Several pastors support Orlando execution

 

Washingtonpost.com:

Following the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, a Baptist preacher stood at his pulpit Sunday night in Northern California and delivered an impassioned sermon praising the brutal massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida.

Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento told his congregation that Christians “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites.”

“People say, like: Well, aren’t you sad that 50 sodomites died?” Jimenez said, referencing the initial death toll in Orlando, which authorities later clarified included 49 victims plus the gunman. “Here’s the problem with that. It’s like the equivalent of asking me — what if you asked me: Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?’

“Um, no, I think that’s great. I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight.”

He added: “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!”

These clowns obviously do not represent Christianity any more than the Orlando shooter represents Islam.  Encouraging and supporting this heinous act is getting darn close to what I would call Christian terrorism.

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Cruz suggests “patroling” Muslim neighborhoods

Washingtonpost.com:

The Republican and Democratic presidential candidates collided sharply Tuesday in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels, with GOP hopeful Ted Cruz calling on law enforcement to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” and his Democratic rivals sternly rebuking him.

The uproar highlighted the deepening rift between Republicans and Democrats on an issue that was poised to gain a fresh foothold in the campaign: the treatment of Muslim Americans amid concerns about terrorism.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton tweeted that Cruz’s proposal was “beneath us,” while Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said that singling out a religious group would be “unconstitutional” and “wrong.”

Cruz faced only muted criticism from his own party, with Donald Trump — who has called for a ban on the entry of Muslims into the United States — voicing support for the senator’s plan.

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Trump vs. The Pope

Washingtonpost.com:

First was the British prime minister, who called Donald Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong.” Then came Britain’s Parliament, which denounced him with colorful language. The French prime minister, the Turkish president and a Saudi prince also weighed in: The Republican presidential front-runner, they agreed, was a demagogue disgracing the United States.

On Thursday, Pope Francis added the strongest voice yet to a growing chorus of world leaders taking a stand against the celebrity candidate — condemning Trump’s hard-line immigration agenda and suggesting he was not a Christian because of it.

As the pontiff took the rare step of injecting his views into the U.S. campaign, his remarks underscored the anxiety coursing through world capitals about a possible Trump presidency. Francis noted Trump’s promise to deport an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States illegally and make Mexico pay for a wall along the border to keep them out.

“A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis told reporters Thursday aboard the papal plane as he returned to Rome from a visit to Mexico, according to a translation from the Associated Press.

“This is not in the Gospel,” he added.Trump, not to be admonished by anyone, dissed the Pope.

 

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Zika prompts intense abortion debate in Latin America

011516-Zika virus_1

Washingtonpost.com:

Across Latin America, calls to loosen some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world in the face of the Zika virus outbreak are gaining momentum but encountering strong and entrenched opposition.

In El Salvador, where abortions are banned under any circumstance, the health minister has argued for a revision of the law because of the dangers the virus poses to fetal development.

In Colombia, an organized movement to lift restrictions on abortion has gained allies in the government but has run into determined opposition from religious authorities. The same is happening in Brazil — and some doctors say that as a consequence, illegal, back-alley abortions are on the rise.

Nearly everywhere in Latin America, including in those countries hit hardest by Zika, women who wish to terminate their pregnancies have few legal options. But as U.N. health officials have projected as many as 4 million infections in the Americas this year, activists are pressing lawmakers to act as swiftly as possible to ease rigid restrictions.

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Fiery Rhetoric: The 800 pound gorilla in the room

Washingtonpost.com:

Several Republican presidential candidates on Sunday condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery antiabortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.

“It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this,” former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”

Calls to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional action have escalated in recent months amid a protracted national debate about the ethics of collecting fetal tissue for research.

 

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Does Starbucks hate Christmas?

starbux cups

Washingtonpost.com:

Some say Jesus Christ healed the sick and died to redeem humankind. Little is said about his views on the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Still, secular coffee maker Starbucks has come under fire from some Christians who say the company isn’t repping hard enough for Jesus on its recent understated holiday cups. The problem? Political correctness, according to one evangelical.

“I think in the age of political correctness we become so open-minded our brains have literally fallen out of our head,” Joshua Feuerstein said in a widely viewed anti-Starbucks rant on Facebook titled “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus.” “Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red.”

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Science vs. Religion

science religion

Pewinternet.org:

Are science and religion at odds with each other? A majority of the public says science and religion often conflict, with nearly six-in-ten adults (59%) expressing this view in newly released findings from a Pew Research Center survey. The share of the public saying science and religion are often in conflict is up modestly from 55% in 2009, when Pew Research conducted a similar survey on religion and science.

People’s sense that there generally is a conflict between religion and science seems to have less to do with their own religious beliefs than it does with their perceptions of other people’s beliefs. Less than one-third of Americans polled in the new survey (30%) say their personal religious beliefs conflict with science, while fully two-thirds (68%) say there is no conflict between their own beliefs and science.

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Netanyahu suggests Palestinian caused final solution


Washingtonpost.com:

There is no Israeli orator tougher and more pugnacious than Benjamin Netanyahu, but even his allies expressed bewilderment — and shock — Wednesday after the prime minister asserted that a Palestinian religious leader gave Adolf Hitler the idea to annihilate the Jews.

In a speech here Tuesday evening, Netanyahu sought to explain the surge in violence in Israel and the West Bank by reaching for historical antecedents. He said that Jews living in what was then British Palestine faced many attacks in 1920, 1921 and 1929 — all instigated by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who allied himself with the Nazis during World War II.

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Climate change: 2 Catholic legislators, 2 different points of view

earthinhands

Washingtonpost.com:

Kaine said he was “very, very excited” by “Laudato Si,” Francis’s encyclical on the environment generally and on the need to address climate change in particular — something Kaine places in “an area of fundamental truth.”

“I’m sure he’s not going to opine on whether a carbon tax is better than a cap-and-trade mechanism,” he said. “That doesn’t need to be where he goes — but to say, ‘You know, you guys and everybody in power these days, you’ve got the next generation’s future in your hands, and you don’t want to have to face that question later in life: With the science what it was, and with you having the opportunity to do something about it, why did you choose not to?'”

But Rounds — whose given name is Marion, in honor of the Holy Mother — sees a potential conflict between Francis’s focus on climate change and his oft-repeated calls for greater attention to the poor.

 
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The Pope goes to Congress

washingtonpost.com:

Pope Francis’s address to a joint session of Congress on
September 24, 2015 (10:00 AM ET) will mark a first in the history of the
Catholic Church and United States.
 

Invited by Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic and product of Jesuit education, Pope Francis will speak to a Congress where over 30% of members self-identify as Catholic and nearly 15% attended a Catholic college or university.  In addition, 55 of the members were educated at Jesuit universities or high schools.  His address to Congress will be an opportunity to invite legislators to reflect on the U.S.’s response to those who are marginalized by poverty and injustice, especially migrants, those plagued by climate change, workers treated unjustly, etc.

 

First off, I love the Pope.  I think he is a neat man and he behaves, in my opinion, as a man of Christ should.   To me, he has humility, has eschewed much of the opulence and ostentation of the Vatican in favor of a simpler life.  He seems to listen to the real needs of people.

 

However, I am far too much of a “wall of separation” person to be giving this Congressional address a 100% thumbs up.  I just am not sure that religious leaders should be addressing Congress.   I confess that I would be having a fit if Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell had  addressed Congress during their lifetime.  The Pope is a little different because he is a head of state.

 

This isn’t my sword to fall on.  The Pope has a good message of brotherly love.  I might not agree with all he says.  ( I don’t expect to) but I don’t believe he has a political agenda.   I will be watching to hear his address.  I know there are those who will boycott.

 

Does anyone here plan to see the Pope?   How do you feel about him addressing Congress?  Should we be treating him like royalty or just a head of state?  How many of us have Papal fever?  I just admit to having a slight case.

Papal encyclical blames climate change on human activity

pope climate

Washingtonpost.com:

A draft of a major environmental document by Pope Francis says “the bulk of global warming” is caused by human activity — a perspective aligned with most climate scientists but still highly controversial to some Americans.

In the draft, portions of which were translated by The Washington Post, the pope takes climate change deniers to task and calls on “humanity” to take steps — including changing manufacturing and consumption trends — to turn back the clock on global warming. He backs the science behind climate change, citing “a very considerable consensus that points out we are now facing a worrisome warming of the climate.”

Although he states that there may be some natural reasons for global warming, he blasts those who claim it is unrelated to human activity, saying “plenty of scientific studies point out that the last decades of global warming have been mostly caused by the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and others) especially generated by human action.”

The greatly anticipated encyclical, which surfaced Monday three days before its official release, set off a global scurry by environmentalists, theologians, reporters and others attempting to translate the teachings that many predict will influence policy around poverty and climate change worldwide.

The much awaited papal encyclical clearly blames climate change on human activity.  This decree must present quite a dilemma for Catholics world-wide who happen to be climate change deniers.  Catholics are taught that the Pope is infallible.

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In Louisiana, creationism enters the science class surreptitiously

evolution cartoon

Americans United:

A Louisiana school district that lets teachers use the Bible to teach creationism is doubling down on its sectarian instruction, claiming such lesson plans are permissible as long as the school does not provide that material.

Bossier Parrish schools are under fire thanks to some stellar investigative work by science education activist Zack Kopplin, an Americans United ally. Through an open records request, Kopplin obtained scores of emails proving that creationism runs rampant in Bossier Parrish’s public schools. One such email, from Airline High School science teacher Shawna Creamer to her principal, was particularly eyebrow raising.

“We will read in Genesis and them [sic] some supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the students will present,” Creamer wrote.

In response to Kopplin’s investigation, a spokesperson for Bossier Parrish schools told the Christian Post that there is nothing to see here because the district doesn’t endorse creationism – it’s just something individual instructors are free to explore as part of “academic freedom.”

“[The] district does not provide Creationist literature as supplements in our courses,” but does permit “use [of] the Bible as supplementary material in presenting alternative viewpoints to evolution,” the spokesperson said. “We support our teachers in engaging their students in dialogue regarding Creationism and evolution and allowing students to express their views.”

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Indiana SB101: Legalized discrimination?

Wikipedia:

Indiana Senate Bill 101, titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,[1] is a law that mandates that religious liberty of individuals and corporations can only be limited by the “least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.”[2] The bill has been controversial. Opponents of the law claim that is targeted against LGBT people and other groups. The bill is similar to the controversial Arizona SB 1062 vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2014, which expanded Arizona’s existing RFRA to include corporations.[3][4]

The bill was approved by a vote of 40-10[5] and on March 26, 2015, Mike Pence signed SB 101 into law.[6] The law’s signing was met with widespread criticism by such organizations as the NCAA, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ. Technology company Salesforce said it would halt its plans to expand in the state.

Pence is speaking now.  He started off his speech by comparing himself to Clinton.  What a nerve.  He has probably spent a good portion of his life spitting on Bill Clinton.

Pence continues to make excuses.  He says he and the general assembly will craft legislation that makes it clear that businesses don’t deny services to anyone.  Then why have the law?

Meanwhile, Gov. McAuliffe has told Indiana corporations to come to Virginia.  I like a guy that sees opportunity.

Critics outraged by Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast

Washingtonpost.com:

President Obama has never been one to go easy on America.

As a new president, he dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism, noting that Greeks think their country is special, too. He labeled the Bush-era interrogation practices, euphemistically called “harsh” for years, as torture. America, he has suggested, has much to answer given its history in Latin America and the Middle East.

His latest challenge came Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. At a time of global anxiety over Islamist terrorism, Obama noted pointedly that his fellow Christians, who make up a vast majority of Americans, should perhaps not be the ones who cast the first stone.
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