Archive for April 14th, 2006

“Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit”

Friday, April 14th, 2006

The Crucifixion
When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing ” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”
And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.
And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Jesus Is Buried
And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.
It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.
Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Luke 23:33-56 (New American Standard Bible)

A day after getting WWII medals, veteran dies

Friday, April 14th, 2006

I’m glad to see this veteran get the honors he deserves.

VENTURA, Calif. – One day after receiving two medals more than six decades late, a World War II Army veteran in a California nursing home died at age 87, the Ventura County Star reported.
On Wednesday, Adam Macht was pinned with Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals — more than 60 years after he earned them.
Macht served as a combat infantryman under Gen. George S. Patton during World War II in Tunisia, Algeria and French Morocco. But he never received the Bronze Star he earned for heroic service or the Purple Heart he was awarded for wounds suffered in battle.
The oversight was uncovered when staff at Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura checked to see if he was eligible for veteran’s pension benefits.
Macht suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. He sat mostly still in his wheelchair with his eyes closed during Wednesday’s presentation ceremony.
Chief Master Sgt. Benito Salinas of the Air National Guard called the ceremony “a long overdue presentation” before pinning the three-inch medals to Macht’s green Army jacket.
He died Thursday morning at about 6:30 a.m. in his apartment, his stepdaughter-in-law told the Star.

Court reverses ruling against Bible verses

Friday, April 14th, 2006

I’m glad the Canadian courts saw this as the attack against Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion that it was.

A ruling that essentially classified references to Bible verses on homosexuality as provocations of hatred was reversed yesterday by the highest court in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
As WorldNetDaily reported, under Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code, Hugh Owens of Regina, an evangelical Christian and corrections officer, was found guilty along with the newspaper Saskatoon StarPhoenix for publishing in 1997 an ad inciting hatred and was forced to pay damages of 1,500 Canadian dollars to each of three homosexual men who filed a complaint. The decision was upheld by a Canadian court in 2002.
The ad’s theme was that the Bible says no to homosexual behavior. It listed the references – not the text itself – to four Bible passages, Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. An equal sign was placed between the verse references and a stick drawing of two males holding hands overlaid with the universal nullification symbol – a red circle with a diagonal bar.
The rights code allows for expression of honestly held beliefs, but the commission ruled that the code can place “reasonable restriction” on Owens’s religious expression, because the ad exposed the complainants “to hatred, ridicule, and their dignity was affronted on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
Owens appealed the tribunal’s decision but the Court of Queen’s Bench upheld it in December 2002.
Yesterday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reversed that ruling.
Justice Bob Richards said the ad was “bluntly presented and doubtlessly upsetting to many,” but it didn’t violate the code.
A couple of months after the December 2002 ruling, a columnist noted in the Edmonton Journal last week that decision generated virtually no news stories and “not a single editorial.”
Imagine “the hand-wringing if ever a federal court labeled the Quran hate literature and forced a devout Muslim to pay a fine for printing some of his book’s more astringent passages in an ad in a daily newspaper,” wrote Lorne Gunter.
In 2001, Owens explained his ad was “a Christian response” to Homosexual Pride Week.
“I put the biblical references, but not the actual verses, so the ad would become interactive,” he told the National Catholic Register after the 2001 ruling. “I figured somebody would have to look them up in the Bible first, or if they didn’t have a Bible, they’d have to find one.”
Owens’s ad referred to the New International Version, which renders Leviticus 20:13, this way, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
“Owens denies that, as a Christian, he wants homosexuals put to death, as some inferred from the biblical passages,” the Catholic paper said. He believes, however, that “eternal salvation is at stake,” both for those engaging in homosexual acts and for himself, if he fails to inform them about “what God says about their behavior.”

Exposure to hatred
Justice J. Barclay, in the lower-court opinion, said the human-rights panel “was correct in concluding that the advertisement can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule.”
“When the use of the circle and slash is combined with the passages of the Bible, it exposes homosexuals to detestation, vilification and disgrace,” Barclay said. “In other words, the biblical passage which suggests that if a man lies with a man they must be put to death exposes homosexuals to hatred.”
In the tribunal’s 2001 ruling, Saskatchewan Human Rights Board of Inquiry commissioner Valerie Watson emphasized that the panel was not banning parts of the Bible. She wrote that the offense was the combination of the symbol and the biblical references. Owens, in fact, published an ad in 2001, without complaint, that quoted the full text of the passages he cited in the offending 1997 ad.
But the Canadian Civil Liberties Association sided with Christian groups that criticized the panel for stifling free speech.
Owens’ case was one of a number in which the beliefs of Christians clashed with provincial human-rights codes.
In 2001, the Ontario Human Rights Commission penalized printer Scott Brockie $5,000 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group. Brockie argued that his Christian beliefs compelled him to reject the group’s request.
In 1998, an Ontario man was convicted of hate crimes for an incident in which he distributed pamphlets about Islam outside a high school. In one of the pamphlets, defendant Mark Harding listed atrocities committed in the name of Islam in foreign lands to back his assertion that Canadians should be wary of local Muslims.

Christian Group’s Brochure Offers Schools Help in Understanding Tolerance

Friday, April 14th, 2006

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been called “intolerant” on this blog for some of the stances I take on moral issues, homosexuality being one of them. As I’ve said before, I believe in Biblical Truths and Moral absolutes. This puts me crosswise with the “tolerant” crowd quite often. It would be nice to have the tolerance use correctly once in while. Tolerance does not mean that I have to embrace what I find objectionable in others and give up values dear to me.

(AgapePress) – A California-based Christian group called Gateways to Better Education is offering students and teachers an alternative way to respond to an upcoming homosexual activist event being promoted in public schools.
April 26 marks another “Day of Silence,” an annual event organized by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and designed to protest the perceived intolerance and the “silence that LGBT people face each day.” The event is meant to highlight what GLSEN sees as bullying and harassment of LGBT or lesbian, “gay” bisexual and transgender students by others. But on the following day, April 27, many Christians nationwide will be holding the second annual “Day of Truth,” an event established to counter the “Day of Silence” and to express a viewpoint that opposes the homosexual agenda from a Christian perspective.
With these objectives in mind, the group “Gateways to Better Education” is asking Christian students and teachers to circulate a handout that the organization hopes will help clear up confusion on campuses regarding the issue of tolerance. The handout is titled “Promoting Tolerance,” and Gateways president Eric Buehrer says his group is distributing it because tolerance is a word that is all too often misinterpreted to mean acceptance. He feels a better understanding would be to define tolerance as showing respect and courtesy while holding firmly to convictions.
“Too often, when someone is rightly intolerant of a particular belief or behavior or action, that’s labeled as hate or bigotry, and that doesn’t have to be labeled that way.” Buehrer contends. “When someone is intolerant of something,” he insists, “what’s most important is the character they exhibit in their intolerance.”
Based in Lake Forest, California, Gateways to Better Education exists to involve, equip, and support Christian parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members in America’s 92,000 public schools. The group seeks to encourage these individuals in efforts to bring the influence of their Christian faith and values into their various areas of activity in academic settings.

Needed: A Working Definition of Tolerance That Tolerates Truth
Gateways has noted that schools, particularly in recent years, have given an increasing amount of attention to issues surrounding tolerance, and the group has identified a growing need for a clear and practical definition of the term. Tolerance does not mean universally accepting everyone’s ideas or behaviors, Gateways’ president says, and yet many students have been taught to understand the concept that way.
Buehrer believes schools need to focus more on character issues and less on pushing ideas that confuse students over what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. “The problem,” he asserts, “is that too many people think they’re being tolerant when actually they’re only expressing indifference — like, ‘Oh, whatever’; or apathy, ‘Who cares?’; or even recklessness, you know, ‘Why not?’ — and they interpret that as tolerance.”
The Gateways to Better Education spokesman feels such misinterpretations are morally dangerous to young people. “When tolerance is improperly understood, it can actually lead to disarming students of their proper convictions,” he says.
The “Promoting Tolerance” brochure is designed to help students keep their convictions while responding to differences, Buehrer adds. The information in it can help students respond to events like the “Day of Silence” with biblically-based tolerance, showing courtesy and respecting others’ differences while holding onto their own Christian beliefs and values.
Teachers and others interested in obtaining the “Promoting Tolerance” resource can go to Gateways’ website or call 1-800-929-1163 to request the brochure.