Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Doorway to Bethlehem

December 11, 2009
By fatherstephen

As we draw near to the feast of the Nativity, Bethlehem looms ever larger in my mind. At the same time, the entrance to Bethlehem appears as well. This article, posted on Christmas of last year, draws attention to the unusual feature of the entrance of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. We all have a journey to complete before we reach the manger of the Christ Child. This article describes an aspect of that journey. image

Story

Upper South Carolina Clergy & Lay Leaders Elect Revisionist As Bishop, Choose Further Decline

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Sarah Hey at Stand Firm

Clergy and lay leaders [delegates] elected Andrew Waldo as bishop of the diocese.

Waldo counts Bishop Robinson as his "mentor," seeks to institute same sex blessings after General Convention approves a rite, counts Jesus as "my way" and "my truth," and practices Communion of the Unbaptized, in violation of the national church canons, at his parish.

I am very sad for my diocese. It is a tragic loss for those of us who love the diocese and had hoped to see its revitalization and growth. Except in small occasional pockets, that is not to be over the coming two decades or so.

What does this mean, practically speaking? the rest

Friday, December 11, 2009

Devotional: The most glorious promises of God...

The most glorious promises of God are generally fulfilled in such a wondrous manner that He steps forth to save us at a time when there is the least appearance of it. ...CH von Bogatzy image

The Catholic Church and the collapse of Communism

Untold story of 1989
Jonathan Luxmoore

The dramatic collapse of Communism has been extensively analysed, but recent accounts have notably ignored the significant role played by the Churches, and in particular the contribution made by John Paul II in uniting people peacefully around a common objective.

It has been a year of anniversaries, culminating this autumn when the great and the good gathered to commemorate the fall of Communism. Yet the commentaries and reminiscences, however stirring, have also been selective, often revealing as much about current prejudices as about what really happened 20 years ago. The region’s Churches, in particular, which played a key role in 1989, appear to have been expunged from the accounts just as the victims of Stalin were airbrushed out of photographs.The BBC’s continuous account, 1989: Day by Day, presented by Sir John Tusa, recalled Mikhail Gorbachev’s ground-breaking visit to the Vatican on 1 December, but otherwise barely mentioned Church involvement. Meanwhile, though a spate of books has appeared on the year’s events, only Victor Sebestyen’s Revolution 1989: the fall of the Soviet Empire gives a proper account of the part played by Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church.

Some selectiveness may be understandable. The collapse of Communist rule, some argue, could be traced to systemic faultlines and a false view of mankind which were present from the very beginning. When attempts are made to retrace its final overthrow, most analyses highlight economic stagnation, ideological meltdown, Western pressure and imperial overstretch. They point to a chain of intended and unintended consequences which spiralled into a full-scale meltdown. the rest

For Rome and Moscow, It's Spring Again

For the first time, the Russian Orthodox Church publishes a book with texts by a pope. The author is Benedict XVI. The topic is Europe. The objective is a holy alliance in defense of the Christian tradition
by Sandro Magister

ROME, December 11, 2009 – In a terse statement two days ago, Russia and the Church of Rome announced "the establishment of diplomatic relations between them, at the level of apostolic nunciature on the part of the Holy See, and of embassy on the part of the Russian Federation.

"Six days earlier, on December 3, Pope Benedict XVI had received in audience Dmitri Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, to whom he had given a Russian-language copy of the encyclical "Caritas in Veritate," and with whom he had discussed "cultural and social topics of common interest, like the value of the family and the contribution of believers to the life of Russia."

But it is not only with the authorities of the Russian state that the Church of Rome now has relations defined by both sides as "friendly." the rest

Tiger Woods & President Obama Cover Issue of Golf Digest


Fr. Nigel Update, December 11,2009 9:41 AM

Fr. Nigel is improving each day. Wednesday he walked down the hall 35 feet – he was euphoric. Thursday he walked down the hall 80 Feet !! Praise God who listens to our prayers and answers them. After he told me about his walk, he said "Live Man Walking" (a play of words on the title of the movie "Dead Man Walking") and then he laughed. He is continuing to experience the nausea and dizziness when he stands up, but he is determined to get past it.

His bed sore causes him constant pain and discomfort, but he has a new bed that is made specifically to provide relief for people with bedsores. Thank you Lord for the person who invented this bed.

Fr. Nigel said that he had 3 visions while he was in a coma. He is praying about them and is analyzing them through the Bible and will relate them to all of you in the future.

Please pray for Fr. Nigel for complete healing of his lungs so that he can breathe without needing the extra oxygen; continued strengthening of his muscles; complete healing of his bedsore; healing of whatever is causing his dizziness and nausea.

Please pray for Lynn that she may continue to be strengthened through your prayers.

Praise God for the healing that has taken place in Fr. Nigel, both physically and spiritually. Thank you Lord for listening to your children’s prayers. Thank you all for your constant and steadfast prayers.

Elizabeth Strickland
Albany Intercessor

The new socialism

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, December 11, 2009

In the 1970s and early '80s, having seized control of the U.N. apparatus (by power of numbers), Third World countries decided to cash in. OPEC was pulling off the greatest wealth transfer from rich to poor in history. Why not them? So in grand U.N. declarations and conferences, they began calling for a "New International Economic Order." The NIEO's essential demand was simple: to transfer fantastic chunks of wealth from the industrialized West to the Third World.

On what grounds? In the name of equality -- wealth redistribution via global socialism -- with a dose of post-colonial reparations thrown in.

The idea of essentially taxing hardworking citizens of the democracies to fill the treasuries of Third World kleptocracies went nowhere, thanks mainly to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (and the debt crisis of the early '80s). They put a stake through the enterprise. the rest

Anglicans thinking of Rome 'must not become a sect'

Friday, 11 December 2009
By Trevor Timpson
BBC News

Discontented Anglicans who convert must not become a "sect" within the Roman Catholic Church, a senior Catholic clergyman dealing with church unity has warned.

Anglicans who object to plans for women bishops are considering the Vatican's invitation to become part of a special section - an "ordinariate" - within the church in England and Wales.

Monsignor Andrew Faley, Assistant General Secretary of the English and Welsh Catholic bishops' conference, told the BBC News website that ordinariate members would be expected to co-operate with their local bishop and the life of their local Catholic parish.

"They can't live separate from it... that would be a "sect" approach and that would not be tolerated within the Catholic understanding of the church," he said. the rest

Infamous Catholic Nun Cites Virgin Mary as Support for Pro-Abortion Views

Thursday December 10, 2009
By James Tillman
HINSDALE, IL

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Sr. Donna Quinn of the Sinsinawa Dominican community, already notorious for volunteering as a clinic escort at a local abortion facility, has now come in out praise of the failure of the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment in the Senate, which would have restricted federal abortion funding. In addition, Quinn has described the Virgin Mary as "one of the first women in the New Testament to express Choice."

On December 8, Sr. Quinn sent a thank-you note to those who lobbied their senators to vote against the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment, according to the Chicago Tribune. the rest

Gay "Marriage" Vote Killed in NJ Senate

Same-sex marriage advocates switch focus to Assembly
Thursday December 10, 2009
By Peter J. Smith
TRENTON, New Jersey

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Homosexual advocates in New Jersey snatched a same-sex "marriage" bill from the jaws of defeat on Wednesday, cancelling Thursday's scheduled vote in the state Senate after realizing that they lacked the votes for the measure's successful passage.

The bill's Senate sponsors, Sens. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-NJ 20) and Loretta Weinberg (D-NJ 37) revoked the bill from the Senate's agenda late Wednesday night, and stated that they wanted the General Assembly to examine the bill first before the Senate votes.

Democrats firmly control the N.J. Senate by a 23-17 margin, but a number of Democrats count themselves as opponents of same-sex "marriage." According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-NJ 39) said he was aware of nine Senate Democrats who were intending to vote against the bill and would have doomed its passage. the rest

New Poll Reveals How Churchgoers Mix Eastern, New Age Beliefs

Thu, Dec. 10 2009
By Joshua A. Goldberg
Christian Post Reporter

Though the United States is an overwhelmingly Christian country, significant minorities profess belief in a variety of Eastern or New Age beliefs, as revealed in a new poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

According to the poll, 22 percent of Christians, for example, say they believe in reincarnation – that people will be reborn in this world again and again. Twenty-three percent, meanwhile, believe in astrology. And 15 percent have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic.

Not surprising, however, is Pew’s observation that white evangelical Protestants consistently express lower levels of acceptance of both Eastern beliefs (reincarnation, yoga) and New Age beliefs (spiritual energy in physical things and astrology).

Roughly one-in-ten white evangelicals, for example, believes in reincarnation, compared with 24 percent among mainline Protestants, 25 percent among both white Catholics and those unaffiliated with any religion, and 29 percent among black Protestants. the rest

Euthanasia law fuels suffering in Holland

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dr Elst Borst, the architect of legal euthanasia in Holland, has admitted that she may have made a mistake in pushing the law through.

Dr Borst made the comments during an interview for a new book, Redeemer Under God.
The former Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister admitted that care for the terminally-ill had declined since the law came into effect.

Dr Borst said: “In the Netherlands, we first listened to the political and societal demand in favour of euthanasia.”

She added: “Obviously this was not in the proper order.”

She also said that more should have been done to give legal protection to those who want to die naturally. the rest

DUIN: Faith chief not easy to reach

By Julia Duin
December 10, 2009

Not long ago at a meeting of the nation's religion writers in Minneapolis, reporters were seething about a particular no-show.

President Obama's point man on religion, Joshua DuBois, had been slated for months to address journalists about "Faith and Politics in the Obama White House." He had given every indication of coming, so the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) included his photo in the conference program. Then, with less than two weeks to go before his Sept. 10 appearance, he suddenly became unavailable - a move widely seen as a cancellation among RNA members. the rest

'Christmas' card selected by the Obamas does not mention Christmas

How December 25 Became Christmas

by Andrew McGowan

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?

The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled. Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical.

The extrabiblical evidence from the first and second century is equally spare: There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this point. the rest image

Fast-growing Christian churches crushed in China

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN (AP)
posted December 11, 2009

LINFEN, China — Towering eight stories over wheat fields, the Golden Lamp Church was built to serve nearly 50,000 worshippers in the gritty heart of China's coal country.

But that was before hundreds of police and hired thugs descended on the mega-church, smashing doors and windows, seizing Bibles and sending dozens of worshippers to hospitals with serious injuries, members and activists say

Today, the church's co-pastors are in jail. The gates to the church complex in the northern province of Shanxi are locked and a police armored personnel vehicle sits outside.

The closure of what may be China's first mega-church is the most visible sign that the communist government is determined to rein in the rapid spread of Christianity, with a crackdown in recent months that church leaders call the harshest in years. the rest

Albert Mohler: Starting Something You Cannot Finish: Christian Ministry From Generation to Generation

Friday, December 11, 2009

This is a commencement address and charge to graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Excerpt:
Nevertheless, the biblical conception of the Christian ministry is, as we should not be surprised to find, radically at odds with worldly wisdom. According to the New Testament, one of the most important insights about the Christian ministry is this: We will not finish what we begin. This is not to say that we will never set goals and reach them or that we will never complete plans and programs. It does mean that the Christian ministry must be seen in the context of faithfulness extended from generation to generation until Christ returns to claim his Bride.

The rest-Excellent!

Glasspool is in the eye of an Anglican storm

The newly elected assistant bishop in Los Angeles has become a symbol of hope for gays in the national church but a portent of doom for traditionalists worried about their denomination unraveling.
By Duke Helfand
December 11, 2009

In the space of a week, Mary Glasspool has gone from being an obscure priest in Baltimore to the emblem of a growing international tempest over gay bishops in the Episcopal Church.

The lesbian priest with salt-and-pepper hair -- one of two newly elected suffragan, or assistant, bishops in Los Angeles -- has become a potent symbol of hope for gays in the national church but a portent of doom for traditionalists worried about their denomination unraveling.

Ask Glasspool, 55, about her central role in the turbulence that has drawn the disapproving eye of the archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion, and she offers a lament: The struggle for gay rights in the church has never been her primary mission, she says, even as she speaks proudly of her 22-year relationship with her partner, social worker Becki Sander. the rest

Second gay bishop poses stark choice for Episcopal Church

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mysterious blue light near Norway caused by failed Russian missile test


Dec 10, 2009

A mysterious blue spiral visible from Norway that had UFO watchers frothing for a few hours today turns out to be the embarrassing fallout from a failed Russian test of a new, submarine-based intercontinental missile.

The Russian defense ministry says the Bulava missile was launched from a submerged submarine in the White Sea. It failed in its third stage, Reuters and the Associated Press report. the rest

Obama’s Dangerous Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings

Feinstein Says It's 'Morally Correct' to Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortion


Wednesday, December 09, 2009
By Karen Schuberg

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) told CNSNews.com that using tax dollars from pro-life Americans to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion is morally correct.

The health care bill put before the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) would in fact provide tax dollars to health insurance plans that cover abortion. An amendment to the health care bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Nelson (D.-Neb.) that would have prohibited tax dollars from going to insurance plans that cover abortion was defeated yesterday. the rest

Stand Firm: “That’s Not a Baby Growing Inside of You”

Barbara Boxer Compares Viagra to Abortion

Gay marriage: For blacks it's a moral, not political, issue

December 10, 2009
By The Rev. Reginald T. Jackson
Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

New Jersey is ground zero today in the discussion and debate about gay marriage. The nation will be watching to see what our Legislature does when the state Senate votes on the issue. Whether it has the 21 votes necessary for approval is uncertain.

But the question has been asked, where do African-Americans stand on the issue of gay marriage and why? As reported in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, a large majority of African-Americans — 61 percent to 28 percent — oppose gay marriage. This is the case not only in New Jersey, but nationwide. Many may be surprised, but African-Americans historically are conservative on moral issues.

Supporters of gay marriage say it is a civil rights issue, and after all that African-Americans have been through, it was assumed that African-Americans would be supportive. Most African-Americans, however, don’t look at gay marriage as a civil rights issue, but rather as a religious or theological issue. the rest

Bishop Jon Bruno: “No Barriers” for Gay and Lesbian Episcopalians

December 9th, 2009

There has been new controversy across the worldwide Anglican Communion since the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected Rev. Mary Glasspool, a lesbian, as assistant bishop. If her election is confirmed by a majority of dioceses within the Episcopal Church, she would become the second openly gay bishop in the denomination, which has been wracked with division over homosexuality. The Episcopal Church is the US branch of the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. In July 2009, the Episcopal General Convention overwhelmingly approved a measure affirming that gays and lesbians are eligible to become bishops. After the vote, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly managing editor Kim Lawton asked Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno how he would explain the vote to Anglicans around the world who oppose gay bishops, and what message he hoped it would send to gays and lesbians.

link/video-read the comments

Is gay marriage 'inevitable'?

By BEN SMITH
12/9/09

The same-sex marriage movement appears likely to end a banner year with a string of stinging defeats that opponents say have undermined a core proposition of the movement - that the acceptance of gay marriage is, sooner or later, inevitable.

After a year that saw laws allowing same-sex marriage expand from a lonely toehold in Massachusetts to five other states and, likely, the District of Columbia, the defeats have served at the least as a reality check to proponents of gay marriage.

A Maine referendum that was seen as the best chance for popular approval of same-sex marriage instead was soundly defeated. The state senate in liberal New York voted down a marriage bill by a margin - 38 to 24 - that stunned advocates and the state’s governor, who had predicted victory. And a same-sex marriage measure limped to the floor of the New Jersey state senate Thursday after squeaking out of committee over the opposition of prominent Democrats. the rest

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Former Episcopal Bishop Lipscomb Now a Catholic Priest

Father John Lipscomb was the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida who became a Catholic in 2007. He was ordained a Catholic Priest last week.
By John Barry
12/9/2009
Tampabay.com/St. Petersburg Times

LUTZ — John Lipscomb, the married, 59-year-old former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, was ordained a Catholic priest Wednesday.

The morning after, he expressed joy and a sense of relief. He's at peace, spiritually. He's just a priest now. He's not the boss.

"The part of the job that never fit was sitting in judgment of other people's lives," he said. "I'm at a point in my life where I want to do the things God called me to do, and not have to make the kinds of decisions that are impossible to make anyway."

"We're happy that John has found his place," said Jim DeLa, the Episcopal Diocese's director of communications. "If this is it for him, God bless him." the rest

TLC Editorial: Think, and Act, Globally

December 9, 2009

Soon after the Episcopal Church’s General Convention adjourned in July, many bishops assured their people that two resolutions, one regarding ordained ministry and the other regarding blessings for same-sex couples, had changed nothing and were merely descriptive of the Episcopal Church’s daily reality. Bishops suggested that the test of Resolution D025 would not center on the election of another openly partnered gay or lesbian bishop, but on whether that person received sufficient consents to be made a bishop.

By the words of these bishops, then, the test begins even now, before the first paperwork arrives in the hands of bishops and standing committees regarding the election of the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as a suffragan bishop for the Diocese of Los Angeles. The Archbishop of Canterbury has made no secret of what he hopes those bishops and standing committees will remember.

“The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications,” he wrote within a day of the election. “The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.”

Leaders of the Episcopal Church have heard, and disregarded, such warnings before. They were warned in 2003 that their consecration of an openly partnered gay man would tear at the very fabric of the Anglican Communion, and they did it anyway. Six years later, after pleading ignorance of how much one decision could affect the rest of the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has arrived at a similar moment of decision. the rest

Senators Coburn and McCain Discuss Stimulus Waste

Update on Fr. Nigel, Tuesday 12/8/09

From: Elizabeth Strickland

Fr. Nigel Mumford is in excellent spirits. Although he is still not able to stand without being dizzy or nauseous, he was able yesterday to do 15 minutes on a "bicycle" of sorts, exercising his arms. He was also able to do 6 minutes of workout on his legs, but had to stop because of the dizziness. He was disappointed in the brevity of that exercise, but he was reminded that a week ago he was barely able to lift his arm. Now he can raise it with confidence. He is now also able to push himself up in bed.

He continues to deal with the bed sore that is causing a lot of pain, and he has been told that it will take about 3 months to heal. But he will be getting a new bed specially made to aid in the healing of bed sores. So please continue to pray for the healing of this and thank God for the new bed.

The oxygen supply to Fr. Nigel's trach has been reduced a bit as the weaning process continues, so our Lord is hearing your prayers for the healing of his lungs. But he has a cough that persists.
Fr. Nigel said that his prayer life has returned, and he feels a great peace envelope him. He said that he knows that it is your prayers. He thanks God for your prayers and the gift of life.

Please pray for:
-Immediate healing of the bed sore
-Complete rejuvenation and healing of his lungs, and elimination of his cough
-Healing of whatever is causing the dizziness and nausea when he tries to stand
-Peace and strength for Lynn as she continues to support and care for Fr. Nigel

Please give Thanks and Praise to Our Lord - for the healing that has taken place- known and unknown - for the strengthening of his muscles, for the clarity of his mind, for the healing of his lungs, for the regular heartbeat, for the normal temperature, for the Lord's healing touch in so many ways.

Thank you all for your prayers. Our God is awesome and He hears your crying out to Him. God Bless You.

Albany Intercessor

Over Two-Thirds of All Abortion Clinics Have Closed Since 1991

Tuesday December 8, 2009
WICHITA, KS

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Operation Rescue has just released the results of an extensive research project into the abortion industry showing that the number of abortion facilities continues to dwindle as Americans become more pro-life.

"We now have an accurate listing of every open abortion clinic in the country," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "In 1991, it was estimated that there were nearly 2,200 abortion clinics in the country, today there are just 713. The pro-life movement has made significant strides exposing and closing abortion clinics and shifting public opinion toward the pro-life position. This has resulted in lower abortion rates."

Operation Rescue has listed all abortion facilities along with a map showing their locations. The information shows a general relationship between access to abortion clinics and the abortion rate in each state. With few exceptions, the states with greater access to abortion clinics have higher abortion rates. the rest

Albert Mohler: An Amazing Article on Abortion in New York Magazine

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Week by week, New York magazine offers insight into the culture and consciousness of the nation's trendy population in Manhattan. This magazine, combined with The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker, provides constant insight into the thinking of the New York elites.

The magazine recently featured a major article on abortion, and it just might be the most important article on this issue in recent history.

In "The Abortion Distortion -- Just How Pro-choice is America, Really?," writer Jennifer Senior offers an incredibly insightful and important essay on the moral status of abortion in the American mind. Senior is clearly writing to a New York readership -- expected to be overwhelmingly pro-choice and settled in a posture of abortion advocacy. Given the passage of the so-called "Stupak amendment" to the health-care reform bill adopted by the House of Representatives, many in the pro-choice movement responded with amazement that a pro-life minority has been able to muster such support. Jennifer Senior posed the most awkward question for her readers: Is America really pro-choice? the rest image

Taliban dynamite schools in NW Pakistan

Wed Dec 9, 2009

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – Taliban militants on Wednesday dynamited two boys' schools in Pakistan's Khyber district, where troops are pressing an offensive against Islamist insurgents, an official said.

The attacks took place in Bara town, about 20 kilometres (13 miles) south of the regional capital Peshawar, with most of the buildings reduced to rubble but no one injured in the blasts in the early hours of the morning.

Pakistan is currently in the grip of a fierce Taliban insurgency, with 68 people killed in bombs across the country in the past three days alone as militants avenge multiple operations against them in the lawless northwest. the rest

Approval numbers show most Americans don't want Obama's change

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Commentary by Chris Carter

A common theme has resonated from pollsters in 2009: 'Obama's approval ratings hit new low.' Gallup's latest poll puts President Obama's approval at 47%, the lowest-ever for a U.S. president in his first year in office.

Now that President Barack Obama's first year in office is almost over, a glance at other presidents' approval ratings confirms that Obama's 47% approval rating marks the lowest for a president in his first year.

A look at past presidents shows that he could also set the lowest average approval rating. According to Gallup , Obama's first-year average approval is 50%. Only Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman (both at 49%) were listed as having a lower approval rating than Obama. Highest on the list? George W. Bush's average was highest, at 86 percent in 2001.

The White House's reaction? Attack the pollsters. the rest

Texas Bishop Won’t Consent to Canon Glasspool’s Election

December 8, 2009

The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle has become one of the first bishops of the Episcopal Church to say publicly that he will decline consent to the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool’s election as a suffragan bishop.

Bishop Doyle made that commitment in a letter to the people of the Diocese of Texas diocese that soon appeared on Kendall Harmon’s weblog, TitusOneNine.

“We cannot isolate ourselves by listening only to the voices of any one province, or even the voices of any one diocese within our province,” the bishop wrote. “In the Diocese of Texas we are interested in our relationships locally and abroad, believing we are stronger when we listen to and partner with diverse cultures around the world.

“As bishop of the Diocese of Texas I will continue to honor the request of my brothers and sister bishops across our province and the Communion, and the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and will not consent to the Rev. Glasspool’s election.” the rest

Glasspool: 'I anticipated some kind of reaction'

Statement from West Texas Bishops on the election this past weekend in the Diocese of Los Angeles

Lesbian Bishop's Election Triggers New Power Struggle

Bp. Orombi dismayed on the election of lesbian bishop

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A True Tale of Canadian Health Care: Why some patients need to go to the U.S. for surgery

Reid Compares Opponents of Health Care Reform to Supporters of Slavery


December 07, 2009
FOXNews.com

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took his GOP-blasting rhetoric to a new level Monday, comparing Republicans who oppose health care reform to lawmakers who clung to the institution of slavery more than a century ago.

The Nevada Democrat, in a sweeping set of accusations on the Senate floor, also compared health care foes to those who opposed women's suffrage and the civil rights movement -- even though it was Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat, who unsuccessfully tried to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and it was Republicans who led the charge against slavery.

Senate Republicans on Monday called Reid's comments "offensive" and "unbelievable." the rest

Shocker polls: That Sarah Palin-Barack Obama gap melts to 1 point.

December 8, 2009

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, look what the pollsters just brought in.

A pair of new surveys revealing that President Obama is still declining and has hit a new low in job approval among Americans just 56 weeks after they elected him with a decided margin.

And -- wait for it -- Republican Sarah Palin is successfully selling a whole lot more than books out there on the road. Even among those not lining up in 10-degree weather to catch a glimpse of pretty much the only political celebrity the GOP has these days.

First, el jefe. Facing double-digit unemployment, rising spending, deficits and Afghan war casualties plus a keystone but stalled healthcare reform effort that caused a rare Sunday presidential visit to Capitol Hill, Obama recently fell below 50% job approval for the first time. the rest

Messages from Fr Nigel and Lynn Mumford 12-07-09

Fr Nigel: "Thank you for your heart-felt prayers. I know they have gone directly to God. He does what he does best. How can we possibly put into words life? The [news of the] Marines [praying] in Bagdad is very powerful. Thank you for loving us back to health."

Note: Fr Nigel is using a bicycle device in bed and arm-wrestling to build up his strength.

Lynn: "I'm just grateful for the prayers that are supporting us. We are trying to get him home for Christmas."

Albany Intercessor

Gay Activists Target Signers Of The Manhattan Declaration

By Susan Brinkmann, For The Bulletin
Monday, December 07, 2009

Same-sex marriage proponents are threatening to cause disruptions in the diocese of every bishop who signed the Manhattan Declaration, a statement calling on Christians to stand up for their belief in the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty.

A post appearing on GayBuzz.blogspot on Nov. 28 calls upon gay activists to punish Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland, Ca., for signing the declaration.

“It is time we let Bishop Cordileone know there are consequences for his actions,” the blogger states. “Is anyone up for a rally in front of the Oakland Diocese or a disruption of services? Let me know and I’m happy to help organize.”

After listing an address where people could write to the bishop, the blogger goes on to say: “By the way, here are the other Catholic cardinals and bishops who signed the Manhattan Declaration.” Listed are the names of the 17 bishops who signed the Declaration to date. the rest

Spanish King Faces Excommunication if He Assents to Abortion Bill

Royal assent could plunge Spain into Constitutional Crisis
Monday December 7, 2009
By Hilary White

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Spanish press is highlighting the dilemma faced by Juan Carlos, king of Spain, a Catholic, who may be called upon to sign into law a bill that, if passed, would further liberalize abortion.

On November 25th, Spain's Catholic bishops warned that those politicians who vote in favor of the law will have excommunicated themselves, having put themselves in an "objective state of sin." The bishops wrote that "while the situation lasts," politicians who vote in favor of the law "may not be admitted to Holy Communion."

However, the Spanish Constitution of 1978 stipulates that new laws must be promulgated by the king, who is head of state, but who now faces possible excommunication if he gives royal assent to the bill.

Prominent Spanish Catholics are calling on the king to refuse to sign the law. In an article appearing on the website Religion en Libertad, titled, "The King should not sign the abortion law," the head of the lobby group HazteOir, Nacho Arsuaga, said the country could be heading for a constitutional crisis over the bill. the rest

Obamacare: No Friend to People With Disabilities

Monday, December 7, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

I have had great sympathy with the problem Obamacare has posed for people with disabilities. On one hand, many are terribly under-served by the health care system. On the other hand, I believe Obamacare will lead to explicit rationing of expensive patients, which will one day include people with disabilities. It could also one day support assisted suicide, as I reported here.

But now, I don’t see how the disabilities community can countenance this any longer. Democrats have supported cutting $43 billion from home health care as a way to help pay the huge Obamacare tab.
the rest

The Joy-Driven Life

Death to deadly earnest discipleship!
A Christianity Today editorial
12/07/2009

"It is astonishing," wrote Karl Barth, "how many references there are in the Old and New Testaments to delight, joy, bliss, exultation, merry-making, and rejoicing, and how emphatically these are demanded from the Book of Psalms to the Epistle to the Philippians."

Indeed, from "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!" (Ps. 100:1) to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4)—and dozens of places before and after and in between—we are urged to lead joy-filled lives.

When believers do a little self-reflection, not many of us point to joylessness as the thing that needs attention. Mostly we flagellate ourselves for our undisciplined discipleship. We issue calls to repent of our consumerism, sign ecumenical concords to heal our divisions, and issue manifestos to care for the poor and the planet. No one has yet issued a joint ecumenical statement on the need for Christians to be more joyful.

Yet it's right there in the Bible, over and over: "I say it again: Rejoice!" the rest

Conservative Anglicans denounce election of lesbian as anti-biblical

by Lillian Kwon, Christian Post
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anglican leaders across the global body say the election of a second openly gay bishop demonstrates the direction The Episcopal Church has been heading all along – away from biblical Christianity.

"Unfortunately, this election provides further clarity to the rest of the Anglican Communion," said Bishop David Anderson, president and CEO of the American Anglican Council.

"Should the rest of The Episcopal Church consent to this election, there can be no more pretending that The Episcopal Church holds to Anglican Communion doctrine and 2,000 years of biblically based Christian teachings."

The Rev Canon Mary D Glasspool, a lesbian who has been with her partner for 19 years, was elected Saturday to the office of bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. the rest

Crackdown on Christians cast shadow on Eritrea

8 December, 2009

Eritrea (MNN) ― There are unconfirmed reports of a new wave of arrests of Christians in Eritrea over the weekend.

An organization called "In Chains For Christ" issued a report from sources in Asmara about the December 5 arrests. According to their sources, thirty women were gathered for a prayer meeting. They were members of Faith Mission, an Evangelical Church with a Methodist background.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says they are still working to confirm this report. However, it is likely that it occurred. He cited the arrests of over 90 Christians last month from diverse localities.

There are now over 3,000 Christians in detention in Eritrea. This comes on the heels of raised concerns at the Human Rights Council December 1 over the extent of human rights violations taking place in Eritrea. The Eritrean delegation followed the same line of defense they've been taking since 2002. the rest

California parents start reacting to new 'education' requirements

December 04, 2007
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily.com

Parents in California have started reacting to the state's newly mandated homosexual indoctrination program by pulling their children out of classes, and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell is warning districts they'll lose money if that happens.

A spokeswoman for a ministry called Considering Homeschooling said she already has seen an overwhelming increase in requests for information about homeschooling.

As a result, spokeswoman Denise Kanter told WND that her group is sending out 5,000 DVD packages to churches around the state that include basic "how-to" information to provide parents a direction to turn when they choose to protect their children from the new school agenda. the rest

A.S. Haley: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

His Grace, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, is unable to placate anyone these days. He was faulted on both sides for his "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" reaction to Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Constitution. And now he is being faulted again for not doing enough, or for doing altogether the wrong thing, in reaction to the election of the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool to be Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

The wrong thing? In the eyes of Colin Coward, Director of the aptly named organization Changing Attitude, ++Rowan has betrayed him both personally, as his former teacher, as well as generically, on behalf of gays and lesbians everywhere:

“I am sure he is still the man I knew as being inclusive. I think he must be torn about inside.”
He added: “The part of me that knows Rowan as a friend still values him as a friend. But another part of me is incredibly disappointed. I feel betrayed and let down.”

And in the eyes of traditional Anglicans, and even other denominations, ++Rowan has once again failed to take decisive disciplinary action against the wayward Episcopal Church (USA), which is constantly testing the limits of his resolve. the rest

Monday, December 07, 2009

Devotional: The Lord will give strength unto his people...

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm and had seen His power in the hurricane whose path he had described; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which heaven and earth are shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who wings the unerring bolt will give to His redeemed the wings of eagles; He who shakes the earth with His voice will terrify the enemies of His saints and give His children peace. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord's own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God, is our strength; let us put Him on and go forth to our service. Jesus, our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us repose in Him this day and end our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both now and forever!

That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the hurricane of our tribulation and send us, before long, days of peace. We shall have strength for storms and songs for fair weather. Let us begin to sing at once unto God, our strength and our peace. Away, dark thoughts! Up, faith and hope! ...CH Spurgeon
image by Alain76

UK: 5,000 teenagers a year have repeat abortions

By Steve Doughty
07th December 2009

More than 5,000 teenagers had an abortion last year that was at least their second termination.
This means that one in 20 of the teenagers who became pregnant ended it with their second or further abortion.

It caused further controversy yesterday over the Government's teen pregnancy strategy, which has not only failed to hit its targets but last year also saw numbers of conceptions among teenagers actually increase.

Critics have accused ministers of relying increasingly on abortion to deal with teen pregnancy. the rest

Report Examines the State of Mainline Protestant Churches

Ventura, CA
December 7, 2009

When Baby Boomers were born, the Protestant landscape of America was dominated by the six major mainline denominations. (Those bodies are typically considered to be the American Baptist Churches in the USA; the Episcopal Church; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Presbyterian Church (USA); the United Church of Christ; and the United Methodist Church.)

Since the 1950s, however, mainline churches have fallen on hard times, declining from more than 80,000 churches to about 72,000 today. The growth among evangelical and Pentecostal churches since the 1950s, combined with the shrinking of the mainline sector, has diminished mainline churches to just one-fifth of all Protestant congregations today. In the past fifty years, mainline church membership dropped by more than one-quarter to roughly 20 million people. Adult church attendance indicates that only 15% of all American adults associate with a mainline church these days.

A new report issued by The Barna Group focuses upon changes in the mainline churches during the past decade. The report examines shifts in both the adults who attend those churches and the pastors who lead them. the rest image by cliff1066™

United Church of Christ, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterians OK Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 7, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A collection of pro-abortion religious groups authored a letter today to members of the Senate that essentially places them on record supporting taxpayer funding of abortions. The letter expresses their opposition to the Nelson amendment, released today, to remove abortion funding from the Senate government-run health care bill.

The Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church are the four mainline protestant denominations to sign the letter asking lawmakers to oppose the Nelson amendment. the rest

Albert Mohler: When “Gracious Restraint” Fails — The Real Anglican Tragedy

December 07, 2009

The election of a second openly-homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church hardly came as a surprise. Given the actions of the church in its General Convention this past summer, the question was clearly not if there would be more openly-gay bishops, but when. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles answered that question on Saturday, electing the Reverend Mary D. Glasspool of Baltimore as an assistant bishop. She is expected to be consecrated as bishop on May 15 in Los Angeles.

Ms. Glasspool was elected on the seventh ballot, winning 153 clergy votes and 203 lay votes. Her election followed the election of another woman as a fellow assistant bishop for the diocese. More significantly, her election followed the seismic events of 2003, when the Reverend V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop of New Hampshire -- the first openly-homosexual bishop in the entire Anglican world.

Bishop Robinson's election set off a cataclysm in the Anglican Communion. That worldwide body of Anglicans appealed to its American church, the Episcopal Church, to respect the concerns of other churches and to establish a moratorium on the election of openly homosexual persons as bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions. the rest

Geraniums in the Snow

We had a bit of snow in Syracuse today, and it was a pretty picture to see it on my geraniums. I believe that this is the latest in the year that my potted plants have survived outdoors...their days are numbered though. -PD

Timothy of Florida

December 06, 2009

Well, I was sorry last night to learn that Tim Tebow, unquestionably the most beloved young man in the state of Florida, will not be leading his Gators to a third national championship game. I am breaking with long family tradition in feeling sorry; we are Penn State fans, and adhere to a certain hierarchy of hate, according to which Florida has long been pretty low down on the list -- or near the top, depending on how you want to look at it.

Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the Tim Tebow phenomenon. It is true that he is a talented quarterback, and anybody who brings two national championships home is going to be treated like a prince. But sports allegiances do not come within a hundred miles of explaining why people love him so much. No doubt there are visitors to this site who can fill in the details, but from what I gather (and sports reporters these days are notoriously unwilling to write about such things, as any number of people like Kurt Warner and Albert Pujols will testify), Tebow is the homeschooled son of Christian missionaries. He won't ever be President of the United States, because he was born in the Philippines, where his father still works, and where he himself has gone many times to assist as a missionary. His mother apparently was advised by Filipino doctors to abort him, because the placenta had gotten detached; they told her that the child would certainly die, and that her own life would be in grave danger. I am not sure of the specifics of the medical situation. Suffice it to say that she turned the doctors down and put her life, and her baby's life, in the hands of God. Timothy Tebow was born, rather long of limb and skinny, but healthy. His body shows no signs of ever having been undernourished: he is six feet five inches, upwards of 250 pounds. the rest image by Doug Kensrue

Jesus Nearly Banned at White House Inn

Is the Obama administration so afraid to offend people of other beliefs that they will seriously consider obliterating basic American traditions?
December 07, 2009
By Eric Metaxas
FOXNews.com

I can see the headlines now: "Gate-crashers Enter White House; Jesus Kept Out!" Except it almost happened. Really.

I was reading the New York Times Sunday Styles section yesterday (yep, I'm straight) when I came across an article about embattled White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers -- she's the one who broke with previous White House tradition by inviting herself to the state dinner when she should have been at the door keeping out the loopy riff-raff.

But in the twelfth paragraph of the article there was a real bombshell: It said that earlier this year at a luncheon with other previous White House social secretaries, Ms. Rogers claimed that this year the White House would have a "non-religious" Christmas celebration. (For those of you confused by that, it's just like a "non-religious" Yom Kippur celebration, or a "non-Irish" St. Patrick's Day celebration, or an "international" July 4th celebration.) the rest

Virgin Galactic unveils commercial spaceship

posted December 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A spacecraft designed to rocket wealthy tourists into space as early as 2011 was unveiled Monday in what backers of the venture hope will signal a new era in aviation history.

The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo marks the first public appearance of a commercial passenger spacecraft. The project is bankrolled by Virgin Galactic founder, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who partnered with famed aviation designer Burt Rutan, the brains behind the venture.

"We want this program to be a whole new beginning in a commercial era of space travel," Branson said. the rest

School Supplies with Obama logo

By Jonathon Braden
Thursday, December 3, 2009

A notebook sold to a student out of a supply machine at Mill Creek Elementary School bears a logo and slogan similar to those used in the Obama campaign last year. The supplier also distributed pencils with a similar theme.

Pencils and notebooks resembling President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign ads have been sold in at least one Columbia school and other public schools, causing the company that distributes the materials to travel around the state yanking the supplies out of machines.

“Don’t be mad at us,” said Greg Jones, a sales representative with Pencil Wholesale. “It was a total accident.” the rest/image

Minarets in Switzerland and Crucifixes in Italy

First Things
Dec 7, 2009
Robert Louis Wilken

[Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series on the Swiss minaret ban.]

Two stories were front-page news last week, the President’s speech on Afghanistan and the spectacle of Tiger Woods smashing his Cadillac Escalade into his neighbor’s tree at 2:30 a.m. But two other items caught my attention, the one from Italy and the other from Switzerland.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes be removed from Italian classrooms. According to the blogger Fabio Paolo Barbieri, in response hundreds of mayors in Italy passed town ordinances requiring that every classroom display a crucifix. Even in red Tuscany, a historic communist region, the mayors have been sending Carabinieri to the schools to check that every classroom has its crucifix. In one case when a high school teacher tried to remove a crucifix his students revolted, and when the headmaster heard what the teacher had done he suspended him for ten days without pay.

The other story came from Switzerland where voters, and a majority of the cantons, adopted a law imposing a ban on the construction of minarets in the country. Though the initiative was opposed by most political parties, churches and businesses, a solid majority of 57 percent voted in favor of the new law. The four existing minarets in the country will be allowed to stand, but construction of new minarets is now banned. What struck me in reading editorial opinion on the decision was that the only language writers had to discuss the matter was that of human “rights.” Predictably the vote was seen as a triumph of bigotry and intolerance, an infringement of the rights of Muslim.
the rest

Evangelical Lutheran leader suggests Bible not the final authority

12/7/2009
AP

CHICAGO - The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is suggesting that the Bible isn't the last word on homosexuality.

In a town hall meeting Sunday, Bishop Mark Hanson said, "the understanding we have of homosexuality today does not seem to be reflected at all in the context of the biblical writers." Therefore, he said, Lutherans should consider more modern views on sexual orientation.

At its churchwide convention in August, the ELCA lifted its ban on partnered gay and lesbian clergy, prompting some traditional congregations to withhold funds and begin forming a separate denomination. the rest

U.S. sees homegrown Muslim extremism as rising threat

This may have been the most dangerous year since 9/11, anti-terrorism experts say.
By Sebastian Rotella
December 7, 2009

Reporting from Washington - The Obama administration, grappling with a spate of recent Islamic terrorism cases on U.S. soil, has concluded that the country confronts a rising threat from homegrown extremism.

Anti-terrorism officials and experts see signs of accelerated radicalization among American Muslims, driven by a wave of English-language online propaganda and reflected in aspiring fighters' trips to hot spots such as Pakistan and Somalia.

Europe had been the front line, the target of successive attacks and major plots, while the U.S. remained relatively calm. But the number, variety and scale of recent U.S. cases suggest 2009 has been the most dangerous year domestically since 2001, anti-terrorism experts said:

* There were major arrests of Americans accused of plotting with Al Qaeda and its allies, including an Afghan American charged in a New York bomb plot described as the most serious threat in this country since the Sept. 11 attacks. the rest

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.
By Andrew Gilligan
05 Dec 2009

On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the "summit to save the world", which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.

"We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention," she says. "But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report." the rest

Business Fumes Over Carbon Dioxide Rule

Pope Benedict invites Copenhagen representatives to rediscover the ‘moral dimension of human life'

56 Newspapers to Sing As One About Copenhagen

The Cold Heart of ObamaCare

December 7, 2009
By Nat Hentoff

Much of the press coverage of the Democrats' health care legislation, now fiercely embattled in Congress, focuses on the public option, the actual long-term costs and tax increases, and the amendment barring funding for abortions. But the cold heart of Obamacare is its overpowering of the doctor-patient relationship - eventually resulting in the premature ending of many Americans' lives for being too costly.

To call the dangers of this legislation "death panels" obscures the real-life consequences to Americans, not only the elderly, of a federal government-run health care bureaucracy. In the Senate bill, for instance, Medicare doctors whose treatments each year of certain, mostly elderly, patients costs more than a set government figure will be punished by losing part of their own incomes. the rest

An internal revolt at the Business Roundtable over support for ObamaCare

California moves to ration mammograms

Episcopal Church Tensions Stirred

December 7, 2009
By STEPHANIE SIMON

The breach between conservative and liberal Episcopalians widened as a lesbian was elected an assistant bishop in Los Angeles, drawing fire from Anglicans world-wide.

The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55 years old, was elected late Saturday on a seventh ballot, after several votes ended in deadlocks. Open about her sexual orientation since her seminary days, Canon Glasspool has been with the woman she calls her life partner since 1988.

She is in line to become the second openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, after the Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, who took office in New Hampshire in 2004. the rest

Are Episcopalians now a 'sect'?

Jensen rejects vote for lesbian

Election of lesbian bishop divides Anglican community

Anglican leader urges restraint over lesbian Episcopal bishop

Bruno: If you don’t consent to Glasspool’s election you’re violating the canons-Stand Firm

The Curmudgeon's Take

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What about the Christians who don't go to church?

by Jim Currin, Group for Evangelisation
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The BBC has done it again.

From the producer who brought us The Miracles of Jesus and Around the World in 80 Faiths, we have A History of Christianity. Who says religion is dead? I heard that the programmes triple the regular BBC 4 audience when shown.

Jean Claude Bragard, the producer for BBC Religion and Ethics, has brought to life the events and issues of yesteryear with fresh insights for today. However, it is not so much the history and programme which I would like to comment on, so much as the online survey which accompanies it. the rest

Anglicans split over election of lesbian bishop

The Times
December 7, 2009
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The future of the worldwide Anglican Communion was in jeopardy last night after the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the election of a lesbian bishop in the United States raised “very serious questions”.

Dr Rowan Williams added that the choice of Canon Mary Glasspool to be a suffragan bishop in Los Angeles had “important implications”. The election of Canon Glasspool, who has lived with the same female partner since 1988, is the second appointment of an openly homosexual bishop in the US Episcopal Church. It confirmed fears among evangelicals in the Anglican Communion of more than 70 million people that crucial votes at last summer’s General Convention of the Episcopal Church had in effect ended the moratorium on gay bishops. the rest

Pressure Mounts After Episcopal Church Elects Second Gay Bishop

Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections

Rowan Williams cannot now prevent an Anglican schism
Rowan Williams bought himself time for a while in his attempt to hold the Anglican Communion together in its row over gay bishops. But yesterday it looked like that time is running out.

Conger: Archbishop of Canterbury urges rethink on US bishop’s election

Has the theory of the Protestant work ethic just collapsed?

By Damian Thompson
December 6th, 2009

Has a young Harvard graduate student in economics dealt a deadly blow to Max Weber’s theory that Protestantism favours economic development? Davide Cantoni has just produced a brilliantly argued paper which takes economic data from Catholic and Protestant cities in Germany from 1300 to 1900, subjects them to meticulous multivariate analysis, and finds no evidence that Protestantism per se made people richer.

Cantoni, whose CV reveals that he is a 28-year-old doctoral student with joint German and Italian citizenship, knows that he is walking into a minefield. Weber’s reputation as perhaps the greatest of all sociologists does not rest solely on his famous thesis; but it has iconic status and both drew on and developed the widely held belief that, to put it crudely, Protestants get out of bed earlier in the morning than Catholics. the rest

Piano stairs - TheFunTheory