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Some Things Said… (Nov 05) (4)

Vatican to Ban Gays as Priests

A new Vatican policy will bar most gays from seminaries. The Vatican plans to release the new rules this week (November 29), but an Italian news agency published them in advance. The rules bar gay men who have been sexually active or have supported what Catholic leaders call the “gay culture.” Those who have deeply rooted same-sex attractions are not fit for ordination even if they’re celibate, the document says. But admittance is expected to be allowed for men who say they have overcome homosexual tendencies and have been celibate for at least three years. The rules are not expected to affect priests already active in ministry. –from Religion and Ethics Newsweekly 11.25.05

Bangladesh: bomb panic at city school

The students and teachers of citys Khilgaon High School panicked Sunday afternoon at sight of a bomb-like device set under the table of the assistant headmistress in the teachers common room.

School sources said a guardian first saw an envelop, which contained a bunch of handwritten letters, lying at a corner of the guardians waiting-room at about 1:15PM.

Out of curiosity she picked one letter out of the open envelop that cautioned that a number of time bombs were planted at different places in the school, including the room of the assistant headmistress.

“If Islamic education as per the Quran and Hadith was not introduced in the school within two days, the bombs would be detonated with remote-control,” says the note of warning and ultimatum from the banned Islamic outfit Harkatul Jihad, Khilgaon unit. –excerpted from an article at The New Nation, Bangladesh independent news, 11.27.05 at

Manners and virtue in a modern world

Washington – Lets be good cosmopolitans and offer sociological explanations rather than moral judgments about students, The Washington Post reports, having sex during the day in high schools. Sociology discerns connections, and there may be one between the fact that teenagers are relaxing from academic rigors by enjoying sex in the school auditorium, and the fact that Americans in public soon will be able to watch pornography, and prime-time television programs such as “Desperate Housewives” — and, for the high-minded, C-SPAN — on their cell phones and video iPods.

The connection is this: Many people have no notion of propriety when in the presence of other people, because they are not actually in the presence of other people, even when they are in public.

With everyone chatting on cell phones when not floating in iPod-land, “this is an age of social autism, in which people just can’t see the value of imagining their impact on others.” We are entertaining ourselves into inanition. (There are Web sites for people with Internet addiction. Think about that.) And multiplying technologies of portable entertainments will enable “limitless self-absorption,” which will make people solipsistic, inconsiderate and anti-social. Hence manners are becoming unmannerly in this “age of lazy moral relativism combined with aggressive social insolence.” –by George Will, from a column at 11.20.05

Number of People Living with HIV Continues to Rise

Next week (December 1) the United Nations will mark World AIDS Day. In anticipation, the UN reported the number of those living with the virus continues to increase. More than 40 million people are now infected worldwide. UN officials say about $15 billion is needed for treatment and prevention efforts. Currently, international donors provide about $5 billion, including about $3 billion from the U.S. Evangelist Rick Warren is one of many religious leaders trying to do more. Faith leaders and administration officials are scheduled to meet this week (November 29-December 1) at Warrens Saddleback Church in Orange County, California to consider ways to attack the disease. –from Religion and Ethics Newsweekly 11.25.05

(Any Christian or any other sensible person knows exactly how to “attack the disease” – we need to teach people to stop the base and unnatural sexual activities that cause the disease in the first place, and also then to stop the inappropriate, ungodly behaviors and irresponsible actions that promote its spread. After all, AIDS is 100% preventable. RAV)

Moral turpitude ain’t what it used to be

What a funny world. Where once it was scandalous to be unmarried and pregnant, now it is scandalous to disapprove of another’s being unmarried and pregnant.

The latest episode in these morally confused times occurred in New York recently when a Roman Catholic school fired a teacher because she is single and pregnant. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn claims that teacher Michelle McCusker violated “the tenets of Catholic morality” and thus could not be employed by the school.

For her part, McCusker claims she was discriminated against and on Monday filed a wrongful dismissal complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. McCusker, 26, a well-respected teacher, according to the schools own principal, said in a statement that she didnt “understand how a religion that prides itself on being forgiving and on valuing life” could fire her for deciding to have a baby.

Implicit in that statement is that McCusker obviously decided not to have an abortion, a result that would have been far more grievous to the Catholic Church.

So whats the answer? Do schools have any say-so when it comes to how teachers comport themselves in their private lives? Do parents have a right to voice objections when a teachers private behavior contradicts the moral values theyre trying to teach at home? –excerpted from a sindicated article by Kathleen Parker, as posted at 11.26.05

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense.

Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn’t always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims did.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge financial settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers, My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do nothing.–from an unknown source found floating around various e-mail files and submitted by Vern Proctor.

Advice on work and prayer

Work as if you were to live 100 Years, pray as if you were to die To-morrow. –Benjamin Franklin from Poor Richards Almanac

Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson

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