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ChuckBaldwinLive.com | A column co-authored by John Eidsmoe and Ben DuPré struck me. They titled their column, "What makes a 'great' president?" The basic thrust of the column was to examine the qualities that make one a "great" President. They start by examining the Presidency of our 11th President, James K. Polk. They note that Polk is commonly regarded as being one of America's top 12 greatest Presidents. To use their words, "between eighth and 12th among our greatest presidents."
reformedreader.org | For the last three centuries Protestants have fancied themselves the heirs of the Reformation, the Puritans, the Calvinists, and the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. This assumption is one of history's greatest ironies. Today's Protestants laboring under that assumption use the King James Bible. Most of the newer Bibles such as the Revised Standard Version are simply updates of the King James.
arn.org | In a retrospective essay on Carl Sagan in the January 9, 1997 New York Review of Books, Harvard Genetics Professor Richard Lewontin tells how he first met Sagan at a public debate in Arkansas in 1964. The two young scientists had been coaxed by senior colleagues to go to Little Rock to debate the affirmative side of the question: "RESOLVED, that the theory of evolution is as proved as is the fact that the earth goes around the sun." Their main opponent was a biology professor from a fundamentalist college, with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Zoology. Lewontin reports no details from the debate, except to say that "despite our absolutely compelling arguments, the audience unaccountably voted for the opposition."
Lewrockwell.com | For centuries the book of Romans, chapter 13, has been used to extinguish the flames of liberty. It has been misused to such an extent in fact, that it has become the favourite passage of dictators. When the State couldn’t beat early Christianity it decided to join in. Soon the floors of Roman tax collection offices had Romans 13 inscribed, and slaughter in the name of Christ began. Hitler also used the passage, claiming that churches should take care of heavenly matters, leaving earthly matters to him. More recently, Mugabe’s totalitarian government shamelessly played the Romans 13 card.
Huffington Post | (RNS) The basic text used for Alcoholics Anonymous programs, known as "The Big Book," initially used stronger religious language but was reduced to appeal to a wider audience, The Washington Post is reporting.
WND | The essence of the program is to create a challenge to the IRS rules adopted in 1954 at the behest of then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson that prohibit any speech from a church pulpit favoring or opposing a political candidate.The rules were adopted after Johnson found himself bearing the brunt of critical comments from Christian pastors concerned about his behavior in Washington.
Guardian | Aliens might have souls and could choose to be baptised if humans ever met them, a Vatican scientist said today. The official also dismissed intelligent design as "bad theology" that had been "hijacked" by American creationist fundamentalists.
Houston Chronicle | The nation's largest evangelical group has launched a new plan to do whatever it takes to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S., including partnering with groups who offer contraceptive services and talking more openly about sex.
CNN | If you're the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning: Your child is following a "mutant" form of Christianity, and you may be responsible. Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.
NPN | Nothing gives me greater joy than a Jew finding salvation in Jesus and becoming part of His spiritual body, the Church. Yet, just as St. Paul labored to preserve the infant church from absorption into Old Testament legalism, so a similar warning must be sounded today. Evangelical churches are rapidly incorporating Jewish holidays and other philo-Judaic elements into Christian worship.
Lewrockwell.com | Among intellectuals who consider themselves "scientific," the phrase "the nature of man" is apt to have the effect of a red flag on a bull. "Man has no nature!" is the modern rallying cry and typical of the sentiment of political philosophers today was the assertion of a distinguished political theorist some years ago before a meeting of the American Political Science Association that "man's nature" is a purely theological concept that must be dismissed from any scientific discussion.
CNN | Memorial crosses erected along Utah public roads to honor fallen state highway troopers have been found unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the 14 large crosses would be viewed by most passing motorists as "government's endorsement of Christianity."
NewsWithViews.com | Marriage is a religious institution. In my faith, it is ordained of God and between a man and a woman. Freedom of religion, the right to hold religious views of one kind or another, depends on the absence of government and, most particularly, of government constraint, coercion, and cajolery. When we allow government to “recognize” religious institutions, such as marriage, we invite the establishment of orthodoxies, where government can attach benefits or sanctions to the exercise of religious practices; we invite, at a minimum, debasement of religious freedom and, ultimately subjugation and destruction of it. No benefit or sanction can legitimately be imposed based on state recognition of religious institutions without having a coercive effect on religious free exercise generally. Laws like Proposition 8 in California (that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages) are thus misplaced because they invite more government scrutiny of the religious institution of marriage, not less.
The Independant | Immensely wealthy Catholic organisation, set up by controversial Mexican cleric and favoured by John Paul II, likely to be closed down
Huffington Post | Author Anne Rice may have been more of a Christian today than she ever has been when she announced, on Facebook, that she was quitting Christianity and renouncing any claim to the title "Christian."
WaketheChurch.org | summer here in Denver, Colorado we heard something closely resembling the fervor of revolutionary war time preaching at the Faith and Liberty 2010 Conference. Keynote speakers Amb. Alan Keyes and Dr. Chuck Baldwin lit the pulpit up with the fire of the full Gospel interspersed with some serious condemnation of the politians and financial interests that have destroyed this country.
Telegraph | Benedict XVI announced the creation of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called "a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church."
PD | On Monday, Raul Gonzalez filed suit in Connecticut against the estate of his father, Roman Catholic priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Gonzalez claims that his father sexually abused him -- along with many other boys -- and while the Vatican was not named a defendant, the lawsuit said that "from at least the 1950s until 2002, the Legionaries, Fr. Maciel, the presiding Pope, the Vatican, and its officials engaged in a conspiracy to conceal their knowledge of Maciel's abuse of children."
Firstthings.com | This just makes my head explode. A woman was implanted with the wrong embryos, and rather than honor another woman’s children and let them live, immediately terminated the pregnancy process.