Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Navy Chaplain Lt. Gordon J. Klingenschmitt mocked by atheist site
What the atheist Left find incredible is in fact normal fundamentalist Christianity, basically the thinking that created America and ruled America until about 100 years ago. The Left are so out of touch with people outside their own little self-constructed mental bubble that they find as utterly incredible beliefs that are still held by many millions of Americans. To take the most obvious example, the rejection of homosexuality as an abomination to God is extremely well-founded in the Bible -- See Romans chapter 1 for starters. And if I were a Christian I think I would see Obama as devil-possessed, given his attacks on America's treasured religious liberty.
And even the apparently hilarious "sell your clothes and buy a gun" is thoroughly scriptural. There were no guns in Christ's day but few Christians will be unaware of what Jesus said about the matter at the Last Supper (Luke 22:36). Christ wanted his teachings defended and many Christians to this day do so
By one count, there are over 7,000 Americans serving as state legislators nationwide, and with a group that big, there are going to be some strange, fringe figures that most of the American mainstream would find cringe-worthy. It's hardly worth the effort to point out every nut who somehow gets elected to help write a state's laws.
That said, Gordon Klingenschmitt - a.k.a. "Dr. Chaps" - is a very special case. Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, a radical anti-gay Religious Right activist who brags of having once tried to rid of woman of the "foul spirit of lesbianism" through an exorcism and who openly proclaims that "American law needs to reflect God's law" and that our foreign policy must be based on the Bible, won election to the Colorado House of Representatives last night.
Klingenschmitt, who wrote a book about how President Obama is possessed by demons and once performed an exorcism of Obama, ran an utterly embarrassing campaign yet nonetheless managed to defeat his Democratic opponent by nearly 40 points.
It's probably worth emphasizing, in case anyone isn't sure, that this is entirely serious. Klingenschmitt really believes in exorcisms for gay people and that the president is demon-possessed. And 17,000 voters in Colorado really did choose, on purpose, to make Klingenschmitt a state lawmaker.
That said, one might be forgiven for thinking Right Wing Watch's profile of the newly elected legislator is some kind of joke. Klingenschmitt believes "only people who are going to heaven are entitled to equal treatment by the government." He's said "teaching kids about gay marriage is mental rape." He's argued that the Affordable Care Act "causes cancer." He's described Islamic State militants as a sign of the Biblical End Times.
But again, this is not a joke.
Perhaps my personal favorite was the time that Klingenschmitt declared, "You know what, citizens, if you don't have a gun, I'm telling you - as a Christian chaplain - sell your clothes and buy a gun. It's time." (Really, that's what he said. It's on video.)
It's also worth emphasizing that while Klingenschmitt ran and won as a Republican, Zack Ford noted that Colorado GOP officials have not been eager to embrace the fringe figure and his bizarre worldview. After Klingenschmitt won his primary, state Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call said, "Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest."
Tories' Bill of Rights 'will protect free Press': Culture Secretary says Tories will commit to changes that will alter special protection
A new Bill of Rights should include special legal protections for Britain's journalists and its 300-year-old free Press, the Culture Secretary will say today. Sajid Javid will commit the Tories to changes that will strengthen the law around Press freedoms if the party wins next year's general election.
In a speech to the Society of Editors, the minister will announce that a Conservative government will replace Labour's Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
`Passed in our Parliament and rooted in our values, it will restore British judges as the ultimate arbiters of British justice,' he will say.
`I'm delighted to announce that I have agreed with the Justice Secretary that the British Bill of Rights will include specific protection for journalists and a free Press.
`The Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights have not done enough to protect journalists who play such a unique role in our society. Our British Bill of Rights will change that.'
The minister will consult on the specific measures to be included, but they are expected to include a new legal right for journalists to protect their sources as well as a broad new public interest defence.
At the moment, the rights of the Press are enshrined in a series of different Acts including the Human Rights Act, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the Data Protection Act, the Defamation Act and the Contempt of Court Act.
Aides said a new Bill of Rights would offer an opportunity to `abandon this piecemeal approach and ensure Press freedom is enshrined in legislation clearly, unequivocally and in one place'.
Following the Leveson Inquiry and the row over Press regulation, Mr Javid has attempted to reassure critics of government handling of the issue.
He said soon after his appointment this year: `The Press is hugely important and freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our democracy. I'm proud of the Press. `Notwithstanding the fact that any industry has its bad apples, I think our Press is the best in the world. It is fearless without favour.'
The Conservatives plan to publish a draft Bill around the end of the year.
Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed to tighten the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which has been used by police to access journalists' phone records without a judge's approval.
It has emerged in recent weeks that police have been using the legislation to force telecoms companies to hand over information without customers' knowledge.
Detectives investigating disgraced MP Chris Huhne's speeding fraud secretly obtained a Mail on Sunday reporter's phone records without his consent, despite laws protecting confidential journalistic sources.
The Government has also announced a review of the introduction of time limits on police bail. Some journalists accused of phone hacking and other offences have been left on police bail for more than two years.
Viscount Rothermere, chairman of DMGT, publisher of the Daily Mail, warned last month of an `anti-Press climate' and said journalists were being `crushed by the full weight of the law' - in sharp contrast with `those in the City whose greed almost caused our entire banking system to collapse'.
Should midwives opposed to abortion have the right to refuse any involvement in abortion cases?
Midwives who object to abortions could be allowed to opt out of any involvement with women who choose to terminate their unborn babies.
A court will tomorrow hear an appeal after two Catholic midwives won a landmark case for the right to refuse any involvement in abortion procedures in 2013.
Mary Doogan, 58, and Connie Wood, 52, argued that being required to supervise staff involved in abortions was a violation of their human rights.
The women had no direct role in pregnancy terminations, but claimed they should also be able to refuse to support staff taking part in the procedures.
If the court upholds that decision it could set a legal precedent, allowing other midwives who object to abortions to take the same stance.
But the Royal College of Midwives and the women's charity British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) warned today that such a ruling could have severe implications for the care of women choosing abortions. The case will return to the Court of Session in Scotland tomorrow after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde appealed the ruling
Ms Doogan and Ms Wood took their case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to the Court of Session in Edinburgh in 2012, but lost. But in April last year, three appeal judges at the same court ruled their appeal should succeed.
Judges at the court will tomorrow hear an appeal by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The act allows healthcare professionals to refuse to participate in abortion care, provided it is not an emergency situation.
In 2012, the Outer House of the Court of Session rejected Ms Doogan and Ms Woods' case ruling that participation in treatment meant direct involvement in ending the pregnancy.
That decision was overturned in 2013 by the Court's Inner House, which judged the midwives were legally allowed to refrain from delegating to, supervising and supporting colleagues involved in abortion care on their wards.
The RCM and bpas believe if that decision is upheld it will require all professional guidance to be rewritten.
But their spokesman said their concerns go further, and will 'enable a tiny number of staff opposed to abortion to make women's care undeliverable in some NHS settings in the UK'.
Ann Furedi, bpas chief executive, said: 'bpas supports the right of healthcare professionals to conscientious objection, not least because women deserve better than being treated with contempt by those who think they are sinners.
'But ultimately a balance needs to be struck between that exercise of conscience and women's access to legal services.
'It would be grossly unjust if an interpretation of conscientious objection was allowed to stand which would disrupt services to the point that those committed to helping women were unable to do so.'
Gillian Smith, RCM director for Scotland, said they 'absolutely support midwives' right to conscientious objection'.
She added: 'The RCM position has always been and will remain that we support women's choice within the law.
'We also want to ensure that women undergoing this procedure, for whatever reason, get the best possible care, which we feel could be compromised if the current laws are changed.
The health board argued that the right of conscientious objection was a right only to refuse to take part in activities that directly brought about the termination of a pregnancy, and was not available to the pair in respect of their duties of delegation, supervision and support.
Dramatic Religious Shift in Brazil as Evangelicals Are Rapidly Overtaking Catholics
Silas Malafaia, an influential evangelical minister, tweeted on 30 August that if Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) didn't "take a position [against same-sex marriage] by Monday, she'll get one of the harshest speeches I've ever made about a presidential candidate." Silva was standing in the presidential election and for a time seemed to be a serious contender. (She came third in the first round; Dilma Rousseff, already president since 2010, narrowly won the run-off in late October.) Silva's manifesto, published on 29 August, broke a taboo: It said that if elected she would support legislation to allow same-sex marriage.
Homosexual marriage has been legal in Brazil since a Supreme Court decision in May 2013. "But it's a legal precedent that could still be overturned by conservative judges. As long as there is no law, our rights are not protected," said Jean Wyllys, Brazil's only openly homosexual member of parliament. Silva's declaration was remarkable since she claims to be a practicing member of the Assembly of God, a socially conservative, Pentecostal evangelical church.
Malafaia's tweet turned out to be a pivotal event in Brazilian politics: A few hours later, Silva did a U-turn. "You lied to us, you played on the hopes of millions of people - you don't deserve the trust of the Brazilian people," said Wyllys, who had praised Silva's manifesto though he was backing another candidate. Silva was not alone in courting the millions of evangelicals: All the candidates, including Rousseff, had set up committees to win their vote. The country's evangelicals have gone from 5% to 22% of the population in 40 years.
Pope Francis visited Brazil in an effort to revive the loss of membership in the Catholic Church in Brazil.Pope Francis visited Brazil in an effort to revive the loss of membership in the Catholic Church in Brazil.
Brazil is undergoing a religious revolution. In 1970, 92% of the population claimed to be Catholic, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics; in 2010 only 64.4%. "Brazil is unique: It's the only large country to have seen such a profound change in its religious landscape in so short a time," said José Eustáquio Alves of the National School of Statistical Science in Rio de Janeiro. The change is due to the growth of the evangelical churches, particularly the Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals. (Lutheran, Baptist and Methodist membership is stable.) Evangelicals have gone from 5% to 22% of the population in 40 years. With 23 million believers, Brazil is still the world's largest Catholic country - but not for long, according to Eustáquio Alves, who calculates evangelicals and Catholics should be neck-and-neck by 2030.
The urban landscape illustrates this change. The Rio de Janeiro square popularly known as Cinelândia, on which stand the Municipal Theatre and the National Library, got its nickname from the many cinemas built there the early 20th century. Almost all are gone, and the film posters have been replaced by prayers to Jesus, and the names of chapels in neon - Universal Church, God is Love, World Church of the Kingdom of God. (It's the same in the centre of every major Brazilian city; by contrast, many small cinemas have opened in the suburbs.)
Latin American cities for centuries had a central square with a town hall and church, but rapid expansion because of immigration has changed this. The evangelical churches have adapted with a flexibility "of which the Catholics have shown themselves to be incapable," said Cesar Romero Jacob of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.
It's the same in Amazonia, on Brazil's agricultural frontier, its wild west. Geographer Hervé Théry, of the University of São Paulo, explains: "Every time I arrive in a new settlement, I find three wooden huts, a pharmacy and a chapel: somewhere you can get medical help and somewhere you can get moral comfort - essential in these harsh surroundings." He sees the same in city suburbs, neglected by the state. "The evangelical churches provide a kind of social aid, leisure activities and a genuine listening ear, which the Catholic Church has almost given up doing. It's one of the reasons for their success."
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.