Saturday, April 25, 2009

Devotional: Can we believe...

Can we believe that God ever modifies His action in response to the suggestions of man? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will. "God", says Pascal, "instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality." But it is not only prayer; whenever we act at all, He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so.
...CS Lewis image

Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn

by Rich Morin and Paul Taylor
Pew Research Center
April 23, 2009

From the kitchen to the laundry room to the home entertainment center, Americans are paring down the list of familiar household appliances they say they can't live without, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project.

No longer do substantial majorities of the public say a microwave oven, a television set or even home air conditioning is a necessity. Instead, nearly half or more now see each of these items as a luxury. Similarly, the proportion that considers a dishwasher or a clothes dryer to be essential has dropped sharply since 2006.

These recession-era reevaluations are all the more striking because the public's luxury-versus-necessity perceptual boundaries had been moving in the other direction for the previous decade. For example, the share of adults who consider a microwave a necessity was just 32% in 1996. By 2006, it had shot up to 68%. Now it has retreated to 47%. Similarly, just 52% of the public in the latest poll say a television set is a necessity -- down 12 percentage points from 2006 and the smallest share to call a TV a necessity since this question was first asked more than 35 years ago. the rest

National Day of Prayer Event Is Up in the Air

Obama Has Yet to Announce Whether He Will Continue Tradition of Hosting Conservative Evangelicals, Who Now Have Made Other Plans
By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Every year since 2001, then-President George W. Bush's calendar had been cleared on the first Thursday in May to mark the National Day of Prayer in the White House East Room with prominent evangelicals.

Now the Obama White House is facing questions of inside-the-Beltway etiquette: Should President Obama maintain the open door to conservative critics like James and Shirley Dobson, and if so, should they accept?

Or, will the White House have an official observance at all? the rest

Swine Flu May Be Named Event of International Concern

By Jason Gale

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization is set to declare the deadly swine flu virus outbreak in Mexico and the U.S. a global concern, potentially prompting travel advisories, said a person familiar with the matter.

An emergency committee of the WHO in Geneva will declare the outbreak “a public health event of international concern” in a teleconference that began at 4 p.m. today, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting is confidential. In response, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan may raise the level of pandemic alert, which could lead to travel advisories aimed at curbing the disease’s spread.

Human-to-human spread of the previously unknown H1N1 swine influenza in Mexico and the U.S. is heightening concern that the virus may spark a pandemic. At least 68 people have died and more than 1,000 have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms around Mexico City in the past month, officials said. The outbreak has pandemic potential, Chan said. the rest

Fatal new flu strain threatens Mexico, U.S.

Chicago Consultation Response to Anglican Communion Institute statement

CHICAGO--April 23—The Chicago Consultation issued this statement from its co-convener Ruth Meyers in response to the recent statement of a group of bishops associated with the Anglican Communion Institute:

“The Chicago Consultation is saddened and dismayed to learn that our brothers and sisters in Christ who are members of the Anglican Communion Institute seek to abandon the historical polity of the Episcopal Church and provide support to lawsuits that drain the church’s resources for mission and spirit for ministry,” said Meyers, who is professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a deputy from the Diocese of Chicago.

“The Episcopal Church was founded shortly after the American Revolution. In keeping with that democratic tradition, the Church’s constitution and canons and its historical polity provide us with both the strength and stability of the General Convention’s governing and legislative processes as well as the local ability for dioceses to discern and elect the bishops who can best serve them and make other decisions about their common life. We believe that these canons have served us well, are essential to the Church’s continued health and bind together the strongest elements of our common spiritual heritage and tradition of democracy. the rest

Comments at TitusOneNine

Public Resistance against Homosexualization of Society Launched in Germany with Over 600 Prominent Signers

Friday April 24, 2009
By Hilary White

April 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Preparations for a conference on psychotherapy set for May in Marburg, Germany are being disrupted by an "action alliance of queer, feminist, and anti-fascist and anti-sexist" groups that want two Christian therapists removed from the roster of speakers.

In response, a group of at least 600 prominent German professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds has issued a public statement and petition to protest the "totalitarian aspirations of the gay and lesbian associations." These organizations, they said, are trying to suppress freedom of expression and academic inquiry at the upcoming 6th International Congress for Psychotherapy and Counseling in Marburg. the rest

The Institution Formerly Known As Marriage

by Jennifer Roback Morse
April 24, 2009

The Iowa court’s recent decision does not simply broaden marriage, it radically changes its nature. While marriage previously served public purposes of attaching mothers and fathers to their children and one another, now marriage merely serves as affirmation of adult feelings.

The Iowa Supreme Court recently proved that the critics of same-sex “marriage” are correct: we are not being urged to make marriage more inclusive, but to radically redefine the nature of marriage itself. With its decision, the Iowa Supreme Court covertly but profoundly changed the meaning of marriage. The Court abolished the essential public purpose of marriage, and replaced it with a new understanding of marriage that is neither essential nor public. The Institution Formerly Known as Marriage will be an empty shell in Iowa. As the movement to redefine marriage spreads across the country, citizens should look to Iowa to see what this actually entails. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Morning After Pill and the End of Parenthood

April 24, 2009

The secular left is a diverse amalgam of various interest groups and ideologies. Of course, the same is true to some extent on the conservative end of the spectrum as well. But on some issues the secular left is absolutely of one mind and voice, and the promotion of birth control and contraception is one of these issues.

To the left, birth control is central to the modern project of liberation. Pregnancy and parenthood limit other endeavors, to say the very least. The project of liberating sex from marriage and sex within marriage from reproduction is central to the modern quest for autonomy. The Pill allowed a radical expansion in non-marital sex, for example, now freed from concern about pregnancy. The Pill represented a moral revolution of incalculable magnitude. the rest

We vs. them: To know this president, watch his pronouns

May 09, 2009
Mindy Belz

Excerpt:
To understand Barack Obama at his 100-days-in-office milestone, you have to realize that he is perhaps not simply a Democrat or a liberal but an anti-populist. Consider the language of the 44th president's major speech on the economy, delivered April 14 at Georgetown University:

"I want to talk about what we've done, why we've done it, and what we have left to do."

"This is the situation, the downward spiral that we confronted on the day that we took office . . ."

"We will hold accountable those who are responsible, we'll force the necessary adjustments, we'll provide the support to clean up those bank balance sheets . . ."
the rest

Katherine Ragsdale and the worship of "me, me, me"

The 'blessing' of abortion
Marvin Olasky
May 09, 2009

"Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done."

That was the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale in 2007, repetitiously inciting her disciples to be not just pro-choice but fanatically pro-abortion. This is significant because, according to standard journalistic stylebooks, Ragsdale does not exist. We're told that pro-choice folks don't like abortion; they're just trying to help a woman facing tragedy.

Ragsdale, though, says abortion is a "blessing," and not only in harsh situations but good ones: "When a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion—there is not a tragedy in sight—only blessing. The ability to enjoy God's good gift of sexuality without compromising one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts and call is simply blessing." the rest

Evangelical appointed Bishop of Sherborne

Victory for Anglican unity as right-wing founder of Fulcrum is appointed bishop in historic Episcopal seat of Sherborne
From Times Online
April 24, 2009
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

A leader of a prominent evangelical grouping in the Anglican war over gays has been appointed bishop to one of the oldest historic Episcopal seats in the country.

Although Sherborne, founded in 705, is no longer a see in its own right but an area in the Salisbury diocese covering Dorset, the appointment Dr Graham Kings as its bishop is one of the strongest signs yet that the Archbishop of Canterbury is winning the battle for Anglican unity.

Dr Kings is founder of the increasingly influential group Fulcrum, which publishes the writings of conservative evangelical Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright. the rest

Covenant is to be used as litmus test of Anglicanism

24 April, 2009

CONSERVATIVE BISHOPS in the United States are preparing to challenge their church hierarchy over the Anglican Covenant, it emerged this week.

A group of conservatives, known as the Anglican Communion Partners, met in Houston earlier this month and agreed a statement that is expected to be published this week.

In it, they express concern that the the Episcopal Church as a whole will resist signing the Covenant — the document that has been drafted to regularise belief and practice in the Anglican Communion in the wake of the consecration of the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, an openly gay bishop, in 2003.

The statement asserts the right of individual dioceses to sign the Covenant. Failure by the Church to sign the Covenant, or any attempt to prevent dioceses’ signing, “would be decisive”.
the rest

Friday, April 24, 2009

Devotional: When Jesus Himself visits us...

"The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." -Song of Solomon 2:12

When Jesus Himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse His request? He has Himself risen that He may draw us after Him: He now by His Holy Spirit has revived us, that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with Himself. Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigour, and our branch blossom with high resolve.

O Lord, if it be not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray Thee make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from Thee. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when wilt Thou bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! Quicken Thou me! Restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon His servant, and send me a happy revival of spiritual life! ...CH Spurgeon image

GetReligion: Warping the Anglican wars

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back in the 1980s, when I was at the Rocky Mountain News, I covered the long legal battle between St. Mary’s Parish and the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.

That important church-property case focused on the ordination of women, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and related issues, with a group of Anglo-Catholics colliding with an evangelical-charismatic bishop who was a conservative on moral and cultural issues. The parish lost, but the congregation is still in the building today because former Bishop William C. Frey was willing to work with them to reach a settlement. Ah, another era.

The key to that whole case was that, as church tradition has held for ages and ages, “Where the bishop is, there is the Church.” The bishop and the diocese was the heart of the church and the crucial legal authority.

Obviously, the Anglican/Episcopal wars have become much more complex in recent years here in the United States. The Episcopal Church, for example, has taken legal action to make the national church the prevailing legal authority, over the diocese, although that shatters centuries of tradition. Meanwhile, the Church of England is trying to stay neutral (sort of) and the largest Anglican churches in the world — think Africa — are backing the doctrinal conservatives who, in the American context, are a small body of rebels. the rest

Experts probe deadly Mexico flu

Friday, 24 April 2009

World health experts are investigating a new strain of flu that may have killed as many as 60 people in Mexico.

The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said tests so far seem to link Mexico's outbreak with a swine flu virus that had sickened eight in the southern US.

The CDC said it was taking the virus - about which it was working to learn as much as possible - seriously.

Mexican authorities have closed schools, museums and theatres, and launched a vaccination campaign. the rest

Mexico Shuts Some Schools Amid Deadly Flu Outbreak
New York Times

Eight swine flu cases identified in U.S.

Paraguay Paternity Fiasco

Friday, April 24, 2009

The clamor over Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo's behavior is getting louder, one crying baby at a time.

For the third time in less than a month, a woman came forward yesterday saying that Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, is the father of her child.

A single secret out-of-wedlock child by any president would make headlines.

But in this heavily Roman Catholic country, the revelations about a man who had sworn chastity vows as a priest has stirred deeper concerns that some say could have serious repercussions for his government. the rest

The Lisbon Papacy

Friday, April 24, 2009

According to freshly-revealed documents, Pope Pius XII and his inner circle made contingency plans to move the Holy See to Portugal, where the college of cardinals would elect his successor if the Nazis kidnapped the still-controversial wartime pontiff:

That Hitler considered kidnapping the Pope has been documented before, but this is the first time that details have emerged of the Vatican's strategy should the Nazis carry out the plan.

"Pius said 'if they want to arrest me they will have to drag me from the Vatican'," said Peter Gumpel, the German Jesuit priest who is in charge of researching whether Pius should be made a saint, and therefore has access to secret Vatican archives. the rest

That Anglican Communion rescue plan in full

By Damian Thompson
Apr 24, 2009

Mea culpa. Yesterday I made fun of a plan to create a "multi-layered Anglican communion". Now that I have been leaked fuller details of the proposals, I can see how ingenious it is. You'll recall that the covenant, by virtue of a quasi disciplinary process, is likely to create a multi-layered communion, with the "conservative" provinces in the inner circle, with full voting rights at all the communion bodies, and the pro-gay liberals on the outer circle and presumably some rights removed, if they insist on consecrating more gay bishops or sanctioning gay marriage.

What I didn't know is that the proposals are tied to an intricate scale of "degrees of communion" - full, impaired, partial and broken - that will ascribed to different provinces by a Lambeth Communion Review Commission, which will itself be multi-layered, supervising Review Sub-Committees based on the Indaba model that will ascribe State of Communion Assessments to individual dioceses, non-territorial episcopal oversight areas and parishes. It would, of course, be inappropriate for the same Review Sub-Committees to cross the boundary between inner and outer circles of the Anglican Communion, and so - in a radical proposal drafted by Dr Rowan Williams himself - the Lambeth Communion Review Commission will divide into inner and outer circle Areas of Special Responsibility that will shadow each other's assessments. the rest

Judiciary Committee greenlights 'hate crimes'

Posted: April 23, 2009
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today rejected an opportunity to protect Christian pastors who preach the biblical condemnation of homosexuality and approved on a 15-12 vote a "hate crimes" bill that supporters admit could be used to bring charges against religious leaders.

The bill, H.R. 1913, now will be considered by the full House of Representatives. the rest

New York Gov. Paterson defers to Senate leader on gay marriage

by The Associated Press
Wednesday April 22, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson says he'll go along with whatever the Senate's Democratic leader decides is the best way to win passage of legislation to legalize gay marriage.

Both Paterson and Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens back the legislation. Paterson has urged putting it on the floor of the Legislature for debate and an uncertain vote. But Smith wants to wait until he secures the 32 votes needed for passage in his chamber, and he has been missing a few.

Talking to reporters Wednesday, Paterson says Smith "knows the inertia of the Senate better than anyone" and he'll "stick with his final judgment." the rest

Iowa Recorders Are Told They Must Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

‘Plan B’ for 17 year old girls: Equipping Children to Kill Children?

By Deacon Keith Fournier
4/24/2009

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - In 2003 the “Food and Drug Administration” (FDA) of the United States Government, held a public hearing on the so-called “Plan B” Pill and recommended making it available over the counter without a prescription. Heralded by its proponents as a “morning after” pill, it was purported to be different from Mifepristone (RU-486), which induces a miscarriage at any time after conception.

Medical evidence disputes the claim that this pill is always “contraceptive” in preventing fertilization. Even the FDA’s own Question and Answers admitted this with these words: “Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).” the rest

Secretary of State Clinton Admits Obama will Work to Dismantle Abortion Laws around the World

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was confronted on her avowed commitment to eugenicist Margaret Sanger's global agenda, and asked whether the Obama administration would work to overturn pro-life laws around the world - a priority that Clinton confirmed.

In a hearing to discuss the Obama administration's foreign policy, New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith questioned Clinton on her statements upon receiving Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger award on March 27. Clinton had said she was "really in awe" of the Planned Parenthood founder.

"The 20th century reproductive rights movement, really embodied in the life and leadership of Margaret Sanger, was one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race," Clinton had said. She also said that Sanger's work "is not done." the rest

Obama's Torture Policy for the Unborn

Presidential Poison: His invitation to indict Bush officials will haunt Obama's Presidency

Sex-Selective Abortions in China Have Produced 32 Million Extra Boys

April 13, 2009

The preference for sons in traditional Chinese families has led to a vast gender disparity in China: A study has found that there are currently 32 million more boys than girls under the age of 20. While Chinese officials have acknowledged that the country’s “one-child” policy has led to a gender imbalance, the new study offers the first hard data on the extent of the disparity. The study included nearly five million people under the age of 20 and covered every county in China. It found that overall ratios of boys were high everywhere, but were most striking among the younger age group of 1-4 years, and in rural areas, where it peaked at 126 boys for every 100 girls [The Wall Street Journal blog]. the rest

Steven Crowder: R.I.P. Perez Hilton!

Video here

'Gay' advocates attack those who don't support cause

'Gay' activists show true colors following Miss USA pageant

Taliban attack Christians in Karachi

04/23/2009
PAKISTAN
by Qaiser Felix

Karachi (AsiaNews) – Armed men yesterday attacked a group of Christians in Taiser Town, near Karachi. They set ablaze six Christian houses and injured three Christians, including an 11-year-old boy, who is in critical condition in the hospital, Fr Richard D’Souza told AsiaNews.. Taiser Town, which is home to about 750 Christian families including 300 Catholic families, is part of the Parish of St Jude in the Archdiocese of Karachi.

Two police officials, who spoke to AsiaNews on condition of anonymity, said that Qudoos Masih, one of the people injured in the incident, filed an initial report at the Sarjani Town police against unknown persons. the rest

The Zen Episcopalian

The American Spectator
By Mark Tooley
4.24.09

The modern Episcopal Church always strives to stay ahead of the latest fads. In recent years it has dealt with its first openly homosexual bishop, its first Islamic priest, and its first Druid priest. Now it might be on the verge of electing its first Buddhist bishop.





Kevin Thew Forrester, who is ordained both as an Episcopal priest and as a lay Zen Buddhist, was elected bishop by the Diocese of Northern Michigan (the Upper Peninsula) in February. He is also known as "Genpo," or "Way of Universal Wisdom." A majority of Episcopal bishops and diocesan standing committees now must consent to his election by July. The 2003 election of actively homosexual Gene Robinson as New Hampshire's bishop has already fueled schism within the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion. Would a Buddhist bishop add to the division, or merely be an anticlimax?





"I have been blessed to practice Zen meditation for almost a decade," Forrester has explained. "About five years ago a Buddhist community welcomed me as an Episcopal priest in my commitment to a meditation practice -- a process known by some Buddhists as 'lay ordination.'" He further opined: "Literally thousands of Christians have been drawn to Zen Buddhism in particular because, distinct from western religions, it embodies a pragmatic philosophy and a focus on human suffering rather than a unique theology of God."

 the rest

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Seven people in U.S. hit by strange new swine flu

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Seven people have been diagnosed with a strange and unusual new kind of swine flu in California and Texas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

All seven people have recovered but the virus itself is a never-before-seen mixture of viruses typical among pigs, birds and humans, the CDC said.

"We are likely to find more cases," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told a telephone briefing. "We don't think this is time for major concern around the country."

The CDC reported the new strain of swine flu on Tuesday in two boys from California's two southernmost counties. the rest

Bishops: Church’s Doctrine, Worship, Polity in ‘Grave Peril’

April 23, 2009

The primary responsibility of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is to preside at meetings of the House of Bishops and to act as its agent in canonical matters, according to 11 diocesan bishops who endorsed a statement on the church’s polity.

The 21-page document, published on April 22, includes more than two pages of endnotes, a number of which cite historical documents dating back to the church’s founding in 1789.

“The traditional doctrine and worship and the historic polity of the Church are in grave peril,” the bishops said. “For this reason, we emphasize that The Episcopal Church consists of autonomous, but interdependent, dioceses not subject to any metropolitical power or hierarchical control …We intend to exercise our episcopal authority to remain constituent members of the Anglican Communion and will continue to speak out on these issues as necessary. the rest

Gafcon leaders speak out against centralisation

Thursday, 23rd April 2009
By George Conger

Political and ecclesiastical authority should reside within the provinces of the Anglican Communion and not the “instruments of unity,” eight archbishops concluded last week at the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Primates’ Council meeting in London.

In a statement released after three days of talks, the eight archbishops stated that the third province movement in North America should seek recognition first from the provinces of the Communion, bypassing the Anglican Consultative Council.

On April 16 the Primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Tanzania, Uganda, and West Africa, along with the Archbishop of Sydney released a statement endorsing the formation of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), saying it was “authentically Anglican.” the rest

FDA OKs 'morning-after' pill for 17-year-olds

Apr 22, 2009
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Seventeen-year-olds will be able to buy the "morning-after" emergency contraceptive without a doctor's prescription, a decision that conservatives denounced as a blow to parental supervision of teens but that women's groups said represents sound science.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would accept, not appeal, a federal judge's order that lifts Bush administration restrictions limiting over-the-counter sales of "Plan B" to women 18 and older. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled last month in a lawsuit filed in New York that President George W. Bush's appointees let politics, not science, drive their decision to restrict over-the-counter access. the rest

Albert Mohler: No Truth Without Love, No Love Without Truth

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The church's engagement with the culture involves a host of issues, controversies, and decisions--but no issue defines our current cultural crisis as clearly as homosexuality. Some churches and denominations have capitulated to the demands of the homosexual rights movement, and now accept homosexuality as a fully valid lifestyle. Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns.

Within a few short years, a major dividing line has become evident--with those churches endorsing homosexuality on one side, and those stubbornly resisting the cultural tide on the other.

The homosexual rights movement understands that the evangelical church is one of the last resistance movements committed to a biblical morality. Because of this, the movement has adopted a strategy of isolating Christian opposition, and forcing change by political action and cultural pressure. Can we count on evangelicals to remain steadfastly biblical on this issue? the rest

Obama muddles torture message

By JOSH GERSTEIN & MIKE ALLEN
4/22/09

President Barack Obama’s attempt to project legal and moral clarity on coercive CIA interrogation methods has instead done the opposite — creating confusion and political vulnerability over an issue that has inflamed both the left and right.

In the most recent instance, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a memo to the intelligence community that Bush-era interrogation practices yielded had "high-value information,” then omitted that admission from a public version of his assessment.

That leaves a top Obama administration official appearing to validate claims by former Vice President Dick Cheney that waterboarding and other techniques the White House regards as torture were effective in preventing terrorist attacks. And the press release created the impression the administration was trying to suppress this conclusion. the rest

Confessions of a Contrarian
I am not on the Obama bus
I followed the Obama senatorial campaign and even his early career in Chicago, and confess I was not impressed. I think on any occasion he announces a moral standard it is reactive—not proactive—and we can be sure it serves as cover for something of questionable morality. So when he says he won’t do something, it usually means he already has. Let us count the ways...


The Obama Doctrine: "Don't Blame Me"

Who's Politicizing Intelligence Now?
Obama's intelligence chief admits the value of tough interrogations.

Democrats Under Ethics Cloud Benefit From Distracted Public.

Manufacturing Consent for the Gay Agenda

April 23, 2009
By Alicia Colon

Excerpt:
The liberal media will report ad nauseam about the victimization of a homosexual provided the accused attacker is heterosexual but it will remain mum when it's gay-on-gay violence.

When longtime ABC radio newsman, George Weber, was found murdered in his Brooklyn apartment on March 23, the shocking news was reported widely in the press. Once it was learned that he had been slain by a 16-year old he recruited for sex via craigslist the story was dead by March 25th. The sordid details of the brutal slaying could be found on the Internet but it did not rate the same coverage as other high profile deaths.

Back in 1998 when I was a columnist for the Staten Island Advance, I wrote a column defending the Boys Scouts in their action against hiring a homosexual. I was subsequently introduced to the world of vindictive opposition to my right to free speech. My name was entered in subscriptions to gay and porn publications. Lewd greetings cards were sent to the Advance and forwarded to my home. My name on Staten Island became synonymous with homophobia and rendered my art career too explosive for local exhibitions. My pastor who wrote a letter defending me also received hate mail and the same blunt tactics.

Thankfully I also received emails from supportive gays who resent the tactics of people they dub "homosexualists." My nephew and his partner were shocked at the hate spewed on websites because of my opinion. the rest

Free Speech for Me but not for Thee? Miss California and the Gay Thug

California Man Symbolically 'Adopts' Wife's Two Aborted Fetuses

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A California man has signed papers to symbolically "adopt" and give his last name to his wife's two aborted fetuses.

Stan Musil said he filed the posthumous "adoption" on Monday as a way to support his wife, Lisa, and help her heal from the pain of having those abortions, Lisa Musil told FOXNews.com.
"He told me 'I love you and you are a part of me. Your babies are a part of you, and so that makes them a part of me also,'" she said.

Musil, now 45, had her first abortion at 19 because she was too frightened to admit her pregnancy to anyone — including her then live-in boyfriend, the Assist News Service reported.

But terminating the pregnancy caused her so much pain that she tried to cover it with "drugs, alcohol, partying and a promiscuous lifestyle," she told radio host Rich Buhler in an interview with KBRT AM-740. the rest

Integrity Faces Budget Deficit

April 22, 2009

At its semi-annual meeting on April 17, the board of directors for Integrity, an advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians, approved a budget which will deplete most of its reserves by the end of the year.

The board convened electronically in order to reduce travel costs and carbon emissions, according to minutes of the meeting published on one of the organization’s websites.

The approved budget assumes income of $270,000, primarily from member dues, and total expenses of approximately $313,000. Previously the organization has said that it plans for its presence at this summer’s General Convention to be its largest ever. the rest

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrating the 50 Days of Easter




May we go into the day
to share the love of the risen Christ
May the light of God shine on us
May the light of Christ shine in us
May the light of the Spirit shine through us
Jesus Christ is risen and has given us new life
Thanks be to God, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

-a daily prayer for the Easter Season



Today, I am reminded (Thanks to Karen at Lent and Beyond!) that Easter is not just a day, but a season, and as such should be celebrated. The Easter lily we got this year was the most beautiful and perfect of any that I can remember-here it is sitting on my front porch perched in a container made and given to me by a dear friend. I also put out my collection of "pysanky"or Ukrainian easter eggs that Raymond has given me over the years (reflecting some of my eastern European ancestry). I love to decorate the house with flowers that remind me of Easter and springtime and new birth. Check out the links here and give yourself a spiritual boost and blessing! -Pat Dague (pictures by Raymond Dague)

Bishops’ Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church

Written by: The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Excerpt:
To summarize the conclusions of this section, the following are fundamental features of the governance and structure of The Episcopal Church:

● The state churches were independent legal entities prior to their organization of The Episcopal Church.

● New dioceses organized now are duly constituted entities with distinct legal personalities prior to admission to The Episcopal Church.

● Dioceses retain their distinct legal personalities as defined by their constitutions when they join The Episcopal Church.

● The constituent members of General Convention are its dioceses; it is the dioceses that are “represented” and vote as equals.

● The most important matters decided at General Convention, amendments to the Constitution and Book of Common Prayer are referred to the diocesan conventions for consideration prior to action by General Convention and the final vote is taken at General Convention by diocese.

and...

Conclusion
We have found it necessary to address these issues as a matter of faithfulness to our apostolic vocation and our Constitution. The traditional doctrine and worship and the historic polity of the Church are in grave peril. For this reason, we emphasize that The Episcopal Church consists of autonomous, but interdependent, dioceses not subject to any metropolitical power or hierarchical control. The Ecclesiastical Authorities in our dioceses are the Bishops and Standing Committees; no one else may act in or speak on behalf of the dioceses or of The Episcopal Church within the dioceses. We intend to exercise our episcopal authority to remain constituent members of the Anglican Communion and will continue to speak out on these issues as necessary.

Full Document

The Right Reverend James M. Adams, Jr.
Bishop of Western Kansas

The Right Reverend Peter H. Beckwith
Bishop of Springfield

The Right Reverend William C. Frey
Assisting Bishop of Rio Grande; Retired Bishop of Colorado

The Right Reverend Alden M. Hathaway
Retired Bishop of Pittsburgh

The Right Reverend John W. Howe
Bishop of Central Florida

The Right Reverend Russell E. Jacobus
Bishop of Fond du Lac

The Right Reverend Paul E. Lambert
Bishop Suffragan of Dallas

The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
Bishop of South Carolina

The Right Reverend Edward S. Little II
Bishop of Northern Indiana

The Right Reverend William H. Love
Bishop of Albany

The Right Reverend D. Bruce MacPherson
Bishop of Western Louisiana

The Right Reverend Edward L. Salmon, Jr.
Retired Bishop of South Carolina

The Right Reverend Michael G. Smith
Bishop of North Dakota

The Right Reverend James M. Stanton
Bishop of Dallas

The Right Reverend Don A. Wimberly
Bishop of Texas

Also Endorsed By:
The Reverend Canon Professor Christopher Seitz
The Reverend Dr. Philip Turner
The Reverend Dr. Ephraim Radner

Comments at TitusOneNine

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at MCJ

Rick Warren to Address Breakaway Anglicans

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Apr. 22 2009

Pastor Rick Warren, among several other Christian leaders, has agreed to address thousands of breakaway Anglicans in June when they meet for their first official assembly as the Anglican Church in North America.

In an announcement Tuesday, the ACNA – seen as a rival body to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada – revealed a list of speakers who have so far confirmed their participation in the emerging province's assembly in Bedford, Texas.

Warren is being joined by Metropolitan Jonah, an archbishop in the Orthodox Church in America, and the Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter of Anglican Mission in the Americas – a breakaway group. the rest

Clergy lend voices to marriage debate

N.Y. gay-rights group looks to Mass. for help
By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff
April 22, 2009

Several prominent religious leaders from Massachusetts are lending their support to the campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York state, arguing in various venues yesterday that gay marriage has not affected religious freedom in the Bay State.

The gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda, said it sought out clergy in Masachusetts in an effort to rebut critics of same-sex marriage.

"There is a campaign on the side of the religious right to convince people that marriage equality for same-sex couples will threaten religious freedom, but we don't think that is the case, and we don't want any myths to go unanswered," said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the organization. "Nobody has more experience in dealing with the issue of marriage equality than Massachusetts, and so the best people to respond are those who live in Massachusetts and who lead religious institutions."

Empire State Pride yesterday released a YouTube Video featuring three Massachusetts clergy: Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts; the Rev. Nancy S. Taylor of Old South Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Boston; and the Rev. Michael Wayne Walker of Messiah Baptist Church, an American Baptist congregation in Brockton. Taylor and Walker officiate at same-sex marriages; Shaw does not, because his denomination opposes it, although he personally supports them. the rest

Sixth Planned Parenthood Accused of Statutory Rape Cover-Up

By Lawrence Jones
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Apr. 22 2009

A California-based pro-life group that leads undercover investigations into Planned Parenthood released a YouTube video Monday that shows a clinic counselor in Memphis coaching a 14-year-old girl to lie about the age of her 31-year-old boyfriend in order to get an abortion waiver without parental consent.

Lila Rose, 20, president of the non-profit Live Action, entered Planned Parenthood's Memphis Health Center posing as a minor who was impregnated by a "much older" man.

The hidden-camera records Rose telling the counselor that she is 14 and that she needed a secret abortion so her parents would not find out about her 31-year-old "boyfriend." the rest

Russian Orthodox Church Wants UN To Reocognize Problem of "Christianophobia"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interfax reports today that the Russian Orthodox Church has asked this week's Durban Review Conference (World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance) being held in Geneva to add the notion of "Christianophobia" to the world's lexicon. Archpriest Georgy Ryabykh, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentioned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in his opening remarks at the Conference, but made no mention of insults to Christians and violation of their rights. (See prior related posting.)

Religion Clause Blog

Miss (Liberal) USA?

Andrea Tantaros
April 21, 2009

Excerpt:
When people are arguing for tolerance and equal rights for gays they undermine their own argument when they resort to intolerant, hateful language that shows a complete disrespect for women. Whether you are talking about gay marriage or the price of coffee at Starbucks, it is absolutely unacceptable to use that language about females to advance your argument.
The double standard is astounding.

I didn’t hear the outrage when Joe Biden said that he and Barack Obama are against gay marriage. No incendiary language, no insults, no four letter obscenities.

Why is it acceptable for Obama and Biden to have this opinion but not a conservative female? And where are the women’s rights and feminist groups to speak out against this kind of language? Or gay rights groups to denounce this clown because he does nothing to advance their agenda of tolerance? The same place they were when other females who possessed traditional values or beliefs like Sarah Palin exercised their right to free speech and expressed these views: they’re nowhere to be found. the rest

Malkin: Civility and Tolerance in the Age of Obama

"We are at War!": Bishop Finn Delivers Rousing Clarion Call to the "Fight for Life" in America

By Kathleen Gilbert
OVERLAND PARK
Kansas, April 21, 2009

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Robert Finn of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph issued a powerful call to action to pro-lifers at the 2009 Gospel of Life Convention on Saturday. In his speech, Finn heavily criticized pro-abortion Catholic politicians who claim a "personal opposition" to abortion, stating that such persons are "warriors of death" who "have abandoned their place in the citizenship of the Church."

"As I speak a word of encouragement today I also want to tell you soberly, dear friends, 'We are at war!'" began Finn, who said that today's issues bring "an intensity and urgency to our efforts that may rival any time in the past." the rest

Georgetown Law School Honors Anti- Right to Life Catholic Biden

Fertility expert: 'I can clone a human being'

Controversial doctor filmed creating embryos before injecting them into wombs of women wanting cloned babies
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A controversial fertility doctor claimed yesterday to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies.

The cloning was recorded by an independent documentary film-maker who has testified to The Independent that the cloning had taken place and that the women were genuinely hoping to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purposes of human reproduction. the rest

The Ugley Vicar: Game Over or New Game?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Excerpt:
Some have read this as indicating that GAFCON is washed up. Personally, I believe it is rather because the national press now recognize there is no story in the division of the Anglican Communion — not because the Communion has survived the pressures of recent years but because it quite evidently has not. As a headline, ‘Anglican Communion Faces Split’ is now entirely on a par with ‘Dog Bites Man’.

In fact, the lack of press interest was already evident at the Alexandria Primates’ Meeting in February this year where, according to the Changing Attitude Blog, there were only seven people in the press briefings (including the blogger himself).

This lack of interest from those whose job it is to sniff out what is interesting is as profound as the silence of a canary in a coalmine. It is a sure sign that something has already happened, even though many people may not have noticed. the rest

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Devotional: If you observe events in our day...

If you observe events in our day that you consider to be God's judgement, don't doubt or lose hope. Look up and see God Almighty. His work of chastisement is to prepare us for the power. Like the early church we are to gather in unity, humility and repentance, waiting for the Spirit to be poured out-and continuing to believe for revival. ...John Dawson image

Robert Munday: Kevin Thew Forrester and the question of "open communion"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stand Firm is running a thread in which they are asking:

(1) Do you accept or oppose The Episcopal Church offering communion to all who wish it, including the unbaptized?

(2) If no, because such communion is in violation of the canons of the Church, do you then accept or oppose the revision of the canons such that parishes may offer communion to all who wish it, including the unbaptized, legally and canonically?

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I am opposed on both counts. But what I want to point out is the connection between this question of "open communion" (which in current Episcopal Church usage means the giving of Communion to the unbaptized) and the theology of Kevin Thew Forrester which has been discussed in numerous blogs and articles.

the rest

Facing $1M Deficit, Michigan Diocese Sets Funding Priorities

April 21, 2009

An estimated 300 clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of Michigan met April 18 for a six-hour special convention to address an anticipated $1 million diocesan deficit.

Meeting at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, delegates ranked funding priorities from among 17 categories and reviewed long-term strategy options for use by diocesan council as it seeks to reconcile income and expenses.

Ministry with youth and young adults was ranked as the top priority, with congregational vitality a close second and discernment and training for ministry finishing third. Evangelism and total ministry, or ministry of all the baptized, tied for last.

The special convention was scheduled during the annual convention last October when delegates approved a $2.9 million budget for 2009 which included the use of principle from the Extended Ministries Fund to cover an expected $985,835 shortfall in income. the rest

Groups Want Faith Exemption On Same-Sex Marriage Issue

By DANIELA ALTIMARI The Hartford Courant
April 21, 2009

Six months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in Connecticut, opponents are opening a new front in the contentious battle.

Through a high-profile campaign that includes robocalls, TV spots, newspaper ads and messages from the pulpit, the Roman Catholic Church and other groups, both local and national, are making a last-ditch effort to carve out legal protections for business owners and professionals who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

"Freedom of religion [is a] fundamental right that [has] been inscribed in our federal constitution forever," said attorney John Droney, who is providing legal advice to the Knights of Columbus. "It doesn't suddenly get put on the shelf because of this new, emerging right." the rest

Death By Deism

No merely civil religion alone can sustain a free republic.
Collin Hansen
4/20/2009

Though they aren't journalists, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton broke one of the biggest stories in contemporary religion with their 2005 book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Conducting the most comprehensive study of religion and teenagers to date, the sociologists discovered a newly dominant creed that they dubbed Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD). Rather than transformative revelation from God, religion has become a utility for enhancing a teenager's life. Smith and Denton lay out the five points of MTD: the rest

Presbyterians voting on gay clergy

By Julia Duin
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

About 300 Presbyterians meeting Tuesday night at National Presbyterian Church on Nebraska Avenue will vote on an amendment to the constitution of their national church body that would allow practicing gay clergy.

The new language only specifies clergy will "declare their fidelity to the standards of the church." It would replace language in the constitution that requires clergy to maintain "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."

There are homosexual clergy members in the 2.2-million-member Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), but they have been required to stay celibate since the denomination voted in that requirement in 1978. the rest

Vatican probes nuns' heterodoxy

By Julia Duin
April 20, 2009

The Vatican is investigating a Silver Spring-based umbrella group for nuns for deviating from Catholic doctrine after the group failed to toe the church's line on male priesthood, homosexuality and salvation being chiefly obtained through the Catholic Church.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), encompassing some 1,500 leaders of the nation's 63,032 nuns, is undergoing a "doctrinal assessment" overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which safeguards church teachings.

Its prefect, Cardinal William Levada, informed the group of his investigation in a Feb. 20 letter, according to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), which broke the story last week. It apparently is not related to a separate "apostolic visitation" or study of America's nuns the Vatican announced in January. the rest

Dean Slee and the English Sect – the Global Anglican Rift Widens

April 21st, 2009
By Charles Raven

The Very Rev’d Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark, has alleged that the Bishop of Rochester’s recently announced resignation is the first step in setting up an alternative church. According to last weekend’s London Sunday Telegraph he also declared that, together with Bishops Wallace Benn and Pete Broadbent, Dr Michel Nazir-Ali’s status as a bishop in the Anglican Communion, ‘must be open to some debate’ because they had declined invitations to last year’s Lambeth Conference.

Although he is one of the more outspoken liberals in the Church of England – in 2003, he described Archbishop Peter Jensen’s involvement with English conservative evangelicals as ‘reprehensible’ - these remarks cannot be dismissed as the unrepresentative prejudices of one man. He is a member of the Crown Nomination Commission, which has a key role in the appointment of the Church of England’s bishops, and Southwark Cathedral is the most ancient cathedral church in London. the rest at Anglican Mainstream

New Bishop Appointed to Syracuse Diocese

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SYRACUSE -- Pope Benedict XVI has named a new Bishop for the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese. We just receieved a release from the diocese. Here are the details:

Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, 65, of the Diocese of Ogdensburg will become the 10th bishop of Syracuse, succeeding Bishop James M. Moynihan who has served the diocese since May 29, 1995. Bishop Cunningham will be installed on May 26, 2009 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception located in Downtown Syracuse.

Bishop Moynihan submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon his 75th birthday on July 6, 2007, as is required by Canon law. He will continue to serve as the Bishop of Syracuse until Bishop Cunningham’s installation.

Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, son the late Cecil and Grace Cunningham, was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He received his early education at St. John the Baptist Parish Elementary School and the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary, Buffalo. His college and seminary education continued at St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, where he earned both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees. In 1978 he received a Licentiate Degree in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America. the rest

Miss Calif. Says Traditional Marriage Answer 'Cost Me My Crown'

By Elena Garcia
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Apr. 20 2009

Miss California Carrie Prejean, who was named first runner up in the Miss USA Pageant on Sunday, says she believes her answer on same-sex marriage cost her the title but admits that she has no regrets.

During the Las Vegas pageant, Perez Hilton, an openly gay gossip blogger, asked Prejean whether every state should follow Vermont's recent move to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other," responded Prejean. "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage."

"And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman," she continued. "No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you very much." the rest

Sometimes, a President Must Slap Back

April 21, 2009
Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON -- It's hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama's "no drama" approach to campaigning and governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands. Theatricality is one of the weapons in any leader's arsenal, and a well-timed glower or growl can have more impact than a sheaf of position papers.

Obama's critics are upset that at the recent Summit of the Americas, held in Trinidad and Tobago, he treated his fellow leaders from around the hemisphere as peers. Obama's collegial attitude was, indeed, a break from tradition -- and was long overdue. Nothing would have been gained by barking orders at our neighbors and reinforcing the old image of insufferable yanqui arrogance.

There were a couple of moments at the summit, however, when Obama would have been right to throw off a little heat. the rest

A Timid Advocate of Freedom
President Obama has failed his early foreign-policy tests.

Why Does Obama Smile at Dictators?

In time of victory, why is the left so angry?

Planned Parenthood Fails to Promote Abortion at Recent Summit of the Americas

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 20, 2009

Port of Spain, Trinidad (LifeNews.com) -- International pro-abortion advocates from Planned Parenthood appear to have been unable to promote abortion at the recent Summit of the Americas meeting. Leading pro-life advocates were concerned they would team up with Obama officials to promote abortion using coded phrases.

Marie Smith, the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, previously told LifeNews.com that International Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations might insert pro-abortion language into the Summit's Declaration of Commitment.

Abortion advocates regularly work to get phrases like "reproductive health" and "reproductive rights" into UN and international documents and then later construe those terms as including abortion.

The final declaration of the Summit includes some changes but not the “sexual and reproductive rights and health” terms desired by abortion advocates. the rest

North American Anglicans recognized as genuine

Allie Martin
OneNewsNow
4/21/2009

Conservative archbishops representing most of the world's Anglicans have recognized a new North American province that includes congregations and dioceses that left the Episcopal Church USA.

The Anglican Church in North America, which counts 100,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, is led by Archbishop-designate Robert Duncan, the former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh. The Anglican Church in North America was recently recognized by the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON, at its meeting in London. GAFCON's archbishops declared the new province "genuinely Anglican."

Bishop Duncan says the new province includes Anglicans who fled theologically liberal Anglican churches in the U.S. and Canada, adding that members of the Anglican Church in North America sought recognition from leaders of GAFCON. "And the answer was that 'we, as a GAFCON Primates' Council, recognize you in that way. We are delighted at the formation of the new Anglican Church in North America, the new province,'" he explains. the rest

Monday, April 20, 2009

Devotional: We are only what we are in the dark...

We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark- the imaginations of our minds, the thoughts of our heart, the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God's sight. Character is what you are in the dark. ...Oswald Chambers image

'Hate crimes' bill - bad news for believers

Jim Brown and Jody Brown
OneNewsNow
4/20/2009

A vote is looming this week in Congress on a bill that one conservative activist warns would not only silence Christian opposition to homosexuality, but also would legitimize deviant forms of "sexual orientation."

A markup vote is expected Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee on the Local Law Enforcement and Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. House Democrats only have to give 24 hours' notice before the vote. The measure (H.R. 1913) sponsored by Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) would add homosexuals and transgender people to the list of classes federally protected from so-called "hate crimes." the rest

Fr. Tim Fountain: Links to South Dakota Bishop Candidates' Statements and My Analysis

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Diocesan News (pdf) has the candidates' full statements.

You can read my analysis of
John Tarrant
John Floberg
Douglas Dunn
Peter Stebinger

Bishop elections in the Episcopal Church are long, grinding affairs for all involved. Please pray for the candidates and their families. Pray for their current congregations, for whom this becomes a time of uncertainty. Pray for the Diocese of South Dakota. Pray for the Church.

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

Northern Plains Anglican

The Truth About the Tea Parties

It's the government spending, stupid
Steve Chapman
April 20, 2009

The banking collapse and the economic meltdown have prompted many Americans to turn to the federal government as indispensable savior, telling Congress and the president: We hope you can fix it; we want you to do whatever is necessary to fix it; and we don't care what it costs.

That was not the sentiment in evidence at the tea party protests held on Tax Day.

There, the message was one of great skepticism about the efficacy of the government's remedies and great apprehension about the expense (along with some of the extremist lunacy that accompanies any mass movement). The scale of the federal response to the crises has come as a frightening surprise to many Americans, who suspect the cure will be worse, and less transitory, than the disease. the rest

Malkin: The Million Taxpayer March

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.

Full Article now available
h/t Stand Firm

GetReligion: Faith and the zen bishop-elect

Two Egyptian Christians Killed

By Jenna Lyle
Christian Today Reporter
Mon, Apr. 20 2009

Two Christians have been shot dead by Muslim villagers in southern Egypt in what is believed to be a revenge killing.

The two Christians had just been released from prison after serving three-year sentences for killing a Muslim man during a sectarian clash, according to Reuters.

The killers were relatives of the Muslim man. They attacked the Christians on Saturday after an Easter service in the town of Qena. Coptic and Orthodox Christians marked Easter a week after Catholic and Protestant Christians. the rest

Albert Mohler: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Luck -- The Abandoned Embryo

April 20, 2009

The National Institutes of Health [NIH] released the draft of its "Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research" on April 17, thus revealing the specific policy proposals that will expand federal funding for stem cell research using human embryos.

The proposed guidelines contain few real surprises, given the fact that legislative barriers to the direct destruction of human embryos remains in effect. The main issue is the expansion of funding to include stem cells derived from human embryos created by in vitro fertilization in IVF clinics. The remainder of the guidelines have to do mostly with informed consent procedures. the rest

A World Of Trouble For Obama

By Jackson Diehl
Monday, April 20, 2009

New American presidents typically begin by behaving as if most of the world's problems are the fault of their predecessors -- and Barack Obama has been no exception. In his first three months he has quickly taken steps to correct the errors in George W. Bush's foreign policy, as seen by Democrats. He has collected easy dividends from his base, U.S. allies in Europe and a global following for not being "unilateralist" or war-mongering or scornful of dialogue with enemies.

Now comes the interesting part: when it starts to become evident that Bush did not create rogue states, terrorist movements, Middle Eastern blood feuds or Russian belligerence -- and that shake-ups in U.S. diplomacy, however enlightened, might not have much impact on them. the rest

Obamatopia

Chavez Gifts Obama With Book That Assails U.S. for Exploiting Latin America

Al-Qaeda deputy Zawahiri says Muslims not convinced by Barack Obama

Buffalo: Former Queen of Peace church to become mosque, youth center

04/18/09
By Jay Tokasz

A Muslim group has purchased the former Queen of Peace Catholic Church, rectory, convent and school on Genesee Street and plans to use the complex as a community center and mosque.

The church, by the architects who designed the landmark Buffalo City Hall, will be called Masjid Jami, which means a space to gather together, said Dr. Hatim Hamad, who is leading a group of Muslim parents backing the purchase.

The deal is further evidence of a growing Muslim presence throughout Western New York, which already has nine mosques and a 10th being built on Transit Road in Amherst. the rest

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Devotional: God the Father...

God the Father is a deep root, the Son is the shoot that breaks forth into the world, and the Spirit is that which spreads beauty and fragrance. ...Tertullian image

Same-Sex Marriage: Opening The Door To Polygamy

By Gregory J. Sullivan, For The Bulletin
Friday, April 17, 2009

With the decision by the Iowa Supreme Court and an enactment of a statute Vermont Legislature sanctioning same-sex marriage, a great deal of commentary, filled with understandable but unwarranted optimism, has appeared on the possibility of same-sex marriage being legislated in additional states, including New Jersey.

Advocates are dismissive of the slippery-slope argument — that is, by allowing same-sex couples to marry, then any restrictions on a parent marrying his child or his couch will logically fall. Such views are easily ridiculed if not rebutted, but the next logical step in this debate — namely, polygamy — is not readily dismissed and must be honestly considered by those who favor same-sex marriage.

We tend to think that culture wars are a unique affliction of our unsettled age. In the 19th century, however, the country was engulfed in a moral struggle not only against slavery but also — and often with comparable fervor — against Mormon polygamy. From Joseph Smith’s revelation in the early 1830s that included plural marriage to the official repudiation of this teaching by the Mormon Church in 1890, Mormons were furiously persecuted and relentlessly prosecuted for their practice of polygamy. the rest

Pope Benedict marks fourth anniversary as pontiff

Times Online
April 19, 2009
Richard Owen

Pope Benedict XVI today marked the fourth anniversary of his election as pontiff with an appeal for tolerance ahead of tomorrow's opening of a United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva.
Greeted with applause and cheers at Castelgandolfo, the papal residence South of Rome, he thanked the faithful for their good wishes on anniversary of his election and on his birthday last week, when he turned 82. He said he "never felt alone" and thanked God for the "chorus of so much affection", smiling broadly as pilgrims shouted their greetings and sang an impromptu chorus of "Happy Birthday to You". the rest

Church of England bishop accused of trying to set up rival church

One of the Church of England's leading bishops has been accused of setting up a rival church by another senior Anglican clergyman.
By Chris Hastings
18 Apr 2009

The Very Rev Colin Slee, the liberal Dean of Southwark has publicly attacked the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, and said that he was one of three bishops whose position was now "open to some debate".

The Dean's broadside, delivered in the introduction to the annual report for Southwark Cathedral, will infuriate evangelical supporters of the Bishop, 59, and further widen the gulf between the traditional and liberal wings of the church. the rest

Ark. bishop questions possible Episcopal bishop

Associated Press
April 18, 2009

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A candidate to become the Episcopal Church's bishop in northern Michigan has unconventional beliefs that are causing some to question his possible appointment.

The Rev. Kevin G. Thew Forrester denies that Satan exists, doesn't believe God sent Jesus Christ to die for the world's sins and teaches that many paths lead to spiritual salvation. Thew Forrester also altered the denomination's prayer book, which include its baptismal vows and the words of the Apostles' Creed.

Now, as Thew Forrester awaits potential appointment to the Diocese of Northern Michigan, Arkansas bishop Larry Benfield says he and others hope the 51-year-old priest doesn't get the position. Benfield voted against Thew Forrester receiving the position. the rest