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    Default The End of Christian America

    The End of Christian America

    The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.



    Charles Gullung / Photonica-Getty Images


    By Jon Meacham | NEWSWEEK
    Published Apr 4, 2009
    From the magazine issue dated Apr 13, 2009

    It was a small detail, a point of comparison buried in the fifth paragraph on the 17th page of a 24-page summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey. But as R. Albert Mohler Jr.—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest on earth—read over the document after its release in March, he was struck by a single sentence.

    For a believer like Mohler—a starched, unflinchingly conservative Christian, steeped in the theology of his particular province of the faith, devoted to producing ministers who will preach the inerrancy of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life—the central news of the survey was troubling enough: the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, "this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified." As Mohler saw it, the historic foundation of America's religious culture was cracking.

    "That really hit me hard," he told me last week. "The Northwest was never as religious, never as congregationalized, as the Northeast, which was the foundation, the home base, of American religion. To lose New England struck me as momentous." Turning the report over in his mind, Mohler posted a despairing online column on the eve of Holy Week lamenting the decline—and, by implication, the imminent fall—of an America shaped and suffused by Christianity.

    "A remarkable culture-shift has taken place around us," Mohler wrote. "The most basic contours of American culture have been radically altered. The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our culture." When Mohler and I spoke in the days after he wrote this, he had grown even gloomier. "Clearly, there is a new narrative, a post-Christian narrative, that is animating large portions of this society," he said from his office on campus in Louisville, Ky.

    There it was, an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory. To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population.

    According to the American Religious Identification Survey that got Mohler's attention, the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent. The Jewish population is 1.2 percent; the Muslim, 0.6 percent. A separate Pew Forum poll echoed the ARIS finding, reporting that the percentage of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith has doubled in recent years, to 16 percent; in terms of voting, this group grew from 5 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2008—roughly the same percentage of the electorate as African-Americans. (Seventy-five percent of unaffiliated voters chose Barack Obama, a Christian.) Meanwhile, the number of people willing to describe themselves as atheist or agnostic has increased about fourfold from 1990 to 2009, from 1 million to about 3.6 million. (That is about double the number of, say, Episcopalians in the United States.)

    While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago. I think this is a good thing—good for our political culture, which, as the American Founders saw, is complex and charged enough without attempting to compel or coerce religious belief or observance. It is good for Christianity, too, in that many Christians are rediscovering the virtues of a separation of church and state that protects what Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island as a haven for religious dissenters, called "the garden of the church" from "the wilderness of the world." As crucial as religion has been and is to the life of the nation, America's unifying force has never been a specific faith, but a commitment to freedom—not least freedom of conscience. At our best, we single religion out for neither particular help nor particular harm; we have historically treated faith-based arguments as one element among many in the republican sphere of debate and decision. The decline and fall of the modern religious right's notion of a Christian America creates a calmer political environment and, for many believers, may help open the way for a more theologically serious religious life.

    Let's be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian. A third of Americans say they are born again; this figure, along with the decline of politically moderate-to liberal mainline Protestants, led the ARIS authors to note that "these trends … suggest a movement towards more conservative beliefs and particularly to a more 'evangelical' outlook among Christians." With rising numbers of Hispanic immigrants bolstering the Roman Catholic Church in America, and given the popularity of Pentecostalism, a rapidly growing Christian milieu in the United States and globally, there is no doubt that the nation remains vibrantly religious—far more so, for instance, than Europe.

    Still, in the new NEWSWEEK Poll, fewer people now think of the United States as a "Christian nation" than did so when George W. Bush was president (62 percent in 2009 versus 69 percent in 2008. Two thirds of the public (68 percent) now say religion is "losing influence" in American society, while just 19 percent say religion's influence is on the rise. The proportion of Americans who think religion "can answer all or most of today's problems" is now at a historic low of 48 percent. During the Bush 43 and Clinton years, that figure never dropped below 58 percent.

    Many conservative Christians believe they have lost the battles over issues such as abortion, school prayer and even same-sex marriage, and that the country has now entered a post-Christian phase. Christopher Hitchens —a friend and possibly the most charming provocateur you will ever meet—wrote a hugely popular atheist tract a few years ago, "God Is Not Great." As an observant (if deeply flawed) Episcopalian, I disagree with many of Hitchens's arguments—I do not think it is productive to dismiss religious belief as superstitious and wrong—but he is a man of rigorous intellectual honesty who, on a recent journey to Texas, reported hearing evangelical mutterings about the advent of a "post-Christian" America.

    To be post-Christian has meant different things at different times. In 1886, The Atlantic Monthly described George Eliot as "post-Christian," using the term as a synonym for atheist or agnostic. The broader—and, for our purposes, most relevant—definition is that "post-Christian" characterizes a period of time that follows the decline of the importance of Christianity in a region or society. This use of the phrase first appeared in the 1929 book "America Set Free" by the German philosopher Hermann Keyserling.

    The term was popularized during what scholars call the "death of God" movement of the mid-1960s—a movement that is, in its way, still in motion. Drawing from Nietzsche's 19th-century declaration that "God is dead," a group of Protestant theologians held that, essentially, Christianity would have to survive without an orthodox understanding of God. Tom Altizer, a religion professor at Emory University, was a key member of the Godless Christianity movement, and he traces its intellectual roots first to Kierkegaard and then to Nietzsche. For Altizer, a post-Christian era is one in which "both Christianity and religion itself are unshackled from their previous historical grounds." In 1992 the critic Harold Bloom published a book titled "The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation." In it he cites William James's definition of religion in "The Varieties of Religious Experience": "Religion … shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they consider the divine."

    Which is precisely what most troubles Mohler. "The post-Christian narrative is radically different; it offers spirituality, however defined, without binding authority," he told me. "It is based on an understanding of history that presumes a less tolerant past and a more tolerant future, with the present as an important transitional step." The present, in this sense, is less about the death of God and more about the birth of many gods. The rising numbers of religiously unaffiliated Americans are people more apt to call themselves "spiritual" rather than "religious." (In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, 30 percent describe themselves this way, up from 24 percent in 2005.)

    Roughly put, the Christian narrative is the story of humankind as chronicled in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament—the drama of creation, fall and redemption. The orthodox tend to try to live their lives in accordance with the general behavioral principles of the Bible (or at least the principles they find there of which they approve) and anticipate the ultimate judgment of God—a judgment that could well determine whether they spend eternity in heaven or in hell.

    What, then, does it mean to talk of "Christian America"? Evangelical Christians have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles. If the church believes drinking to be a sin, for instance, then the laws of the state should ban the consumption of alcohol. If the church believes the theory of evolution conflicts with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis, then the public schools should tailor their lessons accordingly.

    If the church believes abortion should be outlawed, then the legislatures and courts of the land should follow suit. The intensity of feeling about how Christian the nation should be has ebbed and flowed since Jamestown; there is, as the Bible says, no thing new under the sun. For more than 40 years, the debate that began with the Supreme Court's decision to end mandatory school prayer in 1962 (and accelerated with the Roe v. Wade ruling 11 years later) may not have been novel, but it has been ferocious. Fearing the coming of a Europe-like secular state, the right longed to engineer a return to what it believed was a Christian America of yore.

    But that project has failed, at least for now. In Texas, authorities have decided to side with science, not theology, in a dispute over the teaching of evolution. The terrible economic times have not led to an increase in church attendance. In Iowa last Friday, the state Supreme Court ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage, a defeat for religious conservatives. Such evidence is what has believers fretting about the possibility of an age dominated by a newly muscular secularism.

    "The moral teachings of Christianity have exerted an incalculable influence on Western civilization," Mohler says. "As those moral teachings fade into cultural memory, a secularized morality takes their place. Once Christianity is abandoned by a significant portion of the population, the moral landscape necessarily changes. For the better part of the 20th century, the nations of Western Europe led the way in the abandonment of Christian commitments. Christian moral reflexes and moral principles gave way to the loosening grip of a Christian memory. Now even that Christian memory is absent from the lives of millions."

    Religious doubt and diversity have, however, always been quintessentially American. Alexis de Tocqueville said that "the religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me on arrival in the United States," but he also discovered a "great depth of doubt and indifference" to faith. Jefferson had earlier captured the essence of the American spirit about religion when he observed that his statute for religious freedom in Virginia was "meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination"—and those of no faith whatever. The American culture of religious liberty helped create a busy free market of faith: by disestablishing churches, the nation made religion more popular, not less.

    America, then, is not a post-religious society—and cannot be as long as there are people in it, for faith is an intrinsic human impulse. The belief in an order or a reality beyond time and space is ancient and enduring. "All men," said Homer, "need the gods." The essential political and cultural question is to what extent those gods—or, more accurately, a particular generation's understanding of those gods—should determine the nature of life in a given time and place.

    If we apply an Augustinian test of nationhood to ourselves, we find that liberty, not religion, is what holds us together. In "The City of God," Augustine —converted sinner and bishop of Hippo—said that a nation should be defined as "a multitude of rational beings in common agreement as to the objects of their love." What we value most highly—what we collectively love most—is thus the central test of the social contract.

    Judging from the broad shape of American life in the first decade of the 21st century, we value individual freedom and free (or largely free) enterprise, and tend to lean toward libertarianism on issues of personal morality. The foundational documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, not the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (though there are undeniable connections between them). This way of life is far different from what many overtly conservative Christians would like. But that is the power of the republican system engineered by James Madison at the end of the 18th century: that America would survive in direct relation to its ability to check extremism and preserve maximum personal liberty.

    Religious believers should welcome this; freedom for one sect means freedom for all sects. As John F. Kennedy said in his address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960: "For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew—or a Quaker—or a Unitarian—or a Baptist … Today I may be the victim—but tomorrow it may be you—until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped."

    Religion has been a factor in American life and politics from the beginning. Anglican observance was compulsory at Jamestown, and the Puritans of New England were explicitly hoping to found a New Jerusalem. But coerced belief is no belief at all; it is tyranny. "I commend that man, whether Jew, or Turk, or Papist, or whoever, that steers no otherwise than his conscience dares," said Roger Williams.

    By the time of the American founding, men like Jefferson and Madison saw the virtue in guaranteeing liberty of conscience, and one of the young republic's signal achievements was to create a context in which religion and politics mixed but church and state did not. The Founders' insight was that one might as well try to build a wall between economics and politics as between religion and politics, since both are about what people feel and how they see the world. Let the religious take their stand in the arena of politics and ideas on their own, and fight for their views on equal footing with all other interests. American public life is neither wholly secular nor wholly religious but an ever-fluid mix of the two. History suggests that trouble tends to come when one of these forces grows too powerful in proportion to the other.

    Political victories are therefore intrinsically transitory. In the middle of the 19th century, the evangelist Charles Grandison Finney argued that "the great business of the church is to reform the world—to put away every kind of sin"; Christians, he said, are "bound to exert their influence to secure a legislation that is in accordance with the law of God."

    Worldly success tends to mark the beginning of the end for the overtly religious in politics. Prohibition was initially seen as a great moral victory, but its failure and ultimate repeal show that a movement should always be careful what it wishes for: in America, the will of the broad whole tends to win out over even the most devoted of narrower interests.

    As the 20th century wore on, Christians found themselves in the relatively uncontroversial position of opposing "godless communism," and the fervor of the Prohibition and Scopes-trial era seemed to fade a bit. Issues of personal morality, not international politics, would lay the foundations for the campaign for Christian America that we know as the rise of the religious right. The phenomenon of divorce in the 1960s and the Roe decision in 1973 were critical, and Jimmy Carter's born-again faith brought evangelical Christianity to the mainstream in 1976.

    Growing up in Atlanta in the '60s and '70s, Joe Scarborough, the commentator and former Republican congressman, felt the fears of his evangelical parents and their friends—fears that helped build support for the politically conservative Christian America movement. "The great anxiety in Middle America was that we were under siege—my parents would see kids walking down the street who were Boy Scouts three years earlier suddenly looking like hippies, and they were scared," Scarborough says. "Culturally, it was October 2001 for a decade. For a decade. And once our parents realized we weren't going to disappear into dope and radicalism, the pressure came off. That's the world we're in now—parents of boomers who would not drink a glass of wine 30 years ago are now kicking back with vodka. In a way, they've been liberated."

    And they have learned that politics does not hold all the answers—a lesson that, along with a certain relief from the anxieties of the cultural upheavals of the '60s and '70s, has tended to curb religiously inspired political zeal. "The worst fault of evangelicals in terms of politics over the last 30 years has been an incredible naiveté about politics and politicians and parties," says Mohler. "They invested far too much hope in a political solution to what are transpolitical issues and problems. If we were in a situation that were more European, where the parties differed mostly on traditional political issues rather than moral ones, or if there were more parties, then we would probably have a very different picture. But when abortion and a moral understanding of the human good became associated with one party, Christians had few options politically."

    When that party failed to deliver—and it did fail—some in the movement responded by retreating into radicalism, convinced of the wickedness and venality of the political universe that dealt them defeat after defeat. (The same thing happened to many liberals after 1968: infuriated by the conservative mood of the country, the left reacted angrily and moved ever leftward.)

    The columnist Cal Thomas was an early figure in the Moral Majority who came to see the Christian American movement as fatally flawed in theological terms. "No country can be truly 'Christian'," Thomas says. "Only people can. God is above all nations, and, in fact, Isaiah says that 'All nations are to him a drop in the bucket and less than nothing'." Thinking back across the decades, Thomas recalls the hope—and the failure. "We were going through organizing like-minded people to 'return' America to a time of greater morality. Of course, this was to be done through politicians who had a difficult time imposing morality on themselves!"

    Experience shows that religious authorities can themselves be corrupted by proximity to political power. A quarter century ago, three scholars who are also evangelical Christians—Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch and George M. Marsden—published an important but too-little-known book, "The Search for Christian America." In it they argued that Christianity's claims transcend any political order. Christians, they wrote, "should not have illusions about the nature of human governments. Ultimately they belong to what Augustine calls 'the city of the world,' in which self-interest rules … all governments can be brutal killers."

    Their view tracks with that of the Psalmist, who said, "Put not thy trust in princes," and there is much New Testament evidence to support a vision of faith and politics in which the church is truest to its core mission when it is the farthest from the entanglements of power.

    The Jesus of the Gospels resolutely refuses to use the means of this world—either the clash of arms or the passions of politics—to further his ends. After the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the dazzled throng thought they had found their earthly messiah. "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone." When one of his followers slices off the ear of one of the arresting party in Gethsemane, Jesus says, "Put up thy sword." Later, before Pilate, he says, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight." The preponderance of lessons from the Gospels and from the rest of the New Testament suggests that earthly power is transitory and corrupting, and that the followers of Jesus should be more attentive to matters spiritual than political.

    As always with the Bible, however, there are passages that complicate the picture. The author of Hebrews says believers are "strangers and exiles on the earth" and that "For here we have no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come." In Romans the apostle Paul advises: "Do not be conformed to this world." The Second Vatican Council cited these words of Pius XII: the Catholic Church's "divine Founder, Jesus Christ, has not given it any mandate or fixed any end of the cultural order. The goal which Christ assigns to it is strictly religious … The Church can never lose sight of the strictly religious, supernatural goal."

    As an archbishop of Canterbury once said, though, it is a mistake to think that God is chiefly or even largely concerned with religion. "I hate the sound of your solemn assemblies," the Lord says in Amos. Religion is not only about worshipping your God but about doing godly things, and a central message of the Gospels is the duty of the Christian to transform, as best one can, reality through works of love.

    "Being in the world and not of it remains our charge," says Mohler. "The church is an eternal presence in a fallen, temporal world—but we are to have influence. The Sermon on the Mount is about what we are to do—but it does not come with a political handbook."

    How to balance concern for the garden of the church with the moral imperatives to make gentle the life of the world is one of the most perplexing questions facing the church. "We have important obligations to do whatever we can, including through the use of political means, to help our neighbors—promoting just laws, good order, peace, education and opportunity," wrote Noll, Hatch and Marsden. "Nonetheless we should recognize that as we work for the relatively better in 'the city of the world,' our successes will be just that—relative. In the last analysis the church declares that the solutions offered by the nations of the world are always transitory solutions, themselves in need of reform."

    Back in Louisville, preparing for Easter, Al Mohler keeps vigil over the culture. Last week he posted a column titled "Does Your Pastor Believe in God?," one on abortion and assisted suicide and another on the coming wave of pastors. "Jesus Christ promised that the very gates of Hell would not prevail against his church," Mohler wrote.

    "This new generation of young pastors intends to push back against hell in bold and visionary ministry. Expect to see the sparks fly." On the telephone with me, he added: "What we are seeing now is the evidence of a pattern that began a very long time ago of intellectual and cultural and political changes in thought and mind. The conditions have changed. Hard to pinpoint where, but whatever came after the Enlightenment was going to be very different than what came before." And what comes next here, with the ranks of professing Christians in decline, is going to be different, too.

    With Eliza Gray

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Obama declares US not at war with Islam

    Apr 6 08:58 AM US/Eastern
    By TOM RAUM
    Associated Press Writer

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Barack Obama, making his first visit to a Muslim nation as president, declared Monday the United States "is not and will never be at war with Islam."

    Calling for a greater partnership with the Islamic world in an address to the Turkish parliament, Obama called the country an important U.S. ally in many areas, including the fight against terrorism. He devoted much of his speech to urging a greater bond between Americans and Muslims, portraying terrorist groups such as al Qaida as extremists who did not represent the vast majority of Muslims.

    "Let me say this as clearly as I can," Obama said. "The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical ... in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject."

    The U.S. president is trying to mend fences with a Muslim world that felt it had been blamed by America for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyia, two of the biggest Arabic satellite channels, carried Obama's speech live.

    Obama said the partnership between the U.S. and the Muslim world is critical in rolling back what he called a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.

    "America's relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaida," he said. "We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect."

    "We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country," Obama said.

    Obama also said, to a round of applause, that the United States supports Turkey becoming a member of the European Union.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    latest email today from ''world net daily''

    President Barack Obama has just nominated federal Judge David Hamilton, who has issued controversial rulings (banning public prayers offered "in Jesus name," and hastening the abortion of unborn children), to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (the same court that has reversed his aggressive decisions for many years).




    Judge Hamilton is the worst of Obama's 15 new liberal appeals court appointees. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals covers Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Since most cases never reach the Supreme Court, the federal appellate circuits often provide the last word on cases affecting life and liberty.

    READ THE FACTS:
    The Judicial Confirmation Network quickly opposed Hamilton's nomination, stating that "President Obama's first nominee to the federal appeals courts -- specifically the appeals court based in Chicago -- is an ultra-liberal named David Hamilton who is a former fundraiser for ACORN and former leader of the Indiana chapter of the ACLU. He was nominated to the district court bench by President Clinton even though he had no judicial experience and was rated as 'not qualified' by the American Bar Association

    Hamilton ruled in 2005 to ban the practice of opening the chamber's business with prayers mentioning Jesus Christ or using terms such as "Savior." He said that amounted to state endorsement of a religion. (But he ruled prayers to "Allah" were perfectly lawful.)
    ANTI-JESUS, BUT PRO-ALLAH?

    Judge Hamilton wrote: "The injunction orders the Speaker...that the prayers should not use Christ's name or title or any other denominational appeal...If those offering prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives choose to use the Arabic 'Allah'...the court sees little risk that the choice of language would advance a particular religion or disparage others."

    In other words, Judge Hamilton ruled the words "Jesus" or "Christ" are illegal words, prohibited for public speech, banned by the First Amendment, which somehow prohibits freedom of religious expression, and makes Christian prayers ILLEGAL in a public forum. (What crazy version of the First Amendment is he reading?)

    Thank God, I took action in 2007 and provided legal arguments to the Indiana Attorney General who appealed to the 7th Circuit Court and WE WON a 2-1 decision overruling Hamilton, restoring the right to pray "in Jesus name" in Indiana.

    ANTI-LIFE BUT PRO-ABORTION?
    In 2003, Judge Hamilton struck down part of an Indiana law on abortion. The reasonable law had required abortion clinics to simply give women information about alternatives to abortion in the presence of a physician or nurse, 18 hours before the procedure, until Hamilton ruled to hasten abortions. But thank God, the 7th Circuit Court also reversed Hamilton's bad decision in that case.

    If confirmed now Hamilton will sit on that 7th Circuit Court (the same court that frequently overruled him) with terrible power to rule the heartland with his anti-life, anti-liberty, anti-Christian agenda.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    "We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country," Obama said.
    Yep, shaped the world for the better...



    FUCK OBAMA!

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    I'm not really sure that the United States could ever lay claim to having been a Christian nation.

    That the right to worship in one's way was guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

    That Christian religious leaders lament that people are moving away from the type of worship they feel (or believe) is the only way to worship is in itself lamentable.

    Much of what we read and hear from the more vocal religious leaders is to put Christ as one's head or ruler of the heart. But then they add rules and regulations (which are often more than not to get around putting Christ as one's head or ruler of the heart) to signify as to who is really a Christian or not.

    And, the majority of the religious leaders do themselves no favors when they start attacking each other or the general public or even the government.

    Similarly, when the Christ commissioned his disciples to go spread the word, he additionally told them not to argue the case but to move on and find people who were willing to listen.

    The founders of our Constitution, and thereby the Republic, tried to ensure that religion and government remain separate entities. We can go around and around as to the letter of that philosophy (e.g., prayer in a public school, which affects not just the Christians), and we have the Constitution-right to bicker among ourselves.

    But when President Obama or anyone else connected to the Federal government tells the world that the United States is not a Christian nation, it is not an attack on America, as some would like to reword the meaning of what he is saying. In the area of politics--and here is where I wish to keep it--because what I think of the President and the man occupying the White House is a non-sequitur--the expression is designed to separate the philosophy and rights guaranteed within the our nation from nations that adamantly express themselves as Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever, which do operate from a theocracy point of view. (But at the same time, these leaders are not fooled, as they act more from a dictatorial POV; the people are the ones who are fooled.)

    President Obama is expressing something that I believe most Americans can enjoin: the era of "we versus them" in a religious context has to end, if we are ever going to be able to end war and start getting along.

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    Obama has said a lot of things that are attacks on America. This is one more. Yet, as we all know, actions speak louder than words. Judeo-Christian America now "bows to Islam" as demonstrated by her representative of sorts. And that same representative selected to power one who, like himself, has a long-time record for the liberal immoral view that he applies to the law of our land. "If confirmed now Hamilton will sit on that 7th Circuit Court (the same court that frequently overruled him) with terrible power to rule the heartland with his anti-life, anti-liberty, anti-Christian agenda."He is ensuring that our country is changed and we are legally forced to live as he wishes. Right before our eyes, our freedoms are being removed. This is not a matter of all peoples being free to worship, we enjoy that freedom. This is not about balancing things out. The only way to get along with bullies is to give in to their demands. If we are not going to let that certain bully religion dictate to us their Sharia terms, then by default, we are at odds with them, we are at war with them until we submit. I submit that not all of us are going to accept this agreement to live at peace by the transforming our nation into one of secular liberal communistic dhimmis, followed years later by the institution of government mandated Sharia law. Patriotic Americans see the writing on the wall.
    I'm taking America back. Step 1: I'm taking my kids out of the public re-education system. They will no longer have liberal bias and lies like this from bullying teachers when I expect them to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic:
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    Aplomb, your fears are probably very real, and they should be addressed in a public forum.

    Islam declared war on the world, essentially, long before Obama took office. I am not necessarily homing in on just the terrorists, which even to most Moslems is a terrible thing. This "religion of peace" is just as fervent in converting the world to the "right" religion as Christianity was during the Midde Ages.

    There is an old Chinese saying: "Before one can become fast friends, he must fight the other." Respect of the other must be reciprocated. So, when we view a leader acting more like the other culture, we Americans feel like this leader is being un-American or kowtowing. When, in another perspective, it is building a two-way street where respect is both given and taken: leads to communication.

    There will also be a continuation of debate and conflict over what is "right" within the Christian community. What I would like to see is: that the Christian community stop bickering and cooperating before claiming that the United States is going to hell in a handbasket because (and then fill in your favorite or the favorite immorality of the day).

    I feel that the opinion that God will smite America because of its immorality is stretching at the least. Empires through history endured for long periods, and they were as immoral as they come.

    I read too much rhetoric that expounds on the theme that if people do not worship or believe in God in a certain way, that this very God will send horrible punishments that will result in destruction. This is very Jewish in concept and was preached since the 8th Century B.C. as the reason why the Israel state was destroyed (and eventually the Judah state).

    I was taught (and I still firmly believe this) that God will not be doing the destruction. People have that capacity to do it to themselves. But if one person prays, then God is there to act and save the situation.

    It will not be because not enough people believe in God or follow a prescribed set of rules to identify oneself as God-fearing that will not bring down the United States.

    It will not be one man (some like to create a human-like anti-Christ to depict such a scenario) that will change America from its very secular, capitalist philosophy to something very destructive, such as extreme socialism or a form of communism. It will be the very apathy of the people who populate the United States and call it "home."

    So, you are very right in bringing up your fears. And, I have great hope in the American people that they will not just roll over and accept changes that are, in the long run, unacceptable. The police forces, the military forces, and others who have the power of the gun are people, too. I cannot imagine that the hundereds of thousands of Americans who are sworn to protect America and its people will suddenly turn into automatons and abandon the very principles of this country. [I'm thinking right now of those Germans who, like the proverbial Adam and Eve, simply blamed their hierarchy and were just "following orders."]

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    In Turkey, Obama Reaches Out to Muslim World

    By Michael D. Shear and Kevin Sullivan
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009; A01

    ANKARA, Turkey, April 6 -- President Obama made his most direct outreach to Muslims around the world Monday, telling Turkey's Grand National Assembly that the United States "is not and never will be at war with Islam."

    "Our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a violent ideology that people of all faiths reject," Obama told the assembly. "The future must belong to those who create, not those who destroy. That is the future we must work for, and we must work for it together."

    Obama's speech focused primarily on the U.S. relationship with Turkey. But he also used it as a chance to continue his outreach to Muslims and to signal an approach to the region based more on pragmatism than ideology. He sidestepped a campaign pledge to label as genocide the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire and promised the Turks a broader relationship than one focused solely on combating terrorism.

    During his campaign, Obama consistently played down connections to Islam, rarely mentioning his middle name, Hussein, or his childhood years in an Indonesian state school. The tactic helped fuel false Internet-driven rumors that Obama, a Christian, had once been Muslim. But in his appearance Monday, the president noted the contributions that Muslim Americans have made to the United States, saying that many Americans "have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country."

    "I know," Obama said, drawing applause from the lawmakers, "because I am one of them."

    Obama's message to Muslims echoed President George W. Bush, who frequently praised Islam as a religion of peace and humanitarian values that had been distorted by extremists who killed in its name. But Bush's invasion of Iraq, imprisonment of Muslims at Guantanamo Bay, isolation of Iran, and support for Israel in its relations with the Palestinians and in the war with Hezbollah made many in Islamic nations believe that his administration was hostile to their religion.

    Obama has reached out to Iran, ordered the closing of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and taken an early interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the appointment of a Middle East envoy. His aides have outlined a new approach to Muslim countries that would reach beyond confronting terrorism to include a set of mutual interests on trade, education and health care.

    Prior to the president's speech Monday, a senior administration official speaking on background said Obama believes the relationship between the United States and Turkey "can be something of a model for America's relationship with the Muslim world." The official said Obama is committed to "rebuilding that relationship based on mutual interests and respect" and "comprehensive engagement with Muslim peoples" grounded in "a deep appreciation for the Islamic faith." Another senior White House official said Obama will continue the outreach in the coming months by traveling to a Muslim country to deliver a speech on Islam.

    After several stops in Europe, Obama told lawmakers here that Turkey, governed by a moderate Islamist administration, could serve as a bridge between west and east. He pledged to support Turkey's halting efforts to join the European Union and urged a continuation of new laws that extend democratic protections to all of its people, including ethnic minorities. In Istanbul on Tuesday, he plans to visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine basilica converted into a mosque 650 years ago. Today it is a museum.

    "I know there have been difficulties these last few years. I know that the trust that binds us has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced," Obama told the lawmakers.

    "We will listen carefully, bridge misunderstanding, and seek common ground," he added. "We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. And we will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better -- including my own country."

    Boulevards here were lined with Turkish and American flags, and security was tight for Obama's visit. Several hundred police officers in riot gear contained protesters, while police water-cannon trucks stood ready. Hundreds more police ringed the parliament building. Helicopters flew overhead and snipers manned rooftops as Obama's motorcade entered the sprawling grounds.

    There were relatively small protests on the streets of the Turkish capital, with one group carrying an effigy of Obama, dressed in a blue blazer and khaki pants, then throwing it to the ground and kicking it to pieces.

    "Obama wants to use Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan as shields for American soldiers," said Burak Gunes, 21, an international relations student at a local university. "America killed millions of people in Iraq, so the Turkish people do not have any tolerance for the United States of America."

    Dogu Ergil, a professor of political science at Ankara University, said the protesters "represent nothing" of mainstream Turkish thinking.

    "There are fringe groups everywhere who think America is the devil," he said, noting that a recent opinion poll showed that 52 percent of Turks had a favorable opinion of Obama. "If he wanted to be a candidate, he could be elected and become the next president of Turkey!"

    Obama appeared to succeed in avoiding controversy with his hosts on an issue of great sensitivity to Turks. As a presidential candidate, he pledged that, if elected, he would label the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman government more than 90 years ago a "genocide." But he declined to do so Monday.

    Standing next to President Abdullah Gul here, Obama said, "I have not changed my views" on the issue and added that he supported talks underway between the governments of Turkey and Armenia to establish official diplomatic relations and address historical grievances, including the killing of between 1 million and 1.5 million Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. The president never said the word "genocide."

    "I know there's strong views in this chamber about the terrible events of 1915," Obama said later in his speech before the Turkish parliament. "And while there's been a good deal of commentary about my views, it's really about how the Turkish and Armenian people deal with the past."

    As a senator, Obama signed letters to then-President Bush demanding that he recognize "the mass slaughter of Armenians as genocide." Joining him on those letters were Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both senators at the time.

    Speaking after Obama in their joint news conference, Gul said: "It is not a legal or political issue, it's a historical issue." He said Turkey has suggested that a "joint history commission be established and that we would agree to the results or the conclusions of this commission."

    Armenian-Americans reacted cautiously to Obama's comments. "The President's willingness to raise his commitment to recognizing the Armenian Genocide, even indirectly, in his remarks before the Turkish Parliament represents a step in the right direction, but far short of the clear promise he made as a candidate that he would, as President, fully and unequivocally recognize this crime against humanity," Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in a statement. "We expect that the President will, during Genocide Prevention Month this April, stand by his word."

    Obama also reiterated U.S. support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, a goal jeopardized by continuing Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territories and deep divisions within the Palestinian national movement.

    Obama acknowledged Turkey's helpful role as mediator in Syrian-Israeli peace talks, which have yet to yield results after more than a year. He called on Turkey's leaders, who like many Muslims were angry over the scope of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip last year, to show the same support for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that at the moment appears dormant.

    "We must extend a hand to those Palestinians who are in need, while helping them strengthen their own institutions," he said. "We must reject the use of terror, and recognize that Israel's security concerns are legitimate."

    Obama arrived in Ankara on Sunday night from Prague to begin the final leg of his first overseas trip. Appearing before reporters with Gul, Obama said the two countries are key allies and called Turkey "a true partner" in the fight against al-Qaeda and the broader threat of terrorism.

    "The world has come too far to let this region backslide, and to let al-Qaeda terrorists plot further attacks," he said.

    Staff writer Scott Wilson in Washington contributed to this report.

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    Obama’s Christian Appointee to Faith-Based Program Says New Testament Teaching on Homosexuality Is ‘Not True’

    Wednesday, April 08, 2009
    By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer


    President Barack Obama (AP Photo)

    (CNSNews.com) – President Obama has named to his faith-based advisory council a self-professed Christian who holds that the New Testament's teaching that homosexual behavior is unnatural and wrong--which is found in St. Paul's letter to the Romans--“is not true."

    The appointee, Harry Knox, has also said that Obama's decision to invite the Rev. Rick Warren to say a prayer at the Inauguration "tainted" the ceremony and that Pope Benedict XVI is a "discredited leader."

    Harry Knox, a professed gay Christian who is director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group, was named to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Monday. The advisory council gives federal grants to faith-based organizations.

    The appointment came after Knox criticized Obama prior to the Inauguration for selecting Warren, a California megachurch pastor and best-selling author, to deliver the invocation. Writing in The Huffington Post blog, Knox said to Obama, “We don’t feel hopeful anticipation of a new day in our country, and we don’t feel optimism. We feel betrayed.”

    Knox said in the December article that Warren’s invocation would make the Jan. 20 Inauguration a “tainted” event because Warren supported the ballot initiative in California to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

    On the PBS News Hour in December, Knox said that Warren “has in fact leveraged homophobia to get ahead in his career. … This is the worst possible choice the president could have made. This is a divisive choice. … We said to the president-elect today in very strong language, the strongest we can think of and be respectful of the office, you have really slapped us. And we want you to think about that and think very hard what your actions will be going forward because this very symbolic, early decision has sent the exact wrong message.”

    Knox could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Knox is one of 25 members of the advisory board of the White House Office Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Obama announced the formation of the office in early February, a continuation of a similar office started by President George W. Bush to issue federal grants to faith-based, non-profit charitable organizations.

    Other members include Bishop Charles Blake of the Church of God in Christ in Chicago; the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, president-elect of the National Council of Churches USA; Dr. Frank Page, president emeritus of the Southern Baptist Convention; the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of the liberal Christian group Sojourners; and the Rev. Joel C. Hunter of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla.

    Knox has been a long-time gay activist focusing on the faith community. He previously worked for the New York-based Freedom to Marry group, for Georgia Equality and Equality Florida. He has won awards from liberal religious organizations.

    In a debate with the Rev. Gino Jennings recorded Nov. 28, 2004 at the First Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Philadelphia, the two men sparred over various biblical verses references homosexual behavior.

    This included the Book of Romans, in which St. Paul wrote, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

    After reading the scripture, Jennings asked, “Do you believe that? That if a man lie with a man or a woman with a woman it is against nature?”

    “I do not believe it,” answered Knox, who at the time was the program director for the group Freedom to Marry.

    Jennings responded, “So this is a lie?”

    Knox affirmed, “That is not true.”

    “Paul did not have any idea of the kind of love that I feel for a partner when I am partnered. He didn’t know what that was about,” Knox said. “The straight man, the heterosexual man who got the privilege of writing the book, the educated, rich, heterosexual man, Paul, who got to write the book, didn’t think it was natural because for him it must not have been.”

    Jennings later responded that Paul was not the sole author of the writings. “So you are saying Paul was just closed-minded. I totally disagree because the book says this, the book tells us that all scripture, all of the scripture, not some of it, but all scripture are given by the inspiration of God,” said Jennings.

    Before starting at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in 2005, Knox also worked as development director of Equality Florida and was the executive director of Georgia Equality. While in Georgia, his groups successfully lobbied corporations such as Coca-Cola, Bell South, Delta, and Cingular to extend same-sex benefits to employees.

    At the HRC, Knox established a weekly preaching resource that provides scriptural commentary to pastors interested in homosexual perspectives on the Bible. He also helped create a network of 22 “progressive state clergy coalitions” around the country, according to the HRC Web site.

    Knox has the potential to be a polarizing figure, said the Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman of the conservative Traditional Values Coalition.

    “Everything he says will be front-page news,” Sheldon told CNSNews.com. “He will be a political liability to the president. All the good that the faith-based office does will get buried by a loose cannon that fires over the bow. But that’s what Obama wants.”

    Last month, Knox was quoted in a gay newspaper criticizing the pope and the Catholic group Knights of Columbus, mainly because the Knights supported the traditional marriage amendment to the California constitution.

    Knox told the San Francisco-based gay newspaper the Bay Area Reporter, “The Knights of Columbus do a great deal of good in the name of Jesus Christ, but in this particular case, they were foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression.” In the newspaper, he included among the “discredited leaders” Catholic bishops and Pope Benedict XVI, as “A pope who literally today said condoms don't help in control of AIDS."

    In a brief interview Monday with CNSNews.com, Knox stood by his comments on the pope.

    “The pope needs to start telling the truth about condom use,” Knox told CNSNews.com. “We are eager to help him do that. Until he is willing to do that and able, he’s doing a great deal more harm than good--not just in Africa but around the world. It is endangering people’s lives.”

    The pope’s comments were mischaracterized by Knox, said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.

    “When Pope Benedict XVI recently said that condoms are not the answer to HIV/AIDS, he was simply voicing common sense: the promiscuous distribution of condoms has coincided with a precipitous increase in HIV/AIDS,” Donohue said in a statement Tuesday. “But to gay activists like Knox, the pope is a liar. Indeed, he instructed the pope to ‘start telling the truth about condom use,’ holding the Holy Father accountable for ‘endangering people’s lives.’ He never explained how calls for abstinence could possibly jeopardize anyone’s life.”

    In 2000, Knox won the Cordle Award for Promoting God’s Diversity, and the Lancaster Theological Seminary’s 2005 Robert V. Moss Medal for Excellence in Ministry.

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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    I haven't seen much of any tv this century. I'm still trying to figure out who beavis and butthead are. Below is some real slime, on Fox channel. I dont know what to make of it.
    http://www.nmatv.com/video/1807/Family-Guy

    MEDIA MATTERS
    Advertisers backing away from 'Family Guy' raunch
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=94399

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Family Guy used to be very funny. Now, it is no where near as entertaining though it has it's moments. It seems that since it has come back on the air, Seth MacFarlane feels the need to forcefully inject his hard left ideology into the show and then beat the viewers about the head with it. This really takes away from the little remaining humor left in the show.

    What is most odd about MacFarlane is that he was supposed to be on one of the doomed 9/11 flights (American Flight 11) that went into the WTC but missed the flight because of a hangover and incorrect departure time. But rather than take a hard look at reality because of 9/11 (like Dennis Miller) and his brush with death, he seems to have gone into some kind of "ultra denial mode" where he feels the need to spew exaggerated amounts of Liberalism instead. I'm sure someone could write an interesting psychological profile on him.

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    Knox. Africa is not America. The guy speaks of Paul not understanding his issue. Yet he doesn't realize that he is doing the very thing with speaking against the Pope, who does know the cultural difference in Africa. As far as his sexual activity being normal, for him it may be normal. Sin is normal to the sinner. That doesn't mean it is natural. I'm not asking him to believe what the Bible says, but what human anatomy says. That's hard to miss.
    I'm taking America back. Step 1: I'm taking my kids out of the public re-education system. They will no longer have liberal bias and lies like this from bullying teachers when I expect them to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic:
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    The easter egg roll has alloted affirmative action tickets to gay families. That's impossible. TRUE oxymoron.

    AP

    Last updated: 10:33 am
    April 8, 2009
    Posted: 2:30 am
    April 8, 2009
    WASHINGTON -- The White House is allocating tickets for the upcoming Easter Egg Roll to gay and lesbian families as part of the Obama administration's outreach to diverse communities.
    Families say the gesture shows that the administration values them as equal to other families. And for many, being included in the annual tradition -- dating to 1878 -- renews hope of more support in their quest for equal rights.
    "The Obama administration actually reached out to us as an organization and said we want gay families there and they are an important part of the American family fabric," said Jennifer Chrisler, head of the Boston-based Family Equality Council, which is now involved in Monday's event.
    "We feel so welcomed and embraced," said Colleen Gillespie of Brooklyn, a professor at NYU's School of Medicine, who is attending with her wife and their two daughters. "I think we can just go as a family and enjoy it."

    http://www.lifenews.com/state4043.html

    Pro-Life Pastor Convicted of Helping Women Avoid Abortions Released From Jail


    by Steven Ertelt

    LifeNews.com Editor
    April 8, 2009

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    Oakland, CA (LifeNews.com) -- A pro-life pastor in Oakland, California who was convicted of helping women outside abortion centers find life-affirming alternatives has been released after spending 18 days in jail. Reverend Walter Hoye was charged with violating an anti-free speech ordinance Oakland officials put in place to target him.
    Oakland officials had enacted the law that prohibited contact within eight feet of women entering abortion businesses without their consent.
    Last month, Hoye began serving a 30 day sentence and he received three years probation as well as a requirement to pay a $1,000 fine and a $130 restitution fee. He was ordered to stay 100 feet away from any abortion center in the city of the Oakland.
    Judge Stuart Hing of the Alameda Superior Court denied the defense motion to stay the sentence pending appeal.
    After serving two and a half weeks of the sentence, Hoye was released on Tuesday and was met by a large contingent of pro-life supporters.
    Dion Evans, pastor of Alameda's Chosen Vessels Christian Church and on hand to greet Hoye, told the Contra Costa Times that the Oakland anti free speech ordinance has backfired. That's because he says more pro-life advocates will turn up at area abortion centers to help women.
    "They would have been in a better position if they would have left him alone. They picked on one man on one street, one day a week trying to reach one woman at a time with one sign for one hour," he said. "Now a mobilization has come together because they've created an unjust law. People like myself who have been cheerleading are not on the sidelines anymore. We're now in the game."
    Hoye made good use of his time in prison and regularly talked with inmates about pro-life issues, but also led six men to adopt the Christian faith.
    His wife Lori said pro-life advocates visited Hoye in prison, including Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, the Diocese of Oakland's bishop-designate.
    "He visited Walter Hoye because he respects Hoye's affirmation of the value of human life," said Diocese spokesman Mike Brown.
    But Nancy Nadel, the Oakland council member who drafted the ordinance, complained to the Tribune about the pro-life people.
    "Even though there are more people out there and they're noisy and annoying," she said.
    The potential news of a conviction on what Hoye considered an unjust law didn't get him down.
    At a hearing on February 19, Judge Hing stated that he had not intended to impose any fine or jail time on Rev. Hoye if he would agree to stay away from the abortion center. Reverend Hoye refused to agree not to offer alternatives to abortion-minded women.
    "If you are reading this email then it can only mean that I have been incarcerated," he told LifeNews.com in an email sent by his attorneys. "I will be back. Thank you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always."
    Dozens in the African-American and pro-life communities from around the nation who came out in support of Rev. Hoye were outraged by the sentence.
    “It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk,” Allison Aranda, an attorney for the Life Legal Defense Foundation, told LifeNews.com. “Rev. Hoye is being singled out for particularly harsh punishment because he refused to agree not to offer help to women considering abortion. Where is the justice in that?”
    Hoye is an African-American pastor who feels a special calling to work for the end of the targeting of black Americans by abortion.
    According to 2004 statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 37 percent of pregnancies among black women end in abortion, compared with 12 percent for non-Hispanic white women and 19 percent for Hispanic women.
    As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion clinic in Oakland with leaflets offering abortion alternatives and a sign reading, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.”
    Hoye spent 40 days fasting prior to beginning the jail sentence, which made Bill May, the chairman of the pro-life Catholics for the Common Good, describe him as slight and gaunt as he was calmly led from the Alameda County courtroom.
    When he returns to the streets to help women, Hoye will have one less abortion center to visit. That's because the nation's oldest abortion center, located in Oakland, has been forced to close because of financial issues.
    Related web sites:
    Life Legal Defense Foundation - http://www.lldf.org

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    This isn't directly related to the demise of Christianity in America, but likely a key component of devious Chinese Communist party "great thrust forward". Where do they plan to go with 1 baby, predominant male society? If their population keeps going down, the pla will become defunct and old. Their plan from the 80's is now ripe. Plenty of single one child boys longing for a wist of action and reward. I think it's a stupid plan. The ccp may jumpstart them into a world class riot, but these kids and people in general are not that stupid. Some will get smart, get saved and find Jesus. Others will simply refuse to bow down to uncle mao. This was a very dumb plan by the commies.

    THEIR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
    China's 1-child policy now threatens crime wave
    Study cites 'real risk' from men unable to find partners


    Posted: April 10, 2009
    11:05 pm Eastern

    © 2009 WorldNetDaily


    Chinese government poster from 1980s promoting its one-child policy

    A new study published by BMJ, which used to be known as the British Medical Journal, has documented a worsening problem on which WND has been reporting for 12 years: the domination of males in a Chinese society that encourages the abortion of unborn daughters.
    The new report says males under the age of 20 outnumbered females by more than 32 million and warned, "China will see very high and steadily worsening sex ratios in the reproductive age group over the next two decades."
    One of the authors, Therese Hesketh, told the Associated Press that translates into a huge threat of criminal activity.

    "If you've got highly sexed young men, there is a concern that they will all get together and, with high levels of testosterone, there may be a real risk, that they will go out and commit crimes," said Hesketh, a lecturer at University College in London.
    A commentary in the BMJ said the China policy of limiting families to one child "is one of the most controversial policies ever implemented."
    "It has reduced the fertility rate and has helped raise living standards for most people in China, but it has been heavily criticized for violating human rights and having many negative social consequences, one of which is an excess number of male births," the commentary said.
    Chinese families often use abortion – or actual infanticide – to eliminate daughters in favor of sons. Some estimates suggest there have been hundreds of millions of deaths because of the policy.
    BMJ said the result is a "discouraging picture of very high and worsening male to female ratios … in China." It also said the study confirmed the "imbalance" can be attributed at least partly to the one-child policy.
    The average number of children in Chinese families has fallen from 5.9 to 1.7 over the last four decades. "This large reduction in the fertility rate, whether by choice or by coercion, has inevitably increased the male to female ratio because of the preference for sons and the availability of contraception and sex selective measures."
    Besides the potential for additional crime, social problems are expected to peak because of the millions of men who ultimately will be unable to find a mate.
    "Nothing can be done now to prevent this imminent generation of excess men," the report warned.
    While China still reported 119 male births for every 100 girls, industrialized nations around the world reported a ratio of 107-to-100.
    Hesketh told AP the availability of technologies, such as sonograms, that reveal the gender of an unborn child, has led to a rise in abortions to eliminate daughters.
    The review assessed populations in China's 2,861 counties.
    "Overall sex ratios were high across all age groups and residency types, but they were highest in the 1-4 years age group, peaking at 126 … in rural areas. Six provinces had sex ratios of over 130 in the 1-4 age group. The sex ratio at birth was close to normal for first order births but rose steeply for second order births, especially in rural areas, where it reached 146 (143 to 149). Nine provinces had ratios of over 160 for second order births," the report said.
    "Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males," it said.
    Two year agos HBO aired a special on the issue.
    When the special was broadcast, WND founder and editor Joseph Farah wrote that what he in 1997 dubbed "gendercide" was one of the first big stories he broke for WND.
    "It came about when the World Health Organization issued a report saying more than 50 million women were estimated to be 'missing' in China. These women had not run away. They had not been kidnapped. They did not just disappear," he wrote.
    "Their lives had been snuffed out before they ever really began – victims of institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing's population control program that limits parents to one child."
    "Later, I believe I was the first reporter in the world to notice another disturbing trend resulting directly from the coercive one-child policy. Back in 2004, I noticed what appeared to be an epidemic of child kidnappings in China," he wrote.
    WND has reported Chinese adults desperate for children have fueled a major criminal industry in child kidnappings. So great is the shortage of young women in China, many men are taking to "purchasing" foreign "brides" – sometimes actually sex slaves. The price for Burmese women – many of whom are desperate because of poverty – is between $600 and $2,400, depending on youth and beauty.
    Some Chinese couples who want a boy simply choose to abandon female infants to die. Desperate couples without a son sometimes resort to buying one on the black market.
    Last edited by Aplomb; April 11th, 2009 at 17:35. Reason: deleted advertisement

    canto XXV Dante

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    U.S. military destroys soldier's Bibles
    Fred Jackson- 5/5/2009 10:40:00 AM



    The U.S. military is confirming that it has destroyed some Bibles belonging to an American soldier serving in Afghanistan.

    Reuters News says the Bibles were confiscated and destroyed after Qatar-based Al Jazeer television showed soldiers at a Bible class on a base with a stack of Bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages. The U.S. military forbids its members on active duty -- including those based in places like Afghanistan -- from trying to convert people to another religion.

    Reuters quotes Maj. Jennifer Willis at the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, who said "I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed."



    According to the military officials, the Bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. Reuters says the soldier brought them to the Bible study class where they were filmed.

    The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, told a Pentagon briefing Monday that the military's position is that it will never "push any specific religion."





    PENTAGON BURNS SOLDIER'S BIBLES

    by Steven Robert Travers
    May 17, 2009, 11:15 am

    The Pentagon under the Obama Administration has just acknowledged seizing and burning the privately owned Bibles of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The Bibles had been printed in the local Pashto and Dari languages, and sent by private donors to American Christian soldiers and chaplains, for distribution to American troops on overseas military bases during optionally-attended Christian worship services. Had the Bibles not been seized and destroyed, they could have legally been given as gifts during off-duty time to Afghani citizens who welcome our troops in their homes, as an expression of American gratitude for Afghani hospitality, promoting the democratic ideals of freedom of religion and freedom of the press.

    But the Muslim controlled Al Jazeera television network obtained video footage of the Bibles, held by American soldiers while listening to a chaplain on the Bagram Air Base (inside the base chapel) whose sermon encouraged outreach and personal evangelism. The American values of freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of Christian speech offended some extremist Muslim groups, and angered a small group of American atheists, who demanded the chaplain be punished for "proselytizing" because he simply repeated Jesus' words to "Go and make disciples of all nations" in church.

    IT'S NOT PROSELYTIZING, IT'S EVANGELISM:


    The video proves the chaplain properly explained U.S. Central Command's General Order Number One, which prohibits "proselytizing" (forcing religious conversions using military weapons) but fully permits soldiers of any religion to engage in non-threatening "evangelism" (voluntary conversations about their faith) and legally allows giving private gifts, including books, to Afghani citizens during off-duty hours in their unofficial capacity. The Al Jazeera film-maker Brian Hughes also admitted the Bibles could have been useful in helping soldiers learn the Pashto and Dari languages of the Afghan people.

    Instead, the privately owned Bibles were confiscated and destroyed. Caving in to pressure from the Muslims and Atheist groups, the U.S. military spokesman Maj. Jennifer Willis told Reuters reporters, "I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed." When questioned about the authenticity of the Al Jazeera video, U.S. Army Colonel Greg Julian admitted the Al Jazeera reporting was biased against the American Christians: "Most of this is taken out of context ... this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism."

    GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR ENCOURAGED EVANGELISM

    After World War II, in order to carry out the democratization of Japan, Five-Star General Of The Army Douglas MacArthur brought Christian leaders to the country to meet with Emperor Hirohito and encouraged mass distribution of Bibles to the population. MacArthur later stated to a visiting American churchman, "We must have ten thousand Christian missionaries and a million Bibles to complete the occupation of this land."
    (Source: Rodger R. Venzke, Confidence In Battle - Inspiration In Peace, 1977, p.24-25.)

    But today, instead of confronting Muslim and Atheist enemies of religious liberty, President Obama's Four-Star Admiral Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen now appears to defend the destruction of the soldiers' privately owned Bibles, stating during a Pentagon briefing that the military's position is that it will never "push any specific religion." He did not address the possibility that by seizing and burning privately owned Bibles, the Obama Administration is now enforcing state atheism upon our troops.

    (After you sign the petition, please donate generously to help us defend religious liberty for our military. Part of your donation will go toward shipping Pashto Bibles to Afghanistan.)

    ATHEISTS JOIN MUSLIM EXTREMISTS AGAINST LIBERTY

    Aggressive anti-Christian secularist Mikey Weinstein immediately demanded the chaplain in the video be court-martialed for encouraging voluntary evangelism in church, despite the Pentagon's claim that same chaplain somehow assisted in confiscating the Bibles. I can personally attest, as the former Navy Chaplain who endured court-martial in 2006 for praying "in Jesus name" in uniform outside of Sunday chapel, (but was later vindicated by Congress), that anti-Christian forces are powerfully at work in some parts of the U.S. military.

    But together, we fought back and won! Over 300,000 Americans, 85% of polled citizens, and 75 Congressmen agreed with me, so the entire Congress rescinded the same anti-Jesus policy the Navy enforced during my court-martial, restoring liberty to other chaplains who pray publicly "in Jesus name." (That victory on Capitol Hill cost my 16-year career and pension, and was not grandfathered back to my case.) Angered by our victory, the enemies of religious liberty won't be satisfied until every Christian is silenced, and every chaplain booted from the military like I was, for the "crime" of worshiping in public.

    COURT-MARTIAL THE ARMY CHIEF OF CHAPLAINS?

    The favorite new ploy of Mikey Weinstein's anti-Christian group (Military Religious Freedom Foundation) is to frighten troops into silence by "demanding the court-martial" of any soldier or chaplain who talks publicly about his or her faith. For example, incredibly, Weinstein recently demanded the Army court-martial their Chief of Chaplains Major General Douglas Carver, because Chaplain Carver issued a proclamation calling for a day of prayer and fasting for our troops.

    The Chief of Chaplains' proclamation called for voluntary prayer by chaplains of all diverse faiths to act "in keeping with your religious traditions," and support our troops who face difficult traumas, pressures and temptations toward suicide. Carver consulted with two senior Jewish chaplains before issuing the proclamation.

    But Mikey Weinstein claims that no chaplain can encourage prayer or Bible reading without violating what he pretends is a Constitutional mandate separating church from state. "These inciteful actions are grossly offensive to not only Muslims in Afghanistan and across the world, but to all those who hold faith in the U.S. Constitution," said Weinstein of the troops' Bibles.

    Ironically Weinstein's own web-site contains pictures of atheist soldiers, soliciting donations for Weinstein while wearing their full dress uniform, without any legal disclaimer that their anti-Christian views do not represent the views of the U.S. military.

    WILL CONGRESS PROTECT CHAPLAINS RIGHTS?

    We can report without bias that in June 2009, the U.S. Congress will again consider a bi-partisan bill supporting military chaplains rights, co-sponsored by two North Carolina Congressmen, Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and Walter Jones (R-NC), in the House Armed Services Committee. The pro-chaplain bill, H.R. 268, would simply guarantee military chaplains of all diverse faiths the right to pray publicly according to the dictates of their conscience. You can read the details in my article about that bill, which was published by the Washington Times on 7 May 09, here.

    To pass that bill into law, the two North Carolina Congressmen will first need several more co-sponsors, and the blessing of the House Armed Services Committee. Then they'll need some bi-partisan Senators to initiate a Senate version. Will your own Congressman or Senator co-sponsor religious freedom for chaplains? Perhaps you might call your own Congressman at 202-225-3121, to voice your opinion about H.R. 268.

    But remember, 100 emails = 10 phone calls = 1 fax in political capital, since the Congressional staffers must handle each paper and usually write a reply. So please join our automated fax-petition campaign first, and we will fax all 435 Congressmen on your behalf.

    Then please forward this email to your own pastor, and to all your military friends, and download here a church flyer that pastors can copy and distribute. But first, take action right now! I pray you will not hesitate, but sign the petition and WE WILL FAX your petition right away, automatically to all 435 Congressmen.

    (After you sign the petition, please donate generously to help us defend religious liberty for our military. Part of your donation will go toward shipping Pashto Bibles to Afghanistan.)

    God Bless you, in Jesus' name,

    Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Obama to be prayer day no-show

    Julia Duin (Contact)

    President Obama is distancing himself from the National Day of Prayer by nixing a formal early morning service and not attending a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning.

    All Mr. Obama will do for the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, is sign a proclamation honoring the day, which originated in 1952 when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for the observance.

    For the past eight years, President George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he typically would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers.

    Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the president is simply reverting back to pre-Bush administration practice.

    "Prayer is something the president does every day," he said. "We're doing a proclamation, which I know that many administrations in the past have done."
    Pressed by reporters as to the lack of a formal ceremony, Mr. Gibbs said the proclamation was Mr. Obama's choice.

    "That's the way the president will publicly observe National Prayer Day - privately, he'll pray as he does every day," Mr. Gibbs said.

    Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Committee, said the group was "disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration."

    "At this time in our country's history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer," said Mrs. Dobson, who occupied a prominent seat in the front row for the ceremonies during the Bush administration.

    Although the annual East Room events started with Mr. Bush, President Reagan hosted a Rose Garden event in 1982 and President George H.W. Bush scheduled a breakfast in 1989.

    President Clinton did not host any special observances, according to the National Day of Prayer task force.
    Some evangelicals said they were not surprised by Mr. Obama's decision.

    "For those of us who have our doubts about Obama's faith, no, we did not expect him to have the service," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. "But as president, he should put his own lack of faith aside and live up to the office."

    Referencing a remark the president made at a recent press conference in Turkey that Americans "do not consider ourselves a Christian nation," she added: "That was projecting his own beliefs, but not reflecting what the majority of Americans feel. It's almost like Obama is trying to remake America into his own image. This is not a rejection of Shirley Dobson; it's a rejection of the concept that America is a spiritual nation and its foundation is Judeo-Christian."

    David Brody, White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, said in a column that, "within the conservative evangelical community, there was never any real expectation that the White House would hold an event."

    However, the White House did host an April 9 Passover Seder for family and friends - the first time a president has hosted that Jewish religious meal.
    But the president passed up the fifth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for the Washington Hilton and expected to have 1,300 participants.

    Joe Cella, a spokesman for the effort, said the White House never asked for Mr. Obama to attend.

    Mr. Bush did ask to come and always made a few brief remarks. But the new president, Mr. Cella said, would not have been allowed to speak because of a 2004 directive from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops saying that public figures who have taken positions opposing Catholic doctrine should not be publicly honored.

    "We'd host him graciously, but we'd not give him a platform to speak," Mr. Cella said.

    All major presidential candidates were invited to attend last year, he added, but none responded.

    For this year's prayer breakfast, Catholic members of the administration have been invited. They include Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
    None has responded, Mr. Cella said.

    The keynote speech will be given by Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former St. Louis prelate who now heads the Signatura, the Vatican's top court. He has recommended that pro-choice Catholic politicians such as Mrs. Sebelius not be allowed to receive Communion.

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is scheduled to speak.

    Despite the White House snub, National Day of Prayer ceremonies are still slated from 9 a.m. to noon in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Speakers include former NFL all-pro running back Shaun Alexander and Dick Eastman of Every Home for Christ.

    An estimated 40,000 coordinators and volunteers will host locally organized events nationwide at courthouses, state capitols, city halls, parks and school flagpoles.

    Nathan Diamant, an Orthodox Jewish leader who has attended National Day of Prayer events in the East Room, said co-religionists should not find fault with the president.

    "While some will no doubt criticize the Obama White House for this decision, we think that is inappropriate," he said, "and, moreover, not in keeping with the purpose of the observance which is to unify Americans through a national moment of reflection and aspiration to higher purposes."

    Last fall, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Mrs. Dobson and the Bush administration over the National Day of Prayer.

    The lawsuit, which has been changed to name Mr. Obama and Mr. Gibbs, the press secretary, says state governors and the U.S. government should not follow task-force directives on themes, wording, prayers and Scriptures for the event.

    • Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    "Prayer is something the president does every day," he said. "We're doing a proclamation, which I know that many administrations in the past have done."
    Pressed by reporters as to the lack of a formal ceremony, Mr. Gibbs said the proclamation was Mr. Obama's choice.

    "That's the way the president will publicly observe National Prayer Day - privately, he'll pray as he does every day," Mr. Gibbs said.
    My guess is five times a day while bowing toward Mecca.

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Obama: No Prayer in the White House

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 6:58 PM

    MADISON, Wis. — The White House is planning a muted observance of Thursday's National Day of Prayer, a response that has disappointed both Christian conservatives and an atheist group that wants to end the tradition.

    Congress established the day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray.

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama would issue such a proclamation Thursday but not hold any public events with religious leaders as President George W. Bush did.

    Obama's decision drew a rebuke from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a private group that promotes prayer events around the country. The task force estimates 2 million Americans attended more than 40,000 events marking the day last year.

    "We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration," said task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. "At this time in our country's history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer."

    The debate over the day has landed in federal court in Wisconsin. The Obama administration has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which claims the day violates the separation of church and state.

    In a rare alliance, 31 mostly Republican members of Congress and a prominent Christian legal group are joining the administration to fight the lawsuit.

    Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-Director Annie Laurie Gaylor welcomed Obama's more scaled back observance but said she has been shocked by his administration's strong defense of the day in court.

    The Madison-based group of 12,000 atheists and agnostics filed the lawsuit near the end of Bush's second term. It asks a judge to declare the law unconstitutional and to order presidents and governors to stop issuing prayer proclamations.

    The Obama administration asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to dismiss the case in March. The administration argued the group has no legal standing to sue, said the tradition's roots date to 1775 and that most presidents have invoked faith in a higher power.

    It also said the day does not promote religion and argued that preventing presidents from issuing a proclamation would unfairly restrict how they communicate with Americans.

    © 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: The End of Christian America

    Florida drivers won't get new Christian license plates

    By Kevin Eckstrom, Religion News Service

    Moves to create two Florida license plates with images of a crucified Jesus on one, and a stained glass window and cross on another, have died in the Florida legislature.

    Both plates had come under blistering criticism from Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Associated Press reported that bills to create the plates died at the end of the regular legislative session on Friday.

    State Sen. Gary Siplin, an Orlando Democrat, had proposed the plate with "a picture of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The plate portrayed an image of Jesus' head lowered under the weight of a crown of thorns.
    Siplin was not available Monday for comment.

    Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, had earlier said he would support the plate. "If they (critics) don't want one, they don't have to buy one," Crist told The St. Petersburg Times.

    Florida drivers are able to purchase more than 100 specialized license plates. Proceeds, which normally run between $15 and $25, support various causes and groups.

    The other plate, proposed by state Sen. Ronda Storms, a Republican from Brandon, would have depicted a stained glass window, cross and the words "I Believe." A district court has temporarily halted the production of similar plates in South Carolina.

    "License plates are not a license for the government to prefer one religion over others," said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United. "I'm glad the legislature in Florida seems to have finally realized that."

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