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These are answers that sarnian has provided in Christianity

Question/Answer
kindj asked on 04/24/06 - Best line I've heard yet...

So there I am, sitting around the house and watching movies this weekend. Well, watching movies in between cutting the grass, changing the oil in the wife's car, working on a thesis, playing with my kids, and fixing the door on the shed out back.

Anyway, I'm watching "Walk the Line," that movie about Johnny Cash. Absolutely stellar movie. Anyway, Johnny's talking to these record company execs about doing a show in Folsom Prison:

Record Company Executive: Your fans are gospel folk, Johnny. They're Christians, and they don't wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin' to cheer 'em up.
Johnny Cash: Then they ain't Christians.

Whether Cash ever actually said that line or not, it sure does seem to sum it up.

Why is it that we continue to see people so hung up on legalism and appearances when the Gospel plainly says that those things are for the birds?

Why can't more Christians be perfectly honest with and about themselves? After all, until a person is absolutely honest with themself and God, there's not a whole lot that Jesus is free to do in their life.

DK

sarnian answered on 04/24/06:

 

Dear Kindj,

I've no idea if that line is true, but it sure is a good line.
And a line many here should seriously consider.

You see : it's much easier to post as if you're JC himself, as if you're clean of any faults yourself, and it's much easier to preach than to do the same actually yourself : too often it's like comedy time here, with prayers flying around together with all kinds of nastiness and hypocrisy.

I'm sure many here mean well, but at the same time I fear that many seem to think that "you" can buy "your" way into heaven by double-crossing JC/God (if he exists)(as if the God entity is of human proportions and feebleness) by faking "sincere" faith.

It's for most Christians verbal christianity, while the actual lifestyle for many people is something more related to pure capitalism (the two of which are incompatible).

 

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/23/06 - How do you get a job as a consultant?

Films turn to God to put souls on seats
From:
By John Harlow

April 24, 2006


HOLLYWOOD, long accused of promoting Godless amorality, has found religion. Studio executives are praying that a flood of Christian films will rescue them from a slump by performing miracles at the multiplex.
Inspired by "The Passion of the Christ", Mel Gibson's vision of the crucifixion, which earned $950million at the box office, Hollywood is directing Oscar-winning stars such as Hilary Swank and William Hurt to show their spiritual side on the cinema screen.

First into the cinemas will be "The Da Vinci Code", starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, opening in Australia on May 18.

Some Catholics, upset by the plot of Dan Brown's novel about Vatican conspiracies, are threatening to picket the film in the US.

Other Christian-themed films due out later this year are more likely to suit their tastes.

Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje, a London-born actor who plays Eko in the television series "Lost", will play a charismatic minister winning over Harlem gangsters in "Preaching to the Choir".

Hurt will be seen as an equally inspired minister trying to hold his flock and family together in "The King".

James Marsh, the director, said he wanted to get away from stale portraits of priests as hypocrites or fanatics and show how tough it is to lead a good life.

The same issue is addressed in "The Reaping", in which Swank, returning to the big screen after winning her second Oscar for playing the lead in "Million Dollar Baby", plays a disillusioned missionary investigating a series of plagues in Louisiana that seem straight out of the Old Testament.

A potential Christmas blockbuster is "Nativity". The 16-year-old New Zealand actor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, nominated for an Oscar for Whale Rider three years ago, portrays the Virgin Mary travelling to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.

JJ Abrams, who created Lost, the series in which spiritual questions often arise, believes religion is highly topical.

"Given all the conflict in the world inflamed by religion there is a real hunger for films that deal with these issues in fresh ways," Abrams said.

For the first time in half a century, studios are test-screening films in front of religious leaders rather than teenagers.

They are also paying pastors and rabbis as consultants.

"Studios are reaching out to grassroots community leaders to discuss films even before the script is finished: this would not have happened a few years ago," said a former executive at Grace Hill Media, which specialises in connecting Hollywood with religious leaders.

Some films nevertheless challenge the evangelical tide. New Line studio snapped up "His Dark Materials", the fantasy trilogy by Oxford writer Philip Pullman, thinking it was the next Harry Potter. But Christians took umbrage at its depiction of an ageing and feeble God.

Tom Stoppard's script was described as "heretical" and the original director, Chris Weitz, who co-directed About a Boy, resigned after admitting he had removed negative references to God and the Catholic church.

A Hollywood remake of the British cult film "The Wicker Man" remains in the balance as scriptwriters seek to "modernise" the film. In the 1973 version, Scottish pagans triumph over Christianity, but the remake, starring Nicolas Cage, has to avoid offending 75 million Americans who describe themselves as "born again".

No such finessing was needed for a reality series that premiered on US television last week.

Called "Girl or God", it follows would-be priests preparing to end relationships and enter seminary.

They wanted to call it Original Sin, but discovered that was the title of an erotic thriller starring Angelina Jolie.

The Sunday Times

Two questions

How do you get a job as a conultant to a movie?
Is Hollwood becoming the determinant of what we believe?

sarnian answered on 04/24/06:

 

Dear PC :

"How do you get a job as a conultant to a movie?"

Well : the main requirement is that you apply for the job. The rest is done by the old-boys-circuit.

"Is Hollwood becoming the determinant of what we believe?"

Only where it concerns disaster movies and other blockbusters ... :)

 

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/23/06 - Another scientific evidence of The Creator.

Discovery of Ancient Methane Puts Theory of Evolution On the Rocks
Source: earnedmedia.org
Posted by: admin - 2006-04-20 01:48:50
First direct evidence for methane-producing microbes on early Earth supports creation model
Japanese scientists discovered 3.46-billion-year-old methane bubbles in rocks from the Dresser Formation located in Western Australia. The chemical fingerprint associated with the methane provides the scientific community with the first direct evidence for methane-producing bacteria on early Earth.
“This is science at its very best with important implications for the origins of life,” says acclaimed biochemist Fazale Rana, Ph.D., a well-known origin of life researcher from the science/faith think-tank Reasons To Believe, www.reasons.org.
“Even though these methane producers were single- celled microbes they were amazingly complex from a biochemical standpoint.”
In the book Origins of Life, published in 2004, Rana and his co-author astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross predicted that complex microbes, like methane producers, existed early in Earth’s history. This groundbreaking book presents the first scientifically testable theory of creation for the origin of life.
“It’s satisfying to see how well our creation model predicts scientific advance,” says Rana. “The presence of complex microbes this early in Earth’s history raises significant questions about the theory of evolution.”
Dr. Rana, a recognized expert in origin of life research, maintains that life appeared on Earth too quickly and is initially much too complex to make sense from an evolutionary standpoint.
“The traditional naturalistic model has life emerging gradually from a ‘primordial soup’ over a vast period of time—hundreds of millions of years—to yield relatively simple life forms,” Rana continues.
“Yet the data from the fossil record fails to match these critical criteria. The recent results obtained by the Japanese scientists only further compound the problems for the theory of evolution.”
Fazale ‘Fuz’ Rana, Ph.D.—Fazale ‘Fuz’ Rana did his undergraduate work in chemistry at West Virginia State College. He then completed his post-graduate studies at Ohio University and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at the universities of Virginia and Georgia, he worked for seven years in product development research for Procter & Gamble.
Prior to joining the scholar team at Reasons To Believe in 1999, he published more than 15 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and made more than 20 presentations at international scientific meetings. Dr. Rana also coauthored a chapter on antimicrobial peptides for Biological and Synthetic Membranes and he holds one patent.
Since joining Reasons To Believe he has chaired three conferences and has written two books published by NavPress, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off and Who Was Adam: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man. He has published numerous articles on the apologetic significance of recent discoveries in the life sciences. He appears each week on the live Web broadcast, Creation Update, and is a highly popular and frequent guest on a wide variety of nationally/internationally syndicated talk radio and television programs.
Reasons To Believe (www.reasons.org) is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Founded in 1986 by renowned astrophysicist Hugh Ross, Ph.D. Reasons To Believe is unique in its position of demonstrating that science and the Bible complement one another. The mission of Reasons To Believe is to remove the doubts of skeptics, strengthen the faith of believers, and offer solid answers to questions about God and science.
Reasons To Believe provides resources that will keep you informed about up-to-the minute discoveries in the sciences and how they harmonize with God’s revelation in the words of the Bible. It is our conviction that since the same God who ‘authored’ the universe also inspired the writings of Scripture, a consistent message will come from both revelations. In other words, the facts of nature will agree with, not contradict, the Bible. Recent scientific discoveries support this now more than at any other time in history.
Hugh Ross, Ph.D.—After studying physics at the University of British Columbia and astronomy at the University of Toronto, Hugh Ross continued his research on quasars and galaxies as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. While at Caltech he began serving as minister of evangelism for Sierra Madre Congregational Church.
Since 1986 he has led Reasons To Believe, an institute founded to research and proclaim new reasons –from the frontiers of science—for trust in God’s Word and faith in Jesus Christ. Over the years Dr. Ross has given hundreds of apologetics lectures, seminars, and courses in universities, churches, business firms and other venues across the U.S. and around the world. He is a popular interview guest on a wide variety of nationally/internationally syndicated radio and television programs.
His books include The Fingerprint of God, The Creator and the Cosmos, Beyond the Cosmos, The Genesis Question, A Matter of Days, and as co- author, The Genesis Debate, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men. He contributed a chapter on Mars in Dr. Rana’s book, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off, and also contributed details for the new scientific model for creation in Who Was Adam: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man.

sarnian answered on 04/24/06:

 

Dear Fred :

I did not see any question, so all I can do is refer to this copy-post you so excellently cut and pasted on to this board. My compliments!


"Japanese scientists discovered 3.46-billion-year-old methane bubbles in rocks from the Dresser Formation located in Western Australia."

  1. The universe is loaded with hugh clouds of various molecules in "hot spots", areas prone to form either (clusters of) new galaxies, or areas within galaxies where gasclouds collapse into star systems.

  2. Methane clouds are extremely common in the universe. Several of the gas-planets in our own solar system have methane as one of the main contributors to their atmosphere.

  3. It is no wonder than that the early earth atmosphere also contained methane.

  4. Gasses from the early atmosphere found there way into sands and rocks of the early earth. It is normal to expect that this happened.

  5. First life on earth - one celled lifeforms - developed already about 600 million years after the earth formed. That is 4.000 Million years ago, BEFORE the date mentioned by the Japanese scientists.

“This is science at its very best with important implications for the origins of life,” says acclaimed biochemist Fazale Rana, Ph.D., a well-known origin of life researcher from the science/faith think-tank Reasons To Believe, www.reasons.org.

No, this has hardly anything to do with science. This is CREATIONISM by a "creationist" organisation, and there is no real scientific source at all.

“Even though these methane producers were single- celled microbes they were amazingly complex from a biochemical standpoint.”

Nowhere do I see any EVIDENCE that the "methane in rock" is from microbe-origin.
Neither is the book "Origins of Life, published in 2004" by Rana and his co-author astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross acknowledged as a real scientific source. It's nothing else but CREATIONIST info.


“The traditional naturalistic model has life emerging gradually from a ‘primordial soup’ over a vast period of time—hundreds of millions of years—to yield relatively simple life forms,” Rana continues.

Incorrect : as already stated : real science shows us that first life forms developed within 600 Million years.

“Yet the data from the fossil record fails to match these critical criteria. The recent results obtained by the Japanese scientists only further compound the problems for the theory of evolution.”

Rana shows here CLEARLY his (DELIBERATE) lack of reality. How can early one-cell organisms ever have formed fossil records?
What did they contain that could produce fossil records? Only BONES produce fossil records.

Rana is a typical CREATIONIST.
Picking extremely selective those pieces of information that seem to support his claims, leaving out all other pieces that explain why his claims are without any value.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I repeat my normal position in matters of evolution :

Believe in whatever you feel best with. Believe in creation if you like. Believe in Genesis if you want.
No problem, but realise that that is a religious explanation.

Next to belief you have science that teaches us what actually happened was a process we call today EVOLUTION.
Science can back-up the EVOLUTION process to a remarkeble high percentage, if you take the enormous time period involved into account.


 

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/21/06 - Doctrinal Differences ??

What are the doctrinal differences between Judaism and other Christian denominations?

sarnian answered on 04/21/06:

 

Rolcam : Christianity developed from Judaism.
JC was a Jew.
The essential main difference between the two religions is that Christians believe in JC being God's son, and being God as part of the Trinity, whereby JC is the saviour and redeemer of humanity.

 

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/21/06 - Noah's Ark ??

How big was Noah's Ark compared with modern oil tankers?
Was it bigger than the biggest?
What was its carrying capacity?

sarnian answered on 04/21/06:

 

Data provided for the "Ark" all seem totally insufficient to provide the carrying capacity to house couples of all land animals worldwide (note: a worldwide flood requires couples of all land animals worldwide - that is the claim made in the bible).

How couples of all land animals worldwide were collected and transfered to the "Ark" in the limited time available remains unclear : it would be impossible to do so even today with all our transportation means. Even today there still are land animals found of which humanity had no information before.

It's not even sure if there ever was an "Ark". It seems that the "Ark" story was a local myth that can be found in many religions and histories in the Middle East. And there are several explanations for the "great flood" (more a local than a global event), of which the break-through of the Mediteranian into the Black sea seems the most likely.

As I stated : the provided data was insufficient to provide space for couples of all land animals (even if that were possible). If there ever was an "Ark" and a "great flood", the size of any "Ark" should have been much bigger than any modern oil tanker, to provide more carrying capacity, not only for the animals themselves, but also for their housing, feeding, and protection.
As this was impossible with the materials available at that time, that's another reason to question the reality of Noah's "Ark".
.
But it's a nice story!

 

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 04/21/06 - Jesus' new crucifixion

I don't know whether you know this article but I'm posting it to hear what you may have to say about it.
Who will be the no-sinner to toss the first stone?

"The Crucifixion of Christ, American Style

"For God so loved the world..." he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.

By Jerry Ghinelli

04/14/06

Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ—and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.

Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named "Liberty" and "Church" in New York City, located at what has come to be known as "Ground Zero." Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.

Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable—breathtaking, you might say—in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan. Songs like "Jesus is just all right with me," "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.

Martin Luther King’s "dream" was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, "red staters" and "blue staters," even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.

The media frenzy was unprecedented. It was "all Jesus all the time": round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.
Mel Gibson, who produced the film "The Passion of the Christ," was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson’s identical twin was married.

The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, ඄ Minutes." And for good reason: This was to be "the greatest story ever told."

On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a "miracle of faith," and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, "Let freedom reign and God bless America." Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

The clock in the corner of the TV screen read "Countdown to Jesus" as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted. At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, "deafening" silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named "Trinity Place."

Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.

"Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you," he offered. "I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where over four years ago, at this exact moment, man’s inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to. "Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as ‘believers,’ but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act," said Christ.




The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of "hallelujah, hallelujah" sent goose bumps up people’s arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.
For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.

Christ continued. "But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.
"To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America—or any country, for that matter—which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago."

On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in "shock and awe" at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior. A few cheered, but Christ’s condemnation of America’s response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush—the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth—drew immediate and harsh disapproval.

Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.

Fearing that Christ’s message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to—as they term it—"swift-boat" Christ. "Swift-boat" is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning "to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom."

A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth." Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, "set the record straight."
They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of "love your enemies" was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.

"George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack—even pre-emptively attack—our enemies. Notice that I say ‘attack,’ not ‘love’," said Judas.

Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus’ "love your enemy" message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm’s way."Let he without sin cast the first spitball," Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.

The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney's clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum. One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term "Let he without sin cast the first spitball," embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling "have you hugged a terrorist today" teddy bear wearing a little turban.

On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh—the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of "ditto heads" —asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.

According to Limbaugh: "Thorns can only cause flesh wounds, and nails in your hands and feet are not lethal."
Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, "should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth . "What’s next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?" Limbaugh mocked .

Immediately after the show, on sale at www.rushlimbaugh.com were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of "thorn-resistant" "holy" garden gloves (minus the holes), and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves fail.

On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ’s "meek shall inherit the earth" remark as "communist infiltration and extremism." He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values. Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question "perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?"

President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will. "Christ is my brother," Bush emphasized, "and brothers often have differences of opinion, that’s all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas—dead or alive," he said to applause from his troops. "Semper fi," shouted Bush.

Bush declared, "Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander–in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that… all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can’t stand our freedoms," Bush said, to a standing ovation.

Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of "The Lord’s Prayer":

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And never forgive the terrorists,
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into appeasement,
and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.

The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act." .
Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to—as they term it—"Bork" Jesus.
Like "swift-boat," "Bork," taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning "to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats’ single issue of abortion."

Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, "Jesus did not have sexual relations with that woman!". With Clinton's declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ’s message that "the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.

They added that "to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s" suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.

Jewish groups, fearing that Christ—who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine—would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.
When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to "self-hating Jew."



Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church’s sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.

President Bush’s advisor and brain, Karl Rove, has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question "when did Christ stop beating his gay wife." A defensive Rove vehemently denied he was the source and offered proof by reminding everyone that the Bush administration is clear in its opposition to gay marriage.

Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle. Ann Coulter, the "angelic"-looking "Republican Party Doll," appeared on The O'Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O'Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of "Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz." However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the "wicked witch of the west" when she said: "...with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden." O'Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.

But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth," approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern–born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda. Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah. With silver selling at about $13.01 an ounce (up 32 cents), thirty pieces of silver—about $390—just doesn’t buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for "fifteen minutes of fame" instead. He is scheduled to appear on "Oprah" tomorrow, "Larry King Live" at night and "Good Morning America" the next day.

President Bush has invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for some spiritual guidance. Judas, it is expected, will also assist the President in "clearing brush" during this working vacation at the sprawling Texas compound.
All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas’s agent at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.

With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the "disciples for truth" that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location. The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ’s incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: "We wash our hands of this case." The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of convicted WorldCom (MCI) thief Bernard "Bernie" Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated. Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero’s welcome in his hometown. Signs of "Give us Bernard" appeared everywhere.

Outside the court at Christ’s hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read "crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free." He was immediately arrested. Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances. His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a "high-tech crucifixion." The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.

Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing.

"Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, once again, for they know not what they do."

Amen"

Curioous98

sarnian answered on 04/21/06:

 

Dear Curious :

I'm not a sinner ( I do not accept the "sin" concept ).
Neither will I ever be the first one to toss the first stone. ( that's normally reserved for the "rightious" of the various main-religions ).

As to the "calling of the second coming of Christ" : are there not more important issues at present on which the American interest level should focus?

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, unfair distribution of wealth, illegal immigration, death penalty, racism, gender problems, drugs, crime : just some items that come to mind?

I realise that this topic has to be taken with a smile and a wink, but still ....

From my perspective it's near to blasphemy.
And I'm atheist ....

 

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Question/Answer
BeelzeBUSH asked on 04/21/06 - Well it's come that time...

...to say good-bye.


Other than questions I asked the board, I never rated other participants replies. It's not that your answers didn't deserve excellent rating most of the times (because they did), it's just that I chose to be passive and contemplate reactions and consequences of others. I realize now that this board afforded me the opportunity to learn more about Christianity the longer I participated and I truly enjoyed my time here.



Sincerely,
George


sarnian answered on 04/21/06:

 

Dear George,

let's hope this is your final question under this handle, and not from your hand.
When the Inquisition recently hit this board with a plague of kick-off's, there was a sudden proliferation of handles.
As you do not provide any specific cause why you have to leave, I assume my reasoning is correct.
We're all in some way addicted to these boards .... :)
.
If I'm wrong I hope you're personally safe, sound and medically well, wish you all the best, and hope to see you back - either here or at WTY.

Ciao !

 

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Question/Answer
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?

sarnian answered on 04/19/06:

 

Actually : there is nothing in the Bible on suicide being an unforgiveable sin.

Augustine argued in the fifth century that suicide was a violation of the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder".

Later, Thomas Aquinas, taught that suicide was the most fatal of all sins because the victim could not repent of it.

 

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Question/Answer
andile asked on 04/19/06 - EASTER DAYS...........

To others this question may seem irrelevent but I'm sometimes confused about the celebration of Easter holidays,why do they change from time to time,sometimes in MARCH and sometimes in APRIL?

sarnian answered on 04/19/06:

 

Dear Andile :

In general Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after March 21.

The full ecclesiastical rules are:

  1. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox.
  2. this particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon)
  3. the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21.

From this results that Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.

 

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Question/Answer
andile asked on 04/19/06 - One Holy Catholic Church

Before our Savior left us He did something and promised us something.He chose the Apostle Peter to be the Head of His Church(read gospel of Matthew).He also promised us to send the Holy Spirit which will guide us (His Church).In ourdays there are thousands of Protentant churches that are outside of the Church that was installed by the Messiah Himself.Is the a chance that these Protentant churches can receive salvation,or they need to come back to the One Holy Catholic Church in other for them to be saved from eternity death?Are their sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist valid,if not why not show them the correct path to follow?

sarnian answered on 04/19/06:

 

Dear Andile :

the CHURCH JC spoke about was not the structure that later developed into the RCC.
Peter was chosen as head of a spiritual construction.
Humans changed that into a human structure, based on power and self-interest.
The human Christian church was for that reason never the Church JC really intended.
.
Within years it already started to split into fractions, and continued to do so till today, containing now over 3 main directions (the Russion Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the many Protestant Churches), and over 2.500 denominations and hundreds of sects.
.
So before you start making suggestions : what may that "correct path to follow" be? Which path? Who's path? Can you raise yourself above all human infighting, selfinterest, and intolerance?

 

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/15/06 - A WORD ABOUT HONESTY:


HAPPY EASTER, guys!

When I think of TRUTH, I automatically think of HONESTY since being HONEST is a pleasure. It allows me to experience a clear conscience and sweet dreams on a daily basis. What is my definition of HONESTY? It's a virtue that requires moral and ethical understanding. It allows me respect and merit from even the unworthy. Forthright, honorable, trustworthy and truthful inclinations partition themselves from the inadequate personality -- the enemy in some cases. From the opponents of justice and all else that is good. These characteristics of the human mind chant words of praise for celebration and a passion respectful to all of mankind. It's a medium of artistic expression which solidifies my basic foundation for living --- my knowledge of Lutheranism, God's Word and my love for my fellow man. Why? This philosophy nullifies the ordinary, the fraudulent, the deceitful. The HONEST person is heroic! DO YOU AGREE?

* From my book manuscript - "Never A Toadstool" (Pg 202) Not in print as yet!

HANK

sarnian answered on 04/17/06:

 

On "A WORD ABOUT HONESTY" by HANK1.

Happy Easter to you too, Hank.

When I think of Truth, I too see that link to Honesty since being Honest is indeed a pleasure.

But than WHY, dear Hank, do I see you having so much trouble in being honest and true?

After they kicked you off here, your participation on WTY was not really a display of Honesty and Truth neither, wasn't it?

Moral and ethical understanding, respect and merit, honorable, trustworthy and truthful inclinations : all fine character features.

But than there is that "passion respectful to all of mankind".
You clearly failed in that one.

And this "philosophy that nullifies the ordinary, the fraudulent, the deceitful" : didn't you participate in that just as well, and as eager as well?

"The HONEST person is heroic!"
No Hank : the HONEST person is just that : honest.
You clearly still have a lot to learn ....

 

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Question/Answer
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.

sarnian answered on 04/17/06:

 

Dear PC :

you either accept the Bible, or you don't.
As Christian one should not select what suits you in the Bible, and what not.

As clearly can be seen from all the statements by JC the Bible does not promote life based on self-interest or money making.

JC was clear : live your life in a social way, help your brothers and sisters who need help.
Even help those that are not brothers and sisters.

JC never promoted a capitalistic lifestyle.
But he clearly underlined the socialistic way of life as the correct way (social not as in communist).

The reference to the OT is less relevant, as Christianity and Christian thinking is mainly brought to us in the NT.

 

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 04/16/06 - Embalming.........................

Is it proper since Christians are supposed to go "from dust to dust"? If I'm embalmed, I will never get to the final dust stage. Then what?

sarnian answered on 04/17/06:

 

Dear CeeBee,

whatever one does to the corpse, in a short time period it will deteriorated into dust any way. Be that hundred, thousand, or ten thousand years, the end result is the same.

The average person gets 75 years old.
Christians are here about 2.000 years.
Human civilisation exists about 10.000 years.
Humans as in Homo Sapiens exist about 350.000 years.
Early humans exist for about 1 Million years.
Humanoids exist about 5 Million years.
Mammals exist about 250 Million years.
Multi-cellular life is about 600 Million years old.
Early one-celled life earth is about 4.000 Million years old.
The earth is about 4.600 Million years old.
The universe as we know it exists about 14.000 Million years.

It's our human understanding of time that's the real problem here!
Everything we are and know came from (star)dust, and to dust we all will return. ALL.

 

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/16/06 - Resurrection:



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

sarnian answered on 04/17/06:

 

Dear Hank :

This is similar to your previous question on cremation being (un)Christian.

And my answer is similar :

If you really believe in the resurrection of Christ and all it's consequences, than there is no difference.

Or would you suggest that there are things God is incapable of?

You almost start sounding as some of the many atheists I know ... :)

 

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/16/06 - CREMATION:



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

sarnian answered on 04/17/06:

 

Dear Hank :

When you die - accordingly to christian religion - the SOUL depart upwards, and the rest remains on earth as the empty remainder.

In Christianity the soul is important , not the skin and bones.
The resurrection also has to be seen in this same light.

Creation may not have been a practice in the regio where Christianity developed. But 2000 years later Christianity has spread alover the world. Including to such places where cremation is more or less standard procedure.
Does that make Christianity in such areas less Christian? No of course.

There is only one commmon Christian practice : belief in God/JC.
And even on that it seems that the 2.500+ Christian denominations are not so sure of .....

 

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/14/06 - Are you trapped in a paradox?

The Christian paradox

April 15, 2006
How can a faithful nation get Jesus so wrong? What it means to be Christian in America today. By Bill McKibben.

It is said that only 40 per cent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve per cent believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. This failure to recall the specifics of Christianity may be further evidence of the nation's educational decline but it probably doesn't matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: 75 per cent of Americans believe the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. That is, three out of four Americans believe that this notion, at the core of American politics and culture and which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, appears in Holy Scripture. And Franklin's homily is counterbiblical.

Few notions could be further from its radical summons to love they neighbour. On this essential matter, most American Christians are simply wrong; it's as if 75 per cent of American scientists believed that Isaac Newton proved that gravity caused apples to ascend.

When we say we are a Christian nation and, overwhelmingly, we do, it means something. People who go to church absorb lessons there and make decisions based on those lessons; increasingly, these lessons inform their politics. (One poll found that 11 per cent of American churchgoers were urged by their clergy to vote in a particular way in the 2004 election, up from 6 per cent in 2000.) When George Bush says that Jesus Christ is his favourite philosopher, he may or may not be sincere but he is reflecting the sincere beliefs of the majority of Americans.

And therein is the paradox. America is the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behaviour. That paradox illuminates the hollow core of our boastful, careening culture. Ours is among the most spiritually homogenous, rich nations. About 85 per cent of us call ourselves Christians. Israel, in comparison, is 77 per cent Jewish. About 75 per cent of Americans claim they pray to God daily and 33 per cent say they manage to get to church every week. Still, even if that 85 per cent overstates actual practice, there is nothing else that unites more than four-fifths of America. It is a nation saturated in Christian identity.

But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was specific about what he had in mind for his followers. In the days before his crucifixion, Jesus said you could tell the righteous from the damned by whether they'd fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger and visited the prisoner.

What if we chose some simple criterion, say, giving aid to the poorest people, as a reasonable example of Christian behaviour? In 2004, the US ranked second last among developed countries in government foreign aid, measured as a share of their economies. Per capita, we each give 15 cents a day in official development assistance to poor countries. And donations to private charities for relief work increased our average daily donation by only six cents, to 21 cents. We gave little to poor countries not because we were too busy taking care of our own; nearly 18 per cent of American children live in poverty (compared with 8 per cent in Sweden). Judging by just about any measure you want to propose - childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool - we come in nearly last among rich nations and often by a wide margin.

So Christian America trails badly in all these areas to which Jesus paid particular attention. And these social indicators are not getting better. The US Department of Agriculture reported in 2004 that the number of "food insecure" households had risen more than 26 per cent between 1999 and 2003. Despite the sixth commandment, the US is the most violent of the rich nations, with a murder rate four or five times that of its European peers. Its prison population is six to seven times bigger than those of other rich nations. Having been told to turn the other cheek, the US is the only Western democracy that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is strongest. Despite Jesus' opposition to divorce, more than 50 per cent of US marriages end, compared with the European Union average of about four in 10. The divorce rate among the godless Dutch is about 37 per cent. Teenage pregnancy? We're at the top of the charts.

Are Americans hypocrites? Of course they are. But most people, including me, are hypocrites. The more troubling explanation for this disconnection between belief and action is that most Americans, which means most believers, have replaced the Christianity of the Bible, with its call for sharing and personal sacrifice, with a competing creed, possibly several competing creeds.

The one that frightens me most comes from the sprawling megachurches. Its deviation is subtle - most of what gets preached in these palaces isn't loony at all but disturbingly conventional, with pastors focusing relentlessly on individual needs. Their goal is to service consumers - not communities but individuals, those who feel the need for some spirituality in their (or their children's) lives. The result is a comfortable, suburban faith.

A reporter from The New York Times, who recently visited one booming megachurch outside Phoenix, found a typical scene: a drive-through latte stand, Krispy Kreme doughnuts at every service, and sermons about how to discipline your children, how to reach your professional goals, how to invest your money, how to reduce your debt. On Sundays children played with church-distributed Xboxes and many congregants signed up for a twice-weekly aerobics class called Firm Believers.

Not that any of this is so bad in itself. We do have stressful lives, humour does help and you should pay attention to your own needs. All the accompanying Christian self-help books have turned people into better parents, better spouses, better bosses. It's just that the authors of these creeds, in presenting their sensible advice, somehow manage to ignore Jesus' radical and demanding focus on others. It may be true that God helps those who help themselves, both financially and emotionally. (Certainly fortune does.) But if so it's still a subsidiary truth of Christianity.

The contemporary Christian creed mirrors those on the secular bestseller lists, indeed of secular culture, with their fixation on self-improvement and self esteem.

These similarities make it difficult (although not impossible) for the televangelists to posit themselves as embattled figures in a culture war - they offer too uncanny a reflection of the dominant culture, a culture of unrelenting self obsession. Who am I to criticise someone else's religion? After all, if there is anything Americans agree on, it's that we should tolerate everyone else's religion. I can answer only that I'm a Christian. Not a professional one; I'm an environmental writer mostly. I've never progressed further in the church hierarchy than Sunday school teacher at my Methodist church. But I've spent most of my Sunday mornings in a pew. I grew up in church youth groups and stayed active most of my adult life, started homeless shelters in church basements, served soup at the church food pantry, climbed to the top of the rickety ladder to put the star on the church Christmas tree.

My work has been, at times, influenced by all that I've written - extensively about the Book of Job, which to me is the first great piece of nature writing in the Western tradition - and about the overlaps between Christianity and environmentalism. It was my work with religious environmentalists that first got me thinking along the lines of this essay. We were trying to get politicians to understand why the Bible actually mandated protecting the world around us.

One day it occurred to me that the parts of the world where people actually had reduced their carbon emissions, lived voluntarily in smaller houses and used public transport, were the same countries where people were helping the poor and making sure everyone had health care - countries such as Norway and Sweden, where religion was relatively unimportant. How could that be? For Christians it was unnerving to contemplate that there were some getting around to solving their problems and strengthening their communities without religion.

But the European success is less interesting than the American failure. Because we're not going to be like them. Maybe we'd be better off if we abandoned religion for secular rationality but we're not going to; for the foreseeable future this will be a Christian nation. But what kind of Christian nation?

When one of the Pharisees asked Jesus what the core of the law was, Jesus replied: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself".

Love your neighbour as yourself: although its rhetorical power has been dimmed by repetition, it is a radical notion. Jesus made it very clear who the neighbour you were supposed to love was: the poor person, the sick person, the naked person, the hungry person. The last shall be made first; turn the other cheek; a rich person aiming for heaven is like a camel trying to walk through the eye of a needle. On and on and on - a call for a radical, voluntary and effective reordering of power relationships, based on the principle of love. We tend not to talk about such things in public: my theory of what Jesus mostly meant seems like it should be left in church, or confined to some religious publication. But remember the overwhelming connection between America and Christianity; what Jesus meant is the most deeply potent political, cultural and social question. To ignore it, or leave it to the bullies and the salesmen of the televangelist sects, means to walk away from a central battle over American identity. At the moment, Jesus has been hijacked by people with causes that do not reflect his teachings. The Bible is a long book, and even the Gospels have plenty in them, some of it seemingly contradictory and hard to fathom. But love your neighbour as yourself - not do unto others as you would have them do unto you - suffices. There is no disputing the centrality of this message, nor is there any disputing how easy it is to ignore. Because it is so counter-intuitive, Christians have had to keep repeating it to themselves.

American churches, by and large, have done a pretty good job of loving the neighbour in the next pew. A pastor can spend all Sunday talking about the Rapture Index but if his congregation is thriving you can be assured he's spending the other six days visiting people in hospital, counselling couples and sitting up with grieving widows. All this human connection is important. But if the theology makes it harder to love the neighbour a little further away - particularly the poor and the weak - then it is a problem. And the dominant theologies of the moment do just that. They undercut Jesus, muffle his hard words, deaden his call, and in the end silence him. The consumer gospel of the suburban megachurches is a perfect match for conservative economic creeds about personal responsibility instead of collective action. Privatise social security? Keep health care for people who can afford it? File those under God helps those who help themselves.

Take Alabama as an example. In 2002, Bob Riley was elected governor of the state, where 90 per cent of residents identify themselves as Christians. Riley could safely be called a conservative right-wing major domo - Grover Norquist gave him a Friend of the Taxpayer Award every year he was in Congress, where he'd never voted for a tax increase. But when he took over Alabama, he found himself administering a tax code that dated to 1901. The richest Alabamians paid three per cent of their income in taxes, and the poorest paid up to 12 per cent; income taxes kicked in if a family of four made $4600 (even in Mississippi the threshold was $19,000), while out-of-state timber companies paid $1.25 an acre in property taxes.

Alabama was 48th in total state and local taxes, and the largest proportion of that income came from sales tax a super-regressive tax that in some counties reached into double digits. So Riley proposed a tax hike, partly to dig the state out of a fiscal crisis and partly to put more money into the state's school system, routinely ranked near the worst in the nation. He argued that it was Christian duty to look after the poor more carefully.

Had the new law passed, the owner of a $250,000 home in Montgomery would have paid $1432 in property taxes - we're not talking Sweden here. But it didn't pass. It was crushed by a factor of two to one. Sixty-eight per cent of the state voted against it meaning, of course, something like 68 percent of the Christians who voted. The opposition was led, in fact, not just by the state's wealthiest interests but also by the Christian Coalition of Alabama. You'll find most Alabamians have got a charitable heart, said John Giles, the group's president. They just don't want it coming out of their pockets.

On its website, the group argued that taxing the rich at a higher rate than the poor results in punishing success and that when an individual works for their income, that money belongs to the individual. You might as well just cite chapter and verse from Poor Richards Almanack. And whatever the ideology, the results are clear. I'm tired of Alabama being first in things that are bad, said Governor Riley, and last in things that are good.

A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to get into heaven. Jesus did not recommend that he should invest, spend and let the benefits trickle down; he said sell what you have, give the money to the poor and follow me. Few plainer words have been spoken.

And yet the Christian Coalition of America, founded in 1989 to preserve, protect and defend the Judeo-Christian values that made this the greatest country in history, said last year that its legislative priority would be making permanent President George Bush's 2001 federal tax cuts.

A furore erupted last spring when it emerged that a Colorado jury had consulted the Bible before sentencing a killer to death.

Experts debated whether the (Christian) jurors should have used an outside authority in their deliberations and of course the Christian right saw that as one more sign of a secular society devaluing religion. But a more interesting question would have been why the jurors fixated on Leviticus 24, with its call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

They had missed Jesus' explicit refutation in the New Testament: "You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also."

And on and on. The power of the Christian right rests largely in the fact that they boldly claim religious authority, and by their boldness convince the rest of us that they must know what they're talking about. They're like the guy who gives you directions with such loud confidence that you drive on even though the road appears to be turning into a faint, rutted track.

But their theology is also appealing in that it coincides with what we want to believe. How nice it would be if Jesus had declared that our income was ours to keep, instead of insisting that we share. How satisfying it would be if we were supposed to hate our enemies.

But the gospel, in demanding a departure from selfishness, conflicts with all our desires. Even the first time around, judging by the reaction, the Gospels were pretty unwelcome news to many people. But taking seriously the actual message of Jesus should serve at least to moderate the greed and violence that mark this culture. It's hard to imagine a con-job more audacious than making Christ the front man for a program of tax cuts for the rich or war in Iraq. If some modest part of the 85 per cent of us who are Christians woke up to this fact, then the world might change.

It is possible, I think. Yes, the mainline Protestant churches that supported civil rights and opposed the war in Vietnam are mostly locked in a dreary decline as their congregations dwindle and their elders argue endlessly about gay clergy and same-sex unions. And the Catholic Church, for most of its American history a sturdy exponent of a love-your-neighbour theology, has been weakened, too, its hierarchy increasingly motivated by a focus on abortion.

Plenty of vital congregations are doing great works but they aren't where the challenge will arise; they've grown shy about talking about Jesus, more comfortable with the language of sociology and politics.

The best-selling of all Christian books in recent years, Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life, illustrates the possibilities. It has all the hallmarks of self absorption but it also makes a powerful case that we're made for a mission. What that mission is never becomes clear but the thirst for it is real. And there's no great need for Warren to state that purpose anyhow. For Christians, the message of the Gospels is clear enough. If you have any doubts, read the Sermon on the Mount.

Admittedly, this is hope against hope; more likely the money changers and power brokers will remain ascendant in our spiritual life. Since the days of Constantine, emperors and rich men have sought to co-opt the teachings of Jesus. As in so many areas of our increasingly market-tested lives, the TV men, politicians and the Christian interest groups have found a way to make each of us complicit in that travesty, too. They have invited us to subvert the church of Jesus even as we celebrate it. With their help we have made golden calves of ourselves, become a nation of terrified, self-obsessed idols. It works, and it may well keep working for a long time to come. When Americans hunger for selfless love and are fed only love of self, they will remain hungry, and too often hungry people just come back for more of the same.

- Harper's Magazine

Bill McKibben is the author of many books, including The End of Nature and Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape.

sarnian answered on 04/15/06:

 

PC :

there is no paradox at all. And as atheist I can tell you why that is.

You are not Christian because of what you say.
You are not Christian because of what you think.
You are not Christian because of what you claim.
You are not Christian because of what you pray.
You are not Christian because of what you donate to your church.
You are not Christian because of the number of times you go to church.
.
You are only a Christian when you believe in JC and live your life as indicated by JC (and this last one seems to be the big problem in the US).

 

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Question/Answer
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 (Zenit.org).- 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."

Rejection

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."

sarnian answered on 04/14/06:

 

Dear Fred,

This is precisely what makes it so hard to accept the Roman Catholic Hierarchial system.

If new data becomes available - as in this case on Judas - one likes to make up one's own mind, based on the provided information and follow up discussions.

The RCC hierarchy makes this impossible for all it's followers with it's claim of Papal infallicy.

After all : how can any RCC believer still make up the mind otherwise as the Pope did now, as that would mean that any other conclusion than the one by Benedict XVI is incorrect, and may be even against God?

Papal infallacy makes religious marionettes of all RCC believers. This is NOT how JC wanted to Christianity to develop. He never tought his followers to close their minds for new input.

I do not take any position on Judas.

That is beyond the scope of my reply.

I reject the system that allows one HUMAN to block new views and new evidence that MAY BE of value to Christianity.

Salamat, Fred.

 

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Question/Answer
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!

Joe

sarnian answered on 04/14/06:

 

Thank you, and you too, Joe.

But I have to work this weekend, as my patients at the hospes like to celebrate their last Easter.
But I don't complain : I may have many more Easterns, and it's a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces.

 

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/13/06 - Here is what a Former Governor said. Do you agree?

I HAVE A PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA
RICHARD D. LAMM
Former Governor of Colorado

I HAVE A SECRET PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. IF YOU BELIEVE, AS MANY DO, THAT AMERICA IS TOO SMUG, TOO WHITE BREAD, TOO SELF-SATISFIED, TOO RICH, LETS DESTROY AMERICA. IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO DO. HISTORY SHOWS THAT NATIONS ARE MORE FRAGILE THAN THEIR CITIZENS THINK. NO NATION IN HISTORY HAS SURVIVED THE RAVAGES OF TIME. ARNOLD TOYNBEE OBSERVED THAT ALL GREAT CIVILIZATIONS RISE AND THEY ALL FALL, AND THAT "AN AUTOPSY OF HISTORY WOULD SHOW THAT ALL GREAT NATIONS COMMIT SUICIDE." HERE IS MY PLAN:

I. WE MUST FIRST MAKE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY. HISTORY SHOWS, IN MY OPINION, THAT NO NATION CAN SURVIVE THE TENSION, CONFLICT, AND ANTAGONISM OF TWO COMPETING LANGUAGES AND CULTURES. IT IS A BLESSING FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE BILINGUAL; IT IS A CURSE FOR A SOCIETY TO BE BILINGUAL. ONE SCHOLAR, SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET, PUT IT THIS WAY:
THE HISTORIES OF BILINGUAL AND BICULTURAL SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT ASSIMILATE ARE HISTORIES OF TURMOIL, TENSION, AND TRAGEDY. CANADA, BELGIUM, MALAYSIA, LEBANON-ALL FACE CRISES OF NATIONAL EXISTENCE IN WHICH MINORITIES PRESS FOR AUTONOMY, IF NOT INDEPENDENCE. PAKISTAN AND CYPRUS HAVE DIVIDED. NIGERIA SUPPRESSED AN ETHNIC REBELLION. FRANCE FACES DIFFICULTIES WITH ITS BASQUES, BRETONS, AND CORSICANS.
II. I WOULD THEN INVENT "MULTICULTURALISM" AND ENCOURAGE IMMIGRANTS TO MAINTAIN THEIR OWN CULTURE. I WOULD MAKE IT AN ARTICLE OF BELIEF THAT ALL CULTURES ARE EQUAL: THAT THERE ARE NO CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THAT ARE IMPORTANT. I WOULD DECLARE IT AN ARTICLE OF FAITH THAT THE BLACK AND HISPANIC DROPOUT RATE IS ONLY DUE TO PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION BY THE MAJORITY. EVERY OTHER EXPLANATION IS OUT-OF-BOUNDS.

III. WE CAN MAKE THE UNITED STATES A "HISPANIC QUEBEC" WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT. THE KEY IS TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY RATHER THAN UNITY. AS BENJAMIN SCHWARZ SAID IN THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY RECENTLY:
...THE APPARENT SUCCESS OF OUR OWN MULTIETHNIC AND MULTICULTURAL EXPERIMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED NOT BY TOLERANCE BUT BY HEGEMONY. WITHOUT THE DOMINANCE THAT ONCE DICTATED ETHNOCENTRICALLY, AND WHAT IT MEANT TO BE AN AMERICAN, WE ARE LEFT WITH ONLY TOLERANCE AND PLURALISM TO HOLD US TOGETHER.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL IMMIGRANTS TO KEEP THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE. I WOULD REPLACE THE MELTING POT METAPHOR WITH A SALAD BOWL METAPHOR. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INSURE THAT WE HAVE VARIOUS CULTURAL SUB-GROUPS LIVING IN AMERICA REINFORCING THEIR DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN AMERICANS, EMPHASIZING THEIR SIMILARITIES.

IV. HAVING DONE ALL THIS, I WOULD MAKE OUR FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP THE LEAST EDUCATED - I WOULD ADD A SECOND UNDERCLASS, UNASSIMILATED, UNDEREDUCATED, AND ANTAGONISTIC TO OUR POPULATION. I WOULD HAVE THIS SECOND UNDERCLASS HAVE A 50% DROP OUT RATE FROM SCHOOL.

V. I WOULD THEN GET THE BIG FOUNDATIONS AND BIG BUSINESS TO GIVE THESE EFFORTS LOTS OF MONEY. I WOULD INVEST IN ETHNIC IDENTITY, AND I WOULD ESTABLISH THE CULT OF VICTIMOLOGY. I WOULD GET ALL MINORITIES TO THINK THEIR LACK OF SUCCESS WAS ALL THE FAULT OF THE MAJORITY - I WOULD START A GRIEVANCE INDUSTRY BLAMING ALL MINORITY FAILURE ON THE MAJORITY POPULATION.

VI. I WOULD ESTABLISH DUAL CITIZENSHIP AND PROMOTE DIVIDED LOYALTIES. I WOULD "CELEBRATE DIVERSITY." "DIVERSITY" IS A WONDERFULLY SEDUCTIVE WORD. IT STRESSES DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN COMMONALITIES. DIVERSE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE MOSTLY ENGAGED IN HATING EACH OTHER-THAT IS, WHEN THEY ARE NOT KILLING EACH OTHER. A DIVERSE," PEACEFUL, OR STABLE SOCIETY IS AGAINST MOST HISTORICAL PRECEDENT. PEOPLE UNDERVALUE THE UNITY IT TAKES TO KEEP A NATION TOGETHER, AND WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MYOPIA. LOOK AT THE ANCIENT GREEKS. DORF'S WORLD HISTORY TELLS US:
THE GREEKS BELIEVED THAT THEY BELONGED TO THE SAME RACE; THEY POSSESSED A COMMON LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE; AND THEY WORSHIPED THE SAME GODS. ALL GREECE TOOK PART IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN HONOR OF ZEUS AND ALL GREEKS VENERATED THE SHRINE OF APOLLO AT DELPHI. A COMMON ENEMY PERSIA THREATENED THEIR LIBERTY. YET, ALL OF THESE BONDS TOGETHER WERE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO OVERCOME TWO FACTORS . . . (LOCAL PATRIOTISM AND GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS THAT NURTURED POLITICAL DIVISIONS . . .)
IF WE CAN PUT THE EMPHASIS ON THE "PLURIBUS," INSTEAD OF THE "UNUM," WE CAN BALKANIZE AMERICA AS SURELY AS KOSOVO.

VII. THEN I WOULD PLACE ALL THESE SUBJECTS OFF LIMITS - MAKE IT TABOO TO TALK ABOUT. I WOULD FIND A WORD SIMILAR TO "HERETIC" IN THE 16TH CENTURY - THAT STOPPED DISCUSSION AND PARALYZED THINKING. WORDS LIKE "RACIST", "XENOPHOBE" THAT HALTS ARGUMENT AND CONVERSATION.

HAVING MADE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY, HAVING ESTABLISHED MULTICULTURALISM, HAVING THE LARGE FOUNDATIONS FUND THE DOCTRINE OF "VICTIMOLOGY", I WOULD NEXT MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ENFORCE OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. I WOULD DEVELOP A MANTRA - "THAT BECAUSE IMMIGRATION HAS BEEN GOOD FOR AMERICA, IT MUST ALWAYS BE GOOD." I WOULD MAKE EVERY INDIVIDUAL IMMIGRANT SYMPATRIC AND IGNORE THE CUMULATIVE IMPACT.

VIII. LASTLY, I WOULD CENSOR Victor Davis Hanson’s BOOK MEXIFORNIA — THIS BOOK IS DANGEROUS — IT EXPOSES MY PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. SO PLEASE, PLEASE — IF YOU FEEL THAT AMERICA DESERVES TO BE DESTROYED — PLEASE, PLEASE — DON'T BUY THIS BOOK! THIS GUY IS ON TO MY PLAN.
"THE SMART WAY TO KEEP PEOPLE PASSIVE AND OBEDIENT IS TO STRICTLY LIMIT THE SPECTRUM OF ACCEPTABLE OPINION, BUT ALLOW VERY LIVELY DEBATE WITHIN THAT SPECTRUM." — NOAM CHOMSKY, AMERICAN LINGUIST AND US MEDIA AND FOREIGN POLICY CRITIC.

sarnian answered on 04/13/06:

 

Dear Fred,

RICHARD D.Lamms steps :

  1. BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY
  2. MULTICULTURALISM" AND ENCOURAGE IMMIGRANTS TO MAINTAIN THEIR OWN CULTURE
  3. HISPANIC QUEBEC : THE KEY IS TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY RATHER THAN UNITY
  4. MAKE OUR FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP THE LEAST EDUCATED
  5. INVEST IN ETHNIC IDENTITY, AND I WOULD ESTABLISH THE CULT OF VICTIMOLOGY
  6. ESTABLISH DUAL CITIZENSHIP AND PROMOTE DIVIDED LOYALTIES. I WOULD "CELEBRATE DIVERSITY."
  7. PLACE ALL THESE SUBJECTS OFF LIMITS - MAKE IT TABOO TO TALK ABOUT
  8. CENSOR Victor Davis Hanson’s BOOK MEXIFORNIA — THIS BOOK IS DANGEROUS

With only very few changes I can modify this to suit the West European problem with their muslim immigrant problem.

I'll copy this for further use here.
Thanks for posting this (I admit : valuable) cut and paste ! :)

 

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/13/06 - Any suggestions ??

What would you do with a dybbuk?

sarnian answered on 04/13/06:

 

A dybbuk is the term for a wandering soul that attaches itself to a living person,
and controls that person's behavior to accomplish a task. So what to do with it?

It must be exorcised by a prescribed religious rite.

 



 

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/13/06 - Where is God in all this?

Suffering casts a shadow on our existence and Easter time is an occasion to place these harsh realities in sharper focus. So many of us are faced with the agonising question: Where is God in all this? The mystery of Christ's sacrifice makes us grapple with the enigma of evil - especially that wrong that emanates from man himself - and its consequences.

sarnian answered on 04/13/06:

 

In this society and culture AD 2006 the harsh reliality is that the emphasis is at materialism, "me, myself, and I", and the Dollar-god.
Spiritual well being - of whatever kind and of whatever preference - takes second place to that.
From your perspective I'm sure you regret that, but it's the reality ...
.
 

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Question/Answer
BeelzeBUSH asked on 04/11/06 - Christian New Testament...


When was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John first written?





George


sarnian answered on 04/11/06:

 

The precise dates are not known.
The following dates are based on traditional views and/or the content of the gospels themselves.

Luke : this Gospel was written between 60-63.
Alternately it was written in Rome between 40–60.

Mark : based on Mark 13 alone, between 30 to 70.

Luke : most probably in the early 60's.
A later date has been suggested around 70-80.

JohnI : most likely this written between 85-95.

 

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 04/11/06 - WWW III?


Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iraqi Christians crowded Palm Sunday services in Baghdad. “We are not afraid,” said Mayssoun Ishoo, a Syriac Catholic who, with other faithful, attended services at the church of the barefooted Carmelites friars, in Baghdad to start Holy Week celebrations.

The church was one of the five Christian places of worship hit by bomb attacks in August 2004. It was further targeted by another bomb last October. But yesterday, Palm Sunday, it was hit by throngs of people, families with their children.

“Attacks in the last few months have not stopped us from attending service,” many of them said.
Still, Mgr Shaba Matoka, head of the Syriac Catholic Church, said that “we are not always certain that we can live in peace”. In his opinion,the “troublemakers are not true Iraqis, but foreigners and those who serve foreign interests”.

It is really a shame that a beautiful country like Iraq, with a tremendous historical and cultural background behind, has to be suffering as they are.
But President Bush seems to be adamant and unyielding about anything else but continuing the war, despite the increasing domestic criticism.

A few examples of this criticism:

By Michael Janofsky
The New York Times
Published: Monday, April 3, 2006

WASHINGTON - For the second time in two weeks, a retired general has called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over what both generals described as serious mistakes made in the war in Iraq.

In remarks on Sunday on the NBC program ``Meet the Press,'' Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, a former commander of Central Command for the Middle East, said Rumsfeld, among others, should be held accountable for tactical mistakes in Iraq.

Asked who should resign, Zinni said, ``Secretary of Defense, to begin with,'' adding that resignations should also come from others responsible for planning the war effort and military officials who sat by without pointing out potential problems.

By ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 11, 2006

President Bush's first secretary of state, Colin Powell, has lent his voice to a growing chorus of former military leaders and prominent neoconservatives questioning the decisions of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in Iraq.

Against a backdrop of rumors of a pending resignation, more deadly terror attacks in Iraq, and sinking popularity for the war, Mr. Powell over the weekend said bluntly that missteps were made during the war that led to the current level of the insurgency.

Speaking Saturday to the annual conference of the National School Board Association, Mr. Powell said,"We made some serious mistakes in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad," the Chicago Sun-Times reported. "We didn't have enough troops on the ground. We didn't impose our will. And as a result, an insurgency got started, and ... it got out of control."

© 2006 Reuters

Critics of the Bush administration in the US expressed alarm about explosive new reports that the president is mulling military options to knock out Iran's nuclear program.

Retired General Anthony Zinni, the former head of US Central Command, told US television he had no detailed knowledge of the alleged military plans, but he suggested a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program would be extremely risky.

"Any military plan involving Iran is going to be very difficult. We should not fool ourselves to think it will just be a strike and then it will be over," said Zinni.

"The Iranians will retaliate, and they have many possibilities in an area where there are many vulnerabilities, from our troop positions to the oil and gas in the region that can be interrupted, to attacks on Israel, to the conduct of terrorism," he said.

Zinni made his remarks after the publication of a pair of reports this weekend saying the administration is seriously considering military action against Iran, amid a stalemate in diplomatic efforts.

The New Yorker magazine reported the administration is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key suspected Iranian nuclear weapons facility.

Are we facing WWIII as a consequence of some stranded paranoia?

Comments, please
Curious98

sarnian answered on 04/11/06:

 

Dear Curios :

WWIII ? No : the invasion of Iraq may have been "only" the introduction to that.
Seen the results of what happended sofar in Iraq with the "mighty" US army I however fear that the unwise decision (if it ever comes to that) to invade Iran may indeed be the start of a big war there in the Middle East.

As I don't think that the US allies will this time once again back-up the US in invading Iran (as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq), the chance that it escalates into a worldwar is slim.

Let's all hope anyway that sanity will prevail ....

 

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Question/Answer
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.

sarnian answered on 04/11/06:

 

I fear that f.i. the statistics for the US will not be much better.
Worldwide it is dangerous to be a woman ...
I wonder if there have been scientific investigations on what is causing this situation (besides too much testosteron), and IF there is anything that can be done about that.
It remains shocking ...

 

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/11/06 - Christians Harass Homosexuals

—"Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.


Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian.

copy and paste from the LA Times on line.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

So, the "right to be Christian" means the right to harass homosexuals?

Huh, what would Jesus do?

sarnian answered on 04/11/06:

 

It is remarkeble to note how intolerant some christians have become. Their main concern seems to be to point out the "sin" of all others, instead of concentrating on their own "sin".

Not being a christian myself, all I can guess JC would say about this is :

"Let those without "sin" throw the first stone" ....

 

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 04/11/06 - Just came across this question in a newspaper.

Do Christians live up to what they preach?

sarnian answered on 04/11/06:

 

Dear Rolcam,

from my viewpoint many don't.

I don't mind that they can't do precisely what they believe (and what they know they should do). We all make mistakes and we all are wrong at times.

But when they don't live up to what they openly preach to be "correct", than my reaction is "no, they don't".

This board is a good example of that.

 

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/10/06 - World Peace

Secular Humanist/Atheist speaking tomorrow regarding glogal ethics:

"At a time when ancient rivalries and violence threaten humankind every day, is it possible to resolve conflicts before they lead to war, overcome environmental policies that endanger our common planetary habitat, and bridge the severe disparities in income and wealth? Can we develop new ethical values appropriate to our modern global condition?

"Yes," says Paul Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry-Transnational. "Not only is it possible, it is urgent that we find a common ground to develop civic virtues for living on the same planet together."

In a lecture Tuesday evening at United Nations Plaza, Dr. Kurtz will talk about the need to overcome the ancient religious, ethnic, racial, and nationalistic views of the past in order to develop moral principles appripriate to the twenty-first centruy and beyond. He wlll explain a new Planetary Ethics that focuses on the dignity and value of every person and a life that is intrinsically worthwhile, informed by reason, and infused with passion and committment.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


I find it ironic that an atheist/secular humanist is talking about peace and two major religions, Islam and Christianity favor war and world domination.

Do you find this ironic.






sarnian answered on 04/10/06:

 

Dear Jack,

Do you really find it ironic that an atheist/secular humanist is talking about peace while two major religions, Islam and Christianity favor war and world domination? I don't find that ironic at all.

Secular Humanism' central point is it's interest in human wellbeing.
Morals and ethics are therefore very important to a humanist.
To know what is moral and what is not you only have to refer to :

"Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself"

Now, Christianity (and you can see that very well here on this board) puts little emphasis on human wellbeing here on earth, and much more on wellbeing in "the hereafter".
No wonder than that religion tends to excuse war and world domination.

Christianity is in a special position here : if Christians would really accept the instructions of their leader JC, they should be less targeted on themselves and their own interests, and much more committed to the interests of all other people - worldwide.

What is remarkable with most religions is that they often claim to be the "carriers" of morals and ethics, while the reality is most of the time the opposite.
They mainly use morals and ethics when it suits them.

Thanks for drawing attention to Paul Kurtz' statements. Very interesting !

 

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Question/Answer
GANESAN asked on 04/08/06 - ELECTRICAL

HOW TRANSFORMER IS WORKING

sarnian answered on 04/08/06:

 

Dear Ganesan,

as you do not indicate any specifics on what you mean with "transformer", I have to assume you mean an electrical transformer. Let me know if you meant anything else, so I can upgrade my reply.

The working of a transformer :

As electricity and magnetism are two different manifestations of the same natural (electro-magnetic) force, this phenomena is used to change voltages by means of a transformer.

Around a core of magnetizable material (for instance iron) there are two multiple windings.

The primary winding is connected to an electrical AC source, which creates a 50 or 60 cycle magnetic field in the core. The strength of the field depends on the current through the primary winding : the higher the voltage and the lower the number of (or the thicker the) wires, the higher the current. However : too high a current will heat the wires till they (or a fuse) melt.

The secundary winding converts the magnetic field back into an electrical signal again.

The maximum power transformed depends on the magnetic field, whereby power means voltage times current.

The ratio between the primary and secundary number of winding times the input voltage results in the output voltage of the secundary windings.

Note 1 : as magnetism can only be transformed into electricity, when the magnetic field is changing, a transformer requires AC and not DC.

Note 2 : transformers become more efficient with rising frequency of the AC source.
That is why computers use not the mains frequency of 50 / 60 cycles, but frequencies of up to 35 kilocycles.
At that frequency transformer can be much smaller and many times more efficient.

I hope this helps you.

Remains one question : why did you post this on the Christianity board? Nobody there at the physics board? :)

 

Question/Answer
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,

sarnian answered on 04/07/06:

 

No, to me hell does not exist.
Not here on earth, and surely not in some claimed afterlife.

I'm basically a happy and well-balanced person who does not fear anything but extreme human violence and hatred.

 

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Question/Answer
BeelzeBUSH asked on 04/06/06 - Silly email...

It's wise to remember how easily this wonderful technology can be misused, sometimes unintentionally, with serious consequences.

Consider the case of the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory.

Unfortunately, he missed one letter, and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher's wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

PS. Sure is damn hot down here



sarnian answered on 04/07/06:

 

BeelzeBUSH :

with this one you beat Fred with his often silly emails .... I really never thought that was possible :)

  1. Not remembering the email address
  2. Making a typing error in the email address
  3. Directed to an elderly preacher's wife
  4. Who's husband just died one day earlier
  5. And than that message on the screen ...

Chapeau !!!

 

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/06/06 - Has Noha’s Ark been found? New satellite photo says maybe so.

ABC NEWS— A satellite image may launch a scientific expedition to search for Noah's Ark. The snapshot captures a mysterious object on Turkey's Mount Ararat.
"I see for a 1,015 feet in length a shiplike object that has almost unbroken symmetry," said Porcher Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of Richmond.
Taylor, a professor of national security law, spent the past 13 years on a quest to discover what is on Mount Ararat, the area where the Bible says Noah steered his ark through raging floodwaters. Taylor persuaded a commercial satellite company to capture the mystery shot.
He calculated that the object in the photo had the same length-to-width ratio — 300 cubits by 500 cubits — of the ark described in the Bible. That is about the size of an aircraft carrier.
"Currently, I'm working with a naval architecture team, and they're trying to determine whether a wooden boat this size could actually float," Taylor said.
Many people have long been searching for the ark.
"Czar Nicholas sent an expedition in the early 20th century," said Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible."
"U2 spy planes were shooting this mountain in the 1950s, even [President] Jimmy Carter when he was on his way to Iran was said to be looking down to see if he could see Noah's Ark."
Skeptics say that the satellite images don't prove anything and that someone will have to actually examine the objects in person. Taylor hopes someone does and turns the most famous of biblical tales into a proven fact.

sarnian answered on 04/07/06:

 

Dear Fred,

I really don't think that Noah's ark, some 4.300+ years after it's running aground - EVEN IF IT IS MORE THAN A MYTH - will have left anything that could be properly identified.

Besides that, even if such a boat would be found, it could never be proven to support the myth of Noah and his Ark.

Look at "The search for Noah's Ark at : http://arksearch.com/

The most reliable story I ever saw on this topic was by National Geographic who very well supported the possibility that the "Great Flood" was the result of the break-through of the Mediteranian into the Black Sea as a result of rising sea levels after the end of the iceage.

There have been several similar stories in different cultures in the Middle East about some Great Flood, though none of them identified the exact place and time.

Mount Ararat is in North East Turkey, and - if the Geographics story is correct - could have been the location where the Ark ended up (if there ever was an Ark)

Just keep us all informed !

 

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Question/Answer
WheninRome asked on 04/05/06 - The Pit



The Lord looked askance at the Fool, who was busy making faces behind the Lady's back.

"So, which of your Aspects have you enjoyed the most?" he said.

The Fool looked up, wiggling his ears.

"Stop that!" grinned the Lord, "I'd really like to know!"

"Well.....I suppose that it would be a toss-up between Dionysus, Tyl Eulenspiegel, and Krishna, I guess. Tyl had a whopping good time, Dionysus got to be pretty much drunk, mostly, and Krishna had those sweet little milk-maids......THAT was a good time! But Coyote gets to do most everything. I guess I like Him the best."

The Lord sat back against a tree, folded His hands, and smiled.

"Yeah, ol' Coyote gets to do everything all right...except catch the Roadrunner," he said.

"Well," said the Fool, with a lopsided grin, "I guess I'm the only One of Us that perpetually chases Myself!"

The Lady turned, and, Aspecting the Nymph, dropped a large grasshopper down the Fool's back. She giggled, and ran off over the fields of Summerland.

The Lord laughed, pounding His fists on the ground as the Fool jumped and twisted, trying to reach the insect.

Between whoops of laughter, He said, "Did you ever figure out what 'Updoc' was?"

"Shaddup!" said the Fool.

The Fool leaned back against the brick wall of the alley and said, "I'd like to tell you a story. It seems that a man fell into a deep pit, and couldn't get himself out. He was in a world of hurt, and pretty unhappy. Pretty soon, a Subjectivist type of person came along and said, 'I feel for you down there,' but did nothing."

"An Objectivist wandered by next, and said, 'It's logical that someone would fall down there.' But he just stood around looking too."

"A Pharisee said, 'Only bad people fall into a pit,' and put his nose in the air and kept walking."

The Fool took a drag from his cigarette and then flipped it expertly into a nearby puddle. Somewhere in the distance of the city a siren wailed.

"Then, a mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit. But all he did was calculate."

"A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit, but was too busy interviewing everyone in sight to help."

"A fanatic fundamentalist shouted, 'You deserve your pit!'"

"Then a government tax-man asked if he was paying taxes on the pit."

"A self-pitying person then whined, 'You haven't seen anything until you've seen MY pit!'"

"Then a Christian Scientist came by, and said, 'Just believe that you're not in a pit.' But that didn't seem to help." He paused, and brushed His hair back from His eyes. After looking around that those who were listening, He continued.

"An optimist said, 'Things could be worse!' But the pessimist disagreed, and said, 'Things -will- get worse!' "

"A Wiccan said, 'MURPHY! You &*$%^#@,' while a New Ager jumped into the pit to share the experience." A couple of people laughed at this, a bit nervously.

"A Baha'i looked over the edge of the pit and said, 'See the pit as a Spiritual Experience!' while a Moslem murmured that it was God's Will that he was in the pit."

"A Satanist just laughed at the man in the pit and kept walking."

"A conspiracist rubbed his hands together in glee, and said, '-They- threw you into the pit! I -knew- it!'"

"A Jew said, 'Why are we -always- in a pit?' "

"A Communist shouted 'Why are you in the People's Pit without permission?'"

"An Alcoholic muttered to himself, 'It's not -my- fault you're in the pit.....' "

"A Liberal said, 'Those Conservatives must have dug this pit!'"

"A Conservative said, 'See where Liberalism has gotten you?' "

"A TV Evangelist came by and promptly took up a collection from the bystanders."

" Then, several well-meaning people came by, and wanted to help, but they were too busy arguing whether to throw him a ladder, or a shovel, or to hire a helicopter with a rope ladder, or to call the fire department or police to manage to get anything done."

"A well-known radio cult hunter said, between requests for money, 'See! Satan threw you into the pit!'"

"A doper looked blearily at him, and said, a bit incoherently, 'Far out! Got any more pit?'" "A Hindu said that the man's karma had put him into the pit, and a television news commentator shouted, 'Man in a pit! Why is the government responsible?'"

But then, a Good Samaritan came along, looked at the man in the pit and at all the others standing around pursuing their own agendas, and said, quietly, 'Here are two shovels. Let's get you out of the pit.'"

The Fool looked around at His listeners, grinned, and said, "He that hath ears to hear with, let him hear."

He shoved His hands into his jacket, and walked away thru the puddles, idly kicking at an empty beer can.

"Pretty good!" said the Lady.

"Maybe," said the Fool, "But not up to the Sermon On The Mount."

"That one -was- one of Your best," She agreed.

"Yeah," He said, "But even then, they ignored most of it. Oh well. Some of it caught on, at least."

"It takes a while," said the Lord, "But they -are- learning."

"Yes, they are," said the Fool, "But they have a long way to go yet."

The Lady smiled warmly, and said, "They'll get there."

Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so!

sarnian answered on 04/06/06:

 

I hope for you all that if you ever get into a similar situation, that there will be an atheist/humanist Samaritan around to help you, as it seems from this story that too many religious people are too busy with keeping their fingers clean or with their "next" life, to assist their brothers/sisters in this one ...

:)

 

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/05/06 - Sneeze...............................................

Sneeze
They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt. Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.
This class would not pray during the commencements ----- not by choice but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine......until the final speech received a standing ovation.
A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened. All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!
The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage...
The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.
GOD BLESS YOU!!!! In God We Trust, United We Stand.

sarnian answered on 04/06/06:

 
Dear Fred,

you can bring this in any format you want, but I stay with my personal views in this matter.
.
Religion is a personal matter, that belongs at home, on sunday school, and in church.
At home, on sundayschool, and in church you are ensured of others of the same view on life, i.e. your prefered religion.
.
School is an institute that exists to educate people in subjects like languages, geography, history, physics, chemistry, reading and writing, and sports.
And as it highly likely that on public schools there will be more than one single religious or non-religious view, religion does not belong at public schools. Also religious subjects as for instance creationism do not belong at public schools.
.
Here in Europe we do not have any of these problems on public schools, where - just as in your post - by law no religion nor religious subjects are allowed. Afteral : also the tax money of non-religious people is used to fund public schools.
.
However : if a community insists, they can set-up a school based on religious grounds, for instance a Christian school. Of course the curriculum of that school has to be identical to that of public schools, though with religious lessons and/or features for religious education.
All extra costs for religious classes (staff and materials) at such schools have to be carried by the parents themselves.
.
Next to that every community will always have enough capacity in public schools, so that no child will ever by required to be educated on a religious based school against his/her wish.
.
Look : that is a positive solution for the problem.
In my idea a better way than the way you described, in which children (often inspired by their parents) are set-up to break a legal rule/law.
.
Add-on note : Tax money should neither go to religious institutions of any kind : No tax money to churches, no tax money to sunday schools, no tax money to Creation or ID "research", no tax money to religious support institutes of any format : if you want to believe : fine with me, but pay it yourself !
.
To close :
I'm amazed that in your reaction on illegal immigrants you choose the side of the law, but when the subject is an illegal approach to thwart laws against religious excesses at public schools you seem to take side against the law.
.
Not very sincere nor very convincing, I say ...
.
 

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excon asked on 04/05/06 - If anybody would get it, I sure thought you would....


Hello Christians:

I don't understand the confusion on your part. You seem to, to, well I dunno, be VERY confused..

If you want to know whether or not a (real) crime has been committed, ask yourself if what a person did would have been illegal (or even a bad thing) if it were NOT for the law.

Seeking a job to better yourself and support your family is a GOOD thing to do. We LOVE people who do that. However, some people cross an imaginary line to do that. Uhhhh, so what? What if Kansas made it illegal for you to cross their lines???? And, if you did, would you be criminal?????

Come on, people, start acting like Christians!!

excon

sarnian answered on 04/05/06:

 

Dear Excon,

the problem with most christians here is that they seem in their nitpicking to have elevated chapter 41 page 173 third line ABOVE the intentions of what is stated in their Bible.

The same with the secular laws : it's the letter on the paper of that law that seems more important to them than the intention of that law.

And above all they seem to have forgotten that their leader JC did not care much to the nitty gritty on paper : He cleared out the synagogue of the traders and sidestepped the rules of the Romans. JC's focus was on people, and his love was for people. Not on laws.

 

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purplewings asked on 04/05/06 - Doomed to hell if you're divorced?

Mark 10:1-16

And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them. And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away."

But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

In those times there were less people,less opportunity.
How do we interpret this in modern society?


sarnian answered on 04/05/06:

 

My atheist advice : you should have read on to Mark 10:26-27

26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.


So : (from the perspective AD 25-35) : once married you should stay married, but if you don't you still can be safed.

 

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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?

sarnian answered on 04/03/06:

 

Of course the woman COULD have kept her lips sealed on that and just have accepted her husbands sleeptalk was just that : sleeptalk.
But can women ever shut up? No, they can't !!!

You stated : 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.

That's only half the truth.
Under Islamic Sharia law the woman can only spend that night with another man AFTER FIRST MARRYING HIM.

And as that will be rather unlikely, she is divorced now without much options of ever remarrying again.

That will learn women to shut up .....

:) :) :)

 

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Question/Answer
WheninRome asked on 04/03/06 - A Sioux myth

The Gift

The creator brought all of his creation around him and told them: "I have a very special gift for humankind which I must hide from them until they are ready."
The Eagle said: "give it to me. I will take it to the moon; they will never reach it there".
The Creator said "no, they will go there". (and they did)
The Salmon said: "give it to me, I will take it to the bottom of the sea".
"No", said the creator, "they will find it there too."
Then the Buffalo said "Give it to me. I will bury it in the middle of the great planes."
"No", said the creator, "one day they will cut into the very skin of Mother Earth and find it."
Then the mole, who lives in the breast of the Great Mother, who sees nothing with its eyes but sees things with its spirit, said "Put it inside of them".
"It is done", said the Creator.

sarnian answered on 04/03/06:

 

I assume from this nice story that humanity is still not ready for it, than.

Although there are many who THINK they are ready, from their actions it shows that very few indeed are ... :)

 

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 04/02/06 - Dither - Doest Thou?



"Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable."
-- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Lewis then went on to add,

"...but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods where they get off, you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of Faith."



sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

That Mr. Lewis !

I am an atheistfor many decades.
I never had moods in which Christianity looked probable.

In fact I left Christianity on an early age just for the reason that it looked highly inprobable.

One can very well be a sound atheist, and never a creature dithering to and fro religion.

May I suggest that Mr. Lewis maybe was more of a wavering Christian searching for faith than a REAL AND CONVINCED ATHEIST?

 

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paraclete asked on 04/02/06 - How Good are we?

A recent observation suggested we are quicker to point out the devil's successes than we are at hailing God's successes. I'LL TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER, CHRISTIANS! Do we even know what God's successes are? Are we so attuned to watching the Devil in action, ie; Iraq, that we fail to see what God is doing?

When are we going to stop being spectators at the Devil's game and become players in God's team?

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

Strange : I never point out the devil's successes.
Because I am without belief in the devil.

And neither do I point out God's hailing successes.
Because I am without belief in God.

And never will I be a spectator at the devils's game, nor will I be a player in God's team.

Just because I am without belief in both claimed entities.

But please do as you believe : No problem with that at all.

 

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paraclete asked on 04/02/06 - How Good are we?

A recent observation suggested we are quicker to point out the devil's successes than we are at hailing God's successes. I'LL TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER, CHRISTIANS! Do we even know what God's successes are? Are we so attuned to watching the Devil in action, ie; Iraq, that we fail to see what God is doing?

When are we going to stop being spectators at the Devil's game and become players in God's team?

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

Strange : I never point out the devil's successes.
Because I am without belief in the devil.

And neither do I point out God's hailing successes.
Because I am without belief in God.

And never will I be a spectator at the devils's game, nor will I be a player in God's team.

Just because I am without belief in both claimed entities.

But please do as you believe : No problem with that at all.

 

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Question/Answer
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."

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

Yes Fred.

Barbers exist.

I meet one every 2 months ....

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Question/Answer
WheninRome asked on 04/02/06 - A Healing Myth

Once, in another time and another place, a kingdom of magic and beauty knew a time of peace. No armies threatened its boarders, no bandits plundered its trade routes, no plagues sickened its people. Yet even in such peaceful times, bad things could happen: accidents, misunderstandings, even good people doing bad things.

The third daughter of the king was a bright and cheerful sort. She wasn't the strongest or the prettiest of the royal princesses, but she did have the nicest wings of anyone her age. She loved to fly around the countryside and explore the groves and meadows she found...they were always full of surprises.

One day she found a particularly pretty grove, with a pond glistening in a little clearing in the middle. As she went in for a closer look, she saw images start to form. She saw her own reflection, and as she lightly touched the ground she saw that her reflection was watching reflections of her own...dim watery reflections from her past.

"So you can see the pictures." The voice from among the trees made her jump. "Don't worry," continued the young man as he stepped out from among the trees, "nobody else can see the same images, Princess. It's part of the magic."

"How...?" she asked, looking him up and down. He was a young man, no older than the princess herself, dressed in the rough tunic of a wizard's apprentice. "Who are you? How did you know who I am, what I saw?"

"I am apprenticed to the Court Wizard. Everybody knows who you are, Princess...and besides, I have seen you at the palace when I have been there with my master." He paused, glancing at the ground and lowering his voice. "As to the images...well, at one time I had need of their magic."

"When I entered the Wizard's service, I had a great and secret fear. Something...bad...happened to me when I was younger. It hurt to even think about, and after time I didn't think about it much. But ever since that time, I had lived with the fear. When my master learned of this, he taught me the magic of this pool and its stream."

"The pool reflects images from your mind...scenes from your past, dreams of the future, even fantasies of the present. The stream flows like time itself, upstream into the past, and downstream into the future. If I followed the ritual he described, these magics could wash clean the fear."

She made a face. "I suppose this ritual involves deep magics usable only by Wizards?"

"Not really. All the magic is in the waters, and anyone can use the ritual. Even a lowly apprentice." He grinned. "It's pretty simple. After he told me about it, he brought me here and then stood back by the trees. He said that he would answer any questions I had but otherwise I was on my own."

"I stood where I could see my reflection in the pool, and then thought about my fear. As I thought, my reflection watched a reflection of my thoughts...like a stage where dimly lit actors played out the scene against a colorless backdrop. I looked up and saw that I was still here, in the glade. I looked back at the water, holding on to a small part of the special feeling of fear it had given me. As I turned and looked back upstream, I saw more images...each earlier than the last. I relaxed and let the feeling guide me back to the earliest image. When I had that, I turned back to the pool and found my reflection watching the same colorless players in their dim reflection of the memory. As my reflection watched, the image went from a time shortly before the bad thing happened, through the whole thing, and on to a time when it was all over. When it passed the ending that way, it stopped...like a drawing. Then the drawing faded away, and I was just looking at my reflection. The Wizard had told me that if I stepped into that last part of the image, it would run very quickly backwards, with full color and sound and me living backwards through it all...all the way through to the part before the beginning. It sounded very strange. As I looked at my reflection again, it was watching the image go forward again in its dim, colorless way. When it reached the drawing at the end, I stepped into the image and was plunged into a world going backwards! It went clear through to before the beginning in less than a second, then stopped. Startled, I let the water carry me downstream, through all that had happened since, with the fear gone and the memory unable to hurt me. When I reached the here-and-now, I got out and just stood there, knowing that the fear would trouble me no more." He stopped, and suddenly seemed to remember where he was, and who he was talking to. "That was over a year ago, and the fear is still gone. The Wizard says it is gone for good."

She thought for a moment. "So all there is to this ritual is think of the problem until your reflection sees it, follow a part of the feeling upstream to my earliest memory of it, wait for my reflection to see it all the way through, step into the ending, and live it backwards quickly? What kind of magic is that?"

He thought for a minute, shrugged, and said "Effective? If you wish, I will withdraw to the trees while you try it."

"What makes you think that I NEED it?"

"Because the images only come to those who do." His voice faded to an embarrassed silence as he realized what he had said. "I'll go now."

"Yes, do." She said absently, already thinking. Then: "But not too far, in case I need you." She was remembering an incident a few days back which had set off her special fear, and just as the apprentice had described, her reflection in the pool was watching a dim and watery scene of the memory. Startled, she looked up again. Yes, she was in the clearing, with the trees all around and the apprentice all but lost among the closer ones. She could still feel a part of that fear, so she kept that feeling while she looked back up stream at all the images from the past that the feeling had touched...until she found the earliest of them all. She brought that memory back to the pool and released it as her reflection started to watch it unfold in its dim and watery way. Her reflection seemed to have a life of its own as it watched the pale scene start before anything happened, run through the bad parts, and then pause at a time when it was all over. She watched her reflection shift as she prepared for what she would do. Her reflection settled as it watched the scene unfold again. The dim scene passed through the beginning, through the bad time and on past again. When it stopped, she jumped in to it. Suddenly, she was there again: back where and when it had happened. Everything was moving backwards, and in a flash she had lived backwards through it and past the beginning. Shocked, she let the water carry her down stream, forward through all the rest of her yesterdays without the bad times for company. When she got to today, she stood up. There she was...standing, dripping in a stream in the clearing. She looked around for the apprentice, half expecting him to be laughing at the soggy mess she must be. He was there, by the trees...not laughing, just smiling in an understanding way.

In the years that followed, they became friends. Although they went their separate ways...he, as wizard to one of the King's high lords and she as wife to a neighboring prince... they valued that friendship to the end of their days. And from that time on, neither was ever again troubled by their great fears.


How should we handle our fears in today's world?

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

How should we handle our fears in today's world?

Simple : belief in yourself, belief in your own capacities, and if in doubt discuss it with your partner and/or friends.

 

A Healing Myth or Magic?

 



 

May I advice REALITY ?

 

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 04/02/06 - What can be done without faitk?......................

Is there anything that can be done without faith?

Many people associate faith with religion and leave it at that, but I believe it applies much more broadly to every endeavor.
There is the often mentioned statement that faith can move mountains, is that true? I say yes.
Just a few miles from my home a mountain is being moved. Why? Because of the gold and silver in it.
Yes the desire of getting the precious metals is the incentive but basically it requires more than incentive to get them. It requires “can do”, and “can do” covers a lot of territory in accomplishment.
I this case knowing how to do it and not violate the environment protection laws is a big challenge. Know in how to and acquiring the needed equipment and manpower is important.
Then there is the drive to get the job going, doing it and getting it done.
But underneath it all is the belief that a person can accomplish each step of the way.
In religious faith it is more than mere belief. It is a belief that is also a trust and a knowing, that sums up a statement such as “I know my redeemer lives”.
That is faith in another
It that much different than the faith that can move mountains or build a house, or get anything accomplished?
It’s like the faith in a boss who says, “I know that John can do it, that’s why I hired him”. I had the faith that he could hire was well as faith in the other person.
What is faith to, in, and with you?
Peace and kindness,
Fred

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

What can be done without faith?

Well Fred : if you mean faith in some entity which you usually call "god", my answer is : nothing.

There is the often mentioned statement that faith can move mountains, but is that true?

I say no : no that is not true. You may believe that, but that does not make it true : you simply can not move mountains with faith.

The mountain that is moved just a few miles from your home (the one with gold and silver in it) is NOT moved by faith, but by gigantic machines.

To your question : What is faith to, in, and with you?

My answer is : only faith in myself, my own capacities, and in my partner is important. The rest is superstition as far as I am concerned.

But if you feel happy in any otherway : go for that, of course : whatever works for you !

 

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 04/02/06 - People think there's something out there.

Try before you die: teens test religions

By Barney Zwartz
April 3, 2006

YOUNG Australians are more likely to chop and change faiths than ever before because of an increased uncertainty about their beliefs, a Christian Research Association survey shows.

"What surprised me was the high proportion of people who just don't know," the association's chief researcher, Philip Hughes, said yesterday. "Well over a third say 'We are just unsure'. Most young people [almost three-quarters] think there's something out there, some sort of greater force."

Many teenagers were more sure of religious beliefs when they were younger, but as they moved through high school the degree of uncertainty increased about all sorts of belief.

"Accompanying that is the sense that it doesn't matter much anyway, what I call 'whateverism'," Dr Hughes said. "Whether you believe or you don't believe is no big deal either way, and you can change your mind from one minute to the next, whatever."

The survey of 809 teenagers builds on a study last year of more then 3600 American teenagers, who are considerably more religious in their personal beliefs and church attendance.

It also finds that family, including siblings, is a much bigger influence on teenagers than peers.

"There's been a decline in clarity about belief in God," Dr Hughes said, and it was linked to a postmodern loss of confidence in the idea of truth. "These beliefs do affect how people live, the way they deal with crises. To the extent that there's a great deal of vagueness and uncertainty, it doesn't give people much to stand on when life is difficult."

Religious education needed to help young people develop a "spiritual literacy" so they could think through issues, he said.

The survey also found that more young people believe there may be life after death (76 per cent) than believe that there may be a God.

The report says Australians are more likely than Americans to accept other paranormal beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology, psychics and communication with the dead.

It also counters the common assumption that young people are interested in spirituality rather than traditional religion. Spirituality ranks with riches at the bottom of what is important to them, with deep friendships and an exciting life at the top.

----------------------------------------------

so how about you, do you think there is something out there, or do you know that God is right beside you?

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

Yes. There is something out there : besides a lot of nothing, there are 90.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 star systems, billions upon billions of burned out stars and their star systems, billions of black holes, and billions of un-bound planets floating freely in space. And all of that only totals approx. 35 % of all matter as we know it in the universe.
The remaining 65 % of whatever is there is dark energy, of which we don't know at this moment the precise physical specifics.

So if "People think there's something out there" they are right. Totally right ... :)

 

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Question/Answer
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***."


Comments?

sarnian answered on 04/02/06:

 

Online dating is good to meet people.
Marriage is based on much more, most of which should be on a personal basis.
And specially for this board of Christianity, and because it's sunday my advice to keep any marriage going ....

 



 

Explain it any way you prefer ... :)

 

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Question/Answer
HerrAirhorn asked on 03/31/06 - Stunning New Legislation

AP)cut and paste follows
"The Kansas state legislature has voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.

In universities all over America students are protesting. Fox News is criticizing these students, and promoting the move to the new value of pi.

Comments?

sarnian answered on 04/01/06:

 

No problem at all : all that will change is that in Kansas circular objects just become :
 

a little smaller.
 

and hopefully cheaper.
 

and less circular.
 

and (car tyres) slightly more "bumperish".
 

and donuts more oval.
 

but : best of all : coins will run out of space for unnecessary religious statements.

Pecunia non olet !
 

:)

 

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 03/31/06 - War on Christianity?

"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion…. perhaps around their necks? And maybe — dare I dream it? — maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." — Jon Stewart

sarnian answered on 04/01/06:

This is a rather strange prayer, and a silly dream : normally dreams are about what COULD happen, not about what already IS happening!

:)

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Question/Answer
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 :)

sarnian answered on 02/14/06:

I don't think he is at this moment worth any further consideration.
Over the three years I know him he has lost all true "peace and kindness", and turned into a hatred filled person who is a total embarrassment for the cause he so publicly states to support, but which - due to his own actions - he is actually harming beyond repair.

The christian response should be to ignore this pathetic figure till (if ever) he gets his wits together again and raises his morals to an acceptable level.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/15/06 - Why the Chinese find it hard to accept the Bible ...



...


Although not widely known, those who have promoted the Bible in the "Middle Kingdom" are familiar with the objections of the Chinese to the Bible on the ground that if it was a book from heaven it would be in more correct and classical language.

Do the Chinese have a valid point?





sarnian answered on 01/15/06:

Yes Ronnie, they have indeed.

For an allmighty supra-natural supra-powerful entity (who has been claimed to have created the entire universe and seems to be interested in my and your sexlife) it should have been merely a "Let there be bibles for all" demand, for all of us having a bible of correct content and language today, complete with attached miracle button on the front cover that - when pressed twice - upgrades the content towards the changing language rules and habits for all of us on earth, so that the content remains correct and fresh - though still of a type of classical impression.

As the situation is now, the bible is just a compendium of chapters written by goodwilling people, but full of mistakes and contradictions.

So yes, the Chinese have a very valid point.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 10/01/05 - Bill Bennett


Hello Christians:

What do you think of the man of the right, the guy who wrote a book on virtue - Bill Bennett? He thinks you could lower the crime rate by aborting all the black babies. He gambles his ass off, and he thinks I should be in jail for the rest of my life because I smoke pot.

No wonder the country's gone to hell in a handbasket.

excon

sarnian answered on 10/01/05:

I assume you refer to William J. Bennett, of "Bill Bennett's Morning".

That man seems not bothered by his absence of honesty and fairness, or the presence of his preset ideas like his conservative position and his insistence for religion in education.
His strong views on drug laws enforcement are well known, even here in Europe.

Bennett shares a "quality" common to almost all fundamental christians : he assumes he is always correct, as "god is on his side".
That same text in German was by the way also on the belt clasp of the nazi uniform (God ist mit uns).
So I doubt if that statement has any positive meaning left in it.

From me you may smoke whatever you like, drink whatever you like, gamble whatever you like as long as you take care of the consequences, and do whatever else you like to do, as long as the golden rule is applied : don't do to others what you don't want to be done to yourself.
But than, I'm just a single non-theist "caller in the night" here on a board overwhelmed by phariseeers.

;)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/01/05 - UNCTION:



Please explain UNCTION to me. Thanks.

HANK

sarnian answered on 10/01/05:


Hank

Isn't "UNCTION" related to the annointing of someone by the Holy Ghost?
If I remember well it promisses extra capacities, like better thinking and religious expression, both of course in respect to god and his kingdom.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 09/29/05 - IF ??

What do you get if you create a closer relationship with God ??

Happiness

Better Self-Esteem

Better Sense of Purpose

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Financial Blessings

Relationship Blessings

Health Blessings

An Abundant and Blessed Life

SO ?? What are you waiting for?

Do you believe that these things are attainable?

sarnian answered on 09/30/05:

Rolcam :

As an atheist I have :

- all the happiness I need
- the self-esteem required for a good life
- a good sense of purpose
- sufficient relaxation and stress reduction
- a healthy financial position *(NOTE1)
- good interhuman relationships
- an excellent health
- a full and abundant life

So why bother about all that phoney religious stuff?

* NOTE1 - Since when is a religious view a way to improve one's financial affairs?

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/28/05 - JUST WONDERING ... AGAIN:



What do you think about not allowing any copy and paste questions, answers, comments, clarifications and follow-ups for one week on this Board? Would you be 'dead in the water' or would you be able to 'swim?'

Please comment ... if you will!

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/28/05:

That's fine with me too. I can compose my own questions.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/24/05 - wakey, wakey, has anyone got the message yet?

Ill winds that whisper the collapse of civilisation
September 24, 2005

Mankind is at the edge of an abyss, its very survival dependent on urgent action, warns Tim Flannery. Deborah Smith reports.

The hurricanes devastating the American coast are the wake-up call the world needs. Do nothing about climate change, and the collapse of civilisation is "inevitable", according to Dr Tim Flannery.

Do too little, the Australian scientist says, and society will "hover on the brink for decades or centuries".

Action needs to be taken now to slow global warming, says Flannery, the director of the South Australian Museum.

"The delay of even a decade is far too much," he says.

Ferocious storms, melting glaciers, prolonged droughts, bleached coral reefs and disappearing species have convinced other leading scientists - including the Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty and Lord May of Oxford, president of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy - to call for immediate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

Lord May, a pioneer of chaos theory, warns against delay in a dynamic system like global climate. "Small actions now … are more important than big actions later," he told the Herald on a recent trip to Australia.

Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, said yesterday the increased intensity of storms like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita was probably a result of rising sea temperatures.

He hoped the destruction would make climate-change sceptics reconsider.

"If this makes the climate loonies in the [United] States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation," he told London's The Independent newspaper.

Doherty also predicts that the enormous financial costs and higher insurance premiums from hurricanes will convince ordinary people "something very substantial is happening".

Climate modellers have been warning for years that on present trends, global temperatures will rise by 2 to 5 degrees this century.

But Flannery, the author of The Future Eaters, is arguably the only scientist in Australia able to get the sort of public attention for global warming that will come from ads on city buses for his new book on the issue.

In The Weather Makers, he says Australia's coral wonderland is particularly vulnerable to warming ocean waters.

"Visitors travelling to Queensland by 2050 may see the Great Stumpy Reef," he says.

Half of Australia's tropical rainforest is expected to be destroyed if global temperatures rise by only 1 degree.

"The generation held responsible will be cursed by those who come after," he says.

"What will they tell their children if their increasingly large homes, four-wheel-drives and refusal to ratify [the] Kyoto[Protocol] cost them the nation's foremost natural jewels?"

Writing the book, which draws together the latest scientific research, was initially depressing, Flannery says. Then he realised ordinary people had the power to change the world's course, and it became "liberating".

Scientists say carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut by 70 per cent by 2050.

"If you own a four-wheel-drive and replace it with a hybrid-fuel car, you can achieve a cut of that magnitude in a day rather than half a century," Flannery says.

Public pressure can make governments reduce Australia's dependence on coal.

If an ice age were on the horizon, he says, people might react more quickly.

But global warming sounds cosy and comfortable to our tropical species - an illusion that has made it easier for the fossil fuel industry to dupe people into thinking global warming is a myth, he says.

Flannery - who generates his own electricity at home - is expecting criticism from the sceptics, but says they must know more than the US President.

"Even George Bush has now admitted that climate change is a very serious, human-caused problem," he says.

sarnian answered on 09/24/05:

Although I fully agree with most of the above I fear it's too late now.

This is the scenario for a total collapse of civilisation :

At some time in the future the fatcats of the west MAY HAVE "finished feathering their nests" and come to their senses and start reducing their CO2 output.
But there are many Billions of people in this world who still want to start feathering their nests first.
People in the ex-USSR, in India, in China, in Latin America.

If one expects these people to agree with remaining on a lower level of living conditions one lives in fairyland.
So the pollution on a worldwide scale will continue, no matter what.
And once their goals are reached, the third world with raise their demand to reach the same.
Against the time that wealth is more honestly divided over the world, all carbohydrade reservoirs in the ocean floor will have emptied themselves via the oceans into the atmosphere, and our planet will be a clone of Venus, at a somewhat lower temperature - though still prohibiting almost all (if not all) forms of life as we know it now.

If there will be a total collapse of civilisation, it will be totally due to human greed, and the refusal to share equally.

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/23/05 - Which Bible is the inspired word of God

The The first thing is to know God. By accepting Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit. After that, we read God's word. Doing this, we receive knowledge. By the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we acquire wisdom.
We learn to know the way God speaks, we learn how He reacts to a situation. When we read a statement, we know right away if it is God speaking or not.

The bible "KJV" is written in three languages. Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek. So we must get a book to translate these languages to English, or what ever our language is. Then if a word confuses us, we can look up the true meaning. We must also understand that phrases used back in those times may not mean the same thing now.

We pray for understanding. We ask ourselves, would Jesus say this, would He say it this way. How would God say this. It will be revealed to us. That comes from knowing and understanding God.

No body will have to tell us which is the inspired word of God, we will know. He wants us to know. How else can he teach us.

But the main thing is to accept Jesus, receive the Holy Spirit, and then follow the instructions we are given. We may never learn all the bible. Just get saved and continue from there.

sarnian answered on 09/23/05:


Dear bucker

the answer to that question is NONE.
The original texts are claimed to have been inspired by god.
But due to translations and changes made on personal interpretation by many over 2000 years there is not one single bible that reflects the original texts one hundred percent.

I agree with you that the main thing in christianity is to accept Jesus.
But there is not one single bible that is COMPLETELY based on god's inspiration.
Too much "human inspiration" involved there. Sad, but true.


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Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/22/05 - Homosexuals- What will we do without them

A hot topic in christianity today, or religion in that matter, is homosexuals and homosexuality. Though I have made some crude jokes about them, I've never made a post directed to the subject. To be honest, I don't think it's such a taboo anymore. There have been queers among us for centuries, friends, but today we discuss our cold feelings toward it more than ever because we're bombarded with it every passing day, and do I blame you? No. Not at all. You have every right to speak your mind just as they do, but my Lazlow half says they have every right at attempting to persuade you into accepting them and treating them equally, which they deserve; they pay taxes too, serve their country in many ways, even serve in religious things (gay bishops?). So why not let them be as miserable as we are? They're called Gay for a reason.
Anyway, what made me think of this post wasn't all the other topics about fags, but a commercial I saw last night. As I said, we are being bombarded with the message "We are gay, accept us or die you pig facist", and this is what I disagree with them the most. You may not know this, but gay people hate heterosexuals. And I know this not just by statistical reasons, but by knowing several gay people.
Is it right to shove your business and sexual preferences down every one's throat?
No? Then why is it right to shove religious beliefs and warnings of impending doom down everyones throat?
--- That's the only opposition I have with christians on this subject. If the bible says "Men shall not lie with men", then it is said, obey it. So christians have every right to oppose it, and I say to you "FIGHT THE POWER!"... But being we're in america, you should think about what I asked in my last paragraph.
Okay, I'm carrying on. I just want to hear some reactions to what I said. I always appreciate the ones who reply with an answer more than the ones badmouthing me. And that's how I will rate all of you. Sarnian complains of grey stars, well if you reply to me and stick to the subject you'll get five stars, if it strays from the subject, you get grey. THERE.
Now, getting back to that commercial, you have to hear this. It was on FOX or something late at night, around 2:00AM, you know, when all those 1-800-WET-HOT-JAILBAIT-ASS commercials come on... There was one for gay men... It was funny. It went something like "I'm looking for a man that can satisfy my needs", EW! What do you think about this behaviour? I'm not asking if gay people SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do this, I'm asking if their being respectful to themselves, or mocking themselves?
My opinion, is their mocking themselves. They know they will never be accepted into this culture, that they're not going to persuade us into liking them, why don't they just stay in the closet where it's safe? Or at least not make a big deal about it.
In response to Hope12's armaggedon question, I replied with something along the lines of, what we have to go through today is nothing like the events Lot encountered, so I'm not worried of impending doom... something like that. Anyway, is America turning into Sodom and Ghomorah (help w/spelling pl), is the devil using homosexuals like this to turn America into a gay nation? Commercials are there to corrupt the minds, this is not my insanity talking, this is just plain fact.
It seems the human mind is more vulnerable when placed in front of a high priced advertisement, whatever the product may be, it's goal is to make you want it, crave it, sell your children to buy whatever it is they're trying to sell you. My christian half says that GAY PEOPLE ARE EVIL AND THEY WANT TO CORRUPT YOU, and they're doing it people! Just look at what your teenagers are watching on TV, homosexuality turned into a fad in the early 2000's, now with the gay marriage thing, it's going to be a major lifestyle among YOUR YOUTH.

sarnian answered on 09/23/05:

Dear Lazlow

First of all let's be clear : I'm definitively hetero.
I have several friends who are homosexual.
Whatever christianity and the bible states on homosexuals, for me only counts how people are in general and towards me and my family.
And to me and my family they are nice and good.
So your statement that gay people "hate heterosexuals" is guaranteed incorrect.
The "hate" is not at the side of the homosexuals. It is with a part of the heterosexuals.

You are right that Christianity opposes homosexuality.
And so each individual christian should take that in mind.
But the bible does not state that every christian should hate homesexuals - but I note many do.

Please note for my answer to your questions that I'm European and the following is therefore based on European culture and habits.

ADVERT

  • That advert shows something that is clearly missing on this board : self-mockery.

USA
  • No, the US is not becoming Sodom and Gomorah.
    All that is happening is that there is an excessive interest there into homosexuals and their lifestyle, an abnormal interhuman approach towards homosexuals, and there is the reaction from the homosexual community upon that development.
    It's all a question of misplaced negative feelings towards "the others".

On GAY people
  • No, gay people are not evil and they do not want to corrupt you.
    All they want is to live their life the way they prefer.

On TV
  • So now it's the gay people who are responsible for what is on tv?
    How can you explain and support that?
    The USA is the center of capitalism, where all seems allowed and where everything goes, as long as you make money out of it.
    And TV is a good example of that. TV will not make and transmit programs were they loose money.
    They often STIMULATE programs to make more money out of future developments.
    And the programs you refer to are surely precisely that.
    So blame the TV program makers for these programs, not the gay people that they react on the aggression towards them.

On homosexuality / lesbianity
  • Homosexuality is for the major part based on genetic make-up, and for only a small part on seduction.
    I can not imagine that a single hetero sexual male can be influenced by another male to have homosexual relations.
    Most males have that feeling in their neck when they meet with a homosexual.
    That is not because we dislike the person, but because we reject that deed.
    Jokes on remaining sitting in the neighbourhood of a homosexual are plenty.
    So a REAL HETEROSEXUAL can not be influenced in any way in becoming involved in homosexual activities, TV, Radio, Magazine, or whatever influences coming towards them.

On homosexual marriage
  • The christianity community opposes sex before marriage and supports the permanent bond between heterosexual partners, so they should WELCOME gay marriages!
    What nicer than two gay's living together in a permanent love bond, where they "do their thing" in the privacy of their own home?
    What is wrong with that?
    That is : other than with your own personal reaction towards homosexuality, on whatever reasons that is based?

    Why can christians be not more TOLERANT towards others who accept and enjoy life in a different way.
    If christians are correct, all those that live outside "god's rules" will be convicted during their final judgement.
    I mean : isn't it christian teachings that God is almighty and allknowing?
    Is the current christian approach not showing they fear that their god will fail to do what they so expect (hope?) to see?
    Is that not the ultimate format of DISBELIEF in their own god?

PS1
  • I'm NOT complaining about individual rating stars.
    Everyone should rate as he or she interprets my posts.
    If I find a reply very bad, I also rate a grey star.

  • But ou812 - who never has participated in neither questions nor answers - rate ALL my replies with a grey star.
    And nobody in his of her right mind can state that as a fair rating.
    These stars are based on some individual hatred - a rather frequent problem here on the christianity board.

PS2
  • I kept 100% to your instruction to answer accordingly to your various questions.

:)

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/22/05 - Pope Benedict set to ban homosexuals from entering the RCC ministry.

My question is,

"How is a person's gender preference discovered?"

Is there a fool-proof test that will identify homosexuals from heterosexuals? If so, what is it?

sarnian answered on 09/22/05:

Vatican and RCC churches will be very quiet ....

No there is no such "fool-proof" test.
People are know to change sexual preference at any time of life.
So a hetero-sexual may enter a RCC ministry, and change years if not decades later towards homosexuality.
Even if a man is homosexual, but denies that preference, how can one prove that?

Homosexuals are not born with a star on their face, nor any other indentifiable sign.

The RCC would do better in dropping celibacy as an enforced requirement.
By leading a more normal life that may prevent many priests from becoming homosexual.


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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/22/05 - Exploiting Katrina

Is this what the Katrina furor is all about...just as I've said all along?

"An effort by Sen. Charles Schumer yesterday to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates — and drew quick outrage from GOP critics.

Schumer, the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal urging people to sign an online petition to fire Michael Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, over his handling of the Katrina response.

Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-N.Y.), head of House GOP fund-raising efforts, described Democratic criticism of the administration as "reprehensible," saying "this is a tragedy, not an opportunity."

After being contacted by The Post and Associated Press, Schumer pulled down the page and said any money raised by the anti-FEMA petition would be donated to charity.

When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen — above the call to "Fire the FEMA director" — had asked for a donation to the DSCC.

Since Katrina struck, Democrats have charged that Republicans badly botched the response, and some have called for Brown to be sacked. In recent days, Republicans have hit back by accusing Democrats of trying to use the human tragedy for political gain.

The letter, the GOP said, was proof.

"It's a disgrace to exploit Hurricane Katrina to raise political funds," said Brian Nick of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said that "while the content of the letter is totally valid, it should have never been linked to a Web site that asks people to contribute to political campaigns."

"We regret it, have removed the letter from our site and will donate any contributions raised as a result of this petition to the Red Cross..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whipping up indignation toward Bush and exploiting a disaster for political gain, even using it to raise political funds...is this what explains the behavior of Bush critics the past few weeks?

sarnian answered on 09/22/05:


Politics always was, is, and will remain a dirty business, if you review it from an ethical perspective.
In the Katrina disaster these "plays" were already going on when there were still people to be evacuated and bodies to be recovered.
However : both the pro and anti Bush camps have been playing these "games".
This new development is another indication of how "dirty" politicians can become.
The political main line in this is - just as on this board - insincerity and hypocrisy.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/21/05 - Here's a new one making it's way along the e-mail route.

What do you think of it?
Three guys, a Canadian, Osama Bin Ladin and Uncle Sam are out walking together one day. They come across a lantern and a Genie pops out of it. "I will give each of you each one wish, that's three wishes total," says the Genie. The Canadian says, "I am a farmer, my dad was a farmer, and my son will also farm. I want the land to be forever fertile in Canada."

With a blink of the Genie's eye, 'POOF' the land in Canada was forever made fertile for farming.

Osama Bin Ladin was amazed, so he said, "I want a wall around Afghanistan, so that no infidels, Jews or Americans can come into our precious state."

Again, with a blink of the Genie's eye, 'POOF' there was a huge wall around Afghanistan.

"Uncle Sam" (A former civil engineer), asks, "I'm very curious. Please tell me more about this wall. "The Genie explains, "Well, it's about 15,000 feet high, 1,500 feet thick and completely surrounds the country; nothing can get in or out---virtually impenetrable."

"Uncle Sam" says, "Fill it with water."

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:

Although you did not "create" the joke, by posting it to the board without any further statement to the contrary, you seem to agree with the punchline.
Sorry Fred, that is sick. Very sick!
Most people in Afghanistan are law-abiding hardworking people, without any political intentions, totally remote of any terrorist tendencies.
And besides that : it's not very christian to enjoy genocide, isn't it?


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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/21/05 - Rita

Is Bush sending hurricane Rita to Texas to finish off the poor and/or black evacuees or to show how efficient he can be this time?

Steve

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:

It's :

just be fair : let's wait and see, and hope for the victims you're wrong.
Be positive!

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/21/05 - Nieghbours!

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for seven days.

Eventually, Michael the archangel found him. He inquired of God, "where were you?".

God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds; "look son, look what I'm after making". Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "what is it?" God replied, "it's another planet but I'm after putting LIFE on it. I've named it Earth and there's going to be a balance between everything on it. For example, there's North America and South America. North America is going to be rich and south America is going to be poor, and the narrow bit joining them - that's going to be a hot spot. Now look over here. I've put a continent of whites in the north and another one of blacks in the south. And then the archangel said, "and what's that green dot there?". And God said "ahhh that's the Emerald Isle - that's a very special place. That's going to be the most glorious spot on earth; Beautiful Mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, and an exquisite coast line. These people here are going to be great craic and they're going to be found traveling the world. They'll be playwrights and poets and singers and songwriters. And I'm going to give them this black liquid which they're going to go mad on and for which people will come from the far corners of the earth to imbibe. Michael the Archangel gasped in wonder and admiration but then seeming startled proclaimed: "Hold on a second, what about the BALANCE, you said there was going to be a balance.. God replied wisely. "Wait until you see the neighbours I'm going to give them"

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:

It does not make much sense.

-Nowhere in the bible is God described to have a "room with a view".
-Words as north and south are human inventitions
-As is America.
-As is the Emerald Isle.

But give me an Irish neighbour any time!

What's new to me is the suggestion that God is a drugpusher, with his "black liquid".
Unless that stuff is meant to be that d*mned strong English tea :)

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 09/21/05 - The time of the end!

Hello Everyone,

Do you believe that we are living in the last days of this world as we know it?

Do you believe that we are living in the last days that Jesus spoke about?

If so, what makes you believe we are?

If not, what is your reasoning on this matter?

Take care,
Hope12

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:

No Hope, there is no reason to believe in the last days of this world.
At least not in the near future.
Maybe as we know it. That is of course always possible.
And the more we continue poissoning our atmosphere and oceans, the sooner that day will come.

We are nothing more than a lifeform on a tiny planet orbiting a normal star located in one of the arms of an average galaxy, which is itself one out of hundreds of Billions of galaxies there exist in the Universe.

Even if - as a worst case - a meteorite would hit earth, and extinguish all life on earth, earth would still spin, following it's orbit around the sun.
It's not a question of belief in Jesus or God.
It's a question of scientific knowledge, not of superstition.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 09/21/05 - Bible interpretation!

Hello Everyone,

We all have our interpretation of what we feel is the true interpretation of the scriptures. My question is, which is the correct interpretation? God's actual words to humans?

Each denomination has their own believes and even their own copy of the Bible and claim theirs is the only8 one true interpretation and copy of the original words written by the Bibles penmen. How can a person be sure of the copy of the scriptures they have? How can one be sure without any doubts they have the correct and orginal interpretation of the Bible?

How can you proof that your interpretation of scriptures is the accurate and only true one? After all think about this, If there is only one true God, then there is only one true and accurate interpretation of the scripture. What is your comments on this?

Take care,
Hope12

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:

Hope :

interpretations are HUMAN products.
God's actual words to humanity (accepting that they were inspired by God {accepting that God exists}) were in the individual contributions that together formed the bible.

All that translations and interpretations do is bringing us further from the original meaning.
That may be handy for those who do not speak old languages or those having problems with understanding what is stated.
That is the price one has to pay for simplifying.

Another problem is that the bible has so many build-in mistakes and contradictions, that you almost require human interpretations.
The best one can do is to keep as much as possible to the original text, if one likes to stay with what is supposed to be true.

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paraclete asked on 09/21/05 - lets all read the new condensed version?

颼-minute Bible' is launched
Ideal for plane journey, say creators

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Posted: 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)

LONDON, England -- A new version of the Bible -- which, according to its author, can be read in 100 minutes -- was launched in Britain Wednesday.

The 100-Minute Bible, which says it summarizes every teaching from the Creation to the Revelation, was unveiled at Canterbury Cathedral by author the Rev. Michael Hinton.

Publishers The 100-Minute Press say the book is "ideal for for an upcoming rail or aeroplane journey."

"The 100-Minute Bible is a new way of looking at the Bible," says a statement on the publishers' Web site."

It has been written for those who want to know more about Christianity but who do not have the time to read the original Bible, the company says.

According to publicity for the book, the 100-Minute Bible "picks out the principle stories of the life and ministry of its central character, Jesus Christ."

"The social and theological context of these stories is provided by outlining the ups and downs of the history of his nation, the Jews. It then proceeds to record the story of the growth of Christianity during the first century; firstly amongst the Jews themselves; then amongst the other peoples living in Israel and then throughout the eastern Mediterranean, even as far as Rome."

Len Budd, proprietor of the 100-Minute Press, said: "This is a book for adults and has been written in a style to encourage readers to keep turning the pages, but without resorting to any literary gimmicks.

"As the Bible itself, the 100-Minute Bible should be a bestseller."

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:


The problem with the bible is that if you see the bible really as god's word, you require the original documents from which it is assembled.
However, with each translation, with every copy, with each new version and/or interpretation there are mistakes or changes included that carry one further away form the originals.
This mini bible may have it's place as an easy abbreviated overview of what is to be found in the bible, but it can never be assumed to be god's word.
But I'm sure you're right that it may be a great bestseller.

I just ask myself when the 15 minutes version will be issued, or the 2 minutes abbreviation, or ......

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paraclete asked on 09/21/05 - Time for the Church to get real about where it's money comes from?

Mexico warns church on drug-tainted money

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Posted: 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A spokesman for President Vicente Fox on Tuesday warned that no one may accept illegal funds, responding to a Roman Catholic bishop's statement that the church has no obligation to investigate whether donations come from drug trafficking.

The exchange between church and state officials came the week after Pope Benedict XVI lamented that Mexican society was troubled by corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime, during a meeting with bishops from northern and central Mexico at the Vatican.

"At no time, under no condition, may anyone receive illegal money," said Fox spokesman Ruben Aguilar. "No one may in this way aid in the laundering of money, and nobody can be in favor of organized crime acting with impunity."

Aguilar was responding to comments made Monday by Roman Catholic Bishop Ramon Godinez, of the central state of Aguascalientes, who said that donations linked to drug trafficking are not out of the ordinary -- and that it's not the church's responsibility to investigate their origin.

"If they have money, they have to spend it; I don't know why such a scandal has been made of this," Godinez said in a follow-up interview with the Televisa television network Tuesday. "If a drug trafficker gives, we are not going to investigate if he's a trafficker or not.

"Let me explain: We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful. And we do not investigate where they acquired the money."

On Monday, the bishop said money can start out being dirty but "can be transformed" when it enters the church, Mexican news media reported.

Church officials could not be reached directly for comment Tuesday.

Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca downplayed the bishop's comments.

"I don't interpret it as a confession," Cabeza de Vaca said. "There is no clear intention of money laundering. ... What the bishop said is that they could be receiving money from drug trafficking."

Pope Benedict XVI last week described the danger posed to Mexican society by drug trafficking and corruption.

"All this leads to various forms of violence, indifference and contempt for the inviolable value of life," the pope said.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press

is another scandal in the making, the Church on the make? or is it the take?

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:


paraclete :

Of course President Fox has no other input to this than from a secular view : "no one may accept illegal funds, whoever they are".
At the other side the church has no ways for checking the source of each and every donation.
And even if they would have any such information, they most probably would have to keep that reserved as a secret of the confessional.
Somewhere there should be some way in which both parties will be able to come to a solution to this problem (as a problem it is).

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paraclete asked on 09/21/05 - Time for the Church to get real about where it's money comes from?

Mexico warns church on drug-tainted money

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Posted: 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A spokesman for President Vicente Fox on Tuesday warned that no one may accept illegal funds, responding to a Roman Catholic bishop's statement that the church has no obligation to investigate whether donations come from drug trafficking.

The exchange between church and state officials came the week after Pope Benedict XVI lamented that Mexican society was troubled by corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime, during a meeting with bishops from northern and central Mexico at the Vatican.

"At no time, under no condition, may anyone receive illegal money," said Fox spokesman Ruben Aguilar. "No one may in this way aid in the laundering of money, and nobody can be in favor of organized crime acting with impunity."

Aguilar was responding to comments made Monday by Roman Catholic Bishop Ramon Godinez, of the central state of Aguascalientes, who said that donations linked to drug trafficking are not out of the ordinary -- and that it's not the church's responsibility to investigate their origin.

"If they have money, they have to spend it; I don't know why such a scandal has been made of this," Godinez said in a follow-up interview with the Televisa television network Tuesday. "If a drug trafficker gives, we are not going to investigate if he's a trafficker or not.

"Let me explain: We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful. And we do not investigate where they acquired the money."

On Monday, the bishop said money can start out being dirty but "can be transformed" when it enters the church, Mexican news media reported.

Church officials could not be reached directly for comment Tuesday.

Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca downplayed the bishop's comments.

"I don't interpret it as a confession," Cabeza de Vaca said. "There is no clear intention of money laundering. ... What the bishop said is that they could be receiving money from drug trafficking."

Pope Benedict XVI last week described the danger posed to Mexican society by drug trafficking and corruption.

"All this leads to various forms of violence, indifference and contempt for the inviolable value of life," the pope said.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press

is another scandal in the making, the Church on the make? or is it the take?

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:


paraclete :

Of course President Fox has no other input to this than from a secular view : "no one may accept illegal funds, whoever they are".
At the other side the church has no ways for checking the source of each and every donation.
And even if they would have any such information, they most probably would have to keep that reserved as a secret of the confessional.
Somewhere there should be some way in which both parties will be able to come to a solution to this problem (as a problem it is).

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 09/21/05 - Rita vs Katrina

Some politicians (mostly democrats) are wondering why FEMA is so ready now for hurricane Rita but wasn't for Katrina.. Now isn't that a really stupid question given what has gone on the last few weeks?? I think it is. I mean really...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

But I can just hear it now.."Oh it's because it's Bush's home state" "Oh it's because of the oil there" "Oh it's because their not as poor"

NO!!! it would most likely be because they are now more prepared "because" of the mistakes that were made with Katrina and nothing more.

sarnian answered on 09/21/05:


Well Laura, let's see it from a positive side : let's hope they have learned their lesson!

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 09/20/05 - Patron Saint ??

Who is the patron saint of disputed elections?

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

It is St. Chad, the seventh-century bishop of the Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/20/05 - How is Tony?

anyone heard from Stony lately, I just tried to email him and found his email inactive

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

Just received two reactions from him over as many days, last one yesterday.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/20/05 - Simon Wiesanthal goes to his reward

The man who did nore than anyone else in post WQW II to track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals, has died aged 96.

He was an architect by profession, but after he was realeased from a Naxi Deat Camp he said he knew that in the next world he would meet many of those who did not survive, and he knew that they would ask him what he had done about their persecution and murder.

If you had been in one of the Nazi Death Camps, would you have sought to bnring to justice the tormenters and murderers of your friends, or would you have forgiven them and make it as if they had done no wrong?

Is this a question that Christian theology and/or ethics can answer?

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

Ronnie,

just saw a documentary on Simon Wiesanthal on Belgium television.
He survived 14 different deathcamps, at one time saved from execution while already standing above the trench, naked, and ready to die (saved, because his organising capacities were required by other German officers).

I have met him twice, as an uncle of mine was working in the 60's and 70's in one of the support teams.
(My uncle did that for the same reasons as mr. W., as most of our family never came back from the concentration camps).

A really remarkeable gentleman, who waved away his involvement in the over 1200 caught nazi criminals, and who reversed in the late 90's the "THANKS" for his activities by the few remaining survivors to these survivors themselves, for their support given to him.

He described his activities as "the least he could do to bring the guilty to justice".

~~~

As to your question :

Your question seems to indicate a lack of understanding of why Mr. W. hunted the Nazi's. He more than once stated that he left forgiveness to God, and concentrated on punishing the guilty for what they had done.
Call it revenge. But remember that Jews don't use the NT.

Christian theology may approach this from a different perspective, though 6 million people seem a good reason never to forgive nor forget.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/20/05 - Christian sectaries

Does anyone have an accurate number of how mnay denominations and sects there are under the umbrella of Christianity?

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

Ronnie,

have a look here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

But how ACCURATE that list is .....

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 09/20/05 - just got this and decided to pass it on

On New York's Upper West Side lived an assimilated Jew who was a militant atheist. But he sent his son to Trinity School because, despite its denominational roots, it’s a great school and completely secular.After a month, the boy comes home and says casually, “By the way Dad, do you know what ‘Trinity’ means? It means the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

The father can barely control his rage. He seizes his son by the shoulders and declares, “Danny, I’m going to tell you something now and I want you never to forget it. There is only one God. AND we don’t believe in Him!”

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

Yeah, I realize that your post is about the atheist type most people here prefer as atheist.
A hardcore atheist who BELIEVES that god does not exist, although you can't prove that, just as you can not prove that god exists neither.

Saying dumb things like "There is only one God. AND we don’t believe in Him" is a product of growing up in a religious environment.
Anyway, I guess there will be many here on this board who when hitting with a hammer on their finger instead of on a nail will yell "G.ddam...it". Do they mean that? Not really of course, is it?

Tolerance, rev, tolerance.

I'm another type of atheist : one who has no problem with you people believing in a god, but who does not believe himself into either existence position of god.
There simply is no proof for god's existence, which is good enough for me to reject the god entity.
And I also realize that this view is much harder for christians to reject.

Tolerance, rev, tolerance.

I married (as a declared atheist) in church, and was in church when my children and grandchildren were baptized.
Although I do not believe in god, I see no reason not to allow others to form their own opinions and decisions, and enjoy it when they celebrate their religious views.
What I dislike is people telling me what I have to believe, and that supported only by their belief.

My wife is a very active member in the RCC, was trained at the expense of her parish as a pastor, and performs regular pastoral services, and trains children in cathechism.
And I help her whereever I can with her (non-religious) duties.
We never have problems with our different wolrdviews.
Because I respect her views, and she respects my views.

Tolerance, rev, tolerance.

I am not against religion. I am against hypocrisy!
So there is a lot to fight against, here on this board ....

Tolerance, rev, tolerance!


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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/19/05 - God's Will

I need a break from politics here, so I have a question about God's will.

I see Christians here (and read about Islamic clerics) talking about what God's intentions are regarding events on earth. Most recently, did God allow the tsumami and the hurricane Katrina to destroy so much take so many lives. Or, if something good happens to them, that God caused it to happen. If something "bad" happens to your enemy, and something "good" happens to you, that God showed preference to you, when, in fact, we don't know in advance what is really in our own best interests!

****How in the world can anyone claim to know the mind of God?****

Isn't it for us humans to to accept reality and not assign value judgements to possible supernatural cause and effect??

Isn't this thinking the ultimate sin of pride?

sarnian answered on 09/20/05:

Dear MarySue,

Most people on this board believe in god. Fine, no problem.

But with even God's existence still being unconfirmed from a scientific approach, how would it be possible for anyone to know what's in God's mind?
On this board for sure there will be people who THINK that they know.
But many of these same people see God as an old man on a throne, heaven and hell as some sort of reality, and an afterlife together with the dear departed as a factual possibility.

NOBODY can know what's in God's mind.
Of course we should accept reality, but - due to religion - reality seems different to all of us.
To even THINK to know what's in God's mind should be seen as ultimate haughtiness.


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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/19/05 - Do not blame God...

This goes back a long way. When God created the earth, it was perfect. There were no storms, for it had not even rained. Adam and Eve were unclothed, because they did not need clothes. The climate was perfect. There was no sickness, no worry, no fears. Everything was just the way
God wanted it to be.

Then cane Satan; Now this is the reason for all troubles, yours an mine. Man would work by the sweat of his brow, women would have children in pain, which would not have happened before that. They had to be clothed. Just what all happened I do not know, but I know that there was a mighty change in all things. This was not a prefect world anymore.

The first murder happened. From that the start of many wars and murders. Before that, there was no need for this. Everyone would have had the same, and everyone would have been satisfied with what they had.

Satan was made lord of this world, and to a point, he still is. God allows him many privileges to tempt, confuse, and to mislead the children.

But those who have accepted Jesus, have a protector. He is the Holy Spirit. That is not to say was are not tempted and tried, but the difference is, we have a strength to draw from, if we just remember to use it.

Now to the tragedies which happen are sure not made of God. You see, when the sin happened, we have no idea what all happened. But all control of the elements must have disrupted. We cannot comprehend what an awesome influence that sin had upon the universe, and especially the world

So when things happen, we must not be too quick to blame God.

sarnian answered on 09/19/05:

Do not blame God ?

Assuming the correctness of your story (and the bible) : On what do you base the following?

"When God created the earth, it was perfect. There were no storms, for it had not even rained".
Since when does a storm requires rain?
A storm is caused by a difference in air pressure. Rainfall MAY result but is not essential to storm.
And where is it stated that a storm makes the earth less "perfect"?
In your story nor a storm, nor anything else "bad" could occure unless it was build-in in God's "perfect" creation.

If per your own story, God provided a "perfect" earth with "perfect" plants, animals, and people.
If God made humans not perfect, it is God's fault that they fail, as we were not "perfect".
If God made everything "perfect", humans should also be "perfect", so how could humans ever fail?

Either we were not "perfect", or we were "perfect" with a slight construction faillure build-in.
In BOTH CASES it's God's fault.

The same goes for all disasters, all natural ones AND even those man-made ones.
It all draws back on being "perfect" : either everything was "perfect" (in which case disasters will never happen), or not everything was "perfect" (in which case all "bad" is God's fault.


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paraclete asked on 09/19/05 - On the meaning of life and all that?

is the answer truely 42, God and man working together?

Of God, the universe and everything
September 19, 2005

New research appears to put humankind back at the centre of the universe, writes Johnjoe McFadden.

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy the Deep Thought computer announced that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything was 42. Contemporary physicists are finding themselves just as frustrated as the hyperintelligent race of beings who built Deep Thought after discovering that the ultimate answer to their questions turns out to be a set of meaningless numbers.

Many scientists conclude that the answers are contingent on biology and the facts of life.

Imagine if the values of one or two of nature's fundamental constants were slightly different, say the strengths of forces that hold atoms together. One result might be that the Earth's oceans would regularly freeze. Water - essential for life - is unique in being lighter as a solid than as a liquid. So ice sheets float and form an insulating layer that stops the deeper waters freezing.

If water were more conventional the primordial oceans would never have stayed liquid for long enough for life to evolve. But then of course we would not be here to ponder our good fortune.

This is the point of the anthropic principle, which starts from the fact of our existence then argues backwards to claim that the precise properties of the universe that emerged from the Big Bang had to be those that made the eventual emergence of humans inevitable. The unique properties of water depend on an exquisite level of finetuning of the fundamental constants. So why are these constants just right? Because if they weren't we wouldn't be here.

There are lots of other examples of finetuning. Carbon, also essential for life, is made in stars by the fusion of three helium atoms. It is only due to an extraordinary "coincidence" in the resonant energies of helium, beryllium and carbon that stars make lots of carbon. Change the resonant energy by just 0.0001 per cent: no carbon.

Proponents of the anthropic principle claim it is pointless looking for theoretical explanations for the precise values of the fundamental constants; they are what they are because if they weren't we wouldn't be here. Opponents claim that the principle betrays a lack of imagination for assuming that other forms of life wouldn't be possible. But this is harder to sustain when considering some of the more cosmic consequences of tweaking the constants. If the weak force that binds atomic nuclei had been just a bit weaker, all hydrogen would have turned to helium without making any of the heavier elements. If the strong force had been a bit stronger, the universe would not even have had any atoms.

New research is making even the sceptics grudgingly accept the anthropic principle. A paper by Mario Livio and Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, explores the value of the cosmological constant, a measure of how much energy is contained in empty space. Without this value being tweaked to an extraordinary level of precision, the universe would be filled only with huge black holes or be entirely empty of stars.

But who's doing the tweaking? Another reason scientists are wary is that it seems to reverse the Copernican revolution and place humankind at the centre of the universe. Even worse, it could allow creationists to bring the G word back into science: a God to tweak all those knobs to make life possible. But if God is needed to tweak the universe's knobs then who was there to tweak God's knobs?

Physicists such as Rees and Stephen Hawking prefer another scenario where an infinite number of universes exist, each with different values of the fundamental constants. In just a few of them the constants have taken on the right values for the creation of stars, life and evolution.

For a biologist like me the anthropic principle has a persuasive charm. Physicists have long claimed that biology reduces to chemistry and chemistry reduces to physics. But now physics reduces to biology! To explain the values of the fundamental constants physicists have to look not at equations but at the structure of the eye or the brain or the building blocks of life. Who knows which fundamental constants take their value from the fact fish had to propel themselves through water before evolving into intelligent tetrapods? Biology explains everything.

The Guardian

Johnjoe McFadden

sarnian answered on 09/19/05:


Paraclete :

Johnjoe makes an elementary thinking mistake.

And that is besides the fact that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is nothing more than science-fiction junk.

So what that ice floats on top of water?
If it did not, nature would have adapted life to address that situation.
Maybe all lifeformss would than be ice based.
Or maybe there would be no water at all, as either helium or oxygen would not exist as an element.

So what that carbon is essential to life as we know it?
If there were no carbon, life would have developed on f.i. silicon, or in an entire other way (f.i. as a crystal form).
In another universe life would develop in other ways, adapting to what is available.

All the examples Johnjoe provided SEEM to make sense if you suggest another structured universe but with identical life in it as exists now in OUR universe.
But in reality in another universe with different natural features and rules life would either not have developed at all, or would have developed in a total different way, based on (maybe) other elements, other physics.
In OUR universe hydrogen and carbon exist, together with the other 96 natural elements.
In an OTHER universe that may be entirely different.
Other physics with another "Strong Force" would produce entirely different elements, because for instance sub-atomic particles would differ.
Not electrons would orbit a nuclear core, but f.i. something similar to a neutrino.
Why not? In another universe everything would be possible.

Biology does not explain anything. It is just a consequence of physics and it's resulting chemistry.
All one can say is that biology (as in the life we know in our universe) adapts itself to what is available.
In another universe biology would adapt itself to the conditions in that (strange-to-us) universe.

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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/18/05 - ----- LETTER FROM A LA. RESIDENT


Those of us in La. know who screwed up this disaster. Our Governor, the levee board, the Corps of Engineers and the New Orleans Mayor are primarily to blame with the incompetence of FEMA being secondary. By the way, things have improved significantly. We give credit to our armed forces who have taken the pressure off of local law enforcement allowing them to regain control of our cities. I've often wondered why New Orleans police have a reputation for being tough, no nonsense guys -- I now Understand.

The looting here has been bad. You won't see it on TV, since we're not even close to being newsworthy considering all the deprivation, death and suffering being reported. Our parish took in the first 600 evacuees, and put them up in one of our brand new high schools located next to I-10. In l0 hours they had trashed the school, torn out urinals, ripped the bleachers out of the gym and trashed the classrooms and computers. We moved them, plus 600 more to a place across the Interstate at an expo center. By Tuesday night, there were 3 car jackings and 3 armed robberies. So we had to call in our deputies, police and Nat'l Guard troops to guard the evacuees.

Most of our law enforcement had been down in NO working the rescue mission. The same stories apply to BR, only multiply the numbers 10 fold. My godson/nephew is the chief of the K-9 Department in Shreveport, 250 miles north of BR. He had been in NO working on the rescue till now, except he has been called back to Shreveport tonight to protect against the looting there.

Mandy works for a doctor in a clinic next to our small hospital in Gonzales. It's situated across the Interstate from the evacuee center. At 11 AM yesterday (Thursday), the police locked down the hospital and the clinic to protect them from looters. The clinic closed down at 2 PM and the medical staff got escorts out of the vicinity.

The national news seems to carry a constant theme of Louisiana politicians crying "shame, shame America". "Where's the government?" It's the mantra de jour. Our governor had the power to declare martial law and commandeer school buses to evacuate the N.O. folks. She did not. Her news conferences are unscheduled, unformatted ramblings, punctuated with tears and calls for help and prayers......but not much information or direction. She has been noticeably absent from sight today since the President toured.

Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees here, but I don't want any of you "Americans out there" to accept any blame for the lack of immediate response when it was clearly the responsibility of local and state government officials.

Frank H. Kean, III1614 LaSalle ParcBaton Rouge, La. 70806













































sarnian answered on 09/19/05:


For me this remains a thought-up piece full of allegations, insinuations, and slander till I see supporting evidence for it's claims.
It is easy to construe such a post.
Just as it is easy to construe a name and address in Baton Rouge.
And even if that address exists, the person can not be involved at all, a fantast, or someone with rightwing political intentions.

I'll leave it to the Senate / Congress hearings on who caused what.
This type of post shows nothing of what really happened, but all of what the actual boardposter prefers us to believe.


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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/18/05 - Little Mary Perkins


The room was quiet as the Doctor and the Minister stood looking down
at the old man on the bed. Old Tom was very sick and there was no hope
that he would make it. They stood still as the Minister administered another
prayer. They all nodded in agreement as he finished. They all left the
room and closed the door. Tom was not to be disturbed. Little Mary
Perkins would look in on Tom as she was cleaning the hallway. Little
Mary was disabled and had a learning disorder. She would just shake her head
and move on down the hallway. Night after night, she would watch as
they all left Tom’s room. He just wasn’t getting any better. After three
months, there still hadn’t been any improvement. Tom was now on
life support and they were talking about removing him from this. Mary
dropped her head when she heard this and walked off down the hallway. That
night after hours, when everyone was gone, Mary eased into Tom’s room. She
knelt down to pray beside his bed. She said, "Lord, I don’t know the right
words to say but I want to ask you to help Tom. I know that you do help others.
So I just want to ask you if you ain’t too busy, would you take a
little time and look in on poor old Tom?" Just then the door opened and the
head nurse came in with the doctor. She said, "See doctor? I knew that she
was slipping into the patients rooms! I wonder what she is looking for or
trying to steal maybe?" The doctor just shook his head. The nurse took
Mary by the hand and led her out of the room and said very firmly,
"Don’t let me catch you in a patient’s room again! Do you understand?"
Mary said yes and went off down the hallway. The next day, as the nurse
came into the room, she
saw a shocking sight. Tom was setting on the
side of the bed, and had all his tubes disconnected. She ask him how he
felt. He said very well, except he was very hungry. The Doctor came in and
Tom ask him when he could go home. Many years later, Tom had gone on to be
with the Lord. As he stood talking to Jesus, he asked,"Lord, could I ask
you a question?" The Lord said, "yes, what is it you want to know?" Tom
ask, "why did you wait so long about answering the prayers for me?"
The Lord said, "Oh! It wasn’t long at all, The second I heard Little
Mary praying for you, I answered!"
Thank You Father,
for Your revelations

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:

With all respect .................

Yuk .... Stories like this make christianity look so insincere and phoney.

BTW : if you are on lifesupport, your vital signs are meassured too.
Any removal of lines and tubing will bring up an alarm.
So why it took the nurse till the following day .....

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/18/05 - THE BIBLE:



Except for the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and the Golden Rule, what other advice do you get from reading the Bible?

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


With many "christians" at times infringing on the Ten Commandments, rattling off the Lord's Prayer, and not implementing the Golden Rule, what about Jesus' teachings on being a good and social human being?


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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/18/05 - NEGLECT:



What is it about human consciousness and life that causes us to live barely conscious of God?

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


But people ARE conscious of God.
It's just that some accept that God entity, while others question it's existence, or reject it.
From me you may believe in God.
But that does not mean that all people have to accept your belief.


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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 09/16/05 - Man's designs vs. God's designs........................

A couple of years ago I had posted an essay here about man's geometric patterns vs. Nature's randomness - for instance, the designs on/in the Alhambra vs. God's designs. I searched for it, couldn't find it - but now as fall approaches, that essay has come to mind. Because of the recent Midwestern drought, leaves are falling early and exposing tree branches - God's random designs.

A garden spider had spun a large web in the thick of the bushes near my front door. All summer she has feasted on luckless flying things that got caught in her very beautiful web. That web is one of God's somewhat geometric but mostly random (every one is different) designs.

My thoughts then went to zebras. Wikipedia tells us that there are three kinds of zebras and "all have vividly contrasting black and white vertical stripes [that act] as a camouflage mechanism or play a role in social interactions (with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals) or is an effective means of confusing the visual system of the blood-sucking tsetse fly" - another one of God's designs.

On the other hand is the Alhambra, with its filigree walls and colorful Moorish tiles - one of man's designs, beautiful but almost tiring in its demand on one's senses.

Look around you. Do you see man's designs? - the rigid geometrics of smokestacks, skyscrapers faced with columns and rows of glass, the monotony of a freight train passing by, a bird's eye view of a Midwestern city with streets in a grid pattern. Beautiful but perhaps "too much for the eyes" after a while? Then take a look at Nature all around you - flowers, leaves, grasses, tree bark, the branching out of all kinds of trees, ant hills, birds' nests... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Restful and joyful and a feast for the eyes. God's designs.

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


"Natural beauty" is a product of a pure hard and mean battle of the strongest, evolution.
The appearance of lifeforms are based on it's own interest, like f.i. protection.
Therefore it is completely "unstandard".

Human made items are based on arguments like cost, efficiency, and profit, reason why we like to stay with a succesful product, upon which repetition sets in.


I fully agree with your statement :
"take a look at Nature all around you - flowers, leaves, grasses, tree bark, the branching out of all kinds of trees, ant hills, birds' nests... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Restful and joyful and a feast for the eyes".

It's only not a case of God's designs. It's a case of lack of human influence !

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/18/05 - So now the Pope is saying what others think

Pope's Katrina envoy: 'Shameful' poverty in U.S.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 Posted: 0017 GMT (0817 HKT)


VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to the United States to bring aid for Hurricane Katrina's victims said Saturday that many of them have been struck by "shameful" poverty in "rich America."

The German-born Archbishop Paul Cordes, who heads the Vatican's charity organization, traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi last week to express the pontiff's solidarity with the victims as well as bring aid.

He said that Catholic Charities had allocated $6 million (euro4.9 million).

"Many were struck by ... poverty, at times shameful, in rich America," Cordes told Vatican Radio.

"I do not want to hide my personal fear -- that the superpower isolates itself and remains isolated even in dealing with the disaster," Cordes said. "In this dramatic emergency, the United States must not be abandoned."

Cordes spent four days touring Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi.

"The weakness experienced by the United States faced with this catastrophe" serves to "destroy all of our beliefs about self-sufficiency," the Vatican official said. "Thus, for me, in the bad part of this event there is also the hope, for many citizens, of seeing that the world is greater than the United States," Cordes said.

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


I fully agree with Cordes.
Now, if only the Vatican implies this realistic thinking behind this in it's own arrangements towards the use of prophillactics ....

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/18/05 - CHRISTIAN UNDERGROUND:



... informs us that "The Minuteman Project, which a group of citizens launched last April in Arizona to protect the border against the infiltration of illegal aliens from Mexico, is expanding on Oct. 1.

Minuteman volunteers will add the rest of the Mexican border and eight states along the Canadian border to their patrolling responsibilities. The group not only hopes to spot and report illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the U.S. It will ratchet up the pressure on politicians to take action against illegal immigration and picket/advertise against businesses who hire illegal immigrants.

Leaders of the Minuteman Project reportedly want to patrol the Canadian border in order to guard against terrorists, drug smugglers, and other criminal elements that they fear might try to slip across."

I really admire these warriors. Allow the citizens of the United States to take over and solve problems. What do you think?

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


It's a sign that the end of a real democratic USA is near.
Protecting the borders of a country is a police activity, eventually with army troop assistance.
It's not an activity to be carried out by civilians.

And if you really want to stop the flow of refugees, do something on a more honest split-up of resources and wealth.
Well, that would be the way that Jesus would have shown us.
But than, "christianity" is far, very far away from that original christian target, isn't it?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/16/05 - Islam and the West

Cut and Paste

"Unlike most other religious developments around the world today (such as the spread of Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere) that have benign or at least nonviolent consequences, the overwhelming political fact deriving from the ferment in Islam is that, to some degree, some percentage of the world's Muslims are prepared to, and actually are, murdering large numbers of people in what they feel is their religious duty. Larger numbers of Muslims are, to some degree, supportive or protective of these killers. A yet larger number of Muslims, while not supportive of such tactics, share many of the terrorists' religious convictions and
perceptions.

Indeed, Muslim parts of Paris, Rotterdam, and other European cities are already labeled "no-go zones" for ethnic Europeans, including armed policemen. As the Muslim populations -- and their level of cultural and religious assertiveness -- expand, European geography will be "reclaimed" for Islam. Europe will become pockmarked with increasing numbers of "little Fallujahs" that will be effectively impenetrable by anything much short of a U.S. Marine division.

Such conditions pose three related but distinct threats to Europe and the West: 1) The cultural dominance of Europe by Islam; 2) The price of European resistance to such dominance if the Europeans do resist; 3) The increased danger of actual terrorist attacks that can be planned and launched from Islamists securely based in Europe.

If the current leaders of Europe do not respond to the Islamist threat boldly and effectively, the common European people might decide to defend their culture as vigilantes. In that case, Europe will again become a bloody urban battleground.

What's more, an Islamified Europe would be as great a threat to the United States today as a Nazified Europe would have been to the United States in the 1940s. Even before Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt understood that a Nazi-dominated Europe would be more than a fearsome military and industrial threat; it would be a civilizational threat. Now we face another civilizational threat in insurgent Islam.

This brings me to one of the primary reasons I decided to write "The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?" -- to give what publicity I can to the following political fact: The danger of America being horribly hit by terrorist attacks, great as it inherently is (given the capacities of the enemy), is compounded by the plain fact that the public -- and much of the government and media -- do not take terrorist threats seriously enough."

Tony Blankley

sarnian answered on 09/18/05:


Dear MarySue,

Tony Blankley's post is over-exaggerated.

  1. There have been many occasions where the spread of Christianity had extreme violent consequences.
    I suggest you ask f.i. the Maya's.
    Uh, well, uh ..... There ain't any Maya's alive now-a-days.
    Carried out by our own "non-violent" christian troops.

    Or ask the remnant of the original inhabitants of what today is called the US.
    Ask the (Red) Indians what they think of the "peaceful" occupation of their land and the destruction by "christians" of their entire society.

  2. ".... To some percentage of the world's Muslims ...."
    More extreme over-exaggeration : We are not talking here of a noticeable percentage at all. The fraction is so small that it has to be written as a permillage in the order of 0,01 or even lower. I.E. less than 100 out of every million of non-violent believers.

  3. ".... Larger numbers of Muslims are, to some degree, supportive or protective of these killers...."
    Correct, except that these numbers are also very small.
    Western society has created this fondness of supporting these terrorists by it's own resistence against Islam, by it's deliberate picking on everything that is muslim.

If a country admits muslims in great numbers for whatever reasons, it has to accept people as they are.
Many muslims did not change their religion, and only slightly their culture.
From the side of European authorities this was never a requirement.
Documents, pamphlets, instructions, etc. were for decades printed in the language of origin of the people.
Translators and interpreters were employed to assist these workers.
That people did not much to adapt their own culture should have been expected, because they were never told to adapt themselves, nor was there a need to do so.
From start it was the intention that they would return to their countries of origin as soon as they were no longer employed here.
But nobody had thought of it that children that are born in the new country become citizens of that country.
So if there is anything to blame it are the authorities, specially those here in Europe.

Accept it or not, but the US is more seen by the majority of humanity as a villainous oppressor and exploiter, than as a pure benign beneficient bearer of democracy, fair trade, and goodwill.
Al Queda's 9-11 attack had nothing to do with the lifes muslims live in the west, but with the policies of the US in the Middle East.
Of course there were a few people who applauded when the twin towers collapsed, but than be ensured that there would have been americans also who would have been applauding had either the US or the Sovjets pressed the red button during the cold war.
Lacking insight happens everywhere and to a small percentage of members of any group in society.

But with the 9-11 attack came the fear (and near-hatred) that is so significant during the last 4 years for all that is muslim.
So muslim seek each other even more than before, and protect anything in their mids, even if they clearly don't agree with it.
During my overseas travels I lived in an american compound in El Salvador, and I can guarantee you that I have hardly ever seen more chauvinistic people than those americans in the middle of an anti-american society.
If you feel yourself attacked while living in an overwhelming negative climate, you become chauvinistic.
So why should we blame muslims for doing exactly the same in our western society that just tolerates their presence?

Why are muslims not integrating like most immigrating people do?
Would you like to do that if all you hear is that they don't want you there?

The situation is much more complex than just being explained away with some short remarks.
Blankley's post is an abomination of the reality of muslim life here in Europe.
There will never be an islamified Europe.
Muslims will assimilate, if we give them the chance to become real Europeans, instead of thinking of them as pariah's.

I don't think that muslims ever will become christians.
But than, why should they? The choice of religion is a freedom.

The problem of muslims in our western society will only be solved if we can solve our own problems in respect to our wrong attitude towards muslims.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/17/05 - Spilin and such like

Should language, grammar, and orthography be static, or should it be dynamic, subject to the individual creative genius of its users. I have so much fun with language, stretching it this way and that. I write smething, and my wife. my editor and critic, says, "They will not understand that." My reply is, "Let them struggle!"

The word read and the word riddle are from the same root. Readers have to solve the riddle of what is there to be read.

Language that is a trifle challenging should not send folks into conniptions or hissies.

My advice is to reel-axe and smell the fowlers.

:)

sarnian answered on 09/17/05:


As long as you prevent your "hobby" to become a kind of language haughtiness.
Not everyone in this world is speaking english as his or her first language.
And even those who speak English as their first language do not always pick up on everything one can devise.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/16/05 - Bush CUTS Spending to "Assist Victims"

I'm not making this up.

Ruling out tax increases (read, repeal of Estate Tax) to help pay for Katrina disaster, Bush has decided to CUT federal spending so that money is available for victims of tragedy.

He did not specify just what cuts will be made but do you think it's his adventure in Iraq, or maybe he'll decide milk for poor children isn't really necessary, maybe even drop any flood control projects.

Welcome to Oz. The man is without a clue.

Typical Republican/right wing strategy. Reduce taxes but don't bother telling the nation that the levees on you-know-where will not be finished.

Are we that stupid? Mr. Bush seems to think so.

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Well, he can reduce spending a lot by moving the unlawful invasion troops out of Iraq. Hundreds of billions of dollars a year!

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/16/05 - The Bill of Rights

mendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


Would you vote for all these rights if they were on the ballot today? If not, why not? If so, why? Comments anyone?

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Dear MarySue,

I would NOT vote for these rights, as they fail to specify the right that is the most important to me :

The right to life.
Everyone is entitled to life. (No exceptions).


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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/16/05 - Nominee Roberts on First Amendment

I may have gotten this wrong, but......

Roberts said, referring to the 1st Amendment, "Many of the founding fathers, Jefferson, and Paine, were deists. The Establishment clause reflected their experience in recent European history and they wanted to avoid a religion becoming a test for citizenship".

This would certainly include Christianity which, in one of its many forms, was the established religion in European countries.

I looked for the actual quote on the transcript but couldn't immediately find it. More computer delays than anything else. I'll keep looking.

This is for those here who have in the past argued that Christianity should be the official religion of the US, and that was the intention of the founders.

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Bradd

maybe this link helps?

http://forum.cygnus-study.com/showthread.php?t=8843

~~~

As you well know, a treaty is the law of the land, and the words in this treaty could not be more clear: "the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and at Algiers January 3, 1797. Submitted to the Senate May 29, 1797. Resolution of advice and consent June 7, 1797. Ratified by the United States June 10, 1797.

ARTICLE 11.
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. (Emphasis added)

Full text of treaty here: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796t.htm.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/16/05 - Dianetics or rip-off?


Speaking of pseudo-religions I want to mention the great success is right now having in Spain the Dianetics or Church of Scientology. With the previous Government (which some of you would call of the right wing) this sect was outlawed. But, now, with our brand new socialist government – that is taking such wonderful and “democratic” decisions as eliminating the teaching of the Catholic religion from the schools (despite having received the formal protest from almost 2 million families who have signed a declaration against that measure and none, so far, in favor) or pushing, instead, the teaching of Islamic religion in the schools where they have Muslim children, Dianetics have come back with extreme force.

You would never guess why they seem to be recruiting a large number of females, as compared to males. Because Tom Cruise and John Travolta are notable members of it.

Bearing in mind this new religious philosophy of proselytism, if our Lord is planning on sending once more his Son, He better makes him look like a movie star rather than the conventional Semitic type, and thus, He will be followed by thousands of teen agers who don’t give a damn about religion but do care about image!

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Scientology and Dianetics are just as any other religion or superstition.
It all depends from which direction you look at it.

Scientology a rip-off? But what happens to moneys collected in other religious groups?
Dianetics a rip-off? People assume ideas that can not be checked on their real value. So what's different to any other belief?
Superstition : just another religion which you do not share in any way.


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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/15/05 - Are we definitely going crazy?

Raelians have just disembarked in Barcelona, of all places.

They probably consider us more idiots than we already are...

It is a Canadian semi-religious sect that manage to handle a lot of money, from unknown origin.

The following article explainas a little more about the sect in question:

"A Canadian cult that believes in free love and that life on earth was created by extra terrestrials said it could deliver the world's first cloned baby on Christmas day.
But the announcement by the Quebec-based Raelians sect was greeted with anger and skepticism from experts in the field.

"I am personally disgusted," said Arthur Leader, chief of reproductive medicine at the Ottawa Hospital. "It shows disrespect for human embryos and it demeans our humanity," he said.

Brigitte Boisselier, a bishop in the sect, said their company, Clonaid, cloned a human embryo last March and a baby girl is expected to be delivered soon, possibly on Christmas Day.

"We are well advanced and the first baby is due for the end of this year. We think it will be a healthy baby," Boisselier said.

She said 10 human embryos were cloned, with five miscarrying. The four other cloned babies are expected in 2003.

Boisselier, 45, is a biochemist associated with the Raelians, a cult that believes life on earth was genetically created by visiting extra-terrestrials.

In February, the Raelians predicted a human clone within the next two years and in April, it said it had started work on cloning a terminally ill man.

Boisselier explained Clonaid used the eggs of a woman as well as cells from a donor. One cell was selected and put into the woman's egg, which was implanted into the uterus of the woman being cloned.

"The baby has developed very normally and has been followed closely. We are not talking about a monster but about a baby desired by her parents," Boisselier said.

The news follows the announcement by an Italian group, led by Dr Severino Antinori, which said in November a woman was expected to give birth to a cloned boy in January.

Canadian scientists expressed doubt the Raelians, founded by 55-year-old leader Claude Vorilhon, had the expertise to deliver a healthy cloned baby.

"I don't see a valid reason to be in this area at this time. I don't think there is a team anywhere that could create a healthy baby," Leader said, stressing that cloning of animals had been quite problematic in the first phases.

Religion specialists said the Raelian movement was good at generating publicity with its stunts.

"It is not the first time they have announced things like that," said Mike Kropveld, executive director of Montreal-based Info-Cult.

© Reuters "

Are they also in the USA?

How come that this type of sects always find gullible people who believe in what they preach, when what they preach is nothing but pornography and non-sense?

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Well, may be the distance between religion and superstition is not as big as you ever thought ....


Choux rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/15/05 - What is truth?

Thuth is a condition, which has no maybe's, no but's, no if's, no fading around the edges, no strings attached, no and's, and nothing unclear. Thuth, is nothing more, nothing less, than that. God's word is truth. If it says something, that is it. It cannot be rearranged to mean something else. If that happens, it is no longer truth, and therefore, no more God's word. It is that simple. The word kill, in the bible, has two meanings. The two were never meant to be used to described what was said. One is murder, the other is execute. Although you must kill to acomplish either one, they have two different meanings. To murder is a sin, to execute is not. Some murders are called executeions, but are not. Some executions are called murder, but are not. God has the authority to execute.
Nobody else has more authority to do so. But God gets blamed, out of ignorance, for things He did not do, or did do, and called something else. These are the works of Satan. He is the great accuser, the great liar, and the great cheat. He will take God's straight word and curl, twist, and slant it, like a snake. To a point which cannot be understood by some people. He uses people, who seem to be intelligent. But they are not. They have attained worldy knowledge, to a point where they can make most people believe them. They love to use big words, which are not understood by the average person, but because they believe they are so unlearned, and that the other person must be so intelligent, that what they are saying must be true. Well, be advised now. This is not so. You are not unlearned. Do not ever believe that. You may not have read the books they have, and it may be a good thing you did not. You could be confused also. Just take this to the bank, that is your storage bank in heaven. You just trust that God is real, and the truth. Jesus is also real, and the truth. The Holy Spirit is real, and is truth. This is the only thing you need to worry about right now. Then you ask God to guide you to true knowledge of His word, and it will happen. Do not let anyone else cause you to start to doubt. If they start, just tell them in a nice, but firm way, that you are listening to God, and you would like to be left alone, about your faith. Continue to pray and ask God for leadership and guidance. You will receive this. I had an Uncle who could not even sigh his name. After he accepted Jesus into his life, he began to read his bible. And before his death, he was telling others things, which they did not understand. That was God's way of answering his prayer. He really wanted to know the bible, and he did at last. So stay in there. Keep on keeping on...

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

TRUTH :
- the quality of being true, genuine, actual, factual.
- a proven or verified fact
- the condition that is supported with evidence, with proof. Evidence and proof that can be checked and retested by others, and found conclusive.

God's word - as it can not be proven to be that - can never be called the truth, as it is based on belief and faith.
That does not make it of less value for believers, though.
For them it SEEMS to be the truth.

Re. murder : "THOU SHALL NOT KILL"
I really do not need glasses or your personal interpretation to read what is stated there.
And I agree with that statement.
And it is noteworthy is that in the entire CIVILIZED world executions (State legalized murder) have been taken off the lawbooks.
Just think about that ....................................

bucker rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer
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Question/Answer
pondtogo asked on 09/15/05 - ;l'

l;'

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

Well, how was it?
Or can't you remember that neither?
:)

Question/Answer
pondtogo asked on 09/15/05 - my fault

was it my fault that my best friends boyfriend had sex with me and did other things with me while I was drunk?

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:

YES

excon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/15/05 - People Of Answerway

Sorry about posting the last question twice. Anyway, in all seriousness (and I was being serious about Sarnian, the dude scares me, I can't sleep because I think he's outside my window watching me undress and stuff), you can report me, but doing that will only hurt yourselves.
You see, I'm sort of like your son in a way, at least to the ones with higher seniority, like Revdauphinee, STONY, and Hank, who says he wants to help me, thinking I'm depressed, I'm sure this is just to anger me.
If I'm kicked off this board, Answerway will decline, I am the balance here, I bring out the bad in people and the good in people like Sarnian, the closet case. By attacking him, he looks fragile to all of you, which he is.
Getting back to what I was saying, you've known me for years, I am 4 years old now in this place, not really, I came here two years ago and before that you all knew me in Askme and WeTellYou.com as Sativa, Romulus and Aladdin Vein beginning in 2001, mocking most of you and sharing some of my wisdom which is overlooked, but I don't mind.

What I'm saying is, I want to be kicked off of this board, prove to me that you don't want me as a fellow member, throw me away. If you succeed, I will never come back, and you will never hear from me again. If you fail, I will remember you as the christians who attempted to discard the boy they watched grow into a man.
----------------------------------------------
And for the record, I am not depressed, where did this come from? I'm perfectly happy, especially with my ideals, though they are frown upon by the common man, whom I despise.

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:


Lazlow be ensured that the last thing I will do is having interest in your body.
Your disturbed mind, your paranoia, and your need for rudeness are already more than enough reason to feel abhorrence towards your person.
For the rest of your post (except that last line) I agree with chewy's reaction.

So you despise the common man, do you?
That will be nice to hear for most here ....

Lazlow rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/15/05 - Sorry Sarnian, You're Not My Type

People of Answerway, before I do this, I think I need your advice. I'm thinking of reporting Sarnian. Below is some of the stuff he's said to or about me. I understand that this behaviour is common among closet homosexuals, and NO I am not being humorous, I'll prove it to you. And although I am not christian I am not fond of homosexuality and I consider this sexual harassment. Sarnian, I will report you if this continues.
I've heard this guy call two people hypocrites, hmm, well, first of all this guy said I was "rude" 15 times, he says I verbally abuse him... Let's see why.

"If it is only up to me to do this, this board only shows it's own ugly hypocritic face, with it's simplistic thinking"

"For sure Lazlow is depressed and needs help." = He didnt say this seriously, you know. He was trying to insult me."

"Looks like you're clean today. Great!
You were even capable of cutting and pasting!" - ? I'm rude and abusive?

"Next time be sober when you post."
and finally
"He's not a terrorist.
I guess he's just a boy on pot or other drug."
------------
Like I've said before, Sarnian, are you love with my ass? Since you are why don't you just kiss my ass? Oh, That's right, it's already glued to Paracletes
-- Oh no! Report me Sarnian! Foul language, RUDENESS! OH MY! Lions Tigers and Bears, this is hurting my virgin ears!
-------------
Anyway, before you all start reporting me, take a look at all the things Sarnian has said about me, is this not abusive? I don't think so, I consider it sexual harassment because it all started before I even got to know him. Besides, if he wrote this much about me, isnt it obvious he's infatuated with me?

sarnian 09/14/05
Hank,

sarnian I'm asking here : "When is it time to report" ?
I'm waiting for an answer.

sarnian We may differ of opinion as much as we like, but rudeness is unacceptable (from a christian or from anything else).

sarnian That's very gallant, but it does not solve the problem of rudeness.
And I don't mean a slip of the tongue, but repeated abuse, as in Krewton's and Lazlow's case.

sarnian Although this may be a mother-son argument, this board should loudly protest to Lazlow's rudeness.
If he wants to accuse his mother he should do that in private.
Just as one expresses his love for some one : you do that in private.

How long would it take here these same people to report abuse, if I would post just half of this rudeness?
Think about that, Stony.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 11:31 am:
powderpuff

Making personal comments about others is not the same as deliberate posting rudeness.
I indeed posted several times that you seemed to me making racial statements and fundamentalist christian statements.
After being addressed on that I apologized to you - which you refused to accept.
Now you are harping on the same subject repeatedly in various posts.
How sad to see your anger and frustrating eating you completely.
A "real christian" reaction ....

Rated By Rating Comments

sarnian But is that a reason not to report his abuse?

I only have to read back the current page 1 postings by Lazlow to see who he is.
First, after some misplaced "love statement" it soon was post upon post of rudeness.
Than there were grey stars for all who disagreed with him, posted with another verbal insult.
And now you expect a groundswell of Hallelujah's for him in the hope to "save" him?
He could not even write 7 lines without a kick into the "Liz 22" direction.

For sure Lazlow is depressed and needs help.
But I do not guess that the help he needs is from a pastoral nature.
There is more needed in that department.


sarnian There is no problem with trying to help others.
But that does not mean we should close our eyes for continuing faul and rude language on this board.
Follow your religious beliefs, but be at least honest and fair to all on this board.

Would you react the same way if I posted only half of the rudeness Lazlow posted recently?
Rather hypocrite, isn't it, Fred ?

sarnian Are you also on his side when he continues with his current rounds of grey stars and rudeness?

I have neither any problem with forgiving and forgetting.
But that does not have to replace a sturdy dressing down for his faul and rude posts here.
To do that is hypocrite!

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 8:51 am:
Hank

come on, Hank. Lazlow admitted he is not a christian.
And I note that you "forgot" in this question to point out that a real christian does not post rudeness upon rudeness.

Give the guy a new chance, fine with me.
But be at least honest when you butter him up.
It's this hypocrisy of double values that shows the emptiness of pastoral guidance.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 9:53 am:

Hank : just go to "Just a thought on recent communications" by paraclete dated 09/13/05, to see the real Lazlow.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 5:35 pm:
Looks like you're clean today. Great!
You were even capable of cutting and pasting!

Thanks for pointing out that one question mark was wrongly placed.
Had you taken the time to check your own post, you would have noticed the following mistakes :

couldnt : couldn't ?
ludacris : ludicrous ?
w/ : with ?
A perfect case of Thom. 26 1 "You see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but you do not see the beam that is in your own eye."

"and prove to everyone there is no god".
I never claimed there is no god. There is no way to prove there is a (or no) god, although it is rather unlikely that god exists.

The existence of aliens has never been proven, but there is no logical nor scientific reason to suggest that they do not exist.
And I added to that, that it will be very unlikely ever to meet an alien, in view of the enormous distances in the universe.

~~~

"is there something you find sick about expressing love?"
No, not at all. It often is a beautiful and heartwarming experience.

"Does it really make you sick?"
Not when it is done in a suitable way : in private.
You made a caricature of a love expression with your retarded appearing post.
Next time be sober when you post.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:15 pm:

I almost forgot : you posted without one single rudeness.
Applause !!!!

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:24 pm:
Lazlow :

Pity you could not leave it to be rude once more.
But let's see who is the dumb-ass here :

With 100 billion galaxies in the universe, each with on average 270 billion star systems, and - as far as we know today - every tenth sun having a planetary system, this amounts to a lot of planets.
Taking into account solar orbit distance and planet size, there are at least millions of earth like planets in an orbit around numerous stars providing the basics for life to develop.
If that did is unknown at this moment, but there is no reason to suggest it can not.
Afteral, life developed here on earth also.

About first contact : that will surely be by radio signals, as the enormous distances in the universe prohibits space travel on that sort of scale.
Captain Kirk and co. with their hyperdrives are purely fiction and phantasy.

Go to a public library, Lazlow, take some scientific books out on astronomy, and read them.
If you need explanations, just ask me.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 9:42 am:

Hank : please take notice of the above statement: this is the real Lazlow.

When is it time to report verbal abuse? sarnian 09/13/05

Paraclete is a dork - .... Lazlow 09/12/05
Liz You Scumbag Terrorist Prick! - Lazlow 09/12/05
Stop Liz! The Evildoer! - Terrorist swine - Lazlow 09/12/05
Liz the terrorist strikes again /... pull that jolly rancher out of your ass. - Lazlow 09/12/05

And in reply to Liz "the terrorist" : There you are, scumbag terrorist - Lazlow 09/12/05 (talking to himself, I guess)

Isn't that enough for a 24 hour period?

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:44 pm:
rev : that only will happen when people on this board start with letting the abusers know what they think about them, irrespective of what they claim to be, christian or whatever else.

sarnian I'm sure it is nothing positive ...

sarnian He's not a terrorist.
I guess he's just a boy on pot or other drug.
-----------------------
okay that's enough.

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:


Lazlow : be sure that you're neither my type.
From me you may post whatever you want on this board, EXCEPT that vulgar display of rudeness you presented to us all a week ago.
I note that by now you still have not offered a sincere apology to all on this board for your verbal abuse.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

There is nothing you posted here above as a question that can be considered abuse, or what I want to take back.
If this board's management decides to block my access, while leaving you continue posting after that clear display of disrespect and hatred, that would prove that it is not really worthwhile to spend one single more minute here, as the boardrules would be used not as a control against abuse, but as a control to silence opposing views, i.e. censorship.

If you really intend to report my so-called "abuse", I guess it's time to report YOUR REAL ABUSE OF THIS BOARD also.
So be it.

Lazlow rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/15/05 - Sorry Sarnian, You're Not My Type

People of Answerway, before I do this, I think I need your advice. I'm thinking of reporting Sarnian. Below is some of the stuff he's said to or about me. I understand that this behaviour is common among closet homosexuals, and NO I am not being humorous, I'll prove it to you. And although I am not christian I am not fond of homosexuality and I consider this sexual harassment. Sarnian, I will report you if this continues.
I've heard this guy call two people hypocrites, hmm, well, first of all this guy said I was "rude" 15 times, he says I verbally abuse him... Let's see why.

"If it is only up to me to do this, this board only shows it's own ugly hypocritic face, with it's simplistic thinking"

"For sure Lazlow is depressed and needs help." = He didnt say this seriously, you know. He was trying to insult me."

"Looks like you're clean today. Great!
You were even capable of cutting and pasting!" - ? I'm rude and abusive?

"Next time be sober when you post."
and finally
"He's not a terrorist.
I guess he's just a boy on pot or other drug."
------------
Like I've said before, Sarnian, are you love with my ass? Since you are why don't you just kiss my ass? Oh, That's right, it's already glued to Paracletes
-- Oh no! Report me Sarnian! Foul language, RUDENESS! OH MY! Lions Tigers and Bears, this is hurting my virgin ears!
-------------
Anyway, before you all start reporting me, take a look at all the things Sarnian has said about me, is this not abusive? I don't think so, I consider it sexual harassment because it all started before I even got to know him. Besides, if he wrote this much about me, isnt it obvious he's infatuated with me?

sarnian 09/14/05
Hank,

sarnian I'm asking here : "When is it time to report" ?
I'm waiting for an answer.

sarnian We may differ of opinion as much as we like, but rudeness is unacceptable (from a christian or from anything else).

sarnian That's very gallant, but it does not solve the problem of rudeness.
And I don't mean a slip of the tongue, but repeated abuse, as in Krewton's and Lazlow's case.

sarnian Although this may be a mother-son argument, this board should loudly protest to Lazlow's rudeness.
If he wants to accuse his mother he should do that in private.
Just as one expresses his love for some one : you do that in private.

How long would it take here these same people to report abuse, if I would post just half of this rudeness?
Think about that, Stony.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 11:31 am:
powderpuff

Making personal comments about others is not the same as deliberate posting rudeness.
I indeed posted several times that you seemed to me making racial statements and fundamentalist christian statements.
After being addressed on that I apologized to you - which you refused to accept.
Now you are harping on the same subject repeatedly in various posts.
How sad to see your anger and frustrating eating you completely.
A "real christian" reaction ....

Rated By Rating Comments

sarnian But is that a reason not to report his abuse?

I only have to read back the current page 1 postings by Lazlow to see who he is.
First, after some misplaced "love statement" it soon was post upon post of rudeness.
Than there were grey stars for all who disagreed with him, posted with another verbal insult.
And now you expect a groundswell of Hallelujah's for him in the hope to "save" him?
He could not even write 7 lines without a kick into the "Liz 22" direction.

For sure Lazlow is depressed and needs help.
But I do not guess that the help he needs is from a pastoral nature.
There is more needed in that department.


sarnian There is no problem with trying to help others.
But that does not mean we should close our eyes for continuing faul and rude language on this board.
Follow your religious beliefs, but be at least honest and fair to all on this board.

Would you react the same way if I posted only half of the rudeness Lazlow posted recently?
Rather hypocrite, isn't it, Fred ?

sarnian Are you also on his side when he continues with his current rounds of grey stars and rudeness?

I have neither any problem with forgiving and forgetting.
But that does not have to replace a sturdy dressing down for his faul and rude posts here.
To do that is hypocrite!

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 8:51 am:
Hank

come on, Hank. Lazlow admitted he is not a christian.
And I note that you "forgot" in this question to point out that a real christian does not post rudeness upon rudeness.

Give the guy a new chance, fine with me.
But be at least honest when you butter him up.
It's this hypocrisy of double values that shows the emptiness of pastoral guidance.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 9:53 am:

Hank : just go to "Just a thought on recent communications" by paraclete dated 09/13/05, to see the real Lazlow.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 5:35 pm:
Looks like you're clean today. Great!
You were even capable of cutting and pasting!

Thanks for pointing out that one question mark was wrongly placed.
Had you taken the time to check your own post, you would have noticed the following mistakes :

couldnt : couldn't ?
ludacris : ludicrous ?
w/ : with ?
A perfect case of Thom. 26 1 "You see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but you do not see the beam that is in your own eye."

"and prove to everyone there is no god".
I never claimed there is no god. There is no way to prove there is a (or no) god, although it is rather unlikely that god exists.

The existence of aliens has never been proven, but there is no logical nor scientific reason to suggest that they do not exist.
And I added to that, that it will be very unlikely ever to meet an alien, in view of the enormous distances in the universe.

~~~

"is there something you find sick about expressing love?"
No, not at all. It often is a beautiful and heartwarming experience.

"Does it really make you sick?"
Not when it is done in a suitable way : in private.
You made a caricature of a love expression with your retarded appearing post.
Next time be sober when you post.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:15 pm:

I almost forgot : you posted without one single rudeness.
Applause !!!!

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:24 pm:
Lazlow :

Pity you could not leave it to be rude once more.
But let's see who is the dumb-ass here :

With 100 billion galaxies in the universe, each with on average 270 billion star systems, and - as far as we know today - every tenth sun having a planetary system, this amounts to a lot of planets.
Taking into account solar orbit distance and planet size, there are at least millions of earth like planets in an orbit around numerous stars providing the basics for life to develop.
If that did is unknown at this moment, but there is no reason to suggest it can not.
Afteral, life developed here on earth also.

About first contact : that will surely be by radio signals, as the enormous distances in the universe prohibits space travel on that sort of scale.
Captain Kirk and co. with their hyperdrives are purely fiction and phantasy.

Go to a public library, Lazlow, take some scientific books out on astronomy, and read them.
If you need explanations, just ask me.

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/14/05 9:42 am:

Hank : please take notice of the above statement: this is the real Lazlow.

When is it time to report verbal abuse? sarnian 09/13/05

Paraclete is a dork - .... Lazlow 09/12/05
Liz You Scumbag Terrorist Prick! - Lazlow 09/12/05
Stop Liz! The Evildoer! - Terrorist swine - Lazlow 09/12/05
Liz the terrorist strikes again /... pull that jolly rancher out of your ass. - Lazlow 09/12/05

And in reply to Liz "the terrorist" : There you are, scumbag terrorist - Lazlow 09/12/05 (talking to himself, I guess)

Isn't that enough for a 24 hour period?

Clarification/Follow-up by sarnian on 09/13/05 6:44 pm:
rev : that only will happen when people on this board start with letting the abusers know what they think about them, irrespective of what they claim to be, christian or whatever else.

sarnian I'm sure it is nothing positive ...

sarnian He's not a terrorist.
I guess he's just a boy on pot or other drug.
-----------------------
okay that's enough.

sarnian answered on 09/16/05:


Lazlow : be sure that you're neither my type.
From me you may post whatever you want on this board, EXCEPT that vulgar display of rudeness you presented to us all a week ago.
I note that by now you still have not offered a sincere apology to all on this board for your verbal abuse.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

There is nothing you posted here above as a question that can be considered abuse, or what I want to take back.
If this board's management decides to block my access, while leaving you continue posting after that clear display of disrespect and hatred, that would prove that it is not really worthwhile to spend one single more minute here, as the boardrules would be used not as a control against abuse, but as a control to silence opposing views, i.e. censorship.

If you really intend to report my so-called "abuse", I guess it's time to report YOUR REAL ABUSE OF THIS BOARD also.
So be it.

Lazlow rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/15/05 - Nativity Story-Science and the Bible

"Even some conservative Christians are willing to allow that the Nativity scene presented in church pageants and Christmas decorations may not be absolutely accurate. That means the shepherds, three wise men bearing gifts, Mary and Joseph, their baby son (lying in a manger), a couple of angels and maybe a star overhead.


"The Birth," the first episode of the National Geographic Channel's "Science of the Bible," which has its premiere tonight, sets out to determine what Jesus' birth really looked like. It takes the job seriously, with responsible interpretations of ancient history and intriguing historical possibilities.

"Much of the nativity story we know comes from later writings, folk tales that never even made it into the Bible," the narrator says. The only mention of Mary's riding a donkey, for instance, is from the Infancy Gospel of James, a second- or third-century text read by early Christians.

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke differ considerably in their description of Jesus' birth, but as Lawrence H. Schiffman, a professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, says, "There must be a core story that they all inherited."

Here are some of the program's conclusions.

Mary and Joseph may have indeed been going to Bethlehem for a census, as the biblical book of Luke says. If so, Jesus was born in A.D. 6. Or the couple may have lived in Bethlehem, as Matthew says. Matthew mentions the reign of Herod, which would put Jesus' birth date at 4 B.C. or earlier.

If Mary and Joseph were travelers, they were probably not looking for an inn in the modern sense. People may have rented out rooms in their house to pilgrims passing through. Either way, Mary, who may have been only 14 or 15, probably gave birth in the lower level of a private house where the animals were kept. It was a very modest, small stone house with tiny windows or no windows at all. (You want light? Go outdoors.)

Because she was poor, Mary did not have a birthing stool, the choice of wealthy women at that time. She had a midwife and delivered standing up, leaning against the midwife's assistants, who helped with the pushing by massaging Mary's abdomen. Joseph waited nervously outside.

Afterward Mary took a mikvah, or purifying bath. There was a circumcision (and what sounds like a modern bris, with extended family coming over for a special meal) and a sacrifice (the Bible says a couple of birds) at the temple.

The Star of Bethlehem that the wise men, or magi, saw in the east was probably not a nova or even Halley's Comet. John Mosley, an astronomer at the Griffith Observatory, says it was most likely a rare convergence of Jupiter and Venus.

Mr. Mosley describes the result, on the evening of June 17 of 2 B.C.: "The two planets had merged into one single gleaming object, one giant star in the sky, in the direction of Jerusalem, as seen from Persia." (Unfortunately this date means that both Matthew and Luke were wrong about the year.)

Roman history probably influenced the gospel writers. Jonathan L. Reed, a professor of religion at the University of La Verne in Southern California, points out that after seeing a comet, Augustus, the great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar, took it as an omen and declared his dead father God. Logically enough, he declared himself the son of God.

So when Matthew wrote the story, using the Star of Bethlehem as an omen, he was trying to make a parallel. Similarly, King Herod behaves a lot like an Old Testament pharaoh. Daniel Smith-Christopher, a professor of biblical studies at Loyola Marymount University, suggests, "Matthew wants the reader to make the connection between Moses and Jesus." And Luke may have put shepherds into his description because he wanted to suggest a connection with David, the shepherd king.

One thing that everyone in "The Birth" seems to agree on is that Mary and Joseph were poor. "This is a lower-class birth," Mr. Reed says, "and Jesus is part of the peasant class."

Science of the Bible

National Geographic tonight at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.



Comments?

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:


Dear MarySue,

The National Geographic Channel needs more and more programs, as you can't air more reruns than they already do, or you loose viewers.
So they add programs to the "general viewers taste".
And in the US everything that connects in any way to the bible is "bingo"!

"But Science of the Bible" can never be that : science.
It may be here and there near historical, most probably very interesting, but never scientific.

Science requires supporting evidence for all it's conclusions, and that is precisely what is missing forever.
They should have called the program "History of the Bible" or something similar to that.
What they are actually doing is destroying the beautiful fairytale of Jesus' birth.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/15/05 - 1000 killed in heat wave in 1995 ;465 in Chicago alone. Where was the Federal Response ? The Clinton

The number of deaths that occurred during the July 1995 heat wave exceeded the average number of lives lost each year in the United States to floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes -- b>and many of these deaths could have been avoided, according to a Disaster Survey Report issued today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More than 1,000 people died during the July 1995 heat wave that hit the Midwest and many cities along the East Coast. In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat.

Chicago experienced its worst weather-related disaster, with 465 heat-related deaths recorded during the period from July 11-27, 1995. Milwaukee was also severely affected, with 85 heat- related deaths recorded during the same time period.

"In both Chicago and Milwaukee, the National Weather Service issued warnings of the developing heat wave several days in advance, which were quickly broadcast by the local media," said Kathryn D. Sullivan, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief scientist and leader of the national disaster survey team that investigated this event.

So what went wrong? According to the report, in Chicago and Milwaukee, a heat wave of this magnitude is so unusual that it was not immediately recognized as a public health emergency. The heat wave was a highly rare -- in some respects an unprecedented -- weather event because of its unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures and accompanying high relative humidities. "Unfortunately, a heat wave connotes discomfort, not violence; inconvenience, not alarm," said Sullivan.

Despite accurate National Weather Service warnings and advisories and effective media coverage, the report concludes people either did not receive or know how to use the information. Both Chicago and Milwaukee had extensive disaster preparedness plans for other weather events like floods or blizzards. However, due to the highly rare nature of the heat wave, neither city possessed an official plan for responding to heat emergencies.


Read the rest here


Hundreds of victims never made it to a hospital. The most overcrowded place in the city was the Cook County Medical Examiners Office, where police transported hundreds of bodies for autopsies. By Saturday - just three days into the heat wave - its capacity was exceeded by hundreds, and the county had to bring in a fleet of refrigerated trucks to store the bodies. Police officers had to wait as long as three hours for a worker to receive the body.



Hillary Clinton made sure she did the rounds of the network chat shows last week . She told ABC, CBS and NBC that "FEMA worked very well during the Clinton administration."Maybe Hillary feels that her husband is above blame because local and state officials are responsible for taking care of people during a widespread natural disaster?

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:


In France there was also a heatwave several years ago, and thousands of people died because of it.
A national committee looked deep into the causes of the disaster.
It turned out that most of the victims were old and sick people, who's condition was so low, that the body could not survive the heat conditions.
The problem with heat exhaustion is that it happens to people at home, and that the old people were unable to leave their homes to a refuge once they noticed the heat conditions.
For old age homes there is now a legal instruction to have a major hall with air conditioning capable of functioning during extreme temperatures.
But it will be very difficult to go from house to house to inspect all other people who live at home.
I do not think you can blame authorities for such conditions, not for the results.

Re. The Gulf disaster :
People did not blame the authorities for Katrina.
Some people did blame the authorities for the flooding.
All people should have blamed the authorities for only being able to start serious relief operations after 5 days since the disaster happened.
Imagine : 5 days without food, water, and relief.
Even Bangladesh handles it's citizens better ....

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Question/Answer
divisionbell asked on 09/15/05 - mixed messages

I went to a catholic soup kitchen yesterday. My christian friends tell me something of the sort that if you serve the lowest among you, you are serving Jesus or something like that. I thought it would be a good experience to see gods people in action serving their lord. The man in charge was either having a bad day or serving his lord makes him mean. He was yelling at the poor people there criticizing them and putting them down at every chance. I heard him yelling things like LADY LADY WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!! and when someone dropped their plastic silver ware on the floor, he yelled GO AHEAD THROW IT ON THE FLOOR YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY OF OUR HELP ANYWAY and gathering up trays he was yelling things like YOU CAN'T MAKE IT EASY ON ME CAN YOU and YOU BETTER BE GRATEFUL TO EAT EVERYTHING WE GIVE YOU DON'T DARE WASTE ANYTHING. There was a man in a wheelchair pushed way to the side but still sticking out in the isle a little bit the man yelled GET OUT OF THE ISLE MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE BUDDY and did nothing to help move him to a better spot. There was a woman talking on a cell phone telling the person on the other end that she would be home soon the mean guy yelled YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT CELL PHONES TURN IT OFF NOW!!!! IF YOU CAN AFFORD A CELL PHONE YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING HERE.
I can't remember specific bible verses from the lesson my christian friend told me but I thought it meant something like taking care of the poor would be the same as taking care of or serving Jesus. IOW if you serve a poor person, do it the same as if that person is god. Did I get it wrong? Handing out food to poor people should be done with the same love and cheerfulness that you would have if you were serving Jesus a meal at your home right? I could be getting confused about it, but if I understand correctly, it seemed this soup kitchen was acting like a bunch of spoiled disrespectful brats doing chores for people they despise.
Still not sure what christianity is but one thing I know for sure its confusing. I can't remember the bible verse but the meaning I got was something like no one is better than anyone else and you should treat each other as well as you would god. When I went to see it in action I saw something totally different then what my friend told me.

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:

Hello and welcome Divisionbell.

Although helping the poor and needed is part of one of the religious/christian missions in life, the actual way this is carried out has nothing to do with any form of religion.
Handing out to the poor is just a social and ethical response to the needs of our fellow human beings.
Soup kitchens should fall under the same approach , catholic or whatever.
The "gentle"man you met there does not understand his function nor his place, and should be removed permanently.

~~~

For over 50 years of my life I am already atheist.
As a volunteer I am connected to a hospice, where I run now and than night shifts.
People here do not care what my religious views are. They do not judge my personal views.
Nor do I care what their personal worldviews are. That's not why I am there.
They are happy with the care I provide to them. And I am honoured that I am allowed to assist them during the last days of their life.
That is the reason I do this work.

The guy in the soup kitchen does not understand what he is doing there.


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Question/Answer
Najam asked on 09/15/05 - Sin Eater?

Dear Expert,
I watched a movie with a story which revolved around a concept of "Sin Eating". A Sin Eater is a person who performed a ritual on a dying peron and took up that person's sin. Can you explain if any such thing exists in Christianity or any of it different beliefs??

Najam Riaz

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:


Hello Najam, and welcome to this board.

"Sin eating" in the christian teaching was only performed once. By Jesus Christ.
He took over all sin of humanity, to allow humanity to start with a clean "sin" slate.

So logically nobody else can be performing "sin eating" within christian teaching, as that would lower the position of Jesus Christ.

As an atheist I even wonder the concept of "sin".
I think it was only concocted to put fear into the believers.
Much easier to control them that way.

IF ( a big IF) there is a final judgement, you will be judged on all your pro's and con's.
And I guess that in that case most members of this board do not have to bother about any future heating expenses.

:)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/14/05 - What's in the bundle you carry?

A beggar lived near the king's palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted
outside the palace gate. The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed.
Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought.

Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble. Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. "Please,sire, I would like to speak to the king."

"Wait here," the guard replied.

In a few minutes, he was back. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.

"You wish to see me?" asked the king.

"Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal
robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old
garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?"

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king's face.

"You have been wise in coming to me," the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. "Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes."

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for.

"You are now eligible to attend the king's banquet tomorrow night," said the prince. "But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever."

The beggar dropped to his knees. "Oh, thank you," he cried. But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated. What if the prince was wrong? What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should. He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right. The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags.

As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They
saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went. They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.

One day as he lay dying, the king visited him. The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed.

Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince's words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty. He wept bitterly at his folly.

And the king wept with him.

We have been invited into a royal family--the family of God. To feast at God's dinner table, all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the "new clothes" of faith which is provided by God's Son, Jesus Christ.

But we cannot hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living. Those things must be discarded if we are to experience true royalty and abundant life in Christ.

"Behold, the old is passed away; the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:

With all respect

The only correct conclusion of this fairytale is :

"If you hold on to your old rags, God will be sitting next to you on your deathbed and weep with you."

Sorry if you find that offensive, but your conclusion does not follow the tread, mine does.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/14/05 - Separate but Equal

Special to the Wall Street Journal by Daniel Goldman.

"The 372,000 schoolchildren displaced by Hurricane Katrina are stirring an old debate about whether separate education can really be equal.

A number of states, including Utah and Texas, want to teach some of the dispersed Gulf Coast students in shelters instead of in local public schools, a stance supported by the Bush administration and some private education providers. But advocates for homeless families and civil rights oppose that approach.

At the center of the dispute is whether the McKinney-Vento Act, a landmark federal law banning educational segregation of homeless children, should apply to the evacuees. In addition, because many of the stranded students are black, holding classes for them at military bases, convention centers or other emergency housing sites could run afoul of racial desegregation plans still operating in some school districts."

What say you????

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:


How can anyone increase school capacity so suddenly for so many children ?
So of course - for the time required - there will be temporal shelter be made available for refugees.
For those children who's parents or guardians decide to become permanent residents this becomes a different situation, I guess.
But what are we talking here about actually? 3 months, 6 months, 12 months max.?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/14/05 - Exorcists Comvention

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Orthodontists have national conventions, as do lawyers and computer salespeople. So why not exorcists? At the end of his weekly general audience Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently holding their national convention.

The Pope encouraged them to "carry on their important work in the service of the Church."

Problem was that until the Pope spoke few people outside the inner circle knew that a convention of Beelzebub-busters was going on, presumably in Rome.

And where were they holding it? In a church, a hotel, a graveyard?

"They try to keep these things quiet," said a Catholic professor who has dealings with exorcists.

The Roman Catholic Church has shown growing interest in exorcism in Italy.

In 1999, the Vatican issued its first updated ritual for exorcism since 1614 and warned that the devil is still at work.

The official Roman Catholic exorcism starts with prayers, a blessing and sprinkling of holy water, the laying on of hands on the possessed, and the making of the sign of the cross.

It ends with an "imperative formula" in which the devil is ordered to leave the possessed.

The formula begins: "I order you, Satan..." It goes on to denounce Satan as "prince of the world" and "enemy of human salvation." It ends: "Go back, Satan."



What say you?

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:

If the Vatican is (now) supporting exorcists, the following reasons may be the cause :

  • There have been a small group of priests been involved in exorcism. Actually they were invited for the treatment of the "heavier cases".
  • Rome sees a healthy new religious industry developing in the US, where the RCC is already rather embattled by part of their own army of priests.
  • Rome sees a healthy new source of income fleeing towards new-age churches. All's well with eucomenical thinking, but if there's money going around ....
  • Why stay overseas, as there may be also a local Italian market?
  • Pecunia non olet !


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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/14/05 - I'm confused?

I was under the impression that al qaeda favoured the restricted view of life favoured by the shiites, yet al qaeda in Iraq has just turned the Iraq war into a religious war against shiites, this appears to be a 180 on their position in Afganistan. Who can understand these islamists?

'Al-Qaeda tape' calls for war on Shi'ites
September 15, 2005 - 6:43AM


The al-Qaeda frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, declared "all-out war" against the Shi'ites in Iraq, in an audiotape attributed to him and posted on the internet.

Earlier, militants loyal to the Jordanian-born Zarqawi claimed they had carried out a wave of suicide bombings in Baghdad to avenge an offensive by US and Iraqi government troops on the northern rebel town of Tal Afar.

The bombings claimed 152 lives, and wounded 542, making it the bloodiest day of insurgent attacks in the Iraqi capital since the US-led war of March 2003.

"The conquest of revenge for the Sunni people of Tal Afar has started," Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda Organisation in the Land of Two Rivers said in the statement, the authenticity of which could not be verified.

In further overnight attacks, 17 men were shot dead in a village north of Baghdad, which put the death toll in all violence in and around the capital today at 169.

Zarqawi, who has a $US25 million ($32.85 million) bounty on his head, also urged Sunni Arabs to wake from their slumber, telling them "the war to exterminate Sunnis will never end".

Iraq's most wanted man also challenged Iraqi leaders to leave the highly fortified "Green Zone" in Baghdad where the seat of government is located, to challenge the mujahideen or holy warriors.

AFP, AP

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:

Dear paraclete

this time I have to agree with you completely.
You asked how you can understand "these islamists".
The subjects are AlQueda, a terrorist group.
I fear that you - and many with you (including myself) - never will be able to understand them.
But we have to attack and destroy them when they attack our countries directly or indirectly.
No discussion about that.

Where I disagreed with you in the past is that you normally follow that up with an attack on muslims, people who believe in allah, but who have no terrorist actions in mind.

The muslim battle between sunites and shiites seems at first hand an incomprehensible one, but if one goes a couple of centuries back you'll find similar disputes and disagreements between christians : between the Roman Catholics and the Reformed.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/14/05 - Science and God - an observation of the present....

There is no experiment that science can use to demonstrate that God exists. Likewise there is no spectacular logical result that makes belief in God necessary. Is that so? Lets take a look.
In the 1930’s a debate was broadcast on BBC between a famous atheist, Lord Bertrand Russell and Rev Frederick Coppleston on the subject of the existence of God. It was an extraordinary event with both men making excellent points pro and con, but it turned out to be a draw and that’s the way it has been until recently when thoughts that have been brought forth are more wide spread.
Thoughts such as “If God wanted people to know he existed he would have provided more conclusive evidence of his existence.” And “If God exists why does God keep himself so hidden?”
Theologians say free will is the answer. If God wants us to freely choose to believe in him, he must not reveal a lot about his existence or people would be forced to believe he exists like they believe that the sun causes day light.
For people to believe in God freely there must be no great intimidation. Otherwise it would defeat God’s wanting us to freely accept him out of love.
Recent surveys have demonstrated the highly intelligent people and ordinary folks all believe in God in about the same ratio.
But when it comes to scientists as time has moved more into the present the ratio of scientists becoming deists has increased.
Long time atheist with a long record of publishing attacks against the belief in God is Sir Anthony Flew. At the turn of the 2005 year Sir Anthony startled the science and non science worlds via a video taped presentation and an interview, and an essay in which he conceded that the fine tuning of the universe at every level is to perfect to be the result of chance. Yes, Sir Anthony now believes that there is a God.
Famous mathematician, Kurt Godel, of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton upset the entire 20th century mathematics world with two proofs not only on the limits of mathematics but also on the completability of artificial intelligence. He makes no secret that he is now a deist. The more he learned the more it became evident to him that a creative intelligence is out there somewhere.
He joined the similar belief of philosopher and mathematician Gottleib Leibniz.
Even great skeptics like Ludwig Wittgenstein and Robert Nozick admitted and awareness of something intelligent out there.
I could go on and mention many more like the renowned chemist Henry Schafer III and Nobel laureate neurophysiologist, Sir John Eccles are deists. But I won’t other than to mention quantum physicist, Sir John Polkinghorne.
He was on his way to becoming another Nobel laureate when he suddenly change his career as a physicist at Cambridge to enter a seminary and become a Catholic Priest.
Why?
Because he insists that quantum physics provides information compatible with traditional Trinitarian Christianity.
And he’s not the only one. Several insist that quantum mechanics, mathematics and physics are the path to the scientific proof of God.
Just working in the quantum fields requires a type of thinking that is used by theologists.
Paul Wagner, director of the Institute of Logic and Cognitive Studies at the University of Huston, says “Only the mind of a loving, self-sacrificing God could have imagined a creation wherein the laws of physics together with those of theology conjoin to create a world both under the Master’s control but with abundant room for His creatures to work both mischief and good.”
Praise God for all that is good and true,
Fred

sarnian answered on 09/15/05:

Dear Fred,

Science is about finding the causes and functioning of natural phenomena.
Science is not dogmatic, it continuously is checked and rechecked to ensure that theories are still valid.
Science a la Newton was valid for hundreds of years, till Einstein proved that is was not completely true, and corrected the theory.
As science is based on check, recheck and supporting evidence, there is no - and never will be - scientific research into religious ideas, as these are all based on believe and faith, but not on any veriviable evidence.

To turn reality around by suggesting that "there is no experiment that science can use to demonstrate that God exist (or does not exist)" is therefore a clear display of total lack of understanding what science is all about, and how it functions.

Thoughts such as “If God wanted people to know he existed he would have provided more conclusive evidence of his existence”, and “If God exists why does God keep himself so hidden?” are questions that should be answered by religious supporters, as these are - as all that refers to religious questions - out of the scientific field of research for reasons stated in the start of my reply post.

Of course there are scientists who have become convinced christian or muslim or hindu or buddhist or any other religion.
Just as there are christians who became scientists, or christians you became atheists.
These developments have nothing to do with the character of science in general.

BTW : this "cut and paste" is a very old one, and - as far as I know - it's ancester was originally published in the early seventies by creationists a la Hovind.
And - as with all the creationist bungling of logic - these creationists propositions have all been contradicted and proven fallible many times since.
Why our own board creationist once more tries to revive a drowned horse is therefore beyond me.

Science is about supported evidence (proof) and religion is about belief and faith.
And never will they meet.

Believe whatever you feel fine with. No problem.
Just don't elevate your beliefs to a "truth" status.
It's as simple as that.

Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/14/05 - Chou thinks Koch kills cats - she doesn't say why!

German inventor: I never used dead cats for fuel
Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:07 PM BST171
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A German inventor said he has developed a method to produce crude oil products from waste that he believes can be an answer the soaring costs of fuel, but denied a German newspaper story implying he also used dead cats.

Christian Koch, an inventor and patent holder of the "KDV 500" that he said produces high quality fuel, said he can transform waste products such as paper, rubbish and plastic materials into fuel.

But Koch, 55, said there was no truth to stories published in Bild newspaper on Tuesday and Wednesday that suggested he used dead cats as part of the mix for his organic diesel fuel.

"I use paper, plastics, textiles and rubbish," Koch told Reuters.

"It's an alternative fuel that is friendly for the environment. But it's complete nonsense to suggest dead cats. I've never used cats and would never think of that. At most the odd toad may have jumped in."

Bild on Tuesday wrote a headline: "German inventor can turn cats into fuel -- for a tank he needs 20 pussies." The paper on Wednesday followed up with a story entitled: "Can you really make fuel out of cats?"

A spokesman for Bild told Reuters the story was meant to show that cat remains could "in theory" be used to make fuel with Koch's patented method.

The author of the story said Koch had never told him directly that he had used dead cats as the story implied.

The website of Koch's firm, "Alphakat GmbH", says his patented "KDV 500" machine can produce what he calls the "bio-diesel" fuel at about 23 euro cents a litre, which is about one-fifth the price at petrol stations now.

"I drive my normal diesel-powered car with this mixture," Koch is quoted saying in Bild, next to a large picture of a kitten. "I have gone 170,000 km without a problem."

==============

TYPICAL GERMAN MAN or TYPICAL ILL-INFORMNED CHOUX?

Opinions?

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

Ronnie,

That final remark seems a little unfair to me.
Most probably the source of MarySue's information was incorrect.
I do not think she is the type to "invent" such adaptations to an original text.

But it is a pity that there are no (dead) cats involved in the process.
Give me a dog anytime!

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/14/05 - Judge: Pledge unconstitutional

A federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., ruled the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional.

The pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God," said U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton.

Karlton granted legal standing to two families represented by Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow, who lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judge said he was bound by the precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' in 2002, which favored Newdow.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Newdow's case 8-0 because he did not have legal standing to represent his daughter, who is under sole custody of her mother.

In January, however, Newdow filed a complaint in federal court in Sacramento, Calif., with eight new co-plaintiffs, seeking to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds it violates the so-called "separation of church and state."

Last month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a Virginia case that the pledge was constitutional, points out Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, which filed a brief in the high court case.

Today's Sacramento ruling will be appealed to the 9th Circuit, Staver said, and if ruled unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court likely will take the case and, this time, address the merits.

"In today's judicial climate, today's ruling is not surprising but it is dismaying," Staver said. "This history of the Pledge of Allegiance illustrates that the phrase 'under God' is a permissible acknowledgement rather than an establishment of religion."

Staver argued that if the pledge established or tended to establish a religion, then that would have happened during the past 50 years of its existence.

"Today's ruling illustrates why we need judges who are umpires applying settled law rather than activists intent on imposing their own ideology," he said, alluding to remarks this week by chief justice nominee John Roberts during confirmation hearings this week.

'Daily indoctrination'

Newdow, a doctor and lawyer who argued his own case before the high court last year, sued the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento, where his daughter attends.

He claimed subjecting his 8-year-old to recitation of the pledge amounted to "daily indoctrination of religious dogma."

The Supreme Court's ruling overturned the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

But the high court's majority opinion ruling did not address the pledge's constitutionality, leaving the way clear for another legal challenge.

At the time, Newdow said a good aspect of the decision was that "we know what three of the justices are thinking, and we can address that when we bring the challenge again."

Justices Sandra Day O'Conner and Clarence Thomas signed then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist's concurring opinion, which stated the pledge's reference to God does not violate the Constitution.

"The phrase 'under God' in the Pledge seems, as a historical matter, to sum up the attitude of the nation's leaders,'' Rehnquist said.

It is "in no sense a prayer, nor an endorsement of any religion," he stated. "The recital, in a patriotic ceremony pledging allegiance to the flag and to the nation, of the descriptive phrase 'under God' cannot possibly lead to the establishment of a religion, or anything like it."

Justice Antonin Scalia, who had given a speech favoring "under God" in the pledge, did not participate in the case.

In his majority opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens said "when hard questions of domestic relations are sure to affect the outcome, the prudent course is for the federal court to stay its hand rather than reach out to resolve a weighty question of federal constitutional law."

The Pledge of Allegiance originally was printed in 1892. Its original text has been amended twice. First in 1923, the phrase "the flag of the United States of America," was substituted for the words "my flag." In 1954, Congress added the words "under God" at the request of a Catholic men's organization, the Knights of Columbus

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How is the pledge "a coercive requirement to affirm God"? What will be banned from our schools next, the Declaration of Independence? Will they use whiteout to erase the words "Nature's God", "endowed by their creator" and "Supreme Judge of the world"?

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

A typical American situation.
With your biblebelt and your political involved fundamental christians you have created a playing field were hardly anyone tolerates any other views.
We do not have such problems here in Europe.
You believe in god? Fine.
You are atheist? Fine too.

Of course that "under God" is a pure christian view, which can be interpreted as "a coercive requirement to affirm God" by those you are extremely sensitive in that regard.
Americans often speak about "our country" and "our" whatever, but it seems that the REAL sentivity to share everything in a jointly way is missing.
No wonder that people of an other worldview take this to the court (and win).

I don't know any co-atheists here in Europe who would bother to take such legal action.
They don't have too. In general we are tolerating here each other's views much better.
Only in those areas where there are fundamental christians you see similar problems arising.

What will be banned next from your schools, and what they will erase or not, it all depends on tolerance between theists and atheists.
But with even the "tone" of this question not showing any tolerance for the different interpretations by other worldviews, I guess the infighting will go on.
How sad.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/14/05 - A Real Christian

Subject: We've Raised a Half-Million Dollars and Sent Over 50 Tons of Food and Water

Date: Wed 9-14-05 01:45 AM


Friends,

Last week I closed my New York production office and sent my staff down to New Orleans to set up our own relief effort. I asked all of you to help me by sending food, materials and cash to the emergency relief center we helped set up on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain with the Veterans for Peace. We did this when the government was doing nothing and the Red Cross was still trying to get it together. Every day, every minute was critical. People were dying, poor people, black people, left like so much trash in the street. I wanted to find a way to get aid in there immediately.

I hooked up with the Vietnam veterans and Iraqi war vets (Veterans for Peace) who were organizing a guerilla, grass-roots relief effort. They were the same group that had set up Cindy Sheehan's camp in Crawford and now they had moved Camp Casey to Louisiana.

I have good news and horrible news to report. First, your response to my appeal letter was overwhelming. Within a few days, a half-million dollars was sent in through my website to fund our relief effort. This money was immediately used to buy generators, food, water, a mobile medical van, tents, satellite phones, etc.

Others of you began shipping supplies to our encampment. People in communities all over the country started organizing truck caravans to us in Louisiana. Twenty-two trucks from southern California alone have already arrived. A semi-truck from Chicago delivered ten tons of food. A group of friends in New Jersey got two 24 foot trucks, got their community to load them up with goods, and arrived in Covington tonight. Fifteen iMacs are inbound from California. One man gave us his pick-up truck and another donated truck is en route from Houston.

Your response to my appeal has been nothing short of miraculous. And it has saved many, many lives.

A number of you decided to just get in your cars and drive to our camp to volunteer to help. We now have had 150 volunteers here doing the work that needs to be done. Last night they unloaded twenty tons of food from a tractor trailer in under two hours. Each day more volunteers arrive. Everyone is sleeping on the ground or in tents. It is a remarkable sight. Thank you, all of you, for responding. I will never forget this outpouring of generosity to those forgotten by our own government.

My staff and the vets spend their 18-hour days delivering food and water throughout the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. What they have seen is appalling. I have asked them to post their daily diaries on my website (www.michaelmoore.com) along with accompanying photos and video so you can learn what is really going on. What the media is showing you is NOT the whole story. It is much, much worse and there is still little being done to bring help to those who need it.

Our group has visited many outlying towns and villages in Mississippi and Louisiana, places the Red Cross and FEMA haven't visited in over a week. Often our volunteers are the first relief any of these people have seen. They have no food, water or electricity. People die every day. There are no TV cameras recording this. They have started to report the spin and PR put out by the White House, the happy news that often isn't true ("Everyone gets 2,000 dollars!").

The truth is that there are dead bodies everywhere and no one is picking them up. My crew reports that in most areas there is no FEMA presence, and very little Red Cross. It's been over two weeks since the hurricane and there is simply not much being done. At this point, would you call this situation incompetence or a purposeful refusal to get real help down there?

That's why we decided not to wait. And we are so grateful to all of you who have joined us. The Veterans for Peace and my staff aren't leaving (and that's why we are hoping those of you who can't get to Covington will make it to the Veterans for Peace co-sponsored anti-war demonstration in DC on September 24: www.unitedforpeace.org.)

If you want to help, here's what we need in Covington right now:

Cleaning Supplies (glass cleaner, bleach, disinfectant, etc.)
Aspirin and other basic over the counter drugs.
Bottled Water
Canned Goods
Hygiene Supplies
Baby Supplies - Baby Food Formula, diapers #4, #5, Wipes, Pedialyte
Sterile Gloves
Batteries - All kinds, from AA to watch and hearing aid batteries.
Volunteers with trucks and cars
Self contained kitchens with generators, utensils, workers

Consider sending supplies in reusable containers. List the contents on the outside of the package so the folks in the warehouse can easily sort the items.

Clothes are not needed. If you go, keep in mind that you MUST be self-sufficient. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag. People are driving to Covington from across the country and often have extra room in their cars for you or for an extra box of supplies. For more information, go to the Veterans for Peace message board: www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/.

Send supplies via UPS to:
Veterans for Peace
Omni Storage

(Sorry, I guess I lost the rest of the address)

Michael Moore


Comments about his efforts helping hurricane victims??

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

Of course his efforts are sincere and of great aid to the people who require that aid.
Moore may be tainted by his dislike for the current occupant of the White House, but so far I never heard him lie about his own actions.
So we have to assume that Moore's crew is doing well for those in need.

His other statement is confirmed by various other press reports.
All efforts have been on relief of the victims , and to evacuate survivors.
Hardly - if any - effort is given to remove the dead and put them through a recognition process, before burying.
It is horrible to realize that after two weeks plus the dead are still to be recovered.
There is more and more to explain to the Senate investigation committee.

I'm sure that all relief groups are doing their best.
Question is why the reporting on what they do fails so clearly.


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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/14/05 - This information is from ConsumerAffairs.com.......

REAL ID A Gold Mine for Identity Thieves, Critics Charge
By Martin H. Bosworth
ConsumerAffairs.Com
September 12, 2005
Enacted with little fanfare in May 2005, the REAL ID Act doesn't become fully effective until 2008 but it is already causing consternation among state officials, who say it will be a major financial and resource drain at a time when many states are already short of funds.
Its backers say the measure toughens standards for getting a driver's license and thus provides protection against illegal immigrants and terrorists. Privacy advocates say the law's establishment of a national database of American drivers' information makes it a gold standard for identity thieves.
Authored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the REAL ID act slipped through Congress as part of a spending bill authorizing money for the military forces in Iraq and relief from the tsunami of 2004.
"Giving state drivers’ licenses to anyone, regardless of whether they are here legally or illegally, is an open invitation for terrorists and criminals to exploit. States will now have to require proof of lawful presence in the U.S. before issuing drivers’ licenses,” he said in a statement after the May 5 vote.
Sensenbrenner's other recent legislative activity includes voting against the emergency Hurricane Katrina relief bill in the House. He said the $52 billion measure "lacks accountability."
REAL ID mandates uniform federal standards for drivers' licenses, including what type of information can be included on a license, and what documentation must be provided to apply for or renew licenses in your state.
However, the legislation is an "unfunded mandate," meaning that states will have to come up with the money to implement the new directives on their own. This has led privacy advocates and consumer groups to warn that cash-strapped state governments may have to cut corners and use cheap measures to ensure the card readers are in place.
The REAL ID act will create a unified database of driver information to share between states, "which will create an enormous repository of identification documents that will be an identity thief's dream," according to a recent article in DMNews. "A DMV clerk in another state may provide copies of your documents to an identity thief who works overseas," the article warned.
Many states have already seen their motor vehicle agencies come under attack from identity thieves and scam artists. Several employees of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles were arrested and charged with fraud for selling drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants in July of 2005.
Another vulnerability created by the REAL ID act comes from the usage of "common machine-readable technology" for verifying drivers' identities. The leading candidate for the new technology is the RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier) tag, to be embedded in drivers' licenses.
Technology pundits and privacy organizations alike have derided the usage of RFID tagging for important documents or identification as a violation of personal privacy, and an invitation to steal one's information.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from May 2005 on the use of RFID tags in other government agencies noted that "Without effective security controls, data on the tag can be read by any compliant reader; data transmitted through the air can be intercepted and read by unauthorized devices; and data stored in the databases can be accessed by unauthorized users."
Internet security expert Bruce Schneier commented on the government's desire to use RFID tagging in October 2004 when discussing the REAL ID law.
"The administration is deliberately choosing a less secure technology without justification. If there were a good reason to choose that technology, then it might make sense. But there isn't," Schneier said in an article on his Web site.
Privacy advocates are also alarmed by the REAL ID prohibition against using P.O. Boxes. This could cause people who may not have a permanent residence to be ineligible to get a drivers' license,or endanger victims of domestic abuse or previous identity theft who have stopped giving out their primary addresses.
In the words of law professor Anita Ramastry: "There needs to be a procedure to ensure these persons' safety and welfare. The REAL ID Act has none."
Critics say the reality of REAL ID will be even longer lines at your state's motor vehicle agency, higher state and local taxes to cover the costs of implementing the program (estimated at $80 to $100 million), and a rash of new identity theft incidents.

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:


Well, you agreed with all kinds of safety and security meassures, didn't you?
This is just another step towards a "Big Brother" society with extremely limited personal freedom.
And of course such a society will not come cheap. And guess who will pay for that?

If the american public can be goaded by it's government into a false feeling of security by giving up it's personal freedom, so be it.
Don't moan when you have to pay for the cost involved, or when you find out the real non-financial costs involved.

Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 09/14/05 - To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:

From our friend Michael Moore:

On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?

When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?

Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?

Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?

With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?

Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.

That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.

It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!"

My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.

Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?

I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?

I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.

Yours,
Michael Moore
www.michaelmoore.com
mmflint@aol.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All Bush voters please feel guilt now. What do you propose to "fix it"?

Steve

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

Steve,

It is clear that the authorities failed utterly and near-completely to provide emergency relief during the first days of the disaster.
I noted that Bush yesterday on CNN admitted that he and his staff were co-responsible for the period of failing emergency operations.
Now the relief operations seem to run fine, I leave the pointing of fingers to the Congress and it's investigations as to WHO is/are responsible.
And it is up to the American voters to ensure that Congress does her job on that in all honesty and fairness.
The many extra dead due to the relief bungling deserve at least that respect.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/14/05 - LAZLOW'S COMMENT:



"I'm not a christian... To be honest, I don't know if I believe in god. I do think the bible contains a good number of things to live by, but I get more enjoyment from studying it, mainly the book of Daniel and the gospels, Revelation is great too. Some here say I'm not an expert, but when it comes to the scriptures, I think I can provide some insight, or maybe just information, anyway, I guess you can say that if there was a bible trivia quiz, I could pass it.
Though a quote of yours was in my post I thank you for responding with a full paragraph unlike others, who just prove I'm right. And no, this is not Liz22, she hasnt hacked into my account today. I am bloody depressed I only got 2 replies though... I think I need a comeback."

Now what do you think? The guy's depressed and needs help. I'm for helping him only if he tries to help himself.

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

Hank,

I only have to read back the current page 1 postings by Lazlow to see who he is.
First, after some misplaced "love statement" it soon was post upon post of rudeness.
Than there were grey stars for all who disagreed with him, posted with another verbal insult.
And now you expect a groundswell of Hallelujah's for him in the hope to "save" him?
He could not even write 7 lines without a kick into the "Liz 22" direction.

For sure Lazlow is depressed and needs help.
But I do not guess that the help he needs is from a pastoral nature.
There is more needed in that department.

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Question/Answer
ROLCAM asked on 09/14/05 - Here and now.

Are there any Persons Demonically Possessed in the 21st Century?

sarnian answered on 09/14/05:

Several weeks ago National Geographics had a program on todays possessed.
It has become a complete industry, with several priests and many others making a good living.
What surprises however is that most of this industry is in the US.
So either the US population has some wrong "possession" gene, or this industry is creating their own clients.
The latter seems the most logical of the two possibilities.
Here in Europe we prefer to keep to ghosts, haunted houses, and poltergeists. :)

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/13/05 - Just a thought on recent communications

http://www.news.com.au/cartoons/?from=ninews_leftnav

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

I'm sorry but I don't get the first one (ashes?).
Please explain the background.

I like the second cartoon! Indeed, Osama still has not yet been taken care off.
That's another major embarrassment for George.
Let's hope that the upcoming elections in Afghanistan will go right, without too many "problems".

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/13/05 - Typical German Man-LOL!!

Ananova:(European News Service?)

***Inventor turns dead cats into diesel fuel****

A German inventor says he's found a way to make cheap diesel fuel out of dead cats.

Dr Christian Koch, 55, from Kleinhartmannsdorf, said his method uses old tyres, weeds and animal cadavers.

They are heated up to 300 Celsius to filter out hydrocarbon which is then turned into diesel by a catalytic converter.

He said the resulting "high quality bio-diesel" costs just 15 pence per litre.

Koch said the cadaver of a fully grown cat can produce 2.5 litres of fuel - meaning around 20 cats are needed for a full tank.

He said: "I tank my car with my own diesel mixture and have driven it for 105,000 miles without any problems."

Annelise Krauss of the Dresden Animal Protection Association blasted Koch's new diesel though, saying: "This is as bad as experimenting on animals."


Comments????

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

From a scientific point of view : as 80% of each body consists of water, and water can not be converted into diesel, only 20% "dead weight" could be turned into diesel.
It's of course mainly the (fat) tissue that can be turned into diesel.
Even if the process is wasteless, there should be cats of 5 x 2,5 Kg = 12,5 Kg in Germany.
So this German invention must be cheating on it's results.

From a practical point of view : Here in Europe they are making already several years diesel from plant materials.
It works quit well, and the diesel is cheaper than the diesel produced from crude.
All you require is lots of space to produce enough plant material.
That could be a problem for certain countries, though.

From an ethical point of view : why stay with cats only?
All dead tissues can be converted into diesel. And the fatter the remains are, the more diesel is produced.
Which brings us to human cadavers ....
Where are the fattest human beings on earth?
Where has the world the biggest stock of potential diesel?
Precisely! 400.000.000 people divided by 80 years = 5.000.000 bodies per year = 5.000.000 x 70 Kg = 350.000.000 Kg = (1/5 rule) 70.000.000 ltr of diesel per year.
That's 70.000.000 ltr divided by 159 = 0,44 Million barrels of pure diesel !
Glad, I'm not an american!
The idea of having to wait in a tank till it's your turn to be sprayed into a cylinder and be compressed till you explode ........


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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/13/05 - To LEON (L.T.GOLF) ...


... who is having bypass surgery tomorrow morning (9/14/05):

"Thank you for you: for who you are,
However far away;
And for the words you send to me,
Near mad for what you say.
Knowing simply that you're there,
Yet thinking much of me,
Opens up my happiness,
Undone for all to see." - Nicholas Gordon

When illness strikes, Leon, friends may blunder around, not knowing what to do or say. I'm not in that boat. I'll just say that you're a man of God and all will be fine. When you get better, don't do what Gary Player did for years. He said he "tried to undereat and overexercise." The worst thing you can do now is nothing at all. So, perhaps attitude is the key. Allow this malady to reduce your sense of alienation. Just raise your expectations and get better. Also know that you are being helped by prayer and loved by many. This includes the Answerway bunch, of course. We'll be corresponding soon. You don't need luck tomorrow because you're a good Christian. God will see to it that you're back on the golf course real soon.

Your pal,

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

Nice that you posted that, Hank.
My best wishes are hereby for him.
Let's hope all will go well.


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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/13/05 - Awaiting the Day of the Lord God................

Habakkuk describes coming of God and how he feels about it.
Hab 3: 12. In wrath you bestride the earth,
in fury you trample the nations.
13. You come forth to save your people,
to save your anointed one.
You crush the heads of the wicked,
you lay bare their bases at the neck.
14. You pierce with your shafts the heads of their princes
whose boast would be of devouring
the wretched in their lair.
15. You tread the sea with your steeds
amid the churning of the deep waters.
16. I hear, and my body trembles;
at the sound, my lips quiver.
Decay invades my bones,
my legs tremble beneath me.
I await the day of distress.
+++
Thinking about what it will be like moments before we face THE Supreme Judge, how many of us will be arrogant in front of the post powerful being in the universe?
How many of us will be ashamed of our sinful nakedness fully revealed, and of our mortality in front of the Eternal Infinite Immortal, God?
Have you thought about, and pictured in your mind what it will be like for you in your morning moments before the judgment of the Lord?
I think the prophet Habakkuk< a devout man of God, has described it well for me.
How about you?
What do you think you will feel like the moment before you stand in judgment?

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:


With all respect Fred : afterlife is a fairy tale.
Believe in it, if you want. Fine with me.
There will be no supreme judge, so no "arrogant" defendants neither.

Many atheists are naturists, so they're used to stand in their birthday costume.
It may be even a pity that there will be no final judgement, as so we will never see these prudish christians standing naked in "court", trying to hide certain bodyparts from their omniscient maker.

:)


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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/13/05 - This time the Federal Government is taking over!

Tropical Storm Ophelia may strengthen to hurricane
Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:03 AM ET

By Gene Cherry
SALVO, N.C., Sept 13 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ophelia threatened to strengthen back into a hurricane as it wobbled toward the southeast U.S. coast on Tuesday and sent thousands of people packing from North Carolina's barrier islands.

Ophelia's center was 145 miles (232 km) south of Wilmington, North Carolina. The storm was creeping north-northwest and was expected to turn north and hit the North Carolina coast on Wednesday night and Thursday, the forecasters said.

Ophelia had sat off the North and South Carolina coast for four days, alternately strengthening into a hurricane and weakening back to a tropical storm.

At 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), it was a tropical storm with 70 mph (112 kph) winds but was expected to cross the 74 mph (119 kph) threshold to become a hurricane again by Wednesday, forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Along the 100-mile (160-km) chain of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for all 20,000 people on Hatteras Island, a popular vacation spot that includes Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

"Today is our window of opportunity and we are asking everyone to leave," said Sandy Sanderson, emergency management coordinator for Dare County, which includes Hatteras Island.

North Carolina officials also ordered everyone off of tiny Okracoke, a low-lying island reachable only by boat or plane, and told visitors to leave coastal Onslow County, the home of the U.S. Marines' Camp Lejeune.

Authorities urged people to voluntarily leave other barrier islands, lowlands and coastal towns in North and South Carolina.

Ophelia would be the first hurricane to threaten the United States since Category 4 Katrina killed hundreds in the U.S. Gulf Coast and displaced 1 million people two weeks ago, sparking deep criticism of the Bush administration's response.

This time the federal government has sent a Coast Guard admiral to North Carolina to coordinate the federal response to Ophelia.

Ophelia was expected to be no more than a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, capable of flooding coastal areas and washing out seafront roads. Such storms can fell trees and power lines but rarely cause structural damage.

Courtesy of Reuters:

Though they have not been asked to, the Federal Government has felt they had to send an Admiral to check what was being done...! Which proves they can take initiatives when they feel is best...

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

Isn't that how it should be done at every occasion?

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/13/05 - "becoming a jittery nation?"

A little more faith in God's mercy would not do any harm!

September 13, 2005

BY LAURA WIDES

ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

LOS ANGELES -- For several anxious moments, a blackout Monday left many on edge, wondering whether the worse was to come, a day after a videotape aired about a terrorist threat against Los Angeles.

Downtown high-rises went dark. Fire officials received reports of people stuck in elevators. Stoplights went out at intersections across the city. Neighboring cities, including Burbank and Glendale, were powerless.

The situation required police officers to go on "full tactical alert."

But a few hours after the electrical outage, the cause was found: Human error.

Utility workers connected the wrong wires and caused a blackout across major portions of Los Angeles.

Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the resulting power surge and outages, reported from downtown west to the Pacific Coast and north into the San Fernando Valley, according to Ron Deaton, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

"They connected it to another line that was not expecting that much electricity," he said.

There were no reported injuries.

Some power was restored within an hour of the outage, while all power was expected to be restored by early evening.

Hours after the blackout, Los Angeles Police spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Plows said there were no signs that terrorists were behind the electrical shortage.

Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said federal authorities were talking to state and local counterparts about the power loss, but "there is no indication of any nexus to terror."

The immediate widespread national attention to the outage showed how anxious the nation has become on the heels of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and ABC News airing a videotape of a purported Al Qaeda member making terrorist threats against Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, on the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

That's the authority nightmare :
How do you prepare citizens to live with terrorism (and prime them with carefullness and paying attention), without loading them with unnecessary fear for what could happen?

Go to the cinema, wait till it's dark, pop a paper bag with a loud "bang", and you have a guaranteed stampede to the exit.
That's how bad it has become, all over the west.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/13/05 - GOOD ADVICE:


"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes

What are a couple of your dreams?

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/13/05:

Dear Hank

If you mean the periods of brain clean-up during REM sleep : I sleep perfectly, and hardly ever remember them.
If you mean things or actions I would like to do or have : I don't have them. I always DO things I like to do. And I'm quite content with that procedure.
And guess what? My life is not a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
Life is just what you make of it. At least, that's how I think about it.

But yes, of course one can also sit back and dream of something ...

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 09/12/05 - Just something to think about:

Hello Everyone,

Has anyone thought about all the pollution that will be spread from the flood waters in NO and Mississippi? The waters from the floods are being pumped back into the Mississippi. What does that mean for the others states that the Mississippi flow through? Dead bodies and animals are in this water along with body waste. Does anyone know of any steps being taken to prevent the outbreak of sickness throughout the regions that the Mississippi covers? If so please tell me because all I think about is the many persons that died because of bacteria in the water from the Mississippi. Imagine now after all the dead bodies and waste, the bacteria must be outrageous.

I am leaving toward the end of this month to go to the Mississippi area and possibly the NO area. I am going with my congregation to help build new homes for the people whose homes were destroyed. We are instructed to get shots and to report and cut on us as well as to wear cloves and steal toe boots. We are given hand wipes with bleach and water and told to wash our hand whenever we touch anything that looks strange. When and if we go into NO, we must wear masks and boots and gloves, and bracelets to repel the mosquitoes. They are carrying the Wet Nile virus. and Encephalitis. I just wonder how much we will be affected by this down the road with all this bacteria and potential for sickness.

Information taken from:
http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/chem/090305/chem2005_09_03.html


Water supply:
Communities up and down the river use the Mississippi to obtain fresh water and to discharge their industrial and municipal waste. We don't have good figures on water use for the whole Mississippi River Basin, but we have some clues. A January, 2000 study published by the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee states that close to15 million people rely on the Mississippi River or its tributaries in just the upper half of the basin (from Cairo, Il. to Minneapolis, MN). A frequently cited figure of 18 million people using the Mississippi River Watershed for water supply comes from a 1982 study by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Committee. The Environmental Protection Agency simply says that more than 50 cities rely on the Mississippi for daily water supply.

EPA in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality performed chemical sampling of New Orleans flood waters for over one hundred priority pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), total metals, pesticides, herbicides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Concentrations of lead in the flood water exceeded EPA drinking water action levels. These measured levels are a concern if flood water were to be a child's source of drinking water.
Based on the sampling, emergency responders and the public should avoid direct contact with standing water when possible. In the event contact occurs, EPA and CDC strongly advise the use of soap and water to clean exposed areas if available. Flood water should not be swallowed and all mouth contact should be minimized and avoided where possible. People should immediately report any symptoms to health professionals. The most likely symptoms of ingestion of flood water contaminated with bacteria are stomach-ache, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Also, people can become ill if they have an open cut, wound, or abrasion that comes into contact with water contaminated with certain organisms. One may experience fever, redness, and swelling at the site of the infection and should see a doctor right away if possible.
Additional information regarding health and safety issues for both the public and emergency responders can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/index.asp) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Web site (http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/hurricaneRecovery.html).

Flood water precautions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are cautioning the public and all responders about the potential hazards associated with flood waters.
Every effort should be made to limit contact with flood water due to potentially elevated levels of contamination associated with raw sewage and other hazardous substances.
Go here if you wish to know what the EPA is telling folks.
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d9bf8d9315e942578525701c005e573c/42d070b72d7b833b85257074006ccff2!OpenDocument

EPA and HHS are providing the following guidelines for those in contact with flood water:

Wash your hands before drinking and eating
Wash frequently using soap -- especially disinfecting soap
Do not smoke
Limit direct contact with contaminated flood water
Report cuts or open wounds and limit exposure
Report all symptoms
Keep vaccinations current



Give you opinion on this please. I really would like to know how you all feel about these things. I do not believe the officials will tell us everything, do you?
Take care,
Hope12

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:

Dear Hope,

water has the natural habit to flow DOWNWARDS, towards the lowest level.
And that normally is sea level.
But at present this may be different in N.O., seen it's location.

Although contaminated water may flow slightly upwards with the high waterlevels in N.O., this is only a temporal situation, and will soon be restored to normal, flowing down again towards the Gulf.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/12/05 - Favorite Activities

As a change of pace, what are your favorite things to do?? No qualifiers, go for yourself!

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:

Dear MarySue,

Actually I have too many hobbies.
My biggest hobby is sailing, and I have a small yacht here in the harbour, with which I normally sail in the weekends.
As my second hobby I am a radioham, licensed since 1963, and mainly involved in all kinds of constructing and testing experimental circuitries.
My third hobby is reading, and I "devour" yearly meters of paper, most of scientific, secular humanitarian, and/or political nature.
And let's not forget the internet, and specially this Q&A board!

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/12/05 - Marriage




Ananova:
Party aims to ban marriage

A new political party in Sweden says it will abolish marriage if it gets into power.

The Feminist Initiative, which expects more than 20% of the vote in next year's election, claims marriage "is not about love, but about ownership".

FI founder Tiina Rosenberg, said: "Instead of marriage we want to promote a co-habitation law that ignores gender and allows more than two people in a partnership."

But she said in allowing relationships to involve more than two people, the FI did not want Sweden to fall back into a "patriarchal structure" with one man having a harem of women.

"A man who lives with eight women in a patriarchal structure, where the man decides and the women obey is not what we are aiming for," said Rosenberg.

And in order to encourage men to vote for them as well, the party's all-female board is also calling for the introduction of a six-hour working day.



When I first read this, I thought this was shocking.

What do you think? Comments?

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:

Assuming this post is real and true, I suggest that we first think what is understood with "marriage".

Marriage was a development from the later middle ages.
Before that period people were bonded as a family, but without the emphasis on the legalities of such a relationship.
Marriage was supported - if not invented - by the RCC.

The meaning of marriage has changed over the years.
Now-a-days here in many countries in Europe people prefer to live together many years, adding children if they want, establish carreers for both partners, and - if they want - marry many years later.
Law is adapted to this process by the authorities, and there is no basic difference for living together or being married, in taxation or social securities.

Other times, other opinions.
I do not think that marriage will be abandoned completely.
But if people feel better in other formats of relationships, why not?

Afteral : the original arrangement of marriage, with it's emphasis of the man's rights, and the woman's duties is here for most people far, very far, behind them.
On multi-partner relationships : history learns that - with a few exceptions - most run soon into problems.
But even so : It is not up to the State to tell it's citizens how to live.
Most morals and ethics in the west are based on christian principles, but with increasing atheism comes of course a changing view on present morals and ethics.
I do not think that multiple partnerships should be promoted, but if there are people who want to go that way, it's up to them to decide.
And the State has to supply the infrastructure for that.

What sounds to me rather inconsequent is the gender of the board of this committee.
If you want to fight for an EQUAL treatment of sexes, such a board should be mixed too, as an example.
What it does now is showing a preference for one single sexist view, the opposite of what they suggest to intend.

But I wish them much success in the upcoming elections.
Let's see how far they really come!

I guess that people of deep christian conviction will find this all rather difficult to swallow.
But than they have to realize that Scandinavia is NOT christian. There is an increasing majority with an atheistic worldview

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 09/12/05 - Should the City of New Orleans be rebuilt ?

The city of New Orleans is not going to be rebuilt.

The tourist neighborhoods? The ancient parts from the French Quarter to the Garden District on that slim crescent of relatively high ground near the river? Yes, they will be restored. The airport and the convention center? Yes, those, too.

But the far larger swath -- the real New Orleans where the tourists don't go, the part that Katrina turned into a toxic soup bowl, its population of 400,000 scattered to the waves? Not so much.

When Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert said that it makes no sense to spend billions of federal dollars to rebuild a city that's below sea level, he added, "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." In the face of criticism, he hurried to "clarify" his remarks. But according to Washington lore, such a flap occurs when someone inadvertently tells the truth. New Orleans has had a good run for 287 years, but even before Katrina hit, the city was on the wane, as its steadily dropping population figures for decades have shown.

All the brave rhetoric about the indomitable human spirit notwithstanding, we may want to consider some realities. As much as it causes heartache to those of us who love New Orleans -- the whole place, not just the one of myth and memory -- cities are not forever. Look at Babylon, Carthage, Pompeii. read the rest



The article makes a good argument why it shouldn't be rebuilt . I think it shouldn't, but it will anyway ;just like those barrier island communities of the rich are rebuilt when the sea reclaims them.Just as there is no logic in rebuilding homes on a sand bar ;there is also no logic in building cities on shifting delta soil .

Galveston Texas would have been huge had the 1900 Hurricane not hit. They saw that the risks of rebuilding Galveston to it's prior size didn't make any sense and it doesn't make sense now .

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:


There should be some serious thinking take place about what has to be done with N.O.
There will be areas where logic suggests that rebuilding makes no sense.
It all depends if all people intend to return to New Orleans.
I guess there will be quite a lot of people who will not.

But it should not just be the people of N.O. who should decide this.
As the responsibility for living conditions and security is a shared function by Municipality, State, and the Feds, a joint reflection should end in a plan that combines the wishes of the people and the reality of living in a delta, below sea level.
At this moment all the emphasis is on rescue and recovering the dead.
In the near future - and with all available proper information - such a committee should decide what to do with N.O.
I wish them wisdom.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/12/05 - Milk Truck


Hello Christians:

To those of you, who would leave a corpse by the road as a "warning" to looters, and especially to Bobby, I offer the following story from the NY Times op-ed page:

"...Packed with hot and filthy evacuees (and crates of rapidly souring milk), the truck crossed a bridge from New Orleans to Jefferson Parish, where the desperate occupants were promptly and grotesquely humiliated by several heavily armed plainclothes officers.

There were dozens of men, women and children in the truck when it was stopped. They were hungry, thirsty and frightened. It should have been obvious to any sentient being that they were fleeing the flood. Nevertheless, said Nicole, they were ordered out of the truck at gunpoint, with their hands up. One young man was thrown to the ground. The others were ordered to get on the ground, face down.

The occupants of the milk truck were black, and they were in dire need of assistance. But in the midst of one of the greatest emergencies in the nation's history, the opportunity to gratuitously humiliate them proved irresistible.

"They laid us out on the ground," said JoAnn. Her voice quivered and tears began to leak down her face. "I was pleading. I was saying, 'Sir, please - - ' And then we all went to praying. Crying and praying.' "

"We were all praying," said Nicole, "because we were afraid, the way they were acting, that they would shoot us."

Eventually, the officers let the group go. No one was charged with any crime. "They even helped us start the milk truck," Nicole said. "The last thing they told us was, 'Y'all get on out of here. And don't come back.' "

The milk truck made its way west on Route 10, and the homeless, bedraggled occupants ultimately were directed to the Cajundome, where, according to JoAnn and Nicole, the officials and volunteers couldn't have been more gracious and helpful."

Comments?

excon

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:


I heard several similar stories to this one, but from where I live it's difficult to decide if they are true or not.
But for certain stories there is supported evidence : for the story of a group of people (including several children) who tried to leave the disaster area the day after the flooding by walking over the highways out of N.O.
When nearing a police post they were shot at (over their heads) and forced to RETURN to N.O.

So this story does not seem to be too strange to accept.
Still I like to add that we must be careful for exaggerated stories.

But as to this story : IF this really happened, and if the guilty can be found, surely reprisal is due.
This can not be explained away as a simply police check for weapons.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/12/05 - So this is what Muslims are praying for these days

Al-Zarqawi: Katrina an answer to prayers
Al Qaeda leader says God granted wish of Iraqis, Afghans

Monday, September 12, 2005 Posted: 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)



(CNN) -- An Islamist Web site on Sunday posted a recording from al Qaeda's leader in Iraq saying Hurricane Katrina was an answer to the prayers of Iraqis and Afghans who have suffered under U.S. occupation.

The audio message thought to be from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi came on the fourth anniversary of al Qaeda's terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

The voice on the recording was verified to be al-Zarqawi by a CNN Arabic speaker familiar with many of his previous statements.

The United States and the Iraqi government call Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi the most wanted terrorist in the country. The United States has posted a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture.

In the recording, al-Zarqawi said, "I believe the devastating hurricane that hit the United States occurred because people in Iraq or Afghanistan -- maybe a mother who had lost her son or a son whose parents were killed or a woman who was raped -- were praying for God and God accepted their prayers."

The reference to Hurricane Katrina means the recording was made after August 29, when the powerful storm hit the U.S. Gulf Coast. (Special coverage)

Marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Sunday, President Bush attended a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House, where he and other members of his administration observed a moment of silence.

In Louisiana, New York firefighters and police officers helping victims of Katrina held their own 9/11 services. (Full story)

Those observances came as the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9/11 commission told CNN that the government's response to Katrina showed little was learned from the 2001 attacks about how to handle disasters.

Recent European intelligence reports reviewed by Time magazine suggested that al-Zarqawi's authority is expanding beyond Iraq and that he now rivals Osama bin Laden in influence among Middle Eastern and European jihadists. (Full story)

The last time bin Laden released a statement late last December in an audiotape on which he praised al-Zarqawi and designated him the al Qaeda leader in Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi's group, Al Qaeda in Iraq, has been behind many of that country's worst insurgent attacks, beheadings and kidnappings.

Laying out its ideology in a broad manifesto, the group last month said the insurgency is in better shape than the United States acknowledges and vowed to continue the insurgency and "destroy the American empire." (Full story)

The U.S. continued to battle the insurgency in Iraq Sunday, with a U.S. military spokesman saying an operation launched two weeks ago to drive insurgents from the northern city of Tal Afar has been "extremely successful." (Full story)

And Iraq's president told CNN his country would not suffer unduly if the United States were to reduce its spending there in order to direct more resources toward its own Gulf Coast.

Asked how long his nation will depend on U.S. assistance, Jalal Talabani predicted his country will "be able, within two years, to stand up and to depend on its own sources."

CNN's Caroline Faraj contributed to this report.

sarnian answered on 09/12/05:

Let's be clear over this : the message from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is idiotic, just as every message of every zealous religious propogandist is idiotic, and should be disapproved and condemned.
But I stay with my opinion that the message of some leaders can not declared as the worldview of millions upon millions of muslims.

You have to separate the rethoric of leaders and the reality of believers.
Messages like the one by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are not communicated in the Friday prayer meetings in mosques worldwide.
I do know many muslims, but none of them is a terrorist nor a propagandist.
All that muslims unites is their belief in Allah.

And once more I strongly oppose your suggestion as if every muslims is a potential terrorist.
That is simply not true.

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Question/Answer
Lazlow asked on 09/11/05 - Liz the terrorist strikes again!!!

And on the anniversary of 911!
I'm calling you out! Stop terrorizing the board and ruining my precious name! These people love me! They believe in freedom and non-flipflopping and conviction against the evildoer!

---- Now she's probably going to hack into my account and change the post around.

-------- Anyway, what is your idea of freedom?-------
Yeah I know you're going to cuss me out for calling my mother a terrorist again, but she laughs about it when you're not around, trust me, she has a thing called sense of humor, you should all apply it. (especially Paraclete, pull that jolly rancher out of your ass). And don't call that foul language, the same very word is used in the bible at least 36 times. The only foul thing about it is that it's applied in the same sentence with the word Paraclete.

NOW ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

My idea of personal freedom is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 10' of December 1948.

This declaration clearly mentions the following freedoms :

- to life (thou shall not kill)
- of inhuman punishment and/or torture
- of slavery and/or compulsory labour
- to a fair and public hearing
- to innocence (you are not guilty till you are proven guilty in a Legal Court)
- to marry
- to respect for your private life
- to expression / opinion / of or from religion
- to peaceful assembly and association
- of discrimination (on grouds as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association, property, birth, and/or any other status).

Are that enough "ideas"?

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/11/05 - Religion gome mad again?

Mob attacks police as Belfast march explodes
By Anne Cadwallader in Belfast
September 12, 2005

Worst rioting in years … once again Shankill Road is littered with burning vehicles after clashes with Orange Order marchers.


Protestant demonstrators shot at police and pelted them with homemade bombs in Belfast in some of the worst rioting seen in British-ruled Northern Ireland in recent years.

Trouble flared on Saturday after a contentious parade by Orangemen near a nationalist neighbourhood on the edge of west Belfast, and quickly spread to other parts of the city and outlying areas, continuing early yesterday.

Heavily armed riot police deployed baton rounds and water cannon after they came under fire from automatic weapons and a rain of blast bombs, petrol bombs and bricks from angry mobs several hundred strong on west Belfast's Springfield Road and near the flashpoint Short Strand in east Belfast. Cars were hijacked and set alight across the city.

Police said six officers had been wounded in bomb blasts and several others injured, and said the number of casualties was likely to rise significantly.

Two civilians were also injured, one of them with serious gunshot wounds.

"Police officers and soldiers have come under sustained attack. … [from] missiles, petrol bombs, blast bombs, and pipe bombs. They have been shot at," said Northern Ireland's Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, who largely blamed the Orange Order for the disorder.

"The Orange Order … publicly called people on to the streets. I think if you do that you cannot then abdicate responsibility. That is simply not good enough," Mr Orde said in a statement.

The Protestant Orangemen and their supporters had been angered by a decision last week by Northern Ireland's independent Parades Commission to re-route their planned march away from a nationalist enclave on the Springfield Road because of objections from residents. Trouble started as they approached the contested section of the march, which had been postponed from earlier in the year.

Every year thousands of Orangemen, wearing colourful regalia and playing music, engage in "a marching season" to celebrate the 17th-century defeat in battle of the Catholic King James II by the Protestant William of Orange.

Most Catholics in the province regard the marches as an offensive display of triumphalism.

Last week the Orange Order said the decision to reroute Saturday's march was the latest in a series of attempts to "erode Protestant culture" and deny Orangemen their rights, and called on its followers to support the parade.

Tension has mounted recently in Protestant areas, which support Northern Ireland's links with Britain, where it is felt that the British Government has moved too fast to reduce its security presence in the province without any concrete action by the Irish Republican Army to disarm.

In July the IRA said it was ending its 30-year armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland and pledged to dump its weapons, but so far it has shown no sign of doing so.

Reuters

After being quiet for a while the protestants of Northern Ireland have once again shown the lack of true Christian values in their lives

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you once again.

The "battle" in Northern Ireland is not about Protestants against Roman Catholics.
It's a social and economic inspired feud that has run out of hand completely.
Both sides can be blamed for their attempts to deliberately create strong illfeelings with their marches.
Marches that refer to events of hundreds of years ago.
Often through areas of the opposing group.

What is lacking in Northern Ireland is not true christian values (*1*) but tolerance, and willingness to live together as one country, as one people.

(*1*) True Christian values : sounds nice and interesting, but what these values are is often rather unclear, and in general a clincher.


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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/11/05 - pity the "poor" Muslims

We're being singled out, say Muslims
By Marian Wilkinson, Cynthia Banham and Reuters
September 12, 2005



Being heard … the Sydney Muslim leader Keysar Trad speaks yesterday at the Muslims in Australia: National Security and Harmony Summit.

The Federal Government's proposed tough anti-terrorism laws are causing mounting concerns among Muslims that they will be unfairly targeted for detention without charge, tagged with tracking devices and even interned.

Melbourne was named as a purported terrorist target last night only hours after Islamic leaders met in Sydney expressing fears for Muslim Australians on the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

At the meeting, which condemned extremism, several Islamic leaders expressed fears that Australian Muslims were being vilified over terrorism.

One of the organisers, Zuleyha Keskin, of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, described instances of Muslim mothers being spat on, having their veils pulled off and being called murderers and terrorists, making them reluctant to leave their homes.

Keysar Trad, of the Islamic Friendship Society, was applauded when he called on the 300 present to fight the proposed laws, arguing, "We will be tagged and monitored and maybe eventually interned - that is if we don't speak up now and try to do something about the predicament we are in."

Australian Muslims are not the only ones with apprehensions. The Greens leader, Bob Brown, yesterday accused the Government of using counter-terrorism as an excuse to arrest and deport an American peace activist, Scott Parkin, who attended a protest against the Forbes conference of executives in Sydney last month.

Mr Parkin was arrested in Melbourne on Saturday for allegedly posing a threat to national security, but Senator Brown fears he may have been held for political reasons on orders from Washington.

Mr Trad told yesterday's gathering that al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, had hijacked Islam, but "the spin machine" of Western governments was also exploiting the fear of terrorism. "We are not the 'other'. We've been scared by Muslims who are just as Australian as anyone else."

Concerns over the proposed counter-terrorism laws are also being felt within Coalition ranks and are expected to be raised with the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, when he faces his backbench committee this morning.

Some Liberal MPs privately voiced worries last week when the Prime Minister, John Howard, unveiled the radical plans without allowing the committee to consider them first.

A growing number of backbenchers are worried that some of the proposed laws - particularly preventive detention, which would grant police powers to detain people without charge for up to two weeks - violate civil liberties and might be unjustified.

But Mr Ruddock defended the measures on ABC television yesterday, saying Australia remained "on the horizon" for terrorists and main cities were a target.

The videotape televised in the US later in the day - purportedly from a member of al-Qaeda - threatened Melbourne and Los Angeles. ABC News in the US said it had received the video in Pakistan. It said that the masked speaker appeared to be Adam Gadahn, from southern California, who was believed to have been the young American who appeared in another threatening tape about year ago.

Mr Ruddock said the new powers would not only apply in the event of a terrorist attack, but if there was "suspicion that people are engaged in terrorist activities".

He said Mr Howard was seeking the co-operation of the states to detain terrorist suspects for 14 days without charge, because the constitution constrained the federal government from acting. Some in the ALP believe that by asking the states to introduce such a law, the Government will shift the political pressure over the radical plan on to the Labor premiers.

Mr Ruddock also appeared to qualify concessions by Mr Howard on Friday that he might be open to a time limit that would allow the laws to be reviewed and re-enacted in the future.

If the laws were given a limit of one or two years, "it would be highly likely that you would be wanting to get a renewal shortly after", because significant terrorist threats remained, Mr Ruddock said."


These Muslims are all the time worried about being vilified, but who was it who said one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, who was it who stood on the rooftops and applauded the reports of September 11, 2001, who was who said President Bush and the Christians are resposible for 9/11, that they actually organised it and carried it out. No, my friends, what goes around comes around, and when it comes around, some just can't handle it. How many Muslims are held for terrorist offences, not many, how many Muslims are suspected of terrorist affiliations, not many, so why do they fear, it is because they cannot no longer preach their Doctrine of Death with impunity.

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

Mr. Keysar Trad makes an excellent point.
With all the emphasis on security, individual freedom seems to be on the loosing end.
This development worries me also a lot.

Specially with the possibility that people are targeted for other reasons, and in anonimous phonecalls could be accused of reasons for which they can be interned for months on end without any democratic rights for the accused.
Big Brother is coming very near to all of us.
Do not forget that muslims are believers of Islam and nothing else, and are not accused of being the support group of some terrorists.
So catch these terrorists, but leave all people a reasonable level of personal freedom without Big Brother features.


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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/11/05 - Consider this

The statement is made:

What is surprising [...] is how people who are [...] educated [...] in religion, cannot see the glaring weaknesses in any religion and their ideology, and how natural it would be for anyone who does not agree with that ideology to pick those weaknesses apart.

Is being religious a sure sign of mental feebleness?

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:


By WHOM was this statement made?

Being religious is a sure sign of belief in something that can not be proven in any scientific supported way.
There is no reason to call that mental feebleness.
But there is neither any reason for believers to suggest that what is believed is reality.



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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/11/05 - NOT A TRICK QUESTION:



The population of the world is 6,446,131,400. Is this why the universe is expanding more now than ever before?

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

Was that 6,446,131,400 not last Friday on 23.59.59 UT precisely? :))

There is no way to know the exact number of people there are on earth.
The nearest one can come to that is to the first decimal after the Billion number: i.e. 6.4 B.
Any further numbers are thumbsucked.

The reason why the universe expansion seems to speed up is because the "shell" of the universe expands away from the "center", thereby receding from the area where more dark mass (with gravitational attraction) seems to be present.
(Note : "shell" and "center" are very relative descriptions for a 3D+ universe).

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 09/11/05 - THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JEREMIAH PROPHESY...

STARTS AT LUKE 21:25.........CHECK IT OUT.

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

I don't understand why you did not add this short résumé of what you meant.
That's why I added that on.

But with all respect : I do not see anything that refers to todays situation.
Can you point out what I may be missing?


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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/11/05 - The Allied Forces in Wold War II

Viscount - formerly General - Alexander, in 1946, said:

[Under my command was]

a British Corps,
a Canadian Corps,
a New Zealand Division,
a South African Division,
three (oriental) Indian Divisions,
a Polish Corps,
a Palestinian (Arab) Brigade, and
a Greek Brigade.

All these formed the 8th British Army.

Our Allies had an American Corps, which included

a Negro Division, and
a Japanese Combat Regiment;
a French Corps, which included Algerians, Morrocans, Senegalese, Tunisians, and, of course,
Free French.

And lastly,
a Brazilian Division, and those went to make up the American Fifth Army.

But besides those, I had the specialized units, the administrative units-

Newfoundlanders,
Belgians,
Basuto,
Swazi,
Bechuana,
Seychellori,
Mauritian,
Rodrigan Islanders,
Carribean,
Cypriot,
Cingalese,
Syro-Lebanese, and later, when the fighting was over, a Yugo-Slav detachment, and last but no means least,

six Italian groupings, which were in fact miniature Divisions.

There was also a Jewish Brigade of five thousand men, who served in Italy for the last two or three months of the war, acqyutting themsleves well. There were other forces fighting with the Allies against the Hun and Axis powers, but whose contribution and names are often forgotten in the writing of history.

For example, the Arab Palestinian Brigade is NOT honoured on the United Kingdom's Cenotaph, which is the national memorial to that fallen.

You would have trouble trying to get all these into church on Sundays because many of them were not Christians.

Yet, shouldn't we graciously and affectionately remember the sacrifices each of them made regardless of their nationality or faith?

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

Of course we should, Ronnie.
Independent of their nationality, worldview, and circimstances that brought them there.

But Allied troops consisted of much more than those already mentioned.
Besides all the troops you already mentioned I missed seeing this (later) allied country : the Russian (Sovjet) Republic, the troops of the country that lost more of it's people to WWII than all the allieds and the axis together.
We should also remember their near-unimaginable sacrifices.

And then there are still the allied troops of countries that mainly fought in the asean arena.
I miss the Australian, Dutch, and Indian contributions there.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/11/05 - JUST WONDERING ... AGAIN:



What issues do the English have on their plates at this time? It's such a small island. What happens in England that's of interest to the World? Since America is getting some 'hard calls' from the English et al on this Board, perhaps a discussion or two are in order. Only I plan to show respect and be quite dignified when answering. It's the Christian way.

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:


It's not what the English have to say, Hank.
Nor what anyone else has to see, Hank.

What puzzles most is why Americans have so much problems with what others say, as it is beyond any doubt clear that Americans do exactly the same in other circumstances.
Why can't so many Americans endure criticism on the failing of the American Authorities?
Have they perhaps been convinced (I do not want to use the word "brainwashed") into thinking that in the "Home of the Free" authorities do not bungle relief operations?
Or are they maybe so exasperated of the bungling of their own authorities that they now try to shift blame anywhere else out of a pure feeling of guilt?

I'm glad, Hank, that you realize that replying should be dignified, here on the Christianity board.
I reject the build-in suggestion that this was not done in previous questions and replies.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/11/05 - And some more on Katrina

Katrina effort mired in bureaucratic hash

Every day, instead of a decreasing criticism against the USA Federal Government on how the Katrina disaster has been handled, it seems to grow and become more angered.

An instance of what I’m saying can be seen in the following link:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/us-fema0911,0,353161.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

Any comments?

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

The article fitts in with so many stories that already were in the news.
Even if half of all of the stories were incorrect (and I don't believe they are) than still it's clear that authorities bungled completely.

What shows the entire bungling most clearly is the confirmed story of several people who in the days following the flooding tried to evacuate themselves by walking over the highways out of N.O., and who were shot at (over their heads) by police who insisted that they return to the dome.
Had you seen that in a movie, you what have declared that to be too unrealistic to be true.

It's time that the Congressional Hearing starts soon and open to all viewers.
Americans should hear the truth asap.
If they will is however the question.
And even if they do, will they believe the truth ?

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/11/05 - Paul Krugman
Princetown, Sept. 9th


“Each day since Katrina brings more evidence of the lethal ineptitude of federal officials. I'm not letting state and local officials off the hook, but federal officials had access to resources that could have made all the difference, but were never mobilized.

Here's one of many examples: The Chicago Tribune reports that the USS Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day, has been sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday - without patients”

This is just the beginning of a smashing article written by P.K., that can be read in its totality, here:.

http://www.iht.com/protected/articles/2005/09/05/opinion/edkrug.php

I know Mr. Krugman is not one of Bush’s greater admirers, but rather a pain in his neck.

All the same, I wonder whether ALL he says is a big lie, or is rather based on factual facts.

Right here in Europe, for instance, a rumor has starting to spread at non-governmental organizations level, whereas they criticize their governments sending help to the richest country in the world. And they cite, for instance, USA’s budget for armament (almost as big as that of the rest of the world together) or NASA’s. They further state that it would be a shame if European help to African countries should suffer because of this decision. They claim Africa is still hundred times more in need of help than the USA.

I think this a rather unfair analysis of the situation, for victims are victims no matter where they are from.

However, it is a fact that the Federal Government is investing huge amounts of money in weaponry while cutting down budgets for civil works, like the NO levees.

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:

That's a tough one ....

On the blame : let's keep that one to the Congressional Hearing.
On the rumours : where there's smoke there's fire.

What interests me most is why so many US people feel almost as if they are insulted, when you speak about help to them.
Somewhere there must be a feeling of realisation that the enormous damage due to flooding was partly an "own goal" by a government that decided to use the money for other tasks (like Iraq war).
There must be a lot of soul searching going on there ....

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/11/05 - The home of the free and the brave

but not brave enough to be allowed to see the truth?


Challenged in court by CNN, the US Government has agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims.

The Government won't, however, permit photographers to join them in boats or helicopters during the mission to recover bodies from flooded homes.

CNN filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in US District Court in Houston yesterday, concerned about two statements made by Government officials that day. The officials said they didn't believe it was right for the news media to show pictures of Katrina victims.

Terry Ebbert, New Orleans' homeland security director, said the recovery effort would be done with dignity, "meaning that there would be no press allowed".

Army Lieutenant-General Russel Honore later said there would be zero access to the recovery operation.

In a hearing today before US District Judge Keith Ellison, army Lieutenant-Colonel Christian DeGraff promised that recovery teams would not bar the media from watching. Satisfied, CNN agreed to put its case on hold.

"We believe very strongly in the free flow of information and felt it was necessary to have access to tell the full story," said Jim Walton, CNN Newsgroup president.

He said CNN has proven in this story and others that it doesn't put gratuitous images on the air.

Army Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Steele said that DeGraff's statement didn't represent a change in policy. Reporters can watch recovery efforts they come upon, but they won't be embedded with search teams.

"We're not going to bar, impede or prevent" the media from telling the story, he said. "We're just not going to give the media a ride."

Images of Katrina's victims have frequently been part of the story, and The Associated Press offered such pictures to its members today. The picture of a dead body in a wheelchair, wrapped in blankets and resting near a wall, is one of most-remembered images of the tragedy.

Some Bush administration opponents are suspicious that there would be efforts to limit pictures of bodies so the public wouldn't be reminded of the government's response to the storm. They likened it to restrictions against taking pictures of bodies returning from the war in Iraq.

But Walton said he didn't think the "zero access" plans in New Orleans had anything to do with politics.

AP

sarnian answered on 09/11/05:


So CNN "won" the right to show the recoverage of bodies.
Question is if many people really like to see it.
But I think it's here the principle that counts!

Now it's more - much too late - the task to show the dead at least some dignity ....

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/10/05 - her we go stuffing about again

now the interesting part will be whether they produce male children

No father required to create human life
By Nic Fleming in Dublin and Sarah Price
September 11, 2005


Human embryos have been created in Britain for the first time without using sperm.

The "virgin conception" embryos mark a new way to grow a woman's cells for a range of treatments.

The development, revealed by an Edinburgh research team, is the second in as many days in which British scientists have pushed back the boundaries of reproductive science.

On Thursday, approval was given to experiments to create embryos from three women to develop a novel treatment for a class of genetic disease.

The new work will shed fresh light on hereditary diseases, the problems caused by cloning and on what happens when the regulation of genes in development goes awry.

The human embryos in question result not from a fertilised egg but from an egg that has been tricked into dividing, Paul De Sousa told the British Association meeting in Dublin.

Dr De Sousa did the work at the nearby Roslin Institute, where Dolly the sheep was cloned.

Dr De Sousa used about 300 human eggs to create half a dozen blastocysts - human embryos that comprise about 50 cells, which can be used as a source of stem cells that can be grown into all 200 or so cell types in the body.

Although attempts to grow stem cells from the blastocysts have not yet succeeded as they have in non-human primates, Dr De Sousa was confident it was only a matter of time.

The embryos were grown by a process called parthenogenesis - "virgin birth" in Greek.

Although most plants can multiply by parthenogenesis, humans do not because a gene-regulation called imprinting ensures genes from the mother and father must contribute if development in the womb is to reach term.

There are no plans to implant the embryos to create a pregnancy, Dr De Sousa said.

Parthenogenesis also offers the opportunity to grow cells from a woman who is suffering from a serious genetic disease, to help study that disease.

But associate professor Richard Boyd, deputy director of Monash Immunology and Stem Cells Laboratory at Monash University, said he did not believe the breakthrough would provide sustained long-term treatment of disease in humans.

Dr Boyd praised the discovery but said the embryos "contained only one copy of each of the genes of the mother, which could expose diseased cells in the same way in-breeding exposes diseased cells".

Telegraph, London

sarnian answered on 09/10/05:

This research is still in it's infancy.
So far they learned to trick cell division in various ways, but the problem of degeneration of cells created from such divisions has still not been solved.
What use to a child that lacks these diseases, but that will die before it is 10 or 15 years?

And yes, your question is an interesting one : I do not think that will be possible, as there is no "x" chromosome involved if the genetic material is from female origin.

I worry about this cell research.
We are playing "god" while we are not aware yet what dangers there (can) lurk in these procedures.

I do not worry about increasing technology : the old fashioned way will always be prefered over the sterile cold glastube. As least as long as we do "it" properly. :)

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/10/05 - I'm Not Finished - There's More

It wasn't just 1941-1945.

Four million American troops landed in France in 1917-1918. As every military man in the universe knows, these men were the deciding factor in that war.

So twice the US saved you from speaking German as your national language.

How about 1945- 1990? You don't speak Russian, do you? Gee, I wonder why?

And, erewhon, your constant promotion of British brilliance makes me gag. Tell me about British foreign and trade policy that let MILLIONS, that's MILLIONS, of Irish starve to death - men, women and children with their bloated bodies all over the countryside of Ireland - because profits were more important than human lives. Ireland EXPORTED corn from Irish ports under British guns for British profits while its people STARVED to death.

Tell me about British superiority. Maybe you ought to read a friggin history book.

sarnian answered on 09/10/05:

Bradd,

I don't follow the cause of this polemic.
Nobody here will argue that US troops were involved in both WWI and WWII.
They were the deciding factor in WWII, but not in WWI.

I'm sure that our reason to go to war against Nazi Germany was speaking German as national language (which is a difficult but beautiful language, that allows often a much better expression of feelings than English). Many Europeans speak German fluently anyway.
What was fought against in WWII was nazism, not the German language.
Had the American politics got their way, and had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbour, the US troops would have stayed at home, Hitler or not.
There are several well supported theories that Pearl Harbour happened although Pres Rooseveld was aware what was going to happene there, but let it go on, to force the US into WWII.
(Rooseveld had already tried before to get the US involved, but failed as Congress refused).

The Marshall Plan indeed restarted the European economy. But that was a knive cutting at both sides, as America and Europe were trading partners, and needed each other. So the Marshal Plan indirectly supported the own American economy.

And 1945- 1990? No, most people here don't speak Russian.
You really think that the US' only reason to have troups here was preventing the Russians to occupy Europe?
Ever thought about the possibility that Europe's "occupation" by US troops was to prevent American soil becoming the next battleground?

Why does promoting of any non-american brilliance gags you?
What is there going on in your head? Patriotic nonsense?
I can assure you that YES, there are many countries in the world that have BRILLIANT PEOPLE, and/or BRILLIANT FEATURES.
The US is surely not the only country with brilliant people.
Katrina showed us all that there are also a lot of very non-brilliant people in the US, from Government down to society as a whole.

Yes, British policies let Irish people starve. And not only Irish.
But what about the US? Is here the pot calling the kettle black?
What about US imperialism? What about US misuse of the financial and economic markets to enforce their doctrine and gain unto many other countries in the world?
And what about American total utter faillures? Ever heard of Vietnam?

Why are you so sensitive now the US needs help from other countries?
Does it hurt your pride that the US is not the Walhalla you seemed to believe it was?
Or do you prefer to deliberately allow DELAYS in recovering of N.O. and other areas, and/or people even die from related diseases to the flooding, just because you can keep up your American delusions of "grandeur"?

All that started this was just a post that some US media were here to make a program on sea protection systems in Europe.
So that America can learn something from that.
You moaned a lot, but you still have not explained what is wrong with learning from others how to solve a problem you have.
In the US situation I would do exactly what the media did : go and find out what others did to solve a similar problem to your own.


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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/10/05 - Christian Morality???

What do you think of the following cut and paste?

Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden are going to sell bonds and use the money to pay for vaccinating children in what is called the developing world. The World Health Organization says that the immunizations will save the lives of millions of African kids.

Bad idea. President Bush has put the kibosh on it.
America is not going to have anything to do with a morally objectionable program. This is the Terri Schiavo case writ large, an unnatural intervention in the will of the You Know Who.

If the You Know Who wants African children to live, the You Know Who will take care of it without the Europeans. Keeping those kids alive will lead to demands to spend more money which we do not have without taxing the rich and that ain’t gonna happen.

The children you save today will starve tomorrow, anyway. There is a new wheat rust blight with the charming moniker of UG99 that is threatening to cut food production first in Africa and then everywhere, as it spreads, around the globe. UG99 is You Know Who’s way of saying stay out of it. Don’t mess with providence, although you do have his permission to drop a copper or two in the kettle when the flies begin crawling on the babies’ faces again and the older kids are all bone and bloat.

The Africans can do what we did in Louisiana and Mississippi after Katrina. Send in cabinet secretaries. Like kings of old who could cure scrofula simply by touching the afflicted, President Bush’s cabinet members can do the same. That is why they visit the New Orleans’ site one after another. Candy Rice is a sure fire cure for warts. A glance at a mental patient by Michael Chernoff cures delusions of grandeur.

They cannot cure everything. President Bush is the panacea man. Had he been in Florida and touched Terri she would have awoken from her coma and raised up from the bed. He often comes to New Orleans to cure the sick. Those who say he’s doing it for the photo ops or strong leadership ops or the vision thing ops, they lie. They lie like rugs, they are dissing our President and the You Know Who is going to turn them into African children.

What say you?

sarnian answered on 09/10/05:

First of all Africa : though it is spectacular viewing, the real problem in Africa is not inocculations against diseases.
In the southern of Africa the problems are related to flooding after enormous rainfall, while in the northern of Africa the problem relate to a shortfall of rain.
Next to that there still are warring factions all over Africa, infighting between Muslims and Christians, and agricultural problems due to global dimming.

I have to agree that it makes no sense just to innoculate children, and leave the rest to YouKnowWho.
Better in that case just save yourself the money and leave them to die from natural causes.

What is really required in Africa is a chance to sell African produce against FAIR prices on the world markets.
Many countries - including the US and Europe - are selling part of their overproduction below market prices in Africa.
What can't be sold locally is subsidized and than send to Africa.
As a result African farmers can't get a proper price for their products, and they go bankrupt.

Wordbank industrial loans are subject to conditions that are very favourable to the US, often actually rather demotivating to local African industry to manufacture complete end products.
Instead ore is exported against (too) low prices.
A good example of this is the platinum export.
Instead of the end product (silencers) African industry was forced to export refined platinum only.
Silencer industry would be able to emply many people.

It is a very complex problem to develop Africa.
I do not think that just innoculating children will be the real solution.

But it provides excellent pictures, long cues of children waiting to get innoculated.
I know that is cynical, but it's true.
I know. I lived in Africa for over 25 years.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/10/05 - Leadership and Vision

Cut and Paste follows

"The private charitable response to Katrina has been extraordinary. This wellspring of altruism is one of the great untapped resources of our country -- squandered by a president who talks a lot about the fulfillment that comes from serving "something greater than ourselves" but has repeatedly blown the opportunity to call on the American people to commit themselves to a large, collective purpose. After 9/11 he called on us all to go to Disney World. What will he ask of us in the wake of Katrina -- to stock up on "Girls Gone Wild -- Mardi Gras"

Why aren't American people called to higher well-defined purposes by our government??

sarnian answered on 09/10/05:

Maybe Bush realizes that this time this won't work.
I just saw a documentary on background information on the disaster.
The costs to make the area habitable again are staggering : they are in the order of between 150 en 200 billion US dollars, excl. the cost of (insured) housing.
Put that against the amount spend already on Iraq (+/- 300 Billion), and every one knows that you can't do both projects at the same time.

BTW : what did a visit to Disney World contribute to the recovery from the 9-11 disaster?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/09/05 - Murderous Cruelty, the OT and Rome

I have been watching a week's long special on the Roman Empire...generally speaking from 500BC to 500AD, a thousand year Empire. It has been wonderful, educational, but I have had enough!

All the hacking people to bits, the love of gore and disembowling, cutting throats; also, the violence and hacking to bits of women and children in the Old Testament.

Were there any civilizations that were not bloodthursty and gory?? Even today, men cut off political prisoner's heads in Iraq for "religious" reasons.

I say thank heavens for democratic republics and democratic monarchies like Britain...The greatest advance in civilization. Do you agree??

sarnian answered on 09/10/05:


Blood thirsty civilisations?
I admit that there is no political murder in the US (though Pat Robertson gave us recently a good example that the fineer in that respect is rather thin).
Iraq may be a mess in that respect, but State Approved Murder is also found in China, Russia, N. Korea, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries, and is again on the increase in the US.

I fully agree with you that the British model, with all it's problems and disadvantages, is a perfect example of a good democratic system.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/09/05 - Are heads already rolling?


NEW ORLEANS -- The Bush administration abruptly replaced the embattled chief of its Hurricane Katrina relief operation yesterday, turning control over to a Coast Guard official who promised a ''deliberate, focused" effort to help the Gulf Coast recover.

The decision to send Michael D. Brown, the Federal Emergency Management Agency director, back to Washington was seen as an attempt to blunt criticism of the federal response to Katrina. But at a press conference in Baton Rouge, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declined to address questions about Brown's performance.

Courtesy of The Boston Globe 09/10

I do not wish to brag too much about it, but it seems that those of us that denounced the incapacity of Michael Brown to perform in the Katrina disaster, were not that wrong, were we?

Or has a new witch hunt already started?

Any comments?

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

I see it more as moving the deckchairs onboard of the Titanic.
An attempt to stop the growing local indignation on the delays of the emergency relief operation.
Without involving myself why (and because of whom) that happened - that is the task of the Congressional Hearing - I fear that this dismissal will not be enough to stop the growing criticism on all authorities.

It was clear that there was blundering of enormous proportions, tens of thousands of people can testify to that (while for hundreds it's too late to do so).
The emphasis in the news has been of course on the double disaster in the New Orleans area.
What we hear little of is the damage over the entire Gulf coastal area, the devastation, and the cost of lives there.

And - although it is may be too soon after Katrina - will there now come a better planning of hurricane and tornado relief operations and safety meassures?
This specially as the causes of the increase in the power of such natural causes is expected to be found in human environmental neglect of nature.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/09/05 - Colin Powell interview

Some fascinating excerpts from a Barbara Walters inteview with Colin Powell., last 09/09

Re: the Katrina Hurricane:

"I think there have been a lot of failures at a lot of levels — local, state and federal. There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. Not enough was done. I don't think advantage was taken of the time that was available to us, and I just don't know why".

Powell doesn't think race was a factor in the slow delivery of relief to the hurricane victims as some have suggested. "I don't think it's racism, I think it's economic," he told Walters.

"When you look at those who weren't able to get out, it should have been a blinding flash of the obvious to everybody that when you order a mandatory evacuation, you can't expect everybody to evacuate on their own. These are people who don't have credit cards; only one in 10 families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn't a racial thing — but poverty disproportionately affects African-Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor," he said.

On the Iraq War:

It was Powell who told the United Nations and the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat. He told Walters that he feels "terrible" about the claims he made in that now-infamous address — assertions that later proved to be false.

When asked if he feels it has tarnished his reputation, he said, "Of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."

He doesn't blame former CIA Director George Tenet for the misleading information he says he pored over for days before delivering his speech; he faults the intelligence system.

"George Tenet did not sit there for five days with me misleading me. He believed what he was giving to me was accurate. … The intelligence system did not work well," he said.

Nonetheless, Powell said, some lower-level personnel in the intelligence community failed him and the country. "There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me," he said.
While Powell ultimately supported the president's decision to invade Iraq, he acknowledges that he was hesitant about waging war. "I'm always a reluctant warrior. And I don't resent the term, I admire the term, but when the president decided that it was not tolerable for this regime to remain in violation of all these U.N. resolutions, I'm right there with him with the use of force," he said.

Powell told Walters he is unfazed by criticism that he put loyalty to the president over leadership. "Loyalty is a trait that I value, and yes, I am loyal. And there are some who say, 'Well, you shouldn't have supported it. You should have resigned.' But I'm glad that Saddam Hussein is gone. I'm glad that that regime is gone," he said.

When Walters pressed Powell about that support, given the "mess" that the invasion has yielded, Powell said, "Who knew what the whole mess was going to be like?"

While he said he is glad that Saddam's regime was toppled, Powell acknowledged that he has seen no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorist attack. "I have never seen a connection. … I can't think otherwise because I'd never seen evidence to suggest there was one," he told Walters.

When asked what steps he would take in Iraq, Powell said, "I think there is little choice but to keep investing in the Iraqi armed forces, and to do everything we can to increase their size and their capability and their strength," he said.

Still, he questions some of the administration's post-invasion planning. "What we didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country, with enough troops of our own, with enough troops from coalition forces, or, by re-creating the Iraqi forces, armed forces, more quickly than we are doing now. And it may not have turned out to be such a mess if we had done some things differently. But it is now a difficult situation, but difficult situations are there to be worked on and solved, not walked away from, not cutting and running from."

He acknowledged that the pain of losing a loved one would be heightened if a family feels the war is unjust. "If they don't feel the war is just, then they'll always feel that it is a deep personal loss and I sympathize with Ms. Sheehan. But this is not over. This conflict is not over, and the alternative to what I just described is essentially saying, 'Nevermind, we're leaving.' And I don't think that is an option for the United States”

I do not think that anybody in this board can accuse Mr. Powell of anti-American feelings, do you?

Comments are welcome!
Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

Well, it's good to see that Powell opened up and admits (his) mistakes.
I agree with his thoughts about the reasons why people did not (could not) evacuate upon approach of Katrina.
What I miss is the vision to suggest a strategy to get rid of the extreme poverty, which so strongly effects the black community.

Also on Iraq it's good to see he admits that the reasons for invasion were incorrect.
What I miss is the conclusion that the presence of the US army in Iraq is therefore illegal.

It's interesting to see the parallel between Sr. and Jr. Bush : Both invaded Iraq, and Both decided not to finish the job properly, but created a dangerous situation.
I really hope for the US that there is no Jr. jr. Bush hidden in the woodwork intending to become president too.

No, it's sure that Mr. Power is a "real" American, without anti-American feelings.
But although Mr. Powell has come to admit mistakes at last, it's a pity that we are 2000 American young lives further, lives that are gone forever.
That's the problem with politicians. They can admit their mistakes, but by that time it's impossible te reverse the consequences of their views, which often involve major consequences for so many others.

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 09/09/05 - I told you

In an earlier question or response--I don't remember which--I said to watch the children and learn from them. They don't care about politics, they just care. No wonder Jesus held little ones in such high esteem.

There's a somewhat dark side to this story, but to my mind it's totally blotted out by the actions of this child.

Read on, friends...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9230423/

DK

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

Moving story indeed.
Marvelous that someone saw this and put it to paper.

But let's not forget that in Africa 6 year olds are guarding the sheep for days on end.
I have seen that with my own eyes.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/09/05 - WOW!



"Confucius did not wish to look for a paradise in the next world; he rather wanted to have a paradise on earth such as: when Dao prevails, the world will become common to all. The people will elect virtuous and talented persons for the government; and they will promote good faith and friendship. Thus men will not consider only their own parents as their parents, nor treat only their own children as their children. The aged will find a meaningful life till their death; the able persons are fully employed; and the young are provided with upbringing; and the forlorn and helpless people, the disabled and the sick, will all be supported by the state. Every man will have his own rights and every woman her own belongings. They hate to see goods lying about in waste, yet they do not hoard them for themselves. They dislike the thought that their energies are not fully used, yet they use them not for egoistic ends. Therefore, all evil plotting is prevented in advance and rebels do not arise. Thus, perfect security will prevail everywhere; people can leave their outer gates unchecked. This is called the Great Unity."

Source: "Confucius' Ideal Society"

Comments?

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

Confusius was a wise man.
What a pity that humanity did not want to co-operate ....

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/09/05 - Enough is enough!

An Email worth reading

IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN AMERICA
DID NOT PURCHASE A DROP OF GAS FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT
THE SAME TIME, THE OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR
STOCKPILES.
AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS OVER 100 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.
THEREFORE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22 HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED "STICK IT UP THEIR BUTT" DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF GAS THAT DAY.
THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE IS IF YOU FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN AND AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN TO GET THE WORD OUT.ON THE GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN AND CONTROL THE PRICES IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REDUCTION AND CONTROL IN PRICES THAT THE ARAB NATIONS PROMISED TWO WEEKS AGO?

REMEMBER ONE THING, NOT ONLY IS THE PRICE OF PETROL GOING UP BUT AT THE SAME TIME AIRLINES ARE FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES,TRUCKING COMPANIES ARE FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES WHICH EFFECTS PRICES ON EVERYTHING THAT IS SHIPPED. THINGS LIKE FOOD, CLOTHING, BUILDING SUPPLIES MEDICAL SUPPLIES ETC. WHO PAYS IN THE END? WE
DO!
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF THEY DON'T GET THE MESSAGE> AFTER ONE DAY, WE WILL DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.
SO DO YOUR PART AND SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD THIS EMAIL TOEVERYONE YOU KNOW. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND MAKE SEPTEMBER 22 A DAY THAT THE CITIZENS OF AMERICA "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

100 Billion dollar a day?
I think your calculations are wrong !

But WHY a "no-purchase of gas day?
The article does not provide a sound and supported reasoning on that.

Americans are using TWICE as much gas/energy pro rata than any other civilisation.
That is the US problem : overuse.
And than a no-purchase day?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/09/05 - Is this Ethical?

The paramedics left about a half hour ago, and while they were here, one of them told me that last night in New Orleans, the police patroling came across a criminal shooting at a medivac vehicle. They took positions and shot the sniper dead.

Then, they left the sniper in the street as a warning to others.

Do you think leaving the sniper in the street was moral/ethical??

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

Dear MarySue

Sorry to hear of your mishap.
I hope all is well know.

~~~

Re. the story of the shot sniper :
Every civilian who does not shoot out of self defence should expect to be shot him/herself.
And as there are thousands of bodies lying around in N.O. because the emphasis of relief operations goes to saving the living, I see no reason why not leaving the body there, as a warning.

Although I am against any form of murder (including murder by the State), I can condone shooting this person, as it bascially was out of selfdefence.

This let me think again about the absurdity of proliferation of guns under the US civilian population (1) AD 2005.
In almost all other countries gun possession is forbiden for almost all (2), control is extremely strict, and ownership is restricted to examination, membership of a rifle range, strict rules on weapon storage, and even stricter rules on carrying a weapon around.
Another reason not to live in the current US : too many guns by too many people : even a small percentage of weapon misuse means a lot of dangerous weapons in the wrong hands on the streets.

(1) Of course people living from hunt or in dangerous terrain (f.i. Alaska) should be allowed guns for selfdefence.
(2) I have a rifle myself. I have to bi-weekly train at the range, but leave my rifle there in storage.

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Question/Answer
kindj asked on 09/09/05 - Why?

In recent times when disaster has struck--be it man made or natural--we have seen communities pulling together for the common good. Stories of personal sacrifice and heroism abound.

So why is this one different?

Are there no such stories to tell? Did the city of New Orleans fall too far into their "do your own thing" lifestyle, so that when disaster came, their attitude was "I'm doing my own thing for me, and to hell with you?" Why are we hearing so many stories of looting, rape, murder, gang activity, drug use/dealing, etc? Did these not ever go on in the other disasters, or is something different this time?

I have some ideas, but I'm just curious what your take is on it.

DK

sarnian answered on 09/09/05:

The difference is that in previous hurricanes and tornado's people died and damage was caused by natural violence.
The difference is a 5 day period during which hardly anyone did anything for tens of thousands of people who could not evacuate in time (for what ever reason).
The difference is that people realize the shame that this could happen in the most powerful nation on earth.
The difference is that one half of the proud US citizens now realize that parts of their country are treated as a third world backyard.
The difference is that for years maintenance to important security and safety systems (like dykes) were deliberately under (or not) funded.
The difference is that people now realize that support for the victims was too little too late, and that too many victims died because of the slow startup of the emergency relief.
The difference is this time's mismanagement and bungling by the authorities.

Let's hope that these hearings start as soon as possible, so that we all hear what and who went wrong, and what the consequences will be for them.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/08/05 - I just got this from a friend in the cleaning up messes buiness.

This is a powerful message to all the weeping, whining liberal Bush haters in the country. To the President's credit, unlike his enemies, he has chosen not to submit this data to the public at this time and further fuel the political furor. Every concerned American needs to see this message.

Subject: The Battle over New Orleans

Here is something else that Tim Russert forgot.
Fron the offical record....
On Friday night before the storm hit, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center took the unprecedented action of calling Nagin and Blanco personally to plead with them to begin MANDATORY evacuation of NO and they said they'd take it under consideration. This was after the NOAA buoy 240 miles south had recorded 68' waves before it was destroyed.

President Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act or having to enact the Insurgency Act). Just before midnight Friday evening the President called Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to sign the request papers so the federal government and the military could legally begin mobilization and call up. He was told that they didn't think it necessary for the federal government to be involved yet. After the President's final call to the governor she held meetings with her staff to discuss the political ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as if they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.

Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal assistance, that they declare the state an emergency area, and begin mandatory evacuation. After a personal plea from the President, Nagin agreed to order an evacuation, but it would not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the governor still refused to sign the papers requesting and authorizing federal action. In frustration the President declared the area a national disaster area before the state of Louisiana did so he could legally begin some advanced preparations. Rumor has it that the President's legal advisers were looking into the ramifications of using the insurgency act to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a state request federal aid before the federal government can move into state with troops - but that had not been done since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was called into question to use before the disaster.

Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past decade to NO for levee construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to fund a marina and support the gambling ships. Toss in the investigation that will look into why the emergency preparedness plan submitted to the federal government for funding and published on the city's website was never implemented and in fact may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining additional federal funding as we now learn that the organizations identified in the plan were never contacted or coordinating into any planning - though the document implies that they were.

The suffering people of NO need to be asking some hard questions as do we all, but they better start with why Blanco refused to even sign the multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard from adjoining states. Or maybe ask why Nagin keeps harping that the President should have commandeered 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his own emergency plan and documents he claimed to have over

500 busses at his disposal to use between the local school busses and the city transportation busses - but he never raised a finger to prepare them or activate them.
This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands more suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be pointing fingers and trying to find a bigger dog to blame for local corruption and incompetence.

Pray to God for the survivors that they can start their lives anew as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid them in the future.

Hmmmm. Do you believe it?

sarnian answered on 09/08/05:

Fred,

as I already stated in earlier posts regarding this matter to the board this week, now the emergency services seem to have come to grip with the situation, and are busy doing their job, I do not involve myself any further with posts concerning this matter, whatever direction they come from.
What however has not been explained yet, is how it was possible that tens of thousands of people had to wait for more than 5 days without water, food, or safety, before emergency relief troops arrived in full force.
That would be unacceptable in any third world country, so it is also unacceptable in the US.

I heard that the by Congress planned first hearing has been postponed.
Strange, as the reactions from all over the US against this delay are picking up strongly.
Whoever is (are) responsible for this delay should pay the price for that, the sooner the better.


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Question/Answer
powderpuff asked on 09/08/05 - Homosexuality and Racism

Sarnian,

You have repeatedly accused me of being intolerant toward homosexuality and homosexuals and if not, you suggest that, at least, I am probably a racist. I would like you to show me the proof.

Here are some of the comments you have made about me today:

"There are many references.
F.i. Powderpuff in Homosexuality and ....See : Homosexuality and "fundamental christian" intolerance

powderpuff

No, I don't state that. Where did you get that idea?"

>>me here: YES you did, and there is more....<<

"Example ?
Powerderpuf. Homosexuality ...
See it and understand what i'm driving at.

specially if you rteceive hatefull remarks about that.
(powderpuff, Homosexuality ...)

you surely are at the edge of racism in your post on drugsuse in the dome."

>>this is me again: If you think my post is on the 'edge' of racism you are reading something that is not there. I have not 'seen' the news. I don't watch much television. I have not read a lot of the printed news. I don't get the news paper and I've tried to limit the amount of news I read online about this disaster. I have not spoken to my daughter or her husband about the races of the people taking shelter in the Astrodome. My post had nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with 'poor' people. It had everything to do with junkies screwing the system once again, re-victimizing the victims of Katrina.

I would appreciate it if you would stop accusing me of things you know nothing about. If you can prove I am a racist and intolerant or hateful toward homosexuals, do it. If not, please stop your attacks.


sarnian answered on 09/08/05:

OK Powerderpuff

If all that is stated here is true, included what is stated in the support by others, I have to conclude that I must have misunderstood you in that case.
For that I offer you my sincere apologies.

:)

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/08/05 - New British TV Show

A new British TV show airs this fall called 12 Books that Changed the World hosted by Melvin Bragg. The series aims to show that the lives we lead have been formed as often as not by a single book."

The 12 books are:
Darwin - The Origin of Species (1859)
The First Rule Book of the Football Association (1863)
William Shakespeare's First Folio (1623)
Newton - Principia Mathematica (1687)
Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations (1776)
William Wilberforce - Speech to the House of Commons (May 12 1789)
The King James Bible (1611)
Patent Specification for Arkwright's Spinning Machine (1769)
Mary Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Michael Faraday - Experimental Research in Electricity (1855)
Marie Stopes - Married Love (1918)
Magna Carta (1215)


Have you read any of these books?
Comments?



PS. I have read Shakespeare, The Bible(No the King James version though) and the Magna Carta.

sarnian answered on 09/08/05:

Dear MarySue

I question these 3 (for Books that Changed the World)

-The First Rule Book of the Football Association (1863)

-William Wilberforce - Speech to the House of Commons (May 12 1789)

-Patent Specification for Arkwright's Spinning Machine (1769)

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Question/Answer
powderpuff asked on 09/08/05 - News from the Astrodome

The scene is turning into drug addicts dreams come true. Not to mention a major windfall for dope dealers. My daughter called me very late last night from the Astrodome, and I just finished talking with her again this morning. The great majority of the 'evacuees' are taking their free money and going into the neighborhood surrounding the Astrodome and buying crack cocaine.

My daughter is home this morning to do some laundry and get gas, and buy some soft inserts for her shoes, then heading back to the dome. They originally thought they would be having 15 hour shifts 3 days on, 3 days off, but that wasn't enough. They need them EVERYDAY, no days off 12 hour shifts. She has blisters on her feet, but she isn't letting that stop her....

I am very upset to hear that the major majority of the 'victims' are squandering their handouts for crack. I hope they arrest all these people and use this opportunity to bust up a lot of the major crack dealers in the Houston area. This news makes me sick.
My daughter is risking her health to take care of a bunch of displaced drug addicts.

:(

sarnian answered on 09/08/05:


I'm sure there will be people misusing their handout to buy dope.
But I do not think that parents with small children, the needing, or the elderly are taking drugs.
See the good the money does to them.
Just ignore the dunces who waste their money.

Chapeau for your daughter! You must be proud of her!

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/07/05 - Dutch Political Party Penalised for Snubbing Women

A Dutch court has ruled that the state must stop funding a fundamentalist Calvinist party, because it refuses to allow women to be full members.

Judges in The Hague said that funding the party was a violation of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Reformed Political Party (SGP), which was founded in 1918, will lose about one million euros per year.

The party says it wants government based entirely on Biblical teachings.


The ruling will put renewed pressure on the discussions within the party about membership for women.

An SGP statement says that it campaigns against abortion and for the preservation of Sunday as a day of rest.

It has two members in the lower house of the Dutch parliament and one in the European Parliament.

The SGP said in a press statement that it was disappointed by the ruling, but added that it would not appeal.

"It is clear that the ruling will put renewed pressure on the discussions within the party about membership for women," SGP party leaders Wim Kolijn and Bas van der Vlies said in a joint statement.

The court said the state had not fulfilled its obligations to the UN convention because it had done nothing to stop discrimination against women by the SGP, and also supported the SGP by handing out subsidies.

Source: www.BBCNews.com

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:


I heard that too.
The ruling is NOT against the religious thinking in the party.
But against the habit of party sexism.
Because women could not become party member, they never could become members of Councils or Parliament.

As soon as the party allowes women to become party members, the funding will start again.
About € 800.000,00 per year, just as all political party represented in Parliamnet receive.



Is die kaas lekker? Sijn die bloemen mooi?
:)


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Question/Answer
bucker asked on 09/07/05 - The Universe is NOT Billions of Years Old



The following material was developed by Dr. Kent Hovind. For more information and materials on creationism and evolution, go to www.drdino.com

Some Notable Quotes

“Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups. This theory has helped nothing in the process of science. It is useless.”—Professor Louis Bounoure, former President, Biological Society of Strasbourg, Director of the Strasbourg Zoological.
“Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.”

—Sir Arthur Keith (He wrote the forward to the 100th anniversary edition of Darwin’s book, Origin of Species in 1959)

“This notion of species as ‘natural kinds’ fits splendidly with creationist tenets of a pre-Darwinian age. Louis Agassiz even argued that species are God’s individual thoughts, made incarnate so that we might perceive His majesty and His message. Species, Agassiz wrote, are ‘instituted by the Divine Intelligence as the categories of his mode of thinking’. But how could a division of the organic world into discrete entities be justified by an evolutionary theory that proclaimed ceaseless change as the fundamental fact of nature?”

–Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University

“The Big Bang is presumed to have produced just hydrogen and helium, only 2 of the 92 elements of the earth’s crust.” – Dr. Robert V. Gentry, Research Physicist
“As a matter of fact, however, it may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.”

—Nelson Blueck, Rivers in the Desert, 1959, p. 31 Palestinian archeologist.


“I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”

–Malcom Muggeridge, journalist and philosopher, Pasccal Lectures, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


“Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, And the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact.”

–Dr. T. N. Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Comission, USA


“As yet we have not been able to trace the phylogenetic history of a single group of modern plants from its beginning to the present.”

–Chester A. Arnold, Professor of Botany and Curator of Fossil Plants, University of Michigan in An introduction to Paleobotany, p. 7

Introduction

The general theory of evolution is based on several faulty assumptions. (Note: It is important to understand by this statement that we are not disputing simple variations that some call “microevolution,” whose micro-changes are often observed but never lead to a fundamentally different kind of plant or animal.) The following assumptions of evolutionary theory are easy to prove false:

· the universe is billions of years old,
· life spontaneously arose from nonliving minerals,
· mutations create or improve a species,
· natural selection has creative power.

In This section we will deal with the first of these assumptions. The others will be dealt with elsewhere. If, in fact, it could be demonstrated that the universe is not billions of years old, all other arguments about evolution become meaningless and unnecessary.

In children’s fairy tales, we are told:
frog + magic spell (usually a kiss) = prince

In modern “science” textbooks we are told:
frog + time = prince

The same basic fairy tale is being promoted in textbooks today, but the new magic potion cited is time. When the theory of evolution is discussed, time is the panacea for all the thousands of problems that arise.Just One Proof of a Young Earth Settles the Case Against EvolutionIn nearly all discussions and debates about evolution that I have held at universities and colleges, I ask the evolutionists how certain things could have evolved by chance. Their answer is nearly always “given enough time…” Time is the evolutionists’ god. Time can create matter from nothing and life from matter. According to evolutionists, time can create order from chaos. But let’s remove time from the above equations. There would be the following three results:

· Evolution becomes obviously impossible
· Evolutionists will scream like a baby whose pacifier has been pulled out because they know that if time is removed, their religion (evolution is religion, not science) will be exposed as being silly.
· Creation becomes the only reasonable alternative explanation for existence of this complex universe.

Let’s imagine we are exploring an old gold mine, and we find a Casio Databank watch half buried in the mud on the floor of the mine. Suppose also that the correct time and date are displayed on the watch and it is still running smoothly. Then imagine that I tell you the watch has been there for over one thousand years.

“That’s impossible!” you say. “The watch could not have been there for a thousand years, and I can prove it!”

“How can you prove I’m wrong?” I say.

“Well, for one thing, this mine was dug just 150 years ago,” you say.

“Okay,” I admit, “you’re right about the thousand years being too much, but the watch has been here for 150 years at least!”

“No!” you say. “Casio didn’t make the Databank watch until twelve years ago.”

“All right,” I say. “The watch was dropped here twelve years ago then.”

“Impossible!” you say. “The batteries only last five years in that watch, and it is still running. That proves it has been here less than five years.

While we still can’t prove exactly when the watch was left there, you have logically limited the date to five years at the most. You have effectively proven my initial statement 1000 years wrong. The larger numbers prove nothing in this debate. Even if I were to carbon date the mud or plastic in the watch to try to prove that it is thousands of years old, my data would be meaningless. The same logic can be applied to finding the age of the earth. If several factors limit the age of the earth to a few thousand years, the earth cannot be older than a few thousand years! Even if a few indicators seem to show a greater age for the earth, it takes only ONE fact to prove the earth is young.

The Bible teaches that God created the universe approximately 6000 years ago, ex nihilo (out of nothing) in six literal, twenty-four hour days. Then, approximately 4400 years ago, the earth was destroyed by a worldwide flood. This devastating, year long flood was responsible for the sediment layers being deposited (the water was going and returning, Gen 8:3-5). As the mountains rose and the oceans sank in after the flood (Psalm 104:5-8, Gen 8:1), the waters rushed off the rising mountains into the new ocean basins. This rapid-erosion through still-soft, unprotected sediments formed the topography we still see today in places like the Grand Canyon. The uniformitarian assumption—that today’s slow erosion rates that take place through solid rock are the same as has always been—is faulty logic, and ignores catastrophes like the Flood, (2 Pet. 3:3-8 says that the scoffers are “willingly ignorant” of the Flood.)

Listed below are some of the factors from various branches of science that limit the age of the universe or the earth to within the last few thousand years. Though it cannot be scientifically proven exactly when the universe was created, its age can be shown to NOT be billions of years old.


Evidence from Space

1. The shrinking sun limits the earth-sun relationship to less than “billions of years.” The sun is losing both mass and diameter. Changing mass would upset the fine gravitational balance that keeps the earth at just the right distance for life to survive.

2. The Ù inch layer of cosmic dust on the moon indicates the moon has not been accumulating dust for billions of years. NOTE: Insufficient evidence to be positive.

3. The existence of short-period comets indicates the universe is less than billions of years old.

4. Fossil meteorites are very rare in layers other than the top layers of the earth. This indicates that the layers were not exposed for millions of years as is currently being taught in school textbooks.

5. The moon is receding a few inches each year. Billions of years ago the moon would have been so close that the tides would have been much higher, eroding the continents quickly.

6. The moon contains considerable quantities of U-236 and Th-230, both short-lived isotopes that would have been long gone if the moon were billion of years old.

7. The existence of great quantities of space dust, which by the Poynting-Robertson effect would have been vacuumed out of our solar system is young.

8. At the rate many star clusters are expanding, they could not have been traveling for billions of years.

9. Saturn’s rings are still unstable, indicating they are not billions of years old.

10. Jupiter and Saturn are cooling off rather rapidly. They are losing heat twice as fast as they gain it from the sun. They cannot be billions of years old.

11. Jupiter’s moon, Io, is losing matter to Jupiter. It cannot be billions of years old.

12. Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede had a strong magnetic field

Among other factors to consider is that all the ancient astronomers from 2000 years ago recorded that Sirius was a red star—today it is a white dwarf star. Obviously, this view needs to be restudied, since today’s textbooks in astronomy state that one hundred thousand years are required for a star to “evolve” from a red giant to a white dwarf.

Evidence from Earth

13. The decaying magnetic field limits earth’s age to less than billions.

14. The volume of lava on earth divided by its rate of efflux gives a number of only a few million years, not billions. I believe that during the Flood, while “the fountains of the deep were broken up,” most of the earth’s lava was deposited rapidly.

15. Dividing the amount of various minerals in the ocean by their influx rate indicates only a few thousand years of accumulation.

16. The amount of Helium 4 in the atmosphere, divided by the formation rate on earth, gives only 175,000 years. (God may have created the earth with some helium, which would reduce the age more.

17. The erosion rate of the continents is such that they would erode to sea level in less that 14,000,000 years, destroying all old fossils.

18. Topsoil formation rates indicated only a few thousand years of formation

19. Niagara Falls’ erosion rate (four to seven feet per year) indicates an age of less than 8400 years. (Don’t forget Noah’s Flood could have eroded half of the seven and a half-mile-long Niagara River gorge in a few hours as the flood waters raced through the soft sediments.)

20. The rock-encasing oil deposits could not withstand the pressure for more than a few thousand years.

21. The size of the Mississippi River delta, divided by the rate mud is being deposited, gives an age of less that 30,000 years. (The Flood in Noah’s day could have washed out 80% of the mud there in a few hours or days, so 4400 years is a reasonable age for the delta.)

22. The slowing spin of the earth limits its age to less than the “billions of years” called for by the theory of evolution.

23. A relatively small amount of sediment is now in the ocean floor, indicating only a few thousand years of accumulation. This embarrassing fact is one of the reasons why the continental drift theory is vehemently defended by those who worship evolution.

24. The larges stalactites and flowstone formations in the world could have easily formed in about 4400 years.

25. The Sahara desert is expanding. It is about 4000 years old.

26. The Oceans are getting saltier. If they were billions of years old, they would be much saltier than they are now.

27. Ice accumulation at the poles indicates less than 5000 years.Evidence from Biology

28. The current population of earth (6 billion souls) could easily be generated from eight people (survivors of the Flood) in less than 4000 years.

29. The oldest living coral reef is less than 4200 years old.

30. The oldest living tree in the world is 4300 years old.
Another factor to consider: The genetic load in man is increasing. Genetics have cataloged nearly 1300 genetic disorders in the human race. It is certainly reasonable to believe that the human race was created perfect from the hand of the Creator but has been going downhill as a result of our disobedience to the laws established by the Creator. The Bible teaches that we live in a sin-cursed world as a result of Adam’s sin.

Evidence form History

31. The oldest known historical records are less than 6000 years old

32. Many ancient cultures have stories of an original creation in the recent past and a worldwide flood. Nearly 300 of these flood legends are now known.

33. Biblical dates add up to about 6000 years.
Those who believe the earth is billions of years old will typically try to discredit one or two of these evidences and then mistakenly think that they have successfully proven the entire list wrong. This is not logical, of course. Each evidence stands independently: it only takes one to prove the earth is young. The burden of proof is on the evolutionists if they expect all taxpayers to fund the teaching of their religion in the school system. Many who believe in evolution are great at “straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel” (Mt.23:24).

Evolutionists love to assume uniformitarian processes. Many of the preaching evidences follow the same logic evolutionists use all the time in dealing with carbon dating, strata formation, genetic drift, etc. It is interesting to read the ramblings of nay-sayers like Scott, Matson, Babinski, etc. And see how many times they use words like: we believe, perhaps, could have, there is some reason to believe, etc. Evolutionists may need billions of years to make people believe a rock can turn into a rocket scientist, but they just aren’t available.

The following Bible verses tell when “the beginning” was:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Gen. 1:1)
Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. (Mt. 19:8)
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (Mk. 10:6)
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (Jn. 1:1)
That which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled, of the word of life. (1Jn. 1:1)
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. (1Jn. 3:8)
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time. (Mt.24:21)
Ye are of your father the devil…. He was a murderer from the beginning. (Jn. 8:44)
That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel. (Lk.11:50,51)
And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth. (Heb. 1:10)
For in six days the Lord made Heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is. (Ex. 20:11)
The works were finished from the foundation of the world. For God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (Heb. 4:3-4)
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female? (Mt. 19:4, Mk 10:6)
For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time. (Mk 13:18)
Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? (Is. 40:21)
Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord am he. (Is.41:4) Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female? (Mt. 19:4, Mk 10:6)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. (Rom. 1:20)
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female? (Mt. 19:4, Mk 10:6)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. (Rom. 1:20)

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:



Ah : our old friend Kent Hovind again !

Sorry to pick the balloon but this is all EXTREMELY OLD CREATIONIST posting.
And all of this has been shown already for many years and many times to be based on (mis)BELIEF instead of on SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.

The universe is 14 Billion years old (+/- 0,6)
The solar system is 4,6 Billion years old (+/- 0,1)
So the earth is 4,6 Billion years old (+/- 0,1)
And life on earth is 4,1 Billion years old (+/- 0,2)


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Question/Answer
excon asked on 09/07/05 - Now the Senate passes gay marriage.


Hello Christians:

Well, it's happening, and not by an activist judge either..... It's gonna be in your town - get used it. Gay marriage is here to stay.

However, please let me know what I'm in for. Below is what Assemblyman Ray Haynes, a Republican from Southern California, said. "We are throwing the dice and taking a huge gamble, and we are gambling with the lives and future of generations not yet born."

I've heard that before. But, nobody has ever been able to explain EXACTLY what will happen. Can you spell it out for me? I'm just a dumb exconvict.

excon

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:


Good to see that sanity prevailed.
Nothing special will happen.
Here in Europe we have many countries where gay people can mary their lover.
And nothing happened so far.
No extra lightning or earthquakes, no sudden pestilence, no splitting of the earth and swallowing of entire towns have occured.
And as gay people are not very wellknown for their natural reproduction .....

But better count on a lot of opposition from the gov. and dubblejoe !

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/07/05 - A Triumph for Sanity and Good Sense over Idiocy and Blind Hatred - (In a village where I once lived

Muslim teacher backed in poison pen letter row

Sep 7 2005

By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner


A SCHOOL has been overwhelmed
by messages of support after one of its teachers was attacked in a racist poison pen letter.

The letter about the female Muslim teacher at Honley Infant and Nursery School sparked controversy when it was sent to Kirklees Council and chairman of the school's governing body, the Rev David Barnes, last week.

The letter claimed it was unsuitable for a Muslim teacher to be at a Church of England school "in the current climate".

It also alleged that her presence could lead to the erosion of Christianity and festivals such as Christmas at the school.

The anonymous writer claimed to represent a group of parents.

But many parents have come forward to publicly give the teacher their full backing.

And headteacher Christine Lancaster said the school has been overwhelmed by messages of support from people.

She said: "We have not had a single message supporting the person who sent the letter.

"Yet we have been inundated with people giving the school and the teacher their full support, which has restored our faith in human nature. It has really heartened us and helped us to get over this.

"We are so grateful that so many people have taken the trouble to be so kind. Many parents have come to see me and said they are fully behind the teacher.

"And again this morning, I have a pile of letters on my desk from people expressing support.

"Honley is a lovely, caring school and the teacher is a real asset to the school."

The teacher - who does not want to talk publicly about the issue - has been at the school for 12 months. Parents says she is talented and caring.

Jeanette Dyson, of Honley, has a daughter in Year 1.

She said: "This teacher taught my daughter in the early years unit last year.

"She is a caring individual, an excellent teacher and absolutely brilliant with the children.

"I was disgusted by the letter. The biggest insult was that the writer was claiming to represent the parents at Honley. That's blatantly untrue. The first most of us heard of it was when we saw the article in the Examiner.

"I was astonished that something like that would be said by anyone with children at the school. It's so narrow-minded. I haven't come across anybody who agreed with the letter."

Mrs Dyson said she is hoping her daughter will end up in the teacher's class again as she moves up through the school.

She said: "We are crying out for good teachers in this country. For people to do this to someone who is a great teacher is outrageous.

"I am really pleased that the majority of people have come out in support of the teacher. I hope she knows that those who support her out-number those who do not by a long way."

=================

Goodness, sanity, and good sense do not always triumph over hatred, idiocy, and blind bigotry.

Three cheers for the vilagers of a place where I once lived.

What would Jesus think about them?

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

Excellent response from the villagers.
There will always be bigots writing letters of hidden hatred concerning other religions.

But how can anyone know what Jesus would think about that.
All you can state is that Jesus has no racist record, so I assume he agrees with your and my opinion.

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 09/07/05 - Speaking of Venting (2) -

UK News Report"

The head of the United States disaster response agency waited five hours after Hurricane Katrina struck before sending workers to the area, it has emerged.

Michael Brown then suggested staff should be given two days to get to the devastated region, according to leaked internal documents.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been sharply criticised for its slow response to the unfolding tragedy. Several politicians have called for Mr Brown's resignation.

In a memo to Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, he proposed sending 1,000 staff within 48 hours and another 2,000 within seven days.

The delay was attributed to the need for adequate training.

Mr Brown described Katrina as a "near-catastrophic event" but otherwise lacked any urgent language, the New York Post reveals.

On the same day, August 29 - the day the hurricane hit land - he urged fire and rescue services outside Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama not to send in emergency workers unless specifically asked for help from local authorities.

He told FEMA staff that one of their duties was to make the agency look good.

"Convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organisations and the general public," he wrote.

Meanwhile, patience is running out with New Orleans residents who still refuse to leave their homes.

===========

Good response or bad one?

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:


I'm over my first amazement and anger of the slow initial response.
But now the rescue operation seems to go ahead full force I just wait for the official hearings on what went wrong, why it went wrong, who are responsible for that, and how they are punished for that.

Unfortunately it seems that the first open hearing on the bungling already seems to have been postponed by Congress.
Most probably there has not been enough time to burry essential evidence .....

Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
Pete_Hanysz asked on 09/07/05 - Can't be true......can it?

Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore
to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of
Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New
Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could
you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you
need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears
parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers
are? We could really use them right now for the type
of thing they signed up to do like helping with
national disasters. How come they weren't there to
begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside
head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty
nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were
still homes without power. That night the weatherman
said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That
was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't
want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you
don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers
to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and
smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane,
instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego
to party with your business peeps. Don't let people
criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was
over and what the heck could you do, put your finger
in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days,
will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army
Corps of Engineers' budget fo! r New Orleans this summer
for the third year in a row. You jus t tell them that
even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees,
there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix
them anyway because you had a much more important
construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN
IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I
have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force
One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New
Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the
disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a
bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
There will be those who will try to politicize this
tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your
people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing.
Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would
happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexic! o is
getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this
inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming
Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a
hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one
F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.


No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your
fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty
or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get
out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not
like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine
leaving white people on their roofs for five days?
Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to
do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of
our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the
people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near
Tikrit.
&! gt;
Yours,

Michael Moore


It apeared in my 'in box' from a good source.

Opinions welcome.

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

Dorothy : see the date of the article.
Moore published this on day 5.

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Question/Answer
Pete_Hanysz asked on 09/07/05 - Can't be true......can it?

Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore
to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of
Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New
Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could
you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you
need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears
parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers
are? We could really use them right now for the type
of thing they signed up to do like helping with
national disasters. How come they weren't there to
begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside
head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty
nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were
still homes without power. That night the weatherman
said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That
was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't
want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you
don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers
to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and
smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane,
instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego
to party with your business peeps. Don't let people
criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was
over and what the heck could you do, put your finger
in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days,
will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army
Corps of Engineers' budget fo! r New Orleans this summer
for the third year in a row. You jus t tell them that
even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees,
there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix
them anyway because you had a much more important
construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN
IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I
have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force
One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New
Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the
disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a
bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
There will be those who will try to politicize this
tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your
people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing.
Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would
happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexic! o is
getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this
inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming
Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a
hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one
F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.


No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your
fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty
or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get
out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not
like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine
leaving white people on their roofs for five days?
Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to
do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of
our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the
people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near
Tikrit.
&! gt;
Yours,

Michael Moore


It apeared in my 'in box' from a good source.

Opinions welcome.

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

Michael Moore is not exactly Bush's friend.
Of course he is entitled to his opinion.
And to post open letters to Bush.
With so many defending Bush through thick and thin - no matter what, why would Moore not be allowed to issue his views?
Moore's article is a mix of utter amazement on all that went totally wrong in Louisiana and surrounding States, and his aversion to Bush himself.
The truth will be somewhere in the middle.

What worries me is that allready the first planned open investigation into the bungling of the initial rescue operation already has been postponed by Congress.
Seems that somewhere there is still time required to burry something ....


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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/07/05 - Iran Offers Huge AMount of Oil

Iran has offered the United Stated a very large amount of free oil to help us through the current crisis in Louisiana, Miss, Alabama.

Just one catch. America lift trade sanctions.

What decision would you make???

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

Dear MarySue,

there is no shortage of oil in the US.
On an international basis oil is in short supply due to the industrial expansion in Russia and China.
The hold in production in the Gulf is a new contributor to the short supply.

The US problem is a shortage of refinery capacity.
There is a local US shortage of gaz.
And already for a week Europe is exporting gaz to the US by hugh mammot tankers.

So no, there is no need for oil from Iran.
And surely not if that supply requires the lifting of trade sanctions on that country.
Iran violates human rights.
Iran is accused of trying to build nuclear weapons.
And as long as that is not sorted out fully, that trade ban should stay in force.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/07/05 - Interesting Story

Chicago sent a contingent of 30 police officers down to NewOrleans. They are going door-to-door making rescues.

Word spread among the gang bangers, and as soon as they saw ****"real police"**** the left that area in a hurry!!! Absolutely true.

Here's to Chicago's finest. Known for giving "tune-ups" to troublemakers. lol

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:


Good for them!
Gives you a special good feeling when you hear that people from your own city/town/village/community are active in relief operations elsewhere, isn't it?
I hope for you and them that all goes well.

:)

Choux rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 09/07/05 - donations

folks if you donate to the red cross during this crisis do not do so on line many scam sites are appearing and the money is being diverted to Brazil somewhere if you can donate do it to your local red cross office and not by credit card on line .Thank you
Dorothy

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

Noted Dorothy.

If true (and I accept your post to be) it seems that there is no end to criminality, however unethical and immoral it is.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/06/05 - A nice scoop!


How would you rate these statements from one to ten, according to Christian standards?

From Ryan Parry in New Orleans
BUNGLING Barbara Bush yesterday claimed poverty-stricken refugees who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina are actually better off thanks to the devastating floods.
The 80-year-old former first lady piled more pressure on her under fire son George's administration by declaring that the victims are so happy in their makeshift camps they would rather stay than go back to their impoverished communities.
Her gaffe came after a visit with husband George Snr to the Astrodome stadium in Houston, Texas, where thousands of evacuees from New Orleans and other affected areas are being housed.
Barbara chuckled as she said: "So many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

Would you say that we should congratulate all these “poverty stricken” for their excellent luck and bless the Lord for sending the Katrina over N.O.?
Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/07/05:

A case of poor judgement, or just a dumb remark?

Anyway, survivors of Katrina will surely be upset, and so will "junior", as it will also give off onto him.

Old age and wealth, not a breeding ground of an open mind and/or social respect for the poor.

Sad

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/06/05 - Is that the type of Management you need?

Is that the type of management you need?


An expert in Arabian Horses, is taking care of homeland security in emergency situations…

From the Washington Post:

Spencer S. Hsu and Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post
Sept. 6, 2005 09:54 AM
WASHINGTON - Michael Brown has been called the accidental director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), caricatured as the failed head of an Arabian sporting horse group who was plucked from obscurity to become President Bush's point man for the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

From the Chicago Tribune:

BY ANDREW ZAJAC AND ANDREW MARTIN

Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Top officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have strong political connections to President Bush, but they also share at least one other trait: they had little or no experience in disaster management before landing in top FEMA posts.

Michael Brown, who heads FEMA as undersecretary of homeland security for emergency preparedness and response, already has endured sharp criticism for comments he made last week that seemed to suggest that he did not understand that thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina had taken refuge at the New Orleans convention center.

Before joining FEMA in 2001, Brown, a protege of longtime Bush aide Joseph Allbaugh, was commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association and had virtually no experience in disaster management.
An official biography of Brown's top aide, acting deputy director Patrick Rhode, doesn't list any disaster relief experience.

The department's No. 3 official, acting deputy chief of staff Brooks Altshuler, also does not have emergency management experience, according to FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule.

Scott Morris, who had been the agency's third in command until May, also lacked a background in disaster preparedness, according to his official FEMA biography.

Rule said the absence of direct experience managing emergencies is irrelevant because top managers need "the ability to keep the organization running."
But Eric Holdeman, director of the King County Office of Emergency Management in Seattle, said a familiarity with the specifics of disaster management is essential.
"Experience is not just general managerial experience, it's experience in the field," Holdeman said. "You're talking about an emergency management system that needs to be understood."

Rhode and Altshuler both worked in the White House's Office of National Advance Operations, which arranges the president's travel and scripts his appearances.
The credentials of top FEMA managers stand in contrast to the backgrounds of leaders of the agency during the Clinton administration.

Clinton-era FEMA Director James Lee Witt headed the Arkansas office of emergency services before he was tapped by Clinton in 1993 to run the federal disaster relief agency.

Witt's top aides in 2000, Lynn Canton and Michael Armstrong, both ran regional FEMA offices for at least three years before assuming senior positions with the agency in Washington.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the lack of experience in FEMA's top ranks was evident in the sluggish response to the hurricane.

"Disaster preparedness, whether it's in anticipation of potential weather-related incidents or terrorist incidents requires a skill set that in my mind someone has to be trained for," said Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Brown has stoutly defended FEMA's performance, saying the agency has done the best it could under circumstances that were far worse than anyone could have foreseen.

Last week, Bush, while saying that the initial federal response to the hurricane was "not acceptable," nonetheless lauded Brown, telling him, "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan declined to echo his boss's praise when asked if Brown was still "doing a heckuva job."
"We've got to continue to do everything we can in support of those who are involved in the operational aspects of this response effort," McClellan said. "And that's what we're going to do."
---
© 2005, Chicago Tribune.

If it means any consolation to you, thoough, our Minister of Foreign Affairs is a total dead loss, though I must say he was before former EU representative in Israel, so he does have a little experience in foreign affairs; still, his criterion and judgment are simply awful.

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:


The FEMA was instituted by Presidental decree, and not by Congress order.
It's intended task is to take over from the goverment in case of a nuclear attack.

As in that situation there hardly will be any survivors, there is no need for an immediate FEMA reaction and emergence relief.
Their task is more to see if the survivors have already paid their taxes .... :)))

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 09/06/05 - Apology or clarification?



Now that I have made so many statements against the inefficiency of the USA Administration in how they have handled the Katrina case, I must also clarify that, as one Spanish reporter writes today on the Spanish press, we must assume the idea that, under a similar situation of such magnitude, anywhere in Europe, our respective Administrations would not have managed the situation any better, for a very simple reason: because they happen to be just as inefficient and have less resources.

And I point it out, because I do not want to look like the guy who, all the time, wants to remove the speck that is in my brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in my own eye…

Curious98

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:


I have this time to disagree with you.
Under no circumstance would it take here 5 days for the first real emergency relief to arrive.
What happened in N.O. was authority bungling, without doubt.

Emergency relief would start up here within 1 day at last.
But 5 days : no way, NEVER.


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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/06/05 - You may not know the day or the hour but how does April 13 sound.

but will Jesus come in the next twenty five years, otherwise the plot of the movie Armageddon may become reality

NASA eyes rocky tyke's swing at Earth
September 7, 2005

An asteroid that triggered a scare in December when astronomers calculated there was a risk it might smack into Earth has become a bigger peril, NASA says.

The rock, 2004 MN4, is 320 metres across, making it big enough to wipe out a large city if it collided with Earth.

In December there were a few nail-biting days when NASA calculated, from early optical observations, that the asteroid had a greater than one-in-50 chance of hitting Earth on April 13, 2029.

In addition, astronomers could not rule out a risk that the rock could in fact hit Earth, its trajectory tweaked by terrestrial gravity, when it made another swing around the sun, this time in 2036.

But measurements using a Doppler radar at the giant Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico had progressively fine-tuned the risk, said Jon Giorgini of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Cambridge, England.

These calculations show that the previous estimate of the first pass, of a distance of 36,000 kilometres from Earth's surface, might be out by about 4000 kilometres, Dr Giorgini said.

In 2029 the asteroid would in fact swing past at 32,000 kilometres.

The rock, now renamed 99942 Apophis, will make one of the closest passes of Earth of any dangerous space object.

It will be inside the orbits of some geostationary satellites and be visible to the naked eye.

Dr Giorgini said the probability crunching would continue.

More data will come from further radar measurements next May and in 2013, when Apophis will come close to Earth.

"What you learn is that it's worthwhile getting as many measurements as possible," he said.

The risk from Apophis had prompted a call from the Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart for a mission to attach a radio transponder to it in 2013.

The transponder would send out precise signals, giving the asteroid's exact location and thus enabling Earth to prepare a mission to deflect it or even destroy it in the future, if that was needed.

Collisions with big comets or asteroids are extremely unlikely, but any such event would carry enormous costs.

The long reign of the dinosaurs is believed to have been extinguished about 65 million years ago when a comet or asteroid smashed into what is now Mexico, kicking up a pall of dust that obscured the sun, chilled the climate and destroyed vegetation. Smaller objects measuring two or three hundred metres across could devastate a region or unleash a tsunami if they plunged into the ocean.

Dr Giorgini presented his team's research at a meeting in Cambridge of the American Astronomical Society and Britain's Royal Astronomical Society.

Agence France-Presse

So apophis is an accident looking for a place to happen and that place might just be your backyard? or mine? Here is a project worthy of the resources of our marvelous governments, but wait the time frame is too long and the outcome won't affect the election or will it. I mightn't be around in 2025 but I do hope for the sake of my children they take the threat more seriously, because it represents a greater threat from a WMD than Saddam ever did.

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:


Here, try this URL : http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db?name=99942

That way you can see yourself all the thousands of asteroids that cross the earth orbit, when they are near, etc.
Lots of details for you to fear ....

The moon is a record of how violent the universe is.
Here on earth all records are wearing down soon by water and wind.
The question is not IF the earth will be hit by an asteroid.
The question is WHEN it will be hit.
And so far life on earth has been lucky for the last 64 million years.
A direct hit is long overdue ....

Take every day as the last one in your life, but also take every new day as the first of a lot of new days in your life.
You can't go wrong that way !

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/06/05 - Interesting prophesy regarding New Orleans

John Mark Pool (http://www.wordtotheworldministries.org/)
The Prophetic & Rhema Word of the Lord for 2005 given Jan 2005.(an exert) Check site for full prophecy.

Quote:
.......major earthquakes and extreme flooding. Flooding was seen in the central and the Southern United States. I saw New Orleans literally 20 feet underwater across the main downtown area. At this time of flooding in New Orleans, I saw it as a sewer full of debris and every form of garbage floating around and swirling in the flood. The French Quarter will be wiped out in the flood. Bourbon Street will be abandoned. Alligators will be swimming where dens of iniquity once abounded.

Sin’s investors will let go of the territory. They reside in other areas and will be seeing this as a place of unstable investment for future plans of sin. God’s Kingdom investors will step in and be allowed to bid on properties abandoned by the sin investors. Then the superdome will be available to purchase for 1/10th of a cent on the dollar! This will one day be called the "Glory Dome" as a move of God will be based out of it and make it a "Healing and Restoration Center" grabbing worldwide attention. This Glory Dome will go on continually on a 24/7 basis. (ŝ The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts." Haggai 2:9 KJV.) .......


Lets see if the latter half come true, the superdome turned into a Church

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:


Well, if you forecast a flooded area I would use also choose New Orleans and not the top of Mnt St. Helens.
And the Gulf area always has been due to storms and flooding.
So a prophesy?
No, just a smart forecast.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/06/05 - Yes well?

Just where do we draw the line?

http://www.news.com.au/cartoons/?from=ninews_leftnav

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:


Strange, I got to : "Truth, a danger to fiction".
And at a re-check I got that again.
So why are people here reacting on something different?

The "truth" always has been a danger to fiction.
That's why so many here created their "own truth".
And why I prefer reality.

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Question/Answer
FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 09/06/05 - I Love God. Do You Love him Too?

God is so awsome.

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:

I'm happy for you and with you that you do and that you feel that way.
Personally I'm not interested in God, supposing there is a god indeed.
So NO, I can't say I love him.

But I do not consider that as some form of loss.
More as a freedom from superstition.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/06/05 - Is this funny, or sad, or what??????.............

Ronald Jones said…..
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."

"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.

"Well, there's so much to live for!"

"Like what?"

"Are you religious?"

He said, "Yes."

I said, "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"

"Christian."

"Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

"Protestant."

"Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"

"Baptist."

"Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

"Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"

He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."

I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off.

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:

If it weren't so near to reality, this would be funny.
All religions claim to be Gods only "true" religion.
Even Christianity counts over 2500 different congegrations, all competing as God's only one.
With their "all-minus-one" on the way to "hell", it shows that your cut and paste - that was intended to be a joke - is a reasonable reflections of human reality.

Thanks for showing this unintended pun!

Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/06/05 - Fundi-Christian Senator Speaks

From Action 4 News At 11 PM
WTAE-TV CH 4 (ABC) Pittsburgh

[CC] 00:05:40 Senator Rick Santorum is criticizing the government's emergency response to hurricane Katrina victims. But he's also criticizing the ones who chose to ride out the storm. "I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at **tougher penalties** on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."

What are your comments?

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:

Dear MarySue,

On those who "did not head warnings"

If you are poor, have hardly any cash money, have no vehicle and money for gaz, and there is not sufficient transport available, while the evacuation order came only 24 hours before the hurricane hit, who the heck this Senator thinks he is kidding?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/06/05 - What's Next???

The following is a cut and paste

"Federal health officials and global health authorities have been clear: It is not a question of if, but rather when the next pandemic will occur. H5N1 is a good candidate and it could be this next flu season. The virus is still largely confined to birds, but it is has spread up from Southeast Asia and is
now expanding across Russia. This particular flu virus will be new to humankind, making it particularly virulent. It interacts in a mixing bowl of other species that come into contact with the birds, including domestic fowl and pigs, and if it mixes with a flu strain already adapted for human-to-human transmission ... presto.

An H5N1 influenza outbreak could mimic the 1918 pandemic. That could mean 1.7 million deaths in the United States and 360 million dead worldwide, perhaps more. But the numbers don't tell the full story. People, and thus the disease, can move much faster than in 1918. With a majority of the adult working population sick and others attending them, as much as 35 percent of the U.S. population may be immobilized. If people venture out, it will be with a mask and a suspicious eye. Schools, businesses and services will grind to a halt as workers get sick or stop showing up. Our utilities, communications, financial systems and government services could also shut down. The tide of the sick and dying will overwhelm hospitals. The health care professionals who are themselves not sick will be too few to treat the millions seeking make-shift beds in high school gymnasiums and community centers. And this will occur globally.""

Each of my parents had siblings who died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Today, it is difficult for us to imagine such widespread epidemic due advances in modern medicine.

What are your feelings about a global flu epidemic?
Any other comments?

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:

Dear MarySue

Due to our today's regular planet hopping diseases have all the opportunity of spreading like wild fire.
The bird virus is still a BIRD virus.
But it requires just one human who already has a viral disease to inhale the bird viruse, to allow a possible cross between the two and get a human virus.
Than possibly all hell will break loose, as you described.

It's another danger that endangers our lives, mainly because of capitalism.
Too many birds at a too small area allows the bird virus to spread easily in Asia.
Instead of reviewing the breeding of birds completely, entire bird populations are killed upon an outbreak, and it's back once more to the same breeding operation again.

Best protection is an anti-flue shot, but worldwide there is not enough of that stuff.
Mainly because the virus is changing continuously.
Keep your own health on top level is another protection.
The predictions are that it will be mainly small children, old people, and people of poor health that will die if such an outbreak happens.


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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 09/06/05 - ree my spelling and typing

I know i have not spelled correctly in some of my answers and my typing is also bad but due to lack of sleep I just dont have much ability to correct so I appologise and hope they are at least readable!

sarnian answered on 09/06/05:

If your typing mistakes are just that - typing mistakes - there is nothing to worry about.
Remember : nobody is perfect !

However, on this board there are several who make deliberate typing mistakes, just to try to insult those who they address..
Your first replier on this question (Arcura) is one of them.
People who do that are real hypocrites.

Just type as best as you can!

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/05/05 - Please think long and hard about this...

Before you answer….
Be sure to take into consideration that Sadam was continually shooting at the coalition air planes, illegally selling oil to build his palaces rather than for humanitarian his for his citizens, and continually breaking other peace agreements made to end the Desert Storm conflict.
Also consider any other information you may have.
Here are the questions.
If Bush had not started the invasion when he did, do youthink that wad with Iraq was eventually inevitable?
If so why?
If not why not?
Please answer the questions as asked or do not answer.
Thanks,
Fred

sarnian answered on 09/05/05:

Dear Fred,

  1. Be sure to take into consideration that Sadam was continually shooting at the coalition air planes....

    NOT TRUE
    The word "continually" indicates that with regularity planes from troups were attacked : simply not true.
    "shooting at the coalition air planes...." : there were COALITION troups in Afghanistan but there was no coalition for IRAQ. Not true.

  2. ... illegally selling oil to build his palaces ....

    NOT TRUE
    The General Assembly of the - by you so despized - United Nations blocked Iraq Oil sales as a package of punishment for the Gulf war, and the refusal to allow UN inspectors into Iraq.
    How and for what Sadam used the oil money is not clear, but building his palaces was not the reason.

  3. ...rather than for humanitarian his for his citizens....

    NOT TRUE
    It is crystal clear that much money went to his own subjects for humanitarian relief.
    But it was not enough to cancel that effect, nor was the entire population involved equally.

  4. ... and continually breaking other peace agreements made to end the Desert Storm conflict.

    NOT TRUE
    The word "continually" indicates that with regularity peace agreements were brooken : simply not true.
    The word "continually" loads that sentence completely unnecessary, and "SPINS" the reality of a bad situation.

  5. Also consider any other information you may have.

    NOT FAIR
    So you could not contrive any more false statements?


  6. Q1 : If Bush had not started the invasion when he did, do youthink that wad with Iraq was eventually inevitable?

    The answer to that question is not a YES or a NO : it is : IRRELEVANT
    What COULD have happened is - accordingly to your belief - only known to God, not to humans.
    So your question is just SPIN.

  7. If so why? If not why not?

    Nobody can answer that question other than with assumptions.
    Humans do not have the power to "see" the future.
    They can only contemplate the many options.
    But your spin does not allow that.
    All you want is support for this invasion war, a war that NEVER was justified by the reasons provided for that invasion at the moment of that invasion.

  8. Please answer the questions as asked or do not answer.

    CONTROL FREAK
    But I did. Literally. Word by word.
And now it is my time to add sanity to your drivel:

The US/British invasion of Iraq was based on ONE AND ONLY ONE REASON : THE ALLEGATION OF IRAQ/SADDAM HAVING AND PREPARING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

Any other spin to the causes of the invasion, like humanitarian reasons, or the brutality of Sadam Houssein against his own people and/or others, are pure DRIVEL, LIES, EXCUSES, NONSENSE, UNTRUTHS.

That Bush is in big problems, that we can agree on.
He is in problems for a long list of bungling.
Including the Iraq invasion.
So don't try to SPIN the truth here on this board.
For a real christian that is hypocrite !

Salamat

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 09/05/05 - Help for George Bush?

ne night, George W Bush was awakened by George Washington's ghost in the White House. Bush saw him and asked, "George, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," advised George.

The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moved through the dark bedroom. "Tom, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Bush asked.

"Cut taxes and reduce the size of government," advised Tom.

Bush didn't sleep well the next night, and saw another figure moving in the shadows. It was Abraham Lincoln's ghost. "Abe, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Bush asked.

"Go to the theatre."

sarnian answered on 09/05/05:

Or go and visit Dallas?

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 09/05/05 - DISGRACE!!

Not since Richard Nixon has a United States national government been so disgraced.

While national leaders vacationed, shopped for shoes, and did the cocktail circuit, Americans were dying, starving, and babies lost their lives due to dehydration. Old people were covered with sheets in their death throes as FEMA turned back life-saving water and supplies because they were concerned about the "organization" chart.

If you think I'm exaggerating, turn on your TV. Even Fox, that mouthpiece for the Republican right, has been shamed into criticizing the way the Bush administration non-handled the crisis.

I don't believe it's class or racism - it's pure unadulterated incompetence. The head of FEMA had ZERO ability in emergency management, he was simply a crony of George Bush.

Thank God for the media who have been so criticized for being "negative". Without their on-location reporting, Mr. Bush and his friends would still be having tea in their hidden dens.

As the world watches America's shame, ordinary Americans are stepping up with donations and volunteers to give the lie to the disgraceful administration in the White House.

sarnian answered on 09/05/05:

The causes of the disaster are irrelevant at this moment (though should lead to investigations too, of course).

The REAL PROBLEM is that on day two complete television teams arrived to show us life pictures from the location.
Pictures that showed perfectly clear what the problems were.
If they could get into New Orleans, emergency relief could have gone into New Orleans as well.
But it took 5 full days till the first serious disaster relief arrived in New Orleans.

And THAT DELAY should be the focus of our anger : why did it take 5 days for help to arrive ?

WHO WERE ASLEEP ALL OVER THE USA, AND WHY ?

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/05/05 - JUST WONDERING:


We now know how much poverty there was in New Orleans before Katrina. I'm wondering if the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana were aware of this as well. I'm asking this question because many people couldn't leave New Orleans because they didn't have the means. As a result, they spent a few days in Hell.

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/05/05:

"We now know how much poverty there was in New Orleans before Katrina."
I'm sure that was know to all.

"I'm wondering if the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana were aware of this as well."
I'm sure that was known to both.

"I'm asking this question because many people couldn't leave New Orleans because they didn't have the means."
Not the means, no vehicle, no gaz, fear to leave, fear for what they would find upon return, etc. etc.

"As a result, they spent a few days in Hell."
Almost all remaining people spend at least 5 terrible days.

HOWEVER :

The mayor knew that not all would be able to get away in time.
So he organised relief in the Superdome for all those left in the city.
Those who went to the Superdome had the worst of all experience during these 5 days.
Those who stayed home had it bad during the storm itself. Many of them drowned due to the breaking of the dykes, something that was not expected and/or hoped upon to happen.

It is near impossible to clear an antire city like New Orleans in one single day.
That is the reality.
The disaster could have been limited in damage, had the dykes been maintained and strenghtened.
The lack of maintenance was wellknow for years by all involved : the Mayor, the Senator, the State, the Federal Government, the White House, and the President.
I will be the last one to exclude any of these authorities.

Where the REAL PROBLEM in this is, is that via CNN and BBC it was wellknown in Europe (so why not allover the US) from day two, that the flooding had caused a major disaster.
On day two television teams arrived to show us the pictures. Pictures that showed perfectly what the problems were.
If they could get into New Orleans, emergency relief could have got into New Orleans as well.
But it took 5 full days till the first serious disaster relief arrived in New Orleans.

And THAT DELAY should be the focus of our anger : why did it take 5 days for help to arrive ?

WHO WERE ASLEEP ALL OVER THE USA, AND WHY ?

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Question/Answer
STONY asked on 09/04/05 - A PROPHESY GIVEN BACK IN JULY...

Kim Clement's Word To New Orleans, LA given

July 22, 2005
at Christian Life Center in Humble, TX




Because of the recent tragic events regarding Hurricane Katrina, we have received many e-mails and phone calls requesting more information about the prophecy given by Kim Clement on July 22, 2005 in Houston, TX. The following letter from Kim should clarify his position on the prophecy, and other details that have been requested. Of course, what came out in the prophecy was chilling, even then to those that heard the word that night, not knowing all that this prediction could possibly entail.

Not only was the secret regarding an impending disaster revealed, but it was noted in the prophecy to be given in order to "strengthen" those that heard, and even suggested that it was a sign to precede a time of a great promise from God for the United States in August, September, and October of this year- 2005.

(Please Note- We are currently in process of moving the ministry headquarters to CA, and therefore will not be taking calls at our administrative office at this time. However, you can still place product orders or inquiries 24/7 at 866-546-4366. Also, all e-mail contacts will remain functional.)



FROM THE PEN OF KIM...
Aug 31, 2005


On July 22nd, 2005, while in Texas ministering, I received a word from the Spirit which was spoken publicly at Christian Life Center in Humble, TX. Here is the word:

Servants of God; Gatekeepers of New Orleans:

"Enough of past curses reminding you of yesterday’s failures. Enough of New Orleans and its treachery. Enough of stealing the Ark of the Covenant from my people just because you had those surrounding you that had no faith. Caleb said "we are able to take this land;" Joshua said "we are able to take this land." But ten voices arose against the Lord God. And they would stone my servant Moses and say let us stone them and raise up another leader so that we may go back to Egypt. Would you go back to your dung? Would you go back to your vomit?

O New Orleans God speaks to you from Houston tonight and says enough of this! For a judgment is coming says the Spirit of the Lord, and I will take the men that have stood in faith, raise them above the flood that shall destroy those that constantly bicker and stand against my servant Moses, or my servant Bilbo. I want you to understand there are great men in New Orleans that have faith, but you have been set aside not to lose but to win. Enough of this! For I will take the curses and the bodies will even rise and they will come forth on the water, but I will keep you and the stench of death will only last a few days. And then what I promised two years ago will come to pass for August, September and October of this year I made a promise it would happen, and God said be strengthened now, be strengthened now, for enough is enough says the Lord."

Prophecy from 7-22-05- Pastor Richard Rodriguez (Host of the meetings held in Houston, TX) Christian Life Center- 6650 Rankin Rd. Humble, TX 77396 (281)-319-4673 www.clc-church.com



Very seldom have I have been given the duty of delivering a word that entails judgment to a region or to a person, so when I heard what God spoke in July, I realized that this was going to be an extremely serious catastrophe. I was disturbed that night but kept my feelings to myself, wondering how I should pray about this. I love New Orleans, and had been there a number of times. My dear friend, Pastor Garland Bilbo, who had hosted my ministry a number of times was present in the meeting that night, and God even referred to him in the prophecy. His family had been a target of attack during the eighties and suffered persecution from religious forces during the Nineties due to a public scandal in their family. This prophecy is one of the most accurate that I have ever been given and yet it almost sounded like God was about to deal with the Gatekeepers and spiritual leaders of New Orleans rather than the sinners of that City.

A part of the prophecy that concerned me was the fact that the flood would destroy those that constantly bicker and stand against my servant Moses (or my servant Bilbo.) I did not truly believe that these people would be destroyed in the flood but rather the waters would rid the City of the curses and bring an end to discord and divisive leaders. For God to refer to "Moses" spoke volumes to me. Moses was taking the people from a mindset of captivity and oppression into a land of "PROMISE" and yet the people (God's people) were bent on going back or even destroying the "voice" that represented God's intention for a better and glorious life on earth for the slaves who were actually born to be Kings. Remember Israel went from being Kings to becoming slaves because THEY SOLD THEIR PROPHETIC VOICE - JOSEPH. Joseph represented the prophetic voice amidst the family of God - He dreamed and saw the future. Eventually they sold this prophetic voice to the slave traders not realizing that wherever they sent the prophetic voice, they were destined to follow.

God is a God of love, and there is no doubt that we are living in a period of grace. However, I also noted that when a fig tree was not producing fruit, Jesus cursed it and it died from the roots. A root is defined as "the basic cause, source or origin of something; a descendant - The root of David; The essential nature of something." Sometimes God has to cut off the source of "nourishment" to bring an end to a fruitless tree. What disturbed me even further was the fact that God used the following words to describe the depth of this act of nature; "I will take the curses and the bodies will even rise and they will come forth on the water." I realized that He was saying that the curses would rise, and as a result human bodies would rise and come forth on the water. I know that the two are related because curses bring death and God was saying that it was the end of an era of "death" over the region of New Orleans. Water speaks of judgment but also speaks of cleansing. "Enough of this, enough of this" was proclaimed by God and he was refusing them access to the past "vomit" of criticism, tearing each other down and divisiveness. Louisiana was the focus of attention, nationally and internationally in the Eighties and even the Nineties, and God was saying that he would not allow this to continue; it only produces death.

In an attempt to bring revival to Louisiana and the Nation, a wonderful group of people in Baton Rouge prophetically proclaimed their prayer to God and began to draw young people together annually in a gathering called "Deluge". I don't think they realized the depth of their cries to God. I ministered only once and my message that night was "The other side". It's time to cross over to the other side and the only way that Jesus could get his Disciples to the other side was across the water through a raging storm. The day that I was to fly into Baton Rouge I was stranded at the airport with my wife for hours because of heavy rains in Baton Rouge. We arrived at the meeting just on time, and even though some of my team did not make it in because of the outpouring of rain, we ministered to thousands of young people. I went to my hotel that night realizing that they were prophesying to Louisiana just before the famous "Mardi Gras."
The word Deluge means "A severe flood, a great quantity of something arriving at the same time; from the latin word deluvium, the word "diluere" means "WASH AWAY."

During my prophetic utterance in July, I stated the time of the year that this would take place: "August, September and October of this year."

I had no joy hearing of the devastations as news came to America of the dreaded "Katrina" and I found myself in a state of mourning and tears. On the Sunday night before the hurricane hit Louisiana and the surrounding States, I was conducting my Hollywood meeting in California, and played the prophecy to the people and we gathered around the altar and prayed for God's mercy. I think He was more merciful than we realize.

I pray for strength upon the people of these States, especially those who have lost everything. God said to "be strengthened".


Sincerely,

Kim Clement

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Stony,

it's so easy to make forecasts.
If you open your eyes for reality it's simple.

Hereby I forecast that another hurricane will hit the Gulf still this year.
Also hereby I forecast that there will be several tornado's destroying lifes and homes inside the USA still this year.

Now, just wait and sit back.
And as soon these take place I call it a PROPHESY, and remind you of this statement.


Instructions for becoming a good forecaster/prophet :

Make as many prophesies as possible.
Make prophesies as unclear as possible.
Be not specific. Do not provide specific dates, names, or locations.

The chance that at least one of your many prophesies comes true is high.
And people forget all failing prophesies they are confronted with the single good prophesy.

Why do you think Nostradamous was so unclear, and had hundreds of them?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/04/05 - NIck the Cat

This morning, I opened the screen door to get my Sunday newspaper, and when I closed the door, I heard a cat meowing outside. I looked back outside and it was Nick!

I never saw him run out. He must have had a kitty-plan and executed it lickety-split. He escaped ten feet to the evergreen shrubs and his little nose was busy taking in the glory of it all! I called to him, and he disappeared under the hedge! Soon, he came out and tried the steps to the second floor which are in front of my apartment door. I went and got a chair and set it in the door so I could sit and call to Nick, hoping to hell noone would come by and see me in my house dress with hair akimbo!

I continued calling him, but he just wasn't interested in coming home. He was exploring the world ten feet from the door. Idea! Get the cat treats and crackle the package to tempt him to come home.

By the time I got back to the door and opened it, Nick was poised there and hurredly ran in.

I have been thinking. How far from my comfort zone am I willing to roam while exploring the world. How far in the past have I roamed in search of ?.

How far have you gone from your ocmfort zone???
What is your comfort zone?

All comments welcome...

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Dear MarySue

Well ..... as long as I do not have to leave the planet it's big !

I did - and still regularly do - travel all over this globe extensively.
With exception of Antartica I have been on every continent, and enjoyed the flora, fauna, and different cultures.

Sometime ago we counted the countries where we were resident. It was 14.
Counting the countries we visited was stopped when we passed 50.

The world is just big enough to fit my comfortzone :)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/04/05 - CHRISTIANITY:



In my opinion, Christianity is a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group. Do you agree?

HANK

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:


Should christianity not be based on the teachings and lessons provided to us by Jesus?
If it only reflects the attitudes and values of a person or a group, even Hindi, Buddhists, Muslims, and - ((("God-forbid"))) - atheists etc. etc. should be called christians.

What a pity that the attitudes and values of so many christians here on this board seems to deviate so much of what Jesus told us to do and be.


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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/04/05 - Is This Device Ethical/Moral??

Cut and Paste follows:

"A South African inventor has unveiled a new anti-rape female condom that hooks onto an attacker's penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex", a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.

Police statistics show more than 50,000 rapes are reported every year, while experts say the real figure could be four times that as they say most rapes of acquaintances or children are never reported.

Ehlers said the "rapex" hooks onto the rapist's skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators.

"He will obviously be too pre-occupied at this stage," she told reporters in Kleinmond, a small holiday village about 100km east of Cape Town. "I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital."

The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man through surgery which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said.

It also reduces the chances of a woman falling pregnant or contracting Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases from the attacker by acting in the same way as a female condom.

South Africa has more people with HIV/Aids than any other country, with one in nine of its 45 million population infected.

Ehlers, who showed off a prototype yesterday, said women had tried it for comfort and it had been tested on a plastic male model but not yet on a live man. Production was planned to start next year.

But the "rapex" has raised fears amongst anti-rape activists that it could escalate violence against women.

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Dear MarySue,

you have to see this in context with the fact that South Africa is the country with the highest rape rate in the world.
Rape on old ladies of 80+ is not unknow.
Rape on babies of several months old is not unknown.
Group rape is at the order of the day.

We lived in South Africa for several years, till a group of 8 black burglars broke into my neighbours home, gangraped the 13 year old daughter, and raped and murdered the wife.
Within 30 days we moved out there.

Although this device may seem absurd by some, try living in a country where every woman is considered by many, very many males as nothing but a sex object without any right of decision herself on sex activities.
Where the police is hardly interested to act against rape cases, as it is almost a cultural thing, to prove women who is boss.

I welcome the "rapex", but suggest to add some form of anaestetic dose to it, not for the male's pain, but to keep him drugged till the woman can escape.
Nevertheless I question if the woman will not be hurt also by the device.

A woman's no is NO. Any other interpretation is wrong.
And if this device really helps to lower the rape rate, I applaud it's appearance on the market.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/04/05 - Here is an artile on Plan Parenthood everone should read.

Agree or not....
Go here to read it.
http://www.crisismagazine.com/september2003/donovan.htm

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Fred,

I quickly went through the article. Too long.
Why don't you make yourself an abbreviated version with the essence of the article as question here?

This gentleman has 12 children .....

This world is over populated with 6.1 billion people and growing.
So far that went well, but we all know that this can not go on.
The more people there are, the more industry, oil, products, work, etc, is needed.
Polution is already a major problem.
There comes a time that we have to face the facts : no further increase of the total number of humans.

As there are people without children, the average number per family could be between 2 and 3 children, without this causing a further increase of the population.
That is responsible and social living.
Unless there is some serious planning taking place, and 12 children becomes something out of history, our society is doomed to fail in the near future.
Nobody wants to get into enforced Chinese conditions like one child per couple max.
3 Children per family seems TO ME more than enough to pass on your genes.

So yes to serious family planning.
And preferably no to families with more than 3 children.

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 09/04/05 - Watching the news this morning

Rescue workers are frustrated at the number of people that they are coming across in the flooded areas of NO that just don't want to leave their homes.. They've gone days without food and fresh water and there are alot of little kids as well.. Yet they just don't understand that it will be a long time before the water recedes and that they are exposing themselves to great harm from the stagnent diseased water all around them.

Can the government FORCE them to leave for their own good?

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Leaving there would be the most sensible thing to do.
First I think the authorities should clearly state

  • WHY do they have to leave?
  • Where are they going?
  • What can they take with them?
  • What guarantee is there the remaining goods will not be stolen?
  • When may they approx. return?
  • What financial support can be counted on?

Once you answer these questions, people will have little problems leaving.
But just demanding they leave ..... I would stay too, just too protect whatever is left.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 09/03/05 - Here is a story by real experts worth a read.....

The devastation that Katrina unleashed on New Orleans is unbelievable. The photos and videos emerging in the past few days are truly heart wrenching. I'm overwhelmed by the tragedy.

But it wasn't a surprise to the experts. National Geographic's article "Gone with the water" reads like a recent news story.

It describes the effects of a powerful hurricane that hits New Orleans. Sadly, it's remarkably accurate.

This article will help you understand why the magnitude of the disaster was so severe. A number of factors, both natural and human, are involved. And once you read it, you may wonder why better preparations weren't made.

TO VISIT TODAY'S COOL SITE, GO HERE:
www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5

sarnian answered on 09/04/05:

Dear Fred,

"And once you read it, you may wonder why better preparations weren't made".

How true. And although you don't state that, I agree with you that that should have come from all authorities.

At a local basis the municipality of New Orleans :

  • Did the Mayor(s) enough to ensure that was done what could have been done?
  • Was there any funding in the budget for emergency meassures?
  • Was there any funding in the budget for dyke maintenance?
  • Was there any funding in the budget for action scripts?
  • If not : WHY NOT?
  • Was the importance of the issues at hand properly and clearly enough passed on to the Governor and the feds?

At State basis :
  • Were the dangers known?
  • If so, why was there no funding for maintenance programs and emergency services?
  • Was money diverted to other projects?

At Federal basis : Were the dangers known?
  • If so, why was there no funding for maintenance programs and emergency services?
  • Was money diverted to other proejects?

    Of course Bush is not the only one responsible for the height of the disaster.
    Most people will blame him for the slow start of the rescue response.
    But seen his function : it is the White House where the bug stops.
    Why was not listened to all the reports and requests that were forwarded?

    It is true : the enormous damage by Katrina could not have been prevented.
    That was a natural disaster.
    But the flooding could have been prevented had there been proper maintencne and dyke improvement.
    And as most of the disaster both in goods and lives was caused by the water, most of the total damage could have been prevented.

    It will now cost billions of dollars to restore N.O., but lives can not be restored.
    For a fraction of that cost the flooding could have been prevented.

    And accept from me that there are many more similar reports as the NG article available, and all were forwarded to the authorities involved.
    So who all neglected their duties, or was money diverted to other targets, deliberately?

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  • Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 09/03/05 - Im Baaaaack!

    Hi folks i finaly got back in here am real buisy so wont be on as much for a while thanks for all the kindness relayed to me by ronnie.your comments make it a little easier.when all this is over im going to sleep for a week ,threw my back out throwing ice off the back of a copter but got to keep going folks are in dire straights down here your prayers are needed and if you have a little cash to spare please give it to the red cross we need all the help we can get.thanks folks !
    Dorothy

    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:


    Welcome back Dorothy.

    Although we often differ in our views on many items, it's good to hear you got through the first stages of this disaster, bruised but alive. It's good to see you back here.



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    Question/Answer
    Choux asked on 09/03/05 - Is Bush the Anti-Christ?

    I'm trying to remember what the Bible says about the characteristics of the anti-Christ. Can anyone tell me what the properties of the anti-Christ are?

    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:

    NO.

    No, Bush is not the anti-christ, even assuming that there ever will be an anti-christ.
    All that Bush is, is that he is a politician. Not a very good one.
    A politician who managed to become the president of the US on his fathers ticket.
    A president who had the "luck" (for him, not for the country) that there was a 9-11 on which aftermatch he starred like a prima donna.
    Hence his initial popularity.
    To maintain his popularity he made ties and arrangements with US fundamental christianity, so that he was reelected in 2004 with major help of the christian voter.
    No doubt that Bush is sincere in his religious views.
    No doubt that Bush (mis)used christianity to promote and support his own ambitions.

    But anti-christ?
    No, surely no.
    Much too much honor for this bungling president .....

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 09/03/05 - Hurricane Katrina

    A round-up of Hurricane Katrina-related rumors Snopes has collected so far:

    Just learned that the Terrorists had bombs planted in the levees and intended to detonate them to destroy the Mississippi levees altogether. They found the bombs. The terrorists couldn't get to them to detonate them because of the water.

    We have seen no reports of terrorist-planted bombs being discovered on levees around the Mississippi area.


    Is it true that there has been video footage of sharks swimming in the floods in New Orleans?

    Various news accounts have reported people claiming to have seen sharks swimming in the floodwaters around New Orleans, but the reliability of such accounts is difficult to ascertain.


    Before NBC, MTV or anyone else puts on a telethon to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, they might want to explore some ancillary issues. To wit: New Orleans is a city famous for its famous musicians, but many of them are missing. Missing with a capital M.

    To begin with, one of the city¹s most important legends, Antoine "Fats" Domino, has not been heard from since Monday afternoon. Domino¹s rollicking boogie-woogie piano and deep soul voice are not only part of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame but responsible for dozens of hits like "Blue Monday," "Ain¹t That a Shame," "Blueberry Hill" and "I¹m Walking (Yes, Indeed, I¹m Talking)."

    R&B legend Fats Domino was missing in New Orleans, but he has since been rescued.


    Perhaps this is only the first unfounded rumor to come out of the New Orleans area, but I was told that some residents who remained behind have said that the city used dynamite on the levees at certain points in an attempt save the French Quarter and Business District by flooding other areas.

    Go figure.

    Reports indicate numerous fraudulent requests for donations to aid hurricane Katrina relief efforts. These requests typically arrive via mass-mailings and appear to originate from legitimate charitable organizations. The messages are designed to entice users to access a web site and make a donation via a credit card. When the user attempts to access the site, the browser is redirected to a malicious web site. In addition to accepting a donation, these sites are likely to attempt to install malicious code on the system.

    Users are advised to verify the organization and URL to which they are donating money. A listing of contact information for various charitable organizations is available at the following link: FEMA.

    Users are advised to not respond to e-mails requesting donations for relief efforts, as legitimate organizations typically do not request funds in this method.

    ==================


    The flying rumours gathered as they rolled.
    Scarce any tale was heard before 'twas told.
    And all who heard it added something new,
    And all who told it made enlargements too.

    ==================

    And so it goes ...............

    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:


    Superstition and rumors go hand in hand.
    And the more hectic the situation is, the more rumours arise.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 09/03/05 - Latest from Dorothy ...

    thank you, butI'im fine!

    a little hot both for real and under the collar.

    I am amazed to see folks can even be selfish at a time like this.

    We got power on my street and can make ice and cook but there are those who still hoard stuff others need and can use.

    =====================


    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:

    The human layer of social veneer is only microns thick ...

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    Question/Answer
    Choux asked on 09/03/05 - FYI

    Management has reactivated my name, Choux. Just so there is no confusion, Choux is Mary Sue again. :)

    Thanks Management. :)

    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:


    Thanks MarySue for that info, and I'm happy for you that you got your own old handle back.
    It however lowers your status considerably.
    All "royalty" seems now lost, though for me you remain of royal blue blood!

    :)))

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 09/03/05 - So now we know!

    This might explain the tardiness in the response to disaster relief in NO.

    Venezuela 'prepares for US invasion'
    September 4, 2005 - 1:47AM


    Venezuela has uncovered plans for a US-led invasion and is preparing to defend the country against invading forces, President Hugo Chavez said in a report carried by the state-run news agency.

    The Bolivarian News Agency reported late on Friday that Chavez made the comments during an interview with CNN. It was unclear when the interview was to be aired.

    "If it occurs to the United States to invade our country - Fidel Castro said it and I agree - a war will start here to last 100 years," Chavez was quoted as saying. "We are preparing to repel an invasion."

    Chavez has made similar claims in the past, and US officials have repeatedly denied them as ridiculous. Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and a major supplier of fuel to the US.

    "We discovered through intelligence work a military exercise that NATO has for an invasion against Venezuela, and we are preparing ourselves for that invasion," Chavez was quoted as saying.

    He said the military exercise is known as Plan Balboa and includes rehearsing simultaneous assaults by air, sea and land at a military base in Spain, involving troops from the US and NATO countries. US officials in the past have said such training is meant to prepare troops for general scenarios but not for a specify military action.

    AP

    I wonder what exercise do they have to prepare troops for disaster relief?

    sarnian answered on 09/03/05:

    I do not doubt that one of the White House spin doctors has been drawing up some Venezuelan invasion plans.
    The Iraq war started that way in the mid nineties.

    But I do not think that US troops are at present hiding and storing their gear somewhere for a possible Venezuelan war.
    Most of their stuff seems to be in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    BTW : of the current 20.000+ troups in the Gulf area many thousands were drawn from replacement troups for Iraq.
    But where these dinghies could not be found when they were needed? I've no idea.
    Do they use dinghies in Afghanistan? Or Iraq?

    Re. your question : be fair : they at last have started to provide emergency relief.
    It took them 5 days, but now they're going, and so we do not need the North Korean or the Chinese army anymore ....

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 09/02/05 - Act of God?

    Hurricane is God's work: Christian extremists
    September 3, 2005 - 10:06AM


    As religious and political leaders offered prayers for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, some Christian fundamentalists suggested the storm was the work of an angry God bent on punishing a sinful nation.

    In news releases and internet chat rooms, some fundamentalists said the hurricane was sent to punish New Orleans, a city known for Mardi Gras and other raucous festivals.

    Others said the disaster, which may have killed thousands in Louisiana and Mississippi, was revenge for the United States' support of the removal of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip.

    "Whenever this country encourages Israel to give up any part of their rightful God-given land we have suffered the consequences," wrote a discussion-board participant on the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

    A Philadelphia group called Repent America said the hurricane was sent by God to prevent an annual gay pride festival that was due to take place this weekend.

    "We must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," said Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits."

    Evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell and Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson urged their followers to pray for the victims and contribute to relief efforts, but made no public statements about the reason for the hurricane.

    But Franklin Graham, who heads the evangelical charity Samaritan's Purse, said on the Fox News Channel the mayhem and looting in New Orleans could be traced to a lack of religious instruction.

    "This happens in our country when we have taken God out of our schools and God out of our, out of society. We don't have a moral standard," he said.

    Political leaders urged prayer as well.

    "God is responsible for this and in his own time he will reveal why," said Illinois Democratic congressman Jesse Jackson Jr at a news conference.

    American Christians have often seen the hand of God behind natural disasters, religious experts said.

    Probably half of the US population believes that a divine power sends judgment through hurricanes, floods and natural disasters, said John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a Washington think tank.

    "The basic idea that God is in charge and he expects people to behave and he isn't happy when they don't - that's a very common idea," Green said.

    A small number of Christians believe that the United States needs to support Israel in order to bring about the return of Christ, said William Lawrence, dean of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    "Those who hold such a view would tend to see any cataclysmic act as a sign of punishment, but much more responsible theologians would argue that that's far too mechanical a notion of the way God operates," he said.

    Reuters

    sarnian answered on 09/02/05:

    Paraclete

    there is more than one answer to this, each coming from different directions, some from a religious corner, others from a natural/physical direction :

    1. If god is an all-powerfull supra-natural entity that has it's "hand" in everything that happens, than of course god is responsible for all the GOOD that happens, but also for all the BAD that happens.

    2. The view that god is only to be thanked for all the good, but should not be addressed for all the bad makes no logical sense.

    3. Natural violence like a hurricane simply happens. Human use of our planet may influence the frequency of some of these events.

    4. Though the hurrican caused great damage, it was the breaking of the dykes that increased the damage into a disaster.

    5. The breaking of dykes in N.O. was initialised by the floodwater surge (resulting from the hurricane), but it was the failing maintenance of the dyke system that is responsible for the disaster.

    In my views this was not an act of god.
    It was the result of human faillure to maintain the dykes.


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    Question/Answer
    Laura asked on 09/02/05 - For America...For New Orleans and everyone else who is a victim:


    A Rose is a Rose

    You're at a standstill
    You're at an impass
    Your mountain of dreams
    Seems harder to climb
    By those who have made you
    Feel like an outcast
    Cause you dare to be different
    So they're drawing a line.

    They say you're a fool
    They feed your resistance
    They tell you you'll never
    go very far;
    But they'll be the same ones
    That stand in the distance
    Alone in the shadow
    Of your shining star

    Just keep on the same road
    And keep on your toes
    And let them call you
    what they will
    It don't matter
    A rose by any name is
    still a rose

    The kindness of strangers
    It seems like a fable
    But they've yet to see
    What I see in you...
    That you can make it
    If you are able
    To believe in yourself
    The way I do

    Just keep on the same road
    And keep on your toes
    And let them call you
    what they will
    It don't matter
    A rose by any name is
    still a rose.

    Cause a deal is a deal
    In the heart of the dream
    And a spade is a spade
    If you know what I mean
    And a rose is a rose
    is a rose...

    To deal with the scoffers
    Well, it's part of the bargain
    They heckle from back rows
    And they bark at the moon
    Their flowers are fading
    In time's bitter garden
    But yours is only
    Beginning to bloom

    So keep on that same road
    And keep on your toes
    And just keep your heart
    steady as she goes...
    And let them call you
    what they will,
    Just remember
    A rose by any name is
    still a rose.

    ~J. Wayne/S. Ashton


    sarnian answered on 09/02/05:


    If you are thirsty and hungry already for 5 dyas and nights, you see the dead lying around you, and you see no serious improverment of any kind, you are not very impressed at that type of poetry .....

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 09/02/05 - Legislature Passes Gay Marriage Bill

    SACRAMENTO, Sept. 1 -- The California Senate voted Thursday to allow gay couples to wed, becoming the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriage without a court order.

    The bill would recast the state's legal definition of marriage as a union between two people rather than one between a man and a woman.

    Yet it faces an uncertain future: The California Assembly narrowly rejected similar legislation in June, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has given mixed or ambiguous responses on whether he would support or veto such a bill.

    Still, its passage, on a vote of 21 to 15, was hailed by advocates as a breakthrough for gay rights.

    "It will ***totally take away the argument that it is just 'activist judges' who are finding for marriage nondiscrimination***," said Geoff Kors, the head of Equality California. "It's the people's representatives in the largest state in the nation doing this."

    Comments?

    sarnian answered on 09/02/05:


    Excellent that they showed their own opinion by approving this bill.
    Maybe the feds will turn it down.
    Maybe Arnie will turn it down ("Comm'on, make my day!").
    But at least they tried to honour everybody's right of freedom of sexual preference.

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - Watershed Event

    This catastrophe in NewOrleans is a watershed event in American history. I believe that one of the consequences will be a sane government policy about conservation of gasoline. The end to gas guzzling automobiles like SUV's, ending SO MUCH GAS WASTE maybe gassless Sundays to start.

    Do you see anything good possibly coming out of this catastrophe??

    Thanks

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:


    Dear MarySue,

    it's not just about gaz guzzling cars.
    It's about lifestyle.
    Americans should realise that a good living is good.
    If you insist on still more (wealth), that has either to go on other peoples expense, or on that of their own environmental - with all the dangers involved for them and the other 5,6 billion human beings.

    There will only come out some good from this tragedy, if americans are prepared to learn from this.
    The question is if they will.
    I guess they will not (yet).
    In a couple of months all those who were not involved personally with this tragedy will have forgotten this again, and return to their normal lifestyle.


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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 09/01/05 - New Orleans a reality check

    perhps it's too early to say it, but when is the right time to say it? Surely now gWB will get real about the impending disasters associated with global warming and climate change. If he doesn't you will see New Orleans repeated along the US seaBoard in coming decades. the time to act to alleviate the impact of climate change is now

    Disaster tough environment lesson
    From: Agence France-Presse
    By Richard Ingham in Paris

    September 02, 2005


    TWICE in eight months, Nature has given Man a brutal lesson about the cost of disrespect.
    Last December 26, beachfront resorts in Thailand were swept away by a tsunami that could have been tamed if developers had not destroyed coral reefs and ripped up mangroves, a natural bulwark against killer waves.

    On August 29, Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, a city built below sea level, sustained by a complex system of dams and whose buffer against storm surges, the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta, had been eroded by reckless development.

    To most of the world, New Orleans had been the "Big Easy", the cradle of the blues, the home of cajun cooking, a symbol of laidback style.

    But to environmental experts, the city had been a disaster just waiting to happen.

    "We have always used New Orleans as the perfect example of the unsustainable city. It is a hopeless case," Klaus Jacob, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at New York's Columbia University, told AFP.

    "The city started (to be built) in the French Quarter, on high ground, which is the logical place to be when you build a village.

    "But what happened is that as settlement progressed, people didn't want to be periodically flooded. So a complicated system of levees (dams) was erected, with pumps and so on, and this allowed the city to develop.

    "But at the same time, the delta subsided as a result of natural action and the city got lower as the water around it build up."

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) had warned in vain about preserving the delta wetlands, describing them as a "natural buffer". The progressive loss of this asset heightened the coast's exposure to floods and storms, especially in the light of evidence about global warming, the USGS said.

    Warming water expands, thus boosting sea levels, and also increases the source of energy that feeds hurricanes, making them potentially more vicious.

    New Orleans may be the most blatant example in the United States of unsustainable development - the term for human activities that eventually carry a huge cost because of environmental damage - but it is certainly not the only one.

    Other specialists point to coastline cities built on reclaimed wetlands in southern Florida, the most hurricane-prone part of the United States, as well as Los Angeles and cities built in Nevada and Arizona, which need air-conditioning and a long supply line of water to survive.

    These problems are not, of course, exclusively American.

    Examples of unsustainable urban development teem on almost every continent - of cities whose poor location, sloppy building codes or ill-maintained infrastructure expose them to floods, earthquakes or water stress, or where choking pollution and sprawling shanty housing blight the life of its citizens.

    More than 400 people were killed in Mumbai after unprecedented monsoon rains lashed the city in July. Its decrepit drainage system, laid down in the 19th century, could not cope.

    Yet even sparkling modern cities are flawed. Shanghai, for instance, may be prone to inundation because of subsidence, inflicted by the unbridled building of skyscrapers and excess pumping, now curbed, of the water table.

    Not all the news is bad.

    Seb Beloe, director of research and advocacy at SustainAbility, a London consultancy that advises corporations about sustainable development, said worries about climate change were prompting some countries, notably in Europe, to invest more in urban planning and building standards to protect their cities.

    "A case in point is the Netherlands, which is very low-lying and vulnerable to sea-level rise," he said.

    "Houses, for instance, are being designed so that they can actually float. They are built on pontoons, which rise up from the foundations if the area is flooded."

    In the United States, the pressure for change was likely to come from business rather than Washington, Mr Beloe predicted.

    "The US (Government) is in a unique position in that it still questions the science around global warming and climate change," Mr Beloe said.

    "But from the (US) business point of view, it is logical to at least look at the risks.

    "Insurance premiums in New Orleans, for instance, will be going through the roof. Insurance companies at least recognise that this sort of event is going to be more frequent, even if the Federal Government doesn't.


    So there it is folks, welcome to waterworld and the floating home, just moor your boat at the door. For those who don't have boats, relocate before you are forced to. Now I can sit in my ivory tower at 600 metres and wonder why others havn't got the message. I got the message years ago. A seaside home is nice but the price is high in so many ways.

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:


    With global warning being still a big debate if true or not, at least all leaders should take very good note what one single hurricane - together with human faillure - could do.
    If you than imagine that hurricanes become frequent features, and rising sea levels will add to that danger, it's simple to conclude that it may be better to reconsider our current policies on polution and environmental affairs, and start taking action on proper maintenance of that what is already protecting us.

    Personally I'm not too worried. 200 meters from my home I have a sailing yacht mourned, fully loaded with supplies that will last me at least a full year.
    The more water, the more I can sail.
    So my concern is mostly for those who do not have such facilities.
    To f.i. the hundreds of millions of people who (have to) live in hugh river delta's, harbour, or coastal areas.

    The reality check shows that at present we are playing around with the lemmings, while preparing to join their final run.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 09/01/05 - Happy Endings ...

    Would you say thaty the only people who believe that life does not end tragically, but triumphantly, are those with religious faith, whose hope and optimism, convince them that life really does have a happy ending?

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    A certain percentage of human beings will indeed die under tragic conditions.
    But most will die - after a long and valuable life - in their own beds, with their loved ones at their side, a peaceful death.

    Hope and optimism are not reserved to theists only.
    All that theists and atheists differ in is their views on God.
    And for many atheists the end of their life is a happy ending, as the body wears out slowly over time.
    There is a time to be born, and a time to die. No reason to worry about that.

    Where theist and atheist differ is not in their experience of life, but in their expectation of death.
    For atheists it's just the reality of death, and end to their life.
    For theists it's the BELIEF that there is more than life on earth, a cause for many to have a life long fear for the future.

    In my volunteer work at the hospice I see both theists and atheists die in fear of what is coming, and I see both theists and atheists die in peace.
    So the happy ending is not reserved to either group.
    It all depends on the individual being able to accept death or not.
    However, remaining realistic and not setting your targets too high makes more people to have a happy ending, I guess.




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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 09/01/05 - There is a hugh oil shortage and getting shorter?

    A lot of folks can't understand
    how we came to have
    an oil shortage here in our country.

    Well, there's a very simple answer.

    Nobody bothered to check the oil.

    We just didn't know we were getting low.
    The reason for that is purely geographical.

    Our OIL is located in
    Alaska
    California
    Coastal Florida
    Coastal Louisiana
    Kansas
    New Mexico
    Oklahoma
    Pennsylvania
    Montana
    and
    Texas

    ~~~
    Our
    DIPSTICKS
    are located in
    Washington DC

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    Fred,

    there is no actual longterm shortage of gaz in the US.
    The present stock piling allows for several month of normal use.
    But that would increase the US dependence on several of your current oil suppliers, like Saoudi Arabia and Nigeria.
    Without the refineries in the Gulf, there is indeed at present a shorttime shortage.

    Nobody checked?
    Their expensive "war on terrorists" costs so much that every dollar that could be saved (smart or stupid), was saved.
    Nobody wanted to listen to the warnings on the poor state of maintenance of the NO dykes.
    When these dykes broke it was too late to still do anything about it.
    Nobody was prepared to listen to warning.
    Nobody was prepared to listen to reason.
    Wars are doing that to political leaders.

    Re. all the US stock : insufficient to supply the own market for a long time.
    The US is consuming twice as much gaz pro head than f.i. Europe.
    Maybe those gaz guzzling 4-wheel-drivers should be replaced with smaller cars that are lighter on gaz?

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 09/01/05 - Now what could be the reason for this?

    Anti-Muslim writer, Pope meet in secret
    By John Hooper in Rome
    September 2, 2005


    Oriana Fallaci, the controversial Italian journalist and author who is awaiting trial on charges of vilifying Islam, has been granted a secret audience with Pope Benedict.

    Fallaci's diatribes against Muslims' persuasions have turned her into a hate figure for the Italian left and a heroine for the anti-immigrant right. The Pope's decision to grant her the privilege of a private meeting came after he appeared to reach out to Muslims on his first trip abroad as pontiff.

    Benedict's discussions with Fallaci are bound to fuel concern among liberal Catholics, already dismayed by discussions on Monday between the Pope and leaders of an ultra-conservative group of breakaway Catholics. The Society of St Pius X, whose founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was excommunicated in 1988, rejects many of the progressive initiatives taken by the Second Vatican Council.

    One of the society's main objections is that the council opened a dialogue with other religions.

    Vatican sources were embarrassed by disclosure of the meeting with Fallaci. The Italian news agency APcom reported that the Pope had received Fallaci on Saturday at his summer residence near Rome.

    No announcement was made before or after their encounter and not even Fallaci's family was aware that the writer, who lives in the US, had been in Italy.

    The newspaper La Repubblica said the writer, who is being treated for cancer, had driven herself to and from Castelgandolfo.

    Vatican sources said the audience had been brief and had been held at her request.

    Fallaci repeatedly berated the Pope's predecessor for pursuing talks with Muslims. But she has been more positive about the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. However, after the London bombings, she said she had been astonished by his insistence on the need for dialogue. "Do you really think that they can change, mend their ways and give up planting bombs?"

    In June, a judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo ordered that the 76-year-old Fallaci should stand trial next year on charges of slandering Islam in her book The Strength of Reason, one of three polemical works published since the September 11 attacks on the US.

    On his first visit to his native Germany since his election, the Pope last month made a point of meeting Muslim officials, addressing them as "my dear Muslim friends".

    The Guardian

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:


    You have to know the background of Ms. Fallaci. (Try google).
    Actually, this was not the first audience she had with a pope.
    She met several times with the previous pope, and stated later on that visit that in big lines both her and the Vatican's view run in parallel : not a simple act for an atheist!
    This audience was asked for to warn the pope for the - in her view - dangers of islam in Europe.

    Ms. Fallaci's book has already sold over a million copies in less than a year.
    Her position is that Europe is on the edge of falling into some muslim trap soon, loosing it's entire (christian) identity.
    Seen the developments in western Europe her concern is runs in parallel with the fast growing numbers of muslims.

    Atheists share only one thought (their absence of any interest in god) so they can differ greatly in all other views.
    Ms. Fallaci is of the right wing of one of many conservative groups, and has an islamic phobia.
    This background on Ms. Fallaci (seeing their common fear for Islam) explains her recent visit to the pope.

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 09/01/05 - what's good for the goose is good for the gander

    this might be a way of bringing feminists to heel?

    Dog training for husbands

    From correspondents in London

    September 02, 2005


    THE BBC has apologised over a show which tells women how to train their husbands like dogs.

    Viewers said the program, Bring Your Husband To Heel, was "sexist, offensive and degrading".

    The corporation's website has been besieged by complaints, with one saying: "If this was a woman being trained as a dog, the program would not have been aired."

    Other viewers described the show, which features animal trainer Annie Clayton, as "grossly insulting" and "scandalous drivel".

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    You have to like this type of British black humour, I guess.
    The program shared a lot of "jokes" with another program, that runs already several years, called "The Leaque of Gentlemen".
    Black humour is either your taste or it is not.
    But to describe it as sexist is nonsense.
    It was just a program on a theme that was pulled into extremes, and may be this time a little too far.

    With so many channels available (100+) nobody was forced to watch this program on BBC4, so people should have used their own judgement and their remote control - if they did not like the progam - and either switched over, or switched off.

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 09/01/05 - Here are some positive steps we can take:

    Hello Everyone,
    I decided that there is something I can do and so can each one of you, if you so choose to.

    1- I am emailing everyone I know and asking them to contribute what ever they can and then to email there friends.
    2- I am going to email over 25,ooo peoople each day by means of a bulk mailer with the same information and who know, even if just some contribute to their local authorities, that is some I have reached that may not have responded unless asked.

    3) The children here can make cards for all the thousand or so children in NO, and then mail them to the news people, asking them to make sure they give them to these children when they arive in Texas.. This will let them know that the kids here really care about other children in different parts of the country. I suggest this because children here are sad when they see what is happening, imagine how the kids feel who are going through this hard time.; What a good feeling that will give children, both those that make the cards and those who receive them when they arrive in Texas. These children have in many cases lost one or both parents. It is a small thing but it might help.

    4) Write letters to all the officials in your area and ask them to contribute and to get some programs going. These people even when rescued and sent to Texas or wherever will need peoples help for monthes or years to come.

    These are just a few suggestions and what I will be busy doing. I look forward to hear you all make suggestions on ways to help these people. Remember not everone is in a position to help financially. But there are others ways we can help. What can you personally do to help these people? I bet if you think about it you can come up with something also.
    Take care,
    Hope12

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    Well intended, Hope, but why don't wait for a National Collection to start?
    Try whatever YOU can do to help.
    And write these letters to your Representative, your Senator, your President, and all the top of your political party of choice.
    But don't swamp the internet with emails ....

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 09/01/05 - Amazing.

    Just to bring this to the attention of those who dislike President Bush. Would you believe this. If he is just for oil, why would he ask people to stop using gas, if it is not necessary.. Well he did just that today. Oh, and Mr Clinton was standing right beside him agreeing with what he was saying. Just another note. to keep from offending anyone, I am going to stop saying "In Jesus' name.". Just so everyone remembers, I am doing it, and everything else in His name.

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:


    Your "question" does not hold water.
    One can not do anything against a tornado, hurrycane, earthquake, etc.

    This disaster was caused by human neglect.
    It was the breaking of the dykes that really caused the disaster.
    BUT WHY DID THESE DYKES BREAK ?

    • The weakness of the NO dykes was wellknown to the authorities.

    • Many alarming reports on (lack of) maintenance was wellknown to the authorities.

    • On the expenses for maintenance of the local dykes has cut down since early 2002.

    • There were several recent reports for the local and federal authorities on the alarming disappearance of the local swamp (which could take in excess water, and reduce wind pressure)

    • The total budget for maintenance and environmental affairs has been cut back since 2001 with over 50%. The reason for this cut back was the cost for the "war on terrorism".

    • Most of the people who remained in NO were poor, invalid, or without any means of transport. They COULD NOT move out.

    • Dubbelyou was fully aware of the dangers of the NO situation. His government deliberately decided to take the risk, to prevent to have to budget for the involved expenses of maintenance to the dykes.

    • Although nobody can yet tell how many people died, or what the total cost of the damage will be, it will be hundreds of times higher than was the cost for proper maintenance of the NO dykes.

    • I saw the latest CNN reports on the NO situation, and it is ashaming to see how the government is still failing to help the thousands of victims in the bigger N.O. area (including the superdome), including Biloxi (where the number of death could rise to between 500 and 1000).

    • It does not seem that "Katrina" brought this most powerful Nation to it's knies. It were the authorities, from local municipal ones to those residing in the White House. And their bungling still continues.

    Yes, bubbleyou is pro-oil.
    But he also is pro "war on terrorists".
    And that costs lot's of money.
    And even bubbleyou can only spend it once.
    So that's why the dykes were not maintained in New Orleans.

    Why is bubbleyou asking people to reduce gaz consumption ?
    Because there is a world shortage on oil, and a local american shortage on gaz.
    And that drives up the price of gaz.
    There is enough gaz anyway in storage, but he does not want to use too much of that stock, and run the risk of getting even more dependent of his suppliers.

    It's a gesture, nothing else, just to show what a "good" president he is.
    But you will not believe that, of course ....





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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - The Big One

    New Orleans had their "Big One". I'm curious; are there any Californians on this Board who live west of the San Andreas fault?

    Are any of you planning on moving before the California "Big One"?

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    No, they stay.
    They're already shaking of fear
    :)

    But serious : you make a good point!

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 09/01/05 - Why is it so hard to give Help?

    Hello Everyone,

    I am so mad and depressed and at the same time confused.
    When one nation or group want to go to other countries to kill their fellow human because of disagreements, they can do it so fast. They talk about it on a Monday and by Wendsday they have already accomplished what the set out to do.

    These Thousands of people in NO are dying due to lack of water, food and a place to go to the bathroom. Babies only a few days old without formula. The elderly and weak are dying and their bodies being shoved on the side of the dome and covered. People living among such horrific conditions and it seems like everyone wants to do concerts, and the president said they are sending troops in to help. WHEN??? Why is it taking so long?

    I bet if that was their family or loved one they would be their already. It is not like they can't drop off water and food for these people. They talk a big talk, while these people are dying because they lack basic needs for life. Water and food. Please can someone explain this to me? Why is it taking so long.

    If they can get buses in there to pick up the people to take and carry them to Texas, Why oh why can't they just get food and water to these people? Something just does not make sense to me.

    Here is what makes me even more sad and why I think they can do better if they want to.

    I was at my place of work yesterday and one of the people I care for is retarded. He came to me and asked me could he sell his colored television so that these people could have water and food.

    If this guy, who is suppose to be not too bright or educated sees by watching television that these people need food and water, why can't those who are suppose to be intellgent not know this and get it there to these people? "Sad to say unless an event or situation touches some personally, they don't try hard enough. I am sad to say I feel it is because those in charge place killing others before the value of life!

    Any comments?
    Take care,
    Hope12

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    Because nobody in the top expected the dykes to break!

    The entire disaster is due to human neglect and policy moves.
    It was the breaking of the dykes that really caused the disaster.
    BUT WHY DID THESE DYKES BREAK ?

    • The weakness of the NO dykes was wellknown to the authorities.

    • Many alarming reports on (lack of) maintenance was wellknown to the authorities.

    • On the expenses for maintenance of the local dykes has cut down since early 2002.

    • There were several recent reports for the local and federal authorities on the alarming disappearance of the local swamp (which could take in excess water, and reduce wind pressure)

    • The total budget for maintenance and environmental affairs has been cut back since 2001 with over 50%.
      The reason for this cut back was the cost for the "war on terrorism".

    • Most of the people who remained in NO were poor, invalid, or without any means of transport. They COULD NOT move out.

    • Dubbelyou was fully aware of the dangers of the NO situation. His government deliberately decided to take the risk, to prevent to have to budget for the involved expenses of maintenance to the dykes.

    • Although nobody can yet tell how many people died, or what the total cost of the damage will be, it will be hundreds of times higher than was the cost for proper maintenance of the NO dykes.

    • I saw the latest CNN reports on the NO situation, and it is ashaming to see how the government is still failing to help the thousands of victims in the bigger N.O. area (including the superdome), including Biloxi (where the number of death could rise to between 500 and 1000).

    • It does not seem that "Katrina" brought this most powerful Nation to it's knies. It were the authorities, from local municipal ones to those residing in the White House. And their bungling still continues.

    When CNN, BBC, and many other TV news agencies can transmit their reports life from New Orleans and Biloxi, why can't emergency services not?
    And where is the army / National Guard?



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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 09/01/05 - Ave Atque Vale!!

    Would love to stay and chat, but I have some last minute packing to do...and then Farewell.....Not for ever I hope :) Try not to hurt each other too much, while I am gone. Will check in as soon as I reach the first cyber-cafe...Gonna miss you guys!!!!!!!! Be back full time the second week in October.

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    Enjoy your trip to Egypt!
    And I'm interested to see your "report" on eqyptian muslims (and muslima's) upon your return!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - Dome of Horror

    Special to the LATimes:

    NEW ORLEANS — A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

    The Louisiana Superdome, once a mighty testament to architecture and ingenuity, became the biggest storm shelter in New Orleans the day before Katrina's arrival Monday. About 16,000 people eventually settled in.

    By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. A few hundred people were evacuated from the arena Wednesday, and buses will take away the vast majority of refugees today.

    "We pee on the floor. We are like animals," said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

    At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

    Are there any Christians who think the NewOrleans disaster is their God's judgment against AMerica? Or something else supernatural? Thanks.

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    No MarySue,

    this was not due to God (if god exists).
    this was not due to a natural disaster - not even "Katrina".
    this was not a supra-natural disaster neither.

    It was due to human neglect and policy moves.
    It was the breaking of the dykes that really caused the disaster.
    BUT WHY DID THESE DYKES BREAK ?

    • The weakness of the NO dykes was wellknown to the authorities.

    • Many alarming reports on (lack of) maintenance was wellknown to the authorities.

    • On the expenses for maintenance of the local dykes has cut down since early 2002.

    • There were several recent reports for the local and federal authorities on the alarming disappearance of the local swamp (which could take in excess water, and reduce wind pressure)

    • The total budget for maintenance and environmental affairs has been cut back since 2001 with over 50%. The reason for this cut back was the cost for the "war on terrorism".

    • Most of the people who remained in NO were poor, invalid, or without any means of transport. They COULD NOT move out.

    • Dubbelyou was fully aware of the dangers of the NO situation. His government deliberately decided to take the risk, to prevent to have to budget for the involved expenses of maintenance to the dykes.

    • Although nobody can yet tell how many people died, or what the total cost of the damage will be, it will be hundreds of times higher than was the cost for proper maintenance of the NO dykes.

    • I saw the latest CNN reports on the NO situation, and it is ashaming to see how the government is still failing to help the thousands of victims in the bigger N.O. area (including the superdome), including Biloxi (where the number of death could rise to between 500 and 1000).

    • It does not seem that "Katrina" brought this most powerful Nation to it's knies. It were the authorities, from local municipal ones to those residing in the White House. And their bungling still continues.

    The situation at the superdome is terrible, even exceeding the abominable conditions of the US Cuba prison for terrorists.
    It's near unbelievable to see that on CNN, BBC News, and many other TV news agencies.

    But if CNN and many other reporters can get there, WHY CAN'T THE EMERGENCY TROUPS ?

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 09/01/05 - Looting or perhaps not


    Hello Christians:

    Lets say that you live in New Orleans. You and your family haven't eaten or drunken anything at all for two days. You're standing in front of a grocery store that's closed. You have money in your pocket, and you would pay for the food and water that you're taking.

    So, are you eating to avoid starvation? Or are you nothing more than a crook?

    excon

    sarnian answered on 09/01/05:

    Seen that the Government was not properly prepared on the consequences of "Katrina", I condone anyone who has to steal food for survival.
    Just hope that they are so honest to go back later to pay for what they took away.
    Leaving money makes no sense, as there will always be people that are so dishonest that the money will disappear.

    Such a big and super rich nation.
    And than this total mess.
    Another dubbelyou blunder ....

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/31/05 - This is the outcome of hatred

    This is a the outcome if hatred, but no Christian is involved in this tradegy, it is the hatred of Muslim for Muslim. What sort of religion is it that allows the sort of thinking that would concieve and permit this sort of atrocity. Don't say I am exhibiting hatred of Islam by posting this article, for what I am doing is demonstrating where lifeless religion takes you


    Iraq mourns as stampede loss overshadows war
    September 1, 2005 - 2:52PM


    Funerals for some of the 1000 Iraqis killed in a stampede during a religious festival start at dawn across Baghdad today as the nation mourns a tragedy which has overshadowed the daily bloodshed of war.

    Three days of official mourning will quieten a country inured to mass killing on its streets but shocked by the disaster.

    About 965 people were confirmed to have died when thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims rushed for imagined safety onto a bridge across the Tigris in the capital, only to die in the river below or crushed on the roadway.

    The final toll, one senior official said, was likely to be more than 1000 as bodies were counted scattered across hospitals, makeshift morgues and family homes across the city.

    They lay under white sheets, under foil blankets and makeshift shrouds, in corridors and on pavements, as anxious or grieving relatives searched for loved ones among the dead.

    Though fears of sectarian attacks, real or imagined, may have contributed to the fear that drove the pilgrims to their deaths, the shock was felt across the factional divides.

    Yesterday, people streamed to help from Aadhamiya, the mainly Sunni Arab district across the river from the Kadhimiya shrine that was the focus of Shi'ite worship.

    A barrage of mortar and rocket attacks on the crowd, some 200,000 strong or more, had added to the tension early in the day.

    It killed seven people and was claimed by a Sunni group avowing links to the insurgency against the US-backed, Shi'ite-led Government.

    Then, whether by malicious design or simple panic, a warning from within the crowd of a suicide bomber among them sparked a rush for safety that proved illusory.

    Blood dripped from concrete walls around the bridge. Bodies drifted in the river.

    "Hundreds of people started running and some threw themselves off the bridge into the river," a police source said.

    "Many elderly died immediately ... but dozens drowned, many bodies are still in the river and boats are working on picking them up."

    Most victims were women and children who "died by drowning or being trampled", an Interior Ministry official said.

    It was by far the biggest loss of life in such a crowd since more than 1400 pilgrims died at Mecca during the haj in 1990.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari declared three days of mourning.

    Constant coverage on national television included an appeal for relatives to claim a baby held up to the camera.

    He was found next to his mother's body.

    Interior Minister Bayan Jabor and two other top Shi'ite officials blamed Sunni insurgents for the stampede, saying one had spread the rumour there was a suicide bomber in the crowd.

    But Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi, a Sunni Arab himself, said the stampede was not related to sectarian tensions gripping the country since the US-led invasion in March 2003.

    Some witnesses blamed poor organisation for the death toll.

    Whatever sparked the rush for safety, the fear that a bomber might be on the loose was well grounded after previous attacks on Shi'ite religious events in the past two years.

    Tensions are high among Iraq's rival religious and ethnic communities ahead of a referendum on a new constitution for the post-Saddam Hussein era.

    Television images showed people clambering down from the bridge to escape the surging crowd and piles of slippers left behind by the crush of people.

    President Jalal Talabani said it was "a great tragedy which will leave a scar on our souls".

    The bridge stands on the spot where the body of Imam Musa al-Kadhim is said to have been dumped after being poisoned 12 centuries ago by agents of the caliph.

    About 250,000 pilgrims had travelled from other parts of Iraq for the events, organisers said. The figure was lower than normal, they said, due to security fears.

    Reuters

    If you want to stop hatred in the world, go preach to the insurgents in Iraq and Afganistan

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:

    Paraclete,

    when I asked yesterday to include those who died yesterday in the Bagdad disaster, you refused and preached anti-muslim hatred.
    To come today with this ...... HOW PHONEY !

    What did these women do?
    What did these children do?
    Was it their fault that through fear that disaster could happen?

    There are around one thousand million muslims in this world.
    And they can not be blamed for the terrorism of some thousand terrorists.
    That's approx. one terrorist per million muslims.
    And you still blame the muslims for the terror?
    It is people like you who actually feed the hatred of the terrorists.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/31/05 - Do you agree with this?

    Earl Keener, a Technical Writer, says, according to The Onion:


    "Pat Robertson, as a Christian, a politician, or a pundit, is a living argument for the separation of head and body."

    Do you agree?

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:

    In the past I frequently saw the Onion.
    You must not forget that it's pure satire there.
    Of course it refers to the separation of church and state, and the increasing resistance against PR.

    Toning PR down wouldn't be too bad, isn't it?
    Not completely, just enough to allow him to destroy himself inch by inch ....

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/31/05 - On discouragement - yours and theirs ...

    "If you sometimes get discouraged, consider this fellow. He dropped out of grade school. Ran a country store. Went broke. Took 15 years to pay off his bills. Took a wife. Unhappy marriage. Ran for House. Lost twice. Ran for Senate. Lost twice. Delivered speech that became a classic. Audience indifferent. Attacked daily by the press and despised by half the country. Despite all this, imagine how many people all over the world have been inspired by this awkward, rumpled, brooding man who signed his name simply, A. Lincoln."

    (Wall Street Journal.)



    'It is important to know, when you feel down, that many others do also and that their circumstances are generally much worse than yours. And it’s important to know that when one of us is down, it becomes the obligation of his friends to give him a lift. I hope that each of us will cultivate a sensitivity toward the feelings of others, and when encouragement is needed, make an effort to extend it. Be a friend, and you will have a friend. God be thanked for wonderful friends.'

    --Gordon B. Hinckley, "Strengthening Each Other," Ensign, Feb. 1985, 3

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:

    As I have no specific target here on this board I'm not an atheist "missionary", I will not easily be discouraged.
    But it amazes me how much people here openly and loudly profess to be Christian, but hardly or not at all show that in their actions.

    Thanks for that information : I never heard that background info on Licoln.
    Shows however that you do not have to be a brilliant student, a financial wiskid, or a Don Juan, to become later in life a respectful and honourable person.

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    Question/Answer
    JesseJamesDupree asked on 08/31/05 - After Further Review.........

    I would like to publicly apologize to Saranian and Aton, and for my crude jokes of last week. The crude humor I would like to apologize profusely for. I haven't spoke like that in 5 years. Guess the old devil got a victory over me last week. I have asked God and "Man" to forgive me, so it's time to move on. Thank You.......Thak You......thankyouverymuch;)

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:

    I'm sorry, but my approach will be ambigious.

    Of course I'll accept your apology.
    Thank you for telling us that you have some remorse on your actions to this board.

    But you are lying at the same time.
    It was not 5 years ago, but just a couple of months ago that you did the same under your Krewton handle.
    And I hear from others that you have done the same already several times, last time about a year ago.

    So I have to conclude that it was management that emailed you a warning with advice to apologize to this board.
    If I'm right or wrong, time will tell us.
    But please be adviced that you have lost a lot of credit here, and that it was much easier to loose credit than to earn it.

    I really find it near incredible that management has forced people here off the board for a month or several months for just posting on the wrong board or forum, or using words like ar*e or f*ck.
    In view of that it is beyond any comprehemsion that they still have not kicked you off the board permanently.

    Thank you for apologizing, but don't expect any respect nor much goodwill for you from me.
    You will have to earn that.





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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 08/31/05 - Injustices and Greed!

    Hello Everyone,

    We live in a world or syetem of injustices. People who recently suffered a loss of electricity in South Florida have been plagued now with a 400 dollar deposit added to their electric bills. We are doing our best here just to get back to "some kind of normal life." Why would FPL as well as the gas companies make more of a burden on us who are already burdened? By the way a gallon of gas in south Florida is not up to $3.69.

    How many of these company owners charge these outrageous prices and then turn around a claim to be religious people? Where is the justice?

    As you know I get to speak via telephone to other disabled people and to encourage them and listen to their problems and try to keep them positive and in good spirits. Welll speaking to some in my home town alone there are some who are disabled and given SSI checks of the sum of $375 dollars a month to live on. That amount of money is for their rent and food and electric. Then companies turn around and charge these people $400. deposit to keep their electric running. Many of these people are depended on their electricity to aid in their care of their health problems. What is this world coming to? The rich get richer and the poor get killed with the rich perosons greed.

    What is the solution? Do you believe their will ever be a solution for such greed? I have a solution but I would love to hear about yours, if you have one???

    Take care,
    Hope12

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:


    There are even two so-called christians on this board who refuse to include the over one thousand victims of the Bagdad bridge disaster earlier today in their prayers.
    Your society is making it's own people rock-hard
    So why are you amazed that people are more and more christian in word only?


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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 08/31/05 - Are we truly grateful??

    Hello Everyone,
    Please Read all of this, It is very important.

    My heart is sad for all those individuals who are trapped in New Orleans. The flood water surrounding them is dirty and a health hazard. Dead fish and waste from overflowing toilets and wires that are live, present danger and is life threatening to those who have survived Katrina. I agree that the loss of life in the Gulf States has been horrific and just recently New Orleans people must leave because of the devastation.

    There is no food and what makes it even harder is that there is no clean drinking water anywhere. Those who had taken cover in their large arena dome must leave and officials are trying to decide the best way of helping them to leave. No cars, or buses can reach them due to two of their main bridges have been blown down and the highways going into NO is flooded up so high that some cars are under the water. It seems that the only way to help them is by the air. They are surrounded by water on all sides. The roof of the dome is falling and the toilets are not working and overflowing. It is a health hazard and the officials said that they must rescue these 15,000 or more people just in the dome alone. Not to mention the thousands that took cover in other places in NO. What is even more desperate now is that all the levy’s that hold back the waters, are broken and the water is rising each hour.

    My family and I have decided to open our home to a family that needs assistance due to Katrina. Once these people are rescued from New Orleans, they will either come here to Florida or go north to other states. These people have lost their home, clothes and all they have. Some have even lost loved ones. There is nothing in NO to help them survive, no food, no water, nothing to care for their needs. One man was shown on TV where he was hanging on to his wife and at the same time holding on to his two small sons. During the winds and rain it became so difficult for him to hold on to both the wife and two boys, that the wife told him to let go of her and to care for the boys. When interviewed he was crying and all he could say was, she is gone, and my wife is gone. The reporter was crying also due to her feeling the despair and grief of this mans great loss.

    I hope that many in the surrounding areas can find it in their hearts to help these dear people in whatever way they can. Remember, this will not just be for a few days or weeks but most likely for months to come. These people have lost their homes, jobs, and everything materially, but they are still alive and we as their neighbors can help them build their lives again. Please if you can, open your heart to these ones in whatever way your personal situations allow you to. Remember, no good deed or act goes unnoticed by God.

    Remember though to proceed with a bit of caution, I will help a family but I will also do it by means of my congregation. If you allow anyone to enter your home and if you do decide to assist a family in need, go through the authorities, Red Cross, or state officials, or your churches. I say this as a protection to you and your family. Right now there are those who have no regard for the heartache other are undergoing. There are those who are stealing and doing bad things because of the situation there in the Gulf States. Be helpful, but proceed with caution.

    Where I live, we were hit by Katrina when she was a category one. I lost my lights, and phone. I soon learned after being without these things that we all have needs, but we also have wants. Yes, it was uncomfortable without lights and being in South Florida it was hot and sticking and horribly uncomfortable for three days, but I survived, because my basic needs to survival were met. I had food and water, and a place to sleep. I could bath with cold water, and had toilet facilities. These people in New Orleans do not even have that........ Some are in wheelchairs, or elderly or sick, and yet they have not even the comfort of basic needs.

    I am saying these things because anything we offer these individual from these states is more then what they have. They need the bare needs of life in order to survive. We all have these things. Whatever food or water we have, it can be shared. Please dig deep into your hearts and look for ways that you personally can help these people. Yes, it is great to pray for them, but right now our prays need to be backed by our actions. We all need to ask ourselves, "What can I do to help those who are looking just for the bare needs to survive?"

    Thanks for reading this; I felt I needed to do something besides just praying for these ones, they also need literal food, water and shelter. I feel for these people, I personally am disabled and when I see people in wheelchairs and sick and elderly ones without the basic needs for life, I feel sad. Why? Because I put myself in their situation and think about this: “How would I feel if I was in their situations? How would I feel if in their situation, someone out of their kind heart offered me help? I would forever be grateful and never take the smaller things such as food and water for granted. I would be grateful for the things I have.

    By all means keep praying, but please, please work in harmony with your prayer. We all quote Jesus’ words, now we have a chance to put what Jesus taught into actions. Remember God helps those that help themselves. If we think that food and water and shelter will just appear for these people then we are not living and serving God in reality. Didn’t Jesus produce fish and loafs of bread. Jesus didn’t just pray that the people would be alright, he took action and gave the people food. God is real and so we need to be real. So if we are grateful for our daily bread and sustenance, that let us show our appreciation by sharing what we have and by helping other in need.
    Thanks and may our Loving Creator bless your kindness toward others.
    Hope12

    sarnian answered on 08/31/05:

    Dear hope,

    I fully agree with your post, and surely people should include - next to their prayers - more practical meassures for these victims.

    Don't get your hopes up too high, cause I noticed that we have several phoney christians on this board.
    As you can see from my post on the Bagdad victims today of the bridge collapse very few reacted, while two of these (paraclete and formerjesushelper) do not even intend to take up these one thousand dead people in their current prayers.

    This board is slowly falling apart in "real" Christians, and phoney "christians".

    As I'm living in Europe I'm busy - next to all my other activities - in a center for help to central and east European flood victims.
    So I can't assist you with this, though I find it an excellent idea.

    :)


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    Question/Answer
    curious98 asked on 08/30/05 - Hurricane Katrina

    With profound regret and affliction I mourn the losses in human lives suffered by the southern States of the USA, aftermath and sequels of the Katrina.

    Material losses, no matter how big, will be recovered. Human lives are definitely lost for their relatives.

    These last two weeks we have been unvoluntary witnesses that natural disasters do not spare the so called 1st world countries, either. First, Europe. Now, the USA.

    Our sincere condolences to all Americans and, particularly, to those that may have lost some beloved relatives or friends.

    Curious98

    sarnian answered on 08/30/05:

    I fully support that statement.

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    Question/Answer
    purplewings asked on 08/30/05 - For ATON - and anyone else who's interested in politics

    ATON, you said you can't find a single merit in Conservatism, so I posted something on the Politics board, that you might find merit in........or maybe not.

    (Toss that potato chip bag away for a minute and check it out, if you want your secret kept by me.)

    sarnian answered on 08/30/05:

    Excellent procedure : post the question where it belongs, and provide here a link message to it.
    I'll do that also next time.
    Political questions belong on the politics board.

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/30/05 - Who would be happy..

    If Jesus should return tonight, who would be happy, who would be sad? In Jesus' name. M.L.

    sarnian answered on 08/30/05:

    With all respect ...

    Is there any supported evidence that

    • Jesus ever really existed as a man of flesh and blood?
    • Jesus was more than a myth about a wandering prophet?
    • Jesus was the son of God?
    • God exists?
    • Jesus is God as part of the Trinity?

    The Jesus we know comes from the bible, a book, a compendium of various different writings by different people, all produced after the life of Jesus ended (assuming that Jesus ever was alive).
    To me it appears (though I can't prove that neither) that the Jesus we know from the bible is nothing more than an outgrowth of a myth about a prophet that wandered around the area we today call Israel/Jordan.

    I have no problem with any other view on Jesus, but no view is based on real supported evidence, so it has to be based on belief/faith and nothing else.
    If you believe in Jesus I assume that you will be happy and not sad.
    But in my views the "return of Jesus" will only happen when Easter and Pentecost will fall on one and the same day!

    Is this question (over such an unlikely hypothetical event) to your fellow boardmembers here not actually anything more than a "feel good" question to already in Jesus believing christians?

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    Question/Answer
    drgade asked on 08/29/05 - Suprising Statistics
    Suprising Statistics

    There are more Christians than many think...and in places where we wouldn't expect them.

    This is from our District Office:

    The Presence of Born Again Christians

    Nationally, four out of every ten adults is a born again Christian. (This measure is based on people’s beliefs, not a self-definition. The two questions that qualify people are described in this report’s Research Methodology section.) But there is a wide range of incidence levels related to the location of born again adults. For instance, the market with the largest percentage of its adults classified as born again – by a large margin – is Jackson, Mississippi, where 83% of adults meet the criteria. There are ten markets in which at least six out of every ten adults are born again – and each of them is located in the South.

    There were also six out of the 86 markets studied that had fewer than 25% of the adult public satisfying the born again standard. The lowest of those were Boston (21%), Providence (21%) and New York (22%). Of the six lowest-ranked markets, five are in the Northeast.

    The market with the greatest number of individuals who are born again was, once again, the City of Angels (Los Angeles) with 3.6 million born again believers in the metro area. Surprisingly, there are 20 metropolitan areas that have one million or more adults who are born again.

    The statewide data showed that Alabama earned the top ranking for the percentage of residents who are born again: 67%. Overall, nine states had 50% or more of the adult population who were born again. Among the 27 most populous states, the one that emerged with the lowest percentage who are born again, by far, was Massachusetts (17%). The four states with the lowest percentages of adult Christians were all in the Northeast.

    Does this change your mind about LA?

    sarnian answered on 08/29/05:


    There may be more christians than many think.
    The question is more if they all play christian, or that they really act like - or are - christians !
    And seen the social (and economic) pressure to be accepted, many may be mainly christian in name.
    All we can observe is the outside, not the real situation.

    That LA is so relatively high in BA Christians is indeed surprising.
    How does that telly up with the percentage of gay men and women there (this in view of the assumed anti-homo attitude in the BA Christian movement)?



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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/29/05 - Roman Catholic Church!

    Why are there so many people interested in changing the rules of the church. A brought up Roman Catholic would like to know?

    sarnian answered on 08/29/05:

    I can only speak for myself (well, for my wife) :
    My wife already for over 40 years is involved in training children and adults in various RCC specifics.
    She was trained by the diocese on request of her parish to do this work.
    She also is regularly replacing the priest, who - due to the shortage of priests - has 8 different parishes to attend to.
    So I know - although I am myself atheist - freethinker - what I'm talking about.

    Maybe I just like to be married to the first popa? Who knows :)

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    Question/Answer
    kindj asked on 08/29/05 - How's this grab ya?

    Note: I did not write anything that follows this sentence, but I wish I did.

    DK

    I Renounce Christianity
    Bob Kilpatrick


    I renounce Christianity. I want everyone to know. I am no longer a subscriber to Christianity. If I ever was, I deeply regret it and hope to turn my back on it now forever. Having been raised to faithfully attend church as a child, it was not a difficult choice to continue doing so as an adult. Many people I know do just the same, while others leave it for awhile but return because this is what they were taught. How many of them are willing to renounce Christianity like I have done, I do not know.

    I embrace Jesus Christ, the person of God. I am His follower, His disciple, His servant. I will do anything He asks of me. If, to stand with Him, I have to stand against the culture that surrounds me, I will. I believe Him more than I believe anyone else. I value His approval more than anyone elses. I will gladly forsake all, including the prevailing American Christian philosophies, if to hold them would take me away from Jesus even an inch. I do not believe that everything the church does is sanctioned in heaven. I do not believe that all our church practises are necessary, or even beneficial, to faith in Jesus Christ. I do not believe that the gathering of the saints is more important than the personal, individual meeting between God and man. I am seeking others like me for prayer and fellowship.

    The idea of renouncing Christianity is not new to me. Leonard Sweet suggests it in his book Soul Tsunami. Others have raised similar thoughts throughout history. Paul devoted an entire book, Galatians, to the struggle between law and grace, or religious codes and divine relationship. It is not merely a semantic issue- people will think I am splitting hairs- nor am I overstating the case merely to startle, attract attention or to make a point. I mean it. I embrace the Christian moral code only because Jesus gave it to me. Apart from Him, I have no use for it. I love the Holy Bible because it is a true record of the God who calls me to Himself. Apart from Him, I have no use for it. Survivor Rudy said that the only use for a Bible in a situation like theirs was as extra toilet paper. I understand. He doesn't know the Person of the book. Without the Person, the book is meaningless. It is just so much ink and paper inside a nice leather binding with gilt edges. I love the Church because Jesus calls us to gather around Him. Apart from Him, church is meaningless. Worse than that, it is fakery.

    I have met ministers who don't believe anymore. Some have admitted it to themselves, others have not. But in every case their lives showed what they believed. Their convictions were expressed through their habits. I meet church-going people all the time who have no relationship with Jesus. They are not bound to God because, like Peter, they have no where else to go "for You have the words of eternal life." They love the practises of the church, perhaps because it reminds them of good times in their past, perhaps because they love a mystery, or perhaps because these are the only people who will welcome them. Whatever the reason, they know His Church but don't know Him. Some of them admit it, some deny it, some don't even know there's anything more. In every case, their convictions are expressed through their habits.

    I am daily faced with the choice of loving the image- the paragraph and the photograph- more than loving the Person. I hear so many times of a wife or husband looking up after years of marriage and realizing that they don't even know their mate anymore. Why does it happen? I think it's because they stop pay attention. They get an image of the one they married and they stick with it. All the while, their mate is changing, and they don't notice it because they stopped loving the person, even seeing the person, and held instead to the image. It can happen to us with God. We decide to forgo the face to face meeting with Jesus once, twice, thrice. A week passes and we still feel pretty good about ourselves. We don't notice that our oil is running low, that our muscles are getting weak- we don't notice that we're not noticing anymore. Life just goes on and we do what we did last week and it seems to work again this week, and we do it agin the week after, and weeks become months and months become years and one day we look up and see that we've been not noticing. We've had the form of godliness but God has not been there. Like a sculpture of God, it looks like Him but it has no power.

    Sometimes throughout those years of not noticing we invent things about God that we want to be so. When we finally notice Him again, we find out that some of what we believed was not true of Him. We made it up. Then comes the choice. Will we continue with the image or will we embrace the real?

    I am going away. I am going away to be alone with Jesus. If I don't do this regularly, I forget what He looks like. I forget how He acts. When I hear His voice again, I remember how much I've missed it. I renounce Christianity because I desperately want Christ.

    sarnian answered on 08/29/05:

    Dear kindj,

    I think I understand him perfectly.
    The christian religion is about Jesus and his teachings, but over the years this was all changed.
    First the deciples spread a lot of - to say it politely - debateble claims about Jesus, which found their way into the bible NT.

    Than the early church added the "christ" title to Jesus' name, after which the RCC added - first small, but soon more and more "business" to it, than (much later) the entire christian group fell apart into RC and what is called now Protestants.
    The chism fights were about two things:

    1. Power, money, and influence.
      In medieval times religion had grown to big business, as redemption had over time become for sale, and a much wanted commodity.
    2. The teachings themselves. Was it about the total concept, thickly sugar coated (RC), or about the bare basics of christianity? (reformed churches).

    Today we have over 2500 different christian denominations, all claiming to be God's only "true" followers.
    But over time we all forgot about the essence of the faith in Jesus.
    Accepted, many talk about Jesus.
    Many pray to him and talk about him.
    But what is left of the initial essence of Jesus?

    I'm not a christian. I'm an atheist, a freethinker.
    But from jewish origin I grew up in a protestant family, and till I was ten or eleven years I had a deep interest in specifically Jesus and his teachings.
    I also saw how the other believers - at least in my idea - loved Jesus, yes, but they loved money, power, and self interests even more.
    Realising that religion had actually become hard business, I lost faith in the entire system, declared myself atheist at twelve, and never looked back.

    Many here may be able to quote book, chapter, verse, and line in the bible. Perfect.
    But few on this board really seem to understand that what Jesus tought us was at one side about salvation, but at the other hand he also tought us social thinking and living, much more social than many here seem to think, as it does not suit their own interests.

    I can understand very well that people can fall foul with the organised form of christianity.
    And I can understand even more the feeling to go back to the origin, to Jesus himself, without all the song and dance of organised christianity a la 2005.

    If you see him, do him my best wishes!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/29/05 - Conservative/Liberals

    I am just asking a question. Because I do not understand. Why are we classified as liberals, or conservatves? Here is my feelings. Some of the liberals' ideas I agree with. Some of the conservatives' ideas I agree with. Now how can I be either? Would that be "in the middle of the road"?
    I believe we should have free health care, just to name one. I belilve that we should keep God's name in public places, Just to name one. I am not sure about prayer in schools, because we would need a set rule, so that one denomination cannot come in and force their views on the children. In order to do that, we would need the government to set the rules, approved by the courts. This would be a controle of our religious rights. We cannot afford that. I big mouthed enough. In Jesus' name. M.L.

    sarnian answered on 08/29/05:

    WE ???

    We have HERE liberals, socialists, conservatives, christian based parties, greens, local interest groups, independents, etc. etc. etc. We even have a "party for the interests of the animals".

    This is the internet. And the internet is worldwide.
    Please do not think that this is an "american" question and answer board. It is not.
    This is an international board.
    In fact, questions so specific on US politics do not belong here on the christianity board.
    Next time please post them either on the politics board, or on some american board.
    If there is no such board yet, ask management to program one.
    Hmmmmm : that is not such a good idea, I guess! They don't react :)

    I know I also wronged on this in the past, but we're all trying to do our best now, isn't it?

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/29/05 - Phone Call

    I just got a phone call that my youngest brother died. They have to do an autopsy, he was in a semi-nursing home. He was 54.

    He had the most horrible life. He was such a cute little boy, so intelligent, but horrific mental illness tormented him. I would think at this point it was suicide.

    I am in terrible shape over my dear brother, Bill. There is no way I will ever recover at all from this terrible news piled upon all the problems I have to endure and overcome. My heart is beating irradically. I really can't take it. My dear sick brother. Bill, Bill, I always wanted to make it better for you. I know what real suffering is, as you well knew, and I know you appreciated my efforts to help. Thank you for being there for me as no one else could. I'm sorry I was so sick these last years and couldn't be there for you. Oh, Bi;;...



    sarnian answered on 08/29/05:

    My dear MarySue,

    what a terrible news for you.
    I'm really very sorry to hear that, and offer hereby my deepest sympathy to you and the rest of your family.
    In the past I lost both parents, and - although we had regular contacts with each of them - at each occasion there was always that feeling of "if I only had ...."
    The memory of your brother will always be wioth you, deep in your heart.
    If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
    If you want to talk with me about it, just email me your number, and I'll give you a call.
    My thoughts are with you.

    (((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/28/05 - Vatican to Block Gay Priests

    Vatican plan to block gay priests

    Jamie Doward, religious affairs correspondent
    Sunday August 28, 2005
    The Observer

    "The new Pope faces his first controversy over the direction of the Catholic church after it was revealed that the Vatican has drawn up a religious instruction preventing gay men from being priests.

    The controversial document, produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the body overseeing the church's training of the priesthood, is being scrutinised by Benedict XVI.

    It been suggested Rome would publish the instruction earlier this month, but it dropped the plan out of concern that such a move might tarnish his visit to his home city of Cologne last week.

    The document expresses the church's belief that gay men should no longer be allowed to enter seminaries to study for the priesthood. Currently, as all priests take a vow of celibacy, ***their sexual orientation has not been considered a pressing concern***.""


    I think this is good news for the Catholic Church.
    Do you have any interesting comments to make?

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:

    It IS a change
    The WRONG change.
    The RIGHT decision would be to allow married men into the priesthood.
    A still BETTER decision would be to allow both married men and women into the priesthood.
    This will reduce the pressuring need for more priests, let celibate become a prefered but not enforced lifestyle, and reduce automatically the priest shortage because of the current celibate rules.

    Child abuse has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
    Sex abusers can be as well homosexual as heterosexual.

    With pleasure I will be in Rome, at the announcement of the next pope : "Habum Mama"?
    I'm sure God has no problem with that.
    About 130+ grumpy old men I'm not so sure ....

    :)


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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 08/28/05 - Time for another abuse report???

    Krewton/jjDupree in responding to sarnians question on the Robertson appointment...MULTIPLE rated his newest buddy, booger...TWENTY TIMES with five star ratings. I have reported this abuse of the rating system, and I urge every expert who CARES about answerway to do the same. If you recall, before his last suspension, Krewton was allowed to spew his filth with impunity...until he began perverting the rating system..at which he was suspended almost immediately. This is the time to use those abuse buttons.
    And this is the time for us to see whether bucker is the REAL Christian he claims to be, who refuses to accept the abuse of the Christianity board...or a pseudo Christian who backs up his foul-mouthed "newest friend" and accepts the perverting of the rating system. Anyone want to place a few bets???

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:

    Just pulling in here some what later than the rest, I see.

    What's going on, Aton?
    Buckers apologizing, JJD giving you 5 stars ...
    Had the right wing perhaps a weekend congress where they decided to follow Pat?
    Do they realize they went too far?
    Of course it's fine with me, but I wait a couple of days before I believe it ...

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/28/05 - Time for a change.

    I for one think it is time for a change. Now, before anyone get into an uproar, let me say this. I am talking about me. Yes, ME.
    #1 from this day forward, I will never give anything but five stars, I do not care what kind of language, anti Amreica remarks, anti Jesus remarks, or anti me remarks. This does not mean that I am agreeing, or condoning, the remarks. It just means that I will not respond in a negative way.
    #2 I am apologizing to all that I have had a run-in with. And that means you Aton, sarnian, and excon. Just to name three. There will be no more. Now this does not mean that I will not stand up for what I believe in. It just means that I will try my best to reply in a decent way. If I do not like the response, I will just rate it and not answer.
    #3 That is it.... :-)

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:

    Thanks, bucker.

    Apology accepted.
    As far as I'm concerned you may believe anything, religiously or polically.
    Just please don't play a christian. Be one, or be something else. Whatever you want.

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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/28/05 - Jesus!

    In many words, if you feel like responding when you read or hear this word Jesus. How does this word make you feel, how do you act and how do you describe the feeling you get.

    Thank you in advance
    Joe

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:


    Dear Joe,

    there is no other feeling here than when I hear the names of Tom, Dick, or Harry.
    Of course there is the aspect of the historic figure of Jesus, the prophet.
    But that's all.

    Does that feeling worry or upset you?


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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/28/05 - Translations!

    Years and years of the bible being translated to new languages and the wording always been changed to help the newer generations to understand the bible better. Do you believe it has changed the way the bible should read? Changed meanings? Changed in what is being taught. I personally have noticed a difference between the older versions and the newer versions and for some reason the older versions of the bible speaks to me a lot stronger then the newer version. What do you think about this and does translations and re translations take away from the teachings of the bible? Thank you in advance!

    Joe

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:


    Dear Joe,

    Specially in early copies of the bible personal interpretations were included (even existing texts replaced) by those who did the copying work.
    Add to that the deliberate and accidental translation mistakes.
    The resulting bible AD 2005 can never be the actual "word of god".
    At best it is the popular human version of what is claimed to be the "word of god".

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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/28/05 - Christianity!

    What does Christianity mean to you? Many people here have different ideas about what it exactly means and what it means to you personally. I would love to hear from everybody.

    Joe

    sarnian answered on 08/28/05:

    Dear Joe,

    I'm trying to answer your question as honestly as I can, and I hope you accept this reply from that perspective.

    I have NOTHING against the christian religion, although I do not share the belief.
    I have NOTHING against people who are christians, whatever you understand that to be.
    I have EVERYTHING against people who misuse christiantiy in their attempts to further their own personal ideas and policies.

    Specially if people do that in the name of Jesus.
    JC deserves better than support from these hypocrites.

    Nobody is without mistakes, surely I make many.
    But I do not make deliberately mistakes at the expense of others.

    We are all looking for a way through life, a way that is pleasant to us and to others.
    JC suggested several ways for that, but always included that we should ensure that we take good care of our (wordly) brethren (and sisters too, of course).
    And if I than see a message of hatred and selfishness posted on this board by some self-proclaimed "christian", that ends with "I love Jesus", I would expect not only the vocal non-christian participants to react openly with criticism, but also the "silent majority" of christians on this board to do the same, may it be in a different way.
    But they did not. And with that they blamished their own format of christianity.

    Whatever your christian belief, whatever your christian level of faith, if people here keep silent on such posts (f.i. because they are americans themselves, or because they furtively agree with the message) they thereby place these ideas ABOVE their christian belief. In my book that means that you are either a very "bad" christian, or not a christian at all.

    Being a Christian means that you follow the guidance provided in the bible, specifically those in the NT.
    Being a Christian means that you live your life accordingly to that guidance.
    Nobody will be perfect, as I already stated.
    But if you do not at least try to follow these guidance lines, you're only playing to be a christian.

    Sarnian, freethinker at heart, social in deeds, honest and vocal to all.

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    Question/Answer
    Pete_Hanysz asked on 08/27/05 - Is this what Jesus died for?

    http://www.crownoflifeministries.com/

    sarnian answered on 08/27/05:


    Yes Pete, it is.
    Jesus died to ensure that the US will have sufficient supplies of all required resources, at the expense of the rest of humanity, till the end of times.

    At least, that is it if I understand bucker correctly!
    How embarrassing it must be to be a christian at this board.

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/27/05 - So long, it hasn't been good to know you...

    I can see what others have said. This is a hate America board. And a hate Bush board. I have had enough of your griping.

    sarnian answered on 08/27/05:

    Sorry you feel that way.
    But it's NOT a hate america board.
    And it's NOT a hate Bush board.

    It's the christianity board.
    A board where hypocrisy is for many not welcome.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/27/05 - Sarnian,

    When you get the discussion forum page, the 'ask a auestion' button is for the QB not the forum

    You have to click on 'add new topic.'

    I made that mistake once, but then, like you,. I am not a buckeye American, only a pathetic European ignoramus.

    sarnian answered on 08/27/05:


    Thanks Ronnie.
    I followed the suggestion and got it finally right on the forum!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/26/05 - Writings.

    First, I would like to know if it is alright to post christian wrinings here? Is it against the rules? Is there anyone opposed to this? Also I would like to know what do points mean. How do you earn them? Or are they posted for something bad?

    sarnian answered on 08/26/05:

    Dear bucker :

    1. First, I would like to know if it is alright to post christian wrinings here?

      wrinings are perfect, writings are debatable, whinings are expected.

    2. Is it against the rules?

      wrinings are not yet seen here, serious writings are not , whinings are normal here.

    3. Is there anyone opposed to this?

      I've not seen any postings by "this".

    4. Also I would like to know what do points mean.

      points : an apparatus for trains to change direction ; good qualities of a horse ; legs of a horse .

    5. How do you earn them?

      I've no idea.

    6. Or are they posted for something bad?

      ditto.
      But there's lot's of "bad" here.

    :))))))))))

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/26/05 - Message from Dorothy - (revdauphine)

    For some reason I cant get any further than the sign on page ,

    I have e mailed answerway several times but they never ANSWER MY E MAILS AM AT A LOSS AS TO HOW TO GET BACK ON.

    I SURE MISS YALL (sory for the caps)

    Dorothy

    Has anyone any suggestions that I can send her? Has she been booted?

    sarnian answered on 08/26/05:


    I'll "Private Question" you the instructions.
    I don't want JJD to find out how to get back here!



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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/26/05 - It seems the Old Testament is still in vogue

    Three church leaders jailed for bashing woman
    August 26, 2005 - 12:21PM

    Three leaders at a Korean church in Sydney's north have been jailed over the bashing of a female church member who did not attend regular services.

    Junior assistant pastor Chi Yeong Yun, 37, and bible study teachers Tom Chae-Yong Lee, 22, and James Kang, 21, from the Open Door Korean Church at Chatswood, pleaded guilty to assaulting 19-year-old Angela Kim in July last year.

    In the NSW District Court today, acting Judge Joe Gibson gave Yun, described as the architect of the plan, a 12-month jail term while Lee and Kang were sentenced to up to six months.

    All three had served some time in custody although were on bail in the leadup to the trial.

    On July 8, 2004, Ms Kim was kicked and punched by the three men at a park in Bobbin Head in Sydney's north leaving her with extensive bruising to her arms, legs and buttocks.

    During the trial, the court was told Ms Kim had not been attending church and was generally perceived to be disrespecting her elders.

    In evidence during the trial, Kang told the court their intention was to help Ms Kim but it got out of hand.

    He said he knew it was wrong and that it would not happen again.

    In the future if people had problems he would attempt to counsel them using the teachings of the bible, Kang said.

    AAP

    It's apparent some part of Christ's teachings hasn't taken here

    sarnian answered on 08/26/05:


    These little but hot-blazing Korean's!
    I remember several newsshots on fighting in their Parliament, where many representative were beating each other up over the benches, in front of the camera's.
    But of course elders should have at least some restraint.

    I ask myself what brings these people to let them go that far.
    It seems to be part of their culture, you would think.
    How sad!

    Mrs. Kim hopefully recovered completely, both physical and mental.


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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/25/05 - *** Christianity *** Settling the board down ...

    I have an idea (that doesn't happen very often!). Those who wish to sign on or contribute in any way to the Christianity Board should be required to lodge a $500.00 deposit with AW management.

    For every infranction of the Rules and Regs, a deduction of, say, $50.00 is extracted and used to defray expenses of the webmasters.

    Regular offenders and those who use foul language would be fined on an exponentially increasing scale.

    I appreciate that this should have been forumed, but many of the worst offenders don't go there, so I seek indulgence for posting it here where all may read it.

    This is not censorship, only the judicial application of voluntary consequences for wrong choices.

    Personal sexual references would result in the whole lump being forfeited and gifted to the person who is the target of the obscenity.

    sarnian answered on 08/25/05:

    Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Why ONLY $ 500,00 deposit and $ 50,00 deductions?
    I suggest to raise these amounts to a minimum of $ 500.000 deposit and $ 50.000 deductions.
    Better still : $ 10 million deposit and $ 1 million deductions.

    Why deposit the money at AW?
    I hereby make myself available as treasurer.

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 08/25/05 - ASK YOURSELF :



    Who am I? Where am I going? And what am I really meant to be doing with my life?

    This has to do with DESTINY, the path you're meant to take in life.

    HANK

    sarnian answered on 08/25/05:


    If you have to ask yourself "Who am I", how the heck would I know "Where am I going"? :)

    But serious : it all depends on how you perceive your function and targets in life, and what your plans were when you were young. I've seen too many questions on the "purpose of life" ending in mystical dream sessions.

    At the other hand : for so far as I understand, most of us don't bother too much any more on our precise path of life.
    We're already glad if we just - without too many problems - can reach the nearby finish!

    :)))

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/25/05 - I'm leaving. I just can't stand it any longer ...

    ...

    But I'll be back as soon as I have eaten breakfast!

    :)

    sarnian answered on 08/25/05:

    Where are the snoozies ????????? :)

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/25/05 - forgiveness

    As Christians, aren't we supposed to forgive? It seems not, when someone is a Christian. Mr. Robertson
    admitted that he made a mistake, but he still thinks the man should not be trusted in power. He is another Sadam. Some here jumped right on his back. Why, didn't you ever make a mistake? I know that he is in a high position, but then so is Prseident Bush. I believe this to be unamerican activity. It is alright to express your opinion, but is is alright to keep beating someone to death. No, it is not. I see people who profess to believe in God, do the same thing. I don't necessarily mean here. I repeat, it is cowardly to say disgraceful things about someone behind their back. They should go to their face, if they want to be bold. Again, I am not speaking about any specific person, or persons. But if the shoe fits, wear it.

    sarnian answered on 08/25/05:


    It is not important if we poor souls make mistakes, bucker. Of course we do. We all do.
    And as Robertson as an individual on some private party makes such a mistake, it is neither important (though, seen his position, very dumb).

    But if Robertson in his own program on television states such unacceptable lines as "taking Mr. Chavez, the Venezuelan President, out" it for sure IS IMPORTANT.
    Because in that television program he spoke on behalf of many christians, on behalf of christianity in general, and his influence on many people is great, much too great.

    Mr. Robertson is - seen his speech - a hate monging - fundamental "christian" who calls for unlawful actions.
    As such he should be prosecuted. And it is irrelevant that when he realised his mistake that he quickly publicly took back his previous terrible suggestions.

    Next to that : it is alright to express your opinion, AS LONG AS YOU STAY WITHIN THE LEGAL LIMITS.
    Robertson deliberately and knowingly went way further, and jumped several federal laws, laws specially set-up recently to fight fundamental terrorism.
    Laws Robertson himself approved of openly, when fundamentalism was mainly considered to be of non-christian origin.

    And so people on this board are commenting. Of course they do.
    Everything Christianity stands for has been stained by Robertsons speech.
    Many fortunately see it as it is, and reject Robertsons actions openly and clearly.

    Your post however does not make any sense to me. It even worries me.
    If Sheik Whomever would have stated on televison what Robertson did, fundamental christians would already have burned his house, pitched and featered the Sheik, and chased him and his family out of the US.
    But now christian funamentalist mr. Robertsen stated these terrible words on television, we suddenly have to understand that, and show christian forgiveness?

    For someone so long involved in christianity, and active in bible translations, that attitude is near unbelievable, totally unexplainable, and utter rejectable.
    Can you tell me please where in the NT it is stated that if you do not like someone, you may "TAKE HIM OUT"?
    You state often that you are a christian.
    Doesn't your post indicate that that is not true ?

    Yesterday I had a post about hypocrisy.
    Did you perhaps miss that post?

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/25/05 - The attributes of a Pastor

    It has come to our attention that the pastor you received was shipped with a slight defect: he is not psychic. This defect necessitates certain special procedures to ensure optimum performance of your unit.

    1. It is necessary to inform him of any members who are hospitalized.
    2. It is necessary to inform him of any members who should be added to the "shut-in" list.
    3. If someone you know is sick or otherwise in need of the pastor's prayers, or if you know of someone who should be included in the prayers on Sunday morning, the pastor must be told, or he won't know.
    4. If you are in need of a pastoral visit or some other service from the pastor, you will get best results if you ask him.

    We regret any inconvenience this may cause. If these special procedures create an undue burden, please feel free to send the unit back, and one with full psychic abilities will be shipped as soon as one becomes available.

    sarnian answered on 08/25/05:


    I'm against that sending back of the unit.
    Let them complain. The unit is doing her utmost to adapt and carry out her duties.

    And I like my wife and want to keep her, no matter her psychic faillures!

    At the other hand :
    Maybe I should first look in the brochure for the new models .....

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/24/05 - I'm sorry but I'm unrepentent

    Robertson apologizes for assassination call
    Broadcaster finds thread from Saddam to Chavez

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Posted: 2323 GMT (0723 HKT)


    Pat Robertson discusses his comments about Venezuela's president on Wednesday.


    (CNN) -- After two days of criticism, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson apologized for his controversial suggestion that the United States should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement," Robertson said. "I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

    But he compared Chavez to Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Adolph Hitler and quoted German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "[That if a madman were] driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver."

    Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis for his involvement in a 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.

    Robertson's rationale for his statement remained unchanged.

    "I said before the war in Iraq began that the wisest course would be to wage war against Saddam Hussein, not the whole nation of Iraq," Robertson said. "When faced with the threat of a comparable dictator in our own hemisphere, would it not be wiser to wage war against one person rather than finding ourselves down the road locked in a bitter struggle with a whole nation?"

    So far there has been no reaction from Venezuela to Robertson's apology.

    Earlier Wednesday, on his "The 700 Club" program, Robertson said the media had taken his remarks out of context.

    "I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP [Associated Press], but that happens all the time," Robertson said on "The 700 Club." (Watch video)

    The controversy began Monday when Robertson called Chavez "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. (Full story)

    "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." (Watch Robertson's comments)

    "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," he said. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

    Chavez, a close ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has said in the past he believes the United States is trying to kill him and vowed that Venezuela, which accounts for more than 10 percent of U.S. oil imports, would shut off the flow of oil if that happened.

    Tuesday, the Venezuelan leader shrugged off Robertson's comments during a trip to Cuba.

    "I don't know who that person is," he said. "I don't know him, and as far as his opinion of me goes, I couldn't care less."

    And Venezuela's ambassador to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez, said Robertson was "no ordinary private citizen" and demanded the White House strongly condemn the remarks.

    I suppose when you are wrong you are wrong and you might as well stay wrong. Is Chavez anything like Hitler or Saddam or is it that he doesn't kow tow to Uncle Sam that has this fellow worried, perhaps he will have to pay more to fuel his Caddie. Can we expect a new barrage of cruise missiles now that surgical strikes have been approved by Robertson

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    Indeed paraclete, when P.R. is wrong, he really is wrong, and he surely will remain wrong.
    That's the telltalesign of a "true" fundamentalist, whatever religion they adhere to.

    Chavez is not like Hitler or Saddam.
    He is that what the poor people of Venezuela hoped for.
    At last a president for all, and not only for the super-rich!
    And yes, of course such a man has also negative sides to him. Who doesn't?
    But in total? If Venezuela would hold elections next month, Chavez will win hands down!

    Of course Uncle Sam is worried.
    Venezuela holds the world's biggest oil reserves!
    And Chavez is not exactly Uncle Sam's friend.
    Nor dubbleyou's friend.
    So I guess the "gringo's" indeed will have to pay much more for fuel.

    On that question of a new barrage of cruise missiles : well, that all depends on doubleyou's advisers : maybe they still have another plan in the drawers ....

    And on the 700 club : imagine : there could be 699 more of that kind .....

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    Bradd asked on 08/24/05 - WOW! What a board!

    I should come here more often.

    Anybody know Kumbaya?

    Seriously tho folks, the pleasure has been mostly mine.

    For those who disagree with me, please do it with a bit more panache.

    For those who agree with me, awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    Kumbaya, My Lord, Kumbaya (the "Lord" there is non-sectarian - don't want to get the folks riled up)

    Nice to have some atheists here. They hone the edges of Christian wit. (Calm down, Aton, you'll have your chance at me in a moment).

    (I was gonna say something funny about CeeBee, but the last time I did that, I got crucified - just an expression, don't get upset).

    Anyway, nice to be back.

    OK, my question. Should George move the Stadium over to Macombs Dam Park? I say NO!

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:

    Bradd,

    indeed you should come more often here. You're welcome.
    However: I can't give you any guarantees that there will be more such days!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/24/05 - Offensive

    Reuters is a news sevice; the following is a story off the wire:


    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Billionaire television producer John de Mol, behind the pioneer show Big Brother, will test the limits of reality TV with a program in which a woman searches for a potential sperm donor to conceive a child.

    His new TV station Talpa, launched earlier this month, confirmed it will air a program called "I want your child ... and nothing else!" but gave no further details about the show due at 1830 GMT Wednesday.

    "The plan is that we visit potential donors and -- of course on camera -- decide which man is most suitable," the 30-year old woman who will feature in the program said in an interview with De Telegraaf newspaper.

    "Afterwards there will be artificial insemination," said the woman who was identified only as "Yessica" and who has bought a house with a room for a child.


    De Telegraaf also published an email address for men wanting to donate sperm to Yessica.

    How many ways can this show be offfensive?
    Comments?

    To me it is a total marginalization of men.




    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    Knowing the dutch rather well, I do not think that many of them will be offended, other than by the time of airing.

    After 10 PM several commercial dutch TV channels show soft porn programs, interrupted by rather explicit contact advertisements.

    Even hard porn can be seen, though most of that is on payTV.
    Sex is considered a normal activity, and on many bus or trains you can hear clear reviews of yesterday's bedroom activities, without any inhibition told by fellow travellers.

    Last month I visited a dutch beach, where topless girls and women were in the majority. It surely beats the US prudishness (while the US is the worlds biggest sex photo/film/video exporter).

    So I do not expect this show to be assumed as offense by many, other than the remaining fundamental christians there.

    The time of airing could be problematic, as many young children watch tv at that time.
    I guarantee that the program soon will be aired after 10 pm, once families decide to switch channels away from Tampa because of the airing time.

    I saw on the net that Tampa is rather controversial at the moment.
    It desperately tries to gain viewers, who angry switched away from Tampa when they started to add too many adds in between soccermatch reviews. THAT was felt offensive!

    Marginalisation? No. It's part of the typical dutch feeling of freedom of the individual, that's part of their psyche.
    Neither in Belgium or in Germany you see that openness.

    Nowhere else you see so LITTLE (sex) neurosis or drug dependence (another dutch feature) as in the Netherlands.
    Good for them, maybe strange to others !


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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/24/05 - Free Speech?

    The following is a cut and paste from Agape Press. Please don't go ballistic and name call me. Thanks.

    "- A federal judge has told an Ohio school district it can no longer bar a middle school student from wearing a t-shirt with a Christian message.

    Judge George Smith has ruled that Sheridan Middle School in Thornville violated the constitutional rights of student James Nixon by prohibiting him from wearing a t-shirt bearing a quote from the Bible verse John 14:6. The front of the shirt reads: "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'" The back of the shirt contains the statements: "Homosexuality is sin. Islam is a lie. Abortion is murder."

    My question about this article is:

    Do you think middle school is the place for expressing religious views?

    Do children have the same rights as adults; they don't have the same responsibilities?

    Comments welcome....

    Although no complaints were filed over Nixon's t-shirt, a few school officials -- described by the student's attorney as "overzealous" -- deemed its message may be "offensive" to some individuals and "potentially disruptive," and thus could not be displayed.

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    I wonder what the Court would say if the shirt read :

    Front : Allaahu Akbar
    Back : Ash Hadu anna Muhamadar rasuulullah

    Would that also be allowed?

    What's good for the goose ....

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 08/24/05 - For those who are anti-creationists...............

    What is the scietific word for creation?
    The creation idea started with the first part of the bible, "In the beginning God CREATED heaven and earth"
    Evolution has not and cannot explain the creation of the universe. Creation exists. There is no other name or word for it. Some have said the "Big Bang" is creation.
    Fine! It is still creation!
    There is creation theory and creation theology, but there is always "creation".
    Accept it or reject it creation will still exist.
    Without it nothing would exist as we see it today.
    Peace and kindness,
    Fred

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    Dear Fred,

    1. Are there really anti-creationists? I don't think so.
      Creationists may BELIEVE whatever the believe.
      The problem with creationists is that they INSIST that there is no other way than creation for life to exist today.
      You may BELIEVE in creation from me, no problem.
      But the only way to explain the presence of life on earth? Than PROVE that claim. PROVE that without using belief as supporting evidence.
      What you suggest to be anti-creationists are most probably people who accept a more scientific explanation for our existence.

    2. The creation idea started with the first part of the bible".

      That is correct. And that is precisely the reason why many people reject creation as there is no supporting proof for the bible's correectness. You either believe it or you don't.
      But that it is in the bible does not make it a fact.

    3. Evolution has not and cannot explain the creation of the universe

      That is correct.
      And therefore evolution does not get involved at all with the origin of the universe.
      And therefore evolution does not get involved at all with the origin of life on earth.
      Evolution describes the DEVELOPMENT of life on earth, starting with the first lifeform.
      That's all evolution does.
      So please do not confuse the issue by suggestion that evolution is about anything else but the DEVELOPMENT of life on earth (starting with the first lifeform).

    4. Creation exists. There is no other name or word for it.

      Creation exists in belief. There is no supported PROOF that creation happened.
      Just as there is no PROOF that God exists and is the great creator.
      It may be, or it may not be. But there is no PROOF for that claim. It's all BELIEF.

    5. Some have said the "Big Bang" is creation.

      I never heard anyone stating that, unless you mean with this some non-religious based form of creation.

    6. There is creation theory and creation theology, but there is always "creation".

      There is the creation claim, but it is not supported by any evidence.
      The creation claim was developed in the late 1880 by a group of christian anti-darwinists who feared christianity being hurt by the consequences of the evolution theory. All claims by this group are based on belief. It's pseudo-scientific arguments are wild claim, totally unsupported in a real scientific way.
      Creation theology is based on the bible, i.e. on BELIEF. There is no supporting evidence for this theology other than belief.

    7. Accept it or reject it creation will still exist.

      Nobody denies it exists. Nevertheless creation remains a CLAIM, unless supporting evidence other than belief is provided.

    8. Without it (creation) nothing would exist as we see it today.

      That is incorrect. That is the creationists view, a religion/belief based claim.
      There may be other explanations for the existence of life on earth.
      It is not about what YOU believe, it is all about supporting evidence, nothing else.


    Dear Fred :

    You may - of course - believe in God.
    You may - of course - believe in creation.

    But without supported proof both God's existence and Creation are CLAIMS, not FACTS.
    For facts you need supporting proof.
    So if you have any such supporting proof, why don't you supply us with that supporting proof?

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 08/24/05 - Jews


    Hello Christians:

    Did you notice how the Jews behaved? Can you imagine how Christians would have behaved - if the behavior here is an example?

    God, I love being Jewish!!!

    excon

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    If you only look at what happened over the last week you can say that.
    Though the settlers misused their own children to try to defeat the clearance (thereby most probably creating hugh mental problems in their children).
    And if you look at the bigger picture you can ask why in the past 35 years the government allowed the settlements to build up.

    I have no idea how christians would behave under similar circumstances.

    Why do you love being Jewish?
    I am also of Jewish descend, but it's unimportant to me.

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    Question/Answer
    MaggieB asked on 08/24/05 - Is this not the word of God?

    God's Word To You today is from Titus 3:1-7 NLT:

    Remind your people to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

    Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us.

    But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declared us not guilty because of his great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    It all depends on how you interpret the bible, in this case the NT.
    If you accept that all content was inspired and therefore the word of god, yes than your quotation is indirectly the word of god.
    Many will say it was written by the apostles, humans, so not perfect. And as such there may be mistakes or misinterpretations in the bible.

    Living conditions around the first century were different.
    With the overwhelming power of the Roman Empire it was not very smart to stand up against the government.
    Today we have (in the west) a society based on democracy.
    So the government is no longer some by god supported institute. The government of today is us.
    Today we have the duty to control the government, to ensure that WE do right.
    Unfortunately WE do not do a good job on controlling our own representation.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/24/05 - *** Christianity *** In praise of a brave Muslim

    Top honour for man shot by robber
    Aug 24 2005
    By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner


    A HAVE-A-GO hero who was killed as he tried to foil an armed robbery has been given a top posthumous honour.

    Father-of-two Tasawar Hussain [a Muslim], 36, who worked at British Car Auctions in Brighouse, has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

    The award was presented to his seven-year-old daughter Haarisah Hussain by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, on behalf of the Queen.

    Haarisah's sister, Rasia, and mother Naila were also at the moving ceremony in Bradford City Hall.

    Tasawar was killed by a single shot through his heart after trying to stop armed robbers who had struck at Madina Travel in Manningham, Bradford in January, 2003.

    The robbers got away with £40,000, and Mr Hussain pursued them in a car with his best friend, Azram Hussain.

    Mrs Hussain said yesterday: "Not a day goes by without me thinking of him.

    "For my two little girls, they will never have a dad again."

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:

    Dear Ronnie,

    I'm glad you posted that.
    It's for all to see (and we should know that already of course) that we should not make generalisations on groups of people, as in every group there are good people and there may be bad people.

    Mr. Hussain proved by his actions that he was a honourable man.
    At least his life-costing deed was acknowledged by society.

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 08/24/05 - Do we practice what we preach?

    Hello Everyone,

    I don't apologize for my directness and stern approach to JJD's language, however, I do apologize for my saying some of the things I said about JJD. I don't know him but I think I know who he is. I apologize because I am allowing his comments and language to anger me. I try not to say negative things about others, but I have allowed JJD's filth to get to me. Instead I must practice what I preach. As a Christian I am taught to speak with respect and consisderation to all people, Christian, non-Christian, kindness, respect, love should be shown to all.

    I do not agree with such language but I refuse to allow JJD or anyone else on this board to make me into a kind of person I am not. So JJD, I apologize if I afffended you but I do not condone you language. I will though practice what I preach, rather then get angry at you and say things that are not Christian, I will just report you.

    I ask everyone else on this board to do the same. This is a mind game that JJD is playing and if we allow ourselves to get caught up into it, we will be lowering ourselves. Instead let us practice what we preach, if we believe in kindness, love and showing respect, then lets continue to do that and leave those who wish to curse and play games to Answerway to deal with. Report
    them and they will go away soon.

    What do you think?
    Take care,
    Hope12

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    Dear Hope,

    I have long been thinking about what you stated.
    In the end I had however to disagree with you and your views in this.

    JJD was not provoked. He appeared on this board suddenly out of nowhere, and started immediately with his barrage of verbal abuse to several people.
    He had a 'good' training in doing so previously as "Krewton" and "Khoral".

    Christianity is about love and forgiving, and I'm sure that nobody here is cursing JJD into 'hell' or all kinds of terrible diseases.
    But do we have to accept this childih rudeness of a self-proclaimed 37 year old?
    No of course. But there is nothing wrong with asking the management here to take action against him, actions the same management took against many of us here for much lesser wrongdoings.

    An eye for an eye? No.
    But a stiff correction? Yes.

    I see no reason at all to apologize to JJD for his crudeness and his neurotic approach to this board, specially in the light of his promise to come back again and start all over again.
    I wish JJD aka Krewton aka Khoral all the best in the mental institute he hopefully will visit soon, and hope to see him back as a normal civilised board member in the future.
    Till that time I will report every abuse from his hand immediately to the board management, whatever new handle he will use.
    With his verbal usage you can pick him out in minutes.

    Question to you, Hope :

    Don't you think that correcting is a better way to educate than condoning?
    And although no-one is "desperate" here :

    'Desperate cases require desperate remedies!'

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/24/05 - Preaching hatred has consequences.

    Government prepared to 'get inside' mosques
    August 24, 2005 - 8:29PM


    Mosques and Islamic schools will be targeted by intelligence agencies as the federal government tries to stamp out homegrown terrorism and extremists.

    Prime Minister John Howard said on top of trying to promote Australian values in Islamic schools, the government would monitor what was said in certain schools and mosques to ensure they did not foster terrorism.

    Asked whether he was prepared to "get inside" mosques and schools to ensure there was no support for terrorism, Mr Howard was blunt.

    "Yes, to the extent necessary," Mr Howard told Southern Cross radio.

    "I have no desire and nor is it the government's intention to interfere in any way with the freedom or practice of religion.

    "We have a right to know whether there is, within any section of the Islamic community, a preaching of the virtues of terrorism, whether any comfort or harbour is given to terrorism within that community."

    Mr Howard this week met Muslim leaders in Canberra, agreeing to work on a national strategy to address intolerance and the promotion of violence.

    New ASIO head Paul O'Sullivan was involved in the talks, which included some discussion of improving links with the Muslim community.

    Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network convenor Waleed Kadous told AAP there was no evidence to suggest there was a terrorist problem in mosques or schools.

    "I don't know why he is resorting to such tough kind of measures when frankly he could consult with members of the community," Mr Kadous said.

    "He had the opportunity to do that yesterday but he chose not just to ignore radicals, who are a very small minority, but a broad section of the community and, for example, he didn't invite anyone from the schools sector.

    "Such hardline talk only isolates some parts of the Muslim community even further and makes it harder for cooperation between the Muslim community and the government."

    Islamic School of Canberra chairman Ikebal Patel told AAP he believed current checks on what schools taught and who taught in them were rigorous.

    "Every school in Australia, whether in the ACT or other states, has to go through the rigorous process of registration with the education department," he said.

    Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said conditions should be put on school funding to ensure that young Australians were not taught with inflammatory material.

    "Labor believes funding for schools should also be conditional upon ensuring students are not exposed to extremist material or teachings," Mr Beazley said.

    Education Minister Brendan Nelson and Citizenship Minister John Cobb will spend the next few weeks meeting Islamic leaders to flesh out the summit's proposals, including ways of training imams in Australia and ensuring schools teach Australian values.

    Dr Nelson said steps were needed to ensure the minds of students in Islamic schools were not poisoned by fundamentalism.

    He will also propose at a meeting with vice-chancellors and Muslim leaders next month plans to support more imams being educated in Australian universities.

    "(This is) so muftis and the imams we have teaching the Islamic faith and values in Australia, whether in schools or any other place, are people that are Australians, understand know and live Australian values and have been taught in an Australian environment," Dr Nelson said.

    Meanwhile, Dr Nelson said, Muslims in Australia who did not want to accept local values should "clear off".

    AAP

    Now this is an interesting development for a government which constitutionally can make no law regarding the conduct of religion, you see that unchecked extremism is taking us places we don't want to go. The battle lines are drawn and in a place I didn't expect. Christians should ask themselves how long before the government is looking inside churches

    sarnian answered on 08/24/05:


    Dear Paraclete,

    I'm amazed that they did not do that already.
    Here mosques are already told that the preaching has to be in the local language and that the moulah's have to be registered, speak the local language, and commit themselves to the local laws (or be kicked out).
    At the same times these rules were of course also introduced for churches, synagogues, temples, etc. etc.
    Freedom of/from religion, yes, but within the democratic limits set for your country.

    It's not a question of new laws regarding religion.
    It's about staying within the existing laws of the country.

    I am worried though because the freedom of speech has been reduced for all - and may even further be reduced - and nobody wants to live under the control of "big brother".

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 08/23/05 - Been gone. Now obviously I'm back. BUT it's sad....

    Many new posts in the last week while I've been gone.
    I see we have a new person posting here who is demonstrating how not to be a Christian.
    I speak of one who calls himself JesseJamesDupree.
    Let us all not shoot him in the back as was done to the real Jesse James.
    Rather let's just let him have it up front. We do not need, want, or welcome someone who uses the sort of language or filthy attacks he has demonstrated.
    Let Peace and kindness rain on his parade,
    Fred

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    Welcome back Fred.

    JJD is nobody else but Krewton - who was already blocked.
    I still don't know why he blew his top here on the board.
    But coming back as JJD a couple of days ago his language became rather uncivilised.
    I guess this time his IP address will be blocked.
    Back to the questions and replies, than!

    BTW : did you go on holiday? To the mountains?
    I must have missed that.

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    Question/Answer
    JesseJamesDupree asked on 08/23/05 - If I get it fer cussin'

    Then Aton and Saranian should git it fer promotin' false religion, and criticizing all things you good Christians represent. What's good enuf fer the goose is good enough fer the gander, now come on Answerway and give it to me!!!!

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    What a hypocrite posting!

    This board is to discuss all matters relating to christianity, and not for christian chatter only.
    Everyone may post accordingly to his/her personal views, within the limits set for all by this board.
    So Aton and I are completely within the board rules.

    What is however NOT permitted is to post the following offensive language (your rating comment to my CIVILISED reply on the Iraq disaster question) :

    • mind your own business you greasy foreign sand nigger.
      We can take care of business here.
      Only thing I'd like to see is for our President to shove an ICBM up your queer ass.
      You wouldn't have time to enjoy it though you european fag

    What about posting 15 black stars within 2 days to my various reply posts?
    And what about all the similar barrages of verbal abuse to several other people for no reason at all?.

    What is sad to see is the crawling and servile messages from certain "christians" here, who cry big crocodile tears to see you off.

    Just try to find professional help. You need it.

    Goodbye Krewton.

    Now you may post your last black star.

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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 08/23/05 - Who speaks for the filthmonger?????
    Who speaks against the filthmonger???

    The filthmonger who posts as Jesse James Dupree, posted last week that "If you beleive on Jesus Christ, you will get to Heaven"...
    He has since posted four of the filthiest obscenities that this board has ever seen...attacking two other experts. Where is the Christian indignation that one who claims to be one their own has stooped to spreading filth on the Christianity board and bringing Christianity into disrepute??????? The only one who has had the courage to address this filth is 'sarnian'.....are there no other TRUE Christians on this board????????

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    JesseJamesDupree is an aka for Krewton, who was blocked earlier for similar activities.
    I have posted an abuse note to the board management.

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 08/23/05 - Iraq - DISASTER


    Hello Christians:

    So, how's it gonna feel to know that we fought a war to create an Islamofacist state?

    Our friends, Turkey are now gonna have to fight a war in the North with the Kurds, and our boys are in the middle of a civil war between two factions of Arabs who despise the other.

    What the hell are we doin???? And, is your great leader goin on another bike ride today???? Puleese!!

    excon

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:


    Well, your fellow country men recently reelected the guy. WHY?
    I hate to tell you, but almost all european leaders told your president before the Iraq invasion that you better stir up a hornest' nest than get in between warring islamic factions.
    The invasion was based on faulty argumentation, on lies, and on expected economic gain (oil).
    It was NOT done to free the Iraqi people from their dictator Sadam Hoessein.
    This civil war between muslim factions was to be expected.

    What I ask myself is : where are the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, and how many more young service men and women have to die or get hurt before this insanity is ended?
    Was Vietnam not enough?

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/23/05 - The positive side of life

    iving on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.

    How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.

    Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

    Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.

    Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?

    Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

    If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?

    You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

    Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

    Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.

    We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors....but they all exist very nicely in the same box.

    A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    "The positive side of life"

    That suggests that there is a negative side of life.
    I don't know such side.
    Life always is positive.
    Only people create negative aspects.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/22/05 - Bill Leak has done it again

    This is his cartoon on the Pope's announcement to hold the Youth Rally in Sydney in 2008


    http://www.news.com.au/cartoons/?from=ninews_leftnav

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    Parakeet,

    that must have been one of Leak's OFF DAYS, as the german rally was a great success, both in a religious and a commercial aspect.

    From what you post you seem to be a rather strange person.
    Regularly you post about your christian views, you write about your christian values, you let us know about your christian inspiration.
    But 5 minutes later you show your other side with ANTI-MUSLIM or ANTI-RCC or ANTI WHAT EVER ELSE.

    How do you combine all that negativism and hatred with being a christian?
    Are you REALLY considering yourself to be christian?
    Do you think to be a christian is mainly to speak about it, about your love for JC?
    Hasn't your own attitude and deeds just as well a lot to do with being a christian?

    Please tell me how you combine all these contrasting feelings in one mind.
    Amazing ....

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/22/05 - The price of freedom

    Habib stabbed near his home
    August 23, 2005 - 7:39PM


    Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib has been stabbed near his Sydney home.

    Mr Habib was walking home with his wife Maha at Guildford late on Sunday when he was bashed on the head from behind and stabbed in the stomach, the Seven Network reported tonight.

    Mr Habib, who was not seriously injured, believed he was targeted.

    Lifting his top to show a 6cm cut over his stomach, Mr Habib said he thought a man had come at him from the front with a knife.

    "He tried to stab me so many times and he keep going ... he got me in my left side," he told Seven.

    Mrs Habib said she believed there were three men dressed in black with hoods covering their heads.

    "They said something like 'Ah, that should keep you quiet'. What's meant by that?" she said.

    Mr Habib told the network the men could have murdered him but he believed they wanted only to menace him.

    "They hit me in my head from the back. If you want to kill me you can hit me from the back with knife, hit me in my kidney with knife and that's it, finish," he said.

    Mr Habib, who was detained at the United States' Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba along with fellow Australian David Hicks, was released in January this year after spending more than three years in detention.

    He was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001 on suspicion of terrorist activities and claims he was also taken to Egypt and tortured between November 2001 and February 2002.

    AAP

    There was a time when things like this didn't happen in my country. We are not a people to use the knife. While I don't like Mr Habib's politics, I don't sanction cowardly acts and bullying. This is the low attitude brought to this country by cowards and extremists, the acts of nazi's. Is it any wonder we say integrate or stay away? I wonder who wanted to silence him, al queda or the US?

    sarnian answered on 08/23/05:

    Your story of mr. Habib was interesting.
    Something that can not be said of your final commentary.

    1. There was a time when things like this didn't happen
      ... not in your, not in mine, not in other countries. Times simply and unfortunately have changed.

    2. We are not a people to use the knife.
      That is nonsense. You only require one knive wielding idiot.
      Ozzies are indeed not wellknown for knife wielding, more for beer drinking.
      And nobody suggest that suddenly all ozzies run around with a knife in their hands.
      But you almost suggest a national sainthood on Ozzies. Ridiculous.

    3. While I don't like Mr Habib's politics, I don't sanction cowardly acts and bullying.
      Notwithstanding what you posted earlier : although you stated differently elsewhere, you seem to condone clearly more from christian fundamentalist (like Pat Robertson) than from islamic fundamentalist.

    4. This is the low attitude brought to this country by cowards and extremists, the acts of nazi's.
      That is pure cr*p! People have been murdered ALSO in Oz for centuries for whatever reason.
      Your anti-muslim sentiments again!
      So you do not really mean what you stated under point 3, isn't it?

    5. Is it any wonder we say integrate or stay away?
      Your conclusion is based on an assumption, that muslims have done the attack,
      Do you have prove for that, or is it your own intolerance speaking here?

    6. I wonder who wanted to silence him, al queda or the US?
      AT LAST YOU ARE THINKING : YES, AL QUEDA, THE US, OR PERHAPS ONE OF YOUR OWN GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS?
      Once more you invalidate your own statements, this time under point 5, as you CLEARLY show here that you do not know who did it, but under point 5 already blamed the muslims (--> integrate or stay away <-- ) .

      With all respect parakeet, THINK before you WRITE, than THINK AGAIN, than READ what you wrote, than CORRECT it and/or REPHRASE, and only than PRESS the submit button.
      Your racial hatred goozes out of almost every post to this board.
      I find it highly offensive and most undignified on a CHRISTIAN board (and I'm not even a christian).

      Don't SAY you are a christian, try to BE a christian!


    :)

    PS : parakeet sounds fine for someone who deliberately keeps refusing to spell my handle correctly.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/22/05 - Them's fighting words?

    It seems my views on muslims are shared by some very influentual people. It's not hatred, it's just common sense.

    Firebrand clerics ordered out
    From:
    By Samantha Maiden

    August 23, 2005

    PETER Costello is urging radical Muslim clerics to leave Australia if they do not share the nation's values ahead of today's national terrorism summit organised by the Prime Minister.

    As Muslim leaders gather in Canberra to discuss the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, the Treasurer has warned Australia cannot afford to be ambivalent about the teachings of extremists.

    John Howard has urged Islamic leaders to take a greater role in rejecting violence but he has been more restrained than the Treasurer.

    "If you don't like those values, then don't come here. Australia is not for you," Mr Costello said yesterday.

    "This is the way I look at it: Australia is a secular society, with parliamentary law, part of the Western tradition of individual rights."

    In an interview with The Australian, Mr Costello said migrants needed to understand and respect the "core values" of democracy, a secular society and the equality of women.

    And he warned that Australia needed to be clear that the nation's core values would not change.

    "If you are looking for a country that practises theocracy, sharia law - which is anti-Western - there are those countries in the world ... you will be happy there. But you won't be happy in Australia."

    But he stopped short of supporting the deportation of radical Muslim leaders, in the wake of similar debates in Britain and France.

    Mr Howard said in Sydney that he would be reminding the Islamic leaders at the summit that "our common values as Australians transcend any other allegiances or commitments".

    He said Muslim leaders had a "particular responsibility" to make clear that Islam totally rejected violence and terrorism and that he wanted them to take ownership of the process of dealing with extremists' views.

    "The purpose of this meeting is to underline to the leadership of the Muslim community that it has responsibilities," Mr Howard said.

    He refused to budge on suggestions he should include extremists in the summit and said they would flood the media with extreme remarks.

    "It would undermine the good work of the leaders of 99 per cent of the Muslim community in Australia who are trying to do the right thing, are trying to work with their fellow Australians and don't want prominence given to extremists," he said.

    Kim Beazley and Labor foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said it was important to speak as widely as possible but said the Government would be receiving sensible advice on who should be included.

    "I want to see the determination that we're going to uphold respect for Australian values - Australian values of tolerance, Australian values of ensuring that we respect another person's rights, both in religious terms and their own dignity - and to make sure that this notion of respect is included in the curriculum of all schools," Mr Beazley said.

    Mr Costello also threw his support behind Australia maintaining a strong skilled migration policy. "Immigration overall helps our country in a security sense and an economic sense. I think there is an acceptance of immigration, more so than 10 years ago. I would like to see a strong immigration policy. I am not putting numbers on it."

    Earlier this month, the Treasurer said the notion that terrorists secured a reward in the afterlife for waging jihad against Westerners was "repulsive".

    Yesterday he said: "I have seen people that say they believe in sharia law and theocracy. If that's their view, don't come to this country. This one is not for you. I don't think we can afford to be ambivalent about this point to young people or anyone else."

    Foreign Minister Alexander Downer also compared fundamentalist Muslims to Nazis as he defended the decision not to invite radical clerics to today's summit."


    So there you have it, fundamentalist muslims are nazi's. The view expressed is not mine but that of a highly respected international politician. You see some people can see through the muslim agenda. It's not hatred, it's common sense.

    sarnian answered on 08/22/05:


    So there you have it, fundamentalist christians like Pat Robertson and his views are nazi's.
    That view expressed is mine. I do not hide behind others.
    You see some people can see through all the fundamentalist agenda's, muslim or christian or whatever else.
    It's not hatred, it's common sense.
    And an open mind.

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/22/05 - In Praise of Friends

    I am so thankful for my friend, Doris; I gave up the thought of ever having another real life friend, and then, she appeared!

    New friends can materialize when you least expect it. That is part of what is so fantastic. Just kinda knocking around in The Now, and then, a new friend!

    Have you made a new friend (not cyber)in the last year?
    Do you have a desire to offer praise for a special friend?
    What is your friend like(pick one if you have many)?
    Special words for friends?

    sarnian answered on 08/22/05:


    In my volunteer work in the hospice I make many friends, friends were for me it counts.
    People who just need a friendly word or a nice deed, while they wait for their life to end.

    That's what amazes me so much on this board : too much christian blether, too little real christian deeds.

    Glad you have found yourself a friend, while hopefully still around us for many years to come!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/22/05 - Robertson calls for Assassination 8-22-05

    The following is quoted from Pat Robertson.

    ROBERTSON: "There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.

    You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

    What is he thinking???

    Comments???

    sarnian answered on 08/22/05:


    Assuming this quotation is correct :

    Fundamentalists, especially the very vocal aggressive ones, be they muslim or christian, are dangerous people and should be taken care of by the judicial system.
    Just as this is not done by islamic countries in case of fundamental muslims, I expect nothing will be done about this by the current US government in the case of fundamental christians like Pat Robertson, even if they preach hatred.

    And than some people here on this board ask why christian blood has to flow.

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/22/05 - END OF ETHICS DEBATE?

    By Rick Weiss
    The Washington Post
    Updated: 1:10 a.m. ET Aug. 22, 2005

    "Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells — without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.

    The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells — such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers — to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

    The approach — details of which are to be published this week in the journal Science but were made public on the journal's Web site yesterday — is still in an early stage of development. But if further studies confirm its usefulness, it could offer an end run around the heated social and religious debate that has for years overshadowed the field of human embryonic stem cell research."

    Comments??

    sarnian answered on 08/22/05:


    No, that debate remains still very valid.

    Using cells that have devided many times (like most cells in the body) and reprogram them may give the cells "embryonic" features, which may SEEM phantastic.
    But old cells remain old cells.
    A cell can only divide upto 60-70 times, but that's it : no more divisions after that. The cell is old and will die.

    A real embryonic cell is not only "unprogrammed", but is also new (with zero divisions).
    It will last a lifetime.
    There is no use for replacement cells that will last you only one decade or so.

    So there will always be a need for real embryonic cells.

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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/21/05 - Money = Power?

    There are some who believe that Money = Power. I personally do not hold this believe because I do not believe money is more important then our family, our health for example. Why does america put such an importance on money. This will be the downfall of us. What are your opinions and thoughts. Thank you in advance!

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:


    For many people money is more important than anything else, including their family.
    Specially in the US, where the Dollar is near to the status of godness.
    But also here in Europe there are many who find money more important than anything else.

    What else do you expect if the imaginair picture of the well-off perfect family who can buy and do anything they want is held up to us by almost all advertisements and most opinion-making magazines?

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    bal317 asked on 08/21/05 - Hello Everyone, bal317 here :-)

    Just wanted to pop in and say, Hello.
    I have not forgotten all of you. I have been very busy, working on the Program which we have high hopes of it reaching many States.
    I do daily interviews of the elderly people, collecting information on lifestyle, christianity, and mainly how their ancestor's helped in society, from all cultures. Our goal is to show, the importance of all cultures, even when times were of the worst different cultures still believed in God and accepted fellow man, woman and child no matter what race they were.
    We hope by collecting this valuable information in ones State, and having material one can obtain from other States, it will re-evaluate and instill a better form of appreciation for each other. Most definately just how important individuals are and the need to keep strong together aiming for more positive things, which we hope will improve many Government actions to better all. Opening jobs, mentor groups, strengthening one State at a time in improving their people who seem to of been left out and alone, specially the no child left behind.
    I hope all has been well, and I have told many about how strong of a group you all are here at Answerway.
    In fact, I have used many of your wonderful quotes with helpful knowledge you've shared from the Bible.
    You all are so wonderful.
    Will try to get some questions answered, and return more in the next few days.
    Please all take care.
    Respectfully,
    bal317

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:


    Hello Ball,

    what I don't get on the program is why (elderly) people are interviewed on their "christianity" if your goal is to show the importance of ALL cultures.
    For instance the US indians originally believed in (a) god(s) - but a total different god to the one in christianity.
    Don't you loose a lot of valuable information that way, and is the outcome of your project already not influenced by (the way you select) your questions?

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/21/05 - well what do you Know?

    The Vatican has at last decided that we, (Australia) exist and that it might put some of it's Papal resources to the purpose of reviving teh morobund catholic church in Australia

    Vatican singles out faithless Australia
    By Desmond O'Grady in Rome and Linda Morris
    August 22, 2005


    The Pope has issued a dire warning about the state of religious faith in Australia, saying mainstream Christianity is dying more quickly here than in any other country.

    In remarks to priests in Italy, Benedict XVI spoke of a crisis for the main Christian churches as people in the Western world felt self-sufficient, with less need for Christ and Christianity.

    "Certainly this is a suffering linked to the present historical moment in which generally one sees that the so-called mainstream churches appear moribund," he said. "This is so in Australia, above all, and also in Europe, but not so much in the United States."

    He told the priests in the Italian Alpine diocese of Aosta that the Catholic Church was not as badly off as the mainstream Protestant churches, which were in a " profound crisis" because of sects.

    Many people felt Christianity was antiquated, he said, whereas it actually represented the future because it responded to socio-ethical problems which could not be handled by an approach based solely on a scientific mentality.

    Pope Benedict made the comments during an improvised talk to priests on July 25. They were not released by the Vatican press office but appeared in the Vatican daily L' Osservatore Romano.

    The source of his information about Australia is not known. His comment was in line with the judgements he used to make during his 24 years as head of the Vatican Doctrinal Congregation.

    According to bid documents sent to the Vatican and obtained by the Herald, it was the parlous state of Australian Catholicism's spiritual health that was the driving force behind the request by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, for World Youth Day 2008 to be staged in Sydney.

    With a proposed spiritual theme of of "Take up your cross and follow Me", the week-long festival of confession and eucharistic adoration would sow the "seeds of many priestly and religious vocations".

    The bid document says the event would increase church attendance among young people, bring more men to the priesthood and precipitate a new evangelism in Australia and Oceania.

    It would also address spiritual challenges, the document says, such as media hostility to the church, ideologies and philosophies antithetical to the Gospel, a tendency to push Christianity to the margins and disorientation among young people about values.

    Church attendance among the young was as low as in many parts of Europe, the church conceded."



    Isn't it interesting he makes his remarks to Priests in Italy, talk about preaching to the converted, why isn't he making his remarks to priests in Australia. Perhaps, he can't find any? He's right about the mainstrean protestant churches, they suffer the same disease as the catholics; irrelevancy, but there is hope, the pentacostal churches are doing well, even if they are under the Popes radar. Well, not to worry, he has the support of the Premier of NSW, a good italian catholic boy, who has his eyes on the dollars added to the economy

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:


    It's NEVER right with you, isn't it?
    At last you get some attention of the Vatican shifted towards Oz, and now you are complaining about the way how and by whom at what time to whom specifically .......

    At least you're improving : an entire post without a single reference to the dangers of the followers of Islam!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/21/05 - Censorship?

    Updated: 2:30 p.m. ET Aug. 21, 2005

    SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah television station is refusing to air an anti-war ad featuring Cindy Sheehan, whose son’s death in Iraq prompted a vigil outside President Bush’s Texas ranch.

    The ad began airing on other area stations Saturday, two days before Bush was scheduled to speak in Salt Lake City to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

    However, a national sales representative for KTVX, a local ABC affiliate, rejected the ad in an e-mail to media buyers, writing that it was an “inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City.

    Is there an attempt at mind control in Utah?

    Comments?

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:


    I don't know where KTVX is located or which area it covers.
    But not showing a TV ad is actually refusing to let both sides air their views.
    Unless a view is UNLAWFUL, any tv station should air any tv ad upon receiving full payment.

    Where is suddenly that feeling of freedom of thought and freedom of speech in the country that beat itself on the chest so often as being the "king" of freedoms?
    It surely looks like some poor attempt to control the news, and as such control some minds.


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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/21/05 - Who is Christ?

    I have heard that Jesus and Christ were not the same. Tell me this; if Jesus is not who He says He is, then who is He? And where is the other Jesus? Has He come to earth, or is He yet to come? please explain who this other Jesus is. I keep hearing about Him, but nothing is explained about Him. I love Jesus...

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:

    Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ

    1. JESUS
      The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or
      Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning "Jehovah is salvation." Though the name in one form or another occurs frequently in
      the Old Testament, it was not borne by a person of prominence between the time of Josue, the son of Nun and Josue, the
      high priest in the days of Zorobabel. It was also the name of the author of Ecclesiaticus of one of Christ's ancestors
      mentioned in the genealogy, found in the Third Gospel (Luke 3:29), and one of the St. Paul's companions (Colossians 4:11).
      During the Hellenizing period, Jason, a purely Greek analogon of Jesus, appears to have been adopted by many (I
      Machabees 8:17; 12:16; 14:22; II Machabees 1:7; 2:24; 4:7-26; 5:5-10; Acts 17:5-9; Romans 16:21). The Greek name is
      connected with verb iasthai, to heal; it is therefore, not surprising that some of the Greek Fathers allied the word Jesus
      with same root (Eusebius, "Dem. Ev.", IV; cf. Acts 9:34; 10:38). Though about the time of Christ the name Jesus appears
      to have been fairly common (Josephus, "Ant.", XV, ix, 2; XVII, xiii, 1; XX, ix, 1; "Bel. Jud.", III, ix, 7; IV, iii, 9; VI, v, 5;
      "Vit.", 22) it was imposed on our Lord by God's express order (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21), to foreshow that the Child was
      destined to "save his people from their sins." Philo ("De Mutt. Nom.", 21) is therefore, right when he explains Iesous as
      meaning soteria kyrion; Eusebius (Dem., Ev., IV, ad fin.; P.G., XXII, 333) gives the meaning Theou soterion; while St.
      Cyril of Jerusalem interprets the word as equivalent to soter (Cat., x, 13; P.G., XXXIII, 677). This last writer, however,
      appears to agree with Clement of Alexandria in considering the word Iesous as of Greek origin (Paedag., III, xii; P.G.,
      VIII, 677); St. Chrysostom emphasizes again the Hebrew derivation of the word and its meaning soter (Hom., ii, 2), thus
      agreeing with the exegesis of the angel speaking to St. Joseph (Matthew 1:21).

    2. CHRIST

      The word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messias, means "anointed." According to the Old
      Law, priests (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 4:3), kings (I Kings 10:1; 24:7), and prophets (Isaias 61:1) were supposed to be
      anointed for their respective offices; now, the Christ, or the Messias, combined this threefold dignity in His Person. It is
      not surprising, therefore, that for centuries the Jews had referred to their expected Deliverer as "the Anointed" perhaps
      this designation alludes to Isaias 61:1, and Daniel 9:24-26, or even to Psalms 2:2; 19:7; 44:8. Thus the term Christ or
      Messias was a title rather than a proper name: "Non proprium nomen est, sed nuncupatio potestatis et regni", says
      Lactantius (Inst. Div., IV, vii). The Evangelists recognize the same truth; excepting Matthew 1:1, 18; Mark 1:1; John 1:17;
      17:3; 9:22; Mark 9:40; Luke 2:11; 22:2, the word Christ is always preceded by the article. Only after the Resurrection did
      the title gradually pass into a proper name, and the expression Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus became only one designation.
      But at this stage the Greeks and Romans understood little or nothing about the import of the word anointed; to them it did
      not convey any sacred conception. Hence they substituted Chrestus, or "excellent", for Christians or "anointed", and
      Chrestians instead of "Christians." There may be an allusion to this practice in I Peter 2:3; hoti chrestos ho kyrios,
      which is rendered "that the Lord is sweet." Justin Martyr (Apol., I, 4), Clement of Alexandria (Strom., II, iv, 18), Tertullian
      (Adv. Gentes, II), and Lactantius (Int. Div., IV, vii, 5), as well as St. Jerome (In Gal., V, 22), are acquainted with the
      pagan substitution of Chrestes for Christus, and are careful to explain the new term in a favourable sense. The pagans
      made little or no effort to learn anything accurate about Christ and the Christians; Suetonius, for instance, ascribes the
      expulsion of the Jews from Rome under Claudius to the constant instigation of sedition by Chrestus, whom he conceives
      as acting in Rome the part of a leader of insurgents.

      The use of the definite article before the word Christ and its gradual development into a proper name show the Christians
      identified the bearer with the promised Messias of the Jews. He combined in His person the offices of prophet (John 6:14;
      Matthew 13:57; Luke 13:33; 24:19) of king (Luke 23:2; Acts 17:7; I Corinthians 15:24; Apocalypse 15:3),and of priest
      (Hebrew 2:17; etc.); he fulfilled all the Messianic predictions in a fuller and a higher sense than had been given them by
      the teachers of the Synagogue.


    copied from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/20/05 - How many good Christians have died?

    How many good christians have died to turn Iraq from a secular state to an Islamic state?

    US softens Islam stance on Iraqi constitution
    August 20, 2005 - 7:59PM
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    The United States has dropped its opposition to enshrining Islam as Iraq's main source of legislation in a bid to secure agreement on the text of a new constitution by a Monday deadline, sources close to the negotiations said.

    Washington has been determined to see the target date met after a first deadline was missed last Monday, for fear that any loss of momentum in the political process will play into the hands of Sunni Arab insurgents.

    But the sources warned that the surprise shift of policy was as likely to complicate as to help the talks as the Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni negotiators remained deeply divided on the issue.

    "Last night's talks had a surprise element - the Americans appeared to give in to the demand from various Islamic groups that Islam be the main source of legislation," one source told AFP, adding that US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was present at the negotiations.

    "This could change a lot of things and I think we may miss the deadline again as not all groups will agree for Islam to be the main source."

    The role of Islam in lawmaking has proved a heavily divisive issue among negotiators with leaders of Iraq's Shi'ite majority insisting that religion be considered the main legal foundation, and that clerics should be given political roles.

    Kurds and other secularist groups oppose the Shi'ite demand, arguing that it would harm women's rights and Iraq's secular tradition.

    One Western diplomat with high-level involvement in the negotiations played down the significance of a strong role for Islam in the new constitution.

    "There's not a country in the region which does not have Islam as a main source of legislation," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

    "(The issue has) no real jurisprudential significance, it's more symbolic."

    Friday evening's session made little progress on the key issues, which also include federalism and a mechanism for distributing the state's huge oil revenues.

    "Last night's meeting between Iraqi leaders was unable to reach any consensus on the concerned issues - talks will start again today," said Kurdish member Mahmud Othman.

    Othman said the three remaining stumbling blocks of federalism, Kurdish self-determination and the role of Islam were interlinked and impossible to resolve independently.

    "Each issue is connected with the other... if one (group) makes a compromise, the other has to make a compromise on something else - it's a package deal," he said.

    The Shi'ites and Kurds have a comfortable majority in parliament and observers have speculated that they may forge a compromise over the heads of Sunni negotiators in order to meet Monday's deadline.

    But a Sunni committee member warned on Friday that such a deal would likely be rejected by voters from the disenchanted former elite in a referendum promised for October.

    "The people of Iraq will defeat a federal constitution in the October referendum," Saleh al-Motlag said.

    "We are against the principle of federalism because we want the country to be centrally governed."

    Under the terms of interim legislation, the constitution fails if two-thirds of the voters in any three of Iraq's 18 provinces reject the text in the referendum.

    The Sunnis form a majority in Al-Anbar, Tamim and Salaheddin provinces.

    AFP

    George W Bush has allowed american blood, Christian blood some of it, to be spilled for nothing in Iraq. The freedoms the Iraqi's once held are now being thrown away for sake of political expediency. The Bush administration by going down this path is ensuring there will be conflict in Iraq for decades to come. There is no glory in this for american and it's collaborators, only degradation

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:


    ** How many good christians have died to turn Iraq from a secular state to an Islamic state? **

    Too many, much too many.

    ~~~

    How many good HUMANS have died in the process of the US invasion in Iraq?

    Too many, much too many.
    Both christians, muslims, and whatever else people believe in.
    Too many people.

    ~~~

    Iraq is a country in the middle east islamic belt.
    As such it is - and always was - an islamic country.

    At best you may demand that people of other pursuation will be allowed to follow their own belief.
    But suggesting that Iraq is not an islamic nation only shows your lack of knowledge and/or your insistence to colour reality at any cost.

    Your anti-islamic feelings are getting the better of you.

    Sad, very, very sad.
    Such lack of tolerance normally indicates christian fundamental thinking.
    (which is just as bad as islamic fundamental thinking).

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 08/21/05 - World War 3 and the Economy!

    Many people believe that the economy as of late keeps booming and keeps growing. There are always good times and bad times. Do you believe that eventually all the high prices and the economy will not be able sustain itself and we will need another depression era. Start all over if you will. Does anybody here believe that all the signs of late are going to lead to another eventual depression and to another major world war? Something needs to give? Right? What are your thoughts and opinions. Oh, ya I hear many people say we need another war in order to start things over or to have an effect on the major prices of everything that keeps going up?

    sarnian answered on 08/21/05:

    Dear FJH76,

    that's not a question, that's a certainty.
    Every soapbell will eventually pop.

    But there is no major war required to do so.
    Humanity has been busy spoiling it's own spacecraft for a long time now, and the chicken will come home to roast, sometime.
    And roast we will, it must be feared ....

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/20/05 - *** Christianity *** Right Wing Conservatism ...

    A well-known right wing conservative Christian wrote:

    "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

    (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York Mariner Books, 1999, p. 65.)

    "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter."

    Adolph Hitler, in a speech delivered April 12, 1922 Published in "My New Order"

    --------------

    Do you feel that God has specifically called you to be a warrior for him against any group of which you are not a member?

    sarnian answered on 08/20/05:


    My reaction to that question is a saying here that refers to the persecution of the jews during WWII by the nazies :

    When they came to pick-up my acquintances, I did not say anything. I just prayed to G_d and lived on.

    When they came to pick-up my neighbours, I did not say anything. I just prayed to G_d and lived on.

    When they came to pick-up my friends, I did not say anything. I just prayed to G_d and lived on.

    When they came to pick-up my family, I did not say anything. I just prayed to G_d and lived on.

    Now they come to pick me up. But there is nobody left to say anything ....


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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/19/05 - Terrorism or not?

    I have just learned that a local high school burnt to the ground over night. In these days of terrorism and home security initiatives, should we consider such events which are always arson, usually by some misguided and disaffected youth, as terrorist acts. I have particular interest in this as my granddaughter would have started her first year of high school there next year and now, aside from the inconvenience of temporary class rooms in who knows what temporary accomodation, one has to deal with the inevitiable questions of why.

    This is an act, in which thankfully there is no loss of life, but the lives of 1,000 children and their families are affected.

    sarnian answered on 08/19/05:

    As I already posted in "when tolerance" is not tolerance" :

    Worldwide since 9-11 muslim schools and mosques have been set to fire.
    Worldwide since 9-11 all things islamic have been blasted down by people like you as if every muslim is a killer, with Allah's sword hidden in his clothing.
    Worldwide since 9-11 people worldwide have been pushed into a total unnecessary security fear frenzy.
    Deliberately by their governments, MAINLY to allow local laws to be changed to lower the individual freedom of their citizens.

    Terrorism I will never condone, from whowever it is coming.
    But one-sided information is not doing anything to solve the terrorist problem, all it does is assist in lowering our own individual freedoms.

    WHERE and WHEN did YOU post about these muslim schools and mosques being torched?
    About "from the inconvenience of temporary class rooms in who knows what temporary accomodation, one has to deal with the inevitiable questions of why."

    ~~~

    Repeat of part of my comment to your post about tolerance :

    You have for months now been needling this board with your negatively anti-muslim propaganda
    and (often) misplaced accusations and innuendo.
    Point out all people who are terrorist , no problem.
    Prosecute all those with terrorist links and actions, no problem.
    Show all who are supporting terrorists (but realise that there is freedom of speech and freedom
    of thought), no problem.
    But stop suggesting that all muslims are some format of terrorist : they are not.
    Only very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very
    very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very
    very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very
    very few are.

    ~~~

    And if these very few are anti-US, than consider their position first : WHY are these terrorist so
    anti-US / anti-western culture?
    Could it have anything to do with the western occupation of (one/more) of their countries (f.i.
    the US Iraq invasion, the US/western support for the Saoudi royal house, the western support
    for the Israeli, the realisation that the only thing the west (including Australia) is interested in is
    the supply of oil, at whatever cost to the people of the middle east.

    ~~~

    All of us have to be made aware of the current dangers for our security.
    But what has to be done to SOLVE the problem is to take away the CAUSE of the terrorist
    anger.
    Accusing and harrassing 99,9999999999% of all muslims is NOT the way to solve the terrorist
    problem.

    ~~~

    Please go ahead in all force pursuing real terrorism!
    But maybe we can from now onwards expect more balanced postings on islamic/muslim affairs
    from you?
    Isn't that the CHRISTIAN thing to do?

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/19/05 - When tolerance is not tolerance

    Islam says it is a peaceful religion. Is this the act of a peacefull religion?

    Koranic TV next step for radical sheik
    By Tom Allard
    August 20, 2005


    The Koran is also a book of legislation, says Sheik Khalid Yasin.


    An Islamic preacher who advocates the execution of homosexuals, adulterers and armed robbers plans to start broadcasting his message in Australia on radio, TV and through the internet.

    Sheik Khalid Yasin, who was born in the US, gained notoriety when his views on homosexuals - and that the Koran endorsed beatings of spouses - were aired last month, bringing condemnation from the then premier, Bob Carr.

    In an interview with the Herald this week Sheik Khalid said he was preparing to use the airwaves to proselytise and offer a "moral alternative" to the mainstream media.

    He remained unapologetic about his strict interpretation of the Koran, but pleaded for it to be put in context.

    "It's not just a book of revelation and inspiration; it's a book of legislation," he said. Among these Koranic "laws" was capital punishment for offences including adultery, homosexuality, rape, child molestation, bestiality and murder.

    "This is God's law, but the execution of those laws has to be by a government apparatus," he said. "Without an Islamic state you can still promote these views … but my message is that you have to obey the laws of the land."

    Sheik Khalid, a former Christian who was inspired by the US black nationalist Malcolm X to convert to Islam, has visited Australia five times and is a popular speaker among the young.

    However, other Muslims vehemently dispute his intepretation. The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ameer Ali, said: "It's not in the Koran. His views on homosexuality and adultery do not reflect the views of the majority of Muslims. They are really radical and, at this point in time, we could do without them."

    Sheik Khalid said he had entered into a joint venture partnership with Fame Entertainment to broadcast over satellite radio and TV. "By October we will be broadcasting two to four hours a day, seven days a week," he said.

    "We are looking at satellite TV by January next year and we expect to be webcasting here from the 15th of September." The programs, titled Purpose of Life, would involve talkback and documentaries and would canvass issues from genetically modified food to nuclear proliferation and the abortion debate, Sheik Khalid said.

    He had met Abu Bakar Bashir , the jailed alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, but found him "obnoxious and pretentious". Sheik Khalid does not subscribe to the notion of a pan-Islamic caliphate, terrorism or the overthrow of Western democracies.

    "It's more important for me to reform Muslims than to reform states," he said. "We tolerate you, but you also have to tolerate us. It's a two-way street"

    My view is we don't have to tolerate this sort of thing and particularly not from an import. This fellow, who preaches respect for the law, is in contempt for the laws of this country, and should be sent back to enlighten the people of the US from wence he comes. For years they have been sending their ratbags to us, why I ask? don't we have enough of our own?

    sarnian answered on 08/19/05:

    Have you ever considered if YOUR "tolerance" is REAL tolerance?

    Of all the muslims in your country - whatever their quantities - the absolute (and I don't use that word lightly) majority is hardworking, deeply religious, and tolerant towards others.
    However, they are not tolerant where it concerns their specific Islamic religion.
    Only a very , very , VERY SMALL percentage of them may be called terrorists, people who aggressively try to force their opinions upon others.

    ~~~

    Unlike most religions, Islam is NOT centrally managed in any way.
    There is NO single leader, there is NO single line of believe, there is NO single line of enforcing the rules.
    Every group is therefore autonomous.
    What one sheik states can not be used against any other group.
    That may be inconveniant for you, but that is the fact.
    And - ergo - people in one group/country can not be held responsible for what other do/have done.

    ~~~

    These are all wellknown facts, and people should take that in mind, when accusing and/or pointing fingers.
    Sheik Khalid Yasin may do and say whatever is within the law.
    Just as anybody else.
    Whatever Sheik Khalid Yasin says, he is responsible for, and can be prosecuted for.
    What can NOT be done is accusing all other muslims for what Sheik Khalid Yasin stated/posted.

    ~~~

    Nobody denies that the terrorist problem is a difficult one.
    But it is NOT and islamic problem : it is a terrorist problem, and has to be tkane action against as such.
    The law is there for all. Including muslims.
    In good times and in bad times, when there are problems, and when there are no problems.

    ~~~

    You have for months now been needling this board with your negatively anti-muslim propaganda and (often) misplaced accusations and innuendo.
    Point out all people who are terrorist , no problem.
    Prosecute all those with terrorist links and actions, no problem.
    Show all who are supporting terrorists (but realise that there is freedom of speech and freedom of thought), no problem.
    But stop suggesting that all muslims are some format of terrorist : they are not.
    Only very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very few are.

    ~~~

    And if these very few are anti-US, than consider their position first : WHY are these terrorist so anti-US / anti-western culture?
    Could it have anything to do with the western occupation of (one/more) of their countries (f.i. the US Iraq invasion, the US/western support for the Saoudi royal house, the western support for the Israeli, the realisation that the only thing the west (including Australia) is interested in is the supply of oil, at whatever cost to the people of the middle east.

    ~~~

    All of us have to be made aware of the current dangers for our security.
    But what has to be done to SOLVE the problem is to take away the CAUSE of the terrorist anger.
    Accusing and harrassing 99,9999999999% of all muslims is NOT the way to solve the terrorist problem.

    ~~~

    Please go ahead in all force pursuing real terrorism!
    But maybe we can from now onwards expect more balanced postings on islamic/muslim affairs from you?
    Isn't that the CHRISTIAN thing to do?

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/19/05 - Ethics, Morality...

    I really get hung up on this quandry. Simply put. The American Ecomony requires large amounts of oil/gasoline in order to function at just a sustaining level let along to avoid economic depression. (Gas for trucks to deliver goods, oil to make plastics, gasoline to run autos in order to get to work and a million other things )

    The Middle East has the highest oil reserves in the world. We buy oil from Middle Eastern countries.

    The American ecomony runs all the other economies in the world; it is that powerful.

    Islamic terrorists are dissatisfied with their life's situation; they hate Jews; they believe in violence toward anyone; they want to destroy the American ecomomy by terrorism.

    If the American ecomony goes down, there will be, say for argument, there will be 25% unemployment worldwide. Contraction of the economy.

    My question based on my quick oversimplification.

    A. Is it Unethican or Immoral for a country to defend itself against a declared enemy who pledged to destroy it?????

    B. Is it unethical/immoral to take the fight into the enemies territory????

    Comments....

    sarnian answered on 08/19/05:

    *The American Ecomony requires large amounts of oil/gasoline in order to function at just a sustaining level let along to avoid economic depression*

    So does the economy of all other countries in this world...

    ~~~

    *The Middle East has the highest oil reserves in the world. We buy oil from Middle Eastern countries.*

    The US has for long tried to guarantee it's own oil supply at any cost, EVEN if that would be on the expense of it's own allies ....
    Yes, the Mid East has the highest oil reserves, though we are nearing the situation where oil wells will start running dry in 10 to 20 years.

    ~~~

    *The American ecomony runs all the other economies in the world; it is that powerful.*

    Partly true. The US ALSO is in financial terms already for several decades bankrupt, surviving on capital inflow from outside the US.

    ~~~

    *Islamic terrorists are dissatisfied with their life's situation; they hate Jews; they believe in violence toward anyone; they want to destroy the American ecomomy by terrorism.*

    That's rather fast around the corner.

    *Islamic terrorists are dissatisfied with their life's situation;*
    True. But so are almost all people outside the wealthy first world.

    *they hate Jews;*
    True. But they also hate all foreign influence in their area.
    The hate the US power juggling, the US economic, financial, and political interfering in the middle east.

    *they believe in violence toward anyone;*
    True for a small group of terrorists, not true as a general description of the islamic people or people living in the middle east.

    *they want to destroy the American ecomomy by terrorism.*
    Not true : they want to get rid of foreign intervention in their area.
    And as the US is the major purpetrator in that, they hate the US.
    The same goes for Israel.

    ~~~

    *If the American ecomony goes down, there will be, say for argument, there will be 25% unemployment worldwide.
    Contraction of the economy.*

    Did the US EVER worried about the fate and existence of the people in the middle east?
    What about the protection of Saoedi royalty, who treat there subjects as near-slaves?

    ~~~

    A. Is it Unethican or Immoral for a country to defend itself against a declared enemy who pledged to destroy it?????
    No, I don't think so.
    But that is just NOT what the US did.
    The US invaded on false grounds/reasons IRAQ, based on an already 10 years old plan lying in the cupboard.

    The US army is actually the laughing stock of the world. After 4 years searching they STILL HAVE NOT CAUGHT Bin Laden.
    Nor have they found any weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq, a country that had NOTHING to do with these terrorists.

    ~~~

    B. Is it unethical/immoral to take the fight into the enemies territory????

    No, I don't hink so.
    But your "enemy" has no territory.
    Your enemies are terrorists from all over the place, not from one specific country, but from many countries.
    Most people in these countries do not agree with these terrorists.
    There simply is no justification for invading countries you are not at war with.

    ~~~

    My advice to the US is to become less selfish, and more sociable toward the rest of the world.
    That would improve the situation.

    Note that although the middle east has oil, the US (or any other country) has NO RIGHT to demand part of that oil for their use.
    The resulting consequences are irrelevant.
    The principle counts : if I have goods, I may sell them to anyone I want.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 08/19/05 - A Question for Linguists ...

    Can you dientify the language of and provide a reasonable translation for:

    Baba wedu uri kudenga


    ?

    sarnian answered on 08/19/05:


    Indeed : a simple search with google ...

    Bonzer! A piece of my mind.
    He smiled when he heard the chiKaranga, 'Baba wedu uri kudenga', 'Our father who art in Heaven'.
    Alas, the rest of it is no longer in the memory bank. ...
    home.vicnet.net.au/~bonzer/a-piece-of-my-mind.html - 6k


    **When we discussed languages, the chiZezuru (Shona) word 'Mwari', for 'God', was immediately recognised.
    It must have cognates in many African languages.
    He referred to Swahili more correctly as Kiswahili but it wasn't the occasion to discuss the bastardised versions which used to be known in southern Africa as 'Fanagalo' or insultingly as 'Kitchen Kaffir'.
    Ah, languages . . . the old memory bank came to life.
    He smiled when he heard the chiKaranga, 'Baba wedu uri kudenga', 'Our father who art in Heaven'.**

    ~~~

    Actually the name of God is not Baba, (often meaning child) but Babu (father).
    And that goes for almost all African languages, including Zulu and Swahili.
    Google does not provide info on this, strangely!

    Kiswahili : in this language it is common to add "the = Ki" as preposition in front of a noun, changing Swahili into KiSwahili ("the Swahili").

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    Question/Answer
    Ccl471 asked on 08/14/05 - Religious Tolerance

    Dear Aton:

    Why is it that it is not wrong for someone from another religion to criticize Christianity, but if a Christian criticizes another religion, that Christian is immediately accused of doing wrong?

    America believes in religious tolerance, however that means tolerance for all religions except for Christianity.


    C.L.

    sarnian answered on 08/14/05:

    Dear C.L.

    The US view on freedom of speech is a secular thought.
    It just states that you may let others know what you think/believe.

    As State and Church are claimed to be separated, various religions may have different views.
    The question here is therefore more if different religions indeed have other views on freedom of speech and thought.

    Christians do just as well criticize other religions, they just do it a little more underhand.
    The christian mission for all followers is to "go and spread the word".
    By spreading that christian word people of different religious views are actually told that their own religious view is wrong, is incorrect, and that christianity is the only way to god.
    That is of course also a form of criticizing other religions.
    And next to that : many religious television show hosts indeed openly condemn other religions.

    So christianity is not much different in this respect than other religions, though other religions may have different ways to criticize.
    And as such religious tolerance is not one of the fundations of any religion, inclusive christianity.



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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/14/05 - confusion regarding When was Jesus born

    I have just read two different sources which give a vastly different timeline for Jesus life. one sourse newadvent suggests the Church began on the day of pentacost 29AD

    the other a time line suggests that date would be 36 AD, so experts was Jesus born in 4BC or 3AD and what is the evidence for each view?

    sarnian answered on 08/14/05:

    With all respect PC,

    Although from a pure historical view this may have some interest, from a wider base of reference it is totally irrelevant.
    We all already know that 25 december is not the birthday of JC.
    But nevertheless the world celebrates christmas as such.
    Birthday , birthyear , it are not the references people base their trust and belief in JC upon.

    And than you even want evidence for either viewpoint.
    How can anyone PROVE his/her views, as all specific data on JC's birth were lost in the intermediate 2000 years?

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/14/05 - *private*

    bucker, I want you to know that I will stand with you in opposition to anyone here on the Board who double talks you or decides to pick a fight with you. YOu can count on me. :)

    You have ***paid your dues a hundred times***to a formerly corrupt social systen, and deserve the respect of all Christians here on the Board.

    sarnian answered on 08/14/05:

    That's the problem with *private questions*, Mary Sue.
    Bucker choose NOT to keep this private, and now we all see your "extra" activities.

    How can you state that you will stand with bucker if f.i. someone picks a fight with him?
    What if that future fight is fair?
    Bucker seems to have a strong channeled view from christian perspective, just like I have an atheistic - and you a humanistic - worldview..

    With you as humanist it is quite possible to come into conflict with bucker's christian views.
    Maybe you meant this post more within the context of some recent posts on this board.
    But than you should have stated that clearly.

    At least you know bucker now also a little bit better.
    Although he seemed pleased with your offer, by not keeping this *private* he actually rejected it, while placing you in a very difficult position.
    Not someone who I would like to "stand with in opposition to anyone here on the Board who double talks him or decides to pick a fight with him."

    I hope you herewith have learned not to make promisses you can not guarantee to keep, and the danger of *private messages* !!!

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/12/05 - New Wonder of Science

    It is the ultimate conundrum for vegetarians who think that meat is murder: a revolution in processed food that will see fresh meat grown from animal cells without a single cow, sheep or pig being killed.

    Researchers have published details in a biotechnology journal describing a new technique which they hailed as the answer to the world's food shortage. Lumps of meat would be cultured in laboratory vats rather than carved from livestock reared on a farm.

    This news story really took me by surprise.
    What are your comments?

    sarnian answered on 08/12/05:

    First you have to consider the position of meat in our food intake :

    1. As omnivores we can eat both flora and fauna products.
    2. Meat has a high protein content
    3. There is no foodsource as nutritious as meat.
    4. Our human instinct to eat together is inherited from meateaters.
    5. Several nutritious needs can not (or can hardly) be replaced by plantfood.
    6. Meat is of animal origin, animals of any format, any size, any type.
    For most people eating meat causes no moral or social problems.
    Vegetarians in all their differences replace most or all of meat with plantfood.

    The question is if meat grown in lab vats is still meat.
    The wellknown soja-based "meat replacer" and other products as "tofu" are not commerical successes.
    They do not really look as meat, feel as meat, taste as meat.

    Growing meat in vats you - for sure - require some form of catalyst.
    If that catalyst is in any way of animal origin (f.i. germ, bacterial) the product still is of animal origin, i.e. it is meat.
    A 2 days old calf or piglet for sure contains meat.
    But so do fish, eggs, insects, worms, etc.

    And what about the cost of that artificial meat?
    To get to a proper assement of the new product one needs more information !

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/11/05 - Literal Interpretation vs. Symbolic

    Do you believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible? Or, do you believe that many spiritual truths are explained by extended metaphor and the like?

    For example, bucker asked a question about a man living in a large aquatic animal's stomach for three days. He believes that this happened. That is literal interpretation.

    Another Christian might believe that this didn't really happen, but is a story to explain a larger spiritual message.

    Are both Christians?
    Do you have any comments on this topic?

    sarnian answered on 08/11/05:

    Dear MarySue : some books are open to interpretation. Religious books are tops in this class. They have to, to explain all the crept-in nonsense they contain.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 08/11/05 - And they say Christianity doesn't pay?

    In the interests of being even handed and discussing all sides of christianity, i would have thought a "big" ministry would have paid better than that, afterall those who preach the gospel are entitled to double honour.

    Hillsong preachers run $1.3m business
    By Linda Morris Religious Affairs Reporter
    August 12, 2005

    The ministry established by Brian and Bobbie Houston, senior pastors of the dynamic Hillsong Church, has become a $1 million-plus business.

    Financial returns filed for Leadership Ministries Incorporated (LMI) this week show the not-for-profit association posted revenue of $1.329 million last year.

    LMI, which is registered as a ministry, derives its income from the couple's teaching resources, books and international speaking engagements, and their wider national and international church commitments.

    Statements for 2003 and 2004 show LMI's revenue increased by more than 20 per cent in the year, indicating the growing influence of the Houstons. The $1.329 million revenue was offset by expenditure of $1.05 million, according to financial statements lodged with the Office of Fair Trading.

    This included unspecified wages for the Houstons and two members of staff, donations to charities such as the Hillsong Church, the Hillsong Foundation and Opportunity International, costs associated with the production and sale of teaching resources, operating costs and administration expenses.

    With more than 18,000 members, Hillsong is the largest Pentecostal church in Australia. Last year, Hillsong Church posted revenue of $50.8 million, of which almost half came from donations and offerings.

    LMI is a separate entity from Hillsong Church through which the Houstons carry out their national and international ministry and make donations to the Hillsong Foundation and other charities.

    The Hillsong Church pays LMI for the Houstons' services and the Assemblies of God in Australia pays a stipend to Brian Houston for his role as its national president. The LMI management committee sets a wage for the Houstons and the two other staff. These are not disclosed in the financial statements.

    Once costs were deducted, LMI had a net surplus of $273,086 in 2004, which was "primarily applied" to reduce the mortgage debt for two properties bought by LMI from the Houstons, the first in 2002 and the second in 2004.

    These properties were used for ministry purposes in a manner similar to that of a church manse and for study, retreat and staff training for other pastors, LMI's public officer, Stephen Crouch, said.

    He denied any property deals between the Houstons and Hillsong Church. "In 2004, LMI received a net amount of $69,041 from Hillsong Church, after donations, for the provision of apostolic leadership and pastoral oversight for Hillsong, compared to just $12,739 in 2003."

    The general manager of Hillsong Church, George Aghajanian, said the Houstons received no additional remuneration from the church.

    sarnian answered on 08/11/05:

    Did anyone say than that Christianity doesn't pay?
    I did not see that here ....

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    Question/Answer
    QueenChoux asked on 08/11/05 - Mayhem?

    On the local news tonight, a story played that Chicago, NewYork, and LosAngeles will be victims of a terrorist attacks on Sept 11, one month from today.

    Anyone out there besides me have to get their final affairs in order rather quickly?? :=o

    sarnian answered on 08/11/05:

    Dear MarySue,

    it's holidaytime at the news agencies in the US, and when there is a lack of news, possible upcoming security treaths are easy news, similar to the appearances of the scottish Lochness monster.
    With exception of a nuclear attack, the chance that anyone runs to become a victim of a f.i. a bomb attack is extremely small.
    And a nuclear attack is even less likely, seen the strict import controls and security meassures.
    So I would not worry too much about the possibility of an attack on Chicago!

    Keeping your paperwork at our age in order is a good habit anyway !

    :)

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    Question/Answer
    bucker asked on 08/11/05 - Food For Thought

    ....A must read
    This was written by Major General Vernon Chong, USAF Ret. Some remember him from their days at Wilford Hall when he was the commander. It's long but definitely well worth the read.....
    *******************************************************


    MG Vernon Chong, USAF ret: This WAR is for REAL


    To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes W.W.II).
    The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

    First, let's examine a few basics:
    1. When did the threat to us start?
    Many will say September 11th, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:
    • Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
    • Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
    • Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
    • Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
    • First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
    • Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
    • Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
    • Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
    • Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
    • New York World Trade Center 2001;
    • Pentagon 2001.
    (Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).
    2. Why were we attacked?
    Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of the presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter.
    3. Who were the attackers?
    In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.
    4. What is the Muslim population of the World? 25%.
    5. Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?
    Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests). (see http://www.Nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm ).
    Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christian or any others.
    Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill all in the way -- their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else. The point here is that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing -- by their own pronouncements -- killing all of us "infidels." I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?
    6. So who are we at war with?
    There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.


    So with that background, now to the two major questions:
    1. Can we lose this war?
    2. What does losing really mean?

    If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions.


    We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question - What does losing mean?
    It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get. What losing really mean