Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Interview with David Dockery on the Identity and Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

Justin Taylor
Friday, June 19, 2009

Dr. Dockery was kind of enough to answer a few questions from me about the SBC--on its strengths, challenges, and future--including questions that puzzle an outsider (like, how can Southern Baptist say that "regenerate church membership" is an irreducible essential for their identity while the numbers suggest that 6 out of 10 church "members" in SBC churches don't even attend services). I think you'll find, as I have, that Dr. Dockery is a wise and insightful voice who has much to teach both those within and outside the SBC.


Albert Mohler: Watch Out for Myths About Fatherhood

Friday, June 19, 2009

The role of the father is increasingly problematic in the context of modern American culture. Fatherhood has been marginalized and the rule and authority of fathers have been depreciated, ridiculed, and continuously redefined. From the Berenstain Bears to The Simpsons, fathers are all too often the object of ridicule or the subject of the laugh line.

Of course, some fathers bring this marginalization upon themselves as they either neglect or forfeit their own fatherly responsibilities. In many sectors of our society, fathers are most noted by their absence. Indeed, millions of American children are growing up without any significant father figure, much less their biological father.

The marginalization of fatherhood can be traced to many developments, but one prime source of this marginalization is the intellectual class and its radical commitment to ideological feminism. Fatherhood is now an ideological category that is inescapably linked to everything from patriarchy (considered to be the original sin) to popular culture (where the intellectual elites exert a very significant, if indirect influence).
the rest

Youtube Video Introducing the Upcoming Anglican Church in North America Assembly

Former Catholic Priest Has New Wife, New Life As Episcopalian

Saturday, June 20, 2009

MIAMI -- Alberto Cutie walked away from a Coral Gables, Fla., court early one morning this week, marriage license in hand, according to a record posted on Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts Web site that lists 35-year-old Ruhama Buni Canellis as the bride.

The former Catholic priest is a widely popular figure among Latinos in the United States. He caused an uproar when photos showing him nuzzling Canellis on a Florida beach -- a violation of his vow of celibacy -- were published in a celebrity magazine early last month.

The couple were legally married by a judge Tuesday, but sources say they will have a religious ceremony in an unnamed Episcopal church. The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, will officiate that wedding. the rest

Eye-Opening YouTube

Friday, June 19, 2009
by Brent Bozell

Pornography is no longer a poison creeping into the crevices of our popular culture. It is part of the very fabric. One sensation at a recent Apple conference for new and developing applications in San Francisco was the "iPorn bikini girls" advertising free X-rated films for your iPhone. It sounds like a whole new reason to fear people using their mobile phones while they drive.

Free porn sites are all over the Internet now, with zero restrictions or minimal electronic barriers against curious children who might be in for a very crude shock within seconds, just with the still photos on the home page. Even the most mainstream of video sites are inundated with pornography and its promoters. YouTube touts itself as the world's most popular portal for Internet videos. It has become so big it's even promoting a new technology called YouTube XL to put its videos directly on your big-screen TV. the rest

Painting Jesus Upsidedown

Anglican TV Live Streaming from ACNA Inauguration

AnglicanTV is pleased to announce we will be live streaming and video taping the Inaugural Anglican Church in North America Assembly from Bedford Texas June 22nd-25th, 2009


Friday, June 19, 2009

Federal Civil Rights Commission Warns Hate Crimes Bill Poses “Menace” to Civil Liberties

Thursday June 18, 2009
By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2009 ( – The US Commission on Civil Rights has now weighed in the hate crimes debate, imploring the Senate to vote against the measure, which would not only make homosexuals a protected group, but more importantly would allow the federal government to have an individual prosecuted a second time under its rules for the same crime.

The federal commission sent the communiqué, dated June 16, to sixteen leaders in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which was then posted by National Review’s blog, the Corner, by Peter Kirsanow.

The letter comes just as leading Senate Democrats have confirmed that a vote on Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (MSHCPA - S. 909) will come sometime before the end of the August recess, but not this week, contradicting an earlier report based on information provided by an unnamed source to the Washington Blade. The letter is a reiteration of the commissioners concerns, which were delivered to House leaders back in April. the rest

Austria and China. The Bishops with the Lowest Grades

The heads of the Austrian dioceses have been called to report to the pope, who is upset over how they have allowed rebellions and abuses to run free. While in China, there are bishops who obey the communist government more than Rome. But Vatican diplomacy is at fault as well, says Cardinal Zen
by Sandro Magister

ROME, June 19, 2009 - At the end of the month, the bishops of the Fraternity of St. Pius X will ordain new priests, and the Holy See has confirmed that these ordinations as well will be considered illegitimate.

But the Lefebvrist schismatics are not the only bishops who are causing concern for the Roman Church. In recent days, the spotlight has also been shone on two episcopacies that, for different reasons, are also gumming up the works: Austria's, and China's.

On June 15 and 16, all of the bishops of Austria came to Rome, called in for a debriefing with Benedict XVI. the rest

U.S. Military Set to Intercept North Korean Ship

The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
Friday, June 19, 2009

The U.S. military is planning to intercept a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is getting into position.

The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang. the rest

Anglican divisions are ‘a struggle for power'

Friday, 19th June 2009
By George Conger

A struggle for power lies behind the Anglican Communion’s divisions over homosexuality, the former Archbishop of Armagh Lord Eames said last week at the annual Lecture to the College of St George at Windsor Castle.

Speaking to the topic: “The Mechanics of Reconciliation Today,” Lord Eames --- the chairman of the commission that prepared the Windsor Report --- explored reconciliation’s social, political and theological principles, seeking to define its terms.

The modern world was “experiencing a constant evaluation of the concept we call 'reconciliation',” he said. The “fracture of society, the break-down of human relationship, the tensions between nations and how human kind’s failure to understand the deep significance of our contribution to the fracturing of the natural world” had led to a reevaluation of the concept of reconciliation. the rest

Government-Run Churches: Can It Happen Here?

By Chuck Colson

In China, Christians have a choice: Join a government-approved church—which is constantly monitored by the authorities—or join an underground church.

Thank heavens things like that don’t happen in the West, you may be thinking. Think again. In Britain, the government has begun sticking its nose in church business, telling churches what to do.

According to the Daily Telegraph, starting next year, the British government is going to begin forcing churches and other religious institutions to hire open, practicing homosexuals. It will happen under the provisions of the so-called Equity Bill, which forbids discrimination against homosexuals or transsexuals. the rest

Patients to get a look at physicians' notes

Beth Israel study tests online access
By Liz Kowalczyk
Globe Staff / June 19, 2009

One doctor wrote that a patient was acting paranoid. Another typed that she had ordered tests to make sure a patient didn’t have cancer. Such notes, written in a patient’s medical records after an appointment, can be candid and blunt - at times more so than doctors are to patients face-to-face.

Doctors write these one- to two-page comments after every visit, and other physicians who treat the patient read them, too. But the notes usually aren’t readily available to patients because hospitals and doctors’ groups fear that they will misunderstand medical jargon, take offense at a blunt observation, or worry unnecessarily about a precautionary test. the rest

Amid Controversy and Schism in the Old Episcopal Church, the New Anglican Church in North America Launches Next Week

WASHINGTON, June 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion and Democracy's Anglican Action program will be sending a team to the founding Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

After years of preparation, evangelical, orthodox and traditionalist Anglicans from across North America, many of them recently departed from the Episcopal Church, will meet in Texas this week to formally launch the new denomination. ACNA unites eight Anglican groups under a single Archbishop and positions itself as an alternative to the U.S. Episcopal Church within the global Anglican Communion.

With an estimated average Sunday attendance of 100,000 congregants, the launch of ACNA will be the largest denominational enterprise of its kind since the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in the 1970s. Ecumenical speakers including Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America will offer keynote addresses. the rest

‘Buddhist bishop’ losing support

Thursday, 18th June 2009
By George Conger

The election of the “Buddhist Bishop” of Northern Michigan will be rejected by the Episcopal Church, a survey of the standing committees of the 111 domestic and overseas dioceses of the Episcopal Church conducted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Frank Lockwood, religion editor of the Democrat-Gazette on June 4 reported that a survey of the church’s 111 diocesan standing committees found that a majority, 56, had refused to give their consent to the election of the Rev Kevin Thew Forrester.

On April 24 Religious Intelligence reported that early returns from the US House of Bishops found that Dr Forrester had been unable to hold together the left-liberal bloc of bishops that backed Gene Robinson’s 2003 election as Bishop of New Hampshire. An unofficial tally kept by Religious Intelligence finds the gap has widened against Dr Forrester in the last six weeks among the bishops as well, with only 14 of the church’s 102 bishops voting to affirm his election while 39 have voted “no” --- and the rest not having reported on their vote. the rest

Robert Gagnon: Why a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity “Hate Crimes” Law Is Bad for You-Part 3

Part 3: Inroads against personal freedom already made in the United States by homosexual and transsexual political activism

ACNA: Dedicated Website for the Inaugural Assembly

June 19th, 2009

News, video, photos and documents from the Inaugural Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America is now available. The new website is also optimized for web capable cell phones.

“We built to be useful to those watching our work in Bedford from afar as well as those who will be participating in the meeting,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, communications director for the Anglican Communion Network. “Our goal is to provide easy access to everything we do at St. Vincent’s and Christ Church Plano to anyone who has an interest,” he added. the rest

ACNA Website here

Hawaii fortified over N. Korean threat

N. Korean ship under U.S. watch
June 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- Hawaii has been placed under heightened missile and other defense fortification to deter any North Korean attacks, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Gates told a Pentagon news conference Thursday the deployment includes mobile and ground-based interceptors, The New York Times reported. Additionally, seaborne radar in the waters off the island will seek information to track and attack any North Korean missile. the rest

U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test

Japan warns U.S. of possible July 4 North Korea launch

Thursday, June 18, 2009

For one denomination, growth for 19 straight years

The Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal body in the United States according to pollsters, says it added adherents in 2008. It’s the 19th straight year of growth for the Springfield, Mo. based fellowship, which counts 2.9 million followers in all 50 states.
Frank Lockwood

In an era that has shown steady decline in church attendance among most of the major religious organizations in the United States, the Assemblies of God continues to buck the trend — having shown growth in U.S. adherents for 19 consecutive years.

In the Annual Church Ministries Report compiled and recently released by Assemblies of God Statistician Sherri Doty, for the year 2008, the Assemblies of God showed an increase in membership by 1.3 percent, as membership rose by more than 21,000 to 1,662,632, and a 1.3 percent increase in adherents as that number rose by more than 36,000 to 2,899,702.

“The increase by more than one percent is significant,” Doty states. “The U.S. population grows by about one percent a year — this is an indication that we are growing faster than the population. And in light of the steady declines in attendance by other religious organizations over the past years, this is encouraging news.” the rest

Only the Polish Army Can Stop Maddona

Ecumenical News International
By Jonathan Luxmoore
Warsaw, 17 June

(ENI)--Roman Catholics in Poland have formed a protest committee in a bid to stop a concert in Warsaw by the U.S. singer Madonna on the day that the Catholic Church worldwide celebrates the assumption into heaven of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

"To make money by holding a concert on such a day by a singer with such a name is ethically dubious," said Grzegorz Kalwarczyk, chancellor of the Warsaw archdiocese. "Although it will probably go ahead, it is not surprising that people are voicing dissatisfaction, and protesting." the rest

Rescue of Coptic Girl in Egypt Prompts Muslim Attack

Michael Larson
Compass Direct News
June 18, 2009

ISTANBUL (Compass Direct News) – Egyptian news sources report security forces have wrongly detained two Christians for nearly a month as part of a ruse to cast a Muslim attack on Copts as “sectarian violence.”

Violence broke out last month in the village of Toma, near El-Mahalla El-Kubra in the middle of the Nile Delta, when local Muslims attacked Copts who had rescued Nermeen Mitry, 16; Muslims had kidnapped the Coptic girl and tried to convert her to Islam, according to Assyrian International News Agency (AINA).

Some 150 Muslims attacked five of Mitry’s family members as they drove home to their village following her rescue after the May 21 kidnapping. Police arrested 14 Muslims and 11 Copts. In the course of the violence, a carton recycling warehouse owned by her father was burned down. the rest

Abortion vs. cat 'murders'

Jill Stanek
June 17, 2009

When last we left Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathleen Rundle in February, she was taking her sweet time prosecuting the murder of a baby aborted alive in a Hialeah, Fla., abortion mill almost three years ago, in July 2006.

Rundle gave Sunshine State legislators a cold rebuff after they wrote her to get a move on, responding:

While we understand the emotional perception that this is an "easy matter," nothing could be further from the truth. The legal and ethical requirements that we be able to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt dictate that we thoroughly complete our investigation before we come to a legal decision in this matter.

Two weeks later Rundle finally handed down an indictment, refusing to prosecute the baby's homicide as murder. Rather, it was "tampering with evidence" and "unlicensed practice of a health care profession resulting in serious bodily injury." the rest

UK: Witches' coven claims religious persecution after church hall ban

A coven of witches is accusing the Roman Catholic church of religious persecution after being banned from using a parish social centre for a Halloween gathering.
By John Bingham
18 Jun 2009

Sandra Davis, the "high priestess" of Crystal Cauldron group in Stockport, Greater Manchester, said she was shocked to be told that the pagan group was not considered to be compatible with the church's "ethos".

Mrs Davis, 61, booked Our Lady's Social Club in Shaw Heath, Stockport, for the group's annual "Witches Ball" due to be held in October.

She hoped to attract up to 150 people to the social evening offering a buffet dinner and music from an Abba tribute band and selected the hall because it had disabled access.

But when she went to pay for the booking she was told by the manager that the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which owns the centre, had refused permission for the group to use it. the rest

Gay man considered for post at Pentagon

Obama still under fire
By Stephen Dinan and Christina Bellantoni
Thursday, June 18, 2009

President Obama is considering nominating an openly gay man to a top civilian Pentagon post as he seeks to temper growing criticism from gay rights advocates that he has not been bold enough on their issues.

Under fire for not lifting the ban on gays serving in the armed forces and for defending a 1996 law curbing federal recognition of same-sex unions, Mr. Obama took steps Wednesday to expand benefits for gay partners of federal workers. He made the move as The Washington Times learned that the president was considering nominating William White, president of the Intrepid museum in New York, to a civilian Pentagon post that would make him the highest-ranking openly gay person in the department. the rest

Hysterectomies a stem cell source

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Discarded fallopian tubes from hysterectomies could be a good source of donor stem cells, say researchers.

Work shows they are an abundant source of the immature cells that have the potential to become a variety of the body's tissues, like muscle and bone.

The discovery offers another "ethical" route to creating stem cell treatments for diseases like arthritis without using embryos. the rest

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Devotional: Help, Lord...

"Help, Lord." —Psalm 12:1

The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word "help" is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them. Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of "Help, Lord," to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Workers in heavenly labour may thus obtain grace in time of need. Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. "Help, Lord," will suit us living and dying, suffering or labouring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to Him.

The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord's character assures us that He will not leave His people; His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and His sure promise stands, "Fear not, I WILL HELP THEE." ...CH Spurgeon image

Robert Gagnon: Why a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity “Hate Crimes” Law Is Bad for You

Part 1: Promoting hatred of people opposed to homosexual practice and transgenderism

Part 2: The irrelevant and inaccurate claim that this bill will not abridge your freedom of speech

UK: Christians urged to act over ‘outrageous’ Coroners Bill

Wednesday, 17th June 2009
By Matt Cresswell

CHRISTIANS ACROSS the UK are being urged to sign a petition calling on the Prime Minister to scrap part of a Bill which could ban Christians voicing traditional views on sexuality.

The Coroners and Justice Bill is likely to be debated in the House of Lords next week, and one critic, the Conservative peer Lord Waddington, told this newspaper he was “outraged” by the government’s attempts to remove a safeguard on freedom of speech from the Bill.

Organised by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) the petition is calling on the government to change clause 61, which eliminates a safeguard on freedom of speech to the Bill.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and founder of the CLC, believes clause 61 could prevent any Christian openly stating a conservative reading of the Bible’s views on homosexual practise and even marriage. the rest

Discord grows over public health care plan

By Richard Wolf
posted June 17, 2009

WASHINGTON — The mood was upbeat in early March when scores of powerful lawmakers and lobbyists joined President Obama in the East Room of the White House to talk about fixing the nation's health care system. Still, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, rose to tell Obama that many Republicans had a problem with his plan to let the government compete with private insurers.

"There's a lot of us that feel that the government is an unfair competitor," Grassley said. "We have to keep what we have now strong, and make it stronger."

Three months later, disagreement has turned to discord over a key element of Obama's health care prescription: his insistence on a "public plan" to compete with private insurers. America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, is joined by the American Medical Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others that have expressed misgivings about greater government involvement. the rest

Obama to offer benefits to gay partners of federal employees

The decision comes as many in the gay community have voiced disappointment with the president, especially after the administration filed a legal brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
By Mark Z. Barabak and Jessica Garrison
June 17, 2009

Reporting from San Francisco and Los Angeles -- Faced with growing anger among gay and lesbian supporters, President Obama is expected tonight to extend healthcare and other benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.

His action is a significant advance for gay rights and comes days after the Obama administration sparked outrage by filing a legal brief defending the law forbidding federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Obama opposed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act during his presidential campaign. the rest

Dept. of Justice defends DOMA, Obama wants it overturned

Nigerians reject abortion bill pushed by American group

Imo, Nigeria
Jun 15, 2009

(CNA)- By a vote of 13-1, the legislature in the small state of Imo, Nigeria rejected the Reproductive Rights Bill last week, marking a pro-life victory in a state whose rich heritage, culture and religious traditions welcome life and respect the lives of unborn children.

It was a decision that the national Nigerian newspaper This Day described as a “victory of the superior Imo cultural values over the new global Western Cultural Revolution” and “yet another triumph of reason… a triumph of democracy and the popular will.”

While the Reproductive Rights Bill claimed to deal with women’s reproductive health, it would have effectively legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Imo, a pro-life state, has rejected several attempts to legalize abortion, with the most recent being in 2006. the rest

Pro-life Leaders Face Death Threats, Require Protection From Abortion Rights Radicals

By Frank Walker

June 16, 2009 - In the aftermath of the shooting of late-term abortionist, Dr. George Tiller, American pro-life leaders have been receiving death threats prompting round-the-clock protection from authorities.

Jill Stanek, vilified last week at MSNBC, is the Illinois nurse who exposed the practice of abandoning babies that survive abortions. She has tracked and reported on the career of Dr. Tiller for years at her blog. When I asked her this week about her own safety in wake of the shooting, Stanek said that she, along with Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Fr. Frank Pavone at Priests for Life, had been receiving credible threats from a "troubled man involved in the abortion industry." Jill said that this individual is the child of a pro-choice advocate/writer and his mother had aborted several of his siblings. Following the Tiller shooting, the stalker emailed Stanek again. Federal agents are currently monitoring his movements.

Pro-life leaders have uniformly been forced to increase security measures to address threats of violence. In recent days Stanek has been placed under continuous police and federal protection following email threats to kill her at church or as she left her home

"Let me know which address is right, there's a few I could post. Or I could just drive around the houses and wait to see which one you walk out of.... Don't worry, I will find it."

Stanek also stated that her local pastors have gotten emails calling for her murder at church services. the rest

Abortionist Killed: National News -- Abortionist Kills Woman: Ignored

WWJD? Movie Premiers

June 17, 2009
Christian Newswire

Nasser Entertainment Premiers the film, "WWJD?" in Denver during the ICRS convention.

"WWJD?" Stars John Schneider. The film is based on one of the best-selling novel of all time "In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do", by Charles Sheldon. Over 40 Million copies of the book have been sold, making it the second best-selling Christian book of all time, behind only the Bible itself.

The movie will screen (free of charge) for the first time ever on Tuesday, July 14th 2009 @ 7:30 pm : Denver Film Society at the Starz Film Center, 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver. Press release

See the trailer: Here

Bishop Visitor: TEC Theology Discouraged Aspirants

June 16, 2009

The Rt. Rev. Donald J. Parsons, Bishop of Quincy from 1973-1987, said that as bishop visitor for the All Saints Sisters of the Poor for about the past six years, he was aware that the convent was undergoing a process of discernment about its continued affiliation with The Episcopal Church. But he said he played no role in their deliberations. The Catonsville, Md.-based order announced it will be received into the Roman Catholic Church in September.

In recent years, Bishop Parsons said the sisters had become increasingly discouraged in their efforts to recruit new aspirants, or members, to their order. While attracted by the sisters’ beautiful 80-acre campus and their mission and ministry, most potential aspirants declined to pursue a calling with the order because they found its traditional “vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience” to be incongruous with what the visitor understood to be the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. the rest

Ten Catholic Colleges that Promote Abortion

by Tim Drake
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parents wondering what their hard-earned money is supporting at Catholic colleges and universities might be interested in the latest findings from the Cardinal Newman Society.

The organization has discovered 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the Church’s moral teachings on issues related to abortion and marriage.

“Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?” asked Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. the rest

In His Image: The Roots of Social Justice

By Chuck Colson

We’re hearing a lot these days about human rights and social justice—particularly among younger evangelicals, but also among secularists. It’s a good thing that there is a growing concern for the poor and the oppressed around the world.

But when the younger generation approaches people like me and tells us that we need to be working for “social justice,” what I tell them is that we’re already doing it. In fact, I believe it’s the single greatest apologetic of the Christian Church.

But what makes us different from the secularists, however, is our worldview—especially in our belief in a fundamental truth that goes right to the heart of who we are. We know all human rights and social justice are grounded in the imago Dei—the fact that we are created in the image of God.

I can’t emphasize that enough. The secularists want social justice, but at the same time, they want to turn right around and deny the very thing that makes social justice possible. It doesn’t work. the rest

PBS to Begin Phasing Out Religious Programming From Airwaves

PBS board members have decided to enforce a rule barring religious broadcasts in a move that spells the beginning of the end for most spiritual shows like Catholic Masses and Mormon devotionals on public television.
By Joseph Abrams
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PBS board members, who for 25 years have turned a blind eye to religious programming at some of their member stations' religious programing, have decided to enforce a rule banning the broadcasts -- a move that spells the beginning of the end for religious shows on public television.

Six PBS stations currently broadcast "sectarian" programs produced by local religious groups, including the morning "Mass for Shut-Ins," which is popular among elderly and ailing Catholics who cannot attend the daily service.

Under the terms of a decision reached by the PBS board Tuesday, those stations can retain their current shows. And all stations can air programs and documentaries that cover sacred topics -- even a newsworthy service, like a papal Mass. the rest

ELDERLY MAN CLAIMS ABUSE SIX DECADES AGO: Episcopal Church denies financial obligation

June 15, 2009

An 81 year old man wants the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania to pay for his alleged sexual abuse and for the inheritance he claims they stole from him. Ralph White Jr. said even if he doesn’t live to see a dime of any money awarded him he’s glad to know the church must respond to his allegations.

According to papers filed by White who is suffering from a heart condition, he claims he was sexually abused by his pastor in the 1940s when he was a boy. Now a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court had ordered the church to respond to his lawsuit. White, of West Philadelphia, is seeking unspecified damages from the five-county diocese and All Saints parish in Wynnewood, and the return of his modest inheritance. the rest

Australia: Anglican Church 'facing up' to sexual abuse

posted June 17, 2009

The Anglican Church in Australia says it has begun implementing recommendations of a major report aimed at preventing child sexual abuse in its ranks.

The church today released the report on 191 cases of abuse reported around the country between 1990 and 2008.

Australia's Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, says they asked researchers from the University of Sydney to examine the cases.

Archbishop Aspinall says researchers found church records must be improved and codes of conduct for protecting children must be better enforced.

"We wanted to be as honest and as transparent and as up front about it as we could be," he said.

"While some of what's reported back to us is confronting... facing up to it is the only way we'll really improve our protective behaviours."
story here

ACNA: New Anglican Church poses dilemma

Challenges representation of denomination in U.S., Canada
By Julia Duin
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Anglican Church in North America will be formally founded next week, challenging the legitimacy of the U.S. Episcopal Church and posing a dilemma for the worldwide Anglican Communion over who represents Anglicanism in the United States and Canada.

When 232 delegates to the ACNA convention at St. Vincent's Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, approve the organization's constitution and canons on Monday, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan will become archbishop for this "emerging" 39th province of the communion, consisting of several groupings that have left the Episcopal Church over issues related to sexuality and biblical authority.

A ceremony celebrating Bishop Duncan's installation is set for June 24 at Christ Church in the Dallas suburb of Plano, the ACNA's largest parish, with more than 2,000 members. Also among the ACNA's members are 11 Northern Virginia parishes, including the historic The Falls Church and Truro parishes, which left the Episcopal Church to found the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. the rest

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Devotional: He knoweth our frame...

"He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." Think of that when you are tempted to question the gentleness of His leading. He is remembering all the time; and not one step will He make you take beyond what your foot is able to endure. Never mind if you think it will not be able for the step that seems to come next; either He will so strengthen it that it shall be able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you shall not have to take it at all. ...Frances Ridley Havergal image

On the Demise of Fatherhood

June 19, 2009
Andrew Peach
First Things

It is news to no one that, in the Western world in general and the United States in particular, the call to fatherhood is being heeded less and less. Anyone unfortunate enough to pick up a newspaper is painfully aware that one third of American children live without any father and that, in many inner cities, the out-of-wedlock birth rate exceeds seventy percent. Also well known, though rarely acknowledged, is the devastation that such a lack of paternity has wreaked on children and society more generally. Fatherless children have rates of incarceration, criminal activity, possession of firearms, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, incompletion of school, and overall parental neglect and maltreatment alarmingly higher than their two-parent counterparts.

Coupled with the staggering divorce rate and the move in the West toward alternative lifestyles—permanent bachelorhood, cohabitation, or “serial monogamy”—it is now possible, without the slightest exaggeration, to begin using phrases such as “the end of the human family.” Reflecting on this paternal and marital landscape, theologian and pastor David P. Gushee soberly confessed, “I think it is quite possible that society as a whole is a lost cause.”

If there is to be any hope of stopping this societal hemorrhaging, then we must first identify the cause or causes of this decline in paternity. What exactly is making so many fathers abandon their posts?
the rest image

The Canadian Human Rights Commission: Appetite For Censorship

Ezra Levant, National Post
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has given itself another report card. The last one, released in November, 2008, didn't quite work out as planned: Professor Richard Moon, who was paid $50,000 by the CHRC to write a short review of its conduct, surprised everybody by calling for the repeal of the commission's censorship powers.

The CHRC immediately garbaged Moon's report. Its press release accompanying the report didn't even mention Moon's chief recommendation, and announced instead that a do-over review would start immediately. Needless to say, no outsider was trusted to write this one.

It's not surprising that the CHRC gave itself a glowing review this time. But what is remarkable is that, far from being chastened by the public condemnation its bad behaviour has provoked, the CHRC has called for even more censorship in Canada. the rest

Brazil finds new strain of H1N1 virus

June 16, 2009

Brazilian scientists have identified a new strain of the H1N1 virus after examining samples from a patient in Sao Paulo, their institute said Tuesday.

The variant has been called A/Sao Paulo/1454/H1N1 by the Adolfo Lutz Bacteriological Institute, which compared it with samples of the A(H1N1) swine flu from California.

The genetic sequence of the new sub-type of the H1N1 virus was isolated by a virology team lead by one of its researchers, Terezinha Maria de Paiva, the institute said in a statement.

The mutation comprised of alterations in the Hemagglutinin protein which allows the virus to infect new hosts, it said. the rest

Father Alberto Cutie Gets Married

Former Catholic Priest Weds Sweetheart in Courthouse
June 16, 2009
Rob Kuznia

How quickly things can change. A little more than a month ago, Alberto Cutie was a Catholic priest in Miami, not to mention a famous religious media personality who'd recently gone on CNN to chastise Playboy for its depiction of a woman as the Virgin Mary.

Fast-forward to today. Several weeks after losing his church and religious radio and TV shows in the wake of a scandal, the 40-year-old Cutie, now an Episcopal priest, tied the knot with Ruhama Canellis, the 35-year-old woman with whom he was having the affair. They were married in a courthouse by a judge in Coral Gables, according to Miami-Dade County court records, the AP reported.

In an interview with CBS in mid-May, Cutie said he and Canellis had known each other for years, but became romantically involved a couple years ago. the rest

ND President Jenkins made $432,000 in 2006

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Notre Dame President and Trustee Rev. John Jenkins was compensated to the tune of $432,000 in 2006, and had an expense account of over $170,000 that same year... here

MySpace, Facebook users at Vatican hit firewalls

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Vatican employees are now banned from accessing some social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace while at work.

People trying to poke a friend or post a status update on their Facebook page from a computer connected to the Vatican network will instead hit a powerful firewall that says the requested page cannot be viewed because it does not fulfill the network's "access protection criteria."

The Vatican spokesman said the move is a "normal and prudent" measure that reflects similar strategies taken by other companies around the world that have blocked employee usage of social networking sites on office networks. the rest

Early Christians and Abortion

Monday June 15, 2009
by David W. T. Brattston
June 15, 2009

( - This article presents the Christian attitude toward abortion before the first ecumenical council, that is, until A.D. 325. Because the New Testament does not comment on the morality of abortion, this article considers the writings of the first generations of Christians after the apostles, for they indicate that opposition to abortion (1) was shared at a time when the writers — or Christians not many generations earlier — personally knew the apostles or their first disciples and thus benefited from their unwritten teachings and interpretations of Scripture, (2) comes from a date so early that there was no likelihood for the original gospel to have been corrupted, and (3) is not based on only one interpretation of the Bible among many but was the interpretation of Christians who were personally familiar with the New Testament writers or their early followers.

With the exception of one author who wrote at length on the subject, early Christian writings do not discuss abortion in depth but merely state in a few words or phrases that it was forbidden to Christians. Most of the authors of the period do not touch on the subject but those who did considered it among the worst of sins.

The earliest source is an anonymous church manual of the late first century called The Didache. It commands “thou shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten.” (at 2.2) the rest


Tue Jun 16 2009

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:
ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House. The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate. the rest

1984 all over again

Obama to propose strict new regulations that would give the government new powers to seize key companies

Sarah Palin Accepts David Letterman's Apology for 'Coarse' Jokes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
FOX news

Sarah Palin has accepted comedian David Letterman’s apology made during Monday night’s broadcast of “The Late Show” for crude jokes made about her and her teen daughters last week.

In a statement to early Tuesday, the Alaska governor said, "Of course it's accepted on behalf of young women, like my daughters, who hope men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve."

"Letterman certainly has the right to 'joke' about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction," Palin said. "This is all thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's Right to Free Speech - in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

The apology came after David Letterman took his biggest step to put the furor surrounding his jokes about Gov. Sarah Palin's daughters behind him. the rest image

Philosophical Divide: Sarah Palin vs. Pop Culture’s Moral Relativists

Martyrs Killed by Conspiracy

Investigation links Malatya murders to cabal of generals, politicians.
Damaris Kremida

In April 2007, five young men tortured and killed two Turkish converts and a German Christian at a Christian publishing house in the southeastern city of Malatya. When the resulting trial began in January 2008, the court and the Turkish public regarded it as a straightforward case of overzealous nationalists killing missionaries, whose activity was widely regarded as a national threat.

But in recent months, lawyers have tied the case to a more serious national threat. Prosecutors have expanded their investigation beyond the five assailants to local officials. The murders are now seen as a plot by the "deep state" group Ergenekon, a cabal of generals, politicians, and other prominent figures accused of trying to overthrow the government. Ergenekon is already accused of plotting a national coup and killing several people, including a Catholic priest. the rest

Muslims angry at school’s sex education plans

Tuesday, 16th June 2009
By Judy West.

British Muslims have reacted in anger at plans by a school in London to teach children about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.

Muslim leaders are now calling on the council in Leytonstone, east London, not to prosecute parents for withdrawing their children from the lessons.

A spokesman said that up to 30 parents may face prosecution for withdrawing their children from school, disobeying the teachers in the school, “simply to secure a decent moral upbringing for their children.” the rest

Change Is Possible for Gays, Says Psychologist

APA Admits Homosexuality Also Due to Environmental Factors
By Genevieve Pollock
ENCINO, California
JUNE 15, 2009

( A Catholic psychologist who specializes in reparative therapy with homosexuals says it's possible for those with same-sex attractions to change, despite agenda-driven ideologies that state the opposite.

Joseph Nicolosi, founder and director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, spoke with ZENIT about his experience as a clinical psychologist and the former president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). the rest

Albert Mohler: Religion on the Brain?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Readers of Monday's edition of USA Today were treated to an introduction into the sociobiology of belief. Interestingly, this article appeared in the opinion pages of the paper -- which is right where the article belongs.

Andrew Newberg, associate professor of radiology and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that religion can be a force for good or for evil, depending on the conception of God that is the focus of belief. In its most basic form, Newberg's article can be reduced to his belief that when individuals believe in a God of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness, they are likely to experience benefits from this belief and then have a generally positive outlook on life. On the other hand, those who believe in a God of wrath, judgment, and vengeance are more likely to experience negative consequences in their lives and to demonstrate a basically negative outlook. the rest

Survey: Family time eroding as Internet use soars

Jun 15 2009
Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Whether it's around the dinner table or just in front of the TV, U.S. families say they are spending less time together.

The decline in family time coincides with a rise in Internet use and the popularity of social networks, though a new study stopped just short of assigning blame.

The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California is reporting this week that 28 percent of Americans it interviewed last year said they have been spending less time with members of their households. That's nearly triple the 11 percent who said that in 2006. the rest image

In Iran, an Iron Cleric, Now Blinking

June 15, 2009

For two decades, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has remained a shadowy presence at the pinnacle of power in Iran, sparing in his public appearances and comments. Through his control of the military, the judiciary and all public broadcasts, the supreme leader controlled the levers he needed to maintain an iron if discreet grip on the Islamic republic.

But in a rare break from a long history of cautious moves, he rushed to bless President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for winning the election, calling on Iranians to line up behind the incumbent even before the standard three days required to certify the results had passed.
Then angry crowds swelled in cities around Iran, and he backpedaled, announcing Monday that the 12-member Council of Guardians, which vets elections and new laws, would investigate the vote.

“After congratulating the nation for having a sacred victory, to say now that there is a possibility that it was rigged is a big step backward for him,” said Abbas Milani, the director of Stanford University’s Iranian studies program. the rest

Mayors angry with White House


America’s big-city mayors are steaming over what they view as “a very dangerous precedent” set by the Obama administration in its decision to shun the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Providence, R.I., this week.

In its attempt to honor the picket line of a local firefighters union involved in a labor dispute with the city, the administration has inadvertently angered some of its staunchest supporters in urban America, who argue that by declining to send an official contingent to the three-day mayors’ conference, the administration is caving in to labor and snubbing local governments at a time of economic strife.

“It was a horrible decision,” said Mayor Michael Pizzi, an independent from Miami Lakes, Fla. “No matter where Obama goes, no matter what city you go to in the United States, you’re going to have some union that’s having problems.” the rest

Bulldozing American Cities

Monday, June 15, 2009

Devotional: Heart-work is hard work indeed...

Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and to be able to put your meaning into appropriate and fitting expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin while you are actually confessing it; melted with free grace even while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the awareness of God's infinite holiness, and to keep your heart in this state not only in, but after these duties, will surely cost you some groans and travailing pain of soul. ...John Flavel image

Obama's sculpted face heads to Mt. Rushmore park

12-ton statue already touring country en route to South Dakota attraction
Posted: June 15, 2009
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Mount Rushmore National Memorial's famous stone carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are about to receive a sculpted visitor: a massive bust of Barack Obama.

According to Black Hills Today, the statue is made of steel and concrete, tops 20 feet tall and weighs roughly 12 tons.

Crafted by artist David Adickes of Houston, Texas, the Obama bust left Adickes' sculpture center earlier this month, shipped in two pieces on the back of a truck, making its way along a 10-state, 40-city tour.

the rest

Benedict-Obama Meeting Plans

by Edward Pentin
Monday, June 15, 2009

The Vatican and the White House are close to agreeing on a date for President Barack Obama to meet Pope Benedict XVI in early July. The president will be in Rome while he attends the G8 summit in the Italian town of L’Aquila July 8-10.

According to informed sources, there’s “work in progress” on a time and date but no official announcement has yet been made because of difficulty in finding a date that’s mutually convenient. It’s believed there is only a small window of opportunity for the president to meet with the Pope as Obama’s visit to Italy is short, and sandwiched between his trips to Russia and Ghana.

However, despite these difficulties, sources say an agreement is close and the White House is likely to confirm a meeting very soon. the rest

Head of Pro-Abortion Women's Group NOW to Resign as National President

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 15, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- Kim Gandy, the president of the pro-abortion women's group NOW plans to resign her position at the organization's national convention later this week. The organization has been criticized during Gandy's 22-year tenure as a leader within the organization for misrepresenting women by promoting abortion.

The three-day NOW conference will be held June 19-21, at the Sheraton hotel in Indianapolis and the theme is Turning the Tide for Equality.

The theme "reflects the changing political landscape and renewed sense of hope for advances in women's rights," with pro-abortion President Barack Obama taking over the White House. the rest

Money, Sex, Indaba: Corrupting the Anglican Communion Listening Process

By Ralinda B. Gregor
The American Anglican Council
posted June 15, 2009

The next stage of the Anglican Communion's attempt to resolve its differences over theology, sexuality and the authority of scripture will involve more "listening processes," but this time those processes will be paid for by a retired Episcopal priest who advocates same-sex blessings. The money given by the Episcopal priest will be monitored by a group of sex "experts" who advocate a vision of sexual freedom and "justice" that bears little resemblance to mainstream Christian doctrine or tradition, and at least one of these "experts" believes that pornography, bestiality, and multiple sex partners are not inherently harmful or wrong. Working quietly in the background is a foundation advocating sexual and reproductive health "rights" and charting a strategy to increase the voice and influence of progressive religious groups in the public sphere.

The Listening Process, also known as the "Continuing Indaba Project," was announced last month at the Kingston, Jamaica meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council after a briefing by the Archbishop of Canterbury's Anglican Communion Office (ACO). The staff of the ACO, under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, announced that a $1.5 million gift was given to fund this project-a gift 2-3 times the size of any previous gift received by the Anglican Communion Office for its work, and at a time when financial reports concede diminishing giving and reserves for the troubled Communion. The delegates to the Anglican Consultative Council were told that the money was coming from a grant through the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. the rest

Anglican Convent of All Saints to be Received in Full Communion with Rome

Sunday, June 14, 2009
by Shawn Tribe

Story here

"This would also be an apt occasion to also mention the fact, already widespread on the internet, of the impending reception of the Rev. Jeffrey Steel and his family into full communion with the Holy See."

Anglican congregation reviewing its options

Pastor at St. Luke’s of the Mountains addresses recent court decision at Sunday service.
By Veronica Rocha
Sunday, June 14, 2009

LA CRESCENTA — The Rev. Rob Holman reminded Anglican parishioners to practice love and forgiveness Sunday morning as they reeled from the state Fourth District Court of Appeals’ decision last week to uphold a lower court’s ruling that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is the legal owner of the St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church property on Foothill Boulevard.

Reacting to comments made by the Right Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, to the News-Press regarding the court decision and the church’s future, Holman told parishioners Bruno had been misleading and dishonest.

“God’s timing is kind of interesting to begin 40 Days of Love with the court’s appeal,” Holman said. “This week taught me it’s hard to be loving.”

He asked parishioners to forgive Bruno “and release you and your statements to the Lord’s hands.” the rest

Northern Plains Anglicans: Read this if you might head to church... or even if you are one who stays away

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just found a fascinating critique of contemporary Christian "worship" via a tweet from Wyclif. He gave a link to's blog [check out the comments here-music and worship are always a hot topic!-PD] about the "big worship goof" among Evangelical Christians. A few snips:

We have, within a matter of 50 years, completely changed the entire concept of what is a worship service. We’ve adopted an approach that demands ridiculous levels of musical, technical and financial commitment and resources.

We have tied ourselves to the Christian music industry and its endless appetite for change and profit. We have accepted that all of our worship leaders are going to be very, very young people...

Worship has now become a musical term. Praise and worship means music. Let’s worship means the band will play. We need to give more time to worship doesn’t mean silent prayer or public scripture reading or any kind of participatory liturgy. It means music.

Even singing is getting lost in this. As the volume and the performance level goes up, who knows who is singing?

"Liturgy" was a secular Greek word meaning "an act done for the public good." The first Christians found it useful as an explanation of worship - the action by which the church comes to be and is visible to the world. the rest photo

A 'time bomb' for world wheat crop

The Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, could wipe out more than 80% of the world's wheat as it spreads from Africa, scientists fear. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches the U.S.
By Karen Kaplan
June 14, 2009

The spores arrived from Kenya on dried, infected leaves ensconced in layers of envelopes.

Working inside a bio-secure greenhouse outfitted with motion detectors and surveillance cameras, government scientists at the Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn., suspended the fungal spores in a light mineral oil and sprayed them onto thousands of healthy wheat plants. After two weeks, the stalks were covered with deadly reddish blisters characteristic of the scourge known as Ug99.

Nearly all the plants were goners.

Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from eastern Africa. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America -- if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first. the rest image

Bishop laments ‘silencing of religious language’

Monday, 15th June 2009
By Michael Brown

THE "language of God" - common in public life for centuries - "is now muted, if not almost silent," in this country, according to a leading English bishop.

The lament was voiced by the Rt Rev Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle, who said the mood was famously summed up by Alistair Campbell, press aide to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, with the words "We don't do God".

This meant that if a politician referred to God at all it was in a "half-embarrassed kind of way," the bishop told his diocesan synod.

Bishop Wharton said: "Religion is seen as something which may be privately engaged in - but publicly irrelevant." the rest

The Cultural Genocide of Egypt's Christian Copts


(AINA) -- The Egyptian Government, In a new step in long-term and premeditated process of obliterating Coptic identity and history, has decided to change the name of the Coptic village of Deir Abu Hennis, in the Upper Egyptian province of Mallawi, Minya. The village was founded in the 4th century AD on the grounds of the Monastery of St. Hennis the Short, a much revered Coptic Saint. The new name chosen by the Government is "Valley of Peppermint."

More than four thousand Coptic villagers demonstrated on Thursday June, 11 against this forced change, vowing to fight to the end to keep the name of their village. They carried banners with slogans such as 'Let us all die and May Abu Hennis live for ever' and "We, the inhabitants of the village refuse the change in the name of our village and we want it to remain as it is. It is our right and our demand"

The inhabitants of the village, who are 100% Copts, are not only angry because the Minister of Justice,issued an order to change the name of their village into "Valley of Peppermint," but because this decision was made on 4/12/2009, but they were informed on 6/9/2009. the rest

Egypt Court Rejects Ex-Muslim Convert's Case

Obamacare: Naive, Hypocritical and Dishonest

June 15, 2009
By Robert Samuelson

WASHINGTON -- It's hard to know whether President Obama's health care "reform" is naive, hypocritical or simply dishonest. Probably all three. The president keeps saying it's imperative to control runaway health spending. He's right. The trouble is that what's being promoted as health care "reform" almost certainly won't suppress spending and, quite probably, will do the opposite.

A new report from Obama's own Council of Economic Advisers shows why controlling health costs is so important. Since 1975, annual health spending per person, adjusted for inflation, has grown 2.1 percentage points faster than overall economic growth per person. Should this trend continue, the CEA projects that:

-- Health spending, which was 5 percent of the economy (gross domestic product, GDP) in 1960 and is reckoned at almost 18 percent today, would grow to 34 percent of GDP by 2040 -- a third of the economy. the rest

Added: Is It Obama's Economy Now?

Catholic sextuplet parents tell how they ignored doctors who said to abort some of the babies

By Daily Mail Reporter
June 2009

A Catholic couple who had sextuplets last month have revealed how they were told by doctors to abort some of the babies.

Nuala Conway, who gave birth to the first sextuplets in the UK for more than 25 years, was warned about the high risks of carrying so many children.

The first-time mother and her husband Austin were told at 14 weeks that they could terminate some of them to reduce the risk during the pregnancy.

But the former fashion store worker insisted she was putting her faith in God and wanted to go ahead. the rest

Sextuplets mother ignored advice to abort

Media priest's conversion strains ecumenical ties

June 30, 2009

In the nearly 500 years since the Church of England split with the Roman Catholic Church, a fair number of converts have crossed from one church to the other. Still, the path can be rocky, as Alberto Cutié—the most recent high-profile convert—discovered on May 28 when he left Catholicism to join the Episcopal Church.

Known as "Father Oprah" because of his popularity and media savvy, Cutié was caught by a photographer in an embrace with his girlfriend on a Florida beach early in May. The 40-year-old celebrity cleric later admitted to struggling with the Catholic priesthood's mandatory celibacy requirement and was suspended from ministry.

Just weeks later, Cutié announced that he hopes "to continue priestly ministry and service in my new spiritual home," the Episcopal Church, which allows priests to marry. He had been considering conversion for two years, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. the rest

Sunday, June 14, 2009

St. Paul's members give up property rather than fight

Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
By Sue Nowicki

Retired pediatrician Doug Chadwick remembers the first service at St. Paul's Church when it opened in Modesto. It was raining on that Christmas Eve in 1971 and the parking lot was unpaved, "just part of a field. It was very muddy. One man guided us by flashlight, walking over boards so we can get in."

No one in that service could imagine that 37-plus years later, most of the congregation would walk away from the multimillion-dollar church on Oakdale Road just south of Briggsmore Avenue. But the split between Episcopals and Anglicans has grown so wide and litigious, Chadwick and others will do just that.

Their last service at St. Paul's will be held as usual two Sundays from now, on June 28. Their next service, on July 5, will be as Wellspring Anglican Church in the old J.S. West building in downtown Modesto. the rest

Church of England attempts to broaden appeal with songs by U2 and prayers for Google

Christian services that feature DJs, songs of the Irish band U2 and prayers for the chief executives of Google and Wal-Mart are being promoted by the Church of England.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
13 Jun 2009

The ideas for alternative-style worship are part of an initiative launched by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to appeal to the younger generation.

They are set out in a new book compiled by the Church's Fresh Expressions programme, which aims to boost church attendance with more relevant and exciting services.

However, traditionalists have criticised the unorthodox services as "pointless" and "shallow", and have warned that experimenting with Church tradition would do more harm than good. the rest

Quincy: Diocese prepares to replace retired bishop

Peoria-based group that separated from national Episcopal Church plans election at October synod
Jun 13, 2009

The Anglo-Catholic Diocese of Quincy based in Peoria has announced plans to elect its next bishop.

The diocese has been led by the diocesan standing committee since the retirement of Bishop Keith Ackerman last fall.

"We've begun the process of assessing the needs and vision of our diocese and forming a search committee," said the Rev. John Spencer, president of the standing committee. "We'll begin receiving nominations on July 1 and will move forward with interviews through the late summer. We plan to elect at our annual synod in October." the rest

Biological Colonialism Continues to Increase

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

An increasing number of well off Western couples are renting wombs of poor women in India to gestate their children. From the story:

One leading obstetrician at a Mumbai hospital says she delivers on average one baby to a British couple every 48 hours. One London couple who have taken advantage of India’s “baby factories” told the Standard of their joy at having twins. Louis and Freya are the genetic offspring of Chris and Susan Morrison but were carried in the womb of a Gujarati woman who was paid £8,000.

It is very disturbing to see well off Westerners with such a sense of entitlement that they think it is perfectly fine to use poor women as so many brood mares. And what about the well being of the birth mothers? What psychic cost do they pay to gestate children and then have them taken away, never to be seen again–perhaps never to be ever known about by the children they bore? And what if something went wrong and the surrogate lost her health, her fecundity, or her life? Or what if the baby was born with a disability and the parents “change their minds?” There is a lot more involved here than the joy of the parents. the rest