Saturday, September 24, 2005

Devotion is not a passing emotion: it is a fixed, enduring habit of mind permeating the whole life and shaping every action. It rests upon a conviction that God is the Sole Source of Holiness, and that our part is to lean upon Him and be absolutely guided and governed by Him; and it necessitates an abiding hold on Him, a perpetual habit of listening for His Voice within the heart, as of readiness to obey the dictates of that Voice.

... Jean N. Grou

Lectionary Readings for September 25, 2005

Ezekiel 18:1-4,25-32
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:28-32
Psalm 25:1-14 or 25:3-9

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 2:1-13
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death--
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Gay Bishop Predicts Anglican Church Split
The Associated Press
Friday, September 23, 2005; 3:49 PM

PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- The first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church is predicting a division in the Anglican Communion two years after U.S. church leaders triggered global outrage by approving his election.

"This is at least as much about power and control as it is about theology and Scripture," New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson told The Associated Press in an interview. "It's about who's going to be calling the shots, and who's going to be in and who's going to be out."

At stake is how 77 million Anglicans around the world, including 2.3 million members of America's Episcopal Church, define their religion and their relationship to one another. Robinson said he underestimated the opportunity his election gave conservatives to organize within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion of which it is a part.

Until about six months ago, Robinson remained optimistic the Anglican Communion would work through initial outrage over his election to respect the customary right of dioceses to elect the bishop of their choosing.

The Connecticut Six

Power of the elements puts Americans
at mercy of God
September 24, 2005
by Gerard Baker, US Editor

ALONG the Gulf Coast this week, with Hurricane Rita hurtling their way, millions of residents were observing what has now become a seasonal ritual — boarding up homes, packing effects into car boots, joining long traffic jams and, above all, praying.

Mindful of the criticism that followed Hurricane Katrina, President Bush has been a blur of activity — mobilising armed forces, readying supplies. But he was also calling for higher assistance. “We hope and pray that Hurricane Rita will not be a devastating storm,” he said on Thursday.

America is a famously religious country. It is also a country that is famously prone to all manner of natural disasters. It is hard to resist the conclusion that the two facts are somehow related.

The rest

African Anglican Bishop Vows to Build 100 New Churches Across Lagos, Nigeria
The Bishop of the Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Dr. Peter Adebiyi, has reported that about 100 new churches will be built within the diocese in the next few years.
Posted: Saturday, September 24 , 2005, 12:07 (UK)

The Bishop of the Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Dr. Peter Adebiyi, has reported that about 100 new churches will be built within the diocese in the next few years.

Adebiyi disclosed his expansive mission plans in Lagos on Sunday, at the service for Venerable Tunde Osho, an architect, who has become an archdeacon in the diocese.The bishop explained that though the diocese had more than 200 churches, it was growing so fast that it would need about 100 new churches soon.Adebiyi said Osho was formerly the Vicar of St. Stephens Anglican Church, Abule-Okuta, Bariga, explaining that he was now the Vicar in charge of Bishop Ajayi Crowther Memorial Anglican Church (BACMAC), Gowon Estate, Ipaja.

The rest

Takeover of America's Judicial System
September 24, 2005
By Felicia (Fee) Benamon

I see the Pledge of Allegiance, our wonderful ode to our country and to God, is under fire...again! Michael Newdow, an atheist living in California has sought time and again to remove "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Since 1954, Americans have recited the Pledge with the words "Under God".

Newdow has brought this issue to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost his battle, but continues to force his views. He feels that it "forces God on atheists". Atheists are forced to say the pledge? Let me remind Mr. Newdow that he has the freedom to opt out of any observance mentioning the Almighty. No one is forcing him (or any atheist) to participate. But we have the freedom and right in our country to acknowledge God's presence and influence in our lives. And most Americans do not have a problem doing so.

The rest

Rita blacks out
1 million in Gulf
Winds of 150 mph, heavy rainsknock down buildings, power lines
Posted: September 24, 20051:15 p.m. Eastern

Hurricane Rita, with an eye 20 miles wide and wind gusts of up to 150 miles per hour, hit the Gulf Coast before dawn today bringing widespread flooding, knocking down buildings and cutting power to an estimated 1 million residents of the area.

The storm smashed windows, sparked fires and knocked down power lines.

But hopeful officials said the death toll is likely to be contained because of evacuation efforts that were more successful than before Hurricane Katrina.


Friday, September 23, 2005

O Lord! how happy should we be,
If we could leave our cares to Thee,
If we from self could rest;
And feel at heart that One above,
In perfect wisdom, perfect love,
Is working for the best.

For when we kneel and cast our care

Upon our God in humble prayer,
With strengthened souls we rise,
Sure that our Father Who is nigh,
To hear the ravens when they cry,
Will hear His children's cries.

O may these anxious hearts of ours
The lesson learn from birds and flowers,
And learn from self to cease,
Leave all things to our Father's will,
And in His mercy trusting still,
Find in each trial peace!

Joseph Anstice

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask; yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.

... Martin Luther

British Columbia School District Cancels Explicit Gay Propaganda Play
SURREY, September 23, 2005

( - The administration of the Surrey School district in British Columbia has cancelled a sexually explicit play meant to preach acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle to school children. The play, The Laramie Project, is based on the killing of U.S. homosexual student Matthew Shepard which the gay rights movement has for the past several years heavily exploited to promoting its agenda.

School officials said that the play’s sex, violence and foul language are “unacceptable” for their students. “The play wasn't appropriate as family entertainment,” said Doug Strachan, communications manager of the Surrey school district. “It's not going ahead simply out of respect for and sensitivity of the audience,” he added.

The Laramie Project was to be acted by the students, some as young as 14, as a school project. It was to be presented during the pre-Christmas period of school events.


Fla. Mom Cracks Down on School's Sexually Explicit Required Reading
Parent Demands Alternate to 'Pornographic' Literature Assignment
By Jim Brown
September 23, 2005

(AgapePress) - Some required reading at a Florida high school has come under scrutiny from parents who say the material is pornographic.

Students in the International Baccalaureate Program at De Land High School are being asked to read a book called Cracking India, a novel by Bapsi Sidwha. The story is told by a little girl who grows from age four to eight during her narrative and who, at one point in the story, is involved in oral sex with her older male cousin.

The rest

Attorney: School Mental Health Screenings Violate Students' Privacy, Parents' Rights
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
September 23, 2005

(AgapePress) - An Indiana high school is being sued for subjecting a 15-year-old student to mental health testing without her parents' consent. Michael and Teresa Rhoades allege that their constitutional rights were violated when their daughter Chelsea was given a "TeenScreen" mental health exam at Penn High School in Mishawaka, without their knowledge or consent.

The family's complaint states that on December 7, 2004, personnel of the Madison Center for Children subjected Chelsea Rhoades and other students to the exam, which consisted of "yes" or "no" questions without any opportunity to explain answers or offer alternative responses. Only students with an "opt-out slip" were excused from taking the computer-based tests.

The rest

A New Deadly, Contagious Dog Flu Virus Is Detected in 7 States
Published: September 22, 2005

A new, highly contagious and sometimes deadly canine flu is spreading in kennels and at dog tracks around the country, veterinarians said yesterday.

The virus, which scientists say mutated from an influenza strain that affects horses, has killed racing greyhounds in seven states and has been found in shelters and pet shops in many places, including the New York suburbs, though the extent of its spread is unknown.

Dr. Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine who is studying the virus, said that it spread most easily where dogs were housed together but that it could also be passed on the street, in dog runs or even by a human transferring it from one dog to another. Kennel workers have carried the virus home with them, she said.

the rest

Abide in Me, and I in You—John 15.4

When a new graft is placed in a vine and it abides there, there is a twofold process that takes place. The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is effected. The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it. Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit. Here is the vital union. Into the graft which abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.

When our Lord says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do. We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him. As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed, and a heart prepared for the fuller experience: “I in you,” God strengthens us with might by the Spirit in the inner man, and Christ dwells in the heart by faith.

The rest-Andrew Murray

Paul Zahl: Rock Lobster

People still come up to me and ask, “Why did you get in such a lather over the events of the last General Convention? I thought you were all about Grace. But then you, and others who feel as you do, just got so… heavy all of a sudden.”

The question stays with me. What is and what really was the big deal about the approval of one man to a par­ticular diocese of the Church?

Here is what it was, and still is:
It was never about sexuali­ty as such. It is not about a behavior, nor about a predis­position. What it is about is anthropology, soteriology, and Christology. Those are big words. They are also big ideas. .

the rest at titusonenine

Gay Men Ponder Impact of Proposal by Vatican
Published: September 23, 2005

Word that the Vatican is likely to issue instructions soon that could bar most gay men from joining the priesthood has set off a wave of anger and sadness among some gay priests and seminarians who say they may soon have to decide whether to stay or leave, to remain silent or to speak out.

the rest

Lowering the Education Bar
September 23, 2005 10:23 AM EST

My how times have changed! Once upon a time, our educators ACTUALLY EDUCATED kids. What's happened?

Remember when old timer stated that they "only had an 8th grade education"? Well, don't look down your nose at that! They may well have been better educated then today's High School grads (and beyond?).

What appears below is the 1895 eighth-grade final exam from Salina, Kansas, USA - taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895

Interesting! Take the exam.

India's Rajasthan State to Present Anti-Conversion Bill Next Week
Friday, Sep. 23, 2005
Posted: 9:53:46AM EST

A northwestern state in India ruled by Hindu nationalist will present to the state assembly next week an anti-conversion bill that religious leaders fear would be used as a means to harass minority groups, if passed.

On Monday, Sept. 26, India’s Rajasthan state is scheduled to present the anti-conversion bill to the state assembly. If passed, the legislation will require anyone involved in the conversion process to inform district authorities before the conversion takes place. Failure to follow the law would result in imprisonment or heavy fines.

Moreover, the proposed anti-conversion bill calls for punishment to any individual attempting to convert someone through “fear tactic,” including preaching on hell and judgment, and “enticement” or “fraudulent means,” such as a gift from a Christian, or even the promise of heaven, according to the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA RLC). The “enticement” or “fraudulent means” section of the bill will especially affect Christian relief agencies and humanitarian ministries, which can be accused of “enticing” people to convert to Christianity, the Commission stated in a prayer bulletin released on Wednesday.

the rest

Hurricane Rita Remains at Category 4,
Now Expected to Hit Port Arthur Area
Friday, Sep. 23, 2005
Posted: 10:56:26AM EST

As hundreds of thousands of Texas and Louisiana residents remain on their exodus from the coastal region, forecasters are now saying that Hurricane Rita, which remains at Category 4, may spare the Houston area a direct hit from its 140 mph winds.

The hurricane is now expected to hit the Texas Coast around the Beaumont and Port Arthur area, which is 75 miles east of Houston, sometime late tonight or early Saturday.

Forecasters warned of possible storm surge flooding of 15 to 20 feet above normal tide levels, large and dangerous battering waves, and rain of up to 12 inches in the area near where Rita makes landfall.


The Real Face of Abortion--Choosing Death Rather Than Life
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

At the national level, the abortion debate is often discussed only in terms of laws, court decisions, and public controversies. In reality, every one of the million-plus abortions performed in America each year comes as a result of a private decision, often made without concern for public analysis. This point is made abundantly clear in a major article published in the September 18, 2005 edition of The New York Times. In a story titled "Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly," reporter John Leland recounted conversations he experienced during a visit to Little Rock Family Planning Services, an abortion clinic located in the Arkansas capital.

Leland's article is heartbreaking. He takes readers into the lives of the women who have come to the clinic seeking an abortion. Their stories--and the rationales they gave for their abortions--only deepen the sense of tragedy that surrounds the reality of abortion.

The rest

Purpose Driven in Rwanda
Rick Warren's sweeping plan to defeat poverty.
by Timothy C. Morgan in Kigali, Rwanda
posted 09/23/2005 09:45 a.m.

In 2002, God dropped a pebble into the pond of Kay Warren's life in the form of a magazine article about HIV/AIDS in Africa. Three years later, the ripple effect has reached all the way from her home in Orange County, California, to Africa.

It's still gaining strength through the PEACE plan, a bold ministry vision from Kay's influential husband, Saddleback Church's Rick Warren. I traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, with the Warrens and 42 other American evangelicals in July, where they joined 9,000 Rwandan Christians in launching the first "Purpose-Driven Nation" initiative to harness businesspeople, politicians, and pastors against the nation's biggest social problems.


Christian school in Calif. expels girl because parents are lesbians

ONTARIO, Calif. A Christian school in Ontario expelled a 14-year-old student because her parents are lesbians.Shay Clark was expelled from Ontario Christian School yesterday after administrators learned of her parents' relationship.

School superintendent Leonard Stob told the girl's biological mother her family violated the school's policy. It requires that at least one parent may NOT engage in practices that are "immoral or inconsistent with a positive Christian life style."


Leaders of 300 churches in the Pacific Southwest plan to break from the American Baptist Churches USA
The Associated PressThursday,
September 22, 2005; 12:14 PM

COVINA, Calif. -- Leaders of 300 churches in the Pacific Southwest plan to break from the American Baptist Churches USA, claiming the national denomination has failed to implement its declaration that gay relationships are incompatible with Christianity.

The Pacific Southwest Region said some churches with liberal stands on homosexuality have not been properly disciplined. But a top committee of the denomination said Monday that the national church does not set policy for any of its 5,800 congregations because each is autonomous.

The rest

The Bible Tells Me So
Biblical illiteracy is a shame.
Friday, September 23, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

Do we need to know what it says in the Bible? Are we somehow illiterate if we don't? Up until, say, 100 years ago, biblical literacy would have been practically mandatory. If you didn't know what "the powers that be" originally referred to, or where "the writing on the wall" was first seen, or what was meant by "the patience of Job," "Jacob's ladder" or "the salt of the earth"--if you didn't know what an exodus was or a genesis, a fatted or a golden calf--you would have been excluded from the culture. It might be said that a civilization consists, at its core, of these easily transmitted packages of implication. They are one of the mechanisms by which cultures can be both efficient and rich. You don't have to return to first principles every time you wish to communicate. You can play your present tune on a received instrument, knowing that your listener hears not only your own music but the subtle melodies of those who played it before you. There is a common wisdom in common knowledge. But does this Bible-informed world still exist? I would guess that on the whole, and outside committed Christian groups, biblical literacy is a thing of the past. That long moment of Christian civilization is over. The lingua franca of modern, English-speaking people is not dense with scriptural allusion, just as the conversation of educated people no longer makes reference to classical civilizations. If you dropped the names nowadays of Nestor, Agamemnon or Pericles--every one of which would have come trailing clouds of glory up to a century ago--you would, I think, draw a near total blank from even educated listeners.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thou wayfaring Jesus -- a pilgrim and stranger,
Exiled from heaven by love at Thy birth:
Exiled again from Thy rest in the manger,
A fugitive child 'mid the perils of earth --
Cheer with Thy fellowship all who are weary,
Wandering far from the land that they love:
Guide every heart that is homeless and dreary,
Safe to its home in Thy presence above.

Henry Van Dyke

Troublesome Thoughts
By Betsy Childs

I frequently get exasperated by the proliferation of "pop-up ads" that greet me as I navigate through the World Wide Web. Even worse than the pop-up ads is the backlog of pop-under ads that I typically don't discover until I've signed off. I must say, however, that my skill in closing pop-up ads is sharpening. I have developed a reflex that sends my cursor in the direction of the ad with the goal to shut it down before all the graphics have even appeared. I never enjoyed playing video games, but beating the pop-up ads calls for the same heightened interplay between visual and motor skills.

A similar sort of progression frequently happens in the human mind. The undisciplined mind has very little control over unwelcome thoughts that pop up without a moment's notice. The longer we allow troublesome thoughts to linger in our minds, the more they will entice us and prevent us from following the truth. Whether the thoughts are doubts, temptations, or anxieties, they lead us off the path and wind around in exhausting circles with no destination.

The rest

A Biblical Perspective On Homosexual From Focus On The Family

Filed under: General — Brad Drell @ 8:51 am
Part One and Part Two.

Through Drell's Descants. This is excellent-take time to listen.

Proposed Resolutions in the Diocese of Connecticut

RESOLUTION #5 – On Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights and Equality
Submitted by: The Rev. Michelle Hansen, STM

RESOLVED: That this 221 st Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut supports the rights, liberty and equality of all individuals based on gender identity or expression as well as sexual orientation, so that all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will be protected from discrimination in our parishes and have access to all sacraments and privileges afforded to members of the Diocese;

And, be it further RESOLVED: That the Secretary of this Convention convey this resolution to the 75th General Convention of this Episcopal Church to be considered at that General Convention.

the rest at titusonenine Don't miss the comments.

Schism in Anglican Communion Predicted by Commentators
The Anglican Communion continues to face the likely prospect of a schism as the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams struggles to maintain unity between warring liberals and conservatives.
Posted: Thursday, September 22 , 2005, 11:55 (UK)

Church commentators have been passing comments on an expected schism within the Anglican Communion over the trundling debate on the rights and role of homosexuals within the Anglican Church, after the Church of England’s decision to allow gay bishops registered under the Civil Partnership Act on the promise of abstinence.

The decision by the Church of Nigeria to drop all reference to Canterbury in its new constitution is the latest in a long line of events that have served to deepen divisions within the Communion including the ordination of a gay bishop in the U.S. and the blessing of same sex marriage in Canada.

“The longer this sort of rhetoric goes on, the less people will make the effort to stay together with people they disagree with,” said Church Times editor Paul Handley to Reuters on Tuesday.

Rod Thomas, spokesman for Reform, a conservative evangelical group within the Church of England, said, “It looks as if we are heading in the direction of schism. Rowan Williams is part of the problem and not the solution.”

The rest

Adultery Is Killing the American Family
September 22, 2005 11:04 AM EST
by Nathan Tabor

We hear a lot of talk these days about the need to protect and strengthen the traditional American family.

Certainly, it is true that the institution of marriage is under attack from every side. But the real threat comes from the multitudes of couples that fail to honor their marriage vows.

Adultery is one of the most terrible "facts of life" in contemporary America. If you watch the daily soap operas on TV - many of which are just soft-core pornography - you might get the impression that there are more people cheating on their spouses than remaining faithful. And you might be right.


AOL poll: President slays mayor on storm
With close to 600,000 participants, public rips Nagin response as 'poor'

Posted: September 21, 200511:00 p.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs

As debate continues to rage over government response to Hurricane Katrina, the public clearly thinks
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin – not President Bush – is the one to blame, according to a new online poll by America Online.

With more than 589,000 responses in today's unscientific survey, 65 percent of participants rate Nagin's handling of the Katrina disaster as "poor."

Only 10 percent of AOL users said Nagin's response was "excellent," 13 percent called it "good," and 12 percent termed it "fair."

When asked who has done a better job during the crisis, 67 percent named President Bush, and only 33 percent chose Nagin.

The rest

Child-sex book canceled after WND report
'Expert' author claimed sex good for 'nurturing,' 'mentoring' young boys
Posted: September 22, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Two days after
WND exclusively reported on a new book claiming sex with children "can benefit" boys and even serve a "mentoring function," the publishing company has announced it is canceling the book in light of the public outcry the story prompted.

"Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West" features "scholarly" treatises by a raft of mostly-Ph.D. academics, all praising earlier civilizations – particularly Greece and Rome – for the role homosexuality played in those ancient cultures.

The rest here: Thank You, Lord!

Flawed Scientific American Article on Russel Ogden’s Euthanasia ‘Research’
Euthanasia activist’s ‘research’ taken seriously by Canadian politicians re: Bill C-407
September 20, 2005

( - In the June 2005 edition of Scientific American the article, “A Culture of Death” by Dianne Martindale, examines the work of Vancouver researcher and euthanasia activist, Russel Ogden but leaves out crucial information about the researcher that would call into question his objectivity and motivations.

Ogden, in the early 1990’s, exposed in his master’s thesis an underground euthanasia movement among those who care for AIDS patients in Canada. Many in the homosexual subculture are known to advocate euthanasia as a solution to the suffering of AIDS patients. Former MP and prominent gay rights activist Svend Robinson has long been a strong advocate for legalized euthanasia.

Ogden’s continuing research reveals that euthanasia is far from the warm fuzzy Hallmark card experience most euthanasia activists would have the public believe. Ogden’s 1994 master’s thesis showed that many “botched” acts of euthanasia resulted in “horrific” acts of violence. Martindale writes that half of the 34 euthanasia cases Ogden studied were “botched” and “resulted in increased suffering.”


How Jesus Handled People's Complaints About Other People
Timothy R. Valentino
Today's Christian Preacher Magazine

The story is told of a man who joined a monastery where, in addition to the vows of celibacy and poverty, he was required to make a vow of silence. According to the rules of the monastery, the man was allowed to speak only two words a year and to utter them only during his annual review in front of the evaluation board.

The new monk served his first year in absolute silence. At the year's end when his performance was being evaluated, he was permitted to speak. The two words he uttered were "Food cold." The monk served his second year in absolute silence. At that year's end, his two words to the evaluation board were "Bed hard."

The rest: Something for all of us!

Acting on Faith in Arkansas
More than 7.5 million people have traveled to a remote, eclectic town in the Ozarks to witness the play of Jesus' death and resurrection.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. — The little girl cried out in the dark: "Don't let Jesus die!"

Down below, on a vast outdoor stage, Roman soldiers in bright gold armor flogged Jesus Christ, laughing at the sport. A dusty crowd cheered with each crack of the whip until finally Pontius Pilate shouted "Enough!" But the mob, jostling close, would not quiet. "Crucify him!" they shouted. "Crucify the false prophet!" With a shrug, Pilate gave the order.

As Christ, bent and bloodied, lifted his cross on his back, 6-year-old Sarah Davis huddled close to her mom.

"Where are they taking him?" she asked. Around her, men and women wiped away tears, or let them fall, as "The Great Passion Play" drew to an end.

Every summer for the last 38 years, tens of thousands of families have made their way to this remote patch of the Ozark Mountains to witness Christ's death and resurrection.

the rest

Conservative Priest Plans to Ignore ECUSA Bishop's Attempted Discipline
By Jim Brown
September 21, 2005

(AgapePress) - "An act of arrogance by yet another revisionist bishop in the Episcopal Church" -- that is how an Anglican priest is describing a decision by the Episcopal Bishop of Kentucky to take disciplinary action against him
Bishop Ted Gulick, Jr. of Kentucky has issued an "inhibition" -- a form of ecclesiastical discipline that temporarily prohibits a priest from performing any duties as a priest in the Episcopal Church -- against Kent Litchfield, rector of Holy Apostles Church in Elizabethtown. Gulick claims Litchfield can no longer function as a priest or conduct services in the church.

Litchfield says he plans to ignore the inhibition because he already left the Episcopal Church. He says he is now under the authority and sponsorship of conservative Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia. The Elizabethtown minister retired from the Episcopal denomination in June, after determining that it was driven more by liberal social issues than by the gospel.


The Reporters Who Didn't Bark
There's a reason that the media hasn't asked national Democrats what they think about California's same-sex marriage bill.
by Hugh Hewitt
09/22/2005 9:40:00 AM

THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA obscured many stories from public view. One of them concerned same-sex marriage. It deserves much more attention, particularly from national politicians.

On September 1, the California state Senate, by a vote of 21 to 15, approved same-sex marriage for the Golden State.

On Tuesday, September 6, the state Assembly approved the same bill by a margin of 41 to 35. No Republican voted for the measure, and four Assembly Democrats voted against it. The bill proposed changing the legal definition of marriage from "a civil contract between a man and a woman" to a "civil contract between two persons." Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, citing the overwhelming victory of Proposition 22, an initiative banning same-sex marriage, which had passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2000.

National news media accounts of the votes and the vetoes quoted the backers of the proposal as well as the governor's spokespeople, and advocates and opponents on both sides of the debate.
But in no story that I can find did a reporter think to ask a national Democratic leader for their opinion on the vote by their California colleagues. Google News cannot even find San Francisco Democrat and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi's name in the same story as same-sex marriage. Neither can the San Francisco Chronicle over the past 30 days.

The rest

State Beginning Airlifts From Houston, Beaumont

-- Texas officials will begin airlifting at least 9,000 people from Beaumont and Houston Thursday.

Those include nursing home residents, those without transportation and the homeless. They'll be taken to inland Texas cities as part of the massive coastal evacuations ahead of Hurricane Rita.

Steve McCraw is the state's director of homeland security. He says at least some of the flights will take off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The evacuees will be taken to San Antonio, Amarillo, El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth and Lubbock.


FEMA Sets Up Office in Texas As Rita Nears
Sep 22 12:32 PM US/Eastern
By APRIL CASTROAssociated Press Writer

Hundreds of federal officials are on the ground in Texas, where truckloads of water, food, ice and medical supplies are set to head for the coast once Hurricane Rita makes landfall.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up a field office in Austin, where its mobilizing to prepare for the Category 5 storm and readying to respond to the anticipated Saturday landfall on the Gulf Coast.

"I don't think we're doing anything differently than we would for a (Category 5 storm) anywhere else," said Laird Basehoar, spokeswoman for the Texas FEMA office.
The FEMA field office was set up two weeks ago to aid in Texas' response in sheltering Hurricane Katrina evacuees, but now is doubling as a base for Rita preparations.


Outburst of Faith on Campus
Students at Frederick's Tuscarora High Take Part in National Prayer Event
By Nelson Hernandez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2005

It was 7 a.m., the start of a typical day at Tuscarora High School in Frederick. The students began arriving in a trickle, then a flood. As the bleary-eyed teenagers shuffled through the front door, heading to class, Kristen Riordan and a few friends stopped by the flagpole, formed a circle and waited nervously.

Then, in a scene repeated at schools across the country, the students bowed their heads and prayed.

The rest

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

God of heaven and earth, God who carries our lives and the lives of our whole community in Your hands, be with us in the peril of this day/night. Help us to release our anxieties and fears into those same caring hands, knowing in faith that Your will for us is life and everlasting good. Send Your holy angels to watch over us and guard us. May they spread their holy wings to give us shelter against the storm. For you alone, O God, are all good, all life, all love, and that love is for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. link

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. † God became man, † and the Word was made flesh. † Christ was born of a Virgin. † Christ suffered. † Christ was crucified. † Christ died. † Christ rose from the dead. † Christ ascended into Heaven. † Christ conquers. † Christ reigns. † Christ orders. † May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning † Christ went through their midst in Peace, † and the word was made flesh. † Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root David, has won. † Holy God! † Holy Powerful God! † Holy Immortal God! † Have mercy on us. Amen !

Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from heaven the news and prince of peace.
Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease;
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears,
Nor let his eye see sin but through my tears.

... Phineas Fletcher

Diocesan Chancellor Responds to Central New York Controversies

In response to the articles concerning events in the Diocese of Central New York that were previously posted on this website, Paul J. Curtain, Jr., chancellor of that diocese, sent the following to The Living Church:

Gentlemen:Reference is made to several articles that have appeared on your website and I presume will be published in your periodical magazine, involving The Diocese of Central New York and the Rev. David Bollinger.I am writing in response to your articles in my capacity as Chancellor of this Diocese. In so doing, I will limit my remarks to facts that are known to be irrefutable and for obvious reasons, I will not respond to many of the comments made in your articles pending the outcome of a further investigation by the Church Attorney, duly appointed by our Diocesan Standing Committee.

the rest

Iraqi Christians fear fall-out from House of Bishops report on war on terror
Date: Sep 23

A REPORT by senior bishops on ‘terrorism’ which suggests an apology for the war in Iraq, has been attacked by the Church of England’s leading expert on Iraq, Canon Andrew White. Canon White, leader of the only Anglican Church in Baghdad, said that the Bishops’ report could have adverse consequences for Christians in the country. “They’ve got to take seriously the Anglican churches in these nations. No one has even contacted Bishop Clive Handford, the Bishop over Iraq. The situation is dangerous on the ground and what is said in the UK has a profound effect.” In Countering Terrorism a group of bishops led by the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, reserve most of their criticism for American foreign policy, describing talk of ‘war on terror’ as dangerous rhetoric. The Bishops also criticise the influence of the religious right on American politics.


Report predicts Sharia law in UK
Date: Sep 23
By Alex Delmar-Morgan

A PROVOCATIVE new report investigating trends within the Muslim community in Britain sees Islam as inherently driven to politically dominate in all societies it finds itself in. Islam in Britain, a report by the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity (ISIC) says Sharia — the law which defines Islam — will filter down through the British legal system giving the country a strong Islamist dimension.

The study suggests the upsurge of a dual legal system, with a drive from Muslims to implement Sharia in British law, could be highly damaging to the domestic legal system. It says: “Integrating Sharia precepts into British law would gradually impose elements of Islamic religious law on non-Muslims in the UK.” There are dangers for Muslims as well in accepting Sharia litigation, the report states. Because Islamic law places emphasis on individuals as part of communities rather than people in their own right, power lies more with the community than the individual. It explains there are ‘real dangers’ of strong communal pressure on Muslims to adhere to Sharia law.

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New page-turner Bible is launched

A new version of the Bible which its author says can be read in less than two hours has been launched.

The 100-Minute Bible, written as a page-turner for those who do not have the time to read the full version, was unveiled at Canterbury Cathedral.

Its author, ex-headteacher the Rev Michael Hinton said: "We have majored on Jesus, because he is the central figure in the Bible."


The Sound and the Fury
How John Roberts drove the Senate Democrats nuts.
by Edward Morrissey
09/21/2005 12:00:00 AM

SHAKESPEARE HAD IT RIGHT. Thanks to C-SPAN and the passions stoked from the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, the American voters had a chance to see a range of idiocy from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, all of it coming from the sound and fury of Democrats trying desperately to stay relevant. One by one, they strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage--how we wish it had only been an hour--and wound up signifying less than nothing.

The minority party came into the hearing with a host of problems: President Bush had nominated a legal genius whose scholarship and skill would be obvious in any public hearing. Because of his short tenure on the appellate bench--the result of a Democratic filibuster--his track record left his judicial philosophy unclear, even to the president's supporters. The two months it took to start the hearings had produced wild and reckless charges from liberal interest groups and media outlets that backfired, note, for example, the smear campaign from NARAL which falsely claimed that Roberts supported abortion-clinic violence. That ad generated such disgust and easy rebuttal that even Democrats called for a retraction.

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Rita Plows Across Gulf; Evacuations Begin
Sep 21 3:06 PM US/Eastern
By PAM EASTONAssociated Press Writer

Hospital and nursing home patients were evacuated and as many as 1 million other people were ordered to clear out along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as Hurricane Rita turned into a 150-mph monster that could pummel Texas and bring more misery to New Orleans by week's end.

All of Galveston, vulnerable sections of Houston and Corpus Christi, and a mostly emptied-out New Orleans were under mandatory evacuation orders, one day after Rita sideswiped the Florida Keys as a far weaker storm and caused minor damage.

Having seen what 145-mph Hurricane Katrina did three weeks ago, many people were taking no chances as Rita swirled its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

"After this killer in New Orleans, Katrina, I just cannot fathom staying," 59-year-old Ldyyan Jean Jocque said before sunrise as she waited for an evacuation bus outside the Galveston Community Center. She had packed her Bible, some music and clothes into plastic bags and loaded her dog into a pet carrier.

The rest

Evangelicals to be Dominant Force in UK Church Development, Research Finds
Evangelicals will be a key body in the future development of the Church in the UK a new report has found.
Posted: Wednesday, September 21 , 2005, 12:01 (UK)

Evangelicals will be a key body in the future development of the Church in the UK a new report has found. Christian Research, a member organisation of the Evangelical Alliance UK, has revealed the findings in its latest issue of their journal Religious Trends 5.

The research indicated that by 2020 evangelicals will be the dominant force in all denominations. The research was titled, ‘Churchmanship’, and the editor of Religious Trends, Peter Brierley stated that by 2020, “Evangelicals dominate”. This deduction is based on figures over recent years revealing that larger evangelical Church of England churches have increasingly been taking the lead.

The journal stated that the majority of the Church of England’s large churches, with more than a 350-strong congregation, are evangelical.

the rest

The Gay Agenda It's Dividing the Family, the Church, and a Nation
By Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd

The issue of homosexual marriage seems to have exploded on the national scene in 2004, but this is an organized effort that has been ongoing for over 30 years. It is now affecting every level of our society. Families agonize over this issue, while the church has been rocked with the ordination of homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The nation remains divided as states struggle to define their own laws on gay marriage while litigation is pressed in the courts often ruled by activist judges with their own judicial agendas.

A proposed marriage amendment to protect the traditional family unit has highlighted the confusion and shifting positions of politicians from every political party on this flashpoint issue. You and your family cannot afford to remain in the dark on this issue -it is simply too important to your future.

The rest

Student barred over objection to 'gay' teacher
But judge rules against district that hired homosexual to teach sex ed
Posted: September 21, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

When a Washington student objected to having a homosexual teach his sex education class, the school district attempted to punish the student by barring his reenrollment, but now a judge has sided with the student.

The student, Lucas Schrader, had been enrolled in Kent Mt. View Academy, a charter school in the Kent School District near Seattle, for three years. Schrader's parents were required to apply each year for his admission to the school because they live in another district, according to the
American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, which is representing the family.


America's pro-homosexual giants-List of companies scoring perfect 100 percent from 'gay'-rights group
Posted: September 20, 200510:08 p.m. Eastern

Below is the list of companies scoring a perfect 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's 2005 Corporate Quality Index, with policies beneficial toward homosexuals:
Agilent Technologies
Alston & Bird
American Airlines
American Express
Apple Computer
Bausch & Lomb
Best Buy

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California Radio Host Confirms Most Christian Leadership not Committed to Defending Marriage and Family
September 20, 2005

( - Paul McGuire is a California radio talk show host who frequently uses his show to urge political action from his listeners. On KBRT, a Christian station that broadcasts to most of Southern California, McGuire is asking his listeners who are pastors of churches, why they remained silent on the attempt to abolish marriage in California.

“I recently interviewed Dr. James Dobson [of Focus on the Family] and Dr. James Kennedy [of Coral Ridge Ministries] on my program,” McGuire stated this week. “They both agreed that one of the major reasons that homosexual marriage bills like AB 849 are being passed in California is that the pastors of California are not involved in these issues and are not alerting their people.”

“The number-one reason California keeps seeing gay marriage bills and other anti-family bills passing is that the pastors of California refuse to talk from the pulpit about the serious issues facing California families,” says McGuire. “The problem is not so much the individual Christians,” he says. “The problem is the pastors.”

the rest

Cathedral’s Dean Kowalski calls Cindy Sheehan a “prophet”
by Daphne Mack

[ENS] More than 1,000 people filled the Cathedral Church of St. Johnthe Divine in New York City on September 19, 2005, to hear anti-waractivist Cindy Sheehan and supporters on the “Bring Them Home NowTour” rally support for a three-day march and anti-war protest inWashington, DC, September 24-26.

“We need to show Congress that we mean business when we say we wantour troops [to come] home,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan came to national attention this summer when she camped outnear President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, demandingthat the vacationing president explain to her in person why her 24-year-old son Casey, an Army specialist assigned to 1st Battalion,82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, died in Iraq.The effort became known as Camp Casey.

In his welcoming address, the Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, deanof the cathedral, received applause when he likened Sheehan to a“prophet.”


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Give me an open ear, O God, that I may hear Thy voice
calling me to high endeavor.

Give me an open mind, O God, a mind ready to receive and to welcome such new light of knowledge as it is Thy will to reveal to me.

Give me open eyes, O God, eyes quick to discover
Thine indwelling in the world which Thou hast made.

Give me open hands, O God, hands ready to share with all who are in want the blessings with which Thou hast enriched my life.

... John Baillie

World's Largest Church Set to Hold Huge Prayer Conference in Seoul, Korea
Over 100,000 Christians from all over the world are expected to attend a massive prayer conference next month in Seoul, Korea, organised by the world’s largest church.
Posted: Tuesday, September 20 , 2005, 12:39 (UK)

SEOUL, South Korea – Over 100,000 Christians from all over the world are expected to attend a massive prayer conference next month in Seoul, Korea, organised by the world’s largest church.

Gathering at the "Grand Prayer Conference for World Peace and Salvation of People" on Oct. 14, Christians will be called to pray for world peace and also for "the history of salvation for the Korean people to be created through the Holy Spirit," according to Yoido Full Gospel Church (YFGC), the host of the event and the largest known church congregation in the world.

About 100,000 Korean believers, mainly from YFGC, and 1,200 oversees Christian leaders will attend the event at Sang Am World Cup Stadium. Casey Treat from Christian Faith Center, Benny Hinn from Benny Hinn Ministries, and YFCG founder Dr David Yonggi Cho were invited as the keynote speakers for the conference.

The rest

N'Orleans residents refuse to go – again
Some prepared to take their chances as hurricane enters Gulf of Mexico
Posted: September 20, 20055:00 p.m. Eastern

As Hurricane Rita lashes the Florida Keys on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, some newly returned New Orleans residents once again are ignoring an order to evacuate.

The owner of a Bourbon Street shop in the French Quarter insisted the order by Mayor Ray Nagin is premature.

"Where are you going to go? What are you going to do?" he told NBC News. "I'm not going anywhere."

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Promiscuity Linked to Disability, Premature Death
September 20, 2005

( – The continuing push for explicit sex-ed programs in the US and abroad and the consequent rise in promiscuous sexual activity among youth has concerned organizations re-emphasizing the dangers that result from this phenomenon. One study being emphasized is a US Centers for Disease study which warned that the prevalence of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the US is having a serious impact on the rates of disability and premature death.

In the year studied, 1998, approximately 30,000 deaths were attributable to STD infections, most prevalently HIV/AIDS, but also cervical cancer resulting from human Papilloma virus (HPV) in women. They reported that the US incidence for these diseases was three times the average rate of other developed countries.


Racism & Katrina: How Should Christians Respond?
Janet Chismar
Senior Editor for Faith

From conservative pundits to liberal bloggers, tongues are wagging and fingers are pointing – the charges ugly and hard to ignore.

In an open letter to President Bush, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore suggested that the delay in helping stranded residents of New Orleans was based on race and class. "It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands have no transportation to get out of town," Moore wrote. "C'mon, they're black! ... Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?"

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Colorado Library Learns Lesson, Quietly Settles Out of Court
By Allie Martin
September 20, 2005

(AgapePress) - A Christian law firm has settled a dispute with a Colorado library that rejected an application to use a community meeting room.

Earlier this year, Florida-based
Liberty Counsel applied to use the community room of the Woodland Park Library near Denver for an informative meeting on the biblical perspective of marriage and homosexuality. The application also explained that the meeting would include prayer and scripture reading.

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Local Activists in Four States Stop Movie Gallery Porn Sales
Feature by Randall Murphree
September 20, 2005

(AgapePress) - Christian activists come in all sorts of packages. Below, the stories of two developers in Kentucky, a priest and a home-schooling mom in New Jersey, a contractor in Mississippi, and a beautician in Illinois illustrate how to be salt and light in our culture. These activists took on Movie Gallery, the nation's leading renter of porn videos -- and they won.

This diverse group -- from six different denominations -- took time to share their victories with AFA Journal. Not only do they illustrate a wide range of professions and church backgrounds, they also illustrate how members of the Body of Christ can find common ground in responsibility as believers, obedience to the Lord, consistency of our faith and passion for Christ.

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"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48

Our Lord's exhortation in these verses is to be generous in our behaviour to all men. In the spiritual life beware of walking according to natural affinities. Everyone has natural affinities; some people we like and others we do not like. We must never let those likes and dislikes rule in our Christian life. "If we walk in the light as God is in the light," God will give us communion with people for whom we have no natural affinity.

The Example Our Lord gives us is not that of a good man, or even of a good Christian, but of God Himself. "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect," show to the other man what God has shown to you; and God will give us ample opportunities in actual life to prove whether we are perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. To be a disciple means that we deliberately identify ourselves with God's interests in other people. "That ye love one another; as I have loved you . . ."

The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics. God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian is that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and the experience of this works out in the practical details of life, not in times of communion with God. When we come in contact with things that create a buzz, we find to our amazement that we have power to keep wonderfully poised in the centre of it all.

Oswald Chambers

Lotz, Tada to address "Hope and a Future"

Rick Warren, Anne Graham Lotz, Joni Eareckson Tada, Baroness Caroline Cox and other leading evangelicals will speak at the Anglican Communion Network's first international conference, "Hope and a Future," set for Nov. 10-12 in Pittsburgh.

"Mobilizing and empowering everyone -- especially the laity -- is essential to the rebirth of a biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism in North America," says the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Network.

Info here

Rochester parish may face extinction
A congregation of about 50 people in the Diocese of Rochester may be "declared extinct" if it cannot reach a compromise with Bishop Jack McKelvey.

The Rev. David Harnish and leaders of All Saints Episcopal Church in Rochester are scheduled to meet with the bishop on the afternoon of September 20 to discuss their conflicts. At the heart of those conflicts is the parish's sense that it cannot in good conscience pay its diocesan assessment.

"It would be a grievous breach of good conscience and Christian faith for the Vestry to 'support the work of the Diocese and the General Church' and would offer a sense of complicity or agreement which it cannot do under the present circumstances," the All Saints vestry said in a resolution on June 14. In that resolution, the vestry asked that the Anglican Communion's Panel of Reference offer its guidance for resolving the conflict.

The rest

Pope bans homosexuals from ordination as priests
Applicants with 'gay' tendencies won't be admitted to seminaries
Posted: September 19, 20056:48 p.m. Eastern

Pope Benedict XVI has given his approval to a new Vatican policy document that bans men with homosexual tendencies from being ordained as priests, reports Catholic World News.

The policy statement is a direct result of the pope's concern about the pedophilia scandal in the church – especially in the U.S.

The new document, prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education in response to a request made by the late Pope John Paul II in 1994, will be published soon. It will take the form of an "Instruction," signed by the prefect and secretary of the congregation: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Michael Miller, according to the report.


Officials warn of catastrophic flu pandemic
Estimates of 'tens of millions' dead if virus mutates as feared
Posted: September 20, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

A recently evolved avian flu virus could mutate and become transmissible between humans, touching off a massive global pandemic, agreed public health officials from more than 20 countries in the Western Pacific region who gathered yesterday.

With one small genetic adjustment in Influenza A, or H5N1, millions of people could die, warned World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shigeru Omi.


Students to Gather for 'See You at the Pole' Despite Pledge Ruling
Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2005
Posted: 12:40:26AM EST

Over two million students nationwide are expected to gather at their school flagpoles to pray during the annual See You at the Pole (SYATP) event on Wednesday.

The prayer rally takes place at most schools at 7 a.m. before classes begin. Students will pray for the country, the President, and for the many victims of Hurricane Katrina."I think it's important to pray for our school," said Sara Stacey, organizer of the event at Campbell County High School in Kentucky, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.Local churches are holding special pre-rally events to get students excited about the national student prayer day. Some held "Campus Challenge Sunday" commissioning services during the weekend.

The rest

Anglicans face specter of schism over gay rights
By Paul Majendie Reuters

Tuesday, September 20, 2005; 9:44 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams faces a recurring nightmare trying to stop Anglican liberals and conservatives heading for schism over the increasingly divisive issue of gay rights.

"That is why Rowan Williams is looking so haggard nowadays," Church Times editor Paul Handley said on Tuesday as the spiritual leader of 77 million Anglicans worldwide fought to keep the church united.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams faces a recurring nightmare trying to stop Anglican liberals and conservatives heading for schism over the increasingly divisive issue of gay rights.'
Two years of deepening divisions were sparked by the ordination of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same sex marriages in Canada.

Now the Church of Nigeria, the most vocal critic of liberal Anglicans in Western churches, has deleted all reference to Canterbury, the mother church of the Anglican communion, from its constitution.

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Infanticide, Forced Abortions, Sterilizations
Time magazine reports the situation as

"one of the most brutal sterilization campaigns of recent years."

( A massive campaign by China's population-control authorities is underway in the country's Shandong province, southeast of Beijing, with accounts of horrible atrocities, including infanticide, forced abortions on women -- even of those in the ninth month of pregnancy -- and the sterilizations of thousands.

Time magazine published a report describing the situation as "one of the most brutal sterilization campaigns of recent years." Time reported the case of Li Juan, a woman whose term baby was forcibly aborted. "The men with the poison-filled syringe arrived two days before Li Juan's due date. They pinned her down on a bed in a local clinic, she says, and drove the needle into her abdomen until it entered the 9-month-old fetus. 'At first, I could feel my child kicking a lot,' says the 23-year-old. 'Then, after a while, I couldn't feel her moving anymore.' " (You can continue reading the grisly account in Time


Witchcraft and nail clippings: the weird world of Cherie Blair?
By Cahal Milmo
Published: 20 September 2005

Even by the standards of the alternative therapies said to be used by Cherie Blair, submitting her husband's toenail clippings to a health guru's pendulum is taking her alleged New Age obsession to a higher level.

Mrs Blair, a human rights lawyer, has long been the subject of claims about her fondness for weird and wonderful treatments, ranging from a Mayan rebirthing ceremony to eating strawberry leaves to cure swollen ankles.

But a book published yesterday about the Blairs has taken tales of odd practices inside the prime ministerial household to new extremes.

The rest

Neutral crystal symbol may join traditional Red Cross emblems
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 20/09/2005)

The Red Cross and its Islamic cousin, the Red Crescent, could soon be joined by a Red Crystal. The move is an attempt to create a neutral emblem in an age of growing religious strife, in which aid workers have been attacked and the Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad bombed.

The symbol also seeks to resolve disputes that have kept some humanitarian organisations, mainly Israel's Magen David Adom, which uses the red Shield of David, outside the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Switzerland plans to convene a conference by the end of the year at which the 192 countries party to the Geneva conventions will be asked to approve the red crystal, a red square tilted on its edge against a white background.


New book promotes sex with children
Ph.D. 'expert' claims pederasty good for 'nurturing,' 'mentoring' young boys
Posted: September 19, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005

A new book published by
Haworth Press features multiple Ph.D. "experts" claiming that sex with children "can benefit" boys and even serve a "mentoring function."

"Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West" features "scholarly" treatises by a raft of mostly-PhD academics, all praising earlier civilizations – particularly Greece and Rome – for the role homosexuality played in those ancient cultures.

The rest

Monday, September 19, 2005

"In pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He,
Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.

And "by still waters" ? No, not always so;
Ofttimes the heavy tempests round me blow,
And o'er my soul the waves and billows go.

But when the storm beats loudest, and I cry

Aloud for help, the Master standeth by,
And whispers to my soul, "Lo,it is I."

So, where He leads me, I can safely go,

And in the blest hereafter I shall know
Why, in His wisdom, He hath led me so.

... Anonymous

New Orleans Suspends Reopening of City
Sep 19 5:02 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

Under pressure from President Bush and other top federal officials, the mayor Monday suspended the reopening of large portions of the city over the next few days because of the threat of a new round of flooding from a tropical storm.

"I am concerned about this hurricane getting in the gulf. ... If we are off, I'd rather err on the side of conservatism to make sure we have everyone out," Mayor Ray Nagin said.

The announcement came after repeated warnings from top federal officials _ and the president himself _ that the city was unsafe.

The rest

The Supreme Court's Private Life
Published: September 18, 2005
Princeton, N.J.

WHEN John Roberts, President Bush's nominee for chief justice of the Supreme Court, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that "the right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways," some saw this as contradicting a memo he wrote while serving in the Reagan administration in which he referred to the "so-called 'right to privacy.' " The confusion may stem less from Judge Roberts's lack of candor than from the political and legal morass brought on by a string of dubious decisions by the Supreme Court over the last 40 years.

While the word "privacy" does not appear in the Constitution, this does not mean privacy rights are not protected. Certain provisions plainly protect people against governmental intrusion, like the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures." And these provisions have implications that extend beyond what the framers could possibly have envisioned; by logical extension, the Fourth Amendment protects people's electronic files just as it protected the parchment letters of the late 18th century.

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