Thursday, May 08, 2003

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Lee Penn
A time of testing
From Strategic Forecasting LLC. Lee Penn: The possible next stage of the war.

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Dave McLaughlin
The Nobel War Prize?
Norwegian pol nominates Bush and Blair for prize, for Iraq war

What next - David Duke getting a lifetime achievement award from B'nai Brith?

Some church news from Russia
An old friend of my sites, Yakov Krotov in Russia, is now a priest in a breakaway church from the Russian Orthodox that seems to want to be Russian Catholic, yet (if I read his pages correctly) practises open Communion with Protestants, hardly the Catholic position on that matter. As you can see from his church site, he has a real congregation and a beautiful little church that looks entirely Russian Orthodox. He is a very nice man, even though it seems he is wrong about a thing or two. With all due respect for my old online friend - thanks for the mentions of my sites and links to them on yours - this is a vagante church, complete with a list trying to 'prove' its apostolic succession, a notion that, when taken outside the context of communion with world Orthodoxy, is completely alien to the Orthodox, but is accepted by Catholicism.

This strange church seems to prove something I read in First Things a while back - that ironically the most Catholic-friendly among the Orthodox in Russia (I am fairly sure Krotov was Orthodox once) aren't the desirable traditionalist types to bolster orthodoxy overall but rather people with liberal ideas. Sad.

From the Net
Parable
A shamelessly sentimental story but one that tells the truth about God and man.

The Necklace

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.
Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a
circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.
"Oh mommy please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy,
please?"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and
then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's
upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.
If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for
you and in! no time you can save enough money to buy them for
yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another
crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and
counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of
chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick
dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give
her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy
the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and
grown up. She wore them everywhere, to kindergarden, even to bed.
The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or
had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was
ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come! upstairs
to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny,
"Do you love me?" "Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."

"Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the
white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember,
daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite."
"That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night." And he
brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked
again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my
baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and
you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy! loves
you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting
on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style.
As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one
silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy.
And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.
With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for
you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached
out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other
hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a
strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give
up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.
So it is, with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to
give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful
treasures.

Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things that God wants
you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary
partners, relationships, habits and activities that you have come so
attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to
see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing ....
God will never take away something without giving you
something better in its place.

You can do two things with this story:
A. Pass it on and let others be touched by its message;
B. Throw it away and not let it touch your heart.
The greatest gifts happen when you share love and touch others.

WB show ‘Everwood’ character has abortion
Hollywood, CA -- The youth-oriented WB network confronts an issue
rarely seen in prime time on Monday when a character in
"Everwood" has an abortion.

After some of its regular advertisers dropped out to avoid being
associated with the issue, the network was scrambling late this
week to fill commercial time for the drama about a doctor in a
rural community.

A generation ago, Bea Arthur's title character in the CBS comedy,
"Maude," had an abortion and some network affiliates wouldn't air
the program. The subject is mostly avoided in prime-time
entertainment shows.

"It's quite uncommon, said Tim Brooks, author of "The Complete
Directory to Prime-Time and Cable TV Shows."

Abortion was debated several years ago in the Fox show, "Party of
Five," but the character had a miscarriage. Actress Malinda
Williams' character in the Showtime series, "Soul Food," had an
abortion in an episode that aired two weeks ago.

The first-year series, "Everwood," stars Treat Williams as a
doctor who moves his family to a small town in Colorado after his
wife dies. In Monday's episode, a man in the community asks
Williams' character, Dr. Andrew Brown, to quietly perform an
abortion on his 18-year-old daughter.

Brown advises the woman to wait three days and consider adoption
or giving birth. After the wait, she chooses to have an abortion,
but Brown has his own moral problems.

Greg Berlanti, the series' executive producer, said that in a
series that involved a rural doctor, abortion was a subject that
couldn't be avoided.

With so many teenage girls getting pregnant each year, "it
strikes me as odd that you never saw it dramatized on
television," he said. He said he wanted to reflect the moral
dilemmas involved.

It would be better if "Everwood" did this and ended with the
young woman deciding to have her baby, said Andrea Lafferty,
executive director of the Washington-based Traditional Values
Coalition.

"There is an innocent victim now, there is a dead baby," Lafferty
said. "How many shows have they done on abstinence? How many
shows have they done on the flip side of the discussion?"

[Exactly. Also, people who say they're against censorship - a defensible libertarian position - but who really want to promote perversion, etc. through the media get awfully censorious at the prospect of showing people what abortion really is. No surprise really that the Left is hypocritical.]

Jordan Levin, the WB's entertainment president, said the network
did not want to seem like it was on the soapbox for either side,
and the episode achieved this.

"I think that it causes you to realize the complexity of the
issue, the pain that comes with the issue, the personal impact of
the issue and the unanswered questions," Levin said.

Brooks said the WB could be trying to establish credibility with
its young audience by tackling a tough subject.

The episode is running during the May sweeps, when ratings are
used to set local advertising rates. But Levin said the timing
was coincidental, and it was even proving problematic for his ad
sales team.

He would not reveal which advertisers, or even how many, had
dropped off the show. The WB is seeking replacement advertisers
to fill its open commercial slots.

To this point, none of the WB affiliates have said they would not
air the episode, he said.

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