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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.''...

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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
Infowars.com
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.”
dodman

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

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon – August 23, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 23

4:00 – Contemporary Music Seeking the Intersection of Art and Faith in Modern Culture
Love Good Music is a community of artists and patrons evangelizing culture through beauty. While the music they support ranges from the sacred to the secular, it all explores the mysterious intersection of art and faith in modern culture. Alanna Boudreau is one of the artists on tour with Love Good Music this summer and she joins us in studio today after performing last night here in Ann Arbor for conversation and some live music.

4:40 – Kresta Comments

5:00 – Direct to My Desk

National Catholic Reporter’s $2.3 million grant to cover religious sisters

 
By Kevin J. Jones


.- Amid continued controversy over the Catholic identity of U.S. women religious, a dissenting Catholic newspaper has been awarded a multi-million dollar grant to cover religious sisters locally and globally.

Brad Myers, a senior program officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's Catholic Sisters Initiative, confirmed to CNA on Aug. 22 that the foundation board last week approved a three-year, $2.3 million grant to the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Catholic Reporter.

He said the grant is designed to create “what we're calling a global sisters' net.”
“The idea is a website devoted to the coverage of Catholic sisters globally,” he said. “Initially our focus is going to be on issues facing Catholic sisters in the United States and Africa. Ultimately we do have global ambitions. We have stronger networks between these two countries, so that’s where we'll start.”

“For the most part, we’re looking to improve the support systems among religious life among women. Our approach is to look at ways to make the systems work better for all women religious,” he added.
Myers noted that the grant was only recently approved by the board and the newspaper has not yet officially accepted the grant.

The National Catholic Reporter's Catholic identity has been called into question by its local bishops several times.
Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in January 2013 said the National Catholic Reporter takes positions “against authentic Church teaching and leadership.” He said the agency's perspectives “have not changed trajectory” since October 1968.

At that time, Bishop Finn's predecessor Bishop Charles H. Helmsing condemned the newspaper for “its disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith,” and asked it to remove the name “Catholic” from the title.
The newspaper's editorial staff announced their dissent from Church teaching on the ordination of women in an edito6ral last December.

Myers declined to comment on whether or not the newspaper's history enables it to reliably cover Catholic issues.
The Hilton Foundation previously approved a $150,000 one-year grant for the National Catholic Reporter in late 2011 to assist with the planning for a project on women religious, the foundation's website says.

CNA contacted the National Catholic Reporter for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.
The newspaper's coverage and editorial writing has been highly critical of the Vatican's doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The conference represents 1,500 leaders of U.S. Catholic religious orders.

Myers said that the Hilton Foundation does not take a position on the controversy between the Vatican and the leadership conference.
“This grant is just not related to the current issues related to the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR,” he said.

The assessment, begun in 2008 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, found serious theological and doctrinal errors in the presentations at the conference’s annual assemblies. It voiced concern about “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” that could distort Catholic teaching.

The assessment said that the conference’s material for new superiors and formators lacks sufficient doctrinal formation and may reinforce confusion about Church doctrine. The analysis also found that the conference is a strong advocate on many social justice issues, but has remained silent on the right to life.

In January 2011 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of the leadership conference is “grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregations in other parts of the world.”...

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, based near Los Angeles, was founded by the Catholic hotel magnate of the same name. The foundation has long backed religious sisters and is a major funder of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, which in 2010 said it had awarded about $75 million in grants for the educational, health and social service ministries of religious sisters in 130 countries.

In 2013 the foundation gave a $3 million grant to the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States to implement an exchange program for Catholic religious sisters from Latin America to come to the U.S. The foundation also gave $4.5 million to Marywood University in Pennsylvania to teach African sisters and to support graduates of the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative.
Other grant recipients include the National Religious Vocation Conference, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The foundation has given grants to Wyoming Catholic College, Thomas Aquinas College, Loyola Marymount University and some Los Angeles Catholic schools.

Hilton family members have a significant presence on the foundation’s board of directors. One religious sister is on the foundation’s board, Sister Joyce Meyer, P.B.V.M.

Read the full article here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/national-catholic-reporters-23-million-grant-to-cover-religious-sisters/

Tolerance in San Antonio

Washington Times EDITORIAL:

There’s apparently nothing very gay at the Alamo
Illustration Homosexual Agenda by John Camejo for The Washington TimesThe First Amendment took a hit in San Antonio last week, but the Constitution is still breathing. The San Antonio City Council voted to consider a city ordinance disqualifying anyone who believes homosexual conduct is wrong from serving, ever, on a municipal board. The ban is to be applied “if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed” against various protected classes, and for the first time to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.”

Such bigots, for bigots is what they are, have no qualms about using such power as they have to bully anyone who holds views rooted in tradition or religion. The first draft of the San Antonio proposal would also have forbidden the city from doing business with anyone who fails to espouse politically correct views, and could, theoretically be used to remove anyone from office with a traditional view, or even a view not believed fervently enough, for “malfeasance.” Such discrimination is proposed under the cloak of a “non-discrimination” ordinance. George Orwell is alive and hiding in Texas.

You might have to be careful calling a male person a “man” if San Antonio actually enacts such malignant drivel. The ordinance says that “Gender identity means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.” What if a man doesn’t feel manly when he’s called a man? Would subscribing to Playboy be prima facie evidence of offending gender identity, as practiced in San Antonio? Would it be against the law? The Alliance Defending Freedom, which litigates on behalf of religious tolerance, says it has never before encountered such an expansive ordinance.

Bigotry is breaking out all over. California is currently enjoined by a federal court from enforcing a law prohibiting homosexual-conversion therapy for children and youths struggling to be who they want to be. The New Jersey Legislature adopted a similar measure late last month, which still awaits a signature or veto from Gov. Chris Christie. Both bills would prohibit professional counselors from seeking to “change a person’s sexual orientation” or “to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.”

It matters not whether parents of the minors or the minors themselves want counseling. California and New Jersey legislators know they know best, and they’re fervently for giving everyone a choice, so long as it’s the choice they approve. All other choices must be banned lest someone choose incorrectly.

A petition circulated last month by something calling itself “Faithful America” badgered CNN to quit inviting Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, to be a guest on its panels because Mr. Perkins and his organization support traditional marriage. To Faithful America, the Family Research Council is “a hate group.” It’s all about silencing anyone who disagrees.

The Pilgrims came to these shores centuries ago to escape the “group think” of monarchy and to practice their faith as they pleased. Freedom of religion is one of the first and most enduring freedoms that made America the exceptional nation. From California to San Antonio to New Jersey, it’s a lesson the courts must soon teach the lavender lobby.

The Washington Times


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/30/tolerance-in-san-antonio/#ixzz2clBD8fjZ
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

3 NYS Dems Want to Follow NJ GOP Gov. Chris Christie In Banning Conversion Therapy


NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27:  New York State Senator Brad Hoylman attends the  New York City AIDS Memorial design unveiling at The McGraw-Hill Building on March 27, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman is one three Albany legislators
who are pushing for a state ban on 'conversion therapy' for gay teens to
 attempt to turn them heterosexual.
 Hoylman is the state’s only openly gay senator.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/albany-pols-push-
gay-conversion-therapy-article-1.1432238#ixzz2cl8aywAQ
Three New York lawmakers are using the controversy over a New Jersey law banning teen anti-gay therapy to push similar legislation in New York.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made national news this week when he signed a bill abolishing the therapy that attempts to turn gay teens straight.

Now, State Sens. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick say New York pols should swiftly pass a similar bill they introduced earlier this year that stalled in Albany.

“Conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other ... leading mental health organizations,” said Hoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator.

The New York bill would bar mental health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.

If enacted, a licensed mental health provider who ignored the law would be cited for unprofessional conduct and subject to licensing sanctions.

Similar legislation has been enacted in California. Christie, who is eyeing a GOP presidential run in 2016, endorsed it this week.

“This is not a hyperpartisan issue,” said Gianaris, the senate’s deputy Democratic leader. “This is about protecting young people who are being forced to believe that the way they are is wrong, when it’s not.”

Glick said conversion therapy “adds to a hostile environment” at a time when the gay community has been subjected to increased bullying and gay bashing.

The Daily News reported on Sunday that the NYPD is on pace to investigate about twice the number of anti-gay incidents in 2013 — from slurs to felony assaults — compared to 2012. The crimes include the May 18 murder of a 32-year-old man in Greenwich Village.

Melissa Ingraham, a licensed mental health counselor with the Christian Counseling Center in upstate Johnson City, argued that the bill would keep some teens from getting the help they want.

“If someone has an attraction to someone of the same sex that they don’t want, they should have the ability to pursue counseling to work it out,” Ingraham said.

Read the rest here: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/08/three-nys-dems-want-to-follow-nj-gop-gov-chris-christie-in-banning-gay-conve-0

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon – August 22, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 22

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Egypt: The Latest Large-Scale Example of Islam's New War on Christians
Raymond Ibrahimis the author of the book Crucified Again: Exposing the New War on Christians. Nowhere is this more on display than in Egypt. Report after report after report over the past few weeks out of Egypt are detailing horrific acts of violence directed towards the countries’ Christian minority by the Muslim Brotherhood. Ibrahim writes about these acts and many more in his book which detail the conditions Christians have been subjected to around the world. As the Brotherhood fights to regain control from the military, the outlet of their rage has been Egypt’s many Coptic Christians who are struggling to survive after 2 long years of persecution. He joins us today.

5:00 – Pope Francis to Consecrate the World to Mary Oct. 13 – Is This the Consecration Called for in Fatima That Some Say Never Took Place?
Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at a Vatican ceremony on October 13. The “Marian Day” ceremony, organized by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, will be held on the anniversary of the final appearance of the Virgin Mary at Fatima. For the occasion, the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be brought from the shrine in Portugal to the Vatican, for public veneration on October 12 followed by the consecration ceremony the following day. Some are asking if this is related to the Blessed Mother’s call for the consecration of Russia. Wasn’t that done by Blessed John Paul II? Jimmy Akin is here to shed some light on this.

5:20 – "Science" Writer Wants Wesley Smith Booted From National Review. Why?
Hank Campbell, the founder of Science 2.0, wants our friend Wesley Smith booted from National Review. Apparently he is “anti science” because he wrote a piece opposing three-parent IVF based on moral and ethical concerns. From Campbell’s tirade: “But there is no reason National Review should be letting an anti-science fear monger take up this charge against science yet again. Conservatives claim to be more rational so there is no reason to embrace the irrational Discovery Institute, yet Wesley J. Smith, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and quasi-philosophical lawyer is being encouraged to mask his anti-science agenda under the guise of ethics.” Wesley responds.

5:40 – Growth in the Spiritual Life: If Pope Emeritus Benedict Is Doing It You Should Too
Yesterday we learned from the Guardian newspaper that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience". He reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens. Despite some ridiculous false dichotomies in the story, it raises the question of growth in the spiritual life – from the Pope to the pew. Dan Burke joins us.

NJ bans reparative therapy; Gov. Christie’s office emphasizes disagreement with Catholic teaching

CWN - August 20, 2013
 
Following California’s lead, New Jersey has enacted a ban on reparative therapy for youths with same-sex attractions. After signing the bill, the office of Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, issued a statement emphasizing that the governor disagrees with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. The statement quoted a 2011 interview in which Christie said:   
Well my religion says it’s a sin. I mean I think, but for me, I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so I think if someone is born that way it’s very difficult to say then that’s a sin. But I understand that my Church says that, but for me personally I don’t look at someone who is homosexual as a sinner.
“His action on this bill is consistent with his belief that people are born gay and homosexuality is not a sin,” the statement added.

Source for article: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=18781&amp
 
Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.




More from USA Today:
Supporters of same-sex marriage say they have greater hope New Jersey will soon allow it after Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Monday banning the controversial practice of "conversion" therapy for gay youth.

New Jersey is only the second state in the nation, after California, to forbid licensed therapists from using therapy to try to change the sexual orientation of minors. But the state is the only one in the Northeast not to allow gay couples to marry: Christie vetoed same-sex marriage legislation last year.
Christie said that while he is concerned about "government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children,'' he sided with expert opinion from the American Psychological Association that so-called conversion therapy can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse in teenagers.

The conversion therapy law "sets a national precedent on not allowing this abuse to go forward,'' said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, which supported the ban.

Supporters of same-sex marriage say they have greater hope New Jersey will soon allow it after Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Monday banning the controversial practice of "conversion" therapy for gay youth.

New Jersey is only the second state in the nation, after California, to forbid licensed therapists from using therapy to try to change the sexual orientation of minors. But the state is the only one in the Northeast not to allow gay couples to marry: Christie vetoed same-sex marriage legislation last year.
Christie said that while he is concerned about "government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children,'' he sided with expert opinion from the American Psychological Association that so-called conversion therapy can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse in teenagers.

The conversion therapy law "sets a national precedent on not allowing this abuse to go forward,'' said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, which supported the ban.

Read the rest here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/19/chris-christie-gay-conversion-therapy-new-jersey/2671197/

    Twenty-thousand Syrian Kurds forced to take refuge in Iraq

     
    Syrians streaming into Kurdistan, Iraq on August 15, 2013. Credit: UNHCR/G.Gubaeva.
    .-

    Following recent clashes in Syria between al-Qaeda linked opposition groups and Kurdish forces, 20,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan – an autonomous region of northern Iraq – in the last six days.

    “The factors allowing this sudden movement are not fully clear to us at this stage,” said Adrian Edwards, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman, at an Aug. 16 news briefing.
    Around noon on Aug. 15, a group of some 750 Syrian refugees crossed a new bridge across the Tigris River on the border between Syria and Iraq near the Iraqi town of Faysh Khabur. Later that day, another group of between 5,000 and 7,000 people followed.

    On Aug. 17, as many as 10,000 refugees entered Iraq at Faysh Khabur, bringing the total number of refugees at the single point to 20,000 in less than a week.
    The Syrian refugees are fleeing the civil war which has its roots in March 2011, when demonstrations against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad began. That April, the Syrian army began to deploy to put down the uprisings, firing on protesters.

    Since then, the civil war has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people.
    The large influx of refugees at Faysh Khabur adds to the 1.9 million Syrian refugees in nearby countries, most of whom are in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Another 4.25 million Syrian people are believed to have been internally displaced by the war.
    The Syrian opposition is divided among secularists, Islamists, and Kurds.

    In mid-July, Kurdish forces fought with al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists, including the al-Nusra Front, and fought them off on July 17, according to Saudi news channel Al Arabiya. At the city of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, 29 people were killed.
    Since then, Islamists have reportedly killed hundreds of Syrian Kurds.

    Read the full article here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/twenty-thousand-syrian-kurds-forced-to-take-refuge-in-iraq/
     
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