The beginning of man’s rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart. —Francis Schaeffer
Dec. 12, 2014
The United States Department of Justice announced Thursday that Indian tribes across the country can now grow and sell marijuana on their sovereign lands as long as the adhere to the same federal guidelines in place in the four states where the drug has been legalized for recreational use.
For the first time since 1993, most Americans (52 percent) say it’s more important to protect gun rights than control gun ownership (46 percent), according to Pew.
Minority congressional staffers held a walkout in Washington on Thursday to protest the recent police shootings and grand-jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. More than 150 people participated, according to the Daily Beast.
Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina is running out of policy options for stabilizing the ruble without inflicting deeper damage to the economy.
Russia’s trade surplus widened in October for the first time in three months as imports shrank the most since 2009 after a retaliatory ban on some foreign food shipments and a weaker ruble crimped demand.
Wholesale prices in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent, more than forecast in November, led by the biggest drop in energy costs in more than a year, signaling inflation pressures remain weak even as the world’s largest economy is expanding.
The number of supertankers sailing to China jumped to a record in ship-tracking data amid signs that the oil-price crash is spurring the Asian nation to stockpile. There are 83 very large crude carriers bound for Chinese ports, according to shipping signals.
Of all the financial barometers highlighting the crisis in Venezuela, this may be the one that unnerves investors the most as oil sinks: The country’s foreign reserves only cover two years of bond payments. The government and state-run oil company owe $21 billion on overseas bonds by the end of 2016, an amount equal to about 100 percent of reserves. Those figures explain why derivatives traders aren’t only betting that a default is almost certain but that it will most likely happen within a year.
Benchmark U.S. oil prices extended losses below $60 a barrel as the International Energy Agency cut its global demand forecast for the fourth time in five months. West Texas Intermediate crude is poised for a weekly decline of 11 percent while Brent has lost 9 percent in London.
AP Top Stories
It’s now up to the Senate to pass a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running, but not before a battle between old school veterans and new breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, a liberal with a national following.
A Palestinian man threw a chemical substance believed to be acid at an Israeli family in the occupied West Bank on Friday, injuring a man and four children.
A Brazilian man accused of stabbing a woman to death in a Rio suburb has confessed to have murdered 41 people, almost all of them women, “for the fun of it,” police said Thursday.
Family members of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are still seeking answers and closure nine months after the plane’s disappearance
Google is reportedly closing the doors of its engineering office in Russia after a string of changes in legislation now force tech firms to keep the data of Russian citizens in the country.
CIA Director John Brennan defended his agency’s past interrogation program but admits some techniques used against detainees were “abhorrent”.
Canadian police can search the contents of a mobile phone after arrest, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled.
Brazilian prosecutors charged 35 executives from the country’s largest engineering companies in connection with the Petrobras corruption scandal.
Kenya’s parliament backed a bill giving security agencies greater powers following recent attacks, but rights groups are strongly critical.
Australian PM Tony Abbott vowed to “sweat blood” to secure constitutional recognition for indigenous people, saying he wants a referendum in 2017.
Bangladeshi villagers used sponges, pots and pans to help clear thousands of gallons of oil, which spilled into a wildlife sanctuary on Tuesday.
A Chinese construction giant is set to buy one of Australia’s largest construction companies for $951m.
The EU may scrap plans for legislation on air pollution and waste in a drive to boost economy.
Police in India are investigating claims that a Bangalore business executive is behind an influential pro-Islamic State Twitter account.
Though school officials, nutritionists, parents, and students have decried First Lady Michelle Obama’s school lunch program, the $1 trillion CRomnibus (part “continuing resolution” and part “omnibus”) does not include relief from the unpopular meals standards after all.
The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States.
Millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm that will disrupt the electric grid and cause cascading infrastructure failures, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document.
A docuseries, from Ryan Seacrest Productions, centers on a teen named Ben who learns his parents are not only getting a divorce, but also that his father is becoming a woman.
Daily Digest for Friday
December 12, 2014
“The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it would be well to provide in our constitutions that there shall always be a twelve-month between the ingross-ing a bill & passing it: that it should then be offered to its passage without changing a word: and that if circumstances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it should take two thirds of both houses instead of a bare majority.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Both Republican and Democrat caucuses in the House cracked and splintered as the chamber approved the CRomnibus (part omnibus, part continuing resolution) spending package Thursday night. Republicans needed 80 Democrat votes to send the bill to the Senate, and that’s with making the bill as enticing as possible for the Left. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said, “In 20 years of being on the appropriations [committee], I haven’t seen a better compromise in terms of Democratic priorities,” because the bill funded ObamaCare, early childhood education and the EPA. But progressive members of the party balked at the provision rolling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. The White House skipped up to Capitol Hill to lobby for the legislation, but Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) created a coalition in her office of 20 fellow Democrats to oppose the president. She said, “We don’t like lobbying that is being done by the president or anybody else that would allow us to support a bill that … would give a big gift to Wall Street and the bankers. … So I’m opposed to it and we’re going to fight it.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bill “blackmail.” Still, the bill is now headed to the Senate.
CIA Director John Brennan responded to Senate Democrats’ “torture” report in a rare Langley press conference Thursday, defending the agency but also admitting serious mistakes. “In many respects the program was uncharted territory for the CIA, and we were unprepared,” Brennan said. “But the president authorized the program six days after 9/11, and it was our job to carry it out.” He acknowledged that some techniques the CIA employed were “abhorrent and should be repudiated by all” involved, adding, “None of these lapses should be excused, downplayed or denied.” Brennan also conceded it is “unknown and unknowable” if information gleaned from enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) could have been obtained otherwise, and he supports “the president’s decision to prohibit the use of EITs” (because he likes his job and wants to keep it). But he insisted, contrary to the Democrats’ report, “The detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” That included information leading to Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, “[F]or someone to say that there was no intelligence of value … that came from those detainees once they were subjected to EITs, I think … lacks any foundation at all.” More…
The Department of Justice faced a conflict of interest as it “investigated” ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. Judicial Watch released a 2010 email exchange between the DOJ’s Election Crimes Division and the IRS’s Tax Exempt Division. The DOJ invited an IRS official “to meet with us concerning 501(c)(4) issues.” While the then-head of the Tax Exempt Division couldn’t make the meeting, her deputy, Lois Lerner, did. As president of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton said, “[I]t is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal.” Now that we’ve established a corrupting relationship between the DOJ and the IRS, we need to find that connection where the White House was calling the shots, taking aim at its political enemies. More…
Barack Obama’s policies on immigration are the correct policies, politically speaking, according to Obama. “It’s true a future administration might try to reverse some of our policies,” Obama told a gathering in Nashville. “But I’ll be honest with you — the American people basically have a good heart and want to treat people fairly and every survey shows that if, in fact, somebody has come out and subjected themselves to a background check, registered [and] paid their taxes, the American people support allowing them to stay. So any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think, would not have the support of the American people. It’s true; theoretically, a future administration could do something that I think would be very damaging. It’s not likely, politically, that they reverse everything we’ve done.” He went on to say conservatives should be thanking him, as some amnesty advocates want to all but erase the border between Mexico and the U.S., but nice-guy Obama stopped them — this time. Essentially, Obama is saying he’s a one-of-a-kind president, because only he can change the law and make it permanent, and, by definition, anyone who disagrees is doing damage. More…
We’re not the stupid American voters Kathleen Sebelius thinks we are. The former HHS secretary declared the “Affordable” Care Act would be a smashing success if it wasn’t named after the unpopular president. “I think we may need to call it something in the future different [sic], but it is working. ObamaCare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” she said, without a hint of irony. Sebelius, who recently challenged the financial literacy of her fellow Americans, may not want to admit it’s not the law’s name that makes nearly 60% of Americans support repealing it. We don’t like the law because it disrupts our lives and redistributes our wealth. And because it was sold on a pack of lies. And because it encroaches on the Constitution, the free market and Liberty. More…
Democrats are nothing if not persistent. In the wake of their second straight midterm election shellacking, they have decided to double down on one of their pet issues: gun control. Republicans will soon have more members in Congress than they’ve had in more than 70 years, while Democrats have completely lost the South and have been routed at the state level. Yet they believe gun control is their silver bullet.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched the “Big Ideas Project” this week to gather ideas from the public in order to reenergize Democrats. If gun control is the big idea they came up with, they should keep asking questions.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) trumpeted this new initiative. “When you don’t pass background checks,” he warned, “it’s much more likely that someone will get their hands on an illegal gun and use it to kill their neighbors and classmates.”
His fellow Connecticut Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, made an even more outrageous claim: “Congress’s failure to act makes it, in fact, an aider and abettor to those deaths that could be prevented.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that a universal background check bill is “inevitable.” She claims the bill has 180 cosponsors. Of course, it would need 218 votes to pass, though Democrats promise they’ll try.
Democrats have relied these tired, old arguments and shame tactics for years to make their case for infringing Second Amendment rights. Facts go by the wayside, actual public sentiment is ignored and logic gives way to emotions.
Of course, we all want to prevent mass shootings, but the universal background check bill Democrats roll out after every horrific killing spree is not the answer. A review of mass shootings going back two decades shows that killers either obtain guns legally after passing a background check, or they steal them from their legal owners. Mass murderers almost never procure a gun on the black market. And any background check law that Congress could pass would not affect murderous psychopaths too young to purchase a gun legally.
Meanwhile, public opinion is against Democrats. Legal gun sales have risen dramatically since 2009, thanks to the gun salesman of the decade — Barack Obama. And a report issued earlier this week by the Pew Research Center indicates support for gun rights is now at its highest in two decades. According to the report, 52% believe it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. This level of support has risen seven points since January 2013, just after the Newtown murders provided the crisis Democrats needed for their ensuing exploitative push for tighter gun control. Some 57% of Americans say gun ownership does more to deter crime than create it, while only 38% believe it endangers public safety. Support among blacks for gun rights has also risen, with 54% saying gun ownership deters crime — nearly double the percentage of supporters in December 2012.
Looking at partisan views on the issue, it’s easy to see where it all breaks down. Six in 10 Democrats say guns do more to put safety at risk, while eight in 10 Republicans believe guns deter crime. According to Pew, Republican support has gone up 17 points since 2012.
Democrats look at these statistics and say the study is flawed, claiming that the questions are misleading and not framed correctly. They also resort to insulting people who support gun rights. Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post called the Second Amendment the “refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches.” Not exactly a statement designed to win hearts and minds to a cause.
With this attitude being so prevalent among Democrats, is it really any wonder why they are losing elections so badly?
A growing majority of the public believes legal gun ownership is a solid deterrent to crime, and facts support this view. If Democrats couldn’t pass gun control after the highly politicized Newtown shooting in 2012, in what environment do they think they could attain their goal?
As important as this public opinion is for preserving our rights, however, the most critical fact comes straight from our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” and among them is self-defense. That won’t be made untrue by any law or public opinion poll.
We’ve been told repeatedly by Barack Obama and others in his truth-challenged administration that one in five college women across the nation will be the victim of sexual assault. One in five. Congress is working on legislation to address the issue. Magazine articles and books are written with the narrative as background. But is the story true?
Earlier this week we told you about all the trouble caused by a phony Rolling Stone rape exposé. Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely interviewed a woman named Jackie, who, as it turns out, falsely accused members of a University of Virginia fraternity of gang-raping her at a party. While the magazine has backtracked on most of the account, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan did not relent on a suspension of all fraternity activities for the remainder of the semester and winter break. Sullivan still considers sexual violence among the “most difficult and critical issues facing higher education today.”
This Rolling Stone hit piece came hot on the heels of HBO celebrity Lena Dunham’s autobiographical claim that she was raped by a “mustachioed campus Republican named Barry” during her days at Oberlin College. Her book publisher later walked back the story when the alleged perpetrator cried foul and lawyered up.
So one has to ask why these stories fall into the “fake but accurate” school of journalism. We think it’s because they fit so neatly into the prevailing progressive narrative of women as sexual victims. As the tale is told, predatory males (for example, of the Duke lacrosse team) go to college to drink, party and prey upon college women. Therefore, to question (read: to seriously investigate) any allegation is to be, in the parlance of feminists, a “rape apologist.”
Sexual assault is a horrific crime, and too often women don’t report it. But the Obama administration’s now-engrained statistic is bogus, and it does damage not only to the fight against real sexual assault on campus but also to the perception we have of college men in general.
This week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics — part of Eric Holder’s Justice Department — released a new survey that scrutinized nearly two decades’ worth of crime statistics and revealed that the oft-repeated one-in-five tale grossly overstated the true statistical likelihood of such an occurrence. Instead of 20%, the actual figure came out to be 0.61%. So the narrative that college is unsafe for women simply falls apart under the light of investigation. In fact, the college campus is actually slightly safer than the “outside world” off-campus, where the figure was 0.76%.
These statistics don’t settle the debate, however. Some women never report their assault, and some guilty men get away with it. Yet to point out that the narrative is false is to become a pariah. Just ask political analyst George Will about his experience in questioning the one-in-five stat earlier this year. The ironclad narrative defense has also led to the loss of due process for male students, as federal rules are encouraging colleges to adopt a lower standard — simple “preponderance of the evidence” — to adjudicate on-campus sexual assault allegations.
As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes: “Because campuses provide victims with a lower standard of proof, utilize definitions of consent that effectively flip the burden of proof onto the accused, and prohibit cross examinations, complainants are predictably steered away from the criminal justice system until it is often too late to initiate an effective law enforcement response.”
Again, just because the narrative is incorrect doesn’t mean we should do less for those who are victims. But the evidence clearly shows that males on a college campus, even those in fraternities, should not automatically be looked upon with suspicion as potential rapists. Leftists hurt their own cause when they fail to remember the tale of the girl who cried wolf.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Charles Krauthammer: A Travesty of a Report
- Jonah Goldberg: Thinking About Torture
- Mona Charen: Termites at Work on American History
- Arnold Ahlert: Budget Battle Royale
- Linda Chavez: Campus Hysteria
OPINION IN BRIEF
Economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “The greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regard as the public good.”
Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. … It’s a common theme (often echoed by President Obama): Amid panic and disorientation, we lost our moral compass and made awful judgments. … So what was the Bush administration to do? Amid the smoking ruins of Ground Zero, conduct a controlled experiment in gentle interrogation and wait to see if we’d be hit again? A nation attacked is not a laboratory for exquisite moral experiments. It’s a trust to be protected, by whatever means meet and fit the threat. Accordingly, under the direction of the Bush administration and with the acquiescence of congressional leadership, the CIA conducted an uncontrolled experiment. It did everything it could, sometimes clumsily, sometimes cruelly, indeed, sometimes wrongly. But successfully. They kept us safe.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Killing is worse than torture. Life in prison might be called torture for some people, and yet we consider the death penalty a more severe punishment. Most people would prefer to be waterboarded than killed. All sane and decent people would rather go through what Khalid Sheikh Mohammad went through than see their whole family slaughtered from 10,000 feet by a drone. And yet President Obama routinely sanctions drone strikes while piously outlawing the slapping of prisoners who might have information that would make such strikes less necessary — and, more importantly, would prevent the loss of innocent American lives. It’s odd: Even though killing is a graver moral act, there’s more flexibility to it. America killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in World War II, but few would call that murder because such actions as the firebombing of Dresden were deemed necessary to win the war. In other words, we have the moral vocabulary to talk about kinds of killing — from euthanasia and abortion to capital punishment, involuntary manslaughter and, of course, murder — but we don’t have a similar lexicon when it comes to kinds of torture.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “You made 24 a hit show and suddenly you’re against torture? Whatever, America.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
“The Patriot Post (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”
Disney-Owned ABC Family Orders Transgender Docuseries Produced By Ryan Seacrest
The Disney-owned cable network has handed out a straight-to-series pickup for My Transparent Life, The Hollywood Reporter has learned
The docuseries, from Ryan Seacrest Productions, centers on a teen named Ben who learns his parents are not only getting a divorce, but also that his father is becoming a woman.
The series will intimately follow Ben, his family and friends as they support each other through the unexpected journey and watch Charlie slowly become Carly, as she experiences the many stages of her transition from male to female. The show is described as a generational story of a loving family and circle of friends, supporting each other through the unfamiliar and unexpected situation.
“ABC Family is best known for its complex, loving and relatable family programming, and we are so proud to partner with Ryan Seacrest Productions to share Ben’s incredible real-life story,” said ABC Family president Tom Ascheim. “While Ben’s family situation is unusual, the themes and coming-of-age issues are universal, and we think our viewers will find a real connection to them.”
Read the rest of the story on The Hollywood Reporter…
The post Disney-Owned ABC Family Orders Transgender Docuseries Produced By Ryan Seacrest appeared first on Now The End Begins.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Ten reasons to not be hardhearted toward Ridley Scott’s biblical epic.
With an atheist as its director and a lead actor who regrettably suggested Moses could be seen as “schizophrenic” and “barbaric,” the film more than invites skepticism from biblically faithful filmgoers. (McCracken, Christianity Today)
Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For
That constellation of trillions of dollars of credit derivatives which floats around the globe? The one generated by the big banks? Looks like we’re now the ones responsible for them when they come crashing through the atmosphere.
Black Pro-Lifers: If “Black Lives Matter,” Why Don’t They Protest Abortion?
Each and every life matters – but, as the media cry “black lives matter,” they conveniently forget the millions of black babies destroyed in abortion. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” surfaced in the news and on social media after a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown last month. The mantra continued after a viral video showed Eric Garner’s death after a confrontation with New York police. From the beginning, the media pushed the phrase – while, at the same time, ignored a Nov. 27 CDC report revealing 78 percent of the babies aborted in New York City in 2011 were black and Hispanic. Read more
Kentucky does ‘ACLU’ on Noah’s Ark
‘This issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization’
A Christian organization building a replica of Noah’s Ark has announced possible legal action against Kentucky after state officials demanded it give up certain religious rights in order to participate in a tax-incentive program for organizations that attract tourists to the state.
Answers in Genesis, which is building the life-size version of Noah’s Ark – 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and three stories high – announced Thursday it was informed by the state that it could participate in the tourism program on two conditions.
Here Are the 67 Republicans Who Voted Against the Massive ‘CRomnibus’ Spending Bill
May their numbers increase . . .
The massive $1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending bill squeaked through the U.S. House of Representatives with a 219-206 vote on Thursday night.
Among those voting against the unpopular spending bill were 67 Republicans, including conservative favorites like Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Dave Brat (R-Va.)
Be a Berean!
Come as your are: We’ll make you feel so comfortable. Are you fed up with the churches in which you grew up? Do you feel that church is not keeping up with the times – not relevant? Well, we are glad that you have joined us.
Those are a few of the statements made to lure people into the Seeker churches. They want their people to be comfortable just the way they are. I mean, who wants the pastor to preach about sin and repentance? That’s no fun.
The Emergent Churches
The devil is so crafty. These churches welcome New Age practices like meditation and mantras. And they teach that hell is not a literal place.
100,000 Residents Without Power and 200 Flights cancelled in CA
A storm pummeling Northern California, one of its biggest in years, left about 100,000 San Francisco homes and businesses without power at one point on Thursday, closed roads and parks and caused the cancellation of more than 200 flights. Power has been restored to some, but more than 66,000 San Francisco customers of PG&E remained in the dark Thursday afternoon as crews worked to repair outages. More
University Bans Christmas On Campus To “Respect Diversity,”
They call this respect? The University of Maine has banned Christmas and Hanukkah decorations from the campus, according to Campus Reform. Here’s the insulting email, from the university’s Auxiliary Services Department: “Just wanted to remind everyone that Aux Services is not to decorate any public areas with Christmas or any other religious themed decorations. Winter holiday decorations are fine but we need to not display any decoration that could be perceived as religious. This includes xmas trees, wreaths, xmas presents, menorahs, candy canes, etc. What is allowed [are] winter themes, snowmen, plain trees without presents underneath, decorative lights, but not on trees, snow flakes, etc.” The university defended its position in a statement saying that the rules are in place to “respect diversity,” which is hard to believe as the directive bans diverse religious symbols. The decision has drawn the ire of students. “We sit here and we talk about how we’re a university that’s about welcoming all different types of people, all walks of life, we have all these different groups like the LGBT, we have up the flag for that,” graduate student Meghan Blackford told WABI. “Why can’t we support every religion and hang up decorations for every religion?” More
Global nuclear war is increasingly probable, experts warn
With the end of the Cold War, you would think that the risk of global nuclear conflagration would have been dramatically reduced — and, for a time, it was. With the U.S. as the only remaining superpower and a collapsing Soviet Union, most experts saw the risk of atomic war as minimal. But times change, and so do geopolitical scenarios. Today, in fact, more and more experts see greater risk of nuclear war, not less, due to a proliferation of the technology and because existing nuclear stockpiles are often less secure than they need to be. More
10 horrifying technologies that threaten humanity’s existence
Technology is the archetypal golden calf of the modern age. Everything that naturally exists in a purely analog and resonant state is being artificially mechanized, computerized, digitized and hybridized (think half-human, half-robot on this one). And with this gradual suffocation of the living, breathing fabric of our world comes the ominous threat of eventual human extinction, as the very essence of humanity is systematically uprooted in favor of a wholly synthetic and programmed existence. Much of what is considered technological advancement these days is inherently evil and has the potential to be used as a collective weapon of mass destruction against life itself. Synthetic biology, for instance, which involves re-engineering genes to manufacture fake organisms, is one such example that threatens to set off an unpredictable chain reaction of devastation and death within the larger ecosystem of life itself. More
Gay Rights Activists Outraged Over Billboard’s Message About Homosexuality and Genetics
A controversial billboard proclaiming that “nobody is born gay” has sparked a great deal of controversy in Richmond, Virginia, where it was recently put on display. Paid for by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays — an organization aimed at helping so-called “ex-gays” gain acceptance — the ad features a picture of male twins and reads, “Identical twins. One gay. One not. We believe twins research studies show nobody is born gay.” While the billboard is offending local gay and lesbian advocates, Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, believes that critics aren’t looking at the facts, specifically when it comes to analyzing how same-sex attraction pertains to twins. More
Minnesota schools take steps to reduce GMO foods served to students
Public school educators in the Land of 10,000 Lakes have taken a bold first step towards improving the quality of cafeteria food served to children in five Minnesota school districts. Schools in Hopkins, Orono, Shakopee, Westonka, and Minneapolis have announced that they will gradually phase out GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) from their meal offerings as part of a long-term effort to teach students about proper nutrition and the dangers of biotechnology. On November 5, schools in these five locales kicked off the initiative by celebrating “GMO Awareness Day,” providing educational materials to students and their parents that explain how GMOs have never been properly safety tested, and how they’ve been linked to causing allergies, infertility, and cancer, among other health conditions. More
28 Russian Planes Intercepted Over Baltic Sea by NATO Jets in One Day
Twenty-eight Russian military planes were intercepted by NATO jets over the Baltic Sea earlier this week, the Latvian government said. Officials on Thursday said the recent upturn in Russian activity over the region is not a sign the Kremlin is “preparing to attack” but is testing NATO defense and reaction times. NATO confronted 28 planes on Monday–including Tu-95 and Tu-22 strategic bombers–over neutral waters near Latvia’s maritime border, reported Bloomberg News. On Sunday, 13 Russian planes were intercepted in the same area. As Bloomberg notes, the increase in Russian plane activity poses a threat to commercial airliners because they fly sometimes with transponders turned off. More
Mysterious Geminid meteor shower peaks this weekend
Not only is the Geminid meteor shower one of the most spectacular and reliable meteor showers of the year, with up to 120 meteors per hour — including the occasional fireball — it’s also a bit of a mystery. Peaking between 9 p.m. Saturday and the early morning hours Sunday, the Geminids are named for the constellation Gemini, the point from which the meteors seem to radiate. The mystery about the Geminids is their origin. All other meteor showers come from comet stuff: When the Earth passes through the debris trail left by a comet, tiny particles burn up in the atmosphere and become meteors, often called “shooting stars”; the Eta Aquarids, which peak in May, for example, and the Orionids, which peak in October, are formed by debris from Comet Halley. More
New Study Reveals Pornography destroys Relationships and Breaks Down Society
Men who regularly watch pornography are more likely to depend on it to stay aroused but are less likely to enjoy sex with a real-life partner, a new study says. The “media scripts” that men absorb when they view pornography can play a role in their sexual activities, said Arkansas psychologist Ana Bridges and other academics in New York and Virginia. More
Drought-stricken CA hit by flash floods, rockslides.
The biggest storm in several years slammed into Southern California early Friday with a vengence, producing heavy downpours, howlng winds and rockslides that damaged homes in Ventura County, prompting rescues. A flash-food warning was issued for Los Angeles County as bands of intense rain moved east from the coast into Orange County and the Inland Empire. Heavy rain was reported around the Colby burn area in Glendora, where officials had been preparing for possible mudslides. The storm caused major traffic problems, and the 710 Freeway was closed in both directions at Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach due to flooding. More
What Happens in Your Body During a “Cleanse” or “Detox”
What Happens in Your Body During a “Cleanse” or “Detox”
Juice cleanses, colon cleanses, fruit detoxes, sugar detoxes—we’ve all seen these things, but do they actually work? What are they supposed to do? Let’s take a look at the science behind the fad.
What Is Liberal Theology? – Justin Taylor provides a quick definition of liberal theology.
Top 10 Myths about Christian Evangelism around the World
You’ve probably heard your fair share of criticism about Christian missionaries over the years. A couple of common myths that still linger are: “missionaries destroy native cultures” and “Christianity is a Western religion.” Today at The Gospel Coalition, Brian Stanley debunks 10 such myths in short order. Here are a few:
· Missionaries destroyed indigenous cultures. Indigenous cultures were not static entities: to suggest that they were is characteristic of Western modernity. Missionaries often displayed what we would term cultural blindness, but their message, once translated into the vernacular, acquired indigenous cultural overtones. Missionary contributions to the inscription and study of indigenous languages have helped to preserve or enrich such cultures.
· Christianity is a Western religion. The period in which Christianity appeared to be indissolubly linked to Western European identity was a relatively short one, lasting from the early 16th to the mid-20th centuries. The church in China, India, Ethiopia, and Iraq is older than the church in much of Northern Europe.
· ‘Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization’ was an imperial creed. It was essentially an anti-slavery humanitarian creed, associated especially with David Livingstone (though he didn’t invent it). For those reasons it often led to advocacy of imperial solutions. Fighting slavery actually led imperial expansion as humanitarians called for deeper commitment from Britain to root out the slave trade at its sources in the African interior.
Check out all 10 myths here and arm yourself with the truth when your faith comes under attack. For further reading on defending your faith, check out all of our apologetics resources here and be always ready to graciously share the gospel of Christ.
3 Reasons for God’s Moral Law
by Founders Ministries Blog
Recently, after our family had completed its daily devotional time together, my oldest son asked me a very insightful question: How do the Ten Commandments apply to us today if they were given so long ago in the Old Testament?
5 Church Leadership Lessons from IKEA
by Philip Nation
Recently, I purchased a new desk from IKEA which is really not a desk. It is two units of drawers, a long table top, and support leg for the center. I think there are several lessons on leadership that we can learn from IKEA and the way they sell their products.
Jesus is for People who Hate Christmas
by Stephen Altrogge
My propensity toward Christmas gloom is one of the reasons I am so grateful for Jesus. Not in a “Jesus is the reason for the season,” kind of way, but in a, “Jesus is a holy warrior,” kind of way.
Unlocking Your Lament
by Association of Biblical Counselors
How does the Christ Follower deal with downturns? How do we handle troubles that are not a direct result of our own poor choices? By unlocking our lament.
What is a Pastor’s True Calling?
by Brian Croft
The only way for a pastor to avoid the many distractions of life and to remain steadfast throughout his life and ministry is to know what God has truly called the pastor to do.
Featured Video Ministry from
The Forgotten Promises of Christmas
Dr. David R. Reagan
Christ in Prophecy
More ministry video at LightSource.com
Week in Review from Paul David Tripp
Glory and Tragedy [Video] – The worst thing that ever happened was the best thing that could ever happen. In this video, I explain how Christmas is all about the collision of glory and tragedy: Watch the Video
Advent: The Promise [Wednesday’s Word] – I’m deeply persuaded that many “theologically sound” Christians actually doubt the presence and love of God. Why do I think that? Because God says we do! Here’s where: Read the Devotional
Advent: The Promise [Sermon] – Hope is never found in a situation, relationship, or location. Hope is only found in a Person, and his name is Jesus: Listen to the Sermon
The Only Intelligible Explanation for the Incarnation: A. T. Robertson on the Virgin Birth of Christ
If Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, then he had a human father. Without the virgin birth, there is no explanation for the incarnation. If Jesus had a merely human father, there is no authentic connection to the incarnational theology of Paul and John in the New Testament. All that remains is some attempt to claim that Jesus was a mere human being who had a unique divine mission, or who was uniquely God conscious, or who was somehow adopted by the Father into a form of deity. All of these are heretical Christs, and none of these can save.
Rick Warren And Catholics Together
Were Warren better educated in church history, were he to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other more recent declarations, in light of the history of the church he would know how idiosyncratic, how novel, and utterly Tridentine Rome really is. The truth for all those who are tempted to swim the Tiber (covert to Rome) is that there is no “Rome Sweet Home.” There are as many “Romes” as there are converts.
Cold Case Christianity: Are the New Testament Eyewitness Accounts Reliable (Part 1)? (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #18)
In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner reviews the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament eyewitness accounts. What are the criteria we use to determine if eyewitnesses are reliable? Do the authors of the New Testament Gospels measure up? J. Warner examines the early dating and reliable transmission of the Gospels in this episode of Cold-Case Christianity. (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)
Fight the spiritual forces of wickedness – and win!
by Marsha West
CRN correspondent Marsha West reminds us that there’s a spiritual battle raging in the invisible realm between the forces of good and evil. In his letter to the Ephesian church, the Apostle Paul explains what Christians must do to protect themselves against the “fiery darts” of the evil one. But many Christians are unfamiliar with the armor of God, and are going about their daily lives unprotected. As a result, they’re getting pummeled by Satan and his demons. Marsha describes each piece of armor, explains its importance, and makes the case as to why believers must “put on the whole armor of God” everyday.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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