Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World’s biggest gay magazine: no compassion and tolerance for a former lesbian and her daughter

World’s biggest gay magazine: no compassion and tolerance for a former lesbian and her daughter

By Julio Severo
The Advocate, the biggest gay magazine in America and, in its own words, “The World’s Leading News Source for LGBT”, has just put its sights on LifeSiteNews and me in its defense of lesbian activist Janet Jenkins.
The Advocate: Mockery of Christ
The mission of The Advocate, as its name implies, is to advocate — for the gay agenda and its militants. Jenkins wants the daughter of her former lesbian partner Lisa Miller, who renounced homosexuality for Jesus. Regardless of the well-being of the girl, the infamous mission is to “rescue” her from her own biological mother to give her to an unrelated lesbian.
What would make a lesbian pursue the custody of a child at the expense of her biological mother? Of course, gay readers of The Advocate agree with any gay mission, as long as the gay agenda is ultimately exalted. But one lesbian commentator, who sided with Jenkins, asked the tough question:
“The child was about a year old when they split up and Miller has been the sole parent of the child for all this time. So any question of whether she is a fit or unfit mother is moot… I understand the heartache Jenkins must feel for her loss but what kind of relationship could she possibly have at this point if Miller is uncooperative and hostile?”
In fact, Jenkins was able to have some time with Isabella, in court-ordered visits that left the girl traumatized.
Yet, who else is asking tough questions? The US government, which is actively promoting the gay agenda around the world, wants nothing to do with tough questions detrimental to the homosexualist interests. And the FBI, to its own shame, is after a girl and her natural mother, because an unrelated lesbian wants her, at all costs.
The cost has been high, indeed. So far, two ministers have been arrested, because they helped Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella flee the United States. Rev. Timothy Miller was arrested by FBI when he arrived at the US from his missionary work in Nicaragua. He was arrested at the airport in the presence of his wife and four children. To show PC compassion to the interests and ambitions of a lesbian activist, the FBI had to show cruelty to a Christian family.
In its investigations, the FBI decoded the Pennsylvania German language used by the ministers in their efforts to transfer Lisa Miller and her daughter from the United States to Canada, then to Mexico, then to Nicaragua and then to Ecuador — as alleged by The Advocate. (If the FBI had been this effective in decoding the “language” of Islamic terrorists before 2001, 9/11 would have never happened!) Subsequently, another minister was arrested. It is implacable persecution solely to serve the gay agenda.
The Advocate, satisfied with the FBI engagement, implied that LifeSiteNews may be involved. Hey, publish any article defending a former lesbian and her daughter, and the Gaystapo will say that you have committed a crime against the gay agenda. And perhaps many Christians have begun accepting the wrong-headed idea that it is a crime to defend this helpless mother and her daughter, because while the secular and gay media have been vocal about the “rights” of Janet Jenkins, the Christian media are largely silent.
By the way, The Advocate has also mentioned me, calling me and other Christians “antigay”, just because we do not accept the gay agenda, and just because we oppose the wickedness that the gay agenda has been committing against Lisa Miller and her daughter.
The Advocate said,
“In a December 1 Life Site News op-ed titled ‘Cowardice: The State and Homosexualist Powers Against a Former Lesbian and Her Daughter,’ Brazilian antigay activist Julio Severo characterized Lisa Miller and her daughter as victims in a perceived war against religious freedom. Jenkins, meanwhile, was cast as a predator and cynical ‘lesbian activist.’”
If Miller and her biological daughter are not victims, what are they? Oppressors of Jenkins? Poor Jenkins: the FBI and the liberal mass press have been smearing her, because Miller refuses to return her biological daughter! How cynical Miller is to defend her daughter!
The homosexual desires of Jenkins are more important than Miller’s biological motherhood, more important than Jesus Christ (to whom Lisa and her daughter have dedicated their lives) and more important than the moral, spiritual and physical well-being of Isabella herself.
Another The Advocate commentator noted,
“The issue here is simple. Isabella does not belong to Jenkins because she is not her biological mother or father. No court or government has the right to force custody like this. The sooner Jenkins understands this the better.”
In spite of all the facts, the blind militancy of The Advocate and its supporters keep them from accepting basic realities, biological and otherwise. Instead, people are forced to accept their unnatural realities. And the US government and the FBI side with them, not with Miller, me or LifeSiteNews, to make sure the unnatural takes precedence over the natural, for the sake of homosexuality and its agenda.
So what now? Should LifeSiteNews be targeted for FBI surveillance? Should I also be targeted for FBI surveillance, because of my article defending the oppressed, not the oppressor? “Oh, sure!” The Advocate and its gay chorus would shout. Other radicals would say, “Arrest him!” “Crucify him” — this last wish came from a Brazilian gay in a homosexual website. The Advocate could reply, “Oh, we are not that mean! FBI and imprisonment is enough”.
And, actually, the FBI is making arrests. Kenneth Miller, the second minister arrested, was under FBI surveillance for other religious contacts that helped Lisa Miller and her daughter. The FBI is determined to arrest any other evangelical minister involved in their defense. If such FBI surveillance had targeted Islamic contacts, it would have been labeled a hate crime. Apparently, only gays and Muslims are entitled to protest government interference in PC America.
With such FBI policies, how can America be safe? Yet, what does it matter to the liberal US government and liberal media? The important thing is to make the gay agenda safe, regardless how unsafe the innocent will be.
Evangelical ministers, a biological mother and her daughter: everybody may be left on the lurch, except for Jenkins and other homosexualists, who are granted government and media favors and privileges.
Meanwhile, those who supported Lisa Miller and her daughter, in the face of threats and imprisonments, are not receiving any media support and have no powerful friend like the FBI to help them. Instead, their meager support comes from a few churches.
Mennonite churches affiliated with Rev. Kenneth Miller have created a website expressing “solidarity with Ken as he faces charges for choices and actions we believe were correct. By God’s grace we would want to make the same choices he did. Our involvement with Lisa and Isabella Miller has stemmed from a desire to obey our Lord Jesus — both His commands and example”.
This was the proper Christian response in the times of Nazi and Communist tyranny.
This is the proper Christian response in these times of PC, gay tyranny.
Source: Last Days Watchman, the personal blog of Julio Severo: www.lastdayswatchman.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Associated Press defends Umbanda as an “Afro-Brazilian religion under threat”

Associated Press defends Umbanda as an “Afro-Brazilian religion under threat”

By Julio Severo
Lying in a pentagram is Rosa Cardoso, a woman that has practiced the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda most her life and, according to the Associated Press (AP), has been “hiding her faith from the rest of the world”.
Umbanda house of worship
Century-old Afro-Brazilian religion under threat”, the AP report by Juliana Barbassa, makes no mention of animal sacrifices, a practice not uncommon in the Afro-Brazilian religions. And, because her article obviously intended to portray Umbanda in a positive light as a threatened, poor religion, this omission was necessary.
I grew up seeing in the Brazilian crossroads of my neighborhood offerings to the African spirits. These offerings comprised fruits, food, alcohol beverages, cigarettes and sacrificed animals such as goats. Interestingly, the English version of Wikipedia has also no mention of animal sacrifices in its entry on Umbanda. Its Portuguese version makes a mere passing mention, saying that these sacrifices are practiced only by some Umbanda ramifications.
By reading this AP report and the English Wikipedia, you see no sacrifices. But when you live in Brazil in a place where there is a lot of “hidden” Umbanda, you see a lot of these weekly, very visible offerings to the African spirits in the crossroads. A lot of sacrificed animals.
The AP omission hit other aspects of this “threatened” religion. Young women that want to entice an employer turn to Umbanda to receive “assistance” from the African gods. Married men, who do not understand what is happening, are driven to an obsessive adultery under the powerful influence of spiritual forces.
Yet, the AP worry was the “intolerance and outright hostility against Umbanda, as well as Brazil’s other major African-descended religion Candomble”. AP reports that Rosa “Cardoso said she’s learned not to let down her guard when it comes to protecting herself from religious scorn. This country of 190 million remains predominantly Roman Catholic, even as Pentecostal congregations have won over legions of converts”.
The AP “report” said,
Many in Rio can rattle off the names of a few Orixas, and thousands of believers and sympathizers flock to beaches on New Year's dressed in white to leave offerings for the ocean goddess Iemanja.
Nonetheless, many Brazilians often view Umbanda and Candomble as barely benign versions of witchcraft, and believers are loath to acknowledge publicly they follow the faiths. In many parts of the country, practicing Umbanda was outlawed until the 1950s, and in the following three decades believers were supposed to register with the police.
Umbanda was founded a little more than a century ago, drawing from older traditions such as Catholicism, the beliefs of enslaved Yoruba people brought from West Africa, the spirituality of Brazil’s indigenous groups and the teachings of 19th century French spiritualist Allan Kardec.
The religion has many variations, but all share belief in a supreme being, Oxala, and in a pantheon of other African-origin deities, many of whom are identified with a Catholic saint and with natural forces or elements. They also believe these deities, along with other spirits, can enter the body of psychics to advise and interact with the living.
A city survey in 2011 found 847 Umbanda houses of worship in Rio, though like Cardoso’s they’re often not easy to spot.
Coincidently, the Rio de Janeiro state has almost 50% of all murders in Brazil. This was another omission in the AP “report”. Umbanda has gods for prostitution and even destruction, including death. And Rio has a lot of these.
AP says,
Brazil’s post-dictatorship 1989 constitution enshrined the freedom to hold such ceremonies, but Umbanda’s followers say official disdain and intense prejudice still put their lives and shrines at risk.
[A] report, which was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council by a Brazilian religious-freedom group, details 39 cases of discrimination around the country in 2009.
Cases of persecution against Umbanda and Candomble have increased along with the presence and the power of Pentecostal religions…
AP fails to report that the former Lula administration and the current Dilma Rousseff administration (both the most socialist governments in the Brazilian history) had and have active policies to protect Afro-Brazilian religions as a “culture” inherited from African slaves. While Catholic and Protestant traditions have increasingly been banned from schools and other government places because the State is “secular”, Afro-Brazilian religions and their practices are making inroads, with state assistance, into schools and other places, in a privileged way. Because Christianity is religion, and Afro-Brazilian religions are “culture”.
With such state protections, even Brazilian Blacks are banned from criticizing the Afro-Brazilian gods, as reported by me in WND:
“In Rio, a Pentecostal [Black] minister led a criminal to Jesus and convinced him to deliver himself to police. Rev. Isaías da Silva Andrade accompanied the former criminal to police and when they asked how his life had been changed, the minister answered that the former criminal lived under the influence of demons from Afro-Brazilian religions which inspired him to criminal conduct, but now he found salvation in Jesus. Because of this innocent account, Rev. Andrade is now being prosecuted for discrimination against the Afro-Brazilian ‘culture’! If condemned, he will serve between two and five years in jail.”
As a son of a former Umbanda leader who accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I see no problem in speaking the truth about the witchcraft derived from Africa. In fact, Brazilians remember, when there was still no veil of racial censorship, the regular scandals reported by media of pai-de-santos (Afro-Brazilian priests) involved in a number of child sacrifices.
In his book Porque Deus Condena o Espiritismo (Why God condemns spiritualism, CPAD: Rio de Janeiro, 1987, pages 66-68), journalist Jefferson Magno Costa tells of a case:
It was noon when he found little Fernando, a 9-year-old boy, walking along the railroad track near the city of São Roque, in the rural area of São Paulo. He took the boy home, asked his lover (with whom he had been living for some weeks), Dalva Braga Medeiros, to give the boy food and change his clothes.
Dalva was slow to comply and he took the clothes of one of the woman’s children and put them on Fernando. After drinking blue rum, he took the boy by his hand and went out, saying that he was going to buy more rum. Upon his return, Dalva saw blood stains on the little Fernando’s clothes. Immediately she understood that the boy had been raped.
Some minutes later, he invited Fernando to go out again, but because the boy refused and showed fear, he decided to call 12-year-old Rogério, Dalva’s son, to keep company with that scared and defenseless child, and to “see how a little pig is killed”.
Leading the two boys up to a hilltop, he drew a trident on the floor. Next, as Rogério reported, he grabbed little Fernando by his neck and jabbed a knife deeply into his chest. But, unsatisfied because the boy was slow to die, pai-de-santo Josué Rodrigues de Souza made a four-inch cut on the neck of the small victim, and began to lick his blood.
After committing this abominable, horrendous and devilish act, the pai-de-santo murderer called Dalva, “because she had never seen a sacrifice”. He showed her the dead child covered in blood. He confessed to her that he’d committed the murder under possession of demon Zé Capoeira, and that he raped the child before killing him, “because Satan does not accept the soul of pure people” (O Globo newspaper, 13/03/1986). “I had to kill a person and give his blood to Satan. He was demanding”, were his words when seized after the crime. (Veja magazine 19/03/1986, p. 111).
Journalist Jefferson Magno notes,
The atrocious crime committed by pai-de-santo Josué is only one of hundreds of cases involving people that, thinking that they are serving God, are serving Satan… Given the numerous cases of that kind reported by press, it is sad that the outrage of the general populace has no memory. Society forgets things easily. Some years ago, pai-de-santo Waldir Souza Lima was taken into custody in Rio, because he killed, in black magic rituals, six children abducted in different locations in the State of Rio. (Page 73)
In the past, newspapers were free to report and denounce child sacrifices in the Afro-Brazilian religions. You can find a lot of old reports on these crimes involving child rapes and murders by Afro-Brazilian priests. But nowadays, under the watchful state eye, only flattering reports are allowed, such as “oppressed” religion, “threatened” religion and other words that the AP “report” used abundantly.
Today, the Brazilian media no longer reports pai-de-santos sacrificing children. And they are unwilling to talk about other related crimes.
When Pentecostal minister Francisco de Paula Cunha de Miranda was stabbed to death by an Afro-Brazilian priest in 2008, the Brazilian media was silent.
Miranda, 47, was murdered in Rio Grande do Sul. He was Black (and cannot, even after his death, be accused of “racism”) and was on his 33rd day of fasting and prayer when pai-de-santo Júlio César Bonato, incorporated by exu caveira (demon of death in the Afro-Brazilian “culture”), left his temple during a ritual to go to the minister.
The pai-de-santo returned to his ritual with his ritualistic knife bloody.
The minister, who was very weak because of the long fasting, was stabbed to death.
The Brazilian media remains silent about this horrific murder even today. Even the AP “report” made no mention of this crime.
Last year, a group of Umbanda adherents stabbed to death another evangelical, Nilton Rodrigues, 34, and wounded others, including an evangelical minister, João Carlos de Oliveira. Media was silent again.
I am worried that this special protection may have been made strong by Condoleezza Rice, a famous daughter of an American Presbyterian minister. She came to Brazil to strength the roots of the Afro-Brazilian religions. Her example shows that the Afro-Brazilian religions are now an international interest.
The “Brazilian religious-freedom group”, which AP said that denounced Brazilian evangelicals in the UN, is headed by an Afro-Brazilian priest, who has a high standing with the Brazilian government, which sends him to the UN meetings to denounce Brazilian evangelicals, who denounce Afro-Brazilian religions as witchcraft. As in the case of homosexuality, the mere criticism of them is treated as “prejudice, bias, discrimination, intolerance”, etc. Now, even Catholic books criticizing them are banned.
Afro-Brazilian practices that have always been seen as witchcraft by the Brazilian society have increasingly been protected by the government, UN and media. And Christianity and its values have increasingly lost protection and even been attacked by them.
Sodomy, which has been extoled and afforded the status of a special human right in the UN, is largely practiced by Afro-Brazilian religions, where their gods and spirits entice and lead their adherents, especially their priests, into prostitution, including homosexuality.
Will this sodomy-loving religion have a special status in the New World Order?
Economic and ecological disasters are flooding the world, but whatever happens, people will not renounce Umbanda, Santeria and homosexuality, because, even after many last-day plagues, God says that mankind will not “repent of their sorceries or their sexual immorality” (Revelation 9:20-21 ESV).

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Cowardice: the state and homosexualist powers against a former lesbian and her daughter

Cowardice: the state and homosexualist powers against a former lesbian and her daughter

The FBI is after Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella. At any time, they may be captured. At any time, Isabella may be kidnapped by the FBI and her mother arrested.

By Julio Severo
Rev. Timothy David “Timo” Miller, who acted courageously in his defense of a persecuted child and her mother, has now made a deal with federal prosecutors, who are seeking to take Isabella Miller away from her mother and give her to an unrelated lesbian. No one knows exactly what this deal is, but prosecutors appear to be pleased with the results.
Miller’s case is disturbing: He was arrested last spring when he returned to the United States from Nicaragua, where he worked as a missionary. He was charged with helping Lisa Miller (no relation) flee the United States with Isabella, her 9-year-old daughter.
Isabella and her mother Lisa Miller
Even more disturbing is the fact that a Vermont court gave the custody of Isabella to Janet Jenkins, a lesbian activist and former sexual partner of Lisa Miller.
Jenkins and Miller had been joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000 and, two years later, Miller gave birth to daughter Isabella, conceived by artificial insemination. The lesbian union ended in 2003, with Miller accepting Jesus Christ in her life and renouncing homosexuality. She became a Baptist, then a Mennonite.
Janet Jenkins, lesbian activist and the owner of a day care
But Jenkins, her former partner and the owner of a daycare, has never renounced her homosexuality or her activism. Even though she has no biological connection with Isabella and had chosen not to include her name as a “parent” of the girl on the birth certificate, Jenkins, probably under the ideological inspiration of other homosexualists, began a custody fight, having initially been awarded the “right” to have the girl for visits. One of the consequences of these unsupervised, court-ordered visits was that Isabella herself complained of being forced to bathe naked with Jenkins. The girl was being traumatized by the first steps to force her into the lesbian lifestyle.
“Isabella suffers from sleep disturbance and nightmares, having difficulty sleeping through the night,” Gwen Corley, a social worker, told the court in September, 2007. Before the court-ordered visits, the girl was a well-adjusted, healthy child, according to a June, 2007, sworn testimony of Clinical Therapist Sylvia Haydash, who had clinical sessions with Isabella.
Miller tried to protect Isabella from these morally-harmful visits, but then a court awarded full custody to Jenkins, who was able, with her homosexual connections, to summon the entire court and police apparatus to her aid.
To shield her biological daughter from further trauma at the hands of an obsessed lesbian activist, her biological mother took the hard decision to flee her own country. Into this hopeless scenario enters Rev. Timothy Miller, who just wanted to help. As a missionary in Nicaragua, he brought hope to a lonely mother and her daughter, arranging a hiding place for them among Mennonites in the Central American nation.
Perhaps Rev. Miller was not expecting to be arrested or to see the FBI involved in the case, accusing him of abetting a “kidnapping.”
But at this point he became acutely aware that the gay agenda is vastly bigger than he had previously thought. Indeed, the movement has a massive support from courts and law-enforcement agencies.
Prosecutors ultimately secured Miller’s cooperation, presumably through threats of imprisonment. They know that Lisa Miller and Isabella traveled to Nicaragua in September 2009 where a group of Mennonite missionaries had helped shelter them. They also know that mother and daughter were last seen in Nicaragua in the spring of 2010.
Earlier this year, a Mennonite pastor in Nicaragua told AP, “the Nicaraguan brethren felt it right and good to help Lisa not only free herself from the so called civil marriage and lesbian lifestyle, but especially to protect her 9-year-old daughter from being abducted and handed over to an active lesbian and a rabid activist.”
Rev. Miller is now free from the ominous claws of the FBI, which in a sane legal system would persecute thugs and terrorists. But Lisa and Isabella are not free: the FBI is after them. At any time, they may be captured. At any time, Isabella may be kidnapped by the FBI and her mother arrested.
America is resurrecting Sodom with a vengeance, supported by the formidable power of the State. While Christian social services in the US are losing their traditional right to help children because they refuse state orders to adopt children to homosexual couples, lesbian activist Janet Jenkins is free to run a day care. And because of Janet’s radical activism, Isabella and her mother are not free or safe from massive state persecution. Persecution for their faith and their refusal to compromise with evil.
This tragedy was made possible only because gay civil unions were allowed in Vermont. And when homosexual “marriage” is allowed, the gay agenda and the State become united in an unholy “marriage,” where special rights and freedoms are granted to those in the footsteps of Sodom. This unholy “marriage” enables homosexual activists to oppress and persecute people who renounce homosexual perversion, with assistance of the FBI, which has effectively become — at least in the Jenkins-Miller case — a Gaystapo.
Rev. Miller tried to oppose this unholy “marriage” and its threats against Lisa and Isabella, but it proved too strong for him. Consequently, he was arrested. Only through a compromise was he released from prison. In exchange for his testimony in future proceedings in the case against Isabella’s mother, federal prosecutors dropped criminal charges against him.
It is a major disgrace for the United States of America that a helpless mother and her daughter have been left to face alone State bullies serving the interests of the gay agenda.
Where are the honorable men and women of the US and the world who will confront this state-sanctioned homosexualist cowardice?
What you can do:
Pray that God will lead Lisa and Isabella in his grace, mercy and power.
Pray that the FBI and other authorities working for darkness and wickedness will be covered in confusion and shame.
Pray that God will bring blindness to those planning to arrest and kidnap Lisa and Isabella (see 2 Kings 6:18).
Pray that ultimately the name of Jesus Christ will be honored.
With information from the Associated Press and LifeSiteNews.
Another important article: State nightmare for children

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PayPal returns frozen funds to pro-family activist following internet protest

PayPal returns frozen funds to pro-family activist following internet protest

November 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The PayPal corporation has returned funds it froze mid-September in pro-life and pro-family activist Julio Severo’s account following a campaign by militant homosexuals to cut Severo off from the company’s service.
Following several weeks of unfavorable articles on PayPal’s actions in LifeSiteNews and other media outlets, as well as a petition drive that gathered more than 10,000 electronic signatures and offers of legal help from multiple groups defending the rights of Christians, PayPal informed Severo that it would make an “exception” and release the funds.
The company had previously claimed that it would hold the money in the account, which constituted most of needed Severo’s funds, for up to nine months before returning it to him.
PayPal shut down Severo’s account and froze his funds after the organization was petitioned by the homosexualist organization All Out to eliminate ten organizations or individuals from its service, for opposing the homosexual political agenda.
Julio Severo and others were accused of peddling “hate,” although Severo makes it clear that he has no animosity towards homosexuals and wants them to be rescued from the self-destructive homosexual lifestyle. In addition to translating and writing for LifeSiteNews, Severo publishes a blog in Portuguese that is one of Brazil’s best-read, and is followed by politicians and other influential individuals in the country. Severo also has blogs in English and Spanish.
In response to the gay activist complaints, PayPal launched an investigation of the targetted groups. It sought to cut off any that could not prove that they were a legally-constituted charity capable of receiving donations, despite the fact that PayPal permits individuals to receive money without reference to membership in any group.
Also targeted by the campaign have been such groups as Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), a Catholic group that defends the rights and dignity of Christians and opposes sodomy, and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which seeks to inform the public about the facts about the “gay” lifestyle.  So far, none of these have been cut off by PayPal. 
Although LifeSiteNews sent the petition list to a number of PayPal addresses and informed the company of the signatures, no response was ever received.
Source: LifeSiteNews

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The New Times talks about Brazilian minister Silas Malafaia

The New Times talks about Brazilian minister Silas Malafaia

Comment by Julio Severo: I didn’t like the mocking tone that the leftist American newspaper used to speak about Malafaia, but the leftist mindset is narrow and it keeps them from seeing reality as it is. The newspaper erroneously compares Malafaia to Pat Robertson, a conservative in times gone by so solid that he even suggested that Hugo Chavez, a friend of Lula and Dilma Rousseff, should be murdered. Although Malafaia has, on the abortion and gay agenda, the same stance as real conservatives do, his political leanings keep him away from a legitimate conservatism, and such fact was recognized in the interview itself when he admitted to have voted for Lula twice and not to have anything personally against Rousseff. If she didn’t support abortion and homosexuality, would everything be ok? Of course not. See, she was formerly a terrorist, and she has never repented of her terrorist past or of her socialist ideology and her connections with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. That repugnant socialist aspect doesn’t seem to be an inconvenience to Malafaia. I will continue, as a writer and blogger, to support Malafaia as he attacks the radical abortion and homosexual agenda. But how can we Brazilians follow his disastrous political leanings? It is a pity that he doesn’t have 50% of Michele Bachmann’s political convictions.
Here is the complete interview:
Silas Malafaia: “God called on me to be a pastor, and I won’t exchange that for being a politician.”

Evangelical Leader Rises in Brazil’s Culture Wars

By SIMON ROMERO
SILAS MALAFAIA’s books, which sell in the millions in Brazil, have titles like “How to Defeat Satan’s Strategies” and “Lessons of a Winner.” The Gulfstream private jet in which he flies has “Favor of God,” in English, inscribed on its body.
As a television evangelist, Mr. Malafaia reaches viewers in dozens of countries, including the United States, where Daystar and Trinity Broadcasting Network broadcast his overdubbed sermons. Over 30 years, Mr. Malafaia, 53, has assembled thriving churches and enterprises around his Pentecostal preaching.
Still, he might have garnered little attention beyond his own followers had he not waded into Brazil’s version of the culture wars. After all, Brazil has evangelical leaders who command larger empires, like Edir Macedo, whose Universal Church of the Kingdom of God controls Rede Record, one of Brazil’s biggest television networks. Others, like Romildo Ribeiro Soares, of the International Church of God’s Grace, are known for greater missionary zeal.
But it is Mr. Malafaia who has recently attracted the most attention, with his pointed verbal attacks on a broad array of foes, including the leaders of Brazil’s movement for gay rights, proponents of abortion rights and supporters of marijuana decriminalization.
Silas Malafaia gives an interview at the backyard of a hotel prior to an event.
“I’m the public enemy No. 1 of the gay movement in Brazil,” Mr. Malafaia said in an interview this month here in Fortaleza, a city in Brazil’s northeast where he came to lead one of his self-described “crusades,” an event mixing scripture and song in front of about 200,000 people. Tears flowed down the faces of some of the impassioned attendees, while others danced to the performances that served as his opening act.
Before ascending to the pulpit, he described how coveted he had become on television talk shows as a sparring partner with gay leaders. But that is only a small part of his repertoire, and television is just one of many media at Mr. Malafaia’s disposal. On Twitter, he has nearly a quarter of a million followers, and in videos distributed on YouTube, he lambastes not only liberal foes but also journalists and rival evangelical leaders.
Not surprisingly, his rising prominence has made him the source of both admiration and unease. He mobilized thousands to march in the capital, Brasília, this year against a bill aimed at expanding anti-discrimination legislation to include sexual orientation.
“He’s like Pat Robertson in the sense of being a pioneer in moving Brazil’s evangelical right into the national political realm,” said Andrew Chesnut, an expert on Latin American religions at Virginia Commonwealth University, comparing Mr. Malafaia to the conservative American television evangelist.
Brazil’s elite is seeking to understand the rise of such a polarizing figure, and how it might influence the nation’s politics. Piauí, a magazine that is the rough equivalent of The New Yorker in the United States, ran a lengthy article this year on Mr. Malafaia’s rise from obscurity in Rio de Janeiro, where he grew up in a military family, to the power he now wields.
BEYOND Mr. Malafaia, the broad expansion of evangelical faiths, particularly Pentecostalism, in recent decades is altering Brazil’s politics. (While Pentecostalism varies widely, its tenets in Brazil include faith healing, prophecy and exorcism.) Leaders in Brasília must now consult on a range of matters with an evangelical caucus of legislators with resilient clout.
About one in four Brazilians are now thought to belong to evangelical Protestant congregations, and Pentecostals like Mr. Malafaia are at the forefront of this growth. In a remarkable religious transformation, scholars say that while Brazil still has the largest number of Roman Catholics in the world, it now also rivals the United States in having one of the largest Pentecostal populations.
Not everyone in Brazil is enthusiastic about this shift.
In a November essay, the journalist Eliane Brum wrote of the intolerance shown toward atheists in Brazil by some adherents of born-again faiths, describing what she called the “ever more aggressive dispute for market share” among big churches.
Ms. Brum’s essay unleashed a wave of reactions from Pentecostals. Mr. Malafaia’s words were among the most caustic.
During the interview here, he called Ms. Brum a “tramp,” and repeated his contention that “communist atheists” in the former Soviet Union, Cambodia and Vietnam were responsible for more killings than “any war produced for religious questions.”
Whether by design or default, his aggressive language has often become a spectacle. In November, Época magazine reported that Mr. Malafaia, during heated comments about taking legal action against Toni Reis, a prominent gay-rights advocate, said he would “fornicate” Mr. Reis.
Mr. Malafaia fired off an explanation that he had actually said he would “funicate” Mr. Reis. While researchers were unable to find Mr. Malafaia’s word in reference dictionaries, he said it was slang that roughly translated as “trounce.”
The visibility Mr. Malafaia achieves from such episodes has fueled questions about his political ambitions. He said he had no desire to run for office because it could make him beholden to a specific political party, thus curbing the broader visibility he now has.
“God called on me to be a pastor,” he said, “and I won’t exchange that for being a politician.”
But political influence is another matter. Mr. Malafaia said he voted twice for Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and for years enjoyed access to Brasília’s corridors of power. But he also related an anecdote about Mr. da Silva’s successor, President Dilma Rousseff, that suggests how important evangelical figures are becoming in national elections.
He said she spoke with him by telephone for 15 minutes during last year’s presidential campaign, trying to lure his support. But he said he refused because of ideological differences with parts of the governing Workers Party of Mr. da Silva, a former labor leader, and Ms. Rousseff, a former operative in an urban guerrilla group.
“I told her, ‘I don’t have anything personal against you. I think you’re an intelligent, qualified woman,’ ” he said. “ ‘But how can I vote for you if I spent four years fighting with the group from your party supporting a bill to benefit gays, thus hurting me?’”
MR. MALAFAIA, while stabbing the air with fingers adorned with diamond-encrusted gold rings, delivers such tales in booming Portuguese with a thick Rio accent.
His persona has given him almost rock-star status among some supporters.
“I didn’t recognize him without his mustache,” said Erineide Mendonça, 39, an employee at the Fortaleza hotel where Mr. Malafaia was staying, referring to the trademark facial hair that he shaved not long ago. “But I recognized his voice,” she said, asking to be photographed with the evangelist she adores.
Both Mr. Malafaia and his wife, Elizete, were trained as psychologists, and when he rises to the pulpit, his voice echoes in sermons laden with lessons of self-help and perseverance.
A favorite theme involves success and how to attain it. While he contends that he still lives relatively humbly and is not even a millionaire, he makes no apologies for his own material rise. In fact, he celebrates it, touting, for instance, his Mercedes-Benz — a gift, he explains, from a prosperous friend.
Then there is the Gulfstream, acquired secondhand in the United States, he said, not by him but by his nonprofit religious organization at a reasonable price.
“The pope flies in a jumbo jet,” he said, referring to the chartered Alitalia plane that carries the bishop of Rome, and chafing at what he viewed as a double standard with which Brazil’s ascendant evangelical leaders must contend. “But if a pastor travels in any old jet, he’s considered a thief.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Diplomatic safe sex: No US asylum to Saudi gay

Diplomatic safe sex: No US asylum to Saudi gay

By Julio Severo
A homosexual from Saudi Arabia had his asylum request denied by the Obama administration.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Ali Ahmad Asseri “argued that if he returned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia he would face execution because the country’s radically fundamental form of Islam mandates the death penalty for same-sex relations.”
Reportedly, the Obama administration denied the asylum to “avoid disrupting US-Saudi relations”. Annoying wasps is less dangerous than annoying a Muslim nation!
Is not the Obama administration the most radically pro-sodomy government in the US and world history? Has not the US government under this pro-Muslim president committed itself to fight “homophobia” whenever and wherever it appears?
To grant asylum to Asseri would show to the Muslim world that the Obama administration is serious about its world policies equaling sodomy to human rights.
Contrary to many asylum seekers, Asseri did not lie: Saudi Arabia really executes homosexuals. Poor Asseri! To tell truth did not help him.
In contrast, Brazilian homosexual Augusto Pereira de Souza, 27, had no such hardship to be granted asylum by the Obama administration. Enough for him was to allege that “Brazil is one of the most violent countries against homosexuals”. Nothing else than falsehood was necessary to get him asylum.
In spite of Pereira’s charges against Brazil as a threat to gays, Asseri could freely and safely live in Brazil. In fact, his troubles to get US asylum have been reported by a Saudi-American blogger and journalist based in Brazil, the “homophobic” country. In Saudi Arabia, Asseri and the journalist defending him would be treated very differently than the Brazilian government and society would do.
On the other hand, Souza is free to criticize and enter Brazil. As in the US, in Brazil media and government agencies are brazenly pro-sodomy and criticism against Christians and their “homophobia” is widespread and most welcome — as long as such criticism is directed exclusively to Christians, never to Muslims. What Souza cannot do is to criticize and enter Saudi Arabia. To enter there would spell his doom. At least, it would change his mind about “Brazil as one of the most violent countries against homosexuals”.
If Saudi Arabia were as Christian as Uganda is, it would be easier for the US to charge it of “homophobia” and grant asylum to the Saudi gay. Christians are always fair game for dishonest charges. But the US cannot afford giving similar treatment to Saudi Arabia, which is so radically against sodomy as the US is radically for it.
Stuart Appelbaum, a prominent gay activist in New York, said that if the Obama administration refuses to grant asylum to Ali Ahmad Asseri because it is afraid of the Saudi reaction, then the US will become complicit in his fate. “It is exactly because of how Ahmad might be treated on his return to his homophobic and brutal land that the United States should grant him refuge,” he said.
As far as Saudi Arabia and its Islamic law are concerned, the Obama administration will never sacrifice its economic interests with Muslim nations to defend sodomy as a human right. This is why it finds safer to grant asylum to a lying Brazilian homosexual than to a truthful Saudi homosexual. Between defending a perverted sexual act and not offending Muslim allies, the latter is priority diplomatic safe sex for a US radically committed to protect the former.
When homosexuality hits its international relations with Muslim nations, the US government commitment is not to annoy its gay-executing, Muslim allies.