Saturday, September 05, 2009

Italian Priest Uncovers 100 Pedophile Networks

Meter Association Gathered Evidence for US and Italy
ROME, SEPT. 4, 2009

(Zenit.org).- A hundred online pedophile communities will be disconnected and prosecuted by U.S. and Italian authorities thanks to the work of the Meter Association, founded by Italian Father Fortunato Di Noto.

ZENIT learned from the association that the networks consisted of some 18,181 people who used online community Web sites to host and exchange "thousands of images and video footage -- 27,894 pedophiliac photos and 1,617 videos -- as well as information regarding the trade of minors."

The news was further publicized by Rome's Italian police force, in cooperation with other security forces.

"Thousands of children were involved," the association added. the rest

'Massive' ancient wall uncovered in Jerusalem

Fri September 4, 2009

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3,700-year-old wall that is the largest and oldest of its kind found in the region, experts say.

Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.
"To build straight walls up 8 meters ... I don't know how to do it today without mechanical equipment," said the excavation's director, Ronny Reich. "I don't think that any engineer today without electrical power [could] do it."

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority added, "You see all the big boulders -- all the boulders are 4 to 5 tons." the rest

Episcopal nuns' exit widens rift

As sect ordains women and gays, Catonsville sisters become Catholic
By Mary Gail Hare and Matthew Hay Brown
Baltimore Sun reporters
September 4, 2009

In a move that religious scholars say is unprecedented, 10 of the 12 nuns at an Episcopal convent in Catonsville left their church Thursday to become Roman Catholics, the latest defectors from a denomination divided over the ordination of gay men and women.

The members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor were welcomed into the Catholic Church by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien, who confirmed the women during a Mass in their chapel. Each vowed to continue the tradition of consecrated life, now as a religious institute within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

"We know our beliefs and where we are," said Mother Christina Christie, superior of the order that came to Baltimore in 1872. "We were drifting farther apart from the more liberal road the Episcopal Church is traveling. We are now more at home in the Roman Catholic Church."

Also joining the church was the Rev. Warren Tanghe, the sisters' chaplain. In a statement, Episcopal Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton wished them God's blessings." the rest

As the Episcopal Church collapses, Anglican nuns are turning to Rome

Tougher rules ordered for Dallas Episcopal clergy; another stockbroker-priest may be suspended

Fri, Sep 04, 2009

Dallas Episcopal Bishop James Stanton (right) is responding to the scandal surrounding stockbroker-priest William Warnky with new rules for his clergy.

Effective immediately, priests are "barred from soliciting, providing or selling secular products or services to parishioners," a diocesan press release says. It quotes Stanton thusly: "This new policy is designed to eliminate any conflicts of interest, and we hope these changes will raise the level of confidence in our clergy and that of the people under their care."

Diocesan leaders previously told me that priests had long been prohibited from financial involvement with parishioners. But it turns out that the policy was pretty vague -- it read, according to the press release: "The relationship of members of the clergy with fellow clergy and with members of the laity must be of the highest moral and professional character."

Stanton recently suspended Warnky from the ministry after financial regulators barred him from selling securities. The regulators acted because Warnky failed to pay a former parishioner, D.R. Marshall, $50,000 for stock fraud. the rest

There, I Fixed It

Great Website

Cleric’s wife sues for support

Buyekezwa Makwabe
Aug 29, 2009

The man who filled Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu’s shoes as South Africa’s Anglican archbishop is being sued for maintenance by his wife of 22 years.

Two years ago, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane announced to his family that he would be resigning from the church and would be going on a 10-day retreat in Polokwane, Limpopo, to “meditate”. But the clergyman never returned.

Now his estranged wife, Nomahlubi Vokwana-Ndungane, who had kept her husband’s disappearance “in the family”, has turned to the courts in a desperate bid to force him to support her financially. The shocking allegations surfaced this week when the couple was called to the Family Court in Cape Town for mediation. the rest

CDC Confirms Ties to Virus First Discovered in U.S. Pig Factories

Crowded conditions on factory farms create breeding grounds for new viruses.
August 26, 2009
By Michael Greger, M.D.

Factory farming and long-distance live animal transport apparently led to the emergence of the ancestors of the current swine flu threat.

A preliminary analysis of the H1N1 swine flu virus isolated from human cases in California and Texas reveals that six of the eight viral gene segments arose from North American swine flu strains circulating since 1998, when a new strain was first identified on a factory farm in North Carolina.

This genetic fingerprint, first released by Columbia University’s Center for Computation Biology and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,[1] has now been reportedly confirmed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and virologist Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Robert Webster, the director of the U.S. Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization, and considered the "godfather of flu research,"[2] is reported as saying "The triple reassortant in pigs [first discovered in the U.S. in 1998] seems to be the precursor." the rest

Friday, September 04, 2009

Obama Regulation Czar Advocated Removing People’s Organs Without Explicit Consent

Friday, September 04, 200
By Matt Cover

(CNSNews.com) – Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has advocated a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.

Under such a policy, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.

Outlined in the 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” Sunstein and co-author Richard H. Thaler argued that the main reason that more people do not donate their organs is because they are required to choose donation. the rest

GO AHEAD, MAKE MY HIGH HOLIDAY

MAZEL-TOUGH GUYS GUNNING FOR TERRORISTS
By REUVEN FENTON and ANDY GELLER
September 4, 2009

It's high noon for the high holidays.

Fearing jihadists will attack synagogues during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a group of badass rabbis has developed a program to turn your average shul-goer into a lean, mean fighting machine.

The group, which calls itself the International Security Coalition of Clergy, was founded by Rabbi Gary Moscowitz, who boasts a black belt in karate, teaches martial arts and was an NYPD cop for nine years. Story

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.

Cushing Academy embraces a digital future
By David Abel
Globe Staff / September 4, 2009

ASHBURNHAM - There are rolling hills and ivy-covered brick buildings. There are small classrooms, high-tech labs, and well-manicured fields. There’s even a clock tower with a massive bell that rings for special events.

Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception.

This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks - the classics, novels, poetry, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital.
the rest

Tome raider

Presiding Bishop castigates critics of her heresy comments

Thursday, 3rd September 2009
By George Conger

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has castigated critiques of her July 7 heresy sermon, saying her claim that it was heretical to believe that individual believers can find salvation through Jesus Christ, had been misconstrued. Salvation “depends on love of God and our relationship with Jesus,” and is made manifest by right conduct, the presiding bishop said last week in defense of her views.

However, evangelical critics of the presiding bishop note her explanations fall short, as “we are not justified by love, but rather justified by faith,” the Rev Mark Thompson, Head of Theology at Moore College in Sydney tells Religious Intelligence.

In her opening remarks to the Episcopal Church’s triennial synod, the Presiding Bishop stated the “crises” facing the church arose from the “great Western heresy that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God.” the rest

“Right to Die” Means a Physician Duty to Kill?

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

Bioethicist Jacob Appel can be relied on to promote the most radical bioethics agendas, assisted suicide for the mentally ill, fetal farming, you name it. And now he has argued that if Montana affirms a constitutional right to assisted suicide in Montana, the state has a duty to make sure that doctors are willing to do the deed. Why? Doctors have a monopoly on a limited commodity–the practice of medicine–and hence they should be able to be forced to participate in the taking of patients’ lives in assisted suicide. From his column:

However, it [medical license and professional autonomy] belies any claim that doctors should have the same right to choose their customers as barbers or babysitters. Much as the government has been willing to impose duties on radio stations (eg. indecency codes, equal time rules) that would be impermissible if applied to newspapers, Montana might reasonably consider requiring physicians, in return for the privilege of a medical license, to prescribe medication to the dying without regard to the patient’s intent.

This is taking the duty to die and transforming it into a duty to kill. And it reflects a profound misunderstanding of the government’s role. The government is not a guarantor that, for example, anyone will read this blog–which is a classic example of a citizen exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. The government, absent a compelling interest, just can’t prevent me from writing. Similarly, if the Montana Supreme Court goes the wrong way, Montana law won’t be able to prevent physicians from engaging in assisted suicide. But that doesn’t mean it should be able to compel them help kill. the rest

Conservative Anglican fellowship launched in South Africa

by Lillian Kwon and Daniel Blake
Friday, September 4, 2009

Just months after being launched in London, a conservative Anglican movement has made its way to South Africa where 70 clergy and laity have gathered to affirm the orthodox Christian faith.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (South Africa) was launched Thursday at St. John's Church in Port Elizabeth and participants want to send out a clear message that "the Scriptures exhort us to remain faithful to the faith 'once for all delivered to the saints,' to the Lordship of Christ and hence to Apostolic teaching and practice."

At a time when some conservative Anglicans are choosing to split from their national churches over differences on scriptural authority and homosexuality and form separate groups, organizers of the FCA insist their movement is not an act of secession but a way of keeping orthodox, biblical Anglicanism "inside the fold," as Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, explained earlier.

The movement comes out of an invitation by conservative Anglican bishops from mainly the Global South. Last summer, leaders at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) who believe some in the Anglican Communion are preaching a "false gospel" affirmed Christian orthodoxy and invited like-minded Anglicans to establish a fellowship. the rest

Khadafy to United Nations: Abolish Switzerland

BY Helen Kennedy
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, September 3rd 2009

According to Swiss minister Christa Markwalder, when Khadafy comes to New York Sept. 23, he will ask the UN to dismantle Switzerland and parcel out the land to neighboring France, Germany and Italy.

The UN charter specifically states that no member can threaten the sovereignty of another, so the demand is unlikely to get far. But it's another sign of tension to come during the eccentric dictator's visit.

The Libya-Swiss kerfuffle began a year ago, when Khadafy's trouble-making youngest son, Hannibal, was arrested in a Geneva hotel for beating two servants with a belt and a coat-hanger. the rest

Noonan: The Obama administration is young and out of touch.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2009
By Peggy Noonan

Excerpt:
Mr. Obama has grown boring. And it's not Solid Boring, which is fine in a president and may be good. It's sort of Faux Eloquent Boring, especially on health care. The president likely doesn't know this, and his people won't have told him because they don't know it either, but Mr. Obama always has the same sound, approach, logic, tone, modulation. He always has the same stance. There's no humor or humility in it. News is surprise, and he never makes news.

The past 10 months, the president has lessened and not increased the trust of the big center. He did a number of things wrong, but one has not been noticed much, or noted. He moved too quickly, before he'd earned the right to change a big chunk of American life. You earn that right by establishing trust. Absent crisis, leaders have to show, over a certain amount of time and through a series of actions, that they're sober, sound, farsighted, looking out for the middle. In addition, of course, middle America is worried about two dramas, the economy and war, and he's showing he's worried about a third drama, health care, which they've put to the side. His concerns do not coincide with theirs. Which makes him, not them, look out of touch. the rest

Obama, The Mortal
But what has occurred -- irreversibly -- is this: He's become ordinary. The spell is broken. The charismatic conjurer of 2008 has shed his magic. He's regressed to the mean, tellingly expressed in poll numbers hovering at 50 percent.

Internet addiction center opens in US

Sep 3 2009
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press Writer

FALL CITY, Wash. (AP) - Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game "World of Warcraft." As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa.

Alexander, 19, needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol or drugs. He found it in this suburb of high-tech Seattle, where what claims to be the first residential treatment center for Internet addiction in the United States just opened its doors.

The center, called ReSTART, is somewhat ironically located near Redmond, headquarters of Microsoft and a world center of the computer industry. It opened in July and for $14,000 offers a 45-day program intended to help people wean themselves from pathological computer use, which can include obsessive use of video games, texting, Facebook, eBay, Twitter and any other time-killers brought courtesy of technology. the rest

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Devotional: I have always been glad...

"Thou hast shewed thy people hard things" Ps.60:3

I have always been glad that the Psalmist said to God that some things were hard. There is no mistake about it; there are hard things in life. Some beautiful pink flowers were given me this summer, and as I took them I said, "What are they?" And the answer came, "They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom only on rocks where you can see no soil." Then I thought of God's flowers growing in hard places; and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for His "rock flowers" that He may not have for His lilies and roses. ...Margaret Bottome
image by iwona kellie

ENGLAND: Canterbury hosts seven Episcopal bishops for private meeting

By ENS staff
September 03, 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams held a private meeting September 2 with seven Episcopal Church bishops at Lambeth Palace, his London residence.

The bishops attending the meeting were Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, Gary Lillibridge of West Texas, Edward Little of Northern Indiana, Bill Love of Albany, Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, and Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana.

A spokesperson in the Lambeth Palace press office confirmed that Williams had hosted the seven Episcopal bishops, but said that the meeting was private.

When asked for his reflections on the meeting, MacPherson told ENS that the bishops will have "something forthcoming soon." the rest

Southern Ohio Suffragan Will Serve Pittsburgh Reorganizers

September 3, 2009

The Episcopal leaders who have reorganized a diocese in the Pittsburgh area have, upon the recommendation of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, nominated the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr., Bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, to serve as their provisional Bishop.

Bishop Price is the only nominee on the ballot for the election, which is scheduled for October 17.

Bishop Price “understands his primary role as pastor, to help us to continue to reorganize and move forward,” said the Rev. Jim Simons, president of the Pittsburgh standing committee and rector of St. Michael’s of the Valley, Ligonier, Pa. “With his experience as a bishop and as the interim ecclesiastical authority in Southern Ohio, he knows what needs to be done.” the rest

Fragment from world's oldest Bible found hidden in Egyptian monastery

Academic stumbles upon previously unseen section of Codex Sinaiticus dating back to 4th century
By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A British-based academic has uncovered a fragment of the world's oldest Bible hiding underneath the binding of an 18th-century book.

Nikolas Sarris spotted a previously unseen section of the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from about AD350, as he was trawling through photographs of manuscripts in the library of St Catherine's Monastery in Egypt. the rest

Albert Mohler: Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel -- And Why So Many Christians Think It Is

Thursday, September 03, 2009

One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel," Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.

His words could not be more clear: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, he is to be accursed!" [Gal. 1:6-7]

This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle's shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our own day -- and in our own churches -- we desperately need to hear and to heed this warning. In our own time, we face false gospels no less subversive and seductive than those encountered and embraced by the Galatians.
the rest

The Not Ready for Prime Time President

September 3, 2009
By Bruce Walker

Pundits, including perceptive conservative opponents like Charles Krauthammer, have noted the consummate political skill of Barack Obama. There is not much doubt that Obama was able to wage a very effective campaign for the Democratic nomination and then for the presidency in the general election.

Bill Clinton was a masterful campaigner too (I had the opportunity to watch some of that first hand.) Ronald Reagan, because in part of his long career in Hollywood, could give "The Speech" a thousand times and each time it was electrifying. The word "charisma" entered our popular political language to describe John Kennedy, whose beautiful wife and boyish good looks created the myth of Camelot. Franklin Roosevelt had the same gift for making people feeling comfortable and winning elections.

But there is a huge difference between Obama, on the one hand, those other presidents on the other hand - and the difference transcends ideology. The difference is that JFK, FDR, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton had the ability to govern once they had won their elections.
the rest

All Glory Is Fleeting, Obama; The Missing Portraits Of Joe Biden

This Just In... Obama Is a Leftist!

Obama and the Perfect Political Storm

Honor killings on the rise

Thursday, 03 Sep 2009
DAVID MARTIN

In Texas last year, a horrible 911 call came from two sisters.

“Oh my god! I'm dying. What's wrong ma'am? I'm bleeding everywhere,” one of them is heard screaming.

The father is the accused killer. His reason? They were dating boys.

"Most Westerners wouldn't understand that and wouldn't even believe that people think that way,” says Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch.org .

His website attempts to raise awareness about the activities of global jihadists. One of those activities is what's called honor killings, a practice which has its roots in the Middle East, and is now happening in the West.

“What they're concerned about is restoring the purity of the family in this world, and they do that by eradicating the member that is stained,” says Spencer. the rest

WH withdraws call for students to 'help' Obama

By Matthew Mosk
September 2, 2009

President Obama's plan to inspire the nation's schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to "help the president."

Presidential aides acknowledged the White House helped the U.S. Education Department craft the proposal, which immediately was met by fierce criticism from Republicans and conservative organizations who accused Mr. Obama of trying to politicize the education system.
the rest

Some parents ask schools to excuse their children from listening to Obama’s education speech

Ben and Jerry's renames ice cream Hubby Hubby in celebration of gay marriage

Ben and Jerry's has changed the name of one of its best-selling ice creams to Hubby Hubby, in celebration of the legalisation of gay marriage in its home state of Vermont.
By Matthew Moore
02 Sep 2009

The flavour formerly known as Chubby Hubby will be sold under the playful new name for the length of September.

Ben and Jerry's has developed a reputation for social activism – and smart publicity stunts – since being founded by two former hippies in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

The firm has striven to retain its freethinking reputation despite its 2000 sale to food giant Unilever, and earlier this year marked Barack Obama's election as US president by renaming one of its nutty ice cream flavours "Yes Pecan". the rest

MA Pandemic Bill allows Police to enter homes, Detain Without warrant

by Mike Cohen
Wednesday, 02 September 2009

A "pandemic response bill" currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance.

If citizens refuse to comply with isolation or quarantine orders in the event of a health emergency, they may be imprisoned for up to 30 days and fined $1,000 per day that the violation continues. the rest

UK: Sentenced to death on the NHS

Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.
By Kate Devlin
Medical Correspondent
02 Sep 2009

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others. the rest

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Devotional: Be rightly related to God...

"That My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11

What was the joy that Jesus had? It is an insult to use the word happiness in connection with Jesus Christ. The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do. "I delight to do Thy will." Jesus prayed that our joy might go on fulfilling itself until it was the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?

The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God's work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had. The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances. The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God's word. Before we know where we are, we are caught up in the shows of things. All that God has done for us is the mere threshold; He wants to get us to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim Who Jesus is.

Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a centre for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of most blessing to you are those who were unconscious of it. ...Oswald Chambers
image by hogeasdf

Galaxy's 'cannibalism' revealed

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The vast Andromeda galaxy appears to have expanded by digesting stars from other galaxies, research has shown.

When an international team of scientists mapped Andromeda, they discovered stars that they said were "remnants of dwarf galaxies".

The astronomers report their findings in the journal Nature.

This consumption of stars has been suggested previously, but the team's ultra-deep survey has provided detailed images to show that it took place. the rest image

A.S. Haley: 815's Day of Reckoning Approaches

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Episcopal Church (USA) currently is a party to some sixty lawsuits across the United States. Its litigation budget from 2006-2012 could approach $7 million, or more than $1 million per year -- and that is according to just the official, published figures. There is another considerable amount going out to prop up its Potemkin dioceses in San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy.

Those are the four dioceses which have thus far voted to leave the Church, and each departure has spawned a lawsuit. ECUSA from the beginning has adopted a high-stakes, winner-take-all strategy which depends for its success on its ability to prove in court the proposition that a diocese is not free to withdraw from the voluntary unincorporated association which ECUSA has been since its formation at common law in 1789.

By contending that its dioceses may not withdraw, ECUSA maintains the fiction that its Potemkin creations -- clergy and laity hobbled together into a hastily, but illegally, called "special convention" and programmed to vote for a new "standing committee" and (perhaps) a provisional bishop -- are the real continuing diocesan entities in the eyes of the law. The people voting earlier to amend the diocesan Constitutions acted beyond their lawful powers, the argument goes. The lay deputies to the diocesan Conventions are thereby supposed to have violated Canon I.17.8, which reads:

Any person accepting any office in this Church shall well and faithfully perform the duties of that office in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of this Church and of the Diocese in which the office is being exercised. the rest

Jeb Bush: W.’s Not Converting to Catholicism

by Edward Pentin
Monday, August 31, 2009

At Communion and Liberation’s annual Rimini Meeting last week, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, spoke about why he decided to become a Catholic and of his opposition to those elected officials who think they should keep their faith “in a safety deposit box.”

Bush also indicated he doesn’t think it’s likely his older brother, former President George W. Bush, will convert to Catholicism.

Answering a question put to him after he had delivered a talk strongly critical of big government, Bush said what primarily attracted him to the faith were the “sacraments of the Catholic Church, the timeless nature of the message of the Catholic Church, and the fact that the Catholic Church believes in and acts on absolute truth as its foundational principles and doesn’t move with modern times as my former religion did.”

A former Episcopalian who was received into the Church in 1995, Bush said, “In the United States many people think that to keep your faith, you need to put it into a safety deposit box if you’re an elected official until you finish your service as a public servant, and then you can go and get it back. I never thought that was appropriate.” the rest

Appeal to Governments and others by the Archbishop of the Sudan following murder of Archdeacon Garang at the altar in Sudan

September 1st, 2009
Juba, Sudan

APPEAL regarding the recent atrocities in Jonglei and Western Equatoria States

On Saturday 29th August 2009 I received reports from Wernyol, Twic East County, Jonglei State, that there had been another attack on the peoples of the area in which over forty people – men, women and children – were killed. Amongst the dead were Ven. Joseph Mabior Garang, Archdeacon of Wernyol and Archbishop’s Commissary in the new Diocese of Twic East, who was shot at the altar of the church in Wernyol during a service of Morning Prayer. Tens of others have been wounded, some very seriously with gun-shot wounds and broken limbs. Only a few of these have been taken to Juba Military Hospital, whilst the rest are still in Bor Hospital.

I have leant from Episcopal Church sources on the ground that the attackers were well armed with new automatic weapons, dressed in army uniforms, and appeared well-organized and properly trained. Instead of attacking a cattle camp, this was an attack on a Payam headquarter town. Consequently in the view of the Church, this was not a tribal conflict as commonly reported, but a deliberately organized attack on civilians by those that are against the peace in Southern Sudan. These reports confirm the suspicions that I aired in my May 2009 appeal to the diplomatic and international community in Sudan. the rest

One Heck Of a Dog Trainer

Gay question threatening Scottish church unity

Wednesday, 2nd September 2009
By George Conger

The question of gay clergy threatens to tear Anglicans in Scotland apart, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), Bishop David Chillingworth, has warned.

In an interview published Aug 21 in the Scotsman, Bishop Chillingworth said the gay clergy question was “an issue that has been threatening to tear us apart, and many of us live across a spectrum in which out of one side of our minds we can say there is a justice and inclusion issue here, and out of the other there is a dialogue that needs to go on with the traditional teaching of the Church and what the Bible says.

"You can't wish either of those away. You have to deal with both,” he said. The Primus’ comments come as a push is underway from within the liberal wing of the Scottish church to end its ban on gay bishops and blessings, and in the wake of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement that gay clergy were outside the bounds of Anglicanism.

The current stance of the bishops of the SEC is to uphold the moratoria on gay bishops and blessings. On March 23 the former Primus, Bishop Idris Jones of Glasgow and Galloway said the Scottish College of Bishops would refrain from authorizing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions and not permit the consecration of a non-celibate gay bishop. the rest

Albert Mohler: The NIV Announcement -- A Statement

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The announcement of a new project involving the New International Version of the Bible [NIV] is certain to attract a good deal of interest, both in the media and throughout the evangelical world. This level of attention is inevitable, for few issues can approach the importance of translating the Bible faithfully and accurately.

The announcement of a new NIV update will attract special attention because of the controversy that surrounded the publication and release of what became known as the TNIV, or Today's New International Version, announced in 2002. As is now well-known, the release of the TNIV led to a firestorm of controversy among evangelicals. Even as supporters of the TNIV declared the translation to be superior to previous contemporary English translations in terms of "gender accuracy," others saw the new translation as hopelessly accommodated to contemporary concerns about gender. the rest

Parents upset over 'leftist propaganda' video



Principal apologizes for showing 'I Pledge' to students.
By Lisa Schencker
The Salt Lake Tribune
09/02/2009

A school principal has apologized for showing a video at an assembly that a politically conservative group leader is calling "radical, leftist propaganda."

Children at Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington were shown a short video called "I pledge" on Aug. 28. The video opens with an image of President Barack Obama and part of a speech in which he says, "Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other." The video then features celebrities making pledges about how they will help the president and the world -- and that's where some say the problem lies.

Many pledges, such as supporting local food banks,smiling more, and caring for the elderly are noncontroversial. But other pledges, such as "to never give anyone the finger when I'm driving again," "to sell my obnoxious car and buy a hybrid" and to advance stem cell research cross the line, some say. the rest

Obama’s classroom campaign: No junior lobbyist left behind

Obama Hails Contributions of Muslims at Ramadan Dinner at White House

New UNESCO Sex Education Guidelines Call on Children to Promote Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 1, 2009

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- A new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been roundly criticized since its release. Now, a new analysis of the 94-page documents finds the UN agency is calling for children to promote abortions across the globe.

The analysis finds children are not only told about abortion and where to obtain one but encouraged to be trained to “advocate” the pro-abortion position.

The report, entitled International Guidelines on Sexual Education, is filled with advice for sex education instructors to advance the abortion agenda. It calls on making children as young as 9-year-old aware of abortion and its legal status “locally and globally.” the rest

Dutch to prosecute Arabs over Holocaust cartoon

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 2, 2009

AMSTERDAM – Dutch prosecutors said Wednesday they will charge an Arab cultural group under hate speech laws for publishing a cartoon that suggests the death of 6 million Jews during World War II is a fabrication.

The public prosecutor's office in the city of Utrecht said the cartoon insults Jews as a group and is therefore an illegal form of discrimination.

Prosecutors plan to press charges for "insulting a group and distributing an insulting image." the rest

Archbishop Wuerl Ups Opposition To Gay Marriage

D.C. Archbishop Mobilizes Priests
By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl is plunging the Catholic Church deeper into the battle over legalizing same-sex marriage in the District, a tactic that could complicate the D.C. Council's efforts to quickly take up the matter this fall.

Wuerl sent a letter to 300 local Catholic priests Tuesday reminding them about the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage, and he launched a round of media interviews to bolster the church's presence in the debate.

In his efforts to mobilize Catholics, Wuerl joins a group of Baptist, predominantly African American preachers in stepping up the pressure on D.C. officials to allow a public vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized. the rest

The Bishop of Rochester farewell interview

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, spoke of the dangers facing the Church of England and British society in a final interview published in The Daily Telegraph last week.
By Martin Beckford,
Religious Affairs Correspondent
02 Sep 2009

In addition to questions about secularism, Islam and the future of the Anglican Communion, he was also asked about his views on the conflict in Afghanistan, his new role helping persecuted Christians overseas and the environment.

Dr Nazir-Ali’s full comments, made before he stepped down after 15 years in Rochester, can be found below. the rest

Federal Government Will Borrow 40 Percent of the Money It Spends Next Year, Says White House Report

Monday, August 31, 2009
By Matt Cover

(CNSNews.com) – According to the Obama administration’s mid-session budget update, the federal government will have to borrow nearly 40 percent of its total expenditures in 2010.

The report, “Mid-Session Review, Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2010,” shows that 39.9 percent of all federal income will be borrowed, making borrowing the single largest share of revenue in 2010. The next largest component of federal revenue is the personal income tax, which accounts for only 27.3 percent of federal funds.

This is only slightly lower than in 2009, when the federal government borrowed 43.3 percent of the money it has spent so far. The 2009 fiscal year ends Aug. 31, 2009. the rest

Dr Louis Pasteur: Sacrificial Servant of All"

August 27, 2009
By Rev. Ed Hird

My family and I watched an Academy Award-winning movie which reminded me that every one of us owes an enormous debt to Dr. Louis Pasteur.

Just think of pasteurized milk and honey, making food safe for our families to eat and drink, thanks to Louis Pasteur. Think of our children whose lives are safe from rabies transmitted by ‘mad dogs’, thanks to Louis Pasteur. Think of our wives and mothers who need not fear death from infection during childbirth, thanks to Louis Pasteur. Think of the sheep, cattle and chickens that we can safely rely on for our food supply, thanks to Louis Pasteur. No wonder that Pasteur’s name is better known than any other scientist who has ever lived.

Louis Pasteur is a living reminder that anyone who wants to make a difference in life is bound to face bigotry and opposition. The most narrow-minded usually turn out to be those who pretend to be the most open-minded and inclusive. Pasteur was maligned as a murderer and a menace to science. He was even challenged to a duel by an angry physician. the rest image

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Think About It


(Click on picture to enlarge)

The Catholic Donnybrook; One Kennedy Legacy?

Sep 1, 2009
Elizabeth Scalia

In John Ford’s classic film, The Quiet Man, John Wayne plays Sean Thornton, a quintessential American gone back to Ireland to connect with his roots. He marries Mary Kate Danaher, who warns him with a measure of pride, “I have a fearsome temper; we Danahers are a fighting people.” The highlight of the film is an epic donnybrook pitting Thornton against Mary Kate’s brother, the bellicose “Red” Will Danaher; it is a fight over cultural and moral understandings, and as the fisticuffs spill through a meadow and into the towns and pubs, the townspeople enthusiastically join in. Other communities send spectators and even the priests and bishops look on and make discreet wagers.

Something like that is occurring within the Catholic web community over the death and subsequent mainstream media—glorification (and alternate media grimaces) of the man often called the Liberal Lion of the U.S. Senate. the rest

Homosexual bishop Gene Robinson divides opinion at Greenbelt Festival

by Daniel Blake
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Controversial Anglican bishop Gene Robinson has divided opinion at the Greenbelt Festival this year as he delivered three addresses to listeners.

The first openly gay bishop in the US Episcopal Church managed to divide opinion at the Christian festival as much as he has within the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has been fiercely divided by Bishop Robinson’s ordination in 2003.

Bishop Robinson was greeted with a standing ovation by the hundreds that had come to hear him speak about his sexuality at the festival.

However, his presence as a core speaker at the festival has been widely criticised by various Christian groups, with some boycotting the festival this year in protest. the rest

Good Thing We Don't Mix Religion and Politics Anymore

Tuesday, September 01, 2009
by Mona Charen

Excerpt:
...President Obama referenced this prayer and then told the rabbis that "I am going to need your help" in getting health care reform passed. "We are God's partners in matters of life and death," the president added.

One cannot even fathom the sort of media firestorm that would have erupted if someone like Sarah Palin had said that. But beyond the blazing double standard, does President Obama really want to venture this deep into moralizing? This is treacherous ground for him. For one thing, a man who is already known for his messiah complex ought to choose his words more carefully. Religious people may think of themselves as striving to do God's will, but declaring yourself God's partner is a just a tad presumptuous. Besides, there are very good reasons to believe that Obama's health reform would lead to worse outcomes, not improved care. More particularly, the administration has recently been drawn into controversy (rightly or wrongly) over "death panels" and also over the Veterans Affairs department's endorsement of a pamphlet that seemed to encourage the elderly and frail to consider whether their lives were really worth extending and/or whether they were "a burden" to their families. In light of that, some may hear a degree of menace in the phrase "God's partners." the rest

Abortion Stigma Affects Doctors' Training And Choices

By Sandra G. Boodman
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Excerpt:
In a January report, an ACOG committee found that one-third of American medical schools provide a formal lecture about abortion. Unlike most clinical experiences, which are integrated into the curriculum, abortion training is often optional, leaving time-starved trainees to learn about the procedure on their own. Medical school administrators contacted for this story declined to discuss abortion education.

In 1996, concerned about the lack of training in OB-GYN residencies, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education required that "induced abortion must be part of residency training" but allowed residents or programs with moral or religious objections to opt out; all residents must learn how to manage abortion complications. A 2008 study found that among OB-GYN residents who said they wanted to provide abortions once they started practicing, about half actually did.

"Our doctors are graying and are not being replaced," said Susan Hill, president of the National Women's Health Foundation in Raleigh, N.C., which operates abortion clinics in largely rural states, including Georgia, Indiana and Mississippi, where only one doctor in the state performs pregnancy terminations. the rest

Jacksonville priest becomes bishop for Anglican diocese

Neil Lebhar will lead 5,000 conservative Anglicans in the area.
By Jeff Brumley
Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2009

A Jacksonville priest who led thousands from the Episcopal Church has been elected the first bishop of a new diocese that will oversee about 5,000 conservative Anglicans in North Florida and South Georgia.

The Rev. Neil Lebhar was elected Saturday by clergy and lay leaders in what will be called the Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.

The Anglican Church in North America itself is a new American denomination, having been formed in June largely by those who left the Episcopal Church after an openly gay priest became bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

Lebhar said he's eager to lead but also glad the position has a seven-year term limit. the rest

Appalled by ‘The’ Psychological Association

BY Father Benedict Groeschel
September 6-12, 2009 Issue

As a member of the American Psychological Association for 36 years, I am filled with indignation at the recent statement of the APA that deems it “inappropriate” for therapists to treat homosexual clients.

Such therapy is called reparative therapy and has as its goal the establishment of a heterosexual orientation in place of a homosexual one.

This statement of the APA has been issued despite the fact that there are a number of outstanding members of that organization, including two past presidents, who have strongly supported reparative treatment. the rest

Monday, August 31, 2009

Devotional: Do not have your concert first...

Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.
...James Hudson Taylor image

Episcopalian Minister and Congregation Convert

August 30, 2009
Roanoke Orthodox Christian Examiner
Andrew Salvia

It appears the fruits of St. John of San Francisco's labors have paid off. After a year of instruction and a prayer, an Episcopalian clergymen and many from his congregation entered the Orthodox Church. While the members of the congregation were chrismated in April, their former minister was ordained to the Holy Priesthood a little over a week ago.

The now Fr. James Hamrick is pastor of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Frederick, MD. He was a minister in the United Methodist Church for years, but as he was looking for ancient faith, he found himself in the Charismatic Episcopal Church for a few years. At least until now.

The CEC underwent a major rupture, causing the bishop who ordained Fr. Hamrick to question the notion of Protestantism altogether. He said, he "believed that God's authority was not only found in the Scriptures, as he felt Protestant churches emphasized, but also in the apostolic succession and sacred traditions." This invariably led him to Orthodoxy. the rest

Episcopal Quote of the Day

Beth Kelly, senior associate rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, commissioned playwright Bill Bivins to write "Pulp Scripture," which will be performed this month at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

Kelly on finding her calling: "I didn't read any of the Bible until I was 18. When I read the whole thing, I saw how God applauds sneaky seductive women, then realizing my calling, I became an Episcopal priest." here

Abortion and Health Care Reform

What Are the Facts?
By Chuck Colson
August 31, 2009

It’s hard to figure out what’s in the various health care bills. But one thing has become alarmingly clear.

From having worked in the White House, I know how important it is for a President to get his facts clear when he is speaking to the American people.

Well, I’m sorry to say, it appears that President Obama has not done that regarding whether or not his health care plan would force Americans to pay for abortions.

During a recent conference call with religious leaders, the President said, “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness.”

And then he himself said the following: “You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true. These are all fabrications.”

Are they fabrications? the rest

Another Failed Presidency

August 31, 2009
By Geoffrey P. Hunt

Excerpt:
But, Barack Obama is failing. Failing big. Failing fast. And failing everywhere: foreign policy, domestic initiatives, and most importantly, in forging connections with the American people. The incomparable Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal put her finger on it: He is failing because he has no understanding of the American people, and may indeed loath them. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard says he is failing because he has lost control of his message, and is overexposed. Clarice Feldman of American Thinker produced a dispositive commentary showing that Obama is failing because fundamentally he is neither smart nor articulate; his intellectual dishonesty is conspicuous by its audacity and lack of shame.

But, there is something more seriously wrong: How could a new president riding in on a wave of unprecedented promise and goodwill have forfeited his tenure and become a lame duck in six months? His poll ratings are in free fall. In generic balloting, the Republicans have now seized a five point advantage. This truly is unbelievable. What's going on?

No narrative. Obama doesn't have a narrative. No, not a narrative about himself. He has a self-narrative, much of it fabricated, cleverly disguised or written by someone else. But this self-narrative is isolated and doesn't connect with us. He doesn't have an American narrative that draws upon the rest of us. All successful presidents have a narrative about the American character that intersects with their own where they display a command of history and reveal an authenticity at the core of their personality that resonates in a positive endearing way with the majority of Americans. We admire those presidents whose narratives not only touch our own, but who seem stronger, wiser, and smarter than we are. Presidents we admire are aspirational peers, even those whose politics don't align exactly with our own: Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Harry Truman, Ike, Reagan. the rest

The Accidental Anglican

On his journey from Calvary Chapel through the Vineyard, the emerging church, the Alpha Course, and now the Anglican Mission in America, Todd Hunter has remained tightly focused on evangelism.
Interview by David Neff
8/31/2009

American Christianity, like the Southern California shore, gets hit by many waves. As a Southern California native, Todd Hunter has caught some of the most notable evangelical breakers.

In the fall of 1979, he and his wife, Debbie, were the first church planters sent out by John Wimber's Calvary Chapel of Yorba Linda—more than two years before that group joined the nascent Vineyard movement. By 1994, Hunter was national coordinator of the Association of Vineyard Churches. In 2000, he became a church planting coach for Allelon, a group devoted to cultivating (here comes a buzzword) the missional church. Four years later, he took the leadership of Alpha USA, an evangelistic program with roots in a prominent charismatic parish in England. And after four more years, he left the leadership of Alpha to launch the Society for Kingdom Living in Boise. But he soon found himself recruited to plant 200 Anglican churches on the West Coast, becoming a priest this March and a missionary bishop in September. the rest

LA fires threaten cell phone, broadcast signals

August 31, 2009
by Lance Whitney

Intense wildfires in Southern California are dangerously close to facilities atop Mount Wilson, threatening damage to cell phone and TV broadcast towers, as well as a famed observatory.
The blaze, which started August 26, has burned approximately 20,102 acres and as of Sunday was only 5 percent contained, according to the Web site of the California governor's office.

Known as the "Station Fire," as it began about one mile above the Angeles Crest Fire Station, the inferno has spread throughout the San Gabriel Mountains in Northern Los Angeles County.

At an altitude of 5,715 feet, Mount Wilson houses a number of TV, radio, and cell phone transmitters known as the Communications Facilities, all providing service to the Los Angeles area, according to the LA Times. Also threatened by the fire is the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, home to critical astronomy projects and research.
the rest

Methodists Say No to Lutheran Gay Clergy

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Aug. 27 2009

Lutheran ministers who are in same-sex relationships will not be allowed to serve as clergy in United Methodist congregations despite the new full communion agreement between the two denominations.

Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, made clear on Wednesday that UMC's ban on noncelibate gay clergy still stands.

"Our Book of Discipline on that subject did not become null and void when they took that vote," said Palmer, according to the United Methodist News Service. "It still applies to United Methodist clergy." the rest

Canada: ‘God is calling us to move in this direction’

Niagara’s nod to same-sex blessings draws mixed reviews
MARITES N. SISON
staff writer
Sep 1, 2009

The decision by the diocese of Niagara to offer same-sex blessings as of Sept. 1 has drawn mixed reactions from Anglicans in Canada.

Niagara is now the second diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada, after the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster, to offer a sacrament for same-sex blessings. The “Niagara Rite” may also be used for the blessing or renewal of vows for heterosexual couples celebrating a significant moment in their married life together.

“I believe that we’ve done our work of discernment,” said the diocesan bishop of Niagara, Michael Bird, when asked what made him decide to go ahead despite repeated calls for a moratorium on same-sex blessings. He noted that the votes on the matter had both resulted in an “overwhelming” majority at two successive diocesan synods – 2004 and 2008 – and had not been acted upon until now. the rest

The Bizarre Views of President Obama’s 'Science Czar'

By Steven W. Mosher
8/30/2009
Population Research Institute

Excerpt:
Holdren and company go so far as to argue that abortion is essentially an act of mercy for “unwanted children” because it spares them from “undesirable consequences,” such as illegitimacy, or growing up in a broken home, or being deemed unfit for military service. They conclude, drawing upon a study from Sweden, that “There seems little doubt that the forced bearing of unwanted children has undesirable consequences not only for the children themselves and their families but for society as well, apart from the problems of overpopulation.”

But who is Holdren to say, on the basis of a single study, that the illegitimate would be better off if they had never been born? What consequence could possibly be more “undesirable” for a child than being deprived of the right to life itself? Better off? They would be dead. the rest

Body Parts Industry in the Ukraine

08/28/2009
By Martina Keller and Markus Grill

Excerpt:
The incident in the Ukrainian capital is part of the secretive daily routine of a little-known but highly lucrative branch of the medical industry, in which companies use corpses to make medical spare parts. In doing so, they reuse almost everything the human body has to offer: bones, cartilage, tendons, muscle fascia, skin, corneas, pericardial sacs and heart valves. In the jargon of the profession, all of this is referred to as tissue.

Bones and tendons, the parts that interest Tutogen the most, are subjected to complex processing. The company degreases and cleans bones, cuts, saws or mills them into the desired shapes, then sterilizes, packages and sells the finished product in more than 40 countries around the world. With a prescription, it is even possible to order Tutogen's products through online pharmacies. Full story

Obama Approval Hits New Low

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 30% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11 (see trends).

Twenty-nine percent (29%) are confident that Congress knows what it’s doing when it comes to the economy. If Americans could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, 57% would throw out all the legislators and start over again. Just 25% would vote to keep the Congress. Here

57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress

Hospitals expanding duties of chaplains

Role redefined as visits soar
By Liz Kowalczyk
Globe Staff / August 31, 2009

Minutes after arriving at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Rev. George Winchester received an urgent page from the intensive care unit. A man was dying. The chaplain should come immediately.

Winchester found the patient and his son lightly crying. “I hear you’ve made a big decision,’’ he said.

The conversation marked the start of a relentless recent workday for the Catholic priest, a day that included the traditional jobs of a hospital chaplain, such as anointing of the sick, but that also involved duties once reserved for doctors and nurses: attending medical rounds and helping run a difficult family meeting.

There was no shortage of work. The number of requests from patients, families, and staff for spiritual guidance in one of the country’s most technology-rich medical hubs has soared, as hospitals have expanded the role and number of chaplains. the rest

AnglicanTV Interview: Bp. Martyn Minns