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UPDATE: Asteroid TX68 passed safely by us…

norm-al-160310

Asteroid 2013 TX68 safely passed by Earth on Monday morning. According to the Minor Planet Center, the space rock’s closest approach occurred on March 7 at 13:42 UTC (8:42 ET) at a distance of 2,542,960 miles (4,092,497 km) from Earth, just a bit closer than the nominal 3 million miles previously estimated. The space rock approached our planet a few hours earlier than expected. The previous estimate indicated asteroid 2013 TX68 was due to pass by Earth around March 7 at 7:06 pm ET (March 8 at 00:06 UTC).

The flyby distance was about 10.64 times the Earth-moon distance, and the next closest approach dates predictions may change again, as the asteroid’s orbit is better understood and more precisely defined using new observations.

In the days leading up to this pass by 2013 TX68, astronomers were highly uncertain as to the asteroid’s closest distance to us. They knew it would not strike Earth, but – prior to today’s pass – the most recent estimate indicated a nominal or most probable distance of 3,104,591 miles (4,996,355 km).

However, the space rock might have passed as closely as 19,000 miles (30,000 km) or as far as 10,722,990 miles (17,256,980 km).

Astronomers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the variation in possible nearest distances for this asteroid was due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, which was tracked for only a short time after its discovery in 2013.

In the days leading up to its closest approach to us, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency’s NEO Coordination Centre (NEOCC/SpaceDys) in Frascati, Italy, realized that this object – which was observed only briefly in 2013 before going into a region of the sky lit by the sun’s glare – was visible on some images a few days before it was officially detected on October 6, 2013. The new images let scientists roughly refine its trajectory, but just a bit.

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is travelling at a speed of 34,279 miles per hour (55,166 km/h).

According to the orbit predictions during the past two weeks, the asteroid may pass by our planet again on September 18, 2056. However, the next closest approach dates predictions will change again, now that it has swept past us.

Why has there been so much uncertainty about this object?

It’s the scenario that astronomers have always cautioned us about … the fact that asteroid 2013 TX68 approached Earth from the sun’s direction. In late February, the space rock was still approaching Earth from this direction, although the asteroid was actually at a greater distance from us than our star.

In other words, for most of the past few weeks, it has been in the daytime sky, where astronomers could not observe it.

The uncertainty of the exact date of closest approach, as well as the precise orbit, was due to the fact that asteroid 2013 TX68 was just observed during 10 days (including the newly found pre-discovery images). That is still a short time to define an orbit precisely.

On February 11, 2016, NASA removed asteroid 2013 TX68 from a list of space rocks with possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years.

Preliminary estimates of the size of asteroid 2013 TX68 suggest the space rock has a diameter of 30 meters (98 ft), which is about twice the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor that entered over Russian skies in February, 2013.

If a space rock of this size were to enter our atmosphere, it would produce a shock wave at least twice as intense as that of the Chelyabinsk meteor, which broke windows in six Russian cities – caused more than 1,500 people to seek medical care, mostly due to cuts from flying glass – and did other damage to thousands of buildings.

Orbit of asteroid 2013 TX68. The small arrow depicts the direction of the space rock, showing the asteroid is coming approximately

Orbit of asteroid 2013 TX68. The small arrow depicts the direction of the space rock, showing the asteroid is coming approximately from the sun’s direction, as seen from the perspective of Earth. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Bottom line: Astronomers now know that asteroid 2013 TX68 safely passed by Earth on Monday morning, March 7, 2016. According to the Minor Planet Center, the space rock’s closest approach occurred on at 13:42 UTC (8:42 ET) at a distance of 2,542,960 miles (4,092,497 km) from Earth.

 

(Please visit a great site called EARTHSKY.ORG for additional info.)

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Whew! That was a close one. Glad we all made it! Next estimated close approach by this space rock to OUR space rock is in 2056. We’re planning to see that pass-by from a whole different vantage point…assuming there’s still a big space rock here for TX-68 to miss.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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A few thoughts on Islam at the start of a new year…

“Our experience has been that Islam creates dark habitations of cultural cruelty and that Christianity brings the light for an abundant life to cultures. We want to do all we can to educate people about the advantages that faith in God’s Word will bring. We want people to have faith to see Christian culture established in societies that have been Islamic for the last eleven centuries or more.

“Why? It is because Christianity has positive effects on societies and paves the way for advancement in every meaningful aspect of life. There is a residual blessing effect with faith in Christ that lives on for centuries, whether or not citizens are active in church participation.

“Islam has no blessed residual effects. Once Islam thoroughly grips a nation, it has paralyzing effects. This smothers creativity in the arts, medicine, science, business, technology, education, and in harmonious human relationships.

“Wars and adverse economic or climatic conditions are not viable excuses. Countless other nations have gone through all these and more, and have picked up where they left off and continued to make advancements. Not so with Islamic stronghold nations. In many ways they have gone backward rather than forward. Were it not for the technological innovations, creativity, and medical advancements adopted from Christianized countries, the Muslim nations would still be sitting in the dust of 7th century Arab culture.

“Islam’s quenching powers have been easily verified comparing France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on the one hand with Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia on the other. The areas of specific comparison were in average household income, literacy rates, male life expectancy, and infant mortality rates per thousand live births. Here is what the comparison showed (using the 2013 World Almanac):  On average, household incomes were 230% higher in the Christian nations. The literacy rate was 15.5% higher. The men of Christian nations live 7.2 years longer. And infants born in the above Muslim nations have a mortality rate that is 750% higher than in the Christian nations. The superiority of life in these Christian nations was astonishing!”

 

A converted Muslim, now a Christian, has offered the following testimony:

“The first time I was arrested for questioning it was because of what I had written on a sign board saying “Jesus is Lord.” While being questioned my captors just started beating and kicking me, trying to inflict as much pain as they possibly could. I soon discovered that my own father had come to join the police in punishing me. I remained in my faith and was not scared of them. The more they beat me, the stronger my resolve became to grow in my faith. There are many other young people now working with me to help reach Muslims with the truth of the Bible.”

 

Another testimony: 

“Not long ago I was caught with 85 copies of the New Testament in my bag. The Iranian police handcuffed me and put me in their car headed directly to the horrible Evin Prison. [Located in Tehran, Iran.] I was frightened because I was on probation, having a long arrest record for Christian activities. I had already spent two years in prison. My name on the police records states ‘Employed by Jesus.’ I was more frightened now because of the evidence of 85 New Testaments.

“From the moment I was tossed into the police car I started praying. I was sure if I went to the prison again, I would never come out alive. I have lived with miracles and believe in them strongly. Sitting in the police car I only said to Jesus that I have done nothing but serve You. Help me. Please do not let me die.

“The word ‘die’ was hardly out of my mouth when the policeman told his driver to pull over so he could purchase something for him. Then I heard the voice of the Iranian policeman turning his face to me and saying, ‘You’re dumb, why are you carrying 85 Bibles in one bag?’ I could not believe what I was hearing. His voice had a different tone from the voices I had heard previously in prison cursing Christians. Then I looked in his eyes. There was something different in his eyes. He was putting the few Bibles he had taken out of my bag back into it. He said, ‘Okay, now quickly, get out of this car. Right now!’ I said, ‘Are you one of us?’ He said, ‘Yes, I believe in Him, too.’ I reached out to touch his hand and literally cried. I said, ‘What will you tell the driver?’ He only said, ‘Go, quickly!’ The next thing I knew, I was in the street running to get a taxi and get as far away as I could. I felt a longing to be somewhere to worship and to thank God for the miracle that had just happened. We are so thankful for the believers who are working in governmental positions and who can be a blessing when one is sorely needed.”

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Because of the constant oppression and persecution endured by Christians in Islamic countries, we cannot provide any more details about the source of the above report. We trust our readers will understand.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Let’s take a good and objective look at the world we now live in…it will be instructive to do so

To almost any dispassionate observer, the world we now live in is very different than it used to be.

Consider the evidence:

Today the president of the US routinely lies to America about everything. He thinks this is part of his job. (It is the only part of his job he is doing well.) He performs his job, if we can call it that, with absolutely no emotion or sign of real caring for the citizens of the US, and he takes a vacation at every opportunity at taxpayer expense. He seems more concerned with obstructionism than with progress. He wants to rule with “my pen and my phone” rather than rely on the US Constitution, the US legal system, or the network of advisers any normal president would want to consult. His own agenda takes top priority over the common good.

We now see a real and growing threat from an organized religion called Islam which claims well over a billion adherents. Members of this religion think nothing of killing other members of their own religion because those other members are not radical and aggressive enough in opposing other religions. Naturally, the preferred target of Islam is especially the unbelieving person of another religion entirely, and particularly Christians. Islam has even sought out opportunities to show its killings in public media and videos. Beheadings, burnings, gangland-style executions have all been recorded and shown to the world with ruthlessness and pride by practitioners of Islam who tell America that “we are coming to get you.” Islam bases its belief system on the Quran, which specifically tells Muslims to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.”

Life today is cheaper than it has ever been. One of the primary reasons for this is that we legalized abortion in 1973. As of this writing we have killed almost 60 million babies since Roe v. Wade. (Planned Parenthood alone has killed 7 million of those.) Worldwide, since 1980, the number of babies killed by abortion is well over 1.3 billion. (That is, one thousand three hundred million.) How many of all these lives were destined to grow into world-changers? Only God knows. Because we value life so little, we now show more violence and murder on TV and in movies than ever before (we continue to call it “entertainment”), which, of course, only serves to cheapen human life even further.

We would have no Bible today were it not for the Jewish people and their insistence on accurately preserving the Hebrew scriptures over the centuries. We would have no Christianity today were it not for the insistence of the early believers, those who lived and walked with Jesus — the Jewish Messiah — to accurately record their time with the Savior and their experiences with God Himself. In spite of all of this, we continue to ignore the Bible and what it teaches, we continue to distance ourselves from God by removing all signs of faith from our daily public and private lives, and we live today as though there is no tomorrow. We treat the nation of Israel today, one of our strongest allies for well over half a century, as hardly an ally at all.

We do not value our Christian heritage nor its holy book, the Bible. We do not value human life. We do not value truth (or we would insist that our government also value it). We obviously do not value personal integrity (the man we elected to our highest public office has none, and we seem to have no real concern).

Consider this very present item of additional evidence. Remember Bill Cosby? Of course you do. We all bought his early comedy albums and played them for our friends. We watched his movies and TV shows. His portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable seemed to be not just well written, but the perfect portrayal of a contemporary father who was concerned with guiding and protecting his family. What do we discover today about Bill Cosby? That he was abusing and raping women for many years to satisfy his own unguided lusts. The evidence continues to mount:

In 1969 I met Bill Cosby while working in New York for the late film producer Ray Stark. I was a 21-year-old single woman in the world’s most exciting city. He was a 32-year-old internationally known comedian and television star, one of the most likeable and popular entertainers in the business. He asked for my number and I gave it to him.

We began hanging out, took in a movie, watched television and ate pizza and hot dogs in my apartment with my roommate. He was married to his current wife and he acted like a perfect gentleman who didn’t come on to either of us, which, I have to admit, made me wonder what his objective was.

One night we were going out to a movie. We agreed to meet at an apartment that he said belonged to a friend of his. I had a terrible headache but didn’t want to cancel the evening. He told me he had a miracle cure his doctor had given him that would get rid of the headache. He went into another room and came back with a capsule. I asked a couple of times what it was. Each time he reassured me, asking, “Don’t you trust me?” Of course I did. This was Bill Cosby.

For more than 45 years I have tried to recall exactly what happened that night. To this day it remains a blur. I have a vague recollection of feeling like I was floating while walking through Times Square and watching some kind of Japanese samurai movie with him. I don’t remember where the theater was nor very much of the evening.

What I do recall, vividly and clearly, is waking up the next morning nude in the bed of his friend’s apartment and seeing Cosby wearing a white terrycloth bathrobe and acting as if there was nothing unusual. It was obvious to me that he had had sex with me. I was horrified, embarrassed and ashamed. There was a mirror above the bed, which shocked me further.

After some awkward small talk, I got out of there as fast as I could. Once in the elevator, I broke down crying, which I continued to do as I walked home to my apartment in the east 70s. It never occurred to me to go to the police. It was a different time and “date rape” was a concept that didn’t exist. I just kept asking myself over and over in disbelief why this had happened to me. Other than my roommate, I did not discuss that night with anyone for 36 years.

Like millions of people, I watched The Cosby Show at its zenith and was a fan. But as I watched Dr. Cliff Huxtable, so compassionate and kind, so honorable and wise, I could never reconcile that image with the Bill Cosby I encountered so many years ago.

Those who suffer from these types of assaults know the prison of shame, bewilderment and disbelief. Like so many victims, my way of coping was to shove the memory into the back of my mind. I only revealed nine years ago what happened that night to my husband of nearly 30 years after another woman went public with similar allegations and sued Cosby. I always thought I was the only one. I couldn’t believe he had done this to others. I told my story to our attorney, who is also a good friend, because I was considering going public then, but eventually chose not to because the case was settled.

This is the first time I have chosen to speak out about that night. It is also the last time I intend to address it publicly. I have no plans to sue, I don’t want or need money. I have no plans for a press conference or for doing any interviews.

So why speak out at all and why now? The simple answer is that it’s the right thing to do. The truth deserves to be known. As I write this, more than 20 women have come forward, many with stories that are remarkably similar to mine. In response to these brave women, I have read comments like, “What took them so long?” and “What are they after now”? I would ask these people to remember that up until relatively recently, prosecuting rape was a “he said/she said” proposition where the victim was blamed for having worn “suggestive clothing” or questioned as to why she went somewhere with her rapist.

When this happened to me, the idea of drugging someone and raping them was almost fantastical. It was years before “date rape” drugs made the news, but it was a perfect modus operandi for a predator, rendering his victim unconscious or so incapacitated as to be unable to clearly answer police questions about the incident. After having done a lot of work on myself, I realize that we are only as sick as the secrets we keep. Once those secrets are spoken aloud, even if to just one person, they lose their power. I no longer feel the shame that kept me silent. Yes, I could have told my story years ago, and in hindsight I probably should have. It’s time now that my voice be added and to finally pull the curtain back from this dark moment in my life.

Having come of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s before marrying in the mid 1980s at 37, I certainly have a history. The difference is that any other relationships were consensual … my encounter with Bill Cosby was most certainly not.

In the years since that night I have crossed paths with Cosby only once, when my husband, a highly successful Oscar-winning film executive and producer, introduced me to him. I was shaking, wondering if he would recognize me by my unusual first name. His reaction spoke volumes. To Bill Cosby, I was just another stranger.

(This account is from Cindra Ladd in the Huffington Post)

 

Let us finish this post with a question: What lies ahead for the US and the world? Our society is changing for the worse and shows no signs of reversing that trend. Is God simply going to look the other way forever?

Absolutely not. Read (and study) the last book in the Bible to learn what’s ahead. Just ahead. As in SOON.
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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“Let me tell you why Islam isn’t so terrible,” says Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast…

Just when you think that the man America elected to occupy the White House can’t look any dumber or sound any more like an apologist for Islam, he stands up at the National Prayer Breakfast and surprises us all one more time.

Remember, by the way, that this is a man who has told us he is a Christian. [He very obviously is not, because (1) he does not know the Bible at all, (2) he does not attend church (he’d rather play golf on Sundays), (3) he never speaks of his Christian faith in any context, and (4) he never misses an opportunity to stand up for Islam.]

His attendance at yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast is a case in point.

This event would have been a wonderful opportunity for a Christian president to stand up and reaffirm how much his faith meant to him only a couple of days after Islam radicals confirmed for the world that they had executed a Jordanian military pilot by burning him alive and showing us the video to prove it. (Beheading, apparently, is too quick. Not enough suffering for the victim. Islam has now hit a new low in the estimation of most of the rest of the world and, in fact, in the eyes of most of the world’s Muslims, who are beginning to openly oppose radical Islam and all it stands for. Jordan is now promising to “eradicate” radical Islam.)

What did Obama say at the Prayer Breakfast? To paraphrase his remarks, he said “Islam really isn’t so bad. Let’s be sure to remember all the terrible things people have done in the name of Christ.” (Can you imagine a more off-putting theme, from the president of the US no less, at a Christian prayer breakfast?) Then he mentioned the Crusades (led by Catholics) of a thousand years ago, the Spanish Inquisition of the 1500’s, and slavery and the Jim Crow years in our own country.

The Spanish Inquisition was designed to rid Spain of both Muslims and Jews (guess that’s why Muslim-loving Obama remembers it), and it was people acting in the name of Christ who ultimately forced the abolition of slavery. Perhaps Obama has forgotten that it was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., acting in the name of Christ, who led the battle here in the US for assimilation and equal rights.

Obama was not the main speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast. (Thankfully.) Darrell Waltrip was. You might know that name from NASCAR racing. Although Mr. Waltrip is now retired from racing, he spoke of a racing accident he had in 1993 which left him wondering what really might be awaiting him after death.  Then he seized the opportunity Obama missed. Darrell Waltrip said of Jesus, “If you’ve never gotten on your knees and asked Him to forgive you of your sins, you’re just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal who is going to go to hell.

Darrell Waltrip understands what it is that sets Jesus apart from all other religious figures from creation to the present day: Jesus did not deserve to die, but He went willingly to that terrible Roman cross in order to make sure that all those who trust Him can have life beyond physical death on this earth. And then He rose from physical death to prove to every doubter from that day to this that He was really who He said He was, and that there can be life after death if we trust Him to guide us to it.

Islam’s Mohammad is dead and gone. Islam has no savior to offer the world. Islam has nothing to offer the world, in fact, because the Quran is not a holy book inspired by the God of love who gave us Jesus. The Quran tells Muslims to be sure to kill all the unbelievers they meet. The Bible tells us to tell others of the love of the Savior, the Son of God, who went to a death He did not deserve so that we could go to an eternal life we do not deserve. The difference between Christianity and Islam (and every other religion) could not be more clear, more stark, more black and white.

Darrell Waltrip made his choice, and you need to make yours.
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

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The only way to really start the new year right…

Well, here we are on the last day of the year again.

The past twelve months have gone by very quickly. (Undoubtedly we’ll be saying the same thing a year from now, too.)

Now that the year is just about history, what does it look like to you as you reflect on it?

ObamaJust about the only person who thinks it’s been a pretty great year is Mr. Obama, but then he has never impressed ANYbody with his solid grasp of reality. Nothing is ever his fault; the Dems blew the mid-term election, but ostensibly for reasons totally unconnected to the job Mr. O has done for the last six years; he persists in telling us he has every right to change laws as he wishes, after telling us nearly two dozen times over the past several years that he had no authority at all to do that; and his desire to end the war in Iraq just because he said he would is what persuaded him to pull out all the troops by date certain and then have to send some of them back again when the country became absolutely chaotic because there was no stabilizing force in place any more. To say the man is short-sighted would be far too kind.

We have watched Islamic radicals over the past year stand in front of video cameras as they behead Americans, Brits, and other Muslims. They take particular pleasure in crucifying Christians. “Infidels” apparently come in all shapes, sizes, and nationalities. Would it have been an even better year with lots more public decapitations? The radical Muslims think so. Maybe even Mr. O thinks so…he has proven time and again that in spite of his claim to Christianity, he has absolutely not a clue what the Bible actually says. One has to wonder which book he feels more comfortable with, the Bible or the Quran…he certainly has made it plain that his sympathies are with those who read the Quran.

Quick question: Which book do YOU feel more comfortable with?

Only one of them can be true and correct, you know. The Bible claims to be inspired by God. Fulfilled prophecies are only one proof that it is. The Quran, on the other hand, was not written by Mohammed, because he was illiterate; it was written by others who felt free to edit as they went along composing from memory or from dictation. The Quran is not presented in any particular historical or thematical order, as is the Bible; the Islamic book’s 114 chapters are presented by length, with longest first. Therefore its contradictions, and there are many, are made all the more obvious. The God of the Bible plainly is a God of love, and if He was willing to send His only Son, Jesus, to the cross to redeem us from our sins, then we certainly ought to investigate and get to know such a God. (Thankfully, He has given us a Book designed precisely for that purpose.) Allah, on the other hand, tells his followers to kill the infidels (anyone who is not Muslim, and any Muslim who is not devout or radical enough) anywhere they can be found, and the more of them the better.

Which God do you want to spend eternity with?

JESUS by Akiane
Please allow us to suggest that with a brand new year ahead of you, it would make great sense to spend a small amount of that year getting to know the real God. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than preparing for eternity. Don’t be one of them.

Need a Bible? We’ll send one to you absolutely free. Just tell us where to send it.

Forget “Happy New Year.” This time, have a BLESSED New Year!

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Jihad coming to American shores? You need truth, and you won’t get it from the White House…

Should American traitors who join ISIS to wage jihad on America be allowed to re-enter the U.S.?

Absolutely not.

But the Obama Administration says “it’s not as black and white as that.”

Obama could not be more wrong. It’s exactly as black and white as that.

U.S. law already confiscates the passport and begins the process for revoking the citizenship of any American traitor who joins the army of a nation at war with America.

But that law doesn’t apply to ISIS’s terrorist army.

We must end this terrorist loophole. We must stop ISIS terrorists from re-entering America.

We’re working with Members of Congress to stop American traitors from bringing ISIS terror to the homeland. If we don’t act fast to close this deadly loophole, jihad can easily come to our shores.

We live in an unstable, radical world. Christians are murdered simply because they are Christian. Muslims are taught that killing unbelievers (“infidels”) is completely sanctioned by their faith. We have seen them sever human heads from living bodies to prove they accept this teaching and to instill deep fear in those who oppose radical Islam. The Bible tells us that God is a God of love and invites us to join Him in eternal life; Islam’s book says it is good to kill those who are not part of that faith. The Bible says that God came to earth in the form of His human Son, Jesus, and that Jesus came back to life, fully resurrected, after being crucified on a cross. Islam’s book claims that Jesus was a Muslim, not the Son of God and a Jew; it also says that Jesus Himself never claimed to be the Son of God.  Islam refutes the resurrection entirely. Islam only knows killing and hate and oppression toward those who are not Muslim. The Bible says we have before us always two choices, life and death; then it tells us, “Choose life.”

Islam prefers to choose death. Islam’s god is not a Creator God. A Creator God would never tell us to destroy His creation, people made in His image…and in the Bible, we see only a reverence for God and His creation.  Islam’s god only knows how to destroy what the true Creator God has made. This shows that Islam’s god is a false god, not a god at all.

The Bible tells us that we can “know them by their fruit,” that a “good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Islam is a true and living example of the truth of this Bible reference. The Bible teaches us to “do unto others as we want others to do unto us.” Islam, on the other hand, teaches its adherents to do TO others before they do to you, in the passages which instruct that non-Muslims are deserving of murder.

We all know ISIS cannot match US military power. But so far, our determination is no match for theirs. Unless we become determined to give them what they want — death — we must be satisfied to live in fear.

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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ACLU loses again…

ACLU loses again...How To Protect The Forest? Simple. Just Cut Down All The Trees.

Score:   GOD and ONEIDA, Tennessee:   1000,       ACLU:   0

After Oneida, Tenn., school officials decided not to fight the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) demand that they cease an opening prayer before high school football games, the school’s cheerleaders tackled the matter.

Led by cheerleader Asia Canada, the Oneida Indians’ squad used the moment of silence before the Sept. 12 football game with Watertown to deliver a cheer – for God.

“[The announcer] called for the moment of silence, and I started off, ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ and everyone joined in,” Miss Canada, the ringleader of the revolt, told WBIR.

As Asia began reciting the Lord’s Prayer, her teammates joined her, along with Watertown’s cheerleaders. Then, hundreds of people in the stands rose to get in on the prayer. For the record, ACLU attorneys did not demand that local police arrest everyone on the spot. Also for the record, Oneida crushed the Purple Tigers 47-7.

School officials had agreed to stop the 84-year tradition of opening games with a prayer and replace it with a moment of silence after the ACLU threw a flag on their prayer. However, that wasn’t the end of the story in this Bible Belt town 60 miles north of Knoxville.

Kevin Acres, the announcer, distanced himself from the change, explaining that, “first off, I wanted to let everyone know on both sides of the field, this wasn’t our decision or the school board, it was pressure from outside groups.”

The exuberant demonstration of faith that erupted was not exactly spontaneous, said football coach Tony Lambert.

“We went to the cheerleaders and said ‘would you consider leading the Lord’s Prayer during the moment of silence for anyone that would want to join in?’” said Mr. Lambert, a self-professed Christian. “It was at their discretion, and they organized it. We announced the moment of silence, the girls formed a circle and read the Lord’s Prayer and others in the stands followed in. I got a lot of positive feedback from it. I’m very proud of our cheerleaders and fans.”

In an Oct. 3, 2013, letter sent to schools all over Tennessee, ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy M. Weinberg cited the Supreme Court rulings Lee v. Weisman (1992), which bars adult-led school prayer, and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000), which bars student-led amplified prayer. In the latter case, dissenting Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that Justice John Paul Stevens’ 6-3 majority opinion “bristles with hostility to all things religious in public life.”

Explaining the ACLU’s aim to silence the prayers, Ms. Weinberg wrote in Orwellian fashion about “protecting religious freedom for all students, including athletes, and for their families who attend the games.” In the ACLU’s world, you preserve the forest by cutting down all the trees.

She noted that, “It is well settled that school faculty, coaches, administrators or invited clergy may not lead students in prayer or conduct a prayer during a school event.”

The school had been allowing public prayer at football games since 1930. Is that “well settled?” America’s Founders, including Thomas Jefferson, attended Christian services in the chamber of the House of Representatives, and presidents have incorporated prayer in public events on government property right up to the current day.

Unable to prohibit presidents of the United States from indulging in this disturbing behavior, the ACLU has been more successful rooting out religious heritage in communities like Oneida (pop. 3,700).

That brings us to the question of how you define success. Before the ACLU’s threat, one man with a microphone would give a prayer at the games. Now, hundreds, perhaps as many as a thousand, according to Mr. Acres, pray together, led by cheerleaders who won’t knuckle under to a team of ACLU lawyers.

The football fans of Oneida apparently revere God more than they do man. There’s a good chance that many are familiar with the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:32-33:

Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Oneida High School Principal Kevin Byrd said the ACLU’s legal victory has united the town of Oneida like nothing else.

“We are in the heart of the Bible Belt,” Mr. Byrd told The Knoxville News. “Nothing galvanizes us more than our faith. This just reassured us where our school stands. We’re gonna stand true to our beliefs.”

This is reminiscent, on a larger scale, of a famous incident in May 2001, when a commencement speaker at Washington Community High School in Washington, Ill., faked a sneeze so that a number of students could loudly say “God bless you.” The student, Ryan Brown, did it to get around a court order obtained by the ACLU on behalf of the school’s valedictorian, who did not want an invocation or benediction at the event.

As even the liberal fact-checking site Snopes.com put it, “people were angered by the decision, which overturned a tradition of 80 years’ standing.”

So, if you have something even faintly “religious” going on in public in your community, and it goes back 80 years, watch out for an ACLU goon unit.

No word yet on whether the ACLU will be back in Oneida with another threat. After all, the school football team’s name is … the Indians.

[by Robert Knight, writing for BARBWIRE.COM]

……………………………….

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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