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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, December 26, 2010

Likely Mormon Shoot-out Averted

Police shot and killed a man after he refused to drop his shotgun and headed toward a group of people on a Christmas Day stroll outside a Utah Mormon Temple, authorities said.

The man had been in an altercation Saturday afternoon in the parking lot outside the Oquirrh Mountain Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, South Jordan police Lt. Dan Starks said.

"The adult male armed with a shotgun had become involved with at least one other person on the temple grounds," Starks told The Associated Press.

He said police arrived shortly afterward and repeatedly ordered the shotgun-toting man to drop the weapon.

"While carrying the shotgun, he fled from the officers toward where there were other people," he said.

Starks said an officer fired just once, killing the man.

He said officers feared for both their safety and for people on the grounds enjoying the weather and the views from the temple.

Officers found numerous weapons, including guns, swords and ammunition, inside the dead man's car, Starks said.

The man was described as white and middle-aged, but Starks said police were withholding his name until family could be notified.

Starks said the officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation and a review by the Salt Lake County district attorney's office.

Police did not release any other details, including how the altercation began. See Chick's THE VISITORS.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Woman Caned To Death in Bangladeshi

A Bangladeshi woman who was publicly caned for an alleged extramarital affair with her stepson has died, and police have arrested two people, according to media reports.

Sufia Begum, 50, was sentenced by an Islamic court in her village in the northwest Rajshahi district, police told Agence France-Presse, and was whipped 40 times on Nov. 12.

"She became seriously ill and was hospitalized after the caning, and she died last week," police chief Azizul Haq Sarker told AFP.

A Muslim cleric and the woman who carried out the beating were arrested, AFP reported. The BBC said authorities are looking for four more people.

"Village elders tied 10 canes together and beat her legs," Sarker said, according to AFP.

Begum was hospitalized in Rajshahi with severe injuries a week after the beating, the BBC said, noting that it's unclear why it took so long for her to get treatment. Doctors had recommended that she seek treatment in the capital, Dhaka, because her injuries were so serious.

But she died as her family struggled to raise money for the effort. Her kidneys were badly damaged, her brother, Taimur Rahman, told the Herald Sun of Australia.

"Her body was swollen, and I couldn't even recognize her," he told the BBC.

The BBC said it has not yet been determined that Begum died from caning-related injuries.

Bangladesh outlawed punishments in the name of religious edicts earlier this year, media reports said. But advocacy groups say it's common for women to be whipped or caned for offenses like adultery despite the ban, AFP said.

The death of Begum, who the BBC said was in her 40s, was thought to be the first since the punishments were outlawed. See Chick's MEN OF PEACE?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dems Pass Gays In Military Law before New Congress Gets Seated

After months of fits and starts, a bill repealing "don't ask, don't tell," the ban against gays serving openly in the military, passed the Senate 65 to 31 on Saturday, preventing the newly elected Senate (with less Democrats) to vote on it.

All the Democrats voted for it, as did a handful of flip-flopping Republicans -- Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Ensign of Nevada, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and George Voinovich of Ohio. The eight left-leaning Republicans joined the 56 Democrats in support of the measure. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) did not vote Saturday, but released a statement saying he could not support repeal "at this time."

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the lead Senate sponsor of the bill, framed the issue as a civil rights imperative, calling the ban on gays in the military "inconsistent with basic American values."

"To force the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on the military is to force them to be less than they want to be -- and less than they can be," Lieberman said Saturday. "These people simply want to serve their country." Under the Clinton-era policy, armed services members are expected to keep their sexual orientation private, with the promise that recruiters and officers will not delve into their personal lives.

At a congressional hearing earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testified that lifting the DADT policy would likely have only a limited impact on the services. They said they preferred congressional action -- which would give the military some time to implement the change -- to a judicial decision, which would alter the policy immediately.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, cited that testimony, as well as the results of a Pentagon study on implementing the change, as the reasons he believed ending the policy that bans gays from serving openly is the right thing to do.

"The final report of a working group concluded that changing the policy would present a low risk to the military's effectiveness, even during a time of war, and that 70 percent believe it would be positive, mixed or no effect," Levin said. Levin did not explain how many of the 70% were neutrals who believed the effects were mixed, nor why he and others were adding their numbers to those who support changing the policy instead of those who oppose it. After all, "mixed results" is not pro or con.

But several Republicans on the Armed Services panel disagreed with Levin and stood up Saturday to vocally oppose changing the policy.

Sen. John McCain, a former Navy flier and POW during the Vietnam war, had filibustered the repeal bill throughout the year. Yet he said he was resigned to the fact that it would pass an earlier test vote Saturday.

But McCain (R-Ariz.) said he remained convinced that repealing the ban would cost American lives.

"I understand the other side's argument about their social political agenda, but to somehow argue that ['don't ask, don't tell'] has harmed our military is not consistent with the facts," he said.

Although McCain said he was confident that the military will comply with a change in the law, he warned that troops will be put at greater risk as a result. "They will do what is asked of them, but don't think it won't be at great cost," he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a JAG officer in the Air Force Reserves, excoriated the bill's proponents for pushing forward with the change when the military is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"You care more about politics...than you care about governing this country," Graham said.

Now that the bill has passed the House and Senate, it goes to Obama to be signed into law some time next week.

But a change in the law will not automatically change the policy. Rather, the bill stipulates that the policy will only be discarded after the president, the Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that changing it will not hurt the armed services' readiness, morale or cohesion. (All have already voiced their support of the change.) After a 60-day review by Congress, the Pentagon is to develop procedures for ending it altogether, a process that could take months or years to complete.

Sen. Levin said he would be watching the military carefully as the certification and implementation process moves forward. But he could not yet say how long would be too long.

"I just think we'll know it when we see it," Levin told Politics Daily. "But right now we've got to just be optimistic and be confident, particularly with these leaders." Levin credited Mullen's early support of repeal for giving the legislative process momentum when it needed it most.

"I don't have any doubt that he is going to be pushing this quickly and at the appropriate speed and in the appropriate way," Levin said. "This is a totally doable deal."

Sen. Collins told Politics Daily that she expects it to take months, not years, but said that the military needs time to create and hold training sessions for servicemembers and to work through any issues associated with the implementation.

As the military fights an enemy that uses Islamic values to support their "jihad", they must brace themselves as the terrorists arm themselves with yet another recruiting tool: Fighting the "homosexual infidels". It's an insulting present to the military (not to mention, the almighty) just before Christmas. See Chick's DOOM TOWN.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Serial Killer May Have Murdered 180

Authorities in California are hoping the release of nearly 200 photos found in the possession of a suspected serial killer will prompt people to come forward with information.

The photos are among thousands that police recovered from the home of Lonnie Franklin Jr., a 57-year-old retired auto mechanic who was arrested in July, after DNA evidence allegedly linked him to the killings of 10 women that occurred from 1985 to 1988 and from 2002 to 2007.

All of the victims were black, (as is the suspect), and many were prostitutes. The victims were shot with a handgun or strangled. Their bodies were dumped in alleyways and trash bins, authorities said.

The 180 photos were released this afternoon during a news conference and will remain available to the public on the police department's website. Some of the photos are duplicates, and police aren't sure exactly how many different people are represented in them.

"These people are not suspects. We don't even know if they are victims, but we do know this Lonnie Franklin's reign of terror in the city of Los Angeles was spanned well over two decades, culminating with almost a dozen murder victims. Certainly this to be investigated further," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

Authorities have spent months trying to identify the women in the photos, police said. Now they are hoping the public will be able to recognize some of them.

"People must remember these photos go back 20 and 30 years. People will have changed their appearance and people will have aged," Beck said. "We are very interested in identifying these individuals and speaking with them, if it all possible."

In August, Franklin pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder that involved a near-fatal assault on a woman who was raped, shot and left for dead in November 1988.

Franklin has been held without bail since his arrest. He could receive the death penalty if he is convicted.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Jan. 31. See Chick's THE GUNSLINGER.

Christian Woman Sentenced To Death for Blasphemy

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination.

Christian groups and human rights campaigners condemned the verdict and called for the blasphemy laws to be repealed.
Her supporters say she will now appeal against the sentence handed down in a local court in the town of Sheikhupura, near Lahore, Pakistan.

Ashiq Masih, her husband, said he had not had the heart to break the news to two of their children.

"I haven't told two of my younger daughters about the court's decision," he said. "They asked me many times about their mother but I can't get the courage to tell them that the judge has sentenced their mother to capital punishment for a crime she never committed." Mrs Bibi has been held in prison since June last year.

The court heard she had been working as a farmhand in fields with other women, when she was asked to fetch drinking water.
Some of the other women – all Muslims – refused to drink the water as it had been brought by a Christian and was therefore "unclean", according to Mrs Bibi's evidence, sparking a row.

The incident was forgotten until a few days later when Mrs Bibi said she was set upon by a mob.
The police were called and took her to a police station for her own safety.

Shahzad Kamran, of the Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan, said: "The police were under pressure from this Muslim mob, including clerics, asking for Asia to be killed because she had spoken ill of the Prophet Mohammed.

"So after the police saved her life they then registered a blasphemy case against her." He added that she had been held in isolation for more than a year before being sentenced to death on Monday.

"The trial was clear," he said. "She was innocent and did not say those words." Earlier this year, Pakistan's internet service providers were ordered to block Facebook to prevent access to supposedly blasphemous images.

Human rights groups believe the law is often used to discriminate against religious minorities, such as the country's estimated three million Christians.

Although no one has ever been executed under Pakistan's blasphemy laws – most are freed on appeal – as many as 10 people are thought to have been murdered while on trial.

Ali Hasan Dayan, of Human Rights Watch, said the blasphemy laws were out of step with rights guaranteed under Pakistan's constitution and should be repealed.

"It's an obscene law," he said. "Essentially the blasphemy law is used as a tool of persecution and to settle other scores that are nothing to do with religion.

"It makes religious minorities particularly vulnerable because it's often used against them." See Chick's MEN OF PEACE?

Carter Thinks A Gay President Would Be Progress

Former President Jimmy Carter did a recent series of video interviews with the website Big Think. He addresses a number of issues -- debt, Americans' addiction to consumption, his failings as the President.

One question posed to him is whether or not the United States is ready for a gay president. He responds, "I think the entire population of America has come tremendous strides forward in dealing with the issue of gays. And I would say that the answer is yes. I don't know about the next election, but I think in the near future."

"Step by step, we've realized this issue of homosexuality has the same adverse and progression elements as when we dealt with the race issue 50 years ago, 40 years ago," he continues. "So I would say that the country's getting acclimated to a president who might be female, who might obviously now be black and who might be, as well, a gay person. I would say the answer's yes."

CNN's "Situation Room" panel had some interesting responses.

Republican strategist Rich Galen says he's "spent his entire adult life not listening to a theory Jimmy Carter has, so [he thinks he'll] just stick to that," but he goes on to say, "I think at some point, sure ... I wouldn't have bet heavy money that we'd elect a black president in 2010."

CNN contributor John Avlon points out that we have openly gay mayors and members of COngress, eventually we'll have openly gay senators and governors and then eventually we'll have an openly gay president.

Liberal pundit James Carville cracks, "I'm pretty sure we haven't had a female president yet. I'm less sure we haven't had a gay one."

Carter remains one of the most unpopular Presidents in recent times, but President Obama has given him some stiff competition. Recently, even George W. Bush saw his popularity rise above Obama's sagging poll numbers. Promoting the idea of a gay President may be Carter's effort to win favor with the far left. See Chick's SIN CITY.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Westboro Plans Protest at Edward's Funeral

At least two groups say they'll mount a counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church's planned picketing of Elizabeth Edwards' funeral Saturday in an attempt to shield mourners from the demonstrators.

The Kansas-based church, known for its anti-gay stance, has condemned Edwards, the estranged wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who died Tuesday at the age of 61 after a long battle with cancer, and says it will show up at her funeral in Raleigh, N.C.

In an invective-filled press release, the church group said Edwards brought about her own death -- and the death of her 16-year-old son, Wade, who died in a car accident in 1996 -- by failing to accept God in her life and by using infertility treatments to conceive her two younger children. The group, which is not affiliated with any Baptist church, said Edwards has joined her son as a "resident of hell."

Edwards will be laid to rest next to her son.

In Raleigh, some groups are planning counter-protests. Ben Requena, a North Carolina graphic designer, organized an event on Facebook asking volunteers to come to the Edenton Street United Methodist Church, where the service will be held Saturday, to create a "human buffer" between the church group and the Edwards family.

Requena said his decision to organize the counter-protest was more about decency than politics. "It just seems like the right thing to do, to go out there and show support for human decency," he told The Charlotte Observer. "I didn't know Elizabeth Edwards or have any special connection to her, but I've heard about Westboro's antics."

Another group, known as Line of Love, has vowed to do the same thing and surround the Edwards family to drown out the Kansas church group's message. "Regardless of your politics, it's just downright rude to bring a protest of this sort to disrupt the mourning process," the group wrote on its Facebook page. "We'll begin a silent lineup around the block of the church beginning at noon and will stay there to block the protesters from sight until the service is over."

Inside the church, mourners will hear eulogies from Cate Edwards, the Edwards' 28-year-old daughter, and Hargrave McElroy and Glenn Bergenfield, friends of the family, according to multiple news reports. John Edwards is not expected to speak, nor is his new mistress expected to attend.

AOL's PopEater noted that President Barack Obama has no scheduled events on his Saturday calendar, leading to speculation that he and the first lady might attend the funeral. See Chick's SOMEBODY GOOFED.

Priest Accused of Abusing 2,000 Boys

The Roman Catholic Church is still struggling to cope with the fallout of sex abuse scandals from Germany to the U.S., but it now faces a flood of damaging new allegations from the Netherlands.

According to a report from an independent commission, almost 2,000 Dutch people have reported being sexually and physically abused by priests when they were children -- a huge number for a country with only 4 million Catholics.

The church set up the investigative commission in March after scandals involving pedophile priests surfaced in neighboring Belgium and Germany. The panel published its interim report on Thursday -- its full findings will be released next year -- showing that 1,975 people had come forward over the past year to lodge abuse allegations.

This sudden flurry of accusations means that the Netherlands is ranked second only to Ireland for the number of alleged abuse cases involving the church, Reuters reported.

Almost all of the alleged abuse took place in Dutch Catholic schools and boys' clubs between 1945 and 1990, The New York Times reported. Around 10 cases are believed to relate to events in the past two decades.

"I am very respectful of the people who came forward, because declaring yourself a victim is a big step," said commission head Wim Deetman, a Protestant and former education minister, according to the BBC.

Asked if the report could lead to pressure for a shakeup in the church hierarchy, Deetman replied: "It is too soon to say that. We will see that at the end of next year after discussions with a lot of people. But the bishops' conference has asked us to look at managerial responsibilities."

A central charge made by many alleged abuse victims in the Netherlands, as in other countries, is that the church covered up crimes by moving pedophile priests from parish to parish. That allegation is central to a court hearing that opened Tuesday in the western city of Middelburg. The case involves an 88-year-old priest from the Salesian religious order -- referred to as Father Jan N. -- who in 1990 was convicted of abusing youngsters while working in the town of Terneuzen, 15 miles southeast of Middelburg.

Father Jan N. had previously been arrested, and confessed to, similar charges in the late 1970s, when he was director of a Catholic youth center near The Hague, according to The New York Times. However, he was never charged and was allowed to move to another parish. The bishop of Rotterdam -- whose diocese includes The Hague -- at the time of the first crime, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, is set to testify at the hearing next month.

The alleged victim's lawyer, Martin De Witte -- who is representing some 120 other alleged abuse victims -- told the Times that his now 34-year-old client wants an apology and damages for the trauma he suffered in Terneuzen. De Witte added that the hearing will put pressure on the church to compensate its alleged victims and face its failings.

"We chose this case because it's a relatively young victim," he said, "and a situation where we say the Catholic Church didn't take the measures to protect children from this man. They gave him another chance, and another, and another."

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in the Netherlands told the paper that, under its rules, the diocesan bishop does not have responsibility for institutions run by Catholic orders.

Evidence has also recently emerged that the church in the Netherlands, as in other countries, bought the silence of the abused. Last month it was revealed that the Salesian order secretly paid $22,000 to a victim who was repeatedly sexually abused by seven priests at the Don Rua monastery between 1948 and 1953.

One of those priests, Jan ter Schure, went on to become bishop of Den Bosch. The payment was made six months after his death in 2003. See Chick's ALBERTO.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dems Fail in Forcing Openly Gay Soldiers Onto Military

Senate Republicans blocked repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell" Thursday, significantly dimming prospects that the ban on gays serving openly in the military will could be forced through before new the recently elected representatives have a chance to take their seats in Congress.

The 57-40 vote came on a motion to bring the giant defense budget bill, which included repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell" (DADT), to the floor, with Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid unable to muster the 60 votes to launch debate.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had pinned his hopes on the Senate for an orderly implementation of the change in military policy. The House voted this fall to repeal the 17-year-old law, and a positive Senate vote would have allowed the Pentagon to begin a lengthy process to actually lift the ban.

Unless the Senate acts this month, it is possible the activist judges in the courts will order an an repeal, an outcome Gates has said would lead to chaos and precisely the kind of disruption of morale and combat readiness many critics of repeal have feared. However, such actions would likely be overturned by the Supreme court.

The vote was taken without debate.

An activist circuit judge has recently ruled the gay ban unconstitutional and ordered an immediate worldwide lifting of all Defense Department regulations providing for investigation and discharge of gay and lesbian service members. The 9th District Court of Appeals is currently weighing a Justice Department appeal to stay that order and overturn the lower court decision. A ruling from the appellate court is expected in March.

Reservations were expressed by the military chiefs in a lengthy and contentious Senate hearing Dec. 3, during which they expressed much the same reservations as Gates. Of the four military service chiefs, the Marine commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, was most outspoken: " My recommendation is that we should not implement repeal at this time,'' he told the committee.

Some 14,000 openly gay and lesbian service members have been discharged in the 17 years since the gay ban was enacted during the Clinton administration. See Chick's SIN CITY.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Warning For Yoga-Users

Yoga has become so popular in the West as a form of exercise that some critics say many of its most spiritual aspects — specifically, its roots in Hinduism — are being lost on those who practice. The Hindu American Foundation, for
instance, has launched a “Take Back Yoga” campaign that seeks to educate people about yoga’s religious side.

Suhag A. Shukla, Managing Director and Legal Counsel for the HAF, said the campaign grew out of frustration over a yoga industry that they claim hides the Hinduism inherent in yoga: “They view Hinduism as all caste, cows and curry — but there are metaphysical concepts in yoga that are part of the Hindu religion.”

Ironically, this movement has found an unlikely ally in certain Christian preachers who are all too aware of yoga’s religious link to Hinduism — and would encourage their flock to save their souls by leaving yoga alone.

“Yoga is nothing a Christian should delve into,” warned Bill Keller, a prominent televangelist and head of the 9/11 Christian Center in New York. “These new-age philosophies are in complete contradiction with biblical truth. It’s watered-down, feel-good nonsense.” See Chick's THE TRAITOR.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Helen Thomas Faces Blowback For Anti-Zionist Comments

Wayne State University has terminated its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media award after the former White House correspondent claimed that the United States is controlled by "Zionists."

Thomas, 90, told a workshop on anti-Arab bias in Dearborn, Mich., that Jewish influence made it impossible to criticize Israel in the United States.

"Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists," Thomas said on Thursday. "They put their money where their mouth is."

Wayne State "strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas," the university said in an e-mailed statement, according to The Associated Press.

Wayne State's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity has given the Helen Thomas award for work that promotes diversity. The award "is no longer helping us achieve our goals," Matthew Seeger, an interim dean, told The Detroit Free Press.

This is not the first time that Thomas has made explosive comments. In June, she was caught on camera saying that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go home to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else."

Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants in Detroit, was once a pioneering political correspondent. She was the first female officer of the National Press Club and the first female member of the White House Correspondents Association. She has covered every president since Eisenhower and was known for her aggressive style.

Thomas quit as a columnist for Hearst newspapers following the June incident. She later apologized for the remarks.

The Anti-Defamation League blasted Thomas on Friday and said her latest comments tarnished her legacy as a journalist.

"Helen Thomas has clearly, unequivocally revealed herself as a vulgar anti-Semite," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. "Her suggestion that Zionists control government, finance and Hollywood is nothing less than classic, garden-variety anti-Semitism."

Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, applauded Wayne State's decision to withdraw the award.

"I think it was just very ironic that she made these comments at an event, the purpose of which was to address stereotyping," Cohen told the AP. "And it was very disappointing to know that she received a standing ovation from that audience."

Thomas's words also drew criticism from members of her own profession. In a New Republic article titled "Helen Thomas Lets The Mask Slip," Jonathan Chait wrote that she has a problem with Jews.

Chait previously said Thomas' comments about Jews in Palestine were anti-Zionist, rather than anti-Semitic.

"I prefer to hold off on imputing motives of bigotry without strong proof, but there's not a whole lot of doubt remaining here," Chait wrote in The New Republic.

The ADL called on all institutions that have presented Thomas with awards to withdraw them. Thomas has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and holds more than 30 honorary degrees, according to the ADL.

"Through her words and deeds she has besmirched both herself and her profession," Foxman said. "This is a sad final chapter to an otherwise illustrious career." See Chick's LOVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

New Push For Gay Troops

Gay troops can serve openly in the armed forces without harming the military's ability to fight, the Pentagon's top appointees declared Tuesday, calling for the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" ban to be scrapped and pointing to a new survey to show most troops won't mind. (These are the same leaders appointed by Obama and are expected to share his political goals.)

President Barack Obama, citing the troop poll (with questionable accuracy), urged the Senate to repeal the ban before adjourning in the next few weeks, but there is still no indication GOP objections can be overcome with just a few weeks left in the postelection lame-duck session. The survey itself appears to have been a classic "push-poll", that is, one conducted to achieve specific predetermined results. It is unclear if the troop survey was done face to face or in secret, meaning if the soldiers were parroting what they knew their superiors wanted to hear, or if they could answer with their honest feelings secretly. Gay supporters and many liberal media outlets are claiming that "70% support the change," but this is untrue. The 70% figure is arrived at if those who support a change are combined with those who think the effects would be "mixed." In other words, one could add the "mixed" results with those who oppose the change and also come up with a majority. Another manipulative trick was combining the combat troops responses (those who it will most effect) with non-combat soldiers. 45% of those who do the actual fighting were against the change, and a vast majority of the Marines were especially against the change. In the past, troops have been overwhelming against openly gay and straight soldiers sleeping together in combat situations.

Senate Democrats plan to force a vote in December before the newer Republican Senators have a chance to take their seats. It is a tacit admission they don't feel they can win the vote unless they depend on Senators who are leaving anyway.

In order to "pay back" gays for their support in his election, Obama has called it a top priority to repeal the 1993 law that bans openly gay service. But gay rights groups have complained that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have done too little to see it through, focusing their postelection efforts instead on tax cuts and a nuclear arms treaty with Russia before Republicans gain congressional strength when lawmakers return in January.

In the report, the study's co-chairs, Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham, wrote, "We are both convinced that our military can do this, even during this time of war." However, Al Quada will certainly capitalize on any perception that the "Godless Americans" whom they fight support homosexuality, as gay activity is strictly condemned in Islam and would be culturally poisonous to relations in the Arab world. It just goes to show that with this administration, political correctness and political payback always trump winning the war. See Chick's THE CHAPLAIN.