The Mount Soledad Cross was dedicated at a San Diego park on Easter Sunday in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War. Atheist Phillip Paulson, along with a Jewish war veterans group, has been trying to have the cross removed since 1989.
While liberal do-gooders have found it difficult to hide their satisfaction and glee over the priest abuse scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church over the past several years, a similar humiliation is unfolding much closer to their own doorstep. The Presbyterian Church (USA), one of the most liberal of the nation’s mainline denominations, has found itself in the middle of a scandal over sexual abuse of minors that occurred for a number of years at overseas missions facilities run by the church. The most high-profile instance so far involves a California man who is suing the denomination, alleging that he was molested by an older boy in 1988 at a church-operated boarding house in Africa, and that church authorities on site allowed it to occur.
Over the past year and a half the researchers at Gallup have been taking the spiritual pulse of America, and their findings confirm what has been commonly understood for generations: Individuals who embrace a faith in God that inspires their daily behavior and attitudes are healthier, happier, and better adjusted to their environments than their nominally religious or non-religious counterparts.
In the art and science of perfumery, it is understood that a precise admixture of the right oils makes the perfect perfume. The master perfumer selects the desired smells from the palette of aromas known as head chords, heart chords, and base chords. Once chosen, the skilled composer harmonizes these raw notes of odor into a seductive olfactory symphony.
It is sometimes said regretfully that many Americans today get their “slant” on the news from TV’s late-night comedians. But today’s “baby boomers” and Generation X-ers and Y-ers are not among the first Americans to find their politics strained through the filter of humor. More than a century before Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert began coming into people’s living rooms via broadcast and cable television, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to readers around the world as Mark Twain, was infiltrating the same sanctuary via newspapers, magazines, and books. In a 2008 article for Time magazine, humorist Roy Blount, Jr. showed just how topical, yet timeless, Twain’s humor was and is.
Planned Parenthood’s annual report for fiscal 2008-09 shows that the nation’s premier abortion provider received a banner $363.2 million in government funding through grants and contracts over its latest reporting period, a $13.6 million increase over the group’s federal take in fiscal 2007-08.
Though the majority of Americans have never heard of him, one hundred years ago a key figure in Islamic socialism was born in Damascus — most scholars believe a few days after Christmas. His name is Michael Aflaq (photo at left). Born of Orthodox Christian parents, Aflaq received a proper middle class education in Syria before studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. What did he study? That strange hybrid pseudo-science so common then as today — “political economy,” the salient parts of which were socialism and Arab nationalism.
December 27 marks the birthday of the Father of Celestial Mechanics, Johannes Kepler. Born in 1571, he went on to become one of the most important scientists in the field of astronomy as the first person to explain the laws of planetary motion. He also made important advances in the fields of optics, geometry and calculus. Kepler is credited with explaining how the moon influences the tides and with determining the exact year of Christ's birth.
The University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) confirmed that it is giving up its plans to create a clinic in Madison that would provide late-term abortions. In early 2009 the board of UWHC had approved a plan to build a facility that would provide abortions to women in their second trimester of pregnancy (19 to 22 weeks), with projections for around 125 abortions annually.