Archive for April 24th, 2006

This Blog will be Down at 4 PM PDT (per BlogSpot Admin)

Monday, April 24th, 2006

This blog will be down, for awhile, starting today at 4 PM PDT.
The blog I am building, to eventually replace this one, will still be up (since it is on our servers, not BlogSpot’s) and you can see all the same post, going back to April 7th.
Click here to go to the new blog.
Take a look and see what y’all think of the format.
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve

Dean Trying to ‘Muzzle’ Churches, Group Says

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I’m amazed that democrates have not figure out yet that Dean is hurting them far more then he is helping them. Guess some people never learn.

(CNSNews.com) – Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean’s recent comments calling on groups in the religious community “to decide whether they want to be tax exempt or involved in politics” drew the ire of a Catholic-based advocacy group on Friday.
Dean’s remarks were made during an interview with the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday.
“Howard Dean’s statement makes it clear that he wants to muzzle America’s churches and religious groups from professing what they believe on important issues facing our society,” said Joseph Cella, president of Fidelis, a Catholic-based advocacy organization.
“When it comes to debates over public policy and issues, Dean should be welcoming the voice of America’s churches, not attempting to silence them,” said Cella.
“Instead, Dean has shown utter disregard for people of faith by threatening the historical and treasured role of religious groups and churches in American public life,” Cella continued.
But Dean, who did not speak publicly about his religious views until his presidential bid in 2004, has apparently used religion to his political advantage several times since then.
During his campaign, Dean sold “Dean for America” signs, touting they are “perfect for church.”
In February 2005, before heading the DNC, Dean said the party’s strategy needed to include reaching evangelical Christians, a low number of whom voted for the Democratic Party in the 2004 elections.
“We are definitely going to do religious outreach. Even in my campaign, I was interested in reaching out to evangelicals,” Dean reportedly told Christianity Today, noting that “our religious outreach will not solely be to evangelical Christians but to Americans of all faiths.”
In July 2005, Dean said at a convention of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), “Decency, lifting up our fellow man, bringing hope to those left out of the process and ensuring that our nation’s prosperity is shared by all … these are things that the African Methodist Episcopal Church has stood for, and these are things that Democrats stand for.”
He went on to commend the church on its get-out-the-vote effort. “Finally, I want to commend the AME on the creation of the AME V-Alert initiative. There is no democratic right more basic to our democracy than the power of the vote.”
In September, Dean also gave a speech at the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., in Miami, Fla.
But Cella called Dean’s comments Wednesday “hostile.”
“Dean’s blatant hostility toward any church or religious group calls into serious question his supposed outreach to values voters following the 2004 elections,” he said.
“In essence, Dean is saying that if religious groups want to continue to speak out, then the hand of government is going to exact a penalty. Comments such as these continue to place Howard Dean and the Democratic Party in jeopardy of further alienating religious voters,” Cella concluded.
The DNC, which was holding its annual spring meeting in New Orleans, La., when this article was written, was unavailable for comment.

DaVinci Didn’t Convince Me : Erwin Lutzer Video

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Take a moment to watch this informative video concerning the Da Vinci Code. The Da Vinci Code movie is due to be released in mid-May.

Click here to watch the video.

Hamas officials contradict selves in media

Monday, April 24th, 2006

What I do not understand is how the world can be so naive to what hamas really is. They are, and always will be, a bunch of slimy, pali terrorist.
Wake up, World!

JERUSALEM – Since officially forming its government earlier this month, Hamas has been making a series of contradictory statements to the media, supporting terrorism and promoting the destruction of Israel in Arabic-language interviews while espousing moderate ideology and the possibility of coexistence when speaking to Western audiences, according to a recent study.
“The Hamas movement, in an attempt to bridge the significant gap between its platform and ideology – denying Israel ‘s existence and supporting terrorism – and the demands of the international community, [has been] pursuing a media strategy of deliberate ambiguity and double-talk,” concluded the study by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and Israel’s Center for Special Studies.
“By means of Western media, senior Hamas officials attempt to blur or hide their basic extremist positions and to project a ‘softened’ front. By means of Arab media in general and Palestinian media in particular, Hamas projects a militant, uncompromising image,” the study stated.
The study follows a WND exclusive interview in which a top Hamas leader said his group will soon make public in English a “peace initiative” in which it will offer to trade strategic land with Israel, cease attempts to capture parts of Jerusalem and sign a 10-year renewable truce with the Jewish state. The leader conceded the aim of the proposal was to later destroy Israel.
The Center for Special Studies cited multiple cases in which Hamas officials, often including its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, directly contradicted themselves in statements to different media outlets, depending on the audience.
On the topic of suicide bombings, Haniyeh recently granted an English interview to CBS in which he stated, “Hamas never thought about violence, but, in effect, aspired towards peace and calm based upon justice and equality.”
In an interview with Britain’s Observer, Hamas Legislative Council member Yahya Moussa claimed Hamas entered a new age where suicide bombings were no longer part of its belief system.
“The suicide bombings happened in an exceptional period and they have now stopped. … They came to an end as a change of belief,” Moussa stated.
But speaking to an Arabic audience during a meeting of the Hamas legislative council, Haniyeh stated, “The movement’s [political] platform integrates between resistance and political activity. … The fundamental stances [of the government] emerged out of the womb of resistance.”
Overall Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told the Arabic media in an announcement, “Resistance is the option the Palestinian people adheres to for restoring its national rights.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Voice of Palestine, a West Bank radio station, “The [Hamas] movement adheres to all forms of resistance … including suicide bombing attack.”
Regarding the possibility of recognizing Israel, Haniyeh said in an English language interview with the Jerusalem Post Hamas would respect the agreements ensuring the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners. He added that if Israel withdrew to the 1967 lines, Hamas would formulate peace in stages.
Hamas chief in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar made similar statements in several interviews with WorldNetDaily.
But speaking in Arabic, Haniyeh told the Al-Shuruq newspaper, “One of the fundamental principles of the new government is not to surrender to international pressure and refuse to recognize Israel.”
Meshaal told Al-Rai al-Am, a Kuwaiti daily, “No to negotiations with Israel. No to recognition of Israel. And no to surrendering Palestinians’ rights.”
Discussing direct negotiations with Israel, al-Zahar said during a well-circulated interview with WorldNetDaily and ABC Radio he is willing to talk with Israel through third-party mediators if the Jewish state had a peace proposal.
Haniyeh told the Jerusalem Post agreements previously signed by the Palestinian Authority would be considered and discussed by Hamas, and that his group was seeking a mechanism for conducting negotiations with Israel.
Later Omar Abd el-Razeq, Hamas’ Minister of Finance, told Reuters he is willing to meet with his Israeli counterpart.
But Wasfi Qabha, Hamas’ Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, told the Arabaic media, “I will not meet with the occupation leadership.”
Sa’id Siyam, a Hamas Interior Minister, said at an Arabic press conference in Gaza City, “The Palestinian defense is not open for political negotiations. That is out of the question on my agenda.”
The conflicted statements to the media follow a WND exclusive interview in January in which a top Hamas leader outlined a “peace initiative” he said Hamas would soon float publicly. The leader justified the proposal using Islamic tradition and stated it would be a temporary machination to ease international and U.S. hostility toward his group in hopes of receiving financial assistance.
“We will be ready for a long interim agreement based on a period of cease-fire that can go to 10 or even 15 years like it was done by the prophet Muhammad with the enemies of the Muslims,” said the senior Hamas official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld, since he said he was “revealing confidential operative information.”
Hamas leaders, including overall leader Meshal, formulated a “peace proposal” they agreed would be acceptable to their group in which the Palestinians would offer to trade certain lands with Israel, the top Hamas official revealed.
“With the territories we will be ready to discuss the possibility that the three big settlement compounds will remain under the power of the occupation (Israel), and in exchange we will receive territories for the Palestinian independent state,” said the Hamas leader.
The leader told WND the “three settlements” he was referring to are Ariel and Gush Etzion, two large regions in the West Bank that contain many of the area’s major Jewish communities, and western and peripheral sections of Jerusalem, which he said Hamas considers “Israeli settlements.” Jews have resided in Jerusalem – which is mentioned more than 800 times in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible – for more than 3,000 years.
Hamas, in exchange for the three areas, would want the eastern sections of Jerusalem, the parts of the southern Israeli Negev desert that border the Gaza Strip and the Jordan Valley, which extends from outside Jerusalem toward Jordan and encompasses most of Israel’s major water supplies.
The Hamas official indicated his group may be willing to compromise on its territorial demands.
“We are most interested in Jerusalem and the Negev,” the leader said.
The leader then justified the Hamas “peace plan” using Islamic history.
“The Muslim hero Saladin gave up land when he gave Acco to the Crusaders in order to keep Jerusalem,” he said. “Therefore, I say that the possibility of the exchange of territories existed already in the history of Islam and it cohabitates with our principle that all of Palestine is a dedicated land from Allah, may he be blessed to the Muslims, and no one has the right to give up any part of it.”
There have been concerns as its power grows, Hamas may try to impose hard-line Islamic law on the Palestinians. Immediately following its election victory last month, Hamas gunmen placed the group’s flag on the Palestinian parliament building in Ramallah and reportedly announced Hamas will soon rule the area by Sharia law. Hamas reportedly has banned Western music events and established hard-line Islamic courts. Israel says the group has an “Anti-Corruption Unit” that enforces Islamic rules.
But the Hamas official told WND his terror organization will not impose Islamic law, “in order to reduce the hostility of the international community and the government of Israel [toward Hamas]. We will not take any initiative to change the way of life of the Palestinian people.”
The Hamas leader said, “I tell you we will surprise everyone with our new attitude.”
But he said his group will not abandon its goal of destroying Israel.
“When I speak about a long cease-fire and a temporary agreement, it means that we do not recognize the right of the state of the occupation on our lands, but we will accept its existence temporarily,” said the leader.
The leader insisted the policies are based on the formulation Hamas will not be able to defeat Israel in the near future, but he said his group is confident it ultimately will be “victorious.”
“I do not see the Palestinian people and Islamic nation succeeding to liberate this blessed land of Palestine in the very near future,” he said. “This is an Islamic land and the Jews are invited to live in Palestine and the Muslims will guaranty their safety and honor. … But we will never give up our right for the whole of Palestine. We should be realistic to admit that the mission for the liberation of Palestine will pass on to the coming generations.”

Freshmen required to undergo homosexual indoctrination

Monday, April 24th, 2006

More indoctrination of the youth by the homosexuals. What nonsense.

With last week’s stunning revelations that the entire faculty of a Midwestern university campus voted without dissent to investigate a Christian librarian for “sexual harassment” simply because he recommended the bestselling book “The Marketing of Evil,” many are asking why not a single faculty member stood up for the librarian.
The question is especially compelling in light of the decision reported Wednesday that the entire faculty had essentially overstepped their own written policies and had wrongly accused the librarian.
The lock-step faculty support for the two openly homosexual professors who led the charge against the librarian might have something to do with the fact that freshmen at the small Mansfield campus of Ohio State University are required, during their first quarter, to undergo what the university calls a “diversity seminar.” But critics say the type of “tolerance re-education” OSU mandates uses tactics reminiscent of those of Chinese communist revolutionary leader Mao Tse-Tung.

Battle over the freshmen
As WND first reported, Scott Savage, a devout Quaker, is head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Bromfield Library on Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus. As a member of the university’s First Year Reading Experience Committee, Savage had suggested four books be considered as required reading for incoming freshmen: “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian, “The Professors” by David Horowitz, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or, and “It Takes a Family” by Sen. Rick Santorum. Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.
However, three professors – two of them openly homosexual – filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment, contending Kupelian’s book was “hate literature” which “threatened” them and made them feel “unsafe” on campus. After a 21-0 faculty vote (with 9 abstentions) on March 13, the school’s Office of Human Resources put Savage under “investigation.” The full-faculty vote was rescinded two days later for legal reasons, and the three offended professors filed the harassment complaint.
The three professors behind the complaint against Savage are Hannibal Hamlin, Norman Jones and J.K. Buckley. Jones teaches courses in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature, and Buckley has written “The Social Critic: The Rise of Queer Performance Within the Demise of Transcendentalism” as well as “articles on sexual orientation in Hemingway and Melville.”
In a March 9 e-mail to the faculty regarding Savage’s suggestion of “The Marketing of Evil” as required freshman reading, Buckley wrote: “… I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus. … You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.”
Stepping up to defend Savage has been the Arizona-based public-interest law firm, the Alliance Defense Fund.
Despite a “Cease and Desist” letter the Alliance Defense Fund sent to OSU Mansfield officials in Savage’s defense March 28, the investigation went forward, with the university insisting it takes “any allegation of sexual harassment seriously.”
Finally, since WorldNetDaily, Sean Hannity, MSNBC, Fox News’ Brit Hume, the New York Post, Human Events, and dozens of bloggers brought the case to national attention, Ohio State University has reversed course and notified Savage the charges had been dropped.

Why no dissenters?
For many, the most disconcerting part of the case is that no faculty members dissented from what eventually was ruled to be an unfair allegation brought by two “gay” professors.
“The fact that there are one or two unhinged professors out there – that’s not news,” said David French, the lead ADF attorney defending Savage. “But the fact that by a 21-0 vote, with 9 abstentions, the faculty would classify a book recommendation as sexual harassment – that show’s there’s an illness that has infected the academy.”
What some, like French, might call an “illness” is, to others, just a high degree of “tolerance” for differences. Yet, notes French, the only “difference” not tolerated on campus is the belief that there is anything wrong with homosexuality. Indeed, on many campuses across the nation, opposing homosexuality on moral grounds is considered every bit as hateful and intolerable as being a racist, anti-Semitic member of the Ku Klux Klan.
As OSU-Mansfield Professor Hannibal Hamlin said in a March 9 e-mail to Savage, copied to the faculty: “Re Kupelian’s book, would you advocate a book that was racist or antisemitic [sic], or are you arguing that homosexuals are not in the same category and that homophobia is not therefore a matter of discrimination but of rational argument?”

Freshman diversity education
Students at OSU-Mansfield are required to take a “diversity seminar” soon after they begin their freshman year.
To prepare for the seminar, students are invited to search online a “dictionary of terms related to diversity,” to “Test your knowledge of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT)” and to “Take a test at Project Implicit’s website.”
“Even though we believe we see and treat people as equals, hidden biases may still influence our perceptions and actions,” explains the OSU website. “Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington created ‘Project Implicit’ to develop Hidden Bias Tests. After taking a test, read Tolerance.org’s tutorial to learn more about stereotypes and prejudice and the societal effects of bias.”
One current freshman, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, attended OSU-Mansfield’s mandatory diversity seminar last fall. After he told his father about it, the father sat in as an observer for a subsequent seminar session.
“It is required that incoming freshman must attend a diversity seminar,” he told WND, “where the homosexual lifestyle is celebrated, and the students are put on a ‘guilt trip’ for having negative feelings and/or moral judgments about the behavior of these people.”
The two- to three-hour seminar, he explained, included “some group-type exercises, where they tried to say you can’t judge a person by looking at them.” Four facilitators conducted the group exercises, he said, asking the students questions like, “Who do you think I am?” “Am I married?” “What kind of car do I drive”? and “Do I have children?”
At the very end of the seminar, the facilitators revealed for the first time that three out of four were homosexual. The message, said the OSU student’s father, was “We’re not bad people.”
Other exercises consisted of pairing off the youths and “asking them what someone did to you to make you feel bad at some time in your life, playing on psychology,” he said.
“At the end of the meeting, everyone stands in a circle and they ask questions of the group. If it’s true, you step out. Other students stepped out, trying to get you to accept this nonsense in a public setting.”
According to a report in World magazine by Lynn Vincent, such “diversity seminars” are very common on college campuses today.
“Freshman orientation used to be about teaching new students how to find their classes, the cafeteria, and the campus bookstore,” said the report. “But today, left-liberal ‘diversity’ trainers have found in orientation programs a ready-made crop of captive and impressionable audiences ripe for reeducation on issues of sex, race, and gender. The basic messages: People of color are victims; whites are their tormentors. Homosexuality is normal; abhorring the behavior is bigotry.”
Using the Milwaukee School of Engineering, or MSOE, as an example, the World report identifies the “exercise” the OSU dad described. It’s called “Across the Line” or “Crossing the Line,” “a diversity-awareness exercise that has also been used at Stanford University and Loyola University of Chicago,” says the report:
Groups of about 25 students line up shoulder-to-shoulder along a line on the floor. A facilitator then reads a series of about 50 statements. Every student who feels a statement is true of him or her is supposed to step “across the line,” leaving the group behind. Statements start off mildly enough: “You are from a large city or town.” Then they get personal:
“You have participated in racial, sexual, or cultural jokes.”
“You are pro-choice.”
“You would feel comfortable entering into a relationship with a person of a different race.”
“You feel comfortable around persons with a gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation.”
While such introspection is certainly not inappropriate for college-age students, “Across the Line” forces a public “outing” among strangers. The exercise adds an unsubtle layer of group pressure to an MSOE strategy that might well be described as “divide and conquer.” To ensure freshmen are isolated from any friends they might have come to school with, orientation personnel computer-sort them into random groups.
“Sometimes if students are hanging out with two or three friends, they might feel their attitudes are not so readily challenged,” MSOE Director of Student Activities Rick Gagliano told World. “This way they’re in a different environment, forced to expose themselves to somebody else … This is done without parents around – sort of in a ‘safer’ environment.” The strategy is not new: Mao Tse-Tung used it “re-educate” Chinese university students and pry them loose from their parents’ political moorings.

Marketing evil?
“What Ohio State University has been doing to Scott Savage by attacking him as a sexual harasser – and to a far lesser degree doing to me by calling ‘The Marketing of Evil’ ‘hate literature’ and so on – is precisely what I write about in my book,” says Kupelian.
“It is literally the ‘marketing of evil’ in action. First they desensitize these youngsters in highly manipulative, emotionally charged re-education sessions. If anybody challenges the pro-gay orthodoxy on campus, they are subjected to merciless ‘jamming,’ as we see with their threatening the reputation and livelihood of the librarian, Scott Savage. For people who are sufficiently confused, the college experience can bring about a total conversion. I explain these three devastating steps – Desensitization, Jamming and Conversion – in detail in chapter one of ‘The Marketing of Evil.'”
Released in August, “The Marketing of Evil” has become one of the nation’s most talked-about books, widely praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and many others and garnering over 100 five-star reader reviews on Amazon.com. For the past week it has held down the top spot in Amazon’s “Current Events” bestseller list.

Iranian President Says Israel Cannot Continue to Exist

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Well, that crazy Iranian president is at it again. I wonder when the Iranians are going to get tired of this guy and get rid of him?

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday renewed his criticism of Israel, calling it a “fake regime” that cannot continue to exist.
“Some 60 years have passed since the end of World War II. Why should the people of Germany and Palestine pay now for a war in which the current generation was not involved?” Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.
“We say that this fake regime (Israel) cannot not logically continue to live,” he said.
The remarks by the hard-line leader came a day after interim Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged the international community to work against Iran’s nuclear program, saying Tehran’s ambitions threaten not only Israel but all of Western civilization.
Israel has long identified Iran as its biggest threat, and these concerns have grown amid repeated calls by Ahmadinejad for Israel’s destruction.
“From the point of view of seriousness, this tops the state of Israel’s list, it is potentially an existential threat,” a government statement quoted Olmert telling the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“The Iranian nuclear program should concern many countries, especially those with global responsibility,” Olmert said, adding that the international front against Iran should include the United States, Europe and other Western countries.
Also Monday, a top Iranian official said Tehran is prepared to freeze its uranium enrichment for a short time, but this should not be construed as a readiness to abandon it.
“Iran would not have a problem with a short-term suspension (of uranium enrichment). But the difficulty is that the West and the United States would use that as an excuse for extending” the suspension, said Hasan Rowhani, a member of the Supreme National Security Council.
Rowhani’s statement was not immediately endorsed by other officials and it was unclear if he spoke for the government.
The comments came four days before Friday’s expiration of a U.N. Security Council deadline for Iran to suspend its enrichment of uranium, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors material for nuclear warheads.
“Their final aim is to prevent Iran from completing the enrichment technology,” Rowhani said. “Our red line in Iran’s nuclear case is that Iran’s rights must be guaranteed and we must be able to enrich (uranium).”
The United States says Iran is using a civilian nuclear program as a cover for producing weapons. Iran denies that, saying its program is designed only to generate electrical power.
Earlier this month, Iran announced that for the first time it had enriched uranium with the use of 164 centrifuges, a step toward large-scale enrichment – which would be necessary to for making nuclear fuel or weapons.

Author/Pastor Counsels Believers to Prepare for Da Vinci Code Fallout

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I’m currently writing an article for the website on the Da Vinci Code, but also want to try to post as much information as possible on it before the movie comes out next month.
I know it’s only a fictional work, but there are people who will take it as truth, and as Christians, we need to be prepared to answer some of the things people will ask.

(AgapePress) – An upcoming movie based on a best-selling book that questions Christ’s divinity can be challenged with fact and reason, says a Christian author. James Garlow advises Christians to be prepared to refute untruths that will be conveyed in Sony Pictures’ The Da Vinci Code.
The movie, due to be released in the U.S. on May 19, is directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks. The film is based on the best-selling by Dan Brown, which asserts that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had children, and questions the divinity of Christ. The movie is rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, nudity, thematic material, brief drug references, and sexual content.
James Garlow is co-author of Cracking Da Vinci’s Code, and he also compiled The Da Vinci Code Breaker. Garlow says Christians have an opportunity to counter the lies in Brown’s novel with the historical truths found in scripture. He is convinced the Church must take seriously the challenge posed by the film.
“It’ll either be catastrophic for the Church in terms of the unbelieving public losing a great deal of whatever confidence they may have left in the scriptures or in the person of Jesus,” he says, “or if the Church is ready — if we’re able, as Peter writes, to give an answer for the hope that lies within us — we can seize this opportunity and have fabulous evangelistic fruit … or what I call pre-evangelism.”
Christians, says the California pastor, must be willing and equipped to answer questions that will arise in the minds of non-believers about the reliability of the New Testament.
“If a person equips themselves on how to refute [the lies], they can just simply [say], ‘Here, look at this information,'” he suggests, “and they can help a person establish a strong faith and even a sufficiently strong understanding of the historicity of the gospels, the historicity of Jesus and his life, even church history itself enough so that they can refute Dan Brown’s notions.”
Garlow’s The Da Vinci Code Breaker is a sort of dictionary that contains numerous terms and facts about the people, places, and events referenced in the novel. One group — Opus Dei, a conservative Roman Catholic group — is depicted in the book as a murderous, power-hungry sect. The group has requested that Sony Pictures include a clarifying disclaimer in the film, saying “would be a gesture of respect toward the figure of Jesus, to the history of the Church and to the religious beliefs of viewers.”
In its response, Sony does not say if a disclaimer will be attached, but insists that the film is “a work of fiction” and “not a religious tract.”