British authorities have rescued at least 400 children who were brought to Britain often for use in blood rituals conducted by witch doctors, the BBC reported this week. The BBC’s data come from child protection organizations and Scotland Yard, and document the problem: the superstition of juju, or the use of objects in rituals of witchcraft.
BBC reporter Chris Rogers, who broke the story, traveled to Uganda and contacted child kidnappers willing to provide as many children for juju as the reporter wanted. One kidnapper he contacted, witnesses told him, was involved in the mutilation of a boy who survived.
"He Would Need My Head"
According to Rogers, the witch doctors seek children through leaflets and newspaper advertisements, and “there is evidence that some are involved in the abuse of children who have been abducted from their families in Africa, and trafficked to the UK.”
Quoting Christine Beddoe, director of the anti-trafficking charity Ecpat UK, Rogers reported that immigrants believe in the magical power of human blood. “Our experience tells us that traffickers can be anybody,” she told the network, explaining:
Arizona is demonstrating the positive impact of pro-life laws as the state health department recently released statistics showing that the number of abortions has dropped in the state by some 30 percent. The Associated Press reported that, according to the latest figures, a total of 729 abortions were performed in September, “down nearly 31 percent from September 2010, down nearly 32 percent from August 2011 and down 39 percent from the previous 12-month average of just over 1,200.”
The dramatic drop is due largely to implementation of the state’s Abortion Consent Act. While the law was passed in 2009 and signed by pro-life Governor Jan Brewer, it remained in limbo for two years as Planned Parenthood sued to have it overturned. The law finally went into effect in August of this year after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of its constitutionality.
Among the law’s requirements are that minors provide a notarized parental signature of approval before receiving an abortion; that women be provided with full and accurate information about abortion by a doctor in person at least 24 hours before the procedure; that only a physician can perform an abortion; and that no medical professional can be forced to perform an abortion against his or her religious or moral convictions.
Terrence Jeffreys of CNSNews reports, "In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama's Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be."
The case involves the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Michigan, which in 1999 signed a one-year contract with Cheryl Perich to teach fourth grade at the church school. As well as teaching secular subjects, she taught religious subjects and was a lay minister of the church. In 2004, Perich developed the sleep disorder narcolepsy, which in the eyes of church and school officials made her unable to continue teaching, and she was terminated.
As reported here, Perich complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in turn has alleged that she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was dismissed by the federal district court in Michigan in which the action was filed, with the judge citing the “ministerial exception” in that federal law, which is intended to prevent the federal government from interfering with church affairs. The federal appellate court, however, reversed that ruling.
It is a classic story of Americana, with all the excitement, dreams, struggle, disappointment, ingenuity, resilience, triumph, love, loss, and enduring lessons common to the most memorable of such tales. Also common to such sagas — particularly those of the Christian sort — the most enduring impact is still uncoiling with the long passage of years and the generations.
Those who knew Garman O. Kimmell, founder and builder of Oklahoma City-based Kimray, Inc., remember him best as a brilliant design engineer and a devout Christian man. He revolutionized the field of oil and gas production and made significant personal contributions to the field of heart treatment. But the technical nature of his inventions, coupled with a humble personality that eschewed personal glory, has consigned him to anonymity in previous American and even Oklahoman histories. That is the problem with history books — most of the men and women who possessed the noblest character and made the greatest contributions were too busy impacting other lives to get their own written about.
An American Boy
As with so many great American leaders across the fields of industry and business who were the children and grandchildren of immigrants in the 19th century, Kimmell took his cue on how to get ahead in America from his forebears. Kimmell’s father, for instance, was an imaginative capitalist.
Making Character First: Building a Culture of Character in Any Organization, by Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins, Edmond, Okla.: Character First Publishers, LLC, 2010, 188 pages, -paperback. Making Character First is the story of a flagging Oklahoma company’s about-face in a tough economy, the personal transformation of its president, and the birth of a revolutionary new business. The key to this miraculous turn-around: Making Character First.
In an engaging, conversational style, author Tom Hill chronicles his discovery of the important role character plays in achieving success, and he has his company’s bottom line to prove it. His breakthrough came when he made a single but significant change in his human resources department. Hill stopped hiring employees principally for their skills and experience, and now hires and rewards individuals for their good character. This presumably counterintuitive decision has dramatically changed Hill’s business and personal life, and has since spread around the world to transform other lives and companies.
Last week a House panel approved a Republican proposal to defund the UN Population Fund.
Ron Paul just scored another victory in his campaign for the presidency. Just last year, the Texas congressman barely even registered in the Values Voters Summit straw poll. This year, however, with 37 percent of the vote, he didn’t just walk away with it; he left second place contestant Herman Cain in the dust. With 23 percent of voters backing the latter, Paul beat Cain by a full 14 percentage points.
Long time self-avowed “social conservative” Senator Rick Santorum came in at third place with 16 percent.
This is as ironic a twist of events as it must be exasperating for Santorum: It is Santorum, most definitely not Paul, who is supposed to be “the values voters’” candidate. In fact, to hear the former Pennsylvania Senator tell it — and he spares no occasion to tell it — “values voters” are his main body of support. If the media was as interested in marginalizing Santorum as they are in doing the same to Paul, “values voters” would be known simply as “Santorum people.” Yet Paul defeated Santorum not only among the latter’s “people”; he defeated him by a vast margin.
Even as I write this, already the masters of GOP spin are laboring inexhaustibly to reduce the significance of Paul’s achievement. It isn’t, though, that they are diligently in search of ever more ingenious ways by which they can explain away Paul’s viability. There are no ingenuous explanations in the coming to this effect. Moreover, there aren’t even many disingenuous explanations. Rather, there are essentially two strategies of which Paul’s detractors continually avail themselves to dismiss him:
An Ohio judge has ruled against a public school science teacher who was fired for allegedly pushing his religious beliefs on his students, and for keeping a Bible on his desk. The Rutherford Institute, the legal advocacy group representing him in an appeal of the termination, insisted that the charge has more to do with the teacher’s efforts to get students to think critically about the issue of evolution.
According to the Associated Press, Knox County Common Pleas Judge Otho Eyster ruled on October 6 that the Mount Vernon, Ohio, school board was justified in dismissing John Freshwater, a 24-year teaching veteran with an exemplary record. “Eyster noted in his two-page decision that he reviewed more than 6,300 transcript pages from a hearing held before a state referee,” reported the AP. “That hearing officer recommended … that Freshwater’s contract be terminated, and the school board formally fired him within days.”
The Rutherford Institute explained that in 2008 the Mount Vernon school board voted to suspend the science teacher, citing concerns about his conduct and materials found in his classroom, specifically those related to his views and teaching on the issue of evolution.
The anti-Christian policy of the Egypt military rulers became even more readily apparent as they blamed Christian victims and “enemies of the revolution” for a series of violent clashes which left over two dozen people dead. In another tragic example of a military junta blaming its victims for its oppressive actions, Major General Adel Emara denied widespread reports of the military’s actions, which murdered dozens of Christians, According to one Associated Press report, Emara “tried to clear the military of any blame in the killings. He denied troops opened fire at protesters, claiming their weapons did not even have live ammunition. He said it was not in ‘the dictionary of the armed forces to run over bodies ... even when battling our enemy.’ "
The Coptic Church — which Emara seems to consider the “enemy” of the ruling council of Egypt of which he is a member — experienced a very different side of Egypt’s military than that which is being creatively constructed by the regime. As Alex Newman wrote previously for The New American:
Anti-Coptic violence in Egypt, of course, is hardly a new phenomenon. Islamic extremists have been bombing Christian churches there for years. But in the post-Mubarak era the attacks have intensified — and this weekend's state-sponsored violence might be the start of a whole new chapter. ...
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the renegade Catholic who is not permitted to receive communion, told a group of abortion advocates that she joined them in being "at war” with Republicans on the abortion issue. Speaking before the radically pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League), Sebelius accused Republicans of trying to “roll back” women’s rights and the “progress” they have made during the sexual revolution.