Friday, June 29, 2007

TOPIC: Abstinence Brings 'Dignity'
Traveling in Africa, First Lady Laura Bush speaks in favor of faith-based HIV prevention.
Article by Isaac Phiri in Zambia
Thursday, June 28, started out as a pampered day in Mrs. Laura Bush's four-nation Africa marathon. Lusaka, Zambia, was the third stop in her week-long trip through Senegal, Mozambique, and Mali. After a private breakfast in one of the top hotels, she was sped to the country's luxurious presidential residency for photos, coffee, and a brief closed-door meeting with President Levy Mwanawasa. After that, accompanied by her Zambian counterpart, First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa, Mrs. Bush hit the road. "I hope you have comfortable shoes," she had warned at the beginning of her trip. "We will work hard." In Lusaka, she certainly did.
Her first stop was Regiment Basic School—a grade 1–9 Catholic-founded school populated by children with HIV and children who have lost parents due to the virus. Mrs. Bush observed a few minutes of a math lesson offered through a U.S.-funded, locally produced radio program. Next, she was entertained by the school drama group, which put on a 10-minute, anti-AIDS play. Then, she held an informal roundtable discussion with 13 female students, some HIV positive, all supported by either the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) or the Africa Education Initiative (AEI). Both PEPFAR and AEI provide hundreds of millions annually in U.S. taxpayer funds to help children in Africa with education and health care.
The final event at the school was a visit to the new Play Pump—a merry-go-round attached to a water pump. The invention is designed to provide clean drinking water from a deep well, and it's kid-powered. Mrs. Bush noted, "It runs on the energy of children at play and is a fun [piece of] equipment in the schoolyard." A cloud of red dust announced the arrival of the heavily guarded entourage that took Mrs. Bush and her daughter Jenna to the Mututa Memorial Center. Center director Martha Chilufuya's late husband, having received a lot of home-based care during his long illness, donated half of their farm to care-giving initiatives.
Today, thanks to PEPFAR, local, and international support, the center has 36 caregivers serving 200 people. Faith-based organizations such as World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, Expanded Church Response, and the Salvation Army are involved in a consortium known as RAPIDS (Reaching HIV/AIDS Affected People with Integrated Development and Support). These organizations help operate a community garden producing food and income for caregivers and their clients. Speaking to the Bush delegation, World Vision's Bruce Wilkinson, a leader with RAPIDS, said, "Today is a day to celebrate." And it was. Salvation Army–supported youth put on a skit. Women, mostly widows, sang and danced. A choir of children moved the audience with their song, "I know the Lord will make a way for me." Young women, led by American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, performed the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Mrs. Bush presented an American face that poverty-stricken Zambians rarely see. "Zambia is a strong partner with the United States," she said. "Our two countries are working to advance goals shared by people everywhere: improved opportunities for families, economic empowerment, and, most of all, good health." Mrs. Bush, seemingly oblivious to the blazing mid-day sun and the raging debate over faith-based HIV-prevention through abstinence programs, drove home the role of faith-based organizations in the fight against HIV, malaria, and other diseases. This is a theme she'd taken up starting the day before in Mozambique.
"Faith-based organizations have local connections," she said at a Maputo, Mozambique, seminary. "Churches, monasteries, temples, mosques, and synagogues have gone where no one else would." Places of worship are community centers, she said: "They serve as focal points for education, for distribution of commodities, and for advocacy for the needs of their people." Mututa seemed the right place to drive this point home. "One of the greatest sources of hope is the compassion of people of faith," she said. "In the United States and around the world, I have seen how houses of worship inspire volunteers with their messages of charity and hope."
The impact of faith-based initiatives is evident, Mrs. Bush said. "Millions of people have heard these messages, and they are putting their faith into practice across the continent of Africa."
In case there was a doubter in the audience, she cited an immediate example. "Here at Mututa, parents and caregivers know very well the healing power of faith," she added.
Later, Christianity Today asked Zambian First Lady Mwanawasa whether advancing abstinence using public resources was an issue in Zambia. "Not at all," she said. "As Zambians, we consider churches one of our biggest partners." The teaching of the church is critical, she said: "The message of abstinence is very important in preventing new infections." She mentioned another plus, too. "It brings dignity to young people," Zambian First Lady Mwanawasa said. "It must continue."
During the program at Mututa, Bishop Joshua Banda, pastor of one of the largest Assemblies of God churches in the country, sat in the fourth row. The bishop was encouraged by what he heard. "This is really heart-warming," he told CT. Banda, whose church runs a PEPFAR-funded project for orphans and vulnerable children, has followed closely the abstinence debate in the U.S. and is concerned. "Will there be PEPFAR funding after the end of the Bush administration?" he asked, calling the possibility of losing it "heart-breaking." Banda said he prays that the Bush-backed funding to help Africa fight HIV through encouraging abstinence continues. (The Bush administration has asked Congress for another $30 billion to fight HIV for the next five years.) Banda is disappointed that abstinence remains a topic of debate in the U.S. "We are beyond that," he said, before dashing to his car to beat the Lusaka traffic jam worsened by Mrs. Bush's convoy.
After a quick Zambian lunch at Mututa, Mrs. Bush was back on the road headed for Chreso Ministries, another PEPFAR-funded, faith-based HIV/AIDS initiative.
Chreso started as an outreach of a local church founded by Lusaka-based German preacher Helmut Reutter. The ministry encourages voluntary testing and provides antiretroviral medications to 2,500 adults and 100 children. Mrs. Bush's tour of the health facility ended in the church's sanctuary, where she chatted informally with staff and patients.
After the Chreso visit, Mrs. Bush was taken a little outside of Lusaka to a rural project that serves as a transit home for street children and also offers microfinance opportunities to women from surrounding communities. Mrs. Bush was pleased to see women "able to take care of themselves." Speaking at a formal evening event just before her departure, Mrs. Bush again commented on the role of faith-based organizations. "We saw very moving and sweet faith-based projects, where ministers and pastors and imams are working in their communities to extend the reach of care to people who are either ill or vulnerable," she said. "America stands with you." Mrs. Bush arrives back in the United States this weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Article from
A psychologist who has examined over thirty medical records subpoenaed from abortionist George R. Tiller, says women were given late-term abortions on viable babies so they would not have to miss rock concerts and sporting events.
Dr. Paul McHugh revealed last week that he examined medical records that showed women who were 26 to 30 weeks into their pregnancies were being given abortions by Tiller for "trivial" birth control reasons under the guise of "mental health" concerns that could not be substantiated by the records.
Dr. McHugh is a Harvard educated psychologist who headed the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 26 years and serves on the President's Council on Bioethics. He was asked to review the abortion records by former Attorney General Phill Kline to determine if the mental health diagnoses were psychiatrically justified. Dr. McHugh stated that the records "highlighted certain kinds of things, which ...were sometimes of a most trivial sort, from saying that, 'I won't be able to go to concerts,' or 'I won't be able to take part in sports,' to more serious ones, such as, 'I don't want to give my child up for adoption.'"
Of Tiller's psychiatric diagnoses, Dr. McHugh stated, "He had mostly social reasons for thinking that the late-term abortions were suitable ...Again, these ideas that he was suggesting - these were not psychiatric ideas, these were social ideas that he is proposing. And by the way, again, there was nothing to back these things up in a substantial way."

When asked if Dr. McHugh could find even one file that justified a late-term abortion by demonstrating that the woman would suffer substantial and irreversible harm as required by Kansas law, he responded emphatically, "I saw no file that justified abortion on that basis."

"The people of Kansas have written these laws. Viable fetuses should not be aborted unless there's a substantial and irreversible condition that the pregnancy will produce. Well, when a psychiatric diagnosis is brought forth, I think that people should understand that that requires a heck of a lot more than I found in these records," Dr. McHugh said. "It doesn't take a Harvard education to understand that missing a rock concert doesn't 'substantially and irreversibly' impair a woman, physically or mentally," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. "It is clear that Tiller is breaking the law at the cost of innocent lives. The public must rise up and say that enough is enough!" Please continue to contact Attorney General Paul Morrison and ask him to charge Tiller for committing illegal late-term abortions.

Attorney General Paul Morrison
Phone: (785) 296-2215; Fax: (785) 296-6296

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation. Operation Rescue recently made headlines when it bought and closed an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas and has become the voice of the pro-life activist movement in America. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

TOPIC: Manuscript Shows Isaac Newton Calculated Date of Apocalypse
Article from FOXNews / AP
Three-century-old manuscripts by Isaac Newton calculating the exact date of the apocalypse, detailing the precise dimensions of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and interpreting passages of the Bible — exhibited this week for the first time — lay bare the little-known religious intensity of a man many consider history's greatest scientist. Newton, who died 280 years ago, is known for laying much of the groundwork for modern physics, astronomy, math and optics. But in a new Jerusalem exhibit, he appears as a scholar of deep faith who also found time to write on Jewish law — even penning a few phrases in careful Hebrew letters — and combing the Old Testament's Book of Daniel for clues about the world's end.
The documents, purchased by a Jewish scholar at a Sotheby's auction in London in 1936, have been kept in safes at Israel's national library in Jerusalem since 1969. Available for decades only to a small number of scholars, they have never before been shown to the public. In one manuscript from the early 1700s, Newton used the cryptic Book of Daniel to calculate the date for the apocalypse, reaching the conclusion that the world would end no earlier than 2060. "It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner," Newton wrote. However, he added, "This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail." In another document, Newton interpreted biblical prophecies to mean that the Jews would return to the Holy Land before the world ends. The end of days will see "the ruin of the wicked nations, the end of weeping and of all troubles, the return of the Jews captivity and their setting up a flourishing and everlasting Kingdom," he posited.
The exhibit also includes treatises on daily practice in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. In one document, Newton discussed the exact dimensions of the templeits plans mirrored the arrangement of the cosmos, he believed — and sketched it. Another paper contains words in Hebrew, including a sentence taken from the Jewish prayerbook. Yemima Ben-Menahem, one of the exhibit's curators, said the papers show Newton's conviction that important knowledge was hiding in ancient texts. "He believed there was wisdom in the world that got lost. He thought it was coded, and that by studying things like the dimensions of the temple, he could decode it," she said.
The Newton papers, Ben-Menahem said, also complicate the idea that science is diametrically opposed to religion. "These documents show a scientist guided by religious fervor, by a desire to see God's actions in the world," she said.
More prosaic documents on display show Newton keeping track of his income and expenses while a scholar at Cambridge and later, as master of the Royal Mint, negotiating with a group of miners from Devon and Cornwall about the price of the tin they supplied to Queen Anne. The archives of Hebrew University in Jerusalem include a 1940 letter from Albert Einstein to Abraham Shalom Yahuda, the collector who purchased the papers a year earlier. Newton's religious writings, Einstein wrote, provide "a variety of sketches and ongoing changes that give us a most interesting look into the mental laboratory of this unique thinker."

Friday, June 15, 2007

TOPIC: Enough of the ACLU, Says the American People
Article from
On June 15th, Californians have a golden opportunity by uniting in a show of strength outside the offices of the ACLU of Orange County. The picket and protest were originally organized by Lake Forest residents in response to litigation the ACLU filed against the city in February but has been expanded due to ACLU actions locally and across the state.
"Cities, counties, states and even private businesses and persons are relentlessly targeted by the ACLU in pursuit of deconstructing America's moral infrastructure and creating a godless society", states Nedd Kareiva, director of the Stop the ACLU Coalition. "When someone or a city dares to resist the ACLU, it is frequently bullied into submission to its will, often with threats of costly lawsuits".
California is a state hard hit by the ACLU, both policy- wise and in taxpayers' wallets. The ACLU successfully sought removals of crosses on the seals of L.A. County, the city of Redlands and a makeshift steel one at the Mojave Desert and nearly succeeded in removing the Mt. Soledad cross in San Diego. They sued the city of Escondido for seeking to curb illegal immigration while threatening other communities seeking to do similarly. And with its pursuit of assisted suicide and same sex marriage in California's legislature, the ACLU seeks to overturn previously enacted voter referenda.
ACLU policies and lawsuits have affected California children. Its faithful defense of Planned Parenthood has thwarted prosecutions of child molesters and prevented parents from knowing when their teen girls sought abortions. And its support of homosexual teaching and activities in public schools and unrestricted pornography has gravely hurt many families.
"The ACLU has met its match in the courts with legal groups like the Alliance Defense Fund & Liberty Counsel taking them on", says Kareiva. "However, outside these excellent firms, Americans have had little say-so against the ACLU until recently. The Coalition represents God-fearing Americans by raising massive public awareness of ACLU policies and positions and organizing more rallies like this one. Only when huge numbers of Americans mount sustained resistance of the ACLU's agenda will America truly be kept safe and free."

BTW, did you know that the founder of the ACLU was a Communist sympathizer?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TOPIC: Internet Sees Increase in "Parent Spies"
Article from ChristianToday
Parents are increasingly visiting social networking websites to ‘spy’ on their children, according to a study by London School of Economics (LSE). Parents are using technical methods in order to keep track of their kids’ plans and thoughts through sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. With concerns about stalkers and paedophiles on the rise, parents have the opportunity to keep up to date with the social lives of their kids through the sites.
According to the study, 41 per cent of parents questioned with children aged between nine and 17 were checking the site history on their computers to discover which sites had been visited. Jan Fry of Parentline Plus outlined a number of reasons why this is a growing trend: “In many ways it is a general anxiety about children pulling away from the family, and a fear the computer is beginning to rule their lives, although with others it is concern about whether their children are too young to be going online.” However she did support parents who have genuine concerns about their children: “If it looks like it is becoming obsessive, if your child is upset when they come off the internet, or if it looks like it is becoming a substitute for friendship, I would recommend taking action.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Though I am young in years, Youth thou canst use.
Make your demands of me, I'll not refuse!
Take all there is of me, all that I hope to be...
Your way; that's what I choose.
- Poem read by Alistair Begg
in a sermon about following
God's plan for your life

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

TOPIC: Ambulance Takes Planned Parenthood Victim to Hospital
Article from
Rescuer Ed Sauley reports that an ambulance carried a patient of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Olympia, Washington, to a hospital on Friday, May 25. It is believed that the woman was the victim of a botched abortion. It is unknown if she survived her injuries.
"Alert pro-lifers are exposing more and more cases of serious abortion injury and death," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
"These abortion mills are hurting women at an alarming rate, yet they still try to tell people that abortion is safe. It wasn't safe for that Washington woman last week, and it isn't safe for the thousands of women across America who are seeking abortions this week. Women need to know the truth that if they walk into an abortion mill, they may not walk out."
It is difficult to know how many women suffer abortion injuries requiring emergency hospitalization because abortion mills are often hesitant to call ambulances. There have been an estimated 347 known abortion deaths since 1973, but that figure is likely much higher, since abortion deaths are frequently classified under something other than abortion.
A listing of known abortion victims is available at The Blackmun Wall. Planned Parenthood is Olympia's only remaining abortion mill. Sauley told Operation Rescue that two other area abortion mills have closed in the last four years, the most recent as of last March. Sauley operates one of Operation Rescue's Truth Trucks throughout the Pacific Northwest. He directs a group called "Show the Truth" that tours public places exposing the truth about the human tragedy of abortion.

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation. Operation Rescue recently made headlines when it bought and closed an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas and has become the voice of the pro-life activist movement in America. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Former ACLU chief admits guilt

A former executive for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he admitted having "graphic and violent" child pornography. The guilty plea was entered in court in Virginia by Charles Rust-Tierney, where he was immediately sentenced, according to a report today from WJLA television.

Rust-Tierney previously had served as the president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, and admitted his guilt under a plea bargain. He had been in jail since his arrest earlier this year, because two separate judges in pretrial hearings had rejected his request for freedom, describing the pornography as some of the most sickening they ever had encountered.

It was Rust-Tierney who, nearly 10 years ago, had argued before the Loudoun County Library Board against any Internet filters on the computers at the public facility. The library, which had been using filters on its computers, was ordered to change its policy by a federal court.
"The ACLU of Virginia urges the board to carefully consider a new Internet Use Policy that allows for maximum Internet access…," he said at the time. He encouraged the library board to recognize "that individuals will continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library," so therefore "the default should be maximum, unrestricted access to ... the Internet."

Prosecutors said Rust-Tierney, who also served as a youth league sports coach in the area, actually downloaded the materials on a computer in his son's bedroom at home. As WND reported, the 51-year-old was arrested in February and was indicted in May on charges of having what a U.S. magistrate described as "the most perverted and nauseating and sickening type of child pornography" she ever had seen. Authorities said he used his own credit card and his own e-mail address to access and purchase an estimated $1,000 in graphic and violent child pornography during 2005 and 2006, according to Virginia's North Country Gazette.

Magistrate Theresa Buchanan said the material included an extended video featuring the sexual torture of children, accompanied by a song by the band called Nine Inch Nails. He faced a maximum sentence of 11 to 14 years on each of two counts, had he not reached a plea agreement. Court records indicate Rust-Tierney had subscribed to several websites featuring child pornography over a period of years. The federal indictment alleged he "knowingly received multiple computer files that contained photo and video depictions of minor teenage and prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

An anonymous chat room participant on the cannablog was distressed by the low profile in the national media over the case. When Rust-Tierney's arrest first was announced, authorities didn't even mention either his ACLU or youth league coaching connections. "This man was the PRESIDENT of the Virginia ACLU and while he was president, he lobbied to keep the Internet available to child pornographers via any port available, and WHILE he was president he was engaged in purchasing and subscribing to child (infant and toddler torture) pornography for his personal and sexual gratification. The ACLU. Pouring money into a machine that victimizes children. For years. And that the media is keeping this out of sight is okay with you? Wow," he said.

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly called it a "horrifying" case. And he noted that the two "biggest left-wing outfits in the country – the New York Times and NBC News – ignored the story entirely." CBS News, CNN and most of the big city liberal newspapers also failed to cover the Rust-Tierney arrest, Fox said. Several area broadcast stations and newspapers actually started covering the case as it headed towards a conclusion. [ABC News covered the story in February, 2007.]

"That Mr. Rust-Tierney, a leading proponent of unrestricted access to the Internet, has now been arrested for receiving and possessing graphic child pornography should serve as testimony to the injudicious and baleful outgrowth of the legal challenges launched by the ACLU questioning the constitutionality of important legislation that protects children from Internet exploitation and content harmful to minors," said a statement released by spokeswoman Cris Clapp of Enough is Enough, an organization dedicated to protecting children from the dangers on the Internet.

"When Mr. Rust-Tierney argued before the Loudoun County Library Board that unrestricted access to the resources of the Internet was essential for our children's ability to learn and communicate, and when groups like the ACLU contend that acceptable use policies alone are capable of protecting children online, they fail to acknowledge the tragic and devastating effects to children and families of both intentional and unintentional access to online pornography," the statement said.