Something to Ponder…

Political correctness permeates many aspects of our everyday lives. Incrementally, it has crept upon us in such a way as to render common sense and objective reasoning almost non-existent. Words and terminologies are thrown around without much thought going into the real meanings being conveyed.
Have you ever wondered about the term ‘African-American’? The term appears on a multitude of government forms and job applications. Many people use the term interchangeably to mean ‘black’. The funny thing is that a ‘hyphenated American’ originally was defined as someone who was a first generation American. Therefore, an African-American could be any skin color under the sun. The term ‘African-American’ is not a racial designation… even if it has been misapplied and accepted over the years.
Another politically correct and popular misconception concerns people with gender identity issues. I realize that the idea of homosexuality being a mental disorder went out of favor in the late 70’s. Still, I strongly feel that once a person suffering from a gender identity crisis has identified the root of their problem, the cause will most likely be a combination of deep emotional scars and behaviors indicative of a narcissistic personality. My personal opinions aside, one can no more change their gender than they can change their species. A male will always be male as a female will always be female. Their chromosomes determine their sex. The only people to whom this is not strictly applied are hermaphrodites.
Currently, popular political correctness is targeting the flag once used by The Army of Northern Virginia, aka the Rebel flag. The Confederate States of America, over the course of the Civil War (the War of Northern Aggression), from 1861 – 1865… chose three flags to represent the Confederacy. The flag of The Army of Northern Virginia was not one of them. The general argument is that the flag in question represented slavery, as well as sedition, and should be purged from the American culture. Let’s look a little deeper. The ‘Rebel’ flag was only in use during the four years the Civil War was being waged. Before that time, slavery was very much a part of our history and culture. From the time of the founding of our great country, Old Glory has represented the United States. How come Old Glory isn’t being targeted as a racist symbol?
Trying to reasonably discuss these ideas with most people typically ends with accusations of ‘racism’ and ‘homophobia’. It’s sad when you realize how unthinking the general public tends to be.

 

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Inside the mind of an INTJ.

I’ve been asked in the past by a few friends ‘How do you know all that stuff?’ and it’s usually followed by ‘What’s it like you be you?’

Huh? Are you serious? I’m me. I’m really no different than you. I’m just more intense. Puzzling looks are what I usually get in return. Maybe I am different… some might say ‘quite different’. I do tend to over- analyze things, taking new information and applying it towards what is already known and then speculating possible conclusions. I also fill mundane/routine tasks with intellectually stimulating calculations, ie., figuring out how fast the Earth is rotating at a particular latitude. For those of you who are interested, here’s the formula. Take the cosine (sine if your latitude is greater than 45 degrees) your current latitude (San Diego is at 31.725 degrees) and multiply that by 1,041.666 (the Earth’s circumference is approximately 25,000 miles. Divide that by 24 hrs in a day = 1,041.666 miles per hour at the equator). In my case, the computation would look like this… Cosine of 32.975 x 1,041.666 = 873.862 mph. That’s the relative speed of the Earth in San Diego. To compute the speed at your location, just change the latitude value in the formula to reflect where you are.

Am I a nerd? A geek? Too introverted? Maybe, I’ll let you be the judge of that. I do enjoy history, politics, and some social interaction. While I enjoy the company of others, I tend to like my quiet solitude more. Contrary to what the popular TV show  The Big Bang Theory might have you believe, I don’t like comic books or super heroes… nor, am I stereo-typically socially awkward. What some may confuse in me as being as being ‘angry’, is really just me pondering an idea or thinking in depth about something. Yes, I’m a Mensan, but not all Mensans wear thick glasses and live in their parent’s basement or garage. And not all highly intelligent people have trouble relating to others. We just have  a different or unique way of doing so. Mensans, just like all other people, are unique. We don’t all have the same quirks, hobbies, or interests. We just take the things we do have interest in, to a higher level of knowledge and understanding.

Listed below are a few of my quirks or idiosyncrasies:

Curiosity. They say the devil is in the details. When I become curious about a subject matter or a particular object, I research all that I can in order to gain a knowledgeable understanding of it. Over the years, I have acquired considerable knowledge in many areas that all have a common thread… history. Through my several collections, including antiquarian books and coins, I’ve deepened my appreciation of the past and those who’ve shaped the world during their time. The thing I like most about coins are that they tell the stories of the countries of their origin. The images on coinage and banknotes usually contain the images of national events, heroes, and patriotic symbolism.

Mind like a steel trap. I pay attention to the most mundane and trivial things. I file away those ‘facts’ until a later date and can recall them with amazing accuracy. It is not uncommon for me to have already formulated multiple scenarios to an upcoming discussion or meeting, and plot out how to ask and respond to potential questions.

Perfection. While I don’t strive for perfection, I do try to do my best at whatever I attempt. OCD is not one of my faults. I learned a long time ago to let go of that which is not obtainable or is not worth the effort required to achieve the desired outcome. With that said, I’m a stickler for details and context. To me, context is everything.

Peer pressure. This isn’t something that has ever concerned me very much. I don’t give in to peer pressure or what the ‘in crowd’ is doing. I’m my own person and do things because it is something I want to do. At times, it does put me outside of the herd mentality, but that’s OK. Most people are ‘sheeple’… followers… and I view them as weak. That may sound arrogant, and to a certain extent, that might be so. My day-to-day personal experiences have thus far revealed to me that most people are intellectually shallow.

Peer pressure typically has the opposite effect on me. If a certain celebrity, movie, opinion, etc., is very popular… I tend to become turned off towards it. I embrace the insipid… I look for the trivial beauty in the ordinary.

My moral compass is not based upon other people’s opinions. I draw upon insights gleaned from the Holy Bible and the writings of great authors such as Dickens, Hugo, and Paine, to name a few. My values are primarily black and white. It is either right or wrong… there’s very little grey. Those values may not quite mesh with the values of society at large, but in my opinion, I alone must live with the consequences of the choices I make. I have very few regrets in my life.

Perspective. As I’ve stated before, I tend to over-analyze things. I look at situations from many viewpoints and how they are perceived, or can be perceived, by others. I’ve found it to be very true that a person’s perspective is their reality… no matter how asinine or screwed up that perspective is. I constantly re-evaluate what I believe and why I believe the way I do. Most people tend to hold the same beliefs, political positions, and religious affiliations as their parents and close family members… never questioning ‘why’? It’s as if they embrace what is familiar without thinking for themselves.

Introverted or extroverted? Like everyone else, I’m a combination of both but I do fall more strongly into the introvert category. My Jung’s and Briggs Myers’ personality profile identifies my personality type as INTJ. The percentages of each are as follows… Introvert (33%) iNtuitive (25%) Thinking (62%) Judging (100%). Here’s a link that discusses INTJs in more depth. I do value my ‘alone time’… time set aside just for my own personal reflection. It could take on the form of being on the still lake waters at daybreak fishing, walking along a hiking trail, or just picking a comfortable spot on the couch and reading a classic book. That’s my time to unwind mentally.

Outlook on life. I don’t consider myself to be a very religious person. I do believe there’s a lot of life lessons conveyed through biblical scripture but I have a problem attributing scripture as the divine word of God. That doesn’t mean having faith in God is a waste of time… it just isn’t for me. Do we have souls? Is there a heaven or hell? What about karma? What is ‘good’ and ‘evil’? Are  good or evil based upon changing societal standards? These are just some of the questions I ponder from time to time. My own personal feelings are that we are all here for a very brief time. I do not think we have souls but do hope I’m wrong. I’m not afraid of dying but sometimes do grow weary of life. I think life boils down to what you make of it. Your happiness, your sorrows, your triumphs… and your failures, they’re all temporary. How you come to deal with this thing we call ‘life’, says more about your inner strength and general outlook than anything else. Goals are important. Family is important. Finding things that stimulate your curiosity and adds some meaning to your existence, that’s what makes life interesting. But in the end, the reality is that our legacy is perpetuated only in our offspring and our contributions to society. The totality of our lives, will slowly pass from the memories of those we loved, as they too will inevitably pass away. Only the relics of our brief existence will remain in heirlooms, pictures, and tombstones.

Relationships. Much like an onion, my relationships and friendships are in layers. I make friends easily but most of those friendships are superficial at best. I don’t trust readily trust people. It takes quite an effort to get close to me. I do have a few very close friendships that have stood the test of time but those can be counted on one hand. I admire the qualities in a person that makes them stand out from the crowd. I favor a person’s inner qualities over their outward appearance… their dignity and grace above their beauty.

I accept people as they are. I don’t try to change them to fit some preconceived idea of who I think they should be. To me, that’s dehumanizing. Either accept who they are or walk away.

I do tend to forgive people easily, sometimes to a fault, but that really depends on the transgression involved. But I don’t forget.

In closing, I challenge you to self-assess who you are and why you tend to believe the way you do. Why are you the way you are? Always ask yourself ‘why?’ Question everything. Expand your horizons… and learn new things.

 

(Originally posted 14 June 2014)

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Crash and burn.

Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, resigned today. She’s been posing as a black woman for many years and her parents finally outed her. In her past, she’s complained about being a victim of racism in a heavily white region. She also sued Howard University in 2002, claiming “race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender, as well as retaliation”.

 

I find it ironic and funny as hell, a white woman has made such a mockery of a (in my opinion) inherently racist institution. Sure, the NAACP allows people of differing ethnic backgrounds to join, but their foremost goal is to promote the black race. Rachel Dolezal scammed her way into a leadership role with the local NAACP and they fell for her ruse hook, line, and sinker. And the turmoil it caused within the group, as well as the nationwide ridicule the chapter has garnered, has created a definite schism amongst the members.

 

The recent ‘big story’ has been about Bruce Jenner coming out of the homosexual closet and calling himself ‘Caitlyn’. The media has been clamoring over him and embracing his ‘becoming a woman’. Guess what… Bruce is still a man. He’ll never be anything other than a gay guy prancing around in women’s clothing. I know, I know… I’m being politically incorrect. I should be using the term ‘transgendered’. LOL! Right! Bruce is mentally ill.

 

How does Rachel Dolezal’s ordeal tie in with Bruce ‘Fruit Loops’ Jenner? Simply because the media is now proposing the politically correct term to describe Dolezal’s dilemma as ‘transracial’. Really? What the hell is she??? A black soul trapped in a white woman’s body??? Thank God she isn’t also confused about her gender! She would be a ‘transracial-transgendered-American’. Try finding that box to check off on an application form. All kidding aside, she’s just another nut job with mental issues… another thing she has in common with Bruce Jenner. Rachel-Dolezal

 

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Riding the political correctness crazy train.

Redefining what constitutes a marriage, a person’s sexuality, etc., etc., etc.

 

Political correctness running amok. It never seems to end. People throwing tradition to the wind and common sense is rarely used. What’s left are a bunch of dumbed-down and non-thinking morons. I realized a long time ago that you cannot reason with idiots. Even so, I feel the need to be Captain Obvious every once and a while by pointing out what should be no-brainers. It doesn’t matter if someone takes hormones and has their privates surgically altered… that person will always be a male or female. Their chromosomes will always be XX or XY. The only people in which this does not apply would be those who were born with XXY chromosomes. So stop perpetuating such ridiculousness by calling Bruce Jenner by his transsexual name,  ‘Caitlyn’ and referring to him as ‘she’ and ‘her’. Bruce is still a male. Just because you knock the nuts off his tree, does not make his tree a bush.

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Baltimore and Freddie Gray

I’ve refrained from commenting on this story all week. But with the arrest of six officers in Mr. Gray’s death, it seems like a rush to judgment is in full swing.

Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray, died at the age of 25. He was first arrested at 17 and his police record has consisted of 18 different arrests.

  • March 20, 2015: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
  • March 13, 2015: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault
  • January 20, 2015: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing
  • January 14, 2015: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
  • December 31, 2014: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute
  • December 14, 2014: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • August 31, 2014: Illegal gambling, trespassing
  • January 25, 2014: Possession of marijuana
  • September 28, 2013: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second- degree escape
  • April 13, 2012: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation
  • July 16, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute
  • March 28, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • March 14, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute
  • February 11, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • August 29, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation
  • August 28, 2007: Possession of marijuana
  • August 23, 2007: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • July 16, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)

Barely two weeks have passed and charges have been brought against six police officers in the Freddie Gray case. I highly suspect there hasn’t been enough of a depth of investigation to warrant charges being brought so soon. It is for this reason, I believe, that most of the current charges against the officers will be dismissed or fail at trial.

Baltimore Background:

It is interesting to note that all 15 city council members of Baltimore, including the mayor and police chief, are democrats. There hasn’t been a Republican mayor in Baltimore since 1967.

The current mayor of Baltimore is Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, another democrat. She currently serves as the secretary of the Democratic National Committee and is the vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. She was also a member of the Baltimore city council from December 1995 until January 2007.

The Baltimore Police Commissioner, Anthony Batts, was once married to Laura Richardson… one time U.S. Representative of California’s 37th congressional district. She was defeated in 2012 by democrat Janice Hahn by more than 20 percentage points. In August 2012, the House Ethics committee found that Laura Richardson violated federal law, violated House rules, and obstructed the committee’s investigation. She was found guilty on seven counts of violating House rules by improperly pressuring her staff to campaign for her, destroying evidence and tampering with witness testimony. There were many allegations concerning Anthony Batts during his tenure as Chief in Oakland and Long Beach. Among them were Lobstergate and the possibility the Oakland Police Dept would be put under federal receivership.

Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby is a democrat. She’s married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby (D). Nick Mosby represents areas of west Baltimore where riots erupted earlier this week. Marilyn Mosby also has ties to the attorney representing Gray’s family, William Murphy, Jr. Mr. Murphy has raised monies and contributed to Marilyn Mosby’s campaign… as well as being a member of her transition team. It was for this reason, Gene Ryan (police union leader), asked Mosby to appoint a special prosecutor. She’s resisting appointing a special prosecutor.

Balitmore facts and demographics:

Population: 622,000

63% of the population is black

29% of the population is white

Low-wage service economy jobs accounts for 90% of jobs in the city.

Baltimore is an independent city and is not part of any county.

Baltimore has been a democratic stronghold for 150 years.

 

My take on this…

I believe liberal democrats have destroyed many people’s lives, their livelihoods, and the communities where they’re entrenched. Trillions have been spent on LBJ’s ‘war on poverty’ and guess what? We still have poverty. Yet, the liberals will bitch and complain that we’re not doing enough as a nation to end poverty. Our schools have suffered under the collective thumbs of teacher’s unions… another huge pool of liberal democrats. In my opinion, today’s democratic party is a modern slave plantation. Sounds absurd, I know. But think about this… if you’re dependent upon Social Security, welfare, Section 8/government housing, of a whole host of other entitlements… would you really vote for a conservative that wants to cut or reduce those entitlements? Of course not! In essence, your vote has been purchased by way of entitlements. You’re a slave of your overlords, the Democratic Party.

I believe Baltimore is just the latest example of the failure of liberal democrat policies. There aren’t any Republicans around to blame for their plight. And they cannot blame racism either. While 3 of the 6 officers charged are white, the other three are black. The whole governing political structure in charge are black and democrats.

Posted in Politics, Things that make you go 'Hmmm'? | Leave a comment

Nuclear tensions in the Mid East

It looks as if the United States has capitulated and Iran will have The Bomb within ten years. Or will they?

Israel cannot depend upon the United States for support in stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. Israel’s very survival is at stake. Israel has a few basic options available to them at this point; 1) Send in a small commando force and set off a suitcase sized nuclear device within the Qom complex to seal it off forever, 2) form a coalition force with like minded Arab neighbors and strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, or 3) do nothing.

Iran has, for several years now, been positioning themselves to become a regional powerhouse. They’ve inserted themselves into several Mid East conflicts. Iran helped establish Hezbollah in Lebanon, supported the Shi’ite Iraqi government forces in Tikrit, funded the Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen, is backing Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and funds Hamas in Gaza.

The Middle East is largely divided along two distinct lines… Sunnis/Shi’ites and Arab/Persian. While Shi’ites welcome political and military backing from fellow Shi’ites, historically the Arabs distrust Persia (Iran). This plays into what I see as an ‘unholy alliance’ that results in the formation of a coalition force of Arab states and Israel to combat the ambitions of Iran. Remember, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said sanctions are not working, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, recently visiting Washington, said, “All options must remain on the table” — alluding to a military attack — and “we expect all those who say it to mean it. We mean it.” Israel has, in the past, conducted military strikes against what it saw as external threats to its national security. In 1981, Israel targeted a French built nuclear plant in Iraq. More recently, Israel bombed a missile storage site in Syria in 2013. Those missiles were thought to be bound for Hezbollah.

What would it take for Israel to end Iran’s uranium enrichment program? This is where a coalition force becomes important. Should Israel decide to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, it would have to use weapons that can either contaminate the target with lethal radiation levels or seal it beneath millions of tons of rubble. One of Iran’s nuclear facilities is at Qom (central Iran) and is built into the side of a mountain. Most likely, this facility would require a small nuclear device to destroy/seal it. Israel, by the way, is an undeclared nuclear power.

So why, if Israel has the power to unilaterally attack Iran, does it need to do so within the framework of a coalition force? Simply put, the distance needed to traverse across multiple airspace during a strike, coupled with the political ramifications of ‘going it alone’, it is in the region’s best interest to present a unified front against Iran. Saudi Arabia would be best suited as the coalition base of operations, given its strategic location to Iran and its uneasiness of letting Iran become a Middle East super power.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming months…

 

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A brief look at how we’re losing our Constitutional Rights.

Every day we’re losing our Constitutional rights. They’re being slowly eroded away and it seems no one really cares or knows any better. We’ve been taught in public schools that Our United States Constitution is a ‘living’ document. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Constitution is a rigid document and can only be changed via the amendment process. Our Constitution has been ‘interpreted into meaning different things at different times in our country’s history by the Supreme Court of the United States (henceforth referred to as SCOTUS). This ‘interpreting’ of the Constitution is illegal and unconstitutional. If our society deems it necessary to grant additional rights or constitutional protections, then it must be done by amending our Constitution or the Congress granting additional powers to SCOTUS instead of the SCOTUS arbitrarily making law (known as judicial activism). So what went wrong?

Marbury V Madison (1803)

What was Marbury v Madison and why is this case of such great importance? It is precisely this case in which the SCOTUS granted itself the power to rule on the constitutionality of any law and render it void if the SCOTUS felt it went against the Constitution. The Constitution explicitly grants SCOTUS only two powers; 1st) original jurisdiction (Article III, Section 2), and 2nd) to set up lesser courts under their authority (Article III, Section 1). The Constitution does not grant the SCOTUS the power of judicial review. The SCOTUS was never intended to be equal to either the Executive or Legislative branches.

The 14th Amendment 1868

The 14th Amendment has often been cited as a ‘backdoor’ way around the amendment process. The main point of the 14th Amendment was to guarantee that former slaves were to be treated as full citizens of the United States (Section 1). The other sections of the 14th addressed controversies that arose over how to deal with the former Confederate States while the last section authorized Congress the power to enforce all sections of the 14th. Again, why is the 14th important today? We, as a nation, no longer have any slaves or old Confederate soldiers. It’s important because it is often used to circumvent the amendment process. Instead of passing a new amendment, the courts can just ‘reinterpret’ the 14th to convey new rights or privileges against the will of the people. This reinterpretation is more commonly known as ‘judicial activism’.

Judicial Activism

Judicial activism is what courts do to change laws without having and constitutional authority to do so in the first place. They overturn the will of the people and create law. We’ve seen the use of judicial activism many times since Marbury v Madison (1803). We saw it when the SCOTUS created a ‘separation of church and state’ that never existed before. The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Notice that the restriction is placed solely upon Congress, i.e., the state. It is a one-way clause. I won’t argue the pros or cons about having a true separation of church and state… My point is that if the people want that separation to be two-way, then we should do so via an amendment.

The same is true with most other issues we face today… gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, etc. The courts should never have the ability to overturn the will of the people or state constitutional amendments. The courts just don’t have that constitutional power or authority. The people of each state should have the right to live as the majority of that state pleases. Why have individual state constitutions if a judge can overrule the will of the constituents? If any state chooses to legalized marijuana or legitimize gay marriage, so be it. Other states should not be compelled to embrace that which runs contrary to the will of its own people.

Remember… Our Declaration of Independence starts with “We the People…” We are the rightful masters of our government. Insist on our government acting constitutionally.

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A minimum income tax?

Ok, here’s something to ponder from my personal ‘Must be off my meds’ inner thoughts… One of the obligations we have as citizens and legal residents in the United States is the paying of income taxes. Some people pay a lot of income taxes and some pay none at all, yet we are all equal under the law. So, it seems to me, there should be a minimum tax levied unto all who do not earn enough to pay any income taxes. They’re still citizens and legal residents with all the perks afforded to others who do pay income taxes… why shouldn’t they also share in the burden of supporting our government via a minimum tax

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Question everything.

Things aren’t always as they appear. Take for instance something as commonplace as grass. What color is most grass? The non-thinking immediate response would be ‘green’. While that answer has merit, it’s not quite accurate. Grass does indeed appear to be green, but why? The answer is best explained by understanding light, also known as electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves include radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma-rays.  Optical waves are the waves that can be seen with the human eye. The reason grass appears to be green is that it absorbs both red and blue light while reflecting green and yellow light. Our eyes are actually seeing this reflected light, which is why grass appears to be green.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why does this surprise anyone?

Sudanese mom sentenced to die for Christian faith is freed

 

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who gave birth in a Khartoum prison after being sentenced to death in May for allegedly converting from Islam to Christianity, has been freed.

Ibrahim, 27, refused to renounce her Christian faith in court in May, prompting a judge to sentence her to hang for apostasy. The case became an international cause, with several U.S. lawmakers and the State Department blasting the decision as barbaric. Sudan’s national news service SUNA said the Court of Cassation in Khartoum on Monday canceled the death sentence after defense lawyers presented their case, and that the court ordered her release.

“We are happy that Meriam is finally released,” said Al-Sharif Ali, a member of her legal team. “One thing I can say is that Meriam’s strong personality forced the Sudanese judiciary to respect religious freedom.”

Tina Ramirez, executive director for the Christian advocacy group Hardwired, which promoted Ibrahim’s cause, said Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir bowed to immense public pressure and forced the court’s hand.

“We are witnessing a historic moment – in the three decades of President Bashir’s brutal dictatorship millions have lost their lives, yet here stands one defenseless and innocent young pregnant woman who forced President Bashir to respect her dignity and religious freedom.”

Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, holds dual U.S.-Sudanese citizenship, and Ibrahim’s supporters argued that their children, including a daughter named Maya born in prison in May and a 20-month-old boy named Martin who was imprisoned with her, are U.S. citizens.

Sources close to the situation tell FoxNews.com that Ibrahim was whisked away to a confidential location and that her lawyers will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.

“We obviously welcome the decision by the Sudanese Appeals Court to order the release of Ms. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Her case has rightly drawn the attention of the world and has been of deep concern to the United States government and many of our citizens and their representatives in Congress.”

“This is a huge first step,” added Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. “But the second step is that Ms. Ibrahim and her husband and their children be on a plane heading to the United States.”

Ibrahim and Wani were married in a formal ceremony in 2011 and operate several businesses, including a farm, south of Khartoum, the country’s capital.

Wani fled to the United States as a child to escape the civil war in southern Sudan, but later returned. He is not permitted to have custody of his son because the boy is considered Muslim and cannot be raised by a Christian man.

Ibrahim’s case first came to the attention of authorities in August, after members of her father’s family complained that she was born a Muslim but married a Christian man. The relatives claimed her birth name was “Afdal” before she changed it to Meriam and produced a document that indicated she was given a Muslim name at birth. Her attorney has alleged the document was a fake.

Ibrahim says her mother was an Ethiopian Christian and her father a Muslim who abandoned the family when she was a child. Ibrahim was initially charged with having illegitimate sex last year, but she remained free pending trial. She was later charged with apostasy and jailed in February after she declared in court that Christianity was the only religion she knew.

“I was never a Muslim,” she told the Sudanese high court. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”

Sudan’s penal code criminalizes the conversion of Muslims to other religions, which is punishable by death. Muslim women in Sudan are further prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, although Muslim men are permitted to marry outside their faith. Children, by law, must follow their father’s religion.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which gathered some 320,000 signatures in an online petition for Ibrahim, praised the decision but called for the U.S. to help her.

“Her release from a Sudanese prison is a critical step toward securing her freedom and safety,” said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. “We now call on the Obama Administration to examine all possibilities to ensure that Meriam and her two American children are granted safe passage and immediate legal status in the United States.”

 

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