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Reba McEntire's 'Pray for Peace' goes viral

Reba McEntire, looking down while flashing the peace sign, in a screen grab from her Pray for Peace video (Credit: Reba McEntire via Facebook) What do Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, and The Band Perry have in common?  They are all supporting Reba McEntire's new song, "Pray for Peace."  She calls her song "a gift from God."  It repeats over and over the simple imperative, "pray for peace."  Then it calls us to pray for our mother, father, children, leaders, and families, to pray for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  The song's music video had 5,629,031 likes on July 21.

There's no doubt we need peace.  The Gaza conflict continues, with disclosures that Hamas is using hospitals and United Nations schools to shelter and fire weapons.  Israel has also found another "terror tunnel" containing Israeli uniforms, maps, and weapons.

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Hamas and Israel: the pathway to peace

Israeli soldiers mourn during the funeral of their comrade Bnaya Rubel in Holon, near Tel Aviv July 20, 2014. (Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias) U.S. and European air carriers halted flights to Israel yesterday after a rocket attack near Ben Gurion Airport.  Is this a sign of things to come?  Will the conflict between Hamas and Israel get worse before it gets better?

To predict the future, it's important to understand the past.  Unfortunately, much of the media's coverage of the present conflict has ignored the real motives behind Hamas' aggression toward Israel. (For more on Western bias against the Jewish state, see "Is the media being unfair to Israel?")  "Hamas" is an Arabic acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement."  It published its official charter in 1988, calling for the destruction of Israel and raising "the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine."

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Is the world more unstable than ever?

Israeli soldiers stand on top of their tanks and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) across from the northern Gaza Strip July 18, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner) Does it seem that crises are erupting all around the world?  That's because they are.

Around the Muslim world: the ground war in Gaza continues, as Hamas deploys missiles capable of reaching 80 percent of Israel.  ISIS is advancing in Iraq while fighting continues in Syria.  Afghanistan is embroiled in an electoral crisis that threatens to return the country to civil war.  Pakistan, a nuclear power, is dealing with the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.  Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have reached a critical point and could collapse.  Hezbollah is watching Israel's conflict with Hamas as it decides whether or not to respond; its missiles would be much more difficult for Israel's Iron Dome to defend.

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Christians labeled 'anti-gay' and 'judgmental': 4 responses

A beautiful young woman sits alone in a pew in a church and looks forlornly out a window (Credit: Berchtesgaden via Fotolia)Adults ages 18-33 fall into a category called "Millennials."  As the next generation of parents, prime ministers and presidents, they are the future of any society.  What they think says a great deal about what their culture will think.

For those of us who believe God's word on issues such as same-sex marriage, the news is not encouraging.  Nearly 7-in-10 Millennials support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.  Not surprisingly, only one-quarter believe that evangelical Christians are somewhat or very friendly toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered people.  In fact, nearly two-thirds agree that "anti-gay" describes Christianity somewhat or very well.  And more than 6-in-10 younger Millennials believe that Christians could be described as "judgmental."

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4 ways the Malaysia Airlines tragedy affects you

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 carrying 298 people, was on its way yesterday from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in the Ukraine, 20 miles from the Russian border. American officials believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, but do not yet know who fired it.

It was reportedly flying at its cruising altitude of 33,000 feet.  If so, only medium- to long-range surface-to-air missiles could have brought it down.  Ukrainian soldiers are fighting Pro-Russian separatists in the area.  Both sides immediately denied responsibility.  However, Ukrainian officials claim that a Russian BUK SA-17 road-mobile system was used and blame pro-Russian rebels.  The separatists claim that they only possess man-portable air-defense systems that could not bring down an airliner at such an altitude.  Some experts believe the plane was targeted by mistake.

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