Friday, January 25, 2008

Pope Blasts Vulgar, Unethical Media

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday praised the mass media for helping to spread democracy and knowledge around the world, but lamented that it also tended to hype violence, vulgarity and consumer products.


Benedict suggested there might be a need for an "info-ethics" field in the media, just as there is a bioethics field in medicine and science, to guarantee that human dignity is respected.


Benedict's message, issued nearly four months before the May 4 observance of the Catholic Church's social communications day, has the theme: "The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service."


In the message, Benedict said the media had played a "decisive" role in spreading literacy, democracy and dialogue among peoples, and should continue to be used for promoting justice.


But, he said the media can also subject its users to the "dominant interests of the day."


"This is what happens when communication is used for ideological purposes or for the aggressive advertising of consumer products," he said. "Moreover, in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, it does not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence, and to overstep the mark."


Benedict also accused the media of legitimizing what he said were "distorted" models of family and social life. He did not elaborate, but the Vatican has been criticizing attempts to legitimize same-sex unions.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

DENNIS KUCINICH TO QUIT DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

I'm sorry, but when was he ever in it?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CONGRESSMAN MIKE PENCE: “LIFE IS WINNING IN AMERICA”

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Mike Pence issued the following statement today regarding the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America. Pence is speaking at the annual March for Life rally on the Mall this afternoon.

On this 35th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, life is winning in America but life is still losing in Washington, D.C.

“Despite the best efforts of the pro-abortion movement to defend abortion on demand, more Americans embrace the sanctity of life than ever before. While more than 50 million innocent human lives have been ended by abortion since Roe v. Wade, abortions have declined by nearly 20 percent in the past 15 years. That’s more than 881 lives saved per day —each a poignant reminder of why we can never relent in the defense of life.

“Most of these children have not been saved by political action, but by the power of personal persuasion. Everyday, in crisis pregnancy centers and across kitchen tables, the truth about abortion is being told. Compassion is overcoming convenience, life is defeating despair, and hope is vanquishing a lifetime of regret. Thousands of women who have suffered through abortion are saying correctly that women deserve better than abortion. Life is winning in America, one life at a time.

“But life is losing on Capitol Hill. With the arrival of the new majority in Congress, the Democrats wasted little time trampling on the right to life.

“In their first 100 hours, they passed legislation to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans to fund morally objectionable stem cell research. Because a pro-life president and a pro-life minority in Congress took a stand against destructive embryonic stem cell research, the scientific community had the time to develop miraculous new technologies that make the old research as unnecessary as it is unethical. And yet the Democrats promise us more votes to subsidize research that destroys embryonic human life.

“Although pro-life legislators prevailed in the first life battle of this Congress, there is another funding battle that goes to the heart of the abortion movement in America. To win the battle over life in our nation's capital today, we must learn from one of the greatest examples of the past.

“William Wilberforce, a 19th Century British parliamentarian, is credited with ending the slave trade in Great Britain. Wilberforce understood that to win a great moral debate, one must combine efforts to win the hearts and minds of people with efforts to end public policies that promote and support the objectionable trade. The policies he championed in the British Parliament brought an end to slavery by bringing an end to the financial gains the slave trade enjoyed.

“In order to end the practice of abortion in the United States we must bring an end to abortion trade profiteering. Remarkably, the largest financial supporter of abortion providers in America is the American taxpayer.

“And, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in America, performing more than 264,000 abortions in 2006. It also received more than $300 million in federal, state and local government grants and contracts in 2006. This should not be.

“While Planned Parenthood is forbidden from using federal taxpayer dollars to perform abortions, each dollar it gets from taxpayers helps offset operational and overhead costs, thus freeing up “other funds” to promote and provide more abortions.

“It is illegal under the Mexico City Policy for taxpayers’ foreign aid dollars to fund organizations that promote abortion overseas and it should be illegal here at home, too. It is time for a "domestic Mexico City Policy.”

“To that end, last year I introduced both a bill and an amendment to cut off these funding streams. The Abortion Provider Prohibition Act and the amendment, which garnered 189 votes this past summer, would restrict any federal family planning funds from going to organizations, like Planned Parenthood, who perform abortions on demand and for any reason.

“Life is winning in America but life is under attack in Washington, D.C.. Only by electing men and women of conviction who will end the use of taxpayer dollars to promote a culture of death in research or through family planning funding can we hope to take the profit out of the abortion trade in America.

“On this anniversary, let us say with William Wilberforce, “Never, never will we desist till we…extinguish every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonor to this country.”

“His words hold equally true to abortion as they did to slavery. Let us summon the courage and perseverance and creativity of Wilberforce until life is winning as much in the law as it is in the hearts of the American people.”

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

High Court Makes It Clear Again, UnCensored Prayer is OK: Bauer Still Indifferent

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Last month, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago issued a ruling overturning a lower court order banning opening prayers before the Indiana legislature that mention Jesus Christ. While this should have been enough to restate a nearly a 200 year tradition of allowing invited ministers and legislators to pray without censorship as they see fit, it wasn't.

The ACLU of Indiana filed an appeal to the ruling. Yesterday, the 7th Circuit denied the ACLU's appeal, thereby ending the battle over Federal Judge David Hamilton's prayer ruling. As the lead defendant in the case of Hinrichs v. Bosma, House Minority leader Rep. Brian Bosma was notified of the ruling as soon as it came down. Bosma went to the floor of the House as a point of personal privilege to announce the decision and say that uncensored opening prayers and religious freedom of speech could be reinstated. However, after he sat down House Speaker Patrick Bauer stated that there might be prayer someday in the future but not now.

Why? There's no legal prohibition. The Speaker of the House is already standing in the way of protecting our marriage laws. Why stand in the way of opening prayers as they have occurred without controversy for 36 of the 37 long years he has served in the Indiana legislature.



Remember to Let Your Legislators Know Your Views

If you want to contact your legislator about the importance of Marriage Protection or any other issue in today's e-mail, give them a call at:

Indiana State Senate: 1-800-382-9467
Indiana House of Representatives: 1-800-382-9842

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Catholic Cardinal: Global Warming Hysteria a ‘New Religion’

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Catholic Cardinal: Global Warming Hysteria a ‘New Religion’

A cardinal in the Catholic Church says the hysteria over man-made climate change is akin to a “new religion” and a symptom of “pagan emptiness.”

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has been the target of criticism in his country for expressing doubts about the validity of man-made global warming.

In an interview that appeared in The Catholic World Report, he said: “Right now, the mass media, politicians, many church figures, and the public generally seem to have embraced even the wilder claims about man-made climate change as if they constituted a new religion.

“These days, for any public figure to question the basis of what amounts to green fundamentalist faith is tantamount to heresy.”

Cardinal Pell called long-term weather forecasting “notoriously imprecise,” and pointed to predictions in the 1970s that the planet was about to enter a new ice age because of global cooling.

He said some of the more “hysterical and extreme” claims about impending climate change “appear symptomatic of a pagan emptiness, of a Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature…

“It’s almost as though people without religion, who don’t belong to any of the great religious traditions, have got to be frightened of something. Perhaps they’re looking for a cause that is almost a substitute for religion.”

As for Al Gore’s message of doom about climate change, Cardinal Pell noted that there are “significant errors” in his film “An Inconvenient Truth,” and added: “Few of us have the scientific knowledge to question the wild claims Gore has made — other than some grains of common sense.”

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Iowa GOP refuses to report Dr. Alan Keyes votes

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Iowa GOP refuses to report Keyes votes

January 4, 2008

Alan Keyes for President

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Republican Party has neither counted nor reported the number of votes for Alan Keyes in the GOP caucuses held Jan. 3.

"We didn't have the electronic means to record the tallies for Keyes, so we can't yet report to the public how many votes Keyes got," said John Lund at the Iowa GOP headquarters in Des Moines. "We can't report the Keyes votes until we've double-checked each individual paper ballot."

Meanwhile, the Iowa GOP widely reported the vote tallies of all other candidates, including Tom Tancredo, who got 5 votes despite having quit the race.

"I personally traveled with Alan Keyes across Iowa, and we met scores of Keyes voters. It's totally unfair these citizens' votes are now being withheld from the public," said Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt. "This is tantamount to election fraud."

"I voted for Alan Keyes," said Siena Hoefling of Calhoun County. "It's ridiculous they didn't report my vote. Each precinct could have easily called or emailed the vote tallies to headquarters, so they should have been counted by now."

"County election officials showed me a ballot list of 'suggested' candidates, but Alan Keyes' name wasn't on the list," said Hoefling. "When I asked them if they would include Alan's name, they said they'd have to write it in."

One election official apologized to Hoefling that Keyes' name was omitted, saying "these are just the names we were given by [Iowa GOP] headquarters."

Duaine Bollwitt of Monticello said, "Alan Keyes was not on the list of Republican Presidential candidates. My vote for Alan Keyes was treated as a write-in. I thought that was odd, but what do I know."

"A presidential preference poll reporting procedure was given to me, explaining how to report the votes to headquarters," said Michael Walsh, a precinct permanent secretary for Windsor Heights. "When we called in the vote tallies by telephone, an electronic voice asked for the number of votes, candidate-by-candidate."

Whether the electronic voice prompt collecting the votes offered Alan Keyes as a choice is unclear.

Tom Youngwirth, recorder for his Windsor Heights precinct, said, "Now that I think of it, I didn't hear Alan Keyes' name on the voice prompt. But John McCain's name was on the voice prompt."

"I know for sure we reported votes for Alan Keyes to headquarters," said Ron Granzow, precinct chair for Windsor Heights. "I don't know why they wouldn't report his votes to the public."

"This resembles a 'communist-style' approach to electoral politics," said Stephen Stone, chairman of Alan Keyes for President. "In the former Soviet Union, political officials limited voters' choices in a way that created merely the illusion of democracy, without the reality. Any undue interference with free and open elections, of the sort we think we just witnessed, is un-American."

Added Stone, "Alan Keyes has been an announced candidate for president since Sept. 14. Yet the state GOP chose to exclude him from the caucus process, claiming he 'announced too late' to be included, so that his name was not even mentioned on official lists of candidates or in reporting instructions. This disenfranchises Iowa voters."

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