· Muslim students at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California were allowed to use an available room to pray.
· Tahali Community School in St. Cloud, Florida provided a quiet space for students to pray in the afternoon.
· After protests, Muslim students at Brooklyn International High School were allowed to miss class for four Fridays during Ramadan to attend mosque services.
· After protests, Muslim students with notes from their parents at Bancroft Intermediate School in Wilmington, Delaware were excused from sitting in the cafeteria at lunchtime during Ramadan.
· In Herndon, Virginia, “multicultural trainer” Afeeda Syeed was allowed to bring children from a Muslim school to public schools to teach the students about Ramadan.
· At Salem High School in New Hampshire, the Muslim Students Association held a Ramadan “Fast-A-Thon” wherein they received contributions from classmates and teachers (proceeds went to a local soup kitchen). In a show of support, the teachers skipped lunch as well. In addition, the group held a fast-breaking feast at the public school that day at 4:30 p.m.
· At Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy is a publicly funded charter school in Minnesota. During Ramadan, all of the students (including non-Muslims) followed the traditional Muslim fast.
· Gwinnett school officials in Georgia decided to excuse Muslim students from the final class period every school day; one of the make-up options is for students to take a religious studies class off-campus.
· At North Atlanta High, students held prayer services in a Muslim teacher’s classroom.
Donohue concludes: “The degree of tolerance that these public schools have shown for Muslim students during Ramadan is encouraging. Maybe now we can get the schools to stop with this ‘Winter Holiday’ nonsense and get down to celebrating Christmas with a concert that features a nativity scene and the singing of ‘Silent Night.’”
For the third straight year, Planned Parenthood, the nation's No. 1 abortion provider, is selling greeting cards with the holiday message "Choice on Earth." Two years ago, outcry about the cards in the media, Planned Parenthood claimed, actually spiked sales of the items, as well as "Choice on Earth" T-shirts.
Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's STOPP International, slammed Planned Parenthood for once again offering the greeting cards. "In its continual attempt to 'normalize' abortion, Planned Parenthood has once again chosen to offend the Christian community by releasing the latest edition of its 'Choice on Earth' holiday cards," said Sedlak in a statement. "Contrary to the open-minded image the abortion organization aims to present for itself, Planned Parenthood has zero tolerance for anyone – or any religious group – that recognizes abortion as an evil act that kills a pre-born baby."
The controversial theme is derived from a passage in the Gospel of Luke, where an angel announces to shepherds the birth of their savior in Bethlehem.
The King James version of the Bible states: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" By replacing 'peace' with 'choice,' or more accurately, 'killing the innocent on earth,' Planned Parenthood is essentially saying 'abortion on earth,'" Sedlak said. "This blatant mockery of Christian values – and of Christ Himself – truly demonstrates the bigoted, anti-religion, anti-God nature of Planned Parenthood.
There is no law which bars privately owned businesses from displaying religious symbols; all that is lacking is the courage to do so. To that end, they have mailed our decals to the Directors of Human Resources of the following entities throughout the nation: major malls; fraternal organizations; chain department stores; Fortune 500 businesses; supermarket chains; chain bookstores; banks; chain drug stores; chain restaurants; and chain hotels.
The plastic decal can easily be placed in any store window. Round in shape, it says along the top, "Religion-Friendly Zone." In the center of the red and green decal are hands clasped in a prayer-like fashion. This will allow the decal to be posted in areas that allow for all religious displays.
Those who hate diversity and love censorship will not be happy with this project. But too bad for them—they can do nothing to stop it. Merry CHRISTmas!
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of the Vatican's most powerful figures, said that liberalism has evolved into a "worrying and aggressive" ideology, and the Roman Catholic and Christian religion had been pushed out of the public debate and was being "driven into the margins." The Bavarian-born cardinal, who is the pope's doctrinal chief, said secularism is no longer an element of neutrality, which opens up space for freedom for all, it is beginning to change into an ideology, which, through politics, is being imposed.
"It concedes no public space to the Catholic and Christian vision, which as a result runs the risk of turning into a purely private matter, so that deep down it is no longer the same."
Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of some 300 million eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide, accepted the treasured relics, looted by Roman Catholic crusaders centuries ago, during a mass in Vatican City, the BBC reported.
The relics are bones believed to be those of two early "Doctors of the Church," St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory.
Both were archbishops of Constantinople, now called Istanbul, long before the split between the eastern and western Churches nearly 1,000 years ago.
The gift follows another ancient holy icon returned by the Pope to the head of Russia's Orthodox church.
Viacom will pay a record $3.5 million to settle dozens of federal investigations into alleged indecency on TV and the radio, and introduce delays in more live programming to help catch troublesome material before it gets on the air.
The settlement closes investigations dating back to 2001. One involved shock jock Howard Stern, and two focused on Opie and Anthony, who lost their Viacom-owned New York radio show after it featured a couple purporting to have sex inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. The settlement is not related to the agency's $550,000 fine against Viacom after the exposure of singer Janet Jackson's breast during the CBS Super Bowl halftime show in January. Viacom has said the public, not the government, should decide what it is exposed to on radio and television. I agree, but they need to listen when we speak out, not just write us off. If they really listened, Stern would not be back on the air in Pittsburgh! There have been investigations into about 50 radio and television shows. Infinity Broadcasting paid fines totaling $1.7 million in 1995 to settle FCC violations by Stern yet they still just don't get it. For a communications company they sure are deaf when it comes to the public.
Negotiations have been rocky between turnpike officials and Teamsters locals 77 and 250, which represent maintenance workers and office employees in addition to toll collectors.
In a joint statement, the two Teamsters locals said managers refused to meet with union leaders Tuesday night, saying members should simply accept management's offer.
Management described its offer as generous and criticized union leaders for not sending it to the membership for a vote. Management issued a statement Monday saying the offer includes a fully paid health care package as well as annual pay increases, but did not say how large the increases were. Capone said management would issue a statement with more specifics later Wednesday morning.
The union's statement said management was offering less with each successive proposal and accused turnpike officials of trying to provoke a strike.
Union members had been working under the terms of a contract that expired Sept. 30, 2003.
If workers are still on strike at the end of the day, the Turnpike Commission's contingency plan is to have managers staffing tollbooths charge a flat fee of $2 to drivers of passenger cars for any trip on the 531-mile highway system. Commercial vehicles are to pay a flat fee of $15.
Drivers using the E-ZPass automatic toll-collection system are to pay the regular toll or the flat fee, whichever is cheaper.
"They're cowards. I wish I could tell you how difficult it is getting them to do anything. It's horrible. Everyone is afraid. If tomorrow we could cure cancer if they raised taxes, they wouldn't raise them." In a conference call, Rendell told Mayor Murphy and city officials he intends to unveil a commuter tax plan even though it's been prohibited by the state Legislature, and he wants to keep our elected representatives from patching any loopholes. Why was he so open about this "secret plan"? Well he had no idea there was a reporter listening to the call! An unknown City Council member invited a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter to listen to the details. Rendell's spokeswoman, Kate Philips, said she could not comment on private remarks the governor made. Well, they're no so private now are they Kate? It makes you wonder what else they whisper behind closed doors when no one is listening.
What all this means is anyone's guess, but we could get a tax hike as a Christmas gift from Gov. Rendell. Hey Ed, I'm still waiting for that property tax cut!
It's interesting to note that 47 percent of John Kerry’s voters think God created humans as they are now, compared with 67 percent of Bush voters. Furthermore, more than half of Kerry voters want creationism taught alongside evolution. Bush voters are more willing to want creationism to replace evolution altogether in a curriculum (just under half favor that), and 71 percent want it at least included.
Overall, about two-thirds of Americans want creationism taught along with evolution, while only 37 percent want evolutionism replaced outright.
Sixty percent of Americans who call themselves Evangelical Christians, however, favor replacing evolution with creationism in schools altogether, as do 50 percent of those who attend religious services every week.
Q: When did the sign of the cross originate?
Ghezzi: The sign of the cross is a very ancient practice and prayer. We don't have any indication of it in Scripture, but St. Basil in the fourth century said that we learned the sign from the time of the apostles and that it was administered in baptisms. Some scholars interpret St. Paul's saying that he bears the marks of Christ on his body, in Galatians 6:17, as his referring to the sign of the cross. In the book, I note that the sign originates close to Jesus' time and goes back to the ancient Church. Christians received it in baptism; the celebrant signed them and claimed them for Christ.
Q: How did it become such an important liturgical and devotional practice? Ghezzi: I speculate that when adult Christians were baptized, they made the sign of the cross that claimed them for Christ on their forehead proudly. Tertullian said that Christians at all times should mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross. I can imagine that Christians would make a little sign of the cross with their thumb and forefinger on their foreheads, to remind themselves that they were living a life for Christ.
Q: Beyond the words themselves, what does the sign mean? Why is it a mark of discipleship?
Ghezzi: The sign means a lot of things. In the book, I describe six meanings, with and without words. The sign of the cross is: a confession of faith; a renewal of baptism; a mark of discipleship; an acceptance of suffering; a defense against the devil; and a victory over self-indulgence. When you make the sign, you are professing a mini version of the creed -- you are professing your belief in the Father, and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. When you say the words and pray in someone's name you are declaring their presence and coming into their presence -- that's how a name is used in Scripture. As a sacramental, it's a renewal of the sacrament of baptism; when you make it you say again, in effect, "I died with Christ and rose to new life." The sign of the cross in baptism is like a Christian circumcision, which united Gentile converts to the Jewish nation. The sign links you to the body of Christ, and when you make it you remember your joining to the body with Christ as the head. The sign of the cross is a mark of discipleship. Jesus says in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." The word that the Fathers of the Church used for the sign of the cross is a Greek word that is the same as what a slave owner put on a slave, a shepherd put on a sheep and a general put on a soldier -- it's a declaration that I belong to Christ. Self-denial is not just giving up little things; to be a disciple you are under Christ's leadership and you don't belong to yourself. By doing the sign of the cross, you're saying to the Lord, "I want to obey you; I belong to you. You direct all my decisions. I will always be obedient to God's law, Christ's teachings and the Church." When suffering comes, the sign of the cross is a sign of acceptance. It's remembering that Jesus became a man and suffered for us and that we participate in Christ's suffering. The sign of the cross says, "I am willing to embrace suffering to share in Christ's suffering." When you're suffering, when you're feeling like God is not there, the sign of the cross brings him there and declares his presence whether you feel it. It is a way of acknowledging him at that time of trial. One of the main teachings of the early Church Fathers is that the sign of the cross is a declaration of defense against the devil. When you sign yourself, you are declaring to the devil, "Hands off. I belong to Christ; he is my protection." It's both an offensive and defensive tool. I've found that the sign of the cross is a way to put to death self-indulgence -- those big problems we have, the stubborn things we can't get rid of. The Church Fathers say if you are angry, full of lust, fearful, emotional or grappling with fleshly problems, make the sign when tempted and it will help dispel the problem. I began to make it to gain control with a problem with anger. Signing myself is a way of destroying the anger, putting on patient behavior, imitating Jesus' practice of virtue.
Q: Do non-Catholics use the sign of the cross?
Ghezzi: Yes, the sign of the cross is used by Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, particularly in baptisms. In his small catechism, Martin Luther recommends making the sign of the cross at bedtime and first thing in the morning. It's a shame that many non-Catholics see it as something they shouldn't be doing; it comes from an ancient Church that we all share. One of my hopes in writing this book is that non-Catholics will read it and share in the sign of the cross.
Q: Why do Catholics use the sign of the cross with holy water upon entering and exiting a church?
Ghezzi: In order to participate in the great sacrifice of the Mass, you need to be baptized. Using holy water to sign yourself is saying "I am a baptized Christian and I am authorized to participate in this sacrifice." When you make the sign of the cross when you leave, you say that the Mass never ends -- your whole life is participating in Christ's sacrifice.
Q: Why should Christians learn more about this prayer?
Ghezzi: I think that it's not something to be taken casually. The sign of the cross has enormous power as a sacramental; it does not cause the spiritual thing it signifies but draws on the prayer of the Church to affect us in our lives. The sign of the cross is the supreme sacramental. When I see professional athletes make the sign of the cross during games, I'm not critical of them. It says that everything I do, I do in the name of Christ -- even games can be played in the presence of God. When people make the sign of the cross casually, I pray that they will recognize how serious it is -- that they are declaring that they belong to Christ, they want to obey him and accept suffering. It's not a good-luck charm.
Q: Why is the sign of the cross significant today, especially in areas where laws are becoming less tolerant of public displays of faith?
Ghezzi: They can tell us that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a public building, but they can't stop us from making the sign of the cross publicly. We need to remember what Jesus said: If we are ashamed of him, he'll be ashamed of us. We should feel confident in letting people know that we are Christians and that we belong to Christ.
Pittsburgh will raise its occupation tax from $10 to $52. A new 0.55 percent payroll tax will take shape on for-profit city businesses. It will phase out the 6 mill business privilege tax and reduce the city's 50 percent parking tax. The only good news is that commuter income tax idea is history for now. The biggest losers in all this are the people who can least afford it, the city's many transit riders. The Legislature failed to find a way to fund the Port Authority.
Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, said "We are trying to spread the pain across the board." Boy, ain't that the truth!
Because of you over 20,000 people will be helped through the New Castle City Rescue Mission, the Washington City Rescue Mission and Light of Life Rescue Mission. Thanks to all who gave.
Update: Democrats spent much of the presidential campaign accusing President Bush of close ties to Saudi Arabia. Michael Moore even made a film about it. Well, President Clinton's new $165 million library was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen.The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the museum. No wonder he is paranoid.
A paranoid-sounding Bill Clinton threatened ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings in an interview broadcast Thursday night, in a bizarre rant about his impeachment that laid bare the ex-president's persecution complex.
"You don't want to go here, Peter," Clinton warned after Jennings told him that historians ranked him second to last of all presidents in terms of moral authority.
Squinting his eyes, an angry Clinton seethed: "You don't want to go here. Not after what you people did. And the way you - your network - what you did with Kenneth Starr. The way your people repeated every little sleazy thing he did. No one has any idea of what that's like."
The amazing exchange came after Clinton at first claimed he didn't care about the verdict of historians.
"I had more support from the world when I quit than when I started," he claimed. "And I will go to my grave being at peace about it. And I don't really care about what [the historians] think."
Immediately, Jennings challenged Clinton, all but calling him a liar.
"Oh, yes you do. ... Excuse me, Mr. President. I can feel it across the room. You care very deeply."
Jennings' challenge sent Clinton into a thinly veiled rage, prompting him to threaten, "You don't want to go here, Peter."
The full exchange went like this:
JENNINGS (Discussing rankings by presidential historians]: They gave you a forty-first in terms of moral authority - after Nixon.
CLINTON: They're wrong about that. You know why they're wrong about it? They're wrong about it.
JENNINGS: Why, sir?
CLINTON: Because we had $100 million spent against us in all these inspections. ... In spite of it all, you don't have any example where I ever lied to the American people about my job, where I have let the American people down. And I had more support from the world when I quit than when I started. And I will go to my grave being at peace about it. And I don't really care about what they think.
JENNINGS: Oh, yes you do.
CLINTON: They have no idea ...
JENNINGS: Excuse me, Mr. President. I can feel it across the room. You care very deeply.
CLINTON: No, no. I care. I care. You don't want to go here, Peter. You don't want to go here. Not after what your people did. And the way you - your network - what you did with Kenneth Starr. The way your people repeated every little sleazy thing he did. No one has any idea of what that's like.
Thanks to Newsmax.com for the story.
Do you think he should lose his his medical license ?
Post your comments and tell me what you think.
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops voted to join a new alliance that would be the broadest Christian group ever formed in the United States, linking American evangelicals and Catholics in an ecumenical organization for the first time. The alliance, called Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., is set to kick off next year. It would also include mainline Protestants, Orthodox Christians, and black and other minority churches. With about 67 million members the U.S. Catholic Church would be the largest denomination. "It's not to create some kind of mega body or mega church," said Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the ecumenical committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "It is a forum for participation so that we can pray together, grow in our understanding together and witness together our faith." It is considered a biblical imperative for Christians to find ways to build unity among their denominations. Pope John Paul II has made such efforts a priority of his pontificate. The Catholic Church has ecumenical dialogues with many denominations. However, some evangelical and Pentecostal churches have resisted participating. In the floor debate Wednesday, New York Cardinal Edward Egan noted those churches were worried that such talks risked "watering down their faith." In fact, the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, which has more than 16 million members and is the largest Protestant denomination in the country, has so far not agreed to fully join Christian Churches Together. Blaire said that among the evangelicals who have agreed to participate are the Salvation Army and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.
I hate to be the one to cast doubt on this big love fest but I’m about to. What is the true purpose for all this? "It is a forum for participation so that we can pray together, grow in our understanding together and witness together our faith." Yeah, yeah, yeah but what else? I’ve scratched my head over “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” because it basically states the division between Catholic and Protestants is over. Now we can move forward with a grand merger between the churches. Well, who was right? I missed the ending! Have Protestants and Catholics really reached an understanding of justification by faith? If not, why are some claiming unity? I’m not going to argue the debate. I have already done so in the past and the result was anything but a common agreement. Yet there is a massive movement to agree on everything, not just moral issues. This is a two way street here, not only is the Vatican responding, but Protestants are claiming Rome has a biblical understanding of salvation by faith alone while it contradicts the core of Protestant theology. I think there is something behind all this and it’s not just Christian unity. I think we are witnessing the formation of the largest and most powerful political lobbying groups. You see, in order for the Protestant Evangelical “Christian Right” to really have power in America, they need the huge number of Roman Catholics in their camp. While I’m not against us all seeking a greater understanding of each other, there can be only one truth. We can't say we agree when we don’t. The fact that a fundamental aspect such as the issue of justification is so readily compromised by the Protestant church hints at a desire for something other then truth. It has turned religion into a political agenda and it should concern Catholics and Protestants alike.
Sen. Arlen Specter on won the support of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Republicans to be their chairman next year, surviving complaints from opponents of abortion who lobbied to skip over him in favor of a conservative."I have assured the president that I would give his nominees quick committee hearings and early committee votes," Specter said. "I have no reason to believe that I'll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy" of the federal bench, Specter told reporters. An official vote won't come until January, and can still be appealed to the full 55-member GOP caucus. We will be watching Senator!
Randy in Upper St. Clair asked for the Senate Judiciary Committe contact info. Here it is:
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5225
Fax: (202) 224-9102
You can still take action:
1ST CALL: CONTACT the White House. Urge Pres. Bush to work to assure families that Sen. Specter does not become Judiciary Chairman — where Specter says he would work against the President’s picks for judges that stick to the Constitution and are pro-life.
Phone: (202) 456-1414Fax: (202) 456-2461
E-mail: president@whiteh ouse.gov
2ND CALL: CALL Sen. Rick Santorum's office -- let him know that you and your family are counting on him to use his influence to stop Sen. Arlen Specter from becoming Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Washington, D.C. Office: (202) 224-6324
In two newspaper interviews before the election, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter promised to block pro-life and "extremist" judges appointed by President Bush, apparently contradicting claims he is making now amid fierce opposition to his becoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A third paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, endorsed the pro-abortion senator largely because of his anticipated position on the panel.
The cost of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to local dioceses has become an increasing concern for bishops, many of whom, including Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, face severe financial crises at home. Two US dioceses, in Tucson, Ariz., and Portland, Ore., have filed for bankruptcy, and the Spokane diocese, home to the president-elect of the bishops' conference, is expected to file for bankruptcy this month.
The bishops' conference, headquartered in Washington, has a budget this year of $127 million, of which 24 percent is paid by dioceses; the balance comes from grants and government funds, such as money for refugee settlement. The conference has employed an average of 371 people over the last three years, up from 357 in the 1990s but down from 418 in the 1980s.
The proposed statement on the use of the Bible by Catholics was the first victim of the bishops' desire to restrain conference spending, but may not be the last: Today, the bishops are scheduled to debate the development of a national pastoral initiative on marriage, in part in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
Supporters of the Bible statement, many from the South, warned that failure to pursue the statement could be misinterpreted. And they said they could raise money independently to finance the drafting of the document.
"I can imagine the headline tomorrow: 'Bishops, in attempt to cut expenses, do not encourage people to read the Bible,' " said Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan of Brooklyn.
Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb, of Mobile, Ala., said "from my position, where the Bible is so much a part of any effort at evangelization, this would be a disaster public-relationswise." And Bishop John W. Yanta, of Amarillo, Texas, said, "Coming from a mission diocese, and also from the Bible Belt, I think it would be disastrous for us to vote against this, and I think it would be detrimental. The word of God is essential to evangelization."
But opponents said that the catechism of the Catholic Church obviously encourages Catholics to read the Bible, and that a statement reiterating that support is unnecessary.
"All these arguments could be applied to just about every statement we make, but at some point we have to draw the line, as difficult as it might be," said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of Youngstown, Ohio.
The bishops voted 137 to 102 not to pursue the statement until the conference can decide what its priorities are.
Also yesterday, the bishops elected the chairmen of various committees. O'Malley lost a bid to head the bishops' committee on marriage and family life. That post was won by Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Knoxville, Tenn., in a 151 to 92 vote.
Editors Note: It doesn't cost me a dime to say it.... "Read the Bible!"
"There is not an anti-Catholic anywhere in the nation who has seen ‘Sister Mary Ignatius’ who didn’t love it. For example, on November 13, Michael Smith of the Tulsa World accurately said that ‘the Roman Catholic church’s true believers’ would find that the play ‘provide[s] laughs for all heathens in attendance.’ Judging from his review, that would include him.
“The play, which has been around for decades, features a malicious nun who is confronted by four of her former students. All of them are obviously dysfunctional, a condition directly traceable to their Catholic upbringing. The play not only manages to mock virtually every Catholic teaching, it goes after Jesus with a vengeance—from the Nativity to the Crucifixion; the Virgin Mary is similarly disparaged. In the end, the nun shoots and kills two of her ex-students.
“The play is so vile that when it surfaced in the 1980s it was condemned as anti-Catholic by Jewish and Protestant organizations (as well as by Catholics), and even the New York Times found it offensive. The work of an angry homosexual ex-Catholic, Christopher Durang, it continues to entertain bigots everywhere, including Tulsa.
“According to Tulsa.org, there are 232 churches in Tulsa, almost all which are Protestant; two of them, or .008 percent, are Catholic. This would seem to suggest that the Tulsa Christian community could use a little Reformation of its own. Accordingly, the Catholic League would be happy to supply 95 Theses outlining its concerns. All we need to know is where to nail it.”
If you liked Abu Ghraib you'll love the sequel.....
The U.S. military is investigating the videotaped fatal shooting of a wounded and apparently unarmed Iraqi man by a U.S. Marine in a mosque in Fallujah. Isn't it just great that we all get to go to the instant replay on this one? From the comfort of your living room you can decide if this shooting was justified. Pardon me, but there are a few facts missing from this story.
First, these men were hiding and shooting at our troops from a supposed "holy site". These men would just love to KILL as many American troops as they can. Our Marines were fired upon from the mosque! Marines stormed the building, killing 10 men and wounding five. The fighters in the mosque had been armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 rifles. The wounded Iraqis were not killed. In fact, they were given medical attention and left there. Don't forget our guys are in the middle of a WAR so it's a bit tough to pull up an ambulance to care for the guy who just tried to kill you!
The Marines 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, returned to that mosque the next day. The same five wounded men were still in the mosque. On the video, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead.
"He's (expletive) faking he's dead!"
"Yeah, he's breathing," another Marine is heard saying.
"He's faking he's (expletive) dead!" the first Marine says.
The video then showed a Marine raising his rifle toward a prisoner lying on the floor of the mosque. A a rifle shot could be heard. "He's dead now," a Marine is heard saying.
To put things in perspective, a Marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent. The Marine who shot the man in the video had been shot in the face the day before, yet returned to the battlefield. The footage you don't see on the news is two Americans pointing weapons at another Iraqi lying motionless. But one of the Marines steps back as the man stretches out his hand, motioning that he is alive. The other Marine stands his ground, but neither of them fires.
Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera showed the unabridged version of the Fallujah mosque shooting tape, complete with one name visible on a backpack and the faces of the Marines, which were not shown on U.S. networks.
So here we go again. The "investigation" is underway. Those that already hate us will now have some new footage to add to their library and the Marine is now under the microscope of those who are more concerned with rules then reality. This Marine is doing a job none of us should ever have to do. He is tired, dirty, wounded and he has not slept in days. His family is on the other side if the world. He has watched his friends die inches away from him and he wonders if the next man he sees with be the one to kill him. Does that man propped against the wall have the ability to kill you? You only guess wrong once. That Marine represents every one of our soldiers. They are not criminals, they are brave and terrified men doing what most of us don't even want to think about.
The spot featured a naked Nicollette Sheridan jumping into the arms of Terrell Owens.
Before the Philadelphia-Dallas game, ABC showed Owens and Sheridan in an empty locker room in an attempt to spoof the network hit "Desperate Housewives." Sheridan, who stars in the show, was wearing only a towel and provocatively asked Owens to skip the game for her.
After she dropped her towel, he agreed to be late for the contest and hugged her. Then the shot panned out to two more stars of "Desperate Housewives," Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, watching the scene unfold on a television and commenting on desperate women.
"We have heard from many of our viewers about last night's MNF opening segment and we agree that the placement was inappropriate," ABC said in a statement. "We apologize."
The NFL called the intro "inappropriate and unsuitable for our `Monday Night Football' audience."
"While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
The Eagles said they appreciated ABC apologizing for the segment.
"It is normal for teams to cooperate with ABC in the development of an opening for its broadcast," the team said. "After seeing the final piece, we wish it hadn't aired."
ABC has broadcast "Monday Night Football" with a 5-second delay this season, a precaution after Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at February's Super Bowl.
At halftime of New England's win over Carolina in the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson's brassiere, exposing her right breast to a TV audience of some 90 million. The Super Bowl was broadcast on CBS, which was subsequently fined a record $550,000 by the FCC.
The day after the election, James Ridgeway confessed, “The dream has become a nightmare.” By that he meant “the dream of a secular, liberal democracy.” Why? Because, he said, “the Christians are stronger than ever.”
On 11-16, Ridgeway blasted “the self-absorbed, selfish Christians who take sanctimonious pride in wrapping themselves in the banners of the civil rights movement, missionary work abroad, giving old clothes to single mothers,” etc. He then blamed Christians for not challenging the Klan in the 1980s, noting it is Jews who fight racism outside the South.
On 11-15, Sharon Lerner warned of “an army of bloodthirsty archconservatives” who constitute the pro-life movement. So bad are things for the pro-abortionists that she says, “the sky could really fall.” She makes it clear that it is the Christians she fears.
On 11-16, Sydney H. Schanberg wondered aloud if the election meant “we’re having a second Civil War.” Though he doubts we are, he nonetheless concludes that “there’s a feel of holy-war fever in America.” He also makes it clear that it is the Christians he fears.
On 11-16, Michael Feingold shows he’s crashed: “The spoliation of our national forests by Bush-based economic interests, joined with the accelerated melting of the polar cap…will bring on what must surely be an increasing parade of natural disasters, pandemics, outbreaks of disease….” He warns that “as the sun gets more dangerous, the air less breathable, the water less drinkable, the hurricanes more frequent,” even the rich will suffer. How did this happen? He says, “this is the election in which American Christianity destroyed itself. Today the church is no longer a religion but a tacky political lobby….” Indeed, “Christianity as currently preached and practiced in Middle America is virtually Satan, by the standards of anyone who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus.”
Keillor, host of the popular National Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," made the comments during a speech at Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and during his radio monologue the Saturday after the election.
According to a transcript of the show, Keillor said, "I am now the chairman of a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians. [enthusiastic audience applause] Just a little project of mine. My feeling is that born-again people are citizens of heaven, that is where there citizenship is, [laughter] is in heaven, it's not here among us in America. ..."
During the Chicago speech Nov. 3, Keillor described his reaction to the re-election of President Bush.
"I am a Democrat - it's no secret. I am a museum-quality Democrat," Keillor said. "Last night I spent my time crouched in a fetal position, rolling around and moaning in the dark."
According to a report in the University of Chicago's Chicago Maroon, Keillor told the audience: "If born-again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?"
The speech was part of a celebration of the opening of University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. The facility is named after Gary Comer, who donated $21 million to the building of the $130 million state-of-the-art pediatric facility, the Maroon reported. Comer is founder of the clothing company Land's End, which sponsors "A Prairie Home Companion."
Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., was elected president with 52 percent in the first ballot, despite concerns by some bishops that his diocese is about to declare bankruptcy.
The vote came on the first day of a four-day conference meeting in Washington, D.C.
Editors Note: Bishop Wurel's lack of leadership in our area is of great concern. Until he seeks to truly apply the teachings of the church, he has no place in the leadership of USCCB.
My wife and I have been married for 5 years now and we have a 3 year old son. Trust me, I'm not one to walk in and say "Hey honey, I got a great idea! Let's spend the entire weekend working on the issues in our marriage!" If I did, she would think either they are sold out of root canals or I was taken by aliens and replaced by a cyborg.
But our station was promoting this thing and I thought I'd go see what it was like and I could always escape if I needed to. So I tossed out this invitation to my wife. It was along the lines of "I gotta go to this thing for the station you can come with me if ya wanna." She was really busy, but agreed to go for a bit.
I was glad she was going because there were some things she needed to get fixed. You know I was perfect but she had some issues. I soon found out that most of the guys there were complete jerks like me and thought this same way. A funny thing happens when you hear truth, you become convicted. You can sit a smile and say that's not me, but you can't outrun guilt. It will get you everytime. So Friday night I was tired, but I listened and proceeded cautiously, still keeping my guard up.
There were some interesting things said and so Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed to get downtown. My wife came with me again and we spent the day laughing and learning about each other. She would elbow me when the speaker told of some act of stupidity that he obviously stole from me. I grinned at her as we learned about the three rings of marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffer ring. We talked with one couple that had been married for 29 years and they told of their struggles through the years. There was another couple we sat with and they shared they were a signature away from divorce. They were separated and had a child. They went to this conference a few years ago and now they were back for the second time. Still married!
Sunday was the true test. As it was time to go in to the conference room I could hear from the bar downstairs "This is the NFL on CBS". There was a big screen TV in the lobby and the sound wafted up the staircase like a freshly baked pie. I saw several men had gathered around that TV for their "Sunday Service" but I continued on to the conference floor. You could tell all the guys had some tough choices to make. The Steelers or my marriage? Ben Rothlessberger or my wife. 7 and 1 or haven't won in years? There was a projection screen in the conference room and one guy asked me if they would be showing the game there. I was not sure but I guessed somehow no. I could see a tear in his eye as I made my prediction. I walked into the back of the room for a moment and there was a group of men gathered in prayer. I moved toward them thinking they were praying for restoration in their marriage and strength and forgiveness. But they were praying for the game to be on that projection screen. That prayer never was answered. The doors closed and with the exception of a few guys getting text message updates on the score, most of us forgot about the game.
After 3 days I was emotionally exhausted. But I had met someone I had not seen in a long time. Someone I had adored and loved. Someone who once was my best friend. I met my wife and I would die for her. I was reminded of another person who felt that way and died for us. The problem is, between our marriage and Christ, sometimes the world gets in between. Instead of forcing it out we push things farther apart to make room for the world. Next thing you know, you're a million miles away. I discovered marriage is not a romantic love story but a constant battle for (not against) each other.
This is not a commercial, but if you are stuggling or just wanted to strenghten your marriage I encourge you to try one of these weekends. You can find more information here:
I was really sickened to see the news coverage that surrounded his death. As our troops are fighting nutcases in Iraq that would kill their own mother to prove a point, the media honors a model and hero for these type of scumbags. I think someone needs to add the following to his obituary:
Mohammed Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa Al-Husseini, more commonly known as Yasser Arafat was the fifth of seven children born to a Palestinian textile merchant on August 24, 1929. His Palestinian terrorists flew three hijacked planes to Jordan and blew them up on September 12, 1970. By September 24, the Jordanian army had defeated the Palestinian forces. Most of the Palestinian leadership, including Arafat fled to Syria, and later Lebanon, where they soon set about undermining the central government. In September 1972, a terrorist arm of Fatah, murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. On March 2, 1973, members of the PLO murdered U.S. Ambassador to the Sudan Cleo Noel and chargé d'affaires George Moore. On November 13, 1974, Arafat made an unprecedented appearance before the UN, wearing his military uniform with an empty holster [he was forced to remove his pistol before entering the chamber] around his waist, and declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” The PLO helped destabilize Lebanon and contributed to the civil war, during which Arafat and the PLO were responsible for the persecution and murder of thousands of Lebanese citizens. Palestinian fighters also mounted intermittent cross-border attacks against Israel, which provoked repeated Israeli counterattacks in an effort to prevent the Palestinians from threatening Israelis in the north. Finally, in June 1982, Israel mounted a full-scale assault that escalated into the Lebanon War. He will always be loving remembered for his refusal to express any willingness to abandon the goal of destroying Israel or using terror to accomplish his objective. One of his most heinous was the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship on October 7, 1985, during which Palestinian terrorists shot a wheelchair-bound Jewish passenger named Leon Klinghoffer and dumped his body overboard. Israel agreed to withdraw from 97% of the West Bank, 100% of the Gaza Strip, dismantle most of the settlements, and create a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It was the deal of a liftime and Arafat blew it. His life has been built around a conflict that he did not want to end. And so, a series of horrific terror attacks continued. Friends admired his unwillingness change from terrorist mastermind to statesman. His legacy is never gaining independence for the Palestinian people, and bringing them decades of suffering that could have been avoided had he abandoned his revolutionary zeal for liberating Palestine and agreed to live in peace .
It is fitting they bring Arafat back to that dump they call Rahmalah? It's proper he should be stuck in the ground next to a burned out car and a crumbling building. May I suggest he be buried face down so he can see where he is going.
We had two doctors live on the air that both had different ideas as to when life begins. Is it when the egg is fertilized or when it attaches to the wall?
What the two doctors did agree on is the fact that there is a lot we just don't know. We can't say for certain that the use of birth control does not and never will cause an abortion. That is the one fact in this whole debate we need to put in neon lights. All of you Christians out there reading this and using birth control need to understand.... It is possible by using birth control pills you are causing (albeit unknowingly) an abortion. Millions of Christians could be having abortions every year without even knowing it! Just that fact must cause us to review our decisions and answer the question: Are we doing things because it's God's will or because it's convenient for us?
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, says Bible-believing Christians were the key to George W. Bush's victory in the 2004 election, and he had better not forget it. Now Operation Rescue is calling on the president to take prompt and aggressive action to stop the shedding of innocent blood through abortion in America. ALL's president is asking pro-life Americans to contact the White House at 202-456-1111 or email@example.com and urge President Bush to mark the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade by pledging his commitment to full personhood for every living human from the moment of conception.
We’re hearing plenty about President Bush’s huge advantage in the 2004 election from evangelicals, and (less so) about the extremely significant fact that Catholics who attend Mass weekly voted for Bush by 55% to 44%, which is a startling religious rejection of John Kerry, a Catholic. Yet, the one aspect of the November 2 vote that is being completely ignored is the behavior not of the most devout but the least devout.
According to CNN exit poll data, those who attend church more than weekly made up 16% of 2004 voters, or 18.4 million voters, and they went for Bush by 63% to 35%, or by 11.6 million to 6.4 million, a difference of 5.2 million votes. However, those who never attend church, which equaled 15% of voters, or 17.3 million voters, went for Kerry by 64% to 34%, or by 11.1 million to 5.9 million, also a difference of 5.2 million votes.
This was much like the 2000 vote, when those who attended church more than weekly went for Bush by 63% to 36%, whereas Vice President Al Gore bagged those who never attended by 61% to 32%.
Ten percent of those who voted on November 2 claimed no religion at all. They made up nearly 15 million voters. Of those, 68%, or 10.2 million, voted for Kerry, but only 30%, or 4.5 million, voted for Bush—a Kerry advantage of 5.7 million votes.
In other words, religious voters who won the day for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential contest were countered by non-religious Americans who tried to win the day for John F. Kerry.
The agnostic/atheist vote was even larger in states where Kerry got the most ballots. In California, 24% of voters, almost one in four, said they never attend church, and they went for Kerry 63% to 34%. In New York, those who claimed no religion at all voted for Kerry by 78% to 19%. These eager atheists comprised 12% of New York voters, and they offset those Catholics in New York who favored Bush by 51% to 48%.
So, atheists were most prominent in the two bluest states. Hollywood and Manhattan made their presence known.
It has been noted that 22% of the electorate, or 25.3 million voters, said that “moral values” was their most important issue—79% of which went Bush. This should not suggest the other side stayed home. Consider the abortion issue: While 15% of those who voted believe that abortion should never be legal, another 15% said it should always be legal.
2004 exit poll data point to a statistically accurate profile: Next to African-Americans, the surest Democratic voter is an unmarried, city-dwelling, Northeast, pro-choice atheist with a graduate degree who thinks that gay people should be legally married. The least likely Democratic voter is a married mom or dad who regularly attends church, thinks abortion should be illegal, and cites “moral values” as a top priority.
Liberals will maintain that Karl Rove revved up the religious vote for Bush. What they don’t want to realize is that they drove religious voters to Bush. Among the reasons were their relentless attacks on Bush’s faith. America recognizes that George W. Bush is not unusual religiously speaking, either by contemporary or historical standards. When Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd hammer Bush unceasingly on his faith, they merely preach to the choir, and unwittingly inform devout people of who is not on their side (and why they shouldn’t bother with the New York Times). The Democratic Party is paying a price by kowtowing to the liberal wing’s fear of faith, embrace of moral relativism, and support of abortion on demand.
If Democrats don’t like this situation, they should change it. For starters, liberals should stop blasting Bush each time he mentions God. Or, they might avoid nominating candidates like John Kerry, a Catholic who claims that his faith affects “everything I do in public life” except protect innocent babies in the womb.
The fact, however, is that liberal Democrats will do neither, because they can’t resist. They are who they are, and they are contemptuous of those religious “morals” voters who beat them on November 2, who they view as stupid. That is a crass caricature born of willful ignorance, of not interacting with moderate to conservative Christians, of not visiting their websites and reading their publications—of never pausing to accurately inform themselves of those they ridicule.
The Democratic Party needs to think hard about why its candidate for the presidency was resoundingly defeated by church-going Protestants and Catholics. Conversely, Democrats must pause to contemplate why atheists are gung ho for their presidential nominees. Until then, the Democratic Party will remain a very liberal political party that will increasingly attract the most secular and least religious among us.
Paul Kengor, Ph.D. is author of God and George W. Bush. He is also a professor of political science at Grove City College and a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution. Contact Kengor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Sisters of the Poor
The search is on for a man who stole money from the poor. He took thousands of dollars from the Little Sisters of the Poor as members were counting contributions. Sister Mary Vincent explained that there were two volunteers counting out money. Sister Vincent said, "So they were in the midst of counting money and a gentleman came in and started to put money into a bag. They said 'Wait a minute, we're counting.' He said, 'I'm taking it to a bank.' They said, 'Don't!'" He took the money and walked out. The man got away with about $5,000 in cash. Let's pray for the man who did this horrible act. If you would like to help replace the money, you can send donations to:
Little Sisters of the Poor
1028 Benton Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
“I dare say it is no accident that the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board has a new appointee who happens to be pro-abortion,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “Past experience with this board leads me to believe that nobody is checking backgrounds and references for this committee.”
Newly appointed review board member Pamela Hayes recently told a Catholic reporter that she could care less that her pro-abortion views are well known. She reportedly discussed with pride her support for the pro-abortion former president, Bill Clinton, and the pro-abortion political action committee, Emily's List. According to Hayes, it is the bishops who have the problem.
“The United States bishops have a moral responsibility to cancel Hayes’ appointment immediately,” said Brown. “The bishops must decide sooner rather than later that it is time to clean house at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C.”
American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of the Catholic Church calls on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to immediately cease all affiliation with Hayes if she refuses to recant her pro-abortion stance. “The bottom line is, all Catholics must understand, adhere to, and teach, the firm and clear teachings of the Church: you can’t be both Catholic and pro-abortion!”
*DeWayne Wicham of USA Today frets, “Putting God in the public square runs the risk of turning our democracy into a theocracy.”
*Miami Herald writer Leonard Pitts Jr. warns that social conservatives are “the soldiers of the new American theocracy.”
*Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe, always fearful of morality, says people like her “don’t want their country racked by the fundamentalist religious wars we see across the world.”
*Another worried soul, author Barbara Ehrenreich, argues we are polarized because of “Christian fundamentalism.”
*Syndicated columnist Byron Williams sounds the alarms by noting we are moving “closer to a theocracy.”
*Tony Kushner, the anti-Catholic playwright, believes we now have “a kind of unholy alliance between theocracy and plutocracy.”
*Cynthia Tucker, an editorialist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, blames “black churchgoers” for using the Bible “as a bludgeon” against gays, saying “homophobia” now “oozes across lines of color.”
*Similarly, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial says the rejection of gay marriage means “the old bigotry against homosexuals has not abated.”
Is anyone steering the Catholic ship? Or are we all dancing in the ballroom while the ice burg floats dead ahead?
After learning about the ad that ran in the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper, words cannot begin to describe how disappointed, disgusted and abandoned I feel by some of my Catholic brothers and sisters right now. The ad teamed up local priests, the Association of Pittsburgh Priests and other so-called “Catholics” in what amounted to a “read between the lines” endorsement of. Sen. John Kerry.
My entire life, I have been taught moral right and wrong through the Roman Catholic Church. We have seen evidence of a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality, but now that has been reduced to telling the faithful they don’t even have to do as the church or Christ says.
I have often wondered how one could be in Catholic leadership and not scream the teaching of the church over the noise of the world. Yet I can see how one could be hesitant these days knowing those around you would not support you and may even censure you. Stand against homosexuality and you are a bigot. Vote pro-life and you are narrow-minded. Call yourself a Catholic and some wonder if you are even a Christian.
If you peer though the stained glass windows of the Catholic Church today you might wonder what they are stained with. It used to be the blood of Christ but it seems to have been replaced with a social gospel that overwrites the salvation message. Or maybe it’s ecumenism that transforms the church into a generic faith with little or no difference from any other religion.
The Catholic Church is under attack from the inside out. Forget “Catholic Bashing” if you give us some time we will strangle ourselves with our own hands. Without teaching and upholding basic truths, it’s no wonder many have lost their faith in the Catholic Church and in some cases, Christ himself. We are propagating our own extinction!
Just because you slap a “Catholic” label on something does not mean the world must bow. Yet the Catholic church and in particular Bishop Wurel seem to do just that. I, as a Roman Catholic, am required to accept the authority of the Bishop. However, I’m also free to respectfully ask questions of him.
Like why he would engage in dialogue with the Association of Pittsburgh Priests, a group that constantly and publicly opposes the Vatican on issues of ordaining women, homosexuality and married clergy? Or why the Masonic headquarters in Ross Twp. was built on property owned by the North Side Catholic Cemetery? Or why was it that a so-called “catholic” homosexual group used two Catholic parishes? Or why was it that St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Cathedral was the location for the consecration of Rev. William Duncan as Bishop of the EPISCOPAL DIOCESE?
I sent a letter to Bishop Wurel on May 26th of this year asking him to explain why Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion should not be denied Holy Communion. I have yet to get any response.
We sit with a puzzled look wondering why Catholic School enrollment is declining? Yet a deaf ear is turned to parents who voice concerns over the abandonment of spiritual teaching. Even as adults that teaching is pushed aside of new age ideas, put your conscience above the word of God and let’s blend all religion into one.
Don’t misunderstand me; this is not an attack on the Catholic Church. I believe the teachings of the Church are the teachings of Christ himself. The written and official stance of the Church is correct. The problem is our Shepard’s have left the field and told the sheep “you are on your own”.
I’m some sure some will ask. “Then why remain Catholic?” The answer to that is simple. If a baby has a dirty diaper do you throw out the baby? No, you change it. This election has brought into the light a much bigger question then who will lead our country. The question is who is leading our spiritual life? There are some who have proved they should not be in any church leadership role. If only we could vote them out of office!
My heart breaks for all good and faithful Catholics who seek to be true servants of Christ. We are in a desperate battle for our faith and identity against ungodly education, homosexual advocacy, destruction of schools and parishes, sex scandals, ecumenism, multi-centralism, married clergy, politics, money and the consistent attack of the Faith from inside the church. God have mercy on those who seek to lead the faithful astray.