Category Archives: Politcs

obamaprayerbreakfast

Obama Condemns ‘Distorted’ Faith at National Prayer Breakfast

President Obama on Thursday (Feb. 5) called for an emphasis on what is just about the world’s religions as a way to counter the ways faith has been distorted across the globe.

“We see faith driving us to do right,” he said to more than 3,500 people attending the annual National Prayer Breakfast. “But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge — or worse, sometimes used as a weapon.”

He urged believers of all faiths to practice humility, support church-state separation and adhere to the golden rule as ways to keep religion in its proper context.

“As people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion — for their own nihilistic ends,” Obama said. “Here at home and around the world we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom: freedom of religion, the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.”

Obama denounced the so-called Islamic State that is waging a bloody war across Syria and Iraq against fellow Muslims and religious minorities, labeling the group “a brutal, vicious death cult.”

The breakfast has often turned controversial, and this year was no exception with the inclusion of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, who attended but did not speak and was not seated on the dais with other speakers.

Under pressure from China not to recognize the Nobel laureate, Obama nonetheless opened his remarks by welcoming the Dalai Lama, calling him “a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion” and someone who “inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings.”

Chinese officials had criticized the Dalai Lama’s plans to appear at the event.

“We are against any country’s interference in China’s domestic affairs under the pretext of Tibet-related issues, and are opposed to any foreign leader’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in any form,” said Hong Lei, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before the breakfast.

Obama and the Dalai Lama have met several times at the White House, but the White House usually keeps the meetings private and low-key so as not to anger China.

NASCAR commentator Darrell Waltrip, the keynoter of the breakfast, joked about his being invited two years after conservative neurosurgeon Ben Carson raised eyebrows by directly confronting the president about Obama’s signature health care reform.

“I’m not a brain surgeon and I’m not running for office so I’m the perfect guy to be here this morning,” he said.

From a distance, Pope Francis joined Obama in calling for greater religious freedom.

“I ask you to pray for me and to join me in praying for our brothers and sisters throughout the world who experience persecution and death for their faith,” the pontiff wrote in a letter to attendees that was read in part by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who co-chaired the breakfast with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Following the recent deadly attacks on a French weekly that had published satirical cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Obama also spoke of the need to support both freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

“If, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another’s religion, we’re equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults,” he said, drawing applause, “and stand shoulder to shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities, who are the targets of such attacks.”

Obama expressed thanks for the safe return of Christian missionary Kenneth Bae, who was held in North Korea for more than a year, and recounted his recent meeting in Boise, Idaho, with the family of U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains imprisoned in Iran and has become a cause celebre for many evangelicals.

“We’re going to keep up this work for Pastor Abedini and all those around the world who are unjustly held or persecuted because of their faith,” the president said, noting that Rabbi David Saperstein, the new U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, would be heading soon to Iraq to work with religious leaders there.

The breakfast, in its 63rd year, is chaired each year by members of Congress who meet weekly for prayer when Congress is in session. It draws politicians, diplomats and prominent evangelical Christian leaders but often includes an interfaith roster of speakers.

Rabbi Greg Marx of Maple Glen, Pa., gave the invocation and former Ambassador Andrew Young, once an aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a president of the National Council of Churches, gave the benediction.

Wicker read from the Gospel of Luke in place of the scheduled speaker, King Abdullah II of Jordan, reciting the story of the good Samaritan. Abdullah had to return home after a hostage crisis involving the Islamic State turned deadly.

“We all know the heartbreaking circumstances his country is experiencing at this point,” Wicker said. “Our prayers are with the people of Jordan during this troubling time of crisis.”

Courtesy: christianheadlines.com/Religion News Service

Photo: President Obama speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday (Feb. 5, 2015).

Photo courtesy: Reuters/ Kevin Lamarque

Publication date: February 6, 2015

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Top 10 Southern California Beaches

Drive down the Southern California coast, and visit the best beaches in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego..

Laguna Beach
Laguna is one of Orange County’s most fashionable towns, as well as one of the most culturally rich, but the beach is a big draw, too. The water at Laguna is generally clean and calm, though occasionally the Pacific tends to be cool with strong tides. Clean, white and warm, Laguna’s sands are perfect for strolling, volleyball matches or simply unwinding on a blanket.

Laguna Beach, CA

Coronado
For well over a century, Coronado’s beaches have been its fortune, namely the seaside in front of the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado open since 1888. For non-hotel guests, the main beach, Coronado Central Beach, stretches 1.5 miles behind the great houses along Ocean Boulevard. Swimmers, bodysurfers, boogie boarders, sand sculptors, tide poolers and, from December through February, whale watchers all take to the sand and sea. North Beach attracts surfers in the morning, and at the extreme north is Dog Beach, where leashless canines can frolic in the surf.

Map
Coronado, CA

El Matador Beach
If you’ve come to El Matador to savor the beach rather than get sucked into the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, then you’re in luck — there’s blissfully little else to do here other than bask on Malibu’s most glorious stretch of beach. The best way to enjoy your time is to check the tide schedule, pack a picnic lunch or sunset dinner, grab a blanket, and trek down to one of El Matador’s hidden nooks and coves to enjoy the incredibly romantic atmosphere.

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El Matador Beach, CA

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Six ways Democrates loose out in the spending bill

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, right, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, express their outrage to reporters that a huge, $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by the Republican-controlled House yesterday contains changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that regulates complex financial instruments known as derivatives, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democratic support for the omnibus bill funding every corner of government faded Wednesday as liberal lawmakers erupted over a provision that weakens the regulation of risky financial instruments and another that allows more money to flood into political parties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio responds to President Barack Obama’s intention to spare millions of illegal immigrants from being deported, a use of executive powers that is setting up a fight with Republicans in Congress over the limits of presidential powers, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans’ best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aren’t interested in provoking a government shutdown as a way to block spending needed to carry out Obama’s order, viewing that as a poor way to embark on a new era of Republican control of Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2014 file phot, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, celebrates with his supporters at an election night party in Louisville, Ky. President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans’ best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner aren’t interested in provoking a government shutdown as a way to block spending needed to carry out Obama’s order, viewing that as a poor way to embark on a new era of Republican control of Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Source: Yahoo

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Arab spring has created ‘intelligence disaster’, warns former CIA boss

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Nunc non purus ante. Donec nec turpis in nunc condimentum consequat et id justo. In eget lectus sed quam placerat vestibulum vel eu orci. Maecenas euismod porta metus eget luctus. Donec bibendum pellentesque metus quis elementum. Integer ligula lectus, congue in euismod a, tempus ut urna. Duis sagittis auctor est, faucibus ullamcorper mi scelerisque ac. Nam tellus enim, rutrum sed commodo vel, tempus a sapien. Cras metus mi, ornare eget tempus sed, congue sed arcu. Pellentesque congue enim quis neque laoreet ut hendrerit felis auctor Nunc non purus ante. Donec nec turpis in nunc condimentum consequat et id justo. In eget lectus sed quam placerat vestibulum vel eu orci.

Nunc non purus ante. Donec nec turpis in nunc condimentum consequat et id justo. In eget lectus sed quam placerat vestibulum vel eu orci. Maecenas euismod porta metus eget luctus. Donec bibendum pellentesque metus quis elementum. Integer ligula lectus, congue in euismod a, tempus ut urna. Duis sagittis auctor est, faucibus ullamcorper mi scelerisque ac. Nam tellus enim, rutrum sed commodo vel, tempus a sapien. Cras metus mi, ornare eget tempus sed, congue sed arcu. Pellentesque congue enim quis neque laoreet ut hendrerit felis auctor Nunc non purus ante. Donec nec turpis in nunc condimentum consequat et id justo. In eget lectus sed quam placerat vestibulum vel eu orci.

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The New Retirement: Making a Difference

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