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Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov’t Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers

October 24, 2013 - 11:32 PM
(CNSNews.com) - Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau. They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.
That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round.

The Census Bureau counted as recipients of means-tested government programs “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.” Many of these people lived in households receiving more than one form of means-tested benefit at the same time.
 
Among the 108,592,000 people who fit the Census Bureau’s description of a means-tested benefit recipient in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 82,457,000 people in households receiving Medicaid, 49,073,000 beneficiaries of food stamps, 20,223,000 on Supplemental Security Income, 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children program, 13,433,000 in public or subsidized rental housing, and 5,854,000 in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Also among the 108,592,000 means-tested benefit recipients counted by the Census Bureau were people getting free or reduced-price lunch or breakfast, state-administered supplemental security income and means-tested veterans pensions.

Read the rest here: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-bureau-means-tested-govt-benefit-recipients-outnumber-full

Favre Admits He Has Experienced Memory Loss

Brett Favre.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
Brett Favre.
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
In an interview with SportsTalk 570 in Washington D.C. Thursday morning, Favre said he never talked to the Rams, but they did reach out to his agent, Bus Cook. It’s worth pointing out, however, that Cook also represents quarterback Austin Davis, who the Rams did sign. Thus, any conversation with Cook about Favre may not have been all that serious.
Either way, Favre is not coming back, telling the radio station: “It’s flattering, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to do that.”
Favre went on to say that he has started to experience memory loss, which has frightened him.
“This was a little shocking to me that I couldn’t remember my daughter playing youth soccer,” he said. “It was just one summer, I think. I could remember her playing basketball, I could remember her playing volleyball, so I kind of think maybe (I thought) she only played a (soccer) game or two. Well, I think she played like eight. So that’s a little bit scary to me. So for the first time in 44 years, that kind of put a little fear in me.”

And given his perspective as a retired NFL quarterback, Favre said he’s in favor of the rule changes the the league has instituted to help protect players.
“I don’t see how you can’t change with the times and try to protect the players more because of the studies that have come out to what concussions can do,” Favre said. “The players, either retired or some of the few players who are either killing themselves or self-destructing, studies have proven that some of this is because of concussions.”

Bible Scholar Brent Landau Asks “Who Were the Magi”?

Bible Scholar Brent Landau Asks “Who Were the Magi”?
A lost Syriac manuscript, the Revelation of the Magi, recently translated into English by Bible scholar Brent Landau, may help answer that key question from the Christmas story: “Who were the magi?”

Revelation of the Magi text gives wise men’s view of the Christmas story



Who were the magi, those gift-bearing wise men from the east who are so central to the traditional telling of the Christmas story? Bible scholar Brent Landau believes he has found at least one answer to this age-old question.
The Bible tells us very little about the magi.

Their story appears but once, in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1–12), where they are described as mysterious visitors “from the east” who come to Jerusalem looking for the child whose star they observed “at its rising.” After meeting with King Herod, who feigns an intention to worship the child but actually plans to destroy him, the magi follow the same star to Bethlehem. There, upon seeing the baby Jesus and his mother Mary, the magi kneel down and worship him, presenting him with their three famous gifts—gold, frankincense and myrrh. Then, without reporting to Herod, they depart for their homeland, never to be heard from again.

For early Christians, the seemingly pivotal yet unexplained background of the mysterious magi provided abundant room to shape new narratives around the question, “Who were the magi?” One of the most compelling, recently translated into English by Brent Landau, professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, is the so-called Revelation of the Magi, an apocryphal account of the traditional Christmas story that purports to have been written by the magi themselves.

The account is preserved in an eighth-century C.E. Syriac manuscript held in the Vatican Library, although Brent Landau believes the earliest versions of the text may have been written as early as the mid-second century, less than a hundred years after Matthew’s gospel was composed. Written in the first person, the Revelation of the Magi narrates the mystical origins of the magi, their miraculous encounter with the luminous star and their equally miraculous journey to Bethlehem to worship the child. The magi then return home and preach the Christian faith to their brethren, ultimately being baptized by the apostle Thomas.

According to Brent Landau, this dramatic account not only answers the question “Who were the magi?” but also provides details about how many they were, where they came from and their mysterious encounter with the star that led them to Bethlehem. In the Revelation of the Magi, there are not just three magi, as often depicted in early Christian art (actually, Matthew does not tell us how many there were), nor are they Babylonian astrologers or Persian Zoroastrians, as other early traditions held. Rather from Brent Landau’s translation it is clear the magi (defined in this text as those who “pray in silence”) are a group—numbering as few as 12 and as many as several score—of monk-like mystics from a far-off, mythical land called Shir, possibly China. They are descendants of Seth, the righteous third son of Adam, and the guardians of an age-old prophecy that a star of indescribable brightness would someday appear “heralding the birth of God in human form.”

Read the rest here: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/bible-scholar-brent-landau-asks-%E2%80%9Cwho-were-the-magi%E2%80%9D/

More on Landau's work - or possibly a more accessible article - from USA Today.

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon – October 25, 2013

Talking About the Things That Matter Most on Oct. 25

4:00 – Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
Mary appears only a few times in the Bible, but those few passages come at crucial moments. Catholics believe that Mary is the ever-virgin Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. But she also was a human being--a woman who made a journey of faith through various trials and uncertainties and endured her share of suffering. Even with her unique graces and vocation, Mary remains a woman we can relate to and from whom we have much to learn. Edward Sriis here to look at the crucial passages in the Bible concerning Mary and offers insight about the Blessed Mother's faith and devotion that we can apply in our daily lives. We follow her step-by-step through the New Testament account of her life, reflecting on what the Scriptures tell us about how she responded to the dramatic events unfolding around her.

5:00 God's Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian's Fight for Freedom
Tens of millions of Christians live in China today, many of them leading double lives or in hiding from a government that relentlessly persecutes them. Bob Fu, whom the Wall Street Journal called "The pastor of China's underground railroad," is fighting to protect his fellow believers from persecution, imprisonment, and even death. We hear h is his fascinating and riveting story.

Kresta in the Afternoon – October 24, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 24
 
4:00 – Kresta Comments - Al talks about Oprah and atheists, Miss World, and some stark admissions from the Catholic Theological Society
 
4:20 – Down Syndrome Awareness Month: A Personal Witness
With October being Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a celebration of these precious lives comes in the form of a new novel, The Things Lily Knew, by Sherry Boas. Boas, a Catholic stay-at-home mother of four adopted children, including a daughter with Down syndrome, was inspired to begin the story of Lily from her own family’s experiences and from imagining her daughter’s future. Sherry is with us to share her story.

5:00 - Kresta Comments - Al talks about Oprah and atheists, Miss World, and some stark admissions from the Catholic Theological Society

5:20 - Transforming Yourself Into a Dynamic Catholic
When 70% of Catholics don’t go to church on Sunday, isn’t it time someone did
something? We think so and the people at Dynamic Catholic do too. The tide is going out on Catholicism in America. Catholics are leaving the Church at an alarming rate, and disengagement among those who remain is staggeringly high. Growing numbers of Catholics are disillusioned, questioning their faith, and filled with doubts about the modern relevance of Catholicism. Dwindling Mass attendance, scarcity of vocations, and Catholic school closures are just a few of the signs. The sad truth is that most Catholics have never really been shown the genius of Catholicism and how it could animate their lives. At The Dynamic Catholic Institute they believe that millions of ordinary Catholics want to be involved in a movement that provides a game-changing strategy for the Church today. They are passionate about finding a way for every Catholic to play a role in the great renewal that everyone knows the Catholic Church desperately needs. Vice-President Allen Huntjoins us.

"Why is it that no Muslim group has ever been created to condemn…terrorists who kill themselves to become ‘martyrs for Islam’?"

 Jihad Watch
Posted by Robert
on October 22, 2013 12:44 PM


This article makes a great many true and accurate observations. After detailing a number of recent jihad attacks, the author says, "The West is deluding itself when it says that 'this is not the real Islam.' Indeed, what is the real Islam? Since terrorists and Salafists say they are Muslims and acting in favour of Islam, only a violent Islam has taken central stage."

He asks: "why is it that these masses of moderates never protest? Why is it that no Muslim association or group has ever been created to condemn Salafist violence and terrorists who kill themselves to become 'martyrs for Islam'?

But he does so in a very apologetic and hesitant way, going on to affirm his commitment to a "dialogue" that has in every instance proved spurious and chimerical, and saying: "I just want to make sure that people in Italy will not come to accept what Domenico Quirico, La Stampa envoy to Syria, said. Held captive for months by Islamic guerrillas, he wrote, 'We refuse to realise that moderate Islam does not exist, that the Arab Spring is over and that its new phase involves an Islamist and jihadist plan to build the Great Islamic Caliphate, a political plan that is being implemented starting in Syria with weapons, armies, and money.'"

Why does he not want people in Italy to accept that? What if it's true? Is he really doing a favor to the people of Italy (or anywhere else) or furthering any genuine "dialogue" by pretending that things are not as they are?

"Anti-Christian violence and the silence of 'moderate' Muslims," by Piero Gheddo for Asia News, October 22 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Milan (AsiaNews) - An Italian man, who recently came back from the Philippines, told me that on the big island of Mindanao, hundreds of extremists came at night from the island's interior and from smaller islands to attack a suburb of the city of Zamboanga, looting and burning houses and huts. They retreated taking dozens of hostages, leaving behind dead and wounded victims. The Italian said that targeted killings and kidnappings are frequent, but perhaps this is the first time that such a large-scale attack on Christians was carried out. Fear of new attacks has spread and nothing will be as before. The government is bound to send in the army and more fighting, revenge attacks and destruction are to be expected. Those who can have fled to other parts of the country, as people's lives and the economy are on hold. From Gulf countries, money is being sent to ulemas, mosques and Qur'anic schools to train young people to fight and accept to become "martyrs for Islam" against the Christian state. Salafists want an autonomous region for the Muslim minority on the island of Mindanao, which would join Malaya and Malaysian Borneo to form a single Islamic state.
All this does not make its way into front-page news, and yet there is more. Three days ago, an attack was carried out against a Christian wedding in Giza, in southern Cairo, that left four people dead and 18 wounded according to the latest report.
 

Read the rest at:  http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/10/why-is-it-that-these-masses-of-moderates-never-protest-why-is-it-that-no-muslim-association-or-group.html

Commentary: The Eugenics Legacy of the Nobelist Who Fathered IVF


An inventor of the technology that led to the first test-tube baby was an active member of Britain’s Eugenics Society
 
Human embryos undergoing development in vitro.
 Image: Wikimedia Commons
Robert G. Edwards might not be a household name, but the innovation he pioneered along with Patrick Steptoe certainly is. In vitro fertilization (IVF), the process whereby human eggs are fertilized outside of the body and the resulting embryos implanted in a woman's womb, led to the 1978 birth of Louise Brown—the world's first "test tube baby." To date, an estimated five million children worldwide have been born using this innovation. Edwards received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this remarkable achievement.

Edwards’s passing earlier this year prompted an outpouring of praise. He has been widely described as a maverick researcher disinterested in personal recognition who simply wanted to give babies to those who couldn’t make them on their own. The New York Times quoted Edwards’s former collaborator, Barry Bavister, as saying “Dr. Edwards’s motivation—his passion, in fact—was not fame or fortune but rather helping infertile women.” Bavister continued, “He believed with all his heart that it was the right thing to do.”

But Edwards’s views on the technology he created and the uses to which it should be put may be more complicated than this portrayal. One detail omitted from the obituaries published around the world was that Edwards was a member in good standing of the Eugenics Society in Britain for much of his career. Recently uncovered documents show that Edwards served on the organization’s Council—its leadership body—as a trustee on three separate occasions: from 1968 to 1970, 1971 to 1973 and once again from 1995 to 1997 after the group euphemistically renamed itself "The Galton Institute" for the founder of the eugenics movement, Francis Galton. As we consider Edwards’s legacy in light of his recent passing, it is important to think critically about the relationship between Edwards’s development of IVF and his participation in an organization that was dedicated to promoting one of the most dangerous ideas in human history: that science should be used to control human reproduction in order to breed preferred types of people.

‘Father of IVF’ Edwards, with Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby.
‘Father of IVF’ Edwards, with Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby
Coined by Galton in the late 1800s to mean "well-born," eugenics became a dominant aspect of Western intellectual life and social policy during the first half of the 20th century. It started with the seemingly simple proposition that one's social position is rooted in heritable qualities of character and intellect.

Eugenicists of that era also believed that people with what they considered the least desirable traits tend to have the most children, precipitating what they saw as an inevitable decline in a society’s intellectual and physical vigor. Taking their cue from livestock breeders, eugenicists argued that socially disadvantageous characteristics could be bred out of human populations through policies that limited the reproduction of "the unfit"—the "feebleminded," the poor and the weak.

Read the rest here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=eugenic-legacy-nobel-ivf

The opposite faith policies of two presidents, both unprecedented

              Reagan went out of his way to promote religious freedom while Obama works to suppress it

By Shafer Parker
The Christians
Oct 22, 2013
Reagan and Gorbachev: At one point the former set out to convert the latter.
Reagan and Gorbachev: At one point the former set out to convert the latter
                           

Americans will forever argue over the part religion played in the founding of their nation, but it cannot be denied that they have turned to God in times of trial. “In God we trust,” for example, became the official motto of the United States in 1956 at the height of the Cold War. All the same, they defend religious freedom, including the freedom not to believe.

Thus when president Ronald Reagan actively promoted religious freedom in the former Soviet Union during his several summits with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he was well within the parameters established by his predecessors in office.

Reverend Ron reaches out

Less known, and only recently revealed, is that Reagan went further and sought in a private meeting to convert Gorbachev away from atheism, if not quite to Christianity. That was unprecedented. The story of Reagan’s evangelistic efforts appeared in James Mann’s 2009 book The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War. Mann based the story of Reagan’s evangelism on declassified notes taken by two Reagan aides – now available for viewing at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Obama and Pope Benedict: Fifty documented administration attacks on Judeo-Christianity.
Obama and Pope Benedict: Fifty documented
administration attacks on Judeo-Christianity.

In an excerpt reprinted in the Wall Street Journal, Mann reported that at the fourth summit with the Russians, Reagan, in a private meeting with Gorbachev, turned a discussion about human rights into a talk about religion. He began by stating that what he was about to say had to be kept secret, and that if any portion of their discussion got out, he “would deny he had said anything about it.”

After some preliminary discussion of religious freedom, Reagan went into full evangelist mode, telling Gorbachev a story about the battlefield conversion of a Russian soldier in the Second World War, and then mentioning that his son, Ron, was also an atheist. It was his idea, the president said, to serve his son a gourmet dinner and then “ask him if he believed there was a cook.” Gorbachev was non-reactive.

President Obama Slaps Down Faith

Contrast that with President Barack Obama. Instead of defending religious freedom internationally, he has attacked the principle in his own country, with the result that over 60 lawsuits have been filed against the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), by hospitals, charities, religious colleges, and other for-profit institutions, because it forces Christian employers and caregivers to violate their consciences over contraception and abortion.

 - See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/761&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=7fd0c830b6-TCH-Issue0139-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-7fd0c830b6-57142977#sthash.vV5zybQc.dpuf

Slavery is back – with 30 million victims worldwide

The work of past Christians must be renewed as the world returns to its old ways

By Steve Weatherbe
The Christians
Oct 22, 2013
A nine-year-old slave girl in India, whose whole family belongs to a brick maker and works seven days a week.
A nine-year-old slave girl in India, whose whole family belongs to a brick maker and works seven days a week.
                           The media spotlight was turned briefly on slavery last week by the year-old Walking Free Foundation. Its first report, The Global Slavery Index 2013, turns old ground already ploughed by the U.S. State Department and the International Labor Organization (ILO) while drawing headlines with the highest yet estimate of slaves worldwide – 30 million, equivalent to the population of Canada.

The brainchild of Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest, the report points to developing countries such as India, Nigeria and tiny Mauritania, where as many as 160,000 live in hereditary bondage, but it does not ignore slavery in the U.S. and other developed countries. It does miss the work being done by many Christian organizations, such as the evangelical Protestant International Justice Mission and the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking.

India has the most

Though people now associate modern slavery with the sex trade and forced marriages, the ILO estimates only about a third of its victims suffer that fate. It estimates that 44 percent of slaves have actually been bought and sold. Over half are hereditary or bonded into servitude for debts, most often in India, which has half the world’s slaves according to the Walk Free Foundation’s report – as many as 14.7 million.

China comes next in absolute numbers, with as many as 3.1 million. In per capita terms, Haiti has more than anyone except Mauritania, and Pakistan comes third in both lists, with up to 2.2 million. Out of 160 countries covered by the report, the United States comes 134th on a per capita scale, with 63,000 slaves or forced laborers, while Canada comes 144 with an estimated 6,200.

Trafficked for organ transplants

While China has long been reported to be harvesting body parts for transplants from its political prisoners, Britain has just reported its first known case: a young girl from Somalia. In Canada and the U.S. women and girls are more commonly smuggled in to work as domestic servants, prostitutes or second or third wives, while male slaves are usually forced laborers – a return to practices of the 18th and 19th centuries, when slavery was still legal in both countries.

- See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/762&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=7fd0c830b6-TCH-Issue0139-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-7fd0c830b6-57142977#sthash.MirQtVUm.dpuf

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 23, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 23
 
4:00 - Direct to My Desk
 
5:00 - Common Core and Catholics
We have received an overwhelming amount of e-mails, letters, phone calls, columns, press releases, articles and more regarding the Common Core Curriculum. Today we delve into it with Dan Guernsey, headmaster at the Donohue Academy and serves on the board of the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools, (NAPCIS), which provides consulting and accreditation services for more than 150 independent Catholic schools across the nation
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