Archive for June 22nd, 2006

The Bible and Homosexuality

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Jesus is Lord Banner

A popular topic for emails sent to us these days is “What is your stance on homosexuality and same sex marriage”. It seems that maybe next to illegal immigration, no other issue is causing more divisions between people then the issue of homosexuality.
Let’s take a moment to see what the Bible says about homosexuality and same sex marriage.

Read the article here.

‘$1 million’ gospel tracts dealt court-setback

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Just when I think that things are becoming saner in the legal system, I get reminded just how out of control and insane judges really are. If real people were not being persecuted by the legal system, this whole deal would be comical.
It seems odd to me that only the Christians are being singled out. Well, actually, it doesn’t seem odd at all. We’ve been warned that these things, or worse, are going to happen to Christians.

A federal judge in Dallas yesterday ruled against a Christian group whose “million-dollar” gospel tracts were seized by the U.S. Secret Service as “counterfeit money,” and a wheelchair-bound man in Las Vegas claims a Secret Service agent threatened him with arrest for passing out the same tracts.
Brian Fahling of the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, which is representing the Denton, Texas-based Great News Network, had asked the judge to order immediately the return of 8,300 tracts seized by the Secret Service and to prevent the government agency’s local field office from arresting anyone who distributes them.
Fahling told WorldNetDaily he’s unsure at this point what the judge’s negative decision will mean for the Christian evangelists who have been using the tracts, which mimic U.S. currency but have disclaimers along with a gospel message on the back.
“I can’t fathom how the judge went their way,” said Fahling, who added, nevertheless, he’s confident “we’ll get relief.”
Meanwhile, Fahling is in contact with a man who claims a Secret Service agent threatened him with arrest in downtown Las Vegas for passing out the tracts.
Fahling said he will appeal the rejection of a preliminary injunction to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, a process that will take at least a few months. In the meantime he’ll continue with the discovery phase of the case, in preparation for a hearing.
There is no order preventing Great News Network from distributing the tracts. But the Secret Service’s Dallas field office, which has no judicial authority, has issued a letter advising the group that it believes the tract is illegal.
The Secret Service insists the tract violates a federal law that says reproductions of currency cannot be regulation size and cannot be two-sided.
Fahling contends the sections of the U.S. code’s title 18 cited by the government, 475 and 504, don’t apply.
He argues 475 deals only with authorized denominations – there is no $1 million bill – and 504 pertains only to exact copies of currency. The tracts have numerous differences, including the gospel message on the back, he points out.
The judge in Dallas yesterday, in his rejection of the preliminary injunction request, indicated the tract is not sufficiently distinct from actual currency.
Fahling said that judgment would “separate him from 5 million people who would conclude otherwise.”
The attorney explained the legal test is whether a reasonable person would be deceived.

Original Link.

More scientists express doubts on Darwin

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Quote:
“I sure wish the biologist would catch up with the rest of us. We’ve been saying for years that someone created the universe”.
-Unknown Physicist

More than 600 scientists holding doctoral degrees have gone on the record expressing skepticism about Darwin’s theory of evolution and calling for critical examination of the evidence cited in its support.
All are signatories to the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism statement, which reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
The statement, which includes endorsement by members of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Sciences, was first published by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute in 2001 to challenge statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS’s “Evolution” series.
The PBS promotion claimed “virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.”
The list of 610 signatories includes scientists from National Academies of Science in Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India (Hindustan), Nigeria, Poland, Russia and the United States. Many of the signers are professors or researchers at major universities and international research institutions such as Cambridge University, British Museum of Natural History, Moscow State University, Masaryk University in Czech Republic, Hong Kong University, University of Turku in Finland, Autonomous University of Guadalajara in Mexico, University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, Institut de Paleontologie Humaine in France, Chitose Institute of Science & Technology in Japan, Ben-Gurion University in Israel, MIT, The Smithsonian and Princeton.
“Dissent from Darwinism has gone global,” said Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman. “Darwinists used to claim that virtually every scientist in the world held that Darwinian evolution was true, but we quickly started finding U.S. scientists that disproved that statement. Now we’re finding that there are hundreds, and probably thousands, of scientists all over the world that don’t subscribe to Darwin’s theory.”
The Discovery Institute is the leading promoter of the theory of Intelligent Design, which has been at the center of challenges in federal court over the teaching of evolution in public school classes. Advocates say it draws on recent discoveries in physics, biochemistry and related disciplines that indicate some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.
“I signed the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism statement because I am absolutely convinced of the lack of true scientific evidence in favor of Darwinian dogma,” said Raul Leguizamon, M.D., pathologist and professor of medicine at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico.
“Nobody in the biological sciences, medicine included, needs Darwinism at all,” he added. “Darwinism is certainly needed, however, in order to pose as a philosopher, since it is primarily a worldview. And an awful one, as Bernard Shaw used to say.”

Original Link.

Attorney: School Could Face Suit for Censoring Christian Valedictory Speech

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I think this young lady should sue her former school district for censoring her. And get this, the school system sent her speech to the ACLU for approval. What is up with that?? Since when was it necessary for schools to get clearence from the ACLU?

(AgapePress) – A constitutional attorney is denouncing a Las Vegas school district for pulling the plug on a Christian student’s commencement speech because it referred to her faith in Jesus Christ. At a recent graduation ceremony, Clark County School District (CCSD) officials cut the microphone on Foothill High School valedictorian Brittany McComb after she began reading a speech that contained Bible verses and references to God.
The district officials claim McComb’s speech amounted to religious proselytizing and could have been perceived as school-sponsored, thus making it a violation of the so-called separation of church and state. But Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Florida-based pro-family legal organization Liberty Counsel, says the high school valedictorian has every right to take the school district to court over the incident.
“I think this is one of the most outrageous examples of censorship at graduation that I’ve seen,” Staver contends. “For school officials to literally be standing by the switch at the mixing board and cut the microphone on a student, simply because that student mentions God or Jesus, is just unbelievable.”
With high school behind her, McComb plans to study journalism at Biola University, a Christian college in Southern California. But during her four years at Foothill, she says, “they taught me logic and they taught me freedom of speech.” However, when the school’s 2006 valedictorian tried to apply these lessons in her graduation address, the graduating senior with the 4.7 GPA ran into a problem.
In vetting McComb’s speech, school officials stripped it of biblical references and approved an edited version, cutting six mentions of God or Christ and omitting two biblical references. At the graduation exercises, however, the teen commencement speaker felt compelled to deviate from the edited version. “God’s the biggest part of my life,” she says. “Just like other valedictorians thank their parents, I wanted to thank my Lord and Savior.”
For the Foothill High School graduate, it all boiled down to her faith and her fundamental First Amendment right to free speech. For those reasons , she asserts, she chose in this instance to rebel against authority for the first time in her life. And, according to an Associated Press report, a sympathetic crowd of nearly 400 graduates and their families booed angrily at the school officials for several minutes after they cut McComb’s microphone.
An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada official who read the unedited version of the young woman’s speech told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper the school district did the right thing in cutting the valedictory address short. But Staver disagrees that the district’s action was warranted and comments, “In my opinion it’s reprehensible, and I also believe it’s unconstitutional.”
The ACLU spokesperson quoted in the Review-Journal made the argument that graduation speakers like McComb are given a school-sponsored forum and therefore their speech is school-sponsored speech. But Liberty Counsel’s chairman insists that student commencement speakers’ personal remarks and expressions are free speech under the U.S. Constitution.
“Clearly, the law protects students who are in the graduation podium, on the platform, because they are there for some neutral reason — in this case, being the valedictorian,” Staver says. “That student has the right to be able to give a message of his or her own choice regarding the viewpoint of the particular message that’s being delivered.”
While the attorney regards the silencing of McComb’s speech at the Foothill High School commencement as one of the most egregious acts of graduation censorship he has seen, he notes that it is one among many such incidents that happen to speakers of faith every year — a problem that has to be stopped. “Schools should not, must not, and must stop censoring these kinds of religious viewpoints simply because they are Christian in nature,” he says.
Even now, Staver points out, his organization is involved in a similar case. Liberty Counsel is currently representing a Colorado high school graduate whose diploma was withheld after she shared her faith in Jesus Christ during a commencement speech.

Original Link.

Prayer Request

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I have two prayer request this morning.
My poor wife, Missi, has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. It’s really making her feel badly and there is little the doctors can do to help her heal faster. Please pray for her speedy recovery.
Also, the father of Ben Rast, our friend from Contender Ministries, has had a very bad heart attack. Here is a bit of the email he sent this morning:
“The doctor said that 50 to 60 percent of his heart was severely damaged. One blood vessel near the heart was collapsed, and a stint was put in. According to the doctor, the next couple of days will be critical. Dad apparently looks good and is joking, but there is a 20 percent chance he won’t make it through the next few days.”
Please join me in praying for Don (Ben’s dad), Ben’s mom, and of course, Ben and Jennifer Rast.
Thank you all for your prayers!
God Bless You!
-Steve