Jimmy Carter and â€˜The Eldersâ€™ To mark his 89th birthday, former South African President Nelson Mandela announced the launch of a global Council of Elders, a group boasting the alleged sagacity of nearly a thousand yearsâ€™ life experience and the belief that it can save the world. Backed in part by the resoundingly effective United Nations, â€œThe Eldersâ€ is the brainchild of businessman Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel.
Swedish High Court to Decide if Pastor Goes to Jail
A Swedish pastor who preached a sermon to his small congregation explaining the Bible’s position on homosexuality could go to jail for doing so. Sweden’s highest court will take up the case Wednesday, according to Benjamin Bull, a senior vice president at the Alliance Defense Fund.
“Pastor Ake Green faces two years imprisonment,” said Bull, who is in Stockholm for the case and is assisting in the defense. “He was charged with the crime in Swedish law of engaging in hate speech against persons based upon their sexual orientation.” But Green, who is the pastor of small Pentecostal congregation on an island in the southern part of the country, did not preach a hate-filled message. His comments, Bull said, were a straightforward exposition of the Bible’s position on homosexuality. –by Pete Winn, excerpted from an article at www.family.org 11.10.05
Chinese get prison time for Bible delivery
Religious persecution in China has reached the point that distributing Bibles is earning a three-year prison sentence. Cai Zhuohua, 34, a Beijing underground church leader, was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for distributing Bibles and other Christian materials. His wife, Xiao Yunfei, got two years, and her brother Xiao Gaowen was sentenced to 18 months by the Haidian Lower People’s Court in Beijing.
They were arrested September 2004, said the China Aid Association of Midland, Texas. They were accused of distributing 200,000 Bibles and other materials as part of an unregistered house church Mr. Cai oversaw for 10 years. It is the latest in a long string of escalating arrests and harassment Chinese Christians have undergone in recent years. –by Julia Duin, from her article in The Washington Times 11.09.05
Louis Farrakhan and his religion that has nothing at all to do with GodÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
In the interest of religious pluralism, many consider it impolite to rehearse the minister’s actual teachings. But he is the man, after all, who believes that whites were created 6,000 years ago by an evil black scientist named Yakub, that Farrakhan himself was abducted by an invisible pilot and beamed up to a UFO-type object called the “Mother Wheel,” that he took a meeting there with the late Elijah Muhammad, who informed him that the U.S. government was plotting a war, which, Farrakhan figured out, was against blacks, and that the ship deposited him again at either Tysons Corner in Virginia or Fifth Street in D.C.–one or the other–so he could make this important revelation. To label him a mere demagogue is to give him short shrift as a loon.
One might assume such flights of imagination would cause mainstream black leaders (incapable of turning out crowds in Farrakhan-like numbers) to dissociate themselves from Farrakhan, or at least to tell him to button it. But the big Mother Wheel keeps on turning. While many leaders sat the ’95 march out, leery of Farrakhan’s extremism, they all seemed to have a change of heart after nobody was shot (a success metric not cited after, say, a Boy Scout Jamboree).
In what is a marker less of Farrakhan’s relevance than of their own increasing irrelevance, the leaders of every old-line civil-rights organization and mainstream group, from the NAACP to the Urban League to the Progressive National Baptist Convention to the Congressional Black Caucus, couldn’t get to the Mall fast enough. Except this time, they didn’t have much company (100,000–according to a source quoted by the Washington Post). –by Matt Labash, excerpted from his article The Second Time as Farce. in The Weekly Standard, Volume 011, Issue 07, 10.31.05
The Los Angeles Times has added a new news topic — the pornography industry. According to a porn industry journal, Times Staff Writer Ralph Frammolino began regularly covering the multi-billion dollar industry last spring.
“It can’t be ignored,” Frammolino said. “The adult business is a very powerful economic engine in California and the world. It’s big business — and a legal one — and we’re going to cover it that way.” –from an AP posting, 11.10.05.
Submission, honorable behavior, and following examples
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God.
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. –1 Peter 2:11-25.
Something about the Marquis de Lafayette, about veterans, honor, and giving
The life of Lafayette is even better than fiction. The arranged marriage to his wife Adrienne was a passionate, lifelong love affair. George Washington became a father to the orphaned marquis; Lafayette would later name his son after the general and a daughter after his home state. When American troops were unclothed and unfed and no monies were coming from the broke government, Lafayette spent his own money to supply the troops (about $200,000 — some historians say that for this reason alone we owe him credit for the American victory). One night, Lafayette happened upon a shivering sentry at Valley Forge. He ordered the soldier to go to his quarters and fetch the blanket off his bed. When the sentry returned, Lafayette sliced the blanket in half with his sword, giving one-half to the sentry. Decades later, when an aging Lafayette made a whirlwind tour of the U.S., that sentry showed up at one of the stops, wearing his old Revolutionary uniform with the tattered piece of blanket draped over his shoulders. –Bridget Johnson, from her article: Celebrating Veterans Day with a GOP Vixen classic, at her website www.gopvixen.com 11.11.05
More about Veterans
It was a veteran, not a reporter,
Who guaranteed freedom of the press.
It was a veteran, not a poet,
Who guaranteed freedom of speech.
It was a veteran, not a campus organizer,
Who guaranteed freedom to demonstrate.
It was a veteran, not a minister,
Who guaranteed freedom to worship.
It was a veteran, not a salesman,
Who guaranteed freedom to own property.
It was a veteran, not a travel agent,
Who guaranteed freedom to travel.
It was a veteran, not a politician,
Who guaranteed freedom to vote.
It is a veteran who salutes the Flag,
Risks it all for the Flag,
And who is buried beneath the Flag.
– J. L. Sager –
(This was found at www.basilsblog.net 11.11.05)
Truth about terror
Terrorists are always the enemies of all good Muslims
There was a great deal of sense spoken this week by Australian Muslim leaders, horrified by the possibility that members of their community could turn to terror. Such as Waleed Aly, from the Islamic Council of Victoria, who says Australian Muslims will welcome fair trials for the men charged with terror offences during the week. And also Nabil Ibrahim, from Australian Muslim Doctors, who says Muslims quietly support the arrests. These are commonsense comments that demonstrate the core issue of the terror threat – that all over the world, people who believe their religion calls them to kill are murdering Muslims. And, right round the world, adherents of Islam when given half a chance turn their back on the tyranny of terrorists. The reason al-Qa’ida tried to block elections and the constitutional referendum in Iraq is because they know they will never win power if ordinary people can elect their rulers. And they are right. As last year’s elections in Indonesia and Malaysia demonstrated, Muslims look to politicians to provide the same things everybody else does: stability, prosperity and freedom under the rule of law. And the vast majority of Muslims are not interested in imposing their beliefs on anybody else.
But people whose politics encourage them to assume the colonialist crimes of the US and its allies created Islamic terrorism, and are even responsible for the alienation of young Muslims in Western countries, are claiming confirmation for their opinions from a week of news that went from bad to worse. In France, mainly Muslim mobs raged against the state in riots beyond the power of the police to stop. At home we saw 18 men charged with terror offences. In Iraq, there were assassinations and a lawyer representing one of Saddam Hussein’s co-accused was killed. On Thursday, more than 40 people were killed by suicide bombers and 56 innocents were similarly slaughtered in Jordan. Certainly, there was good news – of a sort. Azahari bin Husin, Jemaah Islamiah’s bombing mastermind, killed himself to avoid capture. But his death does not end the terror threat in our region. For those whose response to terror is to say we have brought it on ourselves, the ways to end terrorism are obvious. Only addressing the grievances of Muslims against Israel can reduce the risk of terror attack. Only by abandoning Iraq can the allies atone for turning out the tyrant Saddam. This is all nonsense. The al-Qa’ida organization was committing terrorist acts for almost a decade before Osama bin Laden started making pronouncements about Israel. And September 11, in 2001, and the first Bali bombing, in 2002, occurred before the invasion of Iraq.
The appeasers completely miss the point. People killed in Jordan and Iraq this week by suicide bombers were Muslims. Aspiring terrorists are generally young men with few skills who turn to extremism to give their lives a purpose, however twisted. Nor is there any reasoning with their leaders. And none of them much mind who they kill, because everybody who is not with them is against them. The tactical solution to contain terror is to use the full force of the law to stop terrorists before they strike. The strategic answer is to ensure their causes falter for want of recruits. And it is here that Australia, unlike France, is on the right course. In France, Muslim immigrants and their children feel they are second-class citizens. And in the way the failed French welfare state ensures official unemployment is 10 per cent, around twice the Australian level, it consigns a disproportionate number of young Muslim men to idleness and alienation. In contrast, Australia requires all migrants to respect our laws and embrace our values, but respects the rights of all to live and worship as they wish. And the best defenses against isolation and anger are the opportunity to work hard and buy a home. The events of the last week make it quite clear: there is no negotiating with terror. But they also show this is a struggle between people of all, and no, religions and tiny numbers of men who are as ignorant as they are evil. –excerpted from an editorial in The Weekend Australian at www.theaustralian.news.com 11.12.05
Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson