Urge AR Congressional Delegation to Recognize Christians as Genocide Victims

According to reports by an investigative journalist at Yahoo News and by Nina Shea at National Review Online, the Obama Administration may move in the next few weeks to designate ISIS’s violence against Yazidis and others in Iraq as genocide; the genocide designation, however, will not be applied to Christians even though they have faced equal violence and persecution at the hands of ISIS.

Shea writes,

“Yazidis, according to the story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, are going to be officially recognized as genocide victims, and rightly so. Yet Christians, who are also among the most vulnerable religious minority groups that have been deliberately and mercilessly targeted for eradication by ISIS, are not. This is not an academic matter. A genocide designation would have significant policy implications for American efforts to restore property and lands taken from the minority groups and for offers of aid, asylum, and other protections to such victims. Worse, it would mean that, under the Genocide Convention, the United States and other governments would not be bound to act to suppress or even prevent the genocide of these Christians.”

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum writes that more than 800,000 people in Iraq’s Nineveh province were forced from their homes by ISIS last year; ISIS militants “kidnapped thousands, and killed hundreds, likely thousands, of people. In less than three months [ISIS] decimated millenia-old communities…Now almost no members of the minority groups [ISIS] attacked live in Nineveh province.”

This is significant, because the plains of Nineveh were once home to Iraqi Christians; in fact, Nineveh held one of the oldest Christian communities on earth. ISIS is systematically executing Christians it finds in Iraq and Syria. If that isn’t genocide, I do not know what is.

Americans continue to disagree about whether or not foreign refugees should enter the U.S., but let’s not overlook the obvious by failing to call the violence these refugees face what it is: Genocide. I think we can all agree the U.S. government ought to be honest with itself and with other nations about what ISIS is doing.

Below is information you can use to contact Arkansas’ two U.S. Senators and Arkansas’ Congressional delegates. Please send them a message politely asking them to ensure the federal government designates all ethnic and religious groups who are victims of ISIS violence as victims of genocide–including Christians.

U.S. Senator John Boozman

220px-John_Boozman,_official_portrait,_112th_CongressLittle Rock Office:
1401 W. Capitol Ave., Plaza F
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 372-7153
Fax: (501) 372-7163

D.C. Office:
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4843
Fax: (202) 228-1371

Click Here to Email U.S. Senator Boozman


U.S. Senator Tom Cotton

Tom_Cotton_official_Senate_photoLittle Rock Office:
11809 Hinson Road
Suite 100
Little Rock, AR 72212

Mailing Address:
PO Box 25216
Little Rock, AR 72221
Phone: (501) 223-9081
Fax: (501) 223-9105

D.C. Office:
124 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353

Click Here to Email U.S. Senator Cotton

U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford (AR District 1)

Rick_Crawford,_Official_Portrait,_112th_CongressJonesboro Office:
2400 Highland Drive, Suite 300
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: (870) 203-0540
Fax: (870) 203-0542

D.C. Office:
1711 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4076
Fax: (202) 225-5602

Click Here to Email Congressman Crawford



U.S. Congressman French Hill (AR District 2)

French_Hill_official_photoLittle Rock Office:
1501 N. University Ave.
Suite 150
Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: (501) 324-5941
Fax: (501) 324-6029

D.C. Office:
1229 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2506
Fax: (202) 225-5903

Click Here to Email U.S. Congressman Hill



U.S. Congressman Steve Womack (AR District 3)

675px-Steve_Womack,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress_-_Hi_ResRogers Office:
3333 Pinnacle Hills, Suite 120
Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Phone: (479) 464-0446
Fax: (479) 464-0063

D.C. Office:
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4301
Fax: (202) 225-5713

Click Here to Email U.S. Congressman Womack



U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR District 4)

599px-Bruce_Westerman_official_congressional_photoHot Springs Office:
101 Reserve St.
Suite 200
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Phone: (501) 609-9796
Fax: (501) 609-9887

D.C. Office:
130 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3772
Fax: (202) 225-1314

Click Here to Email U.S. Congressman Westerman

Arkansas’ First Thanksgiving Proclamation

thomas_drew_fAs Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take time to highlight a piece of Arkansas history: The very first Thanksgiving proclamation issued after Arkansas became a state.

The proclamation issued by Arkansas’ third governor, Governor Thomas Drew, set aside Thursday, December 8, 1847, as a day of thanksgiving. The proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, an all wise and merciful Providence has dispensed blessings of the most bountiful and diversified character among the people of this state, in the abundance of the various agricultural crops, the universal prosperity of our people and their unexampled good health, it is deemed worthy of a greatful people to make public manifestation of their sense of the renewed obligations under which we have been placed, by the appointment of a day of general THANKSGIVING throughout the state.

Be it known, therefore, that I, Thomas S. Drew, Governor of the State of Arkansas, have appointed Thursday, the 9th day of December next as a day of THANKSGIVING, which is hereby proclaimed and recommended to the good of people in every county and town in the state as a fit day and proper time to acquit ourselves, each and every one, of a high and praiseworthy duty to the Bountiful and Merciful Providence.

Given under my hand at Little Rock and to which is affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas, this 12th day of October, 1847, and the Independence of the United States the seventy-second year.

By the Governor,
Thomas S. Drew

Judge Forces State to List Same-Sex Couples’ Names on Birth Certificates

Today Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy Fox issued a ruling forcing the State of Arkansas to put the names of three same-sex couples on children’s birth certificates.

Each couple has been legally married since the U.S. Supreme Court redefined marriage last summer, and each has a child conceived via an anonymous sperm donor.

In each case, only one spouse—the woman who actually gave birth to the child—is a biological parent of the child. According to the Department of Health, only the biological mother of the child may be listed on the child’s birth certificate; you cannot list the name of a second, unrelated “mother” on the certificate.

The three couples each sued the state, and today Judge Fox ruled in their favor, saying the the birth certificates can be amended to list a second “mother.”

Here’s the problem: Birth certificates exist to record that a child was born and who the child’s parents are—not who happens to be married to one of the child’s biological parents.

Birth certificates are not simply pieces of paper. They are vital records that need to be accurate and deserve respect. We should be careful not to let them become mere political ploys.