2006-OCT: USA: Reaction to new detainee legislation: An editorial
in the Portland News Herald criticized the detainee legislation passed on
SEP-30. It allows American citizens to be held as enemy combatants if
someone suspects that they have provided material support for terrorists. An
individual who makes a donation to a Middle Eastern charity that openly or
secretly fund terror groups could be detained. They will not be able to
expect a trial by their peers or any other of the protections of the Bill of
Rights. The concept of habeas corpus is dead.
Three past miscarriages of justice, involving Yaser Hamdi, Jose Padilla, and
Maher Arar, are likely to be replicated in the futurte. U.S. officials sent
Arar, a Canadian citizen, to Syria, where he was tortured for 10 months
before being declared innocent of any wrongdoing. Hamdi has been released.
Padilla won the right to a full court trial.
A challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court appears inevitable. 4
2006-OCT-03: FL: Representative Mark Foley creates stir over sexually
suggestive Emails: Mark Foley (R-FL)
is well known for his interest in
the sexual victimization of children. On 2006-MAR-23, Focus on the
Family quoted him as saying that if Congress continues to ignore the
need for child protection from adult sexual predators, children will
continue to be victimized. He is quoted as saying:
"We are still not funding it enough. This is one of the most
pervasive, dangerous elements in our society, We need more money in the
FBI's Innocent Images program. We also want to beef up our Customs
Enforcement division, which has been doing heroic work." 1
On 2006-SEP-30, a range of news services reported that Foley's interest
in sexual victimization had taken an unusual turn: For years, he was
allegedly using the Internet to send sexually suggestive messages to
underage male Congressional pages. There are allegations that the Republican
Leadership engaged in a cover-up since 2005perhaps in
order to guarantee Foley's re-election in November. 2
The FBI allegedly has been aware of the Emails since 2006-JUL. 2
Four days after the news was widely disseminated, the Huffington Post
quoted Bob Geiger's complaint that conservative Protestant organizations
have maintained a news blackout on the topic. He wrote:
"... here we sit, four days after it was revealed that Republican
Congressman Mark Foley was using the Internet to go after teenaged boys
"Odd, isn't it? The same people who can move their followers to
boycott any company that believes gay people even have the right to
exist, can't muster much outrage over one of their own preying on young
boys and, more importantly, the Republican leadership in the House of
Representatives ignoring it to save their political hides. ..."
"But there's just not much there about protecting teens from
Republicans on Capitol Hill who admire their 'cute butt(s)' and are
willing to '...drive a few miles for a hot stud' like one of the young
Congressional pages. ..."
"So there you have it -- the true face of the Religious Right
measured in deeds and not words."
"They'll go out of their way to rally their followers to keep gay
people from getting married, boycott corporations acknowledging that
right, demonize legislators and judges who dare keep Church away from
State and even attack children's-television characters."
"But nary a word about a Republican Congressman, who is co-chairman
of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, trolling for teen
sex partners among Congressional pages, and being protected via a
cover-up by the House Republican leadership." 3
In his OCT-03 report, Bob Geiger specifically mentioned the Family
Research Council (FRC) as one of many conservative para-church organizations that was silent
on the Foley incident. However, on OCT-04, we noticed a FRC news release
dated OCT-02 on their web site. They blamed Foley's alleged activities not
on Foley himself but on "a society that rejects sexual restraints in the
name of diversity." They asked "when is tolerance just an excuse for
permissiveness." Their point seems to be that if the culture accepts
that there are three normal and natural sexual orientations (heterosexual,
homosexual and bisexual) that the logical result is that society will accept
sexual abuse of children by heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals.
At first, we assumed that Geiger had been extremely careless in his
searching, and had missed the news release. Then, another possible
explanation emerged: the time stamp on the HTML file on the FRC web site was the evening of
OCT-04. The news release may have been posted at that time, and backdated to
Foley resigned on SEP-30 and immediately checked into a Florida
alcohol-treatment center. On OCT-01, he issued a news release, saying: "I
deeply regret and accept full responsibility for the harm I have caused."
2006-OCT-15: Christianity Today magazine:
This magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Volume 1, Number 1
was published on 1956-OCT-15. It was founded by Billy Graham to bring "intellectual
respectability and spiritual impact to evangelical Christianity."
2006-OCT-15: USA: Justice Antonin Scalia states that abortion right not in constitution:
Justice Scalia debated with Nadine Strossen, president of the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on a one-hour television program.
Justice Scalia said that unelected judges have no place deciding politically
charged questions in areas where the U.S. Constitution is silent. He said that
liberal judges in the past had established new political rights, such as
abortion access. He warned:
"Someday, you're going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and
regret that approach. ... On controversial issues on stuff like homosexual
rights, abortion, we debate with each other and persuade each other and vote
on it either through [our elected] representatives or a constitutional
He generally disagrees with the stands taken by the ACLU. However, he noted
cases where he has agreed. These include rulings upholding the right of a
citizen to burn the flag, and a 2004 decision that that a U.S. citizen seized in
Afghanistan during wartime could challenge his detention as an enemy combatant
in U.S. courts. 7
2006-OCT-16: North Korea: Infant genocide:
"A North Korean refugee has told the Times that 'racially mixed'
babies born in the isolated communist state are regularly killed by
doctors. A North Korean doctor, Ri Kwang-chol, told the UK paper that
babies conceived by Chinese fathers are targeted in the North Korean
government’s racial purity program.
" 'There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,' Ri
said. Such babies were put to death by medical staff and buried quickly,
he said at a forum on human rights in Seoul."
"The Times speculated that a 'mystical' doctrine of Korean racial
superiority is the guiding force of the North Korean dictatorship,
rather than Marxist theories." 6 More details
2000-OCT-19: NY: Court requires religious
groups to cover birth control costs: The New York Court of Appeals
that the state's '2003 Women's Health and Wellness Act is
constitutional. It requires human services providers, including those run by
religious groups, to include birth control coverage in their employee's
health insurance plans, even if the group considers contraception to be a
sin. Catholic Charities of Albany and nine other organizations had
asked for special exemption from the law.
Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic
"Any religious organization must have the right in American society
to uphold its own teachings, even if those teachings are unpopular or
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, (D-NYC) said:
"The religious tenets of one's employer should not restrict an
employee's health care decisions."
2006-OCT-20: World: Pop star Madonna's
program to be censored: Madonna's recent European concerts included a
scene where she was suspended on a cross, like the image of a crucifix. The
shows in Rome and Moscow drew complaints from the Roman Catholic and Russian
Orthodox church leaders who accused her of blasphemy. She issued a statement
saying that her intent was to focus on extreme poverty in Africa. She said
that the scene was
"....neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous. Rather it
is a plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and
to see the world as a unified whole. ... I believe if Jesus were alive
today, he would be doing the same thing," she said, adding that her
specific intent was to bring attention to the extreme poverty in Africa.
Under pressure from conservative Christian groups, NBC said that it had
removed the scene where Madonna was suspended on a cross from her two hour
special scheduled for NOV-22. 8
2006-OCT-24: Canada: Quebec government
orders school to teach evolution, sex:
The National Post reported that:
"The Quebec Ministry of Education has told unlicensed Christian
evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution
and sex education or close their doors... "
Pierre Daoust, director-general of the Commission Scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallees
in Thurso, QC said:
"Quebec children are legally required to follow the provincial
curriculum ... but these evangelical schools teach their own courses on
creationism and sexuality that don't follow the Quebec curriculum."
Alan Buchanan of the Eglise Evangelique near Saint-Andre-Avellin, QC
"We offer a curriculum based on a Christian world view rather than
humanistic world view. ... We want the children to understand what they're
going to meet in the outside world, and also what's wrong with the theory
[of evolution]. ... We also teach that a better theory -- that God created
the universe and so on. ... You have the Christian world view that says sex
should only be in the marriage and a public school system that teaches kids
about sexuality. ... We believe students should be taught abstinence." 10
Links to religious news sources:
Links to general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and non-Christian news sources is available
elsewhere on this web site.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman, "FBI Knew in July About
Foley E-Mails to Teen. Meanwhile, Private Handling of Matter by a Few House
Republicans Receives Bipartisan Criticism," Washington Post, 2006-OCT-03,