Archive for March 13th, 2008

Episcopal Leaders Oust Bible-Believing Bishop

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

The Episcopal church continues to pull away from true faith in the Bible. Please continue to pray for the people who are trying to leave this fellowship back to a firm belief in the Holy Word of God; the Bible.

FRESNO, Calif. – National leaders of the Episcopal Church have ousted the bishop of a California diocese for breaking away from the denomination in a fight over the Bible and homosexuality.

Denomination officials voted Wednesday to remove Bishop John-David Schofield from his role as head of the Diocese of San Joaquin in central California. They also have barred him from performing any religious duties. San Joaquin is the first full diocese to split from the liberal-leaning denomination, which in 2003 consecrated the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Wednesday’s vote is part of an effort by the denomination to regain control of the San Joaquin diocese and hold onto church property.

The House of Bishops voted to “depose” Schofield, which removes him as head of the diocese and bars him from performing any religious duties. Schofield, who opposes ordaining women and homosexuals, vowed in a statement to continue leading the diocese as a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone. “I am still an active Anglican bishop,” he said.

Original Link.

Humanists Group: Islamic States Trying To Use United Nations To Limit Freedom of Expression Around the World

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

We have shown countless times how the Islamist are trying to stamp out freedom of speech all over the world. They threaten and bully anyone who shows the slightest inclination of voicing criticism of Islam. We have been subjected to it on this very blog.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Islamic states are bidding to use the United Nations to limit freedom of expression and belief around the world, the global humanist body IHEU told the U.N.’s Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

In a statement submitted to the 48-nation Council, the IHEU said the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) were also aiming to undermine the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Islamic states see human rights exclusively in Islamic terms, and by sheer weight of numbers this view is becoming dominant within the U.N. system. The implications for the universality of human rights are ominous,” it said.

The statement from the IHEU, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, was issued as the U.N.’s special investigator on freedom of opinion and expression argued in a report that religions had no special protection under human rights law.

Ambeyi Ligabo, a Kenyan jurist, said in a report to the Council limitations on freedom of expression in international rights pacts “are not designed to protect belief systems from external or internal criticism.”

MOUNTING SUCCESS

But this argument is rejected by Islamic states, who say outright criticism — and especially lampooning — of religion violates the rights of believers to enjoy respect.

The IHEU statement and Ligabo’s report came against the background of mounting success by the OIC, currently holding a summit in Dakar, in achieving passage of U.N. resolutions against “defamation of religions.”

Although several such resolutions have been adopted by the two-year-old Council and its predecessor since 1999, in December the U.N.’s General Assembly easily passed a similar one for the first time over mainly Western and Latin American opposition.

The OIC — backed by allies in Africa and by Russia and Cuba — has been pushing for stronger resolutions on “defamation” since a global controversy arose two years ago over cartoons in a Danish newspaper which Muslims say insult their religion.

The “defamation” issue has become especially sensitive this year as the U.N. prepares to celebrate in the autumn the 50th anniversary of the 1948 Universal Declaration, long seen as the bedrock of international human rights law and practice.

The OIC has been actively promoting its own 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which it argues is complementary to the Universal Declaration but which critics like the IHEU say negate it in many areas.

Humanists, who include believers of many faiths supporting separation of religion and state as well as atheists and agnostics, say the “defamation” drive is part of an effort to extend the Cairo declaration to the international sphere.

The IHEU statement argued the December General Assembly resolution means states “may now legislate against any show of disrespect for religion, however they may choose to define ‘disrespect’.”

Original Link.

Porn-Maker Praises Planned Parenthood’s Teenwire Web Site

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

If this is not enough to get people to understand what Planned Parenthood is feeding our kids, then nothing is.

(CNSNews.com) – David Mech, or David Pounder as he’s known in pornography circles, said that Planned Parenthood’s Web site for teens, Teenwire.com, is an excellent source for young people to learn about what he considers the benefits of viewing pornography. Mech contacted Cybercast News Service after reading its report about Teenwire.

“Planned Parenthood is an excellent organization that helps people by focusing on how people actually are behaving (i.e., having sex, watching porn, doing drugs, etc.), as opposed to helping people based on how they should be behaving (abstaining from sex, watching the news, eating healthy, etc.),” Mech, a pornography producer and actor, told Cybercast News Service.

“Men in their teens are accessing porn, and I think it’s a normal thing,” he said.

Mech, who said he was first exposed to pornography at 13 or 14 through a friend, agrees with Planned Parenthood’s approach of promoting pornography “as an alternative to having sex,” especially if Teenwire.com’s advice on “outercourse” helps reduce sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

He added that in today’s society, where young people are encouraged to earn a college degree before marriage, Teenwire.com is providing content, including tips on viewing pornography that modern teens need.

“It used to be that people got married at 13 or 14 years old,” Mech said. “It’s unrealistic (today) to expect people not to have sex before marriage.”

That’s why, Mech said, sex education shouldn’t rely on an abstinence-only approach.

“I think teens are going to have sex regardless,” Mech said. “Comprehensive sex education is the way to go, and if pornography is included as program, that’s okay.
“Planned Parenthood is doing an exceptional job,” Mech said.

John Haney, psychotherapist with Crossroads Counseling and Associates in Austin, Texas, has worked with many teens and adults who have compulsive sexual disorders. He disagrees with Mech that viewing pornography is a good way to learn about human sexuality.

“It’s normal for (teenage) boys to have an interest in sex, but it’s not healthy for them to explore it that way,” Haney told Cybercast News Service. “I think if a teen is turning to pornography to get information about sexuality, they are going to get a distorted and incomplete view.”

Distorted, he said, because most pornography depicts male domination and women as sexual objects rather than human beings, and incomplete, because sexual acts aren’t put into perspective.

“(Pornography) completely neglects the emotional aspects of intimacy,” Haney said. “There is more to sex than the physical aspect.”

He added that viewing pornography also give teens – especially young girls – an unrealistic and even destructive way of viewing themselves and their sexuality.

Original Link.

“The Tired Gaza Two-Step” By Victor Davis Hanson

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Gaza erupted in celebration last week to the news that a Palestinian had murdered Jewish religious students in Jerusalem. And almost daily terrorists send rockets from Gaza into nearby Israeli cities, hoping to kill civilians and provoke Israeli counter-responses — and perhaps start another Middle East war.

This is not the way some imagined Gaza two and half years after the Israelis withdrew both civilians and soldiers from the territory in September 2005. At the time, the Palestinian Authority controlled Gaza, but in early 2007, Hamas took over in a violent civil war, claiming legitimacy after once winning a popular election.

Gaza has plenty of natural advantages. It enjoys a picturesque coastline on the Mediterranean with sandy beaches and a rich classical history. There is a contiguous border with Egypt, the Arab world’s largest country and spiritual home of pan-Arabic solidarity.

The Palestinians are a favorite cause of the oil-rich Middle East, and would seem to be in store for at least a few billions that accrue from $100 a barrel oil. In short, an autonomous Gaza might have been a test case in which the Palestinians could have crafted their own Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai.

Instead, despite Palestinian rule of Gaza, Hamas has continued its civil war with the Palestinian Authority, and looters have ruined infrastructure that was left by the United Nations and the Israelis. Mobs crashed the border crossing with Egypt. Hamas-led terrorists have launched over 2,500 mortar rounds into Israel, as well as over 2,000 Qassam rockets.

We all now know the familiar Gaza two-step. The Israeli Defense Forces respond to Hamas rockets with targeted air strikes against terrorist leaders or small-rocket factories. Hamas makes certain both these targets are intermingled with civilians in the hopes of televised collateral damage.

Hamas counts on the usual sympathetic European and Middle Eastern media coverage and commentary. Terrorists deliberately trying to murder Israeli civilians are seen as the moral equivalents of Israeli soldiers trying to target combatants who use civilians as shields. To the extent that the IDF kills more of the terrorists than Hamas kills Israeli civilians, sympathy goes to the “refugees” of Gaza.

This tragic charade continues because Hamas wants it to continue. Its purpose is to make life so unsure and frightening for nearby affluent Israelis that they will grant continual concessions, hopefully leading to such wide-scale demoralization that the Jewish state itself will collapse and disappear. In that regard, the last thing Hamas wants is calm and prosperity in Gaza, which would turn the population’s attention toward living rather than killing and dying.

Hamas in Gaza also feels that the war is not static — and that it is already winning on all fronts. As Europeans, Middle Easterners and the United Nations lecture Israel about “inordinate” or “disproportionate” responses, the terrorists’ smuggled missiles increase in range, payload and frequency of attack.

Hamas has gained powerful patrons in Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Both provide terrorist training and weapons as long as Gaza serves as a useful proxy in their own existential struggles against Israel.

On the world front, we’ve reached a new threshold in which evoking the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews has become commonplace and almost acceptable. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, publicly brags about hoarding the body parts of captured Israelis. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad openly talks of Israelis in Hitlerian terms as “filthy bacteria” that should be wiped off the map.

Palestinians in Gaza can enshrine mass murderers and praise terrorist killers without much worry that the world will be appalled at their grotesque spectacles — much less cease its sympathy and subsidies.

Original Link.

“Slaughter, Jubilation, and the ‘Peace Process’” By Jeff Jacoby

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

The slaughter of eight young yeshiva (rabbinical) students and the wounding of nine others by an Arab terrorist in Jerusalem last week was a cold-blooded act of evil. It is difficult to make sense of the depraved fanaticism of someone like Ala Abu Dhaim, who calmly entered the school’s busy library, took three guns from a box, and sprayed the room with hundreds of bullets before finally being shot dead by an off-duty military officer and a student who heard the gunfire and came running.

Even more perverse than Abu Dhaim’s massacre, however, was the behavior that followed it.

In Gaza, the news that unarmed Jewish kids had been gunned down while at study set off paroxysms of joy. Thousands of jubilant Palestinians whooped it up in Gaza’s streets, firing guns in the air to celebrate and distributing candy to passersby. Television cameras recorded the revelry; you can see it for yourself on YouTube.

Hamas, the terror organization that controls Gaza, issued a statement applauding the bloodshed. “We bless the [Jerusalem] operation,” it said. “It will not be the last.”

Give Hamas this much: It makes no secret of its bloodlust. The same cannot be said of Fatah, the other main faction in the Palestinian Authority. Fatah is headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whose polished spokesman, Saeb Erekat, was quick to assure journalists — in English, for Western consumption — that Abbas “reiterated his condemnation of all attacks that target civilians, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis.”

Yet just a few days before the yeshiva massacre, Abbas had told the Jordanian daily Al-Dustur — in Arabic, for Arab consumption — that he frowns on terrorist attacks only for tactical reasons “at this time” and that “in the future things may change.” He boasted of his long involvement with PLO violence — “I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965” — and claimed with pride that Fatah “taught resistance to everyone, including Hezbollah, who trained in our military camps.”

Abbas’s supposed condemnation notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority’s official daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, hailed the killer of the eight students on its front page, prominently displaying his picture and identifying him as a “shahid” — a term of approval and reverence. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent Fatah subsidiary, praised the slaughter as a “heroic operation.”

Meanwhile, the family of Abu Dhaim erected a mourning tent near their East Jerusalem home, where, amid Hamas and Hezbollah banners, visitors came to honor the dead terrorist. Incredibly, the Israeli government made no effort to prevent this open display of respect for a mass-murderer; it insisted only that the Hamas and Hezbollah flags be taken down.

By contrast, when Abu Dhaim’s relatives in Jordan put up a similar tent to receive well-wishers, Jordanian officials made them dismantle it immediately. The terrorist’s uncle was indignant.

“We were hoping that people would come to congratulate us on the martyrdom of my nephew,” he said. “This is a heroic operation that must be celebrated by everyone.”

It is a mark of how feckless the Israeli leadership has become that the Arab government of Jordan shows more common sense than the Jewish state in reacting to those who would lionize the killer of Jewish kids.

And that is indicative of the most perverse behavior of all: the refusal of Israel to face the fact that it is in a war for survival — a war that it will win only by fighting and defeating its enemy, not by clinging blindly to a phony “peace process” that has brought it nothing but terror, tears, and a mounting toll of death.

Read the rest here.