Archive for December 14th, 2007

“The Imagination of Men’s Hearts” by Jack Kinsella

Friday, December 14th, 2007

It is a provable fact that G-rated family movies make more money on average than ‘edgier’ movies with a PG-13, lots more money than movies with an “R” rating, and any movie with a more restrictive rating than that is unlikely to break even on its production costs.

I’m not merely expressing my opinion based on my own personal tastes in film. The numbers bear out my contentions.

Among the top-20 grossing films of all time are “Shrek”, “E.T.” “Star Wars” “Jurrasic Park” “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King.”

It is also a proven fact that “G” rated movies with Christian themes are the most consistent money-makers of all.

The C.S. Lewis Christian classic, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” was widely panned by critics on release as “too Christian” — until it earned $291 million dollars.

There are a number of reasons, but the most obvious reason is that “G” rated movies have the widest potential audience.

Hollywood’s business is to attract as many possible movie-goers as possible.

The logic of business would therefore dictate that the majority of Hollywood movies would be Christian-themed and made in such a way as to earn them the lucrative “G” rating.

But when Hollywood DOES offer a Christian-themed, “G”-rated movie, it is generally greeted with fear and trepidation, earning such adjectives as “daring” or “risky” –when in point of fact, they are the safest bet of all.

If there has been a Christian-themed, “G” rated film produced by a major studio that lost money, I am not aware of it.

Even the bad ones turn a profit.

Forget the religious aspect for a moment and stay with me on the secular perspective. In America, some eight of ten moviegoers are at least culturally Christian — and most of them have families.

On the other hand, less than one in ten are agnostics, and less than two percent — or one in fifty — are atheists.

If you were planning to invest millions in a film project with your bottom line goal being to attract the widest audience, which pond would you fish in?

Hollywood evidently prefers to fish in the cesspool.

Given the profitability of “G” rated movies and the depth of the Christian audience in America, why in the world would Hollywood produce something like “The Golden Compass?”

The film is based on the first book of a fantasy trilogy called “His Dark Materials” by the celebrated evangelist of atheism, Phillip Pullman. Pullman’s trilogy is unique in that its theme is that believing in God is the source of all evil in the world.

The film’s heroine is an orphaned girl living in a parallel universe ruled under the dogmatic dictatorship of the “Magisterium” a fictionalized version of the Catholic Church, that is the embodiment of ultimate evil.

In the film, the spiritual good guys are the ‘daemons’ (demons) who inhabit the bodies of animals.

Despite heavily-hyped pre-release publicity, the film’s release earned both disappointing reviews and an even more disappointing box office. The film, which cost $180 million, returned only $25 million in its North American opening weekend.

(It did better in Europe where there are more atheists and fewer Christians, but has yet to come close to breaking even.)

So why make films like “The Golden Compass” in the first place? It isn’t like there aren’t ten million movie plots in the Bible, and a Bible-themed film is always a safe bet.

In “The Golden Compass” the overt glorification of atheism is toned down in favor of the glorification of childhood rebellion.

In particular, the heroine of the movie is rebellious against her mother, and adults in general, who are involved in the evil Magisterium. It also encourages children to get involved in the occult.

The movie website, in the “Meet Your Daemon” feature, itself encourages children to contact their own personal Daemon:

“To discover your very own Daemon, look into your heart, and answer the following 20 questions openly and honestly. Your true character and the form of your Daemon will be revealed.”

Again, one has to shake one’s head. This is another one of those places where the spiritual and the physical come into collision — you can tell because everything is upside down.

It makes no sense, in the natural, to invest millions in a film whose theme will antagonize more than half its potential audience before it even gets released.

Yet for every film targeted at Hollywood’s majority audience, there are a dozen aimed at society’s perverts, Satanists or have an anti-God message.

Movies are popular because they provide a form of escapism from the reality of life, allowing our imagination to run wild on film.

And judging from the movies we watch, our collective imagination tends to run towards the dark side of evil.

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Philly Precedent Against Boy Scouts Should Be Applied Equally to Other Groups

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The attacks against the Boy Scouts in Philadelphia by the homosexual activist could backfire on them, if they don’t treat similar groups in the same manner as they treating the Boy Scouts. These other groups consist of the Catholic Church, museums and even a public radio station.
Lawsuit time for the Boy Scouts.

Pro-homosexual Philadelphia officials’ campaign to evict the Boy Scouts of America from their long-held regional headquarters on city-owned ground will create a precedent that could endanger dozens of other groups in the city, including the Catholic Church, as well as museums and a public radio station.

The issue: The City Council has decided the Boy Scouts, because they prohibit participation by open homosexuals, do not comply with the city’s anti-discrimination policies and can no longer rent their headquarters for $1 a year, as they have since the city approved its original resolution on the plan 80 years ago.

The city had set a Dec. 3 deadline for the Scouts’ Cradle of Liberty Council to agree to pay $200,000 a year, instead of $1, but the Scouts simply ignored that deadline, and negotiations apparently have broken off.

Assuming there are no changes in circumstances, that would mean the Scouts would have to be out of the building, which they built and paid for with their own funds decades ago, on June 1.

[C]ondemnation had come from city councilman Darrell Clarke, who told the New York Times, “you cannot be in a city-owned facility being subsidized by the taxpayers and not have language in your lease that talks about nondiscrimination.”

Scouting spokesman Gregg Shields said such “open homosexuality” would be inconsistent with the group’s values. That policy was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 when it ruled the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that can set its own membership rules under the First Amendment.

The headquarters building, the Marks Center, was built by the BSA, but the half-acre parcel of land is owned by the city. The city council voted last year to renege on its ongoing $1-a-year lease and decided to set the rent at $200,000 a year, something BSA leaders say they cannot pay and still serve the 69,000 youths who benefit from their programs.

“If the Boy Scouts were anti-God, championed homosexuality and were anti-establishment, I would venture to say they would find themselves welcome in Philadelphia,” said Massie. “It’s the fact that they stick to and seek to promote a responsible and reasonable code of ethics that makes them a target of the anti-family left that tends to dominate urban governments such as Philadelphia’s these days.”

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Scouts, Jeff Jubelirer, told WND there would be several significant issues to address should the city pursue an eviction. He said there are about 75 other organizations in Philadelphia with similar building or land-use arrangements as the Scouts.

Their original agreement was that the city allowed the Scouts to use the city land in perpetuity for $1 a year, but the Scouts would have to build their own building and maintain it. That was the agreement on which the Council decided to renege.

The city “is making a value judgment” about the Scouts, because the other organizations are not being given the same ultimatums and deadlines, he said.

“They’re all great organizations. There’s nothing wrong with them,” he said. And they have lease arrangements that range from payments of $1 to $100 a year for various uses.

One such institution is the Catholic Church, which does not allow women ministers, he noted.

“How are they going to justify differentiation in treatment,” he wondered. “There are wonderful arts organizations, museums, a public radio station. They’re on that list.”

He said the other issue is the improvements the Scouts have made to the land, including the building and the $2 million in renovations done in just recent years. The original agreement envisioned the Scouts continuing to use the land “in perpetuity,” so will those improvements then be reimbursed if the city reneges, he wondered.

And if that city agreement isn’t upheld, he asked, are there other agreements that likewise will simply be abandoned?

Jubilerer said the city, as of now, is applying its pressure to a single group, and not taking into consideration that all groups in similar circumstances should be treated similarly.

The campaign against the Boy Scouts has been pursued by Romulo Diaz, the city solicitor, who, according to Philadelphia media reports, is an open homosexual.

Original Link.

Pardons Granted for Drug Dealers & Carjackers, But Not Border Agents

Friday, December 14th, 2007

This just blows my mind.

The White House has left unexplained the president’s decisions to grant pardons to drug dealers, carjackers, thieves and a moonshiner, but deny the same mercy to two former U.S. Border Patrol agents each serving more than a decade in prison for shooting at a fleeing drug smuggler.

The issue arose during a news briefing at the White House, held by Dana Perino, the president’s spokeswoman.

“Both Republicans and the Democrat Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee have now deplored the president’s pardoning of drug dealers and carjackers while refusing to pardon two U.S. Border Patrol agents who shot a Mexican drug smuggler who disobeyed their order to stop…” asked WND’s correspondent at the White House, Les Kinsolving.

“I answered this question,” said Perino.

“And my question,” said Kinsolving.

“I answered this question,” said Perino.

“Wait a minute, I haven’t asked it,” Kinsolving said.

“I’m sure it’s the same one,” Perino responded.

“Would the White House like to respond to Chairman Delahunt, as well as Congressmen Hunter and Rohrabacher, or will you stiff-arm them with a ‘no comment’?” he asked.

“What I’ll do is refer you to the briefing on Monday when Kathleen asked the same question,” Perino said.

“Not exactly the same,” Kinsolving said.

Perino’s response earlier to questions about pardons, referencing another case, was, “We don’t speculate on any possible pardons.”

As WND reported earlier, the White House has released its list of 29 pardons granted traditionally around Christmas time, and they included carjackers, drug dealers, thieves and a moonshiner.

But not Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were convicted of firing their guns at a fleeing drug smuggler while they were protecting the integrity of the U.S. border with Mexico.

However, Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., has launched a campaign to assemble a House resolution urging Bush to provide those pardons, and he says more than two dozen members already have signed on as sponsors.

“I am completely confident we will be able to pass a bipartisan resolution that includes support from the right and the left,” Delahunt said. He said he expects action soon after Congress reconvenes after the Christmas break.k

“Members in the House feel strongly the excessively long sentences Ramos and Compean are serving is a miscarriage of justice,” he explained. “We have strong bipartisan agreement in the House that President Bush should immediately commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean to the time they have already served.”

Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively, for shooting after fleeing drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in an incident on the Texas border with Mexico on Feb. 17, 2005.

Delahunt objected strongly to the mandatory minimum 10-year sentence Ramos and Compean are serving under 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c), a law Congress passed to increase the prison terms of federal felons, including bank robbers, who carried a weapon in the commission of their crimes.

“It just isn’t right, period,” Delahunt said. “In this case there is bipartisan agreement in the House that Ramos and Compean have already served enough time.”

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Florida Marriage Protection Amendment Headed to Voters

Friday, December 14th, 2007

All of us need to pray that Florida will join the ranks of states willing to protect traditional marriage from the homosexual agenda.

Organizers of an effort to put a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage on the ballot in Florida have hit a milestone. Now, they say, it’s up to the voters to let their voices be heard.

More than 611,000 signatures have been collected and certified — more than the amount needed to get the amendment on the ballot next November. The amendment will legally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, who helped draft the language of the amendment, says the battle will be tough.

Staver says Florida will be faced with two tough issues this next election — the presidential election and the future of marriage in Florida. The attorney says those opposed to defining traditional marriage will do whatever they can to shift voters attention away from the marriage debate. This will be done, he says, because opponents know that when the issue is solely marriage, traditional marriage always wins.

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Legal Case ‘Backdoor’ Attempt to Get Civil Unions Recognized in Mississippi

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The homosexuals know they don’t have a prayer of getting their agenda in place through popular vote or legislative process, so they turn to the liberal courts to do their bidding.

An attorney with Liberty Counsel says an unusual legal case could be a backdoor attempt to get legal recognition of civil unions in the state of Mississippi.

The case pits against each other two women who were “partners” in a homosexual relationship. The plaintiff claims that her former partner verbally agreed to give her an interest in real property. However, the pair lived in Florida at the time of the alleged oral agreement, and now both live in Mississippi.

“This would break the ice for perhaps a flood of cases that would explore these avenues for creative means of obtaining recognition of a relationship that our public policy emphatically declares against the will of the state of Mississippi’s citizens and against the law in our state,” says [Steve Crampton, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel with Liberty Counsel].

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Pro-Lifer Attacked — Then Threatened With Arrest

Friday, December 14th, 2007

This is becoming much more prevalent.

During a protest at a Hillary Clinton campaign stop in Fort Madison, Iowa, last week, a pro-life activist was attacked by a man wielding a club. Eyewitnesses say that police responding to the incident threatened to arrest the pro-lifers if they did not immediately leave the public sidewalk. The incident was captured on video.

“He was attacked with a club,” she recalls. “He called for the police officer who was across the street watching the situation, and the police officer came over and ordered him [Holman] to leave and threatened to arrest and jail him on the spot if he did not leave.”

Sullenger says pro-life demonstrators have great respect for law enforcement, but departments across the nation have shown a disturbing disregard for First Amendment rights. “Occasionally we’ll run into an officer who’s not been adequately trained, and he just wants to solve the problem by making us go away,” she shares. “[But] that doesn’t solve the problem. What that does is it interferes with the rights of people to express their viewpoints in the public forum — [and] that’s against the law to do that.”

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Children on Hamas TV Call to “Liberate” Al-Aqsa Mosque by Force and to “Wipe Out” Zionists to the Last One

Friday, December 14th, 2007

This continues to be solid proof of the pali terrorist agenda. If they were the least bit serious about peace with Israel, that would be their message to their children. Instead, that message is death, destruction and violence against Israel. There will never be peace as long as this is happening.

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
-Golda Meir (1898-1978), Prime Minister of Israel (March 17, 1969 – June 3, 1974) the National Press Club, Washington D.C., 1957.

Following are excerpts from a children’s show, which aired on the Hamas Al-Aqsa TV on December 3, 2007.

Boy: My beloved brothers, as you know, today the Al-Aqsa Mosque is crying out: “Where is the people of the frontline, the Palestinian people?” Yes, my dear brothers, that is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The subject of our lesson today is Jerusalem, to where your Prophet made his nocturnal journey – the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Yes, my beloved brothers, as you know today, and as you have known yesterday and the day before, the Al-Aqsa Mosque has fallen into oppressing and malicious hands, the hands of those who know nothing but injustice. But let me tell you how the Al-Aqsa Mosque will be returned, how we shall rescue it from the shackles of the occupation, from the shackles of the Zionist entity. Will it be through conferences? No, not through conferences, but by means of force, because the Zionist entity, your enemy, the enemy of Allah, the enemy of Islam, knows nothing but injustice and the killing of Palestinians, the persevering people on the frontline. Indeed, the [mosque] will be returned only by means of force. In 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued. Balfour decided on the cleansing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. But look what the Zionist enemy has done, look what Israel and America have done. Look what the allies of Israel and America have done. They have dug tunnels underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the sheiks and mujahideen of the Al-Aqsa Mosque have exposed these tunnels and called upon the Palestinian people: “Look what has happened, look what has happened.” These calls have gone unheeded, my beloved brothers. But is it too late? No, it is not too late. If we all unite, the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not remain in the hands of the Zionist enemy, it will not remain in the hands of your enemy, despite all their conspiracies against the Palestinian people.

[…]

Girl: To Al-Aqsa, to Al-Aqsa – we shall unite our ranks. We will wipe out the people of Zion, and will not leave a single one of them.

Original Link.
Link to the video on The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) site.

“Honor Murders in the West: I Implore Real Feminists to Speak Out” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The sixteen year old was “too modern” for her fundamentalist Muslim family. She craved forbidden North American freedoms which, if practiced, would shame her immigrant family. The struggle over this issue was hot and abusive. The girl was continually attacked and closely monitored. Her own sisters envied and hated her not only because she was allowed to attend school but because her choice of modern dress could harm their own young daughters’ future marriage chances.

I am not talking about Toronto’s Aqsa Parvez who was just slaughtered by her father (may she rest in peace), but about another sixteen year old: Palestina Isa, who was honored-murdered by her father and her mother in St. Louis Missouri on November 5, 1989. Palestina (“Tina”) was murdered with primal ferocity. The forensic pathologist reported “thirteen wounds, six of them mortal. The worst one plunged into her chest wall, breaking her sternum and ribs and piercing her heart. A second gash ripped her left lung. Her liver had been slashed five times fatally.” Her breasts had been punctured seven times.

Ellen Harris wrote an important book about this one case: Guarding the Secrets: Palestinian Terrorism and a Father’s Murder of His Too-American Daughter. Palestina was clearly being physically abused at home. She attended school with visible bruises. She asked for help. She got none. The only reason her parents were prosecuted and sentenced was this: Her father, Zein Isa, was under federal surveillance. Why? Because he was a member of the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group. Thus, the jury got to hear the horrendous twenty minute murder on tape and convicted her parents.

In case anyone has forgotten: At one time, the Abu Nidal group had been classified by the American government as the “most vicious terrorist group in the world.” On Christmas Eve, 1985, they were responsible for the simultaneous attacks at the El Al counters in the airports in Rome and Vienna in which 18 people died and 101 were injured. In 1986, they attacked an Israeli bus on the West Bank; they also attacked a group of Sephardic Jews as they prayed in a synagogue in Istanbul, machine-gunning 22 worshippers to death and then killing themselves.

Back then—and even more so today—Islamist terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism means that women will be savagely restricted and even more savagely punished if they stray, even a millimeter, even by accident, from the laws and customs of Islamic gender apartheid.

Back to St Louis. Zein Isa’s second wife (a first wife lived on the West Bank), was Palestina’s mother. She held her daughter down while her husband slaughtered her as if she were an animal—as if she were a woman who had provoked her own murder. Indeed, her parents never showed any remorse. Zein Isa told the police that she “deserved it, that she attacked me.”

I wrote about this case in The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (HERE and HERE). I also wrote about many other European- and North American based honor-murders.

In each instance, with a few exceptions, most western intellectuals, including liberals, leftists, and feminists, remained uneasily silent. They feared they would be viewed as “racists” or as “Islamophobes” if they criticized such Muslim customs. They said that such barbarism was mainly due to historical colonialism and imperialism; that the bikini is as exploitative as the burqua; that western moralism or intervention would only make things worse for women.

The West has not intervened in Iran—and yet as of yesterday, in addition to being stoned and publicly hung when they allege rape, Iranian women have just been forbidden to wear boots (!) and hats. (Not modest enough). The West has not intervened in Saudi Arabia—and yet a young woman who was gang-raped has also been stripped of her lawyer and sentenced to two hundred lashes. (Let’s not forget the awful case of the Saudi High School girls who were pushed back into their burning schoolhouse because, in their rush to escape, they had forgotten to put on their black sheets). The West has not intervened in Egypt—and yet, at the end of Ramadan, a mob of a thousand men indulged in an episode of “sexual wilding” in which they randomly attacked women on the street.

True, in Iraq, where the West has most definitely intervened, forty women were recently slaughtered and their bodies dumped because they refused to veil. And female police officers have just been ordered to turn over their guns to their male counterparts. But this might also be due to the Iranian and Saudi influence.

Just this morning, I was contacted by a young North American professor. When she spoke up for Muslim women, other feminists attacked her as “racist.” A kind friend slipped her The Death of Feminism. She wrote to thank me for writing it and to ask me for advice. Her quandary: She wants to assign the book to her class but fears that doing so might end her career. Here is what I wrote:

“While your career concerns are crucial, we are also talking about the end of western civilization and the mortal peril faced by Muslim women. I would suggest taking the risk—but perhaps you might talk about it to your superiors (not to your peers) and the way to present this book is in terms of the importance of tolerance and true intellectual diversity. We now have an opportunity to put our feminist ideals and analyses into vigorous practice when it comes to Muslim immigrants and to women in Muslim countries. In the name of this slaughtered Toronto sixteen year old—if for no other reason—the “good” people have got to take a stand against Islamic gender apartheid. ”

Below, please find an edited version of our correspondence which she has allowed me to publish.

Dear Dr. Chesler:

In January 2008 I will be teaching a Masters level course at X University. It is my first experience teaching in a university. In the course of developing my thoughts and syllabus a friend lent me The Death of Feminism. The book has expanded my thinking and given me words for another “problem with no name”. I feel it will be instrumental in my teaching students how to think.

I have had two recent experiences where I have been shut down by other feminists for launching a critique of Islam and of women wearing headscarves. I have been called naive, and racism has been implied, despite 22 yrs on the front line as a most outspoken feminist and defender of women’s rights and equality rights. So I thank you for your book. I have given it to the head of the X Department at my university; this dept used to be quite feminist in perspective and now it is LEFT LEFT LEFT.

Dear X:

Greetings! Thanks for your kind words about this book and for embarking on a personal campaign to spread some of its ideas. How did you learn about this book? There has been a concerted effort to bury news of it by the mainstream media and by feminists with major media connections.

All best,
Phyllis

Dear Phyllis,

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I couldn’t agree more… (but) putting your book on my reading list would get me into big trouble. How powerful is this silencing and these accusations of racism. I am not sure, as a new teacher, I could handle the uproar that will ensue if I put your book on my list. Your book I worry would end my career before it’s started. I am not generally a wimp but I have to be strategic, don’t you think? I am thinking maybe I could use the ideas, or excerpts from the book…? Any thoughts? Is the book being used in any university? Do you think I am a coward? Isn’t this ridiculous, insane, intolerable, to even have this conversation, to have to fear for my career (and my life, let’s be clear) for putting a book on a course outline? Shades of Satanic Verses. This is how I feel. Like an infidel.

I’m sure you are following the case of the 16 yr old Toronto-area girl Aqsa Parvez who was strangled to death this week by her father for being “too western”. I wept reading this in yesterday’s paper. Talk about being martyred. Her death is causing a real stir here; a very brave woman from a Muslim women’s organization spoke on TV last night about how rampant this ideology is and how the Imaans here are feeding it.

(I was attacked and ostracized by other feminists when I challenged a very liberal approach to the problem of battering in the Muslim community. The speaker said that such batterers needed to be taught that Allah and the Koran do not demand the beating of women. I said it was more complicated than that). Well Phyllis you could hear a pin drop in that room. Not a single person, many of whom were feminists and long-time activists and have known me and my work for 22 years, agreed with me or came to my support. I was alone, felt I was being seen as racist and it was very traumatic. So I went for tea and moral support to a clear thinking feminist friend. She said, “This is exactly what Phyllis Chesler is talking about in The Death of Feminism” and went upstairs and got the book.

The Death of Feminism has affected me powerfully. Unfortunately it is rare that a book really moves one’s thinking along. I have never understood why people resist having their minds stretched. I am really appreciative of your hard work and hard thinking and gutsy writing t’ords a better world for women and for all. Clearly you have paid a heavy price. The price of leadership I guess, though one does not expect to be crucified by one’s own community. That hurts.

———————————————-

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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