Friday, May 15, 2009

APA revises 'gay gene' theory

Whenever I remind my Sunday school class that there is no scientific evidence for a "gay gene," (or anything of the sort) I always get some doubtful and startled looks. The reality is that if you look at the studies (rather than the headlines) you'll see that the best that any researcher (gay or hetero) can come up with, is it may be a combination. The APA gave in to the homosexual lobby quite some time ago (as is pointed out in the article) and lost a great deal of credibility. This statement is a beginning toward regaining a shred of that credibility:

From OneNewsNow:

For decades, the APA has not considered homosexuality a psychological disorder, while other professionals in the field consider it to be a "gender-identity" problem. But the new statement, which appears in a brochure called "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality," states the following:

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles...."

That contrasts with the APA's statement in 1998: "There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality." (more)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

where evil is good and good is evil—Welcome to God's plan B

Some Townhall prophesy....

...However, when Israel blew the prophets off by condemning the messenger, categorizing the message as hate speech, jailing the prophet(s) or, as in some cases, killing the prophetic salvo, God would in turn switch to plan B to get His insubordinate group’s good ear.
God, not the one to run out of advanced repentance techniques, would allow Israel’s economy to go to hell, plagues to ravage their land, nature to convulse, and enemies the ability to pulverize them.

Yep, unless I’m reading the Bible upside down, it seems that when the nation went astray from God’s law and wouldn’t listen to the prophets’ calls to repentance and instead vilified the saving voices, God allowed one (or more) of the four aforementioned hammers to pound them until Israel became all ears.

This is, at least to me, a plain prophetic pattern within the Scripture. The $64,000 question you gotta ask yourself is this: If there is a God, and if the Bible isn’t a bunch of fairy tales written by a stack of whack jobs, then does God still roll today like He did with Old Testament Israel as He interfaces with 21st century nations that spurn His values to His face?

I’m guessin’ God hasn’t had an extreme makeover and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, which could mean in our current culture—where evil is good and good is evil—that we might be in line for grave negative sanctions because, apparently, America’s new favorite pastime is whizzing on that which is holy, just and good. (read the entire article here)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

$2.6 Million to Train Chinese Prostitutes to Drink Responsibly on the Job and more

CNSNews has done a couple of articles describing the wasting of our federal tax dollars. Reading things like this makes me feel like I'm in a really bad movie...

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

Dr. Xiaoming Li, the researcher conducting the program, is director of the Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. The grant, made last November, refers to prostitutes as "female sex workers"--or FSW--and their handlers as "gatekeepers."

"Previous studies in Asia and Africa and our own data from FSWs [female sex workers] in China suggest that the social norms and institutional policy within commercial sex venues as well as agents overseeing the FSWs (i.e., the 'gatekeepers', defined as persons who manage the establishments and/or sex workers) are potentially of great importance in influencing alcohol use and sexual behavior among establishment-based FSWs," says the NIH grant abstract submitted by Dr. Li.(more)

Ya think?

But wait there's more:

Feds Will Spend $400,000 to Study Drinking and Sex Habits of Homosexuals in Argentina

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding a study that seeks to discover a link between drinking and having sex among homosexuals in Argentina.The study will send researchers to six bars in Buenos Aires to interview both patrons and proprietors in an effort to discover what it is about those bars that may encourage the risky behavior. ...(more)

Hmmm, what is it about those bars that might encourage...ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!?? This cannot be a real question that someone is being paid to answer.

Last but not least, if you have ever doubted the strength of the homosexual lobby:

U.S. Spent More Than Twice as Much on HIV/AIDS as on Flu in ‘06, Despite Almost Five Times More Flu Deaths

The federal government spent $6.1 billion on influenza-related programs in 2006, less than half as much as the $13.7 billion dollars it spent on HIV/AIDS programs that year, according to figures provided to by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During the same time, seasonal flu claimed 56,326 lives in the U.S., while AIDS-related deaths stood at 12,113. (more)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here comes California's May 19 Rebellion

Let's hope it spreads....

From the Washington Examiner:

California voters head to the polls next week with predictions of doom echoing in their ears if they decline to endorse the massive tax hikes prescribed for them by big Democratic majorities in the statehouse, Arnold and a handful of now ruined-politically Republican legislators.

"Shrill" doesn't begin to describe the campaign designed to stampede the Golden State electorate. The latest ad has a weary, soot-covered fire-fighter urging a yes vote on the tax hike. The message is clear: Vote no and your homes will burn down.

Not even this sort of fear-mongering is moving the needle towards "yes" on the massive tax surge on next week's ballot as poll after poll shows all the key measures put forward by the tax-and-spend-and tax-again crowd failing badly....

...If the tax hikes are rejected by large margins next week, the country's political elite ought to study that result closely. Despite huge spending margins and despite a thin veneer of bipartisanship, the tax hike gang is getting thumped because the electorate is saying --no, shouting-- "Enough!"

Everyone has a story of a state or county employee friend who is retiring at 55 with a guaranteed life pension of $75,000 or more plus gold-plated medical benefits. Almost everyone knows that massive amounts of money have flowed into Los Angeles public schools and still half of the kids drop out. Majorities realize that businesses don't have to operate here, and that places like Texas may lack the Rose Parade but let you grow a business and keep most of the profits.

On social issues, the California is evenly split, as the narrow victory for traditional marriage this past fall demonstrated.

But there is a sizeable majority in favor of a radical change in the way government operates.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

There is no organization that I know of that supports motherhood and all that it means more than Planned Parenthood.

... thus says author and "activist" Judy Blume, (who wrote a ton of kid's books ) (pardon me while I barf..)
H/T Insight Scoop:

Say thanks this Mother's Day with a gift that honors her courage by making a donation to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in her name. I guarantee you that she'll be pleased. I know I would be.I'm a mom, and I'm also a writer and an activist. Nothing has made me prouder than seeing my own children — and really, all young people — grow up to be healthy, educated, and in charge of their bodies and their lives. That's where Planned Parenthood comes in. There is no organization that I know of that supports motherhood and all that it means more than Planned Parenthood. That's why I'm honoring moms everywhere with my gift to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund today.

It's not easy to be a mother these days. And right now — with more and more women seeking care from Planned Parenthood health centers — we need to do all we can to support them. By honoring a mother in your life with a gift to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, you'll be making a gift that protects and advocates for the health of millions of mothers and families. That's a gift any mother will appreciate. (Chrisitan Post)

If you think being a mother is hard (and, of course, it certainly is), think of how hard it is to be born these days when an organization such as Planned Parenthood is
facilitating 305,310 abortion and 0 (as in NONE) births (2007/2008 numbers). "Uh, ahem, we're sorry: we don't deliver babies—we, um, well, nevermind..."

This from The Christian Post:
Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More Awareness Campaign, pointed to the overall hypocrisy in Planned Parenthood's fundraising letter."Honoring mothers by giving money to Planned Parenthood, though, is like honoring our troops by sending care packages to al-Qaeda," ...(more)

Prayer Study -Part 3

A few weeks ago we started the study of Richard Foster's book, "Prayer-Finding the Hearts True Home." I am posting the notes I take on to present to my Sunday School class. The book examines a number of different types of prayer.
We have looked at "Simple Prayer","Prayer of the Forsaken " and this week "The Prayer of Examen."

Links to the previous posts here

The Prayer of Examen

Examen- Similar to examination without the academic context. From Latin and refers to the tongue or weight indicator on a balance scale, conveying the idea of an accurate assessment of the true situation.

Lost to most modern church services.

Biblical examples e.g. Psalms “Yahweh, you examine me and know me” (Ps 139:1) King David (1 Chron 28:9) Paul (1 Cor 2:10)

The examen of God is something of immeasurable strength and empowerment.

What is It?

Like two sides of a door it has two aspects.

Examen of Consciousness – How God has been present to us throughout the day and how we have responded

Examen of Conscience- Where we discover the areas that need cleansing, purifying and healing

Examen of Consciousness- The Remembrance of Love

Prayerful reflection on the thoughts, feelings and actions of our days to see how God has been at work among us and how we have responded (e.g. was the boisterous neighbor merely a rude interruption that ruined a quiet evening or was it the voice of God urging us to be attentive to the pain and loneliness of those around us.)

The examen of consciousness is the means God uses to make us more aware of our surroundings.

There is nothing complicated or unusual here, only that God seeks to be where we are and for us to see and hear what is around us and through it all to discern the footprints of the Holy.

It is one way to recall the mighty deeds of God. For us to remember. Scripture is filled with such examples: remember the covenant God made with Abraham, remember how he delivered us from Egypt, remember the Ten Commandments…remember, remember remember. Remember Calvalry.

The examen of consciousness allows us to raise our own Ebenezer (1 Sam 7:12) and declaring, “Here is where God met me and helped me.” We are remembering.

Examen of Conscience- The Scrutiny of Love

We invite God to to search our hearts to the depths. Psalmist, “Search me oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts…(Ps 139:23-24)

We ask to see what is truly in us, without apology or defense and God goes with us. The purpose of this journey is for our good and for our healing.

God goes with us:

  • If we are the lone examiners we will justify and rationalize to declare our innocence. We will “call evil good and good evil,” (Isa 5:20)
    Since God is with us we are listening more and defending less. He will show us what we need to see and when we need to see it.
  • Self-flagellation. Left on our own it is easy to think of ourselves as unredeemable. With God along side, we are protected and comforted. God knows that too much introspection can do more harm than good and He will never show us more than we can handle.

    Madam Guyon (French mystic 17th century) “If the examen is solely a self-examination, we will always end up with excessive praise or blame. But under the searchlight of the great Physician we can expect only good always.”

    It is not without pain but can be likened to a purifying fire and we can welcome its cleansing.

    The Purpose of the Examen-

    It produces within us the priceless gift of self-knowledge. A gift modern man has not found particularly useful, though even the pagans knew its worth: “Know thyself.” – Socrates

    “Along this path of prayer, self knowledge and the thought of one’s sins is the bread
    with which all palates must be fed no matter how delicate they may be; they cannot be
    sustained without this bread.” Teresa of Avila

    Paul, urges us to offer our bodies, our very selves as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1). This offering cannot be made in some abstract way with pious words or religious acts. No, it must be rooted in the acceptance of the concrete details of who we are and the way we live. We must come to accept and even honor our creatureliness. The offering of ourselves can only be the offering of our lived experience, because this alone is who we are. And who we are not who we want to be is the only offering we have to give. We give God therefore not just our strengths but also our weaknesses, not just our giftedness but also our brokenness. Our duplicity, our lust, our narcissism, our sloth all are laid on the altar of sacrifice..

    We must not deny or ignore the depth of our evil, even the truth about our shadow side sets us free (John 8:32)

    How To Practice the Prayer of Examen

    Turn inward, not to become more introspective, or to find within some inner strength or an inner savior. Vain search!

    This journey inward does not stop within ourselves, but drives us through ourselves to find God.
  • Keeping a spiritual journal
  • Meditating on the Ten Commandments or the Lord’s Prayer