Three months after a change to its denominational constitution went into effect, the Presbyterian Church-USA (PCUSA) ordained its first openly homosexual minister. Scott Anderson, 56, who had left the Presbyterian ministry back in 1990 after revealing to his California congregation that he was homosexual, “was welcomed back into the church leadership [October 9] as its first openly gay ordained minister,” reported the Associated Press.
Hundreds of friends and supporters gathered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, to witness the occasion. “To the thousands of Presbyterians who have worked and prayed for almost 40 years for this day, I give thanks,” Anderson told the crowd. “And I give thanks for those who disagree with what we’re doing today, yet who know that we are one in Jesus Christ.”
Anderson selected the Rev. Mark Achtemeier to deliver the sermon at his ordination. “Achtemeier used to be one of the most vocal opponents of gay ordination,” reported the AP, “but he announced a complete turnaround after friendships with gay Christians prompted him to re-evaluate scriptural teachings about homosexuality.”
Following a full-tilt campaign by a coalition of pro-family, anti-porn, and decency organizations, NBC made the decision to pull the plug on its highly promoted fall drama The Playboy Club. In its first cancellation of the season, the network made its move “less than 24 hours after the new series drew only 3.5 million people for its third episode,” reported Access Hollywood. The industry insider report noted that the ill-advised series “started weak, with 5 million viewers for its first episode, and didn’t improve.”
Even before its debut, reported by The New American, the show had come under an intense assault from a group called the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography, which charged that the show was little more than prime-time porn that should never be aired. The coalition was made up of such groups as Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association, among others, whose leaders issued a stern condemnation, declaring that “NBC is contributing to the sexual objectification and exploitation of women and encouraging greater acceptance of pornography with its soon-to-be-aired series.”
“When it comes to foreign policy, if you like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, you’ll love Mitt Romney.” That was the unspoken theme of a speech the former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential contender delivered Friday at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Inveighing against “crawl[ing] into an isolationist shell,” Romney offered instead a program of hyper-interventionism in which no problem anywhere in the world is too small or remote for Washington’s involvement.
Romney pledged to “devote [himself] to an American Century” in which “America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.” Romney issued his rather underwhelming economic plan a month ago. His proposal to strengthen the military by spending more money on it and deploying it in ever more far-flung locales, not by reducing its responsibilities — and therefore its costs — to those befitting a constitutional republic, is little more reassuring. As Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), one of Romney’s rivals for the GOP nomination, has long pointed out, excessive military spending is one of the causes of our nation’s economic woes. Like the Soviet Union in its dying days, Romney’s America would continue to burden the economy with diktats from the central government while pursuing a military buildup — a combination guaranteed to bankrupt the nation.
We’ve all heard about the tactic of using children as human shields, as practiced by Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and others. The idea is that you place civilians — preferably women and children — at military targets to reduce the chances that your enemy will attack and so that, if he does, he’ll look like a heartless miscreant who targets the least among us. Morally, it’s the least of tactics.
Yet while we Westerners have made the practice illegal under the Geneva Convention, it’s not unknown in the United States — in our political battles. In the 1990s especially, it became common to claim that all and sundry must support a given statist policy “for the children.” As an example, when Republican-backed welfare reform was instituted, Ted Kennedy called it “legislative child abuse.” And when President G.W. Bush threatened to veto an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 2007, Democrats brought children to a press conference on the matter and later had a 12-year-old SCHIP recipient read a heartstring-tugging Democrat radio address about the program.
The latest use of this tactic was by Texas Governor Rick Perry in the Florida Republican debate when he invoked the welfare of the children to justify his granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens.
One of the evil fruits of the tree of evolution is the idea of eugenics, the notion that human beings can be bred to perfection by the same methods used to breed perfect cattle. Since evolution itself reduces man to the level of animal, it is not surprising that eugenics was adopted by many leaders among the educational elite as the means of solving man’s social problems. But eugenics itself poses a problem: what does one mean by human perfection, and whose definition of perfection should be adopted?
The founder of the eugenics movement, Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), cousin of Charles Darwin, found his model of perfection in the British elite. But he was painfully aware that the birthrate of the elite was far lower than that of what he considered to be the inferior classes. In this he saw a great danger to civilization. He concluded that ways had to be found to encourage the fertility of the superior stock and to discourage the fertility of the inferior stock.
In order to determine which individuals had superior traits, Galton created an anthropometric laboratory in 1884 for the measurement of man, with the hope that by means of tests he could single out those individuals who should survive. However, Galton realized that physical measurements alone were not enough to determine the criteria he needed. He began searching for ways to investigate psychological differences.
Muslims are suspected of poisoning dogs in Spain because of the Islamic teaching that such pets are unclean, according to a report from Soeren Kern, an analyst with the Strategic Studies Group based in Madrid. Writing for the Hudson New York website, which studies international affairs and focuses on human rights and terrorism, Kern reported that authorities have found more than a dozen dogs poisoned in Catalonia in northeast Spain.
The battle in Lérida, he wrote, is between dog owners and Muslims, who think dogs trespass their religious rights.
Tensions are building in Georgia over a controversial new law which would restrict the rights of gun owners, and the judges of the 11th Circuit Court may be weighing precisely how many of the fundamental rights of the American people will be at stake when they issue their ruling in a case involving the right of licensed gun owners to carry their firearms with them to church.
GeorgiaCarry.org has played a significant role in the fight for the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Georgia, and it is a lawsuit by the organization’s attorneys which has brought a review of the law in front of the judges of the 11th Circuit Court. GeorgiaCarry has successfully used such court actions before in its effort to compel supposed "public servants" to actually abide by the laws of the state; as the group’s website notes:
Prior to July 1, 2008, the State of Georgia had many restrictions on where and how a law-abiding citizen could carry a firearm. Coupled with a law so vaguely and poorly written that determining where one could legally carry was extremely difficult, many citizens never bothered to obtain a Georgia Firearm License to exercise their rights.
Nearly half the American population lives in a household that receives a payment from the federal government. That’s the latest alarming news from the Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray, who tracks the federal subsidy programs for the newspaper. According to Murray, the number has steadily increased the last few years, and to some degree coincides with another datum: About half of Americans pay zero income tax.
Democrats in Wisconsin’s State Assembly have asked for the removal of a portrait of Governor Jeremiah Rusk, who in 1886 had ordered the state militia to keep peace during the Bay View Rolling Mill Strike. Seven people were killed during that strike, and labor unions in Wisconsin have gotten their Democrat friends in the legislature to push for taking Rusk’s picture down: "He ordered the National Guard to fire on people who were marching for an eight-hour workday, even though some of those marchers were children. He is the last person we should be honoring in the state Capitol."
John Jagler, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald replied: “We have bigger things to be talking about.”
Democrats are trying to link Governor Rusk’s actions 125 years ago to present Governor Scott Walker’s actions to limit what could be subject to collective bargaining for public employees’ unions. Representative Sinicki said: "When Governor Walker proposed his collective bargaining bill, instead of going to the table and trying to negotiate something, he bypassed that whole process and called out the National Guard because he knew there was going to be trouble on this. That is the way I feel about the Republican leadership right now."
Texas Congressman Ron Paul won the Values Voter Summit presidential straw poll October 8 with 37 percent of the vote, besting Herman Cain's 23 percent in a Christian right audience with his message of peace and limited government.
The libertarian-leaning Republican had barely registered in the 2010 Values Voter Summit, and certainly would not have been a favorite in this year's summit. The event was sponsored by the following Christian right organizations: the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, American Values (headed by Gary Bauer), and the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. The neo-conservative Heritage Foundation also co-sponsored the weekend event.
The Heritage Foundation has generally been a supporter of more foreign military interventionism, opposing cuts in military spending even though the United States currently spends almost as much on armaments as the rest of the world combined. This is the opposite of Ron Paul's platform, which calls for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and military spending cuts. Paul told the audience to wild cheers: