Thursday, May 31, 2012

Online Porn Made Boy, 12, Rape 9-Year-Old Girl; Boy Sought to "Feel Grown Up" after Seeing Porn

The Daily Mail (British) website reports today (May 31, 2012) that a 12-year-old boy -- who raped a nine-year-old girl after he watched hard-core pornography online -- was spared jail in Scotland yesterday, as his lawyer warned the court that a generation of children is growing up with a "skewed view" on sex.

The boy told police he had raped the little girl because he wanted to "feel grown up" after watching porn online.

The boy had unrestricted access to the web and was able to freely look at sexually explicit material.

He then "emulated" the graphic footage and attacked a neighbor's daughter, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Cardinal Dolan Paid Off Sexually Abusive Priests; He Did It as an Incentive to Leave the Priesthood

The New York Times website reports today (May 31, 2012) that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests, as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a "payoff" to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan -- then the archbishop -- responded that such an inference was "false, preposterous, and unjust."

But a document from the year 2003 unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee -- and made public by victims' advocates -- reveals that the archdiocese did in fact make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed yesterday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to "a handful" of accused priests in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee "as a motivation" not to contest being defrocked. This process -- known ecclesiastically  as "laicization" -- is a formal Catholic Church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

Volunteers Build Church in Perry, IA in 30 Hours; Completion Took Much Preparation, Coordination

The Christian Post website reports today (May 31, 2012) that although constructing churches has been known to take years, decades -- or even centuries -- one Iowa church was built in 30 hours last weekend.

Thee Calvary Tabernacle Church of Perry, Iowa was completed by an army of some 300 volunteers, who were part of the United Pentecostal Church International's "Church in a Day" program.

Rex Deckard,  pastor of  Cavalry Apostolic Church of Des Moines -- the church from which Cavalry Tabernacle came from -- said the effort "took a tremendous amount of advanced preparation and coordination."

Gregg Davison -- the pastor of the church -- was the single most important key in carrying the project to fruition, Deckard added.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

COMMENTARY: President Obama Must Apologize Quickly for Insulting Poland

President Barack Obama angered millions of Poles this week by referring to a World War II Nazi death camp in Poland as "a Polish death camp."

Obama's insult of Poles brings back memories of 1969, when then-Vice President Spiro Agnew used the derogatory term "Polacks" when he was referring to Poles.

Obama made the remark on May 29, 2012 during a ceremony honoring the late Polish resistance hero Jan Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A furious Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has demanded an explanation and an apology from Obama for his insulting remark, and went so far as to call it "a distortion of history."

We agree with Prime Minister Tusk that Obama owes Poland and Poles an apology for his stigmatic comment against Poland.

The fact is that Poland did not operate any Jewish death camps during World War II. Rather, the death camps -- set up in Poland to murder millions of Jews -- were totally controlled by German Nazi troops who had conquered Poland at the beginning of the Second World War.

Although it may have become a tradition in the United States to use Poles as a scapegoat with jokes relating to  ignorance, this Obama epithet must not be viewed as a "Polish joke."

Indeed, it is a major distortion of history and the role of Poland in World War II -- a distortion for which President Obama must apologize -- and the sooner he apologizes for this insulting remark, the better.

Polish PM Wants Obama Apology for Polish Insult; Said Jews Killed in WW II in "a Polish Death Camp"

The Yahoo News website reports that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk angrily demanded today (May 30, 2012) that President Barack Obama explain his reference to "a Polish death camp" during a high-profile White House ceremony yesterday, and said the remark smacked of "ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions, and amounted to a distortion of history."

Obama ignited the diplomatic flare-up yesterday as he honored Polish resistance hero Jan Karski and others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- America's highest civilian honor.

"Jan served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and 'a Polish death camp' to see for himself," the president said.

Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski immediately demanded that the White House apologize for what he called an "outrageous mistake," and said the ceremony had been "overshadowed by ignorance and incompetence."

Court Ruling Stops Construction of Tenn. Mosque; Local Officials Did Not Give Public Enough Notice

The Washington Times website reports today (May 30, 2012) that construction of a Tennessee mosque -- that has been strongly opposed by critics of Islam -- will be stopped, as a result of a judge ruling yesterday that local officials did not give the public adequate notice before the meeting where it was approved.

Chancellor Robert Corlew found that the Rutherford County Planning Commission did not do enough to inform the public of the May 2010 meeting when it approved the site plan for the Islamic Center in Murfreesboro -- a city of about 100,000 people southeast of Nashville.

Saleh Sbenaty -- a spokesman for the mosque -- said the ruling was disappointing, but his group remained committed to building the Islamic center.

Kevin Fisher -- the head plaintiff in the court case -- said, "Justice is served."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Priest in Church in Italy Is Killed by Earthquake; Killed While He Tried to Rescue Church Statues

An Italian priest has died after a church collapsed in Roverto -- near the city of Modena in northern Italy -- as an earthquake struck while he tried to inspect and rescue some statues, the Catholic News website reports today (May 29, 2012).

Fr. Ivan Martini, 65, loved his church, St. Catherine's, and everything in it. The church had been damaged and declared unfit for use following a previous earthquake, but an inspection had to be carried out in order to salvage some furniture from inside it.

So the priest entered the church along with two firemen to try to save some statues. Among these was a statue of the Virgin Mary which his parishioners were particularly fond of.

But the strong earthquake that followed took the priest by surprise. Unable to escape, Fr. Ivan was hit by a rock or a collapsing beam, while the two firemen who had accompanied him managed to escape without injury.

Five Prison Guards in Albania Accused of Torture; Prisoner Seeking Med Care Is Beaten in Infirmary

The Balkan Insight website reports today (May 29, 2012) that an Albanian ombudsman has asked the prosecutor's office to launch a criminal investigation into allegations that five prison guards tortured two prisoners.

"The treatment of the prisoners by the police has been inhumane," the ombudsman's office writes in its referral to the Tirana's prosecutor's office. "The officers have committed the criminal offense of torture and they should be punished severely," it adds.

The incident occurred on April 28 in Tirana's Jordan Misja prison after a prisoner sought medical treatment, and in response was severely beaten by the guards in the infirmary.

When the victim's brother -- who was also under arrest at the time -- protested over the beating, the prison guards allegedly isolated that prisoner in a room and beat him as well.

Russian Muslims Outraged at Xenophobic Graffiti; Are Upset by Slogans Like "Russia Is for Russians"

The Europe News website reports today (May 29, 2012) that Albir Krganov -- Moscow's mufti -- has appealed to the capital's Bureau for Human Rights over nationalistic slogans and graffiti that he says insult the feelings of believers and non-Russian nationals.

Krganov -- vice chairman of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia -- said the body had received many complaints from believers over xenophobic graffiti.

In particular, they reported such slogans as "Russia is for Russians" covering the walls along the railroad to Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

It is upsetting that in Russia -- a multi-national and multi-confessional country -- some people allow themselves to express nationalistic statements, the mufti said.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Exclusive:Pakistan Doc in bin Laden Case a Rogue; Deemed as Womanizer, Boozer, Thief in 2002 Doc.

In an exclusive report today (May 28, 2012),  the Reuters website -- through a series of interviews in Pakistan during t he past few days -- has learned that the Pakistani doctor, who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden, faced accusations of corruption and other wrongdoing long before he was captured by Pakistani intelligence agents and then sentenced to 33 years in jail for treason.

Several current and former Pakistani officials described the doctor, Shakil Afridi, as a hard-drinking womanizer who had faced accusations of sexual assault, harassment, and stealing.

According to a 2002 Pakistan health department document -- which Reuters scrutinized -- Afridi was deemed to be corrupt and unreliable and unfit for government service.

U.S. officials have hailed Afridi, aged about 45, as a hero for helping pinpoint bin Laden's location in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where the al Qaeda leader was killed in May last year in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs. 

Church Hit with Nasty Calls for Stand on Marriage; Church Had Sign Backing Traditional Weddings

The New American website reports today (May 28, 2012) that a Catholic parish in Acushnet, Massachusetts has been targeted by homosexual activists for a sign it posted taking a stand for traditional marriage.

The sign -- displayed on the outside message board at St. Francis Xavier Church in Acushnet -- read, "Two men are friends not spouses," confirming that, in the eyes of the Church, only a man and a woman can be married.

The sign -- which the church displayed for only a 24-hour period  -- prompted a major backlash from homosexual activists.

Steve Guillotte -- director of pastoral services at St. Francis Xavier -- said the church has received a number of menacing, obscenity-laced phone calls, including one threatening to burn the church down.

Newest Vets File for Disability at Historic Rate; Over 45 Percent of Iraq, Afghan Vets Seek $$$

The New York Daily News website reports today (May 28, 2012) that America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate -- claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the United States has ever seen.

More than 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking monetary compensation for injuries they claim are service-related.

Many factors are driving the dramatic increase in claims, including the weak economy, more troops surviving wounds, and more awareness of problems such as concussions.

Almost one-third of the claims for disability have been granted by the government so far. Payments range from $127 a month for a 10 percent disability to $2,769 for a full one.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Teens Charged in Murder of Elderly Church Guard; Guard Was Shot in Car in the Church Parking Lot

The One News Now website reports today (May 27, 2012) that two Detroit teenagers have been arraigned on second-degree murder charges in the slaying of an 84-year-old security guard, who was shot in the parking lot of a church while a Bible study was taking place inside.

Alandre Boone, 18, and Anthony Williams, 15, have been charged as adults in Joseph Lewis' death earlier this month.

The two also face felony firearm charges.

Lewis was sitting in a car the night of May 9 outside Victor Way Assembly Church of God in Christ when he was attacked. During a struggle, Lewis was shot to death.

Two Brothers in Pakistan Nabbed for Raping Girl; Six-Year-Old Girl Remains in Critical Condition

The Eurasia Review website reports today (May 27, 2012) that police have arrested two young brothers for raping a six-year-old girl in Pakistan.

"My six-year-old daughter was attacked and sexually assaulted by two brothers when she went to buy milk for her family," a person told local media in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani part of Kashmir -- a state divided between India and Pakistan.

Doctors disclosed that the girl had been raped. She is in critical condition at a hospital.

"Life of my innocent girl has been ruined. Only justice can lessen my wounds," the girl's father said. Under Islamic law, persons convicted of rape must be stoned to death.

Christian Woman in Jordan Sues Muslim Employer; Bank Worker Fired for Refusing to Cover Her Head

A Christian woman in Jordan said today (May 27, 2012) that she is suing her Gulf Arab employer for firing her, because she refused to abide by a new dress code forcing her to cover her head, the Huffington Post website reports.

"We are not in Iran, we are in Jordan, and we must continue to enjoy personal and religious freedoms as stipulated by our constitution," said Vivian Salameh, 45, an assistant manager of corporate operations at the Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank since March 2010 until she was fired a week ago.

"I'm Christian. Why should I wear something not dictated by my religion?" she said.

Christians make up about 4 percent of Jordan's 6 million predominantly Islamic population.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

COMMENTARY: Vatican Needs to End Its Inner Conflicts and Focus on Christ

On May 23, 2012, Paolo Gabriele -- Pope Benedict's butler -- was arrested on suspicion of leaking a string of confidential papal documents to the Italian news media.

This scandal -- which has been called the "Vatileaks" scandal -- is one of the worst scandals in the history of the papacy.

The fact is that documents that Gabriele had no business having were found in his Vatican City apartment.

Gabriele -- a 46-year-old father of three children -- remains in Vatican detention, and the investigation is taking its course through the Vatican's judicial system. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail if convicted.

No known motive has come to light as to why Gabriele may have decided to pass on the confidential documents to the press.

One cannot help but wonder, "Why would a person so close to the Pope do such a nasty thing?" Moreover, we somehow want to compare this unfortunate situation with that of Judas Iscariot -- the Apostle who betrayed Christ for 30 silver coins.

Did Gabriele leak the confidential documents to the press in order to receive money? Was he trying to oust Pope Benedict? Was he looking for worldwide recognition? These are some of the questions that we ask as we reflect on this situation.

What makes this scenario so serious is that it centers around the Pope, who is the leader of some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world.

While Jesus was crucified as a result of Judas betraying Him for 30 silver coins, it is unlikely that Pope Benedict will receive more than "a slap on the wrist" for the negative confidential Vatican documents that have been leaked to the press.

Hopefully, this negative revelation will encourage the Vatican to quickly put an end to its inner-conflicts, and to concentrate its efforts entirely on the attributes and teachings of Christ.

GMA Apologizes for Nazi Docs' Testing of Jews; Enacted Sadistic Experiments on Jews in WW II

The Big News Network website reports today (May 26, 2012) that the German Medical Association (GMA) has apologized for the sadistic experiments carried out by Nazi doctors on Jews during World War II.

The organization has admitted that many doctors -- during Nazi-rule in the Second World War -- were guilty of  "scores of human rights violations" and performed pseudo-scientific experiments on many Jews at concentration camps, including Auschwitz in Poland.

In a statement yesterday, the German Medical Association said, "These crimes were not the actions of individual doctors, but involved leading members of the medical community."

"The crimes should be taken as a warning for the future," it added.

Sharon Stone's Former Nanny Rips Her in Lawsuit; Opposed Nanny Attending Church, Reading Bible

The Blaze website reports today (May 26, 2012) that Erlinda Eleman -- the former nanny of Sharon Stone's children -- filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 23, claiming that the Hollywood icon mocked both her Filipino heritage and her Christian beliefs.

The actress -- best known for her stellar performance in the still-popular movie "Basic Instinct" -- is also accused in the lawsuit of wrongfully terminating Eleman's contract to work with the family due to a dispute regarding overtime pay.

The lawsuit says that Stone criticized the nanny for regularly attending church, and told her she could not read the Bible -- even in her own room.

Stone, 54, has three adopted sons -- 12-year-old Roan, 7-year-old Laird, and 5-year-old Quinn.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Violence Strikes Tel Aviv Over African Settlers; Israeli PM: Settlers Hamper the Identity of Israel

The France 24 website reports today (May 25, 2012) that violence broke out as several hundred people demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Israel on the evening of May 23 against the sizable community of African immigrants in the city.

Following the violence, five demonstrators were arrested.

People shouted xenophobic slogans -- such as "blacks out" -- and chided the "bleeding heart leftists" who defend immigrants.

In recent years, some 60,000 Africans -- mostly from Sudan and Eritrea -- have slipped over the border into Israel from Egypt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week, "illegal immigration from Africa...threatens the foundation of Israeli society, national security, and national identity."

Pope's Butler Is Arrested in Leaks Investigation; Paolo Gabriele Leaked Confidential Info to Media

The Reuters website reports that Paolo Gabriele -- Pope Benedict's butler -- was arrested today (May 25, 2012) in connection with an investigation into leaks of confidential documents, some alleging cronyism and corruption in Vatican contracts.

The scandal -- which has come to be known as "Vatileaks" -- involves Gabriele, 46, leaking  a string of documents to Italian media in January and February, including personal letters to the pope.

Some of the documents involved allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and cronyism in awarding of contracts for work in the Vatican and internal disagreement on the management of the Vatican bank.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi -- the president of the Vatican bank -- was fired by its board yesterday.

Muslims Angry Over NYPD Surveillance Findings; NJ Atty. Gen.: Spying on Muslims Violated No Law

The Associated Press website reports today (May 25, 2012) that Muslim leaders in New Jersey say they are angry -- but are uncertain what their next step will be -- after the state's attorney general found that New York City police did not violate any laws in their surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques, and student groups in New Jersey.

Several mosque leaders -- who attended a meeting yesterday with Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa -- said they were shocked that he found no violation of state criminal or civil laws by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

"This is a big violation of our civil rights," Imam Mohammad Qatanani -- the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County -- said yesterday as he left the meeting.

Undercover NYPD officers and informants eavesdropped in Muslim cafes and monitored sermons -- even when there was no evidence of a crime.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Poll Shows Drop in "Pro-Choice" Americans; "Pro-Life" Americans Now Represent the Majority

The Christian Broadcast Network website reports today (May 24, 2012) that a new Gallup poll reveals fewer Americans identify themselves as "pro-choice' in the abortion debate.

Currently, 41 percent of the nation supports abortion -- down from 47 percent last July.

In contrast, 51 percent of Americans called themselves "pro-life."

The results show a significant shift since 2001, when researchers found "pro-choicers" represented the majority.

Over 100 Schoolgirls Are Poisoned in Afghanistan; Taliban Believed Responsible, Opposes Female Ed.

At least 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned this week in Afghanistan, the Eurasia Review website reports today (May 24, 2012).

The incident -- which occurred in the northern Takhar province -- has been blamed on the Taliban, in its effort to shut down schools educating girls and women.

Perpetrators are believed to have sprayed a toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Education said last week that 550 schools in 11 provinces -- where the Taliban has strong support -- had been closed down by insurgents. The Taliban is adamantly opposed to females attending schools.

Female Soldiers File Lawsuit to End Combat Ban; Claim Barring Females from Combat Is Unconst.

The Daily Beast website reports today (May 24, 2012) that two female soldiers filed lawsuits yesterday to have the ban on women in combat lifted, claiming that being barred from combat "based solely on the basis of sex" is unconstitutional.

Army reservists Command Sgt. Major Jane Baldwin and Col. Ellen Haring -- the plaintiffs of the lawsuit -- say the policy "restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits."

Women make up 14.5 percent of active duty military personnel.

More than 800 women have been wounded and more than 130 killed in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

COMMENTARY: A Lawsuit against Georgetown University Is Necessary to End Its Scatological Path

This week, it was revealed that William Blatty -- author of the best-selling book and award-winning screenplay "The Exorcist" -- is filing a canon lawsuit against Georgetown University for its failure to live up to the demands of the school's Catholic identity.

Blatty -- who graduated from Georgetown in 1950 -- believes there is a need for disciplinary action to be taken against the university.

He is also urging Georgetown alumni and others to withhold any donations they may have planned to make to the university for at least one year.

We agree with Blatty's disciplinary goals, as Georgetown -- the oldest Catholic university in the United States -- has clearly crossed the line by "thumbing its nose" at Catholic Christian doctrine.

The fact is that Georgetown must abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church or it must be disassociated with the Catholic Church. It cannot have it both ways.

Blatty's canon lawsuit against Georgetown is one with ample ramifications, as he and many members of the Georgetown community will share their grievances against the university with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Pope Benedict XVI.

Georgetown's decision to allow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- a pro-abortion advocate for the Obama Administration -- to address its students on May 18 at a weekend commencement gathering conveys the scatological path that the university appears to enjoy taking.

Despite the Cardinal Newman Society's call to cancel the "outrageous" Sebelius invitation and an online petition with more than 26,000 signatures to Georgetown President John DeGioia asking him "to stop this scandal and insult," DeGioia failed to agree with this request.

This being the case, it appears that -- in addition to filing a canon lawsuit and refusing to donate any money to Georgetown for at least one year -- it would also behoove the Georgetown community to call on its board of trustees to replace DeGioia with a president who will lead the university on a much more spiritual Catholic Christian path.

Study: Women Tend to Be Happier Than Men; Women Spend Twice as Much Time on Housework

The Big News Network website reports today (May 23, 2012) that a new study reveals that women spend less time on the job, are better educated, live longer, and are generally happier than men.

But women still spend more than twice as long as men doing housework, the study shows.

The study -- conducted across 34 countries by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- indicates that Australia is ranked as the world's happiest nation.

Although men report slightly better health than women overall, they still lag behind women in life expectancy by a full six years, according  to  the study.

Pakistan Jails Doctor Who Helped Find Bin Laden; DNA Samples Helped CIA, Gets 33 Yrs.for Treason

The Reuters website reports today (May 23, 2012) that Pakistani authorities have sentenced a doctor -- accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden -- to 33 years in jail on charges of treason.

Shakil Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign, in which he collected DNA samples, that is believed to have helped the American intelligence agency track down bin Laden in a Pakistani town.

The al Qaeda chieftan was killed in a unilateral U.S. special forces raid in the town of Abbottabad last May.

Pakistan -- which claims to be an ally of the U.S. in America's fight against terrorism -- is believed to have known that bin Laden was hiding there for many years, but kept his whereabouts a secret. In fact, Pakistan -- with its plethora of radical Muslims -- is considered by several terrorist watchdog organizations to be the most terrorist-inclined country in the world.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Women Are Detained for Wearing Prayer Shawls; Illegal for Women to Wear Them at Western Wall

The Forward (Jewish) website reports that three women were detained today (May 22, 2012) in Jerusalem, after attempting to pray at the Western Wall in Jewish prayer shawls.

The three women -- part of a group of about 40 from the Women of the Wall group -- were praying at the wall this morning as part of their monthly Rosh Chodesh (new month) prayer service.

A policewoman approached one of the women during the service and asked her not to wear the prayer shawl -- or tallit -- the way a man would, and then adjusted it for her. (Men are allowed to wear the prayer shawl loosely, but women must wear it tightly wrapped around their necks.)

Officials wrote down the names and addresses of the three women, as they plan to question them shortly. It is illegal for women to wear phylacteries or a prayer shawl -- or to read from a Torah scroll  -- at the Western Wall under a 2001 Israeli law.

ACLU Says Single-Sex Public Education Is Illegal; Claims Florida's Programs Violate State, US Laws

The Spero Forum website reports today (May 22, 2012) that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has asked the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to investigate single-sex programs throughout the state.

In a statement, the ACLU contends that the Florida DOE's "programs appear to violate federal and state law by forcing students into a single-sex environment, relying on harmful gender stereotypes and depriving students of equal educational opportunities merely because of their sex."

Howard Simon -- the Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida -- said "All children in Florida have a right to a quality education, but programs that are based on stereotypes do a disservice to our kids."

The ACLU letter may lead to a lawsuit, or a complaint against Florida's DOE. The ACLU plans to conduct more investigations on single-sex education programs -- similar to the one in Florida -- in other states soon.

N.C. Pastor Calls for Taking All LGBTs to Camps; Says They Could Stay Locked Up Until They Died

The Raw Story website reports today (May 22, 2012) that Charles Worley -- pastor of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina -- recently told his congregation that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals should be rounded up and detained in camps until they're all dead.

During a sermon on May 13, Worley berated President Barack Obama for claiming that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

"The Bible is against it, God is against it, I'm against it, and if you've got any sense you're against it," he said.

Worley said he figured out a way to get rid of all lesbians and gays: Build a large electrified fence and put them all in there; fly over and drop some food; and in a few years, they'll die out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Former Israeli PM Calls for Partition of Jerusalem; Ehud Olmert Says It's Necessary for Israeli Peace

The Newsvine website reports today (May 21, 2012) that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is urging Israeli leaders to relinquish the idea of a unified Jerusalem if they really want peace.

Olmert contends that years of government neglect have kept the Jewish and Palestinian sectors divided.

The comments -- made yesterday as Israel marked the 45th anniversary of capturing east Jerusalem -- were nearly unprecedented for mainstream Israeli leaders and put Olmert at odds with his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu declared his government was committed to keeping Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

Doctor Urging Female Genital Mutilation Is Fired; Muslim Pediatrician at Mayo Clinic: Honors Islam

The Europe News website reports today (May 21, 2012) that the Mayo Clinic has fired one of its doctors for advocating female genital mutilation.

Dr. Hatem Elhagaly -- a Muslim pediatrician -- was dismissed from the top-notch clinic for promoting a practice that is illegal in America but, in his words, "honors Islam."

The barbaric practice has no health benefits to women. Yet, female genital mutilation is performed on some 3 million girls -- mostly in Africa -- every year.

Mutilation of female genitals can cause severe bleeding, urinary problems, painful menstruation, cysts, complications in childbirth, sterility, and death.

Orthodox Jews Discuss Dangers of Internet; Claim It Undermines Our Ability to Pray Unstopped

The Huffington Post website reports today (May 21, 2012) that tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attended a rally yesterday at the New York Mets' stadium on the dangers of the Internet, and how to use modern technology in a religiously responsible way.

Women were not permitted to attend the meeting at Citi Field in Queens; however, it was broadcast live to audiences of women in schools and event halls in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.

Eytan Kobre -- a lawyer who is spokesman for the event's organizers -- said the rally's purpose was not to ban the Internet, but to learn how to harness it. He cited online pornography and gambling -- as well as the risk of social media -- undermining "our ability to pray uninterruptedly, to focus and to concentrate."

Television is banned or discouraged by ultra-Orthodox Jews, but Kobre said many ultra-Orthodox Jews use the Internet either on computers or on smartphones. "There's a spectrum of usage and there's a spectrum of how people are dealing with it," he said.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Author Prepares Lawsuit Against Georgetown U.; Says It Fails to Live Up to Its Catholic Identity

The Catholic News Agency website reports today (May 20, 2012) that the author of the best-selling book and award-winning screenplay "The Exorcist" has announced that he is leading an effort to file a canon lawsuit against Georgetown University -- the oldest Catholic university in the United States --  for failures to live up to the demands of the school's Catholic identity.

William P. Blatty -- who graduated from Georgetown in 1950 -- said that he believes there is need for disciplinary action against the university.

Blatty -- who has been honored by Georgetown with the John Carroll Medal for Alumni Achievement -- will lead other alumni, students, and members of the university community in the newly-formed Father King Society to Make Georgetown Honest, Catholic, and Better.

Blatty encourages members of the Georgetown community to join the canon lawsuit and share their grievances against the university with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Pope Benedict XVI. He is also asking them to withhold their donations to Georgetown University for at least one year.

Prosecutors: Trio Planned to Attack Obama's HQ; Also Hit Other Targets at Chicago's NATO Summit

The Washington Times website reports today (May 20, 2012) that three men -- accused of making Molotov cocktails -- had been planning to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, and other targets during this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago, prosecutors said.

The trio was charged with providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and possession of explosives.

Each suspect is being held on $1.5 million bond.

Police identified the suspects as Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H.; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla.

Lesbians Charged with Mischief, False Reporting; Faked Hate Crime with the Words "Kill the Gay"

The Blaze website reports today (May 20, 2012) that a lesbian couple in Colorado called police last October to report that they found the words "Kill the Gay" scrawled in red across their garage door, and a noose hanging from their front door.

The couple told officers they believed that the hateful acts were the works of their neighbors and the homeowner's association.

Now -- eight months later with the full force of the FBI involved -- authorities are saying the women themselves may have been responsible for the acts.

The two women have been charged with criminal mischief and false reporting, and Aimee Whitchurch -- one of the lesbians -- faces an additional charge of forgery.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

COMMENTARY: Kentucky Man's Donation to the Poor Is a Good Example for Christians to Follow

This week, a Kentucky businessman bought all the merchandise in a closing Kmart store -- and donated it all to charity.

Rankin Paynter -- who runs a jewelry exchange in Winchester, Kentucky -- said he got the idea to buy everything left in the shelves when he was shopping at Kmart two days before it was set to close down.

Painter, 77, paid $200,000 for the merchandise, and even rented a building for storing it. He donated the merchandise to Clark County Community Services in Winchester.

Painter said that he comes from a really poor background; however,  he was able to make a lot of money in his business. He felt it was now time to give to the poor.

Indeed, Painter's generosity is something that all Christians should admire and try to follow, although not necessarily to that degree.

In His teachings, Jesus emphasized that it is an important Christian attribute for the wealthy to help the poor. Unfortunately, most Christians today worship money more than they worship God.

In fact, it is all too common today for Christians to accumulate as much money as they can -- while refusing to give any of it to charity -- because they have become so miserly and obsessed with "the almighty dollar."

Christ said that a Christian who helps his poorer brother, in effect, helps Him. He also said that those who give to the poor will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but those who do not help the poor will be denied entry to Heaven.

Christ makes this assertion very clear in Matthew 19:24 when He says , "Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Woman Gets 20 Years for Firing Warning Shot; Fla. "10-20-Life" Law Directs Long Sentence

The Miami Herald website reports today (May 19, 2012) that critics of mandatory-minimum sentencing laws are upset over a 20-year prison term imposed on a Florida woman for firing a warning shot to try to scare off her threatening husband.

Civil rights groups -- and other advocates -- say the sentencing of 31-year-old Marissa Alexander shows how stripping judges of discretion can result in unfair sentences.

Alexander tried unsuccessfully to invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law, after she was charged in a dispute with her husband. A jury convicted her of aggravated battery with a firearm.

Florida's "10-20-life" law that targets gun crimes required the judge to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

Girl, 16, Killed in Bombing of School in S. Italy; School Named for Wife of Slain Anti-Mafia Judge

The Daily Beast website reports that a 16-year-old girl was killed and seven others were wounded today (May 19, 2012), after a bombing at an Italian girls' school that some believe was a strike by the Mafia.

The school in southern Italy is named for the wife of a slain anti-Mafia judge.

The bombing comes soon after the 20-year anniversary of the murder of judge Giovanni Falcone and his wife.

"You can understand the symbolism of this and what it all signifies," Mimmo Consales, mayor of the town of Brindisi, told reporters.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ex-Priest Guilty of Hiring a Hit Man to Kill Boy; Boy Had Accused Fr. John Fiala of Sexual Abuse

The Raw Story website reports today (May 18, 2012) that a former Roman Catholic priest was found guilty yesterday of hiring a hit man to kill a boy who had accused him of sexual abuse.

A Dallas, Texas jury found John Fiala, 53, guilty of plotting to kill the boy. Fiala faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors said that Fiala had tried to hire a hit man for $5,000 in November 2010, but the would-be assassin turned out to be an undercover police officer.

The 20-year-old victim -- who was 16 at the time of the sexual abuse -- testified with graphic details about his ordeal.

Two Men Arrested for Shooting Imam in Sweden; Imam Shot in Head in Feb., Remains in a Coma

The Europe News website reports today (May 18, 2012) that two men have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of an imam who remains in a coma nearly three months after being shot in the head in northern Sweden.

The two men -- both of whom are in their 30s -- were arrested in Skane in southern Sweden on May 15.

They are suspected of involvement in the February 22nd shooting of Obydkhon Sobitkhony Nazarov, who had served as an imam in Stromsund, where he has lived since coming to Sweden in 2006 as a political refugee from Uzbekistan.

According to prosecutor Krister Petersson, both suspects also hail from Uzbekistan. Police said they do not yet have a motive for the shooting.

Man Fathered 30 Children, Says He Needs a Break; Asks Tenn. Court for a Break on His Child Support

The Yahoo News website reports today (May 18, 2012) that a Tennessee man -- who has fathered 30 children -- is asking the court for a break on his child support.

Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville has children with 11 different women.

The state already takes half his paycheck and divides it up, which doesn't amount to much since Hatchett is only making minimum wage. Some mothers receive as little as $1.49 a month.

The state cannot order Hatchett to stop impregnating women, because doing so does not break any laws.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

KY Man Spends $200,000 for Kmart Inventory; Rankin Paynter Gives It to Kentucky Charity

The Huffington Post website reports today (May 17, 2012) that when Rankin Paynter learned that the Kmart in his Kentucky town was closing, he decided to buy everything that remained on the store's shelves -- and give it all to charity.

Six-and-a-half hours after his shopping spree began, the benevolent businessman walked away with $200,000 worth of inventory.

Paynter gave all the merchandise to Clark County Community Services -- a nonprofit organization that helps families in Winchester, Kentucky facing crisis situations.

Judy Crowe of Clark County Community Services said Paynter's generosity was the single largest donation her organization has ever received.

More Than Half of US Babies Are Now Minorities; Minorities Constitute Over One-Third of US Pop.

The Christian Science Monitor website reports today (May 17, 2012) that -- for the first time  -- more than half of children in the United States under the age of one are members of minority groups, according to US Census Bureau data released today.

The agency's estimates show that as of July 2011, 50.4 percent of the nation's under-one babies were minorities (considered anyone who is not non-Hispanic, single-race white).

This is up from 49.5 percent in the 2010 Census.

Overall, minorities constitute more than one-third of the US population.

Georgetown U.,DC Archdiocese Fight "Civil War;" Caused by HHS Secretary Sebelius' Univ. Speech

The Religion News website reports today (May 17, 2012) that tensions between the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and Georgetown University are escalating ahead of the address tomorrow (May 18) by pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- a conflict that is becoming a microcosm of the political battles raging inside the Catholic Church.

Sebelius -- a "cafeteria Catholic" whose support for abortion rights and President Obama's contraception insurance mandate has infuriated bishops and conservative Catholics -- was chosen to deliver a speech at the school's annual awards ceremony on commencement weekend.

The Cardinal Newman Society -- a Catholic watchdog group -- called the Sebelius invitation "outrageous" and sent an online petition with more than 26,000 signatures to Georgetown President John DeGioia, warning him "to stop this scandal and insult." One writer referred to this situation as a Georgetown-Archdiocese "civil war."

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl called the Sebelius invitation "a disappointment but not a surprise" because Georgetown -- the oldest Catholic university in the United States --  has been taking a path in recent years that contradicts Catholic teachings. The Catholic World News strongly criticized Cardinal Wuerl this week for his failure to use his authority to cancel Sebelius' invitation.

The fact is that Cardinal Wuerl's response was a cowardly response. For example, in Massachusetts, Worcester Bishop Robert McManus used his authority to force Anna Maria College -- a Catholic college in suburban Worcester -- to cancel its invitation to Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, as its commencement speaker this year, because of her support of abortion rights and gay marriage.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

COMMENTARY: Rabbi Running for U.S. Senate in California Is His Own Worst Enemy

A rabbi in California -- who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate --  has been criticized by the Republican Party and Jewish organizations for his hateful anti-Islamic comments.

Nachum Shifren -- a Hasidic rabbi from Los Angeles -- declared in a speech this month, "I am an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9/11."

We believe that Shifren has crossed the line in his description of Islam. Not only are his remarks about Islam tactless, but they are also unfair toward most Muslims.

Being a rabbi, Shifren should know better than to generalize and consider all Muslims to be terrorists because of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

Indeed his hate speech in California has hindered -- more than it has helped -- his chances of being nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

In the final analysis, the path of hate that he has taken in his U.S. Senate campaign will most likely lead to his defeat, and for that, Shifren has nobody to blame but himself.

New Clerical Pensions Law Is Passed in Serbia; Clerical Monthly Pensions to Be About 190 Euro

Some 1,700 Orthodox and 300 Roman Catholic priests -- as well as Muslim imams and Protestant pastors -- will start getting their pensions paid from the state budget from the Fund for pension and disability insurance (PIO Fund), according to the Balkan Insight website.

This comes after a government law on payments for pension, disability, and health insurance of priests and religious officials came into force on May 14, 2012.

Under the new legislation, the government of Serbia will pay 19,498 dinars (about 180 euro) per priest per month to the PIO Fund for the pensions.

This means that the average clerical monthly pension will be around 20,000 dinars (about 190 euro). The average salary in Serbia stands at 350 euro.

L.A. Rabbi Running for U.S. Senate Blasts Islam; Says We Learned Everything about Islam on 9/11

The Forward (Jewish) website reports today (May 16, 2012) that a southern California rabbi -- who is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate -- has been criticized for anti-Islamic comments in which he purports to speak for "white, Christian America."

Nachum Shifren -- a Hasidic rabbi from suburban Los Angeles -- has drawn criticism from the Republican Party, which has disavowed his candidacy for the seat held by Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

In a speech at a candidate's forum -- which appears on YouTube -- Shifren declared, "I am an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9/11."

He also said, "White Christian Americans are being taught that somehow we are to blame for all the problems."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Indonesia Cancels Lady Gaga's Sold-Out Concert; Islamists Feared She Would Corrupt Young People

The Cybercast News Service website reports today (May 15, 2012) that Lady Gaga will have to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia, following protests by Islamic hardliners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar -- responding to the pressure -- said yesterday that the permit for her June 3 "Born This Way Ball" concert had been denied.

Indonesia -- a nation of 240 million people -- has more Muslims than any other country.

Although Indonesia is secular -- with a long history of religious tolerance -- a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

Obama Supporter, Ex-Terrorist Gets Govt. Grants; Bernardine Dohrn Was on FBI Ten Most Wanted List

The Spero Forum website reports today (May 15, 2012) that the Obama Justice Department has awarded a group headed by a former domestic terrorist -- and one-time FBI fugitive with close ties to President Barack Obama -- hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars "to reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system."

"This is a story you likely won't see in the mainstream media," according to officials at Judicial Watch -- an organization that investigates and exposes government corruption and abuse.

Among the group's board of directors is Bernardine Dohrn -- a proud member of the Weather Underground -- a radical group that used explosives to attack the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and other government buildings to protest U.S. policy. Dohrn's actions earned her jail time and a slot on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in the 1970s.

Dohrn is married to William Ayers -- the co-founder of the Weather Underground -- and he was also an FBI fugitive who has proudly admitted to planting bombs in government buildings in the 1960s and 1970s.

Iran Hangs Convicted Israeli Spy and Assassin; Majid Jamali Fashi Hung for the Death of Physicist

The ABC News website reports today (May 15, 2012) that a man -- convicted of assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist on behalf of the Israeli spy agency Mossad -- has been executed by hanging in an Iranian prison.

The Iranian government claims that Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, was recruited and trained by Mossad to be a spy, and was paid $120,000 to kill Iranian nuclear physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2010.

The Iranian government has claimed in the past that Israel, the U.S., and the U.K. intelligence agencies are to blame for the recent assassinations of as many as five Iranian scientists involved in the country's nuclear or missile programs since 2007.

American and British officials have denied the accusations, while Israel has not responded to them.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gay Couple Denied Entry to KY Cath.School Prom; Lexington H.S. Admin.: Refutes "Cath. Principles"

The Lex 18 website reports today (May 14, 2012) that a Lexington, Kentucky Catholic High School student said she was barred from the school prom because she planned to bring a date of the same sex.

Hope Decker, 18 -- a senior at the Catholic school -- said administrators sat her down last Friday (May 11) and told her she could not attend the prom with her girlfriend, Tiffany Wright, who is also a student at the school. "We were told that this school has 'Catholic principles' and so they couldn't let it happen," Decker said.

Wright -- Decker's date for the dance -- said, "We both cried and then I was like, this is ridiculous. There's got to be something we can do about this."

Decker, Wright -- and dozens of their friends still dressed for the occasion -- decided to have their own outdoor version of the prom outside the school.

Experts: Breast-Feeding a 3-Year-Old Is Normal; Most Children around World Nursed for 3-5 Yrs.

The Slate website reports today (May 14, 2012) that the Time magazine cover photo this week of a mother nursing her 3-year-old son -- which has resulted in much discussion on this matter -- is quite normal for mothers around the world, according to experts.

"It's normal like a nine-month pregnancy is normal," one anthropologist tells the USA Today newspaper, noting that most children around the world are nursed for three to five years.

Jamie Lynne Grumet -- the 26-year-old California mom at the center of this controversy -- told ABC News she expected the controversy, but thought that "somebody has to start the dialogue" (on this matter).

The Time cover has brought to light the fact that moms in the United States are generally abandoning breast-feeding too early. By the time they reach their first year, fewer than 25 percent of children in the U.S. are getting breast milk, which is "a public health issue, because breast-feeding brings so many benefits to babies," writes Lauren Neergaard of the Associated Press (AP).

New Info: Iran Already Conducted Nuclear Testing; Drawing of IAEA Insider Shows Explosive Chamber

The Inquisitr website reports today (May 14, 2012) that a drawing has emerged -- and obtained by the Associated Press (AP) -- that shows Iran has probably already conducted explosives testing to develop nuclear weapons.

The drawing of the explosives chamber was given to the AP by an insider to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection program. The explosive testing chamber is believed to be located in the military site at Parchin Military Complex -- deep within Iran.

IAEA officials have refused to elaborate further on this new information for fear that doing so could endanger the informant's life.

Israel has indicated that it intends to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities before Iran develops a nuclear weapon -- which it had not expected to occur before several more months -- but this new insider information illustrates that Iran will develop nuclear weapons much sooner than Israel thought, since it is now believed that Iran has  already conducted explosives testing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dalai Lama Is Warned of Chinese Plot to Kill Him; Agents Trained Tibetan Women to Poison Him

The Telegraph (British) website reports today (May 13, 2012) that the Dalai Lama has revealed his fears, after being warned that Chinese agents hatched a plot to kill him.

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner said he had been passed reports from inside Tibet warning that Chinese agents had trained Tibetan women for a mission to poison him, while posing as devotees seeking his blessings.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader said he lives with a high security cordon in the temple palace grounds in Dharamsala, India.

Despite being one of the world's most widely revered spiritual leaders, the Dalai Lama has enemies in China and among some Buddhist sects.

Girl Scouts Face Inquiry by U.S. Cath. Bishops; Will Review Scouts' Ties with Anti-Cath. Groups

The Christian Broadcast Network website reports today (May 13, 2012) that the Girl Scouts of the USA are facing an official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching.

The inquiry coincides with a broader effort by the bishops to analyze church ties with outside groups and counter a culture they consider increasingly hostile toward Catholic teaching.

COMMENTARY: Women in Saudi Arabia Are Entitled to More Rights

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah last week fired an ultraconservative 81-year-old adviser, because he publicly criticized Saudi reforms aimed at improving the living conditions of women.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the adviser's assertion  -- on a local radio station -- that by giving women more rights, Saudi officials were, in effect, Westernizing and secularizing Saudi Arabia's laws and Islamic traditions by "legalizing taboos."

We believe that Saudi King Abdullah acted correctly in firing this adviser.

The fact is that Saudi Arabia -- due primarily to it being the birthplace of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed in the city of Mecca -- has remained the most conservative Islamic country in the world.

Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia needs to make some changes in Islamic traditions -- especially by ending some of the restrictions that it imposes upon its women.

King Abdullah has been criticized by several hardline Islamists for granting Saudi women additional rights in recent years. These Islamists insist, for example, that women cannot leave their homes, unless their husbands give them permission to do so. This traditional Islamic rule -- and similar rules -- are really unreasonable and anachronistic in today's society, and need to be put to rest.

Saudi Arabia is also the only country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive motor vehicles. A woman caught driving a car in Saudi Arabia could receive 25 or more lashes for doing so.

Based upon King Abdullah's efforts to gradually grant women additional rights in Saudi Arabia, we can expect women to be given the right to drive there within the next five years.

King Abdullah has already said that women will be allowed to vote and run for public office -- beginning with the elections in 2015 -- and that is a good harbinger for the rights of Saudi women.

Indeed, women will be granted many more rights in Saudi Arabia -- as they should be -- in the near future. Achieving these rights will require time and patience, but this phenomenon will inevitably occur.

We can better understand the intricate process required for achieving women's rights in an extremely  religiously-conservative Saudi Arabia by relating this process to an old saying: Rome wasn't built in a day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New French President Owns 3 Homes on Riviera; Francois Hollande Also Owns Roomy Paris Apt.

Francois Hollande -- France's new Socialist president -- owns three holiday homes in the glamorous French Riviera resort of Cannes, the Daily Mail (British) website reports today (May 12, 2012). The 57-year-old  -- who "dislikes the rich" and wants to revolutionize France with high taxes and an onslaught against bankers -- is in fact hugely wealthy himself.

To the undoubted embarrassment to the most left-wing leader in Europe -- and a man who styles himself as "Mr. Normal" -- Hollande's three Riviera homes are valued at almost one million pounds (about $1.5 million).

Among his other assets are three current accounts in French banks -- two with global giant Societe Generale and one with the Postal Bank -- as well as a life insurance policy.

Hollande also owns a spacious Paris apartment that he shares with his lover, Valerie Trierweiler.

Saudi King Fires Adviser for Remarks on Women; Said Adding Women's Rights Legalized Taboos

The Associated Press website reports today (May 12, 2012) that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has dismissed a controversial ultraconservative adviser, after he publicly criticized Saudi reforms aimed at easing restrictions on women.

Sheik Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan had told a local radio station that officials were working to Westernize and secularize Saudi Arabia's laws by "legalizing taboos."

King Abdullah has irked the country's hardline clerics by easing some restrictions and allowing women to vote and run for office, beginning with the 2015 municipal elections. Women are still not allowed to drive motor vehicles in Saudi Arabia; if caught driving, they may receive many lashes.

The fired adviser, 81, sparked an uproar in 2010, when he said that a woman could be alone -- or even appear without her veil -- in front of an unrelated adult male if he drinks her breast milk, because it establishes a mother-son bond in Islamic tradition.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lesbian Seeking Marriage License Arrested in NC; Mary Jamis Refused to Leave County Deeds Office

The Newser website reports today (May 11, 2012) that a lesbian  -- who refused to leave a North Caroline government office without a wedding license -- was taken away in handcuffs yesterday, after what organizers say was the first of many protests against the state's newly passed gay marriage ban.

"My wife and I have been together for nine years," one woman told the clerk after asking him to write "denied" on the application form.

Mary Jamis, 52, and a heterosexual friend were arrested -- and charged with second-degree trespass -- after staging a sit-in when Jamis was denied a marriage license.

The arrest occurred at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Russian Flight Attend. Fired for "Hahaha" Tweet; Mocked Plane Crash in Indonesia Killing 45 People

The New York Post website reports that a flight attendant from Russia's biggest airline was fired today (May 11, 2012), after she tweeted "hahaha" about a fatal plane crash in Indonesia in which at least 45 people -- including an American -- were killed.

Ekaterina Solovyeva lost her job at Aeroflot after tweeting "Huh? Did a Superjet crash? Hahaha! This aircraft sucks, it's a pity it wasn't in Aeroflot, that would be one less."

Users of the offending tweet complained to the airline.

About 45 people were aboard the Sukhoi Superjet 100 when it vanished from the radar screens on May 9 south of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Officials believe everyone on board died.

Pentagon Suspends "Counterjihad" Class on Islam; Taught Need to Raze Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina

The CBS News website reports today (May 11, 2012) that a course for U.S. military officers has been teaching that America's enemy is Islam in general -- not just terrorists -- and suggesting that the U.S. might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths.

The Pentagon suspended the course late last month after a student objected to the material.

"They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit," the instructor, Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dooley also said that -- for the purposes of his theoretical war plan -- the Geneva Conventions that set rules of armed conflict "are no longer relevant."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

F. Graham: Obama "Has Shaken His Fist" at God; His Support of Gay Marriage a Sad Day for America

The Newsmax website reports today (May 10, 2012) that Evangelist Franklin Graham said President Barack Obama has "shaken his fist at God" by voicing support of gay marriage.

Yesterday, Obama said his opinion had "evolved," and he now believes same-sex couples should have the right to wed.

Graham -- son of the Rev. Billy Graham -- said in a statement, "President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more."

"This is a sad day for America. May God help us," Graham said.

Argentine Senate Passes "Dignified Death" Law; Lets Dying Patients, Families End Life-Support

The Cybercast News Service website reports today (May 10, 2012) that Argentina's senate yesterday approved a "dignified death" law, thus giving terminally ill patients and their families more power to make end-of-life decisions.

The law passed by a vote of 55 to zero, with 17 senators declaring themselves absent. It passed the lower house last year.

Now, Argentine families will not have to struggle to find judges to order doctors to end life-support for people who are dying or in a permanent vegetative state.

Getting such approval can be difficult in many countries -- especially in Latin America -- where opposition from the Roman Catholic Church still runs strong.

Hairstylist Vidal Sassoon Dies at His L.A. Home; Established Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency website reports today (May 10, 2012) that celebrity hairstylist Vidal Sassoon -- who was committed to fighting anti-Semitism and fought in Israel's war of independence in 1948 -- has died.

Sassoon died yesterday in his Los Angeles home at the age of 84. He had been battling leukemia for several years.

In 1982, he established the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He toured the United States to raise funds for the center.

His philanthropy included the Vidal Sassoon Foundation. Sassoon was married four times and had four children.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

COMMENTARY: Georgetown University Disgraces Itself by Its Invitation to HHS Secretary Sebelius

This week, it was revealed that Georgetown University -- America's oldest Catholic institution of higher learning -- selected Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), to be a speaker at one of its graduation ceremonies on May 18.

Sebelius is of the Roman Catholic faith, but is pro-abortion and the principal spokesperson for supporting the Obama administration's contraception mandate.

Consequently, a plethora of Catholics have been shocked that Georgetown chose Sebelius to be a graduation speaker. In fact, the Cardinal Newman Society has posted a petition -- which thousands of people have already signed -- at, in an effort to protest this outrage.

We agree with the Cardinal Newman Society that Sebelius should not be a speaker at Georgetown. Although Sebelius claims to be a Catholic, one would never know it from her anti-Catholic actions and beliefs.

In 2008, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City told Sebelius -- who was governor of Kansas at that time -- to stop receiving the Eucharist until she publicly recants her position on abortion and makes a "worthy sacramental confession." Today -- four years later -- Sebelius has still not followed Archbishop Naumann's directive.

Hopefully, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl will carry out the Cardinal Newman Society request that he send a letter to Georgetown President John DeGioia, urging him to immediately withdraw Sebelius' invitation to speak at the university.

The fact is that -- by inviting Sebelius to be a speaker -- Georgetown is conveying its arrogance, disrespect, and indifference toward Catholicism and toward America's Catholic bishops, all of whom have condemned the Health and Human Services contraception mandate.

While we believe that a university must be free to accept all viewpoints as it works to achieve its goal of enhancing learning and knowledge, we also believe that a Catholic university has an irrevocable  responsibility to support Catholic doctrine and the teachings of Christ.

Indeed, by inviting Sebelius to be a speaker this month, Georgetown University has disgraced itself by promoting anti-Catholic and anti-Christian beliefs. Needless to say, it will now take Georgetown many years to regain the respect it once had as a first-rate Jesuit institution of higher learning.

Iowa Diocese: Gay Org. Cannot Present Awards; Bans Gay Org. from Presenting H.S. Scholarship

The Catholic News website reports today (May 9, 2012) that a gay student at Prince of Peace Catholic High School in Clinton, Iowa has been chosen to receive a scholarship from an Iowa organization that promotes tolerance, but controversy has erupted over the presentation of the award.

Keaton Fuller -- a senior at Prince of Peace -- is one of eight recipients of a Matthew Shepard Scholarship from the Eychaner Foundation based in Des Moines. The scholarship honors the memory of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old tortured and murdered in Wyoming in 1998 because he was gay.

While Keaton can receive the scholarship award during graduation ceremonies at Prince of Peace Church on May 20, a school representative -- not an Eychaner representative -- will present it.

Regarding this situation, the Iowa Diocese policy states: "We cannot allow anyone or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution."

Utah Enacts 72-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion; It Now Has Longest Abortion Waiting Time in US

The Christian Post website reports today (May 9, 2012) that Utah has become the first state to enact a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. The new law took effect yesterday.

Sponsored by Republican Representative Steve Eliason, the new law expands the previous 24-hour waiting period for an abortion by two days -- thus making it the longest waiting period in the country.

Eliason said, "At the end of the day, it's a consumer-protection law."

But Karen Galloway -- president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah -- opposed the new law, and said, "The former waiting period allowed a woman to take all the time she needed to make a decision."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

N. Carolina Passes Amend. to Ban Gay Marriage; Becomes the 28th State to Have Amend. to Ban It

North Carolina voters today (May 8, 2012) passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage via a statewide ballot measure, the Washington Post website reports.

North Carolina already had a statute banning gay marriage.

Amendment One declares that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

Twenty-eight states now have constitutional amendments that ban gay marriage; another ten states ban it by statute.

Fla. Nabs White Supremacists Planning Race War; American Front (AF) Is a Neo-Nazi Terrorist Org.

Ten alleged members of a white supremacist group -- training near Orlando, Florida for a "race war" -- have been rounded up in a series of arrests, the Reuters website reports today (May 8, 2012).

The arrests were based on evidence from a confidential informant who infiltrated the neo-Nazi organization known as the American Front (AF) 17 months ago, according to an arrest affidavit.

"The American Front is a military-styled, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, skinhead organization and is known as a domestic terrorist organization," the affidavit said.

It also said the group's alleged local ringleader, Marcus Faella, 39, had been "planning and preparing the AF for what he believes to be an inevitable race war" and had stated "his intent to kill Jews, immigrants, and other minorities."

First Woman to Head ELCA Synod Is Installed; Plans to Work with Other Faiths for Common Good

The Christian Broadcast Network website reports today (May 8, 2012) that the first woman to head the Minneapolis synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) -- the largest synod in the ELCA --  has officially begun her duties.

The Rev. Ann Svennungsen was installed during a ceremony on Sunday, May 6.

Svennungsen said the ELCA already has a strong track record of working with other denominations to serve the common good.

She added that's something that she intends to continue under her leadership.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Georgetown U.Stuns Catholics with Grad. Speaker; Pro-Choice HHS Secretary Sebelius Asked to Speak

The Spero Forum website reports today (May 7, 2012) that -- in what can only be viewed as a direct challenge to America's Catholic bishops -- Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution of higher learning, has announced that "pro-choice" Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and lead architect of the Obama administration's assault on religious freedom through the HHS contraception mandate, has been invited to speak at one of Georgetown's commencement ceremonies this month.

The Cardinal Newman Society has posted a petition to protest this outrage at It also has alerted Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and sent a letter to Georgetown President John DeGioia, urging him to immediately withdraw the invitation.

Last week, The Cardinal Newman Society released a list of 11 scandalous commencement speakers at Catholic colleges and universities, as well as a report on homosexual "lavender graduations," including one at Georgetown.

In 2008, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City told Sebelius -- a Roman Catholic -- to stop receiving the Eucharist until she publicly recants her position on abortion and makes a "worthy sacramental confession."

Trial of Former Italian PM Depicts His Sex Party; Silvio Berlusconi Allegedly Had Sex with a Minor

At the trial today (May 7, 2012) of Silvio Berlusconi -- the former Italian prime minister and a billionaire charged with paying to have sex with an underage prostitute -- a witness testified that he had young women simulate oral sex with a Greek statue at a party he hosted in his Milan home, according to the Reuters website.

Chiara Danese -- a 20-year-old beauty contest winner -- shed tears today, as she told a Milan court that Berlusconi asked the women at his party to play games with a nude statue of the ancient Greek fertility god Priapus.

"He touched the girls while they simulated oral sex with the statue," she said.

Berlusconi, 75, is charged with paying for sex with Moroccan-born Karima El Mahroug in 2010 -- when she was only 17 -- and then abusing the power of his office by getting her freed from police custody after she had been arrested for theft.

Australian Priest Urges Women to Marry Younger; No. of Aust. Young Men Is 86,000, Women Is 1.3M

The Catholic News website reports today (May 7, 2012) that a priest in Australia has told women not to be too picky about their future husbands and to marry early, because there is a drought of eligible men in the Down Under country.

Fr. Tony Kerin -- episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne -- said there has been a massive decline in the number of available men, with statistics showing there are just 86,000 "Mr. Rights" for 1.3 million women aged between 25 and 34.

Fr. Kerin said, "I think many women are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they've missed their chance."

He added, "In trying to have it all, they end up missing out."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No. of Muslims in US Grows 67 Percent Since 9/11; Mormonism Sees 45 Percent Increase Since 2000

The Worldwide Religious News website reports today (May 6, 2012) that a new survey reveals the dramatically changing face of religion in America -- with the number of Muslims in the U.S. soaring 67 percent in the decade since the 9/11/2001 attacks.

Data released on May 1 from the 2010 U.S. Religion Census shows Islam was the fastest growing religion in America in the last 10 years, with 2.6 million living in the U.S. today -- up from 1 million in 2000.

Mormonism also saw a large growth, with a 45 percent increase in adherents. It added nearly 2 million members since 2000, bringing its number in the U.S. to 6.1 million.

"Both of these groups entered more than 200 countries that they were not in 10 years ago," said Dale Jones, data analyst and mapping specialist for the Religion Census.

Canadian Student Suspended Over a Jesus T-Shirt; Lawyer:School's Punitive Effort Was Inappropriate

The Christian Today website reports today (May 6, 2012) that a teenage Canadian student was suspended last week for wearing a yellow T-shirt to school that reads "Life is Wasted Without Jesus."

William Swimmer -- a 19-year-old Nova Scotia resident who attends Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin -- was given a five-day school suspension for wearing the shirt.

Faye Sonier -- legal counsel for the Center for Faith and Public Life of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada -- said the school's disciplinary efforts were "inappropriate."

"The student was simply exercising his rights to freedom of expression and religion," Sonier said.

Britain's Duchess of York on Trial in Turkish Court; Charged with Illegally Filming Orphanage Children

The Big News Network website reports today (May 6, 2012) that a trial against Sarah Ferguson -- Britain's Duchess of York -- has begun in a Turkish court.

The court proceedings -- which are going ahead without Ferguson -- concern charges laid by police over alleged secret filming.

The charges relate to the violation of privacy of five children for a documentary on Turkish orphanages.

Court papers show that Ferguson entered Turkey in 2008 to take part in a secret expose of orphanages in the country, thus acquiring film footage illegally.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

COMMENTARY: Protesters in Moscow Must Respect Orthodox Church and Its Land

The Russian Orthodox Church has been witnessing much negative publicity in recent weeks, as a result of a feminist punk band -- called Pussy Riot -- staging an unsanctioned performance in Moscow's largest cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Three members of the punk band were arrested after their sacrilegious performance last March, and remain in prison awaiting trial. Some Russians believe that these three women -- who could be sentenced to as many as seven years in prison --  should not serve any time in prison, while others believe they should receive a long prison sentence.

This week, the Russian Orthodox Church criticized the dissemination of leaflets on the property of Christ the Savior Cathedral -- leaflets that called on parishioners to join a protest rally on May 6 -- in an effort to have these women released from prison.

We agree with the Russian Orthodox Church in its assertion that church grounds should not be used as a protest center or a place to disseminate anti-religious information.

Political protest, then, must be held at another location -- not on church property -- because politics and religion must be separated.

Moreover, Russian citizens need to be cognizant of the fact that church property must be respected as a sanctity of the church, and not an acceptable place for holding protests or disseminating anti-religious information.

Indeed, this is not an unreasonable order for Russian citizens to accept -- especially when one considers that the church grounds are an extension of the Body of Christ.

Philly Abp. Defrocks 5 Priests Due to Sex Abuse; Several Others Accused of Sex Abuse Still Active

The Global Post website reports that Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia announced today (May 5, 2012) that five priests -- "not suitable for ministry" because of substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct -- have been defrocked.

It is the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 26 priests last year over a grand jury finding that church officials ignored allegations of widespread sex abuse.

The February grand jury report alleged that dozens of priests -- accused with offenses ranging from sexual abuse to inappropriate boundary issues -- were still active in Philadelphia, despite a zero tolerance policy among U.S. bishops.

The report also led to the criminal trial of Monsignor William Lynn, a former top aide at the archdiocese,  charged with child endangerment for his handling of abuse complaints from 1992 to 2004, mostly under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Bishop Ousts Married Catholic Priest in Australia; Fr. Kevin Lee Met His Wife in Philippines in 2011

The Spero Forum website reports today (May 5, 2012) that an Australian Catholic priest has been removed from his parish by Bishop Anthony Fisher of the Diocese of Parramatta, following revelations that the pastor was married.

Father Kevin Lee said he met his wife in the Philippines, where he secretly married her in 2011.

Fr. Lee added that admitting that he is married -- although not in a Catholic sacramental union -- was motivated by what he claims is the double life led by priests Down Under. "I think celibacy has to go," he said.

Fr. Lee served at Australia's Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vatican Paper:Euthanasia Is Similar to Nazi Sham; Extermination Can Be Justified by Use of Eugenics

Proponents of euthanasia and aborting chronically ill fetuses use the same arguments that were once used by the Nazis to promote their eugenics program of mass extermination, according to the Vatican's semiofficial newspaper.

The article appears on the front page of Saturday's (May 5, 2012) issue of L'Osservatore Romano and is signed by Lucetta Scaraffia, an Italian historian who is a frequent contributor to the Vatican paper, according to the Huffington Post website.

Scaraffia's article comes in the wake of the Italian translation of a 1920 book by two German scholars -- Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche -- that set the ideological foundations for the Nazi program of extermination of disabled and incurably sick people.

Scaraffia argues that this mentality can still be seen in the "writings of many contemporary bioethicists, and of many politicians who support legislative proposals of a euthanasic type."

Jewish School Teacher Faces Child Porn Charges; Evan Zauder Taught at Orth.School in Paramus,NJ

The Jewish Daily Forward website reports today (May 4, 2012) that a New York area Jewish school teacher -- and summer camp counselor -- has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography.

FBI agents on May 1 raided the Manhattan apartment of Evan Zauder, where they discovered on his computer hundreds of images and videos of boys -- some as young as 7 -- engaged in sex acts.

Zauder, 26, is a sixth grade teacher at Yeshivat Noam -- a Modern Jewish Orthodox school -- in Paramus, New Jersey. He is in jail, pending a bail hearing today.

Zauder is also a student at Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Eichanan Theological Seminary.

Kuwait OKs the Death Penalty for Insulting God; Law Lets Accused Repent for Jail Time and a Fine

The Religion News Service website reports today (May 4, 2012) that Kuwait's parliament has approved a law imposing the death penalty on any Muslim who insults God, His prophets, messengers, Prophet Mohammad's wives, or the Koran -- in any form of expression -- if they don't repent.

The bill was passed today by 40 lawmakers -- including all Cabinet ministers present -- and rejected by five Shiite Muslims as well as one liberal lawmaker.

According to the law, judges must give defendants the option of repenting, which, if taken, reduces the sentence to at least five years in prison and a fine of 10,000 dinars ($36,000).

Non-Muslims will be sentenced to 10 years in prison if convicted of violating the law, which will take effect after it is signed by the emir (governor of Kuwait).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Russian Church Blasts Protest Fliers on Its Land; Says Protest Must Respect Sanctity of Church Land

The Interfax-Religion website reports today (May 3, 2012) that the Russian Orthodox Church has criticized the dissemination of leaflets on the territory of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow that call on parishioners to join a protest rally on May 6.

"Surely, the dissemination of any printed matter on a church territory is inappropriate without the church's blessing," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin -- the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations -- said yesterday.

"It is obvious that both this action and the actions that took place on Sunday (the opposition's attempt to conduct a prayer for Vladimir Putin's resignation) were free from blasphemy and attempts to propagate anti-Christian beliefs," he said.

Political protest -- which "will always be present in any society" -- should be civilized and should be respectful to the sanctity of a church and a church territory, Father Chaplin added.

Attacker of "Mohammed" Cartoonist Gets 10 Years; Man Will Then Be Ousted, Banned from Denmark

The Europe News website reports today (May 3, 2012) that a Somali man -- who attacked a Danish cartoonist for caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed -- will serve 10 years in prison before being expelled from Denmark, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

Mohamed Geele -- who attacked cartoonist Kurt Westergaard at his home on January 1, 2010 with an axe -- was found guilty of "attempted terrorism."

The Danish court also confirmed that once Geele, 30, has served his sentence, he would be expelled from Denmark -- and banned from ever returning.

Geele -- who has been living in Denmark since he was 14 and has a wife and four young children there -- told the Supreme Court that the attack had nothing to do with terrorism, and that he was only trying to frighten Westergaard.

Obama Proclaims May 3 as National Day of Prayer; Atheists Claim It Violates Church-State Separation

The Christian Post website reports today (May 3, 2012) that President Obama today signed his annual proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer -- a tradition that began under President Truman in 1952.

However, some atheists and secular groups are planning protests and are demanding that the annual day be discontinued.

"On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience," reads the president's proclamation, in part.

The Rev. Barry Lynn -- executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State -- takes issue with the president's words and says the annual day has been "hijacked" by conservatives to promote a "far-right religious-political agenda."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

COMMENTARY: Arrogant Penn. School District Must Be Fined for Violating Pledge Law

This week, it was revealed that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Brownsville Area School District in Pennsylvania, because a middle school student in that district was scolded and given detention for refusing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The 13-year-old girl refused to recite the pledge because she was upset with the way the United States was being run.

The girl's mother complained to school officials, but the district upheld the punishment at a school board meeting.

The fact is that the U.S. Supreme Court -- in a decision it made in 1943 -- ruled that public schools cannot compel students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because doing so violates their First Amendment rights.

How could a teacher -- and a school district school board in the Brownsville area of Pennsylvania -- have been ignorant of this law, which has been in effect since 1943?

Is it because the Pennsylvania school district believes it is above the law, and does not have to abide by the laws governing America's public schools? Instead of apologizing for punishing the girl for not saluting the flag, the arrogant school board upheld the illegal punishment at a recent meeting.

Consequently, the ACLU has taken the appropriate action by filing a lawsuit against the Brownsville Area School District for violating the law that allows public school students in America the right to refuse to salute the flag as part of their First Amendment rights.

Indeed, the court should award the 13-year-old girl with a large monetary sum, paid by the Pennsylvania  school district for the punishment and humiliation she suffered in this situation -- a punishment and humiliation that never should have occurred.

Bosnian Court Convicts 1st Woman of War Crimes; Muslim Woman Admitted Killing 26 People in 1993

The Europe News website reports today (May 2, 2012) that a Bosnian court -- for the first time -- has found a woman guilty of war crimes, as a Muslim woman was convicted of the killing of Croatian civilians and service personnel during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

The Sarajevo War Crimes Tribunal condemned Rasema Handanovic -- a former member of the Muslim Forces of Bosnia -- to five and a half years' imprisonment.

She was able to attain a reduced sentence by collaborating with the court.

Handanovic, 39, confessed to the court how she had killed 18 Croatian civilian and eight military prisoners in the village of Trusina (Herzegovina) in April 1993.

French Group Sues Google for Its Jewish Searches; Says Google Violates Law by Using Ethnicity Files

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency website reports today (May 2, 2012) that a French anti-discrimination group is taking Google to court for offering to search if celebrities are Jewish.

SOS Racisme -- a French organization that fights discrimination -- is scheduled to meet Google attorneys in a French courtroom today for a hearing on the matter.

The suggestion of Jewish comes as part of Google's auto-complete feature, which appends terms to searches to make them faster.

In court filings, SOS Racisme claims that Google is violating a French constitutional law against compiling files on people that reference their ethnicity.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Many Non-Jewish Prisoners Seek Kosher Food; Prisons May End Kosher Food Due to High Cost

The Jewish Daily Forward website reports today (May 1, 2012) that the population of religious Jews in prison has plenty of company when it comes to keeping kosher behind bars. A number of secular Jews, messianic Jews, Black Hebrew Israelites -- and, in many cases, people with no Jewish background at all -- eat a traditional Jewish diet.

Jews make up just one-sixth -- or about 4,000 -- of the 24,000 inmates who eat kosher food in American prisons. And since kosher food can cost more than twice as much as regular fare, it is costing taxpayers millions of extra dollars to feed all those who want it.

"We want them to be very careful about who they give kosher food to," said Menachem Katz, director of prison and military outreach at the Aleph Institute -- a Chabad-affiliated social services group. "We don't want them to give kosher food to every Tom, Dick, and Harry if they say they are Jewish."

Many prisons are now considering ending their Jewish dietary programs due to their high cost. "They want to throw the baby out with the bath water," Katz said. "Rather than get into the nitty-gritty, they say, 'Let's just destroy the whole thing.'"

PA School Punishes Girl for Not Reciting Pledge; ACLU Sues District, Violated High Court Ruling

The Raw Story website reports today (May 1, 2012) that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Brownsville Area School District -- located in western Pennsylvania -- on behalf of a middle school student who was scolded and given detention for refusing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The unnamed 13-year-old girl refused to recite the pledge because she was disillusioned with the way the United States was being run.

Her mother had complained to school officials, but the district upheld the punishment at a school board meeting.

In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not compel students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because doing so violated their First Amendment rights.

First Gay Episcopal Bp. Gene Robinson to Retire; Boston Gay Pastor William Rich May Succeed Him

The Christian Post website reports today (May 1, 2012) that another gay man may succeed the retiring Bishop Gene Robinson -- the first openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church -- the Diocese of New Hampshire announced.

The Rev. William Rich -- a married homosexual -- is senior associate rector at Trinity Church in Boston, and is one of three candidates for the position of bishop.

A 200-mamber panel -- including clergy and elected delegates -- will vote by secret ballot on May 19 for a new bishop.

Robinson -- who has lived with his partner (Mark Andrew) for more than 20 years -- said that constant death threats and gay criticism he has received over the years have added a burden and anxiety to his episcopate, and tired him out.