Featured Video

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

31 March 2011

President Obama's Most Amazing Libyan Achievements have been in America

Proof that Democrats have no principles -- only tribal loyalties

By bombing Libya, President Obama accomplished some things once thought absolutely impossible in America:

a) War-mongering liberals. Liberals are now chest-thumping about military "progress" in Libya. Even liberal television and radio cite ingenious reasons why an optional, preemptive American intervention in an oil-producing Arab country, without prior congressional approval or majority public support -- and at a time of soaring deficits -- is well worth supporting, in a sort of "my president, right or wrong" fashion. Apparently liberal foreign policy is returning to the pre-Vietnam days of the hawkish "best and brightest."

b) Europe first. Many Americans have long complained about the opportunistic, utopian Europeans. Under the protective U.S. defense shield, they often privately urged us to deal with dangerous foreign dictators -- while staying above the fray to criticize America, at the same time seeking trade advantages and positive global PR. But now the wily Obama has out-waited even the French. He has managed to shame them into acting with a new possum-like U.S. strategy of playing dead until finally even Europe was exasperated -- almost as if the president were warning them, "We don't mind the Gadhafi bloodletting if you, who are much closer to it, don't mind." The British Guardian and French Le Monde will be too knee-deep in the Libyan war, busy chalking up Anglo-French "wins" and worrying about European oil concessions, to charge America with the usual imperialism, colonialism and militarism. We are almost back to the 1956 world of the Suez crisis.

c) Iraq was just a Libyan prequel. Conservatives have complained that past opposition -- especially in the cases of then-Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- to George W. Bush's antiterrorism policies and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was more partisan than principled. Obama ended that debate by showing that not only can he embrace -- or, on occasion, expand -- the Bush-Cheney tribunals, preventative detentions, renditions, Predator attacks, intercepts and wiretaps, and Guantanamo Bay, but now preemptively attack an Arab oil-exporting country without fear of Hollywood, congressional cutoffs, Moveon.org "General Betray Us"-type ads, Cindy Sheehan on the evening news, or "Checkpoint"-like novels. In short, Obama has ensured that the exasperated antiwar movement will never be quite the same.

d) Monster-in-recovery. The Gadhafi clan has been wooing Westerners through oil money and multicultural gobbledy-gook. In the last few years, the British released the Lockerbie bomber, a native of Libya; Saif Gadhafi, the would-be artist and scholar and the son of Col. Muammar Gadhafi, essentially bought a Ph.D. from the prestigious London School of Economics; the creepy Harvard-connected Monitor Group hired out cash-hungry "scholars" to write on-spec tributes to Gadhafi's achievements; and singers Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Beyoncé and other entertainers earned a pile of petro-dollars for crooning before the Gadhafis. Then, suddenly, Obama spoiled the fun and profits by turning Gadhafi from a rehabilitated monster back into Ronald Reagan's old "Mad Dog of the Middle East."

e) Stuff happens. Many supporters of the Iraq war condemned Abu Ghraib as the poorly supervised, out-of-control prison it was. Lax American oversight resulted in the sexual humiliation of detained Iraqi insurgents. It was a deplorable episode in which, nonetheless, no one was killed, and yet it took an enormous toll on the credibility of administration officials. But while the media covered the Libyan bombing and the Middle East uprisings, a number of Afghan civilians allegedly were executed by a few rogue American soldiers. That was a far worse transgression than anything that happened at Abu Ghraib under Bush's tenure -- but apparently an incident that in the new media climate, can legitimately be ignored. Obama made "stuff happens" a legitimate defense for those doing their best to run a war from Washington.

f) War really is tiring. The media serially blamed a supposedly lazy Ronald Reagan for napping during military operations abroad. George W. Bush was criticized for cutting brush at his Texas ranch while soldiers fought and died in Iraq. Obama rendered all such presidential criticism as mere nitpicking when he started aerial bombardment in the midst of golfing, handicapping the NCAA basketball tournament and taking his family to Rio de Janeiro.

g) The road to Damascus? After Bush's interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, many war-weary Americans believed that we would never again get involved in a Middle East war. But now, with Obama's preemptive bombing of Libya, giddy American interventionists are again eyeing Iran, Syria -- and beyond!

In short, Obama turned America upside down when he bombed Libya -- and in ways we could have scarcely imagined.


29 March 2011

Janet Napolitano

(Click to enlarge)

27 March 2011

Betrayed by a Muslim Man


This letter is from Kris, telling her story about how she was betrayed by a Muslim man.

I am Hispanic and met my Muslim husband in 1999. At that time I was 21 years old single mother of one. My child’s father was and never has been involved, so my Middle Eastern partner assumed the role of “Father” towards my child. We dated for about 1 year before he moved into my house with my child and I. He swept me off my feet and was very generous towards all of my family and I. Both my parents were reluctant to accept him, due to his religion and what they have studied on Islam. I come from a Catholic home and this made things a bit difficult for me.

Over the past 12 years many lies came from him and he never went back home (Yemen) to visit his mother since he first came to the United States in 1995. After living with him for about 3 years, I found out that he had attended an Engagement Party for himself. I was devastated. You can only imagine how I felt, he never mentioned marriage with me, but I felt that if I was patient and loving, Marriage would come in due time. We separated and of course he moved out and I continued to raise my child and work hard. About one year went by, we reconnected and started dating again which led to him moving back in…again no commitment between us (marriage), but I have always been very independent and love to work and have had much patience.

I remember sometimes he would be on the phone to his family “back home” and this would just ruin his day. Many times my own mother would ask me to leave him, due to the religious differences and the pressure he must have been getting during those phone calls. I tried to be understanding and talk to him about his family back home, but he would say that he may have to go sometime soon because his mother would cry allot over the phone. So, we continued to live together in the West Coast and all of a sudden in 2004 he decided to invest in a business back East and move there without me.

He promised he would return to move us and that he had to go get his business started and that he was not financially set to absorb the cost of the move, so it is that we started a long distance relationship. I now realize that he was trying to forget about me and separate from me. I sold my house and since it was only in my name, I decided to share the proceeds from the sale because I trusted him and he had mentioned that his business in the East needed money.

In 2006 he sold his business and came back and moved back in with me. During this time I was employed and making decent money. He bought a couple of investment homes that ended up being a mistake because he bought them during the “Real Estate Hike”. I soon lost my job due to the recession and ended up becoming pregnant. We were both excited and even though I was unemployed he had started working out his business.

Just a few months after giving birth, he was arrested and imprisoned for approx. 11 months. During those 11 months I would visit and support him as much as I could, because now I was a single mom of not 1 but 2 girls. I sacrificed allot and he knew it. No one not even his father came to visit him once while incarcerated. The long trips to prison almost got me and my girls into a few accidents. After his release in 2008, I was sure that he would marry me right away. He ended up losing his investment homes and his business while in prison. I was sure that our problems were over, since he jumped right back into work with the help of his family. The calls from his family continued throughout all of these years and after his prison release I could sense that the pressure to return to Yemen was mounting. I feared this of course, because he had always kept me away from his Father and Mother. His father had visited other family in the U.S., but never came to stay with us and I realized that they would not acknowledge me or even his blood granddaughter. To this day, I never met his parents and they have never met my 2 daughters. Why does this bother me???

After all of this we married the end of 2009. I was so happy and he promised to always be by my side and he would always promise and swear that our hard times were over. I had started to work with him and help rebuild himself back to where he could own a business again. I lent him my credit since his was bad and after all these years my parents also helped him by giving him private loans. From 2008 thru 2009 we worked very hard together to save money. Obviously I was never in control of the money and never knew how much we had, which always bothered me because I was also working and my independence always was there. He build up enough money and told me that he would invest in a new business, but not in the West, he left back East again and stayed there for around 6 months to open up and work on his new store. While I stayed behind with the girls waiting for him because he was going to come back for all of us and move us…this time for SURE! So he came back and told me that I would have to wait to move because his business was still not profitable, which I understood that it takes time for a business to build itself up, but what about family? Where did I stand in all of this? He left again to the East and this is how our relationship has been for about a year and a half.

Finally the dreadful news…He came in August of 2010 and I was so excited because he said that we were moving to be with him. At least this is what he said over the phone. Disappointment, just another lie. He came to tell me that he would be leaving to Yemen for 3 months and that he would be back the late part of the year (2010), but that he would be here for Thanksgiving. He celebrated every year Every American/Western Holiday, he would Grill and have cookout parties, that YES did have beer. During the time he was in Yemen from October thru December I had received 3 anonymous phone calls telling me that he had married a 17 year old in Yemen. CAN YOU SAY HEART BREAK!!! Wow, here I am waiting for him, happy for him that he has gone to visit his mother. While I lay in a cold bed, he lays in a warm bed with his new teenage wife. I am now 35 years old and nothing makes sense. I have an education and was smart…until I fell in Love.

Now it is 2011, he came back from Yemen on Valentine’s Day! He returned back to us, his American Family, on March 3rd “to move us to the East Coast” he showed me the High School our oldest daughter, which he helped me raise, would be going to and he even took us to get UHaul quotes and showed us East Coast homes online that he had gone to see for us.

On March 13th, he told me with his own cowardly words that he was no longer in love with me and that he had Married in Yemen. He asked if I could accept it and it would work between us. I surrendered everything up until this point! No more I have some love left for him, but I love myself more. I am hurt that he did this to me and lied up till the last minute just because he did not have the courage to be honest from the time he landed back here. He has changed, cold like dry ice. Unaffectionate even to his daughters, he mentioned that he returned to his faith and that all the years he lived with me he was lost, but that he had found what he really wants in his religion. That he knows I will never be Muslim and that he does not want his daughters to be raised without wearing a hijab. He wants his kids to be raised Muslim and this is why he married, not for love. He denies to me that he loves her, he married in October and I will move forward with my daughters and never forgive him for his betrayal.

He swore to me on his Quran before he left to Yemen that he would not get married. This is why I was always so fearful and distrusting of him going back to his county. They all do it, I know this now. It is clear that this man I thought I knew had a plan for everything.

I stopped being the person I really was, disconnected from childhood friends for him and was less confident. He was much “Westernised”, we would go out drink beers and cocktails with friends. He didn’t even care to call anyone when he returned. Like I said he was quiet and looked me with sorrow and indifference. I don’t know what happened since I last saw him in August. He has changed and I don’t know who he is. I filed for a divorce last week and I am sad. I was raised to believe in Marriage…I believed in Marriage. He gave me hope to the last minute. He left on Wednesday, March 23rd and I am almost certain that he will even forget his daughters. Unfortunately I gave myself into intimacy to him again believing and excited that we were going back East with him. I feel so disgusted because I know he is Married in Yemen and his teen wife is now expecting.

This time when he returned, I could tell he was gone. He was physically here, but his mind was elsewhere. While he returned a “Born Again Muslim”, it was odd he was drinking alcohol. He does seem confused, I feel he loves me, but the pressure of his family and religion have asked that he flushes all of his past life out of his heart and mind. I am certain that I am being blamed of his “Bad Misfortune/Luck” and for all the problems he went through. They convinced him that I am the reason why so many bad things happened to him, because I am not Muslim. Like I said I never lied to him and never promised that I would convert. This is a difficult complicated religion for him, imagine how it must be for an American who comes from a normal up-bringing? I will never convert not for anyone.

Why am I in shock? What kind of woman am I to have stayed by a man who had gotten engaged to another woman while he was living with me? I have been by myself for 1 year, was I not supposed to see this coming? To any woman out there I wish none of this on you. It is heartbreaking, especially for the children. They always ask when their Dad is coming back. The oldest understands, but my 4 year old is lashing out in strange ways. God help me. Please pray for me and pray that I no longer ask Why? You never think that this will happen to you, but they all go back and do this, Trust me…”Who Feels it, Knows It”. I just pray mostly for my girls that their father does not forget about them, but I am sure that this is bound to happen. He already forgot when he went to Yemen and married to start a new family.


Hi Kris,

Islam transforms hearts. I am not saying this. This is what Muslims say. It makes it callous and unfeeling. Normal people who let themselves become influenced by Islam lose every trace of their humanity. They become capable of killing others, including their own children. Marrying a Muslim has its risks. A Muslim can turn to his or her religion anytime. When that happens, it is as if their soul is snatched out of them and a diabolic entity occupi9es their body and controls them. You learned your lesson the hard way. I hope those who read your story will think twice before meeting a Muslim man, or even a woman.

Now, you are concerned about him forgetting his daughters. I wish that were the case. He does not love them alright, bgut he will come back for them, especially his own. He will set traps to snatch her from you and take her to Yemen where he will try to raise her as a Muslima and marry her off to another scumbag Muslim. Be careful. Your daughters don’t need that man. Cut all the communications with him and don’t let him come close to them. They will be far better without him.

Muslims swearing on Quran means nothing. One should never trust a Muslim. His words absolutely mean nothing to him. He can break them at any time. Trust a Muslim as much as you trust a predator wild animal. You can trust a predator animal as long as you know he fears coming close to you. As soon as you let your guards down he will attack you.

As for yourself, you are going to be okay. You are still young and can find a good man, if that is what you want. Try plentyoffish.com and explore new waters. This time you are wiser and hopefully will avoid the mistakes you committed before. There is nothing certain in life, but at least you know not to date a Muslim no matter how modernized he may be. Dating a Muslim is like marrying someone with HIV. He may not have full blown AIDS, but he is at a much higher risk of contracting it. I hope women read your story and avoid Muslims like plague. That is what they are. They are plague. They are plague as individuals and they are plague as society.

As long as a person is a Muslim and to the extent that he tries to emulate Muhammad, he is a beast. Islam robs people’s humanity and reduces them into very evil beings.

Muslims are torn between two forces. On one hand they are humans like all of us and have the same human feelings. They can love, feel nostalgic, be friendly, hope, fear, etc. On the other hand Islam tells them that all their human feelings are tests for their faith in Allah. It is often the latter that wins. So when a Muslim falls in love, his love can be sincere, but the problem is that once his faith come into play, all that love can vanish.

Trans man loses court battle for bigger breasts on NHS

A transsexual man who wanted his local NHS trust to pay for him to have bigger breasts has lost his case in the Court of Appeal.

The 59-year-old was challenging West Berkshire Primary Care Trust’s decision not to fund the £2,300 operation, claiming that it violated his human rights and amounted to sexual discrimination.

But on Friday three judges in the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Trust’s decision, upholding a previous High Court judgement.


The man, who is known only as C, began hormone therapy in 1996. His lawyers argued that his breasts had failed to develop to a size appropriate to his “size and frame”.

But lawyers acting on behalf of the PCT warned that the surgery wasn’t essential, and that there was not any evidence that it would be clinically effective or cost effective.

Although C has been living as a woman since 1996 and adopted a female name in 1999, he has not requested funding for genital reassignment surgery.


Neither has he applied for a gender recognition certificate under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, meaning that he is legally regarded as being male.

Critics of sex-change surgery warn that gender dysphoria is a psychological problem, not a physical one.

In November a man who underwent sex change surgery to look like a woman – then changed back – said that the NHS should halt all sex change operations.


Charles Kane, who spent £100,000 on operations to make him look like a woman, said he needed counselling, not surgery.

“Based on my own experiences, I believe sex-change operations should not be allowed, and certainly not on the NHS”, he said.

Mr Kane said: “People who think they are a woman trapped in a male body are, in my opinion, completely deluded. I certainly was.

“I needed counselling, not a sex-change operation.”


He added: “In many ways I see myself as a victim of the medical profession.”

Mr Kane was born Sam Hashimi but had an operation to make him look like a woman in 1997.

He believes that the decision to have sex change surgery came as a result of the trauma of the breakdown of his marriage.


In 2002 doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – stated that after surgery, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.

Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism, released in April 2000, said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.

‘Surprise’ defeat for Maryland’s gay marriage bill

A Bill which would have made homosexual marriage legal in one of America’s most liberal states has been thrown out.

Both sides of the debate expressed surprise at the outcome, as it had been touted as a “done deal”.

And it is widely believed that Maryland’s black churches were key in securing the Bill’s defeat.

Civil rights?

In the only public debate on the matter held by the House of Delegates this year, a number of openly homosexual delegates urged their colleagues to legalise same-sex marriages as a matter of civil rights.

“Like everyone else on this panel”, said Del. Anne Kaiser for Montgomery County, “I see this as a very important civil rights issue.”

And Del. Mary Washington for Baltimore echoed her views, stating: “Your courageousness in continuing Maryland’s tradition of righting social injustice is before you right now.”


But Derek McCoy, President of the Maryland Family Council, said: “This is not a civil rights issue”.

He went on: “This is an issue where there are a group of radical folks who want to push an agenda and want to redefine it for everybody else.”

The Bill had already been through the more conservative State Senate last month, so it came as a surprise to all concerned when the House of Delegates rejected it.

‘Mass mobilization’

The failure of the Bill to be made law has been put down to the “mass mobilization” of the State’s African-American churches.

The Baltimore Sun wrote: “Advocates [of gay marriage] didn’t anticipate the mass mobilization of black churches, which began preaching against the legislation and urging parishioners to contact their lawmakers.”

And Brian Brown, President of the National Organisation for Marriage (NOM), said: “This was a big victory. We were told this is a done deal, same sex marriage will pass.

“If you look back a few months ago”, he went on, “I don’t think anyone would have predicted this.”


The impact of African-American churches on the Bill’s defeat was significant, according to a number of delegates.

“Black churches have never asked us for anything”, said Del. Cheryl Glenn during the debate. “They are asking us now, ‘Don’t use the word marriage’”.

And Baltimore Democrat Del. Tamadge Branch said his pastor had lobbied him heavily, while other pastors had raised the matter passionately during church services.


The Rev. Franklin Lance, pastor at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Baltimore, said members asked questions about gay marriage at Bible study.

“From my perspective just in talking to my congregants, we have simply been saying that we believe that marriage should be defined as man and woman,” he said.

“This is not to be negative toward or restricted toward or biased toward anyone else”, he added.

“We do believe that [marriage] is sacred. We believe it’s holy.”

26 March 2011

The tantalising proof that belief in God makes you happier and healthier

By Tom Knox

God has had a tough time over the past few years. On TV, in newspapers and on the internet, the debate as to whether faith has any relevance in a sceptical modern world has been as ubiquitous as it has been vigorous.

And it has been pretty clear which side is the most splenetic.

From Richard Dawkins’ powerful atheist polemics to Christopher Hitchens’ public derision of the Roman Catholic Tony Blair and Stephen Hawking’s proclamation that the universe ‘has no need for God’, it seems that unbelievers have had the dwindling faithful on the run.

Or have they?

Proof? Research has found that religious believers have a healthy and happier life, but what is the secret and how does religion work its magic?

Proof? Research has found that religious believers have a healthy and happier life, but what is the secret and how does religion work its magic?

As research for my latest novel, Bible Of The Dead, I have spent months investigating the science of faith versus atheism, and discovered startling and unexpected evidence. It might just change the way you think about the whole debate, as it has changed my view.

I am not a religious zealot. On the contrary, I was a teenage atheist. And although in adulthood I have had a vague and fuzzy feeling that ‘there must be something out there’, I was never a regular church-goer. But what I have discovered, on my voyage through the science of faith, has astonished me.

My journey began a couple of years ago when I was travelling in Utah, the home of Mormonism. During my first week there, I approached this eccentric American religion with a typically European cynicism. I teased Mormons about their taste in ‘spiritual undergarments’; I despaired at being unable to find a decent cappuccino (Mormons are forbidden coffee, as well as alcohol, smoking, tea and premarital sex).

But then I had something of an epiphany. One night, after a long dinner, I was walking back to my hotel in downtown Salt Lake City at 2am and I suddenly realised: I felt safe. As any transatlantic traveller knows, this is a pretty unusual experience in an American city after midnight.

Why did I feel safe? Because I was in a largely Mormon city, and Mormons are never going to mug you. They might bore or annoy you when they come knocking on your door, touting their faith, but they are not going to attack you.

The Mormons’ wholesome religiousness, their endless and charitable kindliness, made their city a better place. And that made me think: Why was I so supercilious about such happy, hospitable people? What gave me the right to sneer at their religion?

From that moment I took a deeper, more rigorous interest in the possible benefits of religious faith. Not one particular creed, but all creeds. And I was startled by what I found.

For a growing yet largely unnoticed body of scientific work, amassed over the past 30 years, shows religious belief is medically, socially and psychologically beneficial.

In 2006, the American Society of Hypertension established that church-goers have lower blood pressure than the non-faithful.

Likewise, in 2004, scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested that college students involved in religious activities are more likely to have better mental and emotional health than those who do not.

Meanwhile, in 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live.

Christopher Hitchens attacked Tony Blair
Tony Blair was attacked by Christopher Hitchens

Attack: Christopher Hitchens made a public derision of Tony Blair's decision to becoming a Roman Catholic

As they put it: ‘Religious attendance is associated with adult mortality in a graded fashion: there is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly.’

Exactly the same outcome was recently reported in the American Journal of Public Health, which studied nearly 2,000 older Californians for five years. Those who attended religious services were 36 per cent less likely to die during this half-decade than those who didn’t.

Even those who attended a place of worship irregularly — implying a less than ardent faith — did better than those who never attended.

Pretty impressive. But there’s more; so much more that it’s positively surreal.

In 1990, the American Journal of Psychiatry discovered believers with broken hips were less depressed, had shorter hospital stays and could even walk further when they were discharged compared to their similarly broken-hipped and hospitalised, but comparatively heathen peers.

It’s not just hips. Scientists have revealed that believers recover from breast cancer quicker than non-believers; have better outcomes from coronary disease and rheumatoid arthritis; and are less likely to have children with meningitis.

Intriguing research in 2002 showed that believers have more success with IVF than non-believers.

A 1999 study found that going to a religious service or saying a few prayers actively strengthened your immune system.

These medical benefits accrue even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs.

And faith doesn’t just heal the body; it salves the mind, too. In 1998, the American Journal of Public Health found that depressed patients with a strong ‘intrinsic faith’ (a deep personal belief, not just a social inclination to go to a place of worship) recovered 70 per cent faster than those who did not have strong faith.

Another study, in 2002, showed that prayer reduced ‘adverse outcomes in heart patients’.

But perhaps this is just an American thing? After all, those Bible-bashing Yanks are a bit credulous compared to us more sceptical Europeans, aren’t they?

Proclamation: Professor Stephen Hawking has said that the 'universe has no need for God'

Proclamation: Professor Stephen Hawking has said that the 'universe has no need for God'

Not so. In 2008, Professor Andrew Clark of the Paris School of Economics and Doctor Orsolya Lelkes of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research conducted a vast survey of Europeans. They found that religious believers, compared to non-believers, record less stress, are better able to cope with losing jobs and divorce, are less prone to suicide, report higher levels of self-esteem, enjoy greater ‘life purpose’ and report being more happy overall.

What is stunning about this research is that the team didn’t go looking for this effect — it came to them unexpectedly. ‘We originally started the research to work out why some European countries had more generous unemployment benefits than others,’ says Professor Clark.

But as they went on, the pattern of beneficial faith presented itself. ‘Our analysis suggested religious people suffered less psychological harm from unemployment than the non-religious. Believers had higher levels of life satisfaction.’

So what’s going on? How does religion work this apparent magic?

One of the latest surveys to suggest that religious people are happier than the non-religious was conducted by Professors Chaeyoon Lim and Robert Putnam, from Harvard, and published last year.

They discovered that many of the health benefits of religion materialise only if you go to church regularly and have good friends there. In other words, it’s the ‘organised’ part of organised religion that does a lot of the good stuff.

Going to a friendly church, temple or mosque gives you a strong social network and a ready-made support group, which in turn gives you a more positive outlook on life — and offers vital help in times of need. The Harvard scientists were so startled by their findings that they considered altering their own religious behaviour.

As Professor Lim said: ‘I am not a religious person, but . . . I personally began to think about whether I should go to church. It would make my mum happy.’

But if the ‘congregation’ effect is one explanation for the good health of churchgoers, it’s not the only one. Other surveys have found that intrinsic faith is also important.

For instance, a study of nearly 4,000 older adults for the U.S. Journal of Gerontology revealed that atheists had a notably increased chance of dying over a six-year period than the faithful.

Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didn’t go regularly to a place of worship. This study clearly suggests there is a benefit in pure faith alone — perhaps this religiousness works by affording a greater sense of inner purpose and solace in grief.

This begs the question: Given all this vast evidence that religion is good for you, how come the atheists seem so set against it?

They pride themselves on their rationality, yet so much of the empirical evidence indicates that God is good for you. Surely, then, it is the atheists, not the devout, who are acting irrationally?

All this will come as no surprise to many students of genetics and evolution, who have long speculated that religious faith might be hard- wired into the human mind.

For instance, twin studies (research on identical siblings who are separated at birth) show that religion is a heritable characteristic: if one twin is religious, the other is likely to be a believer as well, even when raised by different parents.

Prayer: Studys have found that even those with a small connection to religion can feel the benefits of it

Prayer: Studys have found that even those with a small connection to religion can feel the benefits of it

Neurologists are making exciting progress in locating the areas of the brain, primarily the frontal cortex, ‘responsible’ for religious belief — parts of the brain that seem designed to accommodate faith. This research even has its own name: neurotheology.

Why might we be hard-wired to be religious? Precisely because religion makes us happier and healthier, and thus makes us have more children.

In the purest of Darwinian terms, God isn’t just good for you, He’s good for your genes, too.

All of which means that, contrary to expectation, it is the atheists who are eccentric, flawed and maladaptive, and it’s the devout who are healthy, well-adjusted and normal.

Certainly, in purely evolutionary terms, atheism is a blind alley. Across the world, religious people have more children than non-religious (go forth and multiply!), while atheist societies are the ones with the lowest birth rates.

The Czech Republic is a classic example. It proclaims itself the most atheist country in Europe, if not the world; it also has a puny birthrate of 1.28 per woman, one of the lowest on the planet (so soon there won’t be any godless Czechs to proclaim their atheism).

The existence of atheism is therefore something of an anomaly. But then again, anomalies are not unknown in evolution.

Think of the dodo or the flightless parrot, doomed to extinction. Are atheists similarly blighted? Are Richard Dawkins and his type destined to vanish off the face of the Earth — the victims of their own intellectual arrogance?

That’s not for me to say; it’s for you to ponder. All I do know is that reassessing the research has changed the way I think about faith. These days I go to church quite a lot, especially when I am travelling and researching my books.

For instance, the other day I found myself in Cambridge — the home of Stephen Hawking — and took the opportunity to do some sightseeing of the city’s intellectual landmarks.

I strolled by the labs where Hawking does his brilliant work, popped into the pub where they announced the discovery of DNA and admired the library where Charles Darwin studied. As I did, I was in awe at the greatness of Man’s achievements.

And then I went to Evensong at King’s College Chapel, and it was beautiful, sublime and uplifting. And I felt a very different kind of awe.

Sneer at faith all you like. Just don’t assume science is on your side.

Bible Of The Dead is published by HarperCollins on March 17.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1358421/The-tantalising-proof-belief-God-makes-happier-healthier.html#ixzz1EXo8o4oC

06 March 2011

Blue America: The land of the easily offended

Commentators on our country explain our blue-red division in many ways – liberal-conservative; secular-religious; North-South; coasts-heartland; singles-married with children.

I propose one more explanation: the easily offended-the not so easily offended.

With the acknowledgment that there are many individual exceptions, a major defining characteristic of modern-day liberalism is the ease with which liberals take offense personally and/or on behalf of others.

Liberals regularly portray as offended women, African Americans, Jews, American Indians, gays and every other group liberals declare a minority, i.e., any group that votes Democrat – no group that votes Republican, such as Mormons, Cuban Americans and Vietnamese Americans, is considered a "minority." All other groups are constantly warned that almost anything they say that is not patronizing of those groups is offensive (and therefore subject to litigation).

Having given thousands of lectures across the country and on all seven continents (yes, Antarctica, too) over the past 30 years, I can vouch for the personal-offense element. I am continually astounded at how often members of the audience (usually liberal women) will say they are offended by something I said, when what they really mean is that they don't agree with me.

It is most unlikely that conservative men or women speak that way – saying, "I am offended" – when they hear liberal speakers.

For one thing, conservatives are so used to being labeled as stupid, bigoted, ignorant, racist, homophobic, sexist, insensitive and intolerant that it is almost impossible to offend them. Moreover, the culture does not allow them to feel offended, since they are not an officially designated minority.

For another, liberal positions are far more emotion-based than reason-based.

To cite but one of many examples, take the widely held liberal slogan "War is not the answer." It is pure irrationality. War has ended more evil than anything the left has ever thought of. In the last 60 years alone, it ended Nazism and the Holocaust; it saved half of Korea from genocide; it kept Israel from national extinction and a second Holocaust; it saved Finland from becoming a Stalinist totalitarian state; and according to most of the people who put "War is not the answer" stickers on their bumpers, it saved Bosnian Muslims from ethnic cleansing.

The list of irrational, feelings-based liberal positions is almost as long as the list of contemporary liberal positions. The relevant point here is that people who take positions based on feelings will of necessity take disagreement more personally and feel offended more often than others.

Liberals' claims of being offended themselves or on behalf of a selected group are almost endless.

Liberal Jews and non-Jews claim that "Merry Christmas" offends Jews and other non-Christians. That 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas is of no importance to the easily offended.

Liberal blacks and other liberals see racism almost everywhere in America. To cite a typical example, the absence of black musicians in major orchestras has frequently been named as an example of white racism, despite the fact that many orchestras audition musicians behind a curtain. To non-liberals, the reason probably lies in the fact that few black kids learn to play the oboe or viola. And the sad result of liberals taking offense at so much white behavior is that many whites now talk very guardedly and unnaturally to blacks.

Liberal American Indian spokesmen and other liberals regularly tell us how offensive Indian names of sports teams are. The latest polls show that most Indians have no problem with such names, but liberals are still offended on their behalf. To make the point of how offensive the name "Indians" is for the Cleveland baseball team, one liberal caller once asked me, "How would you feel if a team were named 'Jews'?" I told him that it would be a great day in Jewish history – for 3,000 years, Jews have been looking for fans.

Part of America remains the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. An almost equally large part is now the Land of the Easily Offended and the Home of the Hypersensitive. Which land we become is a big part of the second American civil war we are fighting.

03 March 2011

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, ‘faithful and courageous servant of the Lord’

Large photo of Dr. Nathanon on the altar in front of Archbishop Dolan
Steve Jalsevac/LifeSiteNews

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Not too long ago, it would have been unimaginable that an atheistic Jew and leading U.S. abortion rights advocate, who was personally responsible for the abortion deaths of perhaps 75,000 unborn children, would be called a “faithful and courageous servant of the Lord” by the homilist at his Catholic funeral Mass.

And yet that is what Fr. Gerald Murray said of Dr. Bernard Nathanson in St. Patrick’s cathedral Monday in New York during the Mass presided over by Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Much has been written about Bernard Nathanson since his death last week. More was revealed on Monday during the homily, by his eulogist at the end of Mass, and later at a special reception for his many pro-life friends who were enthusiastically welcomed at the Manhattan Church of Our Saviour by its famous pastor, Fr. George Rutler.

Fr. Gerald Murray
Fr. Gerald Murray
Steve Jalsevac/LifeSiteNews

Twelve priests concelebrated the funeral Mass with the archbishop, including Father John McCloskey, who guided the repentant abortionist into the Catholic Church, Fr. Joseph Howard, American Bioethics Advisory Commission director, and the renowned Fr. Benedict Groeschel.

A large contingent of Sisters of Life were present as were many pro-life leaders who all came to say farewell to a dear friend and great ally in the struggle to defend the unborn.

Fr. Murray, who gave what many said was a magnificent homily, related that it was his “privilege to bring the consolation of the sacraments to Dr. Nathanson at his home” for the past two years.

In his remarks Murray said, “God’s grace is made ever more manifest when He chooses unexpected apostles” such as Bernard Nathanson, who had experienced “years of deep involvement in what he called ‘the satanic world of abortion.’”

Fr. Murray called Dr. Nathanson “a fearless advocate of the self-evident truth that it is a grave injustice to kill people before they are born.” He continued: “Heroism is called for. True heroism is never easy and is only possible through God’s grace. We acknowledge today our gratitude to a true hero who would not abide such grave injustice in our land. In doing so, we too recognize the Hand of God in the life of Dr. Nathanson.”

The Hand of God was the title of the moving book that Nathanson wrote about his journey from the “culture of death” to the “culture of life”.

Athina Aston
Athina Aston
Steve Jalsevac/LifeSiteNews

Athina Aston, who worked for Nathanson for the past 17 years arranging his numerous pro-life speaking engagements, legal case testimonies and communications, did the first Mass reading. Athina later told LifeSiteNews that in the past year she still saw Nathanson two or three times per month to do his work, even as late as two weeks before his death.

One of the things that impressed Athina about her pro-life evangelist employer was “all his energy for pro-life and going to the conferences, going from one city to another, from one country to another. The calls wouldn’t stop.” Even when Nathanson was battling cancer for the past 8 years, which Athina was not aware of until the last year, she said, “he was in the office every time I came.”

Chris Bell and his wife Joan Andrews Bell, who spent nearly 5 years in prison for her pro-life activities, also read during the funeral mass liturgy. Chris got to know Nathanson at a New Jersey Right to Life convention in 1986 when the former abortionist, even though he was still “somewhat of a professed atheist, was fasting before speaking on behalf of the unborn.”

Chris Bell
Chris Bell
Steve Jalsevac/LifeSiteNews

Ten years later, after Chris and Joan were married, Nathanson asked Joan to be his godmother when he became a Catholic in 1996 - baptized and confirmed by Cardinal O’Connor in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Joan asked Dr. Nathanson to deliver their child and the Bell’s continued to visit and call him, with Joan’s last call being a few weeks before his death.

At the end of the Mass, lawyer Tom Moore presented an eloquent and passionate eulogy for his close friend of 30 years. Moore related that Nathanson “not only championed the rights of children before birth, but also of children after birth” and that this was how the lawyer “knew him best.”

Moore advocated on behalf of what he called, “defenseless ones after birth devastated and destroyed through negligence.” He related that Nathanson spoke on their behalf in his cases as an expert witness, “with the same ardor and fervor as he did of the unborn.”

Tom Moore
Tom Moore
Steve Jalsevac/LifeSiteNews

Moore told LifeSiteNews afterward that Bernie, as all his friends called him, “was a consummate expert in obstetrics” and that he frequently did this work for him, “even before he became an advocate for the unborn. And his Dad did it before him.”

In his closing remarks Archbishop Dolan acknowledged all those present and thanked them for their steadfast efforts on behalf of the unborn. Of Dr. Nathanson, he said, “Thanks be to God for his life, thanks be to God for his prophetic courage. We need it now more th


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More