Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bible Teaching in Schools

Time presents "The Case for Teaching the Bible" this week. While I naturally have concerns that what I consider to be Holy Scripture be taught with respect, I believe the Bible can and should be taught in public schools. On the other hand, those who are not devout Christians are sometimes apprehensive about Bible classes, fearing that their children will be proselytized. Time's article addresses the concerns of these divergent groups.

Western civilization, including great art and literature, rests largely on biblical insights and allusions; students without a knowledge of this Book are at great disadvantage. Students with a knowledge of the Bible immediately understand the implications of titles such as "Number the Stars" or "Jacob Have I Loved". Shakespeare alludes to Scripture often in his works. Basic knowledge of Bible stories provides a framework for a cultural literacy far richer than say, a familiarity with such cultural phenomena like Fear Factor.

Check out the article if you have opportunity, and leave me your thoughts

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

High Priest(ess?) Anna V.

You are The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

You know, I really wasn't going to do this quiz. I have a revulsion to tarot cards and all things occult---long story, don't ask. But when I saw that A.O. was the Devil, curiosity got the better of me. Funny, but I think that any one who knows me very well would agree with much of the conclusion. Who'da thunk it? And I did choose the cat card, too, so that wasn't it, A.O. :)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When the Eggs Justify the Means

Hands Off Our Ovaries is a group dedicated to achieving "a moratorium on egg extraction for research purposes until such time as global discourse and scientific research yields information sufficient to establish adequate informed consent". This unlikely group of both "pro-life" and "pro-choice" feminists is deeply concerned that egg extraction for stem cell research damages the health and even the lives of some women and can cause further abuses toward women, especially the poor from the U.S. and abroad.

Hands Off Our Ovaries demands the FDA "investigate the 25 deaths and over 6,000 complaints of medical complications associated with the drug, Lupron" which is given to women to stimulate egg production, and that studies "address the long and short term risks of Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome."

From their site:
The recent South Korean cloning scandal—an example of global co-operation between American and Korean researchers— illustrates our concerns only too well. At the heart of the scandal are the abuses suffered by women for the sake of risky, highly speculative, fraudulent research. The effort involved more than 2,200 ova obtained by paying and coercing women, some of whom were in subordinate positions within the research lab. Now, thirty-five Korean women’s groups are seeking compensation on behalf of the nearly 20 percent of the Korean women “donors” who were harmed by the egg extraction procedures. Two women (one
in London and one in Dublin) are known to have died recently from complications
associated with egg extraction.

This is simply unacceptable. Already women around the world, especially the poor, are prey to countless abuses. Is it hard to imagine the unscrupulous and the evil tricking or even coercing young women into giving up their eggs at the potential cost of their health or lives so researchers can have the thousands of eggs they would need for their mad science? I'm sure there are those today who will argue that even if some women are harmed in the process of harvesting eggs, it's insignificant because, just think of all those (rich people) who will benefit! Well, I'm sure the Nazi scientists thought their medical research on Jews was worthy work, too. After all, the ends justify the means in a utilitarian worldview!

No. The more I learn about embryonic stem cell research, the more I despise it. Let's stick with adult stem cell research. Adult stem cells are easy to obtain, aren't associated with ethical dilemmas, and have yielded the most success in medical research and medical aid.

Hat tip: Paul

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Saturday, March 17, 2007


Infidel….that’s what she’s now called so that’s what Ayaan Hirsi Ali entitled her autobiography. Ali, a truly amazing woman with an indomitable spirit, tells of her journeys from Somalia, to Saudi Arabia, to Ethiopia, to Kenya, and to the Netherlands and of her journey from domination under Islam to freedom in the West.

Ayaan notes the bigotry that was omnipresent wherever she roamed. Contrary to multi-culti catechism declaring the West racist and ethnocentric and the cause of all evil in the world and all non-Western traditions noble and good, her experiences demonstrate what honest observers of human nature and interactions have long known---that all cultures have practiced ethnocentrism, racism and bigotry. It’s only natural. (Something to keep in mind the next time someone tries to justify something that you know is wrong by saying, “but it’s only natural!” Not everything natural should be done.) These are ancient defense mechanisms to keep oneself safe from potential enemies.--- It’s also especially counterproductive and wrong in a mixed society in which people from numerous different ethnic groups need to live and work in harmony.--- She witnessed the disdain for differing clans for one another and the way different ethnic groups were looked down upon in Saudi Arabia also although they were of the same faith.

As a young girl, Ayaan was “circumcised”, or more accurately, mutilated. Among many of the African tribes where she grew up, the practice of “female circumcision” or female genital mutilation was common. While the Arab Muslims do not perform this cruel procedure on little girls, in which the clitoris and inner labia are cut off and then what’s left sewn shut leaving a tiny opening for urination and menstruation, Ali notes that neither is the practice condemned. The same imams who constantly sermonize about women and their submission and sexual purity never get around to condemning the barbarity of female genital mutilation because, as she believes, it serves its purpose in their minds.

She recollected hearing the beatings of female neighbors at night in Saudi Arabia and the lack of personhood of her mother there who without a male escort couldn’t buy in the market. She remembered the treatment of women who had been raped in some of the countries in which she lived; they would be outcasts, considered immoral and impure. And she remembered the beatings she and many other children had received growing up and the way her brother was allowed to rule over her and her sister. Yet despite her dysfunctional familial experiences, she remained devoted to and devoid of bitterness toward her parents.

In her early twenties, Ayaan fled to the Netherlands rather than fly on to Canada to live under her new husband’s rule after an arranged marriage that she had neither agreed to nor been present for. She sought asylum. Amazed by the smooth functioning of society there, the prosperity and their freedom, she determined to learn why their political system was so much more successful than the ones under which she had lived. She learned Dutch, studied to pass college entrance exams, and eventually earned a master’s degree in political science, proceeding to work at a Dutch think tank. Sadly, Ayaan became an atheist---sad, but understandable, as it’s easier to believe in no God than to believe in one who condones such cruelty as she had witnessed toward half of the population.

In gratitude for all she had received from the hands of Dutch taxpayers, she decided to become a contributing member of society there herself. Her greatest passion became to end the subjugation and abuse of Muslim women in the West. Eventually, she ran for and was elected to Parliament.

Throughout her life in Holland, Ayaan noticed that many of the other refugees did not assimilate. While living off the generosity of the Dutch people who welcomed them, granted them asylum, and supplied their needs, some of the Muslims denigrated the Dutch as kufr. The women’s shelters at which she interpreted were inhabited by a disproportionate number of Muslim women, and young women whose families did not adopt Dutch values could be beaten to death by male relatives as “honor” killings if they had Dutch boyfriends, for example. In Parliament, Ayaan had the political power to bring these injustices to the attention of the populace and the government so that something could be done about them.

Of course, Ayaan Hirshi Ali is best known for the film, “Submission,” which she made with Theo van Gogh, in which she attempted to draw attention to the suffering of immigrant women there in Holland. The rest is history, as van Gogh was shot on the streets of Amsterdam. His attacker, an angry Muslim male, then slit his throat and stabbed a note to his chest. Ali was kept under guard for several months after.

Naturally, others may walk away from her tale with other impressions and learned lessons. The experiences that resonate with one heart may not with another. Regardless, Infidel is a real page turner which many will find fascinating. Read this book.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Wise and Humble

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

from their site:


Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe.

My best friend, however, said that she thought of me immediately when she saw Eowyn in the LOTR movie, but the quiz didn't score for her, for some reason.

hat tip: Jeff the Baptist

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Church Story

A friend sent me this. I thought it was cute so I'm passing it along.

Church Story

There were four country churches and a synagogue in a small Texas town: the Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church and the Jewish Synagogue.

Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist Church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

But -- The Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Not much was heard about the Jewish Synagogue, but they took one squirrel and had a short service with him called circumcision and they haven't seen a squirrel on the property since.


Friday, March 02, 2007

What's He Hiding?

This morning I had a few minutes to peruse the lineup of articles and read Mike Adams piece "The Smoking Gun Points to Julio Pino."

Julio Pino, who teaches at Kent State in the History Department, has been linked to a blog promoting global jihad. Mike Adams quotes an article by Kathy Lynn Gray of the Columbus Dispatch:

Kent State University has been dealing for several years with the case of a Muslim professor, Julio Pino, who calls himself "the most dangerous Muslim in America."

Pino, a tenured associate history professor, angered some faculty members in 2002 when he wrote a column in the school newspaper that was an ode to a Palestinian suicide bomber. Pino called the bomber a martyr.....

Pino now has a blog on the Internet where he writes that U.S. servicemen are butchers who massacre Iraqis and urges readers to "join the Islamic resistance."....

Here's what is rather curious. Mike Adams said he was holding a copy of "a profanity-laced email from using the email address (" Now, who among us can see a link like that and not click on it? It begs to be clicked, doesn't it? But for some strange reason when I press that little button on my mouse, I get merely a quick glimpse of the Global War blog which states, "Are You Prepared for Jihad? Come, O Brothers! 2007: The Year of Islamic Victory" at the top. The first article is entitled, "Brothers from Occupied Jerusalem: Fight for the Palestinian Child".

For the life of me, I can't read the article and it took me several persistent clicks to get that much information from the blog. Why? Because in moments I am rerouted to the Defend America site. Doesn't that seem odd? Why would we immediately be rerouted to a site with an obviously completely different viewpoint unless that Global War blogger has something to hide?

Could Mike Adams be on to something?

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm as Unique as Can Be
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Who knew Anna Venger was so rare? While this database says there are 0 of me, I say there's at least one!

From Paul