A Psalm for thanksgiving
18 hours ago
Topeka lawyer Pedro Irigonegaray defended the way evolution is taught, and argued that intelligent design is a thinly veiled form of creationism. He called it "a narrow sectarian theological view" that is opposed by most people, including mainstream Christians.
Irigonegaray also accused the board of abusing the political process by holding the hearings, which he called "a gigantic waste of time" and tax dollars. The state paid about $10,000 for the hearings - for the travel expenses of witnesses and for the services of a court reporter.
"Each penny taken by you, Mr. Calvert, for your witnesses, is a penny taken from Kansas children," Irigonegaray said. He went on to tell the board, "You have a responsibility to the children and to the future of this state - a responsibility that you have sadly - sadly - failed."
Steve Case, a University of Kansas professor who leads the panel, said that if the proposal were adopted, he would support school districts that choose to ignore the guidelines or refuse to give the assessment tests.
"I would encourage schools and districts to practice civil disobedience," he said.
"I can only conclude that they don't have evidence (for evolution)," board member Connie Morris said.
The Montgomery Count Public Schools are apparently trying to adopt a "Revised Curriculum" for sex education classes, aimed at rebutting hostility towards homosexuality. Unfortunately:
A. The curriculum involves the public school unconstitutionally taking a stand on theological questions (as the court correctly held). Consider this excerpt from a "Myths and Facts" handout that was part of the curriculum:Myth: Homosexuality is a sin.
Facts: The Bible contains six passages which condemn homosexual behavior. The Bible also contains numerous passages condemning heterosexual behavior. Theologians and Biblical scholars continue to differ on many Biblical interpretations. They agree on one thing, however. Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality. Among the many things deemed an abomination are adultery, incest, wearing clothing made from more than one kind of fiber, and earing shellfish, like shrimp and lobster.
Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression.
Three teams of forensic artists - French, Egyptian and American - built separate but similar models of the king's face using scans of his skull.
The French and Egyptians knew who they were recreating, but the Americans were not told where the skull came from.
The models of the boy king, who died 3,300 years ago, reveal a young man with plump cheeks and a round chin.
The models bear a striking resemblance to the mask which covered the mummified face of King Tutankhamun when his remains were found by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 and other ancient portraits.
"The shape of the face and skull are remarkably similar to a famous image of Tutankhamun as a child where he was shown as the sun god at dawn rising from a lotus blossom," said Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
[The scans] suggested that the king was a slightly built, but healthy man of 19 when he died, but that he most likely died of complications from a broken leg, rather than being murdered as long suspected.
"You really could put 'Reverend' in front of her name," said Brenda V. Johnson, a former librarian who had come with her friend, Marvel L. Smith, an elementary school principal. Both women were from suburban Prince George's County, one of the most affluent majority-black jurisdictions in the country.
"She just has the ability to connect on so many levels -- your emotional needs, physical needs, psychological needs," Johnson said. Smith added: "It's her humanity. Everybody goes through the same things she goes through, but she has the willingness to share it."
It's easy to make fun of what amounts to our great national quest for "empowerment" or "self-actualization" -- the terms themselves sound slightly ridiculous -- but that search is a great force in modern American life....
Oprah's great gift, and the foundation of her lay ministry, is her understanding that even women who have enjoyed great success in their personal and professional lives can still struggle to find meaning and fulfillment, and that they can learn from Oprah's own search for the same things.
Oprah gets fat, Oprah goes on a diet, Oprah loses the weight, Oprah gains it back, Oprah loses it again, maybe this time for good. Oprah fights an ongoing battle with her hair. Oprah's relationship with her significant other seems to lack something, since she and Steadman never get married, but she hangs in there with him anyway. Oprah has a best friend, Gayle, who sticks with her through everything. Oprah makes charitable gifts. Oprah promotes books, mostly by women writers or with strong female characters, many of them difficult books that offer not comfort but more questions.
Mississippi is home to millions of trees, and not many millions of people.
It is a verdant, sweaty place. As your plane comes down to land there are glints all around of sunlight on still water, meandering rivers, reservoirs and swamps, where the line between the still brown liquid and the vegetation is blurred.
The state is mostly rural and poor, shacks and mobile homes nestling under the canopy of the forest, rusting pick-up trucks bouncing down dirt roads.
And churches, everywhere churches.
There are more churches per head of population in Mississippi than in any other state and, historically, you could argue, more racial prejudice, more unchristian behaviour.
I came to Mississippi assuming, in a European secular sort of way, that holy scripture, which once led Mississippi whites down the road of bigotry, was unlikely to be the state's saviour today.
On the radio the so-called family Christian station was explaining why God invented women and the Devil invented feminism.
If you are taking mefloquine to treat malaria, you may vomit soon after you take the medication. If you vomit less than 30 minutes after you take mefloquine, you should take another full dose of mefloquine. If you vomit 30-60 minutes after you take mefloquine, you should take another half dose of mefloquine. If you vomit again after taking the extra dose, call your doctor.
tingling in your fingers or toes
shaking of arms or legs that you cannot control
nervousness or extreme worry
changes in mood
hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
losing touch with reality
feeling that others want to harm you
thoughts of hurting or killing yourself
The hearings by the Kansas State Board of Education- one part science lesson, one part political theater - were set off by proposed changes to Kansas's science standards intended to bring a more critical approach to the teaching of Darwinism. The sessions provided perhaps the highest-profile stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design, which asserts that life is so intricately complex that an architect must be behind it. Critics argue that intelligent design has no basis in science and is another iteration of creationism.
If the state board adopts the new standards, as expected, Kansas will join Ohio, which took a similar step in 2002, in requiring that students be taught that there is controversy about evolution. Legislators in Alabama and Georgia have introduced bills this season to allow teachers to challenge Darwin in class....
While the proposed new standards for Kansas do not specifically mention intelligent design, critics contend that the proposed changes will open the door not just for those teachings, but to creationism, which generally holds to the Genesis account of creation.
[A]cross Europe, Catholicism is withering after decades of steady erosion from the forces of secularism, consumer culture, and the fallout from priest sex abuse scandals.
In some of Catholic Europe's largest dioceses in Germany, France, Italy, and Ireland, the percentage of Catholics who attend Mass regularly has slipped to as low as 20 percent, and in a few cities, like Paris, has reached as low as the single digits, according to figures compiled by the church.
The new pope, Benedict XVI, who hails from Germany, has said that the erosion of the church in Europe is one of the greatest challenges facing his papacy. He has called on Catholics to resist ''a dictatorship of relativism" in the modern, secular West that he believes has damaged the Christian foundation of Europe.
In his just-published book, ''Values in Times of Upheaval," the pope, who was then still known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, ruminated on the besieged soul of Christian Europe. ''In order to survive, Europe needs a critical acceptance of its Christian culture. Europe seems, in the very moment of its greatest success, to have become empty from the inside. Crippled, as it were," he writes.