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Author Topic: News I love reading  (Read 51934 times)
Shammu
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« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2008, 08:33:05 PM »

Fort Worth is 4th Episcopal Diocese to Break Away
By Rachel Zoll
AP Religion Writer
Sun, Nov. 16 2008

NEW YORK The theologically conservative Diocese of Fort Worth voted Saturday to split from the liberal-leaning Episcopal Church, the fourth traditional diocese to do so in a long-running debate over the Bible, gay relationships and other issues.

About 80 percent of clergy and parishioners in the Texas diocese supported the break in a series of votes at a diocesan convention.

The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, an umbrella group for those who want to stay with the denomination, plans to reorganize the diocese. They promised that "the Episcopal Church's work of Christian ministry and evangelization will go forward" in the region.

A lengthy, expensive legal battle is expected over who owns Episcopal property and funds. The Fort Worth diocese oversees more than 50 parishes and missions serving about 19,000 people. The Steering Committee estimates that at least five parishes and hundreds of other churchgoers will remain with the New York-based national church.

The other seceding dioceses are Pittsburgh; Quincy, Ill.; and San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., where a legal fight over assets is already under way. National church leaders are helping local parishioners reorganize each diocese.

All four withdrawing dioceses are aligning with the like-minded Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, based in Argentina, to try to keep their place in the world Anglican Communion.

The vote is the latest fallout from the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

The 77-million-member Anglican fellowship, which includes the U.S. Episcopal Church, has roots in the missionary work of the Church of England. Most overseas Anglicans hold traditional views of the Bible and Robinson's consecration has moved the global communion toward the brink of schism. Breakaway U.S. leaders hope to form an Anglican province in North America.

Years before Robinson's election, Episcopalians and Anglicans were already divided over how they should interpret Scripture on issues ranging from salvation to sexuality. That rift broke wide open when the New Hampshire bishop was installed.

"Some have encouraged us to stay and fight as the faithful remnant in (the denomination), to work for reform from within," Bishop Jack Iker said in his speech before the balloting.

"I can only reply by quoting the saying that `the definition of insanity is to keep on doing the same thing, expecting different results,'" he said. "The time has come to choose a new path and direction, to secure a spiritual future for our children and our grandchildren."

Of the four withdrawing dioceses, only Pittsburgh ordains women. In 2006, the Episcopal Church elected its first female leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Nationally, most of the 2.1 million Episcopalians don't consider their theological differences cause to leave the denomination, which has more than 100 dioceses. Outside the four that are splitting off, church officials estimate that about 100 additional parishes of a total of more than 7,000 have withdrawn on their own.

However, the secessions have a large cost to the national church, not only in legal expenses and lost donations from the dioceses, but also in damage to the Episcopal public image as the U.S. church struggles to keep its place in the global Anglican family.

Fort Worth is 4th Episcopal Diocese to Break Away
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« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2008, 08:34:59 PM »


These churches are being given a choice: Follow God or follow man. I applaud this and the other churches for doing what is right in God's eyes, not what man is deeming to be politically correct.
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« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2008, 09:40:52 PM »

I Reject Islam and Love Israel
by "X-Muslim"

A great burden has been lifted from my heart.

Shalom. As an Arab Muslim I once asked myself: Why do I hate Israel? I really thought about this question. After only a little deliberation, the answer was clear: because I am a Muslim and Islam is extremely intolerant.

It's intolerance to everything non-Muslim that is the problem. But today I have rejected the teachings of Islam for this very reason. I have left Islam.

As an Arab "Palestinian", living in an Arab country, coming from a Muslim family, I was brought up with hatred of Jews, Christians and all non-Muslims. Now I'm older, I have matured enough to view the world from a different perspective. I reviewed real history and studied the sequence of events before and since the restoration of the State of Israel. I decided to step outside the mindset of a typical Muslim. It didn't take long to realize that I was on the wrong track and I moved quickly to the other side. In order to be at peace with myself, I have come to reject the hatred of Israel and now love my former enemy. I have not embraced another religion, but I am seeking a new spiritual path.

Why do the Arabs and Muslims have to reject the presence of a Jewish state in a tiny percentage of the land of the Middle East? Why does Islamic intolerance forbid other nations their right to exist in their own land? The whole world should realize that Islam is at war with all nations on the planet. In our Muslim societies it is not "the extremists", but the whole society infected with this hatred. It is in the mosques, the schools, in the media and in the homes of nearly every Muslim family. It isn't just Israel they hate, but America and Christians as well. Islam hates all other religions.

In the case of Israel, its only fault is that it's a Jewish state that wants to live in peace within its borders. It's not a struggle of so-called "Palestinians" to establish a country and retain some land, which was never theirs - I know, because I studied the real history. The real problem is racism and the intolerance of Muslims, the blind hatred and jealousy when seeing a flourishing, strong and modern country where people from other faiths can live peacefully.

Why are the Jews forbidden to have a country? These people have contributed much to the world's culture and offered the best scientists, artists, doctors; and they have been victims of intolerance throughout history. Why are they forbidden to live in their national Zionist dream and return to their homeland, which was some desert which they cultivated and transformed into one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth? Why do the Arabs and the Muslim world have to take everything and claim every land they step on as theirs?

"Palestine" never existed and should never exist - and this is coming from me, an Arab classified as a "Palestinian." The creation of a Palestinian state would be the biggest threat to the existence of Israel and would not bring one day of peace to Israel. I know how my people think. Promoting such a state would be the equivalent of supporting the Nazis in their quest to destroy the Jews.

Israel has already made the mistake twice of giving land for peace, once in Southern Lebanon and secondly in Gaza. We all know the terrible results: the expansion of Hizbullah's power in Lebanon and the creation of a terrorist state in Gaza. Hamas and other terrorist organizations now have the space to launch more terrorist attacks and hostile activities on Israeli cities and villages.

Israel's right to exist shouldn't be open for discussion. Hamas, Hizbullah or Islamic Jihad, and the people behind them, must be destroyed. Nothing should hinder Israel's army to do whatever it takes to protect their people and ensure the safety of Israel, from Tel Aviv to the smallest settlement inside Israel, which should include Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

I don't blame the Israeli army for any defensive measure it takes. It fought Islamic terrorism long before any other nation faced their atrocities. The Israeli soldiers have been on the front line on behalf of the whole free world. I am proud to support the Israeli Defense Forces, the most civilized and humane army in the world, no matter how the media might try to portray them.

One can't but respect the brave Israeli army, which puts its soldiers' lives at risk in order to protect civilian life in Gaza or Southern Lebanon, the same civilians who, in both places, voted terrorist organizations in to power. The same "innocent civilians" who deny Israel's right to exist, who never are held accountable for the democratic choices they have made. Yet still, the Israeli army, and in the most critical times of war, tries as much as possible to avoid harming them, even at the expense of losing lives on their side, as well as suffering tactical and strategic disadvantages because of their moral behavior. I salute the Israeli army; I can't but support these heroes, and bow in respect to the memory of their fallen ones. I can't but stand with Israel in its fight for its existence in this crazy part of the world.

I used to hate Israel with a passion, but today I am proud to say that I have shed my hatred for Israel and it has transformed to a deep love, passion and respect for Zionism and all the values it stands for.

I am proud that today I support the full restoration of Jerusalem. For the first time in my life I'm at peace with myself and in great harmony with what I believe in; standing with Israel and the Jewish people, who are the most forgiving and tolerant people on Earth. They must be praised for their deep dedication to their cause, and for their patience in their endurance of harm and hatred.

Jerusalem should never be divided and the Temple Mount should also be liberated. All other religious groups in the world have free access to their most sacred sites; yet, the Jews still watch their holiest place, Solomon's Temple, under occupation. I can't but feel compassion for their dream; and I know that their fight is now my fight.

Israel's existence and survival is really a test and responsibility for the whole civilized world. It's the battle against Islam's imperial quest to conquer the whole world. Israel is the fortress and stronghold for freedom and tolerance in the Middle East, the front line in the world's war against the tyranny of Islam.

I have held my tongue for too long, but today a great burden has been lifted from my heart. I don't care if I've been considered a traitor by my people for loving Israel. It's an honor for me. If supporting Israel's right to exist is a sin, then I'm a sinner. I'm proud to be an Arab who stands with a country that should be emulated by all its neighbors. For the sake of its people and for the sake of the world's stability and freedom, I'm proud to say I love Israel. Even if I don't have Jewish blood in my veins, I know I am Israeli at heart.

Long live Israel!

I Reject Islam and Love Israel
~~~~~~~~~~~

Good for him, that's one that got away, hopefully more can escape this cult of death.
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2009, 12:24:05 PM »

Hollywood Conservatives Encouraged to Come Out of the Closet

Monday , January 05, 2009
By SE Cupp

A once-timid group of social outcasts is emerging from the shadows in Hollywood. If the past year is any indication, Tinseltown may have to get accustomed to the loud presence of a growing minority.

After years of silence, conservatives are coming out of the closet.

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative founder of Breitbart and author of "Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon," is launching a Web site he hopes will help challenge the status quo in what he believes has been a one-party, left-tilting town. Set to debut on Jan. 6, "Big Hollywood" will be a place where center, right and libertarian-leaning celebrities and industry-insiders can weigh in on Hollywood politics, offer film, television and movie reviews, and have an open forum for political discussion. (I've used his website for the news in the past.)

"Our goal," says Breitbart, who lives in Los Angeles, "is to create an atmosphere of tolerance something that does not exist in this town."

Breitbart has invited a number of conservative politicians, commentators and journalists to write regularly about the cult of celebrity, liberalism in popular culture, and politics. Among the names who will be contributing, he says, are Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va), political commentator Tucker Carlson, and former Tennessee Senator and Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson.

The site will also feature the punditry of some well-known Hollywood actors, directors, producers, and writers, Breitbart says.

As celebrities like Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, Charlton Heston, Patricia Heaton, Stephen Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer came out publicly with their political ideas over the past few years, the news that there were, in fact, conservatives in Hollywood, had many wondering who would be next.

Recently, there have been rumors that Robert Downey Jr. is a closet Republican, though his publicist will neither confirm nor deny it, saying only, "We unfortunately have no comment, as RDJ does not comment on political matters."

But Breitbart says the goal of Big Hollywood is not to "out" conservative celebrities, and he will not pressure celebrities like Downey to jump into the fray. He says conservative celebs who aren't comfortable with full transparency will be allowed to write under an alias.

"I want them to come on their own volition," he says. "'Big Hollywood is going to have to be a compelling daily read that speaks to Hollywood conservatives' unique burden before some will stick their necks out and choose to speak up for what they believe."

Sticking their necks out has not always been good for business. Mark Vafiades, president of the Hollywood Congress of Republicans, says, "I'm hoping that one day politics won't make a difference in Hollywood. But because there is still subtle intolerance here, conservatives remain somewhat shy.

"If you come to an audition wearing a Bush or McCain button, the casting director will most likely pick another actor. Just being on a set you hear people bashing Bush and the right, because they assume everyone agrees."

Some have suggested the purported anti-conservative tilt in Hollywood is overstated if it exists at all. Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed "Queen of All Media" and author of his eponymous gossip site, said, "I think Hollywood is very tolerant. They may mock you for your political beliefs, but at least they'll do it to your face!

"It won't ever interfere with people getting a job. Kelsey Grammer still works!"

But some conservatives in the entertainment industry say there may not be a literal blacklist in Hollywood, but there is pressure to keep silent.

"Conservatives don't necessarily have to be covert about their politics, but in many cases they are because the liberals aren't fair and balanced towards those with differing points of view," says Jerry Molen, the Oscar-winning producer of big Hollywood hits like "Schindler's List," "Jurassic Park" and "Rain Man."

"In too many cases, conservatives are immediately labeled racist, homophobic, bigoted, hateful, demonic, or even un-American without the benefit of debate, and are locked out of the hiring process, with a few exceptions."

But the doors may be slowly opening "An American Carol," a conservative parody that lampooned liberal Hollywood this year, galvanized conservative celebrities like Robert Davi, Dennis Hopper, Kevin Farley, Voight and Grammer, all of whom had roles in the film.

And conservative film festivals, including the American Film Renaissance and the Liberty Film Festival, have also helped bring to market conservative projects that a few years ago might have had a difficult time getting made.

Some industry insiders credit John McCain with helping to embolden Hollywood conservatives during this year's presidential election. Andrew Klavan, a conservative author and screenwriter of psychological thrillers including True Crime and Don't Say A Word, said, "For people who had a lot to lose, McCain gave them some cover. He wasn't a true Republican like Bush was. He was someone even the left liked, whereas Bush was demonized. Hollywood conservatives could support McCain without necessarily supporting the GOP."

Klavan suggested that a spate of recent political movies like "Rendition" and "Redaction" also strengthened the conservative cause.

"These movies are genuinely anti-American. Never before have we had anti-war movies made while our troops were at war. Many people like me were ashamed of the industry, and there's been a bit of a backlash."

Vafiades says increasing numbers of conservatives have joined his organization in the past year, and more organizations like his are sprouting up.

But hush-hush groups like "Friends of Abe," a secretive society of Hollywood conservatives, still operate well under the radar. And the increased spotlight on conservative celebrities has not changed the political climate as much as Breitbart, Vafiades, Molen and Klavan would like.

They say liberal celebrities still have an easier time "being political" than conservatives do.

"Sean Penn is out dancing with dictators, and no one gives him flak. Instead they give him Oscar nominations," says Klavan. "Jon Voight may have some semblance of job security, but he still has to be careful about what he says."

Hollywood Conservatives Encouraged to Come Out of the Closet
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