A federal judge has ruled that individuals who signed a petition seeking the repeal of a 2009 Washington State law expanding homosexual partnerships have no right to keep their names private. The ruling prompted fears that radical homosexuals will follow through on promised retaliation against the individuals.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle ruled October 17 that Protect Marriage Washington (PMW), the conservative, pro-family group that had organized the petition drive, had not demonstrated “serious and widespread threats, harassment, or reprisals against the signers of R-71, or even that such activity would be reasonably likely to occur upon the publication of their names and contact information.”
Referendum 71, which would have overturned the Washington law that gave domestic partners all the rights of married couples, was ultimately rejected by state voters by a 53 to 47 percent margin. “In the weeks after the referendum, several groups requested copies of the R-71 petition, which Protect Marriage used to place the referendum on the ballot,” reported Courthouse News. “The initiative’s conservative supporters sued Washington in 2009 to keep the names of 137,000 people who signed its petition secret, saying the release under the Washington’s Public Records Act violated their civil rights and there was a ‘reasonable probability’ that signees would be harassed.”
Newt Gingrich emerged as the winner of the October 22 Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum, if measured by the level of audience applause. The Christian-right audience gave the thrice-married Gingrich several rounds of loud applause and an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of his address.
Gingrich — a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who began the presidential race with a devastating resignation by much of his campaign staff — had been judged not a viable candidate. He was even parodied several times on Saturday Night Live as a "curio from a bygone era." Yet Gingrich has gradually risen in the polls after performing well in recent debates, and has been scoring in the high single digits in national polls in recent weeks.
The national Faith and Freedom Coalition is run by former Pat Robertson functionary Ralph Reed, who served as head of Robertson's Christian Coalition. Both the Christian Coalition and the Faith and Freedom Coalition focus upon social issues such as the sanctity of marriage, abortion, and opposing the homosexual agenda.
The additional irony of the strong crowd enthusiasm for Gingrich (other than his personal life) is that the former House Speaker's record is far from the conservative crowd's well-known small government preferences. Gingrich's record has proven he's no friend of limited government, even though much of his rhetoric sounds good. As a Congressman, Gingrich voted with President Jimmy Carter to create the U.S.
Where does Herman Cain stand on abortion? In an October 19 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, the GOP presidential candidate managed to paint himself into a corner on the issue, causing some conservative voters who had supported him to wonder if the self-described pro-life candidate is really subtly pro-choice.
Cain began the interview solidly enough, answering Morgan’s query, “What’s your view of abortion?” by declaring: “I believe that life begins at conception, and abortion under no circumstances.”
But then things began to go badly. Feigning disbelief at Cain’s response, Morgan baited the rookie politician, wondering, “No circumstance?” adding, “… because some of your fellow candidates qualify that — rape and incest, and so on. Are you honestly saying that … if one of your female children, grandchildren was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?”
Cain told Morgan that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” Using rhetoric that pro-life observers said made him sound like an abortion activist, Cain added that “it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. Whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”
The Vatican on October 19 sent a message to Hindu leaders asking them to resist “hateful propaganda” against Christians and allowing Christians to practice their faith in peace. A principal cause of conflict is the conversion to Christianity of Dalits or “untouchables.” The aggression against Christians stretches across much of India, from the eastern state of Orissa to the southwest state of Kerala.
Christian outreach to untouchables in India is well over one hundred years old. Christianity, like Islam, places no special value on the circumstances of birth. The government of India sets aside certain benefits for Dalits, a form of welfare for a still-despised group. Yet the same government programs deny benefits to Dalits who become Christian or become Moslem, because — the argument goes — their denial of the Hindu caste system means that they no longer consider themselves in the sub-caste (or “casteless”) position of “untouchables.” This does not apply, however, to Dalits who become Buddhists or Sikhs, although those conversions also would mean a rejection of the caste system.
Christianity also grants women a higher status than Hinduism (which historically does not regard a woman as possessing a soul until she marries) or Islam (which creates a distinctly inferior status for women). As a consequence, Christianity has a profound appeal for the most hopeless Indians, “untouchable” women. The message of Christian love finds an eager ear among the “untouchables” of India.
A classic example of the blind faith in scientific speculation required by Scientism is on display in a discussion of the role of comets in the origin of life.
Speculation about a possible connection between comets and the origin of life has been around for decades. The discovery of a cloud of debris near a star 60 light years away has been the latest occasion for such speculations. Headlines have described the discovery in quite sensational terms; for example, FoxNews.com brazenly declared, “Strong Evidence Life Spread by Comets, Astronomers Say.” However, the finding, though intriguing, is far less dramatic.
The discovery of a band of dust around Eta Corvi hundreds of trillions of miles from Earth has led astronomers to speculate how that band was formed. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was responsible for spotting the band, and the facts were more modestly described by the American space agency:
Now Spitzer has spotted a band of dust around a nearby bright star in the northern sky called Eta Corvi that strongly matches the contents of an obliterated giant comet. This dust is located close enough to Eta Corvi that Earth-like worlds could exist, suggesting a collision took place between a planet and one or more comets. The Eta Corvi system is approximately one billion years old, which researchers think is about the right age for such a hailstorm.
For Zubaida Bibi, a Christian woman working in a garment factory in the Korangi Industrial Area of Karachi, Pakistan, the workday on October 12 at Crescent Enterprises probably began like most. Her job as a custodian helped make it possible for her to care for her children. But before her shift was over, a Muslim worker at the factory attempted to rape her, and then slit her throat, leaving four orphans without a mother to care for them. And the case of Zubaida Bibi is far from unique: In Pakistan, the phenomena of Islamic men raping Christian women is becoming more common.
An October 18 story for PakistanChristianPost.com relates some of the details of the tragic death of Zubaida Bibi:
On October 12, 2011, during duty hours, Zubaida Bibi entered to clean factory bathrooms when one Muslim employee named Mohammad Asif followed her and locked door behind him.
When Mohammad Asif attempted to sexually assault Zubaida Bibi, she cried for help on which Mohammad Asif took out a dagger and slit the throat of Zubaida Bibi.
The factory management called police help and Mohammad Asif was arrested on crime scene where throat cut dead body of Zubaida Bibi was lying on floor.
According to U.S. News for October 14, Mississippi voters will be presented with Amendment 26 on their November ballots, an initiative redefining "personhood.” U.S. News wrote: "The amendment would, if enacted, add 'The term "person" or "persons" shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof' to the state constitution."
Is it really that simple? The entire Amendment does indeed read “Should the term ‘person’ be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?” with spaces for simple "yes" or "no" answers.
Two more Hollywood actors have joined their voices with those of Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, John Hamm, and Janeane Garofalo: Sean Penn and Alan Cumming say the Tea Party is racist. Cumming added that the Tea Party is also “homophobic.”
The stars fired the salvo on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. As with the previous actors, neither Penn nor Cumming offered any proof that the Tea Party is racist.
What They Said
Piers Morgan set up Penn to knock one out of the park, as Brent Baker wrote at Newsbusters.org. Morgan “helpfully boasted of how actor Morgan Freeman, on his show three weeks ago, ‘was very passionate about that very subject, saying there are elements of the Tea Party who just, as he said, want to get the black man out of the White House. He said it on this show,’” Baker wrote.
Penn quickly agreed that Freeman is right, opening his remarks about the Tea Party with a short mention of President Obama’s being akin to Bulworth, a fictional leftist presidential candidate. He then observed:
"This is a story of our children and an ideological struggle in which our children are the prize. This is the story of the big yellow bus. This is the story of indoctrination." So begins the mesmerizing introduction to IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America, a hard-hitting, 90-minute documentary presented by the Exodus Mandate and the Christian Liberty Academy School System.
The film features Colin Gunn, a homeschooling father of eight, who originally hails from Scotland but now lives in Texas. A camera accompanies him, his wife, Emily, and their children as they travel in a yellow school bus on an educational odyssey, throughout the United States, to examine the origins of American mass public schooling and its subsequent negative impact on the culture.
Gunn speaks to a large cast of writers, historians, educators, and ministers who are as articulate as they are provocative. (Familiar names to readers of this website include Sam Blumenfeld and John Taylor Gatto.)
While Gunn comes across as merely a curious interviewer, not condemning folks for their educational choices or singling them out, the documentary certainly has a bias and urgency in encouraging Christian parents (if they haven't done so) to "get their children out!"
A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on the morning of October 15, just hours before it hosted an event sponsored by the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). According to one local news report, when administrators for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights arrived at the facility, “they discovered a number of broken windows and door panes on the east side of the building, which were shattered by bricks, Arlington Heights Police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said.”
While it is not clear exactly who was responsible for the vandalism, the report continued, a note was attached to one of the bricks “which referenced speakers scheduled for a Saturday night banquet at the school, said the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty. The note read, ‘This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,’ Lindstrom said.”
The banquet, which was not canceled, featured noted Christian speaker and author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s famed Moody Church, along with Scott Lively of Defending the Family International, who was honored by Americans for Truth with its annual “American Truthteller” award.