Newslinks 05/09/10

May 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Ex-Muslim: Obama’s Soft Strategy Hurting Oppressed Christians
President Obama is hurting persecuted Christians worldwide by failing to speak up for them, says a well-known convert who lives under police protection in Europe.

Bombers Target Iraqi Christian Students, Injure Dozens

WARC Condemns Growing Anti-Christian Violence in India

Ariz. Gov. Modifies Immigration Law after Criticism

Christian Archaeologist Casts Further Doubt on Ark ‘Discovery’

James Dobson to Return with Same Bold Approach

Americans Sick and Tired of Motorized Transportation, Transportation Secretary Says
– “People are sick of being stuck in traffic, stuck in their automobiles, and we want to help communities and neighborhoods that want more walking paths or biking paths — more transit,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told

Authorities Cautious About Linking Terror Groups to Failed Times Square Car Bombing
– As investigations continue into Saturday’s failed car bombing in Times Square, a claim of responsibility linking the incident to the recent killing of two terrorist leaders in Iraq is just one of a range of possible motives radicals could have for the high profile choice of target. Police were trying to track down a man, described as white and in his 40s, caught on video behaving furtively not far from the SUV.

U.S. Fails to Stick Up for Victims of Religious Violence in Nigeria and Elsewhere, Commission Finds
– The Obama administration is failing to talk about — and stick up for — religious freedom around the world, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “Presidential references to religious freedom have become rare, often replaced at most with references to freedom of worship,” said USCIRF Chairman Leonard Leo, announcing the release of the 2010 commission report. “The same holds true for many of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches.”

Attack Highlights Unrelenting Plight of Iraq’s Christians
– Iraq’s embattled Christian minority came under attack again on Sunday, when a double bombing near the northern city of Mosul targeted a convoy of buses carrying Christian students, injuring scores of them. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers as well as troops from the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region. More than a dozen Christians in Iraq have died violently since the beginning of 2010, the National Council of Churches in the U.S. said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week.

FEMA Yet to Be Deployed to Gulf Region as Oil Washes Ashore, Florida Declares Emergency
– While other agencies flood into Florida and Louisiana, the federal government’s emergency management entity — as of Friday — had not yet taken the lead on the Gulf Coast, where a large and continuing oil spill threatens hundreds of miles of fragile shoreline.

Perspective: Soft on Muslims…merciless on Christians
It is safer to pick on Christians. The secular media knows they would never respond as their Muslim counterparts might.

Crist not expected to dilute Rubio’s support
A conservative political scientist and historian doesn’t think it is likely that the decision by Charlie Crist to run as an independent for the Florida Senate seat could split the conservative vote enough to give the seat to Democrats.

Anti-Christian group just a ‘paper tiger’
The Freedom from Religion Foundation has been in the news several times of late in its war with Christianity, filing lawsuits and sending out threatening letters to government bodies when a hint of Christianity is mentioned.

‘Print the myth…ignore the reality’
A conservative media watchdog organization says the mainstream media has once again demonstrated its hypocrisy with the manner it has treated Tea Party participants in comparison to illegal alien protestors in Arizona.

Mehlman: Mexico should mind its own business
An immigration reform activist says the president of Mexico should concern himself with managing his own country and stay out of Arizona’s internal affairs.

Court won’t hear Scouts’ appeal
The Supreme Court has let stand a ruling saying the Boy Scouts cannot lease city park land in San Diego because the group is a religious organization.

Dobson: Rand Paul ‘my kind of man’ for Senate
An evangelical conservative activist has switched his endorsement in the Republican Kentucky Senate primary after discovering he was misled in making his initial decision.

Perspective: Should schools promote ‘gay clubs’?
America’s public school supervisors are getting conflicting information on how to deal with homosexuality on their campuses.

‘Millennials’ and Christianity – what’s missing?
A new study shows that while many young adults are spiritual, they have mixed views and beliefs about basic biblical principles.

Perspective: Race and resentment
People who call differences “inequities” and achievements “privilege” leave social havoc in their wake, while feeling noble about siding with the less fortunate.

US Citizen From Pakistan in Custody Over Times Square Bomb Plot
( –
The fast-moving investigation into Saturday’s attempted car bombing in Times Square netted its first suspect overnight Tuesday, when a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was arrested at JFK airport as he tried to leave the country for the Middle East…

After Oil Spill, Obama Uncertain on Offshore Drilling Policy
Washington ( –
Whether President Obama’s plan for limited expansion of domestic offshore drilling continues or is scrapped will depend on the findings of an Interior Department investigation into the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday…

Democrat Arizona Congresswoman: Deputy’s Shooting a ‘Wake Up Call,’ Border ‘Out of Control,’ ‘Immediately Deploy National Guard’
– Declaring that the shooting of a Pinal County, Ariz., sheriff’s deputy by suspected illegal-alien drug traffickers should be a “wake-up call” for politicians in Washington, D.C., Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) said the “border region is out of control” and called for immediate deployment of the National Guard there…
ABC’s Joy Behar: Obama Is Not Sarah Palin, ‘Do Not Drill, Baby, Do Not Drill!’
– Emmy award winner Joy Behar, a co-host of ABC’s The View, told that she does not know why President Barack Obama “feels like he has to be nice to Republicans” by supporting an offshore oil-drilling plan. She also referenced Sarah Palin with Obama on the issue, saying, “Do not drill, baby, do not drill!”…

ABC’s Sherri Shepherd: ‘I Don’t Care’ About Report on Drugs from Mexico, Arizona Law on Illegal Immigration ‘Very Unfair’
( –
When asked, in the context of Arizona’s new immigration law, about a Justice Department report showing that one-out-of-five Amreican teenagers uses illegal drugs and that most of those drugs come out of Mexico, Sherri Shepherd, a co-host of ABC’s “The View,” said she did not care. Arizona’s new law against illegal immigration is “very unfair,” she said, and America has got to do better….

Kim Jong-il Visit to China Raises Hopes, Skepticism
– A rare trip by Kim Jong-il beyond North Korea’s borders has stoked speculation in the region that Pyongyang’s remaining ally, China, will pressurize him to return to multilateral nuclear talks, possibly in return for economic assistance…

21st U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon Underway
The 21st annual U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon kicked off Sunday evening with the reading of Genesis 1:1 and will go on for 90 continuous hours before culminating with the reading of the final chapters of Revelation on Thursday – the National Day of Prayer.

President Obama Proclaims National Day of Prayer

Piper Leaves Megachurch with Hope for Revival

So. Baptists Consider Critical Changes for Its Future

Huckabee Revisits Gay Adoption Debate with Rosie O’Donnell

Christians: ‘Illiberal Secularism’ Prevailing in UK

Positive Signs at U.N. Nuclear Meeting, Says WCC
Though overshadowed by flying accusations between Iran and the U.S. on Monday, the opening day of the U.N.’s conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty offered some hopeful signs, said a global church body.

Bomb Attack on Iraqi Christian Students Spurs Thousands to Protest

ELCA Reinstates Partnered Gay Ministers

New Okla. Abortion Law Delayed

Over 5,000 Attend Christian Fest on Summer Hunger

Defense Secretary: Delay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal

Gallup Poll: 9 Out of 10 Americans Say Secure the Border This Year
– A USA Today/Gallup poll conducted May 1-2 shows that 9 out of 10 Americans say it is moderately to extremely important to them for the federal government to take steps this year to secure the border against illegal immigration. Similarly, 61 percent of Americans say they are very concerned that illegal immigrants are putting an unfair burden on U.S. schools, hospitals, and government services.

Pakistan Taliban Wants to Be Seen As Part of Global Jihad
– Regardless of whether its claim of responsibility for the foiled May 1 car bombing in Times Square turns out to be valid, the Pakistan Taliban’s threatening statements reveal its goal of wanting to be seen as part of a global jihad.

Biden Touts Computerized Health Records, Critics Have Privacy Concerns
Washington (
– Washington ( – Vice President Joe Biden, touting the importance of electronic health records, on Tuesday announced $220 million in grants for 15 communities to pave the way for wide-scale use of health information technology. But critics are raising privacy concerns.

Computer Problems ‘Won’t Stop Us’ From Completing the Census,’ Census Director Says
Washington (
– The computer system used in the Census Bureau’s door-to-door headcount
‘isn’t perfect,’ but ‘it’s good enough to finish the Census,’ Census Director Robert Groves told reporters on Tuesday.

Florida Democrat Supports Oil Drilling Only ‘Where Existing, Producing Rigs Are’
Washington (
– Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is opposed to any expanded off-shore oil drilling operations, has proposed legislation to increase BP’s liability to $10 billion (up from $75 million) for the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Most Senators Who Questioned Goldman Sachs Also Took Money From Its PAC and Employees
– Most of the 10 members of the Senate committee who grilled top-ranking employees of Goldman Sachs last month have accepted campaign contributions from either the bank’s political action committee (PAC) or its employees.

New Campaign Finance Bill Would Force Private Groups to Publicize Donors in Political Ads
– A new effort by congressional Democrats to curtail campaign finance spending by private groups would force those groups to make public the names of their top donors in political advertisements, both on radio and on television.

States Pondering Arizona-Style Immigration Law; White House Says This Demonstrates Need for Federal Law
Washington (
– At least eight states — Utah, Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and Maryland — reportedly are considering legislation similar to the Arizona law, which allows police to determine a person’s immigration status following a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest.”

GM, Treasury accused of ‘TARP money shuffle’
Senator Charles Grassley says GM and the Treasury Department should have been transparent about the automaker’s repayment of its massive government bailout.

Tea Partiers boiling over NYC mayor’s comments
A conservative organization is calling on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to apologize for remarks he made shortly after the recent failed terror attack in Times Square.

Perspective: The jihadists’ deadly path to citizenship
America’s homeland security amnesia never ceases to amaze. Jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years.

Puerto Rican statehood = more Dem. power
A policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation believes a bill to grant statehood to Puerto Rico is clearly intended to benefit Democrats, who would probably gain both of the newly created Senate seats.

A little TV never hurt anybody….oh yeah?
A new study finds that when toddlers view too much television, it could lead to a host of problems later in life.

Nashville Pastors Mobilize Volunteers, Aid through Twitter
When Pastor Pete Wilson tweeted a need for volunteers, hammers, trash bags and brooms, hundreds showed up to start relief work in and around a badly-flooded Nashville.

Methodists Reject Structure Changes, Inclusive Membership

Christians Denounce Street Preacher’s Arrest

Fla. School District Sued over Prayer Constraint

D.C. Gay Marriage Challenged in Appeals Court

Muslims Burn Christian Center under Construction in Indonesia

Graham: ‘Never retreat’ despite Day of Prayer opposition
Evangelist Franklin Graham says he’ll “never retreat,” despite the withdrawal of his invitation to speak today at the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer observance. Graham prays outside Pentagon

Oil spill – an excuse to slip in more regs?
There’s a growing concern that President Obama will take advantage of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to slap more government regulations on oil companies.

KS pro-life override falls short
The attempt to override Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson’s veto on a pro-life bill has failed by one vote.

A chance meeting, a heartfelt prayer
An Iowa woman had a rare opportunity to not only meet, but also to pray for the President of the United States recently.

Perspective: Does Obama like America?
America has recently been governed by presidents who were either suspicious of much of American life or didn’t seem to think the country was up to snuff.

37 Percent of All U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan War Have Occurred Since Obama’s Troop Surge
– More than a third of all U.S. casualties in the nearly nine-year-long war in Afghanistan have occurred since May 15, 2009, the day when the first major wave of President Barack Obama’s troop surge arrived in that country.

Obama Freezes Budget for Program Designed to Stop Terrorists from Getting U.S. Visas
– Four months after the attempted Christmas Day bombing over Detroit and nine years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, only 14 of the 57 U.S. consulates identified as being at “high risk” for potentially providing visas to terrorists have secure visa programs in place. President Obama, meanwhile, is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011. According to a Congressional Research Service report, a lack of funding could hamper expansion of the Visa Security Program to the many high-risk consulates that still do not have a unit.

Record Number of Islamic Nations, Fewer ‘Free’ Countries, Coming to U.N. Human Rights Council
– Next week’s election for new members of the U.N. Human Rights Council is expected to result in a greater share of seats going to the Organization of the Islamic Conference than ever before, while the number of countries deemed “free” falls to a new low. The Islamic group has been the driving force behind two items on the council’s agenda that trouble human rights advocates and some Western governments – the campaign against religious “defamation” and repeated condemnations of Israel.

Reid: ‘Someone’ Should Offer Amendment to Prevent Treasury From Accessing Financial Records of Law-Abiding Citizens
– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he wishes “someone” would offer an amendment to the financial regulatory bill to prevent the federal government from probing Americans’ private financial records. A provision in the bill would allow a new Treasury Department agency to demand “any data or information” from any financial firm and use a subpoena to get that information if necessary. Reid, however, did not respond when asked whether he would personally support such an amendment.

Obama Administration Tries to Combat Growing Criticism From Right and Left Over Response to Oil Spill
– Amid mounting criticism of its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration on Wednesday released a day-by-day account of its response, stressing that it was quick to take action. “We have compiled this chronology in the spirit of transparency so the American people can have a clear understanding of what their government has been and is doing to respond to the massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster,” said the White House deputy homeland security adviser.

Franklin Graham: Christians Will Lose the Power to Pray Outside Church Walls ‘Maybe in My Lifetime’
– Two top evangelical leaders sounded a defiant tone on the eve of National Day of Prayer — warning that the American right to freedom of religion “is being eroded every day” and may be lost in an onslaught of secularism unless Americans “have the guts to stand up.”

Republican Congressmen Urge Defense Department to Re-Invite Franklin Graham to National Day of Prayer Event
– Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) are pressing Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reconsider the military’s decision to revoke its invitation to Rev. Franklin Graham to participate in a National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon. Their letter said the right to possess one’s own religious beliefs and to express them freely was chief among the liberties the Founding Father’s sought to protect.

Ariz. Immigration Law Identical to Federal Laws Requiring Alien Documentation, Attorney Who Helped Craft It Says
– One of the men who helped write Arizona’s new immigration law said he’s confident it will withstand legal challenges, because the law specifically addresses issues such as racial profiling, which are likely to be the basis of state or federal lawsuits.

Sen. Cornyn: ‘More Boots on the Ground,’ ‘Better Technology’ Needed to Secure U.S. Border
– “Clearly the border is still too porous and is being exploited for all sorts of criminal purposes,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told He said a combination of more manpower and technology such as drones and aerial radar would improve the situation.

Republican Senator Pushes for Completion of Double-Layer Border Fence
– Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he will introduce an amendment requiring the federal government to complete 700 miles of secure, double-layer fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border within one year. More than 600 miles of single-layer pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers now exist, but critics say the current infrastructure is not secure enough.

Brits Go to the Polls Under an Electoral System Many Want Reformed
– After 13 years of Labor Party rule and a hard-fought, month-long campaign, Britain’s voters are casting ballots Thursday with no clear picture of who will form their next government. While the Conservative Party looks set to win the popular vote, the size of its projected victory, combined with the quirks of Britain’s “first past the post” system, may not give it the majority it needs in the House of Commons to form a government alone.

Times Square Bombing Attempt No Systemic Failure, White House Says
Washington (
– After the failed attempt to blow up a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day, President Obama asserted, “A system failure has occurred.” But the White House says there was no system failure in the Times Square bombing attempt, even though the suspect almost got away.

Franklin Graham: Islam Is Not Faith of America
Ahead of the National Day of Prayer, Franklin Graham expressed dismay at how Islam is receiving preferential treatment by the Obama administration.

National Day of Prayer Observed Despite Court Ruling

It’s Not Too Late to Reconsider Pro-Gay Actions, LCMS Tells ELCA

Developing ‘Sticky Faith’ among Teens

Anti-Prayer Day Billboards Target Evangelical Stronghold

UK Heads to Polls to Cast Votes in General Election

Mosque going up in NYC building damaged on 9-11
In a building damaged by debris from the Sept. 11 airliners that brought down the World Trade Center and soon to become a 13-story mosque, some see a painful reminder of the religious extremism that killed their loved ones.

Perspective: ‘Racism’ – liberals’ worn-out trump card
Tea Party people pay taxes and care about how that money is spent…and that’s what upsets liberals about the Tea Party movement.

Comedy Central considers series mocking Christ
Having already caused controversy this spring with the depiction of the prophet Muhammad on South Park, Comedy Central said Thursday that it has a cartoon series about Jesus Christ in the works.

Red, white, and blue; Does that offend you?
Some California students were disciplined on Cinco de Mayo for wearing garments showing the American flag.

Despite opposition, graduation venue stands
A school district in Connecticut is standing up against the ACLU by going forward with holding graduation ceremonies at a Christian church.
Pelosi: It’s Cheaper to Treat Teens for Drug Use Than Interdict Drugs at Border
– While pointing out that it is the responsibility of the federal government to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said Thursday it is cheaper to treat teens for drug abuse than it is to interdict drugs being smuggled across the border. She said she is “for reducing [drug] demand in the United States.”

House Speaker Pelosi Thanks Nuns for Supporting ‘Life Affirming’ Health Care Bill
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a Catholic, thanked American nuns who supported passage of the health care bill. “We believe that the health care initiative was respecting the dignity and worth of every person,” Pelosi told the Catholic Community Conference on Thursday.

92 Percent of Americans Believe in God; Only 5 Percent Oppose National Day of Prayer
– Just two weeks after a federal judge in Madison, Wis., ruled that the annual National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, 92 percent of Americans told the USA Today/Gallup poll that they believe in God and only 5 percent said they oppose the National Day of Prayer.

Sen. Shelby: Financial Reform Violates Privacy
– Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said that provisions in the new financial regulatory bill violate privacy rights by allowing the government to collect any financial information it wants from any financial institution it wants. Shelby said Republicans would offer amendments to “surgically strike” such objectionable provisions.

Franklin Graham: ‘God Used’ Judge Who Ruled National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional ‘to Accomplish His Purposes’
– A standing ovation greeted preacher Franklin Graham as he took the podium at the National Day of Prayer on Capitol Hill on Thursday to give the keynote address. Graham did not back down from criticism that he had disparaged Muslims, telling the crowd that he is a Christian minister who preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pakistan’s Jihadists Form A Complex Web of Collaborating Groups
– JeM and HUJI, along with others like Lashkar-e-Toiba/Tayyiba (LeT), Hizb ul-Mujahideen and Harkat ul-Ansar are among the sometimes bewildering array of jihadist groups operating in South Asia. Most historically have focused on fighting Indian rule in disputed Kashmir, but they are also part of a broader jihad that views the United States as an enemy and target.

Gibbs Can’t Say If Obama Used Sexual Slur Against Tea Party Activists in Interview With Newsweek Editor
– White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he did not know and could not imagine asking President Barack Obama whether he used the vulgar sexual term “tea baggers” to describe Americans active in the Tea Party movement. But he added that he would check.

Nashville Reels from Flood with Massive Volunteer Force
Chaplains, congregations and country music stars are playing their part to help Nashville reel from the city’s worst flooding in decades. As the floodwaters recede, volunteers are popping up from all over the state.

Guns in Church Bill Dies in La. House

Conn. School District Sued Over Megachurch Selection

Piper Signs Out with Prayer Requests for Soul, Marriage

Ariz. Church: Time to Move Out of PC(USA) House

India Urged to End ‘Culture of Impunity’

Ad blasts ‘senior GOP leaders’ for lying
Republican Rand Paul, who’s running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, is airing a TV ad attacking “senior GOP leaders” for lying to evangelical leader James Dobson.

Opponents of religion in inaugurations lose fight
Atheists who oppose prayer and other religious elements in presidential inaugurations have lost a case in a federal appeals court.

Calif. town sued over City Council prayers
Lancaster, California, is being sued for opening its City Council meetings with prayers that critics say are usually made by Christian clergy.

Perspective: Economics – It’s Greek to the socialists
Socialism is about “spreading the wealth” by taking from some to give to others — and its inevitable result is poverty, accompanied by force.

Pam Tebow: Life ‘keeps us keeping on’
Abortion clinic demonstrators are on the front line every day in the battle for the lives of the unborn.

Utah GOP senator suffers stunning defeat
Once-popular Sen. Bob Bennett fell victim to a growing national conservative movement with his stunning defeat at Utah’s GOP convention.

Court backs removal of Muslim’s headscarf
A federal appeals court says county officials acted legally when they ordered a Muslim in a courthouse holding cell to remove her headscarf.

Calif. town sued over City Council prayers
Lancaster, California, is being sued for opening its City Council meetings with prayers that critics say are usually made by Christian clergy.

Swiss practice dubbed ‘absolutely crazy’
Because Switzerland practices euthanasia, the country has received a reputation for suicide tourism, and a recent incident has deepened that view.

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