A significant change to the constitution of the liberal Presbyterian Church (USA) — (PCUSA) — took effect July 10 that allows practicing homosexuals to serve as clergy in the storied mainline denomination. Last year delegates to the PCUSA endorsed the change to drop the requirement, written in the church’s constitution, that church ministers live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The change required approval by a majority of the church’s 173 regional presbyteries, which occurred in May of this year, with Minnesota’s Twin Cities district casting the deciding vote. The change will still require the approval of individual presbyteries, and some districts have indicated that they will continue to prohibit openly homosexual ministers. As they have in other mainline denominations, homosexual activists have aggressively pushed for the PCUSA to endorse their lifestyle for the past decade or more, and more than 100 churches have left the denomination as it has increasingly compromised its scriptural position on sexuality.
Pills found on board a 2nd century B.C. shipwreck were packed with crushed carrots, parsley, onions, alfalfa, and other vegetable matter, conforming to the recipes contained in ancient medical treatises.   While the texts themselves were discovered long ago, the cache of ancient pharmaceuticals found onboard the sunken ancient vessel is the first time the medicines themselves have been found.   The definite usefulness of the medicines is as yet unknown, but archeologists believe that these pills were likely stored on board as part of an ancient “first aid kit” for use by sailors suffering from a variety of ailments.
Ron Bloom, President Obama’s former car czar, has been finding himself in hot water as of late. First, he has been called on by the House Oversight Committee to answer for actions he took and statements he made in the midst of the controversial auto bailout in 2009. Then, the same committee demanded that the czar explain his remarks of praise for Chinese dictator Mao Zedong and his clear affinity for violence in order to achieve particular goals, all of which were captured on video and aired on Fox News’ Glenn Beck Program. Conservative pundit Glenn Beck was one of the first major media outlets to expose car czar Ron Bloom for statements he made in praise of Mao Zedong’s violent tactics. Beck aired a video clip of Bloom issuing the statements in 2009. The same video clip also exposes Bloom as a staunch opponent of the free market system. The clip features Bloom making the following assertions:
Apparently, the Tea Party doesn’t count powerful campaign law firms among its ranks. Congresswoman and candidate for President Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has hired the same white-stockings legal team as Mitt Romney, her competitor and fellow GOP presidential hopeful. While Romney’s affinity for such establishment icons is predictable, Bachmann’s hiring of Patton Boggs, LLP is a bit of a country club choice, out of character for the darling of the Tea Party.   Patton Boggs focuses its practice on issues of governance and international trade. The redefining of the core constitutional principle of separation of powers is immaterial to the firm that boasts:
In-state tuition for illegal aliens in Maryland may go down in flames. Immigration patriots in the Old Line State have collected enough signatures on a petition to suspend Maryland’s DREAM Act and force a referendum in November 2012 on the giveaway to border jumpers. Last week, opponents of the bill submitted their signatures to election officials, who counted nearly 65,000 valid names, more than enough to force the vote. Leftist Democrats used the final hours of the 2011 legislative session to jam the bill down the throats of taxpayers. This time, taxpayers fought back. The state elections chief validated the signatures on July 7.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed into law a bill requiring voters to show some form of identification — such as a Social Security card or a birth certificate — before casting a ballot in 2012, and a photo identification card in 2014. If an individual does not have such a card, but qualifies for a photo ID, the state will provide this at no cost. At the signing, Chafee, the son of longtime Republican Sen. John Chafee, explained: Having reflected a great deal on this issue, I believe that requiring identification at the polling place is a reasonable request to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our elections.  Notably, I spoke with representatives of our state’s minority communities, and I found their concerns about voter fraud and their support for this bill particularly compelling.
Those on the conventional right incessantly lament the ignorance of history from which younger generations of Americans suffer. While it is true that Americans appear to know frighteningly little about their country’s past, perhaps this has something to do with the abuse to which the concept of history has been subjected.    The very concept of “history” is in an abysmal condition of neglect. For this, partisans from across the political spectrum are to blame. Much more frequently than not, when those on both the right and the left advocate the teaching of “history,” it isn’t a distinct, autonomous line of inquiry or discipline to which they want people exposed; rather, what they champion is the promotion of their respective political-moral visions under the guise of “history.” That this is so is readily born out by the titles of some of the more popular contemporary “history” books: A People’s History of America; The Last Best Hope; The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History; A Patriot’s History of The United States, etc.
Thirty percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, according to a recent Gallup survey. While nearly 50 percent agree that Scripture is “inspired” by God, only three in ten say that it should be interpreted literally. Another 17 percent say the Bible is merely an ancient book of stories recorded by man. According to Gallup, the view that the Bible is divinely inspired, but should not be taken literally, has been the most common opinion over the 40 years that the pollster has been querying Americans on the issue. Gallup noted that the “high point” in the number of Americans believing in the literal interpretation of Scripture was 40 percent in 1980 and 1984, with the low coming in 2001, when only 27 percent said they thought the Bible was the actual, literal word of God. With an increase in a respondent’s education, and with a decrease in one’s church attendance, a literal interpretation of the Bible goes down, found the Gallup pollsters. “A majority, 54%, of those who attend religious services on a weekly basis believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible,” noted Gallup, “more than twice the percentage of those who attend church less often.”
While other Transportation Security Administration employees were sticking their hands in other people’s pants, one of them was sticking other people’s property in his own pants, according to the Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s office. Police report that 30-year-old Nelson Santiago, a TSA screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, was spotted stuffing an iPad from a passenger’s luggage into his pants. Under questioning, they say, he admitted to having stolen “computers, GPS devices, and video cameras from luggage he was screening” over the past six months, according to Miami/Fort Lauderdale TV station WPLG. Detectives estimate that Santiago expropriated over $50,000 worth of electronics. Although the TSA, like most bureaucracies, is not known for its speed, police say Santiago proved to be a very fast worker indeed where his personal profit was concerned, taking photos of the stolen items with his cellphone and posting them online, where they would often sell even before his shift had ended.  
Planned Parenthood is under attack again, this time from one of the nation’s leading pro-life legal groups, Americans United for Life (AUL). Following a study of more than 20 years of Planned Parenthood records, law enforcement reports, and other evidence, the AUL has released an intensive, 181-page report detailing what it charges are large-scale financial irregularities and circumvention of state laws committed by the nation’s leading abortion provider. During 2008-09 Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in government contracts and grants, while its affiliates were responsible for performing more than 332,000 abortions. “Americans United for Life is calling for a congressional investigation and hearings into the nation’s largest abortion provider,” announced AUL president Charmaine Yoest with the release of the study. “This report provides the intellectual foundation for an investigation of Planned Parenthood, as well as revealing gaps in the information available to the American taxpayer, who is forced to subsidize the politically powerful abortion industry.”
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