Newslinks 06/13/10

June 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Franklin Graham Closes 3rd Brazilian Festival with Over 25,000
American evangelist Franklin Graham concluded his third evangelistic festival in Brazil Saturday night, preaching to over 25,000 Brazilians in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Homeland Security Seeks to Deport Christian ‘Son of Hamas’

‘Leaving Islam’ Bus Ads Run in NYC

Dallas Baptist Church Ousted over Gay Deacons

Federal Judge to Rule Soon on Church Graduation Case

Prayers for N. Korean Christians Urged as Tensions Rise, Sanctions OKd

America pauses to remember its military heroes
Across the U.S. on this Memorial Day, Americans are pausing to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy.

Abstinence message – teachers wrong, student right
A middle-school student in Minnesota has regained his right to wear at school a T-shirt bearing an abstinence message.

Forced abortions – the sad truth
An Illinois-based pro-life group says lost in the politics of the abortion debate is the surprising evidence that most — not some — abortions are unwanted or coerced, and many are forced.

Tax code parsonage allowance at issue
A federal judge is allowing to go forward a case filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation challenging pastor parsonage allowances.

Missionaries a ‘threat’ to Sri Lanka?
Buddhist leaders in Sri Lanka may soon pass an anti-conversion law that would punish Christian missionaries working in the country.

Huckabee, Thousands Pay Tribute to War Dead
Thousands at “Nashville’s most patriotic church” were encouraged to pay tribute to the men and women who make it possible for Americans to enjoy their freedoms.

Afghanistan Suspends 2 Christian Aid Groups

Church Bodies Voice Concern for Detained Madagascar Christians

Calif. Senate Passes Bill to Counter Texas Curriculum

Rick Warren’s New Book Delayed Indefinitely

Interview: MercyMe Guitarist on Hit Album, Loving Well

Sestak offer – Obama’s Watergate?
Some Republicans believe the Obama administration may have broken the law in offering Democrat Joe Sestak a job in exchange for bowing out of his bid for Senate against incumbent Democratic Senator Arlen Specter.

Mullen under fire for ‘dereliction of his duty’
Conservative military watchdog Elaine Donnelly is blasting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the way he has conducted himself throughout the debate surrounding the repeal of the 1993 law banning homosexuals from military service.

Perspective: Why we’re losing the ‘gay’ debate
All it would take to undo the fraudulent charade of the homosexual lobby is basic common sense — the greatest enemy of political correctness.

9-11 mosque – the propaganda coup of all time
An author and former terrorism prosecutor says it’s an affront to common sense and decency that an Islamic mosque is going to be built near the site of the former World Trade Center towers and officially dedicated on an anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Perspective: The deaf hear
It’s simply further evidence of a world turned upside down when giving someone the ability to hear again is called “depriving” her of deafness.

Graduations at Conn. Church Ruled Unconstitutional
Two Enfield, Conn., schools have been prohibited by a federal judge from holding their 2010 graduations inside a church.

Church Relief Network Condemns Israel Flotilla Attack

Edinburgh 2010 Seeks to Guide 21st Century Mission

Christians Wary of Human Trafficking ahead of World Cup

NY Judge Allows Student to Return to School, Wear Rosary

Involving All of God’s People in All of God’s Mission

As White House Memo on Sestak Raises More Questions, White House Refers to That Same Memo for Answers
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday would not say if there were multiple conversations with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) about serving on a presidential advisory board in exchange for Sestak dropping out of the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Gibbs also declined to say exactly which advisory board the White House had in mind for Sestak. “Whatever is in the memo is accurate,” Gibbs said.

White House Spokesman Has No Answer on Sestak Job Offer; ‘I’d Refer You to the Memo’
(CNSNews.com)
– On Tuesday, pressed by CNSNews.com for more information about the White House job offer to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), White House spokesman Robert Gibbs refused to go beyond what was said in a brief White House memo released on Friday, despite confusion arising from that memo. It appears that Sestak could not have served on a presidential advisory board while retaining his seat in Congress. But that’s what the White House proposed.

Obama Medicare Czar Praised British NHS for Not Leaving Health Care in ‘The Darkness of Private Enterprise’
(CNSNews.com)
– Dr. Donald Berwick, nominated by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, praised the government-owned British National Health Service for not letting their health care system “play out in the darkness of private enterprise.” Berwick, a Harvard pediatrician and a Knight Commander of the British Empire for his decades-long work with the NHS, made the comments in a 2008 speech wishing the NHS a happy 60th birthday.

Grassley Still Undecided on Berwick Despite Concerns Over Rationing
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he has not yet decided if he will support or oppose the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to run the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. “But it’s quite obvious from my votes on the health care bill that I’m very concerned about the health care bill leading to rationing,” Grassley added.

Obama, Proclaiming LGBT Pride Month, Pushes Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act
(CNSNews.com)
– Citing his commitment to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), President Obama on Friday issued a proclamation declaring June 2010 ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.’ This is the second year that President Obama has declared June LGBT Pride Month, but it is the first time he has used the proclamation to call for repeal of DOMA.

Democrats’ Tax-Extender Bill to Add $115 Billion to Deficit in Only Two Years
(CNSNews.com)
– Legislation to extend myriad tax breaks, unemployment benefits and other spending programs currently before the House would add $115 billion to the nation’s $13 trillion national debt in only two years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In addition to so-called emergency measures such as extending unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies, the bill is stuffed full of other, seemingly unrelated provisions.

Isolated Israel Begins to Deport Activists, But Stands Firm on Need for Blockade
(CNSNews.com)
– As its isolation at the United Nations deepened, Israel’s government on Tuesday ordered the speedy deportation of all foreign activists who were on ships trying to break the Gaza Strip blockade. At the same time, the Israeli Navy was mulling its response to yet another ship of activists attempting to reach Gaza, days after a deadly confrontation in international waters. At the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, where a regular month-long session began this week, the prepared agenda was set aside Tuesday for an “urgent debate” on the flotilla incident.

Ted Haggard to Pastor New Church in Colorado
Ted Haggard, the evangelical leader who fell from grace after a gay sex scandal in 2006, announced on Wednesday that he will start a new church in Colorado Springs.

Young Southern Baptists Urged Not to Walk Away Yet

Salvation Army Extends Ministry to 121 Countries

Conservative Christians Seek to Replace Calif. Judges

Gospel for Asia Mourns Murder of Indian Missionary

Interview: Scotland Minister on Edinburgh 2010, Unity

Leaders unite, boycott blasphemy
Christian groups are rising up as a team to oppose a new Comedy Central program that denigrates Jesus.

Israel’s right to defend itself, its citizens
The American Family Association is calling on President Obama to stand squarely with Israel in the controversy over Israel’s conflict with a flotilla of “humanitarian” ships from Turkey.

Perspective: Israel alone
Say what you will about Joe Biden, but he hit the nail on the head when he warned that actors on the international stage would test the new, inexperienced president.

Objective: Displacing judicial activism
A group of conservative Christians have banded together in an effort to unseat four California judges — a rare move in what are typically unnoticed races.

New curriculum standards ‘balanced, fair, thorough’
Christian historian David Barton says the social studies curriculum recently approved by the Texas State Board of Education is the best he’s seen since before World War II.

Top Republicans to White House: Alleged Facts in Your Sestak Memo Appear to Document Lawbreaking
(CNSNews.com)
– Three top House Republicans sent a letter to White House Counsel Bob Bauer Wednesday saying they believe that a memorandum he released on Friday presents a set of facts that appear to violate the law. Bauer’s memo purported to explain the administration’s actions in offering to appoint Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) to a federal position in exchange for Sestak declining to make a Democratic primary run against Sen. Arlen Specter.

Anti-Israel Resolution Makes U.N. Look ‘Foolish,’ Mid-East Expert Says
(CNSNews.com)
– The rapid condemnation of Israel by the United Nations Security Council, made without full knowledge of the facts, makes the international body “look ridiculous when it comes to solving world problems,” says a leading Middle East expert. The U.N. did not show equivalent outrage when North Korea sank a South Korean warship, said Michael Rubin of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

U.N. Human Rights Council Condemns Israel, Then Calls for Investigation Into Flotilla Raid
(CNSNews.com)
– The U.N. Human Rights Council will dispatch an international “fact-finding” mission into Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, although the language used by diplomats during an urgent council debate on Wednesday signaled that most had already made up their minds about what happened. Dozens of HRC members weighed in with strong criticism of Israel.

Targeted Killings, Including U.S. Drone Strikes, Come Under U.N. Human Rights Council Scrutiny
(CNSNews.com)
– The targeted assassination of terror suspects by remote control, a program expanded significantly under the Obama administration, comes under the spotlight Thursday, when the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council considers a report warning of the “risk of developing a ‘PlayStation’ mentality to killing.” The report by Philip Alston, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, deals with various types of “targeted killing” carried out by states, paying considerable attention to the use by the U.S. of unmanned drones to fire missiles at terror suspects along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

U.S. Citizenship Should Not Protect Enemy from Justice, Ashcroft Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says U.S. citizenship should not keep an enemy of the United States from being treated as such. “When we are fighting for the defense of freedom and we encounter an American citizen on the other side, I think there is a generally accepted idea that we can treat them like an enemy because they are fighting the other side,” Ashcroft told a gathering at The Heritage Foundation.

Despite Court Ruling, Crucifixes in Italian Classrooms May Still Have a Prayer
(CNSNews.com)
– Thirty-two members of the European Parliament, represented by an American religious rights group, have intervened in a controversial European court decision to remove crucifixes from school classrooms across Italy. The European Court of Human Rights ruled last November that the presence of a crucifix in the classroom could be coercive and “disturbing” to students.

Paul McCartney: Internet Hurting Livelihood of Young Musicians
(CNSNews.com)
– Paul McCartney, the legendary “Beatles” singer/songwriter, told CNSNews.com that downloading music on the Internet is “breaking down” the royalty system for young singers and has created a need for “a nice, fair system where whoever does something that’s really successful, should get paid for it.

Evangelical: ‘Separation’ for Married Couples Can be a Good Thing
Though Focus on the Family marriage expert Glenn Stanton says it’s becoming clearer that the trajectory of Al and Tipper Gore’s marriage is more in the divorce direction, he pointed out that the famous couple hasn’t used the D-word just yet.

Evangelicals, Ecumenicals Mark ‘New Beginning for Common Mission’

Episcopal Head Rejects Disciplinary Actions

Foursquare Church Selects New President

Report: Teens Cite Religion, Morals for Not Having Sex

Opponents of Jesus Cartoon Take Protest to Advertisers

White House Now Says It Discussed USAID Position with Candidate Andrew Romanoff ‘To Avoid Costly’ Primary Battle in Colorado
(CNSNews.com)
– The White House last fall denied that any job offer was made to Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff after reports first surfaced in the media. Now, the White House concedes that overtures were made to Romanoff about a job — but not an actual offer — “to avoid a costly battle” with incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, who has the backing of President Barack Obama.

Congressman Seeks Full Accounting of White House Efforts to ‘Clear the (Primary) Field’
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Following confirmation that the White House discussed alternative jobs with at least two Democratic Senate candidates to “clear the field” for President Obama’s chosen prospects, a top House Republican wants a full accounting of what other primaries the White House may have involved itself in. Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) also wants a “written commitment” from the White House “to preserve all records and communications related to any attempts by the White House to clear the field in Democratic primary elections.”

White House Misled Media: Originally Denied Sestak Job Offer That It Now Confirms
(CNSNews.com)
– The White House initially denied Rep. Joe Sestak’s claim that the administration had offered him a job in exchange for not running in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary against Sen. Arlen Specter. But with the release of a memo last Friday, White House Counsel Bob Bauer conceded that the White House did offer Sestak a position to “avoid a decisive Senate primary” against Specter — making the person who earlier denied it “a liar,” according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Former Medicare Chief Says Comparative Effectiveness Research Is Not Rationing, Contrary to View of Obama Nominee Donald Berwick
(CNSNews.com)
– Mark McClellan, the former head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, along with several government and private researchers, said that Comparative Effectiveness Research is not health care rationing. This view is contrary to that of Donald Berwick, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to fill McClellan’s old position.

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Remedy ‘Gender Discrimination’ in Public Restrooms
(CNSNews.com)
– A bill providing “restroom gender parity” in federal buildings is getting serious, bipartisan consideration in Congress at a time when many Americans are pressing Congress to do something about jobs, immigration, and other pressing matters.
The Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act received a full committee hearing on May 12, complete with introductory remarks by lawmakers and testimony from witnesses.

Comedy Central’s ‘J.C.’ is ‘Designed to Be Offensive to Christians,’ Religious Conservative Coalition Says
(CNSNews.com)
– A newly formed group of conservative and religious leaders announced Thursday that it will ask advertisers to refrain from spending any money on Comedy Central’s proposed show “J.C.” — an animated program that the network has said would depict Jesus Christ as wanting to “escape the shadow of his famous father and live life in New York City as a regular guy.”

Turkish Group Behind Gaza Flotilla Has Suspect Links, History
(CNSNews.com)
– The Turkish organization responsible for the ill-fated attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is part of an Islamic “charitable” network that was designated by the U.S. government in 2008 for funding Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza.

Primatologist Jane Goodall: ‘The Future of the Planet’ Will Make Us ‘Tighten Our Belts’
(CNSNews.com)
– Famed primatologist and environmental activist Jane Goodall told CNSNews.com that the proposed cap-and-trade plan in Congress could mean higher energy prices for Americans but the “future of the planet” is at some point going to have to make us “tighten our belts.”

McDonald’s Airs Pro-Homosexual Commercial in France
(CNSNews.com)
– A McDonald’s commercial running in France shows a teenage boy talking to his homosexual partner on a cell phone, followed by an awkward conversation with his father who does not know his son is gay. According to McDonald’s, the ad “recognizes the diversity of McDonald’s customers in France.” But some homosexual activists in the United States are not happy about the commercial.

Sweeping Sestak under the rug
A conservative media watchdog says the mainstream media has shown a real lack of effort in the ongoing story surrounding Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak and a possible deal from the White House.

School bus becomes a ‘bully’ pulpit
An Indiana school bus driver and her school district are targeted by a lawsuit alleging harassment directed at a Christian student.

Repeal rush infuriates military leaders
A conservative military watchdog isn’t surprised that the four highest ranking officers from each service branch were “furious” over the way Nancy Pelosi rammed through legislation to repeal the 1993 law that bans homosexuals from military service, while denying its pre-determined consequences.

McD’s ad abroad raises eyebrows
A pro-family group complains that McDonald’s is once again promoting a social agenda rather than selling hamburgers and French fries.

‘Gay day’ a Mayday for families
Disney is about to host its annual “gay day” at its facility in Orlando.

Mission Can Succeed Despite Divisions, Says Theologian
The church and the world may be more plural than ever before, but that should not hold Christians back from proclaiming the love of God revealed through Jesus Christ, said one university professor.

Conn. School Board Bows Out of Graduations at Church Battle

Christian Groups Respond to Central American Disasters

Obama Offers More Benefits for Gay Federal Employees

Zimbabwe Church Leaders Press Gov’t to Keep Promises

Christians Pick Up More Seats in Iraqi Parliament

Gov’t = caretaker, parent = babysitter
The Senate is expected to take up the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Perspective: Sesame Street, socialism, and America
If socialism failed on an island slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, it will fail on an even larger scale if the government continues to roll out socialist policies for America.

Homosexual senator ‘throws constituents under the bus’
After identifying himself as a homosexual earlier this year, a California senator supported two anti-family measures last week.

Anglican head ready to do battle with liberal Episcopals
The leader of the world’s Anglicans wants to sideline provinces that violate moratoria on ordaining partnered homosexuals and on other contentious activity in the splintering fellowship.

Pro-lifers protest birth control
Today, a number of pro-life groups are protesting contraceptives by taking part in The Pill Kills Day.

Hundreds gather to support AZ illegals crackdown law
Hundreds of people supporting Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigration rallied near the state Capitol on Saturday afternoon in soaring temperatures.

Kenyan convert faces deportation
A Kenyan who graduated from a Michigan college and wrote a book about his conversion to Christianity has lost his bid to remain in the U.S.

Gov’t = caretaker, parent = babysitter
The Senate is expected to take up the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Remembering Tiananmen
Chinese Christians have marked the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre with a prayer service in Falls Church, Virginia.

Legendary Basketball, Life Coach John Wooden Dies at 99
Legendary basketball and life coach John Wooden died of natural causes Friday evening, just months shy from what would have been his 100th birthday.

Christian Leaders Admit Church Unity Still Long Way Off

John Piper on Getting the Gospel Right

Churches Urged to Address Challenges on World Environment Day

Christians Launch Prayer Campaign for Vulnerable Children

Over 1 Million March for Jesus in Brazil’s Largest City

Inspector General’s Memo: Census Says It Hired More Workers Than It Needed As a ‘Cost-Saving Measure’
(CNSNews.com)
– The U.S. Census purposefully hired more workers than it needed, telling the Office of the Inspector General of the Commerce Department that it did so as a “cost-saving measure,” according to a memorandum that Todd J. Zinser of the inspector general’s office sent to Census Bureau Director Robert Groves last week.

U.S. Will be Like Greece in ‘Seven to 10 Years,’ Say Congressmen, Experts
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), along with other members of Congress and leading financial experts, is warning that the United States is in danger of being in the same dire situation as Greece – national bankruptcy — in seven to 10 years unless the federal government slashes its debt and controls spending. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the U.S. has been making decisions similar to those that caused Greece’s debt crisis.

DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Which Did Not Prosecute New Black Panthers, Is ‘Conscience’ of Nation, Holder Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is the “conscience of our nation” and that he has restored its primacy within the department during his first year on the job. The division, which handles “hate crimes” and voter rights cases, came under scrutiny after failing to prosecute a group of New Black Panthers who allegedly engaged in voter intimidation and racial insults outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day 2008.

On Anniversary of Cairo Speech, Leaders Claim Obama Has Yet to Connect with American Muslims
(CNSNews.com)
– One year after President Barack Obama gave a speech at Cairo University to usher in what the White House called a “new beginning” for America’s relationship with Muslims around the world, leaders from a number of American Islamic organizations say that Obama has yet to visit an American mosque or meet with them to discuss issues they care about.

Removal of Two Key Afghan Officials Seen As A Blow to the West
(CNSNews.com)
– The departure of two top Afghan officials respected by Western governments raises new concerns about the direction in which the country is moving.
U.S. officials frequently praised one of the departing officials for his efforts to combat corruption.

Revolutionary Guard Ready to Escort Gaza-Bound Ships, As Islamic Nations Demand More U.N. Action
(CNSNews.com)
– Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is ready to provide military escorts to ships attempting to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a senior official said Sunday. Leading Islamic countries, meanwhile, are suggesting a range of responses to last week’s deadly maritime clash between Israeli troops and pro-Palestinian activists, including Israel’s expulsion from international organizations and severing of diplomatic ties.

Poll: 60 Percent of Americans Favor Repeal of Health Care Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– This was the second straight week the Rassmussen polling company has found support at or above 60 percent for a repeal of the bill that will reform the national health care system. An analyst at a conservative think tank told CNSNews.com that he doesn’t find the poll result surprising.

Two-Thirds of Americans Want Stricter Enforcement of Immigration Laws, Quinnipiac Poll Finds
(CNSnews.com)
– Two-thirds of Americans – 66 percent — would rather see stricter enforcement of immigration laws than offering illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The poll found that 51 percent approve of Arizona’s immigration law while 31 percent disapprove.

Protest against plan to build mosque at Ground Zero
A plan to build a mosque and cultural center near ground zero in New York City is drawing fire from families and friends of those who died in the 9/11 attacks.

Gov’t created most new jobs in May
An analyst with The Heritage Foundation says the vast majority of new jobs created last month in the U.S. were temporary government jobs.

Perspective: Dangerous priorities
While other positions he holds may be vague, Barack Obama’s commitment to radical homosexual rights has been clear — loud and clear.

Sestak and Romanoff – ‘elements’ of a crime
A legal scholar and former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission believes the revelation that the White House approached a Colorado Senate candidate about a possible job to drop out of the race could be problematical for the Obama administration.

Perspective: Rebranding Christianity
Christians should never let their politics inform their faith — and that’s why believers who “sojourn” with Jim Wallis should be very wary.

Helen Thomas saved White House the trouble
A conservative media watchdog says the retirement of veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas on Monday saved the Obama White House from having to decide whether to revoke her credentials.

Primaries could balance power on Capitol Hill
Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer believes tonight’s senatorial primaries in several states could indicate whether incumbents are in real trouble in 2010.

Perspective: They say ‘jihad’ – why don’t we?
The White House and State Department are avoiding reference to “jihadists” even though terrorist adversaries of the U.S. often call themselves exactly that.

ellaOne – a combination of the worst factors
The newest “oral emergency contraception,” ellaOne, will be the subject of a hearing this month before the Food and Drug Administration.

Perspective: PC means denying reality
Political correctness causes people to deny reality — and it causes its subscribers to reject common sense.

Thousands Rally Against Ground Zero ‘Mega Mosque’
Thousands of protesters gathered around the corner of Liberty and Church Streets on Sunday to voice their opposition to a proposed “mega mosque” near New York City’s Ground Zero.

Edinburgh 2010 Ends with Call for Cooperation

Anglicans in Canada Favor Dialogue Over Debate on Homosexuality

Haggard Draws 160 People to New Church

Truck Drivers Find God at Mobile Chapel

Group Decries Afghan Lawmaker’s Call for Christian Executions

Andy Stern, A Member of Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Says ‘Worshipping the Market’ Has Failed America
(CNSNews.com)
– Andy Stern, the former head of Service Employees International Union appointed by President Obama appointee to sit on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, says the United States needs an economic plan that does not include “worshipping” the free market.

Tea Party Activists Are Out-Lobbying Liberals, Liberal Leader Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Although Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, the head of ProgressiveCongress.com said the liberal movement is not doing enough to further its political agenda and is, in fact, being out-lobbied by tea party activists and people on the political right. “I have spent the last 14 months in Washington, and we are not advocating for our side the way that the right is advocating for theirs,” the activist said.

Helen Thomas Retirement Prompts WH Correspondents Board to Evaluate Seating Rules for Opinion Journalists
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– The fallout from Helen Thomas’ controversial comments about Israel and Jews, which led to her immediate retirement on Monday, has prompted journalists covering the White House to re-evaluate the role of an opinion columnist in the White House press corps.

Administration Says Most of $787-Billion Stimulus Funds ‘Spoken For,’ But only 50% Spent So Far to ‘Jolt’ Economy
(CNSNews.com)
– The $787-billion economic stimulus bill was signed into law in February 2009, a federal spending measure that President Barack Obama said was urgently needed to “to jolt our economy back to life.” Fourteen months later, only 50 percent of the recovery funds actually have been injected into the economy.

Annual Federal Deficit Will Hit $1 Trillion This Month, With 3-Plus Months to Go in Fiscal Year
(CNSNews.com)
– With the federal government borrowing an average of $3.9 billion a day, the annual federal deficit is set to exceed $1 trillion by June 16, with three-and-a-half months still to go in fiscal year 2010, according to data released Friday by the Congressional Budget Office. The Office of Management and Budget is projecting that this year’s federal deficit will be 10.6 percent of GDP. That would mark the first time since World War II that the federal government has run a deficit that reached double digits as a share of GDP.

6.2 Million Mexicans Want to Move to U.S., Gallup Poll Says
(CNSNews.com)
– A new poll shows 6.2 million Mexicans would like to move permanently to the United States if they could. Canada and Spain were listed as the other top destinations for Mexicans who wanted to leave home.

Syria Strengthens Its Ties With North Korea
(CNSNews.com)
– Senior Syrian and North Korean officials held talks in Damascus this week, further strengthening a relationship that has long been viewed with unease by the United States and Israel. U.S. intelligence agencies have tracked North Korean assistance to Syrian ballistic missile programs for decades, and Pyongyang is suspected of helping Syria develop a clandestine nuclear capability. Now Syria is once again demonstrating that it does not feel bound by U.S. calls to isolate belligerent regimes.

Obama, Who Planned to Engage Southeast Asia, Once Again Cancels Trip to Region
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama’s decision to cancel, once again, a visit to Australia and Indonesia may have won public understanding from the would-be host governments, but it does no favors for Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose dismal poll ratings could use a boost as elections draw nearer. The decision to cancel the visit again drew comment, given Obama’s description of himself as “America’s first Pacific president” and administration officials’ assertions that the U.S. was “back” in Asia after years of supposed neglect by President Bush.

Mysterious Billboard Puts Obama’s Face on $100,000,000,000,000 Bill, Asks: ‘But Who Will Pay the Piper?’
(CNSNews.com)
– Thanks to an advertiser who wishes to remain anonymous, cars and trucks on Arizona Highway 260 in East Central Arizona are driving by a billboard bearing President Obama’s face on a mock U.S. hundred-trillion-dollar bill. The billboard’s caption: “But Who Will Pay the Piper?”

Sanctions Against Episcopalians Carried Out
The Episcopal Church in the United States has been suspended from participating in ecumenical dialogues in which the Anglican Communion is formally engaged, according to an announcement Monday.

Demoted Employee for NASA Mission Fights Discrimination

Pope Benedict Renews Call for Int’l Efforts in Middle East

Wells Fargo Contributes $8M to Habitat for Humanity Initiative

Muslims Order Christians to Leave Village in Pakistan

Christian Rock Pioneer Dana Key Dies at 56

Hezbollah, Hamas Raise Money for ‘Terrorist Activities’ From Drug Trade in South America, Congressional Research Service Says
(CNSNews.com)
– The terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas are linked to drug trafficking organizations in South America, reaping money from the drug trade to finance their terrorist activities, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

At Human Rights Council, ‘Regime’ Not Allowed, But ‘A State Built on Hatred’ Is Okay
(CNSNews.com)
– The diplomat chairing a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting Tuesday allowed a Syrian delegate to call Israel ‘a state built on hatred, discrimination, oppression and a paranoid feeling of superiority,’ but a few minutes earlier, that diplomat scolded another speaker for referring to the Burmese ‘regime.’

Pelosi Speaks Over Heckling by Liberal Activists: ‘I’m Used to Noise’
(CNSNews.com)
– If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expected a friendly reception as the keynote speaker at a gathering of liberals on Tuesday, she was disappointed. “I’m going to make my speech over your voices because I came here to thank you for helping us get health care reform passed,” the speaker told liberal activists who interrupted her speech. And that’s what she did – straining to be heard over the heckling that continued for around 30 minutes.

Flexing Regional Muscles, Turkey Drifts Away From the West
(CNSNews.com)
– Turkey’s ever more activist foreign policy, which has opened a gulf with its former ally Israel, also is putting Turkey increasingly at odds with the traditional positions held by its partner in NATO, the United States. Fresh from his efforts to stave off new sanctions against Iran, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fast achieving hero status across the Arab world for confronting Israel over its policies.

Pro-Life Minister Arrested by D.C. Police for Challenging Fenced-Off Entrance to Planned Parenthood Facility
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Council was arrested Tuesday on a charge of unlawful entry after praying inside a fence surrounding the Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington building. He said he should be allowed to pray, walk, or sit on the walkway that is directly in front of the Planned Parenthood building because it is public property – but he could not because the fence keeps out the public.

Primary night…’ladies night’
Across the country, Republicans and Democrats voted in primaries Tuesday to decide which candidates will represent them in the November election. In several of the high-profile races, it was “ladies night.”

Ark. incumbent takes a beating but wins
A pro-family activist in Arkansas says Senator Blanche Lincoln, who emerged victorious from a fierce run-off on Tuesday, didn’t come out unscathed.

‘Civil rights’ not relevant to marriage debate
The president of a Christian legal defense organization says a column by a former official with the Clinton White House and the chairman of the Cato Institute calling for the legalization of homosexual “marriage” is misguided.

Condemn Israel, forgive North Korea
The head of a Protestant renewal organization is blasting the religious left’s hypocrisy in condemning Israel’s defending itself while excusing the actions of real tyrannies like North Korea.

Perspective: AZ law not discriminatory
One has to wonder how, with a straight face, the president of Mexico can rip into Arizona for doing exactly what his own country does — enforce national immigration laws.

Concordia College President Dies Hours After Stroke
The president of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., died Wednesday afternoon after suffering a stroke in her home earlier in the morning.

Most Evangelical Leaders OK with Birth Control

‘Courageous’ Film Resonates with Actors, Supporters

Conn. School Board Resumes Church Graduation Battle

Coptic Orthodox Pope Rejects Egypt Court’s Ruling on Remarriage

Over 1,200 Churches Unite to be ‘Unstoppable’

Seminary plans cross-training with other faiths
According to a Christian renewal alliance, a California seminary affiliated with the United Methodist Church is revisiting its plans to launch schools of ministry for non-Christians.

Is there a White House-Hamas link?
Israel has eased its Gaza blockade, allowing some food items through for the first time in almost four years. But a recent deadly confrontation in that part of the world has given rise to new information that organizers of the convoy have ties to the Obama administration.

Women ‘refashioning’ GOP
A mainstream women’s organization that supports the principles of economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom says Tuesday night’s primary was a big night for conservative women.

Episcopalians banned from Anglican meetings
The leader of the world’s Anglicans wants to sideline provinces of the denomination that violate the moratoria on ordaining partnered homosexuals and on other contentious activity in the splintering fellowship.

Perspective: Clueless on economics
The stimulus didn’t work — so it is possible the guy calling the shots hasn’t a clue about real-world economics?

State Dept: Hezbollah Raising Funds Through Drug Cartels in South America But ‘No Credible Information’ of Terrorist Operations There
(CNSNews.com)
– The State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator told members of a Senate panel on Tuesday that there is “no credible information” to indicate that the terrorist organization Hezbollah has an “operational presence in Latin America.” However, as CNSNews.com has reported, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service says Hezbollah is linked to drug traffickers in South America’s tri-border region, which includes Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, and is using the proceeds from trafficking cocaine into Europe and the Middle East to finance its operations.

McConnell Charges That ‘Major Part’ of Democrats’ Cap-Trade Bill ‘Essentially Written by BP’
(CNSNews.com)
– Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that BP, the energy company responsible for the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, helped craft the bill proposed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) that would tax businesses for carbon emissions and raise the cost of fuel for American consumers. McConnell also charged that Democrats want to “piggy back” the Kerry-Lieberman bill into legislation being considered to mitigate future oil spills.

Issa Seeks Independent Probe of White House Job Offers
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has formally requested the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate job offers reportedly made by the White House to Democratic Senate candidates to keep them out of electoral primary races against other Democrats.

Obama Less Successful Than ‘Unilateralist’ Bush Was in Pushing U.N. Security Council to Sanction Iran
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration is playing down the absence of U.N. Security Council unanimity in adopting new sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, attributing three members’ refusal to back the resolution to differences over “timing and tactics.” For all its supposed unilateralism and unpopularity at the U.N., the Bush administration was twice able to pull off what the current administration has not – a 15 out of 15 vote in the council for sanctions against Tehran. On a third occasion, the Bush administration achieved a 14-0 vote, with one abstention.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: ‘I Don’t Know’ If ObamaCare is Unconstitutional
(CNSNews.com)
– Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s Republican governor, said he does not know whether the new health care bill signed into law by President Barack Obama is constitutional.

Anti-Islamist Politician Soars in Dutch Election
(CNSNews.com)
– The Dutch lawmaker whose warnings about radical Islam have stoked controversy worldwide is set to be a possible kingmaker in The Netherlands’ next coalition government. Although many Dutch commentators write him off as a kook, Geert Wilders’ evidently has found considerable support for his appeals to “Stop the Islamization of the Netherlands.”

Empire State Building Honored Grateful Dead and Communist China–But Won’t Honor Mother Teresa
(CNSNews.com)
– The Empire State Building will not honor Mother Teresa, as it has others, with special lights on August 26 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the late Catholic nun’s birth. In a statement issued Wednesday, Anthony E. Malkin of Malkin Holdings specifically rejected a request for the tribute, citing a “specific policy” against lighting the building “for religious figures.”

Protestant Seminary Joins Hands with Jewish, Muslim Schools
A Southern California seminary affiliated with The United Methodist Church is opening its doors to Muslims and Jews and offering clerical training for those of other Abrahamic faiths, school officials announced Wednesday.

Va. High Court Rules Against Breakaway Anglicans

Ban on Ky. Commandments Displays Upheld by Federal Appeals Panel

Hundreds Protest Egypt Court’s Ruling on Coptic Remarriage

La. Senate Committee Rejects Church Guns Bill

Egyptian Couple Shot by Muslim Extremists Undaunted in Ministry

Nat’l PTA snubs PFOX – again
A pro-family organization claims the Parent Teachers Association has again rejected its request to exhibit at the National PTA convention.

Perspective: Smarter than God
Why are some “conservative” pundits supporting the repeal of the ban on gays in the military? The answer is obvious…they’re smarter than the Creator.

ObamaCare could learn from states
An advocate for patient-centered health reform says when it comes to healthcare, the federal government should look to lessons learned by individual states.

Women showing out in GOP
A conservative political scientist and historian says this week’s GOP primaries across the country were historical because women came out on top in all of the high-profile races.

Video violence as curriculum? Not!
A staffer with the Parents Television Council says research showing violent video games can be used as learning tools is seriously flawed.

Obama’s Appeals Court Nominee Sent to Full Senate with Record of Leniency for Sex Offenders, Serial Killer
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama’s controversial nominee to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York fits the activist judiciary agenda of the administration, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said. U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny of Connecticut took what many considered extraordinary judicial actions in 2005 to prevent the execution of a serial killer, and the judge also has a record of lenient sentencing for sex offenders.

Kagan Supported Policy of Reverse Discrimination, Clinton Documents Revealed
(CNSNews.com)
– Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan resolutely supported “non-remedial affirmative action,” also known as reverse discrimination, when she served in the Clinton Justice Department, according to a 1997 document buried in the more than 100,000 pages released from the Clinton Library last week.

Homeland Security Committee Members Agree With Warnings of a WMD Terrorist Attack by 2013
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Representatives from both parties on the House Homeland Security Committee said on Thursday that they agree with the assessment made by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism that it is likely that by 2013 terrorists will launch an attack somewhere in the world using a weapon of mass destruction. The commission had warned that terrorists were “more likely” to use a biological than a nuclear weapon.

Public Says Federal Debt Equal to Threat from Terrorism
(CNSNews.com)
– The American public thinks that the federal government’s debt is as much a threat to the future of the country as terrorism, a new Gallup survey finds. The same survey also shows that the public trusts Republicans more than Democrats on both issues.

63 Percent of American Men Say Soccer Not Likely to Ever Be As Popular as Football, Baseball, Basketball or Hockey in USA
(CNSNews.com)
– With the FIFA World Cup set to begin in South Africa on Friday, 63 percent of American men say that soccer is not likely to ever be as popular as football, baseball, basketball or hockey in the United States, according to a poll released today by Zogby International. A 54-percent majority of the overall American population (males and females combined) has reached the same conclusion. Only 24 percent of Americans, meanwhile, say they will watch any part of the World Cup.

Turkey’s Opposition Troubled by Erdogan’s Stance on Iran and Israel
(CNSNews.com)
– Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is enjoying a surge of popularity in the Middle East for his positions on Iran and Israel, but a resurgent secularist opposition at home is warning that the government may be harming Turkey internationally. “Decisions by the Turkish prime minister and the foreign ministry put Turkey in an excluded and isolated position,” one opposition leader said.

Judge Extends Order for Boy to Return to Public School that Suspended Him for Wearing a Rosary
(CNSNews.com)
– A federal district court extended an order Wednesday that allows a 13-year-old boy to return to his public school and wear his rosary until at least Sept. 10.

Methodist Seminary is ‘Abdicating’ Christianity, Says Theologian
Despite a Methodist seminary president’s insistence that he is not compromising Christianity by turning the school into a multi-religious one, evangelicals and conservative Christians remain unconvinced.

Ministry Leader Apologizes for Anti-Gay Bill Promotion in Uganda

ELCA Inks Partnership with Church of Christ in Thailand

Lawmakers Move to Allow Abortions at Military Hospitals

Habitat for Humanity Receives Its Largest Donation for Haiti

Two Women Pastors Arrested in India

Lawyer denounces claims of racial profiling in AZ law
A California based lawyer is dismissing claims by many that the Arizona law aimed at cracking down on illegal aliens amounts to racial discrimination.

Christian librarian loses case against Ohio State
A federal judge says a former Ohio State University librarian failed to prove the school was hostile to his Christian beliefs.

Louisiana Senate says no to guns in church
A bill that would have allowed concealed weapons to be carried inside Louisiana churches was shot down in the state Senate earlier this week.

Repeal of ban would redefine what’s immoral
A former U.S. Army chaplain who now recruits and endorses chaplains says repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would redefine what the military considers immoral.

Arizona restaurant raids target illegal workers
Sheriff’s deputies raided two Sizzler steak house restaurants in Phoenix on Saturday, arresting nine employees who are suspected of being illegal immigrants and using fraudulent documents to get jobs.

Charitable giving in U.S. drops off
An annual survey says charitable giving fell 3.6 percent last year as Americans continued to struggle with the recession.

Episcopal property issues, opposite coasts
Courts in Virginia and California are both dealing with church property issues in the Episcopal Church stemming from that denomination’s decisions regarding open homosexuals in leadership.

Pastor preaching at Baptist and Presbyterian churches
A Baptist church and a Presbyterian congregation in Pennsylvania will share a pastor and facilities this summer while the Presbyterian congregation searches for a new minister.

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