February 11, 2012

Persecution of Christians

In Newsweek, Ayaan Hirsi Ali:The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World

From one end of the muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith.

We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.
But a fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake.
It should be clear from this catalog of atrocities that anti-Christian violence is a major and underreported problem. No, the violence isn’t centrally planned or coordinated by some international Islamist agency. In that sense the global war on Christians isn’t a traditional war at all. It is, rather, a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities.

Each month, Raymond Ibrahim documents Muslim Persecution of Christians.  The report for January 2012, is horrifying.  Each month is.

She was flogged -- given 40 lashes as hundreds of Muslim spectators jeered -- for embracing a "foreign religion."

More documentation of persecution for apostasy, attacks on churches, dhimmitude, abductions, ransom and murder.

Enraged by the voices of children singing carols at a nearby church, Muslims praying in a mosque decided to silence them—including with an axe: "The children were preparing for mass to be celebrated the next day which was a Sunday. The loud cheers became terrified whimpers when suddenly four men, one of them with an axe, barged into the church. The men slapped the children, wrecked the furniture, smashed the microphone on to the floor and kicked the altar. "You are disturbing our prayers. We can't pray properly. How dare you use the mike and speakers?" (Islam forbids Christians from celebrating loudly in church, banning bells, microphones, and other aids).
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:10 PM | Permalink

Accommodation or shell game

Free birth control for women under Obamacare is bad policy.    First of all, It's not insurance.  Secondly,  the fertility of women is not a disease. 

Thirdly, women have easy access to whatever contraception they want at clinics across the country.  In the fourth place, it's not very expensive.  So why must rich and middle-class women be subsidized?  If the expense of birth control is financially out of reach for poor women who I point are eligible for Medicaid, then the focus should be on increasing the number of clinics who will pay for contraception for the very poor.

Taking a radical feminist position,  Nancy Pelosi says religious freedom is an 'excuse" when it comes to women's health.  I say women's health is the smokescreen to cover a grotesque overreach by this administration.

How much will free birth control cost?

Blue Cross’s unofficial estimate was that it would cost $2.8 billion for the contraceptive/sterilization/abortifacient coverage, and $13 billion for all preventive care services.

The Bishops respond to Obama's 'accommodation"

The bishops expressed their hope that the new regulatory mandates the president described today "appear subject to some measure of change." "But," they said, "we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected."

...we note that today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.

The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate

Critics are missing the main point. There are good reasons that your car-insurance company doesn't add $100 to your premium and then cover oil changes.
Insurance is supposed to mean a contract, by which a company pays for large, unanticipated expenses in return for a premium: expenses like your house burning down, your car getting stolen or a big medical bill.

Insurance is a bad idea for small, regular and predictable expenses. There are good reasons that your car insurance company doesn't add $100 per year to your premium and then cover oil changes, and that your health insurance doesn't charge $50 more per year and cover toothpaste.

The Washington Times editorializes, Obama's free abortion pills

It was typical of the administration to make the proposed deal a giveaway program. Mr. Obama seems to be saying that if you don’t see who is paying for the abortion pills then no one is...... It was a classic Obama compromise; he gets 100 percent of what he wants and the other side gets a lecture about fairness.

Obama goes Henry VIII on the Catholic church to proclaim The Church of Obama writes Mark Steyn

As his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a “faith-based institution” depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state.
As Philip Klein pointed out in the American Spectator two years ago, the Obamacare bill contained 700 references to the secretary “shall,” another 200 to the secretary “may,” and 139 to the secretary “determines.”.... In my latest book, I cite my personal favorite among the epic sweep of Commissar Sebelius’s jurisdictional authority:

“The Secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance.”
The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: First, other pillars of civil society are crowded out of the public space; then, the individual gets crowded out, even in his most private, tooth-level space. President Obama, Commissar Sebelius, and many others believe in one-size-fits-all national government — uniformity, conformity, supremacy from Maine to Hawaii, for all but favored cronies. It is a doomed experiment — and on the morning after it will take a lot more than a morning-after pill to make it all go away.

Obama to Kids: Get the old kid to buy you beer

Obama offered his “compromise” exemption for religious institutions today regarding his contraception (sterilization and abortifacient) mandate. Now, instead of the religious institution having to pay for it directly, the insurance company (which the religious institution is paying) will pay for it instead.

The Wall Street Journal dubs it Immaculate Contraception calls it an accommodation that makes the birth-control mandate worse
The real audience for this non-compromise are the many voters shaken that the White House would so willfully erode the American traditions of religious liberty and pluralism, most of whom don't adhere to anti-contraceptive teachings.
There is simply no precedent for the government ordering private companies to offer a product for free, even if they recoup the costs indirectly. Why not do that with all health benefits and "bend the cost curve" to zero?

Charles Krauthammer calls it The Gospel According to Obama

Obama declares good works to be the essence of religiosity. Yet he turns around and, through Sebelius, tells the faithful who engage in good works that what they’re doing is not religion at all...The contradiction is glaring, the hypocrisy breathtaking. But that’s not why Obama offered a hasty compromise on Friday. It’s because the firestorm of protest was becoming a threat to his reelection.

John C. Wright, the science fiction writer, a one time atheist who became a  believer

The secularist society does not want to hear alternative thought; they want a simple “yes,” to whatever is on the agenda of the worldly world and suits its values. People seem not to realize that far from being an Institution of No, the church is a giant and eternal urging toward “Yes”—a self-actualized “yes” formed through an engagement with what is true, over what is reported; what is real, over what is caricature. A “yes” that is greater than the self, and lives beyond the moment.

Wright again

The Leftists now would prefer schools and charities and hospitals be penalized, fined, and closed rather than be run by Catholic charities, because we do not promote sterility and prenatal infanticide.

Those champions of freedom and progress would rather see children uneducated, the sick unhealed, the poor in the street and the prisoner in the jail go hungry and untended, rather that let our despicable and unclean Christian hands touch them.

A Catholic, a Protestant and a Rabbi get together and...United We Stand for Religious Freedom.

Unacceptable -former Vatican ambassador, Professor Robert George and others

Father Robert Barron on Secularism's Toll on Catholic Americans

There is a modality of secular liberalism that is not aggressive toward religion, but rather recognizes that religion makes an indispensable contribution to civil society. This more tolerant liberalism allows, not only for freedom of worship, but also for real freedom of religion, which is to say, the expression of religious values in the public square and the free play of religious ideas in the public conversation.

Most of our Founding Fathers advocated just this type of liberalism. But there is another modality of secularism — sadly on display in the current administration — that is actively aggressive toward religion, precisely because it sees religion as its primary rival in the public arena. Appreciating certain moral convictions as disvalues — think here especially of Catholic teachings concerning sexuality — it seeks to eliminate religion or at the very least to privatize and hence marginalize it. In doing so, it indeed reveals itself as totalitarian, for it allows no room in the public space for anything but itself.

The Anchoress

And so the story is not over, and no matter how much time and effort the mainstream media, the democrats and some of your own Catholic friends tries to tell you otherwise — it is not over. It is just going to recede to the backburners in the minds of many, while pressure is applied here and squeezes are put there.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:48 PM | Permalink


 Agemaps Bobby Neal Adams

The family portraits that age you... in a split-second

Photographer's 20-year project puts together series of amazing pictures of his relatives without using Photoshop
Some are spliced with younger selves - while others combine parents with their children

The incredible series of pictures called AgeMap is a 20-year project by Bobby Neel Adams, who also merges portraits of family members into one image in his Family Tree series.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:45 PM | Permalink

Getting Ovarian cancer wrong

Ovarian cancer breakthrough

Ovarian cancer is one of the most feared diseases, as it hard to detect and often leads to death.

And efforts to concoct a solution have been futile, as the cure rate has only been bumped up by two percent in the last three decades.

But a research team at McGill appears to have made a breakthrough by learning that the cancer actual begins in the fallopian tubes.

"We were barking the wrong tree. the name we got it wrong, we got the origin of ovarian cancer wrong. We got the test that we should be using for this wrong," said Dr. Lucy Gilbert, the MUHC oncologist who lead the research.

The revelation has led to better screening of the hard-to-detect condition, which is frequently overlooked because its first symptoms appear benign, they include bloating and more frequent urination.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:26 PM | Permalink

Reversing Alzheimer's in mice with a widely available cancer drug

Cancer Drug reverses Alzheimer's in Mice

A widely available cancer drug has shown remarkable success in reversing Alzheimer’s disease in mice, raising hope of a breakthrough against incurable dementia in humans, US researchers said Thursday.

Mice treated with the drug, known as bexarotene, became rapidly smarter and the plaque in their brains that was causing their Alzheimer’s started to disappear within hours, said the research in the journal Science.

“We were shocked and amazed,” lead author Gary Landreth of the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio told AFP.

“Things like this had never, ever been seen before,” he said.

The drug works by boosting levels of a protein, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), that helps clear amyloid plaque buildup in the brain, a key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Six hours after mice got the drug, soluble amyloid levels fell by 25 percent, ultimately reaching 75 percent reductions. The effect lasted up to three days, said the study.

Soon after taking the drug, mice performed better on tests of mental ability and showed improved responses to odors.

via Instapundit who writes "Faster, Please".

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:24 PM | Permalink