Archive for December 21st, 2007

University’s Ban on ‘Christ’ Challenged as Violation of 1st Amendment

Friday, December 21st, 2007

This statement from the university president pretty well sums up what they think of Christmas:

[Southwestern Oklahoma State University President, John M. Hays], said employees may be “asked in some offices to be careful about what they put up.” And he suggested that a supervisor, for example, may tell employees they could not put a “pornographic material,” or erect a monument to “Wicca.”

So now, according to University President Hays, Christmas is equated with pornography.

A Midwestern university has mandated “Merry —–mas” as a holiday greeting, banning “Christ” in apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to Liberty Counsel, which works to advance religious freedom and the traditional family.

The events have developed at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Okla.

“The controversy began when the university’s director of human resources recently visited various departments and said that decorations featuring the word ‘Christmas’ in any areas of the university must be immediately removed,” the organization said. “He also instructed the employees not to say ‘Christmas’ while on the job. As a result the employees cannot respond ‘Merry Christmas’ to other employees or visitors to the University.”

University President John M. Hays denied the school “has a policy” that employees cannot say “Merry Christmas,” but admitted that a “supervisor” may have given instructions regarding holiday wording.

He blamed it on “an attempt to be respectful of the diverse religious population at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.”

That effort, he said, “has been misinterpreted as an attempt to ban Christmas on the Weatherford campus. … The university attempted to prevent the appearance as a state agency of endorsing any particular religion.”

He said employees may be “asked in some offices to be careful about what they put up.” And he suggested that a supervisor, for example, may tell employees they could not put a “pornographic material,” or erect a monument to “Wicca.”

But Mathew D. Staver, founder and chief of Liberty Counsel, said the circumstances were documented before the organization raised the issue, sending the school a letter suggesting an immediate abandonment of such a policy.

He also said Liberty Counsel had been told the university issued the policy on the legal advice from Oklahoma Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmonson.

The complaint came through several channels to Liberty Counsel, including from a city commissioner whose daughter works at the school and was given the instructions directly.

“Also other employees, in an employee-wide meeting … were told that,” Staver said.

One college official visited a university office used for registering students, and told workers that “Christ” in the word “Christmas” had to be covered up, he said.

“This censorship specifically includes exchanging greetings of ‘Merry Christmas’ among employees or with non-employees, whether initiated by a university employee or not,” Liberty Counsel said. “Christmas remains a legal holiday for state employees, including those at SWOSU. The directive does not include any other legal holidays such as Thanksgiving or New Year’s.”

Such demands “are in direct violation of the United States Constitution and other federal law. The First Amendment prohibits government from being hostile to religion. Selecting one legal holiday for negative treatment and special restrictions solely because it has religious aspects clearly demonstrates hostility toward religion,” Liberty Counsel said.

“Moreover, the free speech rights of employees at the university are infringed when their speech is censored solely because of a religious viewpoint or perceived religious viewpoint.”

Original Link.

Hundreds of Scientists Reject Global Warming

Friday, December 21st, 2007

The global warming farce is finally being debunked by sound scientific methods and common sense.

A new U.S. Senate report documents hundreds of prominent scientists – experts in dozens of fields of study worldwide – who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man’s activities.

“Of course I believe in global warming, and in global cooling – all part of the natural climate changes that the Earth has experienced for billions of years, caused primarily by the cyclical variations in solar output,” said research physicist John W. Brosnahan, who develops remote-sensing instruments for atmospheric science for clients including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

However, he said, “I have not seen any sort of definitive, scientific link to man-made carbon dioxide as the root cause of the current global warming, only incomplete computer models that suggest that this might be the case.

(Story continues below)

“Even though these computer climate models do not properly handle a number of important factors, including the role of precipitation as a temperature regulator, they are being (mis-)used to force a political agenda upon the U.S.,” he continued. “While there are any number of reasons to reduce carbon dioxide generation, to base any major fiscal policy on the role of carbon dioxide in climate change would be inappropriate and imprudent at best and potentially disastrous economic folly at the worst.”

The report compiled observations from more than 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen nations who have voiced objections to the so-called “consensus” on “man-made global warming.”

Many of the scientists are current or former participants in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose present officials, along with former Vice President Al Gore, have asserted a definite connection.

The new report comes from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP ranking member, and cites the hundreds of opinions issued just in 2007 that global warming and man’s activities are unrelated.

“Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists,” the introduction to the Senate report said. “In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics ‘appear to be expanding rather than shrinking.'”

“Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears ‘bite the dust,'” the introduction said.

And there probably would be many more scientists making such statements, were it not for the fear of retaliation from those aboard the global-warming-is-caused-by-SUVs bandwagon, the report said.

Original Link.
Read the report here.

Islamic Bloc Scores ‘Defamation of Religions’ Resolution at UN

Friday, December 21st, 2007

The Islamist continue to try to make it an international crime to criticize their religion. They are one step closer thanks to that unless entity housed in New York City, the United Nations.

(CNSNews.com) – Alongside a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly this week calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, the world body passed a raft of other human rights-related motions. One of them, introduced by Islamic nations, focuses on combating the “defamation of religions.”

Resolutions on the human rights situation in North Korea and Iran also passed, although dozens of countries — including human rights violators Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe — voted against the motions.

An annual resolution on “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” also passed by an overwhelming margin, with only the United States, Israel, and three small Pacific island nations voting “no.” There were four abstentions.

The motion on defamation of religions has been a priority for the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since 9/11. It took on new impetus following a Danish newspaper’s publication in 2005 of cartoons satirizing Mohammed.

Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, it passed on Tuesday by a 108-51 margin, with 25 abstentions. As with many of the other votes, the U.S. lined up with democracies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere against developing nations, including repressive regimes.

Although the resolution refers to defamation of “religions,” Islam is the only religion named in the text, which also takes a swipe at counter-terrorism security measures.

It expresses alarm about “discrimination” and “laws that stigmatize groups of people belonging to certain religions and faiths under a variety of pretexts relating to security and illegal immigration.”

Muslim minorities are subjected to “ethnic and religious profiling … in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001,” it says.

The resolution decries “the negative projection of Islam in the media” and voices “deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu earlier this month addressed an international conference on “Islamophobia,” held in Turkey, and told the gathering that freedom of expression was being used as a cover in the West to promote anti-Islam sentiment.

The OIC soon will release its first-ever annual report on “Islamophobia.”

Original Link.

Numerous Nativity Scenes Vandalized Nationwide

Friday, December 21st, 2007

The secular people continue to feel the need to attack our holiday. They seem to have a real problem with just letting us enjoy our holiday and celebrate it the way we want to.
This attitude has always confused me. Why do the atheist feel the need to spend so much time and energy disparaging something they claim not to believe in?
I mean really. I don’t believe in leprechauns, yet you don’t see me spending countless hours arguing with people who choose to do so. It’s completely irrelevant to me if they believe or not.
But not so with the atheist. They must attack Christians at every opportunity. They must fight this “thing” that they choose not to believe.
Doesn’t make much sense.

(CNSNews.com) – With Dec. 25 only days away, a central image in the celebration of Christmas – the manger scene featuring replicas of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus – has become the focus of attacks by vandals and leaders of “the secular Left,” Christian groups charged on Wednesday.

While the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights was erecting a nativity scene in New York City’s Central Park, the group issued a news release condemning three dozen instances in which manger scenes were vandalized or stolen from Antioch, Calif., to Leesburg, Va., this Christmas season.

“In perhaps the sickest incident, a public school coach in Marietta, Ga., drove students around the area in his pickup truck, instructing them to thrash Christmas displays after dark,” League said.

During their Dec. 8 vandalism spree, 46-year-old John Hayes and several middle school students damaged a number of Christmas displays, let the air out of inflatable figures and rearranged plastic reindeer into X-rated sexual positions.

According to the WGCL TV, Hayes has been charged with trespassing, contributing to the delinquency of minors and reckless conduct.

In addition to physical attacks, nativity scenes are “part of a larger war that the secular Left is waging on all things Christian,” said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) – which describes itself as “a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation” – in a news release.

During the past week, ADF attorneys have offered to defend free of charge two cities in Wisconsin that faced legal action from the secularist Freedom from Religion Foundation (FRF) if those governments did not remove nativity scenes from their public holiday displays.

Original Link.

“Kites and Other Cultural Baggage: What Muslim Immigrants Pack” Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Last night I finally saw the film based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. I loved it—yes, even if it captures a pre-Taliban country more mythical than real. Nevertheless, the musical soundtrack, the recitation of classical poetry, the innocent kite-flying competitions in Kabul, (not to mention Homayoun Ershadi who strongly resembles Marcello Mastroianni), all comprise utterly charming scenes and characters carefully chosen and calibrated to help us distinguish between sophisticated and westernized Afghans who are non-violent, (I know many), and the barbarians amongst them.

I think that the film is also brave. First, it depicts a tall, thin, slightly effeminate, incredibly brutal pederast (“Assef”) who, although he is an Afghan through and through, reminds one of none other than Osama bin Laden. Both figures walk languidly; both teach “harsh” lessons. The film also shows us how the Taliban publicly stone a sobbing woman in a pink burqa to death and how they kidnap or purchase Afghan orphans, mainly girls, but sometimes also boys, as “dancing” sex-objects.

True, as shown, wealthy and western-educated Afghans did have private, gender-integrated dancing parties in the 1970s in Kabul—but the nature of Afghan society is better represented in both the novel and the film in how they depict Afghan marriage and family customs in America. Even those immigrants who live in San Francisco guard their women, expect would-be suitors to ask a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. (The film has a wonderful Afghan Wedding scene every bit the equal of any Bollywood Indian Wedding.) And, Afghan immigrants continue to live with or geographically near to their parents and to center their adult social lives together with them.

Not a bad idea at all.

Ah, but now I come to the hard part. Daily, I receive news of Islamic gender and religious apartheid, both in the Islamic East and as it has steadily penetrated the West. I write about this at length in my latest book The Death of Feminism.

But, the same continent (North America) and culture (the West) which is so proud of its multi-cultural sensitivity and tolerance—and whose people have embraced books such as The Kite Runner and Reading Lolita in Tehran, are all more eager to embrace the immigrant “Other,” (which is commendably open-hearted), and reluctant to take into account the cultural “baggage” that most immigrants bring with them into their new lives.

Although fewer immigrants arrive in the West from Iran or Saudi Arabia, these two countries have exported their versions of Islam to Muslims in very effective ways. For example, in the last month:

IRAN
A top Muslim cleric, Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hassani said that Muslim women who do not wear the hijab “should die.” He went further: “These women and their husbands and their fathers must die.”

The use of the word “women” has just been banned from Iranian state TV. They have begun using the word “family” instead. In recent weeks, Iran’s Center for the Participation of Women changed its name to the Centre for Family Matters.

Two Kurdish women’s rights activists, Ronak Safazadeh and Hana Abdi, were just arrested in Teheran and charged as “terrorists.” These two feminists were collecting “a million signatures for equality” but have, instead, been charged with a car bomb.

PAKISTAN
Seventy one percent of the men polled in Pakistan “justify beating women.” The survey documents that 80% of Pakistani women are the “victims of domestic violence.” The report claims that “Women in Pakistan face death by shooting, burning, or killing with axes” in shame and honor murders.

Also, a former Muslim in Pakistan who converted to Christianity has been receiving “death threats from his Muslim siblings” and is now in hiding together with his wife, their four daughters and son.

IRAQ
Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women in the southern city of Basra because their dress “violated Islamic teachings.” Maj General Jalil Khalaf said: “The women of Basra are being horrifically murdered and then dumped in the garbage with notes saying they were killed for un-Islamic behavior.”

SAUDI ARABIA
The parents of a nineteen year-old Saudi girl chained her by the feet in order to prevent her from meeting her fiancée whom her family would not accept.

Saudi women are not allowed to drive or change the color of their clothing or shake a man’s hand (which some mullahs view as “adultery of the hand.”) She cannot marry without permission, retain custody of her children after a divorce, or “annoy” her husband. She is also forbidden to “speak in public.” A popular Saudi television preacher has stated that “a girl who is not beaten from an early age grows up to be a rebellious woman, difficult to control” and that “a woman who leaves her home without a veil is like a woman who goes out naked.”

Those who emigrate into the West from these countries take these attitudes and customs along with them. So far, the West has been slow in noting or in trying to prevent what for us are crimes. On the other hand, the West has also offered refuge to and published the work of Islamic dissidents; appointed and elected pro-woman and anti-violence Muslims to public office; offered police protection and shelter to those in flight from Islamist violence in the West. Thus, also in the last month:

BRITAIN
The daughter of an imam who herself has converted to Christianity, is under serious police protection after receiving death threats from her family. She has, so far, had to move 45 times since she converted 15 years ago. She did so after she ran away from home to escape an arranged marriage.

Waris Dirie, who herself underwent female genital mutilation in her native Somalia has, together with Corinna Milborn, published a new book in Britain. They estimate that 500,000 girls and women have been genitally mutilated in Europe—even though it is illegal to do so. Dirie considers the “difficulties of bringing such cases to court, the culture of silence that keeps affected women quiet, and the muddled association of circumcision with Islam.”

NORWAY
Norwegian author, Tor Erling Staff has published a book in which he calls for “reduced sentences for honor murders.” In his view, such Muslim men who kill are “betrayed by Norwegian society. They come from places where equality is an unknown concept. Where the thought of equality is a humiliation. Suddenly they land here, in the middle of equality paradise. It is clear there is stress…”

HOLLAND
Dutch Minister of Integration, Ella Vogellar, admitted that the emancipation of immigrant women is expected to lead to more cases of honor related violence. A special task force has received about 470 such cases this year. Men are also the victims, either because they are homosexuals or because they try to help their sisters.

Not everyone is keeping their heads firmly down. In Amsterdam, Ehsan Jami, the founder of the Committee for Former Muslims is about to release a film about The Life of Mohammed. He says: “I show how violent and tyrannical Mohammed was. This man murdered three Jewish tribes, killed people who left the faith, and married a 6 year-old girl with whom he had sex when she was 9.” Jami remains under heavy police protection and has offered EUR 50,000 to “anyone who can refute these facts.”

Too many people in the West are misguided and believe that telling the truth about Islam is “Islamophobic” or simply dangerous. May we all begin to have the courage of Ehsan Jami (or Khaled Hosseini) because we are going to need it.

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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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