Thursday, May 31, 2007
Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place -- for now -- a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.
The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."
"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation's blood supply.
Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.
In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America's Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.
In a document posted Wednesday, the FDA said it would change its policy if given data that show doing so wouldn't pose a "significant and preventable" risk to blood recipients.
"It is a way of saying, 'Whatever was presented to us was not sufficient to make us change our minds,"' Bianco said.
Read the rest of this article.
Gay activists seem to be willing to go to any lengths to eliminate all reminders that homosexual behavior is not equivalent to heterosexual behavior - even at the risk of people's lives. Thank God the FDA is standing strong against this insanity.
Repent America (RA) has learned from a law enforcement official that the U.S. Department of Justice has been using its ministry as an example of a Christian “fundamentalist hate group” because of its Biblical opposition to homosexuality during its law enforcement “mediation and conflict resolution” training classes.
On Thursday, May 24, 2007, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), which operates 14 publicly-owned universities, manages approximately 300 police officers, and oversees over 100,000 students, hosted a mandatory class entitled “Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills for Law Enforcement” at its central headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The class is part of a police training series under the direction of the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, which is provided at different times to PASSHE police officers.
During this class, Timothy Johnson, Sr. Conciliation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, falsely characterized “Repent America” as a Christian “fundamentalist hate group” and had law enforcement officials participate in a role-playing activity to illustrate this point. Johnson directed a number of police officers to stage a campus dramatization before the class between a mock Repent America evangelism team and a group of upset homosexuals. While these officers were role-playing the two groups, another officer was instructed to “mediate the conflict” by removing the Christians, instead of affirming their constitutional rights to be on a public campus. The removal instruction was because the homosexuals were hurt and offended by the Biblical message of repentance and call to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same dramatization occurred on at least one other occasion before a previous training class.
“When I learned of what happened from a police officer who was in attendance and witnessed the dramatization, I was quite taken aback,” Repent America director Michael Marcavage stated. “It is absolutely astounding that federal government officials are now openly classifying Christians who publicly speak the truth of God’s Word as ‘haters’ and wrongfully training law enforcement to remove them from the public square for their obedience to the Great Commission. This truly is a wake up call to the church in America,” Marcavage said. “This remarkable example of government participation in anti-Christian discrimination shows just how aggressively the war is being waged against Christianity, where now our so-called Justice Department is actively working to silence God’s people,” he continued. “This alarming development provides even more reason why Christians should be vigorously opposing ‘hate crime’ laws, which seek to criminalize Christians for their thoughts and beliefs,” Marcavage concluded.Read the rest of this article.
From "Sodom by the Lake: Chicago's Palmer House Hotel Hosts Perverse 'International Mr. Leather" by Peter LaBarbera, posted 5/30/07 at AmericansforTruth.com
Pro-homosexuality activism is largely a big city phenomenon. The City of Chicago has the “queer” distinction of being a favorite city of sadomasochists, people who would have once been known, in saner times, as what they are: perverts. Proceeds from International Mr. Leather’s vendor registration went to a place called the Leather Archives Museum — a “museum” for sexual sadists, again, located in Chicago. I visited this “museum” last year and was stunned by its audacious chronicling of the most repulsive perversions (see main story), e.g., “fisting.” The sheer horror and weirdness of the place makes it difficult to describe to a normal audience.
How sad that this great city and so many of its leaders have given themselves over to celebrating sexual depravity. How bad is it?
To view the photos, please click here.
Read the rest of this article.
DePaul University in Chicago, one of the largest and most important Catholic universities in the US, is hosting the second “Out There” conference on homosexuality and Catholic education.
The conference, whose full title is the Conference of Scholars and Student Affairs Personnel Involved in “LGBTQ” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer) issues on Catholic Campuses, is being organized through the DePaul Women’s and Gender Studies department. It is scheduled for October 19-20, 2007 and is calling for submissions for papers and workshops.
The first Out There conference was held at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in 2005 in California and attracted 150 students and faculty from 40 different schools, including the Universities of Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, Fordham, DePaul, La Salle, Marquette and Emory, as well as Boston College, and College of the Holy Cross. The Santa Clara conference was praised by gay activists as opening a new door between the homosexual activist community and the world of Catholic education.
Defending the decision to hold the 2005 conference, Santa Clara University told Catholic News Agency that hosting a two-day long conference “on how to promote opportunities for gays and lesbians at Catholic colleges is the Catholic way to act.” The 2005 conference chose not to highlight Catholic teaching on the intrinsic immorality or medical dangers of homosexual activity or offer assistance to homosexuals to leave their lifestyle.Read the rest of this article.
Radical legislation mandating that schoolchildren as young as kindergarten learn about and support transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality has passed the California State Senate.
SB 777 requires textbooks, instructional materials, and school-sponsored activities to positively portray cross-dressing, sex-change operations, homosexual "marriages," and all aspects of homosexuality and bisexuality, including so-called "gay history." Silence on these sexual lifestyles will not be allowed.
Today's vote was on a party line -- Democrats for, Republicans against. Sadly, no Republican senator rose to speak against SB 777. After this non-debate, the school sexual indoctrination bill passed the Democrat-controlled Senate by three votes, 23 to 13. Republican Tom Harman (who opposed SB 777 in committee) and Republican Jim Battin were both absent; Democrats Dean Florez and Alan Lowenthal were also absent.
"Parents are angry at the Democrats for passing this school sexual indoctrination bill and frustrated that Republicans did little to fight it," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), a leading California-based pro-family organization. "We call on Arnold Schwarzenegger to pledge that he will respect parents, protect children, and veto this bad bill, just like he did last year."
"The notion of forcing children to support controversial sexual lifestyles is shocking and appalling to millions of fathers and mothers," Thomasson said. "Parents don't want their children taught to become homosexual or bisexual or to wonder whether they need a sex-change operation. SB 777 will shatter the academic purpose of education by turning every government school into a sexual indoctrination center."
Read the rest of this press release.
Britain’s heavily left-leaning University and College Union (UCU) that represents teachers and professors at the post-secondary level, says the recently passed Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR’s) do not go far enough. The union is calling for British law to be rewritten to prohibit teachers or schools from expressing any moral opposition to homosexuality or from promoting natural marriage in the classroom.
At their annual conference in Bournemouth, members voted unanimously on a motion demanding that laws be changed to prohibit teachers from voicing opposition to homosexuality or the “gay” lifestyle. Members argued that the passage of the Sexual Orientation Regulations meant that “faith schools” ought to be forced to entirely cease teaching religious doctrines on sexual morality.
Read the rest of this article.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The woman, pale-skinned, fine-featured, tall, in her 30s, was wearing a hospital gown. Beside the woman was her husband, sitting in a chair, holding his wife's hand. He too was pale, and, like his wife, he looked miserable. "Yes, I'd like to see them," the woman on the table said firmly.
"I'll just take a few pictures, and I'll show them to you," Greenbaum said.
"Them" referred to the three fetuses in the woman's belly, a long sought pregnancy achieved by in vitro fertilization. The woman and her husband were about to turn their triplets into twins in a procedure known as selective reduction.Selective reduction is one of the most unpleasant facts of fertility medicine, which has helped hundreds of thousands of couples have children but has also produced a sharp rise in high-risk multiple pregnancies. There is no way to know how many pregnancies achieved by fertility treatment start out as triplets or quadruplets and are quietly reduced to something more manageable. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which publishes an annual report on fertility clinic outcomes, does not include selective-reduction figures because of the reluctance to report them.
The industry doesn't publish them, either. "This is a very sensitive topic," says David Grainger, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the membership group for IVF clinics. It's sensitive, personally, for patients, but also politically, for doctors.Mark Evans is one of the few doctors in the country who not only performs reductions but also is willing to discuss all qualms, ethics, issues, outcomes. Evans, who describes himself as an obstetrician-geneticist, is a pioneer in fetal therapy. Using stem-cell transplants, he developed the first in-utero correction of SCID, a genetic disorder that severely compromises the immune system. He has also pioneered fetal surgeries, including bladder shunts for fetuses with urological obstructions. The goal of his practice is the delivery of a healthy baby. In some cases, this can be achieved by treating a fetus in utero. In some cases, it is achieved by sacrificing a fetus in utero.
..."I used to be totally not willing to talk about gender," elaborated Evans, who has pieced together his own ethics during more than 20 years of practice. At the outset, he worked with a bioethicist to develop guiding principles. For years, he says, the majority of sex-selection requests came from Asian and Indian parents, who tended to want to keep the boys. That he would not do. Increasingly, however, what people want is the Holy Grail of the modern two-child family: one boy and one girl. He finds that morally acceptable.
...Evans reviewed the loss rates for triplets. The patient's mother was clearly in favor of reduction. They had been over this before, she said, with the IVF doctor in Puerto Rico. "The risk would be too great," she said. "Sometimes you have to do unpleasant things to have a family."
...When he was working to establish bioethical principles, Evans decided that he would not reduce a normal twin pregnancy. He would take somebody from three to two, but he would not take somebody from two to one. "The rationale we used was: One, every OB knows how to take care of twins, and two, the outcome is not as good as with singletons, but good enough. And number three, all these were fertility patients, and if we could get them to twins, that was that much closer to their family ideal. And four, we didn't know what the risk might be of damaging one of the fetuses by the procedure. Because of all of the above, it didn't feel ethical to go ahead and do that."But Evans's thinking has changed. He is willing now to reduce two to one, and he does so. Not often, but the incidence is increasing. Please see "No Intention of Ever Saying No..."
...Evans prepared two syringes, swabbed Emma with antiseptic, put the square-holed napkin on her stomach. Then he plunged one of the needles into Emma's belly and began to work his way into position. He injected the potassium chloride, and B, the first fetus to go, went still.
"There's no activity there," he said, scrutinizing the screen. B was lying lengthwise in its little honeycomb chamber, no longer there and yet still there. It was impossible not to find the sight affecting. Here was a life that one minute was going to happen and now, because of its location, wasn't. One minute, B was a fetus with a future stretching out before it: childhood, college, children, grandchildren, maybe. The next minute, that future had been deleted.
Evans plunged the second needle into Emma's belly. "See the tip?" he said, showing the women where the tip of the needle was visible on the ultrasound screen. Even I could see it: a white spot hovering near the heart. D was moving. Evans started injecting. He went very slowly. "If you inject too fast, you blow the kid off your needle," he explained.
After Evans was finished injecting, D moved for a few seconds, then went still. Now, as we watched, there was something called the effusion: a little puff. "When I see that effusion, I know it's done," Evans said, taking "one last look at D before I come out," to make sure D was gone.
"Want to see your twins?" he asked the women, who did. On the ultrasound, he showed them the living fetuses, moving vigorously in their sacs. The women thanked him profusely. "Thank God there are people like you," Jane said.Read the whole article.
Friday, May 25, 2007
From "Making moms: Can we feed the need to breed? -- Canada has a baby deficit. Will paying women to have more kids help?" by Lianne George, posted May 28, 2007 in Macleans
Canada's fertility rate has been in a free fall for decades. In recent years, though, it has hovered at an all-time low of roughly 1.5 children per woman (we need 2.1 if we're going to replace ourselves). Social analysts pin it on some jumble of female education and fiscal autonomy, secularization, birth control, Sex and the City, a heightened desire for personal freedom, and increasing uncertainty about bringing a child into a world plagued by terrorism, global warming and Lindsay Lohan. [Oops, forgot to mention abortion!] In a hyper-individualistic, ultra-commodified culture like ours, motherhood, for better and worse, is less a fact of life than just another lifestyle choice.
All over the developed world, the same pattern is apparent. Russia, Britain, Ireland, Australia, Spain, Italy and dozens of other countries are contending with fertility rates well below replacement levels. Forty per cent of female university graduates in Germany are childless. In Japan, where the birth rate has sunk to a record low of 1.26, family planning groups are blaming the Internet, charging that fertile men and women are spending too much time online, and not enough having sex.
In Canada, economists and demographers are already noting dysytopian, Children Of Men-tinged scenarios. Across the country, women on average aren't having their first child until the age of 31. Elementary schools and daycare facilities, without enough kids to fill the nap mats, are closing for business. Ontario's Ministry of Education predicts that, by 2010, total elementary and secondary school enrolment will drop by nearly 100,000 students from 2002 numbers. In New Brunswick, the province's death rate has overtaken its birth rate. And the economic implications of a disappearing population are substantial: analysts are estimating a shortage of 1.2 million workers by 2020. "For every two people about to retire in the coming decades," says Linda Duxbury, a professor at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, "there will be less than one person to take their place, which will put significant strain on the health care system." Alberta, B.C. and the Maritimes are already feeling the crunch. "Demographers have known for ages this is coming," she says. "An issue like this takes decades to solve and we've really pushed the envelope on starting to deal with it."
In a quest to hold on to older workers, the Canadian government expunged the mandatory retirement age in December. But this move alone will not avert a labour crisis. Who, after all, wants to work a full-time job much past the age of 65? (Currently, only about six per cent of Canadians do so.) . . . Nor will immigration be the solution. At the moment, Statistics Canada reports that Canada's average of 240,000 new Canadian immigrants per year more than compensates for our dismal fertility rate. However, those studying long-range trends say this is nowhere near enough, particularly as global competition for skilled labour becomes more aggressive in the coming decades. "The numbers that we're talking about are phenomenal," says Duxbury. "Half a million to two-thirds of a million per year. I wonder, where are we going to get those immigrants from? Because most of the industrialized world is going through this same set of problems we are."
Faced with this odd conundrum -- a supply-and-demand crisis in which the suppliers (women) theoretically have the capacity to meet demand (for babies) but are opting not to -- economists and demographers are left scratching their heads. By now, just about every country in the developed world has implemented some policy or monetary incentives, ranging from baby bonuses to tax breaks. Still, the numbers fall. Short of establishing a Handmaid's Tale regime, they're wondering, what will it take to make women have babies? (And they're not talking just one.) . . . Exacerbating the financial hit for women is the fact that they, unlike men, lose income when they have a child -- a phenomenon David Ellwood [a professor of political economy and dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University] calls the "motherhood penalty." In a study he co-authored, Ellwood tracked women's income over time, beginning in 1979, and determined that the salaries of university-educated women plateau after childbirth, resulting in a loss of 15 to 20 per cent in income during the subsequent 10 years. Men's wages, on the other hand, don't appear to be affected. "Why are the most educated women postponing children the most?" says Ellwood. "The answer is, it's not because they can't afford child care. They're in a better position to afford it than most people. I think a lot of it is more fundamental than that, which has to do with what having children does to their own economic futures and opportunities."
Disparities at work are no longer a male-female issue. These days, they are most explicitly expressed between the women who have children, and those who don't. Kids are the new glass ceiling. According to U.S. economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, only 74 per cent of "off-ramped" women seeking to rejoin the workforce are able to, and only 40 per cent of those return to full-time, professional jobs. A Cornell University study found that mothers are 44 per cent less likely to be hired than non-mothers with the same resumé, experience and qualifications. "It's no accident that the majority of male senior executives have kids and the majority of female senior executives don't," says Ellen Bravo, a renowned American feminist and author of the newly published Taking on the Big Boys. "It's a requirement for the job."
But it's not only women's lost income that policy wonks are going to have to consider. It's also that, although child-rearing is a multi-pronged job which, if done properly, benefits the family, the nation, and everyone in between, the bulk of the responsibility for undertaking the whole thing still sits squarely on a mother's shoulders. Even as we bemoan our plummeting birth rate, and the grim economic future it may bring, everything about the way we've organized our culture is designed to force women to choose between work and kids -- and to penalize them if they choose kids. [Liberals view it as a penalty, others view it as a blessing!] And so, these days, it's not just a matter of a woman wanting children; it's a matter of wanting them at the expense of everything else she's worked for. . . . In Vienna, researchers at the International Instutite for Applied Systems Analysis have developed a disquieting hypothesis called the "low fertility trap," which suggests that the causes of low fertility are self-perpetuating. They foresee the potential for the baby bust to spiral out of control for three reasons: first, negative population growth means there will be fewer women of child-bearing age in the future to produce more children. Second, young people have been socialized [a.k.a. "brainwashed"] to believe that the ideal family size is a small one, which means fewer couples will have more than one child. Finally, the aging population will place tremendous financial strain on younger cohorts -- who have been raised with higher material aspirations to begin with -- which will translate into fewer children, or none at all.
"In the next 20 years," says Harvard's Ellwood, "there will be no net new native-born workers in the so-called prime age of 24 to 55 in the United States. The only new workers will come from two places: older workers and immigrants. And most immigrants in nations like the U.S. have been low-skill. Canada has had more higher-skill immigrants." The issue is made more difficult by the fact that, among Americans in particular, there is wide-ranging discomfort with a liberal immigration policy right now. "[Immigrants] are in a world where there's concerns about terrorism, and worries about jobs being sent abroad. So it's a real challenge."
Here is where we bump up against the dark underbelly of the demography discussion: the fact that it's not so much about urging women to have babies as it is about urging the right women to have them -- and to preserve Western civilization in the process. As it happens, the group whose fertility rates are declining the fastest are those with the greatest social and financial prospects. That is, Western (well-assimilated, if not white) professionals with university degrees. [Any conservative who would make such statements would be in the unemployment line along with Don Imus.]
. . .
It's this type of economic reasoning, paired with an underlying xenophobic angst, that is spurring pro-fertility policy initiatives in developed nations around the world. In Poland, where the population has fallen by half a million since 2000, the government has begun offering up a modest sum of 1,000 zlotys (roughly $400) for each child a woman produces. In Italy, officials are offering a reward of $1,500 for each second child -- and even toying with the possibility of paying women not to go ahead with abortions.
Amazingly, the evidence suggests that the most successful policies have one thing in common: they don't try to pay women to procreate. Rather, they facilitate the careers of working mothers. They are premised on the idea that, the more value a society places on women's work inside and outside of the home, the more likely she is to want to contribute meaningfully in both spheres. In other words, take some of the load off of her shoulders and spread it around so that children become everybody's responsibility. Who would have thought that the most economically sound solution to a fertility crisis would be rooted in good old-fashioned feminism?
The liberals just don't "get it!" They'll be asking themselves the same question (in the title of this Blog posting) until they're extinct.
Read the rest of this article.
"After more than thirty years as a student of the climate crisis, I have a lot to share. I have tried to tell this story in a way that will interest all kinds of readers. My hope is that those who read the book and see the film will begin to feel, as I have for a long time, that global warming is not just about science and that it is not just a political issue. It is really a moral issue." -- Al Gore
From "Penance Won't Pay for the Sins of Liberals" by Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University: Tribune Media Services, posted May 18, 2007
What do leftist, mostly secular elites share with medieval sinners?
They feel bad that the way they live sometimes doesn't quite match their professed dogma.
Many in the medieval church were criticized by internal reformers and the public at large for their controversial granting of penance, especially to the wealthy and influential. Clergy increasingly offered absolution of sins by ordering the guilty to confess. Better yet, sometimes the well-heeled sinners were told to pay money to the church, or to do good works that could then be banked to offset their bad.
Of course, critics of the practice argued that serial confessions simply encouraged serial sinning. The calculating sinner would do good things in one place to offset his premeditated bad in another. The corruption surrounding these cynical penances and indulgences helped anger Martin Luther and cause the Reformation.
. . .
Take the idea of "carbon offsets" made popular by Al Gore. If well-meaning environmentalist activists and celebrities either cannot or will not give up their private jets or huge energy-hungry houses, they can still find a way to excuse their illiberal consumption.
Instead of the local parish priest, green companies exist to take confession and tabulate environmental sins. Then they offer the offenders a way out of feeling bad while continuing their conspicuous consumption.
You can give money to an exchange service that does environmental good in equal measure to your bad. Or, in do-it-yourself fashion, you can calibrate how much energy you hog, and then do penance by planting trees or setting up a wind generator.
Either way, your own high life stays uninterrupted.
Some prominent green activists pay their environmental penance in cash, barter or symbolism to keep the good life. Al Gore, for example, still gets to use 20 times more electricity in his Tennessee mansion than the average household.
Take also the case of Laurie David, the green activist and wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David. She has recently generated plenty of publicity for her biofuel-powered bus tour to promote environmentalism. But in other circumstances, David still flies on gas-guzzling private jets.
. . .
These varieties of contemporary offsets could be expanded. But you get the picture of the moral ambiguity. Penance, ancient and modern, was thought corrupt because it was not sincere apology nor genuine in its promise to stop the sin.
Thanks to carbon offsets, Al Gore keeps his mansion and still feels good while warning others we all can't live as he does.
Read the rest of this article.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
A guest speaker at an assembly at Boulder High School in Colorado has told students as young as 14 to go have sex and use drugs, prompting school officials to say they will investigate.
The instructions came from Joel Becker, an associate clinical professor of psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
"I am going to encourage you to have sex and encourage you to use drugs appropriately," Becker said during his appearance at the school as part of a recent panel sponsored by the University of Colorado's Conference on World Affairs."Why I am going to take that position is because you are going to do it anyway," he continued. "I think as a psychologist and health educator, it is more important to educate you in a direction that you might actually stick to. So, I am going to stay mostly on with the sex side because that is the area I know more about. I want to encourage you to all have healthy, sexual behavior."
This is a perfect illustration with what's wrong with so many of the people who are having a profound influence on public policy in public schools and elsewhere. They really believe that kids are going to have sex and do drugs 'regardless.' Is this belief a result of these 'educators' projecting their own behavior onto everyone else or a belief that kids SHOULD have sex and do drugs?
What I do know is that they are wrong - however well intentioned. By 'lowering the bar' in order to help some kids, they are ultimately harming many, many more.
When young people were expected by their parents and society to behave morally, MOST of them did. Common sense tells us that expecting that kids (or adults for that matter) will 'have sex and do drugs' ultimately becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our children are being destroyed by this foolishness...
Read the rest of this article.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The fact is, evolution is not science. Belief in evolution is FAITH. The 'Theory of Evolution' is an explanation for the origin of life, just as Genesis is an explanation for the origin of life.
The existence of a creator has implications for each of us personally that many find intolerable. Scientists are people too. They have PERSONAL reasons for not wanting to believe that a Creator exists -- just like the rest of us.
The following quotes reveal just how unscientific belief in evolution really is...
"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic"
-Dr. Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University
“Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing...that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said “I do know one thing - it ought not to be taught in high school.”
--Dr. Colin Patterson in a lecture given at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981
"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism...Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
--Professor Richard Lewontin, ‘Billions and billions of demons’, The New York Review, January 9, 1997
"We have no acceptable theory of evolution at the present time. There is none; and I cannot accept the theory that I teach to my students each year. Let me explain. I teach the synthetic theory known as the neo-Darwinian one, for one reason only; not because it's good, we know it is bad, but because there isn't any other. Whilst waiting to find something better you are taught something which is known to be inexact, which is a first approximation. . ."
--Professor Jerome Lejeune, at a lecture given in Paris on March 17, 1985
"...I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise such transformation, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic license, would that not mislead the reader?"
--Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and author of that museum’s general text on evolution
"Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion — a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint — and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it — the literalists are absolutely right.
Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today… Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity."
--Michael Ruse was professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada (recently moved to Florida), the leading anti-creationist philosopher whose (flawed) arguments seemed to convince the biased judge to rule against the Arkansas ‘balanced treatment’ (of creation and evolution in schools) bill in 1981/2.
What difference does it make? Consider the following:
"Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals ... That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably, that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws.
If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. For the obstinate reminder continues to recur: only the supernaturalist has taken a sane view of Nature."
Chesterton, G.K., Orthodoxy, John Lane, London, pp. 204-205, 1927
"If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…"
Jeffrey Dahmer, in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, Nov. 29, 1994
"The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."
Keith, A., Evolution and Ethics, Putnam, NY, USA, p. 230, 1947
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has agreed that it will no longer bar lesbian and gay prisoners access to overnight family visitation with their registered domestic partners.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has requested the statewide policy change in response to demands by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a gay man who was told by prison officials that domestic partners were barred from family visits.
"Giving those serving a prison sentence an opportunity to spend quality time with their loved ones has proven to be a critical tool in rehabilitation," said Alex Cleghorn, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.
"We are pleased that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has recognized that lesbian and gay prisoners also form lasting commitments and are more likely to be productive members of society when they are given the opportunity to nurture their relationships through family visits."
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed to the change after the ACLU sent a letter to prison officials on behalf of the registered domestic partner of Vernon Foeller who was serving 18 months for a burglary conviction.
The men contacted the ACLU after their request for a family visit was denied even though they met all the other requirements to have a family visit.
In the demand letter, the ACLU pointed out that it was illegal for the prison to continue to deny domestic partners family visits because California law requires that domestic partners be treated the same as married couples who have access to family visits.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed with the ACLU and allowed the couple to have a family visit in December 2007, but the permission was not automatically state-wide affecting an unknown number of other gay prisoners.
Read the rest of this article.
Ex-Gay activist James Hartline had this to say,
"If a man who is HIV-infected comes into the prison and has sex with a prisoner, there will be a great increase in the spread of AIDS in the prison," declares Hartline. "I have seen firsthand, the promiscuous behavior of male homosexuals in prison. The gay prisoners will have sex during the overnight visits, get HIV, and then have sex with a multitude of other prisoners, thus spreading the disease," Hartline warns.
Not only is the ACLU assault on the institution of marriage challenging the majority of California voters, it is also creating a catastrophic method for fueling the AIDS epidemic among California prisoners. With a well-documented history of promiscuity, the vast majority of California's gay population cannot be trusted to stop the spread of HIV. The idea that promiscuous homosexuals, potentially infected with HIV, could have sex with incarcerated males, does not sit well with many conservative voters.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
From "Rare throat cancer linked to oral sex" by Carol Nader, posted 5/11/07 at www.theage.com
A RARE cancer in the back of the throat is "strongly associated" with a virus transmitted during oral sex, US researchers believe.
A study of 100 women diagnosed with cancers at the back of the throat, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has linked human papillomavirus (HPV) with throat cancer. It concluded oral HPV infection was associated with oropharyngeal cancer among people with or without the other risk factors of tobacco and alcohol use.
Infection with sexually transmitted HPV is a cause of virtually all cervical cancers.
The researchers from Johns Hopkins University also found a high lifetime number of oral sex or vaginal sex partners, engagement in casual sex, early age at first sexual encounter and infrequent use of condoms were associated with a strain of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer. They conclude that the "widespread oral sexual practices among adolescents" may have contributed to a rise of this type of cancer in the US, and provide a rationale for HPV vaccination in both boys and girls.
Cancer Council Australia chief executive Ian Olver said there was a known association between throat cancer and HPV. But he said it remained rare and there was no evidence of it rising.
"Everyone that gets infected by HPV won't go on to get throat cancer," he said. The findings did not mean people should change their behaviour. "It would be like saying stop having sex or you'll get cancer of the cervix. That doesn't apply."
That is a silly statement. No one is advocating abolishing sex. However, it is quite clear that sexual morality PROTECTS people from these terrible diseases.
If we truly care about people, we as a society should encourage adults and teens alike to wait until they are married to have sex. Don't buy the argument that 'they're going to do it anyway.' Society exerts a tremendous influence over people's sexual behavior. When the societal expectation was chastity until marriage, most people waited. In the 1940's most men were virgins when they married. The 1940's had its own problems, but epidemic levels of deadly STDs wasn't one of them.
There are always people who will fall short of societal expectations. This doesn't mean the expectation is wrong or should be changed.
'Lowering the bar' has lowered most everyone's behavior. This is no favor even to those who always fall short. They still fall short -- this time short of a much lower standard...
Monday, May 14, 2007
CHICAGO (AP) - A girl and her grandparents have sued the Chicago Board of Education, alleging that a substitute teacher showed the R-rated film "Brokeback Mountain" in class.
The lawsuit claims that Jessica Turner, 12, suffered psychological distress after viewing the movie in her 8th grade class at Ashburn Community Elementary School last year.
The film, which won three Oscars, depicts two cowboys who conceal their homosexual affair.
Turner and her grandparents, Kenneth and LaVerne Richardson, are seeking around $500,000 in damages.
"It is very important to me that my children not be exposed to this," said Kenneth Richardson, Turner's guardian. "The teacher knew she was not supposed to do this."
According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court, the video was shown without permission from the students' parents and guardians.
Read the rest of this article.
A Sound School teacher was placed on paid leave Wednesday as district officials investigate an allegation that she ordered students who supported a gay rights demonstration to leave her classroom, a claim she has denied through her union representative.
The teacher, Pamela Green, could not be reached for comment. She has taught in New Haven for more than 20 years, according to union officials.
"The principal, the union and Human Resources met with the teacher and as a result of that meeting have additional information to collect at the school level. The hearing will be continued with the teacher once that information has been obtained," said Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, spokeswoman for the New Haven schools.
"The paid administrative leave is a standard practice for most investigations," said Andrea Lobo Wadley, personnel director for the school system.
Sound School students had the option of participating in a Day of Silence sponsored by the school’s Gay and Straight Alliance by remaining silent all day and wearing purple ribbons, school officials said. Students said many students, teachers and a vice principal wore the ribbons as well.
Jodi Waibel, 17, of Branford, wore a purple ribbon Tuesday to show her support.
..."This was a school approved activity. The purpose is to sensitize the general population to the gay, lesbian and transgender members of our community," Pynn (the principal) said. "The teacher, as I understand, told them they had to speak. I told them I would deal with the teacher. This is not something we are going to accept."
"NOT SOMETHING WE ARE GOING TO ACCEPT?
This is exactly the problem. Gays and lesbians now have the freedom to live according to their own beliefs but will not afford others the same freedom. They believe teachers should be REQUIRED to accommodate to promotion of the GLBT issues in the classroom.
Although we don't know all the details, this teacher seemed to be going about 'business as usual.' It is certainly appropriate to read plays out loud as a classroom exercise. Students refusing to participate in a classroom exercise should be disciplined - just as they would on any other day. They should also be willing to accept that discipline as the price of making their activism.
Accommodating students observing the DOS is not something all teachers (and not just Christian teachers) can do in good conscience.
Wisdom would counsel that, for the sake of students, teachers, and preserving peace in our public schools, the official policy of ALL public schools should be no accommodation for those seeking to use the classroom as a platform for promote a political agenda - any agenda. It is bad policy...
Read the whole article.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Two recent surveys regarding faculty regard for 'religious' students at the university level have confirmed what most of us who pay attention to the culture war already knew...
The first, by sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George Mason University, found that college professors are less religious than the general public but are far from the godless horde that is sometimes imagined. Even at the country's 50 top research universities, a minority of the faculty is atheist or agnostic, Gross and Simmons found.
The other survey, by the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish and Community Research, confirmed those findings but also found what the institute's director and chief pollster, Gary A. Tobin, called an "explosive" statistic: 53 percent of its sample of 1,200 college and university faculty members said they have "unfavorable" feelings toward evangelical Christians.
Tobin asked professors at all kinds of colleges -- public and private, secular and religious, two-year and four-year -- to rate their feelings toward various religious groups, from very warm or favorable to very cool or unfavorable. He said he designed the question primarily to gauge anti-Semitism but found that professors expressed positive feelings toward Jews, Buddhists, Roman Catholics and most other religious groups.
The only groups that elicited highly negative responses were evangelical Christians and Mormons.
...Tobin, the pollster, acknowledged that his survey did not measure how professors act, only how they feel. But he said the levels of disapproval are high enough to raise questions about how evangelical Christians are treated.
"If a majority of faculty said they did not feel warmly about Muslims or Jews or Latinos or African Americans, there would be an outcry. No one would attempt to justify or explain those feelings. No one would say, 'The reason they feel this way is because they don't like the politics of blacks or the politics of Jews.' That would be unthinkable," Tobin said.Read the rest of this article.
Sophomore Oleg Manzyuk and many of his friends stayed home from San Juan High School on April 18, the Day of Silence. On that day, homosexual students and their supporters wore tape over their mouths in protest.
Two years ago, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) established the Day of Truth — April 19 this year — to express a Christian perspective. Nearly 7,000 students participated in the third-annual Day of Truth.
But Oleg wasn’t in class that day either; he and about a dozen others were suspended by the Citrus Heights, Calif., school for wearing T-shirts with Scripture verses addressing homosexuality. In four California districts, at least 150 students were suspended.
“It was my idea for the shirt,” Oleg said. “Some of the gay students wore shirts (with rainbows and mentions of gay sex), and they were not suspended. That’s just ridiculous. They’re showing their opinion; so can we.”
The girl who wore the gay-sex shirt was suspended three days later.
Trent Allen, director of information for the San Juan Unified School District, said any shirt that creates an “atmosphere of intimidation” is not OK. “Students on both sides of the issue who are wearing shirts that do not continue the conversation in an educational manner” are asked to remove the shirts or turn them inside out.
...Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action:
“While we would encourage students to always use compassionate and respectful message on their T-shirts, the sad thing is, these kids shouldn’t be having to deal with homosexual politics in their public schools at all,” she said. “If schools are going to insist on allowing adult agendas to be promoted in their hallways and classes, then the least they can do is give equal access and equal respect to religious students’ point of view.”Amen.
If public school administrators and teachers accommodate pro-gay activists on the Day of Silence, they must grant the same accommodation to those with a differing opinion. Wisdom would suggest that public schools should not accommodate ANYONE seeking to turn the classroom into a platform for any political agenda, let alone one as divisive as this...
For once we agreed with Barney Frank (sort of), at least before he sold out to the “transgender” lobby.
“There are workplace situations — communal showers, for example — when the demands of the transgender community fly in the face of conventional norms and therefore would not pass in any Congress. I’ve talked with transgender activists and what they want — and what we will be forced to defend — is for people with penises who identify as women to be able to shower with other women.”
–Homosexual Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), BEFORE he changed his mind and embraced including “transgenders” in the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA)
“Technically, you cannot truly change one’s sex. That’s why the procedure is not really called ’sex change surgery’ but ’sex reassignment surgery.’ The idea is to alter the physical appearance of a person’s anatomy to approximate as nearly as possible the anatomic arrangement of the other sex.”– Melanie, “Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), the Nuts & Bolts,” a “Transgender Support Site”
What does this all mean where the rubber meets the road? Businesses with more that 15 employees being forced to allow men to use the women's restroom (and showering facilities where applicable) or having to build separate facilities for 'transgendered' employees.
In other words -- legally enforced insanity...
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR - Urge your U.S. Representative to reject ENDA, H.R. 2015. Also, tell President Bush to veto the pro-”trans” ENDA, along with the “Hate Crimes” bill (H.R. 1592).
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Another former abortion clinic – this one in Indiana – is to be converted into a ministry of life, according to officials with Operation Rescue, one of the nation's leading edge abortion opponents.
Former Rescue leader Bryan Brown has confirmed he has purchased the building that previously was the abortion clinic called Women's Health Clinic in Fort Wayne, Ind., and plans to establish a "Culture of Life Center" in the facility.
"We will be involved in commemoration, communication and litigation in support of natural law and pro-family issues," Brown said.
It's the second such situation where pro-life advocates have moved onto ground once held by the abortion industry: Operation Rescue's own headquarters in Wichita, Kan., previously were used by an abortion business.
Ironically, the Fort Wayne location is the same building where Brown once protested abortions in his hometown, and where he once was fined $61,600 for his protests.
Those fines, from the early 1990s, later were dropped. However, at the time they prompted him to move from Indiana to Kansas, where he participated in Operation Rescue's 1991 Summer of Mercy.
He later stayed on to earn a law degree and eventually become the chief of the Consumer Affairs Division of the Kansas Attorney General's Office.
The building actually was purchased through Brown's organization, Donnagal Corridor, which was named after an Irish mountain pass secretly opened to American airmen during World War II so they could refuel while hunting German submarines in the North Atlanta.
The purchase price is also about the same as the fines earlier ordered against Brown for protesting there.
"This furthers the trend of Christians buying abortion clinics and redeeming them for righteousness," said OR President Troy Newman. It was under his direction that Operation Rescue bought the Wichita abortion business early in 2006. It's now being remodeled.
"This is an amazing picture of God's redemptive power," he said. "We congratulate Bryan Brown on his new endeavor in Indiana and look forward to seeing many great pro-life victories as a result of his commitment of faith to the protection of the innocent."
Read the whole article.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
It’s not only the left that sounds the alarm when Christians “jeopardize the separation of church and state” by engaging in political action. Some Christians object, too. One evangelical leader offered this stern warning: “There should not be even a hint of anything political in our public discourse.”
This may sound spiritual in some circles, but it can be devastating to the public good. Without question the Gospel has supernatural power to change lives, and those changed lives can change the world. William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa come immediately to mind.
Some Christians wrongly conclude, however, that political involvement is therefore a waste of time. This is a mistake. The Gospel is never communicated in a political or cultural vacuum.
“The effective and mass communication of the gospel depends upon the freedom to proclaim it,” wrote Hugh Hewitt. The Apostle Paul told Christ’s followers to pray for those in authority so believers might lead a tranquil, quiet life in godliness and dignity. In a democratic society those prayers can and should be augmented by action.
The doctrine of political passivity is flawed in its understanding of the function of law, the changing definition of "politics," the role of the Christian citizen in the moral education of a nation, and the original intent of the First Amendment.
Read the rest of this commentary.
A new survey shows the majority of parents across the U.S., regardless of their economic or ethnic background, support abstinence education over comprehensive sex education. The National Abstinence Education Association is touting a new Zogby International poll that shows American parents favor abstinence education over comprehensive sex education by a two-to-one margin.
The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is drawing attention to the Zobgy survey, which claims when parents become aware of what abstinence education teaches versus what comprehensive sex education teaches, support for abstinence programs jumps from 40 percent to 60 percent, while support for condom-based "safe-sex" programs drops from 50 percent to 30 percent.
NAEA executive director Valerie Huber says she is convinced there has been a "misinformation campaign" about abstinence education throughout the media.
"Once parents understood that abstinence education is really holistic and includes some of the core components, such as building healthy relationships, strengthening self-control, developing skills that will improve their chances for a healthy future marriage, and even the benefits of choosing abstinence after being sexually active," Huber notes, "parents want that message given to their teens."
Read the rest of this article.
Christians in Maine are denouncing a group of United Church of Christ ministers who are publicly advocating for taxpayer-funded abortions.
...The letter from the UCC ministers is being widely criticized, says Hein. "What a poor public testimony these Christian reverends, these Congregational ministers are putting out there," he offers.
"To the unchurched, to people who have not yet accepted Christ as their Savior, they see this stand by the Congregationalists -- the United Church of Christ -- as something sending a very mixed message about what Christianity is."
Hein notes that the United Church of Christ denomination recently condemned the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a federal ban on partial-birth abortions.
Read the whole article.
A joint resolution calling on more Southern Baptist churches to start Christian schools has been introduced for the denomination's upcoming meeting in San Antonio. The resolution was submitted by Drs. Voddie Baucham and Bruce Shortt, both of whom have led the call in recent years for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to develop an exit strategy from the public school system.
The resolution comes in the wake of comments made last year by SBC president Dr. Frank Page in which he called upon churches to start more Christian schools. Baucham says parents must realize the public school system is hostile to the Christian message.
"The discussion has to continue, but we have got to be honest in the discussion," he urges. That discussion has been posed as "sort of equal choices," Baucham explains. "And these are not equal choices. When we make a decision to send our children to an institution that is anti-Christian by federal mandate, we are making a decision about their future and their discipleship."Read the rest of this article.
A unanimous vote by the Transylvania County (North Carolina) Board of Commissioners this week defied a demand letter from the American Civil Liberties Union and approved an invocation policy that will continue its tradition of opening its meetings with prayer. The prayer policy will follow a model provided by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) that has proven constitutionally defensible.Transylvania County commissioners received the ACLU letter in early April. That letter was one of many sent to local governments across the United States in the last year demanding that public prayers be censored or silenced.
Read the rest of this article.
It is so refreshing to see people stand up to the bullies at the ACLU. Bravo to these commissioners. May their courage be an inspiration to others to do the same.
The photos at the link provided below are from the "Youth Pride Day" in Massachusetts, where the legalization of same-sex marriage has opened a Pandora's Box of open sexual immorality. More of the same will surely follow as sexual orientation policy is incrementally legislated and enacted into public policy.
It isn't compassion to support kids in this. It is a CRIME. May God help these kids. We certainly haven't...
Take a look and make up your own mind...
What was the motive behind 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui's killing of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech? Why was he consumed with hate, resentment and bitterness?
Cho was an English department major and senior. As a frequent lecturer on college campuses, I have discovered that the English departments are often the weirdest and/or the most left-wing.
A look at the Webs ites of Virginia Tech's English department and of its professors reveals their mindset. We don't yet know which courses Cho took, but it could have been any of these.
Did he take professor Bernice L. Hausman's English 5454 called "Studies in Theory: Representing Female Bodies"? The titles of the assigned readings include "Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth Century Art, Medicine, and Literature," "The Comparative Anatomy of Hottentot Women in Europe, 1815-1817," "Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace," "The Anthropometry of Barbie: Unsettling Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture," and "Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power."
One of the assignments in this course (worth 10 percent of the total grade) is to "choose one day in which they dress and comport themselves in a manner either more masculine or more feminine than they would normally."
Is this really a course taught by the English department? It sounds like just the thing to confuse an already mixed-up kid.
Hausman uses "feminist pedagogy" theory, believing that sex and gender are merely "rhetorical constructs" resulting from cultural experiences, and that "students are more responsible for the creation of knowledge." She lists her areas of expertise as "sexed embodiment, feminist and gender theory, and cultural studies of medicine."
Other titles authored by professor Hausman include "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender," "Do Boys Have to Be Boys?", and "Virtual Sex, Real Gender: Body and Identity in Transgender Discourse." Perhaps Cho took professor Bernice Hausman's English 3354 on "Fundamentals" for which the syllabus promises an understanding of "deconstruction" (a favorite word in English departments).
Did Cho get evil egotistical notions from professor Shoshana Milgram Knapp's senior seminar called "The Self-Justifying Criminal in Literature"? Indeed, that could serve as his own self-portrait.Read the rest of this article.
...At first glance one might ask, “Who could be against criminalizing group-hate?” The problem comes in the interpretation of “hate.” As regards the volatile issues of homosexuality and transgenderism, one person’s definition of love is defined by another as hate. If you believe that true love means loving homosexual and transsexual persons but not their error—as Augustine once said, “Love not in the person his error, but the person; for the person God made, the error the person himself made”—then it is important for you to know that this ‘Hate’ Crimes bill will legally treat your love as hate. This is not pluralism, tolerance, and diversity. It is oppression.
Since genuine intimidation and violence is already covered by the existing legal code, the ultimate purpose of such a bill can only be to intimidate those who speak out against the endorsement of homosexual practice and transsexualism. In the current political climate—obvious cases in point are repeated oppressions of any who dare speak against homosexual practice in Canada, England, and Scandinavia, to say nothing of sectors of the United States—one cannot assume that there is a common definition of what constitutes hate against homosexual and transsexual persons. Any public words against homosexual practice could be treated legally as words that incite others to violence and/or discrimination against homosexual persons, and thus subject to criminal prosecution.
All that one needs to know about such a hate-speech bill can be summed up by the following conversation between two members of the House Committee on the Judiciary on Apr. 25, 2007, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who opposed the “sexual orientation hate” law, and Congressman Arthur Davis (D-Alabama), who supported it (note that all 23 Democrats in the committee supported the Hate Crimes bill; all 17 Republicans opposed it).
Congressman Gohmert: If a minister preaches that sexual relations outside of marriage of a man and woman is wrong, and somebody within that congregation goes out and does an act of violence, and that person says that that minister counseled or induced him through the sermon to commit that act, are you saying under your amendment that in no way could that ever be introduced against the minister?
Congressman Davis: No.
(transcript here, quote from p. 206)
In other words, Gohmert was asking whether Davis’s amendment allegedly safeguarding free speech would prevent a pastor from being held legally liable if a parishioner who committed a violent act against a homosexual person misconstrued the pastor’s sermon as an inducement to violence. Davis’s answer was “no,” such a pastor might be held legally liable in such circumstances. Democrats also turned back an amendment proposed by Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) to the effect that nothing in the bill should be construed as to “limit the religious freedom of any person or group under the Constitution.”
Of course, even if a religious exemption amendment were passed, it would ultimately come to a bait-and-switch tactic. Once “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” infiltrate (one is tempted to say, penetrate) the legal system, they will ultimately prevail over any exemptions, including religious ones (recent developments in Britain make this clear). A “sexual orientation hate” crime bill does virtually all its damage in establishing “sexual orientation” as a category of being that is worth the federal government’s vigorous protection. A person who has a problem with the behavior arising from homosexual “orientation” will be legally established as a “bigot,” even if he or she does not commit a violent crime. That status becomes codified in law.Read the whole article.
The Hate Crimes bill has already passed the House! It will soon be voted on by the Senate. Please call your senators today and ask them to vote NO.
A school protest turned personal when demonstrators targeted a church, and the home of a Citrus Heights principal.
Protestors were lashing out at the principal for banning t-shirts with a biblical message that some considered anti-gay.
One student at the protest was suspended for wearing the t-shirt, On Sunday he was demonstrating against his principal in front of his church.
Churchgoers were surprised and disappointed, but tried to turn the other cheek.
A few hours later, demonstrators planted themselves in front of the principal’s house, raising their voices as neighbors came out to look.
Principal Terwilliger was visibly shaken by their visit and notified police, but he didn’t want to talk on camera, fearing the situation would only get worse. All of this was sparked by National Day of Silence, an event at high schools to promote tolerance. Some students retaliated by wearing biblical t-shirts that the principal considers anti gay.
The principal already reversed the suspensions hoping to open a dialogue. He also says it is his duty to maintain a safe learning environment.
Read the rest of this article.
While I don't condone their method, I do admire the idea behind it. This principal is in open rebellion to God's Word. His CHURCH should be holding him accountable. Apparently Christian teens are willing to go where adult Christians fear to tread...
..."Conservative" advocates of same-sex marriage have downplayed the influence of pro-triple-parenting radicals, denying that we will ever see a grass-roots movement powerful enough to precipitate legal recognition of this dramatic change in family practice. Against this, I’ve argued that a pro-triple-parenting movement is already visible, and is simply waiting for national same-sex marriage to be approved before emerging in force. (See The Confession and The Confession II.)
Well, it now appears that we may not have to wait for a new national movement of family radicals. Gay marriage is apparently already serving as a springboard for the dissolution of our traditional family arrangements. Just a week ago, almost completely under the radar (I can’t find a single story on nexis), a Pennsylvania court awarded triple parenting status to a lesbian couple and a male sperm donor, without any legislative basis. Here is further coverage (vertigo alert on this one) and here is the decision.
...Where is media coverage of the Pennsylvania decision? Gil Scott Heron had a song called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Apparently, the family revolution in Pennsylvania will not be publicized.Read the rest of this commentary.
Doctors in Illinois may no longer have to get written consent from patients to give them HIV tests under a controversial state bill that's part of a national effort to make HIV testing more routine.
Supporters of the bill, which could come to a vote in the Illinois House this week, say it would give crucial knowledge to the estimated 10,000 Illinois residents who are infected with the virus that causes AIDS but don't know it. The initiative would enact new testing guidelines that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published last year in hopes of screening all patients between ages 13 and 64.
But the change in law also would require rescinding parts of Illinois' 20-year-old AIDS Confidentiality Act, which ensures that patients cannot get tested for HIV without their knowledge.
Tensions between patients' rights and public health priorities have made the bill a politically dicey subject.
After advocates from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago announced their opposition to the bill on Monday, officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health said they would try to modify the legislation. The officials said they would work with Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), the bill's sponsor, to add language clarifying the need for counseling and verbal consent before patients get tested for HIV.
All medical procedures require some form of consent, but doctors do not have to get specific, written permission to do routine tests. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control said the new guidelines would make HIV testing a normal part of medical care, requiring no patient action beyond the general consent forms that patients sign at the start of most visits.
"You don't have to obtain written informed consent for any other blood test," said Dr. Bernard Branson, who helped write the center's HIV testing guidelines.
"When a procedure requires more risk, that's usually when you have to get something separate in writing," Branson said.
Removing that bureaucratic hurdle could expand the number of people getting tested. A study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when San Francisco's public health system ended its requirement for written consent in 2006, more patients were tested and more of them tested positive for HIV.
Center officials said a change to Illinois' consent rules may be necessary if the state is to receive its share of $30 million in new federal money to support early HIV diagnosis programs.
Read the rest of this article.
Doctors at a British fertility clinic will begin screening embryos for cosmetic defects, the first time a license to do so has been issued in the country.
A business man and his wife applied to London’s Bridge Centre family clinic for screening procedures to ensure an embryo would be created without the father’s genetic eye disorder--the man and his father both have an eye condition which gives them a severe squint.
Doctors at the clinic were granted a license to screen for the cosmetic condition by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
During the screening process, embryos conceived in a laboratory are tested at the eight-cell stage to see if they carry the potential for the unwanted disorder or characteristic. If they do, the embryo will be destroyed and doctors will test another for implant into the mother‘s womb. Previously, the use of embryo screening was limited to severe disorders such as cystic fibrosis or blood disorders.
The procedure has been condemned by critics as a eugenics tool to eliminate those seen as physically unfit from society, with embryos showing genetic markers that indicate the child may develop a disorder discarded, in favour of genetically “pure” embryos. The international pro-life movement anticipated the eventual use of embryo screening to produce “tailor-made” babies.
Prof. Gedis Grudzinskas, with the Bridge Centre clinic, told the Telegraph UK that he believes the HFEA’s decision to permit screening for an eye disorder marks the beginning of a widespread relaxation of screening rules, Prof. Grudzinskas said. “We will increasingly see the use of embryo screening for severe cosmetic conditions.”
He said he would screen embryos for hair color or any cosmetic condition that caused distress to parents.
Read the rest of this article.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Wisconsin pharmacist’s conscience rights May 2, declaring it would place too great a burden on Wal-Mart to accommodate his request not to be involved in any way with the distribution of abortifacient birth control.
Neil Noesen brought a lawsuit against Medical Staffing Network Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and the state of Wisconsin for religious discrimination over refusing to ensure he would not interact with customers seeking contraceptive prescriptions.
Objecting to the abortifacient properties of contraceptive prescriptions, which can cause the death of an unborn baby in the earliest stages of development by preventing it from implanting in the womb, Noesen sought permission from his employers to avoid any contact with customers seeking contraceptives, including telephone requests.
Wal-Mart had agreed that Noesen would not be required to fill or otherwise handle contraceptive prescriptions, and had conceded that he would only be asked to serve the needs of male customers or women of non-childbearing age.
Noesen was denied permission to avoid answering the telephone, however, although he was told he could pass the call to another employee if the caller wanted contraceptives.
Pro-life advocates have likened such requirements to being granted permission not to shoot a victim, but being forced nonetheless to hand the gun to another shooter--both are a violation of the moral right not to participate in the killing of an innocent human being.
“Participating in the provision of a contraceptive article that inhibits the implantation of an unborn child, thereby causing the destruction of an unborn child, is unlawful and can never be considered a standard of care. There is no duty to provide this type of service,” Noesen’s attorney argued in a Barron County Circuit Court brief in 2005.
Read the rest of the article.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Most of you know that the Supreme Court recently handed the pro-life cause an important victory by upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion. The Court may have banned only one method of abortion, but now we have hope that perhaps there will be additional legal restrictions on abortion in the future.
But we must remember that there are other fronts in the battle for human life besides the law. One front is the hearts and minds of those who would perform abortions: that is, doctors.
As the BBC recently reported, “The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says there has been a big rise in the number of doctors who are ‘conscientious objectors.’” In other words, doctors in the
Analysts offer various explanations. Katherine Guthrie of the Royal College suggests, “You get no thanks for performing abortions. You get spat on. Who admits to friends at a dinner party that they are an abortionist?” But we have good reason to believe that the reasons go even deeper than that. James Gerrard, a general practitioner in Leeds, says, “Out of the six doctors in our practice, three of us object to abortion. I had made up my mind on abortion before entering the medical profession. I feel the foetus is a person and killing that foetus is wrong.”
So it’s not just about being ostracized. It is an “unprecedented moral revolt,” according to This Is London. Guthrie says, “The Department of Health is really worried.” Ann Furedi of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service explains why: “Within five to seven years, a woman’s ability to get an abortion will be more shaped by the service’s ability to provide them rather than the state of the law.”
Isn’t this remarkable? The very group that has the most to gain from abortions is turning away from them. They know better than anyone else exactly what an abortion is—and they want nothing to do with it. And because they are the ones most directly involved, they are having even more impact than the government could ever dream of having.Read the rest of this commentary.