News Briefs From Planet Earth - May 2003
DEMOCRATS AND ISLAM
Leaders of the World Bishops Council (WBC) which represents more than 30 million Christians worldwide found Bishop Carlton Person's teaching on universal reconciliation, or the "gospel of inclusion," "heretical" after a meeting with the Tulsa, Okla., pastor in October. Pearson has come under fire for preaching a doctrine that states no confession in Jesus as Savior is needed to go to heaven. "As it stands it is a heresy," WBC Presdent Timothy Paul Baymon said. "The gospel of inclusion provides no preeminent role of Jesus the Christ, and contradicts the way of salvation for mankind in the Scriptures." Pearson, 48 said he has no plans to modify his teaching.
AgapePress ...A conservative activist says the Democrats are "infested with pro-United Nations' appeasers" who want to give aid and comfort to America's enemies. Recently, Roll Call magazine reported that Democratic Congressmen Jim McDermott of Washington and John Conyers of Michigan privately met with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan as official opponents of military action against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. David Horowitz, publisher of Front Page magazine, says Conyers took it a step further when he spoke at an Islamic rally full of anti-American vitriol. Horowitz writes in his January 20 commentary: "The Imam then led the crowd, are you ready for this, in the chant the suicide bombers use as they blow up innocent men, women, and children, 'Allahu Ahkbar! Allahu Ahkbar! Allahu Ahkbar!'." He added during a later interview, "That was certainly what Mohammad Atta and his followers were saying in those airplanes as they flew into the World Trade Center." Yet, Conyers was the speaker at that event. Horowitz says Democrats like Conyers are perfectly willing to support those who wish to do harm to the United States.
TED KENNEDY'S DANGEROUS DOCTRINE
AgapePress ...A best-selling author and columnist says Senator Ted Kennedy is pursuing a "pro-terror agenda." In her recent column on Townhall.com, Michelle Malkin says the Massachusetts Democrat slipped in a sneaky provision to an appropriations bill that would cut off funding to a program known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Malkin says Kennedy opposes the program even though it has been successful in stopping 330 known criminals and three terrorists from entering the country. Malkin says the program does, indeed, involve so-called "profiling." Because of this, Malkin says, Kennedy, and a lot of other "open-border zealots" absolutely opposes catching any more criminals or illegal aliens who poses law enforcement threats to the U.S.. And she says it is unfortunate that Senate Republicans did nothing to stop Kennedy's agenda. She says Republicans "seem to have been sleeping at the wheel" or there were some Republican "appropriators" who might have agreed with Kennedy's agenda. Malkin feels Kennedy is clearly more interested in helping immigration lawyers and ethnic lobbyists than in ensuring the security of America.
MEXICAN'S ILLEGALLY IN AMERICA MIGHT GET FULL SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
AgapePress ...An immigration reform group reports that the Social Security Administration is working on a deal that would extend Social Security benefits to hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens who are in the United States illegally, even if they have not worked long enough in the U.S. to qualify for those benefits. Under a "Totalization Plan," even illegal aliens could work fewer than the required number of years, return to Mexico for the rest of their working years, and then collect full U.S. Social Security benefits. Rick Altman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform calls the whole idea insane. "I didn't know Social Security was in such good shape that we could afford to give benefits [to these people]," Altman says. He says since most of the Mexican nationals working in America are low-income wage earners, their payments into Social Security would not be enough to carry them for as long as higher-paid Americans citizens would be. "What you subsidize," Altman says, "you encourage." He adds that he supports a bill being put forward by Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas: the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act. That legislation would prevent Social Security dollars from being paid to foreigners while also protecting against further spending raids on the retirement funds of millions of Americans.
BISHOPS SAY CARLTON PEARSON 'HERETICAL'
AMERICAN CHURCH BIBLICALLY ILLITERATE SAYS BLACKABY
AgapePress ...A Bible teacher, author, and lecturer says the Church in America needs to get back to the basics of God's Word. Calling this generation the most "biblically illiterate generation" he has seen, Dr. Henry Blackaby says Christians cannot experience the true power of God without first studying and knowing God's Word. Blackaby says Christians who do not put an emphasis on scripture are "dishonoring" God. He says when he uses scripture at conferences, for example, attendees sometimes look at him as though they have never heard that scripture before -- and that many of them do not even bring their Bible to the conference. The author says believers cannot "know the ways of God, the nature of God, or even identify the activity of God without the scriptures." Blackaby has written a new book entitled What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches, a practical guide to hearing and following God.
ARAB ATTACKS STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
AgapePress...There has been yet another anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish college student at the University of Michigan. Last week, Michigan Student Zionists president Rick Dorfman was hospitalized after being assaulted by an Arab man in a bowling alley near the Ann Arbor campus. Dorfman say he was merely watching his buddies bowl when "out of the blue" he heard a "loud, crushing noise," was knocked to the floor, and his jaw began throbbing. Dorfman says he was the only person in the bowling alley who could be identified as a Jew because he was wearing a pro-Israel shirt. "I didn't say a word to him," Dorfman says of the attacker. "I never saw him, I don't know who he was, and then he ran off." The community has put up a $500 award for the capture of Dorfman's attacker. Since then, more than 150 people have called the bowling alley asking them to hand over the names of everyone who entered the building that evening. So far, the owner has refused their requests.
PEP BOYS FIRES SOLDIER
AgapePress ...A Naval reservist is suing a Pennsylvania company for firing him because of his military obligation. Last summer, Erik Balodis was manager for a Pep Boys Auto Supply store in Tucson, Arizona. But shortly after the U.S. Navy ordered him to fulfill his military obligation, the company fired him. Attorney Adam Watters represents Balodis, who is now serving on active duty in South Korea. Watters says Pep Boys has fought "tooth and nail" to keep Balodis from serving his country. He says the retailer wrote to the Navy -- as they did several times prior to this incident -- and said, "We don't want him to go. We need him in his civilian duties." Watters says although the Navy did let him out of those duties on previous occasions, this time the Navy said no. As a result, the attorney says, Pep Boys fired Balodis. Watters says Pep Boys violated federal and state law by terminating the non-commissioned Naval officer. Watters points out that current law does not require the employer to pay a person's wages while they are gone, but it does require them to keep the job open for them when they return. In a statement, Pep Boys says it had taken no inappropriate action against any current or former associate because of military obligations.
CHOOSING LIFE IN FLORIDA
AgapePress ...Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, says a recent decision by a federal appeals court that permits Florida's "Choose Life" license plate to proceed is a thorn in the side of pro-abortion advocates. He says abortion advocates will do whatever they can to suppress the pro-life message because the only "choice" they believe in is the killing of unborn children. Staver says pro-abortion advocates do not want the message of Choose Life on the plates because they "prefer to promote death -- that's what their industry promotes." Staver says it is fortunate that the court of appeals did not agree with that position, and the Choose Life license plate will continue its proliferation around the state. Staver is hopeful the ruling will send a "message of encouragement" to many other states to enact or to support their Choose Life license plate efforts in their individual states. He adds that if abortion advocates believe in the choice of death, then they should get their own "Choose Death" license plate. But he says they have not done that because no one would buy it.
U.N. IS OBSOLETE
AgapePress ...The failure of the United Nations to effectively handle the Iraqi crisis should be a call to the world that the organization is in need of radical change. That is what Cliff Kincaid of the advocacy group America's Survival believes -- and he is glad to see a similar reaction coming from the Bush Administration. Kincaid says presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer himself -- in response to public opinion polls that show increasing public distrust of the U.N. -- has suggested perhaps the international body ought to "go away" and the U.S. come up with an alternative organization. Kincaid has been one of the leading critics of the U.N. for many years. He finds very little purpose to the world alliance.
CATHOLIC PRIEST REFUSED TO APOLOGIZE TO VICTIM
AgapePress ...In New York, a Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting a 12-year-old altar girl in her home in 1999 has been given a four-month jail term. The prosecution had asked for the maximum sentence of six months for the misdemeanor charge. Although the 39-year-old Francis Nelson was removed from the diocese after the abuse occurred, he maintained his innocence throughout the trial. In sentencing, the judge agreed with the prosecution team who said that this was not so much a crime of sexual abuse as it was a "crime of arrogance." The New York Times notes that as Nelson was led from the courtroom, his victim looked shaken and said, "All I wanted was an apology -- and I never got that."
BUSH SUCCEEDS WHERE CLINTON AND CARTER FAILED
AgapePress...Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton remain outspoken critics of President George W. Bush, his policies and, in particular, the war with Iraq. Tony Nassif of the Politics and Faith Institute says such criticism of the current president by the two former presidents is unprecedented. But he feels it must be expected from the two former chief executives. Nassif points out that Carter "oversaw probably one of the worst presidencies of the nation" which he says included the "humiliation" and "degradation" of the U.S. military and its capacity. Nassif also says it was Clinton's administration that failed to respond -- the way Bush has -- to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He says Bush is doing exactly what Carter and Clinton failed to do. Nassif maintains that had those previous administrations acted in a similar manner, the world would be a different place today and 9/11 might not have happened.
WASHINGTON READY FOR ATTACK
AgapePress...In the event of another terrorist attack on Washington, DC, security changes to protect national leaders have been or are being put in place. Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning says contingency plans are being made to ready the nation's capital in case of such an event. He says there are now protected, local places where U.S. senators and representatives can go for safety. Staff members are also included in the effort to protect those would-be targets of terror on and around Capitol Hill. All citizens of the capital -- and the nation at-large -- are urged: "Don't be Afraid, Be Ready" and to go to Ready.gov for excellent information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.