Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Shepherd Secures Them
They shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. (Zephaniah 3:13)

Yesterday we thought of the afflicted and poor people whom the Lord left to be a living seed in a dead world. The prophet says of such that they shall not work iniquity nor speak lies. So that while they had neither rank nor riches to guard them, they were also quite unable to use those weapons in which the wicked place so much reliance: they could neither defend themselves by sin nor by subtlety.

What then? Would they be destroyed? By no means! They should both feed and rest and be not merely free from danger but even quiet from fear of evil. Sheep are very feeble creatures, and wolves are terrible enemies; yet at this hour sheep are more numerous than wolves, and the cause of the sheep is always winning, while the cause of the wolves is always declining. One day flocks of sheep will cover the plains, and not a wolf will be left. The fact is that sheep have a Shepherd, and this gives them provender, protection, and peace. "None"—which means not one, whether in human or diabolical form—"shall make them afraid." Who shall terrify the Lord's Rock when He is near? We lie down in green pastures, for Jesus Himself is food and rest to our souls.
CH Spurgeon photo

A Call to Pray and Fast — Monday June 12
Bishop James Stanton of Dallas has urged June 12 be set aside for special prayer & fasting for General Convention. Here is what he posted on the Diocese of Dallas website:


“Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6.18

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church begins at Columbus, Ohio on June 13, 2006. Those of you who have access to the internet, or access to friends or family who do, undoubtedly know th1t the air is thick with prognostications, predictions, warnings, forebodings, and the pushing of various points. This is, I believe, neither the time nor the place to contribute further to this anxious moment in the life of the Church to which we belong and which we love.

Instead, I am issuing a call to all the congregations of this Diocese, to all the Clergy and all the members of the Lay Order: I call upon all of us to set apart Monday, June 12, as a day of prayer and fasting for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. I call upon the Clergy to offer the Holy Eucharist on that day with special intention for the Convention, and to set apart additional times of vigil for the people to offer their prayers and intercessions for the bishops and deputies who will go the Convention.Offer the fast throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. Traditionally a fast includes abstinence from food, but may also involve abstaining from other customary comforts. The point of the fast is to concentrate our attention on God and His will for us and allow prayer and the reading of God’s Word to sustain us.
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"Forgetting" Dromantine
Matt Kennedy+

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for since the release of the Dromantine Communiqué. It was, if you recall, the Communiqué that specified GC2006 as the point of decision, the venue for ECUSA’s collective response to the Windsor Requests:

Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report and in order to recognize the integrity of all parties, we request that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for t

he period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference. During that same period we request that both churches respond through their relevant constitutional bodies to the questions specifically addressed to them in the Windsor Report as they consider their place within the Anglican Communion. (Dromantine Communique: Paragraph 14)

The only time the Episcopal Church meets as a “constitutional body” during “the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference” is General Convention 2006. Thus, it is beyond question that the primates along with the Archbishop of Canterbury did not intend to initiate an unending conversation but to schedule a definitive choice.
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Teenage Girls Falling into Cultural Dangers of Sex, Experts Warn
Saturday, Jun. 10, 2006

A new report on teens and sex revealed an overall decline in high school students ever having engaged in sexual intercourse yet studies have also shown more teenagers retracting their virginity pledges. Amid the studies, more parents are raising concerns on cultural trends that may be degrading the values of the average teen.

Reported in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health, a study conducted on more than 14,000 students found that 52 percent of those who took virginity pledges retracted those pledges within a year. And adolescents who abandoned a born-again Christian identity were more than twice as likely as their peers to say they had never taken a virginity pledge, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Thursday stating 47 percent of high school students last year said they had ever had sexual intercourse, down from the 54 percent reported in 1991.
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Assisted suicides in apartment irks residents
By Alexandra Williams
June 10, 2006

ZURICH -- Residents who share an apartment building with Dignitys, an assisted-suicide charity, have begun a campaign to evict the organization from the building.

In the eight years that Dignitys has been in the building, more than 450 people have killed themselves with barbiturates in the fourth-floor apartment owned by the Swiss charity. The bodies are put into a zipper bag and transported in the three-person elevator or carried downstairs.

Traumatized by the experience of passing living people going up in the elevator only to come across them hours later descending in a body bag, some residents want to move out of the block.
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Wiccan lawyer urges end to tax exemption on religious items
Bill Kaczor
Posted June 9, 2006

TALLAHASSEE -- A sales tax exemption for religious items and publications including Bibles should be declared unconstitutional, a lawyer for a Wiccan group told the state Supreme Court on Friday.

Attorneys for the state and two tax-exempt religious newspapers urged the justices to throw out the Wiccans' challenge on procedural grounds without ruling on the constitutional issue. The high court will make a decision at a later date.
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Euthanasia will become as routine as abortion
Having watched the trend for years, I predict it may well be an option for me. I'm 54.

Richard Smith
June 9, 2006 12:08 PM

In 1978 I published one of my first articles in a medical journal - on abortion. It prompted howls of protest, and so did every article on abortion for the next 10 years. But slowly the protesters, some of them very well organised, ran out of steam. We moved - do I dare say progressed? - over a 50-year time scale from refusing termination of pregnancy in a woman whose life was threatened by pregnancy to, effectively, abortion on demand.

I feel I'm watching a similar progression with euthanasia. Len Doyal, "one of Britain's top medical ethicists",
arguing that active euthanasia can be acceptable is another step along the path. Len may be in the vanguard, but much of the population is close behind. Other countries and states - the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Oregon, the Northern Territories - are ahead, but surely a post-religious country like Britain will quickly follow. Lord Joffe's bill on physician-assisted suicide may have been put on ice, but it'll soon be warmed up. the rest

Empty Pews: Where Did All The Men Go?
Gender Gap Threatens Churches' Future
By Kristen Campbell and Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Men don't need pirates in the pews. Then again, the presence of such swashbucklers might not be the worst thing to happen to a Sunday morning.

So goes the thinking of David Murrow, author of "Why Men Hate Going to Church."

We don't have to have hand-to-hand combat during the worship service to get men there," Murrow said. "We just have to start speaking [their language], use the metaphors they understand and create an environment that feels masculine to them."

Today's churches, Murrow argued, just aren't cutting it.

"My background is in marketing and advertising, and one day I was sitting in church, and all of a sudden it dawned on me that the target audience of almost everything about church culture was a 50- to 55-year-old woman," said Murrow, a Presbyterian elder who's now a member of a nondenominational congregation in Anchorage.
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Evangelicals vs. Christian Cable
Under 'a la Carte' Plan, Viewers Could Bar Certain Channels
By Piet Levy
Religion News Service
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Evangelical Christians are on the front lines in the battle over indecency on cable television, calling for a pick-and-choose pricing plan that would allow viewers to keep certain channels out of their homes.

But on the opposite end of the battlefield is an opponent familiar to and even respected by evangelicals: Christian cable stations.

The fear among Christian broadcasters is that a proposal to allow consumers to reject MTV or Comedy Central would also allow them to drop the Trinity Broadcasting Network or Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. Cutting off that access could hurt religious broadcasters.

"We do not believe that 'a la carte' is the cure for the disease," said Colby May, attorney for the Faith and Family Broadcasting Coalition, which represents Trinity and CBN, in addition to other stations. "In fact, it is a cure that may very well kill the patient."
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Will Same-Sex Marriage Collide With Religious Liberty?
Published: June 10, 2006

Is same-sex marriage on a collision course with religious liberty? It wasn't surprising that before the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage died in the Senate this week, several senators supporting it raised that danger.

But when highly respected legal experts on civil liberties, including ones favoring same-sex marriage, raise the same possibility, their concerns cannot be dismissed as partisan debating points.

Marc D. Stern, whose many years handling religious freedom cases for the
American Jewish Congress have made him an expert in the area, can hardly be identified as a conservative agitator. Yet he firmly believes that legal recognition of same-sex marriage will make clashes with religious liberty "inevitable." the rest

The Metaphysical and Geopolitical Meaning of Soccer . . . No Kidding
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2006

What is the big deal about the World Cup soccer games? In the event you have missed all the excitement, be aware that these games are the biggest sporting event in the world. My crack research staff, ever aware of my abysmal level of sports knowledge, has me reading How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer and The Thinking Man's Guide to the World Cup edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. So, watch out, newly acquired soccer knowledge soon to be dispensed with aplomb.

More seriously,
The Christian Science Monitor has a great piece on the meaning of the games. The headline tells the story: "World Cup Boosts Growth, Binds Ties, Even Sparks War." Got your attention yet? the rest

MD Calls Harvard-Children's Hospital Embryonic Research Plans 'a Shame'
By Mary Rettig and Jenni Parker
June 9, 2006

(AgapePress) - The executive director of the
Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) says it is nothing short of a tragedy that Harvard is teaming up with a Boston hospital to clone human embryos.

On Tuesday, scientists at Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and Children's Hospital Boston announced they will be working to clone human embryos to generate stem cell lines for disease treatment. The Harvard Gazette reports that after more than two years of intensive ethical and scientific review, HSCI and Children's Hospital have been cleared to begin experiments using somatic cell nuclear transfer to create disease-specific stem cell lines in the hope of developing treatments for a wide range of afflictions that are presently incurable.

Christian physician Dr. David Stevens, who heads the CMDA, says it is a shame that news of this announcement has escaped widespread media attention and has made barely a ripple in the headlines. Human lives are being extinguished, he points out; and moreover, this type of research is developing human embryos for the sole purpose of experimentation.
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Oh Canada – Wake Up!
June 10, 2006
by Nathan Tabor

With the recent arrests of 17 alleged terrorists in Toronto, Canada and initial reports that they were planning a number of bomb attacks throughout the metropolitan area, it’s not encouraging that the appeasers and apologists are already out spreading their disinformation, and at least for one Canadian official, his naiveté.

Toronto’ Police Chief, Bill Blair, after meeting with local Muslim “leaders,” assured the press that "It appears that a number of these young men were motivated by an ideology based on politics, hatred and terrorism, and not on faith," discounting reports that all involved have been described as “devout Muslims.”

In an equally inane comment, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell had the tenacity to remark that the 17 "…represent the broad strata of our community.” You mean the Muslim community, Mike? An unattributed RCMP official added assuredly that they were “Muslims, but not Arabs.” Wow, looks like the city dodged a bullet. What would have happened if they were actually Arabs?
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Ruth Gledhill: Anglican Communion crisis: John Chew interview

Global South website has reproduced my talk to John Chew in an article about the coming General Convention of Ecusa. You can see it in The Times here along with Credo by the Chief Rabbi and a piece by me and work experience reporter Dominic Tobin on the religious world's response to the World Cup. Meanwhile, Thinking Anglicans has links to the Government consultation on its latest anti discrimination proposals and to the Archbishops' council response. Jonathan Petre wrote a piece, Church could be forced to bless gay weddings.

The John Chew piece, of which some extracts are reproduced here, is also about the Anglican Church's about the struggle over homosexuality. The future of the Communion could be decided at the general convention of the US church next week. Unity will stand or fall on whether the Episcopal Church of the US agrees a moratorium on gay consecrations called for by the Windsor report. The trophy at stake is the very soul of Anglicanism, with the losers destined to live out their ecclesiastical existence as an obscure sect.

But as with the football, the really important action is taking place off the pitch. The real axis is less around the conservative evangelicalism of the Peter Akinolas of Africa versus the liberal catholicism of the Frank Griswolds of the US. It is more to do with the colonial-style structure of the West coming up against the Chinese-style consensus politics of the East.
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Hacker Stole 1,500 Energy Department Workers' Social Security Numbers
Friday, June 09, 2006

WASHINGTON — A hacker stole a file containing the names and
Social Security numbers of 1,500 people working for the Energy Department's nuclear weapons agency.

But in the incident last September, somewhat similar to recent problems at the Veterans Affairs Department, senior department officials were told only two days ago, officials told a congressional hearing Friday. None of the victims were notified, they said.

The data theft occurred in a computer system at a service center belonging to the National Nuclear Security Administration in Albuquerque, N.M. The file contained information about contract workers throughout the agency's nuclear weapons complex, a department spokesman said.
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Video Game Detox Center Opens in Amsterdam
Friday, June 09, 2006

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — An addiction center is opening Europe's first detox clinic for
video game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can't leave their joysticks alone.

Video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs — and just as hard to kick, says Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants.

Bakker already has treated 20
video game addicts, aged 13 to 30, since January. Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer console.
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Church 'could be forced to bless gay weddings'
By Jonathan Petre
(Filed: 10/06/2006)

New Government proposals on equality could require clergy to bless homosexual "weddings" or face prosecution, the Church of England said yesterday.

It said the proposed regulations could undermine official teaching and require Christians to act against their religious convictions.

The Sexual Orientation (Provision of Goods and Services) Regulations will make discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation illegal in the same way as race or sex.

They are designed to protect gays and lesbians from being denied "goods, facilities and services" on the basis of their sexual preferences.

They were drawn up after homosexual couple couples complained of being refused hotel rooms.
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A Historical Perspective on "Gay Marriage"
By Guest: Matthew A. Roberts
on Jun 09, 06

In recent articles one is inclined to believe that people only oppose "gay marriage" on religious grounds. If you look at the history of homosexuality, however, you will find that people have had criticisms of homosexual behavior on other grounds as well.

Many of the arguments one hears against gay marriage are religious or, more specifically, Christian in nature. For example, Leviticas, 1 Corinthians and Romans all proscribe homosexual behavior. Furthermore, within the history of Christianity, from the early Church Fathers to later Protestants, there exists a continual condemnation of homosexual acts. In short, the Christian tradition for over 2,000 years has overwhelmingly deplored any sort of homosexual undertaking, and Western countries, being Christian in origin, have significantly been influenced by Christian morals on this subject.

The extent of the disapproval of homosexuality, however, limits itself not only to Christianity. We also find proscriptions against excessive homosexual behavior in Plato, the Emperor Augustus (who encouraged marriage among the upper class for procreation) and among other ancient writers as well. In fact, homosexual “relationships,” at least as we know them, did not even exist among the Greeks and Romans. Although we commonly find pederasty among the ancients, evidence of same-age relationships scarcely exists. Although they recognized homosexual acts as common among certain classes, specific homosexual acts (esp. those regarding passivity) were considered degrading for the upper classes. Furthermore, heterosexual marriage remained the unquestioned norm, and the ancients did not even consider “gay marriage” as an option.
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An American business 'success' story
Posted: June 10, 2006
By Jim Sedlak

America is the land of entrepreneurs. Those that are successful find a formula that works and then replicate that formula many times to build an empire. We have seen this happen in the fast-food industry, in retail stores, in computers and many other venues.

There is one enterprise that has received very little attention for its commercial acumen because most people don't view it as a business. But it is. Let's take a few moments to look at this business, review its business model and determine the secret to its success.

First, let's look at some of the numbers associated with this business. Last year, it had gross revenue of $882 million and a net profit of $63 million. This marks the 19th year in a row that the enterprise has increased its gross revenue and made a profit. In fact, over those 19 years, it has a total profit of $649.6 million on gross revenue of $10 billion.
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Connecticut: Hamden considering separate boy/girl classes
Hamden-AP, June 9, 2006
The Hamden School District is considering a new strategy to try to bring test scores up. The district wants to set aside separate classrooms for boys and girls starting in third grade. A similar program is paying off in Hartford.

Single-sex classes are common in private schools, but relatively rare in public schools. Hamden is considering it as a way to boost test scores at an underachieving elementary school. The Board of Education will vote on it next week.

At one Hartford middle school that type of program has been available for awhile, and that school's principal says it works.

"We've just seen success story after success story," says Andrew Serrao, principal at Hartford's Lewis Fox Middle School, which for more than a decade has been offering separate programs for boys and for girls to its 7th and 8th grade students.
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US Episcopal Church nears divisive meeting
By Michael Conlon
Sat Jun 10, 8:10 AM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Episcopal Church faces a fractious debate next week over the controversy caused by the consecration of the church's first openly gay bishop, which has rubbed raw relations with fellow Anglicans worldwide.

The Church leadership has crafted proposals it believes will address concerns within the 2.3 million-member U.S. church and from abroad.

But before the nine-day triennial General Convention opens in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, some critics said they expected very little movement on issues such as banning the blessing of same-sex unions or elevating more gays to the episcopate, increasing the likelihood of further divisions down the road.
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Friday, June 09, 2006

Off to the Albany Diocesan Convention!

Will post if there is any internet connection.
Don't forget to check out these sites for info on General Convention 2006:

General Convention 2006


Lent and Beyond

Drell's Descants


Then are we servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us and because it is commanded us. ... John Owen

Thursday, June 08, 2006

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

Death of a Monster
The End of Abu Musab Zarqawi.
by Dan Darling

AS INFORMATION CONCERNING HIS DEMISE continues to surface, the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi marks the end of one of the most accomplished mass murderers in the modern history of terrorism. According to the claims of responsibility released by his own group in Iraq, Zarqawi and his followers have conservatively murdered thousands of Iraq civilians and hundreds of coalition soldiers--in addition to perpetrating the February 2006 bombing of the al-Askariyyah Mosque in Samarra that instigated a wave of sectarian violence across the country.

Born Ahmed Fadel Nazal al-Khalayleh, Zarqawi was first identified as a major threat during a meeting of the German-Atlantic Society in Berlin in the fall of 2002. There, Hans-Josef Beth, the head of Germany's International Terrorism Department of the Security Service, warned that Zarqawi was an al Qaeda leader who "has experience with poisonous chemicals and biological weapons." Even before the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency, the State Department's 2002 Patterns of Global Terrorism report already marked of the scope of his murderous ambitions, noting that "In the past year, al-Qaida operatives in northern Iraq concocted suspect chemicals under the direction of senior al-Qaida associate Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and tried to smuggle them into Russia, Western Europe, and the United States for terrorist operations."
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Vatican Archbishop: World Cup Prostitutes Cheapen Dignity of Women
Thursday, June 08, 2006

Vatican archbishop on Thursday lamented a possible flood of prostitutes into Germany for the World Cup, saying it cheapened the dignity of women, "who cost less than a ticket to a soccer game."

Agostino Marchetto, a top official of the pontifical council for the care of migrants, was asked by Vatican Radio about the expected World Cup boom for Germany's sex industry during the four weeks of the games.

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Embattled Anglicans look to U.S. gathering for signs of calm or confrontation
Updated 6/8/2006
By Brian Murphy, The Associated Press

In an Easter season letter to leaders of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury set out his priorities for a once-a-decade summit planned for 2008. The note was all about survival: How do we heal the feuds over gay clergy and other rifts and manage to hold together 77 million followers around the world?

But a deeper question — being asked with increasing urgency — is whether it's worth the effort.
Some critical judgments may emerge when the Episcopal Church — the American branch of the embattled Anglican family — begins its General Convention on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

What's at stake seems profound: A nearly 500-year-old religious tradition going back to King Henry VIII's famous break from the Vatican to establish the Church of England. But the modern reality is much more messy.
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Parents Warn of Popular, Dangerous Cultural Teen Trends
Thursday, Jun. 8, 2006
Posted: 2:23:04PM EST

Teens today are engaging in cultural trends that seem harmless at first, but have resulted in a number of deaths. Many parents, however, are unaware of the dangers or even the existence of such popular activities as conversing on and playing "the choking game."

In the latest report involving, a Chicago 14-year-old faces felony harassment charges for threatening the life of a school official on the highly popularized website. The threat was posted on the Internet site at the beginning of the school year, but discovered only recently, according to the Aurora Police Department.

The report is only one of a long string of cases that brought charges on sexual predators and teens who have made inappropriate postings and other forms of threats since the launch of the new online phenomenon in 2003.

According to Focus on the Family, many parents are in the dark about the widely popular online meeting space. Bob Waliszewski, director of Youth Culture at Focus on the Family, called the "good, the bad and the ugly" in a Focus on Radio segment Thursday. Waliszewski reported 74 million profiles currently on, which is almost as big as Yahoo!. And everyday, around 85,000 new profiles are added to it.
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Episcopal madness
Hans Zeiger
Posted: June 8, 2006

As the debate over gay marriage makes its temporary recession from the floor of the U.S. Senate, the debate will reappear on the floor of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, scheduled to begin June 13. The Episcopal Church first called on the government to institute civil unions at its convention in 1994, and in 2003 the church ordained its first openly homosexual bishop, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson.

The outcome of the 2003 convention has neither been good for the Episcopal Church in its relations to laymen nor in its relation to the larger Anglican communion in the world. Conventions are held every three years, and next week's gathering promises to be full of chaos. It is more likely, from the way things have been going, that the Episcopal Church next week will have its funeral than its renewal.
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Ecusa: I'll cast a spell on you
Ruth Gledhill

Reading 30 days in New Directions, I couldn't quite believe my eyes. The Episcopal Book Resource Centre, an "offshoot of the ever-heretical Ecusa Inc", is selling a book of spells by the British witch, pagan, astrologer and mother-of-four, Teresa Moorey. Unaccountably, given a pledge to remove it reported on the American Anglican Council website, the book is still there. Stand Firm first broke the story here, with lots of entertaining links. Moorey has been a witch all her life but describes in this BBC interview how difficult it was to "come out" as such at the age of 20. Teresa's own page is here. It is staggering really. Just when my own liberal principles come to the fore and I start to wonder whether everyone is not being just a bit too tough on Ecusa, they go and do something like this. Never mind what planet they're on, what church do they think they're in? Not mine. Druidism and celtic religions might have been anglo in origin, but they can hardly be called Anglican, and surely not episcopalian.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Christian prayer builds an unshakeable shelter for the orthodox because it has an unshakeable Scriptural foundation. When our minds become wayward or troubled, we turn to the Bible because this is the language Christians speak and the word that ministers grace and salvation. We pray with our minds and hearts turned toward the One to whom all of the Bible points: Jesus, Messiah. The Fathers of the Church understood that Holy Scripture must inform us in all things. Here are some excerpts to ponder. They are timely as we approach Trinity Sunday and General Convention.

the rest-Alice Linsley

Casino Giant Attempts to Woo Anti-Gambling Bishop with Financial Benefits
A major casino group has attempted to win round a Church of England bishop to super casinos by highlighting the potential financial benefits for local Church projects.
Posted: Wednesday, June 7 , 2006

A casino giant has met with a staunchly anti-casino bishop from the Church of England as eight city councils continue to battle it out over the right to build a new Las Vegas-style super casino.

The Telegraph reports that the South Africa-based gambling company Sun City Casino has met with the Rt Rev John Nicholls, the Bishop of Sheffield, to highlight the financial benefits that could result for Church projects if plans for a controversial £200 million gambling complex are approved.

The meeting has been regarded by senior diocesan figures as an attempt to win the bishop’s support and is likely to raise more concerns about government plans to establish the super casino that will feature 1,250 slot machines and unlimited jackpots.

Huge outcry from church leaders, anti-gambling groups and Labour MPs have already forced the Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell to cut the number of planned super casinos from eight to just one.
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Gay Marriage: Are Some Conservatives Ready to Surrender?
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is the battle against same-sex marriage already lost? With homosexual marriage now legal in Massachusetts and with momentum toward legalization now spreading across the nation, homosexual advocates are increasingly confident that victory is in sight. Now, some conservatives are beginning to wonder if the gay activists might be right. Christopher Caldwell, writing in The Financial Times, notes the momentum of the gay rights movement as it achieved its great victory in Massachusetts. "In gaining full legal marriage rights in an important state, American gays have effected the quickest transition from pariah status to protected status in the history of civil rights movements." Caldwell, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, appears certain that same-sex marriage is now an established social reality.

A similar case is made by Max Boot, senior fellow at the Counsel on Foreign Relations. A keen observer of social trends, Boot argues that opposition to same-sex marriage is "another lost cause for the social conservatives." Also writing in The Financial Times, Boot argues, "For decades, social conservatives in the U.S. have been fighting and losing culture wars. Contraception and abortion--once taboo topics--have been enshrined in the law. The rates of pre-marital sex, out-of-wedlock births and divorce have soared since the 1950's. In school, prayer is out, sex education is in. On television, characters used to say 'gee whiz' and sleep in twin beds; now they curse as if they had Tourette's syndrome and flash skin as if they were Gypsy Rose Lee."
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The Population Sink Philip Longman and the decline of populations.
by Jonathan V. Last

PHILLIP LONGMAN is the most important man you've never heard of in Washington.
A senior fellow at the liberal New America Foundation, Longman specializes in demography. If you're a romantic, demography is the science of love, writ large. If you're a cynic, it is the sausage factory of civilization. Whatever your disposition, demography is, if not destiny, then a subject of paramount importance. In the long run, no weapon, no technology, no economic system is more powerful.

Longman has spent many years studying demographic trends, and the conclusions are unsettling. As he writes in his 2004 book, The Empty Cradle, birthrates in America and around the world are declining beneath sustainability; population growth is slowing and, unless the trends of the last 200 years change, will soon bring about population decline--and with it, potential shifts in global prosperity and power.

Forget domestic politics and international relations: Fertility is the thing. As Longman explains, it's the grand unified theory of everything. As fertility rates decline, populations, then economies, then military power, then world influence, diminish.
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U.S. values push alienates Muslim women
By Katie Stuhldreher
June 7, 2006

Muslim women are potentially important allies in the war on terrorism, but the United States must avoid pushing Western values to win their support, according to data presented yesterday at the Gallup Organization.

The Bush administration has promoted women's rights throughout the Muslim world to gain support in the region, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a worldwide Gallup project found that many Muslim women are not as concerned about changing their status as Westerners might think.

In Lebanon and Turkey, 9 percent to 11 percent of women said sexual inequality was a major problem, but negligible concern about the issue was found elsewhere. Jordanian women did not mention it when asked what aspects of society they disliked, and 2 percent of women cited the issue in Egypt and Morocco.

Far more often, Muslim women were worried about the same things as Muslim men -- lack of unity, extremism and political corruption.
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Video game targets Antichrist
By Joyce Howard Price
June 7, 2006

A Christian-themed electronic video game will feature battles pitting armies of a One World Government against the forces of God.

The forces of Satan in this New York City-based game are represented by so-called "Global Community Peacekeepers" based at the United Nations.

"They give arms to the Antichrist," said Troy A. Lyndon, founder and chief executive officer of Left Behind Games Inc., the company that has produced the diversion, due in stores in October.

The goal of the game, called "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," Mr. Lyndon said, is to use action-packed military adventure to get U.S. teens and others to consider issues of eternal importance, such as their spirituality.

"Thinking about what will happen when you die should be as exciting as 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,'?" Mr. Lyndon said.
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More than 1,000 Clergy Petition the House of Bishops

More than 1,000 ordained priests of the Episcopal Church have signed an internet petition seeking to remind the House of Bishops of their ordination vows. The petition, which was conceived by the Rev. Canon David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, Plano, Texas, will be delivered in a letter to Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and each member of the House of Bishops.

“It is our hope to demonstrate to the House of Bishops with absolute clarity that the clergy of this Church want to return to our historical, Biblical roots,” said Canon Roseberry in a prepared statement. “We are praying that they take the Windsor Report to heart and do the right thing this summer.”

The petition makes four requests of the House of Bishops: 1) Refrain from approving any further consecrations of same-sex partnered bishops; 2) Stop all actions that allow or promote the blessing of same-sex unions of any kind; 3) Fully endorse the Windsor Report as the roadmap for maintaining full communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion; and 4) Turn the attention of the church to the mission of reaching the lost for the sake of the gospel.
the rest at The Living Church

Ignoring a danger to liberty
Jun 6, 2006
by Alan Sears

So, essentially, the argument in opposition to a federal marriage amendment comes down to this: sex trumps God.

Sex trumps religious liberty. Sex trumps the well-being of children. Sex trumps personal conscience.

Sex trumps the Constitution.

By forcing court-ordered same-sex “marriage” on the rest of us, political activists pushing the homosexual agenda will compel the great majority of American citizens and religious groups to ignore their deepest spiritual convictions, and effectively embrace—at the point of a legal shotgun—a homosexual definition of matrimony.

And, in doing so, these same advocates will force open the door for polygamy and countless other redefinitions of the term. Marriage, having ceased to become what it is, will effectively become nothing at all.

Mission accomplished. the rest

Episcopalians to debate gay bishop issue
Featured Advertiser

FOR THE MEDIA, June in Columbus, Ohio, will be all about sex.

It's not that an epidemic of lust has broken out in the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes. It's that thousands of Episcopalians (myself included) will be converging there to debate an agenda that includes two key words: gay bishops.

Three years after the church consented to its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the Episcopal Church and the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion stand on the precipice of schism.

I don't blame the media for focusing on issues of human sexuality. With debate raging over a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage, the boundary-pushing Episcopalians will put on a fascinating, timely show.

But for me personally as an Episcopalian, and as the editor of the Diocese of Virginia's daily convention newspaper, the coming media coverage will be an interesting test.

Will the media capture the nuances of the conversations in Columbus, or just the sexy bottom lines? Will all those "non-sexy" issues, like Millennium Development Goals and strategies for church growth--issues that matter more to some folks in the pews than gay bishops--receive any coverage?
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Vatican official to Anglicans: Women bishops would destroy unity
By Simon Caldwell
Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- A Vatican cardinal has warned the Church of England that a move to ordain women as bishops would destroy any chance of full unity with the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said that if the Church of England adopted such a resolution the "shared partaking of the one Lord's table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance."

"Instead of moving toward one another, we would simply coexist alongside each other," he said.

His remarks came in a speech to a private meeting of the Church of England bishops in Market Bosworth, England, just four months after the bishops agreed to set up a working group to outline a process through which women might be consecrated as bishops.
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Pa. moves to ban same-sex marriage
The state House approved, by 136-61, a constitutional amendment that would shore up an existing law.
By Amy Worden
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG - In the first major legislative action since the primary election shook up its ranks, the state House yesterday did not take up property-tax relief or lobbying disclosure - issues voters have complained most vocally about - but instead approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

By a vote of 136-61, which included significant Democratic support, the House approved a proposal that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The bill will likely be voted on in the Senate by the end of the month, a Senate Republican spokesman said.

A constitutional amendment requires passage in the legislature in two consecutive sessions and then approval by voters in a statewide referendum, which could come as early as spring 2007.
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Macy's Removes Gay Pride Display

BOSTON (AP) - Macy's department store has removed a window display marking Boston's gay pride week after a group that opposes gay marriage complained it was offensive.

The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events.

MassResistance, formerly the Article 8 Alliance, which has campaigned against gay marriage and gay-themed textbooks in public schools, objected to the display and said the mannequin wearing the flag had a "skirt" on, the Boston Herald reported.

The group posted pictures on its Web site and scores of its supporters complained to Macy's by phone and e-mail.
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'Prepare for Crucifixion,' Bishop Duncan Tells Fort Worth Clergy

Citing the example of Peter, the disciple who returned to Rome to face certain death, the moderator of the Anglican Communion Network told a May 31 gathering of clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth to prepare for a “crucifixion,” but assured them that in the long run “God will reform his Church.”

The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, conducted the clergy day discussion on the Episcopal Church, the Network, and the Anglican Communion at the invitation of the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth. The gathering, attended by about 70 priests and deacons, was held at the diocesan camp in Granbury, about 30 miles south of the see city.

The day began with a Eucharist celebrating the Feast of the Visitation. In his sermon, Bishop Duncan noted that an important difference between the Colonists and the British during the Revolutionary War was in the way they treated their enemies. The British, he said, “gave no quarter,” but the Americans treated their enemies according to the principles they espoused. He reminded the congregation that the epistle for the day, from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, admonishes God’s elect to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” to “bear with one another” and to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
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Monday, June 05, 2006

What man is he that feareth the Lord?" Psalm 25:12

What are you haunted by? You will say - By nothing, but we are all haunted by something, generally by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our experience. The Psalmist says we are to be haunted by God. The abiding consciousness of the life is to be God, not thinking about Him. The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God. A child's consciousness is so mother-haunted that although the child is not consciously thinking of its mother, yet when calamity arises, the relationship that abides is that of the mother. So we are to live and move and have our being in God, to look at everything in relation to God, because the abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time.

If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties. We see now why Our Lord so emphasized the sin of worry. How can we dare be so utterly unbelieving when God is round about us? To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.

"His soul shall dwell at ease." In tribulation, misunderstanding, slander, in the midst of all these things, if our life is hid with Christ in God, He will keep us at ease. We rob ourselves of the marvellous revelation of this abiding companionship of God. "God is our Refuge" - nothing can come through that shelter.

Oswald Chambers photo

The following essay was written by a man who came out of the gay lifesyle. It is a brilliant description of a world few outside the gay community know about. A very long read, but well worth it. Think and pray about this when the Senate votes on the marriage amendment tomorrow.

The Truth About the Homosexual Rights Movement
By Ronald G. Lee
New Oxford Review
February 2006

There was a "gay" bookstore called Lobo's in Austin, Texas, when I was living there as a grad student. The layout was interesting. Looking inside from the street all you saw were books. It looked like any other bookstore. There was a section devoted to classic "gay" fiction by writers such as Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and W.H. Auden. There were biographies of prominent "gay" icons, some of whom, like Walt Whitman, would probably have accepted the homosexual label, but many of whom, like Whitman's idol, President Lincoln, had been commandeered for the cause on the basis of evidence no stronger than a bad marriage or an intense same-sex friendship. There were impassioned modern "gay" memoirs, and historical accounts of the origins and development of the "gay rights" movement. It all looked so innocuous and disarmingly bourgeois. But if you went inside to browse, before long you noticed another section, behind the books, a section not visible from the street.

The pornography section.

The rest at Virtueonline

Archbishop backs 'rogue' clergyman
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has rebuked one of his senior bishops for his "seriously flawed" actions in revoking the licence of a conservative evangelical clergyman.

Dr Williams has given his backing to a report that recommends the Rev Richard Coekin be given his licence back.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Right Rev Tom Butler, revoked Mr Coekin’s licence last November after the Wimbledon minister invited a bishop from a church in South Africa to ordain three curates.

Mr Coekin appealed to Dr Williams and the case was heard by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, at St Dunstan-in-the-West in London last month.
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Burned Pottersville Church Torn Down After Pentecost Service

The Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, rearranged his visitation schedule to celebrate Pentecost with the congregation of Christ Church, Pottersville, N.Y.. The tiny 77-year-old building was burned almost to the ground earlier in the week in what fire investigators have determined is arson.

The fire on May 30 followed two break-ins last month in which the interior was vandalized, religious items thrown into the woods behind the building, and the words “You have been warned,” written in the margin of a Bible. More than 170 people, nearly eight times the average Sunday attendance, worshiped in a tent set up for the June 4 service. They heard Bishop Herzog preach on forgiveness.

“As Christians, it’s what you do,” he said. “We have always prayed for our oppressors. You pray for people. You have to look ahead. You cannot live in the past.”

Immediately after the service, the church’s cross and bell were removed from the old steeple by the Pottersville Fire Department. The Albany Times Union reported that volunteers had to use a chain saw to cut away the wooden cross after pulling on a rope failed to dislodge it. A backhoe then moved in to tear down the remaining walls.
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Planned Parenthood Abortion Business Makes Nearly $900 Million Last Year
by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 5, 2006

New York, NY ( -- Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, made nearly $900 million last year, according to its most recent annual report. The report showed the pro-abortion group made its second-highest profit ever and set new records for the number of abortions it did and the lowest rate of adoption referrals compared to abortions.
According to its records, Planned Parenthood had a record income of $882 million dollars and a profit of $63 million, the second highest it has ever recorded.

The report also shows Planned Parenthood did more abortions in a single year, 255,015, than ever before.

It also set a new low for the number of women it referred for adoption compared to the number of abortions it performed. Planned Parenthood's annual report shows it did 180 abortions for every one woman it sent to an adoption agency.

Jim Sedlak, the director of STOPP International, a Planned Parenthood watchdog group, compiled the data from the reports. He said he was surprised the abortion business continued to ask for state and federal taxpayer dollars despite receiving record income.
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Needs of Patients Outpace Doctors
An aging America and a shortage of physicians will severely tax the healthcare system, experts say. The effects are already being felt.
By Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
June 4, 2006

A looming doctor shortage threatens to create a national healthcare crisis by further limiting access to physicians, jeopardizing quality and accelerating cost increases.

Twelve states — including California, Texas and Florida — report some physician shortages now or expect them within a few years. Across the country, patients are experiencing or soon will face shortages in at least a dozen physician specialties, including cardiology, radiology, and several pediatric and surgical subspecialties.

The shortages are putting pressure on medical schools to boost enrollment, and on lawmakers to lift a cap on funding for physician training and to ease limits on immigration of foreign physicians, who already constitute 25% of the white-coated workforce.

But it may be too late to head off havoc for at least the next decade, experts say, given the long lead time to train surgeons and other specialists.
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'Rhythm Method Killing Embryos' Study is False on Science and Morality
By John-Henry Westen

A study released last week by the British Medical Journal's subsidiary, the Journal of Medical Ethics, seemed more designed for attacking the Catholic Church than for scientific rigour. If that was the goal of L. Bovens' "The rhythm method and embryonic death", then the mainstream media fell for the ploy head-over-heels.

"How Vatican roulette kills embryos," screamed Australia's Sydney Morning Herald; "Rhythm method linked to massive embryonic death," was the headline of India's New Kerala, and Canada's Vancouver Sun styled it "'Rhythm' method a killer of embryos."

Physicians and medical ethicists, however, have responded to the journal noting that the study was "absurd science", "insulting to the general Catholic population", and just plain "wrong".
In his article, which was publicized by a BMJ press release with the title "'Rhythm Method' May Kill Off More Embryos Than Other Methods Of Contraception", Bovens speculates that use of the "rhythm method of contraception" is responsible for two to three embryonic deaths for every pregnancy that results from conception outside the "centre interval" of the fertile period.
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Anglican Church of Rwanda Launches New Child Protection Programme
A new child protection programme has been launched by the Anglican Church in Rwanda to safeguard children from abuse and violence.
Posted: Monday, June 5 , 2006

The Anglican Church in Rwanda has launched a new programme to bring down the rate of abuse and violence against children.

The new programme called “Neighbour’s Eye” is intended to consolidate the efforts of a separate child protection programme initiated by the First Lady’s Office earlier in the year called the “Treat Every Child as Your Own” project.

According to Manasseh Gahima, administrator for Gahini Diocese in Kayonza district, the main aim of the programme is “to make every person a watchdog of his/her neighbour and fight against anything that would violate the rights and welfare of children and neighbours”.
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'A Consistent Ethic of Life'
Nathan Finn
Baptist Press

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- One of the ongoing battlegrounds in America’s culture war is the debate over the intrinsic value of human life. To many conservative evangelicals, “the sanctity of human life” is a buzzword for one or two moral issues, typically abortion and euthanasia. Both practices are terrible, but the sanctity of human life surely encompasses more than simply beginning and end-of-life concerns.

Other conservatives, especially Catholics and those influenced by peace church traditions, prefer to speak of a “consistent ethic of life.” This approach addresses abortion and euthanasia, but also tackles a range of other issues including the death penalty, violent crimes, and issues of war and peace. Many who take this approach oppose the death penalty and have a tendency toward pacifism, two positions that I respect in many ways but ultimately disagree with on theological grounds.
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Author: Despite NOW, Many Women Opting for Stay-at-Home Parenting
By Mary Rettig
June 5, 2006

(AgapePress) - Author and stay-at-home mom Suzanne Venker says the leaders of the National Organization for Women, or NOW, are out of touch with real women of today.

Elizabeth Vargas, co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight," recently announced she is leaving the program because of her pregnancy and her desire to spend more time with her other child. However, NOW president Kim Gandy finds the situation suspicious and is positing the possibility of network discrimination against Vargas.

Gandy wrote an article on the NOW website decrying Vargas' departure and suggesting that the ABC anchorwoman was dumped, not unlike the ABC show "Commander in Chief," for presenting viewers with a strong female image.
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Christian pilgrims attacked while praying
Associated Press in Kampala
Monday June 5, 2006
The Guardian

More than 100 people have been arrested on charges of raping or robbing Christian visitors during a pilgrimage that drew thousands of people to Uganda at the weekend, officials said. Police detained 135 people as worshippers arrived to mark Uganda Martyrs' Day.

The event, which honours 22 Roman Catholic converts killed in the 1870s, attracted pilgrims from Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi, said police commander Grace Turyagumanawe, who added: "They were resting and praying in the Namugongo shrine compound when the thugs attempted to rob and rape them."
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Backing for baby cloning to beat disease
By Daily Telegraph Staff
(Filed: 05/06/2006)

A proposal to create babies that are both cloned and genetically altered to prevent serious hereditary disease is outlined today by the leader of the team that created Dolly the sheep.

Ever since news that Dolly had been cloned from an adult cell made headlines around the world, Prof Ian Wilmut has repeatedly said he is "implacably opposed" to cloning a human being.

But in his forthcoming book After Dolly, serialised today in The Daily Telegraph, he argues that, when the techniques are shown to be safe, society should consider cloning with genetic modification to prevent the birth of babies with serious diseases.

But in his forthcoming book After Dolly, serialised today in The Daily Telegraph, he argues that, when the techniques are shown to be safe, society should consider cloning with genetic modification to prevent the birth of babies with serious diseases.

Bar Ilan promotes biblical archeology

Bar-Ilan University on Monday launched a campaign to build a new Institute of Biblical Archeology, in an effort to put the field back on center stage and serve as a counterweight to revisionist historians who are skeptical of connections between archeology and the Bible.

Thse $50 million institute, which is expected to be constructed in the coming years, will be part of the university's Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology.

"The university has made a long-term commitment to place archeology at the forefront if its priorities at a time when archeology has been pushed to the wayside," said institute director Prof. Aren Maeir.

He said that over the last decade and a half, as post-Zionist trends developed, Israeli archeologists have "moved into an academic ivory tower," and have been increasingly concerned over saying things that are politically incorrect.
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Communion Denied to Activists
Gay Rights Supporters Wear Rainbow Sashes to Minn. Mass
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 5, 2006

More than 50 gay rights activists wearing rainbow-colored sashes were denied Holy Communion at a Pentecost service yesterday at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in St. Paul, Minn., parishioners and church officials said.

In an act that some witnesses called a "sacrilege" and others called a sign of "solidarity," a man who was not wearing a sash received a Communion wafer from a priest, broke it into pieces and handed it to some of the sash wearers, who consumed it on the spot.
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New film to prove accuracy of Bible?
'Exodus' project documents evidence from Joseph, Red Sea, Mount Sinai
Posted: June 4, 2006
By Joe Kovacs

Recent films from "The Passion of the Christ" to the fictional "Da Vinci Code" may have reignited the public's interest in matters of faith, but a newly completed movie could go far beyond the impact of both blockbusters, potentially verifying the historical accuracy of much of the Bible.

The two-hour feature documentary titled "Exodus" has been in the making for five years, and is expected to be released in the spring of 2007.

It covers events recorded in the books of Genesis and Exodus, beginning with the exploits of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was betrayed by his brothers into slavery but eventually became the second most powerful man in the known world, predicting seven years of famine in Egypt. It then moves on to biblical accounts involving Moses, the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and eventually Mount Sinai, where God is said to have given the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites.
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Deal on women bishops could collapse
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 05/06/2006)

Compromise proposals aimed at averting an exodus of traditionalists when women are consecrated as bishops could be watered down at a crucial meeting of the House of Bishops this week.

The bishops are examining three options, one of which would significantly dilute proposals published earlier this year to assuage the fears of opponents of the reform, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

Senior traditionalists are privately warning that if the Church adopts the watered down version, it could be plunged into a "civil war".
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Music: Mass setting to premiere at General Convention
Composition is tribute to ministry of Presiding Bishop
By Matthew Davies
Monday, June 05, 2006

[Episcopal News Service] A new Mass setting, composed in honor of Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, will receive its premiere performance during the 10 a.m. Eucharist on Saturday, June 17, as part of the Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

Composed by Craig Phillips, associate director of music and composer-in-residence at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, the "Festival Eucharist" is structured in the same way as a standard Mass setting and includes the movements Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus, Christ our Passover, and Agnus Dei.

For Phillips, it was a great honor to be asked to write a piece for the entire church, and especially as a tribute to the ministry of Bishop Griswold whom, he says, he has never met, but has admired for many years.

The Rev. Canon Anthony Jewiss, deputy executive officer in the Office of General Convention, contacted Phillips in 2004 about writing the new Mass setting. Both agreed on music that would be accessible and easily learned by congregations throughout the Episcopal Church, while also being "a work of substance and musical interest -- one that would endure over time," Phillips said. the rest

Bishop Warns Same-Sex Unions Carry Eternal Cost
By Patrick Goodenough International Editor
June 05, 2006

( - The crisis within the world's 77 million-strong Anglican (Episcopalian) Church over homosexuality goes beyond an issue of human sexuality, to the far deeper questions of the authority of scripture and eternal salvation, a leading conservative bishop has warned.

As such, it is a make-or-break issue, and more serious than previous doctrinal disputes within the denomination, he said.

How the church deals with the crisis will show Christians' willingness to obey biblical teachings "despite the unpopularity which this may bring in the world and in the church," Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen told a conference in New Zealand.

"I seriously believe that we have before us a struggle for the soul of the Anglican Church," he said, acknowledging that those who shared his point of view were labeled "obsessed, fanatical, homophobic, negative, fundamentalist and puritan."
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Poor 'PC Posture' Can Cause Bodily Harm, Experts Warn
Monday, June 05, 2006
By Deborah Rothberg

We're going to take a shot in the dark and assume that you are sitting in front of a computer monitor while you read this article.

Are your shoulders hunched? Your wrists arched back?

How about your neck: Is it craned forward? Is your back aligned with your chair back? Are your feet flat on the floor?

Well, here's some news that might get you to sit straight up in your chair: Along with the majority of the computer-facing population, you could be well on your way to developing a series of unsavory
repetitive stress ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome, postural syndrome, tendonitis and eye strain. the rest

A Clash of Culture, Faith
Latinas Balance Catholic Upbringing, Adoption of Islam
By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 5, 2006

Every morning, Jackie Avelar wakes up to a predicament. On one side of her bed is a clock that sounds the Islamic call to prayer five times a day. On the other side is a statue of Mary. As a Muslim, she wants to remove it. As a Latina, she can't.

Her father, who is a Catholic from El Salvador, wants the statue to stay.

"I have to respect him," Avelar said.

So she has found a comfortable balance: She covers the statue with a photo of her family.

Avelar, 31, constantly struggles to find balance within her family, within the outside world, within herself. Growing up, she was a beach-going, tank top-wearing, salsa-dancing girl. Now, she's a devout Muslim who favors Islamic garments and avoids socializing with men.
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Polish priests fill European gaps
By Adam Easton BBC News, Warsaw

Polish seminaries are attracting more aspirants than elsewhere

While much of Europe is suffering from a shortage of priests, Poland is the only country in the continent where the number of aspirants is rising.

About a quarter of all young men training to become Roman Catholic priests in Europe are Polish.

And Polish priests are increasingly in demand to plug the gaps in the rest of the continent.
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Spiritual challenge for gamers
By Ian Hardy
Click's North America technology correspondent

Video games with a healthy splattering of blood and guts tend to dominate the video game landscape.

But some people on the fringes of the gaming world want to offer something different - a spiritual experience.

"Many parents, many families, are not really aware of the content of video games, what resources are out there to guide them in their choice of video games, and the fact that there is a small but growing community of Christian and family-friendly video game developers," explained Scott Scholler of the Christian Game Developers Foundation.

There have been several titles already released with a Christian theme, mostly for the PC platform because development costs are significantly lower than for console games.
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Bishop denies Kenya trip was ended by gay row

The Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, has told the BBC that it is not true to say that his recent trip to Kenya with a group of curates was cut short because of a public row about his sympathy for lesbian and gay Christians. It was completed after a hiatus.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Sunday’ programme yesterday, Bishop Gladwin said that hospitality continued to be extended by the Kenyan church in a “quite overwhelming” way – even after his patronage of Changing Attitude, which advocates the full inclusion of homosexual persons in the church, was made known.

The main aim of the trip was to visit educational projects and churches in favour of a linking arrangement between Chelmsford and Mount Kenya Diocese.

The events of the bishop’s Kenya excursion have been the subject of intense media speculation, including reports that he blamed the devil for the way things worked out.
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When Redemption Becomes Offensive
by Doug Patton
June 04, 2006

“I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” - Matthew 25:36 (NKJ)

According to a judge in Iowa, helping the incarcerated is no place for God. Apparently, the Lord and His followers should stay in their houses of worship and leave the day-to-day running of society to the experts.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt has ruled that Innerchange Freedom Initiative, a faith-based program started by Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship to reach out to prisoners with a positive message of redemption through the power of Christianity, is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the state. Pratt’s ruling states not only that the IFI program must stop ministering to inmates, but also that Prison Fellowship must repay more than $1.5 million it has received from the state of Iowa since it began working in conjunction with authorities in 1999 at the Newton, Iowa, correctional facility. (An interesting side note: Judge Pratt has stayed his own ruling pending appeal, an indication of how close to the fringe he knows his reasoning is in this case.)
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