Saturday, September 16, 2006

Protests Continue as Pope Stops Short of Apology

Protests Continue as Pope Stops Short of Apology
By Stephen Brown, Reuters

VATICAN CITY (Sept. 16) - The Vatican said on Saturday the Pope was sorry Muslims had been offended by a speech whose meaning had been misconstrued, but Morocco withdrew its ambassador as anger at his words flared on.

"The Holy Father thus sincerely regrets that certain passages of his address could have sounded offensive to the sensitivities of the Muslim faithful," Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in a statement.

Pope Benedict's first big crisis since his election 17 months ago was sparked by a speech in his native Germany on Tuesday that seemed to endorse a Christian view, contested by most Muslims, that early Islam was spread by violence.

The backlash has cast doubt on a planned visit to Turkey by the Pope in November. In an early reaction to the Vatican statement, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said it was not enough.

"We feel he has committed a grave error against us and that this mistake will only be removed through a personal apology," the Brotherhood's deputy leader, Mohammed Habib, told Reuters.

Morocco's King Mohammed recalled his ambassador to the Vatican in protest.

"Ali Achour is recalled for consultations as from Sunday following offensive remarks by Pope Benedict about Islam and Muslims," the official MAP news agency quoted a foreign ministry statement as saying.

The Pope's next scheduled public appearance is his Sunday Angelus blessing, when he often comments on current affairs.

Bertone, walking into the crisis only a day after taking over as "deputy pope," said the 79-year-old Pope confirmed "his respect and esteem for those who profess the Islamic faith" and hoped his words would be understood "in their true sense."

Pope's Comment

In a speech, the Pope referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Using the terms "jihad" and "holy war," the Pope said violence was "incompatible with the nature of God."
Sources: AP

The academic speech was meant as a "a clear and radical rejection of religiously motivated violence, wherever it comes from," said the statement, which came as criticism of the leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics swelled.


Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Muslim Turkey said on Saturday before the Vatican statement that the Pope's comments were "ugly and unfortunate" and should be withdrawn.

"The Pope spoke like a politician rather than as a man of religion," he said in televised remarks. Asked if the Pope should cancel or postpone a planned trip to Turkey in November, he said: "I do not know."

Yemen's president publicly denounced the pontiff and five churches -- only one of them Catholic -- were attacked in the West Bank, although no one was hurt.

Egypt's foreign ministry summoned the Vatican envoy to Cairo to express "extreme regret" at Benedict's speech.

But Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German politicians defended his comments, saying he had been misunderstood.

"It was an invitation to dialogue between religions," she told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper in an interview.


The New York Times said in an editorial the Pope must issue a "deep and persuasive" apology for quotes used in his speech.

"The world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly," it said.

In the speech, the Pope referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Using the terms "jihad" and "holy war," the Pope said violence was "incompatible with the nature of God."

But Bertone said the Pontiff "had absolutely no intention" of presenting Emperor Manuel's opinions on Islam as his own.

Vatican insiders and diplomats say the Pope may have mixed up his new role with his former posts as a theologian and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he was known as a disciplinarian.

Angry Muslim leaders flung what they saw as allegations of violence back at the Christian West.

"How can (the Pope) imply that Muslims are the creators of terrorism in the world while it is the followers of Christianity who have aggressed against every country of the Islamic world?" prominent Saudi cleric Salman al-Odeh said. "Who attacked Afghanistan and who invaded Iraq?"

n Libya, the General Instance of Religious Affairs said the "insult ... pushes us back to the era of crusades against Muslims led by Western political and religious leaders."

Turkish paper Vatan quoted a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party saying Benedict "will go down in history in the same category as leaders like Hitler and Mussolini."

Catholic bishops in Turkey feared the angry local reaction, led by the Grand Mufti, could show public opinion was shifting against the Pope's planned visit. But Turkish officials said they hoped the row would blow over and the visit would go ahead.

In Iraq the government asked Muslims not to take their anger out on the small Christian minority, after the door of a church in Basra was attacked. The foreign ministry summoned the Vatican's top diplomat there to explain the Pope's remarks.

2006-09-16 12:37:46

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope's speech at University of Regensburg (full prepared text)

Pope's speech at University of Regensburg (full prepared text)

Sep. 14 ( - Editor's note: The following is the prepared text from which Pope Benedict XVI spoke as he addressed an academic audience at the Unviersity of Regensburg on September 12. As he actually delivered it, the speech differed slightly. Because the speech has aroused an unusual amount of debate-- particularly regarding the Pope's references to Islam and to religious violence-- CWN strongly recommends reading the entire text.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a moving experience for me to stand and give a lecture at this university podium once again. I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. This was in 1959, in the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors. The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves.

We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas: the reality that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason-- this reality became a lived experience.

The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the whole of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole. This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: it had two faculties devoted to something that did not exist: God. That even in the face of such radical skepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: this, within the university as a whole, was accepted without question.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on-- perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara-- by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian.

The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. In this lecture I would like to discuss only one point-- itself rather marginal to the dialogue itself-- which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.

But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels,” he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death....

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: "For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.

As far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: In the beginning was the logos. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts with logos.

Logos means both reason and word-- a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist.

The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: Come over to Macedonia and help us! (cf. Acts 16:6-10)-- this vision can be interpreted as a distillation of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.

In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and declares simply that he is, is already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates's attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy. Within the Old Testament, the process which started at the burning bush came to new maturity at the time of the Exile, when the God of Israel, an Israel now deprived of its land and worship, was proclaimed as the God of heaven and earth and described in a simple formula which echoes the words uttered at the burning bush: I am.

This new understanding of God is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands (cf. Ps 115). Thus, despite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature.

Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria-- the Septuagint-- is more than a simple (and in that sense perhaps less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity. A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act “with logos” is contrary to God's nature.

In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which ultimately led to the claim that we can only know God's voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions.

As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language (cf. Lateran IV). God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love transcends knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is logos. Consequently, Christian worship is worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1).

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history-– it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenization of Christianity-– a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the program of dehellenization: although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the fundamental postulates of the Reformation in the 16th century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this program forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

The liberal theology of the 19th and 20th centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this program was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal’s distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In my inaugural lecture at Bonn in 1959, I tried to address the issue. I will not repeat here what I said on that occasion, but I would like to describe at least briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenization. Harnack’s central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization: this simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favor of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. The fundamental goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ’s divinity and the triune God.

In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament restored to theology its place within the university: theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university. Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant’s “Critiques”, but in the meantime further radicalized by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology. On the one hand it presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently: this basic premise is, so to speak, the Platonic element in the modern understanding of nature. On the other hand, there is nature’s capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield ultimate certainty. The weight between the two poles can, depending on the circumstances, shift from one side to the other. As strongly positivistic a thinker as J. Monod has declared himself a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology, and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

We shall return to this problem later. In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology’s claim to be “scientific” would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by “science” and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective “conscience” becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter.

This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

Before I draw the conclusions to which all this has been leading, I must briefly refer to the third stage of dehellenization, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed. True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: we are all grateful for the marvelous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which reflects one of the basic tenets of Christianity. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application.

While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology.

Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought: to philosophy and theology.

For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding. Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: “It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being - but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss”.

The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur – this is the program with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. “Not to act reasonably (with logos) is contrary to the nature of God”, said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"There is no such thing as life unworthy of living." Cardinal von Galen

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pillars of Light 9/11/2006

AP Photo
Pillars of light representing the twin towers shine upwards.

Cities, towns across U.S. hold solemn observances to commemorate fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, attacks

Flight 93 Familes Gather
World Remembers
Bush Visit 9/11 Sites

9/11/2006 Shanksville, PA Memorial Flag

Sept. 10: Family and friends of United Flight 93 victims join
in a sunset memorial ceremony in Shanksville, Pa.

Flight 93 Hero Flag at United Flight 93 crash site, during sunrise remembrance
for five year anniversary of September 11th terrorist attacks, Shanksville PA.

Beams of Light Over Pentagon

Beams of light honor those who died at Pentagon
During the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, 184 beams of light rise from the courtyard of the Pentagon Sept. 10. The lights are to remember the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001. (DOD photo/Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)

Beams of light honor those who died at Pentagon
Military members illuminate 184 beams of light in honor of those who lost their lives at the Pentagon during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, at the Pentagon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Wayne Clark)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fwd: 911 Remembered, A Video Memorial

This came from a friend on a yahoo list I am on. I have also placed it on the left side of my blog, permanently. I am unsure who the author is, but I thank him. God bless!

"Got this one from another yahoo list I'm on. It was made by the brother of the woman on the list. The song played is also one of my favorites.
9-11 is hitting me hard this year I think because of all of my life changes and losses this year. Also the fact that I was alot closer to NY when it happened than I am now in XX.
A good day to just pray for the world and all our special friends here on this list.

"Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong," --Archbishop Fulton J Sheen author of The Life of Christ .

Truth matters, and the truth is we are creatures made in the image of a loving God, and life has an ultimate value.
So beware of the smooth-talking philosophers in our midst.
Their position may seem very appealing and even logical. But it's a deadly logic.
~~Chuck Colson

Young Woman Searching for Birth Parents Learns Father Was 9/11 Hero

Young Woman Searching for Birth Parents Learns Father Was 9/11 Hero

Sunday , September 10, 2006

ST. PAUL, Minn.

While searching for her birth parents two years ago, Mariah Mills found more than she bargained for: A hero of Sept. 11, 2001.

Mills' biological father, who had given Mills up for adoption when he and his then-girlfriend were in college, was Tom Burnett, a leader of a group that fought back on United Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mills, 21, learned about her birth father in 2004 -- after she turned 19, the legal age in Minnesota for requesting a birth certificate with names of birth parents -- and subsequent DNA tests confirmed that Burnett was her father.

"Before I was even born, my birth dad made a brave decision -- to give me a life," Mills told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Sunday's editions. "It was a selfless act, just like his actions on Flight 93. And, as awful as it was that he died, and I never got to know him, there is good that came out of this."

Today, Mills has developed a relationship with Burnett's widow, Deena, her three daughters, husband and stepson, and other members of Burnett's family. She also celebrated her birthday with her birth mother, who lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children and asked not to be identified.

Mills transferred to the University of Minnesota and is entering her senior year. She will spend her first semester studying abroad. Her dream job, she said, would be writing about baseball and covering the Minnesota Twins.

Mills and her adoptive parents visited Jefferson High School in Bloomington during the spring of 2004 after Mariah found out about her birth parents. Mariah wanted to look up Tom Burnett in his senior yearbook. She found his photo and one of her birth mother, too.

"It was weird to finally look like somebody," Mills said. "I have her eyes, but mostly I look like a Burnett."

Fwd: 9-1-1 Politickles

Sent to me by a friend, earlier today:

Feel free to publish, post, or pass on

Your Weekly Politickle by F.R. Duplantier:


"We've done all we could possibly do
To incorporate your point of view!"
"Oh, I know," said blythe Bill,
"But I'm wondering still,
Could you please make your movie less true?"

from the archive:


When archivists morph into gapers
And some are succumbing to vapors,
You can bet that ol' Sandy
Is feeling real randy
-- Or packing his pants with more papers!


The September 11th attack
Justifies our crusade in Iraq.
Go ahead, G.I. Joe:
Take the fight to the foe
And make sure that they never come back.


Each September 11th ask why
The best President money could buy
-- When Osama bin Laden
Might well have been gotten --
Did not even bother to try.

"Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong," --Archbishop Fulton J Sheen author of The Life of Christ .
Truth matters, and the truth is we are creatures made in the image of a loving God, and life has an ultimate value. So beware of the smooth-talking philosophers in our midst. Their position may seem very appealing and even logical. But it's a deadly logic.
~~Chuck Colson

Remembering Sept 11, 2001

source unknown

Remembering those whose lives were lost five years ago today,
and since then, to terrorist acts.

May they rest in peace. May we never forget them.

May God hold their families in His hand, and give them peace.

God bless!

FW: SPECIAL ISSUE - DAILY PRAISE and PRAYER - Monday, September 11, 2006



It is PRAYER and PRAISE Time !

Who cannot remember ?

Who cannot pause

For a moment of prayer

United in one cause

~ Because ~

We care on 911's 5th Anniversary !

Heavenly Father, Almighty God,

You know the wherefores and the whys;

You have heard those thousands of cries

As the Twin Towers tumbled,

And human bodies crumbled,

As Washington and Pennsylvania

Suffered also terrorist mania.

You met them where they were

While Your Love in their hearts did spur

Some to become heros to the end ~

They knew You were their Best Friend.

Their Faith did not bend.

Their reward, Your Gift to them,
Paradise, a Treasure, and Precious Gem.

Bless with healing those who remain

Be their refuge; keep them sane.

Bless them with Peace of minds

And with Graces of all kinds.

Comfort them with the thought

They all are Blood-bought.

May their souls aspire higher

'Til You meet them,

Greet them,


Seat them

At the Grand Banquet of The Lamb.










in Memorium of the Events of 9-11-01




Two thousand one, nine eleven
Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Lets sit, lets chat"

They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test."

"Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores

A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was! In the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not"

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me"

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"

So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jimo back in '45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."

"You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one.

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led
Three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven


Many thanks to our Unknown Author

for this great poem

certainly inspired of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you!!!