SUPREME COURT GOES ASTRAY
With this headline, USA Today announced on Thursday, June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court’s ruling that a Texas state law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy. The state law had prohibited “deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.”
The article pointed out that in 1960, every state had such so-called “anti-sodomy laws.” In 37 states, the statutes had been repealed. “Of the 13 states with sodomy laws, four — Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri — prohibit oral and anal sex between same-sex couples. The other nine ban consensual sodomy for everyone [including between husband and wife]: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Thursday’s ruling apparently invalidates those laws as well.”
Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday, other news related to the issue of homosexual conduct had made the headlines. In a web posted article from The Boston Globe of 6/11/2003, it was stated: “The city of Toronto issued North America’s first full marriage licenses to homosexual couples yesterday, after an Ontario court knocked down Canada’s legal definition of marriage, the union of a man and a woman, as a violation of the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the landmark ruling, the Ontario Appeal Court declared prohibitions against homosexual marriage unconstitutional. ‘The restriction against same-sex marriage is an offense to the dignity of lesbians and gays, because it limits the range of relationship options open to them,’ the court said.”
However, as the article continues, this decision is not without objection among some in Canada: ” ‘Our newfound tolerance of hom[o]sexuality shows how completely secularism has displaced religion as the source of popular morality,’ said Joseph Heath, professor of ethics and political economy at the University of Montreal. ‘The Bible says, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” It takes an awful lot of massaging to interpret that as anything other than a condemnation of homosexuality.’ “
Nations such as The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark already have laws that condone legal status and rights for same-sex relationships. England is also dealing with this hot-button topic, with homosexuals pushing for legal recognition.
It is important to frame these events against the powerful statements about such conduct as inspired in the Word of God:
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator… For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:24-28).
“SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS LAW REVIVING OLD SEX CRIME PROSECUTIONS”
This was another headline of an article run by USA Today on Thursday, June 26. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the government cannot retroactively erase statutes of limitations, striking down a California law that allowed prosecutions for old sex crimes. “This case [Stogner v. California, 01-1757] was closely watched because of sex abuse problems in the Roman Catholic Church, but it also has implications for terrorism and other crimes,” the article pointed out. “The Bush administration had argued that a ruling against California would threaten the USA Patriot Act, which retroactively withdrew statutes of limitations in terrorism cases involving hijackings, kidnappings, bombings and biological weapons.”
“ICH BIN EIN BERLINER”
As Der Stern Online reported on June 26, 40 years ago, on Thursday, June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave his historical speech at the Schoeneberg town hall in Berlin, uttering the above-quoted words. More than 300,000 Germans — some say, 400,000 — responded with spontaneous applause. Kennedy was the first U.S. president who visited Berlin after Germany’s division. Russia’s leader, President Nikita Khrushchev, traveled to East Berlin and stated two days later, “I love the wall.” Following John F. Kennedy, five more U.S. presidents visited Berlin, including Richard Nixon in 1969 and Bill Clinton in 1994. Only one additional Berlin-speech was recorded in the pages of history, however: In 1987, Ronald Reagan exclaimed at the Brandenburg Gate, “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear this wall down.” Two years later, Mr. Reagan’s wish had become reality.
As Bild Online reported, in light of the historical events 40 years ago, German President Johannes Rau wrote a letter to President Bush. He called President Kennedy’s speech “a milestone of German history,” “a stable anchor of German-American friendship,” and “one of the great symbols for Berlin’s freedom.” He continued, “In light of the 40th year of that speech, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, and the American people that you have given us the hand of friendship — a friendship for which Kennedy created a lasting symbol 40 years ago, and which has endured even in difficult times.”
Sadly, the friendship between the two nations will not endure in the challenging times ahead of us.
EUROPE AND CHRISTIANITY
The Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Frattini, announced on Tuesday, June 24, that he will “insist that the preamble of the European Constitution make reference to Christianity,” according to Zenit of June 26. Italy will assume the European Union’s rotating presidency next semester, on July 1, 2003. The preamble presently makes no reference to God or to the role of Christianity, “despite the fact that this was requested by representatives of Italy, Poland, The Netherlands and Spain,” according to Zenit of June 22.
Zenit also ran an interesting article on June 20, titled, “De-Christianized Europe is Easy Prey for Peaceful Muslim Invasion.” The article featured Piero Gheddo, Italian Missionary of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions. He stated, “‘The modern world — television, consumerism, feminism, etc. — disturbs faith and the Muslim communities. Muslims regard us as atheist and immoral peoples; we conquer them with technology, they conquer with faith… Hatred and terrorism are the reaction when feeling impotent before the modern world that has come from the West, which marginalizes religion in the life of these peoples.'”
He continued, “‘We must return to Jesus Christ if, as Europeans, we want to have the precise identity and religious-moral strength. A de-Christianized Europe is easy prey for a peaceful Muslim invasion; they have the strength of faith; we have a civilization devoid of content. If Christianity is taken from us, Europeans, what will we have left? Why do intellectuals and journalists, prepared to debate on any topic, ignore this tragedy of Europe?… Where a void is created, there is always someone ready to fill it.'”
The void WILL be filled — but in a different way than presently anticipated by most observers.
THE USA AND EUROPE vs IRAN?
“President Bush and European leaders demanded Wednesday [June 25] that Iran live up to its promises not to develop nuclear weapons. ‘And if they don’t, we’ll deal with that when they don’t,’ the president said,” according to USA Today of June 26. Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, uttered the following words, which might turn out to have prophetic significance: “When Europe and United States are united, no problem and no enemy can stand against us. If we fail to unite, every problem may become a crisis and every enemy a gigantic monster.”
ONGOING ATTACKS IN IRAQ
This week brought to light evidence that Saddam Hussein was planning to reconstitute a program with hidden material to enrich uranium to make a nuclear weapon, once sanctions against Iraq ended. The Bush administration clarified, however, that this hidden material did not constitute proof that Iraq had an active program to develop a nuclear weapon (USA Today, June 26).
This week has also seen continued Iraqi attacks on American and British forces. “The Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera reported,” on Thursday, “that it received a statement and videotape from an alleged Iraqi resistance group claiming responsibility for the violence and threatening more,” according to USA Today of June 26. “The latest killings raised the American death toll to 196 since the start of the war on March 20. At least 20 U.S. soldiers have died as the result of hostile fire since the major combat was declared over in May.”
Six British soldiers were also killed on Tuesday, June 24. “The deaths represent the heaviest loss under fire for British troops in a single day since the 1991 Gulf War and take the British death toll during the latest Iraqi conflict to 42.”
The article continued, “British forces in Iraq have been reduced to 15,500 from 45,000 during the war; two-thirds of them are ground forces. The United States has brought home some 130,000 troops from the region; 146,000 American forces remain in Iraq.”