Saturday, April 18, 2009

$101K-Winning Christian Film 'Widow's Might' Hits the Big Screen

By Josh Kimball
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Apr. 17 2009

The winner of the largest single film festival prize to date is currently being shown in 94 cities across the nation.

“The Widow’s Might,” directed by and starring 19-year-old filmmaker John Moore, has been out since Monday and will continue showing in theaters until April 18. The movie tells the story of a family that comes together to help an elderly widow who is about to lose her home due to outrageous property taxes.

The film’s release this week comes three months after it was awarded with “Best of Festival” Jubilee Award and the $101,000 cash prize that went with it during the San Antonio Christian Film Festival (SAICFF). To win, the film had to beat out faith-based box office hit “Fireproof,” which grossed over $33 million in theater sales last year, and “Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed,” which raked in more than $7 million in theaters to become the twelfth highest-grossing documentary film in the United States. the rest

Court bid to regain control of Forward in Faith parish

April 17, 2009
by George Conger

THE DIOCESE of Pennsylvania has filed suit against the flagship parish of the Forward in Faith movement in the US, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, seeking control of the property.

Last month’s pleading, filed on behalf of the diocesan standing committee, asked a suburban Philadelphia court to eject the Rt Rev David Moyer and his congregation from the property, arguing the parish’s secession from the diocese violates canon law which requires parish property to be “held or used for the work of the Episcopal Church.”

The battle between Rosemont’s rector and the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles Bennison, began in 2002, when Bishop Bennison deposed Fr Moyer for “abandoning the communion” of the Episcopal Church for contumacy. Fr Moyer filed suit against Bishop Bennison in a civil court for damages, and in a legal first persuaded the court that the bishop’s actions were so egregious that a civil review was needed. A jury in October 2008 found that Bishop Bennison’s actions did not merit redress. the rest

Steele denounces Roe at pro-life gathering

Bishop absent over GOP leader
By Ralph Z. Hallow
Friday, April 17, 2009

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, the most controversial Republican national chairman in recent memory, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the biggest star in the party's political firmament, shared the spotlight on Thursday at a pro-life dinner attended by about 3,000 persons in Evansville, Ind.

The speech at the Right to Life dinner was a key test of his pro-life credentials for those in the party who doubt Mr. Steele's big tent explanations for why he helped found a prominent pro-choice GOP organization and joined another.

As expected, Bishop Gerald Andrew Gettelfinger of Evansville boycotted the dinner, which he normally attends. He had decided Mr. Steele's position on abortion was at best ambiguous -- a conclusion he reached after Mr. Steele failed to persuade him that he was truly pro-life during a talk between the two men last month. the rest

Palin stands against abortion during Ind. speech

The truths behind the tea parties

Steve Chapman
April 19, 2009

So why did people rally across the country when they should have been planning how to spend their tax refunds? Because their true dismay is about the mushrooming of federal outlays, which the demonstrators regard as a future tax increase in the making. Which, of course, it is. The problem is not just the spending supposedly needed for the current economic emergency.

Obama claims he will cut the deficit in half, to $533 billion, by the end of his first term. Two problems: 1) The Congressional Budget Office says the more likely number is $672 billion, and 2) that is 46 percent more than the deficit in 2008. Worse yet, the CBO says the deficit will then resume its upward trajectory, reaching $1 trillion by 2018 and nearly doubling the national debt over the next decade.

The realism about expenditures is the encouraging thing about the protests. It's easy to convince people that the government should take less of their money. It's harder to persuade them that the government should provide them less in the way of benefits and services. Yet the tea-party protesters took the view that whatever Washington plans to provide, they don't want—not at this price, anyway. the rest

Friday, April 17, 2009

Devotional: I must see that my ways please the Lord...

When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

I must see that my ways please the Lord. Even then I shall have enemies; and, perhaps, all the more certainly because I endeavor to do that which is right. But what a promise this is! The Lord will make the wrath of man to praise Him and abate it so that it shall not distress me.

He can constrain an enemy to desist from harming me, even though he has a mind to do so. This He did with Laban, who pursued Jacob but did not dare to touch him. Or He can subdue the wrath of the enemy and make him friendly, as He did with Esau, who met Jacob in a brotherly manner, though Jacob had dreaded that he would smite him and his family with the sword. The Lord can also convert a furious adversary into a brother in Christ and a fellow worker, as He did with Saul of Tarsus. Oh, that He would do this in every case where a persecuting spirit appears!

Happy is the man whose enemies are made to be to him what the lions were to Daniel in the den, quiet and companionable! When I meet death, who is called the last enemy, I pray that I may be at peace. Only let my great care be to please the Lord in all things. Oh, for faith and holiness; for these are a pleasure unto the Most High! ...CH Spurgeon image

Flurry of Motions in Pittsburgh Case

April 17, 2009

Within the past week, lawyers for the two dioceses claiming to be the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh filed five new motions and attended a hearing in a case that was initiated in 2003 by the rector and wardens of Calvary Church, Pittsburgh.

In October, a majority of clergy and lay deputies voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone on a temporary basis. The leadership of the Southern Cone diocese has been active in the development the new Anglican Communion province in North America. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, who was deposed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church prior to the diocesan convention last fall, has been designated archbishop of the new province. Bishop Duncan was also re-elected bishop of the Southern Cone diocese shortly after his deposition.

At the heart of the dispute in the latest filings and an April 17 hearing was whether the diocese’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church violated a stipulation order on real and personal property that the two sides signed in 2005 to settle the lawsuit. After the majority at the annual convention voted to leave last fall, members of the diocese who wanted to remain Episcopalians held a reorganizing convention and petitioned the court to be added as plaintiffs to the Calvary lawsuit.
the rest

Bishop-elect worries some Episcopalians

As priest, he altered prayer book, says evil exists but Satan doesn’t
By Frank Lockwood

LITTLE ROCK — The Rev. Kevin G. Thew Forrester denies that Satan exists. He doesn’t believe God sent his only-begotten son to die for the sins of the world. He says that the Koran is sacred, he has taken a Buddhist middle name and he teaches that many paths lead to the divine.

As an Episcopal priest, Thew Forrester altered the denomination’s prayer book, including its baptismal vows and the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Now he’s been elected to become a bishop - a successor to the Apostles - by the Diocese of Northern Michigan.

If a majority of the Episcopal Church’s bishops and dioceses give their consent, Thew Forrester would inherit a seat in the House of Bishops, a ceremonial shepherd’s staff and an awesome task - to “guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church.” the rest

Presiding Bishop … ‘Jesus is not the only way to God’

April 17, 2009

JESUS is a way, but not the only way to salvation, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori has told members of the Diocese of Quincy.

At a special convention called by the Presiding Bishop to reconstitute the diocese around the four congregations that did not secede to the Province of the Southern Cone last year, on April 4 Bishop Jefferts Schori spoke of her own theological views at a question-and-answer session.

Approximately 300 people gave the presiding bishop a “rousing greeting on her first visit to Peoria and the Diocese of Quincy. In stark contrast to the previous synod meeting, at which she was vilified as the chief architect of what former leaders claimed was the Episcopal Church’s departure from traditional Christian beliefs, [Bishop] Jefferts Schori received a warm and jubilant welcome,” Episcopal News Service reported.

In response to a question from the audience about her personal beliefs, the presiding bishop said that to insist Jesus is the only way to God is to “limit God.” She said that God was at work in the lives of other faiths. “God is, at the very least, a mystery,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said.
the rest

This trip may be pope's last chance to see the land of the Bible

by John L Allen Jr
Apr. 17, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI turned 82 on Thursday, and on Sunday he’ll mark the fourth anniversary of his election to the papacy -- in American argot, what we might call the end of his first term. Media outlets have prepared analyses to mark the occasion, most of which collect predictable commentary from the usual suspects (my own sound-bites very much included.)

Here’s one striking wrinkle, however, by way of a “dog that didn’t bark” dynamic: Despite the fact that Benedict XVI is now 82 years old, there’s been virtually no drumbeat this week about papal succession. By the time John Paul II turned 82 in May 2002, speculation about what might come next was very much in the air, fueled by the pope’s visible decline.

The absence of talk about the papal horserace is probably the best measure of Benedict’s essentially robust health. The buzz in Rome is that we could be looking at another Leo XIII, who died in 1903 at the age of 93. the rest

New Hope in New York

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What can I tell you about the installation of Archbishop Timothy Dolan that you haven't already heard? Well, I can tell you that sitting in St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday watching the event unfold and listening to the new archbishop speak to the standing-room-only crowd gave me renewed hope for the Church in New York and the Church in the United States. Archbishop Dolan's enthusiasm for his faith is surely infectious, but, more importantly, his ability to speak clearly on Church teaching while drawing in people from all camps seems to be just what the doctor ordered in these days of moral relativism and cloudy consciences. the rest

Archbishop Carey: TEC Likely to ‘Clean Out’ Conservatives

April 17, 2009
The Most Rev. George L. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991-2002, offered a sober and sometimes bleak assessment of the Communion’s future and had challenging words both for the Instruments of Communion and The Episcopal Church on April 16.

Archbishop Carey was the keynote speaker at “Anglicanism: A Gift in Christ,” a two-day conference of the Anglican Communion Institute and the Communion Partner Primates, Bishops and Rectors at St. Martin’s in Houston. The title of his address was “Holding Fast and Holding On, The Instruments of Communion.”

Archbishop Carey began by tracing the history of the development of the Instruments of Communion: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the primates’ meeting. Each one, he argued, developed primarily in response to some crisis within the life of the Communion and a desire on the part of the members to develop unity through interdependence.

This trajectory toward greater interdependence existed until 2003 when “the Episcopal Church of the United States, by ordaining Gene Robinson, against the strong advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the moral authority of Lambeth ’98, [and] the appeals of the primates’ meeting, led the Anglican Communion into the worst crisis it has ever faced, and from which it is unlikely to recover.” the rest

Susan Boyle debut song uncovered

An early recording of Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle singing Cry Me a River for charity has emerged on the internet.

Her version of ballad Cry Me A River was included on the Music for a Millennium Celebration disc in 1999.

Just 1,000 copies of the CD were funded by Whitburn Community Council. the rest

Anglican "entity" has blessing of bishops

Charles Lewis, National Post
Friday, April 17, 2009

The move to create a new conservative Anglican jurisdiction in North America got an enormous boost yesterday as bishops representing three-quarters of the faith's worldwide adherents said they would recognize the breakaway faction in defiance of the wishes of the established churches of Canada and the United States.

Meeting in London, the leaders of Anglican churches from Africa and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere said the new "province" would be seen as the home to "faithful Anglicans" in Canada and the United States and would be considered part of the worldwide communion.

The decision to recognize the new entity is another strong sign that the real power in the Church is quickly shifting from the Global North to the Global South and that Canterbury, the traditional seat of Anglicanism, is losing its authority. the rest

For another take on the new "entity", see MCJ's
It gives me great pleasure to announce that a new Episcopal buzzword has entered the world.

Albert Mohler: Should the United Nations Protect Religions from Defamation?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Suddenly, I find myself in an awkward and uncomfortable position. I find that I must agree with Peter Singer on an issue of importance. This requires some soul-searching.

Peter Singer teaches bioethics at Princeton University and is one of the most influential figures in the animal rights movement worldwide. He is also, in my judgment, one of the most frighteningly radical and dangerous thinkers of our times, holding such a low view of human dignity that he would defend infanticide on the grounds that the human infant (and toddler) has not yet acquired the hallmarks of human dignity. The very idea that any human being has to acquire capacities in order to be granted personhood is reprehensible. The suggestion that some animals possess a greater right to life over some humans is immoral on its face. It is a moral scandal that Peter Singer teaches at Princeton University -- or in any credible academic institution. the rest

CNN Versus the Tea Parties

Friday, April 17, 2009
by Mona Charen

When thousands of people in all 50 states assemble to protest government policy, you might suppose that this is news. Not according to the coverage on the front pages of the Washington Post, New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal. The "tea party" rallies went unmentioned. In Washington, D.C., despite temperatures in the 40s and a driving rainstorm, about a thousand demonstrators assembled across from the White House. The front page of the Times found space for a big story with accompanying pictures of competing public demonstrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, but not a word about the American protestors.

the rest

Obama's Faulty 'Foundation'

April 17, 2009
Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Franklin Roosevelt gave us the New Deal. John Kennedy gave us the New Frontier. In a major domestic policy address at Georgetown University this week, Barack Obama promised -- eight times -- a "New Foundation." For those too thick to have noticed this proclamation of a new era in American history, the White House Web site helpfully titled its speech excerpts "A New Foundation."

As it happens, Obama is not the first to try this slogan. President Carter peppered his 1979 State of the Union address with five "New Foundations" (and eight more just naked "foundations"). Like most of Carter's endeavors, this one failed, perhaps because (as I recall it being said at the time) it sounded like the introduction of a new kind of undergarment. the rest

Are pro-lifers now on government’s ‘watch list?’

Homeland Security warning lumps abortion opponents with racists, right-wing militias

Washington, D.C., Apr 14, 2009 / (CNA) -- According to a Homeland Security report distributed to law enforcement organizations, abortion opponents are as great a threat to national security in the immediate future as white supremacists.

The nine-page document was sent to police and sheriff's departments across the country on April 7 under the heading, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." The report is unclassified, but is accompanied by a warning that says it “contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act.”

The report was prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch of the Department of Homeland Security and claims it was “coordinated with the FBI.”

“Rightwing extremists,” the document says, “have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.” the rest

Letter Reveals another $200,000 Donation from Notorious Abortionist Tiller to Help Elect Sebelius

GAFCON Primates hear of ‘two religions’ in the United States

by Paul Handley
April 17, 2009

THE GAFCON Primates have recognised the new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), they announced in London yesterday.

The move is hardly a surprise. When conservative Anglicans met in Jerusalem last May for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), they called for the formation of an “orthodox” Church in the United States, in parallel with (or opposition to) the Episcopal Church there. The ACNA was formed late in the summer, uniting conservative groups in the United States and Canada.

The leader of the new Church, the Rt Revd Bob Duncan, joined the GAFCON Primates for their second meeting, this time held at the Renaissance Hotel next to Heathrow Airport. Bishop Duncan was formerly the Bishop of Pittsburgh, but was deposed by the Episcopal Church’s leadership at the time the ACNA was formed.

He said that he had given a progress report to the GAFCON Primates. His Church had 100,000 members in 700 congregations in 28 dioceses. On any given Sunday, there were about 80,000 worshippers, about ten per cent of the numbers in the Episcopal Church, “and growing all the time”. The previous arrangement for conservatives who dissented from what they saw as the liberal leadership of the Episcopal Church had been to join one of the five “protectorates” run by the Provinces of the Southern Cone, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, or Rwanda. Now all were united in the ACNA. the rest

Total Recall: The Woman Who Can't Forget

By Gary Marcus

It's a Monday afternoon in November, and I'm driving down Ventura Boulevard with Jill Price, the woman who can't forget. Price, who is 43, has spent most of her life here in Los Angeles, and she remembers everything. In the space of two minutes, she tells me about the former motel lodge with a bear in front, the Courtyard hotel that used to be a Hilton, and a bowling alley—since replaced by a Marshalls—where a Nicolas Cage film was shot. All this comes pouring out so fast, I wonder aloud whether Price has had too much coffee. She laughs, says no, pulls slightly at her blond hair, and starts up again.

Right over there, she says, is a car wash: "I was talking to the guy there last summer, and I was telling him about the first time I ever went to the car wash—on August 30, 1978. And he was freaking out." Soon, Price, generally a gentle soul, has moved on to a rant about a TV program she just saw: "It was about an event that happened in 2002. So they kept going back to Saturday, June 19, 2002. Well, June 19, 2002, was not a Saturday! It was a Wednesday. It was pissing me off." the rest-fascinating!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Devotional: If we have the faith...

If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall "laugh at impossibilities," we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens.

Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you. ...Streams In the Desert image

Harvard Muslim chaplain sees "wisdom" of Islamic death penalty for apostasy

April 15, 2009

But of course it was all a misunderstanding. And that's no surprise. When has a Muslim spokesman in the West who espoused traditional Islamic teachings ever been understood correctly? The poor lambs are forever being misunderstood and misconstrued.

Note also the Muslim student who said Abdul-Basser shouldn't be chaplain, but "asked that he not be named to avoid conflicts with Muslim religious authorities." Diana West has some keen observations about that. the rest

CANA Pleased with Recognition of New Anglican Province

GAFCON Primates Demonstrate Commitment and Support to Orthodox Anglicans in North America
(via email)

HERNDON, Va. (April 16, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America responded to the news that the GAFCON Primates who met in London this week officially recognized the emerging province, the Anglican Church in North America, of which CANA is a founding member.

“We are pleased that the GAFCON Primates have recognized the emerging orthodox Anglican Province . This new province is a needed reality for orthodox Anglican Christians who wish to remain a part of the Anglican Communion but who cannot in good faith, follow the revisionist leadership of The Episcopal Church,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns. “We appreciate the encouragement for those of us connected with the Anglican Church in North America to continue to move forward as faithful Anglicans and to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Convocation of Anglicans in North America

AnglicanTV: Interview with Bp. Duncan

Friday, April 17 2009


TV themes replace hymns at British funerals

Thursday, 16th April 2009
By Judy West

The Psalmists are losing out to Frank Sinatra at funeral services, new research from one of Britain’s leading funeral directors has revealed.

The most popular funeral anthem continues to be Frank Sinatra’s hit ‘My Way’, but the research from the Co-operative Funeralcare survey also revealed that TV themes are becoming even more popular....
the rest

The Top Ten Funeral Songs

1 My Way - Frank Sinatra/Shirley Bassey
2 Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler/Celine Dion
3 Time To Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
4 Angels - Robbie Williams
5 Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
6 You Raise Me Up - Westlife/Boyzone/Josh Grobin
7 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
8 I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
9 You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
10 Unforgettable - Nat King Cole

'Hand of God' captured by Nasa observatory

This beautiful image of a "cosmic hand" reaching for the stars has been captured by a Nasa observatory
By Matthew Moore
14 Apr 2009

What appears, with a little imagination, to be the outstretched fingers were created by a spinning neutron star known as a pulsar buried deep inside the fist, which releases energy as it rotates.

Although the pulsar itself is only 12 miles in diameter, the cloud or nebula that it produces stretches across 150 light years of space.

The X-ray image was recorded by Nasa's Chandra observatory which is circling 360 miles above Earth taking images of high-energy locations across the universe, such as the remnants of exploded stars.
the rest image

Nazir-Ali calls on Pakistan to reform

by Jennifer Gold
Thursday, April 16, 2009

The outgoing Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, says his native Pakistan needs to reform if it is to win the war against terrorism.

Bishop Nazir-Ali, who is the first and only Asian to become a Church of England bishop, said that Pakistan had been vulnerable to religious extremism “throughout its history”, and said that “unless co-ordinated international action is taken as a matter of urgency, Pakistan may not survive [the rise of Islamic extremism]”.

Writing in The Telegraph, the bishop said that Taliban and pro al-Qaeda forces were becoming increasingly confident of taking power by force, whilst the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore demonstrated the extent to which Kashmiri liberation groups were becoming emboldened. the rest

Albert Mohler: When Abortion Collides with Totalitarianism

April 16, 2009

The vast nation of China remains under the control of one of the few surviving Communist regimes on the planet. Over the last two decades, that regime has redefined Communist economic theory, allowing private capital and a consumer market to emerge alongside state control and ownership. Nevertheless, the totalitarian nature of the regime reaches even into the most intimate dimensions of life. The most insidious example of this totalitarian impulse is China's infamous "one child only" policy.

The policy limits most Chinese couples to only one child. Reports of forced abortions and sterilizations abound. Couples in rural areas with a girl as their only child may apply for permission for a second child, in hopes of a boy.

The preference for boys is overwhelming in the Chinese culture, and especially in rural areas. The urgent desire for sons has led to two horrifying developments -- the abortion of girls and the abduction of boys. The abortion of baby girls is now a well-established fact. The abduction of boys in China is less known in the West, but it is now attracting attention. As The New York Times reported April 4, 2009, "Although some are sold to buyers in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, most of the boys are purchased domestically by families desperate for a male heir, parents of abducted children and some law enforcement officials who have investigated the matter say." the rest

The American Uncivil War

Coverage of massive Tea Party protests, Leftist lapdog media
By Dave Macy
Thursday, April 16, 2009

The seeds of discontent have already been sown. The divide between those who cherish true freedom and liberty and detest the intrusion of the federal government, and those who blindly follow an Obama administration ready to spend this country into an abyss of debt makes the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.

Fertilizing this separation apparently is the job of the leftist lapdog media. Journalism that presents facts and relates a true balance is long dead, while advocacy reporting by the leftist press has become blatantly one sided. The coverage of massive Tea Party protests this week, when not largely ignored, was reported with disdain and contempt. the rest

Hugh Hewitt:
The Most Busted Name In News: Susan Roesgen Brands CNN

President Obama and Planned Parenthood Will Promote Abortion at Summit of the Americas

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 15, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- President Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood are expected to join forces to promote abortion at the fifth Summit of the Americas that begins in Trinidad tomorrow. The event is a chance for the leaders of the 35 members of the Organization of American States to gather, but it could be marked by a debate over abortion.

President Obama will speak during Friday's opening ceremonies and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also be in attendance. While they will garner top headlines, a fight between pro-life advocates and the Planned Parenthood abortion business will take place below the surface. the rest

Planned Parenthood in Texas Required to Shut Down Four Unlicensed Abortion Businesses

GAFCON Communiqué issued - ACNA recognized

Communiqué from the GAFCON/FCA Primates’ Council
April 16, 2009


The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Careful consideration was given to the new Province in North America. We met with Bishop Bob Duncan and other key leaders. The emergent Province consists currently of approximately 100,000 Christians in Canada and the US who wish to continue in full membership of the Anglican Communion world-wide.

As a result of this process, we celebrate the organization and official formation of ACNA around the same principles that gave rise to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and now the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). Though many Provinces are in impaired or broken communion with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, our fellowship with faithful Anglicans in North America remains steadfast.

The FCA Primates’ Council recognizes the Anglican Church in North America as genuinely Anglican and recommends that Anglican Provinces affirm full communion with the ACNA. the rest

Religious Intelligence:
Gafcon leaders say not enough progress has been made
A meeting in London this week of traditionalist Anglicans has dismissed attempts to accommodate orthodox believers and says that if the liberal leaders of the North American churches sign up to the proposed Anglican Covenant ‘in good conscience’, it will be meaningless.

Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
By Edwin Mora

( - Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”--symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the “IHS” monogram that had previously adorned the stage at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall was still covered up--when the pediment where it had appeared was photographed by the rest

Barack Obama: A Blessing For Catholics?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Devotional: Come, Lord Jesus....

Come, Lord Jesus, and abide in my heart. How grateful I am to realize that the answer to my prayer does not depend on me at all. As I quietly abide in You and let Your life flow into me, what freedom it is to know that the Father does not see my threadbare patience or insufficient trust, rather only Your patience, Lord, and Your confidence that the Father has everything in hand. In Your faith I thank You right now for a more glorious answer to my prayer than I can imagine. Amen. ...Catherine Marshall image

The beauty that matters is always on the inside

Tuesday 14th April 2009

Susan Boyle's story is a parable of our age. She is a singer of enormous talent, who cared for her widowed mother until she died two years ago. Susan's is a combination of ability and virtue that deserves congratulation.

So how come she was treated as a laughing stock when she walked on stage for the opening heat of Britain's Got Talent 2009 on Saturday night?

The moment the reality show's audience and judging panel saw the small, shy, middle-aged woman, they started to smirk. When she said she wanted a professional singing career to equal that of Elaine Paige, the camera showed audience members rolling their eyes in disbelief. They scoffed when she told Simon Cowell, one of the judges, how she'd reached her forties without managing to develop a singing career because she hadn't had the opportunity. Another judge, Piers Morgan, later wrote on his blog that, just before she launched into I Dreamed a Dream, the 3000-strong audience in Glasgow was laughing and the three judges were suppressing chuckles.

It was rude and cruel and arrogant. Susan Boyle from Blackburn, West Lothian, was presumed to be a buffoon. But why? the rest

Video here

Muted response to latest ‘Anglican Covenant’ draft

Wednesday, 15th April 2009
By George Conger

Churches which violate the boundaries of Anglican faith and order would be subject to a disciplinary process overseen by the joint standing committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, the third draft of the Anglican Covenant has proposed.

Scofflaws could be adjudged to be acting in a manner “incompatible with the Covenant" and subject to possible suspension from participation in international Anglican forums, the documents said. However, discipline would not be automatic, and would be exercised by the individual provinces and the communion; for “it shall be for each Church and each Instrument to determine its own response to such recommendations” for discipline, the proposed Covenant stated. the rest

Tea Party Day News

Tax Day Becomes Protest Day
How the tea parties could change American politics.

Unreal: CNN reporter openly contemptuous of tea parties

Added 9:30 pm:
Why I Took My Family To a Tea Party

US Govt. faces veteran anger at extremism report

April 15, 2009

The US Homeland Security Department, under fire for saying US forces returning from the Iraq and Afghan wars were potential right-wing extremist recruits, said Wednesday it honors US veterans.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to douse anger among conservatives and veterans groups like the American Legion over a report from her department warning of a rising threat of right-wing extremism.

"We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not -- nor will we ever -- monitor ideology or political beliefs," Napolitano said in a statement amid charges that the department had done just that.

American Legion chief David Rehbein on Tuesday blasted the report as "incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased" and took special aim at its warning that returning veterans having difficulties reintegrating society could be recruited by right-wing groups for possible terrorist attacks. the rest

Some pictures from the first of two Syracuse NY Tea Parties

At 11:30 am, people begin to gather downtown Syracuse at the James M. Hanley Federal Building.

There's another Tea Party at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool from 5:00 to 7:00 pm this evening.

(pictures by Raymond Dague)

Sebelius lowballed donations from abortion doctor

Monday, April 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health secretary nominee got nearly three times as much political money from a controversial abortion doctor as she told senators.
The Health and Human Services Department said Monday that the omission was an oversight that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would correct.

In a response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee made public last week, Sebelius wrote that she received $12,450 between 1994-2001 from Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers.

But in addition to those campaign donations, records reviewed by The Associated Press show that Tiller gave at least $23,000 more from 2000-2002 to a political action committee Sebelius established while insurance commissioner to raise money for fellow Democrats. the rest

Gov't views opponents of abortion, illegal immigration as possible threats

Associated Press and OneNewsNow

WASHINGTON, DC - Department of Homeland Security officials have issued a report which links people with pro-life, anti-illegal immigration views, teachers of end-time prophecies, and veterans of war with "right-wing extremist" groups.

In an intelligence assessment issued to law enforcement last week, Homeland Security officials said there was no specific information about an attack in the works by right-wing extremists. But the agency warns that an extended economic downturn with real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit could foster an environment for extremists to recruit members who may not have been supportive of these causes in the past.

The latest assessment started making its way into the mainstream press after conservative blogs got wind of the analysis. In the unclassified report -- "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" -- the agency warns that imposing new restrictions on firearms and returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their communities could lead to terror groups or individuals attempting to carry out attacks. The returning war veterans have skills and experience that are appealing to right-wing groups looking to carry out an attack, according to the report. the rest

NY Governor to Submit Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

April 15, 2009

Gov. David A. Paterson plans to introduce legislation on Thursday to make marriage between same-sex couples legal in New York, advancing his push for greater rights for gay men and lesbians, at a time when other states have done so.

Mr. Paterson’s plans represent the most public effort yet by the governor, who has been a consistent supporter of gay rights, to position himself and New York at the crest of a broadening national movement.

The move allows him to lead on an issue that could prove defining in his governorship, which has so far been marked by political missteps and the crumbling economy. the rest

National Episcopal Church sues Fort Worth group over split

Special to the Star-Telegram
Tue, Apr. 14, 2009

FORT WORTH — Hoping to reclaim several pieces of church property and millions of dollars in endowed funds, the national Episcopal Church has sued a local group that split from the church in November.

The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday in Tarrant County court, follows months of negotiations after a bitter split between the two groups over what the local group, led by Bishop Jack Iker, considers the national church’s abandonment of orthodox principles.

The Iker-led group has opposed the Episcopal Church for accepting a gay bishop and same-sex unions and for its ordination of women as priests.

The local group has pledged loyalty to the South American Anglican province. the rest

Syracuse Tea Parties Today

by Mike McAndrew / The Post-Standard
Wednesday April 15, 2009

Syracuse, NY -- Joanne Wilder has never protested anything in public before. She's never boxed with City Hall, let alone Washington.

"I've been a quiet little person my whole life," she said.

But today in downtown Syracuse, the 60-year-old great-grandmother will lead a Tax Day Tea Party protest against the spending policies of the Obama administration and Congress.

The demonstration -- at 11:30 a.m. outside the James M. Hanley Federal Building -- which Wilder estimates will draw 2,000 people, is one of more than 1,500 rallies planned in 550 American cities on the deadline day for Americans to pay their 2008 income taxes...

...A second demonstration, scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. today at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, is being organized by Jim Smith, of Radisson, who is also making his debut as a protester.
Smith predicted his protest will draw 4,000 to 5,000 people.

In Rome, a third tea party protest is being planned at 4 p.m. outside Fort Stanwix. the rest

Tax Day Becomes Protest Day

How the tea parties could change American politics.
April 15, 2009

Today American taxpayers in more than 300 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies -- dubbed "tea parties" -- to protest higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. There is no political party behind these rallies, no grand right-wing conspiracy, not even a 501(c) group like

So who's behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize. For a number of years, techno-geeks have been organizing "flash crowds" -- groups of people, coordinated by text or cellphone, who converge on a particular location and then do something silly, like the pillow fights that popped up in 50 cities earlier this month. This is part of a general phenomenon dubbed "Smart Mobs" by Howard Rheingold, author of a book by the same title, in which modern communications and social-networking technologies allow quick coordination among large numbers of people who don't know each other.

In the old days, organizing large groups of people required, well, an organization: a political party, a labor union, a church or some other sort of structure. Now people can coordinate themselves. the rest

North American Bishops Meeting with GAFCON Primates in London

April 14, 2009

Eight archbishops are meeting in closed-door session at a London hotel this week to review plans for the creation of a new Anglican Communion province to be known as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Seven primates: Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda; along with the Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney (Australia) began talks on April 14 at hotel near Heathrow airport.

Joining the archbishops in the three-day meeting are the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone and the archbishop-designate of the ACNA; the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone; the Rt. Rev. Charles Murphy; the leader of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA); the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and one of his bishops suffragan, the Rt. Rev. David Anderson; the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, Provincial Bishop Suffragan for the Anglican Church of Uganda; the Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, Bishop of All Saints Diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya; and the Rt. Rev. Don Harvey, leader of the Anglican Network in Canada. the rest

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Devotional: Therefore, let us desire nothing else...

Therefore, let us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, let nothing else please us and cause us delight except our Creator and Redeemer, and Savior, the one true God, who is the fullness of good, all good, every good, the true and supreme good, who alone is good, merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet, who alone is holy, just, true, and upright, who alone is kind, innocent, pure, from whom and through whom and in whom is all pardon, all grace, all glory of all the penitents and of the just, and of all the blessed who rejoice together in heaven. ...Francis of Assisi image

Middle-aged Scottish woman is unlikely instant singing star after reality TV appearance

JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer
April 14, 2009

LONDON (AP) — A middle-aged volunteer church worker with the voice of an angel is Britain's latest unlikely showbiz star.

Susan Boyle, 47, wowed judges and audience alike when she performed on television contest "Britain's Got Talent."

By Tuesday, a video clip of Boyle's performance on Internet site YouTube has been watched more than 2.7 million times. the rest
(h/t and comments at StandFirm)

Video here

Don't judge someone by looks alone, says TV sensation

Pope Ratzinger's manifesto: "In this way the transformation of the world can begin to take place"

The Christian revolution is born in the liturgy, Benedict XVI says. And its "canon," its fundamental rule, is the great Eucharistic prayer. He explained this in his homily for Holy Thursday. And even before this, in a catechesis that was just as remarkable
by Sandro Magister

ROME, April 14, 2009 – During this past Holy Week, Benedict XVI accompanied each celebration with a homily, the kind that are genuinely his own, from the first word to the last. These homilies have become a distinctive sign of his pontificate. They may still be its most unfamiliar and misunderstood feature. But they are definitely its most revealing.

Pope Joseph Ratzinger is not only a theologian, even before this he is a liturgist and a homilist. On www.chiesa, this unmistakable characteristic has been highlighted repeatedly. Last year, for example, by posting to the internet in their entirety, immediately after Easter, the six homilies from the previous Holy Week. And in the fall, by editing the collection in a single volume – published by Scheiwiller, of Gruppo 24 Ore – of Benedict XVI's homilies for the entire liturgical year that had just been completed. the rest

Most U.S. Christians Don't Believe Satan, Holy Spirit Exist

By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Apr. 13 2009

The majority of American Christians do not believe that Satan is a real being or that the Holy Spirit is a living entity, the latest Barna survey found.

Nearly six out of ten Christians either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement that Satan "is not a living being but is a symbol of evil," the survey found.

Forty percent strongly agreed with the statement while 19 percent of American Christians somewhat agreed.

In contrast, about 35 percent of American Christians believe Satan is real. Twenty-six percent strongly disagreed with the statement that Satan is merely symbolic and about one-tenth (9 percent) somewhat disagreed. the rest

Why The Tea Parties?

Hugh Hewitt
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hundreds if not thousands of gatherings will take place tomorrow that are under the umbrella of "tea parties." Some ink has been spilled figuring out who started them, and some fevers have swept the left on the subject of who is organizing them.

What matters though is who attends them and what they are communicating by their presence.

There are scores of reasons why a particular tea party protester might show up. Three months into the Obama Administration there is no denying that the president has swung the country hard left from the center-right course that George W. Bush had piloted for eight years. From 1980 until first quarter, 2009, the country had proceeded in a steady center-right direction that even Bill Clinton had generally accepted. With the exception of his commitment to Afghanistan, President Obama has turned the wheel wildly left, and the sudden sharp shift has left millions shaken and confused.

The most obvious sign of the radical change is the president's budget and its massive deficits stretching out as far as the eye can see. The "stimulus" bill that wasn't could be understood as a one-time spending frenzy designed along long ago-discredited-but-still-worshipped economic theories of the left, but the budget was different. It commits the country to a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a tripling of it in ten years. Defense gets shorted, of course, and the F-22 is a symbol of the roll-out of the build-down. The president's progress across Europe reminded many at home of his willingness to blame America for all challenges the world, even as the crazy dictator of North Korea lets fly another missile. the rest

Tea Party Protesters Gird for Possible Liberal Backlash

Growing Numbers of People Marrying Inanimate Objects

(h/t Nova Scotia Scott)

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer is married to the Berlin Wall. Like any couple, they’ve had their ups and downs, but over the years, they’ve been able to meet each other’s spiritual and emotional needs. “We even made it through the terrible disaster of 9 November 1989, when my husband was subjected to frenzied attacks by a mob. But we are still as much in love as the day we met,” Berliner-Mauer said last year.

Berliner-Mauer (the German name for the Berlin Wall, which she has taken as her last name) has since defined her love under the term “objectum sexual,” or OS—in other words, a person who falls in love with inanimate objects. As an animist, she, along with a growing group of others, believe that inanimate objects are sentient, intelligent beings. the rest

Notre Dame Announces Easter Week Homosexuality Events

By JOHN P. CONNOLLY, The Bulletin
Monday, April 13, 2009

The University of Notre Dame, which has been criticized in recent weeks for inviting President Barack Obama to this year’s commencement, announced a series of events during Easter week to promote inclusivity of homosexuality.

StaND Against Hate Week, announced on Holy Thursday, includes a showing of the film “Prayers for Bobby,” which reportedly blames a mother’s Christian beliefs for her gay son’s suicide. The event will take place from tomorrow through Friday, which is during the Christian celebration of Easter week.

The week is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Gender Relations Center, student government and University Counseling Center.

“Christianity is under attack from within our own Catholic universities,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, an organization that works to preserve the identity of Catholic colleges. “The bad news continues, perhaps appropriately on the day when we recall Christ’s terrible agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. We need Catholics worldwide to draw the line, here and now, by joining more than 255,000 witnesses for the Faith at” the rest

Added: Courageous Notre Dame Professor Defends Truth & Life over ‘Prestige’

Gay, Pro-Abortion Episcopal Seminary Pres.'Worst of Post-Modern Church'

Her statements are the genocide of the vulnerable and murder say orthodox Episcopal Bishops.
By David W. Virtue

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Virtue On Line) - The announcement that the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, has chosen a lesbian, pro-abortion president to lead the seminary has sent shock waves around the Anglican Communion. The appointment of Katherine Hancock Ragsdale highlights a week that also saw TEC bishop-elect Kevin Thew Forrester replace a reading from the New Testament with a reading from the Quran at St. Paul's Marquette, Michigan.

One wonders what Episcopal boundaries and barriers have yet to be crossed that the dying embers of historic Christianity could possibly fan into life. That the Diocese of Massachusetts has a functioning transgendered priest complete with a sex change operation (he appeared at Lambeth 2008) mocks not only marriage, but any notion of what normalcy in sexual matters might mean in The Episcopal Church. Consider, too, that 19 of the 41 resolutions to be presented at GC2009 have to do with normalizing same-sex unions, proposing same sex rites and deep-sixing a resolution - B033 - that restrains further homosexual ordinations into the priesthood. They mock The Episcopal Church as a Christian denomination. the rest

The changing face of Jesus

The way we depict Christ says more about us than him, scholars sayBy Brian Bethel
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yale University professor Jaime Lara recalls standing before a sculpture of Jesus with a mirror where the face should be.

Lara, who teaches courses on Christian art and architecture, including a semester-length examination of Jesus' ever-changing appearance through the centuries, thinks it's as good a portrait as any.

"The face of Christ as depicted in artwork, sculpture, mosaics and frescoes is always going to be in part something that springs from the artist's imagination," he said, bound by cultural conventions and to some degree the racial features of those who crafted the image.

So what did Jesus really look like?

No one knows. the rest image

Legal left cools toward Obama


It’s not just Paul Krugman anymore.

A growing chorus on the legal left is cooling toward President Barack Obama as a result of recent actions by the Justice Department vigorously defending the Bush administration in what it termed the war on terror.

“Obama Position on Illegal Spying: Worse Than Bush,” a large graphic declared over the weekend on the home page of a respected group advocating freedom on the Internet, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Obama has been pilloried by a liberal TV icon who was one of President George W. Bush’s most vociferous critics, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. the rest

Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real

Thomas Sowell:Musings on the Age of Obama
The president seems determined to repeat every disastrous mistake of the 1930s

Monday, April 13, 2009

Devotional: Spring bursts today...

Spring bursts today,
For Christ is risen and all the earth's at play.
Flash forth, thou sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.

Winter is past,
Sweet spring is come at last, is come at last.
Bud, fig and vine,
Bud, olive, fat with fruit and oil, and wine.

Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a thorn.
Uplift thy head,
O pure white lily through the winter dead.

Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making lambs.
All herds and flocks
Rejoice, all beasts of thickets and rocks.

Sing, creatures, sing,
Angels and men and birds, and everything.
... Christina Rossetti image

Bird Loves Ray Charles

Swedish church unveils Lego statue of Jesus Christ

A Swedish church marked Easter yesterday by unveiling a "life-size" Lego statue of Jesus Christ.
12 Apr 2009

Members of the congregation donated nearly 30,000 Lego bricks to build the 5ft 8 high statue, said Per Wilder, the pastor of the Oensta Gryta Church in Vaesteras, about 70 miles west of Stockholm.

"This work began a year and a half ago so we saw that the initiation date was fitting in well (with this year's Easter holiday)," he said.
the rest

More Congregations Join CANA

U.S. Christians Seek Connection to Worldwide Anglican Communion

HERNDON, Va. (April 9, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America announced that five congregations from five different states have joined the orthodox Anglican organization.
The new CANA members are as follows: Coventry, Alabaster, Ala.; Christ Church, Baltimore, Md.; St. Stephens, Tullahoma, Tenn.; Holy Trinity, North Augusta, S.C., and St. Edmunds, Elm Grove, Wis.

“We are pleased to welcome these new congregations into the CANA fellowship, a body of orthodox Anglican Christians here in the U.S. This is an exciting time to be Anglican given the renewed enthusiasm in this country and around the world. CANA provides an authentic connection to the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is what many Christians are seeking. We pray that each of these new congregations will grow in the fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ and continue to see lives transformed by the Good News of the Gospel,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

With the addition of these congregations, CANA now includes 75 congregations across the U.S.

Bp. Martyn Minns: Easter Message 2009

True or False?

The anniversary of the greatest event in human history is upon us. I refer, of course, to Easter Day when we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. All around the world people will respond to the declaration, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!” with the triumphant shout, “The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!” But is it true? Did it really happen? Or is it merely a delightful myth that connects us with the wonder of springtime after a dark and dreary winter? True or false? Which is it?

There are those that claim that such a question is in itself invalid; arguing as they do that there can be no absolutes. That they insist upon this view with such absolute assurance is a curious irony. John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer put it this way, “There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes." He is not alone in his absolute convictions and yet Dewey stands on shaky ground since Jesus, the One who is the very incarnation of God, refused to stay dead and buried. His resurrection changes everything. the rest

Alarming Trend: Kids Literally Smoking CANDY

Kristine Johnson
Apr 11, 2009

NEW YORK (CBS) ― It's taking place in lunchrooms, playgrounds and classrooms across the tri-state area. It may even be happening in your own home -- kids smoking candy.

But doctors and safety experts say this new trend isn't so sweet.

Every so often, 18-year-old Jeremy Froncek says he sneaks a smoke.

"Around the house, ya know, outside of work," Froncek said. But he's not puffing on cigarettes. He's "smoking" candy. the rest image

Obama boosts anti-abortion recruitment


The first hint of a stir came just after Election Day, when the computer servers at Americans United for Life crashed. People were swamping the Web site to sign a petition urging President-elect Barack Obama to stand firm against abortion.

“I got a call from one of our guys, ‘We have a problem,’ ” said Charmaine Yoest, the group’s president and chief executive officer. “And I was like, ‘The problem would be what?’”

Obama’s first 84 days in office have been like an extended recruiting drive for the anti-abortion movement, reinvigorating a constituency he sought to neutralize during the campaign. Activists report a noticeable spike in activity as Obama moves to defend and expand a woman’s right to choose an abortion – causing anti-abortion voters to mobilize in ways never needed during the Bush administration. the rest

Ireland's President joins pilgrims on 485 mile trek across Spain

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

President Mary Mc­Aleese will leave Ireland early this week to join pious travellers from all over the world on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage.

The 780km (485 miles) pilgrimage, known in English as the "Way of St James", traditionally begins in the Pyrenees mountain range of the Spanish-French border and ends at Santiago's cathedral where the faithful believe the remains of St James the Apostle lie.

Many travellers join the pilgrimage at various points in the journey.

The cathedral has drawn millions from around the world since the Middle Ages. the rest

Clergy in the crosshairs

Jim Brown

A Texas congressman who is a former judge warns that the "hate crimes" legislation reintroduced in the U.S. House could potentially lead to the arrest of Christian pastors who speak out against sexual immorality.

Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) are sponsoring the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913), also known as the "Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act." The bill would add sexual orientation to the list of categories covered under federal hate crime law. When Democrats passed the bill in 2007, they were divided over whether to add "gender identity and expression" to the list.

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) says under the legislation, pastors, rabbis, or imams could be charged with encouraging or inducing a "hate crime" if they preach against homosexuality. the rest

U.S. Military Considers Attacks on Somali Pirates’ Land Bases

By Jeff Bliss

April 13 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. military is considering attacks on pirate bases on land and aid for the Somali people to help stem ship hijackings off Africa’s east coast, defense officials said.

The military also is drawing up proposals to aid the fledgling Somalia government to train security forces and develop its own coast guard, said the officials, who requested anonymity. The plans will be presented to the Obama administration as it considers a coordinated U.S. government and international response to piracy, the officials said.

The effort follows the freeing yesterday of Richard Phillips, a U.S. cargo ship captain held hostage since April 8 by Somali pirates. Security analysts said making shipping lanes safe would require disrupting the pirates’ support network on land. the rest

New Anglican grouping 'will not be schismatic'

Monday, 13th April 2009
By Toby Cohen

Thousands of traditionalist Anglicans are expected to attend the July 6 launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, but organizers have emphasized that it is not schismatic.

The launch event, entitled ‘Be Faithful! – Confessing Anglicans in Global and Local Mission’ will be held at Westminster Central Hall, where 2,300 people are expected.

A statement from the organisers said: “The Fellowship is the outworking of last year’s Gafcon conference in Jerusalem, at which 1,200 delegates signed up to the Jerusalem Statement. Those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70 per cent of the total active membership of 55 million.”

The event chairman, the Rev Paul Perkin, emphasized that “this is not the start of a new Church. Everybody’s determined to cast this as a separatist movement -- this is not a separatist movement. We are not seceding, this is not schismatic. the rest

UK: Christian charity employee suspended for talking about... Christianity

Monday, April 13, 2009

It was concerning enough to learn that health workers may face dismissal for offering to pray with their patients, or that those in education may be suspended simply for asking friends to pray, or that wearing a small cross is strictly prohibited by a company which calls itself ‘British Airways’ while hijabs, turbans and karas abound.

But it seems utterly incredible – or perhaps in this godforsaken nation under Labour it is no longer so – that an employee of a Christian charity, whose patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, might be suspended merely for answering questions about his faith.

Yet this is the fate of David Booker, aged 44, a committed Christian who has worked for the English Churches Housing Group (part of the Society of St James) for almost four years. The charity is funded largely by churches throughout Hampshire. The Christian Legal Centre reports: ‘On 26 March, whilst working an evening shift, he had a 35 minute conversation with a female colleague. The colleague asked him about his faith and beliefs. During the conversation he was asked the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and same-sex marriages, which Mr Booker explained. The conversation was free-flowing and Mr Booker clearly explained that he had homosexual friends and that he was not homophobic.’ the rest

British charity worker suspended for talking about his faith

We need spirituality, not a spending spree, Archbishop of Canterbury argues

Easter message counters Brown’s ‘call to shop’
The Times
April 13, 2009
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury has challenged Gordon Brown’s plans for Britain to spend its way out of the recession and instead called on consumers to curb their appetites.

Dr Rowan Williams used his Easter sermon to advocate a return to the spiritual values embraced by monastic communities — poverty, chastity and obedience.

His message was echoed by Church leaders around the country, putting them on a collision course with the Government and its solution to the economic crisis, which is to persuade shoppers to start buying again. the rest

For Easter worship, Obama picks Episcopal church

posted April 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama opted for the safe choice for Easter Sunday, visiting the pale yellow church across from the White House where other presidents have worshipped. The pick puts off — for now — a decision on a new permanent congregation for the first family.

Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters took Communion at St. John's Church on Lafayette Square, where they heard a come-as-you-are sermon tailored to doubters and skeptics. The Rev. Luis Leon made no direct reference to the Obamas, who made their first trip to a Washington church since Inauguration Day under tight security and scrutiny.

Where a president worships — and whether he goes to church at all — tends to draw political as well as social significance. For Obama, his place of worship has been of keen interest, given his history with a Chicago pastor whose bombastic sermons almost destroyed Obama's presidential bid. Obama's friend and pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was seen on video condemning the United States and suggesting the government was to blame for the HIV/AIDS scourge on black communities. the rest

An Anglican Covenant - The Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft


We, as Churches of the Anglican Communion, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, solemnly covenant together in these following affirmations and commitments. As people of God, drawn from "every nation, tribe, people and language" (Rev 7.9), we do this in order to proclaim more effectively in our different contexts the grace of God revealed in the gospel, to offer God's love in responding to the needs of the world, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and together with all God's people to attain the full stature of Christ (Eph 4.3,13).


Pope Benedict's Easter Message 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world,

From the depths of my heart, I wish all of you a blessed Easter. To quote Saint Augustine, “Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra – the resurrection of the Lord is our hope” (Sermon 261:1). With these words, the great Bishop explained to the faithful that Jesus rose again so that we, though destined to die, should not despair, worrying that with death life is completely finished; Christ is risen to give us hope (cf. ibid.).

Indeed, one of the questions that most preoccupies men and women is this: what is there after death? To this mystery today’s solemnity allows us to respond that death does not have the last word, because Life will be victorious at the end. This certainty of ours is based not on simple human reasoning, but on a historical fact of faith: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried, is risen with his glorified body. Jesus is risen so that we too, believing in him, may have eternal life. This proclamation is at the heart of the Gospel message. As Saint Paul vigorously declares: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” He goes on to say: “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:14,19). Ever since the dawn of Easter a new Spring of hope has filled the world; from that day forward our resurrection has begun, because Easter does not simply signal a moment in history, but the beginning of a new condition: Jesus is risen not because his memory remains alive in the hearts of his disciples, but because he himself lives in us, and in him we can already savour the joy of eternal life. the rest

Rome sends a blast of fresh air into Westminster

Profile: Vincent Nichols, the new Catholic primate of England and Wales, will stir controversy with his robust views
William Langley
11 Apr 2009

The Roman Catholic Church that Vincent Nichols was born into in bombed-out, post-war Liverpool was, by most measures, a reassuringly innocuous organisation, heavily invested in the North and the working classes, and of only polite interest to the people who ran the country.

Young Vincent was 14 when he realised his vocation, and, a few years later, as he set off to study in Rome, might reasonably have expected to spend his life as a priest of good standing but little consequence. What he couldn't have foreseen was that, in his lifetime, the Catholic Church in Britain would be dramatically transformed in size, character and purpose – and that he would be occupying its top job in England and Wales.

With the Church of England seen as having joined the liberal consensus, unwilling to confront the secularism and social experimentation fostered by a decade of New Labour rule, the Catholic Church has taken on an increasingly dominant public role. Around the country, its congregations bulge with Polish bricklayers, African asylum seekers, South American students, Filipino domestics, and growing numbers of Anglican converts. If this diverse new intake has anything in common it is a tendency to conservatism, and in 63-year-old Archbishop Vincent Nichols, appointed earlier this month to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, it has found a voice. the rest

Turin Shroud 'could be genuine as carbon-dating was flawed'

New evidence suggests the Turin Shroud could have been the cloth in which Jesus was buried, as experiments that concluded it was a medieval fake were flawed.
By Stephen Adams
10 Apr 2009

Radio carbon dating carried out in 1988 was performed on an area of the relic that was repaired in the 16th century, according to Ray Rogers, who helped lead the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STRP).

At the time he argued firmly that the shroud, which bears a Christlike image, was a clever forgery.

But in a video made shortly before his death three years ago, he said facts had come to light that indicated the shroud could be genuine. the rest image

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday: Christ is risen!

Christ is risen! And you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is risen! And the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is risen! And the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen! And life is liberated!
Christ is risen! And the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power, now and forever,
and from all ages to all ages. Amen!
...John Chrysostom image