Archive for August 26th, 2008

Rice Urges Israel to Split Jerusalem

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing a visit to the region today, has been pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel’s capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks.

The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND.

The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem.

Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a “compromise position,” concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.

Original Link.

Americans Back Man-Woman Marriage, Believe Life Commences at Conception

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

DENVER – Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is solidly out of step with the majority of likely voters who define marriage as only one man and one woman and believe that life begins at conception, according to a new WND/Zogby poll.

Obama has lobbied intensely for “equal rights” for all Americans, including same-sex couples, to be married and has promised virtually unlimited abortion on demand as one of his first priorities in the Oval Office.

Those positions have sent a conflicting message to the Christians and evangelicals he’s tried to lure into his camp with outreaches that have included the independent “Matthew 25 Network” project. A Pew Research poll just a week ago revealed “no significant gains” for Obama among the important category of white evangelical voters.

The newest WND/Zogby poll results assessing the 2008 election showed 58.3 percent would support “a ballot measure in your state” limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Another 36.2 percent would oppose the plan.

The survey questioned 1,099 likely voters from Aug. 22-24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Currently Massachusetts and California both allow same-sex “marriage” for both residents and non-residents, meaning duos can travel to those states, get “married,” then return to their homes with their marriage license. California’s plan, however, is facing a vote of the people in November, since more than 1.1 million voters signed petitions demanding it be put on the ballot.

The new poll also found 59 percent believe human life begins at conception, 16.8 percent think it begins when the baby can survive outside the womb with medical assistance, and 17.2 said life begins at birth.

In contrast, Obama, as an Illinois state senator, opposed a measure to protect babies who survive abortion procedures, because, among other reasons, it would be too burdensome on abortionists.

Joshua DuBois, who has worked on Obama’s “faith outreach,” says the campaign is dedicated to reaching “people of faith broadly and trying to bridge religious divides.” His goal has been to pry loose the GOP’s hold on white churchgoers.

While the campaign has been “”reaching out” to those voters, Obama’s open disagreement with evangelical leaders on homosexual marriage and abortion apparently hasn’t softened.

A recent report card from the Campaign for Children and Families described Obama’s “unrepudiated positions” of support for homosexual “marriage,” teaching homosexuality to school children and adoption by homosexuals.

Obama in June told a homosexual activist group he opposes the “divisive and discriminatory efforts” to install in the California constitution a definition of marriage limiting it to one man and one woman, the report card says.

His wife, Michelle, told the Democratic National Commmittee’s “Gay” and Lesbian Leadership Council, “Barack has made crystal clear his commitment to ensuring full equality for LGBT couples … that’s why he opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutuional amendments, whether it’s a proposed amendment to the California and Florida constitutions or the U.S. Constitution.”

But the WND/Zogby poll showed support for one-man-one-woman marriage among all regions of the country, all education levels and all age and economic groups. Essentially the support for same-sex “marriages” was confined to people who never attend church and subscribe to a more progressive or liberal mindset.

Likewise with abortion, respondents said they would oppose 55.3-to-27.7 percent a president who does not know when life begins. The question referenced Obama’s recent response at a campaign appearance with GOP candidate Sen. John McCain at pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Obama told Warren determining when life begins was “above my pay grade.”

Original Link.

ACLU Sues to Stop Clergy ‘Religious Messages’ at Meetings

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop a suburban Atlanta county from opening its meetings with prayers that mention “Jesus” or other “sectarian” references, claiming the invocations represent government favoritism of Christianity.

The three-judge panel of the court, however, was immediately skeptical of how the ACLU expected prayers to be crafted without appering to favor one religion over another.

“What about King of Kings?” Judge Bill Pryor asked ACLU lawyer Daniel Mach in the case’s hearing last week. “Is that sectarian?”

“What about Lord of Lords?” Pryor persisted, interrupting the ACLU lawyer’s arguments. “The God of Abraham? … What about the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad?”

Judge Charles Wilson wondered just how far Mach was suggesting the county go in editing people’s prayers.

“As a practical matter, how do you draw the line?” Wilson asked.

He also asked what steps the ACLU suggested the Cobb County, Ga., board of commissioners take before its regulation became “some sort of censorship” or “just government prayer.”

At one point in the hearing, ACLU attorney Mach pointed out that the invitations Cobb County sends to guest clergy already ask that the prayers not proselytize or disparage other religions. According to the Associated Press, Mach suggested that the invitations simply be amended to ask the clergy to refrain from invoking “religious messages” at all.

Original Link.