Instead of so knowing Christ that they have Him in them saving them, they lie wasting themselves in soul-sickening self-examination as to whether they are believers, whether they are really trusting in the Atonement, whether they are truly sorry for their sins - - the way to madness of the brain and despair of the heart...Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have, this day, done one thing because He said, Do it! Or once abstained because He said, Do not do it! It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you. George Macdonald
Welcome to Transfigurations! This blog is intended to serve the orthodox Anglican community and the wider Christian community. We pray that all that is posted here will be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired word of God, speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ, and be an impetus for revival, repentance, prayer and intercession!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
A WHOLE UGLY CLOTH..
May 18, AD 2006
It’s clear that the religious and secular left is just not happy with logic, consistency, or intellectual challenge. Slogans and raw power are just SO awesome.
Re-reading our own recent news pages, let’s review current liberal Anglican North American pieties. Such political correction apparently mean defending, promoting, or ignoring manifest evils; opposing freedom; and standing for the opposites of what is officially proclaimed. Remember: never underestimate the power of bad ideas.
the rest at CaNN
The Episcopal Church and Blogging
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 18, 2006
Filed at 12:17 p.m. ET
Kendall Harmon has to monitor his blog these days, so he can delete insults and offensive language from the comments section.
His topic: the Episcopal Church.
As a critical church meeting nears over homosexuality, the debate online and in public comments has grown so intense that one publication has dubbed it ''blood sport.''
''I think people are dreading possible outcomes and when you're dealing with the unknown, fear kicks in in a big way,'' said Harmon, a minister and conservative leader in the Diocese of South Carolina. ''And I do think things are more polarized now.''
The Episcopal General Convention, which begins June 13 in Columbus, Ohio, must respond to fellow Anglicans worldwide who were outraged by the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop -- V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The votes will shape not only the church's future, but also its role as the U.S. representative of the Anglican Communion.
The emotion of the moment is visible in the explosion of blogs since the convention three years ago, when delegates voted to confirm Robinson's election. A quick Web search yields at least 20 dedicated to the plight of the 2.3 million-member denomination. The Living Church, an independent magazine, compared the tone of the discussion to ''a wrestling cage match'' in an editorial titled ''Blood Sport.'' the rest
Louisiana House Committee Approves Abortion Ban After Minor Changes
by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2006
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) -- A Louisiana state House committee on Wednesday approved a state ban on virtually all abortions after making minor changes to the life of the mother exception. The House Criminal Justice Committee signed off on the bill and sent it to the full House for a debate and vote.
During the committee debate, Rep. Charlie DeWitt, a Democrat, had wanted to include a wide-ranging health exception in the bill but Sen. Ben Nevers, the Democrat who is the main sponsor of the abortion ban objected.
Nevers said a general health exception would undermine the intent of the bill but allowing virtually all abortions.
“What that would amount to is abortion on demand,” Nevers said, according to a Baton Rouge Advocate news report. the rest
Porn stars using MySpace to lure kids
Actresses have their own pages with thousands of 'friends' attached
Posted: May 18, 2006
MySpace.com, the huge Rupert Murdoch-owned social website dominated by teenagers, is being used by porn stars to ply their wares with young Net users.
According to a report at the website Hollywood Wiretap, porn stars are now using MySpace to promote themselves just like music groups have done for years.
Stars with pages include Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick and Nikki Benz, as well as porn industry trade publication Adult Video News. Some have links to the women's official websites, which include images, videos and sex toys.
Hollywood Wiretap reports that while the average MySpace user has 68 "friends," connected to his or her page, Jameson has 406,571 and Patrick 56,688. the rest
Oregon Trying to Figure Out High Rate of Elderly Suicide—Psst “It’s your assisted suicide law”
By Gudrun Schultz
OREGON, United States,
May 18, 2006
(LifeSiteNews.com) – Oregon’s confusion over the state’s alarming rate of suicide among the elderly would be laughable, if it were not so tragic, said Wesley J. Smith, an expert in the field of bioethics and euthanasia and the author of a critical examination of the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement, Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder.
Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide in November of 1997. Over the ensuing decade, rates of non-physician assisted suicide in the state have outstripped the national elder suicide rate, with about 100 Oregonians aged 65 or older taking their own lives annually.
In a commentary on Oregon’s investigation into the disproportionately high rate of suicide among the state’s elderly, Smith points out that a state that has legalized physician-assisted suicide should not be surprised at an overall increase in suicide rates.
“Oregon is upset that it has a high rate of elder suicide,” Smith wrote on his blogsite Tuesday. “Yet, amid the wringing hands, no one seems to get the point that suicide is fine and dandy in some cases. Despairing people, particularly with health issues, get that point and may think, if it’s okay for the cancer patient, why not also for me?” the rest
Mayor Says Pastor Should Apologize for Words on Gays
By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Mayor Anthony A. Williams threatened yesterday to remove a prominent minister from his interfaith council if the minister does not issue a public apology for derogatory remarks he made about gay men during a Palm Sunday sermon last month.
Williams (D), who made his position known at his weekly news briefing, said he had been unsuccessful in trying to contact Bishop Alfred A. Owens Jr., pastor of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church.
Owens can be heard on an April 9 church recording saying, "It takes a real man to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. I'm not talking about no faggot or no sissy."
The mayor said yesterday: "If you can be shocked, saddened and disappointed all at once, I really am, because I really have to condemn remarks made like that whenever they're made against any group on the basis of sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity or anything else." the rest
The biggest boobs
by Jill Stanek
Posted: May 17, 2006
According to its president, the National Breast Cancer Coalition has "revolutionized" public policy in the quest to eradicate breast cancer.
But NBCC has an odd way of running its revolution.
On May 4, NBCC announced the Golden Boob Awards, to "highlight the biggest boobs of all – the organizations that are using breast cancer purely as a way to make money or to promote an ideology."
"Biggest boobs"? That NBCC would so crassly refer to a body part carrying such deep sexual and maternal significance to those mourning or fearing its loss is shameful – the equivalent to announcing the Little Baldy Awards for child leukemia research.
NBCC's top nominee was the Coalition on Abortion-Breast Cancer, of which I am an advisory board member.
NBCC accused CABC of "using breast cancer as a scare tactic" by "assert[ing] abortion leads to an increased risk of breast cancer." the rest
Sen. Hillary Clinton: Abortion Is a 'Basic Right'
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a White House hopeful who has sought the political middle on abortion, on Wednesday criticized Republicans for trying to erode access to birth control for women.
"There's a quiet war going on in America - against the most basic rights of Americans to make their own personal decisions about family planning," Clinton wrote in a mass e-mail from her re-election campaign.
The New York senator complained that the Bush administration and congressional Republicans are whittling away at contraception options, particularly for poor women who rely on government-funded programs. the rest
Jesus Out of Focus
The DaVinci Code is raising issues that go to the heart of the Christian faith—and it's starting to confuse us all.
by Gary M. Burge
While visiting relatives in northern Sweden last September, we flew from Stockholm to Luleå. Then we drove to Piteå, a small town far from any tourist itinerary (and 100 miles from the Arctic Circle). I found Piteå's one bookstore in the town market, entered out of curiosity—and there it was, a full display, spilling over with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code in Swedish. Here among the reindeer and lingonberries, Swedes were preparing for their long winter with copies of Da Vinci Koden.
The book has been translated into 43 languages since being published three years ago. Now Hollywood is hoping for similar blockbuster status for its heavily hyped movie starring Tom Hanks, now in theaters. the rest-Excellent!
YOUNG GAY MAN SHOULD SHOP AROUND FOR WELCOMING CHURCH
I have never written to you before, but after reading the letter from "Confused in Georgia," the 23-year-old young man saying that he is gay, I felt compelled to respond. Your advice to him was great, but I would like to offer some of my own.
Like "Confused," I am also a homosexual in south Georgia. Because he is having a difficult time with the church in which he was raised, my advice would be to run -- don't walk -- from this "house of worship." If attending church is important to him, then I suggest he visit the Episcopal Church, where I found solace and a warm and comforting family.
"I am the Lord your God, he who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery. You must not have any other gods besides me."
In case you have any doubts left that the Episcopal Church has departed from orthodox Christianity:
Check out this official Episcopal Church site
Comments at titusonenine
Also: Check out the Episcopal bookstore offerings. A link to their bookstore here: Type in words like "goddess" "abortion" "Spong" "Borg" and see their selection.
To pray: Lent and Beyond
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The great danger facing all of us... is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel [that] life has no meaning at all -- not these things. The danger is that we may fail to perceive life's greatest meaning, fall short of its highest good, miss its deepest and most abiding happiness, be unable to tender the most needed service, be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God -- and be content to have it so -- that is the danger: that some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself. For life without God, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible. That is what one prays one's friends may be spared -- satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father. ... Phillips Brooks, Sermons
Praying in Jesus’ Name
The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon has written an entry on the Prayer Book Society website where he discusses what it means to pray in the name of Jesus and what that means for those of us praying for ECUSA and the upcoming General Convention.
Excellent meditation at Lent and Beyond
Connecticut Six Statement in Response to the Panel of Reference Communiqué
The Panel of Reference yesterday issued a communiqué outlining it progress to date on three references made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, including the request for intervention filed by six Connecticut Parishes. In response, the wardens representing the Parishes issued the following statement:
We, our priests, vestries and congregations, were shocked and gravely disappointed to learn of the Panel of Reference’s actions in causing the Archbishop of Canterbury to withdraw his referral of our applications to the Panel. Our congregations appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting he refer our situation to the Panel of Reference in July 2005 in light of the abusive and hostile actions of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Smith, Bishop of Connecticut.
Our circumstances certainly met the criteria established by the Primates in their February 2005 Communiqué calling for establishment of the Panel of Reference to "supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches (that were experiencing) serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishops." We have not only experienced extreme theological disputes, but Bishop Smith has also provoked civil litigation by displacing parish control over property and assets by unlawfully seizing all property and assets of St. John’s, Bristol, inhibiting and deposing its priest, installing a Priest-in-Charge without consultation with the vestry, and thereafter attempting to displace its wardens and vestry. Bishop Smith also seized the investment accounts of Christ Church in Watertown, Christ & The Epiphany Church in East Haven and Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, but returned those assets to the Parishes after civil litigation was started. Notwithstanding, we have had no contact with, or personal communication from, the Panel or the Archbishop.
the rest at Connecticut Six
Dressing up hate
Most pundits have rejected the term "Christianist" because it tries to link Islamists and evangelicals
What does the term "Christianist" mean and why is Time peddling it?
Time columnist Andrew Sullivan uses the term to describe evangelicals with whom he disagrees. He says his goal is to "take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist."
He explains further, "Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike." the rest
DA VINCI CODE” BOMBS WITH CRITICS
May 17, 2006
Here’s a sample of what critics who previewed “The Da Vinci Code” yesterday had to say about the movie:
· “Dud”; Unwieldy”; “Plodding.” (Reuters)
· “A Bloated Puzzle”; “The movie is so drenched in dialogue musing over arcane mythological and historical lore and scenes grow so static that even camera movement can’t disguise the dramatic inertia”; “No chemistry exists between the hero and the heroine.” (Hollywood Reporter)
· “Almost as bad as the book.” (Boston Globe)
· “High-minded lurid material sucked dry by a desperately solemn approach”; They’ve “drained all the fun out of the melodrama.” (Variety)
A Christian Vision of Marriage and Family
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
"For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms 'marriage' and 'family.'" So states author Andreas J. Kostenberger who, with the assistance of David W. Jones has written God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.
This sense of crisis and the need for definition sets the stage for this book and its central thesis--that the only way out of our present cultural confusion is a return to a biblical vision of marriage and family.
As Kostenberger observes, "What until now has been considered a 'normal' family, made up of a father, a mother, and a number of children, has in recent years increasingly begun to be viewed as one among several options, which can no longer claim to be the only or even superior form of ordering human relationships. The Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the family with its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures has to a certain extent been replaced with a set of values that prizes human rights, self-fulfillment, and pragmatic utility on an individual and societal level. It can rightly be said that marriage and the family are institutions under seize in our world today, and that with marriage and the family, our very civilization is in crisis." the rest
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY LAUNCHED IN POLAND SPREADS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service
TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- On his first trip to Poland in 1988 the country was still part of the Eastern Bloc, martial law governed the streets, and the Solidarity Movement was fanning change. Only a year later, multi-party democracy was taking root, and one man saw exciting opportunities to reach a neglected ministry group in Poland—young children and their families.
“Working with children is so strategic and so important,” says Daniel Watts, founder and president of Every Generation Ministries (EGM). “Most of the churches in Poland didn’t have materials or resources for teaching the Bible to children—the training was negligible,” he notes.
In 1991 Watts moved his family to Poland and launched EGM. “I always had a big heart for children,” he says. Previously, he served in children’s ministry at two large southern California churches, including Mariners Church in Newport Beach, California. “The thing that captured our hearts is that one-half of the world’s population is under age 15, and over three-fourths of Christians say they became a Christian before they turned 12.” the rest
Abortion Foes Want RU-486 Pill Pulled
Deaths of Several Women Are Cited
By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Opponents of the abortion pill RU-486 are mounting a renewed campaign to force the Food and Drug Administration to pull the drug from the market, arguing that it has proved to be unexpectedly dangerous to women.
The effort focuses on the deaths in recent years of four to eight young women who had taken the medication, and especially the four deaths that involved a common but rarely fatal bacterium, Clostridium sordelli . A congressional subcommittee has scheduled a hearing today on what it called "the unsafe characteristics of RU-486."
But research into those lethal infections has unearthed new information that makes it less clear that complications from the abortion pill, sold as Mifeprex, caused the deaths. the rest
PC textbooks full of skewed history
California has tinkered with the past in a foolish attempt to make students feel good about themselves.
By Diane Ravitch,
DIANE RAVITCH is a historian of education at New York University, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn."May 16, 2006
TWENTY YEARS AGO, I was invited by then-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig to join a committee to revise California's history curriculum. Over 18 months, we produced a document that added more time for the study of American and world history and called for the teaching of the dramatic controversies that make historical study engaging and honest.
Immediately, however, a wide variety of religious, racial and ethnic groups demanded changes in the document to recognize and honor their history. Blacks, Jews, Native Americans, conservative Christians, Arabs, atheists, Armenians, Poles and others lined up to complain at public hearings about references to their groups.
What made their complaints powerful is that California, unlike any other state, has mandated by law since 1976 that instructional materials used in the schools must provide positive portrayals of specified groups. the rest
Fewer Teens Looking for a Date
by Andrew Herrmann
May 17, 2006
More than a quarter of high school seniors say they don't date -- the highest percentage in over 25 years, according to a new report. That isn't necessarily something to worry about, says the study's author. Instead, many teens are socializing with the opposite sex in large groups, which may have its own benefits.
Sociologist Brett Brown of the research group Child Trends analyzed dating data from 14,000 seniors, numbers collected in 2004 by the University of Michigan for its ongoing "Monitoring the Future" project.
About 27 percent of the Class of 2004 said they did not date. In 1976, some 15.1 percent of 12th graders said they did not go out on formal one-on-one engagements, according to the Child Trends analysis.
Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Is Struck Down by Georgia Judge
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: May 17, 2006
ATLANTA, May 16 — A state amendment banning same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a judge who upheld the voters' right to limit marriage to heterosexual couples but cited procedural flaws in the wording of the amendment, which was approved by more than three-quarters of voters.
The decision is one of the first successful challenges to a ban on same-sex marriage, one of a spate of similar amendments passed in 11 states in November 2004, said Jack Senterfitt, a senior staff lawyer in the Southern regional office of Lambda Legal, a national gay rights group.
Lambda Legal filed the suit along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. Besides Georgia, 18 states have such laws, a spokeswoman for Lambda Legal said.
The Georgia amendment defined marriage as between a man and a woman, banned same-sex civil unions and said that same-sex unions performed in other states would not be recognized. The judge, Constance C. Russell of Fulton County Superior Court, ruled that the amendment violated Georgia's single-subject rule, which limits each amendment put before voters to one topic. the rest
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
"Partakers of the divine nature." 2 Peter 1:4
We are made partakers of the Divine nature through the promises; then we have to "manipulate" the Divine nature in our human nature by habits, and the first habit to form is the habit of realizing the provision God has made. "Oh, I can't afford it," we say - one of the worst lies is tucked up in that phrase. It is ungovernably bad taste to talk about money in the natural domain, and so it is spiritually, and yet we talk as if our Heavenly Father had cut us off with a shilling! We think it a sign of real modesty to say at the end of a day - "Oh, well, I have just got through, but it has been a severe tussle." And all the Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will tax the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will obey Him. What does it matter if external circumstances are hard? Why should they not be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we banish God's riches from our own lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it obliterates God and puts self-interest upon the throne. It opens our mouths to spit out murmurings and our lives become craving spiritual sponges, there is nothing lovely or generous about them.
When God is beginning to be satisfied with us He will impoverish everything in the nature of fictitious wealth, until we learn that all our fresh springs are in Him. If the majesty and grace and power of God are not being manifested in us (not to our consciousness), God holds us responsible. "God is able to make all grace abound," then learn to lavish the grace of God on others. Be stamped with God's nature, and His blessing will come through you all the time. Oswald Chambers
Panel of Reference Declines to Hear 'Ct Six' Appeal
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference will not hear the petition for review filed by the so-called “Ct Six,” saying that the federal lawsuit between the clergy and lay leaders of six Connecticut congregations and the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of Connecticut, bars consideration.
In a statement released May 15, the panel said “as a matter of principle” it “would not normally consider references where civil cases are proceeding.”
On Sept. 27, five rectors and the vestries of six Connecticut parishes filed suit in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut against Bishop Smith and the diocese, charging fraud, trespass, and breach of fiduciary duty. Previously, on Aug. 24, 19 lay leaders and priests from St. John’s, Bristol; Trinity, Bristol; St. Paul’s, Darien; Christ and Epiphany, East Haven; Bishop Seabury Church, Groton; and Christ Church, Watertown, lodged a complaint with the office of the Presiding Bishop, accusing Bishop Smith of improperly removing the Rev. Mark H. Hansen as rector of St. John’s, Bristol, changing the locks and seizing control of day-to-day operation. the rest
Dennis Canon Diocesan Issue, Presiding Bishop Says
Virtually all legal disputes over the ownership of parish property are internal diocesan matters and there is nothing in the so-called Dennis Canon that prevents a diocesan bishop from reaching an amicable settlement with a congregation that wants to leave the Episcopal Church and retain its building, according to Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, who led separate question-and-answer forums for clergy and laity in the Diocese of Western Louisiana May 11 at St. James’ Church, Alexandria.
“Basically he said it was up to the individual diocese,” said the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana. “It [the Dennis Canon] provides room for the bishop, standing committee and the local congregations to decide what they think is best. It leaves room for conversation.”
Bishop Griswold told the Western Louisiana clergy gathering that bishops and other diocesan leaders are primarily responsible for deciding how to respond to disputes over property ownership, and that there have been instances in which such disputes have been resolved amicably. The Episcopal Church Center in New York City becomes involved in a legal dispute only after it has been invited by the diocese, Bishop Griswold said.
the rest at The Living Church
General Convention 2006: "Stepping Back" Toward Revisionist Victory?
Source: The Christian Challenge (Washington DC)
Report/Analysis By The Editor
THE FUTURE of the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) and its standing within the Anglican Communion now appears set to be determined chiefly by the June General Convention's decisions on compliant-sounding resolutions that, as presently written, would nonetheless leave ECUSA "pointing in the same direction."
This, after the Diocese of California averted a second major convention struggle--and probable schism in the Communion--by passing up the chance to elect another actively gay bishop on May 6.
The election of a second such prelate would have presented an opportunity for considerable drama: Some claimed--and some did not believe--that the House of Bishops would this time narrowly refuse to back a non-celibate homosexual, and if so, that gay activists and their supporters would gather willing bishops to consecrate the candidate illegally.
the rest at the AAC blog
ACN Encourages Support for Priests’ Petition
The Anglican Communion Network encourages all Episcopal priests to sign an online petition that will be delivered to the presiding bishop and each member of the House of Bishops before General Convention 2006. The petition urges the Episcopal leadership “to refrain from approving any further consecrations of same sex partnered bishops; to stop all actions that allow or promote the blessing of same sex unions of any kind; to fully endorse the Windsor Report as the roadmap for maintaining full communion with the worldwide Anglican Church; and, to turn the attention of the church to the mission of reaching the lost for the sake of the Gospel.”
“I applaud Father David Roseberry, a priest of the Network Diocese of Dallas, for this grassroots initiative to activate the voice of orthodox Episcopal priests,” said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Network. “This petition simply, but emphatically, states that those that sign it are in agreement with the millions of Anglicans worldwide who have asked us to do the very things stated in this petition to remain in fellowship with them. I urge every Episcopal priest to sign his or her name to this petition and to encourage their fellow priests to do the same.
the rest at the ACN website
Designer babies? Couples flock to US to choose next baby's sex
by Marc Lavine
Sun May 14
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Canadian Melissa Vatkin has joined thousands of couples flocking to the United States to cash in on the disputed luxury of being able to dictate the sex of their next baby.
Parents from around the world are forking out around 19,000 dollars for a groundbreaking gender selection treatment offered by only a handful of US clinics but banned in most countries.
The high-tech method of resolving the ancient question of "Would we prefer a boy or a girl?" has raised ethical concerns and fears that it could worsen an already worrying gender imbalance plaguing countries such as China and India.
But for couples like the Vatkins, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, which proponents boast gives parents a 99 percent certainty of delivering a baby of the sex of their choice, the procedure is a godsend. the rest
Groups Say Politics Put RU 486 on the Shelf ... and Politics Keeping It There
By Rusty Pugh and Jody Brown
May 16, 2006
(AgapePress) - A women's pro-life group says pro-abortion forces and the maker of a dangerous abortion pill don't want the product pulled from the market, even while medical evidence against it mounts. Meanwhile, a government corruption watchdog group says it has proof the Clinton administration inappropriately used its political prowess to put the drug on the shelf in the first place.
A public workshop sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was held in Atlanta last week in response to the deaths of more women being attributed to the abortion drug RU 486 or to complications from taking the drug, marketed in the U.S. under the name MifeprexÒ. Scientists exited the meeting in disagreement, some calling for the drug to be pulled from the market entirely, some saying the drug enables a deadly bacterial infection found in the women, and still others declaring such conclusions are at best premature.
Attendees at the meeting included Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. Wright says RU 486 is known to cause a deadly bacterial infection that is 100 percent fatal to women who contract it. It is shameful, she says, that the drug has not been pulled from the shelves. the rest
Episcopal Lay Group Wants 'Gay' Bishop and Consecrating Clergy Put on Trial
By Jim Brown
May 16, 2006
(AgapePress) - A group of traditionalist Episcopalians wants the 42 bishops who approved the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop to face church trials for, among other things, flagrantly violating their own ordination vows and scripture.
Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion (LEAC) has launched a national petition drive requesting action from 37 Episcopal bishops who opposed the elevation of Vicki Gene Robinson to the position of Bishop of New Hampshire. LEAC has also sent letters asking those 37 bishops to bring ecclesiastical charges against Robinson and the liberal bishops who consecrated him.
Last month LEAC asked Robinson and his consecrators to "recant, repent, resign or retire" because of their actions nearly three years ago. None did so, and their refusal has prompted the lay group to initiate this latest action, calling for church-law indictments against the errant bishops whose "acquiescence to and promotion of the radical gay-lesbian-transgender agenda," according to one LEAC member, has "wrecked our church as we know it." the rest
More Canadians enjoying group sex
Sean Patrick Sullivan, Canadian Press
Published: Sunday, May 14, 2006
TORONTO -- A 2005 Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for swingers clubs appears to be bringing out Canada's more, well, adventurous side.
Those who prefer life closer to the edge of the conjugal bed say the high court's re-interpretation last December of the definition of indecency has fuelled a growing interest in private clubs that feature group sex, partner swapping, voyeurism and exhibitionism.
The high court effectively legalized such clubs when it rules that consenting adults who engage in sexual activity behind closed doors while like-minded people look on are not committing indecent acts. the rest
God's Call Comes by Cellphone
Bible verses on a BlackBerry, sermons on an MP3 -- an explosion in digitalized spirituality is making true believers of online e-vangelists.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
May 16, 2006
A recent national poll found just 17% of adults view the local church as essential for developing faith.
Sitting in a pew on Sunday morning seems almost embarrassingly old-fashioned in an era when you can watch a video recreation of the Last Supper on your Palm or get God's word text-messaged to your cellphone.
Bored with your pastor's ramblings? Select a peppier sermon from among hundreds of "godcasts" online. Just pick a topic: Christian dating? Old Testament prophets? Then download it to your MP3 player.
Finding the old leather-bound Bible a bit cumbersome? A quick download from Olive Tree Bible Software and you'll be able to search Scripture on your BlackBerry. the rest
Religious liberty and same-sex 'marriage'
May 16, 2006
by Chuck Colson
A few months ago, I told you about the agonizing choice facing Catholic Charities of Boston: Either serve the needy or remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Specifically, the only way it could continue to handle adoptions according to Massachusetts law was to include same-sex couples among its clientele.
While the Massachusetts law is not new, a new interpretation of the legal protection afforded sexual orientation threatens to undermine religious liberty not just in Massachusetts but also across the nation. It’s important to understand the background.
In March, Catholic Charities, citing a “dilemma we cannot resolve,” announced that it would no longer facilitate adoptions in Massachusetts. That “dilemma,” as writer Maggie Gallagher recently wrote in the Weekly Standard, grew out of the Massachusetts case legalizing same-sex “marriage”: that is, the Goodridge decision.
According to Gallagher, central to the Goodridge decision was the finding that “only animus against gay people could explain” different treatment for opposite-sex and same-sex couples. the rest
Cell-Phone-Only Crowd May Alter Polling
By WILL LESTER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Justin Globus is part of a fast-growing group - approaching one in 10 Americans - who have given up traditional telephones and depend only on their cell phones. That trend is making pollsters uneasy.
For Globus, a 25-year-old salesman from New York, "It was a fiscal decision - a matter of chopping down to one bill."
But the rapid growth of the cell-only crowd isn't so simple for pollsters. Their survey research depends on contacting random samples of households with landline phones. They worry that if the trend continues they could miss a significant number of people and that could undermine their ability to accurately measure public opinion. There could be implications for politics, government policy, academia, business and journalism. the rest
The survey says what?
Sexual-orientation questions cause stir at Port high school
By TOM KERTSCHER
Posted: May 15, 2006
Port Washington - Parents are angry and school leaders are promising action in response to a "Heterosexual Questionnaire," approved by two teachers, that asked students questions such as: "If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn't prefer it?"
Hundreds of Port Washington High School students were told to submit written answers and discuss the survey.
The questionnaire was distributed by a student organization, which then led a full class-period discussion. Two teachers approved distribution of the survey. The principal did not.
Parent Lisa Krier on Monday called for the two teachers to be disciplined, saying the survey was a form of sexual harassment by teachers against students. the rest
WYOMING: Parish's Slow Death Symptomatic of ECUSA's Moral Decline
By David W. Virtue
CASPER, WY: (5/14/2006)--At one time, St. Mark's in Casper, Wyoming was a thriving orthodox parish of 1,100 souls. Its then rector was the Rev. Royce Brown, a moderate parish priest, and open to all sides of the theological spectrum. He was the much-loved parish priest there for 18 years. He retired in September 2004.
In 1998 he brought into his church a new assistant, the Rev. Thomas Johnson, 48, a former evangelical pastor from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod where he had been a pastor for eight years. "I got to know the Anglican Church when I was working in Central America," he told VirtueOnline. "As result, when I returned to the U.S. I sought ordination in the Episcopal Church through St. Mark's because this was my hometown." Later that year he was ordained by the Rt. Rev. Bruce Caldwell.
That was in 1998. Then, St. Mark's was the largest attended parish in the whole Diocese of Wyoming. Now it is a church in decline. Today it is a mere shadow of its former self. A call to the church office revealed that Sunday attendance at services range from a little over 100 on a good Sunday down to the low twenties on a bad Sunday. Two services have now been consolidated into one.
the rest at Virtueonline
Monday, May 15, 2006
Enter the Wilderness
O my brother, if thou and I would be like Jesus we must especially contemplate Jesus praying alone in the wilderness. There is the secret of His wonderful life. What He did and spoke to man was first spoken and lived through with the Father. In communion with Him, the anointing with the Holy Spirit was each day renewed. He who would be like Him in his walk and conversation must simply begin here, that he follow Jesus into solitude...Besides the ordinary hour of prayer, he will feel at times irresistibly drawn to enter into the holy place, and not to come thence until it has been revealed anew to him that God is his portion. In his secret chamber, with closed door, or in the solitude of the wilderness, God must be found every day, and our fellowship with Him renewed. If Christ needed it, how much more we! What it was to Him it will be for us. Andrew Murray
Theological formation is focus of Lambeth 2008 Conference will explore what it means to be Anglican
By Jim Naughton
Washington May 2006
If all proceeds according to plan, the 2008 Lambeth Conference will be “resolution light,” said Sue Parks, the conference manager, during a recent visit to the Cathedral College.
The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the conference design team intend to focus the 16-day meeting in mid-July, 2008 on issues of theological formation, she said.
“We need to recover our focus on being church together in mission and to do that we need an energized and educated people of God who are clear about their faith and what it means to be Anglican,” Parks said. the rest
Barna Releases New 'Da Vinci Code' Findings; Warns of Movie's Impact
Monday, May. 15, 2006 Posted: 11:05:54AM EST
The Barna Group released new findings Monday on the impact of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and according to the study, the novel has not affected Americans in the way many Christians have imagined.
The new Barna study found that the controversial best-seller confirmed what many people already believed, but altered the pre-existing beliefs of only a few.
The Da Vinci Code is the most widely read book with a spiritual theme to be read by Americans other than the Bible. One out of every five adults has read the novel "cover to cover" – or roughly 45 million adults.
Within the American population, Catholics are more likely than Protestants to have read the book with 24 percent of Catholics and 15 percent of Protestants having read it. The research went further into detail, noting that among Protestants, those associated with a mainline church are almost three times more likely than those associated with non-mainline Protestant congregations to have read the thriller. the rest
Anglican Panel of Reference Renews Mandate in London Meeting
The second plenary meeting of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference has been held at Saint Andrew’s House in London, 9-12 May 2006.
Posted: Monday, May 15 , 2006
The second plenary meeting of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference has been held at Saint Andrew’s House in London, 9-12 May 2006. The Panel announced that it has decided to renew its procedures, and clarify any misunderstanding there may be of the mandate it had received from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Easing into its meeting, the Panel first sought to consider the progress made so far. It highlighted the fact that since the Panel’s first meeting ten months ago, it has received three references from Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In the Panel’s first communiqué it stated that speed of response was an important factor, and that it would normally seek to offer responses to the Church of England head within six months of reference. Hence, reviewing progress has been put as a core priority by the Panel.
The Panel’s first reference came from the Diocese of Forth Worth in the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). The Diocese does not ordain women to the priesthood, and has appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the grounds that it is in serious theological dispute with the Episcopal Church, which at its 72nd General Convention in 1997 passed canons to make the ordination of women mandatory, explains the Anglican Communion news service. the rest
Definition of the Embryo: Time to Be Clear, Very Clear
by Jaydee Hanson and Patrick F. Fagan
Posted May 11, 2006
What is an embryo? This is a basic biological question that involves more than mere biology. Unfortunately the definition, rather than getting clearer, may be getting fuzzier in the current bioethics debate that is raging from the halls of Congress to the battleground state of Missouri.
The defining of the word embryo, however, cannot be confined just to biological sciences alone. Rather, the philosophical premises (their conception of the nature of man) held by scientists come into play. Some scientists are side-stepping the human implications of the term ‘embryo’ by substituting technical terms such as ‘blastocyst’ or ‘totipotent.’ Such Orwellian distortions by scientists who are utilitarian is no surprise but what is surprising is that some right-to-life advocates may be taken with a similar strategy.
Some right-to-life proponents of a technique called ‘altered nuclear transfer’ or ‘oocyte assisted reprogramming’ (ANT-OAR) claim that this technique does not really create an embryo but rather directly creates embryonic stem cells. However, this technique is remarkably similar to human cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer). In somatic cell nuclear transfer, the nucleus of a body cell is placed into an egg that has had its chromosomes removed. This creates a cloned embryo. All agree on this. the rest
Truth, Fiction, or Something in Between?
The Meaning of Television
Monday, May 15, 2006
Media critic Neal Gabler has suggested that popular entertainment is turning the nation into a giant transcontinental soap opera. Individual citizens are creating "life movies" starring themselves, and the entertainment industry has become "a force so overwhelming that it has finally metastasized into life."
Gabler's assessment comes immediately to mind in light of the way that Hollywood and the entertainment industry are repackaging reality--even when dealing with issues as intimate as realities of family life and the institution of marriage.
Columnist Lee Siegel considers the meaning of television in his recent review of the HBO series, Big Love. "Culture events such as Big Love are to the media what the doings of a mysterious new family are to gossip in a small town," Siegel explains. Thus, the appearance of the series--now under contract for a second season--provides a catalyst for many in the media to raise questions about marriage, polygamy, the Mormon movement, and a host of related issues. Nevertheless, sex and marriage are at the very center of the "gossip" about this series. the rest
Recipients Of The Jesus Rug Warned To Keep Eyes Open
By JOANN KLIMKIEWICZ
Courant Staff Writer
May 9 2006
The envelope comes addressed "To a Friend" and with the promise that "the letter you write today could change your tomorrow."
And it could soon make its way to a mailbox near you.Inside the envelope, said to be from St. Matthew's Churches in Oklahoma, is an oversized sheet of paper bearing a lavender image of an eyes-closed Jesus.
Identified as a prayer rug, it asks the recipient to kneel on the paper, meditate on a blessing - and then notice whether Jesus' eyes appear to have opened. (This seems less a matter of divine intervention than a skillfully rendered optical illusion.)
Still, the mailing seems harmless. No blatant pleas for money. It asks only that recipients return the rugs with their names, addresses and prayer requests so the church can pass the rug's good fortune on to the next needy soul.Not so fast, cautions Ole Anthony, founder of the Trinity Foundation, a Dallas nonprofit watchdog working to expose religious scams. The rest
Gays decry Archbishop over dismissal
May. 15, 2006
Gay rights groups accused the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster of hypocrisy after it was revealed he fired his homosexual press secretary in 2003.
The row is embarrassing for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor because, although Stephen Noon was dismissed three years ago, the Archbishop recently wrote in a letter to The Times: "The Church has consistently spoken out against any discrimination against homosexual persons, and will continue to do so."
The Cardinal is regarded as being somewhat liberal on the subject of homosexuality, but if faced with a situation that went directly against Catholic teaching would have had no choice but to take the action he did, the Times of London reported. the rest
Episcopalians celebrate churches growth
By Michael Dinan
May 15, 2006
The leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States yesterday told more than 300 Greenwich parishioners that it's important to recall Jesus Christ's resurrection through all of the Easter season's 50 days.
Christians should value beyond Easter weekend the story of how Christ objected to money-changers' use of a temple, the Rev. Frank Tracy Griswold III, 25th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, said during a sermon at Christ Church Greenwich.
'What he (Christ) is objecting to there is not simply commerce, but the tendency we have to make religion serve our own ends,' Griswold told worshippers from four Episcopal churches in town, gathered together to mark 300 years of Anglican worship in Greenwich.
Originally planned as a waterfront event at Greenwich Point, the special service was attended by parishioners, clergy, acolytes, musicians and others from Christ Church Greenwich, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and St. Savior's Episcopal Church. the rest
Divorce: A Necessary Evil?
They offer advice to people in pain. On the surface, their advice sounds forward-looking, pragmatic, and helpful: Get On With Your Live ... GOWYL.
Psychologists and counselors are dealing with a problem that many in America consider inevitable: divorce. "We think of a marriage as a crap shoot, with worse than 50-50 odds of finding and marrying 'the right person,'" writes Diane Sollee of Smart Marriages. "If we marry 'the wrong person', we want the right to exit and try again." GOWYL.
Another excerpt: "When you look at a nationally representative sample of married people who say they are "very unhappy" in their marriages, and follow them over time, 60 percent of those who stick it out (about 15 percent do not) say they are "quite happy" or "very happy" in their marriages five years later. Another 25 percent of couples report improvement in their marital happiness.
These couples did GOWYL -- but they did it by staying married. They were once unhappy. And, without the help and assistance of divorce attorneys and counselors paving the way, sticking with their marriages, they were able to create a happy marriage once again ... not just for the sake of their kids, but for the sake of themselves.
That's right. Unhappy couples aren't doomed to a life of personal misery in their stoic, chin-up choice to stay together for the kids' sake. They can actually recover, restore and reconnect."
Religion: Mega-growth in the number of megachurches is sparking a backlash in communities throughout the country
Architectural eyesores. Overflowing parking lots. Sunday morning traffic. Behold the megachurch as often viewed through the eyes of suspicious local residents. More than a weekly gathering place for worship or a quiet sanctuary for midweek devotions, large evangelical churches are becoming lifestyle brands, buzzing communities with perpetual religious activity. What's more, they're increasing.
A recent study from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research reveals that the number of U.S. congregations with an average weekly attendance of at least 2,000 people has more than doubled in the past five years. That dramatic spike to roughly 1,200 megachurches nationwide represents the sharpest growth since such massive blocs of parishioners first began materializing in the 1970s. the rest
Cisterns in a foreign land
Nothing can substitute for God’s Word to quench demons and renew minds
Secular psychology is the unpaid debt of the church. Always getting it almost right; plausibly true; a set of straight sixes just missing a perfect seven. Counterfeits.
What's a nice Christian girl like you doing in a secular support group, I quizzed Susie's animated praise of her new psychology find—"Affirmations." She was getting traction with some personal problems of long standing, she replied, heading toward wellness after years in a dark tunnel.
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better"—That would be an example of an affirmation, this hackneyed one credited to 19th-century hypnotist Emile Coué.
I poked around on the web and it turns out I'm the last person in any people group to know about affirmations. Sports coaches, sales professionals, performance experts, weight-loss gurus, and millionaire wannabes are up on this technique to achieve personal goals by a new twist on positive thinking.
The pill that kills -- available at a doctor near you
May 15, 2006
by Nathan Tabor
Imagine going to your doctor and being offered a pill—not because you were sick, or in any danger of becoming sick. No—your friendly physician is simply giving you drugs because you’re a woman.
If that sounds like a Hitchcock horror story to you—be prepared. Gynecologists around the country are embarking on a weird medical experiment that could have serious repercussions for women’s health.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has decided it won’t wait for the Food and Drug Administration to approve over-the-counter sales of the so-called morning after pill—a pill which is supposed to help women who are harboring regret over a sexual encounter the night before. Of course, it doesn’t matter that the FDA is hesitant to give the pills out like candy because it doesn’t want to promote promiscuity among young people. Also, some leading medical experts say that the morning after pill doesn’t just prevent pregnancy—it can also kill a child who has already been conceived in her mother’s womb. the rest
Violence robs Iraq of Christian heritage
By Firas al-Atraqchi
Sunday 14 May 2006
The flight of religious minorities escaping violence in post-war Iraq is threatening to rob the country of its once diverse Christian heritage.
In the early 1980s, Iraq's Christian population numbered 1.4 million but economic strife brought on by the war with Iran and UN sanctions after the 1991 Gulf War pushed some in the ancient community to emigrate.
Nevertheless, the Christian community continued to enjoy religious freedoms in the majority Muslim country until the US-led invasion of 2003, says Adli Juwaidah, a former director of cultural relations in Iraq's ministry of higher education. the rest
Teachings on homosexuality by denomination
Southern Baptist -- The church considers homosexuality to be a sin, but not unpardonable. In the church's publication, titled "Critical Issues: Homosexuality," the Southern Baptist Convention states that gays and lesbians can change their orientation; that homosexuality is rooted in a poor relationship with one's parents; and that discrimination against gays and lesbians is acceptable by employers and other social institutions.
Catholic -- The Roman Catholic Church recognizes homosexuality as an inborn orientation, not a chosen behavior. But the church considers the homosexual orientation to be "objectively disordered" and considers homosexual practices to be grave sins. The church calls on its members to accept homosexuals "with respect, compassion and sensitivity" but demands that gays and lesbians (as well as all unmarried people) abstain from sexual activity. (Quoted portions come from "Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons," Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2003.)
Episcopal -- In 1994, almost 100 Episcopal bishops signed a petition stating that gays and lesbians should be considered for the clergy if they "live out their sexual orientation in a partnership that is marked by faithfulness and life-giving holiness." The church continued to consider the issue, and in 2004 took steps toward approving the ordination of gays and lesbians as ministers, and toward a church ritual blessing same-sex unions. These decisions caused much debate and dissension among the church's members nationwide. In 2003, the Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was confirmed as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. the rest
Breaking the code of misconception
By Linda Ober
May 14, 2006
For Rev. Doug Taylor-Weiss, debunking Dan Brown's “The Da Vinci Code” is nothing if not easy.
“(Brown) got almost all of the facts wrong; some of them are just laughable,” said Taylor-Weiss, of SS. Peter and John Episcopal Church in Auburn. “Shooting down ‘The Da Vinci Code' is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.”
Though book reviewers are singing its praises as a historical thriller and moviegoers are eagerly anticipating this week's debut of the film, Brown's work has become notorious among some religious leaders and their parishioners.
Why all the fuss?
“The Da Vinci Code” portrays Jesus as not divine but mortal and asserts that he was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child with her. The novel is a search for the Holy Grail, which the characters believe not to be Jesus' cup but instead Mary and his royal bloodline with her. As the story goes, the Church has been covering this up for centuries. A secret society known as the Priory of Sion has been guarding this truth for posterity, and Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic organization, is now trying to ensure that it's kept under wraps. the rest
'Code' as a Blessing in Heretical Disguise
In a Shift, Some Christians See Movie as Bridge to Nonbelievers
By Michelle Boorstein and Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Greg Beatty's first look at "The Da Vinci Code" came when a neighbor reached across his back fence in 2003 and handed the Catholic lawyer the book and a question: Is this true?
After reading the novel, Beatty saw the questioning spread from his Springfield yard to his downtown office at the National Labor Relations Board. Was Jesus really married? Do some members of the Catholic group Opus Dei really wear self-mutilating belts? Beatty could answer some things but not others. the rest
Sunday, May 14, 2006
The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil everywhere. Prayer, in one phase of its operation, is a disinfectant and a preventive. It purifies the air; it destroys the contagion of evil. Prayer is no fitful, short-lived thing. It is no voice crying unheard and unheeded in the silence. It is a voice which goes into God's ear, and it lives as long as God's ear is open to holy pleas, as long as God's heart is alive to holy things. God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed to death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; they outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world. That man is the most immortal who has done the most and the best praying. They are God heroes, God's saints , God's servants, God's viceregents. A man can pray better because of the prayers of the past; a man can live holier because of the prayers of the past; the man of many and acceptable prayers has done the truest and greatest service to the incoming generation. The prayers of God's saints strengthen the unborn generation against the desolating waves of sin and evil. Edward McKendree (E. M.) Bounds photo
Posted: May 13
By Les Kinsolving
Will the Episcopal Diocese of California be denounced as "homophobic"?
It may, for in San Francisco there are many hard-blown defenders of "The New Morality."
Last Saturday morning, the California Diocesan convention met and rejected – with only a handful of votes – the candidacies of two male homosexuals and one lesbian to become bishop of this Bay Area diocese, which is one of the homosexual capitals of the world, known widely as "The Sodom of the West" and rivaling Greenwich Village for rates of AIDS and HIV.
On the other hand, the overwhelming third ballot election of Alabama's Suffragan (assistant) Bishop Mark Andrus, while relieving in that he has a wife and two daughters rather than a live-in lover (like all of the Big Three), has some distinct drawbacks.
Bishop Andrus was one of those who voted to approve the election of New Hampshire's homosexual bishop Vicki Gene Robinson, whose election and consecration has torn apart much of the world's second largest Christian denomination, the Anglican Communion of more than 70 million. the rest
For those caring for an elderly or infirm mom, every day is Mother’s Day
Tina Taylor is always well turned out. She has her short, white hair done every week, wears colorful blouses with neatly pressed slacks, and wouldn't dream of leaving her apartment without a coat of Toasted Almond lipstick, carefully applied.
But these days, Mrs. Taylor's daughter, Mary Ann Rinnert, picks out her clothes for her, laying out the next day's wardrobe the afternoon before.
"I go to my closet and can't remember what I'm supposed to do," Mrs. Taylor tells her daughter.
"That's okay, Mom," Mrs. Rinnert replies. "I can do that for you."
Mrs. Taylor is, after all, 100 years old. The centenarian lives at the Beatrice Hover Assisted Living Center in Longmont, Colo. Her daughter, Mrs. Rinnert, lives nearby and visits Mrs. Taylor at least twice a day, sometimes more. the rest
Saber rattling in the Middle East isn't stopping Christian television
May 12, 2006
Middle East (MNN) -- Iran has thumbed its nose at the world about its nuclear program. The government also continues its threats against Israel and other nations, keeping tensions high in the region. This is just one nation, where Christian television programming is being sent via satellite, and there are no plans to stop -- especially as they approach their 10th anniversary.
SAT-7, Christian satellite television for the Middle East and North Africa, will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 31st. SAT-7's U-S Executive Director Debbie Brink says many are watching. "We know we have between five and seven million viewers on a regular basis. That's how many people are willing to admit that they're watching SAT-7, in an area of the world where a lot of people would find it risky. And so, we believe there are far more who are watching." Brink says the mail response is also increasing. the rest
Lords reject right to die Bill
After an impassioned seven-hour debate, the House of Lords has voted to block a bill which would have given terminally ill patients the right to end their lives.
As emotions ran high, the Lords voted to delay the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill for six months by 148 to 100, amid fears that it would be open to abuse.
The Bill would have allowed doctors to prescribe fatal doses of drugs for patients in unbearable pain.
Success for the wrecking amendment came despite a poll which suggested there was public support for the proposed new law.
The Bill, tabled by Lord Joffe, a crossbench peer, had aroused strong opposition from church leaders and the medical profession. the rest
San Diego sued for discrimination against churches
Federal judge blocks city's attempt to dismiss case
Posted: May 13, 2006
A federal court denied San Diego's request to dismiss a lawsuit by a church accusing the city of discrimination for charging churches higher rental fees than similar community groups.
Canyon Ridge Baptist Church, represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, rents a city-owned facility, the Kearny Mesa Recreation Center, for its Sunday worship services.
"A landlord – especially when it's the government – shouldn't treat Christian tenants any differently than other tenants," said ADF attorney Tim Chandler.
A city, he explained, "cannot single out religious organizations for unequal treatment in comparison to other similarly situated groups."
The city provides the recreation center at no cost or for a nominal fee to many governmental and community groups. But San Diego officials charge religious organizations its highest rate, which is up to 21 times higher than what other community groups are charged. the rest
Abuse Scandal Has Changed View of Priests
By JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press Writer
Sat May 13
TOLEDO, Ohio - Few people dared to say anything bad about priests in 1980, when Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found stabbed to death in a hospital chapel. Even when the hospital's chaplain emerged as the only suspect, witnesses were reluctant to implicate the priest.
But the sex abuse scandal that has since swept through the Roman Catholic Church has changed the way people view clergy.
"Times are very different in many ways," Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates said after the Rev. Gerald Robinson was convicted last week of murdering the nun 26 years after her death.
Prosecutors reminded jurors of that in their final arguments, telling them it would have been difficult right after Pahl's death to convince a jury that a priest was capable of murder. the rest
Pope calls faithful to defend marriage
By Robin Pomeroy
REUTERS NEWS AGENCY
May 14, 2006
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI renewed his attack on homosexual "marriage" yesterday, saying Christians must defend marriage as a "pillar of humanity" benefiting both believers and nonbelievers.
Calling on the faithful to stand up for traditional notions of marriage and procreation in the face of moves to recognize same-sex unions, he said: "Such a witness can only stimulate politicians and legislators to safeguard the rights of the family.
"It's well-known that legal solutions like so-called 'civil unions' are gaining ever-greater acceptance, even if, while they exclude the responsibilities of marriage, they claim the same rights," he said in a speech to the Pontifical Council for the Family.
"Sometimes, there is the wish even to change the definition of marriage to legalize homosexual unions, granting them the right to adopt children."
The comments were stronger than remarks Benedict made two days ago, which were criticized by some members of Italy's incoming liberal government as unwanted interference in a political issue. the rest
America's Anti-Child Culture
By ALICIA COLON
May 12, 2006
Sunday is Mother's Day, and what odd timing for the New York Times to run an article by Natalie Angier about how animals are not necessarily maternal. In her article this week, Ms. Angier gives numerous macabre examples of how the female of the species mistreats her offspring. Whether it's cannibalism or neglect, we're supposed to cringe in horror at the shocking assault on helpless animal babies. I can't help but wonder if Ms. Angier is sending us a subtle message that such behavior is instinctively natural for the survival of any species - including our own.
She writes, "Among several mammals, including lions, mice and monkeys, females will either spontaneously abort their fetuses or abandon their newborns when times prove rocky or a new male swaggers into town." Gee, sounds familiar, doesn't it? The names Amy Richards and Susan Smith come to mind. I was under the impression that the human race was a cut above the animal kingdom, but I guess not. the rest
Roe attorney: Use abortion to 'eliminate poor' In unearthed letter urged President-elect Clinton to 'reform' country
Posted: May 13, 2006
A letter to Bill Clinton written by the co-counsel who successfully argued the Roe v. Wade decision urged the then-president-elect to "eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country" by liberalizing abortion laws.
Ron Weddington, who with his wife Sarah Weddington represented "Jane Roe," sent the four-page letter to President Clinton's transition team before Clinton took office in January 1993.
The missive turned up in an exhibit put together by the watchdog legal group Judicial Watch, which has been researching the Clinton administration's policy on the abortion drug RU-486, notes James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web. the rest
Gay ice skaters settle hand-holding harassment case
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, May 11, 2006
A company that was sued by a pair of gay skaters who alleged they were harassed for holding hands has agreed to hold monthly gay-straight skate nights, to sign an anti-discrimination pledge and to contribute $5,000 to two gay groups as part of a legal settlement.
As part of the settlement announced late Wednesday, the skaters, John Manzon-Santos and Alan Lessik, also will get free admission for one year to the weekly "pairs preferred" skating sessions Berkeley Iceland plans to offer. East Bay Iceland, which owns the Berkeley rink and two others, also agreed to post placards advertising its efforts to promote diversity and to require its workers to undergo sensitivity training.
Manzon-Santos and Lessik, amateur skaters who are training to compete in the Gay Games being held this summer in Chicago, alleged in a lawsuit filed last month that Berkeley Iceland's manager twice told them to stop skating together. The manager said he was concerned about safety, but the two men suspected they were targets of gay bias because they saw male-female couples holding hands while skating, Manzon-Santos said Thursday. the rest