Archive for September, 2008

Some Christian Groups Welcome Iranian President Ahmadinejad with Open Arms in NYC

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This type of “blindness” totally amazes me.

Pro-family activist and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer is outraged that a number of Christian organizations are sponsoring a reception in New York City for Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The American Friends Service Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace, and the World Council of Churches are hosting the special Muslim ceremony with Ahmadinejad, celebrating the end of Ramadan.

“Some of these people, I can guarantee you, would not have sat down with Ronald Reagan when he was president and probably would not sit down with George Bush today,” [Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values] contends. “And yet, they’re willing to meet with a man that has denied the first Holocaust, while he routinely promises a second one.”

Original Link.

“Finding a Christian Perspective on the Economic Crisis” by Albert Mohler

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The headlines tell the story as recent days have seen the American economy and its financial system buffeted by seismic failures and the virtual disappearance of major investment banks. The debate raging in Washington these days concerns the form and extent of government intervention that will be required in order to restore stability to the financial markets.

Comparisons to the Great Depression are inevitable, but today’s crisis bears little resemblance to the total economic collapse of the late 1920s. Capitalism is not in crisis and the fundamentals of the American economy remain strong. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, the nation faced a genuine crisis and economic collapse. For the most part, the banks were closed and the nation was out of business.

Nothing like that is happening now, but the financial system is clearly in need of reform and realism. The fundamentals of the economy remain intact. These include American innovation, a dedicated labor force, strong consumer demand, vast natural resources, and unlimited intellectual capital.

More than anything else, this crisis has to do with what happens when the markets come to term with excessive valuations. Put bluntly, wildly inflated valuations led to risky financial adventures and worse. The sub-prime mortgage collapse came as more realistic real estate valuations forced market corrections. The vast global financial system has accepted the inflated valuations as real and traded in the risky mortgages as if the game would go on forever. This was a fool’s errand.

There were other causes of the current distress in the markets and other forces at work within the economy at large. The slide of the dollar and the rising price of oil both played a part, as did more fundamental shifts having to do with a globalized economy and the continuing shift toward a knowledge-based economy in a technological age.

Is this all about greed? Yes and no. In the movie “Wall Street,” the character Gordon Gekko famously declares that “greed is good.” But is the economy really driven by greed?

This question requires a return to what we might call “Economics 101.” No one has explained basic economics as well as Adam Smith did in his 1776 classic, The Wealth of Nations. As the great Scottish thinker explained, an economy is based upon the transfer of goods and services from one individual to another. Each partner in the transaction must believe that this transfer is in his or her own best interest or the transfer is not voluntary. Both parties seek to gain something from the transfer. Since no one person can meet all of his or her own needs alone, a vast economic system quickly takes shape. Individuals trade goods and services through the exchange of currency or another agreed-upon form of value.

Original Link.

“How Trig Palin Reveals Obama’s Character” by Sandy Rios

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

It was the annual “Summerfest” in a community about 60 miles west of Chicago. We were expecting rides and cotton candy, but were greeted instead by tractors and a pork chop dinner. The crowd was populated by just plain folks—old and young, enjoying the easy camaraderie of small town life. One family stood out. It was a mom and dad with a boy about eight I’ll call “Johnny.”

We had come to see a Chicago band, awkwardly positioned on a flatbed truck, who didn’t disappoint. They delivered great Chicago-style blues and rock, but as great as they were, they were promptly upstaged by Johnny. As the band started, he bolted to the grassy area before the stage and began to dance deliciously. He didn’t just have one “move,” he had lots of them with finger strategically pointed, and attitude enough for the whole band. As the singer jumped off the stage, Johnny would follow, imitating him playing harmonica and clutching his cordless mic as he serenaded a select few. When he finished a set and took a bow, Johnny took his too … deeply, like a shadow on the lawn. The crowd roared and I was especially delighted when he came to serenade me with his imaginary microphone. I wanted to grab and hug him, but he would have none of it.

I looked down the row to see his parents standing silently, not with wild cheering but with wonder, amazement and … pride. You see, Johnny has Down syndrome. It was a moment parents of special needs kids seldom get to enjoy.

It struck me in that moment that nearly 90 percent of babies born with Down syndrome are now aborted. Most Johnnys never get the chance to delight a crowd or bring deep, abiding joy to their parents—because they never get a chance to live.

It was a Down syndrome baby that nurse Jill Stanek cradled until death at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, denied of food or medical treatment. Another imperfect baby, unwanted by its parents, starved out of existence.

When legislation to prevent such callousness and neglect sprang to life as a result of Stanek’s story, Barack Obama spoke out against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. He argued that it was unfair to the mothers to let these babies live—that it would turn back abortion rights (as though infanticide and abortion were in the same legal ballpark). He voted against the legislation and tried to persuade others in the Illinois legislature to follow his lead. On the issue of abortion, he later publicly declared that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby,” should they find themselves pregnant and unmarried. With that perspective Obama would surely find a Down syndrome baby beyond punishment.

Original Link.

McCain Suspends Campaign to Help With Bailout, Obama Campaign as Usual

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This highlights the difference between a seasoned senator (McCain) and one who has only spent 142 days in the Senate (Obama). If something doesn’t happen with the economy soon, I think we are going to look back on the “good old days” when we only had a recession. We are flirting with going into an actual depression if this crisis is not stopped soon.

John McCain will suspend his presidential campaign Thursday and has asked to postpone his debate Friday with Barack Obama so the two senators can return to Washington to help negotiate a Wall Street bailout, an approach that Obama promptly rejected.

“America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system,” McCain said in mid-afternoon remarks to reporters in New York. “If we do not act, every corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Click here for a transcript of McCain’s announcement.

The stunning move means running mate Sarah Palin will also suspend her campaign activities.

The Republican presidential candidate furthermore asked the Presidential Debate Commission to postpone his first debate with Obama, which is scheduled to take place Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Obama responded by saying that such disruptive measures were unnecessary.

“Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time,” Sen. Obama said. “It’s not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else.” He said that he and McCain have large campaign planes that can get them from Washington to Mississippi and back quickly.

The debate commission released a statement saying it was moving forward with plans to hold the debate Friday.

The McCain announcement triggered a round of recriminations on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, with several prominent Democrats accusing McCain of adding an extra dose of politics to an already tumultuous debate.

Obama said Wednesday he spoke earlier in the day with McCain, who suggested that they suspend the debate.

“I thought this was something that he was mulling over. Apparently this was something he was more decisive about in his own mind,” Obama said in a press conference in Florida, where he has been preparing for the debate.

Obama has since accepted an invitation from President Bush, according to his campaign, to attend a meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., with congressional leaders. The same invitation was extended to McCain, who earlier called for such a meeting.

Obama said the scrutiny of the bailout plan is nonpartisan and he would not allow it to become welfare for Wall Street executives or an opportunity for political ploys.

“There are times for politics and there are times to rise above them, do what is right for the country. This is one of those times,” he said.

McCain said he will leave the campaign trail after delivering an address to former President Clinton’s Global Initiative on Thursday morning. He canceled a Wednesday afternoon taping of The Late Show With David Letterman and a Thursday interview with FOX News. His campaign said he will suspend airing all ads and fundraising until Congress passes bailout legislation.

“We must pass legislation to address this crisis,” he said. “If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees.”

McCain will participate in Friday night’s debate if a bill is passed by Friday morning, his adviser Mark Salter said.

By stepping away from the first debate, McCain he is giving up an opportunity to show off his foreign policy credentials. He had negotiated strongly to make foreign policy, his strong suit, the topic of the first of the three debates. On the other hand, McCain has been criticized for being weak on the issue of economy.

Original Link.

‘See You at the Flag Pole’ Kicks Off Today

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Millions of students will gather at their schools all around the world today to participate in the annual See You at the Pole prayer rally. Students will lift up their country, communities, government, schools, and each other in prayer. Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, says his organization will offer free legal advice to any students who are hindered by their school from participating in the event.

“Liberty Counsel will provide education and, if necessary, legal representation to make sure that literally millions of youth all over America and around the world will be able to gather at the annual ‘See You at the Pole’ event,” Staver explains. (Read “SYATP sports ‘Samuel’ theme this year”)

Liberty Counsel represented many similar cases last year. “The good news is everyone of those ‘See You at the Pole’ cases that we represented were resolved just simply by a letter, telephone call, or simple education,” he adds.

Original Link.

Co-ed Dorms for Gender-Confused Males?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

[A] new [University of Pittsburg anti-discrimination policy that has been changed to include “gender identity”] means that a man who feels like he is a woman can be housed in the women’s dormitory and vice versa. And that involves “showering and using the restroom and the whole shebang,” explains Diane Gramley, president of American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA).

Gramley mentally puts herself in the position of being in a women’s dorm restroom, when a man walks in to use the facilities. “I think that she would be shocked and dismayed — and I would think she would also be concerned about her safety,” she contends.

The family advocate says it is conceivable that a man could convince university officials of his gender confusion and gain access to the women’s dorm to search for prey. Gramley also notes the university should be concerned about potential lawsuits from “concerned parents and students.”

Original Link.

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

“The Liberal Left say, simplistically, that all cultures have equal value, and more “advanced” cultures (The West) should never stand in judgement of “inferior, lesser” cultures whose practices we find abhorrent. But the Liberal Left doesn’t stop there; they ascribe wished-for cultural traits onto these other cultures that simply do not exist. Muslims have no desire to live in a happy, multicultural stew. It is as repugnant to them as any other blasphemy. The Liberal Left imagine a paradise in these distant lands, see “those” cultures as victims of Anglo hegemony, desperately trying to preserve their own “rich” cultural heritage, which is being stolen or undermined by Uncle Sam. They ascribe nobility and virtue where it does not exist. It’s like they’ve been reading PC textbooks, but have only the most superficial knowledge, the sugarcoated version of things. Much of what they believe is categorically and demonstrably false. They need only live for a time in these distant lands– live as the people there do– to see the folly of their romantic imaginings & wishful projections.”
-Unknown Author.

“The Year Journalism Died”

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I heard this on Sean Hannity yesterday and wanted to mention it.

Somewhat related to Catherine’s post: Last week at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., I heard Fox News commentator and radio host Sean Hannity say in his speech that 2008 is the “year journalism died.” He stated that the American media has lost its credibility and reputation for delivering objective and balanced news reports, particularly regarding the upcoming election. And he cited a Rasmussen report that says 69 percent of the public believe that media outlets are partisan and rig their reporting to help the candidate they want to win.

I am one of the 69 percent. (Many examples of media bias can be found at the Media Research Center website.) But I still believe in journalism and its important role, and Hannity’s charge that journalism is dead sounds a bit too hopeless for me. I’d rather change it to “the year objective journalism died” because the news industry is not dead, it just needs a wake-up call – a very loud wake-up call.

Original Link.

Bill Introduced to Assure U.S. Won’t be Governed by Islam

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., introduced a bill to the House of Representatives that seeks to prevent Islam’s radical Shariah law from gaining a foothold in the U.S. legal system, as it has in other countries.

Tancredo introduced HR 6975, the Jihad Prevention Act, last week. If made into law, the bill would allow American authorities to prevent advocates of Shariah law from entering the country, revoke the visa of any foreigners that did champion Shariah law and revoke naturalization for citizens that seek to implement Shariah law in the U.S.

The radical form of Islam’s Shariah religious law includes several statutes often objectionable to Western minds, including stoning for adulterous women, amputation for thieves and the death sentence for converting from Islam.

“When you have an immigration policy that allows for the importation of millions of radical Muslims,” Tancredo said in a press release, “you are also importing their radical ideology – an ideology that is fundamentally hostile to the foundations of Western democracy – such as gender equality, pluralism and individual liberty.”

“The best way to safeguard America against the importation of the destructive effects of this poisonous ideology is to prevent its purveyors from coming here in the first place,” Tancredo said.

As WND reported earlier, large Muslim populations in Canada seeking to live out their faith have convinced the Canadian government to permit the enforcement of Shariah law.

The journal of the American Bar Association reported last week that Islamic court rulings are now enforceable in the United Kingdom as well.

Tancredo said he “moved quickly” to prevent similar legal entanglements in the U.S.

“We need to send a clear message that the only law we recognize here in America is the U.S. Constitution and the laws passed by our democratically elected representatives,” concluded Tancredo. “If you aren’t comfortable with that concept, you aren’t welcome in the United States.”

WND contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations for comment on the bill, but received none.

HR 6975 has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary for review.

Original Link.

“Top 10 Reasons for Not Being a Christian” by Hal Lindsey of Hal Lindsey Oracle

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Over the course of my ministry, I’ve pretty much heard all the objections to Christianity the world has to offer. Here are what I would consider the “Top 10 Objections” to becoming a Christian.

  • 1. “Seeing is believing. I’ve never seen God, so how do I know He exists?”

    Nobody has ever seen the wind, but there is no doubt of its power. Nobody has seen history, but there is no doubt of its legacy. Nobody has seen a person’s mind, but that doesn’t make us mindless. TV and radio waves are invisible, but with the proper receiver, we can see their results.

    Having never seen God is not much of a reason for rejecting Him, if you get right down to it. Let’s see if we can do better.

  • 2. “I may have broken the Ten Commandments, but I do good things for people. If God is fair, the scales will balance.”

    One look at “Hollywood morality” should dispel this one. They commit adultery in their youth, and then become involved in giving to AIDS research, etc., as they grow older. In their minds, they think that they are balancing the scales. They have done bad, and now they are doing good.

    It doesn’t work that way, even before an imperfect judge in a secular courtroom – if the judge is honest. An effort to bribe the judge with good works is still a bribe.

    If you compare yourself with other human beings, you might be better than some, but worse than others.

    But God has to judge us on the basis of His righteous character, which we have violated. This is why He gave us the “Big Ten.” They show us how good we would have to be to earn God’s acceptance by our own good deeds. This is why God cannot judge on the “curve.” God says, “Whoever keeps the whole law, yet offends in one point is guilty of all of it.” (James 2:10)

    Since none of us could ever be good enough to measure up to His perfect character, God elected to come to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ and die in our place under His offended righteous character. In so doing, God purchased a pardon for every person. We only have to admit we have broken His laws, turn to God and accept His free pardon.

  • 3. “Christianity is oppressive to women.”

    This objection comes up in confusing the context of the Christian model for marriage. Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” But the skeptic’s objection collapses when the passage is taken in its full context.

    Ephesians 5:25 commands husbands, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.”

    It is hardly “oppression” to submit to someone who loves you with a sacrificial love. Instead, it is a textbook definition of love – a key ingredient to a successful marriage.

  • 4. “The Bible was written by men.”

    As an objection, this is by far the silliest. When you write a letter, are you writing it, or is the pen? As I type this column, am I writing it, or is my computer? Clearly, the pen, or the computer, is the instrument, not the writer. The same principle applies to the writers of Scripture. They were instruments, but God’s Spirit is the author.

    The Bible declares of itself that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) and the proof is in the pudding. The writers of Scripture ranged from shepherds to kings to fishermen, but the 66 books that make up the Bible read as a single, harmonious narrative emanating from a Single Author.

    God threw down the gauntlet concerning how to know whether His Word is true or not. God said to Moses, “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.” (Deut. 18:21-22 NIV)

    Every prophecy made in the Bible about specific events, places and times have come true to the letter. Some are not yet fulfilled because it is not yet the time. But the record in history is 100 percent accuracy. This is why we have only the books in the Bible that have been authenticated by fulfilled prophecy. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.

  • 5. “Churches are full of hypocrites.”

    The word “hypocrite” comes from the Greek word for “actor” or “pretender.” Hypocrisy is “the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold.”

    The Body of Christ consists of true believers – “churches” are buildings where people congregate. Sitting in a church no more makes one a Christian than sitting in a garage makes one a car.

    Jesus will sort out the true believers from the pretenders in His time. The question is not what church you go to, but rather, whom do you trust for your salvation? A church? Or Jesus Christ?

  • 6. “Christians think they are better than non-Christians.”

    This is another objection borne out of ignorance of both the teaching of Scripture and the nature of salvation. Nowhere do the Scriptures say that a Christian is a better person than a non-Christian. A believer in Jesus is a forgiven sinner. The unbeliever is not forgiven. But a true Christian knows that he is forgiven by the unmerited grace of God.

    Peter betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times. Judas betrayed Him only once. But Peter is infinitely better off. Peter believed and was forgiven. Judas did not.

    Two murderers were crucified alongside Jesus. One repented and expressed his faith by saying, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus immediately replied, “Truly I say to you, Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    By way of analogy, consider two skydivers. One has a working parachute; the other does not. That doesn’t make the skydiver with a working parachute a better skydiver. But he is certainly wiser than the other guy.

  • 7. “There is too much suffering in the world for there to be a loving God.”

    The Bible tells us that God cursed the Earth because of Adam’s transgression. Weeds are a curse. So is disease. Sin and suffering cannot be separated. The Scriptures inform us that we live in a fallen creation. Those who understand the message of Holy Scripture eagerly await a new Heaven and a new Earth “wherein dwells righteousness.”

    In that coming Kingdom there will be no more pain, suffering, disease or death. If it didn’t exist here, then its abolition then would be meaningless. The sacrifice of Christ would be unnecessary.

    A loving God? John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

  • 8. “Christianity isn’t fair. What about all those people who have never heard the Gospel? Will they all go to Hell because they haven’t heard about Jesus Christ?”

    No one will be lost because he hasn’t heard of Jesus. God says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20) He also promises, “You will seek Me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

    You see, God brings everyone to “God-consciousness” through the witness of creation. When a person anywhere, in any culture comes to God-consciousness – and then desires to know this God, He will move Heaven and Earth to get the true message to him. If he dies without hearing about Jesus Christ, it’s because he did not want to know the true God.

  • 9. I’ve tried to read the Bible. I can’t understand it.

    The Scriptures tells us that the “natural man” cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God. Most Americans would find it difficult to understand the Chinese language. However, a child who is born into a Chinese family can understand every word.

    Every person is born physically alive, but spiritually dead. God is a “Spirit” and we must have the same kind of life to perceive Him. This is why Jesus said to a very religious man, “Unless a man is born from above, he cannot perceive the things of God.”

    When even an uneducated person believes in Jesus and is born spiritually, he can immediately begin to understand the Bible.

  • 10. Christians are sinners, according to their own teaching. So what is the difference between a Christian who sins and a non-believer?

    This objection misses the point. A Christian receives a new nature and the Spirit of God comes to dwell in him it at the point of the “new spiritual birth.” He still has an old nature that wants to sin. When the Christian fails to say no to temptation and depend upon God’s Spirit, he sins.

    The difference, however, is that a Christian cannot be happy anymore living in sin. He becomes miserable and wants to return to fellowship with God. As soon as he confesses his sin to God, he is forgiven and brought back into fellowship. But though the Christian can get out of fellowship, he cannot lose his relationship with God. That has been secured forever by the death of Jesus Christ in his place. God will not disown a child that He purchased with His own blood.

  • The 10 reasons for not being a Christian, therefore, are really 10 reasons why, if you haven’t already, you should be on your knees – right now – receiving the gift of pardon that Jesus purchased by dying in your place.

    You won’t become perfect in this life, but you will have new desires and power that will make you progressively better. And at the end, you will go to be with God forever.

    Original Link.

    Biden “Honored” to Speak at Pro-Homosexual Gala

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    A pro-family activist says Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s upcoming appearance at the national dinner for the largest homosexual civil rights group shows what is truly at stake in the presidential election.

    On October 4, Senator Biden (D-Delaware) will be the featured speaker at the national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC. According to an HRC press release, the senator said he was honored to take part in the event and vowed to stand with the homosexual-rights group to advance their cause.

    Peter LaBarbera, founder of Republicans for Family Values, argues that the Democratic Party is clearly not for traditional values.

    “I think the Democratic Party has sold its soul to the radical homosexual lobby,” he states bluntly. “And I think any Democrat who has a sense of pro-family values and a true faith should take issue with what has happened to this party.”

    The Democrats, says LaBarbera, “are now fully in bed with the homosexual activist lobby.”

    The pro-family activist points out that Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) is the most pro-abortion and pro-homosexual candidate ever to receive a major party’s presidential nomination.

    Original Link

    Abortion is Dividing Line for Many in 2008

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    For many voters in the United States, one of the pressing issues during the 2008 election season is abortion, since GOP candidate Sen. John McCain has a long record of supporting pro-life perspectives and the Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, has advocated for abortion even beyond what the National Abortion Rights Action League has sought.

    Perhaps the stark difference between the candidates is why the NObama 08 Magnetic Bumper Sticker held the No. 1 position among best-sellers at Shop.WND.com for the past week.

    The bumper sticker, in fact, has held the top position for most of the last several months as more and more information is revealed about Obama’s pro-abortion advocacy.

    As WND reported the latest controversy arose over the Obama campaign’s television commercial that not only attacked Republican rival John McCain, but also took aim at an unusual target: a 31-year-old woman who was born alive after her mother’s botched abortion.

    Obama’s commercial calls McCain’s ads “the sleaziest ever, truly vile.” But when the screen shows clips of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen and the ad she made asking Obama to reverse his stance on born alive infant protection legislation, the Obama ad calls Jessen’s appeal “a despicable lie.”

    The attack on Jessen has angered pro-life advocates.

    “It is despicable, repulsive and beneath contempt that Barack Obama would attack Gianna Jessen,” says Jill Stanek, a pro-life columnist who testified before Congress in support of the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, in a statement on Jessen’s website. “She is a courageous abortion survivor and living miracle who would not be with us today if Obama’s policies had been in place when she was born.”

    Jessen herself released a statement saying, “Mr. Obama is clearly blinded by political ambition given his attack on me this week. All I asked of him was to do the right thing: support medical care and protection for babies who survive abortion – as I did.”

    There also have been other controversies for Obama: The suggestion from terrorists they’d like to see Obama win, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white, anti-American diatribes, Michelle Obama’s comment that for the first time as her husband pursued the Democratic nomination for president she was proud of her country, the donation of more than $30,000 to Obama’s campaign that came in from residents of Gaza, the endorsement from a former Communist Party leader, Obama’s relationship with former Weather Underground supporter Bill Ayers, and others.

    Original Link.

    “The Shameful Social Gospel” by T.A. McMahon

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16

    For various reasons, Christians of different sorts have tinkered with “the gospel of Christ” as though it needed adjustments. Not major alterations, most will tell you, but just some minor tweaking here and there. The changes often begin by one’s declaring that there is no real change involved, simply a shift in emphasis. Yet, no matter what the rationale may be, the end result is being “ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”

    To be “ashamed of the gospel” covers a number of attitudes from being totally embarrassed by it to thinking one can improve upon it a bit to make it more acceptable. One example of the former is the recent claim by an Emerging Church author that the teaching regarding Christ’s paying the full penalty for the sins of mankind through His substitutionary death on the Cross is irrelevant and viewed as “a form of cosmic child abuse.” More subtle examples include trying to make the gospel seem less exclusive, and the “softening” of the consequences from which the gospel saves mankind, such as the wrath of God and the Lake of Fire.

    Prevalent among many religious leaders who profess to be evangelical Christians (i.e., Bible-believing Christians) is the promotion of a gospel that is acceptable to, and even admired by, people throughout the world. Today, the most popular form of this is the social gospel.

    Although the social gospel is common to many new movements among evangelicals, it is not new to Christendom. It had its modern beginning in the late 1800s, when it developed as a way to address the various conditions in society that caused suffering among the populace. The belief was, and is, that Christianity will attract followers when it demonstrates its love for mankind. This could be best accomplished by helping to alleviate the suffering of humanity caused by poverty, disease, oppressive work conditions, society’s injustices, civil rights abuses, etc. Those who fostered this movement also believed that relief from their conditions of misery would improve the moral nature of those so deprived.

    Another driving force behind the introduction of the social gospel was the eschatological, or end times, views of those involved. Nearly all were amillennialists or post-millennialists. The former believed that they were living in a (symbolic thousand-year) time period in which Christ was ruling from heaven, Satan was bound, and they were God’s workers appointed to bring about a kingdom on earth worthy of Christ. Post-millennialists also believed they were in the Millennium, and their goal was to restore the earth to its Eden-like state in order for Christ to return from Heaven to rule over His earthly kingdom.

    Read the rest of the article here.

    Anti-Palin Assignment Draws Media Ire

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    The types of things that pass as “education” these days is appalling.

    A college student has been creating a media stir after her English professor assigned classmates to write an anti-Palin essay.

    Janna Barber is a freshman at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. Barber says she was offended when her English professor Andrew Hallam explained the anti-Palin assignment to the class, but Hallam then told the class that he would be willing to give Republican students a chance to discuss the assignment.

    “And he asked who in the class was a Republican. Five of us in the classroom raised our hands,” Barber explains. “And when that happened, one of the kids in the class said ‘F-you’ to all of us, and the teacher just kind of laughed about it.”

    Original Link.

    “The Rise of ‘By Choice’ Single Mothers” by Albert Mohler

    Monday, September 22nd, 2008

    Social change is a constant in civilization. New technologies, human migrations, climate changes, and any number of demographic and worldview shifts prompt changes in the way humans live and maintain civilization’s patterns and structures. For the most part, these changes unfold slowly. Now, however, we are witnessing social change unwind at warp speed.

    Just consider the disappearance of marriage as the expectation for many young adults and the disappearance of the father from many families.

    The Guardian [London] reports on the phenomenon of “choice mothers” who have opted for what some observers call “single motherhood by choice.” The number of unmarried women who want to have a child by artificial insemination is growing at an unprecedented rate, even as the age of women seeking to conceive a child without a father is dropping.

    As the paper reports:

    A survey of attitudes towards contraception out this week appears to confirm this as a trend. Both men and women said they had serious concerns about whether they would meet the right partner in time to conceive naturally; and 56% of the women asked said they would consider asking a male friend to father their child if they failed to find a partner by a certain age. And it was younger women – those aged between 28 and 31 – who were the most likely to go it alone if the right man did not turn up in time.

    Seeking artificial insemination in your 20s or 30s is not unusual among lesbians (who have no reason to delay), but heterosexual women typically wait to see if they can find a partner first. Using a sperm donor has always been a last resort. Now the process is becoming a first resort. Say that you are in your early 30s and you are convinced your life will not be complete without a child. Why wait? Many women have financial independence earlier in life than in the past and few see being a single mother as a situation that carries a stigma. Many single mothers by choice argue that they see couples struggling with the difficult issues that shared parenting raises. Women in this category who know that they definitely want a baby are less concerned about raising a child alone than they are about waiting for the “right man” for so long that they miss their fertility window.

    There is so much to unpack in this report. At one level, this points to the natural desire of women for children — a desire that is, in itself, both understandable and admirable. Indeed, Christians will rightly believe that this is a desire given to a woman by the Creator. At another level, even this newspaper recognizes that there is something sad about so many young women giving up on another natural desire — the desire for a husband (though the paper uses the politically-correct term, “partner”). Christians would see this, too, as evidence of God’s intention.

    The result of this is the redefinition of the family before our eyes, with so many young women choosing to have children even as they have no plans for any present or future marriage. These children will know no father and the entire social fabric is unraveled that much further.

    Original Link.

    Strong Pro-Life Amendment Faces Well-Heeled Opposition

    Monday, September 22nd, 2008

    South Dakota pro-lifers are working against a well-funded counter campaign to pass a constitutional amendment banning abortion. The proposal would allow exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.

    Dr. Allen Unruh of Vote Yes for Life on 11 describes the proposed amendment. “This is the greatest opportunity since 1973 to turn the tide of Roe v. Wade,” he says.

    If the South Dakota amendment passes, it will be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. Opponents are launching a major campaign funded by some recognizable names.

    Original Link.

    “When The Oil Stops Flowing” By Edwin Black

    Monday, September 22nd, 2008

    It will come as a shock to most Americans and the media, but as the election reaches a crescendo on the issue of preparedness and energy, neither presidential candidate – nor anyone in local, state or federal government – has developed a contingency plan in the event of a protracted oil cut-off. It is not even being discussed. Government has prepared for hurricanes, anthrax, terrorism and every other disaster, but not the one threatened daily – a protracted oil stoppage, whether caused by terrorism, intervention in the Persian Gulf or a natural disaster.

    It is like seeing a hurricane developing without a disaster plan or evacuation route. Our allies have oil shortage interruption contingency plans, but America does not.

    THE CRUDE realities: America uses approximately 20 million barrels of oil per day, almost 70 percent of which is imported. If we lose just 1 million barrels per day, or suffer the type of damage sustained from Hurricane Katrina, the government will open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which offers a mere six-to-eight week supply of unrefined crude oil. If we lose 1.5 million barrels per day, or approximately 7.5%, we will ask our allies in the 28-member International Energy Agency to open their SPRs and otherwise assist. If we lose 2 million barrels per day, or 10%, government crisis monitors say the chaos will be so catastrophic they cannot even model it.

    Exactly how could America be subjected to a protracted oil interruption, that is, a 10% shortfall lasting longer than several weeks? It will not come from hurricane action in the Gulf of Mexico, or even major refinery accidents or other oil infrastructure damage. Such damage would be repaired within days and the temporary losses absorbed by the small half million barrel per day global cushion available.

    NOR WILL fuel chaos arise from pinprick sabotage against oil facilities or pipelines in such places as Mexico or Nigeria. Home-grown insurgents in faraway places have long targeted petroleum infrastructure as a means of pressuring their local governments. But those attacks can be defended against, the damage repaired, and workarounds developed.

    However, if one, two or all of three vital chokepoints are hit by terrorists flying hijacked 747s or Iranian military action – the Abqaiq processing plant, the Ras Tanura terminal in Saudi Arabia, or the two-mile per sea lane Strait of Hormuz – as much as 40% of all seaborne oil will be stopped, as much as 18% of all global supply will be interrupted, and from 12 to 20% of the US supply will be cut off. Estimates are the US shortfall could be even higher. Repeat attacks could prolong the crisis for many months, which is exactly what either al-Qaida or Iranian terrorists have promised. Yet there is no plan.

    THE BEST experts predict that if we suffer as much as 10% for any period of time, let alone 20%, it will be a neighbor-against-neighbor “Mad Max” scenario as food shortages swell and a storm of economic collapse surges across the country. Indeed, experts have been warning about this looming calamity for years. But the government and presidential candidates refuse to even consider the possibility or develop a contingency plan.

    Yet our allies have developed oil contingency legislation and other administrative plans that will permit their nations to survive a stoppage. These measures include severe vehicle traffic reductions, enabling fast alternative fuel production and mass vehicle retrofitting, as well as rush public transit enhancement, and mandated changes in driving habits. Unquestionably, for America to survive such a catastrophe will require a very painful, multilayered program of immediate-term, short-term, mid-term and long-term fixes that will change our society and transform it off oil. The nation has no real alternative fuel or retrofitting infrastructure. But every lawmaker, mayor, governor and every candidate must develop such a plan – and now.

    If the country waits until the disaster strikes, until the oil is shut off, we have little or no chance. If we start now, the day before, we can survive. How we start and when we start will define the degree of pain or success of this process.

    Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling investigative author of IBM and the Holocaust, Internal Combustion and his just released book, The Plan: How to Save America When the Oil Stops – or the Day Before (Dialog Press), from which this article is adapted.

    Original Link.

    “Why Henry Paulson must be ‘contained'” By Michelle Malkin

    Monday, September 22nd, 2008

    Both parties in Washington are about to screw us over on an unprecedented scale. They are threatening us with fiscal apocalypse if we don’t fork over $700 billion to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and allow him to dole it out to whomever he chooses in whatever amount he chooses — without public input or recourse. They are rushing like mad to cram this Mother of All Bailouts down our throats in the next 72-96 hours. And right there in the text of the proposal is this naked power grab: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

    Stop.

    My question for fellow conservatives: Do you trust this man?

    I don’t.

    Do you trust Hank Paulson’s judgment?

    I don’t.

    Listen to what he said about the subprime crisis in April 2007:

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said…the housing market correction appears to be at or near its bottom and that troubles in the subprime mortgage market will not likely spread throughout the economy.

    “We’ve clearly had a big correction in the housing market. Retail housing was growing for some time at a level that was not sustainable,” Paulson said in a speech to The Committee of 100, a business group in New York promoting better Chinese relations.

    “I don’t see (subprime mortgage market troubles) imposing a serious problem. I think it’s going to be largely contained,” he added.

    Listen to what he said about the subprime crisis in May 2007:

    JIM LEHRER: One final question, and a third subject. How worried are you about the slump, so-called slump in the housing market in the United States right now? And what kind of damage, if any, is it doing to the economy?

    HENRY PAULSON: Well, let me say this. As you’ve pointed out, we’ve had a major housing correction in the U.S. The U.S. economy had been growing at a rate that was unsustainable and, in housing, it had clearly been growing at a rate for a number of years.

    That correction was inevitable; that correction has now been significant. We think it is near the bottom. It will take a while to work its way through the system. Fortunately for us, we have a very diverse, healthy economy. There are other things that are positive that are offsetting that.

    …So my very strong view is that we are near the bottom and that this will be contained as — the housing will be contained, and we’re fortunate that we have a diverse, healthy economy.

    Listen to what he said about the subprime crisis in August 2007 while on a trip to Beijing (more on Paulson’s ChiCom ties in a moment):

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Wednesday the repricing of credit risk was hitting financial markets, but U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.

    Speaking to reporters in Beijing, where he ran into stiff resistance in persuading Chinese officials to let the yuan strengthen more quickly, Paulson said markets were unwinding excesses in U.S. mortgage and leveraged buyout financing.

    European and Asian stocks tumbled on Wednesday following a sharp drop in U.S. shares on Tuesday, after American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. said it might have to liquidate assets, fuelling worries over problems in the subprime mortgage market spilling over into other sectors.

    “The market has focused on this. There’s a wake-up call, and there’s an adjustment to this repricing of risk, but I see the underlying economy as being very healthy,” he told reporters before leaving Beijing.

    Paulson added that he did not see anything that caused him to reconsider his view that the economic damage from the housing correction was “largely contained,” despite losses in a number of financial institutions and a long period for subprime issues to move through the economy.

    Here’s Paulson in October 2007 assuring us that he had no interest in government bailouts while touting the economy’s health again:

    Paulson: Subprime help needed – but no bailout

    Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is walking a fine line, pushing the need to help troubled mortgage borrowers without rewarding past risky behavior.

    I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators. Still, we must recognize the very real harms to families affected by the housing downturn,” Paulson said in prepared remarks for a speech given Tuesday at Georgetown University.

    …Although the speech seemed to mark a step up in activism on the part of the Treasury Department, Paulson was quick to point out the limitations of the government’s approach during the question and answer following the talk.

    Referring to HopeNow, he said, “This is a 100 percent market-based solution. I believe in markets. The government is doing nothing here but facilitating people coming together.”

    Paulson also downplayed the possibility that the housing crisis could plunge the nation into recession. “I’ve seen turbulence in the market a number of times and I can’t think of any situation where the backdrop of the global economy was as healthy as it is today,” he said.

    And here’s Paulson in May 2008 declaring the credit crisis on the wane:

    The credit crisis that has scorched international financial markets is on the wane but more shocks are ahead, U.S. Secretary Treasury Henry Paulson told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Wednesday.

    ‘The worst is likely to be behind us,’ Paulson told the paper, in one of the most optimistic comments by a top U.S. finance official since sub-prime mortgage losses set a domino effect in motion in mid 2007.

    Paulson said it would take ’some months longer’ for the situation to stabilize and cautioned there would likely be further ‘bumps along the road’.

    Yeah. A freaking $700 billion bailout bump. That’s all. Guess that little detail just slipped his mind.

    Read the rest here.

    Paulson Warns Financial Rescue Plan Will Cost ‘Hundreds of Billions’

    Friday, September 19th, 2008

    As the economy continues to sink, the United States is facing very real peril. Many people, who were already living paycheck to paycheck are going to loose everything if quick action is not taken.
    What can be done though? Is it right to inflate an already outrageous national debt to help financial companies who got themselves into this position by bad management and greed? Is it responsible to hit the tax payers with additional burdens?
    I think it is safe to say that we all need to pray to God and hang on for the ride…it’s going to be a rough one.

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that it will take a “significant investment of taxpayer dollars” to lift up the flailing economy, warning that everything from retirement savings to home values are at risk if Congress does not act immediately.

    “We’re talking hundreds of billions (of dollars),” Paulson said when asked how high the price tag could run. “This needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get to the heart of the problem.”

    He said he is continuing to work with members of Congress and will ask lawmakers to take action on a rescue package next week before they recess.

    “The financial security of all Americans, their retirement savings, their home values, their ability to borrow for college and the opportunities for more and higher paying jobs depends on our ability to restore our financial institutions to sound footing,” he said. “This is what we need to do.”

    But Paulson said he’s confident the infusion of more taxpayer dollars is the best option.

    “I am convinced this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative,” he said.

    He spoke after the federal government announced several short-term measures to stem the worst financial crisis in decades.

    The government on Friday said it would safeguard assets in money market mutual funds and temporarily banned short-selling of financial company stocks. The Treasury Department has asked Congress to give it sweeping power to buy up toxic debt that has unhinged Wall Street.

    President Bush authorized Treasury to tap up to $50 billion from a Depression-era fund to insure the holdings of eligible money market mutual funds. And the Federal Reserve announced it will expand its emergency lending program to help support the $2 trillion in assets of the funds.

    Both moves are designed to bolster the huge money market mutual fund industry, which has come under stress in recent days.

    The Fed said it expanding its emergency lending efforts to allow commercial banks to finance purchases of asset-backed paper from money market funds. The central bank should help the funds to meet demands for redemptions.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission early Friday imposed a temporary emergency ban on short-selling of financial company stocks, a trading method that bets the stocks will go down.As the financial crisis widened, entreaties had come from all quarters to stem a swarm of short-selling contributing to the collapse of stock values in investment and commercial banks.

    Bush planned to discuss the swirl of emergency actions in a Rose Garden statement later Friday.

    Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are crafting a massive rescue plan to buy up dodgy assets held by troubled banks and other financial institutions at the heart of the nation’s financial crisis.

    Congressional leaders said they expected to get the plan Friday and act on it before Congress recesses for the election.

    Wall Street headed for a huge rally Friday. The government’s moves could help alleviate the uncertainty that has been sending the markets into tumult over the past week. Lending has grinded to a virtual standstill in the wake of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

    Global stock markets roared higher, too.

    Original Link.

    Starving Palis? Think Again!!

    Thursday, September 18th, 2008

    British left-wing activist Lauren Booth unwittingly shows both her own and Pali governments hypocritical side in this interview versus the corresponding media photo.

    The British left-wing activist arrived in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave as part of the dozens of ‘Free Gaza’ activists who set out on two boats from Cyprus last month with the intent of “breaking” the Israeli naval blockade imposed on the Strip. Booth is one of the 10 activists who chose to remain in Gaza while her companions set sail back to Cyprus. Since then she has been stuck in Gaza, unable to exit through Israel or Egypt. …

    She spoke of the situation in Gaza and said, “Yesterday, I visited mothers of children under the age of five. Nutrition here has deteriorated threefold over the last two years because it is impossible to bring food through the crossings. Unemployment has risen, so people can’t even afford to buy what food there is left.“

    When asked about Israel’s right to respond to incessant attacks emanating from Gaza, Booth evoked Holocaust-related rhetoric. ”There is no right to punish people this way. There is no justification for this kind of collective punishment. You were in the concentration camps, and I can’t believe that you are allowing the creation of such a camp yourselves.”

    “The Palestinians’ suffering is physical, mental and emotional,“ she went on, ”there is not a family here in which someone is not in desperate need of work, shelter or food. This is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur.“

    But just prior to the interview, here is a photo of her buying things in a local store. Check out the shelves…

    Starving Palis?

    Original Link.
    Link to Photo.