[Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC.] All welcome Hyo-Jin-nim and Yeon-Ah-nim
and offer a standing bow.
[Hyo-Jin-nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage.]
Good morning. [Good morning]
It never gets any easier, [Laughter] and it shouldn't.
What are we dying for?
People here, including me, are dying for faith, right?
And life is about proving the faith that we believe.
And what is faith? How much do you know about God? How much in terms of
percentage? Do you know him absolutely 100% or what?
Life is a risk and we choose our path and that in itself is a risk,
the choices that we make; and we have chosen to follow faith.
What is that faith? And if I ask you individually, almost like a job
interview, I'm sure that everyone has a different degree of answers.
You might in general say something, "I want to know God"
but there is all sorts of variation.
That is reality and how do you come to that on a conclusive basis to say
"This is faith."
You like changes; that's why somebody who stands here has to live
a miserable life of unchanging misery. Because its miserable, but you have
What are you dying for?
Look at your self as a … Father is always talking about us being the
microcosm of the universe. And just on a social level, a societal level,
yes, we are law makers. Individually speaking we are managers. We make
things. We are creators.
We do make laws to our selves, don't we? We give our selves [laws]
and say "OK this is my standard. This is my law, and I will do my best
to follow it." And as you grow they can change. But at the same time,
once you make the law you have to manage yourself and that's what you do.
What you see in society is just a magnification of what you actually
go through in your own individual self in life. That's it. And some
people do get carried away in body mechanics. That's just pure physical
things. That's just body mechanics.
But what's greater? When you can make a standard and manage yourself
to live up to that standard and prove yourself, then what happened afterwards?
You have to take yourself to the next level. What is that? Expansion. And
where does that come from? How do you expand? You have to educate yourself
Education is important right? Knowing the beauty of God and all His
creation; that takes a whole lot of education to understand its beauty and
its purpose. It takes a whole lot of effort to make that expansion.
How much do you know about your own potential? Because education in its
ideal sense provokes people about their potential, because if you don't
you can't expand. And if you can't expand then how the heck can
you know about God who himself is expanding in love?
Who do think you are to say that I know everything about God's
love? Based on God's love, a new face that I see is pat of that plan,
How can I know you automatically? What kind of arrogance is that?
When you talk about dying for faith you really have to understand that
the risks that we take, we take it for a reason. We want to grow. We want
to expand. We want to ultimately understand how we can unite with God.
Many times on a physical, you know reality, sometimes its even difficult
just to get to know the next person, a friend. How sociable are you? And if
you're not why aren't you that way? I'm sure that you have
a whole lot of excuses and blame. And I'm sure it's justifiable
to the way the world is.
In this age, if you look at secular politics, all the presentation is more
important than the deed. You see so much pretentiousness and all that stuff.
People say that a picture is worth a thousand words, well action is worth
a thousand pictures. How's that?
Putting something into action for the right reasons, for the sake of
others, for the sake of stuff we believe that is good, is difficult. And
you're going to do it till the day you die? Difficult.
Because is about, like I said earlier, is proving your faith.
Having said that: I want to thank you [gathered here] because you are
changing my ways. I used to be detached. [Laughter] I was indifferent. I
was vulgar. I lived in rage. I am grateful to you too, you are helping me
to change my ways. Little by little.. I've got a ways to go..
How can you change without give and take, relationships, opportunity,
reality? Some things you just don't want to change if you're
by yourself. You know what I'm saying?
Changes come when you reach out, when you want to reach out, for what ever
reason. That's how changes are. And that's how you grow in faith.
It doesn't matter if you have to serve a purpose in a position of
unchangingness, the symbolism of it. Still you need to have that give-and-take
relationship so you can change too.
Because you have to expand right? And it takes time to fill so you
need that unchanging stuff to balance the change then you go to the next
level. Then you go to the next level. It's that kind of stuff.
But finding that gratitude in misery is difficult, but if it comes with
the territory, you can't complain. Right?
Everybody suffers right? One way or the other right? [Laughter]
There is no exception.
Please, know what you're dying for and prove that ultimately you
have the greatest faith.
Hundreds of years ago, the wisest elders of Hawaii - the kahunas - would sit atop the mountain peaks scanning the restless oceans below them. Where others, less experienced, might see only the pounding surf and hear the keening of the sea birds, the kahunas were looking for signs that the time was right for one of the astonishing trans-Pacific journeys undertaken by these island peoples.
Studying where stars rose and set on the horizon, weather, times of travel, wildlife species, colors of the sea and sky, and clouds clusters over the islands, the kahunas would pronounce when conditions were right. Then, all that remained was to launch the simple rafts and canoes, and nature would take care of the rest.
For decades, Western scientists were skeptical that such incredible journeys could be undertaken without maps, instruments or even steering mechanisms. Indeed it was not until Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 voyage on the Kon-Tiki from Peru to Tahiti that there was proof of the possibility of such voyages.
This year, when the Reverend Sun Myung Moon visited Hawaii on March 17th he spoke of a spiritual alignment of heavenly fortune and pronounced that the time was right for a new effort for peace for all humanity. He predicted a vast, civilization-changing movement beginning not in the old capitals of Europe or the conflict zones of the Middle East but in the Pacific Rim nations and their 5 billion people.
The numbers of weddings taking place in England and Wales fell by 10 per cent in 2005
Marriage has slumped to its lowest level since records were first kept more than 150 years ago, official figures have revealed.
proportion of couples tying the knot has fallen back into line with its
declining long-term trend following a clampdown on sham weddings.
The popularity of marriage has been waning since 1973, but in recent
years it has been artificially boosted by such bogus unions. In London
alone, new rules which make it harder to use marriage to win the right
to stay in Britain cut the number of ceremonies by more than a third.
But the report from the Office for National Statistics said the crackdown was responsible for only some of the steep decline.
It said the long-term fall in the popularity of marriage was
continuing, with millions of couples choosing instead to live together
and delay having a family. The figures, which cover 2005, the same year
the new rules were brought in, show the number of weddings in England
and Wales dropped by more than 28,000, from 273,070 to 244,710.
The fall brought the marriage rate, the number of people marrying
compared to the population as a whole, to its lowest level since
records were first kept.
The figures show that 12 people
married in 2005 for every 1,000 unmarried individuals. That compares
with a figure of 27 in 1851.
The proportion of married people among the adult population is now only a fraction over a half, at 50.3 per cent.
This figure compares with 54 per cent in 1997 and more than two thirds in the 1970s.
The report said: "There is evidence that London, a location with a
greater than average proportion of non-European nationals, may have
seen an effect from the legislation, either in removing sham marriages,
or in delaying and deterring marriages."
The findings show that
the law putting limitations on the marriage rights of those from
outside Europe had an immediate impact after it came into effect in
Under the rules, anyone without the right to
live in Britain must get a certificate of approval from the Home Office
before marrying, and must give notice of the marriage in one of 76
designated register offices.
However, the ONS said the action against fake marriages was 'certainly not enough' to explain such a large drop in marriages.
The analysts said marriage rates had picked up in 2002 and 2003 in
advance of the 2005 slump. They said couples were influenced by a
number of factors that compounded the effect of sham marriages.
In 2003 and 2004 widespread publicity about the state of marriage, the
legal rights that go with it, and discussion over the
intromarriageduction of gay civil partnership may have encouraged more
couples to marry, the report said.
It added that other
influences on the figures could be migration, because incoming migrant
groups include those with more commitment to marriage than the existing
population, and the growing fashion for people to marry abroad.
Critics of marriage insist that the institution reached heights of
popularity in the 1950s and that in past centuries people married in
similar numbers to now.
In recent years the decline of has
come alongside the abolition by Labour of the Married Couples Allowance
tax break, the removal of references to marriage from official
documents and register office signs, and the growth of the tax credit
benefit system which discourages people from living as a couple.
The drop in marriage has also meant that the teenage wedding - a
phenomenon that caused great concern in the 1960s and 1970s has
virtually died out.
Last year the number of teenagers marrying dropped to fewer than one for every 1,000 single people.
Gays who embark on civil partnerships are usually much older than heterosexuals who marry, the ONS figures show.
The typical age of men entering civil partnerships is 53.9 - 17 years older than men getting married.
Lesbians going into civil partnerships were on average 46.1 years old,
while for women getting married the average age was 33.6.
There were 18,059 civil partnerships in the first 12 months of the new system for formalising gay relationships.
Numbers tailed off after 2,000 partnerships were registered in the
first possible month of December 2005, so that in the last three months
of last year the monthly average was 794.
•Official predictions of future levels of migration are highly likely to be wrong, a Government report admitted yesterday.
It said that successive estimates of the number of migrants who would
come to Britain have always been outstripped by the numbers who arrive.
And the analysis by the Office for National Statistics warned: "Projecting immigration is impossible, but unavoidable."
Estimates of levels of future population growth are used for planning
housing, transport and utilities. But those plans have been badly
thrown out in recent years by the failure to accurately predict or
count numbers of migrants arriving in Britain.
At present, the Government says there will be 145,000 more immigrants
coming into Britain each year than people leaving to live abroad.
The level of actual immigration has been higher than this every year since 1999.
In 2005, net immigration was put at 185,000. This figure, however, still falls short of the true total.
In 1982, when Sun Myung Moon — known more commonly as the Rev. Moon of
the Unification Church, known at times as the Moonies — was jailed on
charges related to an income tax filing, I expressed my approval to my
father. After all, the reverend was the leader of what was considered a
radical religious group that was openly persecuted by the media and
received the disdain of the general public.
was shocked when my father expressed concern for the situation and the
possible infringement of the civil rights of Rev. Moon and his
He said that he must support the constitutional rights of Rev. Moon and
his followers in order that our rights could be similarly protected.
When the Howell Public Schools' Board of Education members
(actually, only four of its members) selected out of 10 applicants the
one who has openly and publicly expressed hatred for a certain faction
of our community, I became concerned that we were about to repeat
Although not a member of the Livingston Organization for
Values in Education, simply be-cause I show no hatred for the group nor
for any of its members, I have become the recipient of much bias and
hatred. That is a price I am willing pay.
Please sit quiet and
relax. Don't become involved. Don't speak out against open hatred and
malice promoted by some members of our community. Be glad that it is
not you who is that target of that hatred — yet.
Hatred knows no bounds and is never satiated. When it knocks on your
door, feel free to console yourself with the knowledge that you kept to
yourself when it knocked on your neighbor's door, that you did not
become involved in "other people's affairs."
When the Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (look it
up on the Internet), it was not the opposition he chastised, but rather
his peers, the religious leaders of his day, for the "do-nothingism"
they held regarding the issue of civil rights and their criticisms of
his disregard for unjust laws.
As for me, I will speak out for
the rights of Vicki Fyke, the members of LOVE, the young boy with thick
glasses and big ears who sits in the back row of the classroom and is
the brunt of others' jokes, and anyone who holds a dissenting opinion
in this community.
I will do so in order that your rights and the
rights of my children may be preserved. I will also chastise certain
members of our community for their "do-nothingism" that has enabled
persecution to thrive to the point that it is now endorsed by our
school board and even flaunted.
As you ponder my statements,
remember that to say you love one and despise another is to deceive
yourself, for true love knows no bounds, sees no race and makes no
note: Bill Harvey was a candidate for the Howell school board in the
May election; he also applied for a vacancy that was filled by the
TARKINGTON PRAIRIE — It's an awesome day. Shayan Shakiba's '96
Mazda, desperately in need of a front-end alignment, judders down the
two-lane at 70 mph. Smash Mouth pounds out wise lyrics at
near-lawnmower volume. Shakiba's left hand is welded to the wheel, but
his eyes, filled with a shrewd intelligence that belies his 23 years,
are glued to the notebook on his lap.
"She teaches piano. That's why there are always kids around," he
mutters to himself, scanning a hand-drawn map. "I love my job. I love
my job. I help families find happiness. I help them have a healthier
life. It is an amazing, tremendous day. Everybody's excited about me
Outside, rainclouds gather and the mercury marches to the 90s.
Insects buzz. Somnolent cows nod in the fields. But Shakiba, a senior
civil engineering student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.,
pulses with energy. He's the sunshine man, the last of a dying breed.
Shakiba is a door-to-door salesman. He's one of about 150 traversing
the state this summer to peddle hefty, multi-volume study guides — good
for youths from kindergarten to college — published by the Southwestern
Company, a one-time purveyor of Bibles.
Nashville-based Southwestern, which will put more than 2,000
students on the sales beat in the U.S., Canada and England this summer,
the Kirby vacuum-cleaner company and some cosmetics marketers are just
about the last of the big door-to-door vendors.
Encyclopaedia Britannica put its shoe-leather brigade on ice more
than 20 years ago; and though World Book Encyclopedia uses agents to
drop in on schools and libraries, those reps aren't in your city to
pound on doors. Both companies offer online editions of their products.
Instant information available on the Internet through the
reader-created Wikipedia and other sites shapes the way knowledge
merchants craft and market their products. But even appliance companies
once reliant on door-to-door sales have modified their strategies, says
Amy Robinson, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Direct Selling
Dan Moore, Southwestern's vice president for business development,
boasts that his company helps students, who work as independent
contractors, run their own businesses. The company recruits on 400
campuses, and since 1868 more than 100,000 students have pounded the
pavement for the publisher. Gov. Rick Perry sold Bibles as a Texas
A&M University student more than 35 years ago.
Hard, frustrating work
Before hitting the streets,
salespeople — 40 percent are women — are groomed in a series of
meetings with company officials, culminating in a weeklong training
session at the publisher's home office.
Once on the job — representatives are dispatched to locales far
from their homes — students may work up to 13 hours a day, six days a
week. A skillful seller averages about $100 a day, minus expenses for
lodging, meals and transportation.
Although some former Southwestern salespeople complain about the
exhausting work and personnel policies, the company has escaped the
unsavory reputation that taints some door-to-door magazine
merchandisers employing teens.
Still, the publisher vigorously defends its turf. Earlier this year,
it fought a bill introduced in the Wisconsin Senate that would have
required it to pay its sales staff salaries. Possibly the broadest such
measure yet introduced in a state legislature, the bill, authored by
state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, now awaits action in the lower house.
Moore says Southwestern opposed the bill because it would require
the company to jettison the independent-contractor system, a business
model, he says, that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit.
Selling books door to door, Moore admits, is not for everyone.
"It's incredibly hard, frustrating work," he says. Almost a third of the company's contractors quit within 20 days.
Shakiba, now in his fourth summer with the company — he previously
sold in Wisconsin, Missouri and New Mexico — has no intention of
quitting. He credits the program with transforming him from a painfully
shy, tongue-tied engineering nerd into a super-slick book-selling
Those sentiments are echoed by salesmen who have gone before.
Bill Martin, a sociologist and senior
fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute, sold books for
Southwestern for five years in the 1950s. He says the program taught
him to stick with a project despite adversity.
Stan Ellis, former CEO of First Meridian, a Houston financial
consulting firm, says his seven summers with Southwestern provided
funds that permitted him to marry and start a family.
Not only has the book-selling job boosted his confidence, says
Shakiba, it's enhanced his résumé, increased his appreciation for his
parents' sacrifices and, of course, fattened his wallet. Skakiba hopes
to use his profits to pay $12,000 in student loans.
Smash Mouth rattles the dashboard: "All that glitters is gold. Only shooting stars break the mold."
"That's kind of a motivational song," Shakiba opines in a momentary
break from his self-directed pep talk. The trim, clean-cut future
engineer is big on motivation. A blue cellophane lei, a trinket from a
sales meeting, dangles from his rearview mirror.
Taped to the dash is a note in orange and green ink reminding of a
Father's Day-inspired sales push. "DAD," it reads. "I promise I will do
my best this week because I want you to be proud of me." Shakiba, a
Tennessee-reared Oregon native, acknowledges he has little contact with
his father, who went back to Iran.
A second note taped to the passenger doors spells out Shakiba's
daily goals: 30 household visits, 12-14 sit-down presentations, six or
seven sales. Wedged between the passenger seat and the center console
is a tattered paperback — Og Mandino's The Greatest Salesman in the World.
Bouncing down the road, Shakiba's eyes scan the passing houses,
watchful for MCPs — multi-colored playthings, a sure sign of potential
sales. "I look for jungle-gyms and bikes," he said. "If there's an
Oldsmobile in the drive — that's old people."
Shakiba, like other Southwestern representatives, has an exclusive
sales territory assigned by the company. Developing it, though, is
totally up to him. "Each call I make is a cold call," he says. At each
stop, he tries to glean as much as possible about the neighborhood and
Shakiba has known hardship on the job. He's been dog-bit, sun-burnt
and rain-pelted. Doors have been slammed in his face. And, a few times,
his knocks have been answered by naked people, both men and women.
Focusing on the precariousness of his current
transportation — at this point the Mazda's front end is violently
shaking — Shakiba grows philosophic. "As long as it's rolling," he
says, "we're rolling with it."
At his second stop of the morning, Shakiba makes a successful
sales pitch to Shannon Nelson, who has two children in the 10th grade
and one in the third. The salesman deftly engages the children in
conversation, asking whether they are A students or active in
after-school sports. The first question elicits a negative reply; the
second a positive.
"Wouldn't it be good to have a book that helped you save time on homework?" he asks.
He drops names of other youngsters at the school; he emphasizes the
virtues of five volumes that cover 67 subjects and are indexed in
several convenient ways. He primes his sale by suggesting that most
people think the books cost upward of $1,000 or more. Aren't toys,
games and treats for the kids expensive, too?
"Look over the book and think about it," he says. "Give me a big yes or a big no. It's the maybes that hurt."
Nelson signs a check for $439.75 plus tax and delivery.
At each stop Shakiba works fast to establish his wholesome nature.
His mother calls him every day to make sure he's eating right, he
volunteers. When selling to a housewife — absent the presence of her
husband — Shakiba always allows that he promised his mother "not to
cause any divorces." Then he moves in for a sale.
Shakiba scores again at the home of Barry
and Bernadine Ringewold, whose 10-year-old twins, Peter and Taylor,
attend local schools. Early in the game, he schmoozes away, dropping
names of local school officials and talking of UIL champions.
"You guys think you could use something like this?" he asks the kids, who respond enthusiastically.
While the father seems cool to the pitch, the mother waxes
enthusiastic. "If education comes and looks us in the face," she says,
"we're not going to slap it down."
Shakiba encourages the couple to buy an expanded version of the
self-help books. Price tag: the high side of $600. Dad balks, asking
for the stripped-down version — three volumes for $208 plus tax and
Bernadine Ringewold signs the check. Then noticing the American-born
Shakiba's Iranian surname, asks with surprise, "Are you a Moonie?"
The allusion to Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon seems lost
on Shakiba. But, he says, customers often do a double-take when they
see his name. "Being Persian, I'm very light-complected," he says. "I
look Caucasian. I wear Polo shirts and khaki shorts. Iran may be an
axis of evil to President Bush, but I'm about as nonthreatening as you
can get. The first inkling people have is when they sign the check, and
by then we've become friends."
After two big-ticket sales, the morning grinds on. Time after time,
Shakiba pulls up to a house only to find no one at home. He pops Smash
Mouth out of the CD player and replaces them with a motivational speech
by Dave Brown. Brown held the Southwestern sales record for 20 minutes
Shakiba pulls into the muddy yard of a house seemingly under
construction. A woman pauses to pop snack food into her mouth, then
raises her voice above twanging country music issuing from a portable
player, to allow that she purchased books years ago and doesn't need
Shakiba swings into Nashville mode.
"Do you like country music?" he hopefully inquires.
"No," she answers, explaining that her young son is the fan.
Shakiba tries another approach, asking about people who live nearby.
He gets cut off at the pass.
"I don't like people," the woman drawls. "I don't know any of them."
After a few minutes of small talk to smooth his exit, the salesman hefts his canvas bag of books and strides to his car.
"I thought you was a weirdo," the woman shouts in parting. "No one ever comes down this dead-end road."
Peace group heads urge world action to end Mideast strife
Middle East Times
July 2, 2007
On a recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories,
Sardar Muhammad Javaid Sarwar, director of the Institute of Peace and
Development Belgium told human rights activists and journalists at a
Jerusalem press conference that efforts to secure a lasting regional
peace were urgently needed from the international community.
Otherwise, he stressed, the continuing atmosphere of hate would
threaten regional as well as world peace, adding that wars, aggression,
and violence were never the solution to problems between nations - they
merely exacerbated hostilities.
Sarwar, whose regional visit was at the invitation of the United
Nations organization Universal Peace Federation, pointed out that Jews
and Muslims were both descendants of the Prophet Abraham, and were
called to abide by their linked faiths' fundamental thoughts and
teachings, without discrimination.
Joining Sarwar was Philippe Jacques, Universal Peace Federation
Belgium secretary-general who, in elaborating on the turmoil in Gaza,
said it was vital for world bodies and institutions to engineer a
lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He was critical of the recent Hamas-Fatah infighting, arguing there
was no justification for such factional aggression at this juncture,
given how harmful the intra-Palestinian strife was to the region's
Jacques also argued that religions were not meant to preach hatred
and division, but to promote tolerance, peace, and harmony toward
The Universal Peace Federation Belgium chief noted that the
suffering of Palestinians posed a grave challenge to international
organizations, stressing the urgent need for an early resolution to the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute via a political process.
For his part, Sarwar argued that the United Nations, European
Union, and the Organization of Islamic Countries could play a vital
role in the settlement of the long-standing conflict.
Victory and defeat should not be made a matter of prejudice, said
Sarwar; rather, peace had to prevail within the world community.
Jacques and Sarwar, together with other Mideast peace ambassadors
hailing from Germany, Ireland, and Belgium, later viewed the wall
separating the occupied territories from Israel, and toured the Caritas
Hospital, operated by the Swiss government due to the lack of adequate
funds to allow Palestinians to run it.
They also met with the mayors of Bait Al Lehem, Al Jabeer, and Bait
Al Halam, listened to, and interacted with, Palestinian civilians, and
visited Israel's Holocaust Museum.
I can't remember if it was Patrick or Frank who said that when our stone-faced waiter at Thai Place Northland
seta plate with four fresh banana halves in front of us. He didn't
appear to apprecate — or even notice — the humor. With a surprising
lack of flair, he doused the fruit with rum and set it ablaze. My
friends watched the little blue flames lightly caramelize the surface
of the bananas. Meanwhile, my attention was pulled away by a tall,
skinny young man carrying an umbrella and a child-sized suitcase,
roaming the room to chat with different diners. A couple of them pulled
out their wallets and gave the kid a few bucks, but others squirmed in
their seats, clearly uncomfortable. I could hardly wait for his arrival
at our table.
"Hello!" he said, smiling beatifically. Frank didn't bother to look up. "I know where this story is going," he whispered as he speared a flamed-out banana with his fork.
"I have just gotten off an airplane. I arrive here from Russia," said
the man with the suitcase. "And I'm so excited. I'm a missionary with
the Unification Church and — "
"We are eating our dessert," I hissed, "and you are invading my space."
I gave the kid the evil eye, and he scurried to another booth. It
didn't take long for the waitstaff to notice that there was a stranger
in the room competing for their tip money. A few seconds later, two
servers unceremoniously pulled the chatty missionary from the dining
room and escorted him out the front door. A table of vivacious young
women who were taking part in a bachelorette party — they didn't seem
any more inclined to listen to his story than we were — giggled as he
was led away.
"Do you think that the girls thought he might be a male stripper hired
for the occasion?" Frank asked. "I mean, he wasn't much to look at, but
he sure knew how to get tips."
If the incident had taken place at the Thai Place in Westport, I might
have ignored it. After all, a Russian missionary for the Unification
Church wouldn't have stood out from some of the other eccentric
characters who work that neighborhood. But north of the river? Well,
OK, he did say he had just gotten off a plane.
In any event, this new northern Thai Place may be the most lavish venue
yet for restaurateur Ann Liberda and her children, who run the Thai
Place restaurant empire. A few people are disappointed when, with each
new restaurant opening, Liberda amps up the glamour. Not me. I don't
like eating in ugly settings, and though I've always loved the spicy,
sexy food at the original Thai Place on 87th Street in Overland Park,
the formerly dowdy interior was a turnoff.
In her new locale, Liberda had a real jewel box to begin with. The
building was formerly occupied by a couple of PB&J concepts and had
been tastefully designed from the start. But Liberda, who started her
career in the beauty business, has a knack for the dramatic. She's done
up Thai Place Northland like a Siamese palace, complete with twinkling
votives, glazed pottery and dazzling floral arrangements. "She spends a
fortune on fresh flowers every week," one server confessed.
Adding to the ambience: "a very, very attractive staff," Frank said.
"That waiter over there looks like the Thai Johnny Depp," he said in
between bites of succulent roasted duck.
Patrick and I were more dazzled by our dinners: the classic phad Thai
for Patrick and, for me, one of my favorite dishes in Liberda's
repertoire, the soothing ginger chicken stir-fry in a clean, mildly hot
mahogany-colored sauce. Patrick's generous mound of amber rice noodles
was loaded with shrimp, fried egg, scallions, cabbage and cool bean
sprouts and scattered with crunchy peanuts. Frank's Moon Flower Duck
had been delicately stir-fried with shiitakes in a ginger-garlic sauce
— heavier on the garlic. I ate a lot of it myself because he didn't
want to ruin his appetite for dessert.
That's when the banana comment — and the Russian — came in.
When I returned a couple of weeks later with Debbie, the serving crew
was mostly American, including our blond waiter, Bryan. Debbie was
wowed by the décor but confused by the urban soundtrack — funky
contemporary rhythm and blues. "It's not what one expects in the
Northland," she said, dipping a crunchy coconut-battered shrimp into a
pool of sweet chili sauce.
Obviously, a few of us need to rethink our assumptions about what goes
on up north. Apparently there are plenty of surprises in these suburbs
— such as "Asian wood-fired pizzas" on Thai Place's menu. We wanted to
try one and were intrigued by the lemongrass shrimp version, but Bryan
informed us that the pizza oven wasn't working that night. Instead, we
opted for one of Liberda's signature starters, the lusciously tender
and fiery jumble of Tiger Cry beef.
We agreed to share our dinners, but mine was so fine that I kept it all
to myself. Liberda's spicy basil fried rice is a visually stunning
assemblage of rice, orange carrots, red and green peppers, and soft
tendrils of basil; I swear that, over the years, it has cured me of
head colds, depression and all sorts of ennui. Debbie's golden, nutty
Panang curry was rich with coconut milk, and it packed a spicier punch
than I'd expected. She was mad for it, but after a few bites we were
both gulping ice water.
"We need something cooling for dessert," Debbie said as Bryan cleared the plates away. "Coconut ice cream, perhaps?"
Bryan suggested his favorite, the coconut crème brûlée, which he
promised was made in-house and with coconut milk. I rolled my eyes at
the very idea of a coconut crème brûlée, but Debbie insisted on it. I
ate my words — and most of the brûlée — when this silky custard
arrived, its crackly brown crust blanketed with coconut flakes.
The dessert menu has changed a bit since Thai Place Northland opened a
few months ago — there are now chocolate cake and coconut cream pie and
a "tower" of coconut ice cream. It occurs to me that I'm sort of like
that Russian missionary — only my mission is simply to go back and
taste them all.
LEESBURG, Va. -- Women
from across the country have stepped forward with allegations of sexual
misconduct against a prominent civil rights leader and one-time running
mate of presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche who has been charged
with incest, a prosecutor said Thursday.The Rev. James L. Bevel,
70, who once worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and later
joined political maverick LaRouche as his vice presidential candidate
in 1992, was charged last week with incest -- a felony in Virginia
punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Bevel allegedly had sexual
relations with one of his daughters some time from 1992 to 1994, when
his daughter was a teenager.
his arrest, Loudoun County prosecutors "are getting calls from people
all over the country saying the defendant engaged in inappropriate
sexual conduct," prosecutor Gigi Lawless said at a bond hearing
Thursday.Lawless provided the first detailed explanation of the
charges against Bevel since his arrest. She said that Bevel has a
number of adult children with four different women and that most did
not know each other as they grew up. When some of the adult female
children made an effort several years ago to reunite, they realized
that they had been sexually abused by Bevel at various points in their
childhood, Lawless said. They confronted him, and he acknowledged the
sexual contact but dismissed it as "religious training," Lawless said.One
of the daughters later confronted Bevel in a taped conversation. He
again acknowledged the sex but chastised his daughter and called her "a
dirty little whore for believing it was something other than religious
training," Lawless told the judge.Lawless did not say exactly
how many of Bevel's daughters claim they were sexually abused but said
that "most if not all" have alleged misconduct.The daughters
contacted police. Though the misconduct occurred in various places
across the country, Virginia was the only state that did not have a
statute of limitations on incest. The indictment alleges the crime
occurred with a child between 13 and 17 years old in the early 1990s.
If convicted, Bevel could face up to 20 years in prison.Lawless
argued unsuccessfully that Bevel should be denied bond while he awaits
trial, saying he poses a danger to the community. But Circuit Judge
James H. Chamblin set a $30,000 bond with the conditions that Bevel
avoid contact with children and that he temporarily move from his
Alabama home to Washington, D.C., where family friends have agreed to
serve as his custodian.Bevel did not speak during Thursday's hearing, and his wife, Erica Henry, declined comment.Defense attorney Buta Biberaj said Bevel will plead not guilty but declined to discuss the charges in any detail."Right now these are only accusations, allegations," Biberaj said.Bevel
has not been arrested in nearly 40 years, Biberaj said. His previous
criminal record consists of contempt of court citations and other
charges associated with his desegregation efforts and protests during
the civil rights movement, Biberaj said.Bevel, who worked with
King and witnessed his assassination in Memphis in 1968, has played a
key role in some of the country's major civil rights protests. He
organized the 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Ala., and was a
leader of the Freedom Rides to desegregate public accommodations
throughout the South in the early 1960s. And he was an architect of the
March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma-to-Montgomery march in
Alabama in 1965.News articles from Nation of Islam publications also credit Bevel as a chief organizer of the Million Man March 1995.At the time Bevel was LaRouche's running mate, LaRouche was serving a federal prison sentence for conspiracy and mail fraud.It
is not clear whether Bevel is still associated with LaRouche's
organization, which is based in Loudoun County. A call to his Schiller
Institute was not returned Thursday.
Copyright 2007 by nbc4.com. The Associated Press
contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British
Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by
a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration
whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts
of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign
By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.
More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.
The attempts to cause mass destruction in London and Glasgow are
so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that
they are likely to have been carried out by my former peers.
And as with previous terror attacks, people are again saying
that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy.
For example, on Saturday on Radio 4's Today programme, the Mayor of
London, Ken Livingstone, said: "What all our intelligence shows about
the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is
not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq."
I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I
realised that its members had simply become mindless killers. But if I
were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again.
Mohammed Sidique Khan met with the author on two separate occasions
Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 bombings, and I were both part of the network - I met him on two occasions.
And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow
Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of
extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were
fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state
that would dispense Islamic justice.
If we were interested in justice, you may ask, how did this
continuing violence come to be the means of promoting such a (flawed)
How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion?
There isn't enough room to outline everything here, but the
foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a model of the world in
which you are either a believer or an infidel.
Formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not
allow for the separation of state and religion: they are considered to
be one and the same.
For centuries, the reasoning of Islamic jurists has set down rules of
interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr
(the Land of Unbelief) to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and
But what radicals and extremists do is to take this two steps
further. Their first step has been to argue that, since there is no
pure Islamic state, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr (The Land of
Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world.
Along with many of my former peers, I was taught by Pakistani
and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe
as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the
sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam:
life, wealth, land, mind and belief.
In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.
The notion of a global battlefield has been a source of friction for Muslims living in Britain.
For decades, radicals have been exploiting the tensions between Islamic
theology and the modern secular state - typically by starting debate
with the question: "Are you British or Muslim?"
But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase
their following is because most Muslim institutions in Britain just
don't want to talk about theology.
They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex truth
that Islam can be interpreted as condoning violence against the
unbeliever - and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace and hope
that all of this debate will go away.
This has left the territory open for radicals to claim as
their own. I should know because, as a former extremist recruiter, I
repeatedly came across those who had tried to raise these issues with
mosque authorities only to be banned from their grounds.
Every time this happened it felt like a moral and religious victory for
us because it served as a recruiting sergeant for extremism.
Outside Britain, there are those who try to reverse this two-step revisionism.
A handful of scholars from the Middle East have tried to put radicalism
back in the box by saying that the rules of war devised so long ago by
Islamic jurists were always conceived with the existence of an Islamic
state in mind, a state which would supposedly regulate jihad in a
responsible Islamic fashion.
In other words, individual Muslims don't have the authority to go around declaring global war in the name of Islam.
But there is a more fundamental reasoning that has struck me as
a far more potent argument because it involves recognising the reality
of the world: Muslims don't actually live in the bipolar world of the
Middle Ages any more.
The fact is that Muslims in Britain are citizens of this country. We are no longer migrants in a Land of Unbelief.
For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we'll stay here.
But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale,
Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity
through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of
cemeteries and equal rights in law.
However, it isn't enough for responsible Muslims to say that,
because they feel at home in Britain, they can simply ignore those
passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers.
Because so many in the Muslim community refuse to challenge
centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic
theology and the modern world grow larger every day.
I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily
demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the
ideas that fuel terrorism.
Crucially, the Muslim community in Britain must slap itself
awake from its state of denial and realise there is no shame in
admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide
If our country is going to take on radicals and violent
extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward
with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the
rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly
planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence.
And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western
Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the
world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover
that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an
Winding Through 'Big Dreams' Are the Threads of Our Lives
By REBECCA CATHCART
I was in the fluorescent
pallor of a windowless office, staring at the dense grid of an unfilled
spreadsheet, when my mother called to say my father had died.
It wasn't a surprise. He had been given a diagnosis of terminal
the year before. But it was a jolt to my system — one switch, pulled
down with a thump, the power fading and the conveyor belt coming to a
My memories from that week are a jumble of misfiled pieces. But at
the end of the second week, I had a dream that remains crisp and vivid
in my mind.
I sat up in bed and saw my father across the room. His figure was
full and healthy and framed by the yellow light that glowed in the
stairwell outside my door. He was grinning, green eyes on me, and
listening to sounds from the dining room below, the clinking of plates
and the voices of my extended family laughing and sharing memories of
him. He raised his dark eyebrows and laughed with them.
"Back to life" or "visitation" dreams, as they are known among dream
specialists and psychologists, are vivid and memorable dreams of the
dead. They are a particularly potent form of what Carl Jung called "big
dreams," the emotionally vibrant ones we remember for the rest of our
Big dreams are once again on the minds of psychologists as part of a
larger trend toward studying dreams as meaningful representations of
our concerns and emotions. "Big dreams are transformative," Roger
Knudson, director of the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at Miami
University of Ohio, said in a telephone interview. The dreaming
imagination does not just harvest images from remembered experience, he
said. It has a "poetic creativity" that connects the dots and "deforms
the given," turning scattered memories and emotions into vivid,
experiential vignettes that can help us to reflect on our lives.
Grief itself is transformative. It is a process of disassembly. The
bereaved must let go of the selves they were, as well as the loved ones
they have lost. The dreams we have while grieving are an important part
of that process.
"Our dreams have to do with how we internalize the people we love," said Pamela McCarthy, director of counseling services at
"You learn to look within for the loved one and the particular function
that person played in your life, such as caretaking or guidance in the
case of a parent. This becomes part of a function that you can provide
Cultural narratives in regions like Vietnam and North and South
America assign special importance to such dreams and consider them
actual encounters with the spirits of lost loved ones.
"This notion is so widely shared by traditions all across the globe
that some scholars have gone so far as to argue that religion itself
actually originated in dream experience," Kelly Bulkeley, past
president of the Association for the Study of Dreams, wrote in his book
"Transforming Dreams: Learning Spiritual Lessons From the Dreams You
Never Forget" (2000).
Current dream study has its epic narrative in the life and dreams of
the pseudonymous Ed, a widower who recorded 22 years of dreams about
Mary, his deceased wife. Ed made his journal available to G. William
Domhoff, a psychology professor at the
University of California, Santa Cruz, a leading dream theorist.
Dr. Domhoff and Adam Schneider, his research assistant, categorized
the 143 dreams and cross-referenced them with Ed's waking reflections
on his wife, their marriage and her death from ovarian cancer on June
15, 1980. In a path-breaking study in 2004, Dr. Domhoff asserted that
Ed's dreams could not be the nonsensical noise of a restless brain
stem. They represented the currents of loss, love and confusion in Ed's
Ed and Mary's love began on a seaside boardwalk in 1947. They wed a
year later, when Ed was 25 and Mary 22. In his more comforting dreams,
Mary appears young and radiant as she did that day, with dark hair and
In Ed's dreams, his companionship with Mary and her withdrawal
during an arduous illness are recurrent themes. Sometimes, his mind
weaves these threads together to poignant effect, as when Ed finds
himself standing across the street from where Mary sits in a car,
unable to cross over.
Other times, they form jumbled, comic events. Ed and Mary are lost in a city. They see
and ask him for directions. Soon, Ed realizes that Mary has left with
Mr. Seinfeld. He broods behind a building and begins to sink in
Almost 20 years after Mary's death, Ed dreams he is walking down a
hallway in their old apartment. It leads to Mary's hospital room, where
she lies, gaunt and still. Her head, according to Ed's journal, is
"hanging over the top edge of the bed." Her hair is sparse, as it was
after chemotherapy. "I sit on the bed," he writes, "and cradle her in my arms."
Such composite images and sudden scene changes, Dr. Domhoff
conceded, may be the brain's effort to make sense of random neuron
fire. But they are more likely to be symbolic of Ed's emotional
struggle. Dreams, Dr. Domhoff wrote, are the "embodiment of thoughts"
from our waking lives.
Deirdre Barrett, assistant professor of psychology at the Harvard
Medical School and editor in chief of the journal Dreaming, wrote the
first significant study on dreams of the dead. She collected dream
reports from two sample groups totaling 245 people at the University of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and found 77 such dreams. Her findings
were published in the 1992 issue of Omega: The Journal of Death and
The type and intensity of these dreams, Dr. Barrett wrote,
corresponded to phases of her subjects' waking grief. She arranged the
dreams in four categories based not only on common content, but also on
concurrent stages of grieving.
The most common was "back to life" dreams, which made up 39 percent
of the dreams of the dead in Dr. Barrett's sample. In such dreams,
subjects were surprised or frightened by the appearance of a deceased
loved one. Dr. Barrett theorized that these early dreams corresponded
to the confusion and denial of early stages of grief.
Dr. Domhoff is not willing to link dreams so closely to stages of
waking grief. But, he said in an e-mail message, Ed's dreams did
dissipate in intensity and frequency over time.
Dreams that occur during rapid eye movement, or REM, cycles are the
most memorable and emotionally powerful, said John Antrobus, a retired
professor of psychology and sleep research at the
City College of New York
who founded the sleep laboratory there in 1965. The dreams have power
because brain activity during REM is most similar to that of a waking
state. The emotional responses to REM dream content, therefore, are
most like the responses during waking cognition.
In REM, the amygdala, the lima-bean-size gland at the base of the
skull responsible for emotions, and the hippocampus, the tissue curled
up under the temples that enables memory, are active. The two organs,
along with areas in the frontal and prefrontal lobes near the forehead
that enable attention and coordination, work simultaneously in
"You have an image of a lost loved one, and along come all kinds of
emotions you've tied up with them," Dr. Antrobus said. "Their image
comes up, and all parts of the brain associated with the loss get
activated, as well in REM sleep, because they're part of our survival
In a study last year, Dr. Antrobus and City College graduate
students linked the body's circadian cycle and the singular level of
brain activity in REM to the high emotionality of REM dreams.
Core body temperature rises gradually from its nadir in the middle
of the night during slow-wave sleep, the least active brain state. As
morning nears, subcortical brain activity tied to the circadian cycle
increases. When these cycles coincide in the last and longest REM
phase, the study found, the mind produces its most dramatic dreams.
"The brain is waking up," Dr. Antrobus said in an interview. "It starts waking up long before you are fully awake."
Dreams during this active period are more likely to be highly
memorable, vivid, and experiential, what Dr. Antrobus calls
"That's what people talk about," he said. "That's what they're usually remembering. That's what these 'big dreams' are."
He added that the four or five phases of REM in a normal night's
sleep might include similar dream content. Just as the image of a lost
loved one stimulates parts of the brain associated with loss, the
content of dreams early in the sleep cycle could set the tone for that
night's dream experiences. Our memories upon waking, therefore, may be
our recollection of a night's cumulative dream content.
Apart from an effort to understand the physiology behind the content
of dreams, what do we do with big dreams? If we ignore them, said Dr.
Knudson of Miami University of Ohio, "we discount our most valuable
resource in understanding ourselves."
America is not a country with a ritualistic approach to grief. Many
employers offer as few as three days off after a family member's death.
Dreams of the dead keep alive our connections to lost loved ones.
"Big dreams, those dreams that stop you dead in your tracks, are for
precisely that purpose," said Dr. Knudson, whose father died three
years ago. "They pull us out of our headlong rush forward. They yank us
back down from our schedule books and our jobs.
He continued, "I don't want to get over my father. That's not to say
that I want to suffer on a daily basis or that I don't want to
understand that he is dead. But I look forward to dreams in which my
father will come again. What does it mean to 'get over' it? I think
that is crazy."
TOKYO, July 3 — Four weeks before a crucial parliamentary election that could decide Prime Minister
political fate, his gaffe-prone defense minister was today forced to
resign after making comments apparently justifying the United States'
use of atomic bombs against Japan during World War II.
Mr. Abe, who a day earlier had said that he would retain the defense
minister, Fumio Kyuma, immediately accepted Mr. Kyuma's resignation, in
a clear attempt to quell the uproar before the July 29th upper-house
The latest trouble came at the worst possible moment for Mr. Abe,
who had extended the parliamentary session in a bid to dampen public
anger over previous scandals and who over the weekend recorded his
lowest approval ratings since becoming prime minister last September.
Mr. Abe said he was responsible for Mr. Kyuma's appointment and added, "It's regrettable it had this result."
Mr. Kyuma, 66, whose job had seemed secure as late as this morning,
resigned in the afternoon, saying he did not want to be a drag on his
party in the election. He acknowledged that he may have "already had a
Hours after Mr. Kyuma's resignation, Yuriko Koike, 54, the prime
minister's national security adviser and a former minister of the
environment, was appointed as the new defense minister.
In a public appearance on Saturday — the unofficial start of the
campaign for the upcoming election — Mr. Kyuma said that dropping the
atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 "ended the war," adding,
"I think that it couldn't be helped."
Otherwise, Mr. Kyuma said, the war would have dragged on and the Soviet Union would have ended up occupying northern Japan.
The comments by Mr. Kyuma, who himself represents Nagasaki in
Japan's lower house, caused widespread anger by apparently treating
lightly Japan's status as the only country ever targeted by nuclear
Although the debate over the use of nuclear arms is not the taboo it
once was, Japan's self-image as a special victim of World War II
remains deeply rooted, even as revisionist politicians like Mr. Abe
have tried to minimize Japan's militarist past.
On Sunday, Mr. Kyuma defended his remarks and received Mr. Abe's
backing. On Monday, Mr. Kyuma apologized and was warned by Mr. Abe.
But the furor did not die down today as calls for Mr. Kyuma's
resignation came not only from the opposition, but also from Mr. Abe's
governing Liberal Democratic Party and the Liberal Democrats' coalition
partner, the New Komeito Party. The Liberal Democrats expressed anger
that the comment would hurt them on the campaign trail.
"From the point of view of someone fighting an election, it's like
being shot in the back," Yoichi Masuzoe, a Liberal Democrat leader in
the upper house of parliament, said publicly, before Mr. Kyuma's
decision to step down. "I am not ordering him to resign, but he should
take proper responsibility."
After a strong start in power, Mr. Abe's popularity has steadily
declined because of a series of scandals and perceived poor leadership.
He has registered around 30 percent in recent polls — a figure not seen
since the unpopular Yoshiro Mori was prime minister early this decade.
A loss by Mr. Abe's governing Liberal Democratic Party later this
month in the upper house of parliament would not directly mean that Mr.
Abe would have to step down, since the Liberal Democrat-controlled
lower house chooses the prime minister.
But a big loss would put pressure on Mr. Abe to step aside for a
more popular party leader, who would then automatically become the next
In contrast to his popular predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi
Mr. Abe has often seemed incapable of exercising leadership over his
own cabinet and party. He appeared politically tone-deaf in sticking by
unpopular ministers, including a health minister who called women
"baby-making machines" and a scandal-ridden agricultural minister who
ended up committing suicide.
Mr. Kyuma himself also once called America's war in Iraq a mistake, angering Vice President
Dick Cheney, who pointedly refused to meet him during a visit to Japan in February.
Sun Myung Moon adherents try to get into Russian education system, historian of cults says
Moscow, July 3, Interfax - Moon's adherents try 'to use new ways for
getting into the Russian education system,' the president of the
Russian Association for Study of Religions and Cults Alexander Dvorkin
'Moon's sect has always tried to win agents of influence in centers of
power. The education institutions they especially favor. Winning more
young minds for their leader, who gets older and older, is one of their
characteristic strategies,' Dvorkin said in his statement published in
Moscow on Tuesday.
According to him, during the two last years the Moonists try to reach
heads of Russian educational institutions by awarding on them titles
like 'Peace Ambassador' as 'they thought they would be welcomed to
schools and universities in response.'
'But Russian society becomes increasingly wise so the Moonist leaders start feeling less confident in this country,' he said.
Meanwhile, Dvorkin said, the more schools and universities 'kick off'
the cultists with their programs and courses, the more 'new trumps they
try to play.'
According to Dvorkin, the Moonists happened to organize 'elimination
matches of the Mr. & Ms. University 2007 international beauty and
talents contest' in Moscow on May 25.
'They acted in full conformity with the cultist principle of
confessional anonymity as they told no one that the contest was
organized Moon's Unification Church,' he said.
However, Dvorkin added, an expert would easily recognize their hand in the contest terms.
For instance, one article of the terms says that the participants
'should not have any experience of cohabitation, marriage, pregnancy or
Ipsos Mori's head of environmental research, Phil
Downing, said the research showed there was "still a lot to do" in
encouraging "low-carbon lifestyles".
"We are alive to climate change and very few people
actually reject out of hand the idea the climate is changing or that
humans have had at least some part to play in this," he added.
"However, a significant number have many doubts about exactly how serious it really is and believe it has been over-hyped."
People had been influenced by counter-arguments, he said.
Royal Society vice-president Sir David Read said:
"People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of
the issue, seeking to distort the science and deny the seriousness of
the potential consequences of climate change.
"The science very clearly points towards the need for us
all - nations, businesses and individuals - to do as much as possible,
as soon as possible, to avoid the worst consequences of a changing
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The 24-year-old son
of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on
Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius,
a sheriff's official said.
Al Gore III -- whose father is a leading advocate of policies to
fight global warming -- was driving his environmentally friendly car at
about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was
pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m.
The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, said sheriff's
spokesman Jim Amormino. The search turned up a small amount of
marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax,
Vicodin, Adderall and Soma. There were no prescriptions found, he said.
Gore was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and booked into
the Inmate Reception Center in Santa Ana, about 34 miles south of Los
Angeles, on $20,000 bail. Although he quickly identified himself as the
son of the former vice president, Amormino said Gore received no
Gore made bail and was released at 2 p.m., Amormino said. He will receive notice of a court date within 30 days.
The youngest child and only son of the former vice president, Gore
has had previous brushes with the law. He was arrested in 2003 for
marijuana possession and in 2002 for suspected drunken-driving.
In 1989, aged six, Gore almost died when he was hit by a car, and required extensive surgery and physical therapy.
A spokesman for the elder Gore said he was traveling and could not
immediately be reached for comment. The one-time presidential candidate
is one of the organizers of the Live Earth concerts taking place around
the world on July 7. The concerts are designed to raise awareness of
Spokesman Chang Chuan-feng said that the Collegiate Association for the
Research of Principles will take responsibility for the drowning of
By Rich Chang
Thursday, Jul 05, 2007, Page 4
An activity organizer yesterday apologized to the public and the family
of a National Taiwan University student who drowned during a stream
tracing outing sponsored by the school club last weekend.
Chen Chien-liang (ÄÄ·úÎÉ) drowned in a river in Evergreen Valley, a
popular sightseeing destination in Miaoli County, as he attended the
outing with 59 other college students held by a student club, the
Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles.
"We are wrong for not equipping the participants with any lifesaving
equiipment for the stream tracing activity," the club's spokesman Chang
Chuan-feng (Ä¥Á´Ë¯) told a press conference. "We were also wrong for not providing any life preservers."
He said the club underestimated the danger of the activity.
"We thought the two-hour stream tracing would be easy given that the
water was around 150cm, and our guides had explored the stream tracing
route before the actual activity took place and thought is was easy,"
At the press conference, Chang dismissed local media reports that said
no one had tried to rescue Chen while he was drowning.
Chang said Chen and two other students held hands when they stepped in the river.
When Chen stepped into a deeper area then waved his hands for help, a
student surnamed Liu shouted for others to rescue Chen.
Several students immediately extended their arms looking for Chen, said
Chang, adding that students who could swim also dived in to look for
him but to no avail.
Some twenty minutes later when the rescuers arrived and searched for
Chen, he was found dead, Chang said.
Chang said the club will shoulder responsibility for the incident, and
will discuss compensation with Chen's family.
Arnaud de Borchgrave - "Is God Dead?" was the famous/infamous Time
magazine cover Easter Sunday 1966 that triggered a nationwide firestorm
of criticism. Murder threats were commonplace for the self-described
"apocalyptic theologian" Thomas Alrizer, a former Emory Professor of
Religion, whose Death of God thesis posited God put himself completely
into Jesus' body and died when Jesus was crucified.
More recently, pundit Christopher Hitchins' "God is Not Great:
The case Against Religion" unloaded both starboard and port broadside
salvos that garnered more claps than boos from book reviewers. His
smorgasbord of faiths — "Anglican, educated at a Methodist school,
converted by marriage to Greek Orthodoxy... and remarried by a rabbi" —
is discarded with fire-and-brimstone atheism. "Papal bull for the
nonbeliever," wrote the Guardian's Mary Riddell.
"The early fathers of faith were living in a time of 'human
prehistory,' when no one had any idea of what was going on and God
provided as good a back-story as any," Mr. Hitchens argues, but "Now
that Darwin has explained our origins and Einstein has charted the
beginnings of the cosmos, the excuses for blind faith have evaporated."
The ranks of believers are still growing in the United States.
But European stats make grim reading. Eurobarometer surveys since 1970
in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy show regular
church attendance fell from about 40 percent of the population to half
that figure. The Prague Post said only 19 percent of the Czech
Republic's 10.3 million people believe God exists and that more believe
In a similar vein, historian (20 books) Walter Laqueur's "The
Last Days of Europe" writes the "Epitaph for an Old Continent."
European churches are empty, mosques are jammed and the blind liberal
belief in multiculturalism is a leaky lifeboat in the realpolitik
ocean. Islamist extremists, spurning multicultural stratagems for
integration, were allowed to proselytize their violent creed with
impunity under freedom of speech laws. Communist Party members did
their thing in democratic countries, so why not Islamists?
The devastating September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against
the U.S. didn't change what European leaders were prone to dismiss as
the soapbox rhetoric of Islam's fundamentalists. After all, wasn't
multiculturalism absorbing Muslim youth that wasn't too interested in
mosques and Friday prayers anyway?
The July 7, 2005, attacks on the London subway and a
double-decker bus was reveille, but a day late and a dollar short. The
rabble-rousing had already morphed to the Internet — and its more than
5,000 pro-al Qaeda Web sites — which now functions as a detection-proof
Moving through cyberspace every 24 hours is the equivalent of
almost 1,000 times the entire content of the Library of Congress with
its 130 million items on 530 miles of shelf space. Steganography, the
technique of concealing messages inside innocent family pictures, is
widely used in cyberspace.
Appeasement in the 1930s spawned near total devastation in
World War II. Following a remarkable, U.S.-funded postwar recovery,
Europe closed ranks behind America to push back on Soviet imperialism.
Moscow also supplied the catalyst of fear, which fueled the engine of
European integration. Much of the unskilled labor came streaming in
from former North African and South Asian colonies. The whimpering end
of the Cold War liberated Eastern Europe's former Soviet satellites and
Europe's Western welfare states beckoned.
Almost two decades after the end of the Cold War, the
27-nation European Union counts 494 million people and a gross domestic
product of $15 trillion, about the same as the United States. But
appeasement is back. A Dutch Justice Minister said, "If a majority of
Dutchmen opt for the Shariah (Islamic law) at some future date, this
has to be respected."
Coupled with an aging native European population and an
exploding Muslim influx (Mohammed is the second most popular name for
newborn baby boys in Dutch cities), the Continent's 20 million Muslims
will become majorities in several European cities by midcentury.
Meanwhile, Mr. Laqueur's "Last Days of Europe," tongue only half in
cheek, fears the emergence of Europe as "a museum of world history and
civilization preaching the importance of morality in world affairs to a
A United States of Europe (USE) would clearly subsume the fear
of Eurabia. But USE is a bridge too far. The current attempts to
relaunch the European enterprise after France and the Netherlands
vetoed a European constitution reflect the lowest common denominator of
integration. "Europe is not willing to pay the price for becoming a
world player," says Mr. Laqueur. Germany deployed 3,400 troops to join
the NATO deployment in Afghanistan. But Berlin decided they could not
be used in a combat role against Taliban.
What would happen in another Middle Eastern war? Mr. Laqueur's
answer: "The farcical and wholly ineffectual negotiations between the
European Union and Tehran about the Iranian nuclear buildup may well be
an indication of the shape of things to come." Invariably, welfare
trumps national security. European voters will turf out any leader who
tries to throttle back on the achievements of the welfare state that
allows Germany's jobless, for example, to get by in Mallorca on monthly
Normal teaching in Berlin schools with emigrant children from
Muslim countries has broken down, writes Mr. Laqueur, "becoming
blackboard jungles of Arabs fighting Turks, Turks combating Kurds,
Muslims versus emigrants from Russia and the Balkans, and everyone
against the Germans."
The debate, Mr. Laqueur concludes, "should be about which of
Europe's traditions and values can still be saved, not about Europe as
a shining example for all mankind, the moral superpower of the 21st
century. The age of delusions is over."
Next September, construction will begin for Europe's largest
mosque, with two six-story minarets, in the shadow of Cologne
cathedral. In London, an even bigger one is planned for erection next
to the site of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.
federal abstinence education program and welfare-to-work medical
assistance program are set to expire today as the House failed this
week to renew them.
[This article was originally published in The Washington Times on June 30, 2007. - editor]
Hill sources say the lapse will be brief and House members will extend
the Title V Abstinence Education and Transitional Medical Assistance
(TMA) programs for three months when they return from the July Fourth
There is "goodwill" intent among both Democratic and
Republican leaders to extend the programs to Sept. 30, said Shari
Rendall, who follows legislative issues for Concerned Women for
"The expectation is that when we come back, we will address it," said a House aide who spoke on background.
Wednesday, the Senate passed a three-month extension of the two
programs and advocates expected the House to do the same on Thursday.
However, the Senate measure contained a financial offset in a Medicare
program and when House members objected to the offset, the measure was
not acted on.
Buoyed by Democratic control of both chambers,
comprehensive sexuality education advocates are stepping up their calls
for an end to funding of abstinence programs and more funding for
programs that teach abstinence and birth control.
Abstinence reprieve seen as temporary
do not work, said William Smith of the Sexuality Information and
Education Council of the United States. "It is time for us to stop
paying for this fiasco."
Advocates for Youth, another
comprehensive sex education supporter, criticized this week's Senate
extension of the Title V program, which was done with "no debate" and
"no amendments ... just a silent vote."
But they and other
advocates know that Title V and TMA — which provides Medicaid coverage
to families leaving welfare and is not viewed as a controversial
program — have traditionally been renewed together. While some
congressional leaders have recommended the programs be unlinked so
their fates can be considered separately, other leaders reject such a
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana
Democrat, captured the dilemma when he said Wednesday after both
programs were extended: "I know that there are people who have real
questions about the effectiveness of the abstinence grants attached to
this program — I'm one of those people — but TMA is too important in
the lives of too many people for us to turn our backs on it."
extension of Title V is likely to be a temporary reprieve, said Tom
McClusky, vice president of government affairs for the Family Research
Council. Democratic leaders "have made it clear they want to take an ax
to these [abstinence] programs," he said.
House Energy and
Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell, Michigan Democrat, whose
committee has jurisdiction over the programs, does not support the
reauthorization of the Title V program, his spokeswoman said this week.
"We have overwhelming evidence that these programs are ineffective," she said.
This article was originally published in The Washington Times on June 30, 2007.
As Britain intensifies its security in the wake of failed bombing
attacks, experts ponder why terrorists have targeted Britain more than
From Miami Herald Wire Reports
SIMON DAWSON/AP PHOTO
Armed police officers stand on guard outside
Scotland Yard, central London Tuesday. Despite widespread antipathy
toward the United States among al Qaeda, Great Britain has been
attacked for more frequently since Sept. 11.
As an Iraqi doctor arrested
in connection with the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow became
the first person charged in the case, Prime Minister Gordon Brown on
Friday warned Britons to expect increased security measures.
weekend's bomb attempt showed that for the fourth straight year -- and
third straight summer -- this city was being readied for a major
Yet Britain isn't the Great Satan to al Qaeda
extremists. Terrorism experts all agree that for al Qaeda operatives
and sympathizers, the preferred villain is the United States.
So why do attacks keep happening here? And why, since the horror of 9/11, has America avoided another assault?
Ayers, a security and terrorism expert with London's Chatham House, a
foreign policy research center, thinks that immigrants to the United
States actually become Americans, giving the United States a huge
advantage in avoiding homegrown al Qaeda terrorists. Europeans
encourage immigrants to retain their native cultures, causing them to
be ostracized more readily.
''The Islamic population in the
United States is better assimilated into the general population,
whereas here, in Germany, in France, they're very much on the outside
looking in,'' he said. ``When people get disaffected, sadly, there's
not much loyalty to country in that sort of situation.''
Experts, noting that success against terrorism can be very temporary, agree that there are other reasons.
United States is geographically more separate from the Middle East, the
home of Islamic fundamentalism. Beyond that, especially since 9/11, the
nation has cracked down on both travel and new-resident visas, making
it harder for terrorists from outside to get into the country.
However, an FBI spokeswoman said Friday that two of the suspects in Britain's failed bombings had contacted a U.S. organization.
Asha, 26, and another man whose name she didn't give had contacted the
Philadelphia-based Educational Commission for Foreign Medical
Graduates, confirming a story first reported by The Philadelphia
Asha, a Jordanian physician of Palestinian heritage,
contacted the agency within the last year but apparently did not take
the test for foreign medical school graduates, said the spokeswoman,
''He was applying. We don't believe he took the test,'' she said.
VISIT BY THE FBI
Seeling, the commission's vice president of operations, said FBI agents
visited the office in West Philadelphia this week, but he said he could
not discuss details about what they were looking for because of privacy
The nonprofit commission verifies the credentials of
foreign medical school graduates, evaluates individuals' medical
knowledge and administers exams. It represents just one step in a
process foreigners must go through to obtain training as a medical
resident in the United States.
Last year, roughly 46,000 foreign-educated doctors applied to take at least one of the three tests, Seeling said.
educational commission is not involved in the visa process nor in the
admissions process conducted by the 7,800 residency programs in the
There is no guarantee an applicant certified by the commission will ever practice medicine in this country.
Seeling noted that decisions about whether to issue visas to foreign doctors lie with federal immigration officials.
London, meanwhile, Iraqi-born doctor Bilal Abdullah, 27, was charged
Friday with conspiring to cause explosions, said Susan Hemming, an
Abdullah was arrested at Glasgow
Airport, where he allegedly was a passenger in the Jeep Cherokee that
crashed into the terminal entrance.
Prosecutors said Abdullah would appear in court today.
On June 29, police defused two car bombs left to blow up near packed nightclubs and pubs in central London.
following day, two men rammed a Jeep loaded with gasoline canisters
into the main terminal at Glasgow's airport, failing to set off an
explosion but seriously burning one of the suspects.
In all, eight people are now in custody -- all thought to be Muslim foreigners who worked for Britain's National Health Service.
Seven are being held in Britain and one in Australia.
Newspapers correspondent Matthew Schofield in London, the Associated
Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer contributed to this report.
[Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC.] All welcome Hyo-Jin-nim and Yeon-Ah-nim
and offer a standing bow.
[Hyo-Jin-nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage.]
Good morning. [Good morning] Let's talk about moving up. America
is the most powerful nation in the world I guess.
Is it? [A brother from the former Soviet Union responds "Kind
Kind of? Russia? [Laughter]
How many nations are there in the world? Over two hundred something,
right? It goes up and down, but there are hundreds of nations. And those
hundreds of nations, do they follow America's ways and values in every
which way? I don't think so. They have their own way of dealing with
quote-unquote democracy, the greatest gift from "white people"
to mankind. [Laughter]
So there are all sorts of versions of that. So starting with yourselves,
you make your own rules, right? You decide what is right and wrong. You
make your standards and you manage your life. And with your ability that
you have, that all God's children have, the ability to imagine, to
create, you try to envision yourself in something that is more than what
you are now. Obviously you always want to see forward. You always want to
move ahead. Because that's life, that's physics, time ticks
forward. I don't think it goes backwards does it? Maybe in fiction,
a time machine or something, maybe that's doable when you're dead.
As for what is real for us at this point in time, what it is, is what it is,
and what you see is what you get, and that's it. And from there, you
start. You make your own laws. You make your effort. You have your standard
and you manage your life. And based on that you try to do the best that you
can to envision yourself in the future, and based on that imagination, you
use your creativity and try to make some kind of productivity how to make
your ideal real.
Unless the ideal becomes real, it doesn't exist. If you don't
have some platform to stand on, you can't move up. You don't build
the Empire State Building from the hundredth floor down, OK? I don't
think that's doable.
It's that kind of stuff. It's just basic physical things. We
have to remind ourselves how we can relate to the basic function, dealing
with physical reality. The more that we are realistic to that and approach
it the way we can, knowing our limitations. You have to know your limitations,
if you don't know your limitations, it doesn't work.
Power doesn't mean anything if you don't know your
limitations. Remember even God, the Almighty God, the Omnipotent God, He has
limitations in power, CALLED YOU! And if you don't understand that
limitation, and even if let's say, you want to be helped. You want
somebody to help you. You go to somebody who is powerful, if you lie to them,
you compromise them too. Do you know that?
You truly have to know your limit. You have to be t-r-u-e t-o
y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f. [tapping the podium to emphasize each word] first. And
obviously I hope that you're a good guy. I don't think that
you should shove goodness down somebody's throat. We all know what
is right and wrong, basically. You should have that basic decency, basic
propriety, even if you're asking for help from somebody else, because
if you don't, you'll destroy them too. You'll compromise
them too. So what good is that?
So how do you move up? Ask yourself "how can I move up?"
What do you think will last, you or a good deed that you might have done?
The good deed that affects something else, something greater, that will last
more than you. That's for sure.
So what is the kind of stuff that we can do to make our lives more
meaningful? Yes it is important to make laws, manage, and to create stuff. But
even that, that's stuff on a physical level, stuff on the intellectual
level, and stuff on the spiritual level. That stuff is there.
It doesn't matter where you're struggling in. That's
irrelevant. Why, because in the end, of all the things that you can do if
you want, the greatest that you can possibly do is something that can last
LONGER THAN YOU. Your sorry butt will die!
Because I have to remind myself every day, I have to die well. I know
I'll die. It's important. That's what's important
to me. And life is nothing other than proving my faith. That's about
it. That's the meaning of my cause in every man or woman's life.
In that short period of time, what are you going to do?
What can you take when you're dead? The funny thing is that you
can only take what you leave behind. What is meaningful in that stuff that
you leave behind that you can take? That's so funky. That's the
irony isn't it? Well that's true! Pretty much that's about
it. That's what faith teaches you. That's just the way it is.
What you got is what you got. More power to you! Spend it here. You
aren't going to take power and money and all that stuff, you aren't
going to take it with you. What is that? To me.. IT'S EDUCATION,
Something in the arts and science and GOD.
Hey! Make a pill that cures cancer. Be a billionaire, more power to you,
but it's money then right? Build a flying saucer, more power to you,
be a millionaire OK. Something like that, and you want to create, OK, more
power to you. Inspire people, and be rich and famous and be good.
I'm not going to tell you what to do. You know what to do if you
had that stuff, right? But it takes effort. It takes time. It takes time to
take money from outside people. [laughter] For projects like making movies
I need millions, but anyway, I'm working on it.
You have to start somewhere, and you do it for a cause. You have a purpose,
and certainly it's not just for the sake of money. People have billions
of dollars. Bill Gates has enough money to buy everybody, all humanity a
[McDonalds] Big Mac meal. [Laughter] He's rich, but that's it
Yes he's rich but who cares? Are you going to change your life
because of one Big Mac meal? It's very difficult to persuade. It
takes time, and that's why it's important.
It takes time. It takes time. If you have family, you know how it is, right?
It takes time. It's just that, and you have to multiply that on a
larger level, and nothing changes. Nothing changes, you might have changed,
but nothing changed. The standard did not change, that's what you
literally pull yourself back into. That's why it's difficult.
You think "I've done my stuff and I'm ready to go to
sleep. I'm ready to retire." But no, no, no, no, no, WAKE
UP! That stuff. That's why it takes time.
Something precious doesn't cook over night. Beliefs, what matters,
is something that you can change for the betterment of humanity. That's
what's the greatest.
And if through your effort, through your sacrifice you can leave something
behind that can help other people, other than you, that's what's
So what can you do? Go make some medicine. Go do something. Build something
great. Teach your friend something that they need to know.
If you know what is right better than your little friend, a friend that
you like to be around, you have something to offer, something to share, do it
whether they like it or not. And you keep on giving it to them. Why? Because
it's going to take a long time to persuade. Don't give up. Nothing
happens in just one shot. You want that, then walk on water.
I received an e-mail from someone who wanted me to repudiate Father's words and Rev. Kwak's words on the Holocaust. Here is what I replied.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Damian J. Anderson <damian.anderson@...> Date: Jul 8, 2007 2:42 PM Subject: Re: A troubling speech To: WJ
Rev. Moon is saying that because the Jewish people killed Jesus, there was an historical basis for evil to attack them, and even God could not stop it. God permitted it. God sent Jesus on a mission to start a world of God's ideal and from him could have come an advanced civilization of goodness, justice and prosperity. Instead he was lynched by his own people, and they had a liability due to that. The Holocaust was barbarism in return for barbarism. The Jewish people went from being the chosen people to hounded vagabonds due to their crime.
As for Islam, if Christianity had done its job in spreading the teachings and practices of Jesus, a barbaric religion like Islam would not have come about. The failures of Christianity gave rise to Islam in the 7th century and to Communism in the mid 19th century, and we see it manifested today as widespread unbelief, materialism and socialism under the misnomer of liberalism.
There is nothing so despised as a religious hypocrite. So if people espouse high ideals, but the example of their lives is shameful, then they become the butt of anger, ridicule and even violence. Sadly, that is the way of the world.
So sorry, but I am not willing to repudiate what Rev. Kwak or Rev. Moon said.
On 7/7/07, WJ wrote:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I did a web search recently and ran across an article on a Unification Church web site which greatly offended me, and which I have no doubt would offend about every other person who reads it.
http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/talks/Kwak/Kwak-031110.htm This was a speech given by the current President of FFWPI, Chung Hwan Kwak, who, according to
Wikipedia, is also the president or director of virtually every organization associated with the Unification Church. I reproduce below the offending language, and I would ask your organization to issue an express public repudiation of it.
Seoul Declaration, Father gave a speech of encouragement titled "The Owner of Re-Creation." It is the internal and essential speech focusing on the center of the providence.
In particular, it includes many difficult contents for religious leaders to accept. For example: 1) Judaism committed a historical sin in front of Jesus, so Jewish people experienced the Holocaust under Hitler. Without God's permission, would it really have been possible for Hitler to do such a massacre? 2) Islam is a
religion which originally should not have come into being. 3) There are a lot of things which Christianity could not fulfill their responsibility for. 4) God's marriage registration and God's birth registration, etc. There was a splendid array of world leaders at Father's speech. I felt that no one would have stayed quietly upon listening to Father's speech which nobody ever understands. However, even if they could not understand details, they understood Father's general idea and achievements, and they yielded to Father's achievements.
(To be continued) (from October issue of the monthly magazine, "Tongil Segye" in Korea)
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 10, 3:59 PM ET
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the
Roman Catholic Church,
approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian
communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism
provides the only true path to salvation.
statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders. "It makes us
question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity,"
said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries.
"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic
Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families
of the church," the group said in a letter charging that the document
took ecumenical dialogue back to the era before the Second Vatican
It was the second time in a week that Benedict has corrected what he
says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the
1962-1965 meetings that modernized the church. On Saturday, Benedict
revived the old Latin Mass — a move cheered by Catholic traditionalists
but criticized by more liberal ones as a step backward from Vatican II.
Among the council's key developments were its ecumenical outreach and the development of the New
Mass in the vernacular, which essentially replaced the old Latin Mass.
Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long
complained about what he considers its erroneous interpretation by
liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal
of church tradition.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Benedict
headed before becoming pope, said it was issuing the new document
Tuesday because some contemporary theological interpretations of Vatican II's ecumenical intent had been "erroneous or ambiguous" and had prompted confusion and doubt.
The new document — formulated as five questions and answers —
restates key sections of a 2000 text the pope wrote when he was prefect
of the congregation, "Dominus Iesus," which riled Protestant and other
Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but
merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of
The commentary repeated church teaching that says the Catholic Church "has the fullness of the means of salvation."
"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," said the document released as the pope vacations at a villa in
Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy's Dolomite mountains.
The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper
sense" because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to
trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles — and therefore
their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.
The Rev. Sara MacVane, of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that although the document contains nothing new, "I don't know what motivated it at this time."
"But it's important always to point out that there's the official
position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and
worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between
Anglicans and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics," she
The document said that Orthodox churches were indeed "churches"
because they have apostolic succession and enjoyed "many elements of
sanctification and of truth." But it said they do not recognize the
primacy of the pope — a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.
"This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy
which, according to the Catholic faith, is an 'internal constitutive
principle' of the very existence of a particular church," said a
commentary from the congregation that accompanied the text.
Despite the harsh tone, the document stressed that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue.
"However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive it must
involve not just the mutual openness of the participants, but also
fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith," the commentary said.
The top Protestant cleric in Benedict's homeland, Germany, complained the
Vatican apparently did not consider that "mutual respect for the church status" was required for any ecumenical progress.
In a statement titled "Lost Chance," Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber
argued that "it would also be completely sufficient if it were to be
said that the reforming churches are 'not churches in the sense
required here' or that they are 'churches of another type' — but none
of these bridges is used" in the Vatican document.
statement, signed by the congregation prefect, American Cardinal
William Levada, was approved by Benedict on June 29, the feast of
Saints Peter and Paul — a major ecumenical feast day.
There was no indication why the pope felt it necessary to
release it now, particularly since his 2000 document summed up the same
Some analysts suggested it could be a question of internal
church politics or that the congregation was sending a message to
certain theologians it did not want to single out. Or, it could be an
indication of Benedict using his office as pope to again stress key
doctrinal issues from his time at the congregation.
In fact, the only theologian cited by name in the document for
having spawned erroneous interpretations of ecumenism was Leonardo
Boff, a Brazilian clergyman who left the priesthood and was a target of
then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's crackdown on liberation theology in the 1980s.
More than a decade after the self-inflicted humiliations of "back to basics" the Conservative party must still hesitate
to promote marriage. Against the instinctive enthusiasm of ageing
loyalists weighs the scepticism of younger voters David Cameron needs
to woo. But Mr Cameron is right to try. Evidence that marriage
reinforces relationships and benefits children is too strong to be
casually dismissed. Provided tax breaks for married couples are
extended to people in civil partnerships, the Conservatives are right
to propose them. The more interesting question is whether a financial
incentive of just £20 per week will encourage people to tie the knot.
I doubt it. On this meagre incentive a couple would take 15 years to save the approximately £16,000 cost of the average British wedding;
and weddings, not binding commitment, are what a depressingly large
number of us appear to think marriage is for. The happily unmarried
mother invited to defend the virtue of cohabitation on this morning's
entirely failed to draw a distinction between the ceremony and the
commitment. £20 is too little to fund the festivities she would like.
Therefore there will be no wedding. Tens of thousands of couples agree.
If they cannot have a stately home, ornate silk and entire meadows of
cut flowers, marriage does not appeal.
It would be nice to persuade these disciples of consumerism of the
error of their aspirations. After all, there is no evidence that cheap
ceremonies create less enduring relationships than the full
extravaganza. But whether you blame decades of nauseating magazine
journalism or the decline of spirituality for this soulless attitude,
it is the wedding people want. If Mr Cameron was really clever he would
give it to them.
Granted, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon has given mass weddings
a bad name. But the Moonie tradition of mass "matching and blessing" in
South Korean sports stadiums does offer the germ of an idea. Might the
taxpayer encourage marriage by subsidising collective occasions in
sumptuous surroundings? Fine homes and gardens could be hired and
marquees erected. The power of collective purchasing would permit
thousands to enjoy a level of glamour they could not afford unaided.
Thousands might flock to marry at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle
or Balmoral (yes, of course parliament should require the Windsors to
make "their" homes available). Similar enthusiasm might exist for
ceremonies on the hallowed turf of Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Ibrox
and at castles and museums throughout the land. Such facilities should
be used to offer stylish collective nuptials at minimal cost to the
Then, by eliminating financial barriers to a luxurious ceremony, the
state would earn the right to say a few words at the ceremony. These
should point out the social, economic and emotional advantages of
marriage and send the newlyweds on their way with a powerful reminder
that it is the relationship, not the event, which makes it valuable. Mr
Cameron and members of his shadow cabinet might even volunteer to
officiate at ceremonies. After all, if glamour is an essential element
of the modern wedding experience, celebrity is the icing on the cake.
Kyrgyzstan will tighten regulation and surveillance of religious groups
in largely Muslim Central Asian nation, a government official said
Thursday, citing concerns about extremist groups.
More than 2,100 religious organizations are currently registered
with authorities, said Toigonbek Kalmatov, director of the State Agency
for Religious Matters.
Another 400 are believed to be operating illegally in the country
and are causing "great difficulties," Kalmatov said, naming a few
including Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the Falun Gong
spiritual movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation
movement and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a banned group that advocates the
establishment of a worldwide Islamic state.
Kyrgyz laws required that all religious groups be officially
registered and present an operating charter, Kalmatov told reporters.
Authorities are obligated to monitor the groups to ensure they do not
violate laws, and new legislative proposals would help tighten
oversight, he said.
"These measures have become necessary in connection with the great
number of religious movements operating in Kyrgyzstan, illegally and
without registration," he said.
The poor, largely rural ex-Soviet state has been buffeted by
political turmoil for nearly two years now and there are growing fears
of Islamic extremism, particularly in the poor, densely populated