Saturday, October 03, 2009

Devotional: Peace with God is of greater value...

Satan knows that he can undermine the structure of the church by slyly removing just one fundamental doctrine at a time. He frequently loosens a large foundation gradually, chiseling it away bit by bit. That is why tolerance for the sake of peace may be dangerous. One step by giving in will lead to a next step, and will not God visit us with blindness if we deliberately darken the truth He has graciously entrusted to us. How shall we justify ourselves if we permit even a little of the truth to be laid aside? Is that ours to do? When peace is injurious to the truth, peace must give way. Peace with God is of greater value than peace with men. ...Abraham Kuyper image by mx.

Prayerful Americans Called to 'Adopt a Liberal'

By Lawrence D. Jones
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Oct. 03 2009

A Christian legal group has introduced a new initiative to encourage prayerful Americans to “adopt” liberal leaders.

Fla.-based Liberty Counsel’s “Adopt a Liberal” program, inspired by the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, as recorded in 1 Timothy 2:1-3, invites prayerful conservatives to pick out a liberal or two who is in a position of authority to be the target of “regular, intense prayer in accord with St. Paul's admonition to his disciple, Timothy.”

“Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying. In fact, we fully expect that many of our adoptees will ‘graduate’ from this prayer program with vivid testimonies of God having changed their lives and worldviews,” Liberty Counsel stated.

While the legal group admitted that there is a certain amount of tongue-and-cheek humor associated with their new program, they said they do want it to conform with the biblical passage in Paul's letter and for it to move liberal leaders and cause them to be the kind of leaders who will encourage others to lead "a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." the rest

Judge to Prop. 8 backers: Turn over your papers

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, October 3, 2009

Plaintiffs in a federal suit seeking to overturn Prop. 8 - two same-sex couples, a gay-rights organization and the city of San Francisco - contend that the measure's real purpose was to strip a historically persecuted minority group of rights held by the majority.

If the courts find that the ballot measure was motivated by discrimination, they could strike it down without having to decide whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

"The intent or purpose of Prop. 8 is central to this litigation," Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker declared Thursday in requiring backers of the November 2008 measure to give the opposing side their internal campaign communications. the rest

Albert Mohler: Morality, Hollywood Style

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Moral hypocrisy is an ugly thing, regardless of its source. Hypocrisy is a moral trap of constant threat -- the price of holding any moral standards at all. To hold to the truth of moral judgment and then to allow for the transgression of that moral judgment is hypocrisy in its essence. The only total escape from the threat of hypocrisy is to forfeit any claim to moral standards at all.

Hypocrisy is found in ample supply among both conservatives and liberals. The conservative variant seems most evident when political or religious leaders are found guilty of transgressing the very principles they preach. The hypocrisy spreads in both extent and significance when those who claim to be conservatives attempting to conserve moral wisdom excuse those who flaunt their personal disregard for that wisdom.

The liberal variant seems most evident when, for example, moral relativists all of the sudden discover moral scruples. It turns out that even postmodern relativists and the children of the 1960s do believe in moral principles after all. Yet, the cultural left has always found sexual morality most difficult to define or defend. the rest

Hundreds leave pioneering Fla. megachurch

The Associated Press
Thursday, October 1, 2009

MIAMI — Hundreds of congregants have left a pioneering megachurch in Florida to form their own congregation because they were unhappy with leadership at the church that's seen as a bedrock of the religious right.

The new congregation met for its first service last Sunday, and organizers said more than 450 people attended. The people who formed the new congregation had lost a Sept. 20 vote to fire Tchividjian. Organizers of the still unnamed church said nearly all of their attendees had been among Coral Ridge's roughly 2,000 members.

Coral Ridge said it's not worried about maintaining its membership after the departures. About 200 people enrolled in a class for new members after Tchividjian took over in March. the rest

A.S. Haley: The Law Inches Forward in Fort Worth

Friday, October 2, 2009

To understand the significance of the rulings today, you might first want to review two earlier posts explaining what has happened up to this point: here and here. Here is the official post from the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Judge Chupp in Fort Worth had three motions before him today. The first was a motion by the defendants Bishop Iker and his co-trustees of the Diocesan Corporation to continue (postpone) the court's hearing of the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment (without having a trial) on the first claim in its complaint: asking the court to declare that Bishop Iker and his co-trustees were replaced on the Board of the Diocesan Corporation by the "Special Convention" held on February 7, 2009. The court GRANTED this motion and continued the hearing from October 15, 2009 to January 22, 2010 to give time for discovery concerning the issues.

The second motion asked Judge Chupp to reconsider the order he signed at the end of the Rule 12 hearing on September 16. This order declared that the plaintiffs' attorneys could not represent Bishop Iker's Diocese or its Corporation, but refused to strike the pleadings they had filed on behalf of those same entities. The Court DECLINED to revise its Order.

The third motion was to grant Bishop Iker et al. leave to file a third-party complaint joining Bishop Gulick and the persons elected as the "Standing Committee" in February as defendants, and to make them prove that they were lawfully elected to their positions. The Court GRANTED this motion. the rest

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Living Church Editorial: Toward a Better Way

October 2, 2009

During the past decade, the Episcopal Church has participated in approximately 60 court cases concerning property ownership. These cases involve, to one degree or another, the Dennis Canon, named for the late Rt. Rev. Walter Dennis, former bishop suffragan of the Diocese of New York. The Dennis Canon says this:

“All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any parish, mission or congregation is held in trust for this church and the diocese thereof in which such parish, mission or congregation is located. The existence of this trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and authority of the parish, mission or congregation otherwise existing over such property so long as the particular parish, mission or congregation remains a part of, and subject to, this church and its Constitution and Canons.”

The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled in September that the Dennis Canon does not apply to the formerly Episcopal parish of All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, S.C., because that parish predates the Episcopal Church. Many conservatives have greeted that ruling with joy, and they hope it sets a legal precedent across the nation. the rest

More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church

October 2, 2009

LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. — Cal Oren was threading his way through the Santa Cruz Mountains of California early one evening in 1993, driving his wife, brother and three tired children back from a day of hiking amid the redwoods. As their car neared the town of Ben Lomond, Mr. Oren said, his brother pointed to a church on the roadside and said: “I’ve been inside this. It’s really neat.”

So Mr. Oren pulled to a stop, and as the children stayed in the car, the grown-ups gingerly padded into the sanctuary of Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church. A lifelong Presbyterian, Mr. Oren knew virtually nothing about the Antiochians or, for that matter, Orthodox Christianity in general. He had always associated Ben Lomond with hippies, geodesic domes, and marijuana fields.

As he entered the sanctuary, a vespers service was underway. Maybe two dozen worshippers stood, chanting psalms and hymns. Incense drifted through the dark air. Icons of apostles and saints hung on the walls and adorned the altar. The ancientness and austerity stood at a time-warp remove from the evangelical circles in which Mr. Oren normally traveled, so modern and extroverted and assertively relevant.

“This was a Christianity I had never encountered before,” recalled Mr. Oren, 55, who is a marketing consultant in commercial construction. “I was frozen in my tracks. I felt like I was in the actual presence of God, almost as if I was in heaven. And I’m not the kind of person who gets all woo-hoo.”the rest

Alpha: A Force to Be Reckoned With in the Catholic World?

Friday, October 2, 2009

I can't believe that I'm blogging at 7:52 am on a day that I'm due to travel. Usually my wake-up call on a travel day is at 2:45 am, I leave the house at 4:30 and take off about 6:00 am. I should be over the Dakotas by now. But the miracle of a 1pm direct flight changes everything. So I'm sipping a home made a "slim" Hazelnut latte and nibbling a home made wholewheat scone while I type. Such luxury!

Every once in a while, I like to check on the status of the spread of the Alpha course. Alpha is the nearly ubiquitous "low cringe factor" 10 week evangelization course that emerged out of charismatically oriented (and Toronto Blessing linked) Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Brompton (London) in 1992 and rapidly became a phenomenon.

How much of a phenomenon? the rest

Pastor defends gays' place in church

October 2, 2009
Sun-Times News Group

Some recent decisions regarding how churches view homosexuals might be leading to some significant changes -- or resistance -- among congregations.

The governing groups of two Christian denominations -- the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- have put forth ideas more in line with a progressive view of homosexuals. And one area pastor already has adopted the idea of welcoming everybody, regardless of his or her sexual orientation.

"God can and does use everybody," said the Rev. Dave Daubert of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Elgin. the rest

California Parishes Await High Court Announcement

October 2, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce as early as Monday whether it will hear a property-rights case between the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach.

The court's decision on whether it will hear the case could affect another parish formerly associated with the Episcopal Church: St. Luke's Anglican Church in La Crescenta.

On Sept. 30, Judge John Shepard Wiley, Jr., of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Fourth Appellate District, ordered St. Luke's to surrender the church property to the diocese by Oct. 12. The diocese plans to re-establish St. Luke's-of-the-Mountains Episcopal Church. The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles, will preside at a service of reconciliation at 2 p.m. Oct. 18, the feast day of St. Luke. the rest

Rio Wins Race To Host 2016 Olympics

Friday October 02, 2009

It will be the first time the Games will be held in South America.

Nearly 50,000 people erupted in celebration on Rio's Copacabana beach when the announcement was made.

People jumped and cheered in a Carnival-like atmosphere at the famous Brazilian attraction.

The party was expected to go on well into the night, and officials said the crowd would easily surpass 100,000 people.

Athlete Denise Lewis, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said giving it to Rio was the right decision. the rest

Bishop David Bena sees revival among American Anglicans

Allie Martin

Clergy and lay delegates representing the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) are meeting this weekend to look at the future of Anglicanism in the United States.

The ADV is holding its annual synod. The theme is "Living as Anglicans: Impacting the Present - Preparing the Future." Since its formation more than two years ago, the Anglican District of Virginia has grown to 31 congregations that left the Episcopal Church USA because of that denomination's liberal leanings.

Bishop David Bena says the growth of the ADV shows there are many Anglicans who want to follow God's Word instead of following changing cultural trends.

"We have about 9,000 people in the pews on a given Sunday, [but] what's being said is probably more important than numbers," he shares. "I see a real revival of Christianity going on across the continent, and it's having an effect in the Anglican realm as well."

Bena says evangelism will be emphasized during the synod. "We have inherited a wonderful way of sharing the gospel in word and deed, sometimes from a little more intellectual level," he says. "Our commission from God is to bring people into a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ, and then to disciple them so that they can make new disciples." Here

The ADV is part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America

Afghanistan Casualty Trend Interrupted by Prayer Patrol?

Oct. 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- today posted a casualty chart for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The chart draws a dynamic relationship between the recent launch of the Afghan Prayer Patrol and the sudden decline of U.S. casualties in September.

Wayne Dillard, director of the Afghan Prayer Patrol, commented, "Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe there really is a God who answers the prayers of His people -- I'm putting my faith in God."

The chart shows a steady increase in U.S. casualties from April 2009 through August. Then a sudden 20% drop in casualties for the month of September. "We began mobilizing prayer in late August, then officially launched the Prayer Patrol in September", explains Dillard. "We saw the same results with the Baghdad Prayer Patrol back in 2007," he continues, "As soon as we had 800 to a 1000 people praying daily in unity, we started seeing a decline in casualties."

Afghan Prayer Patrol is an online effort to mobilize prayer for the troops and people of Afghanistan. Visitors are presented with a short Bible-based prayer each day to cover various topics of need for the Troops and people of Afghanistan. Those who sign up, receive a daily email with a link to their prayer assignment, and other prayer resources, such as maps, news, etc. Participants can also post their own prayers and agree with the prayer of others. link

Information on the Afghanistan Prayer Patrol is available at:
Afghan Prayer Patrol

Aid Groups Reaching Quake-Ravaged Indonesia

October 2, 2009

PADANG, Indonesia — International aid organizations began arriving in force in this Sumatran port city on Friday in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that destroyed huge swaths of this provincial capital two days ago.

All across Padang, rescue workers raked through rubble beneath a scorching sun — but admitted they were finding few survivors. Many said they were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the destruction. By some estimates, more than half of the buildings in this city of 900,000 collapsed in the 7.6-magnitude quake.

The United Nations Office for Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs arrived at the governor’s mansion on Friday morning to begin organizing the international relief effort. A spokeswoman for the agency said they were expecting the death toll, which she put at 1,100, to “rise significantly.” the rest

Philippines Declares ‘State of Calamity’ as Typhoon Approaches

Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.8 Percent; U.S. Economy Shed 263,000 Jobs In September

10/ 2/09

WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September, the highest since June 1983, as employers cut far more jobs than expected. The report is evidence that the worst recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain.

Persistently high unemployment could weaken the recovery as consumers, concerned about their jobs and incomes, restrain spending. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation's economy.

The Labor Department said Friday that the economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs last month, from a downwardly revised 201,000 in August. That's worse than Wall Street economists' expectations of 180,000 job losses, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. the rest

Jack Webb Schools Roman Polanski on Sex with Children

Where Have All the Christians Gone?

Bruce Feiler
September 25, 2009

The number of people who claim no religious affiliation, meanwhile, has doubled since 1990 to fifteen percent, its highest point in history.

Christianity is plummeting in America, while the number of non-believers is skyrocketing.

A shocking new study of Americans’ religious beliefs shows the beginnings of a major realignment in Americans’ relationship with God. The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reveals that Protestants now represent half of all Americans, down almost 20 percent in the last twenty years. In the coming months, America will become a minority Protestant nation for the first time since the pilgrims. the rest

Life Will Triumph

Life Will Triumph-Part II

Life Will Triumph-Part III

Council of Europe Pushes Abortion as Part of Cairo Conference Anniversary

October 1, 2009
By Samantha Singson

A major theme of the accompanying explanatory memorandum is the need to reduce maternal mortality as part of the development agenda, particularly by reducing unsafe abortion. While the report pays lip-service to state sovereignty by mentioning that the legality of abortion remains in the hands of national governments, it also attempts to make the case that "restrictive abortion laws” increase the incidence of unsafe abortion.

The report fails to mention that the two countries in the EU with the most restrictive laws on abortion – Ireland and Malta - are also two of the countries with the lowest maternal mortality in the world, not just in Europe. Conversely, the report cites Moldova as a country where maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion is high. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, Moldova is listed a country with one of the most liberalized laws in the world. the rest

The 'Veritas' About Harvard

By Kevin Carey
September 28, 2009

What happens when the gods of high finance dump a gigantic pile of gold on the richest university in the world?

It sounds like the kind of hypothetical one might pose in a smoke-addled dorm room at 2 a.m. But it is, of course, what actually happened to Harvard University, along with a few of its elite competitors, over the last 20 years.

The answer is that the university reveals its true self. It shows the world what it cares about—and what it doesn't.

In 1990, Harvard had an endowment of about $4.7-billion. That was still a lot of money, about $7.7-billion in today's dollars. Only five other universities have that much money now. Over the next two decades the pile grew to colossal heights, $36.9-billion by mid-2008.

Harvard spent the money on many things. But not a dollar went to increasing the number of undergraduates it chose to bless with a Harvard education. In 1990 the university welcomed slightly more than 1,600 students to its freshman class. In 2008, $32-billion later, it enrolled slightly more than 1,600 freshmen. the rest
image by Fiona Bradley

Hard Times for Harvard Law Students

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Devotional: Whatever the particular call is...

Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your heart, "Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the consequences"? Oh! but you say, "I don't know what He will want next." No, we none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands.
...Catherine Booth image by p_a_h

EEOC nominee signed radical marriage manifesto that praised polygamy

Washington D.C.
Sep 30, 2009

(CNA).- A law professor nominated by President Obama to become a commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was a signatory to a radical 2006 manifesto which endorsed polygamous households and argued traditional marriage should not be privileged “above all others.”

Georgetown University Law Center professor Chai R. Feldblum, nominated as a commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is listed as a signatory to the July 26, 2006 manifesto “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships.”

The manifesto’s signatories said they proposed a “new vision” for governmental and private recognition of “diverse kinds” of partnerships, households and families. They said they hoped to “move beyond the narrow confines of marriage politics” in the U.S. the rest

New Anglican Church, Christ the King, Forms in Albuquerque

Source: Christ the King Anglican Church Press Release (Via Email)
October 1, 2009

A majority of the members of St. Mark's-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church are leaving their church property and endowments worth over $2 million to form a new parish, Christ the King Anglican Church.

This past Sunday, September 27, the former priest-in-charge of St. Mark's, The Rev. Roger Weber, along with two other clergy members, eight of ten staff members, and eleven of twelve members of the church governing board (vestry) announced their decision to leave the Episcopal Church and form the new Anglican parish. They will become part of the Anglican Church in North America, which was recently formed in response to widespread un-biblical teaching and practice in The Episcopal Church (U.S.) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

"This has been a difficult decision, but after the 2009 Episcopal General Convention in July, we have finally come to the point where we cannot continue in a denomination that rejects the authority of scripture and increasingly characterizes the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as tangential and non-essential, rather than Son of God, Lord and Savior," said The Rev. Weber. "We're excited about our future as part of the Anglican Church in North America, which is aligned with the majority of Christians worldwide who uphold biblical faith and teaching." the rest

Pew Forum: Support for Abortion Slips

Issue Ranks Lower on the Agenda
Oct. 1, 2009

Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question, and there have been modest increases in the numbers who favor reducing abortions or making them harder to obtain. Less support for abortion is evident among most demographic and political groups. the rest

Judge orders church to turn over property to Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

St. Luke's Anglican Church in La Crescenta broke away from the Episcopal Church in 2006 in a dispute over biblical authority and interpretation, including consecration of an openly gay bishop.
By Duke Helfand
October 1, 2009

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday ordered leaders of a former Episcopal church in La Crescenta to turn over church property by Oct. 12 to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, marking the latest wrinkle in a long-running legal dispute.

St. Luke's Anglican Church and the diocese have been feuding since 2006, when a majority of the parish's congregants voted to pull out of the diocese and the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church because of differences over biblical authority and interpretation, including the national church's decision to consecrate an openly gay bishop.

After the La Crescenta church left, the diocese sued to retain its property. the rest

Thousands feared dead after Indonesia quake

By John Nedy and Sunanda Creagh
posted October 1, 2009

PADANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – Rescue teams struggled on Thursday to reach scores of people trapped under debris and survivors pleaded for aid after a powerful quake hit the Indonesian city of Padang, possibly killing thousands.

The 7.6 magnitude quake struck the bustling port city of 900,000 people on Wednesday, toppling hundreds of buildings. Telephone connections were patchy, making it hard for officials to work out the extent of destruction and loss of life.

"I have been through quakes here before and this was the worst. There is blood everywhere, people with their limbs cut off. We saw buildings collapsed, people dying," said American Greg Hunt, 38, who was at Padang airport. the rest

Why a prayer a day keeps the doctor away

Quentin de la Bédoyère says there is a wealth of evidence suggesting that the devout lead healthier and happy lives than non-believers
25 September 2009

It is of course well known that religious people, and especially Catholics, live a miserable life. Obliged to worship an egotistical and vengeful deity who demands nothing but praise and endless sacrifice, they are trapped in a web of sinfulness which touches every aspect of their lives. They are ultimately motivated by the selfish reward of eternal happiness, the nature of which they do not know, but they are extremely unlikely to get there. They are much more likely to arrive in a place of eternal torment - in which fire and brimstone is the expected environment. And should they be fortunate enough to avoid this they will undergo a lengthy and painful cleansing process continuing until the least sin has been expiated.

No wonder Catholics live out their lives in anxiety, guilt and fear. They, and others, need to be told that "there is probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life.

"The only problem with this conclusion is that it does not concur with what actually happens. Let's look at the evidence. We might start with a study, reported in March 2008, by the University of Toronto. The researchers concluded: "We found that religious people or even people who simply believe in the existence of God show significantly less brain activity in relation to their own errors. They're much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error." They actually had greater cognitive control. "Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimise stress" was the summary headline. the rest

Minneapolis church votes to leave ELCA over gay clergy

by Cathy Mayfield
Jessica Mador
Minnesota Public Radio
September 30, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — Members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis decided to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after a 96 percent vote by members on Sunday.

The decision to leave came after the ELCA Church-wide Assembly vote on Aug. 21 in Minneapolis, that allowed gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy.

Before the ECLA's decision, gay clergy were allowed to be ministers only if they were celibate. Some church members object to the new policy, saying it goes against Scripture. the rest

Empire State Building lights commemorate China, cause controversy

By The Associated Press
October 01, 2009

NEW YORK -- Red and yellow lights shone from the top of the Empire State Building at dusk Wednesday, a tribute to communist China's 60th anniversary that protesters labeled "blatant approval" of totalitarianism and criticized as inappropriate for an icon in the land of the free.

The building is routinely lit with different colors to mark holidays and big events, but opponents questioned whether it's right to commemorate a sensitive political issue, particularly when China has such a poor human rights record. the rest

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh - Revealing a Truth-Bearing Ministry

Emma Maduabuchi
1 October 2009

Lagos — Elected to take up the leadership of the Church of Christ (Anglican Communion) by March 25 next year, the Primate-elect Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has already started drawing media attention. On Monday, September 28, he was widely reported as speaking out powerfully against the country's rulers.

Okoh, speaking in Abuja, the nation's capital, on the country's independence, berated Nigeria's leaders for the plight of the country, cautioning that unless they mended their ways, the country would remain stagnant.

Providing more details, he said unless leaders of the country change their attitude, have the fear of God, shun thuggery, ballot box snatching, political assassinations and treasury looting, that Nigeria would remain backward, "even if it celebrates its 1,000-year anniversary."

A father of five and retired lieutenant-colonel in the Nigerian Army, Nicholas Okoh will be taking the Anglican mantle of leadership in March 25 next year. But that will be after he has undergone some months of tutelage under the outgoing Primate, Peter Akinola. the rest

Funniest license plate. Ever.

Partner abuse industry flirts with a hateful agenda

September 30, 2009
By Carey Roberts

Many persons think of women's libbers as a bunch of over-zealous but basically well-intentioned souls. That's what I used to believe. But last week news of two incidents came out that put feminism in whole different light.

First, columnist Mike Adams reported on the plight of Mark Harwood, psychology professor at Humboldt State University which is located in Birkenstock-addled northern California. Based on extensive research, Harwood informed his students that women were as likely as men to engage in partner aggression.

Harwood probably was thinking of Sahel Kazemi who murdered former NFL star quarterback Steve McNair in July as he slept. Or Real Housewives starlet Kelly Bensimon who was arrested for hitting her boyfriend. the rest

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Devotional: The Spirit....

He is intangible and invisible. But His work is more powerful than the most ferocious wind. The Spirit brings order out of chaos and beauty out of ugliness. He can transform a sin-blistered man into a paragon of virtue. The Spirit changes people. The Author of life is also the Transformer of life. ...RC Sproul
image by lady-bug

Catholic Senators are Decisive Factor in Denying Conscience Protection

Bottom line: Both conscience protection and a ban of federal funding would have passed but for the Catholic Senators.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News came out earlier today, that the Senate Finance Committee led by Senator Max Baucus refused to accept an amendment proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch specifically excluding federal funding of abortion in that committee’s version of health care reform. The vote was 10-13 against the Hatch Amendment. All Democrats on the committee, except Kent Conrad, opposed the amendment. All Republicans, except Olympia Snowe, supported it.

There is nothing surprising about the vote. Far more disturbing was a later vote by the same margin denying conscience protection to doctors, health care facilities and hospitals which refuse to perform abortions. Thirteen Senators, including Catholics John Kerry, Maria Cantwell and Robert Menendez, voted against a second Hatch Amendment which would have protected Catholics and other conscientious objectors to abortion from discrimination by the Federal Government. the rest

Archbishop: Covenant Adoption Limited to Provinces

September 30, 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed an endorsement of the first three sections of the Anglican Covenant by the Diocese of Central Florida’s board and standing committee, but said only provinces can officially adopt the covenant.

On Sept. 17, the diocesan board and standing committee adopted a resolution stating that they “affirm sections one, two and three of the Ridley Cambridge Draft of the Anglican Covenant, as we await the final draft of section four.”

Central Florida also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to “outline and implement a process by which individual dioceses, and even parishes, could become members of the Anglican Covenant, even in cases where their provincial or diocesan authorities decline to do so.”

In a Sept. 28 letter to the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, Archbishop Williams called the diocesan bodies' endorsement a step in the right direction. However, he stated, “as a matter of constitutional fact, the [Anglican Consultative Council] can only offer the covenant for ‘adoption’ to its own constituent bodies (the provinces).” the rest

Robert Gagnon: What Should Faithful Lutherans in the ELCA Do?

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Sept. 30, 2009

With a process that gives new meaning to the expression “stacked deck,” the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August 2009 voted to allow for the blessing of homosexual unions and the rostering of pastors in homosexual relationships. I salute the efforts of the renewal group Lutheran CORE, which courageously fought against the homosexualist agenda at the assembly (I had the great privilege of addressing them). Just this past weekend they had a meeting attended by 1200 persons that began the process of defining a new vision and structure for those who recognize the ELCA’s hard-left departure from normative Christian faith and practice.

How should faithful Lutherans—that is, Lutherans who affirm the male-female requirement for sexual unions so important to Jesus and the scriptural witness to him—deal with these new heretical and immoral actions? In particular, do the recent actions of the Churchwide Assembly justify beginning a trajectory that will lead eventually to disaffiliation with the denominational structure known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America? Let me suggest a syllogism that goes something like this: Essay here

Indonesia earthquake kills 75 and traps thousands

At least 75 people have died and thousands more were left trapped under rubble following a powerful earthquake which struck off the city of Padang on Indonesia's Sumatra island.
30 Sep 2009

Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced the death toll at a news conference, hours after the 7.6-magnitude quake hit off the coast of the town of Padang on Wednesday.

Officials said the quake triggered a landslide that cut off land transport to the area closest to the epicentre. Power and telecommunications were also cut. the rest

Scores dead, villages flattened in devastating Samoan tsunami

Planned Parenthood Gives Late-Term Abortion Practitioner George Tiller Top Award

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- The International Federation of Planned Parenthood Foundation gave slain late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller its highest award over the weekend. The international abortion business honored Tiller posthumously in Washington months after he was shot and killed in his Kansas church.

Planned Parenthood gave Tiller its Medal of Honor for "outstanding individual contribution to sexual and reproductive health."

According to a Wichita News report, Tiller's widow Jeanne accepted the award on her late husband's behalf.

Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, the woman who founded Planned parenthood and who has come under fire for having racist views for doing so, presented Tiller with the award. the rest

What I Saw at the Muslim Prayer Rally

Robert Knight
Coral Ridge Ministries
September 28, 2009

Visitors to Washington D.C. on Friday got to hear what residents in Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan, as well as areas of London, Amsterdam and other Western cities already endure five times a day: The sound of amplified Muslim prayers lifted to Allah.

This time, the prayers reverberated over America's front lawn as some 2,000 Muslims gathered for the Jummah Prayer on Capitol Hill: A Day of Islamic Unity. Promoters had planned for 50,000 but came nowhere near that.

Hadn't you heard about this? If not, it's probably because the media have been tight lipped, the better not to embarrass the One in the White House. While some women in burkas were sighted in the crowd, there was no sign of Nancy Pelosi in a hijab, which she wore on her Middle East tour.

The purpose of Friday's event, according to its Website, was to "manifest Islam's majestic spiritual principles" in chants echoing "off the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill." the rest

Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation

By Jim McElhatton
Sept. 29, 2009

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency's inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars. the rest

The Trouble with Obama

He only seemed to be all things to all people.
by Noemie Emery

For a talented man who ran a textbook campaign and was declared a great president before he even took office, Barack Obama has been having a rather hard time. The Midas Touch of 2008 has seemed to desert him. The famed oratory has not made a difference. The uniting president has turned into the ultra-divider. The music has died.

It's less that McCain voters oppose his proposals than that his own voters are turning against him: His approval ratings, above 70 percent when he first took office, now are near or less than 50 percent as independents, who gave him his win last November, give him negative ratings, and are dropping away. Presidents tend to drift down to earth as good will is ground down in the process of governing, but Obama's decline has been sudden and swift. Democrats predictably blame this on race, as if the strain of feigning enlightenment had become too much all at once for millions of people, but this seems unlikely in the case of a figure who only a few months ago was so widely adored.

In fact, he may have been adored rather too widely, by too many people wanting incompatible things. As disillusion sets in, it becomes more and more clear that he and his country misread one another. People embraced him for opposite reasons, while he held mistaken ideas about them; lies were not told, but conclusions were drawn that were not wholly accurate. He is what he seemed, only not that completely. And here are just five of the ways. the rest

Booming medical pot sales concern officials

By William M. Welch
posted Sept. 30, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Almost 13 years after California became the first state to allow the sale of marijuana for some medical conditions storefront purveyors of the drug are nearly as easy to find as a taco stand.

Yet police and prosecutors say the law is vague on who can sell pot and in what circumstances. They worry that the state unwittingly created safe havens for drug pushers who are doping the population with immunity.

"They appear to be run by drug dealers who see an opening in the market and a way to make a fast buck," says San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who says every pot store her office has looked at is operating illegally. the rest

World Habitat Day: Monday, October 5th, 2009

Posted September 30, 2009

The United Nations has designated the first Monday each October as World Habitat Day.This year on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. and around the world, please join Habitat for Humanity in support of this global observance as we come together and declare that the lack of decent, affordable housing is unacceptable.

According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless. Millions more face a severe housing problem living without adequate sanitation, with irregular or no electricity supply and without adequate security.

Worldwide, more than 2 million housing units per year are needed for the next 50 years to solve the present worldwide housing crisis. With our global population expanding, however, at the end of those 50 years, there would still be a need for another 1 billion houses. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)

Raising awareness and advocating for change are the first steps toward transforming systems that perpetuate the global plague of poverty housing. World Habitat Day serves as an important reminder that everyone must unite to ensure that everyone has a safe, decent place to call home. Website-more info here (click on image to see mosaic)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Devotional: And have the bright immensities...

And have the bright immensities
Received our risen Lord
Where light-years frame the Pleiades
And point Orion’s sword?
Do flaming suns his footsteps trace
Through corridors sublime,
The Lord of interstellar space
And Conqueror of time?

The heaven that hides Him from our sight
Knows neither near nor far:
An altar candle sheds its light
As surely as a star;
And where His loving people meet
To share the gift divine,
There stands He with unhurrying feet,
And Heaven’s splendors shine.
... Howard Chandler Robbins

7.9 magnitude quake sparks tsunami warning for New Zealand

Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:40pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tsunami warning was issued for New Zealand and other small Pacific islands after a major 7.9 magnitude quake struck in the ocean off American Samoa, U.S. government agencies said on Tuesday. the rest

Judge in Case of Arrested Notre Dame Pro-Lifers is Married to Pro-Abortion ND Professor

Monday September 28, 2009
By Kathleen Gilbert

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, September 28, 2009 ( - The attorney representing the pro-lifers arrested while protesting Obama at Notre Dame today repeated his request that the judge in the case, who is married to a pro-abortion Notre Dame professor, be removed from the case.

Attorney Tom Dixon's motion provides detailed support for his assertion in a previous recusal motion that there exists sufficient actual and perceived bias that Judge Jenny Pitts Manier, the judge assigned to the "ND 88" case, is required by Indiana state law to recuse herself in the matter. Dixon states that ever since Judge Manier has known her husband, Professor Edward Manier, he has been a well-known and outspoken advocate of the pro-abortion position.

As his views were well-known and have largely defined his identity at Notre Dame, Dixon argues, it seems implausible that Judge Manier could claim to be unaware of his views on the "ND 88" case, which stem from "the single biggest controversy in the history of the University of Notre Dame." the rest

Crossing the Rubicon: Analyses of D025 & C056

Episcopal Majority blog
Monday, September 28, 2009

I’m out of hibernation because of two significant resolutions passed by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church on same-sex blessings and the ordination of non-celibate gays.

The real Episcopal majority ought to take notice, not just because General Convention has given the green light for non-celibate gay priests and bishops and for blessings of gay unions, but because this was done facing down the clear majority of the Anglican world.

The title above taps a powerful, if well-used, analogy. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River at the head of an army, there was no turning back. It would now be conquer the capitol or burn it down or die trying. Observers from all sides at General Convention reported that the Bishops and Deputies (voting delegates made up of clergy and laity) understood that this was a Rubicon moment for gay issues. It is clear to all that there will be no going back.

Leaders at opposite ends of the spectrum (and those in the middle) interpret the resolutions differently. Read the words carefully and decide for yourself. Following are extracts of the exact words of the crucial paragraphs (in italics) with connectors in [brackets]. The form is altered to bullet-points with underlines added for important points. My commentary is in regular print.
The rest-don't miss this

h/t and comments at Stand Firm

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
and Anushka Asthana
Monday 28 September 2009

The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was "busy cleaning its own house" and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that "available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse. the rest

Religious life won't be the same after downturn

by Rachel Zoll, Ap Religion Writer
Mon Sep 28, 2009

NEW YORK – Organized religion was already in trouble before the fall of 2008. Denominations were stagnating or shrinking, and congregations across faith groups were fretting about their finances.

The Great Recession made things worse.

It's further drained the financial resources of many congregations, seminaries and religious day schools. Some congregations have disappeared and schools have been closed. In areas hit hardest by the recession, worshippers have moved away to find jobs, leaving those who remain to minister to communities struggling with rising home foreclosures, unemployment and uncertainty...

..."In 2010, I think we're going to see 10 or 15 percent of congregations saying they're in serious financial trouble," says David Roozen, a lead researcher for the Faith Communities Today multi-faith survey, which measures congregational health annually. "With around 320,000 or 350,000 congregations, that's a hell of a lot of them." the rest

Study: One in Five Americans Secular in Twenty Years

Atheists examine Christmas from angel-free angle

Riazat Butt
Sunday 27 September 2009

It is a book about Christmas but there's not a manger, virgin birth or angel in sight.

Buoyed by the success of their campaign which proclaimed There's Probably No God, Now Stop Worrying on the side of London buses, some of Britain's most prominent atheists have come together to publish a book for the festive season.

The Atheist's Guide to Christmas features contributions on the theme of Christmas and God by scientists Richard Dawkins, Simon Singh and Adam Rutherford, agony aunt Claire Rayner, pop star Simon Le Bon, illusionist Derren Brown and Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker. the rest

ACORN Story Shows How Internet Reporting Is Beating the New York Times

September 28, 2009
By Doug Heye,
Thomas Jefferson Street blog

In a meeting of New York conservative activists earlier this month, Andrew Breitbart received a raucous standing ovation for doing something many conservatives never dreamed possible. He beat The New York Times.

As video upon video were released showing ACORN employees eagerly helping two conservatives (Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe) set up prostitution as a legitimate business, file false tax statements and engage in the trafficking of underage illegal immigrants, much of the major media remained silent.

For conservatives, the rationale was simple: the major media were uninterested in exposing an organization linked with President Barack Obama. the rest

Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets

ACORN's Man in the White House

Troy, NY: Massive voter fraud linked to ACORN

Legislation Could Expand Assisted Suicide to New Hampshire, Surrounding States

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 28, 2009

Concord, NH ( -- New Hampshire state Representative Charles Weed is introducing a measure that would not only expand assisted suicide to New Hampshire but allow it for residents of surrounding states. The language of the Weed amendment would turn the Granite State into a suicide haven.

The newly proposed HB 304 by Weed would allow assisted suicide.

But it would go further by making it so a terminally ill patient need not be actually suffering serious symptoms to qualify for assisted suicide. the rest

'Night-texting' taking its toll on N.J. teens

Teenage sleep-deprivation caused by too much texting

By Aliyah Shahid/For The Star-Ledger
September 28, 2009

This summer, night after night, the lanky 14-year-old texted with friends for hours on end, sometimes not going to sleep until well after the sun was up. She’d interrupt her evening showers to check for messages, and at night she’d lie in bed with her phone pressed against her thigh to make sure she’d be alerted to any new messages. the rest

Human embryonic stem cell lines may now be submitted for US federal funding approval

28 September 2009
By Nienke Korsten

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a website through which scientists can request their human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines to be approved for federally funded research. Eligible lines will appear on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry, also accessible online. Dr Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, has appointed a working group to assist him in deciding which lines will be approved.

This is a major step in President Obama's initiative to lift the ban - created by the Bush administration - on the federal funding of human ES cell research, as announced in March. The NIH published guidelines for the eligibility of human ES cell lines in July, forbidding the use of embryos specifically created for research purposes, thus restricting research to surplus embryos from IVF treatments. Full and informed consent from the donor is also required. the rest

Fertility clinic sued for destroying embryos

Disaffected Lutherans Begin 'Re-visioning' Lutheranism

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Sep. 28 2009

Conservative Lutherans from congregations throughout the country voted on Saturday to begin deciding on whether to go their separate ways from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Arguing that the ELCA has fallen into heresy, the traditional group has essentially initiated a process that they hope will lead to a reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America.

"We are forming a churchly community because our prior churchly community has walked away from the faith off the one holy catholic and apostolic Church," said Ryan Schwarz, a member of the Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) steering committee.

Some 1,200 Lutherans gathered in Indianapolis this past weekend to take actions in response to last month's vote by ELCA's chief legislative body to approve a resolution allowing gays and lesbians in "life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships" to be ordained. the rest

Monday, September 28, 2009

Devotional: The surest method...

The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. God's will does not come to us in the whole, but in fragments, and generally in small fragments. It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation. ...Frederick W. Faber image by jared

Fort Worth to Vote on Southern Cone Ties

September 28, 2009

A member diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will consider a resolution that maintains the diocese’s ties with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone.

The resolution is being proposed by the Diocese of Fort Worth’s standing committee. The diocese’s convention will meet on Nov. 6 and 7 in Arlington, Texas. The resolution commits the diocese to continued participation in the ACNA, but also “maintains its status as a member diocese in the Province of the Southern Cone while the formal process of recognition of [ACNA] continues in the Anglican Communion.”

“At this point, the Anglican Church in North America is not yet fully recognized as a province of the Anglican Communion,” the standing committee said in an explanation. “We are working towards that goal, but it is a lengthy process involving the primates, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Anglican Consultative Council.”

The standing committee also says it is important for the diocese to remain within ACNA, in order to “support and encourage an authentic Anglican witness in North America.” the rest

Proposal Requires House to Post Bills on Web 72 Hours Before Vote

Monday, September 28, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

( – Before health care legislation or any other issue is voted on by Congress, the public should have 72 hours to review it, according to a bipartisan resolution in the House.

The resolution comes in a year when a $787 billion stimulus bill, with 1,073 pages, was approved after the public had just 12 hours to review the final version. The $846 billion cap-and-trade legislation that passed the House this summer was 1,428 pages long and available just 16 hours before the vote. the rest

Presidential “Family Day” Proclamation Includes “Same-Sex” Couples

For Immediate Release September 28, 2009
- – - – - – -


Our family provides one of the strongest influences on our lives. American families from every walk of life have taught us time and again that children raised in loving, caring homes have the ability to reject negative behaviors and reach their highest potential. Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things. Today, our children are confronting issues of drug and alcohol use with astonishing regularity. On Family Day, we honor the dedication of parents, commend the achievements of their children, and celebrate the contributions our Nation’s families have made to combat substance abuse among young people. the rest

Homosexuality debate grips South African Church

Monday, 28th September 2009
By George Conger

A second South African diocese will take up the question of pastoral care for gays and lesbians when the False Bay synod meets from Sept 23-26. Carved out of the eastern half of the Diocese of Cape Town in 2005, the Diocese of False Bay will debate a resolution akin to last month’s Cape Town request for an official church policy on gay marriage in light of the country’s gender-neutral marriage laws.

The South African general synod in 2002 endorsed a resolution that “acknowledges and gives thanks to God for the role played by lesbian and gay members of the CPSA and encourages the welcoming and affirmation of all members regardless of their sexual orientation, in all the Churches of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.”

However, the church forbids its clergy from performing gay marriages or blessing same-sex unions in churches. the rest

Polish Priest Fined for Comparing Abortion to Holocaust, Saying Abortion is "Killing"

Friday September 25, 2009

KATOWICE, Poland, September 23, 2009 ( - In a ruling that Church leaders are calling a serious infringement of freedom of speech, a Polish judge has accused the Archdiocese of Katowice and the priest-editor of their Catholic weekly newspaper of comparing a woman who sought an abortion to the Nazis, and has ordered them to publish a court-dictated apology.

Judge Ewa Solecka, further, fined the Gosc Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor) paper $11,000, objecting to comments from editor-in-chief Fr. Marek Gancarczyk that she deemed offensive, such as his statement that in seeking to get an abortion, the woman sought to 'kill' her child. the rest

The average British man or woman has slept with 2.8 million people

Sep 23, 2009

The average British man or woman has slept with 2.8 million people -- albeit indirectly, according to figures released on Wednesday to promote awareness of sexual health.

A British pharmacy chain has launched an online calculator which helps you work out how many partners you have had, in the sense of exposure to risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

The "Sex Degrees of Separation" ready reckoner tots up the numbers based on your number of partners, then their previous partners, and their former lovers, and so on for six "generations" of partners. the rest image

Ariz. Megachurch Cuts Ties with ELCA

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Sep. 28 2009

A megachurch in Glendale, Ariz., unanimously voted Sunday to cut ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and will be joining the smaller Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.

At a congregational meeting following worship, Community Church of Joy voted 129-0 to terminate its affiliation with ELCA as the church’s vision, values and mission are no longer aligned with the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination, according to the Rev. Walter P. Kallestad, senior pastor of the congregation.

"There is such a different direction that the ELCA has chosen, a path they're traveling on, and we really believe that it just was not consistent to where God has called us,” said Kallestad, whose congregation was the 10th largest in ELCA with 6,800 baptized members.
“And so we’re parting,” he told the ELCA News Service. the rest

Video: Favre does it again

Christians tempted to emigrate as Lebanon grows increasingly 'Islamized'

Christians tempted to emigrate as Lebanon grows increasingly 'Islamized'
By Josie Ensor Daily Star staff
Monday, September 28, 2009

BEIRUT: Christians are tempted to flee Lebanon as the country becomes increasingly “Islamized,” according to the founder of the Center for Arab Christian Research and Documentation (CEDRAC). One-third of the nation’s Christian population has left since the beginning of the 1975-90 Civil War, and a recent surge in emigration means Christians now make up just 34 percent of Lebanon’s population, Father Samir Khalil, a Jesuit teacher at Beirut’s St. Joseph University’s CEDRAC department, told Vatican Radio last week.

“Christians used to make up 50 percent of the nation’s population; now experts think the Christians are probably not exceeding 34 percent, which is worrying,” Khalil said in the radio interview during a visit to The Holy See. the rest

'Safe school czar' encouraged child sex with an older man

At the president's pleasure
Monday, September 28, 2009

A teacher was told by a 15-year-old high school sophomore that he was having homosexual sex with an "older man." At the very least, statutory rape occurred. Fox News reported that the teacher violated a state law requiring that he report the abuse. That former teacher, Kevin Jennings, is President Obama's "safe school czar." It's getting hard to keep track of all of this president's problematic appointments. Clearly, the process for vetting White House employees has broken down.

In this one case in which Mr. Jennings had a real chance to protect a young boy from a sexual predator, he not only failed to do what the law required but actually encouraged the relationship.
According to Mr. Jennings' own description in a new audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the "older man" in a "bus station bathroom" and was taken to the older man's home that night. When some details about the case became public, Mr. Jennings threatened to sue another teacher who called his failure to report the statutory rape "unethical." Mr. Jennings' defenders asserted that there was no evidence that he was aware the student had sex with the older man. the rest

"With ObamaCare in a Hole, Will the White House Stop Digging?"

ObamaCare Is Income Redistribution

In Canada, a move toward a private healthcare option

Rasmussen: Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low

A professor pope wields some rhetorical jiu-jitsu

Sep. 27, 2009

In the Japanese martial art of jiu-jitsu, the key to success is turning your opponent’s strength into a weakness. If your opponent is bigger or hits harder, you deflect his energy rather than directly opposing it, turning the blows back upon the guy delivering them.

In effect, Pope Benedict XVI has been practicing some rhetorical jiu-jitsu this weekend in the Czech Republic. Time and again, the pontiff has taken charges that secularists commonly level at Christianity and turned them back around – so that they become indictments of, rather than an apologia for, a secular worldview.

The pope’s address this evening to a group of academics at Prague’s Charles University offered a classic case in point. the rest

“Relativism … provides a dense camouflage behind which new threats to the autonomy of academic institutions can lurk,” the pope said...

Pope urges Europe to remember Christian heritage

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Devotional: It may be that my soul sits in darkness...

For thou wilt light my candle. Psalm 18:28

It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a "darkness which might be felt," yet He can break the gloom and immediately make it bright around me.

The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still. The Lord's lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out.

Let me, then, like the nightingale sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God's lighting. I am dull and dreary just now. Perhaps it is the weather, or bodily weakness, or the surprise of a sudden trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will bring the light. My eyes are unto Him alone. I shall soon have the candles of the Lord shining about me; and, further on in His own good time, I shall be where they need no candle, neither light of the sun. Hallelujah! ...CH Spurgeon
image by anne.oeldorfhirsch

Time to Call Islam to Account

posted September 27, 2009
The Rev’d Canon Julian Dobbs

An expected 50,000 Muslims are preparing to descend on Capitol Hill on Friday, Septemter 25, to enable the “peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam to shine through America's capitol.”

It would be easy for many Americans to believe that Islam is a religion of peace and beauty. By far the majority of Muslims in North America are law-abiding citizens who seek to live out their lives without recourse to violence. However, there is a strong and influential movement in the Muslim community that is positioning Islam to gain world dominance in the social, political, financial and religious sectors of nations.

The advertised objective of Friday’s gathering is “to invite the Muslim Communities and friends of Islam to express and illustrate the wonderful diversity of Islam.”

Diversity? the rest

Albert Mohler:Why Do the Heathen Rage? — International Blasphemy Day

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ready for a day to honor blasphemy? According to press reports, September 30 is set as the observance of the first-ever International Blasphemy Day. This could be interesting.

The choice of September 30 looks back to that date in the year 2005, when the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad's face sparked outcry and protests in the Muslim world and threats toward the West.

Now, as Religion News Service reports, the Center for Inquiry is planning a day of observances to mark the occasion. Ron Lindsay, a lawyer who serves as president of the Council for Inquiry International, said that the day was part of the group's effort to expose religious beliefs to investigation. In the words of the RNS report, the goal is "to expose all religious beliefs to the same level of inquiry, discussion and criticism to which other areas of intellectual interest are subjected." the rest

Clergy abuse settlements can lead to new suffering

Saturday, Sep. 26, 2009

David Guerrero lies curled like a small child in bed, his teeth chattering and his fever spiked at 104 degrees. He has left his room only once since he crawled home from his latest crystal meth binge three days ago, to let his mother drive him to the emergency room for his soaring temperature.

Now, Minerva Guerrero hovers close to her 41-year-old son, making a mental list of the day ahead: she must change his bed linens, nurse him, pick up his new prescriptions.

Sixty miles away and days later, Dominic Zamora rages at his father, who suspects he bought a house in someone else's name. You're not my father, Dominic screams. You just want my money. When the 36-year-old finally calls his parents three weeks later, he is drunk and angry at the world - and most especially, at them.

This was not the future the Guerreros and the Zamoras imagined when their sons received millions from the Roman Catholic church to settle claims they were molested by their childhood priests. But that was before the money ushered in a new and never-ending nightmare. the rest

William Safire, Nixon Speechwriter and Times Columnist, Is Dead at 79

September 28, 2009

William Safire, a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times who also wrote novels, books on politics and a Malaprop’s treasury of articles on language, died at a hospice in Rockville, Md. on Sunday. He was 79.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said Martin Tolchin, a friend of the family.

There may be many sides in a genteel debate, but in the Safire world of politics and journalism it was simpler: there was his own unambiguous wit and wisdom on one hand and, on the other, the blubber of fools he called “nattering nabobs of negativism” and “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.” the rest image

Conservative Lutherans organize after vote on gays

September 27, 2009

FISHERS, Ind. — Conservative members of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination voted Saturday to spend the next 12 months deciding whether to split from the church after it liberalized its stance on gay clergy.

About 1,200 people meeting in suburban Indianapolis approved a constitution for the conservative umbrella group Lutheran CORE and a resolution directing its steering committee to report back in a year on whether to stay within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, form their own denomination or join another.

Some members urged the assembly to more quickly sever ties with the 4.7-million member ELCA after the vote last month to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy, dropping a requirement that gay clergy remain celibate. the rest

Church court denies Episcopal bishop new trial

Sat, Sep. 26, 2009
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

A court of the Episcopal Church USA has rejected a request from deposed Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. for a new church trial.

Bennison, head of the five-county Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania since 1998, was suspended from his duties nearly two years ago on charges that he had concealed his brother John Bennison's sexual abuse of an underage girl about 35 years ago in California. At the time of the abuse, Charles Bennison was pastor of a parish outside Los Angeles, and John Bennison was his youth minister.

Last year, after a four-day trial here, the church court unanimously found the bishop guilty on two counts and ordered him deposed, or removed, from all ministry. the rest

The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown: 50 factual errors

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, says that his books, while fictional, are grounded in fact. We look at 50 of his claims.
By Tom Chivers
25 Sep 2009

Dan Brown’s new novel The Lost Symbol opens with a bold word: FACT. "All rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this novel are real", it says.

The Da Vinci Code, his previous bestseller, began in a similar fashion. "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate", Brown says before the prologue.

So is that true? We take a look at 50 of Brown's more contentious points in the two novels and a third, Angels and Demons, his previous work also starring Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon.
This represents our best attempt to find the facts behind Brown's stories. If you disagree with any of them, or if you have any more information, please add your thoughts in the comment box below. the rest