Silent No More
By Peggy Shapiro

Where could you hear radio talk show hosts Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, military analyst Elliot Chodoff, Israel's Ambassador Michael Oren, Senator Joe Lieberman, country music star Randy Travis, and cantor and musical theater singer Dudu Fisher on the same stage with ministers and orthodox rabbis? Where could you see over four thousand Christians waving Israeli and American flags to the singing of national anthems of Israel and the U.S. and breaking out in spontaneous dance during the playing of Havah Nagilah? Where could you witness Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans and Pentecostals wearing Star of David necklaces, which they had just purchased at an Israel bazaar? That's what I heard, saw, and witnessed at the Conference of Christians United for Israel in Washington D.C. on July 19-22 when Christian Zionists from a multitude of denominations and backgrounds took up the huge Convention Center and made over 400 lobby appointments on Capital Hill to speak up for Israel and mark a change in the Jewish-Christian relationship.

The attendees were African Americans, Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, teens, octogenarians, the affluent and the unemployed from all over the U.S. I met a Nigerian mechanical engineering student who was pursuing a Master's Degree and supporting a wife and child, a stunningly beautiful airline hostess who brought her granddaughter, an African American grandmother who was planning her 16th trip to Israel, and a food chemist for a large corporation. I spoke to a shy woman from the southern tip of Illinois. She had never made a public speech or taken political action and called herself "a hick from the sticks." My roommate, along with 89 others, made their way to Washington from Minnesota on a 24-hour bus ride. The crowd was diverse, but they shared one common mission, which was proclaimed on the banners which hung from every rafter: "For Zion's sake, I will not keep silent." They were united by their commitment to speak up on behalf of the State of Israel and for its rights to exist, to self defense, and to sovereignty.

The focus of the conference was a two-pronged message to Congress and to the Obama administration, which has recently taken Israel to task for adding housing to accommodate the natural growth in its "settlements" while soft-peddling any criticism of Iran's nuclear ambitions: Israel is not the obstacle to peace and the U.S. must place crippling sanctions on Iran to stop the terror-sponsoring state from acquiring nuclear arms.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told the group, "Critics say the stumbling block [to peace in the Middle East] is settlements or Jerusalem or refugees," "We all know the real stumbling block to peace is posed by those who vehemently deny the nation of Israel's historical right to the land of Zion." Democrat Shelley Berkley (D-Nev) minced no words in her criticism, " pin the peace process" on the settlement issue "is absolutely foolhardy." "To publicly dress down the State of Israel is a huge mistake." CUFI founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee forcefully summed up the message, "America is singling out Israel...Despite all of the risks Israel has taken for peace, our government is pressuring Israel to take more risks. Hello Congress, we're putting pressure on the wrong people here. You want to get tough, get tough with the terrorists, not the only democracy in the Middle East." The crowd responded with a thunderous ovation.

Speaker after speaker pointed to the refusal of Palestinians and Arabs to accept a Jewish state in any part of the Middle East as the cause of the sixty-one year conflict, and to Iran for escalating the terror through its proxies of Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south. They urged the administration not to underestimate Iran's nuclear ambitions and the existential threat they pose to Israel and to the entire region. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who accepted CUFI's Defender of Israel Award at the Tuesday Night to Honor Israel, evening, said, "The chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East is not Israelis living on the West Bank but the regime in Tehran.".

After an extravagant Night to Honor Israel, on Wednesday, CUFI delegates took the message to Capitol Hill to tell their members of Congress not pressure the Jewish state but to respect the democratic nation and work with it as a friend. Representatives were also asked to co-sponsor legislation that could strengthen the President's hand in the event that negotiations do not prove fruitful. One bill is the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which would impose sanctions on companies that help Iran import or produce refined petroleum. The other bill, The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which authorizes state and local governments to divest from companies investing in Iran's energy sector, never made it to the floor when it was introduced last year.

The CUFI conference sent a message not only to Congress and to the President, but also to Jews. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed the conference via satellite, acknowledged that the conference marked the changing relationship of Christians and Jews. "For centuries, the relationship between Christians and Jews was marked by conflict rather than partnership and friendship, but this is changing. A new chapter in the relationship between us is now being written." Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in a passionate speech proclaimed that the threats Jews face today from a regime which is determined to wipe Israel off the map are fundamentally different from the threats Jews faced in 1939 because now "tens of millions of Christians who will not be silent and stand with the State of Israel."

In the breakout sessions to fellow Christians, pastors addressed the skepticism of some in the Jewish community about allying with Christian Zionists because of a history of church anti-Semitism and replacement theology (Christians replaced Jews as the "Chosen People.") In a number of meetings clergy warned that some Evangelicals, such as former President Jimmy Carter, are spewing anti-Semitism when they profess Replacement Theology. The pastors gave the biblical foundation for the support of Israel. It is not the conversion of Jews nor the hastening the end of days, but the strongly held belief that God blesses those who bless the Jews and curses those who curse the Jews. (Genesis 12:13)

C.U.F.I., established only four years ago, now has 150,000 members, who are living their belief and who have aspirations for growing to millions of voices which "are silent no more" when Jews or the Jewish State are in danger.

When Theology Meets Evangelism~Thom S. Rainer

When Theology Meets Evangelism

The first time I read Michael Green's Evangelism in the Early Church in 1984, it was a required textbook for a course at seminary. My subsequent six readings since then have all been the result of my desire to be reminded of the passionate heart of evangelism of the early Church. Green's book, published in 1970, looks at the Church from the time of the Apostle Paul to Origen in the middle of the third century.

One of the greatest appeals of the book is the deep commitment to both theology and evangelism, and the recognition that the two cannot be divorced. Green says it well in the preface: "Most evangelists are not very interested in theology. Most theologians are not interested in evangelism. I am deeply committed to both."

An Emerging and Encouraging Trend

Though my observations are anecdotal at this point, I am greatly encouraged to see more young church leaders today with a passion for both theology and evangelism. They realize that true evangelism will not take place without a solid biblical and theological foundation. And they realize that theology is dead unless it is lived out passionately in ministry and evangelism.

Nearly four decades ago, Michael Green wrote about that reality in the early Church. And he rightly insisted that theology and evangelism must not be separated in the Church today.

Evangelistic Motives in the Early Church

Green noted some of the evangelistic motives of the early Church. Not surprisingly, each motive has deep theological and biblical roots.

A sense of gratitude. The early Christians were tireless and unselfish in their evangelistic zeal. They were prepared to sacrifice all, even their own lives, in order to share the gospel of Christ. One of their primary motives was their overwhelming gratitude for what Christ did for them. So many of the biblical truths affirm this reality. For example, "Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10, HCSB). Similarly, we hear the Apostle Paul declare, "And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

A sense of responsibility. The biblical mandate of evangelism is clear. We hear Great Commission passages such as Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8 repeated often. But the Bible is replete with passages that reflect this sense of responsibility. Paul, in his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, reported, "I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:21).

A sense of concern. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). The simple but powerful truth is that there are really two categories of humanity: the saved and the lost. The saved will spend eternity with Christ; the lost will spend eternity separated from Christ in hell. We must proclaim with passionate concern that Jesus in the only way of salvation (John 14:6). Our hearts should break over the lostness of humanity, and our response should be obedient and urgent evangelism.

A Great Commission Resurgence: When Theology Meets Evangelism

Will the evangelical church in America experience a Great Commission resurgence? With the early Church as our pattern, we can have great hope that such a resurgence will take place.

But no great evangelistic move of God has ever taken place without the rightful wedding of theology and evangelism. When evangelism has no theology, it degenerates into human-made methods and manipulation. When theology has no evangelism, it degenerates into a dry and powerless academic exercise.

May we see a Great Commission resurgence like the early Church.

May our motives be deeply theological.

May our actions be passionately evangelistic.

And may God do a great work in our land.


Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.


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