Archive for April 21st, 2006

YMCA warned to vacate Hamas town

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Did anyone expect anything less from a bunch of pali terrorist? I didn’t.

JERUSALEM — The leadership of a West Bank Palestinian city now controlled by Hamas has warned a local Young Men’s Christian Association to close its offices and leave town or face likely Muslim violence, WorldNetDaily has learned.
The move highlighted long-standing fears Hamas would use its win in last January’s Palestinian parliamentary elections to impose an anti-Christian, anti-Jewish hard-line Islamist regime in the West Bank and Gaza.
“The face of the new Hamas government is coming to the forefront now that they finally took over and have a lot more confidence. They want to create a territory free of Christians and Jews,” said a Christian leader associated with the YMCA in Qalqiliya, a West Bank town under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Yesterday, major Muslim organizations in Qalqiliya in conjunction with local mosques, the city’s Mufti and municipal leaders, sent a letter to the interior minister of the Hamas-led PA accusing the YMCA of missionary activities and demanding the Palestinian government immediately shut down the Christian offices.
The YMCA has operated in Qalqiliya since 2000.
The petition, obtained by WND, states, “We the preachers of the mosques and representatives of major families in Qalqiliya ask you to close the offices of the YMCA because the population of Qalqiliya doesn’t need such offices, especially since there are not many Christians in our city.”
It warned, “The act of these institutions of the YMCA, including attempting to convert Muslims in our city, will bring violence and tension.”
Already this past weekend several Molotov cocktails were thrown at Qalqiliya’s YMCA.
Local political sources said the attacks followed Friday sermons in dozens of Qalqiliya mosques in which preachers called upon the community to revolt against the YMCA.
“There was a coordination among the mosques to speak about the YMCA Friday night. One major imam, for example, warned if the YMCA doesn’t close down it will lead to ‘acts that no one would like to see,'” said one political source.
Joseph Medi, the YMCA manager in Qalqiliya, told WND his operation has never been involved with missionary activity.
“It’s not what we’re about. There is no missionary activity here whatsoever. The YMCA is in the city to serve the population with financial help, sporting activities and general educational programs,” said Medi.
Medi pointed out many employees at his branch of the YMCA are Muslim. He said the YMCA was instrumental in establishing a number of community programs, including contributing to the financing of the Al Ahli Club, a mostly Muslim local soccer organization that has competed in national games.
Medi said Qalqiliya’s YMCA received a final notification from local leaders warning the association to close its offices before “drastic measures” were taken. He said no specific measures were specified.
Qalqiliya is located at the West Bank’s point of closest proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. There are reported only about 50-100 Christians in a population of about 28,300. The city’s mayor, Sheikh Waji Qawwas, is a Hamas member just released from Israeli prison yesterday.
Hamas swept all 15 municipal offices in local elections in Qalqiliya in December. The terror group went on to win the vast majority of Palestinian parliamentary seats in January and officially took over the Palestinian Authority earlier this month.
One Christian leader, an aide to Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch Michel Sabah who asked his name be withheld out of fear of Muslim retaliation, called the threats against Qalqiliya’s YMCA part of a general trend of Christian persecution in Palestinian areas.
“It’s been happening all over the West Bank and Gaza,” said the aide.
There have been rampant reports of abuses and persecution in several West Bank towns taken over by the PA.
Anti-Christian riots have been reported in Ramallah, Nazareth and surrounding villages as well as in towns in Gaza.
In Bethlehem, local Christians have long complained of anti-Christian violence. The city’s Christian population, once 90 percent, declined drastically since the PA took control in December 1995. Christians now make up less than 25 percent of Bethlehem, according to Israeli surveys.
The demands for the YMCA to close are also the latest in a series of reports indicating Hamas may be seeking to impose Taliban-like Islamic rule.
Israeli officials say Hamas in the Gaza Strip has established hard-line Islamic courts and created the Hamas Anti-Corruption Group, which is described as a kind of “morality police” operating within Hamas’ organization. Hamas has denied the existence of the anti-corruption group, but it recently carried out a high-profile “honor killing” widely covered by the Palestinian media.
A Hamas-run council in the West Bank came under international criticism last year when it barred an open-air music and dance festival, declaring it was against Islam.
In response to the uproar, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar told WND during an exclusive interview: “I hardly understand the point of view of the West concerning these issues. The West brought all this freedom to its people but it is that freedom that has brought about the death of morality in the West. It’s what led to phenomena like homosexuality, homelessness and AIDS.”
Asked if Hamas will impose hard-line Islamic law on the Palestinians, al-Zahar responded, “The Palestinian people are Muslim people, and we do not need to impose anything on our people because they are already committed to their faith and religion. People are free to choose their way of life, their way of dress and behavior.”
Al-Zahar said his terror group, which demands strict dress codes for females, respects women’s rights.
“It is wrong to think that in our Islamic society there is a lack of rights for women. Women enjoy their rights. What we have, unlike the West, is that young women cannot be with men and have relations outside marriage. Sometimes with tens of men. This causes the destruction of the family institution and the fact that many kids come to the world without knowing who are their fathers or who are their mothers. This is not a modern and progressed society,” al-Zahar explained.
The terror chieftain told WND the West can learn from his group’s Islamic values.
“Here I refer to what was said in the early ’90s by Britain’s Prince Charles at Oxford University. He spoke about Islam and its important role in morality and culture. He said the West must learn from Islam how to bring up children properly and to teach them the right values.”

Porn Giant Plans to Sell ‘Burnable’ Movies Online

Friday, April 21st, 2006

It’s interesting to me how news stories and topics seem to come out at the same time. I don’t look for a particular topic when I post, although I do have a favorite selection of sources. In other words, I had no idea, when I got up this morning, that I would be blogging about pornography and that it would be in the news so much today.
With that said, the next news story show us how the porn industry is making it easier to get it’s depraved product to people’s televisions and computers.

LOS ANGELES – Adult entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment Group said on Wednesday it will start next month selling downloadable movies that viewers can burn to DVD and watch on their TVs.
Vivid said it will start selling burnable movies May 8 through online movie service CinemaNow, an Internet provider of on-demand movies, which had previously agreed to distribute Vivid films.
Earlier this month, CinemaNow and another online movie service, Movielink, said they will begin selling major films such as “Memoirs of a Geisha” on the same day DVDs are sold at stores in a watershed event for Hollywood in the digital age.
Movielink said it signed download-to-own deals with six major studios, and CinemaNow unveiled similar pacts with two big players as well as independent LionsGate Entertainment Corp. (LGF), the studio behind this year’s Oscar winner “Crash.”
Both sites allow consumers to copy digital movies for backup use. Those copies will be software protected so they can not be burned onto DVD discs and replayed on DVD players.
Vivid’s move to enable viewers to burn the films onto a DVD for about $19.95 apiece and then be able to watch them on the TV marks a first for Hollywood.
“With this, we’re giving users the ability to download and burn a movie. And not just a movie, but all the things that come along with a standard DVD, like menus, graphics, art,” said Bill Asher, co-chief executive officer and co-owner of Vivid.

Teens Who Plotted School Shooting to Appear in Court Friday

Friday, April 21st, 2006

For those who feel we don’t have a problem with the youth in this country, read on…

RIVERTON, Kan. – Five teenage boys suspected of planning a shooting spree at their high school are expected to appear in court Friday to face charges, the Kansas state attorney general said.
The boys, ranging in age from 16 to 18, were arrested Thursday, the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, just hours before they planned to shoot fellow students and school employees, authorities said.
They were stopped after one of them discussed the plot on a Web site, law enforcement and school officials said.
The boys, “What the resounding theme is: They were actually going to do this,” Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Norman said.
The suspects are expected to appear in court Friday, when charges are likely to be announced, said Attorney General Phill Kline, whose office took over the prosecution at the request of the county attorney.
The four suspects younger than 18 were being held Thursday at a juvenile detention center in Girard. The 18-year-old was in the Cherokee County Jail. No decision has been made on whether to charge the four juveniles as adults, Kline said.
Four suspects were arrested at their homes; the fifth was taken into custody at the school. None of the teens’ names were released.
Sheriff’s deputies found guns, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedroom of one suspect, Norman said. Authorities also found documents about firearms and references to Armageddon in two suspects’ school lockers.
Officials assured the community that the 270 or so students at Riverton High School were safe and school would continue as normal Friday.
Deputies’ interviews with the suspects indicated they planned to wear black trench coats and disable the school’s camera system before starting the attack between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday, Norman said. The suspects apparently had been plotting since the beginning of the school year.
School officials began investigating on Tuesday after learning that a threatening message had been posted on a social networking site, he said.
The sheriff said the message discussed the significance of April 20, which is Adolf Hitler’s birthday and the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado, in which two students wearing trench coats killed 13 people and committed suicide.
“The message, it was brief, but it stated that there was going to be a shooting at the Riverton school and that people should wear bulletproof vests and flak jackets,” Norman said.
School officials identified the student who posted the message and talked to several of his friends, he said.
But Riverton school district Superintendent David Walters said the significance of the threat did not become clear until Wednesday night, after a woman in North Carolina who had chatted with one of the suspects on Myspace.com received more specific information that there would be about a dozen potential victims, at least one of whom was a staff member. She notified authorities in her state, who contacted the sheriff’s department, Norman said.
He said that the potential victims were popular students and that the suspects may have been bullied.
“I think there was probably some bullying, name calling, chastising,” Norman said. He also said investigators had learned the suspects were computer buffs who liked violent video games.
MySpace.com – a social networking hub with more 72 million members – released a statement declining to discuss the case because of the investigation, adding that it has provided users with mechanisms to report inappropriate content.
Barbara Gibson, a 17-year-old junior at the high school, said her classmates didn’t seem too bothered by the threat.
“A lot of people just talked about it,” she said. “But there wasn’t much reaction.”
Riverton is an unincorporated area of about 600 people along what once was the famed Route 66 in southeast Kansas, near the Oklahoma and Missouri borders.

The Gospel of Judas: A Betrayal of the Truth

Friday, April 21st, 2006

This should come as no surprise to Bible believing Christians.

(AgapePress) – It’s being hailed as the greatest archaeological find in the last 60 years. Some are saying the “Gospel of Judas,” a Gnostic text that dates back to the second century, could force a completely different understanding of Christianity, more specifically of Judas and Jesus. But as Collin Hansen of Christianity Today writes: “This is no Christian text …. This new text tells us nothing more about Jesus’ relationship with Judas than does Jesus Christ Superstar.”
The text was originally discovered in Egypt during the 1970s, then circulated among antiquities dealers and ultimately found its way to a safe deposit box in Long Island, New York, where it languished and deteriorated for 16 years. Eventually, it was acquired by a Swiss foundation that formed a joint venture with National Geographic to reconstruct, transcribe, and translate it. National Geographic has now acquired the rights to the document and recently unveiled it for the public.
The Gospel of Judas tells an entirely different story than the one recorded in the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In this writing, Judas is the hero and not the betrayer of Christ. Instead, he is depicted as Christ’s best friend — the only one who really understands Jesus — the one who turns Jesus over to the authorities for crucifixion at His behest — helping Him shed his fleshly body and return to the spirit world.
The teachings of The Gospel of Judas are Gnostic in origin. The Gnostics were a sect that believed only a select group of people was privy to a secret knowledge. The material world to them was a trap — something from which to escape to enter into the spirit world. As Hanson notes, the teachings of the “Cainite Gnostics,” the group responsible for the Gospel of Judas, were characteristic for “rehabilitating disgraced biblical figures, including Cain, the Sodomites, and Judas.” Although Gnostics appeared to be Christian, there is nothing about their teachings that resembled what the apostles actually taught and passed down to the Church.
Despite the fact scholars have always known about the Gospel of Judas and that the early Church rejected it as heresy, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler, Jr., notes one of the more significant reasons why many people are making such a big deal of it:
“The resurgence of interest in Gnostic texts such as … the gospel of Judas is driven by an effort, at least on the part of some figures, to argue that early Christianity had no essential core. Instead, scholars such as Elaine Pagels of Princeton University want to argue that, ‘These discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion, and demonstrating how diverse — and fascinating — the early Christian movement really was.’ What Pagels and many other figures argue is that early Christianity was a cauldron of competing theologies, and that ideological and political factors explain why an ‘orthodox’ tradition eventually won, suppressing all competing theologies. Accordingly, these same figures argue that today’s Christians should be open to these variant teachings that had long been suppressed and hidden from view.”
The fact of the matter is, however, that from the earliest times the Church had a functional canon that was authoritative in matters of faith and practice. In his book You Can Trust the Bible, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois, explains how the development of the New Testament Canon actually took place:
1. Letters from the apostles were written and received in the churches; copies were made and circulated.
2. A growing group of books developed that were recognized as inspired Scripture. An important question for their acceptance was: Was the book either written by an apostle or by someone who knew the apostles, and thus had the stamp of apostolic authority?
3. By the end of the first century all 27 books in our present canon were written and received by the churches. Though some of the canonical lists were incomplete, this is not to be interpreted as the rejection of some books but often simply means that some books were unknown in certain areas.
4. To show both agreement and the widespread acceptance of the New Testament books, we should note that by a generation following the end of the apostolic age, every book of the New Testament had been cited as authoritative by some church father.
5. Remaining doubts or debates over certain books continued into the fourth century. As far as historians know, the first time the list of our 27 books appears is in an Easter letter written by Athansius, an outstanding leader of the church in A.D. 367. Obviously, the books were regarded by most churches as authoritative more than 200 years prior to that time.
6. The 27 books of our New Testament were ratified by the Council of Hippo (A.D. 393) and the Council of Carthage (A.D. 397).
Lutzer rightly adds: “These councils neither added nor subtracted books, but simply approved the list of twenty-seven which had already been recognized by the early church. Given the geographical distances, the limitations of communication, and the diverse backgrounds of the churches, such agreement is remarkable.”
Indeed, it was remarkable accord — quite contrary to the argument that genuine early Christianity was “a cauldron of competing theologies, and that ideological and political factors explain why an ‘orthodox’ tradition eventually won, suppressing all competing theologies.”
This also clearly explains why writings like the Gospel of Judas were never recognized as divinely inspired. Such documents were simply too young to have apostolic authority. Moreover, they were inconsistent with the fundamental teachings of the Christian religion.
It is no coincidence that in the last chapter of the last book of the New Testament there is a dire warning. Although the text was intended primarily to refer to the book of Revelation, it nonetheless has a wider application for the Bible as a whole. It reads: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).
Without question, the canon is closed and all the information needed to know God and live as He requires is contained therein. Those who either promote or embrace some extra-biblical revelation such as the Gospel of Judas betray the truth, even as the real Judas Himself did, and crucify the Son of God afresh.
Rev. Mark H. Creech (calact@aol.com) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.

Re-Post: ‘After two days, He will revive us’ by Hal Lindsey

Friday, April 21st, 2006

For some of my readers, this commentary may seem strange. But weigh carefully what is reported before forming an opinion.
In the 1650s, an Anglican bishop named James Ussher published his “Annals of the World,” subtitled, “The Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperor Vespasian’s Reign and the Total Destruction and Abolition of the Temple and Commonwealth of the Jews.”
It was a ponderous title, but Ussher’s work was a ponderous book. First published in Latin, it consisted of more than 1,600 pages.
Bishop Ussher was no ordinary man, but one who was unmistakably blessed with incredible intelligence and insight that he devoted entirely to the study of God’s Word. (By age 26, Ussher was chairman of the Divinity Department at Dublin University.)
While that in and of itself would be worthy of a lifetime achievement award, Ussher went on to full professorship, served as vice-chancellor of Trinity College twice, and, by age 44, was elevated to the rank of archbishop of Armagh, the highest position in the Irish Anglican Church.
The point is that Bishop Ussher was not just a smart man. He was an intellectual giant who used his God-given gifts to advance the understanding of God’s Word.
Bishop Ussher’s “Annals of the World” begins at the point of creation, which he determined was Oct. 23, 4004 B.C.
Ussher’s arrival at the date of Oct. 23 was determined based on the fact that most peoples of antiquity, especially the Jews, started their calendar at harvest time.
Ussher concluded there must be good reason for this, so he chose the first Sunday following autumnal equinox.
Although the autumnal equinox is Sept. 21 today, that is only because of historical calendar-juggling to make the years come out right.
In September 1752, 11 days were dropped to bring the calendar back in line with the seasons. Another day was dropped at the beginning of the 19th and 20th century for the same reason.
Amazingly, Ussher’s calculations, made centuries before these adjustments, are vindicated by them. Pretty impressive stuff for a guy working by candlelight centuries before the advent of a calculator.
The reason Ussher’s work is so accurate was because he relied solely on Scripture as his source of information.
Ussher arrived at the date of 4004 B.C. by taking known dates in history, and calculating backward by using the chronologies of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11 and working backward. The calculations themselves were so complicated that, in the original documents, they covered more than 100 pages.

Notes Larry Pierce of the “Online Bible”:
Astrogeophysicist Dr John Eddy, who was at the time solar astronomer at the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, Colorado, made some revealing comments at a symposium in 1978, as reported in Geotimes, Vol. 23, September 1978, p. 18.
There is no evidence based solely on solar observations, Eddy stated, that the Sun is 4.5-5 x 109 years old. “I suspect,” he said, “that the Sun is 4.5-billion years old. However, given some new and unexpected results to the contrary, and some time for frantic recalculation and theoretical readjustment, I suspect that we could live with Bishop Ussher’s value for the age of the Earth and Sun. I don’t think we have much in the way of observational evidence in astronomy to conflict with that.”

We’re all watching our planet and human culture heading into what looks, for all intents and purposes, the early stages of impending demise.
There are daily, breathless reports about the disintegrating environment, global warming, strange weather patterns, unusual solar activity, together with constant revisions of previously accepted scientific “facts” about the universe and how it works.
The global social structure upon which civilization is built – the family – is under attack from every direction. The war on terror is, in reality, a clash of cultures – both natural and spiritual – with the forces of Islam squaring off against Judeo-Christian culture.
The very fabric of human civilization is being rent and torn before our eyes. It is difficult, at this juncture in history, to foresee how it will survive the onslaught. No nation, seemingly, is exempt from the threat.
Recently, a Senate committee calculated a 70 percent probability, for example, of an attack against the United States with a weapon of mass destruction within the next 10 years. Given our own nuclear capability, any retaliatory response by the United States could destroy civilization as we know it.
Using Bishop Ussher’s calculations, the Prophet Hosea lived from 3197 to 3246, or, 808 to 759 B.C. Ussher’s dating is expressed in standard years, although he worked from the perspective of the ancient calendar of 12 months of 30 days each. At the end of each year, the ancients tacked on five days, and every four years they added six days.
The prophet Hosea wrote, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).
Further on, the prophet predicted; “Also, O Judah, He hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of My people” (6:11).
The Jews of the tribe of Judah were “revived” on May 15, 1948, the day the world officially recognized the existence of the state of Israel. Since then, little pockets of Jews, members of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, have been discovered in various places and repatriated to their ancient cultures and homeland.
Hosea began with the promise of God that “He will heal us and bind us up” – a promise that was fulfilled with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Messiah Jesus.
With the extension of the Perfect Sacrifice for sins that washed away the sins of all men (“by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life,” Romans 5:18).
We date our own calendar counting forward from Christ. So does God, which brings us back to Hosea’s prophecy. “After two days will He revive us, and in the third day, raise us up,” writes the prophet.
Twice in Scripture, God reveals His own reckoning of time. “For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalms 90:4).
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2nd Peter 3:8).
Our calendar dates the birth of Christ as Year One. It doesn’t much matter if Jesus was born somewhere between 6 BC and 6 AD, given the subsequent manipulation of the various calendars to make them come out right.
Based entirely in Scripture, Ussher’s calculation of creation as being 4,004 years before Christ isn’t based on the year of Christ’s birth. Hosea’s prophecy is.
Ussher took the known date of Nebuchadnezzar’s death as the benchmark from which he launched his backward journey through time, using scriptural chronology to move both forward and backward in his calculations.
I hope I haven’t lost you with all the numbers – it makes me a bit dizzy as I work through them myself. (Bishop Ussher was certainly an intelligent man. Even with a calculator, I have trouble going through all this.)
According to Bishop Ussher, the last time Israel marked its God-mandated Jubilee Year was the Year 4030 from the date of Creation, which would correspond to our A.D. 26. Using Ussher’s calculations, therefore, the Year 2005 dates 6,009 years forward from the date of creation.
And there is a 12-year gap of uncertainty between the Anno Domini calendar and the literal date of His First Advent.
Jesus said that “ye know not what hour your Lord doth come,” and I believe Him. So I am not setting a date for either the rapture or His second coming. But Hosea said that Israel’s revival would come after two days.
It was restored politically in 1948, just before the conclusion of the ‘two days’ since the birth of Christ, but Ezekiel’s chronology says that the political revival is only the first stage of Israel’s “revival.”
“And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.” (Ezekiel 37:8, NKJ) The Hebrew word translated “breath” is “ruwach,” a word that primarily means “spirit,” particularly in this context about “spiritual animation.”
Israel is physically alive, but, to this moment, it is corporately spiritually dead. That “quickening” of the spirit is accomplished by faith in Christ (“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1, NKJ).
So, to return to Hosea, we find the prophecy that after two days, Israel will be revived, but in the third day, they will be “quickened” so that Israel might “live in His sight.”
Israel’s physical revival has been an ongoing process for 57 years as the world’s Jews, including members of the Ten Lost Tribes, are being re-gathered to the land of Israel. Ezekiel’s prophecy of Israel’s redemption process is almost complete.
No matter how one approaches it, either by accepting Ussher’s calculations from creation, or accepting our calendar reckoning of time since the birth of Christ, the conclusion is inescapable.
Hosea said of the Jews, “after two days will He revive us, and in the third day … we will live in His sight.”
Peter says that “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
It is clear that God is extending His “grace period” (the Church Age of Grace) to give all men one last chance to accept the gift of pardon that He extends to them, but it is equally clear that His patience is being rapidly exhausted.
How much longer will He wait before returning for His Church and effecting Israel’s national redemption at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period?
Given the 12-year gap, we are somewhere between four years before and eight years into Hosea’s Third Day.
I don’t believe we can calculate the Jesus’ sudden coming for His Church, because Jesus said no man could know the day or the hour.
But He did say, “So, you too, when you see all these things [the predicted signs], recognize that He is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33). He is very near, indeed!

Maranatha!

Hat tip: Beth

Conservatives Lobby Against ‘Guest Worker’ Amnesty

Friday, April 21st, 2006

I’m lucky, I guess. My congressman is firm on his belief that we should not reward criminals, but my senator is still shaky on it. It’s common sense to me, but politicians have never had common sense. Be sure to write to your congresspeople and let them know how you feel.

(CNSNews.com) – A conservative advocacy group says it is launching a multi-state ad campaign targeting U.S. senators who support amnesty for illegal aliens under the guise of “guest worker” programs.
William Greene, president of the RightMarch.com political action committee, said senators will have a pile of correspondence waiting for them when they return to their offices next week.
“Our members have sent over 300,000 faxes, emails, and hand-delivered letters to the U.S. Senate, to stop the proposed amnesty for illegal aliens,” Greene said.
He believes a majority of senators are “just waiting for their chance to vote for amnesty” when the Senate reconvenes next week. “They’re ready to vote the opposite of how their constituents want them to vote — so now, we’re taking this battle to them,” he said.
Supporters of a pending Senate bill refuse to describe “earned citizenship” as amnesty, but many conservatives say there’s little difference. Critics object to any plan that would “reward” people who come to the United States illegally.
RightMarch.com PAC said it is now running radio ads in the home states of several pro-amnesty GOP senators, exposing their voting record on the issue, and “whipping up an avalanche of phone calls to their home offices demanding that they vote the ‘right’ way on illegal immigration.
“Our ads are running today in states like South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Kansas, with a potential listening audience of over five million people,” said Greene. “These are powerful, ‘in-your-face’ ads that will have a strong impact on these senators.
“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: many times, these legislators have to ‘feel the heat’ in order to ‘see the light.’ Our ads are making them ‘feel that heat!'”
The RightMarch.com PAC describes itself as a web-based, conservative political action committee that gives hundreds of thousands of hardworking, patriotic Americans across the country a strong collective voice in the political process.

Islamic States Press for Limits on Free Expression

Friday, April 21st, 2006

What a bunch of rot. As if the islamist are going to quit bashing the Jews, Israel, Christians and the United States. This “limit” will be for everyone except the islamist. While the islamic terrorist make jihad against the world, the U.N. and E.C. continue to turn a blind eye and give them a pass. Ridiculous.

(CNSNews.com) – Islamic groups and governments are pressing ahead with a campaign to have international organizations take steps, including legal ones, to provide protection for their religion in the wake of the Mohammed cartoon controversy.
In a drive pursued largely away from the headlines, the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) is promoting the issue at the United Nations and European Union, and having some success. The executive council of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) this month approved an agenda item entitled “respect for freedom of expression, sacred beliefs, values and religious and cultural symbols.”
Introduced by more than 30 Islamic states and the subject of considerable debate, the motion explicitly tied freedom of expression to ” respect for cultural diversity, religious beliefs and religious symbols.”
It also directed UNESCO’s director-general to carry out a “comprehensive study of all existing relevant international instruments.”
The motion did not refer directly to the furor over the publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed, although an “explanatory note” offered by the OIC members did.
The publication of caricatures of the Prophet of Islam has caused deep and widespread
offense and indignation within the Muslim community around the world,” the note said, adding that respect for religious symbols and beliefs and freedom of expression were “indissociable.”
“Given the importance of religion to peoples and to dignity and the way of life in different cultures, respect for different religious beliefs is essential to international peace and security and to the progress of human civilizations,” it said.
The Saudi-based OIC secretariat is spearheading the international campaign of response to what it has called “wanton provocation and reckless, blasphemous libertarianism cowering behind so-called freedom of the press.”
European newspapers that reproduced 12 cartoons first published in a Danish daily last fall said they were doing so in defense of free expression. Muslims around the world protested, some violently, calling the depictions of their prophet blasphemous.
The UNESCO move is just the latest illustration of the way the OIC and its 56 member states are using the cartoon episode to apply pressure on the West to comply with Islamic norms.
“OIC efforts at the international level to tackle the repercussions of the caricature crisis and to meet the expectations of the Muslim world continue,” it said in a recent statement.
The matter was being taken up in exchanges with the E.U., ” as well as with various international and regional intergovernmental organizations and NGOs.”
The OIC said it was pursuing a “strategy to take initiatives at various international organs to contribute to the formation of an international legal framework” aimed at preventing a recurrence of the cartoon crisis. The action at UNESCO was a component of this strategy.
At an OIC meeting in Istanbul this month, OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
urged representatives of Islamic states to approach their counterparts in the West “with the aim of defending the interests of the Muslim world, presenting the true image of Islam and combating the stereotype perceptions about Islam and Muslims.”
In an earlier accomplishment, OIC members last February succeeded in pushing through a last-minute amendment to the preamble of a U.N. resolution establishing a new U.N. Human Rights Council
The OIC addition to the text referred to the important role of states, NGOs, religious groups and the media “in promoting tolerance, respect for and freedom of religion and belief” – but made no balancing reference to freedom of speech.

‘Support mosque construction’
The Islamic campaign has won sympathetic responses from some senior U.N. and E.U. figures.
“Your anguish over the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is clear and understandable,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message read on his behalf at an OIC gathering in Istanbul this month.
While he said all should speak up for freedom of worship and freedom of speech, he added: “We must exercise great sensitivity when dealing with symbols and traditions that are sacred to other people.”
Addressing a meeting of European imams in Vienna, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik of Austria – the current E.U. president – also referred to the cartoons. “Freedoms do have limits that should not be overstepped,” she told 300 Muslim religious leaders from across the continent.
At the same gathering, the head of the E.U.’s official anti-racism body bemoaned what she said was a “dangerously high” level of anti-Muslim discrimination in Europe.
Beate Winkler, head of the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, said E.U. governments should provide time for religious programs on public broadcasters and support mosque construction.
Participant Turfa Bagaghati of the European Network Against Racism — an E.U.-funded NGO — told Islam Online it was time Muslims pressed “for their rights, like enacting laws banning aggression on Islam.”
E.U. external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also addressed the Vienna meeting, saying that both freedom of religion and freedom of expression were “non-negotiable.”
But she added a qualifier only in the case of freedom of expression, saying “it does come with responsibilities and should be exercised with the necessary sensitivity to others.”
The E.U. will next month hold a “Euro-Med” seminar of xenophobia and racism in the media, bringing together representatives from the E.U. and the predominantly Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East.
In another development, it was reported lest week that E.U. bureaucrats are drawing up a “lexicon” of terminology to use when referring to Islam. Words like “Islamist” and “jihad” are under review, as is the phrase “Islamic terrorism.”

Gov’t Going After ‘Systematic’ Immigration Violators

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Well, it’s a start.

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government said it arrested 1,187 people on charges stemming from illegal immigration in Wednesday’s raids — more than the total number of immigration violators arrested in 2005. And it’s going to get worse for “systematic violators,” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Thursday.
Chertoff called Wednesday’s raids in multiple states the “largest single worksite enforcement operation against a company in American history.” Those arrested include managers and former managers who hired undocumented workers.
Chertoff said the investigation is continuing — and the government’s enforcement effort is expanding. He said the strategy is aimed at “the infrastructure that permits illegal work to take place in the United States.”
According to Chertoff, the government is looking at organizations that promote the “harboring and hiring” of undocumented workers, and those organizations will be viewed “in the same way we look at other criminal organizations.”
The strategy has worked against other organized crime groups, he said. “And that means that what we’re focused on is not just individual cases involving a single violator here or a single violator there, but actually looking at those people who adopt, as a business model, the systematic violation of United States law.”
Chertoff said the government plans to “come down as hard as possible and break the back” of those organizations.
“Americans are rightly concerned about the need to enforce our immigration laws and our work laws,” Chertoff said.
He said that means focusing on those who encourage illegal immigration, by actually smuggling aliens into the country or by employing them “in a systematic fashion” once they get into the country.

Re-Post: The Serpent of Porn

Friday, April 21st, 2006

(AgapePress) – Solomon intimately understood how powerful sexual temptation can be for a young man. It was with him in mind that he wrote the fifth chapter of Proverbs. “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding …. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech” (Proverbs 5:1-3).

Those two sentences perfectly describe both the power of sexual temptation and its antidote. The wise king understood that, if a young man is to successfully withstand the charms of the temptress, he must be prepared ahead of time. Time spent in the Word every day builds up a man’s immune system against the poison of pornography. The scriptures are simply the thinking and perspectives of the Lord. As a man continually immerses himself in the Bible, he will gradually take on God’s mindset toward life, people and, yes, even sexuality. a man who devotes daily time to the Word is given spiritual insight into the power of temptation and how it works.

Notice again what Solomon says about sexual sin. He personifies it as an adulteress whose lips of honey represent promised fulfillment. The temptation seems irresistible because it is laced with deception — namely, that the act of sin will bring about tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. The tantalizing thought is presented and all thoughts of resistance are forgotten. the act of sexual sin looks absolutely intoxicating and therefore irresistible. The smooth oil represents the craftiness of the enemy …. Fully camouflaged and extremely calculating, he presents the perfect illusion, timing each consecutive attack “to steal, and kill, and destroy God’s property.”

The wise man, whose heart has been fortified with the Word of God, sees the devil behind that intoxicating temptation. In the Garden, Satan exposed himself as the “crafty” serpent he is. I imagine him being very much like a cobra. Known for the hideous hood it extends when preparing to attack, it actually spits into the eyes of its victim before striking. With its target blinded and helpless, the serpent could easily squirm away into the brush. But this viper is not content with escape; it enjoys killing. With bared fangs, it lunges, injecting its deadly poison into its victim’s body.

Injected … Infected … and Helpless
This is a fitting picture of the man lured into viewing pornography. The temptation usually begins when he comes across a glimpse of flesh and/or a sexually suggestive hyper-link. It is just enough venom to temporarily blind him to the impending danger. The initial presentation is stimulating, creating a sensual atmosphere which spiritually incapacitates him.

Now the serpent moves in for the kill. That one glimpse of porn unleashes a poison that rockets into the man’s soul and instantly spreads throughout his being. Just like a snakebite victim, he enters a catatonic state of mind: a sexual trance where all reason seems to abandon him. Lust rushes through his body; his face flushes with excitement; his palms get sweaty. Solomon described this spiritual stupor this way: “With her many persuasions she entices him. With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life” (Proverbs 7:21-23).

Conversely, the man who “receives with meekness the engrafted word” discerns the source of temptation that comes his way. He understands that, behind the beautiful illusion of pleasure, there is a snake — coiled and ready to strike. He has been bitten by it before and has learned the hard way the price that is paid for every indulgence. He has the heart-knowledge (much different from head-knowledge) to “be a doer of the Word” and turn away from the temptation.

Continuing in Proverbs 5, Solomon went on to speak of the “aharit” — the end — of sexual sin: “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of hell.” This Hebraic term describes the inevitable consequences of all sin. He would later write, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its ‘aharit’ is the way of death” (14:12).

Once a snake bites, its victim then becomes vulnerable to other predators. Some time ago, I watched a National Geographic special that showed a lioness who had been bitten by a cobra. For days, she suffered under the effects of its venom. Weakened to the point of collapse, she faced great danger from a roving pack of ravenous hyenas. She was helpless to defend herself from their savage attacks.

This is certainly true of the man who views pornography. Its poison, rather than dissipating after he has completed his act of lust, continues to contaminate his heart over the coming days. Its toxin remains in his system, altering his perspectives, polluting his mind, and spreading darkness over his soul. The lust it initially appealed to is now inflamed into burning desire. Rather than satisfying the man’s sexual passion, it only serves to further ignite it.

Not only must the infected man deal with the after-effects of the bite, but now he is even more weakened spiritually against the enemies of his soul. He attempts to go about his daily routines, but lascivious memories continue to haunt him. These images are like Third World beggars crowding around him, clamoring for another handout. No matter how much you give them, they’re never satisfied. Indeed, every gift only emboldens them to demand more.

No wonder Solomon warned: “Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one” (5:8-9). The house of the adulteress — much like an X-rated website — is nothing more than a den of writhing vipers. It would be wise to avoid such a place!

God’s Word is the Antitode
The poisoned victim’s only hope for freedom is to go “cold turkey.” Just as a heroin addict must lock himself up until the drug gradually works its way out of his body, so too it takes time for the venom of pornography to lose its power. Every tick of the clock could be harboring a voluptuous temptress, ready to lure him back into sin. And yet, every minute that passes without failure, delivers the man that much further out of her reach. When it comes to porn addiction, the longer he stays away, the better his chances of escaping her evil clutches for good.

Just as the Word of God prepares a man to face temptation, it is also the only antidote for the man once he has been bitten by the serpent of lust. Regular doses of Scripture are the very thing he needs to be built up spiritually and thus counteract the effects of the poison of pornography. “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little …” (Isaiah 28:10). Every word, verse and chapter he meditates upon serves to strengthen him.

Christian men must do everything within their power to avoid the “house” of the adulteress. Two practical measures a man should take would be to use an Internet filter on his computer and controlling his television viewing. However, the fact remains that we live in a snake-infested world. In our day and age, it is almost inevitable that men will face this temptation at some point. The wise believer will prepare himself for that day with the Word of God. It is only “the sword of the Spirit” that can sever the head of the serpent of porn.
Steve Gallagher is president and founder of Pure Life Ministries, a Kentucky-based ministry whose goal is to lead Christians to victory over sexual sin and a deeper life in God. Both Steve and his wife Kathy are available as speakers and have a wealth of experience in helping men and women overcome and deal with the effects of sexual sin.