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
Charles Darwin, with his limited understanding of biological systems, began a revolution 150 years ago that continues to take its toll on the sciences and on people of faith. If all that exists is only what can be observed around us, then we are to be profoundly pitied. Dr. William Provine of Cornell University sums up the despair that naturally results from a belief in Darwinism:
“Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear–and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea.” –from an article by Lawrence Ford “Demanding the Evidence in the 21st Century” and quoting Dr. William Provine – as found at the Institute for Creation Research website at www.icr.org, 7.3.08
Gay Pride and Parenting
Efforts to enact same-sex "marriage" across the nation have also bolstered the number (of) same-sex couples seeking to parent children. Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, just returned from California where he attended San Diego’s "gay’ pride festival. What he saw there was nearly the same level of public displayed perversity but this time with an increasing number of children in attendance. He spoke with CWA Policy Analyst Martha Kleder about what he saw. –lead for an audio report as found at the Concerned Women for America website, www.cwfa.org 7.26.08
Congress to Fund Forced Abortions Overseas
This week Congress voted to allow funding of organizations that promote and perform abortions in other countries, and organizations involved in forced abortions. A Senate Committee and a House Subcommittee approved a bill that undermines two long-standing amendments that ensure U.S. tax dollars do not subsidize abortions overseas, nor facilitate forced abortions and sterilizations.
The legislation Congress passed would increase funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which assists the Chinese government in its program of coercive abortion and sterilization. It undermines Kemp-Kasten, an amendment which bars tax dollars from going to organizations assisting programs that commit forced abortions and sterilizations. In addition, the Senate Committee overrode the Mexico City Policy, which prevents non-governmental foreign organizations who fund or support abortions from receiving federal aid from the United States… –excerpted from a Christian Newswire article submitted by Muriel McConnon, 7.19.08
Church of England Endorses Women as Bishops
The governing body of the Anglican Church in Britain voted on Monday to approve the appointment of women as bishops, a step that appeared to risk a schism in the church in its historic homeland as the Anglican church worldwide faces one of the most serious threats to its unity in its history, over the ordination of gay clergy members.
After a debate late into the night in the city of York, the General Synod of the Church of England, an assembly that holds ultimate authority on church doctrine in Britain, voted by comfortable margins within each of the synod’s three houses — bishops, clergy and laity — to approve the consecration of women as bishops in the face of bitter opposition from traditionalists… –excerpted from an article by John F. Burns in The New York Times, 07.08.08 as submitted by Mark Zaveson
Iraq: "Vengeful" women increasingly engaging in suicide attacks
Despairing women and the craven men who exploit them — is this what the "great" jihad has come to? "US says women suicide bombers seeking revenge in Iraq," from AFP, July 26:
BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) — In the war-ravaged streets of Iraq, US-led forces say insurgents are recruiting women driven by despair or revenge to act as suicide bombers in the latest tactic against coalition troops.
Motivated by poverty, desperation or vengeance against the US-led military they blame for the deaths of family members, vulnerable women are easy prey for insurgents promising them a place in a paradise afterlife.
Thursday evening a female suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 20 after she detonated her explosives-filled vest in Baquba, the capital of Diyala, one of the most dangerous regions in the country.
The bomber targeted a Sahwa or Awakening patrol of Iraqi forces — former insurgents recruited to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq and paid by the US military. – as found and excerpted from www.jihadwatch.org 7.26.08
Today in the Religion of Peace™
On this day, July 26th, in the year 657, the Battle of Siffin began. It was a battle in the war for control of Islam that pitted the forces of Mohammad’s cousin and son-in-law (Ali ibn Abi Talib), against those of one of Mohammad’s widows (Aisha bint Abu Bakr, whom he married when she was six years old and he was in his 50’s).
After Mohammad died in 632, it took only 24 years for the Religion of Peace™ to plunge itself into full-scale internal warfare. This was 1,120 years before the founding of the United States, 1,292 years before the founding of the modern state of Israel, and 549 years before the uniting of the United Kingdom. No infidels had invaded Islamic lands looking for WMD’s, no-one was "oppressing" the "Palestinian people" in "refugee camps", no-one had drawn cartoons of their prophet. There was no-one to blame for the violent acts of Muslims, except themselves. Yet even from these nascent times, the history of Islam was filled with offensive warfare against their neighbors in every direction, and within the boundaries of Dar al-Islam.
Ali had assumed power after the third Caliph of the Religion of Peace (Usman) had been assassinated by some of his fellow Muslims. The battle began over the lack of investigation into the murder of Usman, and over which one of the two armies had the right to drink from the river Euphrates (obviously, they both couldn’t). 50-70 thousand troops were killed in the three days of fighting that ended without a clear victor.
This was the beginning of the Sunni-Shi’a schism within Islam, with Shi’a favoring the lineage of Ali, and Sunnis favoring Abu Bakr (Aisha’s father). Lest anyone think that these battles are long-forgotten stories in musty old history books with no relevance to today, read this modern description of the Battle of Siffin written from the Shi’a point of view:
When the two armies faced each other, Ali promulgated the following ordinance to his troops just as he had done before the battle of Basra (the battle of the Camel):
"O Muslims! wait for your enemy to open hostilities, and defend yourselves only when he attacks you. If anyone of the enemy wishes to escape from the battle and to save his life, let him do so. If God gives you victory, do not plunder the camp of the enemy; do not mutilate the bodies of the dead nor rob them of their armor and weapons, and do not molest their women."
Quite the rousing speech. He obviously knew his troops, and the rules for warfare as laid out in the holy, holy Qur’an, all too well… –excerpted as found on the New English Review website, The Iconclast, 7.26.08 (www.newenglishreview.org)