Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Shepherd does not ask of thee
Faith in thy faith, but only faith in Him;
And this He meant in saying, "Come to me."
In light or darkness seek to do His will,
And leave the work of faith to Jesus still.

Anglican Report Episode 31

Kevin and Bill Discuss:
Trinity Bristol CT
New African Bishops in America
California Law
International News
TEC Stats
AnglicanTV Schedule

Surrounded: Petition Timeframe over; on to August 4 Electing Convention
Friday, July 13th, 2007

The Standing Committee of South Carolina has
formally announced that the time for Petitions for nominations for bishop to the South Carolina diocesan Electing Convention has closed as of July 11th, and no petitions for further nominations have been received.

As noted in their announcement following the June 9th re-convened Convention
(see here), there was one candidate nominated from the Standing Committee, the Rev. Mark Lawrence, and that the Electing Convention would be held August 4, 2007. With commendation from around the Episcopal Church, the diocese would keep the nomination and participation process as open as possible, allowing a period for petition to nomination to commence, closing July 11th. ...

For Prayer:
With that in mind, the call for prayer and intercession should be:

1) For a peaceful and grace-filled electing convention for South Carolina on August 4th, to confirm their solidly discerned decision for the Rev. Mark Lawrence to be the next bishop of the diocese of South Carolina;
2) For a well-ordered and timely consent process (with the inclusion of each and every diocese), as virtually all electing dioceses expect should take place, allowing the diocese of South Carolina to move ahead in episcopal leadership with consecration and installation of their new bishop.

the rest

Louisiana becomes first U.S. state to outlaw controversial "dilation and extraction" abortion procedure
The Associated Press
July 13, 2007

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana: Louisiana became the first American state Friday to outlaw a controversial abortion procedure that involves partially removing the fetus intact from a woman's uterus, then crushing or cutting its skull to complete the abortion.

The new law allows the procedure in only one situation at any time during pregnancy: when failure to perform it would endanger the mother's life. The procedure would be a crime in all other cases, even if the pregnancy is expected to cause health problems for the mother.

Anti-abortion activists call the procedure "partial-birth abortion;" surgeons and abortion rights activists call it "dilation and extraction."
the rest

Defining Anglicanism Amid Crisis
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Jul. 14 2007

At a time when Anglicans are in what many call a crisis and trying to define common foundations that would bind them as a global body, the bishop of one of the largest Anglican provinces asks "What is Anglicanism?"

The nature of the crisis in the Anglican Communion has often been identified as the issue over homosexuality, but Archbishop Henry Orombi of the Church of Uganda stressed that the heart of the crisis is the "risk of losing our biblical foundation."

"We in the Church of Uganda are convinced that Scripture must be reasserted as the central authority in our communion," he stated. "The basis of our commitment to Anglicanism is that it provides a wider forum for holding each other accountable to Scripture, which is the seed of faith and the foundation of the Church in Uganda."
the rest

What Is Anglicanism? by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi

Three House Church Buildings in Zhejiang Facing Imminent Destruction by Government
Jul 14 2007

CAA learned three well-known Prayer Mountain church buildings in Yongjia county, Wenzhou cityof Zhejiang province are facing imminent destruction by the local government.

According to reliable local church sources in Wenzhou, the three buildings built about 10 years ago in three different mountains were used primarily as prayer mountain churches. Believers go up there everyday. And up to 800 believers usually gather at every building once a month.

Sources told CAA that because there are more house churches than the government sanctioned churches, the local government has been determined to destroy these church buildings by accusing the believers as “evil cult”. The government issued an ultimatum to destroy the three church buildings by next week. Most of the local house church leaders have been threatened not to resist the government destruction effort. Otherwise they will be arrested.
the rest

Three-fold increase in failed marriages in Spain
The report states that a martial separation occurs every 3.19 minutes in Spain, and that most separations end in divorce.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Institute for Family Policy in Spain said this week that two years after the country began allowing no-fault divorce, the number of failed marriages has more than tripled.

“The breakdown of the family has had a very negative development in Spain during recent years, in the last two years since the approval of no-fault divorce, the increase has been of such scope that, among other things, the number of divorces has tripled during this time,” the institute said in a report.

The report states that a martial separation occurs every 3.19 minutes in Spain, and that most separations end in divorce. More than 274,000 couples have separated since the law was passed. More than 450,000 children are caught in the middle, and by 2010 for every marriage that takes place another will end in divorce.
the rest

Ready, aim, fire and rain
By Pallavi Aiyar
Jul 13, 2007

BEIJING - After weeks of watching the mercury soar, hardening the already cracked earth of their wilting orchards and farms, a group of farmers on the outskirts of Beijing gather in the Fragrant Hills that line the western fringe of China's capital city. Unlike their ancestors, they do not assemble to perform a rain dance or gather in a temple to pray to the Lord Buddha to bring the rain.

Instead, they grab rocket launchers and a 37-millimeter anti-aircraft gun and begin shooting into the sky. What they launch are not bullets or missiles but chemical pellets. Their targets are not enemy aggressors but wisps of passing cloud that they aim to "seed" with silver-iodide particles around which moisture can then collect and become heavy enough to fall.
the rest

Pro-Life Advocates were Unlawfully Arrested
July 13, 2007

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the convictions of two pro-life advocates who had been charged with creating a public nuisance and violating a city sign ordinance while engaging in pro-life speech. Our readers will not be surprised to learn that it was an
Alliance Defense Fund-allied attorney who represented the two men:

"Pro-life advocates cannot be singled out for unfair treatment under the law," said ADF-allied attorney Charles Shreffler of the Minneapolis-based firm of Mohrman & Kaardal, P.A. "We're pleased that the court reversed these convictions and that three of the justices expressed a strong affirmation for the First Amendment rights of peaceful pro-life advocates.

"In September 2004, Rob Rudnick and Luke Otterstad held up two signs expressing pro-life views on the public sidewalk of the Ferry Street Bridge above Highway 10 in Anoka. After receiving a complaint from an anonymous phone caller, Anoka police arrested the two men, and they were convicted under the two ordinances in January 2005. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the convictions.

The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed that decision Thursday, ruling that the state had failed to prove an essential element of the public nuisance charge. Three of the justices filed a concurring opinion affirming the First Amendment rights of the men to display the signs.
the rest

Friday, July 13, 2007

Church of England Synod: Anglican Communion Covenant Process
13 JULY 2007

Members of the Church of England General Synod meeting in York have carried a motion to “engage positively” with the Anglican Communion Covenant process.

The motion was “clearly carried”, according to Archdeacon Clive Mansell, who estimated that the vote in favour of the motion was as high as two to one.

A Covenant Design Group was appointed earlier in the year by the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to clarify the foundations of Anglican belief, particularly on the homosexuality issue and how member churches and provinces should manage related disputes.
the rest

Matt Kennedy+: The Third Article of Religion: He Descended to "Hell"
July 13, 2007

Have you ever wondered what happened to the faithful men and women of the Old Testament? Where are they? If, as we say, faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to find eternal life what was their fate? The third article, I think, points us toward the answer to this perplexing question.

the rest at Stand Firm

What Atheists Can't Answer
By Michael Gerson
Friday, July 13, 2007

British author G.K. Chesterton argued that every act of blasphemy is a kind of tribute to God, because it is based on belief. "If anyone doubts this," he wrote, "let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor."

By the evidence of the
New York Times bestseller list, God has recently been bathed in such tributes. An irreverent trinity -- Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins -- has sold a lot of books accusing theism of fostering hatred, repressing sexuality and mutilating children (Hitchens doesn't approve of male circumcision). Every miracle is a fraud. Every mystic is a madman. And this atheism is presented as a war of liberation against centuries of spiritual tyranny.

Proving God's existence in 750 words or fewer would daunt even Thomas Aquinas. And I suspect that a certain kind of skeptic would remain skeptical even after a squadron of angels landed on his front lawn. So I merely want to pose a question: If the atheists are right, what would be the effect on human morality?
the rest

Church Army Reaches Out in YouTube
by Gretta Curtis
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Church Army evangelists can now reach out to a new audience by featuring their videos on popular video sharing website YouTube.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, YouTube gets almost 20 million visitors each month.
The short story videos featured on the popular website will show Church Army evangelists reaching out to their communities with the gospel.

The featured videos focus on the work of a skateboarding evangelist, a former Sikh and others working in urban, inner city and rural settings. the rest

Archbishop tells new Church Army evangelists to be ’all weather evangelists, who loiter with intent’
By Michael Ireland Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) -- Presiding at the recent commissioning service of ten newly-commissioned Church Army evangelists and a 400-strong congregation in the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of York told them they have been sent out as evangelists because they have a passion for sharing the gospel.

At the July 12 service in a packed Sheffield Cathedral, Archbishop John Sentamu told the seven women and three men admitted to the Office of Evangelist they should "loiter with intent" to help people experience, explain and demonstrate what new life in Christ is all about.

In a thoughtful and wide ranging sermon given in a city that had been devastated by floods only a couple of weeks earlier, the Archbishop called upon the newly commissioned evangelists to be "all weather" evangelists not waiting for the sun to come out and shine as it very rarely does, but "getting out there in all weathers" to share the gospel through words and actions. He said the Christ Jesus they serve is alive and working in the world and cannot be constrained or trapped within the covers of any book. the rest

Three Removed From Senate During Hindu Prayer
By Nathan Burchfiel Staff Writer
July 12, 2007

Washington ( -- Three Christian protestors were removed from the U.S. Senate chamber's observation gallery Thursday when they disrupted the morning prayer -- being delivered for the first time in history by a Hindu chaplain.

The three unidentified protestors began praying loudly when Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain from Nevada, started praying. The demonstrators prayed for forgiveness from Jesus Christ for "betraying" the Christian tradition.

Senate security officers quickly removed the demonstrators, and Zed continued with his prayer for peace. "May our study be enlightening," he said, noting that "by devotion to selfless work we gain the supreme goal of life."
the rest

Diocesan Motions Denied, Central New York Trial Begins Monday

The standing committee in the Diocese of Central New York on July 11 unanimously denied two motions made by the diocese, seeking a change of venue and termination of the current Title IV ecclesiastical court members in a presentment case against the Rev. David Bollinger, former rector of St. Paul’s Church, Owego. The trial is scheduled to begin July 16.

The two motions by the diocese arose out of a decision made by the presiding judge on May 29 to suppress the prosecution’s list of witnesses and most of its evidence against Fr. Bollinger after it still had not complied with a court-imposed deadline to submit the documents two weeks after the discovery deadline had elapsed. The diocese has also refused to make available a key piece of evidence, the so-called Shafer report, which had been requested by the defense and ordered to be delivered by Carter Strickland, the presiding judge.

Acting in its capacity as the diocesan review committee, the standing committee ruled that the diocese’s request for a change of venue and a declaration that the current court was vacant was not possible under the existing canons, which refer “only to the substantive construction of the court, not to the wisdom of the court’s procedural decisions.”

the rest

Comments at TitusOneNine

Comments at Stand Firm

Albert Mohler: No, I'm Not Offended
July 13, 2007

Aren't you offended? That is the question many Evangelicals are being asked in the wake of a recent document released by the Vatican. The document declares that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church -- or, in words the Vatican would prefer to use, the only institutional form in which the Church of Christ subsists.

No, I am not offended. In the first place, I am not offended because this is not an an issue in which emotion should play a key role. This is a theological question, and our response should be theological, not emotional. Secondly, I am not offended because I am not surprised. No one familiar with the statements of the Roman Catholic Magisterium should be surprised by this development. This is not news in any genuine sense. It is news only in the current context of Vatican statements and ecumenical relations. Thirdly, I am not offended because this new document actually brings attention to the crucial issues of ecclesiology, and thus it presents us with an opportunity.

The Vatican document is very brief -- just a few paragraphs in fact. It's official title is "
Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church," and it was released by the Vatican's Congregation for the Defense of the Faith on June 29 of this year. Though many media sources have identified the document as a papal statement from Pope Benedict XVI, it is actually a statement from the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith that was later approved for release by the Pope (who, as Cardinal Ratzinger, headed this Congregation prior to assuming the papacy). the rest

SOUTH KOREA: Supreme Court: until labour the foetus is not a human being
by Joseph Yun Li-sun


Seoul (AsiaNews) – Korea’s highest court ruled yesterday that an unborn child cannot be considered human until the moment the mother goes into labour, thus clearing a midwife of negligent homicide charges. The verdict has provoked bitter debate in the country while the catholic community speaks of “the shocking and deplorable verdict”.

According to Fr. Lee Dong-ik, professor of medicine at the Catholic University of Korea and a member of the Bioethics Committee at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, “Every country has slightly different legal grounds on when to consider an unborn a human being, but no country has such a definitive ruling that an unborn baby is not a human being”.
the rest

Thursday, July 12, 2007

As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don't notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not conciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.
...C.S. Lewis photo

When Satan Comes Knocking
Dr. Robert Jeffress
Pathway to Victory

Excerpt: "If we entertain and embellish wrong thoughts for any period of time, those ideas have a way of transforming into obsessions. These, in turn, result in overt actions or attitudes of disobedience. Pastor and author Charles Stanley vividly demonstrates:

“The initial thoughts the devil sends to us may be just a toehold the first time we entertain those thoughts and dwell on them or fantasize about them. The longer we entertain the thoughts, however, the more likely we are to start making mental plans about how we might act on them.

“It is then the toehold of an idea becomes a foothold. The more we develop plans for acting on a sinful idea or temptation, the more we find that the foothold has become a stronghold. We come to the place where we feel compelled to try out the idea in our behavior. We come to the place where we want to act on that idea more than we want to banish the idea.”
the rest

A reminder: Bishop Jecko's funeral in Tallahassee tomorrow
July 12, 2007

Several commenters in Florida have asked us to post this reminder. So here you go, for those who are interested and can make it to Tallahassee tomorrow.

Funeral Service for the Right Reverend Stephan Hays JeckoA liturgy for The Burial of the Dead and Celebration of the HolyEucharist in Thanksgiving for the life of the Right Reverend StephenHays Jecko will be offered on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 2:00 P. M. atSt. Peter's Anglican Church,Tallahassee.

the rest at TitusOneNine

Time: Leveling the Praying Field
Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007

A president has to be a preacher of sorts, instructing, consoling, summoning citizens to sacrifice for some common good. But candidates are competitors, which means they seldom manage to talk about faith in a way that doesn't disturb people, doesn't divide them, doesn't nail campaign posters on the gates of heaven. Republicans have been charged with exploiting religious voters, Democrats with ignoring them: Hillary Clinton's voice gets tight as she recalls the mocking response she received when she first spoke in spiritual terms about the longing that people felt to invest in causes larger than self-interest. "I talked about my faith years ago and was pilloried for it," she says, and it is hard to tell if she is more impatient with the conservatives who presumed they held the patent on piety or with the liberals whose worship of diversity all but excluded the devout.

But maybe, she suggests, candidates have learned something from the holy wars of recent years. "Maybe we're getting back to where people can be who they are," she says. "If faith is an element of who you legitimately, authentically are, great. But don't make it up, don't use it, don't beat people over the head with it."
the rest

The Gay Shibboleth
Opposition to homosexual behavior may now be a bar to high office

A Christianity Today editorial
posted 7/11/2007

As a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, physician James Holsinger voted with the majority to affirm Methodist teaching that bans practicing homosexuals from ordination. Holsinger also wrote a
white paper for the denomination 16 years ago on the health hazards of gay sex and on the biological complementarity of the human sexes.

Should that bar him from serving (as President Bush desires) as U.S. surgeon general? It's not surprising that homosexual-activist groups like
Human Rights Campaign think so. But most of the major Democratic presidential candidates agree. John Edwards was particularly harsh: "In a profession dedicated to healing and compassion, it cannot be hard to find a qualified candidate for surgeon general who sees all human beings as equals. … Holsinger's anti-gay writings and beliefs suggest that he will undermine, not advance, the cause of equality and fairness in health care."

The Boston Globe called for Bush to withdraw his nomination, since "no one should go into the job with a record of discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation." A Washington Post editorial called Holsinger's white paper "bigotry masquerad[ing] as science" and mocked him for this sentence: "In fact, the logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other." the rest

Researchers Develop Regret-Free Tattoo
By Tuan C. Nguyen
LiveScience Staff Writer
11 July 2007

Excerpt: "Now scientists at Brown University have made microencapsulated
beads filled with dyes. These beads are mixed with a solution to make tattoo ink. Free of heavy metals and other toxins, the ink is safer than conventional products and is easily removed. When you want to wipe "Veronica" or "Jake" off your arm, a single laser treatment breaks the beads, allowing the body to naturally expel the dye trapped inside and bring a formal end to that old fling."

the rest

Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament
By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent

The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the
Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered - Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.
the rest-photo

ENS: Presiding Officers appoint covenant-response group
Executive Council members will propose response, develop process for input

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
July 11, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] Nine members of the
Episcopal Church's Executive Council have been appointed to draft the Church's response to the first version of an Anglican covenant.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson made the appointments as called for in Executive Council Resolution INC021, passed at the council's June meeting in Parsippany, New Jersey.

The group is charged with writing a proposed response of the Executive Council to the
draft Anglican covenant for the council, to be considered at its October 2007 meeting in Dearborn, Michigan. the rest

Super Bowl Coach Dungy Emphasizes God as Priority in Memoir
Kevin Jackson
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jul. 11 2007

Famed for winning this year’s Super Bowl XLI “the Lord’s way,” Coach Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts unveiled his personal memoir on Tuesday, revealing the deep faith behind his life.

Titled Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life, the biography is a way to show where our priorities in life should be and the focus we need to have on God.

Dungy decided to write the book in reaction to the millions of fans who have wondered about his past.

"Writing a book is something that I never intended to do," explained the pro-football coach in a statement. "However, after winning the Super Bowl, I heard from so many people who were excited about our victory. I wanted to tell each one of them that it wasn't the victory, but the journey, and the lessons learned along that journey that really matter. And the biggest lesson I learned was that God's hand is not only in the victories, but in the disappointments as well. It is my prayer that reading my story will cause people to stop and examine what's really important in life."
the rest

Homosexual Library with Hard-Core Porn Opens on Public City Property
Mayor: "I fear that we're the first city that has a hard-core porn collection in our public library."

By Elizabeth O'Brien
Florida, July 11, 2007

( - Following a heated controversy between Mayor Jim Naugle and members of the homosexual community last week, the city commission approved the opening of a gay and lesbian library on public property.

The commissioners voted 3-2 yesterday to allow the Stonewall Library collection of gay and lesbian materials to be moved from its present location at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center to the more spacious, county-run ArtSpace library at Holiday Park.
the rest

Gay Pride, Hot Dogs and Government
By Marvin Olasky
Thursday, July 12, 2007

NEW YORK -- Summertime in the city, when activities that would have seemed strange a generation ago (a gay pride parade) take on the appearance of normality, and the normal (eating hot dogs) is taken to amusing extremes.

The gay parade late last month followed passage of a same-sex marriage bill by the Democrat-dominated New York Assembly (the lower house of the state legislature). That political victory set the tone for a show of strength: The parade was like the Union Army marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington in 1865 following the Civil War's conclusion, a display of overwhelming force and a warning to the recalcitrant that it's time to give in.

The first marchers in the parade were contingents from assorted denominations, followed by a whole slew of Episcopalians from churches named after probably discomforted saints: Clement, George, Mark, Bart, Michael, Luke. Signs sought religious respectability: "God made us Queer," "Deacons in Drag," "Dykes for Christ," "Gay by the grace of God," "Called out," etc.
the rest

Hormonal Contraceptives Pollute Drinking Water - Environmentalists Turn a Blind Eye
By Hilary White
July 11, 2007

( - For some years now, reports have been growing from around the world that the massive amounts of synthetic birth control hormones being pumped into the water systems through sewage outflow is changing the sex of fish stocks. Recently, scientists have also begun to warn of the possible carcinogenic effects of the build-up of estrogenic chemicals in drinking water.

As early as 2002, the UK Environment Agency warned that fish stocks in British rivers were showing signs of gender ambiguity as a result of high levels of estrogen in the water. A survey of 1,500 fish at 50 river sites found more than a third of males also displayed female characteristics.
the rest

NYT: Finding Religion on the Campaign Trail
Published: July 11, 2007

Some of the presidential candidates, eager to refresh their church-going, God-fearing credentials, have been talking a lot about religion and some are even showing up in church. Whether they’re going to pray for endurance, or for votes, polls suggest it’s a good idea for them just to show up. After all, that’s where a considerable number of voters spend their Sunday mornings, too.

In 2004, voters who attended religious services weekly represented 41 percent of the electorate, and 61 percent of them voted for George W. Bush. Historically, they vote Republican. But recent polls suggest the ground may be shifting, due in part to the war in Iraq, and that many of these voters are drifting away from Mr. Bush and the Republicans.
the rest

Lightning Strikes Reported by IPod Users
Thursday July 12

Listen to an iPod during a storm and you may get more than electrifying tunes. A Canadian jogger suffered wishbone-shaped chest and neck burns, ruptured eardrums and a broken jaw when lightning traveled through his music player's wires.

Last summer, a Colorado teen ended up with similar injuries when lightning struck nearby as he was listening to his iPod while mowing the lawn.

Emergency physicians report treating other patients with burns from freak accidents while using personal electronic devices such as beepers, Walkman players and laptop computers outdoors during storms.
the rest

Washington Times:Electronic devices worsen lightning injuries

Wii Fit lands
Ninty’s new game and balance board takes the hub to an even higher level of greatness.

We thought the Wii couldn’t get any better. But, we have to ‘fess up. We were wrong. Ninty’s latest awesome addition to the console is Wii Fit. And it’s set to give you way more of a work out than smashing virtual tennis balls in trusty old Sports.
The game comes bundled with a balance board, pretty much like the thing that your missus steps up and down when she’s down the gym. But this is way more than a plank covered in garish plastic.
the rest

(We have a Nintendo Wii and it is a lot of fun to play the sports games!)

Missouri: Planned Parenthood 'education' shut down
Law bans abortion providers from teaching sex ed in schools
Posted: July 12, 2007
By Chelsea Schilling

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has signed a bill into law that prevents abortion providers from teaching sex education in schools and makes a state Alternatives to Abortion Services Program permanent.

"All life is precious and needs to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect,"
the Republican governor said in a press release. "I commend Rep. Therese Sander and Sen. Delbert Scott on their work to protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of our society. I will continue working with the Missouri General Assembly to pass strong pro-life legislation that respects the sanctity and dignity of all human life."
the rest

ENS: Brazil talks renew mutual mission
Church leaders host Presiding Bishop for five-day visit

By Bob Williams
July 11, 2007

[ENS, Rio de Janeiro] Health and strength for the whole body of Christ were a guiding focus throughout July 6-10 meetings in Brazil where Anglican leaders nationwide welcomed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church.

Two wooden chalices -- both carved to commemorate the visit and unveiled on its opening day -- continued a central metaphor as the visit concluded with an Evening Prayer liturgy in Rio de Janeiro's historic Christ Church.

"These vessels, like the communion between our two churches, bear and strengthen the whole body of Christ," Brazil's Primate Mauricio Andrade said, speaking in Portuguese and underscoring the Church's call to spiritual transformation.

Expressing her thanks for the Brazilian Church's vitality and hospitality, Jefferts Schori, speaking in Spanish, affirmed the shared mission of the Episcopal Church and the 100,000-member Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil. "Thank you for your work in Christ," she said.
the rest

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

God led Jesus to a cross, not a crown, and yet that cross ultimately proved to be the gateway to freedom and forgiveness for every sinner in the world. God also asks us as Jesus' followers to carry a cross. Paradoxically, in carrying that cross, we find liberty and joy and fulfillment. ...Bill Hybels image

Ad Council's First Gay Campaign To Target Youth Anti-Gay Language
By Michael Wilke
July 9, 2007

By year end, the 60-year-old nonprofit Ad Council will launch its first ever public service announcement with a gay message by teaming with GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, to combat anti-gay language and harassment in schools.

The Ad Council has popularized many slogans over the decades, including the World War II message "Loose Lips Sink Ships" and Smokey the Bear, who declared "Only you can prevent forest fires; (both in the 1940s), the United Negro College Fund campaign's "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" in the 1970s, and the 1980s effort "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." It has also introduced iconic characters including the crying American Indian for Keep America Beautiful, McGruff the Crime Dog who began taking "A bit out of crime" in the 1970s, and the Crash Test Dummies to encourage safety belt usage in the 1980s.
the rest

The Jesus Way and the Chaos in the Episcopal Church
Book Review by Richard Kew+
Eugene Peterson's book:
"The Jesus Way"
(Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2007)

Like many others, during the last several years I have wrestled over what is the appropriate and godly way to respond to the crisis that has enveloped all of us in the Episcopal Church. Like many, I have explored a variety of options in terms of action and attitude, and come away dissatisfied. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to maintain a balanced commitment to revealed truth, countering error, reconciliation, grace, forgiveness, the unity of the church, and biblical moral and ethical values. I can't think how many times I have wished that there were some simple formula that could be readily applied.

For many years I have bought and read everything Eugene Peterson writes, for there are few theologians who marry, as he does, careful scholarship, perceptive pastoral insight and an abiding and tested commitment to catholic values of the faith. So, a couple of months ago I picked up Peterson's latest extended essay on pastoral theology, The Jesus Way.
The rest at the Kew Continuum

What Makes Anglicans Anglicans? Church to Produce Doctrinal Statement to Find "Clear and Shared Identity"
By Hilary White
YORK, July 10, 2007

( - For the first time since its earliest days in the reign of Elizabeth I, the Church of England, officially the established church of Britain, has tentatively agreed to draft a written statement, a "covenant," of its doctrines. The decision comes from the July 8th General Synod meeting in York in northern England, and represents a considerable break from the Anglican Church's usual methods of conflict resolution.

Since the establishment of the Anglican Church in the 16th century, there has been a typically English unspoken agreement within it not to meticulously define doctrinal matters. The name, Worldwide Anglican Communion, is descriptive of a religious body that has prided itself on maintaining open ecclesiastical borders while avoiding forthright discussion over what is and is not correct Christian doctrine.
the rest

Anglican priest who may have been told of terror plot flees Iraq
The Associated Press
Published: July 11, 2007

BAGHDAD: An Anglican priest who may have received a cryptic warning of the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow has fled Iraq after threats against his life, an associate said Wednesday.

Canon Andrew White, a British national who ran Iraq's only Anglican church, left the country Tuesday and returned to Britain, the associate said on condition of anonymity, saying the British Foreign Office had asked that it be the only source of information on the case.

The associate refused to elaborate on the threats. But the BBC Web site said pamphlets dropped in Shiite areas of Baghdad branded the vicar as "no more than a spy."

Canon White had been working to secure the release of five British hostages who were seized at the Iraqi Finance Ministry on May 29 by gunmen wearing police uniforms.
the rest

The Living Church: Priest Flees Baghdad After Death Threats

First Things: What Is Anglicanism?
by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi
August/September 2007

Few would deny that the Anglican Communion is in crisis. The nature of that crisis, however, remains a question. Is it about sexuality? Is it a crisis of authority—who has it and who doesn’t? Have Anglicans lost their commitment to the via media, epitomized by the Elizabethan Settlement, which somehow declared a truce between Puritan and Catholic sentiments in the Church of England? Is it a crisis of globalization? A crisis of identity?

I have the privilege of serving as archbishop of the Church of Uganda, providing spiritual leadership and oversight to more than nine million Anglicans. Uganda is second only to Nigeria as the largest Anglican province in the world, and most of our members are fiercely loyal to their global communion. But however we come to understand the current crisis in Anglicanism, this much is apparent: The younger churches of Anglican Christianity will shape what it means to be Anglican. The long season of British hegemony is over.

The preface to the Book of Common Prayer states, “It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offense be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline.”
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BBC: Vatican text angers Protestants
By David Willey BBC News, Rome

Pope Benedict has approved a new text asserting that Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism are not true Churches in the full sense of the word.

The document, issued by a Vatican watchdog, has been criticised as offensive by some Protestants.
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NYT: Pope, Restating 2000 Document, Cites ‘Defects’ of Other Faiths

Vatican decree upsets some

Vatican's `true Church' claim may stoke Christian row

Other Christian churches are 'wounded,' Vatican says

Pope reasserts salvation comes from one church

In pictures: New Seven Wonders of the World

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Separation of faith
Vestal church's parting from Episcopal Church not a one-issue decision
By Warren Musselman
Tuesday July 10, 2007

As a member of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, I was disappointed that the June 22 article "Vestal church to sever ties to Episcopal organization" on our separation from the Episcopal Church (TEC) emphasized homosexuality as the issue. The acceptance and blessing of homosexual behavior by TEC is only a symptom of the theological problems that we, and most Anglicans in the world, have with it.

Radical changes over the last 40 years or so have made it acceptable in TEC to deny the Trinity, the Resurrection, the divinity of Jesus, and many other basics of Christianity. Even some priests and bishops deny these basic tenets of the faith, and are not corrected or disciplined in any way. We know that no church on Earth can be perfect, but we cannot belong to a church that openly and blatantly contradicts the faith that we believe. Homosexuals are welcome at St. Andrew's. We do not reject them. We will accept and embrace them as we would anyone else. Their sins, whatever they are, are no worse than ours. Just don't ask us to bless any sins, either ours or theirs.

TEC, however, seeks not only to overturn 4,000 years of Judeo-Christian teaching on morality, but tries to work on the premise of "he who has the gold makes the rules." With recent losses, TEC has only about 2 million members officially on its rolls, with only about 750,000 in church on any given Sunday. Yet because TEC funds much of the operations of the 77 million member Anglican Communion, it thinks it should get away with defying repeated admonitions from councils of the Communion that denounce TEC's new direction. This defiant behavior has resulted in the Primates (leading archbishops) of 22 of the 38 churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion declaring their church out of communion (or in a few cases, in impaired communion) with TEC. These 22 Primates lead more than 75 percent of the practicing Anglicans in the world.
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Church of England Endorses Anglican Covenant

The General Synod of the Church of England supported the concept of an Anglican Covenant during three hours of debate July 8.

The Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies and chair of the covenant drafting committee, spoke in favor of the motion as did a number of senior church leaders. The motion was adopted by nearly two-thirds.

In the past, Anglicans have resisted written agreements and statements of belief, but the consecration of a partnered homosexual person as Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire in 2003 ignited long-simmering tensions over faith and order.

“We thought we had some sort of agreement and then, four years ago, it turned out that we didn’t,” said the Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. “Lambeth and the primates asked the Americans not to do something, and they did it anyway.” Bishop Wright warned that “a vote against the covenant is a vote for anarchy.”

the rest at The Living Church

Sentamu Warns Against False Terrorist Conclusions About Muslims
The Archbishop of York has warned that fears of terrorism can cause people to draw false conclusions about Muslims.
by Gretta Curtis
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Archbishop of York has warned that fears of terrorism can cause people to draw false conclusions about Muslims.

The language of fear has become the language of international relations, Dr John Sentamu told the Church of England's General Synod in York.

He said the challenge facing people was not about moderate versus "so-called radical Muslims", but about Islam being used for "quasi-political ends".

The Synod also addressed the possibility of a schism in the Church and marriage rules.
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AGAIN Magazine interviews Terry Mattingly on Anglicanism
July 10, 2007

Posted by The_Elves

AGAIN: Turning from the ancient to the modern, can you give us an overview of the state of Anglicanism today? Orthodox Christians in America need to know about the Anglican communion in order to have a fruitful dialogue with individual Anglicans and Episcopalians and with their parishes as they live out their own witness of the Orthodox faith.

TM: It is important for me to explain just a little bit how the Anglican compromise has resulted in such interesting things in terms of structure, which has so much to do with the current problems. The more conservative elements of Anglicanism tend to be its most Protestant elements, and its most liberal elements are usually people who think of themselves as highly catholic. . . .

The heart of the Anglican compromise boils down to putting St. John Chrysostom and John Calvin in the same pew. But neither one of those men want to be there. There are things on which they do not agree with each other, and they would not compromise. And yet the Anglican compromise tried to have both sides of a Protestant and ancient equation be equal. You simply can’t pull that off.

the rest at TitusOneNine

Over 100 Foreign Missionaries Expelled by Chinese Government Secret Campaign
Posted Jul 10 2007
China Aid Association
Midland, Texas

Typhoon No. 5
(July 10, 2007) ChinaAid Association confirms that a central government-directed campaign to expel suspected foreign missionaries has been ongoing since February 2007.

According to reliable China Aid sources and collaborated reports by at least five different mission agencies, over 100 foreigners accused of being involved in illegal religious activities in China have been expelled or deported this year between April and June.

Sources inside the Chinese government informed CAA that the Chinese government launched a massive expulsion campaign of foreign Christians, encoded Typhoon No. 5
, in February 2007.

This campaign is believed to be part of the anti-infiltration efforts to prevent foreign Christians from engaging in mission activities before the Beijing Olympics next year. Citizens from six countries working in Xinjiang, Beijing and Tibet targeted. Most of those expelled are citizens from the United States, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and Israel. They were expelled when they were either working or visiting in Xinjiang, Beijing, Tibet, or Shandong .
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When Is an a Human Embryo Not Really an Embryo?
Wesley J. Smith

When it is politically expedient to pretend that it isn't yet human life:There is long discussion happening at a previous post (
click here to check it out), that has evolved into a discussion, among other matters, of whether a one-week old human embryo, often called a blastocyst, is really an embryo. Also, whether there is such a thing as a pre-embryo, that is an entity created either through fertilization or SCNT that, somehow, is not yet a truly living human organism.

Due to length, I am starting a new thread about this here: A pre-embryo is a contraction for the term pre-implantation embryo--meaning it is an embryo that has not yet developed to the point that it has developed a placenta and attached to a uterus. The term does not mean that it is not actually yet an embryo, a form of non life that comes before the embryo comes into being.
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Thousands flee Indonesia volcano
Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Mount Gamkonora is one of 129 active volcanoes in IndonesiaThousands of Indonesians have been evacuated from the slopes of a volcano that is spewing out hot ash and smoke in the east of the country.

The alert around Mount Gamkonora, in North Maluku province, has been raised to its highest level amid fears a major eruption could be imminent.

Scientists have reported seeing fire and ash clouds rising as high as 4,000m (13,100ft) since Monday.
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A Blogger’s Blend of Prayer and Politics Gains Influence
Published: July 10, 2007

WASHINGTON — The morning meeting could have been at any news outlet, with discussion around the glass conference-room table about stem cells, Iraq and the presidential candidates. But afterward the members of the small group in the room bowed their heads in prayer.

“I just pray for all of us, reporters, photographers and editors,” said David Brody, a reporter. “Give us the strength to get through the day. Bless our work, Lord. Give us the right words to say.”

Mr. Brody, 42, writes a blog and covers politics for the Christian Broadcasting Network, the television station founded by
Pat Robertson. With the three leading Republican presidential candidates in the early going each confronting his own serious obstacles in winning over evangelical Christians, Mr. Brody occupies a position of influence in the 2008 presidential campaign as a gatekeeper to a crucial constituency. the rest

Mosque and State: Taxpayer Dollars, Time Devoted to Islam in Schools
By Fred Lucas Staff Writer
July 10, 2007

( - Decisions by public schools and colleges to provide special prayer times or to make other allowances for Muslim students have raised eyebrows -- but not all groups that oppose expressions of religion in the public domain are speaking out.

Some religious liberty advocates -- who have long battled efforts to purge government of religious displays, Bible readings and graduation prayers -- regard the Muslim-accomodation trend as an opportunity that should be seized.

In one instance, the University of Michigan is preparing to spend $25,000 to install two footbaths at its Dearborn campus to accommodate Muslim students wanting to wash their feet before prayers.
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Latin mass a looming headache for Catholic parishes
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
Sunday, July 8, 2007

PARIS (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's decision to promote the old Latin mass is a dream come true for delighted Roman Catholic traditionalists and a looming headache for the harried priests now expected to celebrate it.

By issuing his decree on Saturday, Benedict aimed to end a 40-year "culture war" between the overwhelming majority of his 1.1-billion strong Church and a small minority that never accepted the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
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Morally sound stocks sought
By Julia Duin

July 9, 2007

The love of money doesn't have to be the root of all evil, according to several organizations active in "values investing."

The search for stocks and mutual funds known for religious virtue as well as financial vitality has shot up in recent years with a proliferation of evangelical Protestant, Catholic and Muslim investment companies.

The Matthews, N.C.-based Stewardship Partners, for instance, specializes in "biblically responsible" stocks in companies that eschew abortion, alcohol, gambling, tobacco, pornography, cloning, stem-cell research and homosexual rights.

Investors must be well-heeled, as the starting fee is $100,000 and the company is managing $230 million in stocks in 580 accounts.
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Monday, July 09, 2007

Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ's redemptive work on Calvary's cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit. ...Andrew Murray image

ENS:Union of Black Episcopalians examine reconciliation at annual conference
Presiding Bishop says 'reconciliation and freedom go hand in hand'
By Daphne Mack

July 09, 2007

[ENS, Houston] Gathering under the theme of reconciliation, more than 300 Episcopalians attended the 39th annual meeting and conference of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE), held July 2-6 in Houston, Texas.

"Telling Our Story: Hearing God's Call for Reconciliation," drew participants from as far away as London, England to celebrate the lives, contributions, and sacrifices of people of color and women clergy and to discuss reconciliation.

Setting the tone for the conference with his keynote address, Central Pennsylvania's Bishop Nathan Baxter called on attendees to "take leadership in the work of reconciliation."
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Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu's Presidential Address to the General Synod
9th July 2007

“Do Not be Afraid”


First Things: The Pope’s Liturgical Liberalism
By Richard John Neuhaus
Monday, July 9, 2007

One of the more deft moves in Benedict’s apostolic letter motu proprio, titled “
Summorum Pontificum,” is in referring to the 1962 form of the Roman Rite as the Mass of Blessed John XXIII. It is not the Tridentine Mass or the Mass of Pius V but the Mass of John XXIII. It is the form of the Mass that was celebrated daily at the Second Vatican Council.

Benedict notes that, over the many centuries of the Roman Rite, popes have from time to time made modest changes. Pius V did so in 1570, John XXIII did so in 1962, and Paul VI did so in 1970, the last producing what is called the Novus Ordo. Benedict notes that John Paul II also made small but important emendations regarding references to the Jews in the Good Friday Liturgy. (More on that below.)

By associating the Latin Mass that is now universally approved with John XXIII, Benedict steals a card from the deck of liberals and progressives, for whom John XXIII is always “good Pope John,” in contrast to his successors. But this is much more than a deft rhetorical move. “Summorum Pontificum” is a thoroughly liberal document in substance and spirit, remembering that liberal means, as once was more commonly understood, generosity of spirit.
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Technology within church walls also a topic of debate
By KAREN HEINSELMAN, Courier Staff Writer
July 8, 2007

WAVERLY --- Despite the fact many churches use technology and use it well, nationwide houses of worship are as much as a decade behind the times.

Bill Withers, chairman of the communication arts department at Wartburg College, said most businesses have a presence on the Internet. But only 57 percent of Protestant congregations have a Web site, according to the Barna Group, a research group. Withers notes many churches maintain an online presence with limited information.

Technology, however, isn't limited to the Internet. Technology is also what happens inside church walls --- which is where related tensions sometimes arise.

Should parishioners use hymnals or follow along on screens with pictures and graphics? Should the pastor read announcements about summer camp from the pulpit or play a video of last year's adventures?
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Fight over Thou Shalts won't wilt
Fargo council hands down its word, but foes vow to move biblical marker
By Judy Keen

A Ten Commandments monument will remain on the lawn outside City Hall in Fargo, N.D., for now, but the City Commission's recent vote to keep it there won't end controversy over the marker.

The Red River Freethinkers, a group of about 100 people who believe the monument violates the constitutional separation of church and state, will continue to press commissioners to allow them to erect a new marker nearby. It would feature a quote from a 1797 treaty signed by the United States and Tripoli: "The United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

Jon Lindgren, a Freethinker and a former Fargo mayor, says the group will "try to figure out a way to bring it up again. … We do not want to go to court." The Freethinkers' proposed monument, he says, "would balance the Ten Commandments, which is quite provocative from our point of view."
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Lesbian Couple Wants Access to Religious Property for Civil Union
By Matt Purple Correspondent
July 09, 2007

( - A lesbian couple in New Jersey has filed a complaint against a Methodist-owned campground, claiming illegal discrimination because their request for a civil union ceremony on the property was denied.

Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster in March applied for use of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association's Boardwalk Pavilion for their civil union ceremony, planned for September. The Methodist organization rejected their application and later told Bernstein in an email that it did not allow civil unions to be held on the pavilion.

Bernstein and Paster filed a complaint against the OGCMA in June, alleging illegal discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.
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Albert Mohler: A Priest Goes on "Time Out"
-- Time to Rethink the 'Christian Muslim' Idea
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2007 at 3:04 am ET

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding of Seattle made news in recent weeks by declaring herself to be both a Christian and a practicing Muslim. The Episcopal priest lives in Seattle and is scheduled to teach for the next academic year at Seattle University (a Jesuit institution).

As previously reported [see article
here], Rev. Redding insisted that she could be both a Christian and a Muslim. This claim presents no small difficulty, of course, since the central claim of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father -- a claim Islam explicitly and directly denies. the rest

Get Religion: She’s a dessert topping or a floor wax
July 9, 2007
Posted by Mollie

Seattle Times religion reporter Janet Tu has been covering the rather
juicy story of an Episcopal priest converting to Islam while seeing no conflict with her ordination vows in the Christian church. We discussed her mid-June story about the case already.

I liked how she didn’t bias the story one way or the other using the simple trick of letting the priest in question characterize her own views while letting folks on the Muslim and Christian sides of the debate weigh in with their own views.
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Church takes a step back from schism with gay expulsion plan
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
July 9, 2007

The Church of England took a step towards averting schism over gays yesterday when the General Synod backed a process that would allow the expulsion of rebel provinces from the Anglican Communion.

Some liberals in the established Church oppose the introduction of an Anglican “covenant” outlining a common doctrine that is to be endorsed across all 38 provinces worldwide, because they fear it will limit the traditional diversity that has become a hall-mark of Anglicanism.

But the Synod, meeting in York, voted overwhelmingly to “engage positively” in the creation of the covenant after a series of speakers warned that the dispute over homosexuality had exposed deep flaws in how Anglican unity is maintained. The covenant would prevent any province from consecrating an openly gay bishop, as the US did in 2003 with the election of Gene Robinson to New Hampshire, without risking expulsion.
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Caribbean Net NewsWest Indies Anglicans back 'covenant' to avoid schism over gay clerics

Gay clergy to be banned in Synod deal
By Jonathan Petre Religion Correspondent

The Church of England yesterday agreed to draw up a disciplinary code that could result in the expulsion of liberals from worldwide Anglicanism after it heard that the alternative was disintegration.

In an emotive debate at the General Synod in York, liberal speakers criticised the idea of such a covenant, saying it could be used like a "blunt instrument" against them.

But conservatives said that if the Church failed to define boundaries of belief, worldwide Anglicanism could never rebuild the trust destroyed during the
conflict over homosexuality that has brought it to the brink of schism. the rest

Sunday, July 08, 2007

O Lord, let Thyself be found with a good gift to everyone who needs it, that the happy may find courage to accept Thy good gifts, that the sorrowful may find courage to accept Thy perfect gifts. For to men there is a difference of joy and of sorrow, but for Thee, O Lord, there is no difference in these things; everything that comes from Thee is a good and perfect gift. ... Søren Kierkegaard photo

Christian, Pro-Family Groups Stand Up Against 'Criminalizing' Right to Speak Truth
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Sun, Jul. 08 2007

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Senate reviews a bill that many Christians say may threaten their right to express their biblical view on homosexuality, more Christians have been accused of being “homophobic” and threatened with penalties for expressing opposition to homosexuality, leading several concerned Christian groups to stage a protest this week against the bill.

A coalition of pro-family organizations against the Senate bill S. 1105 will take a public stand against the hate crimes legislation by holding a news conference followed by a demonstration on Capitol Hill this coming Wednesday.

Opponents of the bill argue that it is unnecessary because the people the legislation seeks to protect are already covered by other laws. Yet in addition to being redundant, the bill further threatens to censor the free speech of pastors and Christians who, for example, speak out about their biblical views on the sin of homosexuality.
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