Archive for April 3rd, 2006

Peace I Leave With You

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

John 14:27 (New American Standard Bible)

Introducing: Jesus is Lord, Home Comforts

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

My wonderful wife has gotten her webpage up and running now. Take a moment to look at some of her thoughts and ideas.

Welcome to the Home Comforts page. Please get a cup of tea, relax, and enjoy some time exploring ideas that will, hopefully, add depth and pleasure to your life.

Airport screener ‘roughs up’ woman, 83, in wheelchair

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

I’m certain the TSA will bury this, but maybe if we post and link to this story enough and people put pressure on the TSA and their congress people, we can get the people who engage in this type of behavior, removed from airport screener positions.

An infuriated Denver woman has filed a complaint with the Transportation Security Administration after a security screener forced her 83-year-old mother to get out of her wheelchair and walk to a pre-flight screening area, despite doctor’s orders not to stand and an orthopedic card saying she had a metal plate in her hip.
The incident at Denver International Airport occurred eight days ago when Sally Moon, her sister and a Frontier Airlines employee were transporting Bernice “Bea” Bogart to a special security screening area. Moon’s sister, who did not have concourse clearance and the Frontier employee were left behind as Moon pushed her mother to the screening site.
Bogart, wheelchair bound since a 1999 fall that broke her hip and further disabled by breast cancer surgery in 1997 and a major stroke in 2004 that caused dementia, was under strict doctor’s orders not to stand without assistance or her walker. She carried a special orthopedic card to alert airport security she had a metal plate in her hip.
Moon had been told by Frontier and TSA staff that screeners would not require Bogart to leave her chair for the security check, so she turned to put her mother’s carry-on luggage through the x-ray device. When she turned back, she discovered her mother had been picked out for further screening and was out of her chair, “hobbling” through a glass-walled corridor.
“There were no grab bars,” Moon told the Rocky Mountain News. “What I could see really was her fingers trying to hang onto a little ledge.”
Moon says she instinctively reached out to assist her mother, fearing another fall and another broken hip.
“Don’t touch her!” Moon says the screener warned.
Moon attempted to tell the young screener, a woman in her mid-to-late 20s, that her mother was under doctor’s orders not to stand without her four-wheeled walker, but the screener shot back, “You’d better change your attitude. Or do you want me to make it so you don’t fly today?”
Bogart, who is also hard of hearing, was allowed to sit briefly, but the screener soon instructed her to stand again and lift her arms, according to Moon. She then reportedly lifted Bogart’s arms because the elderly woman couldn’t, due to her earlier breast cancer surgery.
Moon says she was told to sit across the room “or else” when she continued to protest.
After the “prolonged search,” the pair was cleared to continue to their gate and Moon put her “shocked” mother on the flight to Tennessee for a month’s visit with Bogart’s youngest daughter.
An angry Moon attempted to complain to Denver’s TSA management, but was told to make her complaint to the national office. Supervisors would not tell her the name of the screener who had made boarding her mother so difficult.
“I don’t know if she thought my mom had a bomb in her Depends or what,” Moon said.
While Moon is still angry and cynical that TSA will do anything about her complaint, a Denver TSA spokeswoman said the agency expects a high degree of professionalism from screeners and Moon’s complaint would be investigated. TSA’s Office of Civil Rights will soon issue a response, she said.
“When we receive complaints, we take them very seriously, we investigate them and we address any personnel issues as appropriate,” she said.
Bogart, now in Nashville, says she doesn’t want to see anyone get in trouble.
“They were all kind except for that one girl. I thought she was a little harsh,” she said. “She wouldn’t let my daughter help me. And I have a hard time standing very long at a time at all.”

Report: Zahar says ‘there’s no room for Israel on this land’

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

And we could expect no less from a pali terrorist.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar was quoted in a weekend interview to a Chinese news agency defending Hamas’ declared goal of eventually destroying Israel.
Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader sworn into the Palestinian Authority cabinet last week, told the Xinhua news agency that he is certain the goal will be realized, because “there is no place for Israel on this land.”
According to the interview, Zahar maintained that Palestinians have no problem with the Jewish religion, only with the Israeli occupation, and said he does not rule out the possibility of Jews, Muslims and Christians living together in one Islamic state.
Zahar, considered to be among the more militant of Hamas leaders sworn into the PA government last Wednesday, conceded to Xinhua that Hamas could possibly accept a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, he dismissed Israel’s declared support of such a solution.
Reiterating Hamas’ opposition to negotiations with Israel, Zahar told his interviewer, “Israel doesn’t want peace nor does it have any peace project. Therefore, we told our people and tell them that there will be no negotiations.”
Zahar also called on the international community to accept the Palestinian people’s choice of Hamas in the January 25 election swept by the militant group.
The Bush administration insists it would have no dealings with Hamas cabinet ministers because of the organization’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist and embrace international terms for Middle East peace-making.
The Palestinian cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, and endorsed Tuesday by the Palestinian legislature, is made up entirely of Hamas members and independents allied to the militant Islamic organization.

Palestinian prime minister criticizes U.S. for cutting diplomatic ties
The new Palestinian Authority prime minister, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh, criticized the U.S. on Sunday for restricting diplomatic ties with the Hamas government, saying his people were being punished for electing the militant Islamic group.
On Friday, the U.S. announced that American diplomats have been forbidden to make contact with officials in any Palestinian government agency controlled by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction. The Islamic group’s new Cabinet controls every government ministry.
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said diplomats would maintain contact with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and lawmakers from his Fatah movement, which favors peace talks.
“This government was elected in a free and honest election, and according to the democratic principles the American administration is calling for,” Haniyeh told a group of supporters who had come to his office to wish his new government well.
“We believe this is a punishment of the Palestinian people because of its democratic choice, and at the same time, it increases the people’s suffering,” he said.

Cracks emerge in front against Hamas

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

One would expect no less from the French.

France has established secret contacts with Hamas representatives on behalf of the European Union, showing cracks in the policy of rejecting the new Palestinian government, a special report submitted to officials in Jerusalem revealed on Monday.
Israel also suspected that other countries including India, Japan and China would soon publicly recognize the Hamas-led government, Army Radio reported.
According to the report, despite the refusal of the US and Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians, the European Union, Russia and India were already holding secret or open talks with Hamas officials.
Reportedly, the EU talks have been sponsored by France, while India has already held official meetings with senior Hamas officials and Russia held consultations with the organization even prior to the Palestinian parliamentary elections, publicizing the talks after Hamas’ landslide victory.
Japan and China also expressed willingness to publicly recognize the Hamas government. Israel was concerned that these countries and many others would follow Russia’s lead and hold official meetings with the movement.
The United States has remained a staunch supporter of the policy of isolating Hamas. It has not backed down from its policy of shunning the new Hamas-led Palestinian government and has not made any attempts to pressure Israel into negotiating with the organization.

Focus on the Family Dumps Wells Fargo

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

If there is any practical way to do so, please try to support Christian businesses and refrain from patronizing those who actively support causes that are in direct conflict with the Bible.

(AgapePress) – Focus on the Family announced in December that it is ending its banking relationship with Wells Fargo due to that company’s aggressive efforts to promote the homosexual-rights movement.
Over the years, the pro-family organization had become aware of other pro-homosexual efforts by the company. But what finally tipped the scales was the decision by Wells Fargo to support the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with company money.
“Earlier this year we learned that Wells Fargo gave a matching gift to a pro-homosexual group to enable it to raise more money to fight organizations like our own,” Focus said in a December press release. “As one of Wells Fargo’s customers, we objected, and we received no satisfactory resolution from the bank’s corporate office.”
In fact, Focus noted that a statement on GLAAD’s website was filled with praise for the company’s support: “Incredible news: Wells Fargo has offered to help support GLAAD’s fight for equality against the Anti-Gay industry by matching your tax-deductible contribution dollar for dollar.”
Focus said it realized that it could not limit its business relationships only to companies that were explicitly Christian. “That said, when our bank allows proceeds from our business to be used to impede our work, we must object, even if it inconveniences us in our professional relationships.”
Another pro-family group — the American Family Association — recently announced a one-year boycott of the Ford Motor Company, in part for the automaker’s financial donations to homosexual-rights groups, GLAAD among them. According to AFA, Ford last year pledged to give up to $1,000 to GLAAD for every Jaguar or Land Rover purchased. Other pro-homosexual groups Ford has funded include the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ($200,000 in 1999) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Campaign ($100,000, also in 1999).

Activist Urges Radical Change, Evangelical Renewal to Reverse UMC’s Decline

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

I have seen the UMC commercials on TV, but didn’t realize things were so bad within their fellowship. These figures should be a wake-up call to the UMC that something they are doing is not attracting new members. Could it be their “falling away” from Biblical Truth and Moral Absolutes?

(AgapePress) – New statistics reveal that nearly half of United Methodist churches in America are failing to carry out the “Great Commission.” According to the denomination’s Board of Discipleship, 43 percent of United Methodist Church congregations in the U.S. did not receive a single member by profession of faith in 2004.
United Methodism has been declining in membership every year in the U.S. since 1964, and the denomination has lost three million church members over that time. According to a recent United Methodist News Service report, Bishop Michael Coyner — the president of the denomination’s Board of Discipleship — called the statistic on churches reporting no growth due to new member professions of faith the “one number in our denomination which keeps going up.” This steadily growing number is “causing all kinds of other numbers to decline,” he remarked, “including our ability to stand before God and say we are doing a good job in making disciples.”
Mark Tooley, a church renewal advocate who heads the United Methodist Action Committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, believes there are many reasons for his denomination’s declining membership and renewed emphasis on evangelism; however, he feels one factor stands out.
“Methodist theology as taught in seminaries starting in the early 20th century became theologically liberal and universalist in its perspective, denying the need for personal salvation and personal evangelism,” Tooley asserts. “And so now we are seeing the consequences of that.”
The UM Action Committee spokesman says Methodist churches that are growing and making disciples of Christ tend to have pastors who proclaim a traditional gospel message and who come out of evangelical rather than official Methodist seminaries. He believes the facts and trends indicate that radical change needs to occur within the denomination.
“We need local church pastors who believe in the essentials of the gospel and who believe in traditional Methodist beliefs,” Tooley says. If the church is to thrive again, he urges, it needs leaders “who believe in the demand and the urgency of wedding people to Jesus Christ and in the message of salvation — and the fact that every soul is eternal and will someday face judgment.”
However, the church renewal advocate points out, that is not the church’s current reality by a long shot. With some exceptions, the UMC is “not winning people to Jesus Christ,” he says, and for some reason the leadership and bureaucracy of the church cannot seem to respond to the problem.
The latest statistics support the fact that thousands of the United Methodist Church’s clergy neither preach nor adhere to the essentials of the Christian faith, Tooley notes. Until that trend is addressed, he doubts the denomination will be able to do much about reversing all the other indicators of church decline.

Darwinism Critic Applauds California School District’s New Science Policy

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

What wonderful news!! At least now, in Southern California, of all places, teachers can actually teach Darwin’s theory as the theory it is.

(AgapePress) – A southern California school district has voted to allow teachers to present scientific criticisms of evolution in biology class. Under a new policy adopted by the Lancaster School District, “discussions that question the theory of evolution may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis, and theory.”
The school district officials’ vote came after a citizens group called Integrity in Academics organized support for the policy change. Attorney Larry Caldwell, president of the group Quality Science Education for All, also backed the new guidelines. Such policies are not frequently found in public schools, Caldwell notes. “This is significant because, in too many school districts around the country, we find that any criticism of Darwinism is suppressed,” he says.
Education activists have been advocating revisions in the Lancaster, California, school district with respect to the teaching of evolution for some time now. Besides the changes in the school’s science education policy, the district is also looking to adopt new science textbooks: the current texts do not even mention the so-called Cambrian explosion — a period in the fossil record marked by a geologically sudden appearance of complex multi-cellular macroscopic organisms.
This omission, despite the fact that California’s science framework specifically says that the Cambrian explosion should be presented in seventh-grade science, is significant to those who claim much of the evidence and many of the weaknesses of Darwin’s evolutionary theory are not adequately addressed in public school science classrooms.
Caldwell is pleased with the Lancaster schools’ new guidelines allowing for the scientific questioning of Darwin’s theory and the discussion of its flaws in science classrooms. He says getting a school system to adopt a science policy like the one this district has now embraced can be a difficult and daunting task.
“One of the things I was so impressed with in this district,” the quality education advocate notes, “is that the assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum, Dr. Howard Sundberg, was the one who actually crafted the policy that was passed. Before he went to the board for the vote, he was able to get the science teachers in the district on board with the policy as well. And that, in my experience, is very rare.”
Caldwell, who tried unsuccessfully to get a similar policy passed in Roseville, California, is urging other school systems to follow Lancaster’s lead. The Lancaster School District will be adopting new biology textbooks next year.