Judeo-Christian Culture: Biblical Quotes on Strength and Mercy from Psalms

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Biblical Quotes on Strength and Mercy from Psalms

KJV BibleKing James Version

Psalm 61

David finds shelter in the Lord, abides in the Lord’s presence, and keeps his own vows.

1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

Psalm 62

David praises God as his defense, his rock, and his salvation—The Lord judges men according to their works.

1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

Gallery

Judeo-Christian Culture: Stress Relief Ideas, Survival Guide for Hard Times

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Stress Relief Ideas—Your 9-Point Survival Guide for Hard Times By David Dickson Hang in there! Better days ahead. Accidentally ripping your brand-new shirt or losing your math homework is one thing. Losing a loved one is quite another. … Continue reading

Quotes on Foundation of Faith: Key to Peace

Dinner Topics for Friday

Quotes from Christian Leaders on Foundation of Faith:

Prayer and Scripture Study: Key to Peace

 

Boyd K. Packer: Scripture Study—Key to Protection

ScripturePoetryMake scripture reading a part of your regular routine, and the blessings will follow. There is in the scriptures a voice of warning, but there is also great nourishment.

If the language of the scriptures at first seems strange to you, keep reading. Soon you will come to recognize the beauty and power found on those pages.

Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”5

You can test this promise for yourself.

We live in perilous times; nevertheless, we can find hope and peace for ourselves and for our families. Those living in sorrow, despairing at the possibility of children being rescued from where the world has taken them, must never give up. “Be not afraid, only believe.”6 Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness.

Children taught an understanding of the scriptures early in life will come to know the path they should walk and will be more inclined to remain on that path. Those who stray will have the ability to return and, with help, can find their way back.

If you are set on a course of faith and activity in the Church, stay on course and keep your covenants. Continue forward until the time when the Lord’s blessings will come to you and the Holy Ghost will be revealed as a moving force in your life.

If you are presently on a course that points away from the one outlined in the scriptures, let me assure you there is a way back.

Jesus Christ has prescribed a very clear method for us to repent and find healing in our lives. The cure for most mistakes can be found by seeking forgiveness through personal prayer. However, there are certain spiritual illnesses, particularly those dealing with violations of the moral law, which absolutely require the assistance and treatment of a qualified spiritual physician.

Repentance is individual, and so is forgiveness. The Lord requires only that one turn from their sin, and “[He] will forgive their iniquity, and … remember their sin no more.”10

As the repentance process is completed, you will come to understand the meaning of Isaiah’s promise about the Atonement: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”11

Just as chalk can be removed from a blackboard, with sincere repentance the effects of our transgression can be erased through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That promise applies in every case.

The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome despair, to leave darkness and turn toward the light of the everlasting gospel.

Paul and others warned about the trials of our time and the days yet to come. But peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein. We invite all to turn to the Savior Jesus Christ, to His teachings as found in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

I bear certain witness of the scriptures as a key to our spiritual protection. I also bear witness of the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, “that through him all might be saved”12 who will be saved. The Lord’s Church has been established on the earth once again. Of the truthfulness of the gospel I bear witness. Of Him I am a witness, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thomas S. Monson: Faith and Prayer Key to Peace—We Never Walk Alone

family6prayingThere will be times when you will walk a path strewn with thorns and marked by struggle. There may be times when you feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith.

When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer. I love the words of President Ezra Taft Benson concerning prayer. Said he:

“All through my life the counsel to depend on prayer has been prized above almost any other advice I have … received. It has become an integral part of me—an anchor, a constant source of strength, and the basis of my knowledge of things divine. …

“… Though reverses come, in prayer we can find reassurance, for God will speak peace to the soul. That peace, that spirit of serenity, is life’s greatest blessing.”2

The Apostle Paul admonished:

“Let your requests be made known unto God.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”3

What a glorious promise! Peace is that which we seek, that for which we yearn.

We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask. We have the promise: “Pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.”4

Of course, prayer is not just for times of trouble. We are told repeatedly in the scriptures to “pray always”7 and to keep a prayer in our hearts.8 The words of a favorite and familiar hymn pose a question which we would do well to ask ourselves daily: “Did you think to pray?”9

Allied with prayer in helping us cope in our often difficult world is scripture study. The words of truth and inspiration found in our four standard works are prized possessions to me. I never tire of reading them. I am lifted spiritually whenever I search the scriptures. These holy words of truth and love give guidance to my life and point the way to eternal perfection.

As we read and ponder the scriptures, we will experience the sweet whisperings of the Spirit to our souls. We can find answers to our questions. We learn of the blessings which come through keeping God’s commandments. We gain a sure testimony of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of Their love for us. When scripture study is combined with our prayers, we can of a certainty know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

Said President Gordon B. Hinckley, “May the Lord bless each of us to feast upon his holy [words] and to draw from [them] that strength, that peace, [and] that knowledge ‘which passeth all understanding’ (Philip. 4:7).”10

As we remember prayer and take time to turn to the scriptures, our lives will be infinitely more blessed and our burdens will be made lighter.

As we seek our Heavenly Father through fervent, sincere prayer and earnest, dedicated scripture study, our testimonies will become strong and deeply rooted. We will know of God’s love for us. We will understand that we do not ever walk alone.

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Dinner Topics for Friday

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Samson and Delilah—

Internal Government

*Teaching about the Fall

keySociety cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

samson-delilahSamson was raised from infancy, prepared by diligent parents to fulfill a mission of liberating Israel from the Philistines. Instead, he is known in scriptural record as the epic hero who never was. On the surface, the Biblical account of Samson looks rather amusing. That Samson’s remarkable physical prowess was connected to the length of his hair reads almost like one of Grimms’ fairy tales. The fact is, the length of Samson’s hair was only one outward manifestation of the Nazarite vows he had taken. The immense strength was a spiritual gift, contingent on his faithfulness to the Nazarite discipline.

Samson failed to develop the necessary self-discipline to merit the spiritual gifts he had been blessed with. As he became boastful, and trusted in his own strength rather than giving glory to God, Samson one by one broke all his vows. He indulged his selfish passions and appetites, including marrying out of the covenant with an immoral Philistine woman. He did not think anything through; his behavior was driven by his feelings.

When he trivialized the source of his strength by playing games with the Philistine Delilah, this represented the final breakdown of his discipleship to God.

She pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death. (Judges 16:16)

mockingpeopleAt some point, most of us can probably relate to having experienced this kind of pressure from someone else. Samson’s failure came first from dallying so much with sin and temptation. He constantly surrounded himself with it. Is it any wonder that he finally broke when he was pestered long enough?

Samson’s lack of internal government caused his personal downfall and deprived his nation of liberating leadership.

One may also be pressured when trying to do something right. Even then, it is easy to react in anger, fear, or foolishness.

The “wise man who builds his house upon a rock” knows that true freedom comes from acting by choice rather than being acted upon.

buildingonrock“Discipline” is defined as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” Simple, brute-strength “will power” is not mentioned. Because the natural man rarely has sufficient “will power,” the “wise man” trains, molds, and corrects himself on a daily basis. It is a building process— on rock. No shortcuts.

The wise man looks ahead, constructing his house to stand independently of forces that tear down and undo his work. Day by day, a step at a time, he schools his feelings, delays gratification, and subordinates foolish impulses to the larger character he is capable of. The less he indulges himself, the more substance he has, and the less room in his life for that which would cause irreparable downfall.

The builder’s to-do list might include practicing courteous actions rather than angry reactions. Discussing and using peaceful resolutions to conflict and misunderstanding. Using moderation in appetites and showing appreciation for the gifts and services of others. Teaching wisdom and order. All these seemingly small things make up the firm inner structure that can withstand incessant adverse elements and bring enduring peace of mind.

Character Education Concepts

gavarret-follow-christFor the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19 )

  1. Why is daily discipline in small choices more effective than “will power” in times of crisis?
  2. The three areas of temptation are: 1) appetites and passions 2)vanity 3)greed and power. How can this knowledge help us prepare to resist temptation?
  3. How can we avoid dallying with sin in the following areas? Movies and TV. Music. Reading material. Internet. Dating.
  4. What does “temperance” mean? Compare dedication and fanaticism.
  5. Choose five or more epic heroes from scripture and outline their ministries. How did they exemplify Christian discipleship?
  6. How does the Savior help us overcome our weaknesses through the atonement?

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleyAnd if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.(Ether 12:27)

 

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

The Parable of the Empty House

As a Man Thinketh

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7)

golden-calfAfter God had delivered them from bondage, the children of Israel began their epic journey to the promised land. Freedom, however, was not what they expected. Food was plentiful — indeed, bread from heaven rained down upon them daily. Yet they were not accustomed to the simplicity of the Lord’s way of life. Gone were the heathen groves wherein one could indulge in sensual pleasures. The flashy graven images were missing. Their new wilderness home was free of Egypt’s distractions. Now they could concentrate on building new lives for themselves, replacing the taint of idolatry with an eye single to the glory of God. They had but to look to God and live. Simple. They brought no Egyptian idols with them. Even so, they turned to idolatry, for in their minds, they were still in bondage.

The Savior gave a parable about this condition.

empty-house-2When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished, for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matt. 12:43-45)

 

empty-houseThis oft overlooked parable of the empty house might speak of a man who leaves his old life behind, accepts the gospel and embarks upon the strait and narrow path of Christian discipleship. On that path the first obstacle is in the form of habits from his past. The iron rod [word of God] is steady and secure, but plain. It does not glitter and allure. In vain he searches for something on the road to heaven that will give him the same thrills and carnal satisfaction that his pre-conversion world held. He finds none.

Still, his soul has been cleansed, released from the chains of past wickedness. Agency has been extended to him anew. He has arrived at the pivotal point of his life, the brink of glorious opportunity.   However, if a traumatic experience in his previous life robbed him of spiritual roots, that opportunity could have a dangerous edge. His mind might be a spiritual vacuum. With what will he fill his mind? The choice is his, and his alone. Will he lay hold upon every good gift, or will he touch the unclean thing?

apathydudeThe trials and adversities of life are painful. Seeking comfort, the man turns, not to God, but to his old habits. He goes to Church every Sunday, but during the week, the old ways take over. Instead of looking to God to heal his pain, he numbs it with worldly distractions, which God calls idols. Seemingly innocuous habits move in and make themselves comfortable, and make him comfortable. Upon arising, the man turns to phone and social media. This programming is the first thing that enters his mind in the morning. What can be wrong with that? During lunch, social media. After work, TV. After dinner, games, social media. Before bed, social media, video games. After Church, electronic media, video games.

On Sunday, the man dutifully dusts off his scriptures and hauls them to Church. But they don’t mean anything. He doesn’t understand them. After years of worshiping images, he can no longer recognize the real thing. He has succeeded in numbing his pain. In fact, now he is “past feeling,” just like the idols which have received his unwavering attention for so long.

Moses was faced with the monumental task of sanctifying his people— removing the ungodly habits from their lives and filling their minds and hearts with the word of God. Most importantly, he had to keep the children from being sullied by the unholy baggage their parents had brought out from Egypt.

So he taught them,

family5prayingdinnerAnd these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deut. 6:6,7)

“Holy habits and righteous routines,”[1] when practiced daily, are part of holding to the iron rod [word of God], and will steady us on our path back to Heavenly Father.

Dinner Topic Questions

Dinner Talk Topic: Our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment are a reflection of what is in our minds. *Controlling our thoughts

  1. How are our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment a reflection of what is in our mind? When you are alone, what kind of background do you like to “keep you company? Is there a better companionship to seek?
  2. What do you dwell on when you have nothing specific to think about? If you look around, can you see someone who is worse off than you are? How does it make you feel?
  3. Are you alone in your circumstances? Why not?
  4. Can a self-absorbed person be truly happy?
  5. Can you recognize the presence of the Spirit? How?
  6. In what conditions will the Spirit withdraw?
  7. What seemingly small things can offend the Spirit?
  8. How can continual exposure to the sensationalism of electronic media cause a person to be “past feeling”? (1Nephi 17:45)
  9. What must we do to be worthy of having the continual companionship of the Holy Spirit?
  10. In what ways can games and social media dull our senses? How can reading scriptures or a good book, or listening to classical music,  be active rather than passive? Can we go through the motions and not understand the life lessons God is trying to teach us?
  11. How can failing to actively nourish our minds with spiritual food create a spiritual vacuum, and what are the dangers of such a vacuum?
  12. A “graven image” is a tangible object a person might worship instead of God. Also, spending time and money on things that distract someone from God might also be considered as idolatry. How can we avoid this problem in our lives?
  13. Look up “idolatry” in the dictionary. Is idolatry only an ancient evil? How can idolatry affect our lives today? Why do you think their idols caused the children of Israel to be immoral? Do cold, lifeless idols, or even movie idols, hold their worshipers accountable? What happens when there is no accountability?
  14. James 1:8. “ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” What must we do to stay out of spiritual Babylon?
  15. Isaiah 7:15 “Refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Is it possible to “touch the unclean thing” without letting go of the word of God?

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

            [1] Elaine Dalton, “Look toward Eternity!”. Ensign, November 2006, p.32

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Dinner Topics for July 4th American Independence Day

YouTube Music: Battle Hymn of the Republic

by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free*,[14]
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

Judeo-Christian Culture: One Nation under God

Judeo-Christian Culture:

One Nation under God

From the founding of the colonies to the declaration of the Supreme Court, America’s heritage is built up on the principles of the Christian religion. And yet the secularists are dismantling this foundation brick by brick, attempting to deny the very core of our national life.

You weigh the evidence. Consider the following facts which are being systematically erased from our nation’s memory:

In 1892, the Supreme Court of the United States declared, “This is a Christian nation.”

During the War for Independence, Congress resolved to import 20,000 volumes of the Bible because “the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great.”

The New England Confederation stated that the purpose of the colonies was “to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity with peace.”

Harvard College required that each student believe that “the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life.”

John Adams wrote, “The Christian religion is…the Religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and humanity.”

Engraved on the metal cap on the top of the Washington Monument are the words “Praise be to God.”

Gary DeMar

Independence Day, YouTube Music and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

Dinner Topics for Friday

Independence Day: Liberty and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

news_flag_hdr5At church when we stand and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (it’s in our hymn book), I feel new hope that the majority of the American people still love this country and believe in American exceptionalism.  Politics alone are no longer the solution to our growing tyranny and loss of liberty. It is a cultural problem. Our only hope is to teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history and constitutional  principles that once  made this country a beacon of liberty to all the world–that is,  teach them Biblical values–the culture of liberty, and to restore America’s covenant with God. ~C.A. Davidson

 

flaghouseBarfootOh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad strips and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and  the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thru mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam, of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~Francis Scott Key

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”,[1] a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. “Hail, Columbia” served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee“, whose melody is identical to “God Save the Queen“, the British national anthem,[2] also served as a de facto anthem.[3] Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

History Facts: ISIS and Nazi Germany

History Facts:

Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the ISIS Islamofascists

 

key“Hitler’s Mufti,” as many have called him, had a direct hand in some of the darkest moments of the Holocaust, the slaughter of tens of thousands of Christians, and the formation of some of the most hate-filled generations of modern history. Al-Husseini is a testament to the way that evil finds evil. ~Mathew E. Bunson

Rush Limbaugh

Caller: Why is it nobody seems to see the parallel between ISIS and Nazi Germany?  What were the Nazis doing?  Destroying books –that did not agree with their –

Rush:

but I, for years have been drawing the comparison of militant Islam to Nazi Germany. For years I have pointed out how a famous imam back during World War II actually met with Hitler, that their objectives, the extermination of the Jews, are identical.

We’ve now uncovered Jihad John.  Jihad John from a well-to-do London family by way of Kuwait.  We actually now have the first civilian adult picture of Jihad John with his face uncovered.  He’s wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap.  I just saw the picture.

obama-stand-w-muslimsBut because he doesn’t fit the [Obama] Regime’s characterization of terrorists, it’s being undersold, it’s being under-reported.  He’s not poor.  He’s not unemployed. He’s not a militant extremist because he doesn’t have any economic opportunity, so who he is does not fit the profile that’s given us by Obama.  There are a lot of people that want ISIS taken out.  This is a major debate raging within the elites of our government.  You have certain elites testifying before Congress that they’re a serious threat, that their ultimate target is us.

John Kerry who says, no, no, no, no, no, no, the world is safer, Americans are safer today than at any time in history.  And then you have Clapper, who looks like a Clapper, by the way, James Clapper.  I mean, you know, people associate looks with names.  They just do.  And this guy looks like a Clapper.  He testified yesterday that ISIS is a huge threat, and it’s a major threat.  So two different people, high-ranking in the Regime, characterize ISIS as entirely different.

Catholic Answers Magazine

Hitler’s Mufti

By: Matthew E. Bunson

Haj_Amin_al-Husseini_mufti_SS_nazi_firing_rangePhotograph © U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Recent work by historians and apologists has revealed that an influential, international religious leader was also an ardent supporter of Adolf Hitler. His name was not Pope Pius XII but Hajj Amin al-Husseini. This Grand Mufti of Jerusalem recruited whole divisions of fanatics to fight and kill in the name of extremism.

Revered in some circles today as one of the fathers of modern radical Islam, al-Husseini has been the subject of a number of modern studies. Scholars such as David Dalin, John Rothmann, Chuck Morse, and others have courageously brought al-Husseini’s actions to light. “Hitler’s Mufti,” as many have called him, had a direct hand in some of the darkest moments of the Holocaust, the slaughter of tens of thousands of Christians, and the formation of some of the most hate-filled generations of modern history. Al-Husseini is a testament to the way that evil finds evil.

A Radical Shaped by War

Al-Husseini was born sometime in the late 1890s in Jerusalem when that city was in the hands of the dying Ottoman Empire. He belonged to an old family of nobles and was the son of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Tahir al-Husseini. Sent to Cairo for his education, he studied Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University and then at the Cairo school Dar al-Dawa wal-Ershad (The Institute for Propagation and Guidance) founded by a Syrian member of the Muslim Salafi sect (one of the most extreme in Islam). The school, a haven for radical thought, gave al-Husseini an early grounding in practical revolutionary planning. Al-Husseini went on to the College of Literature at Cairo University and then the Ottoman School for Administrators in Istanbul, which trained future leaders of the then far-flung Ottoman Empire.

After taking the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj) in 1913, al-Husseini was drafted into the Ottoman Army. He was assigned to the College of Reserve Officers and subsequently named to an infantry regiment as a non-commissioned officer. With the onset of World War I in 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered into the bloody conflict as a member of the Central Powers with Germany and Austria. Al-Husseini found himself in an inefficient army that, compared to the highly mechanized forces of the West, was lacking in leadership and modern equipment. He soon heard of the genocide of the Armenian people—one of the most horrendous incidents in the terrible global conflict.

In 1916, al-Husseini departed the Ottoman Army on disability leave and spent the rest of the war in Jerusalem. Angered by the decision of the Allied victors to deny Arab participation in the discussions leading to the Treaty of Versailles, al-Husseini was even more infuriated by the sudden increase of Jewish immigrants into British-controlled Palestine. An ardent anti-Semite who hated Jews with a deep fervor, he first came to the attention of the British in 1920 when he organized riots against Jews. Charged with inciting violence that left five Jews dead and another 211 injured, he fled to Syria and was sentenced in absentia to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The Grand Mufti’s Ascent

In April 1921, however, British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel, seeking to achieve some semblance of peace in the Holy Land, granted amnesty to Arab nationalists. Al-Husseini was allowed to return to Jerusalem, and the British officials—disregarding his long record of anti-Semitism—named him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. This title was granted to a Sunni Muslim cleric, granting him oversight of the holy sites of Islam in Jerusalem, in particular the Al-Aqsa Mosque. For Sunni Muslims, the Grand Mufti is honored as the chief religious authority in Jerusalem. Notably, from the appointment of the first Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1860s, the position was customarily filled by the governing power in charge of Jerusalem.

After the death of the first Grand Mufti, Mohammed Tahir al-Husseini, in 1908, the position stayed in the family when the Turks awarded the title to his son Kamil al-Husseini. Although the British assumed control of Jerusalem during World War I, Kamil al-Husseini remained in his post until his death in 1921, when the British decided that Kamil’s brother Hajj Amin would be an acceptable choice—despite his criminal past and known extremist ties. Al-Husseini remained as Grand Mufti under the British in spite of his activities and was removed only in 1948, when King Abdullah I of Jordan banned him from Jerusalem and named Hussam Al-din Jarallah as Grand Mufti.

Once in power in Jerusalem, al-Husseini was appointed by the British to head the newly established Supreme Muslim Council, created to prepare the way for Arab self-governance in Palestine. Al-Husseini took the chance given to him by the appeasement-minded British to call for the deaths of Jews and set out on a campaign of terror against the Jews in Palestine. In subsequent years, al-Husseini was involved in plots to massacre Jews, among them 60 Jewish immigrants in Hebron and 45 more in Safad in 1929. In 1936, he helped lead a rebellion in Palestine against the British. The following year the British condemned al-Husseini (though permitting him to retain the title of Grand Mufti), and he fled to Syria once more. From there he continued to plot against the British control over Palestine.

Fascist Bedfellows

Events outside the Middle East were presenting new opportunities for fanatics to find allies and possible patrons. The 1930s witnessed the rise of National Socialism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and in Germany under Adolf Hitler. Soon after the appointment of Hitler as German Chancellor in 1933, the German Consul-General in Palestine, Heinrich Wolff, expressed his belief that many Muslims in the Holy Land would be supportive of the new Nazi regime. This view was confirmed when Wolff met with al-Husseini and other radical local leaders. For al-Husseini, the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazis were appealing, and he hoped for German help in ousting the British from Palestine.

Al-Husseini deepened his outreach to the Nazis in 1937 when he met with two Nazi SS officers, including Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust in Damascus, Syria. The SS representatives had been sent at the express order of Reinhard Heydrich, the deputy head of the SS under Heinrich Himmler and chief of SS Intelligence and the Nazi security services, including the Gestapo. Heydrich recognized immediately that al-Husseini was a potentially valuable asset for Nazi interests in the Middle East and worked to cultivate him.

Four years later, al-Husseini threw his support to a pro-Nazi revolt in Iraq against the British-backed prime minister, Nuri Said Pasha. Going to Baghdad, al-Husseini issued a fatwa for a jihad against the British. Barely a month later, British troops ended the coup and occupied the country, whereupon al-Husseini fled to Iran. Although given sanctuary in the embassies of Japan and Italy, al-Husseini was again forced to be on the move when Iran was itself occupied by the British and Soviet armies. Al-Husseini made his way out of Iran with Italian diplomats who provided him with an Italian passport. He shaved his beard and dyed his hair to avoid being recognized by British agents and Iranian police.

Al-Husseini reached Rome in October 1941 and began serious discussions with the Mussolini regime. The result was twofold. First, he secured a meeting with Mussolini himself and then completed a practical agreement with the Italians. In return for Axis recognition of an Arab state of a fascist nature that would encompass Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and the Transjordan, he agreed to support the war against Britain. The Italian foreign ministry also urged Mussolini to grant al-Husseini one million lire.

hitlermuftiThe Mufti Meets the Führer

Over the next few days, al-Husseini drafted a proposed statement of an Arab-Axis cooperative effort by which the Axis powers would recognize the right of the Arabs to deal with Jewish elements in Palestine and in the other Arab countries according to their own interests. The declaration was approved by Mussolini and sent to the German embassy in Rome. Pleased with the declaration, al-Husseini was invited to Berlin as an honored and useful guest of the Nazi regime. He arrived in Berlin on November 6 and met with Ernst von Weizsäcker, German secretary of state under Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Two weeks later, he met with von Ribbentrop himself, a prelude to his triumphant reception on November 28, 1941, with Adolf Hitler.

At their meeting, al-Husseini requested German assistance with the Arab independence movement and Nazi support in the extermination of any Jewish homeland. For his part, Hitler promised to aid that liberation movement, but went still further, promising that the aim of Nazi Germany would be the elimination of all Jews living under British protection once such territories had been conquered. This was described by al-Husseini in his own memoirs:

Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish people in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: “The Jews are yours.” (Ami Isseroff and Peter FitzGerald-Morris, “The Iraq Coup Attempt of 1941, the Mufti, and the Farhud”)

The Axis’ Kept Man

For the Nazis, al-Husseini was an ideal propaganda tool, a powerful spokesman among radical Arabs, and an excellent instrument for their anti-Jewish campaign in Europe and in the Holy Land. Portrayed by the Nazis as the spiritual leader of all Islam, al-Husseini was given a grand formal welcome in Berlin. The official Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, proudly published a photo of Hitler and al-Husseini, and Radio Berlin proclaimed on January 8, 1942 that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had consented to take part in the effort against the British, the Communists, and the Jews.

Satisfied with his newly concretized relations with the Nazis, al-Husseini chose to remain in the service of the Axis and settled in Berlin in a lavish mansion that had been confiscated from a Jewish family. The Nazis paid him a monthly stipend of 62,500 Reichsmarks (approximately 20,000 dollars), payments that continued until April 1945, when only the fall of Berlin to the Red Army ended Hitler’s financial support. From his post, al-Husseini headed the Nazi-Arab Cooperation Section and helped build a network of German spies across the Middle East through his followers. Scheming for a desired dark future of Nazi-Islamic leadership, the Mufti founded an Islamic Institute in Dresden to provide training for young radical Muslims who would serve as chaplains for his field units and also head out across the Middle East and the world to sow the seeds of jihadism and anti-Semitism.

The Mufti’s Final Solution

Scholars have long studied how actively engaged al-Husseini was in the implementation of the Holocaust. There is no question that he supported the aims of the Nazis in perpetrating genocide and believed perversely that all Arabs should join that cause. He declared on German radio on March 1, 1944: “Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you” (qtd. in Norman Stillman, “Jews of the Arab World between European Colonialism, Zionism, and Arab Nationalism” in Judaism and Islam: Boundaries, Communications, and Interaction: Essays in Honor of William M. Brinner).

According to the testimony of Adolf Eichmann’s chief deputy Dieter Wisliceny (who was hanged for war crimes) the Mufti played a role in encouraging the Final Solution and was a close friend and advisor to Eichmann in the Holocaust’s implementation across Europe. Wisliceny testified further that al-Husseini had a close association with Heinrich Himmler and visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz, where he exhorted the staff to be even more dedicated in its important work.

To assist the practical slaughter of Jews and Christians, al-Husseini built an army of Muslim volunteer units for the Waffen-SS (the combat units of the dread SS) to operate for the Nazi cause in the Balkans. While the appeal for volunteers from among Muslims always struggled to meet the demands for new recruits, al-Husseini was able to organize three divisions of Bosnian Muslims who were then trained as elements of the Waffen-SS. The largest radical Muslim unit was the 13th Waffen-SS Handzar (“Dagger”) division that boasted over 21,000 men. They were joined by the Bosnian 23rd Waffen-SS Kama Division and the Albanian Skanderbeg 21st Waffen-SS Division. The Muslim Waffen-SS forces fought across the Balkans against Communist partisans and then assisted in the genocide of Yugoslavian Jews and in the persecution and slaughter of Gypsies and Christian Serbs in 1944 and 1945. The brutality extended to Catholics as well, for the Muslim Waffen-SS cut a path of destruction across the Balkans that encompassed a large number of Catholic parishes, churches, and shrines and resulted in the deaths of thousands of Catholics. By the end of the war, al-Husseini’s fanatical soldiers had killed over 90 percent of the Jews in Bosnia.

Meanwhile, in Rome

While al-Husseini carried out his decimation of Jews in Eastern Europe, the situation facing Jews in Rome in late 1943 was also grave. Following the deposition of Mussolini by his own people, Hitler invaded the country and briefly re-installed Il Duce. Then followed the first mass arrests of Italian Jews and a planned deportation of all Italian Jews to the death camps. Pope Pius XII protested these arrests and used the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, to speak out further against the Nazi campaign against the Jews of Italy. Among his many acts during this dangerous period, the holy pontiff sheltered 3,000 Jews at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, and hid thousands more in some 180 convents, monasteries, parish buildings, rectories, churches, and even in Vatican City itself. Through his leadership, Pius ultimately helped to save or rescue 80 percent of the Jews of Rome. In June 1944, the pontiff sent a telegram to Admiral Miklos Horthy, the leader of Hungary, and implored him not to proceed with the planned deportation of the country’s 800,000 Jews.

As Pius was risking his safety and that of the Church in Italy, al-Husseini continued to call for the extermination of all Jews. On November 2, 1943, as the Nazis tried to press forward with the roundup of Italian Jews, the Grand Mufti declared on German radio of the Jewish people, “They cannot mix with any other nation but live as parasites among the nations, suck out their blood, embezzle their property, corrupt their morals.”

The Untouchable Cleric

With the collapse of the Third Reich, al-Husseini fled from Germany to Switzerland and then to Paris. Incredibly, he was not a target of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was sentenced merely to house arrest in Paris on the basis of charges made by the Yugoslav Supreme Military Court, which sentenced him to three years of imprisonment and two years of deprivation of civil rights because of his involvement in the atrocities throughout the Balkans. As for Nuremberg, despite the testimony of Eichmann’s aide, there was scant interest in the mufti because of his assumed immense sway in the Middle East.

With little effort, al-Husseini escaped from his comfortable house arrest. From there he traveled to Cairo, where he considered himself safe thanks to the patronage of Egypt’s King Farouk. Even with the fall of Farouk and the rise of Gamal Abdel-Nasser as head of Egypt in 1952, al-Husseini remained safe. His influence was felt throughout the Arab world, most so in galvanizing opposition to Zionism and the birth of Israel. He supported the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, was involved in the assassination of King Abdullah I of Jordan in 1951, and served as president of the World Islamic Congress. His last public appearance came in 1962 when he delivered a speech to that conference. He used his final opportunity to speak to the world to call for the ethnic cleansing of the Jews. He died in Lebanon in 1974, a beloved and revered figure among radical Muslims all over the world.

Hajj Amin al-Husseini’s legacy was to inspire generations of terrorists, Islamic jihadists, and such dictators as Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The foremost exemplar of his influence was a young terrorist and distant relative who became one of his most ardent students: Yasser Arafat, the future leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Rabbi David Dalin—one of Pope Pius XII’s greatest defenders—offers a fitting final word:

The “most dangerous” cleric in modern history, to use John Cornwell’s phrase, was not Pope Pius XII but Hajj Amin al-Husseini, whose anti-Jewish Islamic fundamentalism was as dangerous in World War II as it is today . . . The grand mufti was the Nazi collaborator par excellence. “Hitler’s mufti” is truth. “Hitler’s pope” is myth. (The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, 137)

http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/hitlers-mufti

SIDEBARS

Child Murderer

In late 1942, Heinrich Himmler gave his permission for 10,000 Jewish children to be transferred from Poland to Theresienstadt with the eventual aim of allowing them to go to Palestine in exchange for German civilian prisoners, through the International Red Cross. The plan was abandoned, however, because of the protests of the Grand Mufti.

The following year, al-Husseini blocked the emigration of 4,000 Jewish children and 500 accompanying adults to Palestine that was proposed by the governments of Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The children were sent instead to the gas chambers.

Further Reading

  • Dalin, David and John Rothmann, Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam (Random House, 2008)
  • Elpeleg, Zvi, The Grand Mufti: Haj Amin Al-Hussaini, Founder of the Palestinian National Movement (Frank Cass, 1993)
  • Morse, Chuck, The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini (iUniverse, 2003)
  • Perlman, Moshe, Mufti of Jerusalem (Pavilion Press, 2006)
  • Dalin, David, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope (Regnery, 2005)

Matthew E. Bunson is a former contributing editor to This Rock and the author of more than 30 books. He is a consultant for USA Today on Catholic matters, a moderator of EWTN’s online Church history forum, and the editor of The Catholic Answer.