Pres. Ronald Reagan

A great man passed away yesterday. President Ronald Reagan oversaw the collapse of the Communist tyranny of the last century. Reagan, along with Pope John Paul II, may be seen as two of the most influential men of our generation. Reagan is a controversial man, as all great leaders are, but even his detractors have come to give him a grudging respect. A personal friend of mine, retired from active politics now, worked closely with Reagan during his campaigns. He recounted that during the dark days of the campaign, after the defeat of the Iowa primary in particular, Reagan summoned his staff and promised them if he were ever elected, he would force the dismantling of the Soviet Communist regime. He fulfilled the promise.

Reagan, like many of the clearer thinkers who came of age in the days before many of us were born, saw Communism for what it was: a horrible oppression of human life and dignity. Reagan correctly called it an "evil empire." He went on to win the presidency and we saw the dismantling of the Berlin Wall (a piece of it sits on my desk). Eastern Europe began to breath free. I’ll have more on this down the road. You might also find Dr. John Mark Reynolds reflections worth reading.

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Turkey’s ancient Christians seek to resettle villages

Syriac archbishop: ‘It is our pleasure to have our people back from different parts of the world’
By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Turkey: The ancient Syriac Orthodox monastery outside this southeastern city is praying for a brighter future as Christians, forced out of their ancestral lands by economic hardship and an armed Kurdish insurgency, start trickling back to their villages.

“It is our pleasure to have our people back from different parts of the world,” said Archbishop Filuksinos Saliba Ozmen at the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, which dates back to the 5th century and sits on a bluff overlooking an extensive plain.
[Read more…]

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D-Day: The liberation of Europe has lessons for today’s war leaders.

Paul Johnson, arguably one the best living historians, writes on the risks of D Day, and the necessity of historical perspective in wartime — including the war in Iraq.

BY PAUL JOHNSON
Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

LONDON–To launch a large-scale opposed landing across many miles of water is the most hazardous of all military operations. Nothing before or since has ever been mounted on the scale of Operation Overlord, though the U.S. invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 outrage employed more firepower. The D-Day landing that began June 6, 1944, involved three services, airborne and glider troops, submarine landing, undercover agents and saboteurs, and an astonishing array of technological gimmicks.

It was the most carefully planned operation in history, and it had to be. So many things could go wrong. Churchill had learned from the bitter experience of Gallipoli 30 years before how easily a big invasion could be pinned down on a narrow beachhead and never break out of it. That nearly ended his political career. The Dieppe rehearsal showed the risks we were taking and the real possibility of a catastrophe. In Italy, we had had another near-disaster at Anzio.

Read the entire article on the Wall Street Opinion Journal website.

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Interesting discussion on gay marriage

Speakers:
Gerard V. Bradley, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame; filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas (2003), the Texas anti-sodomy law case .

Andrew Sullivan, senior editor and former editor at The New Republic; columnist for Time; Washington correspondent for the Sunday Times of London; author of Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality; editor of Same-Sex Marriage, Pro and Con; and blogger at AndrewSullivan.com.

Moderator:
E.J. Dionne, Co-Chair, the Pew Forum, and Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution

http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=56

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Turkey hints Orthodox seminary could reopen

ISTANBUL

TURKISH Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on May 7 said his government was not opposed to the reopening of a Greek Orthodox seminary in Istanbul, seen as an important gesture in Turkey’s efforts to boost its EU bid.

Turkey is racing to meet the European Union’s political criteria before the end of the year to win a date from the bloc to begin accession talks sometime next year.
[Read more…]

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Pope denounces “self-centered demands” for abortion and same-sex unions

(06-04) 07:58 PDT VATICAN CITY (AP) —
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/a/2004/06/04/international1058EDT0538.DTL

In his latest blunt assessment of U.S. society, Pope John Paul II on Friday denounced the acceptance of abortion and same-sex unions as “self-centered demands” erroneously depicted as human rights.

The pontiff said that “in the face of such erroneous yet pervasive thinking,” visiting U.S. bishops should stress to congregations “their special responsibility for evangelizing culture and promoting Christian values in society and public life.”
[Read more…]

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Federal Judge Says Women’s Right to Abortion Trumps Unborns’ Pain

Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion Ruled Unconstitutional
San Francisco Ruling a Defeat for Pro-Lifers
Optimism Remains for Other Two Court Challenges to PABA
By Jody Brown and Chad Groening
June 2, 2004

(AgapePress) – Pro-life advocates and Christian groups nationwide are reacting strongly to a liberal San Francisco federal judge’s declaration that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (PABA) — signed into law in November but tied up in court ever since — is unconstitutional. Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled on Tuesday that a woman’s right to have an abortion is paramount, and that it’s “irrelevant” whether the unborn child suffers pain in the process.
[Read more…]

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Abortion soars in quest for perfect babies

Daily Mail
Sun May 6, 2004 23:30:03 ET

Those with conditions that can usually be corrected medically – such as deformed feet and cleft lips and palates – are instead being terminated.

And the number of abortions of Down’s syndrome babies now outstrips live births, despite the fact that those with the condition can live a long and fulfilling life. As screening techniques improve, the trend is likely to grow – horrifying pro-life campaigners.
[Read more…]

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The disgrace of the United Nations

Nat Hentoff remains what is increasingly hard to find: an honest and clear thinking liberal.
By Nat Hentoff
Published May 24, 2004

Only 10 years after the genocide in Rwanda — a horror that Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan, the head peacekeeper at the United Nations, could have stopped — Human Rights Watch, at the beginning of May, delivered to the U.N. General Assembly a detailed report from the killing grounds in Darfur, a province of Sudan that is becoming thenew Rwanda.
[Read more…]

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The Do-It-Yourself Doctrine

Charlotte Allen
May23, 2004
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-allen23may23,0,7221965.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

WASHINGTON — Call it Christianity Lite. It’s the assertion — no, the insistence — that you can be a Christian in good standing though you reject all or significant parts of the brand of Christianity to which you formally adhere. Even Jesus Christ — and who he was — is negotiable, not to mention traditional teachings on sex, abortion and divorce. Who’s to tell you what to think and do as a Christian — or to judge you wanting? It’s a heresy nowadays to accuse someone of heresy.
[Read more…]

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NCC Memorial Day grandstanding

Since when did the NCC become supporters of our nation’s soldiers?

Resources for Memorial Day 2004 At 6 p.m. May 27, the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend, the National Council of Churches USA will host an interfaith worship service at National City Christian Church, on Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C., to mourn the growing number of fallen sons and daughters of our nation, struck down in Iraq while in the patriotic service of their country. We also will pray for the families of the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire, along with all the other soldiers, reporters and non-military personnel who have lost lives and limbs in this conflict. All are precious in the eyes of a loving God. Read the entire press release on the NCC website.

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Ecumenical Patriarch, Vatican condemn Libya death verdict

Sofia (ENI). Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I
has, along with the Vatican, called for the rescinding of the
death sentence a Libyan court meted out on a group of foreign
medical workers, ruled by the court to have deliberately infected
several hundred Libyan children with HIV. Bartholomeos, widely
seen as the spiritual leader of the world’s mainstream Orthodox
Christians, said in a statement made during a visit to Turkey by
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi, that he hoped the
sentences would not be carried out.

Ecumenical News Service

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