Posts from February 2016 (Page 8)

Are Angels Real — and Can They ‘Appear as Ordinary Humans?’ Billy Graham’s Biblical Response

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Rev. Billy Graham said in his “Answers” series that he believes that angels “exist in great numbers” and sometimes “appear as ordinary humans” when asked about the spiritual beings that are mentioned throughout scripture.

A reader sent in the question, which read, “What do angels look like? Do they look like the pictures we see on Christmas cards? Or are they even real? I’ve always been curious about this,” to which Graham responded, “Yes, angels are real — just as real as you and I are.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The 97-year-old evangelist went on to say that angels are “largely unseen,” despite existing in “great numbers,” citing Hebrews 12:22, which reads, “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,” as well as Luke 2:13, which references a “great company of the heavenly host.”

Graham differentiated angels from humans by noting that the former are strictly spiritual and do not have physical bodies, explaining that they work in “hidden ways” to carry out God’s will and to protect believers; angels, he said, regularly fight Satan and his associated evils.

“On occasion they can appear as ordinary humans, or even as glorious celestial beings that reflect the majesty of God,” Graham wrote. “When God gave the prophet Isaiah a vision of His glory, His throne was surrounded by angels of great splendor and power: ‘At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook’ (Isaiah 6:4).”

Photo credit: Shutterstock  Photo credit: Shutterstock

Graham concluded by telling readers that we are not intended to worship the angels, as God, alone, should be the sole focus of such acts, writing that “some day in Heaven we’ll realize just how much they’ve done for us, at God’s command.”

Read Graham’s complete response here.

Front page image via Shutterstock.com.

‘Stop the Pro-Life Bulls**t’: Her Home Was Vandalized. Now, This Pro-Life Activist Has a Message for the Perpetrators.

A cinder block and note that Jill Stanek says she discovered inside her home (Jill Stanek/Facebook)

A prominent anti-abortion activist says that she recently came home from vacation to discover that her home had been vandalized, with the perpetrator leaving behind a note imploring her to “Quit the pro-life bulls**t.”

Jill Stanek, a former nurse who is currently the national campaign chair for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, told TheBlaze that her family recently found that a cinder block had been thrown through the living room window of their Mokena, Illinois, home.

“The cinder block that caused the breakage wasn’t immediately obvious, because it had gotten tangled in curtains on the way in and landed inside the curtains on the little table where I keep my devotional books for early morning reading next to my recliner,” she said.

A cinder block and note that Jill Stanek says she discovered inside her home (Jill Stanek/Facebook)

It wasn’t until later that Stanek noticed something bulky inside of the curtain and found part of a cinder block wrapped in a baggie, along with a note telling her to cut the “pro-life bulls**t.”

“The impact must have been quite forceful, because I found glass in the foyer 20 feet away,” she said.

Stanek explained that police are unsure of when the incident took place, but assume that it was at some point over the past few days. She also said that she had posted pictures on Facebook during her vacation, likely giving the perpetrator knowledge that the house was empty.

A cinder block was thrown through Jill Stanek's window (Jill Stanek/Facebook) A cinder block was thrown through Jill Stanek’s window (Jill Stanek/Facebook)

Police, she said, believe that the vandal likely took caution in concealing his or her fingerprints, leaving little hope that there will be evidence to find the individual or individuals responsible.

“The officer did not know whether the FBI would be notified of this incident, which he was going to mark as ‘bias related’ and might or might not draw the FBI’s attention,” she said.

Despite discovering the shattered window — and the note that seemingly shows that her activism sparked the attack — Stanek said that she is not frightened, and actually views the incident as a positive sign.

A note that Jill Stanek says she discovered inside her home (Jill Stanek/Facebook) A note that Jill Stanek says she discovered inside her home (Jill Stanek/Facebook)

“This was actually a bit of a reassurance that I’m still following the right path as marked for me by God … a motivator,” she told TheBlaze. “That said, we do intend to beef up our security system!”

Stanek also claims that police told her that going public might not be the best path forward, as it could “satisfy and encourage the perpetrator,” though she said that she doesn’t want to allow “this pro-abortion violence [to] go unchecked.”

“The other side constantly accuses pro-lifers of being violent, when in actually they are the violent ones, beginning, of course, with murdering innocent babies,” Stanek said.

Jill Stanek/Facebook Jill Stanek/Facebook

She also has a message for those responsible: that she has no plans of heeding the advice in their letter.

“Did they really think throwing a cinder block through my window and leaving me a note to stop doing pro-life work would turn on some light bulb in my head to back away from this mission?” she rhetorically asked. “I don’t think so. Either that or they don’t really understand the commitment of pro-life activists to stop this atrocity.”

Stanek continued, “As the saying goes, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ We are at the fight phase.”

As TheBlaze has reported, Stanek has attracted attention over the years as a fierce critic of the Obamas’ stance on abortion.

Shock French Poll Asks How One Would Feel if Daughter Married a Muslim. Here’s the Result.

The poll asked respondents how they would react if their son or daughter married members of various religious and ethnic groups. (Screenshot: Le Journal du Dimanche)

A survey examining attitudes toward minorities published over the weekend sparked outrage in France. The survey included extremely blunt questions, such as, “How would you react if … your daughter married a Muslim?”

The study, published in Le Journal du Dimanche, aimed to learn about French attitudes toward ethnic and religious minorities, including blacks, Roma, Jews and Muslims.

Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 56 percent said they would react badly if their daughter married a Muslim.

As to Catholic suitors, only 8 percent said they would react poorly; and 13 percent would have a problem with an atheist son-in-law. Also, 29 percent would be unhappy with a Jewish son-in-law; 43 percent would react negatively to their daughter entering a same-sex marriage; and 34 percent would react badly to their daughter marrying a black man.

The poll asked respondents how they would react if their son or daughter married members of various religious and ethnic groups. (Image source: Le Journal du Dimanche)

The poll was conducted by Ipsos and was commissioned by the French Judaism Foundation, France 24 reported.

Angry responses to the poll were posted on Twitter, questioning the methodology of the polling and its inclusion of another question asking respondents if they had “ever personally encountered problems” like an insult or aggression from a variety of minorities including Roma, Muslims, North Africans and Jews.

Topping the answers to that question were people from the Maghreb, or North Africa, with 29 percent of respondents saying they had encountered problems with that group; 27 percent noted Roma, a large ethnic minority in Europe; and 26 percent pointed to people of the Muslim faith.

France 24 summarized other questions from the survey:

To the question “Do you think a racist reaction can be justified,” 30 percent said yes, some 91 percent of people said that Jews in France “are very insular” and 56 percent that they “have a lot of power”.

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they had witnessed violence or aggressive behavior towards someone because of their religion, while 54 percent believe that immigration does not benefit France.

France 24 reported that several French politicians protested the poll, including the center-right Gerald Darmanin who wrote, “How can you publish such a poll? Being Muslim, Jewish or Catholic is not a ‘type of person,’ it’s a belief!”

French Sen. Nathalie Goulet, vice chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Justice Ministry to investigate the newspaper that published the poll, which she referred to as “odious,” The Local reported. In a Twitter post, she attached the question asking about negative experiences with various minority groups.

https://twitter.com/senateur61/status/693823650781380608

Another Twitter post quoted by France 24 asked, “How does that work? After being insulted/assaulted by someone, we ask for their religion?”

Ariel Goldmann, president of the French Judaism Foundation, defended the poll, calling it a “serious study” whose goal was to “raise the alarm,” France 24 quoted him as telling Le Journal du Dimanche.

However, he also said his group had hesitated before releasing the findings.

“It is addressed to all those that want to fight against prejudices,” he said.

Did a Church Really Tell an Elderly Woman She Couldn’t Be Buried Next to Her Husband?

Image source: KMSP-TV

A Minnesota woman received a letter from her church over the weekend saying that she was no longer welcome and that they would not be able to grant her request to be buried next to her husband, who died last summer.

The church, however, says it’s all a big misunderstanding, according to KMSP-TV.

Image source: KMSP-TV

Doreen Pawelk, 84, had been attending St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in New Germany for more than 50 years, but recently she’s experienced some tension with the congregation.

The certified letter Pawelk received over the weekend explained that, since she hadn’t attended four services in the last year, she would no longer be considered a member in good standing. The letter stated:

In 2014, the voters of St. Mark adopted a self-exclusion policy. In summary, the policy states that members who have not gathered together with us in worship to receive the Lord’s Supper at least four times in one calendar year will have excluded themselves from fellowship with us.

And since non-members cannot be buried in the church cemetery, which sits outside of town, Pawelk would not be able to be buried next to her husband in plot she had already paid for.

Image source: KMSP-TV

“As you have self-excluded, you are no longer eligible to be buried at either the St. Mark or St. John’s Crow River Cemeteries,” the letter read.

“I just thought it sounded like some kind of scare tactic,” daughter Brenda Mason told KMSP.

Pawelk’s grandson was so upset that he took to social media to voice his outrage. He also posted a photo of the letter itself.

The posts gained immediate attention, and many responded with damning proclamations of their own.

“We’ve received some pretty hateful responses, including one that said they wished our church would go up in flames,” St. Mark pastor LeRoy LePlant told KMSP.

But church leaders had their own version of how the incident came about. According to church officials, they were actually trying to send Pawelk a severance letter informing her she had been kindly released from the church after she told the pastor she didn’t want to be a member anymore. They also said that the letter explaining the church’s self-exclusion policy was sent by accident.

“It was a mistake, and we’ve been deeply apologetic and reached out to the family, and we hope even today they will sit down with us,” LePlant said.

But Pawelk’s family wants more than an apology — she wants a promise in writing that she can be buried next to her husband.

“It’s their church, and there’s no verse in the Bible that says you must have communion four times a year or you are not going to go to heaven,” Mason said.

The church has since said that Pawalk can be buried next to her husband. Her grandson told KMSP that the family is set to meet with church leaders Wednesday.

(H/T: KMSP-TV)

Atheist Confronts Ben Carson About Whether ‘God’s Law Trumps Our Country’s Law.’ And That’s Not the Only Candidate He’s Taken On.

The 2016 election season has been filled with the usual array of candidate questioning, though there are some intriguing themes involving religion, atheism and the separation of church and state that have been popping up at towntownhallhall events with increased fervency of late.

Individuals on both the Republican and Democratic sides have been peppered with questions about where they stand on the First Amendment. And those questions have seemingly all come from one source: 34-year-old Justin Scott of Waterloo, Iowa, a self-described “atheist voter.”

Consider that Florida senator Marco Rubio, a GOP candidate, was recently “confronted” and questioned by Scott during an event in Waverly, Iowa, according to the Associated Press.

“No one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God,” Rubio said. “Not only am I a Christian, not only am I influenced by my faith, but it is the single greatest influence in my life. And from that I’ll never hide.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkP9RqPA2PQ?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

And Rubio’s fellow contender, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, also faced a tough question a few days ago from Scott while he, too, was campaigning in Iowa, with the atheist activist asking whether Carson agrees that “God’s law trumps our country’s law.”

Additionally, Scott asked if the candidate would ever choose his faith over U.S. law. Carson responded by noting that “everybody, including atheists, live according to their faith,” as the Christian Post reported.

“I have strong faith in God and live by godly principles of loving your fellow man, caring about your neighbor, developing your God-given talents,” Carson continued. “And that’s going to dictate how I treat everybody. Fortunately our Constitution, which is the supreme law of our land, was designed by men of faith and it has a Judeo-Christian foundation. Therefore, there is no conflict there.”

Watch those comments below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIi1r5lIQVw?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

These questions weren’t impromptu, as media accounts identify the activist as Scott; it also appears that the Republicans weren’t the only individuals to face the atheist. Hillary Clinton, too, has encountered him on the campaign trail.

In a short video of their exchange, Scott discusses “laws that are based on religious beliefs that end up discriminating against people” and asks Clinton, “How do we stop that?”

Here’s how Clinton responded: “Well, look, I think we’ve gotta stick with our founding principles of separation between church and state. And remember — It was done in the beginning mostly to protect religion from the state. … We need to stick with what has worked.”

Watch that exchange below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOIrR469ijo?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

In a guest post on the Friendly Atheist blog that was published on Dec. 30, 2015, Scott explained that he had been working on a plan to “make sure atheists have a voice in the Iowa caucuses.” In addition to helping the Secular Coalition for America launch an Iowa affiliate, Scott wrote that he would be working to help motivate atheists across the state to make their voices heard.

“Ideally, by caucus night, we’ll have rallied a large contingent of atheist voters who will be able to not only take part in the caucus process, but help us flood the state party offices with platform ideas that are secular in nature (e.g. reproductive rights, church/state separation),” he wrote. “If we get enough support for these planks, they could become part of the state party’s platform.”

Scott also made it clear that he has “no personal interest in getting ‘atheists to support Republicans'” but said that there are atheist Republicans who do not agree with the “religious right’s agenda,” and that he was hoping to rally them in terms of advancing secular values.

In addition to this activism, Scott has been posting clips to his YouTube page that feature his interactions with candidates during their campaign stops in Iowa. From Rubio, Carson and Clinton to Mike Huckabee, these back-and-forths have been intriguing.

“Why should I vote for you? Why should millions of atheists around the country support a candidate that has made comments like you’ve made about us?” Scott asked, to which Huckabee responded, “What [comments] have I made about you?”

Scott said that those comments “haven’t been pretty.” Watch it below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liUB2VP3ZuE?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

Meanwhile, Rand Paul seemingly wasn’t willing to entertain Scott’s questioning:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K-WfgDI9co?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

The atheist activist also visited a Jeb Bush event, where he asked the candidate if he’s a “defender of the separation of church and state.”

See Bush’s response here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBul6ztwlLQ?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

In a video that was uploaded on Feb. 1, Scott told Ohio governor John Kasich that he was the tenth 2016 contender with whom he was speaking. The two went back and forth over religion, with Kasich saying that he wouldn’t shove his beliefs down Scott’s throat.

“I happen to believe there is a higher power,” he said.

Watch it below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe-8OIyc40Y?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

Scott told the Washington Post that he became an atheist two years ago, and that he had approached these interactions as an activist seeking a greater understanding about where the candidates stand.

“I went into this as an atheist activist, as a secular activist, as somebody who wants to know where candidates stand on separation of church and state,” he said.

What do you think? See all of Scott’s candidate interactions here.

‘It Is Evil. It’s Wicked. It’s Sinful!’: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson Slams ‘Perversion’ and ‘Depravity’ During Cruz Event

Phil Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty reality television program, uses a duck call at a Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaign event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson spoke at a campaign event for Ted Cruz on Sunday, where he told Iowans that the Texas senator and 2016 presidential hopeful would help bring Christian values back to the Oval Office, specifically taking aim at gay marriage.

“When a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa!” Robertson said at an event in Iowa City. “It is nonsense. It is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful.”

Robertson, 69, who received applause for his remarks, told the crowd that “we have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C.” and that “we have to rid the Earth of them,” proclaiming that it’s time to elect “Godly” people to office, CNN reported.

See some of those remarks below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcBVcKr7yoQ?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

The “Duck Dynasty” star, who officially endorsed Cruz earlier this month, went on to tout the senator’s credentials when it comes to the Constitution and the Christian faith, saying that Cruz loves both God and James Madison and is a “strict constitutionalist.”

“You know what Ted Cruz understands. God raises these empires up. It is God who brings them down,” Robertson said. “Cruz trusts God. Cruz trusts James Madison. That’s why I trust Cruz. You know what Iowa, that trumps Trump.”

His latter comments are notable considering that his son, Willie Robertson, parted ways to endorse businessman Donald Trump.

These comments are consistent with Robertson’s past views on social and political issues. As TheBlaze extensively reported, the reality TV star found himself at the center of controversy in December 2013 after an interview with GQ during which he said that homosexuality is “not logical” and is immoral from a Biblical point of view.

He also questioned why a man would choose another man’s “anus” over a woman’s “vagina.”

See Robertson’s latest comments about gay marriage below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-WiUeEo_AA?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

Critics were once again raging in April 2014 when video of an Easter sermon at Whites Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Louisiana, featuring the patriarch’s comments about homosexuality went viral.

In video of the sermon, Robertson could be seen speaking to parishioners for more than 40 minutes about the Christian faith, while also poking fun at the media and specifically addressing the controversy that broke out in December following his controversial interview with GQ. Rather than backing away from his past comments about homosexuality and sin, Robertson doubled down.

“They were mad at me. … because instead of acknowledging their sin like you had better do, they railed against me for giving them the truth about their sin,” he said of those angry about his past comments. “‘Don’t deceive yourself’ — you want the verse? The news media didn’t even know it was a verse. They thought I was just mouthing off.”

Phil Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty reality television program, uses a duck call at a Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaign event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Robertson went on to further explain his interview with the GQ reporter, paraphrasing the Bible verse that first landed him in hot water. He said that the reporter asked him if he believes homosexual behavior is a sin.

Then, he told the congregation how he responded.

“I said, ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexual immoral, nor the idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor druggards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherent the kingdom of God,’” Robertson recounted, reciting Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 6:9.

(H/T: CNN)

Hamas Says Its ‘Heroes’ Are Planning for New Fighting to ‘Liberate’ Jerusalem. Netanyahu Responds With His Own Threat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with his own warning to Hamas threats it is working both above ground and below to prepare for new military action against Israel. (Amir Cohen/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday night that Israel would take “much stronger” action against Hamas than it has in the past after recent threats from the Islamist group that it is preparing for a new military offensive.

“Of course, if we are attacked from tunnels from the Gaza Strip, we will take very strong action against Hamas, much stronger than we took in Operation Protective Edge,” the Israeli leader said, referring to the round of fighting between Israel and Hamas two years ago.

“I do not suggest that anyone test us,” he added.

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that fighters are working apace in Gaza to dig tunnels into Israel and test rockets with the aim of “liberation” of the land that comprises the state of Israel, including Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with his own warning to Hamas threats that the group is working both above ground and below to prepare for new military action against Israel. (Amir Cohen/AFP/Getty Images)

“In eastern Gaza, heroes are digging tunnels underground, and in western Gaza, heroes above ground are conducting test launches of rockets,” Haniyeh said, according to a translation by the Jerusalem Post.

The Hamas leader said that militant groups were preparing for the next round of fighting with Israel “both above ground and underneath.”

Haniyeh delivered his remarks at the funeral of seven Hamas militants who were killed last week when the tunnel they were in collapsed, burying them alive. Hamas has used underground tunnels to smuggle goods and weapons as well as to launch attacks on southern Israeli communities bordering Gaza.

“On land and at sea, we will not stop until the liberation of the holy places [in Jerusalem],” he said.

Haniyeh went on to compare Hamas’ tunnel network to those employed by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. “The Gaza Strip has built twice the number of resistance tunnels that were built in Vietnam, a subject which is studied in military schools,” he said.

“The military wing has built tunnels around Gaza in order to defend it and to liberate the al-Aqsa mosque and the holy places,” he said, referring to Jerusalem.

Atheists Demand That Football Coaches Stop Praying With Public School Players, But…

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The vast majority of the American public believes that football coaches at public high schools should be permitted to lead players in Christian prayer during games, despite atheist groups repeatedly making threats and taking legal action in an effort to halt such acts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Public Religion Research Institute recently found that 73 percent of the public has no problem with these Christian invocations, with 24 percent saying that they do not believe that sectarian prayers should be permitted.

What is perhaps most notable is the that 55 percent of Americans who are unaffiliated with a religion share in the belief that coaches should be allowed to pray with public school players, with just 40 percent disagreeing.

There were other notable differences as well among faith cohorts, with 93 percent of white evangelicals, 80 percent of Catholics and 77 percent of non-white Protestants agreeing that coaches should be allowed to offer up Christian prayers during games.

These polling results come amid ongoing and fierce debate over the issue. One of the most recent cases involves Joe Kennedy, a suspended coach from Washington state, who was placed on paid administrative in October after refusing to stop praying on the field.

Kennedy has since filed a charge of religious discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Bremerton School District, alleging that officials there impeded his First Amendment rights with a ban on his silent prayers at the 50-yard line.

The debate over coaches who pray with public school students is nothing new, though the discussion has ramped up in recent months.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

As TheBlaze previously reported, the American Humanist Association sued Hall County School District in Gainesville, Georgia, back in 2014, claiming that the district was “promoting prayer and Christianity through its athletics programs.”

The district later settled in July 2015, agreeing to a number of terms including issuing a memorandum “detailing the standards for religious neutrality required by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act to the principals in all of its 36 schools” and paying out $22,000 in legal fees to the atheist organization.

Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook:

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Hamas Supporters Gathered on Roof to Honor ‘Martyrs’ Killed in Tunnel Collapse Experience Mishap of Their Own

Palestinian militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, attend the funeral of Hamas members killed repairing a tunnel in Gaza City, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Hamas said Thursday that 11 militants were repairing the tunnel to fix damage sustained from heavy rainfall. The tunnel collapsed killing seven, while the rest were rescued, it said. Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out attacks on civilians and soldiers. Israel destroyed dozens of the tunnels in the war with the militant group in Gaza in 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Video emerged over the weekend showing a roof collapse under the weight of throngs of mourners gathered to celebrate the joint funeral of seven Hamas militants killed last week when the tunnel they were in collapsed, burying them alive.

The Israeli news aggregator 0404 posted the video on Facebook, noting that it was taken during the Friday funeral of the Hamas men. TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate the images that showed spectators and at least one photographer on a store roof after it buckled under them, sending some flying to the ground and others scrambling to get off.

צרות באות בצרורות: במהלך ההלוויה של שמונת המחבלים שנהרגו בקריסת המנהרה ברצועת עזה, אירעה קריסה של תקרת חנות, עליה עמדו תומכי חמאס שלקחו חלק בהלוויה. לא ברור כמה נפגעו באירוע.

Posted by 0404 on Friday, January 29, 2016

“Trouble comes in bundles,” quipped 0404 in text posted alongside the video.

As the spectators were falling off the roof, the body of one of the dead Hamas militants could be seen in the video being carried on a stretcher by the crowd in the street down below.

The funeral mishap prompted the Jerusalem Post to comment, “Problems appear to be coming in spades for the Islamist group Hamas and its followers in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinian militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, attend the Jan. 29 funeral of Hamas members killed repairing a tunnel in Gaza City. Hamas said Thursday that 11 militants were repairing the tunnel to fix damage sustained from heavy rainfall. The tunnel collapsed killing seven, while the rest were rescued. Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out attacks on civilians and soldiers. Israel destroyed dozens of the tunnels in the war with the militant group in Gaza in 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The men killed in last week’s tunnel collapse were honored as “martyrs” and “mujahedeen” at the funeral that brought out top Hamas officials, including Ismail Haniyeh, who warned that the Islamist group was preparing attack tunnels and rockets to “liberate” Jerusalem.

The Gaza Now news service called it the “largest funeral in the history of Palestine.”

It posted this video of the massive crowd which flooded the streets:

اكبر جنازه بتاريخ #فلسطين بالأمس في #غزة خلال تشيع الشهداء المجاهدين

Posted by ‎غزة الآن‎ on Friday, January 29, 2016

The Jerusalem Post reported that several Palestinians at the funeral required medical treatment after the collapse of the roof.

(H/T: Jerusalem Post)

Donald Trump Experiences Funny Communion Mix-Up During Church Service

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received a lot of flack last month after he incorrectly cited a popular Bible verse while addressing a packed house of evangelical voters at Liberty University.

During his Jan. 18 visit to the private Christian university, Trump used the phrase “Two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians” to introduce a verse from the New Testament, after which chuckles from the crowd ensued.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, Jan. 18. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Trump launched a host of last-minute campaign efforts ahead of the first presidential vote in Iowa Monday, showing voters the Bible his mother gave him, sending his sons Donald Jr. and Eric to shoot AR-15 rifles and inviting children aboard his private plane.

“I don’t care if you’re feeling horrible, you have a 104 temperature, if your wife leaves you for another man, get out and vote,” he told voters.

Trump visited a non-denominational church Sunday with his wife Melania in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the Telegraph reported.

When it came time to receive Communion, Trump had a moment of confusion during which he tried to place some money on one of the silver trays being passed around.

“I thought it was for offering,” he said with a laugh.

According to the Telegraph, the pastor told Trump that “Jesus will guide your decisions.” Trump replied: “Thank you, I need that.”

In Iowa, 57 percent of presumed voters are evangelical Christians.

A day before the blunder, Trump released a video in which he displayed his mother’s Bible, saying it was “very special to me.”

I want to thank evangelical Christians for the warm embrace I’ve received on the campaign trail. I will not let you down! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

Posted by Donald J. Trump on Saturday, January 30, 2016

“I want to thank the evangelicals,” Trump says in the video. “I will never let you down.”

A final poll by the Des Moines Register had Trump at 28 per cent, five points ahead of his staunchest competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“I don’t have to win it. But I think it would be really good to win Iowa,” Trump said Monday. “I now have a fairly substantial lead in Iowa. I think we have a good chance of winning. I would like to.”

“I do have, actually, much more humility than a lot of people would think. We’re all the same,” he continued. “We’re all going to the same place, probably one of two places, you know?”

Trump, a Presbyterian, has alienated evangelicals in the past with statements during the campaign about how he doesn’t like to ask for forgiveness and instead tries to lead a “very good life.”

(H/T: Telegraph)