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Jim Geraghty: You’re doing it wrong

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

Jim Geraghty makes an excellent point about Alison Grimes’ ignorance on Israel’s Iron Dome.

Unfortunately, he displays the very same kind of ignorance about Kentucky as Grimes does about Israel when he posted this at the end of his article.

grimes_derby

That’s quite a lovely Kentucky Derby outfit. Grimes does Kentucky proud in wearing it, despite her inability to represent Kentucky on national security matters. The suggestion that our Kentucky culture somehow makes us backward and ignorant about the rest of the world is, as noted, just as ignorant as Grimes’ remark on the Iron Dome. In other words, Pot, meet Kettle.

Kentucky Derby pageantry is a sign of refinement and civilization, not backwardness and ignorance. Grimes is exhibiting something in the photo that expresses a “goodness” about Kentucky. To mock this is not in any way helpful to Mitch McConnell’s campaign, and I would very much like for Senator McConnell to win. His defenders need to take note that if they want to defend him, they need to show a little more respect for things that Kentuckians care about.

I know that Senator McConnell would not approve of the photo above being mocked, particularly in this manner. That’s one of the things that I like about Mitch McConnell. He, like Alison Grimes, is a genuine Kentuckian who would not approve of this mockery of Kentucky pageantry.

I love Kentucky culture and I will not see it mocked, no matter who the intended target is. Hats off to Alison Grimes for sporting a Kentucky Derby outfit that any Kentucky woman would be honored to wear as a testimony to our beautiful culture.

We all love it here, even if we may disagree on politics.

 

 

 

Senator McConnell Takes Kentucky Coal Miners’ Message to the EPA

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

McConnell_Rose2

McConnell Press Release:

Jimmy Rose Joins McConnell at Hearing in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell took the concerns of coal country to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. today when he testified at the agency’s hearing on its regulation for existing power plants and the negative impact it will have on Kentucky’s economy and coal jobs.

Senator McConnell has repeatedly invited the EPA to come to Kentucky to hear first-hand from Kentucky miners and families impacted by the agency’s regulations, however, the EPA has ignored the Senator’s requests.

Joining Senator McConnell at the hearing was Jimmy Rose of Pineville, Kentucky. Rose is a former Kentucky coal miner, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and star of America’s Got Talent. Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association, also testified at the hearing. Senator McConnell’s testimony is below the photos.

—- End McConnell Press Release —-

I’m not really a country music fan, but as a coal miner’s daughter in Kentucky, I’m delighted to see Jimmy Rose being politically active in helping our coal industry. He really puts his money where his mouth is, doesn’t he? God bless him.

Here’s a nice photo of Jimmy Rose with Senator McConnell:

Mcconnell_Rose

On European Court of Human Rights, some dissent on Church’s right to dismiss clerics

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

european-court-of-human-rights

A judge on the European Court of Human Rights has written in a dissent that being a priest is a “fundamental human right,” meaning that the Church, through her bishops, has no right to dismiss a priest who does not want to be dismissed. He opined that it is “persecution” for the Church to dismiss a priest who dissents against the celibacy rule.

Turtle Bay: [Emphasis Mine]

Judge Dedov clearly disagreed with this ruling [which had maintained the autonomy of the Catholic Church to dismiss its clerics]. He began his dissent with a lofty view of the court’s ‘task’. He thought it was to ‘balance the rights and place them into some hierarchy’. But no one has actually given him or the court the legal or political mandate to establish any ‘hierarchy’ of rights. No authority was cited on this point too. In fact, the court has never attempted to develop a system where certain rights would always trump others. Rather, it has always stressed that attention must be given to the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

 

However, the court’s task so defined gave Judge Dedov room to be unapologetic about his prejudices against the celibacy rule. He said that the Church was not entitled ‘to persecute [its] members for exercising their fundamental human rights’. He went on to say, ‘If the Convention system is intended to combat totalitarianism, then there is no reason to tolerate the sort of totalitarianism that can be seen in the present case.’

 

One wonders what those who survived the horrors of real totalitarianism in the twentieth century would say.

The Church won this case, but only narrowly. The vote was 9-8.

BBC and Boston University tout study judging all children based on 66 kids in Cambridge, MA

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

Not real horses, unless you're in kindergarten, in which case, they might be.

Not real horses, unless you’re in kindergarten, in which case, they might be.

According to the BBC and researchers at Boston University, children from secular backgrounds are better able to distinguish reality from fantasy than children from religious backgrounds. The two studies used to make this claim surveyed 66 kids in or near Cambridge, Massachusetts. All of them were Kindergarteners, aged 5 or 6. Jewish children were excluded because New Testament stories were included for the religious portion. There is no mention of Muslim children.

The take-away here is that Christian kids (Jews and Muslims did not participate, but only Christians) are irrational because they have been reared to be irrational. It’s highly insulting, to say the least. These were all Kindergarteners being tested on their ability to distinguish reality from fantasy.

Hello?

What’s more, the “research” is done by people who reject the claims of the New Testament as being something other than “realistic.” At least one of the Bible stories is twisted. This, by itself, could cause a child who has been taught such stories to be even more uncertain than a Kindergartener would naturally be anyway about such questions.

Sample Questions:

Religious
This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away. However, God sent
Joseph many dreams warning about terrible storms, and Joseph used those dreams to tell the king how to protect his kingdom from the storms. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they became friends.

 

Fantastical
This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away where there were
terrible storms. Joseph used his magical powers to see into the future, and told the king
how to protect his kingdom from the storms. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they
became friends.

 

Realistic
This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away where there were
terrible storms. The king realized that Joseph was very good at looking at clouds and
predicting when there would be rain. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they
became friends.

In the actual story of Joseph interpreting the king’s dreams in the Bible, there is no mention of a “storm.” There is wind and famine, which means drought, not a “storm” which would include a lot of rain. No one versed in the Scriptures would refer to Joseph’s interpretation as being about a “storm.”  Any religious child hearing these questions is going to be confused about the purpose, therefore he/she will no longer be serious about giving accurate responses. Who wants to answer stupid questions with serious answers? Especially if one is only five or six years old?

<sarcasm>That “research” is not biased at all.</sarcasm>

This quote from the BBC article made my mouth literally drop open.

This blurring of reality and fantasy, even for children, is not always a good thing, says notable atheist blogger Hemant Mehta.

 

“Religion blurs the lines between fact and fiction. You only hope kids exposed to it figure it out soon enough,” he writes for Patheos.

The hypocrisy here is shocking, breathtaking and disgusting. Anyone touting this as “scientific research” cannot adequately distinguish reality from fantasy. They are idiots. Yes, idiots.

More Idiots: 5-Year-Old Terrorist Threat for Fake Gun?

 

LGBT foundation aims to counter Vatican family synod

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

vaticana

Denver, Colo., Jul 30, 2014 / 12:01 am (CNA).- An LGBT activist foundation headed by a former Obama White House staffer gave a $200,000 grant to a dissenting Catholic coalition to target the upcoming Synod on the Family and World Youth Day.

The Michigan-based Arcus Foundation gave the 2014 grant to Dignity USA “to support pro-LGBT faith advocates to influence and counter the narrative of the Catholic Church and its ultra-conservative affiliates.”

“The effort will build advocacy and visibility in connection with two special events, the Synod of the Family and World Youth Day,” the foundation said on its website.

An extraordinary bishops’ synod will meet in Rome this Oct. 5-19 to address pastoral challenges related to the family. The synod has been the subject of significant media coverage and speculation.

On June 26, synod organizers released the synod’s preparatory document, a broad-ranging document which among other topics summarized Catholic teaching on homosexuality. It discussed the bishops’ desire to consider the pastoral response to homosexuality, to Catholics in homosexual relationships, and to any children raised under those unions.

That same day, Dignity USA president Marianne Duddy-Burke attacked the document, claiming it showed “a rigid adherence to existing teaching.” The organization’s statement charged that the document “shows no openness to change in hurtful teachings.”

Dignity USA has also been active in protests against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco’s participation in the March for Marriage, a movement intended to support marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

The Arcus Foundation’s March 2014 grant announcement said the Dignity USA funding was for the Equally Blessed Coalition, which includes Dignity USA, Call To Action, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

All of the groups have a history of promoting the rejection of Catholic teaching. In 2010 and 2011 New Ways Ministry, which has also received Arcus Foundation funding, drew a response from leading U.S. bishops who said the organization does not adhere to Catholic teaching.

The Arcus Foundation said the coalition will “amplify pro-LGBT voices within the Catholic Church in preparation for significant international gatherings planned by Catholic bishops and the Vatican.”

According to the foundation, the funding was part of an effort to engage “open-minded religious leaders who can use their influence to shift public views away from prejudice.”

The Equally Blessed coalition is presently seeking families who are willing to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015 “to speak out for LGBT inclusion in the Church,” a flier posted on the coalition website states.

The coalition also helped support self-identified LGBT youth travel to World Youth Day in Rio in 2013, with the goal of raising awareness about gender and sexuality issues and “challenging harmful teachings and pastoral practices that dehumanize,” the coalition website said.

The Arcus Foundation has close ties to the Obama administration, contributing $1 million to the State Department’s Global Equality Fund. The LGBT advocacy fund has spent about $12 million worldwide, the Associated Press reported in June.

Other ties include Kevin Jennings, the foundation’s executive director since July 2012. President Obama in 2009 appointed Jennings as assistant deputy U.S. Secretary of Education and head of the White House’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

Jennings, a former high school teacher, is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which has advanced LGBT activism in thousands of U.S. secondary schools.

Critics saw his programs against school bullying as working to marginalize concerns about the immorality of promoting homosexual behavior. He also came under heavy criticism for his radical connections.

Jennings’ partner Jeff Davis, in a 2008 speech, said when he met Jennings in the early 1990s Jennings was a member of ACT UP, an AIDS patient advocacy group whose activism included disruptive protests in churches. In 1992 some members’ protests during Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City included the desecration of the Eucharist.

In a 1997 speech Jennings said he was “inspired” by early homosexual activist Harry Hay. He edited a gay and lesbian history reader for high school and college students that profiled Hay. Jennings’ critics have pointed out that Hay was also a vocal supporter of the pedophile advocacy group NAMBLA.

Jennings also came under criticism for his response to a male high school student who Jennings said came to him for advice after the teen engaged in sexual conduct with an older man in a Boston bus station restroom in 1988.

He said he listened and offered advice. In Jennings’ later comments on the incident, he said he told the student he hoped he used a condom, CNN reported in 2009.

Jennings’ accounts described the teen as a 15-year-old, under the age of consent in Massachusetts. The student later came forward, saying there had been no sexual contact and that he was above the age of legal consent in Massachusetts at the time of his conversation with Jennings.

Jennings left the Obama Administration in 2011.

The Arcus Foundation was founded by Jon M. Stryker, an heir to the fortune produced by the Stryker Corporation medical devices manufacturer. The Arcus Foundation had almost $171.2 million in assets and total revenue of $29.8 million in 2012, its tax forms state. It gave $28.6 million in grants that year.

The Arcus Foundation is also a financial supporter of the Citizen Engagement Lab Education Fund, giving it a $75,000 grant in 2014 “to present a faith-based challenge to religious institutions and leaders that abuse religious freedom,” the foundation’s grant list said. The grant announcement said the campaigns would promote “greater visibility” for Christians who “denounce the abuse of religious-freedom arguments to oppose full equality for LGBT persons.”

That education fund’s “Faithful America” project has led several recent campaigns against the Catholic Church and other Catholic organizations.

Its petition drives include one protesting the moral standards of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s teacher contracts. Another supports students at a Washington state Catholic high school who protested the departure of a vice principal who had entered a same-sex “marriage.” A third petition protested to the Arizona legislature’s proposed expansion of religious freedom protections.

Another campaign called on Cardinal Francis George to cancel his celebration of Mass at the Courage Conference, a gathering of Catholics with same-sex attraction who aim to be faithful to Catholic teaching and practice. That campaign objected to the presence of therapists who believe that sexual orientation can be modified.

The Arcus Foundation’s 2014 grant to Dignity USA follows a 2012 grant of $200,000 to the organization to support the Equally Blessed coalition, tax forms show.

In 2012 the coalition issued a report attacking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus for their work to maintain the legal definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

The report was then used by Catholics United, a Democrat-leaning advocacy organization that has received significant funding from the Arcus Foundation ally the Colorado-based Gill Foundation.

The Gill Foundation’s founder, entrepreneur Tim Gill, has been a close political collaborator with Jon Stryker’s sister Pat.

The Gill Foundation’s Movement Advancement Project, which has received grants from the Arcus Foundation, has organized strategy to advance LGBT advocacy within U.S. religious denominations, seminaries, clergy coalitions and media “to counter religious opposition,” the Gill Foundation’s 2006 annual report said.

Dignity USA’s January 2012 newsletter suggests the Arcus Foundation committed at least $370,000 to the Equally Blessed Coalition for 2012-2013, though the grant totals reported on the foundation website do not match this claim.

The Arcus Foundation has also given $250,000 to the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice. It has made many six-figure donations to Protestant churches and organizations, as well as to secular universities.

In 2010, the foundation gave $100,000 to Fairfield University, a Catholic Jesuit institution in Connecticut, to hold forums and disseminate information that the Arcus Foundation said would “expand the current discussion on homosexuality within Roman Catholicism to include the diverse opinions of progressive Catholic thought leaders and theologians.”

The university then held sexuality seminars in collaboration with Fordham University in New York. Then-bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport and New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan voiced concerns that the seminars might encourage the rejection of Church teaching, but said that both university’s presidents had assured them they would “not be a vehicle for dissent.”

Source: Catholic News Agency, published with permission.

Colorado Supreme Court orders Boulder County clerk to stop issuing ‘gay marriage’ licenses

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

wedding_cake

Another win for true marriage.

New York Daily News:

Colorado’s Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while an appeal from the state attorney general is heard.

 

The court ruled Tuesday in response to an appeal from Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who has been trying for several weeks to get Boulder to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The court will hear the appeal, and it is ordering Boulder to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the meantime.

 

The same court previously ruled in Suthers’ favor in ordering Denver to quit issuing licenses, but that ruling didn’t apply to Boulder.

The order (.pdf) states:

IT IS ORDERED that Colorado Court of Appeals Case Number 2014 CA 1368, State Of Colorado v. Hillary Hall, in her official capacity as Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, shall be transferred forthwith from the Colorado Court of Appeals to this Court Pursuant to C.A.R. 50(b), and the record on appeal shall be filed with the Colorado Supreme Court on or before October 20, 2014.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Hillary Hall, in her official capacity as of Boulder County Clerk and Recorder is hereby stayed under C.A.R. 8 from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending resolution of this appeal.

Thanks be to God….and please continue prayers for the protection of true marriage.

Atheist Richard Dawkins gauges immorality of rape cases, fails

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

Dawkins created for himself a headache.

Dawkins created for himself a headache.

Richard Dawkins has gotten himself into a heap of trouble by making an immoral judgment about rape:

OUTSPOKEN atheist Richard Dawkins has sparked a Twitter meltdown after saying some types of rape and pedophilia are worse than others.

 

The 73-year-old scientist tweeted that date rape was bad but stranger rape at knifepoint was worse, sparking a furious backlash and accusations that it trivialised sexual assault.

 

The furore prompted Dawkins to release a statement over the “tsunami of hate” over what he said was simply him making a “logical point” that everyone seemed to miss.

Apparently it is logical to most people that all rape is equally immoral, whether one was threatened with a knife or with someone’s biceps…hence he heard backlash. You see, faith and reason do go together, after all. Unfortunately, Dawkins is lacking in both.

See Fides Et Ratio.

IRS promises atheists it will target churches in accordance with their wishes

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

magnify

Mind-boggling.

CHAMBLEE, Ga. – Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.

ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press release the group issued on July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”

The IRS claims it is temporarily withholding investigations of all tax-exempt entities because of congressional scrutiny of its recent scandals, but no one knows when it will decide to restart investigations based on any new or modified rules that it develops.

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation press release, “The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations.”

The release mentions the ADF annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” event as one that promotes activity by churches that violates the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that activist groups often cite in an attempt to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status. The Johnson Amendment authorizes the IRS to regulate sermons and requires churches to give up their constitutionally protected freedom of speech in order to retain their tax-exempt status.

“The IRS cannot force churches to give up their precious constitutionally protected freedoms to receive a tax exemption,” explained ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, who heads the Pulpit Freedom Sunday event. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to do the same to be able to keep his constitutionally protected freedom of speech.”

This year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday will be held on Oct. 5.

Source: Alliance Defending Freedom

‘Civil rights’ activists oppose hiring of white male to teach African-American, Latino studies

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

fresno_racism

If no white male can possibly understand African-American and/or Latino studies well enough to teach kids, simply because he is a white male, then what good is such a class? Come to think of it, if a white male eloquently and powerfully teaches these classes, isn’t that even more unifying for the students exposed to it because they are hearing it from someone who is, say, pigment-challenged? Apparently not, according to these activists who, with all due respect, sound like racists to me.

From the Fresno Bee, via IJReview:

Boehner to Reid: House Will Reject Any Attempt to Add Immigration Reform to Border Bill

by Lisa Graas on July 30, 2014

boehner

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he would attempt to add comprehensive immigration reform to any House-passed bill to address the current border crisis:

“Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution. So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion. Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis. Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the People’s House.
“While the White House has abandoned all pretense of governing and the Senate is doing almost nothing to address our struggling economy, Republicans remain committed to addressing the American people’s priorities, and that includes passing a responsible bill this week to help secure our border and return these children safely to their home countries.”

NOTE: Republican Senators have also ruled out any attempt to use the current crisis to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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