Saturday, January 16, 2010

Devotional: You have trusted Him...

You have trusted Him in a few things, and He has not failed you. Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it? ...Hannah Whitall Smith image

Erasing Ezekiel's Jewish identity

Jan 15, 2010
By KSENIA SVETLOVA

For centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims came to Al-Kifl, a small town south of Baghdad, to visit the tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel and pray.

The distinctive Jewish character of the Al-Kifl shrine, namely the Hebrew inscriptions and the Torah Ark, never bothered the gentile worshipers. In the 14th century a minaret was built next to the shrine, but the interior design remained Jewish. The vast majority of Iraq's Jewish community left some 60 years ago, but Shi'ites took good care of the holy site.

Until now. the rest image

Focus on the Family joins Super Bowl advertisers

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
01/16/2010

In between the Dr Pepper, Doritos and Bud Light commercials airing during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, one first-time advertiser will be pushing God's product line.

Focus on the Family will air a 30-second "life- and family-affirming" television spot, featuring University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, during the coverage. the rest

Haiti earthquake: Miracle boy plucked from rubble of his house two days after disaster

By David Williams
15th January 2010

Amid the horror and devastation in Haiti, there were stories too of hope and joy as the prayers of those hunting for their missing loved ones were answered.

For two days Daphnee Plaisin and her husband Reginald Claude had searched with their bare hands among the twisted rubble of their collapsed home for their two-year-old son Redjeson.

They could hear his increasingly weak cries but were unable to move the giant concrete and metal sheets that consumed him somewhere below. the rest

One man loses, another gains religion through reporting

By Louis Medina
1/15/10

Consider this scenario: A reporter who is a committed born-again Christian takes on the religion beat at his newspaper because he feels a calling from God to tell the positive stories about Christians that are being ignored by his editors. But he ends up finding story after story—Catholic priest sex scandals, Christian televangelist sex and money scandals, Mormon excommunication scandals—that shake his Christian convictions, and in a matter of just a few years he ends up walking away from both his beat and his faith. the rest

67% Say News Media Have Too Much Influence Over Government Decisions

January 14, 2010

Voters are even more convinced now that the news media have too much influence on the actions of government and try to help political candidates they want to win. Most also still think the average reporter is more liberal than they are.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of likely U.S. voters believe the news media have too much power and influence over government decisions, up six points from October. Just eight percent (8%) think the media have too little power and influence, and 19% think their level of power is about right. the rest

Scottish Anglicans stick with man in bishop race

January 16, 2010

LONDON (AP) — Anglicans in Scotland have passed up an opportunity to elect their first female bishop.

An electoral synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church on Saturday chose the Very Rev. Gregor Duncan as the next bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

Canon Alison Peden was a runner-up along with the Venerable John Applegate. She was the first woman on the ballot to become a bishop since the Scottish Church voted in favor of women bishops in 2003.

Anglicans in Ireland have approved women bishops in principle, but have yet to elect one. Women are still barred from becoming Anglican bishops in England and Wales.

Here

New Zealand study links depression, abortion

Charlie Butts
OneNewsNow
1/15/2010

Another study in a line of scientific reports links depression and anxiety with abortion.

The study was done by New Zealand pro-abortion professor David Ferguson, who, according to Anglicans for Life president Georgette Forney, looks at the data and decides that it speaks for itself.

"When you look at the medical history of over 500 women, they realized that abortion leads to significant distress and that some of that distress will manifest itself in mental health problems or physical problems," Forney says.

However, the current healthcare reform measure approved by the Senate includes government-funded abortion, which could ultimately lead to more abortions. The pro-life leader sees irony in that. the rest

BOOK REVIEW: An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson

BOOK REVIEW: An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson by Andro Linklater
Reviewed by Raymond Dague
posted January 16, 2010

If you like your history of the American founding which exalts only virtue, General James Wilkinson will not be to your liking. Heroes are by definition virtuous and exceptional. But history is not made only by heroes. In Wilkinson’s case it was made by one who was conniving and deceitful. He committed treason, but was never held to task for it, despite many knowing about it. He was an O.J. Simpson of his day who used his popularity and celebrity and glad-hand manner to charm people, and was able to use the legal process to dodge the bullet of being held to task for his misdeeds. All this despite widespread belief in his guilt.

Wilkinson’s star first rose when he played a role at the Battle of Saratoga as the deputy adjutant general of the continental army’s field commander, General Horatio Gates. Wilkinson, then a 20 year old lieutenant colonel, was a gregarious fellow who easily ingratiated himself with his superiors, and rose in standing and office accordingly. It was perhaps a sign of his future life as a traitor that he worked closely with Benedict Arnold at Saratoga. Both men were insecure and ambitious for recognition as they tried to claw their way to the top rungs of military command in the continental army. The difference between them was that Arnold was a brilliant and courageous leader of men in battle. Wilkinson on the other hand, both at Saratoga and for all of his military life, was a military bureaucrat who engaged in networking and organization. He knew little of military tactics or strategy, or if he did, he never exhibited them on the field of battle. He spent much of the war as the “clothier general,” organizing supplies for the continental army, a job which he performed poorly.

After the Revolutionary War he tried his hand at commercial ventures. He was not very successful there either, and always spent more money than he made. After the Revolution enterprising men saw promise in the lands west of that spine of mountains which divided the new American states from the western lands. Wilkinson was one of them, and went to Kentucky where he bought land for speculation and sold goods consigned by Kentucky farmers to the merchants of New Orleans. This required him to navigate the Mississippi River past the Spanish fort at St. Louis and to deal with the Spanish. And deal he did. The Spanish empire controlled commerce on the Mississippi in the late 1780s. He did what he thought prudent to advance his commercial interests. As Wilkinson wrote in a formal document to the Spanish on August 22, 1787, he was “transferring my allegiance from the United States to his Catholic Majesty.” So began his life as a spy for pay.

Wilkinson’s relationship with the Spanish as “Agent 13" yielded payoffs from the Spanish for information about what the new American government was doing. He plotted to cause Kentucky and the other western lands to secede from the United States and align with Spain. Later in the 1800s he conspired with Aaron Burr (another scoundrel and traitor) to make the western states a sovereign county independent of the United States. But Wilkinson, true to his life as a deceiver and turncoat, always stabbed these fellow schemers in the back when he saw possible failure in these plots. He ultimately backed the right horse by switching his allegiance back to the United States and betrayed his co-conspirators. He did all of this while an officer, general, and ultimately the “commander in chief” of the army of the United States.

When rumors of his payoffs from the Spanish circulated, and these rumors plagued him his whole life, he claimed that this was money for goods sold. When rumors of his foreign allegiances and his plotting with Burr surfaced, Wilkinson snowed people with more deceptions. He survived three trials by court marshal using good lawyers, his effusive personality, and good connections to beat the rap for his betrayals.

It is easier to read the biography of a hero than one of a scoundrel. Linklater’s well researched and very readable book on General James Wilkinson reminds us that the founders of our nation were not all good guys. The author’s meticulous research uncovers documents from Spanish archives unread for 200 years which prove Wilkinson to have been a traitor to his country. Lots of people believed this in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but Linklater proves it. The author even includes an interesting appendix in this biography to explain the complex code which Wilkinson used to write his messages to the Spanish, as well as an appendix which records the records of payoffs.

Linklater’s biography of Wilkinson reminds us that the figures of history were not all patriots who exuded virtue. Some served the newborn nation with grievous flaws. Wilkinson was one such man. He was faithful to his wife and good to his children, and he made friends with many. But he lied and stabbed many former friends in the back, and came perilously close to destroying the new United States in its infancy. Only his self interest and his fear of failure brought him back from the edge of full-blown treason like his old friend Benedict Arnold.

For this and other reviews of this book, go to LibraryThing.

Pagan practices are meeting with an increasingly receptive audience in the Episcopal Church

Wicca’s Invitation
Jeff Walton
Institute on Religion & Democracy
January 14, 2010

The monthly meditation had a playful air about it.

“A crone is an old woman. A crone is a witch. A crone is a wise woman. Which one will you be, my friend? Which one I?”

Wrapped around a rite for “croning”, the meditation embraced a history of mystical women and offered prayers to “Mothering God” and “Eternal Wisdom.” But the article was not in a new age publication or Wiccan blog: it was on the pages of the September newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Entitled “Crone Power”, the meditation innocuously sat opposite a story about choosing a children’s Bible and next to a column on St. Jerome. The newsletter quickly drew the attention of Anglican bloggers, many of whom found the placement of what appeared to be a Wiccan ritual to be jarring in an official church publication. But intentionally or not, the publication and placement of the rite were reflective of a new reality: one in which practices drawn from or inspired by pagan belief, including witchcraft, are increasingly finding acceptance within the ranks of the Episcopal Church. the rest

Lutherans Nationwide Wrestle with Staying in, Leaving ELCA

Fri, Jan. 15 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

The South Dakota bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said he has no plans of leading his synod out of the denomination over last year's pro-gay actions.

That's not to say he's content with the national body.

"This is not the first time I have been upset with the church," the Rev. David Zellmer told local Lutherans Thursday at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, according to the Argus Leader.

Since last week, Zellmer has been hosting "conversations" at several Lutheran congregations to reflect on the actions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly and their implications. Thursday's meeting was the last of five conversations with Zellmer. the rest

Friday, January 15, 2010

Episcopal Church ‘out of tune with members on immigration’

Friday, 15th January 2010
By George Conger

The official stance of the Episcopal Church on immigration is not representative of the belief of the people in its pews, a survey conducted on behalf of the non-partisan Washington think tank, the Center for Immigrations Studies (CIS) reports.

The survey of over 42,000 Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical or born-again Protestants, and Jewish voters found a sharp disconnect between the official stance of their religious communities and the beliefs of individual members. “Because religious communities often do not represent the public policy views of their members, if there is a full-blown immigration debate next year, it will be all more contentious,” Steven Camarota of the CIS said. the rest

Church is drifting into paganism, says Packer

by Audrey Barrick, Christian Post
Friday, January 15, 2010

Influential theologian J I Packer wants evangelical churches to recover catechesis, or systematic instruction in the essentials of the Christian faith.

Packer believes the idea is an alien concept to most evangelicals.

"We are drifting back into paganism, that’s the truth," he said in a lecture last Saturday at St Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas, according to The Living Church News Service.

The 83-year-old Anglican priest has co-authored a new book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, in which he makes the case that catechesis is a non-negotiable practice of churches and is of no less value than Bible study and expository preaching.
During Saturday's lecture, he said he yearns for "Bible-based, Christ-centred, declarative in style". But recovering catechesis in churches will be a challenge, he added. Earlier, he called it the greatest challenge for the 21st century church. the rest

Albert Mohler: Does God Hate Haiti?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The images streaming in from Haiti look like scenes from Dante's Inferno. The scale of the calamity is unprecedented. In many ways, Haiti has almost ceased to exist.

The earthquake that will forever change that nation came as subterranean plates shifted about six miles under the surface of the earth, along a fault line that had threatened trouble for centuries. But no one saw a quake of this magnitude coming. The 7.0 quake came like a nightmare, with the city of Port-au-Prince crumbling, entire villages collapsing, bodies flying in the air and crushed under mountains of debris. Orphanages, churches, markets, homes, and government buildings all collapsed. Civil government has virtually ceased to function. Without power, communication has been cut off and rescue efforts are seriously hampered. Bodies are piling up, hope is running out, and help, though on the way, will not arrive in time for many victims. the rest image

NPR's Hagerty: U.S. Exports Cultural War To Uganda


January 15, 2010

The battle over the Bible and homosexuality has torn apart Christian churches and entire denominations in the United States. But what happens when that culture war is exported to other countries? Ugandans are finding out — with potentially deadly consequences.
The rest-with the usual liberal slant

New Play recasts Peanuts Gang as Homosexuals

January 14th, 2010

ITHACA, NY–Somewhere, the late great Charles Schulz is rolling over in his grave.

Schulz, the creator of the much-loved Peanuts comic strip (and a devout Christian), probably never envisioned a day when his characters would be appropriated for a “satirical story” about teenaged homosexuals.

But that’s exactly what happens in the new play, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” which the Ithaca Journal describes as “a satirical story that … features characters from the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip gang in their volatile teenage years” the rest

Pope defends invitation to Anglicans to convert

By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press
Friday, January 15, 2010

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI defended his decision to invite disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church en masse, saying Friday it was the "ultimate aim" of ecumenism.

Benedict told members of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the invitation wasn't an attack on the church's reunification efforts with other Christians but was rather designed to help them by bringing about "full and visible communion." the rest

Sarah and Bristol Palin In Touch cover: "We're glad we chose life"

January 13, 2010

Bristol Palin didn’t know what she was in for when she made the life-changing and controversial choice to have a baby at the young age of 18. But after she gave birth to her son, Tripp, in December 2008 — and broke up with her boyfriend, Levi Johnston — the reality of single motherhood quickly set in. “I remember sitting on a black recliner, just bawling my eyes out,” Bristol tells In Touch. “I was just rocking Tripp to sleep because he had been screaming for so long. I was just like, ‘What am I going to do? This is as bad as it gets.” the rest

Tim Pawlenty to Headline Susan B. Anthony List Pro-Life Gala in March

Martha Coakley: Devout Catholics 'Probably shouldn't work in the emergency room'


By Kerry Picket
Jan. 14, 2010

How can a Massachusetts Senate candidate possibly offend 39 percent of voters in her state? If it's Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley, she would tell devout Catholics not to bother working in an emergency room (H/T Jim Hoft - Big Government). In the audio clip below, Ms. Coakley chokes on a question from radio host Ken Pittman referring to the conscience clause. Under the conscience clause, workers in health-care environments ranging from doctors to maintenance men can refuse to offer services, information, or advice to patients on issues like contraception, blood transfusions, etc..if the workers are morally against it. Here is how Ms. Coakley handled the matter. the rest

Coakley’s worst enemy: Her tongue

Coakley Offers Seniors No Advantage

Coakley’s appalling record as a prosecutor

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SCOTLAND: Election to decide if Britain will have first female Anglican bishop

By Trevor Grundy
January 14, 2010
Episcopal News Service

Britain might soon have its first female Anglican bishop, serving the 38,000-member Scottish Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Alison Peden, aged 57, is one of three candidates for the post of bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. The election is scheduled for Jan. 16.

Observers say that if Peden is elected it is likely to increase pressure on the neighboring Church of England to allow the appointment of women bishops. the rest

The Anchoress: Comprehensive updates on Haiti



The Anchoress: Here

Newsweek's Lisa Miller: Unholy Alliances-The limits of Anglican soulmating.

Jan 14, 2010

In 2004 the members of St. James Church in tony Newport Beach, Calif., voted to secede from the Episcopal Church of the United States. Like dozens of other conservative Episcopal churches at the time, St. James found the theology of its denomination insufficiently orthodox (and the consecration of a gay Episcopal prelate unbiblical). So it, and others, sought—and found—protection among the conservative Anglican bishops of Africa. For administrative and theological purposes, St. James became an African church. It submitted to the authority of an African bishop and paid dues to an African diocese.

Church members were thrilled about their new connection. The church of the global South "is growing and exploding because we took the Bible to those countries, and they believed it," explained a St. James lay leader to a PBS news reporter in 2005. "They have seen the power of the Bible … and we wanted to be part of that..."

...American culture wars are kindergarten play compared with those in places like Uganda, where democracy is a sham and tolerance rare. And American conservatives who insist on romanticizing Africans for the purity of their Christian belief must guard against escalating those wars and endangering lives—intentionally or not—by giving support and money to Christian leaders with insufficient regard for human rights...

...But Otunnu and other human-rights activists believe the political war against homosexuals in Uganda is a direct result of the legions of evangelists who landed in his country during the Bush administration, determined to fight HIV/AIDS with Christian rhetoric about abstinence and marital fidelity... the rest

Albert Mohler on Miller's 2008 argument for gay marriage:
Turning the Bible on its Head — Newsweek Goes for Gay Marriage

Professor Bob Gagnon's Demolition of Newsweek's Lisa Miller

Canada: The State of the Local Church, Part 1 - Is the local church disappearing?

January 13/2010

Excerpt:
As a general rule, the strategic plan asserted that to be sustainable, a parish requires a minimum of 100 active adult members and weekly attendance of 70. Financially, a parish with a building and one priest requires about $130,000-$150,000 annually, or about 130 parishioners contributing regularly.

Judged by these criteria, the plan revealed that almost three quarters of the parishes in the New Westminster diocese may be unsustainable: 25 percent have Sunday attendance of less than 50, and another 47 percent have 51-120 attenders.

What does this mean for the local church? Is it a dying institution? Are these disappearing local churches further evidence of the decline of mainline denominations? Is the neighbourhood church being replaced by some other form of church? the rest

Haiti earthquake devastation 'immense'


Haiti earthquake devastation 'immense'
As the scope of the devastation from a magnitude-7.0 earthquake became clearer Wednesday, survivors spoke in terms of all that has disappeared. Most hospitals, houses, schools, roads and grocery stores — virtually every necessity of basic life — were transformed into piles of rubble.

Haiti Despairs as Quake Deaths Mount
WSJ-Cries from victims entombed beneath concrete debris pierced the air of seemingly every street in this crowded capital Wednesday, where shocked residents carried the injured and the dead a day after the nation was hit by a quake that some estimate has killed more than 100,000 people.

Haiti earthquake had been predicted for years
The earthquake in Haiti surprised South Floridians who didn't expect earthquakes in the Caribbean. But geologists had been sounding the alarm for some time

Race against time for Haiti earthquake aid
Millions of desperate Haitians were still waiting today for the arrival of a huge international effort to find and treat survivors from an earthquake that has left the streets of Port-au-Prince strewn with corpses

Haiti Earthquake Overwhelms Medical Workers

Jordan Files Complaint over Dead Sea Scrolls

By Leanne Larmondin
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
TORONTO

(RNS/ENI) Jordan has complained to a United Nations agency after Canada refused to seize the Dead Sea Scrolls at a recent exhibit in Toronto.

Jordan says the ancient manuscripts, which had been on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority, were stolen from a museum in East Jerusalem, which Israel seized from Jordan during the Six-Day War of 1967.

Some of the earliest biblical and religious writings ever found, the 2,000-year-old scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in caves overlooking the Dead Sea. the rest

Record year for foreclosures as unemployment rises

By ADRIAN SAINZ
AP Real Estate Writer
Thu Jan 14, 2010

MIAMI – A record 2.8 million households were threatened with foreclosure last year, and that number is expected to rise this year as more unemployed and cash-strapped homeowners fall behind on their mortgages.

The number of households that received a foreclosure-related notice rose 21 percent from 2008, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday. One in 45 homes were sent a filing, which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions. the rest

NH House defeats assisted suicide bill

Associated Press
January 14, 2010
CONCORD, N.H.

(AP) - New Hampshire's House has defeated a bill that would have allowed the legalization of assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

The House voted 242-113 on Wednesday against the bill, which would have allowed the terminally ill to obtain lethal prescriptions, with safeguards to prevent abuses. the rest

Top Democrat Working With White House For Abortion Funding in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 13, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- To the American people, there may seem to be a lull in the health care debate as members of Congress return from their Christmas break and try to piece together a final bill from the House and Senate versions. But one top pro-abortion activist in the House is working furiously to fund abortions.

Rep. Diana DeGette, the Colorado Democrat who leads the caucus of pro-abortion lawmakers, says she has been talking with the White House and others about how to resolve the abortion differences in the two bills. the rest

Disney to hear plans to protect ex-'gays'

SEC says entertainment conglomerate can't simply ignore shareholder
January 14, 201012:30 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Shareholders of the Walt Disney Co. will be asked at their coming 2010 annual meeting to consider expanding the corporation's antidiscrimination policies to provide protections to ex-"gays" as well as homosexuals. Story

Va. Lutheran church to leave ELCA

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

ROANOKE -- Members of a Roanoke church have voted to leave the country's largest Lutheran denomination over its policy to allow gay clergy.

The Rev. Mark Graham, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, said its members voted 350-104 in favor of the split from the national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Church rules required a two-thirds majority for reaffiliation. the rest

Muslim Child Brides in Britain

Posted by Hege Storhaug
Jan 14th, 2010

It is heartbreaking, even as it is unsurprising. In Britain, the authorities are now reporting the forced marriage of girls as young as nine years old on British soil. We are not talking about one case, but several, which take place under official protection. We are not speaking, then, about parents or “husbands” who are being charged with a criminal offense. The situation, in other words, is completely unacceptable and makes clear that we have a crying need for a new approach to these matters. Government must put its foot down – and powerfully so – so that there will be no doubt as to the way in which such grotesque crimes will be addressed. the rest

The battle over embryonic stem cell research is over

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Joe Carter

Excerpt:
Fortunately, the misinformation and false promises seem to be on the wane. Some politicians still continue to tout the benefits of ESCR [embryonic stem cell research], of course, because their ignorance is often as limitless as their willingness to talk about issues they know nothing about. (Digression: Several years ago I presented testimony on ESCR and cloning before the Illinois legislature. A Chicago Democrat told me I was wrong about ESCR because he knew that people had already been cured by injecting “embryos into a patient’s spinal cord.”) Scientists and researchers, however, appear to be less vocal than they were a few years ago. Perhaps the Climategate scandal has served as a warning that trust in science is destroyed when they are willing to deceive the public.

This doesn’t mean that they will be honest about their deception, of course. And we shouldn’t expect the “ESCR has proven to be a failure” theme to be carried by the media.Despite the fact that adult stem cell research has provided 73 treatments for everything from heart disease to brain cancer while ESCR has never produced any results at all, ESCR will still be considered a “promising approach.” Like climate change, stem cell research is often more about politics than science, so as long as gullible politicians are willing to hand over millions in funding, supporters won’t admit defeat. the rest

Homebuilders see a resurgence in small

By Margaret Jackson
The Denver Post
01/14/2010

Excerpt:
"The buyer today is different than a few years ago," said Chetter Latcham, president of Shea Homes Colorado. "They've reprioritized their lives and are scaling down. The day of the McMansion is gone."

Many builders are responding to shifting preferences — and economic realities — by introducing new designs aimed at first-time homebuyers.

KB Home, for example, has launched a new line of paired homes at Stapleton called The Open Series, priced at $204,995

for a 1,159-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home to $229,995 for a 1,667-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home. the rest

When Children Become Child Pornographers and the Lolita Effect Undermines the Law

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It is a sure-fire recipe for legal trouble: combine hormone-raging teens with image-transmitting technologies, and then stir them together in a sex-saturated society replete with outdated laws and a criminal justice system that never could have anticipated such a combustible confluence of forces. Signs and symptoms of this salacious problem are cropping up across the United States . . . This article has two primary goals. First, it attempts to identify and raise questions posed by sexting that might affect and influence how the law treats it. Second, it seeks to address these questions in ways that help to provide a framework for analyzing sexting cases that makes key distinctions between variations of the act of sexting that could (or should) impact a court or legislature’s treatment of it. However, it would be presumptuous to definitively answer all of these questions, given that the legal debate on sexting is only now beginning to emerge. the rest

Law review-pdf

Mexico church faces violent reaction for defending marriage

01/14/2010

The Catholic Church in Mexico has faced a violent reaction from homosexualists in the country who are upset over the Mexican bishops’ strong defence of natural marriage, reports Agenzia Fides.

In response, the Archdiocese of Mexico has denounced what the bishops have labelled anti-Catholic “intolerance,” reports Patrick B. Craine, LifeSiteNews.com. the rest

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Devotional: Lord, teach us how to pray aright...

Lord, teach us how to pray aright,
with reverence and with fear;
though dust and ashes in thy sight,
we may, we must draw near.
We perish if we cease from prayer,
O grant us power to pray!
And when to meet thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us by the way.

God of all grace, we bring to thee
a broken, contrite heart;
give, what thine eye delights ot see,
truth in the inward part.
Faith in the only sacrifice
that can for sin atone;
to build our hopes, to fix our eyes,
on Christ, on Christ alone.
...James Montgomery
image by Demian_us

J.I. Packer: More Catechesis, Please

January 13, 2010

“Packer’s last crusade in this world,” the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer affirms, is recovering catechesis — systematic instruction in the Christian fundamentals — to meet the challenges of an increasingly pagan age.

The evangelical theologian said at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas on Jan. 9 that he yearns for the return of catechesis, “Bible-based, Christ-centered, declarative in style,” at a time when “the Christian value system is virtually disappearing from schools.” the rest

Google threatens to quit China

13 January, 2010

Google has announced it will stop its policy of censoring content in China, which may mean it has to end operations in the country.

The company said this followed a very serious cyber attack attempting to hack into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. the rest

Obama Faith Council Debates Religious Icons

By William Wan
January 12, 2010

Obama's faith council is finalizing its draft report this week, and one of the key debates that emerged from the phone conference yesterday was whether there should be rules requiring religious groups to cover up religious symbols if they receive federal funding for services. For example, if a church gets money for a soup kitchen, would it have to remove or put a cloth over all crosses, pictures, etc., every time it gets ready to feed the hungry? the rest

UK Party Leader Says Faith Schools Must Teach Homosexuality is "Normal and Harmless"

Wednesday January 13, 2010
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
LONDON

(LifeSiteNews.com) – U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is wooing the vote of British homosexuals by stating that his party (the third largest party in the U.K.) would legislate that all faith schools in the UK would be legally obliged to teach their students that homosexuality is normal and without any risk to physical or mental health.

In an interview with the gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, Clegg outlined a number of proposals to advance '"gay rights" in the UK, including forcing all schools, including faith-based schools, to implement anti-homophobia bullying policies and to teach that homosexuality is "normal and harmless."

Clegg said that faith schools must not become "asylums of insular religious identity." the rest

Photo of Martian dune field

But what are those weird tendril thingies?

Story

Miep Gies: Protector of Anne Frank dies at 100

The Irish Times
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MIEP GIES, who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis and saved her famous diary after the family was deported, has died just days before her 101st birthday.

Born in Vienna, Gies was brought to the Netherlands aged 11 and she befriended the Frank family after beginning work for Anne’s father, Otto, in 1933.

She was the last living member of the small group that helped hide the family in a hidden Amsterdam annex after the Nazis began rounding up Jews for deportation. the rest

Donations for Haiti


Go to this post at MCJ for a list of suggested organizations to help aid the people in Haiti.

Over 100 Coptic Christian Teenagers Arrested in Egypt

1-13-2010

Egypt (AINA) -- Egyptian State Security has intensified its intimidation of the Coptic Church and Christians in Nag Hammadi, and neighboring Bahgoura, by carrying out random arrests of Christian youth. The campaign against Christians started on Friday January 7, 2010 and is continuing; multiple members of families have been arrested without warrants. Most arrests are being carried at dawn. More than one hundred Christian youth have been arrested without charge. the rest

Episcopalian sisters with New Hartford connection safe in Haiti

By STAFF REPORT
GateHouse News Service
Jan 13, 2010

NEW HARTFORD — A team of Episcopalian sisters stationed in Haiti and affiliated with Utica's Grace Episcopal Church are safe but their church and convent have been destroyed, according to an e-mailed Facebook message posted by the Rev. Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal Missioner to Haiti.

A New Hartford order of the Society of St. Margaret sisters lived in a convent on Jordan Road since 1937. The sisters moved from their New Hartford home in August to a Boston convent. Some of the sisters’ peers were stationed in Haiti.

Barb Grove, a stewart at the former convent that now acts as a retreat center, was thrilled to hear the sisters were safe, and was equally optimistic that the Haitian people would come together during this time.

Grove worked as a nurse for two years in a Haitian hospital in Des Chappeles.

“I know they’re pitching in to help each other,” she said. “This is the spirit of the Haitian people. It will be difficult, but I know they’ll survive.” Story

Thousands feared dead in Haiti quake; many trapped

Jan 13, 2010
By JONATHAN M. KATZ
Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after a powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighborhoods. Officials feared hundreds of thousands may have perished but there was no firm count.

Death was everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Bodies of tiny children were piled next to schools. Corpses of women lay on the street with stunned expressions frozen on their faces as flies began to gather. Bodies of men were covered with plastic tarps or cotton sheets. the rest

Haiti earthquake: Collapsed buildings includes hotels; countless tourists missing

World reacts to Haiti earthquake-pictures

Report: Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Dies in Haiti Quake

Nations, aid groups scramble to provide Haiti earthquake relief
CNN) -- A spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross warned Wednesday that up to 3 million people may have been affected by Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti as aid organizations and governments deployed response teams and pledged resources to the disaster-stricken Caribbean nation...

Twitter major means of quake communication
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Twitter again is playing a key role in providing communications and news, as are other social networking sites, cementing their role as information providers during a time of crisis...

Earthquake Pictures More here

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Devotional: We never know where God hides His pools...

We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring. We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain. God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs. ...Streams in the Desert
image by AMagill

A dangerous Dutch epidemic: goats now, humans next?

Jan 7th 2010
THE HAGUE
From The Economist print edition

A dangerous Dutch epidemic: goats now, humans next?

EVEN for one of Europe’s most efficient countries, it is a tricky problem. At least 40,000 pregnant goats must be destroyed in the coming weeks to head off a new outbreak of Q-fever, a nasty disease that has killed six of the 2,300 people in the Netherlands who caught it last year. The culprit, Coxiella burnetii, is one of the most infectious bugs around. Released into the air during birthing or miscarriages by infected goats, a single bacterium is enough to infect a human, causing symptoms much like flu, though more persistent. Though treatable with antibiotics, it can cause fatal complications if undiagnosed. Governments have investigated it as a potential biological weapon.

The epidemic has been growing since 2007. In 2008 infections exceeded 1,100, a record. In 2009 that doubled, and the disease claimed its first human victims. That has prompted the Dutch authorities to order the destruction of all pregnant animals testing positively for Q-fever, including healthy but vaccinated ones. Farms marked as “infected” face breeding bans and may not buy more animals. the rest image by benimoto

New Exhibit Features Mysterious Rembrandt Etching Found at Catholic U.

Jan. 11, 2010

Excerpt:
The Rembrandt was, in fact, "lying around" when it was discovered on campus by Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., shortly after he was appointed CUA’s president. In notes that are part of the exhibit, Father O'Connell explains that he discovered the piece while looking for paper towels in Nugent Hall, which serves as the office of the president.
Records management archivist Leslie Knoblauch and doctoral student Paul Wesley Bush set up the exhibit.

"I went into the restroom in Nugent Hall and opened a cabinet there," he notes. "I found the paper towels but as I was closing the cabinet door, I noticed on the bottom shelf under some junk, a picture frame jutting out. I bent down, pulled out the frame only to discover an etching that looked familiar to me. Why it was there or how it got there, I’ll never know." Story/image

Magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits Haiti

by Associated Press
January 12, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A strong earthquake hit the impoverished country of Haiti on Tuesday, where a hospital collapsed and people were screaming for help. Other buildings also were damaged.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but an analyst at the U.S. Geological Survey said there could be substantial damage and casualties. Powerful aftershocks were felt in the first hour. the rest

Rasmussen: Brown Within 2 Points in Mass Senate Race

By Philip Klein
1.12.10 @ 5:15PM

Republican Scott Brown has pulled to within two points of Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, according to a new Rasmussen poll, and now trails 49 percent to 47 percent. A week ago, the same pll showed Coakley up 50 percent to 41 percent. the rest

Land and Building Wars

A handful of parishes win the right to keep their property, but legal experts don't know if their cases are setting a precedent.
John W. Kennedy
1/12/2010

Ross "Buddy" Lindsay III receives phone calls every day from pastors who want his help wresting their church property from denominational control. As chancellor of All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Lindsay has spent a decade immersed in church property disputes. He is one of only four Americans with a master's degree in canon law from Cardiff University in Wales.

In September, the South Carolina State Supreme Court ruled 5-0 in favor of All Saints, allowing the 800-member congregation to keep its 50 acres worth $20 million. Before leaving the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2004, the church amended its charter, declaring that it no longer accedes to the national constitution. The court ruled the national church did not retain clear ownership of the local church property.

"The All Saints case is a roadmap for other congregations to secure their property before leaving their denomination," Lindsay says. All Saints is emblematic of passionate struggles that pit scores of breakaway congregations and entire dioceses against mainline denominations, primarily TEC and the Presbyterian Church (USA). In court papers, denominations paint local churches as secessionists, while local congregations see themselves as defenders of the faith set against an apostate national church. the rest

AS Haley: TEC-Fiduciary Failings at All Levels

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Excerpt:
A review of fundamental fiduciary principles in this manner shows that, whatever else may be said in general about the failings and shortcomings of ECUSA, the Episcopal Church (USA) suffers from a massive failure in fiduciary duties and obligations -- owed to the ekklesia by those who are supposed to represent it, and therefore to act in its best interests. Divided loyalties, proceedings and decisions in secret without full disclosure, no exercise of good judgment, no obedience, and no accountability -- all are there, for everyone to see.

the rest

Think campus censorship disappeared in the 1990s? Guess again.

P.C. Never Died
Greg Lukianoff

Excerpt:
College students are placed in an unenviable position. They are constantly urged to argue, debate, discuss, question, and analyze the most important issues of the day, but they also often know stories of other students who were punished for taking the “wrong side” of an argument.

the rest

Scott Brown campaign brings in more than $1 million in Massachusetts Senate fundraising blast


By Alex Pappas
01/12/10

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown’s war chest has more than $1 million dollars more in it after Monday’s money bomb fundraiser exploded into some major bucks for the Senate hopeful.

Brown raised more than $1 million from contributors today, according to his campaign Web site, from the 24-hour long “Red Invades Blue” fundraiser. That’s twice as much as its initial $500,000 fundraising goal for the day. the rest

Advanced Imaging Reveals a Computer 1,500 Years Ahead of Its Time

By Ed Grabianowski
Jan 8, 2010

X-rays and advanced photography have uncovered the true complexity of the mysterious Antikythera mechanism, a device so astonishing that its discovery is like finding a functional Buick in medieval Europe.

In 1900, some divers found the wreck of a Roman vessel off the Greek island of Antikythera. Among the other treasures remanded to the Greek government was an unassuming corroded lump. Some time later, the lump fell apart, revealing a damaged machine of unknown purpose, with some large gears and many smaller cogs, plus a few engraved words in Greek. Early studies suggested it was some type of astronomical time-keeping device – researcher Derek J. de Solla Price laid the groundwork by establishing initial tooth counts and suggesting that the device followed the Metonic cycle, a 235-month pattern commonly used to predict eclipses in the ancient world. the rest image

Islamists loot and burn protestant church in Algeria

Jan 11, 2010
AP

Islamists looted and burned a Protestant church in Algeria, the congregation's leader said Monday, suggesting they were inspired by a recent wave of religious intolerance in the Arab and Muslim world.

The church - hosted in an apartment block in the city of Tizi Ouzou some 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Algiers, the Algerian capital - was ransacked and set ablaze on Saturday night, several Algerian newspapers said. the rest

Catholic Bishops Activate 19,000 Churches to Stop Abortion in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 11, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The nation's Catholic bishops have activated nearly 19,000 churches across the country to stand up to efforts in Congress to force Americans to pay for abortions under a government-run health care bill. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' effort could have a dramatic effect.

When the nation's bishops called on church-goers to support a ban on partial-birth abortions, they responded with millions of postcards flooding Congressional offices.

Now, in a nationwide call to Catholics to prevent health care reform from being derailed by the abortion lobby, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent bulletin inserts and pulpit announcements to almost 19,000 parishes across the country. the rest

The Americanization of Mental Illness

By ETHAN WATTERS
January 8, 2010

AMERICANS, particularly if they are of a certain leftward-leaning, college-educated type, worry about our country’s blunders into other cultures. In some circles, it is easy to make friends with a rousing rant about the McDonald’s near Tiananmen Square, the Nike factory in Malaysia or the latest blowback from our political or military interventions abroad. For all our self-recrimination, however, we may have yet to face one of the most remarkable effects of American-led globalization. We have for many years been busily engaged in a grand project of Americanizing the world’s understanding of mental health and illness. We may indeed be far along in homogenizing the way the world goes mad. the rest

Plans made for new 'Jesus' movie

Allie Martin
OneNewsNow 1/12/2010

A new movie about the life of Christ is in the works. The film, which has already been titled Jesus…No Greater Love, will be a word-for-word, verse-by-verse film adaptation of the Gospel of John.

Bruce Marchiano, known for his portrayal of Jesus in The Gospel of Matthew, is producer of the new movie. He says the goal of the project is simple.

"It's not a Christian movie. We're not trying to change Hollywood culture and make family films, as noble and wonderful as that is," he clarifies. "We're trying to reach hungry souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ in a cutting edge-format. This film is a tool, if I can put it that way, a tool that you can take to your neighbor, you can take to your school, you can take to your workplace and you can say, 'Everybody sit down. I want you to meet Jesus.'" the rest

www.newJesusMovie.com

The Audacity of the State

It’s Bent on Bringing Down the House on the Family & the Church
by Douglas Farrow
January/February, 2010 issue of Touchstone.

Excerpt:
When I speak of the audacity of the state, the kind of state I have in mind is what we may call the savior state. The main characteristic of the savior state is that it presents itself as the people’s guardian, as the guarantor of the citizen’s well-being. The savior state is the paternal state, which not only sees to the security of its territory and the enforcement of its laws but also promises to feed, clothe, house, educate, monitor, medicate, and in general to care for its people. Some prefer to call it the nanny state, but that label fails to reckon with its inherently religious character. The savior state does have a religious character, precisely in its paternalism, and may even be comfortable with religious rhetoric.

Essay

Albert Mohler: Thinking Green — The New Religion

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The human species is inherently and resolutely religious. The Bible and the Christian tradition affirm this truth, even as we know that the religious impulse can so easily transform itself into idolatry.

Even the most cursory of world culture's will indicate the religious fervor that characterizes humanity. The only observers who seem shocked by this universal phenomenon are the secularists and the prophets of secularization theory who were absolutely certain that religious faith and religious fervor would disappear in the modern world. the rest

TIME: “Europe’s Gay Leaders: Out at The Top”

By William Lee Adams
Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

When Iceland installed Johanna Sigurdardottir as Prime Minister last February, newspapers around the globe printed variations of the same headline: ICELAND APPOINTS WORLD'S FIRST GAY LEADER. Everywhere, that is, except Iceland. The Icelandic media didn't mention Sigurdardottir's sexuality for days, and only then to point out that the foreign press had taken an interest in their new head of state — a 67-year-old former flight attendant turned politician whom voters had consistently rated Iceland's most trustworthy politician. Sure, she was gay and had entered a civil partnership with another woman in 2002. But Icelanders hardly seemed to notice. "The media silence echoed the sentiment of the public. Nobody cared about her sexual orientation," says Margret Bjornsdottir, the director of the Institute for Public Administration and Politics at the University of Iceland. "Being gay is a nonissue here. It's considered unremarkable." the rest image

Obama-Praised Gay Activist Says God is a “Sinful Homophobic Bigot”

Monday January 11, 2010
WASHINGTON

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Frank Kameny, a “pioneering” homosexual activist who was honored by President Obama and his administration, says the God of the Bible is a “sinful homophobic bigot” who needs to “repent of his sinful homophobia.”

Kameny made the assertions about the Judeo-Christian God in a letter to Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, October 13, 2009:

“Your God of Leviticus (and of the whole Bible) is clearly a sinful homophobic bigot. He should repent of his sinful homophobia. He should atone for that sin. And he should seek forgiveness for the pain and suffering which his sinful homophobia has needlessly inflicted upon gay people for the past 4000 years.” wrote Kameny to LaBarbera. “It is not homosexuality which is always wrong, immoral, and sinful. It is homophobia, including the homophobia of your god himself which is wrong, immoral, and sinful. And so your god is a sinner….” the rest

Dean of the Anglican Church in North America Appointed

Bishop Harvey, who has nearly fifty years of ordained ministry, has worked closely with Archbishop Duncan for many years.
January 11, 2010

Bishop Donald Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, has been appointed Dean of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) by Archbishop Robert Duncan. This appointment was unanimously ratified by the ACNA Executive Committee. As dean, Bishop Harvey will support the Primate by representing Archbishop Duncan at various events and meetings both within North America and internationally when the Primate is unable to attend.

The December meetings of the ACNA College of Bishops and Provincial Council identified the need for a dean to support the Primate and ease what was quickly becoming an overwhelming engagement schedule. In his new capacity as dean, Bishop Harvey will work closely with Archbishop Duncan and will be available to represent the Primate and ACNA when needed. the rest

Parishioners Flock To Microchurches For Worship

Jan 10, 2010
MARY STEGMEIR
Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier

Excerpt:
Microchurches have been around since New Testament days but have become more popular in the past decade. Though the groups differ widely in their practices, the majority serve less than 100 members, typically don't own the building where they meet, often practice nondenominational evangelism and intentionally offer believers a worship atmosphere unlike that of established churches. Many of the groups wish to remain small and will plant a new congregation if numbers grow too large.

"People are yearning for a more intimate type of fellowship that they, in many cases, did not find in the very large church," said Carol Childress, founder of FrameWorks, a church consulting firm based in Texas. "In the course of one generation, as a culture here in the United States, we made a 180-degree turn — from valuing strong individuals to searching for a sense of community."

Interest in traditional churches started to wane about 30 years ago, said Pastor Brooks Hanes, who helped create the Kaio Church three years ago. The group was started by handful of individuals who worshipped in devotees' homes. Today, the congregation's 50 members rent a Cedar Falls Baptist church for Sunday evening services and hold monthly discussions at area coffee shops and bars. the rest

Roman Catholic Layman Drawn to Anglican Use

January 11, 2010

A Roman Catholic layman hopes that the Vatican’s provision for Anglicans may also create a liturgical space for Catholics who love Anglican forms of worship.

Shane Schaetzel has founded Anglican Use Catholics of Springfield, Mo., to explore how many people share his desire for such an arrangement.

Mr. Schaetzel told The Living Church that within Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States, traditionalists who wish to worship in English have precious few places to go.

“I can’t think of any liturgy that better addresses that issue than Anglican Use,” he said. the rest

Does the 'Springfield Spirit' Point the Way Home for Protestants?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Devotional: The nearer we come to God...

Perils as well as privileges attend the higher Christian life. The nearer we come to God, the thicker the hosts of darkness in heavenly places. The safe place lies in obedience to God's Word, singleness of heart and holy vigilance. When Christians speak of standing in a place where they do not need to watch, they are in great danger. Let us walk in intimate and holy confidence, yet with holy, humble watchfulness. ...AB Simpson
image by Flow Photography

Homeschool Freedom Under Assault in New Hampshire

Jan. 11, 2010

PURCELLVILLE, Va. /Christian Newswire/ -- This week the New Hampshire House of Representatives plans to vote on whether to strictly regulate homeschooling. Opposition is mounting against the Democratic leadership who are using a legislative maneuver to override the recommendations of a bi-partisan legislative study committee who recently voted 14-6 that the proposed new homeschool law (House Bill 368) is "Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL)."

Democratic Representative Barbara Shaw, a retired teacher with 45 years experience and author of the majority report recommending that H.B. 368 is Inexpedient to Legislate said, "After studying this issue for several years I've gotten to know homeschoolers, the law, and how the system works and I'm convinced that it is working fine – there are no changes needed. Some people have accused me of doing a 180 on homeschooling - and I would have to admit that's true. But that's because I've seen that homeschooling is working for children in our state and the current law is adequate." the rest

Groundbreaking gay marriage trial starts in Calif

Jan 11, 2010
By LISA LEFF
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The first federal trial to determine if the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from outlawing same-sex marriage gets under way Monday, and the two gay couples on whose behalf the case was brought will be among the first witnesses.

The proceedings, which are expected to last two to three weeks, involve a challenge to Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban approved by California voters in November 2008.

Regardless of the outcome, the case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it ultimately could become a landmark that determines if gay Americans have the right to marry. the rest

Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8

The Church of NPR: Mother Teresa's a Destroyer, Mary Dalt an 'Icon'

By Tim Graham
January 10, 2010

Even obituaries can inform the public what the leftists at National Public Radio consider admirable. When Mother Teresa died in 1997, NPR stood out with a vicious obituary from anchor Scott Simon noting her "tolerance of tyrants and criminals" and her theology of "destructive comfort to keep people poor." Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a book-length attack on her, was welcomed to kick dirt on the memory of her.

On Tuesday, by contrast, NPR celebrated the life of "Catholic" scholar Mary Daly. No one was welcomed in to savage her. It was completely one-sided. She was, instead, "for many women, such as Sister Joan Chittister, a prominent nun, Daly was an icon."

This was a bit different than even the AP obituary, which more accurately called her "iconoclastic" in tone...the rest

H1N1 Flu Is a False Pandemic, Health Expert Claims

Monday, January 11, 2010

A leading health expert said the swine flu scare was a "false pandemic" led by drug companies that stood to make billions from vaccines, The Sun reported Monday.

Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, claimed major firms organized a "campaign of panic" to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic.

He believes it is "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century," and he has called for an inquiry. the rest

UK: Catholic ban on women priests 'illegal under Harriet Harman equality bill'

The Roman Catholic ban on women entering the priesthood will become illegal under Harriet Harman's controversial Equality Bill, according to Christian charity, CARE.
By Patrick Hennessy, Political editor
10 Jan 2010

A new report by the leading charity – backed by a legal opinion from a leading QC – says the Bill will make it impossible for all churches and faith-based charities to insist that their senior staff lead private lives in accordance with their religious beliefs.

CARE said that, under the Bill, which will be considered by the House of Lords on Monday, it would be illegal for a Christian charity to sack a senior manager for adultery or living an openly gay lifestyle. the rest

The mini ice age starts here

By David Rose
10th January 2010

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in summer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this. the rest

4 More Malaysian Churches Attacked; 1 Vandalized

Sun, Jan. 10 2010
By Aaron J. Leichman
Christian Post Reporter

Another church was hit by a firebomb early Sunday, the fifth assault in three days of unrest following a court decision that allows Christians and other non-Muslims to use 'Allah' to refer to God.

According to local reports, two of the latest attacks failed and the third – a Molotov cocktail that was thrown at the All Saints Church in Malaysia’s central Perak state – left only a mark on the wall. the rest

Coptic Christians in West L.A. protest killings in Egypt

January 10, 2010

Hundreds of Coptic Christians gathered in West Los Angeles this afternoon to protest violence that erupted in Egypt between Muslims and Christians over the Coptic Christmas holiday earlier this week. LAPD officers estimated the crowd grew to about 1,000 people.

Protesters expressed anger about suspected Muslim gunmen who shot six Coptic Christians in the town of Nag Hamadi as they left midnight Mass on Thursday, the holiest day of the Coptic calendar.

Egyptian officials said the attack, which sparked riots by both Muslims and Christians, was in apparent retaliation for an alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Coptic man last year.

“There is no protection for Christians in Egypt,” said a man who attended the protest, who declined to be named because he feared retaliation. the rest

Hugh Hewitt: A Massachusetts Miracle?

January 11, 2010

Scott Brown is an impressive candidate -- intelligent, experienced, good-humored and handsome...

...In any other state this year, Brown would be ahead of his opponent, Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, a conventional Bay State liberal who supports the failed stimulus bill, the takeover of health care and every other big-government push of Team Obama.

In any other year in this state, Brown would be behind by 30 points.

But he is within single digits and closing, held back only by a lack of funds and the stark reality of the political demographics of the commonwealth. the rest

The Man Who’ll Kill Obamacare?

Putting their faith into the foreclosure fight

Religious groups lobby government, lenders
By Jenifer B. McKim
Globe Staff / January 11, 2010

For Nylton Andrade, preventing home foreclosures is not just a personal priority. It’s a matter of religious faith.

Andrade, who was laid off from a teaching job at Boston’s Madison Park High School in June, is hoping to save his family’s house in Brockton after falling behind on mortgage payments. But the evangelical Christian is also part of a faith-based effort to prevent foreclosures for millions of others across the United States. the rest

Sunday, January 10, 2010

California gay marriage opponent fears for his life

Paul Elias
Associated Press Writer
1/9/2010

SAN FRANCISCO - An outspoken gay marriage opponent serving as an official litigant defending the state's ban on same-sex weddings on Friday asked a judge to remove him from the lawsuit because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.

Hak-Shing William Tam was one of five people who formally intervened to defend the state from a federal lawsuit filed against California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have declined to mount a defense on behalf of the state. the rest

Breakaway church has African ties

BY SAM COOPER
REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Sunday, January 10, 2010

WATERTOWN — A local spiritual leader's ties to Tanzania are shaping his ministries, both here and in the African nation.

The ties between the Rev. Bryan Bywater, of New Hope Anglican church, and Anglicans in Africa also help illustrate the powerful bond between conservative Anglicans in the United States and the church in Africa.

Bywater, who retains an affiliation with the Tabora Diocese in Tanzania, was ordained rector of New Hope on Saturday during a service in the auditorium at Swift Middle School. He has been the interim rector for the church, which formed after splitting from Christ Episcopal Church in 2008, for more than a year. the rest

The budget should be balanced....

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
...Marcus Tullius Cicero– 55 BC image