Archive for June, 2008

Presbyterian Assembly Votes to Drop Homosexual Clergy Ban

Monday, June 30th, 2008

This is not set in stone yet. It still has to be voted on by the churches before it becomes permanent. In the past, when this has been put before the churches, they have voted not to adopt it.

WASHINGTON – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), bitterly divided over sexuality and the Bible, set up another confrontation Friday over its ban on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians.

The denomination’s General Assembly, meeting in San Jose, Calif., voted 54 percent to 46 percent Friday to drop the requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.”

More conservative Presbyterians can take comfort in the fact that twice before – in 1997 and 2001 – the nation’s presbyteries overwhelmingly rejected efforts to rescind the gay ordination ban.

Original Link.

Muslim Charged with Murdering Sister for Removing Headscarf

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Another Muslim “honor killing”. This time over a teen girl’s refusal to wear a headscarf. How tragic.

Aqsa Panvez

TORONTO — The brother of a Canadian teenager who was slain in what friends described as a family dispute over a Muslim head scarf was charged with murder, becoming the second family member accused in her death, police said Friday.

Aqsa Parvez, 16, of Pakistani origin, was strangled in December at her Mississauga, Ontario, home.

Waqas Parvez, 27, who had faced obstruction allegations in his sister’s death, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder.

Their father Muhammad Parvez, 57, was charged with first-degree murder earlier this month. He had been a suspect since shortly after her death.

friends said her death came during a family feud over her refusal to wear the traditional Muslim veil. And the killing sparked debate in Canada about the conflict within immigrant families over traditional values and desires to fit into a new culture.

Parvez’s friends from her high school said the ever-cheerful girl faced an increasingly difficult home life. They said that Parvez would come to school wearing track pants and the scarf, but would change into close-fitting jeans and remove the scarf at school. They said her parents caught on and began following her to school to make sure she was abiding by their rules.

Classmate Joel Brown, 17, has said that the girl grew afraid of her parents and began showing up to school with bruises.

Original Link.

The Vacuum Tube, A Look Back

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Update at Bottom.

I know this is off topic for our blog, but one of my hobbies is messing with old radios. These are vacuum tube sets from the 1920’s and 30’s.
I’ve written several posts about one of my “unidentified” radios over the years (see here and here). Recently, Andrew was able to shed some light on the original tubes this radio would have used, the UV-201 Triode.
After I read his emails, I remembered that I had one of these tubes. I liked it so much that I mounted it for display.
I know, I know…you all are saying “how cheesy is that”! Well, can’t say I blame you, but hey, we all have our quirks.
Here’s my tube:

UV-201

UV-201

Here is the data sheet for the UV-201 vacuum tube from one of my books. This particular book is copyright 1920. I included some data sheets that I found on the internet too.
UV-201 Data Sheet

Update 5/52009:

Here is an excellent article on the history of the UV-201 tubes.

ACLU: Religion OK in Private

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Attention ACLU: Our country was founded on the principles of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion……..

Colorado’s new state law that was based on the apparent belief that free speech rights are not unalienable and they sometimes must be restricted is scaring residents who now fear expressing their opinions in public.

WND has reported previously that the law, SB200, which was promoted as an “anti-discrimination” plan favoring alternative sexual lifestyles and gender perceptions, has made it a criminal offense to discriminate against someone based on those lifestyles or perceptions.

The Christian publishing house Focus on the Family has called it a payback by the Democrat-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter to homosexual activists such as millionaire Tim Gill, who has donated widely to pro-homosexual political candidates.

The Focus analysis of the plan, according to spokesman Bruce Hausknecht, shows that besides the obvious impacts of opening restrooms and locker rooms statewide to members of either sex, depending on a perception of their gender, “the biggest danger this law poses is to the religious or moral consciences of small business owners who may object to doing business with people whose lifestyle they do not want to promote.’

Original Link

“This Time the Religious Right is Right” by Sandy Rios

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Soon the Obama campaign will begin appearing on Christian radio and Internet outlets, and they’ll be hosting thousands of “American Values House Parties,” where attendees will discuss Obama and religion.

Yes, indeed. The Barack Obama campaign has a wonderful plan for your life … especially if you are an evangelical. And he has plenty of help to expedite the plan.

But one stubborn evangelical is calling out the charade: Dr. James Dobson, respected founder of Focus on the Family and unquestionably the current leader of the “Religious Right.” “I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson declared on a recent broadcast.

So, who’s right? Is Barack Obama deliberately distorting the Bible and Christian theology as a means to a political end or is he in fact, a man of great faith?

Stephen Mansfield wrote, “Young evangelicals are saying, ‘Look, I’m pro-life but I’m looking at a guy who’s first of all black’—and they love that; two, who’s a Christian; and three, who believes faith should bear on public policy.”

But at a 2006 “Call to Renewal” conference, Barack himself said, “If God’s spoken, then His followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts regardless of the consequences. To base one’s own life on such uncompromising commitment may be sublime, but to base our policymaking on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.” Translated: First, faith should not bear on public policy. Secondly, Barack Obama will not be seeking what he calls “sublime.”

Kmiec insists Obama, “earnestly wants to ‘discourage’ the practice” of abortion.” Then how come Obama has a 100 percent voting record supporting it?—has opposed any and all restrictions on it?—and has NARAL and Planned Parenthood fairly salivating at the thought of his election?

Dobson, on the other hand, claims Obama distorts scripture. In a recent policy speech, Obama boasted that he drew his willingness to champion the homosexual agenda from the Sermon on the Mount, not on some passage in the “obscure” book of Romans. I wonder if he noticed that part of Jesus’ sermon that said to look at a woman with lust was the same as committing adultery. Did he glean from that passage that to look on another man would somehow be okay? When he mocked the relevance of passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, I wondered if he’d read the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (which includes Leviticus and Deuteronomy). I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17).

At the 2006 conference, he also chided his audience, “Let’s read our Bibles now. Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.” He surely didn’t have himself in mind, did he? His devotion to scripture must mean he knew about that “obscure” book of Romans—that formative epistle written to the early persecuted church in Rome that transformed Martin Luther and catalyzed the Protestant Reformation and has been the bedrock of orthodox Christian theology for centuries. That obscure book? The one that warns, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness….”—and goes on to speak very directly on sexual morality: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another…. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Romans 1: 18, 24, 26-27).

This passage would probably be Exhibit A of why Obama thinks to base policymaking on such “uncompromising commitments” would be “a dangerous thing.” How would one face homosexual activists with such unflinching certainty?

“For Obama, faith is not simply political garb, something a focus group told him he ought to try. Instead, religion to him is transforming, lifelong, and real,” declared Mansfield. The exception, apparently, is when that faith interferes with the reigning public policy orthodoxy on abortion and homosexual rights.

There are other moral reasons to support Obama, argues Douglas Kmiec. Feeding the poor is one of them. “He intends to ask government and non-governmental entities—and you and me—to do our part.” But what Professor Kmiec may not know is that Obama really hasn’t been doing his part. According to Obama’s released tax returns, from 2001-2004 he gave less than one percent of his income to charity.

“He’s dragging biblical understanding through the gutter,” Dobson declared passionately. And he’s right.

With great bravado and eloquent phrasing, Obama twists and turns every phrase so effectively that while championing a radical moral agenda, he feigns strong Christian faith. While boasting concern for the poor, with his own wealth he looks the other way.

A man of deep Christian faith? Not by the definition of the Jesus he claims to serve and the Bible he quotes so frequently.

Read the whole article here.

Presbyterians (USA) Vote on Homosexual Ordination Today

Friday, June 27th, 2008

An official with the Institute on Religion & Democracy says pro-homosexual forces seem to be making inroads at the meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The General Assembly meets every two years and has been meeting this week in Louisville, Kentucky. Today, delegates at the General Assembly are expected to vote on whether to ordain non-celibate homosexual men and women. Jim Berkley with Presbyterian Action of the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) says if the denomination’s highest governing body changes the constitution, it would be a disaster.

“It would allow homosexual persons to be ordained; they would remove our standard that we now have,” he states. “They would also go against some of the … church judicial rulings that have upheld our standards previously. As in one previous General Assembly, one gay activist said, ‘We got the whole enchilada.’ Well, this year they’re going for the whole enchilada again,” Berkley explains

Original Link.

Saudi Cleric: Marriage OK for One Year Old, Sex OK when Nine

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Islam believes that a girl can get married when she is as young as one year old. The husband can have sex with her when she is nine. This according to Muslim cleric from Saudi.
He goes on to say “Muhammad is model we follow. He took ‘Aisha to be his wife when she was 6”.
Muhammad had sex with her when she was nine.

Age, or lack thereof, is no hindrance to marriage under Islam, according to Ahmad Al-Mu’bi, an officiant for marriages from Saudi Arabia who says sex at 9 is fine.

According to a video of the Saudi official recorded and translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, Al-Mu’bi has confirmed that marriage contracts are appropriate for girls as young as age 1.

And he said the model for marriage continues to be Muhammad, who married one of his wives when she was but 6.

The video comes from a broadcast on LBC Television on June 19, according to the MEMRI report.

Al-Mu’bi said, “Marriage is actually two things: First we are talking about the marriage contract itself. This is one thing, while consummating the marriage – having sex with the wife for the first time – is another thing.

“There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a 1-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of 9, 7, or 8. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father’s opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife,” he said.

“But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions. In Yemen, girls are married off at 9, 10, 11, 8, or 13, while in other countries, they are married off at 16. Some countries have legislated laws forbidding having sex before the girl is 18,” he said.

He confirmed, “The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took ‘Aisha to be his wife when she was 6, but he had sex with her only when she was 9.”

An interviewer asked: “My question to you is whether the marriage of a 12-year-old boy to an 11-year-old girl is a logical marriage permitted by Islamic law.”

“If the guardian is the father… There are two different types of guardianship. If the guardian is the father, and he marries his daughter off to a man of appropriate standing, the marriage is obviously valid,” said Al-Mu’bi.

“People find themselves in all kinds of circumstances. Take, for example, a man who has two, three, or four daughters. He does not have any wives, but he needs to go on a trip. Isn’t it better to marry his daughter to a man who will protect and sustain her, and when she reaches the proper age, he will have sex with her? Who says all men are ferocious wolves?” Al-Mu’bi said.

Original Link.

Female Teacher, 60, Has Threesome with Students 17, 14

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Another teacher is added to the ever growing list of teachers having sex with their students.

A 60-year-old science teacher at the Brevard County Juvenile Detention Center in Florida has been arrested and charged with 15 counts of unlawful sex with minors and one count of filing a false police report.

Palm Bay police said Adrienne Laflamme told her 17-year-old student to conceal their sexual liaisons, including a threesome with a third student, and drug use so she wouldn’t lose her job, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“This woman’s actions are an absolute disgrace,” Detective Jasmine Campbell said. “We have reason to believe there are other victims and it’s important that they come forward.”

Laflamme is just the latest instructor to make WND’s big list of American teachers accused or convicted of having sexual relations with students. She reportedly began the four-week heated affair with the inmate student within days of his release. The boy’s mother said the teacher regularly picked the boy up from their home to have sex with him at her own residence.

The affair continued for several weeks, and Laflamme had sex with the student at least 15 times, including one threesome with a 14-year-old boy.

The teacher, away on vacation, loaned her vehicle to the boy. She filed a police report claiming the vehicle was stolen after learning police were investigating her.

Original Link.

“‘Refusenik’ – Refuses to Tell the Whole Story” A Movie Review by Fern Sidman

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

‘Refusenik’ – Refuses to Tell the Whole Story

A film directed by Laura Bialis

Review by: FERN SIDMAN

The film ‘Refusenik’ is a seminal retrospective documentary chronicling the thirty year history of the struggle to liberate Soviet Jews from the spiritual shackles of bondage that was endemic to their existence in the former USSR. Told through the eyes and brave voices of such celebrity dissidents as Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky, Vladimir Slepak, Yosef Begun, Yosef Mendelevitch, Ida Nudel, Sylva Zalmanson, Alexander Kholmiansky and Yuli Edelstein, director Laura Bialis takes us on a multi-faceted journey of the creation of a revolutionary global grass-roots movement for freedom from tyranny and oppression.

Having been denied the right to live as clearly identifiable Jews by a repressive and often brutal totalitarian regime for several decades, a group of Soviet Jewish dissidents, also known as prisoners of conscience, courageously and overtly challenged the draconian dictates of the Politburo.

As Jews yearning to re-connect with their tradition and faith, their opportunities to express their Judaism were proscribed to them by the Soviets. They were prevented from attending synagogue, nor could they learn Hebrew, eat kosher food or conduct holiday rituals. All vestiges of Jewish life were expunged from Soviet society and any attempt to lead an observant Jewish life was classified as treachery. Any Jew who dared to practice the faith of their ancestors and challenge the monolith of Communism was publicly excoriated as a criminal and traitor. To solidify their position on the Jewish question to the general populace, the Soviets unleashed a vitriolic campaign of anti-Zionist propaganda that permeated both the educational system and the media.

Suffice it to say, those Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel were denied exit visas, placed under intense governmental scrutiny and surveillance and labeled enemies of the state. The punitive measures enforced against them included incessant harassment, the denial of admission to universities, ridicule in the media, termination of employment and the final unspeakable horror of arrest, a show trial and imprisonment in the Gulag of Soviet forced labor camps.

Bialis begins by providing us with a brief lesson on the centuries old tradition of blatant anti-Semitism in the motherland. The murderous pogroms of Czarist Russia and the Stalinist purges are the blood stained backdrop for the protracted battle of and for religious emancipation. History records that Jews were loyal citizens of the Czarist regimes, having fought with uncommon valor and bravery in the Russian military and later in time were in the forefront of establishing a new “classless” society as foretold by Marx and Lenin; free of racism and religious persecution. Their utopian ideals and dreams of an authentically egalitarian society were soon torn asunder and utterly shattered by the brutal realities of totalitarianism.

The film includes rare and never seen before footage of the early days of the Soviet Jewish struggle, smuggled out of the USSR by the BBC. In broken English, we hear the testimony of the dissidents; cramped into a small apartment, some speaking in hushed tones, sending out their own personal message in a bottle. When word of their plight reached the shores of the Western world the nascent student protest movements were poised to explode on the American landscape. The year was 1964, and young people were brimming with ideological enthusiasm. Jews were not immune to the contagious spirit.

Thus, ‘Refusenik’ focuses on and lauds the efforts of such liberation movements as the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and a whole host of local councils established for the sole purpose of bringing the spotlight on the agenda of Soviet Jews. We are guided through a step-by-step manual on how to build a grass roots movement as we see the various demonstrations held for Soviet Jews, as well as concerts, petition drives and the courting of sympathetic politicians. We hear from the founder of SSSJ, Jacob Birnbaum and New York director, Glenn Richter who speak of persuading people to come to demonstrations that were held at the Soviet Consulate in New York and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. As we imbibe the visuals of such historic moments we learn that the genesis of this movement saw a handful of students including writer Yossi HaLevi Klein (a Holocaust survivor’s son) who were hell bent on making amends for the deafening silence and callow indifference of a previous generation of American Jews who did not take to the streets when their brethren were being butchered by the Nazis.

We hear excerpts from the speeches of the late Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a Cold War anti-Communist Democrat from Washington state, who in 1974 co-sponsored the Jackson-Vanik amendment in the Senate. The amendment called for the denial of normal trade relations to certain countries with non-market economies that restricted the freedom of emigration. The amendment was intended to help refugees, particularly minorities, specifically Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Bloc. We also listen to the words of such West Coast activists as Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and drapery manufacturer Si Frumkin who regale us with old war stories about the early days of the Soviet Jewish struggle in Los Angeles and the various and sundry activities that were organized on their behalf.

‘Refusenik’ however, tragically fails us as it consciously omits a huge and critically important chunk of history as it pertains to activism on behalf of Soviet Jews. What we don’t hear or ever see in this film for other than a split second is the vitally significant contributions of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and his Jewish Defense League as progenitors in the battle to save Soviet Jews from being spiritually decimated. It was Rabbi Kahane who was the first to give voice to the fact that the Soviets would not be moved or persuaded to release their Jews until and if their precious detente with the US were seriously threatened. Indeed, it was the Soviets who desperately needed lucrative trade agreements with the US, and therefore the United States possessed a great deal of political leverage with them. It was he who insisted that US foreign policy (as it applied to the Soviets) include human rights issues.

While students of history may agree or disagree, it is common knowledge that it was the JDL’s utilization of anti-establishment activities on behalf of Soviet Jews that put this issue on page one of the newspapers; in a place where people saw it and began to care about it and more importantly began to take concrete action for it. It was the JDL who were the ones who vandalized Soviet property, threatened the safety of Soviet diplomats and engaged in the kinds of activities that these “nice Jews” who sponsored this film would rather not remember or think about. It was Rabbi Kahane who taught the world that it is the militant that serves as the gadfly to the moderate, forcing him to do things he never would have dreamt of. The glaring omissions of such a potent segment of Jewish activism in the US is downright appalling and smacks of the kind of news blackouts that were once associated with such government controlled media outlets as Pravda and Isvestia.

The film takes great pains to memorialize the efforts of those who had the temerity to smuggle crucial information and Jewish religious articles to their kinsmen in Russia as well as the heroic ventures of Soviet Jewish activists. The film explores the events leading up to the Leningrad plane hijacking incident of May 15, 1970, when a group of Soviet dissidents lead by Eduard Kuznetsov and Mark Dymshits attempted to hijack a 12 seat civilian airliner in which they alone were passengers in order to escape to the West. The group was tried and two were sentenced to death, however due to intense international pressure, their sentence was commuted. We are choked with palpable emotion as we watch the tale of Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky, who having just married his wife Avital was deported to Siberia where he spent 12 grueling years at the hands of his oppressors while enduring mind numbing interrogations and barbaric torture. Throughout it all, he never acquiesced to the demands of his captors and never relinquished his desire to remain a proud Jew who wished to live a full Jewish life in the Land of Israel.

Ultimately, we are left with a joyous conclusion as ‘Refusenik’ documents the eventual relaxation of Soviet emigration policies and the mass exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel. What is most interesting are the comments of former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev who expressed sadness that those Jews who he attended university with and who possessed such brilliance would want to leave the USSR. We almost feel sorry for him, as though he has lost his best friends, yet we hasten to remind ourselves how initially reluctant he was to address human rights issues while engaging in disarmament summits with President Reagan.

‘Refusenik’ is a documentary that will inspire and give hope to all oppressed peoples and will serve as a stellar educational tool for a new generation of young people who know very little about the courageous few who carved a path of freedom, despite the punishments that were inflicted upon them by their tormentors. Having said this, the filmmakers still need to be taken to task for the historical distortions and omissions that are clearly prevalent here. Any revised version of history causes alarm and must be addressed in the strongest of terms. We can only hope that a new generation of filmmakers dedicated to accuracy and to conveying the unexpurgated truth, will produce more documentaries of this genre.

———————————————-

Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Dem Congressman Pledges: I’ll ‘Rip Apart’ Child-Rape Victims on the Stand

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

This is not a message I’d appreciate hearing from my congressman. I’m glad he’s not mine.

“I’m gonna rip them apart,” Fagan said of child victims. “I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”

This sheds a lot of light on not only his character, but the character of lawyers in general.

Massachusetts politician and defense attorney Rep. James Fagan is under intense public scrutiny after he promised to “rip apart” child victims of rape who testify if the state imposes strict sentences for sex offenders.

Fagan, a Democrat, made his controversial remarks on the state House floor, Fox News reported.

“I’m gonna rip them apart,” Fagan said of child victims. “I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”

As a defense attorney, Fagan said he would prevent accused child sex offenders from experiencing a “mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions.”

According to the report, his statements angered both colleagues and activists.

“I thought his comments were over the top and unnecessary,” said Bradley Jones, Massachusetts House minority leader. “I appreciate that he’s a defense attorney, and felt he had a point to make, but I think it was unnecessary. It was excessive.”

Mark Lunsford, a Florida father who lost his 9-year-old daughter after she was kidnapped, wrapped in a trash bag and buried alive by a sex offender in 2005, said he was shocked by Fagan’s remarks. He told the Boston Herald that Fagan should have more respect for the rights of sexually abused children.

“Why doesn’t he figure out a way to defend that child and put these kind of people away instead of trying to figure ways for defense attorneys to get around Jessica’s Law?” Lunsford asked. “These are very serious crimes that nobody wants to take serious. What about the rights of these children?

Original Link.

If Christians Don’t Vote, Obama Will Probably Win

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Christians, we still need to vote our values. Obama’s stance on just about everything chills me to the bone. I believe that most of us will deeply regret it if we allow Obama to win the presidency. I will admit though, it almost comes down to voting for the “lesser of two evils”. In my mind, McCain is the lesser of the two evils, by a long shot.

If Christian conservatives stay on the sidelines during the fall campaign, presidential hopeful John McCain probably stays in the Senate.

Christian conservatives provided much of the on-the-ground, door-to-door activity for President Bush’s 2004 re-election in Ohio and in other swing states. Without them, the less-organized and lower-profile McCain campaign is likely to struggle to replicate Bush’s success. And so far, there’s been scant sign that the Republican nominee-in-waiting is making inroads among these fervent believers.

“I don’t know that McCain’s campaign realizes they cannot win without evangelicals,” said David Domke, a professor of communication at the University of Washington who studies religion and politics. “What you see with McCain is just a real struggle to find his footing with evangelicals.”

Family groups in Ohio outlined their doubts about the Arizona senator in a meeting with McCain’s advisers last weekend. They’re concerned about his record on abortion rights and on campaign finance laws that they believe limited their ability to criticize candidates who are pro-choice on abortion.

“There’s certainly a little reservation about Mr. McCain. I think the VP choice is going to be important,” said Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance. “If they choose a conservative for the VP, that will help his campaign. It would go a long way of sending a positive message to evangelicals.”

Marlys Popma, McCain’s director of evangelical outreach, was one of two aides who met with the forum and reminded them of McCain’s record supporting school choice while opposing abortion rights and Internet pornography. She said the campaign understands the interest in the vice presidential nominee, but she noted that McCain “is the one who is going to be nominating judges. He’s going to be the one who is signing or not signing bills.”

“John McCain is their guy,” Popma said. “John McCain’s record is what will bring individuals to him. I think there are some people out there who do not know John McCain’s record.”

McCain’s senior aides try to downplay the fissure with this part of the GOP’s base. They say their internal polling data suggests McCain has the support of three-quarters of white evangelicals in swing states, slightly less than Bush finished with. They also stress that McCain is against abortion rights, even if it’s not the centerpiece of his campaign.

Original Link.

“Unprecedented Lightning Strikes Bring Fires” by Michael G. Mickey

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

The Associated Press opened one of its stories last week on the gay marriages taking place in California in open defiance of Almighty God as follows:

Serenaded by a gay men’s chorus, showered with rose petals and toasted with champagne, hundreds of tearful same-sex couples got married across the state Tuesday in what some are calling California’s new Summer of Love.

Wearing everything from T-shirts to tuxedos and lavish gowns, they rushed down to county clerks’ offices to obtain marriage licenses and exchange vows on the first full day that gay marriage became legal in California by order of the state’s highest court. They were joined by jubilant crowds that came to witness the event.

So festive, isn’t it all? No fear of God, His wrath, or even embarrassment that long-held sexual moralities common to all long-standing societies are being cast aside. Eat, drink and be…gay!

Abomination or a good way to generate revenue?

On the topic of same-sex marriage, the following comments were made by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently in an article entitled “California sees business boom from gay weddings” (emphasis added mine):

“I think you’re going to see tens of thousands of couples and their families descend on San Francisco. People are looking at this as an opportunity to come and support their families, their partners and also the city’s economy.”

While I have been tempted to write a scathing rebuttal to all the same-sex jubilation taking place in the state of California reminiscent to the atmosphere in Sodom and Gomorrah preceding God’s wrath falling upon those wicked cities, I have restrained myself.

The one thing I did consider addressing was the notion, as expressed by Newsom and others in the state, that California was surely going to experience an economic boom as a result of the same-sex marriage fiasco. Pondering comments like Newsom’s I mused,”Do these people not realize that God could look their way, blink in disgust and wipe out all their profits?”

Blink?

Lo and behold, I came upon a story in the news last night that grabbed my attention. It was an Associated Press article that opened as follows, emphasis added mine:

More than 840 wildfires sparked by an “unprecedented” lightning storm are burning across Northern California, alarming the governor and requiring the help of firefighters from Nevada and Oregon.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was told late Sunday evening that the state had 520 fires, and he found it “quite shocking” that by Monday morning the number had risen above 700.

In the latest update of the story, posted 1 hour and 40 minutes ago as I write this commentary, the headline is reading “Lightning sparks 800-plus fires in California”.

If this story hasn’t sparked a thought in your mind that God may be supernaturally ensuring that California’s expected economic windfall doesn’t occur as expected, there’s more to consider.

Del Walters, assistant regional chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is quoted in the article as putting the number of fires raging in California at a walloping 842.

Not only that, I want you to notice the language used and the numbers quoted concerning this lightning event as relayed by Walters (emphasis added mine), “This is an unprecedented lightning storm in California, that it lasted as long as it did, 5,000 to 6,000 lightning strikes. We are finding fires all the time.”

While I’m fully aware that wildfires take place in California on a routine basis, this event seems to have been dramatic in both scope and intensity the way I’m reading it. Maybe this wasn’t as dramatic as I’m reading it to have been. I’m not sure but I am sure of this: God can make His presence known whenever He likes. Sometimes He can do so dramatically, particularly during times when He is being mocked. Perhaps this was one of those occasions – a bit of an eye-opener for those willing to see it. I leave that for each reader to decide on their own. Regardless, whether the ‘unprecedented’ lightning storm that caused all of the fires, costing California no telling how much money to combat, was a judgment against what is presently going on there or not, it should serve as a reminder that God, although His mercy is abundant, still plays a role in the affairs of mankind. Praise God that He always will, from my perspective!

The Homosexual Agenda and Prophecy

In Bible prophecy we’re told that in the days leading up to the return of Christ, it will be as it was in the days of Lot, when he lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. (Luke 17:28-30)

While conditions in Sodom caused just and righteous Lot to feel vexed often, he was eventually and supernaturally I might add delivered from that place by God. (2nd Peter 2:7-8) As soon as Lot was whisked away to safety, the wrath of God, in the form of fire from heaven, fell on the wicked and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:29)

Closing Thoughts

2nd Peter 2:9: The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The Bible tells us, in Revelation 3:10, that an hour of temptation is going to come upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth. Prior to that, the godly, just like Lot, are going to be delivered out of both the temptation to come and the wrath of God via the Rapture of the Church.

In one of yesterday’s commentaries, I encouraged my readers to remain at their posts until relieved of duty. Even so, while there’s still work to be done here and we need to occupy until He comes, looking at the world around us should put a little spring in our step, in spite of how troubling much of what we’re seeing often is to us.

Why? Because when these things BEGIN to happen, we are to look up for our redemption draweth nigh! (Luke 21:28)

6-25-08 Update: In striking contrast to what happened in this instance, it is now being reported that, in all of 2007, there were 574 lightning-sparked fires. Compare this to 842 in just one day and we see why the fire that fell from heaven in this instance was unique and, indeed, unprecedented.

Original Link.

Breaking News: DC Gun Ban Struck Down By Supreme Court

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Yeah!!!! Score one for the good guys!!!
No link yet, but here is the text from the email alert:

SUPREME COURT RULES FOR GUN OWNERS IN HISTORIC 2ND AMENDMENT CASE, STRIKES DOWN D.C. HANDGUN BAN

**Watch FOX News Channel or go to http://foxnews.com for more

Update:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. 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.”

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.”

He said such evidence “is nowhere to be found.

What a great day this is turning out to be!!!
Thank you God!!

Original Link.

Parental Rights Overruled

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I expect this type of thing to make it’s way into the United States soon.

U.S. pro-family advocates are reacting to a Canadian court’s decision to overrule a father who grounded his 12-year-old daughter.

Such judicial activism is not a new idea, nor is it limited to Canada. The 12-year-old Quebecois sued her father after being grounded from a school trip for posting photos of herself on an online dating site. Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, says the statute used by the court was supposed to be limited to cases of “extreme abuse.”

“There’s no abuse in this case,” Wright contends. “A father was doing his parental duty of trying to protect his daughter from bad decisions — and instead, the court has sided with the bad decision.

Original Link.

Pali Terrorist Violate “Cease Fire” Again

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

No surprise here.

The Gaza truce was violated again on Thursday as terrorists fired a Kassam rocket at the western Negev.

The rocket landed near a gas station in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, causing no casualties or damage.

The Fatah-affiliated Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. In a text message sent to reporters, it said “the truce must include the West Bank and all sorts of aggression must stop.”

Nevertheless, Israel has stated on numerous occasions that it holds Hamas responsible for any attack emanating from Gaza, irrespective of which faction carries it out.

The rocket attack was the third time that the cease-fire was broken by Palestinians since it went into effect last Thursday. On Tuesday, Islamic Jihad fired three Kassam rockets at the South, damaging a Sderot home, and a mortar shell was fired at Israel the previous day.

Thursday’s rocket fire came as Hamas accused Israel of violating the terms of the cease-fire after the Defense Ministry decided to keep the Gaza border crossings closed for the day, except for special humanitarian cases, in response to Tuesday’s attack.

“If the crossings remain closed, the truce will collapse,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Defense officials had said Wednesday night that they planned to open the crossings between Gaza and Israel on Friday if there were no more violations of the cease-fire.

Original Link.

Marriage Protection Act introduced in Senate

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Every time the people are allowed to vote on this issue, they equivocally reaffirm that marriage is between one man and one woman.

On Wednesday, Republican Senator Roger Wicker introduced the Marriage Protection Act, a measure aimed at amending the Constitution to declare that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Wicker says the move is necessary because “activist judges are attempting to redefine one of our nation’s most sacred institutions.” The Mississippi lawmaker notes that “19 states have passed laws and 26 states have amended their constitution to protect traditional marriage.”

“Rather than giving unelected judges the opportunity to legislate from the bench, this amendment will reaffirm what most Americans believe … marriage is between a man and a woman,” Wicker says.

Original Link.

…And Now Something Just to Annoy the Evolutionist

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Laminin, literately the stuff that holds us together.
From Wikipedia:
“Laminin is the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit.[1] Basically, laminin is a protein found in the “extracellular matrix”, the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the “basement membrane”. It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at binding to other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane.

The laminin protein is made up of three separate parts, called the A, B1, and B2 chains. That gives it a total of six “ends”, which accounts for a lot of its flexibility in connecting up various kinds of molecules. Because of this, scientists who create biomaterials are extremely interested in the whole family of laminins. They are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue. Laminins are secreted and incorporated into cell-associated extracellular matrices.

Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together. Improper production of laminin can cause muscles to form improperly, leading to a form of muscular dystrophy. It can also cause progeria.”

Here’s what it looks like:

Laminin

But I think this view may put it in a different perspective:

Laminin

Colossians 1:16-17 (New International Version)
For by [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Laminin is made out of three parts, which if any one part were to be removed, the whole structure is rendered useless.
Or maybe think about it like this:
The Father, the Son (incarnate as Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

Just a random thought to annoy the evolutionist.
God Bless!!

Christian Radio Station, KSBJ, Sharathon 2008

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

KSBJ Sharathon

For Christians in the Houston area, this station is a mainstay of Christian music entertainment. This wonderful station is also available anywhere in the world via streaming audio.
Since they do not accept advertising, once a year they hold what they call “Sharathon”. This is their once a year, three day pledge drive, from which they derive the funds they use for operations and special projects for the rest of the year.
If you are familiar with this station, I urge you to support them financially. They are thrilled to have any amount you can offer, either as a one time payment or a monthly dispersement.
In any case, take a moment to listen to this station (if you catch them after Sharathon, you can hear their normal format).
Here’s are the links:
KSBJ Home.
KSBJ Sharathon.

Florida “Gender Identity” Ordinance Serious Public Safety Concern

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

What people have not understood about the homosexual agenda is that once one aspect of it allowed, they will continue to push for a sexual “anything goes” end result.
This ordinance is the perfect example.

Citizens in Gainesville, Florida, are trying to repeal an ordinance that lets anyone reject their biological sex simply by stating that they “feel like” a member of the opposite sex. At least one citizen argues that introduces some serious safety concerns for the public.

The city’s anti-discrimination ordinance now includes “gender identity” as a protected class. It defines gender identity as “an inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

Cain Davis, chairman of Citizens for Good Public Policy, says the ordinance was not well thought out. “[A] man, for example, [can] walk into a women’s restroom …. just by merely saying, ‘I feel like a woman,’ they can go into a women’s restroom,” he explains.

Under this ordinance, sex offenders can now follow a potential victim into a bathroom with no fear of being challenged.

Original Link.

Danish Stop Muslim Attempt to Limit Free Speech

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Here is an incredulous statement:
“The Danish ruling came as a surprise to the OIC at a time when almost all Western governments including the USA had made categorical statements rejecting any linkage between Islam and terrorism.”
I guess it has escaped the attention of these governments that 99% of the terrorist in the world today are Muslims. They consider that to not be a “linkage”. Are these people really that dense?

THE Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 57 Muslim nations, said a Danish court’s rejection of a suit against a paper for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad could provoke “Islamophobia”.

Last Thursday the High Court for western Denmark rejected a suit against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that first published cartoons of Islam’s prophet, leading to deadly protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The court said the editors had not meant to depict Muslims as criminals or terrorists, the cartoons had not broken the law, and there was a relationship between acts of violence and Islam – comments that provoked outcry among Muslim groups in Denmark.

“It is a known fact that acts of terror have been carried out in the name of Islam and it is not illegal to make satire out of this relationship,” the court said.

The Saudi-based OIC, the largest grouping of Muslim countries, said the ruling could encourage “Islamophobia”, a fear or dislike of Islam, which the group has identified as existing in the West.

“The Danish ruling came as a surprise to the OIC at a time when almost all Western governments including the USA had made categorical statements rejecting any linkage between Islam and terrorism,” the OIC said.

“The linkage drawn by the Danish court … could create a precedent for exacerbation of Islamophobia.”

Many Muslims regard depictions of the Prophet as blasphemous. The Islamic Faith Society, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit against the Danish newspaper, said it might take its case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Original Link.