The whole earth groans from the increase of sin…

 

 

New English Translation of Bible Omits ‘Jesus Christ,’ ‘Angel’

  • Bible
    (Photo: Thomas Nelson Publishing)
    The Voice, a translation of the Bible into modern English released in March 2012.

Christian Post Reporter
April 16, 2012

A new translation of the Bible into English does not contain the name “Jesus Christ” nor the word “angel.” It also prefers the word “emissary” over “apostle.”

The Voice, a Bible that replaces “Jesus Christ” with terms like “Jesus the Anointed One,” had its complete edition released by Thomas Nelson Publishing last month.

Frank Couch, Thomas Nelson’s lead editor on the project, told The Christian Post that the purpose of The Voice was to make the Gospel message easier to understand for modern audiences.

The Voice has not claimed to be more accurate than any other translation, rather it is more easily understood than any other translation,” said Couch.

“When translators are limiting themselves to conveying the complete essence of a word from the Hebrew or the Greek with one English word they have difficulty bringing in the nuances held in the original language.”

Because other translations have more literal renderings, Couch believed they are “why it has been necessary for commentators and preachers to spend so much time explaining what the words in the original language mean before the lay reader can understand fully a text of Scripture.”

“Because we have a more expansive translating technique we can more fully develop the English translation and thus bring out the more difficult nuances found in the original language,” he explained.

The scholars and authors who collaborated on the translation say their intention was to help readers “hear God speaking.”

“One of the byproducts of the information age in the church has been its focus on biblical knowledge. Many Bibles reflect this, packed with informative notes, charts, and graphs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a deep knowledge; a personal connection and deep relationship are far better,” according to hearthevoice.com. “The Voice is focused on helping readers find (or rediscover) this connection with Him. Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story.”

The idea for The Voice came in January 2004, when Thomas Nelson Publishing met with the Ecclesia Bible Society, whose leadership includes pastor Chris Seay of the Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. The project came in portions, with the complete New Testament according to The Voice being released in 2009.

The name comes from the Bible translation’s rendering of the Greek Word logos in John 1:1. Although the typical English Bible translates logos to “Word,” in this translation it is rendered “Voice.” The first verse of John, which in the NIV reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” becomes “Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God.”

A new video posted on the translation’s Facebook further highlights that “The Voice offers an opportunity to hear afresh by telling the stories that have always been in the Bible in a beautiful and poetic way.” It is written in screenplay format “so it’s easy to follow or act out in a group.”

Despite the approval of a major publisher like Thomas Nelson, which also sells other more established translations of the Bible, The Voice is not without its opponents, including many critical online reviews.

On the website “Life More Abundant,” poster “Coralie” commented that the format of The Voice, which includes commentary in the body of the text, was a concern.

“The … effect of the inclusion of midstream commentary is the blurring of the line between inspired word and human opinion,” wrote Coralie.

“My fear in our postmodern world is not that a new reader would take the commentary as the very word of God, but that he would read the words of God with the casual ease of another form of commentary.”

The blog “Extreme Theology,” an apologetics website, declared that The Voice was a “distorted version of the Bible.”

“Unfortunately, not since the release of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures in 1950 has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda,” reads a review on ET’s site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waging war to prepare the way for the Mahdi

By: J. Michael Sharman – Editorial Columnist
Star Exponent
April 17, 2012

The 15% of Muslims who are Shiites are preparing for the return of “the Mahdi”. To the Shiites, the Mahdi is the last Imam, the twelfth Imam, and though he has been hidden for the past twelve centuries, they believe his return is imminent.

When he was asked what the Mahdi will do upon his return, the Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani quoted the ancient text of Imam Ali al-Baqir, stating, “For a full eight months, he will have his sword unsheathed and will kill the enemies of God until God is satisfied.”

After becoming Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad said that he believed his main mission as Iran’s leader is to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.”

Ahmadinejad’s views are said to be shaped by a group known as the Hojjatieh, currently led by Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi.

In an article written by Mohebat Ahdiyyih in the Middle East Quarterly, Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi states frankly that the concept behind the Twelvers’ end-times theology is that the “superiority of Islam over other religions is stressed in Qur’an, which calls on believers to wage war against unbelievers and prepare the way for the advent of the Mahdi and conquering the world.”

To the Twelver Shiittes like President Ahmadinejad and the Shiite ayatollahs, waging war, is therefore, not an unfortunate side effect of differing beliefs, but rather is a requirement which they must follow in order to “prepare the way for the advent of the Mahdi and conquering the world.”

The goal of the Twelver Shiittes is to rid the world of “Kufr”, which means a rejection of Islam, or the Quran, or the Mahdi. “Taghut” means rebellion to Allah, idolatry.

The Ayatollah Rudollah Khomeini, whose Madhist ideas led Iran through its Revolution and up until his death in 2008, has stated, “First, the existence of a non-Islamic political order necessarily results in the non-implementation of the Islamic  political order. Then, all non-Islamic systems of government are the systems of kufrsince the ruler in each case is an instance of taghut,and it is our duty to remove from the life of Muslim society all traces of kufr and destroy them. … This is a duty all Muslims must fulfill in every one of the Muslim countries, in order to achieve the triumphant political revolution of Islam.”

Iran actively supports and exports Khomeini’s view of  the universal duty of all Muslims to destroy all traces of any non-Islamic life.

Hezbollah is Arabic for “party of God”. That Lebanese group was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In fact, the children in the Mahdi Scouts of Lebanon each wear a small picture of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on his chest.

Hezbollah’s former director of Mahdi Scouts, Bilal Naim, said, “After age 16, the boys mostly go to resistance or military activities.” That outcome is not surprising since Mahdi Scout leaders must adhere strictly to the pre-printed lessons for each age group. The chapter titles for the 12- to 14-year-old age group, include “Know Your Enemy,” “Loyalty to the Leader” and “Facts about Jews.” In those chapters, Jews are described as cruel, corrupt, cowardly, deceitful, and the killers of Islamic holy men.

These are all items we will want to keep in mind as we negotiate and discuss methods for deterring Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYT Columnist at Q Conference:  Bad Religion, Not Atheism, Replacing

Christianity

Christian Post Reporter
April 11, 2012

The New York Times’ youngest-ever op-ed columnist and also one of the few conservative Christians at the esteemed newspaper, Ross Douthat, made the case at the Q Conference Tuesday evening that it is not atheism that is replacing American Christianity, but bad religion.

During an interview with Michael Cromartie, vice president at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Douthat presented key points from his soon-to-be released book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, in which he examines the historical story of institutional Christianity in America and then makes the case that heresy – which includes the prosperity gospel – is threatening American society.

“The overview basically makes the case that what has happened in American religion over the last 50 years is not that the country has grown more secular in any meaningful way. And in fact, if you look at certain factors of religiosity in American life – people reporting direct experiences of God and spiritual experiences, even belief in miracles and afterlife – there is evidence that America is more religious now than in 1945 or 1955,” said Douthat at the Q event in Washington, D.C.

“But it is also less – I used the word heretics in my subtitle because I think America is less orthodox Christian than it used to be. And that is driven in large part by the decline of the institutional Christian churches – both Catholic and Protestant.”

The mainline church has more or less collapsed and the Roman Catholic Church is in a slow but steady decline, observed the Catholic columnist. And while the evangelical church has stepped into the void, there appears to be a “ceiling” in its appeal and ability to bring people into its fold.

Thus making room for heresy in America’s religious landscape, Douthat asserts. The author examines heresy in America by looking at the prosperity gospel – the relationship between money and religion in American life; therapeutic religion – which includes Elizabeth Gilbert’s book that inspired the Julia Roberts-starring film “Eat, Pray, Love,” and the spirituality pushed by Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra; and finally, Douthat looks at politics and religion and the politicized heresy promoted by both sides.

For the prosperity gospel chapter, Douthat revealed to the Q audience that he starts with Joel Osteen and also talks about Trinity Broadcasting Network.

And for the politics and religion chapter, the author noted how different this presidential election looks from a religious perspective. Obama previously attended a church headed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose “highly politicized theology was self-consciously at odds with much of historic Christian practice and belief,” writes Douthat in an April 8 op-ed based on his forthcoming book. And now, Obama is an “unchurched Christian.”  Likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney is a member of the Mormon church, which is still looked upon with suspicion by most Americans regardless of political affiliation.

Only Rick Santorum looks relatively similar to the traditional Christianity of half a century ago, but “in a nation as religiously diverse as ours, a staunchly orthodox Christianity can seem like the weirdest heresy of all,” he writes.

Cromartie also steered Douthat into discussing same-sex marriage, the sexual revolution and why Christians have a hard time to articulate their case against homosexuality. Christians have a hard time explaining why homosexuals shouldn’t marry because of the state of heterosexual marriage, Douthat said, particularly in a culture where no-fault divorces exist.

“Christians ended up in the position of basically saying, well, we have a culture where marriage means whatever people want it to mean,” the New York Times columnist said. “And heterosexuals are more or less going to do what they please, but we are holding the line for this 2 percent of the population that historically have been stigmatized and persecuted.”

The annual Q Conference, founded by young evangelical leader Gabe Lyons, brings together some 700 Christian participants from April 10-12 to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in downtown D.C. to hear prominent church and cultural leaders give short presentations with the aim to spur discussion and help Christians think of innovative ways to shape the church’s future role in culture.

The interview session between Douthat and Cromartie was only 18 minutes long, the most given to any Q Conference presenter or panel.  The Q format only allows three-, nine-, or 18-minute long presentations.

Douthat, who writes mostly on politics for the Times, concluded with a warning note during an election year:  “The most important thing for Christians in my line of work or who are directly involved in politics is to be always be aware that it is staggeringly unlikely that the particular policy positions, of a particular party, of a particular time and place, matches perfectly with God’s will for humanity,” Douthat stated. “And therefore, if you are a Christian involved in politics, you have an obligation to keep at the forefront of your mind that there must be at least one place where you think God has a different view from your party.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Wants the Right to Euthanize ‘Severely Disabled’ Children — And

‘90%’ of Dr. Phil’s Audience Agrees

 

Canadian Mother Wants to Euthanize Severely Disabled Adult Children
Janet and Jeffery Corriveau suffer from a rare genetic condition that has their mother wanting to euthanize them.

Would you euthanize your disabled children, especially your adult children? One Canadian woman is fighting to do just that.

Dr. Phil recently featured Annette Corriveau, on his show. She is the mother of Janet and Jeffery, two severely disabled adults who she says if they had the ability to chose for themselves, they would “opt for suicide.” Since they can’t communicate though, she wants the right to end their lives herself.

(Related: Should man with paralyzing stroke but in tact mind be given the ‘right’ to die?)

Janet, 43, and Jeffery, 42, started off as healthy, seemingly normal children, but Corriveau told Canada’s Global News in an interview last month, they became particularly unruly and hard to control at age 5 and 6. From there, their condition began to deteriorate, losing speech and motor skills. Eventually, a hospital found Corriveau and her husband both carried a recessive gene for a trait that would not allow their children to process sugars. The results of this genetic illness – Sanfilippo syndrome — can include severe mental retardation, blindness, nerve damage to the point of being wheelchair bound, seizures and early death. The symptoms of the disease begin from age 2 to 8 and conditions worsen from there.

Canadian Mother Wants to Euthanize Severely Disabled Adult Children

According to Global News, both Janet and Jeffery have feeding tubes, and Corriveau believes they cannot see as they don’t respond to stimulus. Both have been in an institution since before the age of 10. Global News has more from Corriveau on her children’s condition and why she believes they would want to die rather than continue suffering:

“They wouldn’t like to live like this,” she says. “My children were full of life. When they were young, before this disease took hold…I just don’t believe that they would want to stay alive the way they are.”

[…]

Annette says no one can understand unless they watch — as she did- as her children slowly succumbed to this rare genetic disorder.

“The saying, ‘walk in another man’s moccasins’? Don’t judge. Unless you’ve been there, don’t judge,” she says. “This is no life. For anyone.”

During her appearance with Dr. Phil, the doctor  polled  the audience to see whether they agree with her right to euthanize the children or not. Dr. Phil estimates the audience is 90 percent for mercy killing of those in conditions such as Janet and Jeffery:

During the show, Dr. Phil clarifies that Corriveau is asking for a more “humane” way to let her children die versus taking away away their feeding tubes and letting them starve. He asks Corriveau, “If you were going to do it, do you now wish you had done it 25 years ago?” Corriveau responds she would have wanted to do it when Jeffery first received his feeding tube 17 years ago. Janet went on a feeding tube five years ago. Corriveau explains:

“After 25 years of watching them just exist, it’s time that somebody did something,” she continues. “I didn’t want to be the one to do it, but I’m here,” she adds.

Watch Global Mail’s more than 15 minute interview with Corriveau here. The interview also includes Robert Latimer, a father who killed his disabled daughter Tracy via carbon monoxide poisoning in 1993.

Canadian Mother Wants to Euthanize Severely Disabled Adult Children

Alex Schadenberg, executive director and international chair for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, finds this feature by Global Mail “dangerously one-sided”. He writes it is a “serious attempt by the Canadian media to re-write the history of the Latimer case and to justify euthanasia for children with disabilities. In his post, Schadenberg shares the thoughts of Steve Passmore, a man with cerebral palsy who opposes euthanasia. Passmore said:

“Many people in society view people with disabilities as having lives that can be euthanized, like a kept pet, because of pain and suffering, that he lives with everyday.”

“this story clearly shows the prejudice that people with disabilities experience in society and the threat that euthanasia and assisted suicide place on the lives of people with disabilities.”

Schadenberg states that of course cases such as these cannot be taken lightly, but if parents are allowed the right to kill disabled children, it opens the door for a “a whole new debate which would focus on who lives and who dies.”

The Blaze has covered a number of articles over the past two years on this subject, from the British who said it would be “loving” for a mother to smother a disabled child (and advocates aborting disabled children, too), to the bioethicicsts who suggest killing someone with no autonomy left isn’t morally wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quake Expert: Earth Cracking Up

http://www.croatiantimes.com

A leading earthquake scientist has warned that the planet could be cracking up after a series of massive quakes in just 48 hours.
Expert Gheorghe Marmureanu – from Romania’s National Institute of Earth Physics – says 39 quakes had hit the globe within two days.
The series started with two massive quakes in Indonesia measuring 8.6 and 8.2 on the Richter scale rapidly followed by three more only slightly smaller in Mexico within hours.
“There is no doubt that something is seriously wrong. There have been too many strong earthquakes,” said Marmureanu.
He added: “The quakes are a surprise that cannot be easily explained by current scientific knowledge. With the Indonesian quake for example, statistically, there should be one big earthquake in this part of Asia every 500 years.
However, since 2004, there were already three quakes with a magnitude of over 8, which is not normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Secret Dealings With Iran Conflict With US-Israeli Understandings

http://debka.com

The fundamental rift on Iran between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu burst into the open Monday, April 16 when high-ranking Israeli officials close to Netanyahu directly accused the president of reneging on the US-Israeli understandings reached ahead of the Istanbul talks between the six powers and Iran on April 14.
Behind the show biz of Istanbul, they charged, the US and Iran had reached secret agreements in clandestine bilateral contacts channeled through Paris and Vienna.
The row surfaced Sunday when Netanyahu said the US and world powers by agreeing to hold more talks in Baghdad next month had given Tehran a “freebie” of five more weeks to continue enriching uranium without restrictions. By singling out the US, the prime minister aimed his comment directly at the president.
Obama’s response was fast. At a news conference ending the Western Hemisphere summit in Cartagenia, Colombia, he commented sharply: “The notion that somehow we’ve given something away or a `freebie’ would indicate Iran has gotten something. In fact, they’ve got some of the toughest sanctions that they’re going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don’t take advantage of these talks.”
That is the very point on which Israel accuses the US president of playing false: time. As disclosed by debkafile on April 9, American and Israeli officials preceded the Istanbul talks with an understanding for the US to put before Iran agreed demands/concessions: Iran would be allowed to keep 1,000 centrifuges for the low-level enrichment of uranium up to 3.5 percent purity, the first time Israel had accepted the principle of Iran enriching uranium at any grade at all.
It was also agreed between Washington and Jerusalem that Iran would not be permitted to keep 20 percent enriched uranium, which is a short step before weapons-grade, in any quantity.
These understandings, known as the “1,000 principle,” were meant to represent the final upshot of the formal negotiations with Iran, a consensus to which US diplomats would aspire in as short a time possible.
In the event, the US delegation did not present any of the agreed demands – or any other – to the Iranians attending the first round of talks in Turkey.
The belated sense of being misled prompted the prime minister’s exceptionally sharp reaction.
Israeli official sources now suspect that in their secret contacts, the US has granted Iran far-reaching concessions on its nuclear program – more than Israel would find acceptable. The formal talks in Istanbul and in Baghdad on May 23 are seen as nothing but a device to screen the real business the US and Iran have already contracted on the quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elites Failing America in Battle against Terrorism (VIDEO)

By Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst
Monday, April 16, 2012

It’s the first rule of war: know your enemy. Yet the U.S. government refuses to use terms like “jihadists” or “radical Islamists” to describe the terrorists who attack us.

According to some in the media, the war against Islamic jihadists doesn’t even exist.

When agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Amine El Khalifi recently for plotting to blow up the U.S. Capitol, most media reports identified him as simply a “Moroccan man.”

Entire news reports about El Khalifi’s case made no mention of the fact that he was Muslim. Neither did a top U.S. Justice Department official who labeled the al Qaeda admirer as merely “homegrown violent extremist.”

Again, no mention of Islam, even though El Khalifi had prayed at a Washington-area mosque just moments before driving a van he thought was packed with explosives to the Capitol.

“He was obviously affiliated with the Islamic jihad,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said. “And what’s very clear is that had he succeeded, the coverage would have been different.”

“But wouldn’t it be better if we had media coverage that talked about the potential of what could happen so we could prevent it?” she asked.

Bachmann told CBN News that political correctness takes over in mainstream reporting on Islamic terrorism.

“The world is being turned upside down because of radical Islam and our media is refusing to tell the story,” Bachmann said.

“They come from a decidedly leftist world view and a secular–almost anti-secular, in a way, because they’ve embraced such a radical world view — and they impose that filter through every subject they touch,” she continued. “Unfortunately, this subject concerns our very survivability as a people.”

Depending on who and what you read, the war against Islamic jihadists is already history.

The day after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, CNN Terrorism Analyst Peter Bergen declared that the war on terror was over.

His CNN colleague, Fareed Zakaria, went further, writing that bin Laden’s death meant radical Islam’s “existential threat to the Western world” was now “gone.”

“Terror is primarily a battle for the mind, and unfortunately, our best and our brightest have become our worst and dimmest,” author Michael Widlanski said.

‘Islam-Myopia’

In his new book, Battle for our Minds, Widlanski argues that the American people are being misled about the Islamic terror threat.

“I’m talking about our public intellectuals, the people who are the gate keepers to our mind:  our media, our academics and our government intelligence people,” Widlanski said.

He said these groups have created a climate where legitimate criticism of Islamist ideology is branded as “bigoted.”

“Our problem isn’t Islamophobia, it’s not a phobia, it’s not an unreasoning fear,” Widlanski explained.

“It’s Islamophilia: an unreasoning love of Islam and protection of Islam,” he said. “And even worse, Islam-myopia: a near-sighted, willful ignorance when it comes to things Islamic.”

The problem existed through the Clinton and Bush administrations, but has reached new heights under President Obama, Widlanski continued.

The Department of Homeland Security has replaced phrases like “radical Islam” and “Islamic terrorism” with vague terms like “violent extremism “and “man-made disasters.”

After a Muslim terrorist shouting “Allahu Akhbar” gunned down 13 U.S. soldiers at the Texas Fort Hood military base in 2009, a Pentagon report described the massacre as “workplace violence.”

Then there is the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan. Brennan has referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, “al Quds” and has called jihad a spiritual struggle and “legitimate tenet of Islam.”

“The basic meaning of jihad in Arabic, from the Arabic root, is ‘war’ – a physical war,” Widlanski said.

Roots of Islamic Spin

So how did the politically correct slant on Islamic jihad take root among our leaders and opinion shapers? According to Widlanski, much of it can be traced back to Edward Said, a Palestinian professor whose reach extended far beyond the classroom.

Said was an adviser to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

During a trip to southern Lebanon, Said was photographed throwing stones at Israeli soldiers stationed on the border.

Yet these radical activities didn’t stop him from becoming a celebrity professor at Columbia University, thanks to his book, Orientalism.

“In 1978, Orientalism was produced, and Said’s basic idea was that the West had raped the Islamic East,” Widlanski explained.

“He wanted the West to get dumb, and he succeeded,” Widlanski said. “The next two generations of American students, diplomats, and agents with the Central Intelligence Agency know little to no Arabic, and they know little or no Islamic culture.”

Widlanski said Said’s portrayal of the West as aggressor and the Muslim world as victim had huge influence on college campuses and the mainstream media.

It also became popular at the U.S. State Department and in the intelligence community.

President Obama, who was then a state senator, even shared a table with Said at a 1998 Arab community event in Chicago.

“You can see and feel the Said message in many of the things that Obama says,” Widlanski said.

Widlanski added that the Said view has done great damage to American interests, but that it’s not irreversible.

“The average American understands in his gut, in her gut, what’s going on. They pick up the hints,” Widlanski told CBN News.

“Let’s start educating our law enforcement, our security officials, the next generation of American students, to understand the Middle East, to understand terrorism, to study the languages, to study the cultures,” he said. “Not with the hand-picked successors of Edward Said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Signs That America Is A Seething Cesspool Of Filth And Corruption

16 April 2012

 Reprinted from The American Dream

 

 

Do you believe that America is a seething cesspool of filth and corruption?  If not, you might change your mind after reading this article.  Sadly, the truth is that the United States is absolutely corrupt to the core.  This is true from the very top of our society all the way to the very bottom.  The current occupant of the White House will likely go down in history as the most corrupt president in history, and that is really saying something.  Almost every single day he adds something new to his list of corrupt deeds.  He is a con man that deserves to be impeached for a whole host of reasons, but that will never happen because we have a Congress that is also deeply corrupt.  But it is not just our politicians that are corrupt.  Even the men that are supposed to be in charge of protecting the president are corrupt.  A whole bunch of them were recently discovered sleeping with prostitutes in Colombia.  We also find very deep and very pervasive corruption in our financial institutions, in our judicial system, in our police departments and in our religious institutions.  It is almost as if nearly the entire nation is saturated with filth and depravity.  It is becoming harder and harder to find men and women of integrity, and our young people have very few positive role models to look up to.  How long is our society going to be able to continue to function normally if all of this corruption gets even worse?

The following are 25 signs that America is a seething cesspool of filth and corruption….

#1 The men and women of the Secret Service are supposed to be the best of the best.  Instead, they have become a national embarrassment.  11 members of the U.S. Secret Service are under investigation for consorting with prostitutes in Colombia.  Reportedly, several of the Secret Service agents that hired prostitutes were married.

#2 Our financial institutions are filled with cheats and liars.  2011 and 2012 have been absolutely horrible years for natural disasters in the United States.  At a time when homeowners need their insurance companies more than ever, many insurance companies are systematically trying to weasel out of payouts and are trying to shift as much liability over to homeowners as possible.  The following is from a recent Reuters article….

Insurance companies are raising rates, cutting coverage, balking at some payouts and generally shifting more expense and liability to homeowners, according to reports from the industry and its critics.

“Insurance companies have significantly and methodically decreased their financial responsibility for weather catastrophes like hurricanes, tornados and floods in recent years,” the Consumer Federation of America said in a statement after studying industry data.

The industry concedes that it is trying to avoid getting trounced by those same punishing weather patterns.

#3 Identity theft for the purpose of stealing tax refunds has reached epidemic proportions in America.  The following is one shocking example that made the news recently up in New York….

Authorities say a former manager at a nonprofit Long Island health agency stole the IDs of more than 50 brain injury patients to get their tax refunds.

#4 The filth on television continues to get worse and worse.  As WorldNetDaily recently reported, one new HBO series is going way over the line….

HBO’s irreverent mockumentary “Angry Boys” is under fire for combining child actors and phallic humor, including one scene in the series’ 12th episode, where a little girl drinks from a water bottle shaped like a giant, pink penis.

#5 All over the country, violent crime is getting worse.  For example, there were 60 percent more homicides in Chicago during the first three months of 2012 than there were during the first three months of 2011.

#6 Some of the violent crimes committed recently in cities such as Chicago appear to be absolutely senseless.  The following is one recent example from the Chicago Tribune….

A woman was shot in the face while driving in the Gresham neighborhood on the Far South Side late Wednesday.

The woman, 38, was driving west in the 2000 block of West 84th Street about 11:30 p.m. when a light colored car pulled alongside her and someone inside fired shots, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.

#7 It isn’t just in the big cities where these kinds of senseless crimes are being committed either.  One crime that happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently is almost too horrifying to describe.  The following is from a recent Daily Mail report….

An 85-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and battered to death by a home invader who also shot her 90-year-old husband in the face with a BB gun.

Nancy and Bob Strait, who had celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in December, were discovered by their daughter at their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Both the pensioners were rushed to hospital where Mrs Strait, who was nearly blind, died from her injuries.

#8 The flash mob epidemic that made headlines all over the nation last year is continuing in 2012.  For example, several dozen young people recently stormed into a gas station in the Portland, Oregon area and took off with whatever they could carry.

#9 Thieves all over the nation are becoming incredibly bold.  Up in New York, thieves recently stole brass plaques and bronze vases from a cemetery.

How desperate and corrupt do you have to be to desecrate the graves of the dead?

#10 These days thieves will steal anything that they can sell easily on the streets.  For example, Tide detergent has become extremely popular to steal because it is being used as an alternative form of currency on the streets of many American cities.  The following is from a recent article in The Daily….

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

One Tide taker in West St. Paul, Minn., made off with $25,000 in the product over 15 months before he was busted last year.

“That was unique that he stole so much soap,” said West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver. “The name brand is [all] Tide. Amazing, huh?”

Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. The retail price is steadily high — roughly $10 to $20 a bottle — and it’s a staple in households across socioeconomic classes.

#11 In Baltimore, a man was recently knocked to the ground, stripped naked and had his car keys, watch, money and cell phone taken.  In itself, that is not much of a story.  But what made it a story was that instead of helping the man, the crowd of onlookers watching all of this happen laughed hysterically while recording the incident with their cell phone cameras for YouTube.

#12 The number of Americans that are willing to become permanently dependent on the government is absolutely astounding.  At this point, there are approximately 67 million Americans that get some form of financial assistance from the federal government.

#13 Government dependence is increasingly being glamorized in popular culture.  For example, one nightclub down in Alabama recently held a “Food Stamp Friday” party.

#14 As I have written about previously, employees of the federal government are living the high life at the expense of hard working American taxpayers.  In fact, one federal employee recently made an outrageous rap video about it.

#15 Recently, I reported on the “Obama flag” that was flying above a Democratic Party headquarters down in Florida.  Well, now another one has been spotted flying above a home in New Jersey.  During the 2012 election season will we see American flags that have had the stars replaced with the face of Barack Obama flying over homes and businesses from coast to coast?

#16 In the United States today, the use of sexual humiliation by security officials has become normalized.  If you are not convinced of this yet, you should check out this video of a woman sobbing as the TSA touches her private areas as they pat her down.

#17 Sadly, TSA officials have shown over and over that they are deeply corrupt and cannot be trusted.  For example, one TSA manager at Dulles International Airport was recently discovered to be running a prostitution ring out of a local hotel room.

#18 According to the U.S. Supreme Court, police in the United States can now strip search you any time that they want.  All they need to do is to make up some reason to arrest you.  Needless to say, police all over the country are now going to be looking for any reason that they can think of to arrest very attractive women.

#19 In the United States, it has become regular practice for young couples to “live together” before marriage.  In fact, in America today more than half of all couples now move in together before they get married.  Sadly, the divorce rate for couples that live together first is also significantly higher than for those that do not.  At this point, America has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

#20 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by far.  In fact, the United States has a teen pregnancy rate that is more than twice as high as Canada, more than three times as high as France and more than seven times as high as Japan.

#21 Unfortunately, there are dramatic consequences for all of the loose sexuality going on in America.  The CDC says that there are approximately 19 million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in America every single year.

#22 Most Americans have no idea this is happening, but the truth is that abortion clinics all over the country are selling aborted baby parts to scientists for medical research.  If we keep cheapening human life like this, eventually it will mean next to nothing to us.

#23 According to the results of one recent investigation, an astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic goes to pornography websites.  A different survey found that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in the United States visit pornography websites while they are at work.

#24 There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.  This is especially true when it comes to notifying military wives that their husbands are dead.  Sadly, some women are now being notified about the deaths of their husbands in the military through Facebook.

#25 Our politicians are stealing 150 million dollars an hour from future generations so that we can live more comfortably right now.  The American people participate in this theft by voting these politicians back into office over and over again.  The crime that we are committing against future generations is almost too horrible for words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catholic parishes refuse to support effort to protect marriage in

Washington State

Christine Dhanagom Mon Apr 16 18:49 EST Faith

SEATTLE, Washington, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Several Catholic parishes in Seattle are refusing to participate in an effort to oppose same sex “marriage” legislation, despite the local bishop’s support for the campaign.

A bill legalizing homosexual “marriage” was passed by the Washington State legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Catholic Governor Christine Gregoire. Opponents are attempting to gather the 120,000 signatures necessary for a referendum, so that the state’s citizens will have a chance to vote on the legislation this November.

In a letter sent to parishes throughout the Archdiocese, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain authorized churches to gather signatures for the referendum, and reiterated his support for the measure. The archbishop has been an active opponent of gay “marriage” in Washington State, and testified against it before a State Senate Committee earlier this year.

At least three Catholic churches in the diocese are refusing to get on board, however, including St. James Cathedral, the seat of the archdiocese.

In an interview with King 5 News, St. James pastor Fr. Michael Ryan said that “nobody knows a community better than a pastor,” adding that St. James’ had “a lot of gay and lesbian people” and “many people who have great support and understanding for them.”

An email attributed to Fr. Ryan was also published on the blog of a Seattle newspaper by gay blogger Dominic Holden. According to Holden, the email was sent to St. James parishioners to explain why the parish would not be participating in the signature drive.

“After discussing the matter with the members of the Cathedral’s pastoral ministry team, I have decided that we will not participate in the collecting of signatures in our parish. Doing so would, I believe, prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community,” reads the email.

Fr. Ryan notes in the email that the archbishop had left participation in the effort up to the discretion of individual pastors, and calls some media reports “misleading” in this regard.

Holden also published the full text of a letter addressed to parishioners at St. Mary’s in Seattle from Tricia Wittmann-Todd, the Church’s “pastoral life coordinator.”

Wittman-Todd says that she has decided against involving the parish in the signature drive “after much prayer and reflection.” She cites, as one of the “primary considerations” behind her decision, the fact that “inclusion and welcome” are one of the parish’s “highest values.”

“I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives,” she writes.

She also claims that the need for Catholics to form their own consciences is another reason for not participating, adding: “Many of our parishioners have not had sufficient opportunity to form their consciences and those who have represent a wide variety of beliefs.”

A third parish, St. Joseph’s in Seattle, announced in a statement on the parish website that the pastor, Jesuit priest Fr. John Whitney, “has decided that no petitioning will be permitted anywhere on the campus of St. Joseph.”

Holden also claims to have been told that St. Catherine, St. Patrick, St. Therese, and Christ Our Hope are not participating.

LifeSiteNews was not able to reach Greg Magnoni, the spokesperson for the Seattle Archdiocese, but Magnoni told ABC News that the “vast majority” of the diocese’s 170 parishes are participating in collecting signatures.

“I am confident that we will collect enough valid signatures to place it on the ballot,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2012

Misinformation from U.S. Dept Of Health And Human Services About

Islam And Female Genital Mutilation

Christopher  Holton

Reprinted from Family Security Matters

 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sometimes referred to euphemistically as Female Genital Cutting (FGC) or Female Circumcision, is one of the most barbaric practices in the world today. It is prohibited by law in the USA and many Western countries. Moreover, several US states have outlawed FGM, while legislation is pending in some others.
Not enough is known about FGM in the USA and our federal government has clouded the issue by spreading false information about the practice.
A “Fact Sheet” produced by the US Department of Health and Human Services contains the following passages:
Although many people believe that FGC is associated with Islam, it is not. FGC is not supported by any religion and is condemned by many religious leaders.
No religious text requires or even supports cutting female genitals. In fact, Islamic Shari’a protects children and protects their rights.
This information is false and had it been produced in a privately produced document it would be considered outright fraud.
Despite what the HHS claims, FGM is in fact associated with Islam, is supported in contemporary interpretation of Islamic scripture and has been endorsed by Islamic religious leaders. Shariah law manuals require and support the practice.
Muslims in America still practice FGM. At least some Muslims justify it based on religious freedom and, in at least one state in which anti-FGM legislation is currently working its way through the legislative process, one legislator reports receiving a phone call from a Muslim constituent urging her to oppose the legislation as “a conspiracy against the Muslim community.”
One of the most widely read Shariah law texts is Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.
This book was translated into English in 1991. It has been endorsed by the President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and the President of the Fiqh Council of North America, as well as Al Azhar Research Academy in Cairo, Egypt, the Sunni Islamic world’s foremost educational institution.
On page 59 of Reliance one finds this passage:
e4.3    Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)
As an explanation, there are several schools of Shariah jurisprudence, known as “fiqhs.” As the passage above explains, for some female “circumcision” is “obligatory.” For another it is considered “sunna.” For those who are not familiar with the term, sunna in the context of Shariah means a custom or norm established by practice, example, decision or tradition of the prophet Mohammed. As a source of Islamic law, the sunna of the prophet Mohammed is second in importance only to the Quran itself.
And of course, under another Shariah school of jurisprudence, female “circumcision” is seen as a “courtesy to the husband,” whatever that means…
So, despite what the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services says, Shariah texts DO require and support FGM.
But FGM’s grounding in Islam does not end there.
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the Sunni Islamic world’s foremost Shariah scholar. He is the head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and European Council for Fatwa and Research. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of Islamic American University. Qaradawi, who has been described as the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual and ideological leader, issued a fatwa asserting that “circumcision is better for a woman’s health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband” and that, “whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world.”
The video below depicts in horrible detail this barbaric practice that Qaradawi endorses as “serving the interest of his daughters.” Note that this video is about how the barbaric practice is carried out in GREAT BRITAIN…
WARNING: GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING
Sami A. Aldeeb Abu Sahlieh, a Palestinian-Swiss Shariah scholar reveals one of the origins in the practice of FGM in Islam from a Hadith (a saying, story or tradition of the life of Mohhamed):
The most often mentioned narration reports a debate between Muhammed and Um Habibah (or Um ‘Atiyyah). This woman, known as an exciser of female slaves, was one of a group of women who had immigrated with Mohammed. Having seen her, Mohammed asked her if she kept practicing her profession. She answered affirmatively, adding: “unless it is forbidden, and you order me to stop doing it.” Mohammed replied: “Yes, it is allowed. Come closer so I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face, and it is more pleasant for the husband.”
Abu Sahlieh also quoted Muhammad as declaring, “Circumcision is a tradition for the men and honorable deed for the women.”
To this day, FGM is practiced as a religious rite in Egypt, as explained in this video:
Not everyone in Egypt is happy with FGM, as you can imagine. It was the subject of heated debate on Egyptian television:
With all of this evidence clearly tying the practice of Female Genital Mutilation to Islam, why has the US Department of Health and Human Services used our tax dollars to spread disinformation on the subject?
If sunlight is indeed the best antiseptic, government efforts to conceal the truth only prolong the continued implementation of this barbaric practice.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing EditorChristopher Holton is Vice President of the Center for Security Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Oprah offered fast-food meaning on television, Obama offered fast-food solutions in politics

Oprahism and the Church of Obama

by Daniel Greenfield

Reprinted from Canada Free Press

April 18, 2012

imageMany people have noted that Obama’s rhetoric often feels off, but fewer have looked into why that is so. A great part of Obama’s success has been his ability to invoke values detached from belief systems. To break away symbols and ideals from religious and national value systems, and mix and match them into his own soundbites. Like the famous Hope poster, that mixed patriotic color schemes with socialist realism, or Obama’s own logo, which mixed corporate branding with national politics—Obama’s “brand” was built out of a barely coherent mishmash of clashing elements. The only thing they all have in common is that they are bricks in the wall of Obama’s image. They all combine together to promote him.

None of this could have succeeded if context mattered, but Obama’s people were piggybacking on a culture where context had ceased to matter. Where growing numbers of people could not be bothered to understand and would not care about the different elements being combined together, only whether the final product appealed to them or not. Obama’s image had more in common with the way hip hop artists sample songs, than with a symphony. His campaign was the perfect trailer to a movie that would never be released. It was the marriage of corporate advertising campaigns, pop culture, radical politics and Americana—thrown together in a pot and boiled into one indecipherable mix that was appealing, and yet completely void of meaning.

Obama’s speeches were robotic, not just because they were delivered via  teleprompter, but because they had been assembled together artificially out of bits and pieces of old presidential speeches into generic templates that were meant to awe audiences through their presentation. And if afterward no one could quite remember what he said, or what he promised or why they were even impressed—in an ADD culture, that only added to his charm. And so Obama kept on saying very little of substance, yet entertaining his audiences. His speeches called up spirituality devoid of religion, Americana devoid of patriotism and ideals devoid of ideas. He appropriated them all and used them as props in his show.

His obvious inspiration for this was not Jeremiah Wright, who did, however, provide plenty of textual inspiration, but Oprah herself. Oprah’s success lay in marketing that same diffuse spirituality, not grounded in any actual belief system. Instead what she offered was an endless self-centered buffet, spirituality as self-empowerment, with herself and her chosen gurus as the center of a new commercial belief system.

Obama echoed that same self-centeredness, telling audiences, “We are the ones we have been waiting for”, a quote from one of Oprah’s favorite authors, and appealing to their own search for meaning. A favorite Oprah theme. The search for meaning is a common enough crutch for the narcissist, who wants fulfillment on his or her own terms, rather than commitment. Oprah has been catering to her audiences’ endless search for meaning, as expressed through products and courses they can buy. Obama was just the latest of those gurus offering a meaning, consisting entirely of inspiring quotes cribbed from more talented people, with no actual application to anything.

The implicit subtext of the commercial search for meaning is that the meaning itself can never be found, but searching for it is what makes you a better person. That search for meaning as identity defines Oprah, it also defined Obama, who turned that into his own brand with two separate books chronicling his search for meaning, as his identity. His own mentor, Jeremiah Wright, had discovered that packaging his Black Muslim background and Leftist politics into Trinity Church would make him more salable, than if he had marginalized himself as some radical crank. (It took videos of his own shameless speeches and stepping on Obama’s media friendly toes to do that.) Obama similarly discovered that selling Islam and Alinsky in a vaguely Christian tone would make it go down smoother. And with enough tri-color bunting and American flags and hymn books scattered around the Trojan Horse, fewer people would notice what was really hiding on the inside.

Obama had daringly sold his journey as America’s journey, encouraging voters to not only identify personally with him, but to identify America itself with him. Positioning his own background as the embodiment of America. This should have been an obvious warning sign, because rather than identifying with Americans, he expected them to identify with him. Structuring his campaign as a journey, he spoke to the need for drama by  the detached and disaffected. People who were too busy looking for meaning, to understand that meaning cannot be detached from the larger  religious and cultural ideas that define civilization. Yet that was exactly what Obama appeared to offer, context-free ideas, faith without religion, hope without anything tangible to actually hope for. It was a one-sided romance in which the public, like chicks waddling over to a wire mother, mistaking a sham for substance.

If Oprah offered fast-food meaning on television, Obama offered fast-food solutions in politics

If Oprah offered fast-food meaning on television, Obama offered fast-food solutions in politics. Paying for it was never an issue. Consequences were off the table as well. By clothing a self-centered appeal in altruistic clothing, people felt they were engaging in self-improvement, when they were only being manipulated by professional egotists.

Oprah and Obama did more than share a pastor. They shared broken families and a profound greed and resentment that they learned to disguise professionally as empathy and ambition. By channeling the resentments of others, they could get what they wanted, without  appearing harsh or abrasive. By selling other people on answers they did not believe in themselves, they could position themselves as spiritual leaders, without the fuss and limitations of organized religions, written creeds and higher deities. Instead they marketed their own life stories as a form of spirituality, convincing their followers to become invested in their success. Their own achievements were no longer personal, but national and global.

Self-realization as religion is a thoroughly self-indulgent faith

Self-realization as religion is a thoroughly self-indulgent faith, which is what makes it both hollow and appealing. It begins with religion as therapy, and ends with therapy as religion. It borrows religious metaphors, while discarding their meaning. That is the faith that Oprah and Obama have successfully sold millions on. A vaporous hope and faith, with nothing standing behind them. Both came with an innate understanding of the profound weakness of their followers in a post-modern age. They copied the templates of the intersection of religion and entertainment, removing any gods from the equation, and leaving behind personal narratives, feel-good cleaning rituals and, of course, money.

But while Obama proved that you can run a campaign, the way you run a talk show—you cannot actually run a country the way you run a talk show. Oprah’s paranoid commitment to secrecy could not be successfully mirrored at the White House, no matter how hard Obama tried. And people expected more from an elected official put into the highest office in the land, than they did from a talk show host. And there was no avoiding that. And now it is Sarah Palin who’s creating her own media empire, with books, a TV show and public appearances. Meanwhile, Obama is discovering that reality cannot be remixed. That trotting out upbeat brands, slogans and logos is no substitute for results. And that eventually even loyalist reporters will have questions they want answers to. If only to the question, “Why can’t I ever ask you a question?”

Yet there is a larger problem behind Obama and Oprah, the problem of a culture that neglect context, and instead favors short-term entertainment. When the Obama Administration ends, it may well go down as the most expensive bit of public entertainment in American history. And what is worse, is that even if Obama is somehow shown the door tomorrow, the cultural blind spots he exploited will still be there, and only getting worse. The self-help shelves of bookstores are still jammed with the search for meaning. That same empty yearning, which Obama exploited so very well.

Religion and national identity are relentlessly mocked by the same media culture that has usurped their place, with its own replacements like Oprah

There is a hole in our culture, and it is there because the verities that once defined us have been marginalized. Religion and national identity are relentlessly mocked by the same media culture that has usurped their place, with its own replacements like Oprah. What once provided meaning to people, lies by the wayside. And instead, people search for personal fragmented meanings, for happiness and self-realization, when the search itself represents a denial of the mature commitments that make happiness and self-realization possible. Behind that fragmentation is a culture’s loss of who and what it is. Leaving behind lonely individuals looking for something to hang on to, and at the mercy of predators whose own identities come from gaining their confidence, and preying on them.

The left has always understood that it can only succeed by replacing religion and nationalism

The left has always understood that it can only succeed by replacing religion and nationalism, either through direct assault, or through the Trojan Horse effect of dressing their own ideas up in mock nationalistic and religious colors. The left was never atheistic. Its religion was government, its functionaries and doctrines were its priests and its creed. The Communists radically launched a direct assault. The more moderate socialists rode inside the Trojan Horse. And their depredations have left behind a West with a wounded soul. It is not only the likes of Oprah and Obama who know how to exploit that wound. There are far worse predators drawing closer to the campfire. Islam is preparing to engulf a Europe that has turned its back on its own values. What predators will come for America in the night is still an open question. With Obama and Soros, we have seen the first ugly glimmer of what may be coming. But unless America reclaims its soul, far larger predators will arrive on the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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