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Some Things Said… (September 06) (02)

Anything Goes

Presbyterians in America aren’t known for preaching fire and brimstone. “No frenzy, no fanaticism, no skirmishing,” Mark Twain wrote of his mild-mannered denomination in 1866. “You never see any of us Presbyterians getting in a sweat about religion and trying to massacre the neighbors.”

Now, however — five years after 9/11 — the publishing arm of the Presbyterian Church has decided to heat up the brimstone a notch, releasing its very own 9/11 conspiracy theory: “Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action.”

Written by David Griffin and put out by Westminster John Knox Press, a division of the Presbyterian Publishing Corp., the book argues that 9/11 was a highly orchestrated Bush administration sham. The collapse of the World Trade Center — which, the book says, was brought on by controlled demolitions, not Islamic hijackers — was merely a “false flag” operation, designed to spur wars in the Middle East. The goal: an all-powerful American global empire.

Later sections in the book claim that the U.S. is “demonic” and that, as the leader of the global economy, the U.S. is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions each year. Mr. Griffin believes that the answer to these problems lies in a one-world democratic government. “It would bring the kingdom of God to earth,” Mr. Griffin told me in an interview. “It’s not some pie-in-the-sky, airy-fairy idea.”…–from an article by Heather Wilhelm in The Wall Street Journal, 09.08.06 read the entire article here

Religious extremism global threat, U.S. warns

A rise in fundamentalism around the world poses an increasing threat to religious freedoms and could inspire new sectarian violence, a senior State Department official said yesterday as the U.S. government released its annual global survey on religious freedom.

John V. Hanford III, State Department ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said the new religious fundamentalism could be seen in a number of faiths, but the latest report contained sharp criticisms of a number of Muslim states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

The rise in fundamentalism “is not restricted to one religion,” Mr. Hanford said in a press briefing, saying it could be seen in “certain corners of the Muslim world, the Hindu world and the Buddhist world.” –excerpted from an article by David R. Sands in The Washington Times, 09.16.06

Navy Chaplain Guilty; Courts Martial Fails to Address Prayer Regs

A military jury recommended today that a Navy chaplain receive a letter of reprimand for disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a news conference held outside the White House gates.

The jury also recommended that Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt forfeit $250 pay per month for a year, but suggested that the monetary punishment be suspended.

But Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, said Klingenschmitt’s court-martial overshadowed the real issue which still needs to be addressed – whether regulations for chaplains issued by the secretary of the Navy are constitutional.

The chaplain’s court-martial was unfortunate, Staver said, because it confuses the issue, at least in the mind of the public.

“It may also create an impediment to Chaplain Klingenschmitt from pursuing his underlying issue,” Staver said. “That is whether these regulations, and the issues he’s encountered regarding prayer as a chaplain, are permissible or not.”

The Navy regulations leave it up to a commanding officer to determine when and whether it is appropriate for a chaplain to pray in circumstances outside a chapel service.

Klingenschmitt was told by his commander that he could not pray “in Jesus’ name” at a Navy function… –excerpted from an article by Pete Winn at the Focus on the Family website, 09.14.06, submitted by Mark Zaveson

Insight

Rome fell September 4, 476AD. It was overrun with illegal immigrants: Visigoths, Franks, Anglos, Saxons, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Lombards, Jutes and Vandals, who at first assimilated and worked as servants, but then came so fast they did not learn the Latin Language or the Roman form of government. Highly trained Roman Legions moving rapidly on their advanced road system, were strained fighting conflicts worldwide. Rome had a trade deficit, having outsourced most of its grain production to North Africa, and when Vandals captured that area, Rome did not have the resources to retaliate. Attila the Hun was committing terrorist attacks. The city of Rome was on welfare with citizens being given free bread. One Roman commented: ‘Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.’ Tax collectors were ‘more terrible than the enemy.’ Gladiators provided violent entertainment in the Coliseum. There was injustice in courts, exposure of unwanted infants, infidelity, immorality and perverted bathhouses. 5th-Century historian Salvian wrote: “O Roman people be ashamed… Let nobody think otherwise, the vices of our bad lives have alone conquered us.” –William Federer, as found at The Patriot Post at www.patriotpost.org submitted by Mark Zaveson

The New Caliphate

Head of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah said Friday that “soon Jerusalem will be the capital of the new Muslim caliphate, and the caliph’s seat will be there.”

Salah addressed an audience of 50,000 attending the Islamic Movement’s 11th annual rally in Umm al-Fahm. …

Salah noted that history tells of many occasions in which the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem was occupied by foreign conquerors, but the occupiers left after a short time, and thus will also be the fate of the Israeli occupation.

The Israeli occupation will leave Jerusalem soon. It will happen sooner than is thought,” Salah said at the rally, which was held under the slogan “Al-Aqsa endangered”. –from an AP posting found at Jihad Watch – www.jihadwatch.org

A Pope draws the ire of Islam

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for increased dialogue between Muslims and Catholics over the controversy sparked by remarks perceived as insulting to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad made by Pope Benedict XVI. CAIR is also seeking a meeting with the Vatican’s representative in Washington, D.C., to discuss the remarks.

In an address on Tuesday, the Pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor as saying: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

In a statement issued today, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said: “The proper response to the Pope’s inaccurate and divisive remarks is for Muslims and Catholics worldwide to increase dialogue and outreach efforts aimed at building better relations between Christianity and Islam. This unfortunate episode also offers an opportunity for Christians to learn more about Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Islamic concept of jihad.

“Jihad is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g. – having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression. ‘Jihad’ should not be translated as ‘holy war.’”…

Historically, whenever Islam flourished, so did knowledge and discovery.

“Let us all continue the interfaith efforts promoted by the late Pope John Paul II, who made great strides in bringing Muslims and Catholics together for the common good.”

Along with a request for a meeting with a Vatican representative in the United States, CAIR is urging Americans of all faiths to learn more about Islam and about the life and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad by requesting a free Quran or a book or DVD about Muhammad at: http://www.explorethequran.org and http://www.cair.com/Muhammad –excerpted from a U.S. Newswire listing (a subscriber Internet news service) as found in The Iconoclast column on The New English Review 09.15.06, read the entire column here

Rosie O’Donnell Compares Christians to Terrorists

Rosie O’Donnell shocked viewers of ABC’s The View on Tuesday by equating conservative Christians to the 9/11 terrorists, WorldNetDaily reported. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who leans conservative, had noted that militant Islam is a continuing threat to America.

“Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam,” O’Donnell retorted, “in a country like America where we have separation of church and state.”

Hasselbeck and co-host Joy Behar were both taken aback. “There’s a difference,” Behar said. “This group is threatening to kill us.” Hasselbeck noted, “We are not bombing ourselves here in this country.”

But O’Donnell refused to back down. “Iraq and Afghanistan never threatened to kill us,” she said. –from the Focus on the Family website, 09.13.06, as submitted by Mark Zaveson

The hardest of all commands?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38 — 48)