Outrage is mounting around the world against United Nations “peace-keeping” soldiers as sex-crime allegations, ranging from charges of rape and exploitation in Haiti to wide-spread sexual abuse of children in the Ivory Coast, have exploded into the headlines this week.
One of the most alarming incidents in recent times — several Uruguayan troops serving under the UN in Haiti held down and gang raped a teenage boy — was documented on video and spread over the Internet. The crime sparked even more anti-UN protests in the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.
Past demonstrations, related to UN troops spreading cholera, abusing citizens, or other matters, have resulted in Haitians being killed by international forces. But this time the concerns are being taken seriously.
The resulting global uproar over what Haitian President Michel Martelly described as the “collective rape carried out against a young Haitian” caused an international scandal that is still growing.
A rare abortion debate has been incited among lawmakers in Britain, who are now reconsidering the nation’s approach to abortion. The debate is focused on whether clinics that are paid to perform abortions should also be permitted to give advice to women who are unsure of how to handle unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, the proposal to provide alternative sources for pre-abortion counseling was rejected by Members of Parliament today.
Abortion law in Britain permits abortions up to 24 weeks' gestation, and also makes exceptions for abortions after 24 weeks if doctors believe the mother’s life is in danger or that the child will be born with a severe disability. Referrals to abortion clinics must be approved by two doctors. According to Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, impartial advice is always provided to women who seek abortions, and those members assure that the advice provided to women seeking abortion makes them understand the consequences of abortions.
The California Supreme Court will be hearing arguments from gay marriage opponents next week in the Proposition 8 court battle. According to The Blaze, this next stage in the court battle will “shed light on whether the voter-approved measure’s backers have legal authority to appeal the federal ruling that overturned Proposition 8.”
Proposition 8 is a voter-approved ban against same-sex marriage. California residents voted to add the following words to the California state constitution:
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Proposition 8 was written in exactly the same way as California’s Proposition 22, which, as an ordinary statute, was invalidated by the State Supreme Court.
A recent U.S. study has confirmed that women who have abortions increase the likelihood of suffering from severe mental health issues. The study by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry, found that women who opt to abort their babies nearly double their risk of mental health problems, compared to women who deliver their babies. “Coleman’s study is based on an analysis of 22 separate studies which, in total, examine the pregnancy experiences of 877,000 women, with 163,831 women having an abortion,” reported the pro-life news site LifeNews.com. “The study also indicated abortion accounts for one in ten of every adverse mental health issue women face as a whole.”
Coleman explained that the purpose of the study was “to produce an unbiased analysis of the best available evidence addressing abortion as one risk factor among many others that may increase the likelihood of mental health problems.” She said the research confirmed that there are “some real risks associated with abortion that should be shared with women as they are counseled prior to an abortion.”
Communists have warred against Christians since Lenin and Trotsky first imposed Karl Marx’s horrific nonsense on reality. Whether it was the Soviet Union’s exiling of converts to mental hospitals and the gulag or Castro’s beating of Cuban believers, Romania’s 13-year imprisonment and torture of Richard Wurmbrand or China’s fierce retribution against unofficial “house churches,” the State fears Christianity’s inherent enmity. And it abuses Christ’s followers accordingly.
Biblical Christianity cannot help but oppose government: the principles and forces that animate the two conflict irreconcilably. Christianity sees each person, no matter how insignificant, helpless, or sinful, as a being of infinite value, created in Jehovah’s image and worth His Son’s agonizing sacrifice.
It also recognizes and respects the free will God grants every one of these immortal souls — free will the Almighty Himself honors in this present world. Certainly, “every knee should bow … and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,” but here on earth, men are free to accept or reject the Gospel, to bow humbly before their Creator or to shake their fist in His face.
Recent reports suggest that Libya is poised to become the third Islamic state established in the last decade with the help of the United States. On August 26 The New American reported that a draft constitution released by the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC), the rebel group that has taken charge since the ouster of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, declares: “Islam is the religion of the state and the principal source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence (sharia).” This wording is very similar to the post-U.S. invasion constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are, apparently, those in Libya not convinced that the TNC is serious about its commitment to Islam. The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz writes:
U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed “strategizing” on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.
Ideological clashes over particular laws, policies and programs often go far deeper. Those with opposing views of what is desirable for the future also tend to differ equally sharply as to what the reality of the present is. In other words, they envision two very different worlds.
A small but revealing example was a recent New York Times criticism of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs for not contributing to charity as much as the New York Times writer thought he should. The media in general are full of praise for business people and their companies for giving away substantial amounts of their wealth. Indeed, that is one of the few things for which many in the media praise businesses and the wealthy.
An appeals court has ruled in favor of a South Dakota pro-life statute requiring abortionists to inform a woman 24 hours before an abortion that she has “an existing relationship” with her unborn baby, and that the procedure will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
In the same decision, however, reported Reuters News Service, the “8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a provision in the 2005 law that would require the doctor to tell the woman about an increased risk of suicide after an abortion — with the court saying the link was unproven and may not exist.”
One dissenting judge, Raymond Gruender, argued that the “risk of suicide” provision should have been upheld, writing that “even the evidence relied upon by Planned Parenthood acknowledges a significant, known statistical correlation between abortion and suicide.” Noting that Planned Parenthood had not challenged the suicide findings, Gruender wrote that the “well-documented statistical correlation is sufficient to support the required disclosure that abortion presents an ‘increased risk’ of suicide, as that term is used in the relevant medical literature.”
“Gulags, concentration camps, torture centers — indeed, wars of aggression and domination — are not simply the creation of a few leaders at the top,” observes Chris Floyd. “They require the willing participation of multitudes of people, at every level.”
The easiest way to secure such “willing participation,” of course, is to make it pay — something the Central Intelligence Agency, with the unwilling participation of American taxpayers, did to great effect in its program of prisoner renditions. Detainees picked up anywhere in the world were, for the modest price of $4,900 an hour, flown to countries ruled by brutal regimes to be tortured until they confessed to crimes or provided evidence against others. Those who have tried to challenge their treatment in court have been denied justice because the government always invokes “state secrets.” The Washington Post estimates that the CIA “paid tens of millions of dollars to use private planes in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to transport detainees and its own personnel.”
Now, however, an obscure billing dispute between aircraft companies has revealed the details, including the $4,900-an-hour price tag, of the rendition flights; and the picture it paints is not at all flattering to anyone involved.
Access to Scripture has gotten easier for millions of people all over the world with the introduction of a “smart phone” application with Bible translations in more than 500 languages. An organization called Faith Comes by Hearing released the app for iPhones and other mobile devices a little over a year ago, and in late August announced that the number of languages available on the app as well as the group’s website increased from around 200 languages to over 550. The goal of the Christian ministry, part of the Digital Bible Project, is to extend the influence of the Christian Scriptures — in both text and audio format — to every corner of the earth.
The group’s website noted that the Digital Bible Project is “the world’s largest, standardized, digital resource of Bible text and audio,b” explaining that it currently holds word-for-word Audio New Testaments in 565 languages, “with a goal of having 2,000 such recordings by 2016. Current estimates show this will represent a potential outreach to 97% of the world’s population.”