Archive for October, 2006

The Lost Sheep is Found

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Luke 15:1-7 (New International Version)

In this passage, Jesus equates the repentance of a sinner with finding a lost sheep.
The shepherds of Jesus’ day were completely committed to their sheep. They often went as far as actually giving them individual names. The sheep knew their shepherd and he knew each one of his sheep. The sheep would come to the shepherd when he called them and he could even identify his sheep from other sheep in the sheepfold.
Jesus used the “shepherd” and “sheep” analogy often during His ministry. He wanted us to understand that until we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, we are exactly like the lost sheep in the parable above. He is the Shepherd who constantly goes to look for us.
When we finally are found, by accepting Jesus, He says there is great rejoicing in Heaven.
How wonderful it must be for God and the Angels when someone turns from sin and becomes a child of God. The celebration must be an awesome sight to see.
Won’t you stop being one of the “sinners” and come home with the Good Shepherd, Jesus?

Muslim insurgents behead 14-year-old Christian boy

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

More from the religion of peace and tolerance.

A website in Assyria is confirming that a 14-year-old Christian boy who was working a 12-hour shift maintaining an electric generator has been murdered by Muslim insurgents.

The Assyrian International News Agency said the tragedy was reported by an Assyrian language web page at www.ankawa.com.

The youth was identified as Ayad Tariq, who lived in Baqouba, Iraq, and was at work on Oct. 21 when a group of “disguised Muslim insurgents” went into the power plant shortly after his shift began at 6 a.m.

The website reported the insurgents asked him for his identification and, according to other witnesses who hid and stayed alive to report on the attack, questioned his identification card’s reference to him as a “Christian.”

Are you truly a “Christian sinner,” they asked.

“Yes, I am Christian but I am not a sinner,” he replied.

The insurgents then called him a “dirty Christian sinner,” grabbed his limbs and held them while beheading him, the witnesses reported.

They were shouting, “Allahu akbar! Allahu Akbar!” during the murder, witnesses said.

An organization called AssyrianChristians.com said they are the indigenous people of Iraq, with a population that has been in the Middle East from the time of Christ.

However, they have faced a number of purges by the region’s rulers over time, including the present attacks by powerful Islamic factions across Iran, Iraq and neighboring nations, officials said.

Only two generations back, Assyrian Christians made up 20 percent of the population of the Middle East, but during the Assyrian Genocide of 1915, an estimated three million Christians were slaughtered there, the organization said.

Current estimates are that there are about 2.5 million Assyrian Christians in Iraq.

Kenneth Scott LaTourette wrote in “A History of Christianity” that the Assyrian Christians became the first nation to accept Christianity, and one of the largest missionary-sending peoples in Christian history.

“The Assyrian Christians are one of the last remaining Christian communities in the Middle East,” said Rev. Ken Joseph Jr., of the Assyrian Christians organization.

Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians have fled their traditional homelands in recent months, officials confirmed.

Original Link.

“The Dark Ages – Live from the Middle East” by Victor Davis Hanson

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

An excellent article from Victor Davis Hanson. Please follow the link at the bottom of the post to read the whole thing.

The most frightening aspect of the present war is how easily our pre-modern enemies from the Middle East have brought a stunned postmodern world back into the Dark Ages.

Students of history are sickened when they read of the long-ago, gruesome practice of beheading. How brutal were those societies that chopped off the heads of Cicero, Sir Thomas More and Marie Antoinette. And how lucky we thought we were to have evolved from such elemental barbarity.

Twenty-four hundred years ago, Socrates was executed for unpopular speech. The 18th-century European Enlightenment gave people freedom to express views formerly censored by clerics and the state. Just imagine what life was like once upon a time when no one could write music, compose fiction or paint without court or church approval?

Over 400 years before the birth of Christ, ancient Greek literary characters, from Lysistrata to Antigone, reflected the struggle for sexual equality. The subsequent notion that women could vote, divorce, dress or marry as they pleased was a millennia-long struggle.

It is almost surreal now to read about the elemental hatred of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, 19th-century Russian pogroms or the Holocaust. Yet here we are revisiting the old horrors of the savage past.

Beheading? As we saw with Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, our Neanderthal enemies in the Middle East have resurrected that ancient barbarity — and married it with 21st-century technology to beam the resulting gore instantaneously onto our computer screens. Xerxes and Attila, who stuck their victims’ heads on poles for public display, would’ve been thrilled by such a gruesome show.

Who would have thought centuries after the Enlightenment that sophisticated Europeans — in fear of radical Islamists — would be afraid to write a novel, put on an opera, draw a cartoon, film a documentary or have their pope discuss comparative theology?

Original Link.

“Note to angry Republicans: Stay angry, but vote Republican” By Dennis Prager

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

One repeatedly hears that some conservatives and Republicans will either vote Democrat or not vote at all — out of anger at the Republican Party.

According to these Republican holdouts, the Republicans have governed as Democrats-lite by greatly increasing government spending and doing little about illegal immigration. Accordingly, it is better to have liberal government under liberals than liberal government under Republicans, and the Republicans need to be taught a lesson so that in the future they will govern as authentic Republicans.

Conservatives should file this thinking under the heading “Cathartic,” but not under “Smart.”

One of the great realizations one comes to as the years pass is how small a role reason plays in most people’s decisions. From choosing products based on their packaging to deciding how to vote, passion and emotion usually eclipse reason.

Any Republican, let alone conservative, who votes Democrat or stays home out of pique with the Republican Congress or the president has chosen emotion over reason.

Have the Bush administration and Republican Congress spent too much money? Of course. And it really is quite annoying. Nothing unites conservative and moderate Republicans as does opposition to big government.

So it is not surprising that so many Republicans are furious at the increases in government spending, such as the staggeringly expensive Medicare prescription drug plan.

Add to this the fury of the conservative base of the Republican Party at the administration’s apparent apathy toward illegal “immigration,” and you have an Election Day problem.

Now, regarding spending, I share Republicans’ anger. Republicans who don’t control government spending do far more harm than Democrats who don’t. Why? Because when the smaller-government party expands government, those who believe in smaller government have nowhere to turn.

Nevertheless, if it were not for the Bush administration, we never would have gotten the substantial tax cuts that have led to such a robust economy (especially impressive in light of the costs of the war in Iraq and of Katrina).

As for illegal immigration, here, too, I identify with those who are frustrated that Republicans have not done more while in control of both the executive and legislative branches of government. But at least President Bush has signed a bill authorizing the building of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. No Democratic president would do that. If you care about reducing illegal immigration, isn’t that reason enough to prevent the Democrats from gaining power?

Original Link.

Researchers Crusade Against Fundamentalists

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

In the United States, atheists are becoming an ostracized minority. But now evolutionary biologists are trying to turn the tables: According to their argument, religion is the source of evil. Morals and selflessness are not God-given – they are the result of evolution.

When Richard Dawkins, a zoologist at Oxford University, steps up to the altar he seems visibly pleased to see the pews in the church fully occupied. In the best Queen’s English, he reads from his book: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

At first his words are greeted with laughter, and then with resounding applause from his audience of 600. Despite the venue, the spectacle that took place last Thursday in the First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts was in fact the opposite of a religious service. Indeed, if the man delivering the sermon had his way, he would in fact be jettisoning religious faith altogether.

Richard Dawkins is a passionate believer in the theory of evolution, and he has written countless books in which he explains it to his millions of readers. Now, at the age of 65, Professor Dawkins is presenting his legacy to society in his latest book, titled “The God Delusion.”

It’s no surprise to God that these people continue to attack His people. He told us in His word it would happen.
II Peter 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

Original Link

Colorado Newspaper Advises Readers to Vote Agaisnt ‘Gay Marriage’

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

After much research a Colorado newspaper ecouraged its readers to vote against the ‘gay marriage’ amendment. New Jersey’s recent decision should be a wake-up call to all Chrisitans in America (and the rest of the world as well). God’s people need to vote for His values. Gay Marriage, same-sex union, or whatever politically correct term they are using is not what God intends for marriage to be.

Eight states have on their election ballots next week proposals to set requirements in their constitutions that a marriage involves one man and one woman. Many mainstream media outlets, if they don’t advocate outright for same-sex wedding bells, are saying such actions are unnecessary, but one newspaper has given its readers a wake-up call.
That newspaper, the Grand Junction, Colo., Sentinel, earlier had recommended against approval for a state ballot initiative that would add to the Centennial State’s Constitution the Biblical and historically traditional definition of marriage.
Then came New Jersey.
That state’s Supreme Court recently said the state Legislature there must find a way to grant the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.
“A few weeks ago, this corner reasoned that because state law already clearly defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman, there was no need to formalize such language in the state Constitution. The decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court this week has changed our view.”
The newspaper continued with a description of the decision, that in effect had one branch of government ordering another what to do. In this case the courts ordered lawmakers that within 180 days they must either come up with a law endorsing homosexual marriage or “some creature that is not called marriage, but provides all of the rights, benefits and requirements of marriage for gay couples.”
In Colorado next week there will be conflicting issues on the ballot. Amendment 43 would establish the one-man-one-woman definition of marriage in the constitution; a plan called Referendum I would create “gay marriage” by another name.

Original Link

“The Assault on Marriage” by Jack Kinsella

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

A report in the New York Times outlined (with some odd sense of triumph) the fact that for the first time in history, traditional marriage is a minority group among American households, under the headline, “It’s Official: To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered”

“Married couples, whose numbers have been declining for decades as a proportion of American households, have finally slipped into a minority, according to an analysis of new census figures by The New York Times.”

The Times went on to highlight the numbers, saying, of 111.1 million American households, 49.9% — less than half — were made up of traditional households.

It went on to extoll the social virtues of unmarried couples living together, highlighted gay ‘marriages’ as a significant change in the social fabric, and ‘devoting a single line to noting that the numbers of single young adults and widows were both growing’.

As I read through the Times’ article, I got a whiff of a little ‘perspective shifting’ going on right in front of me.

The Times had some fun with numbers, using percentages of percentages to make them sound larger.

———-

“The census survey estimated that 5.2 million couples, a little more than 5 percent of households, were unmarried opposite-sex partners.”

Wait, a second. My head is starting to hurt. The Times first said married couples were now a ‘minority’ among American households but it appears only 5 percent of all households consist of unmarried heterosexuals. Are all the rest gay?

Well, not exactly.

“An additional 413,000 households were male couples, and 363,000 were female couples,” the Times reported. Curiously, the Times didn’t express that in percentages. Six figure numbers SOUND bigger.

Expressed as a percentage, 1.4% of all households being gay doesn’t sound like very many. Especially given the disproportionate clout enjoyed by the gay rights lobby based on their claim that 10% of the population is gay.

(It is worth noting that an estimated 2% of all Americans believe they’ve been abducted by aliens. But nobody is advocating UFOlogy courses for pre-schoolers.)

———-

What is surprising is the tone of the piece. And the clear agenda behind it. It took two full readings before it sunk into my thick head that there were no facts here.

Just breathless innuendo; “But marriage has been facing more competition. A growing number of adults are spending more of their lives single or living unmarried with partners, and the potential social and economic implications are profound.”

Yeah. 24% of 5% of the total. Profound.

The same story could have borne the headline; “More Widows and Young Unmarrieds Than Before.” But the Left’s agenda is to promote ‘alternative lifestyles’ as having somehow ‘triumphed’ over traditional marriage. Even if they have to lie to do so.

———-

The ‘growing’ number of ‘unmarried with partners’ represents 5% of all households. It is out of this five percent that all the larger-seeming percentages are being conjured. But the Times headline said married couples were outnumbered.

The NY Times’ slant was deliberate, because the destruction of the family unit is a basic principle of Marxist-Leninism. Leftists have long taken a decidedly jaundiced view of the traditional family.

To them, a household consisting of an adult male and female—united in matrimony—and their offspring is an antiquated, repressive institution standing in the way of constructing a “better,” more egalitarian world.

Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto declared that the “hallowed correlation of parent and child” is nothing more than “bourgeois claptrap.”

“Destroy the family,” Lenin said, “and you destroy society.”

History teaches that every totalitarian movement has tried to destroy the traditional family unit. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wanted the family destroyed, as did Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

They believed this to be necessary because the family was seen as a dangerous threat to the power of the State, which was to assume the rights, responsibilities and authority of the family.

It is the family that teaches the hard truths of moral values.

Therefore, it is the family which is the enemy of the State because it provides the formation of character which gives the young the ability to grow up to become independent, stable, functioning, and compassionate individuals.

Traditional families teach independence. Independence is poison to the Leftist ideal of cradle-to-grave dependence on the state.

That is why the Left is working so hard to redefine marriage until it has no meaning at all. Because the family unit was designed by God. The Left’s god is the state.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)

Original Link.

John Kerry said what?!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Michelle Malkin is reporting on the latest insulting remark made the Democrats mouthpiece, John Kerry. While campaigning for Phil Angelides, Kerry made the following remark:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

So according to John Kerry, all of you good folks in the military, especially those of you in Iraq, are stupid, uneducated bumkins.

Read the rest of Michelle’s post here.

Update: “Leading UK Imam: It’s OK To Kill Gays”

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Or as Charles Johnson’s post over at Little Green Footballs says: “Manchester Imam Says ‘Kill Gays,’ Media Yawns”. He links to a blog by Bruce Bawer, who goes on to point out:

October 29, 2006: I have before me two news items dated October 24. One of them is from the Gay Community News, which reports that “The leading imam in Manchester…thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified.” The imam made his comments in a discussion with a Manchester psychotherapist, John Casson, who wanted the imam to clarify the Islamic position on the execution of gays in Iran. Both Jihad Watch and Little Green Footballs linked to this story at GCN. I’ve looked in vain for it in the major British newspapers.

The other item is a story from LifeSiteNews.com reporting that the BBC “has admitted to a marked bias against Christianity and a strong inclination to pro-Muslim reporting among the network’s executives and key anchors.” It has also admitted that “the corporation is dominated by homosexuals.” These admissions came at a secret “impartiality summit” that the Daily Mail reported on last Sunday. The Telegraph ran an opinion column about this summit, but otherwise I can’t find any reference to it on the websites of other major UK papers.

So the question is this: did the gay-dominated but Muslim-friendly BBC report on the Manchester imam’s comments? I searched the BBC site and found a brief story dated Thursday, October 26 — meaning that apparently the BBC took two days to get around to reporting this. And look how they spun it. The story is framed not as a report of a Muslim leader’s affirmation of the legitimacy under Islam of executions of gay people, but as a report of an effort to smear Muslims.

The headline: “Imam accused of ‘gay death’ slur.” The lead: “A gay rights campaigner has accused an Imam of saying the execution of gay Muslims to stop the spread of disease is ‘for the common good of man.'” The brief story that follows seems designed to raise doubts about the accuracy of Casson’s account of his conversation with the imam. And the piece concludes with comments from Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, who essentially dismisses the issue of Muslim executions of gay people — “He said homosexuality was ‘not compatible’ with Islam, just as it was not compatible with other orthodox religions, such as Catholicism” — and who complains that giving attention to this issue “is part of demonising Muslims.”

That’s right — to draw attention to the fact that orthodox Muslim belief approves of the execution of homosexuals is to demonize Muslims.

The BBC story ends there. There’s no indication of any effort to pin Shadjareh down on Muslim attitudes toward gays, no mention of the many previous occasions on which Muslim religious leaders have said essentially the same thing the Manchester imam did, no quote from a gay-rights activist, and (of course) no quote from a straight-talking Islam expert like Robert Spencer who might have explained that sharia law does indeed prescribe capital punishment for homosexuals.

If the BBC is in fact dominated by gays, I as a gay man am ashamed of and disgusted by every last one of them. What can they possibly think they’re accomplishing by whitewashing Islam in this fashion? It’s as if a Jewish media organization in the 1930s kept itself busy propagandizing for the Nazis and covering up plans for the Holocaust.

What I cannot understand is that the very people who have no problem with Islamic law being a part of free societies (the liberals) will be the most affected by those laws. The bottom line…if Islamic law become reality, the homosexuals, bi-sexuals, cross-dressers and such, will be the first against the wall. Kind of makes me wonder why the liberal groups support the Islamic culture so much.
The Brits are in trouble. Pray hard for them!!

Previous Post:
Leading UK Imam: It’s OK To Kill Gays
BBC Reviewing Programs for Bias

Children in Church

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer for several evenings at bedtime.
She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.
Finally, she decided to go solo.
I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer:
“Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from E-mail.

———-

One particular four-year-old prayed, “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”

———-

A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?”
One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

———-

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
“You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door?
They’re hushers.”

———-

A mother invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
“Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

“Why are we paying for Planned Parenthood?” By Jay Sekulow

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

In just a little over a week, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in two cases involving the constitutionality of Congress’s ban on partial-birth abortion. We filed briefs in both cases representing members of the House and Senate who sponsored the legislation outlawing this gruesome act that many, including Justices of the Supreme Court, consider to be infanticide.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is the fact that the plaintiff, Planned Parenthood, has received in the last two years – that they’ve reported – over $500 million in taxpayer money. America needs to wake up to this disturbing fact! On one hand, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, is funded in large part by our hard-earned tax dollars. This money is allocated from Congress. Then Planned Parenthood turns around and sues Congress for passing a law banning partial-birth abortion. In essence, Congress is taking our money, giving it to Planned Parenthood, who then sues Congress with the aid of the money we’ve already given them.

Last year, Planned Parenthood showed revenue totaling nearly $810 million dollars. Of their $810 million in revenue, $265 million came from taxpayers in the form of government grants and contracts. In 2004 and 2005, Planned Parenthood received $551 million in governmental funding. This is money coming out of our tax dollars. Planned Parenthood uses our tax dollars to promote, advertise and market the benefits of abortion, including partial-birth abortion. Last year, Planned Parenthood performed almost 250,000 abortions, a number that has steadily increased since 1997. They also use tax dollars to fund explicit materials promoting abortion directed at teens. Over the past three years, Planned Parenthood has reportedly spent over $110 million of taxpayer money bringing lawsuits, challenging legislation and promoting their agenda.

What is outrageous in all of this is that Congress passed a law that bans partial-birth abortion, then your tax dollars provided Planned Parenthood the ability to sue Congress over the partial-birth abortion statute that they already passed. None of us want our tax dollars spent on this. Now is the time to take a stand against this horrible misuse of public funds and against Planned Parenthood. U.S. Senator David Vitter has proposed legislation that would stop the practice of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Senate Bill 2206 states: “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be distributed to grantees who perform abortions or whose subgrantees perform abortions…” It is about time that Congress passed this legislation. Forced support for Planned Parenthood from taxpayers is a form of tyranny that we should not allow in the United States.

Jay Alan Sekulow is Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

Original Link.

It’s Called an “Amendment”

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Judging from the comments we got on our post “Christian Band Causes Stir on Campus at UTM“, it appears that many of the commentators slept through high school civics class. So I guess we are going to have to fill in where the liberal school system failed.

Let me quote one of these “highly educated” commentators:
“Steve, you seem to have a very narrow interpretation of the Constitution. You do realize that one of the provisions in the Constitution is that it should be a living document which can constantly be updated through not only the amendment process but through the interpretation of the courts?”

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!

That is NOT what the framers of the Constitution wanted when they developed the concept of “separation of power”. There is only ONE way to change the Constitution. It is called the “Amendment”. Here’s how it works:

Both houses of Congress, to approve by two-thirds votes, a resolution calling for the amendment. The resolution does not require the president’s signature. To become effective, the proposed amendment must then be “ratified” or approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

Or

The legislatures of two-thirds of the states vote to call for a convention at which constitutional amendments can be proposed. Amendments proposed by the convention would again require ratification by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

All other “methods” are cases of Judicial Activism, allowing one branch (the judiciary) more power then the other two branches (legislative and executive), thus negating the separation of power our Constitutional framers intended to balance our government.

Also see my article “What Does the U.S. Constitution Actually Say About Religion?

Lest None Can Boast

Monday, October 30th, 2006

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:6-9 (New International Version)

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains the concept that we cannot be united with God without the bridge of Jesus Christ. Our best efforts at “goodness” and “righteousness” are like “filthy rags” compared to God’s (Isaiah 64:6).
It is amazing to me how many people have a problem understanding this. It’s almost as though unless we can take credit for doing it ourselves, it is meaningless.
How can we have this attitude about a free gift, the gift of salvation, given freely by God, through the blood of Jesus Christ?
Paul tells us “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”
A free gift from God. Free. Totally Free. No Charge. Free.
What is the free gift?
Salvation, an eternity with God, saved from the torments of Hell, in Heaven with the very creator of the universe.
All we have to is accept that Jesus is who He says He is. The son of God, who came to earth in order to live as a person, except sinless, and to die, as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, removing them from us forever.
Can we do it ourselves? Paul writes “not by works, so that no one can boast.”
No, we can’t do it ourselves. We need Jesus.
Jesus says “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Please accept Him.

Council Prayer Case Raises Broader Free Speech Concerns

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It sure gets tiring having to go over this again and again.
Saying the name “Jesus” in a public forum, even a governement one, is not establishing a government run religion.
Not being allowed to say the name “Jesus” in a public forum, even a government one, is a direct violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Plain and simple.

(CNSNews.com) – A case in which a local government official was barred from using the name of Jesus Christ during a prayer at a council meeting raises the issue of free speech rights not only of public officials but ultimately of anyone linked to the government in any way, a civil liberties legal group argues.

“The question in the case is whether or not a public official can in any capacity have that kind of private speech,” John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, told Cybercast News Service.

“Our argument is if they can’t, then there really isn’t any kind of free speech for any kind of public official eventually. It’s a dangerous doctrine to be arguing – eventually that can apply to anything.”

Moreover, Whitehead said, the restrictions could ultimately even apply to people who aren’t public officials at all.

“What ‘government speech’ means is that if it occurs on government property, if the speaker is in any way tied to the government – this could be a public school student at a graduation ceremony – if it’s a government platform then whatever they say is considered ‘government speech,'” he said.

“It does away with the First Amendment totally for any speaker in that kind of forum,” Whitehead added.

The Rutherford Institute is representing Fredericksburg, Va., city councilman Hashmel Turner in an appeal against an August court ruling that went against him.

Turner was prohibited from invoking the name of Jesus Christ when it was his turn in the rotating schedule to pray at the opening of city council meetings.

The appeal argument revolves around the interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

However, representatives for the city of Fredericksburg also cite the Establishment Clause in their argument.

“Our argument is that the Establishment Clause in general limits or prohibits the ability of the government to promote or endorse religion particularly in a sectarian way,” said Elliot Mincberg, senior vice president of People for the American Way (PFAW) Foundation, which is working in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.)

According to Mincberg, the danger is opening the door for heavy handed government involvement – something PFAW is trying to prevent.

“A situation where the government appears to be taking sides and promotes a particular religion is part of what the Establishment Clause was designed to prevent because that’s what makes religion more free for everyone – not to have the government try to put their thumb on the scales.”

The suit was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2006. Both sides expect the case to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

“They think this is an opportunity to go all the way to the Supreme Court and make some fundamental changes in Establishment Clause law,” Mincberg said, referring to the Rutherford Institute. “I hope that’s wrong.”

“We are hopeful that even the now more conservative court would realize and would re-affirm the rules and the doctrines that have been applied in this area,” he added.

Whitehead hopes the courts, including the Supreme Court, will re-evaluate the current position.

“[The courts] really have to look at what public officials can or can’t say in terms of religion. They’ve got to examine how far this concept of government speech can go,” he said.

If there is no change in the status quo, Whitehead sees big government getting out of control.

“If it’s carried to its logical conclusion, on any kind of government property you’re not going to have any rights. People better think twice about it,” he said. “It kind of makes a mockery out of the whole thing of chaplains in the Senate and the president being sworn in on a Bible – those things eventually will have to go.”

Mincberg concedes that government involvement is a problem.

“One very important way to protect freedom of religion is not have the government take sides,” he said.

For Whitehead, the heart of the matter is a question of public officials being allowed free speech.

“They should have a right to express their private opinions – a right to follow their faith,” he said.

Original Link.

Israel to step up operations in Gaza

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Many of us said at the time that evacuating Gaza and giving it up to the slimy pali Holy Land occupying terrorist was the wrong thing to do. Now the Israeli military is going to have to go back into the area and try to put a stop to rampant arms smuggling and continued rocket attacks.
My heart is very heavy for God’s Chosen People. Not only is the world trying to obliterate them, but their own government is trying as well.
Pray for Israel.

Psalm 68:19
Barukh Adonai yom yom ya’amos-lanu ha’El Yeshuateinu.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily carries our burden; the God of our salvation.
Selah. – Psalm 68:19(20h)

JERUSALEM – The Israel Defense Forces in the coming days will expand its military operations against terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset today.

“Israel is operating against Hamas centers in Gaza. We will expand the operations, but we will not remain for an extended period in Gaza,” Olmert said.

The prime minister did not publicly announce the new measures he approved for operations in Gaza, which came after a meeting Thursday with the senior IDF leadership.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005. Since then, Palestinians regularly have fired rockets at nearby Jewish communities. Terror groups reportedly smuggled hundreds of tons of weapons into the Gaza Strip as terror leaders there openly tell WND they are preparing for a confrontation with Israel.

One week ago, WND broke the story the Israeli military was set to present battle plans for approval by the government here for a large-scale Gaza offensive, including possible reoccupation of parts of the territory, according to senior IDF officers.

The officials said the offensive is “crucial” for Israel’s security and would be the largest military operation launched against Palestinian terror groups in Gaza since Israel evacuated the territory last year. But the officials said they were worried the Gaza assault may be “watered down” by Olmert for political reasons.

As WND reported, senior IDF officials told Israel’s Knesset earlier this month more than 20 tons of weapons have been brought into Gaza from the neighboring Sinai desert in the last 10 months alone, including a large number of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

WND also obtained a report by the intelligence branch of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party which stated Hamas has smuggled between several hundred and 1,300 tons of weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, including advance rockets; anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles; rocket-propelled grenades; raw explosives; rifles; ammunition; and other heavy weaponry.

Yuval Diskin, director of Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services, told the Knesset last month there are major fears Palestinian terror groups are “turning Gaza into south Lebanon.”

Diskin was referring to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia’s development in south Lebanon of large rocket and weapons arsenals for use against Israel.

In a deal brokered in November by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Egypt-Gaza border, once controlled by the Jewish state, now is manned by Egyptian and Palestinian security officials and observed by European monitors. The monitors reportedly have fled their duty several times the past few months.

Israeli security officials have noted multiple breaches in border security, including the open transport of terrorists and weapons across the border. They say several key sections of the border are penetrable, and smuggling tunnels that snake under the border are “thriving.”

Since Israel’s Gaza withdrawal, Palestinian terror groups have been regularly firing rockets at Jewish communities neighboring the Gaza Strip. The targeted communities are inside what is referred to as “pre-1967 Israel,” meaning territory certified by the international community as unquestionably part of the Jewish state.

The IDF launched a major ground invasion of Gaza in June following the raid of an Israeli military installation just outside Gaza during which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Since then, most Israeli operations inside Gaza were surgical and mostly utilized small numbers of ground troops.

Original Link.
Hebrew blessings courtesy of Hewbrew for Christians.

BBC Reviewing Programs for Bias

Monday, October 30th, 2006

The British Bias Corporation (formerly known as the British Broadcasting Corporation) is surprised that people might believe that they are biased. So in response to this, they are going to hold an “impartiality review” to find out if it’s true.

London (CNSNews.com) – Amid continuing fallout here over allegations of liberal bias at the British Broadcasting Corporation, a senior executive at the public broadcaster has lashed out at the press for making “mischief.”

With critics having complained for years that the BBC is left-leaning and anti-American, the BBC has embarked on a lengthy “impartiality review” of its news programs.

Accounts of a seminar held last month in London and involving top BBC reporters and high-profile figures were leaked to the British press this week.

Washington correspondent Justin Webb was quoted as saying that the BBC constantly treated America with “scorn and derision” and that he had to go to senior management to fight against this bias.

The BBC “diversity czar” Mary Fitzpatrick reportedly said during the seminar that she was fine with Muslim newsreaders being veiled. Many in the group admitted concerns about offending Islamic sensibilities.

In addition, seminar attendees allegedly agreed that it would be acceptable to throw a Bible in the trash as part of a comedy sketch, but not the Koran, and that they would line up for an interview with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

The BBC press office has made no official comment on these reports, but in a brief article on the broadcaster’s website, News Director Helen Boaden wrote that reports of the seminar had been “distorted.”

She said that the discussions held had been hypothetical, designed to produce debate and ideas, and that they did not represent BBC policy.

The broadcaster was not a liberal “chattering class club” as frequently depicted by the London tabloids, Boaden wrote.

“It’s a shame that the newspapers have made mischief with the seminar,” Boaden said. “But we won’t let this small storm put us off trying to get impartiality right.”

Marc Landers, a Scotland-based American who monitors the BBC for bias, said he has seen the broadcaster poison the atmosphere over the years with its anti-Western, anti-American and pro-Islamist reporting.

Since Landers first came to Britain in the 1970s, he had witnessed it turn countless British friends and acquaintances against the U.S., he told Cybercast News Service.

On his website, USS Neverdock, Landers has spent the last several years documenting instances of BBC bias.

Original Link.

Inmates in UK Given Halloween Day Off as Religious Holiday

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Tomorrow will be a special day for certain inmates of UK prisons. All pagan inmates will be given the day off to celebrate Halloween, which is apparently a religious holiday now. Murderers and rapists will be given the day off to celebrate satan. Are you kidding me? It seems to me that the reason these people are in these prisons in the first place is the influence of satan, so why would they be given a day to celebrate him? Completely unbelievable!

Hundreds of Pagans serving prison sentences are to be given the day off work for Halloween out of respect for their religious beliefs.

Prison Service bosses have instructed staff to grant the convicts, who include Devil worshippers and Satanists, special privileges on Tuesday.

While fellow prisoners sew mail bags and undertake other jail work, the Pagans will be allowed to celebrate their ‘holiday’.

They can use certain artefacts, including rune stones, flexible twigs and hoodless robes, provided they are kept in their cells or worn during communal worship. Robes with hoods are banned for ‘security reasons’, however.

The move is revealed in Home Office documents handed to The Mail on Sunday, which disclose that prisons have been instructed to allow inmates to pursue their religions so the Government can avoid being sued by prisoners.

The orders, issued by the Prison Service’s Director of Personnel, Gareth Hadley, apply to every religion from Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism to Hinduism and Islam and, in the interests of equality, Paganism, too.

Original Link

Spanish aid worker kidnapped at gunpoint in Gaza City

Monday, October 30th, 2006

But wait a minute, I thought that the Islamic terrorist gave Spain a pass since it rolled over and died (in other words, went into appeasment mode) after they were bombed. Could it be that slimy pali terrorist don’t care about anything but being violent slimy terrorist?

Palestinian gunmen on Monday abducted a Spanish aid worker in the central Gaza Strip, the latest in a wave of kidnappings of foreigners, Palestinian security officials and colleagues of the man said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media, said the man was forced into a yellow Skoda at the edge of the town of Khan Younis.

The hostage was identified by colleagues as Roberto Vila, a 34-year-old aid worker with the Cooperation Assembly for Peace, a Spanish charity group.

Celine Gagne, a fellow worker, said she and Vila were on their way out of Khan Younis after visiting a project for handicapped children when three or four men carrying Kalashnikov rifles stopped them.

“They asked me to stay behind,” she said. The gunmen then forced Vila into their car and sped away, she said.

According to other sources, Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two foreign journalists.

Palestinian gunmen have kidnapped a series of foreign journalists and aid workers in Gaza over the past two years, usually pressing the government for money or job guarantees. In most cases, the hostages were quickly released, and none of the hostages have been seriously harmed.

Original Link.

Blog Update Complete

Monday, October 30th, 2006

OK, so they didn’t lie. It was fairly painless.
Let me know if anything looks wrong or different.
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve

Blog Update

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It’s that time again. Time to update the blog software.
WordPress claims this is a quick and painless procedure, but having delt with computers since the 80’s, I feel this is probably a lie.
I’ll be doing the upgrade in a few minutes, so please hang in there if the blog goes away for a bit.
Worse case is I will put it back the way it was (I did make a backup).
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve