"Fake confessions in search of a shameful scoop," the newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, headlined a commentary condemning the cover story of L'Espresso magazine, one of the country's leading weeklies.
"Shame! There is no other word to express our distress toward an operation that was disgusting, worthless, disrespectful and particularly offensive," the newspaper said.
The commentary said the article had exploited the good faith of confessors and offended the religious sentiments of millions of people."It was a sacrilege, because it violated the sacred space in which a self-recognized sinner asks intimately to receive God's merciful love," it said.
The reporter made his false confessions to 24 different priests in five Italian cities, including Rome. The magazine said the idea was to see how priests handle difficult pastoral situations and whether they followed the strict norms laid out by church teaching.
The reporter, for example, told two priests he was HIV-positive and wondered whether he should use a condom when having sexual relations with his girlfriend. One told him no, and the other said it was a question of conscience, the magazine reported.
More than once, the magazine said, priests gave quite different advice on his supposed "sins," which included matters relating to homosexuality, divorce, stem-cell research, euthanasia and prostitution. One issue that found unanimous condemnation by confessors was abortion, the magazine said.
These types of tragedies bring to mind Dr. Dobson’s book, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense”. This family is certainly a witness to their faith.
Well, if Leonardo is on the case I feel much better.
Meanwhile.... Billions of people will suffer water shortages and the number of hungry will grow by hundreds of millions by 2080 as global temperatures rise, scientists warn in a new report. The report estimates that between 1.1 billion and 3.2 billion people will be suffering from water scarcity problems by 2080 and between 200 million and 600 million more people will be going hungry. Rising sea levels could flood seven million more homes, while Australia's famed Great Barrier Reef, treasured as the world's largest living organism, could be dead within decades.
Rising sea levels and a water shortage. Ain't that a kick in the teeth?
On the other side of the fence.....
Two new books say today’s global warming is due not to human activity but primarily to a long, moderate solar-linked cycle. "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years", by physicist Fred Singer and economist Dennis Avery was released just before Christmas. "The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change", by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark and former BBC science writer Nigel Calder (Icon Books), is due out in March. Unstoppable Global Warming documents the reality of a moderate, natural, 1500-year climate cycle on the earth. The Chilling Stars explains the why and how.
And still more....
The U.N. environment agency pressured Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on to call an emergency climate summit amid dire reports about the risks from global warming.
Propaganda the kids......
The producer of former Vice President Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" is hard at work on a new project: writing a book to help school kids "understand why global warming happens."Scholastic, Inc. - one of the world's largest publishers of children's books, including the "Harry Potter" series - announced Monday that its Orchard Books imprint "has acquired world rights to 'The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming' by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, scheduled for publication in September 2007."
These people get paid for this.
From this odd story: … at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since. When the family tried to gain access to the sperm, however, the hospital refused, on the ground that only a spouse could make such a request. Arguing that their son yearned to raise a family, his parents challenged that decision in court. On January 15, after a four-year legal battle, a Tel Aviv court granted the family's wish and ruled the sperm could be injected into a woman selected by Cohen's family.
How's this for a Hollywood plot: The soldier can have a son with a women he never met. That son can have sex change at 12 and marry the son of the man who killed him. They can adopt Israeli and Palestinian children and go on Oprah.
He had Terry McAuliffe on his show to talk about his new book. (Terry is the campaign manager for Hillary).
Hewitt question him on his so called Catholic faith. The transcript is great. This is just another example of how the Catholic Clergy are not enforcing the teaching of the Church and the teaching of Jesus Christ. Why do people always claim to be what they are not?
For any other group, such acts would mean immediate arrest. This time, the Capitol police's hands were tied because they were ordered to stand down by their Chief of Police, who answers to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). To add insult to injury, public employees had to come in on their day off, at taxpayer's expense, to clean up the mess the protestors left behind. The vandals clearly broke federal law.
According to the news reports the rank and file police officers were "livid" that they were ordered not to arrest anyone. Since the Capitol police answer to Speaker Pelosi, the question arises, did the Chief of Police give the "no arrest" order or did it come from someone else? Whoever is responsible for the order needs to explain why the physical destruction of taxpayer property is acceptable.
The Pope may have condemned rock music as "anti-religion" but the Church of England has announced it is to use the songs of a global supergroup in an effort to boost congregations.
The first "U2-charist" in England, an adapted Holy Communion service that uses the Irish rock group's best-selling songs in place of hymns, is to be staged at a Lincoln church in May.
A live band will play U2 classics such as Mysterious Ways and Beautiful Day as worshippers sing along with lyrics which will appear on screen at St Swithin's parish church in the town centre.
The event will focus on the Millennium Development Goals - targets set for the alleviation of world poverty - and a cause promoted by U2 singer and lyricist Bono with fellow Irish musician Bob Geldof.The atmosphere will be further enhanced by a sophisticated lighting system that will pulse with the beat, and striking visual images of poverty and drought.
The Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Rev Timothy Ellis, said the service would be "completely inclusive" with anyone who wished to come along welcome. Seating will be moved in order for the 500-strong congregation to be able to dance and wave their hands.
He said: "The Millennium Development Goals are extremely important for the future of the world."It is also very important that we continue to try and find ways of worshipping that are surprising, challenging and fun. Rock music can be a vehicle of immense spirituality."The idea of a "U2-charist" was first created in the US with the first such service held there in 2005.
I'll bite my tounge on this one...
Rocky Mountain News
Powerball says: I saw this movie already. It's pretty good. Not your typical Christian film and I don't think I would take young children to see it. But overall I would recommend seeing it. I'd give it 3 out of 4 stars.
You can find more info here.
I wish Senator Orie well on this attempt, and I hope that her colleagues support her in this effort. Obviously, this was not the case in the past.
The Senate and House Republican leadership has consistently pealed off enough Republican votes to pass Governor Rendell’s 1st term goals. These included a double-digit personal tax increase, the approval of slots, and the borrowing of $1 billion of additional debt.
Scholar Ron Haskins testified on January 24th that promoting the economic benefits of marriage is an important part of the solution, but many Democrats dismissed the notion.
Under the headline "Gender and the Pulpit," Newsweek bemoans the "workplace quandary" facing ministers who have surgically altered their gender. First off these are wolves that have altered themsleves to look like sheep, but I digress. The article examines the difficulties facing a minister who suffers from "permanent gender ambiguity."
The author quotes numerous "transgender ministers" who attended a gathering at Pacific School of Religion, the first "Transgender Religious Summit."
Pacific is an ultra left-wing ecumenical seminary in Berkeley, CA. They prepare students for ordination in Protestant denominations that include United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church and the Disciples of Christ. At its website, Pacific articulates its purpose as "Equipping historic and emerging faith communities for ministries of compassion and justice."
The article is an uncontested platform for "transgender ministers" to air their grievances about conservative religious ideologies that have kept them "in the closet" with regard to their true sexual identity.
"Transgendered people are beginning to find their public voice with more advocates and opportunities for protection," explains Justin Tanis, an ordained minister who helped put together the summit—and who was born female.
Ministers quoted in the article accuse conservative Christians of twisting Scripture out of context in order to treat "transsexuals and other people with ambiguous gender as having psychological defects that can be cured with psychotherapy."
One "female" minister, once a man, quotes Isaiah 56:1-5—a passage that begins with a command of God to "do righteousness," a portion of the verse that is left out of the article— and says she uses it to locate evidence "of God’s love for her unique case."
God does love her or him or whatever. He made us all in his image and some seek to change that image. We all have a unique case and we are called to follow Jesus, not have Jesus follow us.
You have to ask where does the faith of the people truly lie? It revelsed in the words of one "transgender minister". He finds his vindication, not in the gospel, but in the government. Tanis expresses hope that the Democrat party’s recently gained majority in Congress will create a political climate in Washington such that transgender activists will "finally be heard…on the issue of workplace rights."
It's very sad. We need to embrace these people. We need to loving reach out to them, but we also must make sure that they are not confused with Christian clergy.
The entire article may be viewed here
The IPCC report, due for release on Feb. 2 in Paris, draws on research by 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries and has taken six years to compile.
"There are a lot of signs and evidence in this report which clearly establish not only the fact that climate change is taking place, but also that it really is human activity that is influencing that change," R.K. Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, told Reuters.
Meanwhile.... An arctic air mass continues to pour out of Canada and into the Midwest and Northeast, bringing the coldest temperatures so far this winter .
And while we are at it.......For males, increasing anomalies in monthly average temperatures associated to a higher monthly suicide mean from May to August and, to a lower extent, in November and December. In January, on the other hand, increasing anomalies in monthly average temperatures appeared to be coupled to a lower number of suicides. For females, the links between temperature and suicides are less consistent than for males, and sometimes have a reverse sign, too.
Called the Active Denial System, it projects an invisible high energy beam that produces a sudden burning feeling.
Military officials, who say the gun is harmless, believe it could be used as a non-lethal way of making enemies surrender their weapons.
Moving ever closer to a war where no one get hurt......
Now, jurors will decide whether PETA was providing humane deaths to animals that would otherwise have been painfully killed in gas chambers -- or whether, as several local officials say, they were taking animals on the promise of finding them homes and secretly killing them.
A PETA spokeswoman, Kathy Guillermo, said PETA never wanted to get into the business of euthanizing animals. But she said the group couldn't ignore the horrible conditions in animal shelters around Norfolk and in northeastern North Carolina. The group now euthanizes thousands of animals a year.
The News & Observer
Huh? How could that be? The earth is warming but the midwest is cooling????
Meanwhile, private forecasters WSI Corp in Andover, Mass., predicted that temperatures from February through April will be warmer than normal. However, WSI said it would revise its forecast by week's because of the expected low temperatures in early February.
The man in question, John DeCicco, was simply restating the church's teaching on homosexuality, but instead the state considered his personal beliefs "hate speech" under Canada's hate crimes law. While DeCicco has since apologized to the men, the couple's complaint has resulted in a hefty fine and potential court proceedings.
In an interview, DeCicco said, "In this great nation of ours we can express our opinions, and when you can't there's something wrong." If the U.S. Congress passes H.R. 254, the same scrutiny our northern neighbors face could soon be here, which will have a chilling effect upon free speech.
The pattern is clear: a "hate crimes" law will inevitably lead the government to police our thoughts, and, eventually, our personal opinions and beliefs. Although proponents of the bill claim that the legislation would further tolerance and help end discrimination, the only effect it will truly have is to gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda.
The Washington Post has an excellent article on the body language displayed last night during the State of the Union Address.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Steelers. I root for the Steelers. (Except on the rare occasion they play the Bears)
Last year it was great to see the Black and Gold win the SuperBowl. But this year...... Well let's just say I've been waiting since 1985 for this moment.
See, I'm originally from Chicago, so the hometown team is always the hometown team. All Yinz should get that.
I've been in Pittsburgh since 1989. Wow, has it been that long? According to a recent test I took, I'm 95% Pittsburgh. However on Feb 4th I'll be 110% Chicago.
How Pittsburgh are you? Find out here and let me know the results.
Go Bears N At'........................
Tens of thousands of families flooded the nation's capital to protest the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, reaffirmed with each step that every person, no matter how small or old, is endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, the first of which is the right to life, regardless of what the Court may say.
Since 1973, America has suffered under the legacy of justices who hijacked our Constitution and invented a woman's so-called right to choose. Now, 45 million casualties later, we face assaults on the sanctity of human life from every front--in clinics, laboratories, classrooms, and the courts.
While the war against the unborn sometimes seems insurmountable, today is another reminder that Americans have not forgotten the ugly legacy of Roe. Across the country, the pro-life movement is gaining ground. Five states have introduced bills to ban abortion when Roe is overturned. Others are working to pass legislation that would require doctors to tell pregnant women seeking abortions that their unborn child will feel pain. Elsewhere, states are seeking: tighter regulations on abortion clinics, laws enforcing parental consent before a minor seeks an abortion, increased funds for abstinence-only education, and human cloning bans. Together we march on.
"It is a scientific, medical fact that unborn children feel pain," said Brownback. "We know that unborn children can experience pain based upon anatomical, functional, physiological and behavioral indicators that are correlated with pain in children and adults. Mothers seeking an abortion have the right to know that their unborn children can feel pain."
The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, in addition to informing the mother seeking an abortion of the medical evidence that the unborn child feels pain would also ensure that the mother, if she chooses to continue with the abortion procedure after being given the medical information, has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child, so that the unborn child's pain is less severe.
The bill, first introduced in the 109th Congress, has 27 co-sponsors.
Brownback continued, "Today, I participated in the 34th annual March for Life, an event which reminds us that every life is worthy of protection, especially the smallest lives. Unborn children do not have a voice, but we nonetheless must recognize that they can feel pain and should be treated with care."
By Thomas J. Craughwell
The other week Pope Benedict XVI phoned a few French bishops, and it wasn't to find out what they got for Christmas. According to Britain's Catholic Herald, the pope was doing a bit of old-fashioned arm-twisting in response to these bishops' very public opposition to Benedict's intention to grant Catholics more access to the pre-Vatican II rite of the Mass.
On October 30, 2006, ten French bishops, including the archbishop of Strasbourg, released a letter expressing their fear that "the extension of the use of the Roman Missal of 1962 makes the direction of the Second Vatican Council relative... [and] would also risk harming unity among priests as well as among the faithful." One of the signers of the statement, Bishop Andre Lacrampe of Besancon, has been quoted as saying, "One cannot erase Vatican II with a stroke of the pen."
Is Pope Benedict about to abolish Vatican II? Not quite. What he is doing, in fact, is implementing one of the council's guarantees, spelled out in its document on the Mass, Sacrosanctum Consilium, "In faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way." Of course, it didn't pan out that way. In 1969 Pope Paul VI virtually banned the traditional Mass and imposed on the Church the Novus Ordo Missae, the New Order of the Mass that has been the norm in Catholic parishes around the globe ever since.
Paul VI's Mass was no simple vernacular translation of the traditional text; this was a major edit-and-rewrite job that recast the role of the priest, the people, and even God's place in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church. It was, in short, a revolution. And as Robespierre could tell you, once a revolution gets rolling, it's hard to tell exactly where it will end up.
Once the new Mass was put in place, the progressives went on a rampage the likes of which the Church had not seen since the Reformation. On Sunday mornings, while the parish clergy hung out in the rectory, members of the laity distributed Communion to congregations who were instructed to stand, not kneel, to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, and urged to take the Sacred Host, the consecrated bread, in their hands rather than receive it on their tongue. Then came the church "wreckovations" -- altars were smashed, communion rails ripped out, statues hauled away to the dumpster or banished to obscure corners of the church, and elaborately decorated interiors whitewashed. The documents of Vatican II did not call for any of these soul-and-gut wrenching innovations, but when confronted the progressives claimed that their actions were in keeping with "the spirit of Vatican II."
The-not-too-subtle message of this revolution was, if the Mass, the thing the Church held most sacred, could be monkeyed with, then it was open season on doctrine, discipline, religious authority, religious vows, church music, education, sexuality, marriage, and life itself. As the Catholic Church sank into chaos, many Catholics jumped ship. A 1958 Gallup poll found that in the United States 75 percent of Catholics went to Mass every Sunday; today the number has dropped to 25 percent. By the way, on any given Sunday in France, the bishops can count on seeing about five percent of the population.
MASS ATTENDANCE WAS NOT the only thing that suffered in the upheavals that followed Vatican II. Today 53 percent of American Catholics believe that one can have an abortion and still be a good Catholic. And 70 percent of American Catholics in the 18-44 age group say they do not believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, that it is only a symbol of Jesus.
As for religious vocations, the statistics are dire. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States; in 2002 there were 450 ordinations. In 1965 there were 600 seminaries in the United States; today there are about 200. In 1965 there 180,000 nuns in the United States, 104,000 of whom were teaching sisters; in 2002 there were 75,000 sisters, only 8,200 of whom were in the classroom. As for the famous Christian Brothers who staffed so many Catholic schools, in 1965 there were 912 young men preparing to take their vows; in 2000 there were only seven. (All these numbers come from Kenneth Jones' Index of Leading Catholic Indicators).
In the aftermath of Vatican II, the Catholic Church has split into roughly two camps. First, there are the liberals/progressives, bishops, clergy, and laity who see Vatican II as a complete break with the Church's past, its doctrines as well as its traditions. On the other side are the conservatives/traditionalists, those bishops, priests, and laity who insist that Vatican II must be read in light of the Church's doctrine and traditions. Until now the progressives have had the conservatives on the run. But since his election, Benedict XVI has said openly that Vatican II is just one in a long series of church councils, and to argue that it swept away everything that came before it is to mangle the council documents beyond recognition.
Naturally the two factions have aligned themselves with two opposing schools of theology. The conservatives defend the Church's traditional God-centered view of the universe. Nothing conveys their perspective better than the traditional Mass in which the priest, the altar boys, and the people all face the altar, with the tabernacle that contains the Host and the crucifix above the altar as the focal points of their prayers. This God-centered perspective also dominates the conservative ideas about themselves and how they interact with their neighbors. It can be summed up in a basic question, "How is one saved?" And the basic answer is, "By keeping God's commandments."
THE THEOLOGY OF THE PROGRESSIVES is decidedly man-centered (oops! make that person-centered). Again, it starts with the Mass, where the priest stands at a table facing the congregation (by the way, the Vatican Council didn't call for that either). The focus then has become the interplay between the priest and the people, and in all too many instances priests have found it hard to resist the temptation to be an entertainer, urged on by his congregation's appreciative laughs and rounds of applause that are common these days in forward-thinking parishes. God is an afterthought in such places. The tabernacle is off in a side room, usually out of sight, and the crucifix is portable, carried in at the start of Mass and carried out when it is over -- and for good reasons: the presence of the Real Presence, the image of Christ dying on the cross make the "worship space" too churchy, which could put a damper on the folksy "I'm okay-you're okay-God's okay" spirit of the congregation. In terms of theology the progressives tend to be utilitarian: the issues of a celibate clergy, same-sex marriage, abortion, and euthanasia are difficult and make many people uncomfortable, so the easiest solution to such thorny issues is to sanction them all.
Then in 1988 Pope John Paul II threw the conservatives a lifeline, granting permission (the ecclesiastical term is indult) for priests to say the traditional Latin rite of the Mass. In a document entitled Ecclesia Dei (The Church of God), the pope declared, "Respect must everywhere by shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962." But there was a hitch: priests who wished to say the old Mass, and Catholics who wished to attend it, had to apply to their local bishop for permission. In response to such requests, few bishops could be described as "generous."
Conservatives cheered when Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI because he had written and preached in support of the old Mass and often celebrated it publicly himself. Ever since the election conservatives and liberals have been waiting to see what Benedict will do. Now he is ready to act.
Unlike the implementation of Paul VI's Mass in 1969, Benedict XVI's decision to take the handcuffs off the old Mass is not a revolution but a challenge. He is not going to abolish the new Mass. Instead he is setting up the traditional Mass with its traditional theology as an alternative to what is available in the typical Catholic parish.
At this writing the document has not been released, and no one at the Vatican who has read it has leaked its full contents. One thing is certain, however: With this document the pope is undermining the monopoly the progressives have had on parish life. For the first time in a long time Catholics who have clung to the traditional teachings of the Church and cherished the traditional liturgy will have a place they can call home.
Thomas J. Craughwell is an author and commentator on Catholic issues. He lives in Bethel, Connecticut.
The World Net Daily article details the issue of the pro-life position of the Catholic Church verses the Catholic members of Congress and their pro-abortion stance. As a Presbyterian elder, we have a similar problem, but in reverse. We have what appears to be a pro-life majority in the pews, pro-life Presbyterian Congressmen and Senators, but those speaking for us at the national denomination level continue to espouse abortion “rights” advocacy.
Our denomination has lobbied against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, parental notification laws and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. On this anniversary of "Roe", we pro-life Presbyterians have our work cut out for us.
I was not very said to see him leave Pittsburgh. It gives my high hopes for the next Pittsburgh Bishop. But back to Wuerl.
Wurel did not (in my opinion) take a strong stand on much of anything. News out of DC shows that nothing has changed.
A response he made recently to questions about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (a self proclaimed Catholic) have infuriated the far-right edge of the Catholic blogosphere, and drawn ire from some of the most conservative Catholic leaders of the anti-abortion movement. Archbishop Donald Wuerl has stuck to the stand he took as bishop of Pittsburgh, refusing to withhold communion from Catholic legislators who support legal abortion.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: A week ago in San Diego he took questions from a conservative Catholic journalist about Ms. Pelosi.
"Do you intend to discipline her at all for being persistent and obstinate about her support for abortion and same-sex marriage?" asked Allyson Smith of the Web site California Catholic Daily.
"I will not be using the faculty in the manner you have described," he replied, referring to his authority.
"Will you make a statement to your priests and deacons to warn them not to allow her to receive if she presents herself for Communion?" Ms. Smith continued.
The archbishop responded: "You're talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No."
LifeSiteNews.com ran outraged responses from Catholic leaders on the conservative wing of the anti-abortion movement.
"I don't believe Archbishop Wuerl is doing his job," said the Rev. Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, adding that Ms. Pelosi should be excommunicated.
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League was "appalled that Archbishop Wuerl not only is not going to do anything about this but has publicly said so."
This was a hot topic during the 2004 election. Some argued no one is really worthy of receiving Christ, so how can we ban a person from communion? It has been the long tradition of the church that the person who presents himself or herself for communion has the primary responsibility to determine whether or not they are worthy to receive it. But when a person openly, repeatedly and publicly sins, it is the duty of the clergy to intervene.
You either call a person to repent and fall back in line with church teaching, or you provide a consequence like with holding communion or for the most egregious cases, excommunication.
We need some solid leadership from the Church. How can you preach on the value of life and turn your head when some of the most public and visible examples of the Catholic faith toss aside that teaching in the public arena? If this is not a "deal breaker" then what in the world is?
Yet, it took the dramatic images of a hurricane overtaking New Orleans and searing heat last summer to finally trigger widespread public concern on the issue of global warming.
Problem is, global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer's heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s.
In their efforts to capture the public's attention, then, have climate scientists oversold global warming? It's probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far.
It's mind boggling to know that we worry about junk food kids eat and what movies they watch. We pass smoking bans and outlaw trans fat. We take up the cause of global warming and save the whales. Yet after handing power to a Republican President, Congress and Senate, abortion is still legal in this country.
I cheer all that have responded to speak out against this tragic option. We no longer value life much in the world. Still, we must first seek to change hearts before laws. A women killing her own child is not a decision anyone should have to make.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday: "The UN resolution was born dead and even if they adopt 10 more of such resolutions it will not affect Iran's economy and policies."
Iran's military manoeuvres come days after the US announced that it would deploy a second aircraft carrier, the USS Stennis, to the Gulf.
An unnamed Iranian military commander said: "The manoeuvre is aimed at evaluating defensive and fighting capabilities of the missiles."
In November, Iran test-fired dozens of missiles, including the Shahab-3 which can reach Israel, in exercises it said were aimed at putting a stop to the role of world powers in the Gulf region.
One down, two to go on the axis of evil count.
So instead of dropping little used bus routes with few riders, the Port Authority proposed dropping a popular bus route to the Pittsburgh Airport.
This time the ploy backfired. If the Port Authority eliminates the popular 28X Airport Flyer buses as it has proposed, a private company said it's willing to pick up much of the slack. Now the Port Authority is saying that the elimination of the popular bus route may not happen! Read more…
It's done by Alexandra Pelosi. Daughter of the new Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She ventures out over a year-long period for up-close and personal encounters with some influential members of the evangelical community, from Joel Osteen, the most-watched TV minister in America, to pastor Ron Luce, the founder of "Battle Cry," a concert tour that has drawn more than two million young people to its events nationwide.
Pelosi also visits with a spectrum of others who embody a wide range of evangelical experiences, among them visitors at religion-themed parks, a Christian comic, creationist educators, Liberty University students and activists in Washington, D.C.
Sadly, one of the main people in this film is disgraced pastor Ted Haggard, who recently stepped down as president of the 30-million strong National Association of evangelicals - the largest evangelical group in the U.S. - following allegations that he had sex with a male prostitute and bought illegal drugs.
It's painful to watch. Not just because it's a far from flattering piece on evangelicals and Christianity in general, but because Pelosi holds up a mirror to those who proclaim Christ and I don't like much of what I see.
Some of it is just odd. The rock concerts for Jesus, the Christian wrestling and the Evangelical Elvis I could without. I know these are well intentioned people, but they make me want cringe and at times I'm embarrassed to be associated in any way with them.
I have no doubt that most non-believers will cheer this film as a hypocritical portrayal of evangelicals. With Ted Haggard as the frontman it's hard to argue that point. We as Christians do more damage to Christianity then any non-believer ever could. We build our own custom Jesus. We pursue our own desires, slap a "God" label on it and think it's great because we feel good and we are doing what we want "for Jesus". With the hyper praise festivals and mega-churches and endless "ministries" that do everything from tattoos to skate boarding, it not hard to see why someone on the outside looking in would think we are all crazy. At times the Evangelical circus is over the top and Jesus becomes more of a brand name rather than the focus.
There are some great Evangelical leaders that are not included in this film. Dr. James Dobson, Rev. Billy Graham and so many other would have been better representatives but that probably would not play as well for the HBO audience.
The one point this film misses is Jesus himself. There is not one perfect Christian out there. If you seek to know Jesus, the worst thing you can do is look at some of his followers. We should be cautious before we buy into a smiling Pastor or a great looking church or a purpose driven distraction.
It's not the greatest film I've ever seen, but it does make you consider how others view Evangelical Christians and many times it's not good.
Premieres Thursday, January 25 at 9pm/8c. on HBO
`Why do we allow parents to hit a little child and not someone their own size?'' asked Nazario, a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. ``
"Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence, so where do you draw the line? To take a child and spank his little butt until he starts crying, some people would define that as physical violence.'' (Mercury News)
And here’s a real gem: The legislation is being pushed by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, who apparently has no kids. From her website: Sally represents the 22nd District, considered the ‘Heart of Silicon Valley,’ where she lives with her husband David. They are proud to be active in neighborhood and community activities, enjoy hiking and windsurfing and take seriously their role as pet guardians for a politically astute black-and-white cat. Phu-leeese. (CSA)
Democratic State Sen. Lowen Kruse has introduced a bill that would eliminate two provisions to Nebraska's underage drinking law which allow minors to drink alcohol in their own homes or at places of worship during religious ceremonies.
While saying the primary goal of the bill was admirable, Catholic League President Bill Donahue worries about the implication for Mass. Catholics and some Protestant denominations use wine in their communion services.
Where are the separation of church and state protesters now?????
The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.
The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.
"If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns," Cullen wrote in her December 21 weblog on the Weather Channel Website. [Note: It is also worth taking a look at the comments section at the bottom of Cullen’s blog, very entertaining.] See: http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11396.html
In addition, Cullen’s December 17, 2006 episode of "The Climate Code" TV show, featured a columnist who openly called for Nuremberg-style Trials for climate skeptics
Intimidating scientists with calls for death trials, name calling and calls for decertification appears to be the accepted tactics of the climate alarmists. The real question is: Why do climate alarmists feel the need to resort to such low brow tactics when they have a compliant media willing to repeat their every assertion without question?
The alarmists also enjoy a huge financial advantage over the skeptics with numerous foundations funding climate research, University research money and the United Nations endless promotion of the cause.
Could it be that the alarmists realize that the American public is increasingly rejecting their proposition that the family SUV is destroying the earth and rejecting their shrill calls for "action" to combat their computer model predictions of a "climate emergency?"
That may be the real Inconvenient Truth. After all, even the UN is reportedly downgrading man’s impact on the climate by 25% and now concedes that cow "emissions" are more damaging to the planet than C02 from cars. EPW) Meanwhile, the frigid winter storm continues. (CBS News)
Pookie Hudson was the lead singer and songwriter for the doo wop group The Spaniels, best know for "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" and influenced generations of later artists. Sadly Pookie died Tuesday of complications from cancer of the thymus . He was 72.
Hudson wrote "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" ("...well, it's time to go") for a young woman he was dating at the time. He was staying awful late at the young lady's house and her parents said ... he had to go. Walking home he wrote the song that would close a million oldies shows and provide the soundtrack to films like "American Graffiti".
The Spaniels' signature song was a Top 5 R&B hit in 1954. The McGuire Sisters rushed out a version of "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" that sold even more copies. At the time, only black radio stations played Hudson's version. Here is Pittsburgh it was Porky Chedwick playing The Spainels on WAMO.
Husdon was a prime example of the American dream. The Spaniels first came together at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Ind., where Hudson was raised and began singing in church choirs. He was homeless for a time after he went solo and hit a slump in the 1960s, but he got back to work in the 1980s.
It wasn't until the 1990's the Hudson began receiving regular royalties for "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight". The Spaniels were honored in 1991 by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation with an award that carried a $20,000 grant. The group used the money to record their album "40th Anniversary," which was reissued by Collectables Records.
Thanks for all the music Mr. Hudson. You will be missed. Good Night Pookie..... Good Night.
This is ugly. Those of us who routinely email the House and Senate members face up to 1 year in jail if we don’t register and report quarterly to Congress, as lobbyists are required.
Sometimes those stunts go way too far. While I don't think there was any ill intent here, the results of this radio contest are truly sad.
Following the unfortunate death of a KDND (107.9 THE END)/SACRAMENTO listener attributed to the death of a listener, apparently from drinking too much water, ENTERCOM/SACRAMENTO VP/Market Mgr. JOHN GEARY released a statement: "Effective immediately, the Morning Rave program is cancelled and ten employees are no longer with the station."
I hope every radio promotion manager remembers this the next time they ask listeners to do something stupid.
In Pittsburgh radio news, the blind continues to lead the blind. WRKZ-FM (93.7) is going to wind up with some share of news-talk content next year. CBS Radio's Keith Clark says the company "has made a real commitment to developing spoken-word formats" and that the revamped 'RKZ will be "a complement" to KDKA (1020), not a competitor. Well as KDKA continues to slip I don't hold out much hope for the too little to late plan of 93.7
CBS will be jumping in to the talk game with everyone else in town. Scott Paulsen is expected to show up on 93.7 in April, and John McIntire is in negotiations with CBS as well. Are you excited? I'm not .....
In a radio interview with KCBI, a Dallas Christian station, Dobson argued that McCain didn't support traditional marriage values and said he has prayed "we won't get stuck with him." Read more..
“It’s not just about abortion, anymore,” says Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, “the culture of death in our nation is threatening the lives of people like my sister through euthanasia. It is happening quietly every day in nursing homes, hospitals and hospices around our nation. People need to be aware that this could touch a member of their family at any time.”
This sentiment is echoed in Pope Benedict XVI’s recent message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace. “As far as the right to life is concerned, we must denounce its widespread violation in our society: alongside the victims of armed conflicts, terrorism and the different forms of violence, there are the silent deaths caused by hunger, abortion, experimentation on human embryos and euthanasia. How can we fail to see in all this an attack on peace?”
In the 22 months since Terri Schiavo’s court-ordered death by dehydration and starvation, her family has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the growing threat of euthanasia. Through the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, the organization formed initially to save Terri’s life and now runs in her memory, the family works to assist medically vulnerable patients and their families faced with similar life-threatening situations.
“We deal with cases all the time where families are desperately seeking someone – anyone – who can help them deal with medical professionals and facilities that are refusing to provide life-sustaining treatment for their loved ones,” says Suzanne Schindler, Vitadamo, Terri’s sister. “It is absolutely frightening how often this is happening. Families need somewhere to turn.”
The man in question, Rodney Holm, was found guilty of participating in "religious marriages" in addition to his legal marriage. Holm argued that under Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy, all private sexual acts should be protected under the Constitution. Slippery slope anyone? Read more...
In return, Democratic leaders said they would not attempt to install a new speaker during the two-year legislative session, Mr. O'Brien told The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview in his Harrisburg office today. Read more...
Oh my problems are minor but it still makes you want to scream and go back to bed. I'll make it though. It's just a car. (and money, and time and....) John is out sick today so we will have a guest host in on the show.
My thanks to Jim Powers for all the wonderful posts while I took a day off. Thanks Jim!
Hey at least all that rain isn't SNOW! :)
Locally, the population losses continue to mount. Just over the last year, Pittsburgh lost 1.7% of its population. These losses have a huge long-term affects. Pittsburgh has lost over half of its population since 1950, going from 676,806 to 316,718 today. There were more people living in Pittsburgh in 1900 than 2006.
What to do? Certainly PA’s business taxes don’t help. I understand that the combination of PA’s Corporate Net Income Tax and Capital Stock & Franchise Tax makes PA’s total business tax load higher than every other state that touches our border. Perhaps in place of targeted business tax abatements in KOZ areas, a general state business tax reduction would be more beneficial and induce more businesses to stay here.
The proposal has raised serious concerns, even from traditionally liberal sources such as the University of Wisconsin's political science department. "[It's] a fundamental breach of the duty of office," said Professor Howard Schweber. This anti-oath could open the door to people who disagree with other state provisions and allow lawmakers to pick and choose which laws they follow in what would amount to an a la carte Constitution. Rather than protest Wisconsin law, these radicals should use it to create the change they seek. Isn't that what democracy is all about? Additional info...
Congress agreed with Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt and rescinded the Navy policy, so chaplains are free again to pray in Jesus' name". Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt told WND, "My sacrifice purchased their freedom. My conscience is clear, the fight was worth it, and I'd do it all again." Read more...
Pro-life groups lobbied against federal funding for embryonic research. For Altmire's justification of this vote, click here.
For those of us living to the north of Pittsburgh, I-80 is the fastest way of getting to northern New Jersey and New York City. This proposal would make both of the east-west interstates in Pennsylvania toll roads, not leaving any real alternatives for crossing the state. Read more…
It's amazing. Check it out here.
Today, January 11, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on H.R. 3 - Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007. H.R. 3 will federally fund research on human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, this bill would require their death. Just as abortion is currently legal, killing human embryos is completely legal. The debate is about federal funding. We don't federally fund abortion even though it is legal. Likewise, we should not force U.S. taxpayers to fund research that requires the destruction of embryos. Please contact your U.S. Representative and let him or her know that you strongly oppose H.R. 3.
"This seems like a great fit for me since I grew up in Pittsburgh where broadcast radio was born," said Miller. "I always knew I would try radio and right now seems like the perfect time. In a world where the stakes are high, the medium is a nice blend of the comfortable and the provocative."
In addition to "The Dennis Miller Show" broadcast, Westwood One will also re-launch Dennis Miller's official web site as a fully interactive digital space offering a host of digital features to support the show, including: premium services; live streams; hands on fan interaction through listener blogs; exclusive audio content and podcasts to download; and more.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, said the discovery showed medicine can progress without destroying human embryos.
Last week, John Perzel lost to fellow Republican Dennis O’Brian in his bid to be re-elected as Speaker. O’Brian was nominated by Democrat House leader Bill DeWeese, with the support of 99 Democrats and 6 Republicans.
During a closed-door meeting on Monday, Republican House leadership unanimously agreed that it was in the “best interest of caucus unity” to create this position. This keeps John Perzel in a leadership position without holding an additional caucus election. The leaders stated to caucus members that, “We believe this is in the best interest of the caucus and will help each member represent your constituents in the most effective manner.” Read more....
The key component of the measure is a provision that makes permanent the administrative rules prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions.
A federal judge has ordered her to return stolen salary information and other materials to the station. The Post-Gazette says that the former administrative assistant stole proprietary salary information, read private emails and recorded phone conversations without permission during her time with the station. (That won't look good on a resume) The former employee has five days to turn in all of the information.
On the radio side of KD, KD, according to the PG There are more changes in radio news department. Paul Rasmussen has been hired from WQIK in Jacksonville to co-anchor the 5 & 6 PM "Total News Hour" with Rose Ryan-Douglas. Rob Milford will begin a new assignment as street reporter when he returns from a bout with laryngitis. (Devine intervention?) Lisa Alexander left the station last week. Alexander had been with KDKA in 1999.
Speaking of leaving, Ann Devlin has resigned from Pittsburgh Cable News Channel's NightTalk program to spend more time with her family. Devlin has hosted the show since 2003 when she replaced John McIntire. (Man that guy can't keep a gig!) Devlin made her Pittsburgh debut at WTAE-TV where she hosted "Pittsburgh's Talking" in the late 80s/early 90s.