Gay Marriage and The Church

By Bader George Qarmont

Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picAs New Jersey became the 14th state in the Union to license gay marriage, I am left wondering why and what is next. Will this judicial activism have any impact on churches? Some may think I am over reacting, but I fear that the church is 15-25 years away from being forced to perform same sex marriage or risk losing tax exemption for discrimination. A Pastor threating to close his church doors before doing so, is no threat at all.

If a church wants to continue to practice the Biblical definition of marriage, it needs to protect itself.  I see a potential for litigation to force a church to marry same sex couples, as is already happening in England. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, The gay plaintiff in the legal challenge in England said “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.” It is a matter of time before American churches are also legally challenged.  

Currently most churches will marry non-members in a religious ceremony at the church, this practice must end immediately and new policy implemented as soon as possible.  I believe churches should have a policy to only marry members.  In order to be a member each person must sign a statement of faith that includes acceptance of the Biblical definition of marriage. Anyone can attend the church but only members can be married in the church.

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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bader George Qarmout, Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Opinion, Religion, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Syria: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picAs the world contemplates what to do with Syria, I had the opportunity to speak to Shadi (last name withheld) and his mother and I asked them about what life was like in Syria before the Arab Spring, as well as other things. Shadi and his mother now live in a small town in northern New Jersey. Both Shadi and his mother were living in the US and went to visit Syria before the outbreak of the uprising in that country. They wanted to return to the US but could not and thus were stuck in the land of their birth in the midst of a revolution for 2 and ½ years. Finally Shadi and his mother were able to escape from Syria and come back to New Jersey in June of this year to live with relatives. I sat down with Shadi and his mother for over four hours to discuss Syria in detail.

I specifically asked what life was like in Syria before the revolution and how was the relationship between Muslims and Christians who make up 10% of the population? The answers I received were different than what you will hear in the mainstream media.   Shadi and his mother, who are Christians, were insistent that Christians and Muslims got along without any conflict priory to the revolution. Christians though a minority, had equal access to all the rights and privilege of social, academic, political, and financial aspects of Syrian society. I was told of a Syria that was getting better and more modernized under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad (Bashar-the-lion) as compared to his father’s stricter control. Bashar introduced or expanded private banking, private hospitalization, internet, cellphones and modern amenities to Syria. The Syrian government funds itself mostly from oil exports and has no personal income tax.

The catalyst of the Syrian revolution was in Daraa, in the southwest region of Syria near the Jordan border. A handful of teenagers were arrested for vandalism by Bashar-al-Assad’s cousin, Gen. Atef Najeeb.  The teenagers were brutally beaten and tortured by Gen. Najeeb’s men because they spray painted anti Assad and anti-government graffiti. When family members and tribal leaders came to Gen. Najeeb to secure the release of the 15 teenagers, the General refused and disrespected the tribal leaders and sent them home without releasing the teenagers. The Sunni residents of Daraa reacted with protest and demonstrations.  The overreaction by Gen. Najeeb was later apologized for by Bashar-al-Assad, but that was far too late, Syria was already on fire. The majority of the population of Daraa is Sunni as is over 60 percent of Syria, while Bashar-el-Assad is a member of a minority Shia subgroup called Alawites.

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Posted: September 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bader George Qarmout, Syria | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Governor Christie and Gun Control

By Bader George Qarmout

Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picIn the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre in December of 2012, many politicians moved to give the appearance of doing something about gun control. My heart continues to brake for the families who will always feel an emptiness in their life. New Jersey politicians were not immune from the pressure of passing gun control bills. I was opposed to new laws and urged others to join me in opposition.  The thirteen bills passed by the New Jersey legislature that landed on Governor Christie’s desk did little to address the real issues and did nothing to prevent a similar massacre from reoccurring.

Last week Governor Christie addressed the last three of the thirteen bills. The first ten bills were signed into law by the republican governor. The National Rifle Association classified 2 of the 10 as a benefit to gun owners and two were opposed by NRA. I remain opposed to the signing of those 2 bills. The remaining six bills had a negligible impact on gun owners and were not opposed. This week Gov. Christie Vetoed and returned the remaining 3 of the 13 bills. Of all thirteen bills the three remaining bills were most intrusive and an offense to the Constitution and violated Liberty. My family and I are proud gun owners and members of the NRA and New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS). I urge all good patriots who support the 2nd Amendment by joining either or both organizations.

I want to thank and applaud Governor Christie for vetoing the remaining gun control bills because I truly believe when you take guns away from law abiding citizens; you empower the criminals and embolden the government against the citizenry.  Thank you Governor for defending the 2nd amendment and standing with 1 million lawful gun owners in New Jersey who are law abiding citizens, because to punish the innocent along with the guilty is no justice at all.


Posted: August 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns, Newtown CT | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

The Gang of 8 are Wrong on Immigration Reform

Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picBy Bader George Qarmout

As Washington debates immigration reform and the bi-partisan gang of 8 push their latest plan, I find myself disagreeing with the plan’s failure to secure the border FIRST. It is imperative that we fix the mistakes of Ronald Reagan’s Congress that failed us forty years ago.  Securing our borders is not only a means to prevent illegal workers from entering America, but it is also an important tool for greater national security and to reduce the onslaught of drug, weapons, and human trafficking . I will not accept any arguments that stress that the cost of securing our borders is prohibitive. I argue that not securing our borders is unconscionable.

While we are securing the borders, we need to enforce our existing laws and make E-verify mandatory.  We also need to deport the criminal illegal aliens who are currently sitting in our jails and prisons.  It is cost effective to permanently remove the criminal elements from among us, as opposed to the current “catch and release” practice.

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Posted: June 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bader George Qarmout, Immigration, Opinion | Tags: , | 4 Comments »