Dobson Clarifies Fred Thompson Remarks

(Newsmax): Focus on the Family issued the following statement [Friday] regarding a story that appeared Wednesday on the U.S. News & World Report Web site quoting the ministry's founder and chairman, James C. Dobson, Ph.D:

"We welcome the opportunity to clarify Dr. Dobson's remarks that were first reported in Dan Gilgoff's online article titled 'Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls: Focus on the Family Founder Snubs Thompson, Praises Gingrich.'

"At the outset, it's important to note that this headline is an outright mischaracterization of the views Dr. Dobson expressed. His words weren't intended to represent either an endorsement of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich or a disparagement of former Sen. Fred Thompson. Dr. Dobson appreciates Sen. Thompson's solid, pro-family voting record and his position that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

"In his conversation with Mr. Gilgoff, Dr. Dobson was attempting to highlight that to the best of his knowledge, Sen. Thompson hadn't clearly communicated his religious faith, and many evangelical Christians might find this a barrier to supporting him.

"Dr. Dobson told Mr. Gilgoff he had never met Sen. Thompson and wasn't certain that his understanding of the former senator's religious convictions was accurate. Unfortunately, these qualifiers weren't reported by Mr. Gilgoff. We were, however, pleased to learn from his spokesperson that Sen. Thompson professes to be a believer. Read more..

This stops short of an apology. As stated by previous posters, Dr. Dobson should invite Fred Thompson on the air to discuss his views.


The moment something becomes popular, people want to duplicate it. That leads to mass marketing and franchises that attempt to recreate the original experience, all in pursuit of the mighty dollar. It has worked great in the business world. Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks and the list goes on and on.

Does it work as well when it comes to church? We know the popular "Purpose Driven Church" model that has been duplicated across the nation. They even give awards for these type of churches. I'm all for unity in the church, but I'm not sure about mass producing them.

When a church adopts a "40 Days of Purpose" program, they are in essence making Rick Warren the teaching pastor. (And paying money to do so) Even though he has never been to the church, never met any of the people and is thousands of miles away. It's a purchased curriculum and it concerns me. Their website says: "Now with the purchase of a resource kit you will have perpetual access to the campaign director site and a discount on core campaign materials." Oh wow, perpetual website access! It's sounds like a spiritual Ginsu knife commercial.

The term "Mega Church" is often applied to churches with large numbers of members. Sometimes it's thousands of people who attend. These types of churches often grow beyond just a place of worship. They become social clubs, outlets for people to sing, do theatre and even sports. They have bookstores and coffee shops. Often the pastor of this type of church becomes somewhat of a celebrity. They branch out into radio and television productions, books and CD's . Other churches look at this "success" based on growth numbers alone, and want to accomplish the same thing, all in a supposed effort to reach more people. But what are they reaching them with?

From what I have seen over the years Jesus is not really the focus of these types of churches. They won't admit that because they don't realize it. They gather to worship the music, the pastor, the environment, the state of the art multi-media display and a mass produced gospel.

We recently talked about a new church branch in the Pittsburgh area. By that I mean the church has it's main location and sends a video sermon to the secondary location with a live secondary pastor. I have not experienced this, but I'm not sure I'd want to. Some of the things that were mentioned in describing this new branch concern me.

It was described as having a Panera or Starbucks feel to it. I guess if you are going to franchise church you might as well look at some franchise examples. Yet are we to use a modern model to make church more acceptable? The music is modern and leads the worship, while the video supposedly brings you closer to the pastor. (The pastor that isn't even there.)

Maybe I'm just too old fashioned. I know that would choose a stained glass window over a powerpoint presentation any day of the week. I'm not against reaching people where they are, but we must also be cautious about what we do when we reach them. Not every evangelist needs to be a pastor and start a church. Often times we use Christ as an excuse to build a shine to ourselves. Bible study groups, a place for the community to gather, an alternative to what the world offers is fine ,but it's dangerous when we confuse it with a sacred place of worship.

Scripture is universal. It does not need to be re-written, jazzed up or presented in a way that has proven to be more widely accepted.

On Sunday, I along with millions of Catholics around the world gather in a place of worship. Despite the different languages, we will all hear the same Scripture. We all recall the death of Jesus. And we will all receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ as it has been for over 2000 years. This is Mass, not to be confused with mass production.

Who has the right to end a life?

March 31 will mark the second anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death, which plunged the nation into a heated debate over who has the right to end a life. In June, Dr. Jack Kevorkian is scheduled to be released from prison. California and Vermont are considering legislation that would legalize physician-assisted suicide; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Oregon's law constitutional last year.
Two states are considering bills modeled after Oregon’s law. On Feb. 15, 2007, legislators introduced the California Compassionate Choices Act for consideration. The Vermont Legislature is considering a bill called Patient Choice and Control at End of Life.

On Feb. 14, 2007, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine issued a position statement on "Physician-Assisted Death."

In December 2006, the Roman Catholic Church refused to give a religious funeral to a Rome man with muscular dystrophy who had begged the Italian government to allow him to end his life legally. Piergiorgio Welby died after his doctor disconnected him from his respirator. The doctor was arrested, and the Vatican refused to give Welby a religious funeral because he had advocated euthanasia.

Euthanasia raises the most profound questions about who has the right to die, who has the right to help them -- and who has the right to choose who lives and dies. Not a day goes by when a country, state, doctor, hospice worker, theologian, ethicist or family member doesn’t wrestle with whether to allow passive or active euthanasia and whether to challenge doctors or patients who take the law into their own hands.


The accusation came from Italy’s Interior Minister (BBC News). Catholic Bishops have called the bill that would extend new rights to unmarried gay couples “unacceptable and dangerous.”
Meanwhile, in “A Heart-Breaking Betrayal,” Michael Medved considers Conservative Judaism’s plan to begin training and ordaining openly homosexual rabbis.


From the story: The country [Iran] is diplomatically isolated and feels under a constant and building US military threat…If it was premeditated, the capture [of 15 Britons] could be interpreted as an act of desperation by a government which feels isolated and threatened (BBC News).

The Guardian (London) sounded a different tone: The Iranian hostage crisis took a sinister turn last night when Tehran withdrew an earlier offer to release one of the 15 captive sailors and marines and issued a second, strangely-worded letter in her name calling for Britain to withdraw from Iraq. The letter, signed by Leading Seaman Faye Turney, the only woman in the naval crew seized last Friday, was addressed to "representatives of the House of Commons". Although the letter was handwritten, it was stilted and lacked the personal tone of the first letter, sent to her family the day before. The second letter appeared to have been dictated to her.

It seems clear which report Rosie O’Donnell is reading. The New York Times reports that Tehran is now insisting the captives admit guilt before they are released. Hugh Hewitt spoke with Newt Gingrich about the Iran crisis. And, thankfully, the U.N. is urging a resolution to the Iran crisis.

Radio Waves

WTZN-FM (93.7 The Zone) announces John Steigerwald to its lineup. The well-known KDKA-TV sports reporter will host "The John Steigerwald Show" daily from 9-10am. Steigerwald has been a sports figure on KDKA-TV since 1985.

Read My Lips...

As anyone with debt knows, spending more won't help erase what you already owe. On Capitol Hill, however, the new budget proposal suggests that someone else could pay down the country's borrowings while Congress expands the programs that got the nation into debt in the first place.

Under the Democrats' plan, that "someone else" is the American taxpayer. The House is scheduled to vote today on the latest budget, which the Heritage Foundation refers to as "a study in fiscal irresponsibility."

While liberals claim their plan won't raise taxes, it does allow the President's popular tax cuts to expire, resulting in a massive $392 billion tax increase for Americans over the next five years. Those with the lowest incomes will shoulder the biggest tax burdens. What came of the Democrats' claim that they advocate for the poor? Call your leaders and encourage them to cut American families a break!

Poll: PA Puts Clinton and Giuliani in the Lead

From the story: A recent poll shows if the presidential election were held today, Pennsylvanians would support Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

According to a recent Quinnipiac poll for the democratic candidates Clinton leads with 36% of the vote followed by Barack Obama with 17%. Al Gore, who hasn't announced he's even seeking the nomination got 13% of the vote and John Edwards follows with 9%.

As for the republicans, former New York Mayor Giuliani leads the poll with 33% followed by John McCain with 18%, Newt Gingrich with 7%, and Fred Thompson with 6%. Read more..

It’s early, but a related story claims that Republican State Committee member and National Committeeman Bob Asher is lining up with Giuliani. An Asher endorsement for Giuliani will pull a lot of sway for Giuliani with the PA Republican State Committee endorsement next spring.

Pro-lifer challenges 'Race for Cure'

A Texas pro-life group wants people to know that the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation donates money to Planned Parenthood, the world's largest abortion provider.

According to, the Foundation's mission is "to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all, and energizing science to find the cures." But John Pischiotta of Pro-Life Waco says people who participate in the Komen "Race for the Cure" should know that the Foundation donates large sums of money to Planned Parenthood -- and numerous studies have found a link between breast cancer and abortion, he says.
Pischiotta is encouraging individuals to contact the Susan G. Komen Foundation to ask why it donates money to an abortion provider.
That's a really good question. Let's ask.
1133 S Braddock Ave
# 1A
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

5005 LBJ Freeway
Suite 250
Dallas, TX 75244

The Meadows readies its slots parlor

Racetrack officials said they will open a 24-hour operation with 1,738 slot machines sometime in the last week of the month. Read More

Ford's Head-On Collision with Gay Rights

Beleaguered Ford Motor Co., struggling to get back into the black by 2009, could be the first corporate victim of the so-called "culture wars" due to a boycott led by Christian-centered conservative groups.

Ford lost $12.7 billion last year, the largest single-year loss in its 103-year history. Last December, the No. 2 American automaker mortgaged all of its U.S. assets to acquire $23 billion to finance a dramatic turnaround plan.

The boycott asks Christians not to buy cars from Ford or its seven other brands: Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Mazda. The reason: Ford's sponsorship of "gay pride" events, its financial support of organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and its advertising in gay magazines and television programs.

It promised it would not renew current promotions, or create incentive programs that give cash donations to homosexual organizations based on the purchase of a vehicle.

The car company also pledged that it would not make corporate donations to homosexual organizations that, as part of their activities, engage in political or social campaigns to promote civil unions or same-sex marriage.

Finally, Ford said it would stop giving cash and vehicle donations, or endorsements, to homosexual social activities, such as "gay pride" parades.

At that point, Bill Ford announced that all Ford brands would support gay media with advertising, and the boycott battle began in earnest.

Ford executives don't appear very concerned about the boycott, and one reason may be the negligible impact a similar boycott had on media and entertainment giant Walt Disney Co.



The USA Today story asks, “What Will Bill’s Impact Be?” The article reminds readers that if Hillary Clinton were to win the White House she could not make the former president Secretary of State. However, as Hillary said last week, she would make her husband “Ambassador to the World.”


Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped up pressure on Iran over the capture of 15 Royal Navy sailors. Iran called Blair’s words “provocative.” Meanwhile the U.S. Navy “began its biggest show of force in the Gulf since the invasion of Iraq four years ago” (Times of London). The New York Times reports that the dispute between Britain and Iran “escalated sharply” on Wednesday. Iran says that Britain must admit sailors and marines trespassed before standoff can end (AP). See the video “confession” of one of the British sailors here.

Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls

(USNews): Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination. Read more...

I appreciated Dr. Dobson’s endorsement of Pat Toomey over Arlen Specter in 2004. A strong Christian statement from any of the current Republican front-runners affirming the Lordship of Jesus Christ would be welcomed.


50-48. Lieberman voted with the GOP. The FOX News story managed to call the massive pork “domestic priorities such relief to hurricane victims and payments to farmers.” (FOX News) Cal Thomas notes “Citizens Against Government Waste reports that among the outrages in the Senate measure are $24 million for sugar-beet producers, $20 million for reimbursements to Nevada for "insect damage," $3.5 million for guided tours of the Capitol (don't most people expect to buy tickets for such things?), and $3 million for sugar cane and the transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.” (Wichita Eagle) From Paul Weyrich: The new majority in Congress said it was different from the old majority and that multi-million dollar bridges to nowhere and money for frivolous projects would be a thing of the past. This is what they said and are on record saying on television and in newspapers all across the country barely two months ago yet their self-declared moratorium on earmarks seems to be falling apart already. (Townhall)

Pope says hell and damnation are real

Well the pope has spoken and says that hell is a real and if a person failed to "admit blame and promise to sin no more", they risked "eternal damnation - the inferno".

It's about time someone started talking about hell. Check out the Full Article

The "Tolerant" Left & Tony Snow's Cancer

From WND: Moments after White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's new personal battle against cancer became public yesterday, a vicious assault was launched at left-leaning websites, with some message posters hoping for a swift death for the presidential spokesman. 'He is pure lying scum and should die ASAP!' Read more..

Didn’t you just know that this was coming!

Congress Moves To Increase Planned Parenthood Funding

From the FRC: Ever since last November's elections, which resulted in a pro-abortion leadership in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, national abortion groups have boldly pushed an agenda of death - forcing taxpayers to pay for it! In 2005 Planned Parenthood got $272 million in our taxes, twice the money it made from its 255,000 abortions that year. Since 1987 Planned Parenthood has taken in $3.2 billion in taxpayer funds for its deadly agenda.

Now these groups want even more taxpayer funding for their death march. Just last Friday, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) sent a letter to her Senate colleagues asking for a boost of $100 million, specifically for Planned Parenthood clinics!

Based on these numbers, it appears that taxpayers are keeping Planned Parenthood afloat. At the state level, attempts to defund Planned Parenthood in the PA House had the closest vote yet in 2006, failing by less than 10 votes.

Terri's Watch: Terri Schiavo's Brother Rebukes Bishop Lynch

As the second anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death from dehydration on March 31, 2005, approaches, her brother, Bobby Schindler is releasing a letter written to Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida. The text of the letter is available online.

Bobby Schindler also makes the following comments:

"In light of the fact that Bishop Lynch refused my family's pleas for his help in our attempt to save my sister's life, I am posting an "open letter to Bishop Robert Lynch" which I sent to him on March 9, 2007, and to which I have, to date, received no response.

On March 13, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reasserted that Catholic politicians have a "grave responsibility" to defend all innocent human life, and a "non negotiable" duty to oppose the practices of abortion and euthanasia.

If the Church teaches that such a grave responsibility rests on elected officials who are here today and gone tomorrow, and who hold mere temporal power, what of the successors of the apostles – our bishops – who hold the greatest spiritual authority on earth?
Pope Benedict XVI clearly stated, "all Catholics have a duty to uphold the Church's pro-life teachings, but the responsibility is especially incumbent on those in positions of power."

Pope Benedict further stated, "Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values (the pro-life teaching of the Church) as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them." As Catholic dissenters continue to flaunt their pro-death agenda, and as laws are promoted, especially in the economically progressive world, for the legalization of euthanasia, the bishops have been charged by the Holy See "with the task of monitoring whether elected officials in their local churches shouldn't be receiving communion because of a violation of the church's pro-life teachings."

Perhaps certain bishops should not consider themselves above such scrutiny as well. As my letter states, "I beg the Lord to spare us another successor of the apostles who would exhibit the same scandalous inaction and silence by which you remain complicit in my sister's murder via euthanasia."

Amen to that Bobby


I happy to introduce all of you to a new weekly feature. Rev. Jim Wehner is the rector of St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. He has begun producing a weekly podcast that will be available each week here on PowerBlog!

This week he shares reflections on Palm Sunday's readings. Palm Sunday is this Sunday. Enjoy the podcast and be sure to check back each week.

States say no to teen tanning

No smoking. No drinking. No talking on cell phones while driving. Now, the latest no-no in state laws aimed at underage teens is indoor tanning.

At last check abortion was still approved...... Amazing.

Read More

Rant and Rave

I'm going to make you aware of some things going on that shouldn't be. It may raise your blood pressure.

First, "War Funding" Do you know what that means? Our elected officials (both parties) sure don't! The house bill includes money for peanut storage. Now it's a war for peanut oil! The Senate version includes $100 Million for '08 Party Conventions... This type of "tack on" extortion should be against every law in the universe.

Speaking of war, President Yaba Daba Do in Iran has earned enough points for a free butt kicking. We have a pretty big operations base next door in Iraq. Our ships are in position. It's time to knock on the door.

A woman and her dog are both sick after eating poisoned dog food. After noticing her dog wasn't eating the woman took bites of the dog food in order to trick the terrier into thinking it was people food. Ahhhhhhh.................I have nothing to say.


Cab drivers who won’t allow customers to transport alcohol and clerks who won’t scan pork products. One person complained that cab drivers turn away customers "Because you have alcohol on your breath. I mean, that's why I need the ride! Because I'm hammered!"

LA Times


The story notes “The proposed amendment would affect issues ranging from hiring and wages to restrictions on women serving in military combat units.” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney claims “They are constantly trying to roll [women's rights] back.”

CNS News


Stating “We're going to have universal health care when I'm president - there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done.”


Fr. Euteneuer Calls for Firing of "False Teacher"

The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) said today, "Catholic parents should shudder at the thought of Dan Maguire teaching theology to their children at a Catholic University. I call upon Marquette to stop hiding behind false ideas of tenure and 'academic freedom' in the face of theological malfeasance and dismiss Dan Maguire. A Catholic university should be Catholic and not tolerate false teachers like Maguire."

Father Euteneuer applauded the Doctrine Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their clear and ringing rebuke of dissident Professor Daniel Maguire of the theology department of Marquette University in Milwaukee. The bishops declared formally that Maguire's ideas on contraception, abortion and same-sex marriage were totally inconsistent with the Catholic Faith. He is not a Catholic if he teaches false doctrine.

"I am very heartened that the bishops of the committee finally addressed an erroneous model of moral theology that dissenting theologians have used for decades to mislead the faithful" Father Euteneuer said.

This idea wrongly states that the opinions of theologians are somehow co-equal with the Magisterium—the teaching authority of the Church which Christ Himself established.

"High profile Catholics who dissent on clearly-defined teachings," Father Euteneuer said, "have no doubt been influenced by the kind of nonsense that Maguire and his friends have been propagating for decades; namely that certain crucial moral teachings of the Church are 'optional' when they are not."

Last Fall Human Life International, in its quarterly publication FrontLines awarded Maguire, an ex- priest who is divorced and remarried, its "Millstone Award" for his extreme advocacy of abortion, contraception and "same-sex marriage." The award's title refers to the fate of those who mislead the innocent as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 18:6.

Rendell Jumps On Reform Bandwagon

From the story: [The governor] outlined a broad government reform agenda that includes reducing the size of the General Assembly and limiting lawmakers' terms; establishing fairer and less partisan redistricting; limiting campaign spending; and passing a stronger open records law. "It's not a career," Rendell said, "and I think it's important to get back to citizen soldiers."

Rendell said he wants to establish merit selection of appellate court judges, a plan that would transfer the power of selecting state court judges from voters to a commission composed of gubernatorial and legislative appointees and citizens. Read more..

While the governor was quick to suggest legislative and judicial reforms, the governor did not offer any Executive Branch reforms. If the entire legislature was eliminated, we would save about $338 million dollars. This is about 1.3% of the state budget, or perhaps more telling, this amounts to about 3% of the cost of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. The Executive Branch consumes 93.6% of the state budget, and it is left untouched.


I've had allot of things on my mind lately so I'm going to post some of them here. I have no idea how far this will go or where it will take us. Heck, this may be the one and only post but we shall see.

I'm not going to edit myself. I'm just going to say what comes to mind so I reserve the right to say something stupid. You can take it as you wish.

For the past several years I have had a crash course in American Christianity. I call it that because the beliefs and what's important varies from person to person and place to place. I have seen efforts to attract attention though grand productions, technology and gimmicks. We are so drawn to appearance and how we feel that everything targets those two aspects. From cans of soda to the church down the street, everything claims to make you look and feel and be better.

We have become so numb to what's real that we no longer are sure the definition of marriage. We ban smoking, but allow a woman to kill her own child. We condone immorality and label it tolerance. The world is starving for genuine truth and we don't find much in American Christianity.

If there is a human desire for truth, then we should have people beating on the doors of churches across America. That's not happening. We wring our hands and lament this fallen world of darkness and we wait for the day when Jesus returns. I have news for you .....

You did not break down and get stranded here on your way to heaven. God put you here for a reason. If we live in such a terrible world guess who is to blame. WE ARE!

People today see Christians as part of the problem, not the solution. It's just another sales pitch to join the cause. They don't trust us and I don't blame them. Some of the nastiest people I ever met claimed to be Christian.

There is a profound challenge for all of us to change that perception. We need to live what we claim to believe. Not every person who says they are Christian really is. Not every church with a cross out in front and a Bible inside is a Christian church. You see it's not what you know or what you claim, it's how you live you life. We need to stop preaching if we refuse to live what we proclaim. Don't just tell me, show me. Lord knows I'm not perfect and I am as guilty as the rest of them. So I wonder, why take a mission trip around the world when you can look in the mirror and see work to be done? The answer, for appearance. It looks good and makes you feel good.

I'm not trying to beat anyone up here but we need to get back to the basics. Don't dust the furniture if the room is on fire. That's all for now.....

Planned Parenthood Launches 'Pill Patrol'

( - Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, has launched a "pill patrol" campaign to make sure emergency contraception is available in every neighborhood in America. Full Story


From the story: Overall, we find that America's lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly $8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004. Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and America's highest-earning households received $0.41.

Tax Foundation


As they are forced to get creative.

Philadelphia Inquirer


Story points out “If the government, or its proxy, now steps in and purchases those mortgages, or otherwise systematically bails out borrowers, it will create a hazard for the future. The next generation of mortgage lenders won’t take the high risk of subprime home loans seriously, because they’ll expect that, in the event of another crisis, the government will step in and bail them out again.”


The Bible Back In The Classroom?

From the article: The movement to bring the world's best-selling book back into the classroom is gaining ground across the U.S., demonstrated, in large part, by a thoughtful Time magazine cover story on the subject. The article, "The Case for Teaching the Bible," argues that the social and cultural benefits of secular Bible classes outweigh any hypersensitivity about Church and State. Read more..

Ironic that some think exposure to the bible is proselytizing. I teach my Sunday School kids that Muslims believe that Mohammed ascended to heaven on his horse from the Temple Mount. Does this mean that I’m teaching the kids to be Muslims?

Note: We will have on the show today David Van Biema. He is TIME's senior religion writer. His first cover story on this topic ran in 1996.

Catholic Men's Gathering

The Gathering was quite powerful. It was so good to see real men with a desire to be better husbands, fathers and Catholics.

Jesse Romero was inspiring and a ball of energy. He does not practice a wimpy faith but in your face Catholic evangelism. Peter Herbeck told it like it is. "The temptations of this world have men by the balls". I could not have said any better! Matthew Kelly was once again wonderful. Check out any of his books. They are great. I heard only a small portion of Patrick Madrid because I went to confession before mass. Father Wehner (who has been on the show) was great to talk to. If he is in charge of future priests the we are in good hands.

Still, I can't possibly give you a sense of what it was like if you were not there. I thought all weekend about what I wanted to say about my experience. Then I realized that it goes beyond words. To hear almost 2000 men sing " Adoramus te Domine" (We adore you Lord Jesus Christ) shakes your soul. Then to hear pure silence before the blessed sacrament in the monstrance. There is such power in silence. We hear God in silence. That's why the world buries us in layers of noise.

To look over and see men stand in line for over an hour to confess their sins and see that line continue for 8 hours reminds me of how weak I am and I am not alone. I think about how many times I have have fallen away.

I was asked why this event was needed. There is already promise keepers, why do the Catholics need to do their own thing? Much of it is like any evangelical gathering. There was praise and worship songs, powerful speakers preaching the love of Jesus. So what's so different about this?

The Eucharist.
I know it's hard to understand, but the Eucharist is the root of everything true. It must be firmly believed, celebrated and lived because it Jesus' gift of himself to us. "The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51)
The Eucharist changes everything for it is Jesus. The modern songs cease, reverence fills the place and all bow before Jesus. That is what make this different, needed and more powerful than any other spiritual pep rally.
I pray that more men will come to the understanding that you are needed on the battlefield. The world is starving for truth. Yet so called truth is being sold on every corner. So my challenge is not to just talk but do. Don't tell me, show me. I want at least 5000 men there next year. The date is April 12, 2008. It's my desire that this website will be used in a powerful way to make that happen. If you would like more information on how you can get involved right now, please email me.

The PowerBall Show

Spring is in the air, the sun lingers longer in the evening sky and the latest edition of "The PowerBall Show" is on the air! If you have no clue what I'm talking about, let me explain...

I love the music of the 50's & 60's. I started my radio career playing oldies on the Pittsburgh airwaves. I continue today playing the greatest music ever recorded, not just for Pittsburgh, but the world via Rock-it Radio. This show features Keystone Doo Wop -- All Pennsylvania Doo Wop Show + a Special tribute to James Brown.
So check out the "PowerBall Show" along with other great shows from DJ's around the globe. Just click on the JukeBox and get ready to blast off with the
"PowerBall Show" world-wide on Rock-it Radio!

SC Advances Bill To Require Ultrasound Before Abortion

From the story: Legislation that would require women to see ultrasound pictures before getting abortions is moving through the South Carolina legislature. A final vote on a House version is expected today. Members voted 91-to-23 on Wednesday in favor of a bill that does not contain any exception for women who are the victims of rape or incest.

Opponents of abortion think a woman considering one might have a change of heart after seeing a picture of the fetus.

But opponents of the ultrasound bill call it emotional blackmail. They say it's designed to intimidate a woman who's already made an agonizing decision. Read more..

The “emotional blackmail” argument is rich in irony. Pro-abortion supporters claimed previously that the fetus was “just a blob of tissue”. Which is it?

Population Drain Continues In Region

From the story: The [U.S. Census] Bureau reported yesterday that the county's population was estimated at 1,223,411 as of July 1, 2006, a drop of 9,625 from the year before and 58,255 from the last formal census head count in 2000. Allegheny remained the 30th largest county in the nation. Read more..

Allegheny County has lost 25% of its population since 1960. There were more people living in Allegheny County in 1930 than there are now. Maybe we can yet again raise taxes on businesses and individuals, that will fix the problem!

Suicidal Thoughts

On the show we talked about suicide and if God can forgive a person who takes their own life. It's a tough subject because often times the people looking for answers are those that are left grieving. Because of that grief, answers tend to have exception and are less than direct.

Suicide is never acceptable, but is it forgivable? Judgement belongs to God alone. We can talk about our thoughts and read Scripture, but only God who knows who is saved and who is not. Having said that, here are my thoughts for what they are worth.

I believe it is very difficult for a person who ends their life to be saved. I do not say it's impossible, but it's also not probable.

Christians have been purchased. If we truly have given our life to Christ then we are no longer the owners of our body or life. We are also required to preserve our life, body & soul.

Suicide rejects the Christian desire for eternal life. If you don't wish to live the life God gave you now, why would you desire eternal life he promised? One rejects God's authority over life. A person must turn away from God to end their life.

I believe that if a person is a Christan, then they should be aware that suicide is wrong. If they have that knowledge and still decide to do it, chances are they will not be saved. They have committed a mortal sin and are in direct violation of the 6th commandment.

Scripture tell us that blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin. I don't know what happens between that end of life moment and a the ultimate destination. This all goes to the question of when a person is saved. I don't believe that happens in this life. Any person who takes their own life is not doing God's will and endangers the hope of salvation.

Radio Waves

The latest attempt at talk radio in Pittsburgh will target men ages 25-49. Great, I'm the demo then. Somehow I doubt CBS Radio VP Keith Clark has a clue as to what people like me would want to listen to. Locker room chat and fart jokes won't cut it. I hope they do something good here but I will wait and see.

WRKZ which is will becpme WTZN launches as "The Zone," and will bill itself as "Pittsburgh's man station".

Jim Meltzer, VP and GM of CBS's Pittsburgh FM stations, says "93.7 The Zone will be neither conservative nor liberal. Its mantra is entertainment specifically designed for the men of Pittsburgh. We welcome this opportunity to create something unique in the market that isn't being heard anywhere else."

I wish them the best.

Four-year-old girl vows to be suicide terrorist like mommy.

Most people have no clue of the evil we face. Hamas TV broadcast a video dramatization of the four-year-old daughter of female suicide bomber Reem Riyashi singing to her dead mother and vowing to follow in her footsteps. The video clip ends as the little girl picks up sticks of explosives from her mother's drawer.

She sings these words:

"Mommy, what are you carryingin your arms instead of me?

A toy or a present for me?...Mommy Reem!
Why did you put on your veil?Are you going out, Mommy?...Come back quickly, MommyI can't sleep without you,unless you tell me and Ubaydah [her brother] a bedtime story.

My mother, my mother,Me and Ubaydah are awake and waiting for you to come to put us to sleep. Me and Ubaydah, oh Mommy, still need you to wipe our tears...Instead of me you carried a bomb in your hands.

Only now, I know what was more precious than us...May your steps be blessed, and may you be flawless for Jerusalem. Me and Ubaydah wish we were there with you.

Send greetings to our Messenger [Muhammad] and tell him:'Duha loves you.'My love will not be merely words. I am following Mommy in her steps. Oh Mommy, oh Mommy."

How do you communicate with people who place no value on love, life, or their own children? I don't have an answer.

Teacher Fired for Bringing Bible Into Biology

Trying to get his students "thinking" by including biblical references in his high school biology lessons, a part-time school teacher in Central Oregon this week found himself without a job. Full Story


Story notes the girl “chose to wear the shirt since other students were permitted by the school to wear shirts the previous day to show their support for homosexual behavior as part of the “Day of Silence,” promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.”



The story notes “Three months after promising to curtail spending on pet legislative projects, House Democrats have salted the Iraq emergency spending bill with $3.7 billion for farm interests that make significant donations to Democrats.”

USA Today

What's Up, Doc?

As the Senate weighs a bill forcing taxpayers to pay for research that requires the killing of human embryos, one of the president's top scientists suddenly jumped ship on the administration's policy in order to support the legislation.

With a vote just weeks away, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), raised eyebrows with the timing of his endorsement, particularly since he has defended the administration's stance in the past.

To the Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee, Zerhouni said, "It is clear today that American science will be better-served, and the nation will be better-served, if we let our scientists have access to more stem cell lines... I think it is important for us not to fight with one hand tied behind out back, and NIH is key to that."

However, in his bold pitch for taxpayer money, Zerhouni neglected to justify the need for more embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. Have there been so many advances with the 22 current lines that scientists can legitimize new ones? If Zerhouni is requesting taxpayer money from the Senate--in addition to the $40 million NIH spent last year on the project--then the least he could do is provide a record of ESC research advances and a detailed list of what cannot be done without new lines.

The reality is, 85% of the world's embryonic studies use President Bush's approved lines, and the NIH is waiting to distribute 3,000 shipments of cells derived from them. In the past, Zerhouni has said these lines are sufficient. What's changed? Dr. Zerhouni also downplayed the promise of adult stem cells, saying that their potential is "overstated." As the nation's top scientist, Zerhouni should know that patients are using adult stem cell alternatives to treat over 70 diseases. That is progress, not speculation.

Dubai group to buy US aircraft maintenance companies

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is close to completing a $1.5 billion deal to purchase US aviation businesses from the Carlyle Group. As part of the agreement, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) would buy Landmark Aviation, an aircraft maintenance provider, and Standard Aero, a company that provides repair and maintenance at US airports for small-jet aviation and some military transports.

Last year, state-owned Dubai Ports World’s prospective purchase of some US port operations resulted in a major political upheaval in consideration that giving a state-owned Arab firm control over US port terminals could jeopardize national security. Some of the same political officials who expressed such concern last year over the ports deal appeared less concerned with this transfer.

New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who led the opposition to the Dubai Ports deal, told the Financial Times: "This purchase is not as much of a security risk as Dubai Ports World, but because it deals with maintenance of aircraft, it certainly raises security questions."


John Stossel points out “Listening to us, you'd think our growing exposure to pesticides, food additives, and other mysterious chemicals has created America's "cancer epidemic." But in truth there is no cancer epidemic -- cancer incidence is flat, and death rates have been falling for years. But such good news doesn't get much play.”



On a book tour. The story notes “The Republican from Sugar Land is popping up in bookstores, on the Internet and the airwaves with a conservative call to arms: Democrats are hurtling America down the wrong track, but Republicans won't defeat them until they learn to better articulate their message. "Fight. Fight," DeLay advised embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during an appearance Tuesday on NBC's Today show. Asked by the interviewer if he himself hadn't given up the fight when he quit Congress, DeLay replied: "No. I just changed arenas." (Houston Chronicle) An excerpt from the book. (Townhall)

KGNW Host Thor Tolo with Tom Delay


After just two months of Democratic control. (Gallup) Meanwhile, Democrats are struggling to get anything done. (Washington Times) And that includes passage of the Iraq war spending bill. (Washington Post)

Online Anonymity Lets Users Get Nasty

From the story: "The Internet really amplifies everything," says Jeffrey Cole, of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. "We have a lot of opinions out there. All of a sudden there's a place we can go to share them." Add to that the freedom that anonymity provides, he says, and it "can lead to a rowdy Wild West situation, with no one to filter it. My guess is that if you went back to these people, a lot of them would have second thoughts." And if you asked them to add their name, as in a traditional letter to the editor? "They'd be embarrassed." Read more..

Moderating the comment section of a blog can be a challenge. One local paper in Butler County confirms the identity of each letter written to the editor, and the letter can be refused for false or slanderous accusations. But the same paper has online letters posted on their web page that do not face such limitations, where accusations can be made behind the cloak of anonymity. Some web sites, such as PoliticsPA, eventually removed their message board because of abuse by anonymous posters. Another popular political web site, GrassrootsPA, changed their message posting policy to require a valid email address and moderator approval before posting.

Radio Waves

Here comes another one. Talk in Pittsburgh will get a bit more crowded on the FM dial as the scraps of the long dead B-94 WRKZ (93.7 K-ROCK) is planning a flip to Talk as 93.7 THE ZONE on April 2. That's the best they could come up with? The Zone... It's so 80's sports stationish.

Anyway, with this latest attempt at radio comes the return of two local personalities on APRIL 2 as part of a "guy talk" lineup.

Former WDVE and WBGG-A host SCOTT PAULSEN is ticketed for the 1-4p slot, and former KDKA-A evening host JOHN "POTTYMOUTH"MCINTIRE is set for 1-4p, with OPIE AND ANTHONY remaining in mornings, and WESTWOOD ONE's DENNIS MILLER (a local native) 10a-1p.

Pittsburgh already has a more traditional Talk station on FM, CLEAR CHANNEL's WPGB not to mention the best in CHRISTIAN TALK on 101.5 WORD FM and I won't even mention the AM's. There's some speculation that "The Zone" will sound similar to the "Free FM" mix of talk and entertainment that the company has tried in other cities, including Philadelphia (WYSP-FM) and New York (WFNY-FM). But "Free FM" has fallen flat on its face in several markets ... which makes some insiders wonder why CBS is trying it here. Besides, the same nimrods that drove 2, count them 2 radio stations into the ground, are still in charge. This will do better then Krock. Heck, airing wind chimes would do better than Krock. Still they are awful late to the party.

A prototype Web site using the CBS standard "FREE FM" template and a logo for "93.7 THE ZONE, PITTSBURGH'S MAN STATION" has popped up at a URL held by CBS Web designer INTERTECH MEDIA.


Executions halted as doctors balk

A conflict between medical ethics and court orders that a doctor participate in lethal injections has halted executions in California, Missouri and North Carolina. The ethical issue raised by doctors in the death chamber lurks beneath the surface in most of the 37 states that sanction capital punishment by lethal injection. Read More


From the Nightline story: "When they are actually engaged in this whole very intense spiritual practice … their frontal lobes tend to go down in activity. … It is very consistent with the kind of experience they have, because they say that they're not in charge. [They say] it's the voice of God, it's the spirit of God that is moving through them," said Newberg. "Whatever is coming out of their mouth is not what they are purposefully or willfully trying to do. And that's in fairly stark contrast to the people who are — like the Buddhist and Franciscan nuns — in prayer, because they are very intensely focused and in those individuals the frontal lobes actually increase activity.”

ABC News


Compared to one-fifth nationwide. No word on how of them are elected officals.



To keep criminals out because apparently criminals don’t want to break homeowner association rules. If I wanted to rob a person do you know where my first stop would be?



From the story: “It does sound unusual,” admitted Rob Pearson, the executive director of the city’s Housing Authority, which helped broker the deal for the development, to be called Los Portales. “But Santa Barbara is getting Gucci-fied. If we don’t do something, we’ll lose our middle class.”

NY Times


The story notes “Last June, Obama voted no to Senator John F. Kerry's proposal to remove most combat troops from Iraq by July 2007, warning that an "arbitrary deadline" could "compound" the Bush administration's mistake. And last week, he voted for a Republican-sponsored resolution that stated the Senate would not cut off funding for troops in Iraq.”

Boston Globe


Most still know little about Romney.



By Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who said “A careful study of the substantial corpus of peer-reviewed science reveals that Mr. Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, is a foofaraw of pseudo-science, exaggerations, and errors, now being peddled to innocent schoolchildren worldwide.” (PR Newswire) More scientists debate the issue. (Daily Mail) Meanwhile, more cold weather in the U.S. (USA Today)

Rendell's Universal Health Bill Introduced

From the story: A 96-page bill containing Gov. Ed Rendell's universal health care plan was introduced in the state House on Monday.

Rendell wants to use a state-subsidized health insurance plan to help cover the uninsured. It would be funded, in part, with a 3 percent payroll tax. The tax would rise to 3.5 percent in 2010-2111, according to the bill introduced by state Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne.

Businesses that provide health insurance would qualify for a tax credit that would exempt them from paying the tax. Those that don't provide coverage would pay the tax quarterly. Read more..

While this plan is not as encompassing as the “HillaryCare” federal plan proposed in the ‘90s, PA’s business taxes are already higher than every other state that touches our borders. Where is the Constitutional authority to tax businesses based on their benefits package?

Specter in 2010?

From the story: About six weeks ago, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter invited a dozen of his closest political allies and top fundraisers to his home in Philadelphia's East Falls neighborhood for Sunday brunch. On the menu were state and national politics and how to rebuild after last year's elections. But it quickly became obvious that Specter had other motives: He's running again in 2010.

"Nobody knew," said one stunned attendee. Read more..

Given that Specter will be 80 in 2010, and his razor-thin Republican Primary victory over Pat Toomey in 2004, this is a surprise. While Pat Toomey has yet not stated what he will do, perhaps we will see another Specter – Toomey race in ’10.


This Saturday, March 24, 2007, is the Catholic Men's Fellowship of Pittsburgh second annual gathering for Catholic men desiring ways to better understand their faith and how to share that faith with others. The event will once again be hosted at Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center. This year the line-up includes nationally renowned Catholic speakers Matthew Kelly, Patrick Madrid, Jesse Romero and Peter Herbeck, with Mike Clark from WTAE-TV as the master of ceremonies.

I hope to see and meet many of you there. It's a wonderful (and much needed) time to renew your faith and a call for all men to be better husbands, fathers, mentors and examples of the Christian faith.

If you don't have a ticket yet, don't worry. Tickets are available at the door. If the donation is not affordable, just let a volunteer at the on site registration table know and pay what you can afford. No men will be turned away.

Doors open at 8:30 AM. The program begins at 9:00 AM and the closing Mass begins at 4 PM.

- The Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated between 10 AM and 3:30 PM.

- A complimentary boxed lunch will be served at 12:00 PM.

I'd really like to see more men stand up and take an active role in faith, the home and the community. Will you join me Saturday?

For more information, visit

The End of the Anglican Communion?

Last week ago George Weigel published a short article “The End of the Anglican Communion.” I recomend this article to all of you.

Why Go To Mass?

Why should I go to church? It's boring and I don't get anything out of it. Sound familar? There are far too many people that say that to me. I hear many guys use those same excuses. So why should we go? Click and see.

US Supreme Court to take up 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus'

The Supreme Court examines Monday a case raising questions over free speech rights in US high schools as it hears arguments over a student's unfurling of a quirky banner proclaiming "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Joseph Frederick drew the ire of his school principal Deborah Morse in Juneau, Alaska, on January 24, 2002, when the then 18-year-old student unveiled the huge banner in front of television cameras as the Olympic flame passed in front of a crowd.

Hold on, some stoner high school kid in Alaska throws up a banner (because to way to cold to moon people in Alaska) and the highest court in the land takes the case. Who is smoking what here?

Wait, it gets stranger. The principal (who was not happy about the banner) is being represented by Kenneth Starr, the former special prosecutor who led the investigation of Bill Clinton.

Frederick took his case to federal court, arguing that his free speech right, protected under the First Amendment, had been violated and demanding damages from Morse.

Well this is turning out to be quite a civics lesson.


Santorum Joins Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott

The national law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC today announced that the Honorable Rick Santorum has joined the firm. He will be primarily resident in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where he will provide business and strategic counseling services to firm clients.

“After serving in the Senate for twelve years and the House for four, Rick Santorum brings a wealth of insight, experience and intelligence to our clients and their business affairs,” said Tim Ryan, Eckert Seamans’ Chief Executive Officer. “We are extremely pleased that Rick is joining our firm and that our clients will have the benefit of his understanding of what it takes for businesses to succeed in today’s global economy. He is highly respected among business leaders and we are very fortunate to have him as part of our firm.”

“I am eager to return to this field and to put my experiences to work for Eckert Seamans’ clients. I look forward to providing the firm’s clients strategic advice on a broad range of business issues,” said Mr. Santorum.

Mr. Santorum served as United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007. During his tenure, he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee; the Rules Committee; the Joint Economic Committee; the Senate Agricultural Committee; the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Senate Finance Committee. From 2001 to 2007, Mr. Santorum served as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, where he directed the communications operations of Senate Republicans and was the third-ranking member of the Republican leadership.

Mr. Santorum was a strong supporter of the establishment of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which are giving millions of Americans ownership over their health insurance options. And as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he was instrumental in helping more than a dozen Pennsylvania hospitals obtain the necessary Medicare reimbursements to ensure that hundreds of their doctors, nurses and staff can continue serving patients.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995, Mr. Santorum fought for congressional accountability and fiscal responsibility. And as a member of the “Gang of Seven,” Mr. Santorum led the fight to expose Members of Congress who were abusing their check-cashing privileges at the House Bank.

Mr. Santorum earned his bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University. He received his masters of business administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law.

In addition to his work with the firm, Mr. Santorum also serves as a Senior Fellow with The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and is a contributor to Fox News Channel.


The group calls themselves the “Religious Witness for the Earth.” (Boston Globe) Meanwhile, this on Gore: Al Gore has profited from zinc mining that has released millions of pounds of potentially toxic substances near his farmstead, but there is no evidence the mine has caused serious damage to the environment in the area or threatened the health of his neighbors. Massive white mountains of leftover rock waste are evidence of three decades of mining that earned Gore $570,000 in royalty payments for the mineral rights to his property. (USA Today) More are challenging Gore’s claims. (CNS News) Richard Cohen jumps to Gore’s defense with this: … he won the popular vote, after all -- who accepted defeat graciously and tried to unite the nation, who returned to the consuming passion of his earlier days, the environment, and spoke endlessly on the topic, almost always for free, who starred in a documentary based on his speech and who Sunday night, before a billion or so people, won an Academy Award for his effort. This may or may not be a stepping stone to the presidency, but Gore gives us all a lesson on how to live one's life. (Washington Post)


Yes, pun intended. From the story: This has educators wondering if global warming is the next intelligent design versus evolution debate? “That’s always a very delicate situation, that we provide a balance,” O’Brien said of the global warming discussion. O’Brien was contacted recently by parent Linus Leavens, who was upset that “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Too Hot Not To Handle” were shown to his children.

Burlington Free Press


Joining the Democrats in wanting to appease foreign countries, McCain said “I would immediately close Guantanamo Bay, move all the prisoners to Fort Leavenworth (an army base in Kansas) and truly expedite the judicial proceedings in their cases. I would reaffirm my commitment to address the issue of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. I know how important this is in Europe in particular."



It's conflicting polls. Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month. (Times Online)

At the same time, this USA Today headline: Iraqis see hope drain away. The awful story begins: Jobs gone and schools closed. Marriages delayed and children mourned. Markets bombed and clean water in short supply. Speaking freely now a dangerous act. And hope lost. There was hope under Saddam? (USA Today)

Which story do you think the rest of the media picked up? ABC News was part of the second poll, and CBS news’ main story screamed “4 Years On, Iraq War Bloody As Ever.” (CBS News)

From Barone: "There is something profoundly wrong when opposition to the war in Iraq seems to inspire greater passion than opposition to Islamist extremism," Sen. Joseph Lieberman said in a speech last week. What is profoundly wrong is that too many of us are operating off the default assumption and have lost sight of who our real enemies are. (Townhall)

Guess Your Faith

It's another quirky online quiz. I much more Catholic than Scientologist. If you want to waste some time and get your results go here.

Below are the results of what I most closely match up to:
1. Eastern Orthodox (100%)
2. Roman Catholic (100%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (93%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (84%)
5. Seventh Day Adventist (83%)

St. Patrick

Saint Patrick was named Maewyn Succat at his birth, somewhere near the end of the fourth century. He took on the name Patrick or Patricus, after he became a priest, much later in his life. At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat was kidnapped from his native land of Britain by a band pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six long years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast of Gaul.

In Gaul, Maewyn became Patrick (a more christian name) and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity.

Patrick was about sixty years old when he arrived in Ireland and it is said that he had a winning personality that helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, to help explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).

Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The snake is a pagan symbol and perhaps this is a figurative tale explaining that he drove paganism out of Ireland.

Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.

Election of Episcopal bishop invalidated

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori took the highly unusual step Thursday of invalidating the election of a bishop in the tradition-minded Diocese of South Carolina, which has rejected her authority because of her liberal theological outlook.

The elevation of the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence had become a flash point in the denomination's struggle over whether parishioners with conflicting views of the Bible on gays and other issues could stay in the same denomination. The last time the Episcopal Church threw out a bishop's election was more than seven decades ago.

Associated Press

If slots fail, state will pick up slack

Regardless of what happens with the Pittsburgh casino license, the deal to build a new arena and keep the Penguins in town won't be in jeopardy. Even if the $7.5 million a year for 30 years committed by casino licensee Don Barden evaporated, the arena still would get built, with the state responsible for the shortfall. Read More

Note: Wherever you see the words "The State" that means YOUR MONEY!

State seeks bonds from slots license challengers

Property owners waiting for slots-related tax relief might have to wait a little longer -- at least that's the contention of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Read More

Philly lawmakers adopt casino referendum

PHILADELPHIA - In a jab at state gaming officials, the City Council voted unanimously to place a referendum on the spring primary ballot that, if passed, could seriously hamper plans for two casinos along Philadelphia's waterfront. Read More

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The U.S. will approve Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's request for a visa so he can visit the U.N. as the Security Council moves to impose additional sanctions against his country for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday that the United States has approved a U.S. visa for Ahmadinejad previously and will do so again, consistent with its obligations as host country for the United Nations.

Clinton, Obama: Homosexuality 'Not Immoral'

( - Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) responded on Thursday to a military leader's comments that homosexual behavior is "immoral," but only after being criticized for failing to do so by a homosexual advocacy group. Full Story

The Pastor As A Warrior

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Institute was in town last night for the “Friends of the Family” banquet hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute. His moving presentation covered God’s calling in our lives, and “stepping out” in faith.

He detailed the fascinating story of Mark and Frederick Muhlenberg, two brothers who were pastors at the onset of the Revolutionary War. Mark Muhlenberg left the pulpit in dramatic fashion and to help fight in the war. His brother Frederick, initially criticized Mark’s decision, but later also joined in the fight.

Perkins also detailed how in the book of Numbers, Phinehas (Aaron’s grandson and a Levite priest) stopped a plague in Israel’s camp by taking a javelin and running it through a couple engaged in fornication.

The Pastor as a Warrior image can run counter to our preconceived notion of the clergy. John Donvan of ABC News asks, “Christian Men...Too Wimpy?” Donvan writes, “…the men were ready to take up the challenge of becoming a "Christian warrior" modeled on the "manlier" version of Christ they were told has been overlooked — the Christ who took a whip to moneychangers, and used the word "dung" when he had to.” Read more..

Scientist Calls Global Warming Theories 'Bunk'

Just as Galileo and Einstein transcended the "consensus" of their day, so too will a growing body of scientific evidence eventually vindicate non-alarmist views on global warming, an environmental scientist predicted. Full Story

Light Bulb Law

A Republican congressman on Wednesday wouldn't rule out legislation as a way to prod American consumers to switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to more efficient modern bulbs. Full Story


The ABC News/Reuters story says “it was responding to huge demand from gay male couples around the world who want their own biological children but are often thwarted by prejudice and bureaucracy.” The brilliant folks at ABC News/Reuters seem to have missed the point that they’ve been thwarted by nature.

ABC News


From the story: Money for peanut storage in Georgia, spinach growers in California, menhaden in the Atlantic Ocean and even more office space for the lawmakers themselves is included in what has ballooned into a $124 billion war bill.



You knew this part of the story was coming: “Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, questioned the legality of the closed-door sessions and whether the confession was actually the result of torture.” (FOX News) Transcript of the confession. (CNN)

I hate to be cold but if the canary sings, pass me the jumper cables.

Dem: State Faces Up To $2 Billion Deficit

Pennsylvania faces a budget shortfall of up to $2 billion, a House Democratic leader said today. House Majority Whip Keith McCall, D-Carbon County, said fixing that budget hole has to be the top priority for Democrats, though the party has several other issues it wants to address. Democrats took control of the House in January for the first time in 12 years.

Republicans projected a $2 billion shortfall early last month, when Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell announced his budget. The state must have a balanced spending plan in place by June 30. Read more..

It is telling that both Democrat and Republican leadership agree on the size of the deficit, but the Governor’s office claims the deficit is much less. This projected deficit amounts to about $500 per PA household. Hold onto your wallets.

Pa. House adopts sweeping changes

The rules have changed. In a move that some called historic, the state House last night unanimously adopted a set of new internal operating policies designed to open the legislative process to all members, limit a prized perk, and give the public greater access to records. Read More

Customer service and faith clash

Beryl Dsouza was taken aback when the cashier at Target -- who had on the traditional headscarf, or hijab, worn by many Muslim women -- refused to swipe her bacon through the checkout scanner. "She made me scan the bacon. Then she opened the bag and made me put it in the bag," says Dsouza. "It made me wonder why this person took a job as a cashier." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)


The Democrat seems to be doing so with little protest from the media. The latest: His wife will now be on the state school board. He also has a son on the West Virginia Tourism Commission and a cousin is executive director of the West Virginia School Building Authority.



From the story: One expresses sympathy, offering the gentle reminder that, "As you grieve, remember that you are loved." Another provides encouragement for someone who "did the right thing." Yet another strikes a religious tone with the thought that "God will never leave you or forsake you."

FOX News


The media darling for leaving his wife for a gay relationship is not done just yet.

FOX News


According to William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute, “he is a true-blue conservative, comfortable with all the positions on social issues (abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc.) that give Rudy Giuliani so much difficulty.” (Townhall) Meanwhile, news broke that Giuliani’s law firm is taking $5000 a month from Citgo (Hugo Chavez.) (NY Daily News)

District Gags 14-Year-Olds After 'Gay' Seminar

Officials at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., have ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a "gay" indoctrination seminar, after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.

"This is unbelievable," said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women for America. "It's not enough that students at Deerfield High are being exposed to improper and offensive material relative to unhealthy and high-risk homosexual behavior, but they've essentially been told by teachers to lie to their parents about it." Read more…

These efforts never stop. Fifteen years ago, similar efforts were introduced under the broad, vague and innocuous-sounding “Appreciating and Understanding Others” Outcome contained in PA’s Outcomes Based Education. Who really owns our children?

Episcopal Minister Boycotts 'Straight' Weddings

An Episcopal minister in Massachusetts will stop performing all wedding ceremonies to protest the denomination's prohibition of same-sex unions.

"We are called to join the fast that our homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ have had to observe all their lives," said the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst.

Several members of the congregation say they support Hirschfeld's move, which he announced in his Sunday sermon. Others said they were concerned that that the move might add to the polarization of an issue that has already divided Episcopals.

Hey, there is always room in the Catholic church. (See post below)

Pope: Catholic Politicians Must Oppose 'Gay Marriage'

The Church's opposition to gay marriage is "non-negotiable" and Catholic politicians have a moral duty to oppose it, as well as laws on abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict said in a document issued on Tuesday.

In a 140-page booklet on the workings of a synod that took place at the Vatican in 2005 on the theme of the Eucharist, the 79-year-old German Pope also re-affirmed the Catholic rule of celibacy for priests.

AP Poll Scary

In looking at the latest AP poll Christians in America have a great deal to be concerned about in the 2008 Presidential elections.

This AP Poll showed only 6% of those contacted considered morality an important characteristic for a Presidential candidate. The same poll showed 4% said it was important for a candidate to do what he promised he would do during his campaign.

Scarier yet for all conservative Americans, was that only 4% said it was important for the Presidential candidate to believe in God. Does that mean 96% of the people polled said that it was OK for a Presidential candidate to be an atheist? Today it seems to be okay to lie to the public, to have sexual affairs and to steal from the people while you are in an elected office.
If that is the case Christian values will not play a role in the 2008 Presidential elections.

Some people say that the Republican Party has not put forth a truly conservative candidate which the religious right can really get behind. On the other hand this poll shows very little support for conservative values. Christianity today apparently is more concerned about the differences between themselves than they are about the things which they agree upon.

One thing is for certain the Presidential election for 2008 has already started. If you are waiting to get involved in a year or so, you will not have anything to say about who the candidates are. If you want to have anything to say about who the candidates are you had better get involved right now.

Otherwise it appears we will have a choice between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. That choice is fine if you want a ticket without a true conservative for whom to vote. True conservatives need a Sam Brownback, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter or a Tom Tancredo on the ticket.

Can they win? That's depends on Christian conservatives waking up and speaking up. I'm sorry, did I wake you?

Emerging vs. Emergent Churches

By Jason Carlson

What is the difference between the “emerging” church and the “emergent” church? In recent years these two terms, often used interchangeably, have raised much confusion, consternation, and debate within the Christian community. Are these terms synonymous? Should we differentiate them? And should the movements they represent concern us?

To answer these questions I would like to briefly describe some of the key differences, as I see them, between these two terms- “emerging” and “emergent”. I will propose that distinctions can and should be made between these two terms and I will attempt to make these clear in this article. I will also share with you some of my personal thoughts in regards to the positives and negatives of both of these terms and the movements that they describe.

And just a brief disclaimer at the outset… The descriptions I will give below are meant to provide a broad and general overview of these two movements. These descriptions are based solely upon my personal interaction and experience with a number of emerging and emergent churches. I am fully aware that exceptions to these portrayals do exist.

What is the emerging church?

The “emerging” church movement is basically a generic term. It typically refers to any church or organization that sees as its primary mission reaching today’s postmodern culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are thousands of these emerging churches in our country today and they span a multitude of denominations.

Churches and organizations that would describe themselves as part of the emerging church generally have evangelical tendencies. They tend to hold to and defend theological positions that have been widely accepted and embraced by the wider evangelical community. Emerging churches generally recognize the reality of absolute truth, many have a high regard for the authority of Scripture, and most will unashamedly proclaim the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.

Socially and politically, people who attend these emerging churches will come from a diversity of backgrounds. Culturally, however, it is no stretch to say that the majority of emerging churches would tend to be predominantly white and suburban. At the same time though, many of these emerging churches place a high value on social activism and concern for the urban poor.

Where these emerging churches most differ from their more traditional, evangelical counterparts is typically in their methodology. They generally are more cutting-edge in their use of music, media, and other art forms as tools for communicating the message of the gospel. They may meet in traditional church sanctuaries, but often times you will find them in settings that are better suited for a multi-sensory worship experience, settings such as coffee houses or night clubs.

What is the emergent church?

The “emergent” church movement, on the other hand, is a much more specific term. It refers to those churches and organizations that align themselves, whether formally or informally, with the vision and philosophy of an organization officially named Emergent. The Emergent organization can be found online at Emergent identifies itself as, “a growing, generative friendship among missional Christians seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ”. This organization was founded and is led by prominent spokesmen like Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and others.

Churches and organizations that would fall under the emergent label come from a diversity of Christian traditions. Many of these churches have evangelical roots, but you will also find Catholic, Orthodox and Mainline protestant denominations allied with the Emergent group. Accordingly, the theologies found within the emergent church are as diverse as the traditions that make it up. This theological diversity is widely celebrated within the movement and is the primary reason behind the emergent church’s disinterest in producing statements of faith, which are viewed as constricting and limiting to ongoing dialogue and theological imagination.

Socially and politically, the emergent church is also a diverse group. However, most commentators point out a greater propensity towards liberal interests and causes. Emergent churches also tend to be predominantly white. At the same time, while not necessarily a rule, emergent churches are often found in urban settings. Emergent churches also place a high value on social activism and concern for the urban poor.

As for the style and methodology of the emergent churches, you will find a tremendous amount of diversity here. Again, reflecting the diversity of traditions that make up Emergent’s “generative friendship”. Some of these emergent churches will resemble settings like coffee houses or nightclubs, settings geared towards a multi-sensory worship experience. But others will take the opposite approach, favoring a more contemplative or liturgical feel in their worship gatherings. And some will blend both.

Reflections on the emerging and emergent church

While I would never offer a blanket endorsement of all things “emerging”, the evangelically inclined emerging church movement can generally be viewed as a positive force within the church. Wherever we find emerging churches remaining faithful to the authority and truths of Scripture, the wider evangelical community should embrace and support them as co-laborers for the Kingdom. The goal of spreading the gospel to the entire world, including the postmodern world, is a clear biblical mandate and the emerging church movement is helping to carryout this task.

The church must recognize that throughout history the tactics we’ve used in communicating the gospel message have regularly changed. The medium for delivering the message, as long as it does not clearly violate biblical norms, should not be our primary concern. Rather, the advancement of the message of the gospel should be paramount. When sharing this goal, the emerging church movement can be viewed as an ally of traditional evangelicalism.

The emergent church movement, on the other hand, has given traditional evangelicals more cause for concern. As I have observed the evolution of the emergent church over the past few years, I have noticed an increasing trend towards theological revisionism, theological liberalism, and an open embrace of postmodern philosophy.

The emergent church has moved beyond the practice of simply adapting the methods we use in order to reach the postmodern world for Jesus Christ. By and large the emergent church has adopted an uncritical embrace of the postmodern worldview. And postmodernism is a worldview that in many regards is antithetical to biblical Christianity. Prominent leaders within the emergent church are on record denying objective truth, promoting relativism, and questioning a number of the core doctrines of biblical Christianity. All of these facts greatly disturb me and should concern all discerning believers.

One last thought regarding the more evangelically inclined emerging church. I would encourage any evangelical church or organizations currently identifying with the label of “emerging church” to strongly consider dropping the use of this term. As I stated above, having a ministry focused towards reaching the postmodern world for Jesus Christ is an awesome goal. However, why not simply focus on being the church? Why “emerging”?

Why would evangelically inclined churches or organizations want to associate themselves with a term that is so easily confused today with a movement (Emergent) that is causing so much concern within evangelical circles? Are the confusions, false labeling, and attacks associated with calling yourself an emerging church worth it?

For example, it’s like when you’re throwing a party… you don’t send out invitations that say, “Come to my gay party”. You might be throwing the happiest, most joyous party in the history of the world, but in today’s culture you just don’t use certain terms because of their baggage.

Not only is the use of the term “emerging” confusing and for many people loaded with negative connotations, it’s also just plain cheesy. When are we evangelicals going to get over our penchant for jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad movement to come along? We’ve got seeker-sensitive churches, purpose-driven churches and now Emergent comes along and suddenly everybody wants to be an emerging church. It’s getting ridiculous.

Again, if you want to focus on ministering to postmoderns that’s great, do it. But just be the church to them. We’ve got enough labels to explain to non-believers already, we don’t need to add another one into the mix.