Saturday, December 23, 2006

Half of Christians Have Fled Iraq

The violence in Iraq has prompted half of the country's Christians to emigrate, says an official of the Chaldean patriarchate of Baghdad. Auxiliary Bishop Andraos Abouna explained to the international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) the work that ecclesial leaders are carrying out to shelter the more than 35,000 Christians who have sought refuge in Syria. The Church is helping to provide shelter, food and medical support for these and other refugees.

Many Believe Truth About Jesus Covered Up

Some Americans give credence to suggestions that Jesus of Nazareth married Mary Magdalene and had children, the central ideas in the novel "The Da Vinci Code." But a much larger number - 40 percent of the 1,031 adults interviewed in a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll - say it's possible that early church leaders withheld important details about Jesus' life. The findings reflect a fascination with conspiracy theories, even in religious matters.

The 12 Most Significant Religious Findings From 2006

Even though George Barna has been conducting national public opinion surveys for a quarter-century, surprises emerge each year from those studies. The California-based researcher traditionally ends each year by identifying some of the unexpected and most significant findings of the passing year. Barna released his list of the twelve most noteworthy results of 2006, and described a few themes that ran through this year's surveys.

New Archbishop Clearly 'the Pope's Man'

Pope Benedict XVI has put his stamp firmly on Canada's Roman Catholic Church with the appointment of a punning, affable, schmooze-averse scholar as the next archbishop - and almost certainly next cardinal - of Toronto ... He is clearly the Pope's man - like Benedict, a gentle introvert who leads with his intellect rather than his personality, a conservative theologian ("Me? Surely, you jest," he jokes in an interview), and a modest, soft-spoken cosmopolitan who is comfortable with women and melts into groups without dominating them.

Landmark Settlement for Injuries to 'Fetus'

A northwestern Alberta family has reached a landmark out-of-court settlement with an insurance company over injuries the daughter suffered before she was born. Brooklynn Rewega, now 5, was injured when her pregnant mother, Lisa, was involved in a serious car accident in Dec. 31, 2000.

Church Denies Funeral for Euthanasia Proponent

Italy's Roman Catholic Church has denied the right to a religious funeral to a terminally ill man whose fight to die sparked a fierce euthanasia debate. Piergiorgio Welby died in Rome on Wednesday when a doctor turned off his life support machine at his request. Church officials said they could not grant the request of the Welby family for a funeral in his local parish. They said Mr Welby had gone against Catholic teaching by expressing a desire to end his life.

Justin Planning Run for Parliament

Justin Trudeau is poised to leap into federal politics and seek a seat in Parliament next election, according to a media report. Maclean's magazine says the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau suggested in an interview that he would make an announcement after Christmas about a possible run. Speculation has run rampant since he delivered a stirring eulogy at his father's funeral in 2000 over whether he will enter politics and give a positive jolt to the federal Liberals.

What Would Jesus Do? Ban Christmas!

THIS being the season, just ask yourself the question they ask in revival circles: What would Jesus do? Personally, I think he’d ban Christmas — hurl it over along with money changers’ tables. The crazed materialism that has hijacked the meaning of the holiday is getting worse.

Friday, December 22, 2006

So You Thought Catholic Priests Are the Main Abusers of Children ...

The phenomenon of teachers accused or convicted of having sex with their students has come to the forefront of national and international news in recent years. Some of the cases involving women have been chronicled by World Net Daily ...

88,000 Abortions Last Year in New York City

The number of reported abortions in the city was down to a low in the past 10 years, to 88,891 in 2005 from 91,673 in 2004.

Creating Babies With 'Designer Defects'

If you have the right doctor and the right lab, you can have a baby with the right "designer disability." That's right - you can create a baby with a birth defect. For years, the medical world has been abuzz with talk of creating perfect designer babies through prenatal testing. Now, some doctors are doing the opposite - making babies with made-to-order genetic defects, according to The Associated Press.

Nativity Scenes Vandalized Nationwide

The following attacks on crèches have come to our attention: Figures from nativity scenes were stolen or vandalized in Tucson, AZ ; Millbrae, CA; Mission Viejo, CA; Moorpark, CA; San Francisco, CA; Naugatuck, CT; Waterbury, CT (Jesus was taken, but one of the arms was left behind); Fort Walton Beach, FL; Des Moines, IA; Sioux City, IA; Ammon, ID; Chicago, IL (32 figures of baby Jesus were nabbed—they were later dumped on the lawn of a Catholic church); Jackson County, IL (two incidents); Tinley Park, IL; Floyd County, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Montgomery County, IN; Wichita, KS; Hardin, KY; Lafayette, LA (two incidents); Youngsville, LA; Fitchburg, MA; Southborough, MA; Winthrop, ME; Portage Township, MI; Fayettville, NC; New Bern, NC; Columbus, NE (12 baby Jesus figures were stolen in one day); Plaistow, NH; Dover, OH; Utica, OH (three incidents); Artemis, PA; Bucks County, PA; Greenfield, PA; Hilton Head, SC; Halom City, TX; Santa Fe, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Winfield, WV and West Allis, WI.

No Merry Christmas at Catholic Hospital

Ornaments that read "Joy to the World" and "Peace on Earth" were in. Nativity lapel pins, ornaments bearing a "Merry Christmas" message and Jesus-themed T-shirts were out. They could only be given to patients with parental consent. "Yes, we were founded by Catholic sisters, but we serve everybody in our community," said Sister Pat Shirley, a Franciscan sister and the hospital's vice president of missions. "We have to create an environment in which all feel comfortable whether it be Christmas or Hanukkah or Gasparilla or any circumstance."

What Happens to Your Donated Old Clothes

Do most Americans really know what they're doing when they donate clothing? For instance, do you think you are giving your beloved but worn jeans to someone with no money to buy their own? Perhaps some poor person in your hometown, or even far away in Africa? Wake up and smell the money. Your used clothes are usually sold, not given away.

Ontario MPPs Cash In

It will be an especially green Christmas for the province's MPPs who voted themselves a 25% pay increase yesterday before going on holidays. Bill 173 passed 77-7 and was promptly put into law. The base salary of MPPs has risen by $22,004 to $110,775 a year or 75% of a federal MP's salary. Pensions and severance have been improved.

Don't Be Afraid of Christmas: McGuinty

People need not fear Christmas trees or other holiday symbols, Premier Dalton McGuinty says. "How does a menorah offend anyone; how does a Christmas tree offend anyone; how does a celebration of Eid offend anyone ... it enriches us," McGuinty said yesterday. "We live in a privileged society. With privilege comes responsibility, and that's to open up your hearts and your minds to all these possibilities."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Raw Versus Cooked Foods Experiment

The following is an account of an interesting three-part experiment comparing the effects of raw foods versus cooked foods with rats. This account is taken from a book titled Goldot, by Lewis E. Cook, Jr. and Junko Yasui: “It has been found that a group of rats were fed diet of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains from birth grew into completely healthy specimens and never suffered from any disease. They were never ill. They grew rapidly, but never became fat, mated with enthusiasm and had healthy offspring."

Pre-Marital Sex Numbers Play Into Planned Parenthood Agenda

A pro-family group is expressing skepticism about the accuracy of a new report that says 95 percent of Americans have had premarital sex. A study by Lawrence Finer of the Alan Guttmacher Institute finds that 99 percent of Americans had sex by the age of 44, and 95 percent had done so before getting married ... However, Dr. Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America (CWA) sees Finer's report as a ploy to cast doubt on the need for abstinence-until-marriage programs. "My eyebrows went up when I first saw the numbers," she recalls, "and I thought that the results were a bit too pat because they fit so specifically into the agenda of Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute."

Japanese Girls Want Christmas Romance

In a country where less than one per cent of the population is Christian, Christmas has been reinvented as the most romantic time of the year. For many Japanese women being taken to an expensive restaurant on Christmas Eve is a crucial indicator of success, while having to go shopping with female friends marks one as a "loser dog", the Japanese equivalent of a Bridget Jones singleton.

'Nativity' Movie's Poor Showing a 'Major Setback'

The poor showing of "The Nativity Story" this Christmas season is bad news for people of faith who hope Hollywood will make more feature films their families can enjoy, according to Christian movie reviewer Ted Baehr. "It's a very serious setback," said Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission.

5-Year-Old Accused of Sexual Harassment

A kindergarten student was accused earlier this month of sexually harassing a classmate at Lincolnshire Elementary School, an accusation that will remain on his record until he moves to middle school. Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the definition of sexual harassment used by the school system is, "unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and/or other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward others."

Gay Fashion Designer Speaks Against Same-Sex Parenting

Gay designer STEFANO GABBANA is against the idea of same sex couples becoming parents, because he believes children need both a mother and a father. Gabbana insists taking a child away from its mother is "cruel" and that he will never adopt, although a female friend recently agreed to become the surrogate mother of his child through artificial insemination.

Trump, O'Donnell Duke It Out

The Donald called the Los Angeles-based morning show "Good Day L.A." to sound off on O'Donnell's remarks about his near-firing of Miss USA Tara Conner. "Maybe she wanted to put the crown back on Miss USA's head," the real-estate mogul said of the openly gay O'Donnell, who has four children with her partner, Kelli. "I think she's very attracted to Miss USA so she probably wanted to put the crown on her head herself.

Roman Catholicism Growing in China

Roman Catholicism is growing in China, especially among the young, according to China Central Television (CCTV), China's state-run national TV network ... CCTV follows directives set by the Communist Party's propaganda department, analysts say. This makes it significant that it recognizes an independent Catholic renaissance in China. CCTV estimates the country's Catholic community at five million, but unofficially AsiaNews and the Hong Kong diocese estimate the real number to be closer to 12 million.

Top Chefs Salute Raw Milk Crusader

Farmer and raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt gave up his nearly month-long hunger strike yesterday and was toasted by some of the country's top chefs as they promised to continue the fight to make Ontario the first province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk ... Schmidt began his protest after his farm was raided by the Ministry of Natural Resources Nov. 21 and he was charged with operating a milk processing plant without a licence.

Pope Urges Believers to Defend Christmas

Pope Benedict urged Christians yesterday to defend the spirit of Christmas against secular trends during his last general audience before the holiday ... "It is the duty of Christians to spread through a witness of life the truth of Christmas, which Christ brings to every man and woman of goodwill."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Robots to Get Rights: Report

The next time you beat your keyboard in frustration, think of a day when it may be able to sue you for assault. Within 50 years we might even find ourselves standing next to the next generation of vacuum cleaners in the voting booth. Far from being extracts from the extreme end of science fiction, the idea that we may one day give sentient machines the kind of rights traditionally reserved for humans is raised in a British government-commissioned report which claims to be an extensive look into the future.

Chastity Fights AIDS: Vatican

Fidelity in marriage and premarital abstinence from sex are the key weapons in the fight against AIDS, a senior cardinal who prepared a study on condom use said Wednesday. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who heads the Vatican office for health care, told The Associated Press that it was not yet known if the Vatican would issue a document about the use of condoms after examining the study his office had prepared at the request of Pope Benedict XVI.

'Gay' Nativity Scene in Italian Parliament

Two leftists in Italy's ruling coalition on Wednesday outraged fellow lawmakers by placing four dolls representing homosexual couples near the baby Jesus in the official nativity scene in parliament. The two parliamentarians from the small "Rose in the Fist" party said their gesture was to promote the legalization of gay marriage and granting legal recognition to unmarried couples.

We're Not Winning in Iraq: Bush

President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists ... "We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Genetics of Eye Color Unlocked

Scientists have made a breakthrough in their understanding of the genetics behind human eye colour. They found that just a few "letters" out of the six billion that make up the genetic code are responsible for most of the variation in human eye colour.

Toke 'n' Drive on the Rise

The number of drivers who smoke pot before getting behind the wheel has doubled in Canada since 1989, according to a study released yesterday. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, which conducted the study based on findings of the Canadian Addiction Survey in 2004, calls it a "disturbing" trend.

Anglicans on Verge of Split Over Same-Sex 'Marriage'

With the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion starting to crumble over homosexuality, Canadian Anglicans know they face the same danger next year when their church's governing council meets to vote on blessing same-sex unions. At least seven congregations in Virginia have voted in the past few days to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church.

Wilfull Ignorance Regarding Abortion

It happened again recently. Another seemingly intelligent, thoughtful woman told me point blank that I could not understand the issue of abortion, because I am not a woman. I begged to differ with her and after exchanging a few polite emails ended the discussion knowing that neither had changed the other’s mind. Like many men, I resent the claim that abortion is exclusively a “woman’s issue.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thousands Still Getting Hep C in England

Thousands of people are still being diagnosed with the severe liver disease hepatitis C in England despite a major awareness campaign, figures show.
Data from the Health Protection Agency shows the number newly diagnosed in 2005 was 7,580, down 400 from 2004. Hepatitis C, which is contracted through infected blood, can cause cirrhosis, liver failure or cancer. There is concern the 4,855 people now living with cirrhosis or serious liver failure in 2005 could double by 2015.

Welcome to the World of Nano Foods

The processed-food giant Kraft and a group of research laboratories are busy working towards 'programmable food'. One product they are working on is a colourless, tasteless drink that you, the consumer, will design after you've bought it. You'll decide what colour and flavour you'd like the drink to be, and what nutrients it will have in it, once you get home. You'll zap the product with a correctly-tuned microwave transmitter - presumably Kraft will sell you that, too.

Lifelong Learning, Thought Control and Behavior Modification

What do 12 years of taxpayers’ public (mental health) education, universities that spit out 21-year-olds who are $50,000 to $100,000 in student loan debt, and “lifelong learning” have in common? Try these answers on for size: Children who are socially molded by community/consensus politics; 16 years of education by state-sponsored NEA/Socialist teachers (our taxes pay their salaries, too) ... Complete and total loss of creativity (individualism) in the workplace ...

Public Misinformed About Stem Cells Issue

Many worry that inaccurate information is being perpetuated by stem cell proponents and their counterparts. Dr. David Crouse, who oversees some stem cell research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said both sides are "overselling wares."

Christmas Still the Most Important Holiday

A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults, conducted Dec. 15-16, found that nearly nine out of ten Americans celebrate Christmas. Only 7 percent consider the holiday one of the least important while 71 percent consider it one of the most important. On a more religious note, 65 percent of Americans would like to see more emphasis on the birth of Christ during the season and 59 percent plan to attend a Christian Church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Teens Ponder Risky Behavior, But Still Engage In It

Teens do crazy things, according to a new study, but they also spend more time weighing the risks than adults. Oftentimes, teens actually overestimate the odds of a bad outcome when pondering risky behavior, according to research done by Valerie Reyna of Cornell University and Frank Farley of Temple University. The benefits, however, outweigh the risks in a teen's mind. Such benefits include immediate gratification or peer acceptance, Reyna said, according to Live Science.

Charges for Violation of Civil Rights at Gay Games to Move Forward

On Friday, December 15, Federal Judge Milton I. Shadur, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, denied in its entirety Chicago’s motion to dismiss charges against the City that it violated REPENT AMERICA’s (RA) First Amendment rights during the Gay Games earlier this year. During the Gay Games, RA volunteers saw an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus who wants people to repent because “the truth is that God has put in the Bible clear prohibitions against homosexual behavior” ... However, on Sunday, July 16, 2006 in Gateway Park across from Navy Pier, Chicago Police officers handcuffed three RA volunteers and arrested two of them, yelled profanities at them, and held them for four hours at a Chicago police station.

Now B.C. Lottery Corp. Under Investigation

The ombudsman began an investigation yesterday into how the B.C. Lottery Corp. ensures its lotteries are fair. "Recent public disclosures have raised questions about the lottery process in British Columbia," said Ombudsman Kim Carter. "I believe the citizens of B.C. would be well served by an independent and impartial investigation into this matter. Confidence in the lottery system is important."

Monday, December 18, 2006

New Toronto Archbishop Will Be Outspoken

He won't be a shrinking violet. Archbishop Thomas Collins, who takes over as spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Toronto's 1.6 million Catholics early next year, told the Toronto Star he will be both visible and vocal on many of this country's most divisive issues.

De-Christianization Hints at Persecution

There is an aspect moving with the attack on Christmas this year that defies conventional explanation and begins to hint at something that Catholics and many Christians have long-feared. That something is persecution, and an early sign is when a majority of people are in favor of one thing but a minority, a small one, is able to usurp control and herd the rest into following their liking.

Indian Athlete Fails Gender Test

A top Indian woman athlete who won a silver medal at a recent regional championship has failed a gender test, officials say. Santhi Soundararajan, who took the silver in the women's 800m race at the Asian Games in Doha, is likely to be stripped of her medal.

Communists Set Up Shop at Wal-Mart's China HQ

Employees at the Wal-Mart headquarters in China have set up a Communist party branch, part of a growing campaign to expand the ruling party's presence in foreign companies. The move follows the success of China's state-sanctioned labour body in setting up unions at Wal-Mart outlets this year. The company is one of China's biggest and most prominent foreign employers, with 68 stores and a workforce of 36,000.

Taxpayers Funding Fringe Folks' International Exposure

Canada's Foreign Affairs department spent more than $26 million in five years to promote fringe arts groups and bigger-name authors, artists and musicians abroad, including the Holy Body Tattoo Society and the "Tongue Bully" filmmaker.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Abortionist Accused of Rape, Killing Wife

A Mississippi abortion practitioner has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his wife 10 years ago and raped a patient five years before that. The charges are the latest problems associated with Malachy DeHenre, the 56 year-old man who lost his medical license because of botched abortions.

It's Hard to Distinguish the Media From Lobbyists

Do you sometimes find it hard to separate the lobbyists from the media at such events? I do. Especially when obvious questions about the claims being made by these advocates are never asked by the media, whom, it appears, either agree with the positions espoused or, worse, seem unaware there could possibly be any other positions.

Those Darned Christians

We must stop this deterioration or the intolerance to the tolerant culture will disappear. Tolerance should be a two-way street. In Canada, sadly, it goes just one way. The danger of this should be obvious. With the exception of Japan and Israel, the only free countries in the world are all founded on Christianity. Chip away at that foundation and what are you left with? Who knows, maybe a cold Saudi Arabia, or Indonesia or Iran.

Prostitutes Plan to File Lawsuit

A leading advocacy group for decriminalizing prostitution in Canada is planning to take the federal government to court over laws that it says endanger the lives of sex workers across the country. Valerie Scott, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada, says the legal action will go ahead in January.