Thursday, December 23, 2010
Protesters picket Charleston Ball commemorating anniversary of South Carolina's secession from the U.S.
Abe Lincoln himself said that the war was NOT about slavery. It was about "The Union" See here
The memory of the Civil War collided with modern-day civil rights this week as protesters targeted the Charleston Ball commemorating the state of South Carolina's decision to break away from the United States of America 150 years ago.
As protesters from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) gathered, a predominantly white group of men in tuxedos and women in long-flowing dresses and gloves stopped to watch and take pictures before going into the Charleston auditorium where the ball was taking place.
The South Carolina men who voted 169-0 to leave the United States 150 years ago set in motion a chain of events that reverberate today.
The decision led to a war that killed nearly two per cent of the nation's population - more than 600,000 people. That is roughly the same number that have died in all the other wars America has fought in from the Revolution, to both World Wars and the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. It would be the equivalent of six million Americans dying today.
NAACP leaders said it made no sense to hold a gala to honour men who committed treason against their own nation for the sake of a system that kept black men and women in bondage as slaves. They compared Confederate leaders to terrorists and Nazi soldiers.
'The Germans had a heritage too. Why does South Carolina and America think this is the right thing to do?' said Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina branch of the NAACP.
But organisers of the ball said it had nothing to do with celebrating slavery. Instead, they said the $100-a-person private event was a fundraiser to honor the Southern men who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their homes and their vision of states' rights. 'We honour our ancestors for their bravery and tenacity protecting their homes from invasion,' said Michael Givens, Commander in Chief for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The group claims its central purpose is to preserve the history and legacy of the South's 'citizen-soldiers.'
The ball's organisers do not condone or endorse slavery in any way, said Randy Burbage, vice president of the Confederate Heritage Trust, which put on the event. 'It's hard for us to judge the situation that existed then by today's standards. 'I think slavery is an abomination. But it's a part of history, legal at the time. I don't agree with it, but it was,' Burbage said.
Burbage said the NAACP doesn't help its cause with inflammatory rhetoric. 'Any group that wants to call our ancestors terrorists and compare them to Nazi soldiers, we will not negotiate with. 'We didn't need to get their permission to put this thing on, or will we ever seek their permission. We do our thing, they'll do their thing,' Burbage said.
As the Charleston event kicks off more than four years of 150th anniversary Civil War commemorations, it also frames persisting questions. Chiefly, how does a nation remember the time when 11 of its states tried unsuccessfully to break away?
The Secession Ball falls on one end of the spectrum. Organisers said the proceeds from the night of dancing and a play recreating the three-day secession meeting will help the state archives preserve Confederate-era documents.
On the other end of the spectrum are civil rights organisations that see no reason to celebrate a would-be nation like the Confederacy, which in its constitution prohibited its legislature from outlawing slavery.
The state NAACP doesn't plan to protest every 150th anniversary event marking milestones of the Civil War. Leaders said they decided to protest Monday's ball because of the way it was advertised. 'It's disgusting and unbelievable they would have a gala celebration to honor a day that ended up causing so much suffering,' said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP.
On the eve of the Civil War, Census data ranked South Carolina third in wealth among the states. In 2008, its per capita income was 45th in the nation. Not all South Carolinians supported secession. About 57 percent of the state's 703,000 residents in 1860 were slaves. A few white opponents spoke out, including lawyer and politician James Petigru, whose famous quote still echoes through his home state today: 'South Carolina is too small to be a Republic, and too large to be an insane asylum.'
Givens said slavery was likely coming to an end no matter what happened in what he called 'the War Between the States.' 'Everybody was getting rid of slavery around that time,' Givens said. 'The one good thing that we can say that came out of that war is the abolition of slavery.'
Christian British health worker could be fired for handing out books on risks of abortion
A Christian health worker is facing the sack for giving a colleague a booklet about the potential dangers of abortion. Margaret Forrester was ‘bullied’ and ‘treated like a criminal’ after she handed the pro-life leaflet to a family planning worker at an NHS centre.
Miss Forrester, 39, said she offered the booklet during a private conversation, because she felt the NHS did not give enough information about the potential risks. It told of the physical and psychological problems suffered by five women after terminating pregnancies. But her NHS employers have launched disciplinary action against her and she fears she could lose her job. Miss Forrester, a Roman Catholic, has been accused of ‘distributing materials some people may find offensive’.
It is the latest example of Christians facing disciplinary action for expressing religious views.
Miss Forrester attended an internal disciplinary hearing yesterday, but will not be told the outcome until January, meaning she faces Christmas without knowing whether she will lose her job. She said: ‘My pro-life views do come from my Christian belief, but a lot of people have a religion. It’s not a criminal offence. ‘A religious opinion is expressed in the booklet, so therefore it’s not entirely neutral, but I believe women considering abortion should have a full range of information.’
Miss Forrester has worked for the NHS for six years and is a mental health worker at the Central North West London Mental Health Trust, in Camden, North London. In early November she gave two copies of the booklet called Forsaken – Women From Taunton Talk About Abortion to a female colleague with whom she had been discussing the information offered to patients.
It features five women who have experienced what it describes as ‘post-abortion syndrome’, including depression, relationship issues, suicidal feelings and fertility problems.
Miss Forrester said there was no sign her colleague was offended by the £4 charity leaflet, or by their conversation. But a few days later her manager told her she was being sent home on ‘special leave with full pay’. She was ordered not to see any patients and to stay away from any NHS site while the trust investigated.
Miss Forrester was then told she had not been suspended and to return to work but claimed she was not allowed to do her normal job. Instead she was put on other duties, which she found ‘bullying and offensive’, adding: ‘I felt physically sickened by their bullying.’ She was eventually signed off on sick leave and has not been back to the health centre since.
After her hearing, Miss Forrester said: ‘There is an authoritarian management at work here, which is encroaching on very basic freedoms. It is a kangaroo court.’
NHS advice says ‘repeated abortions’ can cause damage to the womb, which can result in fertility problems. Its website says research suggests abortion does not lead to psychological problems, ‘however, some women can feel sad or guilty after an abortion, and post-abortion counselling services are widely available’.
Miss Forrester’s case is backed by the Christian Legal Centre, whose director Andrea Minichiello Williams said: ‘The level of intolerance in the public sphere, particularly in public sector employment, is deeply worrying and suggests we are living in a society that is less and less free.’
Earlier this year, nurse Shirley Chaplin, 54, lost a tribunal over her right to wear a crucifix at work.
Lillian Ladele, a registrar with Islington Council in North London, lost a case at the Appeal Court in which she argued she was entitled to refuse to conduct gay civil partnership ceremonies because they were against her beliefs. She has since left her job.
A spokesman from the NHS trust said she could not comment on internal disciplinary cases.
'Christmas is evil': Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil. Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help 'destroy Christmas' in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.
Labour MP and anti racist campaigner Jim Fitzpatrick branded the posters 'extremely offensive' and demanded they were immediately ripped down. The placards, which have already appeared in parts of London, feature an apparently festive scene with an image of the Star of Bethlehem over a Christmas tree.
But under a banner announcing 'the evils of Christmas' it features a message mocking the song the 12 Days of Christmas. It reads: 'On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an STD (sexually transmitted disease). 'On the second day debt, on the third rape, the fourth teenage pregnancies and then there was abortion.'
According to the posters, Christmas is also to responsible for paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, vandalism, alcohol and drugs. Another offence of Christmas, it proclaims, is 'claiming God has a son'.
The bottom of the poster declares: 'In Islam we are protected from all of these evils. We have marriage, family, honour, dignity, security, rights for man, woman and child.'
The campaign's organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK.
Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson banned Islam4UK group earlier this year, making it a criminal offence to be a member, after it threatened to protest at Wootton Bassett, the town where Britain honours its war dead.
Mr Rumaysah told the Mail that he was unconcerned about offending Christians. He said: 'Christmas is a lie and as Muslims it is our duty to attack it. 'But our main attack is on the fruits of Christmas, things like alcohol abuse and promiscuity that increase during Christmas and all the other evils these lead to such as abortion, domestic violence and crime. 'We hope that out campaign will make people realise that Islam is the only way to avoid this and convert.'
Mr Rumaysah, who said his campaign was not linked to any group, boasted that the posters would be put up in cities around the country, including London, Birmingham and Cardiff.
The campaign was highlighted by volunteers from a charity which distributes food and presents to pensioners and the lonely at Christmas. Sister Christine Frost, founder of the East London Neighbours in Poplar charity, said: 'The more posters I saw, the more angry I got. 'Someone is stirring hatred which leaves the road open to revenge attacks or petrol bombs through letter-boxes.
'I told the Mayor we are all scared. 'If we said such things about Muslims, we'd all be hanging from lamp-posts. 'The posters appear to be professionally printed'.
Poplar and Limehouse MP Mr Fitzpatrick said: 'These posters are extremely offensive and have upset a lot of people - that's why we jumped on it and asked the council to remove them. 'Sister Christine is rooted in the community and doesn't take offence lightly. 'But these hate posters really upset her. Christmas is close to her belief.'
A Met Police spokesman said they had received complaints and were investigating.
Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said the posters had 'upset and antagonised many residents'. He added: 'The messages on these posters are offensive and do not reflect the views of the Council or the vast majority of residents.'
Hope for Every Woman
Last Saturday night, just as I was leaving the house to dine with a couple of friends, I received an interesting phone call from California. It was Crissy Moran, a lovely girl who, in 2006, gave her life back to Jesus Christ. Before that, she was in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Those who are interested can read her testimony online or listen to her interview on the Drew Marshall Show by clicking on this link.
How many more times do we need to hear such stories before we realize that fathers are indispensible in the lives of young women? One does not have to look at the lives of porn stars to see the common denominator. The same problem is invariably present in the lives of strippers and women who, regardless of profession, are highly promiscuous. That common problem is a father who simply was not there for his daughter when she needed him most.
In the case of Crissy Moran, we hear testimony about a father who made serious mistakes and helped inject confusion into the life of a girl just as she was becoming a woman. But sometimes those mistakes are not so clear or so obvious. Many men simply emotionally detach from their daughters around the time they develop into young women. They fear that any display of touching or affection may seem inappropriate after she begins to develop physically. And that is devastating to them. Men should never stop hugging their daughters any more than they should stop loving them.
Added to the problems men bring upon themselves is a court-backed war on fathers. Men who would like to spend time with their daughters and want to be there for them are often left for no good reason. No fault divorce laws make divorce easy. But when it comes to custody issues men are always presumed to be at fault. The “no fault” part only applies to the woman.
The increasing alienation of daughters from their fathers comes at a singularly inopportune time in American history. Ever since Al Gore invented the internet it has become easier for young girls to look for love in all the wrong places. The threats come not just from individual predators but also from a well-organized adult entertainment industry. It is an Evil Empire that attracts young women with the prospect of attention and the allure of fast easy money. But the money never ends up being easy in the end.
It took more than just a series of bad men to make the life of Crissy Moran spiral out of control. It took some very bad decisions on her behalf. But once things began to get exponentially worse for her, there was only one Way for her to be saved.
Just two days after she told God she hated Him – and long after she decided she wanted to kill herself – the Lord put a good man in her life. She met him on the set of a TV show he and her (now former) boyfriend were filming. Later, when they were at a bar, this good man told her he knew that she made adult films for a living. He also talked with her about Hope. Before the end of the evening, he took her outside to pray with her. She then decided to come back to the Lord. And, of course, she knew she had to leave the industry.
Crissy is a sweet soul – she sounded like a shy little girl when she called me on the phone. And, of course, she has been dealing with the backlash of leaving the industry. She now works with a group called Treasures and helps hand out Bibles to girls currently in the industry.
Her website, which was started around 2000, was making tens of thousands of dollars a month. When she left that life to start a new one in 2006, she cut all ties - that includes not taking any money from her website. At its peak, her portion of the sales was around $13,000 per month.
Unfortunately, the site has continued to run without her as she had signed a contract through 2009. Even more unfortunately, the site is still up and Crissy, being a Christian, does not want to give anyone the wrong idea that she is still supporting this activity. Lawyers have written Cease and Desist letters before but did not follow up and the site continues to run and make money without her permission.
I sit here at my computer writing this column on Crissy Moran’s 35th birthday. There are two things I wish for her on this special day. The first is that some concerned Christian will step up and take her case until the aforementioned site is shut down.
My second wish is that men everywhere will pledge this day to give up pornography and rededicate their time and energy to their daughters. Of course, not all men who watch pornography have daughters. But every woman they watch has a Father who is watching them.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.