Monday, March 10, 2014
Tallahassee Democrat 10:42 a.m. EDT March 10, 2014
"It's a flawed law," Sharpton said. "Because you don't need an actual threat. All you've got to do is believe a threat and you can use deadly force."
(Photo: 0 Comments A A Karl Etters/Democrat)
Hundreds of marchers are joining the Rev. Al Sharpton, the parents of Jacksonville teen Jordan Davis and Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, members of the Dream Defenders and others this morning in opposition to and calling for changes to Florida's hotly contested "Stand Your Ground" law.
In the fashion of the protest the night the not-guilty verdict against Martin's killer was delivered, hundreds made their way less than a mile away from the Leon County Civic Center to the Florida Capitol to again urge lawmakers to address the 2005 law.
"It's a flawed law," Sharpton said. "Because you don't need an actual threat. All you've got to do is believe a threat and you can use deadly force."
Those looking for change have been adamant that self-defense laws are applied disproportionately among minority populations and believe force should be used only after all other options have been exhausted.
It allows individuals to use of force to defend themselves if they feel threatened and has been at the root of two high-profile deaths of 17-year-old teens in Florida over the past two years.
Martin's killer, Sanford neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, was acquitted of second-degree murder by a Seminole County jury in July. Duval County jurors last month declared a mistrial in the murder charge of Davis' killer, Michael Dunn.
Sharpton said polling Florida legislators in their districts was the first step to national change.
"Florida is the first state to enact the law in 2005," he said. "We came back to where it started to begin where it will end."
A full repeal of the law was shot down by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in November; other bills, still potentially in play in the Legislature, would tweak Stand Your Ground to include, primarily, a necessary obligation to retreat, using force only after that option has been exhausted.
Some of them change the situation that put Zimmerman in the position to pursue Martin. SB 130, by Sen. Chris Smith D- Fort Lauderdale, would require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to develop county or municipal police training programs for neighborhood watch programs and not allow immunity to the aggressor in a situation.
The bill had favorable support in the Senate Judiciary Committee in October and has potential to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee.
A House bill filed by Orlando Democrat Bruce Antone draws a harder line on self defense.
HB 33 allows the use of force, except deadly force and in the case of thwarting a felony, and removes the bar placed on law enforcement from arresting an individual for using force unless there is probable cause the force used was unlawful.
The bill has two more committee meetings and has yet to be heard in the same House Criminal Justice Subcommittee that voted down a full repeal 11-2 in November.
by Allison Keyes
March 09, 2014 9:00 AM
Listen to the Story
4 min 33 sec
After the Rockefeller Center mural was destroyed in 1934, Diego Rivera recreated this version, named Man, Controller of the Universe, which is on display at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The story of the original mural's creation and destruction is the focus of a Mexican Cultural Institute exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Museo Frida Kahlo
When Mexican artist Diego Rivera was commissioned in 1932 to do a mural in the middle of Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, some might have wondered whether industrialist tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr. knew what he was getting into.
In 1934, the legendary artist's work was chiseled off the wall.
Now, in Washington, D.C., the Mexican Cultural Institute has mounted a show that tells what happened to Rivera's mural.
Artist Diego Rivera stands with a copy of the mural he painted at Rockefeller Center that was eventually destroyed.
A. Estrada /Courtesy of Museo Frida Kalho
"Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera's Mural at Rockefeller Center," is a whodunit tale that also illustrates the tensions between art and politics. Exhibition co-curator Susana Pliego says the Rockefeller family was aware of Rivera's leftist politics when it commissioned the work.
"They tried to have pieces of the best artists at the time," Pliego says. "That was why [they wanted it], because of the artistic and commercial value of his work."
Pliego says Rivera got a three-page contract laying out exactly what management wanted.
Rivera was asked to show a man at the crossroads, looking with uncertainty but with hope and high vision to the choosing of a course leading to a new and better future.
"The theme of Rockefeller Center was 'New Frontiers,' so that was a very spiritual way of looking at development and art," Pliego says. She wonders what made the Rockefellers think that Rivera's vision would be the same as theirs.
A Difference Of Vision
"It was a bad decision for everyone, but it's about politics," co-curator Pablo Ortiz Monasterio says. "When you have to take a position, there is no other way out."
Monasterio says the show illustrates the conflict between the rich, powerful family that hired Rivera and the artist's strong political point of view.
Pliego says the original sketch for the mural — and what Rivera agreed to paint — included three men clasping hands in the middle: a soldier, a worker and peasant. "A spiritual union of all the three elements that Rivera thought man — humanity — was composed of," she says.
"Unfortunately, what he painted was different from the sketch," David Rockefeller Sr. told the Museum of Modern Art in 2012.
An early sketch of the mural shows how it differed from what Diego Rivera painted in Rockefeller Center.
Courtesy of Museo Frida Kahlo
The leftist artist was taunted by those who felt he had sold out, Rivera expert Linda Downs says.
"He was really provoked in New York by leftist organizations and various communist groups that challenged him for painting for Rockefeller," she says.
Then, the World Telegram newspaper ran the headline: "Rivera Paints Scenes of Communist Activity and John D. Jr. Foots the Bill." Pliego says Rivera then decided to add a portrait of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin to the mural.
"He sent his assistants to find a picture of Lenin because, he said, 'If you want communism, I will paint communism,' " Pliego says.
On top of that, according to David Rockefeller Sr., Rivera added a panel that the family felt was an unflattering portrait of his father.
"The picture of Lenin was on the right-hand side, and on the left, a picture of [my] father drinking martinis with a harlot and various other things that were unflattering to the family and clearly inappropriate to have as the center of Rockefeller Center," he said.
"He had these two options," Monasterio says. "He could erase that and solve the problem, but if he didn't, then that would be a scandal; that would be propaganda. So he himself was at the crossroads again."
Rivera had persuaded his patrons to let him paint a fresco — paint on wet plaster instead of on canvas. That meant the work couldn't be moved. After a flurry of letters asking Rivera to replace Lenin and the artist's declaration that he'd rather see the work destroyed than mutilated, Rivera was fired and the work was eventually chiseled off.
A Missing Piece Of History
Downs says the piece would have been stunning had it survived.
"He had this vision of the importance of technology in the future and the hope that there would be a coming together of workers and industrialists and businessmen to further mankind in general," Downs says. "It was a very hopeful mural."
Pliego says the exhibition illustrates a key question: Who owns a work of art?
"For example, like Diego said in a letter," she says, "'If someone buys the Sistine Chapel, does he have the authority to destroy it?' "
The exhibition, "Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera's Mural at Rockefeller Center," reconstructs the story of the mural through reproductions of documents, letters, photographs and Rivera's sketches. It will be on display at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., through May 17.
On Sunday March 9, Pope Francis will follow a different schedule after the Angelus. At four in the afternoon, he will take a bus from Paul VI Hall that will take him to Ariccia.
Any member of the Roman Curia can join the Pope, but they must pay their own expenses.
The place of the retreat is in Ariccia, close to Lake Albano, 18 miles away from the Vatican. The location is called 'Casa Divin Maestro,” has 120 bedrooms and is looked after by the Pauline Family.
The person in charge of preaching the spiritual exercises is the Roman parish priest Angelo De Donatis. Everyday there will be two meditations, vespers and a time for reflexion and silence.
The Pope's exercises will end on Friday March 14th at 10:30 am.
RR/Casa Divin Maestro
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Jimmy Carter welcomes Pope John Paul II to White House Oct 6 1979 archival footage
Published on Nov 3, 2013
Jimmy Carter welcomes Pope John Paul II to White House Oct 6 1979 archival footage
This is a low-resolution sample. Watermark does not appear on master. To order this material as broadcast-quality full screen/full resolution, send a request (with link) to FootageRequest@PublicDomainFootage.com. All material public domain and royalty-free saving you hundreds and even thousands. Total buyouts. No licensing hassles. Lowest rates on newsreels, archival stock footage and contemporary stock footage packages. Everything from the historical to the hysterical. If we don't have it we'll personally search the National Archives for you.
Bill Hughes - Daniel 11, The King of the North and the King of the South.
Jesus is going to win
Published on Jan 30, 2014
No description available.
Published on Mar 6, 2014
The Ecumenical Movement is a strategy masterminded by the Papacy in the early 1960s to strengthen so-called Christian Unity, to bring every Christian in every denomination and church under the control of the Pope. Protestant North America is leading out in this Christian apostasy and only those who learn to totally depend on God will be able to resist. The build up is getting closer and closer and while many Christians in theWest complain of persecution by the secular powers, they are unaware that there biggest resistance will be among their own fellow Christians.
From left: John Graz, secretary-general of the International Religious Liberty Association; Elie Henry, executive secretary of the church’s Inter-American Division; and Theart St. Pierre, president of the Haitian Union Mission at Haiti’s first festival of religious freedom. The IRLA regularly sponsors festivals worldwide to thank government leaders for preserving freedom of belief. [photo courtesy IRLA]
Advocates recommend National Day of Religious Freedom in country
March 06, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | ANN staff
A festival of religious freedom in Haiti last month cements the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a leading proponent of free expression of belief in the country.
Organized by the church’s Haitian Union Mission and sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association, the event drew more than 3,000 supporters to Port-au-Prince to celebrate freedom of belief and help raise the profile of religious liberty in the Caribbean.
The city of Port-au-Prince is still recovering from a devastating earthquake that in 2010 dealt $7.8 billion in damage to a nation already considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Two hurricanes in 2012 complicated rebuilding efforts.
“The people of Haiti have shown great courage and an extraordinary capacity for survival. Religious freedom is a right that Haitians treasure, and are determined to keep,” said John Graz, IRLA secretary-general.
The festival was part of the first Congress of Religious Freedom in Haiti. Hundreds of lawyers, human rights activists, government leaders and faith representatives joined in two days of lectures and workshops that highlighted the largely peaceful coexistence of religious groups in Haiti and resulted in several recommendations.
The group pledged to organize the Haitian chapter of the International Religious Liberty Association and negotiate with the Haitian government to establish a National Day of Religious Freedom in the country.
- The Congress calls on government to preserve separation of church and state.
- The Congress condemns every act of intolerance, discrimination and violence directed in the past against individuals or groups because of their religion or belief.
- The Congress expresses solidarity with all groups and individuals who are victims of violations of religious freedom worldwide.
Marie Carmelle Rose Ann Auguste, Minister of Human Rights for the Haitian government, called religious liberty an “essential” human right during her remarks.
“It is through the free exercise of conscience that the individual soul and the soul of the nation is strengthened,” she said.
Francois Clavairoly, president of the French Protestant Federation, and a group of faith leaders from Paris brought an “international dimension” to the event, Graz said. Haiti is the only predominantly French-speaking independent nation in the Americas.
Other Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church, Salvation Army and syncretic religions were also represented. Syncretic religions such as Voodoo are widely practiced in Haiti.
Another festival of religious freedom is planned for Port-au-Prince in 2015.
Adventist News Network
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By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:2,3
King James Version (KJV)
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Caravan To Midnight - Coast To Coast Am Alternative - Episode 16 - F. Michael Maloof
The Ukraine War
Caravan To Midnight
Published on Mar 5, 2014
Coast To Coast AM host John B Wells now hosts his own show Caravan To Midnight.
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February 6, 2014
The Common Sense Show
John B. Wells has one of the most recognized voices in America, but unfortunately a million Americans will no longer get to hear his melodious voice on Saturday nights on what was his popular Coast to Coast radio broadcast.
The following is an exclusive print interview I conducted with John B. Wells on the evening of February 5, 2014. Why was this ever-so-popular host let go by some unidentified powers that be in the corporate structure at Coast to Coast?
On the surface, the firing of John B. Wells made no sense. However, as we peel back the public veneer that is Coast to Coast, the firing of John B. Wells was inevitable.
The Glory Days of Coast to Coast Are Gone
In days gone by, Coast to Coast was once the flag ship of the alternative media, which captured 500 stations in late night radio when the show was hosted by Art Bell. Bell blazed a trail that nobody had ever traveled before, as he brought subjects to the mainstream airwaves that was unprecedented in both its subject areas and its depth of coverage.
Bell’s meteoric rise to unprecedented popularity in late night radio continued unabated until Premier purchased control of the show for $8 million dollars. That is when the trouble began for Bell in terms of retaining editorial control of his show. When Art Bell relinquished control of his program to corporate interests, Premier and ultimately Clear Channel, Coast to Coast was never the same as the show took a turn and became reflective of “the corporate message”.
The Corporate Structure of Coast to Coast
One cannot fully appreciate the termination of host John B. Wells as the “Saturday night guy” on Coast without having some understanding of the corporate structure which came to dominate the show when Art Bell relinquished control of the show.
Premiere distributes Coast to Coast for its parent company Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel has a long and well-known history of censorship and extreme retaliation for those who do not abide by the corporate line.
Clear Channel was once a major supporter of the George W. Bush candidacy for President and they tolerated no dissension within the ranks. They were responsible for the dramatic fall of the Dixie Chicks for espousing their anti-war views with regard to the war in Iraq. And in a case of extreme censorship, with regard to a case that I have some firsthand and personal knowledge of, a popular Phoenix talk show host, Charles Goyette was blackballed by Clear Channel for similar anti-war views. Charles was actually dismissed from KFYI radio when he was the number one radio personality in Arizona and the entire Southwest. When it comes to these corporate entities, having great ratings does not insulate one from being fired. Popular talk show hosts are expected to be the guardian of the corporate gate and as you will soon read, Wells is an oracle who quotes Voltaire and tells the truth, but he was a poor night watchman of the corporate controlled gate. Wells discovered that deviating from the company line (i.e. telling the truth) shortens the professional life expectancy of its top entertainers.
The Numbers Do Not Lie
After a period of prolonged instability following the departure of Art Bell as the primary host of Coast to Coast, George Noory entered the scene in 2003 where he has since remained. However, Noory’s listening numbers are nothing to write home about. Once upon a time, some estimated that Art Bell had somewhere around 6-12 million listeners on any given night. In contrast, Noory’s numbers are a paltry 275,000 to 300,000 listeners per night. However, George Noory is the perfect front man and his numbers take on a secondary level of importance because he is very good at protecting the corporate turf and is very careful to only take risks on subjects which the corporate sponsors do not care about (e.g. crystal skulls, near death experiences, psychic mediums, etc.). Gone are the former days of Art Bell’s hard hitting journalism which made the spooks inside of the alphabet soup agencies very uncomfortable.
Coast to Coast became a “vanilla broadcast” with occasional forays into controversy with guests such Jim Marrs. However, much of Coast to Coast today is what I call disguised controversy which presents the illusion of objective journalism.
John B. Wells temporarily bridged the gap of Art Bell’s former independent style that made him so popular to the present day version of Coast to Coast. John B. Wells was clearly the shining jewel of the Coast to Coast empire.
A Disturbance In the Force
John B. Wells is a self-confessed independent maverick with a streak of independence which makes him so very likely to convey the truth on his broadcasts. Wells had actually been hosting shows on Coast to Coast since 2005 as a fill-in until he was hired as the permanent host for Saturday nights in 2011.
John B. Wells’ numbers were anywhere between 750,000 to 1.2 million listeners for any given Saturday night. This ratings disparity could not have resonated well with George Noory who is not known for being humble.
There were some who were in favor of making Wells the permanent host of the show during the week. This idea was met with draconian repression in an effort to preserve the status quo. George Noory is a great protector of the corporate interest and that is first and foremost in importance to management. This speaks to the clear message of what Coast to Coast has become. Noory’s show is the quintessential guardian of the corporate gate instead of being what it purports to be, a news dissemination source.
In his role as the Saturday night host on Coast to Coast, John B. Wells became a man trapped between his desire to expose the truth and the requirement that he walk the company line. John lamented, both publicly and privately that Coast to Coast was not his show, he was just an employee. Wells expressed the desire to do something more meaningful because there just was not enough substance on Coast to Coast. This is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with as I found the show, under Noory’s tenure, to have slipped to the level of a typical corporate controlled media outlet.
The Beginning of the End
I first heard that John was going to begin his own independent show back in the late fall/early winter of 2013. The new show was going to be called Caravan to Midnight. I was told that he was going to try to simultaneously do both shows. I was also told that his new show would be a “no holds barred” show. It was at that time that I told my News Director, Annie De Riso, that Coast to Coast would never permit both shows to exist simultaneously. Can you imagine what the listening public would say if Wells were to interview former CIA operative Jim Garrow on his new Caravan to Midnight show and that interview was much more revealing than anything ever heard on Coast to Coast from the same guest? It would have been obvious for even the most blind to see, that Coast to Coast practices censorship. Therefore, Wells could not be allowed to broadcast on both venues.
My predictive words were to be proven true. On January 25, 2014, Wells formally announced the launch of his new show, Caravan to Midnight, which would debut on February 3, 2014. Subsequently, John was unceremoniously fired by Julie Talbot on January 28, 2014. By that evening, I noticed that every reference to John B. Wells was scrubbed from the Coast to Coast website. Please allow me to speak clearly to one key point, the firing of John B. Wells was prima fascia evidence that the corporate structure (i.e. Clear Channel) of Coast to Coast still practices the same extreme censorship as we saw with the Dixie Chicks and Charles Goyette in a case of the same song, different verse.
Censorship was already being practiced on Wells’ show as all too often, his show would experience technical failures and be taken down in large local markets by such things as Amber alerts or just plain old dead air. In contrast, Noory’s show rarely experiences the same issues. Wells said that the technical failures happened most often when he was interviewing a controversial guest in this first hour. Coincidentally, this past Sunday, my network reran the October 6, 2013 interview I did with John and the interview went silent. The commercials still played, but the dialogue between myself and John went black.
The decision to let Wells go must have been an agonizing one as Wells’s ratings were so good. However, there can be no question that Noory was instrumental in the decision to fire Wells. There can also be no doubt that George Noory’s ego was certainly a factor in dismissal of Wells. Noory’s penchant for complete control and intolerance towards dissenting opinion is well-known to many and it was only a matter of time until either Noory or Wells had to go and the corporate golden-haired boy won out over the truth teller. Interestingly, Wells never looked at his situation as a competition, as he said, “I simply focused on doing my job”. Adding fuel to the fire, I had long heard reports which stated that Noory attempted to garner key guests before Wells could interview them in an obvious attempt to close the ratings gap between he and Wells.
A Most Insincere Farewell
After I heard the news that John B. Wells was fired from Coast to Coast, I tuned into the show to hear what Noory would say about the event. The announcement by Noory that Wells was no longer a part of the show and the network was “going in a different direction”, absolutely lacked sincerity. Based on my observation of Noory’s demeanor on the night following the Well’s dismissal, it was my personal observation that Noory was pleased to have the major threat to his status as the King of late night radio banished from the scene. In addition, the corporate controlled message was preserved and everybody won when Wells was fired, except for the listening audience. Personally, I am saddened by John’s departure, however, I am relieved because I can now catch up on my sleep because there is not much worth listening to on Coast to Coast in my humble opinion.
A Victory For the Truth Movement
Never before has the alternative media seen such a seismic shift. The departure of John B. Wells from Coast to Coast represents a major shift in the demographics which will soon be flooding the truth movement. It is often said that a rising tide lifts all boats and this is the effect that Wells’ departure from Coast will have on our industry. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people will defect to John’s new endeavor, Caravan to Midnight (airing Monday through Thursday from 10am-1pm CST). What command central at Coast failed to anticipate is that people largely tuned in on Saturday night to listen to John. Most do not listen to the show because of the name Coast to Coast. The people follow a specific person.
As John’s listening audience follows him to his new endeavor, many will soon discover other quality alternative programming, heretofore unknown to them. Move over people, we are about to get some more company over the next several months. History will show that the corporate structure of Coast would have been wise to follow a policy of making Wells the “controlled opposition” by presenting the illusion of media choice.
A New Beginning
John told me that many of his passions include stopping immigration so that more Americans can find work, to getting elected officials to follow the Constitution.
John’s new show, Caravan to Midnight, is totally listener supported. Subscriptions can be purchased at the website for $60 for 12 months.
The historical significance of this event cannot be overstated. John B. Wells will largely be responsible for the “true” waking up of millions of Americans. On that note, I am glad to welcome John to the alternative media, as both a friend and a colleague. I also pray for John’s well-being because the power shift that is about to occur will certainly draw the unhappy attention of the self-proclaimed power elite in this country.
March 06, 2014
RUSH: I'm interviewing someone this afternoon after the program concludes (if we don't have to cancel because of the rain). I'm interviewing Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. I've always wanted to talk to Bill Donohue, and I admire the way he does what he does. I admire what he does, too. But I admire the way he does it. And it reminded me, you really need to read the current interview in the current issue of the Limbaugh Letter, and the Limbaugh Letter is now an app. It's digitally available via the iTunes store or at RushLimbaugh.com. We have digitized the Limbaugh Letter.
The Limbaugh Letter is a monthly publication that dates back 23 years. It's been around almost as long as the program has. One of the things that we did and do in the Limbaugh Letter to distinguish it from the radio show is interview people, news makers and whatever 'cause, you know, I really don't like doing that because I don't care what most other people think.
But for the Limbaugh Letter, we do it, it's a marketing thing, to do something in the Limbaugh Letter that is not found regularly on this program. And as it's gone on, it's become a monthly publication, it's become more and more challenging to put unique content in there because of so much material covered here on the radio program and with the daily Morning Update or morning commentary that's heard on all of our affiliate stations all across the fruited plain.
Well, we work really hard on that, and we achieve that, and it's tough. You know, you got a news item, and you say, "Okay, let's save that for the newsletter." "Well, now, wait a minute. What about the radio audience? We owe it to them to mention that." It's a real tight, tough balancing act here. The Limbaugh Letter was always mailed. It was always a printed publication. We just recently, in the past year, took it digital.
You can get the Limbaugh Letter app to go along with the Rush Limbaugh Show app. You get the Rush Limbaugh Show app and you get the Dittocam if you're a subscriber to the website. You can get the Dittocam right directly from the app. You don't have to go to the website. Get it right from the app. Just go to the iTunes store and search it.
Now, the interview that is current in the at-present issue of the Limbaugh Letter is Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. You know, if you're regular listener, I think that what he's done in Wisconsin is the blueprint for what the Republican Party could do to come back and triumph all over this country. I think it's the story. Scott Walker has stuck to every pledge. Look what he did.
In the bluest of blue states, he took on the public teachers unions. He has created -- via policy, not economic gimmicks -- a $1 billion budget surplus, in this day and age. The unemployment number in Wisconsin is far below the national unemployment rate. You know how the Democrats and the left three times tried to destroy this guy. Not just his political career. They tried to end his professional career in politics in toto.
There were physical threats.
There were physical threats against his family.
It was brutal.
He had his legislature leave the state a couple of times, in cowardly fashion, to avoid votes, and he hung in there. I was always amazed that what happened with Scott Walker and his success there did not become more of a template, and actually not become more of a news story for the Republican Party. It's profound. It is the blueprint, and it's Reaganesque. It shows that it can be done.
It shows that the Democrats can be beat and the media can be beat, with ideas and with stick-to-itiveness, with commitment, with passion, with inspiration. Simply be optimistic. It can happen because it did. If it happens once, it can happen several times -- and when I saw this John Bolton quote from CPAC today in which he said, "Under Barack Obama, with Barack Obama, you can get away scot-free killing his personal representative," that's simple. It cuts to the quick.
So does the comparison, "KGB vs. ACORN" to typify what's going on with Ukraine.
Here's a pull quote from the Scott Walker interview: "The pathway to win..." The whole interview, by the way, you really should see it. "The pathway to win the center isn't to move to the center; it's to lead. Because most people who are undecided or persuadable voters aren't necessarily looking for a candidate they agree with on every issue. They want people willing to do what they say they're gonna do and boldly lead."
Do you realize that may sound simple? "What's so hot about that, Rush? That's kind of a ho-hummer." No, it's not, because the current thinking in the Republican Party is that to win the center you've gotta move left. That's the current thinking of the Republican Party. "To win the center, we've gotta be pro-amnesty. To win the center, we've gotta somehow back off on the social issues!
"To win the center, we can't be worried about the budget because Americans want a Big Government. We have to, instead, position ourselves as better stewards of it." Scott Walker didn't do any of that in vanquishing the left in Wisconsin. He didn't do any of that. The pathway to win the center isn't to move to the center; it's to lead. Stand for things.
Because he correctly has identified who these undecideds are and what it takes to reach them, and he's proven he knows how to do it. I've had a couple people who have read the interview tell me they haven't been this excited about a Republican in a long time. After this interview in the Limbaugh Letter, I got a note from a friend.
"Rush, that interview should be read by everybody. It's absolutely inspiring, and there are no platitudes in it. This guy's accomplished, achieved. The accomplishments and the achievements are on record. They're a matter of record, not a matter of opinion. He presents a clear vision of what works and what doesn't work, both politically and economically."
It's really, really good.
March 6, 2014 by Bill
Filed under Latest News Releases
Bill Donohue comments on how the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and BishopAccountability.org, are reacting to Pope Francis as he nears his first anniversary, which is one week from today:
Almost everyone loves Pope Francis, but not among his admirers are SNAP and BishopAccountability.org, two of the most hate-filled activist outlets in the nation.
SNAP condemns the pope for doing “nothing—literally nothing—that protects a single child, exposes a single predator or prevents a single cover up.” Not a single example, anywhere in the world, was cited, of the pope’s alleged delinquency.
Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org condemns the pope for his “tired and defensive rhetoric,” saying the pope’s rigorous, and wholly justified, account of the Catholic Church’s reaction to sexual abuse is “breathtaking.” He cites one bishop, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, “who was convicted in 2012 of failing to report suspected child abuse,” as an example of the pope’s alleged intransigence.
What McKiernan did not tell the Associated Press is that the case did not involve child sexual abuse: no child was ever abused, or touched, by a disturbed priest, Shawn Ratigan. Nor did the case involve child porn: it involved crotch-shot pictures of children (one showed a girl’s genitals, determined by the police to be of a “non-sexual” nature).
The short of it is that the review board was contacted, the authorities were notified, and an independent investigation was ordered (the Graves Report). It was later discovered that more disturbing photos were found on Ratigan’s computer, and Bishop Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor for failing to report suspected child abuse. Had Finn elected to do nothing, no one would have known about Ratigan, because there was no complainant. This is why the pope has not acted against Finn—what happened is a far cry from what McKiernan is saying.
March 5, 2014 by Bill
Filed under Latest News Releases
Bill Donohue comments on remarks made today by Pope Francis on the sexual abuse scandal:
No one has done more to check the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church than Pope Benedict XVI, but he receives very little credit for doing so. That is why what Pope Francis said today matters: he singled Benedict out for his yeoman efforts. “Benedict XVI was very courageous and has opened a new way.” Because of Benedict, he said, “the Church has done much, perhaps more than all the others.”
Pope Francis is twice right. Long before Benedict became pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, called for swifter and stronger procedures to punish molesting priests. That was in 1988. In 2001, he was given exclusive jurisdiction over these matters, and in 2003 he was awarded the power to police priestly sexual abuse. When he became pope, he made it more difficult for practicing homosexuals to enter the priesthood, the net effect of which has been a sharp decline in the number of abuse cases.
In his interview today, Pope Francis said, “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that has moved with transparency and responsibility. No one has done more, and yet the Church is the only one that is being attacked.” The pope was obviously referring to the highly politicized, and maliciously conceived, United Nations report on the Vatican’s response to this issue.
Pope Francis not only speaks truth to power, and to the people, he tells it like it is to those who selectively rally to his side. Yesterday, his comments condemning anti-Catholicism were, as I predicted, all but ignored. His remarks today lauding his predecessor will similarly be given short shrift. Such is the politics of the left, religious as well as secular.
Published on Mar 6, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart at an international conference in Rome on Thursday. The meeting took place as Washington slapped new visa restrictions on Russian opponents of the new Ukraine government. (March 6)
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P.S.Why meet at Rome?
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
(King James Version)
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
The Oval David Jackson, USA TODAY 10:53 a.m. EST March 5, 2014
(Photo: Getty Images)
President Obama marked Ash Wednesday with a White House statement:
"Today, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in the United States and around the world in marking Ash Wednesday.
"Lent is a season of reflection, repentance, and renewal — a chance to recommit to loving and serving one another, and to deepen our faith in preparation for the Easter celebration to come."
Pope Francis speaks at St Peter's square on December 11, 2013.
March 5th, 2014
10:04 AM ET
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.
The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."
For instance, civil unions provide financial security to cohabitating couples, "as for instance in medical care," the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily.
A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times.
MORE ON CNN: Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions in Argentina, activist says
This is the first time a Pope has "indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.
Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant tone for his 1 billion-member church and suggested that a broad range of topics are at least open for discussion.
In January, the Pope recalled a little girl in Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me."
"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Pope told leaders of religious orders, adding that the church "must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."
The Vatican later denied that the comments signaled an opening toward same-sex unions.
Last June, Francis famously refused to judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted around the world. He has also said that the church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians.
Support of same-sex unions of any type is fiercely contested by many Catholic church leaders.
In Wednesday's interview, Francis also addressed several other controversial issues, including the Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role of women and the devastating clergy sexual abuse scandal.
On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI for having the "courage" to "go against the majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But, Francis said, the church must also be "merciful" and "attentive to concrete situations."
Contraception and church's ban on divorced Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely be addressed at major meetings of Catholic bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.
“We must give a response. But to do so, we must reflect much in depth,” the Pope said Wednesday.
On the role of women in the church, an issue of particular concern to Catholics in the United States, the Pope hinted that changes could be in the works.
"Women must be present in all of the places where decisions are taken," Francis said in the newspaper interview, but the church must consider more than "functional" roles for women. To that end, Catholic leaders are engaged in "deep reflection" on women's role in the church, he said.
On the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, a scandal that has rocked the church in the United States, the Pope said the abuse has left "very deep wounds" on victims.
In response, the church has done more than other institutions to be open and transparent about sexual abuse by its employees, Francis said. “But the Church is the only one to be attacked."
A United Nations panel criticized Catholic leaders last month in a hard-hitting report on clergy sexual abuse.
The report said the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”
The Vatican said it would study the U.N. report.
On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has surprised church-watchers with public appearances after saying he would live a cloistered life in retirement, Francis said he considers his predecessor a "wise grandfather."
"The Pope Emeritus is not a statue in a museum," Pope Francis said. Rather, the two men have decided that Benedict should participate in the church's public life rather than live a shuttered life.
"I thought about grandparents who with their wisdom, their advice, strengthen families and don't deserve to end up in an old folks home," Francis said.
Finally, he may sometimes wear a cape, but don't call Pope Francis a Superman, the popular pontiff said.
"To paint the Pope as a sort of Superman, a kind of star, seems offensive to me," Francis told Corriere della Sera. "The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."
Earlier this year, graffiti depicting a muscle-bound and flying Francis appeared on walls near Vatican City, but the Pope said Wednesday that he doesn't like the "mythology" surrounding his papacy, which marks its first anniversary on March 13.
For instance, Francis debunked the idea that he sneaks out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.
"It never occurred to me," he said.
(CNN's Delia Gallagher assisted in translating Pope Francis' remarks from the Italian.)
Daniel Burke - CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Published on Aug 7, 2012
The SDA conference has placed men in jail for using the name Seventh-day Adventist. By joining with the state they are forming an image to the beast. The Bible speaks of taking others to court as a sin. The conference is also promoting Spiritual Formation or hypnosis. They have gutted the Great Controversy with the book The Great Hope that does not mention the papacy as the beast. They also signed an agreement with the world churches to NOT promote the Sabbath publicly. See www.seventh-day.org and click on SDA info. See more John Grosboll videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/mkencrl
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Photo (Courtesy) http://www.examiner.com/article/joe-biden-s-forehead-black-lent-ashes-mark-causes-questions-on-ash-wednesday
Pool photo by Alexey Nikolsky
Photo (Courtesy) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/world/europe/putin-flashing-disdain-defends-action-in-crimea.html?_r=0
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
MARCH 4, 2014
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke about Ukraine at a news conference on Tuesday, at his state residence near Moscow. Credit Alexey Nikolsky/Presidential Press Service, via Reuters
MOSCOW — He sat alone in an armchair, alternately slouching, his legs spread wide in confidence, and squirming uncomfortably. He displayed flashes of sardonic wit, anger and palpable disdain, especially toward the Americans and Europeans but also toward the leaders of a country, Ukraine, he made clear was a political neophyte, unable to govern itself.
He demonstrated his characteristically uncanny grasp of detail in such matters as natural-gas pricing, but contradicted himself at times and wandered off into obscure historical digressions. He made assertions that were clearly exaggerated or, less charitably, clearly not true.
President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s paramount leader for more than 14 years, at last broke his studied silence on the political upheaval in Ukraine on Tuesday during a 66-minute news conference that sought to justify Russia’s actions and policies. In the process he offered an unvarnished glimpse into the thinking of the man who, by all accounts, singularly controls those actions.
From sports-show hosts to business consultants, Catholics across the country display the mark of Ash Wednesday as a sign of repentance and silent evangelization.
by JONATHAN LIEDL 03/05/2014
Tony Reali, host of the ESPN program Around the Horn, is one of many American Catholics who wear their ashes to work.
WASHINGTON — Tune into ESPN this afternoon at 5pm Eastern, and you’ll catch Around the Horn, a lively and informative sports talk show hosted by Tony Reali. You’ll also see a Catholic symbol on prominent display: a cross of ashes smack-dab on the host’s forehead.
Reali, a cradle Catholic and current parishioner at St. Augustine’s in Washington, D.C., has worn ashes for Ash Wednesday his “whole life,” and he has been doing so for the 13 years he has appeared on TV. The 35-year-old husband and expectant father says his decision to keep the ashes on while on air isn’t anything extraordinary — just the simple product of living the faith.
“I’m a sportscaster and a television host, and I’m Catholic,” Reali told the Register.
The New Jersey native says his faith has been a constant influence throughout his life, from his days growing up in an Italian-Catholic family of nine to his time at the Jesuit-run Fordham University and now in his professional life. Wearing ashes while on national TV is simply staying consistent.
Reali also noted the symbolic power the simple gesture has: “I think it’s important for people to see someone young in a public setting stand for what they believe in. Stand for religion. I’m proud and want other people to feel they can be proud of what they believe in.”
Still, not everyone who watches the show is clear about just what Reali believes in — or what exactly is on his forehead each and every Ash Wednesday.
The sports website Deadspin has documented some of the confusion in recent years, highlighting tweets from Around the Horn viewers who mistook the sacramental sign for dirt, ink or even a bruise from a fight.
But for every ignorant or insulting comment, Reali can point to many more messages of support. He also credits his co-workers over the years for their openness to his act of faith.
“I’ve been fortunate to have always worked in an environment that has allowed me to be myself, and I appreciate that,” he told the Register.
Wear to Work
Reali isn’t the only Catholic in the public eye preferring to wear his ashes when going to work.
Catholic politicians like Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have been known to proudly display the mark of Ash Wednesday while on the job.
And although he has been criticized for his support of abortion rights and the redefinition of marriage, Vice President Joe Biden wore ashes at a 2010 press conference, prompting confusion and criticism — and later, embarrassment — from media members covering the event.
Of course, millions of Catholics working normal jobs wear their ashes to work, too.
“It’s just never crossed my mind to wipe them off,” said Leslie McClellan, who works at a Washington think tank. “I don’t see it as unprofessional, because it’s a small mark on my forehead that I get once a year, and I’ve never been told it is.”
The 26-year-old said her workplace, like Reali’s, is open to the public display of faith.
“I never feel like I’m the only one in the crowd with the ashes,” McClellan said. “There has always been someone else with the ashes on their forehead where I’ve been.”
Also displaying the sign of Ash Wednesday to work is Mattias Caro, a 34-year-old business consultant who works for an international software developer in Virginia. He says the ashes are primarily about recognizing his own need for repentance at the beginning of Lent, but they are also a natural conversation starter and present an opportunity for a bit of evangelization.
“Friends will ask or make a mention about them during a coffee break,” he said. It gives him an opportunity to “explain the purpose behind the ashes and perhaps, if I’m feeling brave, invite a co-worker to Friday’s fish fry at the parish and Stations of the Cross.”
But some practicing Catholics refrain from wearing their ashes to work — either by choice or by law.
Katie Petrik is a preschool teacher in Las Vegas, teaching with the Head Start program. The 24-year-old says program policy prevents her from wearing her ashes on the job.
“We are legally not allowed to teach or visibly practice religion in Head Start, so, no, I would not wear them to work.”
Also deciding against wearing ashes into the workplace is Kevin Gallagher, a 25-year-old management consultant who works in Manhattan. Gallagher cites an office environment that “runs on conformity” as the primary factor in his decision.
“Nobody wants to be remarkable, except in ways that reflect well on you as a worker,” he said. “Anything else is seen as a liability.”
And Gallagher also believes that it’s a mistake to view the mark of ashes as an “evangelical tool.” Too often, he says, people wear them publicly for the wrong reason.
“It really doesn’t mean ‘I am a sinner’ so much as ‘I am a somewhat pious Catholic,’” he said of the impression displaying ashes can communicate publicly.
Bearing Witness to the Faith
Holy Cross Father Michael Wurtz agrees with Gallagher: Ashes should not be viewed primarily as a tool for evangelization, nor should Catholics wear them publicly for the wrong reasons.
“We do not pray the Mass, for example, so that we can be seen,” said the priest, who is studying for his doctorate in liturgy at the Sant’Anselmo in Rome. “Our Lord warns against those who exalt themselves.”
Rather, Father Wurtz says the ashes should be received as “a sign of penance and recognition of our need for ongoing conversion in Christ.” He said the centuries-old tradition is an appropriate beginning to Lent, a season in which “we are mindful of our baptism, of the ways we may have fallen in the Christian life and of Christ’s voice beckoning us to follow after him more and more.”
Still, Father Wurtz says that if displayed in public for the right reasons, the ashes can bear witness to the faith, fulfilling the duty of the laity to evangelize within their families and places of work in a small way.
“To a secular person who is unfamiliar with the Church and her practices, a dark smudge on the forehead can be perplexing or even considered freakish,” he explained. “This is unfortunate, but it can be a great opportunity to explain this Christian practice.”
Father Wurtz also noted that, while the ashes aren’t a sacrament, they are a sacramental, “a visible sign that signifies our interior disposition of repentance and our commitment to respond to God’s love and grace.” While he says the Church doesn’t mandate Catholics to keep their ashes on all day, Fr. Wurtz says it’s “irrational” to receive the ashes only to wipe them off, a practice he strongly discourages.
“For a variety of reasons, in the United States, we can tend to be sheepish about expressing our faith, whether in words or signs,” Father Wurtz said. “Ash Wednesday reminds us that expression of our faith in Christ is not limited to the confines of a church building and its four walls.”
‘Marked’ as a Catholic
Father Wurtz’s use of the word “sheepish” might apply to some Catholics who choose not to wear ashes in public, but it certainly doesn’t describe all of them.
In fact, Reali, the ESPN host, admits that he “struggles with the publicness” of displaying his ashes on national TV, but for far different reasons other than cowardice. His main worry has been that non-Catholics might criticize his decision as an effort to force his faith on others.
But Reali sought counsel from a trusted friend, Father Bill Dailey, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who assuaged his concerns.
“He told me, ‘It marks you out as a Catholic; but other than that, it marks you out as a person, acknowledging your own sin, vulnerability and mortality. Hard to see how that should give offense, except to one looking to be offended.’ ”
So Reali will continue to wear his Ash Wednesday ashes on air, both this afternoon and in the future — not in an attempt to insult anyone, but as personal expression of his faith.
And the fact that his decision might lead curious viewers to learn more about the Catholic faith is all for the better, he said: “If I’m looking at the complete picture, it’s led to a greater dialogue about Catholicism and faith and religion, which I think is a good thing.”
Register correspondent Jonathan Liedl writes from Minnesota.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
March 1, 2014
Today Pope Benedict, Queen Elizabeth, Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolas Pachon and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby were delivered a summons to appear before a Brussels international court on 31 March 2014. www.itccs.org
They were charged with aiding and abetting the torture, trafficking and murder of children, plus concealing evidence regarding:
* Albert Hance, age 9: starved to death at the Anglican St. George's school in Lytton, British Columbia
* Richard Thomas, age 15: beaten to death by Catholic Priest Terrance MacNamara at the Kuper Island school, British Columbia
* Shirley Tatooche, age 10: raped and murdered by Catholic priests at the Fort Albany school, Ontario
* Efforts since 2008 to thwart excavation of 32 child mass grave sites on Canadian native residential school grounds by Queen Elizabeth, the Catholic Church, United Church of Canada, Anglican Church and Canadian government. A 25 Feb. 2013 Brussels International Court had found all guilty in the case of 50,000 missing native children who were found raped, tortured, sex trafficked and/or killed at 80 residential schools across Canada. Review the evidence in "Hidden No Longer" available for free at: www.hiddennolonger.com and www.ChildAbuseRecovery.com
* Pope Benedict's role in the 1987 murder of a female child at a French chateau in Holland. At least three witnesses have agreed to testify. http://itccs.org/category/ritual-rape-and-torture-of-children/
* Pope Francis' fast ascension to head of the Catholic Church in Argentina was suspected to be a result of his agreement with the Junta military to traffic children from Catholic orphanages during Argentine's 1970s Dirty War. An Argentine civil servant who took extensive notes of meetings between Francis and Junta military officials, has agreed to come out of hiding in Spain to testify.
* Pope Francis', Pope Benedict's and Queen Elizabeth's use of an agreement called Crimen Sollicitationas to prevent release of information to legal authorities for prosecution of crimes against millions of Anglican and Catholic Priest Abuse victims. A Vatican source claimed Queen Elizabeth signed the document with Pope Benedict on 16 Sept. 2010 at Holyrood Castle in Edinburgh.
* The 2013 international court also found Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip guilty of taking ten children from the Kamloops Catholic residential school on October 10 1964. Parents haven't seen their children since. Three witnesses to the abduction died of mysterious causes prior to the court hearing. Four ITCCS members attempting to publicize Queen Elizabeth's arrest warrant were at different times, detained, held for days without charges and released only because of public outcries.
"We ask all people of conscience to remember and act not only for children who are presently suffering and dying at the hands of church-protected child rapists and traffickers, but for countless children who have died" stated Kevin Annett of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State which is heading prosecution. "Anyone with evidence related to this matter is invited to submit it to the Office of the Citizen Prosecutor of the Court at email@example.com."
A Day of Silence to End Church Violence Against Children has been called for 30 March 2014. The ITCCS and its affiliates invited people of conscious to join them in prayer, fasting and reflection for abused children.
The 25 Feb. 2013 Brussels court found Queen Elizabeth, Pope Benedict and 28 other global elites guilty of Crimes Against Humanity. Pope Benedict resigned from office that same day.
Rise of the Drones
All drones everywhere.
By Jordyn Taylor 3/04 9:43am
Check out this atmospheric satellite a.k.a. FACEBOOK DRONE. (Screengrab: YouTube)
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope — it’s a Facebook drone.
The social media site reportedly wants to use drones to bring Internet connection to the two thirds of the world that still lack connectivity, starting with parts of Africa. The initiative is part of the internet.org project, which Facebook backs.
To do so, Facebook could have bought some individual drones. Instead, overachievers that they are, they bought a drone company. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is shelling out $60 million to acquire Titan Aerospace, a company that makes “atmospheric satellites” — basically, solar-powered drones capable of staying in the sky for up to five years.
Facebook is specifically interested in building 11,000 of Titan Aerospace’s “Solara 60″ aircraft, TechCrunch reported. The company’s site indicates the Solara aircraft have a bunch of communications abilities, which we expect will be useful for Facebook’s mission.
According to this comprehensive YouTube video, the Solara 60 can complete most of the same functions as an orbital satellite, but is cheaper and more versatile. It can also stay at an altitude of 20km for up to five years, without ever having to come back down and refuel. Fancy.
TechCrunch specified that Titan Aerospace’s products would only be used for the internet.org initiative, which means that if you’re reading this now, a fleet of Facebook drones probably won’t be coming to a sky near you.
Check out Titan Aerospace’s Solara 50 and 60 aircraft:
by Amy Kiley
March 03, 2014 4:00 PM
Listen to the Story
All Things Considered
3 min 54 sec
Sun, surf and sermons: At the Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church in Florida, parishioners attend services by parking their cars in a grassy lot. Amy Kiley/WMFE
When most people drive to church on Sunday, it's to sit for an hour-long service on uncomfortable wooden pews. Not at the Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church in Florida.
As church attendance continues to decline in the United States, some parishes are doing what they can to draw congregants: embracing social media, loosening dress codes and even altering service times for big sporting events. At this church, people park in rows on the grass facing an altar on the balcony of an old drive-in theater. To hear the service, they switch on their radios.
Pastor Bob Kemp-Baird was skeptical of the church's approach when he was first recruited two years ago, but now says he understands that the worship style works for his congregation.
"Is there a feeling of the presence of the holy in this place?" Kemp-Baird asks. "Is there a feeling that Christ's presence is made known? I do know: it lives here."
Liturgical purists might balk at a worship style in which even Communion isn't very communal. Parishioners in their cars drink wine from plastic ramekins with tiny rectangles of bread under the lids. As they do so, the radio pipes out instructions over organ music: "Remove this inner lid and, holding this cup, join me in prayer."
But for the parishioners of the , the drive-up approach works.
When Shirley Oenbrink was battling stage 4 cancer, attending church provided her with strength through her illness, she says. But during her year of chemotherapy, she says she could barely get out of bed, let alone into a church pew.
Now that she has beaten the cancer, having a private space during worship helps her cope with the emotional ups and downs of recovery.
"It the time to let the tears flow and you don't get questioned," she says. "I don't like for people to feel sorry for me. And when I cry, my eyes get big, my nose swells up ... I need to stay in my car."
For Russell and Teresa Fry, who are legally blind, the ability to walk to the church and hear the service through speakers is important. They say they both carry wounds from discrimination at churches they've attended in the past, and Teresa Fry says that makes her "standoffish."
"I don't want to get hurt. So I stand back and wait for a second to see how they're going to react to me with being visually impaired, because my eyes do jerk a lot," she says. "People sometimes think I'm kind of crazy when I'm not crazy."
The Frys say the church is a safe place for people who need privacy and healing, and that the congregation readily accepted them.
Other parishioners say the drive-in approach is perfect for those who have trouble walking or for antsy children who enjoy the open space. Others say they revel in the ocean air and Florida sunshine. And some say they like that the church welcomes the whole family, including pet dogs: When ushers hand out Communion, even the dogs get treats.
At the service's close, things get even livelier when people use their car horns to "clap."
Those who want human interaction can then gather in the fellowship hall, which used to be the theater's concession stand. Today, it offers a Christian tradition that transcends even locked cars: doughnut hour.