Archive for January 14th, 2008

Study Finds Majority of Unsaved Adults Willing to Listen to Christians Discuss Their Faith

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I thought this was interesting.

“If you went back 100 years in North America, there would have been a consensus that God is the God in the Bible. We can’t assume this any longer. We no longer have a home-field advantage as Christians in this culture. We think religion is a topic that is off-limits in polite conversation, but unchurched people say they would enjoy conversations about spiritual matters.”

The Christian Post reports that in a recent LifeWay Research study of 1,402 “unchurched” adults, 78 percent said they would be willing to listen to someone discuss their Christianity, even if they hold negative views of the church.

The report noted other more predictable outcomes stemming from an ignorance of Christianity brought on, in part, by faulty information and opinions gleaned from various media sources which tend to homogenize all religions.

LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer said, “If you went back 100 years in North America, there would have been a consensus that God is the God in the Bible. We can’t assume this any longer. We no longer have a home-field advantage as Christians in this culture.”

Also revealed in the survey: A majority (89 percent) of the unchurched have at least one close friend who is Christian, and 78 percent of adults 30 years and older said they would enjoy an honest conversation with a friend about religious and spiritual beliefs, even if they disagreed with the friend.

“We think religion is a topic that is off-limits in polite conversation, but unchurched people say they would enjoy conversations about spiritual matters,” Stetzer noted.

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Home-School Mom to Head SC Board of Education

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I am not a die-hard advocate of homeschooling (I think it is a personal choice), as a matter of fact my child attends public school, but I do believe that Christians need to get involved in the public education system. This woman is doing just that.

The new head of the South Carolina Board of Education is a mom whose children have never attended public school.

Kristin Maguire is the new head of the state Board of Education in the Palmetto State — but her critics are upset that her children have never attended public school. However, one home-school advocate says Maguire’s election is proof that just because someone chooses the course of their children’s education does not mean they are not qualified to contribute to the system.

Maguire, of Clemson, South Carolina, has been a board member for eight years and has won the respect and admiration of her colleagues. According to attorney Dee Black with the Home School Legal Defense Association, that is exactly why she was elected — by 16 other board members — to run the board.

“They recognized her leadership and administrative abilities and obviously her commitment to public education,” Black comments. The fact that the Maguires made their own choices with their children’s education, he continues, has no bearing on her ability to serve.

“I think it’s a non-issue, really,” he adds. “Her ability to lead and to serve has been recognized by other members of the board. And so we’re delighted that a home-school parent has been put in a position of leadership in state government.”

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Government: “Public ‘Threatened’ By Private-Firearms Ownership”

Monday, January 14th, 2008

You have got to be kidding me!!

Since “unrestricted’ private ownership of guns clearly threatens the public safety, the 2nd Amendment can be interpreted to allow a variety of gun restrictions, according to the Bush administration.

The argument was delivered by U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the ongoing arguments over the legality of a District of Columbia ban on handguns in homes, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

Clement suggested that gun rights are limited and subject to “reasonable regulation” and said all federal limits on guns should be upheld.

“Given the unquestionable threat to public safety that unrestricted private firearm possession would entail, various categories of firearm-related regulation are permitted by the 2nd Amendment,” he wrote in the brief, the Times reported.

He noted especially the federal ban on machine guns and those many other “particularly dangerous types of firearms,” and endorsed restrictions on gun ownership by felons, those subject to restraining orders, drug users and “mental defectives.”

His arguments came in the closely watched Washington, D.C., ban that would prevent residents from keeping handguns in their homes for self-defense.

Paul Helmke, of the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence, told the Times he salutes the administration for its position.

But Alan Gura, who is heading up the challenge to the handgun ban, told the newspaper he was troubled Clement suggested more hearings on the case.

“We are very disappointed the administration is hostile to individual rights,” he told the paper. “This is definitely hostile to our position.”

Because of the specifics of the D.C. case, the ultimate ruling is expected to address directly whether the 2nd Amendment includes a right for individuals to have a gun, or whether local governments can approve whatever laws or ordinances they desire to restrict firearms.

The amendment reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Clement is the Bush administration’s chief lawyer before the court, and submitted the arguments in the case that is to determine whether the D.C. limit is constitutional. He said the 2nd Amendment, “protects an individual right to possess firearms, including for private purposes unrelated to militia operations,” and noted the D.C. ban probably goes too far.

But the newspaper said most of Clement’s new brief urges the Supreme Court to decided most current restrictions on guns and gun owners cannot be overturned by citing the 2nd Amendment.

He said the failing in the D.C. law is that it totally bans handguns in the homes of private citizens. But he urged the court to recognize, “Nothing in the 2nd Amendment properly understood … calls for invalidation of the numerous federal laws regulating firearms.”

The Justice Department long had endorsed gun controls until Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2001 switched the department’s position to support individual gun rights, the Times said.

The court’s hearing on the case has not yet been held.

Clement clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and worked as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights. He joined the Department of Justice in 2001 and moved into his current position in 2005.

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“The Third Deadly Sin” by Jack Kinsella

Monday, January 14th, 2008

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:21-22)

This story is, of course, the story of Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac, the younger son of Abraham. Let’s examine a few more of the details of their birth before moving on.

“And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.”

“And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.” (Genesis 25:26)

Note three things right away. In the first, the Scripture calls them children rather than “masses of unfeeling protoplasm.”

The Lord Himself told Rebekah that in her womb were two people — not incipient people, or potential people, but were already people with a Divinely predetermined destiny.

Third, the two sons of Isaac were already locked in combat while still in the womb.

Then there is the testimony of Job to consider:

“After this opened Job his mouth and cursed his day. . . . Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.” (Job 3:1,3)

So, when does a fetus become a person? Job, according to Scripture, was a ‘man-child’ at conception.

Later in the same verse, Job laments that he had not been still-born, saying: “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.” (Job 3:16)

Note here that the Scriptures refer to what is currently classified as non-life as an ‘infant’. (An ‘infant’ what? Aardvaark? Puppy? Tree toad? Is this hard?)

In regard to the first human beings, Genesis tells us that “Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)

This leaves little room for any interpretation that suggests that an in-vitro baby is somehow not separate and distinct from the mother’s body.

Or that there is a point it a baby’s existence when it is not ‘living’.

So the claim that “a woman’s right to do what she pleases with her own body” is exposed as a lie.

Instead, what it really espouses is a woman’s right to do what she pleases with another person’s body, up to the moment that other person can draw his or her first unassisted breath.

“I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.” (Pslams 22:10)

“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb. . .”

Finally, the most undeniable example of the personhood of the unborn: “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:44)

This passage notes the pre-birth meeting of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ whilst both were still allegedly ‘unfeeling masses of protoplasm.’

Throughout the Scriptures, that which has been conceived and lives in the mother’s womb from conception on is referred to by God as a “child,” a “son,” an “infant,” a “baby,” a “man-child,” etc. The woman in whose womb it lives is a “mother.”

No human being anywhere in the Bible is identified by terms that are more distinctly human than these terms. God makes no distinction between born and unborn life. The Lord uses exactly the same terms for both.

Let’s take a brief look at the main reasons given for having abortions and see how they fare under the clear light of day.

1) Babies conceived out of wedlock

2) Parents incapable of caring for the baby.

3) Baby will have an inferior quality of life

4) The child is a product of rape.

Logically, if any of those reasons are valid reasons for abortion before birth, why are they not equally valid after birth?

And if they are not valid after birth, then logic dictates they are equally invalid reasons beforehand.

Allow yourself to be astonished with me. I read on Sunday of a campaign mailer going out on behalf of the Clinton campaign criticizing Barak Obama’s record on abortion.

First, some background, so I am not misunderstood here. During his legislative career, Barak Obama has received a 100% rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion ‘rights’ issues.

So Obama is not some closet ‘right-to-lifer’ — which is the impression the mailing is designed to create. Indeed, Obama voted against a measure that would require medical care for babies who survive an abortion attempt.

Think about that for a second, (if you can do so without bursting into tears.) Obama is as much a supporter of in-vitro murder as Hillary or any of her political challengers are, but Hillary doesn’t think so.

“A woman’s right to choose,” the mailing says on the front, then flips to the back, “demands a leader who will stand up and protect it.”

The mailing boasts that Hillary has a record of fighting “far-right Republicans” to defend abortion rights, while Obama has been “unwilling to take a stand on choice.”

“Seven times he had the opportunity to stand up against Republican anti-choice legislation in the Illinois state Senate,” it says. “Seven times he voted present – not yes or no, but present. Being there is not enough to protect choice.”

The “choice” involved, I hasten to remind you, is a woman’s right to choose to kill her own baby.

Amazingly, to a Democrat, being charged with opposing the murder of the unborn is classified as a “negative attack ad” — and that is exactly the way the Barak campaign characterized it — as if, if true, it would somehow be a badge of dishonor.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded, “The Clinton campaign’s false negative attacks were rejected by Iowa voters, and we expect that they’ll suffer the same fate here in New Hampshire.”

Somehow, in some deep, visceral way, this numbs the mind, even though championing abortion has been the bedrock issue of Democrats since the early 1970’s.

There is something about opposing medical care to an abortion survivor not being pro-death enough that screams out at me.

If turning one’s back on a helpless, dying human being isn’t pro-abortion enough for the Democrats, then we need a new word to describe ‘red-meat politics’.

Psalms 106 is essentially a retelling of the history of the Israelite people from bondage in Egypt and their resettlement in the Land of Canaan, where, the Psalmist lamented, they disobeyed God’s command to destroy the land’s current inhabitants.

“They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.” (Psalms 106:34-35).

What ‘works’ did they learn? The Psalmist charged them with, “shed[ding] innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.” (Psalms 106:38)

For this offense, God exacted judgment in the form of Israel’s destruction, the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the loss of Jewish national sovereignty that lasted two and a half millennia — from the Babylonian Conquest until the restoration of Israel as an independent sovereign state on May 14, 1948.

By conservative estimates, Americans have shed the blood of more than 25 million (25,000,000) of their own sons and daughters since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land.

Indeed, the willingness to approve, and even participate legislatively in the blood-letting is considered a political plus among almost half of Americans — if Hillary Clinton is to be believed. And this is one of the few times I believe her.

I find it interesting that Hillary chose to highlight ‘seven’ chinks in Obama’s baby-killing armor.

God has a seven point list He keeps, as well.

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-18)

That leaves us with two questions to ponder. The first is, “which of these is NOT a major plank in the Campaign 2008 platform?” The second is, “Where is America in Bible Prophecy?”

I don’t like either of the answers I came up with. What about you?

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“Ms-Ogyny where Israel is Concerned” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Ms was always hard to keep going. Gloria Steinem had to devote almost all her time to fundraising to keep it afloat. Editors had to threaten to sue for medical benefits and writers had to threaten lawsuits because they had not been paid. Despite appearances, it was always a shoe-string operation. But it had a good run. Over time, the magazine got smaller and less inflential—something which is typical of many magazines. Until now, Ms continued to enjoy considerable “girlish” acclaim and a nearly spotless reputation—at least among its followers, certainly not among its opponents. And, every major liberal Jewish organization viewed their aims as similar to that of Ms magazine’s.

The honeymoon lasted far too long and it is rather late in the day for the question of where feminism really stands on the question of Israel and Palestine to surface. Well, better late than never. This was bound to happen. It was only a question of when.

I was at the first meeting in Brenda Feigen Fasteau’s Tudor City apartment that led to the founding of Ms magazine in 1972. The magazine excerpted and praised many of my early books, including”Women and Madness,” “About Men” and “With Child. A Diary of Motherhood.” We share history—thus, I know where many of the bodies are buried and guys, wait your turn—before we get to you, there are lots of feminist corpses piled high here.

In the mid-1970s, I personally lobbied for Ms magazine signatures on Israel’s behalf in terms of the UN Zionism=Racism petitions. I usually failed but sometimes I succeeded. I led a delegation to Israel which included the late Jack Newfield and the late Ellen Willis—who returned to write more positive pieces about Israel and Judaism. Ellen also broke with Ms but trust me, that is another story.

Every feminist who has ever met Gloria Steinem is instinctively protective of her; they jockey to “protect” her and thereby gain entrance to her royal circle. Make no mistake: She wields real power. Many feminists believe that her recent op-ed piece in the New York Times directly contributed to Hillary’s win in New Hampshire. Gloria is and always has been a Democratic Party operative. Few feminists would dare to publicly disagree with her. They would risk their personal and professional standing.

I am talking about feminists who are the Presidents of state Supreme Courts, university presidents and professors, judges, state governors, Senators, Congressional representatives, state public officials and well-meaning, completely innocent civilians who view her as their inspiration and as a combination of Jackie Kennedy, Rosa Parks, the Virgin Mary, Mary Poppins, and perhaps Mary Tyler Moore.

Until this very moment, every single liberal Jewish organization, including the American Jewish Congress, would never, ever have disagreed with her. She is the media-appointed icon for women’s rights in America. (This is what once embittered more radical grassroots feminist groups). That—and the fact that, as Gloria herself explains, “I’m pretty—for a feminist, that is.”

She is also a bankable commodity for any organization and politician. People will still pay money to hear her speak or to dine with her.

Politics may have driven us apart but even I retain a warm affection for her. I would talk to her if she called me now—such is the nature of her personal power. Gloria is a “nice” woman. She really is. But her enforcers are not.

Robin Morgan, whom I personally introduced to Gloria and suggested that Gloria hire her as an editor in the mid-70s, has functioned as one of her enforcers. Morgan’s position on Israel and Judaism is beneath contempt. She has romanticized the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and demonized Israel and Judaism for a very long time. Post 9/11, Morgan identified with the possible persecution of Muslim men, whom she feared would soon be racially profiled by America, and she identified as a Palestinian-like victim herself, since she lived in the West Village, or close to Ground Zero.

Rather than repeat myself, I suggest that you read what I’ve written about Ms’s history in terms of Israel, Judaism, Islam, and Palestine in my latest book “The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom.” Read especially, pages 112-113; 115-117; 119-120, 128. I would also suggest that you read selected portions of my books “The New Anti-Semitism” and “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.”

You guessed it: Ms magazine did not excerpt or even review these books. (Just call me lucky!)

I have no idea how influential Gloria still is vis a vis the magazine. It matters not. It does not matter that her recent media venture with Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Lily Tomlin failed. What matters is that people pay attention to the political positions. The Feminist Majority took over Ms magazine. Elly Smeal is now in charge, as is Kathy Spillars.

Below, please find an abridged version of the AJC press release.

Here is a Call for Action that the AJCongress released today.

Ms. Blocks Ad on Israeli Women Leaders
Tell Ms. Magazine What You Think

Ms. Magazine has turned down an understated AJCongress advertisement (click here to see a “pop-up of the ad on your screen) that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in all three branches of the Israeli government — judicial, legislative and executive. The proposed ad included a text that merely said, “This is Israel,” under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

Ms. Magazine officials told AJCongress that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to numerous calls by AJCongress President Richard S. Gordon over a period of two months.

Ms. Magazine editors are now saying that they rejected the ad on the grounds that two of the three women are from the same political party. This is the lamest of excuses: in a parliamentary system, it is always likely that the foreign minister and the speaker of the Knesset will be from the same party.

By the same token, if America elects a woman as president and Ms. pairs the new president in a photograph with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to underscore just how profound a change it is that women dominate the executive and (half of the) legislative branches of government, would that betray a partisan political bias or a legitimate feminist bias?

Now Ms. Editors and publishers need to hear from you. Register your compliant at their anti-Israel bias reflected in this decision to bar our ad by writing a letter, calling or emailing them. Tell them that their decision not to allow publication of an ad stating that Israel now has women at or near the top of all three branches of government, the judicial, the legislative and the executive, can only mean that Ms. has a distorted, anti-Israel bias.

Click Here To Take Action

Write or Call:

Ms. Magazine
433 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
T: (310) 556-2500
F: (310) 556-2509

Publisher, Eleanor Smeal
1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 801
Arlington, VA 22209
703-522-2214
703-522-2219 (fax)

———————————————-

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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Israeli, Palestinian Negotiators Begin Tackling Peace Treaty Terms

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Continue to pray for Israel. They are being forced to put themselves in an indefensible position, and many of them will be in danger if this process continues.
As a Christian, I understand why this is happening, and also understand that it must happen. But my heart hurts for what Israel must endure.

JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators took on the most contentious issues in their 100-year conflict Monday, under a U.S.-backed effort to hammer out a final peace deal by the end of the year.

The talks’ new direction threatened to draw Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into a coalition crisis, because a key partner has threatened to bolt his government should negotiators broach shared sovereignty over Jerusalem, final borders and Palestinian refugees.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s lead negotiator, and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia met at a Jerusalem hotel for the latest round of negotiations. An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed, termed the talks “preparatory” but “significant as part of the process.”

At a U.S.-sponsored conference in late November, the two sides publicly declared their intention to relaunch negotiations for the first time in seven years, and their hope to reach an agreement before U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office a year from now. But talks have since stalled over friction surrounding Israeli construction in disputed territory and Palestinian militant activity.

Last week, before Bush arrived in the region to try to propel negotiations forward, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Olmert instructed their negotiators to start discussing the key issues, which have derailed peace talks in the past.

“If we reach an agreement on all these issues, then we can say that we have reached a final agreement,” Abbas said in a speech Sunday, where he announced that the core issues would be tackled Monday.

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