“Various forums on the Internet are alive with chatter over Father Amorth’s August 27 interview. Father Amorth is a Pauline priest who works as an exorcist in the Diocese of Rome. In the interview, he said, ‘I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed by the devil.’ Furthermore, he asserted that the ‘horrors’ committed by Stalin and Hitler also demonstrate that ‘they were possessed by the devil.’ Unfortunately, some are now reading these remarks as Father Amorth’s way of saying Stalin and Hitler were nuts who cannot be held responsible for their actions.
“Catholic teaching on exorcism does not equate demonic possession with mental illness. On the contrary, the Catholic Catechism says, ‘Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science.’ And in no way does exorcism imply that those possessed by the devil are not responsible for their actions. Satan, the Church teaches, ‘was at first a good angel, made by God.’ Indeed, at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the Church made plain that ‘The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.’ So much for giving totalitarians a pass: over 20 million lost their lives to the Nazis and over 150 million were killed by communists in the 20th century.
“Father Amorth is alleged to have said something about how Harry Potter hides the work of the devil. We’re not sure. What we do know is that in 2003, Father Don Peter Fleetwood, who helped write a Vatican document on New Age phenomenon, told a Vatican press conference that ‘I don’t see any, any problems in the Harry Potter series.’ Indeed, he praised the good intentions of the British writer, J.K. Rowling, who authored the series.”
Leonard Ray Owens, who is free on $25,000 bail, is now awaiting trial on a charge of sexual assault -- a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
All day everyday we a required to read. Street signs, menus, email, blogs, notes and from time to time we are expected to read minds.
I go to the mall and in addition to the store and sale sign that assault me, people now have taken the location of their read end to provide me with reading material. It's short and to the point like "Pitt" or "Cutie" or for the larger rear ends "All-Star". Please stop!
I don't want to read this. Especially not off some strangers' butt. I really don't care if you think you are cute or wish to show your school spirit, but do you have to do it that way?
I think I'll go get me a pair of shorts that's says "Fed-Up" and walk around the mall.
"Were the Japanese imperialists with their mind-set and their ideology the same as the Nazis? Obviously not. Were they the same as the fascists in Italy? Obviously not. But they were still a common enemy," the Republican told about 250 people at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.
"We're at war with Islamic fascism," said Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican. "Afghanistan and Iraq and southern Lebanon and every country around the world is a front."
Father Gabriele Amorth who is Pope Benedict XVI's 'caster out of demons' made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio.
Father Amorth said: "Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.
"I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler - and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil.
Father Amorth is said to have carried out more than 30,000 exorcisms in his career.
Israel, meanwhile, politely dismissed Jackson's initiative. "We appreciate Jesse Jackson's sensitivity to the humanitarian issues," one diplomatic official said, adding that Israel was calling for the unconditional release of the soldiers.
Another government source said Jackson's meeting with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal "put him in a place where he should not be."
Jackson was leading a 10-member ecumenical delegation representing Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic and Protestant groups. He also held talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, as well as with Christian and Muslim clergymen in Damascus.
Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1441 that would require all businesses and organizations receiving funding from the state of CA to condone homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality or lose state funding. There is no exception for faith- based organizations or business owners with sincerely held religious convictions.
This legislation will prevent parochial schools, such as private, Christian, Catholic, Mormon, and many other religious universities, from receiving student financial assistance if they also maintain a student code of conduct preventing behavior deemed immoral by their religious beliefs. By withholding state funding from schools, students’ educational opportunities will be severely limited. And limiting educational opportunities will result in a less diverse, less educated citizenry.
Though spokesmen for TBN were unavailable over the weekend for comment, the cancellation, effective today, would make it the second long-time program scrubbed by the largest Christian broadcaster because of sensitivities about Muslim content.
In January of this year, Hal Lindsey's "The International Intelligence Briefing," notified TBN he would not be back because of what he considered to be efforts to muzzle his opinions about radical Islam.
Lindsey, author of "The Late Great Planet Earth" and considered to be the biggest selling author alive today and a weekly columnist for WND, had anchored the program for the last 12 years on the world's largest Christian network.
Flight 5191, a Comair Delta connections flight, went down at 6:07 a.m. about a mile west of Lexington Bluegrass airport, Comair said. The non-stop flight was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. and arrive at Atlanta’ Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 7:18 a.m. Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, we have confirmed that the FBI is enroute to the crash site.
Early info seems to indicate the flight executed its takeoff from the incorrect runway. The length of this runway, which appears to be undergoing improvements of its surface, is approximately 3500 feet. This aircraft requires a minimum takeoff distance of 5,800 feet at the maximum takeoff weight of 51,000 lbs.
This is wrong and unprecedented. Beyond the healthcare concerns we are left with a diagnosis of bad politics as well, as it appears that President Bush caved in to Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in order to persuade them to release the nomination of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to head the FDA. "Stringent conditions and restrictions," were words used by the White House to justify the change. Are you confident that laws restricting the sale of tobacco and alcohol to those under 18 are successful? Can the FDA assure us that adult men will not be able to obtain this powerful Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug for their under-age girlfriends?
The FDA is twisting congressional statutes, which it does not have legal authority to do.
On the Bill Maher Show on HBO, Friday, Cleland said that he’d spearhead an effort through the Murtha for Congress Committee to raise funds for Murtha to “fight back.” He also announced the organization of a major rally in Murtha’s home district in western Pennsylvania on September 30th where veterans from across the country will gather in Johnstown PA to show their “solidarity” with Murtha’s “courageous stand against this unnecessary war in Iraq.”
But some are saying not so fast......
Bioethics professor C. Ben Mitchell says that a Massachusetts laboratory’s claim to have developed a new way to derive embryonic stem cells without harming embryos is just “ethical smoke and mirrors.”
The study does not really show what it claims to show. “There are huge unresolved ethical problems here,” says Mitchell, associate professor of bioethics at Trinity International University in North-suburban Chicago.
The method of extracting cells from the embryo is similar to the procedure used for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which has ethical problems of its own. The long-term effects of removing a cell or cells from an early embryo are unknown; it is likely some embryos will not even survive the procedure. In addition, it is widely believed that a single cell of a very early embryo may be capable of becoming a new embryo itself.
“Using healthy embryos in research that could harm them is not morally justifiable,” declares Mitchell. “Life threatening experiments should only be done by consent or, in the case of children, with parents’ consent and only where the experiment might benefit the child. These embryos had nothing to gain by being used like laboratory rats.” According to the paper, at least 16 human embryos were killed in the process of developing the technique.
Last May, when discussing the use of this technique to derive stem cells, the President’s Council on Bioethics unanimously agreed: “We find this proposal to be ethically unacceptable in humans . . . we should not impose risks on living embryos destined to become children for the sake of getting stem cells for research.”
The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity maintains that stem cell research does not require the destruction of human embryos. To date, there are over 70 therapies benefiting human patients (and more than 500 clinical trials underway) using stem cells from non-controversial sources such as bone marrow and umbilical cord blood.
“Why scientists do not invest more time, energy, and resources in researching these non-controversial sources probably has more to do with economics than anything else,” says Mitchell. “Follow the money.”
Psychologists said their findings from a three-year study presented a worrying picture of how popular music affected the attitudes of boys and girls to sex.
Rap music and hip hop, with their particular emphasis on sex and demeaning depictions of women, were blamed for encouraging early sexual behaviour, leading to the spread of disease and underage pregnancies.
At first blush, the two conversations - taking place almost simultaneously in different corners of the Internet - might have seemed unremarkable, even humdrum.
In April, with summer fast approaching, both groups of online friends chatted about jobs at children's camps. Did anyone, one man asked, know of girls' camps willing to hire adult males as counselors? Meanwhile, elsewhere in cyberspace, the second group celebrated the news that one of their own had been offered a job leading a boys' cabin at a sleep-away camp. But participants in the conversation did not focus on the work. "Hope you see some naked boys in your cabin," a man calling himself PPC responded. "And good luck while restraining yourself from doing anything."
The two groups were made up of self-proclaimed pedophiles - one attracted to under-age girls, the other to boys. Their dialogue runs at all hours in an array of chat rooms, bulletin boards and Web sites set up for adults attracted to children. But it is no longer just chatter in the ether.
What started online almost two decades ago as a means of swapping child pornography has transformed in recent years into a more complex and diversified community that uses the virtual world to advance its interests in the real one. Today, pedophiles go online to seek tips for getting near children - at camps, through foster care, at community gatherings and at countless other events. They swap stories about day-to-day encounters with minors. And they make use of technology to help take their arguments to others, like sharing online a printable booklet to be distributed to children that extols the benefits of sex with adults.
The community's online infrastructure is surprisingly elaborate. There are Internet radio stations run by and for pedophiles; a putative charity that raised money to send Eastern European children to a camp where they were apparently visited by pedophiles; and an online jewelry company that markets pendants proclaiming the wearer as being sexually attracted to children, allowing anyone in the know to recognize them.
These were the findings of a four-month effort by The New York Times to learn about the pedophiles' online world by delving into their Internet communications. In recent months, new concerns have emerged about whether the ubiquitous nature of broadband technology, instant message communications and digital imagery is presenting new and poorly understood risks to children.
Already, there have been many Congressional hearings on the topic, as well as efforts to write comprehensive legislation to address the issue. But most of those efforts have focused on examining particular instances of harm to children. There have been few, if any, recent attempts to examine the pedophiles themselves, based on their own words to one another, to gain a better recognition of the nature of potential problems.
Last week, that world attracted new attention after reports that John M. Karr, who was arrested last Wednesday as a suspect in the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey, apparently used Internet discussion sites intensively in efforts to communicate with children, sometimes about sex. In e-mail messages to a journalism professor that investigators believe were written by Mr. Karr, statements about children seemed to echo the online dialogue among pedophiles.
"Sometimes little girls are closer to me than with their parents or any other person in their lives,'' the e-mail messages say. "I can only say that I can relate very well to children and the way they think and feel.''The recent conversations among pedophiles that were examined by The Times took place in virtual rooms in Internet Relay Chat, a text-based system allowing for real-time communications; on message boards on Usenet, which has postings by topic; and on Web sites catering to pedophiles.
In this online community, pedophiles view themselves as the vanguard of a nascent movement seeking legalization of child pornography and the loosening of age-of-consent laws. They portray themselves as battling for children's rights to engage in sex with adults, a fight they liken to the civil rights movement. And while their effort has brought little success, they celebrated online in May when a small group of men in the Netherlands formed a pedophile political party, and they rejoiced again last month when a Dutch court upheld the party's right to exist.
The conversations themselves are not illegal. And, given the fantasy world that the Internet can be, it is difficult to prove the truth of personal statements, or to demonstrate direct connections between online commentary and real-world actions. Nor can the number of participants in these conversations, taking place around the Internet, be reliably ascertained.But the existence of this community is significant and troubling, experts said, because it reinforces beliefs that, when acted upon, are criminal.
Repeatedly in these conversations, pedophiles said the discussions had helped them accept their attractions and had even allowed them to have sex with a child without guilt. Indeed, law enforcement officials say that the refrain of justification from online conversations is frequently voiced by adults arrested for molestation, raising concern that such conversations may lower pedophiles' willingness to resist their temptation.
"It is rationalization that allows them to avoid admitting that their desires are harmful and illegal," said Bill Walsh, a former commander of the Crimes Against Children Unit for the Dallas Police Department, who founded the most prominent annual national conference on the issue.
"That can allow them to take that final step and cross over from fantasy into real-world offenses."Still, in their conversations, some pedophiles often maintain that the discussion sites are little more than support groups. They condemn violent child rapists and lament that they are often equated with such criminals. Many see themselves as spiritually connected to children and say that sexual contact is irrelevant. Yet the pedophiles consistently return to discussions justifying sex with minors and child pornography. Many of these adults described concepts of children that veered into the fantastical - for example, at times depicting themselves as victims of predatory minors. A little girl in a skirt reveals her underwear by doing a cartwheel; a boy in a bathing suit sits on a bench with his legs spread apart; a child playfully jumps on a man's back - all of these ordinary events were portrayed as sexual come-ons.
"It really is like going through the rabbit hole, with this entire alternative reality," said Philip Jenkins, a professor of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University who wrote "Beyond Tolerance," a groundbreaking 2001 book about Internet child pornography. The conversations also demonstrated technological acumen, with frequent discussions about ways to ensure online anonymity and to encrypt images. That underscores a challenge faced by the authorities who hope to combat online child exploitation with technology.
For example, in June, Internet service providers announced plans for an alliance that will use new technologies to locate child pornography traders. Pedophiles were undaunted. Within hours of the announcement, their discussion rooms were filled with advice on how to continue swapping illegal images while avoiding detection - months before the new technologies were to be in full operation. Portraits of Pedophilia In a sense, the creation of the pedophiles' online community was a ripple effect from the success of government efforts to crack down on them.
Washington's efforts in the late 1970's to stamp out child pornography by declaring it illegal were enormously effective, closing off traditional outlets for illicit images. But the Internet soon presented an alternative. In the early 1980's, through postings on bulletin board systems, pedophiles went online to swap illegal images. From there, they could easily converse with others like themselves, and they found theirs to be a community of diverse backgrounds.In the conversations observed by The Times, the pedophiles often discussed their personal lives. Their individual jobs were described as being a disc jockey at parties ("a high concentration of gorgeous" children, a man claiming to hold the job said); a pediatric nurse ("lots of looking but no touching"); a piano teacher ("I could tell you stories that would make you ...well... I'll be good"); an employee at a water theme park ("bathing suits upon bathing suits!!!!!"); and a pediatrician specializing in gynecology ("No need to add anything more, I feel").
The most frequent job mentioned, however, was schoolteacher. A number of self-described teachers shared detailed observations about children in their classes, including events they considered sexual, like a second-grade boy holding his crotch during class. The man relating that story held up that action as an expression of sexuality; he was not dissuaded when another participant in the conversation suggested that the boy might have just needed to go to the bathroom. Some pedophiles revealed that they gained access to children through their own families. Some discussed how they married to be close to the children from their wives' previous marriages.
Pedophiles chafe at suggestions that such comments reflect risks to minors. They point out, correctly, that family members and friends - not strangers - are the most frequent perpetrators of child sexual abuse. They never note, however, that the minors mentioned in their online discussions are most frequently those they know well, like relatives and children of friends. Justifications Online In the pedophiles' world view, not all sexual abuse is abuse. There is widespread condemnation and hatred of adults who engage in forcible rape of children. But otherwise, acts of molestation are often celebrated as demonstrations of love.
Experts described the pedophiles' online worldview as reflective of "neutralization," a psychological rationalization used by groups that deviate from societal norms. In essence, the groups deem potentially injurious acts and beliefs harmless. That is accomplished in part by denying that a victim is injured, condemning critics and appealing to higher loyalties - in this case, an ostensible struggle for the sexual freedom of children.
Pedophiles see themselves as part of a social movement to gain acceptance of their attractions. The effort has a number of tenets: that pedophiles are beneficial to minors, that children are psychologically capable of consenting and that therapists manipulate the young into believing they are harmed by such encounters.
Internet websites have been full of speculation that it could be a target date for terrorists in commemoration of the return of the 12th imam, a supposed day of reckoning for Shiites. I have avoided the speculation until now.
This year, August 22 marks the holy day on the Islamic calendar that is the day of reckoning for Shiites. Some Shiite sects believe that August 22 could correspond to the end of the world. And just today, after much hype, Iran has announced that it will continue to develop its nuclear program. To followers of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, this is a well-timed affront to Israel, the United States and the world. The United Nations had given Iran until the end of the month to respond, but Ahmadinejad had made it clear to all Iranians and the world that he intended to respond on the eve of August 22. This guy is just crazy enough to try something stupid. The question is will he and what would that be?
To me that date is no different then any other day. We must understand that God is in control. We must also be aware and protective at all times. I've been asked if I think something will happen. I don't know. I take peace in knowing that whatever happens I can not change it and God wins in the end.
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 20, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appealed for the release of an Iraqi Chaldean priest, kidnapped at gunpoint in Baghdad.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, sent the appeal Saturday in the Pope's name to Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly. Father Saad Syrop Hanna of St. Jacob Parish in Baghdad's Doura district was on his way home Tuesday from celebrating Mass in the parish church when his car was stopped by three masked gunmen who forced him into their car.
In the message, the Holy Father "makes a heartfelt appeal to the abductors to release the young priest at once, so that he can return to the service of God, the Christian community and his countrymen." The Bishop of Rome at the same time expresses his concern for "all the victims of abduction in your country and prays that this dreadful scourge, as well as the 'terrible daily bloodshed which delays the dawn of reconciliation and rebuilding,' will finally come to an end."
Benedict XVI encouraged "the members of the Catholic community to continue to work together with all religious believers and people of good will toward a future of harmonious and respectful coexistence for the beloved nation of Iraq." The message also expressed to "the beloved Chaldean Church" the Pope's "spiritual closeness" and "prayerful solidarity." According to the Missionary International Service News Agency, the abductors demanded a high ransom for the priest's release.
Vehicles such as these were used in the February 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Those two attacks killed 174 innocent American citizens and wounded over 1,800. The 1993 WTC mass-murder attempt also was an attempt at terrorist chemical warfare with the release of quickly lethal sodium cyanide.
At the present time the Federal Bureau of Investigation has this specific threat on their front burner. The FBI believes this specific threat is very real and of imminent concern. This info comes from a source who says what most concerns the FBI are between 20 and 25 commercial semi-tractor trailers which have recently been stolen from parking yards around the country.
The threat specific locales being mentioned by anonymous sources regarding this threat are as follows – Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Las Vegas, Nevada and Miami, Florida.
Among the missing trucks are a 9,200 gallon gasoline tanker stolen from the TK Transport Terminal yard in Pennsauken, New Jersey to the more recent 24-foot box truck carrying 485 gallons of hypochlorite solution stolen from Savol Bleach in East Hartford, Connecticut on June 8, 2006.
Speaking during his Sunday address at his summer residence south of Rome, the pope quoted from the writings of St Bernard of Chiaravalle, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.
"We have to guard ourselves, the saint observed, from the dangers of excessive activity, regardless of the office one holds, because too many concerns can often lead to hardness of heart," the pope said.
"This warning is valid for every type of job, even those concerned with the government of the church," he said.
The 79-year-old Benedict noted that the saint had written to the pontiff of the times, Eugene III, warning him of the dangers of working too hard.
Benedict said one should always make room for "prayer and contemplation".
San Francisco Chronicle
From the story: "Senator Lieberman's support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing. It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats," poll director Douglas Schwartz said. "As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran senator will be hard to beat." (ABC News) Michael Moore’s words are starting to look sillier. (Michael Moore)
Schiavo has created a political action committee, TerriPac, which targets lawmakers who intervened in the case and tried to stop Terri Schiavo’s death.
Michael Schiavo traveled from his home in Clearwater, Fla., to Connecticut last month to help Ned Lamont, who defeated Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic primary, the New York Times reports.
Schiavo reminded voters that Lieberman had supported an emergency bill asking a federal court to consider reinserting Terri’s feeding tube days before she died in March 2005.
Dave Enick, PennDOT's maintenance manager, said they found enough evidence to conclude Sarah Ann Kennedy's grave is under the roadway in Lower Burrell.
Mr. Enick said PennDOT plans to exhume the body and move it elsewhere in a nearby cemetery.
“The name originated in Italy,” Trostsky wrote. “The fascist movement in Italy was a spontaneous movement of large masses, with new leaders from the rank and file. It is a plebian movement in origin, directed and financed by big capitalist powers. It issued forth from the petty bourgeoisie, the slum proletariat, and even to a certain extent from the proletarian masses; Mussolini, a former socialist, is a 'self-made: man arising from this movement.”
According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word derives from the Italian fascismo, from fascio – a bundle or group; from the Latin fascis -- bundle
According to Merriam-Webster, Fascism is a “political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
The iRise by the River's Edge concert and festival scheduled for PNC Park on Saturday has been canceled because of "low ticket sales," said Shaun Pierce, promotion director for WORD-FM 101.5, sponsor of the event.
The festival was slated to feature Christian musical acts and motivational speakers. Among the artists scheduled to appear were the Grammy-winning Casting Crowns, Rebecca St. James and Jars of Clay.
A Fox employee in Gaza, who declined to give his name because he was not authorized to release information about the incident, said the two kidnapped people were reporter Steve Centanni, a U.S. citizen, and a cameraman from New Zealand.
What's this "no salvation outiside the catholic church" stuff? Do you really believe that you have to be catholic to saved?
You are asking two different things here. What the church teaches and my own beliefs. Let's start with what the church teaches. Some people claim that the Second Vatican Council reversed previous Church teaching that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. The Catholic position on “no salvation outside the Church” has not changed. What Vatican II sought to do is clarify the meaning more precisely,
If Jesus is God, and He left us the Catholic Church as His instrument of salvation on earth, then we cannot of ourselves create some other means of salvation than the one God gave us. In other words, we can’t say to God: “Thanks for your plan, but I’ll do it my own way.” What Vatican II had to say on the subject was that some have a saving communion with the Church even if they don’t have an intellectual understanding of such. In other words, they are members of the Church, albeit in an imperfect way, but are not within the visible confines of the Church.
Vatican II said that if a person is, through no fault of their own, ignorant of the fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church, such a person may attain salvation although they are in an impoverished situation. A person who knows the Catholic Church is true and refuses to embrace the Catholic faith would be accountable for the refusal of God’s plan of salvation.
What I believe is this. If you are truly a Christian you are part of the catholic (universal) church. Salvation comes from Christ not any church. I also believe the Catholic church is the true guardian of the gospel and the most direct path to living and learning the teachings of Jesus.
Dolan wrote to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waukesha that it was his duty to notify the Vatican of Vandenberg's action. Dolan said her excommunication could come soon. The Roman Catholic Church prohibits women from becoming priests.
Vandenberg, 64, said Monday that she was "startled" by the letter and surprised that Dolan had "spent so much time and energy" on it when "other important things" might demand his attention.
In his letter to the parish, Dolan said he was "disappointed because Ms. Vandenberg and I had begun a fruitful dialogue on the matter last fall. At that time, . . . I had advised her that any attempted ordination would affect her relationship with the church.
"I believed her sincerity when she assured me that she was unaware of such a consequence, and did not want that to happen."
Vandenberg said Dolan requested the September 2005 meeting, and in a letter the month before it, he told her that "in the interim, you should not be exercising any liturgical or pastoral ministry in the Catholic church lest confusion or scandal arise among the people."
The next day, she said, she resigned her positions as a eucharistic minister and lector. "I cooperated with the archbishop," she said.
On July 31, Vandenberg and 11 other women took part in an ordination ceremony in Pittsburgh - eight to become priests and four to be deacons.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which organized the event, has held similar ceremonies in Canada and Europe.
The group claimed last week's ordinations were valid, performed by women "bishops" secretly ordained by anonymous male bishops. Dolan termed them "simulated and invalid."
Of official efforts to sever her ties to the church. Vandenberg said: "Excommunication is simply a punishment. That doesn't mean I'm excluded from the church. Only I can exclude myself."
Does family birth order predict homosexual orientation?
If you read the popular press, you might think so. A recent report from Canadian psychologist, Anthony Bogaert, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests a link for males, but not females, between adult sexual orientation and the number of older biological brothers. In other words, the more older biological brothers one has the more likely one is to be gay. Dr. Bogaert speculates a pre-natal cause for this observation, in part because the brothers had to be biologically related. Growing up with adopted or step-brothers did not predict sexual orientation. If the effect proves valid, then some gay little brothers might owe their sexuality in some way to the blood brothers who came before them.
However, the potential causal mechanism(s) for the fraternal birth order effect (FBOE) is unknown. Dr. Bogaert offers a theory he dubbed the maternal immune response. He speculates that when pregnant with a male, a woman’s body may identify proteins in male cells as foreign. With each new son, her body may develop a stronger immunity by producing antibodies which may in some way turn the fetus toward a homosexual outcome. Although there is no direct evidence for this hypothesis, news services worldwide validated the pre-natal theory with such headlines as “Sexual orientation of men determined before birth” (Reuters), “Men with older brothers more likely to be gay” (AP), and simply, “Born Gay: The Brother Factor” (Time Magazine).
So did the mainstream press get this one right? Does this study prove gay orientation is inborn?
Not really. First of all, in the studies where the FBOE has been found, the relationship explains very little. One effort to assess the extent of this effect estimates that only about 14% of gay men in North America, or about 1 million gay men, might owe their sexual orientation to the older brother effect. At best, this is highly speculative. Second, the reasons why even these men might be gay are not fully explained by this study. Stated technically, the study explains as little as 1% of the variation among all factors that might lead to homosexuality. For example, imagine a man without a coat standing outside in a howling snowstorm with an ice cube in his hand. (The news headline might read: “Hypothermia determined by ice cubes.”) However, the ice cube explains only a tiny fraction of why he might be shivering, a factor that sheds little insight on the larger picture. In context, the FBOE is an ice cube in the big picture of why someone might become gay.
Given the media treatment of the relatively small FBOE, what do you think the reaction would be to a larger but contradictory study that found no genetic or pre-natal effects? If you guessed the study would garner as much or more media interest, you're not getting the point here.
Actually, we don’t have to guess. Another investigation, completely ignored by the media in 2002, casts doubt on the FBOE. Published in the American Journal of Sociology, Peter Bearman (Columbia) and Hannah Brückner (Yale) studied factors related to same-sex attraction in a large group of 20,745 adolescents. In contrast to Dr. Bogaert’s study of adults, the FBOE was not found. In fact, Bearman and Brückner identified only one significant sibling factor: males with an opposite-sex twin were more than twice as likely to report same-sex attraction compared to males with a male or female non-twin sibling. In direct contradiction to the FBOE, Bearman and Brückner found this caveat: the opposite-sex twin effect was eliminated by the presence of an older brother. Furthermore, they found no evidence for genetic or pre-natal effects.
Bearman and Brückner propose that in some cases, the presence of a twin sister with no older brother could push family and peer life away from culturally specific male gendered activities. Reviewing their results, they state: “Our results support the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic attraction.” They added, "If same-sex romantic attraction has a genetic component, it is massively overwhelmed by other factors."
How many newspapers reported on this study? None. The study, according to Dr. Bearman, received no press. When I (Throckmorton) emailed to ask him about his study, he said I was only the second researcher to contact him. He could offer no reason for this oversight, other than the conclusions of his work were in direct contrast to conventional, dare we say, mainstream media wisdom.
The point here is not that biology is unimportant. It is possible that temperamental factors do have an impact in some, probably indirect, manner. Both nature and nurture research programs are important and since there are conflicting results, we must be open to additional study. This much is sure: sexuality is incredibly complex and socialization factors cannot be dismissed. Readers beware; one would never know that by reading the newspapers.
Here’s a question: why is it that one study that finds a weak sibling relationship and speculates a biological effect gets worldwide attention but another study that finds a weak sibling relationship but no evidence for a biological effect is completely ignored.The answer to that question is probably worth a headline of its own.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at the Center for Vision and Values, Grove City College. He is the producer of I Do Exist, a documentary about sexual identity. His columns have been published in over 100 newspapers and he has appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, Fox News Live and numerous other television and radio programs. Dr. Throckmorton can be contacted via his website, http://www.drthrockmorton.com/. Gary Welton, PhD is also on the psychology faculty at Grove City College.
No, she could not go out with grace and style. Instead, she blamed her loss on the evil threat of electronic voting machines. Why is it that everytime someone loses an election they didn't really lose, they had the election stolen?
Sorry Ms. McKinney, your pompous arrogance cost you the election, not the voting machines.
Her opponent received 59 percent of the vote. (AP) McKinney complained of voting irregularities. (AJC) From CNN: McKinney was unbowed, unleashing a stemwinder of a concession speech in which she barely mentioned her opponent but praised leftist leaders in Cuba and Venezuela, took aim at the efficacy of electronic voting machines and offered several swipes at the media. (CNN)
These 11 Egyptian students have been identified as follows:
1. IBRAHIM, EL SAYED AHMED ELSAYED; DOB OF 4/29/1986, PASSPORT 954757
2. EL DESSOUKI, ESLAM IBRAHIM MOHAMED; DOB OF 02/21/1985, PASSPORT 1002756 3. EL BAHNASAWI, ALAA ABD EL FATTAH ALI; DOB OF 04/02/1986, PASSPORT 934679 4. ABD ALLA, MOHAMED RAGAB MOHAMED; DOB OF 02/15/1984, PASSPORT 860972
5. EL LAKET, AHMED REFAAT SAAD EL MOGHAZI; DOB OF 09/01/1986, PASSPORT 943306
6. EL ELA, AHMED MOHAMED MOHAMED ABOU; DOB OF 02/02/1985, PASSPORT 595081
7. EL MOGHAZY, MOHAMED IBRAHIM ELSAYED; DOB OF 08/08/1986, PASSPORT 861073
8. ABDOU, EBRAHIM MABROUK MOUSTAFA; DOB OF 02/25/1984, PASSPORT 828682
9. EL GAFARY, MOUSTAFA WAGDY MOUSTAFA; DOB OF 07/01/1988, PASSPORT 861673 10. MARAY, MOHAMED SALEH AHMED; DOB OF 09/12/1985, PASSPORT 862634
11. EL SHENAWY, MOHAMED IBRAHIM FOUAAD; DOB OF 08/12/1988, PASSPORT 862534
This is nation wide, with specific region of interest is the eastern seaboard--from Maine to Florida. These individuals are in the U.S. illegally and are wanted for questioning.
When: Friday, August 4, 2006
Where: The Hill House
1835 Center Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Who: Senator Jonathan Edwards
Gabe Morgan, Change to Win
Khari Mosely, League of Young Voters
The Wake-Up Wal-Mart bus tour brings Senator Jonathan Edwards to Pittsburgh to discuss how Wal-Mart is hurting America by lowering wages, forcing good paying American jobs overseas, and cutting costs with total disregard for the values that have made this nation great.
In order to have change in America, big corporations must reflect America's values. With big corporations like Wal-Mart contribute millions of dollars to right-wing Republicans to take America in the wrong direction. For example, Wal-Mart opposes expanding health care for working families, fought against a living wage, helped ship U.S. jobs overseas and even used its special interest organization to lobby against strengthening port security.Starting in New York City and ending in Seattle, Washington, the five-week bus tour will visit 35 cities in 19 states across America. We will be attending state fairs, holding town hall meetings, organizing grassroots rallies, and canvassing neighborhoods. The tour will be an unprecedented call to action as we ask the American people to join our 248,000 supporters who are fighting to change Wal-Mart and build a better America.
Event co-sponsored by: Change to Win, League of Young Voters, Allegheny County Central Labor Council, Allegheny County Democratic Committee, ACORN, Democracy for Pittsburgh, Progress Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Young Democrats, Just Harvest, South End Active Democrats, CLUW, Labor and Religion Coalition, Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, CBTU, Pennsylvania America Votes, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Working Families Win
For decades Christians have questioned whether the problems of the day could be the tell tale signs of the End Times. Some chalk this up to a few "Jesus Freaks" who cry "the end is near" to passing crowds who could care less, but it's much more than that.
William Miller"s 100,000 followers were so sure of his prediction that October 22, 1844 would be the exact date of the "seventh day of creation" and Jesus Christ's return to earth, that they sold their farms and businesses to prepare for it. 100,000 people duped in 1844, and here we still are today.
In the 1960s the U.S. faced the Cuban Missile Crisis. People wondered was this the beginning World War III? The sense of impending doom was so strong that 200,000 American households built bomb shelters. The also wondered if this was the end times as they hunkered under desks and in shelters.
Those claims from the past are back again. Louis Sahagun, writing in the Arab-American News, claims that many Christians are "laying the groundwork for Armageddon" in order to "speed the promised arrival of a messiah". I don't think anything we do will speed up or slow down God's plan.
Even in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has suggested that the elimination of Israel would herald the return of a 9th-century Muslim cleric known as the Mahdi, the 12th Imam. He hopes to welcome that messiah to Tehran within two years. So now we are in a race for the messiah?
The questions must be asked. Could we be experiencing the first days of World War III? If so, is World War III the final prelude to Christ's return?
The Bible, in the third chapter of Second Timothy, says: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." Sadly, we fit that description.
I'm not convinced that we are in the end times. I am convinced we live in a fallen world. But I'm not selling the farm and building a shelter to wait for the return of Christ. I don't think we are called to do that. Instead, I believe we should all live like the end is only a day away. Not to withdraw from the world, but to embrace it. Change the priorities of your daily life like the end is near. No one is ever promised a moment beyond now.
If we are in the last days before Christ's return, what would you change about your life? Let's stop trying to figure out God's schedule and live like the clock is ticking, even if there wasn't a crisis going on in the Middle East.
Concerned about their fracturing denomination, about 150 Central Florida Episcopalians packed the sanctuary of St. Richard’s Episcopal Church on Saturday.
“We take no position on Scripture or theology or morals,” said Donna Bott, a leader of a group called Episcopal Voices of Central Florida, which sponsored the meeting. “We are just Episcopalians.”
More than anything else, the crowd was determined that the 44,000-member Diocese of Central Florida not break away from the Episcopal Church, USA, over the issue of sexuality.
He continued, “The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.” Gibson said he now wants to meet one-on-one with leaders in the Jewish community “to discern the appropriate path for healing.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“Mel Gibson’s apology is a model of contrition, and it reflects the genuineness of his faith. Indeed, it stands in stark contrast to the ‘If you were offended’ type of apology that we are so accustomed to at the Catholic League. We trust that most Jewish leaders will now do the honorable thing and work with Mel so that all wounds can heal.
“There will always be those who refuse to forgive. They are a tragic lot. Worse, they are the only losers.”
Late Nite Catechism 2
By Maripat Donovan
Buy tickets online now!
First there was nun, now there’s two! In this hilarious sequel described by the Los Angeles Times as “funnier than the original,” Sister returns in Late Nite Catechism 2 to teach us that “Sometimes We Feel Guilty Because We Are Guilty.” Using improvisation and audience interaction, Sister will explain Penance, the Ten Commandments, and why Catholics can compare Heaven and Hell to Chutes and Ladders. She’ll also give a lesson on New Sins for the New Millennium and offer some suggestions for Celebrities Who Shack-up With the Devil. Late Nite Catechism 2 is one guilt trip you’ll definitely want to take!
Tuesdays at 7 pm
Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 pm
Saturdays at 5:30 pm and 9 pm
Sundays at 2 pm
Ticket pricesTuesday–Thursday: $35Friday–Sunday: $40
Groups of 10 or more receive significant savings. Contact Lindsay Nakles, Group Sales Associate, at 412.431.4400 ext. 231.
To buy tickets, call the Box Office at 412.431.CITY or click here to buy online.
We have another great show ready to go today. Join us at 4 as we have a Nun in studio to answer your questions. You don't want to miss this one.
Also joining us from Anaheim, CA will be Fox Chapel H.S. teacher Douglas Martin. He has been nominated for teacher of the year.
Tune in today begining at 4PM.