Archive for September 21st, 2006

Iranian President Says He Loves Even the Jews

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The President of Iran who wants Israel wiped off the map and says the Holocaust is a lie, has now said that he loves everyone including Christians and Jews. Um, did I miss something? Is it backwards day? He must think everyone in the world is really stupid or blind and deaf.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a press conference in New York on Thursday “We love everyone in the world – Jews, Christians, Muslims, non-Muslims, non-Jews, non-Christians.

“We are against ugly acts. We are against occupation, aggression, killings and displacing people – otherwise we have no problem with ordinary people. Everyone is respected. … We declare this in a loud voice,” he said.

The Iranian leader added: “There were those who had accused me of being a murderer and anti-Semitic, but I’m not an anti-Semite.”

Ahmadinejad reiterated his stance that Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and said he is “at a loss” about what more he can do to provide guarantees.

“The bottom line is we do not need a bomb,” he said.

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Americans Should Be Tested Routinely for HIV, CDC Says

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

ATLANTA — All Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 should be routinely tested for HIV to help catch infections earlier and stop the spread of the deadly virus, federal health officials announced Thursday say.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said HIV testing should become about as common as a cholesterol check. Nearly half of new HIV infections are discovered when doctors are trying to diagnose a sick patient who has come for care, CDC officials said.

Hey, I have a better idea…
Don’t engage in promiscuous sex or sharing drug needles and guess, what? You’ll have less then a 1% chance of catching HIV. The only way left to catch HIV is via blood transfusions, which are now checked so strenuously that only a fraction of a percent makes it into the blood supply.
Wow, you mean abstinence only works?? Who would have guessed?

“We know that many HIV infected people seek health care and they don’t get tested. And many people are not diagnosed until late in the course of their illness, when they’re already sick with HIV-related conditions,” said Dr. Timothy Mastro, acting director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention.
“By identifying people earlier through a screening program, we’ll allow them to access life-extending therapy, and also through prevention services, learn how to avoid transmitting HIV infection to others,” he said.
The announcement was hailed by some HIV patient advocates and health policy experts. They said the guidelines could help end the stigma of HIV testing and lead to needed care for an estimated 250,000 Americans who don’t yet know they have the disease.

Original Link.

“Yaum al Ghadab, Day of Rage.”

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Oh yeah??
Well, I’ll see your “Yaum al Ghadab” and raise you a “Lan astaslem”. How do you like them apples?

LONDON, Sept. 18, 2006 — Three words suddenly have a lot of Westerners worried and, it must be said, likely making some wrong assumptions about modern Islam. “Yaum al Ghadab” is Arabic for “Day of Rage.”
When the Qatari Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi called for a Day of Rage this Friday in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about Muslims, it might have sounded like a call for street violence.
But if there is trouble Friday, and there could well be, it will not be because of language but because of what some people choose to do after they have answered the call for “Yaum al Ghadab.”
Political manipulation of protest crowds is not a uniquely Islamic idea. It happens in the West, as well.
But why do Islamic leaders use what many Westerners regard as inflammatory language?
Because it is not inflammatory, at least not in the context of Islamic culture. “We must not try to interpret Islamic terms and cultural signals by using our Western ideas,” said Fawaz Gerges, a professor in the department of international affairs and Middle Eastern studies at Sarah Lawrence College, and an ABC News consultant. Gerges pointed out that in Islamic culture “ghadab” means anger or frustration. A day of rage does not mean a day of jihad (war), added Gerges. (could have fooled us. -ed.)
Mimi Daher, a Muslim woman working in the ABC Jerusalem bureau, explained that the Grand Multi in Jerusalem reflected this cultural mindset today when he said, “Muslims have to express their anger. Was the pope expecting Muslims to clap their hands to him while hurting their faith and prophet? Of course not. We call on Muslims throughout the world to react in a disciplined manner, according to our Islamic faith.”
“Disciplined manner” is a repeated theme among Islamic moderate leaders who encourage people to protest. As Gerges reminded me, when the cleric al-Qaradawi called for a day of rage, he stressed repeatedly that it should be civilized, urging Muslims to behave with civility and dignity. “We must show the world that we are still civilized even when we are aggrieved,” he said. (still waiting… -ed.)

Original Link.

Israel opens ancient site near Jerusalem shrine

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has opened to the public an underground archaeological exhibit near Jerusalem’s most sensitive shrine, drawing fire from Palestinians who say the project endangers the foundations of the holy site.
(as opposed to the foundation damage done when the In 1996, the Waqf began converting the underground area of the Mount popularly known as Solomon’s Stables into a large mosque? -ed.)
Israel’s opening of an archaeological tunnel near al-Haram al-Sharif, the site of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque where the biblical Jewish Temples once stood, sparked Palestinian anger in 1996. Sixty-one Arabs and 15 Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes.
The “Chain of Generations Center” took over 10 years to construct and recently opened its doors to visitors for the first time. Among the attractions is a Jewish ritual bath dating to the 1st century which was discovered during building work.
The site runs parallel to Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, in the Israeli-annexed Old City of Jerusalem. Palestinians have long opposed Israeli excavations in the area, asserting it could weaken al-Haram al-Sharif’s foundations.
An organization created by the Israeli government said the center was founded to highlight Jerusalem’s central role in over 3,000 years of Jewish history. The display uses glass sculptures and a light and laser show.
Arieh Banner, an official with Israel’s Western Wall Heritage Foundation which runs the site, said: “It is the first discovery of a ritual bath from the Second (Jewish) Temple in the area of the Western Wall.”
The remains of Crusader walls and an ancient aqueduct, also unearthed during building work, are part of the exhibit.
“Such archaeological finds have not been discovered so close to the Western Wall before,” Banner said.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, a step that has not been recognized internationally. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state.

OPPOSITION TO SITE
The Waqf, the Islamic Trust in Jerusalem administering al-Haram al-Sharif, voiced opposition to the new exhibit.
“These excavations are illegal,” Waqf director Adnan Husseini told Reuters. “They are doing these things through power and force.”
“They (the Israelis) are weakening the foundations of the mosque and they are doing much damage to the buildings above the tunnels,” he added. (See my note above. -ed)
Husseini did not rule out the possibility of the site, which is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, fuelling controversy.
“Any reaction is possible,” he said. “It is enough that things are already unacceptable (in Jerusalem).”
Banner said the whole site, including ritual bath, did not run under al-Haram al-Sharif or endanger the shrine.
“We have not done any work in the direction of the Temple Mount,” he said. “No damage can be caused as the site is at least 20 to 30 meters (65 to 95 feet) from the Western Wall.”
“Everything we have done is legal and we have received permits from every authority for the center.”
Visiting the center, Jonathan Lapides, 46, an American-Israeli currently living in France, said the excavations were an important find.
“It is good to dig out history,” he said. “It is an important part of Jewish culture and history and it is necessary to ensure the link.”
Admiring the new site, Jony Orenstein, a 56-year-old engineer from the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, said: “I have a soft spot for Jerusalem because of its holiness, its legacy. We (Jews) are part of it. We are here to stay.”

Original Link.
Additional Information.

Gaza’s Christian Arabs Living in Fear

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – A previously unknown Palestinian Muslim group has threatened to bring destruction and physical harm to the Gaza Strip’s small Christian community if Pope Benedict XVI does not issue a detailed apology for remarks he cited linking Islam and violence.

Read the rest of the article if you can stop laughing at the irony of Muslim “logic” long enough to do so.
But do pray for the Christians who are in danger over there. They live with the real threat of violence against them from the Muslims angry at being called “violent”.

Original Link.

Obstacles Placed Before FCA Clubs in Two Rural Locales

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The school system administrators still don’t get it. These have to be some of the most ignorant smart people I’ve ever heard of.

(AgapePress) – A Kansas school district is being sued in federal court for denying official recognition to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. The district’s superintendent claims recognizing the FCA would be an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. At the same time, a school district near the Texas Gulf Coast is making life similarly difficult for its local FCA chapter.
Officials with the Pleasanton Unified School District, located 70 miles south of Kansas City, Kansas, are denying equal access to the campus chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — despite the fact the club was officially recognized by Superintendent Tim Conrad’s predecessor. But now the group is not being allowed to access the morning announcements to publicize their events and to meet at the same time other non-curricular clubs are meeting. The FCA chapter also is not permitted to conduct fundraisers, to use school vehicles for trips, or be included in the school yearbook.
Joel Oster is senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which is representing the FCA. He says the district is violating the federal Equal Access Act — a statute he notes has been upheld by the highest court in the U.S.
“So not only do you have a statute, but it’s been upheld by the Supreme Court. And you already have many circuit courts — for instance, the Ninth Circuit in the Prince case, just as recently as 2002, saying the Equal Access Act applies to the rights and privileges of being a student club,” Oster points out. “So this law is very well settled, and I am astonished that the school district is persisting in discriminating against our clients.”

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Meanwhile, another FCA club — this one in Texas — is facing similar roadblocks. According to the Mississippi-based Center for Law & Policy (CLP), Hamshire-Fannett High School southwest of Beaumont has refused to permit the school yearbook to refer to the campus FCA club, even though club information has appeared in the yearbook for the past 38 years. The principal, states the CLP, says the school “has an obligation not to sponsor religion.”
The CLP reports it will be representing 12th-grader Will Navarre, president of the campus FCA chapter, in challenging the school’s alleged violation of federal law, which the legal group says requires schools to treat religious clubs just as they do other non-curriculum related clubs.

Original Link.

Defense Readies in Pro-Lifers’ Little Rock Free-Speech Case

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Nothing illegal about standing on a public sidewalk and handing out gospel tracts. This one is a slam-dunk unless they get an activist judge.

(AgapePress) – The legal arm of the American Family Association is defending two home-schooled sisters who were charged with disorderly conduct for handing out gospel tracts in front of an abortion mill in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Sixteen-year-old Rachael Snow and her 20-year-old sister Talitha will have a hearing on the charges in two weeks. The home-schooled sisters were standing on a public sidewalk, offering tracts to women who were entering an abortion center in the Arkansas capital. Their conduct, according to the Little Rock Police Department, was “disorderly.” Neither of the sisters had previously been cited or charged for a violation of the law.
Michael DePrimo, an attorney with the AFA Center for Law & Policy, says the sisters have a strong case — and fortunately, the firm adds, the young women’s conduct was caught on videotape.
“I’ve watched a videotape. I saw nothing that was even remotely unlawful,” says DePrimo. “They were arrested — or, actually — cited back in July, simply because a couple of business owners complained, and that is unlawful.”
The sisters’ free-speech rights, he says, must be protected. “What’s always at stake here, first of all, is abortion protest and even the proclamation of the gospel,” notes the attorney. “But any time government is heavy-handed and tries to suppress speech, that’s always a concern of ours.”
DePrimo says it is possible that a civil lawsuit will be filed against the city of Little Rock for violating the Snows’ constitutional rights.

Original Link.

“The Age of Irrationality” by Jack Kinsella

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

To set the stage, Europe had been ravaged by religious wars; when peace in the political situation had been restored, after the Peace of Westphalia and the English Civil War, an intellectual upheaval overturned the accepted belief that mysticism and individual revelation are the primary sources of knowledge and wisdom.
It was during the 18th century’s “Age of Reason” and 19th century’s “Age of Enlightenment” the philosophies of liberalism and atheism were explored and codified, out of which grew the philsophy of modernism that dominated much of the thinking during the 20th century.
From this point on, thinkers and writers were held to be free to pursue the truth in whatever form, without the threat of sanction for violating established ideas.
With the end of the Second World War and the rise of post-modernity, these same features came to be regarded as liabilities – excessive specialization, failure to heed traditional wisdom or provide for unintended consequences.
By the end of the 20th century, the natural progression of these philosophies resulted in much of the Western world entering what many call the post-Christian era.
Now, in the 21st century, a new philosophy is taking over the West. For want of a better name, one might call it the ‘post-rational’ era.
The previously mentioned philosophies gave great credibility to reason and logic. As the 21st century opens, these bedrock principles of rational thought are being thrown out the window in favor of what can best be described as wishful thinking.
We wish that Islam is a religion of peace and love, and therefore, no preponderence of evidence to the contrary is enough to shake that dream.
We wish the United Nations was an effective tool of international diplomacy and peace, and therefore, the preponderance of evidence that it disinterested in the former and incapable of the latter will be entertained.
In America, we wish that our culture reflected the purest principles of Christianity, and therefore, no argument to the contrary is convincing.

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Last week, the Pope quoted a 13th century emperor’s assessment of Islam, and was immediately excoriated for ‘claiming’ that Islam is a violent religion. In the first, the Pope didn’t make the claim. He quoted somebody else who made that claim. And rationally, since the claim was made 700 years ago, it was referring to Islam in the 13th century.
No matter. Modern Islam, enraged at the thought that a guy who lived 700 years ago thought Islam was a violent religion, responded by unleashing a violent series of world-wide demonstrations and actions against symbols of Christianity.
The rhetoric from the Islamic world turned reason and rationality on its head. The head of the Islamic Republic of Iran issued a statement saying that “anybody who calls Islam intolerant brings violence upon himself.”
That statement is so irrational that it sounds like something from Saturday Night Live. “Don’t call me violent or I will kill you.”
In protest at being called violent, Islamists burned Christian churches. A 61 year old nun was gunned down to protest the concept of Islamic violence. In dozens of world-wide demonstrations, the Pope was burned in effigy. Islamic groups issued death threats against the Pope. Others threatened to storm the Vatican and kill everyone inside.
In response, the Pope apologized profusely, with his secretary issuing a statement saying that Benedict’s position on Islam was unquestionably in line with the Vatican’s traditional teaching that the Rome “esteems Muslims, who adore the only God.”
To say that the god of Islam that sponsored the global rioting is the same God that told His followers to ‘turn the other cheek’ is more than just heresy, it is totally irrational.
The Western world murmured appreciatively at the pope’s apology, while global Islam protested that it ‘didn’t go far enough.’

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In the 21st century, it is evidently rational to oppose a war that US troops are trying to win while claiming to support those troops by hoping they lose.
It is rational to address the specific criticisms of one political party by pointing out the (different) failings of the other party and pretending that constitutes answers [to] the first set of specifics.
It is rational to apologize for calling someone violent because they responded by turning violent.
It is rational to want to strengthen the United Nations in response to UN efforts to sublimate your influence at the Security Council.
The Age of Reason has been replaced with the Age of Irrationality.

Original Link.

Erev Rosh HaShanah Wishes to Our Jewish Friends.

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!!

Pray for Randy

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Several months ago, I asked everyone to pray for our friend, Randy.
Randy has a tumor in his throat. It is not responding to chemo or radiation treatments, so today they are going to have to remove it. Please join me in asking God to touch Randy today, to give him complete healing from this problem. Pray that the doctors will be able to assist in a miracle of healing. Pray that God will give comfort to his family as they wait.
Thank you and God Bless Everyone.
-Steve