Rendell opposes Bush on insurance bills

Gov. Ed Rendell said Thursday that he asked Congress to stop President Bush from blocking Pennsylvania's effort to offer government-subsidized health insurance to uninsured children from middle-income families. Read More

Future of Pa. six-pack sales is now a case for justices

The state Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Pennsylvanians will be able to walk into their local grocery or corner store and pick up a six-pack of beer along with toilet paper and a carton of milk. Read More

Rendell defends keeping donation from wanted man

Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday defended his decision to keep a $40,000 donation from a prominent Democratic fundraiser who failed to appear for sentencing 16 years ago on a grand theft charge in California. Read More

EDWARDS TO AMERICA: SURRENDER YOUR SUV’S

Speaking to a labor group. (FOX News)
At one point, Edwards had four children. Not sure how the six of them would travel today. (Wikipedia)




POVERTY DROPS, INCOME HITS FIVE YEAR HIGH

The story notes “All racial and ethnic groups gained in median household income, though the increase among blacks was minimal. Poverty declined in all major racial and ethnic groups, particularly among Hispanics.” (USA Today)

Bush statement. (White House)

And the reports in the mainstream press................. Shhhh I think I heard something.

BUSH WARNS IRAN: BACK AWAY FROM IRAQ

From the story: "Until it does, I will take the actions necessary to protect troops," he said. "I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities." (LA Times)

Obama’s non-specific response. (All American Patriots)

Democratic Offices Searched In Harrisburg

(Post Gazette) State investigators last week executed a search warrant on the Capitol basement headquarters of the Democratic Office of Legislative Research in a broadening investigation into whether state employees were used to run several political campaigns last year.

Kevin Harley, a spokesman for the attorney general, said he could not comment on the search but confirmed that the office is actively investigating the Democratic research department.

"I can tell you that we do have an active and ongoing investigation into allegations that bonuses paid to staff members of the office -- into whether they were legal bonuses or bonuses paid for campaign work," he said.

This is a good first step. I would hope that the Attorney General’s Office also looks into bonuses paid to Republican staffers, especially in the Senate.

PA Superior Court Gets it Right – Viewing Child Porn is Illegal in Pennsylvania

(From an AFA of PA release): Last week’s decision by the full Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the bad November decision by a three-judge panel. Under that decision one could legally view child porn on the Internet as long as the images were not intentionally saved on the computer.

“Child pornography victimizes children and fuels the minds of potential child molesters, it still boggles the mind that three judges here in Pennsylvania could rule that simply because someone did not know the images were being automatically stored on a computer he would be free of any wrongdoing even while intentionally seeking and viewing child porn,” commented Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.

NASA Mulls Drug, Alcohol Testing For Astronauts

(Fox News) An internal NASA health and safety report recommends the space agency explore the idea of drug and alcohol testing for astronauts and other employees.

While the review released Wednesday found no evidence that astronauts were drunk or had been drinking heavily before any space launch — as suggested by an independent panel last month — it cited booze-buying runs made for space shuttle crews awaiting launch.

Imagine having a sobriety check point at the launch pad.

Planed Parenthoods Secret Abortion Clinic

Planned Parenthood concealed its ownership of a huge new abortion facility scheduled to open soon in a Chicago suburb, and pro-life advocates – and at least one city official – are questioning whether the abortion provider can mislead officials without repercussions.

"There's always legal ramifications," Aurora, Ill., Alderman Richard Irvin told the Chicago Tribune while standing with some of the estimated 1,200 pro-life protesters who assembled over the weekend to protest the existence of the structure that had been depicted by owners as an office building.

He was not on the board when the project, proposed by a company identifying itself as "Gemini Office Development," was approved. But he said he has concerns the building was brought into his city under false pretenses, and said the city could sue Planned Parenthood for being deceptive.

WorldNetDaily.com

PLCB links record earnings to changes

Changes in marketing and management and the closing of "nonperforming" stores were hailed as among reasons the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board had a record 7.2 percent earnings increase in 2006-07. Read More

Fat bonuses to PHEAA officers have lawmakers eyeing change

Officials overseeing Pennsylvania's student-loan agency are considering a restructuring of executive salaries and ending bonuses that have reignited criticism of the agency's spending practices. Read More

Pennsylvanians make less but have better health plans

Pennsylvanians have lower household incomes than most U.S. residents, but they're more likely to be above poverty levels and to be insured. The same is true of most residents of the Pittsburgh region. Read More

Castro: Clinton-Obama Ticket 'Invincible'

(CNN) -- Add another name to the list of political observers who think a Clinton-Obama ticket would be unbeatable: Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

In an editorial in Cuba's communist party newspaper, Granma, the ailing dictator called the pairing of the two White House hopefuls "invincible," according to an English translation on the paper's Web site.

Imagine the campaign ads….

Pa. welfare rate dips to '60s level

The number of people receiving welfare benefits in Pennsylvania has declined to a level not seen since the early 1960s as more recipients have moved into the workforce, the state's top public welfare official said yesterday. Read More

State says $11 billion needed to fix bridges

Officials yesterday released an estimated $11 billion price tag to structurally update the 6,000 Pennsylvania bridges that are outmoded or in need of repair. The state released for the first time sufficiency and condition ratings for all state-maintained bridges. Read More

Michael Vick Abusing 'Jesus' Name

Conservative radio talk show host and media commentator Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson issued the following statement today after listening to Michael Vick's remarks that he has turned his life over to Jesus following his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to a dogfighting conspiracy charge:
"The statement that Michael Vick has found Jesus is laughable. Like other celebrities before him, Vick is evoking Jesus' name to stop the criticism and gain public sympathy. True believers recognize the hypocrisy in what he's doing.

"'Jesus' is the most abused name in black America and Vick is following a long line of abusers. We can no longer allow celebrities and politicians to break laws and then use 'Jesus' as a get-out-of-jail free card. Most of these people go right back into their bad behavior and criminal activities as soon as the storm passes.

"Jesse Jackson evoked Jesus' name after he was discovered to have fathered a child in an extramarital affair. Thug rappers can't keep Jesus' name out of their mouths at award shows or when they get into trouble. Even Bill Clinton started carrying the Bible after he was caught having an affair with Monica Lewinsky and perjuring himself. Michael Vick is using the same playbook to manipulate the media and public.

"If Vick is truly contrite and has found God, he wouldn't have minimized his crime by describing it as a 'mistake' or as 'immature'. He would have confessed; assumed total responsibility, and then asked God to give him the strength to endure his punishment. That would have been a great example for the youth."

Growing While Shrinking

They rival the growth projections of Starbucks. In fact some of of them have a Starbucks! It's the massive church growth syndrome.

Almost every major city has it's "mega-churches". They are on TV and Radio. They are on Billboards and posters. They host concerts and car cruises and strive to put thousands under the roof for services. On the surface this seems great. There are places much worse one could choose to spend time. Still at the end of the day what's the point? How many of them really (I mean really) preach and teach the Word of God?

The church growth movement has steered us off track. In order to attract big crowds and increase membership numbers, the true Gospel message has been reduced to entertainment. There's no room for the Holy Spirit and there is no room for prayer in our user-friendly church services. What the people really need to know is the truth found in the Word of God and not a feel-good message that tickles their ears.

I spent a good 15 mins. on Saturday listening to a secular radio station discuss a car cruise at a local mega church. Normally the programming on this station consists of sex talk and locker room humor. It was the word "pastor" that caught my ear as I scanned the dial.

I love a good car cruise and I'm all for reaching out to the un-churched, but it seems to me that the mission had long been forgotten.

In the Bible, the book of Revelation warns churches against a watered-down approach to worship and ministry. Our generation is a generation like the apostate church spoken of in Revelation 3:15-16. Lukewarm pretty much describes the Christian culture in America today and therein lies the problem. While church numbers are growing, real Christians are as numerous as a T-Rex.

I'm really quite tired of hearing about evangelical "mission trips". You don't need to jet off to some third world country. The largest mission field is sitting in our churches every Sunday. Teachers must first learn the subject. So many people go to church but wander blindly through life content with a latte' and the latest Christian music CD. The numbers prove a whole lot of nothing.

ANDY ROONEY GETS PASS FOR RACIST COMMENT

Though he admitted it was wrong.

From the story: Mr. Rooney vented his ire on Thursday about baseball, which he said he had never liked. Amid complaints about the game’s rules, types of statistics and the dominance of the New York Yankees, he seized upon the prevalence of Latin American players in the United States. “I know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today’s baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me,” Mr. Rooney wrote in the second paragraph of the column.

NY Times

VA TECH KILLER HAD DISORDER

From the story: Professors and school administrators at Virginia Tech could not have known of Cho's emotional disability -- Fairfax officials were forbidden from telling them. Federal privacy and disability laws prohibit high schools from sharing with colleges private information such as a student's special education coding or disability, according to high school and college guidance and admissions officials. Those laws also prohibit colleges from asking for such information.

Washington Post

CNN SPEAKS TO HAMAS LEADER

Some of the story is about CNN. At one point in the story, the writer notes "The walls were adorned with the pictures of Hamas members who have carried out suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis."

CNN

HILLARY SAYS GOP HAS ADVANTAGE IF TERROR STRIKES

Obama and Edwards aren't happy about the comment. (FOX News)

Meanwhile, an Obama advisor noted Hillary's obsession with the right, saying "I think we need a candidate who is obsessed with unifying this country again." (The Hill)

Marriage in California Could End?

(CNSNews.com) - In legal briefs submitted to the California Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both stated that a future legislature could abolish marriage and remove the rights now enjoyed by a husband and wife, a pro-family group charged on Monday.

In Brown's document, filed on Aug. 17, the attorney general stated that "the words 'marry' and 'marriage' have no essential constitutional significance under the California Constitution. Thus, the legislature could change the name of the legal relationship now known as 'marriage' to some other name without any constitutional impediment."

Schwarzenegger filed a brief of his own that day, which said "the administration submits that use of the words 'marry' and 'marriage' is not required by the California Constitution. Thus, the name of the legal relationship now known as 'marriage' could be changed." Read more…

Those of us who support DOMA were told that this would never happen.

Presbyterian Court Rules Against Lesbian Activist Minister - Upholds Ban On Same Sex Marriages

From the story: In a reversal of a lower church court ruling, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr has been found guilty of violating the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage by performing weddings for two lesbian couples.

The Synod of the Pacific’s Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) ruled 6-2 last week that while the “lesbian evangelist” and longtime Presbyterian minister “acted with conscience and conviction,” her actions were still at odds with the church’s constitution.

The PC(USA)’s Book of Order defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and church courts have ruled that Presbyterian ministers may not utilize the marriage liturgy in same-sex ceremonies. Read more…

Look for more cases like this one to keep pressing the issue.

Taxpayers poised to pay $2 billion for pensions

A pension crisis looming over Pennsylvania taxpayers has been abated by smart investing, but the problem is far from solved. Read More

Tourism industry pushing for post-Labor Day school start

Parents seeking relief from whiny refrains of ''I'm bored'' and ''There's nothing to do'' likely will be cheering this week as most of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts begin the 2007-08 academic year. But for tourism industry officials, pre-Labor Day school openings are nothing to cheer about Read More

Pennsylvania political war over planned tolls on I-80

BROOKVILLE, Pa. - Anthony Foote spends a lot of time driving his Kenworth T-600 truck on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania. He prefers it to the state's other east-west highway, the Interstate 76 turnpike, which can cost him $140 in tolls. Read More

Obama invokes Bible

Speaking to Sunday church congregants in New Orleans, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama invoked Jesus' Sermon on the Mount days before the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

"Getting ready to talk to you today, I recall what Jesus said at the end of the Sermon on the Mount," Obama said at New Orleans' First Emmanuel Baptist Church. "He said, whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock."

"The rains descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on the rock," he continued.

That rock, he said, was a principal of brotherhood exemplified by the church during Hurricane Katrina — but not the federal government.

"Something was wrong in America. Our foundation wasn't built on the rock," he said.

Obama blasted local, state and federal response to the storm, and touched upon ingredients necessary for the city's rebuilding, namely more employment opportunities for residents to rebuild, community-based law enforcement to tackle the city's crime epidemic, and improved health care.

CNN

ADIOS GONZALAS

GONZALES QUITS

REPORT: Chertoff likely replacement...

Reid: 'Never the right man for this job'...

Schumer: He's 'done the right thing and stepped down'...

Kennedy: 'I strongly urge President Bush to nominate a new attorney general who will respect our laws'...

Blunt: 'I appreciate his hard work in defense of our country'...Obama: 'Gonzales subverted justice to promote a political agenda'...

Dr. D. James Kennedy Retires

The retirement of Dr. D. James Kennedy as Senior Minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was announced at the church's Sunday morning worship service. The announcement follows a cardiac event suffered by Dr. Kennedy in December 2006 and his extended convalescence. Details about Dr. Kennedy's retirement from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, where he has served since 1959, may be found at www.DJamesKennedy.org.

Pro-life Rock Stars 'Duped' By Amnesty

(WorldNetDaily) Amnesty International, which formally announced two weeks ago a new worldwide policy backing women's right to abortion in some cases, is being charged with having "duped" pro-life pop stars who contributed their time and talents to a CD released to raise money by the anti-torture group for victims of violence in Darfur.

In particular, [Erik Whittington, American Life League's youth outreach director and director of Rock for Life] accused Amnesty of deceiving singers Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne, who have both made statements against abortion, according to the London Sunday Times.

Poll: Young Voters Disenchanted With Republican Party

(CNSNews.com) - Young Americans have become "profoundly alienated" from Republicans on issues including the war in Iraq, global warming, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday. Their defection from the Republican Party suggests "a political setback that could haunt Republicans "for many generations to come," said a Democracy Corps poll from the Washington firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. Read more..

With the NEA's push to embrace the social issues mentioned above, the fruits of these efforts are starting to show.

Mother Teresa's followers to reunite

An unprecedented re-union of Blessed Mother Teresa's closest friends, co-workers and relatives will be held at St. Vincent College this fall at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of her death.
Mother Teresa, 1988

"I'm sure this will have potent theology, but it will all be carried out in the simplicity of stories," said Jim Towey, president of the Benedictine college in Latrobe, and Mother Teresa's legal counsel from 1985 until her death on Sept. 5, 1997. She was beatified Oct. 20, 2003.
Conference speakers will include Sister M. Nirmala, her successor as head of the order; Agi Guttadauro, her only niece; the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, who is leading her cause for sainthood; and several of her closest friends and traveling companions. Speakers and attendees are coming from all over the world, including people who adopted babies from her first orphanage -- with their now-grown children.

Allegheny County appeals assessment ruling

For the past 5 years I've has 3 differnt values on my home. Now this!

The Allegheny County Law Department filed an appeal of the Common Pleas Court decision which declared the current assessment system unconstitutional.

The appeal, filed this afternoon, details five areas in which the county believes Common Please Judge R. Stanton Wettick was wrong in his legal opinion.

Since the Judge Wettick's decision declared a state law unconstitutional, the appeal automatically goes to the Supreme Court which has to decide the case, County Solicitor Michael H. Wojcik said.

Ask Powerball

Powerball:
Only God can forgive your sins. Why do you confess sins to a priest?

In John 20:21-23, we find Jesus saying the following to his apostles: "'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.' And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'"
These verses refer to what Catholics call Confession or the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Those who object to the Catholic view of this passage usually contend that Jesus was simply speaking about believers forgiving those who have wronged them. Such a view is impossible for two reasons. The first reason is that Jesus qualifies His statement. He starts off by saying, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." This raises the question, in what manner was Jesus sent to forgive? Mark 2:5-12 gives us the answer:

And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the Scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus, knowing what they were thinking, said in part, "But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins," -- He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all.
Jesus didn't need to perform a miracle to show that He could forgive someone of a personal offense. The forgiveness spoken of is the forgiveness that makes salvation possible.

The second reason that John 20:21-23 does not refer to believers forgiving others who have wronged them, is that we are not given the option of retaining anyone's sins. In fact, our own forgiveness is dependent on our forgiving others. Jesus tells us this very thing in Matthew 6:14-15: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

The only time sins would be retained, is when there is an obvious lack of repentance. The fact that they could forgive or retain means that they would have to know what the sins were, and the disposition of the person in question. That could only happen if the person were to tell or confess his sins to the apostle. Furthermore, if this function were necessary in the first century it would be equally important today.

Can only those confessing to a priest be forgiven? Certainly not. Confession is the normal means but not the only means. If someone were to die suddenly without confessing to a priest, all would not necessarily be lost. If the person died truly sorry for his or her sins and desired God's forgiveness, forgiveness would be granted. So why bother with Confession? Well for one because Jesus says so. But also because of the graces that we receive when we are absolved, - graces that help us avoid sin in the future.

It is easy to understand why someone might not want to go to Confession. While we don't mind admitting that we are not perfect, we often have a problem admitting to specific faults. Admitting them to our pastor is even less desirable. But we need not fear, for he is also a sinner. Let us remember also, that God is there to help us. As the scripture says, He gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

The Key To Greatness

David had it. Caleb had it. And Noah also had it... "The Key to Greatness." None were perfect, but all were willing, willing to do anything and everything that God asked them to do. "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9).

We have clearly seen from scripture that The Key to Greatness in the Kingdom of God" is wholeheated willingness to live for the will and kingdom of God. "Not my will, but Thine be done." Are you willing to say that...no, NO! Scratch that! Are you willing to LIVE! that? Are you willing to live like David did? Like Caleb did? Like Noah did?

If so, you'll touch the very heart of God as David did. If so, you'll experience the fulfillment of God's promises in your life as Caleb did? If so, you will be honored among the fewest of the few who travel the narrow road. The narrow road to greatness in the kingdom of God.

David was the only man in the entire Bible to be called, "A man after God's heart." Caleb was one of only two men out of an entire generation to inherit the promised land after more than forty years of waiting. and Noah, along with his family, was the ONLY MAN from among his generation, to be saved from the flood and introduce an entirely new beginning upon the earth.

And what about you? What will your response be to this "Key to Greatness?"

WOMAN SELLING DOG-CHEWED MICHAEL VICK CARDS

On Ebay! There is always a way to make a buck.

AP

CHRISTIAN TEEN MOVEMENT FIGHTS POPULAR CULTURE

From the story: Ron Luce, the 46-year-old founder of the organization, has waged a modern-day crusade against "purveyors of popular culture," whom he has condemned as "the enemy." More than two decades old, Teen Mania estimates it has reached more than 2 million teens with its message "of living completely for Christ."

CNN

Editors Note: I don't really care for Mr. Luce's approach. I think teens are more into attending the rock concert atmosphere then really learning about Christ. While I don't want to toss the baby out with the bathwater, we have to be careful about false spirituality.

JUDGE DECIDES GAY EX CONS SHOULD BE TREATED AS MARRIED COUPLE

With help from the ACLU, they get to live together when other ex cons can’t. The ACLU attorney said “It's important that the court recognizes that gay couples are entitled to the same protection of their relationships as heterosexual couples enjoy."

They already do Judge!

AP

DEMOCRATS PLOT HOW TO CAST SURGE AS FAILURE

Not easy, given the circumstances. From the story: Aware of the trouble Iraqi progress could mean for Democrats at home — House Whip James Clyburn recently said if the surge were successful, it would be "a real problem for us" — a revised set of talking points is being worked up by Democrats that declares the escalation of troops in Iraq has not been successful despite White House claims otherwise.

FOX News

PHEAA, Where No Executive Is Left Behind

(Brett Lieberman/The Patriot-News) Bonuses may be taboo in the General Assembly, but they're still greatly appreciated at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Greatly.

And what's not to like if you're on the receiving end of the six-figure bonuses that the state's student financial aide agency tossed around like candy Wednesday.

CEO Dick Willey received a $180,857 bonus on top of his $289,118 salary that already exceeded Gov. Ed Rendell's salary, The Patriot-News' Jan Murphy reports.

Executive VPs -- Timothy Guenther, Brian Lecher and James Preston - each received $113,515 bonuses in addition to their regular base salary of $217,257.Kelly Logan, another EVP who started only in January, quickly found out what a great place PHEAA is to work. She took home a $52,436 bonus that represents 26 percent of her $201,178 base pay.

PHEAA board chairman and state Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware County, defended the bonuses as actually not being as big as they could. He said they fall into the 28th percentile of that paid to executives at peer organizations, which include banks, private universities, and hospitals.

Superintendent Touts 'Condom Field Trip' For Young Teens

(Palm Beach Post) St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon plans to recommend that the school board adopt a proposed sex education curriculum, with some modifications, and begin using it in the schools this year.

The proposed curriculum has drawn fire from people who believe it promotes the use of contraceptives over abstinence and contains "graphic and sexually explicit material." They have particularly objected to in-class demonstrations of condoms and an exercise in which students purchase condoms at the drug store, an activity they dubbed the "condom field trip." The school district has received about 2,800 petitions from people opposed to it, and many people have spoken against it at school board meetings. Read more...

911 Caller in Abortion Death Quits

The abortion worker who placed the evasive 911 call in the death of a 19-year old Downs syndrome patient is no longer employed by abortionist George R. Tiller at Women's Health Care Services (WHCS).

Marguerite Reed noted on July 31, 2007, in her personal blog that she would not be returning to work. "I am perfectly content. Thank you, God," she wrote. Reed had worked for Tiller for 12 years. Tiller is currently facing 19 charges of committing illegal late- term abortions. His clinic has been closed since July 31.

Operation Rescue staff members had observed Reed leaving the abortion clinic that same day looking upset.

Reed was working on January 13, 2005, when Christin Gilbert was brought to WHCS suffering from fatal complications to a botched third-trimester abortion. After Gilbert had been at the clinic for nearly an hour, Reed placed a call to 911 asking for an ambulance, adding, "Please! Please! Please! No lights and no sirens!" She then placed the emergency dispatcher on hold for 45 critical seconds as Gilbert's life slipped away. The dispatcher noted on a written transcript that Reed was "evasive" and uncooperative.

Reed had often commented on her blog about her dissatisfaction with her stressful job and desire to be a stay-at-home mom where she could also pursue her love of writing. A web site, "George Tiller Revealed", quotes her as saying, "The less I write, the longer it will take me to reach my goal, which is to be able to Quit the Job. I ache to be an at-home mother. I feel as if I'm missing out on so much." She also talked about the stresses of having to deal with "all these crying people."

Full Story

UNIVERSITIES TEACHING PORN

While some people get fired for viewing porn at work, these professors are showing it to students.

Time

MORNING AFTER PILL SELLING BIG

The AP story repeatedly calls the pill safe.

AP

YEAR OLD BOY SKETCHES GUN, GETS SUSPENDED

School officials said they consider the sketch a threat.

FOX News

Self-Proclaimed Pedophile Out of Jail

A self-described pedophile was released from jail after prosecutors dropped a criminal case accusing him of violating a judge's order prohibiting him from being within 30 feet of children anywhere in California for three years.

Prosecutors could not pursue the case against Jack McClellan, 45, after they determined the order was invalid because the judge failed to schedule and give McClellan proper notice of a hearing required to argue the merits of imposing such a long-lasting order before it is issued. McClellan was released from jail Tuesday.
He was arrested Aug. 13 for investigation of violating the order when he was found near a child care center at the University of California, Los Angeles. He had a camera with him at the time, but he told a local TV station that there wasn't any film in it.

McClellan was arrested again - several hours later - this time for trespassing after he did an interview with the TV station on university grounds. He had been told not to return to the campus after his first arrest. Prosecutors did not pursue the trespassing charges.

Superior Court Judge Melvin Sandvig issued the order Aug. 3 requiring McClellan to stay at least 30 feet away from every person under age 18 in California for a three-year period, said Nick Velasquez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

A three-year order amounts to what is termed a preliminary injunction, and cannot be issued without the statutory hearing and notice requirements, according to the city attorney's office. Superior Court spokeswoman Pat Kelly said Sandvig could not comment because the case is pending.

McClellan is unemployed and has been living out of his car. He stirred controversy in Southern California when he arrived this summer from Washington state, where he had lived with his parents.

Associated Press

Ask Powerball

Powerball:
I was reading a post in which you said "No one is assured of Salvation". I was brought up believing once a person is saved that can not be lost. Can you explain more about why you believe the way you do?

Thanks for you question. With all due resepect what you have been taught is a false doctrine. "Once Saved, Always Saved" seems to have blossomed with Fundamentalist Christians.

You asked why I believe what I do. The perfect example of how this doctrine is false is Judas Iscariot. He believed in Jesus Christ, walked with Him, was one of the Twelve and was given the same powers from Him as the others. Yet what Christian believes that Judas Iscariot went to Heaven? According to this doctrine, I would say Fundamentalist Christians would have to believe Judas is in Heaven as he more than met the requirements of salvation according to this doctrine.

Another good example is Lucifer (Satan) - abided in Heaven, knew God Himself, lived with God Himself yet he was not "saved" when given the opportunity for he now resides in Hell as punishment for the sin of pride. This sin occurred after having known and accepted God.

In my opinion, this doctrine helps Satan greatly by instilling a false sense of security and self-confidence among Christians concerning their salvation. They think they can't sin anymore and even if they do, no punishment will be due them as Christ paid for all our sins. This makes it much easier for Satan to tempt us with the sin of presumption.

How can we be assured of our own salvation if St. Paul wasn't (1 Corinthians 9:27)?

Salvation is not a "one time" event, but an ongoing process until "the end" (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13).

Pa. foreclosures increase in July

PITTSBURGH - Foreclosure filings in Pennsylvania jumped more than 32 percent from June to July but were about the same as in July of last year, a research firm said Tuesday. Read More

SOME QUESTION REBUILDING IN HURRICANE ZONES WITH PUBLIC FUNDS

From the story: …thanks to government help, "You'd be a fool not to live on the beach," he says. "We're building highways to them, causeways to them, sewage-treatment plants to them. We're paying their (flood) insurance to live there." In risky areas, many homeowners enjoy artificially low flood insurance rates — a legacy of the government's effort to prod communities to join the federal flood insurance program, which began in 1968.

USA Today

LIBERAL CLAIMS STUDY REVEALS THEY READ MORE BOOKS

Publisher and former far left congresswoman Pat Schroeder used the info to insult conservatives. From the story: Among those who had read at least one book, liberals typically read nine books in the year, with half reading more than that and half less. Conservatives typically read eight, moderates five. It could be conservatives tend to have more children and less time to do things for themselves… like read a book. Does Cat in the Hat count?

CBS News

LA City Councilman Wants Federal Funds To Bail Out Homeowners

You just knew that this was going to happen…

LA Daily Times: Housing experts painted a grim picture of Los Angeles' real-estate market Tuesday as City Councilman Richard Alarcon called for city, state and federal funds to help bail out city homeowners who can't pay their mortgages.

Warning that the region is embroiled in a foreclosure upheaval, Alarcon said he's also considering asking lawmakers to declare a state of emergency to direct state and federal money to counseling and loans for people about to lose their homes.

Does this also mean federal bailouts for people who lose everything at state casinos?

Is The PA Judiciary Circling The Wagons?

It strikes many of us as more than ironic that PA Supreme Court Justice Saylor was the only justice to rule against re-instating the controversial pay raise for the judiciary. Happenstance is that he is the next PA Supreme Court Justice up for retention. I’m sure that there was no connection between his lone dissention in this ruling and being next up to face the voters. (Is there an HTML code in Blogger to denote sarcasm?)

Voter anger over the pay raise was re-stoked by accusations against Superior Court Justice Mike Joyce that he defrauded insurance companies out of $440,000. Despite the accusation of these federal charges, Joyce seemed ready to run for retention anyway.

Things suddenly changed this week, when Joyce had a change of heart, probably with some “help” from his fellow judicial candidates and decided not to seek retention. (Joyce’s announcement not to seek retention is detailed in the blog entry below.)

John Baer in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes:

IF YOU SENSE in the air a sigh of relief, it's from Pennsylvania's judiciary.

(I mean the pay-raise judiciary, the slots judiciary, the Legislature-can-do-what-it-wants judiciary, the please-Lord-let-nobody-look-at-us judiciary.)

If you also note an acrid smell, it's lingering fear - from the same source.

Both are justified. Read more…

Suspended Pa. judge halts campaign

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A suspended judge pleaded not guilty Monday to cheating two insurance companies out of $440,000 and said he plans to retire rather than run for re-election. Read More

AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND JEWS

Highlighted by CNN’s "God's Warriors" six hour series. From the story: Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, was among the speakers at last month's convention of Christians United for Israel. "There are a lot more Christian Zionists in America than Jewish Zionists," the former Democratic vice presidential candidate told the group. "The support of Christian Zionists today is critical to Israel's security and strength and to America's security and strength."

CNN

HOW THE GOP CAN WIN

According to Fred Barnes: Three things have to happen for Republicans to recover--in effect, a political hat trick. Events must work in their favor, notably in Iraq. Democrats must screw up badly. And Republicans must change their ways, in a compelling fashion. This last requirement may be the toughest. (WSJ)

Meanwhile, Jim Talent writes in support of Romney. (Townhall)

HILLARY, OTHER DEMS ADMIT SURGE IS WORKING

Still, Hillary says, the strategy came “too late.” (Washington Times)

But Hillary was critical of the surge to begin with, wanting a “cap” on the number of troops. (Youtube)

A more lengthy clip of Hillary ripping the surge idea and lecturing General Petraeus. (Youtube)

On a side note:

Is it me or is there an uncanny resemblance?

Planned Parenthood Sues To Strike Down Missouri Abortion Law

(Fox News) Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to strike down a new Missouri law that it claims could eliminate abortion services in large parts of the state by subjecting clinics to stringent state oversight.

The new law pulls more clinics under the state's umbrella by requiring any facility that performs more than five first-trimester abortions a month, or any second- or third-trimester abortions, to meet the licensure requirements for an "ambulatory surgical center."

Among the new requirements noted in the lawsuit: outpatient surgery centers must have halls at least 6 feet wide and doors at least 44 inches wide; there must be separate male and female changing rooms for personnel; and a recovery room with space for at least four beds with 3 feet of clearance around each.

Welcome to the real world. The claim that these are “undue burdens” placed on abortion facilities is laughable. Try getting township approval for a backyard shed or house addition.

Ministry Sues to Keep Same-Sex Ceremonies Out of Its Facility

(CNSNews.com) - A Methodist group that refuses to let homosexuals hold civil union ceremonies at one of its retreat facilities is suing New Jersey officials to prevent the state from forcing the church to violate its religious beliefs.

Civil union ceremonies are specifically prohibited by the doctrines of the United Methodist Church, even though the State of New Jersey granted legal status to civil unions last February.

A Methodist church retreat in Ocean Grove, N.J. -- called the Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) -- filed a federal lawsuit last week against the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, after government officials threatened to prosecute the OGMCA for turning down requests by three same-sex couples who wanted to conduct civil union ceremonies at a pavilion owned by the Ocean Grove facility. Read more...

Bishop resigns as Amnesty backs abortion

British Catholic Bishop Michael Evans has resigned from Amnesty International after the international human rights organisation approved a new policy affirming the right to abortion under limited circumstances.

BBC News reports that Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia said he could not agree to the new Amnesty stance and therefore resigned after the organisation vote to support the right of women to have access to abortion where pregnancy is a grave risk to their life or health.

As part of a campaign on women's rights the group is highlighting the issue of rape in society and war zones.Bishop Evans, who wrote a special prayer for the organisation, told the BBC's Sunday programme, a move away from neutrality on abortion had caused him a problem.

BBC

What Is Anglicanism?

By Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi

Few would deny that the Anglican Communion is in crisis. The nature of that crisis, however, remains a question. Is it about sexuality? Is it a crisis of authority—who has it and who doesn’t? Have Anglicans lost their commitment to the via media, epitomized by the Elizabethan Settlement, which somehow declared a truce between Puritan and Catholic sentiments in the Church of England? Is it a crisis of globalization? A crisis of identity?

I have the privilege of serving as archbishop of the Church of Uganda, providing spiritual leadership and oversight to more than nine million Anglicans. Uganda is second only to Nigeria as the largest Anglican province in the world, and most of our members are fiercely loyal to their global communion. But however we come to understand the current crisis in Anglicanism, this much is apparent: The younger churches of Anglican Christianity will shape what it means to be Anglican. The long season of British hegemony is over.

Full Story

Lower property taxes? There's a catch

All homeowners would like to see their property taxes lowered, but are they willing to pay more state income tax and state sales tax to make that happen? Read More

Let’s Call God "Allah"

I posted this story last week but have not had time to respond. Let's fix that!

Tiny Muskens, a Dutch Roman Catholic Bishop in Amsterdam, released a nifty idea. Muskens, well-known for stupidity aplenty, came up with a fresh game plan of which he said would aid the Dutch, yea, the entire world in getting along with Muslims Gone Wild. Tiny proposed "that people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understanding."

Let's ponder that a moment......

According to The Associated Press, Bishop Tiny Muskens, from the southern diocese of Breda, told Dutch television on Monday that "God did not mind what He was named and that in Indonesia [where Muskens spent eight years] priests used the word ‘Allah’ while celebrating Mass . . . The first Mass I hear "Allah" mentioned, you will hear my tires screeching out of the parking lot about 2 seconds later!

Muskins says Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on? We will name God ‘Allah’ . . . What does God care what we call Him? It is our problem."

I’ve got two problems with that sir:

The Catholic Church in Indonesia is not the pace car for Christian conduct. Hello. . . . Of course Catholics in Indonesia are going to call God ‘Allah’-there are two of them and 234,693,997 Muslims. I’m guessin’ that the Catholics over there are worried about staying alive! If a group of men wearing red and all baring rather large tatoos the say "Bloods" ask me if I'm cheering for the the Bloods or the Crips guess what, I'm a huge Bloods fan! Unless of course they wear blue and have Crips tattos, then Crips is my answer. Catholics in Indonesia do it? Please.

God doesn’t mind what we call Him, eh? What god are you talking about? Are you talking about the god of fearful and capitulating chunky Dutch priests? If so, I’m sure that such a squishy, imaginary, nutless diety that one’s made up in his fetid and feckless fermented mind is completely cool with such a craven course of action.

Listen, Tiny, God’s name/names are significant. Remember the "hallowed be Thy name" stuff the real Jesus taught in the Bible? I assume you had to at least scan the scripture at one time before you got that collar and started going around saying such stupid things in public.

Listen, Father Feelgood, do a little word search regarding God’s name and see if He cares what you call Him before you queue up with your craziness.You will quickly find in this little exercise that God’s name[s] denote His nature, His character, His person and His work. Much like yours, SeƱor Muskens.

Why stop with just a simple name change, Tiny? Let’s remodel everything we do to suit radical Muslims. I mean, we don’t want to upset them now, do we? To foster peace and Rodney Kingishness [can’t we all get along?] we could do things such as . . .

Start calling our churches mosques.
We could called Jesus Bob. No one can be offended by the name Bob.
Yank the steeples off the roofs of our churches and replace them with gold domes.
Start circumcising our young girls.
Start killing homosexuals, adulterers and thieves.
Start oppressing women.
Fling open our borders.
Disband the TSA, NSA, FBI and CIA.
Start hating Israel.
Start hating America.
Grow long beards.
Scrap Christmas for a Mohammed’s Birthday Blow Out Bonanza.
Replace Easter with Ramadan.
Bring on the burkhas.
Become liberals.
All of a sudden those that are stll alive are Muslim and they all can't wait to die and get their 72 virgins.
I'm not going for your peace plan Tiny.

Flight 93 Memorial Design Worries Father

The father of a man killed when hijacked Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, wants his son's name withheld from a victims memorial because of renewed concerns that its design is centered around Islamic symbolism.

Tom Burnett Sr. served on a jury that picked the winning design, originally named "Crescent of Embrace," and said the request was "something I'd rather not do, but I can't get anyone to listen."

Burnett's son, Thomas E. Burnett Jr., 38, died along with 39 other passengers and crew when Flight 93 was hijacked and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., while flying to San Francisco from Newark, N.J. An investigation concluded the hijackers crashed when passengers rushed the cockpit and tried to regain control of the aircraft.

Nearly two years ago, designer Paul Murdoch changed the memorial's planned shape to a nearly full circle in response to critics who said the original crescent shape honored the Muslim extremists who carried out the attacks. The crescent is a Muslim symbol.

The planned memorial faces toward Mecca, Islam's holiest city, and it's claimed that a planned 93-foot tower with wind chimes would act as an Islamic sundial.

Billy Graham Hospitalized

Billy Graham was recovering at a hospital Monday, two days after being admitted with an intestinal bleed, officials said.

Graham, 88, was in fair condition Monday morning, said Merrell Gregory, a spokeswoman for Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville."He had an excellent night," Gregory said.


No date has been set for Graham's release, but family members said they hoped his hospital stay would be brief. On Sunday, he was able to watch a televised worship service form First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, S.C., and visit with family and friends, hospital officials said.
The hospital has said the initial bleeding may have been caused by diverticuli, or small pouches that can form in the lower intestine. A diverticular bleed often begins suddenly and may stop on its own, the hospital said. Graham spokesman Larry Ross said the minister experienced similar intestinal bleed during in 1995 crusade in Toronto.


Graham, who suffers from a variety of ailments including Parkinson's disease and age-related macular degeneration, has been largely confined to his western North Carolina home in recent years.


His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June following a following a lengthy illness.


RU-Serious?

On Wednesday the New England Journal of Medicine published a study examining the effect of the abortifacient, RU-486, on women's chances of later having tubal (ectopic) pregnancies or miscarriages. The analysis relied on Denmark's 35-year-old national abortion registry. The results were released to Time, the Associated Press, and Reuters, which splashed grossly misleading headlines like: "Study Finds Abortion Pill Safe" (Time).

Actually, the researchers concluded only that there was the same risk to women and child of future miscarriages if they had used RU-486 or had a surgical abortion. The new study is problematic because it did not examine other, short-term risks, and it did not compare RU-486 and surgical abortion patients to women with no abortion history. Thus, this study says nothing about future pregnancy outcomes for RU-486 patients versus women who never have abortions - a true measure of longer-term RU-486 safety.

The authors, including an NIH scientist, laid down the following unbelievable spin to explain the omission: "....women who have never had an abortion tend to have a different pattern of income, smoking rates and other health-related behaviors that would make a comparison difficult...." Riiiiiight. More likely--but not politically correct--is that women who have abortions have a higher risk of future negative pregnancy outcomes. HHS Secretary Leavitt needs to look into having this study re-done using proper methodology and unbiased scientists.

Pro-Life Democrat?

A recent pol lby Christianet asked, "Would you elect a Pro-Life Democrat for president?" Many voters wondered if such a person really exists. As one person commented, "A Pro-Life Democrat is an oxymoron." Bill Cooper, President of ChristiaNet, stated, "If the Democratic Party wants to appeal to moral values, they should start with a pro-life stance."

Out of 900 participants, 43% said they would vote for a Democrat that protects the unborn child. Many in this group felt "abortion is murder" and even a Democrat would be worthy of their vote. Others expressed discontentment with both party's candidates and think "Christian values are more important than party affiliations." While others stated, they were Democrats and always vote for their party's candidate. On the other hand, others selected "Yes" if the Republican candidate was Pro-Choice.

Thirty percent of respondents polled selected not to elect a Pro-Life Democrat. Most participants in this group stated they would base their decision on more than just this one issue and since the other Democratic Party issues tend to be against Christian values, they had to select "No."

The remaining twenty-seven percent chose "Unsure." The concerns of this group closely reflected those that voted "No". With comments such as "I must know his stance on the other issues" or "I'd be suspicious of election-time rhetoric from an otherwise liberal party."

ATHEIST “INCREASINGLY VOCAL”

The story looks at the arguments from a number of atheists, which sound a lot like what you’d expect to hear from that serpent Eve spoke to a few years back.

CBS News

SCIENTISTS SAY THEY’RE CLOSE TO CREATING LIFE

Life has already been created. Try something that hasn't been done.

One of those involved claims “This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."

FOX News

POLL: MCCAIN DOWN, ROMNEY UP

Romney jumped to double digits and ahead of McCain. Giuliani and Thompson still lead. (Gallup)

Karl Rove, now on the talk circuit, said the GOP is in position to gain. (FOX News)

Specter Denies Conservative Wing Of GOP

Post Gazette: Mr. Specter disputed the suggestion that Pennsylvania's GOP voters, who nearly deprived him of renomination in the 2004 primary, had become dominated by the party's more conservative wing.

"The Republican Party in Pennsylvania is still more the party of [the late Sen.] John Heinz than it is the party of the right wing,'' he said. "We've got a pretty long tradition of [former Gov.] Bill Scranton and [the late former Sen.] Hugh Scott, [former Gov. and Attorney Gen. Dick] Thornburgh and Heinz and [former Sen.] Dick Schweiker, myself and so on. I think our party has not pulled hard to the right. The difficulty of a primary is that so few people vote.''

Perhaps tellingly, however, with the exception of himself, none of the figures he cited as examples of the Republican mainstream has posted a victory since Mr. Heinz' last re-election in 1988.

Prince of Darkness

Every now and then a book comes along that everyone interested in politics should read. The new memoir by veteran journalist Robert D. Novak, I think, is one of those books.

Most people, even those who live there, wonder what Washington politics is really like behind the scenes. There is no one in political journalism better equipped to tell that story than Bob Novak. In The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington he tells it with an honesty and wit worthy of Balzac – he spares no one, including himself.


Bob Novak has been a political reporter in Washington since 1957. Along with Bill Buckley, Novak has written the longest running syndicated column in America. He has published the Evans-Novak Political Report since 1963 and pioneered television journalism culminating with CNN’s “Capital Gang” and “Crossfire.”

After 25 years at CNN he moved to Fox News over wrongful on-air accusations that he had leaked confidential information about a CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Novak’s chilling account of the Plame affair, grand jury and all, suitably begins and ends a book filled with accounts of politically motivated lies and deceptions.


Novak’s sometimes hilarious, often startling experiences with Washington notables through thirteen administrations combine to create a veritable Bonfire of the Vanities of our nation’s political life.
His personal takes and insider stories on presidents, congressmen, and media celebrities will not be well-received in the halls of power.


Novak’s memoir, however, has another more edifying side. Catholics and other religious conservatives will be fascinated by the conversion to Christianity of a non-practicing (but bar-mitzvahed) Jew from Joliet, Illinois. The grandson of Jewish immigrants, Novak was never -- uncharacteristically -- a liberal, although he was sometimes perceived as such. His father Maurice, an engineering expert in gas production, was fervently anti-New Deal and FDR, a “rare Republican Novak.” There was so much political news floating around the house, through newspapers, magazines, and radio shows Novak became “addicted to politics” before he was nine!

The counterpoint of these political and journalistic machinations is the warm account of Novak’s lifelong friendship with his partner Rowly Evans, his marriage to a former aide to Lyndon Johnson, Geraldine Williams from Hillsboro, Texas, and their mutual discovery of the Catholic Church. Without her husband knowing, Geraldine had become an anti-abortion activist in the early 90s.


When Geraldine began attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Church near the Capitol her husband began going with her. When he revealed their regular Mass attendance to a student from Syracuse University after a lecture she bluntly asked when they planned to join the Church. He replied that they had no such plans and she responded, “Mr. Novak, life is short, but eternity is forever.” When Novak returned to DC he “suggested to Geraldine that the time had come for both of us to enter the Church.” They were received on May 20, 1998

Reading The Prince of Darkness you encounter a long life lived navigating the tumult of political storms, but also a life that finds itself suddenly, and peacefully, coming to rest on a further shore.


IS AMERICA TURNING LEFT?

Yes, according to The Economist. Why? Republican’s love of “big-government conservatism”: From this perspective, the worrying parallel for the right is not 1992 but the liberal overreach of the 1960s. By embracing leftish causes that were too extreme for the American mainstream—from unfettered abortion to affirmative action—the Democrats cast themselves into the political wilderness. Now the American people seem to be reacting to conservative over-reach by turning left. More want universal health insurance; more distrust force as a way to bring about peace; more like greenery; ever more dislike intolerance on social issues.

HEADLINE: “EVANGELICALS SUPPORT CONVERSION CODE”

According to the story: Evangelical groups have joined efforts spearheaded by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainstream Protestant churches to create a common code of conduct for religious conversions that would preserve the right of Christians to spread their religion while avoiding conflict among different faiths (Associated Press).

Joining religious liberal groups such as the World Council of Churches in this call for a “conversion code” is the World Evangelical Alliance which includes the National Association of Evangelicals in its list of “full members.”

RUDY GIULIANI’S “REALISTIC PEACE”

Rudy Giuliani sets out his foreign policy vision in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs. The summary: The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges. First and foremost will be to set a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order. The second will be to strengthen the international system that the terrorists seek to destroy. The third will be to extend the benefits of the international system in an ever-widening arc of security and stability across the globe. The most effective means for achieving these goals are building a stronger defense, developing a determined diplomacy, and expanding our economic and cultural influence. Using all three, the next president can build the foundations of a lasting, realistic peace. Meanwhile, Barack Obama “flubs again on foreign policy” (Townhall.com).

A Sudden Death

A moment of silence for my hard drive (Taps plays)

Experts did all the could to save it but to no avail.
I'm here on a borrowed computer as I morn the loss of my email and contact list. (Please don't give me the backup lecture)

I know my hard drive is in a better place and while it will be tough, I will move on. Just know my blog posts my be sporadic in my time of grieving.

Gigabytes are requested in lieu of flowers.

Mike Gallagher: Churches Have No Business Harboring Illegals

Agree or disagree, Townhall columnist Mike Gallagher opines:

What happens when a criminal who seeks and receives sanctuary in a church in order to escape prosecution eventually leaves the church?

Good-bye, sanctuary. Hello real world.

The soap opera of a woman named Elvira who repeatedly snuck into our country in order to take a job and defy immigration laws is like an episode right out of “The Twilight Zone.” Somehow, she managed to find herself at the doorstep of some Methodist Church in Chicago. Read more...

Census Bureau: Halt Raids on Illegals

(Newsmax) The Census Bureau wants immigration agents to suspend enforcement raids during the 2010 census so the government can better count illegal immigrants.

Raids during the population count would make an already distrustful group even less likely to cooperate with government workers who are supposed to include them, the Census Bureau's second-ranking official said in an Associated Press interview. Read more...

Ask Powerball

Dear Powerball:
Matthew 23:8-10 tells us not to call anyone “Father” or “Teacher,” or “Master.” That confuses me because when we talk to a priest, we call him “Father,” and even the word “pope,” translated literally means “father.” I attend a Baptist school and didn’t dare ask any of my teachers for an answer, because they would tell me that I’m Catholic and wrong. Please give me an answer. I feel uneasy calling a priest, “Father.”

Thanks for your question. “The word ‘dad’ means ‘father.’” So what do you call your dad? Jesus was called teacher yet no one seems to have an issue calling anyone a teacher.

St. Paul himself was obviously aware of this, unless we want to think he was blatantly disobeying Jesus’ command, when he wrote, “in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15). The words of Scripture must be read in their context and according to the intentions of the writers. We need to look not just at Matthew 23:8-10, but 23:1-12. Is Jesus concerned here about the words we use? Or is He engaged in giving a lesson in humility?

The essence of His message here is, “Don’t go around looking for recognition and empty praise.” What an easy gospel it would be if all we had to learn from this passage was to avoid a few words. Instead, our Lord is teaching us that “the greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).

Associated Press Falsely Claims Abortions Don't Cause Infertility Problems

The Associated Press was quick to seize on a story Thursday that wrongly claims the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 poses no medical risks for women. However, the international news service went further by writing a biased news article claiming abortions do not cause future infertility or sterility problems.

In his article, "Study Finds No Risk from Abortion Pills" AP reporter Mike Stobbe claims "previous research has shown surgical abortions don't increase the risk of problems in later pregnancies."

Yet research shows that abortion can lead to infertility by increasing the risk of miscarriages. Even Planned Parenthood of Australia, one of the leading abortion businesses there, acknowledges the future risk of problem pregnancies caused by abortion.

Georgette Forney, the director of the Silent No More Awareness campaign, had an abortion at 16 and has spoken with thousands of women who have had abortions and regret their decisions. She knows of many who have had future pregnancy problems because of their abortions.

LifeNews.com

Blunt Political Call To Arms Backfires In Bucks County

From the story: The e-mail to Bucks County Republicans urged recipients to lean on "courthouse employees and consultants" for help in registering new GOP voters.

"Many people owe their jobs to GOP leadership," it said. "Professionals, consultants, contractors, and loyal GOP supporters have benefited handsomely."

Needless to say, the message, sent July 16 by Northampton Township Supervisor Vincent J. Deon, was unusually blunt, and could be read as menacing. Read more...

No campaigning should ever be done with or through the county court house.

Defrocked Gay Pastor Returns to Pulpit

The Atlanta pastor at the heart of the homosexual clergy debate in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has returned to the pulpit. And the Atlanta congregation is ecstatic.

A day after the nation's largest Lutheran denomination voted to encourage its bishops to practice "restraint" in disciplining gay ministers who are in “faithful” same-sex relationships, St. John's Lutheran Church – Atlanta's oldest Lutheran church – celebrated Sunday the continuing pastorship of the Rev. Bradley Schmeling.

Earlier this year, Schmeling, who announced that he found a lifelong gay companion, was ordered to be removed immediately from the clergy roster. The order by the Committee on Appeals overruled an earlier decision by a disciplinary committee which said Schmeling should be allowed to remain on the clergy roster until after ELCA's biennial churchwide assembly, Aug. 6-12. The committee also suggested that ELCA reinstate gay clergy who were removed or resigned because they were in a same-sex "lifelong partnership."

Despite the removal, Schmeling refused to leave St. John's and said he planned to continue to follow his call in ministry there.

There's that submit to authorty problem again.

Although a vote last Friday fell short of approving a change to the current clergy policy, the assembly voted 538 to 431 the next day to pray for, urge, and encourage bishops to refrain from disciplining people and congregations who call qualified leaders in "chaste and faithful" same-gender relationships to ELCA’s professional rosters. It also urged the same restraint on leaders who are already on the official rosters and in committed same-sex relationships.

Another one bites the dust.....

The Assumption

Today the Virgin Mary ascended to Heaven; rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever.' The Church will close her chants on this glorious day with this sweet antiphon, which resumes the object of the feast and the spirit in which it should be celebrated.

No other solemnity breathes, like this one, at once triumph and peace; none better answers to the enthusiasm of the many and the serenity of souls consummated in love. Assuredly that was as great a triumph when our Lord, rising by His own power from the tomb, cast hell into dismay; but to our souls, so abruptly drawn from the abyss of sorrows on Golgotha, the suddenness of the victory caused a sort of stupor to mingle with the joy of that greatest of days. In presence of the prostrate angels, the hesitating apostles, the women seized with fear and trembling, one felt that the divine isolation of the Conqueror of death was perceptible even to His most intimate friends, and kept them, like Magdalen, at a distance.

Mary's death, however, leaves no impression but peace; that death had no other cause than love. Being a mere creature, she could not deliver herself from that claim of the old enemy; but leaving her tomb filled with flowers, she mounts up to Heaven, flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved. Amid the acclamations of the daughters of Sion, who will henceforth never cease to call her blessed, she ascends surrounded by choirs of Heavenly spirits joyfully praising the Son of God. Never more will shadows veil, as they did on earth, the glory of the most beautiful daughter of Eve. Beyond the immovable Thrones, beyond the dazzling Cherubim, beyond the flaming Seraphim, onward she passes, delighting the Heavenly city with her sweet perfumes. She stays not till she reaches the very confines of the Divinity; close to the throne of honor where her Son, the King of ages, reigns in justice and in power; there she is proclaimed Queen, there she will reign for ever more in mercy and in goodness.

Here on earth Libanus and Amana, Sanir and Hermon dispute the honor of having seen her rise to Heaven from their summits; and truly the whole world is but the pedestal of her glory, as the moon is her footstool, the sun her vesture, the stars of Heaven her glittering crown. Daughter of Sion, thou art all fair and sweet, 'l cries the Church, as in her rapture she mingles her own tender accents with the songs of triumph: I saw the beautiful one as a dove rising up from the brooks of waters; in her garments was the most exquisite odor; and as in the days of spring, flowers of roses surrounded her and lilies of the valley.'

The same freshness breathes from the facts of Bible history wherein the interpreters of the sacred Books see the figure of Mary's triumph. As long as this world lasts a severe law protects the entrance to the eternal palace; no one, without having first laid aside the garb of flesh, is admitted to contemplate the King of Heaven. There is one, however, of our lowly race, whom the terrible decree does not touch; the true Esther, in her incredible beauty, advances without hindrance through all the doors. Full of grace, she is worthy of the love of the true Assuerus; but on the way which leads to the awful throne of the King of kings, she walks not alone: two handmaids, one supporting her steps, the other holding up the long folds of her royal robe, accompany her; they are the angelic nature and the human, both equally proud to hail her as their mistress and lady, and both sharing in her glory.

If we go back from the time of captivity, when Esther saved her people, to the days of Israel's greatness, we find our Lady's entrance into the city of endless peace represented by the Queen of Saba coming to the earthly Jerusalem. While she contemplates with rapture the magnificence of the mighty prince of Sion, the pomp of her own retinue, the incalculable riches of the treasure she brings, her precious stones and her spices, plunge the whole city into admiration. There was brought no more, says the Scripture, such abundance of spices as these which the Queen of Saba gave to King Solomon!

The reception given by David's son to Bethsabee, his mother, in the third Book of Kings, no less happily expresses the mystery of today, so replete with the filial love of the true Solomon. Then Bethsabee came to King Solomon . . . and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne, and a throne was set the king's mother: and she sat on his right hand. O Lady, how exceedingly dost thou surpass all the servants and ministers and friends of God !

On the day when Gabriel came to my lowliness,' are the words St. Ephrem puts into thy mouth, 'from handmaid I became Queen; and I, the slave of Thy Divinity, found myself suddenly the mother of Thy humanity, my Lord and my Son! O Son of the King who hast made me His daughter, O Thou Heavenly One, who thus bringest into Heaven His daughter of earth, by what name shall I call Thee?' The Lord Christ Himself answered; the God made Man revealed to us the only name which fully expresses Him in His twofold nature; He is called THE SON, Son of Man as He is Son of God, on earth He has only a Mother, as in Heaven He has only a Father. In the august Trinity He proceeds from the Father, remaining consubstantial with Him; only distinguished from Him in that He is Son; producing together with Him, as one Principle, the Holy Ghost. In the external mission He fulfills by the Incarnation to the glory of the Blessed Trinity -- communicating to His humanity the manners, so to say, of His Divinity, as far as the diversity of the two natures permits -- He is in no way separated from His Mother, and would have her participate even in the giving of the Holy Ghost to every soul. This ineffable union is the foundation of all Mary's greatnesses, which are crowned by today's triumph. The days within the Octave will give us an opportunity of showing some of the consequences of this principle; today let it suffice to have laid it down.

As Christ is the Lord,' says Arnold of Bonneval, the friend of St. Bernard, Mary is Lady and sovereign. He who bends the knee before the Son kneels before the Mother. At the sound of her name the devils tremble, men rejoice, the angels glorify God. Mary and Christ are one flesh, one mind, and one love. From the day when it was said, The Lord is with thee, the grace was irrevocable, the unity inseparable; and in speaking of the glory of Son and Mother, we must call it not so much a common glory as the selfsame glory .' O Thou, the beauty and the honor of Thy Mother,' adds the great deacon of Edessa, thus hast Thou adorned her in every way; together with others she is Thy sister and Thy bride, but she alone conceived Thee."

Rupert in his turn cries out: Come then, O most beautiful one, thou shalt be crowned in Heaven Queen of saints, on earth Queen of every kingdom. Wherever it shall be said of the Beloved that He is crowned with glory and honor, and set over the works of His Father's hands, everywhere also shall they proclaim of thee, O well beloved, that thou art His Mother, and as such Queen over every domain where His power extends; and, therefore, emperors and kings shall crown thee with their crowns and consecrate their palaces to thee.'

What? Bishop urges Christians to call God 'Allah'

Catholic churches in the Netherlands should use the name Allah for God to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians, says a Dutch bishop.

Why don't Muslims call Allah God? Oh wait that would be too much to ask.

Tiny Muskens, the bishop of Breda, told the Dutch TV program "Network" Monday night he believes God doesn't mind what he is called, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported. He may not but God and Allah are two very different ideas.

"Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years," Muskens said. "In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can't we start doing that together?"

WorldNetDaily.com

Wine or Whine?

We talked on the show over the past few days about is it acceptable for a Christian to drink alcohol? Not get drunk mind you, but partake in an adult beverage now and then.

Most people don't seem to have an issues with it so long as it does not become a stumbling block. Of course there are those that claim it's not biblical to touch even a drop. They would claim that the "wine" in the bible is really just grape juice.

Joseph sent this email:

Did you all know there was no product anywhere in the world known as grape juice before 1892? Wine meant the juice from the fruit of the vine: in all it's forms form pre-fermentation up to when it turns to vinegar(which originally meant rotten wine). So when Paul writes to Timothy he could just as well be talking about new wine as old wine. We cannot tell because the original Hebrew writing no longer exsists. So we do not know which Hebrew word was used for wine.

Here in the information on when the word grape juice came into usage:Thomas B. Welch, M.D., the founder of Welch Grape Juice Company, was born in England in 1825. A devout Christian and staunch prohibitionist, Dr. Thomas B. Welch did not like wine being used in his church's communion service. In 1869 he decided to try developing a non-alcoholic substitution. Dr. Welch had an ample supply of grapes on hand, because he lived in the town of Vineland, New Jersey (named for its many vineyards), and it was common for him to receive bushels of the fruit as payment for dental services. Experimenting at night, Welch tried to create a grape beverage that would not ferment and become alcoholic.

Thanks for the lesson Joe!

Fran wrote:

There is a really deeper issue here we lovers of the Lord are so quick to point out what we believe to be sin in our fellow Christians...ahhhhhh, how about we concentrate on ourselves and leave the judgments to the one who made us! How about loving the sinner be he saved or unsaved and moving from the LEGALISM....... ooh my sins not as bad as yours cause you have a beer but then again didn't I just polish off that ice cream in the freezer!

I'll drink to that!

AMERICANS SATISFIED WITH LIFE

From the story: The majority also say their lives have improved in the past five years, and almost two-thirds expect it to get even better by 2012. Such findings may seem incongruous in a year rife with partisan bickering. Indeed, the same poll found that only 19 percent of the respondents said the nation was "moving in the right direction."

Washington Times

U.S. SEES DOZENS OF TERROR CELLS

From the story: The report identifies mosques, bookstores, cafes, prisons and flop houses as what it calls "radicalization incubators" that provide "extremist fodder or fuel for radicalization." The leader of an American Arab civil rights group labeled the NYPD report as "unfortunate stereotyping" and at odds with federal law enforcement findings that the threat from homegrown terrorists was minimal.

ABC News

Faith In The Crosshairs

(Family Research Council) High Point Church in Texas….has come under fire for refusing to host a homosexual man's memorial service. The church had initially agreed to the service because the deceased was the brother of a church employee. However after the church discovered the man was a homosexual and that the memorial service would celebrate the homosexual lifestyle with suggestive photos and music from an openly gay men's chorus, the church's pastor, Gary Simons, withdrew the offer to host the event in the sanctuary.

The church secured another location, and catered lunch, at the church's expense, that would meet the needs of the family and not subject their sanctuary to being used to celebrate homosexuality.

The church should have been commended for bending over backwards to meet the deceased man’s family needs while preserving the sanctity of the sanctuary.

Philadelphia City Schools Plan Conflict-Resolution Program

From the story: As Mayor Street tries to combat the rising homicide rate in the city, he's turning to the public schools for some help. Every student in the district this school year will get some training on how to resolve conflicts peacefully - commonly known as conflict resolution…

[The school district's interim chief executive officer, Tom] Brady, said he's not sure how much the initiative will cost, but noted that the district is still struggling with an $80 million deficit. Read more...

Not to mention that Philadelphia already spends an incredible $11,500 per student. Does anyone know if these types of programs actually work?

The Saga Continues

I was flooded with email weeks back in the wake of a document released by the Vatican. The document declares that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church. The only institutional form in which the Church of Christ subsists.

I've seen commentaries from Roman Catholic clergy who decry a giant leap backwards made by the pope and the Vatican. The problem is almost all of the reactions were based on emotion and not theology. It pains me to see that Catholic clergy in many cases don't understand this. No one familiar with the statements of the Roman Catholic Magisterium should be surprised by this development. This is not news in any genuine sense. It is news only in the current context of Vatican statements and ecumenical relations.

The Vatican document is very brief. Its official title is "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church," and it was released by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on June 29. Though many media sources have identified the document as a papal statement from Pope Benedict XVI, it is actually a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was later approved for release by the Pope (who, as Cardinal Ratzinger, headed this Congregation prior to assuming the papacy).

The document claims a unique legitimacy for the Roman Catholic Church as the church established by Christ and stakes this identity on apostolic succession, centered in the papacy itself. As the document states, "This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him."

The document then goes on to acknowledge that the churches of Eastern Orthodoxy also stake a claim to apostolic succession, and thus they are referred to as "Churches" by the Vatican. As for the churches born in out of the Reformation -- they are not true churches at all, only "ecclesial communities."

"According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense."

Pope Benedict was already in hot water over his recent decision related to the reinstitution of the Latin mass, complete with a call for the conversion of the Jews. This latest controversy just adds to the media impression of big changes at the Vatican under the current papacy. To me it's laughable. These are anything but changes. In fact it's anti-change.

Personally I stand up and cheer for PB16! Benedict is truly a doctrinal theologian, whereas Pope John Paul II, was more a philosopher by academic training. Those familiar with the current pope know of his frustration with the tendency of liberal Catholic theologians and laypersons to insist that the Second Vatican Council represented a massive shift (to the left) in Catholic doctrine. Not so, insisted Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith. Now, as Pope, Benedict is in a position to shape his argument into a universal policy for his church. Vatican II, he insists, represented only a deepening and reapplication of unchanging Catholic doctrine. Those that refuse to believe it are in for a miserable set of disappointments.

Evangelicals should appreciate the candor reflected in this document. There is no effort here to confuse the issues. To the contrary, the document is an obvious attempt to set the record straight. The Roman Catholic Church does not deny that Christ is working redemptively through Protestant and evangelical churches, but it does deny that these churches which deny the authority of the papacy are true churches in the most important sense. The true church, in other words, is that church identified through the recognition of the papacy. Those churches that deny or fail to recognize the papacy are "ecclesial Communities," not churches "in the proper sense."

It all comes down to this -- the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the Pope as the universal monarch of the church is the defining issue. Roman Catholics and Evangelicals should together recognize the importance of that claim. This is not a theological game of I'm better then you. It's the basis of the basis and belief of the Church.

In this era of confusion and theological laxity we often forget that this was one of the defining issues of the Reformation itself. Both the Reformers and the Roman Catholic Church staked their claim to be the true church -- and both revealed their most essential convictions in making their argument. Those claims have not changed.

The modern game of ecumenical confusion has obscured issues. Pope Benedict and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are not only concerned for Catholics but also evangelicals their congregations. He, along with the Magisterium of the church, believe that Protestant churches are gravely defective and that those souls are in danger. His sacramental theology plays a large role in this concern, for he believes and teaches that a church without submission to the papacy has no guaranteed efficacy for its sacraments.

The Roman Catholic Church believes many are in spiritual danger for obstinately and disobediently excluding themselves from submission to the universal claims and the papacy. Evangelicals are concerned that Catholics are in spiritual danger for their submission to these very claims. We both understand what is at stake.

I appreciate the Roman Catholic Church's willingness to speak what they believe, and I believe that Evangelical Christians, with equal respect and clarity, should respond in kind. This is a time to be respectfully candid.

Minors served drinks more often in city

Pittsburgh watering holes may be selling alcohol to minors more often than in other parts of the state, according to a program that sends teens into bars to see if they can buy drinks. The age compliance program, run by the Pennsylvania State Police's Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, places undercover officers inside and outside bars and restaurants, then sends an 18-20 year old in to try to buy alcohol. Read More