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SOA legislation passes House

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SOA Watch tells me that the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010 that it was backing passed in the house this afternoon. Tom Roberts and I blogged on this earlier.

The amendment forces the public release of names, rank, country of origin, courses and dates of attendance of graduates and instructors of the Army's intelligence school at Fort Benning, Ga. formerly known as the School of Americas (SOA) and now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC. Graduates of the school have been implicated in human rights violations and deaths of activists and church workers across Latin America.

The amendment was approved with a 224 to 190 vote. Now the amendment has to be approved by a joint House-Senate committee.

The flip side of finding common ground

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The Court of Appeals in Virginia yesterday upheld that state's ban on partial birth abortions by a 6-5 vote. A three member panel of the court had earlier invalidated the law but had to revisit the issue after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a national ban on the procedure.

There are two effects of the ruling, both of them admirable. First, it keeps the legislature in the business of deciding policies on this issue instead of the courts. People forget that Roe v. Wade permitted the state to set regulations and restrictions on the procedure. The state legislature is the proper venue for determining such regulations and restrictions.

Cornerstones of faith

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"Cornerstones of faith." Matt 7:21-29

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus cautions his disciples that the foundation of faith is action not just words. Church membership, perfect attendance at worship, theological credentials are nice but not enough. The bedrock of faith is to do the will of God. Build your house on this rock, not on the sands of good intention or ritual practice.

Medjugorje apparitions mark 28th anniversary

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Thousands of pilgrims from around the world are headed to Medjugorje as the town marks the 28th anniversary of what is said to be the Virgin Mary’s first appearance there. Some years back, in the late 1980s, I traveled to Medjugorje to check it out for myself. I spent some time with the young men and women who were claiming to see Mary and was with three of the youngsters at the very time they said Mary was appearing. We were on a small loft in the rear of the local church.

Reading the record at SOA

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According to an article posted on the Council on Hemispheric Affairs Web site, Congress is scheduled to vote today on an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that would require the former School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security and Cooperation) to release to the public the names, ranks, countries of origin, courses taken and dates of attendance of all the students and instructors at the institute.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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