May 31, 2009

Abortion doctor shot dead at church

According to a Fox News report, "Dr. George Tiller, who remained one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed Sunday in a church where he was serving as an usher."

Undoubtedly, the recent controversy over the Department of Homeland Security's description of potential domestic terrorist threats will resurface after today's ugly event. One has to wonder if Dr. Tiller's murder will now be used by the media and the DHS to proclaim that the DHS's initial report was correct and thus bring pro-life advocates, combat veterans, legal immigration advocates, gun owners and limited government proponents among others under suspicion by the DHS.

President Barack Obama responded to today's event with a statement of shock and outrage.

Israel begins 5-day nation-wide civil defense drills

With a conflict with a Russia-backed Iran arguably already underway or at least looming, Israel today began its historic 5-day national civil defense drills.

According to the Associated Press story on Fox News, "The five-day drill, code-named Turning Point III, will include simulated rocket and missile attacks on Israeli cities, including preparations for a nonconventional strike. Air-raid sirens are to sound across the country on Tuesday and for the first time, all Israeli civilians will be required to practice taking cover in shelters when the sirens go off."

May 30, 2009

Respected atheist author, journalist now believes in God

Much media attention and credence has been given to the likes of atheists Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. One wonders of course why such credence is given to atheism in general -of whom 21% believe in God- much less to those who make ridiculous statements like Maher has made and like Dawkins has made.

In a time when the new atheists are actively seeking to proselytize new converts by the likes of advertising campaigns on buses in Chicago and in London, it is heartening to see one renowned atheist renounce his godless faith and embrace faith in God and according to The Wall Street Journal believes in the resurrection of Christ.

A.N. Wilson, author and journalist recently wrote in the New Statesman about his recent return to
his once held faith in God. It is quite an interesting story. Wilson describes his descent into atheistic faith as a Damascus Road type of experience while his return to theistic faith was a gradual process. In the New Statesman piece, Wilson writes about his reasons for abandoning atheism and embracing theism are quite interesting. One in particular is his point about human language.

"Watching a whole cluster of friends, and my own mother, die over quite a short space of time convinced me that purely materialist 'explanations' for our mysterious human existence simply won’t do – on an intellectual level. The phenomenon of language alone should give us pause. Do materialists really think that language just “evolved”, like finches’ beaks, or have they simply never thought about the matter rationally? Where’s the evidence? How could it come about that human beings all agreed that particular grunts carried particular connotations? How could it have come about that groups of anthropoid apes developed the amazing morphological complexity of a single sentence, let alone the whole grammatical mystery which has engaged Chomsky and others in our lifetime and linguists for time out of mind? No, the existence of language is one of the many phenomena – of which love and music are the two strongest – which suggest that human beings are very much more than collections of meat. They convince me that we are spiritual beings, and that the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true. As a working blueprint for life, as a template against which to measure experience, it fits."

May 28, 2009

Hawaii state lawmakers ratify "Islam Day"

The Hawaiian state Senate on May 6 overwhelmingly proclaimed September 24, 2009 "Islam Day." According to an Associated Press story in The Honolulu Advertiser, " The resolution to proclaim Sept. 24, 2009, as Islam Day passed the Senate yesterday on a 22-3 vote."

According to the piece, Republicans stated that it is important that all religions not forget about the terrorist attacks of September 11 while Democrats said that "the diversity and positive contributions of the Islamic world should be honored."

Americans United calls for IRS to review Liberty University's tax exemption

The liberal activist group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently sent a letter to the IRS calling for a review of the conservative Evangelical school, Liberty University.

In the letter to the IRS, Rev. Barry Lynn, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wrote “Liberty University has no rig
ht to do partisan proselytizing and still retain a tax exemption, I urge the IRS to act swiftly to correct this injustice.”

Liberty University's Liberty Counsel announced today that it plans to file a
complaint against Americans United for Separation of Church State on June 1.

Matt Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty School of
Law said, "Liberty has complete freedom to officially recognize or not recognize any club, especially when the decision is based on its core mission,” he said. “Liberty is not endorsing or opposing political candidates. Liberty cannot and will not lend its name or funds to support causes that undermine its mission and core values, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Had Barry Lynn paid more attention to the facts rather than being absorbed in his fundraising scheme, he would have realized that the Democratic club can still meet on campus. It simply cannot use Liberty’s name or funds to promote abortion or same-sex marriage."

Tony Campolo lobbies with religious left leaders for Gay, Transexual causes

Leaders from the religious left including Dr. Tony Campolo, President of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, staged a collective lobbying effort in Washington D.C. on May 5.

According to the Institute on Religion & Democracy, "The day began with a lobbying training session at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church led by Burns Strider, former Director of Faith Outreach to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president.

In a kick-off press conference in upper Senate park, HRC President Joe Solmonese led over 100 religious left clergy in calling for passage of H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the inclusion of “gender identity” (transsexuality) into the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)."

Leaders taking part in the Human Rights Campaign sponsored demonstration were ministers from various liberal churches including, Unitarian Universalist Church, Metropolitan Community Church, United Methodist Church, Temple Kol Tikvah, and others.

In his speech, Dr. Tony Campolo said, "We Evangelicals who have such a high view of scripture should want justice for gays, lesbians and transgendered persons."

May 26, 2009

Russia's first Persian Gulf naval presence coordinated with Iran

Debkafile has an interesting story today dealing with recent Russian and Iranian naval movements. According to Debkafile, "Russian warships are due to call Wednesday, May 27, at the Bahrain port of Manama, seat of the US Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. They will be following in the wake of the Russian vessels already docked at the Omani port of Salalah, the first to avail themselves of facilities at Gulf ports."

The conclusion to the piece is also quite interesting:

"Our military analysts find Russia and Iran seizing the moment for supplanting positions held exclusively by the US and other western fleets. They are taking advantage of two developments:

1. The number of US warships maintained in the Gulf has been reduced to its lowest level in two years; President Obama quietly reduced their presence near Iran's shores in order to generate a positive atmosphere for the coming US dialogue with the Islamic Republic. Not a single US aircraft carrier is consequently to be found anywhere in the Gulf region.

2. Monday, May 25, President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated France's first naval facility in the Gulf in Abu Dhabi. The Russian and Iranian policy-makers see no reason why Moscow cannot set up a military presence in the region if Paris can."

51% of Israelis support immediate strike on Iran's nuclear sites

According to Breitbart, 51% of Israelis support an immediate strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. The piece also points out that 74% of Israelis do not think President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts with Iran will deter the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons.

This is interesting news given the fact that as has been reported on this blog a conflict is already underway between Israel and Iran/Russia. The wildcard in this situation is what the US will do.

May 21, 2009

Anglican Bishop claims to be "Christian Agnostic"

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, retired Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, is in fact an Agnostic. Holloway believes that since the Anglican Church has widened the tent enough to include Catholics, female clergy, openly gay priests and others that there is room for people like him, "Christians who don't believe in God."

The article says " Holloway, contrary to popular belief, has not left the Episcopal Church, as Scottish Anglicanism is known. He may have taken early retirement as Bishop of Edinburgh but the writer remains an ordained priest and consecrated bishop, who still preaches from the pulpit, performs baptisms and weddings and even presides at communion."

The piece also notes, "Holloway has abandoned his belief in - or at least certainty about - God and the afterlife, and is now known as a 'Christian agnostic'."

Religious sects in France have tripled in last 15 years

The French government religious sects watchdog, Malividu, recently reported that religious sects in France have tripled in the last 15 years to over 600 different movements in the country.

The report also notes, "a huge increase in unqualified therapists, warning that sects are using the personality coaching and self-help trends to target impressionable people. 25 to 30 percent of psychotherapists in France are not certified practitioners. Some are charlatans, who use their practices to recruit the vulnerable. The Internet has also become a frequent tool for sect recruitment."

May 20, 2009

Obama reportedly pledges Palestinian state with capital in east Jerusalem

The Palestinian Media Center released a disturbing news report today. If the report is correct, President Barack Obama has promised the Palestinian Authority that there will be a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem. The piece states, "The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been assured that US President Barack Obama's new peace plan includes a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. PA officials told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot that the US intends to stand by its policy that East Jerusalem should be the Palestinian capital. Obama is expected to roll out the peace plan in Cairo on 4 June."

In regards to Obama's Middle East peace plan, the Jerusalem Post stated, "
Amid much speculation over US President Barack Obama's upcoming address to the Muslim world, reports published on Wednesday outlined the details of his Middle East peace plan, which are said to include a demilitarized Palestinian state. The US president's initiative, which was formulated in consultation with Jordan's King Abdullah II during the two leaders' recent meetings at the White House, reportedly does not significantly stray from the pan-Arab peace initiative proposed in 2002. Rather, it bolsters certain details within the Saudi-proposed plan."

On his blog, Joel Rosenberg provides a very chilling reminder of the potential ramifications of Obama's reported plan, "Jerusalem is and should be the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Dividing Jerusalem will not make peace. Rather, it would send a message to every Radical Islamic jihadist around the world that Israel is weak, that the Jews won’t even defend the sovereignty of their own capital, that there is “blood in the water,” and that it is time to strike Israel and wipe her off the map. Dividing Jerusalem would trigger an apocalyptic war in the Middle East the likes of which the region has never seen. Already, the Radicals believe Israel is doomed to destruction. Hearing that the American President is now ready to apply intense pressure against the Israelis to divide their capital will only embolden the Radicals and convince them further that Allah is on their side, the wind is at their back, and they will soon triumph over the Jews and Christians."

May 19, 2009

Archaeology find "confirms" Darwinian Evolution?

A team of scientists has dubbed an ancient skeleton of what they term a "lemur monkey" -whom they affectionately call Ida- as "the eight wonder of the world." The team of scientists led by professor Jorn Hurum of Norway's National History Museum claim that Ida is 47 million years old and is believed by the scientists to be the supposed missing link in Evolution, which they claim "confirms" Darwin's theory of Evolution.

According to the
SkyNews piece, Hurum said, "This fossil is really a part of our history; this is part of our evolution, deep, deep back into the aeons of time, 47 million years ago. It's part of our evolution that's been hidden so far, it's been hidden because all the other specimens are so incomplete. They are so broken there's almost nothing to study and now this wonderful fossil appears and it makes the story so much easier to tell, so it's really a dream come true."

Another scientist, Sir David Attenborough said, "The link they would have said up to now is missing - well it's no longer missing." The scientists believe Ida is the so-called missing link because they claim she dates back to the Eocene period and is both a Lemur (one group of early primates) and a monkey (second group of early primates that developed into humans).

Evidently these scientists concur that Ida once and for all settles the debate over the truth of Darwinian Evolution.

Answers in Genesis, however, comes to the opposite and more reasonable conclusion noting:

1. Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature

2. A fossil can never show evolution

3. Similarities can never show evolution

4. The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial

5. If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms

6. Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found

May 4, 2009

White House Chief of Staff: Thwarting Iran hinges on Israeli-Palestinian talks

The Jerulasem Post is reporting that White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, speaking to 300 American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) donors, said that thwarting Iran's nuclear threat to Israel is conditioned upon the progress of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Without the context of the statement it is hard to know exactly what Emanuel meant. Regardless, with statements like Emanuel's the White House could be putting Israel in a tough spot because it sets up Israel to be portrayed as the "bad guy" in the Middle East peace process. If Israel chooses not to go along with an Arab Initiative type of peace plan put forth by Obama then the White House can blame Israel for no peace. If Israel elects to defend itself against a nuclear armed Iran with a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear sites the White House can blame Israel for no peace
in the Middle East.

Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, in a Jerulasem Post interview said of the White House, "There's almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world." The Jerusalem Post piece also notes that Gingrich described Obama's approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."

Since Benjamin Netanyahu is now the Israeli Prime Minister and since 66% of Israelis support military action against Iran if necessary it is clear that Israel will do what it feels is necessary to defend itself.