Also sometimes referred to as secular, modern, or humanistic. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, that view the Bible as the witness of God rather than the word of God, to be interpreted in its historical context through critical analysis. Examples include some churches within Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ. There are more than 2,000 Protestant denominations offering a wide range of beliefs from extremely liberal to mainline to ultra-conservative and those that include characteristics on both ends.
|•||Belief in Deity |
Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty. Many believe God is incorporeal.
Beliefs vary from the literal to the symbolic belief in Jesus Christ as God's incarnation. Some believe we are all sons and daughters of God and that Christ was exemplary, but not God.
|•||Origin of Universe and Life |
The Bible's account is symbolic. God created and controls the processes that account for the universe and life (e.g. evolution), as continually revealed by modern science.
|•||After Death |
Goodness will somehow be rewarded and evil punished after death, but what is most important is how you show your faith and conduct your life on earth.
|•||Why Evil? |
Most do not believe that humanity inherited original sin from Adam and Eve or that Satan actually exists. Most believe that God is good and made people inherently good, but also with free will and imperfect nature, which leads some to immoral behavior.
Various beliefs: Some believe all will go to heaven, as God is loving and forgiving. Others believe salvation lies in doing good works and no harm to others, regardless of faith. Some believe baptism is important. Some believe the concept of salvation after death is symbolic or nonexistent.
|•||Undeserved Suffering |
Most Liberal Christians do not believe that Satan causes suffering. Some believe suffering is part of God's plan, will, or design, even if we don't immediately understand it. Some don't believe in any spiritual reasons for suffering, and most take a humanistic approach to helping those in need.
|•||Contemporary Issues |
Most churches teach that abortion is morally wrong, but many ultimately support a woman's right to choose, usually accompanied by policies to provide counseling on alternatives. Many are accepting of homosexuality and gay rights.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Liberal Christian will regret forever, his failure to move to europe in 2000, after the election of Bush.
SUSAN SARANDON, "if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada. She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people."
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Former White House Aide's Revelations Make Out Case for Obstruction of Justice by Rove and Libby in Valerie Plame Case
(Washington, DC) Today Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) called for former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify under oath regarding the devastating revelations made in his new book on the Bush Administration’s deliberate efforts to mislead the American people into the Iraq War.
“The admissions made by Scott McClellan in his new book are earth-shattering and allege facts to establish that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby – and possibly Vice President Cheney - conspired to obstruct justice by lying about their role in the Plame Wilson matter and that the Bush Administration deliberately lied to the American people in order to take us to war in Iraq. Scott McClellan must now appear before the House Judiciary Committee under oath to tell Congress and the American people how President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and White House officials deliberately orchestrated a massive propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people.”
“The allegations by this former top White House aide – that Rove and Libby deliberately coordinated their stories in order to obstruct justice in the Plame case, that the President deliberately disregarded contradictory evidence related to Iraq, should outrage every American and Congress must respond by initiating immediate aggressive oversight starting with an appearance by McClellan before the House Judiciary Committee. Any continued obstruction by this Administration to prevent White House officials from appearing before Congress cannot be tolerated by this Congress in the face of these shocking revelations.”
Congressman Wexler has led a nationwide campaign in favor of holding impeachment hearings for Vice-President Dick Cheney. Congressman Wexler is Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee and a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Judiciary Committee.
The White House reacted negatively today to scathing criticisms of President George W. Bush and members of his inner circle that appear in a new memoir written by Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who was forced out in 2006 after three tumultuous years.
In excerpts from the book, set to be published next week, McClellan writes that Bush "convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment," and has engaged in "self-deception" to justify his political ends. He calls the decision to invade Iraq a "serious strategic blunder," and says that the biggest mistake the Bush White House made was "a decision to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed."
But Dana Perino, the current White House press secretary, had harsh words for McClellan, calling the situation "sad" and suggesting that he mischaracterized his years in the West Wing to sell books.
"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House," she said. "For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew."
She said that Bush was told of some of the excerpts but would not be commenting on them because "he has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers." But Karl Rove, a principal target of many of McClellan's charges and the former deputy chief of staff for Bush, reacted immediately on Tuesday night. Speaking on Fox News, where he is now a commentator, Rove said McClellan was not even present at many of the meetings he describes and suggested that he was not writing truthfully.
"First of all, this doesn't sound like Scott. It really doesn't," he said. "Not the Scott McClellan I've known for a long time. Second of all, it sounds like somebody else. It sounds like a left-wing blogger.
"If he had these moral qualms," he added, "he should have spoken up about them."
McClellan's book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," is the first negative account by a member of the tight circle of Texans around Bush. McClellan, 40, went to work for Bush when he was governor of Texas and was the White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006.
The revelations in the book, to be published by PublicAffairs next Monday, were first reported Tuesday on Politico.com by Mike Allen. Allen wrote that he bought the book at a Washington store. The New York Times also obtained an advance copy.
McClellan writes that top White House officials deceived him about the administration's involvement in the leaking of the identity of a CIA operative, Valerie Wilson. He says he did not know for almost two years that his statements from the press room that Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby Jr. were not involved in the leak were a lie.
"Neither, I believe, did President Bush," McClellan writes. "He too had been deceived, and therefore became unwittingly involved in deceiving me. But the top White House officials who knew the truth including Rove, Libby, and possibly Vice President Cheney allowed me, even encouraged me, to repeat a lie."
He is harsh about the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, saying it "spent most of the first week in a state of denial" and "allowed our institutional response to go on autopilot." McClellan blames Rove for one of the more damaging images after the hurricane: Bush's flyover of the devastation of New Orleans. When Rove brought up the idea, McClellan writes, he and Dan Bartlett, a top communications adviser, told Bush it was a bad idea because he would appear detached and out of touch. But Rove won out, Mr. McClellan writes.
A theme in the book is that the White House suffered from a "permanent campaign" mentality, and that policy decisions were inextricably interwoven with politics.
He is critical of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her role as the "sometimes too accommodating" first term national security adviser, and what he calls her deftness at protecting her reputation.
"No matter what went wrong, she was somehow able to keep her hands clean," McClellan writes, adding that "she knew how to adapt to potential trouble, dismiss brooding problems, and come out looking like a star."
Throughout the day Wednesday, a number of White House staff members went on the television and radio news circuit to criticize McClellan and dispute his harshest claims, including his predecessor, Ari Fleischer, who served as the press secretary from 2001 to 2003.
"Scott took the podium," Fleischer said on the NPR News show "Day to Day" on Wednesday afternoon. "He repeatedly defended the war and the approach to the war. Even after Scott left the White House, he went on TV shows and defended Bush and the war. So I don't know what changed so dramatically for Scott in the last few months."
In his book, McClellan does not exempt himself from failings "I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be" and calls the news media "complicit enablers" in the White House's "carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval" in the march to the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003.
He does have a number of kind words for Bush, particularly from the April day in 2006 when Bush met with McClellan after he learned he was being pushed out. "His charm was on full display, but it was hard to know if it was sincere or just an attempt to make me feel better," McClellan writes. "But as he continued, something I had never seen before happened: tears were streaming down both his cheeks."
Monday, May 26, 2008
Mr Carter was speaking at the UK's Hay-on-Wye literature festival
Ex-US President Jimmy Carter has said Israel has at least 150 atomic weapons in its arsenal.
The Israelis have never confirmed they have nuclear weapons, but this has been widely assumed since a scientist leaked details in the 1980s.
Mr Carter made his comments on Israel's weapons at a press conference at the annual literary Hay Festival in Wales.
He also described Israeli treatment of Palestinians as "one of the greatest human rights crimes on earth".
Mr Carter gave the figure for the Israeli nuclear arsenal in response to a question on US policy on a possible nuclear-armed Iran, arguing that any country newly armed with atomic weapons faced overwhelming odds.
"The US has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons; the Soviet Union (sic) has about the same; Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more," he said.
Israel's Dimona reactor is understood to provide plutonium for the country's nuclear weapons
"We have a phalanx of enormous capabilities, not only of weaponry but also of rockets to deliver every one of those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target."
Most experts estimate that Israel has between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1980s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country's Dimona nuclear reactor.
The US, a key ally of Israel, has in general followed the country's policy of "nuclear ambiguity", neither confirming or denying the existence of its assumed arsenal.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert included Israel among a list of nuclear states in comments in December 2006, a week after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates used a similar form of words during a Senate hearing.
Former Israeli military intelligence chief Aharon Zeevi-Farkash told Reuters news agency he considered Mr Carter's comments "irresponsible".
"The problem is that there are those who can use these statements when it comes to discussing the international effort to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons," he said.
During the press briefing, Mr Carter expressed his support for Israel as a country, but criticised its domestic and foreign policy.
"One of the greatest human rights crimes on earth is the starvation and imprisonment of 1.6m Palestinians," he said.
The former US president cited statistics which he said showed the nutritional intake of some Palestinian children was below that of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as saying the European position on Israel could be best described as "supine".
Mr Carter, awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, brokered the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the first between Israel and an Arab state.
In April he controversially held talks in the Syrian capital Damascus with Khaled Meshaal, leader of the militant Palestinian movement Hamas.
The former US president's Carter Center was unavailable for further comment.