Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IL Grassroots Promise to Oust Pro-Abortion Legislators

Illinois voters are taking to the streets and the media to show their opposition to any type of "freedom of choice" abortion legislation, such as IL House Bill 2354.

UPDATE 4/3/09: Legislators remove sponsorship, bill defeated!

-- From "Bill heats up abortion debate" by Brian Slupski, Northwest Herald 3/30/09

Pending legislation that deals with sex education and what information patients receive has mobilized both sides of the abortion issue in McHenry County [Illinois].

Supporters say that the Reproductive Health and Access Act guarantees that people have accurate information related to health care options and provides for comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education. Opponents say the legislation would compromise religious freedoms and lead to taxpayer funded abortions.

Opponents held a prayer vigil and picketed 63rd District State Rep. Jack Franks’ Woodstock office Saturday.

Catholic church leaders also are speaking out against the legislation.

Joliet Catholic Bishop J. Peter Sartain, in a letter to church members, took issue with how the law deals with doctors who conscientiously object to abortion or other reproductive health issues.

“Our state should be defending our freedom of religion, not requiring individual citizens to defend their right to that freedom,” Sartain wrote.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

From "Dump Beaubien"a letter to the editor by Thomas G. Salvi, MD - Northwest Herald 3/29/09

Rep. Mark Beaubien, R-District 52 . . . is not only supporting HB 2354, he’s co-sponsoring this terrible bill. With this bill, health care professionals may be forced against their own conscience to provide access to abortion, there will be elimination of parental notification of abortion, partial birth abortions will be legal, and taxpayers will be forced to fund abortions. Illinois is in a fiscal crisis, and this Republican is advocating expansion of government to include forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for a procedure that is viscerally offensive to most Americans.

Beaubien’s support of HB 2354 is offensive to any fiscal conservative and immoral to any social conservative. As a physician, I find it also contrary to the Hippocratic Oath. It’s time for Republicans to dump Beaubien.

McHenry County Illinois voters demonstrated Saturday at the office of state Rep. Jack Franks (D-Distr. 63) urging him to drop his co-sponsorship of HB 2354.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama Administration: Homosexual Military on Hold

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the military has too much on its plate right now to alter the policy of relieving openly gay service members from duty.

UPDATE 3/31/09: Obama "supports eventual repeal" of current policy

UPDATE 4/08/09: 1,050 retired military officers, including 47 four-star leaders, sign letter to Obama requesting homosexual ban be retained

-- From "Administration Delays Change to Military's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Policy" by Bill Sammon, FOXNews.com 3/29/09

A change to the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military will be delayed despite promises by the Obama administration to overturn the rule, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

In January, President Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, was asked whether his boss would overturn "don't ask, don't tell.” Gibbs' reply . . . "You don't hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it's 'Yes,'" Gibbs said.

But Gates now says the Pentagon will continue to enforce the existing policy, which bars service members from proclaiming their sexual orientation and commanding officers from asking about it. However, the policy states that if it becomes known that a service member is gay, he or she is to be removed from the military.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Hillary Receives Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Award

In accepting the award, Obama's envoy to the world equated pro-life advocacy to anti-democratic belief that "often leads to violence and extremism."

-- From "Clinton honored for support of women's rights" Associated Press 3/28/2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says reproductive rights as well as women's rights and empowerment are key issues in President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

Clinton vowed her support for these issues during a speech Friday evening at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's national conference in Houston.

She was honored by Planned Parenthood with its Margaret Sanger Award, the organization's highest honor, for her work throughout her public service career on behalf of women's health and reproductive rights.

Clinton says these rights are building blocks of democracy as societies that deny and demean women's roles are ones more likely to engage in behavior that is negative, antidemocratic and that leads to violence and extremism.

From "Hillary Says Pro-Life Is Anti-Democratic, and the Papers Only Say She 'Champions Women's Rights'?" by Tim Graham, NewsBusters.com 3/29/09

Excerpts from Hillary's acceptance speech:

The 20th century reproductive rights movement, really embodied in the life and leadership of Margaret Sanger, was one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race. It has changed the lives of tens of millions of women. It has changed attitudes and perceptions about women and our roles in society. It ushered in demographic and social changes that have brought us closer to gender equality than at any time....

So it often is important to remember what is most basic in any of our lives. The ability to plan a family and to raise healthy children is certainly at the core of that. Ensuring that women have that freedom will be the policy of this Administration. (Applause.) And there isn't any organization in the world with a reputation for caring so much and doing so much and being so courageous or truly being a valorous organization in the tradition as a woman of valor.

A society that denies and demeans women's roles and rights is a society that is more likely to engage in behavior that is negative, anti-democratic, and which often leads to violence and extremism.

To read more Hillary excerpts and a commentary, CLICK HERE.

Homeschool: Constitutional Amendment Protecting Parental Rights

The amendment "would clearly outline in the U.S. Constitution that parents, not government or any other organization, have a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit."

-- From "Who will raise kids: Mom, Dad or state?" by Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily 3/29/09

[Consider] the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, an internation treaty approved by the Clinton administration but stalled by opposition in the Senate, as one example of governmental attempts to infringe on parental rights.

Though efforts to pass a constitutional amendment protecting parental rights have failed in the past, two U.S. legislators are preparing to reintroduce the idea this week; and this time, they say, the effort is backed by more than 60 congressional members.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., who introduced a parental rights amendment by himself last year, told the Agence France-Presse that he will be joined by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., on Tuesday as they renew the fight.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Federal Judge Orders "Plan B" Pill to Younger Teens

U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York ordered the FDA to reconsider its 2006 decision to deny girls younger than 18 access to the morning-after pill Plan B without a prescription.

-- From "FDA Ordered to Rethink Age Restriction for Plan B"By Rob Stein, Washington Post Staff Writer 3/24/09

In his 52-page decision, Korman repeatedly criticized the FDA's handling of the issue, agreeing with allegations in a lawsuit that the [2006] decision was "arbitrary and capricious" and influenced by "political and ideological" considerations imposed by the Bush administration.

Plan B consists of higher doses of a hormone found in many standard birth-control pills. Taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it has been shown to be highly effective at preventing pregnancy.

Conservative Congress members and advocacy groups . . . questioned the drug's safety and argued that wider availability could encourage sexual activity and make it easier for men to have sex with underage girls. They also maintain that Plan B can cause the equivalent of an abortion.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Kansas Abortionist Not Guilty (per jury, anyway)

A jury in Wichita acquitted late-term abortion doctor George Tiller of 19 abortion-related charges Friday, but his legal troubles are far from over.

-- From "Jury finds abortion doctor not guilty on 19 charges" by Jim Sullinger, The Kansas City Star 3/28/09

Numerous complaints against Tiller, 67, have been on file with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and are active. Most were filed by anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue and Kansans for Life.

The board announced Friday it was moving ahead with a complaint that alleges 11 counts of violations of the Healing Arts Act. Those include performing an abortion of a viable fetus without a documented referral from a physician not legally or financially affiliated with him.

The complaint was filed in December but not released until Friday.

The 19 misdemeanor charges considered by the trial jury involved similar allegations. Prosecutors had alleged that a doctor he used for second opinions, Ann Kristin Neuhaus, was essentially an employee of his and not independent as state law requires. The jury didn’t agree.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Catholic Loyola Univ. OKs Homosexual Student Advocacy

-- From "At Loyola University, advocates of same-sex marriage find a voice" by Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune columnist 3/27/09

When John Litchfield, who's 26, enrolled at Loyola University's Chicago School of Law three years ago, he went to the student activities fair looking for the gay and lesbian support group. There wasn't one.

The lack of an official gay group at a Catholic school might not surprise you since the Roman Catholic church deems homosexual behavior a sin. But Litchfield was surprised. He had come to Loyola convinced that he'd be as accepted there as he was by his Catholic grandmother in Flossmoor, the south suburb where he grew up.

That year, he and a few other gay students formed a group, called OUTlaw. One of the deans signed on as an adviser.

And on Thursday, the flat-screen TVs all over the law school were advertising the group's latest venture: a big symposium on same-sex marriage.

And so on Friday there will be a discussion.

Greg Harris, the Chicago state representative who is shepherding a civil-unions bill through the Illinois legislature, will be on the panel. So will lawyers pressing for same-sex marriage in Iowa and California.

The panelists will be there to advocate. Litchfield anticipates students who will come to argue. It's all part of the education.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Abortion Ads to TV Airwaves in U.K.

The changes come as the U.K. government presses for a 50 percent reduction in the country’s under-18 birth rate by 2010, compared with 1998.

-- From "Abortion Advertising Would Be Allowed on TV Under U.K. Proposal" by David Altaner, Bloomberg 3/26/09

The U.K. is proposing to allow abortion- and pregnancy-counseling advertising on television and radio for the first time as part of its first simultaneous update of broadcast and print advertising codes.

The proposed changes, which would take effect next year, would also loosen restrictions on condom commercials on TV, and impose a new “social responsibility” rule for television and radio, according to the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, which are writing the codes.

Pregnancy advisory groups that oppose abortion would only be allowed to advertise if the ad “makes clear whether the service refers women for abortion,” because “for those women who opt for it, delay in performing an abortion could result in medical complications.”

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vatican: Catholics Who Voted for Obama Cooperated With Evil

Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the papal courts, said . . . that Catholics who voted for President Barack Obama and knew of his pro-abortion position were engaging in "a form of cooperation" with evil.

UPDATE 6/2/09: Obama advisor, Pepperdine's Douglas Kmiec, chides archbishops

UPDATE 3/27/09: Archbishop Burke explains further

-- From "Vatican Offical Says Catholics Who Voted for Obama Cooperated With Evil" by Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer CNSNews.com 3/25/09

In an interview in Rome with Catholic activist Randall Terry, Archbishop Raymond Burke said . . . If a Catholic knew that abortion was gravely sinful and that Obama wanted to make abortion more available and voted for him, that Catholic “cooperated” and bears a responsibility for the consequences. . .

Terry, who founded Operation Rescue and now heads the Society for Truth and Justice, traveled to Rome in February to talk to high-ranking Church leaders about a range of topics, including “renegade” U.S. bishops. These are bishops, said Terry, whose actions or inactions resulted in the election of Obama, as well as those bishops who disobey Church law by serving Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Vice President Joe Biden.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

58% of Voters OK with Men Using Women's Restrooms

-- From "Opponents of Amendment 1 celebrate their big victory" by Megan Rolland, Gainesville [Florida] Sun 3/25/09

It's been a divisive year and a half . . . January 2008 paved the way for the city to enact anti-discrimination protections for transgender individuals.

Almost immediately following that vote, a conservative political action committee, Citizens for Good Public Policy, launched a campaign to put an amendment on the ballot that would repeal not only the city rights for transgender people but also rights for gay, lesbian and bisexual people who had been protected in the city since 1998.

While the committee was able to gather more than 6,000 signatures to put Amendment 1 on Tuesday's ballot, the measure was defeated decisively by the city voters.

Their slogan was "vote yes on Amendment 1 to keep men out of women's restrooms."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vermont Legislature Favors Same-Sex 'Marriage'

Little more than five years after the Supreme Judicial Court legalized marriage for same-sex couples in Massachusetts, gay advocates say they're coming closer to their goal of extending gay marriage to all New England states by 2012.

-- From "Same-sex marriage bills gain in N.E." by David Abel, Boston Globe Staff 3/24/09

In a special session, the Vermont Senate yesterday voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Later this week, a similar bill is scheduled for a vote in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Next month a legislative panel in Maine will hold a hearing on a bill to allow gay couples to marry, just as lawmakers did last month in Rhode Island.

"One of the advantages of New England is that we share geography and media markets, so folks in other states have seen marriage in Massachusetts for five years and can see the good," said Lee Swislow, executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, who has called for New England to be a "marriage equality zone." "I think the efforts build on each other. What happens in one state inspires folks in other states, and hopefully it will inspire the rest of the country."

Last year, Connecticut joined Massachusetts to become the second state in the country to allow same-sex marriage. Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and California permit civil unions, but advocates for gay marriage say it does not afford the same rights as marriage.

That argument did not resonate yesterday in Vermont, where senators voted 26-4 in favor of same-sex marriage. The bill will be taken up later this week in the House, where lawmakers said it is expected to win a majority vote, though by a thinner margin.

"This was a tremendous victory for equal rights," said Senator John Campbell, majority leader of the Vermont Senate and chief sponsor of the bill. "Vermont will be the first state to enact this legislation without a court order. It was pretty clear that the facts dictated this. This is an equal rights issue."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Catholics Blast Notre Dame for Honoring Obama

President Obama, as the commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame, has been declared "an outrage and a scandal . . . that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage."

UPDATE 5/28/09: Obama at Notre Dame Spotlights Catholic Apostasy Issues

UPDATE 4/01/09: Cardinal George says ‘Notre Dame Didn't Understand What It Means to Be Catholic’
UPDATE 3/30/09: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo joins updated chorus denouncing the Obama invitation
UPDATE 3/27/09: Phoenix Bishop Blasts Notre Dame

-- From "Notre Dame sticking with Obama for commencement" Associated Press 3/23/09

The University of Notre Dame is sticking with its invitation to President Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement despite criticism from some Roman Catholics that his views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to Catholic teachings.

"I don't foresee a circumstance in which we would rescind the invitation," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told The Associated Press in an e-mail message Monday.

The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, issued a statement Monday saying the invitation did not mean the university supports all of Obama's positions.

The nation's bishops have warned Catholic colleges and universities against honoring lawmakers who dissent from church teaching on major moral concerns such as abortion. It's a thorny issue for the schools, which have long struggled to balance their Catholic identity with academic freedom and a desire to place themselves at the center of American life.

Asked about the volume of complaints to the university, Brown said it was "nothing beyond what we anticipated."

Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Below are excerpts from the petition being circulated by the Cardinal Newman Society

This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame [than Barack Obama.]

Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.

The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Homosexual Couple Sue to Deny Christian Liberty

The Christian owners of a [UK] seaside hotel may be prosecuted after refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room.

-- From "Gay couple sue Christians for barring them from hotel bed" by Jonathan Petre and Simon Trump, The Daily Mail (UK) 3/21/09

Peter and Hazelmary Bull are facing an unprecedented court case under controversial new equality laws.

Martyn Hall, who lives with his civil partner Steven Preddy, has lodged a county court claim for up to £5,000 in damages alleging 'direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation'.

But the Bulls deny the charge, saying they have a long-standing policy of banning all unmarried couples, both heterosexual and gay, from sharing a bed at the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion near Penzance in Cornwall.

Mrs Bull, a 62-year-old great-grandmother, said that even her brother and his female partner had to stay in separate rooms when they visited the hotel.

The Bulls, who have the backing of the Christian Institute, have operated their 'married only' policy since they bought the hotel in 1986.

Mrs Bull insisted last night: 'I have had people clearly involved in affairs and under-age people who have tried to book in here for sex, and I have refused them the same as I refused these gentlemen because I won't be a party to anything which is an affront to my faith under my roof.'

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Predicting the Failure of Evangelicalism

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

-- From "The coming evangelical collapse" by Michael Spencer, posted on The Christian Science Monitor 3/10/09 edition

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

Why is this going to happen?

* We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. . . .

* There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

* Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

* Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.

* The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Also available is the full (original) writing by Michael Spencer

The author has presented a very thought-provoking treatise, but concerning the final point excerpted above, he is exhibiting signs of being cloistered from the actual churches that account for the majority of evangelical Christians. Sure, there is demonizing rhetoric from those who oppose evangelical Christianity concerning "culture war" issues, but the vast majority of evangelical Christians do not address such issues, rather it's only a very vocal, tiny minority of evangelicals, who are concentrated in advocacy organizations, bringing culture war issues to the fore.

It is utterly laughable to suggest that rank-and-file evangelicals are currently too focused on Christian witness to the decadent culture.

If the author's prediction of an "evangelical collapse" is correct, the precursor will certainly not be an overemphasis on recognizing the moral decline of American society.

Catholic Bishop Chastises News Media for Bias and Ignorance

The Archbishop of Denver addressed the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, D.C.

-- From "Media risks making politics a religion by marginalizing the Church, Archbishop Chaput says" Catholic News Agency 3/17/09

Unless the media improves its basic understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices, it risks marginalizing the Church and replacing its voice in society with politics, a set of beliefs “with the same vestments, but less conscience,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told a gathering of prominent journalists on Tuesday at the Pew Forum.

“Public understanding of the Catholic role in our political process depends, in large part, on how the mainstream media frame Church-related issues,” the archbishop began.

However, he said some reporters and editors have been “uniquely frustrating” because “too often they really don’t know their subject; or they dislike the influence of religion; or they have unresolved authority issues; or they resent Catholic teachings on sex; or they’d rather be covering the White House, but this is the only beat they could get.”

Saying that the news media “serve a vital role in American life,” he asserted that democracy depends on “the free flow of truthful and comprehensive information between the government and the governed. Public debate has little meaning when people don’t have accurate, unbiased information.”

Good reporting has “social and moral gravity,” the archbishop observed. “And thankfully, many journalists are experts in their fields. But that expertise doesn’t seem to extend to religion coverage.”

“No serious media organization would assign a reporter to cover Wall Street if that reporter lacked a background in economics, fiscal and monetary policy, and these days, at least some expertise in Keynesian theory. But reporters who don’t know their subject and haven’t done their homework seem common in the world of religion reporting,” he commented.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

The following are further excerpts from the bishop's address:

We need the Church to remind us of the witness of history: that human beings remain fallible; that civil power unconstrained by a reverence for God -- or at least a healthy respect for the possibility of God -- sooner or later attacks the humanity it claims to serve; and that we're all of us subject to the same excuse-making and self-delusion in our personal lives, in our public actions -- and even in the corridors of national leadership.

I wrote my book Render Unto Caesar to answer the question we’re talking about today: “What are the political obligations of Catholics?” My answer is very simple: The political duty of Catholics is to be “Catholic” first – to know their faith, and to think and act like faithful Catholics all the time. That includes their life in the public square – which means it also includes an obligation to promote policies and candidates that reflect the natural law, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social and moral teachings of his Church.

To put it another way, we serve Caesar best when we serve God first. And that means living our Catholic beliefs vigorously, faithfully and without apologies, at home and in public, at work and in the voting booth. We can’t ignore the suffering of the poor or the homeless or undocumented immigrants, and then claim to be good Catholics. We also can’t ignore the killing of unborn children without struggling to end that daily homicide – not just through supportive social policies, but by changing the law. The law not only regulates; it also teaches. The current law of the United States teaches that it can be acceptable to kill an unborn child. But it isn’t acceptable. It never was. It never will be. And Catholics can’t make peace with this kind of deeply evil law without lying to themselves, lying to the believing community and trying to fool God. It doesn’t work.

Render Unto Caesar was never designed to encourage Catholics to be Democrats or Republicans. But I certainly do want to remind American Catholics what it requires to actually be “Catholic,” to reason as Catholics, and to act as Catholics. The Church is not a political organism. But the moral witness of the Church – when people take her seriously -- will always have political consequences. If a particular party doesn’t like those consequences, well unfortunately, that’s the party’s problem. It’s the party’s own fault based on its own choices. It’s not the fault of the Church. Nor is it the job of the Church to help the careers of Catholic public officials by removing inconvenient moral dilemmas.

Where the media see a Catholic politician, Catholic bishops see a soul. For a bishop, the question of Catholics in American public life is only secondarily about electoral politics. Really it’s a question of eschatology. That’s another word that should be in every religion journalist’s vocabulary but usually isn’t. Eschatology refers to “last things”—heaven and hell; salvation and judgment. It reflects the teaching of Jesus: that what we do in this life has consequences for the life to come.

That’s what the debate over who receives the Eucharist in 2004, 2008 and even today has finally been about. Sometimes in reading the news, I get the impression that access to Holy Communion in the Church is like having bar privileges at the Elks’ Club. I’m reminded of the story of the Catholic novelist Flannery O’Connor. She was at a cocktail party talking with fellow writer Mary McCarthy, who had left the Church. McCarthy, though no longer Catholic, said she still thought the Eucharist was a pretty good symbol of God’s presence. O’Connor replied: “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

For believing Catholics, the Eucharist is not a symbol; or rather, it’s enormously more than a symbol. It’s the literal, tangible, body and blood of Jesus Christ. And since the earliest days of the Christian community, honest believers have never wanted to, and never been allowed to, approach the Eucharist in a state of grave sin or scandal. St. Paul said that if we do that, we profane the body and blood of Christ, and we eat and drink judgment upon ourselves (1 Cor. 11:27–32).

In other words, we commit a kind of blasphemy against God, and violence against our own integrity and the faith of other believers. There’s nothing casual about this kind of sin, and the American notion of “civil rights” is useless and flatly wrong in trying to understand it. No one ever has a “right” to the Eucharist -- and the vanity or hurt feelings of an individual Catholic governor or senator or even a vice president do not take priority over the faith of the believing community.

Blasphemy and violence are unpleasant words in polite conversation – but for believers, they have substance. They also have implications beyond this lifetime. That’s why no Catholic – from the simplest parishioner to the most important public leader – should approach Communion with grave sin on his soul. The media have no obligation to believe what the Church teaches. But they certainly do have the obligation to understand, respect and accurately recount how she understands herself – and especially how she teaches and why she teaches.

To read the full transcript, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Congressman Barney Frank Calls Supreme Court Justice Scalia a Homophobe

In this video interview, Barney Frank discusses his optimism of the Obama administration and Democrat Congress accomplishing the Gay Agenda.

CA Pastor Jailed for Standing near Abortion Clinic

Black pastor sentenced to jail for standing outside an inner city abortion clinic holding a sign saying "Jesus Loves You & Your Baby, Let Us Help You," and offering pro-life literature

UPDATE 3/23/09: Wife claims pastor targeted because he's a black man who opposed race-based abortion.

UPDATE: 4/8/09: Pastor released from jail after serving time

-- From "Pastor jailed for Oakland anti-abortion acts" by Henry K. Lee, San Fran. Chronicle Staff Writer 3/21/09

A pastor at a Berkeley church was jailed Friday for 30 days after unsuccessfully arguing that an order requiring him to stay 100 yards away from an Oakland abortion clinic violates his right to free speech.

Walter Hoye, 52, of Union City was the first person convicted under an Oakland ordinance barring protesters from coming within 8 feet of anyone entering an abortion clinic.

[Judge Stuart Hing of Alameda County Superior Court] refused to budge at a hearing Friday at which Hoye's attorneys tried to stay the sentence pending an appeal. The judge asked Hoye to decide whether he wished to serve a month in jail or in an alternative program, and the pastor chose jail.

Hoye could have faced up to two years in jail after a jury convicted him in January of two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully approaching patients at the clinic.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

New Massachusetts 'Church' With No God

" . . . there is broader acceptance of those with no faith, as indicated by President Barack Obama's mention of 'non-believers' in his inaugural address."

-- From "The humanist congregation" by Jay Lindsay, The Associated Press 3/21/09

The monthly schedule is church-like, with its parenting classes, guest speakers and small group meetings to hash out shared beliefs. But God isn't part of this Cambridge congregation.

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, is building a God-free model of community that he hopes helps humanists increase in numbers and influence.

Epstein sees potential in research showing that there are more people with no religion. In the latest American Religious Identification Survey, released this month, 15 per cent of respondents in 2008 said they had no religion, compared to 8.2 per cent in 1990. Epstein believes that group includes large numbers of people who are humanist, but have never identified themselves that way and can be reached.

Epstein wants to plant local humanist centres nationwide that perform many of the community-building functions of a church, only in service of the humanist creed.

While many humanists reject anything that hints at organized religion, Epstein is freely borrowing from it -- from the "small group" format familiar in evangelical churches to calling his group a "congregation."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Newt Gingrich Calls All Believing Christians to Ally

Gingrich has launched an organization devoted to bringing conservative evangelicals and Catholics into the political process and to strengthening the frayed alliance between economic and religious conservatives.

-- From "Newt Gingrich Steps Up Efforts to Mobilize Religious Conservatives" By Dan Gilgoff, U.S. News & World Report 3/20/09

Called Renewing American Leadership, the group is led by Gingrich's longtime communications director and includes some of the country's top conservative Christian activists on its board.

This spring, Gingrich will speak to a handful of large gatherings for politically conservative clergy that have been organized by David Barton, an influential evangelical activist who spearheaded the Republican National Committee's rigorous outreach to pastors in 2004.

And this fall, Gingrich is planning to release a movie about the role that Pope John Paul II's 1979 trip to Poland played in bringing down the Soviet Union.

"In the last few years I've decided that we're in a crisis in which the secular state, if allowed, will fundamentally and radically change America against the wishes of most Americans," Gingrich said in a phone interview on Thursday. "You've had such rising hostility to religious belief that I wanted to reach broadly into the country and dramatically raise public awareness of threats to religious liberty."

Just this week, Gingrich's new group partnered with the American Family Association—the conservative evangelical organization headed by Don Wildmon—to encourage churches and religious groups to participate in no-more-taxes rallies across the country on April 15. Rick Tyler, who served as Gingrich's spokesman before becoming founding director of Renewing American Leadership, says that on the first day of the largely Web-based organizing effort, 5,000 people signed up to attend the rallies.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Media Declares Sexual Morality a Failure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showing that the U.S. population is more than replacing itself (unlike much of Europe), prompts comments like this: "The United States can no longer afford to fund failed abstinence-only programs," said James Wagoner of the group Advocates for Youth.

-- From "Number of babies born in the US reaches record levels" by Dan Glaister in Los Angeles for The Guardian 3/18/09

The number of babies born in the US reached record levels in 2007, outpacing the birthrate from the late 1950s. Official figures released today showed that 4,317,119 babies were born . . . in 2007, the highest number on record.

Beneath the bald figures, the statistics, culled from birth certificates, hinted at some cultural shifts in the US as the nation enjoyed the final months before the economic crisis set in. Unmarried mothers accounted for almost 40% of births, with three-quarters of them over the age of 20. Teen births, after declining for much of the past 15 years, rose for the second year, as did births across all ages and races.

The average American woman has 2.1 children in her lifetime, the most since the early 1970s, with women of Hispanic origin having the highest rate - almost three children per woman.

America's birthrate has left behind those of its rich peers, staying above two children per woman since the late 1980s. Rates in Italy, Germany and Japan have hovered around 1.3 over a decade, while the UK rate has revived somewhat after falling below 1.7 around the turn of the millennium. "If it is a boom, it's a very tiny little boom," said Brady Hamilton, the report's lead author. "Most noteworthy is the total fertility rate per 1,000 women. In 2006 it was above replacement, for 2007 it's even higher."

Meanwhile abortion rates have dropped to their lowest levels in decades.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

From "Teenage Birth Rate Increases For Second Consecutive Year" by Rob Stein and Donna St. George, Washington Post Staff Writers 3/19/09

Nationally, the birth rate among 15-to-19-year-olds rose 1.4 percent from 2006 to 2007, continuing a climb that began a year earlier. The rate jumped 3.4 percent from 2005 to 2006, reversing what had been a 14-year decline.

Although researchers will have to wait at least another year to see whether a clear trend emerges, the two consecutive increases signal that the long national campaign to reduce teen pregnancies may have stalled or even reversed.

The reasons for the increase remain unclear, although experts speculated that it could be a result of growing complacency about AIDS and teen pregnancy, among other factors. The rise may also reflect a broader trend that affects all age groups, because birth rates have also increased among women in their 20s, 30s and 40s and older unmarried women.

The increase raised concerns across the ideological spectrum and fueled an intense debate over federal funding for sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence until marriage. Opponents and proponents are girding for a new round in the battle over funding of abstinence education when President Obama reveals within weeks whether he will seek to continue or cut that funding.

[This report, and other propaganda,] provide new evidence that the approach is ineffective and that the money should be shifted to programs that include educating young people about contraceptives -- efforts that have been shown to be highly effective.

Abstinence programs had been receiving about $176 million in federal funding each year, but Congress cut about $14 million from the current budget.

While the national increase from 2005 to 2006 occurred across all ethnic groups, the trends between 2006 and 2007 were not uniform. The birth rate increased 2 percent among whites and Asians and 1 percent among blacks, but it decreased 2 percent among Hispanics.

The mixed statistics and modest increase raised the odds that the two years of increases could be a statistical blip, [Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics] said. But other experts said the two-year data probably represent a trend and fit with other research showing a stall in the long drop in sexual activity among teenagers, as well as a decrease in condom use.

Obviously, the media desires the Obama Administration to "invest" more tax dollars into "stimulus" programs by Planned Parenthood.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

Also, read the Associated Press report.

Planned Parenthood Coverups of Rape

As reported numerous times before, these undercover tapings prove an obvious pattern of Planned Parenthood: The goal is to kill the unborn, collect the fee, and ignore the law.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Elevates Homosexuality via United Nations

The Obama administration persists with the U.N. to advance the Gay Agenda, this time by equating homosexuality with race or religious belief.

-- From "Administration to Support U.N. Declaration Decriminalizing Homosexuality" by Colum Lynch, Washington Post 3/18/09

The Obama administration announced today that it will endorse a French-sponsored U.N. General Assembly declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, reversing a decision by the Bush administration last December to withhold U.S. support.

In announcing U.S. support, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the U.N. declaration is consistent with the U.S. commitment to being an outspoken defender of human rights. The United States "is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. members states who have declared their support of the statement that condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever the occur," Wood said.

The Obama administration's decision was the latest signal of a sharp break with with the Bush administration over the promotion of conservative social initiatives at the United Nations.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. endorses homosexuality" Baptist Press 3/18/09

In December, officials of the Bush administration said it opposed the proclamation as too broad, charging it might be seen as an effort to abrogate states' rights on such issues as "same-sex marriage," according to The Times. The declaration says in part, "We urge States to ensure that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice."

"We are opposed to any discrimination, legally or politically, but the nature of our federal system prevents us from undertaking commitments and engagements where federal authorities don't have jurisdiction," Alejandro Wolff, the deputy permanent U.S. representative to the U.N., was quoted by The Times as saying in December.

The Times said the December action marked the first time a "homosexual rights" declaration had been read in the General Assembly.

In addition to the U.S., other U.N. members that declined to endorse the declaration were the Vatican, China, Russia and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, The Times reported.

In a Dec. 18 written statement, the Vatican said it opposes criminal penalties for homosexuality and violence against homosexuals. The declaration, however, "goes well beyond" those issues, it said. The classifications of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" used in the document "find no recognition or clear and agreed definition in international law," the Vatican said.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

Liberal Catholic Says, "Impeach the Pope"

[The Pope] told reporters accompanying him on his trip to Africa that AIDS “is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”.

Let's start a movement within the Catholic Church to impeach Pope Benedict XVI and remove him from office. While we're at it, let's replace him with a woman.

-- From "Vatican backtracks over Pope's condom stance" by Richard Owen in Rome and Ruth Gledhill, The Times Online 3/18/09

The Vatican backtracked today on the Pope’s rejection of condoms as a means of preventing Aids — a climbdown interpreted by some as a rare admission of papal fallibility.

Taken aback by outrage worldwide, the Holy See altered the Pope’s remark today to read that condoms merely “risked” aggravating the problem.

The Vatican website published an edited text of the Pope’s question-and-answer session on the flight to Cameroon, the day after a French reporter had questioned the Pope as he flew to Africa on how to tackle the Aids epidemic. It was that question that prompted the unqualified response that condoms aggravate the problem.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

From "Impeach the Pope" by Robert S. McElvaine, Professor of Arts & Letters, Millsaps College 3/18/09

After insulting Muslims by declaring in 2006 that Muhammad had brought "things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," after reiterating (through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 2008 that the subject of the ordination of women is not even open for discussion and declaring that anyone involved with the ordination of women will be automatically excommunicated, after lifting in January of this year the excommunication of Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson, now Benedict XVI opens a visit to Africa by telling the people of a continent decimated by AIDS that the distribution of condoms "increases the problem" of thespread of AIDS.

I am a Catholic and the idea that such a man is God's spokesperson on earth is absurd to me.

There are, of course, no provisions in the hierarchical institution set up, not by Jesus but by men who hijacked his name and in many cases perverted his teachings, for impeaching a pope and removing him from office. But there ought to be.

As I detail in my latest book, "Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America" (Crown), the cardinal sin of the Catholic Church -- a literally deadly sin, if ever there was one -- is its opposition to birth control. Far from being, as the Church contends, part of its moral doctrine, this policy is, plainly, the immoral doctrine of the Church. The use of condoms is a pro-life position.

To read the entire editorial, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As Abortionist's Criminal Trial Begins, Media Vilifies Others

Dr. George Tiller of Wichita may be the accused killer in court, but in the eyes of the liberal media, he's the victim.

-- From "Kansas abortion trial: Criminal case against controversial abortion doctor begins" by Robin Abcarian, Tribune Newspapers 3/17/09

In 1986 his clinic was bombed. In 1991 it was blockaded for six weeks. In 1993 he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent. He has been investigated twice by grand juries that have found no cause to charge him with crimes.

Relentlessly pursued by Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline, Tiller was charged in 2006 with illegally performing late-term abortions. The charges were dropped due to a technicality.

But Kline was a lame duck by the time he filed the charges against Tiller. A month earlier Kansas voters, tired of what they perceived as Kline's intrusiveness—which included a successful, years-long fight to obtain some of Tiller's patient records—turned him out of office in favor of Democrat Paul Morrison, who favors abortion rights.

In 2007, to the delight of abortion foes, Morrison charged Tiller with 19 misdemeanor counts of violating a technical aspect of the 1998 Kansas law that regulates late-term abortions.

Morrison—who vowed to make decisions on the law, not politics—based the charges on his review of records Kline fought to obtain.

If Kansans were surprised by Morrison filing charges against Tiller, they were even more surprised later in 2007 when the attorney general was accused of sexual harassment by a female subordinate with whom he had had a two-year extramarital affair.
He resigned in 2008.

The scandal was a blow to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who is President Barack Obama's nominee to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. She had recruited Morrison to run against Kline.

The Democrat whom Sebelius appointed to replace Morrison as attorney general, Steve Six, inherited the Tiller prosecution.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Federal Court Rules Prayer in Schools IS Constitutional

"The United States Constitution plainly protects young Texans' right to observe a moment of silence before school each morning," Attorney General Abbott said.

-- From "Federal appeals court upholds Texas' `moment of silence' law" by Sam Hodges, The Dallas Morning News 3/16/09

AUSTIN - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today upheld Texas' Moment of Silence law. As the state's lawyer, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended young Texans' right to begin each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. The Attorney General maintained that the 2003 statute is constitutional. Last month, Solicitor General James Ho appeared before the Fifth Circuit to defend the law during oral argument.

Texas schools begin each morning with a minute of silence for students to "reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity." A North Texas couple filed a lawsuit challenging the law, but that challenge was rejected by a federal district court. Today's Fifth Circuit decision affirmed the lower court's ruling and once again rejected the plaintiffs' legal challenge.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Orange County California Defunds Planned Parenthood

After eight consecutive years of quietly funneling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars annually to the nation's largest abortion provider, the county board unanimously rescinded a $290,000 contract due to increased public scrutiny and outcry.

A Pro-life organization is now being considered as an alternative source to provide health education to youth and children.

-- From "Orange County board votes to suspend Planned Parenthood contract" by Tami Abdollah, Los Angeles Times 3/11/09

Saying they could not abide funding an organization that performs abortions, Orange County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend a contract with Planned Parenthood to provide health education for thousands of teens and preteens.

The decision to suspend the $291,788 education grant came after nearly two hours of impassioned public and Board of Supervisors discussion. The curriculum includes information about anatomy, physiology and seven kinds of birth control -- including abstinence -- as well as about sexually transmitted diseases.

Many of the supervisors spoke of their religious and moral views while discussing the contract.

[Board Supervisor John] Moorlach brought up the issue in a meeting last month when he said he was surprised that Planned Parenthood was receiving county money. He said staff had not fully disclosed the 18 clinics that would be receiving money before supervisors voted on the contract.

. . . said Supervisor Bill Campbell, "Funding an organization that provides abortions is not something I'd like to do."

Board Chairwoman Pat Bates warned her colleagues that they could be wandering into the realm of "abuse of discretion." She noted that many hospitals funded by the county also perform abortions.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

From "Orange County official considers shifting Planned Parenthood funds to an antiabortion group" by Tami Abdollah, Los Angeles Times 3/14/09

. . . a county supervisor is considering whether the money should go instead to a group that describes itself as a "pro-life ministry" and uses ultrasound viewings and biblical material to counsel women.

"I can't be an advocate of what Planned Parenthood is," Supervisor Bill Campbell said. "Most organizations try to explain to the women every option there is available, and there's a nuance to these explanations, and that would be protecting the health of the mother and the child."

To that end, Campbell is looking at Birth Choice Health Clinics as an option.

Birth Choice's "Teen Integrity" program educates teens on "the importance of building satisfying and mature relationships free from sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy and heartache, by promoting abstinence until marriage," according to its website.

. . . the program teaches about contraception but is an "abstinence-based" program.

Much of Birth Choice's website references God, Jesus and Christianity. . . . the program offers both faith-based and non-faith-based education programs.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

Read the Los Angeles Time editorial condemning the defunding of Planned Parenthood

Massachusetts: Lesbian Arrested for Attempted Insemination of Wife

A woman who allegedly intended to artificially inseminate her wife with her brother's semen has been charged with domestic assault and battery.

Two observations: The wording of the article demonstrates the acceptance of same-sex "marriage" and notice that the dispute centers on procreation.

-- From "Insemination fight ends in wife's arrest" by Conor Berry, Berkshire Eagle Staff 3/13/09

Stephanie K. Lighten, 26, was released on personal recognizance after denying the allegations . . .

Jennifer A. Lighten, 33, told police that Stephanie Lighten, her wife, was "all liquored up" when she returned to their Lincoln Street apartment, where the defendant then allegedly tried to use a syringe to inseminate her, according to a police report.

Jennifer told investigating officers that Stephanie "has been talking about trying to impregnate (her) for some time," police said.

Detective Thomas H. Harrington said Jennifer Lighten declined "to go forward with charges of assault with intent to rape" because she did not believe "Stephanie was going to sexually assault her with the syringe." However, Harrington informed the alleged victim that attempted rape charges could be filed if she changes her mind.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HIV/AIDS at Epidemic Level in D.C.

Male homosexuality remains the principle means of transmission; about 10% of black men in their 40s are infected.

UPDATE 7/23/12 - Anal Sex is Main Cause of HIV Pandemic: Study

-- From "HIV/AIDS Rate in D.C. Hits 3%" by Jose Antonio Vargas and Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writers 3/15/09

"Our rates are higher than West Africa," said Shannon L. Hader, director of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration, who once led the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's work in Zimbabwe. "They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya."

Together, the reports offer a sobering assessment in a city that for years has stumbled in combating HIV and AIDS and is just beginning to regain its footing. A more accurate accounting of the crisis offers a chance to contain what is largely a preventable disease.

The District's report found a 22 percent increase in HIV and AIDS cases from the 12,428 reported at the end of 2006, touching every race and sex across population and neighborhoods, with an epidemic level in all but one of the eight wards. Black men, with an infection rate of nearly 7 percent, carry the weight of the disease, according to the report, which also underscores that the District's HIV and AIDS population is aging. Almost 1 in 10 residents between the ages of 40 and 49 has the virus.

Men having sex with men has remained the disease's leading mode of transmission. Heterosexual transmission and injection drug use closely follow, the report says. Three percent of black women carry the virus, partly a result of the increase in heterosexual transmissions.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said he is aware that some advocates have called on elected officials and others to more aggressively and publicly address the crisis. He praised the city's recent efforts, however, and expressed his frustration about the struggle ahead.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Kid's Board Game "Life" Includes Same-sex Marriage

The online version of a popular board game from many Americans' childhood includes an option for players to choose homosexual marriage and child-rearing as a way of life.

-- From "Game for 6-year-olds pushes same-sex marriage" by Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily 3/12/09

Through the Shockwave.com website, even children can download and play a free trial version of The Game of Life, the first game ever created by Mr. Milton Bradley in 1860.

The player's first option in the online version is to choose a persona based on pictures that clearly depict men and women. Shortly thereafter, the game invites players to choose a spouse, regardless of the potential spouse's sex.

One concerned mother wrote to WND about her experience with downloading the game to play with her daughter.

"You know how kids are," the mother told WND. "My daughter noticed right away (even before I did) and clicked on one of the girls instead of one of the men and then asked, 'Mom, how come I can marry a woman?' And then that led into a lot more questions that, quite frankly, I was not ready to talk to my 6-year-old about."

The mother claims to have posted an objection on the game's review board, only to have it removed by an administrator.

"I went back to the web site and left a very respectful review of the game just stating that this kind of thing should be left out of kids' games, and the Shockwave.com administrator removed my post, stating it was inappropriate," the mother told WND. "I had no idea how insidious they were being with pushing the homosexual agenda."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama Gives Embryos Reprieve Two Days After Promising Their Destruction

A spending bill that Obama signed on Wednesday explicitly bans federal funding of any "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death," language that pertains to creation of new stem cell lines.

-- From "Obama's Stem Cell Policy Hasn't Reversed Legislative Restrictions" FOXNews.com 3/14/09

President Obama may have abolished contentious Bush-era restraints on federal funding of stem cell research on Monday, but a legislative obstacle still remains for scientists seeking more money.

This provision, known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, was included in the 465-page omnibus spending bill that will fund government agencies through September. The amendment is a measure Congress has included in spending bills in every fiscal year since 1996.

Bush's executive policy additionally had limited researchers receiving federal aid to just 21 stem cell lines created before August 2001. Obama's reversal allows them to use hundreds of other stem cell lines already in existence.

But the Dickey-Wicker provision still prevents federally backed researches from creating their own stem cell lines, blocking their access to hundreds of new embryonic stem cell lines, usually from embryos left over from fertility treatments that would otherwise be discarded.

Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Mike Castle, R-Del., are seeking a quick vote on legislation to repeal the amendment, after failing twice in the past to overturn Bush's restrictions. Degette said she doesn't want stem cell research to become a "pingpong ball going back and forth between administrations."

Douglas Johnson, spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, said in a press release Monday that Obama's reversal of the Bush policy "set the stage" for an effort to repeal Dickey-Wicker.

"This sets the stage for an attack on the Dickey-Wicker law," Johnson said. "Any member of Congress who votes for legislation to repeal this law is voting to allow federal funding of human embryo farms, created through the use of human cloning."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

The entire text of the Dickey-Wicker law can be found at the bottom of this article.

Also read this related article.

Biblical Worldview Virtually Non-existent Among Young Adults

Fewer than 0.5% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 reach The Barna Group measure of biblical worldview (defined as follows).

-- From "Survey: Less Than 1 Percent of Young Adults Hold Biblical Worldview" by Jennifer Riley, Christian Post Reporter 3/10/09

A biblical worldview, as defined by the Barna study, is believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

Only if someone held all the above beliefs did the research consider the person as having a biblical worldview.

George Barna, who directed the research, commented on the “troubling” generational pattern that suggests “parents are not focused on guiding their children to have a biblical worldview.”

“One of the challenges for parents, though, is that you cannot give what you do not have, and most parents do not possess such a perspective on life,” he noted.

The research shows that only nine percent of all American adults have a biblical worldview, which although significantly higher than that of the [young adult] generation is still a small proportion of the total population.

[Barna] also noted that the study raises questions on how effective of a job Christian churches, schools and parachurch ministries are doing in Christian education.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Friday, March 13, 2009

PCUSA Kentucky Says YES to Homosexual Pastors

Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in Central and Eastern Kentucky have agreed that a national ban on gay ministers should be overturned, raising fears of a schism in the denomination.

-- From "Kentucky presbytery votes to overturn ban on gay ministers" by Karla Ward, Lexington Herald-Leader 3/12/09

The commissioners of the Presbytery of Transylvania, which includes 56 Central and Eastern Kentucky counties, voted 83-61 Tuesday to approve an amendment that, if supported by the majority of the presbyteries in the United States, would open the door for gays and lesbians to be ordained as pastors, elders and deacons.

The proposal is being considered by each of the nation's 173 presbyteries. It would have to be accepted by a simple majority of them to take effect.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has considered such amendments to its Book of Order several times since 1996, when an amendment was put in place requiring church officers to live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."

Under the amendment, individual churches would be able to choose a gay or lesbian person for ordination under "really tight circumstances," said Richard Smith, general presbyter for the Transylvania presbytery. "We're not going to be ordaining anybody who's not a confirmed, solid Christian person. It's not a wide open door by any means," he said. "We take the question of ordination very seriously."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Female Student Sues to Wear Tux to Prom

17-year-old rejects dresses, says they represent sexual identity — might be allowed to wear pantsuit

UPDATE 3/16/09: School gives in to ACLU, changes policy.

-- From "Lesbian sues to wear tux to prom" Associated Press 3/12/09

A Lebanon [Indiana] High School senior is suing the school after her principal told her she could not wear a tuxedo to the school’s prom.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis says that the principal told the girl that, while the school’s dress code does not contain gender-based requirements, there is a special dress code for prom that requires female students to wear a formal dress.

The lawsuit filed on the girl’s behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana alleges that the prom attire policy intentionally discriminates against students based on gender, and that because the school receives federal funds, the policy also violates federal law. It says the policy violates her free speech rights and the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Judge Orders Homeschoolers to Public School

A North Carolina judge has ordered three children to attend public schools this fall because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be "challenged."

UPDATE 3/17/09: Judge says mother's church relevant, as some say it's a 'cult.'

-- From "Judge orders homeschoolers into public district classrooms" by Bob Unruh © 2009 WorldNetDaily 3/11/09

A statement released by a publicist working for the mother [Venessa Mills], whose children now are 10, 11 and 12, said [Judge Ned Mangum of Wake County] stripped her of her right to decide what is best for her children's education.

The judge, when contacted by WND, explained his goal in ordering the children to register and attend a public school was to make sure they have a "more well-rounded education."

The judge [who is handling the divorce proceeding for the parents] said the husband has not been supportive of his wife's homeschooling, and "it accomplished its purposes. It now was appropriate to have them back in public school."

Mangum said he made the determination on his guiding principle, "What's in the best interest of the minor children," and conceded it was putting his judgment in place of the mother's.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Similar to California case.

Judge Forces School to Accept Homosexuality

Condoning in-school clubs advocating deviancy will "expose adolescents to sexual experimentation that carry serious moral, psychological and health consequences, including depression and disease," argues a licensed school psychologist.

-- From "Judge: Gay student club must be allowed to meet" Associated Press 3/11/09

[U.S. District Judge Henry Adams] has ruled that a student club that promotes tolerance for gays at [Yullee High School near Jacksonville Florida] must be allowed to meet.

Adams ordered a local school board to grant official recognition to the Gay-Straight Alliance [GSA] and afford it the same privileges as any other student organization.

From "Fla. School Faces Lawsuit Over Refusing Gay-Straight Club" by Lawrence Jones, Christian Post Reporter 2/12/09

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has filed suit . . . on behalf of Hannah Page, 15, a freshman, and Jacob Brock, 16, a junior, who both claimed to have been harassed for being gay. The high school students said they wanted to establish GSA on campus to provide a safe environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender students and their straight friends.

Superintendent John Ruis told the ACLU in a January meeting and follow-up letter that the club will be permitted if the members change its name.

"We were willing to let the proposed GSA meet on the condition that the name of the club was changed to reflect the purpose of preventing bullying and discrimination," said Ruis in the letter addressing the case's lead counsel Rosenwald.

"A club name highlighting specific sexual orientations will not be permitted as it would violate school board policy," he wrote.

According to Ruis' letter, the ACLU was dissatisfied with the name-change request because it said the name of the club must communicate the "gay specific" purpose of the organization and contended it was illegal for the school board to "de-gay" a student club.

In an opinion piece for a weekly Florida newspaper, Dennis Todd, a licensed school psychologist in private practice, cited health concerns toward his objection to the GSA club at Yulee High.

He said allowing GSA would expose adolescents to sexual experimentation that carry serious moral, psychological and health consequences, including depression and disease.

"I believe that gay clubs will increase these problems," he wrote in the Fernandina Beach News-Leader.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Florida Considers Law Against Bestiality

“There’s a tremendous correlation between sexually deviant behavior and crimes against children and crimes against animals,” said [Senator Nan] Rich, a Sunrise Democrat. “This is long overdue. These are heinous crimes. And people belong in jail.”

"sexually deviant?" . . . wonder if Florida has laws against "hate speech?"

-- From "Bestiality closer to becoming illegal in Florida" by Marc Caputo, St. Petersburg Times 3/10/09

The act of bestiality is a step closer to becoming illegal in Florida now that a Senate committee voted to slap a third-degree felony charge on anyone who has sex with animals.

Florida is one of only 16 states that still permit bestiality – a fact that animal-rights activist and Sunrise Sen. Nan Rich learned to her horror when a Panhandle man three years ago was suspected of accidentally asphyxiating a family goat with which he was copulating.

But the Mossy Head man suspected of assaulting Meg the Goat was never charged, because law enforcement officials could never link him to the crime scene. The suspect was arrested in a separate goat-abducting months later, said Walton County Assistant State Attorney Walter Parker.

After the unanimous committee vote, Sen. Rich predicted the bill would pass easily this year. She said bestiality used to be illegal in Florida, but the statute was ruled unconstitutional because it was considered too broad.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Legal Case: Man Demands Right to Shower with Women

Ontario fitness club caught in no-win legal dilemma as man, who plans to be a woman in the future, wants to use women's locker room now

-- From "Fitness club faces human rights hearing" The Canadian Press 2/26/09

The owner of a downtown St. Catharines fitness club faces a mediation hearing today for allegedly denying a pre-operation transsexual access to the women's only areas of his gym.

The transsexual -- now a woman, but a man at the time of the incident two years ago -- is taking the case to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, John Fulton [the fitness club owner] said Tuesday.

Fulton said he wasn't sure what to do because his female clients might not be comfortable with a man in their changing room. "To me it was not a big deal, I just don't know how my women would feel about having a guy showering with them," he said. "He still hadn't had his operation yet."

Fulton said he told the person he had to check how to handle the situation and make sure he wouldn't get sued by his female clients.

"Within the day, I was getting calls and members coming in and threatening to quit if I let this guy join," Fulton said.

Fulton said he called Human Rights and was told he had to let the man use the women's facilities. But he said he couldn't get an answer on what his rights and the rights of his female clients are.

Then he got a letter from a lawyer asking for money and an apology, Fulton said.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

There was no settlement at the mediation hearing -- the case proceeds. . .

Now the update from "The rights wheel of fortune" Opinion by Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail 3/3/09

[In the Canadian Human Rights legal system,] the offended party gets a free lawyer. Win or lose, he pays nothing. But the defendant always pays. If he [John Fulton] decides to put up a fight, he might have to spend $100,000, maybe more, even if he wins. The case could drag on for years.

Lawyers who act for people such as Mr. Fulton usually advise them to settle. That typically entails a modest sum of money paid to the complainant, an abject letter of apology, and an agreement to post a prominent sign guaranteeing (for example) equal treatment for all self-identified women, regardless of the configuration of their private parts. They must also agree never to disclose the settlement or any of the details.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission boasts that its mediation process achieves a phenomenally high settlement rate. Now you know why. Many companies have come to regard these payouts as just another cost of doing business.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama, Again, Chooses Death for the Unborn

President Obama's executive order on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research went farther than he admitted publicly -- he also rescinded the Bush federal funding of the most promising stem cell research alternatives to killing embryos.

-- From "Failing the Stem-Cell Test" editorial at National Review 3/10/09

[Yesterday], Obama eliminated the Bush [embryonic stem cell] policy and then took the unusual and provocative step of also rescinding Bush’s 2007 executive order [13435] providing support for alternative sources of stem cells — an order that in no way limited embryonic stem-cell research and need not have been retracted. Having lifted these restrictions, Obama put no rules or boundaries of any kind in their place, instructing the scientists at the National Institutes of Health to do so on his behalf over the next few months. Obama’s executive order makes no mention of any moral qualm about the destruction of human embryos — whether left over from fertility treatments or created especially for experimentation, including human embryos created by cloning.

The last time NIH scientists were tasked with developing rules for embryo research, in 1994, they returned with proposals so permissive that Bill Clinton felt compelled to reject them. There is no reason to think the NIH will be any more circumspect this time, but President Obama unfortunately has given us considerable reason to think he will not reject even the broadest possible mandate for the exploitation of nascent human lives. With this week’s executive order, Obama has not so much staked out a position in the embryo debate as dismissed the debate itself as unnecessary.

The embryo debate is among the first real tests of our commitment to the equal protection of every human life in the age of biotechnology. The quandaries of this age will only grow more vexing and complicated. But scientific advances in recent years — especially the development of alternative sources of embryonic-like cells that do not necessitate the destruction of human organisms — appear to offer us a way around the test.

President Obama has turned his back on those advances. He has needlessly and clumsily forced a choice between the promise of progress and the respect for life, and has gone out of his way to ensure that we fail the moral test put before us. Let us hope this failure proves reversible in time and does not set the tone for science policy in the years to come.

To read the entire editorial, CLICK HERE.

Mark Hoofnagle, an advocate for destroying embryos for research, who has a PhD in physiology from the University of Virginia, writes the following concerning Obama's executive order:

As someone who works with stem cells I find this largely an empty, symbolic act . . .

What a lot of people don't realize is that in 2006 a revolutionary result was discovered by Japanese scientists led by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University . . . induced Pluripotent Stem Cells or iPSC . . . the ability to reprogram the cells of any individual to a totipotent state - one in which the cells may make any cell-type or tissue in the human body.

So why does it matter that Obama has reversed [the Bush] policy?

Not only are [embryonic stem] cells inferior compared to iPSC for human therapies . . . [embryonic stem] cells will largely be supplanted by iPSC . . .

Ethicist Wesley J. Smith writes on this as well

Monday, March 09, 2009

America Trending Toward European Irreligiousness

Survey shows nearly doubling of those with no religion, especially in "blue (liberal) America," experiencing catholic exodus

-- From "15 Percent of Americans Have No Religion" by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post Staff Writer 3/9/09

The percentage of Americans who call themselves Christians has dropped dramatically over the past two decades, and those who do are increasingly identifying themselves without traditional denomination labels, according to a major study of U.S. religion being released today.

The survey of more than 54,000 people conducted between February and November of last year showed that the percentage of Americans identifying as Christians has dropped to 76 percent of the population, down from 86 percent in 1990. Those who do call themselves Christian are more frequently describing themselves as "nondenominational" "evangelical" or "born again," according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

The increase in people labeling themselves in more generic Christian terms corresponds strongly with the decline in people identifying themselves as Protestant, the survey found. People calling themselves mainline Protestants, including Methodists and Lutherans, have dropped to 13 percent of the population, down from 19 percent in 1990. The number of people who describe themselves as generically "Protestant" went from approximately 17 million in 1990 to 5 million.

Meanwhile, the number of people who use nondenominational terms has gone from 194,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million.

The only group that grew in every U.S. state since the 2001 survey was people saying they had "no" religion; the survey says this group is now 15 percent of the population.

Northern New England has surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country; 34 percent of Vermont residents say they have "no religion." The report said that the country has a "growing non-religious or irreligious minority."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

A similar article from the Associated Press is here.

Connecticut Legislature to Overthrow Catholic Church Hierarchy

Bishop William E. Lori explains to Catholics that a bill to restructure the Roman Catholic Church into controlling parish boards is intended to neuter the church leadership in order to enable legislative success of the Gay Agenda.

-- From "Catholics angry over proposed law" Connecticut Post 3/9/09

Saying it would undercut the Catholic Church's financial hierarchy, the state's bishops on Sunday urged parishioners to fight a proposed state law that would allow them to control their individual parish's financial affairs.

[Senate Bill 1098], introduced last Thursday by the Legislature's Judiciary Committee -- chaired by Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, and Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven -- caught many Catholics by surprise, who first heard about it during weekend Masses.

In a statement read at Fairfield County Masses, Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori delivered a harsh rebuke to the proposal, charging it "directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our faith" and was a "thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage."

The bishops' announcement touched off an immediate uproar from parishioners who saw the proposal as an affront to their traditions.

Mary Sholomicky, 49, of Stratford, heard about the proposed law by attending the noon Mass at Our Lady of Grace parish. "It was quite a shock because of the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right to practice religion. If I didn't want to do that, I'd live in China. Any person of any religious denomination should really be nervous. They are targeting Catholics now; who knows who's next down the road six months, six years."

. . . Paul Lakeland, the Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., professor of Catholic Studies and chair of the Catholic Studies Department at Fairfield University: "This legislation is not an interference with the free exercise of religion," he said, noting bishops would still retain their say over doctrinal matters.

To read the entire article (above), CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 3/12/09

From "5,000 Angry Protesters Descend on Capitol" by Tom Monahan, NBCConnecticut.com 3/12/09

The bill might have been withdrawn, but 5,000 Roman Catholics, and other opponents of a bill that would essentially change the way the Catholic Church governs itself, made their feelings known Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Tuesday, the co-chairs of the [Senate] committee canceled a public hearing on the bill, saying they wanted an opinion from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on its constitutionality.

Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald, co-chairmen of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the controversial measure at the request of a group of Catholics in Fairfield County.

The opponents of the bill had planned to testify against the proposal if the hearing was held Wednesday. And, despite the cancellation of the hearing, they showed up anyway.

More than 4,000 Catholics from around the state, along with others concerned about the church-state issue, rallied outside the Capitol.

While the rally took place outside, another 1,000 people were in a hearing room and four overflow rooms at the Legislative Office Building.

They were testifying before state lawmakers at an informational hearing, urging them to make sure that legislation of this type never be brought up again.

To read the entire UPDATE article, CLICK HERE.