Archive for May, 2010

Authorities Say Mojave Desert Replacement Memorial Cross Must Come Down

Friday, May 21st, 2010

After the Supreme Court said the Mojave Desert Cross could stay, last week someone stolen it.
This week, someone made a replica of the cross that was stolen and installed in. One might think, OK, everything is back to normal now, right? Well you would be wrong.
You see, since the replacement cross is not the actual cross that caused all the controversy, the government says that it will be taken down.
So here’s how this all has played out so far:

Anti-Christians sue to have an old cross removed from federal land.
The land is sold to private concerns, making it non-public lands.
Anti-Christians continue the suite saying it doesn’t change anything, even though it does.
Liberal, activist courts agree.
Supreme Court slaps the lower courts down and says the cross may stay.
Someone steals the original cross.
Someone replaces the stolen cross with a replica of the original.
Government says since the replica is not the original, it must be removed.

Right now, the liberals are probably kicking themselves for not thinking of stealing the cross in the first place and thus saving all those court cost. But then again, their lawyers got rich, so no big deal there. Also, based on this new information, if the thieves had any brains, they have destroyed the original cross by now, since only it can be placed on the hill, not replicas.

So once again, let me cover the liberal mindset for you.
The cross represents Christ, whom liberals hate. They are compelled to do whatever is necessary; lie, cheat, steal, destroy, hurt or kill, in order to stop Christians whom they also hate.
This situation is the perfect example of this.

Authorities say a Mojave Desert war memorial cross that replaced one that was stolen is illegal and must come down.

Linda Slater, a spokeswoman with the Mojave National Preserve, says a maintenance worker spotted the 7½-foot replica cross made of metal pipes on Thursday in a federal park.

The original cross was stolen more than a week ago. It had been the subject of a lawsuit arguing that the Christian symbol didn’t belong on public land.

The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily allowed the old cross to stand, but Slater says the new cross isn’t covered by the ruling and will be taken down.

The site’s caretakers constructed a replacement cross on Saturday. Wanda Sandoz, who has watched over the site with her husband Henry since 1984, said the one put in place Wednesday night is not the one welded by her husband.

Sandoz said the cross that went up overnight is white, but their replica has not been painted yet — indicating that the replacement could be the original stolen cross or someone else’s replica.

“I’m curious as to how they got it up there,” Sandoz said, explaining that erecting the cement-filled pipes was a rigorous and difficult process — and would be much harder by the light of a quarter moon.

“It’s not like you can dig a hole and put a cross in there. It’s solid rock up there,” she said.

Thieves used bolt cutters to rip through the inch-thick bolts that had kept the cross in place since 1984. That memorial replaced a wooden cross that was put up in the Mojave Desert in 1934 by veterans of World War I to honor troops who died in battle.

Sandoz said her husband was helped by about five or six ranchers when he put up the metal cross in 1984. “One man couldn’t have taken it down, and one man couldn’t put it back up,” she said.

The Park Service told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that it opposed replacing the stolen cross as long as litigation continues.

A $125,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the thieves who took the memorial.

Original Link.

“Supreme Court Continues to Impose Morality on States” by Ken Klukowski

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Monday’s Supreme Court decision holding that sentencing an underage person to life in prison is unconstitutional is yet another disturbing example of judicial activism. More than simply another run-of-the-mill activist decision, the Court has reached a new level of usurping the powers the Constitution entrusts to our elected leaders in the states.

On May 17, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Graham v. Florida. In this case, a 16 year-old habitual criminal named Terrance Graham had served time for armed burglary and assault. When he was released on probation, he was then arrested again for robbing a woman in her home at gunpoint. During questioning, he admitted to other felonies he had recently committed as well. Found to be a felon who could not be rehabilitated, he was sentenced to life in prison under Florida law.

When that conviction was upheld on appeal in Florida, the Supreme Court took the case to consider whether sentencing a minor to life in prison without parole violates the Eighth Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishments.

As Justice Clarence Thomas explained in dissent, the Eighth Amendment only prohibits methods of punishment and interrogation that are cruel and unusual, as that term was understood when the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791. That’s to say, the Eighth Amendment outlaws torturing people to get confessions, or punishments such as maiming, branding, disfigurements, or other such agonizing or debilitating punishments.

In recent decades (the last half of the 1900s), the Supreme Court added the rule that the Eighth Amendment requires punishments be “proportional” to the crime. This proportionality requirement increasingly became a factor in federal courts being able to strike down state criminal laws.

Then the Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons in 2005. In an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that the death penalty was unconstitutional if the criminal was under age 18 at the moment he committed the crime, even if he killed someone.

In Graham, five justices formed a majority, whereby the Court extended the Eighth Amendment to cover life in prison as well (at least where no one died as a result of the crime). The Court held that even though most states allow this punishment for minors, the fact that it was rarely imposed somehow means that there’s a “national consensus” against it, which in turn means that the our society’s “evolving standards of decency” do not permit this punishment.

In a strong dissent, Justice Thomas (joined by Justice Scalia, and in part by Justice Alito) objected that the Court is substituting its own moral judgment for that of the people of Florida. Thomas points out that the Court seemed to make an exception for the death penalty because death is the ultimate punishment, different from any other. Now, Thomas explains, the Court reserves the right to ban the second most-severe punishment. “No reliable limiting principle remains to prevent the Court from immunizing any class of offenders, from the law’s third, fourth, fifth, or fiftieth most severe penalties as well.”

As Justice Thomas explains, this means that the Court is now making “moral judgments,” and imposing those judgments on the American people. “I am unwilling to assume that we, as members of this Court, are any more capable of making such moral judgments than our fellow citizens. Nothing in our training as judges qualifies us for that task, and nothing in Article III [of the Constitution] gives us that authority.”

Read the complete article here.

L.A. Mayor Dismisses Warning That Arizona Could Cut Off Power Over Boycott

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday defiantly rejected a warning by a top Arizona utilities official that the state could cut off power to Los Angeles should the city proceed with its boycott of all things Arizona.

Spokesman David Beltran told Fox News that the message didn’t even warrant a response.

“We’re not going to respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic human rights,” Beltran said.

That was after Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission, wrote a letter to Villaraigosa slamming his City Council’s decision to boycott the Grand Canyon State — in protest of its immigration law — by suspending official travel there and ending future contracts with state businesses.

Noting that a quarter of Los Angeles’ electricity comes from Arizona power plants, Pierce threatened to pull the plug if the City Council does not reconsider.

“Doggone it — if you’re going to boycott this candy store … then don’t come in for any of it,” Pierce told FoxNews.com.

In the letter, he ridiculed Villaraigosa for saying that the point of the boycott was to “send a message” by severing the “resources and ties” they share.

“I received your message; please receive mine. As a statewide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the ‘resources and ties’ we share with the city of Los Angeles,” Pierce wrote.

“If an economic
boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.”

Appearing to tap into local frustration in Arizona over the raft of boycotts and threatened boycotts from cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Pierce warned that Arizona companies are willing and ready to fight boycott with boycott.

“I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands,” Pierce wrote. “If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”

Pierce told FoxNews.com that he was speaking for himself, not the entire commission, though he has the support of at least one other member. But Arizona has some serious leverage over Los Angeles, as well as the rest of California. The state and city get electricity from a nuclear power plant outside Phoenix, as well as from coal-fired power plants in northern Arizona and two giant hydroelectric power generators along the Colorado River.

Despite that, the Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly last week to ban future business
with Arizona — a decision that could cost Arizona millions of dollars in lost contracts.

Los Angeles officials were furious with the Arizona immigration law passed last month and joined local officials in cities across the country in pushing boycotts to register their dismay. Critics say the law will lead to racial profiling and civil rights abuses.

Arizona officials have defended the law, saying the state needed to take its illegal immigration problem into its own hands. Pierce said he’s “supportive” of the state’s efforts to control the border.

The law requires local law enforcement to try to verify the immigration status of anyone they have contact with whom they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. It empowers them to turn over verified illegal immigrants to federal custody. The legislation explicitly prohibits screening people based solely on race or national origin.

Original Link.

A Message of Hope and Salvation

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:36-50 (New International Version)

We don’t know what sins this woman was known for. Some Bible scholars speculate that she may have been a prostitute. Having such an expensive item in her possession, an alabaster jar of perfume, backs up this idea. She may have been a “kept” woman; her “services” being very well paid for.
Under Jewish law, touching someone like her would bring defilement. The Pharisees, who worked hard to obey every aspect of the law, were very much aware of this, and as such, found their sensibilities assailed that day.
Yet despite their strict adherence to the Jewish law concerning the woman, and even though they had acknowledged Jesus as “Rabbi”; “teacher”, they had not even shown Him the basic courtesies offered to a guest. Most certainly, Jesus was not treated as an equal. Jesus pointed out their duplicity and hypocrisy.
With the “brood of vipers” put in their place, let’s change our attention to the woman, and Jesus’ boundless mercy.
Somehow this woman, who most certainly is shunned by the “decent” people of the town, shut out and alone, gains entrance to the house where Jesus is eating.
She has heard that this Nazareth Rabbi can do many wonderful miracles. He has healed the sick, restored the broken, fed many and brought hope to souls. She latches to this hope that He will be able to heal her soul as well.
She knows what she is, there is no denying this. Broken, dying in her heart, she doesn’t even try to approach Jesus standing, but on hands and knees, crying her heart out, she tends to his feet, washing them with her tears.
Now let’s put this in perspective. Tending to ones feet was literately the lowest job in the house. It was dirty, smelly and required the person washing the feet to prostrate themselves in order to do it properly. In a Jewish house, most certainly in the house of a Pharisee, this job would have been relegated to the lowest servant, most likely the same person responsible for disposing of the trash.
The Pharisee himself would never have even considered doing this.
Here is the woman, laying prostrate at Jesus’ feet, not willing to even look into His face, pouring, what most certainly was a very expensive item, if not her most valuable item, on the feet of Jesus.
Facing the disapproval and outright hatred of those in the room, completely broken, her soul cried out, “Save Me, Lord!!” She braved all those fears, that with the faith that Jesus could heal her soul.
And He Did!!
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Amen!!

Voters Back Anti-DC, Anti-Establishment Candidates

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I really wish Obama would catch on to this, but it’s highly unlikely the Ego-in-Chief will.

WASHINGTON – With the electorate’s intense anger reverberating across the country, this is all but certain: It’s an anti-Washington, anti-establishment year. And candidates with ties to either better beware.

Any doubt about just how toxic the political environment is for congressional incumbents and candidates hand-picked by national Republican and Democratic leaders disappeared late Tuesday, when voters fired Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas and chose tea party darling Rand Paul to be the GOP nominee in Kentucky’s Senate race.

“People just aren’t very happy,” Ira Robbins, 61, said in Allentown, Pa.

With anyone linked to power, it seems.

Original Link.

‘Olmert gave us the Temple Mount,’ say Palestinians

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I pray this is not true.

A senior Palestinian negotiator says Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lied last week when he said Israel’s control of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is not up for negotiation.

Speaking to WorldNetDaily, the Palestinian official revealed that Olmert has already all but signed away the holy site.

“What Olmert said (regarding the Mount) is absolutely false. I think he’s not yet ready to tell the Israeli public and is waiting for the right time,” said the negotiator. “We had intense debates on many topics, which remain open and unsettled, but the Harem Al-Sharif (Temple Mount) is not a sticking point. The Israelis didn’t argue with us.”

According to the deal Olmert reportedly agreed to on the Temple Mount, the site would be surrendered to joint control by Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Original Link.

“The 666 Crisis” by Terry James

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Troubling issues and events churn within our hourly news. Powerful monetary exigencies, in particular, command the headlines. Total world financial collapse continues to be perhaps the most serious danger just ahead. Yet, each building economic crisis seems to be absorbed by the previous while the world financial markets adjust to avoid what many fiscal experts believe to be the inevitable.

It’s as if there is a supernatural roadblock keeping the world from collapse–an otherworldly bubble insulating against implosion. The international economic end should have come, according to all reasoning, months–even years–ago.

Greece is now the head of the European Union’s (EU) festering economic sore that many fear could be terminal. With the euro sliding precipitously against the dollar and other currencies, the problems within the EU and, by extension, the rest of the Western economies, are exacerbated for that developing colossus that many who study Bible prophecy believe is the heart out of which will come Antichrist and his regime of absolute control.

The EU wizards of finance are on the case, trying to stop the descent into disaster.

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – The euro fell on Tuesday as the relief effects of an emergency aid package to prevent the spread of a European debt crisis dissipated and focus switched back to structural problems plaguing the euro zone. European Union finance ministers, central bankers and the International Monetary Fund hammered out an emergency package of loan guarantees to euro zone members over the weekend to try and sure up sentiment in its bond markets and the euro. … The “shock and awe” plan initially boosted sentiment, allowing the euro to surge to near $1.31 on Monday, rebounding from a 14-month trough of $1.2510 hit on trading platform EBS last week when investors had feared a sovereign credit crisis could spread from Greece to other euro zone countries… Investors doubt whether the Greek government will be able to carry out the austerity measures required to restructure its public finances. Other states such as Portugal and Spain also have budgetary concerns. (Neal Armstrong, “Unconventional ECB measures to weigh on currency.” [My thanks to John Stettin and John Rolls.])

It is not too much of a stretch to consider that because the desired unity of European nations is built around a once ballyhooed but now failing currency, we might be witnessing the construction of the feet and toes of the metallic man-image Daniel the prophet interpreted for Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar concerning the king’s dream-vision. The euro isn’t working; the EU nations, put in simplistic terms, don’t trust each other. Here’s what Daniel was given to prophesy about the very end of the history of world kingdoms:

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Dan 2: 41-43)

The United States is still the center of world power so far as concerns the Western world. America’s president, whose mercurial efforts to change U.S. economic structure in every possible way–catastrophically, in my opinion–is directly intervening in Europe’s monetary manipulations. Mr. Obama’s extensive talks by phone with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are believed to be perhaps the primary catalysts behind the €750 billion bailout agreed over the weekend by the eurozone leaders.

The gigantic multi-trillion dollar Band-Aids that the American administration, aided and abetted by a strangely acquiescent Congress, has pasted over the gaping economic wound from which the U.S. is suffering hasn’t worked. Yet, the Europeans seem to be anxious to follow Obama’s failed regiment of treatment. This could be because it will be the already bankrupt American taxpayers who will be expected to contribute mightily to the EU bailout.

The American president recently said in his “New Foundations” speech that he wants prosperity–not fueled by reckless debt, but by skilled, productive workers. He wants sustained growth, not economic stagnation. Yet the policies he now twists the arms of European leaders to adopt continue to demonstratively prove destructive to prosperity. His calamitous policies continue to be fueled by, in effect, reckless debt–nonexistent money that takes America ever deeper into an abyss of deficits.

The American and EU economies are in such a state of chaos and decline that they must find a way to bring about controls that will prevent complete, total collapse. Collapse is nonetheless inevitable unless Draconian measures are taken.

President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, once told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” It will take such a crisis–one of unprecedented magnitude–to cause all leaders to institute those Draconian measures necessary to control all buying and selling under one system of economy.

That crisis is coming. It will be the dagger that pierces the bubble provided by God’s staying hand of judgment upon this fallen world. The Rapture will, I’m convinced, produce the crisis that will clear the path for 666 (Rev. 13:16-18).

–Terry

Original Link.

Supreme Court Cites Unadopted International Treaty in Support of Ruling

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

More judicial activism, this time at the hands of the Supreme Court, as they cite an unadopted international treaty, instead of the U.S. Constitution, in support of one of their rulings.

The fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution possibly have been shoved one step closer to irrelevance by the U.S. Supreme Court, which yesterday cited an international treaty that has not been adopted in the U.S. as support for its opinion.

The issue is raising alarms for those who have been fighting the trend toward adopting “international” standards for American jurisprudence rather than relying on a strict application of the Constitution.

“It is bad enough for the Supreme Court to engage in judicial activism,” said Michael Farris, of the Home School Legal Defense Association. “It is far worse when the justices employ international law in support of their far-reaching edicts.

“We have not ratified the U.N. child’s rights treaty – its provisions should not be finding their way into Supreme Court decisions,” he said.

Roger Kiska, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund who is based in Europe, said the Supreme Court’s use of an unadopted precedent “completely overlooks the checks and balances system that is established by the U.S. Constitution.”

It’s not the first time the court has done it, and “It’s never amounted to any good,” he said in a telephone interview from his base of operations in Europe. “It leans toward social radicalism.”

He said there are reasons why the U.S. never adopted the U.N. convention, citing a recent case in Sweden in which a child was taken away from his home because his parents were homeschooling him, and other issues.

The child, Domenic Johanssen, has been in the custody of social services agents for almost a year now as his parents have fought – unsuccessfully so far – for his return home.

“That is a prime example of what can happen when the Convention on the Rights of the Child is used as a sword rather than as a shield,” Kiska said.

The Graham v. Florida decision dealt with whether young people can be sentenced to life prison terms if they haven’t killed the victims of their crimes. It arose in the case of Terrance Graham, implicated in armed robberies when he was 16 and 17. He now is 23 and is in a Florida prison – for life.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who frequently swings to the liberal side of the court, said such life sentences are not allowed.

“The state has denied him any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a non-homicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law,” Kennedy’s majority opinion said. “This the Eighth Amendment does not permit.”

Wrote Kennedy:

We also note, as petitioner and his amici emphasize, that Article 37(a) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nov. 20, 1989, 1577 U. N. T. S. 3 (entered into force Sept. 2, 1990), ratified by every nation except the United States and Somalia, prohibits the imposition of ‘life imprisonment without possibility of release . . . for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.’

Kennedy’s opinion continued:

The court has treated the laws and practices of other nations and international agreements as relevant to the Eighth Amendment not because those norms are binding or controlling but because the judgment of the world’s nations that a particular sentencing practice is inconsistent with basic principles of decency demonstrates that the court’s rationale has respected reasoning to support it.

Jordan Sekulow, director of international operations for the American Center for Law and Justice, told WND the first danger is citing United Nations precedents at all.

Then comes the citation of international concepts that have not been adopted in the U.S.

“When they’re citing laws that have not been adopted, they are creating new legal ground,” he warned.

“It’s great that all these other countries have adopted the laws, but until we’ve actually implemented it, it should have no impact whatsoever on our Supreme Court,” he said.

He warned that such activism will lead the U.S. into trouble.

Other nations’ courts already have been busy creating “new human rights” such as the “right” to “health care,” he said.

“You can see that line of reasoning in cases,” he said.

Original Link.

Muslim Student Supports New Holocaust

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Our education system becomes more anti-Christian by the day. Everyone else is given permission to state their views, virtually unopposed, except Christians.

A messianic Jewish leader isn’t surprised that an Islamic college student openly admitted in a recent public forum that she supports the radical Muslim extremists’ call for a new Jewish Holocaust.

Conservative activist and publisher David Horowitz was recently the guest speaker at the University of California-San Diego. During the question and answer session of the forum, a member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) got into an exchange with Horowitz, who asked her if she supported those who call for the extermination of Israeli Jews.

“I am a Jew,” Horowitz declared. “The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. [Are you] for it or against it?” he asked.

The MSA member directly replied “for it” before the conservative activist thanked her for “coming and showing everybody what’s here” and made note of her “terrorist neckerchief.”

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, is not surprised by the Muslim student’s response.

“I have no doubt that this woman who represented the MSA is not a friend of Israel,” Markell comments. “She is supporting evil. This woman is standing by, she is defending, she is promoting, and she is identifying with evil.”

The messianic Jewish leader adds that even though the Muslim woman said she would be arrested, nothing will happen to her. “The Muslim element in these campuses have free reign to say absolutely whatever they want to say,” Markell laments. “They can be as incendiary as they wish. They know they’re not going to really be reprimanded for anything because that’s politically incorrect.”

The Olive Tree Ministries founder believes that if a Christian student had made a remark about killing Muslims, the media’s response would be much different. But in this situation, the media is keeping relatively quiet about the Muslim woman’s comments.

Original Link.

Cost of Illegal Immigration Rising Rapidly in Arizona, Study Finds

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

It’s shame that Arizona had to pass the laws it did. If the federal government would uphold the laws and secure our borders, it never would have been necessary.

Arizona’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers even more than once thought — a whopping $2.7 billion in 2009, according to researchers at the public interest group that helped write the state’s new immigration law.

Researchers at FAIR – The Federation for American Immigration Reform — released data exclusively to FoxNews.com that show a steady cost climb in multiple areas, including incarceration, education and health, in the last five years.

FAIR’s cost estimates – compiled for a comprehensive national immigration report it plans to release next month – include several new cost areas, including welfare and the justice system, that weren’t in previous reports.

FAIR admits that the cost to implement the new law in some of those categories, such as incarceration, will add to the economic strain on the state. But overall, it says, the loss of immigrants either from the deterrent effect of the law, voluntary exodus or from mass deportations, will help the state financially.

Also, the savings to the state will far overwhelm any fallout from boycotts (estimated at between $7 million and $52 million) being threatened in the wake of the law’s passage, according to FAIR spokesman Bob Dane.

FAIR’s new breakdown shows that illegal immigrants take $1.6 billion from Arizona’s education system, $694.8 million from health care services, $339.7 million in law enforcement and court costs, $85.5 million in welfare costs and $155.4 million in other general costs.

Original Link.

Holy Land Prophesy Update

Monday, May 17th, 2010

A couple of news articles caught my eyes this morning that are apropos to Biblical prophesy and the Nation of Israel.
Turkey, Russia and Syria are all called out, in Ezekiel 38-39, as being nations that will more against Israel in end times. Just a few years ago, alliances between these nations seemed virtually impossible. Not so today.

Turkey and Russia Strengthen Economic Ties.

This week’s deal for Russia to build and control Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is a big win for Moscow, which badly wants its state-owned industry to win a bigger share of growing international markets.

But it also marks a new phase in economic relations between rising powers whose mutual interests are centred on energy, but range far wider.

The two countries are driven together by geography: Turkey needs Russian supplies of oil and gas, while Moscow needs Ankara’s help to facilitate traffic from the Black Sea, and pipeline routes to Europe. But the partnership is strengthening thanks to the personal affinity of Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – two of a kind when it comes to authoritarian populism. It is also underpinned by Ankara’s new policy of balancing traditional western alliances with stronger relations to the east.

The Russians Are Coming… To Damascus.

JERUSALEM – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who visited the Syrian capital of Damascus, arrived with a sharp and clear Israeli message that was conveyed at the start of the week by Israeli President Shimon Peres: Israel wants peace, but is not willing to accept Hezbollah’s military buildup.

In the message that is being conveyed by the Russian president, Israel clarified that it had no intention of attacking Syria and was not interested in a regional conflagration. However, Syria must stop the attempts to transfer arms to Hezbollah. Israeli officials are concerned by what has been defined as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s failure to understand the severity with which Israel perceives the situation. “Assad is playing with fire and doesn’t understand that our patience is running out,” said a senior official in Jerusalem. “There are very dangerous arms here that are flowing freely to Lebanon, and Israel cannot accept this.”

Iran Agrees to Ship Most of Its Enriched Uranium to Turkey.

Iran agreed Monday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff over the country’s disputed nuclear program, just as pressure mounts for tougher sanctions.

The deal was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, elevating a new group of mediators for the first time in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities. There was no immediate comment from the United States and the other world powers that have led earlier negotiations as to whether the new deal would satisfy them and stave off a fourth round of UN sanctions.

Washington and allies have been pressing Iran for more than six months to accept a UN-drafted plan to send their low-enriched uranium stockpiles out of the country in exchange for reactor-ready fuel rods. Backers of the plan want to keep Iran from expanding its own enrichment capabilities, which some fear could serve as the backbone for a nuclear weapons program.

“It was agreed during the trilateral meeting of Iranian, Turkish and Brazilian leaders that Turkey will be the venue for swapping” Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium for fuel rods, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on state TV Monday.

Iran has previously issued positive signals about possible nuclear deals only to back off later in apparent diplomatic stalling tactics.

See “The Coming War of Gog and Magog, an Islamic Invasion?” for more details.

“Why Do Educators Keep Putting Dunce Caps On Our Kids?” By Tucker Carlson

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Editor’s note: Next week, the Texas State Board of Education begins final debate on proposed new social-studies-curriculum standards for Texas public schools. In March, Texas board members voted 10-5 to reverse what many on the board see as liberal bias in the classroom and in textbooks. Critics charge the interim changes whitewash American history and downplay the role of African-Americans, Latinos and women. But what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas. The conclusion of next week’s vote could have an impact on what and how subjects are taught across the country.

Ever noticed how it’s a lot easier to remember the lyrics to your favorite songs than it is to, say, recite from memory the Periodic Table, or the first 30 lines of “The Canterbury Tales”? Well, in 2004, two recent college graduates named Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport noticed the same thing. Popular music, they decided, might be a more effective means of teaching children than conventional book study. So the two founded a company they called Flocabulary. Its mission: to teach academic subjects using rap music.

Six years later, Flocabulary has a distribution deal with textbook giant Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, and about 300,000 students across the country use the program. In more than 12,000 American schools, kids are rapping about English, history, science and math. By most accounts, they love it. And why wouldn’t they? Singing’s more fun than studying.

But are they actually learning anything? That’s less clear. Despite endorsements from left-wing academics like Howard Zinn, there are still no independent studies that demonstrate rapping about social studies is any more educational than rapping about sex or gunfights.

One thing you can say about Flocabulary, though: it’s quick. Let’s say you wanted to teach a room full of kids about the history of the civil rights movement. You could spend weeks reading actual books on the subject, then explaining the facts of what happened and why. Or, in a fraction of the time, you could simply recite a rap:

MLK had a dream, took it mainstream.
Civil Rights Bill, Voting Rights Acts, they passed.
Modern day Jesus, turning the other cheek,
some blacks like “dog, that’s weak.
I’m not looking to get beat deep into next week,
my everyday life is police brutality.”
Malcolm picked up X and dropped his slave name,
radical change, “defense by any means.”
Went on hajj to Mecca, said ‘let God protect ya,
Whites and Blacks, yeah, we’re in this together.’
But there are race riots, people are dying,
Warfare in Watts, tear gas, bullets are flying.
So JFK?
He got assassinated.
MLK?
He got assassinated.
Malcolm X?
He got assassinated.
So it’s up to us to keep that dream alive…

It’s that simple. As long as you don’t care about context or accuracy – as long as your goal is to encourage students to “keep that dream alive,” rather than to teach them legitimate history – rapping is as good as teaching.

It certainly puts fewer demands on the kids. As Alex Rappaport explained to The Boston Globe, “We encourage students to trust their own use of words and understanding of vocabulary, rather than focusing on what some old dictionary says.”

In other words: don’t push yourself or venture beyond the familiar. Ignore the accumulated wisdom of those who came before you. You already know everything you need to know.

The problem, of course, is that this is absurd. Most kids have no reason to trust their own “understanding” of vocabulary. Speaking fluent English – like doing long division, or successfully rewiring a 220-volt electrical outlet – is not a skill you’re born with. It’s something you learn, occasionally even by opening some old dictionary. If kids could correctly intuit the meaning of words they’d never heard, school might not be necessary in the first place.

The unhappy truth is, learning is hard. Get-educated-quick schemes are usually about as sound as subprime mortgage-backed securities: Enticing but basically fraudulent. Almost nobody gets rich or erudite overnight.

Original Link.

“HON. JOHN BOLTON KEYNOTES AT JRP/ATERET COHANIM DINNER” by Fern Sidman

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Warning of the existential perils to Israel, the United States and the entire western world that a nuclear empowered Iran represents, the Honorable John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations delivered a powerful address as keynote speaker at the 2010 Jerusalem Reclamation Project/Ateret Cohanim dinner on Thursday evening, May 13th at Terrace on the Park.

Citing the plethora of misinformation and misimpressions that swirl around the status of Israel, Jerusalem and its surrounding settlements, Ambassador Bolton made several oblique references to the current strain in US-Israeli relations and chastised the Obama administration for pressuring Israel to cease construction of new homes for Jewish residents in East Jerusalem. “People should be able to buy and sell property in Jerusalem, as in any other country, and clearly peace in the region is not dependent on Israel making territorial concessions”, he intoned. Referring to the chilly reception and humiliating treatment that was accorded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his most recent visit to Washington, Ambassador Bolton said, “Today, Afghan president Hamid Kharzi was treated to a gala lunch at the White House and shown the kind of respect that we display to our allies. Lest we forget that Israel is our staunchest ally in the Middle East and as such the prime minister of Israel should receive the same respect.”

Debunking the ubiquitous myth that peace in the Middle East will be achieved by settling the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ambassador Bolton opined, “The Palestinians are being exploited by their own leaders and the US should not force either proximity or direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians because there is no legitimate Palestinian entity to negotiate with. The US needs to stop digging the hole that they’re in because undertaking this huge diplomatic task that will result in failed negotiations will leave the US in a much weaker position.”

Calling Iran the “cradle of terrorism”, Ambassador Bolton said, “Iran has been developing nuclear weapons for the last 20 years and neither diplomacy nor economic sanctions will be effective deterrents against them. Iran has been hiding from IAEA inspectors, concealing data and destroying concrete proof of nuclear facilities. He also provided evidence of Iran’s nuclear ties to the rogue country of North Korea, whose nuclear power plant in Syria was destroyed in a 2007 attack by Israel and spoke of Iran’s financing of such terrorist groups as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban. “Because of the ethnic dissatisfaction in Iran, a regime change is warranted and the ousting of the Islamic revolutionary regime that came to power there in 1979”, he said to rousing applause. Until that time he said that “Iran cannot be contained or deterred” and suggested that Israel might be put in a position to launch a pre-emptive strike while there are no clear indications from Washington that it will support such a venture.

The ambassador concluded by thanking the members of the JRP/Ateret Cohanim for their unflinching devotion to building Jerusalem and for their tireless efforts on its behalf of its people. The Jerusalem Reclamation Project and Ateret Cohanim are organizations predicated on fulfilling a generations old dream of rebuilding and securing a united Jerusalem, strengthening Jewish roots and reestablishing thriving Jewish communities that are centered around educational institutes in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. Referring to Jerusalem as the “heart and soul” of the Jewish nation, its activities include establishing educational centers, helping to renovate old buildings, installing and maintaining security systems and initiating other Jewish educational projects in an effort to revitalize this important area and have a greater Jewish presence in and around the Old City.

The guests of honor at this year’s dinner were Dr. Joseph Frager and Mr. Mel Wadler. Dr. Frager, a renowned gastroenterologist, is the chairman of the board of The Jerusalem Reclamation Project and is widely regarded as one of the leading Jewish activists of today. Mr. Wadler is one of the founding members of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and established its first office in his home back in 1984. He is a tenacious visionary who has become a driving force in the JRP.

Philanthropists Joseph and Helen Mermelstein were this year’s recipients of the auspicious Jerusalem Chai award and were hailed for their “tireless work on behalf of Jews around the world.” Credited with securing the release of former Soviet prisoner of conscience Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, the Mermelsteins are also active in helping the settlements in Judea and Samaria by donating swimming pools, basketball courts and day-care centers.

The Bonei Yerushalayim honorees of 2010 included three very special people. Mark and Galina Moerdler have been active involved in various Jewish causes including the JRP, Children of Chernobyl and Amit. Their exemplary dedication and commitment to Jerusalem and Israel is manifested through their constant support of JRP initiatives.

Introduced by Shani Hikind who is the JRP executive vice president, Mr. Moe Tawil was described as a “man of action and devotion” and “a Moses in our time” for his stalwart support of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Mr. Tawil was born into a family steeped in the Sephardic traditional way of life where education, the study of Torah and Yirat Hashem were woven into the fabric of their daily lives. Mrs. Hikind said that Mr. Tawil was a true Ohev Yisroel who cares deeply for his brethren and that he confided in her that “Torah is the secret to his longevity.”

Other Jewish luminaries were also present at the dinner including Rabbi David Algaze of the Chavurat Yisrael synagogue in Forest Hills, New York. Commenting on the recent terrorist attempt in Times Square on May 1st by Pakistani born American citizen, Faisal Shahzad, Rabbi Algaze said, “If our elected officials and the media do not name the enemy as radical Islamists, we will never find them. While stereotyping and profiling any group is abhorrent we must realize that Islam is like no other culture. It seeks worldwide domination in the form of a caliphate and their doctrine is based on the teachings of Muhammed who called for the death of all infidels. Islamic mosques and madrassas are breeding grounds for this kind of nefarious ideology and their preachers and imams cannot stop it.”

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) representing the 48th assembly district in Boro Park since 1982 and husband of Shani Hikind of the JRP said of the burgeoning Iranian nuclear threat, “As Ambassador Bolton suggested in his speech, Israel may have no choice but to make the first move against Iran for self-preservation reasons and not to take action may prove to be worse later on.” Opining on the US position of such an engagement by Israel he said, “the Obama administration has been a disaster for Israel and the US. This administration has done everything in its power to undermine Israel’s security, and thus the ultimate security of the United States.”

———————————————-

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.

Where’s Jimmy? Just Google His Bar Code

Monday, May 17th, 2010

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:16-17 (New International Version)

Although currently getting an RFID chip place in one’s hand is not “taking the mark of the beast”, I can truly see where this is a precursor or an attempt to normalize the practice, thus making it easier to implement when the time is right. Also, those taking the mark will do so willingly, with complete understanding of what they are doing.

Scientists tag animals to monitor their behavior and keep track of endangered species. Now some futurists are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip.

The chips, called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, emit a simple radio signal akin to a bar code, anywhere, anytime. Futurists say they can be easily implanted under the skin on a person’s arm.

Already, the government of Mexico has surgically implanted the chips, the size of a grain of rice, in the upper arms of staff at the attorney general’s office in Mexico City. The chips contain codes that, when read by scanners, allow access to a secure building, and prevent trespassing by drug lords.

In research published in the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Taiwanese researchers postulate that the tags could help save lives in the aftermath of a major earthquake. “Office workers would have their identity badges embedded in their RFID tags, while visitors would be given temporary RFID tags when they enter the lobby,” they suggest. Similarly, identity tags for hospital staff and patients could embed RFID technology.

“Our world is becoming instrumented,” IBM’s chairman and CEO, Samuel J. Palmisano said at an industry conference last week. “Today, there are nearly a billion transistors per human, each one costing one ten-millionth of a cent. There are 30 billion radio RFID tags produced globally.”

Having one in every person could relieve anxiety for parents and help save lives, or work on a more mundane level by unlocking doors with the wave of a hand or starting a parked car — that’s how tech enthusiast Amal Graafstra (his hands are pictured above) uses his. But this secure, “instrumented” future is frightening for many civil liberties advocates. Even adding an RFID chip to a driver’s license or state ID card raises objections from concerned voices.

“We are concerned about the implantation of identity chips,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the speech, privacy and technology program at the American Civil Liberties Union. He puts the problem plainly: “Many people find the idea creepy.”

“RFID tags make the perfect tracking device,” Stanley said. “The prospect of RFID chips carried by all in identity papers means that any individual’s presence at a given location can be detected or recorded simply through the installation of an invisible RFID reader.”

Grassroots groups are fretting loudly over civil liberties implications of the devices, threatening to thwart their development for mass-market, human tracking applications.

“If such readers proliferate, and there would be many incentives to install them, we would find ourselves in a surveillance society of 24/7 mass tracking,” said the ACLU’s Stanley.

The controversy extends overseas, too. David Cameron, Britain’s new prime minister, has promised to scrap a proposed national ID card system and biometrics for passports and the socialized health service, options that were touted by the Labour Party.

“We share a common commitment to civil liberties, and to getting rid — immediately — of Labour’s ID card scheme,” said Cameron according to ZDNet UK.

e bottom line is simple, according to the ACLU: “Security questions have not been addressed,” said Stanley. And until those questions are resolved, this technology may remain in the labs.

This is one of the very few times I will ever agree with anything the ACLU says and does.

Original Link.

Anglican Vicar Confirms Ezekiel’s Tomb Won’t Become a Mosque

Friday, May 14th, 2010

We reported, back in January, that sources in Baghdad said that the Iraqi government planned to turn Ezekiel’s tomb into a mosque and erase all Jewish markings.
Since then, an Anglican vicar has received reassurances from local mullahs, who ensured him that they wanted to maintain the Jewish holy site in its current form while enabling Christians and Muslims, who also consider Ezekiel one of their prophets, to visit the site.
So for the time being, Ezekiel’s tomb appears to be safe.

“Hello Sheila, I’m in Ezekiel’s Tomb, how are you doing?” Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, said over the phone. “Everything here is intact, glorious and beautiful.”

The short exchange this week between White and his longtime friend Sheila Raviv, stuck in traffic in her hometown of Jerusalem when she received the call, brought an end to months of concern over the fate of the tomb, following reports in Iraqi media outlets that Iraq’s Antiquities and Heritage Authority planned to build a mosque there.

The tomb is located in Al-Kifl, a small town south of Baghdad. As part of the renovations, according to the rumors set off by the report, ancient Hebrew inscriptions and ornaments were being removed.

“I went to make sure that the rumors were not true, and they weren’t,” White told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Raviv had recently written to White, with whom she has been in close contact since he was in Israel in 2000, to express her concern over the condition of the holy site. White said he doubted that the local mullahs, the ruling Shi’ite religious authorities, would indeed allow such a desecration, but told Raviv he’d personally check things out.

The three-hour journey from Baghdad, where White resides, to the Al-Kifl site is considered highly dangerous and necessitated an escort of 30 security personnel. But for White, who also tends to the needs of the eight-member Jewish community of Iraq, “my No. 1 priority in Iraq is maintaining Jewish sites.”

At Ezekiel’s Tomb, White met with the local mullahs, who ensured him that they wanted to maintain the Jewish holy site in its current form while enabling Christians and Muslims, who also consider Ezekiel one of their prophets, to visit the site. White’s photographs of the tomb, which he sent to Raviv, show remnants of whitewash at the bottom of some of the Hebrew inscriptions, most likely left over from Saddam Hussein’s era, and minor damage caused by the efforts to clean the dirt that had accumulated over the years.

While local Muslims continue to pray in the tomb’s shrine, there is no concept of it being a Muslim place of worship, White went on to explain, noting the presence of a mosque next to the tomb.

“The mullahs were very positive about preserving the site, and even asked me to provide Jewish Bibles in Hebrew,” White said.

For Shmuel Moreh, a professor of Arabic Literature at Hebrew University, relief over the news – which he had also recently received from an Iraqi source – was mixed with a feeling of victory.

A year ago, an Iraqi acquaintance told Moreh of the local religious authorities’ reported intentions. Since then, Moreh, a recipient of the 1999 Israel Prize in Middle Eastern studies as well as chairman of the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq, utilized all his skills and connections to prevent what could have been irreversible damage to an important religious heritage site.

Moreh told the Post on Thursday of his efforts with the Shi’ite and secular leadership to prevent what seemed like genuine intentions to modify the religious character of Ezekiel’s Tomb. One of his contacts, a distinguished scholar respected by the Shi’a authorities for his traceable lineage to the house of the prophet Muhammad, personally delivered a letter from Moreh on the issue to the Iraqi president and prime minister.

Moreh also cited a letter that Ayatollah al-Rikabi had sent to Iraq’s foremost religious Shi’a authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, requesting that the tomb remain in its current form as a Jewish holy site. Rikabi also told Sistani that Shi’ites should be sensitive to needs pertaining to holy sites, reminding him of the difficulties facing Shi’ites who were prevented by Wahabis from visiting religious sites.

It may have been efforts by Moreh and Jewish communities around the world that ensured the tomb was kept in its original form, or the whole affair may have been a result of a misunderstanding – or even a rumor deliberately spread by foes to besmirch the Shi’ites. But both White and Moreh stressed to the Post the dire condition of many other ancient Jewish sites in Iraq, such as the tombs of the prophets Jonah, Nahum, Ezra and Daniel, some of which lay in ruins with no one to maintain them.

“We must speak out and not remain silent,” Moreh said.

Original Link.

“Vexed By The Ungodly?” by Michael G. Mickey

Friday, May 14th, 2010

In 2nd Peter 2:6-8 we are given a glimpse into the wickedness that run amok in Sodom and Gomorrah prior to their destruction, as well as how difficult it was for just and righteous Lot to exist therein. We are told the environment of his time was so troubling to him his righteous soul was “vexed” on a day-to-day basis.

Based on the word ‘vexed’, what are we to perceive the condition of Lot’s soul was? In the original Greek it is kataponeō, the meaning of which is to “tire down with toil, exhaust with labor.” (Strong’s G2669)

Is Your Soul Exhausted?

If you’re a Christian and your soul isn’t troubled these days, even weary, it may be time to evaluate where your loyalties lie. As the saying on a popular bumper sticker goes, if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention! Either that or, once again, your priorities and loyalties are out of whack.

Bad and Getting Worse

It’s a difficult time to be a Christian, isn’t it? As predicted in bible prophecy, in spite of apostates threatening to dilute the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point His death on the cross seems near empty of meaning, bible-believing Christians are clearly viewed as viable threats on the radar screens of God’s enemies. We know this because we are increasingly finding ourselves in the crosshairs of a wicked world with no foreseeable let-up in sight.

From people beating up on Christian NFL rookie Tim Tebow’s good name as though his faith is tantamount to a hideous character flaw to a Christian being arrested for nothing more than quoting the Holy Bible’s assertion that homosexuality is a sin, the world is kicking sand in our faces faster than we can wipe it away! Some days, it’s all I can do not to scream in frustration. Literally. Let’s look at a few examples of what I’m referring to, shall we?

As reported earlier this month by Lachlan Markay of NewsBusters, the network Comedy Central wouldn’t permit its show “South Park” to so much as speak the name of the Muslim prophet Mohammed for fear of offending that faith’s followers, but on the heels of that? The same network is preparing to roll out a brand new show, the title of which is “JC” – a comedy about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ wherein He moves to New York City “wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father”.” Color me vexed as to that completely disrespectful although disgustingly predictable development, not to mention double standard!

In an unrelated matter, mere days ago senior citizens at Port Wentworth’s Ed Young Senior Citizens Center near Savannah, Georgia, had been told they couldn’t pray aloud before their meals anymore as a result of yet another ridiculous “separation of church and state” argument. The seniors would have to go with an alternative “moment of silence”, they were told, until the issue could be resolved. Fortunately, everything is back in proper order now, as seen in a Fox News story, but we can rest assured that there will be something very similar going on someplace else before we know it! And why? Because the powers and principalities behind all of the seemingly daily examples of anti-Christian persecution taking place around the globe are looking for any and every opening to wage war against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the cross and will not fail to open fire whenever an opportunity is afforded to do so.

Another prime example of the spiritual warfare we presently find ourselves in is seen in the recent theft of a cross that had stood at Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert in California since being erected in 1934 in memory of veterans of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.

The cross at Sunrise Rock and the controversy surrounding it caught my attention in 2005 when I wrote about the ACLU’s successful efforts to hide the old cross from the view of those “offended” by its presence on a perch inside the borders of land then owned by the federal government. At the time, the federal government had agreed to a land swap that seemingly gave everyone with an interest in the case what they wanted. The federal government would transfer the land where the cross was standing to the California Veterans Home in Barstow, California, and, in doing so, eliminate the “separation of church and state” argument being made in the courts. U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin, however, would have none of it, ruling:

“It is evident to the court that the government has engaged in Herculean efforts to preserve the cross on federal land and that the proposed transfer of the subject property can only be viewed as an attempt to keep the cross atop Sunrise Rock.”

I was vexed back then and still am as I reflect on what was going on. The government had seemingly figured out a way to perfectly respect the atheist’s concerns that the federal government was endorsing Christianity, as well as a way to leave a long-standing tribute to our fallen war dead standing that veterans from a variety of wars had gathered near every Easter Sunday for decades – a reasonable and respectful resolution to the conflict it seemed to me and many others. But make no mistake about it, neither the ACLU, the atheist it was representing nor Judge Timlin was going to be satisfied until that symbol of Christianity was torn down!

Fast forward to today, fresh off a Supreme Court decision that had, at least temporarily, saved the cross at Sunrise Rock and brought it out from under a wooden box that had been constructed to obscure it from view until a final decision could be reached, and the old memorial is gone from its perch. It has been stolen by what a OneNewsNow.com article refers to as “vandals”. Personally, I wouldn’t call those responsible for the theft “vandals”. What I’d call them is low-down anti-Christian scoundrels and thieves! Oh boy, am I ever vexed where this wicked stunt is concerned!

Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute has said of the theft, “I mean it’s akin to desecrating people’s graves. It’s just a disgraceful attack on the selfless sacrifice of our veterans — and we’re not going to rest until this memorial is reinstalled. I can’t really say it much better than the VFW commander [National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr.] who said, ‘This was a legal fight that a vandal just made personal to 50-million veterans.”

As a veteran, the theft of that old cross is certainly an act that I’ve taken personally, but there is something far more sinister about it to me than that!

The long-standing battle over the cross at Sunrise Rock wasn’t about the cross being a war memorial, it was about an atheist and the godless ACLU representing that atheist in an attack on Christianity and we all know it! The theft of that cross was a slap in the face of veterans of the armed forces, sure, but let’s not lose sight of the fact it was a slap in the face of Christianity as well, in keeping with current societal trends which are leading this nation down the path to destruction, activist judges in many of our courts in America doing everything they can do to aid the process!

If it’s not one thing, it’s another these days. Right, Christians? The spiritual condition of the United States of America is in a state of free fall, to the extent that I wholly agree with statements recently made by Reverends Franklin Graham and James Dobson.

Graham recently said:

“(In the United States) we see everyday our rights being eroded. Just a little at a time, but its happening. Everyday. So let’s preach while we can. Let’s stand up and holler ‘Jesus Christ! King of Kings, Lord of Lords!’ to the top of our voice.”

“The secularists are going to get ticked off, the news media’s going to hate it. I don’t know, maybe the people in the White House are going to be mad. But you know what, I don’t care. Because God has called us to take the Gospel — His Gospel, the power of God and His Salvation — unto the ends of the Earth.”

Dobson recently said:

“I am convinced that there are people in high places, people with a great deal of authority and influence, who want to eliminate every vestige of religion — especially Christian religion, or evangelical religion – from the public square. They want to expunge it. They want to get rid of it.”

Amen and amen! Could it be any more obvious than it presently is that this is true?

Are We There Yet?

I can only speak for myself, but I relate with Lot more by the day. Truly, my soul is vexed, often to the extreme.

There are days when I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, turning off my computer and television never to know what is going on beyond my line of sight ever again. For me, the less I know these days, the better I feel. This is true both physically and mentally. I know I’m not alone in that, but there’s something both I and every frustrated Christian in this wicked world needs to bear in mind in the midst of our current fatigue and frustrations. Jesus Christ made it clear that the more we find we have in common with Lot, the closer we are to our redemption!

Luke 17:28-30: Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Christians, keep your chins up! Remember, a better day is coming because Jesus Christ is coming! All signs are pointing to His return occurring, potentially very soon!

Original Link.

Bill Would Require Government to Track Body Mass of American Children

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Are you tired of this type of “regulate everything”, socialist nonsense yet? I know I am.

A bill introduced this month in Congress would put the federal and state governments in the business of tracking how fat, or skinny, American children are.

States receiving federal grants provided for in the bill would be required to annually track the Body Mass Index of all children ages 2 through 18. The grant-receiving states would be required to mandate that all health care providers in the state determine the Body Mass Index of all their patients in the 2-to-18 age bracket and then report that information to the state government. The state government, in turn, would be required to report the information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for analysis.

The Healthy Choices Act–introduced by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee–would establish and fund a wide range of programs and regulations aimed at reducing obesity rates by such means as putting nutritional labels on the front of food products, subsidizing businesses that provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and collecting BMI measurements of patients and counseling those that are overweight or obese.

Section 101 of the bill amends the Public Health Services Act by stating that health care providers must record the Body Mass Index of all children ages 2 through 18. “The provision relates to all children in states that accept grants under the bill,” a spokesperson for Rep. Kind told CNSNews.com. “However, it is important to note that no one is forced to come in for a doctor’s visit to get their BMI tested. BMI will be taken at times when the child makes an otherwise scheduled doctor’s visit.”

Original Link.

Feds Tell Court They Can Decide What You Eat

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Government is now trying to intrude into what we are allowed to eat. Unbelievable.

Attorneys for the federal government have argued in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Iowa that individuals have no “fundamental right” to obtain what food they choose.

The brief was filed April 26 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds,” states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish,” the government has argued.

WND has reported several times on fed crackdowns on producers of raw milk for friends and neighbors, including the recent case when agents arrived to inspect a private property belonging to Dan Allgyer in Pennsylvania at 5 a.m.

The incident was followed by a report a few days later that documented a proposal pending in Congress that critics say would do for the nation’s food supply what the new health-care reform law has done for health-care resources.

“S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the U.S.,” critiqued Steve Green on the Food Freedom blog. “It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.”

The plan is sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who explains the legislation “is a critical step toward equipping the FDA with the authorities and funding it needs to regulate what is now a global marketplace for food, drugs, devices and cosmetics.”

Now it’s statism on our plate! Mark Levin’s manifesto – ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ – provides the antidote to its growing stranglehold

His website explains, “The legislation requires foreign and domestic food facilities to have safety plans in place to prevent food hazards before they occur, increases the frequency of inspections. Additionally, it provides strong, flexible enforcement tools, including mandatory recall. Most importantly, this bill generates the resources to support FDA food-safety activities.”

The proposal cleared the U.S. House last year but has been languishing in the Senate because of a full calendar of projects. It creates a long list of new requirements for food-producing entities to meet the demands of the secretary of agriculture. It is expected to be the subject of discussion in coming days.

The Iowa case alleges the federal restrictions on raw milk are a violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a report at Natural News.

The federal attorneys want the case dismissed.

“The interest claimed by plaintiffs could be framed more narrowly as a right to ‘provide themselves and their families with the foods of their own choice,'” the government document states. But the attorneys say that right doesn’t exist.

“The FDA essentially believes that nobody has the right to choose what to eat or drink,” said the Natural News site, which explains it covers topics that allow individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity and consumer choices.

“You are only ‘allowed’ to eat or drink what the FDA gives you permission to. There is no inherent right or God-given right to consume any foods from nature without the FDA’s consent.”

The Natural News report continued, “The state, in other words, may override your food decisions and deny you free access to the foods and beverages you wish to consume. And the state may do this for completely unscientific reasons – even just political reasons – all at their whim.”

The report cited an increasing level of frustration on the part of the federal government because of tactics including buying “cow shares” in which a consumer drinks milk from a cow he partly owns, or “buying clubs.”

“This arrangement drives the FDA absolutely batty because it bypasses their authority and allows free people to engage in the free sales of raw dairy products produced on small family farms,” Natural News said.

The report blames the aggressive campaign against raw milk on large commercial dairy interests, “because it threatens the commercial milk business.”

The reason cannot be safety, the report said, since a report from the Weston A. Price Foundation revealed that from 1980 to 2005 there were 10 times more illnesses from pasteurized milk than from raw milk.

The federal government attorneys say the FDA’s goal is to prevent disease, and that’s why the “ban on the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk” was adopted.

The attorneys conceded that states ordinarily are expected to regulate intrastate activity but noted, “it is within HHS’s authority … to institute an intrastate ban as well.”

Natural News reported the ban could be seen as violating the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which leaves to states all powers not specifically designated in the Constitution for the federal body.

Original Link.

Parents Warned About Upcoming ‘Milk Day’ in California

Friday, May 14th, 2010

California remains the state most likely to ram the homosexual agenda down your children’s throats, while they are at school, without your knowledge of permission. Here is one of their latest ploys.

Last year, lawmakers in The Golden State designated May 22 be the day that schools honor the openly homosexual San Francisco politician who was assassinated in 1978. Although that date falls on a Saturday this year, Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com reports that May 17-28 may include exercises in celebration of Milk, as students will participate in commemorative activities honoring him without parental notification or consent.

The exercises could consist of anything teachers or school board members deem appropriate, including in-class reading and writing activities about the politician, or watching the film Milk. Assemblies teaching homosexuality and alternate lifestyles, cross-dressing contests, or mock “gay” parades and weddings could also take place.

“It is a moral crime for virtually all the Democrats in the California legislature to force this upon the six-million children in California schools,” Thomason argues.

He adds that Milk was one of the worst examples as a role model for children. “Milk believed in adult-child sex; he believed in lying to get ahead. He is one of the worst role models that children could have,” the SaveCalifornia.com president contends. “Teachers, principals, and schools that push Harvey Milk’s values are responsible for the degradation of children as human beings.”

Original Link.

“All Roads Lead to Heaven?” by Albert Mohler

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 (New International Version)

What catches the attention of a columnist for The Washington Post? A recent column by Kathleen Parker indicates that theology has become a focus of national attention. Kathleen Parker used her column in The Washington Post to take on Franklin Graham and his belief that belief in Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation.

Parker began her column with the fact that Franklin Graham prayed outside the Pentagon last Thursday, rather than inside, having been disinvited by the Pentagon as the speaker for its scheduled National Day of Prayer service. Graham, you will remember, was disinvited because of statements he made about Islam — statements directly referenced by the Army spokesman as “not appropriate.”

Those statements made clear reference to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only message of salvation, to Christ as the only Savior, and to Islam as an evil belief system that pulls millions away from faith in Christ and delivers no hope of salvation. In a later interview, Graham made his point about the uniqueness of the Christian Gospel, adding Hinduism as another example of a false religion.

All this was too much for Kathleen Parker, who asked: “Oh well, it doesn’t matter where one prays, right? All prayers lead to heaven. Or do they?”

She took direct aim at Franklin Graham’s theology, arguing that “Graham’s views didn’t sit very well with secular Americans or even non-evangelical Christians.” Well, probably not — and that serves to indicate what makes evangelical Christianity distinct from secular Americans and secularized Christianity.

But, Parker advised her readers, evangelicals are not likely to hold onto this belief for long. In her words:

Graham isn’t alone in his views. A survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors, conducted by an evangelical polling firm, found that 47 percent agree that Islam is “a very evil and a very wicked religion.” But such opinions may be confined mostly to an older generation. Evangelicals under 30 believe that there are many ways to God, not just through Jesus.

In essence, Kathleen Parker was advising secular America that the distinctive evangelical belief in the necessity of belief in Christ for salvation has a generational expiration date stamped on it. She then cites research by David Campbell of Notre Dame and Robert Putman of Harvard indicating that “nearly two-thirds of evangelicals under 35 believe non-Christians can go to heaven, vs. 39 percent of those over 65.”

So, even as secular Americans are expected to recoil in horror at the idea that there are Christians who still believe that faith in Jesus is the only way of salvation, they are given the hope that the coming generation of younger evangelicals will abandon that conviction and follow the path set by liberal Protestantism. There are signs she may be right, but this would mean the surrender of the Gospel.

But Kathleen Parker is not finished with her argument. She then turns to Fingerprints of God, a recent book by Barbara Bradley Hagerty of National Public Radio. Hagerty cites neuroscience as giving evidence of a “God spot” in the brain that supposedly indicates that all religious beliefs are the same:

Her research led to some startling conclusions that have caused no small amount of Sturm und Drang among those who believe theirs is the one true way. She found that whether one is a Sikh, a Catholic nun, a Buddhist monk or a Sufi Muslim, the brain reacts to focused prayer and meditation much in the same way. The same parts light up and the same parts go dark during deep meditation.

Well, no Sturm und Drang here, Mrs. Parker. This neuroscience may tell us something about the operation of the brain, but it tells us nothing of theological importance. It might indicate that certain religious practices have similar effects in the brain, but it tell us nothing about which theological beliefs are true. The evidence from neuroscience is of interest in this respect only to those who believe that all religious experience is merely a reflection of biology — and if you believe this you are not concerned about heaven or hell at all.

Kathleen Parker’s column is indeed revealing. But the most revelatory aspect of her essay is its unmasked hostility toward any belief that there is only one way of salvation. This is the so-called “scandal of particularity” that causes so much secular offense. In recent years the Roman Catholic Church has officially embraced forms of inclusivism in order to reduce this burden, and liberal Protestantism has embraced just about every relativistic alternative, from outright universalism to various forms of inclusivism, in which people are believed to be saved through Christ, but not through any conscious knowledge of Him. The universalists argue that all religions lead to the same truth. Inclusivists argue that all faiths eventually lead to Christ, even if He is not known. Both are repudiations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The column by Kathleen Parker is yet another signpost of the current age and the worldview of the secularized classes. In their view, what evangelicals believe about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just out of bounds and embarrassing.

But, she tells her readers, don’t worry — younger evangelicals are going to put that belief far behind them.

Is she right?

Original Link.
Also see our article “‘Falling Away’ of the Church”.