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Too dangerous for New Jersey

A new law against ‘change therapy’ begs questions about the high health risks of gay sex

             Aug 23, 2013, The Christians 
Gay bar: Not a recipe for a long and healthy life.
Gay bar: Not a recipe for a long and healthy life.

If you lived in New Jersey, say in Newark or Paterson, and just found out from your 16 year old that he thinks he’s gay, here’s one right you just lost: hiring a professional counsellor to try changing his orientation, even if he wanted to.

State Governor Chris Christie signed a law this week, passed by the legislature in June, making it a de-licensing offence for any professional counsellor to try changing the sexual orientation of a minor. In this regard New Jersey is the first state to follow the lead of California.

Reading more like a gay manifesto than a government statute, Bill 3371 opens with the declaration, “Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.” It ascribes “critical health risks” to any therapy seeking to alter a same-sex inclination in an adolescent.

A caring parent might slip over to New York anyway

Whether or not “change” therapy actually works – a highly contested question – it’s not as though the gay lifestyle is safe. The medical hazards of homosexual sex are severe, and though rarely acknowledged, have been well known for decades.

Most homosexuals have far more sexual partners than straight men do: the self-reported lifetime totals range fairly evenly from “over 100” to “over 1,000.” Despite three decades of “safe sex” badgering, many gays – about 40 percent – continue to have anal sex without condoms, and many HIV-infected gays don’t tell their partners. Though committed homosexual relationships are not uncommon, almost none are faithful. Some 60 percent of gays are infected with the transmittable, often incurable Human Papilloma Virus. Gays are at significantly increased risk of Hepatitis A and B, often fatally harmful to the liver. They suffer an exceptionally high incidence of Gonorrhea , particularly of the anus and throat. They have very high rates of syphilis infection, and of a uniquely homosexual condition known to doctors as Gay Bowel Syndrome, leading to serious diseases such as enteritis. Many of these health risks expose them to higher rates of various cancers.

To our knowledge, the many sources for these observations have not been discredited, merely ignored. The one assertion that has been heavily challenged is that the average gay life span is eight to 20 years shorter than the male average, making it twice as harmful as smoking. Given the scarcity of data available, it may be an exaggeration; but given the lifestyle’s known medical risks, it’s even harder to believe the assurance we now hear so often, that it’s natural, normal and healthy.

Don’t believe anything the medical establishment says

Since successfully bludgeoning the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the manual of mental disorders in 1973, gays have achieved unchallenged political control over national mental health associations in the U.S. Parents can therefore ignore the dozen such organizations listed in the New Jersey bill that criticize “change therapy” as dangerous. Until they start talking candidly about homosexual health risks, they have nothing to say worth hearing.

- See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/563#sthash.WfLHjZV9.dpuf

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – August 27, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 27

4:00 - How To Wolf-Proof Your Kids
Gary Michuta has produced a product of years of work in the field of apologetics and evangelism. A few years ago, he gathered his experiences and ideas into a series of talks titled "How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids." Catholic parents around the country were extremely enthusiastic about the talks. Parents frequently approached him after the talks and encouraged him to put the information into book form because their own experiences so closely mirrored what he said. Some of these parents would proceed to share their own heart-breaking stories when their child had been pulled out of the Church. These discussions with parents also helped him to decide what information to include in his talks. He took these parents' advice to heart and the result is this book. Gary joins us to discuss "How To Wolf-Proof Your Kids."

5:00 – Kresta Comments: Jody Bottum, Generosity of Spirit, and the Battle for Marriage 

5:40 – Economic Plight and the Hope of the Church
The city of Detroit announced in July that it would go into bankruptcy, setting in motion the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Archbishop Allen Vigneron was installed as the archbishop of Detroit in 2009, a year after General Motors declared bankruptcy. Critics blame Detroit’s troubles on the struggles of the U.S. automotive industry to adapt to a changing global marketplace, corruption in city hall and public employee unions, which negotiated generous pensions for their members that now cannot be funded.But Archbishop Vigneron sees hope – he sees an opportunity for the Church to be the Church. He joins us to explain.

Alice Cooper’s Christian testimony


Fruitful Sacramental Preparation

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries
Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries and associate professor of theology at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary, has an article in Nova et Vetera titled, "The Post-Christendom Sacramental Crisis: The Wisdom of Thomas Aquinas."

The sacramental crisis of the title has two interrelated aspects:
  1. A "radical drop in the numbers of those who still bother to approach the sacraments."
  2. "[T]he apparent lack of sacramental fruitfulness in the lives of many who still partake of the sacraments."

Obviously, an unreceived sacrament is a fruitless sacrament, but if a sacrament is not fruitful, why bother to receive it in the first place?

The key section of the essay is a discussion on making reception of the sacraments more fruitful, in light of St. Thomas's teaching on adult baptism. Specifically, Martin recommends recovering a balance in sacramental preparation, reflected in St. Thomas's writings, that was thrown off after the Protestant revolution:
The reaction to the theology of the Protestant reformers produced in the Catholic Church what could be regarded as an overemphasis on the ex opere operato (by the fact of the action being performed) aspect of the sacraments working, to the neglect of the practical importance of the ex opere operantis (from the action of the doer) aspect. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the importance of both aspects:
From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.
While no one would intentionally ignore the disposition of the one in sacramental preparation -- I use "no one" in a rhetorical sense here; empirically, people are capable of anything -- it's not only inadequate to argue that the sacrament itself will make up for what is lacking in the recipient, it's flat-out contrary to what the Church teaches. If "Ex opere operato" is how a given sacramental preparation program addresses the question of subjective disposition, then, objectively, that sacramental preparation program doesn't address the question of subjective disposition.

Martin quotes St. Thomas's article on "Whether sinners should be baptized" to explain why subjective disposition needs to be addressed in the sacramental preparation of adults:

Read the rest here: http://disputations.blogspot.com/2013/08/fruitful-sacramental-preparation.html

The Preemptive Surrender of Jody Bottum

By Robert Royal
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Joseph Bottum, sometime friend of several of us at TCT, published a painfully long, painfully rambling article Friday in the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal saying that the Church is wasting its time – is even harming itself – opposing gay marriage. He was fired as editor-in-chief of First Things three years ago, years in which he has mostly been living in his native South Dakota, where one hoped he was growing in wisdom and grace. But that is not our subject today.
The subject involves the fact that the liberal Luce Foundation provided the money for the writing of the Commonweal article, whose release included an announcement of the publication of Jody’s book, An Anxious Age (scheduled for in February), and coincided with a large story in The New York Times Saturday. A cynic might think that this shows less an argument about Church policy than a PR campaign, as in “former First Things editor turns.”
But let’s start by getting the record straight: if you take his argument seriously, which I mostly do not, Jody is not saying that he “supports” gay marriage, which the New York Times headline, as is its wont in matters Catholic, gets wrong.
He is saying that the Church cannot win this cultural battle, indeed is being harmed by it, given the forces arrayed against Her. Our bishops should not waste time on it and instead focus on the deep “re-enchantment of the world,” which is what it will take to get people to see the real point of the Church’s richer notions of Creation – and sexuality.
In a way, true enough, and many people, myself included, have been saying that – minus the surrender on same-sex marriage – for decades. But I personally don’t have a large investment in the “beauty will save the world” argument, which tends to work some of the same veins as “re-enchantment.” The Beautiful is one of the transcendentals, but only one, a lot of bad can happen while we’re waiting for it to kick in.
There are hundreds of art galleries all over the world filled with first-rate Christian painting and sculpture. Religious music is regularly performed. Christian literature is abundant and still being produced. There are beautiful liturgies in many churches. People I admire write brilliantly about the deep significance of such things. I don’t see that any of this has prevented, slowed, much less reversed, our sharp cultural decline.
Bottum’s argument is the equivalent of saying: fighting terrorism will not establish the peace that passeth all understanding, so we shouldn’t bother with such skirmishes. Leave aside that a large and sophisticated entity like the Catholic Church can walk and chew gum at the same time. Walking away from this fight will not gain the Church friends or placate her enemies.
The proof will be in the people who rally to his cause. The National Catholic Reporter, Planned Parenthood, Catholics for a Free Choice, most Catholic universities, and the most secular in the secular world. Be ready for the public wave of support for Church efforts to “re-enchant” the world – along with greater time spent on social justice and inclusiveness. I’m sure Luce Foundation funding can be found for those campaigns.
In other words, they will all be happy to send Catholics off on a wild goose chase that threatens nothing in our desert of a culture: “Have a nice trip. Here are a few Euros to tip the waiters. See you guys the day after the Second Coming.”
That would be a best-case scenario. Actually, once the Church gives up the legal and cultural pushback, it won’t appease gay activists and their many more or less passive supporters. They know it means weakness. We’ll see an increase in attacks on the Church to simply shut up, and maybe even get onboard about homosexuality.
Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George just got a letter signed by eight Catholic lawmakers in Illinois chiding him for cutting archdiocesan funding to a pro-immigrant group that decided to endorse gay marriage. Imagine, a Cardinal of the Catholic Church defunds a non-profit group that goes out of its way to take a non-Catholic position inessential to its mission – and, for his trouble, reaps a stinging rebuke from Catholic pols.
The Cardinal is famous for saying that he expects to die in his bed, his successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr. The Cardinal is 76, but he’s in pretty good health, and with the highest respect, may be entirely too optimistic.
Jody asserts that there’s no coherent, principled legal argument against gay marriage and that we should simply accept it “as Americans.” I leave the legal niceties to the lawyers and legal beagles, but an awful lot of them seem to think otherwise.
And that notwithstanding, there’s a very coherent and principled – if outrageous – legal effort to extend alleged “hate crimes” further and further. One hears that Cardinal George has already been threatened by groups saying that they have eyes and ears on him. And he’s not the only one.
Jody cited G. K. Chesterton on enchantment and St. Thomas Aquinas on tolerating certain evils in making his case. The implausibility and formlessness of this argument – about which he’s already published some defensive reflections – show his own nervous ambivalence. Take one step back from the controversy. Can you imagine either of these men retreating from this battle? I can’t.
In 1976, Henry Kissinger, known as “the smartest man in the world,” told Admiral Elmo Zumwalt: “The day of the United States is past and today is the day of the Soviet Union. My job as Secretary of State is to negotiate the most acceptable second-best position available.” The Soviets had only thirteen years left.
The gay surge in the West may seem much less likely to be reversed. There are days we all feel that way. And it may be so. But there’s only one way to find out. And it’s not pre-emptive surrender.
Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, now available in paperback from Encounter Books.
The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – August 26, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 26
4:00 – “The Things We Share A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage”
Former First Things Editor Jody Bottumhas set off a bit of a firestorm after publishing an article in Commonweal Magazine entitled “The Things We Share A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage.” In the lengthy essay he writes, “Campaigns against same-sex marriage are hurting the church, offering the opportunity to make Catholicism a byword for repression in a generation that, even among young Catholics, just doesn’t think that same-sex activity is worth fighting about. There’s a reasonable case to be made that the struggle against abortion is slowly winning, but the fight against public acceptance of same-sex behavior has been utterly lost.” He is here to argue his case.
4:40 – Gay Panic Over New Russian Laws
The Russian parliament recently passed a national law forbidding homosexual proselytizing to schoolchildren. The law also forbids public manifestations like parades. An additional law forbids homosexual adoption of children or foreign adoption into countries that allow for homosexual “marriage.” Opponents of the law are not content simply to shock their friends with what is really going on in Russia. After all, these new laws are enough to shock the sensibilities of westerners where homosexuality has largely triumphed over the culture. Austin Ruse has just returned from Russia and is here to discuss the situation.
5:00 – Kresta Comments: Jody Bottom and the Future for the Church and the Culture in the Battle for Marriage
5:20 – In NM, Same-Sex Marriage Trumps Religious Liberty
The Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled last week that the First Amendment does not protect a Christian photographer's ability to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony -- even when doing so would violate the photographer's deeply held religious beliefs. As Elaine Huguenin, owner of Elane Photography, explained: "The message a same-sex commitment ceremony communicates is not one I believe." Is this a harbinger of things to come as we continue down the path of gay “marriage” as a civil right? We talk to Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued this case.
5:40 – The Personal Muslim
Steve Ray has led untold numbers of pilgrimages to the Middle East. One thing that necessarily entails is a lot of personal contact with Muslims. Steve is here to talk about the practical aspects of Islam in the Holy Land. How do Christians relate to Islam and to the Jews? How does Steve relate to Muslims as a Catholic tour guide in their countries? Steve tells us.

The Eclipse of God. Ratzinger’s Students to Address How to Overcome it.

By On 26 agosto 2013
Monday Vatican

For the first time since 1977, Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the annual meeting of his former students. To them, he explained that «as Pope Emeritus, I intended not to take part in public events.» And so he will not be at the Ratzinger’s Schulerkreis meeting. The gathering (to be held Aug 29 – Sep. 2) will take place without the beloved professor.

However, the beloved professor did not abandon them. He showed them the way. Fr. Stephan Horn, the president of the Schuelerkreis, met with Benedict at the beginning of June at the Vatican monastery where the Pope Emeritus resides. Pope Benedict confirmed to him that he would not take part in the Schulerkreis gathering. But he chose the theme for the meeting: «The question of God against the background of secularization.» He also chose the guest speaker: Remi Brague, a French theologian awarded last year with the Ratzinger Prize for Theology.

The theme is typically Benedict XVI’s. Since he was ordained priest, Joseph Ratzinger has reflected about the question of God against the background of secularization. As vice parish priest of the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Joseph Ratzinger listened to confessions very often. He was ever more aware that there was a new paganism rising, that of people who called themselves Christians but were not, and lived as pagans. He wrote a book about it, «New Pagans and the Church.»

Looking back at that book can explain all of Benedict XVI’s work, from that of an intellectual and a theologian, passing through the years as bishop and then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to shepherd of the Universal Church.

Pope Benedict XVI often admonished about the eclipse of God. He did so, quoting Isaiah, in November 27, 2011, the first Sunday of Advent: «No one invokes your name, or makes an effort to take hold of you. For you have rejected us and handed us over to our own sins.» Benedict XVI cried out loud and with angst about the present times, and about a world of «anonymous cities» where «God seems to be absent, and the human being the only master, as if he were the author and maker of everything.»

It is in these cities where men may experience a sense of abandonment by God. In such a world that «seems almost perfect,» later on «disconcerting things occur, in nature or in society, and we think that God is something like retired, that He has in some way abandoned us to our own fate. In fact, the true master of the world is not man, but God.»

These themes have always been pivotal to Ratzinger’s thought. A major focus of his reflections is about a Europe that has put aside its identity and its faith. A Europe that must come to terms with this moral crisis, before its economic crisis. The Saturday before his lamenting cry, Benedict XVI had met with the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. There, he underlined that «sometimes we have worked for a more incisive presence of Christians in society, in politics and economics, but perhaps we have not paid equal attention to the solidity of their faith.»

Benedict XVI has always called for «authentic Christians,» and this is why, in Germany in September, 2011, and in October, 2011 in Assisi, the Pope praised «agnostics for whom the question of God leave them unease, and are thus closer to the Kingdom of God than routine believers.» In essence, Benedict XVI was calling for a freer Church to believe in God.

Joseph Ratzinger’s students are well aware of all of this. They will nevertheless miss their mentor. As recalled by Fr. Joseph Fessio, publisher and founder of the Ignatius Press and one of the members of Schuelerkreis, Ratzinger had in every meeting «something new to say, something nobody had ever thought about before.».....
These will be the foundations for what should be a lively debate. Maybe a part of this debate will also take place at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery. Because, while it is true that Benedict XVI will not take part in public events, he will probably celebrate the final Mass with his former pupils. In last years’ homily, he launched the idea that truth «cannot be possessed» and the Schulerkreis meeting gave impetus to the ecumenical relationships with Lutherans and the Orthodox. Perhaps the Schuelerkreis meeting this year will show the way to overcome the eclipse of God.

Read the full article here: http://www.mondayvatican.com/vatican/the-eclipse-of-god-ratzingers-students-to-address-how-to-overcome-it

Fort Hood jihad mass murderer’s email signature: "All praises and thanks go to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds"

HasanCourt.jpgJihad Watch

Hasan is clearly a devout Muslim. If he were a devout believer in absolutely anything else, the mainstream media would be full of analyses of how the belief system in question incited violence, and what could be done about it. The trial would be considerably preoccupied with his motive as well. But he is a devout Muslim, the very thing that the government, media, and Islamic supremacist groups don't want you to know that he is, and so the trial judge has forbidden most discussion of motive, and the media is focusing on Hasan's criticism of the Afghanistan war, failing to realize that were that pretext for jihad removed, another would be put in its place.

"Hasan: 'Illegal war' provoked Fort Hood rampage," from the Associated Press, August 22 (thanks to Lookmann):
FORT HOOD, Texas : The US soldier on trial for the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood rested his case Wednesday without calling a single witness or testifying in his defense, but he later told the judge that the attack was motived by American soldiers deploying to "engage in an illegal war.''Maj. Nidal Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Texas military base. But when given the chance to rebut prosecutors' lengthy case, which included nearly 90 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence, the Army psychiatrist declined.

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday. About five minutes after court began Wednesday, the judge asked Hasan how he wanted to proceed. He answered: "The defense rests.''
But after jurors were dismissed, Hasan told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, that the jury shouldn't have the option of convicting him on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

"I would like to agree with the prosecution that it wasn't done under the heat of sudden passion,'' Hasan said. "There was adequate provocation, that these were deploying soldiers that were going to engage in an illegal war.''

Prosecutors had no objection.

"There's not a shred of evidence to suggest the accused was acting under a heat of passion as he was committing the single largest mass murder on a US military installation ever,'' Col. Steve Henricks, one of the prosecutors, told the judge.

The exchange came during a late-afternoon hearing, hours after Osborn adjourned jurors for the day. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday in the court-martial, the military's equivalent of a trial, though it's unclear whether Hasan plans to say anything.
So far, Hasan has made no attempt to prove his innocence. He has questioned just three witnesses and made few objections. The only piece of evidence he submitted was a favorable evaluation he received from a former supervisor a few days before the attack.
Before the trial began, the judge had barred Hasan from arguing that the killings were in defense of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Since then, the military defense attorneys ordered to help Hasan during the trial have accused him of trying to secure himself a death sentence, though Hasan denies those claims.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, began the trial with a brief opening statement acknowledging that evidence would "clearly show'' he was the man who opened fire inside a medial building at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. He also described himself as a soldier who had "switched sides.''

Since then, he has mostly sat in silence. He didn't question any of the witnesses who identified him as the gunman who, dressed in Army clothing and armed with a semi-automatic pistol, shouted "Allahu Akbar!'' Arabic for "God is great!'' before firing hundreds of rounds.

So his simple declaration Wednesday abdicating a defense wasn't much of a surprise.
"I think it's consistent with everything he's done. I think what he's trying to do in this court-martial is passively manifest his disdain for the Army and our system of justice,'' said Geoffrey Corn, a South Texas College of Law professor who has been following the case.

No kidding, really?
The law professor, who once taught the lead prosecutor in Hasan's case, also speculated that Hasan would wait until after he was convicted to address jurors."In the military system during sentencing, the defendant can make an unsworn statement, which means he can't be cross-examined,'' Corn said. "I think he doesn't want to be cross-examined because he doesn't want anybody to contest his distorted version of what he thinks is right.''

Hasan appears to be making his case through leaks to the media, to which jurors, like his statements to the judge, don't have access.

Taken together, the leaks reveal that Hasan is trying to justify the shooting as a necessary killing of American soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hasan allowed his civil attorney to give The New York Times a report showing that he told military mental health workers after the attack that he could "still be a martyr'' if convicted and executed by the government. He also sent a personal letter sent to the local newspaper.

Most recently, two emails he released to the Times show that Hasan asked his Army supervisors how to handle three cases that disturbed him. One involved a soldier who reported to him that U.S. troops had poured 50 gallons of fuel into the Iraqi water supply as revenge.

"I think I need a lot of reassurance for the first few times I come across these,'' Hasan wrote in an email on Nov. 2, 2009, three days before the shooting.

Hasan's email signature included a quote from the Quran: "All praises and thanks go to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.''...


DoD Training Manual: ‘Extremist’ Founding Fathers ‘Would Not Be Welcome In Today’s Military’

Manual lists people concerned with “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place” as potential extremists

Adan Salazar
August 24, 2013

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently obtained a Department of Defense training manual which lists people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential “extremists” who are likely to be members of “hate groups.”

Marked “for training purposes only,” the documents, obtained Thursday through a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in April, include PowerPoint slides and lesson plans, among which is a January 2013 Air Force “student guide” distributed by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute simply entitled “Extremism.”

Judicial Watch’s FOIA request asked for “Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force.”

As the group notes, “The document defines extremists as ‘a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights.’”

The manual goes on to bar military personnel from “active participation” in such extremist organization activities as “publicly demonstrating,” “rallying,” “fundraising” and “organizing,” basically denying active-duty military from exercising the rights they so ardently fight to defend.
It begins its introduction of a section titled, “Extremist ideologies,” by describing the American colonists who sought independence from British rule as a historical example of extremism.

“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples,” according to the training guide.

In a section drawing inspiration from a 1992 book titled “Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America,” the manual also lists “Doomsday thinking” under “traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist style.”
Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from a failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of crisis-mindedness. It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it is just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to their special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the beginning of the end.
“Nowadays,” the manual explains, “instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”

Judicial Watch also acknowledges the Southern Poverty Law Center “is listed as a resource for information on hate groups and referenced several times throughout the guide,” even though the group itself was directly responsible for a “hate crime” perpetrated on the Family Research Council after it was listed on the SPLC’s “hate map.”

It can no longer be denied that military and local law enforcement crosshairs have gradually been realigned from targeting phantom terrorists overseas to targeting domestic “extremists,” a broad, all-encompassing term that accommodates anyone generally challenging or questioning the status quo.
As Judicial Watch notes, although the documents were obtained through the Air Force, the fact that they originated in a DOD office means they have likely been distributed throughout the government’s various agencies.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton concluded that the documents fall in line with the Obama administration’s “nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism,” and that the language closely “echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations.” “And now… its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military… After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”

Read the full article here: http://www.infowars.com/dod-training-manual-suggests-extremist-founding-fathers-would-not-be-welcome-in-todays-military/

This article was posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Churches changing bylaws after gay marriage ruling


AP Photo
AP Photo/Phil Sears


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.
Although there have been lawsuits against wedding industry businesses that refuse to serve gay couples, attorneys promoting the bylaw changes say they don't know of any lawsuits against churches.
Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it's only a matter of time before one of them is sued.
"I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no," said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, an association of Southern Baptist churches and one several groups advising churches to change their bylaws. "I think it's better to be prepared because the law is changing. America is changing."
In a June decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law. A second decision was more technical but essentially ushered in legal gay marriage in California.
Kevin Snider is an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense group that specializes in conservative Christian issues. His organization released a model marriage policy a few years ago in response to a statewide gay marriage fight in California. Snider said some religious leaders have been threatened with lawsuits for declining to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Dean Inserra, head pastor of the 1,000-member City Church Tallahassee, based in Florida, said he does not want to be alarmist, but his church is looking into how best to address the issue.
Inserra said he already has had to say no to gay friends who wanted him to perform a wedding ceremony.
"We have some gay couples that attend our church. What happens when they ask us to do their wedding?" Inserra said. "What happens when we say no? Is it going to be treated like a civil rights thing?"
Critics, including some gay Christian leaders, argue that the changes amount to a solution looking for a problem.
"They seem to be under the impression that there is this huge movement with the goal of forcing them to perform ceremonies that violate their freedom of religion," said Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network, a nonprofit that provides support for gay Christians and their friends and families and encourages churches to be more welcoming.
"If anyone tried to force a church to perform a ceremony against their will, I would be the first person to stand up in that church's defense."
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia now recognize gay marriage.
Some Christian denominations, such as the United Church of Christ, accept gay marriage. The Episcopal Church recently approved a blessing for same-sex couples, but each bishop must decide whether to allow the ceremony in his or her local diocese.
The majority of Christian denominations, however, view homosexual relationships as sinful. In more hierarchical denominations, like the Roman Catholic Church or the United Methodist Church, individual churches are bound by the policies of the larger denomination. But nondenominational churches and those loosely affiliated with more established groups often individually decide how to address social issues such as gay marriage.
Eric Rassbach is an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest legal group that defends the free expression rights of all faiths. He said it is unlikely the government would try to force a pastor to perform a same-sex marriage, but churches that rent out their facilities to the general public could face problems if they refuse to rent to gay couples.
Although his organization has not advocated it, he said it could strengthen a church's legal position to adopt a statement explaining its beliefs about marriage.
"A number of groups don't have a written doctrine," Rassbach said. "Say a group like the Primitive Baptists - they don't want a written-down credo, but the courts like written-down things."
Rassbach said it was important for churches to get their beliefs in writing before a dispute arises, otherwise it can look to a court as if something was done after the fact as an attempt to cover up hostility to gays.
Airline Baptist Church Senior Pastor Chad Mills said members of the public use their facilities in Bossier City, La., for many activities, including Zumba classes. In the past, anyone who could pay the fee was allowed to reserve the space. But recently, the church changed its rental policy to allow wedding-related events only for male-female couples.

Read the rest here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REL_CHURCHES_GAY_MARRIAGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-24-09-26-01

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