When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of __expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!'
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.
In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.
The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,'and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
- Christian Social Network
Thursday, August 28, 2008
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
Monday, August 25, 2008
I come in contact with a lot of people these days, who say that religion is the cause of war, and that if we take religion away, we will be able to live in peace.
However, you will find out that this is not so true! Look at the Crusades! Many went to war believing that the "others" were the bad guys, that the "others" were the non-believers. Many say that the primary cause of the Crusade was religion, and rarely do we hear about politics, economy, land being major reasons for going to war. They needed to have a valid reason for war, and religion satisfied well enough.
Look at the Lebanese war, where many still believe that religion was the cause of the war that went on for 30 years. But in fact, it's quite the opposite. Anything that separates me from my neighbor will be used by outsiders to initiate a war. And what serves better than religion?
Look at what happened among the two Christian parties in Lebanon for example. Both were Christians, so why the war? Only to find out that the two parties were after position and eventually their greed led them to further destruction of Lebanon in the end.
What about the Armenian Genocide? It wasn't for religion that the Armenians were massacred by the Turks. But, definitely, the Turkish leaders used religion to stir up the emotions of the people, that the Armenians were "gyavour"s, and non-believers.
Religion was used as the mask for the real causes of war. If you look deep into the facts of every war, you will find business, politics, and greed as the real causes of war.
Look at apostle Paul, who was evangelizing in Philippi.
Let's go to Acts Chapter 16 and read it together.
18) ... ,"In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. 19) When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20) They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 ) by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
By exorcising the demon from the girl, Paul had exorcised their source of income, something that made them angry and they thought of a way to get back at Paul. They had to find something common, something that would help them get the people's anger against him. They had to come up with something good, and stir the people up against Paul. And they used religion, "These men are Jews", and later on we read, "advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice".
Now wait a minute.. What has customs got to do with Paul? What uproar?
Despite the false accusations, the slave owners were able to create an uproar against Paul, and they used religion for their own purposes. While economy, business and greed were the real reasons for their initiative to wage "war" against Paul, they masked it with religion and they masked it very well.
Religion may be one of the causes of war, but it definitely isn't the major one. Politics, self love, anger, greed are the real causes of war, specially today.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
You can now email about any of the articles and posts by clicking on "Email the Author", highlighted in red.
In the past, this was not possible and we were not able to get the emails sent to us through this feature. But now, this is up and running and we await your emails as well as your comments.
Below are the two screen shots that will show you what you will see when you click on "Email the Author".
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
You will see that at the bottom of the page, there's a box, in which you will find most of the interviews that we have compiled.
You do not need to go to interviews one by one to listen to them. Now, we've given you the ability to have them all in one place and you can just start listening to any one of them, at ease.
More interviews will be coming soon and you can also send us your requests for subjects that matters our youth, our Armenian cause, or our Christian faith, or any other issue that we can touch and learn about.
Come and enjoy the weather in Kessab...
Come and enjoy the friendly atmosphere...
Come and enjoy the games and the many activities...
And most of all, come and renew your faith with God and the fire that you had when you first met God...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
(Right to Left): Mr. Hrayr Jebejian, Dr. Arda Jebejian, Mr. Harry Koundakjian. Also present at the back, Mr. Luder Artinian and Ms. Shushan Artinian.
It was fascinating participating, as the Armenian Evangelical Chanitz.com editor, in a lecture by Dr. Ara Sanjian, who was a professor in Haigazian University, and now lectures in the Univesity of Dearborn, in Michigan.
Dr. Ara lectured about the non-governmental Armenian-Turkish historical ongoing researches.
What was fascinating was the presence of the many Armenian intellectuals, and the presence of the youth. Many stayed later on to continue the heated debate and to ask the visiting professor further questions related to the presence of the Armenian intellectuals and the Turkish intellectuals in the West.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Based on the Aztag Newspaper's announcement, Aztag editors will meet with the youth editors of Chanitz.com blog. This is a nice gesture and a great initiative from the editors of Aztag to get to know more about the work done through this youth blog.
The article below mentions about the general meetings to be held soon with the many different youth editors working within the Armenian community.
Here's the translation of the Armenian sentence highlighted by us in blue:
"Quickly, the Aztag editors will have a discussion meeting with the editors of the website of the Armenian Evangelical Youth Union."
ԵՐԻՏԱՍԱՐԴ ՏԱՐՐԵՐՈՒ ՅԱՏՈՒԿ ՎԱՐԺՈՂԱԿԱՆ ԾՐԱԳԻՐՆԵՐ՝ «ԱԶԴԱԿ»Ի ԽՄԲԱԳՐԱՏԱՆ ՄԷՋ
Երիտասարդական խաւը «Ազդակ»ի զանազան աշխատանքներուն շուրջ համախմբելու ծրագիրները ընթացքի մէջ են արդէն։ Ընթերցողները նկատած պիտի ըլլան, որ որոշ պարբերականութեամբ տեղի կþունենան աշակերտական թերթերու խմբագրակազմերուն հետ քննարկումներ՝ երիտասարդական մամուլին կապուած զանազան խնդիրներու մասին։ Շուտով «Ազդակ»ի խմբագիրները քննարկումի հանդիպում պիտի ունենան Հայ Աւետարանական երիտասարդական միութեան կայքէջի պատասխանատու խմբագիրներուն հետ։ Հայրենի երիտասարդ լրագրող Սաթենիկ Ղարաբաղցեանի հետ երիտասարդական թերթերու խմբագիրներու հանդիպումին պիտի յաջորդեն երիտասարդական մամուլին յատկացուած այլ լսարաններ եւս։ Հայկական վարժարաններու շրջանաւարտներու «Ազդակ»ի խմբագրատուն համախմբումին եւ երիտասարդական խաւը ներգրաւելու աշխատանքներու անհրաժեշտութեան մասին մեր ուղեգիծի ներկայացման առընթեր շարունակուեցաւ արդէն աւանդութիւն դարձած երիտասարդ տարրերու «Ազդակ»ի յարկին տակ վարժողական ծրագիրներու մասնակցութեան հերթական փուլը։
Այս հանգրուանին, տարբեր ոլորտներու՝ «Ազդակ»ի տպագիր եւ ելեկտրոնային հրատարակութիւններու աշխատանքներուն մասնակցութիւն կը բերեն հետեւեալ երիտասարդ տարրերը.
Արազ Գոճայեան (Հայկազեան համալսարան, Հայագիտութիւն)
Արամ Սոմունճեան (Սեն Ժոզեֆ համալսարան, հաղորդակցական գիտութիւններ)
Ռուպինա Ալապաշեան (Լիբանանեան համալսարան, լրագրութիւն)
Նանոր Մահտեսեան (Ուաշինկթընի համալսարան, լրագրութիւն)
Փաթիլ Գալուստեան (Ազգ. Եղիշէ Մանուկեան քոլեճ)
Վարժողական ծրագիրին մասնակցող երիտասարդներուն տեսակէտները, տպաւորութիւններն ու գնահատականները շուտով լոյս կը տեսնեն «Ազդակ»ի էջերուն մէջ։
Friday, August 08, 2008
BURJ HAMMOUD: Sanjak camp is disappearing. The expanding Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud will consume the 20,000-square-meter area within the next few years, and in the process eliminate one of the last remaining Armenian refugee camps in Lebanon. Sanjak is being demolished to accommodate the growing population of Burj Hammoud and its busy shopping district.
The Burj Hammoud municipality plans to replace Sanjak with St. Jacques Plaza, a commercial and residential center.
Vasken K. Chekijian of VKC Design and Planning is the architect in charge of the project. He said that the plaza, which is the first project of its kind supported by a municipality in Lebanon, will consist of two eight-floor apartment buildings and one 10-floor apartment building. The plaza will also have a landscaped area, he added. It will also contain the first multi-storey parking garage in Lebanon, he said.
Today, a large field of rubble and a few rows of dilapidated buildings are all that is left of Sanjak camp. Streams of running water flow through narrow walkways that are cluttered with debris. Personal belongings such as sneakers and clothes lie abandoned in empty homes.
The camp was established in 1939, in response to Turkey's annexation of Alexandretta, an autonomous territory, within French mandated Syria. Historian Vahe Tachjian wrote in an e-mail to The Daily Star that approximately 15,000 Armenians lived in Alexandretta, which was located at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea, an area that is now the Turkish province of Hatay.
According to information provided by Tachjian, the majority of the Armenian population of Alexandretta fled the province in July of 1939, just prior to its inclusion into Turkey. They migrated south to French Mandate Lebanon. They settled in various refugee camps throughout the country, which had been set up by the French High Commission. In the fall of 1939 a small number of the fleeing Armenians settled inland of an already established "quarantine" area - the present day Karantina - along Beirut's northern coast and next to Burj Hammoud, which at the time was farmland.
The name "Sanjak" is Turkish for "district" or "province." It alludes to the lost Armenian "Sanjak of Alexandretta," from which the camp's settlers originated.
Throughout the last half of the 20th century the camp gradually expanded and its population diversified. The camp grew to include several other ethnic groups, primarily immigrants from Syria, Southeast Asia and Armenia, said Elyse Semerdjian, a professor of Middle East History at Whitman College in the United States who took up the history of Sanjak in a recent issue of the American publication Armenian Weekly.
While immigrants from various parts of the region moved into the camp, many of the original Armenians who could afford to move relocated to Burj Hammoud. Raffi Kokoghlanian, the deputy mayor of Burj Hammoud, said that just prior to the first phase of demolition, only 30 percent of the people living in the camp were descendants of the original Armenian inhabitants.
In recent years, as Burj Hammoud has expanded and prospered, the camp has remained impoverished.
Kokoghlanian says that for the past several years the Municipal Council debated what should become of Sanjak camp, which he said had become "a slum and problematic."
The council, he added, decided to build "something that would improve and increase the accessibility of Burj Hammoud's shopping district and create more middle-class living space."
According to Chekijian, the plaza will create 184 new apartments, which will be affordable to the lower-middle class, and the parking complex will add 950 parking spaces to the cramped suburb. St. Jacques will also have 70 commercial shops.
Today, half the camp has been leveled. Semerdjian estimated that the camp originally contained about 300 shops and homes that housed around 160 families, while fewer than 45 homes remain.
Semerdjian believes "Sanjak Camp lies at a crucial intersection," she wrote, "not only for the commercial vitality of Burj Hammoud, but also for the moral consciousness of the greater Armenian community."
The Armenian diaspora has created a large and relatively affluent community in Lebanon. They number roughly 150,000 and represent approximately 4 percent of the country's population. Many are descendants of people who escaped the Armenian genocide, however; some, like those who live in Sanjak, are the progeny of the roughly 15,000 Armenians who fled Alexandretta in 1939.
Today, the majority of Lebanese Armenians reside in either Burj Hammoud or Anjar, a town in the Beqaa.
Although no census has been conducted in Lebanon since 1932, it is believed that 150,000 people reside in Burj Hammoud, of whom 80 percent are Armenian.
According to information provided by Semerdjian, many of the original Armenian refugee camps were still standing 20 years ago.
The increasing urbanization of cities and the need for more space, which is something not unique to Lebanon, has led to the eradication of important historic and cultural sites in countries throughout the world, and this may become the fate of the Armenian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Semerdjian used Tyro camp as an example. The camp, which was located a few blocks away from Sanjak in Burj Hammoud, was recently leveled and replaced by the Harboyan buildings, said Semerdjian.
For the moment, progress on the St. Jacques project has come to a halt. The remaining residents are refusing to let the municipality buy them out, saying that they are not being offered enough money.
Semerdjian wrote in her Armenian Weekly article that "most families in the camp reported that they were receiving about $3,000-$5,000 compensation from the municipality."
"The municipality was paying more than the value of the current homes," Kokoghlanian said.
He added that he believes it is only a matter of time until the municipality and the enduring residents reach an agreement.
Kokoghlanian said the construction of St. Jacques Plaza is an "improvement that will help Burj Hammoud evolve and continue to thrive."
The suburb, which is two square kilometers in size, is one of the most densely populated areas in the Middle East, say several Web sites; and the city block that Sanjak occupies is precious space.
The Armenian diaspora in Lebanon has made no significant attempt to prevent the camp's destruction. In reaction to their posture, Semerdjian asked if the community "will continue to ignore the social and economic factors that have contributed to the persistence of this Armenian refugee camp for over 60 years?"
"The Daily Star"
Related: Sanjak Camp in 2006