Saturday, November 22, 2008

Devotional: O Jesus, Splendor of eternal glory...

O Jesus, Splendor of eternal glory, Consolation of the pilgrim soul, with You my lips utter no sound and to You my silence speaks. How long will my Lord delay His coming? Let Him come to His poor servant and make him happy. Let Him put forth His hand and take this miserable creature from his anguish. Come, O come, for without You there will be no happy day or hour, because You are my happiness and without You my table is empty. I am wretched, as it were imprisoned and weighted down with fetters, until You fill me with the light of Your presence, restore me to liberty, and show me a friendly countenance. Let others seek instead of You whatever they will, but nothing pleases me or will please me but You, my God, my Hope, my everlasting Salvation. I will not be silent, I will not cease praying until Your grace returns to me and You speak inwardly to me, saying: "Behold, I am here. Lo, I have come to you because you have called Me. Your tears and the desire of your soul, your humility and contrition of heart have inclined Me and brought Me to you."

Lord, I have called You, and have desired You, and have been ready to spurn all things for Your sake. For You first spurred me on to seek You. May You be blessed, therefore, O Lord, for having shown this goodness to Your servant according to the multitude of Your mercies. ...Thomas a Kempis
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A Review of Same-Sex Marriage Developments In Connecticut

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In the widespread coverage of the battle over gay marriage in California, less attention has been given to a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court last month holding that limiting same-sex couples to civil unions, instead of marriage, violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Connecticut state Constitution. An article in this week’s Yale Herald titled Gay Couples Marry as Campus Christians Sit Silent is occasion to look more closely at developments in Connecticut.

In Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, (CT Sup Ct, Oct. 10, 2008) (majority, dissents 1, 2, 3), the court, in a 4-3 decision, applied intermediate scrutiny to strike down Connecticut's statutory scheme barring same-sex marriage. Opponents then got on the November ballot a proposal to call a state constitutional convention that could potentially propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the court's decision. However, that proposal was overwhelmingly defeated at the polls earlier this month.

Of particular interest is the analysis by the majority in the Kerrigan case concluding that sexual orientation is a quasi-suspect classification that triggers heightened scrutiny. One part of the test for a quasi-suspect class is its "political powerlessness." the rest

More Pro-Life Censorship -- At a Catholic University

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- Twice in two weeks, pro-life advertisements from Human Life Alliance have been denied access to college students--this time at Gonzaga University.

"We're saddened to learn Gonzaga University, a Catholic school, has refused to accept 'We Know Better Now,' our pro-life advertising supplement for 'The Gonzaga Bulletin,'" said Joe Langfeld, Deputy Director for Human Life Alliance. "As a non-profit organization dedicated to educating students on the humanity of the pre-born child and gruesome realities of abortion we use college newspapers to reach 19-24 year-olds who are the number one age group of abortion participants.

"When asked to run the advertising supplement, officials from "The Gonzaga Bulletin" rejected the inserts stating, "There are articles in the insertion that cast a negative light on various organizations or individuals. While these statements may be true, we simply cannot insert them in our paper per our advertising policies." the rest

Bishop Jack Iker is Inhibited

Here-pdf

The Crushing of Sarah Palin

November 22, 2008
By Bob Weir

The other day, as I was watching one of the news channels I had to quickly check my calendar because I had the feeling that I may have only dreamt that the election was over.

The reason for my confusion was that several commentators were still taking shots at Sarah Palin. Here it was, weeks after the woman had left the campaign trail, and the abuse was as strident as it had been throughout her months-long quest for the second spot on the ticket. The man who ran for the first spot on the ticket had shed his bulletproof armor; yet, the woman still needed Secret Service protection.

The continuous assault on Sarah Palin is not so difficult to understand. In fact, it can be summed up thusly: she's a woman opposed to abortion. You see, when a man says he's opposed to abortion, women who disagree can accuse him of trying to control a woman's body and/or simply not understanding how a woman feels about dealing with pregnancy, career achievement and defeating the "good ole boy" network. But, how are they going to justify that to a Sarah Palin, who has raised a family, been elected to the highest office in her state and has gained a reputation as a corruption fighter? And a woman decided to keep, raise, and love a Down syndrome child, her son Trig. the rest

Poll Shows a Solid Majority of Canadians Want Legal Protection for Unborn Children

November 21, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A new Environics poll shows a majority of Canadians want legal protection for the unborn child at some point before birth. This is consistent with survey results over the past seven years.

Canada remains the only country in the developed word with no legal limits on abortion throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Yet, almost 6 in 10 respondents support legal protection for unborn children at some point before birth. Only 33% support the current situation of protection only after birth. Once again, women polled showed far more support for protection from conception on than men did: 33% versus 24%.

A majority of Canadians support informed consent requirements before an abortion that would be consistent with the informed consent expected and provided before any surgical procedure. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents agree that women considering abortion should be informed of the risks and possible consequences of the abortion procedure. the rest

Anonymous donor gives $50 million for Bible translations

The Orlando Sentinel
11.22.2008

ORLANDO, Fla. — A new effort to translate the Bible into every living language kicks off Saturday with the help of a $50 million anonymous gift to the Orlando-based Wycliffe USA — the world's largest bible-translation company.

The goal of Wycliffe's Last Languages Campaign is to translate the Bible for all of the 2,400 languages that still do not have one. Those represent about a third of all languages spoken and include nearly 200 million people, mostly in three regions — Central Africa, northern India-southern China and Indonesia-Papua New Guinea.

The translations are expected to take at least 17 years to complete. the rest

Germany drops attempt to ban Scientology

By MICHAEL FISCHER, Associated Press
Sat Nov 22, 2008

POTSDAM, Germany – Germany is dropping its pursuit of a ban on Scientology after finding insufficient evidence of illegal activity, security officials said Friday. Domestic intelligence services will continue to monitor the group, officials said. The German branch of the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology has been under observation by domestic intelligence services for more than a decade. Top security officials asked state governments in December to begin gathering information on whether they had sufficient grounds to seek a ban.

The Church of Scientology welcomed the ministers' decision to stop seeking a ban as the "only one possible."

"There never was a legal basis to open such proceedings," said Sabine Weber, a spokeswoman for Scientology in Germany. the rest

Financial Strain Evident at New York Diocesan Convention

November 21, 2008

The annual convention of the Diocese of New York approved a resolution petitioning General Convention to grant continued use of either the lectionary found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer or the Revised Common Lectionary indefinitely. Convention met Nov. 15-16 at a hotel and convention center in Mahwah, N.J.

Convention approved several other resolutions, including one calling on “the governor and the legislature of the State of New York to ensure civil marriage equality in this state by enacting the necessary legislation to permit same-sex couples to marry.”

None of the approved resolutions produced extended debate, but approval of the $13.3 million budget as presented was approved only after the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, Bishop of New York, spoke in favor of it. The budget, which represented an increase of more than $880,000 over the previous year, was prepared last summer, before the severe financial downturn affected Wall Street. Some convention delegates were prepared to go through the budget line-by-line on the convention floor, but Bishop Sisk urged against a floor fight. Instead, he promised that the trustees would carefully monitor expenses in light of the new financial situation facing most parishes. Bishop Sisk also promised that the diocese would not take excessively punitive measures against congregations which are unable to meet their assessment due to financial hardship. the rest

Canada: Fiery Meteorite Burns Up the Sky

By Lauren Davis
Nov 22 2008

Thursday night, a meteorite fell in Western Canada, burning up as hit the Earth’s atmosphere and creating a brilliant flash over Alberta and Saskatchewan. Witnesses got to experience the brightest fireball the country has seen in over a decade. Fortunately for us non-Canadians, several video cameras captured the meteorite’s luminous fall.

The meteorite appeared in the sky around 5pm MT, and Alan Hildebrand, a planetary scientist said it was probably the largest to land in Canada in 12 years. And the object’s entry into the Earth’s atmosphere created an impressive display:

Hildebrand says the meteor could likely be seen up to 700 kilometres away, into the northern United States. It contained about a tenth of a kiloton of energy when it entered the earth's atmosphere, equal to 100 tons of the chemical explosive TNT.

“It would be something like a billion-watt light bulb.” the rest

Pieces of large meteor may have landed in Saskatchewan

Church of the Good Shepherd, Binghamton, NY: Day of Prayer and Fasting

November 22 will be a day of prayer and fasting at Church of the Good Shepherd, Binghamton, NY. Several guest clergy and their congregations will be with us from 10AM to 4PM to help us seek God's will as we face our court hearing on December 12. There will be meditations, music, and prayer. You may stay for the entire service or you may come and go as you wish. You are encouraged to fast during this time, but this is not obligatory. Please come and invite others to join us in prayer at this important time in the life of our church.

Prayer schedule and participating clergy

He has not made us for nought; He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us on to the end. He will never leave us nor forsake us; so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." We "may cast all our care upon Him who careth for us." What is it to us how our future path lies, if it be but His path? What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him? What is it to us what He puts upon us, so that He enables us to undergo it with a pure conscience, a true heart, not desiring anything of this world in comparison of Him? What is it to us what terror befalls us, if He be but a hand to protect and strengthen us? ...John Henry Newman

Please join them in prayer today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Devotional: Dear Jesus, Help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go...

Dear Jesus,
Help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul
I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen.
...Mother Teresa image

Pope pondering change to Mass liturgy

posted November 21, 2008

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A high-ranking Vatican official says Pope Benedict XVI is considering introducing a change to the Mass liturgy.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Vatican office for sacraments, says the pope may move the placement of the sign of peace, where congregation members shake hands or hug.

Arinze told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview published Friday that the pope has asked bishops to express their opinions and will then decide.

Under the change, the sign of peace, which now takes place moments before the reception of communion, would come earlier. Arinze said the change might help create a more solemn atmosphere as the faithful are preparing to receive communion. link

The split in the Anglican Communion widens a tad

Nov 21, 2008

Barry Kosmin, one of the nation's top researchers on the demographics of faith, argues in a book he co-authored, Religion in a Free Market, that competition among religious groups keeps interest in God high in the USA, even as denominational identity is fading.

Now, you can see that "market" in action: The final formal break-off of a small but significant group of U.S. and Canadian parishes and dioceses from their national denominations and, quite possibly, from the Anglican Communion, the world's third largest Christian denomination, as well. the rest

Episcopal Church dissidents aim for new church

By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer
Thu Nov 20, 2008

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Conservatives who have abandoned the U.S. Episcopal Church by the thousands in recent years are trying to form a separate-but-equal church, a move that could leave two branches of Anglicanism on American soil.

"I have tried to see if we can create a safe haven (for traditional views) within the Episcopal Church, but failed," said Bishop Martyn Minns, a leader of the conservatives.

He is helping write a constitution for a new church, to be unveiled December 3, in an effort to be recognized as a new entity within the worldwide Anglican Communion. the rest

AS Haley: California Supreme Court to Consider Constitutionality of Proposition 8

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

News has recently broken of the order filed today by the California Supreme Court agreeing to hear arguments directly on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which was passed by California voters on November 4. The text of the order is here.The order is significant for several reasons.

First, the Supreme Court has agreed to accelerate the decision process. It has ordered all the cases filed challenging the ballot measure to be consolidated in one proceeding before it, and it has provided for an expedited briefing process. (The related story in the Sacramento Bee says that a court spokesman estimates oral arguments will take place in March 2009.)

Second, the order is significant because the Court denied the petition to prevent Prop. 8 from taking effect immediately---so it will remain in effect (and prevent further same-sex marriages) for a while, at least. (There was one dissenter from this denial---Justice Moreno, who would have voted for an immediate stay. The other six Justices disagreed---the three dissenters from the original decision, Justices Baxter, Corrigan and Chin, would naturally do so, while the others---Chief Justice George, and Justices Kennard and Werdegar---perhaps have an eye to the next time they are on the ballot for re-election.) the rest

Lambeth Faces Chicago Test

November 21, 2008
George Conger

The leaders of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) are set to endorse a draft constitution to govern the loose coalition of breakaway dioceses, congregations and Anglican jurisdictions in the United States.

In a statement released on Nov 17 by the American Anglican Council on behalf of the CCP, AAC spokesman Robert Lundy said the “the draft constitution of an emerging Anglican Church in North America” will be released on Dec 3. The leaders of the CCP will “formally subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) and affirm the Gafcon Statement on the Global Anglican Future.”

The Dec 3 ceremony will not launch a new province, CCP moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said, but will be an “an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America.” the rest

The Deadly Convenience of Christianity Without Culture

By Richard John Neuhaus
Friday, November 21, 2008

Excerpt:
Obama’s public remarks on the freedom of religion and constitutional law demonstrate little awareness of the significance of the first freedom of the First Amendment in America’s law and lived experience. Moreover, after more than three decades of the most passionate public debate of these matters, Obama declared during the election that the moral and legal status of the unborn child are questions “above my pay grade.”

The truly ominous possibility, indeed likelihood, is that Obama does not see his extreme positions on abortion as being extreme at all. They are the entrenched orthodoxies of the parties that got him to where he is. Those in opposition are viewed as a recalcitrant minority guilty of perpetuating divisiveness, and the time has come to break their back once and for all. I hope I am wrong, but this strikes me as the more plausible understanding of the Freedom of Choice Act and other measures aimed at “bringing us together again.”

The response of Christian leaders to the imminent aggressions will require determined legal talent, especially in First Amendment law, a sharpening of public arguments, reaching out to those who do not understand what is at stake, and careful strategizing by pro-life activists and politicians. In the first place and in the long term, however, the need is for the courage to recover a biblical and historical understanding of what it means to say “Let the Church be the Church.” The Church is not an association of individuals sharing the experience of religion as what they do with the solitude. The Church is not in the consumption business, peddling the products that satisfy one’s self-defined spiritual needs. The Church is a unique society among the societies of the world; a community of obligation standing in solidarity with the truth who is Christ. the rest

Indian Pastor Appeals for Prayer Amid Death and Suffering

By Anne Thomas
Christian Today Reporter
Fri, Nov. 21 2008

The Bible Society in India has received a desperate appeal from a pastor in troubled Orissa state for prayers for the persecuted Christian community there, as thousands remain scattered across makeshift government camps or are hiding in the homes of relatives and sympathetic Hindus.

The letter from Pastor Raj details the atrocities committed against Christians in the north eastern Indian state by radical Hindus angry over the murder of their leader in August. Although the attacks – including killings, rapes, and the destruction of homes – have ceased in the last few weeks, Christian groups in India say the situation on the ground remains precarious. the rest

Orissa: Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians, as Britain refuses to bar members

Albert Mohler: Echoes of Old Heresies Still Among Us -- A Visit to Divinity Hall

Friday, November 21, 2008

Excerpt:
Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1838 "Divinity School Address" was a call to radical theological revisionism, and thousands of ministers have answered his call. It is no accident that evangelical Christianity was so soon set on its heels in Emerson's New England.

Standing in the chapel in Divinity Hall last evening, I was struck by how contemporary Emerson's argument sounds. The call he issued 170 years ago is the very message we now hear from others -- Christianity must change or die. We cannot simply preach a book that is two thousand years old. God still speaks, and a slavish dependence on the Bible is both offensive and ineffectual. Doctrines must go -- intuition and sentiment will be enough.

The issues and arguments are the same. Nevertheless, we have all the evidence we need to show us where Emerson's argument leads. It leads to the death of churches, denominations, institutions, and ministries. It leaves sinners dead in their sins and robs them of hearing the Gospel.

The church has never needed "newborn bards of the Holy Ghost." Instead, the need of the church is for preachers who are skilled in the art of preaching the Word of God -- rightly dividing the Word of Truth, while holding without apology to the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
I am glad I visited that historic room in Divinity Hall last night. It served to remind me of what is at stake in our generation -- and for eternity. There are no new heresies, only echoes of the old ones. And yet, the old ones come back again and again. Full Essay image

Malkin: The eHarmony Shakedown

Friday, November 21, 2008
by Michelle Malkin

Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating website worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable "right" to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh?

New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks -- heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide. "Men seeking men" has now been enshrined with "I have a dream" as a civil rights rallying cry of the 21st century. Bully for you, Mr. McKinley. You bully.

Neil Warren, eHarmony's founder, is a gentle, grandfatherly businessman who launched his popular dating site to support heterosexual marriage. A "Focus on the Family" author with a divinity degree, Warren encourages healthy, lasting unions between men and women of all faiths, mixed faiths or no faith at all.

Don't like what eHarmony sells? Go somewhere else. There are thousands upon thousands of dating sites on the Internet that cater to gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Trekkies, runners, you name it.
the rest

Brazil targets illegal abortions

Friday, 21 November 2008
By Gary Duffy BBC News, Sao Paulo

Brazilian police are investigating more than 1,200 women suspected of having had abortions in a clinic in the state of Mato Grosso Do Sul.

Some 150 women have been charged and at least 30 have been sentenced to do community work.

Abortion in Brazil is illegal except in cases of rape or when the life or health of the mother is at risk. the rest

President-Elect Obama Lays Out Pro-Gay Agenda

11-19-2008

President-elect Barack Obama is committed to creating special rights for homosexuals and trampling on traditional marriage. He laid out his agenda on his Web site:

-Expand hate-crimes legislation (which would create a new category of crime for actions said to be motivated by bias toward a person’s actual or perceived “sexual orientation” and “gender identity." Sexual-orientation hate-crimes laws have been used to prosecute speech in the U.S. and abroad).

-Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (which would create special rights based on an employee’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and could force Christian employers to hire against their religious beliefs).

-Oppose a federal marriage-protection amendment.

-Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (which would open the door to forcing all 50 states to recognize same-sex "marriage").

-Expand gay adoption (which would leave vulnerable children without either a mom or a dad).

-Repeal the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (which would jeopardize military readiness by allowing open homosexuality in the armed forces). the rest

Obama Selecting the Most Anti-Life, Anti-Family Radicals He Can Find for Administration

Japan revisits dark chapter in Christianity's past

NAGASAKI, Japan (AFP) — As church bells ring and grey-robed nuns hurry to Mass in this Japanese port city, a dark chapter in Christianity's past is being revisited with the beatification of 188 martyrs persecuted for their faith.

The Catholic Church hopes the special ceremony for the Christians killed in the 17th century will generate more interest in the history of a religion that has so far failed to take root in a country dominated by Buddhism and Shinto.

"We have a history of religious persecution that has no similar example in Japan nor in the world," said Father Isao John Hashimoto of Nagasaki's Catholic Centre, which is organising the event on November 24.

"We would like this to be an opportunity for Japan, including the government, to dig deep into our past and learn about this part of history. Japan has a tendency to erase histories that make it look bad," he said. the rest

Pope Had `Prophecy' of Market Collapse in 1985, Tremonti Says

By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Lorenzo Totaro

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system, a "prophecy'' dating to a paper he wrote when he was a cardinal, Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said.

"The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found'' in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became pope in April 2005, Tremonti said yesterday at Milan's Cattolica University.

German-born Ratzinger in 1985 presented a paper entitled "Market Economy and Ethics'' at a Rome event dedicated to the Church and the economy. The future pope said a decline in ethics "can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse.'' the rest

National Cathedral slashes staff, budget

11/20/2008

National Cathedral announced dramatic cuts to its budget, programs and staff Nov. 19 as the faltering economy continues to hit religious institutions nationwide.

The landmark cathedral, which welcomes nearly 700,000 visitors a year and has hosted the state funerals of three presidents, will slash its budget by 40 percent next year, from $24 million to $14.4 million.

More than 40 staffers will be laid off, retail operations at the cathedral's gift shop will be outsourced and the Cathedral College's residential course offerings will cease as of March 31, according to the cathedral. the rest image

National Cathedral making cuts

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion launches counterattack against iPhone

The company unveils the Storm, a device that lets users take pictures, play movies and music and visit Facebook and MySpace pages with ease -- and has the 'world's first "clickable" touch screen.'
By Alana Semuels
November 21, 2008

The BlackBerry, a phone and e-mail device that just a few years ago could be found mostly clipped to the belts of high-powered professionals, isn't just for workaholics anymore.

Research in Motion Ltd. today is launching its first major counterattack at the iPhone: the BlackBerry Storm, a touch-screen device that enables users to take pictures, play movies and music, and visit their Facebook and MySpace pages with ease. It even tells them where to turn when they're lost in their cars.

For years, the Waterloo, Canada, company has been the de facto provider of e-mail devices for corporations. But the company has its sights on the consumer market. the rest image

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top Bishop in Britain visits Balaji temple

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

London (PTI): The top bishop in Britain has visited Europe's largest Hindu temple in the country to celebrate the growing "friendship" between the Hindus and Christian communities in the UK.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who visited the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) temple in Tividale in the suburbs of Birmingham in west central England, said he accepted the invitation by the trustees of the temple as "a sign of the celebration of friendship and the facing of challenges with hope."

India's High Commissioner to the UK Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, leading NRI entrepreneurs S P Hinduja and G P Hinduja, Chairman and President respectively of the Hinduja Group, leading NRI Hotelier Joginder Sangar were among the select gathering present on the occasion.

Underscoring the temple's multi-religious approach, Archbishop Williams inaugurated a "Christian Hill" - one of seven hills surrounding the temple in the manner of the Thirupathi temple in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is built on the lines of the revered Balaji temple in Thirupathi. the rest

eHarmony Agrees to Provide Same-Sex Dating Service

By Beth DeFalco
Associated Press Writer
Thu, Nov. 20 2008

TRENTON, N.J. – Online dating service eHarmony said Wednesday it will launch a new Web site which caters to same-sex singles as part of a discrimination settlement with New Jersey's Civil Rights Division.

The settlement is the result of a complaint New Jersey resident Eric McKinley filed against the online matchmaker in 2005. McKinley, 46, said he was shocked when he tried to sign up for the dating site but couldn't get past the first screen because there was no option for men seeking men.

"It's very frustrating and it's very humiliating to think that other people can do it and I can't," he said. "And the only reason I can't is because I'm a gay man. That's very hurtful."

Neither the company nor its founder, Neil Clark Warren, acknowledged any liability. Under the settlement, eHarmony will pay New Jersey state division $50,000 to cover administrative costs and will pay McKinley $5,000. the rest

Prop. 8 gay marriage ban goes to Supreme Court

The California high court will review legal challenges to Prop. 8. A hearing is set for March. Prior to a ruling, gay weddings will not be allowed to resume.
By Maura Dolan and Jessica Garrison
November 20, 2008

Reporting from Los Angeles and San Francisco Jessica Garrison -- The California Supreme Court voted 6 to 1 on Wednesday to review legal challenges to Proposition 8, the voter initiative that restored a ban on same-sex marriage, but refused to permit gay weddings to resume pending a final decision.

The court may hold a hearing on the lawsuits as early as March, a timetable that scholars said was swift considering the complexity and importance of the legal issues. the rest

Is Gay The New Black, As Homosexual Activists Suggest?

By Dennis Prager, For The Bulletin
11/20/2008

"Gay is the new black" is one of the mottos of the movement to redefine marriage to include two people of the same sex.

The likening of the movement for same-sex marriage to the black civil rights struggle is a primary argument of pro same-sex marriage groups. This comparison is a major part of the moral appeal of redefining marriage: Just as there were those who once believed that blacks and whites should not be allowed to be married, the argument goes, there are today equally bigoted individuals who believe that men should not be allowed to marry men and women should not be allowed to marry women.

It is worth noting that the people least impressed with the comparison of the gay struggle to redefine marriage with the black struggle for racial equality are blacks. They voted overwhelmingly for California's Proposition 8 which amends the California Constitution to define marriage as being the union of a man and a woman.

One reason given is that blacks tend to be socially conservative. But another, less verbalized, reason may well be that blacks find the comparison demeaning and insulting. As well they should. the rest

A Pro-Life Nightmare: Daschle Appointed as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services

The appointment of Tom Daschle places a strong "pro-choice" leader at the helm of the agency that would oversee the possible Freedom of Choice Act.
By Randy Sly
11/20/2008
Catholic Online

WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - President-elect Obama has made his choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services – former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle. He had been a close advisor to President - Elect Obama during the presidential campaign and had recently written a book on his proposals to improve health care in America called "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis."

“Of all the proposals that Obama wants to enact, health care requires the most input and tough negotiations,” one of the Democratic officials told Politico.com. “No one knows the House and Senate like Tom Daschle.”

The Department of Health and Human Services, Daschle’s new assignment, is the agency responsible for abortion policy. Should the Freedom of Choice Act be ratified, this is the department through which it would be administered. With Dascle's appointment it will be headed by a strong pro-choice supporter who also describes himself as a Catholic. the rest

The Coming "War" Between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church

Conservatives Form New Anglican Church

CBNNews.com
November 20, 2008

CBNNews.com - Breakaway conservative Episcopal churches are planning to form a new Anglican church in North America.

Leaders of the Common Cause Partnership, a group representing more than 100,000 church members, say they will unveil a new church constitution December 3 at Wheaton Evangelical Free Church in Wheaton, Illinois.

Bishop Robert Duncan, who was ousted by the Episcopal church last month, has been elected to lead the new group. the rest

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Matt Kennedy+ interviewed on Family Life Network

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I was interviewed yesterday on the Family Life Network which is, perhaps, the main Christian radio station in the Binghamton area. The three to five minute interview aired around noon yesterday and I hear that they have been playing excerpts since then at various intervals. I was able to explain the situation at Good Shepherd with regard to the lawsuit that the Diocese of Central New York filed against us and invite the community to attend a day of fasting and prayer we've called for this coming Saturday. A good number of local congregations and pastors have already agreed to be there to lend their prayers and support.

The whole interview has been posted on the FLN website as a feature story:

The Central New York Episcopal Church is suing a splinter congregation in Binghamton. The diocese is taking the Church of the Good Shepherd to court on December 12th to recoup all of its property and assets. That includes the church building. FLN's Bob Price spoke with Senior Pastor Matt Kennedy about how the church could be affected for taking a stance against the consecration of homosexual bishops.

the rest at Stand Firm

Listen
here

Professor Hired for Outreach to Muslims Delivers a Jolt

Islamic Theologian's Theory: It's Likely the Prophet Muhammad Never Existed
By ANDREW HIGGINS
NOVEMBER 15, 2008

MÜNSTER, Germany -- Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany's first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn't like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn't portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises. the rest

American Anglican Council: Equipping the Saints

November 2008

The American Anglican Council (AAC) has recently published a booklet showing TEC membership and attendance figures over the last five years, quotes from TEC leaders, reports on TEC litigation, and more. Below is an excerpt from the opening letter by Bp Anderson, president and CEO of the AAC.

Beloved in Christ,

It has been two years since we published the previous edition of Equipping the Saints as a crisis resource for Anglican laity. This crisis has been brewing for more than 40 years, and it is all about the difference between Christian tenets of belief outlined in Scripture and expressed in Anglican faith versus a false gospel that embraces universalism and denies the unique and essential nature of Jesus Christ. The two world views are mutually exclusive, contradictory and irreconcilable. Full booklet-pdf -Excellent!

(h/t-Anglican Mainstream)

Attorney General Asks California Supreme Court to Rule on Prop. 8

Tuesday November 18, 2008
By Kathleen Gilbert

SACRAMENTO, California, November 18, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - California Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a legal brief with the California Supreme Court requesting that the court swiftly settle three lawsuits against Proposition 8.

Brown said that the suits challenging Prop. 8, California's amendment restricting marriage to between a man and a woman, "raise issues of statewide importance, implicating not only California's marriage laws but also the initiative process and the Constitution itself.

"It is appropriate for the Court to address these issues to provide certainty and finality in this matter," wrote Brown, who was responding to the Court's request for Brown to weigh in on the legal action. the rest

World's Worst Persecutor

Will U.S. diplomatic shift and Graham visit help Christians?
Ruth Moon
11/18/2008

The United States removed North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in October, but observers say Christians still have much to fear from its government.

"As long as the Kim Jong Il regime and its successors remain in control, [North Korea] is going to be a brutally repressive country," said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former North Korea analyst for the CIA. "It's going to continue to be a dismal future for Christians."

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimates that there are 467,894 Christians in North Korea and 10,592 Christian martyrs each year. Open Doors ministry lists the country as the world's worst religious persecutor. the rest

The abortion president

November 19, 2008
Nat Hentoff

During a July 17, 2007, speech before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, then Sen. Barack Obama pledged: "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." That is a bizarre way "to bring us together," another goal of his as president. When Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., reintroduced the FOCA in 2007, her press release triumphantly explained that this draconian definition of "Freedom of Choice" would mean:

"Women would have the absolute right to choose whether to continue or terminate their pregnancies before fetal viability, and that right would be protected by this legislation. The Freedom of Choice Act also supersedes any law, regulation or local ordinance that impinges on a woman's right to choose."

With regard to "fetal viability" – the ability to survive on his or her own – the ardent supporters of FOCA slide over the language in the surviving 2007 version of FOCA bill that, as Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee points out: "Contains no objective criteria for 'viability,' but rather, requires that the judgment regarding 'viability' be left entirely in the hands of 'the attending physician.'"

Guess who that would be? The abortionist! the rest



How did Obama get elected? Find out here...

Website: HowObamaGotElected.com.

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice

By ELAINE SCIOLINO
November 18, 2008

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.

Men praying at a Shariah council in London. Islamic judges usually urge troubled couples to try to preserve their marriages.

But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.

In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.

The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce. the rest

Catholics Who Vote for Freedom of Choice Act Could Face Automatic Excommunication

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By Matt Hadro

(CNSNews.com) - Catholic members of Congress who vote for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) could face “automatic excommunication” if the act is determined to be “formal cooperation” in the evil of abortion.

When asked last week whether a Catholic politician voting for the FOCA – which would impose nationwide abortion on demand and government funding of abortion – would incur automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the question would need to be discussed once the actual language of the bill was known. the rest

First transplant of a grown-to-order organ

Mother-of-two becomes first transplant patient to receive an organ grown to order in a laboratory
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A 30-year-old Spanish woman has made medical history by becoming the first patient to receive a whole organ transplant grown using her own cells.

Experts said the development opened a new era in surgery in which the repair of worn-out body parts would be carried out with personally customised replacements.

Claudia Castillo, who lives in Barcelona, underwent the operation to replace her windpipe after tuberculosis had left her with a collapsed lung and unable to breathe.

The bioengineered organ was transplanted into her chest last June at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona. the rest

Canada: Legal fight brews over St. Aidan's

Doug Williamson, Windsor Star
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The battle over scripture is escalating between two factions of the Anglican Church, with each claiming ownership of St. Aidan's on Wyandotte Street East.

Rev. Tom Carman represents the 109 church members who voted Sept. 28 to break away from the Huron diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada and join the conservative, breakaway Anglican Network in Canada.

That leaves up to 50 members who have no place to go, and who want their building back.

The split is over the ANIC's views that human sexuality is between a man and woman within marriage. the rest

Half of UK Anglican clergy will be women

According to the Church of England's own projections, if present trends continue women will occupy nearly a quarter of all full-time posts by 2012.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By ENI

A member of the (Anglican) Church of England's general synod who supports a greater role for women in the church has predicted that within 10 years half of all full-time clergy will be women, but says moves to consecrate female bishops is not keeping pace - writes Trevor Grundy.

The prognosis came from U.S-born Christina Rees, a writer, broadcaster and public speaker and chairperson of Watch (Women and the Church), started in 1996 as a forum for promoting women's ministry in the Church of England.

Speaking from her home near Cambridge, Rees told Ecumenical News International, "Half the clergy will be women by 2018 of that I'm certain, but right now we're in the ridiculous position of still deciding on what terms we're going to have women bishops. The organisation Forward in Faith [which opposes the ordination of women as bishops] is very active and denies that the general synod has the right to approve the consecration of women as bishops. If we don't move soon it will be a scandal." the rest

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Devotional: Believe God's word and power...

Believe God's word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea.
...Samuel Rutherford image

Will the Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion Spend Easter in Rome?

By Deacon Keith Fournier
11/18/2008
Catholic Online

"What I have heard that is public is that the TAC bishops have been invited to Rome 'en masse' for Easter."

DURHAM, England (Catholic Online) - Fr. Jeffrey Steel is a priest of the Church of England with a pastoral ministry to his parish. He is also an excellent "blogmaster", offering one of the best "blogs" on the current situation in the Anglican communion and the movement toward full communion with Rome.The Blog is called "De Cura Animarum", which means "about the cure of souls". here

Fr. Steel serves what he describes as a "traditionalist Anglo-Catholic parish in the Durham Diocese where the Rt Revd Dr. N.T. Wright is bishop. My parish is under the sacramental care of Bishop Martyn Jarrett SSC.". He is also a PhD student, focusing on historic models of authentic ecumenism with a particular emphasis on their relevance in the movement toward authentic Christian unity in our own age. the rest

Plans to create a conservative province ‘disturbing,’ says primate

Leigh Anne Williams
staff writer
Nov 18, 2008

News of a plan to create a new North American Anglican province that would be defined by conservative theology rather than a geographic location may have been greeted with enthusiasm by delegates at the Anglican Network in Canada’s first synod last week, but Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, described the plan as “disturbing.”

The plan is scheduled to be publicly released on Dec. 3 in Chicago at a gathering of the Common Cause Partnership, a coalition of conservative Anglicans who oppose moves within the Anglican Church of Canada toward blessing same-sex unions and the ordination of an openly gay man as an Episcopal bishop in the U.S. the rest

Tony Seel+: What went wrong?

DCNY blog
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I can't help wondering what went so horribly wrong in the episcopate of Skip Adams. Fr. Kennedy at Stand Firm linked to Adams' convention address and some of the statements in that address are astounding. How can the bishop tell the story that he tells about two of the desert fathers and not see his own acts of ungenerosity toward those who have left the DCNY? I'm sure that he would respond that he has a fiduciary responsibility to the DCNY and that's why he sued St. Andrew's in Syracuse and is now suing Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton. You would think that someone who told a story about generosity like that might reflect on their own lack of generosity.

Later in his address Adams turns the words of Jacques Ellul on their head as he tries to make a point about religion, morality and Christianity. I have commented on this in an earlier post and so I won't do it again here.

Adams appears to be lashing out against opponents who are no longer in the DCNY. Why does he do this? I think that he has some guilt about the straits that he has led the diocese into. He realizes that his vote in 2003 has brought an enormous amount of ill to the DCNY. So, although St. Andrew's, Syracuse, St. Andrew's, Vestal and Church of the Good Shepherd are no longer part of the DCNY, the bishop has some perverse need to keep beating up on those who have left his flock. the rest-don't miss this!

Also at DCNY:

Adams Misses the Point

Bp. Adams: Christianity without Rules and Regulations

Stand Firm: Diocese of Central New York calls for the ordination and consecration non-celibate homosexuals

Posted by Matt Kennedy+
November 18, 2008

I believe the Diocese of Central New York passed a resolution affirming the ordination of non-celibate homosexual deacons and priests and the election of a non-celibate homosexuals to the office of bishop. This was the text of the resolution as it was published on the Diocesan website prior to last weekend's convention. the rest image

Don't miss this assessment of the convention by a CNY "liberal Episcopal priest"

Also at Stand Firm:
Bishop Skip Adams: ‘Morality is shown to be an obstacle to encounter with God’

Bishop Adams' Diocesan Address-PDF

Will the Pope and Obama Clash Over Abortion?

By Jeff Israely
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008

Though Barack Obama won't be announcing his foreign travel plans any time soon, it's a good bet that the new American President will meet Pope Benedict XVI some time next year, perhaps in early July to coincide with the G8 summit in Italy. It promises to be one of the great photo ops of 2009. Benedict sent a personal message to Obama the day after his victory, which referred to the "historic occasion" of his coming presidency; and Obama subsequently telephoned the Pope as part of a round of calls to world leaders.

But well before the two men have their historic handshake, the ground is already shifting underneath U.S.-Vatican relations. After the Bush administration, the election of a pro-choice, pro-diplomacy Democratic president is changing the Vatican's game plan vis-a-vis Washington on several levels. Bush was viewed in Rome as a rare ally in the West for his opposition to such issues as abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research. And the first issue to watch is abortion. the rest

Sparks fly as 'gay' activist mob swarms Christians

Residents of homosexual district: 'We're going to kill you. We know who you are'
November 17, 2008
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Hundreds of homosexual activists rushed out of bars and swarmed a group of Christians who were singing songs in San Francisco's Castro District – and some even threatened to kill the worshippers.

A group of Christians had been singing and praying in the "gay" district for several days, but they never expected an angry mob would run them out. However, that's what happened Friday night.

One woman who was attacked told her story with Pastor Lou Engle at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. She said the group's fellowship had been peaceful for several nights before the riot.
the rest/video

Duin: Breakaway Episcopalians to unveil constitution

Julia Duin
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Leaders of 100,000 disaffected former Episcopalians will unveil a proposed constitution for a new 39th province of the Anglican Communion at a Dec. 3 ceremony at the evangelical Wheaton College in west Chicago.

The new province, which will contain significant portions of four breakaway Episcopal dioceses plus about two dozen churches in Northern Virginia, will be launched in early 2009.

"This is a huge step," said Anglican Bishop Martyn Minns, one of the leaders who will sign the constitution as the head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

"The constitution will create a new Anglican church in North America that will have all the necessary features to be recognized as a province," said Robert Lundy, a spokesman for the American Anglican Council, one of the constitution's signatory groups. "Then it'll be out of our hands." the rest

Proponents of women bishops fear backlash in UK

Tuesday, 18th November 2008
By Michael Brown

Proponents of women bishops now face a threat as serious as any ever faced before --- from those opposed to females in mitres --- according to a leading campaigner for their ordination.

The claim comes from Christina Rees who heads WATCH, the Women and the Church movement, and is a prominent member of the General Synod.

Ms Rees voices the claim in a letter sent to networks of clergy and laity, a copy of which has been seen by The Church of England Newspaper.

In the letter, which takes a swipe at traditionalist Anglicans opposed to women priests and bishops, she declares: "It is our opinion that we now face a threat as serious as any we have faced before in the long journey towards women's full inclusion in the ordained ministries of the Church of England." the rest

Niagara Diocese to proceed with gay blessings

Tuesday, 18th November 2008
By George Conger

The Diocese of Niagara will go ahead with the blessing of gay civil marriages, the Rt Rev Michael Bird wrote to his diocese on the eve of its Nov 7-8 synod in Hamilton, Ontario.

Citing similar decisions taken by the dioceses of Montreal and Ottawa last month, Bishop Bird said he believed the diocese were “among those who have been called by God to speak with a prophetic voice on this subject.

“I, therefore, intend to ask for a rite to be developed for the blessing of same-sex couples who have been civilly married, along with a process to enable these blessings to take place that will at the same time honour the diversity of tradition and theology that exists across Niagara,” he said.

At its 2007 meeting, by a vote of 239-53 the synod asked the bishops to allow those clergy "whose conscience permits" to bless gay marriages. However, the Canadian House of Bishops at their Oct 2008 by a “large majority” called for a stay of liturgical innovations for gay weddings. Canada’s General Synod would take up the issue in 2010, the bishops said. the rest

Pope: "New generation" political education a must

November 18, 2008

Formation for a new generation of "lay Catholics involved in politics" is urgent and vital, Pope Benedict has said.

Catholic News Service reports Pope Benedict told a meeting of the Pontifical Council of the Laity that the Church must strengthen its efforts to educate lay Catholics to play their proper role in building a world of justice, charity and protection of human rights.

"In a special way, I reaffirm the necessity and urgency of the evangelical formation and pastoral accompainment of a new generation of Catholics involved in politics, that they would be coherent with their professed faith, morally upright, professional and passionate about serving the common good," he said.

Lay people are called to fulfill their mission as followers and witnesses to Christ in government, social life, workplaces, schools and families, the pope said. the rest

Planned Parenthood Prez Falsely Says Election Means Catholics Pro-Abortion

More birth defects seen with fertility treatment

Elizabeth Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Infants conceived as a result of infertility treatments are two to four times more likely to have certain types of birth defects than children conceived naturally, according to one of the nation's largest studies on the issue.

The defects, which frequently can be surgically treated, range from heart anomalies to cleft lips to gastrointestinal disorders.

"None of these are lethal," said Dr. Jennita Reefhuis, an epidemiologist with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the study's authors. "The individual risk of birth defects is still very small. But it is very important for couples who are considering artificial reproductive technology to have full disclosure." the rest

Archbishops Anis, Nzimbi, Akrofi: We Will Recognize the New North American Province

Stand Firm
Monday, November 17, 2008

After my interview about the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, I asked Bishop Duncan, and Archbishops Anis, Nzimbi and Akrofi about the new North American Province.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greg Griffith: Bishop Duncan, can you tell us more about the new province?

Bishop Duncan: It was the GAFCON conference that spoke so clearly, saying ‘It is our view that the time has come for a new province to be recognized in North America,’ and that the Common Cause Partners are the basis of that province. We here in the states have taken that very seriously, we’ve done a tremendous amount of hard work, we’ve made deep commitments to one another, and the Common Cause Partnership, which has an annual meeting of the representation of the U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions – that happens early in December – and at that time our governance task force will come forward with a draft provincial constitution on which we’ve had help from our foreign partners.

The recognition process I think will be one by which our partners, who were the Jerusalem primates, are going to decide whether they’ll issue recognition by their provinces.

Greg Griffith [to Archbishops Anis, Nzimbi and Akrofi]: Are Your Graces all going to support the new province?

Archbishop Anis: Yes… Oh yes.

Archbishops Nzimbi and Akrofi: Yes. [all nodding affirmatively]

the rest at Stand Firm

Will Entire Episcopal Diocese Come into Full Communion with Rome?

By Deacon Keith Fournier
11/18/2008
Catholic Online

Given the recent history of this Episcopal Diocese, astute observers should watch these developments very closely.

FORT WORTH, Texas (Catholic Online) - Much of the Christian world has prayed fervently and mourned grievously as members of the global Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church have suffered from the wounds against the ancient faith occasioned by the internal struggles between orthodox, heterodox and heretical members of that Christian community. Many Catholics have noted with great interest the growing number of Anglican Christians who have approached the possibility of coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.

These overtures have occurred in several diverse ways; from the growth and expansion of the Anglican Use provision to the exciting overture made at the international level by members of the Traditional Anglican Communion directly with the Holy See. 2008 has been a year of potentially historic breakthroughs between Anglican Christians and the Chair of Peter. the rest

Monday, November 17, 2008

Devotional: It may seem a very terrible thing...

It may seem a very terrible thing for the soul to yield itself wholly and unreservedly to the will of Christ. "What is going to happen? What about tomorrow? Will He not put a very heavy burden upon me if I yield, if I take the yoke?" Ah, you have not known my Master; you have not looked into His face; you have not realized His infinite love for you. Why, God's will for you means your fullest happiness! ...Lettie B. Cowman image

Primates Hold Key to New Province’s Recognition

November 17, 2008

It is the primates, not the Archbishop of Canterbury, who are directly responsible for granting official status to a new Anglican Communion province. That responsibility is spelled out under section 3 of the constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

The constitution explains that a new province may be admitted “with the assent of two-thirds of the primates of the Anglican Communion.”

Assuming that at least two-thirds of the primates of the Anglican Communion do consent to the formation of another province in North America when they meet in February, it is likely that the matter would come before the ACC when it meets in Jamaica next May.

The ACC was formed following a resolution of the 1968 Lambeth Conference,which discerned the need for more frequent and more representative contact among the churches than was possible through a once-a-decade Lambeth Conference of bishops. It first met in Limuru, Kenya, in 1971. the rest

Anglican Network in Canada pushes for creation of North American province

Leigh Anne Williams
staff writer
Nov 17, 2008
Burlington, Ont.

Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) representatives are working with American colleagues in the Common Cause Partnership to create a new North American Anglican province, one that would be defined by their conservative theology rather than geography. The new province was one of the key topics of discussion at ANiC’s first synod held Nov. 13 to 15 at the Crossroads Centre here.

ANiC Bishop Donald Harvey said he hopes that the draft of the new province’s constitution, which is scheduled to be made public in Chicago on Dec. 3, could be discussed at the primates’ meeting in Alexandria, Egypt in February. the rest

Sweden: Left Party: 'force pastors to perform gay weddings'

11 Nov 08

Excerpt:
All political parties in the Riksdag, with the exception of the Christian Democrats, have given their support to a legislative proposal which would allow for same-sex marriages.

The current measure allows pastors or other officiates to refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for gay couples if they so choose.

The Left Party wanted to go further than the current proposal and remove the exception for pastors who wish not to wed same-sex couples. full story

LAPD Treat Gay Marriage Protests With Kid Gloves

As angry Prop 8 demonstrators block traffic and disrupt city life, officers are under orders to leave them alone.
November 17, 2008 - by Jack Dunphy

The first paragraph of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics reads as follows: “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.”

These are noble ideals, but here in Los Angeles we have seen once again that noble ideals can be trumped by the demands of politics, which are often not so noble.

Witness the furor that has erupted following the November 4 passage of California’s Proposition 8, a referendum that amended the state’s constitution so as to read that “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” In approving the proposition, the voters of California affirmed the meaning of marriage as it had been understood for millennia until May of this year, when four members of the California Supreme Court rummaged through all those emanations and penumbras that only liberals can claim to detect in written documents, miraculously finding therein the right for same-sex couples to marry. the rest

Italian Nuns Refuse to Kill Eluana

By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
MILAN, November 17, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) – The nuns who run the hospice in which Eluana Englaro has been living for 14 years have refused to carry out the court order to remove her food and hydration tube. On Friday, the highest court of appeals of Italy upheld a previous court’s ruling that Eluana Englaro, the young disabled woman who has been in a state of diminished consciousness since being in a car accident in 1992, may be killed by the removal of her food and hydration tube.

In a letter published in yesterday’s Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference, the Misericordine nuns of Lecco said, “Our hope, and that of many like us, is that the death by hunger and thirst of Eluana, and others in her condition, will not be carried out.”

“That is why, once again, we maintain our availability, today and into the future, to continue to serve Eluana. If there are those who consider her dead, let Eluana remain with us who feel she is alive. We don’t ask anything but the silence and the liberty to love and to devote ourselves to those who are weak, poor and little in return.” the rest

Anglican Leaders Seek to Unite North American Churches

Anglican Communion Network

WHEATON, IL, Nov. 17—Leaders of the Common Cause Partnership, a federation of more than 100,000 Anglican Christians in North America, will release to the public on the evening of Dec. 3 the draft constitution of an emerging Anglican Church in North America, formally subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and affirm the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future at an evening worship celebration in suburban Chicago.

This historic event comes in the wake of GAFCON held in Israel last June with leaders from more than one-half of the world’s 77 million Anglicans. At the close of that gathering, Anglican leaders released the Jerusalem Declaration and the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future, which outlined their Christian beliefs and goals to reform, heal and revitalize the Anglican Communion worldwide.

“One conclusion of the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem last June was that the time for the recognition of a new Anglican body in North America had arrived,” observed Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, moderator of Common Cause Partnership. “The public release of our draft constitution is an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America.” the rest

Roman Catholic, Anglican bishops gather for second bi-lateral meeting

November 17, 2008

[Church of England] The Church of England's House of Bishops and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales are holding a second bi-lateral meeting November 17, this time at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's London residence. In 2006, the bishops met together in Leeds for study and worship.

Chaired by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the meeting takes the form of a spiritual retreat, reflecting on the office and ministry of bishops as Christ's disciples, a news release from the Church of England said. "The day is based on prayer, discussion and a desire for further development of the churches' shared Christian witness. Scripture readings and addresses by Williams and Murphy-O'Connor will guide the bishops' reflections." the rest

New Anglican Structure Debuts in Two Weeks

Draft constitution for North American Anglicans to be released on Dec. 3.
November 17, 2008
Tim Morgan

A new alliance for North American Anglicans will have an important benchmark event in Wheaton, Illinois, on Wed., Dec. 3.

See below for the full press statement.

It's fascinating to see that both the Billy Graham Center and Wheaton's Evangelical Free church will both serve as venues for this meeting of the Common Cause Partnership, the organization that has pooled resources for conservatives, who report 100,000 Anglicans as participants in their movement. the rest

Convention Planned to Form New Anglican Province

November 16, 2008

When the Diocese of Fort Worth voted Nov. 15 to become the fourth American diocese to leave The Episcopal Church, the leadership of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) scheduled a constitutional convention in the Chicago area Dec. 3 to form a new North American Anglican province. The event will be followed by “a province-by-province visitation and appeal for recognition of the separate ecclesiastical structure in North America.”

Significant details about the plan were revealed in a short AnglicanTV internet video clip containing remarks delivered by Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh and Bishop Bill Murdoch, a missionary bishop to the U.S. consecrated by the Anglican Church of Kenya. the rest

Quincy diocese among latest to depart Episcopal Church Episcopal Church at crossroads after defections

Diocese of Quincy splits in alignment with conservatives
By Margaret Ramirez Tribune reporter
November 17, 2008

Just before the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy voted Nov. 7 to break away from the U.S. Episcopal Church, the faithful debated their future. The final speaker, a woman, touched on a theological nerve that seemed to seal the decision.

"We need to make a choice. Is Jesus Christ our Savior or not?" she said.

Last week, Quincy became the third diocese to leave the Episcopal Church, the latest development in an escalating dispute over the Bible, homosexuality, the ordination of women and other issues. The disagreement reached a crisis with the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a long-term relationship. the rest

Fort Worth votes to secede from Episcopal Church

Monday, 17th November 2008
By George Conger

The Anglo-Catholic movement in America is dead, the Rt Rev Jack Iker said following the secession of the Diocese of Fort Worth from the Episcopal Church on Nov 15.

By a margin of almost four to one, the 225 members of the Fort Worth Synod meeting at St Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, on Nov 14-15 passed the second readings of five constitutional amendments severing America’s last traditionalist Anglo-Catholic diocese from the Episcopal Church and adopted a motion affiliating with the Province of the Southern Cone. the rest

Christianity ‘being sidelined in Britain’

Monday, 17th November 2008
By Michael Brown

Attempts are now being made in Britain to relegate Christianity to the "border of irrelevance", according to a cathedral chief.

If the attempts succeed it will mean the destruction of "a unique vision of humanity and all that is best in it."

The dire warning comes from the Subdean of Lincoln’s Anglican Cathedral, Canon Alan Nugent. The 66-year-old sets out his fears in a minster chapter letter distributed to members of the cathedral congregation on Sunday.

Canon Nugent, who has been at the once strife-torn cathedral since 2003, says it has been suggested that within 25 years, practising Christians will be excluded from senior posts in both local and national administration --- because of a "widespread" assumption that anyone confessing a robust faith "must be an extremist or irrational or both". the rest

TIME: What Happens If You're on the Gay "Enemies List"

By Alison Stateman / Los Angeles
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008

Ever since a slim majority outlawed gay marriage in California, opponents have waged national protests and petitions, urging the judicial system to reconsider the results of the Nov. 4 referendum. (Proposition 8 overturned an earlier decision by the Supreme Court of California legalizing same-sex marriages.) While the court weighs whether or not to get back into the fray, the civil unrest ignited by the ban shows no sign of abating. A National Protest Against Prop 8 organized by JoinTheImpact.com is scheduled for this Saturday. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which opponents say donated more than $20 million to the Yes on 8 campaign, has already become a focus of protests, with demonstrators gathered around Mormon temples not only in California but across the country.

The Mormon Church is not the only group being singled out for criticism. African-Americans, 70% of whom voted yes on Proposition 8, according to a CNN exit poll, have become a target. According to eyewitness reports published on the Internet, racial epithets have been used against African-Americans at protests in California, directed even at blacks who are fighting to repeal Proposition 8. Said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, "In any fight, there will be people who say things they shouldn't say, but that shouldn't divert attention from what the vast majority are saying against this, that it's a terrible injustice." (See the Top 10 ballot measures.) the rest

Training the Soul: The Chesterton Academy

By Chuck Colson
11/17/2008

For most people, the one-room schoolhouse is just something out of the history books. For 11 students in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, the one-room schoolhouse is a living reality. Their tiny, brand-new school, Chesterton Academy, is an experiment that could be the start of what’s been called an “education revolution.”

Named after the great Christian thinker and writer G. K. Chesterton—one of my own favorite apologists—the high school was founded by two Catholic gentlemen, Thomas Bengston and Dale Ahlquist. They were concerned, rightly, that kids today are not being taught to think in school, and instead are having their minds filled with moral relativism.

They’re being deprived of the intellectual and moral knowledge that would help them develop into fully rounded, mature, thinking citizens. Headmaster John DeJak, who gave up a successful career as an attorney to help lead the effort, sums it up this way: “We realized that our kids are being robbed.”

So the curriculum at Chesterton Academy emphasizes the traditions and heritage of Western civilization that are too often ignored by most of our public schools and, certainly, our colleges. the rest

India: Orissa Bishops Warn of 'Master Plan' to Wipe-Out Christianity

By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Sun, Nov. 16 2008

Catholic bishops from the persecution ravaged state of Orissa warned this week that Hindu extremists have a “master plan” to wipe out Christianity in the remote eastern Indian state.

In a letter to the state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, the Indian bishops conveyed their concerns about the mass “exodus of Christians” from Kandhamal District and addressed the “considerable reduction” of refugees in relief camps, according to Catholic News Agency.

The bishops denied that the Christian refugees were leaving the camps to safely return to their homes. Most, they reported, are moving to relief camps in other areas such as in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jhanla, Berhampur, or have moved into rented houses, homes of relatives, friends or acquaintances.

“It is estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 Christians of Kandhamal district are living outside the district,” the bishops wrote in the letter to the minister. the rest