Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Bridge of Khazad-Dum
Jill W. At Lent and Beyond
Saturday, October 13, 2007

There is a memorable scene in the movie “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The nine members of the Fellowship are fleeing Balrog, the fire demon, across a narrow stone bridge spanning a chasm in the Mines of Moria. There is a gap in the bridge, and they take it in turn to jump the gap. Orcs are shooting arrows. The approach of the monstrous Balrog is shaking the bridge, and it is rapidly disintegrating. Seven members of the Fellowship find themselves on the far side of the bridge, and two on the near side . . .

The realignment of the Anglican Communion is not unlike the disintegration of the Bridge of Khazad-Dum. Our ecclesiastical structures are crumbling. Folks of one heart and one mind are finding themselves on different sides of the gap. Enemies hurl barbs. Demons seek our immortal souls.

O Lord,
You are our firm foundation. Keep us grounded in You.

We’re standing firm on our narrow stone bridge, countering heresies with scriptures, encouraging roistering Episcopal adventurers, and praying in earnest. Yet, the future of the fellowship of the Anglican Communion is bleak. How does this reconcile with “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”? (Romans 8:28) .

O Lord,We believe. Help our unbelief.

The rest at Lent and Beyond image

Suicide, morality collide on college campuses
Ed Thomas
October 13, 2007

A substantial increase in suicide rates among people ages 10 to 24 has been confirmed by recently released statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At the same time, a UCLA psychiatrist says promiscuity -- which she believes is the root cause of much depression -- is being ignored by doctors who choose to treat their patients with anti-depressants instead of psychiatric help.

Dr. Miriam Grossman says the problem with that option is that the CDC's report stated that young people taking depression medication are among the 8 percent jump in suicides -- evidence to Grossman that only symptoms are being addressed, and not causes. "There are approximately 1,100 successful suicides on our campuses every year -- a very, very startlingly high number," she says.
the rest

'Mom' and 'Dad' banished by CaliforniaSchwarzenegger signs law banning anything perceived as negative to 'gays'
October 13, 2007

"Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" have been banned from California schools under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose.

"We are shocked and appalled that the governor has blatantly attacked traditional family values in California," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.
the rest

Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Bills Forcing Schools to Promote Transsexuality, Bisexuality, and Homosexuality to Five Year Olds

Faith-Based Prison Programs Flourish

(AP) — Killer-turned-artist Manny Hernandez on the prison where he's finishing an eight-year term: "It's a blessing to be here."

Fellow murderer and inmate Raymond Hall likens it to heaven.

"I love this place," says their warden, Cynthia Tilley. "It's so calm."

They're praising the Carol Vance Unit, founded in 1997 on the outskirts of Houston. It's the oldest of a rapidly growing number of faith-based prison facilities across the nation.

Even as they proliferate, fueled by the fervor of devout volunteers, these programs are often criticized. Evidence that they reduce recidivism is inconclusive, and skeptics question whether the prevailing evangelical tone of the units discriminates against inmates who don't share their conservative Christian outlook.

However, evidence is strong that violence and trouble-making drop sharply in these programs, and they often are the only vibrant rehabilitation option at a time when taxpayer-funded alternatives have been cut back.
the rest

How atheism is being sold to America

Christianity's image taking a turn for the worse
Most young non-Christians have a negative perception of the religion, and even some Christians agree, study says.

By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 13, 2007

Christianity's image in the United States is declining, especially among young people, according to a new study.

A decade ago, an overwhelming majority of non-Christians, including people between the ages 16 and 29, were "favorably" disposed toward Christianity's role in society. But today, just 16% of non-Christians in that age group had a "good impression" of the religion, according to research by the Barna Group, a Ventura firm that has tracked trends related to values, beliefs and attitudes since 1984.

Evangelicals come under the severest attack, with just 3% of the 16- to 29-year-old non-Christians indicating favorable views toward this subgroup of believers. The study also found that many Christians were aware of their religion's image problem.
the rest

Vatican publishes Knights Templar papers
By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Writer
Fri Oct 12, 2007

VATICAN CITY - It's not the Holy Grail, but for fans of "The Da Vinci Code" and its tantalizing story line about the Knights Templar, it could be the next best thing.

Ignored for centuries, documents about the heresy trial of the ancient Christian order discovered in the Vatican's secret archives are being published in a limited edition — with an $8,377 price tag.

They include a 14th-century parchment showing that Pope Clement V initially absolved the Templar leaders of heresy, though he did find them guilty of immorality and planned to reform the order, according to the Vatican archives Web site.
the rest

Would Jesus 'Stone' a Homosexual?
By The Christian Post
Sat, Oct. 13 2007


"Another Christian leader who is making a push for the equal rights of homosexuals is Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, whose denomination has riled the worldwide Anglican Communion with its unwavering support for sexually active gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples.

Although conservative Anglican leaders have called on The Episcopal Church – the U.S. branch of Anglicanism – to roll back support for same-sex unions and homosexual ordination, Jefferts Schori has on several occasions confirmed that the U.S. church body will not retreat, though they are willing to "pause."

"All people – including gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians – are deserving of the fullest regard of the Church," the Episcopal Church head has asserted. "We're not going backward."

At a recent public forum at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Jefferts Schori further claimed that members of The Episcopal Church are living as Jesus did."
the rest

Rowan to confront arguments of the ‘new atheists’
Oct 13 2007
by David Williamson, Western Mail

ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury Rowan Williams will insist God is not a delusion in a speech at a Welsh university today.

Dr Williams will confront the arguments of bestselling atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in the lecture, How to Misunderstand Religion.

His spokesman said, “‘Religion’ is in the news a lot these days and plenty of people are making quite a business of attacking it. But do they understand what religion really is?”

Prof Dawkins, author The God Delusion is the figurehead of the “new atheism” movement. His book has spent more than 50 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and has been joined by Mr Hitchens’s God is Not Great.
the rest

Canada: Same-sex unions on Anglican agenda
By Kevin Lajoie
October 13, 2007

Local Anglican church officials will have their collective pulse taken today on the controversial issue of blessing same-sex marriages.

Church clergy and laity attending the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa's annual synod in Cornwall will vote on a motion asking the local bishop to allow clergy "whose conscience permits" to bless same-sex unions.

If approved, it will then be up to Bishop John Chapman to make a final decision on whether the practice will be allowed.

The issue comes months after a similar motion was narrowly defeated by the General Synod of Canada. The bishops voted 21 to 19 against the idea of allowing same-sex blessing ceremonies, even though the church agreed same-sex blessings do not conflict with its "core doctrine." At that time, Chapman voted in favour of allowing same-sex blessings, but it remains to be seen whether he will offer the same support at the diocesan level. The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa covers most of eastern Ontario - including Cornwall and S, D and G - and western Quebec and consists of 142 congregations organized as 84 parishes.
the rest

'Redoing church'
Congregations find new way to connect to God

By Jean Gordon
October 13, 2007

RAYMOND — A framed document hangs in a dining room-turned sanctuary on the outskirts of this tiny central Mississippi city that reads, "Diocese of Thika, the Anglican Church of Kenya."
The certificate shows who has authority over the two-month-old congregation, called St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church.

"We gave them what I call 'the kiss of peace goodbye,' " said St. Michael's priest the Rev. Linda Berry about her break from the Episcopal Church U.S.A. "Our main focus is on what we're doing now, which is redoing church."

Berry is part of a national movement of former Episcopalians and other believers aligning their congregations with conservative Anglican churches in Africa. Those seeking African oversight say they've become disillusioned with what they consider to be an increasingly secular drift in the Episcopal Church U.S.A.

And while church leaders battle over theological issues, many worshippers are seeking the African-affiliated Anglican churches for wholly different reasons.

"I grew up with a blend of Methodist and Catholic," said Katie Emory, a Crystal Springs homemaker who attends St. Michael's. "To me this is a blend of the two."
the rest

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh! blessed Jesus, reveal yourself to my heart; soften, melt, and renew it. Consume all the dross which it contains, and transform it, wholly, after your image; that, while surrounded by evils of every name, and sorrows of every kind, which abound in this rebellious, dying world, I may enjoy the light of your countenance, and the purifying influence of your love. Fill me with your love; satiate my soul with your goodness; and make me an everlasting trophy of your grace. ...Thomas Reade photo

An all-boys school with an unusual Latin focus
Dead language comes alive at W. Phila. charter


Fri, Oct. 12, 2007

AT A BRAND-NEW boys school in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia, students are saying things they've never said before.

Words such as agricola (farmer), femina (woman), patria (fatherland), puella (girl), terra (earth) and silva (woods).

They are inside a classroom where the walls are decorated with maps of ancient Rome, Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia, and where there's a poster proclaiming, "Latin didn't fall with Rome."
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A Portrait of Europe's Aging Population
EU residents over age 65 outnumber those under 14, a Spanish study says, as the bloc's young population has fallen 21% in 25 years

by Elitsa Vucheva

There are currently more elderly people than children living in the EU, as Europe's young population has decreased by 21 percent - or 23 million -- in 25 years, 10 percent of which in the last ten years alone.

Only 16.2 percent of today's EU population is less than 14 years old, while one sixth (16.6 percent) is 65 years or more. In addition one out of every 25 EU citizens is over 80 years old.

Italy has the least young people (14.2%) and one out of every five Italians is more than 65 years old. At the other end of the scale, Ireland has the most youngsters (20.7%), according to a recently-released report by the Institute for Family Policies based in Spain.
the rest

UK: C of E faces boycott over gay priests row
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury faced further pressure over gay priests yesterday when the Church of England’s largest conservative grouping urged English bishops to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference over the issue.

The Church of England Evangelical Council, which represents up to a quarter of the Church’s clergy, told Dr Rowan Williams that the liberal American bishops had torn the worldwide Church "almost beyond repair".

The Council, whose president is the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, said it supported those English bishops who are already intending to avoid the ten-yearly gathering of Anglican bishops if the liberal Americans attend.
the rest

The Clintons’ God
Protestant Theology, Abortion and 2 Politicians

As Pope John Paul II wrote in Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, and through the magisterium, serves as the “pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), particularly through its teaching of truth regarding moral action.

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the tragedy of abortion, especially in contrast to where some (but certainly not all) Protestants stand on the issue, including two extremely influential Protestants: Bill and Hillary Clinton.

No president did as much to advance legalized abortion as Bill Clinton, who is now poised to be exceeded in that capacity only by his spouse, who has an exceedingly good chance of becoming our next president, and no doubt will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for 2008.
the rest

TLC: ACC Solicits Funds to Underwrite Lambeth Attendance

With the start of the Lambeth Conference just eight months away, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) recently announced plans to raise $4.2 million through a fundraising appeal. The donations are intended “to enable all those who wish to attend the conference to do so,” according to a recent press release announcing the appeal.

“Bursaries enable bishops and bishop’s spouses to attend the Lambeth Conference as well as helping fund those attending who will help ensure the smooth running of both the Lambeth Conference and the spouses' conference when it meets in Canterbury next July.”

The ACC has maintained a bursary fund to provide assistance with travel and conference expenses at previous Lambeth Conferences. Appeals for contributions to the bursary fund at those Lambeth Conferences began much earlier than the current one, however.
the rest

Zimbabwean church attempts to regain diocese from bishop who supports Mugabe
Ruth Gledhill

Religion Correspondent of The Times
October 12, 2007

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe will on Monday file a court application seeking to seize control of one of its dioceses from its bishops in a long-running dispute that has become central to the row over homosexuality in the Anglican Church.

The Province of Central Africa wants to seize three vehicles from the Right Rev Nolbert Kunonga, Bishop of Harare, and bar him from using any of its properties, according to a report on the African website
the rest

Conservative Presbyterians Leave Church
The Associated Press
October 11, 2007

The Episcopal Church isn't the only mainline Protestant group shaken by open conflict between theological liberals and conservatives.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is facing similar trials, with traditionalist congregations planning to bolt and a conservative denomination preparing to take them in.

About 30 of the nearly 11,000 Presbyterian congregations have voted to leave the national church since the denomination's national assembly session in 2006, according to The Layman, a conservative Presbyterian publication that has been tracking the breakaways. Denominational leaders say they could lose an additional 20 congregations as a result of this latest rupture.

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a conservative group separate from PCUSA, has voted to accept any of the departing congregations. Presbyterian conservatives are meanwhile organizing themselves through groups such as the Presbyterian Global Fellowship and the New Wineskins Association of Churches.
the rest

Rebuff for Episcopal Green Light
Posted by Kendall Harmon
October 12, 2007
By George Conger

THE NEW Orleans statement of the US House of Bishops has ‘clarified all outstanding questions’ posed by the Primates to the American Church, a report prepared by the Primates/ACC Joint Standing Committee (JSC) has found.

However, the 19-page report has been dismissed as dishonest by US conservatives, and its conclusions rejected by the African churches. Observers note the clumsy attempt of the JSC to usurp the prerogatives of the Primates, and to become a de facto fifth ‘instrument of unity,’ has served to worsen the already bitter climate within the Communion.

The Primates had asked the US Church to clarify the statement of its 2006 General Convention that it would not permit the election of more gay bishops or authorise gay blessings, that an autonomous scheme for pastoral oversight be given to traditionalists, and that the lawsuits against breakaway conservative parishes would cease.

the rest at TitusOneNine

AAC: A Report to the Anglican Communion Primates on The Episcopal Church’s Compliance with the Dar es Salaam Communiqué
September 10, 2007 – October 10, 2007


Controversial Resolutions to come in N. California
Source: Diocese of Northern California
Date: October 11, 2007

The following are two resolutions proposed in the Diocese of Northern California.

The first resolution "calls upon General Convention of the Episcopal Church to develop and authorize same-sex union blessing rites."

The second resolution "urges every Parish, Mission and Congregation in the Diocese of Northern California to examine the title documents for all real property held in their respective Parishes, Missions and Congregations, and where necessary take such steps to incorporate the provisions of Title I, Canon 7, Section 4 of the Canons of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church into said title documents affirmatively stating that “all real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California."

The Diocese of Northern California's diocesan convention will be November 10 - 11.
the rest

Episcopal Church 'breaking apart'
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Four years after it approved an openly gay bishop, the Episcopal Church is still dealing with the fallout.

Recent developments include a pledge last month by Episcopal bishops meeting in New Orleans to "exercise restraint" in approving another gay bishop. That move, plus a pledge not to authorize public blessings of same-sex unions, came amid pressure from conservative leaders in the worldwide Anglican Communion to which the Episcopal Church, the denomination's U.S. branch, belongs.

Last month's pledges won't change the fact that several churches across the nation likely will leave the Episcopal Church over the coming months, said the Rev. Michael P. Forbes, the chaplain of Grace Chapel, a small group of Rochester-area Episcopalians who have left local churches following the 2003 ordination of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
the rest

Mo. schools expel Planned Parenthood
Posted on Oct 11, 2007
by Jennifer Thurman

WASHINGTON (BP)--A new law has made Missouri the first state to ban Planned Parenthood from teaching sex education classes in public schools.

The legislation's enactment gave permanent status to the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program, allowing schools to emphasize abstinence during sex education classes. The law also prevents any personnel affiliated with abortion clinics from teaching sex education classes.

Gov. Matt Blunt, R.-Mo., signed the bill into law at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City on July 6, saying in a written statement, "All life is precious and needs to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
the rest

Pope to S. Korea: No Stem Cell Research
The Associated Press
October 11, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI appealed Thursday to South Koreans' 'inherent moral sensibility' to reject embryonic stem cell research and human cloning after the country decided to let embryonic stem cell research resume.

Benedict also praised South Korea's efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions in comments to Seoul's new ambassador to the Vatican, Ji-Young Francesco Kim, who presented his credentials to the pontiff.

'It is my ardent hope that the ongoing participation of various countries involved in the negotiation process will lead to a cessation of programs designed to develop and produce weapons with frightening potential for unspeakable destruction,' Benedict said.
the rest

The Odyssey Years
October 9, 2007

There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey, the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.

During this decade, 20-somethings go to school and take breaks from school. They live with friends and they live at home. They fall in and out of love. They try one career and then try another.

Their parents grow increasingly anxious. These parents understand that there’s bound to be a transition phase between student life and adult life. But when they look at their own grown children, they see the transition stretching five years, seven and beyond. The parents don’t even detect a clear sense of direction in their children’s lives. They look at them and see the things that are being delayed.

They see that people in this age bracket are delaying marriage. They’re delaying having children. They’re delaying permanent employment. People who were born before 1964 tend to define adulthood by certain accomplishments — moving away from home, becoming financially independent, getting married and starting a family.
the rest photo

Researcher: Humans will wed robots
Oct 11
MAASTRICHT, Netherlands

(UPI) -- The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.
the rest image

Christ Church rector, the Rev. Marc Robertson:
What should we do? What God has done
Friday, October 12, 2007

Christ Church rector says Episcopal Church's doctrinal slide led local church to part company.

I appreciate
Kevin Clark's column ("Love thy neighbor: It's not that difficult to understand," Oct. 10), challenging Christ Church (and all of us) to a more loving life.

Kevin's critique of institutional Christianity makes a good point: Followers of Christ constantly fall short of our Lord's example. We are, as the Bible puts it, "sinners," and as our Prayer Book states it, "miserable offenders."

I also join Kevin's lament that, in spite of all of our technological advances and sophistication, "...we still cannot achieve the one simple, humble experience for which humanity has yearned from the beginning of time: Peace, unconditional, everlasting love, and joy." In fact, it seems the more we depend on our ability to advance ourselves as the human race, the more fractured and joyless we become.
the rest

When Episcopal Church Struggles Hit Your Father's Home Town
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Even in small-town New England, Episcopal Church issues are hitting home.

My wife Sharon and I spent an extended Columbus Day weekend in the Northeast, largely in Newburyport, MA. My father was born there over 80 years ago and grew up during the depression. His family attended a Congregational church that now is a member of the United Church of Christ. We were blessed to visit family there, but we found that even in small town New England, Episcopal Church issues were having an impact.

Because when I picked up Saturday's local paper, I couldn't help notice a front-page
article detailing the local Episcopal Church's (one town over) struggle to survive after the majority of its congregants left for the Anglican Church of Kenya. Only 10 families remained to keep the original Episcopal Church afloat. In contrast, according to congregational statistics from the Episcopal Church, average worship attendance had been at over 300 in 2006.

the rest (h/t titusonenine)

Inspiring Muslim Barbie dolls arrive
Thu, 11 Oct 2007

Indonesians have come up with Salma, a modest alternative to the popular Barbie doll, as an attempt to inspire virtue in Muslim girls.

Salma (coming from the Arabic word for peace) is dressed in a variety of outfits, all long-sleeved and down to her ankles, which are matched with headscarves.

"I remember thinking that I wish we had Muslim dolls like popular Barbies as we all know that children easily imitate their toys," said businesswoman Sukmawati Suryaman, Salma's creator.
the rest

Uganda: 'Priests Should Retire At 75 Years'
12 October 2007
Francis KagoloKampala

THE Church of Uganda provincial secretary, the Rev. Can. Aaron Mwesigye, has proposed that the Church extends the retirement age for priests from 65 to 75 years. Mwesigye said 'early retirement' had made the Anglican Church lose many important priests.

"There are several priests above 65 years who can still work. Why should we continue losing them because of the constitution?" he asked.

He advised the Church to amend its constitution. the rest

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two things are required of us, here and now: to acknowledge our sins and to forgive others; the first, so that the second may become easier. For someone properly aware of his own behavior and its shortcomings will be the more forgiving to his fellow humans. And that does not mean forgiveness in words merely, but from the heart, lest in our resentment we turn the sword on ourselves. The more he has injured you, the greater the forgiveness of your own sin, in consequence.

Let us take care that we hate no one, so that God may still love us; so that even though we may be owing him a thousand talents he may yet be generous and merciful to us. Has someone offended you? Be merciful to him, then; do not hate him. Weep and lament for him, but do not show aversion. For it is not you who have offended God, but he; you will do well to put up with it. Recall how Christ was content to be crucified— and yet shed tears over those who did it. That must be your disposition also: the more you are wronged, the more you must lament for the wrongdoers. For it is we who profit from this— and greatly— but not they.
...John Chrysostom photo

TLC: Funds Sought to Facilitate Listening Process

Two Episcopal Church leaders “with profoundly difference convictions about matters concerning human sexuality” have co-authored an
appeal for financial contributions to supplement the limited amount of money that has been designated for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Listening Process in the Anglican Consultative Council budget.

The House of Bishops’ “offer to refrain from moving forward has created space to launch an Anglican Communion-wide Listening Process,” said the Rev. Canon Bryan Cox and Louie Crew in a letter e-mailed to bishops Oct. 10. “The time has come for a global conversation in the Anglican Communion about human sexuality. The purpose of the Listening Process is not to create a predetermined outcome or to ‘wear opponents down.’ It is to hear respectfully one another’s stories, hopes and fears about this matter.”
the rest

Church to welcome new Priest and its Bishop
Thursday October 11, 2007

Christ's Church (formerly known as Inland Anglican Fellowship) will say goodbye to its current pastor, Deacon Brian Schulz on Saturday morning, Oct. 13 and will say hello later the same day to its new pastor, Brian Schulz.

Schulz will make the transition from being a deacon at his Anglican congregation to being a priest when his two bishops ordain him to the priesthood at a regional service of ordination at St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach. Ordaining Schulz and two others will be Bishop Evans Kisekka of the Diocese of Luweero in Uganda and the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, a U.S.-based missionary bishop connected with the Anglican Province of Uganda, who was consecrated bishop last month.
the rest

Korean Holy Ghost descends on China
By Sunny Lee
Oct 12, 2007

BEIJING - "Some of you here will speak in tongues, some will see visions, some will cry, some will sing, some will collapse, and some will just remain calm. The Holy Spirit will manifest itself in different forms. Just be natural and accept it in whatever forms it is revealed to you."

Reverend Jiggu George Bogi was addressing a congregation of Christians last Friday at a Korean church in Beijing. The background hymn music in the room turned louder so that everyone would feel comfortable to pray aloud. The atmosphere was already highly charged after the charismatic Bogi had just delivered a powerful sermon on the Holy Spirit and Christian mission.
the rest

Terrorist Mastermind Now A Christian?
Ramzi Yousef, Convicted In First World Trade Center Attack, Is Held In Supermax Prison
Oct. 11, 2007

(CBS) Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, claims he converted from Islam to Christianity, Scott Pelley reports in a story that brings viewers inside the secretive Supermax prison where he is being held.

Pelley also reports that some 900 forced feedings were performed on other al Qaeda terrorists who went on repeated hunger strikes to protest conditions at the Colorado top-security federal prison.

Pelley's report will be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT.

The prison in Florence, Colo., which the government calls ADX-Florence for Administrative Maximum, houses the nation's toughest and most infamous criminals, such as Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, would-be 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols and shoe bomber Richard Reid. 60 Minutes obtained exclusive footage of prisoners inside the facility, where special-case prisoners are allowed only a phone call a month, spend 23 hours a day in their 12-by-7 cells and can get mail only from people approved by the prison.

NYT: E-Mail Is Easy to Write (and to Misread)

AS I was in the final throes of getting my most recent book into print, an employee at the publishing company sent me an e-mail message that stopped me in my tracks.

I had met her just once, at a meeting. We were having an e-mail exchange about some crucial detail involving publishing rights, which I thought was being worked out well. Then she wrote: “It’s difficult to have this conversation by e-mail. I sound strident and you sound exasperated.”

At first I was surprised to hear I had sounded exasperated. But once she identified this snag in our communications, I realized that something had really been off. So we had a phone call that cleared everything up in a few minutes, ending on a friendly note.

The advantage of a phone call or a drop-by over e-mail is clearly greatest when there is trouble at hand. But there are ways in which e-mail may subtly encourage such trouble in the first place.

Excerpt: Still, if we rely solely on e-mail at work, the absence of a channel for the brain’s emotional circuitry carries risks. In an article to be published next year in the Academy of Management Review, Kristin Byron, an assistant professor of management at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, finds that e-mail generally increases the likelihood of conflict and miscommunication.

One reason for this is that we tend to misinterpret positive e-mail messages as more neutral, and neutral ones as more negative, than the sender intended. Even jokes are rated as less funny by recipients than by senders.

We fail to realize this largely because of egocentricity, according to a 2005 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Sitting alone in a cubicle or basement writing e-mail, the sender internally “hears” emotional overtones, though none of these cues will be sensed by the recipient.

Another excerpt: “When you communicate with a group you only know through electronic channels, it’s like having functional Asperger’s Syndrome — you are very logical and rational, but emotionally brittle,” Professor Shirky said.

the rest (h/t titusonenine)

UK: Christians alarmed by extended animal-human hybrid embryo Bill
by Daniel Blake
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christian lawyers have expressed concern as the Government issued its response to the Joint Committee’s report on the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill on Monday.

The report gives an idea as to what the amended Bill will look like when it is put before Parliament, probably in the coming session.

“One of the most concerning aspects of the Government’s response is that they have now taken their proposals to legalise animal-human hybrid embryos even further, by extending legislation not only to cover ‘cytoplasmic embryos’ (whereby human cells are inserted into an animal egg), but also to legalise so called ‘true’ hybrid embryos, which would be created by the mixing of human and animal gametes e.g. mixing human sperm with an animal egg, or vice versa,” said Andrea Minichiello Williams of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship (LCF).
the rest

Witnesses: Prominent Palestinian Christian Slain for Spreading Christianity
By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Oct. 11 2007

A prominent Palestinian Christian found dead this past weekend on a Gaza City street was publicly beaten by Islamic gunmen who accused him of spreading Christianity, witnesses and Palestinian Arab security officials have reported.

And although no group has yet taken responsibility for the attack on 32-year-old Rami Khader Ayyad, at least one group says such attacks will persist if “missionary activity” continues to take place now that
Hamas has seized complete control of the Gaza Strip.

Since the Islamic group came to power in June, "the situation has changed 180 degrees in Gaza," Islamic leader Sheik Abu Saqer told the New York Sun for a report that appeared Thursday. Saquer’s Islamic outreach movement, Jihadia Salafiya, recently formed a military wing to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.
the rest

Same-Sex 'Marriage' TV Ad Attempts to Sway Calif. Voters
Nathan BlackGospel Herald Contributor
Wed, Oct, 10 2007

A new multimillion-dollar ad campaign is being launched this week to change the hearts of undecided Californians to garner support for same-sex "marriage."

Beginning Thursday, television ads will try to "open hearts and minds" as it portrays a bride who, on her way to the altar to marry the groom, gets obstructed by cars, a broken heel, a tree, the flower girl and a grandma who trips the bride with her cane.

"What if you couldn't marry the person you love?" the 60-second TV spot reads at the end. "Every day, gay and lesbian couples are prevented from marrying. Support the freedom to marry."
the rest

Pope told 'survival of world' at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace
October 11, 2007
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times
Full text of the letter

The "survival of the world" is at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace with each other, leaders of the Muslim world will warn the Pope and other Christian leaders today.

In an unprecedented open letter signed by 138 leading scholars from every sect of Islam, the Muslims plead with Christian leaders "to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions" and spell out the similarities between passages of the Bible and the Koran.
the rest

Ruth Gledhill's weblog:

Excerpt: "Among the first to respond was the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, a leading Anglican expert on Islam. We've now incorporated some of his comments into a piece for Online. He told me that he welcomed the document, but pointed out that for all the apparent similarities of the monotheistic faiths, Christians and Muslims do not actually believe in the same thing. 'Dialogue must be in the integrity of each faith, rather than on terms set by one,' he said. 'They speak of the unity of God. Christians want to uphold the unity of God but their understanding is not the same of the Muslim one. Christians understand God as the Father the source of all existence, the Word is the one through whom the creation comes into existence and the Spirit refreshes and renews creation. What the Koran condemns, we do not believe Whatever our doctrine of God there are fundamental issues that must be addressed, such as refugees fleeing because of their faith and because of persecution.' " the rest

Marriage ban mulled by church
Gay unions divide diocese

October 10, 2007

An Elgin St. church might stop marrying straight couples if blessing same-sex unions isn't endorsed at the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa's annual synod in Cornwall later this week.

"If we can't marry everyone who comes to us in faithful union, we won't marry anyone," said Rev. Canon Garth Bulmer, who introduced a motion that Ottawa's bishop allow clergy "whose conscience permits" to bless same-sex unions.

"If gay people cannot have equal access to the sacraments of St. John's Church, we won't do the sacrament of marriage. It's a symbolic act which would be a gesture of solidarity."

Bulmer hasn't yet decided to take that step but his church council has discussed it as controversy swirled around Canadian Anglicans and threatened to split the church.
the rest

Pharmacists OK Birth Control Deal
Associated Press Writer
October 10, 2007

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois pharmacists who object to dispensing emergency birth control would be allowed to let someone else fill the prescription under a deal that could settle a lawsuit against the state.

Trained technicians or store owners would contact a pharmacist at another location, then follow his or her directions for dispensing the morning-after pill.

The compromise means pharmacists would not have to offer a drug they oppose on moral grounds, but minors who need it (adults can obtain emergency contraceptives without a prescription) would not be turned away.
the rest

Albany Diocese: Bishop wants unity amid discord
Leader of Albany Episcopalians affirms opposition to same-sex unions and ordaining gay clergy
MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Thursday, October 11, 2007

ALBANY -- Bishop William Love has broken his public silence on the latest national Episcopal drama with both a call for unity and a strong reaffirmation of his conservative views.

Love, back from a high-stakes meeting of the country's Episcopal bishops, reiterated in a letter to local priests Tuesday that he won't allow the blessing of same-sex unions -- public or private -- in the 19-county Albany diocese. He also won't ordain gay deacons or priests.

And he argued that the church should keep its troubles from spilling out of the pews and into courtrooms, where several dioceses have found themselves in messy property disputes.
the rest

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"To be filled with Christ is not only to be filled with the Divine life in every part, but it is to be filled every moment. It is to take Him into the successive instants of our conscious existence and to abide in His fullness. For this is not a reservoir but a spring. It is a life which is continual, active and ever passing on with an outflow as necessary as its inflow, and if we do not perpetually draw the fresh supply from the living fountain, we shall either grow stagnant or empty. It is, therefore, not so much a perpetual fullness as a perpetual filling." ...AB Simpson photo

Australia Abortion Debate Impacted by 4-D Ultrasound Technology
by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 10, 2007

Canberra, Australia ( -- The use of ultrasound technology has been a significant boon to the pro-life movement in the United States in both opposing abortion as well as helping women in crisis pregnancy situations understand the development of their unborn baby.

Ultrasounds have prompted a renewed debate over late-term abortions in England and it is now affecting the abortion debate in Australia.

Kristin Savell, a law professor at the University of Sydney, says 4-D ultrasound technology has given the public direct access to the most lifelike images imaginable about unborn children.
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What About the Children?
By Chuck Colson

Is Religion Child Abuse?

In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins argues that religious belief is—what else?—delusional. He mocks the irrationality of believing in something that you cannot subject to scientific scrutiny; he rails against the so-called “immorality” of the Bible, like the sanctioning of slavery—untrue—and the alleged way that religion, especially Christianity, stands in the way of scientific progress—also untrue.

Just in case his readers are not convinced, however, he then pulls out the really big gun: Religious belief is a kind of child abuse.

By “child abuse” Dawkins is not, at least not principally, referring to the scandals involving sexual misconduct by Catholic priests. He means that teaching a child about Christianity can damage them psychologically and emotionally.
the rest

Marriage ban mulled by church
Gay unions divide diocese

By MEGAN GILLIS -- Sun Media
The Ottawa Sun

An Elgin St. church might stop marrying straight couples if blessing same-sex unions isn't endorsed at the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa's annual synod in Cornwall later this week.

"If we can't marry everyone who comes to us in faithful union, we won't marry anyone," said Rev. Canon Garth Bulmer, who introduced a motion that Ottawa's bishop allow clergy "whose conscience permits" to bless same-sex unions.

"If gay people cannot have equal access to the sacraments of St. John's Church, we won't do the sacrament of marriage. It's a symbolic act which would be a gesture of solidarity."
the rest

ADV Welcomes the Congregation of Christ the King Anglican Church

(October 9, 2007)

The Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), an association of Anglican congregations in Virginia and part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North American (CANA), welcomes Christ The King Anglican Church as its newest congregation from Alexandria, Va. Christ the King is a worshipping community whose life is centered on Jesus Christ and whose identity is shaped by His Word.

On Sunday, September 30 at 10:00 am, public worship launched at Christ the King, 2400 Russell Road , Alexandria , Va. , 22301 , the site of Alexandria Country Day School . Christ the King is a daughter congregation of The Falls Church and is an extension of its ministry within the Anglican District of Virginia.

The city of Alexandria has a demonstrated tradition of community involvement and Christ the King's congregation is eager to engage in the various outlets which serve to cultivate the life and identity of the community for the sake of the gospel and the hope and health of the city in which it is placed.

"We are delighted to welcome Christ the King Anglican Church to our growing family." said Jim Oakes, Vice Chair of ADV. "We are aware of the great ministry and service they will bring to the family of ADV and are excited for the worship planned for this inaugural weekend."

"This is an exciting day for our church and one that we have prayed for a long time. We are full of hope that this church will be a place of community, a place of worship and a place of service to our city." said the new rector of Christ the King, David Glade.

ADV members are in full communion with constituent members of the Anglican Communion through its affiliation with CANA, a missionary branch of the Church of Nigeria . ADV members are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a community of 77 million people. ADV is dedicated to fulfilling Christ's Great Commission to make disciples while actively serving in three main capacities: International Ministries, Evangelism, and Strengthening Families and Community. ADV is currently comprised of 18 member congregations, 14 of which are under the ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop of CANA, The Right Reverend Martyn Minns, and four which are ADV associate members and ecclesiastical members under direct authority of other Anglican Archbishops, strongly supported by ADV members.

To schedule an interview with an ADV representative, please contact Caitlin Bozell (ext. 119) at (703) 683-5004.

Ten Commandments no match for Big Mac
New survey shows more can recall burger ingredients than 'Thou shalt not kill'
Posted: October 8, 2007

A new survey shows more Americans can name the seven ingredients in a McDonald's Big Mac hamburger than the Ten Commandments.

The survey of 1,000 Americans, by Kelton Research, showed 80 percent could name the hamburger's primary ingredient – two all-beef patties – but less than 60 percent recalled the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," the Catholic News Service, or CNS, reported.
the rest

China Expels Dozens of Foreign Missionaries, Closes Down Christian Companies
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspndent

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)-- Chinese authorities have expelled dozens of foreign Christian workers, including Americans, and closed down several Christian owned companies as part of an effort to end the spread of Christianity in several areas, including in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region investigators and legal documents confirmed Wednesday, October 10.

At least "50 foreign Christian workers accused of being involved in illegal religious activities in Xinjiang have been have been expelled or deported in the past six months," said China Aid Association (CAA) a well-informed religious rights group with close contacts with house churches and officials. "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," the group told BosNewsLife.

"This campaign is believed to be part of the anti-infiltration effort to prevent foreign Christians from engaging in mission activities before [and during] the Beijing Olympics next year," CAA explained. Other sources, including Christian rights group Open Door, earlier told BosNewsLife that such a campaign was underway, citing house church Christians.
the rest

Dear Abby backs same-sex marriage
Message from advice columnist is clear: 'It's OK to be gay'

By Lisa Leff
The Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Dear Abby has made casual references to "sexual orientation" and "respect." Now, she's ready to say it flatly: She supports same-sex marriage.

"I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em," the syndicated advice columnist told the Associated Press. "That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."

What Jeanne Phillips, aka Abigail Van Buren, finds offensive and misguided are homophobic jokes, phrases such as "that's so gay," and parents who reject or try to change their children when they come out of the closet.
the rest

RI Supreme Court Hears First Same-Sex Divorce Case

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lord, I have shut the door: speak now the word
Which in the din and throng could not be heard.
Hushed now my inner heart: whisper Thy will
While I have come apart, while all is still.

In this blest quietness clamorings cease;
Here in Thy presence dwells infinite peace.
Yonder, the strife and cry; yonder, the sin.
Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within.

Lord, I have shut the door, strengthen my heart;
Yonder awaits the task -- I share a part.
Only through grace bestowed may I be true:
Here, while alone with Thee, my strength renew.
... William A. Runyan image

Petition to block Oregon's domestic partnership law fails; gay couples can apply starting Jan. 1
BRAD CAIN Associated Press Writer
Monday, Oct. 8, 2007

(AP) - SALEM, Oregon-Opponents of Oregon's new same-sex domestic partnership law failed to turn in enough valid signatures to block the measure, clearing the way for it to take effect next year, state elections officials said.

Oregon will join eight other U.S. states that have approved spousal rights in some form for gay couples - Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.

The Oregon measure covers benefits related to inheritance rights, child-rearing and custody, joint state tax filings, joint health, auto and homeowners insurance policies, visitation rights at hospitals and others. It does not affect federal benefits for married couples, including Social Security and joint filing of federal tax returns. the rest

Albany Diocese: The Bishop Love Writes his Diocese About New Orleans and the Anglican Communion
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As most of you are well aware, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church met September 19th -25th in New Orleans. Immediately following was a meeting of The Common Cause Partnership, held in Pittsburgh, September 25th - 28th. I attended both meetings, the second of which as an observer. Rather than come out with some statement immediately upon my return, I felt it necessary to take a few days to pray and reflect on all that occurred, as well as deal with all the diocesan business that was awaiting me upon my return. I would now like to share some of my thoughts and observations. I greatly appreciate your patience.

Regarding the House of Bishops’ Meeting, there were some hopeful things that occurred, as well as some frustrating and disappointing things, all of which I will speak more about in the following response. The main task confronting the bishops going into the meeting was how to respond to the February 2007 Dar es Salaam Communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

Essentially we were asked to make a clear response to four areas of concern:
the rest at TitusOneNine

Gene Robinson Writes an Open Letter and Tells the Truth--There was no Moratorium agreed to
Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the issue of same sex unions, I argued that our statement be reflective of what is true right now in the Episcopal Church: that while same sex blessings are not officially permitted in most dioceses, they are going on and will continue to go on as an appropriate pastoral response to our gay and lesbian members and their relationships. Earlier versions of our response contained both sides of this truth. I argued to keep both sides of that truth in the final version, providing the clarity asked for by the Primates.

Others made the argument that to state that “a majority of Bishops do not sanction such blessings” implied that a minority do in fact sanction such blessings, and many more take no actions to prevent them. All this without coming right out and saying so. That argument won the day. I think it was a mistake.
the rest at Titusonenine

Full-Circle Revival
A priest from Nigeria leads an American congregation in prayer in a Torrance home. His followers are former members of the Episcopal Church, who left their childhood church because they say leaders have strayed too far from biblical scripture.

By Melissa Evans Staff Writer
Monday, October 08, 2007

In the midst of a tense, worldwide dispute over Christian doctrine, religious history is coming full circle in the living room of Tom Winfrey's Torrance home.

A priest from Nigeria sits on a folding chair at the front of the room, leading an American congregation in prayer. His followers are former members of the Episcopal Church, the American arm of the centuries-old Anglican Communion, who left their childhood church because they say leaders have strayed too far from biblical scripture. The tipping point, defectors say, was the ordination of a gay bishop in 2003.

The Rev. Elias Yinka Eniade is from a country that was Christianized in the 19th century in part by American and European missionaries. Two hundred years later, African clerics are now coming to the West to restore what they say are the true teachings of the Bible - to bring biblical orthodoxy back.
the rest

Anglicans Plan for Survival Amid Increasing Liberalism
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Oct. 09 2007

The question for Anglicans in the next 20 years is no longer how the global family can stay together, but how orthodox Anglicans can help each other survive and guard themselves against the rising tide of Western liberalism, according to the archbishop of Sydney.

After years of talk of schism in the 77-million-member Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian denomination in the world, Dr. Peter Jensen says uncertainty is now over.

"The decisive moments have passed," he said in a statement. "Irreversible actions have occurred. The time has come for sustained thought about a different future.
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TLC: Postpone Lambeth Conference, African Primates Urge

Only an Anglican Covenant can save the Anglican Communion from disintegration according to the primates from the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), who met and elected new leadership Oct. 3-5 in Mauritius, part of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

The primates said an "Anglican Communion Covenant is the one way for us to uphold our common heritage of faith while at the same time holding each one of us accountable to those teachings that have defined our life together and also guide us into the future." They rejected as “unsatisfactory” a 19-page report by the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates which found that the House of Bishops had
largely satisfied the concerns raised by The Episcopal Church’s partners in the Communion. the rest

Organ donation a Christian duty, Church of England tells Lords
The Church of England has told the House of Lords that organ donation is a "striking" example of the Christian duty to give oneself and one's possessions voluntarily for the wellbeing of others
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Giving oneself and one’s possessions voluntarily for the wellbeing of others and without compulsion is a Christian duty of which organ donation is a "striking" example, the Church of England has told the House of Lords.

The Church’s Mission and Public Affairs Division was responding to the Lords’ EU Social Policy and Consumer Affairs sub-committee’s inquiry into the EU Commission’s Communication on organ donation and transplantation: policy actions at EU level.

“Christians have a mandate to heal, motivated by compassion, mercy, knowledge and ability,” the response says.
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Albert Mohler: Falling Birthrates, Empty Cribs, and Collapsing Worldviews
Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What really explains the disastrous fall in European birthrates? The collapse of birthrates in Europe covers almost the entire continent and has left many observers scratching their heads in puzzlement. Writing in
The Weekly Standard, Steve Ozment, Professor of History at Harvard University argues that the contemporary German vision of the good life, for example, simply does not include kids. Children are prime life-style interrupters, and today's Germans, as one leading German politician argues, increasingly look for a life of constant fun.

Ozment, author of
A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People, points to the bleak future of a Germany kept operational only by an influx of young Muslims. He argues that Germany could soon become "religiously if not yet politically, a mixed Muslim state within a quarter-century." the rest

Prayers amid the pleasures in Sharm
Muslims employed at Egypt's racy resorts believe that God blesses the working man. They hope he will also forgive them for what they see.

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Noha El-Hennawy
Special to The Times
October 8, 2007

SHARM EL SHEIK, EGYPT -- The men hurry down the narrow road to the whitewashed mosque, waiters, janitors, busboys, cooks; they peel off their shoes, wash their hands and pray. Then they return to the glittering resorts, hoping that serving alcohol and glimpsing topless women will not push them too far from God or their families back home in the Nile Delta.

They are at once ubiquitous and unseen, a service industry army of matching uniforms and smiles, cobbling enough English, German and French to charm the tourists lying on beaches and lingering in polished courtyards. They move briskly in the moonlight, bowing their heads and speaking in perfected cadences:

"Good evening, sir. How are you, sir? Have a nice time."
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Air America Launches Nationwide Atheism Program
By Nathan Burchfiel Staff Writer
October 08, 2007

( - The liberal talk radio network Air America announced this week it will launch a nationwide show focusing on atheism. The first national show will feature Christopher Hitchens, author of "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."

The Freethought Radio Program, hosted by the co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has been airing on Air America's Madison, Wis., affiliate since April 2006.
the rest

Chuck Colson: Hitchens's Distortion of Christian History

Read This Book
Clarence Thomas's memoir is almost as important a contribution to his beloved country as his work as a Supreme Court justice.

by William Kristol

At the most recent Democratic presidential debate, Tim Russert asked the candidates to name their favorite Bible verse. The answers tended toward the unexceptionable--including the Sermon on the Mount (not a "verse," but who's counting?) and the Golden Rule. Watching the debate, I idly wondered how I'd respond.

Upon a bit of reflection, I think my answer would be Numbers 10:35, one of the verses read in synagogue on Saturday in preparation for the reading from the Torah. When the ark is opened, revealing the Torah scrolls, the congregation stands, as the Israelites stood at the base of Mt. Sinai, and chants the verse: "When the ark was carried forward, Moses would say, 'Arise, Lord! May Your enemies be scattered, may Your foes be put to flight.'" For some reason, this has always been one of my favorite moments in the service.
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400,000 people, and no media?
By Kelly Boggs
Oct 5, 2007

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following column addresses issues of homosexuality and is written to inform adults. It contains graphic descriptions of the Folsom Street Fair, an annual sexually charged, perverse event in San Francisco with mostly homosexual participants. The column shows what is at stake in the cultural battle and what the future holds for the society and our children if activists succeed in defining homosexuality as a protected status.

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--An estimated 400,000 people congregated in San Francisco on Sept. 30. Crowds flooded the neighborhood known as "South of Market" to take part in the 24th annual Folsom Street Fair. People from all over the nation -- even the world -– flocked to the Golden Gate city to celebrate and call attention to an aspect of their lives of which they are very proud.

Conspicuously absent from the huge gathering in northern California were reporters from any major news outlet. The Associated Press, United Press International and Reuters News Service apparently were all no shows. Even though the event took place in the Golden State, there were no reporters from the Los Angeles Times.

It would seem the mere fact that 400,000 people gathered in one place would be news, regardless of the reason they came together. The big three television networks didn't seem to think so since they also were missing in action.

If it were not for a few niche and alternative news publications, no one outside of San Francisco would have an inkling of what took place at the Folsom Street Fair. So what is the event and what exactly takes place? Be forewarned, the following descriptions are not for the faint of heart, even though they have been edited to mute the content.
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English bishop hints at joining boycott of Anglican meeting over gay issue
By Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer
October 8, 2007

LONDON --A senior Church of England bishop says he would have difficulty joining U.S. Episcopal bishops at a gathering of global Anglican leaders next year because they have not repented for consecrating a gay bishop, according to a news report published Monday.

The Daily Telegraph quoted Michael Nazir-Ali, the bishop of Rochester, as siding with African bishops who believe the American church has not adequately dealt with protests about the installation of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

The dispute has caused some Anglican leaders to threaten to boycott next year's Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world.
the rest

Monday, October 08, 2007

Our dignity is that we are children of God, capable of communion with God, the object of the love of God-displayed to us on the Cross-and destined for eternal fellowship with God. Our true value is not what we are worth in ourselves, but what we are worth to God, and that worth is bestowed upon us by the utterly gratuitous love of God. ...William Temple image