News Briefs From Planet Earth


(AgapePress)...There is one aspect of the war on terror that has been mentioned by President Bush, but basically ignored by the media. Cliff Kincaid, president of America's Survival, believes what the President has said regarding the war on terror and its impact on the United Nations. Kincaid describes the struggle as a "defining moment" for the U.N., and says the world needs the organization's leadership. But he says so far, the U.N. has failed the test. He says it undermines the U.N.'s credibility when its Commission on Human Rights offers seats to countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and North Korea - nations Kincaid describes as "the world's most persistent violators of human rights" - and removes the United States from the same commission. He says any moral integrity the U.N. had is now gone.


(AgapePress)...A California mother was surprised recently to discover her seventh-grade son and his classmates are being required to attend an intensive three-week course on Islam. The curriculum includes handouts on the history of Islam and its founder, Islamic terms that must be memorized, Islamic phrases and proverbs that must be learned - and requires that the students wear a robe, pray to Allah, adopt a Muslim name, and stage their own jihad. WorldNetDaily quotes a principal in Byron, California, who says the course on Islam reflects educational standards in the Golden State and not an endorsement of religion. But Elizabeth Lemings, who was not aware of the course material until her son brought home the handouts, says the class is going beyond an examination of culture to indoctrination. She says it is hypocritical that groups such as the ACLU and People for the American Way are being silent about this, and says there would likely be a "barrage" of lawsuits from such groups if Christianity were being taught in the public schools.


(AgapePress) - Much of the homosexual movement's energy today is aimed at groups which oppose its agenda. One of those groups is the Culture and Family Institute, a branch of Concerned Women for America.

Peter LaBarbera, senior analyst with the Institute, says the homosexual movement has been attempting to paint conservative Christians, with their biblical view on the issue, as "hate mongers."

"They have a lot invested in the idea that we are haters, and so we get treated like haters," LaBarbera says. "Even though we're not haters, we have people writing in and saying that what we believe is hate, calling our site a hate site, and that sort of thing. [But] the homosexual activists rile people up and [encourage] people to think that Christians who oppose homosexuality are somehow hateful."

LaBarbera can speak from personal experience. "We get nasty attacks from gay activists by e-mail and that sort of thing," he says. "Recently, I was among people who were put on a website which [was] asking people to kill the various pro-family leaders."

The pro-family activist says being on the homosexual kill-target website was an unnerving experience because it was seeking personal information about those pro-family leaders - such as the church they attend, home and work telephone numbers, and where their kids go to school. Such a strategy incites people to take violent actions, Labarbera says.

Organizations like the Culture and Family Institute and the American Family Association are subjected to various threats on a regular basis. LaBarbera says it is the price one pays for speaking the truth.


(AgapePress)...A court in Canada's largest province has ruled parents and teachers have a legal right to spank children under their care. In a unanimous decision, the Ontario Court of Appeals said the Canadian government took appropriate care when it fashioned a defense for parents or teachers who use reasonable, "non-abusive" force as a corrective or disciplinary measure. The Globe and Mail newspaper quotes one of the justices who said parents and teachers must be free to carry out their important responsibilities to train and nurture children, without the threat of charges being brought against them.


(AgapePress)...A published report reveals that longtime friends, former business associates, and Wall Street observers believe Jesse Jackson's financial empire is crumbling. According to CNSNews, Jackson has been dogged by a loss of political clout, a personal scandal, and the perception by some Wall Street professionals that he is anti-American. An anonymous source says Jackson's star-studded birthday fundraiser in December did not meet expectations. One reason for the Jackson decline can be attributed to the loss of many of his Washington political allies following the departure of the Clinton Administration. One associate said, "He doesn't have Janet Reno to block any federal investigations anymore." Other sources say the black leader is suffering on Wall Street because many think he is unpatriotic by opposing the bombing of Afghanistan. And Jackson is apparently losing support among black churches, who are not happy with his extra-marital affair. Longtime Jackson friend David Wallace said Jackson's actions were "an embarrassment to his congregation."


(AgapePress)...In January, the Media Research Center held its annual "Dishonors Award" in which it highlights the disgusting bias of the national media. Once again, the nominees include a "who's who" of reporters, including Geraldo Rivera, Helen Thomas, Dianne Sawyer, Margaret Carlson, and Bryant Gumbel. But this year's "Gilligan Award for the Flakiest Comment of the Year" went to CBS's Dan Rather for his effort to defend former President Bill Clinton, in which Rather said he thought Clinton is basically an honest person - and that someone can be an honest person and "lie about any number of things." Rather did not appear to receive his award. More than 800 conservative supporters and leaders of the movement attended the posh $150-a-plate affair.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (EP) - President Bush is keeping his outspoken Christian faith under wraps in an effort to show more inclusiveness to other religions, according to a Dec. 17 story in the New York Times. The paper said, "The many gods in American life are alive and well at the White House, where never before have so many religions converged in such a powerful burst of faith and politics." It noted that Bush - in an effort to improve America's reputation in the Muslim world - invited ambassadors from Islamic countries for a traditional meal and prayer at the White House to mark Ramadan. Bush also made remarks celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month. Also, there was a recent Hanukkah party with a kosher buffet at the White House.


(EP) - A report in The Denver Post says a United Church of Christ pastor received a standing ovation from his congregation when he announced recently he was a homosexual. Forty-six-year-old Scott Landis has three children. He and his wife of 25 years divorced last year after he informed his family about his involvement in the lifestyle. The Post notes that the United Church of Christ has about 100 openly homosexual pastors in its congregations across the country. The denomination even has a group called "The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Coalition."


(AgapePress) - A report says the September 11 terrorist attacks could prove to be a major catalyst towards the creation of a one-world religion.

The conservative publication World reported this month that one of the greatest ironies in the wake of the attacks is that at the very time when Christians are targets of an Islamic jihad, "all of a sudden Muslims are getting so much good press." Documentaries and new stories on the alleged good things about Islam fill the media, and schools are inviting Muslims to talk about their religion.

In addition, Muslim clerics are joining Christian leaders at multi-faith prayer meetings. Even President Bush has put Islam and Christianity in the same category, calling them both "peaceful" religions. We are told the enemy is not Islam, but intolerance. Fundamentalist Christians are linked with Taliban leaders as being the real problem.

According to the World article, there is a growing body of belief that the solution to religious intolerance is to create a world religion. No doubt, the cornerstone of that religion will be that any doctrine, which divides such, as salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ - will not be tolerated.


(AgapePress)...The phrase "God Bless You" has been banned by the New York City Board of Education. Recently the parents' association at the Beach Channel High School in Queens posted the phrase in front of the school. But teachers' union representative questioned whether the sign violated the Constitution. Shortly thereafter, lawyers with the Board of Education ordered the school to remove the sign. The school is in the borough's Rockaways section, a community hit hard by the World Trade Center attack and the recent crash of a passenger plane. After September 11, the parents' association posted an American flag with the phrase "God Bless America," which received no complaints.


(AgapePress)...The Florida-based Liberty Counsel is defending the mayor of a Florida town who issued a proclamation banning Satan within the city limits. The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened a federal lawsuit against Inglis Mayor Carolyn Risher who had the proclamation displayed at four posts at the town's entrances. Joel Oster, an attorney with the Liberty Counsel, says Mayor Risher was well within her constitutional rights when she issued the proclamation Halloween night. "The Constitution protects a mayor's right to give her personal religious view," he says. "The Constitution does not require a muzzle to be placed on a mayor or any other city official just because they're a city official." Oster says once all the facts are in, the ACLU will probably back down. "The last I heard from their attorney, they will not pursue this lawsuit. Once they realize that this was not an official action by the city, once they realize that this was her personal viewpoint that was presented, I think they're backing off." Inglis is a town of about 1,400 people, located 75 miles north of Tampa.


(AgapePress)...A former CBS reporter is backing another former CBS staffers claims of bias in the national news media. The bestseller Bias by Bernard Goldberg has received a lot of attention from those inside and outside the national news media. Now David Dolan, a former a CBS reporter who spent years in the Middle East, says while his experience with CBS was more limited than Goldberg's, he did sense the editors in New York tended to order stories that were more favorable to the Palestinians than the Israelis. Dolan, who is a Christian, says that during the 1980s the network reported on every Palestinian death at the hands of Israelis - but when Palestinians started killing each other as the uprising wore on, the editors did not want to hear about it. Dolan says the bias is not limited to CBS, pointing out that there has tended to be a pro-Palestinian bias in much of the American media for a number of years.


PENRYN, Pa. (EP) - A police department in Penryn, Penn. has refused to direct traffic at a YMCA triathlon because members of the department object to a YMCA after-school program in which the popular "Harry Potter" books are read to children. "I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them [witchcraft]," said Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn. His eight-member force voted unanimously to boycott the 20th running of the triathlon, scheduled for Sept. 7. Fichthorn sent a letter to the YMCA, questioning whether it was "serving the will of God" in using the books. Township Supervisor Ronald Krause said the YMCA may be forced to hire police from another town to provide traffic control at the race.

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