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Joseph Bottum: “There are a couple things that I regret in the article

“I didn’t really think that it would be misread in quite the way that it has been.”
This afternoon Joseph Bottum, former editor of First Things whose article in Commonweal on same-sex marriage ignited a firestorm of Internet commentary over the weekend, spoke with Al Kresta on his radio show about the controversial essay. Bottum says the piece (which can be found here) has been widely misunderstood by people on the right and the left, and that he has not, in fact, changed his position on same-sex marriage. Rather, he believes the issue has become a “distraction”and that “the culture is just in the weirdest place, and that the message that we have to teach is not being successfully learned.”
 
The full interview touches on the several controversial elements of Bottum’s lengthy essay—including that very lengthiness!—and can be heard here. A couple excerpts:
 
I’ve been, for the last few years, coming around to a position that Paul Griffiths, the theologian down at Duke, proposed some years ago—and he in turn got beat up for it by people I respected, like Father Neuhaus—which was: the cultural situation is getting so strange, we should probably get out of the civil marriage business. At the time I kind of went along with Father Neuhaus and the others who were saying, “No Paul—you can’t counsel Catholicism to withdraw from the public square.”
 
Kresta: You’re giving up the fight, you’re moving in the direction of a separatist community…
 
Bottum: Right. Exactly. That was the argument at the time. And I went along with it, probably even agreed with it. But as time’s gone by, [...] I think many of us are coming around to the idea that the culture is just in the weirdest place, and that the message that we have to teach is not being successfully learned, on what marriage is in its full, rich sacramental sense. […]
I’m still on-board the Magisterium here, all the way. But I’m also looking at the culture. […]
 
Kresta: If your fundamental position hasn’t changed, what has changed?
 
Read the rest at Catholic World Report.

Fed Judge Declares Anti-Gay Sermon a "Crime Against Humanity"

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Fed Judge Declares Anti-Gay Sermon a "Crime Against Humanity"

A federal judge ruled that a biblically based denunciation of homosexuality was a “crime against humanity.”

In his decision in the case of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) v. Lively, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Ponsor held that Scott Lively, an evangelical pastor, was “aiding and abetting a crime against humanity” when Lively spoke in Uganda and in America against homosexual behavior.
Ponsor wrote in his 79-page opinion that Lively’s message was “analogous to a terrorist designing and manufacturing a bomb in this country, which he then mails to Uganda with the intent that it explode there.”

The plaintiff in the case is a consortium of groups based in Kampala, Uganda that fight for “fair and equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people” in the East Africa region.

Ponsor says that Lively, by publishing tracts and delivering discourses condemning same-sex relationships, was acting as “an upper-level manager or leader of a criminal enterprise.”
While in Uganda, Lively praised local pastors working to fight the proliferation of sexual activity between those of the same gender, basing his remarks on his interpretation of the Bible’s condemnation of such behavior.

“I’ve never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue,” Lively told the New York Times.

Reading between the lines, it becomes apparent that the “criminal enterprise” in which Ponsor found Lively engaged was that of believing, preaching, and promoting Judeo-Christian morality in an age that glorifies ungodliness and exalts satisfaction of appetites above the sacrifice of self to the will of God.

Ponsor, a 1994 Clinton appointee, calls Lively’s Ugandan hosts “co-conspirators” in Lively’s violations of “international norms.”

Harry Mihet, Lively’s lawyer, responded to Ponsor’s decision to allow the case against his client to proceed.

We are disappointed with the decision because we believe SMUG’s claims are firmly foreclosed, not only by the First Amendment right to free speech, but also by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kiobel, which eliminated Alien Tort Statute claims for events that allegedly occurred in foreign nations. We are still reviewing the court’s ruling, and will continue to vigorously defend Mr. Lively’s constitutional rights, with confidence that he will ultimately be vindicated.
 

Mihet’s comments were echoed by Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Council, the organization representing Lively. “Like all American citizens, Lively enjoys a fundamental First Amendment right to engage in nonviolent political discourse anywhere in the world,” Staver said.

Beyond the de jure banning of biblical morality by a Bill Clinton appointee, there is another curious political connection in the persecution of Pastor Lively.

Read the rest here: http://thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/16415-fed-judge-declares-anti-gay-sermon-a-crime-against-humanity

Gay Spouses in All States Now Married Under U.S. Tax Law


Gay spouses in all U.S. states will be treated as married under federal tax law even if local authorities don’t recognize their marriages, in what gay-rights advocates are calling a victory.
The decision by the Treasury Department today implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had forbidden the Internal Revenue Service from letting married homosexual couples file joint tax returns.
                   

Gay Spouses in All States Can File Joint Taxes, Treasury Says
Mario Tama/Getty Images
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Shyla Smith, right, and Courtney Burdeshaw during their wedding ceremony at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau the day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on DOMA on June 27, 2013 in New York City.

Gay Spouses in All States Can File Joint Taxes, Treasury Says

 

   

The U.S. government’s decision is a win for same-sex couples who were married in one of the 13 states, the District of Columbia or foreign countries that recognize such relationships and now live in one of the 37 states that don’t.

“This is a very positive development,” said Derek Dorn, a partner at Davis & Harman LLP in Washington and outside counsel to the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for lesbian and gay Americans. “Additional details need to be worked out in more nuanced areas of the tax law.”
More than 200 provisions in the tax code and federal regulations reference marriage, affecting a range of financial matters such as retirement accounts and health benefits, according to the IRS. Couples with unequal incomes will benefit from the marriage bonuses in the tax code, while those with relatively equal incomes will have to pay more.

The ruling also will make it easier for spouses to inherit money tax-free.

Read the rest at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-29/gay-spouses-in-all-states-can-file-joint-taxes.html

Hubble telescope spots ‘cosmic caterpillar’ that’s six TRILLION miles long, formed by harsh winds from some of our hottest stars

By Ellie Zolfagharifard
|

A stellar ‘caterpillar’ in the midst of a metamorphosis has been spotted by astronomers.
The light-year-long cosmic squiggle is currently collecting material from an envelope of gas surrounding it.

Astronomers are now keen to see what will emerge from the protostar, which is in a very early evolutionary stage.

Scroll down for video…

Cosmic caterpillar
This light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this ‘wanna-be’ star and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape
 

A previous study has called the object, which lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, a ‘tadpole in an interstellar pond.’

Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this ‘wanna-be’ star, named IRAS 20324+4057, and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape.

 
 

The culprits are 65 of the hottest, brightest known stars, classified as O-type stars, located 15 light-years away from the knot, towards the right edge of the image.

VIDEO: The ‘cosmic caterpillar’ zoom sequence


Cygnus OB2
Cygnus OB2 (pictured) is home to some of the largest and most luminous stars known. Astronomers believe that the envelope of gas surrounding the protostar is being eroded by the radiation from Cygnus OB2
 
These stars, along with 500 highly luminous B-type stars, make up what is called the Cygnus OB2 association.

However, astronomers believe that the envelope of gas surrounding the protostar is being eroded by the radiation from Cygnus OB2.

Protostars in this region should eventually become young stars with final masses about one to ten times that of our sun.
If the eroding radiation from the nearby bright stars destroys the gas envelope before the protostars finish collecting mass, their final masses could be cut.

COSMIC CATERPILLAR: KEY FACTS

Object name:    IRAS 20324+4057
Object description:    Protostar in early evolutionary stage

Constellation:    Cygnus

Distance:    4,500 light-years away
This image is based on data gathered by the Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2006.
It also combines data from ground-based hydrogen data collected by the Isaac Newton Telescope.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2406611/Cosmic-caterpillar-spotted-Hubble-telescope-thats-6-TRILLION-miles-long.html#ixzz2dVwYOPzq
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Where Did Billy Ray Go?

billy_cyrus320 

Meg Meeker, M.D.

When I watched Miley Cyrus slither on stage at the recent MTV Video Music Awards looking like a cross between a 12-year-old boy and a seasoned pole dancer, I felt as though someone had kicked me in the stomach. Clearly she was coached to act sexually outrageous in order to get attention.  But her handlers forgot to tell her that she would embarrass herself and, hopefully, her family.  Her performance showed how seriously she has been prostituted by adults wanting to gain one thing: a lot of money. And as she moved on stage I wondered, Where is Billy Ray?

I remember an interview that Billy Ray did in 2007 when he described his relationship with his then 14-year-old daughter. He remarked that he enjoyed teaching her to cook hot dogs and play games with her but when it came to discipline, he wasn’t very keen on it. That was her mother’s territory.

Clearly over the past six years, his fatherly influence has waned miserably. I don’t know Billy Ray and before I would indict him as a bad father, it is important to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Miley and/or her mother cut him out of Miley’s life. What happened on stage several nights ago shows what happens to young girls who have no fatherly influence; for no dad who cherishes his daughter would advocate such sexually ridiculous behavior.

But rather than point fingers, I think that it is important to learn a few things.

First, Miley, at 20 years of age, is still cognitively not yet an adult. We know through studies on brain development that the higher brain functions (those that help young people understand behavior and their consequences) aren’t complete. That means that parents must still give strong and clear guidance to 20-year-old children in order to keep them safe. I wonder if Billy Ray knows this.

Second, we must recognize that the same forces, which seduced Miley to behave as she did, are at work on our kids too. The difference between our kids and Miley are only two things: she has more money and more exposure. But with access to the Internet, many of our young daughters can acquire enormous exposure and let’s not be fools. They know how to get attention, just like Miley does. So we must be relentlessly diligent in keeping tabs on what our girls show to whom and when.

Third, Miley’s behavior shows us how desperately girls crave male attention. That means, dads, you’re on. We can glean from her performance that she didn’t get nearly enough attention from Billy Ray because we know that girls who get attention at home are far less likely to seek it outside the home.

As I wrote in Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, the most effective way to boost a girl’s self-esteem is to have her father show her more physical affection.

Can changing a girl’s behavior be as simple as having her father hug her, pay attention to her and show her that he loves being with her?

Yup.

Read the rest at Meg Meeker’s website: http://www.megmeekermd.com/2013/08/where-did-billy-ray-go/

And just for fun, here’s a short youtube clip on “how to twerk” – but it’s not what you think!! Watch it, you’ll love it! This woman tells it like it is.

 

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – August 30, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 30

4:00 – What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster
Look around you and think for a minute: Is America too crowded? For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation: people jostling for space on a planet that’s busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else. It’s all bunk. The “population bomb” never exploded. Instead, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, we’ve been facing exactly the opposite problem: people are having too few babies. Jonathan Last is here to explain why the population implosion happened and how it is remaking culture, the economy, and politics both at home and around the world. Because if America wants to continue to lead the world, we need to have more babies

5:00 – History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium
The Catholic Church is the longest-enduring institution in the world. Beginning with the first Christians and continuing in our present day, the Church has been planted in every nation on earth. The Catholic Church claims Jesus Christ himself as her founder, and in spite of heresy from within and hostility from without, she remains in the twenty-first century the steadfast guardian of belief in his life, death, and resurrection. The teachings and redemptive works of Jesus as told in the Gospels are expressed by the Church in a coherent and consistent body of doctrine, the likes of which cannot be found in any other Christian body. The history of the Catholic Church is long, complicated, and fascinating, and historian James Hitchcockis here to tell it.

Miley v. Muslims

August 29, 2013

Miley vs.
Bill Donohue comments on reactions to Miley Cyrus and the Miss World pageant:

Last Sunday, at the MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus simulated masturbation with a giant foam finger, grabbed her crotch, rubbed herself against a man old enough to be her father, pretended the man was performing anal sex on her, and walked around in a nude latex bikini. Her mother loved it. So did her manager. Millions of young girls and guys loved it as well.
  
  Next month, the Miss World pageant will be held in Indonesia. Some Muslims are urging the government to cancel the event. According to the leader, Riziek Shihab, “The Miss World pageant is only an excuse to exhibit women’s body parts.”

Who are the real feminists? Miley’s fans? Or the Muslims? If debasing women is the yardstick, the Muslims win.
  
Read the rest at The Catholic League.

Anger over Virgin Mary dressed in tribal sari

The controversial statue of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus
BBC: The ‘tribal’ statue of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus was installed on 26 May

Around 20,000 march on church in protest over statue

Ritu Sharma, New Delhi

India
August 27, 2013
UCA News

Some 20,000 tribal people in Jharkhand state in eastern India have marched on a village church, accusing local Christians of trying to convert them by dressing up a Virgin Mary statue in tribal clothing.

Members of the animist Sarna faith have been complaining since the statue was inaugurated in the Singpur village church in May.

But the standoff escalated on Sunday when the marchers took a normal statue of Mary to the church, aiming to replace the offending item, which depicts the Virgin Mary wearing a sari with traditional red borders, holding the infant Jesus.

Police blocked the protesters 25 meters from the church. Local head of police Jagannath Oraon said that they were seeking to avoid a confrontation and peace was quickly restored.

Bandham Tigga, head priest of the Sarna tribals, said the sari-clad statue marks the latest effort to deliberately confuse and convert tribal people in the area.

Read the rest here: http://www.ucanews.com/news/anger-over-virgin-mary-dressed-in-tribal-sari/69114

Normalizing Pedophilia 2

I have written about this before. In our growing hedonistic culture, pedophilia is in the process of being normalized, downgraded by some from a severe sexual perversion into a mere ”orientation.”
The Atlanticmainstream media!–has two articles that push us in that direction. First, “I Pedophile,” by David Goldberg–a Canadian journalist convicted for viewing child pornography–argues that his obsession with children is a “sexual orientation:”
The main query that I am convinced will always be without an answer is why I am a pedophile. It is the equivalent of trying to determine why someone is heterosexual or gay. We don’t choose our sexual orientations. If we could, believe me, no one would choose mine.

Then, he says incarceration isn’t the right approach to child porn consumers:

I am not advocating the cross-generational lifestyle. In fact, there is never an instance when an adult should engage in sexual behavior with a child. But until we as a society learn that help for those who view child pornography is a far better alternative to incarceration, we are doomed to see the continued proliferation of this problem. Scientists don’t know for certain if there is a correlation between viewing child pornography and offending against children. Wouldn’t it be nice to get pedophiles help before we find out for certain?

Cross generational lifestyle?” Watching child porn is “offending against children!”
Goldman says he is “lucky” to have been caught in Canada and given only a 90-day jail sentence. Otherwise he would have had to spend time with “hardened” criminals. But who is a more hardened criminal than someone who victimizes children?
It’s one thing for a pedophile to rationalize his perversion. It is another for ”experts” in treating the condition to claim that pedophilia is a sexual orientation. From, “What Can Be Done About Pedophilia?”

“Sexual orientation” means different things in different contexts. When they say “sexual orientation,” most people mean a sexual interest that is inborn and unchangeable. No one chooses to be sexually attracted to children, although people do choose whether they act on their sexual attractions. Therapists have been attempting to turn pedophiles into non-pedophiles for a very long time, but no one has presented any objective evidence of any enduring change in sexual interests.

Wesley Smith

The expert isn’t suggesting that pedophilia should be treated as the same as homosexuality–yet:

Scientists have more specifically called it an “age orientation.” Caution has to be used, however, so as not to confuse the scientific use of the phrase “sexual orientation” with its use in law. Because the phrase “sexual orientation” has been used as shorthand (or as a euphemism) for homosexuality, there exist laws and policies barring discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation.” These were not likely intended to refer to pedophilia.

Read the rest: http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/356856/normalizing-pedophilia-2-wesley-j-smith

ACLU ‘stunned’ as N.M. judge rules gay marriage legal, despite law

Photo by: T.S. Last
Angelique Neuman, left, and Jen Roper, right, celebrate their wedding at
Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center, where Roper is undergoing
treatment, Friday Aug. 23, 2013 in Santa Fe, N.M.
(AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, T.S. Last)

By Cheryl K. Chumley

 

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/27/aclu-stunned-nm-judge-rules-gay-marriage-legal-des/#ixzz2dK9QEA8T
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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