Archive for March 28th, 2006

Re-Post: Nearing Midnight for March 27th (Part 2)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Exposing End-Time Economics

Most every signal is appearing on the landscape of this generation. We’ve pointed to them time and time again in these commentaries. Primary in our look at prophetic matters are things wrapped up in geopolitics. Israel, in particular, we’ve pointed out numerous times, is at the center of the last-days analysis.

All of earth’s diplomatic machinery seems geared to deal with the potential for nuclear conflict in the Middle East. And, one can’t think of the Middle East turmoil without acknowledging that the tiny nation Israel would likely be the ignition point for what many fear will become Armageddon. Religion is an area that continually draws our attention as prophecy watchers, using God’s Word, the Bible, as the blueprint for the consummation of human history. There is scheduled, according to that blueprint, the amalgamation of many religions, and an apostasy that will culminate in a vast religious conglomerate that will be antithetical to all that is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Even the evangelical members of the Body of Christ have begun to seriously give way to the apostasia predicted in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. Many have joined the entertainment-mad world of secularism in their delusion that greater numbers in the sanctuaries translates to a greater spirituality. The question that must be asked, however, is: to what “spirituality” does such clamoring after truly lead?

Signs in the heavens and the earth have begun to manifest themselves. This is not to say that these are the “signs in the heavens and the earth” prophesied by the Lord Jesus for the time of great tribulation. Those spasms will be infinitely more powerful and intense, no doubt. But, they could easily be viewed as early birth pangs that are leading swiftly toward the “time of sorrows” Jesus plainly predicted. The record hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the rest are convulsions of a planet pregnant with judgment that continues to fill in God’s cup of wrath.

Jesus words, as I’ve suggested before, seem to be coming true in our time. He told the pious religionists who commanded him to stop the people from shouting “Hosanna!” while He rode the little donkey into Jerusalem to offer himself as Israel’s Messiah: “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Lk. 19:40).

The people of Planet Earth are, for the most part, “holding their peace” –i.e., are denying Christ and rebelling against the Heavenly Father. The very elements in the astrophysical and geophysical realms are, in my view, therefore, increasingly crying out.

All of the above are strong signals of the last time in which we live. But, the signal that makes even spiritually attuned prophecy watchers, who would be normally on guard for the subtleness of time as it creeps toward the era of apocalypse, like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, is money. Mammon, the love of which is the root of all evil, slowly weaves its web like a deadly spider, networking and ensnaring, until liberty itself is encased in a cocoon of soul-destroying bondage. We see the ultimate outcome of the evil Babylonian system of economics. It is indeed a frightful picture for the generation of earth dwellers that will have to endure it. The captains of industry will lament its destruction by the wrathful hand of God.

“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!” (Rev. 18: 11-18).

Just as we can see the many other signals of the gathering hurricane of apocalypse, we see that end-time economics –the world’s love of money—has long been in the process of gelling into a glue-like quagmire, out of which the people of earth will not be able to extricate themselves. As a matter of fact, God’s Word prophesies that there will be a group of economic masters who will one day enjoy power at the level just below earth’s supreme tyrant, Antichrist, himself! The Scripture says:

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).

The proverbial frog continues to boil. Even God’s children are lulled into the false sense of security economic prosperity brings. In fact, lust for financial prosperity is at the very heart of some of the most profound problems faced by the Church today. Just channel through the religious networks, and watch and listen to the message that bombards your eyes and ears. The prosperity message is ubiquitous over the air and on cable satellite transmissions. The love of money is painfully obvious, while Christ’s gospel suffers, and the souls of men, women, and children hang in the balance.

We have mentioned many times the technologies that are enslaving the people of earth. The computer and surveillance cameras, the chips and the erosion of constitutional safeguards. But, it is the stratospherics of global economics to which average citizens can’t begin to relate.

More and more the European Union (EU) is at stage center in planning that involves world trade, just as the EU more and more asserts itself into the affairs of Israel, and the ongoing efforts to, if not bring peace to the Middle East, at least do something to avert nuclear conflict in the region. The Bible foretells that the Antichrist will come from the geographical area that is at the heart of the EU. We can sense his foreshadow, while the World Trade Organization (WTO) meets at Brussels and brainstorms to develop trading bloc regions around the globe. The EU, of course, is at the very center of all the grandiose planning.

BRUSSELS, March 21: EU trade chief Peter Mandelson said on Tuesday that WTO talks to free up global commerce are in a new, critical phase and urged the EU’s trading partners to make concessions to open the way for progress. “We have, in my view, reached a new phase in the process of this negotiation,” the trade commissioner told the European Parliament’s international trade committee (WTO Talks in New, Critical Phase, DAWN Group of Newspapers, 2006).

Seems innocuous enough, doesn’t it? The world economic web, however, is being finely woven, and intertwined by collusion that will eventuate in Revelation chapter 18, when God must catastrophically destroy all that rebellious mankind has constructed.

–Terry

Re-Post: Nearing Midnight for March 27th (Part 1)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Here We Go Again

Once again an area of the globe has been devastated by a natural disaster of unusual strength. This time around, Australia was the victim. Last Monday, Cyclone Larry struck that nation’s northeast coast.

The storm tore through Innisfail, a town of 8,000 people, about 1,700 kilometers north of Brisbane. At landfall, it was a category 5 storm with winds of 180 miles per hour. Amazingly, the storm caused no deaths, and only 30 people suffered minor injuries.

Larry destroyed more than 90 percent of Australia’s $252 million banana crop. It also caused over $1 billion in property damage. The financial loss was limited by the nation’s low population density.

Larry was the most powerful tropical system to hit Australia since Christmas Eve 1974, when Cyclone Tracy made a direct impact on the northern city of Darwin, killing 65 people.

In the past few years, we have had an amazing number of number of weather disasters. In 2004, Japan was hit by a record number of typhoons. The same year, Florida was hit by a record number of hurricanes. In 2005, the Atlantic hurricane season reached a number of historic benchmarks. Three key records stand out: (1) Katrina was the most costly hurricane in history; (2) Rita was the most powerful storm as measured by barometric pressure; (3) hurricane watchers recorded the most number of storms in one season.

You would think that Cyclone Larry would set off global warming alarm bells. Oddly enough, a majority of meteorologists seem reluctant to connect the burning of fossil fuels with the recent strength of tropical storms. For now, these scientists would rather point to long-term patterns as the cause of our unsettled weather. Most scientists do agree that global warming is a problem. The change in the past few years, has been so dramatic, it’s probably too dreadful a prospect for them to lay all the blame on greenhouse gases.

I am convinced that Bible prophecy is the key to understanding why we are seeing so many deadly disasters. The Word of God says that warning signs of the tribulation will increase like birth pangs. The rapid increase in the severity of storms makes me wonder what the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season will be like.

The pattern of birth pangs is not just found in weather. Earthquakes and terrorism, which have no connection to hurricanes, have also been very active. In December of 2004, a huge quake in the Indian Ocean triggered the most deadly tsunami in recorded history. When Pakistan was struck by an earthquake in October of last year, the event marked the deadliest one-year period since the great Chinese quake of 1556.

In the coming months, I look for more indications that we are on the tail end of the prophetic timeline. If the birth pangs are going to continue to get larger in magnitude, we should expect these coming events to begin to have a profound impact on society.

I fear terrorism that goes beyond the scale set by 911 is one birth pang we may soon see. In order to arrive at the police-state environment that the Antichrist will use to control the world, something will need to happen to cause free nations to do away with civil liberties. I just don’t see the rapture being the cause. If a chemical bomb went off in some major city, killing tens of thousands of people, the world community would likely turn to authoritarianism to control the violence.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:25-26).

— Todd

Battle waged over .xxx domain

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

I applaud any effort to limit or screen pornography from our young people. Right now, the most innocent web search can show them images of very pornographic material before they even go to a site. I don’t know how much this will really help, but it would make filtering material easier.
Listen, pornography is a terrible vice and addiction. All of us are bombarded by the “sex sells” mentality all day long, no matter what media we are using. It is nice to see that some people are at least trying to limit the content our youth can stumble across.

Though two senators believe a bill they’ve recently introduced will help protect children from pornographic websites, some anti-porn activists see the proposed .xxx Internet domain name as just another place for smut peddlers to sell their product.
Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., have introduced S. 2426, which would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to work closely with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to establish a special domain for Internet pornographers. The plan calls for pornographers to move their websites from the traditional .com domains to a so-called “red light district” or .xxx domain on the Internet.
Wording has been added to the Cyber Safety for Kids Act that allow the Commerce Department to impose stiff fines to those who do not comply with the legislation.
Pryor told WND: “Children are accessing Internet pornography at alarming rates. … While addressing this matter will take a multifaceted approach, corralling indecent websites into a specially designated domain is a positive first step.”
Former Department of Justice consultant Dr. Judith A. Reisman thinks that while Baucus and Pryor may have good intentions, their legislation is naïve in it’s approach. Reisman says it is a mistake to think the influence pornography on our culture can be limited by “trying to relocate it.”
Opening up a special .xxx domain “will give pornographers another legitimate source of income and access,” Reisman told WND. Reisman is the author of the soon to be released WND Books title “Kinsey’s Attic: How One Man’s Pathology Changed the World.”

Concerned Women for America spokesman Bob Knight also opposes the bill.
“The backers of the .xxx domain know that (pornographers) can tie (their bill) up in the courts for years,” Knight said. If the bill becomes law, “Internet pornographers will double the number of sites for porn, and the benefit from having a special designation for porn addicts. It would be a win-win for the smut industry, and a lose-lose for families in America.”
Pryor disagreed with those who claim that this measure will be stalled in the courts.
Said Pryor: “Instead of issuing a blanket ban on explicit material, our bill simply provides parents with an effective tool in restricting their children’s access to indecent material.”
Former DOJ prosecutor Patrick Truman says the .xxx domain proposal “offers nothing but false hope. … Pornographers will not move out of the .com domain – it is their cash cow. They don’t obey obscenity law now, so they won’t obey a new law that attempts to move them from (their) .com sites.”
Pryor’s staff contends that fines built into the legislation will counter the porn industry’s reluctance to move from their present Web addresses to a new xxx domain.
“This approach is similar to laws requiring pornographic magazine to be placed behind convenience store counters,” Pryor noted.
Crawford Broadcasting radio talk show host Paul McGuire contends that “the pornography industry has billions to spend and will drag out the legal process for years. Until Americans and the Department of Justice develop the will to fight what is clearly destroying our civilization through aggressive prosecution, fines and arrests, pseudo solutions like the triple-x domain will have no affect.”
Concluded McGuire: “We need to start understanding that pornography is moral and spiritual terrorism. … How many rapes, molestations, sexual slavery incidents and divorces does it take to wake us up!”

Judge Grants Injunction Allowing Bible Reading at Recess

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Thank goodness for a judge who actually knows what the law says. It has never been against the Constitution to read your Bible, on your own time, at school. It’s called the First Ammendment, in case anyone wants to look it up. It goes something like this:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Do y’all get it? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It’s actually very clear cut.

A federal judge has ordered an elementary school in Knoxville, Tennessee, to stop prohibiting a fifth-grade student from reading his Bible with a friend during recess.
Luke Whitson and his parents had filed a motion for preliminary injunction against Knox County School District officials for threatening to punish the fifth grader for reading his Bible during recess at Karns Elementary School. According to press reports, Knox County Schools officials had argued that Bible reading jeopardizes student safety. They also contended that recess is not “free time,” and therefore school officials can prohibit Bible reading during that period of the day.
After trying unsuccessfully to resolve their dispute with the school over the unconstitutional policy through legal counsel, the Whitsons, represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), filed suit. They contended that school officials, acting “under the authority and weight of the government” were denying a ten-year-old student’s rights by refusing to allow him “merely to read his Bible and discuss passages found therein with a friend during recess time at school.”
The case, Whitson v. Knox County Board of Education, was filed June 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. The request for injunctive relief for Luke Whitson and his family argued that the protection of the fifth grader’s “fundamental constitutional rights is clearly in the best interest of the public and will cause no harm to the school’s ability to fulfill its education mission.”
The court agreed with the arguments on behalf of Luke Whitson and his parents. Now, as part of a settlement ordered by U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips, the boy is free to bring his Bible to school, read it on the playground, and discuss it with friends from now until the end of the school year.
The Whitson’s lead attorney, Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel Nate Kellum, notes that while Judge Phillips strongly admonished the Knoxville school system, the only question he had for the family was why the dispute had not already been settled.
“He said when he read the pleadings, when he read the complaint, when he read the answer, when he saw the evidence, he could not see why the school was still contesting the matter,” Kellum notes.
“And then he asked us why the case had not been settled,” the lawyer continues, “and we told him, ‘Well, because the school was unwilling to do that.’ And so, as far as dressing down, the only dressing down that we noticed was that addressed to the other side.”
Family’s Fight for Fifth Grader’s Rights Not Over Yet But although pleased with the settlement, Kellum says the dispute between the Whitsons and the school district is far from over. The district court, he explains, was asked to make sure Luke was not prevented from exercising his First Amendment rights while the case continues, and the preliminary injunction has provided this; however, a final legal resolution of the matter is still pending.
Also, there is the matter of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the fifth grader. “It’s unbelievable really, when you think about it,” the ADF spokesman says. “What happened is the principal brought a slander suit against a 10-year-old child for three million dollars, and that’s certainly one of the issues as yet to be cleared up.”
Kellum says the family’s legal representatives are “in discussions with the school” about the principal’s lawsuit, “and our hope and our prayer is that [the matter of the slander allegation] along with other issues will be resolved as well.”
In the meantime, the attorney notes, the Knox County school officials’ apparent “fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution” has been addressed for now and “Luke Whitson should not be prevented from exercising his First Amendment right to read his Bible with friends during recess.”
Kellum says the Constitution of the United States, far from prohibiting Bibles during recess, actually prohibits the wholesale banning of Bibles during recess.

Immigration Bill Includes Amnesty for Illegasl, Critics Say

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

I still have to wonder what part of “illegal” people are not understanding? Listen…if a person comes to the U.S. legally, then I welcome him/her with open arms and wish them the best of luck with the “American Dream”. If a person enters the U.S. illegally, then I say, at best deport them, at worse imprison them. None the less, close the border and enforce the laws we have.

(CNSNews.com) – The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-6 Monday to pass an immigration and border security bill that would give 12 million illegal aliens a shot at U.S. citizenship without returning home first.
The bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Majority Leader Bill Frist opposes it and may advance his own bill instead. Moreover, any bill allowing “earned legalization” will face strong opposition in the House of Representatives, which passed a bill in December making illegal immigration a felony.
A much more lenient bill emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
“The country has spoken, and today the Senate listened,” Sen. Ted Kennedy said, referring to recent rallies across the United States in support of “earned legalization.”
“No issue goes to the heart of who we are as Americans more than immigration,” Kennedy said in a statement on his website.
The bill’s most controversial measure, advanced by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, includes a path to permanent residence and citizenship for people who came here illegally.
Millions of undocumented workers already in this country would be allowed to apply for temporary legal status for six years, but they would have to prove they’re employed in the U.S.
They also would have to pay a $2,000 fine, undergo background and security checks, learn English and study American civics, pay back taxes, and then wait in line behind others who have applied for U.S. citizenship.
“It is not amnesty,” Kennedy insisted. He said it will give immigrants “incentive to come forward and an opportunity to earn legal status.”
Kennedy noted that under his bill, temporary workers will be able to bargain for wages and benefits just as U.S. workers do.
“If they don’t like their jobs or the way they are treated, they will be permitted to change jobs. They will have the same right that American workers have to join or organize a union. Employers hiring temporary workers will be required to comply with all federal, state and local labor laws,” Kennedy said on his website.

‘Rewards for law-breakers’
Americans will view the Kennedy-McCain bill as amnesty, said Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who also sits on the Judiciary Committee.
Cornyn voted against the controversial guest worker provisions. “It will encourage further disrespect for our laws and will undercut our efforts to shore up homeland security,” he said on his website.
Cornyn said immigration reform should improve U.S. security and border control; and identify undocumented immigrants and send them home, where they can apply for green cards through the proper channels. (Cornyn said the legislation he introduced with Sen. John Kyl achieves those objectives.)
“Adding border security measures to the McCain-Kennedy bill is not enough,” Cornyn said. “Any proposal that allows every single illegal alien to remain in the U.S., pay a fine and obtain permanent residence status is not acceptable; it will simply encourage additional persons to evade our laws.”
Cornyn said the 12 million illegal aliens already in this country must be addressed — but “we have to do so without granting them amnesty.”

Debate moves to full Senate
Sen. Bill Frist thanked the Judiciary Committee for its efforts, but he does not support the Kennedy-McCain “earned legalization” provisions, either.
Frist, as Senate majority leader, must now decide whether to let the Judiciary Committee bill advance in the full Senate — or he may substitute his own reform bill, which would deport people who come to this country illegally.
Frist’s bill also would crack down on human smugglers and make it easier for employers to confirm their workers’ legal status.
His bill adds nearly 15,000 more border control officers over the next few years; requires new investments in unmanned aerial vehicles, cameras, and sensors; and calls for a barrier to built along the 1,951-mile U.S. border with Mexico.
“As many know, I oppose amnesty,” Frist said. “With our economy at full employment, many who break our laws come to this country to do the work others won’t so as to make a better life for themselves and their families. I honor that. America has always been the place where one can come to live out a dream of improvement and renewal. But while we welcome those who refresh and restore our American spirit, we have always done so within a framework of law.”
Barring any procedural roadblocks erected by Democrats, Frist said the Senate will now discuss ways of balancing the rule of law with the problems of illegal immigration.
I’m hopeful that we can conduct this debate with civility and seriousness. I look forward to a thorough and full discussion over the coming days,” he said.

Attorney: Cancelled ‘Diversity Day’ Shows School’s Intolerance for Truth

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

As I reported last week, “diversity day” at a Wisconsin high school, can only be held as long as the ex-homosexuals stay away. This is laughable. “Diversity Day” but only one side can be presented. Do you Wisconsin educators realize how stupid this type of thing makes you look? Have the liberal educators really gotten so far out of touch with reality that they believe that by excluding a group or viewpoint that this makes them diverse? Wake up, drink an extra cup of coffee this morning and try to step out of your liberal essence long enough to see how hypocritical you really are.

(AgapePress) – A Wisconsin high school has cancelled its biannual “Diversity Day,” an event designed to introduce juniors and seniors to minority perspectives and to expose the teen students to alternative sexual lifestyles. The school scrapped this year’s event after a legal group encouraged inclusion of the perspective of former homosexuals in planned “Diversity Day” activities.
Students at Viroqua High School near La Crosse, Wisconsin, would have listened to two keynote speakers and a choice of three to ten panel discussions, which included talks on various religions and a presentation by a homosexual couple — that is, the students would have, if Diversity Day had gone as originally planned. However, the Christian and “ex-gay” perspectives were to be left out of the scheduled events.
A concerned Viroqua resident contacted Florida-based Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation and policy organization that works to promote religious freedom and traditional values. On March 9, Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the Viroqua Area School District Administrator, explaining that the censorship of the viewpoints of Christians and former homosexuals violated not only the First Amendment’s establishment clause but also the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.
The legal group sent another letter on March 14 to the District Administrator and the Board of Education. Two days later, the District Administrator confirmed in a telephone call that Viroqua High School’s Diversity Day activities had been cancelled. According to the school, the event was called off after the homosexual couple slated to present said they would be uncomfortable speaking in the presence of someone with an ex-gay viewpoint.
Liberty Counsel attorney Rena Lindevaldsen says the school’s actions are “just one more example of those who say they’re promoting tolerance [being] the first ones to discriminate against the true message getting out about homosexuality, which is that people can change and you’re not born gay.”
Frequently across the United States, Lindevaldsen contends, school officials and others will respond to those who disagree with the pro-homosexual stance on sexual orientation issues by censoring the opposing message. “When the request is made to include the ex-gay perspective, they will shut down the forum, shut down the program, rather than allow students to hear that people are not born gay,” she says.
The Liberty Counsel attorney says she does not buy Viroqua High School’s claim that it was too late to include a speaker who opposed homosexuality in the Diversity Day events. In fact, she notes, “We offered up a pastor who was willing to represent the Christian perspective and had individuals ready and willing to jump right in to represent the ex-gay perspective.”
For the school to have incorporated the Christian and ex-gay input would have been a matter of simply “finding a couple more classrooms to allow these people to talk,” Lindevaldsen asserts. “But if you’re going to have a ‘Diversity Day’ and it’s only going to present the homosexual perspective, we are pleased that the choice then was to at least cancel the event rather than present a one-sided message.”
The Board of Education was faced with citizen opposition to Diversity Day back in 2004, when a citizen petition was circulated in protest of the presence of speakers on homosexual and transgender issues. That petition was signed by 400 people and was enough to get Viroqua High School’s Diversity Day cancelled that year. Nevertheless, the pro-homosexual event was reinstated after spring elections resulted in new members on the Board.
Unlike 2004, however, this time around the school officials were confronted with legal precedent. In pointing out the problems with the high school’s refusal to include Christian and ex-gay viewpoints at this year’s Diversity Day event, Liberty Counsel presented school officials with a decision from a federal district court in Michigan, which ruled a similar exclusion of viewpoints from a Diversity Day panel unconstitutional.

‘Common Ground’ Document at Center of Homosexual-‘Ex-Gay’ Squabble

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Well, you can spend 20 minutes working your way through the acronyms in this article. But in a nutshell, it basically says, that the homosexuals are mad and wish to quiet the former homosexuals. The document in question said that in regards to education, it was a good thing to let both sides present their messages. Now, as usual, the homosexual “double-speak” comes through that “it’s OK to present your message, as long as it doesn’t disagree with mine”.

(AgapePress) – A homosexual activist group and an “ex-gay” group are accusing each other of misconstruing a new agreement between the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) on how to deal with the issue of sexual orientation in public schools.
The document — which is called “Public Schools and Sexual Orientation: A First Amendment Framework for Finding Common Ground” — recommends that schools not adopt a certain organization’s agenda, but rather invite all stakeholders to the table when discussing sexuality. Among other things, this “common ground” document urges school officials to “take seriously complaints of name calling, harassment, and discrimination” and to avoid discriminating against student clubs because of their political or religious message. (See earlier story)
But Jody Huckaby — the head of the homosexuality advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) — claims the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) has “utterly twisted the intent of the document” by suggesting that the perspective of former homosexuals is protected by the First Amendment and should be heard in public schools. In addition, PFLAG says although the “ex-gay” viewpoint should be “heard during deliberations,” it does not “warrant the stamp of legitimacy.”
Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a spokesman for PFOX who endorses the document’s guidelines, says PFLAG is engaging in doublespeak and promoting intolerance.
“The communication from PFLAG that PFOX doesn’t have a legitimate perspective worth hearing is contrary to the intent of these guidelines,” says Throckmorton. “The intent of these guidelines is that people who have viewpoints about sexual orientation should be allowed to express them within the public square, and the purpose of these guidelines has been misrepresented by PFLAG.”
PFLAG refers to the document as a “GLSEN project…to help educators and administrators create ground rules for discussing GLBT [gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-sexual] issues.” But Throckmorton, a noted sexual orientation researcher, says PFLAG’s claim is “nothing but spin.”
“First of all, it was a project of the First Amendment Center and BridgeBuilders that solicited agreement from GLSEN and the Christian Educators,” he says. “It wasn’t their project. And also, the purpose wasn’t to create ground rules for discussing GLBT issues. The purpose was to create rules of discussion or guidelines for discussing sexual orientation issues in school.”
According to Throckmorton, the First Amendment guidelines affirm the right of people who believe that homosexuality is immoral to speak their mind in public schools. In fact, Finn Laursen, the executive director of CEAI, asserts the guidelines give Christian educators some control with regard to how homosexual issues are presented — without being forced to suppress absolute, biblical truth.

Constitutional Lawyer Hopes Congress Bars SCOTUS From Citing Foreign Law

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

This one really gets me. Why on earth would the U.S. supreme court be citing FOREIGN law? That is a contradiction in terms. They have been so out of control in the past (along with 90% of the rest of the U.S. judiciary). Maybe the recent appointments will bring some sanity back to our highest court.

(AgapePress) – An attorney with the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (AFA Law Center) says he is disturbed over one Supreme Court Justice’s recent comments regarding those who want to prohibit the citation of foreign law in the high court’s constitutional rulings.
Last month, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed an audience at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. During her speech, the 73-year-old justice blasted Republican-proposed House and Senate measures that would either criticize or bar the citing of foreign law in Supreme Court decisions.
Steve Crampton, chief counsel with the AFA Law Center, feels Justice Ginsburg’s comments are typical of activist judges. In fact, he says, “I think Justice Ginsburg is showing us why activist judges become activist in the first place. They simply see no limitations on the scope of their authority once they’re placed on the bench.”
Activist judges frequently step outside constitutional boundaries when issuing rulings, Crampton contends. He feels steps need to be taken to curb judges who routinely try to exceed the power and jurisdiction of the courts.
“What you’re talking about is ultimate authority in our society,” the pro-family lawyer asserts. “The question that American citizens must decide is who, ultimately, is going to govern us? Are we going to have unelected judges decide for us, in particular, the moral issues, the policy issues that are going to affect every life?”
Or, on the other hand, will Americans follow the guide that the framers of the Constitution provided, Crampton wants to know. That is, he asks, “are we going to retain the system that the founders erected and place that ultimate authority in the hands not of the judiciary but of the legislature?”
Many conservatives are unhappy with the Supreme Court’s use of foreign laws in recent rulings, such as those striking down the juvenile death penalty and laws against sodomy. In light of such rulings, Crampton says a move by Congress to bar the citation of other nations’ laws in U.S. high court decisions is long overdue.

Afghan Court Releases Christian Convert for ‘Lack of Information’

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

That’s good news, but with all the hate the islamic “religious” leaders have spouted during prayers, some “peace loving” islamist will find him and kill him. He’s probably going to have to leave the country for good in order to save his life. Gotta love thouse peace lovin’ muslims…NOT.

(AgapePress) – News reports say Adbul Rahman, who was facing possible execution in Afghanistan for converting from Islam to Christianity, has been released. But there are still concerns about his physical safety if he remains in the predominantly-Islam nation.
Afghan officials say the case has been dismissed against a man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, and have ordered him released. But Abdul Rahman may need protection, because Muslim clerics have called for him to be killed. Last week some senior clerics in Kabul warned that if the government caved to Western pressure and freed Rahman, they will encourage people to “pull him into pieces so there’s nothing left.”
The human-rights group International Christian Concern encourages continued prayer for Rahman’s safety. “He will be in grave danger as long as he remains in the country,” says ICC president Jeff King. “The fundamentalists will seek to kill him regardless of what the courts say. He is an apostate and must be killed according to Islamic law.”
In an interview published Sunday by an Italian newspaper, Rahman said he chose to become a Christian “in small steps.” In his words, “I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind.” Rahman added, “If I must die, I will die.” In a clear reference to Jesus, he said, “Somebody, a long time ago, did it for all of us.”
Last week Associated Press reported that an Afghan prosecutor suggested the Afghan Christian might be deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. “We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn’t talk like a normal person,” stated prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari. That report said if Rahman was examined and found to be mentally unfit, Islam would have “no claim to punish him” and charges would be dropped.
Indeed, that may have been part of the Afghani court’s rationale for releasing Rahman, along with a reported “lack of information” to continue the case. The chief counsel for Washington, DC-based Concerned Women for America questions the “mentally unfit” comments.
“Muslim leaders accused this man of being insane and mentally unfit to stand trial,” observes Jan LaRue. “Since when does being a Christian discredit your sanity?” But the CWA spokeswoman believes those leaders were following “the model of atheist Soviet regime by using the insanity claim” on Rahman.

A Pivotal Point for Islamic Nations
Wendy Wright, president of CWA, says Rahman’s case may provide an insight into the sincerity of Islamic nations and their stand on basic human rights. Religious freedom, says Wright, is a key element of freedom as a whole.
“Inherent in religious freedom is the freedom to convert to another religion,” she says, “and Afghanistan is now struggling with coming to grips with what is universally recognized as a fundamental right, a fundamental freedom.”
The 2004 constitution declares that “Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic” and that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions” of Islam. But its preamble declares respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says people are free to change their religion or belief. The Afghan constitution says non-Muslims can practice their faith “within the limits of the provisions of law.” But Islamic law is commonly interpreted to forbid conversion away from Islam.
“There seems to be a contradiction within the Afghan constitution. This may happen as well with Iraq’s constitution,” says Wright. “And so this is a pivotal moment for these countries to decide which way they will go.”
The CWA president says Americans have bled and died to give these nations freedom, and a basic element of freedom is religious freedom and the right to believe as one wishes.
On Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice emphasized the centrality of religious liberty and said the U.S. intends to help Afghanistan “work through some of these contradictions.”
“They have constitutional expectations that have been written in that they will, in fact, live up to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which protects individual conscience on religion,” said Rice. “What we have to do is stand with the Afghans to continue to insist on the principle and to help them work through some of these contradictions.”
Prior to Rahman’s release, the secretary of state said the U.S. was pressuring Afghanistan to drop the case against the convert. “We have been very clear with the Afghan government that the freedom of religion and the freedom of religious conscience is at the core of democratic development,” she stated, noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states an individual should be free to choose which religious beliefs they wish to follow.