Archive for September, 2007

“Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute,
or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.”
Leviticus 19:29

“They cast lots for My people and traded boys for prostitutes;
they sold girls for wine that they might drink.”
Joel 3:3

Back in August I wrote about Legalizing Prostitution. That post was inspired by an article in Evangelical’s for Social Action (ESA)’s PRISM Magazine Sept/Oct issue’s cover story (pdf): Portrait of Exploitation.

Other bloggers have since written about the issue of Legalizing Prostitution, including The Moderate Voice,  where a self-described Libertarian points out some of the reasons why prostitution should not be legalized and Only Wonder Understands, where the author points out a CBS News Series.

ESA has a weekly e-newsletter entitled “ePistle” which had this quote in the 9/4/2007 issue:

For the vast majority of the world’s prostituted women, prostitution is the experience of being hunted, dominated, harassed, assaulted, and battered…In prostitution, demand creates supply. Because men want to buy sex, prostitution is assumed to be inevitable, therefore ‘normal.’… Prostitution must be exposed for what it really is: a particularly lethal form of male violence against women. The focus on research, prevention, and law enforcement in the next decade must be on the demand side of prostitution.

From “Prostitution: A critical review of the medical and social sciences literature” by Melissa Farley and Vanessa Kelly in Women & Criminal Justice (2000, Vol. 11), available at

The 9/19/2007 issue of ePistle has the following links/resources:

  • Legalised Prostitution: What Sex Workers Say by Troy Martens and Vivian Attwood for The Daily News/South Africa
  • A Salute to New York Times columnist Bob Herbert by Lisa Thompson and Kristyn Komarnicki
  • Editor’s Pick: Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada – Making the Connections by Melissa Farley, Ph.D.


ESA’s list of actions can be found here.

Second Annual International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Human Trafficking Sept 28-30, 2007

The Salvation Army has resources for the Weekend (above) including a Bible Study and Prayer guide.

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women has several campaigns and a section about the Case Against Legalization of Prostitution.


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According to the New York Times, our efforts to reverse a religious book ban in the US Prison system was successful.

Facing pressure from religious groups, civil libertarians and members of Congress, the federal Bureau of Prisons has decided to return religious materials that had been purged from prison chapel libraries because they were not on the bureau’s lists of approved resources.

I first wrote about the ban here and then provided actions here. Unfortunately, the US Prison Bureau still wants to create a list of approved books, but will allow books to remain on the shelves until the lists are completed.

“The bureau will begin immediately to return to chapel libraries materials that were removed in June 2007, with the exception of any publications that have been found to be inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalizing or incite violence. The review of all materials in chapel libraries will be completed by the end of January 2008.”

Great work to everyone who took action against this unconstitutional policy. There will be more work ahead to ensure that any “book list” doesn’t limit religious freedom.

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I was recently encouraged by this article to write about the blogs I read and share why I read them, with you my readers. So here it goes!

Martin Dugard is a renowned author of books such as Chasing Lance, The Last Voyage of Columbus, Into Africa, and others. That is not what first attracted me to Dugard. During the 2006 Tour de France, I began reading his daily missives about traveling around France watching and reporting on the events surrounding the Tour as well as the actual tour itself.

I was hooked by his engaging style, rants against complacency, and his general discussion of running, cycling, and other endurance sports. Dugard is a professional journalist and author, who is not afraid to bare a little of his own soul and passion with his weekly daily blog posts.

I would highly recommend checking him out at his blog Training Ground.

Dugard, who is also something of an adventurer, has completed the two-week Raid Gauloises adventure race; sailed on a tall ship across the Mediterranean; and spent time in an African prison while researching one of his books.

On a miscellaneous note, Dugard lived for six weeks on the Malaysian island of Palau Tiga during the filiming of the television show Survivor. This became the subject of the bestselling Survivor: The Ultimate Game, co-written with series producer Mark Burnett.

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I submitted my Learning About Ramadan post to the Christian Carnival this week which is currently posted at Pseudo-Polymath.

Go check out some the great works!

Can you afford a $1,000 dinner? I definitely can’t but evidently some people in Chicago are willing to take the risk to avoid paying for their share of dinner.

Here’s the deal: Go out to dinner with your friends, at the beginning of the meal everyone places a credit card in a bowl.  As the evening goes on a card is removed every now and then.  The  last remaining card gets the entire bill! WOW what a great deal!

I’m not really sure what to say about that, except maybe its a little bit crazy.  I don’t think I’ve really ever been to a restaurant where you could easily rack up a $1,000 bill, but then I don’t drink either.

Maybe I’ll take some friends to Rax and we can try this game out!

Read more about this crazy idea at the Chicago Tribune.

HT: Make Love, Not Debt


That was the question asked this Sunday at Church.  We are in the middle of a series called God Questions, where we are looking into commonly asked questions about God.

What are your personal opinions about the truth of the Bible? Is it the inspired Word, fictional stories?

The Barna Group reports that in 2006 48% of adults agree strongly that the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings, there are probably as many different ideas about the Bible as there are people, but to some degree it is important to know the accuracy of the Bible for your personal faith. 

Two major points from the message Sunday really stuck out to me. The first responded to the point that many different authors wrote the Bible (40 authors wrote the 66 books).  I guess the argument is that God didn’t “write” the Bible, 40 humans did.  The Pastor used the illustration of a famous architect such as Frank Lloyd Wright. FLW creates the plan, the blueprints, the design for a building. Does FLW actually build the building? Nope, contractors come in and they take care of the building process.  But if a contractor wants to change anything about the building, they must first talk with FLW about and gain his approval for any modifications.  Now back to God, He created the overall plan for the Bible and used 40 specific contractors to create His Word.  Nothing was written without the “permission” of God.  Pretty cool eh?

The second illustration was a car manual, he used a specific sports car that I don’t remember (let’s say a Corvette).  So you are given this 2008 Corvette with all these fancy numbers and letters after it! You sit down and pull out the car manual.  You begin reading through it, highlighting important parts – making notes about stuff you don’t agree with.  You become so passionate about the car manual that you begin going out and speaking to local groups about it, talking about the power seat functions (his example).  This is great you go around for awhile and everything is great, then one night some young guy comes up afterwards, “that was a great presentation about power seats. I’ve always wanted that car, how does it drive?” This question catches you off guard because you’ve never actually driven it! You got so caught up in the manual that you never “practiced” what it said.  You never acted on all the knowledge.  Some take the Bible and read it ravenously, but never act on what they know or have learned.

The second illustration was more of a practical application, but I really liked both of those points and applications. As a kid I took on faith that the Bible was truly the inspired Word of God.  As an adult I know by both faith and fact that the Bible is the true Word of God.  A good book is More Than a Carpenter written by Josh McDowell.  

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 The Message

Find out for yourself if the Bible is true by examining some of the information provided at these sites:

International Bible Society

All About Truth

Christian Answers



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Ramadan is a month in the Islamic lunar calendar as well as an Islamic holy celebration.  According to the Idiots Guide to the World’s Religions:

Ramadan is … a period of religious observance, adults embark on a rigidly observed period of abstention, reflection, and purification.

An Islamic site called Submitters describes the daily tasks of Ramadan:

The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking of dawn and ends at the setting of the sun. In between — that is, during the dawn and daylight hours — Muslims  (Submitters) totally abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex. The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before dawn and a post-fast meal (iftar) after sunset.

Within the month of Ramadan, which falls on Sept 13 – Oct 13, are many different celebrations and events. It can be divided into 3 ten day segments known as Rahmah (mercy), Maghfirah (forgiveness), and Najah (salvation).

Laylat al-Qadr is traditionally the 27th night of Ramadan and represents the anniversary of when Muhammad first was given parts of the Qur’an and also the anniversary of when the Qur’an was delivered to earth. This “Night of Power” falls on October 7 this year. The last major celebration of Ramadan is Id al-Fitr which is the feast at the end of the fast and lasts for three days! It is also a time of almsgiving.


I always thought of Ramadan as a period of fasting and this is definitely the main part of the celebration, during the daytime. Wikipedia describes the fasting

The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, as well as sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intending to make Muslims more generous and charitable.

This is a different style fast than we as Christians are used to.  This is made even clearer by the Crescent Project who makes it very clear that Muslims “make up their fasts at night”, instead of completely abstaining for the 30 day period. It is important to note at this point that Islam is very much a works-based salvation instead of salvation through grace.

It is important that Muslims become aware of their need for grace. We should be praying for the millions of Muslims around the world. To get e-mailed prayer updates visit 30 Days of Prayer they also have a neat interactive site. Some specific prayer requests from the Crescent Project are:

  • Pray that God will act during the Night of Power so that people may have a revelation of Jesus.  Read some real stories about this.
  • Pray for those who are genuinely seeking the Lord’s help. may he give them the help they need. Ps 34:18
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