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Posts Tagged ‘bias’

Are you familiar with what is happening in the Ivory Coast?  That is the African country with the contentious presidential election last fall, which most Westerners would not have noted at all if it weren’t for the fact that the Ivory Coast happens to be the largest producer of cocoa beans.  So those of us chocoholics may have read the headlines a few months ago that our chocolate may be rationed. But as to the details of what is happening in the Ivory Coast, who really knows and who cares and anyway, the reporting on it has been woefully superficial, so you know, who cares?

Well actually, I care…and not only because of the impact on cocoa bean production.  And I think you should care too.  Because if you are reading this weblog, the situation in the Ivory Coast probably affects you, too.

To bring you up to speed, in case you are one of the 98% of Americans who have no idea what is happening there: the election last fall resulted in a Northerner winning, and the incumbent Southerner refusing to leave office, and civil violence ensued and continues.   The “international community”, whoever that is, has found the election to be valid and support the Northerner’s cause.  The U.N. has “troops” there to uh, protect something, maybe civilians and of course the usual aid groups like the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are also there.  But the largest charitable organization on the ground in the Ivory Coast is the Roman Catholic church.  That is because the Ivory Coast has been an increasingly Catholic Christian nation in the last decades.  In the 1980s, the estimate of Christians was 1/8th of the population.  However, recent estimates are that nearly 1/3 of the population are Christians, largely Catholic Christians.

The other large faith tradition in the Ivory Coast is Islam.  Perhaps 1/4th of the population are Muslims.

Demographically, the northern areas of the country have more Muslims, receiving a large influx of immigrants from Muslim neighbors to the north.  The southern parts of the country are where the Christian populations have remained and thrived.

Today, I read the sad news that an estimated 1,000 civilians from the southern village of Duekoue have been found massacred.  The machete-hacked bodies were found by aid workers in the places in which they fell.  The UK Telegraph report says that these civilians were killed by supporters of the Northern winner after his forces gained control over the village in the ongoing civil conflict.

An estimated 40,000 civilians fled to to the local Catholic mission, which is sheltering them as best they can, but the priests report that they are desperately low on food.

The Telegraph report has the usual quote from a U.N. official in charge who says they had no idea the killings were occuring.  (I would think it is hard not to notice 40,000 people running to the church, and the sounds of 1,000 souls being slaughtered likewise would seem hard to miss.)

Anyway, I’m blogging about this not because of what the newspaper reported, but what it failed to report.  The paper tells us that the supporters of the Northern winner slaughtered thousands of Southern villagers.  What it didn’t tell us was that the folks who died were predominantly Christians, living in a predominantly Christian town and those who murdered them were predominantly Muslim, coming in from Muslim territories.  That is the underlying reality to the political situation and civil violence.  To continue to ignore the importance of this obvious religious violence is proof again of the brazen bias of the major media.

For instance, despite the liberal BBC erroneously reporting 3 days ago that it was the forces of the incumbent president (a Catholic) who was doing the butchering in Duekoue, I note that they have not printed a retraction in light of the today’s revealed atrocities of the (Muslim) rebels.  In fact, reviewing the BBC reporting of the past days infuriated me for its bias, carefully edited reporting and slanted headlines.  The primary method taught in journalism schools must be how to report only the facts that support the opinion the media puppet-masters decide you should form, and the shameful BBC reporting is proof that they are nothing if not leaders in the sleight-of-hand shenanigans of the liberal press.

I have said it before, but the most persecuted faith people in our world today are we Christians.  The mainstream media will not tell us that. But it’s true

As for me, I’ll be praying for the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, a Roman Catholic and a man who very possibly may be killed by rebel forces in the coming days.  When his government falls, I believe we will be looking at the next Ethiopia, the next Somalia, the next Nigeria or the next Sudan. I’ll be looking forward to how the liberal press will gussy up that tragic development.

***Please pray for our Christian brethren in the Ivory Coast, and persecuted Christians throughout the world.  May God bring the martyred to eternal rest in Him and extend mercy and justice to the living and the dead.***

 

Note: I just stumbled upon this blog under the Telegraph’s banner which also derides the biased press coverage.  Check out Why does media coverage of conflicts such as Ivory Coast ignore history, religion and demographics? by Ed West.

 See update as of May 12, 2011

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Do you ever get tired of politicians, liberals, malcontents and and agitators playing the “Catholic” card?  For instance, doesn’t it make you cringe when the evening news leads off with “Catholic Nuns Support the President’s Health Care Bill!” — the same evening news that buried the USCCB statement opposing the same health care bill?

I think the time has come for the Vatican to trademark the word “Catholic”.  Why not?  Think of how gloriously empowering that would be!  And wouldn’t the coolest thing ever be if the Bishops or the Vatican or the CDF or Pope could issue a cease-and-desist letter to all vocally defiant Catholics in the public sphere telling them they are no longer allowed to represent themselves using the term, Catholic®?  Such a letter, in my happy daydream, goes something like this:

We are the law firm of Aquinas and More and we represent the intellectual property rights of the Holy Catholic® Church.  Your recent use of the trademark, Catholic® on the Sunday morning talk show, Meet the Liberal Press, to add bonafides to your support of [insert morally repugnant position here] infringes on our rights to this trademark and you are hereby ordered to cease and desist from all other uses of our trademark, Catholic®.  Further trademark infringement of our mark, Catholic® will result in legal action, which may result in treble damages.  On behalf of  the Holy Catholic® Church, we appreciate your attention to this matter.”

Here are some other recent examples of the highjacking of the Catholic name in order to further a policy that has been rejected by the Bishops, who – if you do  not know – are responsible for the doctrinal teaching of all faithful Catholics and whose teachings we are required to follow, not ignore, snub, circumvent, twist around, dismiss, or roll our eyes at.

What riles me most about all of this is that the defiant, disobedient kids get all the attention from the press.  Not the Bishops (unless to criticize them) or the faithful clergy and laity. I know why that is: it’s because it furthers the agenda that the liberal press wants, which is bigger government, socialization of health care, an expansion of abortion rights.  But the fact the the Magisterium teaching of the Church is shuffled off to the bottom of the articles, if mentioned at all, really gets my goat. 

I really cannot wait to take over from the Baby Boomers and whatever the heck the generation before them was called.  We want our Church back, “thank you very much for your time and effort, please pick up a Rosary, a carnation and a free missal on your way out the door.”

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Really New York Times?...really?

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The statistics are that there is as much or more abuse amongst Protestant ministers as among Roman Catholic priests.  However, those stories don’t make national news, as most of the priest incidents do.  I (continue to) wonder why. 

Regardless of how they are reported, these are sad stories, like this one in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

BATAVIA TWP. – A former youth minister at a Clermont County church was found shot to death Monday, hours after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl.

Christopher E. Evans, 39, was free on his own recognizance but due back in court Tuesday morning for a new bond hearing because prosecutors had obtained letters he wrote to the victim despite a judge’s order that he have no contact with her.

A sheriff’s deputy patrolling the Slade Road entrance to Harsha Lake at East Fork State Park at 11:15 p.m. Monday discovered a man who apparently killed himself in a truck with a shotgun blast to the face. The truck was registered to Evans, said Lt. Randy McElfresh of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The county coroner’s office confirmed the identity Tuesday after the man’s fingerprints were compared with those on file for Evans, McElfresh said.

The ranger station parking lot in Batavia Township where the body was found is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said John Gillespie, law enforcement manager for East Fork State Park. The area doesn’t usually close at night.

Evans faced up to 50 years in prison at a sentencing scheduled for April before Judge Victor M. Haddad of Common Pleas Court in Batavia. He also faced a fine of up to $100,000.

Evans said little during the Monday hearing at which he pleaded guilty to five counts of each charge. At one point, he bowed his head and wiped tears from his eyes with a handkerchief.

A full-time minister at Saltair Church of Christ on Ohio 222 in Tate Township for more than two years, Evans expressed suicidal thoughts to others after his arrest and had access to weapons, according to court records.

“He is a broken man,” Brother Bob Wickline, senior minister of the church, told The Enquirer after Evans was arrested in December. “He is very, very remorseful.”

Evans faced up to 100 years in prison after being indicted Dec. 16 on 10 counts of each charge. He entered the guilty plea after the prosecution agreed to drop half the charges, which spared the girl from having to testify at a trial.

The judge told Evans on Monday that he would read letters written to the girl by Evans.

“If those letters are real and they say some things that are disturbing to the court, (the prosecutor) may ask me to set a hearing on your bond,” the judge said.
“Here’s what you need to know: You’re going to sink or swim based on what you’ve done and on what you do,” the judge said. “I’m capable of putting you on (probation), and I’m capable of giving you 50 years.”

Evans had been acting as a parent to the girl, the prosecutor told the judge.
She had lived with Evans, his wife and their children on Pitzer Road in Tate Township, Wickline told The Enquirer.

Evans began a sexual relationship with the girl in July. It continued until authorities were notified Dec. 7, Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg said.

The nondenominational church was founded in 1948. Its Web site calls it “a down-home country church where folks are still the salt of the Earth.”

The girl was a member of the congregation’s youth group, but there was no indication any abuse took place at the church or during church activities, the sheriff has said.

Evans was youth minister to the congregation of about 400 people from November 2007 until December of last year. He recently moved to the Macon area of Brown County.

Ex-minister facing prison found dead

Posted using ShareThis

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Is this article suggesting that religious people are only spiritually-inclined because they are brain-damaged?  Hmmm. 

(Feb. 11) — Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say.
The study, published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Neuron, involves a personality trait called self-transcendence, which is a somewhat vague measure of spiritual feeling, thinking and behaviors. Self-transcendence “reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one’s self as an integral part of the universe as a whole,” the researchers explain.
Before and after surgery, the scientists surveyed patients who had brain tumors removed. The surveys generate self-transcendence scores.
Selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions of the brain induced a specific increase in self-transcendence, or ST, the surveys showed.
“Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST,” said Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy. “Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors.”
Previous neuroimaging studies had linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, “but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking,” explains lead study author, Urgesi said.
One study, reported in 2008, suggested that the brain’s right parietal lobe defines “Me,” and people with less active Me-Definers are more likely to lead spiritual lives.
The finding could lead to new strategies for treating some forms of mental illness.
“If a stable personality trait like ST can undergo fast changes as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate that at least some personality dimensions may be modified by influencing neural activity in specific areas,” said Dr. Salvatore M. Aglioti from Sapienza University of Rome. “Perhaps novel approaches aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders.”

Links to Spirituality Found in the Brain.

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Overall, not an unfair article from Errin Haines on the Associated Press wire.  I applaud this Atlanta group’s efforts, and I am very happy it is making national news.  Yay for the discussion!  Pro-life groups can only benefit from these types of stories, I think, because slowly it raises awareness of these previously unreported and consequently unknown issues, like the overwhelmingly racial element in the abortion industry. 

I am wondering — Is this the first time that the Associated Press has reported the link between Margaret Sanger and eugenics?

Controversial Ga. billboards link abortion, race

By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer Errin Haines, Associated Press Writer Sun Feb 14, 12:54 pm ET

ATLANTA – The message on dozens of billboards across the city is provocative: Black children are an “endangered species.”

The eyebrow-raising ads featuring a young black child are an effort by the anti-abortion movement to use race to rally support within the black community. The reaction from black leaders has been mixed, but the “Too Many Aborted” campaign, which so far is unique to only Georgia, is drawing support from other anti-abortion groups across the country.

“It’s ingenious,” said the Rev. Johnny Hunter, national director of the Life Education and Resource Network, a North Carolina-based anti-abortion group aimed at African-Americans that operates in 27 states. “This campaign is in your face, and nobody can ignore it.”

The billboards went up last week in Atlanta and urge black women to “get outraged.”

The effort is sponsored by Georgia Right to Life, which also is pushing legislation that aims to ban abortions based on race.

Black women accounted for the majority of abortions in Georgia in 2006, even though blacks make up just a third of state population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, black women were more than three times as likely to get an abortion in 2006 compared with white women, according to the CDC.

“I think it’s necessary,” Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue, said of the billboard campaign. “Abortion in the black community is at epidemic proportions. They’re not really aware of what’s actually going on. If it shocks people … it should be shocking.”

Anti-abortion advocates say the procedure has always been linked to race. They claim Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wanted to eradicate minorities by putting birth control clinics in their neighborhoods, a charge Planned Parenthood denies.

“The language in the billboard is using messages of fear and shame to target women of color,” said Leola Reis, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Georgia. “If we want to reduce the number of abortions and unintended pregnancies, we need to work as a community to make sure we get quality affordable health care services to as many women and men as possible.”

In 2008, Issues4Life, a California-based group working to end abortion in the black community, lobbied Congress to stop funding Planned Parenthood, calling black abortions “the Darfur of America.”

Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler said a race-based strategy for anti-abortion activists has gotten a fresh zeal, especially in the wake of the historic election of the country’s first black president, Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights.

“He’s really out of step with the rest of black America,” Scheidler said. “That might be part of what may be shifting here and why a campaign like this is appropriate, to kind of wake up that disconnect.”

Abortion rights advocates are disturbed. Spelman College professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall called the strategy a gimmick.

“To use racist arguments to try to bait black people to get them to be anti-abortion is just disgusting,” said Guy-Sheftall, who teaches women’s history and feminist thought at the historically black women’s college.

“These one-issue approaches that are not about saving the black family or black children, it’s just a big distraction,” she said. “Many black people don’t know who Margaret Sanger is and could care less.”

___

On the Net:

Too Many Aborted: http://www.toomanyaborted.com

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_abortion_race_card

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I hope his ‘new direction’ takes him on a retreat with the Capuchins, past a Catholic church or heck even just into a Catholic bookstore.  In the AP article, note the exceedingly brief mention of the very public smackdown Rep. Kennedy received from his Bishop, which as you recall was all the news just 2 months ago.  This looks to be a victory for Bishop Tobin for the way the AP skirts around the controversy.  Surprisingly to many people, it was Rep. Kennedy who came out worse for having attacked the Church’s teachings and authority.  Interesting…

WASHINGTON – Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s decision not to seek re-election will leave Washington without a Kennedy in political office for the first time in more than 60 years.

The Rhode Island Democrat’s term ends early next year but he says in a television message viewed by The Associated Press on Thursday that his life is “taking a new direction” and he will not seek a ninth term.

The 42-year-old son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy does not give a reason for the decision but says it has been a difficult few years for many people and he mentions the death in August of his father.

“Illness took the life of my most cherished mentor and confidante, my ultimate source of spirit and strength,” he said, as a black-and-white photo of him as a boy sailing with his father appeared on the screen. “From the countless lives he lifted, to the American promise he helped shape, my father taught me that politics at its very core was about serving others.”

The announcement is to air Sunday on Rhode Island television stations.

The decision comes less than a month after a stunning upset by Republican Scott Brown in the race for the Massachusetts Senate seat his father held for almost half a century. Last week, as Brown was sworn into the seat, Patrick Kennedy called Brown’s candidacy a “joke” and predicted Brown would betray his union supporters.

Mark Weiner, a major Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island and one of Kennedy’s top financial backers, said he had spoken with Kennedy about his decision, and that his father’s death had taken an enormous toll.

“It’s tough to get up and go to work every day when your partner is not there,” Weiner said. “I think he just had a broken heart after his father passed away.”

Kennedy said in his ad that he remained committed to public service, and he thanked Rhode Island voters for supporting him through ups and downs.

He has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006. Still, he has been comfortably re-elected twice since then, after making mental health care his signature issue in Washington.

“When I made missteps or suffered setbacks, you responded not with contempt, but compassion,” he said. “Thank you for all the times you lifted me up, pushed me forward and filled my heart with hope.”

Kennedy was not specific about his plans, but said he would continue to fight for issues on behalf of those suffering from depression, addiction, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Now having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction,” Kennedy says.

As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Kennedy has made sure federal dollars are sent to his state.

Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin, Rhode Island’s only other House member, had spoken with Kennedy and said he would miss him in Congress.

“Patrick is a true public servant and passionate fighter who made a real difference for the people of our great state,” said Langevin, who served with Kennedy in the state House of Representatives.

Kennedy was elected to that position in 1988 at age 21 while still attending Providence College, then was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.

Kennedy also has been a financial boon to the Democratic Party, drawing people to fundraisers nationwide, and he once served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In Congress, Kennedy has pushed for greater mental health care coverage, citing his own struggles with depression and addiction. His mother, Joan Kennedy, has been through several alcohol treatment programs.

Kennedy has never married, and friends have said his personal life had taken a back seat to his career.

Still, until recently, Kennedy appeared committed to running again.

The only Republican in the race, state Rep. John Loughlin, has been working with Brown’s campaign team, the Shawmut Group, and was raising money. But Kennedy was heavily favored to win the race: Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 4 to 1 in Rhode Island. Loughlin has little statewide recognition, and Kennedy had four times as much campaign cash on hand coming into the year.

He told The Providence Journal shortly after Brown’s win in January that he wasn’t worried about Loughlin, saying “bring it on.”

Weiner said Kennedy was not afraid of losing the election.

“Winning or losing had nothing to do, I’m sure, with his decision,” he said.

Loughlin said Thursday night that he wished Kennedy well.

“We hope that wherever life takes him beyond his career in Congress that he has good fortune,” Loughlin said. “And we’re going to stay in the race.”

No Democrat has entered the race for the seat.

Kennedy has had a difficult time in the public spotlight, with a number of high-profile troubles. Most recently, he engaged in a protracted public spat with Providence Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin over health care reform and Kennedy’s support of abortion rights.

After leaving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in 2006, he described to reporters how his work and public profile had taken a toll on his health, and bred feelings of isolation and self-criticism.

“How well this event did or how well that event did — and then I’d take that all home, and it’s all on me,” he said then. “And then I don’t have a private life. I don’t have real personal connections. I don’t have a support system.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100212/ap_on_el_ho/us_patrick_kennedy

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