Michael Jordan, considered by many as the NBA's greatest basketball player, was cut from his freshman high school team. He benefited from that adversity in his life and said the following:
"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeeded."
Brittney Griner, an American basketball star herself, was sentenced to nine years in prison for her failure to honor Russia's drug laws. I am encouraging Christians everywhere to not forget about her but intercede for her in her incarceration.
Recently I did a video on her situation and, if you missed it, please consider reading this article and watching the video to understand the complexities of her situation and empathize with her dilemma while praying that God use it to turn her life around.
In February of this year, Brittney Griner, an American professional women's basketball player, was arrested in Russia for breaking the law by carrying marijuana cartridges into a nation that will not tolerate recreational drugs. She was caught "red-handed," detained for months, she pled guilty and was subsequently sentenced to nine years in prison.
Many Americans don't like the Russian criminal justice system and have put pressure on Biden to do something, anything, to get her out. Secretary of State Blinken made an offer publicly to exchange prisoners to secure her release. Her sympathizers applaud the "progressive" maneuver and say, "Let's get on with it, it should be a done deal!"
Not so fast!
The prisoner swap would let loose an extremist who was considered one of the world's most wanted killers. He is a terrorist and convicted mass murderer of Americans and government officials. He is extremely dangerous and has been locked up to protect our nation and other countries as well.
What should be done?
Principal Player No. 1
Brittney Griner is a 6'9" WNBA basketball player, 31 years old, 205 pounds who wears size 17 shoe. Russian authorities just required her to have a DNA test to determine if she is masculine or feminine gender. Putin and his party don't much care for being "woke."
Growing up, Brittney says she was bullied because of her size. She attended the largest Southern Baptist university in America, Baylor, which is strongly Christian and maintains an over 100-year tradition of a weekly chapel for all the students.
She proudly proclaims herself a lesbian which caused her father, a Marine, to have her move out of the home.
She dated a superstar from the L.A. Lakers, but eventually "married" a woman who had twins via IVF. Brittney divorced her partner after being arrested on assault charges (required to have 26 weeks of domestic violence classes), then "married" another lesbian.
Brittney was featured unclothed in ESPN Magazine—the "Taboo Issue"—and pictured holding a snake which is her favorite animal. She regularly models "menswear" for Nike.
Brittney has projected an anti-American persona as she protested the National Anthem, declaring that she would not go on the court if it was played, called on the WNBA to stop playing the National Anthem during the entire season and at any sporting events.
The satire ministry of Babylon Bee said recently, "Brittney Griner was rewarded with nine years of not hearing the US National Anthem."
Dinesh D'Souza, author and filmmaker, commented, "I suspect what happened with Brittney Griner is she became massively entitled in this country—'I'm black, I'm a lesbian and I am a leftist, so I am a superior person and basically above the law.' Then she discovered to her astonishment that other countries don't see it that way!"
Former President Donald Trump said this was a sad case but "she knew you don't go in there loaded up with drugs—she admitted it." (Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show (7/30/22).
Becky Hammon, American-Russian and head coach of a WNBA team and a devout Christian, said the case is "heartbreaking" but "athletes really have to think twice where they go; quickly being snatched and become a political pawn." (USA Today 8/8/22)
"You do something, you have to pay the price for it." - Brittney Griner, 2015 ESPN Body Issue
Principal Player No. 2
Victor Bout is the key prisoner being offered in the so-called "prisoner swap." He is not some low-level offender but a convicted radical terrorist and mass murderer of Americans and others. His nickname is "The Merchant of Death."
He was one of the worlds most wanted killers dealing high-level weapons and missiles to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, terrorists and militants in the Congo, Rwanda, Columbia and elsewhere. You may recall an entire movie entitled "Lord of War" was done on his savagery and capture.
Red alert: Victor Bout is a psychopath akin to a lieutenant under Bin Laden. He's extremely dangerous. Do we let him loose to resume his demonic work?
The Bigger Picture
Joe Biden is perceived as a weak leader after the unmitigated disaster of the Afghanistan withdrawal, Putin's invasion of the Ukraine and the forthcoming China takeover of Taiwan like Hong Kong.
He's a puppet of progressives (socialists, Marxists and globalists) who are soft on crime, criminals and prosecution; advocate defunding the police, downplaying law and order while minimizing lawlessness; viewing criminals as "victims" in a "racist" society; releasing prisoners; promoting no bail; and allowing an "open borders" philosophy resulting in an avalanche of illegal foreign terrorists, sex traffickers, drug dealers and kidnappers camouflaged among many "good" people.
On the international scene, rejecting a Reaganesque "peace through strength" approach, leaders in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and elsewhere want to seize the opportunity for expansion and domination of the United States at this time.
So do we offer an extremely dangerous terrorist for a civilian?
Will yielding to this type of prisoner exchange encourage other enemies of America to capture Americans and then use them as bait...hostages? This is not about exchanging spies or POWs as we've done in the past. The lives of multitudes matter.
The world is watching and there are serious ramifications to what we do at this pivotal time.
Here's the Deal
As patriotic Americans and compassionate Christians, we must continue praying for our leaders and Ms. Griner. In her trial she lamented that she had been "tossed into a bewildering legal system." We know that God can use this situation to bring her to an end of herself. She can turn to Christ for healing from her brokenness and discover gratitude to God for all she's been blessed with and probably taken for granted as a citizen of the United States of America.
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 50 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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