Friday, December 10, 2010

Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say

By Ed Barnes December 09, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.

The American and European experts say their security websites, which deal with the computer worm known as Stuxnet, continue to be swamped with traffic from Tehran and other places in the Islamic Republic, an indication that the worm continues to infect the computers at Iran's two nuclear sites.

The Stuxnet worm, named after initials found in its code, is the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever created. Examination of the worm shows it was a cybermissile designed to penetrate advanced security systems. It was equipped with a warhead that targeted and took over the controls of the centrifuge systems at Iran’s uranium processing center in Natanz, and it had a second warhead that targeted the massive turbine at the nuclear reactor in Bashehr. the rest

2,000-year-old Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury is cut down

Were anti-Christians behind pilgrimage site attack?
By Luke Salkeld
 10th December 2010

Standing proudly on the side of an English hill, its religious roots go back 2,000 years. But a single night of vandalism has left an ancient site of pilgrimage in splinters.

The Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury has been chopped down in what is being seen by some as a deliberately anti-Christian act.

A feature of the skyline surrounding the Somerset town, the tree has been visited by thousands retracing the steps said to have been taken by Joseph of Arimathea, who some say was Jesus’ great uncle.  the rest

How we changed the Twelve Days of Christmas

December 6, 2010
Terry Mattingly, On Religion
Mon Dec 06, 2010

There was a time when Christians did not celebrate a season that could be called the 30-something days of Christmas.

In the year of our Lord 1939, the National Retail Dry Goods Association asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move Thanksgiving to the next-to-last Thursday in November. This was strategic, since President Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed the last Thursday of the month as the official holiday. This meant that Thanksgiving was occasionally delayed until a fifth Thursday -- a cruel blow to merchants.

Confusion reigned until Congress reached a compromise and, since 1942, Thanksgiving has been observed on the fourth Thursday in November.

And thus was born America's most powerful and all-consuming season. This later evolved into the shopping festival called "The Holidays," which in the past generation has started creeping into stores days or weeks before Turkey Day. the rest image
"Today, people believe they can have whatever they want, when they want it, and Christmas becomes whatever the culture says that it is," she said. "We can, however, revolt against this. We can choose, for example, not to send out 1,000 mindless Christmas cards. We can sit down and write our own cards and even breathe a prayer for the people we love while we do that.

Homegrown Hate Crimes Against our Troops

Michelle Malkin
posted December 10 2010

When jihad-bent American Muslims target American soldiers on American soil, why does America yawn?

The Fort Hood massacre has faded from view. The Little Rock Army recruiting station ambush barely registered on the national radar screen. And the arrest this week of a Baltimore-area bomb plotter, intent on blowing up a military center and murdering our troops in the name of Allah, was met with a collective shrug. It's pointless to rally citizens around "never forget" when their heads are in the sand.

Civil liberties absolutists are more outraged by the alleged "entrapment" of Muslim convert Muhammad Hussain than by his bloodthirsty scheme to blow up an Army recruitment office in Maryland. According to the FBI affidavit, Hussain "indicated that if the military continued to kill their Muslim brothers and sisters, they would need to expand their operation by killing U.S. Army personnel where they live. He stated that jihad is not only in Afghanistan or Pakistan, but also in the United States." Hussain explored using rifles, gas, propane tanks and vehicle bombs to maximize death. He planned to "shoot everybody in the place" and burn down the building to "instill fear" and to send a message that "(w)hoever joins the military, they will be killed." the rest

ObamaCare: Flight of the MDs

By MARC K. SIEGEL
December 10, 2010

For all the times that President Obama promised "you'll get to keep your doctor" under his health-care reforms, he apparently failed to ask any practicing doctors.

A recent survey finds that countless MDs will respond to ObamaCare by limiting which patients they'll see.

The Physicians Foundation asked 2,400 doctors and American Medical Association members what they thought of the new law; a full 67 percent were against it.

More important, it asked how they'd cope with the new rules (which don't fully kick in until 2014). Sixty percent said they feel compelled to "close or significantly restrict their practices to certain categories of patients." And 59 percent said the "reform" would oblige them to spend less time with the patients they do have. the rest
All in all, the survey found that 74 percent of doctors will alter how they practice.

The Diseases of Pornography

Brent Bozell
posted December 10, 2010

 Derrick Burts, 24, started working as a porn-film actor in June. By October, he'd contracted the HIV virus. The AP story on Burts contained this jaw-dropping sentence: "He said he began to have doubts about the business after contracting chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes in his first month of work, but was convinced to keep working."

Burts claimed, "I wasn't stupid or oblivious, I knew what was out there. But it's not something you think about when they fill your head" with lucrative offers and promises that the work is safe. Lured into the porn world with the promise that he looked like money, Burts concluded his greed was unwise: "Making $10,000 or $15,000 for porn isn't worth your life." the rest
It's ironic that our news media are such evangelists for "safe sex" with condoms, and very critical of anyone who's anti-condom as a menace to society, but they haven't forced that latex gospel on the porn industry, despite the obvious threat of fatal sexually transmitted diseases between strangers on the set.

New Catholic priest brings wife, kids with him

By SUSAN OLP
The Billings Gazette
Thursday, December 9, 2010

When the Rev. Bart Stevens is ordained a Catholic priest in Billings on Thursday, he will share the moment with friends and family — including his wife and five children.

Stevens, 35, joins a small fraternity of married Roman Catholic priests. Since 1980, slightly more than 100 former Episcopal priests in the United States have been ordained priests in the Catholic Church.

He is the first in the Great Falls-Billings Diocese. And his presence has sparked talk around town, as his wife, Becky, found out not long ago at a local grocery store. the rest

Religious Persecution in North Korea

By Doug Bandow
12.9.10

North Korea again has demonstrated its recklessness to the world. Pyongyang recently unveiled its uranium enrichment program and bombarded a South Korean island. For a time war clouds circled the Korean peninsula.

But the Kim dynasty in the so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea is more than confrontational. The regime is brutally repressive. The North's prison camps are full of political dissidents, would-be refugees, and religious believers.

The DPRK routinely rates among the world's worst religious persecutors. Formally atheistic, the regime has turned politics into a quasi-religion. The communist system is holy like a church, the ruling Kims, both father and son, are secular saints, the self-reliance philosophy of Juche amounts to theology, recorded in books of Kim sayings, and heretics are severely punished. the rest

The dark side of biotech: expert details grisly fate of fetal body parts


by Kathleen Gilbert
Thu Dec 09, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Every day in America, countless packages are carefully transferred for use by government, university, pharmaceutical and other biotechnology laboratories. Some of these end up advancing development of products such as cosmetics and food additives; others are used directly as a form of therapy.

The material in those packages are human body parts - eyes, ears, limbs, brain, skin - now an indispensable commodity for many U.S. researchers and scientists, and a lucrative export of America’s abortion clinics. the rest-don't miss this!

Historically, when man wants to exploit other men, “what we first have to do is alter our way of thinking about them, and then of course we actually have to dehumanize them, and we usually do that by denying them a soul: so therefore they’re not actually human like the rest of us,” Deisher told an audience at the “50 Years of the Pill” conference hosted by Human Life International of America.

This, she explained, is precisely the scenario with the smallest human lives in medical research today - and not just embryos, but unborn children of all trimesters - whose body parts grow more valuable as they mature.

Poll: Most Americans Say They’re Worse Off Under Obama

By Rich Miller
Dec 9, 2010

More than 50 percent of Americans say they are worse off now than they were two years ago when President Barack Obama took office, and two-thirds believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

The survey, conducted Dec. 4-7, finds that 51 percent of respondents think their situation has deteriorated, compared with 35 percent who say they’re doing better. The balance isn’t sure. Americans have grown more downbeat about the country’s future in just the last couple of months, the poll shows. The pessimism cuts across political parties and age groups, and is common to both sexes. the rest

Noonan: From Audacity to Animosity-No president has alienated his base the way Obama has.
We have not in our lifetimes seen a president in this position. He spent his first year losing the center, which elected him, and his second losing his base, which is supposed to provide his troops. There isn't much left to lose! Which may explain Tuesday's press conference.

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who'll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan....
Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who'll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are "hostage takers" who worship a "holy grail" of "tax cuts for the wealthy." "That seems to be their central economic doctrine."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christian Children Injured As Egyptian Police Open Fire On Copts

Thursday, December 9, 2010
By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
by Stefan J. Bos

CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife)-- Scores of Coptic Christian children are recovering from injuries and nearly two dozen minors remain detained after Egyptian security forces opened fire on unarmed Copts protesting against the authorities' decision to halt the construction of a church, rights investigators said Thursday, December 09.

Advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC) quoted activist Mona Farous as saying that 38 children have been treated in hospital, and the group added that at least 20 others remain behind bars following the November 24 skirmishes in a poor suburb of the capital Cairo.

The children are among over 150 Copts arrested following the protests, in which four Copts were reportedly killed, including three young men and a four-year-old child who apparently suffocated from tear gas. the rest
"Security forces fired on the unarmed protesters with live ammunition and rubber bullets. Both Copts and security forces threw stones at each other," added ICC.

In Africa, homosexuality emerging as hot-button issue

In Kenya, Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently told supporters in the Nairobi slum of Kibera that he would order police to arrest gays. In Uganda and Malawi, debate is rising over the legality of homosexuality.
By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer
December 8, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa

Long seen as a fringe societal taboo far from the realm of African politics, homosexuality is emerging as a hot-button issue throughout much of the continent. Kenya, East Africa's economic hub, joined the trend in late November when Prime Minister Raila Odinga told supporters in the Nairobi slum of Kibera that he would order police to arrest gays.

"We will not tolerate such behavior in the country. The Constitution is very clear on this issue, and men or women found engaging in homosexuality will not be spared," Mr. Odinga said in Swahili, in comments that were taped by several news organizations. "Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested. Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested."

The statement – which brought cheers in the Kibera slum – has created a sharp divide between Christian conservatives, who argue that homosexuality is against religious laws and "the law of nature," and human rights activists, who argue that stigmatizing any minority is illegal. It serves as the latest example of an outlook driven by the growing political assertiveness of powerful Christian churches that bolster existing social stigmas against gays.

alawi, debate is rising over the legality of homosexuality. the rest

Facts and Figures about the Recent and Growing Phenomenon of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe

Five-Year Report to be released on Friday, December 10th, 2010
Vienna
December 8th 2010

At the occasion of the OSCE/ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on Freedom of Religion (Vienna, Dec 9 – 10), The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe releases a five-year report. For your convenience, please find the embargoed report attached.

The report contains a detailed description of the European phenomenon and surprising quotes from intellectuals and international human rights documents. It provides lists of exemplary cases in different categories of intolerance and discrimination.

The Observatory’s director, Dr. Gudrun Kugler, says, „Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians includes the denial of rights of Christians, such as in the area of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Religious freedom is endangered especially with regard to its public and its institutional dimension. We also receive many reports on the removal of Christian symbols, misrepresentation and negative stereotyping of Christians in the media, and social disadvantages for Christians, such as being ridiculed or overlooked for promotion in the work place.“ „We work towards greater awareness of a growing problem in Europe as a first step of  a remedy. Our goal are equal rights for all, including Christians.”
the rest

India: Church to study laws restricting religious conversion

Planned Parenthood Uses “Choice on Earth” Theme for Fundraising Email


by Steven Ertelt
New York, NY
LifeNews.com
12/9/10

The national Planned Parenthood abortion business is at it again, using a sacrilegious Christmas theme to raise money for its efforts to promote and perform abortions.

Although the organization is not selling its much-maligned Christmas cards bearing the same theme, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards sent out a fundraising email yesterday to her supporters with a headline image bearing the words, “Choice on Earth.”

The fundraising piece never mentioned the Christmas-related phrase but focused on stopping legislation sponsored in Congress by pro-life Rep. Mike Pence that would cut off taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood by preventing abortion businesses from receiving family planning funds. the rest image

AAC Anglican Perspective: The Body of God



Here

Judge: Planned Parenthood Rushed Abortion on Sexually Abused Teen

by Steven Ertelt Cincinnati, OH
LifeNews.com
12/8/10

A judge has issued a ruling saying a Cincinnati Planned Parenthood abortion business rushed an abortion it did on a 14-year-old girl who was a victim of sexual abuse.

The case was brought by parents whose minor daughter had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility without their knowledge after being sexually abused by her adult coach.

The parents allege that Planned Parenthood failed to comply with the statute requiring reports of known or suspected child abuse as well as Ohio’s parental consent statute.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers gave the girl and her parents a major legal victory on Tuesday. the rest

Pro-life group vows to expose abortion providers

UK: Anti-Semitism Rampant in Muslim Schools

Second Generation More Extreme than Parents by Soeren Kern
December 9, 2010

Muslim religious schools operating in Britain are using poisonously anti-Semitic textbooks from Saudi Arabia to teach children as young as six that Jews are descended from "monkeys" and "pigs," and that Zionists are plotting to take over the world. The schools are also instructing children on how to chop off the hands and feet of a thief as per Islamic Sharia law. These are just a few of the findings of a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) exposé of Saudi-run Muslim schools in Britain that aired on the prestigious Panorama documentary television program on November 22.

The Panorama investigation identified a network of over 40 such after-school and weekend programs catering to about 5,000 children, from ages six to eighteen. The schools offer the official Saudi national curriculum and run under the umbrella of "Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland." Panorama says the schools are overseen by the cultural bureau of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London, and that a building used for one of the schools (in Ealing, West London) is owned by the Saudi government. the rest

Pew Poll: Most Muslims favor law to allow Islam stoning , amputation & death

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Devotional: A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes...


A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes... and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image by Jayel Aheram

Albert Mohler: The Dangerous Worlds of Analog Parents with Digital Teens

Parents cannot be spectators in the lives of their children, but should set rules, establish expectations, enforce limitations, and constantly monitor their teenagers’ digital lives. Anything less is a form of parental negligence. Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday’s edition of The New York Times gave front-page attention to the problem of adolescent bullying on the Internet. There can be no question that the Internet and the explosion of social media have facilitated the arrival of a new and deeply sinister form of bullying, and the consequences for many teenagers are severe. For some, life becomes a horror story of insults, rumors, slanders, and worse.

Meanwhile, many parents are baffled about how to help — if they are not completely out to lunch.

As Jan Hoffman reports: “It is difficult enough to support one’s child through a siege of schoolyard bullying. But the lawlessness of the Internet, its potential for casual, breathtaking cruelty, and its capacity to cloak a bully’s identity all present slippery new challenges to this transitional generation of analog parents.” the rest
Parents cannot be spectators in the lives of their children, but they should set rules, establish expectations, enforce limitations, and constantly monitor their teenagers’ digital lives. Anything less is a form of parental negligence.

When a teenage boy tells a newspaper reporter that he wishes his parents would force him to turn off his digital devices and do his homework, we can only wonder if his clueless parents will ever get the message.

China Declares Christian ‘House Churches’ a ‘Cult,’ Advocacy Group Reports

Wednesday, December 08, 2010 By Patrick Goodenough
(CNSNews.com) – China reportedly has launched a new crackdown on “house churches,” Protestant congregations that do not belong to the country’s state-sanctioned, “patriotic” church organization.

In an ominous development reported by the China Aid Association (CAA), a U.S.-based group that advocates for Chinese Christians, authorities allegedly have labeled the house church movement a “cult.”

Beijing used the same term when it outlawed the Falun Gong meditation movement in 1999, a move that ushered in a major, ongoing crackdown against the Falun Gong that has brought China worldwide censure. the rest

Apple pulls Christian app - who's next?


Chuck Colson
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I got the news on my iPhone.

Apple had pulled the Manhattan Declaration app from its app store.

The reason? According to Apple's PR department, the Manhattan Declaration - a statement of conscience signed by half a million Christians in support of the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and religious freedom - was "offensive to large groups of people."

Well, that was news to me. After all, the Manhattan Declaration had received a 4-plus rating from Apple, meaning it was free from objectionable content. But over the Thanksgiving holiday, some advocates of same-sex marriage petitioned Apple, saying that the Manhattan Declaration promoted hate and homophobia. So Apple pulled the app. the rest image

UK: Pagan prisoners given time off to worship the Sun God

By Jack Doyle
7th December 2010

Hundreds of criminals are to be given four days a year off prison work - to celebrate pagan festivals.

Prison governors have been issued with a list of eight annual pagan holidays and told pagan inmates can choose four to celebrate.

The festivals include Imbolc - The Festival of the Lactating Sheep - which falls on February 1 and is dedicated to the goddess Brighid. the rest

Mainstream’ Islamist Group Wants ‘Global Caliphate’ and Islamist America

As the hand book spells out, the organization’s ultimate goal is “the Establishment of Islam” as the sole basis of global society and governance. It also encourages members to deceive people in its proselytizing campaign to help fulfill this goal. This aim is one that ICNA has been actively pursuing as the group has set its sights on America’s constitutional separation of religion and state.

It’s not the first example of radicalism by one of America’s largest Muslim organizations. ICNA’s magazine has featured interviews with terrorist leaders in Pakistan, called on youth to fight abroad in Kashmir, and honored like-minded extremist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and South Asia’s Jamaat-e-Islami. Concerns have also been expressed about 5 young members of the group’s Virginia mosque, who were arrested and convicted on terrorism charges after attempting to link up with and fight for Pakistani terror groups in December 2009.  the rest

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Devotional: If I were but sure...


If I were but sure that I should live to see the coming of the Lord, it would be the joyfulest tidings in the world. O that I might see His kingdom come! It is the characteristic of His saints to love His appearing, and to look for that blessed hope. "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." ...Richard Baxter image by Per Ola Wiberg

FBI issues alert for Barbie doll with video camera

Dec 7, 2010 By TERRY COLLINS
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The FBI says it recently issued an alert about a popular Barbie doll with a hidden video camera that could be used to produce child pornography, but stressed that the toy has not been linked with any reported crimes.

FBI spokesman Steve Dupre said Tuesday the alert last month was meant only for law enforcement agencies to advise them not to overlook Mattel's "Barbie Video Girl" during any searches. The alert was sent out by the bureau's Sacramento office.

It was then accidentally sent to some members of the media, Dupre said. the rest

26 US religious leaders affirm: Marriage is union of one man, one woman

December 07, 2010

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined 25 other religious leaders in affirming that “marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman.”

Representatives of leading conservative Protestant denominations (such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God), as well as Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Sikh leaders, signed the statement.

Notably absent from the signatories are the heads of mainline Protestant denominations such as the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Here

Calgary Anglican explains why parish wants to join Catholic church

December 7th, 2010

CALGARY - For longtime Anglican Richard Harding, switching to the Catholic church feels like coming home.

Last month, Harding and other members of the St. John the Evangelist congregation in Calgary became the first Anglican parish in Canada to accept an offer from the Pope to rejoin the Catholic church.

Harding said they are excited about the change.

Only two members of the parish in Inglewood, one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods, voted against the move and a few others abstained.

But some, including the congregation's former priest, have decided not to switch, so the move is bittersweet. the rest

Snow in Central NY

December 7, 2010

In the last few days, up to 2 feet of snow has fallen in Syracuse and most parts of central NY.  Here is a picture of our arborvitae in the back yard very early this morning.  And winter has barely begun! -PD (picture by Raymond Dague)

Schools close or delay as Syracuse region combats record snowfall

Ants on a Crucifix in Norman Rockwell’s America


Dec 7, 2010
Elizabeth Scalia

Last October, the Smithsonian Institute opened the “Hide/Seek” exhibit, which, as the Washington Post’s Blake Gopnik writes, “surveys how same-sex love has been portrayed in art, from Walt Whitman’s hints to open declarations in the era of AIDS and Robert Mapplethorpe’s bullwhips.” Gopnik praised the show hugely, calling it “courageous, as well as being full of wonderful art.”

The exhibit seemed destined for an uncontroversial run until CNS News threw conservatives red-meat and called “Hide/Seek” a “Christmas Season exhibit.” News that the exhibit included David Wojnarowicz’s thirty-minute video “A Fire in My Belly,”which contains an 11-second image of ants crawling on a crucifix, lit a fire in the bellies of conservative American Christians, who put “ants,” “crucifix” and “Christmas” into their interior search engines and linked up to “fury.”
the rest image

To be fair to them, if they seem hyper-vigilant about discerning insults toward Christmas, it is only because the forces of political correctness have often gone to absurd lengths to denude the season of meaning, and excise it from the public square. In the bizarro-world of progressive thought, even if ninety percent of Americans celebrate some aspect of Christmas, the sensibilities of the ten percent who do not observe it must be protected from all of those tidings of comfort and joy.

Calgary Anglicans first congregation in Canada to join Catholic Church

Mon Dec 6 2010

CALGARY—A congregation of conservative Anglicans in Calgary has become the first in Canada to accept an offer from the Pope to rejoin the Catholic Church.

Members of the St. John the Evangelist Anglican parish voted in November in favour of the change after a year of talks with Catholic Church officials.

“We accept, unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church,” reads the motion the congregation approved. the rest

Belgium: Court Approves “Wrongful Life” Rule that Disabled Child Should Never Have Been Born

Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

Belgium’s euthanasia law permits people to be killed by doctors because they are disabled. In such a discriminatory setting, is it any wonder that a Belgian court has now approved the odious notion of a wrongful life. From the story (may have to hit translation button):

The Court of Appeal in Brussels responds positively to this extremely sensitive issue. After noting that “certainly, the misdiagnosis did not cause the child’s disability, which existed before the error and which could not be remedied,” the Court considers that, “however, the injury must be compensated is not the disability itself, but the fact of being born with such disabilities. “ Thus, the child, the voice of his parents, may claim compensation for physicians who, through their fault, some were injured and legitimate interest to be a therapeutic abortion, as granted that his mother would have been appeal if it had been duly informed of the condition during pregnancy. In the opinion of the Court, by entering in the Penal Code article 350, paragraph 2, 4, authorizing therapeutic abortion, “the legislature must have intended to help avoid giving birth to children with abnormalities serious, having regard not only to the interests of the mother but also to that of the unborn child itself. ”

This is the first time in Belgium that an appellate court receives such a wrongful life action (wrongful life). Previously, a trial court of first instance of Brussels, released April 21, 2004, had adopted a similar solution, about a child with Down syndrome. the rest

Hope & Change… More Muslims Defend Suicide Bombing Today Than in 2008


by Jim Hoft
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Boy, that Cairo speech did wonders, didn’t it?

More Muslims in Lebanon, Nigeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey defend suicide bombing today than they did in 2008.

Story

Albert Mohler: The Retreat from Marriage — A Recipe for Disaster


For reasons that include all that we can learn from this report, and for many more that we know from the Scriptures and Christian wisdom, Christians know that the marginalization of marriage can only lead to unhappiness, unhealthiness, and the unraveling of human relationships.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If you were determined to consign a population to poverty and any number of social pathologies, how might you do it? If your design is to extend the effects of these pathologies and pains to successive generations, what might be your plan? The answer to both of these questions is clear. Just marginalize marriage.

Economists report that the wealth deficit of the unmarried as compared to the consistently married is as much as 75 percent. The unmarried are less healthy, less wealthy, and less stable in relationships as compared to married couples. And, to no one’s surprise, the ill effects of this condition are extended immediately to the children of unmarried unions and to generations to come.

In other words, it is hard to imagine a plot to bring harm and unhappiness to human lives that can compare, in social and economic terms, to the marginalization of marriage. the rest image

Role of marriage virtually ignored

Rep. Michele Bachmann: De-Fund Planned Parenthood

Monday, December 06, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to de-fund Planned Parenthood after the newly elected Republican majority takes charge next month.

“Well, I think one thing that we can do, quite simply, is to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood,” Bachmann said when asked by CNSNews.com what practical steps she believed the in-coming House majority could take to protect unborn babies. the rest

ENS: "Climate justice" is focus of four-day Episcopal/Anglican gathering in Dominican Republic

By Lynette Wilson
December 06, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Anglican and Episcopal leaders from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean are arriving Dec. 6 in the Dominican Republic for a four-day gathering to explore the intersection between poverty and climate change.

"We're hoping to change the conversation in the church from one of climate change to climate justice," said the Rev. P. Joshua "Griff" Griffin, environmental justice missioner in the Diocese of California and one of the conference's organizers.

Representatives from Cuba, the United States, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will meet Dec. 7-10 at the Bishop Kellogg Center in San Pedro de Macorís, east of the capital Santo Domingo, for the first Episcopal Climate Justice Gathering, convened by Bishop Marc Andrus of the Episcopal Diocese of California, and Bishop Naudal Gomes, Diocese of Curitiba, Brazil. the rest-(this is one for MCJ) image



What happened to the 'warmest year on record'?

19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind



Posted December 7, 2010

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing. It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II. But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children? the rest image by Derrick Coetzee

Unmarried With Kids: A Shift In The Working Class

by Jennifer Ludden
December 6, 2010

The path to adulthood used to be clear — love, marriage, baby carriage — and no one embodied that more than America's working class. But today, for those with only a high school education, that order no longer holds; in fact, a new study suggests that marriage is foundering in Middle America.

Andrew Felices, 26, and Mellissa Giles, 27, are this new face of the American family. They've been living together since before their son, A.J., was born. He's 2 1/2 now, and he shrieks gleefully as he sprawls on the basement floor with dad, building a train track. The couple bought a cozy condo in Frederick, Md., last summer. A home, a child — but neither is in any rush to tie the knot.

"We're still young," Mellissa says. We're enjoying the time as it is."

What's important, says Andrew, is "having your life the way you want it, your lifestyle in place. Getting married is really the cherry on top."
 the rest
Culturally, it's certainly much more acceptable to have children without being wed. But there's still an argument for marriage: Wilcox says unmarried parents are more than twice as likely to break up by the time their child is 5.
The Changing Culture War

UK: Unmarried parents 'to blame for rise in broken homes'
Nearly half of children born today will be living in broken homes by the age of 16 as growing numbers of families split up, according to analysis of official figures...
'Faith gap' seen among married
In addition to an "education gap" in marriage, there is also a "faith gap," says the new State of Our Unions report on marriage.
"Middle America has lost its religious edge," wrote W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, looking at trends over the past 40 years.

In the 1970s, the moderately educated — blue-collar, working-class Americans with high school diplomas or some college — were more likely to go to church every week than people with college degrees.

That has now reversed: Today 34 percent of college graduates attend weekly religious services, compared with 28 percent of moderately educated Americans, said the report...

The Moral Frontiers of Stem Cell Research


by Matthew Hoberg
December 6, 2010

Though recent progress in induced pluripotent stem-cell research may reduce reliance on embryonic stem cells, it is no moral panacea.

Scientists have recently developed a safe and efficient method to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult skin cells. Many opponents of embryonic stem cell research hail this news as an important step away from research methods that rely on destroying embryos. Despite this advance, the future of iPS cell research involves challenging moral and legal issues.

The therapeutic promise of stem cell research rests on using pluripotent stem cells, which can be grown into many of the types of cells found in the human body. Until recently, such cells could be produced only by destroying human embryos and harvesting embryonic stem cells. Opponents of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) sought a method of producing pluripotent cells without destroying embryos. Their goal was to show that adult cells, rather than embryos, could provide the raw material for stem-cell therapy.

In 2007, scientists demonstrated that they could transform human skin cells into iPS cells, bypassing the destruction of embryos. While opponents of ESCR hailed this announcement as a sign that iPS cells could provide the full therapeutic promise of ES cells, the methods were still in their infancy. It took about a month for the iPS cells to develop, and very few transformations were successful: 99.9% of treated cells failed to transform. Besides being slow and unreliable, the techniques were dangerous. Viruses were used to insert specific genes into the adult cells, which increased the cancer risk for the stem cells and thus for prospective patients receiving stem cell therapy. Without a safer technique, the promise of iPS cell research remained in the future.
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The Growing Aversion to Abortion

Dec 6, 2010
by Steve Chapman

Excerpt:
...The news that the abortion rate has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years elicits various explanations, from increased use of contraceptives to lack of access to abortion clinics. But maybe the chief reason is that the great majority of Americans, even many who see themselves as pro-choice, are deeply uncomfortable with it.
In 1992, a Gallup/Newsweek poll found 34 percent of Americans thought abortion "should be legal under any circumstances," with 13 percent saying it should always be illegal. Last year, only 26 percent said it should always be allowed, with 18 percent saying it should never be permitted.

Sentiments are even more negative among the group that might place the highest value on being able to escape an unwanted pregnancy: young people. In 2003, Gallup found, one of every three kids from age 13 to 17 said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. More revealing yet is that 72 percent said abortion is "morally wrong." the rest

Ted Turner calls for global one-child policy like China’s

2 More Christians Killed in Baghdad

Mon, Dec. 06 2010
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter

Iraq's Christian minority took another hit Sunday evening when gunmen shot and killed an elderly Christian couple in their home.

The shooting took place in Baladiyat, a predominantly Shiite area in eastern Baghdad, and was the latest in a series of attacks that has left dozens of Christians dead in recent weeks.

Violence perpetrated by Islamic extremists has forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians to flee the country. Since 2003, the Christian population has shrunk from 1.2 million to 600,000, by some estimates. the rest

Christian 'hemorrhage' increases in Iraq

Somali Teenage Girl Shot to Death for Embracing Christ

Advent brings little peace for the persecuted church in India

Mich. town allows church to occupy property in wake of lawsuit

City quickly agrees to court order that allows church represented by ADF-allied attorney to use building for religious services
Monday, December 06, 2010

HAZEL PARK, Mich. — The city of Hazel Park has agreed to a court order, issued Friday, that prohibits the city from enforcing a zoning ordinance that bans religious groups--but not non-religious groups--from using buildings on commercial property for religious assembly. For nearly a year, Salvation Temple Church, represented by an Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney, was not allowed to occupy a building that it had contracted to purchase, yet non-religious organizations faced no such restriction.

“Churches shouldn’t be singled out for discrimination and kept from practicing their faith in their own building by a city’s zoning restrictions,” said ADF-allied attorney Daniel Dalton of Dalton, Tomich, & Pensler, PLC, in Bloomfield Hills. “City officials cannot restrict assemblies to purely non-religious activities. They intentionally changed their policy a few years ago to eliminate religious use so that they could increase their tax revenue, and that’s simply not legal. The city has finally done the right thing in agreeing to respect this church’s rights, protected by both the Constitution and federal law.” the rest

Monday, December 06, 2010

Majority of Muslims want Islam in politics, poll says

They have mixed feelings about the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah, the survey shows.
By Meris Lutz, Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2010

Reporting from Beirut — A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace. the rest