Saturday, May 13, 2006

Praying after the High Points

"And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray."MARK 6:46

"What do you do after a spiritual victory? Where do you go after reaching a high point in your Christian life? Jesus went to pray. Jesus had just fed a multitude with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:34-44). If there were ever a time to relax and bask in the glow of God's power it should have been then. Instead, Jesus climbed a mountain to pray. When Jesus prayed, the Father clearly revealed His will and His ways to His Son. It eventually dawned on Jesus' disciples that Jesus prepared for every major decision and difficult challenge with a time of prayer (Luke 11:1).

As Jesus prayed on the mountain that day, the Father knew His Son was about to face a fierce storm (Mark 6:48). The disciples raced headlong into the tempest unprepared, but Jesus entered the storm after communing with His Father in prayer. The Father had prepared Jesus for what was coming, and Jesus met the crisis with all the power of God.

It is tempting to relax after a spiritual victory, but a crisis could follow at any time. You must stand guard over your high points. It is at these times when you experience God mightily that you should immediately get alone to pray. Then you will not be caught unprepared when trials come. Have you experienced a spiritual victory? Follow your Lord's example and go immediately to a place of prayer so the Father can prepare you for what is coming."
Henry Blackaby devotional

Religious leaders fear 'right to die' law would turn into 'duty to die'
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has joined forces with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi in an attempt to defeat the controversial Bill to allow “mercy killings”.

It is a measure of the strength of religious objection to the assisted dying Bill that Dr Rowan Williams, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Sir Jonathan Sacks have united against it. They have issued joint statements before, but rarely on legislation up for debate in Parliament.

In a letter published in today’s Times, they say: “We are opposed to this Bill and to any measure that seeks to legalise assisted suicide or euthanasia. We believe that all human life is sacred and God-given with a value that is inherent, not conditional.”

Calling on peers to withhold support when the Bill is debated in the Lords today, the three religious leaders gave a warning that a right to die could become, for the terminally ill, a “duty to die”.
the rest

Let us ignore the mantras of modernity and dance the sacred dances
Credo by Geoffrey Rowell

CHILDREN’S definitions of church are always fascinating. One of my favourites is that of the child who said that a church was “a place where people sing a lot of hymns and walk about in patterns”.

For those contemporary expressions of church which owe more to the conversational idiom of the television chat show and where worship takes place in bland settings more analogous to lecture rooms than sacred space (with a corresponding loss of those essential elements of worship — awe, reverence and mystery), it is a description that may seem outdated.

Nonetheless, what processions and hymns represent is deeply rooted. Laps of honour as victorious sports teams are welcomed home or carnivals and even marathons, let alone the more traditional forms of regimental marches or the Lord Mayor’s Show, many accompanied by music, show that there is something archetypal about a human need to join in a symbolic movement from place to place.
the rest

Crackdown on polygamy group
By Brad Knickerbocker,
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
May 09, 2006

Small polygamous groups have existed in the southwestern US under the watchful yet fairly benign eye of authorities ever since a sect known as the Fundamentalist
Latter Day Saints (FLDS) separated itself from mainstream Mormonism in 1890.

That year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints banned "plural marriages," a move declared to be based on a "revelation" from God. The decision was also required for Utah to become a state.

Now, FLDS leader Warren Jeffs has been added to the FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives," a move that caps law enforcement's dramatic change of approach toward the polygamous group in recent years. The group's belief that men need more than one wife to reach heaven, which FLDS defenders argue is a matter of religious freedom and pluralism in the United States, is not the main catalyst for the tougher stance. Rather, it's the impact that the group's practices, law enforcement officials say, are having on the most vulnerable within the sect, particularly children and women.

When the FLDS under Mr. Jeffs (and his father before him) grew to some 10,000 followers in several southwestern communities with estimated assets of $110 million; when it became clear that government officials, school authorities, and police in those communities had become intertwined with the sect; when ex-members increasingly reported child and sexual abuse charges (mainly involving underage girls forced to marry older men); and when the sect began to use secluded compounds, state and federal authorities started to crack down more vigorously.
the rest

How Much Is a Mom Worth?
by Albert Mohler
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2006

Carl Bialik, "The Numbers Guy" columnist at
The Wall Street Journal, looks at how some researchers try to project what a mom should be paid if mothers were paid as "domestic professionals." By any measure, the executive, administrative, medical, nutritional, therapeutic, and instructional dimensions alone would count for a major executive salary.

A consulting firm known as Inc. estimates that the average mom deserves an annual salary of $85,876 if she works outside the home and $134,121 if she is a stay-at-home mom.
The study is a gimmick of sorts, dismissed as "silly" by Harvard economist Claudia Goldin. Who could really estimate the value of motherhood? The calling is far more than a profession.

The fact that the consulting firm added value to the stay-at-home moms was interesting, to say the least -- bucking the trend toward political correctness.
the rest

American Baptists Split Over Homosexuality, Theology
Saturday, May. 13, 2006

The American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest severed ties with the national denomination on Thursday, concluding a yearlong battle over the theological interpretation of homosexuality.

The Board of Directors of the Pacific Southwest voted unanimously to confirm a late April decision by delegates from the region’s 300 churches to withdraw from the American Baptists Church, USA.

The board of directors always had the authority to withdraw, but decided to seek input from delegates of the local churches.

“The overwhelming response of delegates from the churches was a mandate in the minds of the members of the Board of Directors,” said Dr. Dale V. Salico, executive minister of the ABCPSW.

As in other historic mainline denominations, divisions over homosexuality have threatened the unity of 1.4 million-member American Baptists for years.
the rest

Le Moyne College Condemned for Pulling Student Newspaper's Adviser
FIRE Believes Faculty Mentor Was Yanked to Punish Paper for Criticizing the School
By Jim Brown
May 12, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Catholic college in New York State is being accused of unjustly punishing a student newspaper and its faculty adviser for criticizing the school. A spokesman with the
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the adviser's dismissal by Le Moyne College in Syracuse reflects a growing trend on U.S. campuses toward administrative control of student press.

Professor Alan Fischler had served as faculty adviser for Le Moyne's student newspaper, The Dolphin, ever since he was chosen by its staff in 1996. Also, just last year he wrote a column for the paper, voicing disapproval over the college's dismissal of graduate education major Scott McConnell after he penned a paper expressing his conservative views.

Le Moyne has now "released" Fischler from his position with The Dolphin, reportedly telling him the school wants a "more hands-on" adviser. The professor, who continues to teach at the college, will be replaced by a faculty adviser selected by the administration, a move that has prompted a strike by the student staff of the campus newspaper in protest.
the rest

For Teachers, Much Gray if Curriculum Adds Gays
By Scott Gold and Hemmy So, Times Staff Writers
May 13, 2006

Would the state of California "out" Abe Lincoln, now that a controversial biography has suggested that he not only changed the course of a nation but also shared a bed with men?

Would Eleanor Roosevelt be singled out not just for her seminal work pursuing the New Deal and fighting for human rights, but for her relationship with a woman?

Would Renee Richards, the tennis player who underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1975 and fought successfully to compete as a woman, merit mention in a history book?

On Friday, a day after the state Senate voted to require that the historical contributions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people be taught in California schools, the weight of practicality — how would it be accomplished? — settled in.

Many educators and activists found themselves in a briar patch of confusion — even those who believe that folding the concept of sexual orientation into the school curriculum would lead to greater levels of tolerance and acceptance.
the rest

God reigns at sporting events
By John Zenor
May 13, 2006

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The throng of fans cheered, shouted enthusiastic "Amens" and waved their arms above their heads to the tunes of a Christian rock band.

Nearby, children checked out the Bible-themed bobblehead dolls and posed with VeggieTales characters while parents scanned tables filled with Bibles in a family-friendly brand of pregame tailgating.

That scene before a recent Birmingham Steeldogs arenafootball2 game is one of a growing number of "Faith Nights" at sporting events around the country that mix religion and sports, praise and promotion.

"We want you to come to a game and have fun and listen to music," said Brent High, president of Third Coast Sports, which runs and promotes the events. "But at the same time, we're going to set the table for you with player testimonials and music. It's a great night for you to reach out to people who don't have a church home."
the rest

Hip-hop Mass delivers an ancient message in a new vernacular
Richmond Times-Dispatch
May 13, 2006

RICHMOND, Va. -- The solemnity of hymns played on an organ was replaced by thumping speakers that amplified a thick bass line.

Instead of a more traditional, staid sermon, listeners heard a hip-hop homily.

Mixing the motifs of hip-hop music and culture with Christian doctrine is all part of the HipHopEMass service.

The Rev. Timothy Holder, an Episcopal minister from New York City, created the HipHopEMass concept. He and his posse of musicians and religious rappers brought their in-your-face ministry to Richmond one recent night, holding a service at St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
the rest

Indonesia raises volcano alert
Saturday, May 13, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesian authorities have ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents near Mount Merapi, warning a deadly volcanic eruption could be imminent.

Merapi, one of Indonesia's most dangerous and active volcanoes, has been rumbling for about a month.

Increased lava flow over the past day and a new lava dome forming at the peak triggered immediate concerns.
the rest

Church of England flock strays far from its pews
`Britain is showing the world how religion as we have known it can die,' a historian observes as regular church attendance slips to 8 percent
By Tom Hundley
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published May 11, 2006

ROEHAMPTON, England -- Rev. Mandy Beck, an Anglican priest, is on the lookout for lost souls among the loaves and frozen fish.

Bringing Christianity to the aisles of an Asda superstore, a British chain owned by Wal-Mart, isn't exactly missionary work, but it's close.

Beck, who is the pastor of a small suburban London congregation, admits she probably hasn't won any converts in the year she has been serving in Asda's store chaplaincy program."

But I have probably had more serious religious conversations here than I have had in my church," she said. "People seem to feel comfortable here. They'll come up and start talking to you about their struggles with suffering or death."

the rest

Educating Your Parish: One Church's Story

Christ Church of the Ascension is a Network parish in the Diocese of Arizona, overlooking the city of Phoenix. More than 500 parishioners worship on any given Sunday. Christ Church, founded in 1963 and a Network affiliate since September 2004, is a “Christ-centered, Bible-based parish worshipping in the Anglican tradition.” Since many perspectives are represented in the parish community, Christ Church has developed an aggressive education and communications program to keep members informed of challenges facing the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

“Being a Network parish in the Arizona desert, we felt somewhat distant from decisions being made on the national level,” said Jane Allred, a vestry member and senior vice president of a major digital marketing firm. “Those decisions, however, still impact us, and they were not being actively discussed within our diocese. Life pretty much was cruising along as it always had for us. We were running Alphas, confirming dozens of parishioners at a time, opening a pre-school, and practicing our ‘radical hospitality.’”

the rest at ACN

Friday, May 12, 2006

I need Thee, O Lord, for a curb on my tongue; when I am tempted to making carping criticisms and cruel judgements, keep me from speaking barbed words that hurt, and in which I find perverted satisfaction. Keep me from unkind words and from unkind silences. Restrain my judgements. Make my criticisms kind, generous, and constructive. Make me sweet inside, that I may be gentle with other people, gentle in the things I say, kind in what I do. Create in me that warmth of mercy that shall enable others to find Thy strength for their weakness, Thy peace for their strife, Thy joy for their sorrow, Thy love for their hatred, Thy compassion for their weakness. In thine own strong name, I pray. Amen. Peter Marshall

Via Media, But Which One?
by Bishop Duncan

Bishop Duncan asks what "Via Media" means in the Episcopal Church today.

“By 1593 the Church of England had shown plainly that it would not walk in the ways either of Geneva or of Rome. This is the origin of the famous Via Media, the middle way, of the Church
of England…Anglicanism is a very positive form of Christian belief; it affirms that it teaches the whole of Catholic faith, free from the distortions, the exaggerations, the over-definitions both of the Protestant left wing and of the right wing of Tridentine Catholicism. Its challenge can be summed up in the phrases, ‘Show us anything clearly set forth in Holy Scripture that we do not teach, and we will teach it; show us anything in our teaching and practice that is plainly contrary to Holy Scripture, and we will abandon it.” (Stephen Neill, Anglicanism p. 119)

For generations we Anglicans have understood ourselves to offer a middle way, a via media. In a very similar vein, we have often spoken of our calling as that of a “bridge” church.

These self-understandings depended on reference to realities on either side: through what land were we the middle way? Between what shores were we the bridge? the rest

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success. James Hudson Taylor photo

Postponing Armageddon
But no end to Anglican civil war
David C. Steinmetz
Special to the Sentinel
Posted May 11, 2006

Last Saturday more than 1,000 Episcopalians packed into Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to elect a new bishop for the Diocese of California. Their choice was Mark H. Andrus, a suffragan or assistant bishop from Alabama.Bishop Andrus is a white heterosexual male and the father of two college-age daughters. His election as the bishop of San Francisco would have been unremarkable in 1956, probably meriting only a brief story in Bay Area papers. But in 2006 the election of Bishop Andrus was followed by news organizations around the world.

The reason for the increased attention is the turmoil created in the worldwide Anglican Communion -- of which the Episcopal Church is a part -- by the election in 2003 of an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire. Since then, the 77 million-member Anglican Communion has teetered on the verge of schism.

Which is why the election in San Francisco worried so many Episcopalians outside California, not all of them conservative. After all, San Francisco is the center of a very liberal diocese. Three of the unsuccessful candidates for bishop live in gay- or lesbian-partnered relationships. One of them might very well have been elected as the second openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Such an outcome, had it occurred, would undoubtedly have split the Anglican Communion in two. But it did not happen. The election of Mark Andrus postponed the threatened showdown to another day.
the rest

Bishop Robinson speaks to Log Cabin
by Bob Roehr

"It is really important for us to come out as religious, because religion is the greatest single source of our oppression. It is going to take religious people to undo that religious oppression," said Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

"There is no story that you can tell that is any more important than how you, yourself came to grips with your being gay. And that you believe in a God who loves us all," he said.

Robinson, the first openly gay elected bishop in the Episcopal Church, who presides over the Diocese of New Hampshire, made his remarks in a keynote speech at the Log Cabin Republicans national convention on April 28 in the ornate Hall of Flags at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, across Lafayette Park from the White House.

He said every major Jewish and Christian group is grappling with the issue of gays, and the struggle is within denominations, not between them.
the rest

Panel of Reference to Hear Florida Alliance Complaint

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s chief of staff has written to the “Florida 6,” saying the Panel of Reference will hear an appeal in those congregations’ dispute with the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida.

In a letter dated April 26, Chris Smith confirmed to the rector of Redeemer Anglican Church in Jacksonville, the Rev. Neil G. Lebhar, that “the matter is now with the Panel of Reference.” Bishop Howard had been advised “accordingly,” Mr. Smith said, adding that Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold also had been advised as a “matter of courtesy.”

In June 2005 the “Florida 6,” as the group of dissenting congregations was once known, filed a petition with the Panel of Reference seeking arbitration from the Archbishop of Canterbury in their dispute with the diocese, Bishop Howard, and the General Convention.

Mr. Smith also asked for a stay of civil and ecclesiastical litigation within the diocese, writing the Panel of Reference processes “include a request that there be a stay on any civil or ecclesiastical proceedings during the period of reference to the panel. I would be grateful if you could let me know how we should view this situation, and whether there are some further steps that need to be taken before the panel takes any further action.”

the rest at The Living Church

Banned in Boston
The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty.
by Maggie Gallagher

CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF BOSTON made the announcement on March 10: It was getting out of the adoption business. "We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve. . . . The issue is adoption to same-sex couples."

It was shocking news. Catholic Charities of Boston, one of the nation's oldest adoption agencies, had long specialized in finding good homes for hard to place kids. "Catholic Charities was always at the top of the list," Paula Wisnewski, director of adoption for the Home for Little Wanderers, told the Boston Globe. "It's a shame because it is certainly going to mean that fewer children from foster care are going to find permanent homes." Marylou Sudders, president of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, said simply, "This is a tragedy for kids."

How did this tragedy happen?

It's a complicated story. Massachusetts law prohibited "orientation discrimination" over a decade ago. Then in November 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered gay marriage. The majority ruled that only animus against gay people could explain why anyone would want to treat opposite-sex and same-sex couples differently. That same year, partly in response to growing pressure for gay marriage and adoption both here and in Europe, a Vatican statement made clear that placing children with same-sex couples violates Catholic teaching.
the rest

Court: City officials’ actions in restricting speech in public park were unconstitutional
ADF-allied attorney wins declaratory judgment for public preachers barred from expressing views
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Sealing a victory for religious free speech, a federal district court judge issued a declaratory judgment Monday in favor of two preachers muzzled by city officials from speaking in a public park.

An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney represents the preachers’ organization of which one of the men, Pastor Jim Grove, is a part. “Christian speech shouldn’t be treated differently than any other kind of speech,” said ADF-allied attorney Leonard Brown of the law firm Clymer & Musser. “This ruling, coming after a jury found two police officers had violated Pastor Grove’s First Amendment rights when they arrested him, clearly shows that other Harrisburg officials violated this basic constitutional guarantee when they had a city police officer stop the two men from speaking near the event.”

In 2003, Harrisburg officials restricted the speech of James Grove and Michael Marcavage as they expressed opposition to the “PrideFest” event in Riverfront Park, which celebrates homosexual behavior.
the rest

Former Homosexual, Now a Christian, Highlights Starbucks' Strong Support
Pro-Family Advocate Thinks Fellow Believers Should Reconsider Sipping From Java-Giant's Cup
By Mary Rettig
May 10, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Christian activist in California who has left the homosexual lifestyle says the coffee giant Starbucks has some troubling ties with homosexual activism.

James Hartline, a former homosexual, notes that the first time he became aware of Starbuck's support for homosexuals was during a local San Diego "gay pride" festival. He says the company chose not to pull its sponsorship from the event, even after being notified that convicted pedophiles were involved in the homosexual celebration.

Also, Hartline asserts, Starbucks is a big supporter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. And this year, when that group held an awards ceremony "to honor Brokeback Mountain and homosexual, lesbian and transsexual success stories in the media," he says, "Starbucks was a major corporate sponsor again of that event."

GLAAD has an extensive history of doing two things, the Christian activist contends. The group works tirelessly to promote homosexuality and "gay," lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual acceptance in the media, he says, and "additionally, from a political perspective, they have a long history of going after and boycotting Christian enterprises -- groups that are opposed to homosexuality."
the rest

Misunderstanders of Islam admit to beheading Christian schoolgirl
May 11, 2006

These benighted misunderstanders of Islam were evidently foolish enough to think that when the Qur'an says to "strike the necks" of unbelievers (47:4; cf. also 8:12), that it actually means, "strike the necks" of the unbelievers. The fools! They've probably been listening to Islamophobic rhetoric, or
watching "United 93"! Don't they realize that the Qur'an is a document of staggering complexity, and that it can only be properly understood by Saudi-funded American professors who spend years in concentrated study, enabling them to determine that "strike the necks" actually means "hug the necks"? You have to read it in the original Arabic, you see, and use your secret Qur'anic Arabic decoder ring, which likewise renders "beat her" (Qur'an 4:34) as "tell her how much you love her."
the rest

The Muslim Brotherhood "Project"
By Patrick Poole
May 11, 2006

One might be led to think that if international law enforcement authorities and Western intelligence agencies had discovered a twenty-year old document revealing a top-secret plan developed by the oldest Islamist organization with one of the most extensive terror networks in the world to launch a program of “cultural invasion” and eventual conquest of the West that virtually mirrors the tactics used by Islamists for more than two decades, that such news would scream from headlines published on the front pages and above the fold of the New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Le Monde, Bild, and La Repubblica.

If that’s what you might think, you would be wrong.

In fact, such a document was recovered in a raid by Swiss authorities in November 2001, two months after the horror of 9/11. Since that time information about this document, known in counterterrorism circles as “The Project”, and discussion regarding its content has been limited to the top-secret world of Western intelligence communities. Only through the work of an intrepid Swiss journalist, Sylvain Besson of Le Temps, and his book published in October 2005 in France, La conquête de l'Occident: Le projet secret des Islamistes (The Conquest of the West: The Islamists' Secret Project), has information regarding The Project finally been made public. One Western official cited by Besson has described The Project as “a totalitarian ideology of infiltration which represents, in the end, the greatest danger for European societies.”
the rest

Democrats link insurance bill to more abortions
By Amy Fagan
May 11, 2006

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday said the Republican health bill before the chamber would eliminate state health care guarantees, thereby jeopardizing women's access to contraception and perhaps resulting in more abortions.

"If Bush Republicans have their way, millions of women will have to make a choice between going without effective prescription contraception and struggling to pay for it out-of-pocket, something many will be unable to do," said Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat.

Linking the bill to the abortion issue, a key part of the Republican platform, Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, said that "in order to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and to decrease the number of abortions, we must make contraception more accessible and more affordable." The bill, she and Mr. Reid argued, would do the opposite.
the rest

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

True Prayer

Every true prayer has its background and its foreground. The foreground of prayer is the intense, immediate desire for a certain blessing which seems to be absolutely necessary for the soul to have; the background of prayer is the quiet, earnest desire that the will of God, whatever it may be, should be done. What a picture is the perfect prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane! In front burns the strong desire to escape death and to live; but behind there stands, calm and strong, the craving of the whole life for the doing of the will of God... Leave out the foreground, let there be no expression of the will of him who prays, and there is left a pure submission which is almost fatalism. Leave out the background, let there be no acceptance of the will of God, and the prayer is only an expression of self-will, a petulant claiming of the uncorrected choice of him who prays. Only when the two are there together, the special desire resting on the universal submission, the universal submission opening into the special desire, is the picture perfect and the prayer complete. Phillips Brooks

Must read for CNY diocese: Matt Kennedy+

Next Month the Deluge

The temperature is rising up here in Central New York, as is the tension. General Convention is fast approaching and things feel very strange. I’ve done all that I can to prepare my people for the inevitable trial and sacrifice that is coming. But people are jumpy, nervous about what June will bring.

My parish has flourished over the last year. We’ve seen a big jump in conversions and membership in just the last two months. We’ve been averaging over 80 on a Sunday, which constitutes about a 50% jump from three years ago in a diocese that has, by way of contrast, declined by 5% in ASA over the same time period. Our soup kitchen is booming. People are using their gifts. The bible studies are multiplying and growing (I teach 4 a week, Anne+ teaches 1 and we’re starting at least three more in the fall. A good 75% of our people participate). All this to say God has given us good times. We’ve been more unified, focused on mission/evangelism, devoted to the scriptures, devoted to worship than ever before.

the rest

Marriage Attack List
Illinois voters, more than 300,000 of them to be somewhat precise, have petitioned the state for a referendum on the matter of "gay marriage."

Masschusetts voters have signed a petition for an admendment that would ban "gay marriages" without provision for "civil unions." A pro-"gay marriage" group,, has a website
where it explains the petition, who's behind it, and how evil it is. It even quotes James Dobson, who said,

"[Marriage equality will] destroy the family, which will destroy the nation, and I think eventually have a major impact on Western Civilization." (CNN's Larry King Live on September 5, 2003)

Note the editorial [brackets]! Dobson didn't say something like "gay marriage" or "homosexual marriage" but "marriage equality"? (If one cannot even argue for a position without changing your opponents words into saying the opposite of what he said, how confident is that?)
the rest

A Faith Tailored Just for You
The hoopla over the Gospel of Judas is both absurd and revealing.
A Christianity Today editorial
posted 05/10/2006

When the Gospel of Judas was unveiled in April, much of the American press and public were bowled over by this "lost" Gospel's claims that Judas was Jesus' favorite, that he was the only disciple who understood Jesus' mission, and that Jesus told Judas to hand him over to the authorities, so that Judas would "sacrifice the man that clothes me."

Little was reported of what the 13-sheet Coptic manuscript had to say about the heavenly kingdom of Barbelo, the 72 heavens, the 360 firmaments, and the confusing array of demigods who inhabit them.

Fortunately, some members of the press saw how ridiculous it all was. Newsweek's David Gates took aim at the hoopla manufactured by National Geographic and others who had a financial stake in the Judas Gospel: "Can the lipstick tie-in be far behind?"

More importantly, the best liberal scholars admitted up front that this find "tells us nothing about the historical Jesus, nothing about the historical Judas." Those are the words of James M. Robinson, lead scholar of the team that investigated the last great find of Gnostic Gospels, the Nag Hammadi library. Or as Adam Gopnik told New Yorker readers, "The finding of the new Gospel … no more challenges the basis of the church's faith than the discovery of a document from the nineteenth century written in Ohio and defending King George would be a challenge to the basis of American democracy."
the rest

Anglican Senior Primate Eames Announces Retirement
The Most Rev Dr Robin Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of All Ireland and Metropolitan has announced that he is to retire at the end of this year.
Posted: Wednesday, May 10 , 2006

The Most Rev Dr Robin Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of All Ireland and Metropolitan has announced that he is to retire at the end of this year.

The announcement if Dr Eames’ decision has been made to the General Synod of the Church of Ireland, and the decision is scheduled to take effect on 31st December 2006.

Dr Eames, 69, has been a bishop for 31 years, and was appointed as the Archbishop of Armagh 20 years ago in 1986. Currently he holds the position as the senior primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
the rest

AP reports 'gay brain' study incorrectly
Posted: May 10, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
By Robert Knight

A new and widely reported Swedish study that suggests that lesbians respond differently from heterosexual women when exposed to sex hormones has been seriously misinterpreted, one of the researchers says.

The Associated Press story noted that a similar study was done last year on men, and that with the new female study, "the findings add weight to the idea that homosexuality has a physical basis and is not learned behavior."

In response to an e-mail inquiry from Grove City College Professor of Psychology Dr. Warren Throckmorton, researcher Dr. Ivanka Savic of the Stockholm Brain Institute said of the AP interpretation of her work, "This is incorrect and not stated in the paper."
the rest

The Return of the Caliphate? An Ominous Warning
Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Albert Mohler

Now here's an interesting story:
The Christian Science Monitor reports that some Muslims are pushing and planning for a re-establishment of the caliphate -- the rule of all Muslims under one transnational government.

From the article:

Hizb ut-Tahrir says that Muslims should abolish national boundaries within the Islamic world and return to a single Islamic state, known as "the Caliphate," that would stretch from Indonesia to Morocco and contain more than 1.5 billion people.

It's a simple and seductive idea that analysts believe may someday allow the group to rival existing Islamic movements, topple the rulers of Middle Eastern nations, and undermine those seeking to reconcile democracy and Islam and build bridges between East and West.
the rest

Liberty Counsel Announces National 'Friend or Foe' Graduation Prayer Campaign
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
May 10, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Christian law firm and a Christian university have teamed up to educate public school officials about students' rights when it comes to graduation ceremonies. The result is the "Friend or Foe" Graduation Prayer Campaign, a joint project between and Liberty University and the Florida-based legal group
Liberty Counsel.

Dr. Jerry Falwell, founder and chancellor of Liberty University, joined Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver in announcing the launch of the Friend or Foe Graduation Prayer Campaign on May 4. Staver observed that Liberty Counsel is offering school officials and others a free legal memo that outlines what current law has to say about religious expression at school graduations. He also noted that the pro-family legal organization's attorneys are prepared to confront schools that engage in religious censorship and to take legal action, if necessary.

The head of Liberty Counsel notes that the firm has been defending graduation prayer ever since it was founded in 1989. In one such battle, Adler v. Duval County School Board, the organization argued a precedent-setting case against the American Civil Liberties Union and won the right of students to pray or give religious messages during graduation.
the rest

Bush the evangelist?
May 9, 2006
by William F. Buckley

What is happening to George W. Bush is that dissenters are moving from criticism of him to just plain hostility to him. Swings in the public mood that emphatic aren't unknown to American history, though these days they are more lacerating because of the diurnal polls that give lapidary attention to wisps of sentiment.

No doubt about it, the president's popularity is very low, though the exact meaning of that, and the causes of it, aren't obvious. The most amusing, and jauntily informative, depiction of the popularity track was done by Stuart Eugene Thiel, an enterprising student of psephology. One line shows the price of gas, a second line the popularity of President Bush. The lines follow in fascinating parallel. They suggest that if gas went to $5 a gallon, Bush would be impeached. If down to $2 a barrel, he'd be put up for a third term.
the rest

Converting Video Games Into Instruments of God
A title based on the 'Left Behind' books embraces the medium's violent style. It may reach a new audience, but can it impart spiritual values?
By Dawn C. Chmielewski,
Times Staff Writer
May 10, 2006

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.As the video game industry gathers at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, a devout group of publishers is praying for a direct strike on their elusive target: the eternal souls of game players.

One game, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," which debuts today at the expo, features plenty of biblical smiting, albeit with high-tech weaponry as players battle the forces of the Antichrist in a smoldering world approaching Armageddon.

The creators hope the game packs enough action to appeal to a generation of kids reared on such titles as "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and subtly coax them to consider their own spirituality.
the rest

Episcopalian ‘Crisis’ Continues to Drag
By Jeff Adams
May 10, 2006

Key moment coming this summer in Ohio

Once again, a ‘mainline’ protestant denomination will be revisiting the topic of homosexuality at a national meeting this summer. The Episcopal Church’s triennial general convention is to meet this summer in Ohio, and opponents and proponents of openly gay people serving as bishops expect the question of acceptance of homosexuality in the Episcopal Church to be a major topic at the convention. To add fuel to the fire, the California diocese is seriously considering electing a homosexual as their bishop prior to the convention, meaning that this would be the second gay bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Several things concerning this: First, why do people refer to the Episcopal Church as a ‘mainline’ denomination, when out of approximately 200 million self-identified
Christians in America only 2.3 million are Episcopalian? Not only are their numbers in a minority, but their ever-changing theological views are drifting towards a minority view among Christians.

Second, why do they keep dragging up the topic of homosexuality, as if this issue is an unsettled matter, theologically speaking? As I once heard an old north Texas Baptist pastor say, concerning the Methodists meeting at the time on the issue of homosexuality, “I don’t know why they are meeting on the topic. The Bible is quite clear on the issue of homosexuality. That settles it, and there’s nothing to discuss.”
the rest

Dear Readers,

I haven't been trackbacking as I have wanted to, but do not miss the 40 days of prayer postings at
Lent and Beyond . This is a concerted online effort to unite people to pray for the General Convention in June 2006.

Today's readings and meditations:

Screening Out
In choosing a bishop, do nominating committees increase, or limit, diversity?
by Doug LeBlanc
Section: Active Voice 5/1/2006

I won’t blame you if you’re thinking, “What in the world is LeBlanc doing back in this space?” I had a brief sojourn with the Anglican Communion Network, and quickly learned that public relations is not the sharpest tool on my editorial belt. Episcopal Life asked me back, and I’ve happily returned to the world of journalism.

Perhaps I should begin this new season of columns with a confession: I am an episcopal election junkie. My habit began in 1998, when the Diocese of Newark was searching for the person who would succeed John Spong. This election marked the first time the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson was on a slate of nominees, which made the walkabout and the election enough of a news story for me report on it for Episcopalians United.

I had nursed many assumptions about the Diocese of Newark, few of them charitable. For some conservatives, the Diocese of Newark will provoke the same shudders and clucking you’ll hear among some liberals if you mention Nashotah House or Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry.
But when visiting Newark for both the candidates’ walkabout and the election, I was impressed by fellow Episcopalians who were deliberate and thoughtful about choosing their next leader.Since then, I’ve followed any episcopal election in which a friend is involved, or for any diocese that has a reputation for a prevailing conservative or liberal spirit, or for any diocese that puts together an even remotely interesting profile or slate.

One of the more interesting debates regarding episcopal elections is whether a diocese should rely on a nominating committee, as the majority of dioceses do, or forgo the committee and allow any duly qualified candidate to be nominated by a set number of electing deputies. I know the dioceses of Eau Claire, Texas and West Texas have relied on this latter press, and the Diocese of Albany chose to use it in seeking the successor to Bishop Daniel Herzog.
the rest

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Prevailing Prayer

There is no power like that of prevailing prayer - of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heart-broken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat and blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God. Samuel Chadwick

Panel of Reference to Hear Florida Alliance Complaint

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s chief of staff has written to the “Florida 6,” saying the Panel of Reference will hear an appeal in those congregations’ dispute with the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida.

In a letter dated April 26, Chris Smith confirmed to the rector of Redeemer Anglican Church in Jacksonville, the Rev. Neil G. Lebhar, that “the matter is now with the Panel of Reference.” Bishop Howard had been advised “accordingly,” Mr. Smith said, adding that Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold also had been advised as a “matter of courtesy.”

In June 2005 the “Florida 6,” as the group of dissenting congregations was once known, filed a petition with the Panel of Reference seeking arbitration from the Archbishop of Canterbury in their dispute with the diocese, Bishop Howard, and the General Convention.

Mr. Smith also asked for a stay of civil and ecclesiastical litigation within the diocese, writing the Panel of Reference processes “include a request that there be a stay on any civil or ecclesiastical proceedings during the period of reference to the panel. I would be grateful if you could let me know how we should view this situation, and whether there are some further steps that need to be taken before the panel takes any further action.”

Portions of 10 congregations in the diocese have left the Episcopal Church since 2004 including clergy, lay leaders and communicants from Grace Church, Orange Park; St. Michael’s, Gainesville; St. James’, MacClenny; St. Bartholomew’s, High Springs; St. Luke’s and St. John’s, Tallahassee; and All Souls’, Calvary, Nativity, and Redeemer in Jacksonville.
the rest at The Living Church

A light with a bright future
By Gregory M. Lamb
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Light bulbs have blazed for more than 125 years, and people still can't seem to get enough of them. Priced at less than a dollar apiece, and screwed into billions of sockets worldwide, these glowing little orbs have changed the way humanity works and plays, turning night into day. But as energy costs soar, the future of the traditional incandescent light bulb is beginning to dim.

Futuristic solid-state lighting has already crept into consumer goods, such as cellphone screens and desk lamps. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and their cousins, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), are two developing light sources beginning to beam into homes and offices. LEDs are showing up in night lights, flashlights, outdoor pathway lights, and Christmas lights. OLEDs are not as prevalent, but cellphones, notebook computers, and TVs made with them are moving from prototypes into products.

Hoot: A Movie Challenge for Stewardship in Our Own Backyards
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

The heavens declare the glory of God, the psalmist tells us. Paul explains that creation displays God's power. But Richard Louv, noted authority on children and the out of doors, reports that our kids are losing touch with nature. In a culture filled with innumerable electronic and entertainment distractions, and also one seemingly bent on developing everything or placing off-limits any interaction with the wild, it is nature that is quickly becoming unreal. It's something to watch on the Discovery Channel. A mediated world loses some of its magnificence.

At a time in which evangelical leaders are putting themselves forward to tackle global environmental concerns, it seems a small thing to care about your own backyard. But when I was a kid, that patch of trees with a pond in the middle that sometimes iced over a bit, even in the mild Southern California winter, was the closest thing to heaven to me. That is why I was intrigued when I discovered that Walden Media and New Line were making a film adaptation of Hoot.
the rest of the review here

Church takes aim at abuse victims' lawyers
By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer

As the cost of clergy sex abuse surpasses $1.5 billion, some U.S. Roman Catholic leaders are taking an aggressive, public stand against attorneys who represent victims.

The new development in the long-running clergy abuse crisis was partly triggered by proposals in several statehouses this year that would create a brief period when molestation claims could be filed - even if the time limits for lawsuits had passed.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput portrayed the legislation introduced in Colorado as part of a conspiracy between advocacy groups and attorneys to enrich lawyers at the church's expense.

"Victims' groups may act as stimulants to sympathetic news media and state lawmakers," Chaput wrote in the May edition of the journal First Things. "Plaintiffs' attorneys may then offer help in drafting new legislation from which they themselves hope to benefit."
the rest

Doctors push `morning-after pill'
Campaign urges prescriptions that are written ahead
By Judith Graham Tribune staff reporter
Published May 9, 2006

Doctors raised the stakes in the nation's ongoing battle over emergency contraception Monday with a new campaign that encourages women to get an advance prescription for the "morning-after pill," so it will be readily available if they have unprotected sex.

The "Ask Me" campaign is organized medicine's most aggressive effort yet to ensure women have access to emergency contraception when they think they need it. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents nearly 50,000 physicians, is the sponsor.

The goal is to encourage doctors to ask women of childbearing age if they would like an advance prescription for the morning-after pill "at every visit," said Dr. Douglas Laube, ACOG's president-elect and chair of the ob-gyn department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. That way, if a woman has unprotected sex or contraception fails, she can take steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
the rest

'Get Out of San Francisco'
City's response to Christian youth event poses legal question.
by Brad A. Greenberg
posted 05/09/2006

With its well-known gay community and liberal social laws, San Francisco has long considered itself a beacon of tolerance. But this spring, local politicians condemned 25,000 Christian teens who converged there to rally against what they called pop culture's terrorism against virtue.

San Francisco supervisors passed a resolution warning against the negative effect such Christians could have on the community. Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno was quoted on March 25 saying the youths were "loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."

This irony was not lost on the San Francisco Chronicle, which editorialized that "the supervisors' reaction was so boorishly over the top that only one word could describe it: Intolerant."

This came only a week after the same supervisors blasted their former Catholic archbishop, now the Vatican's chief of doctrine, for saying that Catholic agencies should not place adoptive children in gay households. The conservative Catholic League and two local Catholics responded by suing the city for breaching the First Amendment.
the rest

Anglican Head to Appoint Advisory Team for Crisis over Gays
The spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams is set to appoint a team of advisors to aid him in the resolution of the homosexuality crisis engulfing the Church.
Posted: Tuesday, May 9 , 2006

The spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams is set to appoint a team of advisors to aid him in the resolution of the homosexuality crisis engulfing the Church.

Although the four people have not been identified yet, it is generally believed that the four will include the Primate of Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan, who is a known liberalist within the Church, as well as the Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Bernard Malango, who is more traditional in his Biblical views.

The group has been established to play a vital role after June’s General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). The group could be influential in whether the worldwide structure of the Anglican Communion can stay as it is, or whether it will split.

The Communion has avoided the divisive matter for the moment after the Diocese of California decided against electing a gay bishop at the weekend. But next month looks to bring the debate to the forefront once again as the ECUSA looks to find a solution to the controversy.

TVC Blasts GLAAD's Pro-Homosexual Ad Campaign, CBS-TV's Complicity
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker

May 9, 2006

(AgapePress) - A conservative group is criticizing CBS Television for airing a pro-homosexual public service announcement during a daytime soap opera. The network was to air the PSA at the end of today's episode of As the World Turns, which featured a teen character who tells his parents he is homosexual.

The PSA urges viewers to "take a stand against the discrimination and prejudice faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people." The spot is all part of a campaign by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called "Be an ally and a friend."

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the
Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), says her group is unhappy with CBS's decision to use daytime television to promote homosexuality among teens. "Traditional Values Coalition thinks this is wrong," she says. "They also think it's unfair."

The TVC has offered to help CBS come up with a PSA that presents another point of view about homosexual individuals, Lafferty points out -- namely, "a view that you are not born that way and that you can come out of the homosexual lifestyle." But the network has decided to air GLAAD's spot, she says, "And so we are encouraging people to contact CBS and voice their concern about this biased move."
the rest

Despite Severe Persecution, Nepal's Christian Church Growing Rapidly
By Allie Martin
May 9, 2006

(AgapePress) - An interdenominational Christian organization that works to advocate for religious freedom and raise awareness about human rights abuses against the Church has launched a campaign to help the persecuted Christian minority in Nepal.

Last month the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning, urging Americans not to travel to Nepal due to civil unrest there. Recent reports say Hindu extremism is on the increase in that country, and those who convert to Christianity face persecution from local leaders and the government.

Nat Moffat is chairman of
Christian Freedom International (CFI), an organization that is involved in distributing food, medicine, and Bibles and providing legal assistance to Christians in Nepal. On a recent visit, he says his group spent time with members of the nation's underground Christian church and observed the conditions they are facing. the rest

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church
From the desk of
Paul Belien on Sun, 2006-05-07

The Belgian Bishops have opened their churches to illegal immigrants in order to pressurize the Belgian authorities to
allow the immigrants to stay in the country.

Most of the immigrant squatters in the churches are Muslims. They display banners in the church showing
the name of Allah (picture taken in the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Brussels).

the rest

“Even If Animal Research Resulted In A Cure For AIDS, We'd Be Against It”
Anti-PETA Ads Running On D.C. Metro Use Radical PETA’s Own Words

Washington, DC – Most Americans would do anything in their power to save the life of a loved one diagnosed with a terminal illness. But most Americans aren’t members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The radical group dedicated to “total animal liberation” has made it clear that given the choice between saving the lives of sick people and lab rats, rodents should win every time.

In new ads running on the Washington, D.C. Metro system, the Center for Consumer Freedom draws attention to PETA’s decidedly unethical hostility toward the use of animals for life-saving medical research. The ads quote PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk saying: “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.”

PETA’s preference for lab animals over people has resulted in boycotts of the nation’s most respected medical research charities – including the March of Dimes, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Race for the Cure).
the rest

Pre-Roe Abortions

Data Failure
Misreporting from the Guttmacher Institute.
By Ramesh Ponnuru

The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, has done a lot of good and careful work over the years.
The report it is releasing today is not among that work. The new report attempts to put social science behind Planned Parenthood's agenda. It pretends that the latest studies all vindicate the view that parental-consent laws on abortion, for example, are "bad public policy." In addition, it claims that abortion almost never has any adverse effects on women and suggests that the only way to reduce abortion rates is to increase access to contraception.

the rest

Adult & Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Amelia Wigton
May 8, 2006

Here: Amazing advancements in treatment of diseases being developed using adult stem cells!

Monday, May 08, 2006


"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience." Revelation 3:10

Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says - "I cannot stand any more." God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. "Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him."

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him. Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that God is holy love.

Faith is the heroic effort of your life, you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him. There are spots where that faith has not worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God. There were none of those spots in Jesus Christ's life, and there are to be none in ours. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee." The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we take this view, life becomes one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvellous things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.
Oswald Chambers photo

Church seeks spirituality of youth . . . and doesn't like what it finds
May 08, 2006
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE Church of England has debunked the widely held view that young people are spiritual seekers on a journey to find transcendent truths to fill the “God-shaped hole” within them.
A report published by the Church today indicates that young people are quite happy with a life without God and prefer car boot sales to church.

If they think about church at all, the images young people come up with are “cardigans”, “sandals and socks”, “corrupt”, “traditionalist” and “stagnant”.

The report has prompted an “urgent” wake-up call from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who writes of a large “mismatch” between the Church and the views of those aged 15 to 25. He says: “The research suggests young people are happy with life as it is, that they have felt no need for a transcendent something else and regard the Church as boring and irrelevant.”
the rest

Bishop: "I, for one, will cease my financial support for Amnesty International" Move Would Hurt Amnesty Donations Catholics and Evangelicals Warn
By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, May 8, 2006 ( - Catholic and Evangelical leaders are speaking out against proposals within the famous human rights organization Amnesty International to enter into abortion advocacy. Outspoken human rights advocate and Calgary Bishop Fred Henry told, "The proposal of Amnesty International to enter into abortion advocacy is an ill-conceived and gross betrayal of their mission to campaign for human rights."

the rest

Growth hormone, insulin may be key to longevity
By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A number of studies have shown that restricting calories increases the lifespan of animals, but the biological basis for this has remained elusive. A new report hints that growth hormone, as well as insulin, are key factors in the life-extending effects of calorie restriction.

"The implication ... for pharmaceutical development would be that the signaling pathways of growth hormone and insulin may be logical targets for development of anti-aging medicine," Dr. Andrezej Bartke from Southern Illinois University in Springfield told Reuters Health.

"Although it would be irresponsible to recommend that healthy people start using anti-diabetic drugs," said Bartke, "it is reasonable to suggest that treatment(s) causing an improvement in insulin sensitivity combined with modest reduction in insulin release would reduce risk of age-related disease and likely also delay aging."

Bartke's team tested whether growth hormone and insulin are tied to the life-extending effects of calorie restriction in a series of experiments with normal mice and mutant mice deficient in growth hormone.
the rest

Major hurricane season brewing in the Atlantic
Associated Press

FREDERICTON -- In what could signal a frightening new fact of life in the age of global warming, Canadian and U.S. forecasters are warning that another major hurricane season is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2006 hurricane season officially opens on June 1, and already scientists are telling people living in eastern North America that numerous storms are predicted, with as many as five major hurricanes packing winds of 180 km/h or greater.

"It's kind of comparable to what we were looking at last year at this time," says Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, N.S.

"Last year we were looking at 12 to 15 storms and this year the forecast is for about 17. No one would go out on a limb and say it is going to be just as bad as last year, but the indications are there that it is still going to be another active season, almost twice as active as normal."
Last year's hurricane season was the most destructive on record.
the rest

Founder Hopes Christian Social Networking Site Will Fill Niche
By Jim BrownMay 8, 2006

(AgapePress) - A new website designed in the sleepy coastal town of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is offering Christians an alternative to questionable social networking sites like "" and ""

The "" website orginally began as a "hope exchange" where people could post prayer concerns and words of encouragement for people depressed, hospitalized, or battling an illness. But last month the site was re-launched with more social networking features such as online journals, photos, biographies, discussion forums, and chat. founder Brady Stump says he and his wife felt this website could fill a void, as they did not see anything on the Internet fostering Christian community from a social networking standpoint.

What they happened almost spontaneously with the site, Stump says, is "it flipped social networking on its head and created a place where people could share their testimonies, share their favorite Bible verses, where ministers and pastors and youth pastors could get on a forum, and they could share ideas on how to reach more people, how to reach more youth."
the rest

Charismatic Renewal Turning 40
Thousands to Mark Anniversary and Join Vigil of Pentecost
ROME, MAY 7, 2006

( More than 10,000 members of communities of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal will observe the vigil of Pentecost with Benedict XVI.

The celebration, organized in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the renewal, and is one of a series of events organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (

According to Oreste Pesare, director of the ICCRS office in the Vatican, the events "will certainly make the imminent celebration of Pentecost richer and more fruitful."

Communities of the renewal will also participate in the Mass on Pentecost Sunday in the Vatican, presided over by the Pope.

Afterward, renewal members will gather in Marino, 14 miles from Rome, "to celebrate the Holy Spirit together in a special way. We are expecting some 10,000 participants," added Pesare.

"The meeting will be entitled 'My Soul Magnifies the Lord,' and will give glory to God for the work carried out every day in each of the faithful through the Holy Spirit, explained the ICCRS director.
the rest

UFO study finds no sign of aliens
By Mark Simpson
BBC News

A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.

In spite of the secrecy surrounding the UFO study, it seems citizens of planet Earth have little to worry about.

The report, which was completed in 2000 and stamped "Secret: UK Eyes Only", has been made public for the first time.

Only a small number of copies were produced and the identity of the man who wrote it has been protected.

His findings were only made public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, after a request by Sheffield Hallam University academic Dr David Clarke.
the rest

9th Circuit tosses out legal challenge to federal DOMA and Calif. marriage laws defended by ADF attorneys
Federal appeals court dismisses lawsuit brought by same-sex couple denied marriage license in Orange County
Friday, May 05, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO — Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dismissed an appeal brought by two men who challenged the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s marriage laws. The decision was a victory for Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund, an organization committed to protecting marriage in California.

“Marriage has become an emotional issue because political special interests agitate to reduce it to a mere benefits system for emotionally attached couples. But marriage is about fostering a long term commitment of biological parents to raise their children together,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione, who argued the before the court on behalf of the Proposition 22 Fund. “A marriage license does not certify one person’s love for another; it provides a legal framework to protect the children that result from the marriage.”

DOMA defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Plaintiffs had argued that DOMA deprived them of their constitutional right to receive marriage benefits under federal law because the two men are of the same-sex.
the rest

Canadian professor loses bid to muzzle complaint he filed against pastor for “hate speech”
Human rights panel refuses to stop pastor represented by ADF-allied attorney from posting complaint against the pastor on the Internet
Friday, May 05, 2006

CALGARY, Alberta — Siding with Pastor Stephen Boissoin, who is under fire by a University of Calgary professor for expressing pro-family views, an Alberta human rights panel ruled Thursday against a critical application filed by the professor. The application sought to bar publication on the Internet of the complaint the professor filed against Boissoin.

“The ability to express one’s conscience is a fundamental human right,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “The pastor cannot be muzzled simply because someone else does not share his viewpoint.”

The Calgary professor, Dr. Darren Lund, reported Boissoin to the Alberta Human Rights Commission four years ago for published letters Boissoin wrote on homosexual behavior. Lund claimed he had since become the victim of harassment as a result of the availability on the Internet of the complaint he filed against Boissoin. The panel stated, “There is no evidence that Dr. Lund has been harassed or that his family’s safety is in jeopardy.”
the rest

What On Earth Is Going On In Tennessee?
by Richard Kew+

It is Monday breakfast time in Tennessee, and I expected at this moment that I would be sitting in my daughter's home in Birmingham, England, bouncing my granddaughter on my knee. Instead, due to the machinations of the airlines and the weather, I am at home and we will be making another attempt to get across the Atlantic Ocean today -- this time going through Cincinnati rather than Atlanta, and having been upgraded to the more comfortable seats "up front."

However, such unexpected time at home with nothing scheduled to fill it gives me an opportunity to ponder the last few days, which have been a marathon, and have included a failed third attempt of the Diocese of Tennessee to elect a new bishop. One bonus from the weekend is the strange sense of relief I have that one of questionable theology and ethical values was elected Bishop of California -- rather than some of the alternatives! I envy the Californians in that they were able to achieve this feat in three ballots, whereas we haven't managed to get a bishop in three meetings of the Convention.

So, what is going on in Tennessee? The truth is that we are caught on the horns of a dilemma. I think we are living with the convergence of several streams.

the rest at The Kew Continuum

Colleges see cocktail hour as cure for boozing
By Jennifer Harper
May 8, 2006

The remedy for rampant drinking at American colleges? It could be a crash course in the art of sensible social drinking, reminiscent of the old-fashioned, formal cocktail hour -- often a showcase for decorum.

"My belief is that we have to face the fact that a certain percentage of college students will drink. So, what can we do to reduce the likelihood of them getting into trouble?" asked Steve Benton, a psychology professor at Kansas State University who has studied the negative patterns of collegiate boozing.

"Students who tend to have attitudes that make them greater risk takers are more likely to get into trouble when drinking," Mr. Benton said. "Even when controlling the amount of alcohol, it's not how much you drink that affects the amount of trouble, but how risky you are."
the rest

Love was His meaning.....

I desired often to know what our Lord's meaning was. And fifteen years and more afterward I was answered in my spiritual understanding, thus: 'Would you know your Lord's meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love. What did he show you? Love. Why did he show it? For love. Keep yourself therein and you shall know and understand more in the same. But you shall never know nor understand any other thing, forever.'

Thus I was taught that love was our Lord's meaning. And I saw quite clearly in this and in all, that before God made us, he loved us, which love was never slaked nor ever shall be. And in this love he has done all his work, and in this love he has made all things profitable to us. And in this love our life is everlasting. In our creation we had a beginning. But the love wherein he made us was in him with no beginning. And all this shall be seen in God without end ...

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Julian of Norwich biography

Lord God, who in thy compassion didst grant to the Lady Julian many revelations of thy nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek thee above all things, for in giving us thyself thou givest us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.