Damian Goddard

The Olympics - where the honour, and the glory are His

Damian Goddard
By Damian Goddard
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But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.
Matthew 19:14

While sports enthusiasts and passing observers alike find themselves in the throes of “the Olympic Spirit”, it’s been very difficult not to put that often-used phrase in the context of Scripture.

Indeed, the Spirit is most certainly moving.  And the Spirit is deking in and out of venues at the Games of the 30th Olympiad in London.  After all, that’s how He rolls.  And you can see it in the eyes of the youth who are making their mark on the world stage.

There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s eyes light up with joy… or, well up with tears, for that matter.  What’s that “they” say?...  The eyes are the windows to the soul?

No kidding.

Some of us have been so lucky to see youthful exuberance first-hand.  Ask anyone who’s been to a World Youth Day, and they’ll tell you that the energy drawn from that overwhelming experience is one that will stick around for a lifetime.  To an extent, one can draw a parallel to experiencing the Olympic Games.  Even experiencing it on television.

On the first weekend of competition, people of faith were treated to what can only be described as a “spiritual spectacle” in women’s gymnastics. 

Jordyn Wieber, one of these Games’ “sure-bet Gold medallists”, the reigning all-around world champion, failed to make the all-around finals in London.  NBC Sports exquisitely, and respectfully, detailed the precise moment of anguish when Wieber realized her long-awaited Olympic dream had been dashed.  Oh, the pain that girl must have felt.  For someone who has been in sports broadcasting for some 20 years, I had never seen anything quite like it.  Her Olympic experience had become a nightmare in a matter of minutes.  How would an impressionable 17-year old muster the strength to move on and be there for her mates in team competition?  I think we got an idea when, on the next night of competition, the television cameras caught a ‘ready-for-the-world’ Wieber warming up, followed by a shot of mother Rita - as commentator Al Trautwig put it - “clutching her Rosary.”

It was all that needed to be said for those who see these Games for what they truly are - glorification of God’s great creation.

But it’s not all that has been said about faith at these Games.  Not by a long-shot-put.

The Olympic champion of the aforementioned women’s all-around gymnastics competition is a girl known as the “flying squirrel”.  What were Gabby Douglas’s comments shortly after winning gold?  Right into the mic, and for all the world to see, little Gabby said, “the glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on me.”  She had also tweeted (gosh I LOVE Twitter!) “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”  Nothing like a good shout-out to to Psalm 103 moments after making your dream come true.

Hunter Kemper may be 36 years of age.  But he is definitely acting like a “child of God.”  So much so, that he doesn’t care if any outward profession of faith “scares off any potential sponsors.”

What would make Hunter so bold?  Or, to those who have no idea from where he’s coming, what would make Hunter so foolish?

What isn’t scaring him off is the mere fact that he believes deep down in his soul that it is God who has put him in the position to race for a medal at these Summer Games.  Last October, Kemper sustained such a devastating spill in competition that he had to have a plate and 13 screws put into his elbow.  Two months later, he developed a scary staph infection, and he thought his Olympic dream was over before it began. Hunter, who went through a heart-melting conversion to Christ after graduating from college, believes it is God who healed him.  Kemper has made it known to anyone who will listen, even trepid, potential, sponsors, that his happiness comes from walking with Christ.  Not only walking, but swimming 1,640 yards, cycling 26.7 miles and running 6.2 miles with Him at his side.

And then there’s swimmer Katie Ledecky who swam to a gold medal finish in the women’s 800 freestyle.  What does Katie do before climbing onto the blocks before each and every race? She prays the Hail Mary.  Here’s a kid who calls the Sisters - Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - who taught her at Little Flower School in Bethesda, Maryland, “great role models”.  Oh.  And did I mention Katie is only 15 years of age?

D’ya think St. Therese of Lisieux was just beaming after catching wind of that one?  Sure she was.

One Biblical passage has Jesus’ disciples telling annoying little rug-rats to “move along”: this is just “adult time” ... our Lord and Saviour doesn’t have time for “small talk”.  What does Jesus do?  He tells his pals to “hold up!”  He scolds them… tells them to never keep the children from climbing up on His lap. The fact of the matter is, dedicated Olympians - some even ‘pint-sized’ - are making the decision, in their moment of glory, to go to Him.  To glorify Him.

And let not any one of us keep them from coming to Christ.  Conversely, let’s start encouraging this behavior.

Lord knows, we need to.


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Medical staff arrested in India after accidentally aborting baby at 8 months

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

A doctor and a nurse at a prominent private hospital in India have been arrested after they allegedly administered abortion drugs to a eight-months pregnant woman accidentally, resulting in the death of her unborn child.

"We have immediately registered a case and arrested the doctor, whose negligent act has caused this," said South Jammu Superintendent of Police Rahul Malik, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman's husband, Rakesh Sharma, told the paper that the doctor mistook Shruti Sharma for another patient who was scheduled for an abortion at the JK Medicity Hospital in Jammu on Friday afternoon.

Shruti had gone to the hospital after her gynecologist advised a routine medical examination to safeguard her and her baby's health.

Rakesh alleged that the doctor gave his wife the abortion pills without consulting her medical records. “Doctors and paramedical staff instead of administering glucose, gave her abortion medicine, which was actually meant for another patient,” he said.

"It is the worst case of negligence. I feel strongly that such hospitals should be closed. If this has happened to me today, tomorrow it can happen to any body else," Rakesh said.

While the JK Medicity's administration said it has launched an inquiry into the incident, a report from the Jagran Post stated that the district government has revoked the hospital's license.

"Jammu and Kashmir Government has ordered sealing of the private clinic after suspension of its license to operate in the wake of the incident," said Minister for Health and Medical Education Taj Mohiuddin according to the report.

National media have reported that the incident has brought illegal abortion practices in India to the attention of both the public and government officials.

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According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion is legal in India up to 20 weeks. However, the opinion of a second doctor is required if the pregnancy is past its 12th week, and abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone and misoprostol are allowed only by prescription up until the seventh week of pregnancy.

Moreover, abortions can be performed only in government licensed medical institutions by registered abortionists.

Indian Express reported that the accused in the incident, Dr Amarjeet Singh, practices ayurvedic medicine (traditional Hindu medicine) and is "unsuitable for carrying out abortions."

A video posted by IndiaTV shows the parents surrounded by family members and relatives at a protest outside the JK Medicity hospital where the group is demanding punishment for those involved in the death of the child.


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News editor fired for criticizing ‘gay Bible’, files complaint

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By Kirsten Anderson

The former editor-in-chief of Iowa’s Newton Daily News has filed a religious discrimination complaint after he was fired over a post on his private blog criticizing the pro-gay Queen James Bible.

The Bible revision was produced by homosexual activists who claim to have edited the eight most commonly cited verses against homosexual behavior “in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.”

On his private blog, which has since been deactivated, Bob Eschliman wrote in April that “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”

After public outcry from homosexual activists, Shaw Media, which owns the paper, fired him on May 6.

In a statement the day of his firing, Shaw Media President John Rung said Eschliman’s “airing of [his opinion] compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

“There will be some who will criticize our action, and mistakenly cite Mr. Eschliman’s First Amendment rights as a reason he should continue on as editor of the Newton Daily News,” Rung said.  “As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.”

Rung said the company has a duty “to advocate for the communities we serve” and that “to be effective advocates, we must be able to represent the entire community fairly.”

Eschliman, who has been writing professionally since 1998 and became editor-in-chief of the Newton Daily News in 2012, says that the company was aware of his personal blog when he was hired and never indicated it would be a problem for him to continue sharing his personal political and religious views.

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In his religious discrimination complaint against the company, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), he says that he believes he was singled out for termination because of his Christian views concerning homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.”

“As a lifelong writer, I have maintained a personal blog on the Internet with some personal thoughts and writings,” Eschliman wrote. “Newton Daily News, my employer, never had a policy prohibiting personal blogging, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media. In fact, my employer encouraged us to engage in social media on a personal level and I am aware of several employees of Newton Daily News who continue to blog and are still employed with Shaw Media.”

“There is no question that I was fired for holding and talking about my sincerely held religious beliefs on my personal blog during my off-duty time from the comfort of my own home,” Eschliman wrote. “Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage.

“Moreover, Shaw Media announced that not only were they firing me based upon my religious beliefs, but that they would not hire or allow anyone to work at Shaw Media who holds religious beliefs similar to mine, which would include an automatic denial of any accommodation of those who share my sincerely held religious beliefs,” he added.

Neither Shaw Media nor the Newton Daily News have been willing to provide further comment to the press on the matter, citing pending litigation.

Matthew Whitaker, an attorney with Liberty Institute who is assisting Eschliman with his complaint, said the law is on his client’s side.

“No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,” Whitaker said in a statement. “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public.  This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

According to Whitaker, if the EEOC rules in Eschliman’s favor, Shaw Media could be forced to give him back pay, front pay, and a monetary settlement.


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If you find this filthy book in your home, burn it

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By Jonathon van Maren

I don’t believe in book-burnings, but for the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, I’ll make an exception. I prefer charred books to scarred people.

The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, for those of you living outside “civilization,” is a repulsive and poisonous stack of porn novels that celebrates the seduction and manipulation of an insecure girl by a powerful businessman who happens to like spending his recreational time engaging in what is now popularly known as “BDSM.” For those of you who are fortunate enough never to have heard of this glorification of sexual assault, the acronym stands for bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. In 50 Shades of Grey, the man in question inflicts all sorts of pain on the girl, because he is a sadist, which used to be a bad thing. (How utterly confusing it is to see the “feminists” of Planned Parenthood and elsewhere celebrating this phenomenon—wasn’t domination something they sought to subvert? Didn’t bondage used to be something one wanted to be freed from? And sado-masochism—I could vomit.) And now this trash has been developed into a film, the trailer of which is all over Facebook.

50 Shades of Grey and the new “BDSM” phenomenon are nothing more than the celebration of pain, rape, and destruction.

A lot of people seem to be taken with these books, especially based on the number of people I’ve seen unashamedly reading it at airports. These porn novels are “hot,” many reviewers tell us confidently. Yes, hot as Hell and halfway there, I think.

Consider this, for just a moment: In a culture where broken families are often the norm, we have a generation of girls often growing up without fathers, never receiving the paternal love and affection that they need. Thus the famous “Daddy Issues” that so many comedy sitcoms repulsively mock, as if hurting girls seeking love and affection in all the wrong places is some sort of joke. Conversely, boys are also growing up without fathers, never having a positive male role model in the home to teach them how to treat women with love and respect. And what is teaching them how to treat girls? At an enormous rate, the answer is online pornography, which increasingly features vicious violence against girls and women. The average first exposure of boys to pornography is age eleven. It is an absolutely toxic mess—insecure and hurting girls seek love from boys who have been taught how to treat them by the most vicious of pornography.

Introduce into this situation a book, written by a woman, glorifying the idea that girls should expect or even enjoy pain and torture inside of a sexual relationship. How does a girl, insecure and unsure, know what to think? The culture around her now expects her not to need a safe relationship, but a “safe word” to employ in case her sadist partner gets a bit too carried away in the pain-making. Boys who might never have dreamed of asking a girl to subject herself to such pain and humiliation are now of course emboldened to request or even expect this fetishized sexual assault as a matter of course in a relationship. After all, much of pornography now features this degradation of girls and women, and a woman wrote a book celebrating such things. It might seem sadistic and rapey, but hey, sexual freedom has allowed us to celebrate “bondage” and sexual liberation has allowed us to liberate our darkest demons from the recesses of our skulls and allow them out to play in the bedroom. Boys used to get taught that they shouldn’t hit girls, but now the culture is telling them that it’s actually a turn-on.

I genuinely feel sorry for many teenage girls trying to navigate the new, pornified dating landscape. I genuinely feel sorry for the legions of fatherless boys, exposed to pornography before they even had a chance to realize what it was, enfolded by the tentacles of perverted sexual material before they even realize what, exactly, they are trifling with. It brings to mind something C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Wouldn't it be dreadful if some day in our own world, at home, men start going wild inside, like the animals here, and still look like men, so that you'd never know which were which.”

50 Shades of Grey and the new “BDSM” phenomenon are nothing more than the celebration of pain, rape, and destruction. Find out if the “sex educators” in your area are pushing this garbage, and speak out. Join campaigns to make sure that promotion of this filth isn’t being funded by your tax dollars. And if you find these books in your home, burn them.


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