Archive for February 7th, 2006

Iran presents: Holocaust cartoon contest

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

More from the psychos running Iran.

Iran’s most popular daily newspaper, Hamshahri, is set to initiate a Holocaust cartoon contest in what it says is a response to cartoons disparaging Islam’s prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper.
“This will be an international cartoon competition on the topic of the Holocaust,” said Farid Mortazawi, the paper’s graphic editor.
The editor added the newspaper intends to fight back by claiming the publication of Holocaust cartoons is done in the name of freedom of expression.
“Western newspapers published these caricatures, which constitute desecration, under the pretense of freedom of expression,” he said. “Let’s see if they mean what they say once we publish Holocaust caricatures.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim Brotherhood cleric, has condemned the harsh reactions to the cartoons among Muslim
communities around the world.
Speaking on al-Jazeera’s Sharia program, Qaradawi said: “The acts of destruction carried out by a minority of people in capitals around the world are unacceptable as a response to what European newspaper published. We never called on people to burn cars. We call on you to show the fury in an intelligent way as to avoid unthinkable damage.”
“We condemn those who are attacking us when we do not attack them. We are bound by the laws of Allah and to his instructions,” said Qaradawi, who has a major influence on the Arab Muslim community and on Muslim communities in the West
Qaradawi attacks freedom of speech
Responding to a question about churches damaged in Beirut by rioting masses, Qaradawi said: “This is unacceptable. We have seen Muslim imams preventing people from doing this, but it seems there are those who will exploit the rage of the people to pour fuel on the fire.”
Qaradawi has called for “sanctions on countries that published the cartoons in their newspapers. We demand an international law forbidding religions from being humiliated, and we held a rally as a response to these injuries. These are the ways to respond.”
Qaradawi also condemned freedom of speech, saying: “No one has this freedom. When you drive in a car, you can’t swerve right and left because there are other people on the road with you. You must drive according to traffic laws.”
Meanwhile, 400 Iranian protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Danish Embassy in Teheran. Earlier, the Austrian Embassy in the Iranian capital was attacked.

Rare Chlamydia Strain Infecting Gay Men

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Some information about an STD that seems to be primarily appearing in gay men.

A particularly bad strain of chlamydia not usually seen in this country appears to be slowly spreading among gay and bisexual men, an infection that can increase their chances of getting or spreading the AIDS virus.
Called LGV chlamydia, this sexually transmitted disease has caused a worrisome outbreak in Europe, where some countries have confirmed dozens of cases. Diagnoses confirmed by U.S. health officials still are low, just 27 since they warned a year ago that the strain was headed here.
But specialists say that’s undoubtedly a fraction of the infections, because this illness is incredibly hard to diagnose: Few U.S. clinics and laboratories can test for it. Painful symptoms can be mistaken for other illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
And because LGV chlamydia doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms _ right away, at least _ an unknown number of people may silently harbor and spread it, along with an increased risk of HIV transmission.
“My feeling is that what we’re seeing now is still the tip of the iceberg,” says Dr. Philippe Chiliade of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., which diagnosed its first few cases of LGV last month and is beginning to push for asymptomatic men to be screened.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already was counting an 8 percent increase in HIV among gay and bisexual men between 2003 and before LGV’s arrival was recognized.
“We are really concerned about this,” says Dr. Catherine McLean of CDC’s HIV and STD prevention program.
Increasing the ability to test for LGV is “what’s really critically important,” she adds. “The prevalence of the disease is probably quite a bit higher than the reported cases indicate, either here or in Europe, but we don’t yet know that.”
Three weeks of the antibiotic doxycycline effectively treats LGV. But patients have to know they’re at risk, and then find a test.
Chlamydia, caused by bacteria, is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases. As many as 3 million Americans a year may become infected with common strains, best known for causing infertility in women if left untreated.
This more virulent strain is called “lymphogranuloma venereum,” or LGV. It’s not a new form, but one rarely seen outside of Africa or Southeast Asia. So STD specialists were stunned in late 2004, when the Netherlands announced an outbreak that reached over 100 cases; last summer, one clinic there reported seeing one to two new patients a week. Cases also have surfaced in much of Western Europe and Britain. As with the U.S. cases, many also have HIV.
Symptoms differ from regular chlamydia: swollen lymph nodes in the groin; genital or rectal ulcers; and painful bowel movements and other gastrointestinal symptoms that may mimic inflammatory bowel disease. Such symptoms leave patients particularly susceptible to HIV infection if they also encounter that virus.
LGV can infect both sexes, although new cases diagnosed so far are among men having sex with men.
Screening requires nucleic acid testing, a complex type of genetic testing not yet commercially available for rectal use. The CDC then uses even more sophisticated testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Because testing is difficult, no one knows how prevalent LGV truly is. In a surprise finding last fall, Dutch scientists tested some tissue samples stored in San Francisco since the 1980s, and found evidence that today’s LGV strain had gone unrecognized at the time. So has it been simmering here all along, or is it on the rise?
Regardless of how that question turns out, LGV is one more sexually transmitted illness that plays a role in HIV.
Thus, the CDC is encouraging doctors who spot LGV symptoms to contact their local health department for help in finding a nearby testing lab, or in shipping samples to CDC for testing there.
“But I don’t want people to think you have to have severe pain,” cautions Chiliade, whose clinic recently became authorized to offer the NAT rectal screening _ and who recommends it for gay men who have had unprotected sex even if they feel no symptoms.

Here is the link to official CDC writeup about the standard version of Chlamydia.

If you think you might have this, please get treatment right away!!

Russia Warns Against Conflict With Iran

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Sure seems like maybe Bible prophecies are starting to really speed towards fulfillment.

Russia’s foreign minister warned against threatening Iran over its nuclear program Monday after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reportedly agreed with a German interviewer that all options, including military response, remained on the table.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for talks to continue with Tehran, which was reported to the U.N. Security Council on Saturday by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“I think that at the current stage, it is important not to make guesses about what will happen and even more important not to make threats,” Lavrov said during a visit to Athens, Greece.
Rumsfeld, in an interview with the German daily newspaper Handelsblatt, was asked if all options, including the military one, were on the table with Iran.
“That’s right,” Rumsfeld responded, according to Handelsblatt’s print edition Monday.
Lavrov said the use of force would be possible only if the United Nations consented.
The IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors voted to report Iran to the Security Council, which has the power to impose economic and political sanctions. Tehran responded by saying it would start full-scale uranium enrichment and bar surprise inspections of its facilities.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said Monday a proposed joint venture to enrich Iranian uranium in Russia would be possible only if Tehran resumed its moratorium on enrichment activities, Interfax reported.
Despite an earlier threat to the contrary, Iran said Sunday it was willing to discuss Moscow’s proposal to shift large-scale enrichment operations to Russian territory in an effort to allay suspicions it is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Can you say “conflict of interest”? Read the rest here.

Re-Post: “Cartoon Chaos” from Rapture Alert

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Cartoon Chaos
by Michael G. Mickey
(2-7-06)

Who would’ve thought – even imagined – that a few cartoon depictions of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed could fuel the hatred of so many, bringing the world closer to the battle of Armageddon in fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Let me explain.
Currently, there is a row between Islam and the West which started when a Danish newspaper featured 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed recently. Since then, the Islamic world has reacted violently and threateningly toward Denmark, the cartoons having first appeared there and in newspapers in many Western countries since then, raising tensions even higher.
Things have now gotten so violent and out-of-hand the European Union, as seen in an EUBusiness.com article, is presently calling on Muslim countries to protect EU nationals from attack by protesters. As the EUBusiness.com article documents, demonstrators in Tehran pelted and smashed several windows of the Austrian embassy within the last few days. Danish and Norwegian diplomatic missions in Damascus and a Danish consulate in Beirut have also been targeted.
As violently as the Muslim world has reacted, what is presently taking place diplomatically between Denmark, where the cartoons originated, and nuclear weapon-seeking Iran is even more noteworthy! The BBC is reporting Iran, directly as a result of the cartoons, has cut all trade ties with Denmark, in spite of the fact it wasn’t the Danish government that printed these cartoons, but a Danish newspaper! In Tehran, oddly, the favorite chant of its radical element is now “Death to Denmark” as opposed to “Death to America”, at least temporarily. Surely, the EU is concerned about that, especially when we consider that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is convinced the apocalypse is going to happen in his lifetime and wholeheartedly believes he is in a position to “hasten the awaited return of the 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi.” The Mahdi, in case you haven’t heard, is Islam’s messiah.
The Mahdi, it is believed, as documented in a Washington Times article highlighting the Iranian president’s beliefs, will be Muhammad ibn Hasan, the righteous descendant of the Prophet Muhammad said to have gone into “occlusion” in the 9th century, at the age of 5. Ahmadinejad, according to the Washington Times article, believes the Mahdi’s arrival is only two short years away.
When we look at the following excerpt from the article, it becomes clear that the times leading up to the Mahdi’s arrival are very reminiscent of Bible prophecy:
His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war, bloodshed and pestilence. After this cataclysmic confrontation between the forces of good and evil, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.
The time leading up to the Mahdi’s return sounds eerily like the Tribulation Period prophesied in the Word of God, doesn’t it? It is important to note, however, that what Islamic believers think will take place in the end and what Christian believers are told will take place is quite different.
Islam is looking for someone who was born after Christ’s death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection to arrive at the end of a time of conflict between good and evil to lead the world into an era of universal peace. The Christian, in contrast, is looking for the return of Jesus Christ to take place at the end of a seven-year period of time during which God will judge the world for its sinfulness. The end result of this seven-year Tribulation Period will see a culminative confrontation between the forces of good and evil take place at the battle of Armageddon when the armies of Antichrist and the armies of Heaven led by Christ Himself will stare one another down, leading to the defeat of evil and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on the earth, during which Christ will sit on the throne of King David (Isaiah 9:7, Luke 1:32) in Jerusalem for a period of 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-5), prior to the saints entering into eternity with the Lord.
While the current cartoon chaos may seem of little consequence to many, what we’ve learned in this commentary is that Iran’s president – the one pressing his nation to get a nuclear weapon assembled as quickly as possible, defying the international community’s call for his nation to cease seeking a nuclear weapons, inciting the Islamic world’s hatred of the West and Israel, and taking a war-like stance against Denmark over the publication of some cartoons – believes he is in a position to “hasten the awaited return of the 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi.” How does Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hope to hasten the Mahdi’s return? By bringing about the apocalypse, of course! Could it be made any more clear than it is? Ahmadinejad thinks the Mahdi could show up as early as within the next two years. Is that because Ahmadinejad knows Iran, if things go as planned, is going to have a nuclear weapon by then – one he is crazy enough to use in an attempt to bring the apocalypse about?
Could the Western world, sensing that it absolutely must resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in advance of Iran getting a nuclear weapon in order to defuse tensions between Islam and the West, intensify its efforts to do so, leading the world closer to the advent of the Antichrist, an event which will be preceded by the Rapture of the Church? Quite possibly, in my opinion.
The title of the Washington Times article I referred to several times in this commentary is entitled “Later than we think.” A world that has forgotten its God is racing toward the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation Period, and Armageddon yet mankind is largely oblivious to it all.
Truly, it’s later than we think.

Jesus Walks on the Water

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.
After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.
Matthew 14:22-36 (New American Standard Bible)

Re-Post: “First they came for Israel, then they came for America…”

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Re-post of Dennis Prager’s article “First they came for Israel, then they came for America…” posted on Townhall.com.

In 1945, the anti-Nazi German pastor Martin Niemoller wrote the following:
“First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.”
This famous statement can be updated for Europeans:
First they came for Israel, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t Jews. Then they came for Lebanon’s Christians, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t Maronites. Then they came for America, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t Americans. Then they came for Sudan’s blacks, and we didn’t speak up because we weren’t Sudanese blacks. Then they came for us, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for us.
As long as Muslim demonstrators only shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” Europe (and the rest of the world’s Left) found reasons either to ignore the Nazi-like evil inherent in those chants (and the homicidal actions that flowed from them) or to blame America and Israel for the hatred.
But like the earlier Nazis, our generation’s fascists hate anything good, not merely Jews and Americans. And now the Damascus embassy of Norway, a leading anti-Israel “peace at any price” country, has been torched. And more and more Norwegians, and Brits, and French, and Dutch, and Swedes, and the rest of the European appeasers who blamed America for 9-11 and blamed Israel for Palestinian suicide bombings, are beginning to wonder whether there just might be something morally troubling within the Islamic world.
Some on the Left here and in Europe are beginning to reassess whether America and Israel or their Islamic enemies are at fault.
The fact that major newspapers in most Western European countries published some or all of the cartoons that triggered the riots against Denmark, the country in which the offending cartoons of Muhammad first appeared, was a statement that at least some in Europe have had it with appeasement of Islamic violence.
And here in America, a left-of-center columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Tim Rutten, just wrote: “It’s no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world.”
As it happens, I have sympathy with the notion that newspapers and others need to be sensitive to religious, including Muslim, sensibilities. However, when Muslim governments and religious spokesmen attack the West for its insensitivity to Muslims and its anti-Muslim prejudice, one has entered the Twilight Zone. Because nowhere in the world is there anywhere near the religious bigotry and sheer hatred of other religions that exists in the Muslim world.
Christians nearly everywhere in the Arab and Muslim worlds are usually second-class citizens at best and terribly treated at worst.
The Taliban Islamic regime in Afghanistan blew up the unique Buddhist sculptures in their country because they didn’t want even a trace of a non-monotheistic faith to survive in an Islamic country.
About a million non-Arab and non-Muslim men, women and children have been slaughtered by the Islamic regime in Sudan.
Nigerian Christians are periodically murdered by Islamic mobs.
And regarding Jews, Andrew Sullivan writes in this week’s Time: “The Arab media run cartoons depicting Jews and the symbols of the Jewish faith with imagery indistinguishable from that used in the Third Reich.”
As for the riots and Islamic government protests, one question needs to be posed to these people: Which casts Islam in a worse light — political cartoons depicting Muhammad, or Muslims who murder innocents around the world in the name Allah and Islam?
Did any Jews riot when the Los Angeles Times published a cartoon of the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall, with its stones reconfigured to spell “hate”?
Did any Christians riot when museums displayed “Piss Christ,” a crucifix submerged in artist Andres Serrano’s urine?
What we have is a culture largely based on saving face and honor juxtaposed with a Judeo-Christian Western culture largely based on saving liberty and innocent life.
All of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, should pray that the better one wins.
Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host, author, and contributing columnist for Townhall.com.

Three More Alabama Churches Set on Fire, Officials Say

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Fox News is reporting that three more churches in Alabama have been set on fire. Please join me in praying for these congregations.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Fires damaged three more rural churches in Alabama following rash of suspected arsons that burned five churches south of Birmingham last week, a state official said Tuesday.
Ragan Ingram, a spokesman for the state insurance agency that oversees fire investigations, said the fires were at a church near Aliceville in Pickens County, near Emelle in Sumter County and near Boligee in Greene County.
He said the extent of damage was not immediately known and it wasn’t immediately clear when the three churches burned. State and federal fire investigators were sent to the scenes, he said.
“Obviously we’re going to investigate these as arsons,” Ingram said.


Read the rest here.

Re-Post: Nearing Midnight for February 6th (Part 2)

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

America: Stumbling Block or Catalyst?

Antichrist and the false prophet of Revelation chapter 13 will be the drivers of the geopolitical and religious juggernaut that will crush anyone and anything that opposes it during the tribulation era. The engine that will power Satan’s cruel, soul-rending beast of Revelation 13: 1-2 will be an all-controlling, enslaving economy. We see the beast described as follows:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:1-2).
The control that beast will wield is described in this way:
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16-17).
The technologies for setting up just such a system of control over the people of Planet Earth have grown exponentially during the past several decades. Computer-satellite hook-ups between continents, linking most all of the world in a geometrically progressing network of electronic funds transfer capability, brings this generation ever closer to the type control prophesied in those familiar passages of Scripture. The United States of America, the most materially blessed nation to ever sit atop earth’s surface, has been concentric to the global networking. Most of the great contributions to the computer and satellite revolution have been spawned from this country. But, other super-industrious peoples around the globe continue the “progress.” Other nations are now taking the relevant technologies to new levels of “achievement.” Now, it is America who seems to be dragging her feet in bringing in economic Utopia.
The problem is that we Americans won’t make significant movement toward giving up our paper bills and coinage. We seem to be fighting the desire of the other major economic spheres who want to convert to digital money –total electronic funds.
An article sent to me by a Rapture Ready friend (thanks again, Jason) somewhat sums up the cause of the growing rift between the economic elites.
“Joe Levine, a senior analyst at Yankee Group, is skeptical that U.S. paper money or coins will fall by the wayside anytime soon. Creating a cashless society in the U.S. with either mobile phones or smart cards would require enormous effort by players in several industries, he said, including credit-card companies, mobile-phone service providers, manufacturers, and retailers.”
There is considerable concern among the financial powers who plan for all-encompassing globalization in order to create their economic heaven on earth. The article addresses that concern to some extent.
“So, what would get the U.S. to the day when cash becomes obsolete? According to Levine, we are still far enough away that trying to foresee a turning point is difficult. In the same way that cash was still on the scene after the introduction of checks, so will it eventually coexist following any adoption of digital money, [Charles Goldfinger, a consultant who has advised the European Commission on e-finance and smart-card-based financial applications] said. Nor will e-cash eliminate credit cards and debt, he said. People still will be reluctant, he pointed out, to use a prepaid card to buy something like a computer” (“Is It Time To Say Goodbye to Paper Money?” Walaika K. Haskins, newsfactor.com Mon Jan 30, 5:55 PM ET).
Is America, then, a stumbling block to or a catalyst for the emerging system that will almost certainly serve as the framework for Antichrist’s Revelation 13 hegemony over Planet Earth?
Rationale prompts one to believe that something must happen to cause the U.S. citizenship to come around to a total e-money solution to the confusing state of currency exchanges, etc. But, the process is agonizingly slow, and would likely have to take place with powerful opposition from the American Congress and its constituencies and lobbyists.
Many observers of Bible prophecy, including yours truly, can’t see decades for such a situation to develop. That is, we can’t imagine a scenario that would allow, in America, a lengthy transition to the coming global order essential to the future Antichrist regime’s system of control. This, because most all other prophesied signals for the tribulation appear to now be in place –so far as stage-setting for the tribulation is concerned.
Again, the factor that fits perfectly into a scenario in which America instantly is brought to such a state of chaos that she acquiesces to the world’s call for a cashless system of digital economics, is –you guessed it—the rapture!

–Terry

Re-Post: Nearing Midnight for February 6th (Part 1)

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

The Volatile Middle East Just Got A Little More Volatile

The surprise Hamas electoral victory has created quite a stir in the world of prophecy. The past week, several people have asked me for my take on Israel getting an Islamic terrorist state as its new neighbor.
The establishment of Hamas rule in the West bank and Gaza almost guarantees that the world media will soon be covering a new round of terrorist acts. When Arafat ran the Palestinian Authority, he looked the other way when Hamas carried out homicide bombings in Israel. Unless the leopard decides to change its spots, any future terrorist acts will now have state sponsorship.
The Israel government has been rather quiet the past couple weeks. I’m sure they are assessing the situation. If terrorist acts against the Jewish population can be traced back to the new Palestinian government, it is certain that the Israeli military will take swift action. We need to remember that Ariel Sharon approved several air strikes against several Hamas leaders.
Once Hamas forms a cabinet, it will have to deal with a government riddled with corruption and mismanagement. The Palestinian Authority is running out of money to pay civil servants, the state has an $800 million budget, and unemployment currently stands at 40 percent. These are just a few of the problems.
The troubles are only going to get worse now that several nations have frozen aid money previously earmarked for the Palestinians. Israel will certainly have nothing to do with a Hamas government. The terrorist bombings that Hamas sponsored forced Israel to build the containment wall.
Terry and I have been talking about this situation, and we generally think that Hamas will probably be forced to recognize Israel in some way. Unless a nation like Iran decides to dramatically increase its level of support, Hamas will eventually have little choice but make peace with Israel.
Of course, the Bible predicts there never will be any lasting peace between the Israelis and the Arabs. The Word of God says that a group of nations, led by Russia, will someday seek to destroy Israel. Even when the Antichrist comes to establish a peace agreement, he will betray Israel by committing the abomination of desolation..
“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains” (Mar. 13:14).
I think what makes the Hamas victory so important to prophecy is the Palestinians’ proximity to State of Israel. They both claim the same small patch of ground. Any unrest between the Palestinians and Israelis could be the catalyst that triggers a wider conflict.
The situation in the Middle East is getting very close to resembling the vision described by the prophet Ezekiel. We now have leadership in Russia, Iran and the Palestinian government with agendas that perfectly fit the Ezekiel 38 and 39 scenario. As students of prophecy, we need to be very watchful of any further indications that the prophetic puzzle board is coming together.
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ezek. 38:8-9).

–Todd

Hamas in its own words; The charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

If you are interested what the new government of the pali territory might be like, you might want to read the charter of Hamas, who won the last election in pali-land.

Read it here.

Catholic Group Says of ‘Da Vinci Code’ Film: It’s Just Fiction

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

I’ve read the book and actually thought it was good, as far as the action and adventure part goes, but please remember that it is just fiction. That means it’s not real. It’s a story. That’s all it is. I probably won’t see the movie, since I’m basically boycotting hollywood (except for the Narnia movie), but I suspect it would probably be a good, fictional movie.

When “The Da Vinci Code” became a publishing sensation, leaders of the Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei realized they had an image problem on their hands.
The assassin in the best-selling thriller is an albino Opus Dei monk named Silas, and the group is depicted as a powerful but secretive cult whose members practice ritualistic self-torture. In a preface titled “Fact,” the author, Dan Brown, said his book was more than mere fiction.
When plans were revealed for a movie based on the book, Opus Dei leaders say they tried to persuade Sony Pictures to excise any mention of their group, sending a letter last year saying the book was “a gross distortion and a grave injustice.”
Their effort failed.
With the film starring
Tom Hanks now set for release on May 19, Opus Dei is trying to sate public interest and cast the group in a very different light than the religious home of a fictional assassin.
The group is promoting a blog by an Opus Dei priest in Rome, revamping its Web site and even arranging interviews with a member said to be the only “real Silas” in Opus Dei — a Nigerian-born stockbroker who lives in Brooklyn.
Silas Agbim, the stockbroker, said that Opus Dei taught its members to hold themselves to the highest standards. “If you do your work well, it’s pleasing to God,” said Mr. Agbim, a graying father of three grown children who is married to a professor emeritus of library science. “And if you think you will get holy by reciting 10 rosaries a day and doing your work sloppily, that is wrong.”
Still, the “Da Vinci Code” movie is sure to revive a long-simmering debate among Catholics over whether Opus Dei is a positive or negative influence in the church. Critics say that while the group is relatively small, a few members seem to hold important positions in the Vatican, including the pope’s chief spokesman.

Read the rest here.