Thai Party to Comply with Royal Order Against Princess PM Candidacy

Agence France-Presse | Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has not had a royal run for frontline office since 1932.

A Thai political party will obey a command from the king blocking the candidacy of a princess for prime minister, it said in a statement Saturday, in a dramatic reversal only a day after putting her forward for the position.

“Thai Raksa Chart party complies with the royal command”, it said in a LINE message to reporters.

The statement added that the party is ready to do its duty with respect to the “tradition and royal customs” under Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.

The announcement effectively invalidates Princess Ubolratana’s unprecedented bid for prime minister in March elections and comes after an extraordinary rebuke of her candidacy by her younger brother Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Thai Raksa Chart announced the princess as their candidate Friday morning in a move that looked to rattle the status quo and threaten the ambitions of the junta that has ruled Thailand since it toppled the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra in a 2014 coup.

But the Thai king torpedoed the bid in a sharply worded statement later the same day that said bringing senior royal family members into politics is against tradition, national culture and “highly inappropriate.”

Thailand has some of the most severe lese majeste laws in the world and the king’s word is considered final.

Analysts had already forewarned that the palace statement had scuttled the princess’ chances.

“The palace disapproval invalidates her candidacy,” said Puangthong Pawakapan, professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University, before the Thai Raksa Chart announcement.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has not had a royal run for frontline office since 1932.

The 67-year-old princess did not address the royal rebuke head-on Saturday morning, when she thanked supporters on her widely followed Instagram account and said vaguely that she wanted Thailand to “move forward”.

Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the leader of the coup that toppled the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra, also said he would stand for the top post Friday.

Ubolratana’s move briefly threw his fortunes into disarray but the palace action made it clear it does not endorse her run.

The king did not criticise the princess directly and seemed to focus blame on political party members who brought her on board.

Thai Raksa Chart is aligned with Yingluck and her brother Thaksin, who was ousted by the army in 2006.

Analysts assumed Thaksin and the party would not make such a move without royal approval.



Nigerians in the Diasporas – Voting Opportunity


by Joanna Bogunjoko | Special Assistant to the International Director and Archives Assistant | Be sure to vote on November 1st, tomorrow, and remind others please.
Listen to the above on Youtube, subscribe to be eligible to vote, read the instructions below it (also attached), and share widely please.
Be a part of rebuilding Nigeria!
Watching the video lifted my spirit. I have been weeping for my beloved but tormented country, Nigeria for a long time, praying and thinking of what to do. I have connected with some influential people internationally to see how they can put pressure on our government to do what is right about the atrocities and genocide going on and to see how they can monitor our elections, especially in February 2019. This seems to be a ray of hope and by God’s grace, a workable and brilliant solution.

Great way for the Nigerians in the diaspora to be able to have a say in the elections!

Omoyele Sowore is the person everyone I spoke with is going to vote for.

Some people keep saying one of the 2 bigger parties will win anyway because of rigging and they won’t vote. Also because the two parties are already well known and the others are not. This is a silly and self-crucifying ideology.
How will a 3rd person be known and given a chance if people won’t be open minded and give someone else a chance?
Which of the two evils are we ready to have rule our country again? Is it Buhari who has dug us deeper in the grave and is allowing atrocities to reign or Atiku who stole our money when he was in government?

My ideology is that if all those who don’t want to vote for Atiku from PDP and those who don’t want to vote for Buhari from APC come together to vote for a third party, Sowore of AAC, I think by simple mathematics, Sowore will win. But, we all have to come together as a united force to vote for him.



‘God and Donald Trump’ Generates Strong Early Response

by  Steve Strang | God and Donald Trump is a powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews and insightful commentary from the men and women who were there.

God and Donald Trump has now been officially announced in the market. Writing it has consumed my life for the last month. I am very encouraged by early response from buyers, interview requests from secular media and the enthusiasm of leaders whom we have asked to read and endorse it.

I decided to share the press release (below) that went out to the media this week because it contains a lot of information. However, I also have a very specific request, and I'm hoping you'll want to read the book.

If so, it would really help me if you would go ahead and preorder a copy either on BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com right away. Early presales, a very good indication that a book will take off, actually influence the retailers who stock it in the brick-and-mortar stores.

If you know you want to read God and Donald Trump, pre-ordering it now will make certain you get one of the first available copies. The release date is Nov. 7. Make sure to give me your comments below and share this exciting news with your friends.

Here is the press release:

'God and Donald Trump' Explores the Spiritual Aspects of His Miracle Victory and What This Means Now for America

New book by Stephen E. Strang, due out in November, provides powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes 'scoops' and insightful commentary.

LAKE MARY, Fla.—Donald Trump is six months into the U.S. presidency, and opinions about his job thus far certainly fall all along the spectrum of approval or disapproval.

One fact that can't be overlooked is that President Trump has embraced the guidance of Christians who helped elect him.

A new book out this fall from Charisma Media CEO Stephen E. Strang, who strongly backed Trump in the election, will consider how the president's faith has perhaps grown and strengthened in office. God and Donald Trump, set to release Nov. 7, seeks to help readers understand who Donald Trump is, what he really believes, where his vision for America will lead us and where God is in all of this.

"With pundits asking, 'How did he win?' my new book explores whether there was a supernatural element involved," Strang said. "Christian leaders prophesied before the election that God had raised up Trump to lead the nation through a time of crisis. But could this billionaire reality-TV star actually convince the voters he was for real? And if so, what is God doing now, not only in Donald's Trump's life, but also in the nation?"

Donald Trump is an enigma—a brash self-promoter, casino owner and man of the world. Yet he is also a devoted husband and father who has surrounded himself with men and women of faith and has made religion a key component of his image. Strang's God and Donald Trump explores:

  • How family and childhood influences shaped Trump's character and worldview
  • How openness to evangelical leaders helped build his commitment to religious liberty
  • How his election as president was predicted years before by charismatic prophets
  • How he captured the largest evangelical vote in history and won the Electoral College
  • What he really believes and how those beliefs helped shape his campaign promises

God and Donald Trump is a powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews and insightful commentary from the men and women who were there.

After interviewing Trump, Strang, an award-winning journalist and successful businessman, was involved with other Christian leaders who campaigned for his election. He attended Trump's 2017 election-night victory party in New York because he believed the prophetic ministers who said he would win.

Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and President of Christian Life Missions. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.



Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election

"There are No 'Must' Candidates!" -Darrell Bock (images – news.yahoo.com)

Many Christians have it right.

There is a real dilemma for their vote in this election. The choice we have before us is no real option. It is like choosing between facing a tornado rolling through your home or a hurricane. Both will do real damage in different ways. The only possible check on this regrettable situation involves the considered selection of legislators put around the poor choice the nation faces. Our votes for other offices now count for more.

The dilemma we face is one we have given ourselves. Our votes created our choices. We have opted for decades to step back from reflection on character, teaching our children the skills and economics of life but not judgment, discernment, and wisdom. A soulless child rearing produces what we face today.

T.S. Eliot spoke of hollow men, people without chests, without souls. So we get what we pay for at the ballot box. We will not get a mulligan on our choice now, but we can prepare to do better next time.

Some will argue that one choice now is a must because of future Supreme Court justices, choices that will last decades in their significance. This is the best argument one side has. It is worth serious consideration, giving me more than one night's pause, especially when the argument comes from friends whose judgment I respect. But further reflection makes me wonder if that argument is good enough.

Consider what comes with the red pill in this current configuration. Most acknowledge he is a candidate who lacks character. He never admits to a wrong, breeds hate, speaks against women, Hispanics, people who are different from him, and advocates violence as a solution to many problems.

Every time I read the Scripture, those are not the values I see my Lord advocating. Christ died to show that God loves those made in his image: "God so loved the world that he gave…" … you know how it goes from here. Jesus met the woman at the well and urged us to invite those to our table who cannot give back to us. God's people are to model such grace. The gospel reaches out to the other and invites them into sacred space, to experience something and someone the world cannot offer, something beyond the world of the vote.

This last point reminds me that good laws with vacant hearts still breed chaos. That is the lesson of the Old Testament and why God announced a New Covenant. It is why mission and evangelism matter more than politics. Good laws with empty chested people take us nowhere. To serve the world the church needs to reflect the gospel that shows real heart.

The damage done to what the gospel represents by what the red pill delivers is destructive, dismissing people on a widespread scale. To hitch our wagon to a horse that protects developing children in the womb but ignores or is hostile to them once they are born is not a Christian position.

That is called hypocrisy. Most can see and smell it from miles away. Add to this a candidate who does not understand our globalized world and the needs of our foreign relations, then we would be opting for potential disaster because of a temperament that only talks retribution. My Savior says we are to turn the other cheek and love our enemy. Jesus spent the entire trip to the cross teaching his disciples the world would push back.

Disciples should be prepared for that, to face it with grace not an eye for an eye. Jesus taught those values so the church could show it is distinct from the way most love. We are called to be different.

The alternative blue pill is no real choice either. There are well known character issues about dishonesty. In addition, not only is there a full frontal assault against protecting a helpless developing person in the choice of a misguided (selfish) liberty that erases a life developing from conception, there is an attack on the family that lies at the base of a stable society. There is a political correctness that nullifies free speech and conscience in the name of imposed values.

There is a belittling of the person who reserves the right to ask all of us if we should think differently than the current societal preference. Public square, honest debates about choices of conscience are burned at the stake to the harm of all of Americans. We need a vibrant discussion on options that just might preserve a better choice AND save lives.

The loss of both/and solutions in our body politic has produced tribalism and gridlock that eats at our country's soul. On that issue, many on both sides, right and left, Christian and non-Christian, are guilty. Not only do we need less my tribe only in our public conversation, we need more morally rooted conversation about all of us with much less invective.

So where does that leave us? I will not proclaim a moral must against a person who weighs this no option choice differently than I. In an election with such alternatives, all options fall short of the bar we ought to have.

I will not challenge the Christian integrity of the person who feels the weight of the dilemma I have just described and makes a different choice from me, because no choice is good. Nor will I disparage the person who opts out of a presidential vote this time around. The person who opts out is not naïve but says my vote is not about merely selecting a candidate. My vote reflects a moral endorsement withheld from all (red or blue) who are not even close to being worthy to receive it.

My faith is a third way.

Its soul does not belong to either party by default.

When it seeks to reflect that faith, my vote may conclude that neither candidate represents the world I hope to see where neighbors love one another. That choice is made while recognizing God holds us all accountable for our choices with a multi-layered standard unlike the world. The choice not to vote for a tornado nor a hurricane reflects a preservation of values about what the church is to be far more important than a four or eight year choice.

It is a conscious act intended to speak in the face of injustice coming at us from all sides. There are no musts in this election when it comes to the candidates we have.

The fault is ours corporately. The only musts that exist are to think through our vote now with a sensitive conscience, trust God, withhold our most stringent friendly fire for choices others make, and do much better next time.

Dr. Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a consulting editor for Christianity Today, elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Dallas, and serves on the board of Wheaton College. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas, Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen.