Letter from a military chaplain in Iraq

A military vet and good friend passed this along. I am not including the author’s name because I don’t have his permission yet. Note his comments in the final paragraphs on the cultural legacy of the anti-war movement.

30 May 2004

Dear Friends,

This is my third letter from Iraq. I have been working myself into the right mood to do this. Today is the day. In my last two letters I have leaned toward being as upbeat as possible. This time will be different; today I want to talk about Memorial Day, but I will start off by giving my perspective on the Abu Ghraib prison problem.*[Read more…]

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The Great Liberator is laid to rest.

President Ronald Reagan was laid to rest in the California mountains yesterday evening. He will be remembered as one of America’s great presidents. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s eulogy, which I posted below, captured some of his qualities.

Baroness Thatcher said part of Reagan’s greatness was his magnanimity. She called it an American characteristic, which indeed it is. Americans by and large are generous of spirit and heart; it’s one of the reasons that no matter where in the world you come from, you can always be an American.

Baroness Thatcher also called Reagan "the Great Liberator," a term that will probably come to describe our former President. He ended the slavery of tyranny for millions, and when the partianship of the present time fades and people see more clearly, it will be seen as his greatest accomplishment.

May his memory be eternal.

God bless America.

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Text of Margaret Thatcher’s Eulogy at Pres. Reagan’s Funeral

We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I have lost a dear friend.

In his lifetime Ronald Reagan (news – web sites) was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk. [Read more…]

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Reagan on Religious Liberty, 1985

Remarks of President Ronald Reagan at 1985 Conference on Religious Liberty
June 9, 2004
http://www.ird-renew.org/Home/Home.cfm?ID=906&c=28

The following speech was given by President Ronald Reagan at an April 1985 conference that was co-sponsored by the State Department and the Institute on Religion & Democracy, the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, and the Jacque Maritain Center at Notre Dame. In his address, the President addressed the importance of international religious freedom. Even after the fall of communism, his remarks on religious liberty continue to be relevant. [Read more…]

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Reagan: Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast

Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas August 23, 1984
http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/resource/speeches/1984/82

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, very much. And, Martha Weisend, thank you very much. And I could say that if the morning ended with the music we have just heard from that magnificent choir, it would indeed be a holy day for all of us.
It’s wonderful to be here this morning. The past few days have been pretty busy for all of us, but I’ve wanted to be with you today to share some of my own thoughts.[Read more…]

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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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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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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 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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