Archive for February 11th, 2010

“We’re All Infidels Now” by Larry Kelley

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In the spring of 1945, when a liberated survivor of a World War II Nazi death camp was asked what he had learned from his ordeal, he replied, “When someone says he wants to kill you, believe him.” During the holocaust, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the “tragedy of powerlessness,” millions of European Jews walked, obedient and docile, all the way into the gas chambers. This fact painfully permeates the modern Israeli psyche to the extent that it gives rise to a kind of national mantra—never again. Today, it is incomprehensible for those outside Israel to understand how Israelis must be feeling, knowing that there is a new Nazi-like state poised to attempt Israeli annihilation.

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Proposed Law Would Give School Safety Czar Unlimited Authority to Mandate Homosexual Indoctrination in Public Schools

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Hopefully this proposed legislation will never see the light of day.

A homosexual congressman from Colorado has proposed a law critics say would give controversial federal school safety czar Kevin Jennings – a longtime homosexual-rights advocate – almost unlimited authority to mandate indoctrination in public schools at taxpayer expense.

“It doesn’t get much more fascist than this! It’s a sexual revolutionary’s dream,” wrote Linda Harvey of Mission America.

Under the legislation by Democrat Rep. Jared Polis, Jennings “can create pro-homosexual programs and policies to their hearts’ delight,” Harvey wrote.

Jennings founded the “Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network” and now heads the office of “Safe and Drug Free Schools” at the Department of Education.

Polis’ proposal would provide special protections for students who claim they are discriminated against because of their “perceived sexual orientation.” The bill would call down the wrath of the federal government on offenders by classifying “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” alongside race, color, sex, disability or national origin as factors on which protections are based.

In a statement announcing his proposal, H.R. 4530, Polis said, “Every student has the right to an education free from harassment and violence. This bill will protect the individual freedoms of our students and enshrine the values of equality and opportunity in our classrooms.”

But it actually won’t, according to an analysis by Harvey. Instead, she said it will allow Jennings a virtual open door to set up whatever pro-homosexual programs he would choose.

“While I have no hard evidence, it’s got Kevin Jennings’ fingerprints all over it,” Harvey said. “His safe and drug free schools plan can take full advantage by creating new rules schools would have to follow.”

Polis declined to return telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

“If a school receives federal funds from one of these agencies or any other, it is subject to the new rules that agency devises to conform to this bill,” Harvey explained. “And states can be held liable for violations, so state governments will have incentives to put pressure for compliance on local schools.”

“The goal should be protecting all students for all reasons, not just those involved in certain special-status behaviors,” Harvey wrote.

WND has reported how Jennings is president of the board of the Tectonic Theater Project, which created “The Laramie Project,” a play about the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming homosexual Matthew Shepard that condemns traditional biblical views on homosexuality as hateful and bigoted.

It was last May when, WND broke the news of Jennings’ federal appointment to oversee “safety” in the nation’s public schools after he had boasted of using the theme to promote homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyles to students.

Multiple WND messages left with the U.S. Department of Education and Jennings’ office have not been returned.

WND has reported Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, his influence over a conference for teachers and children that included instruction in various homosexual acts such as “fisting,” multiple efforts at the congressional level to have him removed, his responsiveness when a porn publisher asked for his help in writing a book, his financial sponsorship of radical homosexual art and his membership in the sometimes-violent radical Act Up homosexual organization.

The sexually graphic books the Jennings-founded GLSEN recommends for children also have been the subject of reports.

When Polis announced his plan, which has been endorsed by several dozen other members of Congress, he said the “Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA)” would protect students with alternative sexual lifestyles.

“Every day innocent students fall victim to relentless harassment and discrimination from teachers, staff, and fellow students based on their sexual orientation,” said Polis. “These actions not only hurt our students and our schools but, left unchecked, can also lead to life-threatening violence.”

Harvey, however, said there’s simply an absence of data to back up such sweeping statements.

“The purpose of this bill is not what is being stated, but is quite simply to mandate in public schools one acceptable viewpoint on the issue of homosexuality, using purported violence or harassment as the rationale, and the power of the feds as the hammer,” Harvey said.

“The goal is to silence those who may warn about or object to student expression of homosexuality or gender confusion. Such warnings might literally save a child’s life.”

She said ultimately, if the law is adopted and the resulting rules are as expected, the only “safe” schools in the nation would be where “there is no dissent” about the promotion of homosexuality.

“The phony concept of ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered’ identity is the shaky foundation of this bill. Are certain kids different types of humans? No. There is no science to back up the existence of a ‘gay gene’ or anything like it, and it is very harmful to label and stereotype young people with questionable lifestyles and high-risk behaviors,” Harvey warned.

She continued, “There is no constitutional right to homosexual behavior or cross-dressing as stated in this bill. Some see a ‘right to privacy’ in the Constitution, which is not one of its amendments. But even that wouldn’t cover what’s being proposed. This bill is an attempt at installing a very public declaration and public affirmation of verifiably high risk practices and, if engaged in at all, private matters.”

She also explained the claims of “equal protection” under the 14th Amendment simply don’t apply.

Polis’ bill claims students who are lesbian, “gay,” bisexual or transgender “have been and are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence, and have been deprived of equal educational opportunities, in schools in every part of our nation.”

Original Link.

“RELIGIOUS COMPULSIONS AND FEARS” a Book Review by Fern Sidman

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

A Guide To Treatment

By: Avigdor Bonchek, PhD

Reviewed by: FERN SIDMAN

Is there a fine line of separation between scrupulous adherence to halachic law; translating into meticulous observance of religious commandments and that of finding oneself tethered to obsessions, compulsions and fears regarding the proper method in which to perform them? Avigdor Bonchek, PhD, an ordained Orthodox rabbi who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University, tackles this question and much more, as he shares his vast knowledge regarding treatment options for those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in his recently published book, “Religious Compulsions and Fears – A Guide to Treatment” (Feldheim Publishers).

Clearly, OCD is a universal anxiety disorder that does not differentiate or distinguish between peoples or nationalities, yet the far reaching and complex repercussions of its devastating symptoms have, over the last several decades, been acutely felt in the spheres of the Orthodox Jewish world. The foreward to this book includes the wisdom of renowned psychiatrist, Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski, MD who states, “The hallmark of a religious Jew is his dedication to fulfilling his religious duties. However, when a person becomes overly obsessed, to the point that he becomes neurotic, and is unable to function properly, it may be a sign of OCD.”

Armed with over 40 years of experience in treating those afflicted with OCD and attendant phobias, Dr. Bonchek’s inherent compassion leaps forth from the pages of this book as he assures the reader that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel as evidenced in a litany of pragmatic modalities of treatment What is most heartwarming is the fact that the pages of this erudite guide are permeated with the genuine care, concern, devotion and esteem that Dr. Bonchek holds for his patients, as he offers an earnest yet sensitive discussion of religious obsessions, compulsions, fears and phobias. Most common among these are obsessions pertaining to personal hygiene and cleanliness and how they impact on the performance of religious rituals. The case studies presented here include a young man who spends an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom after relieving himself, never quite feeling that he is clean enough to daven, an incessant hand washer who is obsessed with the proper observance of kashrus in the kitchen, as well as women of child bearing age who are beyond exceptionally meticulous in their preparations for the mikveh.

Other religious obsessions and compulsions include a woman who endlessly checks for bugs in vegetables, a man who spends many hours per day engaged in davening, as he never feels quite satisfied that he prays with the proper level of kavanah (dedication) so he resorts to repeating words and the entire tefilla, ad infinitum.and one who keeps repeating words of Torah during his regular learning sessions. Fears and phobias include children’s fear of Purim masks, fear of reciting brochos and tefillos in shul, and an exaggerated fear of a spouse’s infidelity. Because OCD is called “the doubting disease”, the tragic ramifications of this disorder also include constant questioning of one’s own faith. Says the author, “The individual is plagued by thoughts that undermine his beliefs; How do I know that G-d exists? How do I know that Judaism is the right faith? How do I know that the Torah and the Oral Law are valid?” He responds by telling us, “When a person performs a mitzvah and it causes him stress and anxiety, it indicates that it is not G-d’s mitzvah that he is performing, but rather some foreign behavior masquerading as a mitzvah. Among those who cannot perform a mitzvah without enduring much psychological pain is the OCD sufferer.”

Addressing the nuances of varied therapeutic approaches of treatment, Dr. Bonchek dismisses Freudian psychoanalysis or dynamic therapy as essentially ineffective, but rather embraces the more expedient Cognitive Behavior Therapy and familiarizes us with its theory and practical application. We sit in on CBT therapy sessions with Dr. Bonchek as he employs such methods as Exposure/Response prevention technique (ERP), Response Repitition, Guided Imagery (GI), Emotional Habituation, and Exposure and Closure. Because treatment of OCD can be a protracted process, Dr. Bonchek suggests that in addition to procuring a qualified therapist, a patient is advised to find a “buddy” who can assist him or her during the sometimes agonizing ordeal of working on daily compulsions that are indeed paralyzing. Sympathetically acknowledging the fear, shame and humiliation that the OCD sufferer feels, the author reveals that with much motivation, faith and hard work, the trajectory towards complete recovery and a return to a normative life is not beyond the reach for those who relinquished hope of ever extricating themselves from their personal darkness and despair.

Essential to treatment, the author tells us, is the paramount relationship between the patient and a rabbinical authority. “The rabbi must not only be a competent posek, he must also be aware of the psychological problem of OCD and how it manifests itself in the area of religious practice.” For many OCD sufferers, a clear psak from a respected rav on matters of halacha is not always a sufficient deterrent for their overwhelming compulsions because of their obsession with perfection in the performance of a mitzvah and their nagging doubts that they’ve correctly fulfilled their obligations. Yet and still, having a rabbinic advisor and familial support are essential components for successful treatment. As Dr. Bonchek advises patients in terms of fulfilling halacha as it should be, “It is not a matter of doing what “I” think is right; it is a matter of following the words of the Torah poskim.”

In terms of mitzvah observance for the OCD sufferer, Dr. Bonchek feels that “less is more” and as such brings down poignant stories from the Torah, Talmud and Kabbalistic sources illustrating the strength of character it takes for one to adopt a more flexible view of mitzvah observance; rather than clinging to their own stubborn insistence of what is proper. Of the Torah the author quotes the posuk, “It’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and its paths are paths of peace. What does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? So that it shall be good for you. That is the bottom line – “so that it shall be good for you.” This book is a must read for any OCD sufferer, family member, friend, teacher and rabbi as we absorb profound lessons of mitzvah observance and love of Torah.

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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.

Ahmadinejad Says Iran Is Now a ‘Nuclear State’

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The world has just become a much more dangerous place to live. We’ve been warning of this for years, but the world sat on its hands. We made our bed, now we must lie in it.

TEHRAN, Iran — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Thursday that Iran has produced its first batch of uranium enriched to a higher level, saying his country will not be bullied by the West into curtailing its nuclear program a day after the U.S. imposed new sanctions.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated to hundreds of thousands of cheering Iranians on the anniversary of the 1979 foundation of the Islamic republic that the country was now a “nuclear state,” an announcement he’s made before. He insisted that Iran had no intention of building nuclear weapons.

It was not clear how much enriched material had actually been produced just two days after the process was announced to have started.

The United States and some of its allies accuse Tehran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build nuclear weapons but Tehran denies the charge, saying the program is just geared toward generating electricity.

“I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first package of 20 percent fuel was produced and provided to the scientists,” he said.

Enriching uranium produces fuel for a nuclear power plants but can also be used to create material for atomic weapons if enriched further to 90 percent or more.

“We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent but we don’t enrich (to this level) because we don’t need it,” he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

Iran announced Tuesday it was beginning the process of enriching its uranium stockpile to a higher level. The international community reacted by starting the process to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Original Link.