Website and Blog Unavailable

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:24 am by Steve

Our website provider has advised us that the website and blog will be unavailable for several hours this weekend as they do some maintenance on their servers.
Start Date: Sunday, February 17th, 2008- 12 am EST.
Start Date: Sunday, February 17th, 2008- 4 am EST.
Sometime after this, everything should be back up and running normally.
Thanks and God Bless!!

Condom Lessons for 6th-Graders Approved

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:51 am by Steve

Another Florida school district is planning to give its 6th-graders lessons in how to use contraceptives, starting in April, a move that Planned Parenthood is promoting in the state.

WND earlier reported when the St. Lucie school board adopted a sex-ed curriculum that included a field trip to buy condoms, although district officials there decided not to use that lesson after parents objected.

Now officials in Palm Beach County have decided to teach their 6th-graders the use of contraceptives such as condoms, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.

“Florida is the sixth-highest in the nation for pregnant teens, and that tells us we need to get information to our students,” Judy Klinek, who oversees health education for the district, told the newspaper.

Since Florida law requires abstinence-based education, 6th-graders in the past have learned about sexually transmitted diseases and taught how to resist pressure to engage in sexual behavior, the report said.

Now, however, students will get “detailed” lessons in contraceptives, a move that is part of a larger effort to make such lessons mandatory statewide.

“[The Florida Planned Parenthood abortion providers are] proud to work with Sen. Ted Deutch, D-30, and Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, D-109, to introduce the Healthy Teens Act (SB 848, HB 449) during the 2008 Legislative session,” the groups’ website said. “The Healthy Teens Act protects Florida’s teens by requiring that public schools receiving state funding provide comprehensive, medically accurate, and age-appropriate factual information when teaching about sexually transmitted infections.” The website specifically listed AIDS and pregnancy among those “sexually transmitted infections.”

“One of the lessons … gives tips on how to store and use condoms and encourages teachers to invite a medical professional to demonstrate their use. Students also will be told where to get more information on contraceptives,” the newspaper report about Palm Beach County said.

The changes are being installed, officials reported, because they believe introducing children to contraceptives and their use will impact the county’s rates for teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The health department said births by mothers 19 or younger totaled 462 in 2004 and 506 in 2006.

Jean Malecki, the health department chief, has been a lead critic of the schools’ sex education program, because “it did not go far enough.”

“We need to get the facts out,” Marsha Fishbane, the health department’s director for school health, told the newspaper.

There’s been no controversy yet over the plan to introduce pre-teens to contraceptives and add a “comprehensive sex education to elementary schools.”

Officials also noted Deutch’s campaign to revamp sex education statewide would make such “comprehensive” lessons mandatory for children statewide.

Original Link.

NC Pro-Lifer Fights Raleigh’s Permit Restrictions on Free Speech

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:47 am by Steve

Christians continue to be held to a different set of standards. I anticipate this type of thing will only continue to get worse.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider oral arguments made in the most recent hearing of a case in which a North Carolina man who was promoting pro-life viewpoints on the street was forced to stop because he and his family did not have a permit to do it.

According to Green’s attorney, Nate Kellum of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the group was distributing literature and holding signs expressing their pro-life beliefs, as well as talking to passersby — activities for which the city imposes a permit requirement.

The ADF attorney says Green’s petition makes the case that it is contrary to the very idea of free speech that a citizen needs governmental permission just to talk to another citizen — and that a major part of that problematic idea is being implemented by what he calls an “overreaching” definition of picketing that encompasses nearly all public speech.

Original Link.

“Beauty in a Cursed Land” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:37 am by Steve

This was originally published in City Journal.

Rosanne Klass’s reissued memoir describes Afghanistan in a more innocent time.
City Journal | 21 November 2007

Land of the High Flags: Afghanistan When the Going Was Good, by Rosanne Klass (Odyssey, 358 pp., $19.95)

The history of Afghanistan, once known as the “crossroads of the world,” is riven with brutal invasions and world abandonment. Barbarism, slavery, ruthlessness, and disease existed side by side with the country’s enormous physical beauty and the elaborate, formalized hospitality of its people. Conquerors razed Afghanistan’s extraordinary ancient cities and exquisite court palaces—Herat, Ghazni, and Balkh. Genghis Khan, and later Tamerlane, slaughtered significant portions of the Afghan population and returned to the country to conduct raids on the survivors, leaving precious little in the way of art or architecture. Alexander the Great also conquered Afghanistan on his way to India, though his soldiers tended to leave behind descendants rather than smoldering ruins.

Most Afghan kings were brutal to their own people, who were, after all, a permanently armed male population, always ready to fight for village, tribe, or warlord against central governments, including those of native kings and would-be conquerors. Even the Victorian-era British learned that Afghanistan could not be tamed; so, too, did the Soviet Union. America’s intervention in Afghanistan, though based not on colonialism or aggression but rather on justified political goals, has failed in its own ways.

Yet despite the continued dangers of terrorism and political chaos, the land continues to attract Western traders, travelers, teachers, and do-gooders, with its real and imagined nobility, its charming hospitality, and its wondrous geographical beauty. It has also attracted its share of writers. Rudyard Kipling conveys the indigenous nature of Afghan barbarism (along with the indigenous foolishness of Westerners in search of gold and glory) in his story “The Man Who Would Be King.” In 2002, an intrepid Scotsman, Rory Stewart, published an account of his extraordinary walking trip through Afghanistan, “The Places in Between.” The next year saw the appearance of Norwegian author Asne Seierstad’s “The Bookseller of Kabul,” which describes her life with an Afghan family after the fall of the Taliban. And in 2007, Deborah Rodriguez published “Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil,” her memoir of teaching Afghan women the art of hairdressing.

Now comes a reissued edition of an extraordinary gem of a book: Rosanne Klass’s “Land of the High Flags: Afghanistan When the Going Was Good.” Klass first published the book in 1964, and she has added a new afterword. Hers is a world-class travel memoir that conjures all of the heart-stopping beauty that called out to me when I first traveled to Afghanistan in the early 1960s. Klass went there with her American husband in the 1950s to teach English in a school for men and boys from remote villages. It was the first school of its kind, and Klass was the first woman to teach male students in the country. As an “uncovered” woman—that is, one not wearing a burka—she handled the men’s inevitable fear and hostility with patience and grace. Ultimately, she befriended both her students and the recalcitrant mullahs who also taught at the school.

Klass returned to Afghanistan in the 1960s as a journalist. Later, after the Soviet invasion, she founded the Afghanistan Relief Committee, which provided medical and other humanitarian aid to victims inside the war-torn country. Her home in New York City became a first stop for her many Afghan friends and former students who were now ambassadors, cabinet ministers, or in exile. In the 1980s, Klass directed the Afghanistan Information Center at Freedom House, a major source of human-rights information for the American and international media.

The beauty of Klass’s writing recreates a shimmering and more hopeful time. Klass preserves for us in words, and with reverence, the Afghan people’s history and customs (the arts of long conversations and of reciting poetry by heart, for instance), as well as holidays, palaces, fortresses, precious artifacts, and the non-Muslim religious wonders—like the great Buddhas of Bamyan, destroyed by the Taliban—that have almost all disappeared from this seemingly cursed land. Such epic destruction has happened here before. Through Klass, I can once again see the kuchi nomads “impassively” passing through Kabul, with their long line of “shaggy Bactrian camels … the women walked proudly besides them—unveiled, vivid, dressed in black and scarlet, and decked with silver bangles. In the city, where purdah sent local women fluttering shyly from attention, the proud indifference of these handsome Kuchi women seemed imperious.”

Klass also renders the country’s geography: the towering mountains, the steep, winding roads, the torrential rivers, the Edenic valleys and forests—as well as the incredible flowers and brilliant gardens that were so much a part of the terrain, at least back then. She understands the hold that this landscape can exert upon a human being.

Klass’s descriptions also bring back to life the din and smells of the Kabul bazaars, fraught with clutter and exquisite finds. Through her, I can reenter the neighborhoods where I once lived or visited—Jaidi Maiwand, Shari-Nau, Carta Kia—and the nearby winter and summer villas and gardens in Jalalabad, Itstalif, and Paghman. She describes Da Afghanan, a lesser bazaar, as “an old Curiosity Shop of the world” in which ”these heaps of battered necessities were crowned with wild, gaudy jewels: a gilded French telephone or a sheaf of lacquered Uzbeck spoons; a volume of Sir Walter Scott, an exquisitely molded Greek coin turned up by some plow… . Once I found an old mortarboard cap from Oxford University and could only wonder what disillusion had banished it to lie amid a scattering of old crockery in a dark corner. It seemed as though, from the Universe of Objects, the crippled, the lame, the halt and the blind had all found their way here to await the day when someone might possibly look upon them again and find them good.”

“The Land of the High Flags” is many books: it is a thumbnail history of Afghanistan; a psychological and political analysis of its most powerful kings (Abdur Rahman, Habibullah, Amanullah); a list of its most important native literary sons; a travel guide to its cities, villages, and countryside, replete with personal and professional photos; an almost satirical analysis of the social pecking order; and the story of a country trying to enter the modern era while being brutally beaten down. Above all, it is a story about Klass’s relationship with individual Afghans and with the Afghan people as a whole. She renders a particularly touching portrait of Gul Baz Khan, her colonial-era “house-man”—something like a personal concierge or butler. Often inscrutable, comically manipulative, industrious, and proud, he ruled Klass’s heart and household with consummate deference and skill.

A few quibbles. Klass cannot tell us very much about Afghan women. Their absence haunts her pages, where they appear only briefly, just turning a corner, heard on the other side of a high wall, shrouded in burkas or chadaris. The portrait she paints of her male Afghan students, therefore, is also incomplete. She portrays them as bashful, innocent, noble, and good-hearted, people who, even when treated sadistically by tyrannical teachers and laid low by poverty, illness, and early death, remain stoic and uncomplaining. Yet many of these seemingly charming, tender boys are likely cruel toward their wives—and they probably have more than one, as revealed in books like Edward Hunter’s “The Past Present,” and confirmed by my own acquaintance, in Kabul, with women living in purdah and in polygamous marriages. However open-minded the boys may be about foreign women, their views about their “own” women are more subject to tradition. Even nearly half a century later, in “The Bookseller of Kabul,” author Seierstad describes being befriended by and invited to live with a bookseller, a man with a Western intellectual background who nevertheless was a brutal tyrant to the women of his family. Seierstad’s depiction of his behavior has led to a lawsuit as well as a published rebuttal.

These gaps notwithstanding, the beauty of Klass’s book both uplifts and consoles. I will leave the last word to her, as she describes a long trip outside Kabul: “You must live in a dry land to know what a garden is. The very word paradise comes from the Persian word for ‘garden,’ and Eden must have been much like the valley of Panjsher: an island of sunlit greenness and coolness and flowing water; that is what Genesis says: that Eden had trees and a river. It is a definition. Those who described this must have known waterless plains … where there is no sustenance but what can be wrenched from the earth by endless labor and unrelenting struggle. They knew what … I could here begin to comprehend: the terror of Adam and Eve, driven from such a world as this green valley out onto the sun-blanched rocky earth which they had hardly glimpsed, and never heeded, beyond the leafy edges of their paradise; and forbidden to return.”


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.

Original Link.

Former Student Guns Down 6 in Attack at Northern Illinois University; Kills Self

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:42 am by Steve

Another horrible university shooting. Gun Free zones are not working. Coddling our youth instead of teaching them to deal with their problems is not working. The Nanny State is not working.
Parents, we have to be totally involved in the lives of our children. We must lead them by positive examples. We must be more interested in teaching our children morals and values and less with the pursuit of the so-called “Almighty Dollar”. We must bring God back into the lives of our children.

DEKALB, Ill — A former student dressed in black walked onto the stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and opened fire on a packed science class Thursday, killing six students, wounding 15 and setting off a panicked stampede before committing suicide, FOX News has confirmed.

Police say they have no motive for the rapid-fire assault, carried out by the gunman who fired indiscriminately into the crowd with a shotgun and two handguns as students dove to the floor and ran toward the exits.

“I kept thinking, ‘Oh God, he’s going to shoot me. Oh God, I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m dead,”‘ said Desiree Smith, a senior journalism major who dropped to the floor near the back of the auditorium.

“People were crawling on each other, trampling each other,” she said. “As I got near the door, I got up and I started running.”

DeKalb County Coroner Dennis J. Miller released the identities of four of the victims: Daniel Parmenter, 20, of Westchester; Catalina Garcia, 20, of Cicero; Ryanne Mace, 19, of Carpentersville; and Julianna Gehant, 32, of Meridan.

University President John Peters said four people died at the scene, including three students and the gunman while the other three died at a hospital. The teacher, a graduate student, was wounded but was expected to recover.

Peters said the gunman was a former graduate student in sociology at NIU, but was not currently enrolled at the 25,000-student campus about 65 miles west of Chicago.

“It appears he may have been a student somewhere else,” University Police Chief Donald Grady said. Authorities did not release any other details about the gunman or identify the victims.

Witnesses said the skinny gunman, dressed in black and wearing a stocking cap, emerged from behind a screen on the stage of 200-seat Cole Hall and opened fire just as the class was about to end around 3 p.m.

Original Link.