Thursday, June 30, 2005

Denny Talks to Country Music Legend (and Pro-Life Champion) Charlie Daniels

For a real treat, listen in to one of the classic interviews featured on Vital Signs Weekend where Charlie Daniels talks about his website, his strong grip on the Bible, his inspiring book, Ain't No Rag, and more. Just click on this link to listen to the Real Audio program.

Billy Graham Co-Opted By the Clintons

The Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, explains with a sadness in his heart why he walked out of the Graham crusade in New York.

Parrying the Hatchet Blow

The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air.

So wrote G.K. Chesterton in the opening paragraph of Eugenics and Other Evils (1922). Tragically, the hatchet blow of humanist eugenics was not parried by the Church in those days when it could have, and we must now struggle against a "culture of death" that has become all too entrenched. Yes, we will fight and fight gladly the terrible things the eugenics movement started (abortion, disrespect for the institution of family, an anti-child mentality, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and so on) but G.K.'s words remind us of how much more difficult is the struggle when God's people slumber through the first alarms.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mirena: Miracle Contraceptive or Another Potential Abortifacient?

The following is the general text of an e-mail I sent to an enquiry to Vital Signs Ministries which dealt with the drug/device Mirena.

Dear M___________,

In checking out Mirena, I find that it is similar to other "birth-control" actions such as the pill and the IUD; that is, while it claims to prevent pregnancy by serving as a contraceptive, it isn't always able to do so. And then, if and when "breakthrough ovulation" occurs, there is an action which makes the uterine lining hostile to implantation. That makes Mirena (like the others) a potential abortifacient. Note the paragraph below which I took from a medical web site touting the device.

How does it work?

It works by thickening the mucus inside your cervix, so making it very difficult for sperms to get through. Also, the hormone thins down the lining of your womb – thus making it unlikely to ‘accept’ an egg. And in some women, the hormone has the effect of preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs. (This helps to make the IUS more effective than the IUD.)

Obviously, the moral problem there is the phrase "making it unlikely to 'accept' an egg." My advice is to steer clear of anything that could cause an abortion. Check out the excellent counsel and techniques provided by your local Couple to Couple League or contact Dr. Tom Hilger's renowned work at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction.

And finally, check out this exchange about Mirena I found on the web site Health It deals with the complications caused by the device/drug to the health of the user. Yikes.

Message: I am 31 years old and have been on the Merena Loop for the past year. For the past 6 months, I have really been struggling to control my weight even though I eat sensibly and excercise for at least an hour every day. I feel very bloated and can vary in weight as much as 3 kg's in one day. I have also had frustrating breakouts of pimples on my back, chest and neck area which I can not control with any form of cleansing routine. I also have no sex drive and do not lubricate during sex. I also have some (minimal) hair on my breasts. Please could you steer me in the right direction as to where I can get some help. I feel absolutely desperate, specially about the weight gain as it seems to be spiralling completely out of my control.
Many thanks
Date: 29/1/2005

Posted by: Gynaedoc
Message: These could all be symptoms of the Mirena. You could treat these symptomatically - see a dietician, see a dermatologist about the acne, or you could have the Mirena removed.
Best wishes
Date: 31/1/2005

You can see the site yourself at

I hope this helps.

Denny Hartford
Director, Vital Signs Ministries

Canada's Same-Sex "Marriage": A Principled Dissent

Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry, writing in the Calgary Sun, points out the dire consequences to children posed by Canada's new law. An important read, especially for Americans who need to act quickly to prevent a similar tragedy in our own nation.

Breast Cancer/Abortion Link Still Ignored

The American Cancer Society is one of the many agencies that have refused to acknowledge (let alone promote) the growing body of scientific research which has shown a dramatic increase of risk for breast cancer in women who have undergone abortions.

Both the national and local American Cancer Society offices need to be asked some tough questions by the public about why they have kept women in the dark about these findings. Is abortion such a sacred right that it trumps the concern for women's overall health? Letters, e-mails and phone calls are very much in order.

To start at the top, here's the ACS address:
American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329

For more information to use in your correspondence, check out the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.

Can't All We Communists Just Get Along?

A spontaneous riot in Chizhou, China is blamed by officials on a few criminals who led the "unwitting masses" astray.

Hmm. That's the problem with them pesky "unwitting masses"; they go off and become "witting" on you in the doggonedest ways!

Where's Horton When We Need Him?

Karen Jo Gounaud has returned to Dr. Seuss' Whoville for a insightful look into the stem cell research debate. A nice piece. You'll find it on the Concerned Women for America site. But click on the title of this post and you'll zip right to Karen Jo's article.

Kelo Waves

If your blood still boils over the Supreme Court's Kelo decision (a decision, of course, which was opposed by the Court's three conservatives plus O'Connor), here's a few more Town Hall columns to help you channel your angst.

Walter Williams gives a little history of the case and some scenarios of how Kelo might play out in the future. It's right here.

ABC's lone conservative, John Stossel, weighs in as on the case as well.

Terence Jeffrey, the editor of Human Events (and the only conservative I know who earned a Princeton degree in English Literature), presents a particularly moving piece. Here's an excerpt...

This is theft by government. But it is also something worse: It is a frontal assault on the primacy in our culture of the privately owned family home, the universally sought-after symbol and stronghold of American liberty. In authorizing this larceny, the five justices in the court's majority -- J.P. Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg and David Souter -- have revealed where true liberty ranks in the liberal judiciary's hierarchy of values...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Stem Cell Research: Myths, Misses and the Media

Sorry, I just now came across the article, but the May issue of Citizen magazine contained an excellent piece, "Why the Media Miss the Stem Cell Story." It is written by the dependable Michael Fumento and is really worth your time.

Beware of "Vengeance"

Debbie Schlussel reports on Steven Spielberg's revisionist, anti-Israel movie coming to a theater near you soon.

Know Your Enemy

Don Feder spells it out -- if you are a religious person in the modern world, you have got entrenched, energized and government-enabled enemies. Prepare.

The Supremes End the Season with Disastrous Decisions

In one decision, the Court gave away the farm to the political machines. Here's Paul Jacob on the Kelo case -- a very cogent column. Note particularly Jacob's point regarding the increased danger this decision poses for churches. Thomas Sowell also does a good job of evaluating the Kelo decision.

In another hairsplitting set of decisions, the Court again embarrassed itself by trashing the Constitution, its own history and common sense by disallowing (and kinda', maybe, sometimes) allowing religious monuments. Here's George Will's take. And perhaps even better is this one from Bill Murchison.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

China's Spy Ring in Canada

Frightening stuff from one of my favorite journalists, Licia Corbella of the Calgary Sun.

Many Winners in Adult Stem Cell Research

Here's an excerpt from Diedtra Henderson's Boston Globe story on the successful treatments devised by Osiris Therapeutics using adult stem cells...

As Congress spent hours passionately debating the merits and ethics of embryonic stem cell research, nearly 50 Osiris Therapeutics Inc. employees here continued their quiet work on less controversial adult stem cells.

Thanks to Food and Drug Administration fast-track designation, Osiris expects to have an adult stem cell-based therapy on the market by late 2007 to combat potentially fatal tissue rejection among leukemia patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.

That's one of three adult stem cell-based therapies Osiris currently has in human trials, to the delight of investors who muscled their way into the company's latest funding round to raise $50 million, more than double the expected amount.

Cruise & Lauer

And this, folks, is what passes for substantive conversation nowadays. Goodnight, America.

The Twilight of Tyranny?

Two reports from Radio Free Europe suggest time may be running out on Belarussian dictator, Alexander Lukashenka. (It couldn't come too soon!)

1) In an open letter to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka published on 23 June at, the Council for Promoting Civil Society and Human Rights (SSRIGOPCh) under Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed its concern about "the unfavorable situation with civic rights and freedoms" in Belarus. The council, which is an advisory body whose head is appointed by Putin, said that Belarus has virtually no independent "sociopolitical media," nongovernmental and human rights organizations are being gradually liquidated by the administration, and electoral legislation does not ensure " legitimate results of the expression of the people's will."

The council also pointed to "overtly unfriendly steps" that are being taken by the Belarusian government against Russia, including squeezing Russian electronic media from Belarus's information sphere and censuring their programs, confiscating Russian commodities at Belarusian border checkpoints, and infringing on the rights of Russians who are in conflict with the Belarusian legal system. "The council is very influential but it does not reflect the state policy [stance]," SSRIGOPCh member Sergei Markov told RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) deputy Christos Pourgourides said on 23 June that the Russian government is "bound to abandon Alyaksandr Lukashenka pretty soon," Belapan reported. He added that Lukashenka will "have no legs to stand on" without Russia's support. The previous day, the PACE subcommittee on Belarus adopted a resolution urging Russia to "make any political or financial assistance to the government of Belarus conditional on respect for the human rights and civil liberties of the people of Belarus."

It also approved a draft memorandum criticizing the Belarusian authorities over the ongoing crackdown on political opponents and independent media outlets and calling for specific steps to unseat the Lukashenka regime. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in response that PACE does not have an impartial view of the situation in Belarus and lacks any tools to influence it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Prayer & Pressure Make Things Happen

As I blogged a few months ago about the horrendous injustices directed at Gasir Mohammed Mahmoud, I knew you'd be interested in the following Compass Direct report. (Note especially the last paragraph.)

Gasir Mohammed Mahmoud was discharged on June 9 from his locked psychiatric ward in Cairo and set free, five months after he was forcibly committed to a mental hospital for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Mahmoud, 31, was tortured by security police and then beaten at times and given heavy doses of medication twice daily at the El-Khanka Hospital for Mental and Neurological Health. He was committed to the mental hospital in January after his adoptive Muslim parents became alarmed to learn that he had converted to Christianity two years earlier.

Mahmoud's supervising physician told him he would never be allowed to leave the hospital unless he came back to Islam. But a round of international publicity released in May focused considerable attention on the case, apparently convincing hospital authorities to discharge him.

Billy Graham: "A Life-Long Democrat"




Jimmy Carter.

And yet Billy hasn't thrown in the towel?


Embryonic Stem Cell "Research" Is a Dead End -- Practitioners Admit It!

The faithful Editor and writer of, Editor Steven Ertelt, has this very interesting piece in today's updates.

Hundreds of scientists who back embryonic stem cell research are meeting in California to discuss the current state of the controversial research are admitting they've not made much progress and losing millions in trying to perfect it.
"Many of the technologies we hyped to the general public haven't worked yet,'' Celgene President Alan Lewis said, according to an AP story.

James Thomson, the Wisconsin biologist who was the first to isolate embryonic stem cells also admits they have been oversold.

He told MSBNC that he understands the technology still has a long way to go and that embryonic stem cells are not being used in any human clinical trials yet.
"I'm very hopeful that there will be some transplantation applications for this technology, but they're going to be very challenging," he told MSNBC. "And it's been so hyped in the press that people expect it to come the day after tomorrow." Thomson conceded that embryonic stem cell cures may not be available until "ten to twenty years from now."

Meanwhile, Lewis also pointed out that venture capitalists, the source of much of the funding of stem cell research companies, "are very cautious'' about investing because of the limited success and lack of future prospects.

That's true for William Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences, a leading advocate of embryonic stem cell research. He says results are decades away and his company is not spending money on the unproven embryonic cells.
“The routine utilization of human embryonic stem cells for medicine is 20 to 30 years hence," Haseltine admits. "The timeline to commercialization is so long that I simply would not invest," Haseltine added.

As a result, leading embryonic stem cell research firms are losing money.
Geron, the California-based biotech firm has put over $100 million into embryonic stem cell research and, because it has little to show for the investment, lost $80 million last year. Advanced Cell Technology, a Massachusetts company that was one of the first to claim to have cloned a human embryo, is running into significant financial troubles and, according to AP, is having problems finding enough eggs from women for research.

"There have been companies that have gone into stem cells, but nobody's made any money," researcher Thomson admitted.

"A Modest Proposal"

Today's must-read column from Town Hall is...oh, the suspense is agonizing...Paul Greenberg!

It is a good piece (with the title hearkening back to Jonathan Swift) with a basic point of argument against embryonic stem cell exploitation we should press home constantly.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Durbin Non-Story

Question: When is a major news story not a news story?

Answer: When (if covered) such story would tend to expose and thus injure the cause of Democrats, Planned Parenthood, PETA, the NEA, and assorted other leftist cranks.

Brent Bozell's column, as always, clears away the MSM smog and reminds us of how critically important is the alternative media.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"Staying Chaste"

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Socity is a fine organization. Education, advocacy, organization, networking -- they do it all. From their regular updates, here's an excellent report on the values of chastity.

In the decades since the sexual revolution swept the country with its message of anything-goes permissiveness, social scientists have assiduously investigated the attitudes and behaviors of adolescents carried along on the cultural tides. But a team of scholars from Mississippi State University, the University of Missouri, and Arizona State University believes it is past time to re-focus the research agenda. "Little attention," these scholars complain in a recent issue of The Journal of Adolescent Research, "has been paid to understanding adolescents who are resilient enough to remain abstinent in the face of often extreme peer pressure and media messages that make early sexual activity appear attractive and normal."

To remedy this lacuna in the research, these scholars examine data collected from 568 adolescents who identified themselves as virgins when surveyed at 20 different Missouri schools in 1997 and who responded to a follow-up survey in 1999. Their results clearly indicate that adolescent libido is not an uncontrollable force; indeed, their findings highlight the real restraining effects of parents, of personal conscience and commitments, and of religion.

When surveyed in 1999, the number of self-identified virgins in this group had dwindled to 422 (74 percent of the original group). Surprisingly, the erstwhile virgins who had become sexually active by 1999 were just as likely to have expressed concerns in the original survey about the risk of pregnancy as their still-continent peers (84 percent compared to 80 percent). Nor were the newly sexually active much less likely than their still-continent peers to have expressed fears in the original survey about the danger of AIDS (79 percent vs. 83 percent).

Worries about parental disapproval of sexual involvement did run somewhat lower in 1997 among those who jettisoned their status as virgins during the next two years than among those retained that status during this period (48 percent versus 60 percent; p <>

Overall, the researchers see little evidence for "fear-based postponement" among continent adolescents. In contrast, the researchers discern strong indications in their data that "having conservative values related to delaying sexual activity until marriage shows promise as a protective factor in delaying sexual activity."

Will such research findings prompt educators to begin inculcating conservative values in their students? Or will they just continue to pass out contraceptives?

(Source: Lynn Blinn-Pike et al., "Sexually Abstinent Adolescents: An 18-Month Follow-Up," Journal of Adolescent Research 19 [2004]: 495-511.)

Michael Schiavo: Adding Insults to (Fatal) Injury

From LifeNews comes this sad report --

Terri Schiavo's estranged husband Michael has buried her remains in a Florida cemetery rather than in a Philadelphia plot he owns. However, he's upset Terri's family by not telling them about the burial service and putting an offensive quote on her tombstone. Michael upset Terri's family by putting the quote, "I kept my promise" on Terri's burial marker. He also listed the date Terri died as February 25, 1990 -- the day Terri collapsed from unknown circumstances. Terri actually passed away on March 31, 2005, after suffering a painful 13 day starvation and dehydration death. The grave marker lists the 1990 date as the day Terri "Departed the Earth" and lists the 2005 date as the day Terri was "at peace."

The marker describes Terri as a "beloved wife" and features the Christian symbol of a dove descending to the Earth. David Gibbs, an attorney for Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, told the Associated Press that the wording on the burial marker is "a real shot and another unkind act toward a grieving Mom and Dad." "It's a slap in the face to the parents,'' Gibbs said. "It's insulting to the family, and it hurts.'' Though Michael was supposed to bury Terri's remains in Pennsylvania, George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is his lead attorney, told reporters Monday that it had taken place at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater...

Terri Schiavo's brother says the disabled woman's family is offended that her estranged husband used Terri's burial marker to make a political statement about the decade-long legal battle he waged against them. "This clearly illustrates the spiteful lengths in which Michael Schiavo will go in order to purposely hurt those that loved Terri unconditionally -- her family," Terri's brother Bobby told on Tuesday. Schindler told he believes "the intention of this inscription was to be hurtful, and had absolutely nothing to do with Terri, but only to cause my parents additional pain over the loss of their child." "Maybe even more tragic, is that in doing so, Michael Schiavo shows nothing but a lack of respect for Terri," Schindler added.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

PETA's Dirty Secret -- They Kill Animals

Thanks to an alert from Town Hall, here's an intriguing web site entitled PETA Kills Animals. It is chock full of information you won't be hearing on Nightline or 60 Minutes. An example is their article "7 Things You Don't Know About PETA." Check it out. (The web site is itself a part of the Center for Consumer Freedom.)

And while you're at it, scan the PETA expose's provided by

The State of California Using Courts to Attack Pro-Life Conscience Rights

A possible reason for the recent earthquakes there?

Western Sexual Attitudes Invade the East

In Japan nearly half of all 17-year-old girls have had sex. That's even higher than their male counterparts of that age! And, as might be expected, STDs and abortions are way up and climbing.

Similar to the article I posted yesterday from Russia, this Reuters piece tells how these statistics have alarmed Japanese health and education officials to the extent that they are considering...gasp!...abstinence-based sex education programs.

Clear Thinking About Stem Cell Research

A very good article from Life Issues.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tossing Aside the Elderly

In our decaying culture, the disrespect for life takes many forms besides abortion and euthanasia. Here's an article from the (U.K.) Telegraph which tells how the elderly ill are experiencing increasing loneliness, discrimination and mistreatment -- even in one of Europe's most expensive "welfare states."

Embryonic Stem Cell Delirium

John Horvat II has written a brief but very good essay on the craze for embryonic stem cell research. He makes the most important points of the debate in a cogent, layman-oriented way. A great piece to print off and share.

Moscow Health Officials Get The Right Idea...Finally

So-called "safe sex" is not, of course, safe at all. The epidemic levels of STDs of all sorts tell the tragic reality all too graphically. Well, here's an item that suggests health workers in Moscow are beginning to catch on to what's really happening. And, more importantly, they are advocating a new reliance on abstinence education.

"Issues In Perspective"

I had a very pleasant breakfast this morning with Dr. Jim Eckman, the President of Grace University in Omaha, and among the topics of our conversation was the website that features his fine radio commentaries. There you can listen to audio files or, what may be even better, read the Issues In Perspective transcripts on your own. They are complete with links at the bottom of each piece connecting you to other appropriate articles.

Either way you'll be getting relevant, Christ-centered commentary from the well-informed and well-spoken Jim Eckman. Clicking on the title of this post will take you to the Issues In Perspective page. It is a good one to bookmark.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Solitary Tear

As I prepare to leave town for the annual American Chesterton Society conference held in St. Paul, Minnesota, I leave a link to a short story I wrote a few years ago entitled "A Solitary Tear." You'll find it on the Vital Signs Ministries page along with several other brief radio plays. If you have time, read through a few and choose one to give your youth pastor as an outreach opportunity!

I'll be blogging again (Lord willing) on Sunday.

John Thune's "Pork-Barrel" Promise

In the "Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep" Department comes this report from John McCaslin's column. It explains how the South Dakota Republican who defeated Tom Daschle may have done so with an unwise pledge...

Thune promised the voters of his state that if they helped him make history by ousting the Democrat, he would see to it that Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota remain open. Wouldn't you know, Ellsworth is on the list of scheduled base closures.

Needless to say, Thune isn't happy. And as Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) notes, he is now "doing everything short of writing to Santa Claus to derail the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process."

This includes introducing legislation to delay BRAC indefinitely, threatening litigation against the Pentagon, and maybe changing his position on unrelated votes to "punish" the Bush administration.

"Senator Thune is understandably embarrassed after promising during his Senate campaign that if he won, the White House would not close bases in South Dakota," CAGW states. "But BRAC is designed to exclude such political favoritism, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund unnecessary bases just to satisfy one senator's campaign promise."

In light of Thune's threats, and considering this latest round of base closures would save taxpayers almost $50 billion over the next 20 years, CAGW has crowned him its "Porker of the Month."

The New Age Man

Today's must-read Town Hall column belongs to...(opening the envelope while a hush falls over the crowd)...Kathleen Parker!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Monday, Monday!

Remember journeyman baseball player turned sportscaster Rick Monday? Well, here from the Baseballers Against Drugs web site is an absolutely perfect story for Flag Day.

Can You Be Spiritually Mature Without Sharing Your Faith or Even Knowing the Bible? American Christians Think So.

Click on the (rather long) title of this post to read the latest George Barna update. Like nearly all of Mr. Barna's research, it is enlightening.

The Jailer as Surrogate Father

When you reflect on the tragic reality that 34% of American kids do not live with their biological fathers (that's about 24 million kids), then the following comments are unsettling indeed. They come from Cynthia C. Harper and Sara S. McLanahan in their article, "Father Absence and Youth Incarceration," published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 [2004], pages 369-397.

A young man who does not live under the same roof as his father is quite likely to end up living in the Big House provided by state penal authorities. The alarmingly high likelihood that a fatherless boy will become an incarcerated man recently received much needed attention in a study performed by sociologists from Princeton and the University of California San Francisco. Examining survey data collected between 1979 and 1994 for 2,846 young men, the researchers tracked these youths' social circumstances and behavior from ages 14 to 30. Their statistical analyses clearly show that "youth incarceration risks ... were elevated for adolescents in father-absent households."

The Princeton and California scholars acknowledge that one of the reasons that young males from father-absent homes often go to prison is that they have lived in poverty rarely experienced by peers from intact families. Still, the researchers hasten to point out that "taking into account poverty did not explain all of the association of father absence with incarceration." Even after controlling for household income, for the receipt of child-support payments, and for residential moves, the researchers found that "youths in father-absent families (mother-only, mother-stepfather, and relatives/other) still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those from mother-father families." Thus, even after statistically accounting for poverty and residential moves, the researchers found that sons in mother-only families were 1.733 times as likely to be incarcerated as peers from mother-father families (p <>Similarly, when the scholars took into account "the individual cognitive ability of the youth" as a predictor of incarceration, their statistical model indicated that "the family structure variables remained virtually the same and were [still] highly significant predictors of incarceration."

Of course, a boy's father may be absent from the home for different reasons-and with somewhat different consequences. The authors of the new study report that "children born to single mothers, who never had a father in the household, faced relatively higher incarceration odds than a child who experienced disruptions later in childhood or adolescence." In the simplest statistical model, the researchers thus find that boys who are fatherless from birth are 3.061 times as likely to go to jail as peers from intact families, while boys who do not see their father depart until they are 10 to 14 years old are only 2.396 times as likely to go to jail as peers from intact families.

Contrary to the acknowledged expectations of the researchers, however, the remarriage of a divorced mother did not reduce the likelihood that her son would spend time in jail. On the contrary, "youths in stepparent households faced incarceration odds almost 3 times as high as those in mother-father families, and significantly higher than those in single-parent households, even though step families were relatively well off on average." It would appear that so long as the nation's divorce lawyers do a brisk business, so too will the country's contractors for building prisons.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Can I Have My Country Back, Please?

Quint Coppi sent along a tip about one of Don Feder's recent columns. Quint really liked it and thought it would be one to pass on to others. I agree and so here it is. Just click on the title of this post to read it.

Also, for a possible bookmark, move on over to Mr. Feder's Cold Steel - Caucus Report. I have long admired Don Feder; after all, his was among the boldest, most eloquent conservative voices in the post-Reagan years. However, when Claire and I met him at a Howard Center conference in Geneva a few years ago, we were really impressed with his warmth, humility and sense of humor. He is the real deal.

Of Things of Heaven...and Earth

The following post appeared over at The Book Den but I thought it appropriate to also print it here...

There's been some good reading in the last couple of weeks: another couple of Helen MacInnes thrillers polished off, a return to Nevil Shute with In The Wet, getting a little further in John Ciardi's translation of Purgatorio, and (inspired by Jane Austen's sweet teasing of Gothic novels in Northanger Abbey) the prototype of the genre, Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. I really like them all. Well, okay; I've not been too crazy about Purgatorio, but the rest have been quite good with Shute's In The Wet being the most significant and rewarding.

However, far above these earth-related novels was the experience of reading Randy Alcorn's magnificent biblical study, Heaven. Several of us gathered in our living room last week to discuss the book (Heaven was one of the Vital Signs Ministries Book It! selections for this summer) and it was clear that the impact had been tremendous on us all. One must be careful of using such words as life-changing when describing anything -- there is a serious responsibility inherent in doing so -- but I use the term with ease and complete confidence in describing my reaction to Randy's thoroughly thrilling book. It was a delightful, inspiring, informative, provocative...and yes, life-changing book for both Claire and me.

Those of you who have checked out my list of Indispensables, the ten books I believe are most valuable for Christians, will know that Heaven, Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson-Tada is on that list. Well, Randy Alcorn's book will not displace Joni's...but it will nevertheless shoulder its way in beside it!

Heaven by Randy Alcorn will challenge your preconceptions, enlighten your fondest hopes, and shake up your suppressed fears that heaven is going to be a never-ending church service!

I recommend it as heartily as any book I've ever discussed on The Book Den.

For a copy, check your local bookstore or zip over to the web site of Eternal Perspective Ministries. In fact, the latter course will show you some nifty extras such as comments about the book, interviews with the author, a study guide especially helpful for group use, and more.

Topeka Abortionist Loses License

From comes this report --

A Kansas agency has permanently revoked the medical license of a Kansas City abortion practitioner cited repeatedly for violating health and safety standards at his abortion facility. Krishna Rajanna closed his abortion business two months ago when his license was temporarily suspended.

In a unanimous vote on Friday, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts decided to remove Rajanna's license for good. A BOHA inspector made two surprise visits in March to Rajanna's abortion business and reported that the facility was unclean, Rajanna and his staff kept syringes of medications in an unlocked refrigerator, and he found a dead mouse in the hallway.

Rajanna told the Associated Press that he had not been given an opportunity to correct the problems, but this wasn't the first inspections where problems were found. He also told the board in early April that the problems had been corrected. An employee at the abortion facility first reported the problems. She witnessed firsthand the lack of safe medical procedures at the abortion facility where she worked, including the use of dishwashers to sterilize equipment, as well as lack of background checks and medical training for medical assistants. Board members said Rajanna shouldn't need the board's constant reminders to keep a clean facility. Robert Manske, Rajanna's attorney, said his client may appeal the decision to a district court, but no determination has been made.

More on Scheidler vs NOW (via FUMARE)

I missed blogging yesterday (I was preaching and then visiting in Greenfield, Iowa) but I came home to find this note from my good friend and pro-life colleague in Chicago, Dr. Tim Sullivan:

Denny, Another update on the Scheidler v Now case. Especially interesting is the next to the last paragraph. If I was a member of the 7th circuit, I would really have a red face. If the SCOTUS does not summarily dismiss this, I will be at a loss for words!

Here is the story (an excellent one, by the way) from the blog FUMARE Tim was talking about.

Well then, a few e-mails down from Tim's was one from Charles Ryder himself alerting me to FUMARE''s subsequent post in which he comments on the response to his message from NOW President, Kim Gandy. Both articles are important reads.

(And Charles, thanks for the complement about Vital Signs Blog. Much appreciated.)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Russian Bear Still Doesn't Like Christianity: Persecution Against Evangelicals Escalates in Moscow

This alarming news story comes from the Moscow Times.

Breast Cancer Tied to Oral Contraceptives

From a report in OB/Gyn News Online --

Oral contraceptive use by women before age 20 years was a significant risk factor for the development of breast cancer by age 40 in a case-control study in 245 Swedish women with early-onset breast cancer.

Although the risk of early oral contraceptive (OC) use is tentative based on this finding, the result raises enough concern to suggest that women younger than 20 years should avoid using an OC when alternative contraceptive options are available, Helena Jernström, Ph.D. said while presenting a poster at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

For example, an OC should probably not be used to treat acne in women younger than 20, said Dr. Jernström, professor of oncology at Lund (Sweden) University.

Homosexuality Is (Among Other Important Things) Unhealthy

Click on the title of this post to read Dr. Timothy J. Dailey's well-researched article.

Key Vatican Theologian Urges Recognition of Human Embryo As Human Being

The theologian of the pontifical household has called for public recognition that an embryo is a human being. Speaking to the daily newspaper La Stampa as Italian voters prepare for a national referendum on artificial reproduction, Cardinal Georges Cottier said: "The embryo is a human being in development." He insisted that this fact should be recognized, saying, "I wish that people spoke the whole truth."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Twisted People Make for Twisted Politics

From Front Page Magazine, this column by Debbie Schlussel gives us the lowdown (and I do mean low) on two of Hollywood's most popular weirdos, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, stars of the new flick, Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Here is a sample -- but do scan the whole thing.

Forget Jolie, the multi-tattooed, twice-divorced, bisexual who brags about sleeping around, wore a vial of ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck, and proclaimed, "I am so in love with my brother, right now," when she won an Oscar. Forget the previously suicidal Jolie, who bragged on Bravo's "Inside the Actors' Studio," how she enjoyed cutting herself and her live-in boyfriend - because at age 14, regular sex wasn't enough to feel close to him. (Well, her mother was French . . . .) Forget the Angelina Jolie, who said, "I need more sex, okay? Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world."

Meet the new, re-packaged Angelina Jolie, Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). In cover stories in July's Marie Claire and yesterday's USA Today, she's hailed for pretending to care about the world's poor, helpless, impoverished children . But, when she's not making out with Jordan's Queen Noor at anti-Semitic, anti-American hate-fests, Jolie is cheering on Palestinian terrorists in development (who aren't covered by UNHCR, anyway - a topic of an upcoming column). Jolie is enthralled by Palestinian children's desire to terrorize Jews and Israelis.

After a visit to the Al-Ruweished Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, Jolie quoted them approvingly in her journal: "Be patient we will take our revenge [sic] we will take our homes back . . . . (Smiles, fists in the air) Palestine, your name is in our veins." Jolie explains, "Their dream is to see their homeland. . . . It was very moving to hear them speak of the dream." Like the late Yasser Arafat, Ms. Jolie finds Palestinian kids' call for "revenge" with fists in the air "very moving." Is this what she's teaching her adopted son, Maddox? She now sports an Arabic tattoo she got on her Christmas vacation with Maddox to Lebanon and Egypt.

A Clear and Present Danger: The Abortion/Breast Cancer Connection

Dr. Joel Brind's wrap-up of the latest findings is published in the Summer 2005 issue of the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly. It is a bit long to read on a computer screen (37 pages), but it is well worth printing off and reading carefully when you get some time.

This whole matter stresses again how the demand for abortion has trumped everything else, including science, media integrity and even women's health.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Material Girl Defends Top Gun: Religion in the New Age

Here's a brief Hollywood item about Kabbalah's most famous disciple Madonna (real name Madonna Louise Ciccone) and her recent on-air defense of Tom Cruise's Scientology. It is a rather eerie case of false religions coming together to, of course, draw attention away from Jesus Christ, He Who alone is the Way to salvation.

As mentioned in an earlier post here at the Vital Signs Blog, Cruise and his weird Thetan cosmology have been in the news lately and I linked to an excellent site which gives you the real story on this wildly inventive cult. However, be aware that Hollywood is also busy in publicizing another false religion, Kabbalah. Indeed, Madonna has been all over the Hollywood headlines in recent days (opening a hotel, selling her newest children's book, defending Cruise, bragging about her career, etc.) and almost always using the opportunity to hail Kabbalah.

Are we not witnessing a new demonic advance in promoting bad religion? No doubt. So, prayer is in order as is getting the goods on these popular new cults in order to specifically refute their errors. Again, let me link readers to the Scientolgy pages I posted earlier. You can also check out The Scientology Secret Library.

And Kabbalah? Kabbalah (spelled various ways) is involved with mystical Jewish teachings which are liberally laced with gnosticism, Neoplatonism, magic, the occult, and nowadays with several other New Age flavors. The philosophy developed in Babylon during the medeival period but was based on much earlier Hebrew speculations and numerology. Moses de Leon, developed the philosophy in his 13th Century work, The Book of Zolar.

For more, here's a good place to get a grip on understanding Kabbalah.

"Putting Principle Above the Pocketbook"

From the daily e-mail reports of the Family Research Council comes this laudable account...

Anglican bishops in Africa are refusing millions of dollars from American Episcopal Church donors who have endorsed active homosexual clergy following the 2003 election of openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Refusing these "pieces of silver" from liberal American sources has put an especially heavy burden on the Rwandan dioceses, still trying to recuperate from the after-effects of the 1994 genocide in that country. However, as Rwandan Bishop John Rucyahana of the Diocese of Shyira put it, "if money is being used to disgrace the Gospel, then we don't need it."

Africa is the fastest-growing portion of the Anglican Communion, which includes the U.S. Episcopal Church. After Bishop Robinson was ordained, the archbishops of many African countries, representing close to half the world's Anglican community, declared they will not accept grants from Episcopal Churches that endorsed him. Ever since his elevation, Bishop Robinson's actions have given validation to the response from African countries. A few months ago, Bishop Robinson addressed a Planned Parenthood prayer breakfast where he "preached" to the pro-abortion crowd on how Jesus' lifestyle was similar to that of homosexual men and that the story of freedom in Exodus parallels the story of pro-gay pro-abortion liberals. I applaud the actions of the African Anglican churches. No amount of silver is worth sacrificing your duty to your congregation and to God. If you are able, I would like to ask you to help Bishop Rucyahana and the orphans of his diocese.

How Long, O Lord?

Charles Dicken's classic novel Bleak House featured a court case that went on and on into the generations, a court case that was notable more for its inefficiency and injustice than anything else. But even the grand imagination of Mr. Dickens would falter if faced with the insidious insanity of the all-too-real court case, Scheidler v. National Organization for Women.

Dr. Tim Sullivan of Chicago sent along this link to a SCOTUSblog update you would do well to read.

Double Standards on "Choice"

Along with the suggestion to link to this very interesting piece by Doug Bandow, John Malek sends along these comments...

While I don't agree with Mr. Bandow regarding his "hands off" approach to abortion rights, I think he makes some very obvious points well. What part indeed does individual conscience play in a free society? Are we really free? Alas, much less so than we were.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Way Out On A Limb

Kathryn Jean Lopez with a very good NRO column about how far afield Democrats are on abortion from average Americans. The specific issue? Parental control.

Dean Off Screen

Brent Bozell provides an excellent case study in MSM bias; in this case, how they strictly avoid news coverage of anything that could hurt the Democrats.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Amnesty International's Extreme Leftism Is Showing...But Not to the Western Press

John Leo lets us in on what we didn't hear about Amnesty International's latest report...

A different omission marred the reporting of Amnesty International's report charging torture in U.S. detainment camps. The group didn't just call Guantanamo a "gulag," an over-the-top remark that was universally reported. In a press release that most reporters ignored, the group also invited foreign governments to snatch certain visiting American officials off the streets and bring them to trial for crimes against humanity.

The suggested snatchees, should they travel abroad, were President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA Director George Tenet, and other unnamed civilian and military officials.

Amnesty International said that "all states have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute people responsible for these crimes," just as the British pounced on Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998. The snatching recommendation wasn't new, but the Amnesty press release is a useful reminder of the dangers of signing on to the International Criminal Court.

The Doctor Would Be Very Disappointed

I'm old enough to remember the days when Dr. Spock's advice regarding child care was listened to religiously by most American mothers. Indeed, I come from the generation that is sometimes referred to as "Dr. Spock's kids." Thus, while reading through the Howard Center's weekly report, I found this item of of particular interest.:

"'A day no good for an infant. There's nowhere near enough attention or affection to go around.' Since children need full-time love and attention in their early years, [Spock] argued, it is senseless for parents to 'pay other people to do a poorer job of bringing up their children.'" (Source: Benjamin Spock, quoted in Brian C. Robertson, Day Care Deception, San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003, page 72.)

Cal Thomas on the Ever-Worsening China Threat

Here's a teaser from Thomas' excellent column...but be sure to read the whole thing.

At an Asian security conference in Singapore, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last Friday delivered what some have called an unusually blunt critique of China. Rumsfeld noted that Beijing's military spending threatens Asia's delicate security balance. Instead of spending so much on weapons, Rumsfeld said, China should emphasize political freedom and open markets.

"Since no nation threatens China," said Rumsfeld, "one wonders why this growing (military) investment?" The answer is that rather than feeling threatened, China intends to threaten others, especially the United States.

FRC -- Why Judges Are THE Issue

This from the Family Research Council's regular e-mail updates... Note especially Judge Niemeyer's dissent.

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld a lower court's ruling that a Virginia law banning a type of late- term abortion is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to protect a woman's health. The majority on the three-judge panel decided this exception was necessary despite overwhelming evidence supplied that showed such precautions were unnecessary in cases covered by the Virginia law.

In addition, Virginia's law differs from a previous Nebraska ban that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, for it covered a human child who had been born alive but was not yet separated from its mother. The two judges in the majority ignored the evidence distinguishing this case from prior cases and made their decision with no actual review - which clearly infuriated the dissenting judge.

The dissenter, Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, called out the hypocrisy in his articulate dissenting opinion: "Can we not see that our discussions and the law we make in striking down Virginia's prohibition are unfit for the laws of a people of liberty? I wonder with befuddlement, fear and sadness, how we can so joyfully celebrate the birth of a child, so zealously protect an infant and a mother who is pregnant, so reverently wonder about how human life begins, grows, and develops, and at the same time write to strike down a law to preserve a right to destroy a partially born infant. If the disconnect is explained by personal convenience, then we must reason that all morality is personal, without commonality and source. The product of such chaos is unfathomable."

Remembering Watergate: An Inside Look

Who better to evaluate Mark Felt's emergence into the spotlight than Chuck Colson?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Stem Cell Research: Going Behind the Headlines

It is being referred to as the great embryonic stem cell research debate but the phrase is anything but correct. For how can there be an actual debate when only one side is represented? I'd like to do here a little of what the mainstream media is failing to do; namely, give a few facts surrounding the truly crucial controversy of using cells obtained from aborted children in scientific research.

The first issue to be examined, of course, is IVF itself – in vitro fertilization. This is the practice of using human sperm to fertilize human eggs which, guess what, results in human beings! This is a biological fact that no amount of silly talk or use of euphemism can alter. In vitro fertilization involves the conception of human children with all of the chromosomes, the DNA, the "biological stuff" that defines any human embryo.

Why in vitro fertilization is allowed in the first place is another important issue. It arises from infertile couples wanting a baby so badly that scientists have developed this highly unnatural and extremely dangerous pursuit. Why unnatural? It's rather obvious. A petri dish is not a woman's womb, nor is a reliance on the amoral scientific community reflective of a contented trust in the providence of God. And regarding the extreme danger? In order to get a higher rate of success in the desired effect of pregnancy, the scientists generally fertilize several receptive eggs to introduce into the mother's womb. The scientist does this even though he is well aware that most of these fertilized eggs (tiny boys and girls) will not make it. But, so what? The insistence on giving physical birth to one's own child mandates this ironic sacrifice. "Create for me four or five...or even nine or ten little children so that eventually one or two will make it and become my very own biological child."

But alas, the world has grown quite used to in vitro fertilization – and that includes Christians. Is it any wonder then that there is so little outrage when scientists start using these fertilized eggs in less personal and more pragmatic ways such as dehumanizing scientific research?

The biological realities, once again, are clear. In vitro fertilization produces human boys and girls – not mere petri dish specimens...not "embryo-like entities"...not globs of impersonal tissue. Fertilized eggs, in point of fact, are no longer eggs at all but developing babies fully deserving of our respect and our protection.

Some proponents of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) admit that the human beings created by in vitro are up for grabs. No one has cared previously what happens to these embryos, say the scientists, so why not do whatever we want to with them? Such is the attitude of those affiliated with the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia. They have openly boasted that they've paid women between $1500 and $2000 apiece for their eggs and then used those eggs to create embryos for the express purpose of destroying them and using the cells for research. The scientists here contend that this certainly is as ethical as using frozen embryos leftover from in vitro attempts. In fact, their argument suggests that freshly created embryos will be better for their research purposes than "thawed-out" ones.

Now this recent press release from the Jones Institute was a shocker. After all, most of the previous talk had centered on those frozen embryos that had been "extras" in IVF cases. So there were a few red faces among ESCR proponents after the Jones remarks, especially because the Institute's crass and commercial attitude was all too clear. However, the actual complaints all were directed at the timing of the press release, not at the ideology itself. Therefore, with President Bush considering the issue and with Mary Tyler Moore and others getting rave reviews for their espousal of ESCR on humanitarian grounds, the Jones Institute revelations were embarrassingly unwelcome. But the failure to condemn the Jones Institute shows that frozen embryos represent only the first wave for researchers. Terminate the frozen embryos today to keep the research going; tomorrow, the ready-to-make embryos will fill the need. The fact is, my friends, there are no moral boundaries at all recognized by these people. Therefore, releasing federal funds, as President Bush is being pressured to do, would surely result in increasing the deliberate creation of human embryos for no other purpose whatsoever than for them to be snuffed out so that their cells could be used in experiments.

Of course, such facts do not yet sound "nice" to the American public; therefore, the apologists in both the scientific community and the media have taken a different approach. They have manipulated language, the scientific facts, and emotions to create a smokescreen that hides the true issues. And, of course, the proponents of embryonic stem cell research have gone on the attack too, trying to cast their dissenters as religious fanatics who are somehow fans of disease! Even supposedly pro-life politicians have joined the chorus. Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is now claiming that human life doesn't really begin at conception at all but rather when the blastocyst implants itself in the mother's womb! The biological facts clearly show Senator Hatch's foolishness but he's well aware that he's playing an old trick – one that has been used time and again to defend abortifiacient actions when done by chemicals, IUD's, even the birth control pill. No, like many of his cowardly colleagues, Senator Hatch knows better but he's desperately looking for an excuse to cave in to the politically correct crowd. But again... when a sperm merges with an egg, a baby begins. The entire genetic makeup of that new human boy or girl is resident right there, right then. From that miraculous moment on, the little one requires only the protective and nurturing environment of a woman's womb. It is at birth that the world can finally see the miracle that began at the moment of conception, but the Almighty God that superintends the whole process and Whose judgment is oh-so-severe on hands that would destroy innocent human life at any point in its development --- well, God sees the incredible drama from start to finish.

Finally, it must also be emphasized that the supporters of embryonic stem cell research have made the most vaunted but yet unprovable claims regarding the wide range of diseases that will be cured. The facts are that the research using the cells of aborted babies has been shown in case after case to offer very little fruitful hope whereas adult stem cell experimentation has shown substantial promise. So why this insistence on pursuing courses of research which are both immoral and inefficient? Can any close observer of the scene not see a spiritual dynamic involved? Make no mistake; the devil, whose agenda from the very beginning has been death, destruction, and deceit, is still very much at work.

And yet, what if embryonic stem cell research could make the case to cure diseases? Could such objections as those I've made in today's essay be thus overridden? Could there ever be a reason for discarding the biblical dictates regarding protecting innocent life at each and every stage of development? Let me pose this question in the way I did in a weekday "Vital Signs" program earlier this week...

Imagine the following scenario: Your child or your mother or your spouse is mortally ill. You are watching them suffer and you know death is not far away. Then suddenly a genie emerges from a magic lamp and informs you that if you wish, your loved one will be restored to complete health. There is only one catch – the genie explains to you that if you do exercise your wish for the renewed life and health of your loved one, then unfortunately another person... or maybe a few more must die. Now the genie quickly assures you that these other victims will be completely unknown to you. You need not worry about recriminations or approbation – no one will ever know. "So," he asks you, "is it so important if strangers' lives are taken as long as your loved one is kept alive and healthy?" Now, intellectually, you realize the genie is offering you a very wicked choice. No mortal should assume the powers of life or death. Yet you look once more at your dying child or mother or spouse; and you feel the hot tears fill your eyes. You turn to the genie and say...

This alarming fantasy illustrates the appeal inherent in the media's treatment of the embryonic stem cell controversy. After all, it emphasizes a strongly emotional appeal to the "good" that can come from the sacrifice. But it also exposes the immoral flaw. My friends, no matter how sweet the genie's salesmanship of abortion or euthanasia or the research-motivated murder of human embryos, it is a devil's deal that we must categorically reject.

(Written by Denny Hartford for "Vital Signs" radio)

Watch the Skies

From the excellent updates given by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, here's the latest on the Communist dictator in control of Belarus threatening not only his own people, but his European neighbors. Man, this guy is getting scarier by the day.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at a fighter air base near Byaroza, Brest Oblast, on 3 June that Belarus may increase its military aircraft fleet in response to increased "anti-Belarusian hysteria" in neighboring countries and NATO's eastward expansion, Belarusian Television and Belapan reported. "We're considering very attractive offers for
purchasing Su-30 planes for our armed forces," Lukashenka said. "A decision has been made to buy [Czech-made] L-39 fighter-trainers to train future pilots theoretically and practically on the territory of Belarus."

According to Lukashenka, foreign countries may be harboring
military-intervention plans against Belarus under the pretext of spreading democracy. "A great military potential is being amassed on Belarus's borders," Lukashenka said. "We have no right and we cannot light-heartedly ignore today's realities and real threats to [our] security."

On Freedom, Biblical Literacy and the Loss of Common Sense

Dr. Suzanne Fields provides a breath of much-needed fresh air for American educators...and all the rest of us too.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Brownback Opposes Bush Nominee to OSCE Over Abortion

From today's Robert Novak column --

On top of confirmation fights waged by liberal Democrats, President Bush now faces trouble from a potential conservative Republican presidential candidate.

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas has quietly put a hold on Bush's nomination of Julie Finley to be U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) because of her fervent support for abortion rights. Finley has been a major contributor to Bush and is a longtime Republican leader in the District of Columbia.

The White House contends that Finley's proposed diplomatic post has nothing to do with abortion. Brownback argues that the OSCE, a European multilateral organization, often gets into women's issues, including abortion, and that the U.S. representative there often pulls the organization away from radical initiatives. It is supposed to police human rights standards established by the 1975 Helsinki Accords.

Relocation to Paraguay Anyone?

From -- Paraguay's House of Representatives defeated, overwhelmingly, a bill last Thursday aimed at legalizing abortion and homosexual unions.

The South American country's legislators rejected the bill by a margin of 57 to 6. There was no debate and only Carlos Filizzola, the bill's sponsor, spoke in favour. There were 3 abstentions. Religious and pro-life leaders, who had voiced their opposition to the bill, congratulated the representatives on their decision.

Father Juan Claudio Sanahuja, director of the "Noticias Globales" news agency, issued the following statement on the agency's website: "Today's results, unthinkable just a few days ago, show once again that when all the social forces unite and exercise pressure on their representatives with a resounding 'no' without compromise or consensus in favor an illegitimate lesser evil, it's possible to block the social reengineering of the culture of death."

A Chip Off the Communist Block

Demonstrating the same spirit which motivated Communist thugs like Lenin, Stalin, Mao and the current President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, Belaruusian Chamber of Representatives deputy Syarhey Kastsyan suggested a couple of days ago the enactment of a law to introduce forced sterilization for individuals "leading an asocial life." Of course, the ones deciding who qualifies for that ignoble distinction will be Party purists like Comrade Kastsyan.

"Even animals are selective about mating." Kastyan said. And therefore, to keep unhealthy children, the asocial elements and " idiots" under control (or as he also put it, to prevent the gradual "'cretinization' of society"), "It is necessary to solve the problem in a drastic way. It is necessary to enact a law providing for forced sterilization, or else the state will not withstand this burden."

The Double Standard: Islam Gets a Free Ride When It Trashes Other Religions

While the slightest verbal or physical slight of any Muslim in America is immediately condemned by activist groups and sometimes the U.S. government, the denigration of Jews and Christians throughout much of the Islamic world is theological and political business as usual.

Cal Thomas points out what others are afraid to.

The Numbers Game

Janice Shaw Crouse (I'm beginning to really like her columns) "does a number" on the left's faulty study which was used to try and defeat President Bush in the last election. The surgical abortion rate is going down; all factual indications demonstrate this. But, of course, facts need not stand in the way of liberals with an agenda. This article sets the numbers straight.

And note in Ms. Crouse's column how it was the so-called "Christian left" that was most guilty in the sad affair; specifically, Sojourner Magazine and the skewed and sloppy scholarship of Fuller Seminary ethics (!) professor, Glen Harold Stassen.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Consequences: Volume 73

From a Reuters Health report comes yet more news of how the sexual revolution keeps increasing the casualty lists...

For women with genital herpes, taking oral contraceptives can double the likelihood of actively shedding the virus and so passing on the infection, a new study shows.

Forced Abortions In Red China Continue

The 2005 Amnesty International report lacks proper priorities (see earlier post) yet even they are forced to recognize the ongoing human rights abuses performed by the government of Communist China, including the severe persecution of Christians and brutal forced abortion policies.

And Christians still wonder at those of us who diligently try to persuade China to change course with prayers, letters, education and boycotts of China-made products.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Stem Cell Research -- Fact Finding Most Defintely Needed

The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics have a terrific website entitled, Do No Harm. It is replete with timely, fact-based news and expert commentary on stem cell research, including the stories about tremendous advances made using moral means which are all but ignored in the MSM. It most defintely deserves a place on your bookmark list.

Peggy Noonan on Felt, Watergate and More

Always clear, competent commentary from Peggy Noonan.

What's Behind Tom Cruise's Religion? A Hard Look at Scientology

In Time magazine's cover story, "The Cult of Greed," published on May 6, 1991, the Scientology organization was described with these words: "The Church of Scientology started by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to 'clear' people of unhappiness, portrays itself as a religion. In reality, the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and cities in Mafia-like manner...Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious, and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen."

With Tom Cruise and several of his Hollywood pals engaged in a new publicity push for Scientology, I thought it valuable to point out to Vital Signs Blog readers one of the most thorough sites on the web dealing with the facts about this weird cult. It is run by Watchman Fellowship, a group dedicated to helping Christians effectively deal with the various false religions that fly around us.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to one of their best articles on Scientology but you can also see all of their articles on Scientology listed here and the main page which can take you to any one of a number of sections.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Is "Deep Throat" Mark Felt A Hero?

Or is he merely another unethical Washington opportunist?

Click on the title of this post to read another side to the MSM treatment.