'A Slow-Motion War Is Under Way, and It's Horrific'

'A Slow-Motion War Is Under Way, and It's Horrific'

March 11, 2020

They were on their way to a wedding -- her wedding. Chatting away in the car, surrounded by her two best friends, Martha's mind was probably on last-minute details, the ceremony, the excitement of seeing everyone again. She and her fiancé were getting married New Year's Eve, just a few days away, near her family home in Adamawa State. It was a seven-hour trip from Maiduguri down the dusty, Nigerian roads. A trip that, for Martha and her bridesmaids, came to a sudden and horrifying end.

They were only a couple hundred kilometers into their journey when they saw the men -- fighters, armed by the Islamic State. Every Christian in the area had been warned about Boko Haram. Take extra precautions, they were told. Things were getting worse. So when Martha was ordered to pull over and get out, she knew what it could mean. Terrified, she felt her hands being pulled behind her back. Satisfied that the women were believers, the men unsheathed their weapons. One at a time, their screams floating on the empty desert air, the girls were beheaded. An entire bridal party of innocents, left in a bloody heap by the side of the road.

Father Francis Arinse had known Martha from his early days at St. Augustine church in Maiduguri. She'd been one of his first parishioners, he would explain. But for now, he had the horrible responsibility of telling the world that the young bride and her closest friends would never walk down the aisle. They were dead, the latest victims of a Nigerian rampage no one in the West is talking about.

In the two months since Martha's death, hundreds more Nigerians have been killed. Gunned down at Sunday worship or burned alive in the hundreds of houses set ablaze, the situation is getting worse. The pictures of local towns, of men hoisting small caskets above their heads in a long line, are almost commonplace now. A slow-motion war is underway in Nigeria, Bernard-Henri Lévy warns, "massive in scale and horrific in brutality." "And the world has hardly noticed."

The stories are grim and harrowing, as villagers talk about the machetes falling -- on arms, fingers, heads, and pregnant bellies. They've been lit on fire, sold into sex slavery, shot, raped, and then raped again. All because they're Christians. People are doing anything they can just to flee. It's so bad, former Congressman Frank Wolf explained on "Washington Watch," that every time a boat sinks in the Mediterranean, it's usually full of Nigerians, because they're desperate to get out.

"Boko Haram has killed more Christians in Nigeria than ISIS killed in Iraq and Syria combined. Not many people know that," Wolf points out, "but it has. [They're] committing genocide. Genocide." Then there are the Fulani militants, he goes on, committing "crimes against humanity." Together, they're creating the most dangerous terrorism in the world. And we're getting to the point where the situation could completely unravel. "We need a plan," Frank insisted.

Part of that plan was discussed earlier this morning when the leadership of the International Committee on Nigeria, Johnnie Moore, and I met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. As we told him, one of the most critical things the United States could do is appoint a special presidential envoy to Nigeria. The government there must be held accountable for protecting their own citizens.

Frank pointed out yesterday what's at stake if we don't address the growing crisis. "We'll see another Darfur -- maybe even another Rwanda. We will see thousands and thousands more die. We'll see a base for terrorism in that region. And the impact on the world will be unbearable."

It's time to act -- which is why, after our meeting, I participated in a press conference with the International Committee on Nigeria to urge the American government to intervene. The campaign, called Nigeria's Silent Slaughter hopes to turn the world's eyes to the suffering and bloodshed. It is absolutely unacceptable for Christians to be murdered because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Over the past three years, no one has been more adamant than the Trump administration that the United States stands for religious liberty around the world. In fact, as Frank Wolf reminded everyone, if it weren't for this president and vice president, we might have seen the end of Christianity in the Middle East. "It was this administration that changed the whole dynamic... We've got a good administration with good people. And now the time to get the right person and the right policy and get this done. The poor Christians are crying out -- and we have to act."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Puberty Blocker Shocker: Activist Docs Push Drugs for Kids

March 11, 2020

It seems counterintuitive, because it is. And yet, in the heat of a nationwide transgender debate, a group of "experts" has decided that puberty blockers, the same drugs linked to thousands of adult deaths, are good for kids. As part of a new Pediatrics article, three doctors claim to have found "positive mental health outcomes" for minors. That's interesting, a group of physicians is firing back, since only 2.5 percent of the children they studied actually took the drugs!

There are plenty of other flaws in the research, Dr. Den Trumbull told me on Tuesday's "Washington Watch" -- not the least of which is that the data actually shows "the reverse of what they're claiming." Even if the experts can't bring themselves to admit that, he said, they should at least know "there's no benefit when the results are objectively looked at." But unfortunately, in their rush to get the media and the rest of America on their side for these radical treatments, they took what Dr. Trumbull calls, "a very biased and poor[ly] design[ed] approach." And in the end, the former president of the College of American Pediatricians agrees, they "achieved the results they desired to achieve."

But you don't have to be a scientist or even a doctor to be suspicious about the findings. For starters, the authors of the study are affiliated with the pro-LGBT Fenway Institute, whose whole purpose is to promote these kinds of outcomes in research. So clearly, there was already a radical agenda at work. Secondly, a lot of young adults have come forward to talk about their horrible experiences on puberty blockers, and how much regret and depression they caused them. For a journal like Pediatrics to suggest that these treatments are healthy options, Dr. Trumbull argues, "extremely dangerous." "And unfortunately," he warns, "the American Academy of Pediatrics been doing this more and more with social issues. It's a very prestigious organization that in general is very objective in its research, but not when it comes to [LGBT] issues."

Most people assume that researchers on such a controversial topic would follow the most rigorous standards for their study. "But in this situation, they have not... It's a study based on interviews," Dr. Trumbull says. "It's what's called a cross-sectional study that cannot prove causality. It can only show association. And then, finally, it's not a longitudinal study. In other words, they didn't take a group of adolescents, follow them over 10, 15, 20 years and see the results of the therapy that they instituted in the beginning." Instead, they're just interviewing these kids who identify as transgenders, asking them about their past, and whether they feel better about what they did or not.

So when the researchers say teenagers would be less suicidal on these drugs, they're being fundamentally dishonest. When you sit down and compare the two groups of children -- those who took the drugs and those who didn't -- there's really no difference, Dr. Trumbull argues. And yet, all of that information is buried in the charts and ignored. The bottom line is, "It's not based on science." But the problem is, legislators, educators, and the media are looking to the "experts" at places like the American Academy of Pediatrics and taking their word for it. "So the whole movement is being misled and parents are being misled as well."

"You can change the way [kids] look. You can stop perfectly normal puberty from occurring, which is harmful in and of itself. But you can't change the chromosomal makeup of the child. So these children do need help, but they don't need cross-sex hormones. They don't need puberty blockers. They don't need gender surgery, gender reversal surgery. What they need is counseling. And that's not the primary message of these larger organizations."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Coping with Coronavirus: How Should Christians Respond?

March 11, 2020

It's an anxious time for a lot of people -- and watching any amount of news can make it worse. As Christians, how do we deal with threats like the Coronavirus? With local stores wiped out of everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer, it's hard not to get caught up in the hysteria. But God is faithful, and He's sovereign -- two things that FRC's Harold Harper and I focus on in a special segment about keeping your anxiety levels down while the rest of the world falls to pieces. How do we cope? How do we help our children cope? Hear our response below.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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