On September 11, 2011, a solemn memorial service will take place at Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of that fateful day when 3,000 innocent Americans were killed by an attack on the United States by radical Islamists. It will remind us that although Osama bin Laden was killed by American Navy Seals, the war against radical Islam continues. Indeed, it has simply entered a new phase, the nature of which will be determined by the outcome of the Arab Spring.
As in memorial services in previous years, the names of the dead will be read by their relatives, who still suffer their losses. And it is important that we should be reminded of that day, which destroyed our delusion that the fall of the Berlin Wall would usher in a new era of world peace and happiness. Instead, we now face, for the indefinite future, a global war declared by radical Islam.
Several years ago, a PBS Frontline film showed, for the first time, people leaping out of the windows of the World Trade Center, hurtling their bodies to sudden death.
First there were this summer’s “Slut Walks” featuring young, scantily-clad female exhibitionists bearing signs such as “I’m a slut. Don’t assault me!” The ostensible message was that aggressive sexuality is not a provocation. Then, there were the colorful, size 28AA padded bras for 8-year-old girls. Initially marketed by Abercrombie & Fitch as kiddie bikini tops, the idea had, by late summer, morphed into must-have underwear sold in department stores for Back-to-School — alongside 4-inch high heels, extreme-low-rise jeans and transparent tops (the bra absolutely must show through to be “fashionable”).
Not long after Rick Perry became Governor of Texas, according to an Associated Press release on May 12, 2001 he signed the James Byrd Hate Crimes Act (HB 587) named for a black man in Jasper, Texas, who was dragged to death behind a pickup in 1998.
In a bill-signing ceremony on May 11, 2001 Perry said:
As the Governor of our diverse state, in all matters it is my desire to seek common ground for the common good. In the end, we are all Texans and we must be united as we walk together into the future. That’s why today I have signed House Bill 587 into law. Texas has always been a tough-on-crime state. With my signature today, Texas now has stronger criminal penalties against crime motivated by hate.
President Obama signed a similar law, and the Texas statute signed by Perry does effectively establish a special “protected class” status including enhanced sentencing for crimes allegedly motivated by bias against it.
Television watchdog groups are warning that the line up of prime-time shows the major networks are set to trot out this fall are trashier than ever, with over-sexualized content the increasing norm. Matt Philbin of the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) told CBN News: “It’s clear that Hollywood is out of ideas when it comes to sit-coms and prime-time dramas. Everything now has to focus on sex.” Philbin noted that there are several new shows “where entire plots depend on characters having had hook-ups, characters having bad relationships and going out to find rebound sex.”
Analyzing a handful of the network’s raunchiest offerings, CMI’s Erin Brown noted that the upcoming prime-time season will include shows “about immature bachelors hooking up before they grow up, the 1960s’ playboy bunnies, and navigating the pitfalls of a one-night-stand with your coworker….”
Among the programs Brown highlighted in her analysis of the fall TV lineup:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided there will be no clergy presence at the upcoming ceremony observing the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. “City Hall officials, who are coordinating the ceremony, confirmed that spiritual leaders will not participate this year — just as has been the case during past events marking the anniversary,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “The mayor has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies.”
Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for the Mayor, told CNN that the ceremony “was designed in coordination with 9-11 families with a mixture of readings that are spiritual, historical, and personal in nature.” She added that “rather than have disagreements over which religious leaders participate, we would like to keep the focus of our commemoration ceremony on the family members of those who died.”
The persecution of Christians is the biggest untold story in the establishment media. Consider Iran, a nation that we fear because it may soon acquire nuclear weapons. This fear is so strong in the school of popular punditry that strategic military strikes, embargoes and a host of other fairly dramatic remedies are seriously discussed. But is not our true fear of Iran that it is a nation which is intolerant, warlike and barbaric?
We have lived for more than fifty years with Britain and France, which each has the power to destroy most major American cities on any given day. The Soviet Union and its offspring, the thuggish Russian nation, each have a vast nuclear arsenal, as does China, which bears us no goodwill. Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa and probably a few other nations have nuclear capacity or could acquire it quickly. Our former Axis enemies — Germany, Japan and Italy — could all go nuclear fairly quickly, if they wished. What is it about Iran that makes us sweat?
A group of nearly 2,000 conservative members of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) met in Minneapolis August 24-25 to discuss how to move ahead in light of the denomination’s policy, begun in July, that allows open homosexuals to serve as clergy. The conference, organized under the umbrella of Presbyterians for Renewal, was called for those members “who are deeply troubled and whose integrity is deeply threatened by the move the denomination has made,” said the Rev. Paul Detterman, the group’s executive director.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the meeting was convened by the “newly formed Fellowship of Presbyterians … to help churches opposed to the move find ways to work within or leave the Presbyterian Church USA.” The Rev. Jim Singleton, pastor of the nearly 4,000-member First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said of the conference: “With so many critical theological differences and a denomination that continues to decline, we have to ask ourselves, is there something else that God has for us?”
First there were efforts to compel Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. Now statists in some nations want to force priests to violate the confidentiality of confession for, ostensibly, the purpose of uncovering sexual abuse. Adam Shaw at American Thinker provides some background and then explains the recent proposals, writing:
[O]ne of the most important aspects of confession is what is known as the seal of confession. The seal means that the priest who hears confessions is bound by church law on pain of both mortal sin and latae sententiae excommunication (a type of excommunication that can be removed only by the Holy See) not to reveal by word or action any of your confession. This basically means that any priest revealing any part of any confession is essentially committing spiritual hara-kari [sic].
An Illinois judge has ruled that the state can end its relationship with Catholic adoption groups because of their refusal to place children with homosexual couples. Reuters News reported that charities connected with the Catholic dioceses of Springfield, Peoria, and Joliet had filed a lawsuit in June 2011 “to prevent Illinois from canceling their contracts to provide child services shortly after a state law took effect legalizing same-sex civil unions and after the Attorney General opened a probe into the groups’ policies.”
Reuters reported that over the past several decades, the Catholic adoption and foster care groups “have been part of a network of private child welfare agencies paid by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services [DCFS] to help find foster and adoptive homes for children in the state in need of temporary or permanent care.”
The owners of a bed and breakfast in Vermont are being sued by a lesbian couple and the ACLU for refusing to host the couple’s “wedding” reception at their facility. As reported by CNSNews.com, the lesbian couple, Kate Baker and Ming Linsley, plan to “marry” this autumn in Vermont, one of the handful of states that have legalized same-sex marriage. Nearly a year ago Ming’s mother, Channie Peters, contacted the Wildflower Inn about scheduling the couple’s reception there. But according to the ACLU, when she explained that the couple would consist of “two brides,” she received a subsequent e-mail from a planner at the inn, explaining: “After our conversation, I checked in with my innkeepers and unfortunately due to their personal feelings, they do not host gay receptions at our facility.” In July the ACLU took the case to the Vermont Superior Court, arguing that the inn’s policy excluding homosexuals violates the state’s human rights law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Declared the ACLU: “This case is about discrimination, pure and simple. When a business that is open to the public refuses to serve two people and their guests solely because the two people are a same sex couple, it is no different than restaurants not serving individuals because they were black, or other businesses keeping out women or Jews. It is discrimination and it is illegal.”