Sunday, April 20, 2008

DNA to predict criminal behavior?

Get Article Here

Read more!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Wall of silence broken at state's Muslim public school"

Imagine the outcry if a public school was being operated by a Christian Pastor for the purposes of advancing Christian teachings and worship? That's what appears to be happening in Minnesota, except that the religion of choice is, of course, Islam: Wall of Silence Broken

Read more!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ist Amendment in the Balance in California

By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
When does the freedom to practice religion become discrimination?
The California Supreme Court is being asked to answer that question when it hears a legal dispute between a lesbian mom and two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her for religious reasons.Article here

Read more!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Prohibition of Spanking Legislation in California

From: Roy Hanson's Child and Family Protection Association and HSLDA

Bill: AB 755 - Prohibition of Spanking
Author: Assembly Member Sally Lieber
Position: Strongly Oppose
Status: In Assembly

This is an UPDATE to our previous, April 11, 2007, Action Alert
regarding Assembly Member Sally Lieber's "Prohibition of Spanking"
bill, AB 755.

AB 755 continues to move through the Legislature. AB 755 was amended
and passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 17th. AB
755 is still a very dangerous bill for parents throughout California.

AB 755 would have the practical effect of making a non-injurious
spanking with an object such as a ruler, folded newspaper, paddle,
etc. illegal. After being arrested, charged, and tried in a criminal
court, parents could receive up to one year in jail and lose custody
of their children.

We updated our "AB 755 - Action Alert" and our 4-page backgrounder,
"AB 755 - Updated Alert Supplement" on April 24, 2007. Both the
Updated Alert and the Updated Alert Supplement are posted at
child and family protection.

These two documents are designed to help every concerned parent: 1)
to understand this bill and its implications for every family in
California and the nation, and 2) to be able to present the most
effective reasons why such a bill should not be passed by the

AB 755 is an incremental step toward the outlawing of all spanking,
which the author has publicly stated is her ultimate goal.

We will be issuing another Action Alert by e-mail on AB 755 within the
next several weeks, just before AB 755 is sent to the Assembly Floor
for a full vote by every Assembly Member. We are continuing to
monitor AB 755 daily, as we do with all legislation.

Permission given to reprint or forward this Newsflash unaltered to
your friends, church, school, and group.

Roy Hanson's HELP Tree
Child and Family Protection Association
P.O. Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648-0730
Fax: (916) 415-9470

HELP Tree Director
P.O. Box 100
Somerset, CA 95684-0100
Fax: (530) 622-4717

he purpose of this communication is to present information and
express our position on the issues addressed. We encourage you to
research this for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Regardless of your position, we strongly urge you to exercise your
constitutional right to express your position to your elected
representatives. We have included an example of how we have expressed
our position.

DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for the accuracy of copies printed,
forwarded, or sent by any party other than directly from Child and
Family Protection Association.

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

Read more!

Monday, April 02, 2007

The God Debate

Armed with a first class intellect and stunning verbal range, Sam Harris is perhaps the most effective apologist for atheism since Voltaire or Bertrand Russell were in their respective times. In his two books End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation Harris skewers belief in God with admirable skill. Not that there's anything new here. Harris' unique brilliance is that he is able to resurrect the standard arguments against the existence of God with a freshness that make his ad hominems sound immenently self-evident. But as Solomon pointed out, "What the first man says seems right until his neighbor comes along and examines him (Proverbs 18:17)".

If you've not heard of Sam Harris you certainly will. I admit, having read his books, how effective they must be to the uncritical mind. And people are certainly reading them. Both are on the New York Times best-seller lists. But take heart, having heard Harris challenged by Dennis Prager and now Rick Warren of Saddleback and "Purpose Driven Life" fame, I have seen his confidence wither a bit. In this regard Newsweek has performed a valuable service.

You can decide for yourself whether Rick gave as good as he got....The God Debate Regardless, all this is good for the Kingdom. As our Lord assured us concerning the Church, "The gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)". Debate about God is something to be encouraged. Join the fight!

Read more!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wailing at the Tomb?

Christians Should Face the Facts in The Discovery Documentary

By Gregory Koukl

"The documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” hadn’t even aired yet and many Christians were already in a panic. Just the suggestion that someone found Jesus’ bones in a limestone box had believers by the droves shaking their fists or sticking their heads in the sand in a don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts posture.

Apparently, many Christians don’t even need to see the evidence to pass judgment. When one Evangelical web site polled its visitors with the question, “Do you believe the ‘Tomb of Jesus' documentary, which denies the resurrection of Christ?” 97% said no. This was three days before the documentary even aired. Blind faith is so convenient, isn’t it? You never have to actually confront your critics.

Then there’s the bullies. One media watchdog demanded Discovery “cancel this slanderous ‘documentary.’” Another prominent Evangelical organization composed this letter for their constituents to hammer Discovery with:

"I resent the Discovery Channel's attempt to demean and belittle Christianity by saying it is based on a lie. It is hard for me to believe that The Discovery Channel would dare do such a 'documentary' on any other religion.

"It may turn out that you have done Christianity a favor by awakening millions of Christians to your anti-Christian bias and bigotry. Perhaps they will no longer stay silent."

This kind of bullying is profoundly embarrassing to me, a follower of Christ, and should be discomfiting to every thoughtful Christian. It is not only a dismal retreat from a legitimate challenge that must be answered; it’s obscurantist.

Look, if the Bible says it and you believe it, that might settle it for you, but it doesn’t settle it for millions who might be interested in your ideas and are waiting to hear a thoughtful response to what appears on the surface to be a fair challenge.

There are good reasons to doubt the conclusions of this documentary, but no one will ever know them if Christians pull up the drawbridge and bellow from the parapet. Having seen the documentary, here are some problems that quickly come to mind:

1. Scholars have known about these tombs for over 25 years. There’s a reason they haven’t taken these names seriously. Only three have any direct biblical significance: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. And that cluster of names is statistically unremarkable. In fact, it would be odd if a family with those three names was not found in a tomb together, given their common use (there are at least four ossuaries discovered inscribed “Jesus, son of Joseph,” and one in four women were named Mary, so it’s even money that one of these tombs would have that combination). And connection of Jesus to any of the other names? Wild speculation. So what you have here is a creative guessing game.

2. The entire argument is based on the statistical significance of the names in a cluster. If Jesus was married, and if Jesus was married to a woman named Mariamne, and if Mariamne was also a nickname for Mary Magdalene, and if Jesus had a brother named Matthew, and if Jesus had a son named Judas, and if the now-famous James ossuary belonged to James the brother of Jesus, then you’d have all the members of Jesus’ family together in one tomb. But that’s a lot of “ifs.

3. Even though this is called the “Jesus Family Tomb,” there is no hard evidence that any of these so-called “family members” is even related. The only DNA testing that’s been done—between Jesus and Mariamne—came up negative. Let me repeat that: The DNA test came up negative. That is fact. The rest is speculation.

4. The documentary claims, “Jesus and Mary were married, as the DNA evidence suggests.” This is nonsense. Think about it. How can DNA evidence suggest someone is married? DNA can’t “suggest” anything about legal relationships, only biological ones. In this case, the DNA evidence showed Jesus and Mary were not related by a mother, not that they were husband and wife. The truth is, she could have been married to any one of the males in the tomb, or to none of them for that matter. The DNA “suggests” nothing.

5. The researchers claim they’re just trying to connect the dots? Fair enough. But why connect the dots the way they did? I’ll tell you why. Because it tells their story. There are many other legitimate ways to connect those same dots—some much more probable than the way the documentary connects them, but won’t give the story they’re promoting. But, of course, that wouldn’t create breaking news, would it?

6. Jesus’ family was a poor family from Nazareth, not a middle- to upper-class family from Jerusalem. So this tomb is the wrong kind of tomb located in the wrong city.

7. The documentary claims Jesus spoke in codes. This is false. Jesus spoke in parables, like many of the teachers of His day, not in codes that needed to be deciphered. They say Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ most trusted apostle. But you have to wait 400 years before this evidence pops up in any alleged historical record. They said that Jesus’ family members were executed because He was a pretender to throne of Israel. This is pure fiction. Notice what this accomplishes, though. All of these little exaggerations and inaccuracies make an unlikely tale sound more plausible when, on its own unembellished merits, it is not.

8. What we have here are two different characterizations of what happened to the body of Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago. One is based on artifacts—the ossuaries—and one is based on documents—the historical records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul. Now granted, these kinds of things are not entirely exact science, but all things being equal, which do you think gives us more precise information, bone boxes or written records? The written records, obviously.

9. The claim of Jesus’ resurrection, was part of the earliest, most primitive testimony regarding Jesus. And it was made by those very same people that the documentary suggests knew Jesus’ bones were actually secretly buried in Jerusalem. Why would so many of them die for this lie when they knew it was a lie? It doesn’t add up. But that’s what you must believe if you take seriously the conclusions of this documentary.

If Christianity stands or falls on the historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection, as the Apostle Paul said, then Christ’s followers have no liberty to retreat behind blind faith or hide behind an angry scowl.

No, if you’re a Christian you shouldn’t run, whine, scream, or have a religious tantrum. Instead, you should be thanking the Discovery Channel for giving you the chance to step up to the plate and knock this soft ball out of the park."

Check out Greg's site at: Stand to Reason

Read more!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Culture Wars


Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Panel to Determine if Ruling against Faith-Based Program that Reduces Recidivism, Enhances Public Safety, & Cuts Corrections Costs Will Stand

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2007—The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis will hear oral arguments on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling against Prison Fellowship, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), and the State of Iowa. Last June, in a lawsuit brought by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Judge Robert Pratt ruled that the IFI program in Iowa is unconstitutional.

In the ruling, Judge Pratt found that IFI, a comprehensive, faith-based pre-release program for prisoners that is affiliated with Prison Fellowship, was “pervasively sectarian” and thus violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. He ordered that the Iowa IFI program be shut down and that Prison Fellowship and IFI repay the State of Iowa the $1.5 million paid to IFI under a contract for services over the past six years.

“It is troubling that at a time when the FBI has just reported an increase in violent crime for the second year in a row—and when two out of every three inmates are re-arrested within three years of their release—there are those who would try to shut down a voluntary program that transforms lives and helps reverse the destructive cycle of crime,” said Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley. “The IFI program has continued the historical tradition, dating back to the founding of our nation, of people of faith helping prisoners become productive members of our society.”

The appeal, set for 9 a.m. at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse, 111 South 10th Street in St. Louis, will be heard by a three-judge panel that includes retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Judge Roger L. Wollman, and Judge Duane Benton. The appeal is being watched very closely by legal scholars and others who consider it a landmark case regarding the viability of the concept of faith-based initiatives. Barry Lynn of Americans United hailed the June ruling as “a body blow to so-called faith-based initiatives.”

For more than a decade, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative has produced dramatic results in changing the lives of hardened criminals and stopping the revolving door of crime. The program, which operates in Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, and Arkansas, and is set to launch next month in Missouri, presents viable solutions to challenges that state and local governments have struggled with for decades.

MEDIA NOTE: Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley and lead counsel Anthony Picarello of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will be available to brief media outside the courtroom immediately after the Feb. 13 appeal hearing. To schedule an advance interview with Mark Earley, Anthony Picarello, or an IFI graduate, or for more information including broadcast-quality b-roll, a comprehensive media kit, and high-resolution, downloadable photos, visit or contact Michelle Farmer (770) 813-0000 / (770) 757-4900 cell.

Michelle Farmer or Regina Lupoli
(770) 813-0000; cell (770) 757-4900

Read more!

free hit counter