Iraqi priest shares harrowing experience at the hands of Islamic captors

During his radio program Tuesday, Glenn spoke with Father Douglas Al-Bazi, a priest from Iraq who watched his own church blow up in front of him before being kidnapped and tortured by terrorists. He now hosts hundreds of displaced Christians in a refugee camp he founded in Iraqi Kurdistan, called "The Church of Martyrs."

Father Douglas called for listeners to "please pray for my community" after describing how he is preparing to help many of them leave their homeland and seek refuge outside of the Middle East. These rescue efforts could only be accomplished thanks to the thousands of generous donors to the Nazarene Fund.

"I told the people, I know we're going to start this --- this journey is like Moses," Father Douglas said. "But actually Moses in himself, he believed that 'I'm going to the Promising Land. Even me, I will not see the Promising Land. But I'm going to prepare it for our kids.'"

Tonight on his TV program, Glenn will give a sneak peek at an American Dream Labs (ADL) documentary film about the plight of Christian refugees in the Middle East. Watch a clip of Father Douglas describe how he responded to the torture he endured at the hands of ISIS.

Listen to more of Glenn's conversation with Father Douglas or read the transcript below.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

How many ISIS members are Christian? The answer is zero. So how do you know who the good guys or the bad guys are?

Well, you start with the parish priest. You go find one guy. The one guy we found is Father Douglas. This is an amazing man that I want you to meet. He's over in the area right now. He is the pastor of -- you ask him what his church is, it's the Church of Martyrs. The Church of Blood. And he has set up his own refugee camp, and these are the people that we are bringing back in. The Nazarene Fund has raised now $12 million. That money is going to take and rescue many of his people. And he's on the phone with us now. Father, how are you?

FATHER DOUGLAS: Good. How are you? Thank you very much for this introduction of me. I'm just pleased. Okay? Not amazing. Not a hero. Nothing. Okay?

GLENN: Yes, sir.

You are -- A, you're a hard guy to get a hold of because you won't really sit down for an interview or go out to lunch or anything because you've told our team several times, I'm on God's time, I'm on God's work.

Are you in a car right now? Are you in the middle of a surgery for somebody or anything? Because you usually don't set aside a time to --

(laughter)

FATHER DOUGLAS: No. Actually now I'm in my office. I locked my door. I'm locked inside because I want to hear you very well.

GLENN: Okay.

FATHER DOUGLAS: So maybe many people -- kids, they will knock on the door, just to look at where I am. Okay? Yes.

GLENN: Father, would you do us a favor and tell us, you were taken hostage, and it is a pretty harrowing story. Can you tell us that story a bit?

FATHER DOUGLAS: You know, when we talk about a story, we talk always with the beginning and the end. But, you know, when we talk about persecution and pain because there is something we have here actually (inaudible). So we are not talking about the story, we are talking about lives. And we used to -- I'm sorry to say that, but some of the same situation -- and this is actually taken back many centuries.

And me, as the personal, I grew out a lot of events in my life, and they were really horrible events. But when I mention them, I always tell my people when I talk about what happened to me, I don't want you to feel sorry about me. But I want you to just open your eyes to what happened to my people.

Because I often say that, even when I went also to the United States this summer, and before in Europe, I told them, "I know that -- I believe that your kids, they're not going to be a member of ISIS. But there will be -- sooner or later, they're going to be victims by ISIS. So open your eyes and wake up."

What happened to me actually, I survived twice by bombed cars. They attacked my church one time. They blew up my church in front of me. One time, they were a group -- they wanted to kill me, and they shoot me. But they -- I just got shot in my (cut out) by an AK-47, and after that, I was taken up for nine days. Those nine days, of course, I cannot forget them because they were -- changed a lot me, as personal, my ambition, and my ways.

And those nine days there, I went out with completely -- they assault my nose -- by hammer, they broke my -- my cheeks. And also, they picked me -- my back. So that's why I went to -- to have a big surgery in my back because I changed one of the discs in my back. I spent almost one year in bed. And now I'm using actually fake teeth. When I smile, just -- those fake teeth, they're good for, you know, just taking photo. A selfie, you know, on phone or Facebook.

(laughter)

But just to keep my smile, you know.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Hold on. Hold on just a second. Because I just want to translate in case anybody hasn't been able to keep up with this. He's talking about how, you know, he's humble and he doesn't want anybody to pay attention to what's happening. And he's butchering this story, and we're going to have this tonight on television where we sat down with him. And we have the story. And we reenacted the story. And it is -- I'm telling you, it is hair-raising and terrifying. They took him. They kidnapped him and put him in the trunk of a car. Kidnapped him. Took him out. Beat him with a hammer in the face for nine solid days. Broke his back. Really, really broke him up. But did not break his spirit. In fact, all the way along, he was actually counseling them on how to live their life.

Tell me the story about how they would come to you during the day. At night, they would beat you and torture you. During the day, they would come to you for spiritual advice.

FATHER DOUGLAS: Yeah. During the day, actually even with my eyes, they were covered because it was forbidden for me to see anything for nine days. And also, my hands, they were tied by chains.

But during the day, they used to come and ask me a private question or a general question. A private question, when one of them, he asked -- actually many of them asked me. "I have a question for you. My friends to go away. And I want to ask you a personal question."

Such as, one of them, I remember very well, he asked about, you know, about his wife. And he told me, she's always, you know, picky, demanding, and how can I deal with her? So just imagine I'm this way and tell her -- tell him, you know, "You have to tell her that you really love her. And every day, this is the law. Every day, you have to show the love to her."

And then he asked me another and another. And this happened during the day. But most people, the same people actually, during the night, during the night, they just change from sheep to wolves.

GLENN: How did you --

FATHER DOUGLAS: Yeah.

GLENN: How did you during the day -- must you ever want to say to them, "What is wrong with you, man?"

FATHER DOUGLAS: Speak it again, sir.

GLENN: Didn't you during the day want to point out, "Remember the conversation we were having earlier today when I was a human being, how are you beating me now?"

FATHER DOUGLAS: You mean, how was my day?

GLENN: No. I'm trying to figure out how to explain this.

How did you -- how did you figure out in your own head how there seemed to be two people, sheep and wolves, but they were the same individual. How did you rectify that in your head?

FATHER DOUGLAS: You know, it happened from the first day actually. The first day they asked me -- they told me, this is who we are. We're (foreign language) or (foreign language).

And, you know, a question like that when it's heard, immediately you will lose your life if you just, you know, answer in wrong ways.

So I remember the first day I told them, "Actually, I feel sorry about you because if any one of you has this chance in his life, in all life, to continue the school and to have certificate or degree, so any one of you will be like professor and doctor or, I know, engineer. But because you went to school, for I don't know what the reason, that's why many people will use you and now you are like gangs, but used by religious ways."

And, you know, they were really shocked. And they were, you know, silent. Almost two minutes, three minutes. And they start to talk to me each one what happened to him when he was a child. And so I know that actually, when there is no education, you can control the people. But people when they have really education, knowledge, so they can look nice. But without education, people, they will completely be lost.

And even the people that are not believing God, even if they -- many met them, a lot of Christians, even here in my parish, no one actually has chance to study like philosophy or theology. But, you know, the human thing -- the spiritual thing is love. But most people, really I feel sorry about them. They are completely blind. That's what I'm saying.

GLENN: Father Douglas Al-Bazi.

FATHER DOUGLAS: But when -- during the night, they became wolves because they were happy to obey to another guy. Okay? If they are not going to obey, they will be also killed.

GLENN: Father, how have you prepared your people to be rescued and leave their homeland and leave the church that they've grown up? How have you prepared them for this?

FATHER DOUGLAS: You know, I wish -- actually, I can't believe (inaudible) -- even we are proud because we are Iraqian. But Europe is not proud because we are part of this.

In any case, our land is actually with Jesus. Our land, it is him. So when we have that love and justice, we can create any land to be prepared for our community. And it is easy to us to prepare and build communities again, but to build is the man. To build human people, such as like the people here and around, it's really hard.

But I told the people, I know we're going to start this -- this is the journey, is like Moses. But actually Moses in himself, he believed that I'm going to the Promising Land. Even me, I will not see the Promising Land. But I'm going to prepare it for our kids. So --

GLENN: Will you see --

FATHER DOUGLAS: So to myself, to Father Douglas, I am telling every day to myself, "What are you going to do if it's not a benefit for you, if it's for the next generation?" So we it's tougher on ourselves to make the next generation to be safe. This will be our Promising Land.

GLENN: Father Douglas Al-Bazi, thank you so much. We will talk to you again. And hopefully we will some day get to shake hands and hug and meet one-on-one. Thank you so much. God bless you.

FATHER DOUGLAS: Pray -- please pray for my community.

GLENN: Yes, sir. God bless you.

FATHER DOUGLAS: Thank you. Thank -- thank you, sir. Thank you.

GLENN: More on him in just a minute. And you're going to see an amazing show done. Tonight's broadcast at 5 o'clock was produced by American Dream Labs. And it's a very different episode. And we sent our cameras over to sit with him and he's much easier to understand when you can watch him.

It is one of the most amazing stories you will ever see. And we're going to clip the part of him out of -- it's about four minutes from our visit over with him. And make that available so you can spread that. I mean, it's truly amazing. He prayed the rosary in chains. And he made his chains the rosary. He is a remarkable, remarkable man. I want to watch tonight's really inspiring episode at 5 o'clock on TheBlaze TV.church on martyrs. Church of Martyrs.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Pat Gray discussed the Trump defense team's arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

"This is different than what the Democrats were doing," Glenn said of the Trump team's impeachment defense. "We know the case of the Democrats, they just kept going over and over and over, for three days, the same stuff. The Republicans, at least on Saturday, did not ... and I thought it was really, really good."

Glenn added, "The president's defense was very compelling."

Watch the videos below to hear Glenn's top takeaways from the president's defense team:

Part 1: Why the president's defense is 'very compelling'

Part 2: Top takeaways from president's impeachment defense

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Americans are getting crushed by healthcare costs. In 2018 alone, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare — that's more than $11,000 per American and nearly a fifth of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It's on everyone's minds, which is why it has taken center stage in the Democratic party's primary. Of course, the solutions offered by the current crop of presidential candidates would do nothing to help alleviate that enormous spending. In fact, it would only add to it — what with Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All and Joe Biden's proposed ObamaCare expansion.

However, what also deserves attention in discussions about plans that increase the government's role in health care is how religious organizations would be affected. Faith-based hospitals and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) play an important role in America, often serving as a critical provider and/or facilitator of payments for medical services in many states. If plans like Medicare for All were implemented, these groups would be at risk of going bankrupt or being severely curtailed due to the elimination of choice that comes with these proposals.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives. And more Americans should consider them.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives.

As mentioned, one such option is a health care sharing ministry. In this model, individuals contribute money into a pool managed by a religiously or ethically-affiliated organization, and costs for medical treatment are shared by people who adhere to that organization's belief system. Typically, applicants are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be accepted. It's basically like a subscription service: consumers pay a set amount of money into the ministry every month. Then, when they have a medical need or incident, they submit a claim to the ministry. Members whose claims are approved are reimbursed by the ministry from that pool of funds. Note, these ministries don't cover procedures they deem immoral.

Because providers are often getting paid in cash under this model — and typically within 90 days — patients are able to negotiate significant discounts, in some cases slicing procedures' costs to a fraction of the initial price. Insurance companies, by comparison, tend to not pay dollar for dollar on claims, and certainly not in cash. Additionally, insurance companies usually have onerous paperwork requirements, forcing doctors to spend half of their time on electronic health records and desk work. This increase in demand for administrative work is partly responsible for the United States leading the world in administrative costs in healthcare.

There are various types of HCSMs, each offering different benefits depending on what the individual needs — and a lot of savings on monthly plans. Take Christian Healthcare Ministries, for example. It's resulted in enormous savings for its members. Whereas the average healthcare plan can cost about $400 a month on the low end (with high deductibles), CHM plans can run between $78-172 a month for a single person. These kinds of plans are particularly great options for people who are relatively healthy and young, where the need for doctors and prescription drugs is less likely.

HCSMs have seen explosive growth in popularity recently. In 2014, there were only approximately 160,000 members. By 2018, membership ballooned to about 1 million HCSM members around the United States who have shared over $1 billion in medical expenses. But unfortunately, many people still feel locked into the traditional — and expensive — health care insurance model. HCSMs provide a way out, and, depending on their belief system, people should research them and see if there's one that best suit their needs. If more people deviate away from the traditional health care insurance market, insurance companies would be incentivized to adjust their pricing. That won't be possible, of course, if plans like Medicare for All are implemented.

Health care is one of life's biggest expenses, and voters are understandably desperate for a plan that cuts costs without compromising quality of care or access to it. Alternative options to health care insurance such as HCSMs are practical, free-market solutions that saves money. Americans should sift through these options before subscribing to plans that will only break the bank.

James Czerniawski is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCz19.

Bill O'Reilly: Adam Schiff is in 'wonderland' during the Senate impeachment trial

Image source: BlazeTV video screen save

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, Bill O'Reilly gave his latest take on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and explained why he thinks House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is like "Alice in Wonderland."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

youtu.be


Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to discuss the latest developments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Cruz, Thursday was a "very consequential day" in the otherwise tedious and redundant impeachment proceedings.

"Yesterday, the House managers effectively threw Joe Biden under the bus," Cruz said. "They doubled down on what they started doing on the first day of arguments, which was making their entire case ... based on the proposition that there was zero evidence to justify investigating Burisma [the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on the board]."

Cruz went on to explain that every time the Democrats, namely House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), rehash the "zero-evidence" argument, they open the door for Republicans to present the overwhelming evidence that contradicts those claims.

"That proposition, that there's zero evidence to investigate Burisma, is utterly and completely absurd. So, I'm looking forward to Saturday when the president's lawyers will begin presenting his case. Because what the Democrats have done, is they have opened the door to this. And I hope the president's lawyers will stand up and systematically lay out the case," Cruz said.

"They've been arguing that Hunter Biden is completely irrelevant to this case. Well, the House managers have now, through their arguments, made Hunter Biden not only relevant — he was always relevant — but critical now," he continued. "They built the entire case, like a house of cards, on the proposition that there was no reasonable basis to investigate Burisma. And that's just absurd."

The two also discussed Cruz's new podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which he records with Daily Wire host Michael Knowles each night following the Senate trial.

"Last night's podcast went through systematically ... all of the overwhelming evidence of corruption from Burisma that any president, not only had the authority to investigate, but the responsibility to investigate," Cruz said. "And that, ultimately, is why President Trump is going to be acquitted at the end of this process."

Watch the video below for more details:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.