Federal appeals court upholds Virginia’s ban on partial-birth abortions

Judge Paul V. Niemeyer authored the majority opinion in Wednesday’s decision, which won the concurrence of Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III.

“A partially born child is among the weakest, most helpless beings in our midst and on that account exerts a special claim on our protection,” Judge Wilkinson wrote. “The fact is that we — civilized people — are retreating to the haven of our Constitution to justify dismembering a partly born child and crushing its skull,” his opinion continued. “Surely centuries hence, people will look back on this gruesome practice done in the name of fundamental law by a society of high achievement. And they will shudder.”

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“The Origin of the Specious”

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(Posted 06/16/09 www.RemnantNewspaper.com) At a scientific convention in Chicago in 1980, over 150 of the world’s leading evolution experts faced the facts of the fossil record and virtually pronounced the death of Darwinism.

They admitted that after 120 years of digging, the fossil record showed that there are no fossil links between one species and another, i.e., there are no transitional fossils. Thus, it was acknowledged that there is indeed a genetic barrier between species which renders impossible the theory that mankind evolved from apes.

These findings should have buried evolutionism forever as a serious scientific concept. Yet, the opposite has happened. Staggering numbers worldwide have continued to embrace evolution’s false doctrines in preference to scriptural and other evidence relating to man’s true origin.

Writing in Nature, vol.123, evolutionist D.M.S Watson offers a typically atheistic, yet revealing, explanation for this phenomenon: The theory of evolution”, he says, “is universally accepted not because it can be proven true but because the alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”

There we have it! Evolutionism is not science versus religion but religion versus religion. It is the religion of those who oppose God, even if that opposition contradicts all that human reason and the laws of nature dictate.

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Submitted by Doria2

Retouching the Egregious Distortions of the Crusades

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Retouching the Egregious Distortions of the Crusades

Review: November 2007 By Philip Blosser. Philip Blosser is Professor of Philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina.
God’s War: A New History of the Crusades.  By Christopher Tyer­man. Harvard University Press (Belknap). 1040 pages.

The Crusades are generally viewed today as the historical Western equivalent of the jihad — only, in this case, against Islam — a series of holy wars instigated by power-crazed popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are thought to have been the epitome of Western arrogance, self-righteousness, and intolerance — a shameful skeleton in the closet of the Catholic Church and the Western world. By their rampaging incursion into Palestine, Crusaders are supposed to have introduced proto-imperialist Western aggression and barbarism into the peaceful Middle East and debased the enlightened Islamic culture, leaving it in shambles. From Sir Steven Runciman’s classic three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, to the BBC/A&E documentary on the Crusades hosted by Terry Jones several years ago, one needn’t look far for variations on this theme. These pass for standard Western histories these days, even though they are as appallingly inaccurate as they are entertaining.

Thanks to the work of historians such as Jonathan Riley-Smith (Cambridge), Edward Peters (University of Pennsylvania), Donald E. Queller (University of Illinois, ret.), and Thomas Madden (St. Louis University), some of the more egregious distortions of this portrait are being retouched. Perhaps not all would go as far as Madden in describing the Crusades as defensive wars in direct response to Muslim aggression, but there is little question that the colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades were clearly attempts to meet the challenge of the Muslim conquests of Christian lands in the East. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that Crusading, far from being a lucrative undertaking, was notoriously bad as an economic investment. Many wealthy noblemen were practically bankrupted by mounting a Crusading expedition. Rather, as Peters shows, a spiritual purpose animated Crusaders: While killing was normally wrong, avenging the deaths of fellow Christians as instruments of God’s justice came to be seen as a positively redemptive undertaking. Crusading, as Riley-Smith has argued, was understood in this light as “an act of love” — articulated as a self-sacrificial ideal in Christ’s words, “Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). In Madden’s view, the two primary goals of the Crusades were, first, to rescue Christians of the East who had been conquered by Muslim invaders and, second, to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy Land, which had been made holy by the Incarnation and earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Oxford historian Christopher Tyerman is no stranger to the views embodied either in the textbook tradition represented by Runciman’s classic history of the Crusades or the more recent corrective — others would say “revisionist” — efforts represented by Riley-Smith and others mentioned above. Tyerman’s perspective is that of a self-consciously Western secular European, trying to offer as even-handed an account of the Crusades as possible. He does not cynically assume that the Crusades were motivated only by politics and economics, or that they were precursors of colonialism and racism. Instead, he respectfully corrects the errors and untenable suppositions underlying these earlier views of the Crusades, while also giving due respect to prior scholarship where it is warranted. He neither demonizes Islam nor engages in Euro-bashing. Rather than configuring the past as “comfortingly different from the present” or as a “mirror to the present,” he undertakes to explore the history of the Crusades “as far as possible on its own terms.”

Tyerman thus seeks to avoid two common pitfalls of historical interpretation. The first is seen in an attitude of “condescending historical snobbery” that dismisses our ancestors as less educated, less refined, more brutal, credulous, and hypocritical than we are today. This attitude is simply born of ignorance. The second is to presume direct causal connections between atrocities committed by Crusaders and terrorist acts committed by Muslim jihadists today, or direct parallels between U.S. strategies today and the medieval Crusades. Tyerman does not excuse the Crusaders’ slaughter or exonerate Christendom for its sanctification of it; neither does he vilify medieval Christianity.

Perhaps nothing so clearly illustrates Tyerman’s nuanced approach to his subject as his treatment of the Fourth Crusade and its notorious sacking of Constantinople, which is usually portrayed as an irrefutable indictment against the whole Crusading endeavor. By all accounts, excesses were committed in the sacking of Constantinople. However, as Tyerman writes, “the indiscriminate violence and pillage of the assault was reined in the day after the crusaders’ entry…. The sack of Constantinople was an atrocity, but in terms of the day not a war crime.” Tyerman repeatedly points out that a concern that surfaced during the Crusades was whether or not their battles met the criteria for a “just war.” The Crusaders did not view their own cause in every instance as being automatically just, but as one that frequently needed to be reviewed and justified.

No less unsparing is Tyerman in his efforts at even-handed and brutal honesty where it concerns memories painful to Christians, as in the Jewish pogrom of 1096. After a detailed account of forced baptisms and slaughter, he writes: “The lust for money alone cannot explain the consistent flouting of canon law and religious teaching witnessed by the repeated forcible conversions. Nothing in official Christian doctrine justified slaying Jews. Pope Alexander II had explicitly prohibited it….”

Crusading, of course, finally waned in European history. The last formal Crusade was the Holy League against the Ottomans in 1684-1699. According to Tyerman, it was the weakening of papal power and the rise of secular governments in Europe that finally doomed the Crusading impulse in Europe. This did not mean that the Crusading spirit died out altogether. “Crusading, far from an anachronism, provided one impetus for the European age of discovery,” he writes. “In presenting a spiritualized vision of reality, it recognized the temporal world and the actual experience of man while offering to transform both.”

Tyerman’s is a massive and monumental book. Many medievalists have hailed it as the single best book on the Crusades to date, as one that may supplant, if not surpass, Runciman’s three-volume classic. God’s War is truly encyclopedic, treating not only the conventional Crusades in the East, but the Albigensian Crusades in France, as well as the Crusades in Spain, the Baltic, and Balkans. It brings us to the summits to view the panoramic historical sweep and recollect the insights gleaned in the course of the journey.

Submitted by Doria2

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The education paradox

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LET ME BE SURE I UNDERSTAND……..?

 After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective
teacher said:  ‘Let me see if I’ve got this right:

 “You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct
their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor
their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a
love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and
sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and
personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship,
sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a
checkbook, and apply for a job..

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of
antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless
of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in
English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone,
newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a
bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that
qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this and then you tell me … I CAN’T PRAY?”

Submitted by Doria2

Sobering video just in time for Independence Day. Watch it … before it’s too late!

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Click here to watch

Submitted by Doria2

Father Pavone of Priests for Life: Abortion causes unparalleled human devastation.

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Make no mistake, abortion is the most horrible of all atrocities. Sometimes people in our own Church attempt to trivialize abortion by lumping it together with the other evils of the world – by comparing it with poverty, disease, war, etc. But as the numbers clearly demonstrate, there is no comparison. Since 1973 there have been 50 million abortions in the United States alone. Worldwide, there are 42 million abortions every year. That means that in the last thirty years, there have been over 1.5 billion abortions!

1.5 billion! That’s the equivalent of approximately one quarter of the entire population of the planet! One quarter of the earth’s population, murdered; snuffed out; gone.

There’s a famous poem about Jesus that concludes with the memorable lines: “All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as that One Solitary Life.”

Unfortunately, we can say about abortion:

All the wars ever fought,
All the holocausts ever perpetrated,
All the plagues that ever raged,
All the bombs that ever dropped,
All the famines that ever laid waste to the land, put together,
have not killed the number of human beings wiped out by abortion.

Click here to read the whole article
Click here to listen to this column in MP3 format
Fr. Frank’s Columns are podcast, see www.priestsforlife.org/podcast

And yet, hope endures, because God’s grace abounds, even amidst such devastation.

Seen on the web: Comment about the Catholic Church

This is from a cradle-Catholic, on her way to 82 years old.

There have been many changes in the Roman Catholic Church since I was carried there to be baptized many, many years ago. Some of these changes were mind-boggling to me at the time, but the church changed, nonetheless.

It boggles the mind to imagine the changes that will come to the church in the next 80+ years. God be with it. I loved the church of my youth, and I love the church of today. How can I not? The church has forgiven me, how can i not forgive the church. Thanks be to God.

— gep