Archive for February 24th, 2006

South Dakota House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Fox News just reported this.

PIERRE, S.D. — The state House of Representatives has given final legislative approval to a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota.
The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, who said he is inclined to sign the bill if it has no technical defects.
The measure is intended to prompt a legal fight on the legality of abortion. It would become law July 1 if Rounds signs it.
The bill already had passed both houses of the Legislature, but the House had to agree to a Senate amendment before it could go to the governor. It passed 50-18.
“I’ve indicated I’m pro-life and I do believe abortion is wrong, and that we should do everything we can to save lives,” Rounds said. “If this bill accomplishes that, then I am inclined to sign the bill into law.”
Rounds noted that he issued a technical veto of a similar measure two years ago because it would have wiped out all existing restrictions on abortion while the bill was tied up for years in a court challenge. The Legislature failed to make the wording changes Rounds sought.
Under the new bill, doctors in South Dakota would face up to five years in prison for performing an abortion. The only exception would be for women who need abortions to save their lives.
The legislation directly targets Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the nation. Lawmakers believe the nation’s highest court is more likely to reverse itself on the abortion issue since the recent appointment of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
Planned Parenthood, which operates a Sioux Falls clinic that is the only facility to perform abortions in South Dakota, has pledged to file a lawsuit challenging the measure, which would become law July 1. The clinic does about 800 abortions a year.
Rounds noted that a court challenge likely would not be settled for two or three years, and only the nation’s highest court could overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. He said he does not know if the Supreme Court would even agree to hear the case.
The governor said he believes it would be better to eliminate abortion in a series of steps, but some abortion opponents want a court challenge that could wipe out abortion in one fell swoop.
“Personally, I believe we will save more lives by continuing to chip away at Roe v. Wade one step at a time,” he said.
“Long-term, I think this court is probably more amenable to restricting the impact of Roe v. Wade on a case-by-case basis and an exception-by-exception basis,” Rounds said. “But in the meantime, this may satisfy a lot of individuals out there who would like to see if there is one slim chance the court may entertain three years from now a direct assault on Roe v. Wade.”
During debate on the measure, lawmakers were told an anonymous donor has pledged to give the state $1 million to defend the abortion ban in court. The Legislature is setting up a special account to accept donations from the public because other people want to contribute to the legal fight.
“I can tell you first-had we’ve had people stopping in our office trying to drop off checks to promote the defense of this legislation already,” Rounds said.

Update:
I wanted to get this posted so the news could get out. Anyway, on to my comments…
This is remarkable. For a state to feel so strongly aboyt this to put themselves in this positon is remarkable. My hat is off to them. We need to pray that they have the success and get the results they are trying for.

Another Cartoon for the Toonophobic

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Apparently now it is illegal in Malaysia to not only show cartoons of mohammed, but just mentioning him in a cartoon will bring on troubling consequences.
The cartoon in question was this one:


The newspaper, in Malaysia, that ran it, was the “New Straits Times“. Here is an excerpt from the apology editorial they ran after coming under fire.

Obviously, we misjudged how different people would react to Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon published by the New Straits Times last Monday. We have written to the Internal Security Ministry in response to its letter asking us to show cause, explaining the processes involved and how the cartoon came to be published. It is a process involving the human factor, and humans err.
We told the ministry the same thing we are telling you — that we may have misjudged how different people would react to the cartoon, which, as we have pointed out to the authorities, was NOT one of the 12 produced by Danish cartoonists that outraged Muslims throughout the world. It was a totally different cartoon.It was wry humour by an artist whose work is syndicated in more than 700 newspapers, including those in Islamic countries, and whose strip has run in the NST since 1998.
There was no caricature of the Prophet Muhammad at all in that cartoon; nor was there any derogatory comment made about the Prophet or Islam.
Perhaps, in more ordinary circumstances, such a cartoon would not have received more than a passing mention.
Yet, these are different times. The Muslim world was outraged by the blasphemy of the Danish and European newspapers.
When the Sarawak Tribune and Guang Ming Daily reproduced pictures depicting the caricature of the Prophet, the Government acted firmly and suspended both newspapers. Their editors and publishers were held accountable.
In the case of Wiley Miller’s cartoon in the NST, there was no caricature of Prophet Muhammad at all. NONE.
(In other words, don’t kill us, burn down our offices, riot in the streets or go on a Christian killing rampage, as if you even needed an excuse to do those things anyway. -ed.)
And that is why we believed it was inoffensive. But just as we have received letters and emails, many from Muslims, saying they could not see what the fuss was all about, there are also those who feel strongly about this.
They include some members of the Cabinet, including newly appointed Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin; NGOs, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the Opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and others who have called the NST office to register their protest.
But again, we want to make very clear: There was no caricature of the Prophet published in the NST.
(See note above. -ed.)
We have always been sensitive to religious feelings. In fact, the NST is the most multiracial newspaper in the country because we have a very good mix of Malaysians working with us at all levels.
No other newspaper can boast of that racial and religious make-up. Hence, that makes us more sensitive to each other’s feelings and allows us to respect each other’s beliefs to a greater extent than an organisation dominated by one racial or religious group.
(Hey, we’re victims here too…but we just realized that Malaysia, like all other muslim countries, doesn’t have freedom. -ed)
When the caricature controversy began, our editors and section heads were instructed not to even think about reproducing any of the caricatures.In the case of the Wiley Miller comic strip, the sub-editor in charge let through the cartoon because it bore no caricature nor words offensive to Islam. (Anyone else feel that maybe the sub-editor is a “dead man walking”? -ed.)

Read the rest of the bowing and scraping here. Maybe an iman will like the shoe kissing and go ahead and tell them that they are under his protection. “Good little news paper editors. Now curl up on the floor by big daddy imans chair and kiss my shoes some more. If you’re really good at it, I might even pat your head some.”
Oh, by the way, here is a link to the origianal cartoons.
For a definition of “Toonophobia” click here.

The LORD is My Shepherd

Friday, February 24th, 2006

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23

Adopt Our Values or Go Home, Foreign-Born Muslims Told

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Our government should take the hint and follow right along with what Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s administration is saying.

(CNSNews.com) – Australian Muslims already unhappy with Prime Minister John Howard’s criticism about Islamic radicalism are bristling at even tougher comments from the man tipped to succeed him, who says any Muslim immigrant who can’t accept Australian values should leave.
Anyone wanting to live under Islamic law (shari’a) might feel more comfortable living in countries where it is applied, such as Saudi Arabia or Iran, federal Treasurer Peter Costello said in an address to the Sydney Institute, a think tank.
In a pledge of allegiance, immigrants taking on Australian citizenship declare: “I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
Costello said that anyone “who does not acknowledge the supremacy of civil law laid down by democratic processes cannot truthfully take the pledge of allegiance. As such they do not meet the pre-condition for citizenship.”
Any Muslim planning to immigrate to Australia should first consider its values.
“Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes,” Costello said. “This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks don’t enter the mosque.
“Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objection to those values, don’t come to Australia.”
The debate in Australia over Islam and its more radical adherents has been picking up steadily since 9/11, becoming more urgent after 88 Australians were killed when Islamists bombed an Indonesian tourist resort in 2002, and focusing increasingly on homegrown extremists after last July’s London bombings, carried out by British-born Muslims.

Read the rest here.

Re-Post: “Israel: Hamas is forming ‘Axis of Evil’ with Syria and Iran”

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Israel: Hamas is forming ‘Axis of Evil’ with Syria and Iran
by Michael G. Mickey
(2-23-06)

Some of the Bible’s prophesies have been fulfilled. Others have not. While none of us know precisely how things are going to shake out in relation to the fulfillment of the Bible’s remaining prophecies, one thing even the most mildly interested Christian knows of Bible prophecy is the Bible predicts the battle to end all battles will take place in the Middle East. We refer to it as Armageddon.
Revelation 16:16: And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
How close are we to Armageddon? Only the Lord knows as the onset of the seven-year Tribulation Period during which Armageddon will occur will only take place once the Rapture of the Church (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17) has occurred and the Antichrist, the son of perdition (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4), has come forward to confirm a seven-year covenant of peace in the Middle East between Israel and her enemies “with many.” (Daniel 9:26-27)
Can we see any evidence in the world around us that may indicate all of the events detailed in the preceding paragraph may be drawing near? I certainly believe so, as I continue documenting on this site.
Presently, the revived Roman empire of Bible prophecy, the European Union, is heavily involved in peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. Not only is the EU involved, there are three other world powers aiding them: the United States, Russia, and the United Nations. Could the highly publicized Quartet comprised of these four globally influential powers be the “many” the prophet Daniel foretold we’d see the Antichrist arise from among to confirm Middle East peace? Quite possibly, although I would never be so bold as to say so dogmatically.
Not only do we have the Quartet in existence, there is a seemingly failed peace covenant discussed often which had an original seven-year timeline, the Oslo Accords. Many people tell me Oslo, which was signed in 1993 and was to see a Palestinian state born in the year 2000, is a dead issue, but I continue to document that it remains a basis for future peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to this very day, the most recent example being found in a Jerusalem Newswire commentary dated 2-21-06.
In the JN commentary, Jerusalem Newswire’s Ryan Jones documents the results of a recent survey conducted by Jerusalem Media & Communication Center, one result of which found the Palestinians “are split on whether Hamas should even bother with the Oslo Accords.” Does this indicate that the Oslo Accords are a dead issue? Hardly, leaving me to wonder if there is yet a chance that Oslo may play a role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Could it be that what didn’t take place in the first attempt at implementing the Oslo Accords will take place in a second attempt? As we look at Daniel’s prophecy detailing the advent of the Antichrist, it’s interesting that we see the seven-year covenant will be ‘confirmed’ or be made strong. How do we ‘confirm’ peace covenants in these end times? We use peacekeepers, right? Again, I’m not being dogmatic in stating the Oslo Accords may form the basis for the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the rise of Antichrist in the future. What I do dogmatically believe, however, is this tidbit of information, along with many others present in the world around us, should be stored in our minds as a reminder that Christ’s return for His Church may be close at hand! Why? Because whatever gives us hope in our flesh, which is often weary from the troubles of this world, that we may soon be caught up to be with the Lord gives us great spiritual power and motivation to live our lives in the center of God’s will!
So, what does this issue of Israel saying Hamas is forming an ‘Axis of Evil’ with Syria and Iran potentially have to do with Bible prophecy? Lots! Let’s look at that for a moment.
A Ynetnews article states (emphasis added mine) “Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, on Tuesday warned of a new “terror axis” between Iran, Syria and Hamas, which could kick start “the first world war of the 21st century.””
I don’t know about any of you but I’m convinced the next world war that takes place on this planet, pitting nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom, is going to swiftly lead the world to Armageddon. How could that not be the case when so many nations have nuclear weaponry and so many more are on the brink of developing these deadly weapons of mass destruction?
Gillerman’s words ring very prophetic to me as we know for a fact, based on Ezekiel 38 & 39, Iran (referred to as Persia in the Old Testament passages) is going to be involved in the prophesied Gog-Magog invasion attempt described in those two chapters. Syria, interestingly, is mentioned by Gillerman but is nowhere to be found among the list of nations that will come against Israel in the Gog-Magog attack.
Could it be that Damascus, the vacation spot of radical Islamic terrorists the world over, won’t be around to join in the attack? The prophet Isaiah wrote, as seen in Isaiah 17:1: The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
Although there are some respected theologians who suggest Isaiah’s prophecy of Damascus being utterly destroyed has been fulfilled in the past, I can’t help but wonder, particularly knowing how dedicated Damascus is to Israel’s destruction, why it would sit idly by while practically every Islamic nation in the region joins Russia in attempting to achieve the long-standing goal of the Arab world – the destruction of Israel.
Encarta states Damascus is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, documenting its history from 15th-century BC Egyptian inscriptions that refer to it as the capital of a city-state until now. Although I’ve read, even in Encarta’s description, that Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria left Damascus in ruins in 732 BC, I am not convinced, based on the fact Damascus has continued onward as a city and remains one to this day, that Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Damascus has been completely fulfilled, particularly when I look at the Gog-Magog attack to come. Where, oh where, is the world’s #2 state sponsor of terrorism when Gog-Magog occurs? Could it be that the totality of Isaiah’s prophecy being fulfilled is yet to take place during this time when advanced weaponry, particularly nuclear weaponry, could see an entire city taken from being a city in mere seconds, leaving it a ruinous heap? Something for us to ponder at the very least.
No ‘Axis of Evil’ will prevail against Israel or Christ!
If an ‘Axis of Evil’ should form each and every day between now and Christ’s return, both for His Church at the Rapture and visibly, physically and bodily at the battle of Armageddon with His Church at His side, the nation of Israel, as seen in the Word of God, will survive, albeit battered by the time Christ returns at Armageddon, Jerusalem having been trampled under foot for forty and two months by the forces of Antichrist, as seen in Revelation 11:2.
While the born-again believer should be upset that the enemies of our God are plotting a takeover of the Holy Land, we need to maintain a sense of calm, realizing, as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that all these things must come to pass as detailed in the Word of God. We should also, particularly at this moment in history, realize that these troubling matters point toward a brighter day coming for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, potentially in the not-too-distant future!
Luke 21:28: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
What’re you waiting for, Christians? Look up! Lift up your heads! Jesus Christ is coming soon!

Pro-Israel Christians join forces

Friday, February 24th, 2006

I’ve always thought that despite what we hear in the MSM’s, there are a lot more Christians and denominations who support Israel then there are who do not. It’s good to see this group get started. Maybe by combining efforts, they can force the MSM’s to report the truth, for once.

American evangelicals form umbrella body in bid to unite efforts in support of Israel. New organization to represent some 35 million Christians.

WASHINGTON – Pro-Israeli Christian groups operating in the United States have decided to form an umbrella organization that will engage in lobbying efforts in Washington beginning this coming summer.
The organization, made up of mostly evangelical groups, will also open offices across the country, hold events in support of Israel, offer political, financial and public relations support, and work to strengthen the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Israel.
This umbrella organization is expected to comprise some 30-35 million American evangelists who have until now operated separately, and will act similarly to the way the Jewish lobby operates in the U.S.
The new organization will be led by John Hagee, an influential evangelist with some put at the White House, who heads a congregation of
tens of thousands of worshippers in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee’s Sunday sermons are broadcast to millions of American viewers on television.
Some two weeks ago, Hagee convened 400 heads of Christian congregations and organizations, representing 30-35 million Americans, to discuss the establishment of the umbrella organization, set to be directed by Hagee himself. Israel’s Ambassador in Washington Danny Ayalon later hosted a special meeting with 80 Christian leaders, including Robert Stern, designated to serve as vice chairman of the organization.
In July, heads of the group are scheduled to arrive in D.C. and present their initiative before members of Congress.

Read the rest here.

130 Christians murdered over cartoons

Friday, February 24th, 2006

More deadly news concerning the Christians in Nigeria. Pray for these people.

Muslim rioters, incensed over the cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark, were responsible for killing at least 130 Christians on the streets of Maiduguri and Onitsha in Nigeria, according to reports filtering out of the country from Voice of the Martyrs.
At least 51 Christians are confirmed dead in the Maiduguri attacks that took place Saturday. In the rampage, more than 150 homes and 32 churches were burned, and 85 shops were destroyed. Authorities were finally able to control the volatile scene after arresting 114 and having militia enforce a curfew.
The mayhem began when Muslims staged their demonstration against degrading caricatures of Muhammad that were originally published in September 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten. Even though the cartoons were by no means a Christian attack on Islam, Muslims in Nigeria and throughout the world have turned their rage toward Christians – many of whom have never even heard of the controversial sketches, reports
Voice of the Martyrs.
Muslims were reported running through the streets of Maiduguri threatening people with death and violence if they did not speak their local dialect. Many of the dozens of victims were publicly tortured to death in the city streets.
Amidst the violence, six children were burned to ashes in front of their father, Joseph Tukwa, who was unable to rescue them. Six Christian leaders, including the Rev. Joshua Adamu, were injured and are now in hiding. Church of Christ in Nigeria, Living Faith Church, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church were some of the churches set ablaze by rioters, who killed two Catholic priests. St. Rita’s Catholic Church was also torched. The Rev. Fr. Matthew Gajere was murdered and then burned after he helped several altar boys escape to safety.
In total, at least 123 people have been killed in the last four days of violence across Nigeria.
At least 80 people, mostly Christians, were slaughtered during two days of violence in Onitsha, leading Nigerian human rights group Civil Liberties Organization, said yesterday.
“We counted at least 60 dead on Tuesday, and on Wednesday no less than 20,” said Emeka Umeh, who heads CLO in Anambra State.
With Nigeria’s population of 126 million people roughly split between a predominantly Muslim north and a Christian majority south, analysts say the cartoon controversy has simply served as a spark for this latest episode of sectarian violence.

And from the Vatican:

Vatican to Muslims: practice what you preach
PARIS (Reuters) – After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.
Roman Catholic leaders at first said Muslims were right to be outraged when Western newspapers reprinted Danish caricatures of the Prophet, including one with a bomb in his turban. Most Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.
After criticizing both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.
Vatican prelates have been concerned by recent killings of two Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria. Turkish media linked the death there to the cartoons row. At least 146 Christians and Muslims have died in five days of religious riots in Nigeria.
“If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us,” Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.
“We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts,” Foreign Minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo told the daily Corriere della Sera.
Reciprocity — allowing Christian minorities the same rights as Muslims generally have in Western countries, such as building houses of worship or practicing religion freely — is at the heart of Vatican diplomacy toward Muslim states.
Vatican diplomats argue that limits on Christians in some Islamic countries are far harsher than restrictions in the West that Muslims decry, such as France’s ban on headscarves in state schools.
Saudi Arabia bans all public expression of any non-Muslim religion and sometimes arrests Christians even for worshipping privately. Pakistan allows churches to operate but its Islamic laws effectively deprive Christians of many rights.
Both countries are often criticized at the United Nations Human Rights Commission for violating religious freedoms.

Read the rest here.