Friday, May 18, 2012

U.S Catholic Bishops Reject Modified Birth Control Mandate

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are rejecting the Obama administration's plan to accommodate faith groups that object to the birth control mandate.

The bishops said in a statement Tuesday to Health and Human Services that the prospective new rules don't do enough to protect religious liberty.

The mandate requires employers to provide health insurance that includes birth control for workers. The plan sparked protests from faith leaders because it included most religious nonprofits such as hospitals and colleges.

President Obama offered a compromise. He said insurers would bear the cost of the birth control instead of religious employers. However, the bishops argue that the compromise still makes their insurance plans a conduit for contraceptives.

Accused Ohio bridge bombers get day in court

San Francisco Committee Wants Navy Ship Named After Homosexual Activist Harvey Milk

One News Now----The San Diego City Council recently voted 8-0 to name a two-block portion of a street in honor of Harvey Milk. Now, with a vote of 2-1, a San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee has okayed a Democratic congressman's resolution asking the Navy to name a ship after the late homosexual activist. Rep. Bob Filner says doing so would be a great way to pay tribute to the state's first openly homosexual man elected to public office and to honor President Barack Obama's repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Milk served in the Navy before he became a supervisor in San Francisco.

Dran Reese of The Salt & Light Council is dismayed by how the state has shifted in favor of homosexuality.

"It seems that we are on a landslide right at this moment, where those who want to promote the homosexual lifestyle and have their symbols everywhere in this state are doing a very good job of it," she shares.

Supervisor Christina Olague opposes the resolution because Milk was opposed to war. In fact, according to Fox News, some of the strongest opposition to the proposal seems to be from the "gay" community. Olague prefers a national holiday honoring Milk.

"The pressure is on, and with this current administration [being] very pro-homosexual, it does make it a little bit more difficult," Reese admits. "Pressure has been applied, and I hope that they will not cave."

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Many Outraged As I.D.F Removes Word "God" From Text Recited At Army Memorials

Defense officials plan to recommend that the Yizkor text that was the subject of a dispute last year be officially included in Memorial Day services at military cemeteries.

The dispute centered around whether the words "Yizkor Elohim" ("May God remember" ) or "Yizkor Am Yisrael" ("May the nation of Israel remember" ) should be used. In the end, the second version won out.

The decision to officially recommend the text was made after the text - either version - was omitted from many Memorial Day ceremonies this year, apparently due to confusion after last year's debate.

Though the Yizkor text for fallen soldiers is modeled after the traditional Yizkor memorial prayer, it is not a prayer, but a text penned by Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson in the 1920s. It was never a required element in military memorial services, though it was read at many services.

Last year a debate erupted over a version recited in military cemeteries, which began with "Yizkor Elohim," although Katznelson's original version began with "Yizkor Am Yisrael." The change, made after the Six-Day War by IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, raised no complaints until last year, when a secular bereaved mother raised the issue and the media picked up on it.

A committee appointed by Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ruled in August that the original version beginning with "Yizkor Am Yisrael" be used.

But instead the text was dropped from many of this year's memorial services, to the consternation of many bereaved families, who filed complaints with the IDF. 

Church's Softball Team Protests After Pastor Comes Out As Bi-Sexual

NY Daily News----ST. LOUIS - The new pastor at St. John United Church of Christ in the eastern Missouri town of St. Clair doesn't play softball, but members of his church do. Or at least they did until their pastor's sexuality prompted a boycott within their church league.

The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell is bisexual. When pastors at three of the churches in the league found out, they decided their teams wouldn't take the field against the team from Darnell's church, saying the pastor's lifestyle goes against their Christian beliefs.
St. John players decided to quit the six-team league rather than ruin things for everyone else.

"It certainly is very upsetting, especially in 2012, that this is an issue," Darnell said Wednesday. "It's very disappointing but quite frankly not too surprising given the nature of this community - it's a pretty conservative area."

The dust-up in St. Clair is emblematic of an issue that is increasingly on the front-burner following President Barack Obama's announcement earlier this month that he supports gay marriage. In Bible Belt states like Missouri, the issue is far from resolved.

St. Clair is a rural community of 5,000 residents, about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis. Darnell, 27, was hired in October to lead the 130-member church, his first job out of seminary.

Darnell is a member of the local ministerial alliance and said other pastors in the alliance are aware he is bisexual. Just as the softball season was about to begin, league commissioner Johnny Dover, who is pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, called St. John's coach, who confirmed Darnell's bisexuality.

Dover, the Rev. Wyatt Otten of Liberty Baptist Church and the Rev. Ben Kingston of Bethel Baptist in nearby Lonedell decided they wouldn't participate in games against St. John. They informed the church earlier this month, just before the softball season began.

"We are not against people," Kingston said. "We are against sin. That's what we stand against.

"As a church and a pastor and a Christian, I believe that lifestyle is outside the boundaries of what God allows," Kingston said.

Dover declined comment. There was no answer at Otten's church.

Darnell said he has reached out to Church of Christ congregations and other sympathetic churches in the area about forming their own softball league, or at least playing in a tournament.

Satellite Imagery Shows North Korea Restarting Construction On Nuclear Reactor

Bloomberg---North Korea has restarted construction on a nuclear reactor that is an essential component in building nuclear weapons, according to a U.S. university monitoring project.

Commercial satellite imagery from April 30 shows that the Pyongyang government is close to completing a containment building for a new experimental light water reactor, according to a website maintained by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies based in Washington.

The reactor, for possible completion by 2014-2015, would be able to supply needed electricity as well as fissile material for a nuclear weapon, the report says. It quoted a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Olli Heinonen, as saying that once the reactor is operational, it would be capable of producing enough plutonium to add “a little more than one bomb per year” to North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

U.S.-led talks to curb North Korea’s nuclear program fell apart last month. The U.S. and South Korea have expressed concern that the North, under new leader Kim Jong Un, is preparing to test a nuclear explosive device soon.

North Korea issued several threats last month with officials talking of “powerful modern weapons” and threatening to reduce South Korea to “ashes” in minutes.

Read More From Bloomberg

Youtube Pulls Christian Ministry Video Labeling It Hate Speech

One News Now----The leader of a Christian ministry is protesting YouTube's decision to pull a video a viewer labeled as "hate speech."

Bradlee Dean is founder and executive director of a non-profit ministry directed toward youth called You Can Run but You Cannot Hide International. He posted a video on YouTube using Canada as an example to warn America what is to come if same-gender "marriage" is made legal across the country.

According to Dean, within three hours YouTube pulled the piece, claiming it amounted to hate speech.

"We're asking [YouTube] where the hate was involved with this situation, because it's not hate to protest that which is unlawful," he tells OneNewsNow.

Dean believes the video was pulled because some activists in the U.S. do not YouTube viewers to be exposed to the truth about what is taking place in Canada.

"And then what they find out when they look to Canada, they're going to find out that it's a government-backed agenda," the ministry founder explains. "The homosexuals are merely being used as a political battering ram to only implement government control through a totalitarian government."

The video must have "struck a chord" with someone when they viewed it, Dean says.

"... They thought Uh-oh, we're okay with what we're doing here, but we don't want people to look at Canada because if they look at Canada they might put the kibosh on us real quick here -- and I think that's exactly what's going to happen here."

Dean considers YouTube's removal of the video is "a clear violation of free speech" and says his organization is considering legal action.
Read More From One News Now

Report Shows That More Than 60% Of Males Arrested Last Year Tested Positive For Drugs

( – More than 60 percent of males arrested last year for crimes – felonies and misdemeanors – tested positive for drug use, according to a White House study of arrest data from 10 large cities. For some cities, that surpassed 80 percent.

That’s an uptick for half of the cities evaluated in the 2011 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report from the previous year, particularly in Washington, D.C. The report also shows a small decline in the percentage of arrestees testing positive for drug use in the last five years.
During President Barack Obama’s administration, the percentage of arrestees in three cities testing positive for drugs increased, remained steady in four cities and declined in two – Chicago and Denver.

The report was released Thursday by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The range was from a low of 64 percent of arrestees who tested positive for drug use in Atlanta to 81 percent in Sacramento, Calif. That’s up slightly from 2010 when the range was from 52 percent in Washington to more than 80 percent in both Chicago and Sacramento. It did not evaluate female arrestees.

The 10 cities in the survey were Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Denver; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; New York; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Washington, D.C.
The testing was done to detect the following drugs: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamine, Darvon, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates. The study does not test for alcohol.

“Decades of research and experience show us crime and drug use are linked and too often underlying substance use disorders are the driving force of criminal activity taking place in our communities,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy.

“While the criminal justice system will always serve a vital role in protecting public safety, we cannot simply arrest our way out of the drug problem,” Kerlikowske continued. “Instead, we must also support evidence-based program and policies that work to break the vicious cycle of drug use in crime, reduce recidivism, and make our communities healthier and safer.”

The most commonly detected drug was marijuana, which ranged from 36 percent in Atlanta to 56 percent in Sacramento. Chicago, at 55 percent, and Charlotte, 53 percent, came in second and third respectively. The average was 45 percent.

The report showed some positive signs, as those testing positive for cocaine use have declined by about half since 2000, when it was at 50 percent. Cocaine was still the second most commonly used drug among those arrested in 2011 in eight of the 10 cities. The two exceptions were Sacramento – where 23 percent used methamphetamine – and Portland – 43 percent of those arrested used meth.

The trend for opiates such as heroin and prescription painkillers, increased significantly, going up in five of the 10 cities. In Chicago and New York, opiate use declined by about half from the rate in 2000. But in Denver, Indianapolis, Sacramento and Minneapolis, use more than doubled over those 11 years.
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