Archive for September 24th, 2009

Jesus Appears to Thomas

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Jesus' Hands

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:24-29 (New International Version)

Holy Temple Mikveh (Ritual Bath) Discovered Near Western Wall

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Another interesting archeological find from the Holy Land.

(IsraelNN.com) A 2,000-year-old mikveh (ritual bath) has been uncovered just 20 meters from the Western Wall.

Given its location just outside the Holy Temple – where untold numbers of Jews regularly immersed before entering – the newly-revealed pool is among the largest ever discovered in Jerusalem.

The mikveh was found at the site known as the Western Wall Tunnels, which has long been under excavation and study by the Israel Antiquities Authority, with the support of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

It is located about 30 meters past the entrance to the Tunnels, in the general direction of the Western Wall. Once it becomes open to the public, the 11 broad steps leading down to the mikveh will be seen approximately 8 meters below floor level.

Josephus, the famous turncoat general and historian of the period, wrote that the administrative and governmental center of Jerusalem was located at the foot of the Temple, and that among the buildings there were the National Council and the Lishkat HaGazit, Chamber of Hewn Stone, where the Sanhedrin – Israel’s Supreme Court – convened. The archaeologists feel that it is possible that the luxurious hall aside the mikveh was originally one of these structures.

Archaeologist Alexander Ohn, the director of the dig, explains: “It is interesting to note that in the middle of the first century, changes were made in the grand structure. It was no longer used for public administrative purposes, and in its western wall a large mikveh was installed – with 11 steps descending into the immersion pool. It appears that Jerusalem was growing at this time, and with it the need to provide a solution for the increasing numbers of people who came en masse to Jerusalem, especially on the pilgrimage festivals (Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), and Tabernacles (Sukkot)). Ritual immersion in a mikveh and precise observance of the laws of purity were an inseparable part of Jewish life at this time; the importance of a mikveh, especially in this location, was great.”

Parts of the mikveh had been uncovered in the past, but now another hall – one of three – has been revealed. The structure was built of smooth stone hewn in a particularly intricate manner, with high-quality decorations and architectural style. Its importance can be determined by the fact that it is similar to other luxurious structures built by King Herod such as the Temple Mount, the Machpelah Cave, and one in Elonei Mamreh.

Original Link.

Persecuted Pakistani Christian Couple Granted Asylum After Muslims Kidnaps and Beats Them

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Pray for Christians who face real persecution.

A Christian couple has been granted asylum in the U.K. after a Muslim man kidnapped them for several months, beat them and tried to force them to recant their faith.

A Pakistani Christian married a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity. The two endured persecution from the woman’s Muslim family because of their marriage and Christian faith. Her uncle attacked the couple in their home, detained them in his home for several months and sought the services of a Muslim cleric to teach the couple about Islam, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, the nation’s top conservative civil liberties law firm.

The European Centre for Law and Justice, or ECLJ, international affiliate of the ACLJ, helped the couple seek asylum in the U.K.

“This represents a critical victory in the ongoing challenge to protect those who take great risk in proclaiming their Christian faith,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ECLJ and ACLJ, said in a statement. “At a time when so many Christian converts face real persecution – including the threat of death – it’s encouraging that this couple can now stay in the U.K. We’re delighted we were able to provide assistance in this very important case.”

While Pakistani law neither prohibits nor allows religious conversion, the country’s blasphemy laws often subject people who convert to beatings and death.

The ACLJ said the couple’s identity is being withheld for their safety. The husband and wife attempted to flee several times and finally escaped to the U.K. and applied for asylum there.

Initially, their asylum claim was denied by the U.K. Border Agency, but they were allowed to appeal the decision.

In a critical report, the ECLJ and ACLJ detailed the danger facing interfaith couples and Christian converts in Pakistan. The law firms urged the couple be granted asylum in the U.K. On Sept. 2, the U.K. Asylum and Immigration Tribunal granted asylum to the persecuted Christians, allowing them to stay in the U.K.

Original Link.

“More Indoctrination” by Jeff Schreiber

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Praise Obama, sure. Praise God, however, and risk expulsion.

And all you right-wing extremists were worried about the president’s address to schoolchildren early this month, and about the accompanying worksheets which asked students to “write letters to themselves about how what they can do to help the president.” Gosh, you people were obviously over-reacting.

Sure thing. This video, linked to late yesterday evening on the Drudge Report, was apparently shot in a school in South Jersey. How lovely.

It’s 12:30 a.m. and I’ve got a ton of work to do still for school today before I can even go to bed. Still, I want to reiterate something I said yesterday and something I’ve been saying for a while now: this is a marathon, not a sprint.

If my child were in that school, she’d be home TOMORROW and would not return until the school district answered some questions. If at all. Given what we’ve seen in the past few days, I think it’s about time that we start getting even more involved and aware of what our kids are doing and learning in school. Arrange to sit in for a period or two. Obviously, be respectful, but don’t be afraid to get a little political with teachers on parent-teacher night. Ask what kinds of civics lessons they’re learning. Look through their history books. Join the PTA, and make sure that other parents who think as you do join as well.

And when something like this occurs, demand answers from the school board. Go to the local media. Go to the local papers. Come to me. It’s time for educators to be held responsible, and it’s time for parents to become responsible for deprogramming our children when they return home every day.

It’s easy to stand up and point at a video like this one and yell at your computer screen. It’s not so easy to step out of your comfort zone, risk some anger from the carpooling group or the other parents on the soccer team, and stand up for the future of not only your child, but everyone else’s as well.

Original Link.

Obama Science Czar: Sterilize Welfare Recipients

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

The Obama administration has to be one of the most, if not the most, radical administration this country has ever seen. The things we keep finding out about Obama’s Czars is disturbing at best.

Obama science czar John Holdren stated in a college textbook that compulsory, government-mandated “green abortions” would be a constitutionally acceptable way to control population growth and prevent ecological disasters, including global warming, because a fetus was most likely not a “person” under the terms of the 14th Amendment.

Holdren further suggested government-mandated population control measures might be inflicted in the United States against welfare recipients, writing on page 840: “There has been considerable talk in some quarters at times of forcibly suppressing reproduction among welfare recipients (perhaps by requiring the use of contraceptives or even by involuntary sterilizations). This may sadly foreshadow what our society might do if the human predicament gets out of hand.” (Parenthesis in original text.)

As previously reported, WND has obtained a copy of the 1970s college textbook “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment” that Ehrlich co-authored with Malthusian population alarmist Paul R. Ehrlich and Ehrlich’s wife, Ann. The authors argued involuntary birth-control measures, including forced sterilization, may be necessary and morally acceptable under extreme conditions, such as widespread famine brought about by “climate change.”

Writing on page 839 of the textbook, the authors state: “The common law and drafters of the U.S. Constitution did not consider a fetus a human being. Feticide was not murder in common law because the fetus was not considered to be a human being, and for purposes of the Constitution a fetus is probably not a ‘person’ within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus under the constitution, abortion is apparently not unlawful, although infanticide obviously is.”

In the next sentence, the authors continued to insist that this “is a very important distinction, particularly since most rights, privileges, and duties in our society are dated from birth and not from some earlier point in time.”

On page 760, the authors categorically state that from the point of view of biology, “a fetus is only a potential human being, with no particular rights.” (Italics in the original text.)

And, again: “To most biologists, an embryo or a fetus is no more a complete human being than a blueprint is a complete building.”

The authors further insist that because “the moment of birth is easier to ascertain than the moment of conception, implantation, or quickening,” constitutional rights should begin only at birth: “Such an easily ascertainable point in time [the moment of birth] is a sensible point from which to date Constitutional rights, which should not depend on imprecisions.”

As WND has previously reported, Holdren has argued the U.S. Constitution would permit compulsory birth control methods, including involuntary abortions, government-imposed sterilizations and laws limiting the number of children permitted to be born as steps justified under the banner of “sustainable well-being.”

State-funded sterilizations

On page 715, the authors stated a central thesis of the textbook: “The maximum size the human population can attain is determined by the physical capacity of the Earth to support people.”

The authors argued that a federal statute should be enacted to prohibit “any restrictions on safe, voluntary contraception, sterilization, and abortion, and the dissemination of information about them” because “legalized abortions can contribute to a reduction in birth rates.”

To advance the population control agenda, the authors also suggested the following measures:

* State and federal governments should subsidize voluntary contraception, sterilization and abortion; laws should require birth-control clinics be opened at public expense in “all suitable locations”;

* Group and individual health insurance policies should cover the costs of abortion and sterilization; tax laws should provide incentives for late marriage;

* Tax disadvantages for single, childless persons should be eliminated; state and federal laws should make sex education, including instruction about contraception, mandatory in schools;

* Government should sponsor public education programs designed to encourage people to want fewer children;

* Federal support and encouragement should be increased to provide for the development of more effective birth-control drugs and devices.

Still, the authors acknowledged, even these measures may not be enough to prevent ecological disaster resulting from over-population.

“If these relatively uncoercive policies should fail to maintain a low American birth rate, more coercive laws might well be written,” the authors wrote on page 840.

Original Link.