Archive for March 20th, 2006

Hands Off Iran??

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Curt Weldon: Bin Laden Is Dead

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Interesting news, if true. I’d be hard to prove in any case. Take this news with a grain of salt.

Rep. Curt Weldon, who broke the Able Danger story last year revealing that military intelligence had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist threat before the 9/11 attacks, now says that Osama bin Laden has died.
Weldon made the stunning claim during an interview Wednesday with the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported: “Weldon is making explosive new allegations. He says a high-level source has told him that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has died in Iran, where he has been in hiding.”
Weldon cited as his source an Iranian exile code-named Ali, telling the paper: “Ali’s told me that Osama bin Laden is dead. He died in Iran.”
Weldon said he last spoke to Ali three weeks ago. The Iranian exile was a prominent source for his 2005 book, “Countdown to Terror.” The book also contained the first mention of the Able Danger data mining operation.
The Pennsylvania Republican has long alleged that bin Laden has been using Iran for sanctuary.
In June last year, Weldon said in a TV interview: “I’m confident that I know for sure that [bin Laden] has been in and out of Iran … Two years ago, he was in the southern town of Ladis, 10 kilometers inside the Pakistan border. I also know that earlier this year, he had a meeting with al-Zarqawi in Tehran …
“If you look at the recent comments coming out of both the CIA and some of our military generals in theater, they’re now acknowledging the same thing that I’ve been saying – that in fact, he’s been in and out of Iran.
“[But] no one can prove it exactly until we capture him.”

Cyclone Larry Lashes Australian Coast

Monday, March 20th, 2006

More crazy weather situations going on in the world. I guess I need to be more informed, but I’m assuming that a cyclone named “Larry” means this is the Southern hemisphere’s twelth named storm? I’ll have to research that a bit and see. Anyway, pretty bad deal for the Aussies. Keep them in your prayers.

CAIRNS, Australia — The most powerful storm to hit Australia in decades laid waste to its northeastern coast on Monday, mowing down sugar and banana plantations and leaving possibly thousands of people homeless. But there were no reports of serious injuries, reflecting the preparedness of residents in the storm-prone region.
About 30 people were treated at hospitals for minor cuts and abrasions, said Ben Creagh, a spokesman for Queensland state Department of Emergency Services. Many people had fled their homes to shelter in evacuation centers ahead of the storm, while some hunkered down in their homes.
“This is far north Queensland and most people live with cyclones year in, year out. They do take precautions,” said spokesman Jim Guthrie of Queensland’s health department. “We’ve come out of it extremely well.”
Cyclone Larry crashed ashore about 60 miles south of Cairns as a Category 5 storm, packing winds of up to 180 mph.
Cairns is a popular jumping-off point for visits to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral system which runs parallel to the coast for more than 1,400 miles. Authorities said it was too early to assess possible damage to the reef, visited by nearly two million tourists each year.
In Innisfail, a farming town of 8,500 that was hardest hit, Mayor Neil Clarke estimated that thousands were left homeless. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the airport was being cleared to house people in tents. More than 100,000 people were without power, authorities said.
“It looks like an atomic bomb hit the place,” he said.
The storm was so bad at its height overnight that police were unable to venture out and help terrified residents who called to say the winds had ripped roofs off buildings and destroyed their homes. As emergency services fanned out across the region later to assess the damage, they encountered scenes of devastation.
“The damage to dwellings is very extensive,” Prime Minister John Howard told the Nine Network from Melbourne. “Thank heavens it does not appear as though there have been any very serious injuries.”
Howard said he would visit the stricken region in coming days and the government would provide aid to homeless families. He said he was confident the cyclone would not cause the kind of chaos seen in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina last year.
“Australians are very good at responding to these things because everybody pitches in without restraint,” he told reporters.
The main street of Innisfail was littered with the mangled remains of corrugated tin and iron roofs and shredded fronds from beach side palm trees. Queensland state leader Peter Beattie said more than half the homes in the town were damaged.
“Some have been flattened, roofs have been taken off,” he told Macquarie Radio. “The property damage has been immense.”
Creagh said many people evacuated voluntarily over the weekend and would likely return to their homes Tuesday. Some who did not flee the town sheltered in a local college, he added.
“Tomorrow is going to be a big day” with residents returning to their homes, he said. “There will be some devastated people.”
The storm also devastated banana and sugar cane plantations, the region’s economic mainstay. Officials said damage would run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
Des Hensler, an Innisfail resident, took shelter by himself in a church, with water up to his ankles. “I don’t get scared much, but this is something to make any man tremble in his boots,” he told the Seven television network.
Australia’s military said it would send a medical team to the region. Helicopters would conduct low-level damage assessment flights.
State Disaster Coordination Center spokesman Peter Rekers warned residents to stay on their guard for deadly animals stirred up by the storm.
“Most of the casualties and deaths resulting from cyclones happen after the storm has passed,” he warned. “Keep your kids away from flooded drains, be aware of snakes and crocodiles. Those guys will have had a bad night too.”
The storm was the most powerful to hit Australia since Christmas Eve in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy destroyed the northern city of Darwin, killing 65 people.

Sorry for the Lack of Post over the Weekend

Monday, March 20th, 2006


I apologize for the lack of post over the weekend, but between little league baseball and preparing to paint the house, I was away from the computer most of the time.

Russian Immigrant Believers Join Christian Protest Against Homosexual Agenda

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I sometimes feel that our naturalized (legal) immigrant community often takes our freedoms more seriously then those of us who have lived here for generations (my family helped found this country, has fought in all it’s wars, and were even present at the Jamestown colony -ed).
I hope more groups are prepared to take an active role in counteracting the events and political pressure the homosexuals are using to push their agenda.

(AgapePress) – Hundreds of Christians from primarily Russian churches in Sacramento, California, recently rallied outside the California State Capitol to protest a pro-homosexual bill in the state legislature and to counter a homosexual activist event.
More than 700 Christians were involved in staging the demonstration to oppose a bill that would cut state funding to public schools that do not promote homosexuality as normal, legitimate behavior. The demonstrators held up signs bearing messages such as “AB 606 is discriminating against Christians” and “Homosexuality is sin.”
Meanwhile, a smaller crowd of about 300 young people nearby took part in “Queer Youth Advocacy Day.” Demonstrators on either side were kept separated by members of the California Highway Patrol.
Luke Otterstad is outreach coordinator for Church of the Divide, which helped organize the Christian protest. He says the Russian Christians who rallied at the Capitol feel threatened by the homosexual agenda and its efforts to muzzle anyone expressing biblical views on homosexuality.
“They’re very concerned because they’ve come from a country where there’s religious persecution,” Otterstad explains. “They left to come here where there’s freedom, and they see the homosexuals trying to take our freedoms away by claiming that we’re discriminating and we’re hateful.”
For that reason, the Church of the Divide spokesman asserts, these Russian immigrant believers want to stand up against the homosexual agenda “while they still have that right to speak.” He notes that the pro-homosexual bill AB 606 has already passed the California Assembly, and if the Senate approves the measure, Christian protesters across the state will be calling on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto it.
According to Otterstad, the Russian church members and other Christian demonstrators speaking out against AB 606 are very dedicated to voicing the biblical truth about homosexuality. “They know that the homosexuals are constantly active, promoting their cause,” he says, “and they know as Christians we should be constantly active, promoting the cause of Christ.”
These Christians and other pro-family citizens across California are looking forward to events coming up in the near future, Otterstad notes. He says hundreds of believers that have been raising protests and rallying against the homosexual agenda “know that this is their duty to God” and will continue to speak out.

Rights Group Advocates for Iranian Woman Facing Death for Killing Would-Be Rapist

Monday, March 20th, 2006

This is how islamic law works, folks.

(AgapePress) – A conservative human rights and civil liberties advocacy organization is urging the White House to intervene in the case of an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death for stabbing a man who was attempting to rape her.
John Whitehead is president of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, which is calling for U.S. government officials to get involved in the case of a young woman named Nazanin, who has been sentenced to hang for the “crime” of defending herself against three male attackers that were assaulting her and her niece. “If ever there were a time for the United States to take a stand for basic equality and women’s rights,” he says, “the case of 18-year-old Nazanin presents us with such an opportunity.”
In March 2005, then-17-year-old Nazanin and her niece were attacked while walking in a Tehran park. According to news reports, three men threw stones at the two young women, wrestled them to the ground and assaulted them. In her effort to fend off one of the men who was trying to rape her, Nazanin stabbed the man in the chest, and he died as a result. But despite the young woman’s claim that she acted in self defense, on January 6, 2006, the Republic of Iran sentenced her to death by hanging for fatally stabbing her attacker.
Whitehead considers Nazanin’s case an outrageous miscarriage of justice. “She was out walking, which should be normal in normal society,” he notes, “when she was attacked by three different men. She had a knife, and she defended herself. She stabbed a man who was raping her, and that violates Islamic law.”
And sadly, the human rights advocate notes, many women in Iran have been raped “over the last decade or so — for what reason we don’t know, except that the country’s out of control.” And equally sad, he asserts, is the fact that a number of women who have defended themselves against rapists or male attacks have suffered fates similar to Nazanin’s, many ending up being as much victimized by the oppressive Iranian justice system as they were by their attackers.
Whitehead has sent a letter to President Bush, appealing to him to take the lead in raising an outcry against Iran’s inhumane treatment of this young woman and others like her. The letter pointed out that Nazanin’s situation is not uncommon in Iran, a country that has been criticized for its treatment of women and use of capital punishment and in which more women are reportedly executed per year than in any other nation.
The Rutherford Institute president also emphasized in the letter the need for the U.S. to exercise moral leadership by calling on Iran to show the unfairly convicted woman clemency. “America has long been a champion of human rights in word, if not always in deed,” he wrote. “And although America’s reputation as a defender of human rights has been tarnished by allegations of detainee abuse, Nazanin’s plight presents the Bush Administration with an opportunity to stand by its much-avowed commitment to human rights.”
The letter to President Bush was copied to the United Nations Secretary General, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, the Embassy of Pakistan and a group of U.S. Senate and House leaders. Rutherford Institute is also urging ordinary Americans to get involved by expressing their outrage to the Iranian government over the completely unjust treatment Nazanin has received.
“Tyrants don’t like bad press,” Whitehead says, “so the more hoopla, the more [people are] made aware, there’s a possibility something good could come out of it.” In any event, he contends, for Americans to “turn a blind eye to the travesty of justice being meted out to this young woman would be to render meaningless anything the United States were to say about women’s rights in the future.”

Christians Urged to Prepare for Sharing Truth After Da Vinci Code Movie Released

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I hope that God does use the Da Vinci Code movie to make “seekers” curious about Christianity. We of the Christian community need to be ready to explain the truth about Jesus.
I’ve read the book, and I have to admit, it was a good fiction book. The key word here is “fiction”. Let’s not be afraid to join in conversations, about the movie, in a calm, rational manner, in order to explain the truth about our Lord, Jesus Christ.

(AgapePress) – The impending release of a movie version of the blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code is stirring debate in Christian circles. To many, the release represents an attack on the Christian faith. Many others also see in it a door opener for sharing the gospel. The resulting impact will depend on how prepared Christians are to respond effectively.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown combines a murder mystery with a conspiracy theory that challenges the foundations of Christianity. In this fictional story, Brown’s protagonists discover that the Holy Grail is actually Mary Magdalene. According to their sources, Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, the mother of Jesus’ child, and the chosen leader of Jesus’ church. This information has been kept from the world through a plot instigated by Emperor Constantine to hijack early Christianity for his own purposes. The conspirators commissioned a revised set of gospels promoting the deity of Christ while destroying more accurate documents portraying Jesus as only a great moral teacher. As one of Brown’s fictional experts states, “almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.”
The Da Vinci Code movie, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, is scheduled for a May 19 release. Its release will introduce a broader audience to the disturbing claims of the novel. Should Christians ignore the movie, picket the movie, or encourage people to see the movie? Each of these positions is being espoused by at least one well known Christian. Whatever position one takes on viewing the movie, it is clear that Christians should be prepared to respond to the public reaction it for the following reasons:
Impact on Culture. The novel has sold over 30 million copies and the movie will be a major media event. According to research by the Barna Group, “Nearly one-third of adults (29%) contend that movies have had a substantial impact on the development of their personal morals, values and religious beliefs.”
Challenge to Our Faith. Many Christians who are not well grounded in apologetics were influenced by the book, says Barna. “… 53% of a national sample of adults who have read The Da Vinci Code from cover to cover stated that the book had been helpful in their ‘personal spiritual growth and understanding.'”
Opportunity for the Gospel. The novel/movie creates a natural bridge to eternally important topics. The ease with which these conspiracy theories can be unmasked as flimsy fictions can move the Christian into an authority role adding weight to their testimony.
Materials and events are being produced to prepare Christians for the release of the movie. Some of the organizations offering material include:
– Campus Crusade — The Da Vinci Code: A Companion Guide to the Movie, a 20-page mini-magazine
– Church Communication Network — two satellite conferences, one for evangelism training and one as an outreach event timed to the release of the movie
– Josh McDowell / Beyond Belief — The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers, a paperback with on-line study guide
– Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer — The Da Vinci Deception Experience, a DVD-based group study with sermon aids
– Probe Ministries and EvanTell — Redeeming The Da Vinci Code, a DVD-based small group study toolkit combining apologetics, evangelism training, and outreach materials
– Lee Strobel and Gary Poole — Discussing The Da Vinci Code, a DVD-based group study filmed at locations mentioned in the novel
Churches and other Christian organizations should check out these resources to see what best fits their equipping needs.

Missed Comments

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I try to respond to each and every commentator who leaves a comment on my posts.
About a week or so ago, I changed the email address where the notifications are sent.
If you made a comment on a post, but did not see a reply from me, more than likely I just missed the email notification during the changeover. It was not an attempt to give you the “cold shoulder” or ignore your comment.
I appreciate everyones support.
God Bless!!
-J.i.L.

Legal Expert: Christian Schools Should Not Welcome Militant ‘Gay’ Activists

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Last week, I blogged about Soulforce and their so called “Equality Ride”. I have to agree with the Liberty Counsel lawyers that the universities are not under any obligation to allow this group on their campuses. The less media attention this group gets, the better.

(AgapePress) – A Christian attorney is advising schools not to roll out the welcome mat for a group of young homosexual demonstrators that are now in the midst of a bus tour of 19 Christian colleges and military academies.
Last weekend, 24 members of the group Soulforce were arrested on trespassing charges as they tried to enter the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty was the first stop on Soulforce’s nationwide “Equality Ride” tour, during which the group has plans to “confront” colleges that bar homosexual students from enrolling.
Mat Staver, president of the Florida-based group Liberty Counsel, says Christian schools like Liberty University are willing to share the gospel message of Christ with homosexuals who are not acting confrontationally. However, he contends, Christian schools have no obligation to welcome militant homosexuals on campus.
“When people like Mel White and his group Soulforce decide to make a very political, highly publicized event — and not simply to come on campus but to make a political statement as they are doing with this so-called tour across the country — I believe it’s the right of private universities and colleges to exclude their entry into the university or college area,” Staver says.
Last year, the Liberty Counsel spokesman notes, students at Liberty University greeted peaceful Soulforce members amiably with cookies. But now that the group has initiated its “Equality Ride” to protest Christian schools’ enrollment policies barring homosexuals, he says the militant gay activists should not be allowed to disrupt these campuses or turn them into a platform to promote their radical agenda.
This year, Soulforce appears to be “trying to hijack the civil rights movement by suggesting that they are somehow aligned with civil rights by taking this nationwide tour and then making a very political, very confrontational attack on Christian schools and universities,” Staver asserts.
The head of Liberty Counsel believes this change of tack by Soulforce affects the school’s obligations toward the group’s activists. “I think under those circumstances,” he says, “Liberty University and any other university has the clear right to be able to deny them that forum to make a confrontational affront to the students on campus.”
The Soulforce members involved in the so-called Equality Ride tour are acting militantly and not peacefully, Staver contends. Therefore, he feels Christian schools have ever right to refuse to welcome these activists on their campuses.

Legislator Wants Judge Impeached for Overturning MD’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Monday, March 20th, 2006

And they should impeach Judge Murdock. What good does it do to send decisions to the people for a vote, or to the legislature whom the people elected to represent them, if unelected judges can impose their agenda and views against the majority will of the people? The judiciary is out of control in this country, and if it isn’t brought back into control soon, I fear that our country may cease to exist as we know it.

(AgapePress) – A Maryland lawmaker is pushing forward in an effort to impeach a Maryland judge who struck down the state’s marriage statute because it did not allow for same-sex marriages.
On January 20, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock overturned Maryland’s 33-year-old same-sex marriage ban, ruling that it is a violation of the State Constitution to deny homosexual couples the numerous protections provided to married heterosexual couples. A number of homosexual and liberal civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality Maryland, hailed the ruling as a historic step toward the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state.
Traditional marriage proponents, on the other hand, criticized the ruling as a judicial activist attempt to redefine marriage. Spearheading an effort to impeach Judge Murdock is Maryland House Delegate Donald H. Dwyer, Jr. He believes the jurist has overstepped the authority of the courts with this decision and must face the consequences of that action.
“It’s a clear violation of Article 8 in the Maryland Declaration of Rights,” Dwyer asserts. “There are three independent branches, and not one can intrude on the duty or authority of another. And in this case, clearly, the judge in Baltimore City usurped the authority of the legislature.”
In addition, the Maryland House delegate points out, Murdock also ignored warnings from the State Attorney General not to rule on an issue that fell under the jurisdiction of the State Legislature, since any such ruling would violate the State Constitution. “This issue of redefining the institution of marriage was not for the court,” Dwyer says. “It was a legislative matter, and to do so was violating the very authority of the legislative body.
A recent Baltimore Sun article notes that the Anne Arundel County Republican delegate has for several years pushed for an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage; and now, Murdock’s ruling has emboldened other Republicans in the General Assembly to push for legislation that would place the question on the ballot this fall.
Meanwhile, Dwyer insists, non-elected judges cannot continue to impose their will on the people with impunity, “and so the court has to be held accountable, and that’s what I’m doing.” He says lawmakers, as “guardians of the public trust” must call activist courts to account for overturning more than 230 years of legal and historical precedent regarding the definition of marriage.

Christian Web Community Provides Internet Users With Godly Alternative

Monday, March 20th, 2006

What a wonderful way to witness and provide a Christian environment to the blogging community.

(AgapePress) – Pastor Brian Bozarth of south Maui, Hawaii, is offering Christian young people a clean, safe alternative to taking part in Internet forums, blogging, and photo and music sharing on the popular “myspace.com” website and others like it.
Bozarth, a professor at Calvary Chapel Bible College, has launched a free online Christian Community called “Ditty Talk.” He says the dittytalk.com website and corresponding Internet community began as an effort to steer young people away from MySpace.com, a social website with 55 million users that has been linked to numerous sexual assaults against teens.
“One day,” the Hawaii pastor and educator recalls, “I was approached by a student, saying, ‘You know, there’s some bad stuff posted by our students on there.’ I was Dean of Men of the Bible College, and so I was prompted to actually check out ‘My Space’ and was literally horrified by what I saw — not only located just in the content there but also the stuff some of my students were posting.”
Soon afterward, Bozarth says another student gave him an idea. “As I kind of do web programming on the side, he challenged me, [asking], ‘Why don’t you just build your own My Space?'” the professor explains.
Rising to the challenge, the Bible College dean developed the alternative site and named it, taking his inspiration from God’s word. “Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘We are his workmanship'” he points out. “The word for workmanship is poema, where we get our word poem or song; so a kind of modern translation of poema or poem is ‘ditty.’ You know — you sing a little ditty. So, since we are His ditty, the site is now ‘Ditty Talk.'”
Bozarth says monitors are constantly checking dittytalk.com to make sure that the content is kept to a godly standard and that users posting new messages there express themselves accordingly. Also, he notes, in addition to that safeguard the site has a feature that gives each user the ability to flag others who act deceitfully or talk inappropriately.
At Ditty Talk, Bozarth says teens are encouraged to take part in forums, create their own blogs, share music and photographs, and fellowship with others in an online community where profanity and pornography have no place. Also, he invites pastors, parents and other Christian supporters to become “Ditty Talk Watch Dogs” to help monitor the site and clean up any attempts to “dirty up the ditty.”