The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback says he stands up for what he believes. Even so, the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad against abortion threatens to politicize ‘Super Sunday’ and turn some fans and NFL coaches against him.
By Patrik Jonsson
In a historic career at the University of Florida, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow has kept his faith and his convictions confined mostly to a few square inches beneath his eyes: Every Saturday, he would write a Biblical citation on his eye black.
Now, at the very moment when his hope of becoming a pro football quarterback hangs in the balance, Tim Tebow is taking on perhaps the single most divisive topic in America – abortion – in an advertisement set to air during the single most-watched television program of the year: the Super Bowl.
For a handsome and humble young man, who has become revered throughout much of the South for his devoutness as well as his on-field skill, it is an astonishingly bold decision. In the 30-second ad against abortion, he will speak from his own experience of how his mother did not abort him despite medical advice to do so.
Abortion-rights groups are already calling for the ad’s removal, saying that the group behind the ad is “anti-woman” and “anti-equality.” Online chatter is expressing an unease about Tebow’s willingness to infuse Super Bowl Sunday – an apolitical American rite – with politics. And, perhaps most concerning for Tebow himself, pro football teams already skeptical of his ability to transition to the National Football League might see this as further reason to avoid him on draft day.
“I do stand up for what I believe,” Tebow told Sports Illustrated last summer. “And at least you can respect that.”
Raised on a farm outside Jacksonville, Fla., by the son of an evangelist preacher and a mom who home-schooled him, Tebow is an amalgam of charismatic leader, world-class athlete, and devout Christian Southern boy. His faith resonates among fans in the Deep South.
But by targeting the Super Bowl, his “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad ranges far beyond the familiar confines of the conservative South. Fans and coaches in the NFL might resent him for pushing a cultural message on a day usually reserved for quarterback matchups and halftime extravaganzas.
“We’re going down a road here that is filled with potholes, moral and otherwise,” writes Orlando Sentinel sports columnist George Diaz, suggesting that the ad could lead to more advocacy ads, which Super Bowl broadcaster CBS has said it will consider.
The ad, funded by the Focus on the Family organization, is expected to tell the story of Tebow and his mother, Pam. Ill while pregnant with Tim, Pam refused suggestions to abort her son. Those who have seen the ad describe it as “uplifting.”
“I asked God for a preacher, and he gave me a quarterback,” Tebow’s dad, Bob, has famously said about the trying pregnancy.
The appropriate venue?
But various groups, including the National Organization for Women, have called for CBS to withdraw the ad. They say that both the ad’s advocacy content, as well as the group behind it are unacceptable. So far, CBS has said it intends to run the ad.
“This un-American hate doesn’t have a place in this all-American pastime,” Kierra Johnson, executive director of Choice USA, told Fox News.
Tebow has for years had to walk the line between the conviction of his faith and open proselytizing. But the ad comes at a crossroads for Tebow. Professional scouts have said Tebow’s throwing motion and skill-set are poorly suited for the NFL, and his preparations for the upcoming Senior Bowl, which offers coaches a first up-close look at college prospects, haven’t gone well so far this week.
“The anti-abortion ad that he’s in that will possibly run during the Super Bowl will likely create an uproar for him as well that some teams might not want to get involved in,” writes Mark Miller on Yahoo! Sports.
Yet it is the timing of his ad – and not necessarily the content – that could knock Tebow down a few notches among NFL fans. Indeed, a May 2009 Gallup poll found that, for the first time since the poll began in 1995, more Americans are anti-abortion than pro-abortion rights. But timing is everything.
“There are going to be about 100 million of us who won’t be happy for 30 seconds of the Super Bowl,” writes CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel. “I’m not complaining about the ad because it’s anti-abortion and I’m not. I’m complaining about the ad because it’s pro-politics. And I’m not. Not on Super Sunday.”
Evangelical author Josh McDowell takes on theology of media icon
DALLAS, Texas – “One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live, and we don’t accept that there are diverse ways to being in the world. There are many paths to what you call God.”
Oprah Winfrey said it. And when she did, many Americans who love Oprah believed it.
But one of the best-selling living evangelical authors, Josh McDowell, is not about to sit back and let that statement go unchallenged.
The result is a very unusual book – both in Christian publishing and in the world of secular literature.
It’s called “O God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality” – and its official debut in bookstores nationwide comes tomorrow.
“As Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, we wanted to create a fictional, almost Socratic dialogue that would cover many of the themes of Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual teaching in recent years,” explain McDowell and co-author Dave Sterrett in their preface.
Rather than pile on Oprah with Bible verses to contradict her casual New Age proclamations, McDowell and Sterrett use a fictional conversation – or series of conversations – between two female graduate students, both seeking spiritual truth.
The book comes out as Oprah is very much center stage in the news world.
Even in her bid with first lady Michelle Obama to land the Olympics in Chicago, her rhetoric took a markedly spiritual tone.
“I love this city, because this city has been so great to me and I know what this city has to offer,” Winfrey said. “My message is really about my love for Chicago and … the spirit that we know the games will bring and the spirit that the people of Chicago will bring to the Games.”
Oprah is also lending her name to a new movie about abusive relationships called “Push,” for which she serves as executive producer.
“Push” is about an abused, obese teenager in Harlem who is pregnant with her second child and how a teacher at an alternative school tries to pull her out of her situation. Winfrey was inspired by the message of hope that the book and film present.
“What struck me is that you can live in those circumstances and still find hope,” she said. “You can’t do that on your own. Somebody has to show it to you. For me it was teachers.”
It is Oprah’s compassion that lures millions to her TV show and her magazine and the persona that has become an industry. Yet, McDowell and Sterrett explore the possibility that misguided compassion, based on human emotions rather than divine revelation and God’s law, can lead people in dangerous directions.
“If you are a Christ follower who believes, as we do, that God’s salvation is only through Jesus Christ alone, perhaps this book, ‘O God,’ will inspire a conversation with friends who are asking you questions,” they write. “How do you respond when a friend at your work, school, book club, gym or family reunion brings up Oprah Winfrey’s teaching or a form of new spirituality? Do you know how to speak and live the truth in love? This book probably won’t provide every single answer to all your questions about God and spirituality, but we hope it will provide some. Our desire is that ‘O God’ will create friendly and perhaps robust spiritual conversation about the most important things in your life.”
McDowell has authored or co-authored more than 110 books with more than 35 million in print worldwide. His classic “More Than a Carpenter” alone sold more than 15 million copies.
America reacts to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize
By Drew Zahn
“It’s not April 1, is it?” a White House aide reportedly asked ABC’s Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos.
In an official statement, the president says he was “most surprised and deeply humbled.”
Others have expressed similar shock that Obama, in office for less than 10 months, had been awarded the prize. Underlying the shock is the fact that the deadline for filing nominations for the award is Feb. 1 of any given year, meaning the president was nominated after being in office for just 11 days.
“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.”
A shocked Michael Savage further blasted the Nobel Prize committee for its choice:
“What has [Obama] done? Has he discovered a cure for brain cancer I don’t know about?” the talk radio host asked in a Newsweek interview. “We all know what the Nobel Prize committee is ever since Yasir Arafat won. It’s a radical leftist front group that hijacked Alfred Nobel’s prize.”
Fellow radio talker Rush Limbaugh also heaped on criticism, stating that awarding the prize to such an unaccomplished president is a “greater embarrassment” than Obama’s recent failed bid to bring the Olympic Games to Chicago.
“This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama,” Limbaugh told POLITICO in an e-mail. “And with this ‘award’ the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States.”
Limbaugh continued, “They love a weakened, neutered U.S., and this is their way of promoting that concept.”
Other reactions, however, have been glowing:
“Obama got the prize not for doing, but for being. Not for making peace, but for exemplifying something new on the world stage – the politics of dignity,” wrote Robert Fuller, former president of Oberlin College, on the Huffington Post. “What is dignitarian politics? It is the recognition that people the world over actually want dignity more than they want either liberty or equality. In policy terms, it means ensuring dignity for all – within and among nations.”
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement, “We are pleased that our president has been awarded one of the highest honors for any world leader. Under president Obama’s leadership, our nation is beginning to restore its international image as a beacon of peace and justice.”
He continued, “CAIR and the American Muslim community stand ready to partner with President Obama in promoting the ‘mutual interest and mutual respect’ he mentioned in his inaugural address.”
WND readers have sent in their share of comments, too.
“To the best of my knowledge, no American President in modern history with no significant foreign policy experience, no major world-shaking legislation to his credit as a junior senator with two years of experience and only a few weeks in office as president before the deadline for nominations ended has won a Nobel Peace Prize,” writes WND reader Geoffrey Cox. “Surely this could only be accomplished either by a figure of deity, or by the voting of some incredibly stupid or corrupt Norwegians – I’m going with the latter.”
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award, after Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the former in the fifth year of his presidency for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese war and the latter in the sixth year of his administration, largely for his role in establishing the League of Nations.
Other WND readers have also taken exception to awarding the Nobel Prize to a president with few international accomplishments:
- “The Nobel Peace Prize nine months into his term for … what?” asks WND reader Henry Frickel. “That’s like giving me, a guy who barely knows how to cut-and-paste and thinks Excel is something you do with that pedal on the right, the Computer World ‘Techie of the Year Award.’”
- “Obama winning the Nobel, what a joke!” scoffed reader Sherry Perkins. “How do you win a Nobel Prize for peace when you have troops killing people in another country?”
- “Has President Obama reduced standing armies? Did he speak out for the peace process when thousands of Iranians were slaughtered in the streets? No,” writes reader Louis Frederick. “He managed to convince most the world that America is arrogant, uncaring and not worthy of the superpower status we once held. He stood with hands on hips while Russia rolled over the democratic state of Georgia, and the reward was the removal of a missile shield from Czechoslovakia. He flaps lips while Iran is feverishly working on nuclear weapons to bring ‘peace’ to the Middle East by destroying the democratic state of Israel. Ludicrous.”
- R.C. Rochte comments, “So, ‘The One’ has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (on credit for more surrenders of American sovereignty in the future, no doubt).”
Other reactions from around the country have challenged Obama’s merit for the award, not on his resume but on his politics. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, released the following statement:
“Bestowing the Nobel Prize on the most rabid pro-abortion president in history is a direct slap in the face to past recipient, Mother Teresa of Calcutta who said, upon receiving her Nobel Peace Prize: ‘the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself.’” Brown said. “In awarding the prize to Obama, the Nobel Committee is announcing that abortion is the cornerstone of a hellish ‘peace’ – the damning silence of 51 million aborted children in the United States alone.”
She concluded, “The Nobel Committee has bestowed the ‘Peace Prize’ on a man dedicated to war in the womb.”
Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, however, defended the choice – even stating the vote was unanimous – on ABC’s “Good Morning America”:
“President Obama has changed very dramatically international politics,” Lundestad said. “We feel he has emphasized multilateral diplomacy, he has addressed international institutions, dialogue negotiations. He has inspired the world with his vision of a world without nuclear arms. He has changed the U.S. policy dramatically. There’s a whole list.”
As for the president himself, Obama said from the White House Rose Garden, “I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures who have been honored by this prize.”
“I also know this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women … want to build,” Obama said of the prize committee. “I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership.”
He concluded, “I will accept this award as a call to action.”
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s comments coincide with report that IAEA withheld evidence about Iran‘s nuclear weapon capabilities
In a rare interview with Western media, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran has no need for nuclear weapons, but he did not rule out the possibility that Iran might develop them in the future. The broadcasting of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks coincided with a new report, based on previously undisclosed information, that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has withheld evidence about how close Iran is to making a nuclear bomb.
In excerpts of an interview aired Thursday night on NBC News, Ahmadinejad said that “the enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes… will never be closed down here in Iran.” When interviewer Ann Curry asked whether Iran would ever develop a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad said Iran had no need for such weapons.
“If nuclear weapons were influential, they would have prevented the downfall of the Soviet Union — for that matter, the downfall of the Zionist regime,” he said, referring to Israel, long believed to possess 200 nuclear weapons. “Our people have never had a need for nuclear weapons.”
“So, may I assume, then, your answer to that question is ‘no’?” Curry asked.
Again, Ahmadinejad said: “We don’t need such — we don’t have a such a need, nuclear weapons. We don’t need nuclear weapons. Without such weapons, we are very much able to defend ourselves.”
Curry pressed Ahmadinejad again on the question, noting that “people will remark that you did not say no.” He replied, “You can take from this whatever you want, madam.” Further excerpts of the interview, which was taped a week previously in Tehran, ran Friday morning. The full interview is to be aired Sunday afternoon.
Ahmadinejad’s refusal to rule out Iran building a nuclear weapon comes just a day after President Barack Obama announced plans to scrap the Bush administration’s missile shield plan in favor of a new system which would better deal with short- and medium-ranged missiles launched from Iran. President Bush‘s plan would have placed interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic to defend against long-range Iranian missiles targeting Europe.
Also on Thursday, the Associated Press released a report that experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, believe that Iran is currently capable of building a nuclear weapon. The AP based their report on a confidential document titled “Possible Military Dimension of Iran’s Nuclear Program,” which was written by senior IAEA officials.
The information in the document that is either new, more detailed or represents a more forthright conclusion than found in published IAEA reports includes:
– The IAEA’s assessment that Iran worked on developing a chamber inside a ballistic missile capable of housing a warhead payload “that is quite likely to be nuclear.”
– That Iran engaged in “probable testing” of explosives commonly used to detonate a nuclear warhead — a method known as a “full-scale hemispherical explosively driven shock system.”
– An assessment that Iran worked on developing a system “for initiating a hemispherical high explosive charge” of the kind used to help spark a nuclear blast.
In another key finding, an excerpt notes: “The agency … assesses that Iran has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device (an atomic bomb) based on HEU (highly enriched uranium) as the fission fuel.”
These details add significantly to previous reports on Iran’s nuclear capability, as summarized this summer in a Monitor briefing, ‘How close is Iran to a bomb?’
The AP writes that two international officials confirmed the authenticity of the document, though they insisted on anonymity because the document was meant only to be seen by top IAEA officials.
The IAEA denied that it was hiding evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, calling such an idea “politically motivated and baseless,” Reuters reports. In a statement commenting on the AP story, the IAEA said that it “has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons programme in Iran.”
Reuters also writes that Israel, which has typically been highly vocal about the threat of a nuclear Iran, may be changing its message. Ehud Barak, Israel’s minister of defense, said that even if Iran had nuclear weapons, it would not be able to defeat Israel.
“Right now, Iran does not have a bomb. Even if it did, this would not make it a threat to Israel’s existence. Israel can lay waste to Iran,” Barak said in a transcript of a newspaper interview obtained by Reuters before publication Friday.
Israeli leaders have repeatedly sounded alarms over Iran’s atomic ambitions, pointing at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s calls for the Jewish state to be “wiped off the map” and support for Islamist guerrilla groups arrayed along Israel’s borders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-winger who brought the centre-left Barak into his coalition government, said he saw “eye to eye” with the Defence minister – signalling a possible change in Israel’s official rhetoric as world powers prepare to revive diplomatic engagement with Iran next month.
Reuters adds that Mr. Netanyahu issued a supportive response to Mr. Barak’s comments, saying “I think that what the Defence minister wanted to say, something that I believe, is that the State of Israel will be able to defend itself in any situation.”
Shariah experts to proclaim ‘Our Day has Come‘
Muslims who are working to stage the “Our Day Has Come” day of prayer at the U.S. Capitol have discussed views that include an Islamic takeover of the White House, from where they say President Barack Obama is providing their inspiration.
Building on the Islamic interest in Obama’s inauguration, when Muslims claimed in a magazine that “It’s our time,” the event planners are calling for 50,000 Muslims to attend the 4 a.m. event on the National Mall on Sept. 25
The organizer is Hassen Abdellah, who leads a Elizabeth, N.J., mosque, and two special guests for the event, according to the website, will be Sheik Muhammad Jebril and Sheik Ahmed Dewidar.
According to the website, Jebril’s degree is in Islamic Law and he learned the Quran by the age of 9.
According to blogger Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs, Jebril specializes in Shariah law and served as the imam of an extremist mosque in Cairo starting in 1988.
Likewise, the prayer day website reported Dewidar studied law at the University of Alexandria and took a master’s degree in Shariah. He moved to the United States to lead a Muslim community in New Jersey and later established the Islamic Center in Manhattan.
In the interview, Dewidar talked about sermons he’d heard that “Muslims should march on the White House…”
The interviewer asked for an explanation.
“One cleric said in his sermon: ‘We are going to the White House, so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into the Muslim house,’” he said, according to the MEMRI report.
Dewidar denied that this was a plan for a physical occupation of the building.
“They say that through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change,” the report quotes Dewidar saying.
Atlas Shrugs also cited Dewidar’s comments for a Muslim Brotherhood website that American society is controlled by Jews.
His translated comments include, “Whether or not these events were planned, or pinned on the Muslims, or something else – [it] provided an opportunity for [the American government] to legislate dubious laws that restrict the growth and presence of Islam in the U.S,” Atlas Shrugs reported.
Organizers themselves have credited Obama’s advocacy for Islam for their inspiration.
While he praised Islam during his inauguration, Obama elaborated during his speech in Egypt months later.
He carried a greeting from “Muslim communities” in America, complained how Muslims had been “denied rights and opportunities,” and stated, “I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s renaissance and enlightenment.”
Besides crediting Islam with significant responsibility for the development of civilization in Europe, Obama also said Muslims have served similarly in America.
“And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States,” Obama said. “They have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Quran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”
According to a Daily India report, Abdellah confirmed the idea of the event “germinated” after Obama’s inaugural speech, then was reinforced by the Egypt speech.
“For the first time in my lifetime,” Abdellah said. “I heard someone of his stature speaking about Islam and Muslims not in an adversarial sense, but in the sense of being welcome and acknowledging we are integral citizens in the society-that we’re gainfully employed, we’re educated.”
Gellar wrote of another event organizer, Abdul Malik.
“I highly recommend taking a look at Abdul Malik’s Facebook page, and watching the video – during which he says many interesting things including: Polygamy is an American tradition,” she wrote.
She also cited this comment from Malik: “Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the voices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That’s what we want.”
“It is a mockery of the Christian faith,” Safa told the magazine. “It’s a mockery of all of it. In a sense, I’m happy for it because the church needs to wake up before it’s too late.”
The prayer day website says, “The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill.
“Our Time Has Come.”
Obama repeatedly has denied he is a Muslim. His presidential campaign website contained the statement, “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.”
But as WND has reported, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.
In Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” he acknowledged studying the Quran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”
“In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Quranic studies,” wrote Obama.
In an interview with the New York Times, Obama described the Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
The Times’ Nicholos Kristof wrote Obama recited, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent,” the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.
The first few lines of the call to prayer state:
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet …
Some attention also has been paid to Obama’s paternal side of the family, including his father and his brother, Roy.
Writing in a chapter of his book describing his 1992 wedding, Obama stated: “The person who made me proudest of all was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”
WND’s 5-month series of exposés leads to White House’s 1st casualty
The last straw for Jones was being caught on tape in an expletive-packed rant, directly attacking Republicans in the Senate who he said abused their majority position in the past to push legislation through. He admitted after the statements were released that the comments were “inappropriate” and “offensive.”
“They do not reflect the experience I have had since joining the administration,” Jones said in the statement.
Jones was also linked late last week to efforts suggesting a government role in the Sept. 11 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.
When the White House press corps grilled White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about Jones on Friday, a reporter asked how the administration could reject “conspiracy theories” about his birth certificate while employing someone who previously charged the U.S. government with masterminding Sept. 11.
Gibbs said only that Jones “continues to work in the administration,” a non-ringing endorsement that set the stage for his ouster. Jones’ name appeared on a petition calling for congressional hearings and other investigations into whether high-level government officials had orchestrated the 9/11attacks.
Jones flatly said in his statement that he did not agree with the petition’s stand and that “it certainly does not reflect my views, now or ever.”
As for his other comments he made before joining Obama’s team, Jones said: “If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize.”
In April, Aaron Klein, Jerusalem bureau chief for WND.com, broke the first major story on Jones who was identified as a self-described radical communist and “rowdy black nationalist” who said his environmental activism was actually a means to fight for racial and class “justice.”
Succeeding revelations by WND included:
- Jones previously served on the board of an environmental activist group at which a founder of the Weather Underground terrorist organization is a top director.
- Jones was co-founder of a black activist organization that has led a campaign prompting major advertisers to withdraw from Glenn Beck’s top-rated Fox News Channel program. The revelation followed Beck’s reports on WND’s story about Jones’ communist background.
- That Jones and other White House appointees may have been screened by an ACORN associate.
- One day after the 9/11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of “U.S. imperialism” around the world.
- Just days before his White House appointment, Jones used a forum at a major youth convention to push for a radical agenda that included spreading the wealth and “changing the whole system.”
- Jones’ Maoist manifesto while leading the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, was scrubbed from the Internet after being revealed by WND.
- Jones was the main speaker at an anti-war rally that urged “resistance” against the U.S. government – a demonstration sponsored by an organization associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party.
- In a 2005 conference, Jones characterized the U.S. as an “apartheid regime” that civil rights workers helped turn into a “struggling, fledgling democracy.”
- Jones signed a petition calling for nationwide “resistance” against police, accusing them of using the 9/11 attacks to carry out policies of torture.
While talk radio and cable television picked up WND’s reporting and increased the pressure on the administration to cut Jones loose, there was no significant press coverage of the scandal by the major U.S. news media until late last week.
Note: Media representatives interested in interviewing WND’s Aaron Klein should e-mail WND.
Rush Limbaugh: Lowery ‘just insulted this country’
By Chelsea Schilling
Outrage is erupting over the inauguration benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery, an 87-year-old civil rights pioneer, for asking God to help mankind work for a day when “white would embrace what is right.”
Lowery, known for co-founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., opened with a quote from the “Black National Anthem.” He then asked God to encourage America to make “choices on the side of love, not hate, on the side of inclusion not exclusion, tolerance not intolerance” after President Barack Obama took the presidential oath.
Then he ended his prayer with, “Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around – when yellow will be mellow – when the red man can get ahead, man – and when white will embrace what is right.”
Obama reacted to the benediction with a smile.
The crowd cheered and boomed with a loud “Amen.”
However, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Lowery’s prayer “offended” and was “far more memorable than the inaugural address by President Obama.”
Referring to Lowery’s “When black will not be asked to get in back” comment, Limbaugh responded, “When does that happen today? Did we not just inaugurate a black man as president of the United States?”
Limbaugh went through each statement about color, attempting to decipher Lowery’s intended message.
“I know it’s a left over from the ’60s thing,” he said. “It’s not relevant today! Everybody here is living in the past, and they don’t want anybody to think we’ve made any progress at all despite inaugurating Barack Obama as president today.”
Repeating Lowery’s “When white will embrace what is right” statement, Limbaugh said, “He just insulted this country, large numbers of which elected Barack Obama president of the United States.”
Several angry bloggers posted reactions to Lowery’s prayer, including the following:
- Didn’t whites just do that by electing Jesus Christ president?
- Am I allowed to be offended?
- Race card pulled during the inauguration. Wow that didn’t take long.
- It is completely inappropriate to have that in any prayer, much less a prayer at an inauguration that is supposed to be about how “We’re all one.”
- Black … brown … red … yellow … white? I’m stunned. The prayer is so racist and so inappropriate. Is Rev. Lowery just a kinder, gentler Rev. Wright?
- You guys are all spelling it wrong. That’s the problem. I’m sure that if you look at his notes you’ll see that it says “… whites will embrace what is Wright.”
Barack Obama has retaken the oath of office that was administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at the ceremonial inauguration yesterday.
Legal experts had suggested the move because of the multiple stumbles and flubs at the original event.
Obama ended up transposing the word “faithfully” during his inauguration in Washington. When he should have said he would “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States,” he instead said he will “execute the office of president of the United States faithfully.”
Roberts began administering the oath by stating the president-elect’s name, but Obama cut him off before he could finish.
“I Barack …” Obama eagerly chimed in before Roberts could complete the first sentence.
Obama then allowed Roberts to continue.
“I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully,” Roberts said.
“That I will execute …” Obama said.
Roberts repeated, ” … faithfully the office of president of the United States.”
“The office of president of the United States faithfully,” Obama said.
“And will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God,” he finally finished.
According to a Fox News report, Roberts went to the White House late today and administered the oath, correctly, to Obama. Also present were a pool reporter and a White House photographer.
The Associated Press reports, “The president said he did not have his Bible with him [for the second oath], but that the oath was binding anyway.”
Josh White of the Washington Post said the oath of office is required of a new president “before he can execute his power.”
And he noted, “the Constitution is clear that its 35 words must be spoken exactly.”
“He should probably go ahead and take the oath again,” Jonathan Turley had told the Post.
The professor of constitutional law at George Washington University said without doing that, “there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn’t meet the constitutional standard.”
According to the chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, Charles Cooper, a mistake in the oath should be fixed.
The newspaper said two previous presidents, Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge, both repeated the oath later because of similar mistakes.
“Out of a super-abundance of caution, perhaps he should do it again,” Akhil Reed Amar, a Yale professor, had suggested.
Retaking the oath, however, will not answer the multiple questions about Obama’s eligibility that have been raised in a long list of lawsuits filed over his election in November.
The lawsuits allege in various ways Obama does not meet the “natural born citizen” clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which reads, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
Some allege his birth took place in Kenya, and his mother was a minor at the time of his birth – too young to confer American citizenship. They argue Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan citizen subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time and would have handed down British citizenship.
There also are questions raised about Obama’s move to Indonesia when he was a child and his attendance at school there when only Indonesian citizens were allowed and his travel to Pakistan in the ’80s when such travel was forbidden to American citizens.
One California lawsuit, on which the United States Justice Foundation is working, was filed on behalf of presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others, and describes the potential damage an ineligible president could create.
“Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void,” argues a case brought on behalf of Keyes, “Americans will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal.”
A number of the arguments have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which so far has declined to give any of the cases a hearing.
However, another conference before the justices is scheduled on the dispute Friday. The case is brought by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer.
Taitz said her arguments rest on precedents from both the California Supreme Court, which years ago removed a candidate for president from the ballot because he was only 34, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of the ruling. The Constitution requires a president to be 35.
She also raised the issue of the concealment of Obama’s records.
“Obama has refused to submit certified copies of any of his original long form ‘vault’ birth certificates in Hawaii to any public officer or to any Petitioner. Relevant records in Kenya have also been officially restricted,” she said. “Obama has sealed all educational records which might reveal his stated citizenship. These include Punahou High School, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School.”
Obama has claimed in his autobiography and elsewhere that he was born in Hawaii in 1961 to parents Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Kenyan national, and Stanley Ann Dunham, a minor. But details about which hospital handled the birth and other details provided on the complete birth certificate have been withheld by Obama despite lawsuits and public demands for release.
WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi went to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama’s birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.
The biggest question was why, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists as his campaign has stated, Obama hasn’t simply ordered it made available to settle the rumors.
The governor’s office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?
Police threaten criminal trespass after delivery of anti-Dem letter
By Chelsea Schilling
A Kansas resident is claiming he has been unfairly threatened by officers after he hand delivered a note to a police department administrator explaining why he will not vote for Obama.
Brent Garner of Lawrence, Kan., told WND he composed an essay on Oct. 29 detailing Obama’s connections with communist Frank Davis and Weatherman William Ayers, the Democrat’s tax plan and his lack of protection for infants born alive following failed abortion procedures.
He then put the letter in an envelope and delivered it to Obama supporter and Lawrence Police Department civilian administrator Kim Murphree, whom he had met at his church.
“She demanded to know what was in the envelope,” Garner said. “I simply told her to read it that it was self-explanatory and then walked off her property. She then began to yell at me and call me names while I was in the street.”
Garner said his wife witnessed the incident from the couple’s minivan.
He then drove home, and a clergyman from his church called him, saying Murphree had complained about the letter. While he was speaking on the phone, only 10-15 minutes following his letter delivery, an officer from the Lawrence Police Department appeared on his doorstep.
“He belligerently demanded to speak with me,” Garner said. “I asked him if I was required to speak with him without an attorney present. He told me no, and I bade him leave my property. He then told me that Kim had lodged a criminal trespass complaint against me and that if I went on her property again I would be arrested.”
By Cliff Kincaid
Asked if Ayers said that he had personally witnessed Dohrn placing the bomb, Grathwohl responded, “Well, if he wasn’t there to see it, somebody who was there told him about it, because he stated it very emphatically.”
Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, tells Accuracy in Media that he was contacted by law enforcement authorities about five or six years ago about bringing a murder case against Weather Underground communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn for her reported involvement in the 1970 death of a young San Francisco police officer, Brian V. McDonnell.
Barack Obama’s initial political campaign in Chicago was launched from the home of Dohrn and her husband, another member of the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers. But Obama says he does not condone their terrorist activities. Dohrn and Ayers are now both college professors in Chicago.
“The FBI and the San Francisco police department were looking to prosecute Bernardine Dohrn for murder,” Grathwohl told AIM. “They were really pushing it and then it dropped off the radar.”
“From my understanding there was a joint task force of FBI agents and San Francisco police that were pushing to bring Bernardine Dohrn to trial,” Grathwohl said. “There was a reporter that called me about the same time and he was from the San Francisco Chronicle and he wanted to talk to me. I guess they had heard rumors that this was going on. At the time, the FBI and the San Francisco police department had asked me to keep mum on it because of the sensitivity of what they were trying to do and the information they were trying to gather.”
Grathwohl had personal knowledge of the bombing, having testified before Congress that Ayers told him at the time he was in the terrorist organization and that Dohrn had personally planted the devastating bomb.
Since March, when some limited attention began to be focused on Obama’s relationship with Ayers, Grathwohl has been trying to interest the media in his personal recollections of the violent acts committed by the two communist terrorists and associates of Barack Obama. But except for some brief interviews on Fox News (the “Hannity’s America” and “The O’Reilly Factor” programs) and more extended interviews on conservative talk radio, Grathwohl hasn’t found the media interested in what he had to say.
A recent spate of interviews, he says, has been the result of publicity generated by the public relations specialists at SpecialGuests.com. They have highlighted his assertions that Weather Underground leaders plotted the overthrow of the American government and the subsequent need to eliminate 25 million people.
Grathwohl says there is a media double standard benefiting Obama. “If you had McCain hanging out with the high Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, you’d have the media all over him like flies on manure,” Grathwohl notes. But Obama largely gets a pass for his controversial associations, he says.
As we noted in a May 7 column, the testimony that was given by Grathwohl to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on October 18, 1974, was very specific:
“When he [Bill Ayers] returned, we had another meeting at which time―and this is the only time that any Weathermen told me about something that someone else had done―and Bill started off telling us about the need to raise the level of the struggle and for stronger leadership inside the Weathermen ‘focals’ [i.e., cells] and inside the Weatherman organization as a whole. And he cited as one of the real problems was that someone like Bernardine Dohrn had to plan, develop and carry out the bombing of the police station in San Francisco, and he specifically named her as the person that committed that act.”
Grathwohl added that Ayers “said that the bomb was placed on the window ledge and he described the kind of bomb that was used to the extent of saying what kind of shrapnel was used in it.”
He was asked, “Did he say who placed the bomb on the window ledge?” He replied, “Bernardine Dohrn.”
Asked if Ayers said that he had personally witnessed Dohrn placing the bomb, Grathwohl responded, “Well, if he wasn’t there to see it, somebody who was there told him about it, because he stated it very emphatically.”
Citing the congressional testimony of Grathwohl about Dohrn’s alleged role in the bombing, a July AIM Report put this challenge to the media: “Shouldn’t Obama be asked about the reported involvement of his political associate in cold-blooded murder?” The media, anxious to see Obama elected president on Tuesday, won’t take up this challenge.
The bombing was horrific. “Sergeant McDonnell caught the full force of the flying shrapnel, which consisted of heavy metal staples and lead bullets. As other officers tried rendering aid to the fallen sergeant, they could see that he sustained a severed neck artery wound and severe wounds to his eyes and neck,” the San Francisco Police Officers Association Journal reported about the incident.
“Officers [Ron] Martin and [Al] Arnaud, who were standing several feet from the window ledge, were knocked to the ground and sustained injuries from the flying glass,” it said. “The blast caused them hearing impairment and shock. One officer was knocked to the floor unconscious, while another “suffered multiple severe wounds on his face, cheek and legs from the flying fragments of the glass.”
Retired San Francisco Police Department Sergeant James R. Pera told AIM that he and his partner were in the 1700 block of Haight St. in San Francisco when the bomb went off: “My partner and I were the first car on the scene and the first sight that we saw, upon arrival in the parking lot of the station, was a friend of ours getting up off the ground. His partner was still on the ground, propped up on one arm and dazed. They had been blown to the ground by the concussion of the bomb that had been placed on the window sill of the station…”
He went on, “Sergeant McDonnell’s Police Car, which was placed between the window sill, where the bomb was, and the car that my two fellow policemen were preparing to get into, took the brunt of the blast and saved them from death. The inside of the station looked like it had been hit by a couple of hand grenades, windows shattered, blood on the pock-marked walls and dazed cops wandering around disoriented. The bomb was so powerful that fragments, which consisted of barbed wire fence post staples, were found on the roof of Polytechnic High School which was located across Kezar Stadium and Frederick St., approximately two blocks away. Polytechnic High School was three stories high. It has since been replaced by a housing complex.”
The use of such items as metal fence staples demonstrates that the intention was to kill, Grathwohl says, in contradiction to claims by Ayers and his apologists that the communist terrorist group tried to avoid injuries to people. “The sole purpose of the fence staples was to kill and injure people,” Grathwohl notes. “If you were building a bomb that was only supposed to do property damage and your intent was to injure no one, why would you put fence staples in it?”
Grathwohl told AIM, “Bill [Ayers] told me about it before I had even read about it in the paper. When I went to the FBI and gave them this information, I knew nothing about it. And the information Bill had given me was so exact. I knew that the bomb had been left on the window ledge of the Park Police station and I knew what the bomb was comprised of.”
Grathwohl said that law enforcement authorities may have felt they didn’t have enough evidence to guarantee a murder conviction against Dohrn. But there is no statute of limitations on murder and an indictment could still be brought against her.
Since May, AIM has been trying to get the Chicago Tribune to correct the record about a story in the paper claiming that “The only people known to be killed or hurt by Weather Underground bombs were bombers themselves.” But the paper has refused to correct this statement.
We commented that “the standard seems to be that if the terrorists themselves take ‘credit’ for a bombing, it will be assigned to them. But if they refuse to publicly take credit, because they don’t want to be implicated in a murder, they will be absolved of responsibility, no matter what the evidence shows. This is partisan political journalism designed to benefit Obama.”
Obama’s campaign strategist, David Axelrod, is a former reporter for the Tribune.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org