Saturday, February 21, 2009

Devotional: Christ, Whose glory fills the skies...

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by Thee;
Joyless is the day’s return
Till Thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.
...Charles Wes­ley image

First They Came for the Baptists

February 21st, 2009
by Mary Kochan

Don’t let on that I’m the one who told you, but guess what? Freedom of speech is under serious assault in this country and I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I think the situation has gotten serious enough that the bishops should start raising a fuss about it.

Case in point is that of the African-American Baptist minister, Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California, who was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,130 for “unlawfully approaching a person entering an abortion facility” in Oakland, California. Except that he didn’t. He didn’t do what he was charged with and the proof that he didn’t is found on a secret videotape made of his protest — his lawful picketing of the abortion clinic with a sign that said: “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.” What happened instead is that clinic escorts used large pieces of blank cardboard to cover up his sign and hollered over him so women approaching the clinic could not hear him gently ask, “May I talk to you about alternatives to abortion?”

A video showing the actions of Rev. Hoye and the clinic workers, along with an account of his kangaroo court of a trial is available on the website of the Life Legal Defense Foundation which is providing counsel for Rev. Hoya and will appeal his conviction. the rest


Pope warns on new eugenics based on beauty

Sat Feb 21, 2009

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Saturday there were worrying signs of a new type of eugenics based on perfection and physical beauty.

"Certainly, the eugenistic and racial ideologies that in the past humiliated man and provoked immense suffering are not being proposed again, but a new mentality is creeping in that tends to justify a different consideration of life and personal dignity," the pope said in a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life.

"So it tends to privilege the capacity to operate, efficiency, perfection and physical beauty at the expense of other types of existence considered unworthy." the rest

Steven Crowder: Abortion is SUPER FUN!!

Obama beats out Jesus as America's hero

February 19, 2009

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Americans named President Obama as their No. 1 hero, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, in a new Harris poll.

Others in the top 10, in descending order, were Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa. the rest image

Lutherans weigh making gay clergy a local decision

posted February 21,2009

The nation's largest Lutheran denomination will consider allowing individual congregations to choose whether to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy, an attempt to avoid the sort of infighting that has threatened to tear other churches apart.

A task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommended that course Thursday in a long-awaited report on ministry standards. The panel, however, said the church needs to clarify a number of questions before overhauling its gay clergy policy.

The report, issued at the same time as a broader church social statement on human sexuality, seeks balance on an issue dividing many Protestant churches. Both documents will be considered in August in Minneapolis at the biannual convention of the 4.7-million member denomination. the rest

In vitro industry out of control

By David Gushee
Thursday, 19 February 2009

(ABP) -- In January, a California woman named Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets through in vitro fertilization. These eight babies were added to six others that Suleman had also conceived through in vitro procedures.

Nadya Suleman is an extreme example of a growing trend. The reproductive-technology industry is booming, with over 130,000 procedures and 50,000 births a year, up from around 65,000 procedures and just below 20,000 births a little over a decade ago. Almost 90 percent of in vitro procedures involve transferring more than one embryo; nearly a third of in vitro live births involve multiple children; 2 percent of them involve triplets or more. And these multiple births often come with health consequences such as the need for long-term care due to low birth weights and various disabilities. Sometimes these long-term expenses are paid by the taxpayer.

Demand for in vitro and other reproductive technologies is driven from a number of directions. Infertility rates among couples seeking children now stand at over 10%, due to social and environmental factors. Single and divorced women, and some men, also have turned to the industry in search of the children they cannot have any other way. The breakdown of marriage has produced more and more people in such situations.

The reproductive-technology industry is almost entirely unregulated. the rest

Mr. President, Keep the Airwaves Free

As a former law professor, surely you understand the Bill of Rights.
FEBRUARY 20, 2009

Dear President Obama:

I have a straightforward question, which I hope you will answer in a straightforward way: Is it your intention to censor talk radio through a variety of contrivances, such as "local content," "diversity of ownership," and "public interest" rules -- all of which are designed to appeal to populist sentiments but, as you know, are the death knell of talk radio and the AM band?

You have singled me out directly, admonishing members of Congress not to listen to my show. Bill Clinton has since chimed in, complaining about the lack of balance on radio. And a number of members of your party, in and out of Congress, are forming a chorus of advocates for government control over radio content. This is both chilling and ominous.

As a former president of the Harvard Law Review and a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, you are more familiar than most with the purpose of the Bill of Rights: to protect the citizen from the possible excesses of the federal government. The First Amendment says, in part, that "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." The government is explicitly prohibited from playing a role in refereeing among those who speak or seek to speak. We are, after all, dealing with political speech -- which, as the Framers understood, cannot be left to the government to police. the rest

Saving Humanity, One Chip at a Time?

Posted by Ryan Sayre Patrico
February 20, 2009

At the Global Spiral, philosophy professor Mark Walker argues that transhumanism is civilization’s best bet for survival:

Transhumanism is the thesis that we can and ought to use technology to alter and improve human biology. Some likely targets for the technological makeover of human nature include making ourselves smarter, happier, longer-lived and more virtuous. The operative assumption here of course is that intelligence, moods, longevity and virtues each have deep roots in our biology. By altering biology transhumanists propose to improve human nature to the point of creating a new genus: such as posthumans. Notice that transhumanism encompasses a moral thesis. Transhumanism does not say that we will create posthumans, rather, it makes a moral claim: we ought to create posthumans. The hint of an argument based on the accrual of moral benefits is perhaps obvious from what has been said: to the extent that we value the development of intellectual, emotional and moral virtue, becoming posthuman is imperative. I won’t pursue this line of argument here directly. Rather, I want to explore the objection that transhumanism is an ill-advised experiment because it puts us at unnecessary risk. My reply will be that creating posthumans is our best bet for avoiding harm. In a nutshell, the argument is that even though creating posthumans may be a very dangerous social experiment, it is even more dangerous not to attempt it: technological advances mean that there is a high probability that a human-only future will end in extinction.

Apparently, the only way to save humanity is to get rid of it ourselves. First Things image

The Politics of Porn

by Robert R. Reilly

In many major American cities, the tawdry sections of town that once housed pornographic cinemas, bookstores, and strip joints have given way to shiny new office buildings and Starbucks coffee houses. Does this sign of urban renewal also signify moral renewal? Has America finally grown bored with a surfeit of pornography? Unfortunately not. Pornography has simply relocated from inner city slums to a far worse location -- the home, which it now infiltrates via the latest technology.

U.S. News and World Report (Feb. 10, 1997) revealed just how deeply mired this country is in explicit depictions of sexual depravity; it is a sign of the times that the cover article on pornography was carried in the "Business and Technology" section. The story states that hardcore pornography is now an $8 billion industry. A more recent Time magazine article (Sept. 7, 1998), "Porn Goes Mainstream," also in the "Business" section, estimates $10 billion in revenues. In either case, hardcore porn out-grosses all of Hollywood's domestic box office receipts and rakes in more cash than the rock and country music businesses combined. In 1996, 665 million hard core videos were rented -- over two for every man, woman, and child in America. Explicit sex has become part of the bottom line for video stores, long-distance carriers like AT&T, cable companies like Time Warner and Tele-Communications, Inc., and hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt, and Holiday Inn. In addition, there are an estimated 100,000 pornographic World Wide Web sites on the Internet, offering millions of hardcore pornographic images, some of them "interactive." Pornography is now mainstream. How did this happen?

the rest-Excellent!
(This is one of the best articles I have ever read on the issue and effects of pornography-take time to read the comments too-PD)

GodTube hopes switch to Tangle will broaden appeal

by Elena Garcia, Christian Post
Saturday, February 21, 2009

A screenshot of taken by The Christian Post on February 20, 2009.(Christian Post)
Christian video and social networking site has changed its name and purpose.

The popular website is now called and is no longer catering only towards Christians, the Dallas Morning News reports.'s new aim is to be a "family-friendly" social networking site, according to CEO Jason Illian, who replaced GodTube's first CEO Chris Wyatt last year.

"We think that's a pretty big space that nobody's really playing in," Illian told the Dallas Morning News. the rest

Abortions Need More Funding Than Medical Surgeries Oregon Health Plan Says

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 19, 2009

Salem, OR ( -- A new analysis finds that the Oregon Health Plan is perhaps the first government-run health care plan in the world to draw up official procedures for rationing. The plan ranks various surgeries and diseases and conditions in order of importance and places abortion high on the list.

Linda Gorman, a senior fellow with the Independence Institute, produced the analysis, which comes on the heels of concerns about similar rationing in the Congressional economic stimulus bill. the rest

7 States Seek Personhood Rights for Pre-Born

Friday, February 20, 2009

Devotional: The humblest and the most unseen activity in the world...

The humblest and the most unseen activity in the world can be the true worship of God. Work and worship literally become one. Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever; and man carries out that function when he does what God sent him into the world to do. Work well done rises like a hymn of praise to God. This means that the doctor on his rounds, the scientist in his laboratory, the teacher in his classroom, the musician at his music, the artist at his canvas, the shop assistant at his counter, the typist at her typewriter, the housewife in her kitchen -- all who are doing the work of the world as it should be done are joining in a great act of worship. ...William Barclay image

Bishop Doyle Assumes Most Duties in Texas

February 20, 2009

The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of Texas, unexpectedly announced that he is handing over the day-to-day operation of the diocese to his successor, the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle, Bishop Coadjutor. Bishop Wimberly’s announcement came during his address to the annual council meeting held Feb. 13-14 in Houston. The changes became effective immediately following the adjournment of council.

Previously Bishop Wimberly had intended to transfer most day-to-day responsibilities to Bishop Doyle as part of his official retirement date, which remains June 6. The earlier-than-expected transition was prompted by Bishop Wimberly’s hospitalization in January. During the time that Bishop Wimberly was hospitalized, his visitation schedule was changed and Bishop Doyle assumed many of the day-to-day episcopal responsibilities for the diocese. After his return, Bishop Wimberly felt it did not make sense to change the visitation schedule again or to transfer the responsibilities back for just a few months.

“This time has proven to me that [Andy] is ready and we as a diocese are ready to move forward,” Bishop Wimberly said, adding “I will work with him as he takes on these new roles; such a partnership is natural for us.” the rest

Liz Peek: Stock Market Gives Obama’s First Month An 'F'

posted February 20, 2009

Today marks the one-month anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration. In his brief time in office, the president has overseen three massive new spending initiatives — the $787 billion stimulus bill, the trillion-dollar financial stability initiative and, most recently, the $275 billion mortgage assistance program.

That’s a lot of activity, and a ton of money, but so far the reaction to the new administration’s programs has been decidedly negative. Investors, among others, have panned the plans; the stock market is off nearly 10% from the day before the inauguration, or more than 800 points on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Yesterday, in fact, we crossed a truly alarming divide. The Dow Jones average closed at its lowest point since October 2002, the bottom of the last bear market. The S&P 500 fell to 779, barely above the intra-day low of 741 of last November. For many market analysts, if the market crashes through that recent benchmark, it will next move significantly lower. Ouch. the rest

Charles Krauthammer : The Biden Prophecy

Michelle Malkin : Rebel Yell: Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

Preteen pro-life speech goes viral

Pete Chagnon

The mother of a 12-year-old girl whose pro-life speech has become a hit YouTube video says her daughter's passion for the unborn is genuine.

Lia is a preteen from Canada who decided to speak out against abortion in her school's speech contest, despite teachers and school officials who encouraged her to pick a different topic.

"What if I told you that right now someone was choosing if you were going to live or die? What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you had done in the past, or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you [that] you could nothing about it? Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation," she says in her speech.

Kimberly, Lia's mother, says Lia was told by school officials that if she chose the topic of abortion, she would not be allowed to participate in the speech contest. But both were surprised when Lia's pro-choice teacher had a change of heart. the rest

Anglicans: Dispute bigger than our buildings

For the North County Times
Friday, February 20, 2009

As legal battles over property rights and organizational authority play out between the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and two breakaway churches in North County, leaders of those two congregations insist the real conflict is over core religious beliefs.

The California Supreme Court recently issued two decisions with implications for St. Anne's in Oceanside and St. John's in Fallbrook, both of which seceded from the Episcopal Church and joined foreign dioceses within the global Anglican Communion three years ago.

A Jan. 5 court ruling in favor of the national Episcopal church in its legal battle against three Los Angeles and Orange County breakaway congregations attempting to keep their properties is being cited by the San Diego diocese as strengthening its case against St. Anne's and St. John's. The two North County churches continue to meet in their existing buildings as Anglican congregations ---- with the San Diego diocese suing to regain control of those properties. the rest

A.S. Haley: Anti-Anglicanism Is Anti-Episcopalianism, or, Liberal Logic Strikes Out Again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The regard for the Anglican Communion is declining on both sides of the Atlantic. Increasingly since 2003, liberals over here have pushed for actions that undermine and weaken it, while in England, the liberals are about to take action which will force out the Anglo-Catholics, much as they have been forced out of ECUSA. Conservatives on both sides of the ocean, meanwhile, are very unhappy about the Archbishop of Canterbury's fierce determination to "inhabit the uncomfortable world of compromise, even if this suggests the possibility of betraying one's deepest convictions."

So perhaps it should not be considered remarkable that one more anti-Anglican screed has been posted on a liberal blog. Still, I thought I would take note of it, if only to call attention to how different are the condemnations of things Anglican that come from the left, as opposed to those that come from the right. the rest

The Program-Driven Church

R. Scott Clark

One link led to another and I happened recently upon the website of a large NAPARC congregation. As I often do I looked to see who the pastor was. That link led me to a list of “pastoral staff” who coordinate a breathtaking number of programs.

My first reaction was to blame the senior minister and elders. “How could they facilitate this incredible tangle of programs? Where is the gospel? Where are the sacraments? Where is discipline in the life of the church?”

Then it occurred to me that this welter of programs probably was not invented wholly by the minister and elders. To be sure, it often happens as the “staff” grows the number of programs tends to grow. People have to justify their existence and the bureaucratic imperative kicks in. “What is this person doing? Why are we paying them?” “Oh well, they’ve just come up with this exciting new idea that will really bring _____ (fill in the blank) back to church.” the rest

Peggy Noonan: Remembering the Dawn of the Age of Abundance

February 20, 2009

All of this hunkering down has stopped the great churning, the buying, selling and buying that was at the heart of our prosperity. In private equity firms, the churning was life. They bought a company, removed the fat, sold it at a profit, and bought another one. They kept moving. That's over. No one is buying now, and no one can sell.

Perhaps the biggest factor behind the new pessimism is the knowledge that the crisis is not only economic but political, that we'll have to change both cultures, economic and political, to turn the mess around. That's a tall order, and won't happen quickly. One thing for sure: Our political leaders for at least a decade, really more, have by and large been men and women who had fortunate lives, who always seemed to expect nice things to happen and happiness to occur. And so they could overspend, overcommit and overextend the military, and it would all turn out fine. They claimed to be quintessentially optimistic, but it was a cheap optimism, based more on sunny personal experience than any particular faith, and void of an understanding of how dark and gritty life can be, and has been for most of human history.

I end with a hunch that is not an unhappy one. Dynamism has been leached from our system for now, but not from the human brain or heart. Just as our political regeneration will happen locally, in counties and states that learn how to control themselves and demonstrate how to govern effectively in a time of limits, so will our economic regeneration. That will begin in someone's garage, somebody's kitchen, as it did in the case of Messrs. Jobs and Wozniak. The comeback will be from the ground up and will start with innovation. No one trusts big anymore. In the future everything will be local. That's where the magic will be. And no amount of pessimism will stop it once it starts.

Experts Warn of 'Terminator'-Style Military-Robot Rebellion

Friday, February 20, 2009

Autonomous military robots that will fight future wars must be programmed to live by a strict warrior code, or the world risks untold atrocities at their steely hands.

The stark warning — which includes discussion of a "Terminator"-style scenario in which robots turn on their human masters — is part of a hefty report funded by and prepared for the U.S. Navy's high-tech and secretive Office of Naval Research.

The report, the first serious work of its kind on military robot ethics, envisages a fast-approaching era where robots are smart enough to make battlefield decisions that are at present the preserve of humans. the rest

Group counters stimulus with Jesus in TV ad


After watching liberal allies of President Barack Obama flood the airwaves in support of the stimulus bill, a conservative third-party group is countering with a provocative new commercial using Jesus Christ to emphasize the scale of the $787 billion package.

The American Issues Project, which briefly aired a TV spot in last year's presidential race, will go up on Friday with a TV spot that marks the dollars spent with the passage of time.

“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born — and kept spending through today,” says the announcer as an image of the three wise men flashes on the screen. “A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.” the rest

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Devotional: Prayer is always the preface to blessing...

Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing's shadow. When the sunlight of God's mercies rises upon our necessities, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain. Or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly. ...CH Spurgeon image

Quincy Plans Reorganizing Synod; Consulting Bishop Named

February 19, 2009

The Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore has agreed to serve as consulting bishop to the reorganizing Episcopal Diocese of Quincy in the period prior to a special synod at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Peoria, Ill., on April 4.

The reorganizing synod became necessary after a majority of clergy and lay delegates voted last November to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church. The Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, resigned Nov. 1, six days before the synod convened

Plans call for Bishop Whitmore to be in the diocese on a number of occasions during the next two months to provide pastoral attention. He plans to lead a clergy event on March 4. the rest

OKC officer pulls man over for anti-Obama sign on vehicle

By McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
February 19, 2009

An Oklahoma City police officer wrongly pulled over a man last week and confiscated an anti-President Barack Obama sign the man had on his vehicle.

The officer misinterpreted the sign as threatening, said Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and took the sign, which read "Abort Obama, not the unborn."

Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police car followed him for several miles and then signaled for him to pull over.

''I pulled over, knowing I hadn't done anything wrong," Harrison said in a recent phone interview. the rest

Diocese of South Dakota: Reservation ministry continues without diocese's OK

Episcopal churches slated to be closed.
By Mary Garrigan, Journal staff
Thursday, February 19, 2009

When the Rev. Charles Montileaux showed up at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Kyle on Feb. 8 to conduct Holy Eucharist services, he found the electricity turned off and the altar stripped of its communion chalice, candlesticks and gold cross.

St. Barnabas is one of nine small reservation churches that the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota officially closed late last year because of falling attendance and lack of money. But like other parishes on the list, St. Barnabas continues to hold intermittent services in defiance of that diocesan order. And like Christ Church at Red Shirt Table and Inestimable Gift Church in Allen, St. Barnabas paid its electric bill, Montileaux said. Neither Christ Church nor Inestimable Gift has had its electricity shut off, but spokesmen at both say they worry it will be, despite their willingness and ability to pay the bills.
the rest

Milwaukee Diocese Awaits Response from Breakaway Congregation

February 18, 2009

The Diocese of Milwaukee filed suit Feb. 16 against the leadership and congregation of St. Edmund’s Anglican Church in Elm Grove, Wis. Among the requests in the seven-count complaint is a permanent injunction ordering defendants to relinquish control of the real and personal parish property to the diocese as well as fees and costs.

The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller, Bishop of Milwaukee, is currently on sabbatical, but he provided a written statement when The Living Church contacted the diocesan office.

“We are saddened to take this action and it has not been taken lightly,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved. But under our canon law, all parish property ultimately belongs to the diocese, and we have to enforce that law for the unity and well-being of the Church.” the rest

Another possible Alzheimer's culprit found

Bernadette Tansey, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Researchers at biotechnology giant Genentech and the Salk Institute have discovered a new mechanism of nerve-cell death that might play a role in Alzheimer's disease, opening the door to a fresh array of possible tactics to battle the devastating neurodegenerative illness.

A protein long suspected as the culprit behind the brain disorder might actually release not just one, but two components that can cause nerve cells to self-destruct. In theory, the breakdown of the protein, called APP for short, could unleash a double whammy of harmful effects on nerve cells. the rest

Prayer bill roils Virginia General Assembly

What Would Jefferson Do?
By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 19, 2009

RICHMOND, Feb. 18 -- As a former Virginia state trooper who has visited horrific crime scenes and notified families of the death of a loved one, Charles W. Carrico Sr. learned the value of prayer and turned to it many times, he says.

So Carrico, who now represents Grayson County as a member of the House of Delegates, said he felt he had to act after Virginia State Police chaplains were ordered last summer to give only generic prayers at public events, a ruling several interpreted as a ban on uttering "Jesus." Rather than comply, six of the agency's 17 chaplains resigned. Carrico wrote a bill to address their stance.

"As a Christian, I must pray to Jesus Christ," Carrico said. "I'm being told not to. Why should I even pray?" the rest

Forced conversions continue in Orissa

Thursday, 19th February 2009
By Judy West

In the wake of anti-Christian violence in Orissa state last year, hard-line Hindus in Kandhamal district have forced nearly half of 40 Christian families in one village to convert under threat of death, area Christians said.

According to Compass News Direct, Bareka village resident Goliath Digal, 58, said that the Hindu hardliners have taken 18 Roman Catholic families to a Hindu temple and performed Hindu rituals on them, forcing them to sign statements that they had converted of their own will.

“During the riots, all our belongings had been taken away and we were left with nothing,” Digal said. “Now they are threatening to murder us if we do not become Hindus.” the rest

National Pro-Life Group Tells Obama before Canadian Visit: Stop the Black Genocide by Abortion

Wednesday February 18, 2009

OTTAWA, ON, February 18, 2009 ( - President Barack Obama is preparing to travel to Canada tomorrow, for his first visit with the leader of a foreign country.

In the lead-up to his visit, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the political arm of Canada's pro-life movement, has called on US President Barack Obama not to preside over the greatest slaughter of African Americans in history via abortion. CLC President Jim Hughes noted that Obama, "the first black President" has a unique opportunity to "help save the lives of 4000 African American babies who die by abortion every day in the United States."

"Every day Mr. President, people with your ethnic background die in astounding numbers," said Mr. Hughes. "Abortion is the number one killer of African Americans in the U.S." the rest

Equality for Some: Obama's support for abortion on demand undercuts his vision for America.

'Most Faithful' Catholic Colleges also Most Affordable

Newman Guide Profiles of Catholic Colleges Now Online

Feb. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- A new independent report on college costs published by The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education--the research division of The Cardinal Newman Society--reveals that some of the most faithful Catholic colleges and universities in the United States also offer students significant cost savings.

The Center commissioned this report in response to the economic recession as a way of helping parents and students as they consider various options for colleges. The study compares the faithfully Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look for and Where to Find with other Catholic colleges and other private colleges on issues such as tuition, institutional aid, student debt and overall affordability. the rest

The study is available online at

Only 3 Percent of Teens See Clergy as Role Models

By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Feb. 18 2009

Out of 100 American teens, only three are likely to say they see members of the clergy as role models, according to a survey on teens and ethical decision making.

Scarcely any teens (those under age 18) view their pastors, priests, rabbis or imams as role models. Instead, many reported seeing their parents as role models (54 percent), the survey conducted by Junior Achievement and Deloitte showed.

Friends (13 percent), teachers or coaches (6 percent), and siblings (5 percent) also beat out clergies as role model figures.

Just slightly more than one in ten (11 percent) say they don’t have any role models.

But the poll’s major finding is that although the overwhelming majority of teens (80 percent) believe they are ethically prepared to make moral business decisions, nearly 40 percent believe they need to “break the rules” in order to succeed. the rest

North Dakota Personhood Bill Passes, First in US History

BISMARK, ND, Feb 18 /Standard Newswire/ -- Signaling the growing momentum of the personhood movement, North Dakota lawmakers approved HB 1572 with a vote of 51-41.

Rep. Dan Ruby introduced the "Personhood" bill, which affirms the rights of pre-born humans and states: "For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens."

Thousands of calls to legislators were made by pro-life grassroots volunteers who helped with this victory. Only one representative voiced opposition to the bill during the debate of the bill, while overwhelming public support was seen. the rest

ND Measure Says Fertilized Egg Has Human Rights

Oklahoma bans sex selection abortions

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Devotional: When the Spirit of God comes...

"Arise and eat." 1 Kings 19:5

The angel did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable; he told Elijah to do the most ordinary thing, viz., to get up and eat. If we were never depressed we should not be alive; it is the nature of a crystal never to be depressed. A human being is capable of depression, otherwise there would be no capacity for exaltation. There are things that are calculated to depress, things that are of the nature of death; and in taking an estimate of yourself, always take into account the capacity for depression.

When the Spirit of God comes He does not give us visions, He tells us to do the most ordinary things conceivable. Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God's creation, but whenever God comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural simple thing - the things we would never have imagined God was in, and as we do them we find He is there. The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression; we have to do the next thing and do it in the inspiration of God. If we do a thing in order to overcome depression, we deepen the depression; but if the Spirit of God makes us feel intuitively that we must do the thing, and we do it, the depression is gone. Immediately we arise and obey, we enter on a higher plane of life. ...Oswald Chambers

Church leader fires back at Episcopal diocese

St. Edmund’s spokesman says parishioners followed laws in split
By Caley Clinton Freeman Staff

ELM GROVE – Citing the Episcopal Church’s “decision to move to the extreme left of Christianity” as a primary concern, St. Edmund’s Anglican Church member and spokesman Dr. Samuel Scheibler said Tuesday the Elm Grove congregation followed state laws and canons of the church in proceeding to break off from the Episcopal church in December.

The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee sued several members of the church Monday, arguing they must return all property and control of St. Edmund’s parish after leaving to join a more conservative faith.

But Scheibler said the church had its title company, Chicago Title, conduct a title search, and the company found that the church and its property belong to St. Edmund’s.

“It’s not about the building, it’s about our faith,” Scheibler said. “The sweat equity (we’ve put into the church) does not belong to the diocese. We’ve worked hard to improve the property over the years.”

The church property at 14625 Watertown Plank Road includes a cemetery where several parishioners’ loved ones are buried, he said. In addition, an Elm Grove preschool rents the church building, and if St. Edmund’s is forced out, it will be “devastating” to the preschool, Scheibler said.

Two thirds of the church’s 84 parishioners turned out for the December vote on whether or not St. Edmund’s should split from the Episcopal Church and it was unanimous among those present to leave, he said. The church held a series of discussions on the matter prior to the decision, all of which were in strict accordance with state laws and canons of the Episcopal Church, Scheibler said. the rest

Eluana’s Last Hours – Temperature Rises, Then Heart Stops

RAI journalist says: “On Sunday, I went into her room. The impact was devastating. She was unrecognisable”

UDINE – “Monday afternoon, temperature rises. Mucous membranes dry. Nurses spray lips with water droplets”. A few hours later, she was dead. Eluana Englaro’s final hours are described in the “distress log” that for the last few days was part of her medical record. The file was opened in Lecco and closed at Udine, enclosing 17 years of vegetative state in a sheaf of papers, and the documents were with Eluana in the ambulance that brought her to Udine on her final journey. Eluana’s arrival time is recorded as 5.55 a.m. on 2 February. The medical record contains the discharge signed by her father Beppino, the clinical profile compiled by her neurologist, Carlo Alberto Defanti and the medical protocol signed by lawyers, doctors and nurses. This is the final phase of Eluana’s existence, all that is left of a life that was shattered against a lamppost to be patched together again in intensive care and eked out for 17 long years. The sisters must have looked after her like a daughter. It doesn’t say so in the file but it was clear from Eluana’s condition when she arrived at the La Quiete geriatric clinic.

the rest

More Proof That Assisted Suicide Activists Will Seek to Force Doctors to Participate

Univ. of Georgia Offends Christians

Feb. 18 /Standard Newswire/ -- As part of its Sexual Responsibility program, the University of Georgia has placed a poster in the dorms that misappropriates Christian iconography to promote condom distribution.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue sent the following letter today to Dr. Rodney D. Bennett, Vice President for Student Affairs:

"This letter is in response to a complaint that has come to my attention from a Catholic student on your campus. It concerns an offensive poster that has been placed in the dorms at the University of Georgia. As you can see from the enclosed, the famous Michelangelo painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling that features the hand of God giving life to Adam has been hijacked to promote condoms. the rest

To view the poster, click here.

Jindal Signals Louisiana May Not Take Stimulus Money

February 17, 2009
Posted by Brian Montopoli

(CBS)Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, has suggested his state may not be interested in all of the roughly $4 billion allotted to it in the economic stimulus package to be signed by President Obama today.

"We'll have to review each program, each new dollar to make sure that we understand what are the conditions, what are the strings and see whether it's beneficial for Louisiana to use those dollars," Jindal said, according to CBS affiliate WWLTV.

Jindal is scheduled to give the response to the president’s not-exactly-a-state-of-the-union address next Tuesday. the rest image

India: Church Council Says No To Women Bishops

Kottayam Feb 18, 2009

The recent move by the Church of England to allow ordination of women as bishops has caused ripples among traditionalists in the Indian church especially in this region, the seat of Syrian Christianity, with top religious leaders opposing it tooth and nail, asserting that episcopacy was not the job of the fair sex.

As the historic decision of the Anglican Church, the most influential Protestant congregation, created a vertical split in the Anglican communion in Britain and rest of the world, top church leaders here lost no time in denouncing the move.

"It is not a question of faith but tradition. Christianity extends all considerations to women.

Women are not inferior as they are equal before God," Council of Christian Churches of India (CCCI) President Arch Bishop Stephen Vattappara told PTI."Equality does not mean that mother becomes a father as both have distinct features and functions and should be maintained as such," he said here. the rest

Former President of American Muslim Brotherhood group enters race for Virginia Congressional seat

February 18, 2009

The Muslim Brotherhood "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." -- "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America," by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991.

What does that have to do with Esam Omeish? Everything. He was President of the Muslim American Society. And what is the Muslim American Society? The Muslim Brotherhood.

"In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation's major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members." -- Chicago Tribune, 2004. the rest

Man Wakes From Coma Just Before Plug Is Pulled

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A California man, who spent four days in a coma and was about to be disconnected from life support, is now on his way to making a full recovery.

Mike Connelly’s family had just given doctors permission to turn off the machines keeping him alive when his stepson noticed a tear slide down the side of his face, the North Coast Times reported.

Moments later, another family member was shouting that the 56-year-old was responding.

"He said Mike was responding," the stepson told the newspaper. "I didn't believe him, but I went back in there, and it was true. You would say his name, and he would turn his head toward you. It was a miracle." the rest

Are Obama's Policies Ushering in Era of Socialism?

Numbers show the U.S. is drifting ever closer to the socialist systems popular within the European Union.
By Shannon Bream
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

With taxpayers shelling out $700 billion to bail out Wall Street and another $787 billion to jolt the sputtering economy, serious questions are being raised about whether all the government intervention is taking the country down the path to socialism.

Numbers show the U.S. is drifting ever closer to the socialist systems popular within the European Union. In 1999, government spending made up 34.3 percent of gross domestic product, or GDP, the broadest barometer used to measure the health of the economy. That number is projected to grow to nearly 40 percent by next year.

Government spending within the majority of European Union nations averages 47.1 percent of the GDP, meaning the U.S. is roughly seven points behind -- closer than ever before.
But whether that equates to socialism here depends on whom you ask. the rest

Grand pledges in Obama’s campaign led to stumbles

St. Obama candle lights Catholic protest

Obama's Enemies List

Malkin: Obama’s housing entitlement campaign & ACORN’s civil disobedience mob

Groundwork Laid for Obama’s Civilian Army?
Just after the election, it was reported by many in the blogsophere, including here at AOR, that Obama was planning to establish a domestic civilian defense force. Some are now suggesting that the groundwork for this civilian army has been laid in a new directive (PDF) issued by the Department of Defense on January 23 (three days after Obama’s Inauguration), replacing a previous directive (PDF) from 1992 regarding use of civilian personnel.

Team finds that abortions, sterilizations are official policy in China

Flap over China's 1-child policy stirs: Population fund's foes warn of coercion
Matthew Purple
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The local UNFPA official operated out of the Office of Family Planning in Sihui, the investigators said.

"It is inconceivable that the U.N. population official who worked in the same office did not know what was going on," Mr. Mosher said.

Other investigations, however, have come to different conclusions.

The State Department sent three ambassadors to China in 2002 to investigate whether forced abortions and sterilizations had occurred.

The team's findings contradicted those of PRI. The ambassadors reported that the Chinese government used coercive population control, but said they found no evidence that the UNFPA had any involvement. A British investigation produced the same result. the rest

Pelosi Refuses to Change Her Position on Abortion After Meeting with Archbishop Niederauer

By James Todd

The Archbishop of San Francisco met with Speaker Pelosi on Sunday, February 8 to discuss her views on abortion. February 18, 2009 - As U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is preparing to meet with Pope Benedict today there is some breaking news about her relationship with the Catholic Church.

Last August, Pelosi appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and did not tell the truth about Church teaching with regard to abortion. She said it was an open question and there was no definitive teaching. The next day, in a written statement, she backed off that position after a howl of protests went up from laity as well as Catholic bishops. the rest

God and the workplace must reconnect, says Sentamu

by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Archbishop of York said today that there should be no separation between the life of faith and the workplace.

Speaking at the launch of the new God at Work course at Holy Trinity Brompton, Dr John Sentamu said there was a “desperate need” to reconnect faith in God with the workplace.

“All of life is religious and there is a desperate need to reconnect the sacred and the secular. There is no more urgent time than now to break down the compartmentalised thinking that separates trust in God from the world of work,” he said.

He called for greater recognition of the good work Christians are doing in the world. the rest

Diocese's Health a Priority for New Southern Virginia Bishop

February 17, 2009

The Feb. 13 consecration and ordination of the Rev. Herman “Holly” Hollerith IV as Bishop of Southern Virginia included a link to the beginning of the Episcopal Church’s succession of bishops. The Most Rev. Bruce Cameron, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney and the retired Primus of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, served as one of the consecrating bishops and also delivered the sermon.

Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of the American line, was consecrated Bishop of Connecticut by Bishop Cameron’s predecessor in 1784. The Diocese of Southern Virginia includes the Jamestown Colony, the location of the first Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere. the rest

Archbishop Rowan Williams: The Velvet Reformation

Profile March 2009 Atlantic
by Paul Elie

The place of gay people in the church is one of the bitterest disputes in Christianity since the Reformation. The Anglican Church is trying to have it both ways—affirming traditional notions of marriage and family while seeking to adapt its teachings to the experiences of gays and lesbians. Presiding over the debate, gently—too gently?—prodding the communion toward acceptance of gay clergy, is Rowan Williams, the brilliant and beleaguered archbishop of Canterbury. He’s been pilloried from all sides for his handling of these issues, but his distinctive theology and leadership style may offer the only way to open the Anglican Church to gay people without breaking it apart.


Firefighters forced to participate in ‘Gay Pride Parade’ win heated legal battle

ADF-allied attorney receives favorable verdict on harassment charge against city of San Diego on behalf of firefighters
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

SAN DIEGO — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney representing four San Diego firefighters received a favorable jury verdict Tuesday in a lawsuit against the city. The San Diego Fire Department disregarded the firefighters’ objections to taking part in the city’s “Gay Pride Parade” celebrating homosexual behavior and retaliated against them for later complaining about the harassment they endured during the event.

“Government employees should never be forced to participate in events or acts that violate their sincerely held beliefs,” said ADF-allied attorney Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Regional Director of the Thomas More Law Center. “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict recognizing the firefighters’ right to abstain from activities that they consider morally offensive and that subject them to harassment.”

After being forced to participate--despite numerous objections--in San Diego’s 2007 “Gay Pride Parade,” four firefighters from the SDFD were sexually harassed through lewd cat calls and obscene gestures at the event, which was replete with sexual displays and graphic images. The firefighters then suffered harassment and retaliation after complaining to superiors about the parade. The city was well aware of the firefighters’ objection to participating in the parade because of its lascivious nature exhibited in past years, including unwanted sexual comments and gestures from participants and spectators. the rest

Report: Fetal stem cells trigger tumors in ill boy

Report: Fetal stem cells trigger tumors in ill boy
posted february 18, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells — injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported Tuesday.

Scientists are furiously trying to harness different types of stem cells — the building blocks for other cells in the body — to regrow damaged tissues and thus treat devastating diseases. But for all the promise, researchers have long warned that they must learn to control newly injected stem cells so they don't grow where they shouldn't, and small studies in people are only just beginning.

Tuesday's report in the journal PLoS Medicine is the first documented case of a human brain tumor — albeit a benign, slow-growing one — after fetal stem cell therapy, and hammers home the need for careful research. The journal is published by the Public Library of Science. the rest

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Devotional: In adversity God gazes into and searches out each one...

In adversity God gazes into and searches out each one; He weighs the disposition of every individual in dangers, even to death at last; He investigates the will of man, certain that to Him nothing can perish. Therefore, as gold is refined by the fires, so are we declared by critical moments. ...Minucius Felix image

Archbishop of Canterbury's new Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs

February 17, 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is pleased to appoint the Revd Canon Joanna Udal to serve as the Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs, based at Lambeth Palace.

She said: "It's an exciting time to be involved as we try to build on the positive encounters of the Lambeth Conference and to rebuild mutual trust and recognition. We're challenged to keep uppermost that God's mission is for the world, as together we seek to be conformed to Christ in our identity and in our common life."

Since 2001, Canon Joanna has been serving in the Sudan as Assistant to the Archbishop of the Sudan, an appointment made jointly through the Church Mission Society and Lambeth Palace. In this work she has travelled widely in Sudan and internationally, supporting the Archbishop in his public ministry. the rest

Pope Benedict and the Archbishop of Canterbury

Tuesday, 17th February 2009
By Paul Richardson

Does Pope Benedict care about the impact he makes? The pontiff seems to have a gift for causing controversy. In 2006 he upset Muslims with his Regensberg address. The following year he aroused ill feelings in Latin America with comments about missionaries not imposing foreign culture on the continent’s indigenous people.

Jews have been incensed first by the return of the prayers for their conversion in the old Latin mass and then by the lifting of excommunication on the Holocaust denier, Richard Williamson. As if this wasn’t enough, the Williamson affair was quickly followed by appointment of a bishop who thinks hurricane Katrina was a punishment for vice. A number of explanations have been offered for the Pope’s actions. The American Catholic commentator, John Allen, blames the Vatican for not having a communications strategy. The lifting of the excommunication on the four traditionalist bishops had nothing to do with the Pope’s policy towards Jews but if the Vatican communications office had been on the ball it would have seen trouble ahead and called a press conference to explain what was going on.
the rest

Amnesty International Demands that Mexico Force Doctors to Do Abortions

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
February 16, 2009

( - Amnesty International, a "human rights" organization that opposes the right to life of unborn children, is now demanding that Mexico force doctors to do abortions.

In simultaneous protests held last Friday in Mexico City and Madrid, Amnesty International and other pro-abortion organizations denounced the Mexican government for refusing to require physicians to perform abortions on rape victims and provide abortifacient "emergency contraception." the rest image

Pro-Abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Meet With Pope Benedict

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 16, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the top pro-abortion Catholics in elected office in the United States, will meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday during a week-long trip to Italy. The meeting will likely occur after the pope's weekly general audience.

Pelosi describes herself as an "ardent" Catholic but the San Francisco-based congresswoman has taken a consistent pro-abortion stance in defiance of Catholic pro-life teachings.

She has a long-time pro-abortion voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee, and has repeatedly voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions and against efforts to stop direct taxpayer funding of abortions. the rest

AAC: The Episcopal Church: Tearing the Fabric of Communion to Shreds

At the request of the Archbishop of Nigeria the American Anglican Council prepared a 42-page report on The Episcopal Church. The report was presented to various primates of the Anglican Communion at their recent meeting in Alexandria, Egypt.

The American Anglican Council's report on The Episcopal Church that was prepared for the Primates is available here.

How many Anglicans are there in the Anglican Church in North America?

On every Sunday morning, some 81,311 people worship at the 693 congregations of the Anglican Church in North America. These people and parishes are already outside of The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church in Canada. The large majority are temporarily under the oversight of six separate Anglican provinces.

The Anglican Church in North America will unify the parishes and membership of a number of jurisdictions:

• The Anglican Mission in the Americas (Rwanda) reports an average Sunday attendance of 21,600 in 180 congregations (40 of which are churches in formation called “networks”).

• The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (Nigeria) has 69 congregations with a average Sunday attendance of 9,828.

• The Reformed Episcopal Church has 150 parishes and an average Sunday attendance of 13,000.

• There are 51 parishes under the temporary oversight of Uganda with an average Sunday attendance of 7,000.

• There are 55 parishes in The United States under the temporary oversight of the provinces of Kenya and the Southern Cone with an average Sunday attendance of 10,000.

• Four entire dioceses separating from The Episcopal Church, with a combined 163 parishes and an average Sunday attendance of 16,483 (The Episcopal Church congregations and members having been excluded from this count) are temporarily dioceses of the province of the Southern Cone.

• The Anglican Network in Canada (Southern Cone) is composed of 24 congregations with an average Sunday attendance of 3,400.

• One congregation is under the temporary oversight of West Africa.

Based on a firm Sunday attendance average of 81,311 people, it is reasonable to very conservatively project that more than 100,000 Anglicans in North America are active members of a congregation of the proposed province (In many cases, total membership often runs at two to three times average Sunday attendance. For instance, The Episcopal Church reports an average Sunday attendance of 768,476 in 2007 and an active baptized membership of 2,116,749.)

While each individual group is small, as a united body, the Anglican Church in North America stretches from one end of North America to the other and has as many or more (in some cases, significantly more) members than 12 of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces (Bangladesh, Brazil, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Indian Ocean, Japan, Jerusalem & Middle East, Korea, Mexico, Myanmar, Scotland, Southern Cone, Wales)

Diocese of Fort Worth website-pdf

Milwaukee: Episcopal diocese sues Elm Grove church over split

By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 16, 2009

Waukesha - The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee filed a lawsuit Monday against St. Edmund's Church, an Elm Grove congregation that split from the Episcopal Church in December and claimed control of the church buildings and real estate.

The diocese contends that it is the rightful owner of the property and is asking a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge to order St. Edmund's, church leaders and others named in the lawsuit to relinquish control of the property.

Eleven people and the church are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

"We are saddened to take this action, and it has not been taken lightly," said Bishop Steven A. Miller in a statement issued by the diocese.

"It's an unfortunate situation for all involved. But under our canon law, all parish property ultimately belongs to the diocese, and we have to enforce that law for the unity and well-being of the Church." the rest

Monday, February 16, 2009

Devotional: Be not discouraged...

Be not discouraged because of your soul's enemies. Are ye troubled with thoughts, fears, doubts, imaginations, reasonings? Yea, do ye see, yet, much in you unsubdued to the power of life? Oh! Do not fear it; do not look at it, as to be discouraged by it; but look to Him! Look up to the power which is over all their strength; wait for the descendings of the power upon you; abide in faith of the Lord's help, and wait in patience till the Lord arise; and see if His arm do not scatter what yours could not.

So, be still before Him, and in stillness, believe in His name; yea, enter not into the hurryings of the enemy, though they fill the soul; for, there is yet somewhat to which they cannot enter, from whence patience, faith, and hope, will spring up in you, even in the midst of all they can do. ...Isaac Penington image

U.S. Muslim TV network founder charged with beheading wife

Mon Feb 16, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The founder of a U.S. Muslim television network has been arrested and charged with murdering his wife by beheading her, the network's Web site and local media reported.

Muzzammil Hassan, founder and CEO of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Bridges TV which launched in 2004 with a mission to show Muslims in a more positive light, was charged after reporting the death of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, on Thursday night.

After Hassan, 44, told police his wife was at the Bridges TV offices, in the village of Orchard Park, they found her body there, beheaded, The Buffalo News reported.

Authorities said Aasiya Hassan, with whom Hassan had two children, had recently filed for divorce and had an order of protection mandating that he leave their home as of February 6. the rest

Diocese of South Dakota cuts off Pine Ridge chapels' utilities

Monday, February 16, 200

I have received several reports that the Diocese of South Dakota has cut off power to several of the disputed Pine Ridge Mission Chapels, and is asserting its claims on the property to prevent the utility companies from accepting payment from any other parties.

In addition, the Diocesan directory page has already removed the disputed churches. Tribal Courts on the Pine Ridge had issued an injunction, temporarily preventing the diocese from "disposing of" the churches as the Bishop had announced.

While I am working to get more detail, I am starting to get the impression that South Dakota will follow the model employed by the dictatorial Bishop of Minnesota, who is closing churches (or at least not providing clergy support) in many communities while bulking up his cathedral. I detailed some of this in analysis last October.

the rest at Northern Plains Anglicans

Comments at Stand Firm

Rowan Williams: Agree to differ over women bishops

Mon Feb 16, 2009
By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters) - Church of England members who disagree on whether women bishops should be ordained must find a way to co-exist because neither group "will go away", the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said on Tuesday.

Some members may join another church, but many wanted to remain and the Anglican Church must find a way to accommodate them, he added.

Speaking at the General Synod meeting in London, the Church's spiritual head said traditionalists and liberals recognised they had to tackle the issue.

"We may have imperfect communion, but we unmistakeably want to find a way of holding on to what we have and 'intensifying' it," he said. the rest

Our Father

(Thanks Max!)

French heterosexual couples having 'gay civil partnerships'

Heterosexual couples in France are increasingly opting for "gay civil partnership ceremonies" rather than marriage to avoid the possibility of expensive divorces.
By Peter Allen in Paris
16 Feb 2009

Ninety per cent of "solidarity pacts" a year are now being made between people of the opposite sex, despite them being specifically designed for homosexuals, who are not formally allowed to marry in France.

The Civil Solidarity Pacts, or PACS according to their French language abbreviation, take just 15 minutes and can be performed by a court clerk.

Just as significantly, they can be ended with a single letter from either partner, without any claims on the other's money or property. the rest

Las Vegas Worries Its ‘Sin City’ Image Is Hurting Business Travel

Monday, February 16, 2009
By Oskar Garcia, Associated Press

Las Vegas (AP) - Sin City is worried that its well-honed style is crimping its business.

Born of carefully crafted slogans -- "What happens here stays here" -- and smiling, sequined showgirls, the image of a 24-hour adult Disneyland with free-flowing booze and casino chips is making the tourist destination seem radioactive to companies keen on not appearing frivolous as they seek government bailouts.

In the past two weeks, at least four major companies canceled meetings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars -- not because of costs but because of appearances. Even President Barack Obama questioned the propriety of flying off to Las Vegas if taxpayers were helping foot the bill. the rest

Anti-Semitism: 'New, virulent and lethal.'

Ruth Gledhill's blog
February 15, 2009

'Silence is not an option. The time has come not only to sound the alarm, but to act. For as history taught us only too well, while it may begin with Jews, it does not end with Jews.' These are the words of Irwin Cotler, a former Attorney General for Canada and counsel to Nelson Mandela, Natan Sharansky and many others. These words are not to be taken lightly. I've been granted an exclusive preview of the paper he is presenting at a conference in London this week that begins this evening.

We all know anti-Semitism's bad. Conferences have taken place time and time again to counter it, and it just continues. So what makes this event different? As the Jewish Chronicle reports, this is the first one ever that brings together senior Parliamentarian's from around the world, nearly 100 from 40 countries, people who will listen, and who have the power to go back to their own countries and make a difference. It's hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and an international parliamentary committee set up to fight this oldest of hatreds. How pernicious an evil it is can be understood in the context of just a few recent events. the rest

Two sides of church property dispute and fidelity to beliefs

By James D. Berkley, The Layman,
Posted Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lynn Moyer approached the property situation from the vantage point of an active congregational leader, and thus saw the situation in a far different light. “When these [property] determinations are made by others, a person must be willing to do battle just to speak out on faith,” she asserted. “Our battle cry is ‘Pharaoh, let my people go!’” Pharaoh, in Moyer’s situation, would be the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, which recently won a California Supreme Court case that awarded the denomination Moyer’s congregation’s property.

This legal turn of affairs shocked Moyer’s sense of simple fairness. “The funds were donated by and for the local members,” she argued. “They weren’t donated to the Diocese of Los Angeles.” And yet, now the Diocese of Los Angeles holds the upper hand and could throw the All Saints congregation out onto the street to start all over.

But didn’t the congregation choose to leave the diocese? Not according to Moyer. “The oath of office cuts both ways,” she reminded Miller. “We counted on the Episcopal Church to uphold the preamble of its constitution, which begins ‘upholding the historic faith and order.’ There have been over two thousand years of historic faith and order. Now the Episcopal Church has left us! It has departed from the historic faith and order of the Church of Jesus Christ. It has divided itself from the millions of Christians from around the world!”

Moyer delved into her history with the troubles in the Episcopal Church. “In 1993 I was a delegate to the local [diocesan] convention,” she recalled. “I read resolutions and bios of people running for election, and I was shocked. The statements were heretical.” Later Moyer presented a resolution that “Holy Scripture is the inerrant Word of God.” “It was hotly debated and defeated,” she recounted. Full story

Court frees Nigerian Christian jailed for blasphemy

by Scott Gilbreath
February 15th, 2009

In October 2007, a Sharia court in Kano, Nigeria, sentenced Sani Kibili to three years imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam. The case was manifestly unjust because Mr Kibili is a Christian and should not have been brought before a Sharia court in the first place.

Open Doors UK has released a statement with the welcome news that he has finally been freed.

the rest

Mark Steyn: Is Obama tanking already?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Few pieces of political “wisdom” are more tediously recycled than a well-retailed bon mot of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Asked what he feared most in the months ahead, he gave an amused Edwardian response — “Events, dear boy, events.”

In other words, you can plan all you want but next month, next year some guy off the radar screen will launch a war, or there'll be an earthquake, or... something. Governments get thrown off course by “events.”

It requires a perverse kind of genius for the 44th president not to have waited for a single “event” to throw him off course. Instead, he threw himself off: “Is Obama tanking already?” (Congressional Quarterly) “Has Barack Obama's presidency already failed?” (the Financial Times). Whether or not it's “already” failed or tanked, the monthly magazines still gazing out from their newsstands with their glossy Inaugural covers of a smiling Barack and Michelle waltzing on the audacity of hope seem like musty historical artifacts from a lost age. the rest

Obama Levitates: But the train goes off the rails.

Added: Taxpayer revolt: Porkulus protest in Seattle, Obama to sign theft act in Denver

Archbishop of Canterbury: Society is coming round to my views on sharia

The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended his controversial comments about the introduction of Islamic law to Britain and claimed that public opinion is now behind him.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
15 Feb 2009

On the anniversary of the interview in which Dr Rowan Williams said it "seems inevitable" that some parts of sharia would be enshrined in this country's legal code, he claimed "a number of fairly senior people" now take the same view.

He added that there is a "drift of understanding" towards what he was saying, and that the public sees the difference between letting Muslim courts decide divorces and wills, and allowing them to rule on criminal cases and impose harsh punishments.

However critics insist that family disputes must be dealt with by civil law rather than according to religious principles, and claim the Archbishop's comments have only helped the case of extremists while making Muslim women worse off, because they do not have equal rights under Islamic law. the rest

Somali radicals 'importing terror to UK' say intelligence analysts
Dozens of Islamic extremists have returned to Britain from terror training camps in Somalia, the British security services believe...

Democrats, Health Care "Reform," And Your "Duty To Die"

by Austin Hill
February 15, 2009

Welcome to the Era of Obama. You now have a duty to die.

I'm not saying that someday you will die (that's a given).

And I'm not saying that you should be given the "right to die" - - the freedom to take your own life, or to direct your Doctor to put you out of your misery - - that's something entirely different.

I'm saying that someday, if current trends continue, your United States Government will determine that you have a “duty,” an obligation, to die.

It’s bad enough that hundreds of congressional members voted to spend nearly one trillion of our dollars, without even reading the so-called “economic stimulus bill” and without knowing fully what our money is being spent on. It’s even more horrific to know that more of our tax dollars are being allocated to the Office Of Health Information and Technology, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, and that the bill also provides for the beginnings of a nationwide “health records database” that will track the healthcare of every person in the country. the rest

Down syndrome a modern-day death sentence
Claire will never read these words. But at least she is alive and brings joy to her many friends and family members. You see, Claire is a survivor. She survived one of the most ruthlessly effective extermination programs in modern times.

Claire has Down syndrome...

Right-to-die issue takes centre stage in Europe