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Location: Tallahassee, Florida, United States welcomes all opinions from any religion or viewpoint in the common appreciation of Chick tracts. This blog, however, will highlight religious events and controversies that would be of special interest to regular Chick readers. You don't have to agree with them or each other, but if you read Chick tracts or Battlecry, you might expect these type stories to be addressed. (Sorry, no personal attacks allowed.) All main postings are from writers and any responses are from the public

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Swiss Resist Islamic Influence

Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland's international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.

"The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights," said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was "grief and deep disappointment."
About 300 people turned out for a spontaneous demonstration on the square outside parliament, holding up signs saying, "That is not my Switzerland," placing candles in front of a model of a minaret and making another minaret shape out of the candles themselves.

"We're sorry," said another sign. A young woman pinned to her jacket a piece of paper saying, "Swiss passport for sale." The vote passed by a wide margin of 57% supporting the ban. See Chick's MEN OF PEACE?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christian Leaders Plan Civil Disobedience

Conservative Christian leaders unveiled a declaration Friday calling on Christians not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other ideals that go against their religious doctrines.

The declaration urges Christians to practice civil disobedience to defend their convictions, even though some signers of the document backed away from the strong language.

The Catholic Archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl, was among the first signers of the Manhattan Declaration. He appeared at a news conference in the District on Friday to announce it, even as the Church was considering a city-proposed compromise on its same-sex marriage measure. Church officials say the bill, as it stands, would require faith groups, such as the church-run Catholic Charities, to extend benefits to married same-sex partners, an example of what the declaration's authors see as a violation of religious liberty law.

"We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them," the declaration says. It lists the "fundamental truths" as the "sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the rights of conscience and religious liberty." See Chick's WHO KILLED CLARICE?

Witch Doctors Trade In African Albinos

Over the past two years -- according to a new report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies -- at least 56 albinos in the two countries have been murdered, and their body parts used by witch doctors to make charms and potions. The last known killing took place on Oct. 21, when albino hunters attacked 10-year-old Gasper Elikana in northern Tanzania. A gang of men hacked the boy to death in front of his family and neighbors -- who were wounded trying to protect the child -- before fleeing with his severed leg.

In the face of such brutality, thousands of albinos have gone into hiding, including 300 children being sheltered by the Red Cross at police-protected schools. "This is a great source of shame for the region," says Isaac Mwaura, national coordinator for the Albinism Society in neighboring Kenya, and an albino himself. "These are people who lack melanin, who are vulnerable, who nature has not treated so kindly. To then attack them and deprive them of the right to live is simply barbaric."

What sparked this outburst of targeted violence is still unclear. Some have blamed local folklore, which says albinos are endowed with mystical powers. "People think that we don't die and many other things that aren't true," says Mwaura. "Albinos are seen as a cure, because they possess something out of the ordinary."

However, Andrei Engstrand-Neacsu, one of the authors of the Red Cross report, says traditional beliefs aren't solely to blame. He notes that the murders started in 2007, around the time of a mining and fishing boom in northern Tanzania, when many people launched new business ventures. Superstitious entrepreneurs desperate to succeed may have bought "good luck" albino trinkets from witch doctors. "This is mostly an economic activity carried out by criminals who have seized an opportunity," he says. "They have found people sufficiently stupid to believe that by using magic potions made of albino body parts they could become rich or more powerful."

What's certain is that buyers -- most of whom are believed to be Tanzanian -- are willing to pay a high price for these horrific charms. Police have reported albino limbs being sold by witch doctors for $200, while a full "albino kit" -- consisting of limbs, nose, tongue, ears and genitals – costs $75,000. That's an astronomical sum in a country where almost 60% of the population lives on less than $1 a day, and it has led many experts to conclude that the demand for these goods comes from the upper-echelons of Tanzanian society. See Chick's comic, EXORCISTS.

Animal Sacrifices Begin

Hindus in Nepal start their giant animal sacrifice celebration, killing tens of thousands of oxen, chickens, and other cattle. They use a traditional tool that slowly kills the animal, often cutting off their rear legs to prevent them from escaping. Some of India has outlawed animal sacrifice, but like many of their religious traditions, (including women setting themselves on fire after their husbands die) law enforcement turns a blind eye to it. See Chick's THE TRAITOR.

Atheists Promote Godless Christmas

The American Humanist Association unveiled its holiday ads on Monday, and they feature a bunch of smiling revelers wearing Santa caps in a pitch that looks like just about every other holiday come-on, complete with red-and-green color scheme. But the giveaway is the jolly message broadcast in capital letters:


The slogan is followed by a more traditional Christmas sentiment, "Be good for goodness' sake," but with this kicker: "Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God."

That statement seems true enough, though there is certainly no end to the argument between believers and non-believers as to whether you can be good without God, or whether God is in fact the reason for everything that is bad or good.

But apart from issues of trademark infringement -- matters best left to Santa's lawyers -- the latest ad campaign from the AHA raises the question of whether you can be good without Christmas, or something like it.

The AHA is billing the ad campaign as "a new kind of holiday tradition" and says the ads will run on trains and buses in Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The "Godless Holiday" pitch kicks off in Washington over the Thanksgiving weekend with banners inside 200 buses and on the outside of 20 more, and in 50 metro cars. It will then ramp up in early December, along with the rest of the holiday rush.

The ad campaign is aimed not at soliciting donations -- it does not point you to any charity, though if you like it you can join the AHA -- but rather to letting non-believers know they are not alone at the holidays. "We . . . want nontheists to know there is a community of like-minded individuals out there they can connect with," says AHA head Roy Speckhardt.

But the campaign is also in keeping with the trend of atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and the range of unaffiliated Americans known to sociologists as the "Nones" (a growing category of perhaps 15 percent of respondents who choose "no religion" when asked by pollsters) to hop a ride on the polar express that is the Christmas holiday. See Chick's THE GREAT ONE.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kennedy Bannded From Communion

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the church, in Rhode Island because of the congressman's support for abortion, Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.

The decision by the outspoken prelate, reported on The Providence Journal's Web site, significantly escalates a bitter dispute between Tobin, an ultra orthodox bishop, and Kennedy, a son of the nation's most famous Roman Catholic family.

"The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion," Kennedy told the paper in an interview conducted Friday.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him "that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I've taken as a public official," particularly on abortion. See Chick's WHO MURDERED CLARICE.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christians Begin "Pray For Obama" Campaign

The slogan "Pray for Obama Psalm 109:8" has suddenly appeared on bumper stickers, T-shirts and, of course, online message boards. It's a hot Web search term. But what appears to be a statement of support turns out to be just the opposite.

Verse 8 of Psalm 109 says: "Let his days be few, and let another take his place of leadership," according to the New International Version of the Bible.

Diana Butler Bass of the religion blog Progressive Revival described it as "a sort of right-wing Christian equivalent of the old '01.20.09' stickers looking forward to the end of the Bush era."

While an American Civil Liberties Union official expressed concern about any hostility toward the president, she didn't criticize the slogan in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor because Verse 8 is only about removing him from office.

The verses that follow are a different matter.

"May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."

"May his children be wandering beggars ... "

"May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor."

"May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation."

Of course, those are not the verses sited, so bringing them up is really an attempt to spin the debate in another direction. But for Democrats to complain about Republicans being too disrespectful toward the President (after they spent eight years comparing Bush to Hitler), just goes to show that the old adage is right: What goes around comes around.

Monday, November 16, 2009

US President Bows To Japanese Emperor

President Barack Obama's deep bow to Japan's emperor this weekend symbolized a culture clash -- East versus West and Right versus Left.

Conservatives were incensed by the way the president greeted Emperor Akihito in Tokyo on Saturday. Unlike in April, when the White House insisted Obama's bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia wasn't a bow at all, even though videos of the bow clearly show that it was.

In a Los Angeles Times blog post titled "How Low Will He Go?," Andrew Malcolm predicted Obama "could receive some frowns back home" for bowing to the emperor. The response among conservative commentators went way beyond frowns.

"He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants," railed Power Line's Scott Johnson, who charged that Obama is sending a message that the U.S. "now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world." Obama has spent much of his first year in office traveling abroad and apologizing to other nations and cultures.

Some were especially angry that the man the president bowed to is the son of Emperor Hirohito, who led Japan during World War II. RedState's Mark Impomeni -- whose blog post included iconic photos of the Iwo Jima flag-raising and Japan's surrender along with the picture of Obama's bow -- called the president "an embarrassment" who's "bent on dishonoring" the service and sacrifice of Americans who fought against Japan.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama Tries To Stop Fort Hood Debate

In an apparent attempt to reduce criticism over lax surveillance of Islamic radicals in the armed forces, President Barack Obama urged Congress Saturday to hold off on any investigation on the Fort Hood shootings until other agencies have completed their probes into the shootings. A public investigation is likely to embarrass liberals who have called on law enforcement to closely watch soldiers who espouse right wing dogma, while threatening discrimination charges for efforts to investigate anti-American radicals with left wing connections.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, was charged on Thursday with the shooting spree at Fort Hood last week. Army investigators have said Hasan is the only suspect and could face additional charges. His strong Islamic and anti-American views were well known by other servicemen, but higher ups refused to investigate him out of fears of reducing "diversity". Hasan campaigned for Obama in the last election but was angered when the new President failed to return troops after taking the White House. See Chick's MEN OF PEACE?

UPDATE: The investigation is going forward, but the President has ordered the FBI and Army not to cooperate with it. This is in stark contrast to the cooperation that was expected with the 911 and New Orleans Hurricane investigations.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Obama Gives Terrorists Escape Option

Defying common sense but bowing to pressure from lawyers and the ACLU, the Obama administration announces it will give the foreign terrorists all the rights and benefits as US citizens, including free lawyers, Amanda rights, and the chance to escape prosecution on the slightest of technicalities. Fort Hood's terror victims are still warm in their graves, but at least their killer will be tried in military court, because he's an American soldier. However, uninformed soldiers for Al Qaeda -- who have historically are executed as are all enemy combatants who hide their enemy intent by wearing civilian clothes instead of uniforms-- will get all the benefits of US citizens and chance to escape prosecution. This is a reckless decision that is sure to encourage anti-Al Qaeda and amuse terrorists everywhere. It is a travesty that spits in the faces of the three thousand 9/11 victims, and endangers the rest of us. See Chick's MEN OF PEACE?

See also (note: The server may be overwhelmed when you visit because so many people are outraged by this decision and many are signing the petition.)

Alamo Sentenced to 175 years

Tony Alamo, a Jewish convert to Fundamentalist Christianity, who went on to grow a controversial ministry using homeless people and former drug addicts to make rhinestone studded jackets, has been sentenced to 175 years for sexually abusing Children and taken them a "child brides". See Chick's LISA.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 Mormons Arrested For Child Sexual Abuse

Authorities on Wednesday searched a rural property in western Missouri for bodies and buried glass jars containing notes written more than 15 years ago by children who may have documented sexual abuse by five members of their own family.

Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh pleaded for the public's help, saying investigators "believe that there are other victims out there, and we believe people in the public can give us more information."

Alumbaugh said authorities believe there may be bodies buried on the property once owned by two of the five family members arrested Tuesday. He refused to say to whom any of the bodies would have belonged. The property and a nearby home is currently owned by a man unrelated to the case who is cooperating with authorities.

Three of the five men arrested are lay ministers in the Community of Christ church, formally known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons)until 2001.

The five are charged with several felonies, including forcible sodomy, rape with a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance. The allegations, which include bestiality, forcing children into fake marriages with relatives and making an 11-year-old have an abortion, date from 1988 to 1995.

Cpl. Bill Lowe of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said a 26-year-old woman came forward to investigators in mid-August with the allegations. A probable cause statement released by the Lafayette County prosecutor's office says five other siblings of the woman have accused all five men of abuse, but it's unclear whether all the siblings were claiming to be victims.

Lowe said the woman told investigators that she and her siblings had buried glass jars around the property that were filled with messages "about what was happening to them" when they were younger. The woman said she had "suppressed many of the memories of abuse perpetrated on her" and her siblings, according to the probable cause statement.

The woman who came forward also claimed some of the men forced her to have sex with a dog and to watch as her brother was abused. "She became pregnant and was made to have an abortion at age 11 1/2. She doesn't remember any sexual abuse after that date," the probable cause statement said. See Chick's THE VISITORS.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama Attends Funeral of Terror Victims

While still suggesting the attack was not a terrorist act, US President Barack Obama attends a memorial service to honor victims of the wild shooting rampage on the military base in which 13 people died. He plans to speak at the event. The killer, Muslim US army doctor, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, also wounded 30 other people. His anti-US attitudes were well known, and the base commander at Fort Hood says soldiers who witnessed a shooting rampage that left 13 people dead reported he shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire. Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told NBC's "Today" show that the shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, made the comment, which is Arabic for "God is great!" before the rampage Thursday. It is a common Jihad slogan. Apparently, the White House doesn't want to admit we've suffered another terror attack after investing so much into an Islamic "Charm Offensive". See Chick's WHERE DID THEY GO? (page 20)

Liberal AMA Votes Pro-Gay

The nation's largest liberal doctors' group has agreed to join efforts to repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. The American Medical Association also voted to declare that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.

Both pro-gay policies were adopted Tuesday at the AMA's interim policy meeting in Houston.

The AMA says the 'don't ask, don't-tell' law creates an ethical dilemma for gay service members and the doctors who treat them.
The other measure declares that marriage bans leave gays vulnerable to being excluded from health care benefits, including health insurance and family and medical leave rights. Expanding coverage would increase tax payer subsidized business for doctors, it is believed. The new AMA policy stops short of opposing the bans.

The AMA is one of the best known doctor's groups, but most doctors are not members and a vast majority disagree with the groups support of Obama's Health Care reforms/ take-over efforts. See Chick's WHO KILLED CLARICE?

Gay Muslim Sniper to Die Tonight

Unless Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine steps in, sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad will be executed Tuesday for the attacks that terrorized the nation's capital region for three weeks in 2002.

Muhammad is set to die by injection at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. His attorneys have asked Kaine to commute his sentence to life in prison because now they say he is mentally ill. The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Muhammad's final appeal Monday.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for killing Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas gas station during a spree that left 10 dead across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

He and his teenage lover, Lee Boyd Malvo, were suspected of fatal shootings in other states, including Louisiana, Alabama and Arizona. Muhammad, a convert to the Nation of Islam, had planned on killing six white people per day for a month (180 total) but cut back his goals when he realized escaping detection would become too difficult (according to Malvo). Reflecting Nation of Islam segregationist goals, Muhammad also planned on using $1 million in extortion money to begin a new nation of only young, "pure" black people somewhere in Canada. Malvo's mother described her son's relationship with Muhammad as a homosexual one, as did other witnesses at a homeless shelter. Malvo was sentenced to life in prison. See Chick's THE FRAME UP.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

PC Crowd Continues To Deny Terrorist Motive in Shooting

A key U.S. senator said Sunday he would begin an investigation into whether the Army missed signs that the man accused of opening fire at Fort Hood had embraced an increasingly extremist view of Islamic ideology.

Sen. Joe Lieberman's call for an investigation came a day after classmates who participated in a 2007-2008 master's program at a military college said they complained to superiors about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and what they considered to be his anti-American views, which included his giving a presentation that justified suicide bombing and telling classmates that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution.

"If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance," Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on "Fox News Sunday." "He should have been gone."

Another classmate told the AP on Sunday that he complained to five officers and two civilian faculty members at the university. He wrote in a command climate survey sent to Pentagon officials that fear in the military of being seen as politically incorrect prevented an "intellectually honest discussion of Islamic ideology" in the ranks. The classmate requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

President Obama urged Americans "not to rush to judgement", and his officers seem to be following his politically correct lead. Army Chief of Staff George Casey warned Sunday against reaching conclusions about the suspected shooter's motives until investigators have fully explored the attack. "I think the speculation (on Hasan's Islamic roots) could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers," he said on ABC's "This Week." When asked why the Army didn't investigate his anti-American comments and beliefs, he said "You don't want to be against diversity." See Chick's THE CHAPLAIN.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

House Passes Socialized Health Insurance

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a massive overhaul of the American health care system Saturday night by a vote of 220 to 215. One Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, crossed the aisle, while 39 Democrats joined the Republicans in opposing the measure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called passage of the bill "an historic moment for our nation and for America's families," while Republicans warned that the bill will raise taxes, increase insurance premiums and make cuts to Medicare. Pelosi promised it would "not add a dime to the deficit," but critics openly laugh at this claim. The bill is expected to be one of the most expensive programs ever enacted by Congress.

The $1.3 trillion-dollar bill would require individuals to buy health insurance, and would also require medium and large businesses to provide it to their employees. Consumers would be able to buy their insurance on an exchange, including a public insurance option for people who do not have access to insurance through their jobs. Low- and middle-income families would receive government subsidies to purchase insurance, which would be be paid for through tax increases, as well as fees on medical providers. Finally, the bill would prohibits insurance companies from dropping or denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or cost of care.

The current bill prevents verification of citizenship, essentially allowing illegals to use the tax payer paid plan as well. (Democrats refused to alter the language to prevent this loophole after pressure was applied by Hispanic groups.) They did tighten language to prevent the bill from paying for abortions, but Democrats promise to change that language later as the bill is adopted. It must now pass in the Senate, which will be much more difficult. See Chick's HERE HE COMES.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Muslim American Murders 13 in Terror Attack

Although mainstream media and the White House are suggesting it was not a terrorist attack, an American Muslim army officer murders 13 fellow US soldiers in a killing spree in Fort Hood. 30 others were wounded. Authorities have identified the alleged gunman as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, an Army psychiatrist. The Muslim-American was born in the US, but was outspoken in his criticism about the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He passed out copies of the Koran in the morning before the killing spree, and, later in the day, shouted "Allahu Akbar" (a Jihadist slogan) as he shot his comrades in cold blood. He was also seen wearing traditional Muslim robes before changing into uniform and carrying out the killings.

He was shot and brought down by a woman police officer. Although his motives are uncertain, it appears clear that some American Muslims are identifying with the anti-US rhetoric shouted by critics both overseas and domestically. Perhaps profiling likely terrorists based on their beliefs and angry statements is not racists, but common sense. See Chick's THE CHAPLAIN.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Jesus On Pickup Truck

Jim Stevens said he's not particularly religious and is clueless about why an image resembling Jesus Christ keeps appearing on his pickup. Stevens, of Jonesborough, Tennessee, said nearly every morning, an image that looks to him like the face of Jesus Christ has appeared in the condensation on the driver's side window of his Isuzu truck. A Johnson City Press photo of the truck showed a facial image.

Stevens said when he first saw the image, he figured it would evaporate and not return. But it kept reappearing for two weeks now.

Stevens said folks at the grocery store he goes to were amazed to see the image. He said he isn't going to wash the truck for a while.

Maine Voters Undo Gay Marriage Law

Voters' stunning repeal of Maine's same-sex marriage law is forcing gay rights advocates to regroup and recalibrate their strategy. Legal experts say if other social movements are a guide, it should also teach them to be patient.

"Every time people have had an opportunity to vote, they've voted it down," said University of Chicago law professor Gerald Rosenberg. "Is the [Supreme Court] really going to step in here?"

On Tuesday, Maine became the 31st state where voters rejected marriage equality for gay couples through a referendum. The defeat -- the first time the vox populi reversed a decision by its own elected representatives -- took gay advocates by surprise.

Their side outspent, outcanvassed and outmaneuvered their foes, only to lose in the most politically friendly region of the country. Except for Iowa, every state with same-sex marriage is in New England. Since 2004, when a court in Massachusetts became the first to sanction gay marriage, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire have decided through judicial or legislative action to allow same-sex couples to marry.

"It just goes to show that even in a very, very liberal state like Maine where the Legislature and the governor came out and supported it, when people have a chance to affirm traditional marriage, they do it. Thirty-one out of 31 states," said former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a social conservative. "While there are many politicians who are going to push this, the people are not accepting of it."

Voters in Washington state approved a measure to give gay couples all the rights and benefits of marriage without the name, but gay activists have prevailed most often in the courts. It was a decision by the California Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage there that sparked last November's Proposition 8 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage after more than 18,000 gay and lesbian couples had legally tied the knot.

The votes on Proposition 8 and in Maine are the latest examples of popular backlash when judges are viewed as out of the mainstream.

See Chick's DOOM TOWN.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nun Murdered on Reservation

A nun has been found dead in her residence at a church in a small community on the Navajo Indian reservation near the Arizona-New Mexico border, the FBI said Monday.

Sister Marguerite Bartz, 64, failed to show up to Sunday Mass and a colleague who went to check on her discovered her body. Investigators believe Bartz was killed sometime between Halloween night and Sunday morning, but FBI Special Agent Darrin Jones said he could not disclose any details about how she died. The FBI and state police were searching her residence for any clues.

Authorities and officials with the Diocese of Gallup, which oversees the parish in Navajo, said they were not sure whether Bartz or the church were the target, or if the attack was a random act.

Authorities were also searching for Bartz's vehicle, a beige 2005 Honda CR-V with a New Jersey license plate, and asking anyone who spoke to Bartz on Halloween night to contact investigators.

Bartz was one of more than a dozen Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who are currently ministering within the Diocese of Gallup, which spans 55,000 square miles in New Mexico and Arizona.

The diocese said there is usually another sister who lives at the residence with Bartz, but she was out of the state at a meeting and Bartz was alone.

"She was known to be a woman always passionate for justice and peace, and the life she lived would tell us that she would respond to this incident with a spirit of forgiveness towards whoever is responsible for these acts," the diocese said in a statement released Monday. See Chick's THE TRUE PATH.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Vatican Condemns Halloween

The Holy See has warned that parents should not allow their children to dress up as ghosts and ghouls on Saturday, calling Hallowe'en a pagan celebration of "terror, fear and death".

The Roman Catholic Church has become alarmed in recent years by the spread of Hallowe'en traditions from the US to other countries around the world.

As in Britain, it is only in recent years that Italian children have dressed up in costumes, played trick or treat on their neighbours and made lanterns out of hollowed out pumpkins.

The Vatican issued the warning through its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in an article headlined "Hallowe'en's Dangerous Messages". The paper quoted a liturgical expert, Joan Maria Canals, who said: "Hallowe'en has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian." Parents should "be aware of this and try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death," said Father Canals, a member of a Spanish commission on church rites.

Last year a newspaper controlled by the Italian bishops, Avvenire, called for a boycott of Hallowe'en, calling it a "dangerous celebration of horror and the macabre" which could encourage "pitiless [Satanic] sects without scruples".

Earlier this week the Catholic Church in Spain also condemned the growing popularity of Halloween, saying it threatened to overshadow the Christian festival of All Saints' Day. The Bishop of Siguenza-Guadalajara, Jose Sanchez, said there was a risk that Halloween could "replace Christian customs like devotion to saints and praying for the dead."


Scientology Spokesman Bolts News Interview

A video of spokesman Tommy Davis walking out of an interview with Martin Bashir on 'Nightline,' is making the rounds on the Internet.

Davis was offended when Bashir asked questions about the popular celebrity religion's beliefs.

"Do you believe that the Galactic Emperor called Xenu brought his people to earth 75 million years ago and buried them in volcanoes?" Bashir asked.

"Martin, I'm not going to discuss the disgusting perversions of Scientology beliefs that can be found out commonly on the Internet and be put in the position of talking about things that ... talking about things that are so fundamentally offensive to Scientologists to discuss," Davis replied.

But the 'Nightline' anchor pressed on. "Well, I have the burden of my own journalistic responsibility that I bring to this meeting and I hope that I've been appropriately respectful of you in my asking of the questions."

"Well you haven't to the degree that the question you asked me you know by virtue of the fact that it's been made very clear in other media entities that it's something that we considered offensive. And it is in violation of my religious beliefs to talk about them," Davis answered.

Bashir tried to ask again, but was interrupted. "I'm going to stop you, if you're going to ask me that question again and you're going to repeat things about volcanoes and this kind of thing and so on and so forth, I will stand up and walk out, Martin. Because what you are doing by doing that, is you are intentionally asking me things which you know I find offensive and you're insisting on asking me of them, so I'm asking you one more time," the Church's spokesman said.

"Mr. Davis, I'm not trying to offend anybody. I'm just trying to ask you a series of question about the public faith that you have. I'm not trying to mock you, I'm trying to understand what your beliefs are. You've explained what auditing is, you've explained the growth of the church. You've done all of those things. I am asking you, in the context of those questions, is it true that L. Ron Hubbard said that understanding the origins of the human race as described through Xenu and the Intergalactic Emperor," Bashir was unable to finish his question because at this point, Davis tore off his microphone and walked off the set.

Clinic Caves on No Hat Policy to Muslim Doctor

A Texas health clinic operator says it regrets telling a Muslim doctor applying for a job that she couldn't wear her traditional headscarf.

Coppell, Texas-based CareNow called the ban a misunderstanding. It said in a statement it plans to clarify its policy and continue training current workers to prevent confusion in the future.

Dr. Hena Zaki of Plano says she was shocked when CareNow officials told her last month in person and later by e-mail that a no-hat policy extended to her hijab.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote to CareNow, explaining federal law requires employers to reasonably accommodate religious practices of an employee.

Honor Killing Father Arrested

A young Iraqi woman whose father allegedly hit her with his car because she had become too Westernized died from her injuries Monday after laying in a coma for nearly two weeks.

Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, underwent spinal surgery and had been in a hospital since Oct. 20, when police say her father ran down her and her boyfriend's mother with his Jeep as the women were walking across a parking lot in the west Phoenix suburb of Peoria. The other woman, Amal Khalaf, is expected to survive.

Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 48, fled after the attack but was arrested Thursday when he arrived at Atlanta's airport, where he was sent from the United Kingdom after authorities denied him entrance.
Peoria police interviewed him and brought him back to Arizona over the weekend, but have declined to release what Almaleki said to them.

At a court hearing over the weekend in Phoenix, county prosecutor Stephanie Low told a judge that Almaleki admitted to committing the crime.

"By his own admission, this was an intentional act and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family," Low said. "This was an attempt at an honor killing."

Family members had told police that Almaleki attacked his daughter because he believed she had become too Westernized and was not living according to his traditional Iraqi values.

Almaleki had faced charges of aggravated assault, but Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said the charges will be upgraded in light of Noor Faleh Almaleki's death.