Saturday, January 09, 2010

Devotional: Lord, I have shut the door...

Lord, I have shut the door, speak now the word
Which in the din and throng could not be heard;
Hushed now my inner heart, whisper Thy will,
While I have come apart, while all is still.

In this blest quietness clamorings cease;
Here in Thy presence dwells infinite peace;
Yonder, the strife and cry, yonder, the sin:
Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within!

Lord, I have shut the door, strengthen my heart;
Yonder awaits the task—I share a part.
Only through grace bestowed may I be true;
Here, while alone with Thee, my strength renew.
... William M. Runyan
image by Shirley Buxton

Insurance Companies Prefer Abortion as Cheaper than Giving Birth: PP Director

Friday January 8, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
BALTIMORE, Maryland

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A local Planned Parenthood official has bluntly admitted why health insurance companies are increasingly comfortable with covering abortions: because the choice to kill an unborn child is cheaper than giving birth.

"A first trimester abortion is $300 to $450," Baltimore Planned Parenthood CEO John Nugent told the national business magazine Forbes Thursday. "But if the gestational age is higher you're paying for a surgical suite. That's why the insurance companies think they should be offering it. It's cheaper to terminate an unwanted pregnancy rather than taking it to term."

The Forbes article points out the cost estimates offered by the Health Care Blue Book: it lists a typical abortion in a physician's office costing $397, while a vaginal delivery costs $5,992, and a caeserean section is $8,558. the rest

The Rising Polyamorous Culture Is Out to Get Your Children

by Patrick F. Fagan
posted January 9, 2010

The culture of the traditional family is now in intense competition with a very different culture. The defining difference between the two is the sexual ideal each embraces. The traditional family of Western civilization is based on lifelong monogamy. The competing culture is “polyamorous,” normally a serial polygamy, but also increasingly polymorphous in its different sexual expressions.

I hope there is elegance in the simple distinction between the ideals that distinguish the two cultures: monogamy and polymorphous serial polygamy, or “polyamory” for short.

Between these two cultures lie the welfare state and its operational bureaucracy. By and large, the culture of polyamory embraces the behavioral bureaucracy, while the culture of monogamy has increasing disagreements with it. This is understandable and unavoidable when the differences between the two cultures are examined. the rest

Technological Morality: The top ten bioethics stories of the decade

January 8, 2010
By Wesley J. Smith

As we come to the end of the first tenth of the 21st century, pundits are making lists about the decade just past: the biggest stories, the worst movies. In that spirit, here’s a list of the top ten stories in bioethics.

This isn’t an idle exercise. Bioethics matters. The field exerts tremendous influence over the most important questions of public policy and moral values: How should we treat the most vulnerable and dependent among us? What makes us human? Indeed, is it even morally relevant that one is human? Trends in bioethics, thus, illuminate where we are as a society and the nature of the culture we are creating for our progeny. the rest

6.5 earthquake near Eureka, Calif., snaps power lines and topples televisions

January 9, 2010
LATimes

A strong earthquake, estimated magnitude 6.5, rocked the Eureka, Calif., area this afternoon, snapping power lines, toppling televisions, disrupting power throughout the region and forcing the evacuation of at least one mall.

The earthquake was centered under the Pacific Ocean, about 25 miles southwest of Eureka, at 4:27 p.m. A tsunami was not expected, according to the National Weather Service. the rest

Anglican Leader Calls for 'Tougher Church'

Sat, Jan. 09 2010
By Jenna Lyle
Christian Today Reporter

LONDON – Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey says Christians are too soft and need to toughen up.

In an interview on BBC 5 Live’s breakfast program this week, he said Christians needed to speak up about their beliefs.

“I think we need a tougher church,” he said.

“We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people. We have got to be more outspoken.” the rest

Ancient labyrinths enjoying a resurgence

Fans tout their spiritually calming influence
By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
01/09/2010

A labyrinth is a narrow, circuitous, complicated, highly structured and unchanging pathway that is nevertheless said to be uncannily relaxing and profoundly playful.

Advocates say walking a labyrinth will quiet the mind, feed spiritual hunger, heal suffering, release the ego, bring order to chaos, amuse, amaze, transform the psyche and give firsthand experience of the divine.

It seems a tall order for a pattern on a floor. the rest

Friday, January 08, 2010

4 Churches Hit With Firebombs in 'Allah' Dispute

Friday, January 08, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

Three churches in Malaysia were attacked with firebombs, causing extensive damage to one, as Muslims pledged Friday to prevent Christians from using the word "Allah," escalating religious tensions in the multiracial country.

Many Malay Muslims, who make up 60 percent of the population, are incensed by a recent High Court decision to overturn a ban on Roman Catholics using "Allah" as a translation for God in the Malay-language edition of their main newspaper, the Herald.

The government says Allah, an Arabic word that predates Islam, is exclusive to the faith and by extension to Malays. It refuses to make an exception, even though the Herald's Malay edition is read only by Christian indigenous tribes in the remote states of Sabah and Sarawak.

At Friday prayers at two main mosques in downtown Kuala Lumpur, young worshippers carried banners and gave fiery speeches, vowing to defend Islam. the rest

Islamic Christianophobia

The world ignores the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world
JANUARY 7, 2010

In Egypt, seven Coptic Christians were murdered yesterday by a Muslim gunman as they filed out of a midnight mass in the southern town of Nag Hamadi. In Pakistan, more than 100 Christian homes were ransacked by a Muslim mob last July in the village of Bahmaniwala. In Iraq that same month, seven Christian churches were bombed in Baghdad and Mosul in the space of three days.

Such atrocities—and there are scores of other examples—are grim reminders that when it comes to persecution, few groups have suffered as grievously as Christians in Muslim lands. Fewer still have suffered with such little attention paid. Now a new report from the non-profit ministry, Open Doors USA, shines a light on the scale of oppression. the rest

NJ Senate Defeats Gay Marriage Bill

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 7, 2010

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future.

The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday. the rest

Noonan: The Risk of Catastrophic Victory

Obama is in the midst of one. Can the GOP avert one of their own?
JANUARY 7, 2010

Passage of the health-care bill will be, for the administration, a catastrophic victory. If it is voted through in time for the State of the Union Address, as President Obama hopes, half the chamber will rise to their feet and cheer. They will be cheering their own demise.

If health care does not pass, it will also be a disaster, but only for the administration, not the country. Critics will say, "You didn't even waste our time successfully."

What a blunder this thing has been, win or lose, what a miscalculation on the part of the president. The administration misjudged the mood and the moment. Mr. Obama ran, won, was sworn in and began his work under the spirit of 2008—expansive, part dreamy and part hubristic. But as soon as he was inaugurated ,the president ran into the spirit of 2009—more dug in, more anxious, more bottom-line—and didn't notice. At the exact moment the public was announcing it worried about jobs first and debt and deficits second, the administration decided to devote its first year to health care, which no one was talking about. The great recession changed everything, but not right away.

In a way Mr. Obama made the same mistake President Bush did on immigration, producing a big, mammoth, comprehensive bill when the public mood was for small, discrete steps in what might reasonably seem the right direction. the rest

Avatar and the Beginning of Religion

By David French
SixSeeds.org
Thursday, Dec 31st 2009

As a sci-fi geek, I have to make an admission: I’ve always hated the Force.The entire concept strikes me as little more than dorm-room spirituality . . . validating the idea that one can access mystical powers without ever dealing with messy concepts like divine will, that “destiny” exists without any entity actually making choices, and the ultimate result of mysticism is self-empowerment on a scale that make’s Barry Bonds’ drug-induced transformation look like nothing more than an extra day at the gym. Take a spirituality-obsessed nation (as we’ve always been), sprinkle in some primitive adaptations of eastern mysticism — such as the “yin” and “yang” -- sprinkle in a dash of the “me decade” of the 1970s, and you’ve got the Force.

the rest

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Church of England to consider communion with conservatives in US

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
The Times
January 8, 2010

The Church of England is to consider recognising a new conservative church in the US in a move that will place further pressure on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, as he struggles to keep his fracturing Communion in one piece.

The General Synod will debate a private member’s motion next month calling for the Church of England to declare itself “in communion” with the Anglican Church in North America, formed in opposition to the pro-gay liberals in the official Anglican body in North America.

The synod, dominated by evangelicals, could pass the motion by a 50 per cent majority, adding to the pressure on the primates and bishops to recognise the new church. the rest

N.H. Bishop Blesses a Priest and Her Partner

January 7, 2010

The Episcopal Church’s Bishop of New Hampshire wasted no time in commemorating same-sex marriages in his state, which became legal on Jan. 1.

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson presided at a celebration and blessing of the civil marriage of the Rev. Eleanor “Ellie” McLaughlin and her partner, Elizabeth “Besty” Hess, on Jan. 2.
the rest

Researcher Finally Admits Abortion Raises Breast Cancer Risk...

...In Study That Fingers Oral Contraceptives As A Probable Cause Of Breast Cancer
07 Jan 2010

Less than two months since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending against routine mammograms for women in their forties, a second breast cancer scandal involving a U.S. government panel of experts has come to light which has implications for healthcare reform.

An April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examining the relationship between oral contraceptives (OCs) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women under age 45 contained an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues (including Janet Daling) that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%. the rest

Brit Hume: 'Jesus Christ' the 'Most Controversial Two Words You Can Ever Utter in the Public Square' Today

Thursday, January 07, 2010
By Karen Schuberg

CNSNews.com) – Brit Hume said he was “not surprised” by the media backlash over his remarks to Tiger Woods on “Fox News Sunday” this week. There is a “double-standard” when it comes to speaking publicly about Christianity versus other religions, he said.

Hume, a Fox News analyst, told CNSNews.com: “There is a double standard. If I had said, for example, that what Tiger Woods needed to do was become more deeply engaged in his Buddhist faith or to adopt the ideas of Hinduism, which I think would be of great spiritual value to him, I doubt anybody would have said anything.” the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Confidence in the Covenant?

Thursday, 7th January 2010
By Ruth Gledhill
Religious Intelligence

In spite of all that I have written, it seems to me that schism in the Anglican Communion is not a fact. I would argue that it has not actually taken place. The Anglican Communion is still ‘teetering on the brink’, still ‘looking over the precipice’, but it hasn’t jumped. I base this conclusion - journalists are trained from the cradle to start not end stories with their conclusions - on all there is to base it on, the ‘instruments’ of the Communion.

We are used to hearing about the ‘music of the spheres’ but now there is a stranger song, the ‘music of the schism’.

In spite of the boycott of one instrument of communion, the Lambeth Conference, by some provinces in 2008, the last two Primates’ meetings have been fully attended apart from absentees explicable for reasons other than those at the root of the present debate. The next meeting will be in 2011, so perhaps we won’t have formal schism until then. But even that might not count. The ultimate arbiter might have to be the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, himself one of the four instruments of unity. the rest

Update on Fr. Nigel Mumford: January 06, 2010

Albany Intercessor

Since Fr. Nigel is doing so well, the updates will now be more sporadic.

Fr. Nigel is improving in giant steps now. The trach and the feeding tube were removed yesterday without complication – in fact the trach fell out on its own when the collar holding it was removed. Thank you Lord for the healing that made that possible!

Another GIANT step is that Fr. Nigel climbed the stairs in his house for the first time to make it up to the second story. This is a huge accomplishment. The physical therapist was only expecting him to go halfway to the landing, but he pushed onward and went to the top. (There is that Marine coming out again.) This means that soon Fr. Nigel will be able to have a shower, which will undoubtedly make him feel like a new man.

Fr. Nigel continues to need oxygen at times as his lungs continue to heal. He is able to get enough from a tube which is placed under his nose.

Let us praise God for the healing of so many things - the dizziness, the pain from his bed sore, his oxygen levels, his heart, his anxiety, his organs, his muscles, his fever, too many to remember them all. We praise you and thank you Lord for your healing touch for mind, body and soul.

Please continue to pray for Fr. Nigel, especially for:
the complete healing of his lungs
the strengthening of his muscles
increase in his stamina
healing of his bedsore
healing of the wounds from the trach and the feeding tube
Please pray for Lynn for stamina and peace.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your sacrifice and for your gift of life.

The following is a note from Fr. Nigel:

Lynn took me to the hospital today.... the trach just fell out which was great, the feeding tube was a different matter! The surgeon and two techs were very funny...it seems I was the first to have H1N1 at that hospital so I seemed to have had some status...They have paid attention to my case to help others. The doctors were so very funny.... after the trach just fell out he said let me see the feeding tube, and as I was lifting my shirt he just grabbed it and with a flick of his wrist pulled it out... and I made a very strange noise as my throat was open... after the pain subsided we all laughed.

We then went to visit the ICU where I was for so long. The nurses were in tears as they met me.. OK so was I. It was so very moving. I had a chance to thank one of the three doctors who saved my life. That was so moving. I had a peek into Room 1 where I was in a coma and then Room 8 where I recovered. They had 2 more patients with H1N1 in ICU and told me another one, a man of 51 died of it last week. I am so very blessed to be alive. God is amazing... this continues to be an amazing journey.

After the hospital today we went to the SLC. It is Tuesday so there were over 100 people having lunch. As I came in, on my wheel chair, I got a standing ovation with many cheers... more tears... the outpouring of love was overwhelming. Just amazing to see such genuine friendship and love. It has been a blessed day. So now I only have oxygen when I need it. I had a lot of anxiety over the removal of the feeding tube so I feel GREAT today.... now that is all behind me.... thanks be to God. Oh how good it is to be alive... I fell like a different man... Jesus you ARE the healer - of this I have no doubt at all.

The trach surgeon said "you know you must have high connections", as he looked at the ceiling... referring to God. Today has been a deeply moving day.

God bless you all and again a huge thank you for your prayers.
Prayer works...

In the deepest love of our Lord Jesus Christ
Fr. Nigel+

Pelosi's health care message to public: Drop dead


(Video: C-SPAN CEO: White House Has Allowed Only ‘One Hour’ of Health Care Coverage)

Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
January 7, 2010

Excerpt:
Once in a while, though, one of our esteemed public servants lets slip a whopper so patently outrageous, so completely and obviously false, that we are left in unrelieved astonishment, knowing the speaker either has now lied for so long he no longer can distinguish fact from fantasy, or he thinks we can't.

Such is the statement Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that "there has never been a more open process" in Congress than the succession of back-room deals, closed-door bickering, and arrant manipulation of official data that has marked the flim-flam legislative birthing of Obamacare. the rest

Sen. Nelson: We should have waited on health care

Obama backs health-plan tax
President Barack Obama told top Democratic House members on Wednesday that he favors a tax on insurance companies offering more expensive health care plans as a means of extending health insurance to millions of people who are not covered, according to a person familiar with the meeting.




Newsy: Health Care: Transparency in Question

Italian High Court Defends Crucifixes, National Sovereignty against European Human Rights Court

Wednesday January 6, 2010
By Hilary White
ROME

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Italy’s Constitutional Court has issued a ruling asserting the supremacy of Italian law and custom over the orders of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In November, an order that all crucifixes must be removed from Italian state schools from the Strasbourg-based ECHR caused outrage in Italy. Legal experts warned that the decision would undermine both religious freedoms and national sovereignty in all European Union member states.

But the Italian High Court has said that where rulings by the ECHR conflict with provisions of the Italian Constitution, such rulings “lack legitimacy.” Piero A. Tozzi, of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute said that the decision was intended as a warning against ideologically-motivated rulings by the Strasbourg court and against its overstepping jurisdictional boundaries. the rest

Louisiana: Bishop Charles Jenkins retires

By Bruce Nolan
The Times-Picayune
January 06, 2010

Crozier in hand, Bishop Charles Jenkins on Wednesday entered his cathedral for the last time as head of Louisiana’s 18,000 Episcopalians, leading a celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany that closed, at least temporarily, a 12-year Episcopal career both ruined and transformed by Hurricane Katrina.

Jenkins’ retirement, effective Wednesday, is coming earlier than it should. At 58, he has stepped down on orders of doctors who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the storm. the rest

Pentagon Reportedly Finds Large Increase in Number of Gitmo Recidivists

More than 100 former detainees may be back on the battlefield.
BY Thomas Joscelyn
January 6, 2010

Press reports indicate that the latest Pentagon assessment of recidivists who were once held at Guantanamo “shows about one in five detainees released” have returned to terrorism. That, of course, is a recidivism rate of “about” 20 percent. Although these same press accounts do not note the total number of recidivists, it has been noted that “more than 560 detainees” have been released. These same two elements (recidivism rate and approximate number of detainees transferred/released) appeared in the last DoD recidivist study released to the public. Putting them together we get 20% * 560 former detainees = an estimated 112 recidivists.

How does this figure compare to previous estimates? It is a huge increase. the rest

Egypt Copts killed in Christmas church attack

Thursday, 7 January 2010

At least six Coptic Christians and a security official have been killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southern Egypt, officials say.

The shooting came as worshippers left the church in Naj Hammadi after a midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve.

A car pulled up and gunfire was sprayed into the crowd. the rest

'Avatar': Why do conservatives hate the most popular movie in years?"

January 4, 2010

It's no secret that "Avatar" has been stunningly successful on nearly every front. The James Cameron-directed sci-fi epic is already the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time, having earned more than $1 billion around the globe in less than three weeks of theatrical release. The film also has garnered effusive praise from critics, who've been planting its flag on a variety of critics Top 10 lists (it has earned an impressive 83 score on Rotten Tomatoes). The 3-D trip to Pandora is also viewed as a veritable shoo-in for a best picture Oscar nomination when the academy announces its nominees on Feb. 2.

But amid this avalanche of praise and popularity, guess who hates the movie? America's prickly cadre of political conservatives. the rest

Notre Dame's Jenkins Would Do it Again – Calls Obama Visit “Successful”

By Kathleen Gilbert
SOUTH BEND, Indiana
January 6, 2010

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The unprecedented controversy that rent the U.S. Catholic community over President Obama's abortion-themed commencement speech and his reception of an honorary law degree at the University of Notre Dame last May has apparently not fazed the school's president, who called the climax of the scandal "a successful" day that he does not regret.

When asked in a South Bend Tribune interview published December 27 whether he would do it all over again, Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins answered, "Yes, I would." the rest

Cardinal says Christian Europe is to blame for Islamisation

A leading Catholic cardinal has said Europeans only have themselves to blame for allowing Islam to "conquer" the continent.
By Simon Caldwell
06 Jan 2010

Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the Archbishop of Prague, said Muslims were well placed to fill the spiritual void "created as Europeans systematically empty the Christian content of their lives".

"Europe will pay dear for having left its spiritual foundations and that this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it," he said. the rest

Students Apologize For Sweatshirts

Teens Not Suspended By School
January 6, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich. -- A group of Arab-American students from Edsel Ford High School made a public apology Tuesday night, after they had sweatshirts made with an image of the 9/11 terror attack.

The juniors had the sweatshirts made over holiday break and wore them to school on Monday. The back of the sweatshirt featured a number 11 shaped like the World Trade Center Towers. The schools mascot, a thunderbird, appears to be heading for the towers. And underneath it all a tagline reads, “You can’t bring us down.” the rest/image

Human sacrifices 'on the rise in Uganda' as witch doctors admit to rituals

Witch doctors in Uganda have admitted their part in human sacrifice amid concerns that the practice is spreading in the African country.
07 Jan 2010

One man said he had clients who had captured children and taken their blood and body parts to his shrine, while another confessed to killing at least 70 people including his own son.

The latter has now given up the ritual and is campaigning to stamp it out, according to BBC News.

The African country's government claimed human sacrifice was on the increase. the rest

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Devotional: The stars are God's fingerprints...

The stars are God's fingerprints. The sun is a mere smidgen of his radiance. The moon is to remind us that he doesn't sleep at night. The vastness of space proclaims the infinity of his wisdom, while the sand pebble indicates his thoroughness with the puniest details. The lion hints at his fearlessness, the bear at his power, the hawk at his keen insight. And yet, those possess only a tidbit of God's omnipotence and omnipresence. Every tree points toward heaven; every bird has a song to sing; even every moment of wind goes in some direction. There is nothing chaotic about our beautiful designed world. All creation has a message to tell. It says, "Listen, there is a God. There is a God!"
...Brent D. Earles image-Hubble

Cell Phone Use May Fight Alzheimer's, Mouse Study Says

Ker Thanfor
National Geographic News
January 6, 2010

After years of speculation that cell phones may harm your brain, new research suggests they may actually fight Alzheimer's disease.

Yes, you heard right.

Microwave radiation from cell phones may protect against and even reverse Alzheimer's-like symptoms, according to a new study involving genetically tweaked mice.

The results were so surprising that study co-author Juan Sanchez-Ramos didn't believe them at first. the rest

Pro-Life Advocates Plan to Protest Opening of Largest Abortion Clinic in U.S.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – A coalition of pro-life advocates and religious leaders plan to gather in Houston on Jan. 18 to oppose what is expected to be the largest abortion clinic in the country.

Planned Parenthood is renovating a former bank, turning it into a 78,000 square foot facility that will include a surgical wing equipped to provide late-term abortions.

“It’s an abortion super center,” Lou Engle, founder of the pro-life group The Call to Conscience, which is organizing the rally, told CNSNews.com. the rest

Church of Scientology Sues Daughters of St. Paul

By Randy Sly
1/6/2010
Catholic Online

The Church of Scientology in Italy has announced it is initiating legal proceedings against the Daughters of St. Paul and Maria Pia Gardini, a Catholic author who was formerly a Scientologist and has returned to the Catholic Church.

In 2007 the Daughters of St. Paul's publishing house, Edizioni Paoline (Paoline Publications), published Gardini’s first book, ” I miei anni in Scientology” (“My years in Scientology”). The first week of December, 2009 they released her second book, “Il coraggio di parlare - storie di fuoriusciti da Scientology” (“The Courage To Speak Out - Stories of Ex-Scientologists”).

As reported on the Clerical Whispers Blog, the books, co-authored by Italian Catholic journalist Alberto Laggia and Italian Catholic Maria Pia Gardini, have been widely reviewed in Italy. the rest

Vatican reveals Secret Archives

A 13th-century letter from Genghis Khan’s grandson demanding homage from the pope is among a collection of documents from the Vatican’s Secret Archives that has been published for the first time.
By Nick Squires in Rome
01 Jan 2010

The Holy See’s archives contain scrolls, parchments and leather-bound volumes with correspondence dating back more than 1,000 years.

High-quality reproductions of 105 documents, 19 of which have never been seen before in public, have now been published in a book. The Vatican Secret Archives features a papal letter to Hitler, an entreaty to Rome written on birch bark by a tribe of North American Indians, and a plea from Mary Queen of Scots. the rest

Mother 'injected brain-damaged son with fatal dose of heroin to end misery'

A mother injected her brain-damaged son with a fatal dose of heroin while out on bail for a previous attempt at "ending his misery", a court heard.
05 Jan 2010

Frances Anne Inglis, 57, was said to have believed that 22 year-old Thomas would never recover from serious head injuries he suffered after jumping out of a moving ambulance in July 2007.

Described by neighbours as a "pillar of the community", she became a "permanently angry and changed woman" and refused to believe doctors who told her that her son would get better, a court heard.
the rest

Polyamory: Love’s new frontier

It’s not monogamy. But it’s not cheating or polygamy, either. It’s called polyamory, and with hundreds practicing the lifestyle in and around Boston, is liberal Massachusetts ready to accept it?
By Sandra A. Miller
January 3, 2010

Story

In almost every sphere of public opinion, Americans are moving away from the administration...

By DAVID BROOKS
January 4, 2010

Excerpt:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity. the rest image by RBerteig

Comments at MCJ

Hot Air

What the Dems Know: Universal Voter Registration


January 06, 2010
By James Simpson

Many are puzzled that Democrats persist in ramming unpopular and destructive legislation down our collective throats with no apparent concern for their plummeting poll numbers. A widespread belief is that the Democrats are committing political suicide and will be swept from one or both houses of Congress with unprecedented electoral losses next November. But since Democrat politicians rarely do things that will not ultimately benefit themselves, this column asked two weeks ago, "What do they know that we don't?"

We may have found out. It's called universal voter registration. The Wall Street Journal's John Fund described the Democrat plan recently at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum.

the rest

Spanish Bishop Denounces Abortion as "the worst dictatorship that can exist"

Compares legality of abortion to totalitarian dictatorships of the 20th century
Tuesday January 5, 2010
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
VALENCIA, SPAIN

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Archbishop Carlos Osoro of Valencia denounced abortion in a well-publicized sermon last Monday as "the worst dictatorship that can exist" and "the greatest injustice in history because it ends the lives of the weakest."

The remarks were made on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which is celebrated every year in the Catholic Church on December 28, and among the Eastern Orthodox on December 29. It recognizes the children killed by the Jewish King Herod, who was seeking to take the life of Christ after discovering that he had been born in Bethlehem. They are regarded as martyrs because they died in the place of Christ.
the rest

Democrats Facing Backlash for Hiding Talks on Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 5, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Congressional Democrats are facing a backlash after news broke yesterday that they intend to move forward with plans to ditch a formal conference committee. Today, CSPAN, the cable network that covers Congress, urged Democrats to open the process to public scrutiny. the rest

Top Democrats Head For The Exits.

Rasmussen: Dems Hit New Low In Generic Ballot

Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, shatters the Anglican consensus on immigration

By Damian Thompson
January 5th, 2010

Lord Carey of Clifton has proved himself to be a brave man today. The former Archbishop of Canterbury has signed a statement by the cross-party group on balanced migration which declares that “70 million is too many”. In other words, he is calling for urgent measures to limit immigration so the British population does not reach that figure in 2029, which is what will happen unless we tighten our borders.

The declaration, put together by Labour’s Frank Field and the Tories’ Nicholas Soames, is also signed by that champion of robust common sense Baroness Boothroyd, former Speaker of the House of Commons. But the number of MPs from both sides of the House who have signed it is minuscule – a testament to their cowardice, since scores of them privately endorse every word in the declaration.

Good old George Carey! I never thought I’d write those words, since he talked so much nonsense when he was in office, but in recent years his contacts with the evangelical world have opened his eyes to the shared anti-Christian agenda of multiculturalists and Muslims. the rest

Good news: State Department encouraging immigration from Yemen!

January 5, 2010

The more jihadis come to the U.S, you see, the more "diverse" we will be! "State Department Using 'Diversity Visas' to Encourage Immigration to U.S. from Terror-Ridden Yemen," by Matt Cover for CNS News, January 5 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):

(CNSNews.com) - The State Department has awarded 1,011 special "diversity visas" allowing Yemeni nationals to immigrate to the United States since 2000, the year 17 U.S. sailors were killed when the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists in the Yemeni port of Aden.

The "diversity visas" are designed to encourage immigration from countries that do not otherwise send significant numbers of immigrants to the United States.

the rest

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Known Universe by AMNH


From the American Museum of Natural History

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

Mr Bean briefly stands in for Zapatero on Spain's official EU presidency website













A hacker briefly hijacked Spain's official website for its presidency of the European Union, inserting a large smiling picture of Mr Bean, an official said on Monday.
story

A Gay-Marriage Lawsuit Dares to Make Its Case

By Michael A. Lindenberger
Tuesday, Jan. 05, 2010

The legal case that gay-rights activists feared to see is about to get under way in a federal courtroom in San Francisco. For the next several weeks, plaintiffs will argue that the U.S. Constitution forbids states from restricting marriage to one man and one woman. The case has brought together some of the most powerful appellate attorneys in America but has divided gay-rights lawyers and legal scholars who fear that even if successful, the case could set the issue on a collision course with a less-than-sympathetic U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court has issued powerfully pro-gay-rights decisions at key points in the past 20 years — including striking down criminal statutes forbidding gay sex six years ago. But it has never voiced a word of enthusiasm for gay marriage. the rest

Archbishop Moses Tay: Anglican Covenant 'Whitewashes' Denomination's Immorality

Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

As the worldwide Anglican Communion moves fullspeed toward a full implementation of a covenant held out as a means of restoring unity, an influential evangelical retired archbishop is not overly enthusiastic.

On the contrary, he has advised fellow Anglican leaders not to waste their time on church structures which the Bible describes as dung and instead to concentrate on the supreme tasks of evangelism and discipleship, which he has succeeded in doing in America.

“To me, at best, it (the Anglican Communion Covenant) is whitewashing so the Church remains one and is not split; a lot of crack underneath is not shown,” said The Right Reverend Moses Tay, the immediate past Singapore Anglican bishop and retired first archbishop of the Anglican churches in Southeast Asia and Nepal. the rest

Nancy Pelosi’s Aberrant Christianity

Bill Muehlenberg
Jan. 5, 2010

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appears to have a rather aberrant view of her faith. Claiming to be a good Catholic, she is of course a leading supporter of abortion rights. Indeed, she is a Democrat with pronounced leftwing views, including a strong pro-homosexual agenda.

How these various radical social and political views are supposed to square with her professed Catholicism is hard to fathom. But she continues to trumpet her faith while pushing these quite unbiblical positions. Of course she is not the first politician to hold such obviously conflicting viewpoints. And she will likely not be the last. the rest

Brit Hume tells Tiger to Embrace Christ

Story

US Postal Service to honour Mother Teresa with stamp

Monday 4 January 2010

WASHINGTON (CNS) - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be among the subjects depicted on United States stamps debuting in 2010, the US Postal Service has announced.

The 44-cent stamp, bearing a portrait of Mother Teresa painted by artist Thomas Blackshear II of Colorado Springs, Colo., will go on sale on what would have been her 100th birthday, Aug. 26. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Most Newsworthy Events of 2009

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The year 2009 is still very close in the rear-view mirror, and what a year it was. The year was significant for any number of reasons, including the fact that it marked so many anniversaries. 2009 marked the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock and the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A good many young Americans see both as ancient history.

How will 2009 be remembered? Looking back over the year, ten major developments seem most important to me from this vantage point. A few years from now, 2009 might be remembered differently, but these markers stand out as 2010 begins. the rest

Top Ten Anti-Christian Attacks in 2009
VISTA, Calif.,
Jan. 4, 2010

Christian Newswire-The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) has released its list of the top ten incidents of anti-Christian defamation, bigotry and discrimination in the US from last year. The list was selected by the subscribers to CADC's e-mail list and was selected from a list of twenty of CADC's top stories from 2009. the rest

New Mammogram Guidelines Issued ... Again

Jeanna Bryner
Mon Jan 4, 2010

Here are some of the highlights:

The average patient should begin annual mammograms at age 40, and high-risk patients should begin by age 30 but not before 25. A woman with certain mutations to the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes would be considered a high-risk individual.

Annual MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) starting by age 30 is recommended for carriers of deleterious BRCA mutations. Women who are considered to have at least a 20 percent lifetime risk for breast cancer based on family history should get annual mammograms and annual MRI starting at age 30 (not before age 25), or 10 years before the age of the youngest affected relative, whichever is later.

Ultrasound, in addition to mammography, can be considered for high-risk women and those with dense breast tissue. While ultrasound isn't as sensitive as MRI to detecting breast cancer, D'Orsi said some women can't get an MRI due to their weight (those over 300 pounds) and other factors. the rest

Gadgets that will rewrite the rules in 2010

Video Boxes, ‘Notbooks’ and E-Books to Dominate Gadgets in 2010
By Gadget Lab Staff
January 4, 2010

...Among the highlights: set-top boxes and TVs that will let you kiss off the cable company, 3-D televisions, increasingly powerful device “platforms” enhanced by massive app stores, e-book readers, a new crop of netbooks, and tiny projectors crammed into everything from cameras to netbooks... the rest image

A Clunker of a Year

But not for a book from 1957.
Dec 31, 2009
George Will

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, 93, was on a business trip in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Three days later he was back home in Nagasaki. He also survived 2009. Common sense did not. In Black History Month, a.k.a. February, pupils at a Burlington, N.J., public elementary school sang, "Hello Mr. President/We honor you today/For all your great accomplishments/We all do say 'Hooray!' " So did a smitten Nobel committee. the rest

Dutch Euthanasia Deaths Up Significantly to 2,500, Number Still Underreported

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 4, 2010

Amsterdam, (LifeNews.com) -- The number of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands rose significantly in 2009 compared with 2008. There were reportedly 200 more deaths under the law, but pro-life advocates say those numbers are likely lowball estimates given the underreporting in the Dutch system.

The Dutch News indicates approximately 2,500 people died via euthanasia in 2009, but the actual number is unknown because the government estimates about 20 percent of cases are not reported. the rest

ESPN to launch 3D network in June

By Edward C. Baig
USA TODAY
posted Jan. 5, 2010

ESPN is going 3D. The venerable sports network will launch ESPN 3D on June 11 with a World Cup soccer match, creating what it says will be the first all three-dimensional television network to the home.

ESPN 3D expects to showcase at least 85 live sporting events during the first year. There'll be no reruns initially, so the network will be dark when there's no 3D event. Among other events planned for 3D broadcast: the Summer X Games (extreme sports), NBA games, college basketball and college football. the rest

At Consumer Electronics Show, 3-D TV will take center stage

Scientists: Dolphins Should Be Treated as 'Non-Human Persons'

Dolphins have long been recognized as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps.
January 05, 2010
London Times

Dolphins have been declared the world's second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as "non-human persons." the rest

Anti Human Exceptionalism Alert: Pushing Meme That Dolphins are “People”

Monday, January 04, 2010

Dubai Renames World's Tallest Tower Burj Khalifa


January 4, 2010
Erica Lange

Fireworks and 6,000 guests celebrated the grand opening of Burj Khalifa- record breaking building in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is now the tallest building in the world, soaring over 1,000 feet higher than the previous record holder in Taipei. The ceremony was officially opened by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and he also revealed in a surprise announcement that the building would be named after the current President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan.

Story

Child who was born blind shows improvement after stem-cell treatments in China

1/3/2010
By CATHY DYSON

The family of Summer Grace, who was born blind, believes their 18-month-old "saw the light" after controversial medical care in China.

Halfway through her stem-cell treatments, Summer was taken into a dark bathroom where a doctor shone a flashlight, said Beth Allison, her grandmother. Summer followed the ray of light with her eyes, something she'd never done. the rest

(The Beike Biotech Website states they use adult stem cell therapies.-PD)

Kirill Positions Moscow Patriarchate for Expanded Political Role in 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010
Paul Goble
Vienna

January 4 – In the waning days of 2009, Patriarch Kirill made three statements designed among other things to position the Russian Orthodox Church for even greater role in Russian politics at home and abroad in the year to come, a role that some may welcome but that others will see as a challenge to secular values and human rights in both Russia and Europe.

First, in what must be music to the ears of many in the Russian government, Kirill repeated his longstanding view that Russia represents a unique civilization and should therefore can and should ignore the evaluations offered by outside experts and institutions like the European Court of Human Rights ( here). the rest

Controversy Hits Communion Wafer Dispensing Machine Industry

Friday, January 01, 2010
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Fear over the spread of germs has brought modern technology to the centuries-old practice of dispensing communion wafers during Catholic services—and resulted in litigation as well. Nu-Life Products, a Minnesota-based company, created a hand-held device (utilizing a “revolutionary Rapid Reload System”) that allows priests to give out the “body of Christ” to parishioners without touching the wafers. the rest image

Turkey wants the bones of St. Nicholas

Another barefaced insult from the Turks
Saturday, January 02, 2010

AFP - Turkey will ask for the return of the bones of Saint Nicholas, who Father Christmas is modelled on, from their display in Italy, local media reported on Friday. (Of course, the bones of St. Nicholas are not "on display" in Bari; these were taken to Bari in order to be saved from desecration! CAP) the rest image

Archbishop Praises MDGs

January 4, 2010
The Living Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury used his New Year message to commend the Millennium Development Goals as a continuing focus for relieving the suffering of people across the world.

“The truth is that there are fewer and fewer problems in our world that are just local. Suffering and risk spread across boundaries, even that biggest of all boundaries between the rich and the poor,” Archbishop Rowan Williams said in the video, which depicts him taking a brief stroll along the banks of the Thames River. the rest

Anna and Her Brothers. The Thousand Faces of the Real Islam

In a book that illuminates like few others, a young Italian-Moroccan tells about herself and her many Muslim relatives. Love, ruin, passion, fanaticism. And Europe as an unfulfilled dream. A multiform, unknown Islam. Waiting to be discovered
by Sandro Magister

ROME, January 4, 2010 – The new year opens with the stress of new terrorist attacks by Muslims on the West. Including by home-grown enemies, who have settled in Europe without integrating.

In widespread public opinion, Islam and Islamism are increasingly in danger of becoming synonyms. The public "face" of the Muslim immigrant ends up being slapped onto a radical and violent profile.

But the fact that the reality of the Muslim world is much different is being told and shown to us in a convincing way by the Muslim world itself, if one simply looks at it and listens to it without prejudice.
the rest

A.S. Haley: Common Sense and the Covenant

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now that the proposed Anglican Covenant has had time to circulate through the blogosphere, and produce the predictable reactions ranging from "So what?" to "Outrageous, simply outrageous!", maybe there will be an opening for some common sense to enter the room. I cannot promise that what follows will appeal to all Anglicans, but to those who may find its perspective useful, you are welcome to use it as a springboard for your own thoughts and reactions. I shall adopt a question-and-answer format.

What is the proposed Anglican Covenant? the rest

Dr. Ephraim Radner: Covenant Part of a Global Shift

Rev. Dr. Leander Harding: Commentary on the Anglican Covenant 2009

2009 Newsmakers: Obama tops list for religious writers

Year's key stories included U.S. president, same-sex marriage and deadly violence
By Stuart Laidlaw
Faith and Ethics Reporter
Mon Jan 4 2010

For the second year in a row, U.S. President Barack Obama has topped the list of major religion stories for 2009, according to a poll of North American religion writers.

Story

Solution to killer superbug found in Norway

By MARTHA MENDOZA and MARGIE MASON
Associated Press Writers
Thu Dec 31, 2009

OSLO, Norway – Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked.

The reason: Norwegians stopped taking so many drugs. the rest image

Planned Parenthood Doubles "Abortion Services" From 2007 to 2008 to Over 1 Million

Expanding into "climate change” to increase support to fund abortion growth
By Samantha Singson
NEW YORK
January 2, 2010

(C-FAM.org) - International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) recently released its annual performance report for 2008-2009. Despite an economic downturn and a slight decrease in annual income, the abortion industry giant boasts of increased activity across all of its lines of work, including condom distribution, advocacy and abortion services.

IPPF’s overall income for 2008 was US$119.7 million, down from over $120 million the previous year. While IPPF's total financial intake dipped, its abortion business boomed. The organization provided almost 428,000 “abortion services” to young people alone, with a staggering 1,134,549 total number of such services – almost double the number from 2007 – across the globe. the rest

ObamaCare on Drugs

A tax increase that will cause many seniors to lose private benefits.
JANUARY 2, 2010
WSJ

Democrats are starting to mash together the Senate and House health-care bills, all of the negotiations taking place in secret. One reason to keep quiet is so voters don't discover items like the Senate's destructive change in the way retiree health benefits are taxed. This is a revenue grab that will cost many retirees their private drug benefit coverage, with knock-on harm for the federal budget and financial markets. the rest

UK drinking culture strains health system

By MEERA SELVA
The Associated Press
Saturday, January 2, 2010

...The cash-strapped National Health Service - the U.K.'s taxpayer-funded medical system - now spends 2.7 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) a year treating patients for drink-related problems, double the amount five years ago, the report said. Total funding for the health care system is currently around 100 billion pounds ($162 billion) a year. the rest

'Dozens of people' die in India cold wave

Monday, 4 January 2010
BBC

...Most deaths so far have taken place among the homeless and elderly, and local authorities have been asked to arrange shelter for the vulnerable. the rest

Beijing disrupted by record snowfall

Peru's mountain people face fight for survival in a bitter winter

No Rise of Airborne Fraction of Carbon Dioxide in Past 150 Years, New Research Finds

Climategate: You should be steamed

Atheists challenge Ireland's new blasphemy law with online postings

By Karla Ada
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 3, 2010

LONDON -- Atheists in Ireland are risking possible prosecution with an audacious online challenge to the country's new blasphemy law.

Under the law, which went into effect Friday, a person can be found guilty of blasphemy if "he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion." the rest

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009’s Sleepy Sun Finally Woke Up in December

By Alexis Madrigal
December 31, 2009

2009 will go down as the sun’s third quietest year on record, under-shone only by 1913 and 2008.

Two hundred-sixty of the year’s 365 days (71 percent) were sunspotless. Last year saw 266 sunspotless days, while the sun had no spots on 311 of the days in 1913. It was only a very active December that kept 2009 from falling below last year’s mark.

Sunspot activity waxes and wanes in a roughly 11-year cycle, so hitting solar minima isn’t surprising. But what the numbers underscore is that we spent much of the year still in the midst of the deepest, longest solar minimum in a long time.

People keep their eyes on sunspots because their frequency and intensity is correlated with the overall level of solar activity. Changes in the sun’s energy flows can seriously impact conditions on Earth and our immediate environment in space. While a particularly active sun can generate geomagnetic storms that damage satellites and electrical grid infrastructure, a sun as quiet as the one of the last few years could affect the Earth’s climate, although not by much. the rest

New Catholic mandate on comatose patients

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, January 3, 2010

The nation's Catholic hospitals, including three in the Bay Area, face a new religious mandate in the new year: to provide life-sustaining food, water and medicine to comatose patients who have no hope of recovery.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the directive Nov. 17 to the more than 1,000 church-affiliated hospitals and nursing homes in the United States and to all Catholic doctors and nurses. Invoking a 2004 speech by Pope John Paul II, the bishops said Catholics must provide nutritional assistance to patients with "presumably irreversible conditions ... who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care."

A previous directive let Catholic hospitals and doctors decide whether the burdens on the patient outweighed the benefits of prolonging life. The bishops said the new policy was guided by "Catholic teaching against euthanasia" and by John Paul's observation that providing food and water "always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act." the rest

Pope's secretary visits Christmas Eve assailant

(AFP)
posted Jan. 3, 2010

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary has visited the woman who knocked the pontiff to the ground at midnight mass, the pope's spokesman said on Sunday.
Father Federico Lombardi said the pope's secretary Bishop Georg Gaenswein paid a visit to Susana Maiolo, who has a history of mental problems and is being held in a psychiatric unit outside Rome.

A report in Il Giornale daily newspaper said Gaenswein gave her a rosary, saying the pontiff had forgiven her for what she had done.

Maiolo, 25, leapt over a security barrier and bundled the pope to the ground at the Christmas Eve midnight mass in Saint Peter's Basilica. the rest