Methodist Bishops Table Policy Change on Homosexuality United Methodist bishops have tabled a proposal that would have loosened restrictions in the church's mostly conservative policies on homosexuality. --by Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service at the PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly website 5.10.07
Women’s magazine offers tips to feminine terrorists
“ROME — Al Qaeda has introduced an online womens magazine with articles including dietary advice for suicide bombers and tips on how to “dominate the passions before blowing yourself up, according to Italy s SISDE secret service.
“SISDE analysts disclosed the existence of Al Khansa, the unusual monthly Internet publication for female militants that is hosted by several Islamist Web sites, in the Italian spy services quarterly review Gnosis.
“Khansa is a popular name for Arab women, recalling a 7th century female poet, Tumadir bint Amr, who was known by the sobriquet of Al Khansa — meaning “gazelle or “snub-nosed — because of her beauty and exquisite, petite nose.”– John Phillips, The Washington Times , 01.17.05
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”–Abigail Adams
He could be wrong on all counts
“If it was wrong 2000 years ago to discriminate against the Virgin Mary because the inn keeper didnt like what he thought was her philosophy thereby banning her from checking into the hotel and forcing her to sleep and give birth in a manger, then it is just as wrong 2000 years later for the inn keepers at Catholic University to ban a student chapter of the NAACP because of what they think is its philosophy and then force it into a modern manger through the use of intolerance and discriminatory treatment.”–Kwesei Mfume, noted theologian and President of the NAACP from www.federalist.com
Babies being euthanized overseas
“Doctors in the Netherlands seeking guidelines for forced killing of ill infants.
“A hospital in the Netherlands seeking government guidelines for euthanizing ill newborns has revealed that it has already begun ending the lives of some babies in its care.
“When Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2000 it was with the idea that it would be for those who chose it for themselves. Now, just four years later, the focus has turned to those who cannot choose.
“”Its a natural progression of where you go when you start deciding that there are some people who have lives that are not worth living,” said Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
“The Health Ministry in the Netherlands is reportedly preparing a response to the proposed euthanasia guidelines — it could be released later this month. Lyons said the guidelines under discussion would include people with no free will — including babies.”–Stuart Shepard, correspondent- as listed at www.family.org
Extremism and liberal causes
“All sorts of modern extremist movements, such as the Weathermen in the United States or the Bader-Meinhof gang in Germany , have attracted a disproportionate number of the affluent in general and the intellectuals in particular.
“Such people may speak in the name of the downtrodden but they themselves are often people who have time on their hands to nurse their pet notions about the world and their fancies about themselves as leaders of the poor, saviors of the environment or whatever happens to be the Big Deal du jour.
“Osama bin Laden is not someone embittered by poverty. He is from a very rich family and has had both the time to nurse his resentments of the West and the money to organize terrorists to lash out in the only way that can give them any significance.
“The belief that liberal, left-wing or extremist movements are for the poor may or may not be the biggest fraud but it is certainly the oldest.”–Thomas Sowell, 11.05.04 www.townhall.com.
The order of things
“Man proposes, but God disposes.”–Thomas a Kempis
Those pesky facts, again
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” –John Adams
The late Art Buchwald said we should simplify tax filings to just two lines: “How much money did you make?” and “Send it in.”
“Right now the tax code consists of one rule for every living creature in the United States . Remove insects and birds, and its about 14,237 rules per person. This generally means we’re all doing something wrong, either by forgetting to apply for the 1083 Schedule B Miscellaneous Hummel Figurine Depreciation Benefit, or because we’re not paying tax on the extra quarter the pop machine spat out by mistake. The tax code is longer than the Bible, in other words, with twice as much smiting and half as much forgiveness. Couldnt it be pared down? Of course. But tax simplification cant be done halfway. To some it means shorter words in the 1040. To others it means replacing the entire code with bell-ringers and kettles on the street corner, soliciting donations. But to people who do not live their intellectual lives according to the wisdom of Che or Ayn Rand, there are two alternatives: a flat-rate tax or a consumption tax. Why have we not debated them seriously before? … The chances of the Internal Revenue Service being eliminated this year are about the same as a small, Earth-bound meteor striking only Paris Hilton. In other words, it doesnt matter how desirable the outcome, its not going to happen.” –James Lileks from www.federalist.com
Crafty attacks on evolution
“Critics of Charles Darwins theory of evolution become more wily with each passing year. Creationists who believe that God made the world and everything in it pretty much as described in the Bible were frustrated when their efforts to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools or inject the teaching of creationism were judged unconstitutional by the courts. But over the past decade or more a new generation of critics has emerged with a softer, more roundabout approach that they hope can pass constitutional muster.
“One line of attack – on display in Cobb County , Ga. , in recent weeks – is to discredit evolution as little more than a theory that is open to question. Another strategy – now playing out in Dover , Pa. – is to make students aware of an alternative theory called “intelligent design, which infers the existence of an intelligent agent without any specific reference to God. These new approaches may seem harmless to a casual observer, but they still constitute an improper effort by religious advocates to impose their own slant on the teaching of evolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â¦”–From the New York Times Editorial Page – Published: 01.22.05.
Gay Adoptions in Florida
“The Supreme Court steered clear of a dispute over gay adoptions on Monday, energizing conservatives who want other states to copy Florida ‘s one-of-a-kind ban on gays adopting children. In refusing to review the law, justices averted a second showdown over gay rights in two years. The court barred states in 2003 from criminalizing gay sex, a decision that brought strong criticism from conservative and religious groups. Monday’s action indicates the court is finished for now with the delicate subject. Conservative groups, whose recent focus has been on blocking gay marriages, cheered the decision.”It sends a huge message that the court is not going to be open to a broad-based homosexual agenda,” said Mathew Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel in Orlando , Fla. “Other states,” he said, “should start considering similar laws.”
But opponents of the law said they were ready to combat efforts to duplicate it – and encourage Florida lawmakers to repeal the ban.”–The Associated Press, 01.10.05.
Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson