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NJ Representative Chris Smith Authored Legislation Creating an Anti-Semitism Special Envoy Gives More Clout to Address the Alarming Rise in Anti-Semitism Worldwide


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, at the very last legislative session of the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that would elevate the State Department’s Anti-Semitism Special Envoy position—first created by Smith’s legislative provisions in 2004—to an Ambassadorship, giving more clout to address the alarming rise in anti-Semitism worldwide. As the Senate has already approved the amended legislation, the bill now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Continue reading NJ Representative Chris Smith Authored Legislation Creating an Anti-Semitism Special Envoy Gives More Clout to Address the Alarming Rise in Anti-Semitism Worldwide

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Why are New Year’s Resolutions so Hard to Keep? Pastor Dr. Erwin Lutzer explains

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer offers a religious view on New Years Resolutions   and why its so hard to keep them. Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church where he served as the Senior Pastor for 36 years. He earned a B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. He and his wife, Rebecca, have three grown children and eight grandchildren and live in the Chicago area. His latest book is “We will not be Silenced—Responding courageously to our culture’s assault on Christianity.”

Continue reading Why are New Year’s Resolutions so Hard to Keep? Pastor Dr. Erwin Lutzer explains

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Woman Accused of Vandalizing 3 Religious Facilities Arrested in Monmouth County

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Middletown NJ, Authorities arrested a Middletown (Monmouth County) woman they said repeatedly vandalized houses of worship in the township and then resisted arrest. Natalee Hamilton, 34, was taken into custody on July 28 after she became “uncooperative and violent” and assaulted three officers, according to the Middletown Township Police Department.

Continue reading Woman Accused of Vandalizing 3 Religious Facilities Arrested in Monmouth County

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Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Newark Assaulted During Mass in Cathedral

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January 28, 2017 at 5:15 PM

The Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.

A day meant to venerate a hero of Newark’s Latino community ended in shock and horror when an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark was punched in the face during Mass at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, was offering opening prayers at a Saturday afternoon service commemorating the life of baseball great Roberto Clemente, remembered by Latinos in Newark, especially those from his native Puerto Rico, for his tragic death in a plane crash en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972.

The sanctity of the mass was shattered when a man wearing a white robe over a red suit shambled up to the altar from the crowd, reached Bishop Cruz and struck the 63-year-old in the face, knocking him backwards until he fell on the altar.

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Outspoken Bayonne Paster Has Home Vandalized



January 23,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Bayonne, NJ according to WABC news a Controversy over building a mosque in New Jersey appears to be linked to vandalism.
A pastor opposing the plan was the target of a graffiti attack at his home in Bayonne.

Signs read, “Save Bayonne, Stop the Mosque,” at the home of Evangelist Pastor Joseph Basile. According to Pastor Basile ,
“Someone came and threatened us if we did not take the signs down,” That culprit was later arrested, but this past Saturday
expletives were spray painted on the pastor’s home.

All this comes as a year old controversy simmers. Bayonne’s Muslim community wants to build a mosque at a shuttered warehouse on East 24th Street at a dead end. The pastor agrees along with many of the neighbors that worry about traffic.

“It should be somewhere else in the center of town , this is a dead end, lots of traffic,” said Surinder Kumar, a resident, but other neighbors don’t seem to mind “If someone wants to build something where people gather, I have no problem with it,” said Sarah Ulm

Pastor Basile admits there is a lot of concern also about what will be taught at the proposed mosque and community center. Paster Basile said he has attended meetings and says he asked pointed questions.”My first question was, do you believe in Sharia Law. His lawyer jumped up and would not answer,” Basile said.

The attack on the Pastors home has gotten the attention of Joseph Rudy Rullo who is running for Governor of New Jersey , Rullo said ,” I condemn the recent attack on a Bayonne religious leaders home who recently questioned whether a proposed mosque would include the teaching of Sharia law. Sharia law clearly violates the US constitution!”

Waheed Akbar of Bayonne Muslims, first denounced the vandalism at the pastor’s home, and says the group has reached out to the community, offering a look at who they are, in the midst of their temporary home being vandalized with hate messages.

CAIR-NJ has asked the Feds to probe “Pro-Trump” hate graffiti targeting Bayonne Mosque.

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Amidst Rising Islamophobia, Thousands of American Muslims Unite for Annual Convention


American Muslims gather to erase extremism and rejuvenate spirituality

July 17,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, the nation’s largest and oldest Muslim organization, will host the 68th annual 3-day conference to spiritually rejuvenate Muslim Americans, young and old.  As the longest running American Muslim conference, it aims to reach into Islam’s fundamentals as practiced by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to teach how to be a model Muslim in today’s world.

The recent attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Iraq show that much of the world is in the dark about Islam’s true teachings. Distorted teachings by extremists have promoted fear and Islamophobia worldwide.  In response, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has spearheaded a campaign entitled “True Islam and the Extremists” to educate the masses on Islam’s true teachings. Its aim is to enhance the country’s national security through a proven model that saves people from the path of extremism.

“We are at a critical point in a conflict-ridden world.” said Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, National Vice President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “The world cries for a solution and we are here to offer that solution through dialogue, education, and community.”

The conference will be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA from July 29-July 31st.  Thousands of American Muslims from across the country are expected in attendance to participate in the conference, which is also open to the public.

About Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans over 200 nation with membership exceeding tens of million. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is among the oldest American-Muslim organizations.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long- awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings.

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Starbucks CEO: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business



At the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message to anyone who supports traditional marriage over gay marriage: we don’t want your business.

After saying Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” he told a shareholder who supports traditional marriage that he should sell his shares and invest in some other company.

According to a report by Forbes, Schultz seemed a bit intolerant of any Starbucks shareholders who opposed gay marriage for moral or religious reasons.

During the meeting, shareholder Tom Strobhar (who founded the Corporate Morality Action Center) pointed out that after the company voiced its support for a referendum backing gay marriage in Washington state, a boycott by traditional marriage supporters caused a drop in sales revenue.

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Growing support for 9/11’s ‘St. Mychal’


JULY 30, 2015, 9:46 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2015, 9:37 AM

His grave lies just inside the cemetery gates, a few feet from a chain-link fence and the rattle and swoosh of cars, trucks and buses on Totowa’s Union Boulevard.

If you go there, you can understand on some level why many people want the Rev. Mychal Judge to be canonized as a Roman Catholic saint.

Judge, a Franciscan priest known for his infectious smile and eloquent preaching, served in parishes in Bergen and Passaic counties before moving to Manhattan in the 1990s and becoming a chaplain for the New York City Fire Department. He was killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 – officially listed by the city’s medical examiner as the first casualty among the nearly 3,000 people who died that day.

Judge’s grave, amid the final resting places of more than 280 other Franciscan priests at Totowa’s Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, has since become an informal pilgrimage site, with many visitors leaving behind keepsakes – statues of firefighters, prayer cards, rosary beads and even personal notes to “Saint Mychal.”

“If you were here for Sept. 11, you totally get the connection and how much he meant to people,” said Holy Sepulchre’s manager, Mirian Tanis. “He does receive a lot of love even though he is not with us.”

But can love and attention turn Mychal Judge into a saint? And would it matter that Judge was also a recovering alcoholic who reportedly told several close associates that he was gay but never acted on his homosexuality because of his priestly vow of celibacy?

Whether Judge will be officially considered for sainthood may not be decided for decades, if ever, say experts familiar with Catholicism’s scrupulous and often politically and theologically fractious process of naming saints. But Pope Francis’ visit to New York City in September, which includes an interfaith prayer service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, has prompted some advocates to push harder for Judge’s sainthood.

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Pope to Parents: You Are Responsible for Educating Your Children


At May 20 audience, he stressed that educating and raising children in the human values that form the “backbone” of a healthy society is a responsibility that each family has.

BY CNA/EWTN NEWS 05/20/2015

VATICAN CITY — In his general audience, Pope Francis spoke of the essential role parents play in educating their children, a role he said has been usurped by so-called experts who have taken the place of parents and rendered them fearful of disciplining their children.

“If family education regains its prominence, many things will change for the better. It’s time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile — they have exiled themselves from educating their children — and slowly reassume their educative role,” the Pope said May 20.

He gave harsh criticism to the “intellectual critics” that he said have “silenced” parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm, and he lamented how schools now are often more influential than families in shaping the thinking and values of children.

“In our days, the educational partnership is in crisis. It’s broken,” he said, and he named various reasons for this.

“On the one part, there are tensions and distrust between parents and educators; on the other part, there are more and more ‘experts’ who pretend to occupy the role of parents, who are relegated to second place,” he said.

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Rubio: ‘Real and present danger’ that Christianity will be labeled ‘hate speech’


May 26, 2015, 04:19 pm
By Jordain Carney

Christianity is facing a “real and present danger” in the United States due to growing acceptance for gay marriage, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio said.

“We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Because today, we’ve reached the point in our society where, if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” the Florida Republicantold CBN News.

Rubio said the “next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech, and that’s a real and present danger.”

The comments are the latest in a series of remarks on gay marriage that have put the presidential contender under the media spotlight.

Rubio said earlier this year, also during an interview with CBN News, that it’s “ridiculous and absurd” to believe that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Those remarks came ahead of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in a case that could lead to same-sex couples being able to marry in all 50 states.

He added in his earlier interview that his stance against same-sex marriage “is not a policy against anyone.”

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Cruz: Democrats, big business teaming up to stifle religious freedom


May 02, 2015, 01:26 pm
By Bernie Becker

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Saturday that the culture wars show off the cozy relationship between Democrats and corporate America.

Speaking in South Carolina, Cruz bemoaned the “perfect storm of the Democratic Party and big business coming together,” according to Bloomberg.

The Texas Republican was specifically referencing the recent fight over Indiana’s law on religious freedom. But Cruz noted that there’d been similar spats in Houston and elsewhere in the U.S., and insisted conservatives needed to gear up for the battle to defeat gay marriage.

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you,” Cruz said.

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Attacks on Gordon College spark discrimination accusations against gay advocates


By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Updated: 8:11 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015

No college has taken more flak after running afoul of the gay rights movement than Gordon College, but it turns out the small Christian institution in Wenham, Massachusetts, also has some supporters.

One of them is Lori D’Amico, a parent in Lynn, Massachusetts, who submitted petition signatures last week to require the city’s school district to hold another hearing on its vote to bar Gordon undergraduates from serving as student teachers in the Lynn system.

Another is Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who fired off a letter to the Lynn mayor last month warning her that the school committee had violated the First Amendment by discriminating against Gordon College students based on their religion.

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Pope, on anniversary, says believes he will have short pontificate



Pope, on anniversary, says believes he will have short pontificate
Reuters – Fri, 13 Mar, 2015

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said in an interview published on Friday he believes his pontificate will be short and that he would be ready to resign like his predecessor rather than ruling for life.

In the long interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa, released on the second anniversary of his surprise election, Francis also said he “did not mind” being pope but would like to be able to go out in Rome unrecognized for a pizza.

“I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief – four or five years, even two or three. Two have already passed. It’s a somewhat strange sensation,” he said, according to a Vatican translation from Spanish.

“I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time,” the Argentine-born pontiff said.

Francis, apparently in good health at 78, said “I share the idea of what Benedict did.” In 2013, former Pope Benedict became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign instead of ruling until he died.

“In general, I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the popes emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution,” Francis said.

However, he said he did not like the idea of an automatic retirement age for popes, such as at age 80.