Obama Offers Israel Nuclear Umbrella Against Iranian Attack

Middle East Times | December 15, 2008 | By MEL FRYKBERG

JERUSALEM – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has offered Israel a “nuclear umbrella” to protect it against a possible nuclear attack by Iran, according to sources in the pending U.S. administration that were quoted off record.

This follows U.S. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton‘s democratic electoral campaign statement that Israel and certain Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States should be given deterrence against a possible Iranian attack.

“Iran must know that an attack on Israel will draw a massive response,” said Clinton.

Accompanying the nuclear umbrella would be a new and improved Israeli anti-ballistic missile system which the U.S. George W. Bush administration kicked off by deploying an early-warning radar system in Israel’s Negev desert. This system upgrades Israel’s ability to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.

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War and Peace: What does Orthodoxy teach us?

Orthodoxy Today |10/26/04 | AGAIN Magazine

An AGAIN interview with Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster

Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster, Ph.D., is the co-author, with Dr. Darrell Cole, of The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West, published in 2004 by Regina Orthodox Press.

The book explains the moral teachings known as the “justifiable war tradition,” and their importance today. In The Virtue of War, Fr. Alexander argues that:

We need not have any moral qualms about the war against international Islamic terrorism. . . . As the vanguard of Western civilization, we Americans and our allies in the “coalition of the willing” are duty-bound to lead the counter assault against the evil scourge of anarchic, nihilistic terrorism. . . . The virtues of prudence, courage, justice, and charity demand that we continually prepare to resort to force of arms in accordance with the highest moral teachings of historic Christendom, both East and West. . . . Orthodoxy developed a realistic justifiable war tradition firmly grounded in natural law and the ancient Christian virtue tradition. . . . It is precisely the synthesis of idealism and realism, of vision and power, of mysticism and justice in the Orthodox justifiable war tradition that might speak forcefully to the role of the United States in the contemporary world.

Fr. Alexander holds a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in History and Education from Columbia University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University Divinity School, a Graduate Certificate in International Security Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in religion/social ethics from the University of Pittsburgh. Fr. Alexander is parish priest of Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Virginia; a military chaplain (with the rank of lieutenant colonel) in the Virginia Army National Guard; Associate Professorial Lecturer in the University Honors Program at George Washington University; and the author of The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998).

Read this article on the Again Magazine website OR on OrthodoxyToday website

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The Politics of Fatherhood

Fatherhood advocates insist that the crisis of fatherless children is “the most destructive trend of our generation” (Blankenhorn 1995, 1). Virtually every
major social pathology has been linked to fatherlessness: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, teen pregnancy, suicide—all correlate more
strongly to fatherlessness than to any other single factor. The majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers,
adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes (Daniels 1998; NFI 1996). The connection is so strong that controlling for fatherlessness
erases the relationships between race and crime and between low income and crime (Kamarck and Galston 1990). Yet despite its salience in public
policy debates and within psychology, sociology, and law, fatherhood has received little attention from political scientists.

To read Stephen Baskerville’s full article (in pdf format) click here!

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Should Congress Provide Abortions?

The State of America | February 10, 2008 | Daniel Downs

According Samantha Singson, Director of Government Relations at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation has been campaigning to stop all funding for abstinence education and to convince lawmakers to attach funding for abortion to HIV-Aids programs. With the help of Congressional Democrats, they might succeed.

In her last Friday Fax report, Singson wrote, “Congress began consideration this week to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a $50 billion pot of money. The draft bill, sponsored by Tom Lantos (D-CA) guts funding for abstinence programs and shifts the focus of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to family planning which will open up the proposed $50 billion program to abortion groups now barred due to the U.S. Mexico City policy.”

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Canadian Wal-Mart workers in Saskatchewan
have won a 4-year battle with the company.
Read the Article Here!

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Pelosi Confirms War on Christmas

Christian News Wire | WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2008 | Peggy Birchfield, Faith and Action

 — Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi recently confirmed to Capitol Hill missionary Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) of Faith and Action that the war against Christmas is real.

Schenck is a missionary to elected and appointed officials on Capitol
Hill and was a VIP guest at the recent US Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony held on the Capitol’s West Lawn, near the presidential inaugural platform that is under construction.

Following the ceremony that included traditional Christmas carols played by a US Air Force band, Rev. Schenck thanked Speaker Pelosi for keeping, as he said it, “Christ-mas” at the US Capitol, emphasizing “Christ.” Speaker Pelosi politely acknowledged the remark, then pursued Rev. Schenck to tell him she had been “mugged” for doing so.

Rev. Schenck commented, “At first I didn’t understand what Mrs. Pelosi was saying, so I simply nodded and thanked her again, but she repeated it emphatically. I realized the Speaker was saying she had paid a serious price politically for allowing the Christmas celebration to go on. She obviously took some political heat for it. For that, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be commended, and I made sure I did so.”

Schenck also said, “The fact that Nancy Pelosi said she was assailed for allowing a Christmas observance at the US Capitol confirms the war against Christmas is not a figment of the so-called religious right’s imagination. If one of the most liberal, arguably left-wing political leaders in our country, the woman third in succession to the presidency, is getting pummeled for lighting a Christmas tree and allowing Christmas carols on the lawn of the Capitol, that would qualify as a war against

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Natural Law as a Universal Ethic

Natural law defends us from abuses of power, Benedict XVI asserts

Vatican City, December 5 (CNA).-A commission of theologians is wrapping up a five-year study on the ability of natural law to serve as a set of universal ethics for mankind. With relativism gaining prominence in the modern world, Pope Benedict asserted that natural law is “the authentic guarantee” of freedom and the defense against “any form of ideological manipulation.”

Pope Benedict delivered his address on natural law to participants in the plenary session of the International Theological Commission at the Vatican on Friday morning. The meeting coincided with the conclusion of the commission’s five-year mandate, the seventh since it was created.

Referring in his remarks to a soon-to-be-approved draft document on the ability of natural law to serve as a form of universal ethics, the Holy Father pointed out “the urgent need, in the current situation of culture and of civil and political society, to create the conditions necessary to raise awareness of the indispensable value of natural moral law.”

In a culture where a “survival of the fittest” mentality often holds sway, Pope Benedict praised the natural law as “the authentic guarantee everyone has to live free and respected in their dignity as human beings.” Moreover, the natural law helps people “feel they are defended from any form of ideological manipulation and all abuses perpetrated on the basis of the law of the strongest,” the Holy Father said.

Since the International Theological Commission also studied the question of the “meaning and method of theology” for the last five years, Benedict XVI went on to remark that “the real task of theology is to enter into the Word of God, to seek to understand it and to make it understood in our world, and thus to find the answer to our great questions.”

“Methods in theology cannot be constituted only on the basis of criteria and norms common to other academic disciplines, but must above all observe the principles and norms deriving from [God’s] Revelation and from faith in its personal and ecclesial dimensions,” the Pope explained.

Pope Benedict also touched on the sensitive topic of academic freedom for theologians. After first pointing out that “the fundamental virtue of theologians is that of seeking obedience to the faith, which makes them collaborators of truth,” the Pope affirmed that “obedience to truth does not mean giving up research or the effort of thought.”

“Restiveness of thought, which in the life of believers can certainly never be fully placated because they too are searching for and studying the Truth, will nonetheless be a restiveness that accompanies and stimulates them on their pilgrimage of thought towards God, and in this way it will bear fruit.”

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