Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homosexuals would get new protections under House bill

(AP) - Gay victims of violence would gain new federal protections under a revived and expanded hate crimes bill passed by the House on Wednesday over conservatives' objections.

Hate crimes—as defined by the bill—are those motivated by prejudice and based someone's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The bill, which passed 249-175, could provide a financial bonanza to state and local authorities, with grants for investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. The federal government could step in and prosecute if states requested it or declined to exercise their authority.

A weaker bill died two years ago under a veto threat from President George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama, in contrast, urged support, saying it would "enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association." Obama called for passage in the Senate, where Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is the chief sponsor.

The House bill added protections based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a supporter of the bill, contended it was protection for gays that drove the opposition.

"I wonder if our friends on the other side of the aisle would be singing the same offensive tune if we were talking about hate crimes based on race or religion," she said, referring to Republican opponents. "It seems to me it is the category of individuals that they are offended by, rather than the fact that we have hate crimes laws at all."

She then recounted cases where gay people were victims of violence.

The issue was personal for openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who said the bill would protect "people like me." He said he wasn't asking for approval from people with whom he didn't want to associate.

Answering those who said the protections were not needed, Frank quoted Chico Marx, one of the Marx Brothers comedy team, from the movie "Duck Soup": "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Current law only permits federal prosecutions against crimes based on race, religion, color or national origin—and only when the victims are engaged in federally protected activity such as voting.

The bill aroused the ire of conservative religious groups and pastors. Several Republicans argued those leaders could face criminal charges for speaking out against homosexuality or, at the very least, would be reluctant to state their views.

Full Story

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse

Fear of an imminent, potentially devastating flu pandemic is sweeping the globe.

A multistrained swine flu has infected nearly 2,000 people in Mexico, it is believed, killing up to 149 as of Monday just in that one country. According to authorities, this flu is an animal strain of the H1N1 virus that killed around 50 million people in 1918.

The United States declared a state of emergency on the weekend when at least 20 people were identified with the virus. Cases have also been identified in Canada, New Zealand and Spain. European Union Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou went so far as to warn EU citizens against traveling to America or Mexico. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, warned that the virus has “pandemic potential” and is a “public health event of international concern.”

“We have determined that this virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on its website. In Mexico City, the government has canceled all public events, from ministerial speaking engagements to rock concerts. Schools have been closed and millions have been cautioned against going to work. Soldiers and police have handed out 2 million face masks in the city.

For those familiar with Bible prophecy, the sea of face-masked people in Mexico City and widespread fear of a global flu pandemic brings to mind the image of the pale, or sickly, horse of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as described by the Apostle John in the book of Revelation.

The first three horsemen of the apocalypse symbolize religious deception, war, and famine. Along with the fourth horseman, pestilence, these riders represent the end-time culmination of the most traumatic problems endured by a rebellious mankind. They picture one of the most ominous scenarios ever.

“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7-8).

The key to the identity of the last horseman is the word pale, which often makes us think of someone who is feeling sick, having an anemic-looking appearance. Pale is translated from the Greek chloros, which we would normally take to mean the color of chlorophyll, the property that gives plants their healthy green appearance. When used biblically, however, chloros means the sickly pale green color of sickness and disease.

In Matthew 24, Christ the Revelator unlocks the true identity of this pale green horse: “and there shall be … pestilences” (verse 7). The man on the pale horse symbolizes climactic, globe-encircling plagues and pandemics occurring and soon to occur in this modern age!

Full article here

Toddler in Texas becomes 1st swine flu death in US

HOUSTON – A 23-month-old toddler in Texas became the first confirmed swine flu death outside of Mexico as authorities around the world struggled to contain a growing global health menace that has also swept Germany onto the roster of afflicted nations. Officials say the death was in Houston.

Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Houston Health and Human Services Department, said Wednesday that the child had traveled with family from Mexico to Brownsville in South Texas. The child became ill in Brownsville and was taken to a Houston hospital and died Monday night, she said.

"Even though we've been expecting this, it is very, very sad," Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday of the infant's death. "As a pediatrician and a parent, my heart goes out to the family."

President Barack Obama said this morning that Americans should know the government is doing all it can to control virus. Obama also says schools should consider closing if the spread of the swine flu virus worsens.

Canada, Austria, New Zealand, Israel, Spain, Britain and Germany also have reported cases of swine flu sickness. Deaths reported so far have been limited to Mexico, and now the U.S.

As the United States grappled with this widening health crisis, Besser went from network to network Wednesday morning to give an update on what the Obama administration is doing. He said authorities essentially are still "trying to learn more about this strain of the flu." His appearances as Germany reported its first cases of swine flu infection, with three victims.

Full story

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Judiciary Committee greenlights 'hate crimes' Members refuse to protect Christian pastors from charges

Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today rejected an opportunity to protect Christian pastors who preach the biblical condemnation of homosexuality and approved on a 15-12 vote a "hate crimes" bill that supporters admit could be used to bring charges against religious leaders.

The bill, H.R. 1913, now will be considered by the full House of Representatives.

The committee rejected a number of amendments offered by several members seeking to protect religious liberty, to protect the unborn, to protect against violence by illegal aliens, and to clarify the bill's meanings of "gender identity" and "sexual orientation."

One of the rejected proposals was offered by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, who sought to ensure ministers could not be prosecuted for abetting a "hate crime" simply because they preach from the Bible or another religious book.

When a nearly identical plan was developed in the last Congress, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., admitted during a hearing on the bill it could be used to prosecute pastors merely for preaching under the premise that they could be "inducing" violence in someone.

Story continues here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mexico hit by 6.0 magnitude earthquake: USGS

Mexico was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS said the quake hit 19 miles south-southeast of Tixtla, Guerrero, about 150 miles south of the capital, Mexico City. It was 25.6 miles deep.

Buildings in the capital shook.

Quakes of this magnitude are classified as strong and are capable of causing severe damage.

The USGS earlier reported the quake measured 5.8.

Link to article

China backs Syria's quest to recover Golan

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi wrapped up a regional Middle East visit in Damascus on Sunday saying Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria.

"China supports Syria's efforts to recover the Golan," which Israel seized during the 1967 war and annexed in 1981, Yang told reporters during a joint news conference with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

While Yang was visiting Syria, a split appeared on Sunday within the Israeli government of hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu on possible peace negotiations with Syria.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel had an interest in holding talks with Damascus, in an apparent rebuke to comments made by firebrand Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"Israel has an interest in normalising its relations with Syria while protecting its vital interests," Barak told reporters in Jerusalem ahead of Israel's weekly cabinet meeting.

"Negotiations with Syria should always be part of the Israeli government's agenda," he said.

Lieberman said in an interview published on Saturday that Syria's support of Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups made it no partner for peace.

"We need to look at the reality. Until today, Syria is hosting the headquarters of terror organisations such as Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad," he told the Berliner Zeitung daily, referring to radical Palestinian groups.

Full Article

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Zeland students in swine flu scare

Health Minister Tony Ryall has this evening confirmed ten positive influenza results from testing carried out on 13 Rangitoto College students who returned from Mexico early yesterday morning.

"Ministry of Health officials advise me there is no guarantee these students have swine influenza, but they consider it likely. All precautions are being taken to allow for this. However, I am also informed none of the affected patients are considered seriously ill, and most in fact seem to be on the road to recovery," said Tony Ryall.

"I am advised ten students have tested positive for Influenza A, and these results will now be sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Melbourne to ascertain whether it is the H1N1 swine influenza."

H1N1 influenza is a subset of influenza A.

A timeline when those results will be available will be advised, however it is expected given the global situation that they will be treated with considerable urgency.

Other passengers on NZ1, the flight the Rangitoto College students returned on, are encouraged to consult with their GP or other health professional if they develop flu-like symptoms.

Article Here

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mexico bid to contain deadly flu

Mexican authorities have closed schools and public buildings in the capital in a bid to contain a new flu virus suspected of killing up to 60 people.

Public events were suspended and residents donned face masks as concern grew over the outbreak.

Health experts say tests so far seem to link it with a new swine flu virus that sickened eight in the southern US.

The World Health Organization's head flew urgently to Geneva to oversee the agency's handling of the outbreak.

Margaret Chan curtailed her visit to Washington to return to WHO's headquarters where an emergency committee would likely convene in the coming hours.

The WHO said it had prepared "rapid containment measures" in case they were needed.

"We are very, very concerned," said WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham.

"We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human. It's all hands on deck at the moment."

The WHO is also sending its top experts to Mexico and the US to work with the local officials.

Article Link

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seven people in U.S. hit by strange new swine flu

Seven people have been diagnosed with a new kind of swine flu in California and Texas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

All seven people have recovered but the virus itself is a never-before-seen mixture of viruses typical among pigs, birds and humans, the CDC said.

"We are likely to find more cases," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told a telephone briefing. "We don't think this is time for major concern around the country."

Only one of the seven cases was sick enough to be hospitalized and all have recovered, Schuchat said.

CDC officials are unsure whether the cases are related to an unusually late and severe flu season in Mexico in which 20 people have died.

Link To Article

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Netanyahu to offer U.S. three-part plan for peace talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is developing a "laundry list" that he will present to U.S. President Barack Obama when they meet next month in Washington. The Israeli premier will present Obama with a three-part plan involving halting Iran's nuclear program, closer relations with moderate Arab states and dealing with the Palestinian issue through several channels.

Netanyahu will tell Obama that he will not recognize a nation-state providing Palestinian self-determination if the Palestinians don't recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. From the standpoint of the Israeli prime minister, the requirement that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a fundamental demand in any negotiations on a final settlement. It is not a precondition to conducting negotiations, but rather necessary to progress towards an agreement.

During the course of negotiations to form his coalition government, Netanyahu revealed that the Olmert government demanded recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in its talks with the Palestinians, but withdrew that demand within just 24 hours because of opposition from the Palestinian negotiators. Netanyahu intends to stop the erosion of the fundamental Israeli positions, as was his position during his prior term as prime minister following the Oslo Accords.

Full Story

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fertility expert: 'I can clone a human being'

A controversial fertility doctor claimed yesterday to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies.

The cloning was recorded by an independent documentary film-maker who has testified to The Independent that the cloning had taken place and that the women were genuinely hoping to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purposes of human reproduction.

Panayiotis Zavos has broken the ultimate taboo of transferring cloned embryos into the human womb, a procedure that is a criminal offence in Britain and illegal in many other countries. He carried out the work at a secret lab-oratory, probably located in the Middle East where there is no cloning ban. Dr Zavos, a naturalised American, also has fertility clinics in Kentucky and Cyprus, where he was born. His patients – three married couples and a single woman – came from Britain, the United States and an unspecified country in the Middle East.

Full Article Here

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that potential losses from the credit crunch could reach $4 trillion (£2.75tn) and damage the financi

t says that even if urgent action is taken to clean up the banking system, the process will be "slow and painful", delaying economic recovery.

It says that banks may need $1.7 trillion in additional capital.

And it warns that the cost of the bail-out will hit UK government finances.

It estimates that the total costs of bailing out the UK banking will add 13.4% to total government debt, or around £200bn - compared to 12.1% in the US and 13.9% in Ireland.

But a Treasury spokesman told the BBC that the IMF forecast was "very high" and took no account of the fees paid by the banks.

He added that the Budget "will make a prudent provision for potential losses from banking interventions".

Tory shadow chancellor George Osborne said the IMF figures showed the "potentially massive cost of Gordon Brown's utter failure to regulate the banking system".


* The banks' huge losses have made them reluctant to lend
* The lack of lending has pushed the world economy into a deep recession
* Government budgets are strained by the cost of the bail-outs, hitting taxpayers

Full Story here

Monday, April 20, 2009

'Hate crimes' bill - bad news for believers

A vote is looming this week in Congress on a bill that one conservative activist warns would not only silence Christian opposition to homosexuality, but also would legitimize deviant forms of "sexual orientation."

A markup vote is expected Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee on the Local Law Enforcement and Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. House Democrats only have to give 24-hours notice before the vote. The measure (H.R. 1913) sponsored by Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) would add homosexuals and transgender people to the list of classes federally protected from so-called "hate crimes."

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, says the bill is a serious threat to religious freedom.

"Your pastor could be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a hate crime if it passes and become law," she warns. "This 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 pastors -- you name it -- or anyone else whose actions are based upon and reflect the truth found in the Bible."

TVC says H.R. 1913 broadly defines "intimidation" -- and offers up this example: "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 'sexual orientation.'" Under those circumstances, says the group, the pastor could be prosecuted for "conspiracy to commit a hate crime."

The legislation has another "serious problem," the pro-family group says, because Congress has failed to define the term "sexual orientation." Consequently, says TVC, 30 sexual orientations (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association) will "arguably be protected" under the legislation. "Those 30 sexual orientations include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states or can result in death," notes the group's website.

In addition, TVC argues the bill is based on a fraudulent premise: that there is an epidemic of so-called "hate crimes" against "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" persons that needs federal involvement for local law enforcement officials.

Lafferty says unless Christians in America act, the hate crimes bill could be on President Obama's desk in three to four weeks at the most.

Full story

Sunday, April 19, 2009

G8 set out to fight famine, war, pestilence and death

It is a crisis of almost biblical proportions. With almost one billion people living with permanent hunger, ministers from the world's largest producers and consumers of food meet in Italy this weekend to avert a permanent food crisis on an unprecedented scale. A report prepared by the G8 for its first ever Food Summit meeting warns of "structural" problems in world food markets that risk war and famine – unless food output is doubled in 20 years: "Immediate interventions" are required.

This weekend the first meeting of the G8's agriculture ministers will be held in the north Italian province of Treviso. They will be joined by their counterparts from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Australia and Egypt. Food security and measures to boost farming output will be at the top of their agenda.

Full story

Saturday, April 18, 2009

'IAF preparing to strike Iran at several hours' notice'

The IAF is preparing for the possibility that it will need to attack Iran's nuclear facilities at several hours' notice, The London Times reported Saturday.

According to an unnamed Israel security official quoted by the paper, "Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours."

"They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality," the source said. "The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words."

According to the paper, such an attack would involve strikes on over a dozen targets, including the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, the uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, the heavy water plant in Arak, as well as moving convoys.

Full Story

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jesus Missing From Obama's Georgetown Speech

Amidst all of the American flags and presidential seals, there was something missing when President Barack Obama gave an economic speech at Georgetown University this week -- Jesus.

The White House asked Georgetown to cover a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name in Gaston Hall, which Obama used for his speech, according to

The gold "IHS" monogram inscribed on a pediment in the hall was covered over by a piece of black-painted plywood, and remained covered over the next day, reported.

The Washington Times' Belief Blog asked the university about the presidential request:

Julie Bataille from the university's press office e-mailed me that the White House had asked that all university signage and symbols behind the stage in Gaston Hall be covered.

"The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches," she wrote. "Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn't high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context."

Full Story

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why call Americans 'extremists?' DHS asked

The Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich., says it has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Homeland Security demanding why it calls Americans who oppose abortion, support 2nd Amendment gun rights and dislike lax immigration law enforcement "extremists."

"This is not an intelligence report but a diatribe against those who oppose the policies of the Obama administration," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the organization.

"It is a declaration of war against the American people and our constitution. It is a prelude to extreme gun control legislation and hate speech laws targeting Christian churches and others who oppose abortion and same sex marriage," he continued. "The federal government should be focusing its attention on the 35 radical Muslim compounds in the U.S. training its followers on how to kidnap and kill Americans."

Full Story

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Most U.S. Christians Don't Believe Satan, Holy Spirit Exist

The majority of American Christians do not believe that Satan is a real being or that the Holy Spirit is a living entity, the latest Barna survey found.

Nearly six out of ten Christians either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement that Satan "is not a living being but is a symbol of evil," the survey found.

Forty percent strongly agreed with the statement while 19 percent of American Christians somewhat agreed.

In contrast, about 35 percent of American Christians believe Satan is real. Twenty-six percent strongly disagreed with the statement that Satan is merely symbolic and about one-tenth (9 percent) somewhat disagreed.

The remaining eight percent of American Christians responded they were unsure what to believe about the existence of Satan.

The remaining eight percent of American Christians responded they were unsure what to believe about the existence of Satan.

Interestingly, the majority of Christians believe a person can be under the influence of spiritual forces, such as demons or evil spirits, even though many of these same people believe Satan is merely a symbol of evil. Two out of three Christians agreed that such forces are real (39 percent agreed strongly, 25 percent agreed somewhat).

More than one-fifth (22 percent) strongly agreed that Jesus Christ sinned when He lived on earth, with an additional 17 percent agreeing somewhat.

The Barna report is based on telephone interviews for two surveys among people who described themselves as Christians. A total of 1,871 adults were randomly selected from across the 48 continental states, with the first 873 interviews conducted in January and February 2008, and the remaining 998 interviews conducted in November 2008.

Link to story


Tax day brings tea party day for protests nationwide

You’re invited to an afternoon tea party — and not the raised-pinkie, one-lump-or-two variety, either.

Try a Boston Harbor, sneak over the bow, throw-stuff-in-the water populist protest against the federal government.

Today in Kansas City, and 2,000 other communities large and small across America, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather to mimic the Boston Tea Party, arguing for an end to deficit spending, lower taxes and a reduced government role in the economy.

“You can’t spend all this money, most of which we do not have,” said Carl Bearden, a former state lawmaker helping organize Missouri tea parties.

They’re marching. They’re sending tea bags to Congress, creating something of a mess in post offices. And on the day millions of taxpayers drop their returns into the mailbox, they intend to be heard.

“There’s concern among the American people about this debt, about our deficit,” said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Missouri Republican. “I lose sleep every night worrying about what I’m laying on my children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, we’re in a bad state right now.”

Full Story

Are you planning on attending?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Undeterred, Somali Pirates Hijack 3 More Ships

MOMBASA, Kenya — Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed seven bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked three more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the key waterway that's become the focal point of the world's fight against piracy.

The latest trophy for the pirates was the M.V. Irene E.M., a Greek-managed bulk carrier sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

The Irene was attacked and seized in the middle of the night Tuesday — a rare tactic for the pirates.

U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Irene was flagged in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and carried 23 Filipino crew. Choong reported a crew of 21, and there was no immediate way to reconcile the figures.

A maritime security contractor, speaking on condition of anonymity because it is a sensitive security issue, said the ship put out a distress signal "to say they had a suspicious vessel approaching. That rapidly turned into an attack and then a hijacking."

"They tried to call in support on the emergency channels, but they never got any response," the contractor said

On Monday, Somali pirates also seized two Egyptian fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast, according to Egypt's Foreign Ministry, which said there were 18 to 24 Egyptians onboard at the time.

Choong said pirate attacks this year had risen to 77, with 18 of those ships hijacked and 16 vessels with 285 crew still remaining in pirates' hands. Each boat carries the potential of million-dollar ransom.

Story here

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ever so quietly, 'hate crimes' legislation re-introduced

A Texas Republican is speaking out against "hate crimes" laws, arguing they could be used to intimidate and prosecute pastors to preach the full counsel of God.

Hate crimes laws -- recently re-introduced in Congress as H.R. 1913 -- could be used to attack Christians and pastors, just as has been done in Canada. Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) spoke about it on the House floor, saying the misunderstanding is on the part of homosexuals.

"Many people do not understand the Christian heart because they just don't like people that disagree with them," stated Gohmert. "Whereas the true Christian heart can disagree with people and love them, love them deeply, and be willing to give their lives for them."

The lawmaker went on to say that the proposal is an unfair law, and that an amendment to supposedly correct the injustice was defeated. Gohmert explained why.

"We are not going to protect religious speech because you can go after a minister who says relations outside of a marriage of a man and a woman [are] wrong," he suggested. "Someone goes out after hearing that, shoots somebody, and then [argues] 'The preacher told me it was wrong. That's what induced me to do that -- the sermons, the Bible teachings, what not.'"

Full Story

Warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months

PAKISTAN could collapse within months, one of the more influential counter-insurgency voices in Washington says.

The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now," said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who was a specialist adviser for the Bush administration and is now a consultant to the Obama White House.

Full Story

Wake Up America Prophecy Conference Little Rock-April 18th

Terry James will be featured speaker as well as five other top prophecy teacers. The event will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2009, at the Embassy Suites Hotel which is located at 11301 Financial Centre Parkway Little Rock, Arkansas

Call 1-800-652-1144, or go to for further details.
The conference is free and no registration is required.

Looks like it will be a very informative event!

Vermont Considers Legalizing Teen 'Sexting'

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Legislature is considering a bill that would legalize so-called "sexting" between teenagers.

Sexting refers to the exchange of explicit photos and videos via mobile phone. Under current laws, participants can be charged with child pornography, but lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize the consensual exchange of graphic images between two people 13 to 18 years old. Passing along such images to others would remain a crime.

Supporters told The Burlington Free Press they don't want to condone the behavior but they don't think teenagers should be prosecuted as sex offenders for consensual conduct.

The bill passed the state Senate earlier this month. The House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on it this week.

Story link

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pope warns of 'a desert of godlessness' in Good Friday address

Pope Benedict XVI last night attacked the rise of aggressive secularism in Western societies, warning them that they risked drifting into a 'desert of godlessness'.

He used his Good Friday meditations to compare deliberate attempts to remove religion from public life to the mockery of Jesus Christ by the mob as he was led out to be crucified.

'Religious sentiments' were increasingly ranked among the 'unwelcome leftovers of antiquity' and 'held up to scorn and ridicule', he added.

We are shocked to see to what levels of brutality human beings can sink,' said the Pope at an evening ceremony at the Coliseum in Rome.

'Jesus is humiliated in new ways even today when things that are most holy and profound in the faith are being trivialised, the sense of the sacred is allowed to erode. 'Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are laughed at and thrown overboard. Jesus continues to be ridiculed.'

The German-born Pope, who turns 82 later this month, prayed Christians would respond by growing in faith.

Article here

Mohler: America a mission field

Addressing the topic on his daily radio show, Dr. Albert Mohler, who was quoted in the Newsweek article, says Christians must take every opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"It's easier to have an honest conversation with someone about Christianity who knows that he or she is not a Christian, than [to have a conversation with] someone who thinks they are because of some vague, family tie or cultural kind of alliance or allegiance," he says. "But we're now looking at an America that knows itself to be increasingly secular."

Another challenge, says Mohler, is how many people view Christianity. Many, he believes, see Christianity as merely a moral system.

"[T]here are too many Christians who think that the way to influence the culture is, first of all, to bring our moral understanding to bear -- as if that's our first message. And of course it isn't -- our first message is the gospel. What people need first and foremost is the gospel."

Dr. Mohler urges Christians to view America as a mission field.

Article link

Friday, April 10, 2009

The meaning of Easter

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld The meaning of Easter
Posted: April 10, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

The American holiday calendar commemorates religious, patriotic and secular events. The year starts with New Year's Day and ends in a blaze of light and music with Christmas, celebrating the birth of the most important person in history, Jesus Christ.

Indeed, the religious holidays memorialize the life of Jesus, which is honored differently by Protestants and Catholics. Actually, there are three calendars intertwined in the American calendar: the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish.

But there is one holiday in which the three calendars converge: Easter. The Jewish holiday of Passover is an important part of the life of Jesus Christ, whose momentous Last Supper was a celebration of Passover. From there the Son of God went to His crucifixion, and from there He was laid in a tomb where he was resurrected. At Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His Ascension to heaven.

But Easter has been so thoroughly secularized that most Americans see and enjoy it as a celebration of spring in Hollywood images, culminating in the colorful Easter Parade on New York's Fifth Avenue. And for the little ones, there are the Easter bunnies and Easter eggs. Indeed, it is a joyous time among Christians the world over.

But it is also the most important day in Christendom, for without the Resurrection there could be no Christian religion that offers salvation, forgiveness of sin and life after death. There could be no Christianity without the Son of God, for it was the miracle of the Resurrection and Ascension that affirmed the divinity of Christ.

Full article

Hebrew Exodus Evidence Found?

A Haifa University archaeologist on Monday said he has unearthed structures in the shape of human feet believed to have been erected by the Israelites upon their initial entry to the Land of Canaan.

Prof. Adam Zertal said that the large compounds discovered in the Jordan Valley were "the first sites to have been built by the Israelites upon entering Canaan and manifest the biblical notion of claiming ownership of the land by setting feet on it."

Prof. Zertal's excavation team uncovered five large foot-shaped compounds that he identifies as the biblical site of Gilgal.

Most contemporary archaeologists do not consider the Israelite Exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Israel to be verifiable historical events. Zertal is one of the few Israeli archaeologists who claim to have found archaeological evidence supporting the Israelite entrance to Canaan.

Full article here

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Polio pidemic Spreads Through Africa/Dengue outbreak in Argentina

Polio pidemic Spreads Through Africa
Polio is once again on the rise in Africa, according to the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva. The disease has spread from Nigeria and the south of Sudan to 15 other African countries, including Angola, Uganda and Congo where the disease had been eradicated last year. The Red Cross is pumping 1.6 million euros into a vaccination campaign to curb the epidemic and says that earlier immunisation programmes were effective.

Article here

Dengue outbreak in Argentina now 'epidemic'

Health Minister Graciela Ocana said Wednesday that a dengue outbreak in the country has worsened to an epidemic, as nearly 8,000 people are officially reported to be infected with the disease.-Authorities say Argentina's worst outbreak since the disease reappeared in the country in 1997 is linked to an epidemic in neighboring Bolivia, which has registered 51,000 cases.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crown of Thorns' Galaxy Photographed in Space

An unusual large galaxy with a shape bordering between spiral and elliptical has been spotted by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

NGC 7049 sits in the southern constellation Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies, which provide excellent opportunities for astronomers to study the elusive globular clusters lurking within.

The halo, a ghostly region of diffuse light surrounding the galaxy, is composed of myriads of individual stars and provides a luminous background to the swirling ring of dust lanes surrounding NGC 7049's

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The heavens declare His glory!!

The End of Christian America

The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.

According to the American Religious Identification Survey that got Mohler's attention, the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent. The Jewish population is 1.2 percent; the Muslim, 0.6 percent. A separate Pew Forum poll echoed the ARIS finding, reporting that the percentage of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith has doubled in recent years, to 16 percent; in terms of voting, this group grew from 5 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2008—roughly the same percentage of the electorate as African-Americans. (Seventy-five percent of unaffiliated voters chose Barack Obama, a Christian.) Meanwhile, the number of people willing to describe themselves as atheist or agnostic has increased about fourfold from 1990 to 2009, from 1 million to about 3.6 million. (That is about double the number of, say, Episcopalians in the United States.)

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This is a four page article, but one I think is worth reading. It saddened me to read it but I believe it is something that had to happen for the future events mentioned in the Bible to take place. Forgive us Father for turning away from you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White House confirms it got 2 million red envelopes

The White House mail office has confirmed it received a "deluge" of as many as 2.25 million red envelopes symbolizing the empty promise of lives snuffed out in abortion in a massive campaign that was larger than most White House mailing movements in the last 35 years.

White House mail worker "Steve" has handled letters for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for more than three decades. Every single package and letter destined for the White House goes through his office.

Asked if he has seen a flood of red envelopes bound for the White House, Steve chuckled.

"Uh, yes," he said emphatically. "Believe me, they made it here." Steve said while Obama has been occupied in Europe, his administration has noticed millions of red envelopes on behalf of aborted children.

"Quite frankly, here was definitely a deluge of mail coming through," he laughed. "I had to handle them all."

"I've been here 35 years, so I've seen presidents come and go," Steve told WND. "This campaign ranks up there with the big ones."

The Red Envelope Project is an idea sparked in the mind and prayers of a Massachusetts man, Christ Otto, who envisioned in January thousands of red envelopes sent to the White House, a visual expression of moral outrage over the president's position on abortion.....

From WorldNetDaily

Monday, April 6, 2009

Italy Quake: Fears Death Toll Could Pass 100

Rescuers are still searching for survivors as dozens of aftershocks continue to plague the area hampering their efforts.

TV footage showed rescuers racing away from the rubble of a ruined house as a tremor hit, sending masonry flying.

Gianfranco Fini, speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament, said entire towns had been "virtually destroyed" with 15,000 buildings off limits.

The epicentre was close to the city of L'Aquila in the centre of Italy, about 100 miles northeast of Rome.

The village of Onna, close to L'Aquila, was "wiped off the map" with no houses left standing, according to one emergency official.

In the fields outside, row after row of coffins were lined up and officials said at least 50 of the 400 inhabitants are dead.

The tremor struck at just after 3.30am local time and measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cancelled a visit to Moscow and immediately flew to the scene, calling the area a "disaster zone".

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Christ's sufficiency in troubled times

All around us, people are hurting.

In February, unemployment rates rose in all of the nation's largest metropolitan areas for the second straight month, with the national jobless rate predicted to climb to 10 percent by year's end.

Residents along the Red River have witnessed floodwaters rising to the highest levels in more than a century, with thousands of inhabitants having to flee their homes. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, "It is a horrible human tragedy to watch this."

There are countless examples of people around us who are experiencing great emotional, physical and/or spiritual pain.

Christian friend, only Jesus can take what is broken and put it together. I frequently meet with people who are hurting, and I can offer my words, prayers and even actions to help – but Jesus can do so much more. Christ alone is able to walk into a seemingly destitute situation and fill it with His joy and gladness. Can't you imagine the elation of the widow when Jesus raised her only son! That joy is not limited to her and a select few!

Finally, I want to remind you that when Jesus works in your life as He did in the widow's life, He will use you to tell the world what He has done for you. Don't think that your troubles serve no useful purpose, because God can and will receive great glory from your life. He desires for us to tell others what He has done to conquer our destitute situations and our destitute state of the soul.

The truth is this: When you are destitute, God is your answer; He desires to reveal Himself to be everything you need. And through you, the world can see that Jesus is more than enough.

Full article here

Blair steps up fight to be crowned first 'President of EU'

Tony Blair has emerged as the leading candidate to become the first permanent president of the European Union after Gordon Brown gave his grudging blessing to the plan. The former prime minister has stepped up his campaign for the job, which he wants to use to build a bridge between Europe and the new Obama administration.

His return to the global stage would be a shock to his critics over the Iraq war and dismay many in Europe.

But The Independent on Sunday has learnt that Mr Brown has accepted that his old rival should be in pole position for the appointment, on the basis that Britain needs to have a key figure in the architecture of the "new world order".

A senior British official said: "He [Brown] will have to swallow hard to sit down in meetings once again with Blair. But he accepts that there needs to be someone from the UK in the new global architecture. There is no opposition to the plan. Things have moved on, people have moved on."

Other European leaders are also broadly supportive because they want a high-profile figure to represent the 27-nation bloc in the new alliance with the US administration. Mr Blair remains a popular figure in the US.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pakistani Taliban Chief Claims Responsibility for NY Shooting Rampage

Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday responsibility for an attack on a US immigration centre in New York state in which 13 people were killed.

"I accept resonsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to US drone attacks," Mehsud told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. A man armed with two handguns killed 13 people at an immigration services centre before apparently turning the gun on himself, authorities in Binghamton, New York, said. Representative Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton, told the New York Times that indications are thegunman was an immigrant from Vietnam.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Speaking out on the 'Day of Silence'

A family advocate is encouraging parents to keep their children home during the "Day of Silence."

The Day of Silence will take place in junior and senior high schools across America on April 17. David Smith, the executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, explains what the Day of Silence is all about.

"Well, often students take a vow of silence on this day to protest perceived or real injustices against students who are homosexual, self-identify as being homosexual, bi-sexual, transgender or -- I'm sure there is another acronym out there, too -- but anyway, those students who are perceived or self-identify as that, they take a vow of silence," he says.

Smith notes schools handle the event in different ways. Some choose not to participate, some allow students to participate outside of class, while others will have teachers who participate in the classroom.

"Now we object to the ones who are doing it in class, disrupting school time, because it is a tacit endorsement, an approval, of this political protest," he contends.

The family advocate encourages parents to find out if their child's school is participating in the event, and if so, to keep their children home on that day. "We're asking you to first complain about it, and then consider pulling your child out for the day," he adds. "We're calling it the 'Day of Silence Walk Out.' In fact, there is a website [called]"

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will

In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

History teaches Jews that threats against their collective existence should be taken seriously, and, if possible, preempted, he suggested. In recent years, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has regularly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.....

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Empty envelopes, meaty message

Hundreds of thousands of red envelopes are on their way to Washington -- and there's nothing in them.

During prayer last January, Christ Otto had a vision of a huge number of red envelopes on the White House doorsteps. He shares that that spurred him on to do something on behalf of unborn children.

"The purpose of The Red Envelope Project is to send a non-political message to the president regarding the area of abortion through empty red envelopes -- each envelope representing one child who died in an abortion," he explains.

Otto says he knows of at least 1.3 million envelopes that have been sent already, and can only estimate how many were sent on red-letter day, the target day of the campaign. "My guess is that it will be several million [envelopes]," he comments.

It all started by word of mouth, then Facebook space and blogs were devoted to it -- all of which is an indication of what grassroots can do to impact an issue, he points out. The one final step Otto asks people to take is prayer.

"Pray for the president," he urges. "And I encourage people to pray The Life Prayer that goes: Jesus, I plead your blood over my sin and the sin of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America."

Full story here