Archive for December, 2011

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

Earlier in the month, Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago angered gay rights activists by making an unfortunate comparison between the gay rights movement and the Ku Klux Klan.  “Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, this week told a Chicago news station that he agreed with a local Roman Catholic church’s objections to the city’s recently-adjusted Gay Pride Parade route passing by its doors and warned that the parade could “morph into the Ku Klux Klan.”  George made the comment Sunday on Fox Chicago when asked about Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s complaints that the parade passing by its Belmont Avenue location would force the church to cancel its morning mass. The church recently launched a petition urging the city to force parade organizers to adjust their plans.  “I go with the pastor,” George told Fox. “He’s telling us that he won’t be able to have services on Sunday if that’s the case. You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”‘ Huffington Post

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Pareidolia

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The World Trade Center cross was discovered in the debris of the collapsed buildings by construction worker Frank Silecchia who declared “it’s an act of God.” The cross was removed from the debris pile, erected on a concrete pedestal, and placed nearby in a prominent position during the years of reconstruction. During the removal, Fr. Brian Jordan, a Roman Catholic Franciscan priest, blessed the cross with holy water. In june, 2002, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking cleric, and New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan participated in a ceremony at the cross.

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Golden Retriever And Guitar

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

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Christians For A Moral America really do not want you to see the Hobbit. It appears that really bad things come in really small packages. Producer Sir Peter Jackson is a self-proclaimed atheist. It would appear that he would have been better off proclaiming that he was an orc.

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The New Year brings a host of new laws that kick in on the first. For citizens in Utah, the New Year will bring an end to Happy Hours. That’s right, the heavily Mormon state has continued its harassment of citizens who drink and outlawed “drink specials.”
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It seems like every election we have another extreme religious figure who becomes a campaign issue for a candidate. Obama had Rev. Wright and McCain had Rev. Hagee and Parsley. Sarah Palin has an actual Kenyan witch hunter. Now Ron Paul has his own embarrassing association. The preacher is Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska, who has a following in Iowa. The Paul campaign issued a press release (that it later removed from its site) heralding the endorsement of Kayser. The problem is that Kayser believes that gays should be executed according to biblical law. It was a a highly destructive endorsement for Paul who is attracting civil libertarians to his campaign. No one can stop someone from endorsing you, but the campaign clearly sought this endorsement from an extremist with reprehensible views. Unlike Wright, Kayser is not Paul’s personal minister, but the press release made him Paul’s problem in reaching out to civil libertarians.

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In a disaster for many parents during the holiday, Build-a-Bear has issued a recall for roughly 300,000 “Colorful Hearts Teddy” bears due to a choking hazard. The culprit, shown left, contains “substandard fabric” in some runs that may allow an eye to break free, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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On the heels of the release of papers that contradict him on his claims regarding his first divorce, Newt Gingrich is now being challenged by a former and a current member of Congress who say that it is not true, as Gingrich has claimed, that he did not lobby Congress after leaving as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1998.
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Catholic bishops in Illinois have followed their colleagues in other states and shutdown adoption centers rather than comply with anti-discrimination laws requiring equal treatment for gay couples. Despite my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, I have previously written that anti-discrimination laws are threatening the free exercise of religion. There is a possible distinction between areas like tax exempt status as opposed to contracting with the state. While I strongly disagree with this tenet of Catholic faith, I do not believe that religious organizations should be forced to abandon such principles under anti-discrimination laws as a general matter. Yet, it becomes a more difficult argument in the context of a state contract where the church has decided to compete for government contracts.
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In Lahore, Pakistan, police arrested Amanat Masih while he was in church on Christmas day. Masih, 50, was arrested for blasphemy — the second such arrest based on what he insists are trumped up charges by one man. He was previously sent to jail for more than three years for blaspheming Islam.
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We have previously seen fights between monks at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The video below, however, shows monks going Medieval at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity — taking brooms and sticks to each other in the ongoing dispute of who has rights to the holy ground. The response of the Palestinian police chief is rather interesting.
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Ok, I know can see that my travel blog last summer to France was pretty lame after viewing this guy’s one-second frames of his trip around the world.
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The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the federal government has spent almost a billion and a half dollars to explore politically popular but scientifically dubious claims such as $666,000 to determine if distant prayer could heal AIDS. It didn’t. I would be interested in how this was tested. I cannot get the image of Lyn Cassady praying at a goat in a secret military lab.

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The New Haven Independent has published some disturbing pictures of Tomas Torres who says that police raided his apartment looking for drugs and immediately punched him in the face, stomped on his head, and then laughed at him as they tore apart his apartment. They found no drugs and charged him with no crimes. He was left with bruises and an apartment that was completely trashed.
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Just as Henry V rallied the thin, tired troops on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, it is time to make that final call for votes in this year’s competition for the top opinion blog by the American Bar Association. There are now just two days left and, while we have pulled ahead in the last week, the contest remains very close with one of the top five largest legal blogs. If you like our blog, it is time to pony up and vote.

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