Most blacks oppose gay marriage: Two-thirds of all blacks, and about the same amount of black likely voters, oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.
According to the Assyrian website ankawa.com, a 14 year old Christian Assyrian boy, Ayad Tariq, from Baqouba, Iraq was decapitated at his work place on October 21.
Ayad Tariq was working his 12 hour shift, maintaining an electric generator, when a group of disguised Muslim insurgents walked in at the beginning of his shift shortly after 6 a.m. and asked him for his ID.
According to another employee who witnessed the events, and who hid when he saw the insurgents approach, the insurgents questioned Ayad after seeing that his ID stated "Christian", asking if he was truly a "Christian sinner." Ayad replied "yes, I am Christian but I am not a sinner." The insurgents quickly said this is a "dirty Christian sinner!" Then they proceeded to each hold one limb, shouting "Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!" while beheading the boy.
Hundreds of Pagans serving prison sentences are to be given the day off work for Halloween out of respect for their religious beliefs.
Prison Service bosses have instructed staff to grant the convicts, who include Devil worshippers and Satanists, special privileges on Tuesday.
At least some have understood how crazy this is.
Critics attacked the policy, saying it was pandering to a 'mad' politically correct agenda.
Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said last night: "People are sent to jail by the courts as a punishment. Taking this punitive element away by pandering to what some might see as political correctness gone mad is all wrong." Read More.
A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit against the Air Force Academy that claimed evangelical Christian values were being illegally pushed on cadets.
The academy's critics said the decision by senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker in Albuquerque, N.M., would likely be appealed.
The high-profile case was brought by a group of Air Force Academy graduates who charged that a military chaplain violated their religious freedom rights by urging cadets to attend Christian services or face being burned "in the fires of hell." That incident reflected a broader policy, the group charged, of efforts to evangelize U.S. Air Force staff.
But Parker, in a 16-page decision, said the graduates could not claim their First Amendment rights were violated since they no longer attended the Academy. Moreover, the group failed to give specific examples of which cadets were harmed, or when. Read More.
What's the big deal about how Mr. Clinton says "I'm sorry" for the Monica Lewinsky affair? Some people say apologies aren't needed, others that they make no difference, still others that if only the president would truly apologize, the nation could forgive, forget, and move on.
These views can't all be true. It's worth pondering what apologies by public officials can and cannot do. The question will be with us long after Mr. Clinton is gone, because in a fallen world there will always be misdeeds.
Can do: Apology limits the moral harm of scandal. The original meaning of "scandal" isn't "titillating media circus," but "stumbling block"-something that causes us to fall. Perjury and adultery by politicians are scandalous not because they give politicians a bad name, but because they give perjury and adultery a good one. You can be sure that liars and philanderers across the nation are now using the president as their excuse. How can our present moral bleeding be stanched? The best way is if the one who is causing it stops in his tracks and repents of his bad example. Public repentance acknowledges the moral facts that the deed itself denied.
Cannot do: Apology cannot fully neutralize the harm already done. Some things in life are irreversible. You can't restore lost virginity, put lost blood back into a wound, or unsay lost words as though they were never spoken. God does bring good from repented evil, but it is not the same as the old good that was broken; even heaven will not be Eden, but something new. When we apologize, we put an end to our bad example, but we cannot mend all the harm it did while it was going on. Some cynicism persists, some ideals stay broken, some people who followed us off the path will never get onto it again. Read More.
As the U.S. population crossed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:46 a.m. Tuesday (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the typical family is doing a whole lot better than their grandparents were in 1967, the year the population first surpassed 200 million.
Mr. and Mrs. Median's $46,326 in annual income is 32% more than their mid-'60s counterparts, even when adjusted for inflation, and 13% more than those at the median in the economic boom year of 1985. And thanks to ballooning real estate values, average household net worth has increased even faster. The typical American household has a net worth of $465,970, up 83% from 1965, 60% from 1985 and 35% from 1995. Read More.
This could change the political landscape, and I am sure Hillary is not pleased. A major problem for the democrats has been a lack of fresh blood and new ideas. Most of the candidates who have expressed interest are beyond their sell by date: Kerry, Edwards, Gore, Clinton, everyone knows what they stand for (or don’t stand for). Obama brings in fresh ideas and excitement. His main problem is lack of experience. This is getting interesting:
Sen. Barack Obama acknowledged Sunday he was considering a run for president in 2008, backing off previous statements that he would not do so.
The Illinois Democrat said he could no longer stand by the statements he made after his 2004 election and earlier this year that he would serve a full six-year term in Congress. He said he would not make a decision until after the Nov. 7 elections. Read More.
While the Washington Post sanctions the propaganda of radical Islamists, our friends the Saudis are continuing their infiltration of American society, openly telling anyone who cares to listen that their goal is domination of the US, via the Islamic television channel Bridges TV: An Islamic TV Channel Expands Its US Audience.
Bridges TV, an American-Islamic TV channel “seeking to improve the image of Muslims in the United States” and to “offer a unique perspective on the Middle East and the war on terrorism,” has extended its availability into six states, creating a potential audience of nearly 2 million.
What is the “unique perspective” that Bridges TV hopes will “improve the image of Muslims in the US?” Read More.
Why do Republicans drive leftists so crazy these days? Liberal democrats are beginning to sound like rowdy students on spring break, shrieking and exhibiting themselves on camera.
Consider some of the recent rabid outbursts by once sober, old-guard politicians. West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller insists that the world would be better off if Saddam were still running Iraq. Crotchety Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, rushed to announce that our Marines were guilty of killing Iraqis in "cold blood" before they were tried. Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin has compared our interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, while Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said our soldiers have "terrorized" Iraqi women and children.
Then there is the constant anger from Democratic ex-presidents. It used to be that out-of-office chief executives kept relatively hush. Presidents Ford and Bush Sr. - both voted out of office - did not bray when President Clinton had his trials, personal and otherwise. Read More.
This is slightly different from the one-third of Americans who believe that the 9/11 attack was a plot of the American government.
Nonetheless, it is an indicator how much people have come to mistrust and not believe George W. Bush.
If Usama bin Laden takes credit for 9/11 but a third of the country still blames Bush, that says a ton about the irrationality of the dislike for Bush and the public relations victory of the Bush haters.
A recent FOX News poll shows that 70 percent of Americans think this country will be in an all-out war against radical Islam within 20 years. Read More.
Officials at an south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the Read More.
This may or may not impact the elections. What it does show is that both parties have problems. I am ready for this political season to end:
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has been using campaign donations instead of his personal money to pay Christmas bonuses for the support staff at the Ritz-Carlton where he lives in an upscale condominium. Federal election law bars candidates from converting political donations for personal use. Read More.
Nationwide Church Attendance In The United States Less Than Half Of Previous Estimates
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
ST LOUIS, MO (ANS) -- Attendance at American churches is less than half of what we have believed in the past, according to Dave Olson, director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church, and director of the American Church Research Project.
According to a news release from Mission America Coalition, Olson addressed the Mission America Coalition annual conference on its closing day with groundbreaking new research about the state of the American church. Instead of relying on limited survey data which is then extrapolated to the entire population, Olson has worked for years to build a database of actual recorded attendance in over 300,000 churches across
His vision was to present a much more accurate picture of what is really happening to the American church at both the national and local levels, and with information refined down to individual zip codes.
“I'm not relying on what people say, I'm measuring their actual behavior,” he told nearly 170 national church, ministry, and lay leaders gathered.
The released continued, “According to Olson's research, overall church attendance is virtually unchanged from 15 years ago, even though the
Jim Overholt, executive director of the Coalition said, “Having information about actual attendance at churches in individual communities is a significant leap forward by itself, but even more important is that we can now overlay the church data with census and other demographic information to tell us more about the dynamics of change within income, education, and other key sociological indicators that are also available by zip code.”
Olson's research revealed a number of surprising and often counter-intuitive statistics. For example: the evangelical church is growing fastest among the higher income, college-educated, suburban population, and declining fastest among the least educated, and in areas with the highest poverty rates.
“The evangelical church is becoming suburban, affluent, and educated,” Olson said.
“We live in a world today that is post-Christian, post-modern and multi-ethnic, whether we realize it or not,” he added. To reach this “new world” with the gospel, the church needs to change, he told the leaders gathered, echoing one of the key elements in the Coalition’s new initiative, Calling God’s People Together to Love Our Communities to Christ.
“The church needs to have an attitude of brokenness, humility, and repentance,” he said, admonishing that as evangelical Christians we tend to have an attitude of triumph--that we are right and the world should live like us. That attitude will keep us from reaching the lost for Christ, he said. He emphasized that the world simply acts the way it is supposed to -- as unbelievers. “This is the way it's always been, this is the way it's described in the Bible. The problem is that the church has not been acting like the church.”
“The Christian community needs a restoration of its understanding of the message and mission of Jesus. It needs to be less self-righteous, individualistic, and materialistic. It needs to be more biblical, Christo-centric, and holistic.” He said that when the Church talks about Jesus, it often does so in a second-hand way. “In a Christian world we can get away with that,” he says. But not in the emerging 21st century culture.
Olson's data and presentation to the Mission American Coalition annual meeting will be available to access online as of Oct. 17 at: www.theamericanchurch.org.
The Mission America Coalition is a network of national church leaders, representing denominations, ministries, and other key Christian leaders with a shared vision to collaborate in prayer, evangelism, and revival. Since its inception, leaders from 81 denominations, over 400 ministries and dozens of ministry networks have been involved in the Coalition. Mrs. Vonette Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Dr. Billy Graham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), and Dr. John Perkins (Christian Community Development Association) serve as honorary co-chairs.
For more information about Mission America Coalition or the “Loving Our Communities to Christ” initiative, www.missionamerica.org.
Common wisdom says that inwardly focused churches need to focus on outreach in order to change. Dallas Willard challenges this wisdom in Renovation of the Heart:
It is, I gently suggest, a serious error to make "outreach" a primary goal of the local congregation, and especially so when those who are already "with us" have not become clear-headed and devoted apprentices of Jesus, and are not, for the most part, solidly progressing along the path. Outreach is one essential task of Christ's people, and among them there will always be those especially gifted for evangelism. But the most successful work of outreach would be the work of inreach that turns people, wherever they are, into lights in the darkened world. Read More.
The clouds of the coming war are converging upon Israel. But our political and military leaders refuse to look up at the darkening sky.
The Russian bear has awakened after 15 years of hibernation. Under the leadership of former KGB commander President Vladimir Putin, Russia is reasserting its traditional hostility towards Israel. Read More.
Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.
At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement. Read More.
People and movements can be defined by the books they read and remember.
The time it takes to read and digest a book requires us to engage someone else's ideas with more seriousness than almost any other activity. So it is with some trepidation that we present this list. Read More.
Speaking in tongues, long a hallmark of Pentecostalism, is not practiced by a significant number of charismatic and Pentecostal Christians, a new 10-country survey shows.
The survey, released Thursday by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that experiences of divine healing of physical ailments were far more prominent for those who affiliate with the vibrant and growing segment of Christianity.
Researchers found that many Pentecostals and charismatics attend worship services where speaking in tongues and other signs of the Holy Spirit are evident. But in six of the 10 countries surveyed, at least 40 percent of Pentecostals said they never pray or speak in tongues. Read More.
Extra police are being drafted into the Windsor area today after three nights of violent clashes between white and Asian youths.
Gangs have fought battles in the streets using baseball bats and pitchforks. A Muslim-run dairy which wants to build a mosque was petrol bombed.
Dozens of officers have been deployed to stop and search youths and mounted police are being brought in. Read More.
Amber Mangum was a frequent reader during lunch breaks at her Prince George's County middle school, silently soaking up the adventures of Harry Potter and other tales in the spare minutes before afternoon classes. The habit was never viewed as a problem -- not, a lawsuit alleges, until the book she was reading was the Bible.
A vice principal at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Laurel last month ordered Amber, then 12, to stop reading the Bible or face punishment, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by Amber's mother. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, alleges that the vice principal's actions violated the girl's civil rights. Read More
Here are today’s headlines in Belgium’s (only) Sunday newspaper De Zondag. Page One: “No Sign of Revolt in Belgium Yet.” Page Five: “Violence Moves Towards Belgium.” It almost sounds like a weather forecast, anticipating the onslaught of a hurricane that is inevitably coming.
What is happening in France has been brewing in Old Europe for years. The BBC speaks of “youths” venting their “anger.” The BBC is wrong. It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The “youths” do not blame the French, they despise them. Read More.
China, the US, Japan, South Korea and the UN launched frantic diplomacy in response to Tuesday night's announcement that North Korea would stage its first nuclear explosion because of an "extreme threat of nuclear war and sanctions" from the Americans.
China confirmed yesterday that President Hu Jintao would meet Japan's tough-talking new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on Sunday in a summit that now has a sharp edge of urgency.
Mr Abe yesterday repeated the demand that North Korea halt nuclear test preparations and promised: "Japan will work with the US, China South Korean and other countries concerned to respond to this situation." Read More.
Giuliani is the only politician to get majority support in the latest Marist poll:
The front-runners for the 2008 nominations are Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, and only Giuliani gets majority support in a general election, according to the latest Marist poll.
Republicans who want to hold the White House need to look at these numbers; they’re amazing. Giuliani gets majority support for his political views across almost all political demographics, and a plurality of Democrats. Thirty-two percent of Democrats want him to run in 2008. His candidacy has gained support from last year, something that only Newt Gingrich can say, and then only from fourth place. John McCain has suffered a significant drop in his support from February; perhaps his new emphasis on conservative values has caused some revisionism among his former fans on the Left. Read More.
McCain seems to be losing support. Interesting.
The controversial anti-homosexual Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to stage a protest at the funerals of the five Amish girls executed in their Pennsylvania school, according to a flyer posted on the church's Web site.
The church is protesting the funerals because of the attendance of Pennsylvania Gov. George Rendell, who has spoken out against the church publicly, the flyer says. Read More.
But let's put that aside for the moment, and concentrate on what Hastert and the leadership say they did in response to Foley. Once they found out about the e-mails through the complaint of an underage page, all they did was ask Foley about it, and accepted his denials at face value. Incredibly, no one apparently ever asked any of Foley's former or current pages if they had noticed any inappropriate behavior from the Congressman. What kind of an investigation doesn't address the reality of patterns in allegedly predatory behavior? Foley's uncommon interest in young teenage boys had become parlor talk among the pages, but either Hastert didn't want to find that out or deliberately avoided it. Hastert apparently made the decision not to follow procedures and refer the matter to the Page Board, the bipartisan committee that oversees pages, and that looks very clearly like a cover-up.
And someone has to explain why Foley retained his position on the Caucus for Missing and Exploited Children. No one saw a problem with this?
Even ascribing the best of intentions to Hastert and the other members of leadership, personal friendship with Foley doesn't excuse that level of incompetence. Furthermore, when the scandal broke, Hastert should have immediately explained his involvement in the earlier complaint, rather than wait for it to dribble out. That's what leadership means: controlling a situation and providing an example rather than allowing events to control you and your party. All Hastert needed to do was to come out on Friday and said, "We had a complaint about suggestive e-mails this winter, and we relied on Mark Foley's word that nothing more untoward had occurred. In hindsight, that was a mistake, but we wanted to honor the wishes of the parents and not make a public spectacle of the situation." It wouldn't have explained the earlier incompetence, but at least it would have dampened the firestorm that erupted around the changing stories of House leadership. Link.
Dean Barnett agrees: Link