Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Poland Demands President Obama To Apologize For Calling Nazi Holocaust Site A "Polish Death Camp"

YAHOO----US President Barack Obama's description of a Nazi German Holocaust site as a "Polish death camp" shocked Poland, whose leaders insist the record be set straight 67 years after World War II.

Obama on Tuesday labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a "Polish death camp." The White House later said the president "misspoke" and expressed "regret".

The linguistic faux pas overshadowed Obama's posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday Obama's words had hurt all Poles and he expected more from Washington than just "regret".

"I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman -- a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

"Today, this is a problem for the reputation of the United States," the prime minister said.

Poland's anti-communist icon Lech Walesa meanwhile termed Obama's error a "golden occasion" to set the historical record straight.

Military Chaplains Say To Have A Strong Army We Need Strong Families

CHRISTIAN POST---A strong U.S. military depends on more than just high-tech equipment and highly trained soldiers; it also depends on soldiers having a stable marriage, according to military chaplains.

Strong Bonds is a program that began in Hawaii over a decade ago when a brigade chaplain and his commanders realized that soldiers needed a way to receive help with their marriages. Although it started at a grassroots level, Strong Bonds has helped over 160,000 soldiers and their family members through over 2,600 events last year.

"In order to have a strong army, we also need to have strong families," Lt. Col. Carleton Birch, a Strong Bonds chaplain and spokesperson, told CP.

A report released jointly by the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of the Treasury in February says there are over 600,000 civilian spouses of active duty service members. These couples have been married, on average, for just under eight years, and 72 percent of them have children.

But statistics show they are struggling to sustain their marriages. In 2011 approximately 30,000 military couples divorced, bringing the divorce rate up to 3.9 percent and its highest mark since 1999, the Air Force Times reports.

In order to strengthen these marriages the branches of the military have developed a number of different programs, many of them in the form of weekend getaways where military couples can focus on their relationships and learn the skills that are needed to have a successful marriage.
The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a program that began 41 years ago as a way to help Vietnam War veterans deal with substance abuse issues. Today the program has evolved to include a wide variety of services, including marriage enrichment, family, personal growth and pre- and post-deployment programs.

Lt. Earl Wilson III, a CREDO chaplain at the Marine Corp's Camp Pendleton in California, told The Christian Post on Friday that it is important for soldiers to make their marriages a priority, especially if they were deployed shortly after they were married. He pointed to a verse in the Book of Deuteronomy which says a man should not be deployed during the first year of his marriage, so that he can enjoy time with his wife.
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Marvel Comics To Have Wedding For First Gay Super Hero

PHILADELPHIA – Wedding bells will ring this summer for Marvel Comics' first openly gay hero, super speedster Northstar, and his longtime boyfriend.
The New York-based publisher said Tuesday that Canadian character Jean-Paul Beaubier will marry his beau, Kyle Jinadu, in the pages of "Astonishing X-Men" No. 51. That's due out June 20.

Northstar revealed he was gay in the pages of "Alpha Flight" No. 106 in 1992, one of Marvel Entertainment's first characters to do so.

Ten years later, in 2002, gay characters Apollo and the Midnighter were married in the pages of "The Authority" published by DC's Wildstorm imprint.

Since then, numerous comic book heroes and villains have been written as gay, lesbian or transgender – from DC Comics' Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, to Hulkling and Wiccan in the pages of "Young Avengers."

Comics, as a medium, have embraced gay, lesbian and transgender characters, including the introduction of Kevin Keller by Archie Comics. Comic strips have done likewise.

This month, cartoonist Tom Batiuk is writing about a gay couple trying to attend their high school prom in "Funky Winkerbean," a move that has divided the fictional community.

"As I sit in on the classes at my old high school, I see how the younger generation's attitude toward gays is more open and accepting than that of their predecessors," Batiuk said.

For Marvel, the upcoming wedding is a way to further embed same-sex issues in its contemporary universe.

"The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in that reality," said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief.

Author Marjorie Liu, who is writing "Astonishing X-Men," said the decision to have the pair marry was appropriate.

"As a writer – and a romance novelist, no less – I've always found it a bit odd when characters in comic books remain in relationship limbo for years at a time," she said.

"Certainly, that happens in real life – some relationships just never grow – but the wonderful thing about stories is that they tend to move readers and characters forward," Liu said, adding that Northstar pops the question in issue No. 50, which is due out on Wednesday.

 "And, in this case, it was time to do the same to Northstar and Kyle, who have one of those rare comic book romances that actually works."
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American Idol Contestant Colton Dixon Says God Used "Idol" To Share The Gospel

American Idol sensation Colton Dixon enjoyed a long-awaited homecoming in Murfreesboro, Tenn., this weekend.  Talking to fans at World Outreach Church, Dixon made a point to share the Gospel and talk about how God used his experience this year in season 11 of the American Idol show.

"John 13:16 says a servant isn't greater than his master nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him," Dixon said. "Guys, I'm just a messenger. I am just like everybody else. I mess up...I'm human, just like everybody else in this room. But He used a wretch like me."
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Atheist Teen Honored With American Humanist Award For Getting School Prayer Banner Removed

CHRISTIAN POST---A teen atheist who brought down a prayer banner that had been displayed in her Rhode Island high school for over half a century will be honored at the American Humanist Association's 71st Annual Conference next week in New Orleans.

Jessica Ahlquist will be given the Humanist Pioneer award at the AHA Conference, which runs from June 7 to June 10. Ahlquist and Damon Fowler, who as a student protested the graduation prayer at Bastrop High School in Texas, will both be given the Humanist Pioneer award at a luncheon next Saturday.

Ahlquist, 16, was the plaintiff in the case Ahlquist v. Cranston, in which the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island ruled in January that a long-standing school prayer banner had to be removed from Cranston High School West because it violated the Establishment Clause.

The prayer banner was a gift to the school from the class of 1963, the first graduates of Cranston High. Former student David Bradley wrote the prayer banner, which calls on students to reach their academic potential but begins with "Our Heavenly Father" and ends with "Amen."

The Rhode Island teen had argued that a banner with religious reference violated the separation of church and state.

"When I saw it there, I knew it didn't belong," The Associated Press reported her as saying. "And every time that I saw it, it was a reminder that my school wasn't doing the right thing and that my school didn't necessarily support me and my views."

Although she won in legal court, Ahlquist lost in the court of public opinion. The teen atheist has received threats from classmates through social media sites, a local politician has called her an "evil little thing," and several local flower shops have refused to deliver flowers to her out of safety concerns and for fear that it would have a negative impact on their businesses.

But the atheist community has rallied behind her, with atheist Hemant Mehta, chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher, organizing a "scholarship" fund for the teen atheist that raised nearly $50,000.
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MSNBC Host Sparks Outrage For Saying He Feels Uncomfortable Calling Veterans Heroes

While many Americans were honoring the veterans this Memorial Day weekend, MSNBC host Chris Hayes was speaking out against calling the men and women who have fought for this country heroes. He said, “I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”

Hayes issued a written apology after the controversial comments and stated that he was “deeply sorry.” Tonight on Hannity, Mike Ghouse from the America Together Foundation said he believes Hayes “made a big mistake by not calling them heroes” but that he does have freedom of speech to say what he thinks.
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