Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tue Sep 17th Todays News

The ALP like grants in government. It is a good way to distribute lots of money without much oversight. Back in 2008, Fairfield Council set up $5k grants for cultural projects. Budding film makers could start projects and use the grants. They weren't to pay the artists, but to fund projects. I applied for such a grant, being desperate for money, but willing to work. Many were coming up with projects on opposing cigarettes, alcohol awareness, youth and domestic violence awareness and so on. I decided to deal with the issues in a short story format, and so covered the many issues I'd seen as a local high school teacher. I was told the project was too ambitious. I did a documentary on Che Guevarra. I was told I'd finished it and so it wasn't worthy of a grant. A project needed to be something I could use in the community, to discuss the important issues. So, I suggested the disconnect between youth and police, humanising police to youth who view them as a threat, instead of as essential to a healthy society. I was told my issue wasn't edifying for the community, and wasn't really cultural. People did access those grants .. not me. And that is why the ALP really love them, they are subject to pork barrelling, rort-ing abuse. BTW, check out my doco on the second intifada
But that isn't all the ALP care about. They care about women. Not too much .. they don't want to reward women for work. The ALP want tokens. Of the four leaders of the ALP federally, none are women. The Liberal Party's deputy leader, Julie Bishop, is a woman, and more capable as minister than any of the ALP four, but that isn't the point. It is a shame there aren't more like Bishop. Give the ALP time, and they will find another issue that will define their opposition to an Abbott government. The ACT seem to think they have found another issue; Gay Marriage. Personally, I don't like government defining marriage. Government don't do much very well. I shudder to think what complying with gay marriage law would entail for the average citizen. At what time would federal police be able to turn on their flashlights and say, loudly "That sirs, is not legal!"Leave it to the churches to be wowsers. But let the churches make their own regulation. Then let the federal police scratch their heads and try to see if the practice is Catholic or Protestant ..

In the US there are guns. There are guns in Australia too, but there are regulations that are effective. Obama has tried ineffective regulation, and it hasn't worked. Today there is discussion of a man, who might have been a son of Obama, killed lots of people with an assault rifle. He had taken it to the workplace when some would argue it was better off at his home. Because the Democrats get votes by being the goto party for gun control, it is not in their interests to do anything effective about the issue. 
Happy birthday and many happy returns Charles the Simple (879), Stephen Hales (1677), Jonathan Alder (1773), Ira Davenport (1839), Walter Murdoch (1874), Francis Chichester (1901), Bea Miles (1902), Hank Williams (1923), Roddy McDowall (1928), Stirling Moss (1929), Anne Bancroft (1931), Shelby Flint (1939), Rita Rudner (1953), Mandawuy Yunupingu (1956), Dustin Nguyen (1962) and Justyna Jegiołka (1991). On your day, Constitution Day in the United States
1859 – Disgruntled with the legal and political structures of the United States, Joshua Norton distributed letters to various newspapers in San Francisco, proclaiming himself Emperor Norton.
1914 – Andrew Fisher became Prime Minister of Australia for the third time, beginning a period of reform unmatched in the Commonwealth until the 1940s.
1939 – World War II: The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, sixteen days after Nazi Germany's attack on that country from the west.
1978 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords after twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David.
2011 – Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist publication, organized a protest against corporate influence on democracy at Zuccotti Park in New York City that became known as Occupy Wall Street. Emperor Norton is gone. Andrew Fisher has reformed. Poland is back. Twelve days of talks end with talk. Occupy Wall street is vacant. Enjoy your day.

Now Palmer sees army officers under the beds

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (4:26pm)

Buffoon Clive Palmer has already accused the Greens of being funded by the CIA and Rupert Murdoch’s estranged wife of being a Chinese spy.
Now he implies ex-military officers are rigging our elections:

BILLIONAIRE businessman and political hopeful Clive Palmer has taken a swipe at ex-military personnel as part of his suspicions involving the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)…
“One of the things I’m concerned about in Australia is all our divisional returning officers are ex-military officers of the Australian armed forces,” Mr Palmer said on ABC TV.
“I think the military shouldn’t be involved in a democracy.”
I find it astonishing - depressing - that a significant minority of Australians think this man deserved their vote.
Money talks. But in this case it talks rubbish, at high volume.
Reader Buffoon Fighter - The Blue Knight corrects the buffoon’s conspiracy theory:

Why was Clive Palmer raising conspiracy theories, when the AEC had already explained that the error that had occurred was a mere misallocation of votes between two booths in the Fairfax electorate - that of Buderim and Coolum Beach. In effect someone in the AEC recorded the votes under the wrong booth, but as both are within the seat of Fairfax it makes no difference whatsoever. And now that they corrected the error after it was brought into their attention all is fine.
Except we had a panel full of lefties again at Q&A; as well as the fact checking unit of the ABC and all of its researchers not being aware of the NEWS report from the Courier-Mail posted at just after 4pm carrying the full explanation

There is a fix - and it’s from the Palmer United Party itself, which dished up a Dorothy Dixer to Clive Palmer on Q&A last night:
Mr Palmer used the ABC’s QandA show to criticise the AEC accusing it of everything from being out of date to suggesting there could be a military conspiracy secretly pulling the strings.
But he has come under criticism on social media after fielding a question from Palmer United 2013 election candidate Tim Kelly without disclosing his relationship.
“Clive made a point earlier, why are we in 2013 still using pencils and in America they at least have a computer system and other countries,” Mr Kelly asked.
“What is the go with the pencil and paper?”
Good news from the latest counting in Fairfax, where Palmer once led by 3000 votes:

Palmer’s lead is now just 64,
(Thanks to readers Jeff and Baldrick.)  

How the racism game washes away pesky crime stats

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (2:43pm)

The Age and academics agree that Sudanese and Somali-born immigrants are five times more likely to figure in crime stats because the police are racist.
So I guess this is one more police officer probably just being a racist with all that profiling.
I guess people complaining about being mugged or bashed are probably just racist, too.

Simple, this game.  

Buttrose’s attack on Bishop is sexist

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (2:18pm)

The true sexist is Ita Buttrose, who sees a successful woman (a managing partner of a law firm, now deputy Liberal Party leader) and concludes she’s just some man’s “token woman”:
I’m sure Julie Bishop is accustomed to being the token woman throughout her career, and here she is being the token woman again.
Disgraceful. We’re back to where we were under John Howard, where the critics of the government seem slightly unhinged. And seem, dare I say it, to be projecting more than describing.
Buttrose’s slur suggests Bronwyn Bishop is right - that some people are so habituated to affirmative action appointments that they see a token woman even when staring right at a woman who’s risen entirely on her merits:

Likely Speaker Bronwyn Bishop says she never wants to see the Liberal Party embrace affirmative action as it would entrench women as ‘’permanent second-class citizens’’.
Reader Alan RM Jones:
Some woman leaders are so awesome, a cabinet only needs one.
Annabel Crabb:
BRW publisher Amanda Gome went further: “Poor Julie Bishop. She should have taken a lesson from the trail blazing business women who broke into corporate boardrooms a few decades ago. Never be the token woman in the boardroom because suddenly your gender is the issue that defines who you are and how you are perceived”....
Poor Julie Bishop, my arse. Julie Bishop is not a ‘token woman’…
Julie Bishop is a woman who has never, as far as I can recall, had a concession made to her on account of her gender. In fact, I cannot even recall any instances of chivalry towards her displayed by her male colleagues, many of whom have cheerfully undermined and white-anted her just as viciously as they would any man whose job they wanted, which is what happened to her when she was shadow treasurer.
She has played political games with the best of them.
She has pursued a political career with relentless determination, and endured setbacks and humiliations along the way while never succumbing to self-doubt or self-pity… Lonely she might be in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet, yes, but let’s not insult her by dismissing her considerable achievements. ..
Something weird always creeps in to this debate about women’s representation in politics. And that is that some proponents of equal participation find it necessary to endorse only the participation of women they personally admire.
Hands up anyone who, in the past week, has whined about the under-representation of women in the Abbott Cabinet, but rejoiced at the probable loss of Sophie Mirabella from the political landscape? 
(Thanks to readers Gab and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

The Left buries Mirabella, then complains she’s not there

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (12:27pm)

First the Left threw everything into defeating Sophie Mirabella, one of two women in Tony Abbott’s shadow cabinet.
Now, with Mirabella gone, the Left complains Tony Abbott does not have enough women in his Cabinet. 

When will warmists say “oops”?

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (9:03am)

Professor Bjorn Lomborg says man is warming the planet, but the evidence now shows global warming theorists have vastly exaggerated the problem. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will grudgingly dial down the alarm:

The new report’s ...  June draft shows “similar” temperature rises to the earlier reports, at about 1.0-3.7oCelsius by the end of the century. For sea-level rise, the IPCC now includes modeling of glacier responses of 3-20 centimeters, leading to a higher total estimate of 40-62 cm by century’s end – much lower than the exaggerated and scary figure of 1-2 meters of sea-level rise that many environmental activists, and even some media outlets, bandy about.
Similarly, the IPCC has allowed for lower temperature rises by reducing the lower end of its estimate of so-called climate sensitivity. It is also less certain now that humans have caused hurricane and drought events since 1950. In the 2007 report, it was more than 50% certain that they have; now it is less than 21% certain…
The bigger problem for the IPCC is that global temperature has risen little or not at all in the last 10-20 years… To its credit, the IPCC admits that “models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in the surface warming trend over the last 10–15 years.” ...
Compared to the actual temperature rise since 1980, the average of 32 top climate models (the so-called CMIP5) overestimates it by 71-159% (see graph). A new Nature Climate Change study shows that the prevailing climate models produced estimates that overshot the temperature rise over the last 15 years by more than 300%.
Gerard Henderson is right - and will be even more right if the warming pause continues until the next election:

Labor appears to be in a state of delusion in attempting to rationalise the devastating loss on September 7 as primarily due to internal divisions and leadership changes. This has led leadership contenders Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten, along with acting opposition leader Chris Bowen, to confirm support for a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

What song would you put in these grants-gobblers’ iPod?

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (8:52am)

We pay for grants recipients to play. The Australian Research Council-funded Centre for the History of Emotions sends out this press release:

My Life As A Playlist
A song for every significant moment of your life
Is there a particular song that reminds you of a significant moment in your life? What do you feel when you hear that song? What songs would you choose for your wedding, your birthday, your funeral?
The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) launched My Life As A Playlist, a major cross-platform project produced by ABC Arts on Monday, 16 September 2013.
Presented by ABC Radio National’s The Inside Sleeve host Robbie Buck, My Life As A Playlist is an interactive website where you can curate a personal soundtrack to your life.
Philippa Martyr notes:

You know, just last week a nice philosopher chap took people like me to task for criticising the ARC’s funding of projects like this, because it’s wrong to have governments looking too closely at the ARC. Apparently people like me are spearheading a covert campaign to destroy the humanities…
Guess what? People like me don’t need to engage in a campaign to destroy the humanities. The humanities in academia have done that all by themselves, by precisely this kind of project. My Life As A Playlist is just the world’s most expensive iPod, but it’s being sold to us as some kind of discovery along the lines of penicillin. From the press release:

Robbie Buck said: “I love the way music can act as chapter headlines for our past. Looking back at the highlights – and lowlights –in our own lives, there’s always a soundtrack attached to it. Music possesses that wonderful capacity to boost our spirits in celebration and bolster our moods in commiseration. And there’s nothing quite like the emotional rush of hearing a piece of music that’s closely attached to a major point in your life, even many years later. It’s this aspect of My Life As A Playlist that’s so exciting, along with its ability to share those experiences with the rest of the nation.”
Robbie Buck is someone who earns his living working as a DJ on the ABC, so we can understand why he is so excited about this. It will keep him in work for a bit longer and ensure that his place in the ideological echo chamber – ABC, ARC, Triple J, Abbott666 – is not cast into doubt by any independent thought along the lines of, ‘Hey, exactly why are Australian taxpayers funding this again?’
And the ABC and ARC grant recipients are the first to scream at the prospects of cuts to government funding.
(Thanks to reader Enough is Enough.) 

ABC blames the audience it chose for making it so vicious

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (7:50am)

Here is the ABC’s official defence to showing a doctored picture of an ABC critic having sex with a dog, with the caption “Chris “Dog F...er” Kenny” spelled out:
While strong in nature, the segment was consistent with the humour from the Chaser Team and in line with the target audience of The Hamster Decides. The graphic was clearly fake and absurd.
— Jennifer Collins, Head of Entertainment, ABC Television, Response to Media Watch questions, 16th September, 2013
Yes, the graphic was clearly fake and absurd. That’s not the issue. The issue is that it was offensive, obscene, abusive and possibly defamatory.
To that the ABC has two defences which are simply preposterous. Weak. Evasive. Amoral at best.
First, “the segment was consistent with the humour from the Chaser Team”. 
This is just the ABC dodging its responsibility - or, in fact, hiding it.  If the ABC had instead hired Nazi comedians who told “jokes” about Jews, would it really get away with that defence - that “the segment was consistent with the humour from the Goebbels Admiration Society”? If this Dog F...er “joke” was “consistent with” the humor the ABC expected when it hired The Chaser, should it not explain why it knowingly handed over time on the publicly funded ABC to tell just such “jokes”?
Second, the ABC says the “joke” was “in line with the target audience of The Hamster Decides”.
More dodging of responsibility. If the ABC had instead hired bikies to tell “jokes” about people they’d like to kill, would it really get away with that defence - that such “jokes” were “in line with the target audience of The Bikie Hate Hour”? Should it not have to explain why it handed over time on the publicly funded ABC to entertain and validate this particular audience with these values?
Yes, I’ve used extreme examples (reductio ad absurdum) to illustrate the absurdity and moral vacuity of the ABC’s response.
But the ABC needs to be exposed for washing its hands of responsibility. It chose the audience it wanted to entertain. It accepted the viciousness, vulgarity and abuse which that entertainment included.
Those decisions are precisely what the ABC should be condemned for. By noting it deliberately chose this group to tell such jokes to amuse the very people who’d laugh at such vilification, the ABC has not defended itself but condemned.
The late Kerry Packer showed the leadership that ABC managing director Mark Scott dodges:

On September 4, 1992, Doug Mulray fronted Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos.  Being a 90 minute special spun off from Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show, you’d expect that its entire season would have been played out.  However, after only 35 minutes of animal rutting and scantily clad humans, legend has it that Kerry Packer dialled the studio direct and ordered the staff to ‘get that shit off the air’.
Here’s how that show abruptly ended:

(Thanks to reader Ken.) 

Selling shampoo from Gillard’s car

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (6:50am)

A certain sense of entitlement - again - that sure jars:

JULIA Gillard wrote a personal cheque for $4243 to the Department of Finance because her partner, Tim Mathieson, had misused her taxpayer-funded car to drive around Victoria selling shampoo and other haircare products in breach of parliamentary rules.
Documents released to The Australian under Freedom of Information laws yesterday show that Ms Gillard made the payment on March 9, 2007, as deputy leader of the opposition because of concern over a breach of rules forbidding the use of the car for commercial purposes. The documents were provided yesterday after a 10-month battle by the former prime minister and her office to prevent the Department of Finance from following through on its decision to release the material.

But not one of Labor’s four leaders is a woman

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (6:44am)

Labor complains there are almost no women in Tony Abbott’s cabinet. But there is not a single woman among Labor’s four leaders (Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, acting leader Chris Bowen and leadership rivals Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten). 

Actually, I hope I’m wrong about climate change

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (6:05am)

Another criticism of Abbott’s ministerial arrangements from those obsessed by the politics of seeming:

The portfolios had noticeably shorter titles, sparking criticism that Mr Abbott had either overlooked key responsibilities such as science, aged care and climate change, or was making a political statement that these were no longer worthy of separate mention under his administration.

Complaining you’ve been snubbed if your interest is not name-checked in a Minister’s title is absurd. Or, rather, it leads to absurdly long-winded titles in governments that care more for how they seem than about what they do. For instance, here is the title Julia Gillard gave Craig Emerson:

Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy.
Again, we need to return from Labor’s Age of Seeming to a new Age of Doing. Let Ministers be judged not by the size of their business cards, the shout-outs in their titles or even their gender, race or sexual preferences. Let them be judged on performance. So the new Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, doesn’t actually have “science” in his title. Let’s see what he actually does for science before damning, shall we?
All that said, am I allowed to hope that I’m actually wrong? Please let it be true that omitting the words “Climate Change” from the title of Environment Minister Greg Hunt really does signal a dialing back of this great scare that has destroyed our reason and hoovered our wallets. 

Abbott lacks women; his critics lack context

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (5:10am)

Tony Abbott’s naming of a Cabinet with just one woman - Julie Bishop - is a gift to Leftists with no sense of context.
Take Fairfax writer Clementine Ford, who sells t-shirts with the slogan ”F… Abbott”:

When Kevin Rudd re-assumed the prime ministership in late June, his cabinet reshuffle resulted in the promotion of three more women to his ministry. His decision distinguished it as the most gender equitable cabinet in Australian political history so far, with a balance of 14 men to six women.
Context overlooked:

Rudd appointed more women not because he’s a gender warrior but because so many men refused to serve with the snake after he’d killed off the first female Prime Minister:
Within an hour of Rudd’s victory, Gillard, Swan, Garrett, Emerson, Greg Combet and Joe Ludwig had resigned from the ministry.
Ford again:

For a brief time, we had talented women [in Labor Cabinets].... Penny Wong, an openly gay Asian-Australian whose sexual orientation and ethnicity were a welcome challenge to a political cast of characters unrepresentative of Australia’s diversity...
Context overlooked:

Wong might have the “sexual orientation and ethnicity” that Ford prefers in a politician, but she was, frankly, one of our worst Finance Ministers, helping to preside over an explosion of spending that produced huge deficits. As Climate Change Minister she proved dangerously gullible to the global warming scare, falsely blaming the Murray-Darling Basin drought on global warming, sliming leading scientists who correctly warned against the warming hype, and funding and touting a string of dud green schemes. As a performer rather than a presenter of identity politics, Wong was a dud.
Ford again:

But the Liberals ... refer to the furphy of ‘’merit’’ when it comes to their elected officials and their promotions. Indeed, Abbott himself said that he was ‘’disappointed’’ there weren’t more women in cabinet - as if he isn’t directly responsible for their absence...
Context missing:

Ford neglects to name a single woman who Abbott should, on merit, have appointed to Cabinet. Reason? She can’t. And if she can’t, how can Abbott be “directly responsible for their absence”?
Fairfax writer Mark Kenny also fails to name a single woman of merit Abbott overlooked, which makes his criticism just a rant:
By its own admission, the Coalition is so bereft of competent women, that it can find just one considered up to the task of making a contribution at the top table.
But let’s be fair to the prime minister-elect.

The whole ministry, pretty much from top to toe, is subject to a multiplicity of competing considerations that routinely bump the merit principle, to a distant last.
As I said on 2GB last night, yes, it is a worry that Abbott has just one woman in Cabinet. The problem is that he had no other obvious candidates other than Sophie Mirabella (who will probably lose her seat and so couldn’t be considered) and Brownyn Bishop (who was made Speaker instead).
I don’t blame Abbott personally. I ask instead whether the Liberal organisation is doing enough to recruit talented women, and whether it is turning its back on a potential source of future Cabinet ministers. Abbott should lead this inquiry.
So which woman of merit should Abbott have put in Cabinet, Mark? Which had the nous and - most critical - experience? I can think of some who will get there relatively soon, I hope, but I cannot think of one that should be there right now.
Kenny again:

The gender imbalance brought a stinging rebuke from acting opposition leader Chris Bowen, who noted that war-torn Afghanistan had more women in its cabinet.
Context overlooked:

Afghanistan’s cabinet in fact includes all government ministers - which we would call “the ministry” - and numbers 25, including the president. Three are women.  Abbott’s ministry numbers 30, of whom five are women. Comparing like with like, the claim that Afghanistan’s cabinet (actually ministry) has more women than Abbott’s ministry is false both in number and proportion. Anyone repeating it is either ignorant or deceptive.
But here is the bottom line: What we should demand most from Cabinet ministers is not that they wear skirts, look diverse or have a range of exotic backgrounds and sexual preferences. Performance should be what counts as we roll back this Age of Seeming and restore an Age of Doing.
Overall, I’d rate Abbott’s Cabinet, person for person, as potentially better than any we’ve had over the past six years. If this team delivers, it will already be more admirable than any that boasted even a Wong. I don’t care how a Minister seems; I care what he or she does.
Is someone saying a woman of this poor judgment should have been promoted?

The only woman named a parliamentary secretary was the out-of-favour Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. The NSW right-wing senator was demoted after her role in sponsoring the failed Greenway candidate Jaymes Diaz, against Mr Abbott’s express wishes.
Peter van Onselen, at least, names one woman - and one only - he feels should have been made a minister (but not Cabinet minister) - the young Kelly O’Dwyer. He blames Abbott more for not giving more women a chance to prove themselves over the past four years, preferring instead to radiate “stability” with the team he started out with.
But let’s not forget, radiating stability did help him win the election.
More context from reader watty:

Whitlam’s First Cabinet with not a woman in sight.
Hawke’s First Cabinet - one woman, Susan Ryan.
Keating’s First Cabinet- one woman, Ros Kelly.
As a Coalition supporter I suggest that the above three Cabinets performed at a higher level and much better than any of the Kirner/Gillard/Emily’s List hodge podge of elected Cabinets of latter years. Too late for Bowen and company but the quota system doesn’t work in politics or private enterprise but genuine talent does.

The business of snaffling grants

Andrew Bolt September 17 2013 (4:54am)

Nick Cater on our grants industry, which I’m astonished to learn has a trade magazine to suggest novel ways to snatch your money:

The grant-seeker’s trade magazine, Third Sector, publishes tips. Not-for-profit consultant Frank Spranger recommends assigning a manager “to routinely review federal and state government websites for new grants and tenders that could be relevant to your organisation”.
Peggy Hailstone, who describes herself as a professional grant writer, writes about grant-seeking trends in the April edition, advising that “capacity-building” is particularly big this year: “2013 offers an excellent opportunity to progress your grant-seeking,” she writes. “Will you take up the challenge or let it slide past?”
Naturally, when a spendthrift and authoritarian government is handing out free money there are plenty of people up to the challenge of trousering it:
Thanks to Labor, we now have the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, a body set up to help its citizens keep their smoking, drinking and eating at appropriate levels. The country needed “national infrastructure to help drive the way we behave”, Roxon told the parliament in 2010…
The first achievement of ANPHA was to create 38 public-service jobs in Canberra. Its second was to encourage a gaggle of grant-seeking bodies to devise ridiculous ways of encouraging responsible drinking.
Incolink, the union-dominated body that manages redundancy payments for construction workers, scored $300,000 for its Drink Safe Mate project, which will help young workers learn to handle the grog using “a capacity-building approach”. The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health in Victoria also went for capacity-building, intending to use its cheque for $492,267 to “improve the capacity of young people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harm"…
When it comes to dishing out public money in the cause of preventive health, no multifaceted early intervention approach or awareness-raising initiative is too questionable to dismiss.
The Gwabba Yorga-Gabba Warra project received $500,000 to organise netball competitions; Shire Wide Youth Service has $500,000 for its Be A Smarty When You Party project; Mushroom Marketing landed a half million for its Live Solution - Have a Better Time With Live Music project.
The list goes on and on: 26 dubious micro-grants totalling $10 million were allocated last year by Roxon’s quasi-autonomous faculty for projects that look as if they have been invented for no other purpose than squeezing money out of the public purse. 
peace movement, Hamas must feel really threatened by them - ed===

Recently UN Secretary General admitted to a group of Israeli students that Israel faces bias and discrimination at the United Nations.

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-faces-bias-at-un-ban-says/

LIKE and SHARE to spread the TRUTH about the UN.

(Note: media reports claimed that Moon retracted this comment, but UN official Robert Serry later denied this and reaffirmed the statement -http://news.yahoo.com/ajc-welcomes-un-clarification-secretary-generals-remarks-182100051.html)
Will he do anything about it? If not, wait for the Obama announcement "I did what I wanted" - ed

#Goodtimes working with #JessicaMauboy on#DanceAcademy series 3 catch it on ABC iView @jessicamauboy1


Pastor Rick Warren
Piers Morgan was kind, sensitive, and allowed Kay and me to share honestly and freely without interruption about suicide, mental illness, guns, grief, GOD, and our family's journey. He graciously came to our office to tape this interview. It will air on CNN Tuesday at 6pm PST. Please share this with others and pray many lives will be saved. Thank you dear friends for helping get the word out.
Pastor Rick Warren
Nothing happens without God's permission BUT NOT everything is God's will. God doesn't do evil nor tempt evil.(James 1:13)

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in.(Psalm 112:4, NIV)

Anytime you are going through difficult, dark times, know that God already has a plan to bring you through to victory.I believe it means that suddenly, you’re going to get well. Suddenly, you will meet the right person. Suddenly, you’re able to pay your house off. Our attitude should be, “My child may be off course, making poor decisions, but I’m expecting a flood of God’s mercy to bring him back.” Or, “My house has been on the market for a year and still hasn’t sold, but I’m expecting a flood of favor to cause it to stand out and sell"

In the midst of that difficulty, don’t get discouraged. You’re in a prime position to see a flood of God’s goodness. Keep praising Him. Keep thanking Him and stay in faith because His light will break through the darkness,in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Prayer for those struggling with sexual sin. 
Father,I thank you for the most valuable gift, Salvation through the cross of your son Jesus Christ. Lord I am weak, pathetic man, I am fallible, I am a chief sinner, but glory to You, that you are merciful and mighty. I confess that I have sinned with the lust of my eyes, I have committed adultery within my heart time and time again, with pornography and almost any way possible. Father I acknowledge that I will increasingly need you for the rest of the days that you have given me. Lord have mercy on me. Father let this prayer that you hear,not be one of pride, examine my heart and help me like you always do,thank you Father.Amen.

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Soooo CUTE!
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Israelis Invent the the Almighty Android Button!
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A Bnei Menashe plea to make aliyah
Click here to watch: A Bnei Menashe plea to make aliyah
This is unbelievable! 2,700 years ago, their ancestors were exiled from Israel by the Assyrians and here in this video they gather together to make a public request of the Israeli government to bring them home to Israel! Meet the Bnei Menashe. The good news is that the Israeli government said yes!!! Starting this summer the Bnei Menashe community of India will begin making aliya until all 7,000 return to Israel...after 2,700 years of exile and separation from the rest of the Jewish nation.
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WOW! Rosh HaShanah in 1944 Germany
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No words can describe this!
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Click here to watch: NEVER AGAIN!
Must-Watch- This might be the most powerful clip you ever see.
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
Jamie - Bar
One Week Rosh Hashanah Sale - Yair Emanuel Judaica!!
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      A Beautiful Collection of Religious and Decorative Stone Art Sculptures 


New York Times Op-Ed Pushes Demise of Jewish State

NY Times Magnifying Glass

The New York Times promotes one-state solution on front page of its Sunday Review. Read more...

No Religious Freedom For Jews on Temple Mount

Temple Mount

The Guardian advocates against freedom of religion at Judaism’s holiest site. Read more...

13 Years Since The Photo That Started It All

Photo That Started It All

It's 13 years since HonestReporting was launched. Relive the incident that started it all. Watch the video and read the interview here...


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Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for September 16th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

John Kerry: When I said a deal with Russia was impossible, I did that knowing full well it was possible

We continue to witness the “Accidentally on Purpose” (or is that “On Purpose Accidentally”?) method of diplomacy, where decisiveness is a weakness and inaccurate/ill-advised predictions are the cornerstones of Smart Power...

Obamacare-related layoffs, hour cuts and private coverage dumps of the week

As you read these three stories examples of Obamacare’s impact, keep in mind Jay Carney continues to say that suggesting that Obamacare reduces full time hiring is “belied by the facts”...

No Obamacare exemptions for Big Labor? We’ll see

The Obamacare rollout has been an uncomfortable one for Big Labor...

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Michelle's Top Tweets

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No hate tweet today. Instead, please pray for the victims of the Navy Yard shooting and their loved ones.

September 17Constitution Day in the United States
At the signing of the Camp David Accords

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"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Partakers of the divine nature."
2 Peter 1:4
To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. "God is love"; we become love--"He that loveth is born of God." God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this--in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus--so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!


"Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?"
Job 7:12
This was a strange question for Job to ask of the Lord. He felt himself to be too insignificant to be so strictly watched and chastened, and he hoped that he was not so unruly as to need to be so restrained. The enquiry was natural from one surrounded with such insupportable miseries, but after all, it is capable of a very humbling answer. It is true man is not the sea, but he is even more troublesome and unruly. The sea obediently respects its boundary, and though it be but a belt of sand, it does not overleap the limit. Mighty as it is, it hears the divine hitherto, and when most raging with tempest it respects the word; but self-willed man defies heaven and oppresses earth, neither is there any end to this rebellious rage. The sea, obedient to the moon, ebbs and flows with ceaseless regularity, and thus renders an active as well as a passive obedience; but man, restless beyond his sphere, sleeps within the lines of duty, indolent where he should be active. He will neither come nor go at the divine command, but sullenly prefers to do what he should not, and to leave undone that which is required of him. Every drop in the ocean, every beaded bubble, and every yeasty foam-flake, every shell and pebble, feel the power of law, and yield or move at once. O that our nature were but one thousandth part as much conformed to the will of God! We call the sea fickle and false, but how constant it is! Since our fathers' days, and the old time before them, the sea is where it was, beating on the same cliffs to the same tune; we know where to find it, it forsakes not its bed, and changes not in its ceaseless boom; but where is man-vain, fickle man? Can the wise man guess by what folly he will next be seduced from his obedience? We need more watching than the billowy sea, and are far more rebellious. Lord, rule us for thine own glory. Amen.

Today's reading: Proverbs 25-26, 2 Corinthians 9 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Proverbs 25-26

More Proverbs of Solomon
1 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king's presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.
6 Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here,"
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles....

Today's New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 9

1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord's people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we-not to say anything about you-would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given....

[Ănanī'as] - jehovah is gracious. This name is the Greek form of Hananiah, meaning, "Jehovah hath been gracious" from the Aramaic, meaning, "beautiful."
1. The disciple who conspired with his wife to deceive the apostles in regard to the value obtained for their property (Acts 5:1-6).

The Man Who Kept Back Part of the Price

How opposite Aquila and Priscilla are Ananias and Sapphira, both of whom agreed to a dishonest transaction! They were not compelled to sell their property but because of a recognized custom among the early Christian fraternity of having one common fund to draw upon, these two disciples wanted to maintain the appearance of self-denying liberality. There was no harm in keeping back part of the price - they might have kept back all. Their evil consisted in pretending to give all. Their lying was combined with hypocrisy. A certain part was retained, likely the greater part which would look more like the whole.
Peter, supernaturally endowed to detect and expose the fraud of Ananias and Sapphira, was their instrument of sudden death. Punishment was:
I. Prompt - it followed immediately the committal of sin.
II. Decisive - it marked the magnitude of sin.
III. Conspicuous - it was before many witnesses.
IV. Divine - it was not an act of Peter who simply reproved the two who, united in crime, were not separated in death (Ps. 19:13). It was God who punished them.
2. A godly disciple of Damascus to whom was made known the conversion of Saul of Tarsus ( Acts 9:10-17; 22:12), and who baptized Saul.
3. The high priest anointed by Herod (Acts 23:2; 24:1).
September 16, 2011
"When There Is Nothing There"
Today's Truth
"Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked. "There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, "Go back." The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." (1 Kings 18:43-44, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I have a Christian girlfriend who is caught between faith and a hard place. Though she is a committed Christ-follower she struggles to believe God's promises and feels helpless to the circumstances of her trial. She prays - but wonders if God no longer listens to her. She daily looks for the light at the end of the trial-tunnel, yet sees none.
Have you been there? Are you, or is someone you love, there now? God's ways and timing are mysterious - no doubt. At times, His ways can even seem frustrating. But He is good. He graciously provides strength and hope when we call on Him... but waiting on God can be such a difficult spiritual discipline.
Time and time again in Scripture we are shown beautiful pictures of God's faithfulness to those who wait on Him and call on Him. Snapshots of God's faithfulness displayed in the life of Elijah are simply fascinating. (Pause to read chapters 17 and 18 of 1 Kings now.) Elijah was the most dramatic and famous of all Israel's prophets. God worked in and through him powerfully and miraculously, but even Elijah went through seasons of waiting and wondering - just like my friend. Just like each of us.
For years, Ahab (king of Israel) and his wife, Jezebel, had done evil in the eyes of the Lord. They worshiped Baal - an idol - instead of the one true God, which provoked the Lord to anger. Then God called Elijah to the scene. Elijah told Ahab, "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." (1 Kings 17:1 ) As you can imagine, Ahab wasn't too happy about that 'word' and, in his fury, he wanted Elijah dead. God had other plans though. He directed and protected Elijah and provided for all his needs throughout the time of the drought.
In the third year, the Lord sent Elijah back to king Ahab, and a showdown of showdowns went down on Mount Carmel. Like a celestial boxing match with Baal and his false prophets in one corner and God and Elijah in the other, a battle began. The prophets of Baal took the first swing. They made a sacrifice to their god and cried out to him for hours to consume their offering with fire. Baal was silent and unresponsive because he was not real. Duh.
Elijah knew he served a powerful, living, and responsive God, so he advanced to the center of the ring and took his swings with confidence. He repaired the altar of God, prepared the sacrifice, and then prayed for God to reveal His deity by consuming the offering. God flexed His divine muscles and answered Elijah's prayers instantly with an all-consuming fire. Knock out!
After the showdown was over, God told Elijah to deliver a new message to King Ahab. "And Elijah said to Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there I the sound of a heavy rain." (1 Kings 18:41) So Ahab went to eat and Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel to look for evidence of God's rain-miracle.
"Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
"There is nothing there," he said.
Seven times Elijah said, "Go back."
The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." (1 Kings 18:43-44)
What struck me as I studied this passage is the fact that Elijah didn't get his miracle right away this time. Could God have opened up the sky and poured out a storm immediately? You bet. Did He? No. Elijah had to wait. His servant had to look for the miracle...and look...and look...and look. Seven times.
Hallelujah! You and I aren't the only ones who have to wait, friend!! God's will is God's will. It bends for no man. Yet ours can bend to His and, as a result, we will find strength and peace - even in the waiting.
"Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on..." (1 Kings 18:45a)
God moved. Once again, He was faithful. He can be no other way.
Now think about this. God used Elijah in really big ways. Elijah spoke on God's behalf, was God's front-line man in raising a dead child back to life in order to bless a widowed mother, and he was the lead character in a miraculous God-show that brought fire from heaven... consuming an offering and connecting the hearts of wandering people back to the heart of God. We're talking big God-stuff! Yet even Elijah experienced difficult situations and was forced to wait on God.
When discouragement sets in and you feel unheard - when you are forced to wait on God - when you find yourself caught between faith and a hard place - when there is nothing there... no evidence of God's miracle on the horizon - remember that God is faithful, powerful, and responsive. He has seen you through trials in the past and He will see you through trials in the future. Even in the challenges you face now, you are seen, you are heard, and He is able. "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always." (Psalm 105:4)
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, I worship You, the One, true God! You are mighty and powerful; full of never-ending compassion and love. Please help me to see you when I face trials and to trust Your heart when circumstances discourage me."
In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
Write this verse out: "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always." (Psalm 105:4) Keep it handy. Read it out loud. Memorize it.
Is there someone in your life who is in a period of waiting? Do something to encourage them today. If she is in a financial bind, consider writing a note and sending it with a gift card. If she is struggling with a strained marriage, a complicated job frustration, or a difficult parenting situation, reach out to her. Pray for her. If you know a single mom, consider helping her with her children. Allow God to encourage someone through you today.
More from the Girlfriends
Girlfriend - God placed a burden on my heart to encourage you today. I know this was very personal and timely for some of you. Let's meet on my facebook page to talk about it and pray through it together.www.Facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic
If this devotion resonated with you and if you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God's beauty, don't miss Gwen's book Broken into Beautiful. Every step of transformation begins with the heart of God. Broken into Beautiful will take you there. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen's website: www.gwensmith.net.
LOVE MUSIC? Check out Gwen's new CD, Uncluttered. The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
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Girlfriends in God
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Tracie Miles
September 16, 2011
Your Thoughts Have Wheels
Tracie Miles
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7a(KJV)
The day started off just fine, but ended with confusion and tears. As a timid middle-schooler, I climbed the steps of my school bus eager to get home after a long afternoon.
Sitting quietly in my seat, all of a sudden I got this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Although my surroundings appeared to be the same, something was not right.
The bus was the normal sunshine yellow. The seats were standard black vinyl, displaying rips and tears from years of students. The floor was littered with the usual misplaced pencils, erasers and wadded-up papers. Yet, I felt out of place.
That's when I realized I did not know any of the kids sitting around me. And I had never seen the bus driver before. Frantically, I searched for anything familiar. My cheeks grew hot and my heart raced with panic as I realized I was on the wrong bus.
Although I WAS headed somewhere, it was NOT where I wanted to go.
I'd been distracted by conversations with friends, thoughts of sleepovers, and how much homework I had. My thoughts were not focused on where I was going. The actions that followed caused me to end up somewhere I did not want to be.
Thinking back on that day, I've considered how our thoughts determine a lot about the direction of our lives. Like my school bus, our thoughts will always take us somewhere, but it may not be somewhere we want to end up.
If we spend time thinking about how our boss does not appreciate us, our thoughts will take us straight to a bad attitude at work and possibly poor performance.
If we focus on how much we do for others and how little we feel appreciated, our thoughts will take us to a place of resentment, with lack of patience and love.
If we spend an entire day fuming over something our husband or kids did, and mentally practice the harsh words we plan to say to them, those thoughts will lead us into a place of arguments, hurt feelings and damaged relationships.
If we dwell on why God has allowed certain problems in our lives, we will transport ourselves into a state of insecurity and unhappiness as we stop trusting God.
If we focus our thoughts on money, career, success and pleasure, we will find ourselves in the land of the lost-feeling frustrated and discontent.
Our thoughts are powerful and require great self control. If we allow them to run rampant, focusing on things that lead us away from God, then we will wind up at a destination we would never deliberately choose.
In today's key verse, God shows us why we should choose carefully what we think about, because our thoughts determine who we are and how we live.
My childhood memory reminds me to consistently ask God to help me keep my mind on Him and on the thoughts He has for me. That way I can live according to His plans and with His perspective, seeking to be acutely aware of where my thoughts may lead me.
Our thoughts really do have wheels. Where are your thoughts taking you today?
Dear Lord, please help me take my thoughts captive, and focus on things that are pleasing to You. Please give me the desire to honor You and abide by Your Word in any area of my thoughts I am struggling to do so. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?
Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles
Visit Tracie's website for "5 Ways to Direct Your Thoughts in the Right Direction." Also, enter to win a journal as well as a signed copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
Make a list of all the negative or sinful thoughts you may have had lately. Ask God to help cleanse you of those emotions and start anew, with a fresh attitude and a positive, Godly perspective.
Have I been guarding and guiding my thoughts, or have my thoughts been leading me to a place I don't want to go?
Is there anything I need to remove from my thought life?
Power Verses:
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." (NIV)
Romans 12:2a, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (NIV)
Ephesians 4:23-24, "Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy." (NLT)
© 2011 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Perpetua and Felicitas: Faith Above Family

Perpetua_and_FelicitasVerse: Joel 2:28-29
Quote: "And we therefore, what we have heard and handled, declare also to you, brethren and little children, that as well you...may be reminded of them again to the glory of the Lord, as that you who know them by report may have communion with the blessed martyrs, and through them with the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honour, for ever and ever. Amen."
(The Passion of the Holy Martyrs: Perpetua and Felicitas)
The year is 202. Emperor Septimus Severus issues a decree against conversion to Judaism or Christianity. All new converts in North Africa will be executed unless they publicly perform a sacrifice to him. Perpetua, her servant girl Felicitas, and three men who had not yet completed catechism could make a sacrifice to honor the head of state. But they refuse. They know there is a price to pay for professing Christ, rather than the emperor, as Lord. Dying a martyr's death is considered a glorious entry into heaven, but dealing with family members is pure anguish. Perpetua's husband, who is not mentioned in the account, had perhaps died or abandoned her due to her newfound faith. The painful testimony below begins after she and Felicitas and the men are confined to prison:
A few days after, the report went abroad that we were to be tried. Also my father returned from the city spent with weariness; and he came up to me to cast down my faith saying: "Have pity, daughter, on my grey hairs; have pity on your father, if I am worthy to be called father by you; if with these hands I have brought you unto this flower of youth and I have preferred you before all your brothers; give me not over to the reproach of men. Look upon your brothers; look upon your mother and mother's sister; look upon your son, who will not endure to live after you. Give up your resolution; do not destroy us all together."
Soon after, when a report goes out that this indeed is the execution day, Perpetua's father returns, this time bringing her infant son. "Perform the Sacrifice; have mercy on the child," he pleads. Then he steps forward to forcibly prevent her from laying down her life. At this point an officer begins beating the old man. The execution having been delayed, Perpetua begs to breastfeed her baby one more time.
In the meantime, Felicitas, now eight months pregnant, fears that the execution of Christians in the arena (by wild animals) might be carried out without her, for Roman law prohibits a pregnant woman from being put to death. Here she has a perfect opportunity to escape punishment - at least for a time - but she pleads with God to bring on labor pains. "After their prayer her pains came upon her," writes an observer. "So she was delivered of a daughter, whom a sister reared up to be her own daughter."
On the day of execution, before they are led to the arena, the five prisoners are baptized. That Perpetua might have been spared due to her social class and gender is false hope for her aging father. Together, she and Felicitas enter the arena.
But for the women the devil had made ready a most savage cow, prepared for this purpose against all custom; for even in this beast he would mock their sex. They were stripped. . . . The people shuddered, seeing one a tender girl, the other her breasts yet dropping from her late childbearing.
The men were brought into the arena first to be killed by wild animals - a bear, a leopard, and a boar. This spectacle is typically a real crowd-pleaser. But the gory torture of young women turns the frenzied spectators from cheering to jeering. They begin shouting, "Enough!" Perpetua is then taken to the gladiator to be beheaded. Whether due to hesitancy or to lack of skill, the first slash of his sword is not sufficiently severe. She cries out in pain, takes the gladiator's trembling hand, directs the sword to her neck, and it is over.
After this wave of persecution, there follows a half-century of relative peace. But such faith as seen in the arena that day was a testimony that sparks faith in others. Today Perpetua and Felicitas are commemorated as saints by Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans.

If you enjoyed the above article, please take a minute to read about the book that it was adapted from:

Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church

by Ruth A. Tucker
Buy the book!
The story of Christianity centers on people whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Lord. Tucker puts this front and center in a lively overview peppered with sidebars; historical "what if?" questions; sections on everyday life; drawings and illustrations; bibliographies for further reading.


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