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
California Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill
The California Senate voted Thursday to allow gay couples to wed, becoming the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriage without a court order.
The bill would recast the state’s legal definition of marriage as a union between two people rather than one between a man and a woman. Yet it faces an uncertain future: The California Assembly narrowly rejected similar legislation in June, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has given mixed or ambiguous responses on whether he would support or veto such a bill. Still, its passage, on a vote of 21 to 15, was hailed by advocates as a breakthrough for gay rights. –By Joe Dignan and Amy Argetsinger, from The Washington Post 09.02.05
Arnold Will Terminate Same-Sex “Marriage Bill
Concerned Women for America (CWA) applauds Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for his promise to veto a bill that, if signed, would have legalized homosexual “marriage” in California . “Gov. Schwarzenegger has done the right thing in promising to veto this illegal bill. Its evidence that CWA of California and other pro-family groups got their message through to him: “We dont want counterfeit marriage,” said Robert Knight, director of CWAs Culture & Family Institute.
“The California Constitution clearly states that the Legislature cannot overturn a Proposition vote unless they put another Proposition on the topic to the voters, who spoke loudly and clearly with Proposition 22 in 2000 that they want marriage to remain marriageÃ¢â‚¬Â¦”
“Were also pleased that the governor vetoed two other pro-homosexual bills. One of them effectively would have silenced pro-family candidates on issues of sexual morality, and the other would have hampered efforts to collect petition signatures to put a state constitutional amendment protecting marriage on the ballotÃ¢â‚¬Â¦” — from an article by Stacey Holliday, as posted at the Concerned Women for America website www.cwfa.org 09.08.05
Some things said by an apostleÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.–Romans 1:26 – 32.
An ancient twist on the law of the farmÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation. — Cicero
On global hot air…
Back in the 1970s, the hysteria was about global cooling and the prospect of a new ice age. A National Academy of Sciences report back then led Science magazine to conclude in its March 1, 1975, issue that a long ‘ice age is a real possibility.’ According to the April 28, 1975 , issue of Newsweek, ‘the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.’ A note of urgency was part of the global cooling hysteria then as much as it is part of today’s global warming hysteria. According to the February, 1973, issue of Science Digest, ‘Once the freeze starts, it will be too late’. –Thomas Sowell, as quoted at www.townhall.com and www.federalist.com (The Patriot 05-35, 09.02.05)
Not exactly the Muslim friendly approachÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
The sword of Muhammad and the Quran are the most fatal enemies of civilization, liberty and truth which the world has yet known. –Sir William Muir, as listed at www.federalist.com
The Number of Abortions Now Exceeds Live Births in Russia
Russia has more abortions than live births each year, the country’s leading obstetrician says. According to Moscow News, Bloomberg.com reported 1.6 million women had abortions in 2004, while 1.5 million gave birth, said Vladimir Kulakov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. He said “many more” abortions went unreported. The reason for the inordinate number of abortions vs. births is economic, Kulakov said. “The appearance of a first child pushes many families into poverty,” he told the state’s official newspaper, Rossiskaya Gazeta, according to Moscow News. “Potential parents first try to start a career, stand on their feet and so forth.” The margin of abortions over births is better than it once was, however.
In 1990, shortly before the fall of communism, the World Health Organization reported there were 1,971 abortions per 1,000 live births, the International Herald Tribune reported in 2001. In 2000, there 1,696 abortions for every 1,000 live births, according to the newspaper. –from the AP 09.02.05
Nation Sees Dems as Indifferent to Faith Community
Americans don’t view the Democratic Party as sympathetic to people of faith, according to a new Pew Research Poll released Tuesday.
In August 2004, 40 percent of those polled thought Democrats were friendly to religion. That number has plummeted to only 29 percent today. Scott Keeter, director of survey research for the Pew Research Center , said the change in outlook is “seen across all groups.” The poll has to be disheartening to Democrats, who have ramped up their efforts to reach people of faith after studies determined that “values voters” were key in returning President Bush to the White House in 2004.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) hired a coordinator for religious outreach, and Chairman Howard Dean has met with members of the religious community during his nationwide travels. Karen Finney, spokeswoman for the DNC, said there are many in the religious community who share the values of the Democratic Party — they just need to be reached. “We know we need to do a better job of talking about our values,” she said, “in a way that people see we share their values.” Of those polled, 55 percent said the Republican Party is friendly to religion. –from the AP, submitted by Mark Zaveson.
Official quits over ‘morning-after’ pill
A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned yesterday in protest of her agency’s refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. Assistant Commissioner Susan F. Wood charged that FDA’s leader overruled his own scientists’ determination that the morning-after pill could safely be sold without a prescription, and stunned his employees last week by instead postponing indefinitely a decision on whether to let that happen. “There’s fairly widespread concern about FDA’s credibility” among agency veterans as a result, Miss Wood told the Associated Press after submitting her resignation yesterday. “I have spent the last 15 years working to ensure that science informs good health-policy decisions,” Miss Wood, director of FDA’s Office of Women’s Health, wrote in an e-mail about her departure to agency colleagues. “I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended by the professional staff here, has been overruled.”
It was an unusual public show of discord for the FDA, and prompted lawmakers to call for congressional hearings into whether the nation’s leading public health agency allowed politics to trump science in determining the fate of the morning-after pill, called Plan B. — By Lauran Neergaard, AP, as printed in The Washington Times, 09.01.05
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.–Galileo
The Animals Are Running the Zoo
The London Zoo added a new exhibit late last month. Joining the Oriental small-clawed otter and the moon jellyfish were three male and five female Homo sapiens who came not to gaze but to be gazed upon. From Friday, Aug. 26, to this past Monday, they inhabited an enclosure next to their primate relatives. “A lot of people think humans are above other animals,” noted one of the species. “[This] kind of reminds us that we’re not that special.” (Which leads one to wonder how many of the zoo’s other inhabitants were interviewed.)
There are many examples of our tendency to put animals on the same plane with humans — like the report out of Thailand that an elephant that stepped on a land mine a few years ago was fitted this week for a prosthetic foot. But there are more dangerous examples as well. For years, activists harassed brothers Chris and John Hall, the owners of Darley Oaks Farm in Staffordshire , England , because they supply guinea pigs to hospitals and universities for medical research. The Halls survived threatening letters and homemade bombs, but last week, they announced they were closing Darley Oaks, after animal-rights radicals actually removed the body of Chris’s mother-in-law from her grave.–from the Wall Street Journal, 09.05.05
Animal Rights Group Twists Scripture (say it aint so!)
An ad campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) quotes Scripture to argue for vegetarianism. A female voice in the spot, which is airing on Christian radio, makes this case: “The Bible says that God knows when every sparrow falls. He knows the horrible conditions that cows, pigs and chickens are raised in.”
In the past, PETA has angered people of faith with offensive and sometimes violent protests for animal rights. One billboard compared eating meat with the Holocaust. Another showed a pig alongside the text: “He died for your Sins — Go Vegetarian.” Building on that theme, in Berlin just before Easter, the group staged a mock crucifixion of a man wearing a pig mask.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said the goal of such campaigns is to draw attention to cruelty to animals.–from Focus on the Family.
Something God actually did say about the animals Israel offeredÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
If he is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. And he shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off its head from its neck, but shall not divide it completely. Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, and the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him. –Leviticus 5:7-10
Some facts about Mesopotamia Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
The Garden of Eden was in Iraq . Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization. Noah built the ark in Iraq. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq. Abraham was from Ur , which is in Southern Iraq. Isaac’s wife Rebekah was from Nahor, in Iraq. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq. Jonah preached in Nineveh – which is in Iraq. Assyria, which was in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel. Amos cried out in Iraq. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem. Daniel was in the lion’s den in Iraq. The three Hebrews Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego) were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the fiery furnace). Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the “writing on the wall” in Iraq. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq. Ezekiel preached in Iraq. The wise men were probably from Iraq.
Peter may have preached in Iraq or at the least had companions there.
Iraq is the second most mentioned nation in the Bible. However, the modern name Iraq itself is never mentioned. The names used are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq means “country with deep roots.” –from an anonymous e-mail.
Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson