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Saturday, May 30th 2009

2:45 PM

Understanding Silence In The Church

When I asked Dr. O'Callaghan regarding scriptural reference to women in ministry and church "doctrine", he sent me the following. You are welcome to join Drs. Denis and Marti O'Callaghan on their teaching site at SciptureStudies.com

Feel free to leave a message in the comments; no profanity please and we will make sure that Dr. O'Callaghan receives your comments. If you have questions, likewise leave a message.
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A Thought From Scripture. 


APPARENT BREAKTHROUGH IN UNDERSTANDING THE “SILENCE” PASSAGES,
1 COR.14:34-35

A Summary  July 2007

In “The Elusive Law”, Cheryl Schatz presents evidence to demonstrate that verses 34-35 are not Paul’s words, but the remarks of some in Corinth based on the Talmud’s restrictions on women (DVD #4, Women in Ministry: Silenced or Set Free?, MM Outreach, Nelson, B.C., Canada, 2006).
 
I’ve been wrestling with the issues raised regarding women in 1 Cor.11-14 for twenty-six years. My first article, “Aspects of Female Priesthood,” appeared in 1981. For the first time I feel like significant light has broken through the lingering problems and questions. Without doubt every conceivable explanation of what is entailed in 1 Cor.14:34-35 can be challenged from some angle. It is admittedly a difficult passage. However, the position convincingly set forth by Cheryl does the best job I’ve ever seen of doing justice to what the verses actually say and the immediate context, beginning in 1 Cor.11.

For a long time I’ve wondered what “law” was in view in v.34. There is strong reason to believe that it is not the Old Testament, but the Talmud that is being cited. According to Wikipedia, “The Talmud is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history.” In Jesus’ day the first part of the Talmud, the Mishnah, was in oral form, but in 200AD and 500AD it and the Gemara were put into writing. In brief, two key issues point to why the Jewish oral law (Talmud) was behind what was stated in vv.34-35.

1. Only the Talmud silences women.
2. Only the Talmud designates the speech of women as “shameful.”

The Talmud Silenced Women

Cheryl observes that “The silencing of women was a Jewish ordinance. Women were not permitted to speak in the assembly or even to ask questions. The rabbis taught that a woman should know nothing but the use of her distaff.”

Josephus, a Jewish historian, asserted that “the woman, says the law, is in all things inferior to a man. Let her accordingly be submissive.”

The Talmud clearly affirms the silence of females:
 
“A woman’s voice is prohibited because it is sexually provocative” (Talmud, Berachot 24a).
 
“Women are sexually seductive, mentally inferior, socially embarrassing, and spiritually separated from the law of Moses; therefore, let them be silent” (summary of Talmudic sayings).

The Talmud Called the Voice of a Woman “Shameful”
“It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men” (Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin)
“The voice of a woman is filthy nakedness” (Talmud, Berachot Kiddushin)

The English translation of the Greek word, aiskron, as “shameful” or “improper” hardly convey the strength of what the word encompasses. The affirmation in v.35, Cheryl notes, is that a woman’s speaking is “lewd, vile, filthy, indecent, foul, dirty and morally degraded.”

Male and female prophesying was inaugurated on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17 -1 . Paul approved the prophesying of women in 1 Cor.11:5. In 1 Cor.14 he saw the whole body involved in prophesying – “everybody is prophesying” (v.24), “each one of you has a teaching” (v.26), “you may all prophesy one by one” (v.31). How could the same apostle Paul a few pen strokes later turn around and unequivocally designate women’s speech in the body as “filthy, lewd and vile”? It makes no sense at all. I have always felt like verses 34-35 didn’t sound like Paul. Something was awry.

The matter is cleared up by realizing that Paul did not write the negative words about women in vv.34-35. Instead, those basing their view of women on the oral law did. Paul never required women to be silent and never called female speaking “lewd and filthy.” The Talmud was guilty of advocating both.

This is further confirmed in v.36 when Paul exclaims “What! Did the Word of God originate with you?” The “What!” Indicates that Paul is not in harmony with what was stated by others from the Talmud in vv.34-35. Thayer’s Lexicon notes that the “What” is a disjunctive conjunction “before a sentence contrary to the one just preceding, to indicate that if one be denied or refuted the other must stand.”

Sir William Ramsey commented, “We should be ready to suspect that Paul is making a quotation from the letter addressed to him by the Corinthians whenever he alludes to their knowledge, or when any statement stands in marked contrast either with the immediate context or with Paul’s known views.”

Paul contrasts his commands which promote edification by the varied contributions of all with the restrictive prohibitions upon women demanded by the anti-gospel Talmud. Paul saw the voices of the sisters as a vital part of the building up of the Body of Christ. The Talmud, on the other hand, viewed female voices as “shameful” and as “filthy nakedness.”

We know that various concerns and questions came to Paul from the Corinthians in a letter. He refers to this communication several times in 1 Corinthians. If quotation marks are placed at the beginning and end of verses 34-35, thus seeing them as the words of some Corinthians to Paul, then the apparent contradiction between Paul’s encouragement of female participation and then his seeming silencing of them is resolved satisfactorily.

Those who use 1 Cor.14:34-35 as a basis for requiring the sisters to be silent in the meetings would do well to consider the strong possibility that the words they cite as proof-texts are non-Pauline, and reflect the non-gospel viewpoint of the Talmud. Are they prepared to maintain, as the anti-feminine Talmud did, that a woman’s voice is “dirty” and “like filthy nakedness”? I submit that it is unthinkable that Paul would assign such awful sentiments to the sisters’ words.
 
Paul , the Apostle to the Gentiles became as a Jew to Jews and as a Gentile to Gentile. Those who have an agenda against women have continued the restriction of women as ministers of the Gospel of "Grace"
In order to understand your Bible ask yourself "Who is writing?, To Whom is the writings addressed,? for what purpose?, to what end? Then you will have a better understanding than most Pastors!

Grace and Peace,
Dr. Denis O'Callaghan
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Thursday, May 28th 2009

5:12 AM

Graduation: Level to Level Faith

"God works in mysterious way, His wonders to perform." It is not really a Bible verse but people really love to quote it. God does work in ways that man cannot understand and yes, He does want to do things that are loving, burden removing, and allows things to be put in our path that will challenge us to grow. BESTgraduation-hats-1 That's our loving Father in Heaven. It has been my experience that we don't always appreciate the challenges when they come, nor do we exercise the champion within us to overcome.

In this season that so many people are experiencing the joys and relief of graduation. Watching the graduates sit nervously as the speaker stands at the podium, listening to words to be imparted. Vibrating the air with a wonderful message of hope, a quick look back over their accomplishments, and a glance at their immediate future planned many years ago Then that magical moment grads and parents all hold dear, the words "move your tassel to the other side". Wow, they made it.

A group of women that I gather with from time-to-time and I sat down to evaluate where we were at and what needed to change in our lives. Deep thought provoking and yank ya up by the bootstraps kind of questions that only your best friend would dare to ask. God has graduations for us at each level of development, but if we can't pass the test, we have to do a repeat. Once we learned that lesson, the lessons became a lot easier to complete. They were also easier because there was other people able to speak into our lives through knowledge, understanding, and wisdom which all comes from love--love of the God and love of each other including ourselves.

Watching some of our young people at graduation this year, there were comments similar to those in years past like, "I didn't think he/she would ever make it." Parents proud of their children's accomplishments but also that they were there for the journey. Then there are those who didn't have parents or loved ones to help them; it was sheer gut force that got them there. Goals and desires that were so strong that nothing would get in the way.

As Christians we have a loving parent, our Father in Heaven, who continually watches over us, sings to us, encourages us to do our very best. He goes further to give us dreams and visions of what life is to look like. He nudges us in the direction, leading our footsteps in the paths of righteousness so that our dreams and visions have an ordered manner. If we follow the nudging and words of the Lord, we can reach graduation at each level of development.

Are there things that you want to achieve that you just know that God has given you to do? There is a dear ministry associate with whom our ministry fasted for forty-days (20 days at a time) for a specific question and spiritual leading. At the end of the fasting and prayer we broke bread together, having a wonderful meal and he stated that he had indeed found the answer. We discussed it at great length and how to go about it for his success. We continued to hold him in prayer knowing that it was a reach beyond what he was comfortable with, but God had given him the assignment.

After about three weeks, he called and said it just wasn't going to work. He and I discussed other ways it could work, if he was willing to do some extra study and come to workshops. He realized that it was going to take work to accomplish the work God had given to him. It wasn't going to be as easy as the previous years and goals had been.

That's what school is like. Kindergarten was a breeze, First and Second grades had new challenges but high school was a real humdinger compared to the early years. It's like that in graduating from primary Image015-2 school in ministry and our faith walk. Graduation isn't just for the judgment before the thrown of God. Graduation is each link, each step higher and higher we go, deeper and deeper in our understanding of God and His Kingdom.

We are alert and ready for that crown and gown stage of our graduation in Christ, but do you sincerely walk the walk and talk the talk of your faith walk graduation? Do you put off today what might work better tomorrow even when the Holy Spirit is nudging you to do it NOW? That is like not passing the test and having to take it over.

Be encouraged to look at each day as graduation day, test day, or expansion day for your place in the Kingdom of God. Life is sweet when we are in His will and considering our ways to graduation.

Love and hugs,
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Thursday, May 7th 2009

5:18 AM

Prayer for President Barack Obama And Nation

Prayer for President Barack Obama—The First American President of Color

Father, You instructed us to pray for those in authority, and we lift up President Barack Obama.

I thank You for the anointing that abides over the office of the president of the United States since the time our forefathers dedicated this country to Jesus Christ. I pray that our president will abide under that same covering. We extend the common honor to President Barack Obama that all in his position have been ascribed.

God, I thank You for placing favor on the highest office in our land. I ask for Your protection for him and his family during his presidency. I bind every attack from the Aryan Nations, covert Nazi organizations, the skinheads, or any other racist group that specifically hates and targets people of color. I bind all terrorist assignments from local, national, and international conspiracies against our president, government, and other political leaders. I bind the resurrection of the Black Panthers (specifically, the New Black Panthers). I break the power of demonic influences that would make a threefold cord of the spirits of the thugs, the Five Percenters, and the race-retaliation groups from the inner cities of America. I overturn the words of their demonic doctrines and declare that black people are not taking over America. I break the power of revenge against the president from these groups because he did not put only black people in his cabinet. I decree that innocent black people will not be terrorized (in their neighborhoods) by white supremacists and that innocent white people will not be terrorized by black supremacists.

Father, I ask that You reveal Your Son, Jesus, to our president as the only way to God. I ask that You cause him to have a Saul-to-Paul experience. Release the pricks and goads upon his heart at an accelerated pace so that his heart will turn to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Deliver him, and let him experience a new birth in his spirit. I come against every stronghold that keeps the president from the truth. I break every soul tie that keeps the president from the truth. I break every soul tie and vow that has been established between him, Harvard, secret societies, and the Illuminati.

I declare that even the cabinet that is around him will bow to Jesus. I plead the blood of Jesus over Barack Obama's head so that the pressure of the office will not keep him from sleeping at night.

Open doors of utterance for Your prophets to the White House, I bind the ministry of psychics, the teachings of black liberation theology, and every new age and secular humanists doctrine away from the White House. God, put Your angels around the White House to fill the gaps or breaches in security. Anoint the Secret Service agents with a double portion during President Barack Obama's tenure. I bind the spirit of the double agent. I come against the Judas spirit in the Secret Service, CIA, NSA, and FBI in the name of Jesus.

I bind the spirit of Ahab and Jezebel off of our government, in the name of Jesus. I bind Leviathan from the office of the presidency and release light and humility, in Jesus' name. The spirit of Behemoth is also bound from our nation. Lord, let the decisions made in this country not cause America to take on more than can be handled.

Every tormenting spirit sent by a witch or warlock is bound in Jesus' name. Lord, expose the work of every witch, sorcerer, spiritualist, or person from the dark side that is operating in President Obama's cabinet or through anyone closely associated to him.

I block the powers of the influence of the Yoruba religion and all other groups that worship their ancestors (from the White House), in Jesus' name. I put barriers around the United States from the grounds of the earth to the skies of the heaven that will bind and block the witchcraft of the sacrifices coming from Kenya to influence our president, in Jesus' name. Let the powers of every dedication of his past be broken.

Keep and protect our president, his wife, children, and mother-in-law from kidnappings, assassinations, harassments, and any other kinds of attacks while they are in the White House. Let every hidden secret and dark thing operating behind the scenes be exposed expediently in Jesus' name. Let every hindering spirit that would oppose the progress of our country be removed now in the name of the Lord.

Father, I pray that our president will not sit in the counsel of the ungodly. I bind all alliances that would hinder the peace and protection of our country. I come against bombing in our cities. I declare that there will be no war on American soil. Let every gate around our nation (that is open) to terrorism be sealed shut in Jesus' name. Let all the covert plans of the enemy be infiltrated with light. Lord, help us to build up the walls around our nation that have been burned down during the past presidential election. I pray that our enemies will not launch a sneak attack on us while we are distracted.

I drown every spirit traveling from overseas to wreak havoc. I bind the spirit of havoc and chaos from birthing martial law in the land. I bind spirits that would cause us to lose our constitutional and civil liberties.

I send confusion to the organized and unorganized forces of the radical Islamic movement. Let them begin to turn on each other. Let every terrorist cell group be exposed and dealt with severely. Lord, shine Your light of judgment upon Osama bin Laden and cause him to be pulled out of his hiding hole. Turn his words into mush so that his instruction to his death troops will not come to pass.

I bind the threefold cord of the beast, the age, and the Anti-christ that would set its heads against the Church. I declare that the gospel and those who preach it shall have free course in the earth.

Put people in the path of our president who will tell him the truth and speak the Word of the Lord. I ask You, Lord, to shut the door to every spiritual leader who desires to frequent the White House for fame and glory. Shut the doors, and shut their mouths. Let their words hold no weight in the Spirit. Remove every compromising, lukewarm Christian leader from whispering sweet nothings in our president's ear. Send spiritual leaders with kingdom mind-sets and hearts for the nation.

I break the iron rod of hatred, racism, and prejudice in the United States. I apply the blood of Jesus over our nation. I decree that disunity is being displaced in the church concerning Barack Obama and that the church will find common ground to stand in the gap concerning the matter.

Wake up the sleeping church. Erase the question mark from over the heads of the believers. Let us make supplication, prayers, and intercession and give thanks for all men, especially all who are in authority over us so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in America in godliness and honesty. As I pray, let every ungodly and dishonest thing be exposed and dealt with by the Holy Ghost. Lord, I know that my prayers and supplications concerning this matter are good and acceptable in Your sight because it is Your will for all men to be saved and to know the truth.

As the saints stand in the gap and pray for our president and this nation, anoint them to refuse the king's portion and not eat at the table of Ahab and Jezebel, so that their countenances will be fair and their discernment will be sharp. Let them not bow to the gongs of the land!

I break all agreements with foreign nations that would cause America to turn its back on Israel. I decree that a love for Israel would be released in America like never before. Lord, Your Word says that You would bless those who bless Israel and that woe would fall upon those who come against them. We bless Israel!

Father, I need You to move over Barack Obama and America. Keep and protect him when the same people who cried, "Hosanna," begin to yell, "Crucify him!" Your Word says that the heart of the king is in Your hand, and like a river, You turn it whatever You will. Father, turn his heart in the direction of Your favor, timing, and plan.

God, deal with our president about the innocent bloodshed of the unborn ad the sanctity of marriage. Lord, I ask You to supernaturally intervene concerning the laws that will affect the civil liberties of the believers. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen

Quoted from "Prayers that Bring Change" by Kimberly Daniels


http://www.amazon.com/Prayers-That-Bring-Change-relationships/dp/1599797518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241698583&sr=1-1

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Wednesday, May 6th 2009

5:26 AM

Cyberbullying Prevention Act or Attack on Bloggers

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1966/show

At the link above you can read the full bill and all actions taken to date. While I believe most of us will agree that cyberbullying is something we all need to be aware of and stop, some of the language in the bill will also affect many things said and done online which is connected to Freedom of Speech.

Harassment and false accounts for the intent of harming another in any manner should be stopped, with laws and appropriate punishment if necessary. Watch this bill and others listed on the site. The Feds want to control bloggers and what is said. When Freedom of Speech is silenced, the people will become government sheep.

Write, call, or email your governments leaders and let them know your position on this and other bills before Congress. We the People have been silent too long--now they want to silence us for good.

Leave a comment, let your voice be heard here as well.



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Monday, May 4th 2009

5:48 AM

It's no longer a laughing matter

May 04, 2009

It's no longer a laughing matter

By D.L. Hammack
When the new administration took over Washington and our smiling, community activist, leader took the oath of office, the chuckles began as we witnessed the most expensive inauguration in US history and the start of the transformation of America.  I giggled -- initially.  This idol-worshipped man with absolutely no background or experience became our new President.  I laughed at how America had been taken for a ride.

When the President embarrassed America with his lame gift to the British Prime Minister, it was so sad it was funny.  I giggled under my breath.

When the One could not convey any coherent text without the aid of his teleprompter, I snickered until I realized that these words were not his.  If the machine failed, he was absolutely lost and could not find a meaningful conveyance with two hands and a flashlight. 

When he then went on the apology tour of Europe; bowed to the Saudi king and shook hands with Hugo Chavez, I grinned, but the laughter was absent when I came to the conclusion that this man truly despises what America stands for.

When the new administration put out the plan for veterans to pay for their own health care, it started to get ugly.  There was absolutely no humor left when I thought of these heroes coming back to American soil with the new administrations' welcome home gift.  "Thanks guys and gals and for your eighteen months of life-threatening service, Johnny, what do we have for them?"

When Janet Napalitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security deemed returning war veterans and conservatives possible terrorists, it was no longer funny and it started to piss me off.  We can no longer call the real bad guys terrorists.  They get the moniker of Man Caused Disasters.  But returning war veterans being labeled as Home Grown Terrorists? 

Mr. President, you have the power to push buttons, but you're starting to push the ones that are going to send more and more Americans into opposition.

When the administration chose to publish the CIA interrogation memos jeopardizing the security of our soldiers and the willingness of all national security operatives to continue to do what they do -- all for political motivation, it became clear that they will stop at nothing to accomplish their ideological goals.  Enough is enough!  I can't even manufacture a whimper of humor anymore.

Now our leader has the audacity to take the bond holders and private investors in Chrysler to the woodshed and publicly threaten them into giving up their investment?  "How dare they be so un-American as to want more of their investment dollars back?"   

It's no longer funny.  This is serious. What was initially a comedy of errors and gaffes is now becoming a serious threat to our security, our economy and our way of life.


Initially, I thought that this guy would float his trial balloons aimed at taking us to the left... test the waters, so-to-speak.  He did.  We watched.  When nobody shot these balloons down, or stood up to the radical changes he proposed, he and Rahm became even more brazen. 

Initially, I thought that regardless of his left-leaning motivations, he surely would not endanger the people of America or cause them undue hardships as a result of his desires?  How wrong I was!  This man...the administration couldn't give a damn about the people or their suffering, as long as it advances their agenda and creates a future throng of democratic voters who are addicted to the state.  It's time for us to recognize that this President, his cabinet, his staff, his Supreme Court appointees all have a common interest and that interest has nothing whatsoever to do with the people of this country. 

Until we wake up and see this charade, this façade called the administration of change, we will continue to dig a hole so deep that no manner of "change" will allow us to escape from the policy mandates this President will force upon us.  Wake up America, or one day we will wake up and see an America that we no longer recognize or want to be a part of.  Those of us who recognize what is going on will continue to speak out to make people aware and we will continue to be singled out by the administration; vilified if necessary, as they continue the process of steamrolling America to accomplish their agenda.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/its_no_longer_a_laughing_matte.html at May 04, 2009 - 08:48:08 AM EDT
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Saturday, May 2nd 2009

9:41 AM

A Terrorist's Plea Bargain

Power Line Blog: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff
http://www.powerlineblog.com

A terrorist's plea bargain

May 1, 2009 Posted by Paul at 10:15 PM

Ali Saleh Khalah al Marri, who returned to the U.S. (where he had legal residency) on September 10, 2001 as an al Qaeda sleeper agent, has agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. Under the agreement, al Marri could serve up to 15 years in prison.

Al Marri was tasked by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with investigating several types of attacks on the U.S., including poisoning water reservoirs. His laptop, which was loaded with al Qaeda propanganda videos, contained research on cyanide and sulfuric acid.

Al Marri's plea bargain states:

The defendant researched online information related to various cyanide compounds. The defendant's focus was on various cyanide substances, including hydrogen cyanide, potassium cyanide, and sodium cyanide. The defendant reviewed toxicity levels, the locations where these items could be purchased, and specific pricing of the compounds. The defendant also studied various commercial uses for cyanide compounds. The defendant also explored obtaining sulfuric acid.

The defendant agrees that the government would prove at trial that sulfuric acid is a well known binary agent which is used in a hydrogen cyanide binary device to create cyanide gas, and that this is the method taught by al Qaeda for manufacturing cyanide gas. The defendant further agrees that the government would prove at trial that his research into various cyanide compounds is consistent with the type of research conducted by persons trained in camps teaching advanced poisons courses to terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. The defendant also agrees that the government would prove at trial that an almanac recovered in the defendant's residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways and tunnels in the United States, which is also consistent with al Qaeda attack planning regarding the use of cyanide gases.

In other words, as Tom Joscelyn puts it, when he was captured "al Marri was in the midst of plotting an attack using a form of cyanide gas on dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States."

Yet, as Joscelyn reminds us, al Marri has been viewed by some on the left as a victim. For example, the New York Times editorial board wrote in July 2008 that "the government, which says [al Marri] has ties to Al Qaeda, designated him an enemy combatant, even though it never alleged that he was in an army or carried arms on a battlefield. He was held on the basis of extremely thin hearsay evidence."

But the government was not relying on hearsay evidence; it had al Marri's laptop. And it is clear that al Marri was indeed an enemy combatant; he was an al Qaeda agent who was plotting deadly attacks on our infrastructure, attacks designed to kill Americans on a large scale. His "battlefield," Joscelyn points out, was the U.S.A.

If the New York Times wants to champion the cause of terrorists like al Marri, that's its right. But it shouldn't misstate the facts about those it has chosen to champion or pretend that they are other than bloodthirsty terrorists.


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Friday, May 1st 2009

10:00 AM

Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Look to Coming Battle Over Supreme Court Pick

LifeNews.com - Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Look to Coming Battle Over Supreme Court Pick

May 1, 2009
by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Now that President Barack Obama will be given his first opportunity to select a new member of the Supreme Court, both pro-life and pro-abortion groups are looking ahead to the coming battle. The fight will center on the Senate and whether pro-life members will filibuster the nomination.

Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, promised her group would help lead the charge against any pro-abortion activist Obama may name to the high court.

“We will work to oppose any nominee for the Supreme Court who will read the Freedom of Choice Act into the Constitution in order to elevate abortion to a fundamental right on the same plane as the freedom of speech," she told LifeNews.com.

Yoest said the jurist Obama names to the Supreme Court will tell the American public whether he is serious about reducing abortions or keeping it an unlimited "right" that has yielded over 50 million abortions since 1973.

“This nomination represents a test for a President who has expressed a public commitment to reducing abortions while pursuing an aggressive pro-abortion agenda," she said. "Appointing an abortion radical to the Court -- someone who believes social activism trumps the Constitution -- further undermines efforts to reduce abortion."

Jay Sekulow, the president of the American Center for Law and Justice, told LifeNews.com the retirement gives Obama his first chance to shape the court, most notably on abortion.

“The reported retirement of Justice Souter marks the beginning of President Obama’s legal legacy – a legacy that will move this country dramatically to the left,” he says.

“With reports that Justice Souter will step down at the end of the term, President Obama now has a green light to begin reshaping the federal judiciary. Based on the appointments at the Department of Justice, it’s clear that President Obama will name a Supreme Court nominee who will embrace an extremely liberal judicial philosophy," he said.

Sekulow called on Senate Democrats to allow an open process where questions about where the eventual nominee stands on abortion and key pro-life issues.

"Once a nominee is named and the confirmation process begins, it’s important that the nominee faces full and detailed hearings – with specific focus on the nominee’s judicial philosophy including how the nominee views the constitution and the rule of law," he said.

On the pro-abortion side, advocacy groups have already made it clear they will stand for nothing less than an activist who will legislate abortion from the bench.

"We're looking for President Obama to choose an eminently qualified candidate who is committed to the core constitutional values, who is committed to justice for all and not just a few," said Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice.

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Thursday, April 30th 2009

1:18 PM

U.S. defense chief: Military strike won't halt Iran nuke program


w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

Last update - 23:13 30/04/2009

U.S. defense chief: Military strike won't halt Iran nuke program

By The Associated Press

United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that utilizing the military option in efforts to force Iran to abandon its controversial nuclear program would have merely temporary, ineffective results, and that imposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic made more sense.

Gates told Senate appropriators that a military attack on Iran would merely send the country's nuclear program further underground.

Instead, he said that the United States and its allies must convince Tehran that its nuclear ambitions would spark an arms race that would leave the country less secure.


Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. should work together with its allies to come up with tougher international sanctions.

The defense secretary also said the U.S. should pursue partnerships with Russia on missile defense programs in the region to further isolate Iran and to give Tehran economic and diplomatic reasons to voluntarily abandon its nuclear interests.

Israel, the United States and other Western nations believe that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at covertly developing atomic weapons. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists that the program is for civilian purposes only.

Gates' comments echoed similar remarks by President Shimon Peres, who said Wednesday that attacking Iran would only postpone its ability to build an atom bomb.

"I'm not sure that bombing the nuclear facilities is the best solution. You know, the moment there are centrifuges, you can destroy the centrifuges. You cannot destroy the know-how to create centrifuges. You can postpone," Peres told Channel 10.


Related articles:
  • Iran warns Israel not to attack nuclear sites
  • Ahmadinejad: Iran won't retreat one iota from its nuclear rights
  • U.S. envoy to visit Gulf over Iran's nuclear program
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    Thursday, April 30th 2009

    11:03 AM

    New fight brews over UN treaty on children's rights

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    April 30, 2009

    New fight brews over UN treaty on children's rights

    BY DAVID CRARY
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    NEW YORK -- A global children's rights treaty, ratified by every United Nations member except the United States and Somalia, has so alarmed its American critics, led by a Michigan congressman, that some are now pushing to add a parental rights amendment to the Constitution as a buffer against it.

    The result is a feisty new twist to a long-running saga over the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The nearly 20-year-old treaty has ardent supporters and opponents in the United States, and both sides agree that its chances of ratification -- while still uncertain -- are better under the Obama administration than at any point in the past.

    Opponents of the treaty contend it would enable government officials and a Geneva-based UN committee of experts to interfere with parental authority. Its supporters view the treaty as a valuable guidepost for children's basic rights -- including education, health care and protection from abuse -- and say its global goals are undermined by the refusal of the United States to ratify it.

    "No UN treaty will ever usurp the national sovereignty of this country," said Meg Gardinier, who chairs a national coalition backing the treaty. "Ratification would boost our credibility globally."

    Gardinier said her coalition -- with scores of partners ranging from Amnesty International to the Girl Scouts of the USA -- has learned to be patient, and hopes an all-out push for Senate ratification will be mounted by the third year of Barack Obama's presidency.

    Opponents prepare

    The treaty's opponents said they will be ready to fight back, and the proposed parental rights amendment is a key part of their strategy.

    Introduced this spring by Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican from Holland in western Michigan, the amendment now has 80 of his fellow Republicans as co-sponsors in the House. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said he plans to introduce it in the Senate.

    Hoekstra acknowledged that they are far short of the two-thirds support in both chambers of Congress needed to forward the amendment to the states, but said the dynamics could change if the treaty advances to a Senate vote.

    "We better lay the groundwork," Hoekstra said. "The last thing you want to be is unprepared if something pops up on the radar screen."

    Hurdles to amendment

    His amendment opens by declaring: "The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right."

    It says the federal government and the states cannot infringe on that right without clear justification and then concludes: "No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article."

    Ratification of any international treaty requires two-thirds support in the 100-member Senate, a hurdle that would -- in the chamber's current makeup -- require more than a half-dozen Republicans to join majority Democrats.

    Critics of the treaty hope to intensify public opposition.

    "If the American public is informed on this, there's no chance it will be ratified," said Michael Farris, a conservative lawyer who helped draft the parental rights amendment.

    Farris recently wrote a detailed critique contending that the treaty could bar U.S. parents from spanking their children and empower girls to have abortions without parental consent.

    Supporters of the treaty said such warnings are vastly overstated.

    "The reality is that no country that is a party to the convention has seen parental rights encroached," said Jonathan Todres, a law professor at Georgia State University who has worked with Gardinier's coalition. Todres also noted that there are no enforcement mechanisms or penalties.

    The effectiveness of the treaty is also the subject of vigorous debate. Supporters said it has prompted dozens of countries to improve their laws dealing with children.

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    Thursday, April 30th 2009

    10:44 AM

    Congress Outdoes Itself With H.R. 1913

    By Vincent Gioia

    If you thought you had heard all the bad news coming from the Obama administration and a Democrat packed congress, you were wrong.

    Two weeks ago, Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) quietly re-introduced the so-called hate crimes bill–H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. It is now expected that on Wednesday April 22, the full US House Judiciary Committee will vote on H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

    Crimes already illegal will be considered “hate crimes” depending on the intent of the criminal. Therefore we must only hire psychologists as policemen or we have to assume all policemen are trained psychologists. Penalties for “hate crimes” will be greater than for the same crime not considered based on hate of the victim. Does this make any sense to a reasonable person? The criminal act is the same only the impossible assessment of the motivation is supposed to be different. It is one thing to deplore acts of violence against innocent victims or bias-motivated violent crimes directed at anyone including lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (gender confused) (LGBT) persons, it is another thing to try to get into the criminal’s mind to ascertain his motivation. The law should not provide extra legal protection for someone simply because of the way he/she engages in sex.

    The so-called hate crimes bill will be used to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute and persecute pastors, business owners, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, Christian counselors, religious broadcasters and anyone else who the law deems capable of committing a crime motivated by hate of the victim. The problem is that innocent people like those just mentioned who believe in the Bible teachings will come under the rubric of committing a hate crime if they express their religious beliefs.

    H.R. 1913 broadly defines “intimidation. A pastor’s sermon could be considered “hate speech” under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on any “sexual orientation.” The pastor could be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit a hate crime.” During congressional committee markup in 2007, Representative Arthur Davis (D-AL) admitted that the legislation will not protect a pastor from prosecution. (So-Called hate crime bill threatens religious freedom)

    The main purpose of this “hate crime” legislation is to add the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” “either actual or perceived,” as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality on an ever-expanding number of categories deemed worthy of special treatment. Will Congress also protect other sexual orientations - such as pedophilia or polygamy?

    Gender discrimination as a basis of a hate crime produces some interesting results. Gender identity includes such classes of people as cross-dressers, she-male, drag queens, transvestites and transsexuals. Under the Act, neither “sexual orientation” nor “gender identity” are really defined. How can a law be enforced if the new classes receiving special protection remain undefined? The sexual behaviors considered sinful and immoral by most major religions will be elevated to a protected “minority” class under federal law.

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender activists (the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) have aggressively promoted the idea that any speech, including Bible oriented speech and anything in opposition to the gay agenda, will lead inevitability to violent “hate” crimes. This really enables them to demand restrictions of such speech as a way of protecting homosexuals from violence. What they’re really targeting is speech against LGBT behaviors that is based upon an understanding of what the Bible says about this behavior. In short, they’re targeting Bible Speech — not actual “hate speech.”

    The ILGA have a broad definition of “hate crime: “Hate crimes are criminal acts (such as violent crime, hate speech or vandalism motivated by feelings of hostility against any identifiable group of people within a society.” The ILGA defines hate crime to include so-called hate speech and wants to limit the First Amendment freedom of expression to distinguish homosexuals and their cousins from criticism of any sort.

    On the website “hatecrime.org,” LGBT activists claim that pro-family organizations are engaging in hate speech when they criticize homosexual conduct and his “hate speech” allegedly leads to hate crimes that must be suppressed.

    The Hate Crime law, HR-1913, will make 30 sexual orientations federally-protected. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has published 30 such sexual orientations that, because of Congress’s failure to define “sexual orientation,” will arguably be protected under this legislation. These 30 orientations are listed in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which is used by physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and psychiatrists throughout the U.S. It is considered the dictionary of mental disorders. Those 30 sexual orientations include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states or can result in death.

    Among those sexual orientations are (Protecting 30 Bizarre “Sexual Orientations” And “Gender Identity” — Ever-Expanding Definitions):

    Fronteurism — which involves a man approaching an unknown woman and rubbing up against her buttocks; this is already criminal behavior.
    Incest — which is a crime (sex with a daughter or son).
    Necrophilia — a crime (sex with a corpse).
    Pedophilia — a crime (sex with an underage child).
    Prostitution — a crime in most states.
    Zoophilia — (beastiality) which is a crime in numerous states.
    Voyeurism — which is a criminal offense in most states.

    Non-criminal sexual orientations include such behaviors as:

    Autogeynephilia — the perception of a man as being a woman;
    Apotemnophilia — sexual arousal from the stumps of an amputee;
    Coprophilia — sexual arousal from feces;
    Urophilia — sexual arousal from urine
    Transvestic Fetishism — intense sexually-arousing fantasies, sexual urges, and behaviors involving cross-dressing.

    To protect a “sexual orientation” under H.R. 1913 – while leaving that term undefined — is to protect this whole range of bizarre sexual behaviors. It is to normalize by federal law what are still considered to be mental disorders (paraphilias) by the American Psychiatric Association.

    On the website “hatecrime.org,” LGBT activists claim that pro-family organizations are engaging in hate speech when they criticize homosexual conduct and his “hate speech” allegedly leads to hate crimes and must be suppressed. This site compares opposition to homosexuality as equal to Adolph Hitler’s slaughter of six million Jews in Europe before and during World War II.

    This homosexual militant group has a lot of supporters and they flex their muscles all over the country.

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution blaming religious groups for so-called “hate crimes” such as the murder of Mathew Shepard. In addition, the Board approved a resolution urging the local media not to carry advertisements by pro-family organizations that addressed hope for homosexuals to change.

    In New York, a billboard with a Bible verse on it was taken down under pressure from city officials, who cited it as “hate speech.”

    In Massachusetts in 2005, parent David Parker was arrested for protesting his elementary school child having to listen to pro-LGBT propaganda! He eventually removed his child from the school. He was in court for two years and lost all of his appeals.

    Slavic students in Sacramento wore anti-gay agenda T-shirts to protest the gay-inspired Day of Silence on campus. They were punished for their views. The claim that hate crime laws against violence do not affect free speech or freedom of religion is bogus.

    One of the most serious attacks on free speech and religious freedom came in Philadelphia in 2004.

    Eleven Christians were arrested on felony charges for preaching the Word of God at a gay pride rally. Eight charges were filed against them: three felony charges and five misdemeanors. Charges were eventually dropped against six of the Christians, but the five left faced potential prison sentences of 47 years in jail and fines up to $90,000!

    They were charged under Pennsylvania’s hate crime law, which had recently added “sexual orientation” to their statute. The Christians were charged with: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways. The “instruments of crime” were bull horns for witnessing.

    The “ethnic intimidation” section of the hate crime statute was used against the Christians for having preached to the homosexuals in the parade and rally. Their “speech” was considered ethnic intimidation. The charges were eventually dropped against the Christians for having no basis in fact – but their free speech and religious freedom were violated and they had to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees.

    The far-left 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco has attacked freedom of speech and religion for the Christian employees of the city of Oakland, California.

    The court issued a memo declaring that it sided with the city of Oakland in censoring the emails and posters of the Good News Employee Association that used words like “Natural Family,” “Marriage” and “Family Values” in their materials. The 9th Circuit said the city had the right to censor those words because it made LGBT employees uncomfortable and violated the city’s sexual orientation ordinance! These words were considered “statements of a homophobic nature” and “sexual-orientation-based harassment.”

    These are only a few examples that show how sexual orientation and hate crime laws can be used to suppress religious freedom and free speech.

    This legislation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund so-called anti-hate programs. This includes a series of $100,000 grants to organizations allegedly fighting “hate” in their communities. If signed into law, this so-called hate crimes bill will be used to fund pro-LGBT teaching materials for our nation’s public schools.

    Here are a series of articles on hate crime legislation that go into great detail about the dangers of these laws.

    So-Called hate crime bill threatens religious freedom
    Protecting 30 Bizarre “Sexual Orientations” And “Gender Identity” — Ever-Expanding Definitions
    Religious Freedom Is Threatened By H.R. 1913
    H.R. 1913 Will Inevitably Fund Anti-Christian Bigotry — And Attack Bible Speech
    Misleading ‘Hate Crime’ Statistics

    One tactic that is often used by homosexuals is to employ percentages in reporting on increases in hate crimes against LBGT persons instead of actual numbers or defining what those numbers mean. For example, a LBGT group could claim that hate crimes jumped 50% from one year to the next. This could only mean that there were 10 crimes last year and an additional 5 this year. The 50% figure sounds much worse than just honestly reporting that crime went from 10 to 15. (Misleading ‘Hate Crime’ Statistics)

    LBGT claims that every 6 hours of every day, a homosexual, bisexual, or transgender person is “violently” attacked by a bigot. If this were true, there would be 1,460 such violent attacks each year, yet the group fails to define what “violent” is.

    Here are the facts about examples of hate crimes.

    FBI statistics on “hate crimes” against a person’s sexual orientation from 2007 (the latest available) reveal the following: In 2007 there were 1,521 victims of “sexual orientation” bias. However, the breakdown of these crimes is listed as:

    335 were crimes of intimidation (shouting or name-calling)
    448 were crimes of simple assault (defined as pushing or shoving without physical injury) 242 were crimes of aggravated assault (defined as bodily harm) -
    (source: FBI statistics 2007).

    From FBI collected data (same source as stated above) we can see there were only 242 crimes against a person’s sexual orientation that could be considered “violent.” And, twenty-seven of these bias crimes were directed against heterosexuals! All together, there were 9,535 victims of bias crimes in 2007. This includes bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, disability, or multiple-bias incidents.

    The FBI statistics do not indicate how many of these “violent hate crimes” were committed by homosexuals against other homosexuals – or what provoked the violence.

    Out of a total number of 855,856 cases of aggravated assault in 2007, only 242 were directed at LGBT individuals. This is only 0.02827578411446785% of all aggravated assaults! This is not an epidemic of hate against LGBT individuals. So, in a nation of 300 million people, there were only 242 “violent” crimes against homosexuals, bisexuals or drag queens in 2007. This is no epidemic of hate and local law enforcement does not need intrusive federal intervention to deal with such a miniscule number of crimes.

    No Epidemic Of Hate Crimes Exists. H.R. 1913 falsely claims in Section 2, without any evidence, that “the incidence of violence motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability of the victim poses a serious national problem.”

    FBI statistics, 2007, show that out of a nation of 300 million, there were only 1,521 hate crimes directed against a person’s sexual orientation in 2007. The majority of these “crimes” involved name-calling and pushing or shoving a person. It is clear from FBI statistics that there is no epidemic of hate against homosexuals that needs federal involvement in local law enforcement.

    In fact, in analyzing FBI statistics, it is clear that anti-religious bias and racial bias are more serious issues than sexual orientation bias. Here’s a comparison of statistics on race, religion, and sexual orientation:

    Out of 4,956 racial incidents, 908 were anti-white; 3,424 were anti-African American; and the rest were bias crimes against other races.

    Out of 1,628 anti-religious bias crimes, 1,127 were against Jews; 142 against Muslims; 70 against Catholics; 67 against Protestants. The rest were against other religions.

    Homosexual activists are well-known for having staged a number of fake hate crimes throughout the years.

    For example, homosexual activists have claimed that a 72-year-old homosexual named Andrew Anthos of Detroit was attacked by an African-American man who called him a “faggot” and struck him in the head with a metal pipe, killing him. Police later learned that Anthos had not been the victim of a hate crime. He had fallen because of a severe arthritic condition in his neck. He was also mentally ill.

    In January, 2007, a homosexual student at Boise State University told police that a man had beaten him in the back of the head and swore at him. He later admitted to police that he’d faked the crime by using a stick and his fists to beat himself.

    The faking of hate crimes by homosexuals goes back years. In 2000, U.S. News & World Report columnist John Leo documented case after case of faked hate crimes by homosexuals. One involved Jerry Kennedy, a homosexual student at the University of Georgia. Kennedy reported to police that he’d been the victim of nine hate crimes over a three-year period – including three acts of arson. He later admitted faking these.

    The objective of LGBT activists is to gain sympathy for their gay agenda or the passage of pro-LGBT legislation such as H.R. 1913. If H.R. 1913 passes, we can expect a further flood of these phony hate crimes.

    Homosexual groups will provide false or misleading information to reporters on the extent of this alleged epidemic of hate – and they’ll organize candle-light vigils, put on plays and use other street theater antics to push their agenda. What is this agenda? It’s getting LGBT conduct to be given minority status protection under federal law – and to use this legislation to persecute anyone who criticizes LGBT behaviors.

    It is imperative that all people who know and understand the gravity of HR-1913 should call their Congressman and tell them to vote against this bill. If they don’t understand what the consequences of passing HR-1913 into law, send them a copy of this article or extract portions for a letter or fax to your representatives.

    Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California. His articles may be read at www.vincentgioia.com and he may be contacted at gioia@gte.net

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