Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eternal Flame News: Religious Freedom

Breaking news stories that's effecting our world.

Christian Women Media Honors Those Making A Difference

One News Now--At its annual meeting earlier this year, the Christian Women in Media Association honored several women who have exhibited significant accomplishments through the use of media.

Kay Arthur, Jennifer O'Neill and Carol Swain where awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the tenth anniversary of the Christian Women in Media Association's (CWIMA) Awards Gala.

Arthur, teacher and host of "Precepts for Life," tells OneNewsNow she was both shocked and honored to receive the award.

"I was totally surprised," she shares, "but it's just, I guess, a token of love."

The rapidly growing organization provides networking, professional enrichment and spiritual encouragement for Christian women involved in media.

Jeniffer O'Neill, actress, author and spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, says she feels privileged to be recognized by such an esteemed group of women.

"It's stunning to me because it's just recognition from like-minded ladies, and there's nothing more honoring than that," she declares.

Carol M. Swain was a featured keynote speaker during the conference and is a political science professor at Vanderbilt University. She believes the award serves as a stark contrast from the years of her youth, when she lived in abject poverty in rural Virginia.

"I'm so excited to see women from all walks of life interested in how they can use the platform that God has given them to impact the world for Jesus Christ," Swain tells OneNewsNow.

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New Robotic Device Helping The Paralyzed Live New Lives

The young man in this video looks like he's riding a Segway. But Yusuf Akturkoglu was paralized after falling from a horse five years ago, and he's being mobilized by an amazing device invented by Turkish scientists. It's going to change lives.

It's called the Tek Robotic Mobilization Device, and it not only allows people who can't walk get around more independently than any device has before, but it also helps them stand up on their own, which is crucial for maintaining basic health functions in people who have spinal cord injuries.

Crucial Standing Assistance

Instead of entering from the front like a normal wheelchair, people using the Tek RMD enter from the back of the device. That way they don't have to hoist themselves with a momentum that can be dangerous and is next to impossible to do alone. By attaching a thick padded strap around the hips, Yusuf maneuvers himself into the Tek RMD on his own. The device uses a suspension system that balances the weight so he can stand up with just a gentle pull. Standing for an hour or more every day is important for people who have lost movement in their legs; without the weight-bearing effect of standing, they can develop cardiovascular problems, brittle bones, pressure sores not to mention the psychological importance of eye-to-eye interpersonal contact.


In the video, Yusuf calls the device to his bedside with a remote-control, gets himself out of bed, goes grocery shopping, maneuvers around a bookstore, and even does some things in the bathroom that we thankfully don't observe to completion. But these these abilities that most of us take for granted every day are key to the emotional well-being of paraplegic people. The ability to squat down and easily come back to standing is key. And while standing, Yusef's hands are free to carry groceries or do whatever else he might need them to. Before trying out the Tek RMD, Yusuf, who was a student before his injury, rarely left his home where he lives with his parents.

Smallest Dimensions

The makers of Tek RMD says it's the most compact device of its kind, which allows Yusuf to navigate crowded grocery aisles, libraries, and who knows, Coachella, maybe? All without knocking into the people and things around him. Users still need ramps in place of stairs, but the device eliminates the need for special bathroom stalls and other facilities that allow space for bulky wheelchairs.

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Open Doors Rates Congressmen on Religious Freedom Stance

Americans should know how elected officials rank when it comes to their votes on religious freedom issues, said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.).

Wolf's statement comes as the Christian and faith persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA released on Monday its midterm Congressional Scorecard for International Religious Freedom of the 112th session of Congress to evaluate each senator's and representative's record on religious freedom issues.

Wolf is ranked with a score of more than 100 percent because his dedication to promote religious freedom, including the sponsorship of related bills, was factored into his rating when scored by Open Doors. Although the scoring was only done on legislation that had to do with issues outside the U.S., Open Doors and Wolf believe religious freedom in this country is also at stake.

"Religious freedom is often called America's 'first freedom' – it is in fact at the heart of the American 'experiment.' I firmly believe that Congress has a unique role to play in being a voice for the voiceless, wherever they may be," said Wolf. "It is my hope that the work of Open Doors and other like-minded organizations will raise awareness, heighten consciousness and compel action in the halls of Congress and the administration."

Open Doors USA Director of Advocacy Lindsay Vessey told The Christian Post that although the organization, which has been doing the rankings for two years, has not rated congressmen on how they voted on bills related to religious freedom within the U.S., they are keeping a close eye on the issue.

"Open Doors is monitoring how we may possibly need to become more and more focused on domestic religious freedom as an effort to share the connection, because if we lose religious freedom here in the United States then that decreases our ability to support those that are persecuted for their faith in Christ overseas," Vessey explained.

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U.S. senators on average scored much lower than their House counterparts, according to the scorecard. The top scoring senators were Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas). All received a score of 75 percent. No U.S. senator received a 100 percent rating.

Members of the House, on the other hand, had 10 members with a perfect score. The representatives include Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), John Carter (R-Texas), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.).

Open Doors USA President Carl A. Moeller, whose organization provides support to persecuted Christians in 60 countries, commented, "The scorecard is one of the most simple and effective ways that Christians in America can help promote religious freedom. If your representative or senator has scored well, please thank them. If they have scored poorly, please encourage them to vote on these pertinent issues and to make religious freedom a top priority."



Bloomberg “Food Police” Blocks Food Donations to all Government-Run Facilities

So much for serving the homeless.

The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.

In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.

For over a decade, Glenn Richter and his wife, Lenore, have led a team of food-delivery volunteers from Ohab Zedek, the Upper West Side Orthodox congregation.

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Colorado Churches Facing Foreclosure with Debt

A congregation losing its house of worship, once a rare event, is now common in Colorado — part of a national trend of record foreclosures on churches.

The real-estate information company CoStar Group looked at five years of distressed church sales and found only a handful of foreclosures nationwide prior to 2008, when the number jumped to 24. In 2009, the figure was 67.

CoStar Group spokeswoman Angela Brown said the market saw a big spike in 2010 with 135 churches sold after a lender-initiated foreclosure. In 2011, there were 138 such sales.

The states with the highest percentages of forced church sales often were those with some of the worst home-foreclosure rates, including California, Florida and Michigan.

National Debt is Higher Now During 3 year Obama Presidency Than 8 Years of Bush

Chart - Deficit 2012 (Credit: CBS)
(CBS News) The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.

Mr. Obama has been quick to blame his predecessor for the soaring Debt, saying Mr. Bush paid for two wars and a Medicare prescription drug program with borrowed funds.

The federal budget sent to Congress last month by Mr. Obama, projects the National Debt will continue to rise as far as the eye can see. The budget shows the Debt hitting $16.3 trillion in 2012, $17.5 trillion in 2013 and $25.9 trillion in 2022.

Federal budget records show the National Debt once topped 121% of GDP at the end of World War II. The Debt that year, 1946, was, by today's standards, a mere $270 billion dollars.