Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who Can You Trust?

Dr. Erwin Lutzer

Thankfully, there are many people who have proved many times over that they can be believed; there is a match between what they profess and the way they live. But at the same time the Bible warns, "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on the flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5).

One lesson we should remember when people we trusted disappoint us is to turn once again to the Lord and renew desire to believe him no matter what. We must remind those who turn away from the Lord because of the failure of others, that at the end of the day they are still confronted with a Christ who invites us to believe in him regardless of the failures of his followers.

A second lesson is that we should search our own hearts and remember that failure-serious failure-is possible for anyone of us. A person who stumbles en route to the heavenly city should cause all of us to ask, "Am I next?" We should be motivated to clean up our own lives and have greater desire to pursue personal holiness.

Our great temptation is to minimize our sin by ascribing it to our background, our human nature, and our culture. These explanations might be true enough, but they do not tell the whole story: God has promised victory and grace to those who walk in His ways. To minimize sin is to minimize grace. Only when we see sin in all of its horror are we able to appreciate the matchless grace that both keeps us from falling and picks us up after we stumble.

Full Essay-Excellent!

Anglican Church effectively outlawed in Zimbabwe

Saturday, 24th May 2008
By Nick Mackenzie

Reports are coming out of Zimbabwe that the Government has effectively shut down the Anglican Church there.

The move comes following an uprising in the Church against the former Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga (pictured), a close ally of President Robert Mugabe. He was deposed from the leadership and his successor has been welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A court case upheld the bishop’s deposition, but allowed him to carry on holding services in the cathedral in Harare. He refused to relinquish office and instead seized the cathedral building and accounts. That move was also deemed illegal in court. However, he was required to share the building with the Anglican Church under his successor Bishop Sebastian Bakare. the rest

Albany Diocese: Rules could change for clergy, marriage-Times Union

Episcopals to vote on laws that would restrict ordinations, unions
By MARC PARRY Staff writer
Saturday, May 24, 2008

ALBANY -- The Episcopal Diocese of Albany is weighing changes to local church law that will likely touch off fresh controversy around homosexuality and marriage issues when they come up for a vote next month.

One resolution mandates that only a person who is in a heterosexual marriage or "celibate and abstinent" can be eligible for ordination as a priest or consecration as a bishop. Another holds that only heterosexual marriages can be celebrated or blessed in the diocese -- and marriage between a man and a woman is the only kind of union permitted on diocesan or parish property.

Clergy and lay delegates will vote on the proposals during the 19-county Albany Episcopal Diocese's annual convention June 6-8 in Speculator. The debate comes at a time of renewed national attention to gay marriage in the wake of a California Supreme Court decision allowing it.
Homosexuality has been a flash point in the Episcopal Church since the 2003 consecration of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as its first openly gay bishop, a move condemned by the conservative leadership of the Albany Diocese.

Supporters of the proposals counter that they are consistent with traditional church teaching.

"The national church has gone off the rails," said Torre Bissell, a lay person who runs a diocesan intercessory ministry and has asked on a blog that people pray for passage of both measures. the rest

Groups form amid Episcopal Church split

Star-Telegram staff writer
May 24, 2008

A new local Episcopal group called Remain Faithful has organized to fight what it says is misinformation about a pending split between the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Episcopal Church.

The announcement comes three weeks after another group -- The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians -- formed an umbrella group for several area Episcopal organizations and clergy members. Members say they seek "a more tolerant attitude" on divisive issues.

Both groups say they would welcome peaceful discussions with each other.

Currently, members of the Fort Worth Diocese are divided, with some agreeing with Bishop Jack Iker that the diocese should leave the national church and align with another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, perhaps in South America. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. arm of the worldwide Anglican Communion but is viewed as more liberal.

Others say that if Iker and others realign, they will reorganize a local Episcopal diocese. the rest

Remain Faithful website

Chicago hosts 'Queer Prom' tonight

Conservative activists are speaking out against a so-called "Queer Prom" for Latino youth tonight in Chicago.

The event at the National Museum of Mexican Art is being billed as a dance for "LGBTQ youth" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning), but adults are also invited. Lambda Legal, the group Latinos Progresando, and a homosexual bathhouse known as "Steamworks" are among the sponsors.

Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America says Latino groups should be finding ways for Hispanics to pursue the American dream, not promoting homosexual activity.

"The fact that an adult homosexual bathhouse is sponsoring it – I mean, these are children still, young people; and this bathhouse ... is only available for homosexual adults ... is appalling," he exclaims. "[A]s a Hispanic and Latino young man in this country, I feel very offended by it. It goes against everything my community really stands for," Diaz contends. the rest

Diocese of Springfield joins South Carolina, Western Louisiana, Central Florida in rejecting depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox

Brad Drell
May 24, 2008

....Be it resolved that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield joins the Dioceses of South Carolina and Western Louisiana in rejecting the purported depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox; and further

Be it resolved that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield calls upon the Presiding Bishop, her staff and the House of Bishops to acknowledge publicly that the depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox were not validly procured, and, should it be their desire to continue to seek depositions in these questionable circumstances, to revisit this issue at a future meeting of House of Bishops, conducting any further proceedings in accordance with the clear language of Canon.

Approved and adopted, May 22, 2008

Endorsed by The Rt. Rev Peter H. Beckwith, May 23, 2008
Endorsed by Diocesan Council, May 23, 2008

Full Resolution at Drell's Descants

No 'final decision' about gays at gathering, says presiding bishop

Bishops will have opportunity to work out differences in closed-door discussion groups
Religion News Service

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori this week said she does not expect up-or-down votes on the role of gays and lesbians in the church at a meeting of global Anglican leaders in England this summer.

The Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of bishops from the 38 provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will instead be an opportunity for bishops to work out differences in closed-door discussion groups, according to organizers.

''I don't expect legislation at Lambeth. That's not why we're going,'' Jefferts Schori said. ''It's a global conversation. . . . It's not going to make a final decision about anything.''

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, has drawn up the guest list and guided the design for the meeting, July 16-Aug. 3 in Canterbury, England. the rest

World Youth Day: Follow Pope Benedict online

May 24, 2008

A website for international pilgrims has been launched as Sydney nears the 50-day mark in the countdown to World Youth Day.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, tonight launched the site which will release news in English and Spanish.

The website is a project of Towards 2008 - the national student and young adult campaign for WYD2008.

"ybenedict will serve a vital purpose in the final 50 days till World Youth Day 2008," Towards 2008 national coordinator Anthony McCarthy said. the rest

Friday, May 23, 2008

Devotional: If you are going through a solitary way...

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." John 17:21

If you are going through a solitary way, read John 17, it will explain exactly why you are where you are - Jesus has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or have you some other end for your life? Since you became a disciple you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17. There is one prayer God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus - "that they may be one, even as We are One." Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans; He does not say - Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset? He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. If we say - "Thy will be done," we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far off it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jesus has prayed that we may be.
...Oswald Chambers image

Can America Still Bar Polygamy?

Much has changed since the late 1800s, and many arguments for keeping the ban aren't very compelling.
John Witte Jr.

A century and a half ago, Mormons made national headlines by claiming a First Amendment right to practice polygamy, despite criminal laws against it. In four cases from 1879 to 1890, the United States Supreme Court firmly rejected their claim, and threatened to dissolve the Mormon church if they persisted. Part of the Court's argument was historical: the common law has always defined marriage as monogamous, and to change those rules "would be a return to barbarism." Part of the argument was prudential: religious liberty can never become a license to violate general criminal laws, "lest chaos ensue." And part of the argument was sociological: monogamous marriage "is the cornerstone of civilization," and it cannot be moved without upending our whole culture. These old cases are still the law of the land, and most Mormons renounced polygamy after 1890.

The question of religious polygamy is back in the headlines—this time involving a fundamentalist Mormon group on a Texas ranch that has retained the church's traditional polygamist practices. Many of the legal questions raised since Texas authorities raided the ranch in early April are easy. Under-aged and coerced marriages, statutory rape, and child abuse are all serious crimes. If any of those adults on the ranch committed these crimes, or intentionally aided and abetted them, they are going to jail. They will have no claim of religious freedom that will excuse them, and no claim of privacy that will protect them. Dealing with the children, ensuring proper procedures, sorting out the evidence, and the like are all practically messy and emotionally trying questions, but not legally hard. Thursday's decision by a Texas court of appeals ordering the return of the more than 450 children who had been seized from their homes during the raid underscores a further elementary legal principle: decisions about child custody and about criminal liability must be done on an individual basis as much as possible. the rest image

Albert Mohler: When Deaths Outnumber Births -- The Parable of Pittsburgh

Friday, May 23, 2008

Demography is not destiny, but that claim is not, humanly speaking, far off the mark. The pattern of populations and social behaviors will establish the character and contours of any civilization. For this reason, any major change in the population is significant, and the more unexpected the change, the more significant its impact.

Thus, Americans should take a close look at the fact that in a handful of major metropolitan areas, deaths now outnumber births. In times past, this would have indicated a major catastrophe such as famine, plague, or war. But with regard to these cities, the causes include nothing to do with famine, plague, or war.

The New York Times reports that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a symbol of this new development. As the paper reported in its May 18, 2008 edition, this development is significant indeed. the rest image

Iranian police arrest 12 Christian converts

May 23, 2008

Iran (MNN/CDN) ― - The underground evangelical church is growing exponetially in Iran, and authorities appear to be taking action against it.

According to the President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller, "There's a crackdown going on right now against evangelical Muslim-background believers, or converts from Islam to Christianity in the area of Shiraz. We have reports from Southern Iran that 12 Christian converts have been arrested, and four are still imprisoned."

The arrests began at 5 a.m. on May 11 when two couples were taken into custody before boarding their flights at the Shiraz International Airport, reports Compass Direct News. All were subjected to hours of interrogation, questioning them solely "just about their faith and house church activities," an Iranian source told Compass. the rest

Hindu nationalists attack nuns in India

Hindu activists attack Christian gathering

Vicious Protestors in Germany Harass 15,000 Strong Christian Youth Festival

German attack part of disturbing Christianophobia phenomena
By Michael Baggot
BREMEN, Germany, May 22, 2008

( - In what has been described as a blatant act of "Christianophobia," a group of protestors physically and verbally assaulted some of the 15 thousand Christians peacefully gathered for the April 30 opening day of the Christival German youth festival.

About 450 gathered into a No Christival group protest procession only hundreds of meters from the Christian youth event, reported About 100 of the self-described "antisexist alliance" protestors broke down barricades, while other No Christival members set off fireworks.

German chants of "No God, no state, no patriarchy", "Masturbation instead of evangelization," and "Never again Jesus" filled the air together with speaker announcements that compared the gathered Christians to Nazis. the rest

Leftists disrupt Christian youth festival in Bremen

Peggy Noonan: Sex and the Sissy

May 23, 2008

She was born in Russia, fled the pogroms with her family, was raised in Milwaukee, and worked the counter at her father's general store when she was 8. In early adulthood she made aliyah to Palestine, where she worked on a kibbutz, picking almonds and chasing chickens. She rose in politics, was the first woman in the first Israeli cabinet, soldiered on through war and rumors of war, became the first and so far only woman to be prime minister of Israel. And she knew what it is to be a woman in the world. "At work, you think of the children you've left at home. At home you think of the work you've left unfinished. . . . Your heart is rent." This of course was Golda Meir.

Another: She was born in a family at war with itself and the reigning power outside. As a child she carried word from her important father to his fellow revolutionaries, smuggling the papers in her school bag. War and rumors of war, arrests, eight months in jail. A rise in politics -- administering refugee camps, government minister. When war came, she refused to flee an insecure border area; her stubbornness helped rally a nation. Her rivals sometimes called her "Dumb Doll," and an American president is said to have referred to her in private as "the old witch." But the prime minister of India preferred grounding her foes to dust to complaining about gender bias. In the end, and in the way of things, she was ground up too. Proud woman, Indira Gandhi. the rest image

Brazilian government promotes homosexuality, abortion at youth conference

Brasilia, May 22, 2008

(CNA).- Attendees at Brazil’s first national “Youth Conference” in the capital city of Brasilia has issued a declaration containing rulings favoring the legalization of abortion and the creation of an educational system free of “homophobia.”

Preliminary materials given to the 2,280 attendees at the April meeting were published by the government and bore the name of President Luiz Lula, LifeSiteNews reports. the rest

Gay marriage opponents file legal request to delay unions until November election

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, May 23, 2008

San Francisco -- Groups that fought San Francisco's lawsuit seeking marriage for same-sex couples have asked the California Supreme Court to delay its decision to allow the marriages.

The organizations, including the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Alliance Defense Fund, filed a request with the court Thursday afternoon seeking the delay until after the November election. That's when the state's voters will likely decide a proposed constitutional amendment to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

"Permitting this decision to take effect immediately - in the light of the realistic possibility that the people of California might amend their constitution to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman - risks legal havoc and uncertainty of immeasurable magnitude," the filing states. the rest

South Carolina High School Principal to Resign Over Formation of Gay Club

Thursday, May 22, 2008

South Carolina high school principal said he'll resign from his post after the district approved an organization for gay students that conflicts with his religious beliefs.

Eddie Walker, the principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., announced his intention to step down to faculty and students on Wednesday, saying he'll end his tenure following the 2008-09 school year. The decision, outlined in a letter to Lexington-Richland School District 5 officials, said the reason was the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club for students. the rest

Archbishop Fred Hiltz: Anglican-Lutheran meeting focused on mission and 'servant ministry'

Marites N. Sison
staff writer
May 23, 2008

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said that “an emerging focus around mission” characterized a spring gathering of the third Anglican Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) in Chennai, India.

Meeting from April 28 to May 5, the group discussed “how Anglicans and Lutherans approach mission, how they understand it, how they carry it out,” said Archbishop Hiltz, co-chair of ALIC, which oversees Anglican-Lutheran relationships worldwide. “Within that focus there was yet another focus around diakonia, which is the servant ministry of the church,” he said. the rest

Australia: New woman bishop at odds with boss over gays

May 23, 2008

AUSTRALIA'S first woman bishop didn't take long to find herself at odds with her boss, the primate of the Anglican church.

On her first day in her new role as Assistant Bishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy was asked whether women had shared the same experiences as homosexuals in their battle for recognition.

She was also asked if she would like to see homosexuals represented in the Anglican clergy. "I think these are two different matters,'' she replied.

"We are, as an Anglican church, at the moment engaged in a long process of listening carefully and attentively to the experience of homosexual Christian people, and that's where we're up to. the rest

Five things to know about being Episcopalian

By Rochelle Feil
World staff writer
May 22, 2008

Now, after being an ordained minister for 38 years and a priest for 37, Boyle says it's part of the natural rhythm of his life. "Ministry makes introverts more extroverted. ... I tended to think too deeply about stuff when I was younger. I think I've mellowed over the years."

The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, says Boyle. "The liturgical worship works on both a conscious and an unconscious level of my being. I miss it when I don't have it."

1 Worship is at the core of the Episcopal Church
Episcopalians are united by their worship. The service is done in nearly the same way every week. If you're the kind of person who wants a lot of variations in the service, then there are other churches that might suit your needs better. "The central and organizing function for the Episcopalian Church is going to worship. Episcopalians tend to get spiritual needs fulfilled in the traditional Episcopalian worship." All churches use the Book of Common Prayer in worship services, and in most churches, communion is performed every Sunday as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Morning prayer is common across Episcopal churches.

2 Worshipers don't follow a strict code
The Episcopal Church approaches the faith from three basic standpoints: Scripture, reason and tradition. Episcopalians aren't expected to accept everything they are told or always agree with the priest or other leaders. "They take what is of value and use it. I expect them to disagree with me at times. ... The church expects people to make their own moral and ethical decisions." Parishioners are asked to explore issues thoughtfully and prayerfully and to come to their own decisions. The approach is more like, "I respect your opinion, and I will think deeply about that, but that may not be, in the end, what I decide is right for me." Parishioners make decisions based on thorough study, reason, prayer and examining one's own conscience rather than having them prescribed to them. the rest

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Devotional: The infinite heart of the infinite God flows out in love...

The infinite heart of the infinite God flows out in love toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no fear in the bosom of Christ...Jesus Christ has borne the wrath of which you are afraid. He now stands refuge for the oppressed-a refuge in the time of trouble. Look to Christ, and your fear will be cast out. Come to the feet of Christ, and you will find rest. Call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be delivered.

You say you cannot look, nor come, nor cry, for you are helpless. Hear, then, and your soul shall live. Jesus is a Saviour to the helpless. Christ is not only a Saviour to those who are naked and empty, and have not goodness to recommend themselves, but He is a Saviour to those who are unable to give themselves to Him. You cannot be in too desperate a condition for Christ.

...Robert Murray McCheyne image

Political storm over Dalai Lama’s Lambeth invitation

George Conger
May 23,3008

THE GOVERNMENT’S decision to receive the Dalai Lama at Lambeth Palace rather than at 10 Downing Street has spawned protest from Tibet activists and criticism the government is appeasing China.

The exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibet began an 11-day tour of Britain on May 20, but will only meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown on May 23 at a reception at Lambeth Palace, prompting shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague to tell The Times that Gordon Brown “should be prepared to meet all leaders in Downing Street.”

Former Liberal-Democratic leader Sir Menzies Campbell also noted there was “no reason” why the Prime Minister should not see the Dalai Lama “at No 10.” The “suspicion must be that he is responding to the Chinese Government,” he said. the rest image

California Bishops Weigh Ruling’s Canonical, Pastoral Implications

May 22, 2008

The recent California Supreme Court decision that declared unconstitutional a state law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman raises canonical, prayer book and pastoral questions which must be addressed, said Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles.

Bishop Bruno wrote the clergy and laity of the diocese May 22 after being contacted by some clergy and lay leaders requesting clarification. The decision, which removes restrictions on state recognition of same-sex marriages, becomes effective June 15. Bishop Bruno will be on sabbatical leave until June 3.

“I have been in contact with the bishops of the dioceses of California and San Diego, and we will be working together with other bishops of California to meet and discuss how we proceed. I will keep you informed and will act with all possible dispatch while attending to the canonical and pastoral issues the decision affect,” Bishop Bruno wrote. the rest

+Bruno to Collaborate with California Bishops on ‘How to Proceed’ with Gay Marriage Blessings

Letter to the Presiding Bishop From the Diocese of Central Florida

May 15, 2008

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Bishop Jefferts Schori,

Grace and peace from our God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We, the Diocesan Board and Standing Committee and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, strongly protest what we believe to have been a failure to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the recent depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox.

Since deposition is the most severe sanction that can be applied against a bishop, it is critical that both the letter and the spirit of the Canons be followed. The Canons intentionally provide for an exceptionally high level of participation and agreement from the Bishops in order to impose a sentence of deposition. In this instance, it seems clear to us that the canonical safeguards in place were not followed. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Pope Benedict attacked by Catholic Church’s most senior theologians: Hans Küng

By Malcolm Moore

One of the Catholic Church’s most senior theologians, and former mentor to Pope Benedict XVI, has launched a stinging attack on the Vatican.

Father Hans Küng, 80, a Swiss priest and professor at Tübingen university said it was a “tragedy” for the Catholic Church that Rome had failed to follow the path of liberalisation set out by the Vatican II council in 1965. the rest image

Appeals Court Rules Against Texas in Polygamy Case

May 22, 2008

A Texas state court of appeals ruled Thursday afternoon that the state of Texas had no right to seize more than 400 children from a polygamist ranch in Eldorado, in the western part of the state, because there was not sufficient proof that they were in immediate danger.

The ruling asserted that the state’s child protection agency acted hastily in removing the children from the Yearning for Zion ranch in April and did not make a reasonable effort “to ascertain if some measure short of removal and/or separation from parents would have eliminated the risk” of abuse toward the children of 48 mothers who filed the suit. The district court was ordered to remove its restraining order giving the state custody of those children, but it was not immediately clear how the hundreds of other children, now in foster care, would be affected. the rest image

President Bush Signs Pro-Life Bill to Ban Genetic Discrimination Into Law

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 22, 2008

Washington, DC ( -- On Wednesday, President Bush signed a bill to ban genetic discrimination into law and satisfied the concerns of pro-life groups. With the genetic testing of unborn children becoming more common, the bill helps them receive further protection.

The measure bars employers and health insurers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their own or their family members’ genetic information.

Health insurance companies would be prohibited from basing enrollment or premium decisions on the results of genetic tests and employers couldn't rely on them to making hiring, assignment or promotion decisions. the rest

Canon Terry Wong: Lambeth, GAFCON and my ‘two sense’ worth

Global South Anglican
22th May 2008

Much can be gathered through reading articles on the Net on how Lambeth and GAFCON are being perceived. What is obvious is that there are a range of views, as one would expect, depending on one’s churchmanship, theological views and personal experience of the communion or those wider ‘instruments.”

I don’t wish to take any personal stand here and those of my Province (Southeast Asia) have been made known .

However, I have ‘sensed’ two things in my personal interaction with Anglican leaders across the board.

Firstly, there are many Anglican clergy/leaders who have felt isolated and ‘displaced” through this period of crisis. GAFCON provides an opportunity for such clergy and leaders to meet others to find encouragement, bonds of fellowship and mission partnership together. I have met clergy who are quite clueless or indifferent towards communion politics but are nevertheless emotionally and spiritually affected by the crisis, with very real impact on their work on the ground and in their parishes. GAFCON provides an important pastoral relief and I will say, a needed redirection for many of them. As this gathering is not just for bishops only, it open doors for ministry to arguably the group most affected by this communion crisis – Vicars and clergy. Their voices are not often heard. It is my prayer that they do not become casualties (no lack of intention, just attention) as we continue to find a ‘covenant way’ through this crisis. the rest

Colorado: All 'public accommodations,' including restrooms, would be opened to men, women, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgendered individuals.

Colorado Legislation 'Tramples Religious Freedoms'
by Jennifer Mesko, managing editor

The next time you visit Colorado, you may run into members of the opposite sex when you use a public restroom.

Under a bill sitting on Gov. Bill Ritter's desk, all "public accommodations" must be open to men, women, bisexuals, transsexuals and "transgendered" individuals.

Senate Bill 200 adds religion and sexual orientation to state nondiscrimination statutes. Supporters claim the bill will prevent discrimination; in reality, the bill endangers religious freedom by opening the door for the state to punish any person or organization — including small and home-based businesses — that refuses, for religious or other moral reasons, to offer or sell goods or services to homosexuals, bisexuals, 'transgendered' and transsexual individuals. the rest

European Court agrees to hear chimp's plea for human rights


His name is Matthew, he is 26 years old, and his supporters hope to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

But he won't be able to give evidence on his own behalf - since he is a chimpanzee. Animal rights activists led by British teacher Paula Stibbe are fighting to have Matthew legally declared a 'person' so she can be appointed as his guardian if the bankrupt animal sanctuary where he lives in Vienna is forced to close.

An anonymous businessman has offered a substantial amount to cover his care, but under Austrian law only humans are entitled to have guardians. the rest

Peace on a Mountaintop: Saint Gregory's Academy, in Elmhurst, Pennsylvania

Mere Comments
Anthony Esolen
May 22, 2008

I know I should be posting on the recent acts of judicial tyranny in California, or on the op-ed piece that has been making our e-mail rounds, wherein Martha Nussbaum, lying and slandering and cobbling together an argument out of innuendos, inaccuracies, and deliberate ignorance, argues that we have no right to deny would-be polygamists their manifold vows before the justice of the peace. I'll get to those soon, I vow. But instead I'd like you to take a look at a boarding school for boys, Saint Gregory's Academy, in Elmhurst, Pennsylvania, a few miles from where I grew up. By all means check out the film.
the rest

China Says Quake Death Toll More than 51,000

By Audra Ang
Associated Press Writer
Thu, May. 22 2008

BEICHUAN, China (AP) - China said the toll of dead and missing from last week's powerful earthquake jumped to more than 80,000, while the government appealed Thursday for millions of tents to shelter homeless survivors.

The confirmed number of dead rose nearly 10,000 from the day before to 51,151, Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin told a news conference. Another 29,328 people remained missing and nearly 300,000 were hurt in the May 12 quake centered in Sichuan province, he said.

The disaster left 5 million people homeless and leveled more than 80 percent of the buildings in some remote towns and villages areas near the epicenter. In bigger cities whole apartment blocks collapsed or are now too dangerous to live in because of damage and worries about aftershocks. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Challenge of Attention in the Digital Age

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The rise of mass media and the culture of entertainment shaped the minds of generations now at mid-life and older. Today's generation of college and university students faces a far greater array of attention demands -- most of them now cellular and digital. Many teenagers and college students seem to experience genuine anxiety when they miss a few minutes of digital activity. (In fairness, their Treo and Blackberry toting parents are often almost as distracted and inattentive.)

Ask any educator and you will hear the horror stories. College professors look out at the tops of heads as students are bent over keyboards. On some campuses, faculty members are in revolt over students surfing the Web and maintaining their Facebook pages during lectures. The learning experience is transformed even if the students are taking notes on their laptops. Eye contact between the teacher and the students is often almost totally lost. the rest image

Federal court rules against military gays policy

By GENE JOHNSON Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE—The military cannot automatically discharge people because they're gay, a federal appeals court ruled in the case of a decorated flight nurse who sued the Air Force over her dismissal.

The three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not strike down the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But they reinstated Maj. Margaret Witt's lawsuit, saying the Air Force must prove that her dismissal furthered the military's goals of troop readiness and unit cohesion.

The "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue, don't harass" policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or engaging in homosexual activity.

Wednesday's ruling led opponents of the policy to declare its days numbered. It is also the first appeals court ruling in the country that evaluated the policy through the lens of a 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas ban on sodomy as an unconstitutional intrusion on privacy. the rest

Orthodox Jewish Youths Burn New Testaments in Israel

By The Associated Press
Tue, May. 20 2008

Orthodox Jews set fire to hundreds of copies of the New Testament in the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries in the Holy Land.

Or Yehuda Deputy Mayor Uzi Aharon said missionaries recently entered a neighborhood in the predominantly religious town of 34,000 in central Israel, distributing hundreds of New Testaments and missionary material.

After receiving complaints, Aharon said, he got into a loudspeaker car last Thursday and drove through the neighborhood, urging people to turn over the material to Jewish religious students who went door to door to collect it.

The books were dumped into a pile and set afire in a lot near a synagogue, he said. the rest

Muslims storm church in Indonesia: police

Agence France-Presse
Jakarta, May 22, 2008

Muslims have stormed a church in Indonesia to force it to close down, a resident and police said on Thursday, in the latest incident of religious intolerance in the archipelago nation.

The attack in West Java on Tuesday came after a series of similar incidents targeting churches set up in Muslim areas of the province.

"Four people have been detained for questioning and are currently in custody," Purwakarta district police First Inspector Yadi said. the rest

Daughter, 5, of Christian music star Chapman killed in driveway accident

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in the driveway of the family's home Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The brother, whose name and exact age weren't available, apparently did not see the girl, McPherson said. No charges are expected.
the rest

Registrars fear being driven out over gay weddings

UK: Christian 'bullied' for Refusing to Marry Gays

May 21,2008
By Nick Fagge

A CHRISTIAN registrar was bullied and threatened with the sack when she refused to carry out “sinful” homosexual marriages, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Lillian Ladele, 47, asked to be excused from conducting civil partnerships for gay men and women because of her deeply-held religious beliefs. But she says her town hall bosses gave her an “ultimatum” to perform the ceremonies or face dismissal for gross misconduct, and was treated like a “pariah” by colleagues when she refused.

Yesterday Miss Ladele wept as she told the employment tribunal she was being forced to choose between her Christian beliefs and her £31,000-a-year job at Islington Council in north London which she has held for nearly 16 years. the rest

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Devotional: It requires much more courage to stand and wait...

It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way. The greatest life is, "after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13) ...JR Miller image

Losing just one night's sleep makes brain prone to 'sudden shutdowns'


Losing just one night sleep can cause the brain to experience 'power failures' according to research

Being deprived of sleep even for one night makes the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdowns akin to a power failure - brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness, according to researchers.

"It's as though it is both asleep and awake and they are switching between each other very rapidly," said David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, whose study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"Imagine you are sitting in a room watching a movie with the lights on. In a stable brain, the lights stay on all the time. In a sleepy brain, the lights suddenly go off," Dinges said. the rest image

Late Term Aborted Babies in UK Left to "Gasp for Breath" Until Death

By Hilary White
LONDON, May 20, 2008

( - The venerable Spectator, a leading British magazine of political news and commentary, has published excerpts from a letter from a British nurse who, in 2005, described babies surviving late-term abortions who are left to "gasp for breath for ten minutes on the side of a sink" until they die.

The nurse, identified only as "Kay" in a newspaper column, said, "I know of two nurses who went off work with stress as a result of their experience with late terminations. I suffered horrendous nightmares and guilt for months. The guilt comes from the fact that you as a nurse cut the umbilical cord and, as dramatic as it sounds, we felt like murderers." In Britain, late term is defined as those abortions committed after 20 weeks gestation. the rest

Beyond same sex marriage

Civil unions, same sex marriage, then what? The final stop on this train ride is the complete de-gendering of society.
Jennifer Roback Morse
Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Can we be confident that even same sex marriage is the ultimate goal? I think the honest answer is no. The freight train of same sex marriage will not stop at the station called simple “equality.” The legal equivalence of same sex couples with opposite sex couples means that marriage will no longer be society’s most reliable method of attaching mothers and fathers to their children and to each other. Marriage will become a gender-neutral creation of the state, which actively detaches children from at least one of their parents. Parentage will not flow automatically from the marital union, but will have to be assigned by the state. The final stop on this train is the complete de-gendering of society, along with the continual incursion of the state into civil society.
The state must hold that mothers and fathers are completely interchangeable. Biological parents married to each other become officially equivalent to one parent plus their lover. The state will be indifferent as to whether children have any connection with their biological parents.

The experiences of other countries with same sex marriage illustrate that this is no mere expansion of an existing institution. In Spain, the words “mother” and “father” were removed from birth certificates in favor of “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B”. Courts in Canada have assigned parental rights to three adults. Similar experiences from Massachusetts and the UK leave no doubt that the state will have to continually intervene to prop up same sex marriage, and the gender-oblivious society that comes along with it. Sexual orientation will be viewed as immutable, with sex itself as a mere social construct. the rest image

Moscow patriarchate rejects Catholic-Orthodox statement on papal primacy

Moscow, May. 20, 2008 ( - The Russian Orthodox Church has officially rejected a doctrinal statement approved by a joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission at a meeting in Ravenna, Italy last October.

The Ravenna meeting reached agreement that the Bishop of Rome traditionally enjoyed primacy among all the world's bishops, of both the Eastern and Western churches. While Vatican officials hailed the agreement as an important ecumenical landmark, they cautioned that the Catholic and Orthodox churches have a different understanding of primacy. Indeed the Ravenna document noted "differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations." the rest

Cardinal speaks out on abortion

May 21, 2008

As we report, the Government won the vote on abortion last night. Earlier yesterday, I went along to Archbishop's House in Westminster to interview him. Back in February, the Cardinal wrote personally to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown urging a free vote on the bill. His letter is understood to have been one of the key influences behind the Brown's change of mind on this. Yesterday, arguing that even "incremental change" would a step in the right direction, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor appealed to British society to "change its mind" on abortion. The emphasis should be on helping women with unwanted pregnancies to cope with the practical and emotional complications so they can carry their babies to term, he said. He also criticised the Government over the removal of a baby's right to a father, warning that any legislation that eroded the place of the family in society should be opposed.
the rest at Ruth Gledhill's blog

Is Anglican conference nothing more than a tea party?

May 21, 2008

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Episcopal scholar Ian Douglas said this year’s Lambeth Conference was designed by a committee composed of bishops, priests and lay people. Instead of a typical convention schedule, the itinerary includes Bible study sessions focused on the Gospel of John.

Afternoons will consist of “indabas,” a Zulu word used to describe groups engaged in purposeful conversation. About 40 bishops will convene for conversations focused on a different topic each of the 10 days. One indaba will focus on scriptural authority, Douglas said. Conservatives believe ordaining clergy in committed same-gender relationships violates the authority of Scripture. Bishops also will self-select evening workshops and seminars, including one being offered on human sexuality. He also said there would be afternoon tea. After all, it is England.

Americans take their tea parties very seriously, said U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori when asked what mark this year’s Lambeth might make. But a revolution won’t necessarily come in the form of new attitudes about sexuality, which seem to take precedence in the West. There are different priorities in other parts of the world, she said. the rest image

Anglicans plan 'global' dialogue
By Julia Duin
May 21, 2008

About 625 Anglican bishops at the Lambeth Conference in England in July will not hold decisive votes on sexuality and other issues tearing apart the worldwide Anglican Communion, two participants said yesterday.

Instead, the bishops will use the gathering to convene "postmodern" discussion groups, the participants said.

"It is a global conversation," Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said at a news conference in New York. "It is not going to legislate. It is not going to make final decisions about anything."
the rest

AnglicanTV: Anne Coletta Interviews Archbishop Henry Orombi


A marriage of convenience: The Washington Times Editorial

May 21, 2008

The Supreme Court of California's unilateral redefinition of marriage last week showed so much contempt for the doctrine of separation of powers that even many supporters of gay marriage who once spoke favorably of Massachusetts' similar 2003 ruling are uncomfortable with California's. The editorialists at The Washington Post, for instance, who consider gay marriage "a matter of social and political justice," lambaste the court for "an unnecessary bout of judicial micromanagement by redefining marriage through a novel reading of the state constitution." They worry that the "flawed court decision could trigger serious political backlash because the outcome was produced not by the state's voters but by a 4 to 3 majority of judges."

If by "backlash" one means a reassertion of constitutional prerogatives in a November defense-of-marriage ballot initiative to amend the state constitution, that last part is correct. This ruling is a constitutional travesty. the rest

Creator of 'Davey and Goliath' dies in Dallas

May 20, 2008
© 2008 The Associated Press

DALLAS — The creator of the popular religious children's television show "Davey and Goliath" has died.

A memorial service will be held May 31 at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas for Richard Towne "Dick" Sutcliffe. He died May 11 in Dallas from complications of a stroke. He was 90.

Sutcliffe created "Davey and Goliath," a Christian-themed children's show about a boy and his talking dog that used stop-action animation. the rest image

Albert Mohler: Life Without Father

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Britain's Labour-led government has unleashed the hounds of biomedical and cultural revolution in recent days, voting to allow expanded research using and destroying human embryonic research, the development of animal-human hybrid embryos, the development of "savior siblings," and now equal access to IVF technology regardless of sexual orientation.

Until this week, British law required IVF clinics to take a child's need for a father into consideration when IVF services were sought. Now, this requirement has been removed and the new language simply requires attention to the child's "need for supportive parenting." This opens the door for widespread use of IVF technology among single women and lesbian couples. the rest image

Free Concert by Popular Band Preceded Obama’s Big Rally

By Robert Knight

May 20, 2008 From CNN to the New York Times, the media hyped Barack Obama's Portland, Oregon rally on Sunday, some comparing him to a rock star.

Unmentioned in national reporting was the fact that Obama was preceded by a rare, 45-minute free concert by actual rock stars The Decemberists. The Portland-based band has drawn rave reviews from Rolling Stone magazine, which gave their 2005 album Picaresque four and a half stars (out of five), and another four and a half stars for 2007's The Crane Wife.

How many of the people showed up to hear Obama, and how many to hear the band? the rest image

UK: MPs back 24-week abortion limit

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Attempts to cut the upper limit for abortions from 24 to 22 weeks have been rejected by MPs after a free vote.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries, a former nurse who proposed a 20-week limit, said: "There comes a point when it has to be said this baby has a right to life."

But her plan was defeated by 332 votes to 190. A move to bring in a 22-week limit was opposed by 304 votes to 233.

Pro-choice campaigners said there was no scientific evidence to justify a cut in the limit. the rest Image: 22 week-old fetus

Two mother IVF families enshrined in law

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Devotional: There is a toleration which is treachery...

There is a toleration which is treachery. There is a peace which issues in paralysis. There are hours when the Church must say NO to those who should ask communion with her, in the doing of her work, upon the basis of compromise. Such standing aloof may produce ostracism and persecution; but it will maintain power and influence...The reason why men do not look to the Church today is that she has destroyed her own influence by compromise. ...G. Campbell Morgan image

ENS: Lambeth Conference will help bishops strengthen partnerships, Jefferts Schori tells media

By Matthew Davies
May 20, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] The 2008 Lambeth Conference is primarily an opportunity for bishops to get to know one another and to strengthen partnerships, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told media gathered for a May 20 news briefing at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City.

Acknowledging that partnerships throughout the Communion have grown significantly in recent years, Jefferts Schori said her hopes for Lambeth and the Anglican Communion are "that we encounter each other as human beings working in vastly different contexts around the globe and that we build relationships." the rest


California Decision Will Radically Change Society

By Dennis Prager
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Americans seem mesmerized by the word "change." And, by golly, they sure got it last week from the California Supreme Court. It is difficult to imagine a single social change greater than redefining marriage from opposite sex to include members of the same sex.

Nothing imaginable -- leftward or rightward -- would constitute as radical a change in the way society is structured as this redefining of marriage for the first time in history: Not another Prohibition, not government taking over all health care, not changing all public education to private schools, not America leaving the United Nations, not rescinding the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. Nothing. the rest

Survey: 70 Percent of Americans Find Divorce 'Morally Acceptable'

By Aaron Leichman
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, May. 19 2008

An alarming 70 percent of Americans now believe that divorce is “morally acceptable,” according to a recent poll by Gallup’s 2008 Values and Beliefs survey.

The new figure – the highest on record – represents an 11 percent increase from just 7 years ago and a 3 percent increase from 2 years ago. Only 22 percent of Americans said they believed divorce was “morally wrong,” according to the results.

The acceptability of divorce among Americans was ranked higher than all of the other 16 ethical issues surveyed – including the death penalty, gambling, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, abortion and medical research on animals. Additionally, divorce has risen faster in moral acceptability among Americans than any of the other ethical issues. the rest

Court strikes down Va. partial-birth abortion ban

By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Richmond, Va.

(AP) --A Virginia law banning a type of late-term abortion is still unconstitutional, even though a similar federal ban was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the same court's 2005 ruling striking down the law. The Supreme Court had ordered the appeals court to take another look at Virginia's statute after the ruling on the federal ban.

The appeals court cited a key difference between the federal and state bans on the procedure that abortion opponents call "partial-birth abortion." The federal law protects doctors who set out to perform a legal abortion that by accident becomes the banned procedure. The Virginia statute provides no such protection.

The state has two weeks to ask the full federal appeals court to review the ruling, or 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court. The attorney general's office "is reviewing all possible courses of action," spokesman J. Tucker Martin said. the rest

Lambeth Format to Encourage Conversation, Not Resolution

May 20, 2008

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rev. Ian Douglas, a member of the Lambeth Conference Design Group, described the international conference for bishops in England this summer as a new way of addressing difficult issues.

Bishop Jefferts Schori and Prof. Douglas, professor of world mission at Episcopal Divinity School, gave statements and took questions from reporters during a press conference broadcast live over the internet on May 20.

The conference, scheduled for July 16-Aug. 3, will be unlike any previous Lambeth gathering. It is not set up for parliamentary-style debate and is not designed to produce legislation or resolutions, the two explained.

“The parliamentary system as it is generally practiced in the West produces legislative winners and losers,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said. She added that she was hopeful for the conference because of its emphasis on a traditional understanding of conversation. “Conversation entered into deeply and fully leads to conversion and hope,” she noted. the rest

Colorado Bishop Will Brief Presiding Bishop During GAFCON

Three Unreported Papal Stories

James Martin, S.J.

Over the past few weeks, I've heard three stories about the recent papal visit that I've found especially moving.


Sen. Edward Kennedy diagnosed with brain tumor; prognosis seen as poor

May 20, 2008
By Carey Goldberg and Brian Mooney, Globe Staff

US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the veteran lawmaker from Massachusetts who is the last surviving brother in the legendary Kennedy family, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, his doctors said today.

Specialists in Boston and around the country said the information released indicated that Kennedy has terminal cancer and might have only a limited time to live. the rest image

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant Ted for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP

Methodist Alliances

by Mark Tooley

FEW IN THE MEDIA HAVE reported it, but the recent governing General Conference of the 11.5 million member United Methodist Church revealed some fascinating new alliances involving American evangelicals, Africans, and Jews.

American evangelicals and African delegates were together able to preserve the church's definition of marriage, narrowly averting an Episcopal Church-like implosion for America's third largest denomination.

And American Jewish groups, working with evangelicals, were able to stop all divestment proposals aimed at Israel, despite support from church agency bureaucrats and the church's oldest liberal caucus group. the rest

Vatican says prohibition against gays in seminaries is universal

Vatican City, May 19, 2008

(CNA).- Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has sent a letter to the bishops of the world with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI reaffirming the norms established by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the 2005 document, “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders,” as universal and without exceptions.

In the brief “Rescriptum ex audientia” –a written response to various queries—Cardinal Bertone said the norms establishing the selection of candidates to the priesthood are valid “for all houses of formation for the priesthood, including those under the Dicasteries for Eastern Churches, for the Evangelization of Peoples, and for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.” the rest

Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq sentenced to death over slain archbishop

by Anne Thomas
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Iraqi Government says that a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq is to be executed for the death of a Chaldean Catholic archbishop.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that Al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Ali Ahmed, also known as Abu Omar, was sentenced on Sunday by the Iraqi Central Criminal Court, reports the Associated Press.

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, the second-most senior Catholic cleric in Iraq, was found in a shallow grave not long after he was abducted as he left a Mass in the northern city of Mosul. the rest image

Albert Mohler: The Coming Great Divide -- There Is No Place to Hide

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When the California Supreme Court struck down that state's definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman it announced a great social and moral revolution. Unless reversed by means of a constitutional amendment, this decision effectively redefined marriage and set a precedent that will reverberate across the nation.

At the same time, this moral revolution unleashed by the California court will also reveal a deep divide between churches and denominations. Issues of biblical authority have divided Christian (and Jewish) denominations and churches and have been the focus of intense debates and controversies.

One unavoidable outcome of the legalization of same-sex marriage is that the great divide between conservative and liberal churches and denominations will become glaringly evident in a way that has not been the case thus far. The singular question of whether churches perform and recognize same-sex "marriages" will tell a much larger story.

At least until this new phenomenon, churches and denominations across the board shared an understanding of marriage and a vocabulary that included words like "husband" and "wife." In the world before same-sex unions, that made sense. In a world without a shared understanding of marriage, even the vocabulary falls apart.
the rest image

Springs prof revives shroud riddle

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

COLORADO SPRINGS — A physics professor here has resurrected the mystery of the Shroud of Turin, the fabled burial cloth of Christ that 20 years ago scientists declared a fake.

Millions of faithful believe the shroud's bloodstained image of a battered, crucified man is the miraculous image of Jesus, formed as he rose from the dead.

Scientists at three laboratories using radiocarbon dating in 1988 and 1989 determined the shroud was a medieval forgery, though they could not explain how the image was created.

Now, John Jackson, a physics lecturer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, has done something his colleagues consider nearly miraculous. Jackson, a leading researcher on the 14-foot-long linen sheet, has persuaded the Oxford laboratory that dated the shroud to the 13th or 14th century to revisit the question of its age. the rest image

Chinese government officials are complicit in the earthquake disaster.

The Costs of Corruption
by Reuben F. Johnson

THE DEVESTATION AND DEATH toll from last week's earthquake centered in China's Sichuan province continues to rise. The quake registered a 7.9 on the Richter Scale (and has been reported as an 8.0 magnitude on some Chinese television networks--roughly equivalent to a 600 megaton explosion) and is the worst in China in three decades. The death toll is officially over 34,000 and rising by the hour, and some reports list as many as 100,000 persons still missing.

But long after the thousands are dead and buried, China will be coping with two major issues that are the long-term fallout from this horrific human tragedy.

One is that the corruption that is endemic with construction projects in almost any dictatorship has turned out to be a casebook example of how bribe-taking and the general greed of local authorities in China is worsening--and showing just how catastrophic the consequences of these practices can be. the rest image

Times Online, UK: Aftershocks create panic in China's earthquake region
Chinese television read an urgent notice to the public today not to believe rumours of aftershocks from the earthquake that has killed as many as 70000 ...

China: Earthquake buried 32 sources of radiation

China Seeks to Relocate 12 Million Survivors From Earthquake

China warns of contamination of drinking water in quake zones

New York Gov. David Paterson in Manhattan hospital

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gov. David Paterson was taken to a hospital in Manhattan on Tuesday after experiencing migraine-like symptoms.

Preliminary tests were normal and he was to undergo more tests later in the day, his office said in a statement.

The governor, who turned 54 on Tuesday, asked to be brought to The Mount Sinai Medical Center for an evaluation early in the morning, according to the statement.

Paterson's health has been a concern in recent years, and he has been hospitalized at least twice. the rest

Barack Obama: the most liberal Senator of 2007

by Jennifer Rubin

In short, he started out liberal and moved left in every year.

And if there are any doubts about this particular ranking system, other interest groups are on to him as well. He sports a 100% rating from NARAL for each year in the Senate (2005-2007). He received a zero rating from National Right to Life. In 2007 National Taxpayers Union gave him an “F.” Americans for Tax Reform gave him a zero in 2005 and a 16 in 2006. The American Conservative Union gave him 8% in 2006. In 2004 based on answers to its questionnaire NRA gave him an “F.” Well, you get the point.

What is missing in all this? Any indication on any issue of significance, whether foreign or domestic policy, on which he was willing to deviate from the most extreme liberal positions. For example, even when many of his Democratic colleagues voted to confirm Chief Justice Roberts he stuck with the core of 22 of the most liberal Senators to vote against the ABA-rated “well qualified” nominee.

Obama is found of saying that he will usher in a new era of bipartisanship and bridge the divide between the parties. But it is worth asking: why didn’t he do so it in the three years in the Senate and with each passing year move farther from the political center? Did he ever cross swords with any liberal special interest group or reject the entreaties of Big Labor? If his record on union issues (e.g. opposing the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, favoring repeal of NAFTA and seeking repeal of secret ballot union elections) gives you any hint the answer is: never. the rest image

Thoughts on “Roman Catholics for Obama ’08”-By Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver