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Message from Sen. Salazar re: National Renewable Electricity Standards

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding a renewable electricity standard (RES). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, while many states have instituted RESs-- policies mandating that a state generate a certain percentage of its energy from renewable sources-- there is no federal RES.

In 2004, I endorsed Colorado's Amendment 37 to establish a statewide RES of 10%. As you may know, this effort was supported by a majority of Colorado and passed.

I believe that a national RES will help the United States meet our energy needs in a diversified manner, while creating economic opportunities for rural America.

As your U.S. Senator, I have been active in supporting a RES to be included in comprehensive energy legislation. I co-sponsored and voted for an amendment to the 2005 Energy Bill that would have established a national 10% RES by 2020. This amendment passed the Senate but it was removed from the final Energy Bill by the House of Representatives.

I also supported an amendment to the 2007 Energy Bill that would have established a 15% RES by 2020. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle blocked this amendment from ever coming up for a vote.

While I am disappointed that the 2007 Energy Bill did not ultimately create a national RES, I will keep fighting to establish a sensible national RES as I continue my work in the Senate. Toward that end, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Thanks again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Salazar re: FAA reauthorization

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I appreciate hearing from you.

The current system of aviation taxes and fees that fund the operations of the FAA, including oversight of the nation's aviation system, will expire on September 30. In addition, most related federal aviation programs will also expire at this time. As a result, Congress is currently in the process of crafting legislation to reauthorize these programs for an additional ten years.

The reauthorization process comes at a critical time – our nation's aviation infrastructure is aging rapidly, employs outdated technology, and is increasingly incapable of meeting the transportation and safety needs of the growing number of air travelers. We need to modernize the system now. We also must ensure that the cost of modernization is fairly distributed among all the users of the system, including commercial carriers, business aviation, cargo jets, independent users, and passengers.

In the Senate, FAA reauthorization falls under the jurisdiction of two Committees: the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Finance Committee, of which I am a member. The Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the taxes and fees that fund the system, has held two hearings on this matter, and is likely to formally consider reauthorization legislation in September.

Please be assured that I remain committed to creating a system that meets our nation's future aviation needs and that distributes costs equitably, and that I will keep your thoughts in mind as FAA reauthorization legislation makes its way through both the Finance Committee and the full Senate.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Salazar re: Higher Ed. Amendments of 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1642, the Higher Education Amendments of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you.

Specifically, S.1642 aims to improve federal higher education programs by improving the process to secure federal student aid, creating new limits on the relationships between schools and student aid lenders, increasing the income sheltered from the financial aid process for students who are working their way through college, as well as other reforms intended to provide greater assistance and protection to students.

I believe increasing access to education is a pivotal step to ensuring the future productivity and strength of our nation and support federal programs, which encourage and facilitate Americans to seek a higher education.

I understand and respect your concern regarding Section 491.1, which requires accrediting bodies to respect the religious mission of universities. I support laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation and would not wish to facilitate discriminatory actions. I have been told by institutions of higher learning that this provision will not be problematic, but will be sure to continue to monitor the issue.

I voted for S. 1642, which passed the Senate on July 24, 2007 by a vote of 95 to 0. This bill must now be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind while continuing to work on this important legislation.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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This is how we treat people?

Monday, September 10, 2007

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Keith Olbermann Slams Bush

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Military

Thursday, September 06, 2007

When our fighting men and women are sent off to war there seems to be a logical progression of event that will usually happen.

Families are separated.


Innocents are harmed or killed.



Comrades are lost and mourned.

Our military men and women return to the open arms of their families.

Or...our military men and women return to the open arms of their personal God.

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Letter to Indonesian Officials re: Harassment and Abuse of LGBT Persons

Inspector General Om Bikram Rama,

I am writing you regarding the case of Sanjiv Kumar Karna, a 24-year-old student at Ram Sagar Ram Swarup Multiple College in Janakpur, who was picnicking with a group of friends on 8 October 2003 when he and ten others were arrested by a group of joint security force personnel in Janakpur. While being transported to police detention, Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his friends were brutally beaten before being interrogated.

Six of those detained were subsequently released, but Sanjiv Kumar Karna and four friends – Durgesh Kumar Labh, Pramod Narayan Mandal, Shailendra Yadav, and Jitendra Jha – have not been heard from since.

Sanjiv Kumar Karna's arrest is believed linked to his interest in student politics and his former membership in the All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) (ANNISU-R), which is aligned with the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist). However, he resigned from the ANNISU-R in 1998 and his family says that he had no involvement with the CPN (Maoist).

After registering complaints with relevant authorities, Sanjiv Kumar Karna's relatives have been repeatedly assured that investigations are underway and that they will be informed when they are completed. However, according to investigations by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, Amnesty International understands that the police and the Home Ministry deny any police involvement in the arrest of Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his friends, while the Nepal Army has said that all five young people were killed in a "police action" on the day that they were arrested.

Amnesty International is therefore seeking clarification of these different accounts. I urge you to please establish the whereabouts of Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his four friends and make public your findings. If they are found to be alive, they should be released immediately and unconditionally, unless they are charged with recognizable criminal offenses. If they have been killed, please establish what happened to them to ensure that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.

Sincerely
Bret

With a Copy to:
Ambassador Kali Prasad Pokhrel

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Letter to Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yushchenko re: Woman's Rights in Ukraine

President Viktor Yushchenko,

Violence against women is an abuse of women's basic human rights including their right to physical and mental integrity, their right to life and their right to equality with men. Ukraine is a party to all major relevant international conventions, under which it is required to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of those persons in its territory and subject to its jurisdiction without discrimination, including on the grounds of sex.

Ukraine must comply with its obligations under international law with regard to domestic violence. Specifically, Amnesty International is calling on the government of Ukraine to act now to commit to improving protection for women exposed to domestic violence and to raise awareness in society about the issue of domestic violence. With this in mind, I urge you and your government to commit to the following steps:

• The government of Ukraine should immediately pass the new draft Law on the Prevention of Violence in the Family which already incorporates some of the recommendations made in Amnesty International's briefing paper.
• The government of Ukraine must promptly allocate secure, long-term government funding or actively seek donor funding, to ensure that shelters, specifically for women exposed to domestic violence, are set up in every region of the county in collaboration with NGOs experienced in working to protect women from violence, with subsequent running costs assigned to local government. The shelters must be available to all women without regard to their place of residence, or citizenship.
• The government of Ukraine must fund and implement a national public awareness campaign to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women. The campaign should: promote zero tolerance of violence against women, remove the stigma from women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress.

Ensuring that Ukraine complies with its international obligations relating to domestic violence should be a priority in the area of human rights

Sincerely
Bret

With a Copy to:

Minister Vasyl Petrovych Tsushko
Minister Viktor Petrovych Korzh

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Letter to Malay Officials re: Transsexual Safety Issues in Malaysia

Chief Minister Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam
Director Alias bin Md. Saad
Chief of Police Johari bin Yahaya

I am writing to express my deep concern for the safety of Ayu, a male-to-female transsexual, who was seriously beaten by three enforcement officers from the Melaka Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka, JAIM) who detained her while she was talking to friends at the Old Melaka bus station in Kota Melaka, Melaka state, at around 11.30pm on July 30, 2007. After Ayu was admitted to the hospital, JAIM ordered the hospital authorities to report the names of other transsexual people who came to visit Ayu during her stay in the hospital. Ayu may be at risk of further abuse and other transsexual people may also be in danger.

I am also concerned because abuses against transsexual people appear to be rising in Malaysia at the hands of both the ordinary police and so-called "religious police" like JAIM. I fear that such actions may be creating a climate of vigilantism among community groups and society at
large against those whose sexual or gender identity is perceived to deviate from the "norm."

I strongly urge you to order a full, immediate, and independent investigation into allegations that Ayu was attacked by JAIM religious affairs officers and to ensure that those found responsible for the violence against Ayu are brought to justice.

In addition, I would like your immediate guarantee that Ayu and other transsexual people in Melaka will not be subjected to further abuse from JAIM officers, and that charges will not be pressed against Ayu which are based on her gender identity and violate her fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.

Furthermore, I am very concerned that JAIM ordered the hospital to report other transsexuals visiting Ayu. It is your duty to ensure that transsexual patients in hospitals are able to receive visitors without harassment or discrimination and in line with regular hospital visiting procedures for all patients.

Finally, regulations and policies which discriminate against transsexual people in violation of their human rights must be reformed or repealed. Thank you for your prompt and sincere action on these matters.

Sincerely
Bret


With a Copy to:

Prime Minister Sri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Ambassador Rajmah Hussain

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This sums up most of the World's sentiments

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

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Poverty

It is certainly a sad and horrible commentary on the state of the United States of America, when 12.4% of the population is living below the poverty line. Yes it can be said that number is easily 5, 6 or even 8 times as great in Africa, and other third-world nations. I will certainly grant this point. However, in an industrialized country such as the USA, this is unacceptable. We should have a poverty level of 0%. Helping third-world peoples around the globe is the duty of all modern, moral nations; however, it is also our duty to take care of our own.

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Call of Life Documentary

Here's a preview for a new documentary that is currently in production. It is entitled "Call of Life" and explores that mass extinction of species due to the impact of humans. You can read more about this incredible film at www.speciesalliance.org .

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The Founding Father's Were NOT Christians

Monday, September 03, 2007

This is a pretty interesting post that I found on the Internet. Pardon the spelling and grammar errors, they are not mine.


THE FOUNDING FATHERS WERE NOT CHRISTIANS

A brief survey of readily-Googled resources has produced the following summary of the religious beliefs of American Founding Fathers.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Thomas Paine, with Abe Lincoln thrown in for good luck.

NOT ONE OF THEM WAS A CHRISTIAN. Some of them were Deists, believing in the existence of a God or Supreme Being but denying "revealed" religions (such as Christianity), instead basing their belief on the light of nature and reason. Some were Unitarians. Unitarianism is the belief that God exists in one person, not three: it denies the deity of Christ, the person hood of the Holy Spirit, eternal punishment, and the vicarious atonement of Jesus. Unitarianism is obviously not Christian.

So while they all believed in "God" and "His Providence", and thoroughly appreciated the moral teachings of Jesus, not one of these men was a Christian, and some of them had some pretty scathing things to say about the Christian religion, as you will see. (Jefferson and Franklin, as you might expect, are particularly juicy.)

If there was ever something to "send to everyone you know" this would be it. Please copy the text and e-mail it or print it or send people the link to this page. Read on!

Jay

GEORGE WASHINGTON: a Deist, not a Christian. Said "no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny." (more about George below)

THOMAS JEFFERSON: a Deist. Said "In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills." (much more below)

BEN FRANKLIN: a Deist, said (about the story of Jesus): "I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the Dissenters in England, doubts as to his divinity." (much more below)

JOHN ADAMS: a Unitarian. As President of the U.S., he signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, which says "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion... it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of ... any Mehomitan nation."

THOMAS PAINE: Said "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of…. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."

JAMES MADISON, fourth president and Father of the Constitution, said: "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" and "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

ABE LINCOLN said "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true,"

More details:

GEORGE WASHINGTON by Prof Peter Henriques, George Mason University

Rev. Dr. Bird Wilson, sermon in 1831: GW "was esteemed by the whole world as a great and good man; but he was not a professing Christian."

Bishop William White "I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove Gen. W. to have been a believer in the Christian revelation."

According to Arthur Bradford, Rev. Ashbel Green declared, "while GW was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies…. He was not a Christian but a Deist."

It seems clear that never took Holy Communion, despite considerable pressure to do so. He rarely quotes the Bible and then to make a secular point. Most likely he did not pray on his knees. [And almost certainly not in the snow at Valley Forge!] His records confirm that he occasionally worked, entertained, went fox hunting, and drank on the Sabbath. [There was a distillery on MV.] Am not sure if he danced and gambled on the Sabbath but he certainly did on other days.

There is an interesting story which Thomas Jefferson tells, as he wrote it in his Diary, for February 1, 1800, just six weeks after Washington's death:

"Feb. 1. Dr. Rush tells me that he had it from Asa Green that when the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the Government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article in their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice…. "I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more in the system (Christianity) than he did." (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 284.)

GW does not see the truth revealed so there is no dispute as to what it is - thus the key is to act in concert with your conscience, which has more power for GW than revealed religion. From rules of civility which GW copied as a youngster and which influenced his life, the final rule was: keep the heavenly spark of conscience alive in you. This he does. GW is confident he knows what is "just" and "right" and he does not rely on some kind of revealed religion or holy book to tell him so.

As Dorothy Twohig notes, Washington's "interest in religion always appears to have been perfunctory". I believe the image of GW as a man of honor rather than a man of religion helps explain why that is the case.

"If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any religious society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and, if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be administered as to render liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution." (To the General Committee Representing the United Baptist Churches of Virginia.)

"For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens."

THOMAS JEFFERSON by John E. Remsburg

Jefferson said: "The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills."

Jefferson said: "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross, restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some and the roguery of others of his disciples."

Jefferson found the Unitarian understanding of Jesus compatible with his own. In 1822 he predicted that "there is not a young man now living in the US who will not die an Unitarian." Jefferson's christology is apparent in one of his most famous writings, the "Jefferson Bible."

Of immense appeal is the image of President Jefferson, up late at night in his study at the White House, using a razor to cut out large segments of the four Gospels and pasting the parts he decided to keep onto the pages of a blank book, purchased to receive them. This original project of 1804, which he titled "The Philosophy of Jesus," he refined and greatly expanded in his later years. The final product, completed in 1820, he called the "Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," which was the version Congress published [and traditionally given as a welcoming gift to every new congressman]. Jefferson's "Life and Morals" argues no theology. It is simply his edited version of the Gospels. He literally cut out the virgin birth, miracle stories, claims to Jesus' divinity, and the resurrection. Some scholars believe he first assembled his collage of Jesus' teachings for his own devotional use. A late reference to the "Indians" who could benefit from reading it, was likely directed at those public figures, often Christian ministers, who had viciously attacked his religious beliefs without in the least understanding them or -- as Jefferson believed -- Jesus.

In the gospel history of Jesus, Jefferson discovers what he terms "a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticism, and fabrications."

In the same communication he characterizes the Four Evangelists as "groveling authors" with "feeble minds." To the early disciples of Jesus he pays the following compliment:

"Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Corypheus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."
[Corypheus: The conductor, chief, or leader of a party or interest.]

In the following significant passage we have Jefferson's opinion of the Christian religion as a whole: "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies"

It is probably safe to say that Jefferson first acquired from Joseph Priestley features of his worldview and faith which he found confirmed to his satisfaction by further thought and study for the rest of his life. These included a withering a scorn for Platonic and all forms of Neoplatonic metaphysics; a fierce loathing of all "priestcraft" whose practitioners he held guilty of deliberately perpetrating rank superstition for centuries, thus maintaining their own power; a serene conviction that Jesus' moral teaching was entirely compatible with natural law as it may be inferred from the sciences; and a unitarian view of Jesus. These features are all well attested in his voluminous private correspondence.

He considered Jesus the teacher of a sublime and flawless ethic. Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors."

"It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

In his letter to Ezra Stiles, he extols the system of morals taught by "Jesus of Nazareth," but says, "I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the Dissenters in England, doubts as to his divinity."

Dr. Franklin and Dr. Priestley were intimate friends. Of Franklin, Priestley writes:

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers" (Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60).

Dr. Franklin: "Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands. They were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lecture. It happened that they produced on me an effect precisely the reverse of what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appealed to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself. In a word, I soon became a thorough Deist"

His expressed opinions are ample to show that at no time during his career was he a Christian -- that he lived and died a Deist. In a letter to the Rev. George Whitefield, written in 1753, when he was forty-seven years old, we have his opinion of Christianity:

"The faith you mention has doubtless its use in the world. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I desire to lessen it in any way; but I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it. I mean real good works, works of kindness, charity, mercy, and public spirit, not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing, and reading, performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments, despised even by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity" (Works, Vol. vii, p. 75).

At the age of eighty-four, just previous to his death, in reply to inquiries concerning his religious belief from Ezra Stiles, the President of Yale College, he wrote as follows:

Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render him is doing well to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this."

This is pure Deism.

JOHN ADAMS

As President of the U.S., he signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, which says, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion... it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of ... any Mehomitan nation."

Adams was raised a Congregationalist, but ultimately rejected many fundamental doctrines of conventional Christianity, such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, becoming a Unitarian. In his youth, Adams' father urged him to become a minister, but Adams refused, considering the practice of law to be a more noble calling. Although he once referred to himself as a "church going animal," Adams' view of religion overall was rather ambivalent: He recognized the abuses, large and small, that religious belief lends itself to, but he also believed that religion could be a force for good in individual lives and in society at large. His extensive reading (especially in the classics), led him to believe that this view applied not only to Christianity, but to all religions.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Allen Guelzo, professor of American history at Eastern College in St. Davids, Pa., in a new book: "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" (Eerdmans):

Religion became a hot issue in 1846 when Lincoln won a seat in the U.S. House over Democrat Peter Cartwright. The Cartwright camp spread talk of Lincoln as infidel and he responded in a handbill distributed days before the election. Guelzo thinks this was probably Lincoln's most revealing theological statement. "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true," Lincoln wrote. But he denied disrespect toward religion in general or any Christian group.

Springfield pastor James Smith said Lincoln believed some form of providence was at work in the universe, but was unable to believe in a personal God or in Jesus as his savior. That amounted to Unitarianism, but Lincoln had no interest in that liberal denomination.

Lincoln never joined a church nor ever made a clear profession of standard Christian beliefs. While he read the Bible in the White House, he was not in the habit of saying grace before meals. Lincoln's friend Jesse Fell noted that the president "seldom communicated to anyone his views" on religion, and he went on to suggest that those views were not orthodox: "on the innate depravity of man, the character and office of the great head of the Church, the Atonement, the infallibility of the written revelation, the performance of miracles, the nature and design of . . . future rewards and punishments . . . and many other subjects, he held opinions utterly at variance with what are usually taught in the church."

The Ambiguous Religion of President Abraham Lincoln

by Mark A. Noll

As Carl Sandburg recounts in Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, Lincoln attended one of Cartwright's revival meetings. At the conclusion of the service, the fiery pulpiteer called for all who intended to go to heaven to please rise. Naturally, the response was heartening. Then he called for all those who wished to go to hell to stand. Not many takers. Lincoln had responded to neither option. Cartwright closed in. "Mr. Lincoln, you have not expressed an interest in going to either heaven or hell. May I enquire as to where you do plan to go?" Lincoln replied: "I did not come here with the idea of being singled out, but since you ask, I will reply with equal candor. I intend to go to Congress."

Some people claim that with the carnage of the Civil War, the difficulties with Mary Todd, and the death of his son, Lincoln underwent a conversion to Christianity in his later years:

John Remsburg (1848-1919), President of the American Secular Union in 1897, argued against claims of Lincoln's conversion in his book Six Historic Americans (1906). He cites several of Lincoln's close associates:

  • The man who stood nearest to President Lincoln at Washington -- nearer than any clergyman or newspaper correspondent -- was his private secretary, Col. John G. Nicolay. In a letter dated May 27, 1865, Colonel Nicolay says: "Mr. Lincoln did not, to my knowledge, in any way change his religious ideas, opinions, or beliefs from the time he left Springfield to the day of his death."
  • His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, affirmed the same: "He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term."
  • His biographer, Colonel Lamon, intimately acquainted with him in Illinois, and with him during all the years that he lived in Washington, says: "Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men." Both Lamon and William H. Herndon published biographies of their former colleague after his assassination relating their personal recollections of him. Each denied Lincoln's adherence to Christianity and characterized his religious beliefs as deist or skeptical.

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Reporters without boarders

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Political Cartoons

Sunday, September 02, 2007



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That Einstein was a smart fellow

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Oh, that says it all

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Letter to Dr. Laura

Here's an amazing letter to Dr. Laura from Barbara Mikkelson. Many may have seen it before, but it's worth another read.

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

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