“Enlightened” Gay Activists Strong Arming Developing Nations

by OziAfricana

by OziAfricana

Nigeria in the Cross Hairs

Following it’s principles, AIDS wracked Nigeria has unanimously voted to prohibit gay marriage.  Unanimously.  Can you even imagine that here in the states?  Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and suffers high rates of HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, malaria and yellow fever, Lassa fever and meningococcal meningitis.

The country struggles against widespread poverty and environmental degradation, yet gay rights activists are now clamoring to hold hostage the much needed aid to that country because of their stance on gay marriage.

What does gay marriage have to do with helping those in such need?

The war on marriage is not only here in the states but across the globe, and with this move, gay activists are showing that they consider this imperiled aid a legitimate weapon in that war.  The more countries they can force to their side, the stronger their world wide mandate for marriage becomes.

Coercing and pressuring these developing nations through economics, rhetoric and political power, increases their power to pressure even more nations like Nigeria who are struggling to maintain family and religious values.

Far from the ideals of free choice and enlightenment, withholding aid  speaks more of brute force school-yard bullying, and shouldn’t be allowed to become the new weapon of choice against developing nations.

—Beetle Blogger

Stop Foreign Aid to Nigeria for Banning Gay “Marriage”: European Union’s Homosexual Rights Group

By Hilary White

BRUSSELS, January 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The European Union’s Intergroup on “gay rights” has demanded that all foreign aid to Nigeria be suspended after that country’s House of Representatives voted to prohibit attempts to create legal “gay marriage.” The Nigerian vote was unanimous this week in favour of a bill that “prohibits marriage between persons of same gender, solemnisation of same and other matters related therewith.”

“The only result this law is going to achieve is a raising hatred against gay, lesbian and transgender citizens of Nigeria,” said Michael Cashman, Labour MEP and President of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual Intergroup. The Intergroup is sending a request to the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid to “evaluate” the financial support given to Nigeria.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, suffers high rates of HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, malaria and yellow fever, Lassa fever and meningococcal meningitis. The country struggles against widespread poverty and environmental degradation.

But one Nigerian representative, Igo Aguma, said it was against the religious beliefs of Nigerians as well as the country’s penal code to “engage in activities that are as quarrelsome as this between man and man, as well as women and women.” Nigeria is 50 percent Muslim, 40 percent Christian with animists making up 10 ten percent.

“It is time for us at this point in time to think back and look at the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The greatest means of transmitting this disease is through the act of sodomy. Young children are already victims of being lured into this cruel and unimaginable act. It is an act of perversion,” said Aguma.

The Gay Mafia–A Lesson in the Rewards of Distributed Activism

You may not know his name, but you should.

Tim Gill is a one man army when it comes to toppling local politicians and “flipping” state legislatures from one ideology to another.  He is the force behind what Times Magazine dubbed, “The Gay Mafia”.

Because of Tim Gill and his group, state legislatures across the nation are passing gay activist policies in traditionally conservative states.  His tactics are devastating local politics and changing the political landscape step by step in an effort that is gaining momentum in a cascade effect, first locally, then nationally.  The effects from this one man’s efforts are incredible, and his use of distributed activism is worth studying.

He may be a multi-millionaire, and influential at that, but these are not necessarily where his strengths are, his strategy is where his strength is.  Tim Gill is above all, shrewd.  He leads a small group of wealthy political donors that target conservative state legislative candidates for defeat in order to promote a radical redefinition of gender, family and marriage.

How does he do it?  One small local race at a time, one thousand dollar donation at a time.   Multiply this by fifty or a hundred followers, and you can effect substantial change in a race using these unexpected out of state funds.

Time Magazine says this:

“Impatient with the lack of gay rights progress this past decade, Gill is pushing hard to end injustice and inequality by the end of the next decade. And recognizing that most anti-gay initiatives are born at the state level, Gill has developed a national political strategy based on successes in Colorado. “They’ve taken an in-state model and applied it to the entire country,” says Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “Gill [and his people are] incredibly strategic. They simply don’t waste money. They put their funding where they can take control of legislatures.” Ciruli adds, “People were unaware of what was going on for quite awhile, but now I think everybody knows that they have really changed the direction of the state. I’m not sure that everyone really understands how potent [Gill] is, but he now has to be the number one gay rights advocate in the country in terms of funding and strategy. They’re taking significant contributions and putting them brilliantly in legislative environments where a few seats changing will change the entire control of a state.”

Dedicated gay activists like Tim Gill, joined by the brilliant strategists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (authors of “After the Ball” the published gay agenda), have played our tendency for complacency against us in the race of ideas.  We are going to have to fight a new kind of fight with much more zeal if we’re going to remain a viable force in the changing political landscape…that includes taking a good look at the new strategies of the opposition.

Many articles I’ve read turn the issue into a cry against wealthy manipulations in local politics as if it were a campaign finance fiasco, but the truth is that whatever millions Tim Gill and company may bring to the table, they are no match for the numbers out in the grass roots.  That’s good.  It means we can do it too.

It can be done, and as we saw with the unprecedented grass roots participation of proposition 8, and also with the efforts of the ballyhooed “Gay Mafia”, a few dedicated and thorough people CAN make a difference.

—Beetle Blogger

For more see TIMES Magazine’s The Gay Mafia that’s Redefining Liberal Politics

and Atlantic Magazine’s They Won’t Know What Hit Them

Sticks and Stones Propaganda in Schools

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Gay Activists From GLSEN Silencing Criticism and Redefining “Hate” for the Next Generation

As part of “No Name-Calling Week”, schools will be teaching children that those who disagree with the homosexual lifestyle are motivated by “hate” and the implied message is that you have to accept the behavior choices in order to accept the person.

This public education message, sponsored by GLSEN, a group dedicated to bringing homosexuality to schools, sows seeds of confusion about sexual behavior and moral decision making.  Labeling and stereotyping opposition to gay activist doctrine as “hate” glosses over the many arguments out there and presents a false choice to children:  Hate or embrace!

Why are schools partnering with sexual propagandists?  Can’t we teach respect and civility without forcing the redefinition of religion and sexual ethics?

See these clips from the WorldNetDaily:

The No Name-Calling Week Coalition, created by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, consists of more than 40 national partner organizations. The coalition organized the first No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation during the week of March 1-5, 2004. This year, No Name-Calling Week will take place next week.

The website claims it wants to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools. Its GLSEN sponsor, however, offers a web page that specifically lists terms and their definitions, including condemnation of “heterosexism,” defined as the “attitude that heterosexuality is the only valid or acceptable sexual orientation.”

It also defines “ally” as someone “who supports and stands up for the rights of LBGT people.”  The GLSEN site labels “homophobia” as the “fear of lesbians and gay men.”

“No Name-Calling” campaign spokesman Daryl Presgraves told WND the campaign is intended to allow students to discuss “all types of hurtful names” including religious slurs, racist slurs and those about sexual orientation.

Other sponsors listed on the promotion’s website include the Anti-Defamation League, Educators for Social Responsibility, the National Education Association and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

What about those who disagree with the homosexual lifestyle?  Is it right to call them bigots or haters or homophobes for their beliefs?  What makes one label better than another?

Bullying, name calling, and every other disrespectful habit can and should be discouraged in schools but the solution is not to endorse homosexuality, and it’s certainly not creating a new class of acceptable names to call people.

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GLSEN advocates homosexuality by obscuring the line between people and actions.  Dealing in fine lines and sophistries, they teach children that gay behavior is something worthy of respect and defense, rather than teaching respect for the person, regardless of behavior.  You can have respectful dissent from behavior and still respect the person, but because these groups are pushing the gay agenda, stifling dissent through “hate” labeling and softening attitudes about behavior is what it’s all about.  With one little twist, all of a sudden, Jesus’ teachings to love the sinner, not the sin, turns into hate speech.

Sound familiar?  This rhetorical sophistry is rampant worldwide in gay advocates’ march toward sexual enlightenment.

Parents should be alarmed that groups like GLSEN and Planned Parenthood have such unlimited access to children in schools.  Protect your children!  Corrupted moral ideas can be destructive weapons, and creating support for those ideas among our impressionable next generation is exactly what they are after.

–Beetle Blogger

Marriage Boot Camp–Arming the New Media

armyWelcome to The Army Soldier!

Proposition 8 touched off the beginnings of the marriage defense network through the DNA, a resource sorely needed in today’s media era where the mainstream media holds such bias against traditional family and values.

The DNA teaches you how to support traditional marriage through blogging, Facebooking, contacting legislators, talking with neighbors, and writing letters to the editor for your local newspapers.  When there’s an issue that needs immediate support, the DNA responds.

Whether you’ve got 30 minutes or four hours each day to be an activist, every effort can help make a difference.

The opposition is also gathering it’s troops and training them to be activists in the new media.  Boot Camp type trainings like these are happening in states all across the nation from Hawaii to New York as gay activists ramp up their efforts to bring down marriage.  See this from the L.A. Times yesterday:

Proposition 8 foes hold gay marriage boot camps

Determined to avoid the mistakes of their last, losing campaign for gay marriage, gay rights activists are launching the first of what they hope will be many “marriage equality training camps” in Los Angeles this weekend.

The idea is to train activists in “the practical, hands-on skills to organize in their communities to restore marriage equality for same-sex couples to California.”

“The Camp Courage training, inspired by ‘Camp Obama,’ is based on grassroots organizing models that have developed leaders and nurtured progressive social movements for many years, including the fundamentals of community organizing; volunteer recruitment and management; voter persuasion and more,” according to a statement.

The opposition is a small minority, but they are organized and vocal, and they have the mainstream media pushing their rhetoric daily.

The birth of the internet has changed so many things, it’s exploding with information, alternate news sources, groups and networks that allow people from all over to communicate and organize.  Marriage is under attack as never before, but the tools are out there to organize our defenses.

What Can You Do?

You can do as much or as little as you have time for. It is through the work of hundreds and thousands of us that information is spread and our voices are heard.

To get you started with the Digital Network Army (DNA):

Step 1 – Sign up for a new email address. You will need an email address that has no connection to your family or any facet of your life (for instance, don’t use BobSmith@yahoo.com). There are many forces working to destroy the family and as the 2008 Proposition 8 Election in California showed, anonymity is best when working online. We suggest a Google email account, so that you can join the DNA group online.

Step 2 – Sign up with the DNA here. Once you sign up with the DNA, you will get email updates with links to the latest news articles, videos, blog posts and other online information regarding the battle for families and morality.  When you sign up, you will be able to choose the frequency of the emails: daily, weekly, etc.

Step 3 – Read, learn and educate yourself on the current issues. Start with The Kingfisher Column and the blogs listed there, or click on DNA Current Issues.

Step 4 – Make your voice heard. As you have time, comment on the blog posts, videos and articles that are listed on The Kingfisher Column, the related blogs and any relevant articles you read.  Comments help to convey establishment and build rapport, encouraging blog-reader growth.  This is your opportunity to speak out and unite your voice with countless others who share our common beliefs in marriage and family online.  Your comments can be simple expressions of support. Every little effort helps.

*Use your new email address always and do not share any personal information that could lead the opposition back to you.

Step 5 – Let us know. When you find new information about the battle for family values (it could be a news article, a blog post or a video), send it to the DNA or to the Kingfisher Column.

Step 6 – Pass it on. When you read something important to the discussion, let your friends, family and co-workers that share your same beliefs know about it. Email them and let them know about the DNA and resources such as the Kingfisher Column so that they can enlist in the battle as well.


Advanced Steps

Step 7 – Join the Facebook group for the DNA here (you will need a Facebook account).

Step 8 – Start your own blog. Write about families, marriage, and moral values. We suggest using either WordPress or Blogger. They are both free and easy to use. Use your new email address to register.  It’s OK to report, summarize and rephrase articles and posts that you like from other bloggers and sites such as Kingfisher. If you want help or tips, just ask!

Step 9 – Write to your elected representatives in support of marriage. All across the country, legislation is being considered to either strengthen or redefine marriage and your voice can carry weight with your senator or congressman.

Small efforts can collectively make a huge difference if we’re organized.  The opposition is organizing, and so are we.  Join us! —Beetle Blogger

Digital Network Army – “Truthfilled. Respectful. Relentless.”

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www.DigitalNetworkArmy.com

March On, Lady Liberty

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Liberty is the prevention of control by others.

This requires self-control and, therefore,
religious and spiritual influences;
education, knowledge, well-being.
—Lord Acton 1887

At a time when liberty and freedom are under attack in this country as never before, it was a welcome breath to see this sweeping footage of the Statue of Liberty put up on youtube this morning, as Obama announced that he would like to re-open public access to Liberty’s crown:

With this move the Obama administration hopes a message will be sent to the world, that “the path to the light of liberty is open to all.”

“Lady Liberty”, has always been a symbol of freedom and democracy, that’s what makes her beautiful.  She reminds us that the very nature of liberty is bred of self control and self taming beliefs, the ability to look beyond our own greed and accomplishments to the needs of those around us.

In the culture war between self and others, she pleads with us to rise above our petty natures by her example:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

(The New Colossus–By Emily Lazarus 1883)

Looking outward with her searching gaze, she seems to speak to the heart of hopeful immigrants, but her message is first to us.  Her stern face and outward dress derive from the Roman goddess Libertas, symbol of freedom from slavery, oppression and tyranny.  Her image, caught in motion, doesn’t stand still in hesitation or waiting for direction at rigid attention, but with the free motion of an individual, a leader,  is constantly pressing forward, crushing broken shackles at her feet.

Her wish is our wish, to be free.  In her hands, she reminds us how the nation’s liberty is kept, with the torch of spiritual enlightenment held aloft for guidance in one hand and tightly grasping the tablet of knowledge in the arm of the other.  These are the keys which ensure continued free exercise of liberty.

Sam Adams, recognized as the father of the American Revolution, noted this about human nature:

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…  While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…

If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved.  This will be their great security.”

As much as I applaud the possibility of seeing the spacious views from atop Liberty’s crown, whether that wish becomes a practical reality or not is immaterial.  She already sends, and will continue to send, the message to the world that the path of liberty is open to all.

March on, Lady Liberty.

–Beetle Blogger

Study: Legislators Are Not Hurt by Voting for Same-Sex Marriage

by Southernpixel

by Southernpixel

What’s in the barrel?

Watching California’s leadership walk all over voters in order to pander to the gay lobby, I am left in complete amazement.  Our Governor, Senators and a good part of the Legislature have all been working feverishly to overturn the vote of the people on proposition 8.

How is it that politicians, who have a duty to the people for their jobs, can look a majority vote in the face and try to tear it down?  Aren’t they worried about job security?  What about the voter’s mandate?

The San Francisco Bay times today is reporting that it doesn’t matter.

Voting for same-sex marriage or against an attempt to ban same-sex marriage is a safe move for politicians, a new study by the group Freedom to Marry has found. A review of such votes in 21 states by more than 1,100 legislators found that the legislators were consistently re-elected. The report revealed:

* Legislators who voted to end marriage discrimination in California, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts had a 100 percent re-election rate in all 499 instances in three consecutive elections.

* Legislators who changed their position from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage had a 100 percent re-election rate in consecutive elections.

* Legislators who voted for marriage equality in their state’s lower house and then sought higher office all won.

* None of 664 legislators from 17 states lost re-election after voting against a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

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“For politicians, standing up for marriage equality is not touching a third-rail; rather, it is a track to re-election,” said Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson. “Legislators should take the findings of this report as proof that there’s no reason to back down from supporting the freedom to marry and opposing anti-gay measures. And those of us outside the legislature should not be afraid to ask our representatives to do the right thing.”

This is not the opportunity to forgive and forget or turn the other cheek.  It’s time to ask ourselves, “What’s in the barrel?  and toss out those who pander to corruption and are rotten at the core.

One hundred and twenty-nine years ago, President James Garfield brilliantly predicted the situation we now find ourselves in: “The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.”

What is a politician’s motivation to hold to the standards if we don’t hold them to those standards?

–Beetle Blogger

WhiteHouse.gov Bleeding With “Change”

Painting the Roses Red

Obama’s Change Begins by Force–

Painting the Roses Red

Updated just minutes after the inauguration, the new Obama White House website declares “We need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), instantly jeopardizing the marriage laws of 45 states, including constitutional amendments in 30 states where voters have recently acted to give marriage the greatest protection possible at the state level. Instead of protecting the will of voters all across the country, President Obama’s policy would allow a handful of judges in Massachusetts and Connecticut to force same-sex marriage on the entire nation.

Obama’s support of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), threatens to nullify every state protection and limitation on abortion, because he personally believes there should be no limitations, not for underage girls, not even for late term pregnancies.  “Freedom of choice” is above all, as long as it’s a choice Obama believes in.  All other choices must be painted over to match his like the dripping red roses of the Queen of Hearts’ garden.

There are divisions on issues in this country for a reason.  We are not all of one mind on these hotbed issues. We all have separate voices that ought to be heard.   What leader of the people fights to overturn their votes, their laws, their state’s rights?  Why must all our differences be painted over in the same shade of federal red?

The way to unity is not by brute force.

The cry from the grass roots is all that stands in the way of Obama’s radical change unveiled, so cry!  Make your voice heard!  This brand of “change” is a moral bloodletting that our country cannot stand.

—Beetle Blogger

Obama Reveals the ‘Change’ He Will Bring

by Jennifer Mesko, editor CitizenLink

‘ This is the most bold and comprehensive pro-homosexual, abortion-friendly administration agenda we’ve ever seen.’

obama

“President Obama is no friend of family values, and that is made perfectly clear on the White House Web site,” said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst at Focus on the Family Action. “This is the most bold and comprehensive pro-homosexual, abortion-friendly administration agenda we’ve ever seen.  And this is no time for Christians to remain silent.”

On marriage

WhiteHouse.gov: “President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.” (The Defense of Marriage Act is the federal government’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.)

Focus on the Family: Four key points.

On abortion

WhiteHouse.gov: “He has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Administration.”

Focus on the Family: Every human life has inherent value and should be protected, from fertilization to natural death.

On destructive embryonic stem-cell research

WhiteHouse.gov: “Obama is a co-sponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which will allow research of human embryonic stem cells derived from embryos.”

Focus on the Family: Supports and encourages stem-cell research using non-embryonic sources of stem cells, including umbilical cord blood, placenta, bone marrow and various adult tissues. No human lives are destroyed in harvesting stem cells from these sources. Tax dollars should not be used to encourage the destruction of living human embryos for research .

On special rights for homosexual employees

WhiteHouse.gov: “President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Focus on the Family: The government should not tell employers whom they can hire based on a category of protection that is not based on an immutable characteristic, but on a changeable sexual attraction, behavior or identity. The goal of laws like this is to silence religious free speech.

On a new class of crimes based on the victim’s sexual orientation

WhiteHouse.gov: “President Obama and Vice President Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation (and) expand hate crimes protection.”

Focus on the Family: Everyone should receive equal protection under the law.   Hate-crime laws threaten the free-speech rights of people of faith who speak out on the issue of homosexuality. These laws also make it possible that pastors could be prosecuted for preaching against homosexuality, as they have been in other countries.

On same-sex adoption

WhiteHouse.gov: “President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Focus on the Family: Children deserve the best chance to have both a mother and a father. Same-sex adoption increases the likelihood that a child will be denied a mom or a dad.

On homosexuals in the military

WhiteHouse.gov: “President Obama agrees we need to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.”

Focus on the Family: Federal law states that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Meanwhile, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a practice put in place during the Clinton administration prohibiting the military from asking about sexual orientation. The Department of Defense must be allowed to set its own requirements for military service.

Cry Against the Change!  Start With the Save DOMA Petition

Sign Here

20 Wives Ok, If You’re Gay?

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Gay Marriage Trifles with the Lock on Pandora’s Box in Canada

In the first case to test polygamy laws in this country, two polygamist leaders in Canada have been put on trial for their marital practices.  One of the men is charge with committing polygamy with 20 women, the other, only two.

According to lawyers in the case, two previous legal decisions have said that polygamy charges might be thrown out under a Charter of Rights challenge, leaving the door wide open for new marriage practices.

“It’s pretty hard to justify why gay marriage is OK and polygamy’s not…”

says Canadian lawyer Blair Suffredine.   It was only a few years ago that enlightened social liberals in Canada scoffed at the notion that legalizing same-sex “marriage” would open the door for polygamy.

Naysayers claim that Canada has no reason to allow polygamy because it is not “enlightened”, but rather a throwback to ancient times and primitive cultures that consider women and children property.

So, now instead of having solid moral code as a boundary for what is and isn’t acceptable in our culture, we have wiffly waffly public opinion.  The lawyers say times are new, “…the standards have changed”, and so they have.

—Beetle Blogger

VANCOUVER, British Columbia  —  The lawyer for a British Columbia man charged with having 20 wives says he’ll use the same-sex marriage law as a defense.

The lawyer, Blair Suffredine, says gays can marry in Canada, so why can’t a man have more than one wife. The lawyer says standards have changed.

He’s representing 52-year-old Winson Blackmore, leader of a polygamous group in Bountiful, in southeastern British Columbia.

He appeared in court briefly yesterday in Creston and the case was continued to Feb. 18.

Another man from a rival polygamous group in Bountiful, James Oler, also appeared in court, charged with marrying two women.

What a Miracle Looks Like

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Yesterday God sent us a reminder, a reminder of what’s truly important. On the same path as the planes of 9/11, he reminded us yet again: It’s about family. And that’s really pretty much it. He reminded us that miracles happen. He reminded us that when everything is stacked against us, we can make it. Even coming at a dirty and grungy and mob body-filled water, you can survive.”

Condensed from the desk of Glenn Beck

GLENN: Let me ask you this: What is a miracle? Is God a respecter of men? Does God answer prayers? Does God change the rules of the universe? What is a miracle?

I think what we witnessed yesterday was a miracle. I don’t know if you have looked and put all of the string of coincidence together. I mean, here’s a group of people that get together, they hear a large bang. Put yourself in this seat. You hear a large bang, you look out the window, you see the engine flame out, and what goes through your mind right then? Have you ever been on a plane where you think — where you just hit bad turbulence? I’ve been white knuckle, just holy cow, we’re not going to make it. What are you thinking when the pilot gets on the speaker and says, “Brace for a rough landing”? What are you thinking when they say, “Underneath your seat is a flotation device.” What are you thinking? Are you looking out the window? Are you looking out and seeing that eye level you are right — you are looking possibly at people like me looking right at you out the window. Do you see the Hudson River getting bigger and bigger, the ice that’s in it and you know possibly “I can’t swim.” If we do get out, how long can I last in that water? What is the pilot thinking as he’s heading towards the George Washington bridge, the exact same route that was taken by the 9/11 hijackers? You don’t fly over the George Washington bridge. You don’t fly over the Hudson. This is the route — the last time a 727 took this route, they ended in the World Trade Center. What were the people on the bridge thinking as they saw this plane slowly lumber 900 feet over the George Washington bridge? Probably the same thing I was thinking when I arrived in my office. What was the pilot thinking, knowing that his engines weren’t working, wondering can I get my plane over the bridge? What was he thinking when he could see in the sky the Hudson or Teterboro, which is an airport in New Jersey? They were equal distance from each other. Did he choose, “I’m going to land this in the water because if I land it in the water and we crash or if I can’t make it, it only kills us. If I try to make it to Teterboro and something happens, I crash into a mass of humanity. Was that what he was thinking? What was he thinking when he passed the bridge and he got over it and he looked down the Hudson and there weren’t any boats on the Hudson? If you’re anywhere near New York or if you’re a pilot and you see the Hudson, you fly over it and you see it, there are always tugboats, there are always barges, it’s always full of boats. Was he wondering before he could see the Hudson how many people will I kill on boats? What was everybody thinking when they hit the water, at a speed, it was like hitting dry ground? As you feel the jolt shoot through your body from your feet to your head? What were you thinking as your body pulls up against that seat belt and yet your body is flexible enough that you hit your head on the luggage compartment? What goes through your mind when you believe you’re going to die? I can tell you I don’t think that you were thinking about your political party. You weren’t thinking whether you were from a red state or a blue state. “Oh, gee, if I just would have finished that project at work.” “Oh, gosh. Well, thank goodness it’s over because I’ve lost my job.” I doubt you were thinking, “Oh, jeez, well, this will be blessed relief because I’ve got so many other problems and the world seems to be melting down.” I dare say even Al Gore wouldn’t have been thinking, “Oh, jeez, but who’s going to fight global warming.” You are not thinking about Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Yesterday God sent us a reminder, a reminder of what’s truly important. On the same path as the planes of 9/11, he reminded us yet again: It’s about family. And that’s really pretty much it. He reminded us that miracles happen. He reminded us that when everything is stacked against us, we can make it. Even coming at a dirty and grungy and mob body-filled water, you can survive.

Both engines blown out, hydraulic system on the plane impacted. The pilot makes that thing a lumbering giant, and he had no hydraulics and he’s trying to hold on, he and the copilot. They missed the George Washington bridge by 900 feet. A plane falling from the sky, and everybody represented, from the 9-month-old baby to the 85-year-old grandma.

What was the string of coincidence, what was the string of coincidence? There were no boats or tugs. Why? Because it was cold. Just a few blocks up from the George Washington bridge, the river had just been closed. So there weren’t any boats per se. That waterway is always full of tugboats and cargo ships. There was nothing, except ferries. You could land that plane anywhere. That plane came to a stop right by the Intrepid, which happens to be right by the ferry docks. There happened to be a ferry right there just about where the plane came to a dead stop. The ferry, all they had to do was just release the lifeboats and push them over.

It’s been 45 years since a plane landed on the water and everyone survived. 45 years. I don’t even listen to “Your seat can be used as a flotation device.” Just slam into the water because you are all going to flip and die. I’ll never say that again.

By the way, something else that was highly unusual. This pilot is not only somebody who teaches safety, who teaches emergency landing, not only has air hours like crazy, not only is a fighter pilot but he is one of the rare few commercial air pilots that not only have combat experience but also has his glider’s license. I doubt he ever thought he would be gliding an Airbus, but he did.

Even though the water was choppy and white capped and 40 degrees and 18 degrees outside, somehow or another he landed it perfectly what are the odds that that happened? What are the odds that they hit a flock of geese, in fact not one but two, so big that it actually showed up on radar.

God is not a respecter of men. He loves all of us, no matter what we do, equally. We just have to be prepared. He asks us, be prepared. He asks us, pay attention. He asks us to do the right things. He asks us to think of others.

You could choose to look at this as just a, “Wow, what a lucky break these guys had, huh?” Or you could experience the miracle of seeing a wake-up call, of seeing a message being sent.

Sure, an engine can take one bird, an engine can take two birds, but an engine can’t take a flock, and an engine certainly can’t take two flocks. It’s very rare to experience something like this. It was almost, for a plane, the perfect storm. And there were the odds, but the people were prepared, they did the right thing, and they brought it down. And everybody got off the plane safely.

God didn’t change the world. God didn’t change physics. He didn’t freeze the water to stop the boats. He didn’t lift it up with his hand and defy physics. Miracles aren’t like that. That’s why people don’t believe in them anymore. Miracles really are a change in perspective. My perspective on this plane crash is that, look at how many things went right. My perspective was, thank goodness we had somebody who in a state of emergency didn’t panic, didn’t do anything but his job.

By the way, Sully, as he’s known, the pilot, he was spotted at the airport last night a few hours after the crash. He was dry, he was back in captain’s clothes cleanly pressed. He had his captain’s hat on. He sat alone in a coffee shop. The people who saw him said, aren’t you… he said yes. He went back to minding his own business. They said that he looked like he was just finishing up another ordinary day.

15 Million Dollar Thought Tax

money.jpgTaxing the Church to Feed the State

In what amounts to a free speech fine reminiscent of a scene out of Robin Hood,  San Francisco City government is assessing a 15 million dollar tax on a tax exempt church.  This thinly veiled retaliatory move for church involvement in the passing of proposition 8 is outrageous and clearly steps over the line in the separation of church and state.

Government has no say in church affairs, including what morality gets preached or how church officials and their parishioners vote.  It doesn’t matter how unpopular the prop 8 vote was in San Francisco, government tax agencies can not be used as weapons to beat churches into submission, or cow them into silence.

Noam Chomsky said: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favour of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

Separation of church and state is just that, freedom for the church to speak and act independently from government authority,  and free from reprisal.  This action by San Francisco City to quash the free exercise of speech and religion smacks of intimidation and corruption at City Hall.

Is the economy so bad, are budget issues so dire that we have to raid the donation coffers of the local parish, Mayor?

—Beetle Blogger

San Francisco Set to Tax Catholic Church Millions in Suspected Prop 8 Retaliation

By Kathleen Gilbert

SAN FRANCISCO, January 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A San Francisco assessor has called for the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco to hand over $15 million in taxes because of an internal restructuring of the archdiocese, a move that some are describing as “retaliation” for the Church’s opposition to Proposition 8.

Assessor Phil Ting concluded that the Catholic Church owed the city taxes after the archdiocese was restructured and its property, which is almost all used by parish facilities, was consolidated seven months ago.

Ting claimed that because the restructuring involved “separate legal entities,” it was “not just a cosmetic” change and therefore liable to be taxed.

The archdiocese immediately filed legal action and questioned the precedent for Ting’s decision.

“San Francisco Recorder Phil Ting has taken a step that is unprecedented in the history of the state of California. He has determined that an internal reorganization of church property, within the family of corporations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, constitutes a ‘sale’ and is subject to a property transfer tax,” archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“A tax on transfers of property, all owned by the Catholic Church, within the same family of Archdiocesan corporations, is unprecedented in the history of the state of California and the law is overwhelmingly in our favor on this subject,” said Healy.

Many are decrying the move as retaliation for the church’s support of California’s same-sex “marriage” ban, as pro-homosexual “marriage” San Francisco residents and politicians have made no secret of their ire at the Catholic Church and other religious groups for supporting Proposition 8.

See full story here

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