Friday, October 12, 2012

Yahweh-(and the Embassy Attack)

I was also very interested to read two similar king's names Yehimilk from 10th Century BCE and Yehaumilk from 5th century BCE. Both appear to be non-Israelite Kings, yet have a Yahwistic theophoric element in their names, which I find VERY interesting. Their names seem to mean "Yahweh is king." Yehaumilk's stele is depicted in Glenn E. Markoe's "Phoenicians" on page 117, figure 34, with the following description: 'Stele depicting King Yehaumilk before the enthroned figure of Baalat Gubal. From Byblos, Lebanon, fifth century BC. The accompanying inscription commemorates Yehaumilk's building activity in Baalat's sanctuary complex.' Note the winged sundisk above the figures of Yehaumilk bringing an offering to Baalat Gubal, the Lady of Byblos. People imagine that YHWH was only an Israelite deity, but archaeological evidence shows otherwise because of the inclusion of Yahwistic names elsewhere, certainly between biblical first and second temple periods around Phoenician/Canaanitic Byblos. The inclusion of Canaanitic Psalms (Psalm 29, 82) also demonstrated how easily worship material was shared among the various cults. There is also another King, a Syrian, with a Yahwistic name-Yahau-bidhi of Hammath. His name means "Servant of Yahweh."

State Department denies concluding film sparked consulate attack in Libya

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The State Department denied Tuesday it ever concluded that the deadly consulate attack Sept. 11 in Libya was an unplanned outburst prompted by an anti-Islam movie, despite public statements early on by some in the Obama administration suggesting that was the case. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., reacting Wednesday to the latest claims, said he's just "at a loss" for why administration officials ever tried to connect the attack to the film in the first place. "From the very beginning, everyone knew this was a terrorist attack. I mean, there's no question, and that's why this has been totally bizarre," said Corker, who recently returned from Libya. The Obama administration used the film explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Most notably, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said in several TV interviews five days after the attack that it appeared to be "spontaneous" violence spinning out of protests of the film. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland backed up Rice's statements in a press briefing a day later: "I would simply say that ... the comments that Ambassador Rice made accurately reflect our government's initial assessment." And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, as late as a week after the attack, said that based on initial information, "we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack." Carney then went on to suggest again the violence was related to the film: "Based on the information that we have now, it was -- there was a reaction to the video -- there was protests in Cairo, then followed by protests elsewhere, including Benghazi, and that was what led to the original unrest." The new comments from the State Department further highlight the disconnect in the attack's aftermath between what administration officials were saying publicly and what intelligence officials suspected early on -- that the attack was an act of terrorism, more coordinated than a protest that got out of hand. New documents further suggest internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S. Briefing reporters ahead of a hotly anticipated congressional hearing Wednesday, State Department officials provided their most detailed rundown of how a peaceful day in Benghazi devolved into a sustained attack that involved multiple groups of men armed with weapons such as machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars over an expanse of more than a mile. But asked about the administration's initial -- and since retracted -- explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, "That was not our conclusion." He called it a question for "others" to answer, without specifying. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, and provided no evidence that might suggest a case of spontaneous violence or angry protests that went too far. The attack has become a major issue in the presidential campaign, featuring prominently in Republican candidate Mitt Romney's latest foreign policy address on Monday. He called it an example of President Obama's weakness in foreign policy matters, noting: "As the administration has finally conceded, these attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists." The administration counters that it has provided its best intelligence on the attack, and that it refined its explanation as more information came to light. But five days after the attack, Ambassador Rice gave a series of interviews saying the administration believed the violence was unplanned and that extremists with heavier weapons "hijacked" the protest and turned it into an outright attack. She has since denied trying to mislead Congress, and a concurrent CIA memo that was obtained by The Associated Press cited intelligence suggesting the demonstrations in Benghazi "were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" and "evolved into a direct assault" on the diplomatic posts by "extremists." Alongside defining the nature of the Benghazi attack, Congress is looking into whether adequate security was in place. According to an email obtained Tuesday by Fox News and other news organizations, the top State Department security official in Libya told a congressional investigator that he had argued unsuccessfully for more security in the weeks before Ambassador Chris Stevens, a State Department computer specialist and two former Navy SEALs were killed. But department officials instead wanted to "normalize operations and reduce security resources," he wrote.

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The question is-why did Obama lie to the American people? Why did he say that the terror attack was a "spontaneous" event that occurred during a protest about an anti-Mohammed movie created by a Middle Eastern Christian? The answer is found in his Cairo speech.



So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

[Note: Fighting against "negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear" is not the responsibility of the President of the United States-in fact it is against his constitutional duty to do so. His primary job is to protect the freedoms enumerated in the constitution. So when he fights against "negative stereotypes" he is violating freedom of speech. Also, giving Islam a privilege position is a violation of the "establishment clause." By not fighting against negative stereotypes of Christians, Jews, or Buddhists, apparently not "part of his responsibility," he is establishing Islam as a de facto official religion of the United States of America.]

We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world – tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. [Note how he blames "colonialism." This supports Dinesh D'Souza's theory explained in "The Roots of Obama's Rage" and "Obama's America." That Obama is an anti-Colonialist.]Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam… I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart… As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality. I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, 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 Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library… So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity… In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

The future does not belong to those who would malign the prophet of Islam

From President Obama's speech at the U.N. September 25, 2012:

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted "Muslims, Christians, we are one." The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country's resources – it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs; workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the men and women that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit." Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.

And on the video:

That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we disagree with.

American Imprisoned in America for criticizing the prophet Mohammed

LOS ANGELES – A federal judge on Thursday ordered a California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video that inflamed parts of the Middle East to be detained because he is a flight risk. U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula should be held after officials said he violated his probation term for a 2010 check fraud conviction. A federal prosecutor said Nakoula had eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases. After his 2010 conviction, Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was barred from using computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. A 14-minute trailer for the film "Innocence of Muslims" was posted on YouTube in July, leading to protests around the Middle East. The trailer depicts Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester. The violence broke out Sept. 11 and has spread since, killing dozens. Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer. In court Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said Nakoula was flight risk based on a "lengthy pattern of deception." "He has every incentive to disappear," Dugdale said. Nakoula, 55, was handcuffed and shackled in court. The full story about Nakoula and the video still isn't known. The movie was made last year by a man who called himself Sam Bacile. After the violence erupted, a man who identified himself as Bacile called media outlets including The Associated Press, took credit for the film and said it was meant to portray the truth about Muhammad and Islam, which he called a cancer. The next day, the AP determined there was no Bacile and linked the identity to Nakoula, a former gas station owner with a drug conviction and a history of using aliases. Federal authorities later confirmed there was no Bacile and that Nakoula was behind the movie. Before going into hiding, Nakoula acknowledged to the AP he was involved with the film, but said he only worked on logistics and management. A film permit listed Media for Christ, a Los Angeles-area charity run by other Egyptian Christians, as the production company. Most of the film was made at the charity's headquarters. Steve Klein, an insurance agent in Hemet and outspoken Muslim critic, has said he was a consultant and promoter for the film. The trailer still can be found on YouTube. The Obama administration asked Google, YouTube's parent, to take down the video. But the company has refused, saying it did not violate its content standards. Meanwhile, a number of actors and workers on the film have come forward to say they were tricked. They say they were hired for a film titled "Desert Warrior" and there was no mention of Islam or Muhammad in the script. Those references were dubbed in after filming was completed. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia has sued to get the trailer taken down, saying she was duped. [He should never have been arrested-and needs to be released now-especially since it is now known that the video had nothing to do with the video.]

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Obama lies to the American people about the Bengazi attack in order to protect Islamic interests

It turns out that the Cairo attack on our embassy and the rape and murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens were not "spontaneous attacks" and had nothing to do with the "Innocence of Muslims" movie. Obama decided to deflect the blame for the violence away from Muslims and upon America. It's not their fault, it's America's fault for defaming Mohammed.

Inflaming Muslims

When I was in Syria, I watched "Al Jazeera," a terrorist Arabic "news" channel. During the entire war on terror-Al Jazeera has been inflaming Arabs against the United States. Apparently, neither the Cairo embassy attack nor the Benghazi terrorist attack had anything to do with the anti-Mohammed movie. It seems that Obama was the one who was "creating awareness" about the video. By discussing a movie no one had heard of before and tracking down its Coptic producer- Mark Basseley Youssef.Obama was inciting Muslims against Coptic Christians-and was endangering Copts. By publicizing information about the movie-Obama inflamed tensions and sparks riots that led to the death of many. Personally, I don't care about what inflames Muslims. If they get offended-that is their problem. These people need to stop acting like savages and children. Note that the Obama administration asked You Tube to remove the video-they supposedly declined-but I couldn't find the video on You Tube. (I found it uploaded somewhere else-so I downloaded it.) Also, the Coptic Christian who created the movie is now in jail. It is obvious that Obama wanted him arrested-otherwise, why would the police waste their time with him? He hadn't committed any read crime-they trumped up bogus charges against him. Equally disturbing is the way he was paraded in front of the news media when he was arrested-a warning for those who would dare question Islam-and a sign to the Muslims that we are weak and will fold to them at the slightest reason.

OBAMA sees it as his duty to protect the public image of Islam-to him that is more important than his duty to uphold the laws of the United States and to protect the people of the United States. He is obviously a Muslim-and I firmly believe that he will admit to such-or "convert"-within six months from election day.

Protestants supposedly now a minority in the United States

A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that Protestants now make up 48% of Americans, compared with nearly two-thirds in the 1970s. The decline, concentrated among white members of both mainline and evangelical denominations, is amplified by an absence of Protestants on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republican presidential ticket for the first time. "It's a slow decline but a noticeable one," said Cary Funk, a Pew senior researcher. Funk said a major factor driving the decline is an increase in religiously unaffiliated Americans to 20%, up from 15% five years ago. Two-thirds of the religiously unaffiliated still say they believe in God. But they overwhelmingly expressed disenchantment with religious organizations for being too concerned with money, power, rules and politics. The study did not give reasons fewer Americans now identify with any religion. But it presented theories that included political backlash against the religious right, delays in marriage, broad social disengagement and secularization related to economic development. [Liberals like to blame everything upon the so-called "Religious Right." This is a pejorative term for Evangelical Christians and an attempt by the left to incite hatred against Christians.] Some analysts said a softening of American religiosity could affect such areas as charitable giving and volunteerism, which traditionally have been driven by churches. Others, however, said that ideals originally identified as Protestant and Puritan have become firmly entrenched as secular American virtues. The idea of America as a "city set on a hill" — a biblical phrase — with a special destiny to lead the world to freedom and democracy remains a bedrock civic value, said Richard Land of the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination. "America is a nation with the soul of a church, and that soul is Puritan-Protestant," said Land, president of the convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "But in terms of defining the purpose of the nation, it's been secularized long ago." The study was based on a national survey of 2,973 adults conducted between June 28 and July 9 using land lines and cellphones. An additional 511 interviews were conducted with religiously unaffiliated adults. In a counterweight to evangelical Christians who tend to back Republicans, the vast majority of religiously unaffiliated Americans — who number 46 million — vote Democratic and are politically liberal, the study found. Two-thirds support President Obama, compared with 27% for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. A majority of the unaffiliated support legal abortion and same-sex marriage. The trend toward dropping away from organized religion was evident across gender, income and educational levels. But it was most apparent in the Northeast and West and among the young, the study showed. A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation, compared with just 9% among those 65 and older. Mark Chaves, a Duke University sociologist of religion, said some young people turn to churches when they marry and have children. --Teresa Watanabe Another view: (Associated Press) For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study. One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise. The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 percent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 percent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees. Among the reasons for the change are the growth in nondenominational Christians who can no longer be categorized as Protestant, and a spike in the number of American adults who say they have no religion. The Pew study, released Tuesday, found that about 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. [This means that this is bogus-"non-denominational" are Protestant.] Scholars have long debated whether people who say they no longer belong to a religious group should be considered secular. While the category as defined by Pew researchers includes atheists, it also encompasses majorities of people who say they believe in God, and a notable minority who pray daily or consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious." Still, Pew found overall that most of the unaffiliated aren't actively seeking another religious home, indicating that their ties with organized religion are permanently broken. Growth among those with no religion has been a major preoccupation of American faith leaders who worry that the United States, a highly religious country, would go the way of Western Europe, where church attendance has plummeted. Pope Benedict XVI has partly dedicated his pontificate to combating secularism in the West. This week in Rome, he is convening a three-week synod, or assembly, of bishops from around the world aimed at bringing back Roman Catholics who have left the church. The trend also has political implications. American voters who describe themselves as having no religion vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Pew found Americans with no religion support abortion rights and gay marriage at a much higher-rate than the U.S. public at large. These "nones" are an increasing segment of voters who are registered as Democrats or lean toward the party, growing from 17 percent to 24 percent over the last five years. The religiously unaffiliated are becoming as important a constituency to Democrats as evangelicals are to Republicans, Pew said. The Pew analysis, conducted with PBS' "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly," is based on several surveys, including a poll of nearly 3,000 adults conducted June 28-July 9, 2012. The finding on the Protestant majority is based on responses from a larger group of more than 17,000 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.9 percentage points, Pew researchers said. Pew said it had also previously calculated a drop slightly below 50 percent among U.S. Protestants, but those findings had fallen within the margin of error; the General Social Survey, which is conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, reported for 2010 that the percentage of U.S. Protestants was around 46.7 percent. Researchers have been struggling for decades to find a definitive reason for the steady rise in those with no religion.' The spread of secularism in Western Europe was often viewed as a byproduct of growing wealth in the region. Yet among industrialized nations, the United States stood out for its deep religiosity in the face of increasing wealth. Now, religion scholars say the decreased religiosity in the United States could reflect a change in how Americans describe their religious lives. In 2007, 60 percent of people who said they seldom or never attend religious services still identified themselves as part of a particular religious tradition. In 2012, that statistic fell to 50 percent, according to the Pew report. "Part of what's going on here is that the stigma associated with not being part of any religious community has declined," said John Green, a specialist in religion and politics at the University of Akron, who advised Pew on the survey. "In some parts of the country, there is still a stigma. But overall, it's not the way it used to be." The Pew study has found the growth in unaffiliated Americans spans a broad range of groups: men and women, college graduates and those without a college degree, people earning less than $30,000 annually and those earning $75,000 or more. However, along ethnic lines, the largest jump in "nones" has been among whites. One-fifth of whites describe themselves as having no religion. More growth in "nones" is expected. One-third of adults under age 30 have no religious affiliation, compared to 9 percent of people 65 and older. Pew researchers wrote that "young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives," and aren't expected to become more religiously active as they age.

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[The real reason for the decline of Protestantism is the left's engaging in a cultural war against Christianity in general. The Liberal Establishment controls the Educational establishment, the News Media, Hollywood and television entertainment industries, publishing, and the Democratic Party-they are unrelenting in creating negative stereotypes of Christians, Christianity, and Christian history. Especially in the historical revisionism-they portray Christianity in a negative way. When kids go to school, when they come home and watch TV, when they are exposed to the News-and when they go off to college-they learn that Christianity (and America) are BAD, BAD, BAD. This has had an effect.]

LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS THREATENS AMERICA: This is an excellent article that every reasonable person needs to read-and it is written by a liberal democrat.
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Another interesting article: Is Islam's prophet Muhammad to have more screen time?

A prohibition on depicting him has long been sacrosanct, but then came 'Innocence of the Muslims.' And two ex-Muslim filmmakers are seeking to develop biopics.-by Ken Bensinger-


For more information-see my blog


Is Islam's prophet Muhammad to have more screen time?

A prohibition on depicting him has long been sacrosanct, but then came 'Innocence of the Muslims.' And two ex-Muslim filmmakers are seeking to develop biopics. By Ken Bensinger and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times September 25, 2012, 7:15 p.m.

In the past century, the life stories of Moses, the Buddha and even Mormon founder Joseph Smith have been told in film. Jesus Christ is such a prolific thespian that there are top-10 lists of his movies. But a prophet of one of the world's largest religions, a man with a fascinating life story and 1.5 billion adoring followers, has never had his star turn. Until now. "Innocence of Muslims," the film that fueled violence and anti-American sentiment around the world, is notorious for bad acting, leaden dialogue and ham-handed production values overseen by a two-time felon from Cerritos. But in the annals of cinematic history, it marked an exceptionally rare portrayal of Muhammad by an actor on film. Overshadowed in the debate over the film and its controversial producers is an ancient prohibition on the depiction of the prophet Muhammad, one that has been sacrosanct for centuries but now is likely to be increasingly challenged. Undaunted by the outcry over a YouTube trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," two ex-Muslim filmmakers are trying to develop separate feature-length biopics that would offer critical takes on Muhammad's life. Experts predict that those projects will trigger further anger and violence, as has accompanied nearly every attempt to portray the prophet in any media in recent decades. But some believe that the faith will inevitably embrace showing Muhammad on film as the best and most effective way to get his message to the masses. "Multimedia is the language of the day," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It might be another 100 years, another 50 years. At this point, I would rather we do not do it in a way that shocks people." Although depicting Muhammad is not specifically prohibited by the Koran, Islamic law bars the practice. The prohibition, scholars say, is an extension of the idea that the faithful should worship only God and not an idol. That ban even covers the prophet's grave in Medina, Saudi Arabia, where pilgrims are not allowed to kiss the ground at the site. [Note: This is a Saudi/Wahibi Tradition-not a universal Muslim teaching.] Under that paradigm, an actor playing the role of Muhammad — even in the most flattering of lights — would be unacceptable to most Muslims, experts said. "The Message," an Arab-financed 1977 film about Muhammad's life, worked around this prohibition by stationing his character off camera or behind the lens, and was preceded by a disclaimer explaining that the prophet would not appear. Experts on film history and Islam said "Innocence of Muslims" marked the first time they could recall of an actor's actually playing Muhammad, though it was impossible to verify if it had ever happened before. Born in Mecca, Muhammad received his first revelation at about age 40, and in just two decades unified the Arabian peninsula behind his new religion before he died in Medina. Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who moved to Los Angeles several years ago, said he sees a compelling narrative film in that story and has already cast a "prominent Hollywood actor" in the title role of his film "Muhammad," which has a proposed budget of $30 million.

The film will tell the story of the prophet from age 12 to his death, and will have the look and feel of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," Yousef said. "My goal is to create this big mirror to show the Muslim world the true image of its leader," Yousef said. While Gibson used the film to glorify his subject, Yousef's project is likely to have a different take. His book, "Son of Hamas," tells the tale of his progression from terrorist to Israeli spy to born-again Christian. And though he says he is not anti-Muslim — and notes that his mother still practices the religion — he acknowledges that his religious awakening was sparked by the preaching of Father Zakaria Botros Henein, a radical Egyptian Christian who has for years critiqued Muhammad as a pedophile and buffoon. Botros is closely associated with several of the individuals behind "Innocence of Muslims," and the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is a devout follower. A second film in preproduction is the work of Ali Sina, an atheist raised Muslim in Iran. A prominent critic of Islam, he maintains websites that promote what he calls "the truth" about the religion. To date he says he has raised $2 million from Southern California investors for the film, which does not yet have a title but will portray the prophet as a cult leader in the vein of David Koresh or Jim Jones. He hopes to raise a total of $10 million, he said, and begin filming next year. Now a resident of Canada, Sina began contemplating a biopic about Muhammad a decade ago, but stepped up his effort in the last two years as technological advances made it feasible to circumvent government censors and wary exhibitors. "We can bypass theaters completely and sell the movie online with a profit to a large number of people, especially Muslims," Sina said. "They can download it and watch it even if they are living in Karachi or Mecca or Medina." Among anti-Muslim activists, these two projects are fairly well known and the two filmmakers at one time discussed collaborating. But Muslim scholars and activists said they were not aware of either movie and dubious about their prospects of shaking the faith of believers. [I think this is an excellent idea-create an accurate movie about Mohammed-and put it up on the internet-like the "Innocence of Muslims" trailer was. It will be shocking an offensive-I think that subtitles should be used that cite the Koran and other Islamic sources to show that what is being shown in the movie is true-or at least according to the Koran and Islamic teachings.] "That strategy has been tried and hasn't worked," said Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of Islamic studies at Duke University, noting centuries of Christian missionizing in the Muslim world. "It's certainly not going to persuade people who believe in Muhammad as a religious figure because these issues have to do with something that transcends reason or rationality. It has to do with questions of faith and salvation."

[This comment about "Christian missionizing in the Muslim world" is untrue. I don't know of any massive missionary work-where masses of Muslims were directly confronted with the Christian gospel has EVER taken place. I mean-when and where? I need an example. If the person carrying out this interview was a good journalist-he would have asked these questions. Most confrontations between Islam and the non-Islamic world have been violent. This is because Islam has been spread with violence and the consequence of converting from Islam is according to Sharia law-death.]

Reactions to the films, if they are ever finished, are likely to be severe. "This is crossing a line," said Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom and now professor of Islamic studies at American University. "If there is an actor physically portraying Muhammad, there will be a violent reaction." He said that would likely be true even if a devout Muslim made a movie about the prophet, because most people in the religion are just not ready to see Muhammad on screen. But it's doubly the case for works that aim to provide unflattering views of the religion. After a Danish newspaper published cartoons ridiculing Muhammad in 2005, three Muslims hatched an ultimately foiled plot to murder the artist. In 2006, Comedy Central refused to air an episode of "South Park" because it depicted Muhammad, and four years later New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art acknowledged that it had removed all paintings and sculptures with images of the prophet — some centuries old — from public display for fear of inciting protest. Both filmmakers are closely guarding details of their productions due to security concerns. They decry "Innocence of Muslims" as historically inaccurate, offensive and of poor quality. In the wake of its release, Yousef has been scrambling to meet with his investors — whom he describes as a mix of Egyptians and Americans — and ensure that they're still on board. Sina, for his part, said he had been exploring ways to hide the identities of the producers and actors in his movie and said he would not reveal the planned location for the movie shoot. He described his investors as a handful of Persian atheists who live in Los Angeles. "I've become more secretive," said Sina, who insists that his goal is not to incite Muslims but to persuade them. Some Muslim activists said anti-Islam depictions of Muhammad might lead, ironically, to an eventual relaxation of the prohibition. However offensive, "Innocence of Muslims" showed the long reach and emotional punch of videos in the Internet age and suggested a highly effective way for religious leaders to conquer barriers of language, literacy and youth apathy. "There's a whole industry that is intent on defaming and misrepresenting the prophet and his teachings. It becomes difficult to counter that campaign with books, stories and sayings," said CAIR's Ayloush. "To compete and remain relevant, eventually some of these religious opinions will have to be revisited," he said. "I think it's going to happen."

NOTE: On balance, a good article giving a rare view of ex-Muslim film producers like Yousef and Sina. They are brave souls, more in the tradition of pioneering Islam critic Salman Rushdie than the vapid amateurs who did "Innocence of Muslims". ***But I take issue with the overly simplistic portrayal of Zakaria Botros as a "radical" who "critiques Muhammad as a pedophile and buffoon". Even devout Muslims openly acknowledge that their prophet married a 6-year-old named Aisha, who to this day is revered throughout Islam. Though some might quibble over the well-known fact that he didnt have sex with Aisha until she was 9, that still clearly falls within the bounds of pedophilia in modern civilization, an unquestioned standard in most of the non-Islamic world. *** Botros is most notable for posing legitimate criticisms of Islamic doctrine and is well-versed in both the Quran and Hadiths:** "Zakaria Botros is a conservative television star with a huge audience, who is hated by his political enemies. There are plenty of good critiques of Islam written in English and other languages, but very little in Arabic. Zakaria, very well read in the Qur'an and the Hadiths (oral traditions), regularly goes on public television where he poses hard questions to the imams who visibly struggle to provide answers." ***

LOW BUDGET MOVIES by Rebecca Keegan

Desperate for work and hungry for fame, local actors and technicians find themselves with fewer opportunities as the economy has slowed, studios have begun producing fewer films and TV shows, and more production work has fled California for states with better tax breaks. That has meant a rise, though, in the number of movies produced under the Screen Actors Guild's "ultra low budget" category for films under $200,000. Production for such movies has jumped 43%, to 645 in 2011 from 451 in 2009 and is expected to continue growing, according to Hollywood's largest talent union. And many more low-budget movies, like "Desert Warrior," are made outside the jurisdiction of the industry's labor unions and cast not through Beverly Hills talent agencies but via online services such as Craigslist and "This is one of the textbook examples of why it's important to work under a union contract,'' said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, chief administrative officer and general counsel for SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. "Actors are not lawyers. They don't necessarily think about every possible way in which someone may misuse a performance. That's one of the benefits of working under a union contract, because it prevents that sort of abuse." The proliferation of cheaply made features has been accelerated in part by the increasing availability of digital equipment, which makes it possible for producers to shoot their own movies with small crews. In 2005, in response to growing demand from their members, the guild created the ultra low-budget category. According to SAG rules, producers must pay actors on such a film $100 a day, provide meal breaks and adhere to standard union agreements about issues such as nudity and access to a full script. Two people who worked on "Desert Warrior" have said that they were given a few script pages at a time and that they thought they were making a harmless historical drama. "It was supposed to be about ancient warriors," said Dax, who has also appeared in an episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," music videos and adult films. Dax worked for a week and half, at a rate of $75 a day on an amateurish low-budget set tucked into a Monrovia strip mall, on what was described as a desert adventure film. "I was just happy to be involved with anything that has to do with acting, even though it was horrible." "A lot of actors are taking these jobs because they need the job,'' said Monika Mikkelsen, a casting director in Los Angeles who mostly works on low-budget features. "If it's a student film or a low-budget feature, they can get footage for their reels that gets them more work. It's also a great way for them to meet up-and-coming directors who are making their own calling cards in their low budget films." Gary Marsh, president of Breakdown Services, a Los Angeles-based company that operates Actors Access, a website where actors can post photos, resumes and demo reels and view casting notices, said his site gets as many as 25 casting notices a week for low-budget projects. (Two actors on "Desert Warrior" said they saw a casting notice for the project on Actors Access, among other sites, but Marsh says his company has no record of such a listing.) "Digital technology has made it more accessible for more people to create their own films,'' Marsh said. "Everybody is trying to get work to prove they have the ability to either act, direct or write a story."

Mainstream media is threatening our country's future The following text is from a speech delivered by Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Patrick Caddell on September 21. It was delivered at Accuracy in Media's Conference: Obamanation: A Day of Truth. The title of the speech was "The Audacity of Corruption." For more on Accuracy in Media, click here.I think we're at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy or not. You know, when I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody. Which is exactly what they should be. They were unrelenting. Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people. That changed in 1980. There are a lot of reasons for it. It changed—an important point in the Dukakis-Bush election, when the press literally was trying to get Dukakis elected by ignoring what was happening in Massachusetts, with a candidate who was running on the platform of "He will do for America what he did for Massachusetts"—while they were on the verge of bankruptcy. Also the change from evening news emphasis to morning news by the networks is another factor that's been pointed out to me. Most recently, what I call the nepotism that exists, where people get jobs—they're married to people who are in the administration, or in politics, whatever. But the overwhelming bias has become very real and very dangerous. We have a First Amendment for one reason. We have a First Amendment not because the Founding Fathers liked the press—they hated the press—but they believed, as [Thomas] Jefferson said, that in order to have a free country, in order to be a free people, we needed a free press. That was the job—so there was an implicit bargain in the First Amendment, the press being the only institution, at that time, which was in our process of which there was no checks and balances. We designed a constitutional system with many checks and balances. The one that had no checks and balances was the press, and that was done under an implicit understanding that, somehow, the press would protect the people from the government and the power by telling—somehow allowing—people to have the truth. That is being abrogated as we speak, and has been for some time. It is now creating the danger that I spoke to. This morning, just this morning, Gallup released their latest poll on the trust, how much trust [the American people have in the press] —when it comes to reporting the news accurately, fairly, and fully, and [the level of their distrust] it's the highest in history. For the first time, 60% of the people said they had "Not very much" or "None at all." Of course there was a partisan break: There were 40% who believed it did, Democrats, 58% believed that it was fair and accurate, Republicans were 26%, independents were 31%. So there is this contempt for the media – or this belief—and there are many other polls that show it as well. I want to just use a few examples, because I think we crossed the line the last few weeks that is terrifying. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece which was called "The Audacity of Cronyism" in Breitbart, and my talk today is "The Audacity of Corruption." What I pointed out was, that it was appalling that Valerie Jarrett had a Secret Service detail. A staff member in the White House who is a senior aide and has a full Secret Service detail, even while on vacation, and nobody in the press had asked why. That has become more poignant, as I said, last week, when we discovered that we had an American ambassador, on the anniversary of 9/11, who was without adequate security—while she still has a Secret Service detail assigned to her full-time, at a massive cost, and no one in the media has gone to ask why. The same thing: I raised the question of David Plouffe. David Plouffe, who is the White House's Senior Adviser—and was Obama's campaign manager last time, he and [David] Axelrod sort of switched out, Axelrod going back to Chicago for the campaign—and just after it was announced that he was coming, an Iranian front group in Nigeria gave him $100,000 to give two speeches in Nigeria. Now, let me tell you: There's nobody that hands—no stranger gives you $100,000 and doesn't expect something in return, unless you live in a world that I don't. And no one has raised this in the mainstream media. He was on with George Stephanopoulos, on ABC, a couple of weeks ago, and they were going through all these questions. No one asked him whatsoever about that. He was not inquired. George Stephanopoulos, a former advisor to Bill Clinton—who every morning, while Rahm Emmanuel was Chief of Staff, had his call with Rahm Emmanuel and James Carville, and the three of them have been doing it for years—and he is held out as a journalist. He has two platforms. I mean, he's a political hack masquerading as a journalist. But when you don't ask the questions you need to ask of someone like David Plouffe, who's going in the White House—when we're talking about Iran. I just finishedsurveys, some of you may have seen, with John McLaughlin this week, with Secure America Now, and found out just how strongly Americans are concerned with Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, what's happening in the Middle East, and cuts in defense spending. This is not the place for that, but it strikes me as the American people identify, in the polling we've done over the last year, Iran as the single greatest danger to the United States. And here's a man who's being paid by an already named front group for that—for a terrorist regime, and is not asked about it, or queried about it! The third thing I would say is that—then there's of course [National Security Advisor] Tom Donilon, who I know very well from years back, who I caused a little bit of a stir over a few months ago when I said he was the "leaker-in-chief." I mean this ridiculous running around—"How did these secrets get out?"—when it is clear he has no credentials for foreign policy; who has been in the White House; who was a political operative for Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, and others; who was known to have, in my opinion, to be just the most amoral person I know in politics; and who is using and orchestrating national security. In Mr. [David] Sanger's book [Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power], as a reviewer at [The New York Times] said, "The hero of this book, and the clear source of it, is Tom Donilon"—but let me just make a point. Neither does—and I would say this to the Congressman—"You know, all the Republicans have to do"—you know, I talk often about the "Corrupt Party" and the "Stupid Party," but the Stupid Party couldn't be stupider when it comes to things like this. They could have called Tom Donilon and other people down to the Congress, put them under oath, and asked them if they had leaked. Instead you have Eric Holder, who runs the most political Justice Department since John Mitchell—only in John Mitchell's administration did we have Justice Departments that were so politicized and so corrupted by politics—and he appoints someone who gave two people to do a study on the leaks, sometime in the next century will come out, and one of them is a, was a contributor to Barack Obama when he was a state Senator. That's a really unbiased source! And the press, of course, won't look into this. It will not ask the question. But the Republicans could have called them down. Yes, the president could have extended Executive Privilege, but let him say "I will not answer that question, sir" on the question of "Did you leak these secrets that Dianne Feinstein, the Chairman, the Democratic Chairman, of the Senate Intelligence Committee said were endangering national security and American lives?" As she said when she read Sanger's book, "My God, every page I turn I learn something that I don't know!" I mean, these are serious matters but in Washington they're playful, and the press does not pursue any of them. Peter Schweizer has done a study talking about corruption. Sixty percent or 80%—it's closer to 80% I think, now—of the money given under the stimulus to green energy projects—the president and this administration's great project—has gone to people who are either bundlers or major contributors to Barack Obama. But nobody says a word. Of course Republicans don't raise it because in Washington, they simply want to do it when they get back in power. And, of course, the press doesn't because they basically have taken themselves out of doing their job. When we see what happened this week in Libya—and when I said I was more frightened than I've ever been, this is true, because I think it's one thing that, as they did in 2008, when the mainstream press, the mainstream media and all the press, jumped on the Obama bandwagon and made it a moral commitment on their part to help him get elected in a way that has never happened, whatever the biases in the past. To give you an example of the difference, I'll just shortly tell you this: In 1980, when [Jimmy] Carter was running for reelection, the press—even though 80% of them, after the election, reporters said they voted for Carter over [Ronald] Reagan, or 70% percent of them, a very high percentage—they believed, so much, that the Carter campaign and the Carter White House had abused the Rose Garden against [Ted] Kennedy that they made a commitment, as they discussed, that they would not serve as the attack dogs on Reagan for the Carter White House because they thought it was unfair and they weren't to be manipulated. I totally disagree with their analysis, but that was when you actually had a press corps. Whatever their own personal feelings, they made judgments that were, "We're not going to be manipulated." This press corps serves at the pleasure of this White House and president, led by people like Ezra Klein and JournoList, where they plot the stories together. The problem here is that no one will name names. But I want to talk about this Libyan thing, because we crossed some lines here. It's not about politics. First of all we've had nine day of lies over what happened because they can't dare say it's a terrorist attack, and the press won't push this. Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, were under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers. If a president of either party—I don't care whether it was Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or George Bush or Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush—had a terrorist incident, and got on an airplane after saying something, and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified! It would have been—it should have been the equivalent, for Barack Obama, of George Bush's "flying over Katrina" moment. But nothing was said at all, and nothing will be said. It is one thing to bias the news, or have a biased view. It is another thing to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know, and I choose right now, openly, and this is—if I had more time I'd do all the names for it—but The New York Times, The Washington Post, or the most important papers that influence the networks, ABC, NBC, and, to a lesser extent—because CBS has actually been on this story, partly because the President of Libya appeared on [Bob Schieffer's "Face the Nation"] and said, on Sunday, while [U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.] Susan Rice was out—the U.N. Ambassador has no portfolio on this matter—lying, said of the Secretary—you know why, notice the Secretary of State wasn't out there doing this—was on national television, lying and promoting the White House line while the Libyan President, the very same moment, is saying "This is a premeditated attack." Nobody has asked that question. This morning—take a look at The New York Times this morning, it's a minor reference. Oh, now we've decided that it was a terrorist incident. But this is—that would have changed, that should change the politics. This is not without accomplices, because the incompetence of the [Mitt] Romney campaign, which I said a week ago is the—my God!—the worst campaign in my lifetime, and the Republican establishment in general's inability to fight, has allowed these things to happen in part because they don't do it. But I want to go through two other quick points. [Mohamed] Morsi and Egypt: The President of Egypt, we find out now, that his whole agenda has been getting the "Blind Sheikh" [Omar Abdel-Rahman], who's responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993, out of jail. Prison. I've been told specifically, by a member of the intelligence community that the White House and State Department are negotiating that now. They have now come out and denied it, but [Morsi] comes out, that they ordered—he's the head of the Muslim Brotherhood! The American people know what they think of the Muslim Brotherhood: They are against them eleven to one, all right? And he's the president of the Muslim Brotherhood, giving $2 billion to United States. He tells them—we had advance warning because they had said they were gonna do this, attack our embassy. The president—after the incident, after 48 hours, Mr. Morsi does nothing and says nothing—picks up the phone, calls him, and demands that they call it off. On Friday—last Friday, a week ago today—there was supposed to be a big demonstration. We thought that would be the big day—no, it disappeared, because Morsi called it off. But no press person has investigated this, just as no press person will go and ask the most obvious questions, when there are really good stories here, good media stories, and good news stories. They are in the tank and this is a frightening thing. Another example has been the polling, which everyone wants to talk to me about. Look: There is no doubt that Romney is blowing an election he could not lose, and has done everything he can to lose it. But the bias, the polling, it's very complicated. Some of it is error, some of it is miscalculation, but some of it is deliberate, in my opinion—to pump up the numbers using the 2008 base to give a sense of momentum to the Obama campaign. When I have polls that have the preference of Democrats over Republicans higher than it was in 2008, which was a peak Democratic year, I know I am dealing with a poll that shouldn't be reported. And yet they are being done, and they are being done with that knowledge and with that basis for some people, and the answer, as I said, some of it is incompetence, some of it is they just don't know, really know, how to handle it, and some of it is on purpose, and it's purposeful. But all of it is just to serve a basic point, just as JournoList was—Mr. Klein's JournoList—but as I said there is no pushback. We have a political campaign where, to put the best metaphor I can on it, where the referees on the field are sacking the quarterback of one team, tripping up their runners, throwing their bodies in front of blockers, and nobody says anything. The Republicans don't. The reason you will lose this battle is for one reason. Despite organizations like Accuracy In Media and others who are pointing this out, and the fact that 60% of the American people are in on the secret here—I mean, they're no idiots—Republicans and those candidates who are not the candidates of the press refuse to call them out. If I were the Romney campaign I would've been doing this for months! I'd have been looking at individual reporters! I would be telling the American people, "They're not trying to stop me; they're trying to stop you! And they are here to do this!" And I would have made the press themselves an issue because, until you do, what happens is, they are given the basic concession of authenticity and accuracy, or that they are credible, by not doing that. Now too many reporters, too many political people in the Republican Party in this town, want to maintain their relationships with the press. This is how Sarah Palin got handed over to Katie Couric and to ABC before she was ready—because Steve Schmidt and others want to preserve their view, their relationships with the press. You know, people have their own agendas, and often it's not winning. But this not-pushing-back is a problem, and they don't do it. And, you know what this is a different era: The old argument of "You don't attack someone in the press"—or "You don't get in a pissing match with someone who buys ink by the barrel"—doesn't apply anymore. There are too many outlets, too many ways to do it, and the country doesn't have the confidence in the press that they once had. But all I want to conclude to this is that we face a fundamental danger here. The fundamental danger is this: I talked about the defense of the First Amendment. The press's job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power. When they desert those ramparts and decide that they will now become active participants, that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people. And it is a threat to the very future of this country if we allow this stuff to go on. We have crossed a whole new and frightening slide on the slippery slope this last two weeks, and it needs to be talked about.

Delivered by Patrick Caddell on September 21 at Accuracy in Media's Conference --Obamanation: A Day of Truth.

Patrick Caddell is a Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor. He served as pollster for President Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and others. He is a Fox News political analyst and co-host of "Campaign Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel and Mondays at 10:30 am ET on " Live." Read more:

Light of the world –from "Daily Bulletin" Chick Publications founder produces film meant to be a worldwide evangelical tool By La Rue V. Baber Staff Writer Many stories can be entertaining. But only a few can evoke strong enough emotions to change lives. Such is the story of "The Light of the World," an 80-minute film without live action featuring 360 detailed paintings chronicling biblical events. Set to stirring original music with dramatic narration, "The Light of the World" is a labor of love for Jack Chick of Chick Publications, the Inland Valley company that produces a number of comic-strip gospel tracts distributed around the world. When Chick, 79, who became a Christian in 1948 while honeymooning in Canada, began writing, producing and selling illustrated tracts in 1960 to tell Bible stories, it fueled his passion for reaching others. He founded Chick Publications and established it in Rancho Cucamonga in 1970. His fundamentalist gospel tracts grew in popularity in Christian circles and in the past three decades have been translated into more than 100 languages from Burmese to Zulu. But he wanted to do more. Fifteen years ago he had a vision to make a film that could reach millions. With the help of fellow artist Fred Carter of Pomona and Michael Helms, who founded the nonprofit Light of the World Project in Rancho Cucamonga to help fund the translation of the film into 1,000 languages, that vision is becoming a reality. The first public screening of the film will take place at Gardiner Springs Auditorium on Oct. 11. "I would hope (the film) causes people to see the reality of what it was really like," Carter, 65, said. "Not see the fairy tale, but the truth." After watching a compelling program about the Civil War produced by PBS that consisted mostly of still-life pictures and was narrated, Chick decided that was the way to go with "The Light of the World." Not only was it more cost effective, but with Carter's handiwork, much more vivid and dramatic. "I was impressed with the visual impact of the film and the use of oral format," said Dan Kricorian, 80, a retired minister who pastored Calvary Church in Ontario for 24 years before founding the Dan Kricorian Ministries International. "I'm convinced it will be a powerful tool for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ." Some scenes, especially those of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, are graphic to the point of being gruesome. They show exactly how Jesus must have looked after being beaten, bloodied and broken, his beard plucked and his flesh hanging in ribbons from being whipped. There is even a medical explanation of what happened to him -- how pain seared through his body every time he breathed and how millions of cells died slowly -- as he hung on the cross. It is this dramatic depiction that Chick and others hope will stir people's emotions and ignite their passion to spread the gospel. "The entire film is intended to portray exactly what the Bible says, not to take artistic license to embellish and show things that aren't true," said Helms, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga. "I believe that this is the most graphic portrayal of the beating and crucifixion of Jesus to date." While Chick sketched the foundation for each painting, Carter brought each to life with colored markers, acrylics and a touch of oil. Carter, who pastors a small community church just north of Victorville, completed about 95 percent of the paintings himself over 15 years, with the other 5 percent produced by artists Eric Hollander and Keith Goodson. "There was one (painting) near the end that showed the Lord's eyes," Carter said when asked if any of the pieces made him emotional. "That one got to me the most." For the original music, Chick contacted John Campbell of Upland, who has won several awards for music he's composed including an Emmy for the cartoon "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" Campbell, 42, also has written music for Focus on the Family's children's radio show, "Adventures in Odyssey," for the past 20 years. Campbell said writing music for still-life paintings presented some challenges at first. He found himself stopping and staring at the pictures because they were so beautiful, he said. That was inspiration enough to write the music. Campbell recommended his lifelong friend, David Jeremiah of Glendora, to do the narration. Jeremiah, who said he does voiceovers for about 50 commercials a week, was also the promo announcer for NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games last winter. He said he's able to do about 150 different voices. In "The Light of the World," Jeremiah quotes many passages of scripture while telling the stories of creation, the fall of man, Moses and the Israelites' liberation from Egypt, the crucifixion and the promise of Christ's return. "Jack (Chick) is a sweet guy," Jeremiah, 43, said. "I hope the film does exactly what Jack intended it to do." The music and other sound effects such as crashing thunder and angry crowds make the film even more compelling. "Everything was done first rate," said Helms, who is acting as spokesman on the film project for Chick. Helms said Chick prefers not to talk to the press or draw attention to himself. Some stories of the Bible such as the great flood have been left out of the film because there are 25 supplemental illustrated tracts to go with it. These too, will be published in different languages and distributed worldwide with the film. "In some countries, these tracts will be training material for new pastors," Helms said. The Spanish version of "The Light of the World" will be completed by Nov. 15 and the Portuguese version by Dec. 1, Helms said. Some people have expressed concerns that Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion," slated to open before Easter 2004, might steal the wind from "The Light of the World's" sails. But Helms said it's quite the contrary. "Are you kidding? This is the greatest thing that could happen," Helms said. "This will only bring more publicity to "The Light of the World.' " Helms said he is contacting several missionary organizations and various church denominations that would want to purchase the film on DVD or VHS, show it and send it to their missionaries. "The Light of the World" is intended to be an evangelical tool to tell the world about Jesus. "This (film) is going to clearly define the greatness of God, the sinfulness of man and that the only solution to man's sinful nature is through the blood of Christ," Helms said.

1955: Einstein on God "...The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this," wrote Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. "For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," the letter continues. "And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them." The letter ends, "With friendly thanks and best wishes, Yours, A. Einstein." Einstein experts say the letter supports the argument that the physicist held complex, agnostic views on religion. He rejected organized faith but often spoke of a spiritual force at work in the universe.
Read more:
[I don't know why people think Einstein was right about everything-his accomplishments are exaggerated and his "theory of relativity" is flawed.]

The first presidential debate

James Carville says Obama looked like he didn't want to be there (at the debate). Of course he didn't. Nobody wants to be at their own butt-whipping especially when its televised live internationally! He got spanked! My friend says the media was mad because he embarrassed them. They sold America a bill of goods that Obama was the Christ-and Romney made him look like a fool.

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