Archive for October, 2009

“Angel Eyes” a Short Story

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Copper always seemed to know the day she and her owners, Mark and Lori, were due to go to the park. Prancing impatiently at the door, she barked once to remind her owners of their tardiness.
“Take it easy, girl”, Mark called from the kitchen as he helped Lori put the finishing touches on the picnic lunch. Packing it in the picnic basket, they joined the light brown dachshund at the door.
Husband and wife, with Copper tugging impatiently on the leash, left the house for the short walk to the neighborhood park.
The weather was sunny, and warm but not overly hot, so the couple set up their blanket and picnic in an open area away from the trees.
After helping Lori set out the picnic items, Mark and Copper engaged in their favorite games of “catch” and “keep-away” with Copper’s favorite purple ball.
After a few minutes, Copper suddenly ran in the opposite direction from where Mark had thrown the ball.
“Copper, come here girl”, Mark called after her. “That’s strange”, he commented to Lori, “I wonder what caught her attention”.
To their dismay, they saw Copper run up to a poorly dressed man. Frantically wagging her tail, Copper circled the man twice and then rolled over on her back, to have her stomached rubbed.
As Mark and Lori walked swiftly over to the stranger, he bent down to rub Coppers stomach. “Good dog, Copper”, the stranger said.
On closer inspection, Mark and Lori could see that the stranger’s clothes were a mismatched conglomeration of cast offs. Wrinkling his forehead in consternation, Mark thought “Oh great, a vagrant”.
“Umm”, he said out loud, “we’re sorry our dog bothered you. C’mom Copper, it’s time to go”.
Standing up to face Mark and Lori, the stranger smiled and said “Go ahead, Copper”.
Turning away from the stranger, with Copper in tow, Lori whispered to Mark, “I sure wish people like that wouldn’t hang around in the park”.
As they returned to their picnic, Copper looked back at the stranger.
Instead of the poorly dressed man her owners had seen, Copper saw the man quite differently.
Clothed completely in a white robe, the stranger had massive white gossamer wings protruding from his back. His eyes blazed with Heavenly fire, but his face was full of compassion and kindness. A glow of pure white light radiated from him and bathed the surrounding area in Holiness, heightening the detail of every leaf, twig and blade of grass around him and erasing all blemishes.
Copper had seen what her owners, with their preconceived notions, had overlooked. She saw the Angel for what he was, an awesome messenger of Almighty God. She saw him with Angel Eyes.

by Steve at Worshippingchristian.org

Jerusalem Must be Capital of Both Israel and Palestine, UN Chief Says

Friday, October 30th, 2009

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Jerusalem must be the capital of two States — Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.

“This is the road to the fulfillment of both the vision of (the United Nations) Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, and the yearning for peace of people from all over the world,” he said in a message to the Jerusalem International Forum in Rabat, Morocco, in which he stressed that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.

The secretary-general cited as obstacles to peace continued Israeli evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem, the latest occurring on Tuesday, closure of Palestinian institutions there, and the expansion of settlements contrary to international law and the Roadmap peace plan espoused by the Quartet — the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States –that seeks a two-State solution to the conflict.

“These actions exacerbate tensions, prejudge final status issues, and often have tragic human consequences,” he added in the message, delivered by Robert H. Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and Ban’s personal representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, UN officials said here.

“I reiterate the repeated calls of the Quartet and the wider international community for Israel to freeze settlement activity, cease provocative and unilateral actions, and reopen Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem,” Ban said.

Ban voiced concern at recent episodes of tension at the Haram Ash-Sharif/Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, and the potential for further clashes, also citing the “sensitive excavations” by Israel in reconstructing a ramp to the site.

“We all share a responsibility to promote calm,” he said. “Today, access into East Jerusalem remains severely restricted by checkpoints, permits and the (Israeli) barrier, whose route is contrary to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.”

“These measures separate families, limit Palestinian economic development and make it difficult for residents of the West Bank to access specialized medical facilities,” he added, urging Israel to respect the “organic relationship” between East Jerusalem and the remainder of the West Bank.

“Only with the achievement of a two-State solution, and a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, will Jerusalem be fully restored to its rightful place as a symbol of sanctity, brotherhood and peace for the entire world,” he said.

At his monthly news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, Ban reiterated his warning that disturbances at the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound and other events in Jerusalem can undermine trust throughout the region.

“I call upon all to avoid provocative acts,” he said.

He also called on Israel to re-open its borders with Gaza to allow in reconstruction material 10 months after the end of its three-week assault on Hamas there, noting that a donors’ conference in Egypt raised 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in financial aid for the purpose.

“Little if any of that money has been delivered,” he said. “Families have not been able to rebuild their homes. Clinics and schools are still in ruins. I urge Israel to accept the UN reconstruction proposals as set forth, recognizing that the only true guarantee of peace is people’s well-being and security.”

He called on both Israel and the Palestinians to carry out “full, independent and credible investigations” in accordance with the recommendations of a UN commission led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which found evidence that both sides committed serious war crimes in the Gaza war.

He said he was aware both were now going to have their own investigations. “I have not received any further details, but that is positive, I would say,” he said. “I have been repeatedly urging the Israeli Government to institute a credible domestic investigation process.”

Original Link.

“SEARCH JUDAISM” a Book Review by Fern Sidman

Friday, October 30th, 2009

SEARCH JUDAISM

Judaism’s Answers to a Changing World

BY: RABBI YITZCHOK FINGERER

Reviewed by: FERN SIDMAN

The words that we utter each and every morning in our daily prayers were written by the wisest of all men, King Solomon. “The beginning of wisdom is the acknowledgement of G-d.” It is a sublimely simple statement and one that has sustained the Jewish people throughout the millennium. There is little doubt, however, that in our hedonistic culture; saturated with skepticism and replete with atheists of all stripes, there any many who find themselves in a quandary about the veracity of G-d’s existence and wrestle with questions of morality and ethics as they attempt to navigate the vicissitudes of life.

“Search Judaism” by Rabbi Yitchok Fingerer is a scrupulously researched repository of exceptionally enlightening information culled from both religious and secular sources on the eternal questions of moral relativism, free choice, pleasure and happiness, good and evil, the meaning of modesty, reincarnation, why bad things happen to good people, divine revelation and the essence of our souls and more importantly, how they play a major role in our lives. This cogently written book is not specifically geared for intellectuals of the secular humanist genre but for all thinking individuals; irrespective of background and level of observance. Its pages are punctuated by poignant stories and pithy anecdotes, as Rabbi Fingerer posits himself as a raconteur and courageously offers a refreshingly honest treasure trove of answers to such questions as “Does G-d exist?”, “Is our free choice pre-determined?” “Did a Divine revelation really take place?”, Whose morality do we follow?”, among others of this archetype.

As a student of Rav Avraham Pam, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Brooklyn’s Torah VaDaas, Rabbi Fingerer’s stellar intellect virtually leaps forth from the pages of this book as he weaves together an indisputable and inexorable thesis for the existence of G-d. His concrete evidence is predicated upon numerous corroborative scientific, psychological and academic studies; all examined under the light of a Torah perspective. Utilizing a plethora of Torah and Talmudic sources along with the timeless wisdom of our Rabbinic sages as a solid foundation, he explores the findings of such psychologists such as Yale professor Stanley Milgram, repentant atheists as British professor Antony Flew and controversial figures as Harvard professor of ethics, Bertrand Russell. Analyzing their reports and results, Rabbi Fingerer proves that true morality cannot be self-defined, that despite critical scientific modalities for research, the omnipotence of G-d is readily apparent and that the Torah is not just a isolated study in ethics in which one can divorce himself, but a genuine, hands on “roadmap to life” that, if studied properly, becomes infused in the fiber of our very beings.

This compelling and powerful page turner will most assuredly keep the reader absorbed as we remain transfixed on a trajectory of personal and collective self-discovery. “Judaism is about searching and investigating in order to passionately live and learn the truth” says the author. We are taught that when we learn Torah we must ask pointed questions. We know that the language of the Torah is Hebrew and we also know that it is a definitive language and every word, every letter, every punctuation mark is laden with hidden meaning. Just as we peal away the layers of an onion, we must assiduously search for answers to the questions of life. “Search Judaism” will facilitate our innate quest for truth and this book, undoubtedly, will play a pivotal role in bringing our lost brethren back to Hashem.

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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.

White House Part of Push for ‘Obama Art’

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Freshly uncovered e-mails detail White House involvement in the National Endowment for the Arts’ controversial conference call encouraging artists to create work that promotes the Obama agenda.

Yosi Sergant, then the NEA communications director, encouraged conference callers to create art that supports Obama’s goals in the areas of health care, education and the environment.

“I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation
has identified as the areas of service,” Sergant said on the call.

White House staffer Buffy Wicks thanked the artists for all the work they had done together during the past two years.

Details of the conference call were made public through release of a transcript and audio on the BigHollywood website.

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request related to the NEA’s Aug. 10 conference call and successfully obtained documents consisting of internal NEA correspondence, including e-mails involving Sergant and former actor and current associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kalpen Modi.

The following are excerpts from the email correspondence:

* Aug. 10, 10:23 a.m.: e-mail from Yosi Sergant to Kalpen Modi: “[The call is] organized by me … I’d ask you to come on and give the exact spiel you gave on Saturday. Walk them through the WH Arts Policy. They won’t know it. Then I will take them into United We Serve and the NEA.”

* Aug. 10, 10:29 a.m.: e-mail from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Oy. This would be awesome to be a part of. Let me know if you think it’s going long, or maybe I can get someone from here to do it if I can’t because of the Social Security mtg.”

* Aug. 10, 11:04 a.m.: e-mail from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Let me see if we can move Social Sec by a few mins. Agreed, it would be great to be on the call and helpful for us also.”

* Aug. 10, 1:37 p.m.: e-mail from Yosi Sergant to Buffy Wicks, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement: “We have an important call at 2pm for UWS (United We Serve) and the Arts with my peeps. Indie producers around the country. Kal can’t join the call. Any chance you can hop on for 5 minutes and intro with Nellie and I?”

According to Judicial Watch, the names of people on the conference call were redacted due to “privacy concerns,” but some of their titles were disclosed, including: green blogger, publisher, musician, music writer, film/marketing, actress/director, marketing, magazine, marketing/magazine, event producer and actress.

The participants were described by the NEA communications director in an e-mail as a “rad group, who can really get stuff done.”

“These e-mails shed new light on a very serious Obama administration scandal,” Judicial Watch said in a statement. “The NEA is supposed to foster the arts, not serve as a propaganda machine for the Obama White House. We will continue our investigation so we can provide the truth to the American people about this scandal.”

Original Link.

House Democrats to Impose New Taxes, Fees and Government Mandates on Health Care Businesses

Friday, October 30th, 2009

True to form, the Democrats don’t care who they have to walk over or hurt to get to the end result. They will do anything necessary to force a government health care plan down American’s throats. A plan that the majority of Americans are opposed to.
I wonder who they think will pay these taxes and fees? To answer that question: we will.

WASHINGTON — The health care overhaul bill produced by House Democrats would impose an array of new taxes, fees and government mandates on major players in the health industry, including insurers, doctors and drugs and medical devices makers.

In most cases, the pain has been meted out with an eye toward raising the money needed to finance President Barack Obama’s plan for reshaping the health system but also with careful regard for gaining the votes that will be needed to pass a final bill.

Democrats hope to vote next week on the measure, which would extend health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it, impose sweeping new restrictions on private insurers and create a government-run insurance plan to compete with them.

Among the industries targeted in the bill are medical device makers — one of the few that failed to cut an early behind-the-scenes deal with Obama and Democrats to help pay for an overhaul. The House added $20 billion in taxes on sales of medical devices like artificial hips and heart stents to the legislation Democratic leaders unveiled Thursday.

That’s more than the industry wants to pay, but it’s a substantial reprieve from an earlier plan in the Senate to slap a $40 billion fee on medical device makers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has agreed to slash the fee, in part to win cooperation from fence-sitting Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.

Bayh, whose state is home to prominent medical device makers, including Zimmer Holdings Inc., Biomet and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., is one of a handful of wavering Democrats whose support will be vital to getting to the 60 Senate votes necessary to advance the health overhaul. That means he and other holdouts have disproportionate power to cut deals on behalf of favored industries that are bracing for major costs under the new system.

Original Link.

The Beatitudes

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:1-12 (New International Version)

Obama Signs ‘Hate-Crimes’ Bill Into Law

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

A “hate crimes” bill opponents claim will be used to crack down on Christian speech, even the reading of the Bible, was signed into law today by President Obama.

The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a vote of 68-29 on Oct. 22 after Democrats strategically attached it to a “must-pass” $680 billion defense appropriations plan.

Most Republicans, although normally strong supporters of the U.S. military, opposed the bill because it hands out federal money to states and local governments in pursuit of “preventing” hate crimes. The bill creates federal protections and privileges for homosexuals and other alternative lifestyles but denies those protections to other groups of citizens.

Obama signed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act at a White House ceremony today. Prior to signing the act into law, Obama spoke briefly of the hate crimes bill.

“After more than a decade, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are,” he said. “I promised Judy Shepard when she saw me in the Oval Office that this day would come, and I’m glad that she and her husband, Dennis, could join us for this event. I’m also honored to have the family of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who fought so hard for this legislation. I just want you all to know how proud we are of the work that Ted did to help make this day possible.”

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon warned that the new law “creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in non-normative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American.”

Wildmon said the legislation creates possible situations where pastors may be arrested if their sermons on sexuality can be linked in even the remotest way to acts of violence.

“It threatens free speech and freedom of religion and is totally unacceptable,” he said.

As WND reported, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted a homosexual activist who is attacked following a Christian minister’s sermon about homosexuality would be protected by the proposed federal law, but a minister attacked by a homosexual wouldn’t be.

The Alliance Defense Fund blasted the “hate-crimes” bill, calling it “another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.”

“All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. “This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel, or believe. ADF will be on the front line to defend those whose free speech or free exercise of religion rights are violated by this unconstitutional law and to ultimately overturn this attack on freedom.”

Opponents point to cases in Canada and Sweden, where Christians have faced criminal prosecution for preaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.

“ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where ‘hate crimes’ legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed ‘politically correct,'” Stanley explained. “‘Hate crimes’ laws fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech.”

Stanley said such crimes are already punishable under existing federal, state and local laws.

“Bills of this sort are designed to forward a political agenda and silence critics, not combat actual crime,” he said. “The bottom line is that we do not need a law that creates second-class victims in America and that gives the government the opportunity to ignore the First Amendment.”

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, testified before Congress against the hate crimes bill in 2007.

“It is fundamentally unjust for the government to treat some crime victims more favorably than others, just because they are homosexual or transsexual,” Dacus said. “This bill is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state law enforcement authority, and it is an unwise step toward silencing religious and moral viewpoints.”

He said the adoption of hate crimes legislation has led to widespread suppression of speech deemed politically incorrect. The Pacific Justice Institute noted that in California, hate crimes laws are commonly invoked as a basis for further laws pushing acceptance of homosexuality in public schools and the workplace. The group also warned that use of “hate speech” terminology is also now being employed by minority religious groups in America to encourage suppression of free speech, as a prominent Hindu group called on Congress and major Internet service providers to shut down websites critical of Hinduism, including websites of Christian mission organizations.

The Pacific Justice Institute pledged to come to defend anyone who is prosecuted under the new hate crimes law because of their religious expression.

Liberty Counsel litigation counsel Matt Krause told WND, “It’s a very sad day for America and for religious liberties in general.”

He said the law will not deter crime or help the law-enforcement system.

“The only thing it will do is silence and scare Christians and religious organizations,” Krause said. “It will penalize thoughts and actions, and it will not stop crime. It should be called the ‘thought-crimes’ bill.”

He continued, “We encourage pastors and church leaders to keep doing what they’re doing and preach the gospel. If they run into any barriers, they can contact us because we are ready and willing to defend them in any way we need to.”

The White House announced it will host a reception this evening to commemorate the enactment of the hate crimes legislation. Obama’s remarks will be aired live on the White House website.

Original Link.

AARP: Reform Advocate and Insurance Salesman

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The AARP has lost the spirit of what it was founded to do; keeping the best interest of our seniors at heart.

The nation’s preeminent seniors group, AARP, has put the weight of its 40 million members behind health-care reform, saying many of the proposals will lower costs and increase the quality of care for older Americans.

But not advertised in this lobbying campaign have been the group’s substantial earnings from insurance royalties and the potential benefits that could come its way from many of the reform proposals.

The group and its subsidiaries collected more than $650 million in royalties and other fees last year from the sale of insurance policies, credit cards and other products that carry the AARP name, accounting for the majority of its $1.14 billion in revenue, according to federal tax records. It does not directly sell insurance policies but lends its name to plans in exchange for a tax-exempt cut of the premiums.

The organization, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, also heavily markets the policies on its Web site, in mailings to its members and through ubiquitous advertising targeted at seniors.

The group’s dual role as an insurance reformer and a broker has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks from congressional Republicans, who accuse it of having a conflict of interest in taking sides in the fierce debate over health insurance. Three House Republicans sent a letter to AARP on Monday complaining that the group was putting its “political self-interests” ahead of seniors.

GOP lawmakers point to AARP’s thriving business in marketing branded Medigap policies, which provide supplemental coverage for standard Medicare plans available to the elderly. Democratic proposals to slash reimbursements for another program, called Medicare Advantage, are widely expected to drive up demand for private Medigap policies like the ones offered by AARP, according to health-care experts, legislative aides and documents.

Republicans also question the high salaries and other perks given to some top AARP executives, who would not be subject to limits on insurance executives’ pay included in the Senate Finance Committee’s health reform package. Former AARP chief executive William Novelli received more than $1 million in compensation last year.

“We are witnessing a disturbing trend of handouts to special interests like AARP,” said House Republican spokesman Matt Lloyd, referring to Democratic negotiations over health reform. “In return, AARP is lobbying for a government-run health-care bill that will pad their own executives’ pockets at the expense of its own members and other vulnerable seniors.”

Original Link.

Pelosi Unveiling Health Bill With Gov’t Option

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Pelosi still doesn’t get it!! What planet does this woman live on? The majority of people do not want this!!
One more time, for the benefit of Speaker Pelosi: “No Health Care with a Government Option”. Period.

WASHINGTON — After months of contentious negotiating, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepared to unveil a retooled health care overhaul plan intended to bridge differences among Democrats and open a history-making floor debate on extending health insurance to nearly all Americans.

Pelosi, D-Calif., wants to have the legislation on the floor next week, with a final vote before Veterans Day, Nov. 11, that would give President Barack Obama a bill to sign by year’s end, numerous Democratic officials said. She planned a formal announcement of the bill Thursday in front of the Capitol.

The bill would require nearly everyone by 2013 to sign up through their employer, a government program or a new kind of purchasing pool called an exchange. Tax credits would be available for most of those buying coverage through the exchange. They would have the option of picking a new government plan or private insurance.

During the transition years from 2010-2013, a temporary government program would help people turned down by private insurers because of medical problems, lawmakers said. After that, insurers no longer could refuse to provide coverage to the sick, nor could they charge more because of poor health of the insured.

The plan also calls for a significant expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low-income people. And it would impose a requirement on employers to offer insurance to their workers or face penalties.

A concession to Democratic moderates appears to have cleared a path for Pelosi to move forward. Democratic leaders agreed to the moderates’ demand that the new government insurance plan must negotiate payment levels with hospitals and doctors, instead of imposing its rates, as liberal lawmakers would have preferred.

“This has always been a matter of trying to pull together 218 votes,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., referring to the number needed to guarantee passage on the House floor. “There is growing confidence that we can pass it with strong Democratic support.”

No Republicans are expected to vote for the sweeping legislation, which would raise taxes on upper-income earners and cut Medicare payments to insurers, hospitals and other providers to cover a price tag that tops $1 trillion over 10 years.

“Americans’ health care is too important to risk on one gigantic bill that was negotiated behind closed doors,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. “The Medicare cuts will hurt seniors, the tax increases will kill jobs and the government takeover of health care will increase premium costs.

Original Link.

Radical Islamic Group Leader Killed in FBI Raid

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The FBI seems to be doing a good job staying on top of the “terrorist in America” problem. Keep up the great work!!!

DETROIT — Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested several members of a radical Sunni Islam group in the U.S., killing one of its leaders at a shootout in a Michigan warehouse, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Agents were trying to arrest Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, at a Dearborn warehouse on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. Authorities also conducted raids elsewhere to try to round up 10 followers named in a federal complaint.

Abdullah refused to surrender, fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.

In the 43-paged complaint unsealed Wednesday, the FBI said Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was an imam, or prayer leader, of a radical group named Ummah whose primary mission is to establish an Islamic state within the United States.

No one was charged with terrorism. But Abdullah was “advocating and encouraging his followers to commit violent acts against the United States,” FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit.

He told them it was their “duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die,” Leone said.

Abdullah regularly preached anti-government rhetoric and was trained, along with his followers, in the use of firearms, martial arts and swords, the agent said.

Leone said members of the national group mostly are black and some converted to Islam while in prisons across the United States.

“Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed,” Leone wrote.

Seven of the 10 people charged with Abdullah were in custody, including a state prison inmate, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Three were still at large. Another man not named in the complaint also was arrested.

The group believes that a separate Islamic state in the U.S. would be controlled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado for shooting two police officers in Georgia in 2000, Leone said. Al-Amin, a veteran of the black power movement, started the group after he converted to Islam in prison.

“They’re not taking their cues from overseas,” said Jimmy Jones, a professor of world religions at Manhattanville College and a longtime Muslim prison chaplain. “This group is very much American born and bred.”

The movement at one time was believed to include a couple of dozen mosques around the country. Ummah is now dwarfed in numbers and influence by other African-American Muslim groups, particularly the mainstream Sunnis who were led by Imam W.D. Mohammed, who recently died.

By evening, authorities still were working the scene near the Detroit-Dearborn border and the warehouse was surrounded by police tape.

The U.S. attorney’s office said an FBI dog was also killed during the shootout.

Abdullah’s mosque is in a brick duplex on a quiet, residential street in Detroit. A sign on the door in English and Arabic reads, in part, “There is no God but Allah.”

Several men congregated on the porch Wednesday night and subsequently attacked a photographer from The Detroit News who was taking pictures from across the street. Ricardo Thomas had his camera equipment smashed and had a bloody lip from the attack.

Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Dearborn, said the FBI had briefed him about Wednesday’s raids and told him they were the result of a two-year investigation.

“We know that this is not something to be projected as something against Muslims,” Hamad said.

The complaint shows the FBI built its case with the help of confidential sources close to Abdullah who recorded conversations.

A source said that Abdullah regularly beat children inside the mosque with sticks, including a boy who was “unable to walk for several days,” Leone said.

The source, according to the agent, regularly listened to a recording of a 2004 sermon in which Abdullah said, “Do not carry a pistol if you’re going to give it up to police. You give them a bullet!”

In January 2009, members were evicted from a former mosque for failing to pay property taxes. An FBI search turned up empty shell casings and large holes in the concrete wall of a “shooting range,” Leone said.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the federal authorities’ description of Abdullah’s extremist links didn’t match what he knew of Abdullah.

“I knew him to be charitable,” Walid said. “He would open up the mosque to homeless people. He used to run a soup kitchen and feed indigent people. … I knew nothing of him that was related to any nefarious or criminal behavior.”

Original Link.

Larry David Blasted for ‘Curb’ Episode Where He Urinates on Jesus Painting

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

As usual, Hollywood believes it’s OK to insult Jesus and Christians.

Comedian Larry David is under attack from critics who say he pushed the mocking of religion and Christian belief in miracles over the edge in the latest episode of his HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which the cable network defended as “playful.”

On the show’s most recent installment, which aired Sunday, David urinates on a painting of Jesus Christ, causing a woman to believe the painting depicts Jesus crying.

Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, said he doesn’t find any humor in the episode.

“I don’t think it’s funny,” Hudson told Foxnews.com. “Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols? If the same thing was done to a symbol of any other religions — Jewish or Muslim — there’d be a huge outcry. It’s simply not a level playing field.”

Hudson said an apology from the show’s producers and writing team should be issued.

“Somebody should [apologize],” Hudson said. “When is it going to stop? When is common sense going to dictate that people realize this willingness of artists to do to Christianity what they would never do to Judaism or Islam?”

In a statement to Foxnews.com, HBO downplayed the controversy.

“Anyone who follows Curb Your Enthusiasm knows that the show is full of parody and satire,” the statement read. “Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humor is always playful and certainly never malicious.”

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, also criticized the episode, saying David should “quit while he’s ahead,” and that the show is proof that the comedian’s best years are behind him.

“Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it’s comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?” Donohue said in a statement. “This might be fun to watch, but since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics (it was just a couple of weeks ago that Sarah Silverman insulted Catholics on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’) and David is Jewish, we’ll never know.”

During Sunday’s episode, David, who created, wrote and produced “Seinfeld,” visits a bathroom in his assistant’s home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus. Instead of wiping it off, David leaves the restroom. Minutes later, David’s assistant enters the bathroom and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her mother to the bathroom, where both women kneel in prayer.

Original Link.

Rifqa Bary Returns to Columbus

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Rifqa Bary, the teen who ran away from home, in fear of her life, after she converted from Islam to Christianity, has been returned to Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Children’s Protective Services has swallowed her father’s story, hook, line and sinker. The fact that authorities were coached by representatives of terrorist front group, CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations), during the investigation, had everything to do with this.
The system has let this brave young lady down. Christians have let her down. Now she is completely in God’s hands. Please continue to pray for her.

Fathima Bary

Fathima Rifqa Bary is back in Columbus as of noon today, the Florida Department of Children and Families has announced.

The 17-year-old runaway is now in the custody of Franklin County Children Services. She will live in a foster home, rather than immediately returning to her parents’ Northeast Side apartment.

She accused her father, Mohamed Bary, of threatening to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. He denies the accusations, and authorities have found no credible threats to her safety.

She ran away to Orlando in July. A Florida case was opened, but the judge ultimately decided that jurisdiction belongs to Ohio.

The girl, who goes by Rifqa, was not at a dependency hearing this morning in Franklin County Juvenile Court. Attorneys agreed to continue the case until Nov. 16.

Magistrate Mary Goodrich did order Children Services to monitor Rifqa’s phone and Internet useafter Jim Zorn, a Children Services attorney, asked for the restrictions.

Her parents have said they are concerned that she was talking to adults on Facebook before she ran away.

After she arrived in Orlando, she stayed for more than two weeks with a pastor couple she met on Facebook. She also met another couple, who bought her bus ticket, on the site, she said.

Original Link.

See our previous post about Rifqa Bary.
Hamas-Linked CAIR Supervised Police Interview of Rifqa Bary’s Parents on Abuse Allegations.
Florida Investigation Finds No Credible Threat to Teen Christian Convert.
Teen Christian Convert Who Fled Muslim Family Gets Online Threat.
Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Says Family Threatened to Kill Her.
Updated: Judge Decides Fate of Honor Student, Cheerleader Who Fears “Honor Killing” After Converting to Christianity.
Parents of Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Have Ties to Mosque of Alleged Terrorist.
Political Asylum Suggested for Rifqa Bary, Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert.
Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert Order Back to Ohio by Florida Judge.
Rifqa Investigation Ignored Facts About Islam.

In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings

“Obama’s War on Fox Is Liberalism’s War on Dissent” by David Limbaugh

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Can you imagine the outrage that would have ensued had former President George W. Bush declared off-limits those media outlets he thought (correctly) treated him unfairly?

Heck, the left declared him a dictator simply because he led a war on Iraq that Congress approved. He never tried to shut down his critics. He rarely even objected to their abuse.

But liberal politicians have been spoiled with mainstream media favoritism for so long that they believe anything other than sycophancy is mistreatment. Their selective outrage is as hollow as it is risible.

In fact, Fox News seems much more conservative than it is because no other television network over the past half-century has been anything but decidedly liberal. When the media norm is liberal, liberals equate liberalism with objectivity and deviations from it as bias, just as liberals preach tolerance toward all ideas — except conservative ones. Their self-delusion is surreal.

Thus, Fox News Channel — which has a number of liberal hosts, scores of liberal contributors, and nonstop liberal guests — is painted as conservative because it is the only network that has more than one token conservative host.

Perhaps more of Fox’s prominent hosts lean conservative than liberal, but unlike other networks, it scrupulously attempts to present both sides and to delineate its news from its editorializing.

But Obama’s war against the network is about much more than Fox News. It is about his and his fellow liberals’ intolerance for political dissent and their war on political criticism from any corner. Unless you shower Obama with adulation 24/7, you are ripe for targeting. They will abuse the power and prestige of the office of the presidency to “call you out.” They have personally called out Rush Limbaugh and other media critics. They’ve targeted conservative talk radio for neutering, having assigned a Federal Communications Commission diversity czar that very task.

Unless you refrain from asking even marginally difficult questions of the administration, you are not only boycotted from access to interviews but demonized to boot. This way, Obama scores a twofer: He avoids almost all scrutiny from the mainstream media, scrutiny that even the Founders said is necessary to good government, and he discredits his political critics in the process.

What should alarm all First Amendment proponents is that so many liberals don’t really champion the free and open expression of ideas; they only support the advancement of liberal policies, even if that means one-sided dominance to the point of indoctrination in our public schools and universities and in the media.

Read the rest of the article here.

Two Chicago Muslim Men Charged in Terror Plot

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Another terror plot, this time planned against a newspaper in Denmark but originating in the U.S.

Two Chicago men are charged with planning terrorist acts against overseas targets, including a Danish newspaper that sparked riots in the Muslim world when it published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, prosecutors said Tuesday.

David Coleman Headley, 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, were charged in separate complaints filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Headley told FBI agents that the initial plan called for an attack against the newspaper building in Copenhagen, but he later proposed just killing the paper’s cartoonist and former cultural editor, according to an FBI affidavit released Tuesday.

The charges were unsealed nine days after the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted a massive raid on an Islamic butcher shop in the tiny rural town of Kinsman, Ill., that left residents stunned. The halal butcher is one of a few businesses owned by Rana.

Prosecutors say Headley traveled to Denmark twice this year to identify potential targets for a terrorist attack, and that Rana helped arrange Headley’s travel, concealing the true nature of his trips.

Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, is charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the United States, and could face life in prison if convicted.

He and Rana are both charged with plotting to provide material support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy, a charge that could net Rana 15 years in prison. Headley is a U.S. citizen; Rana is a native of Pakistan and a citizen of Canada, though he resides primarily in Chicago.

Headley was arrested Oct. 3 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on his way to Pakistan — where federal officials charge he was planning to meet with representatives of the Pakistan-based terrorist groups Lakshar-e-Taiba and Harakat ul-Jihad Islami (HUJI), a group tied to Al Qaeda.

He told FBI agents following his arrest that he received training from Lakshar-e-Taiba while in Pakistan and had worked with Ilyas Kashmiri, a local chief of HUJI.

On Oct. 18, two weeks after Headley’s arrest, the Joint Terrorism Task Force searched four locations in Illinois and arrested Rana at his home in Chicago. The JTTF also searched Headley’s home and Rana’s immigration business in Chicago, as well as the halal butcher operation Rana owns in Kinsman.

Prosecutors charge that Headley has “corresponded extensively” in coded communications with Pakistani terrorists regarding what he called the “Mickey Mouse Project” — planned attacks on the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and its employees.

Original Link.

Democrats Divided Over Gov’t-Run Health Plans

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Some “moderate” Democrats are starting to balk at actually having to put their name on a government run health care bill, knowing quite well that the majority of Americans are dead set against it. There is still some fear of the voters.

WASHINGTON — Democrats are still struggling to find a strategy that will let them push a health care overhaul through the Senate and fulfill President Obama’s goal of signing a bill this year.

A day after Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Democratic bill would include the option of a government-run insurance plan, moderates in his own party lost no time Tuesday in voicing their displeasure. Reid, D-Nev., needs every Democrat to break the filibusters Republicans are vowing to mount. But some of the moderates refuse to say whether they’ll stick with their leader on procedural votes, let alone those on the merits of the bill.

“We are a long way from reaching conclusion,” said Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in a similar position in the House. Efforts to draft a consensus health care bill for a vote have been stalled for more than two weeks because of disagreements among Democrats.

There are nine weeks left in the year to deliver a bill to Obama’s desk.

Intense days and nights lie ahead, said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. Senators who don’t like the bill will find themselves the focus of a “prayer session,” said Nelson. “They will pray that the retribution of God doesn’t come down on them,” he joked.

Nonetheless, moderate Democratic senators who control the balance of power on health care were holding their ground. Republican opposition stiffened, and party leaders announced they would attempt to strangle the bill before formal debate begins.

Despite the obstacles, senior Democrats cast Reid’s draft legislation as a turning point. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said there is now a “sense of inevitability … that, yes, we’re going to pass health care reform.”

The government insurance option long ago emerged as the biggest flashpoint in both the House and Senate as Democrats try to pass legislation that extends coverage, bans insurance practices such as denial of coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions and slows the growth of health care spending nationally.

But before any substantive issue can be joined on the Senate floor, Reid’s first challenge is to gain 60 votes — the number needed to overcome a filibuster by Republicans — just to bring the bill up, a parliamentary maneuver so routine that a vote is rarely required.

But Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced that in this case, even procedural votes will count. That’s because, in his view, the underlying bill would “cut Medicare, raise taxes and increase health insurance premiums.” He suggested Democrats could expect campaign commercials next year on the basis of the vote and recalled that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was ridiculed in his 2004 presidential campaign for having once said he voted for a bill before he voted against it.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said he may seek changes on the Senate floor, a move likely to be welcomed by moderates. He backs a government role in states where one or two insurers control the market and premiums are high, along the same lines as a plan supported by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

That general approach, in which a lack of competition in an individual’s state would trigger a government insurance option, “is still alive,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

While Reid is expected to eventually secure all 60 Democratic votes on the critical first test to bring the bill to the Senate floor, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas all declined to say on Tuesday how they would vote.

Original Link.

Cross-Like T-Shirt Design at Penn State University Sparks Controversy

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

It’s amazing the lengths anti-Christians will go to in order to find an issue to get upset about. Think of all the wonderful things that could be invented if only that energy was put to good use instead of being wasted on getting upset about nothing.

A blue, cross-like design emblazoned on T-shirts at Penn State University has some critics seeing red.

The shirts — intended to foster school spirit — sport a vertical blue line down the center with the words “Penn State White Out” emblazoned across the chest, forming a design that some say resembles a cross. The back of the shirt depicts the same blue line obscured by the words, “Don’t be intimated … It’s just me and 110,000 of my friends.” Roughly 30,000 of the shirts have been sold.

Penn State says it has received six complaints about the shirt, including one from the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia branch, from people who say it connotes a Christian cross. The logo design also has become the focus of controversy in the student newspaper, “The Daily Collegian,” which has received several letters to the editor on both sides of the issue.

Michal Berns, a junior majoring in media law and policy, said she refused to buy the $15 shirt because of its religious connotations.

“At first glance, you don’t necessarily think that’s what it looks like, but when you look at it more, it does look like a cross,” Berns told Foxnews.com. “That’s the reason I didn’t purchase it.”

Berns said students can purchase the shirts when they buy season tickets for the university’s nationally ranked football program or during the football season at the campus bookstore and other stores. The shirts are typically worn at Penn State’s annual “White Out” game, at which a crowd of 100,000 screaming Nittany Lions fans creates a virtual sea of white at Beaver Stadium.

While Berns acknowledged the shirt’s single blue stripe resembles the stripe on the team’s football helmet, she and others at the university’s Hillel Jewish organization plan to show their school pride in other ways.

Bill Mahon, vice president for university relations, said six people have contacted Penn State to voice their objections to the shirt’s design.

“Six complaints is not a controversy,” Mahon wrote Foxnews.com. “Students submit shirt designs to the student paper each year. Students then vote for their favorite design and they are sold in the campus bookstore.”

Mahon said the design was based on the single blue stripe on the football team’s helmets and will not be pulled from store shelves as some have asked. “The shirts have sold out and no changes are planned,” he said.

Stephanie Bennis, a senior at the school, said she created the shirt’s design in March with fellow public relations major Emily Sabolsky, and in no way did they intend to create religious overtones. Like Mahon, she said the single blue stripe is a nod to the university’s football program.

“That was the entire idea,” she said. “And all we thought was normally wording goes right across the chest. That’s truly the reason why we did it.”

Bennis said she was “very shocked” when she learned the university had received complaints about the design.

“It’s just sad to see that in this day and age, the most offensive thing on a shirt can be what people see as a religious symbol,” she said.

“Are we going to ban lowercase t’s in the alphabet? Where do you draw the line?”

Nick Mangus, a senior majoring in East Asian studies, described the controversy as “ridiculous” and said images of crosses can be seen virtually anywhere, even in “tiles on the floor.”

“Honestly, I think it’s basically people just trying to stir up controversy over something that’s ridiculous,” Mangus said. “If you don’t want to buy it, don’t buy it. It’s that simple. You don’t have to try and force everyone else to change their ways because you think it’s offensive.”

Original Link.

“Dismantling America” by Thomas Sowell

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many “czars” appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another “czar” would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers– that is, to create a situation where some newspapers’ survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called “experts” deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

Does any of this sound like America?

How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.

How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries.

We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.

Read the rest of the article here.

First Manger Scene Fight of the 2009 Christmas Season

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Well, here we go again. Every year it’s the same story.

John Satawa’s family has displayed a nativity scene on a street median in Warren, Mich., virtually every Christmas season since 1945, but following an intimidating letter sent by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Satawa’s county has put stop to the 63-year-old tradition.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation proclaims its purpose in the letter to the Road Commission of Macomb County was to “protect the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state.”

But Satawa contends there’s nothing unconstitutional about his privately owned and maintained Christmas display. With the help of the Thomas More Law Center, Satawa has filed a case in U.S. district court asking the judge to declare the county’s crèche rejection unconstitutional instead and order officials to permit its display.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented in a statement, “Every Christmas holiday, militant atheists … use the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ – nowhere found in our Constitution – as a means of intimidating municipalities and schools into removing expressions celebrating Christmas, a national holiday. Their goal is to cleanse our public square of all Christian symbols.

“However,” Thompson continued, “the grand purpose of our Founding Fathers and the First Amendment was to protect religion, not eliminate it. Municipalities and schools should be aware that the systematic exclusion of Christmas symbols during the holiday season is itself inconsistent with the Constitution.”

The story of the nativity scene began in 1945, when the congregation of St. Anne’s Parish was established in the Village of Warren, and a set of Christmas statues was donated to the Catholic church for a nativity display.

The statues were too large to display inside the church, the lawsuit explains, so some members of the congregation thought it would be a good idea to display the statues and a manger in the center of the village during the Christmas holiday season.

Satawa’s father, Joseph Satawa, using donated lumber, built a manger for the crèche, and obtained permission from the village president to display the scene on the median between Mound and Chicago Roads.

Though the years, local businesses and citizens have donated materials and labor to erect and refurnish the nativity. It has been a Warren tradition for 63 years, still spearheaded by the Satawa family, and it has graced the same street median every year, save for 1996, when construction prohibited its display.

But in December of 2008, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the county a complaint letter.

It read, in part, “When the county displays this manger scene, which depicts the legendary birth of Jesus Christ, it places in imprimatur of the Macomb County government behind the Christian religious doctrine. This excludes citizens who are not Christian – Jews, Native American religion practitioners, animists, etc., as well as the significant and growing population that is not religious at all.”

Citing a selection of Supreme Court cases, the letter concludes, “There are ample private and church grounds where religious displays may be freely placed, including, presumably, St. Anne’s Parish, where this display clearly belongs. Once the government enters into the religion business, conferring endorsement and preference for one religion over others, it strikes a blow at religious liberty, forcing taxpayers of all faiths and of no religion to support a particular expression of worship.”

After receiving the letter, the county road commission demanded Satawa remove the nativity scene because he had not obtained the appropriate permit.

When Satawa applied for the permit in anticipation of the upcoming 2009 Christmas season, he was denied and told by the county that the nativity scene “clearly displays a religious message” in alleged violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Visit WND’s Christmas Store to find dozens of Christmas gift ideas and real “reason for the season” messages.

The Thomas More Law Center, however, contends the Establishment clause should protect the nativity, not forbid it.

The lawsuit points out that private displays of the community’s history and tradition are currently permitted and constructed on the median in question, and that the county is discriminating against the private nativity display based solely on its content, not its constitutionality.

“The United States Supreme Court has long held that all public streets, which includes public medians, are held in the public trust and are properly considered traditional public forums for private speech,” commented Law Center attorney Robert Muise in a statement, citing his own legal precedents. “Moreover, the Supreme Court has also stated that ‘private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression.’

“Consequently,” he concluded, “by restricting speech because it is religious expression, the Road Commission is imposing a content-based restriction on private speech in a traditional public forum in clear violation of the Constitution.”

Specifically, the lawsuit contends, the county’s prohibition of the private nativity scene “lacks a valid secular purpose, has the primary effect of inhibiting religion and creates an excessive entanglement with religion in violation of the United States Constitution.”

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen, chief judge of the Eastern District of Michigan.

Original Link.

“Complete Lack of Understanding” by Ron Graham

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

This phrase, “Complete lack of Understanding”, is from a news headline I read recently. It was in reference to this whole idea of global warming, or as your president and others of his like-mindedness refer to it now, “climate change”. Over the past few months, Obama has demonstrated what many perceive as a shallowness of understanding; he seems to be proving his shallowness as he and his administration lead the US into a posture of “government controlled everything”.

When I read that headline something dawned on me. I thought about Obama’s claim of being a Christian, and his claim to taking a pro-life stance, but then I looked at all the devastating and satanic moves he’s made since taking office. I soon came to the conclusion that this man does not lack understanding; he lacks something much greater.

While looking at his term in office thus far, not just his stance on global warming, I see this man as making a firm stance against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Just read about what went on in the building where he attended church services for twenty years. Then as president, signing into law the most sweeping agenda for murdering babies in the history of the US , and offering homosexuals equal legal and moral rights as though God would actually encourage such abominations. You might just come away with a sense of how much understanding this man lacks.

I started looking at the fruit this man has produced over the span of his life thus far. I’m no longer somewhat skeptical of Obama’s claim as a Christian, I’m sure he doesn’t know the Savior of the world. Obama has a gaping hole in his understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what it means to be born again. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” Romans 1:22. Why would a born again believer in Christ congratulate the Pope for his pronouncement of five more individuals who the Pope has declared saints? The Bible says we are all saints when we become born again. Only those who don’t know Jesus Christ are able to see anything special in what the Pope did. A Complete lack of Understanding? Hmm.

Obama isn’t lacking in his understanding about what he’s doing as president, he knows exactly what he’s doing. Even some leaders of other countries perceive Obama to be naïve and without understanding. But they too lack understanding; they just don’t understand where Obama is headed and why. If we step back and focus our view on the big picture, we can see his agenda is to dismantle every remaining vestige of what Americans once thought of as freedom. “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” Psalms 119:34. David is asking God for understanding as should we all. Is Obama seeking God’s heart? Is he seeking understanding from the creator of the Universe? Does he have any intention of keeping Jesus’ commandments? Not so you’d notice.

Here’s the problem. America has, for the most part, become a nation so wrapped up in the luxury of materialism and degrading immorality that any perceived threat to their comfort zone or their immoral liberalities by anyone in government would bring swift retribution. So our leaders were bent on supplying Americans with all the pabulum they could dish out to appease the masses. Then someone came along who had no real answers but was articulate in his speech and charismatic in his demeanor. This man came on the scene with a simple message of change and it was swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the same masses that require pabulum to achieve understanding.

Obama’s real agenda wasn’t actually understood by the pabulum crowd. So in the mind of this heartless man he had fed the masses what they wanted to hear and it was easy. They fell head over heels for a man whose whole life has been devoted to creating a socialistic state. But that pabulum crowd could see only dollar signs and comfort zones being re-established throughout America once again, even if it had to happen at the expense and suffering of others. Obama’s vanity came shinning through. “He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.” Proverbs 12:11. In other words whoever follows Obama has most assuredly checked their brain at the door.

Now here we are 9 months or so into Obama’s presidency and we’ve seen a man who is bent on destroying our republic, bankrupting our economy, and turning the US into a slave state. Mark my words, we will be slaves to the government because we are currently relinquishing every freedom. Even our God-given freedoms are falling by the wayside just so we Americans can continue to live in what is perceived to be a land of plenty. It’s no longer a land of plenty because our national debt is so high that even Solomon in all his glory couldn’t possibly contemplate paying it off.

America will never be able to withstand four complete years of this man’s narcissism without losing much of what it once stood for. We will cease to be the nation we once were and by the time the opportunity comes around again to vote him out of office it may be four years too late. I wonder sometimes just how many actually see this man for who he really is. I recently received an e-mail from someone who told me that voting in America is completely rigged and it will do no good in the future to vote. If that be the case folks, we are doomed. But perhaps that’s just what the enemy wants us to believe so we won’t bother casting a vote at all. In that respect evil would certainly take over our country completely.

To some it may seem Obama hasn’t any common sense. That’s not what I see. I see Obama as a man driven by an external force speeding to accomplish a major change in this country in a very short period of time. Why? Because the force driving Obama knows there is very little time remaining to accomplish his agenda. Satan can also see the handwriting on the wall and he knows the hour is late. I know there are many who look to all those secretive organizations such as the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations and all the rest as being the power behind Obama, and in one sense they may be correct. But there is something even more secretive and sinister behind him and that force is what’s driving Obama as if he were the engineer on a runaway train with no brakes on a downhill slope to destruction. Our destruction is what he wants, no more USA. Think about it. What’s his all fired hurry? It’s almost as though he doesn’t even catch his breath before another act of lunacy is shoved down America ’s collective throats.

It’s important for all those who agree with me on this subject to take an active role in the affairs of their government because we can no longer rely on our elected officials to act on our behalf. No matter how insane a measure appears to most of us on the outside, it’s pushed through the House and Senate and signed before America has a chance to blink. Or it’s rammed through, even though most of America doesn’t want it. Doesn’t all this seem just a little fishy? Does Obama have a complete lack of understanding? Or is Obama’s path set by the evil one? Are Americans in for the most terrifying ride this country has ever seen? “The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” Proverbs 21:16.

There still seems to be a majority of the populace who see this man as their messiah. Some of them, though, are no longer basking in all the good they expected to see accomplished by this man. Some of those Obamaites are far less excited about their false messiah these days. Many have begun to see the truth and are not looking forward to the impending doom on the horizon. The slightly decreasing numbers of Americans that still approve of Obama’s presidency thus far are a real boost to those of us who have known the truth all along.

As believers we are given the strength to withstand whatever the enemy can throw at us, and throw at us he will. And that’s every bit of “ugly” he can muster. Believers won’t go through the wrath that is to come from God during the last half of the tribulation week, but nothing is said about believers avoiding persecution. Persecution can come subtly or aggressively but by the look of where this world is headed, especially when Islam becomes as dominate as many suspect and if the Lord tarries, aggressive persecution of the Church will soon be upon us.

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20b John prays this prayer at the end of the book of Revelation. John put that verse there for us to read and repeat. Every true believer should be repeating it daily. I know we can’t speed up Jesus’ return, but we can let Him know we earnestly desire His soon arrival for His Church. But until then we need to intensify our efforts in spreading the truth of the Gospel of Christ, for the end is in sight.

Complete lack of understanding is certainly an appropriate response to some politicians these days. On the other hand understanding has nothing to do with most of the actions taken by politicians as they sit in their comfortable chairs and allow Obama to destroy our nation. They are scared to death of the evil this man oozes, and that is a fact. Some will stand against Obama, but not for long. Before we know it they’ve changed their attitudes and their votes and begin to side with the rest of the lame-brained chicken hearts we’ve elected to represent us.

There is a real attitude of cowardice that runs rampant in the halls of government these days. Many politicians have been representing their constituents for so long they believe we owe it to them to continue to vote them into office. Then they have no intention of following the consensus of their constituency. They become embedded in their office and enamored with their power and oblivious to the needs of the American people. They only care about how much power and money they will retire with. So they aren’t about to upset the apple cart even if it means bowing to Obama as he bowed to the Saudis.

Obama is evil through and through. He doesn’t care anything about this country. He only cares about what this country can do to elevate him to an even higher level. Obama seeks to be leader of the world and worshipped by all people worldwide, and nothing is going to stand in his way to accomplish his goal. You think Ron’s gone off the deep end, don’t you? Well, if you believe differently, if you believe that Obama is on his way to establishing a utopian world for us to enjoy, then just sit back and enjoy your ride to nirvana.

If, on the other hand, you see what I and many others see, that this man is treacherous and not one tiny bit without understanding of exactly where he intends to lead America, you better get to as many as you can with the truth and at least try to convince them of the lateness of the hour and what’s coming. I made the statement earlier that Obama lacks something much greater than understanding; he lacks heart and a conscience. Of course he’s not alone in his lack of these two very important traits but he’s in charge.

Jesus is at the door. There’s a point coming very soon when the very last believer will be acknowledged by God and the door will slam shut as far as the Church is concerned. God the Father will turn to God the Son and say “Go get ‘em, Son”. In the twinkling of an eye the Bride of Christ will be rescued out from among the realm of this world’s persecution. At that point, all those who were on the fence concerning whether or not to believe in Jesus as their Messiah will be sure they’ve blown it big time. At first their only indication that something went terribly wrong will be that they find the malls of America are never crowded anymore. Mall or Heaven. Make your choice, but make it soon.

God bless you all,
Ron Graham
twotug@embarqmail.com

Original Link.
Also See: “Will The World Recognize The Antichrist?”.

“Fox News is Obama’s Only Friend” from LastingLiberty

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Hat Tip to Harry.

“At the White House, as we like to say, we love MSNBC.”
-Kareem Dale, special assistant to the president for arts and culture and a key White House advisor on disability policy.  4 May 2009

It’s no secret that like-minded people enjoy each other.  Indeed, this weekend, LastingLiberty editors attended the Philadelphia Society conference in Indianapolis on the “Pursuit of Truth”.  It would be hard to assemble a larger group of philosophical conservatives, and we felt right at home, nodding our heads in synch as the speakers satisfied our appetites.

Enjoying as we did the chorus of choir preachers, we were reminded of a problem that plagues many people; that is, though it is fun to listen to those who reflect our beliefs, echoes eventually make people crazy.  Without listening to dissenting voices, beliefs gradually become more radical and irrational.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than in Hollywood and Washington.  Actors go to parties with other liberal actors where they talk the same tripe.  They give each other awards for courageously promoting what they all believe.  They see the admiration, hear the clapping, and begin to believe their own lie.  “I really am a foxy yet serious superhero,” she says.  “You love me . . . you really love me.”  Politicians are a similar lot.  They write self-promoting memoirs, give speeches to adoring crowds.  When the spotlight is on and the crowd is in a roar, they can’t help but embrace their godlike status . . . “I am the one they’ve been looking for.”

There’s a joke going around the Internet about the difference between God and Obama.  The difference, so goes the punch line, is that God doesn’t believe he’s Obama. The joke plays off what many already think about Obama, that he is arrogant enough to believe his own rhetoric—that he really believes he can heal America and save the world from the evils of war, disease, and pollution.

People like Obama who believe so strongly in themselves are particularly sensitive to criticism and often fall prey to groupthink.  History is full of powerful men whose egos robbed them from the wisdom of others.  One is reminded of Neville Chamberlain who, because of his pride, surrounded himself with sycophants.  Chamberlain was a brilliant administrator and by all accounts a smart man.  But he loved himself too much and dismissed those who did not share his admiration.   Instead of listening to wide ranging counsel, he embraced yes men and spurned able ministers (especially Churchill) who warned of the growing threat of Nazi aggression.  The result was a Britain drastically unprepared when war inevitably came.

In Obama’s case, the yes men are not only in the White House, they are in the media as well.  The administration’s love affair with MSNBC (see opening quote) and its disdain for Fox News is evidence the Obama team is guilty of collective rationalization, a term used to describe organizations that insulate themselves from the wisdom and benefit of criticism.  Even if Obama cannot stomach Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, at the very least, he should respect the opinions of fair-minded thinkers such as Wallace, Krauthammer, and Hume.  Sadly, Obama seems willing to paint all his critics with the same brush; they are foes of real reform and, as Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson so eloquently put it, “enemies of America”.

Obama’s handling of the health care debate is further evidence of his willfully blind self-assurance.  Particularly telling is Obama’s dismissive and trite handling of opposition voices.  Instead of listening to his critics respectfully, Obama is put off by what he sees as disingenuous attempts to diminish him politically.  According to Obama, opponents of his plan are simply playing “politics of the moment” and trying to “delay reform” to “score political points.” In other words, Obama believes the debate is not about limited government or deficit spending or personal responsibility.  The debate is about him.

As the writer of Proverbs 15 instructs:

“A mocker resents correction;
he will not consult the wise . . .

Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.”

We all have bad ideas.  But we hopefully have friends who tell us they are bad. This Administration needs such a friend.  His first task would be to tell Joe Biden it is a bad idea to “spend money to keep from going bankrupt.”   His second task would be to tell Obama that subsidization never lowers costs, that government programs are inherently wasteful, and that Americans still believe in individual responsibility and freedom from government coercion.  A true friend would be honest about the dangers of government seizing the health care industry or about the real limits of soft power.  The real friends of Obama are those who dissent.  The real friends are those who tell the truth and refuse to fall in line—such as the broadcasters at Fox.  In this sense, at least in television, Fox News is the only real friend Obama has.

Original Link.