Deborah Gyapong: July 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Neil Anderson hopes for Christian unity; reading Pope's latest book

I'm a big fan of Neil T. Anderson. His book The Bondage Breaker and his Steps to Freedom, a series of prayers to confess and renounce sin, played a major difference in my life, changing me from a cafeteria Christian into someone who chooses to have an Apostolic, orthodox faith. And what a difference that choice has made to my peace of mind and joy in the Lord.

Here's a story I wrote for Catholic papers, based on a recent interview I did with him. Another story for Maranatha News should appear soon.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Why we need a free blogosphere

Dr. Sanity writes the following about the United States mainstream media's leftwing bias. Alas, I think the problem is even worse in Canada.

In my mind, the single most frightening reality that threatens our freedoms in this country is the virtual stranglehold the political left has on the dissemination of information in this country. It is the "root cause" if you will, of much of the nonsense, the faux scandals, and the ridiculous polls that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. While exhibiting a certain "selectivity" when it comes to what is reported and how, has always been a hallmark of a free press, this tendency to follow an ideological template has always been compensated for by the sheer variety and "diversity" of templates in the past. Never before has there been such a dedicated and persistent effort to ensure that only one template is used; and this is done under the cover of words like "fairness" and "truth".

But there is nothing "fair" about silencing dissent and debate which threatens your ideological agenda; and there is nothing "true" about presenting opinion as facts; or distorting reality by selectively focusing on one aspect of it and excluding anything that threatens your ideological fantasies.
She focuses on what the MSM did NOT cover about the NIE report about Al Qaeda---you know, all the news stories that imply that Bush's activities have only strengthened the terrorist network. She has links to the whole thing, so go on over and check out her whole post.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Human rights complaint issued against conservative site

Kathy Shaidle calls it a "secular fatwa" and I'm inclined to agree. Someone has launched a human rights complaint for hate speech against conservative blog site Free

At Free Dominion, you'll find an extensive discussion on the issue.

More information here at Small Dead Animals, Kathy's Relapsed Catholic. Expect to see more blogs come on board to fight this.

We must defend the right of free speech ---especially on the Internet.

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Vatican diplomat leaves Ottawa for Iraq posting

Here's a link to a story I did on the appointment of Msgr. Michael Crotty, the first secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa, to Iraq. He has been a great blessing to the Church in Canada for the past three years here. This is the kind of person my work as a journalist gives me the privilege to meet and write about. I pray that he will be a similar blessing to the Christians in Iraq, who are experiencing violent persecution from Jihadists.

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Two Vatican diplomatic appointments involving Canada could play a role in raising awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians in Iraq.

That is the hope of Msgr. Michael Crotty, the apostolic nunciature’s first secretary, who leaves for Iraq July 20 after completing a three-year term in Canada. Though assigned to the Nunciature in Jordan as well, he expects to spend most of his time based in Baghdad.

Msgr. Luca Lorusso, the counselor (one diplomatic rank higher than first secretary) at the Jordan Nunciature has been assigned to Canada. Many Iraqi Christians have fled to neighboring Jordan.

“The international community needs to identify with the suffering,” Msgr. Crotty said in an interview July 9 at the Ottawa office of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada. “I think we have to support the Christians in Iraq in a sense of brotherly solidarity.”

Read the rest here.

The picture shows Msgr. Crotty and Carl Hetu, national secretary of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't expect Intelligent Design controversy to come to Canada

My story on a recent poll concerning creation and evolution got picked up by Catholic Online.
Here's an excerpt:
OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – A recent Canadian Press-Decima Research Poll shows Canadians are divided on the role God played – or did not play – in the creation of humans.

But that does not mean the Intelligent Design controversy raging in the United States will come to Canada.

According to the poll released July 3, 26 percent of Canadians believe “that God created human beings pretty much in their present form within the last 10,000 years or so,” while 34 percent said “human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided the process.” Another 29 percent say God “played no part.”

Read the rest here for some great comments from Intelligent Design debate expert Denyse O'Leary.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where are the books in Christian bookstores?

Literary agent Chip MacGregor yearns for the return of booksellers who focus on selling books--especially intelligent, meaningful Christian books. Read the rest of his post over at The Master's Artist. Here's an excerpt.

You see, "Christian Bookstores" aren't really Christian bookstores any more. Anybody can see that. Stop into a Christian bookstore sometime. (Get your shots first.) At the front of the store will be the art -- framed wall art, Thomas Kinkade prints, religious themed doo-dads. On the left will be the jewelry -- not just crosses to hang on your neck, but bracelets, charms, toe rings, and brooches that offer biblical wisdom like "This is the day the Lord has made!" on them. On the right are the collectibles: Precious Moments statuettes, a ceramic fireman, a brown iron cowboy with "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" embedded into the base.

If you keep going deeper into the store, you hit the clothing section. T-shirts of all kind rule, of course. One will proclaim "I Am Free Indeed," and another will warn, "He's Coming." Sometimes they're edgy, sometimes really awful. A painted hand with a nail in it and the words, "Jesus loves you so much it hurts." A military style cammo t-shirt with "God is my General" on it. Some are cute, most have this faux-gritty feel to them, as though sixteen-year-olds have suddenly become the front line in the cultural battle between Christianity and complacency. On the flip side, there are nightshirts for women, also with happy verses ("An Excellent Wife, Who Can Find?"), and baseball caps that have fish and crosses and "His Love Endures" on them. And ties -- gobs of ties, with religious symbols done into various patterns so that the wearer is "conveying his faith through fashion" (at least that's what the sign said). At some upscale stores they probably carry "Praise Panties," though I'm not sure they have them in your size. And if your kids need something, you can pick up the "Armor of God Pajamas," complete with helmet of salvation nightcap.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Barbara Nicolosi on the new movie about Daniel Pearl

Read the whole thing. Barbara Nicolosi, a Catholic who founded Act One, a workshop to train Christians the craft of movie making, gives a perceptive review. Now I know I don't care to shell out any money to see A Mighty Heart.

There were other odd choices in the movie, that I think are the result of either political correctness or downright terror of the terrorists who are, after all, the providers of the tragic story here. For example, there is a scene in which the good guys from the Pakistani government, who are desperately searching for Pearl, torture a jihadist for information. I thought it was an odd choice, because the movie also makes the choice not to show any of the torture and beheading of Daniel Pearl by the bad guys.

I think by doing this, the movie was maybe trying to say that there are no real bad guys or good guys in the global war on terror. The prevailing "Hate Bush" culture has gotten so bad that everybody is saying insane things like the U.S. is just as bad as the guys who did 9/11, so who are we to judge the guys who beheaded Daniel Pearl? I mean, maybe they had a good reason, right? Maybe U.S. foreign policy forced them to cut off Pearl's head? And maybe all they had around was a butter-knife? Hey, isn't it really a kind of arrogance to say the jihadists are evil?

But no one sane in the audience really believes that, so why even try to make the case? Or in the case of the movie, not make any case, about goodness or evilness. I'm officially closing my mind on this one: People who cut off other peoples' heads with butter-knives or with anything else, own the 'We're Bad Guys" franchise.

I also think the choice was odd from another aspect. Why show a scene of a happening that is at best speculative - the torturing of a terrorist by the Pakistani government. But then NOT show a scene that is certain - the beheading of an innocent journalist. If they were trying to be respectful of Pearl, they ended up making a movie in which the only act of violence that ends up on the screen, is by the good guys. We don't see any jihadist violence in A Mighty Heart. Where's the fairness doctrine when you really need it?
You'll find the rest here.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hilarious parody of George W. Bush

discussing Global Warming.

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Abolish Abortion wins the CBC Greatest Canadian Wish List

The Catholic Register has posted my story on CBC's Great Canadian Wish List here.

OTTAWA - The wish to abolish abortion in Canada topped the CBC’s Great Canadian Wish List on Facebook with 9,543 votes.
But many pro-life voters, looking forward to promised Canada Day coverage of the winning wish on the CBC’s all news network Newsworld, were disappointed.

“I was looking throughout the day,” said John Pacheco, a Catholic and Ottawa-based director of Social Conservatives United. He tuned into Newsworld every 15 minutes on July 1 to catch the newscast. “If it was some kind of progressive cause like the environment, or tuition fees, they would have been all over it.”

Pacheco discovered the CBC did air a report by Toronto CBC television reporter Mike Wise at 7:35 a.m. Eastern time. Though not accessible from the CBC web site, someone uploaded the report to You Tube.

Read the rest here.

The wish to abolish abortion in Canada is not simply one to make abortion illegal, though I'm afraid the two get conflated. I'm afraid that even if abortion was punishable by prison sentences, it would still happen illegally, unless there is a massive change of heart. If I have to choose, I'd rather see the change of heart than a change only in the law.

So I support the wish to abolish abortion in Canada because I yearn for a change of heart that welcomes life, that restores the truth that we are created in God's image, that recognizes that all our human rights depend on our deep recognition of that fact.

We are such a long way down a different, self-destructive road---one that sees autonomy as freedom, one that shrinks rights down to their narrowest individualistic notions. We're in a really sad state here in Canada. That's why I also supported the wish for a spiritual revival in our nation.

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Barbara Nicolosi on the Motu Proprio

The long, cold winter of trying to be everybody else has ended. We've decided to try being Roman Catholic again.

Read it and weep, all ye liturgical innovators with your Barney music and your leotard ladies and your pita breads and your, "Hi everybody, I'm Fr. Joe, your presider! Welcome to our celebration!!!"

I'm calling to mind just now all the stern-faced, liberal ideologues of my whole ecclesial life - ruthlessly trampling on every aesthetic or reverent impulse in the name of - what the hell was it again? Oh yes - in the name of making me feel special. Got to get rid of all that damn stiff, formalism and tedious piety! Well, I imagine you are all feeling a bit moribund today. I know you've all been tedious for years. But we understand why you are going to be whining in the media for this one last time in the next few days. It must be incalculably hard having your mortality thrust inexorably in your face. The Church you thought you killed has resurrected in your face. It is going to live past you. You are officially now a sad footnote in the Church's two millennial story.

She includes the Pope's Apostolic Letter.

Dr. Sanity on the importance of political and economic freedom

Great post from Dr. Sanity on the importance of both economic and political freedom.

How many people are desperately trying to enter Castro's Cuba or Hugo's Venezuela to escape from the poverty of capitalistic countries? And how many people risk their lives and sacred honor to escape from those regimes--and many others who live under the boot of communist and socialist thugs? How many of our privileged Hollywood elite seek their medical care in Iran or Cuba or North Korea (perhaps Michael Moore will be the exception) ?

Conduct may only be thought of as moral or immoral when it is freely chosen by the individual. It is only then that the moral significance of the action can be assessed. It is only when we are free to act that we can exercise moral judgement.

Which brings us to a capitalist economic system. Only in a free economic system within a free political system is it even possible to be moral, since benevolence toward others; compassion, charity, and generosity cannot exist without freedom. Benevolence, generosity, charity, and compassion that are mandated by the state, or by a religion (on pain of death or other consequence) ; or by any regulations on behavior; or by force--are meaningless insofar as individual morality is concerned.

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