News Briefs From Planet Earth - January 2003
THE DEMOCRATIC DEMISE
(AgapePress)...A recent New York Times/CBS poll has found that nearly half of the population has a less than favorable view of the Democratic Party. Freedom Alliance executive director Tom Kilgannon says the reasons for this negative view of the Democrats is obvious. According to Kilgannon, Democrats have shown they are "the party of criticism, cynicism and pessimism"?which he says the American people do not want. Kilgannon says the Democrats currently have no national leader, nor a message that resonates with the voting public?in short, he says, no national theme around which to build a future for their party. While those circumstances persist, Kilgannon does not think the party can change its image with the public.
ABORTION DAMAGES WOMENS BODIES
(AgapePress)...Louisiana's Supreme Court has turned away a legal challenge brought by abortion doctors to a 1977 pro-life law. According to Family News In Focus, the challenged law allows women to sue over injuries from an abortion up to ten years later. According to Attorney Dorinda Bordlee with Americans United for Life, the ruling essentially says the abortionists have no standing in bringing the suit to challenge the law, but that the court would allow a woman to bring suit against an abortion provider. Dr. David Reardon with the Elliot Institute says the full impact of abortion on a woman's body is often not apparent until after the current three-year statute of limitations runs out. The heightened potential for stiffer lawsuits may force some abortion clinics to shut down.
SPEED OF LIGHT SLOWING DECLARES PHYSICIST
(AgapePress)...Is it a case of "I told you so?" An Australian has shed some scientific light on the idea that the speed of light may be slowing down a bit?something creation scientists have been debating for some time. According to a report from Family News In Focus, an Australian physicist suggests the "constant" speed of light (~300,000 kilometers-per-second in a vacuum) may have, in fact, slowed down over time. If he is right, the idea will wreak havoc with current scientific theories about the first moments of the universe. Ken Ham with Answers In Genesis says creationists have long debated the idea. Ham says it is interesting that when creationists came up with the idea that maybe the speed of light had slowed down, the secular community, scientists, and evolutionists "mocked us, laughed at us, ridiculed us." The deceleration theory would explain how light from distant stars could reach earth in a "young universe." Even in current physics, it is known that the speed of light is directly dependent on the material.
AVOID LORD OF THE RINGS
(AgapePress)...Pat Cocking is a former witch turned evangelist. She says Christians should avoid the second installment of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. Her warning is drawn from her own past involvement in the occult. In an e-mail alert, Cocking says God would not inspire someone to write an allegory representing Himself as a sorcerer?or represent His kingdom through sorcery. Cocking adds that God would never violate His own word and use an act that He labels as "sin" to represent Himself or His kingdom in any way. Cocking points out that most false religions have some good morals and operate within good principles. But she adds that God's people were always commanded by Him to keep separate from the false beliefs of other nations that surrounded them.
PAYING KIDS TO PROMOTE ABORTION
(AgapePress)...The Family Research Council is calling on Congress to sever public funding for Planned Parenthood. FRC is upset at the latest incident in which Planned Parenthood will be paying some high school students in Ohio $100 to be trained as outreach workers. The students will get additional money if they recruit other young workers to their gruesome cause. FRC's Genevieve Wood says this is just one more case where tax dollars are being used to coerce teens into destructive behavior. "We believe it is time for Congress to step in," Wood says. Planned Parenthood receives more than $137 million per year from the federal government to fund and force its deadly agenda on the public.
CONGRESSMAN'S LIFE THREATENED, REQUESTS PRAYER
(AgapePress)...A Colorado lawmaker is asking Christians to pray for him and his family after receiving death threats over his efforts to reform U.S. immigration policies. Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo has already been told by Karl Rove not to darken the doors of the White House after he criticized President Bush's immigration policies. Then Tancredo took heat from the Denver Post by giving the Immigration and Naturalization Service the name of an illegal alien whose story had been featured in the newspaper. The congressman says now the attacks have gotten even worse. "We have had death threats," Tancredo says. "We have had the most horrendous things happen?you can't even imagine." Tancredo prays that God will give him and his family "the strength and courage to continue to do what we do and to protect us."
HELPING TO CURE AFRICA
(AgapePress)...Charisma News reports that two years ago, Lighthouse Christian International of West Palm Beach began a ministry focused on helping African children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Now the ministry provides health care, food, and the gospel to thousands of orphans in Zambia. Along with health care, the ministry is developing manuals to train Zambian nationals to minister to their neighbors. The ministry also hopes to fight the rampant malnutrition among the people by mixing the main staple?mashed corn?with soy to increase their protein intake. Pastor William Ilnisky says the Zambian ministry began after he read an article in Newsweek magazine, which reported ten million African children were orphaned by AIDS-related deaths. Ilnisky told his 150-member congregation about the article and the plight of the orphaned children?and the ministry was born.
NOOO...YOU DON'T SAY
(AgapePress)...A Boy Scout leader in Florida is facing multiple sex-related charges in connection with three members of his troop. Police in Titusville say 50-year-old Robert King invited several young Boy Scouts to his home last Friday under the guise of preparing a Christmas float. But according to authorities, once King got the lads there, he showed them homosexual pornography and sexually assaulted at least three of them. Associated Press notes the Boy Scouts announced last month it will start requiring criminal background checks of all new adult volunteers beginning in the new year.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
(AgapePress) ...A Chinese university professor has told a Christian news agency that many Chinese have come to realize that America's greatness comes from its Christian heritage. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Chinese professor told Assist News that for years China has been trying to figure out exactly what makes America a great nation. The scholar said that his countrymen came up with four possible answers: America's military power and weaponry, its democratic political system, the availability of goods and services under capitalism, or the type of culture that exists in the U.S. But the Chinese teacher says now they realize that America's greatness has been based on a culture built on Christianity. The professor also indicated that according to an official government estimate, there are 20 million registered believers in China?and that sociologists believe there are between 25 and 30 million in non-registered churches.
ARAB COUNTRIES SELECTIVE AID
(AgapePress)...A spokesman for the Israeli government says Arab nations need to be called to task for failing to take care of the Palestinian refugee problem within Israel. Ido Aharoni is with the Israeli Consulate in New York. He says the Arab world is doing very little to settle the thousands of Palestinian refugees that are causing problems in the Holy Land. Aharoni says Arab compatriots have little or no trouble finding the resources to support families of homicide bombers. He believes if the Saudis spent the same amount of money on refugees that it does on the families of the bombers, there would not be a Palestinian refugee problem
GLUTTONY AND/OR LAZINESS ARE THE SINS THAT MAKE MOST PEOPLE FAT, NOT MCDONALDS
(AgapePress)...Americans are fatter than ever. So says a government study, which notes that 31% of all adults?almost 59 million people?are obese. The 1999-2000 survey marks a doubling of the obesity rate in two decades. Researcher Cynthia Ogden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells Associated Press that the proportion of out-of-proportion Americans has significantly enlarged. She says America has seen increases in obesity among all age groups, and that includes about an 8% increase?from about 23% to about 30%?in the last decade. The researchers also say 15% of youngsters ages 6-19 are seriously overweight. That is nearly nine million young people, which is triple the number in a similar assessment from 1980. The study is featured in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
AMERICAN YOUTH ARE MAKING A STAND
(AgapePress)...A member of the Christian rock group dc talk says for the most part, teenagers in America are either hot or cold when it comes to Jesus. Toby McKeehan says in the past decade, those teenagers who are truly sold out to Jesus are not as concerned with blending into their society of peers. McKeehan says he has noticed in the U.S. specifically that people are standing up for what they really believe in?whether it is completely against the gospel or whether it is completely for it. He thinks the youth culture is getting very bold in their stance for Jesus. "If they love Jesus, they're passionate about it," McKeehan says. The popular music group has just released a new book called "Jesus Freaks Volume II."
CHINA NEEDS BIBLES
(AgapePress) ...The director of a Christian ministry that specializes in the persecuted church says there is a big need for God's word in China. Randy Alcorn, director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, says more than 80% of believers in China attend house churches that are not registered with the communist government. Consequently, Alcorn says, Bibles are hard to come by. He describes China as "a bottomless pit" when it comes to the need for Bibles?because no matter how many are brought into the country, there is always a need for more of them. He says there are churches in China where there is only one Bible per hundred believers, and even some where the pastors do not have Bibles from which to preach.