The military regime ruling Egypt is under fire after it responded to weekend protests by Coptic Christians in Cairo with deadly force, leaving hundreds wounded and dozens dead. An official investigation is ongoing.

Following another church attack last week blamed on Islamist extremists, Christian activists marched to the state-run TV station headquarters in the capital. The demonstrators were demanding government protection from Muslim attacks and the resignation or firing of a provincial governor.

“Down, down, Field Marshal Tantawi!” the protesters were also reportedly chanting, calling for the Egyptian regime’s chief to step down. Then the situation spiraled out of control.

According to news reports, thugs in civilian clothing unleashed a wave of violence against the Christians using swords, clubs, and other weapons. The government then sent armored personnel carriers and mowed down dozens of protesters. At least 25 were killed, probably more — some crushed under tanks, others shot.

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.”

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.
 

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:

Real Steel is an engaging film about the world of boxing in the year 2020, when the sport no longer permits human fighters. Instead, the boxing industry features bouts between 1,000-pound robots, leaving pugilists such as Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) in the lurch. The movie — reportedly  inspired by a 1963 episode of Twilight Zone, and adapted to the big screen by John Gatins — ranges from action-packed boxing scenes to the emotional drama of paternal relationships. It's an underdog story that's virtually a cross between Rocky and Cinderella Man.

Charlie Kenton is an experienced loser, always seemingly out of luck. In a stark scene depicting the hole he's dug for himself, at the beginnng of the movie he awakes with a hangover, surrounded by empty beer bottles — and his first compulsion is to take another sip of beer.

Added to the expanding catalog of federal embarrassments, such as gunrunning scandals and bankrupt green energy companies, are taxpayer-funded trips taken by a Justice Department official to "facilitate a physical relationship with a woman in Florida." Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on September 28, asking why a federal official, Darryl Foster, was not required to reimburse the government for money he spent visiting an unidentified woman in Miami, including expenses for hotels and rental vehicles.

Grassley wanted to know why Foster, a supervisor in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division at the time, was able to squander thousands of taxpayers’ dollars for wining and dining in Florida — without ever paying the money back — even though the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found out about the romantic excursions in late 2007 or early 2008. It has been reported that Foster took more than 10 taxpayer-funded trips to Miami in 2008 alone.

Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson has issued his opinion: The Tea Party is racist. In his assessment, he follows other stars of the silver screen such as Morgan Freeman, Jon Hamm, and Janeane Garofalo, as well as a former top executive of National Public Radio and members of the American Political Science Association and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jackson, who convincingly played a racist in Lakeview Terrace, has now spoken: All tea party members are racists who oppose Obama’s policies not because they continue 75 years of globalist lefitsm, but simply because the President is black.

What Jackson Thinks

Jackson commented on the Tea Party after New York magazine asked him what he thought of the Washington Post’s article labeling Rick Perry as a racist. The Post divulged that Perry’s family once held a lease on a hunting lodge whose entrance was adorned with a rock bearing the word “N*****head.” Perry’s father painted over the offensive slur, but that didn’t matter to the Post, which tracked down a variety of “sources” whose recollection of the rock and what the Perrys did about it seemed a bit vague.

An awful lot of readers will be angry at some of the things I have to say today. So before the shouting begins, let me tell you where I’m coming from, as the kids like to say.
I was raised with a profound respect for the fact that we are a nation of laws, not men: That “no one is above the law,” that a jury of our peers will decide our guilt or innocence, that we are guaranteed the right to face our accusers, that “our home is our castle,” and that we will be protected in our persons and our property.

Does that sound like the America you were taught to love and revere when you were young?

It is promises like these that made our country the inspiration of the world. They are some of the reasons we became the wealthiest nation this planet has ever seen. Even the poorest among us lived better than the majority of citizens in other countries. No wonder people dreamed of becoming Americans — so many, in fact, that we had to establish a lottery to decide who could get in.

Yes, the United States of America that you and I were born into was a very special place. We knew it and were profoundly grateful for it. We gave thanks that we were lucky enough to be born here, because we knew that no other place on earth enjoyed our freedoms, our protections and our prosperity.

After months of threatening the execution of Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian government is backing away from putting the Christian pastor to death, and is claiming that news stories of the plan to execute him were “unsubstantiated.”

As reported previously for The New American, Nadarkhani has been imprisoned for his faith since October 2009, and was sentenced to death in 2010 for apostasy from Islam. However, according to a story from the International Business Times, the government is claiming that there was never a plan to execute the man who was once the pastor of a 400-member congregation:

“Youssef Nadar-Khani [sic] has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati said on Wednesday, according to Iran state news agency Press TV.

“There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” he added.

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