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These are answers that purplewings has provided in Christianity

roseofgold asked on 03/01/07 - HI Loral

Rose of Gold here. I just wanted to know if you have heard about The Secret? And if you would be interested in joining in the forums on the website. It isn't and askme type forum but I am finding it very uplifting.

Sandra F

purplewings answered on 03/03/07:

Hi Sandra,
Long time since we've talked here. I rarely come to this site anymore. I'm on Yahoo Answers and have a 360 page that keeps me very busy. I still love Spirituality.

Amazingly I got the cd The Secret last weekend and my son and I watched it twice. It's not a new concept but is presented in such a way it seems to be.

I would love to join you Sandra. My regular email is:

I'm feeling a little excited about the idea again. Thanks for writing me.


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hOPE12 asked on 07/26/06 - Just to say Hi!

Hello Everyone,

I have returned from a week long missionary trip. It was in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was in the Alleghany Mountains and we traveled through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sights were beautiful. It is awe inspiring to see such marvelous creations. People are very kind and friendly and love the Bible, so it was easy to converse with them. We were privileged to place much literature and Bibles. What fun we had.

The only problem we encountered was the fact that the elevations were very high and where we went was where people don’t have paved roads and live way up there. It took some getting used to and many of the friends we were with were light headed and there ears were popping and stopped up, and some felt really sick. I seemed to be able to handle the heights yet on the way home while staying in a hotel my foot got caught on the rug in our room and I fell and hit my head and now have a concussion. I must stay quiet and rest and that is the hard part because I am bored. I thought I would write and ask you –guys and gals to put some good questions on the board and lots of them.

Anyway I also heard that Maggie had surgery yesterday. How is she doing? Does anyone know or has anyone heard anything yet? I will keep her in my prayers.

Thanks and take care,

purplewings answered on 07/26/06:

Hello Hope,

Welcome back. I recently visited the Pennsylvania mountain area too, on my way down to Virginia and Washington DC. It was totally awesome but as you say, the heights cause some physical discomfort. The Alleghany mountains are beautiful and the people are really pleasant.

I haven't heard anything about Maggie. I hope she's doing well.

I think you're the one who posts the most ... we can use your input too.

Good to see you.


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HANK1 asked on 07/25/06 - GAMBLING ON SALVATION:

Isn't it logical to believe in God just in case He does exist? What do you have to lose? If He does exist, salvation is yours. If He doesn't exist, you have nothing to lose. Why gamble and lose?

purplewings answered on 07/25/06:

Sure it's logical Hank. I absolutely believe in a Creator that I call God. When it comes to making a human decision or judgement as to 'which' God is the real God, I choose not to.

It's logical to have faith in something that makes us feel there is more than meets the eye, and it's all about goodness, harmony, and love.

As for the specifics of God - you just can't force belief. You can search and try to learn, but you either believe or not. Plenty of people say they believe but when you look at the lives they lead and the way they treat others, you know it's not coming from their heart.

That would make it hypocritical - and something done to please other people. God knows your heart.....


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jackreade asked on 07/25/06 - Moving Day is Over!

Today my great friend Doris moved very close by to me; she's going home to get some much needed sleep now!

Over the last few weeks she has been spending some nights sleeping on my love seat...yeah, too short. There had been rumors that her apartment complex was going to be converted into a parking lot. :) The final straw was when two ladies were robbed in her building, purse snatching, and one came up with a broken arm. After Doris found out, she never went to her apartment after dark when she got off work at Wal*Mart at 11:00PM; she came and slept with Nick and me.

This move offers Doris a great new opportunity to meet new people and live in a real safe neighborhood. Plus, we are great friends, she calls me her white grandmother, and I feel very maternal toward her and look out for her welfare! We are a great team, and we both love animals.

There is a Christian Alliance Church I recommended to her as they do good works like her church out west pantry, 12 Step Program meetings for people, genuine caring for real people. I'm sorry that I can't go with her due to my health problems; even though I'm an Atheist, I have no problem attending church services for churches that serve people.



(Mary Sue)

purplewings answered on 07/25/06:

That really makes me feel good Jack/Mary Sue. Now you'll have someone close that you can spend time with whenever you want. We all need that.

Doris deserves a safe neighborhood and a good friendship as well. Sounds like a real plan - almost a Divinely inspired think?


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MaggieB asked on 07/24/06 - A very understanding explanation of why we believe/have faith in God

Upon what evidence do we base our faith in Jesus?

BIBLE READING: Luke 11:29-32

KEY BIBLE VERSE: The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. (Luke 11:32, niv)

The evidence for faith is actually overwhelming! The Ninevites and the Queen of the South had turned to God with far less evidence than Jesus was giving his listeners—and far less than we have today. We have eyewitness reports of the risen Jesus, the continuing power of the Holy Spirit unleashed at Pentecost, easy access to the Bible, and knowledge of two thousand years of Christ’s acts through his church. With the knowledge and insight available to us, our response to Christ ought to be even more complete and wholehearted.

BIBLE READING: John 12:37-50

KEY BIBLE VERSE: Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. (John 12:37, niv)

Some won’t believe in spite of the evidence. Jesus had performed many miracles, but most people still didn’t believe in him. Likewise, many today won’t believe despite all God does. Don’t be discouraged if your witness for Christ doesn’t turn as many to him as you’d like. Your job is to continue as a faithful witness. You are responsible to reach out to others, but they are responsible for their own decisions.

BIBLE READING: Acts 14:8-20

KEY BIBLE VERSE: Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. (Acts 14:15, niv)

The evidence is enough for anyone who wants to believe. Responding to the people of Lystra, Paul and Barnabas reminded them that God never leaves himself “without testimony.” Rain and crops, for example, are evidence of his goodness. Later Paul wrote that this evidence in nature leaves people without an excuse for unbelief (Romans 1:20). When in doubt about God, look around and you will see abundant evidence that he is at work in our world.

(This is so true: Don’t be discouraged if your witness for Christ doesn’t turn as many to him as you’d like. Our job is to continue as a faithful witness. We are responsible to reach out to others, but they are responsible for their own decisions.)

No matter how rude and obnoxious some can be, we are to hold firm, not cower and keep on keeping on.



purplewings answered on 07/25/06:

Hi Maggie,

I appreciate all your writings, but for whatever reason, I'm just not able to view Jesus as God. I know God exists. I know Jesus did also exist, as a man. The miracles
were there but many miracles are also presented to us by others around the globe in a different style.

I am content to believe there is a God. A person can only 'believe' what they do believe. Anyone can say they believe in something and then go on with life doing exactly as they please......I think it takes time, thought and experience to truly believe and then it just happens without any further search.

Every little article or thought is added to my memory to elevate whatever beliefs may come to me. For now, I believe life is about love, and reaching a higher level of spiritual awareness through reaching out to others.


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dancerchick13 asked on 07/14/06 - Literature

What does Inciting Force mean?

purplewings answered on 07/14/06:


Inciting is to encourage, and force is energy as in strength and power- that could mean anything from bringing about a sandslide or other chaotic condition, such as creating a war.

More to societal situations, Police officers generally incite force when trying to apprehend dangerous criminals.

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paraclete asked on 07/12/06 - And God will get the message out any way he can?

And God said: let's have some light, mate
Linda Morris
July 13, 2006

THERE was this sheila who came across a snake-in-the-grass with all the cunning of a con man. The snake asked her why she didn't just grab lunch off the tree in her garden.

God, she said, had told her she'd be dead meat if her fruit salad came from that tree, but the snake told her she wouldn't die. So she took a good squiz and then a bite and passed the fruit on to her bloke. Right then and there, they'd realised what they'd done and felt starkers.

So begins the Biblical account of the fall of mankind retold using "strine", or Australian vernacular.

The first instalment of Kel Richards's Aussie Bible was a runaway bestseller, selling 100,000 copies since its August 2003 release.The second instalment gives the "Aussie" treatment to the Book of Genesis, Proverbs, the Gospel of John and John's first letter, translating the stories of Adam and Eve and the beginning of time using well-worn, laconic Australian vernacular.

As Richards, wordsmith, journalist and committed Christian, puts it, God was tinkering around in his workshop when "out of the blue, God knocked up the whole bang lot".

Then there was Joseph, the stockman, who got from his dad this "lairy coat - lots of colour and no taste" - that made his brothers "dead jealous".

Richards said the Bible was written in the language of the marketplace and it was appropriate to use "conversational barbecue English".

He takes fewer liberties with the retelling of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, because the "jokes are not there". But "strine" does enable him to tell the serious story at the heart of Christian faith in an informal and accessible way.

"The Aussie language is a rich dialect; it's not just an informal language, it's a language of the heart," he said.

Daniel Willis, chief executive officer of the Bible Society of NSW, said the Australian version had introduced the Bible to a wider audience and had proven popular with hospital and prison chaplains who offered it as an introduction to the original text.

Richards believes the book has been useful in introducing Christianity to the unchurched. "Conversion is a process and probably [the Aussie Bible] plays a raising-awareness role rather than a closing-the-deal role."

Suprisingly this little book is a best seller and even known in China

here's some more

"At the time the whole himan race spoke the same lingo (and noone ever learned irregular verbs)"

"Now God said to Abram, "time to pack your swag, leave the old homestead, your dad's place"

purplewings answered on 07/14/06:

I like it. Where can it be ordered?

Many more people might read the Bible if it were more clearly presented. Who wants guessing games with something this important?

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Erewhon asked on 07/02/06 - Is greed endemic?

A comment posted on the Wordsmith site to which I contruibute, today said:

I was much struck by today's quote:

Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one. -Robert Brault

I don't think the American ideal subscribes to this belief anymore. It seems that we value ambition and the accumulation of mass quantities of stuff far more than patience, cooperation, or fair play. I would guess that many parents would think that a child who did the above had wasted the opportunity to "get ahead" and was displaying signs of timidity, rather than fairness or good

I fear our values really have changed, and greed and ambition are now seen as obviously superior to patience and modesty.

Do you agree/disagree?

purplewings answered on 07/02/06:

I do agree that values have changed.

Materialistic goals are more attainable today than 50 years ago and people enjoy having new things. It makes life more pleasurable.

Since most people are willing to work for what they get though, it isn't so much greed as simply desire.

Society is still greatly influenced by Hollywood and music and that's where I've see the biggest changes.

At one time Hollywood had stict morality codes. Stars were expelled from the film industy if their names were linked to immoral behavior. Now they exchange mates so fast you can't keep up with them and the ones who break up someone elses happy home are applauded rather than censured.

It's a selfish society. People are not as concerned with what someone else might say about them as back in the old days, so they can do what they want.

Of course the majority of us are impressed by great wealth and the way new doors are so easily opened to those who have it - so why wouldn't we compete by showing others what we have accumulated? We all aspire to a better life after all.

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hOPE12 asked on 06/28/06 - Something I thought was encouraging!

Hello Experts,

I was thinking about the many problems we all face in this world. Feeling kind of sad because of some things I am facing personally. I then picked up a journel and read this story of faith, courage and endurance of an 11 year old boy.

This young mans name is Dustin and he was a deep thinker. He loved God dearly. He went to all his Christian meetings. Dustin seemed to want to obey God in all his ways and soon found himself in front of the congregation giving talks to the memebers.

One day Dustin begin having severe pain in his hip. His parents took him to verious doctors for examination. Finally, the one night when he was to give one of his big talks in front of the congregation. His pain was so severe that he had to use cruches , and although it was obvious that he was in great pain, he walked to the platform with the crutches.

Shortly after his big night, Dustin was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He spent most ot the following year in the children's hospital in San Diego, California. Chemotherapy, radiation, and ultimately the amputation of his right leg and pelvic bone never diminshed his strong faith and his love for God. Whe he was tto weak to read, his mother, who rarely left his side, reead aloud to him.

Even though Dustin's condition worsened, he never complained. He kept busy, moving around in his wheelchair encouraging other patients and their parents. The hospital staff could see that Dustin was different and that his faith was sustaining him.

Dustin was to symbolize his dedication to God by water baptism so while layig on a sofa, he went over the quesitons with the ministers from his congregation that baptimal candidates go through before baptism. On October 16th 2004 Dustin was baptized as a servant of God and of Christ. When Dustin was wheeled down the aisle to take his place with teh other baptism candidates, they were all asked to stand. Dustin stood up on his one leg, dressed in his best suit, holding on to the arm of the chair for support. All of Dustin's family were in attendance, including his biologicala father and stepmother. Hospital personnel and parent of other cancer striken children from the hospital wer present as well.

The day after Dustin's baptism he was readmitted to the hospital. The cancer had already spread to every bone in hisa body. As he grew weaker and sensed that he was dying, he asked his mother is this was the case. "Why do you ask?" she responded, "are you afraid to die?"
"No" he said, "I'll just close my eyes, aand when I open them in the resurrection, it will seem like I just closed them a second ago. I won't be in pain anymore." The he explained, "I'm just worried about my family."
Dustin died the following month. His funeral service was attented by doctors, nurses, the families of hospital employees, teachers, neighbors and of course Dustin's family, both those of his fleshly and spiritual family. Before Dustin died he requested that everyone at his funeral be told about God and what he believed about him. The minister delivering the memorial talk for Dustin was standing in front of a room full with, standing room only. Two scriptures were used at the memorial which were Dustin's favorite scripturres, Matthew 24:14 and 2 Timothy 4:7 which I am sure encluded Dustin, "I have fought the fine fight, I have run the course to the finish, i have observed the faith."

Dustins faith and integrity encouraged all those who knew him. What a fine young man he was. We can all learn something from Dustin's life.

After you read this account of Dustin's life, how do you feel about what you have to deal with in your personal life? Did this streghthen you in any way? If so, how?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 06/30/06:

With the kind of faith that Dustin had, he must have been what they call an 'old' soul. To be so young and still prepared to die shows us that God really takes back the best first. Kind of the 'special angels'.

I would wish to have that kind of faith......but I do not - I keep trying though.

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hOPE12 asked on 06/29/06 - Television and Chrildren

Hello Everyone,

If you are like me, then you must appreciate gardening. I love my garden. While doing some gardening today I was able to reflect on how gardening is very much like nurturing a child.

The garden needs to have the soil prepared and then to sow the seed and water it and nurture it. Much care is needed to have a beautiful garden. A child is also like that garden in that they need care, love, and training to grow to maturity.

Proverbs 22:6 Says: ““Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”

No doubt you all would agree that a major factor in a well rounded and mature adult is the training that adult receives as a child.

Having said this, what is your opinion of allowing children to watch television?

Can television have any long term effect on our children?

What do you feel about children who watch television because parents use it as a babysitter?

Can this also effect a child spiritual well being and growth?

What is you opinion about this?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 06/29/06:

children and television is an interesting topic to me. My four sons had almost no interest in watching tv when they were young....they chose to play football, basketball, soccer, hang out with friends, roller skate, or ride bikes. I'll bet the four of them combined did not watch more than 50 hours of television from birth to 16 or so.

I think kids that do watch a lot of tv are probably losing out on great healthy activities as mentioned, but I don't think it's a bad thing for them to watch tv a couple hours a day if it's monitored by a sensible adult.

No violence and cool it on the sex too. Let kids be kids. Sports, cooking, painting, and other 'how to' shows can be helpful. Comedies too are great for kids.

There are programs that can guide a child quite well. I think when a kid becomes a teenager it's good for them to be interested in world events. Local news should be a focus for those over 14. It can give them an interest that may carry through to their adult lives.

I've heard that many politicians came from homes that kept the family current on history, and entered into discussions about politics and other societal situations.

Gives them reason to become involved in their own futures - and lets them know they can and should be.

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hOPE12 asked on 06/29/06 - Human Dignity:
Our Dignity

Hello Experts,

During WW-II many Christians were sent to Nazi camps because of their beliefs. They were remarkable in that they demenstrated their integrity to God. It was not easy because they were abused, women had their hair cut off and everything they owned or loved were stripped from them. Many were told to renounce their beliefs and sign a statement to that fact, then they would be given their freedom and they would no longer be persecuted or abused.

There were some who signed, and then there were those who did not sign. When asked why they took the stand they did, those who refused to sign replied, "staying faithful to God and keeping our integrity meant everything and at the same time, we would keep our dignity also."

These dear ones even though had lost everything, homes, loved ones and even some their life, they remained faithful to God and kept their integrity and at the same time their dignity.

a)Define what you feel human dignity is?

b)Do you feel that all humans have a basic right to dignity? Yes, why? NO, why?

c) What is the solution in keeping ones dignity, and allowing other to keep their dignity?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 06/29/06:

Dignity is a manner of conducting oneself in action and attitude. There is no particular dignity in standing up to be killed by others when you've done nothing to deserve death. I've often wondered why those people didn't go ahead and do whatever it took to survive and once they were in a safe place they could combat the evil force in an appropriate manner. Nothing was served by signing their own death warrant. They were not dignified while walking naked to their graves.

I do feel all people have a right to dignity because we are all the same when push comes to shove. We are all human beings struggling
to find an interesting way to live the short life cycles we have been given.

There are times when dignity is intermeshed with pride and it is useless in the long haul.

Keeping ones dignity means being true to ourselves and our loved doesn't say to be a mat for people's hatred. That is either fear, weakness or tremedous faith.

To allow others to keep their dignity, don't place them in a position of having to fight for their very lives. Try to see the God/light in everyone and respond to that.

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whitefawn_ asked on 06/25/06 - Lost?

Lost. Do any of you just feel lost in this world?
I ask you experts because you are the Smartest on the internet and I appreciate all of you for your excellent answers, and for not making me feel stupid for asking.
Because I sure do feel lost. I had tried many religions and can not seem to find the right one. I read my Bible, almost as if it were food.
But where is the Truth in Religion?
As the ten commandments. Thou shall not kill- I can’t stand Wars. My Mother' always taught me, that when you hurt someone. That someone has a sister, brother Father and Mother.
And that two wrongs do not make a right.
In this world' we do not turn the other cheek, we get more than even...
My Father use to say' You're not wrong Joy, it's the rest of the world that is wrong. (I'm starting to think perhap's he was right)

Remember the Sabbath or the seventh day, and to keep it holy. I am sorry to say this, but in this crazy perplexed, Bushwhack world. I feel like giving up on religion and just sticking to the good word, and do as God wants me to do and not what man wants.
Would I be going to hell if I just stay with my Bible, and just still care about people?
Thank all of you. Joy.

purplewings answered on 06/25/06:

Hi Joy,
As long as you have known me you probably remember that I feel much as Wheninrome describes. God is our parent and we once were with Him/Her/it and now we sometimes feel lonely for that long ago time of contentment and pure love.

Religion will give you structure , community and friendships that you cannot get from being home alone with your bible. But you will get everything else to comfort you by living a good life and treating people kindly.

No one has all the answers but in studying various religious communities, I find all of them have that higher power that is our's to believe we are loved unconditionally as we are.

Every church is set up to please many denominations to please different men.

You can go to church to worship and be a part of the community, but still hold onto your own beliefs and strengths.

Be blessed with whatever you decide to do.


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Itsdb asked on 06/23/06 - The divine Miss Winfrey?

By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

After two decades of searching for her authentic self — exploring New Age theories, giving away cars, trotting out fat, recommending good books and tackling countless issues from serious to frivolous — Oprah Winfrey has risen to a new level of guru.

She's no longer just a successful talk-show host worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes' most recent estimate. Over the past year, Winfrey, 52, has emerged as a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation.

With her television pulpit and the sheer power of her persona, she has encouraged and steered audiences (mostly women) in all matters, from genocide in Rwanda to suburban spouse swapping to finding the absolute best T-shirt and oatmeal cookie.

"She's a really hip and materialistic Mother Teresa," says Kathryn Lofton, a professor at Reed College in Portland, Ore., who has written two papers analyzing the religious aspects of Winfrey. "Oprah has emerged as a symbolic figurehead of spirituality."

On Monday, Winfrey shares one of her most ambitious events of the past year —Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball— as a special on ABC (8 p.m. ET/PT). It lets viewers in on a weekend in which she invited 25 legendary black women and other guests to her home in Montecito, Calif., for a luncheon, ball and gospel brunch in their honor.

It was something she spent a year planning and describes as one of the "greatest moments" of her life. She appears on The View on Friday to talk about the special.

"This weekend was the fulfillment of a dream for me: to honor where I've come from, to celebrate how I got here, and to claim where I'm going," Winfrey says on her website. And now, as Winfrey "lives her best life," as her TV motto says, we get to experience it with her.

Although the concept of the Rev. Oprah has been building through the years, never was it more evident than this season of her talk show, during which she conducted the public flogging of author James Frey. Feeling stung and embarrassed after endorsing his memoir about addiction, A Million Little Pieces, which turned out to include exaggerations and falsehoods, Winfrey had Frey on the show to do an about-face.

"I left the impression that the truth is not important," she said on the show. "I am deeply sorry about that because that is not what I believe."

It was a watershed Winfrey moment, showing herself as not only a talk-show host with whom you don't want to mess, but also someone who is fully aware of the power of her own image. Think back: She appeared in New Orleans to take on the government after Hurricane Katrina hit last August, and she sent a message to us all about civil rights as she stood by the casket of Coretta Scott King in February. Last week, she shed a tear with Teri Hatcher over sexual abuse memories, and she jumped on the Darfur bandwagon, encouraging viewers to support refugees there.

"She's a moral monitor, using herself as the template against which she measures the decency of a nation," Lofton says.

But while this past year showed Winfrey at new heights, it also was a year that polarized people, particularly after the Frey incident.

"A self-righteous attack dog," wrote arts and culture critic Steven Winn in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"A sanctimonious bully," said media critic Robert Thompson on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

"She puts the cult in pop culture," wrote media critic Mark Jurkowitz in The Phoenix

Winfrey was applauded by many for her public mea culpa and for getting Frey to do the same, but her righteous demand for justice also evoked criticism.

"No one person should have that kind of power to affect markets, politics or anything else," says Debbie Schlussel, a lawyer, conservative columnist and blogger.

Deifying Oprah

Love her or loathe her, Winfrey has become proof that you can't be too rich, too thin or too committed to rising to your place in the world. With 49 million viewers each week in the USA and more in the 122 other countries to which the show is distributed, Winfrey reaches more people in a TV day than most preachers can hope to reach in a lifetime of sermons.

"One of the things that's key," says Marcia Nelson, author of The Gospel According to Oprah, "is she walks her talk. That's really, really important in today's culture. People who don't walk their talk fall from a great pedestal — scandals in the Catholic Church, televangelism scandals. If you're not doing what you say you do, woe be unto you."

In Ellen DeGeneres' stand-up comedy act several years ago, she included a joke about getting to heaven and finding that God is a black woman named Oprah.

Last fall, at the start of this 20th season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, guest Jamie Foxx said much the same thing, but he wasn't joking. "What you have is something nobody can describe," Foxx said to Winfrey on the air. Then he explained about how he told Vibe magazine: "You're going to get to heaven and everyone's waiting on God and it's going to be Oprah Winfrey."

He told her she has "different gears" than most people. "You're on the top of the world, and we really do watch and listen for everything you do and say to kind of get our lives together. It's the truth."

In a November poll conducted at, a site that looks at how religions and spirituality intersect with popular culture, 33% of 6,600 respondents said Winfrey has had "a more profound impact" on their spiritual lives than their clergypersons.

Cathleen Falsani, religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, recently suggested, "I wonder, has Oprah become America's pastor?"

"I am not God," Oprah said in a 1989 story by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison that ran in The New York Times Magazine titled The Importance of Being Oprah. But at the time, Winfrey called her talk show her "ministry," Harrison wrote. It remains an interview Winfrey says she hates. In a Los Angeles Times interview in December, the talk-show host said that "at every turn everything I said was challenged and misinterpreted."

She declined to be interviewed for this story, and she declined to allow USA TODAY to cover her most recent, and now rare, Live Your Best Life seminars. Tickets, priced at $185 each, sold out in minutes.

Katrina Singleton, 34, paid $450 each for tickets to the February event in Charleston, S.C., which she purchased through a ticket broker. "For Oprah, nothing is too much," she told the Associated Press. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

At the seminar, according to AP, Winfrey repeatedly spoke of her relationship with God. She even sang a chorus of I Surrender All.

"I live inside God's dream for me. I don't try to tell God what I'm supposed to do," she told the crowd. "God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself."

Claire Zulkey, 26, an Oprah follower who has written about Winfrey in her online blog at zulkey .com, says, "I think that if this were the equivalent of the Middle Ages and we were to fast-forward 1,200 years, scholars would definitely think that this Oprah person was a deity, if not a canonized being."

Marcia Nelson says that it's not going too far to call her a spiritual leader. "I've said to a number of people — she's today's Billy Graham."

Nelson said that concept was most apparent when Winfrey co-hosted the 2001 memorial service held 12 days after the terrorist attacks in New York. She urged the people who filled Shea Stadium that day, and all Americans, to stand strong, rousing the audience by repeating the refrain, "We shall not be moved."

One of Winfrey's most appealing subtexts is that she's anti-institutional, says Chris Altrock, minister of Highland Street Church of Christ in Memphis. He says Winfrey believes there are many paths to God, not just one. After doing his doctoral research three years ago on postmodernism religion, a religious era that began in the 1970s as Christians became deeply interested in spirituality and less interested in any established church, he came up with what he calls "The Church of Oprah," referring to the culture that has created her.

"Our culture is changing," he says, "as churches are in decline and the bulk of a new generation is growing up outside of religion." Instead, they're turning to the Church of Oprah.

"People who have no religion relate to her," Nelson says.

Oprah's own evolution

When Winfrey started in the talk-show business 20 years ago, her goal was to beat Phil Donahue, then the reigning talk-show champ. As the Jerry Springer era of tabloid talk shows came into favor, she vowed to use her show to promote good, not sleaze.

By the late ྖs, Winfrey's focus was Change Your Life TV, and a New Age message was more prevalent. She preached making the message of her life — take responsibility, and greatness will follow — the substance of the show. Keep a personal journal, purchase self-indulgent gifts, take time for you —because you deserve it. The notes rang true to millions of viewers.

Debbie Ford's book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, shot up the sales charts after Ford appeared on Winfrey's show in October 2000 to talk about aspects of ourselves that we deny but which can be sources of joy and strength.

"I think at the time when she had me and Gary Zukav and a lot of the other spiritual teachers on her show, it was her own journey, and she was taking all of the world on that spiritual evolution," Ford says.

Lately, Winfrey has seemed to focus more on social issues (along with the inescapable talk-show fare of celebrity guests, home and diet makeovers, and marriage and financial troubles).

"She's fabulous. She looks great and is not suffering," Ford says, so it makes sense she isn't exploring New Age philosophies anymore. Instead, Ford says, people now "look to her to find their greatness. She is so real. That's why people are attracted to her — for different reasons. Some people will say her brilliance. Others will say authenticity. Others will say her power. They're seeing part of themselves in her."

Adds Ford, "We're all on Oprah's journey, in a sense."

Maybe not quite "all" of us.

Schlussel says Winfrey followers "are incredibly gullible, bandwagon-jumping trend-slaves." Winfrey, she says, "acts as if her show has 'evolved,' but in fact, she still has the salacious sex and deviance stories, with a psychologist in the audience to make it seem highbrow and give it the kosher seal of approval. If this is the person whose morals we are putting on a pedestal, then America's moral compass is in much need of retuning."

The fact that Winfrey has never been married, never had children and is a billionaire distances her from her audience, Schlussel says. "How could anyone like this be in touch with the average American woman?"

Lofton points out that any discussion of Winfrey should not be one that criticizes her or how she came to be a spiritual icon for the history books but one that examines how it came to be that way. "Why do we all need her so much? What is wrong with us that we so need this little woman in Chicago?"

Jim Twitchell, a professor at the University of Florida who has written several books about branding and describes himself as a cultural anthropologist, says Oprah reverence makes sense.

"Religion essentially is based on high anxiety of what's going to happen to you." Winfrey pushes the idea "that you have a life out there, and it's better than the one you have now and go get it."

It's most apparent in the setting of her show, Twitchell says.

"The guest is sitting beside her, but what she's really doing is exuding this powerful message of 'You are a sinner, yes, you are, but you can also find salvation.' What I find intriguing about it is it's delivered with no religiosity at all, even though it has a powerful Baptist, democratic, enthusiastic tone.

"It has to do with this deep American faith and yearning to be reborn. To start again."


"A self-righteous attack dog?"

"A sanctimonious bully?"

"She puts the cult in pop culture?"

"She's a really hip and materialistic Mother Teresa?"

"She's a moral monitor, using herself as the template against which she measures the decency of a nation?"

"You're going to get to heaven and everyone's waiting on God and it's going to be Oprah Winfrey?"

"For Oprah, nothing is too much?"

"Has Oprah become America's pastor?"

"She's today's Billy Graham?"

Who is this Oprah person? How do you think she sees herself? Does the world need Oprah that much - or do they just need to get out more?

Other comments?

purplewings answered on 06/24/06:

I think Oprah is a very determined woman with a great idea of what modern life is and could be and the confidence to help bring it about.

She brought in the 'right' teachers for the public at a time when many were floundering spiritually. People who couldn't believe in Christianity as it's set forth, but did believe in goodness and a definite higher power.

She allowed & encouraged people to "talk about" their secrets and release any shame. A completely wonderful thing since people often spend a fortune to do this at a shrinks office where it takes longer and achieves less.....
After all, a person is only as sick as their secrets. With no more secrets - no more sickness.And then one person at a time, the world begins to heal.

Sometimes she may hold herself above others just a little, but perhaps she is above those.... and perhaps having such a following entitles her to that bit of egoism. No matter how great a person is, they are still bound by earth egoistic desires.

I've always liked her.......rarely watch her any more because of my time, but she did introduce me the spiritual leaders that have brought me where I am today.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Phil McGraw and more.....

Spirituality doesn't sit around asking what God looks like or who God's parents were.......or scare people half to death if they behave like a human being - that just doesn't matter. All that matters is that there IS a God of some kind and we are not alone.

Jealousy always thrives when someone like Oprah becomes so big. (not talking about her dress size either)

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arcura asked on 06/19/06 - Just for laughs.................................

Upon arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife. Tearfully she explained, "It's the druggist. He insulted me terribly this morning on the phone. I had to call multiple times before he would even answer the phone."

Immediately, the husband drove downtown to confront the druggist and demand an apology. Before he could say more than a word or two, the druggist told him, "Now, just a minute, listen to my side of it. This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, only to realize that I had locked the house with both house and car keys inside and had to break a window to get my keys. Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire. When I finally got to the store a bunch of people were waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, and all the time the darn phone was ringing off the hook. "Then I had to break a roll of nickels against the cash register drawer to make change and they spilled all over the floor. I had to get down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels and the phone was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it. Half of them hit the floor and broke. Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it. It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer. "And believe me mister, as God is my witness, all I did was tell her."

purplewings answered on 06/20/06:

I guess it must have been the tone of his voice huh? LOL Thanks Fred.

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Erewhon asked on 06/15/06 - Is he right?

It is common these days to hear someone ranting against organised religion. George Whitefield, the founder of Methodism, said this:

"Among the many reasons assignable for the sad decay of true Christianity, perhaps the neglecting to assemble ourselves together, in religious societies, may not be one of the least."

Is he right?

purplewings answered on 06/18/06:

As in 'there's strength in numbers'. The human mind is such that without being reminded continually of the larger plan, it will jog off on it's own and formulate something quite different.

We weaken in resolve when alone, and strengthen while in common bond.

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jackreade asked on 06/15/06 - Religious Right takes New Offensive on Gay Marriage

"Earlier this month, efforts to ban gay marriage by amending the Constitution failed badly in Senate. Now the religious right is considering appealing to state legislatures to call a Constitutional Convention under an obscure provision of Article 5 that would allow amendments to the Constitution without congressional approval. The Evans-Novak report has the details:

Meeting after the big failure at the offices of the social-conservative Family Research Council, the top leaders of the marriage movement — Catholic, Protestant and Mormon leaders among others — discussed the possibility of an unprecedented Constitutional Convention. Two-thirds (34) of the state legislatures would have to call for such a convention — which could be done only with great difficulty. Even then, no one knows what such a convention would look like or what sort of amendments could result from it.

Right-wing pundit Bob Novak, who writes the report, appears to be pushing the idea even as he calls it “rather fanciful.” Novak argues banning gay marriage through a constitutional convention would be difficult but not impossible"


This is a fascinating development.


purplewings answered on 06/18/06:

It sounds like these church leaders not only lack compassion, but are determined to have everything the way they want it to be regardless of how the majority of citizens feel about the subject.

I don't believe it's possible for them to succeed with this plan, but I'm really disturbed to think they are so willing to circumvent the rights of other human beings.

What religion teaches that certain people don't matter?

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paraclete asked on 06/16/06 - The secret of a longer life

Rich folk managed to turn death rattle into tax wheeze

John Garnaut
June 16, 2006

IT IS well known that the rich will go a long way to avoid taxes. A new study shows just how far: they will cheat death itself if it saves them money.

Two economists, Andrew Leigh and Joshua Gans, scoured the death records of 27 years ago, when the then treasurer, John Howard, abolished federal inheritance taxes.

Rich people dying before midnight on July 1, 1979, were to be taxed at up to 28 per cent of the value of their estates. But those who saved their final breath for the new financial year were free to die untaxed.

Mr Leigh, of The Australian National University, and Professor Gans of the Melbourne Business School, discovered a large blip in the data as rich people postponed their deaths to the new financial year.

"Over half of those who would have paid the inheritance tax in its last week of operation managed to avoid doing so," they state in their paper, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?

That is, about five in every nine rich people who, statistically, should have expired in the last week of June did not do so until the first week of July.

Pastor Renton McRae, of the Lifestream Christian Fellowship, said human will could extend life beyond the body's expiry date. "There is an incredible ability within the human spirit that denies logic and physiology," he said.

But he doubted whether leaving a larger estate for others could provide sufficient motive.

Did the families who stood to gain keep their benefactors alive until July with the help of medical life support? "As long as you keep the heart beating you can keep people technically alive," said Pastor McRae.

The authors concede the possibility they have uncovered an outbreak of morbid tax fraud, as relatives concealed the bodies of their rich loved ones until the new financial year.

The abolishing of death taxes made Australia one of the few developed countries that does not impose an explicit or de facto inheritance tax.

But just as tax cuts appear to promote longevity, the authors believe reintroducing an inheritance tax could cause premature death. "Any country that introduced [it] should expect a spike in the death rate in the week before the law takes effect," they said.


So if we are to believe it cheating the tax man is a spiritual experience. I haven't paid any tax in a long time and it feels good, but I haven't been cheating before any of you jump to the wrong conclusion.

purplewings answered on 06/17/06:

I suppose the thought could be that it's still their money and they want it to go where they want. That's determination for you.

OR could it be the one signs the death certificate setting the time at a different place than it actually was to please those who inherit?

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Erewhon asked on 06/14/06 - ON DEALING WITH THE POLICE ...

Just a thought - Can any of you determine who is giving advice and to whom in the following c&p? I came across it and find it to be extraordinary.

After considering it, you might like to suggest reasons why it is necessary for any organisation to arm its agents with this advice. All reasonable comments will be welcomed.


On dealing with the police

1. Always speak in a professional manner. Yes Sir, No Sir is the absolute rule of the Fellowship. No […] serves a righteous cause in being publicly rude to an officer. Your attitude will go on the report and will meet with the same disrespect.

2. Always designate one person in charge to talk with the police. This is a no exception rule. More than one person talking to an officer confuses the issues, and will ultimately bring more officers. In every incident, only one officer is the designated call officer, and he will do most of the talking. The others are assist officers. If it is a 2 man unit, one officer will be the senior officer and will do most of the talking. Never allow any other […] to speak to the call officer, or his assists. This will leave only one […]’s response to show on the record. Unless asked for identification, other participants should refer all questions to the designated spokesman and person in charge. If this person is preaching when police arrive, he should immediately cease, and another takes his place.

3. Always make a point of asking for the officer’s business card. Every officer carries one. It will help set the atmosphere, if you immediately do this, and even give him yours. If he refuses, or does not have one, ask “Do you mind if I write down your name and badge number before going any further?” (Write down every officer’s name).

4. Always stand facing the officer, and slightly away from his gun side. Never stand close to the Officer’s gun side. Most will not allow you to do so, and are very conscious of where & how you are standing. Always remain relaxed, and stand just within his reach (he will keep that distance if you do not). They are taught to keep just within reach of a person, but far enough away to execute an elbow defensive block. Standing so will make the officer less apprehensive of you. Standing too close to an officer, or too far away, makes him nervous, and he will pay more attention to this than to what you are saying.

5. Never stand with a […] in your hand while talking to the officer. Most will not allow this. Make it a point to place the […] down, or hand it to another.

6. Determine the temperament of the call officer before you commit yourself to making decisions that will be irreversible. The officer is doing the same to you. Confrontations with police are often caused by failure to do this, and will ultimately drag you into an argument that has no solution beyond a physical stand off. There are a number of things to do immediately, to help you determine the temperament of the call officer.

A. Upon his approach, smile and attempt to shake his hand while introducing yourself, and any other […] close by that is not […].
B. Attempt to maintain the lead in the conversation, and inquire as to how the officer is doing today...They keeping you busy?...Nice weather today!...etc.
C. Behave naturally as if nothing is wrong. If the officer is arrogant and proud, he will immediately cut you off, and you will know that he has already pre-determined you are doing something wrong! If the officer resents allowing you to take the lead, and talks down to you, immediately shut up, and listen quietly and politely, and when he is finished, ask him to call a supervisor. You cannot deal rationally with this type officer when he has already made up his mind you are breaking the law! He will not be taught Constitutional law from you! If the officer is calm, and does not mind allowing you to lead the conversation, and is polite answering your inquiries, keep him in this mood, while politely explaining the situation, and your knowledge of your Constitutional Rights to preach in the open air. Refrain from attempting to teach the officer what the law says. Confine your remarks to explaining your knowledge of the law, the Constitution, and Supreme Court/ Federal Court rulings.

7. Never go out on the street without first determining what your set options are, and what you are going to do! You will never demonstrate confidence in your position to the officer, if you have not ahead of time made up your mind to go to jail, if need be! Indecision on your part, strengthens an officer’s confidence in attempting to bully you into submission. Decisions made under stress, are many times the wrong decision, unless you are trained by experience to work that way. Be very, very careful in allowing pressure, fear and stress to change your mind on the street, about a plan you prayerfully constructed when not under the stress of this moment.

8. Defying a police order to cease. This is a difficult time in […] any officer’s day. Never do this disrespectfully! Never do this except in matters pertaining to free speech and right to assemble. Never do this unless you have conducted yourself lawfully in everything you have done that day. There is a difference between legal conduct, and lawful conduct. The right to […] are lawfully protected Constitutional activity. However, there are times and places that those lawful activities can be restricted in the manner by which you exercise such lawful conduct. When those restrictions are narrowly drawn by the authorities so they do not unreasonably interfere with the lawful exercise of your Constitutional Rights, the police are within the law in enforcing those restrictions. To defy those restrictions makes your lawful conduct illegal. However, the personal opinion of the police officer is not considered by the Supreme Court as meeting time, place and manner restrictions, but is itself unlawful. Examples of conduct Police can restrict: handing […] to people in automobiles driving/stopping in the street; Blocking entrances to stores; Blocking pedestrian traffic; Attempting to force people to […] after they have refused it; […] in a residential/hospital district, or an area restricted for the protection of government officials, Etc. It is not the position of […] to defy the police in areas that can be restricted. But it is the position not to allow the police to defy the Constitution and […].

9. How to refuse an Officer’s order. Always be polite, but firm. If you need a moment to advise the people preaching with you about what you are about to do, most officers will allow you time to “consult with folks”. It is wise to excuse the women and minor children to move away from the vicinity (across the street). Always allow one person to remain at a safe distance to film any arrests and verbal exchanges. […], and advise the officer in charge that you respect his authority, and understand he has an unpleasant job to do, but that you cannot conscientiously adhere to his Unconstitutional, and unlawful demand, and that you will have to continue preaching even at the cost of imprisonment. If at all possible, avoid having to defy an officer’s command when the police are overbearing, and over reacting. It will not always be avoidable, but try your best. Once you have advised the officer in charge of your intentions to continue […], then without further conversation, step away from the officer and continue […]. He will do the rest!

10. Submit to Arrest. When an officer places his hands on you, whether he advises, “You are under arrest”, before or afterwards is immaterial to the arrest. From the moment he places his hand on you, you are lawfully under arrest. He is required by law to advise you that you are under arrest. However, the law does not govern his every action, nor how quickly he tells you. His specific department has rules of arrest governing the procedure, but these differ from city to city. Most officers will tell you immediately that you are under arrest, and physically constitute that command by grabbing you by the arm to either handcuff you, or search you for weapons. (Never carry a weapon on the street, permit or otherwise). When the officer takes hold of you, immediately cease […]. Anything beyond complete submission can and may be construed by the officer as resisting arrest, and to do so, places your loud vocal expressions out of the realm of true […], and into the arena of vocal diatribes. You are now numbered with the transgressors, and the wisest court in this land will tell you, the wisest thing to do when arrested is “Remain silent”. You have had your say, now let them have theirs.

11. Things to watch for and avoid while being arrested. You are a […], not an activist, or a protester. Behave like a […]. You came there to […]. Do not sit down in protest because the cost of standing to […]is going to jail. Stand up like a man, and “be subject” to the arrest […]. When arrested by an over-reacting, arrogant officer, be very careful, and constantly alert. There are officers who will physically rough you up, to provoke even the smallest reaction from you, so they can escalate it into resistance, and either harm you physically, or charge you with resisting arrest. From this point on, you are required by law to give your name, address and birth date, but nothing more. Keep your mouth shut, and resist the temptation to speak further.

12. Do not sign any statement, or promise to do anything other than show up for trial. Police and magistrates are infamous for trying to sucker a […] into signing a promise not to […] anymore until the trial is over. Under our judicial system, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Until the state can prove your actions unlawful, they are to be presumed legal, and you cannot be forced by threat of further imprisonment for refusing to promise not to […] until after the trial. This is a serious violation of your Constitutional Rights to due process of law. If they confiscate any property […], they must give you a receipt for that property. Failure to do so, constitutes theft! Beware of what you sign when they are either keeping, or giving back your property. Verify everything before signing a return receipt. Do not sign anything whatsoever when they unlawfully confiscate your property without a warrant. When released, […] call your State Director.


purplewings answered on 06/14/06:

Someone attracting people in the streets to a cause of some kind. Perhaps a demonstration of some sort?

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paraclete asked on 06/12/06 - A fitting retribution?

Sex slave witch kept in jail
From: By Geoff Wilkinson
June 13, 2006

Held ... Fletcher was thought certain to reoffend. / File EVIL witch Robin Fletcher will be forced to stay in jail in an unprecedented crackdown on Victoria's worst sex offenders.

The sex sadist was due to be released from Ararat jail today after his 10-year maximum sentence expired.

Instead, he will be forced to pay rent and live in a "prison within a prison" inside the jail's walls.

State plans 'continued detention' law

The Adult Parole Board has imposed extraordinary restrictions on Fletcher under the terms of an extended supervision order granted by a Supreme Court judge.

Under the conditions of the five-year order, Fletcher will be:

BANNED from leaving his new home inside the jail unless escorted by a Corrections officer;
BANNED from having access to the Internet;
FORCED to wear an electronic ankle tag so his movements can be monitored;
BANNED from contact with other sex offenders;
FORCED to take part in treatment programs that he refused to do while serving his sentence;
PROHIBITED from engaging in community activities involving children;
BANNED from visiting certain areas, such as schools, playgrounds, public parks or childcare areas.
Corrections sources told the Herald Sun the only concessions to Fletcher's new status as a "free man" would be the right to wear his own clothes rather than prison uniform, and no requirement to work.

He will be able to receive visitors, but only if they have been approved and are under escort.

Fletcher's maximum sentence for sex offences ended at midnight.

He turned two 15-year-old girls into sex slaves in the name of witchcraft.

He lured them into sex using black magic and hypnotism and told them they were taking part in pagan rituals. Fletcher was jailed in 1996 after pleading guilty to child prostitution, sexual penetration of a child under 16, indecent acts with a child and perverting the course of justice.

He is believed to have been told last weekend he would not be leaving jail as expected. He was served with the extended supervision order yesterday by a Corrections officer, who explained the conditions.

The parole board will speak to him by video link tomorrow.

Fletcher, a professed witch, is the sixth sex offender to be placed on an extended supervision order since the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act became law on July 1 last year.

The State Government is believed to have received legal advice that forcing Fletcher to live within a jail after his sentence has finished is a lawful direction under the terms of the Act.

The only comparable treatment of a dangerous offender was the Community Protection Act, a one-man law passed specifically to keep Gary David in jail when his sentence for attempted murder expired in 1991.

Corrections Minister Tim Holding last night said Fletcher was the worst of the worst of Victoria's sex offenders.

"The Government and the Adult Parole Board recognise the very real risk a small number of these shockingly bad offenders pose to the Victorian community," Mr Holding said.

"For that reason we've sought from the board the toughest possible conditions to control him after the expiration of his sentence."

"We're pleased the parole board has put in place such a strict regime, which is unprecedented in Victorian history. This guy is basically telling us - he's telling the world - that he plans to reoffend," Mr Holding said.

Fletcher, 49, was refused parole last January after sexually explicit letters were intercepted by staff at Ararat jail.

The letters convinced Corrections staff and forensic psychiatrists that Fletcher had not been rehabilitated and would almost certainly reoffend.

They were written to people in Ghana and encouraged them to adopt deviant sexual practices in pursuit of his form of religion.

Fletcher will live in a converted section of a building used for education programs inside Ararat jail.

Another notorious sex offender, Brian Keith Jones - better known as Mr Baldy - lives in a cottage outside the jail's gate.

Prison sources said the pair had a strained relationship and there was "some sort of bizarre rivalry between them".

Jones was the first released sex offender to be placed on an extended supervision order.

Applications for a supervision order are made to a judge in the court that sentenced the offender and can cover up to 15 years after release.

Conditions can include curfews, bans on contact with children, residential and job restrictions, random checks and compulsory treatment programs.

An offender can be sent back to jail for up to five years for breaching any conditions.

The Government is believed to have already decided to apply for another five-year supervision order against Fletcher when the order granted a fortnight ago expires in 2011.
what an enlightend method of dealing with sex offenders, let them out of their cell but not out of jail

purplewings answered on 06/13/06:

I think that's a great way to handle it but I know you don't since you low-rated my suggestion to end capital punishment in favor of mandatory life sentencing.

Evidently someone else feels as I do.

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HANK1 asked on 06/11/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if GOD expects you to obey the Golden Rule on a 24/7 basis. Is it realistic to do so?

purplewings answered on 06/11/06:

I don't think God has expectations of us that extreme. He/She knows that earth people are egoistic and that prevents us from ever being perfect. The idea is to keep working on it. Progress - not perfection.

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HANK1 asked on 06/11/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... how much you value your life. Grade your existence -- A B C D F.

purplewings answered on 06/11/06:

With A standing for excellence?

I would take an A with no problem. My life is a gift from God that I'm so grateful for.

Even in my darkest hours, I wanted to live enough to keep on struggling.

Like most of us.


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HANK1 asked on 06/11/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if you think DEATH is an EVIL?

purplewings answered on 06/11/06:

Death isn't evil Hank. It's just a part of life like problems and illnesses.

It's something we all have to make peace with because we will experience it somehow.

I would hope to find that through death we actually do get to experience everlasting life in another form.........where ego does not exist - only spirit.


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hOPE12 asked on 06/11/06 - Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who gave their many suggestions as to what to do with the Bible Student who wanted to shoot himself in the head.

You all will be happy to know I have followed you advice and suggestions and he is now getting professional help and is doing just fine. I just told him that there is just so much a minister can do to help those we truly love and that sometimes things are beyond what we can deal with. I told him that there are professional persons who would be of more help to him and that I would go with him if it would make him feel more comfortable. He is now seeing a doctor who is helping him and he goes a few days a week and seems to be doing well. He has stopped drinking completely, which automatically helps and he is back to work. The doctor seemed to think that the inpatient care would just make him more anxious so they allowed him to stay home and check on him constantly. I also visit with him a few times a week and give encouragement. The doc thought he was suffering from a sense of void since his wife and children left and that is what they are now working on.

Anyway, thank you all so very much for you most helpful suggestions.

Take care,

purplewings answered on 06/11/06:

Thanks for sharing that Hope. There are times when we all need encouragement just to stay on the right track. It seems you have done just that.
God bless.

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HANK1 asked on 06/10/06 - ISOLATIONISM:

People who don't have God in their hearts can't have peace in their lives. So, perhaps there's a solution to all of this apprehension and fear that the American people have endured for over four years.

1. Bring all of our troops home from Iraq within six months.

2. Take the bull by the horns and tell Israel to 'go it alone' because we're tired of seeing, reading and hearing their problems and suffering on TV and in the newspapers. That clip on NBC News this evening (6/10/06) about the little girl who went on a picnic with her parents and the parents were killed. That's what prompted this post.

3. Call in all of the loans we have made to other countries.

4 Call our troops home from Afghanistan and all other battlefields that are being forced upon us from shore to shore and from continent to continent.

6. Let ALL countries fight their own damn wars and solve their own problems. We do!

This is ISOLATIONISM, folks. Why not?

"Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military and political policy with a policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). In other words, it asserts the following:

Political rulers should avoid entangling alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to
direct territorial self-defense." (There's more to it than that, of course!)

Source: Wikipedia

It's time to relax, folks, with our kids and families. I'm just very tired of seeing carnage on TV and hearing stories about the 'displaced.' Let's take care of our own people FIRST! Many need help! Let's enjoy baseball and apple pie!


purplewings answered on 06/11/06:

Good morning Hank,

It sounds like such a simple solution - but so backwards too.

In this day of quick travel and internet, we are closer together than you think.

While it would be a good exercise for us to pull back and stop helping and giving - it's not the right way for progress. With international trade, natural disasters, genocide, nuclear activity, and disease, we are all at risk and need to support, not ignore.

However a few months or years without the USA jumping in, might force our neighbors to look to their own people to resolve their conflicts and that would be good.

I remind that we were here minding our own business when the 911 attacks happened......

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Erewhon asked on 06/09/06 - "Getting the devil out" ... or "Murder in the name of Jesus"? ................ .....

A case before the court involves a 200 lb evangelist who laid and knelt on an eight-year old autistic boy's chest in an exorcism. The boy died. (Earlier attempts had included beating the boy with belts and bruising him.)

The evangelist's brother, the bishop or pastor of the congregation said that they were only doing what had been done in the Bible. In this connection he referred to:

9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

The evangelist pressed so hard on this poor boy that he urinated and defaecated before he died - he was struggling for his poor little life and he lost the unequal struggle after two hours!

Is this kind of rite really sanctioned by the Bible as the Bishop cliams, or is it folly gone mad enough to murder?

Should churches such as this that practice rituals resulting in injury and death be outlawed as dangerous cults, or can you find some reasonable justification for this kind of activity in the name of Jesus?

My position is that I would lock the whole shebang of them up together and throw away the key.

purplewings answered on 06/10/06:

I wonder if these people are missing some brain cells when they push the faith angle and move into extremes like this.

In a society,I would think we all need to use common sense above all else. Even Jesus said 'trust in me but live your life with caution' (not a direct quote, but I'll bet one good Christian here will know it.)

Even people who murder unintentionally such as drunk drivers or practical jokers, get sentenced to life, so of course these idiots should fall under the same sentencing guidelines.

Wasted lives - for what purpose?

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STONY asked on 06/08/06 - IT TOOK A 500 LB. BOMB....


purplewings answered on 06/08/06:

I like what Wolverine answered on the Politics board. "Live by the bomb and die by the bomb." Seems almost Christian doesn't it?

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jackreade asked on 06/07/06 - "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

Above title, a sermon given by Jonathan Edwards. I pulled out a paragraph for everyone to read, but I suggest you google the name in the subject box and read it for yourself, if interested.

"The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it."


I remember from American history class the talk about fire and brimstone sermons; this is the first one I have read.

What do you think?

purplewings answered on 06/08/06:

I remember the hell and firestone sermons from my childhood and they filled my peers and me with terror, as intended.

Now I think it's ridiculous for anyone to presume they understand the 'wrath of God'.

The God of my understanding has no wrath. It is only 'Love'.

I refuse to believe otherwise.


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HANK1 asked on 06/06/06 - BIRTHDAYS:

To me, a birthday represents one year closer to death. This is why I don't celebrate. How about you?


purplewings answered on 06/06/06:

I never think about it that way. A birthday is my own special day......that's all. Sometimes I celebrate and sometimes I don't but I'm always glad to have my onw special day.

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paraclete asked on 06/06/06 - Have you ever wondered why you are told not to put God to the Test?

Man who was 'testing God' killed by lion

June 6, 2006

A lion killed a man who climbed into its enclosure in the Ukrainian capital's zoo, police said today.

The lion attacked the 45-year-old Ukrainian late yesterday after he used a rope to climb down into an enclosure with four lions, said Kiev police spokesman Volodymyr Polishchuk.

He said the man, who was not identified, was acting aggressively and the lion seized him by the throat. The man, an ethnic Azerbaijani, died at the scene.

Ukrainian TV channel NTN broadcast interviews with witnesses who said the man told them that he wanted to test God, believing that God would not allow the lions to hurt him.

Zoo officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


purplewings answered on 06/06/06:

So apparently God failed his test huh? I wonder what he's thinking for the next test......

Does anyone think we should test God without having a clue what His plan for us may be...? Not me.

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renegadebanjo asked on 06/06/06 - need answer today!!please!!

hello..I have a question:

I want to know what christianity and the bible says about plastic / cosmetic surgery??? i would love some information!!

please answer today...i have an exam..

thank you.

purplewings answered on 06/06/06:

I can't quote the bible on this but Jesus does tell us to Love One Another and we now know that we can't love someone else until we first learn to love ourself.

If we have all kinds of unacceptable features and scars, we would find it very hard to really love ourself - so I think it means for us to do whatever will bring about self-love. Mostly that would refer to our inside- having a kind heart- but we have to live among other people so it also must mean our outsides..........
Does that help?

tomder55 asked on 06/05/06 - Hiphopmass

What do you think of this ?

Here is the translation of Psalm 23 in the new vernacular :

The Lord is all that, I need for nothing.
He allows me to chill.
He keeps me from being heated
and allows me to breathe easy.
He guides my life so that
I can represent and give
shouts out in his Name.
And even though I walk through
the Hood of death,
I don't back down
for you have my back.
The fact that you have me covered
allows me to chill.
He provides me with back-up
in front of my player-haters
and I know that I am a baller
and life will be phat.
I fall back in the Lord's crib
for the rest of my life.

For the record .... phat means "cool" .Unless you're reading your Bible in its original Greek, with the quotes from Christ in their original Aramaic then I suppose you should not complain .However I do not think that the bible was ever sanctioned to be translated into every sub culture dialect and slang but to the common dialect where the most people could read it . "Baller" and " player-hater" may be overdoing it. Better I think for it to remain in the common language and have the priest /preacher whatever translate and make it relevent to the congregation ;if that means using hip-hop to do it then so be it .

purplewings answered on 06/05/06:

If bringing the translation into various culture groups means doing it like this, so be it. I guess the important part is to bring the message across and the Bible doesn't always do that because of the way it's written.

The message is what's important.....Songs bring it across more smoothly, as do specific prayers. I don't think God would care how....

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curious98 asked on 06/05/06 - 666

tomorrow's date will be: 6-6-6, a coincidence which is not bound to repeat itself until 06-06-2066, a long time from now.

Our Spanish TV channels are announcing a lot of terror movies for tomorrow night. they probably are slightly sick and morbid in their minds...

What about your countries?


purplewings answered on 06/05/06:

I haven't heard a word about it in the USA. I guess we're just wearing out on superstition or something. I expect a day just like any other day. Try to think positive thoughts in spite of the terror movies......You bring about what you think about, so it's your choice.

I hope all goes well in your country on 666.


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MaggieB asked on 06/03/06 - Back to Free Masonry:

To those who are masons or have masonic ties or someone in the family (uncle, father, brother, etc) let me ask a couple of simple questions. Why do you/they feel compelled to be part of an organization that makes you promise to keep things secret even from your spouse? Why all the secrecy? Do you not see something fundamentally wrong with that concept or am I just reading things into the answers I received to my previous question?


purplewings answered on 06/03/06:

Don't other groups have some secrets? It's been my experience that one who is not a member to witness the doings of almost any group, wouldn't completely understand and therefore has no real reason to know.

I have two excellent friends who are long-time members of the Free Masons and both are simply good citizens and caring human beings. Why would I need to know more? Why would a wife need to know every single thought that goes through her husband's mind? We are all entitled to our privacy.


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MaggieB asked on 06/02/06 - I would like your thoughts and comments:

There has been an on-going discussion in a group of local neighbors about Free Masonary, some say it is a religion others say no, others say it is demonic. What do you know about Free Masonary?



purplewings answered on 06/02/06:

It is a moral community group bound together to do spiritual good, without benefit of acknowledgement. It is non religious in itself although many of it's members are religious persons.

It is anything but demonic.

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Erewhon asked on 05/28/06 - Is it time to apologise? ......... ................. ................. ...............

Op-Quiz: Mistakes Were Made

For fans of public apologies, May has been a good month.
We’ve had Clear Channel Communications apologizing for an obscene rant by a New York hip-hop radio shock jock, Kaiser Permanente apologizing for ignoring voluminous complaints from patients about its new kidney transplant center in San Francisco and Hillary Clinton apologizing for saying that today’s college graduates “think work is a four-letter word.” (Isn’t it?)

The chief executive of Raytheon was sorry that a company-produced booklet he wrote plagiarized a book published in 1944, a Missouri high school teacher was sorry for asking students to write about whom they would kill and how they would go about doing it and Hideki Matsui of the Yankees was sorry for breaking his wrist while diving for a ball.

Perhaps most delightfully, Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, expressed regret for telling a group of Dallas businessmen that he had rescinded a contract after the contractor made negative comments about President Bush. “Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president?”

Mr. Jackson said. “Logic says they don’t get the contract. That’s the way I believe.” Two weeks later — and under fire — Mr. Jackson explained that his remarks were merely “anecdotal,” with no basis in truth.

But then, every month seems to bring a spate of coerced contrition. The public apology has established itself as a staple of our national discourse, a required ritual to be endured by anyone caught saying or doing something inappropriate. And while the numbers of these apologies seem to be increasing almost exponentially, the reality is that the supposedly penitent have been entertaining us for many years now.

How many of these do you remember?

Paul Slansky and Arleen Sorkin are the authors of “My Bad: 25 Years of Public Apologies and the Appalling Behavior That Inspired Them.” Helicopter is a design firm in New York.


Is it time to apologise?

purplewings answered on 05/29/06:

I think that apology removes the resentments others may be feeling. We all know how difficult it can be to have to say 'I was wrong and I am sorry".

The public apology, as the private one is a good thing, a step to humility and cleansing. Most, if not all spiritual programs have this as one of the top steps to take for the good of others and especially for yourself.

We may have laughed at those people - but more often, we considered them idiots or just plain obnoxious.... The apology changes the ill feeling....hopefully.

Now, don't you like George a little better since his apology? LOL

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HANK1 asked on 05/29/06 - DEATH:

Memorial Day is all about sacrifice and death. How WE approach death is going to depend upon our fear of life, how much WE participated in that life, and how willing WE are to let go of this known expression to venture into a new one. Fear and unfinished business are two big factors in determining how much resistance WE put into meeting death.

I must ask YOU, "Do you procrastinate?"

purplewings answered on 05/29/06:

Yes, if I had a fatal disease and knew it was approaching, I would do an honest inventory on my life. For me to recognize the challenges I've overcome, the people I've tried to help in some way, the friends and family that love me and are loved by me, and my own changed attitude and values....In my mind, all are in a good place - I'm sure those things would not weigh on me. Leaving all this that I know and love behind to go into an unknown is still scary.

I can't imagine how much more frightening it might be to one who has brought havoc and sadness to the very end......if they recognize what they have done, that is.

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jackreade asked on 05/27/06 - What Would Jesus Say?

"Doctors said sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens are running rampant at a popular Central Florida retirement community, according to a Local 6 News report.

A gynecologist at The Villages community near Orlando, Fla., said she treats more cases of herpes and the human papilloma virus in the retirement community than she did in the city of Miami.

"Yeah, they are very shocked (to hear the diagnosis)," gynecologist Dr. Colleen McQuade said. "I had a patient in her 80s."

"More and more senior citizens are ending up in the gynecologist office, and their diagnosis is a sexually transmitted disease," Local 6 reporter Vanessa Medina said.

Local 6 featured Louis Franklin, who used to date in the community at least three times a week.

"I have had a better dating life since I have been here than I have ever had," Franklin said. "I know there are things going around."

A doctor blamed Viagra, a lack of sex education and no risk for pregnancy for the spike in sexually transmitted diseases at The Villages.

"All I can repeat are the things I have heard which are things like, 'Should I bring the little blue pills over tonight?'" community singles group president Richard Matwyshen said."


In your opinion, what would Jesus say to 70 and 80 year old people gettin' it on?

purplewings answered on 05/27/06:

I'm with WiR. If we weren't supposed to keep on enjoying the physical part of life, we wouldn't be having the urges to get it on.

I would think at ages 80 and up, getting a std would be but a minor annoyance. It's not like they are looking at a *lifetime to deal with it as are much younger people. The desire for intimacy with another person is huge so I think Jesus would say (Love One Another) again.


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arcura asked on 05/26/06 - Do you believe it? Pat says he did it..............

Fri May 26, 6:35 PM ET

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says he has leg-pressed 2,000 pounds, but some say he'd be in a pretty tough spot if he tried.

The 螌 Club" host's feat of strength is recounted on the Web site of his Christian Broadcasting Network, in a posting headlined "How Pat Robertson Leg Pressed 2,000 Pounds."

According to the CBN Web site, Robertson worked his way up to lifting a ton with the help of his physician, who is not named. The posting does not say when the lift occurred, but a CBN spokeswoman released photos to The Associated Press that she said showed Robertson lifting 2,000 pounds in 2003, when Robertson was 73. He is now 76.

The Web posting said two men loaded the leg-press machine with 2,000 pounds "and then let it down on Mr. Robertson, who pushed it up one rep and let it go back down again." The Web site said several people witnessed the event, and shows video of Robertson leg-pressing what appears to be 1,000 pounds.

Clay Travis of CBS called the 2,000-pound assertion impossible in a column this week, writing that the leg-press record for football players at Florida State University is 665 pounds less.

"Where in the world did Robertson even find a machine that could hold 2,000 pounds at one time?" Travis asked.

Andy Zucker, a strength-training coach at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, said leg presses of more than 1,000 pounds represent "a Herculean effort, and 2,000 pounds is a whole other story."

purplewings answered on 05/27/06:

Maybe dementia has started with a roar?

Maybe he guessed at the weight? (Probably *felt like 2000 pounds.)

Maybe he feels a need to *prove himself equal and more so he makes up incredible tale?

Maybe one of his trainers read the scale wrong?

Too bad he wouldn't be happy to just admit a lesser figure. Many at his age can barely walk around the block.

When I was in school, a family friend at age 17 or 18, made my parents a beautiful rifle cabinet in his high school shop class. The wood was all glossy and shaped with an octagonal glass door, with two large drawers at the bottom and many other attributes. Whenever people visited my house and remarked about this cabinet, my parents told them it was made by a 16 year old boy.

A few years later when someone commented, it became a 15 year old boy. and then 14, and even 13.

I mentioned this story to my son yesterday as a chuckle - and he said "and if someone commented today, he would only be a 7 year old after this much time".

These fish stories seem to delight the teller's, who actually believe that people will not doubt them because of their honorable community standing.

Hey, everybody stretches the truth at times and in spite of how you feel about him, he really is not God.

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Erewhon asked on 05/25/06 - Spiritual Growth ...

Brent Top wrote;

"We must remember that much spiritual growth does not occur suddenly but rather through time and experience. The encouraging message of the gospel is that God does not often require us to perform sensational or extraordinary deeds but rather to try to do better today than we did yesterday. He is mindful of our desires, our determination, and our direction as well as of our deeds."

As a Christian, what has been your experience of spiritual growth?

purplewings answered on 05/26/06:

My experience as a *Christian* is that eventually for every difficult challenge placed in my path, I needed to seek help with my fear, my reactions, my despair, my lack of power and my general attitude, but only after heavy suffering did I seek.

I learned how to listen to other people because my own thinking went in circles. In listening, I heard things I'd never known about in these areas - and began to see life very differently. In prayer and meditation I was able to find peace and hope.....and realized the only way I would survive is through changing my way of viewing those experiences, other people, and myself.

....through that I've learned to slow down on judging, to respond rather than react, and to recognize that spark of God in everyone.

I've also learned to lighten up.... it's all temporary, after all.

So, my answer is through difficulties my growth was ignited and through peacefulness, it continues.


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paraclete asked on 05/25/06 - Gossip worthy of a Christian?

Carl and Sam were at odds with each other. They could not even remember the initial cause of friction...but their hostility had festered through the years.

Pastor Fred was deeply concerned, so he prayed that God would use him as a peacemaker.

Pastor Fred called on Carl. "What do you think of Sam?" he asked.

"He's the sorriest guy in town!" Carl growled

"But," Pastor Fred replied, "you have to admit that he's a hard-working man."

"No one can deny that," said Carl. "I've never known a person who worked harder."

The next day Pastor Fred visited Sam. "Do you know what Carl said about you?"

"No, but I can imagine his lies," Sam responded angrily.

"This may surprise you," said Pastor Fred, "but he said he's never known a harder worker."

"He said that?" Sam was stunned.

"By the way, what do you think of Carl?" Pastor Fred asked Sam.

"It is no secret that I have absolutely no use for him." Sam replied slowly.

"But you must admit he's honest in business," said Pastor Fred.

"There's no getting around that," said Sam grudgingly. "In business he's a man you can trust."

The next day Pastor Fred met Carl again. "Do you know what Sam said about you? He claims you're absolutely trustworthy in business, that you are scrupulously honest."

"Well, how 'bout that," reacted Carl with a smile.

Soon the gossipy Pastor noticed Sam and Carl would cautiously nod to each other in a friendly sort of way. Before long they were shaking hands, talking, even visiting in each other's homes. Today they are best of friends.

Many people, even church folk, seem to delight in promoting a fight by carrying news of ill-will. Learn a lesson from Pastor Fred's tactic of positive-gossip. Let your *gossip* be to spread words of praise and healing. THAT's the only gossip that's worthy of a Christian.

purplewings answered on 05/26/06:

I love it! I've seen that happen where I work. The Priest passes the good words and forgets the others.....if only we could all do that huh?
It's actually fun.


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excon asked on 05/24/06 - Jesus is Watching

Hello Christians:

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, "Jesus is watching you."

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight out, and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a vacation after the next big score, then clicked the light on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, "Jesus is watching you."

Freaked out, he shone his light around frantically looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

"Did you say that?" He hissed at the parrot.

"Yep," the parrot confessed, then squawked, "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar relaxed. "Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?"

"Moses," replied the bird.

"Moses?" the burglar laughed.

"What kind of people would name a bird Moses?"

"The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus."


purplewings answered on 05/24/06:

So then, Moses was warning the burglar about Jesus? Poor Jesus sure had some disloyal friends didn't he?

This is a very Christian post, excon. I think you're getting the hang of it at last.


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arcura asked on 05/22/06 - Is there anything that could be of Chrisitan concern about this?


The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried
48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This
was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She
carried no evaporators (fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27, 1798,
the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475
officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She
provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, she set sail for England.

In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured
and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, and
though unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.
Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000
gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no
cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.

Now these guys knew how to drink!

<#> <#> <#>
Now let’s take another look at these Navy statistical figures.

According to the story, Old Ironsides was at sea for 208 days. Not including the rum they may have confiscated from scuttled ships, the crew drank an average of 1,212 gallons of rum, whiskey or wine each day. Each man’s daily ration would have been 2½ gallons!

That’s enough to keep each man fallen down drunk and a several days severe hangover for those that survived alcohol poisoning.

purplewings answered on 05/23/06:

Goes to show people would rather drink than eat when it's between the two choices.

Did this come from the Big Book of AA?

It's a good story, I've heard it before.

Bet there were plenty of guys with sick stomachs and big heads when they finally got back to shore.

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hOPE12 asked on 05/23/06 - No longer living for ourselves???

Hello Everyone,

What does it really mean to "no longer live for ourselves?

(2 Corinthians 5:15) 15 and he died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up.

How can we do this? What steps must we take?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 05/23/06:

I think it means that we are all connected through God's love and spirit and the way to live in peace is to reach out beyond ourselves to those in need. Whether they need a friend or a nurse, we can supply them. In so doing, we move outside our own selfishness and can treasure our lives.


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kindj asked on 05/23/06 - Christians and Illegal Immigration

I've seen the questions here and elsewhere about how we, those of us that are Christians, are to handle this immigration issue.

I just read the following article, and I think the gentleman sums it up pretty well.

Commentary: A Biblical Perspective on Illegal Immigration
Mark Earley
President, Prison Fellowship

Throughout America recently, more than a million illegal immigrants poured into the streets. They took the day off from work, forcing many businesses to close for the day.

They got everyone's attention. However, it appears they only inflamed an already overheated debate. And the early polls are not showing any change in public opinion.

We need to pause and take a good look at the roles of the Church and the government here. They are different and, in some ways, conflicting. But this is not the first time such a conflict has arisen, and it is possible to formulate a thoughtful Christian perspective that takes both roles into account. Many Christians are giving it serious thought and coming up with good analyses.

First of all, as Christians, we are to care about the poor, widows, orphans, strangers, and that means aliens in our land. That's explicitly commanded in God's Word. Leviticus 19:33-34 is a good example. It says, "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born."

That settles the question of how we personally, as Christians, and how the Church at-large treats illegal aliens in our midst. But what about the other question of their legal status in the country? Those are two different things.

The Bible has something here to say as well. It states that government's job is to preserve order and do justice. St. Augustine famously said that peace flows from order. As a former attorney general, I can tell you that enforcing the rule of law is very important to order and peace.

Congress needs to provide the resources for proper immigration control and establish a program that enables us to process those who have earned the legal right to stay as citizens. In the meantime, we must abide by the law. If thirty years of prison ministry have taught us anything, it's that we can't cave in to those who take the law into their own hands. Such disrespect for the law sets a terrible example to everyone. We have to look at what the law says and enforce it.

The hard truth is, if people come here illegally, they cannot be granted amnesty. That simply encourages millions more to cross our borders. Of course, securing the borders is vital to national security. It's also important that immigrants come here, but through an orderly, established legal process And employers cannot be allowed to continue to ignore the law against hiring illegal aliens. If we do not enforce the law, we are teaching millions a terrible lesson. We are telling them the law does not matter.

Failure to enforce the law has created this problem, and the ironic aspect is that the very blessing illegal aliens come here to secure for themselves is precisely a result of an economy and society made strong by the rule of law.

It's true that an unjust law is no law at all, as Martin Luther King famously said. But this is not a case of an unjust law. To secure our borders and to provide for an orderly process of immigrants is a just law, and the Church needs to respect that law even while it administers aid, compassion, and love to those in our midst.
Agree? Disagree? Care? Don't care?


purplewings answered on 05/23/06:

Exactly right. If those who came illegally are allowed to make gain from it, why wouldn't everyone else try to do the same?

I like that those who are here and doing well can stay and continue their work as guest workers. But I really like that they too will have to go through the process to become legal citizens.

It's not just one ethnic group that wants to immigrate here - but many. They would all see the way it's handled and become resentful and defiant too.

Yes, I agree with the writer.


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tomder55 asked on 05/23/06 - Students Make A Stand For Their Rights, Defy ACLU And Judge’s Order To Censor

Hats off to Russell County High of ‘06! I applaud these young men and women for standing up for their 1st amendment rights, and setting the example for others.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

The ACLU filed suit on behalf of one student who felt offended that a prayer would be included in their graduation ceremony. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley granted a temporary restraining order sought by a student. Here is how the students responded to the attempts to censor them.

The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge’s order banning prayer at commencement.

About 200 seniors stood during the principal’s opening remarks and began reciting the Lord’s Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.

The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life.

The challenge made the graduation even better because it unified the senior class, Chapman said.

“It made the whole senior class come together as one and I think that’s the best way to go out,” said Chapman, who plans to attend the University of the Cumberlands with her twin sister Megan.

The graduation took place about 12 hours after a federal judge blocked the inclusion of prayer as part of Russell County High School’s graduation ceremonies.

purplewings answered on 05/23/06:

That's pretty funny. Good for those kids to have the nerve to do as they believed in spite of.....
It actually wasn't part of the grads program then. It was just a spur of the minute thing that happened. Almost God-directed.

Once done, it can't be undone.

I'm always happy to see the ACLU with egg on their face for the way they ignore the masses in favor of the one lonely dissenter. I'll bet he wasn't happy though. He won - and oh wait a sec....he lost. LOL


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Erewhon asked on 05/21/06 - When Is It Right To Abandon Our Personal Quest For Spiritual Truth?

It is evident that any open-minded search for truth requires courage, constancy, and humility. To quote an ancient prayer:

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,
From the laziness that is content with half truth,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all the truth,
O God of truth, deliver us.

Is it ever right to abandon our quest for spiritual truth, and, if so, when is it right to do so?

purplewings answered on 05/22/06:

Earth school graduation day comes with physical death.

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jjgoss asked on 05/20/06 - Pat Robertson Predictions...

...In another in a series of notable pronouncements, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said God told him storms and possibly a tsunami would hit America's coastline this year...Do you believe him?...I mean, God would talk to some people...but Pat Robertson?.....Would God talk to a person who said that American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip?...

purplewings answered on 05/21/06:

......and do you know for a fact that God doesn't speak to certain people?

I'm not into fundamentalism but if he believes that God talks to him, that's his right to do so.

To follow him is one thing, to deny his right to express his beliefs is another thing.

Isn't it great that we can hear so many ideas on religious beliefs and sort through them to arrive at our own?


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excon asked on 05/20/06 - Santa Clause

Hello Christians:

If they had a Santa board on AW, and the people there were fervent believers in Santa, would you participate? Would you deride them? Would you ask them how Santa feels? Would you ask them how Santa thinks? Would you feel silly talking about Santa with a real Santa believer? Would you want to tell those people that Santa doesn't exist? What would you say to someone who receives messages from Santa?


purplewings answered on 05/21/06:

Hi ya s-excon

I get your drift. LOL

I guess first I'd have to ask myself if there is any danger in believing in Santa Claus. I don't think there is so then I'd want to know how long they've believed that way, and on what foundation.

I'd want to know their personal experiences that led them to believe, and to continue believing as they do.

I'd also ask them if they believed in a Higher Power than Santa or if they held only Santa in that esteem.

I'd ask if they were happy with their belief and if they truly are, I'd tell them to go for it but keep an open mind that there may be something else as well.

In other words, I'd treat them just as I'd treat those who believe in Hinduism,Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, Wicca, Magic, or even Good Fairies, or any other system that is based on kindness, and decency.

I'd suggest they read as much as possible, learn as much as they can from others in society, and believe what makes the most sense to them. Which is truly believing and not pretending to believe, as many do.

Who am I to deride anyone's beliefs. and Who is anyone else to deride mine? If I should happen to believe God is an intelligent force of energy, how would I feel if someone told me that was just plain ridiculous?

For someone to underscore anyone elses belief system, they'd better have died and returned with all the facts to prove they know.

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ROLCAM asked on 05/20/06 - John's two Greek words ??

1) " agape " and

2) " phileo "

In your view what do these two words fully express?

purplewings answered on 05/20/06:

Agape is the principle of love for all - It is all encompassing, in the way Jesus reached out to others, without knowing them or their history. It is to love because love is what we are in our deepest heart.

Philio is more of an affection. A quiet comfort. A welcome.

...and then there is Eros......but you did not ask about erotic love, did you? It's ok. We all know already.

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Erewhon asked on 05/19/06 - Christians and Jews to be identified by Yellow and Red respectively in Iran if proposed law is appro

New Iranian law to require Jews to wear yellow band

A new dress-code law reportedly passed in Iran this past week mandates the government to make sure that religious minorities - Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians - will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public, the Canadian National Post reported on Friday.

Under the new law, which still awaits final approval from Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Jews will have to wear a yellow band on their exterior in public, while Christians will be required to don red ones.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter responded to the new law Friday night, saying, "Whoever makes Jews anywhere wear the yellow star again, will find themselves in a coffin draped in black."

Furthermore, according to the law, the Iranian government has envisioned that all Iranians wear "standard Islamic garments" designed to remove ethnic and class distinctions.

The purpose for the law was to prevent Muslims from becoming najis "unclean" by accidentally shaking the hands of non-Muslims in public.

Ophir Paz-Pines, minister-without-portfolio responsible for culture, sports, science and technology, who is also a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset, called on the government's secretary to ensure the issue be immediately addressed during the next Cabinet meeting.

"The State of Israel was created after the Holocaust in order to ensure it would not be repeated. The yellow star is a bright red warning sign that obligates us to muster the entire world in the face of events there [Iran]."

Paz-Pines also called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to make the issue his top priority when he visits Washington D.C. next week to meet US President George W. Bush.

Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin said, "Israel could no longer be satisfied with warnings, and that the moment Jews are forced to wear the yellow band, Israel must act to evacuate all Jews from Iran." He added that, "Israel must stand at the forefront of efforts to separate Iran's crazy and Hitlerite regime from government control."

"The new law resembles the Holocaust," said head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, Rabbi Marvin Heir, and warned that, "Iran was nearing Nazi Ideology."

According to Army Radio, Wiesenthal Center officials sent a letter to United Nations Director General Kofi Annan urging him "not to ignore" the new law, and reminded him that, "The world ignored Hitler for many years."

The new law was drafted during the presidency of Muhammad Khatami in 2004, but was blocked. That blockage, however, has been removed under pressure from current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

According to Ahmadinejad, reported the National Post, the new Islamic uniforms will establish "visual equality" for Iranians as they prepare for the return of the Hidden Imam.

The final shape of the uniforms is yet to be established but there is consensus on a number of points.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations released a statement saying, "We have been seeking to clarify these reports but do not yet have confirmation. There are clear indications that various Iranian government agencies, including the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, are working on new uniforms to be introduced in the fall.

"While such legislation would be reminiscent of dark periods in the past, like the Nazi era when Jews and others had to wear identifying badges, it is also consistent with the racist and extremist ideology propagated by President Ahmadinejad.

We are monitoring the situation and seeking to ascertain the facts in order to determine the appropriate response."



purplewings answered on 05/19/06:

This kind of gives me the chills. It's like going back in time and marking people to be damaged or killed.

I really like the remark made by Jackreade. If the Iranian people have any integrity they should all show up wearing the yellow band. But then again, would they be risking their own lives to not follow their leader?

I like the Iranian people that I've met online and otherwise. They are not mean & trying to harm others. In fact those I've talked with seem almost too good to survive.

They really want help over there. They want Democracy. I can see why.

They're being enslaved as surely as Saddam enslaved his people - with the unspoken promise of harm to come.

I'll be interested in the outcome of all this.


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revdauphinee asked on 05/18/06 - GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
8)you know your old when your back goes out more than you do!

purplewings answered on 05/18/06:

Terrific. I never want to grow up but I do want to grow the option.

Very cute Dorothy. Thank you.

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excon asked on 05/18/06 - A line in the sand

Hello Christians:

Borders??? Let’s talk about borders.

Here’s the scenario: You live in Louisiana. You’re poor. You’ve been wiped out by a hurricane. There’s no work in the entire state. You have a family to feed. Alabama has jobs, but they passed a law that said these jobs are only for Alabamians. You could get one of those jobs. Do you go?

Is it the Christian thing to do, to respect the laws of Alabama, and let your children go hungry? Or is it the Christian thing to do, to provide for your family, even if you have to break an Alabama law?

Now, I know that a lot of you won’t answer the question, even though I KNOW you understand the question I’m asking. You’ll poke holes in my supposition instead. OK.


purplewings answered on 05/18/06:

Hi excon,

You already know the answer. None of us are going to twiddle our thumbs and watch our children starve to death. I'd cross the border in a second if it prevented that from happening. However, first I would try to go across the lines legally by petitioning the powers that be,and maybe even demonstrating
against the politicians and bring some necessary attention to the cause. A person usually has time to take some productive steps before the actual starvation creeps in. You know if you have no money and no job and the food cupboard is beginning to look sparse...that it's past the time to put a plan into action.

You see, it's not just the Mexicans, but people from all over the world that would like to come here and do it NOW. The truth is that there are groups of people who wait up to 20 years, maybe more, to be able to immigrate here. (I know a family that waited exactly 20 years) A minority family in the middle east has plenty of reasons to get out of there too. They couldn't think of coming without sponsors here willing to help them and a huge chunk of change in their pocket.

I think we have to be available to all nations and ethnicities and not give it all to one group. The need is huge. How about Africans? My guess is that plenty of them would love to get away from that cruel and diseased environment....can we take them all?

I don't have the answers, except to do everything in ones' power to go the legal way and if that what you gotta do.

No one was promised a rose garden - maybe that's why we have brains and brawn to help us through?

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paraclete asked on 05/18/06 - mixing of the species

Hi just for purplewings. Now lets for get about cats and dogs and get down to the question of the evolution of the species.

I don't know about you but this article sickens me. No wonder God was specific about beastiality and that includes "mixing" the species.

Humans, chimps 'got it on'
By Leigh Dayton

May 18, 2006

BEFORE they went their separate evolutionary ways, the ancestors of chimpanzees and people got up to plenty of, well, monkey business.
Moreover, this went on for about four million years.

The most detailed analysis conducted of human and chimpanzee DNA reveals that after an initial separation from a common ancestor, between five and six million years ago, the species continued interbreeding.

The implication is that speciation - the separation from a common ancestor - wasn't the simple process scientists previously believed.

Instead, it happened over millions of years during which "episodes" of hybridisation took place before the final separation into two distinct species, US researchers claim in a paper published online by Nature.

"For the first time, we're able to see the details written out in the DNA," said biologist Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "What they tell us at the least is that the human-chimp speciation was very unusual."

According to Dr Lander and colleagues at Harvard University, they didn't expect to find evidence of human-chimp hybrids. "Hybridisation is commonly observed to play a role in speciation in plants, but evolutionary biologists do not generally view it as an important way to produce a new species in animals," said team leader Nick Patterson, a biostatistician at the Broad Institute.

Geneticist David Reich, of Harvard Medical School, added: "That such evolutionary events have not been seen more often in animal species may simply be due to the fact that we have not been looking for them."

While some experts in human evolution remain sceptical of some of the details, they are impressed nevertheless.

"It's a totally cool and extremely clever analysis," said Harvard biological anthropologist Daniel Lieberman, who was not involved in the research.

"My problem is imagining what it would be like to have a bipedal hominid and a chimpanzee viewing each other as appropriate mates, not to put it too crudely," he said.

Previous studies comparing human and chimp DNA could only offer an estimate of how long ago the two species split by averaging the amount of divergence in their genes. Generally, those studies come up with a figure of about 7 million years.

But thanks to the completion of the chimpanzee genome project in September, the team had about 800 times more data.

That meant they were able to look at how specific sections of the genetic code evolved.

For one thing, the new data suggest the human-chimp split was much closer to the present than the seven-million-years date that fossils and previous studies indicated - certainly no earlier than 6.3 million years ago, and more likely around 5.4 million.

The data also show that the human-chimp split probably took four million years. That's because in some parts of the DNA sequence, the genetic difference between humans and chimps is so large that those genes must have been isolated from each other nearly 10 million years ago.

But in other places, the human and chimp lines are so close that they appear to have still been swapping genetic material at least until 6.3 million years ago. One of those areas is the x-chromosome. Female chimps and humans have two x-chromosomes, while males have an x and a y.

"The genes that are a barrier to speciation tend to be on the x-chromosome," team member Assistant Professor Reich said.

But as interbreeding is known to place strong selective pressures on sex chromosomes, that would explain the discovery that the x-chromosome is some 1.2 million years younger than the rest of human chromosomes, the team suggested.

purplewings answered on 05/18/06:

Thanks for posting this. It's quite interesting and could actually provide that all important answer to the continuous question of "where do we come from".

I was hoping everyone would recognize the tongue-in-cheek of my posting but this one is definitely not meant to be humorous.

I'm thinking that during Neandrathal mans' time, short legged and long armed humans were in proximity to a chimp so this dna note may not be that far off. And of course there were fewer people and less choices for mates too, so why not?

Chimps were, and still are smarter than many people, and certainly could keep someone warm on a cold night or day, with all that fur.

It's only that darned flea thing that might turn someone off.


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From a South African immigrant by the name of Kim du Toit, May 15, 2006 -- 7:58 a.m.

"Here’s the “amnesty” I would offer illegal aliens: bus fare or train fare back to the Mexican border, with a small food allowance after fingerprinting and DNA sampling. Then, if they are ever caught in the
country again without legal papers, it’s straight to jail, and involuntary deportation. In other words, illegals get one, and only /one/ chance to make things right."

Do you have a better way? (I'm neutral)


purplewings answered on 05/17/06:

I don't think I'd want Kim du Toit as National Advisor. What in the world happened to compassion?

How much harm are these illegals doing to this country that we should throw them back into a misery great enough for them to risk their lives getting away from?

I think if they close the border now as they should have done decades ago, they will prevent a continued flow of illegals,
while applying the "guest worker" status to those already here for five years.

People are still human beings no matter where they were fortunate or unfortunate enough to be born.

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HANK1 asked on 05/15/06 - LET'S GET SOMETHIN' STRAIGHT:

When I post a quote, complete with quotation marks that should be quite obvious to the reader, and I do NOT offer an opinion, why do some of you think I agree or disagree with the content? It should be evident that I'm neutral. All I ask for are comments. Got that?


purplewings answered on 05/16/06:

Hi Hank,

YOu don't need to explain yourself. We're all adults here. Just post as you choose and let everyone decide for themselves how to interpret it. It doesn't matter really, as long as you know what your intentions are.

You can't please all the people - sometimes you can't please any of the people......who cares?

Love ya,

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MaggieB asked on 05/15/06 - What have you done this week

What have you done this week to go the extra mile for Christ?
Who this week can say they have been not only blessed, but touched by your servants heart?

purplewings answered on 05/16/06:

Hi Maggie,

I know what I've done and so does my Creator. If I start telling about it, I come off only as a phoney and a braggert, which I don't want to do.

My spirit tells me I'm in a good place. I haven't offended anyone and that is a big deal sometimes.

Have a wonderful day.

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blueboy. asked on 05/14/06 - ATON

Who would like him back on board?

A simple yes or no will do.

purplewings answered on 05/14/06:


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paraclete asked on 05/06/06 - what is a wrong fact?

Now I'm a straight forward sort of guy, either something is fact or it is not but I don't get what's being said here, a "wrong fact" in other words it is a fact but we don't want you to know, or it's not a fact, but a lie. Is a wrong fact in fact a lie.

You would have expected a high ranking church official would be very clear about such things, but if he's confused how about his flock?

Code film a sin: Cardinal

May 7, 2006

A HIGH-RANKING Vatican cardinal has spoken out against The Da Vinci Code, the best-selling novel and upcoming film, saying it is based on "wrong facts".

Cardinal Francis Arinze said the book did not offer "a good presentation of Christianity at all. Rather, it does the very opposite, presents it wrongly: wrong facts and orientating people against Christianity".

Arinze, a Nigerian cardinal with a reputation for conservatism, made his comments in a documentary produced by the Rome-based TV news agency RomeReports and made available Friday.

He is the latest church official to criticise the best-selling novel by Dan Brown.

"Any film produced on the basis of that book is already in error from the word go, no matter how interesting it may be," said Arinze, who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Church officials have spoken out repeatedly against Brown's novel and the upcoming film, which stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou and is scheduled for release this month.

The novel, with 46 million copies in print, contends that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had descendants, and that Opus Dei - a conservative religious organisation close to the Vatican - and the Catholic church were at the centre of covering it up.

RomeReports is a religious TV news agency whose director teaches at the Opus Dei-run University of Santa Croce in Rome.

The documentary The Da Vinci Code: A Masterful Deception, was directed by Rome-based journalist Mario Biasetti.

purplewings answered on 05/07/06:

Thanks for all the laughs with you and Ronnie speaking your own *wierd* languages up there. Fun stuff.

I'm wondering if this book is fiction or non-fiction. Most fiction writings are based on fact, it's only inaccurate on dates, times, addresses, names, places, ethnicity, gender, country, and other unimportant details.

If the "Code" book is listed as Non-Fiction, it has to adhere to facts....look at what happened to the James Frey who wrote "A Million Little Pieces". Big troubles.

Anyway, what difference can it make to anyone if Jesus was married or not? He was human so why would he not propagate? It makes sense to do so.


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hOPE12 asked on 05/03/06 - Why oh why is there so much hatred!

Hello Everyone,

We all live in this world and yet not many have learned to value of getting along in love, and respect for others. People in this world think they are the greatest, while looking down on those who are different then themselves. Why??

Contention and strife are generated by propagandists who pour out floods of misinformation. Goaded on by blind hatred, misguided individuals may then resort to outrageous acts of violence. Also, legitimate grievances often add fuel to the flames. But when you see the despair, the hopelessness, the agony of numberless victims of hate-inspired prejudice and violence, you may well ask in distress: ‘

My questions is:
Why? Why is there so much hatred?
Can it possibly be made to disappear?
Will the world ever be completely free of hatred?’
Why, even though some on this board do not even know each other in person, show hatred and disrespect?
Will the people on this board even show love and respect to those who are different then they are?

Just wondering why when two people are different with different views on a matter, can't show respect for the other person? Why?
Take care,

purplewings answered on 05/03/06:

Hatred is about the hater, not the hated. The hater may have low self-esteem, while at the same time be arrogant and critical as a way to pull themselves above others in the eyes of society.

Everyone wants to feel unique and of value, but the hater needs it more than average because of their deep seated feelings of being 'less than'.

Pray for the haters that they might one day feel comfortable enough with themselves that they will also feel comfortable with others.

It goes right back to the saying: "To truly love others, one must first love themselves."

Sometimes, it's not hatred but merely people exhibiting boredom by being quarrelsome.
That's just human nature.

Remember the Book by Don Miguel Ruiz....The Four Agreements. One of which is: Don't take things personally.

People are as a whole very self-centered, far more concerned with their own situation and feelings than anyone elses, that's why I say it's really about them - not their target. Don't let it ruin a second of your life.


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Laura asked on 05/02/06 - Do you believe that God really does give signs?

The reason that I ask this is because for the last few months we have been faced with a daunting decision concerning my husbands work. The plant that he worked at shut down. He was offered several differant options in the way of severence/early retirement packages. None of which we felt really comfortable with.

He really is not ready to retire. He has been with his company for 28 years but is only 50. Last week after much soul searching and praying we decided that he would go ahead and apply for the pre-retirement. It was a hard decision to make. As we prayed about this we decided to just give it to God. We both asked God to lead us in the right path. I know that my hubby was very anxious at the thought of looking for other employment after 28 years at the same place. And being 50, he wasn't sure how hard/easy it would be to find work. The pre-retirement would neccesitate a suplimental income.

He signed his papers and we decided that it could only be God if something as astounding as an offer to another plant came through in the next 7 days (we litteraly said that to each other because any re-assignments weren't expected until late June after everyone had to make a decision one way or the other or take a chance an offer might come when we didn't know if one would or not. He wasn't sure he would even have enough seniority to qualify for another plant.

That was last Thursday. Hubby had 7 days to change his mind or it was set in stone..

TODAY he got a certified letter in the mail offering him a position at another plant!!! I truly feel that God has closed one door but opened another and blessed us. Hubby went down and declined the pre-retirement offer and signed the papers for the re-assignment. I guess you could call this a praise report as well. In addition, it comes with a rather large sign on bonus that will allow us to become debt free as we start this new adventure.

By the way.. Hi everyone...long time no speak! Have had alot on our plates lately. I hope Kansas is a nice place to live in.. :-)

purplewings answered on 05/02/06:

Hi Laura,
That's really good news. Congratulations on creating a new life - change is good for all.

Yes, I think the signs are given if someone is paying attention.


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Erewhon asked on 04/30/06 - Is this a proper and Christian way for a Christian country to behave?

Woman too thin to live in Australia

A British woman was told she was too thin to live in Australia. Helen Evans, who weighs 6 st 11 lbs. (95 lbs.) and is 5ft 3ins tall, faced deportation after she failed a health check.



purplewings answered on 05/01/06:

Sounds like a precurser to Naziism. Eliminating those with less than *perfect bodies. Sheesh! What will be next? No one too tall or too heavy? And after that, no one with dark hair? Etc. etc.

What a great way to kill a person's self esteem.


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excon asked on 04/30/06 - The Future - Or is there one?

Hello Christians:

Ok, let’s say life started around 6,000 years ago. From what I gather, a lot of you think it’s gonna end pretty soon. Then what?

If some of you don’t think it’s gonna end, what’s our (God’s) next step? Or is there a next step? Are we gonna conquer space? Are we gonna immigrate to other planets, or even other galaxies? Are we gonna populate the Universe? Is this just the beginning?

Do you guys even think about that?


purplewings answered on 05/01/06:

Good morning excon,

I think we'd have to consider ourselves pretty darned arrogant to believe we have the power to terminate the earth.

We have the means to alter it, and to destroy each other, but the earth will remain as long as God determines. We don't own it, we are only tenants.

Man will continue to explore, renovate and learn. We have that spirit within, given to us as a means to our own survival. Sure one day we'll inhabit other parts of the universe, but it's not going to be soon enough for any of us to witness - at least from where we stand today.

There is so much more to be learned and conquered that man can be assured of his survival for many centuries to come.


Blessings, :D

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paraclete asked on 04/26/06 - Is it a serious matter to swear on the Bible?

Church secretary grilled on kickbacks

By Malcolm Brown
April 27, 2006

A CHURCH secretary had diverted people on community service orders to do $7500 worth of renovation work on the home of his own father, the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard yesterday.

Hammurabi Barhy, secretary of St Melkeh's Syrian Orthodox Church, Punchbowl, agreed that he had asked the probation and parole service for skilled tradesmen on the basis that they were to work on the church.

The ICAC in its Operation Cadmus, opened earlier this month, has exposed a series of rorts of the community service system administered from the probation and parole service's Bankstown office.

In other evidence yesterday, the parish priest at St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Punchbowl, said he did not understand the "seriousness" of signing false statements that two men assigned to his church had completed their community service.

The Very Reverend Father Elias Khoury also agreed he had already lied to the ICAC but he had been moved by compassion and was trying to "cover" for them.

Questioned by Michael King, counsel assisting, Mr Khoury said he did not think it was a serious matter when he swore on the Bible to tell the truth.

Mr Barhy said he had had a verbal agreement with a probation and parole officer at Bankstown that if there was not enough work at the church, people on orders could work on homes of "parishioners".

The ICAC commissioner, Jerrold Cripps, QC, asked how many such premises Mr Barhy had taken the offenders to. Mr Barhy replied: "Two or three."

Mr Cripps: "Where were they?"

Mr Barhy: "Rookwood Cemetery."

Who lives there? - No one lives there.

The hearing resumes today.

purplewings answered on 04/28/06:

Well, I'm a church secretary and am often assigned the position of finding work for offenders so they can complete their probation. No one has ever told me exactly what kind of work I'm allowed to assign them. Although I've never taken any to my home to work for me personally, I do try to help them get their time in so they can breathe freely again. I don't see what's wrong with them doing work outside the church. There usually isn't enough work inside the church to accomodate these people. The idea is for them to "work"...So what's the big deal here?

Now, the Priest? That's a little different to request specific skills for his own purposes........I think he needs to answer to that one. He probably believes he is merely helping people gain their freedom from probation too, and can't see the harm in having those people do something beneficial. I'm not so sure that's terrible either but it's worth bringing up.

I guess we'll find out what the courts think huh?


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tomder55 asked on 04/27/06 - Mitt Romney

I have been reading alot of stuff from fundamentalist Christians who are saying that if Mitt Romney is selected as the Republican candidate in 2008 ,they will not vote (even if Evita Clintoon is the Democrat nominee) due to his Mormon faith.

Would you vote ,or not vote for him due to his religious beliefs ? Did you vote for or against President Bush because of the beliefs he openly espouses ? Is there any circumstance where the faith or non-faith of the candidate is the deciding issue to you ? When Romney's father ran for the Presidency in 1968 I do not recall that the issue was ever raised .

In 1960 JFK's candidacy raised simular concerns because he was Catholic . He gave a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association .Here is an part of it :

I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the first amendment's guarantees of religious liberty; nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection. For if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.

I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation.

This is the kind of America I believe in -- and this is the kind of America I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we might have a divided loyalty, that we did not believe in liberty, or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened -- I quote -- "the freedoms for which our forefathers died."

And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers did die when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches -- when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died Fuentes, and McCafferty, and Bailey, and Badillo, and Carey -- but no one knows whether they were Catholics or not. For there was no religious test there.

purplewings answered on 04/28/06:

A president's faith choice wouldn't necessarily change my vote, but a complete lack of faith probably would. Sure there is separation of church and state, but there need not be a separation of morals, ethics, or compassion from that person. Somehow, I don't feel that compassion in atheists. I could be wrong, but Sarnian hasn't shown me much on this board and I don't have others to judge by right now. I think we all need a grounding force outside ourselves, whether it is Jesus, Buddha, or some other Master of the Divine. Without it, man becomes arrogant and even mean.

In the case of Mitt, I'd have to study his past record and see how he relates to the common citizen. My tendency is to lean toward Republicans because they're the ones that seem to get something done.......Well, Jimmy Carter raises peanuts and Bill Clinton raises hell but outside of that.......nada. Bush? He takes on the BIG stuff that will take years to find out if it was a massive achievement - as I suspect, or something less.

LOL (to you Ronnie)


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Erewhon asked on 04/27/06 - Jaw-Jaw or War-War?

World Religious Leaders Hold Interfaith Summit in Washington
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WASHINGTON — Religious leaders from a broad swath of worldwide faiths met Wednesday at Georgetown University for an annual interfaith forum being held in the United States for the first time.

The two-day International Prayer for Peace is the largest regular interfaith gathering in the world, with an expected 100 speakers from many religions, including Roman Catholics, Jews, Methodists, Muslims, Mennonites, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Shintoists. Charity groups, academics, journalists and diplomats will also take part.

Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick welcomed the crowd of 500 and called the interfaith summit the dream of Pope John Paul II, who started the meetings 20 years ago.

"He knew the more we could get on the same page, the same place, the same relation to a God that loves us all, the more powerful our prayers would be," McCarrick said.

While the meeting's goal is not to draft policies, organizers hope it will foster greater ties and communication between major faiths that come into contact more frequently — not always peacefully — in an increasingly globalized world.

This year's panel discussions include the role of religion in combatting AIDS, poverty and genocide, and in resolving conflicts between faiths. Religiously motivated terrorism also is a central theme.

Karen Hughes, the U.S. undersecretary of state tasked with improving the nation's image in Islamic countries and elsewhere, said faith has been misused for political ends by terrorist groups. But she also said religion could help erode support for terrorism.

"Killing oneself and using that death to try to kill as many other innocents in the process is not a legitimate use of any religion," she said.

Imam Warith D. Mohammed said those who perpetrate terror for religious purposes "have no light."

"They have no understanding, they can't see, so they are striking out in the dark," he said.

Pope John Paul II, who frequently reached out to other faiths, held the first meeting in October 1986 when he gathered with leaders from non-Christian religions in Assisi, Italy, to pray, fast and hold the World Day of Prayer for Peace. Several warring governments and insurgent groups in such places as Lebanon and Nicaragua heeded his call for a 24-hour truce that day.

Organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio, a lay Catholic group based in Rome, the meetings have traditionally been held in Italian and other European cities.


Do you approve of these interfaith assemblies, or do you think should they be shooting each other instead of talking to each other?

purplewings answered on 04/27/06:

Hi Ronnie,

Of course they shouldn't be shooting each other - or were you asking that with humor?

I think these are a wonderful way to bring about understanding and unity which will eventually benefit the whole world.

Of course those who want to murder and maim in the name of religion are fear filled. This says it all right here.

Imam Warith D. Mohammed said those who perpetrate terror for religious purposes "have no light."

"They have no understanding, they can't see, so they are striking out in the dark," he said.

When so much fear is present, God is not. God and Fear do not share space.

Once those people find they are not different than the rest of the people, they will know God and the healing can begin.

As long as these interfaith discussions are available to all, eventually all will learn and find that certain peace. The light will be there. Something different and not understood is where fear grows.

Good posting.


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revdauphinee asked on 04/27/06 - A reason for my muslim predudices

I know many here acuse me of muslim bashing and I freely admit my predudice hoqwever after reading the following this is one of my reasons for asking is this what islam has to offer the world??

She asked for it!
four days after he set foot in Australia.the rape spree began,And
during his sexual assault trialin a new south Wales courtroom, a pakistani man began to berate one of his tearfull 14 yr old victims because she had the temerity to shake her head at his testimony.
but she had every reason to express her disgust.After taking an oath on the quoran,the man-known only as MSK-told the court he had commited four attacks on girls as young as13 because ""they had no right to say no to him ""since they were not covering their faces
nor wearing a headscarf, and therefore, the rapist proclaimed :"I am not doing anything wrong."
MSK is already seving a 22 -yr jail term for leading his three younger brothers in a gang rape of two other young Sydney girls in 2002.In his defence,he argued that his cultural background was resposnsible for the crimes!

purplewings answered on 04/27/06:

Hi Dorothy,

Please don't relate one sick individual with an entire religion. I'll bet you could find many similar situations done by Christians, Jews, Hindus or others that had nothing to do with the religion and everything to do with the person themselves.
That's why we have court systems.


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hOPE12 asked on 04/26/06 - Purpose or no purpose????

Hello Everyone,

Do you feel that when God created us that he created us for a purpose? If so what is that purpose? And why do you so answer?

If you are a person who does not believe in creation, why then do you feel you are here on earth? Do you have a purpose in living and if so what is it?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 04/27/06:

Good morning Hope,

Yes I believe we are all here for a purpose. The purpose is to learn and evolve the planet to a higher degree of spirituality and unity.

I think we all came equipped with specific knowledge and abilities that we should share with others so eventually each of us will have all of it.

The real purpose is LOVE.


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MaggieB asked on 04/26/06 - IRAN SAYS, "THE MUSHROOM CLOUD IS ON ITS WAY."


The threats that Israel faces from Iran escalate daily…sometimes it seems almost hourly. First, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boldly declares that Israel should be “wiped from the map,” then he audaciously announces that the Holocaust is a myth perpetrated by guilt-stricken Europeans. Now he is exporting that hatred globally.

Reports have surfaced that Islamic militant recruiters are enlisting homicide bombers in England because of the ease with which they can enter Israel. As many as 70 attacks have been threatened in coming days.

When faced with total annihilation of her kinsmen, Esther was challenged by Mordecai with these words: “For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Esther rose to the challenge, proclaimed a day of prayer and fasting, and was an instrument in God’s hands to deliver her people from destruction.

In a recent rally in New York City (yes, the same New York City attacked by terrorists on 9/11) a group calling themselves “Islamic Thinkers Society” waved banners and flags symbolizing the desire to bring the entire world under Islamic rule. Here are just a few excerpts from this chillingly radical group:

The leader of the group cries in Arabic, and those gathered respond in kind:
“With our blood and our lives we will liberate al Aqsa!”
Leader: “Israeli Zionists, what do you say? The real Holocaust is on the way. Takbeer!”
Response: “Allah Akbar!”
And another verse of this demonic chant issues this warning:
“Zionists, Zionists, you will pay! The Wrath or Allah is on its way!
Israeli Zionists you shall pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
The mushroom cloud is on its way! The real Holocaust is on its way!”

This diabolical tirade ends with:
“Islam will dominate the world. Islam is the only solution!
Takbeer…Another mushroom cloud right in the middle of Israel!”

It is time for the people of God to stand up and be counted! It is time to call this nation to fall on our faces before God Almighty, repent, and seek His face for deliverance for our nation and for the nation of Israel.

II Chronicles 7:14 says: If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

(Your comments are welcomed)


purplewings answered on 04/27/06:

I know that deep hatred for Israel exists, but I don't understand why. If it comes because the Palestinians have no home, it is a waste of a lifetime for everyone who hates.

There was plenty of room for the Palestinians and they chose to fight and be nomads instead.

It must be more than that for people to carry so much hatred. Would anyone choose to carry such poison inside themselves?

And the really bad part is that this man leads and influences the rest of the country who don't necessarily feel the same way.

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jackreade asked on 04/19/06 - God and Suicide

Why does God consider killing yourself an unforgiveable sin?

Why is an all loving, forgiving, and understanding God not willing to forgive someone who kills themselves? If we go by the theory that God is the creator of the universe and he made everything then we can go by the theory that he made mental illness. So why would he not forgive an individual, a Christian, if he takes his life do to schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar illness?

purplewings answered on 04/20/06:

IF God is truly our loving Creator, anything we do with our free will would be forgiven.

The Christian God doesn't seem to me to be a loving God. The way it has been interpreted,
we will all burn in hells fire for not believing Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Well, lots of folks pretend this is what they believe, but you can't pretend yourself into believing - you can read and listen and then you believe what makes sense to you and for that you are not forgiven?

The God of my belief would forgive an act of sucicide, but that person who ended their own life before achieving what they came here to achieve would not have reached a higher spiritual level and would have to be reborn into a new body to continue the lesson until it's finished.

That means no rest or complete peace.....until.

We need to treasure ourselves as the gift we truly are. Until we are able to do that completely, we are not one with God. Murdering ourselves is not treasuring the gift.

Even mental illnesses can be helped with proper diet and medication if that person chooses life. No matter how much sadness a person gets, there is always enough joy to even it out and make us want to live.

I will never believe God is that horrible man who cannot forgive what He himself created.

Of course this is my own more, no less.


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ROLCAM asked on 04/18/06 - Knowledge on Angels ?

Where can I find out what angels names mean?

What are they ?

purplewings answered on 04/18/06:

This was a toughie but you could try this website. They are very strong on angels.

submitted by Ross Bainbridge

Many civilizations believe in angels, and many names have been given to the various angels. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible names only three angels that have a definite individual personality. They are Michael – Prince of Angels, Gabriel – Archangel of Annunciation, Resurrection, Mercy, Revelation, and Death, and Satan – The Fallen Angel. (Gabriel is considered by many theologians to have been female.) There are many other angel names mentioned in other texts, such as Uriel, Raphael, and Metatron, the origins of which can be extremely complicated to uncover.

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paraclete asked on 04/17/06 - don't tell me Capitalisn is Christian, because it ain't?

For a divine economy, follow the Old Testament

By Ross Gittins
April 17, 2006

MOST of us assume the solution to problems with the economy lies in coming up with something new. But a group of Christian thinkers in Cambridge believe the answer lies in getting back to the economic model laid out in the Bible.

Don't laugh. This is Easter Monday. And it's a group with more PhDs than you've had haircuts. But you're allowed to be amazed. The things these guys want to do would shock a lot of Christian economists and business people.

They're from a Christian research group, the Jubilee Centre, founded by Michael Schluter. Dr Schluter is better known as the director of the Relationships Foundation.

You didn't know there was an economic model in the Bible? That's because it's in the Old Testament, part of the laws laid down for the conduct of Israelite society.

According to the economist Paul Mills, when you consider Old Testament law as a whole, "an integrated economic model emerges which satisfies the prerequisites for both efficiency and fairness without the wasteful and damaging side effects entailed in the current Western economic model".

Our present compromise between relatively free markets on the one hand and, on the other, a sizeable role for the state in the form of redistributive welfare and regulation, has a number of worrying features that are undermining its long-term viability.

"The workings of the market system tend to commercialise every relationship and erode family and community structures by emphasising rootlessness, mobility and the 24-hour society," Dr Mills says.

And the complex system of taxation, redistribution and welfare has various well-known shortcomings: taxation distorts people's behaviour, much effort is expended on compliance and collection, and then the welfare system distorts recipients' behaviour.

"Rather than a system of taxation and redistribution after the process of wealth creation, the initial allocation of wealth needs to be roughly equitable and maintained over people's lifetimes," he says.

The key to understanding the biblical model is that the production and sale of goods is almost entirely left to the unfettered operation of market forces, while the laws governing the use of labour, the allocation of land and the role of finance are tightly drawn so as to ensure a minimum level of income and wealth for all.

The rough equality of wealth, income and opportunity are encouraged without the need for a large centralised state. And the interests of "finance" are made subservient to those of interpersonal relationships.

Apart from the ceremonial food laws and the observance of the Sabbath, the only constraints on trade in biblical law were the exhortations to merchants to maintain fair weights and eschew adulteration.

Without a lot of redistribution and regulation, there was a capped and proportional rate of income tax. Tithes of 10 per cent of income were levied - although the number of tithes per year could vary.

There was a well-defined code of property law and debt collection, including fines for theft and bonded labour for the repayment of debts.

But here's where it gets interesting. When the Israelites first entered the land of Canaan, the land was divided by tribe then clan and family, ending up relatively even per person.

A freehold market in agricultural land was prohibited, but a leasehold market was permitted, thus giving families in dire straits access to the market value of their land.

But every 50 years there was a Jubilee year, when the ownership and occupation of land had to revert to the traditional family owners, regardless of who'd leased the land in the intervening period.

Thus the Jubilee ensured that the initial extended family structure was preserved and rooted in an ancestral locality. It prevented the accumulation of large estates by the wealthier families or foreclosing moneylenders and also prevented the development of permanently landless poor.

Turning to wages, the welfare provisions of biblical laws should have kept them above subsistence levels. Employers were required to pay wages punctually and be responsible for workers' safety. And no one was to work on the Sabbath.

[Then, of course, there's the scripture quoted by Christ, which Professor Ian Harper should make the motto of his Fair Pay Commission: "the labourer is worthy of his hire".]

Now finance. It was prohibited to charge interest on loans, whether for commercial or consumption purposes. And all debts - and debt servitude - were cancelled every seven years.

The prohibition on interest encouraged both non-interest charitable lending and risk-sharing business finance. That is, the lender would be rewarded with a share of the business's profits - but would also share any losses. This was considered a less exploitative way of providing funds to firms.

So by these unusual means - the Jubilee, the Sabbath and the laws preventing usury and permanent indebtedness - were created the conditions necessary to give economic independence to the poor and to place a brake on the economic power of the rich.

"Of course," Dr Mills concedes, "the application of these biblical insights to contemporary conditions requires great care". Modern conditions and technologies are very different. And you'd have to win broad public support, not just seek to impose things by religious authority.

"Nevertheless, the practical wisdom of the model itself is too valuable to be dismissed as lightly as it has been," he says.

Take, for instance, the Jubilee year, which not only recognised the contribution of widespread property ownership to economic freedom, but underlined the importance of rootedness and a sense of place.

"It is only through the physical and prolonged proximity of extended family members and neighbours that society can deliver care of dependants without ever greater reliance on the state or on purchased 'care'.

"Yet current economic thinking encourages workers to be as geographically mobile as possible, leading to prolonged disparities in regional incomes and to family breakdown," he says.

So you wouldn't try to reinstitute the Jubilee literally but government policy could be more explicitly geared to encouraging regional rootedness and identity. For example, students could be encouraged to study at local universities through preferential loan terms.

Or, take the Sabbath. The principle of having one day of rest in every seven "ensures that work and consumption can't be the all-encompassing object and idol of our lives".

"The requirement to rest from work is a necessary antidote to the prevalent materialism of Western society that believes getting and spending to be the goal of existence."

And wider benefits to society flow from a shared day off, we're told. It enables families and communities to develop a rhythm and routine to their lives and plan shared leisure activities with other family members.

Without a common day off, families in particular have difficulty co-ordinating their time off, leading to stress and a higher divorce rate.

"It is barely credible that politicians and employers pay lip service to 'family-friendly' employment practices but do not promote Sunday as a shared, common day of rest," Dr Mills concludes.

Ross Gittins is the Herald's Economics Editor.

purplewings answered on 04/18/06:

BS. Does he man suggest that we go backwards in time? Maybe we should just go back and live in caves & fight the dinasaurs, huh?

If you're not moving forward in this world, you will soon be buried.

Capitalism may have some holes in it but I wouldn't want to be the one doing all the labor while the guy next to me slept, and ended up with as much as I. That would cause hard feelings, jealousy, and arrogance among neighbors.

The Old Testament? Sheesh! That was a downright scary book.


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Erewhon asked on 04/15/06 - Have you seen this?


By – Ernest Borgnine

Back in 1975, I was offered a part in the film Jesus of Nazareth, which through the years had been shown at Easter time on NBC television. Our cast, directed by the renowned Franco Zeffirelli, included Anne Bancroft as Mary Magdalene and Olivia Hussey as Mary, mother of Jesus, I played the part of the centurion who was present at the crucifixion, the one whose servant had been healed by Jesus.

Much of the film was shot in Tunisia on the Mediterranean during January and February of 1976. A cold, damp wind continually knocked over floodlights and stung us with desert sand. I was uncomfortable in my thick leather uniform. My neck ached under the ponderous metal helmet, and I even began to pity those ancient Roman soldiers who were called centurions because they commanded a hundred men.

When it came time for my scene during the crucifixion, the weather was chill and gray. The camera was to be focused on me at the foot of the cross, and so it was not necessary for Robert Powell, the actor who portrayed Jesus, to be there. Instead Zeffirelli put a chalk mark on a piece of scenery beside the cameraman, "I want you to look up at that mark," he told me, "as if you were looking at Jesus."

"Okay," I said, moving into position and looking up at the mark as instructed. "Ready?" I hesitated. Somehow I wasn't ready. I was uneasy, "Do you think it would be possible for somebody to read from the Bible the words Jesus said as He hung on the cross?" I asked. I knew the words well from the days of my childhood in an Italian-American family in Connecticut, and I'd read them in preparation for the film. Even so, I wanted to hear them now.

"I will do it myself," Zeffirelli said. He found a Bible, opened it up to the Book of Luke, and signaled for the camera to start rolling. As Zeffirelli began reading Christ's words aloud, I stared up at the chalk mark, thinking what might have gone through the centurion's mind.

The poor Man up there, I thought, I met Him when he healed my servant, who is like a son to me, Jesus says He is the Son of God, an unfortunate claim during these perilous times. But I know He is innocent of any crime. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

The voice was Zeffirelli's, but the words burned into me – the words of Jesus (Luke 23:34-46). Forgive me, Father, for even being here, was the centurion's prayer that formed in my thoughts. I am so ashamed.

"Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise," said Jesus to the thief hanging next to Him. If Jesus can forgive that criminal, then He will forgive me, I thought, I will lay down my sword and retire to my little farm outside of Rome.

Then it happened. As I stared upward, instead of the chalk mark, I suddenly saw the face of Jesus Christ, lifelike and clear. It was not the features of Robert Powell I was used to seeing, but the most beautiful, gentle visage I have ever known. Pain – seared, sweat-stained, with blood flowing down from thorns pressed deep. His face was still filled with compassion. He looked at me through tragic, sorrowful eyes with an expression of love beyond description. Then His cry rose against the desert wind. Not the voice of Zeffirelli, reading from the Bible, but the voice of Jesus Himself, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

"Cut!" Yelled Zeffirelli. Olivia Hussey and Ann Bancroft were crying too. I wiped my eyes and looked up again to where I had see Jesus – He was gone.

Whether I saw a vision of Jesus that windswept day or whether it was only something in my mind. I do not know. It doesn't matter. For I do know that it was a profound experience and that I have not been quite the same person since. I believe that I take my faith more seriously. I like to think that I'm forgiving than I used to be. As that centurion learned two thousand years ago, I too have found that you simply cannot come close to Jesus without being changed.


Are you familiar with this?

purplewings answered on 04/17/06:

That's really interesting Ronnie.

Only people who are open to such things get to experience them.

Personally, when my son had his auto accident in 95 and was doa at arrival. I got to witness all phases of the supernatural.

I heard sounds, felt tremendous air changes, and saw shadows as well. I lived in a waiting room outside the NICU for two weeks and never learned my way around the hospital because every time i opened the door to go anywhere, someone would be walking by and say "follow me".

My son lived by the way - but it was an experience that has kept me warmed and open in my own beliefs ever since.

The messages are all out here if we allow ourselves to recognize them.


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jackreade asked on 04/15/06 - Would You Like Fries With That?????

A Dutch company looks to bring a protein created from transgenic cows to the American public.

by Maggie Wittlin

humanicow.jpg Credit: George Green

In his 2006 State of the Union address—between thanking outgoing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for her service and heralding his wife's Helping America's Youth Initiative—President Bush slipped in a call for a ban on "human-animal hybrids." It's probably a phrase that brings thoughts of centaurs, fauns and harpies to some minds. But, despite the President's stern disapproval of mixed-species clones, we may soon find food products derived from them not just in our research labs, but on our kitchen tables within the next year.

A Dutch biotechnology company called Pharming has genetically engineered cows, outfitting females with a human gene that causes them to express high levels of the protein human lactoferrin in their milk. According to Pharming's website, the protein—which is naturally present in human tears, lung secretions, milk and other bodily fluids—fights against the bacteria that causes eye and lung infections, plays a key role in the immune system of infants and adults and improves intestinal microbial balance, promoting the health of the gastro-intestinal tract.

"Since the protein has the ability to bind iron, is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, is an antioxidant and also has immunomodulatory properties, large groups of people might benefit from orally administered lactoferrin," the company literature reads.

Scientists have tested the toxicity of the protein—isolated from the cows' milk—on rats. They found that—even at the high level of 2,000 mg recombinant human lactoferrin per kg body weight—orally consumed human lactoferrin has no adverse effects to complement all the supposed benefits already mentioned. Pharming has, therefore, filed a notification with the FDA asking that their lactoferrin be labeled "Generally Recognized As Safe" (GRAS). If the FDA approves this product, human lactoferrin derived from these cloned cows could be in America's yogurt, popsicles, sports drinks and snack bars within months.



purplewings answered on 04/16/06:

Since it's an added benefit, I would think people would be pleased at this idea. Most of us want to live and be healthy as long as we possibly can.

It's not like we're going to actually taste it, and everyone will soon forget there is anything different about it. (If they ever knew there was)


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HANK1 asked on 04/16/06 - Resurrection:

Would Jesus have risen from the dead if He had been cremated?

purplewings answered on 04/16/06:

If we can believe Jesus rose from the dead, we can surely believe he would also rise, no matter if he were cremated or buried.

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HANK1 asked on 04/16/06 - CREMATION:

Is cremation a Christian practice or is cremation a heathen practice?

purplewings answered on 04/16/06:

The Catholic church doesn't endorse it but will accept it in many cases.
The Orthodox church also doesn't endorse it and some diocese' will not offer prayers for the deceased once it's been done. Many priests will go against that diocesan directive and do so.

I think it is going to become a neccessity since land is needed for the living.


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arcura asked on 04/14/06 - Do you agree with what the pope said about Judas?

Pope Focuses on Mystery of Judas' Betrayal
Apostle Rejected God's Love, Says Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 13, 2006 ( In his homily at the Mass of the Lord's Supper, Benedict XVI assured the faithful that the mystery of Judas consists precisely in his rejection of God's love.

Judas Iscariot personifies "treacherous man," for whom money, power and success are more important than love and he does not hesitate to sell Jesus, the Pope said at the Mass on the evening of Holy Thursday.

The Holy Father's comments came in the wake of the recently divulged "Gospel of Judas," an ancient document that puts the apostle and his betrayal of Christ in a positive light. It describes Judas, in fact, as obeying a divine ordinance in handing over Jesus to the authorities.

In his homily, Benedict XVI, on the contrary, stressed the freedom of the apostle who betrayed Jesus for 30 denarii, as the canonical Gospels explain.

"The dark mystery exists of the rejection, made present with what happened to Judas and, precisely on Holy Thursday, on the day that Jesus gives himself up, should make us reflect," said the Pontiff. "The Lord's love knows no limits, but man can put a limit."


Benedict XVI then asked: "What does this do to treacherous man?" And he responded: "The rejection of love, not wanting to be loved, not loving. Pride which thinks it has no need of purification, which closes itself to the saving goodness of God."

"In Judas," he said, "we see the nature of this rejection still more clearly. He judges Jesus according to the categories of power and success: For him, power and success alone are the reality, love does not count.

"And he is avid: Money is more important than communion with Jesus, it is more important than God and his love."

"In this way," the Holy Father explained, "he also becomes a liar, who plays a game of double jeopardy, and breaks with truth, someone who lives in lies, thus losing the sense of the highest truth, of God."

"In this way, he becomes hard and incapable of conversion, of the confident return of the prodigal son, and throws away his destroyed life."

purplewings answered on 04/14/06:

Yes, I agree with the Pope. Jesus knew it was to happen but Judas didn't. Jesus knew it would be Judas that betrayed him...............he could read his heart.

Unfortunately, Judas was not alone in his thinking......the world is full of people who think power and success are more important than love.

fortunately, the world is more full of people who think love is more important.

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Jesushelper76 asked on 04/13/06 - HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!

Happy easter to everybody on the board. Hope you all enjoy the holiday. God bless!


purplewings answered on 04/14/06:

Happy Easter to you and your wife Joe!

I love the Easter season. The sun shines, flowers bloom and grass greens, and everyone is ready for a renewal.

God bless.......

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HANK1 asked on 04/13/06 - I'M PROUD OF YOU ALL:

This is the kind of participation on this Board that I've always hoped would show itself. You're a great bunch! You've made my wish come true. THIS IS A GREAT BOARD WITH A GREAT BUNCH OF EXPERTS! (I'M REALLY GLAD TO BE BACK!)

HAPPY EASTER! (Wear your bonnets to Church, gals.)


purplewings answered on 04/13/06:

Hi Hank,
Glad you're back safely. You're right that the board is doing well with no disputes, but lots of different views being shared.

No EAster bonnet for you have any idea what our hair looks like when we take them things off?! Shocking hat-heads.

Blessings to you.

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paraclete asked on 04/12/06 - How is this for confusion?

Not all Christians believe in the resurrection

By Jill Rowbotham

April 13, 2006

JESUS "dies" every year on Good Friday but rises on Easter Sunday and church attendance is resurrected with him.

More than 4.5 million Australians will make time for tomorrow's services of remembrance or Sunday's services of rejoicing. Some will do both.

Secular citizens should not assume such devotion is automatic. Some believers stay away, and some of those who go are not really believers, at least not in the bodily resurrection. The latter include some high-powered Christians.

Attesting to this is one of the Church of England's heaviest hitters, the Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, who was in Australia recently on a lecture tour. An eminent theologian, an expert on the historical and biblical Jesus and a staunch believer in the resurrection, he baulks at denouncing those who are not.

"I have friends who I am quite sure are Christians who do not believe in the bodily resurrection," he says carefully, citing another eminent scholar, American theologian Marcus Borg, co-author with Wright of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions.

"But the view I take of them - and they know this - is that they are very, very muddled. They would probably return the compliment.

"Marcus Borg really does not believe Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead. But I know Marcus well: he loves Jesus and believes in him passionately. The philosophical and cultural world he has lived in has made it very, very difficult for him to believe in the bodily resurrection.

"I actually think that's a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don't want to say he isn't a Christian.

"I do think, however, that churches that lose their grip on the bodily resurrection are in deep trouble and that for healthy Christian life individually and corporately, belief in the bodily resurrection is foundational."

On that basis, there is no problem in Australian churches: according to the most recent figures, compiled in 2002 by the Christian Research Association's Philip Hughes, a whopping 83 per cent of people who attend church monthly or more often believe in the bodily resurrection.

Surprisingly, so do a fair number of the general population, 40 per cent or thereabouts. About 35 per cent were neutral or unsure and 26 per cent disagreed.

"A lot of liberal Christians would say resurrection is really about Jesus coming back to his followers in a new form and it was not a physical form," Hughes observes. "As far as a lot of people in the pews are concerned, I don't think that the exact form of the resurrection is critical.

"While some people may consider that the resurrection was not an event that could have been recorded scientifically, I do not know any Christian who says the resurrection did not occur in some sense."

Wright understands even firm believers can jib at the notion that Jesus died and re-emerged into life, but says it is not a new problem: "It's not that modern Western culture makes it difficult to believe in the resurrection; it's always been difficult to - indeed, impossible - to believe in the resurrection. In the ancient world nobody believed it."

Most of the Greeks believed in an afterlife spent in Hades, he says, but they agreed there was no resurrection: death was irreversible. The Jews believed in it, but in what Wright has called an imprecise and unfocused way.

But the earliest Christians concluded, on the basis of the empty tomb and the later appearances of Jesus to his followers, that easily the best explanation for these events was that Jesus had risen from the dead. The further, theological step was that God was responsible for raising him.

Wright is among those who have concluded the same thing.

Those who cannot believe it have offered a plethora of other explanations of what could have happened, including theories about the cause of Jesus' death. Last year, for example, an article appeared in the Thrombosis and Haemostasis journal with the catchy title: "Did Jesus Christ die of a pulmonary embolism?" (The journal's answer: yes.)

Some think that his post-death appearances to followers were visions and another theory is that he died on the cross, was buried and his followers later removed his body and reburied it elsewhere.

Among those who believe he didn't die are the subscribers to the swoon theory, which holds that he lost consciousness and was laid in the tomb, where he recovered. Speculation about his "after" life varies.

In recent years the world's readers have been treated to a colourful scenario courtesy of American novelist Dan Brown, whose The Da Vinci Code has become a publishing phenomenon. It has sold more than 40 million copies and sales are set to surge again with the release of a paperback edition in the US market for the first time, followed by a movie of the book, starring Tom Hanks, which will premiere in mid-May.

Christian groups are gearing up to expose the various heresies contained in Brown's plot, which revolves around the premise that Jesus' bloodline survived because he had a child with Mary Magdalene. The secret dynasty was the true Holy Grail, a term hitherto applied to the cup from which he drank at the last supper with his disciples before he was killed.

Wright has been dealing with da Vinci-style phenomena for years and is matter-of-fact about the anti-theology in Brown's book, which is, he says, a variation on the gnostic heresy that flourished in the early centuries after Jesus lived.

Gnosticism was a rival version of Christianity that was suppressed in the early church by what became the orthodox view. The recently published Gospel of Judas, translated from Coptic, for example, is a gnostic text that claims history's great betrayer was acting on the orders of Jesus.

"The really interesting thing about The Da Vinci Code is why, granted it's such manifest rubbish, do people want to take it seriously?" Wright asks. "Why has it been such a runaway bestseller? It's not because it's a page-turner, because there are millions of page-turners out there."

He theorises that it says what modern Westerners want to hear.

"The mythology about Christian origins that so many people in the Western world want today is a form of gnosticism in which self-discovery, particularly discovery of gender-based aspects of 'myself', whether it's the sacred feminine or whatever, is hugely important.

"Learning that in fact the heart and centre of genuine spirituality is not about my insides but about God coming in love and grace to do something fresh for me is not what people want to hear.

"In other words, people don't want what Christianity authentically offers: they want this substitute called gnosticism in one of its many forms; and The Da Vinci Code plays right in," Wright says.

"I have seen this over 20 years: every two or three years somebody else writes a book saying that Jesus didn't think he was the son of God, didn't die on a cross, or didn't rise from the dead, and that really he was like a sort of Buddha figure, teaching us that if only we look deep within ourselves, we will find a new sort of authenticity.

"When I saw Dan Brown I said this is just another of those, except that he's written it in the form of a racy novel, so it kind of catches on a bit more."

The background for this musing about spirituality and meaning is postmodernism. Wright says Christianity lost a firm grip on Western culture when its grand narrative - that Jesus provided a way for the world to be saved - was displaced by the grand narrative of the Enlightenment, which relied instead on science and rationality. This in turn has been attacked by postmodernism, which deconstructs everything.

What, then, can modern Christian leaders do to emulate the success Brown has had with gnosticism? How can they ensure Christianity "catches on a bit more"?

"My agenda, culturally, is to find our way through postmodernity and out the other side into whatever new worlds are waiting to be born," Wright says. "And I think the church has what it takes to help Western culture make that journey."

The detail is reduced to the notion that actions speak louder than words and the best proselytising is done when non-Christians are so struck by the example of a believer's life that they ask what makes them so different.

"Jesus was going around 'doing the kingdom', healing the sick, cleansing lepers, feeding the hungry, he was celebrating at a party with all the wrong people, transforming people's lives and saying cryptic things such as: 'Let me tell you what the kingdom of God is like'," Wright says.

"The church has it the other way around. It has tended to say: 'We must say it, say it, say it as clearly as possible and if there is any energy left over, we'll do a bit of it as well."'

Wright was delighted when one of his theology students returned from a summer in Zambia and told the provost of his university that he was planning to do development work in the Third World. On being quizzed about why he wasn't studying politics and economics, he replied: "Because theology's so much more relevant."

Wright says: "He had seen that what was happening in these African villages was they were worshipping Jesus exuberantly and then going out and 'doing' it, then coming back and worshipping, and then going out, and they were making a real, transformative difference.

"That's why churches are full in Africa."

After reading through that lot, now you know why I am a fundamentalist.

purplewings answered on 04/13/06:

Interesting article. If Christians don't believe in the ressurrection, there is no Christianity. That is the total basis for all of it.

Most of the Greeks believed in an afterlife spent in Hades, he says, but they agreed there was no resurrection: death was irreversible. The Jews believed in it, but in what Wright has called an imprecise and unfocused way.

I don't see how that can be true. The Greek Orthodox church is the original Christian Church. It was founded in the year 33 and has always believed in the Ressurrection. I know this to be true because that's where I work, and am involved with all of the Orthodox Priests,Bishop and Archbisop, and have even met the Patriarch who visited Michigan from his home in Turkey a few years ago, and made our church his base, bringing thousands of people from all across the nation.

However, I have my own doubts about the Ressurrection and a few other traditions of the Orthodox and catholic church. No matter about my doubts, because I want to believe and try.........You can't make yourself believe in either do or don't.

Regardless, the Christian faith is wonderful in that it's based on compassion and is something for people to hold onto and hope for.


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jackreade asked on 04/11/06 - Female Beating

DAMASCUS, Syria, April 10 — Syria's first comprehensive field study of violence against women has concluded that nearly *one married woman in four* surveyed had been beaten. The study was released last week as part of a report on Syria by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

The findings have been published in local news media, helping to draw attention to topics like domestic abuse and *honor killings* that have long been considered taboo in this conservative society.

NewYorkTimes-Middle-EastSection on-line


I don't know what the statistics are, say, in England or in Germany or the USA for female beating.
Judging by the results of this study, I know that it is dangerous to be a woman in Syria.

purplewings answered on 04/13/06:

Women are easy marks for cowards, having no real muscle to push back. It doesn't matter what country it is, although I hope America is a few paces ahead of the dark ages.

I suppose that's why we have had so many proactive women for years. We know we're smart and capable and deserving, so how else can we fight for it?

I'm sad for the women in the middle and far east....... When are the men going to get a clue?

The saying still holds true: "hurt people, hurt people". It would benefit everyone if all people could be treated with kindness.

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paraclete asked on 04/08/06 - now this is what I call being sold out.

Man tries to sell soul online
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Shanghai

April 05, 2006

A 24-year-old man has tried to sell his soul on China's most popular auction website and managed to get 58 bids before operators pulled his advertisement.
"It was just an impulse," the seller, who requested anonymity, said today from Shanghai.

The man posted the announcement on Taobao last week asking a starting price of 10 yuan ($1.71).

But the firm decided that selling one's soul was inappropriate and deleted the ad on Friday after Chinese media reported it.

By then there were 58 bids from people with the highest at 681 yuan ($116.80).

Other than guns or drugs, the auction company has not posted rules against selling anything else online.

"We pulled down the posting because we think only God can control souls," Taobao's public relations manager Tao Ran said.

"Souls are just not supposed to be sold since they cannot be seen or touched."

The man said a female journalist later bought his soul for a price he refused to disclose.

"I will give it to her by express mail," he said.

"The girl kept telling me not to sell the soul, to keep it. I did want to cancel the deal but there is a rule in Taobao that if someone bids for the goods, it cannot be taken off the shelf."

What do you do with a soul once you have bought it? This is a serious question?

purplewings answered on 04/08/06:

Not that I believe you can sell your soul in this particular manner, but my guess is that you would treat it as you would your own. By that,I mean keep it in a postive environment,
nourish it with clean air and lots of sunshine, and all of natures joys...trees, flowers, rivers, birds, etc.

Perhaps it would work best if you could imagine there were an angel with you at all times, and behave as such.

I would wonder how this man will remove the soul from his body.. being as the body eventually leaves and the soul remains.....? (IMHO)

By the non-virtue of trickery and deceit, this soul needs some one to guide it to a better place anyway.


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whitefawn_ asked on 04/07/06 - Does Hell Exist To You?

Does Hell Exist To You?

Ec 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten
Ec 9:6 As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun
Ec 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God hath already accepted thy works.

ECCLESIASTES "The Teacher “The Preacher” The Leader of the Assembly" Authorship: Most Probably Solomon the son of David.
All the Word of the Bible is suppose to be for up-building and reproving and for understanding and for correcting one another. And above all TRUTH. And the word is God.

So why would this Preacher whom wrote Ecclesiastes lie to us when he say’s there is no feelings in hell. Because if there were Feelings in hell you would feel the fire, you would have knowledge you would have understanding. Now I know some use the word Hell from the book of Matthew,

Some books in the Bible are used with symbolic reasoning, as was the rich man and the beggar. This is where so many Christians get the Hell fire.

Now we know that Jesus spoke in Parables because, some could not understand and some of the Bible was of riddles. Because some people have hard hearts and will not come to know the true God, That he is of love and not of cruelness. The Punishment for Hell is simply to know nothing ever again. The reward of loving Jesus is to have everlasting life and never to taste death.

I myself can't and know for a fact that Hell is simply the grave. I also believe that many Preachers use hell Fire to scare people into God, and it is a good way to make money. Fear?

Thank you, Joy,

purplewings answered on 04/07/06:

Hi Joy,

To me hell is of our own making right here on earth. When we become prideful and separate ourselves from others, or greedy, jealous,lazy, and any of the other deadly sins, we suffer the consequences and that is hell to me. We create fear within our own self and no longer live the life that was given to us.

I don't believe there is a hole filled with fire to toss us in..................I heard that when I was a child and had panic attacks from the image.


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purplewings answered on 04/07/06:

I get confused with the old and new Testaments Tony. Some churches still maintain the old one with old rules. Thanks for explaining.

I once doubted God loved me but haven't in many, many years.

My beliefs are a little different than some on the board but I believe in love, ethics and unity so can't see any wrong in that.

Blessings to you.

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CeeBee2 asked on 04/06/06 - Christian solution for immigration problem

Why can't churches adopt immigrants and their families like they used to do with the Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian families back in the 1970s? The family my church had adopted eventually became English-speaking American citizens who own a Vietnamese restaurant, and the children (some of whom I tutored) all ended up going to American colleges.

There could be a central office established for each church group (Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc.) with the phone numbers and addresses made public and advertised. Potential immigrants would connect with a church body, get approved, and be sponsored into this country. Congregation/parish/synagogue/mosque members would help each sponsored family with housing, furniture, clothing, schooling, becoming assimilated toward citizenship, education, jobs, and of course English lessons.

If every church body in the US did this, it would certainly be showing God's love to those in need ("the least of these") and would make excon happier.

purplewings answered on 04/06/06:

I think it's an excellent idea. It may not take them all, but it's a good beginning and will keep them from wandering the streets and doing crime to survive. The citizens will feel safer and life will be easier for them and the citizens all the way around.

They could conceivably turn some of the larger old intercity church buildings and abandoned schools into multiple housing units or even use dorm style housing. It can be done if people become determined to help.


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Erewhon asked on 04/06/06 - A moral quandary ...

This question is not confined to Christians: all persons of any moral stance can answer. It is an issue that is currently at the forefront of American religious life and politics, and some Christian denominations or denominational assemblies are sharply divided over it.


You live in a country where poverty affects fifty percent of the population, and you, your wife (or husband), and three children live in a dwelling made from old cartons, etc., at one of the garbage dump communities, and sort through the trash every day for food and items that will fetch a few cents. This is the only way you can keep your family alive. There is absolutely no help from local or national government. You are on your own, and you either eke out a living or else you and your children die. The community in which you, live has a high rate of child sexual abuse, violent crime, and one of the "Kings" of the dump, who has killed his enemies in plain sight, has sixteen wives and over one hundred children to them.

Some miles away there is a different country where you can find work and lift your family out of the dump situation, provide them with food, clothing, health care, and decent accommodation. The problem is that you would have to enter that country illegally and surreptitiously.

What do you do? Do you stay where you are and watch your kids follow you into a life time of despair, or do you cross the border and get work in order to save them?

purplewings answered on 04/06/06:

I know what I would do for my family in that circumstance. Even if I died trying, I would get them to a better place, however possible.

But, knowing it is illegal to come here without proper paperwork, I would certainly try to get the proper paperwork first.

I think it could be expected there will not be a welcome party. Firstly, they come as lawbreakers, and secondly, fear attacks citizens who see poor, desperate men hiding out in their neighborhoods....of course there is also fear they will suck up all available jobs and leave the citizens out of work.

We should offer sanctuary to such people, who can assimilate into the workforce & become self-supporting, if allowed. There should be organizations - church groups - to provide living quarters and jobs to get them started. They should be accounted for rather than wandering without means of support.

And it should be legalized to prevent only the criminals from coming. We already have enough criminals.

I think our lawmakers are working on this as we talk about it here. The time has come. Once it's legal, it will be more easily accepted among the citizens and people won't have to sneak and risk death just to get here. There will be rules to follow.......

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hOPE12 asked on 04/05/06 - Do You feel God is in Contorl?

Hello Everyone,

With natural diasasters, deadly diseases, corruption, terrorist attacks, wars, and crime, one can wonder if God is still in Control. What do you think:

Is God still in Control? What prove do you have that he is?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 04/05/06:

I believe God is in control. Certainly man is not.

My view is that everything on this planet arises from the actions and attitudes of man. When negative energy is sent into the atmosphere through thoughts or verbalization,
more negative energy comes about in the form of war and other violence. This negative energy intensifies to a point that affects climatic and other planetary conditions.

God only works through the heart and spirit of people, giving them wisdom to change their own thinking and behaviors.

That change is what brings about peace - taking us a step closer to knowledge, love and unity with our world.

IMHO only


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Mathatmacoat asked on 04/03/06 - In your dreams!

Man 'sleep-divorces' wife
From: From correspondents in New Dehli
April 03, 2006
A MAN who accidentally "divorced" his wife in his sleep has been ordered to separate.

Aftab Ansari uttered the Urdu word for divorce, "talaq", three times in his sleep, prompting his worried wife to discuss the matter with her friends, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Under Islamic law, a husband need only say "I divorce you" three times to secure a permanent end to his marriage.

Muslim leaders in the couple's village in West Bengal state found out and decreed that Ansari's unconscious utterances constituted a divorce.

The religious leaders said that, before remarrying, the couple would have to be apart for at least 100 days and that the wife, Sohela, would have to spend a night with another man and then be divorced by him.

But 30-year-old Ansari said he had no intention of leaving his wife of 11 years.
They have been ostracised because of their refusal to abide by the decision of the village leaders.

What a marvelous idea, dream you are divorced and you are, takes all the fun out of it don't you think?

purplewings answered on 04/04/06:

I guess she wanted the divorce since she must have told the authorities what he'd said.

He doesn't want it - should have worn a muzzle to bed.

It just goes to show how ludicrous it is to have such limp laws. Once again the man prevails though - he can easiy get several other wives while she has no such option.

On the plus side - no lawyers to pay.


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Erewhon asked on 04/01/06 - University of Tennessee Research Shows How to Reduce Stress and Hypertension ... .... ..... ...... .

The kindhearted act of forgiveness may benefit your health according to a study conducted by the University of Tennessee.

Researchers found that people who forgive report less stress and illness and fewer visits to the doctor than those who hold grudges.

In addition, experts have found that letting bygones be bygones can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

If these alone are not good and sufficient reasons for Christians to forgive, what other reasons are there?

purplewings answered on 04/02/06:

The poison of resentment certainly harms our spirit and since mind, body and spirit are connected, when one is sick, so are all three.
Forgiveness is not for the other person, who often doesn't believe there is anything for him to be forgiven for, but for the sick one who needs to heal.

Christians should forgive because they are following Jesus, who forgives all.

Good post.

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arcura asked on 04/02/06 - Do barbers exist?..................................

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.

When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."

"Exactly!"- affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

purplewings answered on 04/02/06:

Hi Fred,
This is a very appropriate analogy. Thank you.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 04/01/06 - OnLine Dating Produces Wave of Divorces

From TheWallStreetJournal on line:

"In 1995, Matt Frassica, tired of singles bars and set-ups by friends, tried his hand at dating online. There he met, and later married, a woman who also liked long walks in the rain and homemade lasagna. They were even featured in People magazine as a prototype of successful cyber-romance.

Then the fairy tale ended. Mr. Frassica said he realized he was gay, and the divorce was official last year. ****"We avoided getting to know the real person,"**** says the 34-year-old corporate recruiter in San Francisco. "All we knew was the profiles of each other." (His ex-wife confirms that.)

Some of the largest Internet dating sites are seeking new ways to stand out.

More than a decade after the Internet revolutionized dating -- about two million Americans met their spouses online, by one measure -- the sites face a new challenge: keeping these couples together. While most sites started out focusing on dating, they are increasingly using their success in the marriage arena as a marketing tool -- making the stakes higher if these unions start to go south.

While many happily married couples say they may never have found a mate offline, there are already indications that *meeting a spouse on the Web comes with its own set of potential pitfalls*. Some divorce cases, for example, highlight false claims made in the online profiles that led to the initial attraction. In addition, of course, there are the ***natural perils that can come with getting to know a person virtually instead of the old-fashioned way***."


purplewings answered on 04/01/06:

You know what causes so many divorces? Marriage. Not the way they met.

If they get married without having a face to face relationships, they'd have to be idiots.
The online dating is just the beginning to find out if they are attracted to each other.

You don't marry someone based on their date them and find out what their real story is, unless you're really desperate like that named couple may have been. If he just realized he was gay, I'd say he was a real game player. How old is a person usually when they know if they're attracted to males or females...? 12 or so?

I think it's an excellent way to meet possible suitors, or one can go to a bar and wake up with a stranger. Wonder how that usually works out?

Online dating is pretty interesting - and it will keep you busy. You don't have to settle for anything less than what you want.

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purplewings answered on 04/01/06:

Hi Stony,

Good to see you back on the board.
I'm hoping Florida will get a weather break this year.......and the rest of us too. Michigan had a fair winter this year so probably be a hot summer too.

I do believe there is a double standard in the law, not only when it comes to the sexes but age, nationality and profession as well. That's just the way it is - although I think laws should be upheld and the same sentence applied to same - same cases.

I don't think anything would have been gained to put this woman in prison. I also don't think the boy will have a problem later in life because of having relations with her.

I wonder how many 25 year old men have sex with 14 year old girls every single day?

...and don't get publicized for it either. I imagine that teacher will lose her certification to teach. That's a big punishment.

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ROLCAM asked on 03/29/06 - OLD OLD MAXIM.

Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.

purplewings answered on 03/30/06:

A good one, I think. After all, you can change and clean your clothes but your soul will be eternally yours.


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paraclete asked on 03/29/06 - certainly in need of prayer?

For those of you that don't get this, you will, your day is coming................................

Recently, I was diagnosed with : A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need water. I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: - the car isn't washed

- the bills aren't paid

- there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter

- the flowers don't have enough water,

- there is still only 1 check in my check book,

- I can't find the remote,

- I can't find my glasses,

- and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favour. Forward this message if you like, because I don't remember who the heck I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!


purplewings answered on 03/30/06:

Luckily you are not alone in this AAADD syndrome. At least in America there are supposedly more older folks than younger since the baby boomers have reached middle age.

I figure if people couple up, when one is going downstairs, the other can be going up and one of them is bound to eventually remember why.....and one of them will be in the right place to complete the plan. Teamwork will get the job done - sooner or later.

Laughter keeps us younger - unfortunately it doesn't help our memory. But then, who cares?


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CeeBee2 asked on 03/29/06 - Christian funeral.................................

Do you think this is a worthy poem to have read at my funeral?

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

purplewings answered on 03/29/06:

I don't know if it coincides with your own beliefs but it certainly does with mine. I would like to have it read at my funeral. It's a beautiful remembrance. Very spiritual.
I have read it before and felt at peace with every line.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/27/06 - Afghanistan Inquisition?

I read that Muslims marched through the streets chanting, "Death to Christians" after being notified that the Afghani man who converted to Christianity was being let out of holding.

The man has requested asylum in another country not yet named.

Clerics have urged that Muslims kidnap him and kill

I find it odd that religious leaders would preach murder. What do you think?


purplewings answered on 03/28/06:

It seems a little late to notice that's what they've been doing right along isn't it?

It is odd but consider the tenets of a religion that is not being accepting of any other beliefs or cultures..........and it is simply "following their religion".

Have they not already encouraged murder of others who don't follow their beliefs, throughout the world? Ask the Danish cartoonist or Salman Rushdie.......or the families who lost their children through attack in the Soviet Union.....or in Spain, or America.

How many outcries have been heard from the Islam communities?

Just my humble thoughts.....

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Erewhon asked on 03/27/06 - Crushing Human Potential ... is it an act of spiritual vandalism, or a divine mission? ...

Paul Natorp derived from Schleiermacher the idea that Gefuhl is der Wurzel of religion. In this case, feeling is not ordinary emotion, but a deep intuition of the Eternal.

However, being a Neo-Kantian, Natorp never states outrightly that he believes a God or the Eternal is actually there outside humanity. Nevertheless, religion, in its most profound nature, can take us each to the borders of the One or God.

For Natorp, this philosophical view of religion is the foundation for human culture and education.

Schleiermacher's basic insight is that every individual is born with a deep feeling for the Infinite. This intuitive insight is evoked by the granduer and harmony of the universe and the goodness of nature itself. This feeling, in turn, invokes piety or devotion.

Since all finite things exist in and through the Infinite, the study of the world of nature and its many manifestations should be undertaken with reverence and adoration.This contemplative view of religion, recognizes that there is nothing permanently "dead" in this world.

All knowledge, scientific and otherwise, is a contemplation of the manifestations of the Infinite.

For this reason, to stamp out a human's innate religious capacity by sectarian dogma or atheistic intolerance, is to crush the potential for real growth.


QUESTION: What possible motives could there be for attempting to crush human potential for growth?

purplewings answered on 03/28/06:

One motive might be that being there is big money and power in the leadership of religion, and of government, they can only thrive and expand with followers. People who grow beyond their teachings may strike out on their own and let those leaders fall.

Without leadership, people will likely do what they choose, and structure would become non-existant.....thus creating chaos.

Just a asked. :)

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wakan asked on 03/26/06 - Why is Islam showing us its uglyist face?

Riots and death in many places in the world over silly cartoons.
30 beheaded citizens in one place.
11 handcuffed bullet ridden bodies in another.
Explosives are put in boxes of candy.
Time bombs near schools kill students.
Three teenagers killed in drive by shootings.
It open season on Police Officers, many killed.
One Muslim cleric after another are demanding that a man be beheaded for converting to Christianity, but celebrate when someone converts to Islam.
And the list goes on and on and on.
Why are there no big or little Muslim protest demonstrations for peace?

purplewings answered on 03/27/06:

Ordinary Muslim people don't get involved in anything unless told to do so by their leaders. They are largely uneducated, lacking confidence in their own abilities,and tend to believe their leaders are like god on earth. The have always obeyed and until they learn better, they will continue to do so.

How long did they continue to vote for Saddam even though he tortured them because they wanted to live in peace?

I would think even the Muslim's in America are reluctant to challenge their own, perhaps fear of reprisal not only for themselves but the relatives still in the middle east.

Even here, we make little issue of the horrors accumulated by the Fundamentalist Islamic leaders. It's a feeling of helplessness, and yet a desire to understand and prevent.


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MaggieB asked on 03/26/06 - WHY? All because he "chose" to become a Christian and leave the "peaceable Islam".

By DANIEL COONEY, Associated Press Writer
March 26, 2006

KABUL, Afghanistan - A court on Sunday dismissed the case against an Afghan man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, officials said, paving the way for his release.

The move eased pressure from the West but raised the dilemma of protecting Abdul Rahman after his release as Islamic clerics have called for him to be killed.

One official said freedom might come as soon as Monday for Rahman, who became a Christian in the 1990s while working for an aid group in neighboring Pakistan.

Muslim extremists, who have demanded death for Rahman as an apostate for rejecting Islam, warned the decision would touch off protests across this religiously conservative country. Some clerics previously vowed to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he was let go.

Rahman was moved to Kabul's notorious high-security Policharki prison Friday after inmates at a jail in central Kabul threatened him, Policharki's warden, Gen. Shahmir Amirpur, said.

Authorities have barred journalists from seeing Rahman. But on Sunday, officials gave AP an exclusive tour of Policharki, which houses some 2,000 inmates, including about 350 Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

Amirpur said Rahman had been asking guards for a Bible but they had none to give him.

"He looks very calm. But he keeps saying he is hearing voices," Amirpur said.

Rahman was in solitary confinement in a tiny concrete cell next to a senior prison guard's office. AP was shown the cell door, but barred from speaking with or otherwise communicating with him.

A senior guard said inmates and many guards had not been told of Rahman's identity because of fears they might attack him.

But Amirpur vouched for the prisoner's safety. "We are watching him constantly. This is a very sensitive case so he needs high security."

The case set off an outcry in the United States and other nations that helped oust the hard-line Taliban regime in late 2001 and provide aid and military support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai. President Bush and others insisted Afghanistan protect personal beliefs.

A Supreme Court spokesman, Abdul Wakil Omeri, said the case had been dismissed because of "problems with the prosecutors' evidence." He said several of Rahman's relatives testified he is mentally unstable and prosecutors have to "decide if he is mentally fit to stand trial."

Another Afghan official closely involved with the case told The Associated Press that the court ruled there was insufficient evidence and returned the case to prosecutors for further investigation. But he said Rahman would be released in the meantime.

"The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly comment on the case.

"The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow," the official added. "They don't have to keep him in jail while the attorney general is looking into the case."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said she had not received official confirmation from Afghan authorities, told Fox News the announcement was "a very good step forward."

She said on CNN's "Late Edition" that the U.S. government had stressed to Karzai that religious freedom is a vital element of democracy.

"We're going to stand firm for the principle that religious freedom and freedom of religious conscience need to be upheld, and we are hoping for a favorable resolution in this case," Rice said.

The uproar left Karzai in an awkward position. While trying to address concerns of foreign supporters, he also has sought not to alienate religious conservatives who wield considerable influence in Afghanistan.

The court's decision was sure to anger at least some of the clerics who have strongly demanded that authorities enforce a provision in the country's Islamic-based laws calling for the execution of Muslims who abandon the faith.

"There will be big protests across Afghanistan," said Faiez Mohammed, a Sunni Muslim leader in the northern city of Kunduz. "This has shamed Afghanistan in the eyes of other Muslim countries."

A Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said it wasn't clear if the 41-year-old Rahman would be able to stay in Afghanistan or have to move abroad.

A prison official told AP that Rahman had been moved to a new prison Friday because of threats from inmates at his first jail.

Rahman was being prosecuted for converting 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He was arrested last month after police discovered him with a Bible.

In an interview published Sunday by an Italian newspaper, Rahman said his family, including his former wife and two teenage daughters, reported him to authorities.

He stressed that he was fully aware of his choice to convert.

"If I must die, I will die," Rahman told the Rome daily La Repubblica, which did not interview him directly but channeled questions through a human rights worker who visited him in prison.

Rahman said he chose to become a Christian "in small steps" after leaving Afghanistan around 1990. He moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, then Germany and tried to get a visa in Belgium.

"In Peshawar, I worked for a humanitarian organization. They were Catholics," Rahman said. "I started talking to them about religion, I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind."

After saying he was ready to die, he told La Repubblica: "Somebody, a long time ago, did it for all of us," in a clear reference to Jesus Christ.

purplewings answered on 03/26/06:

By putting him on public display like this, the Fundamentalists have effectively made certain no others will look toward Christianity. This man has great strength to face death with his religion intact rather than denouncing it.

I pray he will not be killed after all he's been put through.

God bless America! Land of the free.....

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Erewhon asked on 03/25/06 - Dare YOU Hope for Peace or are you Chicken-Hearted?

It is gratifying to know that optimism is not dead, and that not all are too prejudiced to give peace a chance.

"All I am saying is give peace a chance."

John Lennon - who believed that it could happen.

Do you believe that reasonable people of all religions can make a just peace, or is our future resting firmly in the hands of the troubled, the heretic, and the insane?

Dare YOU hope for peace?

purplewings answered on 03/26/06:

I do hope for peace. I pray for peace and try to extend peace to those around me.

I think the troubled, the heretic and the insane know no peace and want no peace around them either.

It's amazing that a peaceful people proclaiming a peaceful religion will support an insane leader as he destroys it.

It may be that fine line between genius and insanity that has people puzzled.

And sometimes it's just plain fear.

Hitler was insane and yet look how many followed him and justified doing the unthinkable........ What did it take to stop all that? War?

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Coup_de_Grace asked on 03/25/06 - Anti-Meliorists

Anti-Meliorists argue that if we on't put a stop to things like laser surgery and liposuction, who knows where it will all end?

One aspect of self-improvement that seems to irritate anti-meliorists is that trying to improve yourself is vain.

Do you have an opinion of the topic of whether it is vain to try to improve yourself "mentally or physically"? Do you think that only earned happiness is authentic happiness?

purplewings answered on 03/26/06:

I think the Anti-Meliorists are afraid that with so many seeking physical enhancement
the medical community becomes so involved with helping people look better that they have no time left to cure people with diseases. That sounds bogus to say the least. It merely opens doors to new practicioners, not closing doors to disease or deformation researchers.

By their title alone, these people are just grumpy antagonists looking for a reason to argue. (sounds like me on a bad day)

I think since we only come through this planet once, as far as we know, we should try to make it a happy visit. It makes us happy to look good and feel valued - and when we're happy, we tend to bless those around us with that feeling. Like a candle lighting another candle, a smile will create another smile.

It's some vanity for sure to enhance and attemt to perfect our bodies and our minds. We attempt to enhance and perfect everything,
from our dog breeds, home decor, culinary efforts, to our gardens and lawns, etc. It's human nature to strive for something higher and better.

Drugs to relieve depressions and anxiety are miracles that prevent suicide and probably murder.

I'd say since all of this improvement is born through our creative nature, it must be a delight to God to watch us.

If not for self improvement, we might still keep the farm animals in the house with us, and fill mental hospitals with the elderly.

Just another part of our evolution. Hurray!

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Erewhon asked on 03/25/06 - Prince Charles addresses Islamic scholars ...

Prince makes unprecedented speech
Mar 25 2006

The Prince of Wales
delivered an unprecedented speech at Saudi Arabia's most senior Islamic University - seen as being at the heart of the Middle Eastern country's religious conservatism.

Charles is the first Westerner to address the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University, which is the most prominent Islamic centre of learning in the Kingdom.

Since the spate of deadly attacks on foreigners in Saudi three years ago, the university has been working to moderate hardliners and been part of the campaign to counter radicalisation.

The Prince, who is in Riyadh on an official tour with the Duchess of Cornwall, spoke about the importance of the art of interpretation of religious texts.

"I think we need to recover the depth, the subtlety, the generosity of imagination, the respect for wisdom that so marked Islam in its great ages," he said.

"Islam called Jews and Christians the peoples of the book, because they, like Muslims are a part of a religion of sacred texts.

"And what was so distinctive of the great ages of faith surely was that they understood, that as well as sacred texts, there is the art of interpretation of sacred texts - between the meaning of God's word for all time and its meaning for this time."

He reiterated the message he delivered earlier this week at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, touching once again on the Danish cartoons and the failure to respect what is sacred to others.

Charles also called for greater tolerance, saying: "We should do all we can to overcome the distrust that poisons so many people's lives."

The delivery of his speech in such a prominent Islamic institution is expected to generate much interest in the Muslim world.


Will, in your opinion, Charles' sentiments be echoed in the hearts and minds of other Christians?

purplewings answered on 03/25/06:

Yes, I do think so. I'm glad that he addressed the faith issue so realistically. It will make people think about why they believe as they do.

Thanks for sharing.

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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/25/06 - Potential Important Breakthrough

From the sit newscience dot com, a copy and paste.

"Men’s testicles may provide an “ethical” source of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), suggest new experiments in mice.

A team in Germany has successfully grown mouse ESC-like cells from spermatagonial stem cells which normally turn into sperm. The ESC-like cells can be grown into all tissues of the mouse body, suggesting that if the same could be done in men, it would provide patients with a source of tissue-matched cells for repairing any damaged organs or tissue.

So far, all existing colonies of human ESCs have been derived from surplus human embryos, leftover from infertility treatments. ***Because a human embryo is sacrificed in the process, many religious groups oppose such research***, especially in the US where President George W Bush has placed heavy restrictions on federal stem cell researchers."

This would be a wonderful breakthrough for medical science and its research into many devastating illness without the ethical and moral problem of destroying a human fetus which is unacceptable.

purplewings answered on 03/25/06:

That's rather amazing. Yes, if it would work that way, it would be fantastic. I would have thought this would already have been tested in the past.

It seems reasonable to me that everything within our body can be healed by something else from within our body. If we only knew where to focus. We are a complete package.

Please let me know if it becomes a certainty.

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Lazarus asked on 03/24/06 - Newbie on board

Hello all, I am new here and have been a Christian for 6 years. Looking forward to some good Christian fellowship. Peace and God Bless.

purplewings answered on 03/24/06:

Welcome Lazarus. Are you Orthodox by any chance?
Our church always has a pancake breakfast on the Saturday of your nameday.


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MaggieB asked on 03/22/06 - What are the characteristics

What are the characteristics of one who worships God Almighty?


purplewings answered on 03/23/06:

It's not always the case, but it would be hoped that one would try to follow Jesus Christ in kindness, compassion, love, and forgiveness.

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excon asked on 03/23/06 - Donated stuff

Hello Christians:

You guys always know the right thing to do - help me out here.

I'm not a donater. I use my stuff up so bad, that there's nothing left to donate when I'm done. I don't even know where to donate anything.

So, here's the deal. I was at my sons house the other day, when he put a big box of stuff that he wants to donate, in the back of my car. He told me about this donation box somewhere near my house. I haven't looked for it.

Today, I'm headed to the trash place. I've got 6 huge bags stuffed all around the box. Would God strike me dead if I just threw out the donated stuff along with my trash?


purplewings answered on 03/23/06:

Gee, that sounds a bit like sloth. You do know that sloth is one of the 7 deadly sins don't you?

Or it could be selfishness, or possibly just procrastination. Those aren't good traits. They might even be called Character defects.

BUT the worst is that you'd be deceiving your
son and his family by letting them believe
you're donating their items. Or if you told
them you didn't take the box where they'd asked they would lose their opportunity to feel helpful. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to do that.

So, even though God wouldn't strike you dead,
your conscience would have to disturb you a little. You might even lose some sleep over it.

Wouldn't it be much easier to find the Salvation Army, VVets, or Goodwill and drop em' off?

Just wondering....

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wakan asked on 03/21/06 - A good question I got from Gustov.

I have a friend with a serious family problem.
His wife went to her company’s annual training session I San Francisco for a week and cam home pregnant, that was 3 months ago.
It was result of a one night stand with a very attractive man whose first name is all his wife knows. She met him at a cocktail party.
They both know it is not his child because the medication he is taking prevents him from fulfilling his masculine ability.
Neither one of them wants her to abort the child. They are both Anglicans.
He does not want to divorce his wife because he loves her.
But he does not want to raise the other man’s child.
What should he do?
I can’t answer his question because I have no idea how a person could handle this. So I told him I would ask some people who could not know who or where he is.
Do you have any suggestions?

purplewings answered on 03/22/06:

I think a Marriage Counselor would be the one to pose the right questions to both of them and examine their responses.

A child who is unwanted, even resented by their father figure, will be one unhappy child, and that will probably create one even more unhappy mother....and of course the unhappiness will follow the entire family.

Unless the "loving" husband will see that this child is a part of his wife, as well as the stranger- and since he loves his wife - why would he not love her child? Often once the child is born, the husband gets a new perspective and actually becomes a true, caring parent - if he can forgive and forget the circumstances.

A Marriage Counselor would know how to find out if this is possible in this situation.

I can't see a woman just giving her child away for adoption, but it does happen, so that too, can be presented....

Everyone is different so without knowing anything about the couple, no one of us can give any personal advice, other than that they talk to a professional.


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ladybugca asked on 03/20/06 - in need of prayer

my dad is in need of prayer for he is dieing,the doctors say they dont know how he is still living.he can no longer see he cant walk no more and he cant talk.he has brain cancer and of the lungs, i guess what i am asking for is that he is not surffing.i dont know if he is saved or not so please say a prayer that someone can get through to him before it is to late.i thank everyone for your prayers and may the lord bless you all.

purplewings answered on 03/20/06:

Hi Mary,

That's rough. I'm sorry for your pain. I'm truly sad for his pain too. May God bless you and your family and give your father peace in his final days.

Much love to you,

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FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 03/17/06 - Mantra?

Some questions about Mantras. Meditation taught by Zen masters give a very strong importance to mantras! Do you think it is good for a Christian when practising meditation to use mantras?? Do you think it is helpful and it works? I seen a mantra today, It goes like this: You guys who run this circus are so powerful!!! Do you think it works? I always enjoyed practising meditation and do not see anything wrong with the practise. What are your opinions about this?


purplewings answered on 03/18/06:

Hello Joe,

I am not the average religious person although I am very spiritually inclined. I'm Christian with a little bit different views, so I'll tell you what a Mantra means for me. It's a phrase or usually merely a word to remind us of God. Most Mantras somehow pick up the "^O" sound of God, such as OOOM or OOOOMMMMM. Stretch it out as you breathe and this will help clear your mind of all clutter. Choose any word that has that sound to it and say it slowly and softly
being conscious only of your breathing and the peacefulness that comes with God.

Very simply, it's a reminder and a head clearer. What could possibly be wrong with such a practice?

P.S. The *mantra* you've shared is not anything like a real Mantra, seeming to have nothing to do with peaceful meditation, that I can see. How about trying to find one that is easier to say so it will require no thought & after while will just roll out smoothly while your mind remains calm?


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MaggieB asked on 03/17/06 - Eighteen members of a Topeka, Kansas-based church picketed at Saturday's service for a soldier w

...A protest this weekend by members of the ultraconservative Westboro Baptist Church has prompted a Colorado lawmaker to work up a proposal requiring demonstrators to stay at least 300 feet away from military funerals. Similar legislation has either been passed or is under consideration in at least 17 other states, including Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Kentucky. And lawmakers say that federal legislation will be proposed soon. Eighteen members of the Topeka, Kansas-based church picketed at Saturday's service for a soldier who died in Iraq after a roadside attack. The group claims soldier deaths in Iraq are divine punishment for America's toleration of homosexuals. More than 250 members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group comprised mostly of veterans, attended the funeral to form a barrier between the protesters and the family. [AP]


purplewings answered on 03/18/06:

I'm ever amazed at some of the things people will think up as an excuse to pass around hatred. It's an ugly thing to protest at someone's funeral - a time of sorrow and emptiness for the loved ones. A time to honor a newly deceased soul. A time of reflection and hope.

Hurray for Colorado taking the time and energy to stop it...I hope it passes and the protesters can move on to their next newsmaking agenda.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/17/06 - God Bless the Irish!

Into a Belfast pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he'd just been run over by a train. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut and bruised and he's walking with a limp.

"What happened to you?" asks Sean, the bartender.

"Jamie O'Conner and me had a fight," says Paddy.

"That little son of a gun, O'Conner," says Sean,

"He couldn't do that to you, he must have had something in his hand."

"That he did," says Paddy, "a shovel is what he had, and a terrible Lickin' he gave me with it."

"Well," says Sean, "you should have defended yourself, didn't you have something in your hand?"

"That I did," said Paddy. "Mrs. O'Conner's breast, and a thing of beauty it was, but useless in a fight."

It's great to be Irish on *any* day of the year for being Irish means laughing.

purplewings answered on 03/18/06:

You still can't resist a dare can you????

It's still funny though.

Wonder why erewhon can only find the bad side of everything. Do you understand that?


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ROLCAM asked on 03/17/06 - IRISH BLESSING.

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
right beside your door.

Happy St Patrick's Day to all at ANSWERWAY !!


purplewings answered on 03/17/06:

Hi Rolcam, Good prayer....thanks.

Happy St Paddy's day to you!

Greenwings (today only)

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tomder55 asked on 03/17/06 - Happy St. Patrick's Day

According to' The History of the Irish Race 'by Seamus MacManus, the following is the hymn chanted by Patrick and his missionaries as they were marched to Tara to face the pagan king there. He wrote it, the first such work in Gaelic. (I have seen variations of this hymn also. )

It worked. Before the king, his Druids and the assembled multitude, Patrick spoke and preached. He converted them all, save the king. But the monarch gave Patrick freedom to preach throughout his realm. Down through the years, the Irish have used Patrick’s prayer of protection in times of trouble.

I bind to myself today

The power of Heaven,

The light of the sun,

The brightness of the moon,

The splendor of fire,

The flashing of lightning,

The swiftness of the wind,

The depth of the sea,

The stability of earth…

God’s power guide me,

God’s wisdom teach me,

God’s eye to watch over me,

God’s hand to guide me,

God’s shield to shelter me,

God’s Host to secure me…

Against everyone who

Meditates injury to me,

Whether far or near,

Whether the few or the many.

purplewings answered on 03/17/06:

That's a strong prayer. Maybe I'll start using it in tough times. Thanks for sharing it Tom.

Happy St Paddy's Day to you.

Loral of Green & Purple Wings

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hOPE12 asked on 03/15/06 - Something special for you all.

Hello all you in Answerway. I thought you might all like this.

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it . live it and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff.
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally. I hope you all have a great and wonerful day.

Take care,

purplewings answered on 03/16/06:

Hi Hope,

I adored Erma Bombeck. Funny and smart too- she is missed by many.

I try to live in the now because that's really all we have. Of course it's easy to do now that my family is raised and on their own. It's sure more fun focusing just on today.

We must miss out on so much when all we can do is worry about tomorrow or next week,and forget about today. Not just on doing what we could but even being able to listen to other people is an effort when we're filled with that fear *stuff*.

Life is meant to be many things......a learning, a changing, a growing, a feeling..........I'm certain it's meant to be fun as well.


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madima asked on 03/14/06 - Not a Q Just a Prayer request

I just wish to request my Answerway family to please offer a prayer for the repose of the soul of Miguel Abadilla, my beloved father, who has passed away.

Thanks so much.

purplewings answered on 03/15/06:

Hi Madima,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how you adored your father.

May almighty God grant him eternal rest and his memory live forever.


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JBodine asked on 03/14/06 - What do you think? Is it possible?

Do you think it's possible that RADICAL Islam could be the Antichrist, or could give rise to the Antichrist?

purplewings answered on 03/14/06:

It is possible. The radicals that have no qualms about murdering people who disagree with them. That's certainly as anti christ as one can get. Of course they are not alone in their hatred but they are a huge movement getting a lot of attention as they require in order to gain more followers.

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CeeBee2 asked on 03/12/06 - When was the last time.....................

I saw this on another site and thought we could try it here...but turn it into a Christian thing.

Just answer the last question posted, then add a question of your own...starting with "when was the last time you..."

Here we go...

When was the last time you sang "Amazing Grace"?

purplewings answered on 03/14/06:

When was the last time you did an honest personal inventory? I think it's so important to know what's going on inside ourselves so we can keep growing in spirit.

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hOPE12 asked on 03/09/06 - Holy Spirit!

Hello Everyone:
We live in a religously divided world and to many, different teaching are believed. That being said, what do you believe the Holy Spirit to be, and what prove do you have to back up your belief?

Take care,

purplewings answered on 03/09/06:

Hi Hope,

That's a provocative question.

My belief is that the Holy Spirit(God) is the entire Universe......or air, sunshine, rain, trees, valleys, mountains,oceans,wind, stars, etc. etc.

I have no proof other than it makes sense to me.

Regardless of my need, I send it 'out there' and instinctively know how to resolve it.
When I am alone with nature, peace fills me.
When I am sad, confused, hurt or angry, the air, sunshine, and other elements fill me with harmony and strengthen my spirit.

.....and when I stand on a mountain and yell "love"......guess what comes back to me?

It's all there.

Peace to you.

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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/09/06 - Achtung!

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English
will be the official language of the European Union rather than German,
which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that
spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in
plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will
make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k".
This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the
troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted
to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have
always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag
is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th"
with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining
"ou", and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu
understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in
ze forst plas.

Ziss is gud news, ya! ;=D

Herr Airhorn

purplewings answered on 03/09/06:

Zis is gud nus, NINE! :(

Je parlerais plutôt le français ou espagnol.

I'd rather speak French or Spanish.
Oooh lala
palabras atractivas- mots sexy

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wakan asked on 03/08/06 - Let's discuss existance. What does exists and how?...

This comes from a guy named Jefco.
It’s hard to deal with it objectively, but easily with subjective reason or with philosophy.
There have been statements that God does and does not exist; the same for heaven, hell, Jesus, Allah, Purgatory, ether, limbo, and much more.
I claim that they do. I agree with those that say everything exists.
How is that?
This way…..
No matter what it is it exists to reality, time, dogma, fact, fable, folk lore, fiction or imagination.
In fact all those things mentioned above exist, so anything that falls within that sort or category exists.
Let’s take the thing called Purgatory for example.
(I repeat this is but one example. I’m not discussing Purgatory but rather existence.)
If Purgatory exists in reality it exists. (The same can be said of Jesus, heaven or hell.),
If Purgatory (Jesus, Heaven or hell) exists in dogma then since dogma exists Purgatory (Jesus, Heaven or Hell) exists.
If Purgatory (Jesus, Heaven or Hell) exists in fiction then since fiction exists Purgatory (Jesus, Heaven, or Hell) exists.
That’s the way I and others see and think of existence.
How do you think of it or see it?

purplewings answered on 03/09/06:

I think what you've said here in a nutshell is: WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY.

How interesting since Keenu has been saying that exact thing to anyone who will listen, for at least 7 or 8 years, and some people mock her.

It is however true. We bring about what we think about in the way of positive or negative response. That's why we need to keep our thoughts positive.

Dogma is a creation of part truth and part is heaven and hell.

Perhaps everything exists in this half/half process?

We are half ego, half spirit.

God is half human, half spirit......Toss it all into the great collective conscious and everything becomes ONE. So actually only ONE thing exists - and that is everything.

The way you've written it takes some intense thinking.....but if something didn't exist, at least in our mind, no one would know anything about it. Imagination will bring it to light.

Peace to you.

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Erewhon asked on 03/06/06 - Christian ministers and members can learn a lot from this Muslim Imam. Will they?


March 5, 2006
An Imam in America
A Muslim Leader in Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds
The imam begins his trek before dawn, his long robe billowing like a ghost through empty streets. In this dark, quiet hour, his thoughts sometimes drift back to the Egyptian farming village where he was born.

But as the sun rises over Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Sheik Reda Shata's new world comes to life. The R train rattles beneath a littered stretch of sidewalk, where Mexican workers huddle in the cold. An electric Santa dances in a doughnut shop window. Neon signs beckon. Gypsy cabs blare their horns.

The imam slips into a plain brick building, nothing like the golden-domed mosque of his youth. He stops to pray, and then climbs the cracked linoleum steps to his cluttered office. The answering machine blinks frantically, a portent of the endless questions to come.

A teenage girl wants to know: Is it halal, or lawful, to eat a Big Mac? Can alcohol be served, a waiter wonders, if it is prohibited by the Koran? Is it wrong to take out a mortgage, young Muslim professionals ask, when Islam frowns upon monetary interest?

The questions are only a piece of the daily puzzle Mr. Shata must solve as the imam of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, a thriving New York mosque where several thousand Muslims worship.

To his congregants, Mr. Shata is far more than the leader of daily prayers and giver of the Friday sermon. Many of them now live in a land without their parents, who typically assist with finding a spouse. There are fewer uncles and cousins to help resolve personal disputes. There is no local House of Fatwa to issue rulings on ethical questions.

Sheik Reda, as he is called, arrived in Brooklyn one year after Sept. 11. Virtually overnight, he became an Islamic judge and nursery school principal, a matchmaker and marriage counselor, a 24-hour hot line on all things Islamic.

Day after day, he must find ways to reconcile Muslim tradition with American life. Little in his rural Egyptian upbringing or years of Islamic scholarship prepared him for the challenge of leading a mosque in America.

The job has worn him down and opened his mind. It has landed him, exhausted, in the hospital and earned him a following far beyond Brooklyn.

"America transformed me from a person of rigidity to flexibility," said Mr. Shata, speaking through an Arabic translator. "I went from a country where a sheik would speak and the people listened to one where the sheik talks and the people talk back."

This is the story of Mr. Shata's journey west: the making of an American imam.

Over the last half-century, the Muslim population in the United States has risen significantly. Immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa have settled across the country, establishing mosques from Boston to Los Angeles, and turning Islam into one of the nation's fastest growing religions. By some estimates, as many as six million Muslims now live in America.

Leading this flock calls for improvisation. Imams must unify diverse congregations with often-clashing Islamic traditions. They must grapple with the threat of terrorism, answering to law enforcement agents without losing the trust of their fellow Muslims. Sometimes they must set aside conservative beliefs that prevail in the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam.

Islam is a legalistic faith: Muslims believe in a divine law that guides their daily lives, including what they should eat, drink and wear. In countries where the religion reigns, this is largely the accepted way.

But in the West, what Islamic law prohibits is everywhere. Alcohol fills chocolates. Women jog in sports bras. For many Muslims in America, life is a daily clash between Islamic mores and material temptation. At the center of this clash stands the imam.

In America, imams evoke a simplistic caricature — of robed, bearded clerics issuing fatwas in foreign lands. Hundreds of imams live in the United States, but their portrait remains flatly one-dimensional. Either they are symbols of diversity, breaking the Ramadan fast with smiling politicians, or zealots, hurrying into their storefront mosques.

Mr. Shata, 37, is neither a firebrand nor a ready advocate of progressive Islam. Some of his views would offend conservative Muslims; other beliefs would repel American liberals. He is in many ways a work in progress, mapping his own middle ground between two different worlds.

The imam's cramped, curtained office can hardly contain the dramas that unfold inside. Women cry. Husbands storm off. Friendships end. Every day brings soap opera plots and pitch.

A Moroccan woman falls to her knees near the imam's Hewlett-Packard printer. "Have mercy on me!" she wails to a friend who has accused her of theft. Another day, it is a man whose Lebanese wife has concealed their marriage and newborn son from her strict father. "I will tell him everything!" the husband screams.

Mr. Shata settles dowries, confronts wife abusers, brokers business deals and tries to arrange marriages. He approaches each problem with an almost scientific certainty that it can be solved. "I try to be more of a doctor than a judge," said Mr. Shata. "A judge sentences. A doctor tries to remedy."

Imams in the United States now serve an estimated 1,200 mosques. Some of their congregants have lived here for generations, assimilating socially and succeeding professionally. But others are recent immigrants, still struggling to find their place in America. Demographers expect their numbers to rise in the coming decades, possibly surpassing those of American Jews.

Like many of their faithful, most imams in the United States come from abroad. They are recruited primarily for their knowledge of the Koran and the language in which it was revealed, Arabic.

But few are prepared for the test that awaits. Like the parish priests who came generations before, imams are called on to lead a community on the margins of American civic life. They are conduits to and arbiters of an exhilarating, if sometimes hostile world, filled with promise and peril.

An Invitation to Islam

More than 5,000 miles lie between Brooklyn and Kafr al Battikh, Mr. Shata's birthplace in northeastern Egypt. Situated where the Nile Delta meets the Suez Canal, it was a village of dirt roads and watermelon vines when Mr. Shata was born in 1968.

Egypt was in the throes of change. The country had just suffered a staggering defeat in the Six Day War with Israel, and protests against the government followed. Hoping to counter growing radicalism, a new president, Anwar Sadat, allowed a long-repressed Islamic movement to flourish.

The son of a farmer and fertilizer salesman, Mr. Shata belonged to the lowest rung of Egypt's rural middle class. His house had no electricity. He did not see a television until he was 15.

Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother's voice. At bedtime, she would tell him the story of the Prophet Muhammad, the seventh-century founder of Islam. The boy heard much that was familiar. Like the prophet, he had lost his mother at a young age.

"She told me the same story maybe a thousand times," he said.

At the age of 5, he began memorizing the Koran. Like thousands of children in the Egyptian countryside, he attended a Sunni religious school subsidized by the government and connected to Al Azhar University, a bastion of Islamic scholarship.

Too poor to buy books, the young Mr. Shata hand-copied from hundreds at the town library. The bound volumes now line the shelves of his Bay Ridge apartment. When he graduated, he enrolled at Al Azhar and headed to Cairo by train. There, he sat on a bench for hours, marveling at the sights.

"I was like a lost child," he said. "Cars. We didn't have them. People of different colors. Foreigners. Women almost naked. It was like an imaginary world."

At 18, Mr. Shata thought of becoming a judge. But at his father's urging, he joined the college of imams, the Dawah.

The word means invitation. It refers to the duty of Muslims to invite, or call, others to the faith. Unlike Catholicism or Judaism, Islam has no ordained clergy. The Prophet Muhammad was the religion's first imam, or prayer leader, Islam's closest corollary to a rabbi or priest; schools like the Dawah are its version of a seminary or rabbinate.

After four years, Mr. Shata graduated with honors, seventh in a class of 3,400.

The next decade brought lessons in adaptation. In need of money, Mr. Shata took a job teaching sharia, or Islamic law, to children in Saudi Arabia, a country guided by Wahhabism, a puritan strain of Sunni Islam. He found his Saudi colleagues' interpretation of the Koran overly literal at times, and the treatment of women, who were not allowed to vote or drive, troubling.

Five years later, he returned to a different form of religious control in Egypt, where most imams are appointed by the government and monitored for signs of radicalism or political dissent.

"They are not allowed to deviate from the curriculum that the government sets for them," said Khaled Abou El Fadl, an Egyptian law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mr. Shata craved greater independence, and opened a furniture business. But he missed the life of dawah and eventually returned to it as the imam of his hometown mosque, which drew 4,000 worshipers on Fridays alone.

His duties were clear: He led the five daily prayers and delivered the khutba, or Friday sermon. His mosque, like most in Egypt, was financed and managed by the government. He spent his free time giving lectures, conducting marriage ceremonies and offering occasional religious guidance.

In 2000, Mr. Shata left to work as an imam in the gritty industrial city of Stuttgart, Germany. Europe brought a fresh new freedom. "I saw a wider world," he said. "Anyone with an opinion could express it."

Then came Sept. 11.

Soon after, Mr. Shata's mosque was defiled with graffiti and smeared with feces.

The next summer, Mr. Shata took a call from an imam in Brooklyn. The man, Mohamed Moussa, was leaving his mosque, exhausted by the troubles of his congregants following the terrorist attacks. The mosque was looking for a replacement, and Mr. Shata had come highly recommended by a professor at Al Azhar.

Most imams are recruited to American mosques on the recommendation of other imams or trusted scholars abroad, and are usually offered an annual contract. Some include health benefits and subsidized housing; others are painfully spare. The pay can range from $20,000 to $50,000.

Mr. Shata had heard stories of Muslim hardship in America. The salary at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge was less than what he was earning in Germany. But foremost on his mind were his wife and three small daughters, whom he had not seen in months. Germany had refused them entry.

He agreed to take the job if he could bring his family to America. In October 2002, the American Embassy in Cairo granted visas to the Shatas and they boarded a plane for New York.

A Mosque, a Magnet

A facade of plain white brick rises up from Fifth Avenue just south of 68th Street in Bay Ridge. Two sets of words, one in Arabic and another in English, announce the mosque's dual identity from a marquee above its gray metal doors.

To the mosque's base — Palestinian, Egyptian, Yemeni, Moroccan and Algerian immigrants — it is known as Masjid Moussab, named after one of the prophet's companions, Moussab Ibn Omair. To the mosque's English-speaking neighbors, descendants of the Italians, Irish and Norwegians who once filled the neighborhood, it is the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge.

Mosques across America are commonly named centers or societies, in part because they provide so many services. Some 140 mosques serve New York City, where an estimated 600,000 Muslims live, roughly 20 percent of them African-American, said Louis Abdellatif Cristillo, an anthropologist at Teachers College who has canvassed the city's mosques.

The Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, like other American mosques, is run by a board of directors, mostly Muslim professionals from the Palestinian territories. What began in 1984 as a small storefront on Bay Ridge Avenue, with no name and no imam, has grown into one of the city's vital Muslim centers, a magnet for new immigrants.

Its four floors pulse with life: a nursery school, an Islamic bookstore, Koran classes and daily lectures. Some 1,500 Muslims worship at the mosque on Fridays, often crouched in prayer on the sidewalk. Albanians, Pakistanis and others who speak little Arabic listen to live English translations of the sermons through headsets. It is these congregants' crumpled dollar bills, collected in a cardboard box, that enable the mosque to survive.

Among the city's imams, Bay Ridge is seen as a humbling challenge.

"It's the first station for immigrants," said Mr. Moussa, Mr. Shata's predecessor. "And immigrants have a lot of problems."

Skip 911. Call the Imam.

Mr. Shata landed at Kennedy International Airport wearing a crimson felt hat and a long gray jilbab that fell from his neck to his sandaled toes, the proud dress of an Al Azhar scholar. He spoke no English. But already, he carried some of the West inside. He could quote liberally from Voltaire, Shaw and Kant. For an Egyptian, he often jokes, he was inexplicably punctual.

The first thing Mr. Shata loved about America, like Germany, was the order.

"In Egypt, if a person passes through a red light, that means he's smart," he said. "In America, he's very disrespected."

Americans stood in line. They tended their yards. One could call the police and hear a rap at the door minutes later. That fact impressed not only Mr. Shata, but also the women of his new mosque.

They had gained a reputation for odd calls to 911. One woman called because a relative abroad had threatened to take her inheritance. "The officers left and didn't write anything," Mr. Shata said, howling with laughter. "There was nothing for them to write."

Another woman called, angry because her husband had agreed to let a daughter from a previous marriage spend the night.

To Mr. Shata, the calls made sense. The women's parents, uncles and brothers — figures of authority in family conflict — were overseas. Instead, they dialed 911, hoping for a local substitute. Soon they would learn to call the imam.

A bearish man with a soft, bearded face, Mr. Shata struck his congregants as an odd blend of things. He was erudite yet funny; authoritative at the mosque's wooden pulpit and boyishly charming between prayers.

Homemakers, doctors, cabdrivers and sheiks stopped by to assess the new imam. He regaled them with Dunkin' Donuts coffee, fetched by the Algerian keeper of the mosque, and then told long, poetic stories that left his visitors silent, their coffee cold.

"You just absorb every word he says," said Linda Sarsour, 25, a Muslim activist in Brooklyn.

The imam, too, was taking note. Things worked differently in America, where mosques were run as nonprofit organizations and congregants had a decidedly democratic air. Mr. Shata was shocked when a tone-deaf man insisted on giving the call to prayer. Such a man would be ridiculed in Egypt, where the callers, or muezzinin, have voices so beautiful they sometimes record top-selling CD's.

But in the land of equal opportunity, a man with a mediocre voice could claim discrimination. Mr. Shata relented. He shudders when the voice periodically sounds.

No sooner had Mr. Shata started his new job than all manner of problems arrived at his worn wooden desk: rebellious teenagers, marital strife, confessions of philandering, accusations of theft.

The imam responded creatively. Much of the drama involved hot dog vendors. There was the pair who shared a stand, but could not stand each other. They came to the imam, who helped them divide the business.

The most notorious hot dog seller stood accused of stealing thousands of dollars in donations he had raised for the children of his deceased best friend. But there was no proof. The donations had been in cash. The solution, the imam decided, was to have the man swear an oath on the Koran.

"Whoever lies while taking an oath on the Koran goes blind afterward," said Mr. Shata, stating a belief that has proved useful in cases of theft. A group of men lured the vendor to the mosque, where he confessed to stealing $11,400. His admission was recorded in a waraqa, or document, penned in Arabic and signed by four witnesses. He returned the money in full.

Dozens of waraqas sit in the locked bottom drawer of the imam's desk. In one, a Brooklyn man who burned his wife with an iron vows, in nervous Arabic scrawl, never to do it again. If he fails, he will owe her a $10,000 "disciplinary fine." The police had intervened before, but the woman felt that she needed the imam's help.

For hundreds of Muslims, the Bay Ridge mosque has become a courthouse more welcoming than the one downtown, a police precinct more effective than the brick station blocks away. Even the police have used the imam's influence to their advantage, warning disorderly teenagers that they will be taken to the mosque rather than the station.

"They say: 'No, not the imam! He'll tell my parents,' " said Russell Kain, a recently retired officer of the 68th Precinct.

Marriage, Mortgage, McDonald's

Soon after arriving in Brooklyn, Mr. Shata observed a subtle rift among the women of his mosque. Those who were new to America remained quietly grounded in the traditions of their homelands. But some who had assimilated began to question those strictures. Concepts like shame held less weight. Actions like divorce, abhorred by Mr. Shata, were surprisingly popular.

"The woman who comes from overseas, she's like someone who comes from darkness to a very well-lit place," he said.

In early July, an Egyptian karate teacher shuffled into Mr. Shata's office and sank into a donated couch. He smiled meekly and began to talk. His new wife showed him no affection. She complained about his salary and said he lacked ambition.

The imam urged him to be patient.

Two weeks later, in came the wife. She wanted a divorce.

"We don't understand each other," the woman said. She was 32 and had come from Alexandria, Egypt, to work as an Arabic teacher. She had met her husband through a friend in Bay Ridge. Her parents, still in Egypt, had approved cautiously from afar.

"I think you should be patient," said the imam.

"I cannot," she said firmly. "He loves me, but I have to love him, too."

Mr. Shata shifted uncomfortably in his chair. There was nothing he loathed more than granting a divorce.

"It's very hard for me to let him divorce you," he said. "How can I meet God on Judgment Day?"

"It's God's law also to have divorce," she shot back. The debate continued.

Finally, Mr. Shata asked for her parents' phone number in Egypt. Over the speakerphone, they anxiously urged the imam to relent. Their daughter was clearly miserable, and they were too far away to intervene.

With a sigh, Mr. Shata asked his executive secretary, Mohamed, to print a divorce certificate. In the rare instance when the imam agrees to issue one, it is after a couple has filed for divorce with the city.

"Since you're the one demanding divorce, you can never get back together with him," the imam warned. "Ever."

The woman smiled politely.

"What matters for us is the religion," she said later. "Our law is our religion."

The religion's fiqh, or jurisprudence, is built on 14 centuries of scholarship, but imams in Europe and America often find this body of law insufficient to address life in the West. The quandaries of America were foreign to Mr. Shata.

Pornography was rampant, prompting a question Mr. Shata had never heard in Egypt: Is oral sex lawful? Pork and alcohol are forbidden in Islam, raising questions about whether Muslims could sell beer or bacon. Tired of the menacing stares in the subway, women wanted to know if they could remove their headscarves. Muslims were navigating their way through problems Mr. Shata had never fathomed.

For a while, the imam called his fellow sheiks in Egypt with requests for fatwas, or nonbinding legal rulings. But their views carried little relevance to life in America. Some issues, like oral sex, he dared not raise. Over time, he began to find his own answers and became, as he put it, flexible.

Is a Big Mac permissible? Yes, the imam says, but not a bacon cheeseburger.

It is a woman's right, Mr. Shata believes, to remove her hijab if she feels threatened. Muslims can take jobs serving alcohol and pork, he says, but only if other work cannot be found. Oral sex is acceptable, but only between married couples. Mortgages, he says, are necessary to move forward in America.

"Islam is supposed to make a person's life easier, not harder," Mr. Shata explained.

In some ways, the imam has resisted change. He has learned little English, and interviews with Mr. Shata over the course of six months required the use of a translator.

Some imams in the United States make a point of shaking hands with women, distancing themselves from the view that such contact is improper. Mr. Shata offers women only a nod.

Daily, he passes the cinema next to his mosque but has never seen a movie in a theater. He says music should be forbidden if it "encourages sexual desire." He won't convert a non-Muslim when it seems more a matter of convenience than true belief.

"Religion is not a piece of clothing that you change," he said after turning away an Ecuadorean immigrant who sought to convert for her Syrian husband. "I don't want someone coming to Islam tonight and leaving it in the morning."

Trust in God's Plan

Ten months after he came to America, Mr. Shata collapsed.

It was Friday. The mosque was full. Hundreds of men sat pressed together, their shirts damp with summer. Their wives and daughters huddled in the women's section, one floor below. Word of the imam's sermons had spread, drawing Muslims from Albany and Hartford.

"Praise be to Allah," began Mr. Shata, his voice slowly rising.

Minutes later, the imam recalled, the room began to spin. He fell to the carpet, lost consciousness and spent a week in the hospital, plagued by several symptoms. A social worker and a counselor who treated the imam both said he suffered from exhaustion. The counselor, Ali Gheith, called it "compassion fatigue," an ailment that commonly affects disaster-relief workers.

It was not just the long hours, the new culture and the ceaseless demands that weighed on the imam. Most troubling were the psychological woes of his congregants, which seemed endless.

Sept. 11 had wrought depression and anxiety among Muslims. But unlike many priests or rabbis, imams lacked pastoral training in mental health and knew little about the social services available.

At heart was another complicated truth: Imams often approach mental illness from a strictly Islamic perspective. Hardship is viewed as a test of faith, and the answer can be found in tawwakul, trusting in God's plan. The remedy typically suggested by imams is a spiritual one, sought through fasting, prayer and reflection.

Muslim immigrants also limit themselves to religious solutions because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, said Hamada Hamid, a resident psychiatrist at New York University who founded The Journal of Muslim Mental Health. "If somebody says, 'You need this medication,' someone may respond, 'I have tawwakul,' " he said.

Mr. Gheith, a Palestinian immigrant who works in disaster preparedness for the city's health department, began meeting with the imam regularly after his collapse. Mr. Shata needed to learn to disconnect from his congregants, Mr. Gheith said. It was a concept that confounded the imam.

"I did not permit these problems to enter my heart," said Mr. Shata, "nor can I permit them to leave."

The conversations eventually led to a citywide training program for imams, blending Islam with psychology. Mr. Shata learned to identify the symptoms of mental illness and began referring people to treatment.

His congregants often refuse help, blaming black magic or the evil eye for their problems. The evil eye is believed to be a curse driven by envy, confirmed in the bad things that happen to people.

One Palestinian couple in California insisted that their erratic 18-year-old son had the evil eye. He was brought to the imam's attention after winding up on the streets of New York, and eventually received a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Mr. Shata had less success with a man who worshiped at the mosque. He had become paranoid, certain his wife was cursing him with witchcraft. But he refused treatment, insisting divorce was the only cure.

Time and again, Mr. Shata's new country has called for creativity and patience, for a careful negotiation between tradition and modernity.

"Here you don't know what will solve a problem," he said. "It's about looking for a key."

Copyright 2006The New York Times Company


What lesssons can be learned from this minister of religion?

purplewings answered on 03/07/06:

Wonderful story. I enjoyed reading it. It allows me to view a Muslim as simply another human being trying to make the best life possible for himself and others.

That's helps people see & accept other ideas more clearly.

He shows me that we are all to rigid in our thinking and sometimes we need to sway a little and allow that others have good ideas too. We are good, but not the "only".


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revdauphinee asked on 03/06/06 - we lost more than members with the recent folks baned from this site

recently we lost some of our regulars due to much infighting,and whilst I dont miss the fighting I do miss some of them!Because allong with losing the fighting in my oppinion, we also lost alot of the zest for life I loved about this site ,I hope it dosent turn into some bland mealy site that I for one wont enjoy as much as I have for all these years,How about the rest of you ??/I for one miss sparing with Aton he never agreed with my views but at least he was never mean spirited with it as I have recently found one or two folks begining to be!I love answerway and dont want it to change so much that I will no longer feel welcome on here !becaue we are Christians (some of us)does this mean we have to have to zest for living to be interested in nothing else in our lives Did not Jesus himself tell us he came to give us life more abundantly ??He did not die to make us misserable but in order that we could live that abundant life every part of it!

purplewings answered on 03/07/06:

I miss most of them too but think they'll all be back in time. There were just too many insults and too many hurt feelings at one time. Sometimes people need to get away for awhile and get their bearings. Some forget that we're not enemies, it's just about different opinions on life should never come to a personal attack on anyone.

I was getting a headache reading the constant
bickerings being posted.


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revdauphinee asked on 03/06/06 - why cant we ??>>

before someone tells me this is not about christians how many of the christians on here drive cars and are upset about the price of gassoline??just because we are christians does not mean we have to ignore everything else it all concerns us too!
Japanese Make Gasoline From Cattle Dung

TOKYO (March 3) - Scientists in energy-poor Japan said Friday they have found a new source of gasoline - cattle dung.
Scientists hope to improve the technology so that cow dung gasoline can be put to commercial use within 5 years.
Sakae Shibusawa, an agriculture engineering professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said his team has successfully extracted .042 ounces of gasoline from every 3.5 ounces of cow dung by applying high pressure and heat.
"The new technology will be a boon for livestock breeders" to reduce the burden of disposing of large amounts of waste, Shibusawa said.
About 551,155 tons of cattle dung are produced each year in Japan, he said.
Gasoline extracted from cow dung is unheard of, said Tomiaki Tamura, an official of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency. Japan relies almost totally on imports for its oil and gasoline needs.
The team, helped by staff from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology near Tokyo, produced gasoline by adding several unspecified metal catalysts to the dung inside a container and applying a 30-atmosphere pressure and heat of up to 300 degrees Celsius (572 Fahrenheit), Shibusawa said. Details of the catalysts could not be disclosed, he added.
The team hopes to improve the technology so that it can be used commercially within five years, Shibusawa said.

purplewings answered on 03/07/06:

I think it's great that someone is exploring all options. If they can find a way to eliminate the odor, it may be a real 'find' for us all. And as long as the earth exists, there will never be a shortage of such.

I hope they hurry on this...time and money is burning away.


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Nicole2cute4u85 asked on 03/06/06 - question about pregnancy while guy on drugs

I was told that if a guy smokes a lot of weed and drinks he would not be able to get the girl he is having sex with pregnant. Is this true? I need to know if it's possible for me to get pregnant even though he does a lot of drugs and drinks a lot.

purplewings answered on 03/06/06:

Frequent usage of marijuana and some other drugs, including alcohol, can eventually render a man impotent, in which case you wouldn't have to worry about becoming pregnant at all.

Cocaine, LSD and other drugs can intensify the sex act but not prevent the possibility of conception. In many cases it would be better if it did, and a newborn child would not come into this world already shaking and suffering withdrawal pains from his parents drug choices.

Drugs are a good thing to avoid, even if are packaged in your boyfriend.


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pongo asked on 03/06/06 - Hell hath no fury?

Did God set up Hell? I am told the Hebrew word for Hell is Gehenna - a valley outside of Jerusalem where Israelites used to hurl their children into a perpetual bonfire, as a sacrifice to the god Moloch. God tried to stop this, but the practise continued -and the notion of hellfire was born from the memory of terrified children combusting.

What say you?

purplewings answered on 03/06/06:

I've heard hell was originally a aramic word meaning deep hole and over the centuries evolved into so much more.

To me, hell is what we often experience right here on earth, particularly when we are paying consequences for our own wrong doings.


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deardra asked on 03/05/06 - is christianity really a good thing

I hear a lot about what good religion is but when I look around that isnt what I see. Why is it that religions like christianity and the other major religions all teach love forgiveness and brotherhood but still remain involed in so much murder and hate around the world?

purplewings answered on 03/05/06:

Because as much as they try, people are still individuals filled with ego. The ego tells them to be proud, angry, greedy, jealous, slothful, lusty, and other fear-filled emotions that prevent real love and compassion to stay active for long periods of time.

Religion appeals to the spiritual part of human beings and brings the loving to the front.....but unless one is involved within the church on a daily basis, the ego overcomes the spirit.

Even so, being love-filled and compassionate for small periods of time will eventually take hold and last for longer periods of time...........
religion provides that opportunity and awareness.


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pongo asked on 03/04/06 - Just how many gods are out there?

Prompted by revdauphinee:

How many gods does a Christian believe exist?

purplewings answered on 03/04/06:

There exists only one God, but different cultures view that God in a different way and choose to worship differently.

God knows who He/She/It is and who we are, no matter what we believe.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/03/06 - Equivalent Wisdom in Christianity?

"If we can reach the uderstanding of what we actually are, there is no better remedy for elimiating all sufffering. This is the heart of all spiritual practices." >Kalu Rinpoche

purplewings answered on 03/03/06:

The heart of Buddhism is that there is only the great void - and that indicates we are all one with the universe. In so knowing and believing that, we would never hurt another because we'd realize it is hurting each of us equally. That would eliminate all suffering.

How wise the buddhist teachings are!


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HerrAirhorn asked on 03/03/06 - Missouri Bill to make Christianity Official Religion

"Missouri legislators in Jefferson City considered a bill that would name Christianity the state's official "majority" religion.House Concurrent Resolution 13 has is pending in the state legislature. Many Missouri residents had not heard about the bill until Thursday."

Showdown soon regarding the Constitutional issue of separation of church and state? Things are really heating up now.

purplewings answered on 03/03/06:

I didn't know they could do that. Wouldn't pretty much every state have that majority? I'll be interested to know more about it too.
Thanks for tuning me in.


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revdauphinee asked on 03/03/06 - on a lighter side (I hope)

A Well-Known Monk

A wandering monk walked barefoot everywhere he went, to the point that the soles of his feet eventually became quite thick and leathery. And because he ate very little, he gradually became very frail. Several days often passed between opportunities to brush his teeth, so he usually had bad breath. Therefore, throughout the region, he came to be known as the super-calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.

purplewings answered on 03/03/06:

Thanks for your continuous sense of humor. Laughter keeps our blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing so we're healthier.

Cheers to you good health!

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revdauphinee asked on 03/03/06 - some Hindu wisdom!

Disparaging words pain a man even when uttered in jest.
Therefore, those who know human nature are courteous even to their enemies.

purplewings answered on 03/03/06:

That's so true. We all have sensitive natures - some more so than others - but we all hurt when it's suggested we are lacking.

Society would work better for all of us if we learned to stop and think about how we would feel to be on the receiving end of such comments before uttering them.

Although some do it knowingly hoping to cause a little pain without being blatant or having to accept responsibility for the words.


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revdauphinee asked on 03/03/06 - from the quoran

to bad they worship the wrong god!But the following in my humble oppinion applies to Yaweh not allah

God is the guardian of all who believe. He leads them from darkness to light. As for those who do not believe, their guardians are their false gods, who lead them from light to darkness. They are the heirs of hell, and will live there for ever.

-Qur'an, Al-Baqara, Surah 2:257

purplewings answered on 03/03/06:

I am with Pongo on the thought there is only one God, so in truth *some* people are simply not in agreement over who/what that One is, or the purpose of our being.

People lead others by their behaviors and attitude.........In time all will follow that which brings them happiness and peace.

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Itsdb asked on 03/02/06 - Catholic Town

New Florida town looks to ban abortions, pornography and contraceptives

By Brian Skoloff

10:46 a.m. March 1, 2006

NAPLES, Fla. – If Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.

The pizza magnate is bankrolling the project with at least $250 million and calls it “God's will.”

Civil libertarians say the plan is unconstitutional and are threatening to sue.

The town of Ave Maria is being constructed around Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university to be built in the United States in about 40 years. Both are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples in southwestern Florida.

The town and the university, developed in partnership with the Barron Collier Co., an agricultural and real estate business, will be set on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center, a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, at nearly 65 feet tall. Monaghan envisions 11,000 homes and 20,000 residents.

During a speech last year at a Catholic men's gathering in Boston, Monaghan said that in his community, stores will not sell pornographic magazines, pharmacies will not carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will have no X-rated channels.

Homebuyers in Ave Maria will own their property outright. But Monaghan and Barron Collier will control all commercial real estate in the town, meaning they could insert provisions in leases to restrict the sale of certain items.

“I believe all of history is just one big battle between good and evil. I don't want to be on the sidelines,” Monaghan, who sold Domino's Pizza in 1998 to devote himself to doing good works, said in a recent Newsweek interview.

Robert Falls, a spokesman for the project, said Tuesday that attorneys are still reviewing the legal issues and that Monaghan had no comment in the meantime.

“If they attempt to do what he apparently wants to do, the people of Naples and Collier County, Florida, are in for a whole series of legal and constitutional problems and a lot of litigation indefinitely into the future,” warned Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said it will be up to the courts to decide the legalities of the plan. “The community has the right to provide a wholesome environment,” he said. “If someone disagrees, they have the right to go to court and present facts before a judge.”

Gov. Jeb Bush, at the site's groundbreaking earlier this month, lauded the development as a new kind of town where faith and freedom will merge to create a community of like-minded citizens. Bush, a convert to Catholicism, did not speak specifically to the proposed restrictions.

“While the governor does not personally believe in abortion or pornography, the town, and any restrictions they may place on businesses choosing to locate there, must comply with the laws and constitution of the state and federal governments,” Russell Schweiss, a spokesman for the governor, said Tuesday.

Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan's concept to Islamic fundamentalism.

“This is un-American,” Kissling said. “I don't think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens.”


Good idea?

Constitutionally sound or "un-American?"

Like "Islamic fundamentalism" or free exercise of religion?

Other thoughts or comments?

purplewings answered on 03/02/06:

I can't imagine Tom Monoghan not checking this idea out thoroughly with attorney's before going public with his plan.

Of course in the land of the free, United States of America, this will not ever happen.....and it shouldn't happen either.

By basing the entire town on religion, he shuts out all who aren't religious. By basing it around a Catholic University, he seems to expect everyone there to also be Catholic thereby turning away all protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. etc. He also tells the business owners what they can and can't market? No way!

He is going to disallow pornography and birth control? Oh please!

People are used to being free and will certainly raise flames over this idea. It's an awful idea on general principle. Even if I were Catholic, and prim & proper about all those mentioned things, I still would want everyone to be free to choose for themselves.
And I would definitely want control over my own business

NO. NO. This is the worst idea I've heard in many years. Now I'm wondering about the long term effects of all that pizza.


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revdauphinee asked on 03/01/06 - A Pious Old Man

A pious man, who had reached the age of 105, suddenly stopped going to synagogue.

Alarmed by the old fellow's absence after so many years of faithful attendance, the Rabbi went to see him. He found him in excellent health, so the Rabbi asked, "How come after all these years we don't see you at services anymore?"The old man lowered his voice. "I'll tell you, Rabbi," he whispered. "When I got to be 90, I expected God to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, then 105. So, I figured that God is very busy and must've forgotten about me, and I don't want to remind Him!"

purplewings answered on 03/02/06:

Very funny! Thanks for starting my day off on a positive note.


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hOPE12 asked on 03/01/06 - Do you know????

Hello Everyone,

Does anyone on this board know anything about a pace maker? If so please tell me about them? My mother has had a heart attach and her heart rate reached 26 and so they want to put in a pace maker. They hooked her up to a crash cart and said if it gets any lower they will have to shock her.

I really am sorry for asking this on this board but I know how well educated some are here and knew if anyone knew anything, it would be you guys.

Thank you for whatever help you can give.
Take care,

purplewings answered on 03/02/06:

Hi Hope,

I don't have the answers you seek but I know you can speak to the doctor with all your questions and concerns. A pharmacist also has a good understanding of how it all works.

I wish you and your mother the best. I will say a prayer for your both.


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excon asked on 03/01/06 - The Fat Tuesday Massacre

Hello Survivors:

They couldn't do it all at once. They had to drag it out for a couple days, and I don't think it's over yet. If you hear a knock on your door late at night, DON'T answer it.

They got Laura for Gods sake.

Oh oh, I just thought of something. Maybe bucker is right. Maybe the devil is taking them away. Arrrrgghhhh.


purplewings answered on 03/01/06:

Hold on ex. AND for heavens sake don't hit any Abuse button. Something about clicking on that takes you off this page into another realm. Sort of like Alice in Wonderland. Careful.....Shhhhh

Stick around.

I'll look for you later today........

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Coup_de_Grace asked on 03/01/06 - A Post About God

I guess things have settled down among you guys, so I'll kick off March with a riddle and some quotes.

GRIST for believers and non-believers.

Epicuris posed the following riddle:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

In other words:

If god is all good, whence comes evil? For evil cannot come from good any more than thistles can come from apples.

I'd prefer no comments about free will as I am familiar with this piece of Christian theology unless you have a sophisticated argument, of course, and can relate them to the Riddle above.
======================================================================= ======

Nietzsche said, "The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."

What do you think of this particular Nietzsche quote? What are the ramifications of seeing the world ugly and bad?

"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know." Montaigne

Did Montaigne hit the nail on the head? Why?

Have a go at it and have fun!


Benjamin and Susan Grace

purplewings answered on 03/01/06:

There really is no evil. There are only challenges and mistakes, which form each ones' character & personality. These challenges are brought about by individual lack of discipline and unity. They encompass each of the Deadly sins we carry through our earthly ego. This supposedly evil is done because the human spirit must keep advancing and resolving mental conflicts - but has no real answers on how to do so.

I would believe our creator does want the earth to be "as it is in heaven" but it is not the place of God to step in and alter the course of man. Rather God to watch man create and then resolve the conflicts as in so doing, man will reach a new level of emotion, understanding, acceptance, and compassion,which will carry into future generations and wider areas of the world- spiritual growth - like a single small candle which lights so many other candles.

Nietzsche said, "The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."

It's isn't so much the Christian resolution -which is about love, unity, compassion,
forgiveness and acceptance, as the way many refuse to recognize the beliefs of others may be equally valid, instead expecting all to acquiesce to their own standard and beliefs. In this way, they close off love and compassion.It has then become arrogance. An earthly power battle instead of the original intent which is to encompass all with discipline, and equality.

What do you think of this particular Nietzsche quote? What are the ramifications of seeing the world ugly and bad?
I don't know what nietzsche intended but it would seem if one believes the world is ugly and bad, then it's inhabitants would also be viewed that way - allowing for no individual uniqueness, no creativity or growth. Judgements will be harsh and intolerance rampant in effort to change the world view.

"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know." Montaigne

Did Montaigne hit the nail on the head? Why?
Religion. Nobody on earth knows the truth of God. We all gain our beliefs our own way and once they seem to work for us, we insist we have the whole truth, when in fact many beliefs can/will work for man, if he is looking to spiritual enlightenment through unity and love. Morality is in the spirit of each individual, not to be meted out by churches. Man's nature is to explore and conquer.....once believed it is known/conquered, arrogance and hatred prevail.

Good posting

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sarnian asked on 02/28/06 - Mardi Gras is over ....

With Mardi Gras over how many here are going to follow lent fully (i.e. 6 weeks without eating any meat)?

Though Mardi Gras is still something of today (I read about the fun in New Orleans and of course in the "old" world), can the same be stated of lent?

purplewings answered on 03/01/06:

Thanks for reiterating this information for those who don't practice religion but who are strongly spiritual.

...Of which I consider myself.

Even so, I have decided to abstain from something I enjoy for the 40 days of Lent, in order to strengthen my god spirit and self discipline. It also serves as a reminder of the Easter season and the life of Jesus as believed in the Christian religion. Though I have doubts of much of the Biblical stories, I believe in Jesus' existence and purpose....and try to honor that purpose with this small sacrifice.

I've given up my favorite drug once again....
chocolate in all it's delectable form.


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BeelzeBUSH asked on 02/28/06 - Ezekiel's "wheel in the middle of the wheel"

The following is part of the Blumrich summary explanation to Ezekiel chapter one. I only c&p part of it because it's rather lengthy. I've read that particular portion of Ezekiel and quite frankly I'm not sure if the context is describing using anthropomorphism to describe beings (angles?), or something of other spiritual nature, or something more physical like planets, or something along the lines of a high tech craft, as in Blumrich's summary below.

It's an open subject. Comments?

Ezekiel 1:4 (NIV)
I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north--an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal

Blumrich summary:
The spacecraft begins at some distance from the prophet in its initial descent. Vapour cloud is from cooling preliminary to firing of rocket engine. Rocket engine is then fired.

Ezekiel 1:5 (NIV)
and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man

Blumrich summary:
Looking upward, the prophet sees four shapes surrounded by fire and vapour that look alive. These are helicopter-like bodies deployed before landing.

Ezekiel 1:6 (NIV)
but each of them had four faces and four wings.

Blumrich summary:
The prophet is now able to see more detail because the craft is at low altitude. He sees the four blades of the rotors and the fairing housings above the rotors that give the appearance of faces.

Ezekiel 1:7 (NIV)
Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze.

Blumrich summary:
This is a description of the landing legs. The legs have shock absorbers and round footpads.

Ezekiel 1:8 (NIV)
Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings,

Blumrich summary:
This refers to remote-controlled mechanical arms hanging along side the cylindrical helicopter bodies.

Ezekiel 1:9 (NIV)
and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

Blumrich summary:
A reference to the helicopter blades protruding outward is made.

Ezekiel 1:10 (NIV)
Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.

Blumrich summary:
The fairing surfaces, which protect the gears and other control devices above the rotors, look to the prophet like faces. The fairings are irregular in shape with some raised and some cut out areas, all of which lends itself to an awe-struck interpretation on the prophet's part. By way of example, Blumrich shows photos of Gemini and Apollo capsules that at certain angles look like monsters. Because like faces face in like directions, we see that the rotors are synchronized at rest position.

Ezekiel 1:11 (NIV)
Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out upward; each had two wings, one touching the wing of another creature on either side, and two wings covering its body.

Blumrich summary:
The first part refers to the rotor blades being divided. The suggestion is that there is a kind of gap in the control mechanism or fairing. The last part of the verse refers to the rotor blades folded in an up and down position.

Ezekiel 1:12 (NIV)
Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.

Blumrich summary:
This refers to the landing leg assembly and the retractable wheels as part of each leg assembly. Ezekiel doesn't see the wheels until they are actually deployed in verse fifteen. Verses nine, twelve and fifteen are interrelated.

Ezekiel 1:13 (NIV)
The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it.

Blumrich summary:
Ezekiel is referring to the flowing reactor radiator and the bursts from the control rockets. The lightning effect comes from what would seem like leaping random fire but in fact is controlled bursts from the various control rockets for stabilization purposes. Etc, etc, etc.....

I love myself,

purplewings answered on 03/01/06:

I've often thought about this section of the bible that I heard adults whisper about when I was a child. I don't accept the Blumrich explanation because it makes no sense to me. Were there heliocopters at that time? Think not. There may have been space craft, but it wasn't from this planet.

Words to describe such were not even known. How can someone give description of what they have no knowledge of....?

This is one reason I've always known there were UFO's.

I don't think the description was all based on the craft either. When people describe faces, it's not usually an engine they're speaking of....


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CeeBee2 asked on 02/28/06 - Sorry about the three posts. My computer froze.


purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Oh? Sure. If you say so.


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Erewhon asked on 02/28/06 - What Do You KNOW About Pancake Tuesday?

What do you know about this Christian Feast?

What the French call Mardi Gras - Grease or Fat Tuesday - is called Shrove Tuesday or simply, Pancake Day in the British Empire.

It is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent - the 40 days leading up to Easter - was traditionally a time of fasting - redolent of the 40-Day Fast of Jesus in the wilderness in preparation for his mortal ministry - and so on Shrove Tuesday Christians went to confession and were "shriven" (absolved from their sins).

It was the last opportunity to use eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

The pancake has a very long history and featured in cookbooks as far back as 1439

A thin, flat cake, made of batter and baked on a griddle or fried in a pan, the pancake has a very long history and featured in cookbooks as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old:

"And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne."
(Pasquil's Palin, 1619).

Certainly these days part of the fun of cooking pancakes is in the tossing. To toss a pancake successfully takes a combination of the perfect pancake and good technique - it's so easy to get it wrong and end up with half the pancake still stuck to the pan while the other half is stuck to the ceiling or floor. All in all, it's probably best to practise a few times without an audience.

In the United Kingdom, pancake races also form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations - an opportunity for large numbers of people to race down the streets tossing pancakes.

The relative ease of baking on hot stoves or on griddles has resulted in a variety of pancakes around the world.

Old English batter was mixed with ale, but not so much in the last two hundred years. German and French pancakes, leavened by eggs and much beating, are baked very thin and served with sweet or savoury fillings. The French crêpe is thin and crispy - a crêpe suzette is folded or rolled and heated in a sauce of butter, sugar, citrus juice, and liqueur.

Russian blinis, usually prepared with buckwheat, are thin, crisp pancakes, and commonly served with caviar and sour cream or folded over and filled with cream cheese or jam. Mexico has its tortilla, which is often served folded over a bean or meat filling and topped by tomato sauce.

American pancakes are thicker. They are sometimes called battercakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks and are usually leavened with baking powder or baking soda and served with syrup.

The French name for Shrove Tuesday has been given to a number of Mardi Gras carnivals around the world. Among the most famous are those of Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.

Pancake tossing is also a very serious pastime for some people - Ralf Laue from Leipzig broke the world record by tossing a pancake 416 times in two minutes and Mike Cuzzacrea ran a marathon while continually tossing a pancake for three hours, two minutes and 27 seconds.

The world's biggest pancake was cooked in Rochdale Lancashire in 1994. It was an amazing 15 metres in diameter, weighed three tonnes and had an estimated two million calories.

This is a basic reciper for pancakes. It makes 12-14 pancakes.

Preparation time is less than 30 mins and the cooking time less than 10 mins.


For the pancake mixture:

110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter

To serve:

caster sugar (ordinaryh whiten granulated will do)
lemon juice
lemon wedges


Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing.

Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.

Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).

When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.

Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan.

Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl anduse it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. 2 tbsp is about right for a 7in pan. It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go.

As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter.

It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be.

Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, spinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up.

Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

This is a practical, cheap, and easy way for those who wish to recreate an ancient English Christian Feast in their very own kitchens.

For me, it is a journey back into my boyhood years when Pancake Day was a Day to Relish and Remember.


purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

How fun! I love flipping pancakes and I love eating em' even more.

It sure beats Fat Tuesday Punzkis for me. Those heavy, jelly filled donuts, although really, really tasty - Who needs all that extra fat?

I'm already half sick from the 4 I've already eaten. That ends it year, it's plain pancakes in memory of you and the UK.

Thank you for the story, Ronnie. One can never know too much - I collect these little facts for a time when someone else might ask.

I may be able to impress some one, some time in the future.


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arcura asked on 02/28/06 - Could this joke be found to be funny by a Christian?

A man and woman were having dinner in a fine restaurant. Their waitress, taking another order at a table a few steps away, suddenly noticed that the man was slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, but the woman acted unconcerned. The waitress watched
as the man slid all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman dining across from him appeared calm and unruffled, apparently unaware that her dining companion had disappeared. After the waitress finished taking the order, she
came over to the table and said to the woman, "Pardon me, ma'am, but I think your husband just slid under the table."
The woman calmly looked up at her and said, "No he didn't. He just walked in the door."

purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Not really funny to me but that's not from a Christian viewpoint - only my own sense of humor or lack of, in this case.

I would imagine many Christians would find it objectionable based on the idea of a cheating wife. I must say that I work for an orthodox priest and get to visit with many of his fellows, who have a wonderful sense of humor, because they know the difference in joke and reality.

The idea is to remember a "JOKE" is just that and not a plan for living. If it tickles your funnybone, it's a good joke. If it doesn't, it's not your type of humor.

I've known people who could only find humor in potty jokes.....which are the kind that leave me completely stumped.


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deardra asked on 02/28/06 - what would you want me to tell your kids?

What should I say when a little kid I am babysitting talks to me about his ideas about rligion and god? I dont have christian beliefs and ideas but I dont want to interfere with anyones beleifs or be over bound in what I say to chirstins kids. The little kid I was babysitting last night said to me when people die they get burried in the cemetary and you go visit them there and take flowers and then the dead people go to heaven. I know some people do get burried in cemetaries when thy die and I know people like to go visit their dead family and friends and take flowers. But that isn't the way life is for everyone. Lots of people dont get burried and I dont believe in a place called heaven that dead people go to. Im going to tell my friends about it but it was so late when they got home I didnt say anything last night so Im wondering what you would tell me if I was babysiting your kids and they said something like to me what would you want me to say? I told him that is what some people think and other people think different things. He proved it to me by saying he has seen the cemetaries.

purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Hi deardra,

I think when you're babysitting, you should not talk about religion, politics, or death with the children. Just change the topic if it should arise. Most people want to teach their children specific things in those areas and it is their right to do so.

If you want to discuss your own beliefs, opinions, or question others, do it here with adults who enjoy sharing what they have adopted as their own.

Many blessings,

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MaggieB asked on 02/28/06 - This is not a question but just a note to Pete.


I will not tell you of my past, it is noone's business but mine but many people know and knew me then and know me now. Only through accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God who forgave me of my sins could I be the person I am today. You see I know that
God is real without a shadow of a doubt and I know that the Holy Spirit lives within me and leads, guides me and directs me daily.

As a child and a middle school kid I was scared of God because I had been told that God'll get you if you are mean and don't listen. When I gave my life to Jesus I still didn't totally give myself to Him and felt as if yes, I know Him, and that is what I am suppose to do. But I was never completely satisfied, there was always a longing and searching for more. There was more to it than I had perceived. Please believe me when I say, after a time I got to the point where I questioned my salvation. Then I started praying to God every chance I got, I read the Scriptures, mainly the Gospel of John and asked God to take me and use me for His service, still holding back some but eventually I surrendered to Him and through His love I have become a person I never knew.
I trust Him to take care of me and my family. I tell Him what bothers me, I prayed for my marriage to be as
my husband and I were when we were dating and first married, yes, we are totally in love, more than ever and we laugh the majority of the time unless one of us is desparetly ill and then we still look at each other as a young couple with desire and a love that will not die until God calls one of us home.

So many times we are the center of conversations because neither was my husband what he should be, there has been many prayers that have brought this couple before the throne of God and this is not bragging it is in thanksgiving for our lives and what Jesus Christ has done for us. We both had talents we didn't know we had, Jesus showed us so as we are in service to Him and others. We want to do these things not because it surely pleases God but because HE put this love in our hearts for others and ourselves and we are running over with love, compassion and happiness that we never had. A joy and happiness that unless you have a "real" relationship with the Saviour, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, you willl never understand. Noone can totally describe it to you it comes from the living waters that only Jesus Christ can give. It is truely unbelieveable and that is why unbelievers cannot fathom the love of God. If anyone ever gives themselves to Jesus Christ totally,
they will never be the same again.

Christians are not better than anyone else but to put it mildly they are not worse than others either. We all make mistakes, fall short of the mark and have different personalities, in short we are human.

You say you have always been good, good for you, there are millions of people just like you all over the world who think that because they are moral people that they need nothing else. But to have the joy unspeakable and full of glory in you life cannot be had by just saying I am OK. Can I prove God lives, you bethcha but only because He lives in me and I know, that I know, that I know. Why do you think you are on this Christianity site? Because the Holy Spirit is causing you to have doubts as to whether God is real which many of you say cannot be proved, not even by looking at the vast oceans, mountains, flowers, animals and the smile of a small child. But, a big bang did not haphazardly throw all the heavens, earth and sea together and "boom" there was
everybody with every minute particle in us just exactly right to make us live and breath, to make the animals know how to take care of themselves, oh no, and they are still monkeys and chimps alive today but they are not able to do many things we do so with all respect for those who believe Darwin's theory, it just won't wash because we who have accepted Christ' death and resurrection and when He acsended into heaven He sent a comfortor to lead us, we know that we are of a "special kind". That is why we wish to see other people enjoy the love He gives. It is not my way to push Christianity on anyone. Yes it is nice to know that when Christians passover to the other side they will not face destruction but the joy of it all will be to thank the One who suffered, bled and died for us and to share His glory forever and ever.

Love to you and God bless,


purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Beautifully said, Maggie.

Reading this was a bit of an eye opener for me and probably a few others. How many of us lie to ourselves by concentrating on only that which we make public and ignoring the private part of ourselves that may be quite different?

Since everything is a process, and we are all at different levels of growth, we certainly need to hear how it has happened for others, that they have found complete faith and changed their entire lives. A little faith is easy - complete faith based on results is more elusive. The journey can be more joyful anticipating happiness at the destination.

None of us are free when we live in doubt and fear. As it's said the truth shall set us free.

Best of all things is when our private and public self merges & we can always be just exactly who we were meant to be.

Sounds like you've come a long way. Thanks so much for sharing.

God bless,

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Jesushelper76 asked on 02/27/06 - ASKING A QUESTION

PREVIOUSLY, I was just asking a question about the behaviour. Even for open discussion I think there should be certain rules. I do not know much about the active discussions and did not like what I saw, and asked about it. Is this not what this site is about. I asked a question, and personally did not like what I saw there. Why is that a problem?

purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Hi Joe,

There is nothing wrong about asking a question or posting a comment. The reason some people were disturbed by it was due to your wording. You stated something like:

I could not believe what I saw!

That sounds a bit judgemental.

It can be even more annoying when it's in regard to someone we've known for a long, long time, and who is generally calm, kind and gentle in his comments to and about others.

I hope you will let go of this small upset and move on. It's just not worth dwelling on. Yesterdays News.

Have a great day. Many blessings to you.


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Stud2 asked on 02/27/06 - Hi. I just joined as an expert.

This is the christian board isn't it? maybe I came at a bad time. There seems to be a lot of trouble here. It seem like much fighting going on. Maybe I should wait?

purplewings answered on 02/28/06:

Good morning and welcome to the board.
Where did you see all that fighting going on? I thought it had ended when so many people were suspended a couple days ago.

We get a little rowdy at times but that just makes life more interesting.

Why don't you tell us something about yourself so we can get to know you quicker.


Jesushelper76 asked on 02/27/06 - The active discussion!

Sorry for the repeat? Might have said it wrong in the first post.


purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

I think it was very wise of Leon to suggest they take that fiasco to the forum so everyone else wouldn't have to get involved.

Sometimes too much ugliness can be said repeatedly until any normal human being will rise against it.

Leon is one of the sweetest guys I've known - and I've known him for many years now. If HE got upset, something terrible was said by the other party.

Don't give it a thought Joe. It's ended now.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/27/06 - Vacation from Negativity, also?

Suggestion before I continue my European vacation. How about a vacation from negative questions..... > disease scares, terrorist hype, political bushwah as long as the angry people are suspended??

Let's get out of za rut and be creative mit questions. Questions about Christianity, morality, ethics, positive relationships.

Off I go!


purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

Wonderful idea Fitzella. Now, if anyone can just think of something positive to post for a change....

You are a super mediator and keeper of the peace. Maybe AW should start paying for you to remain in that position.


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Erewhon asked on 02/27/06 - Christianity and Medicare Politics ...

Abracadabra Economics
The new magic makes supply-side economics old hat.
By Michael Kinsley
Posted Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, at 6:15 AM ET

The hideous complexity of President Bush's prescription-drug program
has reduced elderly Americans—and their children—to tears of bewildered frustration. The multiple options when you sign up, each with its own multiple ceilings and co-payments; the second round of red tape when you actually want to acquire some pills; the ludicrously complex and arbitrary standards of eligibility, which play a cruel and pointless game of hide-and-seek as they lurch up and down the graph paper like drunks: Suddenly a mystery is solved—so, this must be what he means by "compassionate conservatism."

Thus Bush's only major domestic accomplishment in six years as president has not achieved its intended purpose of cementing the affection of senior citizens for the Republican Party. Many Republicans are sobbing with frustration, too. It is one thing to put aside your principles and spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society if it is going to help you to win elections (so you can pursue your dream of smaller government). It is another to sell your soul and not get anything for it. No one looks more foolish than a failed cynic.

But, look on the bright side, say the Bushies. The wretched thing does seem to be restraining drug prices and costing the government less than it was supposed to. The current cost estimate is only $678 billion over 10 years. That's down 8 percent from the previous estimate of $737 billion. Cool. But when the prescription-drug benefit was enacted in 2003, it was supposed to cost $400 billion over 10 years. As disenchanted conservative Bruce Bartlett retails in his new book about the Bush presidency, delicately entitled Impostor, there was a mini-scandal and an official investigation when it came out that the administration was hiding its own estimate of $534 billion. When the dust settled, that figure had become $557.7 billion.

Continue Article

Who believes any of these numbers? Do you? I will bet anyone a month's supply of Lipitor, collectible in 2016, that the 10-year bill will be more than $678 billion. Any takers?

What's shocking about this, more than the numbers (hundreds of billions of dollars are hard to fathom), is that Bush's drug benefit comes without even a theory about how it will be paid for. Even after nearly three decades of Republican abracadabranomics, this may be a first. A transparently phony theory at least pays tribute to the hypothesis that money doesn't grow on trees. Not even to bother coming up with a phony theory is an arrogant insult to democracy. It raises "because I said so" to a governing philosophy.

The classic Republican phony theory is, of course, supply-side economics. Every proposed tax cut from before Reagan until Bush's own has been defended on the grounds that it will pay for itself by stimulating new economic activity. This is a theory based more on faith than on evidence, but at least it's a theory.

Bush's other big attempt at a domestic initiative—Social Security privatization—came with a theory: Investing in stocks pays better than government bonds. So, you can close the looming gap between Social Security revenues and benefits—and even give the oldsters a bit extra—by letting folks invest for themselves at least part of what the government is now investing for them in those dismal bonds. The theory had a comically obvious flaw: How can society as a whole divert money from government bonds to private stocks as long as the government is still spending and borrowing as much as ever? But, at least, as I say, it was a theory. At least it paid us the compliment of obfuscation. Better to be duped than ignored. Bush's proposed Health Savings Accounts—as a way to cover the uninsured and restrain the rise in health costs—come with a theory that may even have some merit.

But the drug program has no theory. It addresses none of the conundrums of the pharmaceutical age. Pills are increasingly central to medical care, and many more miracles await. But pills are also a characteristic postindustrial product, like software or movies: They can cost billions to develop but can be mass distributed for practically nothing. Conventional supply-and-demand economics offers a compelling explanation of how an "invisible hand" sets the price and distribution of brooms or spaghetti sauce so that the benefit to society and individuals is maximized. But it has almost nothing to say about Fosomax or Windows or Brokeback Mountain. Conventional compassion, however sincere, is little guide to what you do about a lifesaving drug that costs $100,000 a year. And spraying government subsidies on the insurance industry and other big companies does not equal using the power of the free market to solve these problems.

Without a theory, the prescription-drug benefit is—like most government now—a straightforward matter of writing checks. Nothing wrong with that, in my book. But even if this subsidy to senior citizens survives its rocky premiere, it is doomed. Simple transfers of money cannot keep up with the rising cost—and rising benefit—of pharmaceutical drugs.

Long ago, in 1988, a Republican president and Congress enacted a bill to address the other missing piece in Medicare: insurance against the cost of long-term or catastrophic illness. But seniors, initially delighted, recoiled in horror when they discovered that they were actually expected to pay premiums to cover the cost of this insurance. The benefit program was repealed the next year, amid much embarrassment. It didn't occur to them back then to pass the benefit and ignore the cost. That's progress.

We are in a turmoil over this programme.

Would a Christian president foist this kind of insanity on the elderly, poor, and vulnerable sick?

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

It's rough. My mother who recently had a stroke at age 83 and needs all kinds of medicine can only afford it if she sends to Texas for them. (from Michigan) Plus, she has to order a 3 month supply each time in order for her insurance to cover.

Since they have to try several drugs on her to see what will work without severe side affects, it means there is much wasted as they discover it isn't working and go to something else.

Her husband has been retired for over 30 years because his company moved to another state & he had no real choice in the matter.

Their insurance is far from the best but this is really, really bad and they worry themselves into more sickness.

I feel bad for the seniors and wonder why our government can't come up with a better plan to help.

There seems to be no end and no one high up that really cares to work hard on it.

Perhaps when your medical costs are all paid for, it's hard to feel for those in lesser circumstances.

It's a shame for people who've contributed their entire lives to now live in fear of dying from lack of funds to buy their own meds.

I don't just blame about Clinton and every previous president who did nothing to address this issue.

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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/27/06 - Greetings from za Heathrow!

Ve had a fine overnight flight to London, and now Oh! za jetlag. I'm staying at a place near Edgeware Road to catch up on my sleep, go to za theater, the usual. Of course, I'm not going to eat the food. Vill be living on salads and various beverages.

Yust checking in vit the Board before I recommence vit my vacation.

Vas ist los? Za angry volks are all suspended?? Zat is a gud zing. Ven people get out of control and meanspirited and angry, zair is nothing like down time to get za perspective back. ;=D

Zo, enjoy za board vile I'm skiiiiiing. Yust cross country this trip. Then, off to Roma.


purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

Do eat za food. It's great - ezpezially the fish and chips you can find most everywhere.

Maybe you can find a reztaurant lounge called Little Texas or zometing zimilar. It haz the greatest burgers in za world end they love Elviz too. You do remember za great prezley? Nein..?

Maintain your strength for that crozz countre trip. Don't stay too long. Ok?

Be on guard from those zexy men looking for zom fun..

But enjoy.

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arcura asked on 02/27/06 - And yet another has been suspended....................

Guess who.....
No don't bother.
Here's a cut anf paste
western's Profile
Last Login: 02/26/06 18:52 GMT
western has been temporarily suspended from this site!

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

I think he was already suspended when he became western from tex from bucker, wasn't he?

Anyone, I know this will make some people really feel badly.

This board is in trouble. How can any of us keep it going without any of those...?


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MaggieB asked on 02/27/06 - Suspended


I have been a christian for 27 years and am active in my Church. I am trained in theophostic ministry and a life member of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship.

I have written a book which is basicly testimony of my Christian walk
"have you met any raving ratbags lately"

I also respect and use the works of Josh McDowell as references
Evidence that demands a verdict.
A ready defence.

I quote extensively from the New International version of the Holy Bible.

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purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

I'm curious about this one. I didn't notice him engaging in any of the trash talk. It seemed pretty directly to be between Hank and Aton. .....?

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MaggieB asked on 02/27/06 - Suspended


Have been asking and answering questions on the Christianity forum for the past year, but neglected to sign on as an expert. Veteran of and See my profile under RELIGION for pertinant info.

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purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

This will be a boring board without aton's input, for sure. Some will be glad he's gone, but no one can deny that he knows the subject well.


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MaggieB asked on 02/27/06 - Suspended


I feel that I have a great relationship with God. His plan for me is working. My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from Him.

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purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

This is a shame. I didn't think Hank would ever be suspended here. I think this is the highlight of his day.

It's just too bad, as Laura suggested, that these guys can't rein themselves in and let things go by.


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revdauphinee asked on 02/27/06 - Humorous posts!

some folks recently have indicated a dislike for the humorous posts I put on here ,if i offend you then I am sory ,however I believe my God has a sence of humor also if you dont Im sory but have you looked in the mirror lately????

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

I like humor. It is good for our mind, body and spirit. You contribute a lot to this board.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/27/06 - Ziss is GoodBye

to ziss Board for awhile. Now zat the Olympics are kaput, I'm going to tour Northern Italia, go skiing, then relax in Roma. I vill be back before you know it!

So, chaio for now, you know Italian is my third language. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future's not ours to see, que sera sera. :)


purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

That's too bad you have to leave now. You know you're needed here. You are a peacemaker.
Enjoy your travels and we'll be looking for your speedy and safe return.


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paraclete asked on 02/26/06 - The things you don't learn at school

This advice was offered by BILL GATES in a speech to a group of high school students. His topic was:

Things You Don’t Learn in School.

RULE 1: Life is not fair… get used to it.

RULE 2: The world won’t care about your self esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year, right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for flipping burgers: they called it opportunity.

RULE 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault. So don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents were not as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try cleaning up your own bedroom.

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many chances as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9: Life is not divided into terms. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

Great posting. Anyone with kids at home needs to print this out and keep it in an obvious place - like the refrigerator.


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powderpuff asked on 02/26/06 - Expert guidelines -a possibility or just a dream

Someone recently asked "What is the purpose of an Expert on the Answerway Christianity board????????"

I did some looking around to see if I could find anything similar to a description of what management might expect from an Expert.

On the front page of this site is a link for "Expert Guidelines" on the upper right side. Clicking that link I found the page titled:

How to Be An Effective Answerway Expert

here are some excerpt from the page of guidelines:

"Answerway is an online information and communications service...All information is provided on a volunteer basis. What sets Answerway apart from the rest is the thoughtfulness and excellence of its experts"...

The purpose of this guide is to help everyone who participates as an Expert at Answerway to develop and improve excellence in responding to questions, and to help make sure that users will not only come back again but will tell their friends and acquaintances about Answerway.

You can read all of it at this URL:

Listed under the Index To Answerway's Expert Guidelines:

Civility and courtesy
An answer to a question should be courteous, civil, and respectful
. If the Expert is tempted to post something nasty, better to post nothing at all.


Matters of Opinion
Answers in some subjects (such as religion, spirituality, or philosophy) frequently involve the personal viewpoint of the Expert, often on matters where debate has existed for decades, if not centuries. In such cases, in order both to maintain civility and to provide genuinely useful (and perhaps persuasive) information to a user, it is generally helpful to explain the reasons behind the answer, specify sources or references where appropriate, and state clearly when an answer may be controversial or based purely on the Expert's own opinion.

I could be wrong, but I think number 4 and number 8 seem to sum up what I would say is the minimum etiquette management would find acceptable.

Do you think the Experts are living up to what is implied in the "How To Be An Effective Answerway Expert" Guidelines page? Do you think it is possible for a group of adults answering questions under the title of "Expert" to use thoughtful and respectful language while answering questions and discussing differences of opinion?

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

Hi Sharlene,

The guidelines are merely what we, as adults, all know is proper behavior anyway. Unfortunately we are an online society here and the same malfunctions of personalities exist as in our cities. Some people can ignore and others have to fight back.

I ignore most but at times, you just have to jump in a little.

I like to see some heavy debating, where people put their 'all' into it, but not when it comes down to mean spirited name calling.

I'm glad you won't accept abuse anymore, as I won't either. I noticed that right away a couple years ago. We've come a long way baby!

Many blessings to you

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paraclete asked on 02/26/06 - Don't bring your guns to Church, son, leave your guns at home.

ews Home | Story
Church shooting kills one
From correspondents in Detroit

February 27, 2006

A WOMAN is dead after a man opened fire inside a church in Detroit, also leaving a child and another man wounded, according to reports.
Second Deputy Police Chief James Tate confirmed three people were shot, one fatally, at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

The child did not have life threatening injuries, WWJ-AM reported.

The third victim, who was shot when trying to protect his eighteen-year-old wife from a carjacking attempt by the shooter, was in a critical condition, the station said.

Church members helped police identify a suspect, Tate said.

Officers were looking for Kevin Lorenzo Collins, 24, who was armed and considered dangerous.

The shooting was the result of a domestic dispute, Tate said.

"Church had begun and shots rang out," he said.

After summoning help, church members continued the service.

"They didn't let this incident stop the reason why they came to church," he said.

"They came to worship."

purplewings answered on 02/27/06:

These people are so used to shootings and disrespect, they did all that they know to do - continue with their worshipping.

Obviously the gunman wasn't concerned about church services or christianity in any form. He was angry and bent on getting revenge. He did that.

In so doing, he will likely spend the next 15 - 20 years locked up to think about what he did.

How many families will remember this day the rest of their lives? Besides the family of the dead,the wounded and those who witnessed,
there is the family of the perpretator. So much suffering due to one person's wounded

Gee, it may be part of the reason 'Pride' is listed at the number 1 deadly sin.


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ATON2 asked on 02/26/06 - The reason for asking questions?????

Are we, as experts, here to ASK questions, of each other, for which we will accept only the ANSWER we want. And if we are supposed to be experts in our chosen expertise...why do WE need or want answers from anyone else??????????? Instead of doing what we contracted to do....ANSWER questions for those seeing to know about Christianity??????

e.g. Hank posts a rather confused question about 'conscience'. Arcura responds with a most convoluted and confused bit of comparision, the gist of which need to read the bible in order for conscience to be be TUNED to what is good or evil. Hank responds: "THAT'S THE RESPONSE I WAS LOOKING FOR, AND IT CAME FROM A GOOD CHRISTIAN WHO KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT"

So is that our purpose ask question for which we already have an answer and to reward ONLY "GOOD CHRISTIANS" who respond????????

Back to the response...Arcura claims: "To NOT do what Jesus taught is BAD"....Can a negative action be BAD??? Does conscience tell a Muslim that NOT to be baptized is BAD????

Arcura claims that reading the bible allows us to tune our conscience: What tuning takes place when we see an order from God that is BAD, and our conscience tells us it is BAD, But that the God who gave the BAD order is REALLY SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD?????.....What does that do to the conscience????? Do we say GOD you are BAD for telling me to kill a baby???? That is what my conscience tells me. Do I obey my conscience or the Bible????????? THAT kind of TUNING gets nothing but static.

Finally, WHY would Hank slobber all over arcura for giving him the answer he wanted, even though it makes little, or no sense :) :) :)

purplewings answered on 02/26/06:

Are we, as experts, here to ASK questions, of each other, for which we will accept only the ANSWER we want. And if we are supposed to be experts in our chosen expertise...why do WE need or want answers from anyone else??????????? Instead of doing what we contracted to do....ANSWER questions for those seeing to know about Christianity?????

I'd say since there are only experts asking experts here, everyone has a valid opinion. If there are specific facts to be brought out, that answer should get the high fives.

e.g. Hank posts a rather confused question about 'conscience'. Arcura responds with a most convoluted and confused bit of comparision, the gist of which need to read the bible in order for conscience to be be TUNED to what is good or evil. Hank responds: "THAT'S THE RESPONSE I WAS LOOKING FOR, AND IT CAME FROM A GOOD CHRISTIAN WHO KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT"

Everyone has a conscience. Even Manson and Hitler I presume.......they just had the capacity to justify their actions, and override it.

So is that our purpose ask question for which we already have an answer and to reward ONLY "GOOD CHRISTIANS" who respond????????

I hope not. I'm here to learn as well as input my own thoughts. Everyone who gives a legitimate response is worthy of stars, whether I agree or not. Those who don't really answer but choose to criticize or talk about something completely different deserve less stars.

Back to the response...Arcura claims: "To NOT do what Jesus taught is BAD"....Can a negative action be BAD??? Does conscience tell a Muslim that NOT to be baptized is BAD????

Obviously Hank and Fred are refering to Christians with that remark. Since you can only know good and evil by bible reading (per Hank) & have a weaker conscience (per Arcura), Muslims lack in conscience and have to rely completely on their own religious material to give them information about good vs bad. (That's a crock!)

Arcura claims that reading the bible allows us to tune our conscience: What tuning takes place when we see an order from God that is BAD, and our conscience tells us it is BAD, But that the God who gave the BAD order is REALLY SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD?????.....What does that do to the conscience????? Do we say GOD you are BAD for telling me to kill a baby???? That is what my conscience tells me. Do I obey my conscience or the Bible????????? THAT kind of TUNING gets nothing but static.

I think that's when people start interpreting the bible differently in order to 'make it work out right' in their minds.

Finally, WHY would Hank slobber all over arcura for giving him the answer he wanted, even though it makes little, or no sense :) :) :)

That's easy. My feeling is that when a person is hurting - they usually hurt someone else. Per Hank Obviously he is hurting, but those he's hurt with his words are not ignoring it so easily and he needs someone to validate him. Arcura did that with his response and that's why the kudos from Hank.

Please do not hold me to's only my opinion.


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STONY asked on 02/25/06 - SORRY............


purplewings answered on 02/26/06:

It's that keyboard addict in it saying: Hmm, if one post is good 3 or 4 would be fantastic......

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Jesushelper76 asked on 02/26/06 - Church Question!

Do you believe the churches no matter the denomination should have dress codes for mass services? What is your opinion about this? Thanks in advance!


purplewings answered on 02/26/06:

I don't think so Joe. I do think people should have the good sense to dress non-provocatively for church services, but I think in our laid-back society some people would not attend church if they were expected to wear specific clothing types.

I have several lady friends who wear slacks and jeans all the time - and maybe own only one dress for funerals or baptisms.

Personally, I couldn't go to mass in jeans. It would bother me.

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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/25/06 - "Turf War" not cabin fever

Za rough and tumble activity on za Christianity Board is za "TURF WAR" not cabin fever. Various individuals and cliques of individuals want to control za Board for zair own agenda, and zo, the verbal battle is on!

Za board belongs to everyone.


purplewings answered on 02/26/06:

Hi Fritz,

Glad to have your input. The board is more fun with a personality battle going on, don't you think?

Tis great to be a human being and have that great big ego.

Many Blessings to you

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Erewhon asked on 02/24/06 - BACK TO CHRISTIANITY

On this day in history, February 24, 1582 - The Gregorian calendar was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII. The Julian calendar was devised before a totally accurate measurement of the length of a year was made and it was slightly too long. This caused a problem with the vernal equinox (spring) date drifting backwards on the calendar. With this drift, the date of Easter was becoming more out of sync with the original date set by the Council of Nicaea in 325.

The Venerable Bede was aware of this in AD 725.

The Council of Trent approved a plan to correct the calendar in 1563.
The first stage was to accurately measure the year which was set at 365.2423 - which has an error of one day every 3300 years.
The second stage was to create a calendar with the proper use of leap years.
The last day of the Julian calendar was October 4, 1582 with the next day being October 15, 1582 by the Gregorian calendar.

This was implemented by few, Catholic based countries. It took 170 years for England and her colonies to accept this new calendar.

In England and the US colonies, the date change was September 2, 1752 and the next day being September 14, 1752.

There were riots with people demanding, "Give us back our eleven days!"

The last century finally saw the world converted to the Gregorian calendar with the Republic of China adopting it in 1912, Russia in 1918, and finally Greece in 1923.

Is it true that some people will become exercised over matters they misunderstand?

Politeness brings stars!

purplewings answered on 02/24/06:

Of course it's true Ronnie.

People make judgements based on their own feelings about any situation, and fail to consider the difference in the way we all think. That difference springs from the culture and family we grew up around. No one can climb inside someone else's mind to see how or why they feel as they do.

Therefore, IMHO, most upsets are about misunderstanding and control.....


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excon asked on 02/24/06 - People, People, People

Hello Christians:

I didn't know you were such wuss's. Somebody argues with you, so you snivel and pout. Get a grip! Thicken you skin! How are you gonna take over the world?

It's time you got a Jewish lesson. Jews have THICK skin. Put two Jews in a room and they'll argue. If they agree, they'll try to find something to argue about. Why do you think Jews make such good lawyers?

So, those two Jews in the room who argue about everything under the sun, and yell at each other, will walk out of that room as lantzmen - Jews watching each others backs.

Maybe that's why we've been around for 6,000 years and you've only got 2,000 under your belt.


purplewings answered on 02/24/06:

In your 6,000 years, you've had more time to learn all this behavior.......thanks for sharing a lesson with us thin-skinnies.

(This is exactly the way my sons and I take care of our differences too)

How do you find so much to argue about?

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excon asked on 02/24/06 - Note to whitefawn

Hello whitefawn:

>>>Why do I feel, as if ATHEISM want's me to convert to not believing in God?<<<

I am an atheist, and I am head preacher in my atheist church. We had a meeting last week of the UACW, the United Atheist Churches of the World. We decided to try to convert all the Christians, so what you feel is true.

Is it working?


purplewings answered on 02/24/06:

LOL (I think you're teasing that girl)

In order to excel at your new ministry, you should be well informed - pro and con. The Christianity board is a starter, but for more balance, try which lists all world religions and may affirm or deny the now - somewhat dubious need for your own ministry.

With all these different beliefs running loose, it just becomes mass confusion - of which you could become the guiding light.
Just a suggestion here, maybe start your own website, call it A place to detail all reasons to disbelieve all religions.

Maybe hold a tee shirt fundraiser for the UACW - Perhaps saying something like "my god can beat up on your god," and in no time at all, have larger meeting halls with more offshoot non-churches & ministers. Be careful though - DO make sure the buildings are all round and well lighted .....think you know why.....


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revdauphinee asked on 02/23/06 - A Jewish Confession

An 80 year-old man went into the confessional and told the priest the following:

"Father, I am an 80 year-old man, I'm married, I have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. Last night I strayed and had an affair with two 18 year-old girls. We partied and made love all night long."

The priest said, "My son, when was the last time you were at confession?"

The old man said, "I've never been to confession. I'm Jewish."

The priest said, "Then why are you here telling me this?"

The old man said, "Father, I'm telling everyone!"

purplewings answered on 02/23/06:

He must have had a realistic dream but I can see how he'd want to brag a little. Thanks rev.

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powderpuff asked on 02/22/06 - I need to be reminded


I have become a little worried since the other day when a couple terrorists were arrested just down the street from me. Not just right here in my home town, but, I can actually see where they lived from my yard. I walk past their apartment regularly and though I never knew who lived there, I never felt safe walking past. I learned after walking past the first time to cross the street and walk on the other side (the farm side) of the road every time I walked that way. It looked nice enough from the outside, but I could not get past the bad feeling when I walked past it.

That's all beside the point of my post. I need to be reminded of why I should not panic and become suspicious of all muslims in my area. These terrorists, who were my neighbors, are accused of recruiting since Nov. 2004 among other things. Three were arrested but, only 2 in my neighborhood.

What is the likelihood that there are more people in my town that were/are involved with these men that were arrested? I have heard conflicting news reports that these men were also connected to a local charity that was frozen over the weekend, accused of funding terrorists.

Now we are being told by officials to stay vigilant, but the Muslim community is asking us not to commit prejudice.

What is going to happen if all of "us" become too scared and suspicious of all of "them"?


purplewings answered on 02/22/06:

It won't happen that way Shar. Living so close to the largest Arabic community in the US, I know many - and feel no fear at all. If you pick two or three or even a dozen out of the thousands that are not hostile & working with the terrorists, that's not many. I would think we are in more danger from the serial killers or road ragers scattered around here.

We really have to keep the feeling that we can take care of ourselves in most situations. I think it's a lot to do with trusting our instincts. Be aware but not paranoid.

Be well,

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arcura asked on 02/20/06 - How does this make you feel?????????????????????????

Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants,men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding. - John Erskine, "The Complete Life"
Does eating plants make you feel like a grazing cow, bull, goat, sheep,horse, or elephant?
Does chewing on a chunk of meat make you feel like you are living on recently killed animals like a tiger, wolf, hawk, or hyneena?
Will thinking about it help you enjoy you next feast?
I offer this to help brighten up your Monday.
Happy dieting.

purplewings answered on 02/21/06:

Hi Fred,

You've mentioned a grazing cow, bull, goat, sheep,horse, elephant, tiger, wolf, hawk, & hyneena - but the only animal I feel like after eating is a pig. oink oink

Not enough to make me quit.....

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whitefawn_ asked on 02/15/06 - Hello to all of you.

Hello, you know me, I am now Whitefawn, and I want to be a great expert, and to help in the best way I can.
Many Blessings to all of you. Joy.

purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

Well, hello Whitefawn! Good to see you back.

I was thinking about our spirituality board as askme and trying to remember what name you started out with. I couldn't remember.....but I do remember when you decided to become Whitefawn. What were you before that?

...of course I remember when you were scarface too. LOL


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ATON2 asked on 02/16/06 - Truth prevails!!!!

This just in:


"Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter while on a quail hunting trip, over the weekend, because he believed the man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on Saturday was NOT al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year old millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on "faulty intelligence".

"I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had inflitrated my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying ME with pellets," Mr. Cheney told reporters. "Only after I shot Harry in the face and he shouted: 'Cheney, you bastard', did I realize that this intelligence was faulty."

Moments after Mr. Cheney's assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jezeera to announce that he was uninjured in the Vice President's attack because, in his words; 'I was in Pakistan'.

An aide to the Vice President said he believed that the American people would believe Mr. Cheney's version of events, but added: "If he was going to shoot any of his cronies, right now, it's a shame it wasn't Jack Abramoff."

At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his Vice President's shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent "a strong message to terroristst everywhere."

"The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent American citizen at point blank range, imagine what he'll do to YOU." Mr. Bush said.



purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

Pretty funny. lol
Might scare away a few terrorists, & a few Texans too.
Actually I always heard Cheney didn't have much sense of humor - I think that will have to change soon.

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STONY asked on 02/16/06 - NOW THIS WAS KINDA CUTE...

I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the
Super Wal-Mart Shopping Center and rolled down
the car windows to make sure my Labrador Retriever
Pup had fresh air. She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress upon her that she must remain there. I walked to the curb, looked back and pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay, Do you hear me?"
"Stay! Stay!"

The driver of a nearby car, a pretty blonde young lady,
gave me a strange look and said,"Why don't you just put it in PARK?!


purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

It is funny!!!

Wonder if there really was a dog there or someone just said that to make the guy seem sane.

just kiddin

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Erewhon asked on 02/16/06 - Cheney Confounds His Supporters by Telling the Truth.

Cheney: 'I'm the Guy Who Pulled the Trigger'
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
By Jane Roh

Cheney: I'm Authorized to Declassify Gov't Information

NEW YORK — Vice President Dick Cheney told FOX News on Wednesday that he alone is responsible for a weekend hunting accident in which he shot Austin attorney Harry Whittington.

"Ultimately I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry," Cheney said in his first interview since the incident. "I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend, and that's something I'll never forget."

Cheney's first public response following the shooting comes more than 72 hours after the accident. His silence has been met with bewilderment and anger by some in Washington, D.C. But on Wednesday, the vice president seemed to express deep remorse.

"The image of him falling is something I will never be able to get out my mind," Cheney said, somberly. "It was one of the worst days of my life."

Cheney said that he, Whittington and one other person separated from the 10-person hunting party to pursue a covey of quail. All three fired their shotguns, but Whittington could not immediately find his bird. He walked away from Cheney and the other hunter to look for it.

Cheney then heard quail moving to his right.

"I turned and shot at the bird, and at that second, saw Harry standing there. Didn't know he was there," Cheney said. "I saw him fall, basically. It had happened so fast."

The vice president added that Whittington was standing in a gully so only his upper body was visible, and that the sun was facing Cheney, which "affected the vision, too, I'm sure."

Whittington, whom Cheney described as an acquaintance he's known for more than 30 years, was hit with more than 200 birdshot pellets from an estimated 30 yards away.

Upon realizing he had shot his hunting companion, Cheney rushed over to find a bleeding and dazed Whittington lying on his back with only one eye open.

"I said, 'Harry, I had no idea you were there,'" Cheney recounted. "He didn't respond. He was — he was breathing, conscious at that point, but he didn't — he was, I'm sure, stunned, obviously, still trying to figure out what had happened to him."

The accident took place at Armstrong Ranch, a 50,000-acre property in south Texas that is known as one of the best quail-hunting sites in the country.

A physician's assistant traveling with Cheney rushed to Whittington's aid, and accompanied the injured man to the hospital. Cheney said he did not go himself because the ambulance was too crowded.

Cheney said he had one beer at lunch, but that no alcohol was consumed during the late afternoon outing.

Earlier this week, the White House and Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the ranch and an eyewitness to the accident, implied that Whittington did not follow hunting protocol because he didn't announce to Cheney and the other hunter that he had returned from retrieving his kill. On Wednesday, the vice president made clear that Whittington wasn't responsible for being hit.

"It was not Harry's fault," Cheney said. "You cannot blame anybody else."

One thing for which Cheney was not apologetic was the way the news of the shooting was delivered to the media. Armstrong, a private citizen, went to a local newspaper about the incident on Sunday. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times published the story near 3 p.m. EST Sunday. The scoop upset many in the White House press corps, who were not with Cheney on the private retreat.

Before Wednesday's interview, the vice president's office issued two brief written statements acknowledging the shooting on Monday and Tuesday. Cheney said he and Armstrong agreed to let her take the lead.

"I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knows and understands hunting," Cheney said. "Then it would immediately go up to the wires and be posted on the Web site, which is the way it went out. I thought that was the right call. I still do."

FOX News' Sharon Kehnemui Liss contributed to this report.


That makes all those Cheney supporters who jumped in to say it was Harry Whittingham's fault look pretty silly.

Cheney has unseated them with a laudable if tardy display of honesty.

purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

I think the whole idea is pretty silly. Did anyone really say it was Whittingham's fault he got shot? I think the message was that when there are loaded guns being used, it would be a responsible move to not come up behind someone unannounced.

Obviously, the shooter is responsible for shooting his gun. Remember this: guns don't shoot people.....people do.


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HANK1 asked on 02/16/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if ANSWERWAY, namely the Christianity Board, could become a real POWER on the Q & A circuit by ridding ourselves of all PREJUDICE, since its an unjustified negative attitude toward a GROUP, a category of people or a cultural practice. For one, I realize that PREJUDICE allows some people to feel proud of themselves and their own thoughts and superior to others. I also know that people who are insecure and frustrated can use another group or individual as a scapegoat as a socially accepted target for said insecurity. The real bottom-line is this: PREJUDICE can take the form of efforts to control or exterminate members of a group. It's fine for a person to have a consistent, unified set of beliefs. We all agree with this premise! Bravo! On balance: Perhaps it's not what you say but how you say it. How many times have you heard me say this? Being against an issue or a belief is normal. But don't you think it's better to stay away from direct competition with a fellow Expert or User of Answerway? Once people have formed attitudes in general, and PREJUDICES in particular, they are reluctant to change their minds for several reasons that I won't mention. FINE! This, too, is quite normal but remember, PREJUDICE leads to discrimination. I'll leave you with that thought!


purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

I think you're right Hank. We could all benefit from a kinder, gentler Christianity board......and for that matter, world. But, let's at least begin here. No matter what any one's religious beliefs, if they reflect kindness and unity, are certainly valid.

And for any one talking politic's or joking, the same goes. People are free to be human. Hopefully.

Prejudiced is ugly and once started, it's hard to get free of.


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paraclete asked on 02/15/06 - hey, It's not just me

Many of you have berated me for a less that favourable attitude towards america and americans, but did you know that my fellow countrymen support me

US sinks to new low in eyes of Australians

By Louise Williams
February 16, 2006

AUSTRALIANS are more hostile than ever towards the United States and view China's global influence more favourably than that of Canberra's key ally, a new global poll has found.

The poll, released yesterday in the influential US magazine Foreign Policy, describes America as globally "red, white and booed", noting: "The United States's standing dropped sharply as a result of the Iraq war, and it hasn't hit rock bottom yet."

In interviews conducted between last October and January, only 29 per cent of Australians had a "mainly positive" attitude towards the US, while 60 per cent were "mainly negative" and 11 per cent undecided. This is down on last year, when 40 per cent of Australians were positive about the US.

America's popularity also fell, but less sharply, among allies such as Britain and South Korea. Only the French and Germans, opponents of the invasion of war in Iraq, are less enthusiastic about the US than Australians.

"The Bush Administration is a very difficult export for the US … and you can see the same responses in other liberal democracies," said Allan Gyngell, executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

A big poll by the Lowy Institute last year revealed similarly critical views of the US and a more benign attitude to China.

"When you are the world's superpower and the focus of attention is upon you, then all these [critical] issues like the Abu Ghraib torture photos get circulated globally," he said. But, he said, many Australians still pragmatically support our security alliance with the US, despite their misgivings.

Mr Gyngell said instant global communications, like the internet, SMS and satellite TV, meant governments had to recognise that all diplomacy was now public diplomacy.

Although Australians still feel more comfortable about China, it has also lost some of its shine. Australia's "mainly positive" attitudes fell from 56 per cent last year to 43 per cent. This may be the consequence of the protracted war of words over the defection of the Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin last year. Mr Chen claims China is running an extensive overseas spy network, including agents in Australia.

The global poll also looked at attitudes to coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, only 27 per cent of people view the US-led forces favourably, compared with 72 per cent of Afghans.

But it seems Iran is failing to rally the rest of the world "against the rich and powerful West", despite rattling the nuclear sabre. The respondents in 33 countries may not like America much, but they like Iran even less.


So let's face it, I'm just reflecting what others think. So come on american's, what are you going to do to change this image you have in the world?

purplewings answered on 02/16/06:

Like all my American friends here, my heart is breaking that we are not liked by Australia, and every other place. What have we done to deserve this? We are nice. We help lots of people. And we're pretty too. Whassa matta with us?

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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/14/06 - Vas Ist Los??

I never go out hunting ven I'm drunk. Za reason is zat I always shoot someone in za face because ears look liken vings. Herr Lufthorn

purplewings answered on 02/14/06:

I understand perfectly. It's really difficult to get a clear picture when you're looking through a pink cloud isn't it? Best to get drunk and stay home - alone - or with someone.

Do you use a regular gun or a uzi when you hunt for birds?

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ATON2 asked on 02/14/06 - Christian response needed.

What should be the CHRISTIAN response to a self-proclaimed Christian expert, who signs on with two or more different 'monikers' at the same time, answers his own postings, and uses the phoney sign-ins to down rate other experts??????
Non-Christians are also free to respond :)

purplewings answered on 02/14/06:

Well, even though I was raised in a Christian environment, I guess I will never see things from a purely Christian standing.

My thought is that Fred is only trying to spice up a dull board by using different names. Since points mean nothing, what do we care if he rates himself using a different moniker?

There are other folks at answerway who use different names and do it mainly for the reason I've mentioned....

It seems like a harmless thing to me.
If there were a lot of outsiders coming here with serious questions to ask, it would be different, but since the majority of postings come from fellow 'experts' it isn't really misleading or harming anyone.

That's my opinion.


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Erewhon asked on 02/12/06 - What of these?

Saint Valentine's Day looms, and greeting card shops have gone the colour of the traditional rose that says "I Love You"!

Only in America! Next month it will go Green for Saint Paddy's Day, as they call Saint Patrick's Day.

As neither Saint Valentione's Day or Saint Padraigh's Day are 'religious' celebrations there is not ban on schools and offices mentioning them or tarting their premises up for them.

The distance between religion and two Roman Catholic Papally instituted Saints is marked to some extent by dropping the word 'saint' from the days.

So, it becomes Valentine's Day and Paddy's Day.

Perhaps in a couple of years it will be simply Val's Day. That is a bit of a left-handed copliment to a man who died at the hands of a Pagan Roman Emperor because he refused to give up Christianity.

Poor Paddy was really a Welshman, but the Irish took him to their hearts during his Christian mission to the Emerald Isle when, it is told, he banished all the snakes.

And so tywo Christian Saints are remembered in Chocolate, cards, and rose, and with car sales and green beer. Who says that religion is dying in America?

Make mine a box of Cadbury's and keep my root beer brown!

purplewings answered on 02/12/06:

Hi Ronnie,

The Saints are remembered differently in the church, so religion isn't entirely out of the picture.

When it comes to the gift giving, these holidays are strictly a shopowners delight. It keeps the economy moving.

I love those heart shaped boxes. When I was single I used to receive all colors and sizes. Yummy.

This year it's going to be flowers and *maybe candy too. I already got the dinner and movie today.

Holidays make life so much more fun, don't you think?

Happy Valentine's Day!


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paraclete asked on 02/10/06 - ain't statistics grand

I know this has little to do with Christianity but it just proves that a secular society doesn't have any answers

Stopping crime doesn't pay - here's the evidence

By Malcolm Brown
February 11, 2006

POLITICIANS calling for more people to be locked up to deter crime would be well advised to count the cost, given the latest finding that the bill for reducing burglaries in NSW by 10 per cent would be $26 million.

In its latest paper, How much crime does prison stop? , the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research says that to achieve a 10 per cent fall in burglaries, 34 per cent more burglars would be in prison. The existing policy on imprisonment for burglars prevented about 45,000 burglaries a year, it says. More could be stopped, the bureau says, but it asks at what cost.

The bureau's director, Dr Don Weatherburn, said there could be little argument that imprisonment is an important weapon in the fight against crime. "What remains unclear is whether further investment in prison is the most cost-effective way of getting the crime rate down," he said.

Doubling the average sentence for burglary from one year to two would bring about an 8 per cent fall in burglaries, or about 10,000 offences. Doubling the imprisonment rate for convicted burglars to 88 per cent would reduce the number of burglaries by 11 per cent, or 14,000 offences.

Putting more resources into police work and doubling the clear-up rate to 12 per cent would achieve the same result; 11 per cent fewer offences.

The bureau says harsher penalties run the risk of increasing the number of not-guilty pleas and a concomitant rise in the number of burglars being acquitted and free to commit more crimes.

Now I have been try to work out if the clear up rate is 6% and the number of burglaries is say 160,000, how many police does it take to get a 100% clear up rate, would that be 6000% more police

purplewings answered on 02/11/06:

Why double police work? If it isn't done now, it won't be after they hire more officer's either. Those employees don't like paper work.

Build some new prisons. Help the economy by giving jobs to people who need them. Contractors, Architects, Guards, etc.

That's what we always do in Michigan and our economy is good.


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arcura asked on 02/10/06 - We’re leaving now, going to be gone for a few days.

My wife’s lovely aunt has passed away so for her funeral we are going north into the snow, ice, and wind country where her family is in mourning.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Joyce Hibbs and comfort for her family.
Thanks much,

purplewings answered on 02/11/06:

Done, as you've requested Fred. May God keep all loved ones in harmony.

Have a safe trip and we'll see you upon your return.


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Erewhon asked on 02/10/06 - Who is telling the truth?

L.A. Mayor: We Didn't Know of Threat
Friday, February 10, 2006

Bush Details Foiled 2002 Plot
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."

"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."

However, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said California was notified. (he actually says that not that he knew, but that it was 'his understanding.'

Yeah, right!)

"... my understanding was that we did reach out to officials in California and Los Angeles to let them know, I think it was yesterday, that the president would be talking about this. And the word I heard was that there was great appreciation for the notification that we provided," he said during a White House briefing.

Someone is telling porky pies!

purplewings answered on 02/11/06:

It's quite possible he wasn't informed earlier because he might have caused panic among the people living there. I thought it was common knowledge that LA is one of the focal points of terrorist attacks.

Only those involved know the whole truth.


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paraclete asked on 02/10/06 - You never know when God will get through

In a somewhat bizzaire declaration at the funeral, it appears an ubderworld fiquire found God. natarios

Underworld's 'noble gent' found God

Dominic "Mick" Gatto (centre) carries the gold coffin of his murdered friend Mario Condello from St Ignatius Catholic Church alongside Condello's son's (far left and far right).

February 10, 2006 - 5:15PM

Slain Melbourne gangster Mario Condello was a devoted family man who found God late in life and was hurt by media reports of his misdeeds, his daughter said at his funeral today.

Condello, 53, a disbarred lawyer with a string of criminal convictions, became the 25th victim of Melbourne's gangland war when he was shot dead in the driveway of his East Brighton home on Monday night.

He was due to face trial this week charged with incitement to murder two other underworld figures and another man.

There had been at least one previous attempt on his life.

Killings and arrests have thinned Melbourne's gangland ranks in recent years.

But there was no shortage of besuited and sunglass-wearing gangster lookalikes among the 600 mourners who attended a requiem mass for Condello at St Ignatius Catholic Church in Richmond today.

Flanked by her twin brothers Guerino and Rosario, Condello's medical student daughter Vanessa delivered a stirring eulogy that was met with thunderous applause.

She said her father was a devoted family man who had found peace in religion and said the rosary each day.

"Over the last 18 months, only those close to dad have been able to witness the amazing renaissance he has experienced," Vanessa told mourners.

"Dad was touched by God ...

"Anyone who knew him could see in his eyes the massive burden of sadness and inner conflict which had finally been lifted from him.

"He was no longer like Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

"He was on his way to the peace he deserved, and he deserved it regardless of what anyone thinks; what nasty, vicious words were published."

Condello's friend, colourful Melbourne identity Dominic "Mick" Gatto, entered the church flanked by nine other men.

Mr Gatto, who police fear could be the next underworld target, said Condello was a loving, compassionate man who he would miss greatly.

"To say farewell to my friend Mario is something that I find impossible to deal with," Mr Gatto said.

"To know this noble gentleman was to love him.

"I say goodbye to Mario Condello, a man among men who I'll miss more than words can say.

"To his family, I'll always be there for you like a true friend."

Mr Gatto said Condello loved his wife, Vanda, and his children, and spoon-fed and washed his mother, Marina, on her deathbed.

Mr Gatto praised Condello's work as a volunteer drug counsellor and told of his strange sense of humour.

At a wedding, Condello had eaten the eye from a barbecued pig's head on the table and offered the second to him, which Mr Gatto said he reluctantly ate.

Condello then ate the pig's intestines, he said.

Parish priest and family friend the Reverend Father Peter Norden, who ministered to Condello at Pentridge Prison, said despite his troubles the last 12 months of Condello's life had been "ones to remember and cherish despite the grey clouds always looming overhead".

Condello had many faces, including deep religious faith, aside from his infamous public persona, Fr Norden said.

He warned mourners not to consider retaliation for Condello's murder.

"Never repay evil with evil," he said.

"Never try to get revenge. Resist evil and conquer it with good."

After the service, bells tolled for 10 minutes as Mr Gatto and Condello's sons helped lift his gold-painted casket into a waiting black Cadillac hearse.

Relatives were whisked away in three black stretch limousines.

Condello's body was later interred in the Carlton Mausoleum at the Melbourne General Cemetery.


purplewings answered on 02/11/06:

Since people who live ruthless lives and finally 'get it' are often plagued with attacks of conscience for their past behavior. This man was spared most of that, having died soon after 'getting it'. Wonder if that was a reward.


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Angel25 asked on 02/09/06 - By accepting the behavior of homosexual friends and loved ones, are we doing them a favor?

We live in a day when "whatever" is the mantra, and no one dare say otherwise lest they be called narrow-minded. Since we have rejected the Bible as the plumb line by which we live, we have a society where "everyone does that which is right in their own eyes" and fits Paul's description of those who "profess themselves to be wise, yet they became fools." We prefer to have our ears tickled with lies that end up devouring us.

The facts regarding this self-destructive behavior speak for themselves. The median age of death for homosexual men without AIDS is 42, 44 for lesbians (see Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 23:3 (1994): 249-272). The negative health effects of exchanging body fluids through anal/oral sex are so unhealthy that homosexuals die at nearly half the age of the general population. Instead of opinions as to whether this behavior is right or wrong, why not look at the evidence? Allow facts, not feelings, to be the standard of determining right from wrong. Love someone enough to tell them the truth by refusing to condone such lifestyles.

I speak not from a hateful heart but from one that grieves as I see so many deceived. Since homosexuals cannot reproduce, they must recruit. We should care enough for our friends and loved ones to alert them to the harmful consequences of sodomy and the myths perpetrated by those who accept such behavior.

purplewings answered on 02/09/06:

Hi Angel 25,

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that people often die early, not from exchanging body fluids as much as from struggling to live in an antiquated society and the ugly disapproval of it's members.

Whatever made you think it was from the exchange of body fluids? After all, hetrosexuals also exchange body fluids. Some of them die early too but it's not usually due to that.

There are many groups of people who tend to die earlier than expected. I believe it is so difficult, so stressful, to manuever in a society that punishes, mocks and disregards people who are not carbon copies of each other that it drains the spirit.

People need to feel valued, and they are all valuable or likely wouldn't be here in the first place. Those who lay claim to being
"normal" attempt to take away any feelings of merit to those who (in their opinion)are not.

I've heard "normal" is really nothing but a setting on a clothes dryer. We are what we are - and that is always unique in some way.
It's the way we were Created. How can anyone disparage that? Everyone needs to like themselves before they can even like someone else. When we like ourselves, we can build a better, kinder world over time. Why should people be made to feel unworthy over the way they were created?

When society embraces everyone with their uniqueness, warts and all, people will respond and thrive instead of giving up and dying.

I hope you understand that our mind, body and soul all work together. If one of these parts of us becomes sick. All parts are sick to some degree. Society has made these people soul sick with their attitudes. Much like the one you are posting here today.

We should be feeding each other's souls with kindness and love, not depriving and downgrading.......Everyone wins when that happens.

Besides, isn't that what Jesus always did - and asked us to do?
"Love one another as I have loved you"?


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deardra asked on 02/08/06 - can you explain this to me

I hear more and more about god none of it makes sense to me. Im having a hard time understanding god and religion in the world the way it is right now.I hear some religious people say that we are all created by god. If muslims jews and christians all have the same god why are they fighting each other? Does the same god tell each of these groups to go after and kill the others? Would god do that would he create all these people and then to instruct them and sponsor them to destroy each other? People who believe in god say god is perfect and he knew everything even before he created the whole world with all the things and people. If god is perfect this must all be part of his plan right? I was taught to respect all people but just so I know please let me know in your answer if it is christian ideas or other ideas.

purplewings answered on 02/08/06:

Hi Deardra,

You forgot that when God created the world & it's people, He then gave us all free will. Anything that happens here on earth is not the doing of God but the doings of people.

Some people do not recognize the 'loving' God as being their God. Perhaps one day they will.....or not?

The things the Christians cite from the God "of our understanding" is kindness, respect, unity, love, etc.

Those are often not the same things cited by people with a different god of "their" understanding.

The gods do not fight each other because there is but ONE God......people fight each other believing 'they' are the only ones who know who the "right" God is and demand that everyone else know & believe the same.

Our spirit - our conscience - should guide us to do the right things for all people, but we have not reached that level of faith and love, as yet.


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Angel25 asked on 02/07/06 - First they came for Israel, then they came for America...

First they came for Israel, then they came for America...
By Dennis Prager

Feb 7, 2006

In 1945, the anti-Nazi German pastor Martin Niemoller wrote the following:

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

This famous statement can be updated for Europeans:

First they came for Israel, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Jews. Then they came for Lebanon's Christians, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Maronites. Then they came for America, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Americans. Then they came for Sudan's blacks, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Sudanese blacks. Then they came for us, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for us.

As long as Muslim demonstrators only shouted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," Europe (and the rest of the world's Left) found reasons either to ignore the Nazi-like evil inherent in those chants (and the homicidal actions that flowed from them) or to blame America and Israel for the hatred.

But like the earlier Nazis, our generation's fascists hate anything good, not merely Jews and Americans. And now the Damascus embassy of Norway, a leading anti-Israel "peace at any price" country, has been torched. And more and more Norwegians, and Brits, and French, and Dutch, and Swedes, and the rest of the European appeasers who blamed America for 9-11 and blamed Israel for Palestinian suicide bombings, are beginning to wonder whether there just might be something morally troubling within the Islamic world.

Some on the Left here and in Europe are beginning to reassess whether America and Israel or their Islamic enemies are at fault.

The fact that major newspapers in most Western European countries published some or all of the cartoons that triggered the riots against Denmark, the country in which the offending cartoons of Muhammad first appeared, was a statement that at least some in Europe have had it with appeasement of Islamic violence.

And here in America, a left-of-center columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Tim Rutten, just wrote: "It's no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world."

As it happens, I have sympathy with the notion that newspapers and others need to be sensitive to religious, including Muslim, sensibilities. However, when Muslim governments and religious spokesmen attack the West for its insensitivity to Muslims and its anti-Muslim prejudice, one has entered the Twilight Zone. Because nowhere in the world is there anywhere near the religious bigotry and sheer hatred of other religions that exists in the Muslim world.

Christians nearly everywhere in the Arab and Muslim worlds are usually second-class citizens at best and terribly treated at worst.

The Taliban Islamic regime in Afghanistan blew up the unique Buddhist sculptures in their country because they didn't want even a trace of a non-monotheistic faith to survive in an Islamic country.

About a million non-Arab and non-Muslim men, women and children have been slaughtered by the Islamic regime in Sudan.

Nigerian Christians are periodically murdered by Islamic mobs.

And regarding Jews, Andrew Sullivan writes in this week's Time: "The Arab media run cartoons depicting Jews and the symbols of the Jewish faith with imagery indistinguishable from that used in the Third Reich."

As for the riots and Islamic government protests, one question needs to be posed to these people: Which casts Islam in a worse light -- political cartoons depicting Muhammad, or Muslims who murder innocents around the world in the name Allah and Islam?

Did any Jews riot when the Los Angeles Times published a cartoon of the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall, with its stones reconfigured to spell "hate"?

Did any Christians riot when museums displayed "Piss Christ," a crucifix submerged in artist Andres Serrano's urine?

What we have is a culture largely based on saving face and honor juxtaposed with a Judeo-Christian Western culture largely based on saving liberty and innocent life.

All of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, should pray that the better one wins.

Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host, author, and contributing columnist for

Copyright © 2006 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Is something morally troubling within the Islamic world? Comments?

purplewings answered on 02/08/06:

"Is something morally troubling within the Islamic world? Comments?"

Many things about the Islam religion are morally troubling to me. The desire and intent to control the rest of the world is the most troubling of all.

The hatred...the arrogance....the violence..
the judgements...the cruelty.....

And the rest of the world has become morally troubling as well, by their refusal to stand up to the threats....the violence....the
enslavement of people...


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excon asked on 02/07/06 - Them wonderful, wonderful Arab pieces of crap


Let’s talk about those Danish cartoons again. As if we didn’t need it, I think the reaction is another wake up call for the West. The riots took place in 17 different countries. 17 DIFFERENT countries!

I think we should change the name of our war from the war on terror, to more accurately reflect the situation on the ground. WORLD WAR lll!


purplewings answered on 02/07/06:

I think it's almost too frightening to talk about. We didn't start this in the USA but we've at least tried to give it some attention. Everyone else is too afraid.

My online friend in India says this has happened to them for many, many years and they just ignore it and it finally goes away. Hmmmm

It goes away and moves into someone else's home until they too, surrender to whatever is being asked.

God help us all! It is World War III - no doubt about it.

How can we bury our heads in the sand and wait?

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wakan asked on 02/06/06 - Take a walk with wakan and answer this please.

I’ve been on some other boards and some folks there have said the had visited here and said it was a mess of fighting with godless people dictating the place.
So I thought I’d take a gander to see for myself.
I’ll be looking this corral over for awhile but before I go peeking into the questions and answers I kind like to have ya answer this here question.
Do you think that godless people are wrecking or dominating this here Christian corral?
Walk with wakan

purplewings answered on 02/07/06:

Welcome wakan,

There are no 'godless' ones. Every human being is of God, whether they know it or not. In fact all living things are of God.

God knows it. We are all connected to our Creator by spirit......There is really only one here ........... that One is God.

The rest of us are merely indivuated sparks of that.

People go through levels of spiritual and religious growth and we are all at different levels....that's what you see when you see angry, mocking posts. Not the absence of God but only the distance of God to each.

It's the struggle between spirit and earth-ego.


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excon asked on 02/06/06 - Government snooping

Hello Christians:

To those of you who say, "let the government snoop, I have nothing to hide", I ask you the following:

Would you allow the government to install a camera in your bedroom? If not, then you do have things you wish to hide. However, there are some amongst us, who would be happy to have a camera installed in their bedroom, and wouldn’t mind if the government installed one too. Would that mean that we ALL should expose ourselves too?

Because you wouldn’t mind the government snooping through your papers, you suggest that everybody else shouldn'd mind either. Why is your argument different than the naked people?

By the way, it’s easy to mouth the words, or let them fall off your fingers, but I can promise you, and this is from someone who HAS had the government snooping through his house and papers, you would change your tune if it happened to you.


purplewings answered on 02/06/06:

Hi excon,

Remember when there was so much talk about having chips inserted into our children so we could save them if they were ever in trouble? It was a great plan and many people were very excited by it. Then it became a chip into our pets so they could be found if ever lost.....

However, with more thought, those children will eventually become adults.........adults that can easily be tracked anywhere at anytime, because they still have that chip inserted. The pets reveal the location of their master don't they?

Weren't these as much into spying as what we're reading about now?

I think the government has always devised plans to keep an eye on all of us but no one has complained unless, as you've mentioned, they were the one being watched.

Maybe the only answer is to be alert to new ideas, and keep a clean path behind us. least as clean as humanly possible.

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Coup_de_Grace asked on 02/05/06 - SuperBowl in America

Today is Super Bowl Sunday when two football teams from diffferent leagues compete for the Championship of America. Ben has been in front of the television since the pre-game show enjoying the festivities.

I joined him for the half-time show, and the Rolling Stones, introduced as the best rock and roll band in history, played three songs including Satisfaction. I couldn't believe how Mick Jagger could jump and move and sing for such an old man. He is 65, or close to it. He had some very seductive hip movements and did such a show that would have exhausted an average man half is age. It was a kick to see old people so active and spreading so much physical enjoyment of life.

What is your opinion of the Christian secret for living a full life to the very end?

Best wishes,

Benjamin and Susan Grace

purplewings answered on 02/06/06:

Hi Coup de Grace,

It's pretty much in your mind.......If you can maintain your physical health by eating right, not drinking, not smoking, etc. before you have problems, you then need to retrain your mind about everything you've ever heard or thought about aging.

It really is only an attitude and a number anymore.

In the old days, people died at 35 or 40....they didn't have health insurance or even health knowledge as they now do. They didn't have dietary information and ate whatever was available - starches and fats were hell on hearts.

There is no reason people can't maintain most of their stamina well up to their 80's if they take care of themselves on a daily basis.

If you tell yourself "well, I'm old and don't need to look good, or exercise, or go to the dentist......."

If you tell yourself "I'm going to live joyously until I'm gone......."

It's just another form of dogma....we hear about old people so much we believe they can do nothing - and then we see Mick and his group jumping all over the stadium. I heard the reason they hired the Rolling Stones was because there is no one else around with that kind of high energy.

Stay well and happy.


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revdauphinee asked on 02/02/06 - Saving a Bear

A priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in Marquette. They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do a seven-day experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear and preach to it.

Seven days later, they're all together to discuss the experience. Father O'Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages, goes first.

"Wellll," he says, in a fine Irish brouge, "Ey wint oot into th' wooods to fynd me a bearr. Oond when Ey fund him Ey began to rread to him from the Baltimorre Catechism. Welll, thet bearr wanted naught to do wi' me und begun to slap me aboot. So I quick grrabbed me holy water and, THE SAINTS BE PRAISED, he became as gentle as a lamb. The bishop is cooming oot next wik to give him fierst communion und confierrmation."

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he proclaimed, "WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle...WE DUNK! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to him from God's HOOOOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. I SAY NO! He wanted NOTHING to do with me. So I took HOOOLD of him and we began to rassle. We rassled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we come to a crick. So I quick DUNK him and BAPTIZE his hairy soul. An' jus like you sez, he wuz gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the week in fellowship, feasting on God's HOOOOLY word."

They both look down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV's and monitors running in and out of him.

The rabbi looks up and says, "Oy! You don't know what tough is until you try to circumcise one of those creatures."

purplewings answered on 02/02/06:

Hilarious! Thanks for posting it.

So, once again the Jew got the short end of the stick just by following his own religious beliefs. It ain't fair.

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arcura asked on 02/02/06 - The blessings of having cell phones...................

The Perfect Husband
Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engage the hands free speaker-function and begin to talk.

Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"

WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes"

WOMAN: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure, .go ahead if you like it that much."

WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2006 models. I saw one I really liked"

MAN: "How much?"

WOMAN: "$90,000"

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."

WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing .. The house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $950,000"

MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $900,000.They will probably take it. If not, we can go the extra 50 thousand. If it's really a pretty good price."

WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!!"

MAN: "Bye! I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths agape.....

He smiles and asks: "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?...."

purplewings answered on 02/02/06:

It's funny but is it the first time you've seen it? I got this one about two or three years ago. Maybe I'll divert some of my email to you address....?

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purplewings answered on 02/02/06:

I can see that's self defense. It happens in Detroit often.

I knew a young aggressive guy a few years back who was full of road rage about a young woman cutting him off. He followed her all around the city until she pulled into a parking spot and he jumped out and approached her to he got close to her car, she jumped out with a baseball bat and knocked him senseless. They both went to jail for the night but she got out quickly and he is still in rehab with brain problems.

Oh well. You get what you give sometimes. We all hope to survive in this world.


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HerrAirhorn asked on 02/01/06 - Prime Minister Sharon

Za Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, was put on a feeding tube today. The outlook is grim; apparently he has massive brain damage from his strokes. I tink of the brain damaged woman in Florida who was on a feeding tube for years.

Do you sink Prime Minister Sharon should be kept on a feeding tube indefinitely? How should his situation be handled?

purplewings answered on 02/02/06:

Hi Herr Air, lol

I don't think anyone who is brain dead should be kept alive indefinitely but being brain damaged is far different than brain dead.

At the very least, he should be kept alive long enough to find out if he wants to be alive.........

Anything beyond that should be directed to his family and closest confidants.

Personally, I can't imagine Sharon giving in to emptiness, can you?

He's a tough old guy with a purpose. He'll make it back to the top.


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sarnian asked on 01/26/06 - Peace and Kindness ....



I did not discus this with Aton, nor was I asked to do so. Furthermore I left out any comments made to me personally directly. Note : this was posted over only 2 days ( Repeat : over only 2 days ).

The following comments were posted to the board by one of our self-proclaimed "christian" figureheads : Fred_Arcura. Similar comments by Ronnie Erewhom were left out to protect the more sensitive minds.

Arcura and his "peace and kindness"

  • 25-01-06 To Aton :
    You're not only sick in the head, you continue to be an insulting contemptuous bigot.

  • 25-01-06 To Aton :
    Rave on oh sick in head one.

  • 25-01-06 To Aton :
    You're not only sick headed and a bigot, now you are being a hypocrite.

  • 24-01-06 To Aton :
    You are as sick as is sarnian. Mental cripples, both of you

  • 24-01-06 To Deardra :
    Don't believe a word Aton or sarnian says. They are both Christian bigots

  • 24-01-06 To Aton :
    You are nothing but a Christian bigot and very sick.

  • 24-01-06 To Aton :
    You are nothing but a Christian bigot and very sick (in another comment).

  • 24-01-06 To Aton :
    You are sick in the head. An insulting, belittling, Christian hating, conceited, egotistical, mentally twisted sick. You are as bad as or even worse than Sarnian, Freethinker John. The only reason you two are on this board is because of your bigoted sickness.

This seems to provide an entire new look at what christian people mean with "peace and kindness", I guess.

Maybe someone can provide me with the appropriate bible text instructing the sheep to produce this type of filth and post it to the board.

Or is this what you get when "feeble minds" go round the religious twist, fanned by their anger and frustration ?

Can somebody inform board management that Fred Arcura needs to be kicked off the board, preferably for a long time ?


purplewings answered on 01/26/06:

How does it help anyone to bring all these negatives to the board? After all John, we are all merely human in spite of our united desire to be perfect. I wonder if there exists one who never gets angry and responds negatively...... I doubt it.

Arcura doesn't need to be suspended. He contributes a lot on the board. In fact, I don't think anyone needs to be suspended. We are all adults here - hopefully.


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Tex78 asked on 01/25/06 - What would you say? What would you do?

This is my adopted nephew. It is really a sad story.
When he became a Christian, his family disowned him.
He had no other people. After he and I met, when he came to visit me in Michigan, he wrote me and asked if he could call me uncle M.L. I sure was not going to say no, knowing what he had been through. What would you do..

This is what I just received from him:
Shalom Uncle M.L.,

Good card and good message.

Just wanted to let you know that I got written up on a
e-zine on the internet "Bentrider online".
Laid Back Ministry
Managing Editor

Many of us talk about being ““recumbent evangelists””. We’’re usually quick to espouse the virtues of our machines and like to brag about how many people we’’ve ““converted”” to our laid back way of life. Rev. Johannes Erich Myors has taken that concept one step further.

Rev. Myors was born in Bad Toelz, Germany in 1956. He was raised as an Orthodox Jew. His parents were Holocaust survivors and both sides of his family were decimated during that horrible time. When he was 13 years old, Johannes and his family moved to Munich. At about this same time, Johannes was forced to have ear surgery that resulted in an 80% loss of hearing in his left ear.

His first experience with America came in 1973-74 when he was sent to Kenton, Ohio as an exchange student. It was during this time that Myers had his first taste of bicycle touring. He traveled from Kenton to the Mississippi River on a Montgomery-Ward 10-speed. Despite his less-than-ideal equipment, he was immediately hooked.

Johannes went back to Germany in 1975 to finish his education at a local University. It was also shortly after returning to his native land that he became a Christian and began to try and spread his faith to others.

At one point in his life, Johannes was not a healthy man. He weighed nearly 220 pounds at 5’’7”” tall and had suffered injuries to all four limbs in an accident. He was not the ideal candidate for cross-country cycling. However, this did not stop him from taking several long distance bike trips. And it certainly didn’’t stop him taking his passion for bike touring one step further.

Rev. Myors says that his idea to hop on his bike take his ministry on the road came to him in a dream. Actually the idea formed from a series of dreams. The Reverend believes that the idea for his ““Pedal Prayers”” ministry was put in his head by an angel sent from God. Whether you believe in that sort of thing or not, you have to admit that it’’s a pretty inspired idea. Being on the bike makes him more accessible to the people that he’’s trying to reach.

That’’s not to say that the Reverend has been welcomed with open arms everywhere he goes. To those of us who cycle a lot, it seems like a pretty logical and economical way to get around the country. But to the administrators of many churches, it seems like pure lunacy.

““I seem to get more help from people in non-church settings,”” Myors explains. ““Four out of five ministers do not see what I'm doing as being a viable ministry. It also depends on what part of the country I'm in. The people and ministers in Texas and West Virginia have been by far the most friendly.””

Rev. Myors started his trek in 1993 aboard a Schwinn Criss Cross upright bike. Four bikes and many thousands of miles later, he switched to a recumbent. His ‘‘bent first was a Lightning Thunderbolt. After he wore that out, he switched to a Sun EZ-Speedster. He says that switching to the recumbent has made a huge difference.

““It's been so much better on my body to be on a bent,”” Myors says. ““This is because I've got some lower back problems and having the surgery done on my left shoulder several years ago wouldn't allow me to use upright handlebars for very long.””

Rev. Myors also adds that his comfort level isn’’t the only thing that’’s improved. He also said that people seem less quick to disregard him as a transient when he’’s on a recumbent.

Over the years, Myors has racked up nearly 160,000 miles on his journey. While living on the road year round and covering all of these miles certainly isn’’t free, it’’s actually a lot more economical than you may think. Rev. Myors doesn’t use top of the line camping gear (just a tent from Wal-Mart and some other cheap necessities) and he doesn’’t splurge on four course dinners. He’’s quite proud of the fact that he’’s never had to twist anyone’’s arm for money like so many other ministries are forced to do.

““I've never asked for money and I don't beg for anything,”” Myors told me. ““On the average, I might get about $4300 in monetary donations and about $8000 in in-kind donations (motel rooms, meals, donated food or supplies) per year. There are days when I spend less than $3 per day.””

Myors certainly doesn’t seem to be getting tired of his modest lifestyle either. When I asked him how long he planned on continuing his adventure, he replied, ““It’’s up to my Boss in Heaven.””

More info on Rev. Myors can be found on his web site.

purplewings answered on 01/25/06:

I think it's kind of neat. That is what a Christian is supposed to do and he's doing it with very little cost and in a wide span. Good for him. Biking is great for his health too.


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Erewhon asked on 01/22/06 - To smack or not to smack - that is the question!

Total smacking ban demand

Jan 22 2006

Britain's four child commissioners have called for a total ban on the smacking of children in the UK.

In a joint statement, the commissioners for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales said there was "no room for compromise" on the issue.

An amendment to the Children Bill outlawing the "hitting" of youngsters was rejected in the House of Commons in November 2004.

The Bill instead allowed mild smacking, while barring any physical punishment which caused visible bruising.

But the commissioners criticised the attempt to define "acceptable" smacking and said that the UK was still falling foul of European human rights standards.

Story continues Continue story

The statement said: "Children have the same right as adults to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity and to equal protection under the law, in the home and everywhere else.

"There is no room for compromise, for attempting to define 'acceptable' smacking."

It added: "We call upon Government to allow further debate and free votes in the relevant parliamentary assemblies to introduce legislation that will ban the defence of reasonable chastisement throughout the UK."

Peter Clarke, children's commissioner for Wales, said a free Parliamentary vote was needed because it was an "issue of conscience".

Mr Clarke said: "(The 2004 vote) was not a free vote and we would like a free vote because we think it is an issue of conscience. We think that a free vote would be different. We want to remove the law of reasonable chastisement so that the common law of assault applies to children as it does to adults."


My personal view is that smacking is a result of parental failure to cope with and teach the child in other ways.

Nanny 911 has demonstrated that physical violence towards children, even in the smallest degree, is not only unnecessary also counter-productive.



purplewings answered on 01/22/06:

My thought is that some children won't listen and heed until they are certain they will be hit. Many children will respond without it but for those who won't, their very life may depend on a parent who isn't afraid to discipline them. My sons were dangling over an expressway bridge when they were only about 10 or 11 years old, even though I had told them not to go near it. A good whack assured me they wouldn't be dangling again. If they did, I never knew about it.

When my children's father punished, he lost control and turned a smack into something much worse. That is abuse.

My second child was ecclectic and almost burned his school down in Jr. High......he needed the strong discipline, and it was a good whack on the behind.

It's interesting that my last two sons never got a spanking because they listened and responded without it.

When the youngest got in trouble for some small thing and brought home by the police, I told the officer I had never spanked him in his life, and was told "That's probably the whole problem."

I think it really does depend on the child.


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paraclete asked on 01/21/06 - Hi

Ni Hao ma Hi gang just dropping in from China. Much snow and ice here, travel is almost impossible but it's got tp get better soon, we are three days into the main trip and have missed one destination already

purplewings answered on 01/21/06:

Glad to see you're still around and kicking.

Hope you took your long johns so you could brave all that weather going on there. It's sunny and bright here in Michigan today. About 60 degrees. careful what you eat know how they feel about dogs, cats and other small cute pets.


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Erewhon asked on 01/20/06 - Can you prove that you are alive?

Chilly welcome for Indian 'ghost'
By Faisal Mohammad Ali
BBC News, Bhopal

Raju Raghuvanshi's house in Mandla,
Madhya Pradesh
Relatives say they were surprised to see Mr Raghuvanshi
An Indian man is being refused entry to his house - because his family say he is a spirit come back to haunt them.

Raju Raghuvanshi was greeted with cries of "ghost" and neighbours locking doors when he returned from a short spell in jail to his village in Madhya Pradesh.

He had fallen ill in prison and was taken to hospital. Relatives heard he had died and performed his last rites.

Now, unable to convince them he is alive and well, he is staying nearby and has asked the police for help.

I have now to prove that I am alive - but I will have them punished
Raju Raghuvanshi

Mr Raghuvanshi told the BBC his cousins had denied him entry to his house in the village of Katra, in Mandla district about 300km (200 miles) from state capital Bhopal, despite his protests.

They even dismissed his pleas that he could not be a spirit because his feet were properly attached to his body and not turned backwards, a characteristic which locals ascribe to ghosts.

The 45-year-old said his cousins insisted they had performed his last rites as required and so he should not come back to haunt them.

Exaggerated rumour

Mr Raghuvanshi, who is unmarried with no living parents or brothers, has had to move to the nearby village of Bamni while he struggles to convince his cousins to let him come home.

Map showing Mandla district in India's Madhya Pradesh state

"I have now to prove that I am alive," he said. "But I will have them punished."

Mr Raghuvanshi has turned to the police for help has now filed a case for defamation against his family.

His lawyer, Maonhar Soni, said the refusal of relatives to accept that his client is alive could also be because of Mr Raghuvanshi's property and the few acres of land that he owns.

The rumour that he had died and been cremated started when he fell ill and was transferred from prison to a hospital in another town for treatment, police chief NV Vayangankar said.

Ganeshi, the wife one of Mr Raghuvanshi's cousins, said that when they heard of his death they had informed the village elders, who had told them to carry out the rituals immediately.

"Later on he turned up and we were surprised to see him," she said.

Rural India remains deeply traditional and many believe that a dead man's spirit will not rest until the last rites are performed.

In this case, the last rites have happened and it is not clear what proof the villagers need to accept that Mr Raghuvanshi is alive.


If you know how to prove that you are alive, how would you advise this gentleman to prove that he is alive?

purplewings answered on 01/21/06:

Gee, that's the kind of family your want to run away from, not join.

Certainly there must be some way to positively identify himself, even in such a far off land.

We have dental records, fingerprints, footprints, medical, court paperwork. It's not that hard for us to prove we are alive and who we say we are. It would be much harder to try to make people believe we are someone else......especially a ghost......

Obviously, this man's family did not care about him when he actually lived, possibly with good reason since he had been in prison, so they've agreed to this low level of humanism just to keep his things....

One can only hope 'right' will win.

P.S. If they prove he's a ghost, what would they do with him?


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Erewhon asked on 01/19/06 - Noah's Window ...

"And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made"

Was this window single or double-glazed?


purplewings answered on 01/20/06:

No windows on the ark, but very, very small holes here and there for light and air. Too large of holes and the birdies would fly right out, not to mention the mosquitos and fly's, mice and other tiny critters - Oh my, had they jumped ship, we would not have them with us today.


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Choux asked on 01/18/06 - Christian Dogma

Christian dogma regarding human sexuality is based on fear, isn't it?

I'll never forget a movie I saw about the English colonizating of New Zealand...there were no typical stereotypes portrayed. What a thought provoking movie!

It was the "proper" English man building fences and making financial profit for himself and bringing 'civilization' to a raw land. The native NewZealanders were just friendly and open about everything, good senses of humor and good and loyal friends.

Anyway, one theme was a sexual theme, in one scene a group of people are sitting around talking about what was going on and how uptight the English were about sex, and one native man laughed and flipped up his garb and showed his penis and all laughed, then he flipped it back down.

Time to put human sexuality in proper perspective.

purplewings answered on 01/19/06:

I think you've been reading my mind again.

We live our lives in fear of making an error and being laughed at, or ostracized by society. We need to take all that is available to make ourselves happy, without harming another person.

We came to earth to learn, change and grow in our spirituality but we also were given creativity and desires. I think we should step out of the box and enjoy our God given emotions without fear.

The fear was put into us from back in the day when women were not 'supposed' to enjoy sex....and when sex meant pregnacy....

Hasn't anyone realized it isn't that way anymore? What a waste of our god given gifts to go to our grave without knowing real pleasure - without guilt.


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sissypants asked on 01/18/06 - sexual fantasy

ok then from anyones stand point, How do You feel about sexual fantasy? Is it a sin or isn't it? And what makes it so?

purplewings answered on 01/19/06:

From my standpoint, I think our bodies and minds are given to us to enjoy. I'm sure God knew we would have ego needs when he put us on earth, and gave us the ability and creativity to feel pleasure.

I would hate to leave this earth without experiencing all the joy available to me.

Fantasies increase our could they possibly be sinful? Who could be harmed by them?

Only things used excessively should be termed negatively.

Too bad so many people live that grey life when there is so much color available.


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sapphire630 asked on 01/18/06 - veering off the subject (somewhat)

With all these teens having these whosyurdaddy babies,
the county I live in now makes the alledged dad sign a child support form when they do the birth certificate. If the alledged dad signs this paper he has to pay child support for the child, even if later it is proven he is not the dad. I do not think this should be legal (or binding). I do not think this is right because the guy is caught up in the moment excited to be a dad and most vulnerable, the last thing he is doing is questioning it. Also if they were to question it I think it would cause trust problems in the relationship.
I think the hospitals should make DNA tests mandatory
so they do not have to put the guy in this situation. The hospitals would say that would go against the woman's confidentiality.
What would you think could or should be done?

purplewings answered on 01/19/06:

I don't think that's right either Sapphire.

My son has been paying support on a child that the girl claimed was his, for 12 years. He wasn't allowed to participate at all in the pregnacy or the birth & didn't see the baby until her one year birthday when the mother went seeking support. The family just moved and left no forwarding address.

As you mentioned, he didn't want to make the girl appear promiscuous by asking for a DNA test when Friend of the Court offered it, so he just accepted responsibility. He also didn't want to enrage the girl, who admittedly had been with several guys. The private DNA testing is so costly, it's tough for a young person to pay it on their own and it's not something the child's mother easily agrees to.

This woman is so ornery that every time he asks to bring the child over for a visit, she runs back to friend of court to get more money from him. We spend almost $600 for her Christmas presents every year, and I buy all her school clothes only to hear at the court that "he has never done a thing for this child."

Why should he feel any bond to a child he can't see, doesn't know for sure is his, and is being used to drain his income and make his life miserable? The mother at least gets to be with the child and enjoy some of the rewards.

The courts need a lot of re-adjusting when it comes to fairness.

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excon asked on 01/18/06 - Death

Hello Christians:

Should one feel worse if a human friend dies than when an animal friend dies?


purplewings answered on 01/18/06:

Oh no...not them shoulda woulda coulda's again.

You feel what you feel. All that matters is that you do feel something.....

When my bichon frise, Maximillian died 5 years ago, I got physically sick, and dreamed of him for the next two years - at least.

I've never felt quite that sad to lose a human friend.

Animals are closer to "God", that's why they don't need to speak like we's all understood without words.

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excon asked on 01/17/06 - The Right to Die

Hello Christians:

There you have it. Wanna die? Move to Oregon. Well, it's not quite like that, although I'm sure some of you will characterize it as such.

The Supreme Court just upheld (6-3) the right of Oregon’s doctors to end the life of terminally ill patients. Who dissented? Well, duh! Scalia, Roberts and Thomas.

So, it doesn't appear that Alito is gonna change the balance on this right to life (death) issue. What do you wrongwingers think about that?


purplewings answered on 01/17/06:

I hope no one changes the balance on life and death in that case.

I think assisted suicide should be allowed in every state. That way rules could be set forth as to whom could legally assist and what is expected of them in the way of being alert and humane. Does anyone really want to die all alone?

Rules could also be set forth regarding the type of illnesses eligible for assistance, and what ages a person must be to get this help.

We euthanize animals in pain but aren't allowed to free a human being from his pain?

Something is terrible wrong with this picture.

Making assisted suicide a criminal offense is telling the terminally ill patient he'll have to do it himself........using what? A gun in the mouth? Or throwing himself off a building? Perhaps some would think that's better than lying down with a cocktail and falling asleep. Not me.

Good for Oregon.

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revdauphinee asked on 01/16/06 - How Do You Get To Heaven?

"If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?" I asked the children in my Sunday school class.

"NO!" the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?"

Again the answer was, "NO!""Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?" I asked them again.

Once more they all answered, "NO!"

"Well," I continued, thinking they were a good bit more theologically sophisticated than I had given them credit for, "then how can I get into heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"

purplewings answered on 01/17/06:

One forgotten prerequisite huh? Kids know everything.

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ATON2 asked on 01/16/06 - Eagerly awaited response to 'Curious98' answer to ATON2 on the existence of Jesus.

I appreciate the effort you put into your attempt, but you could have saved yourself the effort. You offer nothing new but simply rehash was has already been hashed to death.

But to begin with a few technical faults:

l. You are not debating you are sermonizing. A debate deals with facts and ideas, not with opinions and insults.
2. You shoot yourself in the foot at the very beginning, by relying on the old Christian dodge of trying to use the Bible to prove the Bible..That sort of circular reasoning is never acceptable in a debate since it relies on an unproven document, at the outset. You can no more prove the existence of Jesus by the Bible, than I would succed in proving the existence of Khrisna from the Bhagavad Gita, or Osiris from the Egyptian Book of the Dead!!!!

3. You waste a great deal of time on repeating what I already know...I certainly would not have mentioned Om Seti, had I not been completely familiar with her life and work. You don't prove the existence of Jesus by trying to teach Egyptology to an Egyptologist!!! Bringing in the nonsense of a possible 'mummy's curse' doesn't do much for your argument.


You dismiss the lack of original documents...which shows, immediately, that you are NOT dealing from logic or reason. The importance of ORIGINAL documents is that they can be compared to later copies to determine WHEN, HOW, WHERE, and often WHY certain later errors, fables, myths and outright lies have been introduced in to a history or biography. Since Eusebius claimed it was permissible to LIE in order to further the Church, it is not at all unreasonable to see certain errors in the Bible as 'lies' introduced by later Christian churchmen!!!

The Gilgamesh epic is a myth, it's only value is to show how the authors of Genesis came up with the Universal Flood, and Noah's ark myth. The Code of Hammurabi is written on baked clay...IT has been preserved, whether as an original or a copy is not important. NOTHING written by ANY of the Bible writers has been preserved. If you want to waste your time trying to prove or disprove the existence of Hammurabi, be my guest, no one's future life depends on it. :) Bottom Line: NOT one single scholar has ever tried to PROVE that Gilgamesh ever existed. He is a mythical character and was never perceivd as anything else. In this debate he is just one more red herring.

You claim we can ASSUME anything we want about the ancient Jewish or Greek writings. But we are talking about PROOFS, not assumptions.

You keep trying to introduce other 'religious' leaders, as though proof of their existence or non-existence has anything to do with proving the existence of Jesus Christ!!! That is simply MORE wasted time and effort.

Again you fall into the Christian apologetic stance of defending the massacres, persecutions, inquisitions of Christianity with the old worn out axiom: "We are only doing what others religions have done". What has that got to do with proving the existence of Jesus Christ???????

Your attempt to equate the authors of the Bible, especially the New Testament, with moder authors writing biographies of historical figures, you waste more time. NONE of these are CLAIMED AS THE INERRENT, INSPIRED WORD OF GOD!!!! Sinclair Lewis can write 100 biographies of historical figures; he can write 100 books about mythical figures, including Jesus.....none would prove that Jesus existed.

The Dead Sea scrolls do NOT mention Jesus, but a Teacher of Righteousness, who some have come to see as 'Jesus'. And it is equally futile to try and rely on a reference to Jesus in the Talmud, since this is an after-the-fact writing, based on what was believed by Christians, at the time. It was not contemporary with Jesus. As to the 'Panthera rumour', this was a canard directed at Christians...a mockery of their claim that Jesus was born of a virgin.

It is rather amazing that you would still try to use the Josephus verse, since it has been refuted so many times that only one completely illiterate would have failed to see that. The verse purporting to refer to Jesus, does NOT appear in ANY editions of Josephus prior to the 4th Century, when Christianity was already established. Josephus was an ORTHODOX Jew who never converted to Christianity. There is NO WAY he would EVER have referred to Christ as 'the Messiah' or 'the TRUTH'. That fact that he claims belief in Christ has not been forsaken 'TILL THIS DAY' proves it was a LATER, CHRISTIAN forgery!!! Concensus is that the forgery was by Eusebius, himself.

I have NO idea what your little sermon on Martyrdom as oppposed to suicide is supposed to do to further proof of Jesus existence. It was never part of an argument pro or con...but merely to show the result of fanatical beliefs.

To say I 'contradict' myself by quoting from the Gospels, is just silly, Claude. The only language possible, when dealing with Christians, is a language of references to which they are familiar. Would you prefer I use the Analects of Confucius to dispute the errors of the Bible.

The multiple contradictions in the New Testament are not, as many Christians like to claim 'merely difficulties'. When there is disagreement between two writers, writing about the same thing, ONE OF THEM IS WRONG. e.g. When Paul contradicts Jesus words on Divorce...THAT IS A PROBLEM...Either Jesus was right, or Paul was right...NOT BOTH. That is not simply a matter of different opinions, that is a CONTRADICTION.
When one Evangelists writes that Jesus delivered the Beatitudes, sitting on hill top, and other Evangelists states he delivered them standing on flat ground...that is a CONTRADICTION...Important only in the fact that it shows the account would not have been written by eye witnesses...or that one of them was wrong. Was Jesus born in a stable or a house...we have BOTH accounts. Was Jesus born in Bethlehem or not...the author of JOHN either never heard of the Bethlehem birth or he did not beleive it...for he introduces that argument of others, that Jesus could not be the Messiah because the Messiah must come from Bethlehem!!!

Does it not wring any warning bells with you that, the earliest New Testament writings, those of Paul, make NO reference to the miraculous birth of his Saviour???? Or that Mark, upon which both Matthew and Luke built their gospels, makes NO mention of this miraculous birth. Or that Matthew and Luke tell almost totally different BIRTH stories??????? How is it possible that this most Central Doctrine of Christainity, the VIRGIN BIRTH OF GOD THE SON, was NOT the Central idea of the gospels?????

As to the heresies that plagued the early church, 50 is a conservative number...and it includes, as stated, MAJOR Heresies, not the minor controversies that you took such pains to elaborate on.

Your support of the Quran as the 'inspired' word of God certainly puts you at odds with 95% of your Christian brothers and sisters, who describe it as "Trash", "Garbage not worth reading", "The work of the Devil" Obviously you have spent little time reading the Quran, else you would never presume to call a book which denies the Divinity of Christ, the existence of the Trinity, the Resurrection of Jesus, the 'Inspired Word of God".....particularly when it abounds with legends of genies, demons, and afrites, and presents a 'Paradise' as close to the Arabian Nights tales, as the Christian heaven is to Tales of Mount Olympus.

My Library has grown from the 1,200 you mention, to well over 2,500...and I use them all to learn about other's beliefs, and to weed out the sincere from the sanctimonious, the truly pious from the pretenders,
the honest seekers from the hypocrites...the truly well rounded, from the pedantic proselytizers. My studies have taught me to respect the truth, to honor those who respect the truth, and do everything in my power to refute the errors that have blinded men to the truth.

It has been a "stimulating" experience :) :) :)

purplewings answered on 01/17/06:

You do know a lot about religion and I, for one, appreciate your sharing your knowledge with me.
I hope you and Claude will keep the discussion going so we can all stretch ourselves a little more......

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Choux asked on 01/16/06 - Ruin Your Sex Life

Without involving religion:

Thinking of buying a TV for the bedroom? Think again -- it could ruin your sex life.

REUTERS Jan 16: A study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples who have a TV set in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.

"If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency (of sexual intercourse) doubles," said Serenella Salomoni whose team of psychologists questioned 523 Italian couples to see what effect television had on their sex lives.

Do you have a TV in your bedroom?

purplewings answered on 01/17/06:

YEs to a television in my bedroom - no to a man in my bed.

I do have an oversized bathtub, Floating candles, and no tv in that room. Sex isn't only a bedroom activity. LOL

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revdauphinee asked on 01/15/06 - An Orangutan's Reading List

One day the zoo-keeper noticed that the orangutan was reading two books: the Bible and Darwin's Origin of Species. Surprised, he asked the ape, "Why are you reading both those books?"

"Well," said the orangutan, "I just wanted to know if I was my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother."

purplewings answered on 01/15/06:

Very funny! Maybe he was supposed to be both?

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Choux asked on 01/14/06 - Miracle Pill

Updated: 07:15 PM EST
'Trauma Pill' Could Make Memories Less Painful

Researchers say the pill would reduce the effect of stress hormones that etch unpleasant events into memory.

(Jan. 14) - ""Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in a recent movie, your brain could be wiped clean of sad and traumatic thoughts.

That is science fiction. But real-world scientists are working on the next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less painful and intense.

Will it work? It is too soon to say. Still, it is not far-fetched to think that this drug someday might be passed out along with blankets and food at emergency shelters after disasters like the tsunami or Hurricane Katrina.""

What do you think of a pill to reduce the intensity of terrible events, traumatic events that can ruin a person's life????

purplewings answered on 01/15/06:

It may sound good, but since I think we are here to learn how to overcome challenges and access our emotions in doing so, we would shut ourselves and our purpose completely down.

It's not that different than getting drunk to forget something awful, and then waking up to find something even worse has happened.

A quick fix is never the way to go when it comes to our mental/emotional selves. Don't forget this is our journey - our destination will be the result of what we've achieved spiritually, mentally and physically.


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William1963 asked on 01/14/06 - simple question, I hope.

Hi, first I appologize for being a newby and not being able to figure out how to ask a question on this site for the info I was after. Can you help with that? Where do I go to ask a question?
Second, since I found you, maybe you can help. I have a "Koss KD305a" DVD player. Yesterday, it stopped working. No shock or trauma. It just stopped. The power light is red instead of green. I have unplugged the unit and then replugged it. No change. Can you help or point me in the direction of help to fix this unit? BTW, I too am a Christian and am glad that I came across your name first. I hope I hear from you soon. Thank you.

purplewings answered on 01/15/06:

Hi William,

and welcome to answerway!

I traced my footsteps back to being a non-member and this is what I found.

When you first arrive, you are on the Home Page. There is a little box asking what you are searching for.....fill in Electronics - make sure you have the first arrow positioned on Topics....and go.

It will take you to possible boards for you to present your problem.

Best of luck on that.

Also, please check out the other boards while you're here.

Spirituality is one of my favorites. Politics can get interesting and sometimes a little ornery....Philosophy will twitch your brain matter. .. Humor is neccessary for most of us. Relationships....There are math and Physics boards for the brainiacs....

In fact almost anything you can find.....switch on to Topics at the main search and fill in your choice.

In the meantime, check this board out. It's kind of interesting at times but always controversial.


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revdauphinee asked on 01/12/06 - "Blind Justice

"A 6-year-old girl is an American citizen. If that little girl is raped for four years by a 34-year-old criminal and that criminal gets sentenced to 60 days in prison, which is what happened in Vermont, then that little girl's civil rights have been violated as well as the rights of her family. Vermont Judge Edward Cashman must be removed from the bench by the Vermont legislature and at the same time the federal government must look into the civil rights situation. It doesn't matter what color the little girl is. Last year 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford's civil rights were violated in Florida when a cowardly prosecutor would not indict three people who allegedly helped the little girl's accused killer John Couey. The Feds told us they would look into the matter but apparently they've dropped it. That cannot happen again in Vermont. There must be justice in this case or it will be an everlasting stigma on the state of Vermont. America simply cannot have men raping little girls and judges sentencing those men to 60 days in girl. Period. We can't have this. That is not justice, there is no excuse, and every elected official in Vermont should be demanding the removal of Judge Edward Cashman. Once again all the nation's governor need to support mandatory minimum prison terms for child rapists and molesters. Florida's Jessica Law is needed in all 50 states. This country can no longer allow misguided judges like Edward Cashman to violate the rights of children in their courtrooms."

purplewings answered on 01/13/06:

That's totally disgusting. I don't know the case but if you've got it the way it happened, who do we petition to get the judge removed? How do we get the criminal recharged on a civil rights violation?

It's our job to protect the children above all else.......


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paraclete asked on 01/13/06 - Just a simple request?

Friends. I'm beginning a journey to central China tomorrow and I would appreciate your prayers. I have heard there might have been an earthquake somewhere near my destination, so I would appreciate an uninterrupted journey. When I get back I'll tell you what this is about but in the meantime, please keep my son and myself in your prayers please.

This might be a sample of what I will have to put up with

Should Someone Ask For Your Father


A man who was going away for some time enjoined his son: "If anyone asks for me, you can tell him that your father has been called away to attend to a minor matter and be sure to ask him in for a cup of tea."

Afraid that his idiotic son might forget his instructions, he wrote them down upon a slip of paper and gave it to his son, who tucked it into his sleeve and took it out to look at every now and then.

Three days passed without anyone coming to see his father. Thinking that he had no more use for that slip of paper, the boy committed it to the flames. On the fourth day, however, an unexpected visitor dropped in.

"Where is your father?" asked the visitor.

The boy immediately put his hand into his sleeve and fished around for the slip of paper. As he could not find it, he ejaculated:"No More."

Taken aback, the visitor asked:

"No more? When did it happen?"

"Burnt last night."

purplewings answered on 01/13/06:

Sure I'll pray for you and your son. It's the one thing I can do.

I think you're more in danger of those Asian jokes than the ground going into a spasm though.


paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

CeeBee2 asked on 01/11/06 - Beauty or Truth

John Keats (1795-1821) wrote at the end of "Ode on a Grecian Urn,"

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty-—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Is beauty truth and truth beauty? If not, why not? If you had to choose one or the other to rule your life, which would you choose and why?

purplewings answered on 01/12/06:

Truth can be quietly known and accepted - but beauty is what inspires the soul.

Like Madima, I live in both - finding acceptance in truth and delight in beauty.


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paraclete asked on 01/11/06 - US responsible for Iraq insurgency. The enemy within?

US Army its own worst enemy: British officer

January 12, 2006

A senior British Army officer has written a scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq, accusing it of cultural ignorance, moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement and unwarranted optimism.

His publisher: the US Army.

In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such "cultural insensitivity" that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency.

The US Army has been slow to adapt its tactics, he argues, and its approach during the early stages of the occupation "exacerbated the task it now faces by alienating significant sections of the population".

The army magazine's decision to publish the essay - which has already provoked an intense reaction among US officers - is part of a broader self-examination in many parts of the force as it approaches the end of its third year in Iraq.

The army was full of soldiers showing qualities such as patriotism, duty, passion and talent, writes Brigadier Aylwin-Foster.

"Yet it seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, a predisposition to offensive operations, and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head-on."

Those traits reflect the army's traditional focus on conventional wars and are seen by some experts as less appropriate for counterinsurgency, which they say needs patience, cultural understanding and a willingness to use innovative, counterintuitive approaches.

In counterinsurgency campaigns, Brigadier Aylwin-Foster says, "the quick solution is often the wrong one".

He argues that intense conformism and overly centralised decision-making slowed the army's operations in Iraq, giving the enemy time to respond.

The army's can-do spirit also encouraged a "damaging optimism" that interfered with realistic assessments.

"I think he's an insufferable British snob," responded Colonel Kevin Benson, commander of the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies.

President George Bush on Tuesday announced plans to hand over control of more than half of Iraq to the Iraqi military by the end of the year.

Iraqi forces already control nearly half of Baghdad province as well as "sectors" of Iraqi territory in four other regions.

"In the year ahead, we will continue handing more territory to Iraqi forces, with the goal of having the Iraqis in control of more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006," Mr Bush said in an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

■ The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, secretly incited Iraq's top Shiite leader to declare holy war against US and British forces, Washington's former administrator in Iraq says.

In his new book, My Year in Iraq, Paul Bremer says he heard the intelligence in October 2003, as sectarian tensions soared following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

"We had good intelligence showing that many insurgents and terrorists were coming into Iraq through Syria," Mr Bremer writes.

The Washington Post; Hearst Newspapers; Telegraph, London

purplewings answered on 01/11/06:

I suppose the military thought it was more important to get the job done and try to save their own lives in the process than to spend time wooing those who wanted to kill them. Amazing huh?

I wonder how much more culturally literate the Brits are during war.

Always a way to find fault and make money too.

I'll bet those soldiers being so far from their own culture and into such a frighteningly violent area, didn't even consider they should hand their heads politely over on a platter to keep the 'insurgents' from getting annoyed.


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ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - TO KNOW !!

What does the word "EPIPHANY " really means ?

purplewings answered on 01/07/06:

The appearance of JESUS (a superhuman being).

It also means the moment of awareness or sudden belief.

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Choux asked on 01/05/06 - Christianity Casualty of Iraq War?

Tony Campolo::

"Recently, I sat in dismay as I watched a television show that featured a prominent Christian author defending the use of torture in the war against terrorism. I was outraged that this man could try to make a case for followers of Jesus condoning such an immoral practice. I shared my feelings with a group of fellow Evangelicals and was stunned when the consensus that emerged from this group of Christians was in agreement with this author.

One of those in the group was wearing one of those WWJD bracelets that proposes that when facing any decision and in every circumstance, the question should be asked, "What would Jesus do?" He evaded the question as to whether or not Jesus would torture a terrorist.

The question is would Jesus ask, "What doth it profit if you gain information from a tortured terrorist and lose your own soul?"

I came away from that discussion with a sense that ***many of us Evangelicals*** have given up our moral compasses and wandered into an ethical wasteland where we are not only losing our souls, but also ***losing our testimonies as good people***. Checking around, I found very little condemnation of America's use of torture from those pundits of Christian Fundamentalism who usually can be counted on to speak out with righteous indignation whenever our government provides even the appearance of evil.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "Beware when you fight a dragon, lest you become a dragon," and I wonder if we are becoming as despicable as those evil terrorists who are our declared enemies.

Secondly, I am asking if we evangelicals are not only losing any moral authority we once had, but also are losing our opportunity to carry out what we believe is our Biblical imperative to preach the whole Gospel to the whole world. One of the distinguishing traits of we Evangelicals has been our zeal to carry the good news of Christ's salvation to every nation--even as our Lord directed us to do. ***Sadly, one of the consequences of our support of our nation's foreign policies is that the ***doors for missionary work are being shut***. Because Christianity, throughout the Muslim world, is associated with America, anti-Americanism has heated up anger against Christians in many parts of the Islamic world.

In Iraq, ***Christians, who even during the evil days of the Hussein regime had the privilege of boldly worshipping and evangelizing, are now being threatened***. There have been churches in Baghdad that have been burned down, and tens of thousands of Christians have been fleeing the country in fear of persecution. Undoubtedly, missionary endeavors are losing ground in Iraq. Furthermore, if democracy comes to Iraq it is not likely to bode well for Christians there. The new government probably will be Shiite and, if history is to be trusted, Christians will not fare well under Shia law.

Around the world there are radical Muslim fundamentalists who have responded to our invasion of Iraq, as well as to our general acquiescence in the face of the sufferings of Palestinian people, by ***declaring a Jihad against Christianity***. In Indonesia, the Sudan, and the Philippines, and in other nations, Christians now live in fear of death because of their faith.

These disturbing conditions worsen when American television preachers foolishly declare Islam to be an evil religion, and when the leader of a prominent Evangelical denomination calls Mohammed a pedophile. To add injury to such insults, a worldwide news story broke that an American general stood, dressed in full uniform, in a Christian church and told the congregation that Islam is a creation of Satan.

Don't these people realize that there are dire consequences for our missionaries in Muslim countries as a result of such rhetoric?

More than 300 missionaries who had been serving in Pakistan have lost their visas. Christianity is so identified with American power and politics that in some places missionaries are being sent home, not only because they are thought to be people who denigrate Islam, but also because of suspicion that they might even be CIA agents.

Again the question must be raised as to whether or not Christianity is becoming a casualty of the war on terrorism......""


purplewings answered on 01/06/06:

Having been married to a Chaldean for almost 25 years showed me that Christians have always been a minority, and treated badly in Iraq. My ex-husband had to sleep with a gun under his pillow from the time he was 10 years old, as it was his job to protect his mother and sisters from the marauders who were a constant threat. To this day the man cannot fall into a deep sleep and his elder brother sleeps with his eyes completely open.

Therefore it isn't because suddenly Muslim people have turned against America, that Christians are being harrassed and denied entry. It is just more of what has always been part of that culture.

"There have been churches in Baghdad that have been burned down, and tens of thousands of Christians have been fleeing the country in fear of persecution"

Where on earth has this man been that he doesn't know that the majority of Chaldean Christians have been living in America since the 50's? They have been leaving in masses long before my ex-husband was even born and the reasons were the same as now.

I agree with the thinking regarding being careful about how we fight a dragon lest we become one. We should not torture, nor make excuses for torturing, however, torturing must be more clearly defined. In my mind, dressing men as women is hardly torture.

In time of war, there has to be some means of gaining vital information in order to save our soldiers and others and hopefully win the war. It is quite different than just 'being nice' and they'll see things our way.

It occurs to me that there is so much phoney rhetoric as to how our military behaves, how our government leaders behave, etc.

As you can see it's brought out again and again that Bush and the Americans are the ones who brought about all this violence, and yet I can tell stories of similar violence right in Baghdad that existed 50 years and more, ago........someone has bypassed history in order to be heard or to be "politically correct".


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MaggieB asked on 01/05/06 - Child's play

Jan. 3, 2006, 1:45AM
Child's play
Confronting hateful fictions in Muslim textbooks is more than political correctness: It can mean the difference between war and peace.

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

AMERICANS may think we know about textbook wars: the petitions signed, school boards ousted, late-night PTA meetings over references to sex or Darwin. But in parts of the Muslim world, the contents of some textbooks can lead, literally, to bloodshed. In reaction, according to The Associated Press, "hate-hunters" from Pakistan to the Persian Gulf have begun to scour their nations' textbooks and demand that vitriol and intolerance toward other cultures be culled.

As with most reformers in the Islamic world, these activists do dangerous work. But they rightly see their efforts as a way to break Muslim countries' debilitating cycles of conflict with outsiders, as well as a way to modernize. "We are fighting for the future of Islam. Children are sometimes being force-fed a diet of hate, anger and intolerance," Pakistani Ahmed Salim, one textbook watchdog, said. Salim is the leader of a movement in his country to remove what it perceives as violent and extreme material from children's textbooks. Such activists were barely stirring in the Muslim world just a few years ago. But the psychological shock of 9/11, mixed with the material traumas of U.S. military actions in the region and internal terror, galvanized some Muslims to look critically at what their children learn in school. They're determined to excise messages that might twist those youngsters into violent or intolerant adults.

In Pakistan, the AP reports, Salim's Sustainable Development Policy Institute began demanding textbook revisions two years ago; this month it will release a report that criticizes national officials for their inaction. The group denounces the books' idealizing of "jihad" in its more violent interpretations. As "jihad" is taught in Pakistani schools, it can easily be interpreted as idealizing martyrdom or warfare with the West, or India, or between rival Muslim sects in Pakistan.

Palestinian Media Watch, a Jerusalem-based group that keeps track of similar messages in Palestinian media, also monitors violent, pro-jihadi messages in children's schoolbooks. The Israeli-American Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace reports that standard Palestinian textbooks, which often praise jihad and martyrdom, never even mention the concept of peace with Israel.

Even leaders in Saudi Arabia, home of the most xenophobic form of Islam, acknowledge the need to modify their schoolbooks' hostile teachings about other faiths and cultures. But the changes so far are minuscule, outside monitors say.

It's essential that Saudi Arabia and similarly closed societies heed Islam's reformers and sap the poison that their children are imbibing in school. It can take a lifetime to teach — or reteach — adults how to live with neighbors who are different. The lesson must begin in childhood. Conversely, as the Saudis should well know, when a culture breeds fanatics, no one is safe from the explosion.

purplewings answered on 01/06/06:

I think most of us have already known the anger begins in children so, if they are now realizing it, this is a good movement.

Personally, with what we've recently learned about unborn babies, the messages of peace or violence may begin right then prior to birth. Perhaps people, particularly parents speaking in kinder, gentler voices and making kinder movements, would bring forth a child even further removed from violence and anger. Maybe that will be the next conscious plan over there to become free of the hatred.

It's all to the good that they have begun to realize and move.... what a difference it all can make.


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Tex78 asked on 01/06/06 - do you think this man was smart? If so, why?

Thank God! Amen!

There's this guy who had been lost and walking in the
desert for about
weeks. One hot day, he sees the home of a missionary.

Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and
collapses on the
The missionary finds him and nurses him back to
health. Feeling better,
the man asks the missionary for directions to the
nearest town.

On his way out the backdoor, he sees this horse. He
goes back into the
house and asks the missionary, "Could I borrow your
horse and give it
when I reach the town?"

The missionary says, "Sure but there is a special
thing about this
You have to say 'Thank God' to make it go and 'Amen'
to make it stop."
Not paying much attention, the man says, "Sure, ok."

So he gets on the horse and says, "Thank God" and the
horse starts

Then he say, "Thank God, thank God, " and the horse
starts trotting.
Feeling really brave, the man say, "Thank God, thank
God, thank God,
God, thank God" and the horse just takes off.

Pretty soon he sees this cliff coming up and he's
doing everything he
to make the horse stop. "Whoa, stop, hold on!" Finally
he remembers,

The horse stops 4 inches from the cliff.

The man leans back in the saddle and says, "Thank

In God We Trust.

purplewings answered on 01/06/06:

Too funny!
That's why I believe in writing these kind of instructions down.


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sapphire630 asked on 01/03/06 - Just when you thought things were great

Feeling Fine? Obviously Something's Wrong
By Linwood Barclay of the Toronto Star
The makers of Normallix would like you to take a moment and do the following quiz. It could change your life:

1. Do you find that some days you want to lie in bed, and other days you get up feeling refreshed and can't wait to start the day?

2. Have you ever, after working a grueling eight or nine hours at your place of employment, come home feeling exhausted?

3. Do you find that you go to the bathroom, and then, several hours later, have to go again?

4. When you are lost in the middle of the woods and are being chased by a large bear, do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety?

5. Do you ever keep reading the newspaper, even when your spouse is talking to you, and then have to ask: "What did you say?"

If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you need to speak to your doctor about getting labeled 'normal' and being prescribed Normallix, the new prescription medication for people who don't have anything particularly wrong with them.

Do you see your friends taking medication every day to combat heartburn?

Are more and more of your adult friends being labeled and taking drugs because they find it hard to pay attention for sustained periods?

Has just about everyone you know caught one of the contagious Ê'levels of depression' stigmas and been given something to level out his or her moods?

Are you tired of the guy in the next cubicle bragging about what he was able to do the night before after taking one of those little blue pills?

And don't you feel left out that you are not contributing to the latest 'label and medicate' craze?

That's why there's Normallix.

Just because you're not showing any signs of acid reflux disease, erectile dysfunction, so-called attention deficit disorder, or even hair loss, is no reason that you shouldn't be on something.

Normallix is designed with you in mind.

Just one Normallix a day will keep your life exactly the way it is now.

Normallix, of course, is not for everyone.

You should not take Normallix if you raise elephants in your backyard, have large green scales on more than 90 per cent of your body, sneeze from any orifice other than your nose, wish that someone would make a movie of the life of John Manley, or have ratatouille more than three times a day.

There are some side effects. When you are prescribed Normallix, you contribute to the myth that every facet of life should be have a psychiatric label, the share price of the drug conglomerate that produces Normallix may go up, but will that only make things worse when it crashes again a few years up the road?

As well, the chief executives of the company that makes Normallix will receive huge bonuses, and maybe even have a little money left over to pay 'scientists' to create more made-up 'diseases' to justify more pharmaceutical products that, 10 years ago, no one even knew we needed, and probably donÕt today.

And, finally, Normallix may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and constipation, sexual dysfunction, a disconnect from social relationships, abnormal weight gain, liver damage, but then, really, which of these drugs doesn't?

Your drug plan may not yet cover Normallix, but that's no reason not to get it.

Your drug plan doesn't cover food, either, but you buy that, don't you?

Should you subsequently determine, through the guidance of a real doctor not a shrink, that you actually have a physical illness you need a prescription for - you can still take Normallix.

Normallix has been developed not to interact with other medications. That's because, to the best of our knowledge, it has no active ingredients. (Just like the placebos that per scientific studies work just as well as anti-depressants - without the side effects.)

That's what makes it one of the safest medications available today.

So, if you've been feeling left out of the 'pick a label, any label and take your drug' revolution, consider Normallix.

Just one a day, although, if you feel like it, you can take more.

purplewings answered on 01/05/06:


Maybe it's the act of swallowing a pill that changes the attitude and not really the effects of the pill at all?

We need a placebo revolution I think.

Thanks for the post. It was fun to think about.


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paraclete asked on 01/03/06 - Well it's offical it's hotter here

It's official: last year was hottest ever

January 4, 2006 - 12:28PM
Related coverage

Last year was Australia's hottest on record, new figures show.

The Bureau of Meteorology annual climate summary shows 2005 was more than one degree warmer than the average temperature between 1961 and 1990, the world standard used to track temperature change.

The figures, released today, have forced the federal government to defend its action on climate change and global warming.

Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell says he recognises climate change is the biggest modern-day environmental challenge.

"I think that climate change is alarming," he told ABC radio.

"I regard climate change as the number one environmental challenge.

"The government's spending hundreds of millions of dollars through the Natural Heritage Trust, for example, on trying to maintain Australia's biodiversity, fix our rivers, maintain our forest cover.

"All of these programs will become worthless if we don't as a globe address climate change.

"It is a huge and serious challenge.

"These figures add to the weight of evidence that climate change is real and it's a problem that the world needs to work together to seek to solve."

Australia and the United States are the only developed nations to have refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which calls on countries to cut greenhouse emissions by 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012.

Instead, the federal government has joined Australia up to a regional partnership designed to address global warming with better technology.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which includes the US, Japan, China, India and South Korea, is due to meet for the first time in Sydney later this month.

It has been roundly criticised by environmentalists as a smokescreen to cover up a lack of real action.

But Senator Campbell said technological change was essential.

"If we don't bring forward the technologies that allow us to produce energy, but do so with much much lower greenhouse gas emissions then we won't solve the problem."

The government argues Kyoto will not work because it does not commit developing nations to reducing emissions.

"Kyoto excludes most of the emissions in the world. It only covers just over a third of the countries of the world and ... we need something that includes all countries of the world," he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) climate summary shows Australia's average temperature in 2005 was 22.89, 1.09 degrees Celsius above the international standard.

But last year is also likely to be one of the hottest years on record globally.
The Bureau says preliminary figures show the global temperature was around 0.48 degrees above average in 2005.

񓟵 is going to be pretty close to the warmest year on record," the Bureau's Blair Trewin said.

In Australia, there have been some tangible changes as a result of rising temperatures.

"We've seen things like the general retreat of the winter snow line. We've seen a marked decrease in the frequency of frost, especially in inland Queensland," Dr Trewin said.

"We've seen an increase in the number of extreme hot days."

And the warming trend is likely to continue.

"All the projections we have from climate models we would expect to see continued warming through the 21st century," he said.

"Numbers like this ... are another piece of evidence that climate change is real and it's a real issue."



Ain't life wonderful? We need experts to tell us it's hot. I could have told them that, and for no fee. Science is wonderful, it produces sets of numbers that justify almost anything as if this were revelation itself. Like it's isn't a revelation it hasn't snowed here in years, despite all the historical photographs we have with snow on the ground. What I want to know is waht are we good Christian people doing about it. Why should Christians do something? because noone else is, we should capture the niche market immediately. Let's face it, this could be the new Church growth syndrome. we could sweep the world with our Gospel of salvation and lower emissions thrown in.

purplewings answered on 01/05/06:

All the information is interesting and possibly true BUT could it also be that since Australia is so far "down under" that it's just closer to the heat of hell's fire?

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STONY asked on 01/04/06 - I HAVE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION...


purplewings answered on 01/05/06:

Good Tony.

It would be nice if the rest of the population would adopt that same resolution..........especially since it seems to work well.

Enjoy your freedom....


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Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder acceptab

Regarding the missionaries shot in Chesapeake, a 'person' wrote:

01/04/06 Choux

It's come to this.

"Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!:

How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder an acceptable substitute for their lack of interpersonal skills?

Do they still qualify as human beings after they have become so degraded and insensitive?

purplewings answered on 01/05/06:

What's so difficult about saying "no thanks" to those who want to prosetelize? We also have the option of either closing the door or just walking away.

If someone murders someone else for this, they are just looking for a target - anyone will do.


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Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - Tithing

Should the payment of tithes take rpecedence over every other financial consideration?

purplewings answered on 01/05/06:

absolutely not. If you haven't the money to pay your rent or for food, that's certainly priority.....

In tithing, if you can't pay it, someone else will pick up the difference until you're able. No one will starve because of your missed percentage.


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Choux asked on 01/02/06 - Happy Day

Well, nobody's posting, so what the heck, I will:::

I had such a happy day today; I hadn't seen my friend Doris in two weeks, she went south to be with her extended famiy over Christmas holiday.

Today, I had an afternoon Dr. appointment scheduled, and I dread them, first, because I have no suitable transportation....I take a Taxi-Van and most of the drivers are dyspeptic. More importantly, I have lots of trouble stepping up into the van.

Well, on the way there, I managed to step up into the van, but lost momentum! Doris saved the day by pushing my fat ass like a football blocker into the seat! LOL!!

Anyway, I'm at home. Doris and I had lots of laughs and did catching up. She went to the store, so I'm on the computer to say,


purplewings answered on 01/02/06:

You said it all there! The only thing better than good friends is good family...
Bless them all!

I'm glad Doris kept you from taking that fall. That could have been a real disaster. Give her a big hug for me.


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Choux asked on 01/01/06 - Spewing Hatred

The following is a comment ATON made to my response about Mark Fuhrman, the detective, with a checkered past. ATON doesn't seem to understand that a person can read about something without agreeing with what is said! LOL!!

IN addition, he seems to think that he can hurt me, his intention, with his personal attacks like the one below. He can't hurt me. I care nothing positive for him because of his personal attacks which began off and on in earnest about 15 months ago.

"""Haven't you cluttered up your brain with ENOUGH garbage without adding a liar, conniver, and racist to your list of 'must reads'..Relly, Mary Sue, you need to stop hopping on every bandwagon that comes down the pike...It makes you look like someone with no set opinions of your old..but one that will follow any wind that will allow you to villify others. Shame on you for wasting what is left of your life with penny-ante crap."""

Pretty nasty stuff. I can't even ***think of reading true life detective book*** without getting this kind of venemous spewing.

Mary Sue

purplewings answered on 01/02/06:

What would you do without these little flare-ups? You'd be so bored you'd never make it through the week. I think you should challenge ATON to a word battle showdown at midnight and let the board decide the winner.


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Pete_Hanysz asked on 01/01/06 - God & Cash

"Church and Cathedral buildings are God's" said Fred.

Why do priests & popes, & other gophers live in them rent free say I?

Why do people die from hunger in South America, Africa & other parts of the world "God" doesn't know about?

Should he tell his priests to give the money to the people that need it? Or does he not care?


purplewings answered on 01/01/06:


The church building is there for the community, not the Priests home.

I work for a Priest who lives an hour away from the church. He has a nice home but not a mansion and he works real hard for it.....

Do you realize that a Priest is on the job 24 hours and 7 days a week? They get calls in the middle of the night to go to the hospital, or that someone has died, or from little lonely old ladies that need someone to talk to..?

When he goes on his vacation in another state, he takes his cell phone so parishioners can continue to reach him with their troubles...real or imagined.

The Orthodox priests are allowed to be married, if they do it before being ordained. The Priest I work for has a wife and two sons who are doctors. He put them through college on his own paychecks, which aren't fantastic by any means.

After 7 years of seeing what is expected/demanded of a priest, it amazes me that anyone would choose to be one.

The tithing is what helps pay the utilities, maintenance and secretarial costs.

There is never enough to go around. Usually at bill paying time, we have to rob st. peter in order to pay st. paul.


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excon asked on 01/01/06 - Broke my back, alright

Hello Christians:

Good morning and Happy all that crap.

Given my pro gay marriage stance, I'm sure it may come as a surprise, but I'm not gonna see Brokeback Mountain.

I dunno, maybe I am a homophobe. In 2006, I don't mind seeing gay guys walking down the street holding hands. But I just cannot fathom, cowboys, the men who tamed the west, the men who every little boy wanted to be, poking each other.

Now, I know they did, but I don't wanna see it. It's just wrong.


purplewings answered on 01/01/06:

Yeah, doing it and watching someone do it are two different things.

I've vomited before but when I saw someone doing it in a movie, it almost made me vomit again.

Just turn your head and remember - they aren't really doing it at all - (it's just a movie).


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ATON2 asked on 01/01/06 - Greetings!

To friends, foes, and sundry....(You sundries know who you are)...May 2006 exceed your wildest expectations. May you receive all that you deserve. And may it see all of you mellower, less warlike, and less antagonistic to your cyber brothers and sisters.
More I cannot wish you :) :) :)

purplewings answered on 01/01/06:

Hi Aton,

Those are nice wishes. My 2005 was so darned good for me, I don't even want to start a new year - but no one asked me.

Sundries? I always thought that meant my toothpaste and cologne.......but people?

I'll try to be less warlike in 2006 - but it's a tall order.

Happy 2006


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arcura asked on 12/30/05 - There is no question about this...............

I wish, hope, and pray that each one of you make it through the new year and beyond.
And that during 2006 you have all the good that you hope and pray for.
Let the good things you do and say give glory to God, laying up treasures in heaven, and the blessings that come from that to be here for you all year long.

purplewings answered on 12/31/05:

Thanks Fred. My life is interesting and filled with joy. What more can I ask?



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purplewings answered on 12/31/05:

Okay, if you can stand being away from us that long....



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curious98 asked on 12/31/05 - Hoping for the best

From the snowy mountains of Andorra I wish you all, Christians and no Christians, Believers and Atheists, friends, in short, our best wishes for a very prosperous 2006.

That tomorrow may be the start of a new and happier life for all of you together with those you love.

And may this 2006 bring to the whole world a well-deserved peace along with a little bit more justice and consolation for all the suffering souls of our lovely Planet!

Your friend,

Claude (aka Curious98)

purplewings answered on 12/31/05:

Wonderful prayer and thoughts Claude. I join you in your wishes for our planet.



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Choux asked on 12/29/05 - Problem with any Dictatorship

""BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese tradition holds 2006 will be a year of bad luck for people born under the sign of the dog, but misfortune has come early for some looking for jobs, state media said on Wednesday.

Chinese companies looking for new recruits had deliberately passed over candidates born as dogs in China's ancient 12-animal astrological cycle to ward off the bad luck expected for people in years of their same sign, the China Youth Daily said.

The dog denials were just one example of widespread employment discrimination in China, a Chinese legislator told parliament during discussions about a new labor law on Tuesday, the newspaper said.

Many Chinese companies showed illegal hiring biases, even according to such factors as **height and blood type**, it said.

A rule that women applying for government jobs in central Hunan province had to **show they had symmetrically shaped breasts** sparked a public uproar last year and calls for stronger legal protection against job discrimination.

Hunan scrapped its requirement, but China still does not have clear-cut laws ruling out such hiring prejudices.""

Democracy may not be perfect, but it is the best kind of government there is.


purplewings answered on 12/29/05:

I got stuck here. What would breast shape have to do with a job - unless she was a bra model or something?

I wonder if China will ever treat it's citizens as if they were human. It's sad to live your life as an inferior to your own government.


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paraclete asked on 12/29/05 - What do you think?

Recently a very rich man died who made the statement about death

"I've been on the other side and there is absolutely nothing there"

This cartoon sums it all up,10114,5091306,00.jpg

what do you think?

purplewings answered on 12/29/05:

Yes, I think you only go to judgement if you're there to stay....The first time there was nothing but blank because he wasn't ready for the big haul.

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BeelzeBUSH asked on 12/28/05 - Steps to find a human!

If you live in the US and are tired of the poor customer service which has become the standard of the majority of corporations and larger companies today (no thanks to the Oaf of Office), then this will help you navigate through the automated systems faster to get to the few live operators that still have jobs:

US finance phone steps to find a human
America First 800-999-3961 0 or say "member services"
American Express 800-528-4800 0 repeatedly
American Funds 800-421-0180 Press 0.
AMSouth Bank 800-267-6884 When the recording starts, press 111-0000. This is seven digits, like a phone number.
Bank of America 800-529-8804 Press 555 at each prompt.
Bank of America 800 900 9000 To get to human directly at any BOA #, press *0.
Bank One 877-226-5663 00
Capital One 800 903-3637 Press 0000 at each prompt until offered representative at 0.
Charles Schwab 800-435-9050 3, 0
Chase 800-CHASE24 5 pause 1 4
Chase Credit Card 800-945-2006 0
Chrysler Financial 800-700-0738 Select language, then press 00
Citi AAdvantage 888-766-2484 Ignore prompts and wait for a human.
CitiCard 800-967-8500 0,0,0,0,0
CitiFinancial 800-643-5607 0,0,0,0,0
CitiMortgage 800-283-7918 ###
Citizens Bank 800-922-9999 0,0,0
Coutrywide Loans 800-669-5864 *0 repeatedly
Decision One Mortgage 888-264-3663 Don't press any keys when prompted; they transfer you
Diner's Club 800-729-5309 2
Discover 800-347-2683 ****
e*Trade 800-786-2575 #### (4 pound signs)
Equifax 800-997-2493
Experian 888-397-3742
Exxon Mobil Card 800-344-4355 000 ignoring message
Fidelity 800-544-6666 ignore prompt for social security number, just enter ###
Fidelity NetBenefits 800-581-5800 1,#################
GE Finance CareCredit 866-893-7864 1, 6, 5, 0, 0
GM MasterCard 800-947-1000 Press À" at each prompt.
Honda Financial Services 800-445-1358 Press 0 at each prompt regardless of the message.
HSBC 800-477-6000 1, 3, 0
ING 800-464-3473 Direct to human.
MasterCard 800-MC-ASSIST 000 on each menu
MBNA 800-421-2110 00 when menu starts
Mellon Investor 800-649-3593 Wait through initial recording finishes, select nothing--wait--you will be connected to a live customer service rep
MetLife Bank 866-226-5638 Press # after each menu.
PayPal 402-935-7733 (or 2050) Say "agent."
Paypal Buyer Credit 866-571-3012 Be silent and at the end of the options press 6.
PNC Bank 888-762-2265 Press * till it says "transfering to customer support;" takes about 3 *s.
Privacy Guard 800-734-0199 Say "agent" or "no" or any word at each prompt.
Sovereign Bank 877-SOV-BANK 1 english; 1 personal; 3 then social#; passcode, #; then 0 (1-3x)
SunTrust 800-786-8787 Press # after each menu.
TD Waterhouse 800-934-4448 Press # after opening prompt, then do it again after prompt to be transferred to rep.
TIAA-CREF 800-842-2252 Press 00 at each prompt.
Transunion 800-888-4213
US Bank 800-872-2657 0000
USAA 800-531-2265 Say "representative" at every opportunity.
Visa 800-847-2911 000 (ignore prompts saying that it's an invalid entry)
Wachovia 800-922-4684 0, 0
Wal Mart Credit Card 866-888-3868 0
Washington Mutual 800-756-8000 At any time after the announcement(s) press 0,0.
Washington Mutual 800-788-7000 Press 0 at each prompt regardless of the message.
Wells Fargo 800-869-3557 0,0,0 or when asked for account number say "I don't know"
Western Union 800-325-6000 * then ##
us government phone steps to find a human
Dept of Education Loans 800-848-0979 Say and do nothing at the prompt and you will be transfered to someone.
EDD 800-300-5616 When you hear "welcome", press 1, then press 4 and 0 at the next two prompts.
Federal Trade Commission 877-382-4357 At each prompt, press 4, 5, 0.
FEMA 800-621-FEMA Select language (1 for English), Don't choose any option, just hold for human; or press 00
INS/Citizenship 800-375-5283 Select language, then press 2, 6, 2, 4 at the prompts, press 0.
Medicare 800-633-4227 Say "Agent."
Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE RE; info for part "D" Medicare Prescription Drug Plans- When recording begins say "Agent" 5+ times.
Social Security 800-772-1213 00
US Dept. of Transportation 800-832-5660 000
USPS 800-275-8777 Press 3 at each prompt. Press 2 at the next recording.
Veterans Affairs 800-827-1000 1,0
us insurance phone steps to find a human
Aetna 800-537-9384 2, then say "operator" (check this)
Aetna 800-680-3566 * then 0 anytime
AIG 877-638-4244 Direct to human.
Blue Cross FEP 800-451-7602 Wait for prompt, then press 0, 3 to reach a CS rep.
Cigna 800-849-9000 ##
Delta Dental 888-335-8227 00000, wait through message, select language, 4, 0.
GEICO 800-841-3000 Wait for prompt then 6, 1, 5; Or dail 800-555-2752
Medco 800-251-7690 0000, enter member id or say "i don't have a member id."
Medicare 800-633-4227 After the opening prompt say "agent".
Principal Life 800-247-4695 1 for english, 2, then 0 several times.
Prudential Financial 800-778-2255 Say "Customer Service Representative" several times after intro.
United Health Care 866-844-4864 000000,0,0
USAA 800-531-6095 000 then #; or # initially to dial the extension of a specific representative
us pharmacy phone steps to find a human
Caremark 800-262-7890 0
CVS local store Press 6 to connect to store manager. 800-378-4786 2, 5
Eckerd 800-325-3737 0 for pharmacy, 8* for manager
Express Scripts - TriCare 866-363-8667 0, listen announcement, 0,0.
MEDCO 800-987-5269 Say "representative" after each message (3x).
Rite Aid local store Press 3 to speak to the pharmacy
Walgreens local store 0 for a pharmacy employee
Walgreens Mail Order 800-635-3070 0,00
us products phone steps to find a human
Bose 800-444-2673 Direct to human.
GE Appliance 800-626-2005 000
Kodak 800-235-6325 *7 or *28
Kodak Gallery (Ofoto) 800-360-9098 Say "customer service representative" repeatedly.
Konica Minolta 800-285-6422 0
Playstation 800-345-7669 0
Sonos 800-680-2345 1 sales; 2 support
Sony 800-222-7669 When prompted, just say "Agent".
us retail phone steps to find a human
Advance Auto Parts 800-314-4243 Press 0 when the automated message begins.
Amazon Visa 888-247-4080 Press 0 twice. Ignore invalid account message. 800-201-7575 Wait though the first menu for an agent.
Apple Stores local store press 5 as soon as you hear the automated menu
Banana Republic 888-277-8953 0
Barnes & Noble local store Press 1 or 0 during greeting.
Barnes & 800-843-2665 direct to agent
Best Buy 888-237-8289 Listen to intro, then press 1,2,0,0
Best Buy Card 800-365-0292 00* then press 8
Blair 800-458-2000 Direct to agent 949-389-2000 Dail 0 and direct to rep
Cabela's 800-237-4444 direct to agent
Circuit City Visa 888-363-8001 Press 0 a lot.
CompUSA local 0
eBay 800-322-9266 0,0
Gap Credit Card 800-887-1198 000
Home Depot local store Direct to human.
Home Depot 800-793-3768 # 2-3 times
Home Shopping Net 800-284-3100 0
Ikea 800-434-4532 Press 0 many times quickly!
JC Penney 800-222-6161 Press 0 twice, ignoring error message.
K-Mart local store 0
Kohl's Credit 800 564-5740 After providing account info, press 0 three times
LL Bean 800-441-5713 Direct to human.
Lowe's 800-445-6937 Press 0 as the recording kicks in to get to the Operator
NetFlix 888-638-3549 0
Old Navy 800-653-6289 Dial 0 direct to rep 800-843-2446 At the main menu, 0 three to four times to bypass the menu
Petco local store 3
QVC 800-367-9444 0
Radio Shack 800-843-7422 0,0
RadioShack local store Direct to human.
Rent-A-Center 800-422-8186 1
Safeway local store As soon as voice prompt starts type 1200 to get human
Sears 800-4-MY-HOME Be silent to be put in queue for human.
Sears Delivery 800-732-7747 *122
Sears Repairs 800-469-4663 Repeat "Help" everytime the IVR tries to give options.
Sharper Image 800-344-9919 Direct to human.
Staples 800-333-3330 Just wait through intro and you will be connected to a representative.
Staples local store 0
Stop & Shop local number 0
Target local store 0 during greeting.
The Company Store 800-285-3696 0
Toys "R" Us local store 0
Wal-Mart 800-925-6278 1 for directory
us shipping phone steps to find a human
DHL 800-225-5345 Press 1, press 5, press 0, enter your phone number.
FedEx 888-463-3339 At message say "Rep" or press 0
Union Pacific 800-877-5123 Press # sign during main menu options.
UPS 800-742-5877 0,0
us technology phone steps to find a human
Apple 800-275-2273 000; if virtual rep answers, say "operator"
Apple Tech Support 800-275-2273 0,,0,,0 Wait for IVR response before pressing 0 each time.
Compaq 800-652-6672 No easy escape
Dell 888-560-8324 2 order; 3 support; 4 purchase help; or 00 to human
Dell Service 800-624-9897 option 1, xt 7266966, option 1, option 4, option 4
Earthlink 888-earthlink 1 find a dialin number; 2 billing; 3 sales; 4 support
Epson 800-922-8911 yes
Gateway 800-846-2301 00#
HP 800-474-6836 Say "agent".
HP 888-560-8324 00
IBM 800-IBM-4YOU You go into a hold queue immediately
Microsoft 800-936-5700 Always 0. This is true for just about any MS number.
QuickBooks 888-729-1996 1 purchase; 2 billing; 3 registration; 4 tech support or 0 to human
Symantec 800-441-7234 00
Zone Labs, Inc. 877-966-5221 Press 2 for direct to human 24/7
us telco phone steps to find a human
AOL 800-827-6364 Press 0 repeatedly, ignoring all messages.
AT&T 800-222-0300 #### then 1 if for current phone, else 2 to enter other, else 3
AT&T Wireless 800-888-7600 During prompts, press * then # twice.
BellSouth 877-678-2355 *0
Cellular One 888-910-9191 4, say "agent", then #
Cingular 800-331-0500 Enter your wireless number (or 10 zeros), then 0, then 0 again
Cingular 800-211-2445 Direct to human.
Comcast 800-266-2278 dail 0 3-4 times or be silent
MetroPcs 888-863-8786 #43
Nextel 800-639-6111 0 five times
SBC 800-585-7928 Again, an (intelligent, this time) IVR wants YOUR phone number first.
Sprint PCS 888-788-5001 If live person does not answer, 00, then say "agent"
T-Mobile 800-TMOBILE Say "representative" at any time.
Verizon DSL 800 567 6789 Say "I don't know it" then "technician"
Verizon Wireless 800-922-0204 #00 or enter phone # then 0 then 4
us travel phone steps to find a human
American Airlines 800-433-7300 00, then say "agent"
Amtrak 800-872-7245 0 or say "agent"
Delta 800-221-1212 say "agent" four times - every time it asks for a response from you 203 899-3120 0
National Car Rental 800-227-7368 Direct to human.
Northwest 800-225-2525 Star, 0,0 after initial greeting
Southwest 800-435-9792 Calls answered by operator; during busy times you might have to hold
United 800-864-8331 Do nothing, wait for human.
US Airways 800-428-4322 4, wait, 1
Walt Disney World 407-824-4521 Direct line to Magic Kingdom Guest Relations
us tv/satellite phone steps to find a human
Comcast 800-266-2278 Customer service, but an IVR wants your number first.
Direct TV 800-347-3288 0 repeatedly
Sirius 888 539-7474 0
TiVo 877-367-8486 Say "Live Agent"
XM Radio 800-998-7900 Direct to human!

I love myself,

purplewings answered on 12/29/05:

Thanks for the list. I'll print it out for a later never know when or what you may need.

I am sick of wasting time waiting to find the 'right' department.

Happy New Year

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Erewhon asked on 12/27/05 - Bush's freedom and democracy spreads to Russia!

An outspoken aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has resigned in protest against what he called the end of political freedom.

Economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said Russia was no longer politically free but run by state corporations acting in their own interests.

"I did not sign a contract with such a state," Mr Illarionov told reporters.

He had been the most vocal critic in the corridors of Russian power for some time, BBC correspondents say.

His remarks are seen by some experts as potentially embarrassing for Mr Putin, as Russia prepares to take over presidency of the G8 club of industrialised nations later this week.

Mr Putin's office said the president had signed a decree relieving Mr Illarionov of his post, and made no further comment.

"It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic," Mr Illarionov told reporters in Moscow.

He said that "therefore it is absolutely impossible to remain" in his post.

Mr Illarionov added that Russia's economic policy and the economic model of the state had changed.

He also said: "Until not long ago no-one put any limits on me expressing my point of view. Now the situation has changed."

Viktor Chernomyrdin, ambassador to Ukraine and a former Russian prime minister, dismissed Mr Illarionov's criticism of the government as groundless.

"There was so much malice in him, he was being overly negative," he is quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying. "It was a mistake to keep him in the Kremlin for so long."

Analysts quoted by the AFP news agency say Mr Illarionov had already lost much of his influence on the Kremlin but was kept on as "window dressing" to ease Western concerns about growing state control over the economy.

Mr Illarionov has recently criticised government economic policy with such gusto that he sounded more like the Kremlin's arch opponent than its employee, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says.

A year ago, he condemned the Russian authorities attack on the giant Yukos as the swindle of the year, our correspondent says.

The Kremlin took away some of his duties, like his role as Russia's representative to the G8, sidelining the respected economist.


Your New year thoughts on this?

purplewings answered on 12/28/05:

And this has ????? to do with president Bush??

The man left for his own personal reasons. Quite likely wasn't getting along with the people he worked with.......

What a terrible spin you put on this Ronnie...'

Whas Up!!

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paraclete asked on 12/27/05 - well, that's certainly putting the blame in the right place, or is it?

Canada blames U.S. for gun violence

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 Posted: 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)

TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Canadian officials, seeking to make sense of another fatal shooting in what has been a record year for gun-related deaths, said Tuesday that along with a host of social ills, part of the problem stemmed from what they said was the United States exporting its violence.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Toronto Mayor David Miller warned that Canada could become like the United States after gunfire erupted Monday on a busy street filled with holiday shoppers, killing a 15-year-old girl and wounding six bystanders -- the latest victims in a record surge in gun violence in Toronto.

The shooting stemmed from a dispute among a group of 10 to 15 youth, and the victim was a teenager out with a parent near a popular shopping mall, police said Tuesday.

"I think it's a day that Toronto has finally lost its innocence," Det. Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said. "It was a tragic loss and tragic day."

While many Canadians take pride in Canadian cities being less violent than their American counterparts, Toronto has seen 78 murders this year, including a record 52 gun-related deaths -- almost twice as many as last year.

"What happened yesterday was appalling. You just don't expect it in a Canadian city," the mayor said.

"It's a sign that the lack of gun laws in the U.S. is allowing guns to flood across the border that are literally being used to kill people in the streets of Toronto," Miller said.

Miller said Toronto, a city of nearly three million, is still very safe compared to most American cities, but the illegal flow of weapons from the United States is causing the noticeable rise in gun violence.

"The U.S. is exporting its problem of violence to the streets of Toronto," he said.

Miller said that while almost every other crime in Toronto is down, the supply of guns has increased and half of them come from the United States.

Miller said the availability of stolen Canadian guns is another problem, and that poverty in certain Toronto neighborhoods is a root cause.

"There are neighborhoods in Toronto where young people face barriers of poverty, discrimination and don't have real hope and opportunity. The kind of programs that we once took for granted in Canada that would reach out to young people have systematically disappeared over the past decade and I think that gun violence is a symptom of a much bigger problem," Miller said.

The escalating violence prompted the prime minister to announce earlier this month that if re-elected on January 23, his government would ban handguns. With severe restrictions already in place against handgun ownership, many criticized the announcement as politics.

Martin, who says up to half of the gun crimes in Canada involve weapons brought in illegally from the United States, raised the smuggling problem when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in October.

Martin offered his condolences in a statement Tuesday, saying he was horrified by the shootings.

"What we saw yesterday is a stark reminder of the challenge that governments, police forces and communities face to ensure that Canadian cities do not descend into the kind of rampant gun violence we have seen elsewhere," Martin said.

John Thompson, a security analyst with the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, says the number of guns smuggled from the United States is a problem, but that Canada has a gang problem -- not a gun problem -- and that Canada should stop pointing the finger at the United States.

"It's a cop out. It's an easy way of looking at one symptom rather than addressing a whole disease," Thompson said.

Two suspects were arrested and at least one firearm was seized soon after the shootings Monday. Kyriacou said it was an illegal handgun.

Three females and four males were injured, including one male who is in critical condition. Police believe they were bystanders.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

purplewings answered on 12/27/05:

So then it's true that people don't kill people - guns do, at least from Paul Martin's viewpoint. They'll have to take that one up with the NRA.

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paraclete asked on 12/27/05 - how true it is?


Heaven's Entrance Exam

A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly
Gates. St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it
into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a
certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When
you reach 100 points, you get in."

"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and
never cheated on her, even in my heart."

"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"

"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported
its ministry with my tithe and service."

"Terrific!" says St. Peter. "That's certainly worth a point."

"One point?!!" "I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter
for homeless veterans."

"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.

"Two points!?!!" Exasperated, the man cries. "At this rate
the only way I'll get into heaven is by the grace of God."

"Bingo, 100 points! Come on in!"

purplewings answered on 12/27/05:

Everything I've ever received or escaped from, is through the grace of God. I didn't come here 'deserving' anything....I didn't have anything to do with my being here so it had to be the grace of God.

I guess if I end up in 'heaven' that too will be by the grace of God.


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HANK1 asked on 12/27/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

... how many Experts ACTUALLY read long posts and clarifications.


purplewings answered on 12/27/05:

I usually don't. Sometimes I start to read a post before noticing how long it is and just know I don't have that much time or concentration, so move on.

Shorter posts are wiser.


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Choux asked on 12/26/05 - Startling News About First Borns

"First-born children are smarter, get a better education, and are more successful professionally than their younger siblings.

That's the startling conclusion of a joint U.S.-Norwegian study that determined it is the birth order and not necessarily the size of the family that is important to adult success. "It is better if you are the first-born," study leader and economics professor Kjell Salvanes of the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration told Reuters. "In terms of educational attainment, if you are the fourth-born instead of the first, you get almost one year less education, and that is quite a lot."

Salvanes and his team from the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed census data of Norwegians born between 1912 and 1975. They found that younger siblings not only tend to get less education than the older kids it the family, but also earn less pay and are more likely to find only part-time work. The findings hold true for other countries besides Norway.

Why are first-borns so blessed? Salvanes has several reasons.

* First-borns typically weigh more than their younger brothers and sisters, and previous research has shown that heavier birth weight is a good predictor for educational success.
* Children who have time alone with two adults and no siblings vying for attention get more intellectual stimulation than children in large families who get less parental attention.
* First-borns learn a lot when they teach their younger sibs--more than the younger ones learn from being instructed by an older brother or sister.

But does this mean that first-born children are really smarter? "Yes," Salvanes told Reuters. "It's hard to admit because I have older sisters."

The study findings were published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, a Harvard publication."

Are you a first born?

purplewings answered on 12/27/05:

My older sister was first born and indeed was very smart and responsible.

She was not the child with the highest birth weight, and she did not get a lot of time alone with our parents as there was a new child born every 10-12 months for the next 5 years.

She did take care of her siblings constantly and I'm sure that made her more responsible, confident and detailed.

I was the fourth child but wound up growing up in a different home as an only child - I wonder where that makes me stand in the chart. First child - maybe?

If all they based that poll on was how the child interacted with her family, it throws away anything outside of the typical family.


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Erewhon asked on 12/26/05 - Just plain stupid, or fancy and stupid?

Opinion - Martin Samuel

The Times December 27, 2005

43 pensioners fell out of trees. Why? Stupidity
Martin Samuel

We’re not so much going to hell
in a handcart, but over a ravine on an out-of-control lawnmower!

THIS BEING Bank Holiday Tuesday, by now, more than 40,000 of you will have enjoyed a traditional British Christmas, spent covered in blood or smouldering slightly in one of this nation’s many delightful accident and emergency units.

This has become such a feature of the holiday season that 40,000 more will be back over new year. A combination of five-year-old tree lights, made in Taiwan and bought cheap from that bloke in the precinct, an ignition problem with the Christmas pud owing to someone tearing the end off the Gordon Ramsay recipe in last week’s Times and Nana, 84, drawing Riverdance from the hat during the annual round of charades, will have combined to remove loved ones from the bosom of the family and place them somewhere else, probably in traction.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is so concerned with this growing problem that it issued guidelines on such head-scratchers as how to open and play with your presents, and how to cook lunch and then eat it. RoSPA misses the point. It’s not the festivities, stupid. It’s the stupid, stupid. Stupid people. Doing stupid things. All the stupid time. For life, not just for Christmas. Bungee jumps, doomed do-it-yourself missions, killer pets, unexpected explosions. The Hospital Episode Statistics, published each year, tell of a nation not so much going to hell in a handcart, but over a ravine on an out-of-control lawnmower while battling against a tankful of venomous arthropods.

We hear a lot from the health authorities about smokers and the obese, but the stupid seem to have got away scot-free. Some fat guy, never hurt a soul, keels over in the high street; the NHS behaves as if he’s just been caught nicking the PlayStation from the paediatric unit. Terrible man. Smoked 40 a day. Loved a fry-up. I mean, do we have to treat him? Really, should we?

Next morning, some joker almost blows his head off with a high-powered patio-cleansing water jet while trying to clear his earwax, and they can’t get the blue light out quick enough. I’m not saying we should stop helping fellow citizens in distress, but what about a little parity? If war has been declared on the fat and wheezy, what about the perfectly formed but stupid?

Did you know that last year 343 adults received hospital treatment at our expense after falling from trees? I’ll tell you something about those people. They won’t be fat. Fat people see a tree, they’re not thinking Huckleberry Finn, they’re thinking nice bit of shade. It’s all these thin idiots who keep getting stuck up trees. That is why a properly streamlined NHS would first install a triage nurse for the stupid.

Fat people, you can see coming, smokers you can smell, but these skinny timewasters are getting in under the radar.

“So what’s he done? Broke his neck? How did he do that? Fell out of a tree? I see. Some sort of park worker is he, part of his job? An estate agent from Luton? Works out, wanted to show off. Well, I’m sorry, love, but he’s on his own. When he comes round ask him what he thought he was playing at.”

Or, more to the point, what were you playing at, Grandpa, considering 43 of the 343 who plummeted through foliage last year were over the age of 60. Perhaps they were just young at heart, like the 306 adults who suffered serious injury in falls involving playground equipment, or the 117 adults who plunged from a cliff. Didn’t these innocents have mums and dads? Didn’t they have a person who screamed at them from the age of five: “Don’t go near the edge! ” with eardrum-shattering intensity the moment they so much as wandered near a drop of more than 3ft?

Weren’t they told the story of the little boy who got all his teeth knocked out from not paying attention near the swings?

Children account for a lot of accidents (5,809 in playgrounds, 1,085 up trees), but for really spectacular flashes of stupidity, it takes a grown-up. Of the 12 injuries sustained through contact with venomous spiders and scorpions, not one victim was under 15.

A kid sees a scorpion: he knows what to do. Only weird adults in bedsits keep tarantulas as pets. One guy was hurt by a crocodile. I’m presuming zookeeper. But 50 more became entangled with other reptiles. So a reasonable sample managed to cross a dangerous snake or lizard in a country that does not have either, and no clever Dick from a local health authority issued a pompous statement about that.

There were six injuries from a prolonged stay in a weightless environment, including one in a person over 75, while 21 people fell foul of their pyjamas.

Getting a gun is difficult in Britain, so accidentally shooting yourself should be even more so — yet 816 citizens managed it, at a rate of more than two per day.

Think about that. If this were America, fine. It is easy to shoot yourself in America, or for someone to do it for you. Kids can pull it off, and frequently do. But in Britain we have to really work at redecorating a room with body parts.

We need to get a licence, two referees, join a club, provide a letter from a landowner giving permission to shoot, and all this before peering down the barrel for cleaning purposes one morning and losing an ear.

Yet 816 noble souls were prepared to go that extra yard in the pursuit of total foolishness. Just as Peter Cook was the comedians’ comedian, they are the stupids’ stupid. There will be a place in Heaven for them all, if not in their local casualty.

Which, in our new perfect society, is how it should be. For by the time we’ve vetoed the fat, the nicotine-stained, the gravity-hating, the tree-dwelling, the gun-wielding, nightie-igniters, lizard-fanciers and the 3,972 that still can’t keep their thumb away from the hammer, A&E will be free for those spotless souls who have led utterly blameless, completely responsible and entirely irreproachable lives.

At least there should be plenty of beds.


Did you put yourdself in danger recently? If so, tell all!

purplewings answered on 12/27/05:

Funny and true!

I don't like danger but I definitely do like some excitement - which oddly enough often leads to danger.

The danger I put myself into is going out into the world and associating with the aforementioned people......

Happy New Year


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Choux asked on 12/25/05 - Ten Simple Steps to Happiness

Do These 10 Things for True Happiness

What does it take to be truly happy and have feelings of joy permeate your everyday life? The answer is that it takes a lot less than you might think.

The No. 1 predictor of happiness is good health, followed by income. But perversely it's not how much money we make that counts. Find out what it is!

Six British experts from a variety of disciplines--a psychologist, a psychotherapist, two workplace specialists, a social entrepreneur and an economist--worked together in an unusual three-month experiment to help the people living in the English town of Slough find happiness. What they found were 10 simple steps we can all take to make our lives happy, reports the BBC News.

What do you want that money can't buy? Find out the top three answers to this question and take our poll.

The team determined that the "seeds of happiness" are in this 10-point plan. Do all of these regularly and you'll soon be smiling.
1. Plant something and nurture it.
2. Count your blessings--at least five--at the end of each day.
3. Take time to talk. Have an hour-long conversation with a loved one each week.
4. Phone a friend with whom you have not spoken for a while and arrange to meet up.
5. Give yourself a treat every day and take the time to really enjoy it.
6. Have a good laugh at least once a day.
7. Get physical. Exercise for half an hour three times a week.
8. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once each day.
9. Cut your TV viewing by half.
10. Spread kindness. Do a good turn for someone every day. "

What great advice, isn't it?

purplewings answered on 12/26/05:

Sounds perfect to me. I do #3 every Sunday...Brunch with a group of my lady friends and that keeps me giggling all week through - which takes me to #6. In fact,this is my list. LOL

Much happiness to you in the coming New Year.


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revdauphinee asked on 12/25/05 - Working on Christmas?

Working on Christmas?

Why is getting Christmas presents for your kids just like a day at the office?

You do all the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.

purplewings answered on 12/25/05:

You only think the fat guy in the red suit gets all the credit but it doesn't take long for the kids to notice mom and dad coming in with a lot of shopping bags right before Christmas......

I think I was 8 or 9 when I knew Santa wasn't real, but didn't admit it until about 13 because my parents were having such fun with it all.

In the end, everyone finds out who has made them happy year after year. And mom and dad are happy at doing it for the ones they love too, so it's a joy all the way around.

Have a great Christmas Day.


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Erewhon asked on 12/25/05 - A MERRY AND JOYOUS CHRISTMAS

Whoever you are,
Wherever you are, and
Whatever you believe,
I wish you a Merry and
Joyous Christmastide.

purplewings answered on 12/25/05:

Nice thoughts Ronnie. I appreciate it and return the wishes to you...and add a Happy New Year too.


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revdauphinee asked on 12/24/05 - pray we have a safe trip

hi folks just imagine an old codger who can hardly walk spending next week at a ski lodge in WV we are taking the grandkids Gran will prob just sit by the fire in the lodge drinking hot cocoa but its a 900 mile trip up there so keep us in your prayers and have a great christmass and neww year Y"all

purplewings answered on 12/25/05:

It sounds great whether you ski or not. Just being away from home and in a comfortable place like a ski lodge is good fun. And a plus being with family at this time.

Relax and enjoy. Happy New Year!


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Choux asked on 12/24/05 - From Our Home to Your Home

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Mary Sue and Nick are enjoying the holidays in the luxurious comfort of their studio apartment which is so full of colors and sounds and good food! The small ceramic Christmas tree is bright with chistmas lights atop the bookcases, and Christmas presents gather around on the floor below; thank you Humanitarians! Football for two days including the Chicago Bears playing for a spot in the NFL Playoffs...imagine that! Doris gave me a super generous Christmas gift Monday....$30.00 and a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken!! Is she a good friend, or what? :):):) So many blessings....expecially a special friend who sent me an extremely generous check which came as a complete surprise.

Last night--a long night of dreams, first the Ghost of Christmas past.

I was in our old house on Malden Street, and young Mary Sue was snooping around for Christmas presents, and lo! I found my mother's Christmas gift list. There under my name was Lad a dog! I was so thrilled, a puppy to love!!!

On Christmas morning, I opened a book with the same name. :)

The Ghost of Christmas Present...Get the hell out of here.....I'm a Secular Humanist, I don't believe in ghosts or other supernatural entities!!! :):):)

Poof!! Awake!! A Christmas Eve day and all my Christmas dreams came true.



Mary Sue {;=D)) and

Nick =^oo^=

purplewings answered on 12/24/05:

You know that ghost of Christmas Present will chase off that ghost of Christmas past every time. Hurray for a new day!

I'll bet your apartment looks wonderful and has that fantastic aroma of good food by someone who loves to cook.

Hugs to Nick too.

Did he get a new mouse or anything?

Stay happy. Positive attitudes really do improve health.


Your friend

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ROLCAM asked on 12/24/05 - Christmas Greetings.

To all the members of ANSWERWAY.


Enjoy this magnificent day.


purplewings answered on 12/24/05:

Thank you for your good wishes.

and a HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you as well!


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revdauphinee asked on 12/24/05 - apology!

friend I am so sory if I offended you recently we do not agree on some points but we are still sisters in Christ and believe me no malice was ever intended we just have to agree to disagree on some points ,as I do with many folks on this board.

purplewings answered on 12/24/05:

Hi Dorothy,

YOu have not offended me but I thank you for your effort to amend, regardless.

I know you're a very religious woman and have a kind heart too. It's okay for us to banter and disagree a little. I think that's the best way to learn.

It doesn't mean we have to dislike each other.

I like you a lot and hope to continue bumping heads now and then.

Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New year!


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paraclete asked on 12/23/05 - I can relate to that?

After the bundaberko and goofts, it's a deja blue

By Richard Glover
December 24, 2005
Page 1 of 2

SO MANY things happen only at this time of year: maybe it's time the regular dictionary found the space to name them. Some suggestions:

AAAmnesia: a disease affecting grandparents, whereby they always forget to buy the triple-A batteries to go with the new toy, thus creating great and continuing unhappiness on the day.

Billet-who?: the cheery Christmas card from James and Margaret, which arrives every year from Britain, even though you haven't the foggiest idea who they are.

Binbroglio: the pitched battle between you and the rubbish bin, late on Christmas Day, as you try to fit in all the discarded paper and bottles.

Bundaberko: a state experienced by children about 6.30 on Christmas morning after they have raided their stockings and consumed half of Queensland's annual sugar production.

Deja Blue: the argument that happens every single Christmas between the same family members, focused on the same decades-old dispute, and using the same wounded phrases.

Doppelgiver: someone who always gives you the same present as you have just given them. Typically: a novel by Bryce Courtenay, a box of fancy soap, or a set of barbecue tongs.

Fillerbusters: a selection of cheap toys placed in a child's stocking in the certain knowledge they will all be broken by noon.

Fowlanthropy: to load up relatives at the end of the day with Christmas left-overs of turkey or chicken.

Gift of the Maggi, The: the decision to use packet sauce with the meat, rather than risk ruining everything by trying to make one's own gravy.

Gooft: any gift given in error, in particular the sexy underwear intended for your secret lover, but given by mistake to your spouse, who wonders why you have bought something five sizes too small.

Ho-Ho-Ho-hum: the reaction to the so-called jokes inside the Christmas crackers.

Mallingering: the act of walking round and round the shopping mall in the hope that an appropriate present will somehow jump out at you.

Me-mail: any Christmas card that comes complete with a printed letter boasting about the family's many and varied achievements.

Nick-Knackered: the feeling of total exhaustion after decorating one's house with pictures and models of St Nick, and other seasonal icons.

Pine gape: the unattractive bald bit of tree which you attempt to angle towards the wall.

Polterguest: any ancient relative who, though physically in attendance at the table, isn't entirely there.

Santamental: descriptive of the sentimental movie shown on Christmas Eve in which Santa changes the world by helping people remember the spirit of Christmas.

Schadenfriend: the one single friend who everyone wants to invite around to their place on Christmas Day so they can "enjoy a proper family Christmas, and not be so poor and alone".

Sledgetarian: descriptive of Santa's diet, as revealed by what is left out for him on Christmas eve: biscuits, apples, cakes and multiple bottles of beer.

Subordinate Claus: any department store Santa hired to do the fill-in periods when the main Santa is on a meal break.

Thingamajiggle: to noisily shake a gift-wrapped present in order to determine what is inside.

Tozzle: the cardboard tongue within the handle of the Christmas cracker.

Twiticism: a joke, traditionally made by Dad, in which he hilariously attempts to guess what is in his present - exclaiming "it's a CD" when presented with what is clearly a bottle of wine, or "it's a bottle of wine" when it's quite obviously a CD.

Weepsake: any present so badly chosen you will want to cry.

Wrap-music: Christmas music, typically featuring Bing Crosby, which is put in the CD player whenever gifts are being wrapped or unwrapped.

Wrapture: to experience delight at the way your son-in-law has wrapped your present, only later realising it's so well done he must have had it done at the shop.

X-cavate: to dig into the pile of Christmas presents beneath the tree in an attempt to discover if you are getting anything good.

X-communicate: to promise yourself you'll never talk to any of your relatives again, not after what they did this Christmas.

Yule-tithe: that proportion of your annual income which has been spent on this one day.

Yululation: the howl of pain, mixed with relief, once Christmas is over.

So have you been yule-tithing this year?

purplewings answered on 12/24/05:

These are good!

I especially like "weepsake" "rapture" & 'yuluation'.

They fit perfectly into the season.

Thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas.


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paraclete asked on 12/23/05 - Just a little Christmas cheer from down under

Just to let you know what you are all missing

Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Engine's getting hot;
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard,
he is welcome too.
All the family's there,
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way,
by the barbecue.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Come the afternoon,
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce,
are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes 'round to go,
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through,
before the washing up.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

purplewings answered on 12/24/05:

Perfect. I could just feel the beat.

What is a rusty Holden Ute?

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arcura asked on 12/23/05 - We are going to be gone for 4 days.

We are going north to very near the Canadian line to visit our daughter’s family and other relatives.
The weather here and there is good but up there the weather changes quickly and dramatically.
Over the years we have been caught in several blizzards there.
So each Christmas season that trip becomes a pleasure and and a possible winter adventure.
I hope all here have a wonderful, blessed, and sensible Christmas.
Happy Christ Centered Holy Days,

purplewings answered on 12/23/05:

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend Fred. Take a few blankets with you just in case.

God bless and Merry Christmas!


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revdauphinee asked on 12/22/05 - Hanukkah Stamps

Buying Stamps for Hanukkah

A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Hanukkah cards.

She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Hanukkah stamps?"

The clerk says, "What denomination?"

The woman replies, "Oh my. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform."

purplewings answered on 12/22/05:

That would be politically correct. Everyone has their place in a multicultural society.
This is cute, but may be a reality in the near future.

Merry Christmas!


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Choux asked on 12/21/05 - Our Evolutionary Cousins

There is nothing Intelligently Designed(Christianity tie-in)about Menopause! :)

Yahoo News::CHICAGO - Jenny, Shamba, Timbo, Beta and Elaine are zoo gorillas, but they have something in common with millions of women: They have undergone menopause.

A study of gorillas at 17 North American zoos, led by Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, is the first to document gorilla menopause, researchers not involved in the study said.

The findings may help zoos improve how they care for aging female gorillas and change the way evolutionary biologists think about menopause in humans.

The study also may provoke a few chuckles along the way."

This is a make a joke question! Ready, go....

purplewings answered on 12/22/05:

I'd sure like to know how/why they arrived at that conclusion - and why it wasn't just automatic. It's only natural that the female of any species would have the same balances or lack of such, as the human species. After all, a female has to endure a lot of changes within her system in order to make room and other preparations for the unborn baby. She is bound to express those changes through her body and attitude.

Maybe the old female gorillas were really getting ornery to the old males? I think after menopause the female of most species enjoy spending time with female friends more so than with a male. They no longer feel competitive and they have someone to comiserate with.

(I can't help imagining a female gorilla wearing a sanitary pad every month.) I guess this is another reason to not have a gorilla as a pet.

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Bishop_Chuck asked on 12/21/05 - Group Sex

Little by litte society is slipping more and more

OTTAWA - Group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday as it lifted a ban on so-called “swingers” clubs.

In a ruling that radically changes the way courts determine what poses a threat to the population, the top court threw out the conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have group sex in a private room behind locked doors.

purplewings answered on 12/22/05:

In trying to see how this relates to religion, particularly Christianity, these thoughts come to mind.

In the biblical days there were no methods of birth control, therefore it was of much greater importance for women to abstain from sex, unless properly married.

But today, with advanced birth control available to all, and with divorce rates on the rise, suicide, loneliness, and general living stress, why does it seem so terrible for people to find solace through intimacy? Whether it's within a group, gender based, or one-on-one?

All human beings are in need of emotional and physical contact. It's the way we were created. It must be the way God intended for us to be.

Therefore, if adults choose to have group sex and are meticulous about disease and pregnacy prevention, WHY is it so wrong?


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HANK1 asked on 12/22/05 - Are we destined to be the same forever?

I've always been impressed by the movements of clouds. They, too, offer us riddles of sorts. Some just lay there and sleep. Others dance to the sounds of trouble while outstripping the wind. All are true pictures of reality. What, one wonders, can be done to change their destinies.We do not hate them. Nor do we condone their perplexity, even though their personalities can effect the presence of tomorrow's rainbow. The skies do not offer us a choice. They exist for themselves by offering us a complex picture of actuality. Clouds are like air -- they're always up there --- somewhere. It's up to us to deal directly with the results of their functions.

Citation: "Never A Toadstool" - by HANK1 (page 7)

Are you a CLOUD?


purplewings answered on 12/22/05:

Hi Hank,

YOu must be in a poetic frame of mind to write this.

Yes, we are like clouds in some ways. We move, and change shape and color. Somedays we're higher and others lower, and in the end, we all dissipate into moisture.

We do change over long periods of time. We become more knowledgeable and wise - and we begin to accept ourselves and others as part of the big plan.

Have a nice day.


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sapphire630 asked on 12/20/05 - what things do you attribute to your guardian angel?

I could write a book but these are just a few...
I use to drive asleep sometimes(I think I use to be narcoleptic) of the many reasons I went to alternative supplements.
Drove myself 20 miles to the hospital and managed to do it even in the SSS curves with labor pains.
Went through something with a guy that just got released from jail breaking into my house in the middle of the night and was afraid he was going to kill me. He ended up falling asleep and I got away.
Now my mechanic took my truck without my permission at and rolled in the middle of the night. Now I am left broke and with nothing but know it is one more thing in making me more strong in my survival mode.
If I didn't think there was some good side,like a guardian angel, I know I would be so totally lost in hopeless depression feeling there is nothing better left in life. Even though I do feel this way there is something that keeps pushing me and IT certainly AIN'T me or I would have given in to my death wish a long time ago.

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

It is you keeping yourself up - but you are being given the will and the strength to continue, in spite of your so-called death wish. Somehow the hope that lies within all of us is a bit more strong within you.

I do believe in them guardian or just angels, it doesn't matter. They help ease us through the worst of times.

When my son was in an auto accident at the age of 20, back in 1995.....he was taken by helicopter to the nearest trauma hospital. When I was able to get there, it was clear he was no longer living. His body was blue and swollen and he had no vital signs. He was left alone in a corner of the emergency room with nothing but a light blanket tossed carelessly over him. After all, the living needed the attention of all the nurses and doctors in that crowded area.

I knew he was dead - and at the same time I knew he would not be dead. I tried to hold onto him in some way but I couldn't lift his hand even using both of mine. I finally tried to just be able to hold onto one finger and it took nearly 20 minutes to get it separated from the others...and then I held on and just kept talking to him - saying the same things over and over...don't know what I really said. Anything to have words out there for him and for me.

After maybe a half hour of that, I felt a blast of ice cold air and heard a whooshing sound at the same time as my son said "mom, you're here! You're always here mom." And just like that, every doctor and nurse in the room came running. My son's eyes were swollen shut and purple, like two huge ugly golf balls, and yet he seemed to 'see' me.

After that, it took another two weeks to repair the damages to his body, and a year to repair his mind & brain, too. Today he's a fully functional and attends college.

I know it is all about God - but God does use angels. Those might have been my son's angels but he wasn't aware and has no memory
- so I claim them as my own. I know my breath was taken away by the intensity of the whole experience in the emergency room.

They are there for us. Don't doubt it - doubt and fear only keep wonderful things from happening. Hope and faith produce.

(P.S. I think I see a truck in your near future too)Just keep visualizing it, and it will come to pass eventually. Believe it and you will see it.


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Itsdb asked on 12/21/05 - Just following his lead again?

For all the noise on Bush's eavesdropping scandal, people tend to forget - or still don't know - his predecessor was on watch while your civil rights, make that the world's civil rights, were being eroded...

Listening In

The U.S.-led ECHELON spy network
is eavesdropping on the whole world

by Jason Vest
August 12 - 18, 1998

Suppose, this past weekend, you sent an e-mail to a friend overseas. There's a reasonable possibility your communication was intercepted by a global surveillance system--especially if you happened to discuss last week's bombings in East Africa.

Or suppose you're stuck in traffic and in your road rage you whip out a cell phone and angrily call your congressman's office in Washington. There's a chance the government is listening in on that conversation, too (but only for the purposes of "training" new eavesdroppers).

Or suppose you're on a foreign trip--vacation, business, relief work--and you send off a fax to some folks that Washington doesn't view too keenly. Your message could be taken down and analyzed by the very same system.

That system is called ECHELON and it is controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). In America, it is the Intelligence Network That Dare Not Be Acknowledged. Questions about it at Defense Department briefings are deftly deflected. Requests for information about it under the Freedom of Information Act linger in bureaucratic limbo. Researchers who mention possible uses of it in the presence of intelligence officials are castigated. Members of Congress--theoretically, the people's representatives who provide oversight of the intelligence community--betray no interest in helping anyone find out anything about it. Media outlets (save the award-winning but low-circulation Covert Action Quarterly) ignore it. In the official view of the U.S. Government, it doesn't exist.

But according to current and former intelligence officials, espionage scholars, Australian and British investigative reporters, and a dogged New Zealand researcher, it is all too real. Indeed, a soon-to-be finalized European Parliament report on ECHELON has created quite a stir on the other side of the Atlantic. The report's revelations are so serious that it strongly recommends an intensive investigation of NSA operations.

The facts drawn out by these sources reveal ECHELON as a powerful electronic net--a net that snags from the millions of phone, fax, and modem signals traversing the globe at any moment selected communications of interest to a five-nation intelligence alliance. Once intercepted (based on the use of key words in exchanges), those communiqués are sent in real time to a central computer system run by the NSA; round-the-clock shifts of American, British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand analysts pour over them in search of . . . what?

Originally a Cold War tool aimed at the Soviets, ECHELON has been redirected at civilian targetsworldwide. In fact, as the European Parliament report noted, political advocacy groups like Amnesty International and Greenpeace were amongst ECHELON's targets. The system's awesome potential (and potential for abuse) has spurred some traditional watchdogs to delve deep in search of its secrets, and even prompted some of its minders within the intelligence community to come forward. "In some ways," says Reg Whittaker, a professor and intelligence scholar at Canada's York University, "it's probably the most useful means of getting at the Cold War intelligence-sharing relationship that still continues."

While the Central Intelligence Agency--responsible for covert operations and human-gathered intelligence, or HUMINT--is the spy agency most people think of, the NSA is, in many respects, the more powerful and important of the U.S. intelligence organizations. Though its most egregious excesses of 20 years ago are believed to have been curbed, in addition to monitoring all foreign communications, it still has the legal authority to intercept any communication that begins or ends in the U.S., as well as use American citizens' private communications as fodder for trainee spies. Charged with the gathering of signals intelligence, or SIGINT--which encompasses all electronic communications transmissions--the NSA is larger, better funded, and infinitely more secretive than the CIA. Indeed, the key document that articulates its international role has never seen the light of day.

That document, known as the UKUSA Agreement, forged an alliance in 1948 among five countries--the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand--to geographically divvy up SIGINT-gathering responsibilities, with the U.S. as director and main underwriter. Like the NSA--hardly known until the Pike and Church congressional investigations of the ྂs--the other four countries' SIGINT agencies remain largely unknown and practically free of public oversight. While other member nations conduct their own operations, there has "never been any misunderstanding that we're NSA subsidiaries," according to Mike Frost, an ex-officer in Canada's SIGINT service, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). Moreover, all the signatory countries have NSA listening posts within their borders that operate with little or no input from the local agency.

Like nature, however, journalism abhors a vacuum, and the dearth of easily accessible data has inspired a cadre of researchers around the world to monitor the SIGINT community as zealously as possible. It is not, says David Banisar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an easy task. Getting raw data is difficult enough. Figuring out what it means even more so, he says, thanks in part to the otherwise conservative NSA's very liberal use of code names--many of which regularly change--for everything from devices to operations. One that appears to have remained constant, however, is ECHELON.

In 1988, Margaret Newsham, a contract employee from Lockheed posted at Menwith Hill, the NSA's enormous listening post in Yorkshire, England, filed a whistleblower suit against Lockheed, charging the company with waste and mismanagement (the case is currently being appealed after an initial dismissal). At the same time, Newsham told Congressional investigators that she had knowledge of illegal eavesdropping on American citizens by NSA personnel. While a committee began investigating, it never released a report. Nonetheless, British investigative reporter Duncan Campbell managed to get hold of some of the committee's findings, including a slew of Menwith Hill operations. Among them was a project described as the latest installment of a system code named ECHELON that would enable the five SIGINT agencies "to monitor and analyze civilian communications into the 21st century."

To SIGINT watchers, the concept wasn't unfamiliar. In the early ྌs, while working on his celebrated study of the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, James Bamford discovered that the agency was developing a system called PLATFORM, which would integrate at least 52 separate SIGINT agency computer systems into one central network run out of Fort Meade, Maryland. Then in 1991, an anonymous British SIGINT officer told the TV media about an ongoing operation that intercepted civilian telexes and ran them through computers loaded with a program called "the Dictionary"--a description that jibed with both Bamford and Campbell's gleanings.

In 1996, however, intelligence watchdogs and scholars got an avalanche of answers about ECHELON, upon the publication of Secret Power: New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network,written by Nicky Hager. A New Zealand activist turned investigative author, Hager spent 12 years digging into the ties between his country's SIGINT agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), and the NSA. Utilizing leaked material and scores of interviews with GCSB officers, Hager not only presented a revealing look at the previously unknown machinations of the GCSB (even New Zealand's Prime Minister was kept in the dark about its full scope) but also produced a highly detailed description of ECHELON.

According to Hager's information--which leading SIGINT scholar and National Security Archive analyst Jeffrey Richelson calls "excellent"--ECHELON functions as a real-time intercept and processing operation geared toward civilian communications. Its first component targets international phone company telecommunications satellites (or Intelsats) from a series of five ground intercept stations located at Yakima, Washington; Sugar Grove, West Virginia; Morwenstow in Cornwall, England; Waihopai, New Zealand; and Geraldton, Australia.

The next component targets other civilian communications satellites, from a similar array of bases, while the final group of facilities intercept international communications as they're relayed from undersea cables to microwave transmitters. According to Hager's sources, each country devises categories of intercept interest. Then a list of key words or phrases (anything from personal, business, and organization names to e-mail addresses to phone and fax numbers) is devised for each category. The categories and keywords are entered by each country into its "Dictionary" computer, which, after recognizing keywords, intercepts full transmissions, and sends them to the terminals of analysts in each of the UKUSA countries.

To the layperson, ECHELON may sound like something out of the X-Files. But the National Security Archives's Richelson and others maintain that not only is this not the stuff of science fiction, but is, in some respects, old hat. More than 20 years ago, then CIA director William Colby matter-of-factly told congressional investigators that the NSA monitored every overseas call made from the United States. Two years ago, British Telecom accidentally disclosed in a court case that it had provided the Menwith Hill station with equipment potentially allowing it access to hundreds of thousands of European calls a day. "Let me put it this way," says a former NSA officer. "Consider that anyone can type a keyword into a Net search engine and get back tens of thousands of hits in a few seconds." A pause. "Assume that people working on the outer edges have capabilities far in excess of what you do."

Since earlier this year, ECHELON has caused something of a panic in Europe, following the disclosure of an official European Parliament report entitled "In Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control." While the report did draw needed attention to ECHELON, it--and subsequent European press coverage--says Richelson, "built ECHELON up into some super-elaborate system that can listen in on everyone at any time, which goes beyond what Nicky Hager wrote." Richelson, along with other SIGINT experts, emphasizes that, despite ECHELON's apparent considerable capabilities, it isn't omniscient.

EPIC's David Banisar points out that despite the high volume of communications signals relayed by satellite and microwave, a great many fiber-optic communications--both local and domestic long distance--can't be intercepted without a direct wiretap. And, adds Canadian ex-spook Mike Frost, there's a real problem sorting and reading all the data; while ECHELON can potentially intercept millions of communications, there simply aren't enough analysts to sort through everything. "Personally, I'm not losing any sleep over this," says Richelson, "because most of the stuff probably sits stored and unused at [NSA headquarters in] Fort Meade."

Richelson's position is echoed by some in the intelligence business ("Sure, there's potential for abuse," says one insider, "but who would you rather have this--us or Saddam Hussein?"). But others don't take such a benign view. "ECHELON has a huge potential for violating privacy and for abuses of democracy," says Hager. "Because it's so powerful and its operations are so secret that there are no real constraints on agencies using it against any target the government chooses. The excessive secrecy built up in the Cold War removes any threat of accountability."

The only time the public gets anything resembling oversight, Hager contends, is when intelligence officials have a crisis of conscience, as several British spooks did in 1992. In a statement to the London Observer, the spies said they felt they could "no longer remain silent regarding that which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the establishment we operate"--the establishment in question being the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's version of the NSA. The operatives said that an intercept system based on keyword recognition (sound familiar?) was routinely targeting the communications of Amnesty International and Christian Aid.

Adds Hager, "The use of intelligence services in these cases had nothing to do with national security, but everything to do with keeping tabs on critics. The British government frequently finds itself in political conflict with Amnesty over countries it is supplying arms to or governments with bad human rights records. ECHELON provides the government with a way to gain advantage over Amnesty by eavesdropping on their operations."

Hager and others also argue that potential for abuse lies in the hierarchical and reciprocal nature of the UKUSA alliance. According to data gathered by congressional committees in the ྂs, and accounts of former SIGINT officers like Frost, UKUSA partners have, from time to time, used each other to circumvent prohibitions on spying on their own citizens. Frost, for example, directed Canadian eavesdropping operations against both Americans and Britons--at the request of both countries' intelligence services, to whom the surveillance data was subsequently passed.

And British Members of Parliament have raised concerns for years about the lack of oversight at the NSA's Menwith Hill facility--a base on British soil with access to British communications yet run by the NSA, which works closely with the GCHQ. "Given that both the U.S. and Britain turn their electronic spying systems against many other friendly and allied nations," says Hager, "the British would be naive not to assume it is happening to them."

David Banisar, the electronic privacy advocate, says that apparently just asking about ECHELON, or mentioning anything like it, is considered unreasonable. Since earlier this year, Banisar has been trying to get information on ECHELON from the NSA under the Freedom of Information Act. "They're not exactly forthcoming," he says, explaining that he only recently got a response in which he was in effect told the European Parliament report "didn't provide enough information" for the NSA to locate the requested information. However, Wayne Madsen, co-author with Bamford of the most recent edition of The Puzzle Palace, was more directly discouraged from investigating ECHELON's possibly dubious applications, as the following story makes clear.

On April 21, 1996, Chechnyen rebel leader Dzokhar Dudayev was killed when a Russian fighter fired two missiles into his headquarters. At the time of the attack, Dudayev had been talking on his cellular phone to Russian officials in Moscow about possible peace negotiations. According to electronics experts, getting a lock on Dudayev's cell phone signal would not have been difficult, but as Martin Streetly, editor of Jane's Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems, noted at the time, the Russian military was so under-equipped and poorly maintained, it was doubtful a radar intercept plane could have honed in on the signal without help.

Speaking at a conference on Information Warfare a month later, Madsen, one of the world's leading SIGINT and computer security experts, explained that it was both politically and technically possible that the NSA helped the Russians kill Dudayev. Noting the West's interest in preserving the Yeltsin presidency and in ensuring the safety of an oil consortium's pipeline running through Chechnya, Madsen explained which NSA satellites could have been used to intercept Dudayev's call and directionally locate its signal.

This wasn't exactly a stunning revelation: Not only had reports recently been released in Australia and Switzerland about police tracking suspects by their cell phone signatures, but Reuters and Agence France-Press had written about the Dudayev scenario as technically plausible. Still, after his talk, Madsen was approached by an Air Force officer assigned to the NSA, who tore into him. "Don't you realize that we have people on the ground over there?" Madsen recalled the officer seething. "You're talking about things that could put them in harm's way." Asks Madsen, "If this was how Dudayev died, do you think it's unreasonable the American people know about the technical aspects behind this kind of diplomacy?"

Nicky Hager says that the New Zealand intelligence officers who talked to him did so out of a growing disillusionment with the importance to New Zealand of access to ECHELON information. In some cases, they said, they had been so busy listening in on targets of interest to other countries, they altogether missed opportunities to gather intelligence in New Zealand's national interest. Ross Coulthart, an investigative reporter with Australia's Nine Network, says intelligence sources of his have reported similar feelings. "In the UKUSA intelligence community, there appear, roughly, to be two camps: those who believe that it's best to fall in line behind the U.S., because the U.S. has acted as protector and funder and gives us resources and limited participation in a system we couldn't support ourselves, and those who think the whole thing is somewhat overrated and sometimes contrary to national interests."

In 1995, for example, Australian intelligence officials leaked a story to the Australian Broadcasting Company that was, at first blush, damaging to themselves: Australian intelligence had bugged the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. However, the Australians had no access to the actual transmissions; they had merely planted the bugs at the behest of the NSA, which was getting the raw feed. "Given that both Australian and American companies were bidding for Chinese wheat contracts at the time," says Coulthart, "it didn't seem like Australia was getting anything out of this arrangement, so they put the story out there."

Indeed, says York University's Whittaker, "there's a really important degree of [economic] tension that wasn't there during the Cold War. On the other hand, most of the threats perceived as common and borderless--terrorism, nuclear proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, and global crime--inspire more cooperation between the UKUSA partners." Hager thinks such cooperation is certainly merited, but what ECHELON to some extent reflects, he believes, is the continued erosion of civil liberties and the notion of sovereignty in the name of security. "Some people I interviewed told me repeatedly, 'It's a good thing for us to be part of this strong alliance,' " he says. "What it amounts to, in the end, is an argument for being a cog in a big intelligence machine."


Perhaps you might read about the FBI's Carnivore surveillance program instituted during the Clinton Administration as well.

Who can we thank for our loss of electronic privacy?

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

I don't know the answer to that, but I never thought George Bush was the leader in the field of spying. Good grief - who would think it? I don't even know why it was brought out to such a

who are the reporters trying to shock or frighten with this old information? It must be those born after the year 1970 and who haven't had much interest in the government doings.

Now I'm thinking people may be forced to be more cordial, and adhere to rules of decency to a greater degree - knowing whatever they say or do is being recorded.

It's kind of like there is no place to get undressed anymore. Cameras in all the store dressing rooms..... cameras on the the Whitehouse.......

I hope it does more good than harm.


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sapphire630 asked on 12/21/05 - what to buy a terrorist for christmas

I was going to give the terrorists some Slim Shady songs for Christmas, but our country (I think it was our country) has given them lawyers to sue for torturing them with eminems music; so now I think I will join their class action suit, cause my kids tortured me with Eminem

Will the real slim shady please sit down and shut up!

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

Wonder who you tortured your parents with?

I did it to mine with Elvis and Little Richard. (or so they thought)

Mine did it to me with Metallica, Kiss, Alice Cooper, etc. - the worst music in the whole world.

I've rolled around to a point of almost liking Eminem. At least I can understand his words compared to other rappers....

How about sending Tiny Tim to the Terrorists for holiday music? Tiptoe through the Tulips.....

..or maybe Bing Crosby in White Christmas? Think about that one.

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paraclete asked on 12/20/05 - Superheroes just arn't what they used to be!

'Superhero' writes off car
From: AAP
By Shelley Markham

December 21, 2005

FIVE-year-old Nathan Millar found a novel way to meet the new neighbours - by crashing the family car through the front window of their Victorian home.

It took the youngster just two minutes to climb into the car, release the handbrake and cause it to take off 50m down a steep driveway, across a street and into the Emerald house, just east of Melbourne.

No-one was hurt, including Nathan, who told his mum he was now a superhero.

"He actually put his Spiderman jacket on afterwards and said: `Mum I need to put my Spiderman jacket on. I am a superhero'," his mother Bella said.

But it was an abrupt way to meet the neighbours, who Mrs Millar said had moved in about three months ago and they had never got around to introductions.

She said Nathan had been playing in the garden of their Lawsons Road about 7.30pm (AEDT) yesterday.

"It only took him a matter of two minutes to actually get into the car, take the handbrake off and that was it," she said.

"My husband assumed Nathan was still in the garden, so ran out to check and saw he wasn't there and realised he was in the car.

"All he could do was keep following it (the car) and wait for it to stop and hoped that when it stopped Nathan was still alive."

A three-month-old baby had been lying on the floor in front of a television in the front room of damaged house, but was moved by his mother just minutes before.

"Not long before it happened the baby had been on the floor where the TV landed, so it could have been a tragedy all round," Mrs Millar said.

She said the neighbours "were fine, they were just thankful Nathan and the little baby weren't hurt."

Mrs Millar said the car was a write-off, although Nathan didn't seem to think so.

"He assured me it's all right: 'Mum I've only just scratched your car a little bit. It's only a little bit of damage'," she said.

Mrs Millar said Nathan did not appear to have been affected by the drama and went off to kindergarten today.

My Grand daughter did the exact same thing to my ex-wife a few years ago, chuckles. How about you?
Do you children do this to you? No visit from Santa for him this year or ever

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

I don't find it that humorous, knowing what awful results could have come about.

Why can't adults keep their car doors locked? It's so easy to do.

It's just common sense with kids around and with the crimes that are committed everywhere.

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ATON2 asked on 12/20/05 - That time again!

Will be heading South for the Holidays tomorrow. May be incommunicado for a short while. In the meantime I want to wish you all, a Happy, Healty...Kwansannukamas!!!!

Or as Tiny Tim was heard to mutter under his breath:
"God help us, comes that damn Plumb pudding again".

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

Why thank you for those good wishes aton. Enjoy your holiday time with those you really want to be with.

...and a Happy, Healty Kwansannukamas to you and yours.

...geez, anything to keep from giving out Christmas presents huh?!


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sapphire630 asked on 12/20/05 - That is what I get

I bought Liz's sons boxes and boxes of paradoxes and
I have a death wish but I am stuck in survival mode all at the same time..It is driving me INsane!!!!

Ying yang

purplewings answered on 12/21/05:

Wow! You bought boxes of paradoxes and I only bought boxes of soxes. I admire you for that!

If your survival mode is driving you INsane you need to find a better mode and a better map.

change everything....everything changes
Yang Ying

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excon asked on 12/20/05 - 3 more shopping days till Holliday!

Hello Chirstians:

(That was for you, Fred.)


purplewings answered on 12/20/05:

Why Fred? Is he getting us all a gift this year? Sure hope so. I love presents, don't you?

Go Fred!

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Tex78 asked on 12/19/05 - Do lyou think this is funny......................?

Alaskan Loggers
This is sick!!!........also humorous!!

On a tour of Alaska, the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the
mountains for some sight seeing. He was cruising along the campground in the
Popemobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods.
A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" T-shirt
and a Tree Hugger Hat, was struggling frantically, thrashing around trying
to free himself from the jaws of a 10 foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched horrified, a group of Republican loggers came racing up.
One quickly fired a 338 magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached
up and pulled the bleeding semiconscious Democrat from the bear. Then using
long clubs, the three loggers beat the bear to death and two of them threw
it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured
Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you
my blessing for your brave actions!" he told them. "I heard there was a
bitter hatred between loggers and environmental activists, but now I've seen
with my own eyes that that is not true."

As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that
guy ?"

"It was the Pope," another replied, "he's in direct contact with God and has
access to all God's wisdom."

"Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all God's wisdom, but he
sure doesn't know anything about bear the bait holding
up okay or do we need to go back into town and grab another one?"

purplewings answered on 12/20/05:

I love to laugh so I take a joke as a joke and not a humanitarian issue.

Yes, it's funny to me. Hope I don't get hung for saying so. LOL

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sapphire630 asked on 12/20/05 - the posts here

ya'll get annoyed over some of the posts here, but yeesh, just look through many of the responses they have gotten in the past few days....It is enough to keep me laughing through the New Year.

And Lord knows I need some laughs as my year has gotten to an all time low of how bad can my bad luck go!

Happy New Year

purplewings answered on 12/20/05:

I know what you mean. Sometimes the things posted here make me actually LOL. I especially love the bickering between erewhon and choux. What a couple of joymakers they are huh?

Life is supposed to be happy, joyous and free but it takes getting past the ugly in the in-betweens.

Be happy. It's all only temporary after all.


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Laura asked on 12/19/05 - Do we still mean it?

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame..."
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

These are strong powerful words. They attract the poor, the dejected of other societies, in hopes of a better tomorrow.

Do we still mean it or should we officially announce that we are full more room at the inn so to speak!

purplewings answered on 12/20/05:

This still holds true in the hearts of the majority of Americans.

There are always groups & individuals who lean in the other direction, but as a whole, American citizens welcome the poor,wretched and huddled masses. We want others to have the opportunity to live life in freedom and happiness, as we do.


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Choux asked on 12/19/05 - DO YOU EVER?

Do you ever go back and read some of your better answers? I like to go back the next day and read the ones where I made a joke....... and laugh!! The, there is the story about the drunken Santas in New Zealand, that really cracked me up! And, Steve asked a question about Morgan Freeman's opinion that we shouldn't talk about black or white, and I asked him why did he care what people talk about! LOL!! I really crack my self up.

purplewings answered on 12/20/05:

You need to get out more. Really!

I think my answer to your football posting was pretty funny too .... plus it's true - sort of.

Lions suck
Go Bears!

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Itsdb asked on 12/19/05 - Common sense on racism

Freeman criticizes black history month

NEW YORK (AP) — Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes to air Sunday (7 p.m. ET). "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated — when black history would become fundamental to American history.

Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.

Freeman received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1987's Street Smart, 1989's Driving Miss Daisy and 1994's The Shawshank Redemption. He finally won earlier this year for Million Dollar Baby.


Amen. This is what I've been trying to say for a long time, I'm glad to see someone like Morgan Freeman say it, too. Do you agree with Freeman's remarks? Why or why not?


purplewings answered on 12/19/05:

Yes Steve, I certainly do. What you think about and talk about, you bring about. That's why I dislike Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They seem to base everything that happens on the past racism which sets up a ready-made excuse for every person of color who chooses to break the law or sit around on a pity pot instead of participating
in life. Of course it's a big vote getter from those who like to be considered victims.

The more successful people of color seem to hold with the same idea as Morgan Freeman. Do something but don't sit around whining. It worked well for Oprah, Montel and Bill Cosby along with Morgan Freeman and many others. These are the people who should be leaders in the African American community, in my humble opinion.


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Choux asked on 12/19/05 - Giving Thanks

I'm giving thanks that No Atlanta Falcons were killed in the football game last night with the Chicago Bears. It was a miracle!

purplewings answered on 12/19/05:

That's a good way to show gratitude. How exciting it must have been.

In contrast, most people exiting the Detroit Lions game yesterday, again were wearing brown bags over their heads so noone could recognize them as being Lions fans.

It's pretty bad when your team is so bad the fans are ashamed to be seen.

Go Bears!

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Choux asked on 12/17/05 - Female Genital Mutilation

For those who are confused, the intent of Female Genital Mutilation is to cut the pleasure nerve in half, the nerve that gives sensation to the clitoris, SO THAT THE WOMAN MUTILATED WILL NOT EXPERIENCE SEXUAL PLEASURE from clitoral stimulation. A mutilated woman is considered in some Islamic circles more desireable as a wife if she had no sexual feeling in her clitoris.

purplewings answered on 12/18/05:

Every time I hear about this barbaric practice, my heart hurts for the young women who must live with all that. Not the loss of physical enjoyment, but the pain and the message of having been born with something terrible in their body.

How blessed we are to live in an enlightened culture where women are not only allowed, but expected to have freedom of expression and physical pleasure. If that were not so, why would we even have such an organ?

As I follow the stories of cultures that encourage fmg, I am heartened to see new attention given to the subject.

With awareness old thinking will be changed
and eventually this horrible practice will die out. None too soon either.


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revdauphinee asked on 12/17/05 - for those who dissagree with me !

I realize there are many who call me biggoted and even crazy It bothers me not a whit,I am at least truthfull in that i state how I realy feel and never try to hide behind the political correctness of the day .sure scripture tells us tlo love even our enemies and I do for every one whoGod created is worthy however I am not told to accept what they believe withing that love !I am in various places told to reject false teachings and it is the teachings that I hate !Yes i used the word hate ,sory I am not perfect none of us are I am just a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.I just ask all to read about mohammed then read the following taken from scripture then try to understand the differences between islamm and Christianity
concerning Islaam and Mohamed
1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known such as Alah) "and let us worship them,"
3 YOU MUST NOT!!! listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. (((The LORD your God is testing you))) to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

so I ask you do you realy love him or do you love what you yourself percieve him to be???


purplewings answered on 12/18/05:

I love God as I perceive him. How else can I love him? I haven't sat down and chatted with him on a one to one, except in my prayers.

Since I perceive God to be everywhere and know everything, I can talk to him wherever I am and believe he hears my heart as well.

You believe in the Christian God, others believe in the Islam God, or Buddhist or Hindu Gods.....these are all perceptions... all have holy books to support them. Who is to say who's right and who's not? We believe what feels right to us.

Whatever anyone believes about God - God knows & loves all of his children. He doesn't destroy them because of their beliefs or even their actions, just as a parent doesn't destroy their children but continues forever trying to lead them to a better way.

God bless,

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CeeBee2 asked on 12/16/05 - Let's move Christmas out of the holiday season!!!!

Go ahead, move his day

December 16, 2005
by Andrew Greeley

A long time ago a very wise teen told me that she thought it was a shame that Christmas came during the holidays. She had a point. I've often thought that the ancient church made a mistake when it tried to convert the Roman feast of the Saturnalia (or Lupercalia as it was also called) into the celebration of the birthday of Jesus. It didn't quite work. In Britain, for example, from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales," there is not the slightest mention of Jesus.

When I watch folks pummel one another as they fight their way toward Wal-Mart's bargains, I'm not sure there's all that much left of Bethlehem and the holy family and the angels and the shepherds and the magi -- nor of the love for one another that Christmas should sustain. Neither do the frantic and frenetic efforts to accomplish the required shopping and the ill tempers and sensitive egos of the feast day itself render much honor to the Light of the World. So maybe we should move the birthday of Jesus out of the holidays and celebrate it with the Festival of the Magi on Jan. 6, as did the Greeks in the church of long ago.

Then we solve the problem of what to say this time of the year. Having given the holidays back to the pagans, we could wish one another a "Festive Lupercalia" or even a "Fertile Saturnalia." The tree could revert to its pagan title of the Tannenbaum, the sacred fir tree of the Teutonic tribes, the passionate tree that unites heaven and earth in love and brings down the warm spring rains necessary for life to continue on earth.

Crypto Christians could content themselves with the secret that the birth of Jesus did unite earth and heaven and that the lights represent the Light of the World and the fruits (ornaments) represent ourselves, the spiritual offspring of the love between earth and heaven. As long as we keep that a secret, neither secularists (who don't like religion at this time of the year) or the "Christians" (who think fertility symbols to be obscene idolatry) will mind at all.

The president, a Christian to whom God gives instructions about wars, could hardly mind. A born-again Christian he might be, yet his holiday card is totally irreligious.

The Madonna Christmas stamp would have to go, however. It almost disappeared during the Clinton administration when a bureaucrat at the Postal Service decided it was not politically correct. The (Jewish) mother of Jesus and her (Jewish) child survived on a stamp only because of direct presidential intervention. If my reform of the festival is to succeed, the Jan Gosseart Madonna and Child -- from Chicago's Art Institute, be it noted -- will be her last appearance on a stamp. Besides, real "Christians" should consider honoring her on a government stamp an act of federally sponsored idolatry.

I can't be serious, you say? Well, no. Nonetheless, I find the controversy about Christmas and the holidays unedifying and creepy. The sneaky tricks of the politically correct to remove Christ from the holidays are doomed to failure. There are many more evangelical Christmas shoppers and voters than there are secularists. Logically, Christmas is a politically incorrect festival that causes embarrassment to those Americans who are not Christians (though not to Islamic shoppers, since for them Jesus is the greatest of the prophets before Mohammed and his birthday deserves to be celebrated). However, Christmas is an intricate element in American culture and cannot be extirpated.

The last such attempt was made by the New England Puritans -- ancestors, one suspects, of many of the contemporary secularists -- who forbade it by law. School attendance on Dec. 25 was required in Massachusetts until the 1880s, and Thanksgiving was designated the late autumn festival to replace the Popish idolatry of Christmas. The Papists responded by enthusiastically celebrating both feasts.

The gift exchange at Christmas -- however often blighted by human weakness -- represents the intense love that should flourish this time of the year. The darkness-turning-into-light spirit of the season would be best reflected by respect for the traditions of others, majority and minority. Those of us who know what all the symbols mean will keep our secrets to ourselves.

And to paraphrase slightly Tiny Tim: "Bon Noel everyone!"

[end of column]

purplewings answered on 12/16/05:

Boy oh boy do I agree with this. Christmas is not what it started out to be. To rejoice and honor the birth of, it's all about how much we should give & to whom.. and what can we afford - and who got more - who feels like trudging through the malls, etc. etc.

There is some Christ aspects but you have to go to church to find them...Which isn't bad but shouldn't the whole holiday be focused on Christ? It is call Christmas after all.

I think we should have a day similar to Thanksgiving where family and friends gather to eat, be grateful, and enjoy life and each other - no presents. That would much more represent the original purpose of a Christmas holiday.


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hOPE12 asked on 12/15/05 - Here is a situation:

Hello Everyone.

What would you do and say to someone who is trying to change their life to live according to God’s standards and principles, but, this someone has a drinking problem they are working on and yet has a father who drinks to the point of getting drunk, and is always hanging out at there house. An Uncle who wants to commit suicide, and wants this person to join them and make a pack to do it together? What would you do or say to help the person trying to change to doing God’s will but must cope with these other two who are discouraging and who this person must see each day.

What would you say or do to keep them going forward in their desire to serve God? What spiritual encouragement would you give to help this person?

All suggestions are welcomed.

Take care,

purplewings answered on 12/15/05:

Hi Hope,

Nobody really has to deal with these people daily, unless they choose... or unless they're children.

I would suggest to this person that our first duty is to take care of self mentally, physically and spiritually. Only by doing that can he be helpful to those around him. Otherwise, he will instead, learn to build resentments, anger and fear & in desperation for relief turn from, instead of, to God.

There is more than one way to be selfish.
It can be not caring about others, and always wanting your own way. Believing you are always right in every situation & making certain you get the best of everything. That's totally selfish.

The other way is to make sure you nourish yourself with food and sleep. Give yourself the things you need for a good life and determine what things will keep you thriving or bring you down - and avoid the downers. In this type of selfish, you nourish your spirit and still have everything left to nourish the spirit of others in need.

God bless,

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paraclete asked on 12/15/05 - christians in action?

Christians charged over break-in

December 15, 2005

FIVE Christian peace activists charged with breaking into a top secret military base in central Australia have appeared in court.

The Christians Against All Terrorism (CAAT) members appeared in Alice Springs Magistrates Court today, charged over a break-in at the joint United States/Australian facility at the Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, on December 9.

Former "human shield" Donna Mulhearn, 37, of Sydney, who was abducted and briefly held by militants in the Iraqi flashpoint city of Fallujah last year, is among those charged. The others are Jim Dowling, 50, of Dayboro, Brian Law, 51, of Cairns, Adele Goldie, 29, of Brisbane and Sean O'Reilly, 47, of Brisbane.

Mulhearn, Dowling, Law and Goldie face charges including trespassing and damaging commonwealth land. They face a two-day committal hearing in Alice Springs in April.

O'Reilly, who faces charges of obstructing a commonwealth official, will go before a summary hearing in late February.

Police allege the group cut holes in the external and internal fences at Pine Gap after they conducted a "citizens' inspection" in protest at the facility's involvement in the ongoing war in Iraq. They face a maximum penalty of seven years' jail.


Stranger and stranger, to be against terrorism and commit a terrorist act, strange. WWJD

purplewings answered on 12/15/05:

Haven't you heard the saying: Everything is acceptable in love and war?

Perhaps it's just another case of 'do as I say, and not as I do?' That's a common innuendo that encompasses human beings often - even Christians. Or is it simply 'fight fire with fire? There are believers of that adage.

Justification of ones' actions is the easiest thing any of us can do, particularly at this time in history.

We are all teachers and all students at any given time. I wonder if the Christians learned that behavior from the Muslim's or vice versa? Or does it even matter at all?

From what I've read Christian groups usually
get punished for their illegal activity, while Muslim groups often do not. Isn't that placating a group in order to prevent even more serious activity?

Do you think some of us may be a tad too idealistic? Do we expect people to behave in an unrealistic manner? We are only human, after all - even Christians.


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curious98 asked on 12/15/05 - Some good news for a change (at least for me)

Hey folks, here I’m, back to being a pain in your necks.
My doctor has decided that for my 81 birthday (today, btw), it would be a good idea to tell me that, after all the analyses, gammagraphies, nuclear medicine and what have you, that I have been undergoing lately, the final diagnosis is that I will probably keep on growing in wisdom and science for a few more years.
So I’m unpacking (at least for the time being, for one never knows when the last train is going to leave) while getting ready to debate with all of you any subject you care about.

When I was 15, I always thought of the new millennium as something I would not be able to see at all, full of wonders and people traveling to the remotest planets. Well, indeed here I’m. Wonders, we do have a few, though traveling in outer space is not yet very popular!
But in other aspects, ethics mostly, we have not really advanced much. In fact, I think we have gone backwards…

However, the Sun still shines and the birds sing for all those who really want to acknowledge those facts and thank God for them (I do) and some of us still have hopes that there will come a day when things will be different and we shall really be holding hands in a big circle encircling the whole world…

So, I take this opportunity to sincerely wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2006!

Claude (aka Curious98)

purplewings answered on 12/15/05:

Hi and happy birthday to you!

The changes that take place in just a few years are remarkable. My uncle tells me when he grew up there weren't any real roads, let alone freeways. They didn't need them anyway, because there weren't any cars. He also witnessed the beginning of airplanes, telephones, televisions, stereos, vcr's, dvd's, computers,remote control, and the list goes on and on.

He is 97 and says he wants to just stick around to see what's next. Very exciting to observe.

Glad you're here and let the debates begin...


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kindj asked on 12/14/05 - How NOT to share your faith

There was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, "Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door."

Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, "I want a shave!" The barber said, "Sure, just sit in the seat and I'll be with you in a moment." The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, "God, the first customer came in and I'm going to witness to him. So please give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen."

Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying, "Good morning sir. I have a question for you..........Are you ready to die?"

purplewings answered on 12/14/05:

Wonder how fast it took him to vacate that seat? LOL
Timing is of the essence! Don't know if that's in the bible or not though.

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sapphire630 asked on 12/13/05 - Of mice and men

excon 12/13/05

Hello clete:

I had some mice cells injected into my brain a while ago. It didn't do anything. I do like to crawl around my cubbord and eat my bread after I chew through the wrappings, though.

Do you think it had anything to do with my shots?? Nahh,

Maybe mice should have a warning label

Just don't barbque might get some sort of dis-ease.

purplewings answered on 12/13/05:

I think excon was kidding.......well, I think so anyway. lol

Mice don't need a warning label for me - I avoid them and they stay far from me too. I think it's a body language thing.

I'll keep my brain and they're welcome to whatever it is they have up there.


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Choux asked on 12/13/05 - Christmas Joke for Adults

The Shiny New Christmas Bicycle

On Christmas morning, a cop on horseback was sitting at a traffic light.
Next to him was a kid on his shiny new bike.

The cop said to the kid, "Nice bike you've got there. Did Santa bring that
to you?"

The kid said, "Yeah."

The cop said, "Well, next year tell Santa to put a taillight on that

The cop then proceeded to issue the kid a $20 bicycle safety violation

The kid took the ticket, but before he rode off he said, "By the way,
that's a nice horse you got there. Did Santa bring that to you?"

Humoring the kid, the cop said, "Yeah, he sure did."

The kid said, "Well, next year tell Santa to put the d*** underneath the
horse, instead of on top!"

purplewings answered on 12/13/05:

That will teach me to dare you on anything huh?

Good joke!


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paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - Are you a man or a mouse?

Science has once more run amock and given credence to the age old question

Mice with human brains

December 13, 2005 - 10:16AM

Scientists say they have created mice with small amounts of human brain cells, in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Led by Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in San Diego, the researchers created the mice by injecting about 100,000 human embryonic stem cells per mouse into the brains of 14-day-old rodent foetuses.

Those mice were each born with about 0.1 per cent of human cells in each of their heads, a trace amount that doesn't remotely come close to "humanising" the rodents.

"This illustrates that injecting human stem cells into mouse brains doesn't restructure the brain," Gage said.

Still, the work adds to the growing ethical concerns of mixing human and animal cells when it comes to stem cell and cloning research. After all, mice are 97.5 per cent genetically identical to humans.

"The worry is if you humanise them too much you cross certain boundaries," said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Medical Centre for Biomedical Ethics. "But I don't think this research comes even close to that."

Three top cloning researchers have applied for a patent that contemplates fusing a complete set of human DNA into animal eggs to manufacture human embryonic stem cells.

One of the patent applicants, Jose Cibelli, first attempted such an experiment in 1998 when he fused cells from his cheek into cow eggs.

"The idea is to hijack the machinery of the egg," said Cibelli, whose work at Michigan State University does not involve human material because that would violate state law.

Researchers argue that co-mingling human and animal tissue is vital to ensuring that experimental drugs and new tissue replacement therapies are safe for people.

Others have performed similar experiments with rabbit and chicken eggs while University of California-Irvine researchers have reported making paralysed rodents walk after injecting them with human nerve cells.

Doctors have transplanted pig valves into human hearts for years, and scientists have injected human cells into lab animals for even longer. But the brain poses an additional level of concern because some envision nightmare scenarios in which a human mind might be trapped in an animal head.

"Human diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, might be amenable to stem cell therapy, and it is conceivable, although unlikely, that an animal's cognitive abilities could also be affected by such therapy," said a report issued in April by the influential National Academies of Science that sought to draw some ethical research boundaries.

Gage said the work, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was another step in overcoming one of the biggest technical hurdles confronting stem cell researchers: when exactly to inject the cells into patients.

The results suggest that human embryonic stem cells, once injected into people, will mature into the cells that surround them. No known human has received an injection of embryonic stem cells because so little is known about how those cells will mature once inside the body.

For now, Gage said his work was more geared toward understanding disease than to finding a cure.

"It's a way for us to begin to tease out the way these diseases develop," Gage said.


purplewings answered on 12/13/05:

Yeah, once they put human brain cells into mice, the mice will start believing they can do anything - and then they'll have real problems. As it is now, we are the ones in control on this planet...or so it appears anyway.
I do appreciate their willingness to allow experimentation to benefit mankind.

To answer your question: I am neither man nor mouse.



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STONY asked on 12/12/05 - HALLELUIAH!!


purplewings answered on 12/12/05:

It's not much money Tony. If anyone ever needed a few extra bucks, it's the disabled. I wish they could get a few more. If the government kept a watch on what they spend, it could be more.


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revdauphinee asked on 12/12/05 - Pray for the soul of tookie

Stanly tookie williams will go to meet his maker in a few hours and I feel he could use a few prayers right now if he is truly reformed then God will know,if not no prayer can help can it?

purplewings answered on 12/12/05:

Yes, I will do that. It must be absolutely horrible to know you have committed a terrible crime like that, once you've become aware of right and wrong. Some people don't become aware until too late.
I guess they're too busy trying to be important or part of a certain group.

It's pretty sad - for him and his family and friends
but more so for the loved ones of those he murdered.

God will know where the truth lies.


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Choux asked on 12/12/05 - The Little Guy

A little guy is sitting at the bar just staring at his drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig. The poor little guy starts crying.

"Come on man, I was just giving you a hard time," says the truck driver. "I'll buy you another drink. I just can't stand to see a man crying."

"This is the worst day of my life," says the little guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me.

When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I have no insurance.

I grabbed a cab home but, after the cab left, I discovered my wallet was still in the cab.

At home, I found my wife in bed with the gardener. So I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life. And then you show up and drink the damn poison."

purplewings answered on 12/12/05:

Yeah, I know what he means. It's just one thing after another ain't it? lol

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Laura asked on 12/12/05 - A parent's right to monitor their children's phone calls

In this story the testimony of a mother who intercepted her daughters phone call in which her daughter and boyfriend were talking about something illegal was thrown out of court because it was deemed against the law for the mother to have monitered the call. She supposedly violated the "privacy" law that her 14 year old minor daughter is protected under. The boyfriend had been convicted of a crime but it was overturned because the majority of the testimony was because of the mother's interception of the call which was deemed a violation of privacy. Even though the young man was guilty.

If you suspect that your child is involved in something that could be dangerous to them or that someone else is speaking to your child in a way that is potentially damaging to them either physically or emotionally do you think that you have the right to monitor their phone calls? I sure do. Do you think the law should be changed?

purplewings answered on 12/12/05:

Boy, where were all these laws when I was 14? No one cared about my privacy. My parents listened in to every call and read every letter I received before I got it. I'm sure they kept me from doing a lot of things I might have otherwise done at that time, even though I hated my lack of privacy.

You bet, I would listen in to my 14 year old's conversation if it seemed she might be doing something objectionable. I would wonder why she is even allowed to date someone who has already been convicted of a crime...

Let them put me in jail if they want - I will spank if necessary and snoop too.

Why is it that our children have so many rights while it is the parents that pay the costs of their mistakes - sometimes for a lifetime? I just don't get it.

I'm sure glad my kids are raised though....


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ROLCAM asked on 12/10/05 - TO SERVE :-

How can I be a messenger of God's reign ?

purplewings answered on 12/11/05:

If you believe that each of us have a divine spark within, try to see that spark in everyone
- and show that same spark in yourself to others.

God speaks to us through each other. We can all be messengers of God by emulating Jesus and foregoing the 7 deadly sins.

Compassion, gentleness, forgiveness, honesty, and action.


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revdauphinee asked on 12/10/05 - latest news

Jhust heard on tv Richard Prior has died !

purplewings answered on 12/11/05:

Richard Pryor was a true comedian and actor. Bright and bold - at least until he got going into heavy drug use and became extremely paranoid.

He did a lot of crazy things, including chasing his wife down the street with an ax and setting his own hair on fire - all through a drug haze. Drugs can kill common sense and disposition & eventually a human being.

Pryor,even after becoming so sick with ms, continued in the public eye, although a drastically altered man, he was well loved.

May God bless him

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CeeBee2 asked on 12/10/05 - If a licensed (Christian) pharmacist has the right to

"say no whenever he/she chooses -- in some cases, denying patients the ability to fill the prescriptions elsewhere," do public (degreed) librarians have the right to select and order only those books they approve of and want to appear on the library shelves?

(Isn't that censorship - abridging the rights of patrons, those people whose tax dollars fund that library? - and actually abridging the rights of anyone who comes in to use the library?)

And btw, there are throughout the world many atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and, gosh darn, liberal librarians. Do you want the aforementioned filling your library shelves only with material that is aligned with their belief systems and worldviews?

purplewings answered on 12/10/05:

Oh this could go on forever. If you were a Christian Hallmark employee, can you refuse to sell Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, etc. holiday cards?

It's all just too nonsensical to be real.....


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Choux asked on 12/09/05 - Do You Believe

in the concept of entities from other galaxies coming to earth(UFO's).

Do you think that they have a relationship to your religious beliefs?

Just wondering.

purplewings answered on 12/10/05:

I'm of the mind set that all things are possible. I especially believe there is intelligent life other than on earth. Why do we insist that we are the only ones with intellect, while at the same time engaging in brutality and self destruction?

Is it so hard to fanthom that someone, somewhere, has a higher intellect and no longer needs to do battle? No longer needs to prove themselves as the favored ones?

They likely are already watching us - just to see how ridiculous we are. Maybe they are waiting for us to destroy our planet and join them.....

When a smart human being opens his mouth to tell of any experience of this nature, he puts himself up to ridicule and mental health questions. Jonathon Winters...Dan Rather....Shirley McLaine...just to name a few. So many anonymous people have been forced to keep quiet just to live in peace.

Years ago I saw a program - 20-20, 60 minutes - ? in which it was indicated a space craft had actually crashed on the Arizona test site and small alien bodies were actually retrieved and saved. Photos were shown of them and the description matched what others have claimed over the years. That would help to explain the government sites being so extremely well guarded.

It wouldn't change my concept of God. After all, God created all things.

We're just in the processing stages.

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Erewhon asked on 12/09/05 - Mormon Governor Romney Ruiles on Morning-After Pill for Rape Victims

The Boston Globe
Romney says no hospitals are exempt from pill law
He reverses stand on Plan B

By Scott Helman, Globe Staff | December 9, 2005

Governor Mitt Romney reversed course
on the state's new emergency contraception law yesterday, saying that all hospitals in the state will be obligated to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims.

The decision overturns a ruling made public this week by the state Department of Public Health that privately run hospitals could opt out of the requirement if they objected on moral or religious grounds.

Romney had initially supported that interpretation, but he said yesterday that he had changed direction after his legal counsel, Mark D. Nielsen, concluded Wednesday that the new law supersedes a preexisting statute that says private hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception.

''And on that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view," Romney said at the State House after signing a bill on capital gains taxes.

The unexpected decision revived an awkward political situation for Romney, who has staked out more conservative positions on social issues as he gears up for a possible presidential run in 2008. After vetoing the emergency contraception bill this summer, he declared himself firmly ''prolife" and faulted the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Yesterday, abortion opponents, who see the morning-after pill as a form of abortion, predicted a court battle over the issue, while reproductive rights advocates expressed surprise at the change of heart. Democrats accused the governor of a ''flip-flop."

Romney made his announcement a week before the controversial law takes effect. His decision resolves, for now, a debate that has raged since the Department of Public Health disclosed its position Monday. The department had said that the existing statute allowed private hospitals to sidestep the new requirement if they wished. Massachusetts is one of eight states that require all hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims.

A dozen Bay State hospitals that treat rape victims do not provide the morning-after pill, according to a 2004 survey by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. The interpretation that all hospitals must offer the pill could have the greatest impact on Catholic hospitals that do not provide emergency contraception because it violates their religious tenets.

Catholic hospitals are extremely reluctant to discuss the issue. Christine A. Baratta -- a spokeswoman for the Caritas Christi Health Care System, which operates six Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts -- would only answer questions via e-mail. She said Caritas will continue to provide emergency contraception to sexual assault victims as long as they're not pregnant and that the hospitals use a serum blood test to determine pregnancy. It's unclear how that policy will conform with the law.

Caritas caregivers, Baratta said, ''are committed to providing sexual assault victims the appropriate, comprehensive, and compassionate psychological, spiritual, and medical care they require."

Representatives of other Catholic hospitals -- Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, and Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell -- did not return phone calls yesterday. Mercy and Saints Memorial officials have not returned repeated phone messages this week.

The emergency contraception pill, also called Plan B, is a high dose of hormones that women can take up to five days after sex to prevent pregnancy. Supporters of the new law say rape victims should have broad access to what they consider to be a safe, effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But some conservatives and Catholic groups oppose the morning-after pill because they believe it amounts to abortion in some cases.

The fight over the law is unlikely to end with Romney's pronouncement.

Daniel Avila -- associate director for policy and research for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Boston Archdiocese -- said yesterday that despite the new administration position, Catholic hospitals will continue to have a basis for not handing out the morning-after pill.

''It's far from over," Avila said, arguing that Catholic hospitals can still rely on prior statute because the Legislature did not expressly repeal it in passing the new bill. ''As long as that statute was left standing, I think those who want to rely on that statute for protection for what they're doing have legal grounds."

Avila said it was premature to be ''disappointed with any permutation in the debate," because a legal challenge was certain.

''It will be determined in the courtroom," he said.

Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly was asked yesterday if he expected to have to take any enforcement action against hospitals that don't comply. ''I certainly hope that it won't come to that," he said.

State Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. said in an interview Monday that his department felt strongly that the new emergency contraception law did not compel all hospitals to provide the morning-after pill.

Romney said earlier through communications director,Eric Fehrnstrom that he supported the department's ruling because it respected ''the views of healthcare facilities that are guided by moral principles on this issue."

Asked yesterday to elaborate on that position, Romney said simply that the law was the law and that the state had to follow it. The governor characterized his own beliefs about emergency contraception this way: ''My personal view, in my heart of hearts, is that people who are subject to rape should have the option of having emergency contraception or emergency contraception information."

''We're certainly happy to see that the administration decided that clear state laws, even those that this administration might not agree with, really need to be enforced and followed by everyone," said Mary Lauby, executive director of Jane Doe Inc., a Massachusetts coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence.

The chief legislative sponsors of the new law also praised the decision. ''I think his lawyers are right," said state Senator Pamela Resor, an Acton Democrat. ''I am pleased to be able to say it."

Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who would seek the GOP gubernatorial nomination if Romney does not run for reelection next year, has been a supporter of emergency contraception and said this week she believes rape victims should be able to get it at any hospital.

Reilly, seeking the Democratic nomination in the governor's race, took credit yesterday, as did other Democrats and reproductive rights organizations, for pressuring Romney to abandon a policy they said would have only burdened victims.

''I think we're all very happy that the administration has backed off on this," Reilly told reporters yesterday at a press conference with representatives of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. ''This administration was on a road that would have made it worse for women in that position."

Gubernatorial hopeful Deval Patrick was one of several Democrats yesterday to attack Romney for what they said was a ''flip-flop."

''The governor got to the right decision. But, he took a long way to get there," Patrick said in a statement.

Raphael Lewis of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Scott Helman can be reached at

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.



purplewings answered on 12/09/05:

At least he finally made the right decision, and it was based on law.

Who is to say a woman raped should spend her lifetime caring for the child of her rapist? That would be incredibly cruel.

It's still her body - and her life has value as well as anyone elses. The decision is only hers to make. I don't see what's so difficult to understand about that. I don't see that it needs to be legislated either.

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Choux asked on 12/09/05 - Michael Jackson

in critical condition in Bahrain.

purplewings answered on 12/09/05:

Do you have the address where I can send flowers? Or toys?

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Choux asked on 12/09/05 - Interesting Legal Case in Illinois

""An "Association of Rightwing Christian Pharmacists" makes as much sense as a Zoroastrian Firefighters Association, or the Bill Maher School of Marriage Counseling -- at least if you believe the activists who say they shouldn't have to provide the basic services required of the profession. Christian Conservatives say they are defending the "rights" of Christian pharmacists, but they are actually using a civil-rights argument to **impose their values** and their wills on the bodies of others.

Couching their legal battle as one of "civil liberties" and using code phrases like "the forced dispensing of abortion drugs," right-wing Fundamentalist groups are underwriting legal battles in Illinois and elsewhere. Their representatives are adamant:

"Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life International, said pharmacists should not be forced to prescribe medication they find morally objectionable nor should they be required to refer patients to pharmacists who would willingly dispense those medications."

Does someone's brand of faith prevent them from dispensing contraceptives, or other forms of medication, in good conscience? Fine -- then it would be reasonable to expect them to refer a patient to someone who will. If it's late in the evening in an unfamiliar town, a pharmacist saying "no" can wield a great deal of power. That's especially when someone is seeking emergency contraception, or is in urgent need of a medication.

Organized groups of "Christian pharmacists" reject that position, and want the "right" to say no whenever they choose -- in some cases, denying patients the ability to fill the prescriptions elsewhere. Now Walgreen's has become the latest battleground in the Christian pharmacy war, after it "effectively fired" four Illinois pharmacists (their attorneys' language) for "refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule."

It's paid for "public interest group" funded by Pat Robertson, who has apparently been able to take a break from wishing devastation on the citizens of Dover, PA. Although Robertson's group says it is pursuing the matter with the state's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you can bet the goal is not to fight discrimination -- although they'll claim that it is. (Nothing seems to amuse a conservative more than to try using institutions that were created for progressive purposes, like the EEOC, for repressive purposes.)

The issue at hand is the "plan B" or "morning after" pill. But it's a short walk from there to other contraceptives -- then to Viagra, condoms ... use your imagination. The "Christian pharmacist" groups and their backers say that not only should they be able to refuse to dispense medications they find immoral, but that they should have the right to refuse to help patients find other pharmacists who will help them. In fact, some claim they have the right to sieze the customer's prescription, and say that returning it to the patient would be tantamount to collaborating in a murder.

That's a very severe belief, but it's one they have every right to have. Being true to that belief, however, should demand something of them -- that they choose not to be pharmacists in a civil society that practices freedom of religion. After all, Thoreau and Gandhi went to prison for their beliefs. All that these fundamentalist pharmacists' consciences ask of them is that they quit their jobs at Rite-Aid or CVS.

Buddhists in traditional Japan couldn't be butchers without violating their religious beliefs -- so they didn't enter that profession........""


purplewings answered on 12/09/05:

I am incensed to know a Pharmacist can make the final decision on whether or not to give us our medication. Sure, if it's in conflict with another med that we are taking, it's right to stop it and let us know the reason - but if it's an objection on a moral viewpoint, it's terrible.

If my doctor who knows me well, gives me medication, I don't want a pharmacist who doesn't know me to tell me it's against his/her belief system. Geez!

That would make me upset enough to fight a little.

Let them do the job they're hired to do and put their personal agenda out of it - or go to an occupation they are in agreement with. Are our lives to be controlled by the man in the drugstore now????

BS to all that.

Just give me my meds when I bring in my legal script. Why is that asking too much?


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paraclete asked on 12/08/05 - What is it about Islam, that it breeds meglomaniacs?

Iran leader: Move Israel to Europe
Ahmadinejad casts doubt on Holocaust

Thursday, December 8, 2005 Posted: 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)

TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed doubt that the Holocaust occurred and suggested Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave on Thursday in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map," which sparked widespread international condemnation.

"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

Six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. Ahmadinejad's remarks drew swift rebukes from Israel and Washington.

"This is not the first time, unfortunately, that the Iranian president has expressed the most outrageous ideas concerning Jews and Israel," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

"He is not just Israel's problem. He is a worry for the entire international community," he added.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran and it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons."
Once allies

Religious hardliners in Iran do not publicly deny the Holocaust occurred but say its scale has been exaggerated to justify the creation of Israel and continued Western support for it.

Close allies when Iran was ruled by the U.S.-backed Shah, Iran and Israel have become implacable foes since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Israel accuses Iran of giving arms and funding to militant Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad and of building nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges.

Tehran calls Israel a "terrorist state" and has developed missiles which can reach it. It says it would use them if Israel, itself believed to be nuclear-armed, tried to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities.

Earlier in his remarks, the Iranian president, a former Revolutionary Guardsman who won a surprise election victory in June, said:

"The question is, where do those who rule in Palestine as occupiers come from? Where were they born? Where did their fathers live? They have no roots in Palestine but they have taken the fate of Palestine in their hands.

"Isn't the right to national self-determination one of the principles of the United Nations charter? Why do they deprive Palestinians of this right?"

Jews trace their roots in Israel back to Biblical times.

Ahmadinejad concluded his remarks by reiterating Iran's proposal that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved via a referendum of all the inhabitants of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank as well as Palestinian refugees in neighboring countries.

"Whatever they decide will be accepted by all humanity. This is a clear democratic solution which is based on international principles," he said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters.

purplewings answered on 12/09/05:

I don't see why the Palestinians haven't settled somewhere in that vast open area and built a brand new city for themselves, since they can't integrate into the Jewish population. It seems a sensible way to handle homelessness.
The truth seems to be that because they don't want the Jews in Israel, they would rather spend their own lives uprooted and angry. (cut off your nose to spite your face seems to make sense now) It's a waste of energy and lives. What makes them so stubborn? Can they see no possibility that the Jews are right about it being their designated homeland? If not, can they at least see that the Jews already do have possession of the property?

Most of us have had things happen to us that we disagreed with, but learned to accept and go forward rather than live in hell.

Are the Jews in Israel hated because they are there or because the Arabs can't seem to beat them?

Iran is looking for trouble. I can remember Khadaffi's big mouth running hatred of the Jews and America on the news day after day. And then I remember how President Reagan quietly sent a little plane over to his town and dropped a small bomb. Khadaffi has been quiet ever since. Someone should remind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that talking too much nonsense bugs some folks.

Even more so, it bugs folks to think someone like him may have nuclear weapons to play with.

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arcura asked on 12/08/05 - ACLU encouraging neighbors to become spys? Yup!


The website of the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking citizens to be on the lookout for nativity scenes in their towns. The exact wording of their message is “Contact the ACLU: E-Mail us and send a detailed message regarding the contents and location of the display as well as a phone number where you can be reached. While the ACLU may not be able to assist everyone who contacts us, we will provide assistance when we can.”

purplewings answered on 12/09/05:

If they are going door to door to check for nativity scenes, good luck America. LOL

I don't particularly like the ACLU but can't imagine they are clearing neighborhoods of their nativity scenes.

Hopefully, they are only after government buildings. Separation of church and state - and the ACLU will see to it for us.

Why don't you try to turn in one of your neighbors just to see what answer they will give you? I'm curious too.

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HANK1 asked on 12/06/05 - KERRY'S BIG MOUTH AGAIN:

According to Paul Harvey this noon, John Kerry said in a recent CBS interview, "US troops are terrorizing women and children in Iraq."



purplewings answered on 12/06/05:

I tend to take a different trail than erewhon in that he 'assumes' it's true because Kerry said it. I assume it's not the whole truth for the same reason. Kerry will change all of what he said today when tomorrow's the way of the flip-flop master.

I absolutely don't think American troops are going out of their way to terrorize anyone who is not trying to terrorize them first. It's not the American mind set or culture - it is the Iraqi mind set and culture though so our troops must constantly be vigilant.

When people look forward to dying, as long as they can take what they consider an 'enemy' with them - there really is no way to hurt them. When people want to live foremost, & they are set in a stressful, dangerous situation and surrounded by people who only want to kill them, it's mind boggling how they can maintain sanity.

God bless our troops and the innocents who are caught up in this horrible mess, called the middle east.


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Choux asked on 12/05/05 - Oh, for God's Sake!

Cut and Paste from Yahoo News..."Russia has struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to
Iran, the defense minister said Monday, confirming reports that have raised concern in the United States and Israel.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov didn't give details. But Russian media have said that Moscow agreed in November to sell $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, including up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems over the next two years.

"A contract for the delivery of air defense Tor missiles to Iran has indeed been signed," Ivanov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency."

I guess we now we can pretty much give a fairly reliable estimate for that doomsday scenario we have all been dreading......

purplewings answered on 12/06/05:

Anything for money. 1 billion $ worth is a lot of weapons for a dark agew country to posess. No wonder Iran has been talking rough lately. They are probably getting ready to jihad the world.
Isn't this all such fun..never knowing from what side the attacks will be coming, but knowing they will be.

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Itsdb asked on 12/05/05 - Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

Holiday greetings to all. Just click here and select your favorite Chrismahanukwanzakah greeting. :)

purplewings answered on 12/05/05:

One size fits all. We use too many words - I recall Henry Higgins saying that in My Fair Lady........."Words, Words, Words...

I like all the shorteners. LOL

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arcura asked on 12/05/05 - Why womwn cry. Do you agree with this reasoning?

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him.

"I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

"All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said:

"When I made the woman she had to be special.

I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world,

yet gentle enough to give comfor! t.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

purplewings answered on 12/05/05:

As if men don't or shouldn't ever cry!

Women are more emotional because of their hormones always being on a roller coaster.

I hate to think women were only put on earth to minister to their husbands.......

I also think a man's eyes are the doorway to his heart.

It's a nice explanation anyway....whoever came up with it.

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Ccl471 asked on 12/05/05 - Giving an Offering by Check

My dad says that if you are giving an offering at church by check, you have to put it in an envelope. He makes it sound like if you just put the check into the offering basket without putting it in an envelope first, it is a serious breach of etiquette.

Well, during the collection of tithes and offerings at my church, the pastor says if you want to receive a record of your offering for the purpose of getting a tax deduction, to raise your hand and an usher will hand you an offering envelope.

Well, I don't file taxes because I am on disability and like the income of seniors on Social Security, that income is not taxable.

So if I just drop my check into the offering basket, is that all right, or should I raise my hand in order to get an offering envelope?

Many thanks,


purplewings answered on 12/05/05:


It is no breech of etiquette to put your check directly into the basket.

With regular offering envelopes,the money is immediately removed and the pre-marked envelopes are then sent to the office to be entered into your account more quickly and easily. Every check is receipted - and you should receive a receipt in the mail..if you don't, you can ask to be sent one to keep a record of your donations.

I like using envelopes because it's neater and you aren't caught digging into your wallet or purse during services. It's also more private and efficient.

People drop money into the baskets and there is no receipting money. That's an anonymous donation. It's no breech of etiquette either. The church is happy to get whatever comes in with or without envelopes.

Church Admin.Asst.

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Choux asked on 12/03/05 - Pleasure

Do you allow yourself to have pleasure?

"Contrary to what some people might believe, there is nothing wrong with having pleasures and enjoyments. What is wrong is the confused way we gasp onto these pleasures, turning them from a source of happiness into a source of pain and dissatisfaction."

How do these words fit into the Christian beliefs?
What are your comments?

purplewings answered on 12/04/05:

Unhappy and resentful people make everyone in their path just as unhappy and resentful.

It's our job to be happy so we can stay healthy - and do good for others.

Seems to fall into the 'Love your neighbor as I have loved you' precept.

If you really appreciate the gift of life, choose to be grateful and happy......I do.

Pleasure comes from harming no one - helping many. :D

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paraclete asked on 12/04/05 - I need an answer?

Please tell me, when is the right time to get my Plastic Christmas Tree with lights out of it's box and let it shine in all it's glory. I want to do it right this year, I wouldn't want the mice to miss Christmas, me, well I'll probally spend it with a whole lot of Christians

purplewings answered on 12/04/05:

Gee, since it's for the mice, why don't you set the box out and wrap a few chunks of cheese around it and see what they decide.

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Choux asked on 12/01/05 - Stunning Alzheimer's Breakthough

Study: Is Alzheimer's a Type of Diabetes?

"In a stunning research development, scientists from Brown University Medical School have announced that Alzheimer's disease may be a form of diabetes. The big clue? Insulin production in the brain decreases as the disease progresses, reports HealthDay News.

"Insulin disappears early and dramatically in Alzheimer's disease," senior researcher Suzanne M. de la Monte said in a prepared statement. "And many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder or another type of diabetes."

It's only recently that doctors even knew the brain produced insulin. Now de la Monte's team has figured out that the brain levels of insulin fall dramatically during the early stages of Alzheimer's and then continue to drop as the disease becomes more severe--all of which may mean it's a different form of diabetes. HealthDay News reports that low levels of acetylcholine, which is a symptom of Alzheimer's, are also linked to low levels of insulin. "In the most advanced stage of Alzheimer's, insulin receptors were nearly 80 percent lower than in a normal brain," de la Monte said.

"We're able to show that insulin impairment happens early in the disease," de la Monte said. "We're able to show it's linked to major neurotransmitters responsible for cognition. We're able to show it's linked to poor energy metabolism, and it's linked to abnormalities that contribute to the tangles characteristic of advanced Alzheimer's disease. This work ties several concepts together and demonstrates that Alzheimer's disease is quite possibly a Type 3 diabetes," she said. The study findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease." -News Story on my ISP Home Page.

I think this is going to be it---the breakthrough needed against a very nasty disease.


purplewings answered on 12/01/05:

If they can isolate the problem, they can find a way to treat it. I hope they have the answer here.

I've heard that all newer diseases are linked to some disease of the past....
Aids was thought to be a derivative of the old Polio, etc.

One thing I do believe is that we have everything in our bodies that we need to combat any disease - if we could just figure out what things would do it for each disease.

Diabetes should have had a cure years and years ago. Sometimes I wonder if they're sitting on all the money they've been getting over the years. Same thing with Arthritis & cancer....

I guess once the cure is announced, Government Grants cease, so they never completely announce an answer. Too bad for the people who need the answer!


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paraclete asked on 11/30/05 - Great news - Limbo abolished

Lose limbo, but salvage purgatory

December 1, 2005

The Vatican is moving to consign its dead letter office to the dim past, writes Paul Collins.

IT HAS gradually drifted into a state of limbo itself over the past few decades, and now the Catholic Church is moving to make it official, deciding to review limbo, the place between heaven and hell, with the aim of getting it off the books altogether.

In the tradition of the Catholic Church, limbo was where the unbaptised went after death - and there was no way out. Limbo was also home to the likes of Moses, Plato and Abraham, and a legion of others from the ancient world.

A sort of dead letter office, limbo was cut out of official church teachings in 1992, although for many years the concept had been largely ignored. And now, the church's leading theologians are meeting to consider formally cutting limbo out all together.

Unlike purgatory, where the dead could eventually graduate to heaven, those stuck in limbo were, well, in limbo, even though they may not have done anything evil that would have banished them from heaven.

For some older Catholics, limbo caused enormous grief. A mother who miscarried suffered from the knowledge that the soul of her baby would be lost forever in limbo, a place between heaven and hell through no fault of their own, for example.

As a concept, limbo really took hold in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, arising out of debate about the concept of original sin.

Even though he died about 425, Pelagius, a theologian from Britain, was a modern sort of chap. He believed in what today we'd probably call self-actualisation. In other words we can do good for ourselves and others by the sheer force of our natural, God-given willpower.

Pelagius was something of a hit in aristocratic circles, especially in Rome in the late fourth century, but his teaching annoyed Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo in North Africa. Augustine believed in original sin: the state of sin we inherited from Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God and were cast out of Eden.

Augustine maintained you could do good only with God's help and grace. And because we were all born in original sin, unless you were baptised in the one, true church, you were off to hell. Trapped by his own logic, he allowed no exceptions. He simply assumed that many, if not most, were damned.

Augustine's theology was deeply influential on many thinkers in the Middle Ages. They believed in the necessity of baptism for salvation. Yet many children died before baptism could be administered. Did they go to hell, even though they had done no evil? And the medievals were also worried about the good people and saints from the Old Testament, like the great prophets. What happened to them?

Now that The RCC has got serious about Reformation, I wonder what other doctrines might be thrown out as Anachronistic. Perhaps we should trot out Luthers 95 thesis and nail them to the cathedral door again?

purplewings answered on 12/01/05:

The only consistent thing on earth is change.

The church needs to revamp many things. People are starting to actually "think". HOw would another human being know that anyone is in limbo or purgatory?????

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sapphire630 asked on 11/29/05 - things posted here can be closer to home than you think

This morning I was with the Moon detectives and asked them why the channel 4 news was there at my neighbors house. They said, "there was an incident" and left it at that. I just looked up one of the sites that Tomder has posted in the past to see what all they had for news today and here is my neighbor and the incident.

Mom Allegedly Spikes Mac & Cheese With Bleach

POSTED: 10:59 am EST November 29, 2005

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. -- A mother has been charged with trying to poison her adult daughter and her daughter's family after allegedly pouring bleach into their macaroni and cheese.
Nancy O'Donnell, 56, of Moon Township, Pa., was charged with four counts each of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person after the reported incident Saturday night, police said.
O'Donnell's adult daughter, Victoria Lynn O'Donnell, 24, was preparing dinner around 6:30 p.m. for her live-in boyfriend, Jamal Scott, 30, and their 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. The four share a home with Nancy O'Donnell.
Victoria O'Donnell went upstairs while the food was cooking, and police said that when she came back downstairs, she could smell bleach in the food. She tried the macaroni and cheese and immediately spit it out after tasting the bleach, police said.
No one else tasted the food.
Victoria O'Donnell then confronted her mother about the allegedly tainted dinner. According to court records, Nancy O'Donnell said she wanted to sicken her daughter because "you don't deserve those children."
Police reported a strong odor of bleach when they arrived to investigate. Nancy O'Donnell later denied pouring bleach into the pasta, police said.
Nancy O'Donnell is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $25,000 bond. A judge ordered that she receive a mental health evaluation.

And to think, a couple weeks ago, one of my other neighbors told the mother who put the bleach in the food "why don't you move in with Linda" when she
said she that she didn't want to live with her daughter any more!

purplewings answered on 11/29/05:

When it was suggested "why don't you move in with Linda?" I assume that was a reference to you....?

Thank God she didn't.

I would say the woman has some mental problems for sure. Big into controlling others.

I hope she gets to do some time for her crime. Not a nice thing for a mother to do to her child.....

Some people in this world really have not gotten into the swing of spiritual growth.


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sapphire630 asked on 11/29/05 - I wouldn't bring this up here

BUT I read it here
This is defending a death as not being a murder but a suicide

part of an answer to a post about a couple weeks ago
(will post rest if needed).

what are we expected to believe? That a group of professional killers capable of carrying out dozens of murders all over the world shot Vince Foster, then clumsily dumped him in a park (after he had bled out), planted a gun he didn't own in his hand (without bothering to press his fingerprints onto it), amateurishly forged a suicide note (in several different handwritings), and then seriously expected the nation would believe it was suicide?

My problem with understanding this as proof he committed suicide as oppossed to being murdered is

dumped him in a park (after he had bled out), planted a gun he didn't own in his hand (without bothering to press his fingerprints onto it),

The murder defense theory implies he was moved from where he was because he bled out and then was dumped in the park
How did he move himself to the park after he bled out?

without bothering to press his fingerprints onto it...
How did he shoot himself without pressing his fingerprints onto it or why would he wipe his prints off if he did?

purplewings answered on 11/29/05:

Oh but that was only one of the dozen cases in the Clinton Whitehouse that was settled without much ado. Cover up? Well, someone wasn't telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Dead men don't pull triggers or drive themselves to their final destination.

"Ft. Marcy park is not even listed on Virginia maps. It has no jogging or bicycle trails. Gay lovers often meet there, and the CIA sometimes practices dead-drops there in the early morning hours. Foster surveys the scene, and then either sprouts wings and flies to his intended location, or perhaps skirts the ground like a ballet dancer. However he did it, Foster managed to walk 700 feet across grass and dirt without getting any soil on his shoes."

I always thought it was amazing that so little was said about such an intriguing death.


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Choux asked on 11/26/05 - Down Memory Lane

Remember we just answerd what we thought were the most important things in life? All good answers. Very enjoyable to read.

How about this. What did you think were the most important things in life at the following ages::



purplewings answered on 11/26/05:

Twelve - Friends
Sixteen - Freedom
Twenty-One - Babies & adoring husband
Forty - Family
Fifty-five - Peace of mind

What do you mean young once? Geez that little me is still right in there where she's always been. Only the outside gets older.

What are your answers to this....?

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ROLCAM asked on 11/26/05 - FOR REFLECTION !!

If you knew that the world would end this year,
how would you change your life-style ?

purplewings answered on 11/26/05:

The only things I might do differently is to hold my family and friends closer........and make more friends too.

I would also take long jogs through memory lane and be reminded of the sweetness and the pain of life on earth.


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Tex78 asked on 11/26/05 - If we could life over, what would you change?

As for me, I have believed in Jesus all my life. But I never received Him as my personal Savior, until years later.

So, I would accept Him sooner into my life. I would never have smoked, or drank any kind of alcohol. I would have chosen a different career, other than the Army.

I am pretty sure that I would have gone to Bible Collage, and became a full time Minister.

It is just possible, that I could have produced more souls for the Kingdom of God.

You know the kind of fruit we produce, depends on who we work for. In Jesus’ name. M.L.

purplewings answered on 11/26/05:

Hi Milton,

If I could start over and knew what I know now, I would get an A-1 education, save my money, get married about 10 to 15 years later in life and have my children later, and spaced apart by several years.

I would be more selfish with my own needs and wants instead of trying to please everyone else. That way I wouldn't have gotten resentments against those who would not be pleased no matter what I did, and suffered emotionally and physically from it.

I would have gotten involved in more church and spirituality programs. Learned to love myself so I could love others too, and accepted all people as friends without trying to change them to my specifications.

I would have found what my personal interests were and pursued them early.

I would not have been so controlling with my sons, nor so rigid with myself.

......but those were just some of my lessons in this lifetime and I've got it now.

There will always be something to learn so all and all, my life is great just as it is.


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Choux asked on 11/25/05 - Priorities

""" Some people have lost track of the important priorities in life but ... that's their problem.""" quote from Hank on previous question.

Just wondering what everyone thinks are the most important priorities in life.


purplewings answered on 11/25/05:

I think it's to "Love self, God, and other human beings".

To be true to oneself.

To keep committments. To be optimistic.

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paraclete asked on 11/23/05 - So! it's come to this?

Buy your way to immortality

November 24, 2005

A CATHEDRAL is offering people the opportunity to have their face immortalised in stone on its spires.
St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne has come up with a novel fundraising plan for people to have their likeness carved on one of about 170 stone figures - for an estimated $50,000 each.

Anglican Dean of Melbourne David Richardson hoped people would jump at the chance to have their likeness on earth forever as a "kind of immortality".

"People aged 60 would like to say to their grandchildren, 'Up there is your grandfather carved in stone'," he said.

Buyers have three options: a realistic sculpture, a caricature, or a grotesque - a bizarre gargoyle-like sculpture.

Now which do you think would be the way you want to be remembered?

purplewings answered on 11/25/05:

I still like photo albums. The cost is within my means and pictures can be forever too.

I'll donate a few dollars to the church anyway - just not that many.


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arcura asked on 11/24/05 - Of the many things I have to give thanks for is...

That all of you and the boards here are a part of my life.
I thank you all with heartfelt gladness.
Fred (arcura)

purplewings answered on 11/25/05:

That's cool Fred. A lot of us have been hanging out for some years now, between and here & after reading a few hundred comments by every one, I feel that I know you pretty well.

Every single one has something interesting to offer - and just the overall unity feels good.


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JesseJamesDupree asked on 11/24/05 - Happy Thanksgivin'

Hope everyone has a great "Turkeyday" Peace and God Bless.

purplewings answered on 11/24/05:

If you hate great food, football, music and napping, forget the whole thing.

Friend, Family and an attitude of gratitude. Blessings to you!


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ATON2 asked on 11/23/05 - Happy Thanksgiving

Back in New York, just in time to wish every disfunctional member of our cyber family, a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

purplewings answered on 11/23/05:

Well, that's pretty biased isn't it? What about me? :D

Happy Thanksgiving ATON2!


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HANK1 asked on 11/23/05 - A BIT ABOUT THANKSGIVING:

This national holiday commemorates the harvest of Plymouth Colony in 1621, following a winter of great hardship. Colonists and neighboring Indians shared the first feast. A national day of thanks was proclaimed by George Washington for Nov. 26, 1789. Lincoln revived the custom in 1863. Since 1941, according to a joint resolution of Congress, the holiday falls on the fourth Thursday in Nov. Customary turkey is a reminder that four wild turkeys were served at the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving. I like the white meat.



purplewings answered on 11/23/05:

Hi Hank,

I like the white meat too. It's great on sandwiches with mayonaise for the rest of the week.

It's always nice to remember why originally we celebrated the Thanksgiving - it's also nice to go on and enumerate the many reasons we have to continue being grateful and giving thanks.

Tonight I attend an annual Thanksgiving Eve Gratitude function at my neighborhood church. Every family brings a pie of their choice and all pies are cut and onto plates, set out like a gigantic smorgasbord for the 300 + people who usually attend this event. First we hear a speaker who talks about his own difficulties and how he overcame them and that brings us all to a point of gratitude.....the remembrance.....and then the Pies.

God bless,
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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Tex78 asked on 11/22/05 - Corruption in government.

I just read this post. It brought to mind other questions, which I am sure others have.

When a policeman is disrespectful us you, do we just go on, and assume that all police are like that?

Are we holding a grudge against someone from another country, because one person from that country did us wrong?

If we are black, or white, and one of them does something to us, do we then hate all black, or white, people?

If a person, from another state, does something to us, do we feel angry at all people from that state?

When a Catholic, Protestant, or other religious organizations, does something wrong, do we assume that all people of that denomination are the same?
I believe that we should ask ourselves, if we have any of these traits? And if so, should we not get rid of them, if we can? If not, then should we not ask God for help in doing this? Because all of these traits are not pleasing to Him.

P/S An example, Just because ATON does something, like use filthy words, and nasty remarks to me, I do not dislike all FAT people.. ;^)

purplewings answered on 11/23/05:

What makes you so sure ATON is fat anyway? :D

I like him even though he sometimes black
stars and mocks me. Maybe he's right. Sometimes constuctive criticism is the best teacher. Sometimes making someone angry gets their full attention.

You know Tex, we mirror each other. What we see as faults in another are generally the same faults we have in ourselves - or maybe that we once had and managed to get free of.

I think that's part of the reason there are so many of us and that we are all so unique. We are supposed to be teachers to each other as well as students.

As to your opening remarks, I have been guilty of holding resentments against specific groups, nationalities, countries, states, religions, etc, because of what one or two has done - but I outgrew that when I opened my mind and tried to see the sameness instead of concentrating on the differences.

For instance, you don't like ATON's language?
Did you ever 'use filthy words, and nasty remarks'? I'm sure you don't any longer.

Accept each other's differences.......LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.


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Erewhon asked on 11/21/05 - No justice for Colleary's victims?

Father Colleary is a former Valley of the Sun priest against whom allegations of sesxual abuse have been raised.

Colleary's response to these charges was to flee to ireland.

An Irish judge has refused to make an extradition order to bring Colleary back to AZ to stand trial for the charges against him.

Dublin, Jul. 30 ( - An Irish judge has refused to grant extradition in the case of a Catholic priest who faces charges in Arizona for molesting a child.

Father Patrick Colleary, a priest of the Phoenix diocese, fled to Ireland in 2003, just before he was indicted on charges of molesting a preteen parishioner.

Judge Phillip O'Sullivan of Ireland's High Court declined an extradition request, pointing out that Arizona charges involved an alleged crime committed years ago.

The judge noted that Arizona laws allows for an accused child molester to be jailed without bail pending trial. These factors convinced the court that Colleary would not enjoy the same legal rights that the Irish judicial system would provide him.

Authorities in Arizona expressed disappointment at the decision, and said that they would not drop the charges.

A former altar boy who claimed he was the victim of sex abuse by Sligo priest Father Patrick Colleary said he was “outraged” at a recent decision not to extradite the cleric to face US justice. Curry priest Father Patrick Colleary won his court fight last week against extradition to the US to face sex abuse charges.

Mark Kennedy from Arizona said he was “very disappointed by the decision of the Irish courts. It is an outrage that he was not extradited to Arizona and I am very concerned about this decision. Leaving a predator like Colleary to walk the streets is alarming and disturbing."

Speaking after the judgement in Dublin last week, Fr Colleary said he was happy that it was all over: 'It should never have happened in the first place', he said. Last week Mark Kennedy(37) was paid E82,400 in an out of court settlement by the Phoenix Diocese without admission of liability. County Sligo priest Father Pat Colleary has successfully prevented his extradition to the US on sex abuse charges in the High Court in Dublin. The 55 year-old Curry native had denied two counts of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy and one count of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor in Maricopa county.

He was jailed for a month after being arrested in December 2002 after he was accused of molesting a minor. That charge was dropped under the Statute of Limitations. Father Colleary came back to south Sligo in January 2003. In May 2003 he faced fresh charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He is denying all charges.

The High Court in Dublin agreed with applications from his legal team stopping his extradition on a number of grounds. Those grounds included fears that he would be ill-treated in prison if he was returned to Maricopa county jail Arizona. His lawyers successfully argued that conditions in the prison in Maricopa county were inhumane and there were also questions about the length of time since the alleged offences.

It emerged that 500 prisoners from the jail were paraded in pink underwear by Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpaio which raised concerns at government level that Fr Colleary would be mistreated ahead of his trial. Justice Philip O’Sullivan said there were ample grounds to believed that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gloated over the inhumane treatment he “dishes out” and appeared to take sadistic pleasure in his role as incarcerator. It was the duty of any Irish court to see that no citizen was handed over to such a regime, the judge said.

Authorities in the US had considered Father Colleary’s extradition as high priority.

Maricopa county Assistant District Attorney Sally Wolfgang Wells said: “The crimes for which Mr Colleary stands accused, involving the sexual abuse of children, are reprehensible and must be addressed. We firmly believed that our community should not suffer because of this ill-advised act of the Sheriff’s Office.

Last week’s High Court decision is a milestone in a two year battle by the priest to stop his extradition to the US.

Will there be justice in this case?

purplewings answered on 11/22/05:

The people here shouldn't judge this since the priest did not go to trial and was not proven to be guilty. I can understand a priest fleeing to another country when faced with this strong charge - but that doesn't mean he is guilty.

I believe the Irish Judge had to look at the reputation and character of this Priest to deny extradition.

Everyone charged is NOT guilty.

If he is guilty, God will handle it in due time.

Isn't that part of what faith is all about?

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arcura asked on 11/22/05 - Now thank we all our God........................

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest heaven;
The one eternal God, Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Nun danket alle Gott
Mit Herzen, Mund und Händen,
Der grosse Dinge tut
Ans uns und allen Enden;
Der uns an Leib und Seel
Von früher Kindheit an
Unzählig viel zu gut
Bis hieher hat getan.
Der ewig reiche Gott
Woll uns in unserm Leben
Ein Immer fröhlich Herz
Und edlen Frieden geben,
Und uns in seiner Gnad
Erhalten fort und fort
Und uns aus aller Not
Erlösen hier und dort.
Lob, Ehr und Preis sei Gott,
Dem Vater und dem Sohne
Und dem, der beiden gleich
Im höchsten Himmelsthrone,
Dem dreimal einen Gott,
Wie er ursprünglich war
Und ist und bleiben wird
Jetzund und immerdar!
Happy, holy, thankful Thanksgiving everyone,

purplewings answered on 11/22/05:

Dunkheshein Fred.

Happy Thanksgiving day to you and yours.

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Erewhon asked on 11/22/05 - Autobiography going online

Commencing next Tuesday,my autobiography will be serialised weekly at:

A Shout From the Attic

purplewings answered on 11/22/05:

That's a bad life by the page that came to me.........Page not found? Or did you omit something in the link?

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FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 11/20/05 - THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?

I know there are many different nominations and beliefs and opinions about the subject of sin. So here goes. Have any of you heard about the UNFORGIVABLE SIN? If you have exactly what is this unforgivable sin. At the same time I thought all sin can be forgiven?

What is your take?


purplewings answered on 11/21/05:

The only unforgiveable sin is to deny God exists.


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Tex78 asked on 11/21/05 - Isn't it strange?

Think about each one of these as you read them....I'm sure you will agree that these things are so true and also so strange! Thought you'd like something to think about this morning. Have a good week .

Isn't it strange How a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to the church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn't it strange How 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

Isn't it strange That you can't find a word to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn't it strange How difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn't it strange How everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games, but they do whatever is possible to sit on the last row in Church?

Isn't it strange How we need to know about an event at Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events at the last minute?

Isn't it strange How difficult it is to learn a fact about God and share it with others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn't it strange How we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say, but we question the words in the Bible?

Isn't it strange How everyone wants a place in heaven, but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

Isn't it strange How we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away, but when we are going to send messages about God, we think twice about it before we share it with others?


"When God takes something from your grasp, he's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive another blessing."

purplewings answered on 11/21/05:

Interesting to think about. I printed this in our church bulleting a couple months ago. It's all about faith.


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Choux asked on 11/20/05 - Buddha Boy

Another who can exist without food, drink AND eliminating. Check out the picture on telegraph dot co dot uk.

Pilgrims flock to see 'Buddha boy' said to have fasted six months
By Thomas Bell in Bara District, Nepal
(Filed: 21/11/2005)

Thousands of pilgrims are pouring into the dense jungle of southern Nepal to worship a 15-year-old boy who has been hailed as a new Buddha.

Devotees claim that Ram Bomjon, who is silently meditating beneath a tree, has not eaten or drunk anything since he sat down at his chosen spot six months ago.

Witnesses say they have seen light emanating from the teenager's forehead.

"It looks a bit like when you shine a torch through your hand," said Tek Bahadur Lama, a member of the committee responsible for dealing with the growing number of visitors from India and elsewhere in Nepal.""


purplewings answered on 11/21/05:

Makes me wonder why so many people immediately disregard the possiblility of such a thing happening. It's been noted over the years. I guess it's that old 'fear' thing. What you don't understand either doesn't exist (denial) or is evil.

People don't just allow themselves to believe - they smirk knowingly as if only 'they' have all the answers.

Isn't that some kind of misplaced pride? Wonder if anyone knows that is one of the 7deadly's?

Openmindedness can show people entirely new truths........yes - it's fear of change.

I'll read up on this. Not long ago I read an article about the possibility of people one day living only on the nourishment of the sun. Wouldn't that be nice?


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Johnny_Cash asked on 11/19/05 - Hello Answerway, I'm Johnny_Cash

Why hello there. How are you tonight? I'm doin' fine, warden! Well, when I'm not pushing daisies I like to talk to nice folks like you. My record company says it's bad publicity to make records at prisons, but to hell with them, I'd like to record an album here in front of you folks at Answerway, that is if you don't mind? Now let me remind you that this is being recorded so you can't say hell or shit. Here we go...

"Well I just took some cocaine
and I'm feeling fine
Gonna shoot my woman
and do some time. Yee haw!

Now I'd like to do a spiritual number

"Lord, oh lord, why have you forsaken me
It's not my fault I killed 10 men
in skanky ol' Tenessee
Lord, If you're listenin'
tell me you love me
even though I just killed 10 men in Tenessee"

Okay, thank you. Here's one more for you nice folks

"Well the cows are dry
and the chicken won't lay
oh lord guess I'm busted
Just shot my wife
and hope prison won't make me a gay
Well, I'm busted"

What's that? You want another song? Well, all right then, will June join me? Get out here bitch! Sing this song with me! Everybody, here's June Carter.... "Well, hello everybody, sorry I can't sing tonight, I got the laryngitis"... "oh what the hell..."

We got married in a forest
by a man name Buzz McGillicutty
Then we went to a horse stable
and had ourselves a baby
We're goin' to Jackson
(June) gonna comb your hair
(Johnny) woman don't touch my hair. I said back off bitch don't touch me! I'll send you back to hell where you belong woman! BLAM!!!"

Well, I guess I have time for one more song till the cops come arrest me and put me in here with all you weird folks.

"June, oh June, June all my life
If I hadnt a shot poor June,
I'd a have her for my wife,
June is gone, one more round
June is gone

I went to Answerway
and sang with June there
Took my gun and shot her
'cause she was gonna touch my hair
June is gone, one more round
June is gone."

Well, I work so hard gettin' my hair all greased up... alright one more verse...

"So if your woman's devilish
You can let her run
Or you can do her like June got done
June is gone, one more round
June is gone
June is gone, one more round
June is gone"

Bye Everybody, I'm Johnny Cash

purplewings answered on 11/21/05:

Hi Johnny from the great beyond.
I like the tempo here but maybe you could find some different wordings?

I always heard you were a rough guy but not that rough. June was such a dear lady too. I always heard your marriage was quite lovely and of course there were no killings. . so why fool around pretending something ugly??? Let's hear some beautiful story for a change.

Just walk the line for now....

Choux asked on 11/19/05 - Just for Fun

Ooh La La! The Top 10 Übersexuals

Say good-bye to the metrosexual. While he was busy exfoliating and primping in the bathroom mirror, someone else took his place in the female psyche. That someone is an übersexual.

An übersexual is a man who embraces the positive aspects of his masculinity or "M-ness"--confidence, leadership, passion, compassion--without giving in to the stereotypes that give guys a bad name, such as disrespect toward women, emotional emptiness, complete ignorance of anything cultural outside of sports, beer, burgers and athletic shoes. "Übersexual" is a word coined by trend spotter Marian Salzman from the JWT advertising agency. "The media are so busy portraying men as womanizers, wimps or clueless oafs constantly looking to women for direction (ever see 'Everybody Loves Raymond'?) that they're missing an important shift among the population in the real world," she said.

Why "über"? "It was chosen because it means the best, the greatest," says Salzman. "Übersexuals are the most attractive, most dynamic and most compelling men of their generations. They are confident, masculine, stylish and committed to uncompromising quality in all areas of life."

The world's top 10 übersexuals:
1. Bono: He's global, socially aware, confident, compassionate and commands a huge base of followers who are fans of his music and his humanitarianism.
2. George Clooney: He appreciates the finer things in life. Exhibit A: his villa on the shores of Lake Como. Clooney is strongly bonded with and loyal to a cadre of male friends. His timeless image has allowed him to rise from B-sitcoms to box-office hits, some of which he's directed and/or produced.
3. Bill Clinton: He's a born charmer with Southern roots who is not afraid to cry. He is a supremely confident, decisive leader. Sexiest feature? His hands.
4. Donald Trump: Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger: He journeyed from body builder to mega movie star to politician, all the while keeping his shoes buffed and hair in place. He has succeeded in every challenge he's faced, and he has a Kennedy for a wife.

6. Barack Obama: At the Democratic National Convention, Obama managed to marry sentimental love of family with a new face of patriotism. And he looks sharp in a suit, too.
7. Ewan McGregor: A handsome, fashionable family man, McGregor is versatile enough to go from riding his Harley Davidson to walking the red carpet. He is comfortable in his own sexuality.
8. Pierce Brosnan: His James Bond strength was never compromised when we watched him publicly mourn his first wife and raise her children. He has Remington Steele's classic elegance and savoir faire.
9. Guy Ritchie: His masculinity is unquestioned even though he's married to one of the world's top music icons. (In fact, gravitating toward strong women tends to be an über trait.)
10. Jon Stewart: He is outspoken without regard to what other people think. He is supportive of women and pokes fun at himself in a self-deprecating way.-cut and paste from my ISP Homepage.

Ladies, how do you feel about the Ubersexual concept for men?

Men, are you like the Ubersexual guy?

Any comments.....

purplewings answered on 11/19/05:

I love the ubersexual man. I think it's the way most men would be if they didn't feel they were expected to live up the macho or metrosexual images.

It kind of sounds like they are complete human beings who like themselves, like others, and don't need to be directed by mom throughout life.

Men should be able to shed tears when they feel it but someone told them "boys don't cry" and they took it seriously. Why shouldn't they cry? I guess stopping oneself from crying is kind of like stopping oneself from feeling........and then they're told they have no emotions! Geez what a message huh?

I hope more guys will become ubersexual.....
in fact, I think they already are.
That would make for a kinder world.

Good posting. I hadn't heard this one before but I'm glad I did now. I'm going to pay more attention to the fellows I know.


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Laura asked on 11/19/05 - Dealing with unforgiveness

I know in my heart that I have harbored unforgiveness for a group of particular people. I have had dreams where I tell them what I think of them and I wake up startled and sweating. I have not found a way to come to terms with all of it. I have thought so many times of calling them and telling them what I really think of them. But in the end I keep my peace for the sake of those who might be affected negatively by my need to "get it off my chest".... This is a big road block for me spiritually and emotionally.. HOW do I come to terms with this?? I've tried writing a diary of my feelings..I've tried just giving it to God and letting it go, but it's still there like a cancer....How does one find peace in such a situation???? Laura

purplewings answered on 11/19/05:

I had a similar problem many years ago. It was very rough because the problem was my in-laws. Sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. It was bad because my husband was very close to his family and couldn't see what they were doing to me, even though any stranger could have seen it clearly. I was so full of resentment that I couldn't think half the time....also I'd walk around practicing telling them off in my head. It built up for years until I finally left my husband. I was so glad to get free of them that I didn't even care about the marriage any longer.

But the resentment stayed with me, even stronger because I felt they had now also destroyed my marriage.

It really was making me physically sick.

I was told to pray for them every day for at least 3 weeks. Not to gloss over a prayer with something simple like "God bless" but to pray that they would receive every good thing that you would want for yourself.

That was so hard for me to do. I started out saying it angrily and not meaning it at all....but kept doing it and eventually I began to picture them receiving all those good blessings - and even looking at them with different eyes. Now I was seeing them in their former background & how they had to live in the old country. I saw how they had been treated, being a minority group...and began to feel sadness for them because they had developed no trust or compassion for people outside the immediate family.

Little by little my heart began to soften toward them. It actually took me longer than 3 weeks so I kept on praying for them for months and months. Finally, I lost the resentment and started to heal inside.

Perhaps you can try to view these people as they were when they were infants and toddlers...whatever made them the way they are, and you will be able to accept that it is their road to walk - not your problem. Surely people who can rouse so much hard feelings from you, must also rouse them from people they meet daily.

That's not a pleasant life either.

Hope this helps. I also like Choux's thoughts on meditation to change what you're thinking and feeling for them.

Save yourself, our thoughts really do create disease within.

God bless,

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Choux asked on 11/18/05 - The Sin Box

The Sin Box
Why have Catholics stopped lining up at the confessional?
By Andrew Santella
Posted Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005, at 2:13 PM ET

A Catholic friend of mine recently went to confession at her parish church for the first time in years. She had personal reasons for wanting to seek absolution, but there was this, too: She said she'd long felt a little sorry for the priests sitting alone in their confessional boxes, waiting for sinners to arrive.

A generation ago, you'd see a lot of us lined up inside Catholic churches on Saturday afternoons, waiting to take our turn in one of the confessionals. We'd recite the familiar phrases ("Bless me Father, for I have sinned"), list our transgressions and the number of times we'd committed them, maybe endure a priestly lecture, and emerge to recite a few Hail Marys as an act of penance. In some parishes, the machinery of forgiveness was so well-oiled you could see the line move. Confession was essential to Catholic faith and a badge of Catholic identity. It also carried with it the promise of personal renewal. Yet in most parishes, the lines for the confessionals have pretty much disappeared. Confession—or the sacrament of reconciliation, as it's officially known—has become the one sacrament casual Catholics feel free to skip. We'll get married in church, we'll be buried from church, and we'll take Communion at Mass. But regularly confessing one's sins to God and the parish priest seems to be a part of fewer and fewer Catholic lives. Where have all the sinners gone?

On the surface, the drop-off in confessors might seem like no surprise.

To congregations scarred by the recent sex-abuse scandal, the thought of turning to a priest for forgiveness might not hold the attraction that it once did. And regular penance is not the only Catholic sacrament that has declined in practice recently: The scant number of young Catholic men training for the sacrament of holy orders, or ordination, for example, has left the church with a serious shortage of priests.

But it's strange that so many lay Catholics should have abandoned the confessional even while secular culture is increasingly awash in confession, apology, and acts of contrition of every sort. Parents own up to pedophilia on Jerry Springer. Authors reveal their fetishes and infidelities in self-lacerating memoirs. On Web sites like Daily Confession and Not Proud, the anonymous poster can unburden his conscience electronically. The confessions on these sites are displayed in categories borrowed from Sunday school lessons: the Ten Commandments or the seven deadly sins. At least one posting I read was framed in the language of the Catholic confessional. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned," it began before going on to catalog a series of mostly mundane misdeeds. (Others are simply odd: "I eat ants but only the little red ones. They're sweet as hell and I just can't get enough.")

All this public confessing testifies to the impulse to share our deepest shame. So, why isn't that impulse manifesting itself in Catholics practicing the ritual that was created expressly for that purpose? Of course, Catholic penance—whether it's done in a confessional booth or in a face-to-face meeting with a priest, an innovation introduced in 1973—is supposed to be private and confidential. It may be that in an age of media-fueled exhibitionism, some people want more attention for our misdeeds than can be had from whispering a list of sins in a box in a church. But those Internet confessions won't count toward absolution in the eyes of the church any time soon. "There are no sacraments on the Internet," declared the Pontifical Council for Social Communication unequivocally in 2002.

The Catholic tradition of listing the number and kinds of one's sins in regular, private confessions became standard practice after the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. Penance took root in Catholic ritual and established itself as, in the words of religion writer Peter Steinfels, "the linchpin of the Catholic sacramental economy." The Eucharist and the other sacraments, Steinfels points out, provided access to God's grace. But expressing contrition in confession could mean the difference between going to heaven or hell: Dying with unconfessed mortal sin on your soul meant eternal torment. Early 20th-century Catholics might have taken Communion only once a year—some referred to it as their Easter duty—but they generally confessed their sins far more regularly. As recently as 40 years ago, many Catholics would not have thought of accepting the Eucharist until after they'd cleansed their souls.

Today the situation is almost exactly the reverse: Entire congregations receive Communion, while the confessionals remain mostly empty. Between 1965 and 1975, according to the National Opinion Research Council, the proportion of Catholics who confessed monthly fell from 38 percent to 17 percent. A University of Notre Dame study in the 1980s showed the decline continuing. In a 1997 poll by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut, only 10 percent of Catholics surveyed said that they confessed at least once a month; another 10 percent said they never went to confession at all.

Like most of the recent changes in the church, the shift occurred in the wake of the Vatican II reforms. The program of renewal for the church that emerged from the Vatican II council said almost nothing about penance and reconciliation. The church's emphasis after Vatican II seemed to be less on guilt and damnation and more on love and forgiveness. The sacrament was given its current kinder, gentler name—reconciliation. Which seemed to reduce the stakes: If priests rarely talked about going to hell anymore, why bother confessing to them? To the extent that confession seemed necessary, the church's post-Vatican II efforts to empower the people in the pews left some Catholics figuring that they could confess their sins directly to God in prayer. At the same time, baby boomers who had been educated in the arcane legalisms of Catholic transgression—is eating meat on Friday a mortal or venial sin?—found themselves as adults thinking less about whether they were breaking the rules and more about their attitudes, intentions, and ideas about how to live a Christian life.

Last but surely not least, there was the growing gap between church teachings and the daily practices of American Catholics, especially when it came to sex and contraception. If you practiced birth control or had sex outside marriage, and you were scrupulous about confession, you might end up spending a lot of time in the confessional sharing every detail of your personal life with the (celibate and male) parish priest. That prospect is particularly bothersome to some Catholic women. I know one who says she'll go back to confession when she can confide in a female priest.

The biggest barrier between Catholics and the confessional, however, may be the real effort it requires. Unloading your transgressions on the Internet takes a few computer clicks—you can do it on your coffee break. But done right, Catholic confession demands a rigorous examination of conscience and real contrition, to say nothing of the prayers you may be assigned for penance and the thinking a priest may ask you to do about the ways you've let yourself and God down. No wonder we are more comfortable with the Eucharist service, which demands only that we line up like consumers and accept something for free. Dorothy Day wrote of having to "rack your brain for even the beginnings of sin." That's work." Cut and Paste from Slate On-line Magazine.


purplewings answered on 11/19/05:

Why would we need to confess our sins to a priest, who is simply another human being with his own sins intact?

In our modern society we have other means to clear our conscience:

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Taken from Alcoholics Anonymous Fourth Edition of the Big Book. These steps are used in all 12 step programs based on spiritual awareness.

This step not only highlights our personal shortcomings, but it further directs us as how to make things right.

Step 6. Became entirely ready for God to remove all these defects of character.

Confession to a priest and paying penance by simply praying the rosary does nothing other than remind us of what we've done.

In these 12 step programs there are definite things to be done to alter our character and allow us to forgive ourselves. It is about action and self-love.

Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Perhaps the reason confession has dropped is because it was non-productive while in the spiritual element of our societies today, people want to totally make amends and start over with a different approach to life.

In the ORthodox Parish, confession is offered only twice a year and I must say there are very few even then.

Perhaps we have gotten smarter and look toward ourselves to resolve our shortcomings rather than expect a magic wand to wave us clear?

Confession is good for the soul. It can also be good for the body, mind and the world around us.


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arcura asked on 11/18/05 - Wal Mart get nailed again. When will they learn?

125 Illegal Workers Found at Wal-Mart Site

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 12 minutes ago

An immigration raid at a Wal-Mart distribution center under construction led to the arrests of 125 illegal workers, all of whom will be deported, federal officials said Friday.

The workers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico were detained Thursday at the construction site in eastern Pennsylvania, according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Some of the 125 used fake documents to obtain employment with subcontractors, officials said.

The arrests came after search warrants were executed for six companies at the site outside Pottsville, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

"Employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, and those who utilize false documents to gain employment, face significant criminal and administrative charges," John Kelleghan, acting special agent-in-charge for ICE in Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

Agents obtained the search warrants after learning that 10 workers employed by Destin Drywall & Paint were using Social Security numbers that did not match their names. Another three used Social Security numbers that were never issued by the government, according to an affidavit unsealed Friday at U.S. District Court in Scranton.

Houston-based Destin has worked on Wal-Mart projects around the country, according to office manager Cindy Wyman. She said the company verifies that employees are permitted to work in the United States.

"As far as I know, their Social Security numbers are good," Wyman said of the Pennsylvania workers.

A Wal-Mart spokesman has said the detained workers were not employed by Wal-Mart but by the subcontractors. Wal-Mart's contracts with the companies require that they follow local, state and federal employment laws, the company said.

The Pennsylvania job site remains shut down, Wal-Mart spokesman Marty Heires said Friday. He did not know when construction would resume.

Last month, Wal-Mart shut down work on seven stores under construction in North Dakota to check for illegal aliens after two illegal immigrants working on Wal-Mart projects in Bismarck were charged with molesting two 13-year-old girls. Charges against one of the suspects were dropped after authorities found out he was a juvenile.

In 2003, a raid of 60 Wal-Mart stores in 21 states led to the arrests of 245 illegal workers. An affidavit claimed a pair of senior Wal-Mart executives knew cleaning contractors were hiring illegal immigrants. The retailer agreed to pay $11 million in March to settle the case but denied senior executives knew of the hirings.

purplewings answered on 11/19/05:

It's too bad that a big company like Walmarts continues to operate using illegal workers while legal workers struggle to find a job anywhere. This has gone on for quite awhile caught, should be aware they will be checked out often by the government.

I believe the companies that do the hiring for Walmarts know they are hiring illegals but do so knowing Walmart management wants whatever will save them the most money.

If they were willing to pay the workers an appropriate wage, they could easily hire legal workers, but they don't do that.

In the final count, money is always the motivating factor. It's too bad the way Walmart deteriorated after once being so great.

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hOPE12 asked on 11/17/05 - We live in a World of Bureaucracies and injuctice>

Hello Everyone,
I am back to say hi and to tell you all how much I miss you guys. My family and I have been sick from the mold in this building we are still stuck in sinces hurricane Wilma. We can not just leave,(at least I think we can't)
because we are bound by our lease. The mold is so bad that we are all sick. Sneezing, coughing, tearing eyes, aches and pains in our joints and I personally have made over 30 phone calls only to be faced with the bureaucracies of the Governments, local and from Washington. They anser the emails I send only with more numbers to call. I called Help me Howard and they are so bombared with reports that they but you on a call with someone from EPA who says they will help but then do nothing. The landlord just laughs and says sue them, but who has that kind of money.

We are now working with a private lab wh gave us some kits to test the area. We so far have positive tests results for the worst kind of mold that is black and dark green. It is Toxic according to the lab and when we get the reports which should be next week we will send a copy to the landlord. One is a swab test for the mold that is visible and one is for the air in the apartment and the air vents. Both are positive for toxic mold. When we send the copy of the tests from the lab we then can legally move because the mold is throughout the whole building. Children are coughing and some are having asthma attacks. I have tried to get the people in the building to sign a paper stating the health hazards of the building but most do not have the money to move out and so they are afraid. The only way we could afford to move was to get money from the family. But our lease is not up till December 31 and the landlord said if we leave without fulfilling the lease he would take us to court. We have gotten to the point that we don't care, let him sue us and we will take our prove to why we are leaving before the judge. We have pictures of one man's apartment that is so bad the mold is all in his clothes and closets. That is bad, but when a person has mold growing in the air condition systems and we have to breath it that is just plain wrong.

Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know what has been happeing here. Why do people who do such things, get away with it? The governments is suppose to be for the people and yet they don't do anything at all. Sad to say that what is taking place here in Florida after Wilma is outrageous and a crime. Now I can really feel for those who went through Hurrican Katrina. I can take comfort knowing that God sees all things and what comes around, goes around. These landlords and government officails who see these things and do nothing, will have to pay one day for their actions, and when they do, I will not feel sorry for them at all.

I am still around just trying to survive. Should be on the board again soon or at least once we move I should be back regularly again.

Take care,
"Boy I miss you guys!"

purplewings answered on 11/18/05:

Hi Hope,

I'm glad to hear that you're kicking and fighting to get your justice. Persistence always pays off.

That mold is very dangerous to respiratory systems so do leave. I saw a show on 48 Hours or 20-20 several months ago where the black mold was so bad that even after it was cleaned up and invisible, it was causing illness - sometimes fatally. Eventually the building will have to come down as shown on the program - brand new mansions being torn down.

The government bureacracy is, of course people who consider their work simply a paying job, and often as in any other job, don't do it - unfortunately.

The landlord no doubt has insurance that he'd rather not use so his rates won't escalate. It's all about money with him.

Take as good care of yourself as possible and take some extra vitamins to give you the energy to get through. I'll offer prayers.


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arcura asked on 11/17/05 - How many here, or do you know, has exerience this love?

True Love
(by anonymous)

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the finest, the tenderest, sweetest love,
Even greater than that of a mother,
is the beautiful, passionate, infinite love,
Of one damn drunk for another.

purplewings answered on 11/18/05:

Too funny Fred.

I'd suggest that a huge percentage have felt that remarkable 'love' at least once in their lives. The big problem is I can't remember who or why I felt such love, can you?


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Choux asked on 11/16/05 - Beastiality

Cut and Paste from Answers dot com::

Bestiality is ***legal*** (or at least not expressly outlawed) in these U.S. states:

* Alaska
* Arizona
* Colorado
* Connecticut
* Florida
* Hawaii
* Iowa
* Kentucky
* Louisiana
* Missouri
* Nebraska
* Nevada
* New Hampshire
* New Jersey
* New Mexico
* Ohio
* Oregon
* South Dakota
* Texas********************LOL!!!
* Vermont
* Washington
* West Virginia
* Wyoming

Bestiality is a confirmed misdemeanor in these states:

* California (Penal Code Section 286.5 Misdemeanor)
* Minnesota (Minn. Stat. @609.294, (1993) Either fine of not more than $3,000 or sentence of not more than 1 year.)
* New York (NY CLS Penal @130.20 (1994) Class A misdemeanor)
* Utah (Bestiality 76-9-301.8 Class B Misdemeanor)

Bestiality is a confirmed ***felony*** in these states:

* Delaware (11 Del. C. @777 (1993) Class D Criminal felony)
* Georgia (O.C.G.A. @16-6-6 (1994) 1-5 yr. jail sentence)
* Idaho (Idaho Code @18-6605 (1994) "length of imprisonment in excess of 5 years is in discretion of court.")
* Kansas (K.S.A. @2103506 (1993) Aggravated crime, sodomy, security level 2 felony)
* Maine (17-A M.R.S. @ 251 (1994) Class C Crime; 3-5 yrs)
* Maryland (Unnatural/Perverted Sexual Acts Article 27, Section 553. Up to $1,000 fine, max of 10 years prison)
* Massachusetts (Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 272 @34 (1994) Jail sentence of not more than 20 years)
* Michigan (MCL @750.185 (1992) Jail sentence not more than 15 years)
* Mississippi (Miss. Code. Ann., @97-29-59 Sentence of not more than 10 years)
* Montana (Mont. Code. Ann., @45-5-505 (1994) 10 year sentence and/or $50,000 fine)
* North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. @14-177 (1994) Class I felony. 3-10 yrs)
* Oklahoma (21 Okl. St. @886 (1994) "imprisonment not to exceed 10 years")
* Rhode Island (R.I. Gen. Laws @11-10-1 (1993) 7-20 years)
* South Carolina (S.C. Code Ann. @16-15-120 (1993) 5 yrs jail and/or fine of at least $500)
* Virginia (Va. Code. Ann. @18.2-361 (1994) Class 6 Felony)
* Washington D.C. (DC Code @22-3502 (1994) ("Sexual Psychopath" chapter) Fine not more than $1000 and/or sentence of not more than 10 yrs)

Bestiality is illegal in these states but the exact penalty varies or is unconfirmed:

* Alabama (Code of Ala. @13A-6-63 (1994) "sodomy in 1st degree" criminal offense)
* Arkansas (Ark. Stat. Ann. @13A-6-63 (1994) "sodomy in 1st degree" criminal offense)
* Illinois (720 ILCS 5/12-12 (1994) Crime)
* Indiana (Burn Ind. Code. Ann. @35-42-4-2 (1994))
* North Dakota (N.D. Cent. Code @12.1-20-03, 12.1-20-07, 12.1-20-12 (1993) Various penalties, & can be considered either "gross sexual imposition", "sexual assault" or "deviate sexual act")
* Pennsylvania (18 Pa. C. S. @3101, 3123 and 3124 (1994))
* Tennessee (Tenn. Code. Ann. @39-13-501 (1994))
* Wisconsin (Wis. State. @944.17 (1993))


I'm the one who looked up beastiality and will probably go on some FBI List, darn it...





purplewings answered on 11/17/05:

Hmmm. Thanks for checking it out for us. Makes me wonder why it isn't expressly outlawed in all states. Perhaps so few are involved in it there seemed no need for a specific law.

Once it opens up though, more will likely participate. How does a mind even think about doing such an obnoxious thing? I guess some people are just lonely and can't find a suitable mate.

Best to keep your pets inside where they're safe.


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Itsdb asked on 11/16/05 - No slippery slope?

Seems it was just a few days I expressed concern that gay marriage wasn't the end of the push for legalizing other alternatives in family/marital configurations...just a scare tactic I'm told. Check this out...

Bill softens bestiality statute
Massachusetts pols push measure lessening punishment for animal sex

Posted: November 16, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005

"Four state legislators in Massachusetts have introduced a bill that would soften the crime of bestiality, a move pro-family activists say is a natural progression of the state's legalizing same-sex marriage.

Stated traditional-values organization Article 8: "State Sen. Cynthia Creem, Sen. Robert O'Leary, Rep. Michael Festa and Rep. David Linsky have some interesting things in common.

"They're all strongly endorsed by the state's three major powerful homosexual lobbying groups. … They're all Democrats. They're all vocal supporters of homosexual 'marriage' and whatever else the homosexual lobby bids them to do.

"And now all four have introduced Senate bill 938. Even the left-wing Weekly Dig can't believe that the Massachusetts Legislature is poised to go this far."

A story in Boston's Weekly Dig describes the legislation, entitled "An Act Relative to Archaic Crimes."

"The bill would strike down several sections of the current penal code criminalizing adultery, fornication and the advertisement of abortion," the reported stated. "It also repeals what appears to be a sodomy statute forbidding 'abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast.'

"Archaic, indeed."

While the bill would keep bestiality technically illegal, it gives the option of less severe penalties. Previously, those convicted of "a sexual act on an animal" could receive up to 20 years in prison.

Explains the local weekly: "The new measure would give activist judges the option of slapping perps with a mere two and a half years in plush local jails, or even letting zoophiliacs walk with a $5,000 fine."

The bill was taken up during a public hearing Nov. 1 in the Legislature's Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Reportedly, no one from the public testified against the measure."


The Weekly Dig's take:

Lawmakers move to lower penalty for bestiality … seriously

More than two and a half years ago, the nation laughed as pro-family crusader Rick Santorum predicted the consequences of legalized gay marriage: If man-on-man marriage was sanctified, man-on-child and man-on-dog unions might not be far behind.

Those who jeered Santorum were silenced last Tuesday. Man-on-dog isn’t legal just yet, but if the Massachusetts State Legislature has its way, it might be soon. On November 1, cheerleading for bestiality was just one of a string of stunning pieces of legislation that converged on the legislature’s judiciary committee in a bizarre, post-Halloween orgy. The imminent collapse of the state cannot be far behind.

Sponsored by Senators Cynthia Creem and Robert O’Leary, and Representatives Michael Festa and David Linsky, the bestiality measure was buried in a packaged assault on morality, disguised as “An Act Relative to Archaic Crimes.” The bill would strike down several sections of the current penal code criminalizing adultery, fornication and the advertisement of abortion. It also repeals what appears to be a sodomy statute forbidding “abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast.”

Archaic, indeed.

The new law would continue to forbid “a sexual act on an animal,” but reduce possible penalties for committing such a crime, making it decidedly less illegal. Whereas the old law punished doggie-diddling and the like with hard time (a maximum sentence of 20 years) in state prison, the new measure would give activist judges the option of slapping perps with a mere two and a half years in plush local jails, or even letting zoophiliacs walk with a $5,000 fine.

How badly has Massachusetts’ moral compass suffered since dudes started honeymooning with dudes? Not one legislator, nor a single member of the God-fearing public, appeared before the judiciary committee to denounce the proposed changes. But then again, who has time to worry about bestiality when teenagers are shoplifting and buying NyQuil?

Though presumably more than willing to lower penalties for crimes against nature, Rep. Linsky demanded the judiciary committee get tough on the real criminals—mall thieves. It turns out that if shopping bags are lined with duct tape, any merchandise inside can be snuck past security tag sensors undetected. One shoplifting ring, Linsky testified, had recently been busted in Natick with $47,000 in stolen goods. Linsky’s bill would criminalize the possession of duct-tape bags and other shoplifting tools in malls, punishing offenders with up to two years in the clink and a $1,000 fine.

Cold medicine, it appears, is also a greater threat to society than bestiality, as Falmouth Rep. Matthew Patrick denounced NyQuil and codeine, but remained silent about barnyard romance. Patrick’s bill would criminalize the sale of “cough syrup or a cold remedy containing alcohol or codeine … to any person under the age of 18.” Such medicine “wreaks a lot of havoc on young people,” Patrick argued.

And the shoplifting and NyQuil bills were two of the tamer legislative initiatives before the committee; the rest of the docket amounted to a clearinghouse of insanity.

Up for consideration was a measure, sponsored by Southie’s Jack Hart, to ban the advertisement of fireworks; a bill banning the sale of laser pointers to minors; a push to revamp the way the state punishes graveyard vandals; an examination of how to combat the epidemic of drunken riots; new punishments for drivers who steal gas; and—our personal favorite—a bid to make criminally liable anyone who knowingly allows their telephone to be used “repeatedly, for the sole purpose of harassing, annoying or molesting [another] person … or for the purpose of repeatedly using indecent or obscene language to that person or his family.”

Hopefully, with those problems solved, we’ll all be able to marry our dogs and live in peace."


Well now, what do you say about that?


purplewings answered on 11/17/05:

Such is human nature to always push for more.

I find this very frightening as I once did with homosexuality. I was afraid if that became the norm, so would something else and now it seems to be beginning. It's strange how opening a door seems to jar the next door enough to loosen it.

Pets and children should be taken care of by their family - not abused. Why are people being so complacent? Probably because they're trying to accept this idea in their own minds. If we can't fight something we try to accept it and go on.

I think everyone should be writing their representatives to complain about this new loosening of morals but of course only I can do it.


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Laura asked on 11/15/05 - Atheist at it again....

From Atheist wants to get rid of God

15/11/2005 08:07 San Francisco - An atheist waging a legal battle to delete the words "under God" from a patriotic oath recited in United States public schools vowed on Monday to sue to have the phrase "In God We Trust" removed from US coins and bank notes.

Both US currency and the Pledge of Allegiance should be fully secular to reflect the US Constitution's division of church and state, and "to have all Americans treated equally by their government," Michael Newdow said.

Newdow told AFP he plans to file his new lawsuit electronically in federal court in Northern California by the end of the week.

"Can you imagine if, in some Catholic church, they passed the collection plate and the coins said there is no God?" Newdow asked.


"They wouldn't take that. I have a church, and I can't take currency for fundraising."

Newdow is a doctor, lawyer, and calls himself a "priest" in his own church that advocates atheism.

"We hold a definite view that being honest means you cannot reasonably conclude there is a God," Newdow said.

According to court documents, Newdow started the First Amendmist Church of True Science (Facts) in 1997.

Newdow's civil suit arguing it is unconstitutional to make school children to recite the words "under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance cleared a lower court hurdle this year and is working its way through the legal system.

The US Supreme Court nixed an effort by Newdow to keep religious references out of the January inauguration ceremony for US President George W Bush.

Newdow's legal campaign has drawn sharp criticism from Christian groups.

"We are a nation of religious refugees," Mathew Staver of the conservative Christian group Liberty Counsel said during the inauguration controversy.

"Prayer has been an essential part of America and her history. Our history is pervaded by religious expressions. We are a nation of religious refugees, and it is therefore commonplace to see and hear expressions of religion."

Seriously folks....If this athiest doesn't believe in God then why in the heck does he care what words are on money. They should mean nothing to him. It certainly is no reason not to be able to use money in his "church" for fundraising??? What does he pay his lawyer with??.. Seems he doesn't have a problem with the word "church or priest" (I thought atheism wasn't considered a "religion" to the atheist)which is traditionally used to term a religious facility and a person of faith as well as the body of believers called the church.. I think it's a crock of crap. These people just want their fifteen minutes of fame.

Does anyone agree with this guy?? WHY!!

purplewings answered on 11/16/05:

I don't agree with him.
I think these verbose atheists are encouraged by the publicity. They enjoy seeing themselves on television and newspapers. It's an ego thing... particularly for this guy who is already a doctor, lawyer and priest.

It truly should not bother someone to see the word God on anything since it means nothing to them. If I saw a word like this XPPCTA written somewhere, I wouldn't be offended because it has no meaning to me.

Of course we're used to letting these people take away our rights to believe so likely it will end up in courts for years and big $$$$ until the job is done to please them.

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revdauphinee asked on 11/16/05 - Eve's Steep Price

God noticed that Adam was lonely. He said to him "Adam, I am going to give you the perfect companion. She'll cook and clean and listen, she's perfect."

Adam replied, "What will she cost me?"

God said, "An arm and a leg."

Shocked, Adam said, "Well, what can I get for a rib?"

purplewings answered on 11/16/05:


He should have asked for a robot. There is no cost.


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Tex78 asked on 11/15/05 - Could you be a Redneck

We have enjoyed the Redneck jokes for years.

It's time to take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture that values home, family, country and God.

If I had to stand before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I'd choose a half dozen or so Rednecks to back me up.
Tire irons, squirrel guns, grits and guts -- that's what Rednecks are made of.

I hope I measure up to one of those.

You might be a Redneck if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God."

You might be a Redneck if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a Redneck if: You still say "Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival."

You might be a Redneck if: You bow your head in respect when someone prays.

You might be a Redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You might be a Redneck if: You treat all vets with great respect, and always have.

You might be a Redneck if: You've never burned an American flag and it makes you angry when you see it done.

You might be a Redneck if: You know what you believe in and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a Redneck if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

You might be a Redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

God Bless the USA!

purplewings answered on 11/16/05:

Great rebuttal to all the redneck jokes that do the internet circuits.

I enjoy hearing the good of people, for a change.

My son is a Texan now. Since he's been living in Austin for almost 7 years, he should qualify as a redneck...right?

I'm proud of him.


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Erewhon asked on 11/15/05 - You might not like this, but it is still true!

NEW YORK (Reuters) -

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is
"The Most Influential Man in the World,"

according to Esquire magazine.

The magazine has designated him as
"the most powerful agent of change in the world" despite his lack of electoral standing and the fact he was laid low by a heart attack ahead of last year's presidential election.

The magazine highlights Clinton's accomplishments in its December issue, which goes on newsstands on Thursday, profiling the world's "Best and Brightest" men and women.

Since leaving office, Clinton has been so active that his post-presidency amounts to "a third term" for the Democrat who held the White House from 1992 to 2000, the magazine said. He has tackled global issues from AIDS, poverty and global warming to the recovery from last December's Indian Ocean tsunami.

Esquire editor David Granger argued that Clinton was poised to become "something like a president of the world or at least a president of the world's non-governmental organizations."

But it will mean giving up a leadership role in the Democratic party or pushing the political career of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, seen as a 2008 White House contender.

In the article, Clinton said that he remained loyal to his party, adding: "I'm not the leader of the opposition anymore."

15 November © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

purplewings answered on 11/16/05:

It's hard for me to believe he is the most influential man in the world.

I actually like Clinton's personality but believe his morals are detrimental to a public leader.

I also don't find him to be a great intellect, although I admire that he is giving seminars about important issues like Aids, poverty and global warming. Everyone needs to know about these things so we can correct them.

I like him and don't admire him. I think he's well liked partly because he showed himself publicly to be flawed - like all other human beings.

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Choux asked on 11/15/05 - The Pope v. Pat Robertson

""The intelligent design movement has a new problem. The designer, it seems, is unpredictable.

Last Tuesday, voters in Dover, Pa., ousted advocates of intelligent design from their school board. Since then, two religious leaders who purport to know the designer have come forward, ostensibly on his behalf.

In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI chided people who, "fooled by atheism, believe and try to demonstrate that it's scientific to think that everything is free of direction and order." The pope recalled that in the Bible, "The Lord awakens the reason that sleeps and tells us: In the beginning, there was the creative word. In the beginning, the creative word—this word that created everything and created this intelligent project that is the cosmos—is also love."

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson warned residents of Dover, "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help, because he might not be there." Later, Robertson issued a statement explaining that "our spiritual actions have consequences. ... God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever."

Which is it? Does the designer operate by love or punishment?

A core principle of modern science is that theories have to make predictions. A belief that doesn't make testable predictions isn't a theory and can't be taught in science classes.

Proponents of ID claim that complex systems found in nature—the cell, the bacterial flagellum, the immune system—are evidence of "intelligent activity" by a designer. But what kind of intelligence? Is the designer brutal or loving, jealous or forgiving? Look at the ancient crocodilelike predator we just dug up. Its mouth is a perfect killing machine. Does the same intelligence that designed us design our murderers?

Is the designer love, as the pope suggests? Or does the designer turn on you if you stick a finger in his eye? Robertson says our spiritual actions have consequences, but he can't tell us whether problems will arise in Dover as a result of the school board ouster: "I'm not saying they will," he shrugs. Nor can he tell us what the designer will do if such problems arise: "He might not be there," says the televangelist. And even if Robertson eventually figures out what he thinks, how can we decide which version of the designer—Robertson's or the pope's—to teach in biology class?

"If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them," Robertson joked the other day. Since the immediate problem in Dover is figuring out which theories are scientific, that's not bad advice. At least Darwin is predictable."" article by

William Saletan is Slate's national correspondent

Isn't it obvious that the God who created the Universe is not the God mentioned in the Bible??

What say you???

purplewings answered on 11/16/05:

I think if the bible were properly interpreted, we could say it tells us the whole truth of God. However, with language translations and simply improperly interpreting parables and paradoxes, it becomes changed by man.

I think intelligent design is a good definition of what God has done for all life. Our bodies and mind are capable of eternal life on earth - if we could break the codes. I'm pretty certain we have everything within us to cur