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Two Auschwitz stories I won't forget

Igor Malicki of Ukraine, a survivor of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz reacts as he visits the camp in Oswiecim as part of commemoration ceremonies on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp, January 26, 2015 (Credit: Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) Auschwitz.  The word conjures images no words can capture.  Living skeletons in striped rags, hollow-eyed children, brick-oven gas chambers.  Of Nazi Germany's 20,000 concentration camps, Auschwitz was the largest, spanning more than 15 square miles of German-occupied Poland.

More than 1.1 million people died there, mostly Jews.  On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army entered the prison.  Auschwitz stands today as a museum and memorial to the Holocaust.

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Sarah Palin 'seriously interested' in White House

Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 2015 (Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is preparing to run for president.  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is said to be "seriously" looking at a run as well.  As are Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Former Governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are already building their campaigns.

But no one has generated as much recent political buzz as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who told The Washington Post, "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested" in running for the White House.  A close second in political news has been the furor over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming message before Congress.  House Speaker John Boehner invited Mr. Netanyahu, a move that surprised the Obama administration and led to widespread criticism.  As a longtime supporter of Israel, I am especially interested in the outcome of this developing story. (To learn about our spring Holy Land pilgrimage, go here)

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Video asks boys to slap a girl: what happened?

An eleven year old Italian boy reacts when asked to slap a girl during a public service video speaking out against domestic violence from Ciaopeople Media Group, creators of, Italy's first and most successful online newspaper (Credit: Ciaopeople Media Group)"Slap her," a boy is told.  "Slap her, hard!  Come on."  He refuses.  Why?  "Because you're not supposed to hit girls."  And that's the point of a now-viral video on domestic abuse.  A filmmaker asks boys one by one what they like about a pretty girl to whom they are introduced.  The boys blush.  One says, "I like her eyes."  Another says, "Everything."  But when the off-camera voice then asks them to slap her, every one refuses.  And that's obviously as it should be.

There's something in us that knows right from wrong.  "The voice of conscience," some call it.  "The natural law," others say.  Plato believed that our souls "remember" the perfect state from which they originated before being placed in our corrupted bodies.  Justin the Martyr taught that God placed the "seed of truth" in each soul.

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'Boy who came back from heaven' says he never went there

Alex Malarkey, subject of the best-seller The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, is seen here in a 2009 photo during a visit to the hospital prior to surgery (Credit: The Plain Dealer/John Kuntz) Alex Malarkey was critically injured in a car crash when he was six years old.  The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, a book he wrote with his father, tells the story of his experience: an angel took him through the gates of heaven, where he met Jesus.  The book sold more than a million copies.

Now Alex says it never happened.  In an open letter last week, he states, "I did not die.  I did not go to heaven.  I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention."  He points to the Bible as "the only source of truth" and calls those who market his book "to repent and hold the Bible as enough."  The publisher immediately withdrew the book and all website materials related to it.

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Is archaeology 'demolishing the Bible'?

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus (Credit: Thinking Man Films)Israel Finkelstein is one of the preeminent archaeologists in the world.  He states flatly that the Exodus never happened, an opinion shared by numerous other scholarly skeptics.  Yet Jesus quoted from the book of Exodus seven times, referred to the burning bush, and celebrated Passover.  If there was no Exodus, the Jewish and Christian faiths are built on a lie, the very claim made by skeptics who say "archaeology is demolishing the Bible."

Enter filmmaker Timothy Mahoney.  His "Patterns of Evidence: Exodus" aired in theaters across the country last Monday evening.  My wife and I saw the documentary, and were both amazed and encouraged.  (I encourage you to read her Patterns of Evidence: the movie the media missed).

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