Archive for: October, 2009

Sec. Clinton condemns "Religious Defamation" laws and addresses international issues in annual Religious Freedom Report

On October 25, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the annual International Religious Freedom Report, on behalf of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In the first IRFR from the Obama administration, Clinton stated her opposition to international laws that would propose to protect religious liberty by preventing negative speech about religious viewpoints. […]


OPINION: When Did "Conservative" Become Anarchist?

What planet am I living on? I have grown up with the idea that conservatives were those who value tradition and defendthe status quo ante; who support the institutions of our society. But now it seems that "conservatives" believe that it is wrong for the president of the United States to talk to the nation's school children despite the fact that Ronald Reagan did so; that it is OK to carry an automatic weapon to a public meeting with elected officials; that un-fact-checked statementscirculated by unknown bloggers and radio entertainers are to be believed over independent newspapers with long histories of factual reporting.


Texas execution looms after jury consult Bible (Amnesty International)

EXCERPT: A Texas man who faces execution after jurors at his trial consulted the Bible when deliberating his fate should have his death sentence commuted, Amnesty International said on Friday. Khristian Oliver, 32, is set to be killed on 5 November after jurors used Biblical passages supporting the death penalty to help them decide whether he should live or die. […]


What's Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?

What's Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?

The other day someone sent me a link to an “Antichrist Decoder” that has been posted online by an otherwise reputable Christian ministry. You can type in anybody's name and the program will calculate the value of the name in Roman numerals.

After checking my name to make sure that I was not the Antichrist I looked at the other names that people had plugged into the decoder and learned that Barack Obama is not the Antichrist, neither is Barack Hussein Obama. Ronald Wilson Reagan's name doesn't add up to 666 even if you type in two “v”s to make the W.

People were having fun with the decoder and for the uninitiated it would be at home in a carnival next to the “Love Meter” or “Magic 8 Ball.” Perhaps an “antichrist decoder” made the rounds on the county fair circuit in years gone by, or a 666 Decoder Ring was the cheap plastic treat in the box of Cracker Jacks.


Northwest Religious Liberty Association Honors Oregon Speaker Dave Hunt

Representative Dave Hunt, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, was awarded by the Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA) at the Oregon Conference Campmeeting in Gladstone on July 17, 2009 for his legislative sponsorship of the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act, Senate Bill 786 (SB 786) which was signed into law by Governor Ted Kulongoski.  There were 2,056 people in attendance.


Colbert on Religious Symbol on Government Land

On his October 13, 2009 episode, Stephen Colbert addressed the recent Supreme Court arguments in the case involving the WWI Veterans' Memorial in the Mojave Desert (Salazar v. Buono). He makes a strong argument that those who are arguing for the cross as a mere symbol in order to preserve it are arguing against its religious significance.