Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mega Church Pastor Joel Osteen Says Mormon Presidential Candidate Romney Is A Christian, And So Is Obama

Christian Post--Joel Osteen, the popular megachurch pastor from Houston, appeared Tuesday afternoon on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and said that he considers both presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a Mormon, and President Obama to be Christians.

Osteen, when asked about Romney's faith, said the former Massachusetts governor is indeed a Christian – which is a similar statement to the one he made in January.

"When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God – that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his Savior – that's good enough for me," said Osteen.

The Texas pastor did say that the Mormon faith was "not traditional Christianity," but that Mormonism still falls under the umbrella of Christian tenets. "Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ," said Osteen.

Many Christians do not consider Mormons to be Christians because they do not hold orthodox beliefs on core doctrines such as original sin, grace, the inerrancy of the Bible, and the understanding of the Trinity is different.

Osteen was also asked about President Obama's faith. Osteen said he has spent time with Obama and has no doubt that he is a Christian.

"I believe with all my heart that he's a Christian, as he says he is," Osteen stated.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Texas pastor served as guest chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives at the request of Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

Lee, the often fiery congresswoman known for championing liberal causes, called Osteen a "humble spirit," and praised him for leading the "largest and most growing church in American history."
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Despite Iran's Declaration To Not Want A Nuclear Bomb, Indications From Within Iran Show War Preparations

World Net Daily--Despite the recent declaration by Iran that it does not want a nuclear bomb and statements by regime officials that they are willing to negotiate over the nuclear issue, indications from within Iran signal massive preparation for an all-out war as part of its destiny.

Nine years ago a Revolutionary Guards arm, the Holy Defense, published a book, “The Last Six Months,” in which it describes the conditions needed in the last six months prior to the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah. The book was distributed in the hundreds of thousands to all Guards, Basij and army bases throughout the country.

Islam’s Shiites believe their 12th Imam, Mahdi, will reappear at the end of times and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world.
The book admonishes the military forces that they must be prepared to do their duties during those six months and that there will be many signs to help the faithful to understand the transition, which will center on Iran.

The book, which relies on Islamic hadiths by the Prophet Mohammad and his descendants from centuries ago, describes the 9/11 attacks and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as signs that the time is near. But it also prophesies much more significant signs that would launch the six-month time frame for the reappearance of Mahdi: an attack on Syria and then an attack on Iran.

Both those events are looking increasingly likely as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad continues to murder his own people and Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons.

Mahdi will only reappear, Shiites believe, when Israel is destroyed and the U.S. is brought to its knees; two-thirds of the world’s population will die in a nuclear exchange, and with this chaos and havoc engulfing the earth, the “coming” will unfold.
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UK In 2nd Recession First Time Since 1970's

CNBC--Britain's economy slid into its second recession since the financial crisis after official data unexpectedly showed a fall in output in the first three months of 2012, piling pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron's embattled coalition government.

The Office for National Statistics said Britain's gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after contracting by 0.3 percent at the end of 2011, confounding forecasts for 0.1 percent growth.

Most economists had expected Britain's $2.4 trillion economy to eke out modest growth in the early 2012, but these forecasts were upset by the biggest fall in construction output in three years coupled with anaemic service sector growth and a fall in industrial output.

Wednesday's figures will be a deep blow for Britain's Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition, which has slid in opinion polls since a poorly received annual budget statement in March and risks embarrassment at local elections on May 3.

The government is also under pressure over revelations about its close relationship with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

The government desperately needs growth to achieve its overriding goal of eliminating Britain's large budget deficit over the next five years.
Britain's economy contracted by 7.1 percent during its 2008-2009 recession and recovery since has been slow, with headwinds from the euro zone debt crisis, government spending cuts, high inflation and a damaged banking sector.

Wednesday's data showed that output was still 4.3 percent below its peak in the first quarter of 2008, and the economy has only grown by 0.4 percent since the government came to power in the second quarter of 2010.

Output in Britain's service sector - which makes up more than three quarters of GDP - rose by just 0.1 percent in the first quarter after falling 0.1 percent in Q4 2011, kept down by a fall in output in the large business services and finance sector.

Industrial output was 0.4 percent lower, while construction - which accounts for less than 8 percent of GDP - contracted by 3.0 percent, the biggest fall since Q1 2009.

Britain's Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts growth of 0.8 percent this year.

Wednesday's data shows that first quarter output was no higher than a year earlier.

The Bank of England has warned that there is a risk of another contraction in the second quarter of 2012, due to an extra public holiday.

But unlike during the previous two quarters, it does not appear keen to provide further monetary stimulus through quantitative easing asset purchases, due to above-target inflation which looks stickier than before.

Coupon Company Offering "Daily Deals" To Porn Company's Studio As Reward To Their Subscribers

ONE NEWS NOW--Morality in Media is calling for a nationwide boycott of a coupon business for offering discounts on tours of a porn studio.

Groupon, an Internet-based "daily deal" company, is offering subscribers discounted coupons for employee-led, 60-minute walking tours through a porn company's studio in San Francisco. Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media, says her group is asking people to contact Groupon and urge it to stop supporting the porn studio Kink. Groupon, she says, should know better.

"They're just stooping to an all-time low of associating with porn companies," she laments.

What is coming out of the porn organization is dangerous, according to Hawkins. "It is extremely violent and degrading, humiliating especially to women," she describes. "The website [for Kink] advertises that they specialize in torture pornography." That company describes itself as a leader in "bondage and BDSM videos."

Hawkins says thousands have already pledged to boycott Groupon, but the company has responded to Morality in Media's inquiry by stating that the porn company gives to local youth charities so they feel Kink is an "active, good community citizen."

"Really the only way to get [Groupon] to listen is if they lose enough customers to realize that this is a big deal and that their largest customer base does not put up with the humiliation of women," states the MIM spokeswoman.

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1,183,700 Violent Crimes Committed at U.S Public Schools

( - The Department of Education and the Department of Justice say that 1,183,700 violent crimes were committed at American public schools during the 2009-2010 school year, but that only 303,900 of these violent crimes were reported to the police.

By this government estimate, 879,800 violent crimes committed at U.S. public schools in the 2009-2010 school year were not reported to police.

These statistics are part of a report—“Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011”—published jointly on Feb. 22 by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

As defined by the report, “violent crimes” included rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.

The Department of Education and the Department of Justice based their school-crime estimates on the School Survey on Crime and Safety which surveyed a representative sample of about 2,600 public schools around the country.

At each school, the principal or another top administrator completed the survey. The NCES then extrapolated from the sample to estimate the full number of crimes committed at the nation’s public schools--as well as the full number of crimes committed at public schools that were actually reported to the police. The survey specifically asked school administrators about both the number of crimes occurring at their schools during the year and the number actually reported to police.

The definition of “at school” in the survey included “activities that happen in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at places that hold school-sponsored events or activities.” The crimes in question could have “occurred before, during, or after normal school hours, or when school activities or events were in session.”

Overall, as reported in Table 6.1 of the report, 1,876,900 crimes of various types were committed at public schools in 2009-2010, but only 689,100 of these crimes were reported to the police.

Of the 1,876,900 crimes committed at public schools, 1,183,700 were violent crimes--and of these 1,183,700 violent crimes only 303,900 were reported to police.

While 73.8 percent of the nation’s public schools were the scene of a violent crime or crimes during the 2009-2010 school year, only about 39.9 percent of the public schools actually reported a violent crime to the police.

Many of the violent crimes that occurred at public schools were classified as physical attacks or fights without a weapon (there were 725,300 of these of which 194,200 were reported to the police) or threats of a physical attack without a weapon (there were 405,900 of these of which 86,200 were reported to the police).

However, even what the report called “serious violent incidents” that occurred at schools—which were defined as rape or attempted rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, robbery with a weapon, and robbery without a weapon—often were not reported to the police.

Of the 52,500 “serious violent incidents” the study estimated occurred at public schools in 2009-2010, only 23,500 were reported to police.

According to the report, an estimated 600 rapes occurred at public schools, but only about 500 rapes were reported to the police. About 3,600 sexual batteries other than rape occurred at public schools, but only but only about 2,200 were reported to the police. About 14,300 physical attacks or fights with a weapon occurred, but only about 4,400 were reported to police. About 19,200 threats of a physical attack with a weapon occurred, but only about 7,400 were reported to police.

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Former Girl Scout Helping To Save Unborn Babies One Cookie At At Time

Charisma News--Recently a pro-life health-care clinic opened next door to Boise, Idaho’s Planned Parenthood, giving pregnant women an alternative to the abortion provider.

Now those in Boise who object to the Girl Scouts of America’s partnership with Planned Parenthood have a pro-life alternative to Girl Scout cookies.

That came about when 10-year-old Grace Swanke, who loved selling cookies in Boise for the Girl Scouts, found out about her organization’s involvement with the abortion provider. The little pro-life home-school student couldn’t abide that.

The Swankes held a family meeting to discuss what Grace should do to address the issue.

“She clearly stated, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be a Girl Scout anymore,’” her father, John Swanke, told CBN News.

“And at that point we asked her, ‘Well, what are the things about Girl Scouts you like doing?’ And No. 1 was selling cookies,” he said.

Grace’s mother, Mary Swanke, then made a key statement about cookie-selling.

“I just mentioned to her, ‘Well, you could always do it for a good reason,’” she said.

Grace decided immediately that she wanted to start selling cookies for pro-life causes. Last year, she sold some 80 boxes and made hundreds of dollars, which ended up going to the Knights of Columbus.

They used the money to help buy an ultrasound machine for that Boise pro-life clinic, Stanton Health Care.

Then a few months ago, Grace and her family saw Stanton staffers do a live ultrasound demonstration on pregnant women. The girl fell in love with the life-saving work of Stanton as she watched the little unborn babies dance about on the ultrasound screen.

And she loved that Stanton bought the building next door to Idaho’s biggest Planned Parenthood.

“They’re trying to stop abortions right next to the largest center,” she said admiringly.

So this year, Grace decided to make Stanton the recipient of whatever money she raises from her “Cookies for Life.” So far, that’s approximately $3,300.

Unfortunately, it would take selling many more cookies than Grace could bake on her own to earn that kind of money, so she’s learned to reach out to her large network of home school and Catholic friends and their moms.

She told CBN News she’ll put out the word, saying “Hey, we’re baking a thousand cookies. Can you come help?”

When CBN News visited Grace, she and roughly 20 friends and moms had completely taken over the kitchen and dining hall in a Boise Catholic church. The ovens were jammed with hundreds of baking cookies.

Tables all around the dining hall were covered with thousands of cookies on massive cookie sheets. Girls were loading them as fast they could into large colorful boxes marked “Cookies for Life,” or they were busy mashing down dough into cookies that were next in line for the ovens.

Grace’s mother, Mary, came to help, standing next to her industrious daughter in the middle of this controlled mayhem.

CBN News asked Grace’s mom what she thought of all her daughter has put together.

“Of course I’m very proud of her,” Mary said, and broke into tears, swooping her daughter up into her arms, but making sure not to get cookie dough in Grace’s hair.

Then Brandi Swindell, founder of the Stanton Health Care clinic, came into the dining hall to hear for the first time about that $3,300 Grace and her friends are donating to Stanton.

She gasped and exclaimed, “No way! Are you serious? That’s a lot of money.”

Grace received yet another bear hug.

Swindell mentioned that a majority of Americans oppose abortion.

“This emerging generation is more pro-life. And they’re not just the leaders of tomorrow. They can actually be the leaders of today,” Swindell said of today’s youth. ”And Grace is an example of that.”