Monday, April 30, 2007

TOPIC: 12 Year Old Christian Girl Repeatedly Raped by Muslims
Article from christiansunite.com
A 12-year-old Christian girl, Shaheena Masih, was kidnapped and raped by four Muslim men on Easter Day in the city of Lahore, Punjab province, Pakistan, according to an April 23 report from the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.
Shaheena stayed home from an Easter prayer service at a local church, Kings Revival Church, in order to take care of her ailing father. At approximately 10: 00 a.m., her father asked her to go out and get him some juice. On her way to a shop, she was kidnapped by four armed men who placed a handkerchief on her mouth until she was unconscious and flung her into a car. The men took her to a factory and locked her in a room, where she was repeatedly raped by the four men over the span of two days.
During one of the attacks, one of the perpetuators reportedly said to the others, "Don't hesitate to rape a Christian girl. Even if she will die, no one will get us. Her poor parents cannot pursue us." They eventually left Shaheena at a brothel run by a Muslim lady, who later dropped her off on a street near her home.
One of the attackers, Mohammed Safdar, was caught by police after they raided the factory. Under interrogation, he implicated the others. Only after pressure did the police register a case against the attackers. They [the police] are now being pressured to drop the charges and Shaheena's family has been threatened if the case proceeds. [Another confirmed Muslim rapist is named Mohammad Naseer.]
You can read more details of Shaheena's story (and lack of action by the police) on BosNewsLife and the Christian Persecution Blog.

Ask God to give Shaheena healing from the emotional and physical scars of the assault.
Pray that authorities
will prosecute the offenders to the full extent of the law.
Pray for Shaheena and her family as they will struggle with the ability
to exhibit God's love to their persecutors.
For more information on persecution in Pakistan,
click here
.


The Sope-Bocks: I would personally like to get my hands on these four scumbags. The police wouldn't need to worry about an arrest or a trial, I can assure you. Raping a 12 year old girl is rotten enough. Raping her because she is a Christian is just beyond vindictive and cruel.
Disgusting pigs... I spit on them -- and want to stomp their devilish brains out!
You should know that Shaheena's life in Pakistan will ALWAYS be difficult as the culture will consider her tainted -- even though she had nothing to do with her demise. Please pray for Shaheena and her family -- and that the police will get off their scared little carcasses and do the right thing.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

TOPIC: CWA: 'Hate Crimes' -- Unequal Protection Under the Law
Article from christiansunite.com / Concerned Women of America
"Hate crimes" bill H.R. 1592, which is on the fast track to passage in Congress, will officially give homosexuals and cross dressers special elevated status in society based upon their chosen sexual behaviors and/or wardrobe. Under H.R. 1592, the victims at Virginia Tech would officially be considered less valuable to society than homosexuals and cross dressers who are the targets of insults, intimidation, simple assault or other "violent acts."
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees "equal protection under the law" for all citizens -- regardless of their sexual preference. "Hate crimes" legislation flies in the face of the 14th Amendment. Such legislation would require the government to invest more resources in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against homosexuals than it would the victims at Virginia Tech.
It is an irrefutable fact that H.R. 1592 would treat certain citizens unequally from others. Concerned Women for America (CWA) asks Congress to grant equal government resources, concern and respect to the victims at Virginia Tech and their families as they do to the demands of liberal homosexual activists by reaffirming the precepts of the 14th Amendment and voting NO on this dangerous and discriminatory piece of legislation.
"If Seung-Hui Cho's horrific actions were not an act of 'hate,' then what where they?" asked Matt Barber, Policy Director for Cultural Issues with CWA. "All violent crimes are 'hate crimes.' By H.R. 1592's definition, Cho's actions would have constituted a 'hate crime' except for the fact that he targeted his victims with the wrong kind of bias. In this case, Cho 'perceived' his victims to be 'rich kids.' However, under H.R. 1592, 'rich kids' are not a specially protected class like homosexuals, so Cho's crime is second tier and would be considered less egregious.
"The FBI's latest statistics show that there were zero 'hate crimes' murders committed against homosexuals or those perceived to be homosexual in 2005; yet we already know of thirty-two so-called 'hate crimes' murders committed against perceived 'rich kids' in a single day. But under H.R. 1592, those 'rich kids' would be denied the same protections and justice as homosexuals. The whole 'hate crimes' concept really places logic and reason on its head," concluded Barber.

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.

Friday, April 27, 2007

OnThisDay: April 27th
1773 - British Parliament passed the Tea Act (eventually lead to Boston Tea Party on December 16)
1838 - Fire destroyed half of Charleston, SC
1937 - US Social Security system made its first benefit payment
1942 - Belgium Jews were forced to wear stars
1961 - NFL officially recognized Hall of Fame in Canton, OH
1965 - R.C. Duncan patented "Pampers" disposable diaper
1989 - Beijing students took over Tiananmen Square in China
1994 - President Richard Nixon buried in Nixon Library in California

Thursday, April 26, 2007

TOPIC: Election 2008 - Fair & Balanced Coverage?

Don't hold your breath! The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC), along with their socialist cousins (MSNBC and CNN) will be banging the drums loud and hard for liberal candidates. What ever happened to the days of Walter Cronkite -- the days when the news was reported without editorializing, without the evening anchor controlling 100% of the content and without bias that smells as bad as Michael Moore's armpits?
BTW, if you're a very left-leaning person, the cartoon above shows a caricature of Mr. Moore leaning to the left. You may not be able to see that as the drawing may look like Moore is "straight up". LOL!

Addendum: 5.10.07:
U.S. Launches Probe of Moore's Trip to Cuba

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

TOPIC: Stop Glamorizing Guns and Their Use in Popular Culture
Article from christiansunite.com
Morality in Media President Robert Peters had the following comments in response to the many news stories pointing a finger at the availability of guns as the underlying cause of the Virginia Tech and similar senseless shootings:
  • "Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in North Central Illinois I often felt left out when friends went hunting for rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, deer and more.
  • "My dad never took us hunting, even though his father had hunted and even though we had a rifle in the home that he taught us how to use when I was in grade school. After my grandfather passed away when I was in college, we also had a shotgun and handgun in the home.
  • "Fist fighting among kids was common, but never once did any of us (or our parents) use a gun to shoot someone else. To my knowledge, the community I grew up in was not atypical.
  • "Not surprising, my own growing up experience makes me wary of those that point a finger at the availability of guns as the underlying cause of the dramatic increase in gun-related murders.
  • "The depiction of guns back then in films and TV also had an impact on us. I still have a picture of my older brother and I with our cowboy six guns and holsters; and I still have fond memories of playing war in the woods with our toy rifles and my favorite gun, a plastic carbine.
  • "But I think I am on safe ground in saying that we didn't grow up fantasizing about shooting other human beings in real life just for the sake of shooting them or for exacting revenge.
  • "How then do we explain why so many young people today use guns unlawfully?
  • "One obvious part of the explanation is the decline of religion and, along with that, the decline of morality. There is nothing more basic to morality than, 'You shall not kill.'
  • "I think another part of the explanation was the abandonment in the 1960s of the Hays Code that governed the film industry for three decades. Among the Code provisions was one that regulated the depiction of murder. Murder was to be presented in a way that would not inspire imitation. Brutal killings were not to be presented in detail. Revenge was not to be justified.
  • "Broadcast television helped further desensitize youth to criminal violence; and the advent of cable TV and home videos brought the unedited, amoral deadly violence of Hollywood directly into home. Hardcore rap lyrics also extol criminal violence, including use of guns.
  • "And today, video games provide youth with on-hands instruction in how to kill.
  • "Without question, the increased availability of weapons designed to take human life has contributed to the increase in mayhem, but typically supply follows demand, and what has helped create the demand for such weapons is a popular culture that glamorizes their use.
  • "All this is not to say that society shouldn't restrict the sale of guns and perhaps prohibit the sale of some guns altogether. Even assuming that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of citizens to keep weapons (as I believe it does), reasonable regulation should still be permissible.
  • "It is to say that we would have much less to fear from the availability of guns, if we would stop glamorizing their use in popular culture. On the latter point, I recall seeing a statistic that less than 5% of New York City police officers ever fire their guns. You'd never know that from popular culture depictions of life as a major city law enforcement officer."
Based in New York City, Morality in Media works to promote standards of decency in media.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TOPIC: OUCH! My toes are sore...

I was all smiles, laughing at Jeff Larson's TheBackPew comics -- until I saw this one. Frankly, I sometimes find myself spending more time on "projects" than on the work at hand. Ephesians 6: 6-7 (and this cartoon) remind me that we should all work as though we were employed by the Lord -- not just for our supervisors (while they're watching). We need to show good faith effort at all times. THANKS for the reminder Mr. Larson -- and Mr. Paul (the writer of the letter to the Ephesian church).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Care Net, an organization that supports more than 1,000 pregnancy centers in North America, applauded the landmark Supreme Court decision Wednesday upholding the federal partial- birth abortion ban. Specifically, Care Net noted the Court's statements regarding the potential for an abortion to negatively impact a woman's emotional health.
Care Net President Kurt Entsminger said, "Abortion does hurt women. Our pregnancy centers see the effects every day in the faces of clients who have had a past abortion. We agree with the Court:
... when a woman experiences a partial-birth abortion, when she learns of the details of how her partially-born child was barbarically killed, she could be faced with grief 'more anguished and sorrow more profound' than ever dreamed of in her worst nightmares. For the sake of the dignity of human life, for the sake of the emotional sanity of women facing unplanned pregnancies, this procedure has no home in a civilized society."
Sadly, whether abortion harms women is currently being challenged in the media. The New York Times Magazine and CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" have both questioned whether the emotional devastation that some women experience after an abortion is real or may require professional counseling attention. However, in its decision, the Supreme Court stated that it can be concluded that "some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained...Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow." The Court also stated that the more a woman knows about the humanity of her unborn child who was aborted, the greater the agony: "It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form."
"That's why our centers provide medically-accurate information about abortion procedures," Entsminger said. "When pregnancy center clients are fully informed about their choices and about abortion procedures, nine out of ten will decide to carry their pregnancy to term."

Friday, April 20, 2007

QOTD: None but the Lord himself can afford us any help from the awful workings of unbelief, doubtings, carnal fears, murmurings. Thank God one day we will be done forever with "unbelief." -- Andrew W. Pink

Thursday, April 19, 2007

TOPIC: What's in the News Today?
I decided to offer Sope-Bocks readers a smathering (a Southern word) of websites that offer news and information on a daily basis. Here are just a few for your consideration -- featuring April 19, 2007:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TOPIC: YOU Do the Math...

I love this TheBackPew cartoon. If I am willing (and recognize my own limitations) BUT give it all over to God, His will and power offers me unlimited possibilities. And that's just during this earthly life. Imagine the possibilities for our eternal lives. AWESOME! Think about it.

Also... drum roll please...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCESS!
Our younger daughter is 10 years old today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TOPIC: Mass Murders at Virginia Tech ... the Blood is on Our Hands
Editorial by Greg Stier of Dare2Share
What do you get when you add easy access to weapons and a culture that increasingly devalues life and glorifies violence from video games to slasher films? A growing, almost exclusively American, problem. The mass murders by a lone gunman at Virginia Tech are the latest in a string of school shootings that are proof of this. As this week marks the eighth anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School we couldn’t find a worse way to remember that tragedy than through an even worse one. Our hearts break for the friends and families of the victims of this senselessness [act].
Eight years ago this week, I was sitting in a youth room with six youth pastors promoting Dare 2 Share Ministries, an organisation committed to training and equipping Christian teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. At 11:30 or so the pastor of the church we were at popped in and said, “You guys had better pray. Something bad is going down at Columbine.
Over the hours and days to follow, all of us discovered the extent of these slayings at the hands of two disillusioned teenagers. Columbine is twenty minutes down the road from Dare 2 Share and I couldn’t help but feel that some of the blood of the victims was on my hands. While I didn’t pull the trigger I hadn’t done all I could do to prevent school shootings. Have you?
I had that same sinking feeling today at 10:45am Mountain Standard Time as I saw on msn.com that another school shooting of even greater magnitude had unfolded at Virginia Tech. To be honest, I feel like the blood is on my hands once again. Do you? I think we all do.
And, just how degrading and violent do video games and movies need to get before moms and dads put their feet down with their own kids and “just say no” to their teenagers?
Movies and video games are getting bloodier and bloodier. And we just hide under the banter that “kids will be kids”. But, ultimately, it is not just a media thing or a gun thing, but a God thing.
America has forsaken her roots as a Christian nation and is embracing a cultural of secularism that devalues life. Without God we only have “survival of the fittest”. In pre-historic days it was those with the biggest claws and jaws that won the day. Today it is those with the biggest guns.
If there is no God then why not pull the trigger, on everyone else and then yourself? If there is no God then there is no heaven and no hope, just the hell and hopelessness of everyday living in a pain-stained world. But if there is a God then people matter, for they were made in His image. If there is a God then there is hope, there is a reason to value life.
Let’s share the good news of Jesus with a culture that has forgotten or forsaken the true value of life. And let’s pray for the family and friends of the victims of another senseless tragedy. Because if we don’t, the blood is on our hands.

Monday, April 16, 2007

TOPIC: Virginia Tech Massacre
Nothing was posted about the awful massacre of 32 people + the suicide of the gunman on The Sope-Bocks today because I was busy posting news updates on one of my other blogs, Previews, Newz and Reviews. Most of the content there is related to news updates from major media outlets -- along with a few editorial comments.
I'll post sentiments, on a more personal basis, on The Sope-Bocks tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime, keep up with the latest updates on my News Blog. Keep the victims' families and friends in your prayers!
TOPIC: Prom, Prom, Shake Your Pom, Pom
Source: FOXNews.com
Photos: Higgins High School Student Life website
Dozens of girls were turned away from a prom at Higgins High School because a teacher thought their dresses were too revealing. Families of the girls said the teacher cited alleged violations of the Jefferson Parish schools dress code, most of them related to excessive display of cleavage.
"I was embarrassed," said Miranda Melerine, 17, a senior at the Marrero high school, who was among those barred by teacher Judy Gardner, an adviser to senior activities. "We can't go back to prom night. Prom's over. Our prom has been stolen from us." Melerine said she is larger-busted than many of the girls who passed inspection at the door. She said it is harder for her to get the right fit in a prom dress and that Gardner gave her blessing to a picture of the dress long before the dance.
Earlis Fayette, 18, said his girlfriend also was sent away by Gardner at the door. "I find it's wrong, because you can't help what the girl has. You're born with that," he said. "I think it was discrimination toward a woman who has features."
Gardner refused to talk with parents who rushed to the dance hall Friday night after frantic calls from daughters. She also declined comment Saturday to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, saying she is not allowed to talk to the press. The Associated Press could not locate her Sunday. But Jefferson Parish schools spokesman Jeff Nowakowski said Gardner did nothing wrong and that the ones in error were girls who showed up with dresses that didn't comply with a district code that says: "A student will not wear clothing that exposes the student's back, chest or midriff."
The policy, which also strictly restricts any use of fishnet or see-through clothing, has been in effect for years and is included in a handbook that parents sign, Nowakowski said. He said that students who didn't gain admittance Friday night were given a chance to leave and alter their dresses to bring them into compliance, and that some did that. Twenty to 25 girls "didn't meet the code and so they were turned away because they didn't want to fix the dress in order to come inside," Nowakowski said. "It should have covered the breast, and that's not what happened last night."

The Sope-Bocks: I applaud Ms. Gardner and Mr. Nowakowski for sticking by the rules. My wife is a high school teacher. Each year, the staff at her school has to turn away young girls who are showing way too much skin from underneath skimpy dresses. The fact is that the students know their attire is not within the dress code for the school. Their parents know it, too. Each and every student is given a school rule book -- and the parents sign that they have read that rulebook. Yet, the girls continue to try and break the rules in order to show as much "booty" as possible.
Let's face it -- in many high schools across the nation, the prom is little more than a dress-up musical prelude to drunken sex free-for-alls over the weekend. My question is -- WHERE were the fathers of these young ladies? WHY didn't they look at their daughters and put their foot down BEFORE she ever left the house? HOW could a mother send her daughter to a darkly-lit place where hormonal boys and girls would be gyrating their loins against each other -- dressed like high-dollar call girls (or as JayZ and Imus would call them, ho's)?!?
Ms. Gardner and Mr. Nowakowski would be faced with ridicule and outrage had they allowed the girls to enter -- and one of them ended up being gang-raped by horny boys. Instead, they did the right thing. They stuck by the rules and offered the girls a way to "
fix" the problem -- specifically cover their breasts. Those that didn't and are now complaining have only themselves (and their parents) to blame.
BTW, it's not like the girls weren't given some leeway. Check out the included photos, straight from the Higgins High School website. I see several examples of young ladies showing too much skin -- from the Halloween party and Winter Formal.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

TOPIC: Micro-lending to the Third World
If you haven't heard of micro-lending, you're in for a treat. A firm named KIVA is working with small business lenders in "third world" countries -- offering loans to entrepeneurs who need a hand in expanding their businesses.
I heard about KIVA and the micro-lending industry while listening to WorldVision Report earlier today. The segment focuses on a woman in Uganda and one of the people who loaned her money from the US. The woman has a peanut butter business from which she supports herself and six children (some are orphaned from the country's wars). I urge you to spend a few minutes listening to the podcast -- and then join KIVA.org.
At right is a photo of the individual I am supporting with my first small no-interest loan through KIVA. His name is Arzuman Huseynov and he owns a grocery store in the Fizuli district of Azerbaijan. His loan request is for $800.00 -- to expand the size of his store. It's an awesome cause and I look forward to hearing how Mr. Huseynov's business grows!
Click on the graphic below to join KIVA and offer your support!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

OnThisDay: April 14th
1775 - First abolitionist society in US organizes in Philadelphia, PA.
1814 - Napoleon abdicated & was banished to Elba
1818 - US Medical Corp formed
1853 - Harriet Tubman began her Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape
1859 - Charles Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" published
1860 - First Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco, CA. from St. Joseph, MO.
1865 - President Abraham Lincoln shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth
1894 - First public showing of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope (moving pictures)
1906 - The Azusa Street Revival -- modern Pentecostal movement -- officially began.
1910 - President William Howard Taft began tradition of throwing out baseball on opening day
1940 - RCA demonstrated its new electron microscope in Philadelphia
1944 - First Jews transported from Athens arrive at Auschwitz
1945 - My mother was born in North Carolina HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
1978 - Korean Air Lines Boeing 707, fired on by Soviets; crashed in Russia
1981 - First Space Shuttle - Columbia 1 - returned to Earth
1989 - 1,100,000,000th Chinese citizen born

Friday, April 13, 2007

DEVOTION: What Saul Saw
By Tony Beckett and Woodrow Kroll
Key Verse: 1 Samuel 28:6-7
A person can get a bit tongue-tied trying to tell what happened in 1 Samuel 28.
Saul saw a seer because of what he had seen. When Saul saw what he saw, he sought a seer to see what the seer would say about what he saw.
That may seem like a ridiculous set of sentences when you are reading the Bible and having devotions, but they make a point. What Saul did was ridiculous, a mistake we should not make either.
The bottom line is that Saul was living by sight, not by faith. "When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart" (28:5). His first response was to pray, but God did not answer. His next response shows that he was not seeking God as much as he was looking for help, no matter where it came from. "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her," he said (v. 7). It wasn't the first time that Saul's impatience got him into trouble. In 1 Samuel 13:11-12, he was rebuked by Samuel. His defense was, "When I saw . . . I thought." Living by sight was a pattern with Saul. Living by faith was not. Yet living by faith is blessed by God. Living by sight is not.
How do you live? When God does not seem to answer quick enough for you, it is tempting to decide on the basis of what you see. Don't do it. Don't be like Saul, who let what he saw decide what he would do. Going to God should not be your last resort but your first. Seek Him and stay away from those whose advice is not from His Word.

Nothing is too great and nothing is too small
to commit into the hands of the Lord.
--
Arthur W. Pink

Thursday, April 12, 2007

TOPIC: Some Thoughts We Should Keep to Ourselves...

... Buying Ultra Slim Fast for your wife is one of them. I'm glad Jeff Larson (creator of TheBackPew) added the "ish" to the Bible reference for Matthew 7:11. I'm quite sure Matthew didn't mean anything close to this when he wrote about the "good gifts" we imperfect humans give to each other.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TOPIC: Federal Appeals Court Decision Dismisses ACLU Lawsuit Challenging Boy Scouts
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, Tuesday applauded a decision by a federal appeals court dismissing a lawsuit by the ACLU challenging the U.S. Department of Defense's support of the Boy Scouts of America and their national jamboree. The ACLJ filed an amicus brief with the appeals court on behalf of 90 members of Congress asking that the suit be dismissed.
"We're delighted that the federal appeals court reached the proper conclusion in this case," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which filed the brief on behalf of members of Congress.
"This is just another example of the ACLU trying to impose its flawed view of the constitution on the rest of America. The military provides the Boy Scouts with support and services that aid both the military and the Scouts without endorsing religion. This lawsuit should never have been brought in the first place and we're pleased the appeals court dismissed the suit clearing the way for this beneficial relationship between the military and the Boy Scouts to continue."
The ACLJ asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to reverse a lower court decision that declared a 1972 statute passed by Congress enabling the Defense Department to provide support to the Boy Scouts unconstitutional because it violated the separation of church and state. The Defense Department provides support and services every four years when the Scouts hold their Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. In a decision released this week, the appeals court ruled that the ACLU-backed taxpayer plaintiffs who brought the suit did not have legal standing to bring the case and dismissed the lawsuit.
The dispute began in 1999 when the ACLU filed suit claiming that the Defense Department's sponsorship of the Boys Scouts violated the First Amendment because the group requires its members to swear an oath which states, in part, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country." A federal district court said the Jamboree statute was unconstitutional and violated the Establishment Clause because it had a primary effect of advancing religion. The decision was appealed to the 7th Circuit.
The ACLJ represented nearly 90 members of Congress in support of the statute. In its brief, the ACLJ contended that in passing the statute, Congress sought to help the military advance its own goals, not to promote the Boy Scouts religious beliefs. The ACLJ contends the lower court used flawed legal reasoning to reach its conclusion. The brief asserts that the Defense Department's support comes in the form of "non-religious supplies and services." The brief states: "The military's rental of forklifts and trucks, transportation and military equipment, restoration of Fort A.P. Hill after the Jamboree, and provision of other secular services is clearly 'neutral and nonideological.' The only possible message that the military's aid can be viewed as conveying is that patriotism, self-reliance, physical fitness, and support of the military are positive things." You can read the entire ACLJ amicus brief here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

TOPIC: CMA Doctors Tag U.S. Senate Stem Cell Bill as a Path to Turn Human Embryos & Women Into Commodities
The Christian Medical Association, the nation's largest faith-based association of physicians, today urged the U.S. Senate to reject the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (S.5), scheduled for debate today, because the bill is scientifically impractical and assaults human dignity. CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens urged senators to vote against the bill, saying,
"By exploiting the relatively few stored human embryos currently considered eligible for research, this bill would result in just a tiny fraction of the stem cell lines from embryos that researchers demand. It's clear that the ultimate utility of the bill is to further erode respect and protections for human embryos and thus pave the way for creating embryos purely for experiments -- including through sperm and egg donation and human cloning."
Creating human embryos and harvesting their stem cells, ostensibly for disease treatments, is a highly speculative, impractical and unethical proposition. Human cloning and egg donation would exploit poor and vulnerable women and subject them to potential harm through the superovulation and egg harvesting process. "So while reducing human embryos to a commodity now, embryonic stem cell research would eventually exploit women as a commodity as well. Besides the moral wrongs of killing embryos and exploiting women, this bill would also divert precious healthcare funds away from ethical and effective research using stem cells found in the patient's own body, and also in cord blood, amniotic fluid and placenta. Such non-embryonic stem cell research does not harm a human embryo and is already producing real therapies for real patients in over 70 different diseases and injuries."
CMA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd noted, "Instead of killing through research the few stored embryos whose parents do not intend to implant them, we should instead promote adoption by childless couples. Agencies such as the National Embryo Donation Center stand ready to help couples accomplish this life-honoring dream."Dr. Rudd said, "Instead of paving the way for human cloning with this bill, the Senate should instead pass a real ban on human cloning, such as the bipartisan Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.1036) introduced by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.)."

Monday, April 09, 2007

TOPIC: Killing for Cures? The Embryonic Stem Cell Debate
Source: christiansunite.com
According to a recent article written by Steven Ertelt of Lifenews.com, the US Senate will debate Embryonic Stem Cell Research funding April 10. The Senate has "scheduled a debate and vote on a bill that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research." The article continued by saying, "The main bill, S. 5, is legislation that would mandate federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells."
Phil Magnan, Director of Biblical Family Advocates greatly disagrees with the funding of ESCR, embryonic stem cell research in saying,
"It makes absolutely no sense that the Senate would seek to fund research that is unproven, extremely costly and kills children who should be saved from dismemberment. Why should our tax dollars be used to kill others to find cures that are already found in adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells?
There are over 70 cures using these ethical use stem cells so why do we waste tax dollars in the billions of dollars to fund something that even the proponents of embryonic stem cell research admit may take even decades find life saving cures?
"

Biblical Family Advocates, BFA, strongly encourages Americans to contact their Senators immediately and denounce this outrageous attack on human life and its incredible waste of tax payer dollars. As Mr. Magnan has stated in California State Senate hearing in September of 2004, regarding the funding of ESCR, that he himself would refuse any medical treatment derived from embryonic stem cells as it would be highly unethical to benefit from killing others. It is the hope of BFA that all Americans would take this principled stand publicly - which could very well stop this horrific pursuit of killing the unborn to heal our selves.
Please reach your senator at 202-224-3121 or you can find specific contact information by going to www.senate.gov as they need to hear from those Americans who do not want killing for cures.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

TOPIC: Lawlessness & Discrimination Reign in Washington, D.C.
Students violently attack White Advisor Karl Rove with no arrests made. Meanwhile peaceful Christians are threatened with arrest and ordered to stop praying on a Capitol Hill public sidewalk during a Stations of the Cross Celebration last week.
"Law enforcement officials are now responding to events bases on the political beliefs and viewpoint of demonstrators rather than their actions," states Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
The Christian Defense Coalition has written a letter to the Library of Congress seeking a public apology and clarification concerning the unconstitutional disruption of public prayer. The Coalition is being representing by the American Center for Law and Justice and will seek further federal legal action if the matter cannot be resolved. See the letter online here.
Rev. Mahoney, comments,
"There is now a new standard in Washington, D.C. concerning public demonstrations and political gatherings. If you are involved in an anti-war protest, you can violently attack White House officials with no arrests. You can spray- paint the United States Capitol with no arrests or consequences. You can disrupt news conferences with no arrests. And, you can take over congressional offices with no arrests. Meanwhile, if you peacefully chose to exercise your First Amendment rights by praying in the public square you are ordered to stop, are harassed and threatened with arrest."
This kind of discrimination is both unconstitutional and dangerous and brings us back to a tragic time when people were arrested simply because of their skin color."Is there any person out there who believes, that Christians or conservatives would not have been immediately arrested if they had violently attacked Speaker Pelosi or spray painted the United States Capitol Building? Could you imagine the response of law enforcement officers if pro-life demonstrators had shouted down a news conference by Senator Hillary Clinton?"

The Sope-Bocks: The ACLU, as in the American Civil Liberties Union, has been curiously silent regarding the violation against these Americans, who were exercising their First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk. Ironic, isn't it -- a group that touts itself for being the vanguard of American civil liberties doesn't rush to protect the civil liberties of certain Americans. Thus, my reason for renaming the ACLU the "Anti-Christian Liberties Union"

Friday, April 06, 2007

TOPIC: Are Conservatives and Christians Capable of Being Funny?
Some folks may think not. Those of us who are conservative and/or Christians know that we can be humorous -- and remain within the confines of good taste. We don't need the antics of Ricky Bobby, Napolean Dynamite or any of the other mindless drivel that invades our senses in the name of being funny.
Without tooting the clown horn too loudly, here's a list of some interesting comics and cartoons -- created and illustrated by conservative Christian artists:
After Eden (Dan Lietha)
Church Mice (Karl Zorowski)
The Back Pew (Jeff Larsen) - MY Favorite!
ReverendFun (Richard Germain)
ToonFever (Tim Walburg)
Faith Kartoons (not extremely funny, but good if you know your Bible)
EZG Toons (Erin Gillespie)

As stated previously, The Sope-Bocks will feature these artists and their toons over the next few weeks -- in an effort to create a "wider dimension" for the blog. In fact, cartoons have been added to some older posts.

BTW, I personally know and can vouch for Karl Zorowski, creator of "Church Mice". He's a great guy, with an awesome family -- and a heart for God.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

TOPIC: Violent Video Games And Hostile Personalities Go Together
Source: Science Daily
Credit: Photo by Bob Elbert

New research by Iowa State University psychologists provides more concrete evidence of the adverse effects of violent video game exposure on the behavior of children and adolescents.
ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson, Assistant Professor of Psychology Douglas Gentile, and doctoral student Katherine Buckley share the results of three new studies in their book, "Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents" (Oxford University Press, 2007). It is the first book to unite empirical research and public policy related to violent video games.

Study One: Kids' games still have behavioral effect
The book's first study found that even exposure to cartoonish children's violent video games had the same short-term effects on increasing aggressive behavior as the more graphic teen (T-rated) violent games. The study tested 161 9- to 12-year-olds, and 354 college students. Each participant was randomly assigned to play either a violent or non-violent video game. "Violent" games were defined as those in which intentional harm is done to a character motivated to avoid that harm. The definition was not an indication of the graphic or gory nature of any violence depicted in a game.
The researchers selected one children's non-violent game ("Oh No! More Lemmings!"), two children's violent video games with happy music and cartoonish game characters ("Captain Bumper" and "Otto Matic"), and two violent T-rated video games ("Future Cop" and "Street Fighter"). For ethical reasons, the T-rated games were played only by the college-aged participants. The participants subsequently played another computer game designed to measure aggressive behavior in which they set punishment levels in the form of noise blasts to be delivered to another person participating in the study. Additional information was also gathered on each participant's history of violent behavior and previous violent media viewing habits.
The researchers found that participants who played the violent video games -- even if they were children's games -- punished their opponents with significantly more high-noise blasts than those who played the non-violent games. They also found that habitual exposure to violent media was associated with higher levels of recent violent behavior -- with the newer interactive form of media violence found in video games more strongly related to violent behavior than exposure to non-interactive media violence found in television and movies. "Even the children's violent video games -- which are more cartoonish and often show no blood -- had the same size effect on children and college students as the much more graphic games have on college students," said Gentile. "What seems to matter is whether the players are practicing intentional harm to another character in the game. That's what increases immediate aggression -- more than how graphic or gory the game is."

Study Two: The violent video game effect
Another study detailed in the book surveyed 189 high school students. The authors found that respondents who had more exposure to violent video games held more pro-violent attitudes, had more hostile personalities, were less forgiving, believed violence to be more typical, and behaved more aggressively in their everyday lives. The survey measured students' violent TV, movie and video game exposure; attitudes toward violence; personality trait hostility; personality trait forgiveness; beliefs about the normality of violence; and the frequency of various verbally and physically aggressive behaviors.
The researchers were surprised that the relation to violent video games was so strong. "We were surprised to find that exposure to violent video games was a better predictor of the students' own violent behavior than their gender or their beliefs about violence," said Anderson. "Although gender aggressive personality and beliefs about violence all predict aggressive and violent behavior, violent video game play still made an additional difference. We were also somewhat surprised that there was no apparent difference in the video game violence effect between boys and girls or adolescents with already aggressive attitudes," he said.
The study found that one variable -- trait forgiveness -- appeared to make that person less affected by exposure to violent video games in terms of subsequent violent behavior, but this protective effect did not occur for less extreme forms of physical aggression.

Study Three: Violent video games and school
A third new study in the book assessed 430 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, their peers, and their teachers twice during a five-month period in the school year. It found that children who played more violent video games early in the school year changed to see the world in a more aggressive way, and became more verbally and physically aggressive later in the school year -- even after controlling for how aggressive they were at the beginning of the study. Higher aggression and lower pro-social behavior were in turn related to those children being more rejected by their peers. "I was startled to find those changes in such a short amount of time," said Gentile. "Children's aggression in school did increase with greater exposure to violent video games, and this effect was big enough to be noticed by their teachers and peers within five months."
The study additionally found an apparent lack of "immunity" to the effects of media violence exposure. TV and video game screen time was also found to be a significant negative predictor of grades.
The book's final chapter offers "Helpful Advice for Parents and Other Caregivers on Choosing and Using Video Games." The authors say that providing clear, science-based information to parents and caregivers about the harmful effects of exposure to violent video games is the first step in helping educate the people who are best able to use the information.

The Sope-Bocks: I've been preaching this message for years now. Hopefully, people are starting to hear the voices of reason and force the marketplace to change. Specifically, parents should NOT allow their children to play such garbage. Remember, GIGO - Garbage IN, Garbage OUT. What we take into our eyes, mind and brain WILL come out -- in one way or another. Simple, but 100% true.
BTW, the same outcome would be probable regarding exposure to violent music, movies and television (though these studies show less violent behavior from non-interactive exposure).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TOPIC: The Dangers of Liberal Toleration
By Jim Tonkowich
In the polarized world in which we live, the most praised virtue is toleration. We must be tolerant of all people, we are told—all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Fair enough, but while I'm trying to be tolerant, somehow abortion rights, same sex “marriage,” and New York City residents changing their gender on their birth certificates seems to have come in the back door all under the rubric of toleration. Exactly what is going on?
At the recent annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Washington, D.C., Dr. J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas addressed this question in a lecture entitled, “True Toleration and the Failure of Liberal Neutrality.” In it, he concluded that the toleration that has been foisted on the American public is not tolerant at all. Toleration, which is hardly a new idea, has two possible rationales, according to Budziszewski. The first comes from the early Church fathers. This rationale grounds toleration on a paradox — the nature of the good is such that it demands that we put up with (tolerate) some bad. Their point of view centered on religious freedom. God does not coerce belief, and we cannot coerce belief either. People’s consciences may not be violated in the name of the good and the true and thus we must tolerate that which is not good and true, lovingly persuading others, but never forcing compliance in belief. This, said Budziszewski, is proper toleration.
The second rationale, claimed Budziszewski, grounds toleration on an “incoherence.” While the Church fathers urged toleration because of the nature of the good, liberals argue that we must suspend public judgments about the nature of the good. After all, as liberal philosopher John Rawls argued, while the Christian sees the good in one way, the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Marxist, or hedonistic pleasure-seeker each see it in other ways. Rawls calls each system a “comprehensive doctrine.” And since comprehensive doctrines can’t all be true, and each is more or less reasonable, the only solution for public discourse is to privatize them all, that is, ban all comprehensive doctrines from the public square. This, the argument goes, creates an environment of moral neutrality in which to make public decisions. Rawls, said Budziszewski, considers his approach tolerant and just because he treats everyone in precisely the same way — not endorsing anyone's comprehensive doctrine.
But in truth, Rawls is not being tolerant at all. His view privileges some comprehensive doctrines and suppresses others. Any doctrine that is easily privatized is privileged while any doctrine (Christianity for example) that by its very nature has public implications is suppressed. The liberal argument is nothing more than a camouflaged grab for power. We see this in the abortion debate. Women, we’re told, want and need legal abortion. Arguments to the contrary from religious, natural law, or common good perspectives are ruled out of order. These are comprehensive doctrines with values that must not be imposed on others and should be privatized in the name of toleration. You are free to choose not to have an abortion, but you must be tolerant with others who choose otherwise. And so, without a debate about the actual issue of taking unborn human life, abortion is the law of the land. Is this toleration? Certainly not.
First, said Budziszewski, this liberal toleration doesn’t live up to its own notion of toleration. Choice can never be neutral; it always discriminates between visions of the good. Same sex “marriage” is just as discriminatory as traditional marriage, because it repudiates traditional marriage. Legalizing abortion is just as discriminatory as prohibiting it because it runs roughshod over those who believe that abortion is an act of murder. Nor is liberal toleration “tolerant” in the proper sense of the word.
Advocates of liberal toleration don’t admit that they are judging, so they cannot possibly be judging justly.
Since it violates others to judge them without admitting your criteria for judgment, liberal toleration is, in fact, thoroughly intolerant. Reasons can be debated, challenged, and overcome. Liberal toleration cheats by enforcing standards it will not admit to having.
This lack of candor, according to Budziszewski, leads to the great danger of a liberal confessional state. Our country has traditionally enjoyed a confessional state in that we have propounded public ideals. These ideals, our confession, have been declared, not coerced. In Communist states such as North Korea or Islamist states such as Saudi Arabia, the confession is declared and coerced. In the liberal confessional state, for the sake of toleration, the confession is not declared, merely coerced. This led Budziszewski to conclude that “in this country, for the foreseeable future, the chief danger to religious toleration arises not from our avowed religions, but from the unavowed and illiberal religion of liberalism itself.And it is a danger to us all.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

TOPIC: Foul! Wrong! Nope, didn't happen like that!
This is positively my favorite cartoon from After Eden. I guess I like it best because the man depicted matches me in the same situation -- watching the National Geographic channel (or their sister channel, The History Channel).
The evolutionist propaganda on those networks is ridiculous and downright insulting at times. What's worse is that they often quote so-called experts on the Bible or theology who have little to no real belief in nor saving knowledge of either topic.
Rather than rant, I thought it better to offer this humorous look at the situation. LOL!

BTW, The Sope-Bocks will be featuring cartoons from After Eden (by Dan Lietha) AND others over the next few weeks.

Monday, April 02, 2007

OnThisDay: April 2nd
1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce de León claimed Florida for Spain
1827 - Joseph Dixon began manufacturing lead pencils
1870 - Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to be nominated for US President
1872 - George B Brayton patented the gasoline powered engine
1877 - First Easter egg roll held on the White House lawn
1902 - First motion picture theater opened (Los Angeles, CA)
1917 - President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany
1921 - Professor Albert Einstein lectured, in NYC, on his new theory of relativity
1954 - Plans to build Disneyland were first announced
1973 - CBS radio began on-hour news 24 hours a day
1978 - Velcro was first put on the market
1981 - Heavy battle between Christian militia & Syrian army in East Lebanon
1987 - IBM introduced the PS/2 computer, along with OS/2, a competitor for MS Windows

Sunday, April 01, 2007

TOPIC: Palm Sunday
Rather than writing about Palm Sunday, this picture and the accompanying caption says it all!
Students of Bethesda School, Dimapur, India, with placards and palm leaves during a Palm Sunday procession justifying and celebrating victory and the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Nearly a thousand students took part in the procession.
Photographer: Caisii Mao