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wyguy

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wyguy last won the day on May 29 2011

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About wyguy

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  • Birthday 12/24/1965

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    Detroit, Michigan
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    For some odd reason, I'm obsessed with creamed corn. It's look, it's taste, it's smell, it's ability to look like anything my fevered mind can conjure up.....

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  1. Duke prof.: American's religious faith waning Despite the prominence of religious believers in politics and culture, America has shrinking congregations, growing dissatisfaction with religious leaders and more people who do not think about faith, according to a new study by a Duke University expert. In "American Religion: Contemporary Trends," author Mark Chaves argues that over the last generation or so, religious belief in the U.S. has experienced a "softening" that effects everything from whether people go to worship services regularly to whom they marry. Far more people are willing to say they don't belong to any religious tradition today than in the past, and signs of religious vitality may be camouflaging stagnation or decline. "Reasonable people can disagree over whether the big picture story is one of essential stability or whether it's one of slow decline," said Chaves. "Unambiguously, though, there's no increase." Chaves, who directs the National Congregations Study, used data from that research and from four decades' worth of General Social Survey results to draw what he aims to be an overview of contemporary American religion. The study will be published this week. Today, as many as 20 percent of all Americans say they don't belong to any religious group, Chaves found, compared with around 3 percent in the 1950s. Yet, those people aren't necessarily atheists, agnostics or others. Instead, about 92 percent of Americans still profess belief in God, they just don't use religion as part of their identity. "It used to be that even the most marginally active people wouldn't say they have no religion, they'd say `I'm Catholic' or `I'm Baptist' or `I'm Methodist' or whatever," Chaves said. "That's not the case today." Even signs of robust religious faith may not be what they appear, Chaves found. The strength of religious conservatives in politics, for example, has coincided with a growing disillusionment about faith's role in the public square. Chaves found that between 1991 and 2008, the percentage of Americans who strongly agreed that religious leaders should stay out of politics rose from 20 percent to 44 percent. At the same time, those who remain devout have become more conservative. In the mid-1970s, knowing that someone attended church regularly wouldn't reveal much about their political leanings; today, regular churchgoers are far more likely to be Republicans than Democrats. "It's not random who's leaving churches," said Bradley Wright, a University of Connecticut sociologist who studies American Christianity and wrote the 2010 book "Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told." "As Christians affiliated more through the Republican Party, liberal, marginal churchgoers became offended and left," she said. The notion of decline misses important developments like the enthusiastic devotion of Christian immigrants, argues Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. "Much of our immigration is coming from countries where Christianity is blossoming," he said. "I think God's doing some great things in African-American churches and among Hispanic immigrants." Anderson thinks the change is better described as a shift than a decline, as people become more willing to leave the denominations or faiths in which they were raised and look elsewhere for spiritual nourishment. Wright also believes that a decline might be overstating the case, and says polarization is a better description. He recently plotted survey data over the last 25 years recording what Americans say about the importance of religion in their lives. Those who say it's extremely important have grown slightly, along with those who say it's not at all important. But the number of people who said it was "somewhat" important dropped from 36 percent to 22 percent in about 20 years. "Forty or 50 years ago, it was almost a form of deviance not to be religious," he said. "When you take away that external form of motivation, people either drop away or they find their own kind of motivation." Chaves agrees, saying churches are likelier today to consist largely of a "hard core" of believers, and to have fewer casual or lukewarm members that used to swell the ranks. "That's what's changed," he said. "Certainly as a percentage of their time, it's less important than it was." These trends developed slowly over decades, Chaves said, and he doesn't think they can be reversed by ramped-up evangelism or other conscious decisions by religious groups. The main force may be demographic, since the data show that the households most likely to be devout consist of two parents and children. As fewer people have children and more couples split up, religious institutions see their numbers dwindle. "Religious leaders know this," Chaves said. "That's why they look for ways to attract single people and people without kids. But it's hard, because on the whole, mainstream religion is kind of geared toward families." The study wasn't all bad for religious groups, though. Older people are more likely to be religious than the young, and America is on the cusp of having the largest elderly population in its history, Chaves said. Immigrants to the U.S. also tend to be active religious believers, and birth rates may also favor the faithful. Devout families usually have more children than the kinds of non-traditional arrangements contributing to the demographic drain on religions, Wright said. Finally, there's an extraordinary amount of good will toward religious faith in the U.S., especially in contrast with other Western countries. "It's not like there's a lot of hostility toward religion in the United States," Chaves said. "It's just that there's been a softening of religiosity." Link
  2. When I was a kid, I believed a lot of weird stuff. Yeah, I know, hard to imagine, right? I believed: 1. That if you swallowed apple seeds, an apple tree would start to grow in your stomach. 2. That if I indeed stepped on a crack in the sidewalk, my mother's back would break. I was VERY careful not to step on any cracks as I walked to school. 3. That all the gum I swallowed would stick to my ribs. 4. That babies came out of a woman's belly button. 5. That Gene Simmons of KISS was an actual monster. 6. That if you could bend your arm back so your hand could touch your shoulder, it meant you were a "gay." 7. That at midnight every night, witches and monsters would roam the neighborhood. 8. That if I concentrated hard enough, I could read the minds of animals. 9. That girls were not entirely human. 10. That David Bowie was actually a very ugly woman. Bonus: I believed that I would grow up to marry either Kristy McNichol or Marie Osmond. *sigh*
  3. Yep. Especially when you can be arrested for sharing your Christian faith on a public sidewalk there.. Link The article is inaccurate. They were not arrested for witnessing. They were asked repeatedly to stop filming at an ISLAMIC festival. After several refusals, security was called. Wow. Wrong again, Katy. The were filming themselves witnessing on a PUBLIC sidewalk during a festival open to the PUBLIC - NOT just to Muslims. The reason they always film themselves witnessing is to protect themselves from those willing to lie to try and shut them down. (i.e., accusing them of breaking the law). Most people who witness in this manner film themselves. I live here Katy - try getting your facts straight before rushing into your Islamic apologist mode.
  4. Yep - I believe the restrainer is the body of believers - the Church.
  5. Religious Leaders Excluded From NYC 9/11 Commemoration Religious leaders will be excluded from the 10th anniversary memorial service of New York City's 9/11 tragedy. Critics of the decision argue that religious leaders played an important role during and after the tragedy and should be included. Former New York Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, who was serving in office at the time of the September 11, 2001 attack, expressed outrage at the exclusion in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me. I feel like America has lost its way,” Washington said. A spokesperson for New York's City Hall told The Wall Street Journal that previous 9/11 anniversary memorials did not include religious leaders and they wanted to strike a similar tone with the 10th anniversary. “There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11,” the spokesperson said. City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, a pastor at New Life Outreach International, told The Wall Street Journal that religious leaders were “one of the pillars that carried us through. They were the spiritual and emotional backbone, and when you have a situation where people are trying to find meaning, where something is bigger than them, when you have a crisis of this level, they often look to the clergy.” John Long, director of the Federation of Fire Chaplains for the Mid-Atlantic, seemed confused when he heard that religious groups would be excluded from the 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial service. In an interview with The Christian Post, Long said, “You can't have a memorial service without religion. If it wasn't for God and his direction, you couldn't have memorial services to begin with.” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, told The Wall Street Journal that he sympathized with city officials because one of the difficulties would be finding people to represent the diversity of religious groups in New York. “Who's going to agree as to who the representatives of the faith…will be? We have all the different groupings. If we have four denominations, what about the fifth denomination? There are practical considerations when planning something, where you want to be as inclusive as possible but sometimes you find it impossible to have everyone present who should be present. It's very difficult,” Potasnik said. Long said he does not buy that argument. “For the National Day of Prayer they include different religious groups,” Long explained. “What's the difference between the National Day of Prayer and the 10th anniversary memorial?” There have been other controversies involving religion and ground zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Last summer, there was a controversy about the construction of an Islamic community center a few blocks from ground zero, dubbed the “ground zero mosque.” Critics claimed that the group building the center had ties to radical Islamic groups and that it would desecrate the “sacred ground” of the 9/11 attack site. Supporters argued that the builders are peaceful and one of the goals of the center was to build better relations between Muslims and other religious groups. Supporters also pointed out that the “ground zero mosque” would be neither a mosque nor at ground zero. In a separate controversy, an atheist organization, called American Atheists, filed a lawsuit over the inclusion of the “9/11 cross” in the 9/11 memorial and museum. The cross is two steel beams forming a small letter “t,” or cross, that was found in the World Trade Center rubble after the 9/11 attacks. American Atheists argue that the 9/11 cross on public property violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it is state-sponsored religion. Supporters of the 9/11 cross argue that the cross was a meaningful symbol to many New Yorkers in the aftermath of the attack, and thus, appropriate to include in a memorial and museum devoted to remembering the events of September 11, 2001. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended both the Islamic community center and the 9/11 cross. Link
  6. 'Son of Sam' Serial Killer Won’t Seek Parole; Gives Jesus As Reason “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz will once again not seek to be released from prison, repeating what he has previously said five times since 2002 when he was first eligible for parole. Berkowitz, 58, who was also known as the .44 Caliber Killer, wrote a letter to a FoxNews.com reporter explaining that he has no interest in parole and that he is forgiven through Jesus Christ. Convicted of killing six women and shooting seven others in New York City over 13 months in 1976 and 1977, Berkowitz is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences. He is imprisoned at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility northwest of New York City. He was first imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility and has served a total of 34 years. He has been up for parole every two years since 2002. He wrote in the letter: “I have no interest in parole and no plans to seek release. If you could understand this, I am already a ‘free man.’ I am not saying this jokingly. I really am. Jesus Christ has already pardoned me, and I believe this.” Although Berkowitz does not have access to a computer, in a website reportedly hosted by a church group at AriseandShine.org, his personal testimony page states that in 1987 he fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus. “I told Him that I was sick and tired of doing evil. I asked Jesus to forgive me for all my sins. I spent a good while on my knees praying to Him,” Berkowitz states on his “My Testimony” page on the site. “When I got up it felt as if a very heavy but invisible chain that had been around me for so many years was broken. A peace flooded over me. I did not understand what was happening. But in my heart I just knew that my life, somehow, was going to be different.” Berkowitz writes in his letter to the reporter that he is active in prison ministry, including helping with Sunday services and Bible studies. A Pace Law Review 2011 entry by Rebekah Binger published recently is titled, “Prison Ain’t Hell: An Interview with David Berkowitz.” Binger uses his in-prison salvation story to make a case for state-funded faith-based prison rehabilitation programs and that they do not violate the Establishment Clause. “Religious prison programs offered at the various institutions in which Berkowitz served his sentence kept him on the straight and narrow, and removed him from the category of prison troublemaker to a sort of prison trustee,” Binger states in the law review article. “His story must not be dismissed or ignored.” Link
  7. Simple: The closer to the end we come, the worse society is going to get.
  8. I interpret these posts to mean you all want a ham and cheese on wheat toast with a large glass of goat milk.
  9. 1. I've been barking at my neighbors my whole life. 2. The way the economy is, we'll all be slaving under a hot sun for a lot longer than 40 years. 3. The only trick my grand kids will ever see out of me, is when I disappear into thin air when my kids ask me to babysit them.
  10. Yep. Especially when you can be arrested for sharing your Christian faith on a public sidewalk there.. Link
  11. Imposing Shariah Law in London Imagine one morning waking up, walking out your door, and seeing bright yellow posters plastered on the walls and telephone poles throughout your neighborhood that announce that you are now living in a 'Shariah Controlled Zone.' That is what is actually happening in several boroughs of London and other communities in the UK... and this could realistically happen in US cities within the next few years if we do not take legal precautions against 'Shariah Law' in our states. Some may think that I am an alarmist. After all, how can one believe that we Americans are as vulnerable as those Brits? That can't happen in the US. Well, the residents living in neighborhoods like Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham, all boroughs of London with large Muslim populations, didn't think so either. This is more than a call or a march for 'Sharia Law' that has happened in recent months. This is a clear attempt to impose 'Shariah Law' on the residents of these communities by members of a Muslim organization called 'Muslims Against the Crusades.' These British citizens woke up one morning in late July to find those bright yellow posters plastered on their streets alerting everyone that they are entering, or already living in, a 'Shariah Controlled Zone'; a 'sinless city' where drinking, gambling, prostitution, drugs, playing loud music or having concerts is no longer permitted. To make matters more intimidating the non-Muslim residents had better watch out for this group's band of vigilantes that will soon be on the streets to enforce the 'Shariah Laws.' The riots in London and surrounding areas are overshadowing this story. However, it is these very riots that are symptomatic of the level of civil discontent, lack of individual responsibility, thuggery and disrespect for others that does exist today in some of Britain's social and economic class-warfare society. The extremes of wealth and poverty, the high levels of unemployment and continued uncertainty, along with the undisciplined nature of many of the rioters is making the UK, along with other European countries, very vulnerable to Islamic intervention. According to Anjem Choudary, the fast-talking spokesman for 'Muslims Against the Crusades,' "Shariah Law is unstoppable in Europe." He claims that the British society is "broken, riddled with drugs, crime and prostitution" and believes that the British people are ready to "welcome Sharia Law." His plan is to flood cities in the UK with these 'Shariah is a Better Society' flyers and "put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term." Can this really be happening? Watch this video and come to your own conclusions. Listen to Choudary. Then listen to some of the British reactions to this intimidation, including the News reporter herself. This Muslim group is planning to take their tactics to other European cities in France, Italy and Brussels where the Muslim population has increased to large proportions. This is where fear comes alive and people have to decide to fight or leave. Islamic beliefs like Choudary's are now hidden behind peace and love in America's Islamic communities. As we continue to face economic challenges and similar class warfare, debates on Islamic influence and Shariah Law will also continue to divide and weaken our neighborhoods and push our democracy to its limits. So much truth has been replaced by lies and self-serving politicians. Americans are filled with distrust of their government and the public officials who seem to focus only on their re-election. We as a nation are feeling fearful, a vulnerable atmosphere for any enemy to rise to power. And these enemies are already speaking out as they sense our weakness growing. After 9/11 Americans became much more aware of the danger of radical Islam and the Jihad against western societies. It has been courageous Americans, in the face of enormous public and political condemnation, who have been fighting for almost a decade against the political correctness of our social and political dialogue as they try to expose the dangers of the anti-democratic ideology of the Koran. They have recently been taking the brunt of politically correct finger-pointing as liberal leaning main stream media attempts to crucify them as the inspiration for Norway's mass murderer Anders Breivik. The malicious slander of our outspoken freedom fighters must not be believed. Videos like the one linked here are necessary for the American public to see. Shariah Law has already entered various places of American life: finance, business and the courts. Greater demands are sure to follow. We are not much different than our British friends. I am hoping that this video will be shocking enough that people will continue to circulate it for more Americans to see what is truly threatening our western society. Stop Shariah from coming to your neighborhood and support others in their fight against Islamic Supremacy. Link
  12. The Obama administration, who have their collective heads buried in the sand.
  13. Sugarland Band Credits Prayer Circle for Survival A prayer circle is being credited with saving the lives of the band Sugarland. The country music duo was set to perform on the stage that collapsed at the Indiana State Fair Aug. 14. They were in a prayer circle before the collapse when their stage manager, Hellen Rollens, decided to hold them backstage for a minute longer. Band members believe Rollens' decision saved every band and crew member's life. Sugarland is planning a private memorial service in Indiana to honor the five fans that were killed in the tragedy. "We join them (the families) on their mourning benches," the band said in a letter posted on their website. "And we stand in the gap asking God to offer them peace and healing. For those suffering from injury we hold you up with prayers for complete healing of your own." Link
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