Keep An Eye On The Media

February 26, 2010 at 7:00 am (Other News) (, , , , , )

Media Devices on StandOriginally from the All Pro Dad website

There’s a lot of talk about kids and television. Ten years ago the average kid swallowed a daily TV dosage of three hours and 47 minutes. You may also know the total reached four hours 29 minutes of daily viewing by 2009.

Eye-popping numbers, yes? But if that’s all you know then you know less than half the story!

“Media” is a lot more than just television. Add two and a half hours of music/audio; then another hour and a half on the computer; now tally the one hour and 13 minutes of video gaming; factor in 38 minutes of print and (on average) 25 minutes of movie watching. It all begins to add up.

All told the grand total for exposure is ten hours and 45 minutes of media – that’s each and every day of your child’s life. (Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation “M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds”)

Okay, nice. Now you know. So what? Mix in eight to ten hours of sleep and we’re talking around four hours left over for stuff like learning the values children need in order to deal with ten plus hours of God knows what.

Well God does know. But the question is, do you?

So let’s talk about monitoring; what can we do to keep an eye on media in our children’s lives?

1. Be proactive; take a look: Your kid’s iPod tells a huge story – check out what’s being played; learn the lingo. If you don’t know now then you need to know soon. Make yourself familiar with the iTunes software and make yourself the program administrator.

2. Make friends with your child:“Friend” your child on Facebook and “follow” them on Twitter. There is no privacy on the information superhighway and if anyone should have access to your child’s online activity, it’s you.

3. Remember that you’re the parent. First, that means be home and be involved in your kids’ lives with intentionality.  Part of this means controlling all passwords and access codes. If your child is under 18, it’s your job to be in the know. Don’t apologize, but don’t be overbearing either; just be matter of fact.

4. Get to know your kids’ friends and their friends’ parents. Then make sure the friend’s parents know your family’s media standards.

5. Keep all the family computers in public rooms. No exceptions.

6. Be open about your own media habits. Make sure your child can see what you’re up to – what you watch, what you listen to, who you chat with, where you browse, what magazines you read, and what movies you rent.

7. There’s no good reason for TV in a child’s bedroom. “I can’t control what they’re watching” loses credibility when it doesn’t happen behind closed doors.

8. Make clear rules that are reasonable, and then follow through: Let it be known that texts, emails, downloads and social media are not private and – therefore – they’re subject to review. Then follow-through and take a look. Not behind their backs but in the open.

9. The word “OPEN” is the most important word in this list. Open communication; open door; open for conversation; open for questions; open for respect; open for review.

10. Be honest. That means tell your kids what you’re thinking. It’s not about snooping – it’s about not-keeping-secrets. Kids need our help to make the sure they handle media wisely.

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Focus Founder Steps Aside After Three Decades

February 26, 2010 at 3:00 am (Christian news) (, , , , )

Dr James Dobson

Dr. James Dobson of Focus On The Family

Dr. Dobson will host his final Focus on the Family broadcast today.

Dr. James Dobson, founder and former chairman of Focus on the Family, is stepping down 33 years after he began the organization that has helped countless families.

Host John Fuller and Focus on the Family CEO and President Jim Daly paid tribute to Dr. Dobson on the radio program on Tuesday.

“As many people know,” Daly said, “this week marks the completion of a transition period that probably started more than 10 years ago.”

Dozens of Focus followers recorded emotional messages – played during that broadcast – thanking Dr. Dobson for his work and how he touched their lives.

“It’s an amazing testimony, these past 33 years,” Daly added, “how many people have been touched by Dr. James Dobson and the ministry of Focus on the Family.”

Also this week, Dr. Dobson joined Daly on the radio show to discuss memories, his future and Focus on the Family’s future.

Tom Minnery, a senior vice president at Focus on the Family, said emotions are heavy, but the future is bright.

“The pillars will remain the same,” he said. “Our devotion to our cause of the family, our devotion to the notion that life is sacred, to the notion that marriage is one man and one woman, those will never change.”

You can listen to Tuesday’s radio program by clicking here.

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Protect Your Kids On Facebook

February 25, 2010 at 7:00 am (Other News) (, , , , , , )

Facebook Faces

Originally from the All Pro Dad Website

Here are 10 tips for monitoring and protecting your kids on social networking websites:

1.  Parents will know the password and have access to child’s page.

2.  Parents can customize their child’s settings to make profile safer (privacy, visibility, etc).

3.  Email of posts, friends, etc. come to family’s home e-mail.

4.  Parents will have an account on Facebook, and children must add and keep parents as “friends.”

5.  Children will not add strangers as friends, or use the Facebook “chat” application to talk to strangers.

6.  Parents will set a limit on the time that children are allowed on Facebook.

7.  The computer will be kept in a common area of the house, such as a living room or play room, where it will always be in easy view.

8.  Children will not share personal information (address, phone number, pictures, etc.) with anyone on Facebook that they do not know well.

9.  Children will immediately tell their parents if they see anything or talk to anyone on Facebook that makes them uncomfortable; and parents will take immediate action to block or report that material.

10.  If the child breaks any of the set guidelines, his or her account will immediately be deleted and a probation period will begin until they re-earn their parents’ trust.

For more detailed instructions on how to keep your kids safe on Facebook, watch this video.

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Amazing But True – Miracle Stem Cell Cures

February 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm (Christian news) (, , , )

Amazing But True
Miracle Stem Cell Cures

Originally from Chuck Colson at Breakpoint.org

It sounds like something out of science fiction—or “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”—but it isn’t.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports the story of Russell Turnbull, who tried to break up a fight while riding home on the bus one night. For his pains, Turnbull ended up getting ammonia sprayed into his right eye, which scarred his cornea. Turnbull lost most of his sight in that eye, and suffered pain every time he blinked.

But now Turnbull has had his sight almost completely restored, thanks to a pioneering procedure using stem cells. Adult stem cells.

Dr. Francisco Figueiredo, an eye surgeon at the North East England Stem Cell Institute, performed an operation that involved cutting away a tiny portion of Turnbull’s undamaged eye—complete with stem cells. He then grew the section of the eye to 400 times its size, and stitched it “onto the badly-damaged cornea in place of the damaged membrane,” the Telegraph reported.

Turnbull is thrilled with the results. “The operation was a complete success, and I now have my sight back,” he said. “This really has given me my life back.”

The technique has been used on eight other patients; most have had their vision almost completely restored.

Miracles like this have been repeated many times as researchers bend their attention to the uses of adult stem cells. But because much of the mainstream media refuses to report on them, many Americans remain unaware of them. If people knew how good they were, they’d stop demanding embryonic stem-cell research, which kills human beings at the embryonic stage. And the media knows that. Americans also seem unaware that not a single clinical success has ever resulted from treatments using embryonic stem cells. None!

Tragically, in the U.S., multi-million dollar grants are available for embryo-destructive research, but money is scarce for ethically sound and workable adult stem cell research.

Why isn’t adult stem-cell research receiving the funding it deserves? Josephine Quintavalle, director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, explains why. What you get from [the adult stem cell] approach is a patient-specific cure. There’s no middleman…and there’s no drug company that’s going to get rich as a result.”

But, she explains, a lot of pressure for stem-cell research is to find products that sell, as opposed to a treatment that can cure you.

This is a moral obscenity—one that not only the drug companies, but medical researchers, are complicit in. They want to experiment with human embryos simply for the sake of science. And the media constantly labels our efforts against embryonic stem-cell research as backwards and unenlightened.

That’s why you and I have got to get the word out about the miracle cures of adult stem-cell research. This administration is deeply committed to research involving the destruction of human embryos. In his inaugural address, President Obama took a swipe at those who oppose this research on moral grounds when he said, “We’ll restore science to its rightful place.”

Well, if you really mean that, Mr. President, stop funding useless embryo-destructive research, and start funding adult stem-cell research. Not only because it is morally unproblematic, but because it’s the only thing that works. Just ask Russell Turnbull—the British man who once was blind, but now can see.

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Choking Warnings Urged for Popular Kid's Foods

February 22, 2010 at 11:03 am (Other News) (, , , , )

Child Choking

updated 2 hours, 24 minutes ago

CHICAGO – When 4-year-old Eric Stavros Adler choked to death on a piece of hot dog, his anguished mother never dreamed that the popular kids’ food could be so dangerous.

Some food makers including Oscar Mayer have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric’s mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The nation’s largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children’s chances for choking.

Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more — 15,000 in 2001 — are treated in emergency rooms. Food, including candy and gum, is among the leading culprits, along with items like coins and balloons. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, 61 were food-related.

Surveillance systems lack detailed information about food choking incidents, which are thought to be underreported but remain a significant and under-appreciated problem, said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Smith is lead author of a new policy report from the pediatrics academy that seeks to make choking prevention a priority for government and food makers. The report was released Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Doctors say high-risk foods, including hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes and apples — should be cut into pea-sized pieces for small children to reduce chances of choking. Some say other risky foods, including hard candies, popcorn, peanuts and marshmallows, shouldn’t be given to young children at all.

Federal law requires choking warning labels on certain toys including small balls, balloons and games with small parts. Unless food makers voluntarily put more warning labels on high-risk foods, there should be a similar mandate for food, the pediatrics academy says.

Adler, a Warren, N.J. attorney who pushed for more warning labels after her son died in 2001, says she hopes the academy’s efforts will work. Several efforts to pass federal legislation for labels have failed in Congress.

The group also urges the Food and Drug Administration to work with other government agencies to establish a nationwide food-related choking reporting system; and to recall foods linked with choking.

The academy says the food industry should avoid shapes and sizes that pose choking risks.

Something as simple as making lollipops flat like a silver dollar instead of round like a pingpong ball can make a big difference, said Bruce Silverglade, legal affairs director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which also has lobbied for more attention to choking prevention.

Grocery Manufacturers Association spokesman Scott Openshaw declined to say whether food makers would consider warning labels or new designs, but said making parents aware of choking dangers is key to keeping kids safe.

Openshaw said the industry would continue working with the FDA and USDA “to ensure that our products are as safe as possible.”

At the FDA, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle said the agency will review the academy’s analysis and recommendations. She said the FDA also would continue consulting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action on a case-by-case basis.

Adler considered herself educated about children’s safety. Her son had eaten hot dogs before without any problem.

Hot dogs are “almost as American as apple pie,” she said. “You really don’t know how horrible it can be.”

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Choking Warnings Urged for Popular Kid’s Foods

February 22, 2010 at 11:03 am (Other News) (, , , , )

Child Choking

updated 2 hours, 24 minutes ago

CHICAGO – When 4-year-old Eric Stavros Adler choked to death on a piece of hot dog, his anguished mother never dreamed that the popular kids’ food could be so dangerous.

Some food makers including Oscar Mayer have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric’s mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The nation’s largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children’s chances for choking.

Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more — 15,000 in 2001 — are treated in emergency rooms. Food, including candy and gum, is among the leading culprits, along with items like coins and balloons. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, 61 were food-related.

Surveillance systems lack detailed information about food choking incidents, which are thought to be underreported but remain a significant and under-appreciated problem, said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Smith is lead author of a new policy report from the pediatrics academy that seeks to make choking prevention a priority for government and food makers. The report was released Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Doctors say high-risk foods, including hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes and apples — should be cut into pea-sized pieces for small children to reduce chances of choking. Some say other risky foods, including hard candies, popcorn, peanuts and marshmallows, shouldn’t be given to young children at all.

Federal law requires choking warning labels on certain toys including small balls, balloons and games with small parts. Unless food makers voluntarily put more warning labels on high-risk foods, there should be a similar mandate for food, the pediatrics academy says.

Adler, a Warren, N.J. attorney who pushed for more warning labels after her son died in 2001, says she hopes the academy’s efforts will work. Several efforts to pass federal legislation for labels have failed in Congress.

The group also urges the Food and Drug Administration to work with other government agencies to establish a nationwide food-related choking reporting system; and to recall foods linked with choking.

The academy says the food industry should avoid shapes and sizes that pose choking risks.

Something as simple as making lollipops flat like a silver dollar instead of round like a pingpong ball can make a big difference, said Bruce Silverglade, legal affairs director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which also has lobbied for more attention to choking prevention.

Grocery Manufacturers Association spokesman Scott Openshaw declined to say whether food makers would consider warning labels or new designs, but said making parents aware of choking dangers is key to keeping kids safe.

Openshaw said the industry would continue working with the FDA and USDA “to ensure that our products are as safe as possible.”

At the FDA, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle said the agency will review the academy’s analysis and recommendations. She said the FDA also would continue consulting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action on a case-by-case basis.

Adler considered herself educated about children’s safety. Her son had eaten hot dogs before without any problem.

Hot dogs are “almost as American as apple pie,” she said. “You really don’t know how horrible it can be.”

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Praise God! Captive Missionaries in Haiti Released!

February 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm (Christian news) (, , , )

Originally from OneNewsNow.com

An attorney for one of the Baptist missionaries released Wednesday evening from a Haitian jail says the truth will now begin to emerge about those who were arrested.

Jim AllenJim Allen, a contractor from Amarillo, Texas, joined nine other Christians on a mission trip to Haiti several weeks ago. The group has since made headlines after being arrested and charged with child kidnapping.

The missionaries were released after the parents of the children testified that they voluntarily gave their children to the missionaries, hoping they could give them a better life.

Haitian authorities claimed the Baptist missionaries did not have proper paperwork to take children out of the country, and Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Legal Institute, the firm which represented Jim Allen, says the media has not reported both sides of the story.

Kelly Shackelford“They were trying to follow whatever procedures in the midst of the government that was in disarray, and they were arrested in the middle of the country — so a lot of false things have been spread around,” Shackelford reports. “I think one of the things that’s going to be really good about these Americans being home is the truth is going to start to come out now. The media can’t spin a bunch of false information…to try to essentially smear a bunch of Christians who were going down there to try to help.”

The attorney adds that a Texas-sized celebration is planned for Allen this afternoon in Amarillo.

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Sex Games And Our Vulnerable Children

February 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm (Christian news) (, , , , , , )

Jelly Bracelets

Jelly Bracelets

Pink blanket/ Blue blanket – The difference between a girl and a boy.

Red jersey / Blue jersey – The difference between the home team and the visiting team.

Green leaves / Brown leaves – The difference between summer and autumn.

Pink bracelets / Clear bracelets – The difference between willing to give a hickey and willing to perform any sexual act.

What?!?!?

*  *  *  *  *

Snopes.com calls it a legend and urbanlegends.about.com calls it a hoax but for many teenage and even pre-teen adolescents in schools across our nation, wearing jelly bracelets like the ones pictured above are an invitation to engage in a variety of sexual acts with whoever is “lucky” enough to “snap” off one of these colored bracelets first.

Full details on how this game is played and exactly what the differently colored bracelets mean can be found by clicking here, but be warned in advance, there are some graphic descriptions posted next to some of the colors.

Six months ago, a Colorado middle school was drawn into the center of this bizarre behavior and asked parents not to allow children to wear these bracelets to school after staff members became aware of conversations between students that described the true meaning of the bracelets.  This story was originally reported by the New York Times here.

But even more disturbing than this trend in our schools and among our children is the way it is being virtually ignored by the mainstream media.  And when it is addressed, is it any surprise that it is being downplayed as nothing but an urban legend or a hoax?  Parents who care enough about their children to inquire about this and research the truth are being sidelined as if they are simply crying wolf.  Worse than that, it is automatically assumed that the parents are making false assumptions about their children’s intentions with these bracelets and in some cases, the parents are even being accused of continuing to circulate the rumors about the bracelets instead of letting the “urban legend” die out.

But the blame for this doesn’t lie solely with the school or the culture or our children’s friends.

No.

It lies first with us as parents because we are the one’s charged with “training up a child in the way he (or she) should go.”  We teach them to walk, talk, brush their teeth, cross the street, and everything else they need to know to survive in the world, but when it comes to sex, we stand silently off to the side as they learn everything there is to know (and more) from their friends, their sex-ed teacher, social networking sites and the internet.

Why do we assume that if we don’t talk to our kids about sex, no one else will either?

Someone has to tell them that their bodies are precious and holy and their virginity is not to be given away to the first person who comes along and is only interested in gratifying their own lusts.  Someone has to tell them that sex is a glorious gift that God gave to the husband and his wife and that marriage is a holy union between a husband, his wife and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Someone has to tell them it’s not just ok to wait for marriage, that it’s expected that they wait for marriage.

I pray that this article enlightens you to the dangers faced by our children every day and that it would move you to build a stronger relationship with your children.  Build trust and honesty between you so that you can have difficult conversations like these.

And like the billboard says, “Talk to your children about sex.  Everyone else is.”

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Iran Uses 'Enemies Of God' Charge On Protesters

February 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm (Christian news) (, , , , , , , )

Ahmedinejad Speaking

Originally from CNN World News

(CNN) — Iran hanged two men at the end of January — the first political prisoners known to be executed in Iran since the demonstrations protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to Amnesty International.

It’s still not entirely clear what Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani’s crime was. Rahmanipour’s lawyer said he was already in jail on election day in June 2009, so he couldn’t have been involved in the post-election uprising, she said.

But whatever their earthly crimes were, the two men executed last month were also accused of another offense far more serious than simply protesting against a government.

They were convicted of being “mohareb,” enemies of God.

That is the worst possible crime in Shiite Muslim law, according to Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University.

The legal implications are clear, he said.

“A mohareb, according to Shiite law, is executed,” he said.

That the regime is labeling its opponents enemies of God is a sign of how rattled it is by the protests, he said.

“They were completely caught off guard by the ferocity and extent of the opposition and they pulled out all the stops,” he said.

Traditional accusations did not succeed in intimidating the protesters, he said.

“They accused them of working in cahoots with the United States and Israel. When it didn’t work, they said you are mohareb,” he said.

Legally, there’s nowhere for the government to escalate from here, he added.

“I can’t imagine them upping the legal ante,” he said. “What you can do is increase the number of people they are executing in an in-your-face manner to bring terror to the people.”

In fact, at least one other person is on death row for being a mohareb, according to the Tehran Judiciary as quoted by the semi-official Iran Students News Agency.

Labeling opponents of the government “enemies of God” is a relatively new tactic, said Iranian journalist Amir Taheri, who argued that religious tolerance was more traditionally Iranian.

“It was not like that the beginning of the revolution. The revolution was an Islamic revolution but they did not try to give a religious aspect,” he told CNN’s Hala Gorani.

“Now unfortunately they are giving a very dangerous and arguably un-Iranian religious aspect to it by hating the Jews, hating the Baha’is, [using] anti-Christian propaganda, executing or even murdering some Sunni Muslim preachers,” said Taheri, who fled Iran after the revolution.

The religious intolerance “is really completely new and this is one of the ugliest aspects” of the current regime, he said.

Milani said that even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime, did not accuse his opponents of being enemies of God.

“In the early days of the revolution, Khomeini threatened to declare these people as mohareb, but I don’t remember them ever passing a law that says if you go out and demonstrate, you are a mohareb,” Milani said.

Khomeini leveled a different charge at his opponents, calling them “mofsed fel-Arz,” or he who brings corruption, Milani said.

The charge was “introduced by Khomeini, and they killed thousands of people, but at that time even Khomeini was averse” to describing his opponents as mohareb, he said.

Using it now implicitly “beatifies Khomeini,” Milani said. “They are making him a god.”

It also could be a sign of panic on the part of the authorities, he said.

“It takes a lot of … political insecurity to say if you don’t do something I tell you to do, you are an enemy of God,” he said.

* * * * *

How long before Christians are considered “mohareb?”

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Iran Uses ‘Enemies Of God’ Charge On Protesters

February 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm (Christian news) (, , , , , , , )

Ahmedinejad Speaking

Originally from CNN World News

(CNN) — Iran hanged two men at the end of January — the first political prisoners known to be executed in Iran since the demonstrations protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to Amnesty International.

It’s still not entirely clear what Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani’s crime was. Rahmanipour’s lawyer said he was already in jail on election day in June 2009, so he couldn’t have been involved in the post-election uprising, she said.

But whatever their earthly crimes were, the two men executed last month were also accused of another offense far more serious than simply protesting against a government.

They were convicted of being “mohareb,” enemies of God.

That is the worst possible crime in Shiite Muslim law, according to Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University.

The legal implications are clear, he said.

“A mohareb, according to Shiite law, is executed,” he said.

That the regime is labeling its opponents enemies of God is a sign of how rattled it is by the protests, he said.

“They were completely caught off guard by the ferocity and extent of the opposition and they pulled out all the stops,” he said.

Traditional accusations did not succeed in intimidating the protesters, he said.

“They accused them of working in cahoots with the United States and Israel. When it didn’t work, they said you are mohareb,” he said.

Legally, there’s nowhere for the government to escalate from here, he added.

“I can’t imagine them upping the legal ante,” he said. “What you can do is increase the number of people they are executing in an in-your-face manner to bring terror to the people.”

In fact, at least one other person is on death row for being a mohareb, according to the Tehran Judiciary as quoted by the semi-official Iran Students News Agency.

Labeling opponents of the government “enemies of God” is a relatively new tactic, said Iranian journalist Amir Taheri, who argued that religious tolerance was more traditionally Iranian.

“It was not like that the beginning of the revolution. The revolution was an Islamic revolution but they did not try to give a religious aspect,” he told CNN’s Hala Gorani.

“Now unfortunately they are giving a very dangerous and arguably un-Iranian religious aspect to it by hating the Jews, hating the Baha’is, [using] anti-Christian propaganda, executing or even murdering some Sunni Muslim preachers,” said Taheri, who fled Iran after the revolution.

The religious intolerance “is really completely new and this is one of the ugliest aspects” of the current regime, he said.

Milani said that even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime, did not accuse his opponents of being enemies of God.

“In the early days of the revolution, Khomeini threatened to declare these people as mohareb, but I don’t remember them ever passing a law that says if you go out and demonstrate, you are a mohareb,” Milani said.

Khomeini leveled a different charge at his opponents, calling them “mofsed fel-Arz,” or he who brings corruption, Milani said.

The charge was “introduced by Khomeini, and they killed thousands of people, but at that time even Khomeini was averse” to describing his opponents as mohareb, he said.

Using it now implicitly “beatifies Khomeini,” Milani said. “They are making him a god.”

It also could be a sign of panic on the part of the authorities, he said.

“It takes a lot of … political insecurity to say if you don’t do something I tell you to do, you are an enemy of God,” he said.

* * * * *

How long before Christians are considered “mohareb?”

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