Newsbriefs

U.N. Favors Palestinians, Ignores Jews

       (AgapePress) A new U.N.-sponsored Palestinian Authority tourism map leaves out any reference to Israel. The PA Ministry of Tourism map is called "Palestine, the Holy Land." According to CNSNews, the map shows the entire expanse of present-day Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. The area is called "Palestine," leaving out any reference to Israel or the borders that separate Israel from the Palestinian Authority. Also, a few of the larger Israeli cities are marked with Arab names underneath. The director of the Palestinian Media Watch says the message to Palestinians is clear: "Israel does not exist." Itamar Marcus adds, "None of the official maps show Israel," including those printed in PA school textbooks. The map is being partially supported by the United Nations Development Program. Five percent of its funding comes from U.N. headquarters, with the remaining coming from donors, including Japan, the United States, and European Union member states.

Planned Parenthood Ruled Liable
in Botched Abortion Case
by Robin Burchfield and Jim Brown

       (AgapePress) - A woman who was the victim of a botched abortion has won a settlement against the nation's largest abortion provider.

      The woman, referred to only as "J.B." in court records, has been awarded more than $650,000 from Planned Parenthood. Her suit was the result of a botched abortion in which her unborn child lost two limbs in the abortion attempt before being aborted months later.

      According to the Pro-Life Infonet, J.B. underwent the abortion in December 1997, but at a two-week checkup, she mentioned that she still felt pregnant. She even called the clinic several times for advice, but was told her symptoms were normal.

      It was later discovered J.B. had been pregnant with twins, and the abortion had only aborted one of the babies. She had unknowingly been carrying the second baby for six months.

      Since Planned Parenthood does not do late-term abortions, J.B. was sent to a California facility, where the ultrasound revealed the remaining baby had only one arm and leg.

      Following the second abortion, J.B.'s attorney said his client was haunted by visions of babies being killed and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

       "She has been unable to be in a relationship since this happened. She can't get in close proximity to a man without shaking and, sometimes, vomiting," he said.

      This trial dealt strictly with how much J.B. was owed for her pain, not whether Planned Parenthood was liable. Planned Parenthood has vowed to appeal the reward. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the award will be reduced. A 1975 California law limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000.

Black Pastor Says White Community
Must Hold Jackson Accountable

       (AgapePress) - Conservative black activist Jesse Lee Peterson believes Jesse Jackson's credibility has been hurt by the revelation of his adulterous affair and a child he fathered out of wedlock. However, Pastor Peterson thinks it is going to be up to the white community to do something about it.

      Peterson is President of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. Since the news of Jackson's affair broke, Peterson has tried to gauge public opinion. He says he has found that most blacks do not care about the scandals, and continue to support the liberal black leader. But Peterson says it is in the white community where he has probably lost some influence.

       "I think in the white community he will lose some of the authority or power he has had over them. He's been able to intimidate the white community by calling them 'racist,' he's been able to go into different businesses and threaten them with boycotts and things like that," Peterson says. "I think a lot of that will change."

      Peterson says if blacks refuse to do anything about Jackson, it is up to the white community, because he says somebody must stand up to his racial intimidation.

       "If the black community refuses to stand up, the white community has to say 'Somebody has got to take a stand,' " he says. "They can no longer be afraid to stand for good."

Cloning: Not God's Will

      A recent survey finds most Americans think that cloning a human being is a bad idea. According to a recent Time/CNN poll, 72% of those polled think cloning would not be justified if it were to produce vital organs used to save the lives of others. About 79% said it would not be acceptable if used to save the life of a person being cloned, and 80% felt it was not okay for an infertile couple to have a child using cloning. There are many different reasons people feel cloning is a bad idea; but most, about one-third, cite religious beliefs as their primary reason for opposition. Twenty-two percent say it is because cloning interferes with human distinctiveness and individuality; another 22% because cloning could be used for questionable purposes like breeding a superior race or cloning armies. Overall, 69% think it is against God's will to clone human beings.

Landlord Wins

      A Christian landlord from Michigan has won the right to refuse rentals to unmarried couples. Two cohabiting couples had sued John Hoffius and his wife for discrimination. But according to Family News in Focus, a trial judge has ruled that unmarried couples do not have the same rights as those who are married. On that basis and under the Michigan constitution, the judge also found that a religious landlord does not have to rent to an unwed couple if his religious beliefs conflict with that. Hoffius says the six-year court fight taught him an important lesson: "Keep believing in the Lord and keep standing up for what's right."

Culture Expert Says Family, Religious Norms
Targeted by UN Agenda
by Fred Jackson

       (AgapePress) - A United Nations policy expert says UN-sponsored committees are pushing an agenda that counters traditional, moral, and social norms regarding the family and religion.

      Patrick Fagan is a Heritage Foundation expert on family and culture. According to CNSNews, Fagan believes the international women's movement is leading the charge against the traditional family and religion, setting itself up "as the new universal moral arbiter of all laws, of all religions, of all cultures, and of all nations." As an example, Fagan says this feminist movement is behind the UN campaign to rewrite school books promoting a new definition of gender and to fight traditional sex roles.

      He says in many cases, social policy experts on UN committees advise nations to decrease the emphasis on marriage, parental authority, and religious beliefs. Mothers are encouraged to enter the workforce, children are told to take their parents to court, and legal restraints on sexual activity among adolescents are targeted for removal.

      However, Fagan has a warning about making just the United Nations the scapegoat for all these problems. He says in some cases, policies being pushed at the UN are already law and are being "massively funded" by the United States Congress.

Congressman J.C. Watts - A Believer in
the Power of Prayer
by Bill Fancher

      WASHINGTON, DC (AgapePress) - Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts is a devout Christian who believes in prayer.

      Recently he voiced that belief to fellow Christians when he implored them to lift up the Congress and the Bush Administration in their conversations with God.

       "I hope that you will pray that God will give us all wisdom beyond our years to lead the most wonderful nation in the history of the world," Watts said.

      Watts admits we live in perilous times, both internationally and nationally. He expects lots of tough decisions will have to be made, and he expects some of those decisions will be wrong. But he also believes the more people pray, the more correct decisions will be.

      Watts is quick to admit his majority party has not always been right in its decisions, at least when judged by God's standards. Though that happens, he urges Christians to not give up on the GOP.

       "God has given me a small opportunity to play a role in helping to try to navigate the most wonderful nation in all the world," Watts says. "And friends, it's an awesome responsibility we have. We're not going to get it right every time; but, pray for us anyway."

      Watts says Congress and the Bush Administration are in great need in wisdom, and he believes that will only be granted through the prayers of the people.

Compromise on Homosexuality Is Wrong
by Bill Fancher

      WASHINGTON, DC (AgapePress) - A spokesman for the Americans for Truth project is worried that the politically correct attitude of tolerance is seeping into the Christian community, especially where the homosexual lifestyle is concerned.

      Peter LaBarbera says the homosexual community has intimidated its way into advancing its agenda.

       "Because of their success and the fact that [the homosexual agenda is] flooding us now," LaBarbera says, "we will hear more and more cries from the pragmatists in the pro-family movement who will say that we need to have a more positive message ... '[We need to be] a little bit more tolerant, a little bit less divisive-maybe we need to compromise on hate crimes.' "

       "While I completely agree we ought to be winsome in the way that we convey our message, I wonder if we can look back in the Bible and fault [Old Testament prophet] Jeremiah for not being more positive in how he spoke to his generation." Through harsh prophecies bathed in tears of compassion, Jeremiah faithfully declared to the people of Judah for more than 40 years that surrender to God's will is the only way to escape calamity.

      LaBarbera says the same question could be asked of Jesus Christ when he took a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple. Should he have been more tolerant? LaBarbera does not believe so. In fact, he insists that compromising God's view of homosexuality is wrong.

       "If we accommodate the homosexual lobby in any way, even with our rhetoric, as they did in California-for example, by defending so-called 'gay relationships' - we crush people's desire and their need to seek the good news of Christ," he says.

      LaBarbera says compromise seems to be the order of the day in America, but he says it should never be when it comes to pleasing God or agreeing with God regarding sin.

 

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