Saturday, February 06, 2010

CCHD Scandal Picks Up Steam as Bishops React

Friday February 5, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine and John-Henry Westen

( – Various offices of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB) have reacted to the two new reports issued by the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN) this week, but the reactions, claims RCN, have not addressed the core message of their reports.

While RCN has offered evidence that 31 CCHD grantees are partnered with a pro-abortion and homosexualist group, the Center for Community (CCC), and that two USCCB officials have served on the same group's board, the reactions have focused primarily on defending the pro-life beliefs of one of those officials - John Carr, who, as executive director of the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

The report on Carr’s involvement in CCC was received by some as questioning Carr’s personal pro-life convictions. However, RCN says that the reports in question – one from American Life League (ALL) and another from the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM) – specified that they were not questioning Carr or any USCCB staffer's personal stance on pro-life. the rest

Church of England is "living in the past", says BBC's head of religion

The BBC's head of religion has accused the Church of England of "living in the past" and said that the corporation should not give Christianity preferential treatment.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Media Correspondent
06 Feb 2010

Aaqil Ahmed, a controversial executive whose appointment last year prompted more than 100 complaints, said: "I think all the faiths should be treated in the same way. I don't believe in treating any faith differently."

He dismissed claims that the BBC was marginalising religion as overly simplistic and argued that Christianity, in particular, was already covered well on television.

His comments come on the eve of a debate at the General Synod, the Church's parliament, over the BBC's treatment of Christianity. the rest

Pink Ouija Board Targeting Young Girls Riles Critics

Saturday, February 06, 2010
By Joshua Rhett Miller

A pink version of the popular Ouija board game has some critics seeing red.

The children's sleepover staple — sold by Hasbro since 1967 — now comes in hot pink, an edition released two years ago that gets tweens to call on "spirits" to spell out answers to life's pressing questions.

It's designed for young girls ages 8 and older, but some say the mysterious product is a "dangerous spiritual game" that opens up anyone, particularly Christians, to attacks on their soul. the rest
"There's a spiritual reality to it and Hasbro is treating it as if it's just a game," said Stephen Phelan, communications director for Human Life International, which bills itself as the largest international pro-life organization and missionary worldwide. "It's not Monopoly. It really is a dangerous spiritual game and for [Hasbro] to treat it as just another game is quite dishonest."

Former Dio. of CNY priest faces sex charges over decade-old incident

February 6, 2010

An 82-year-old, retired Episcopal priest, now living in Gibson, was charged Friday with sex charges in Susquehanna County for incidents that occurred more than a decade ago.

The Rev. Ralph Johnson, 82, was arrested Friday by state police for sexual conduct with a boy from 1992 to 1995 at his 82 Church Road, Gibson Twp., home.

Trooper John Oliver charged the Rev. Johnson with 15 counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

The Windsor, N.Y., victim, now 29, was between the ages of 11 and 15 during the time of the alleged abuse. the rest

And here: Former Owego church rector charged with sexual abuse

Comments at Stand Firm


Friday, February 05, 2010

Rebutting Simon Sarmiento and TEC’s Factual Inaccuracies

American Anglican Council
February 5, 2010

On February 2, 2010, the American Anglican Council (AAC) released an accounting of how The Episcopal Church (TEC) has spent millions of dollars in over 50 lawsuits, deposed or inhibited 12 bishops and more than 400 other clergy, and violated its own canons numerous times. The Rev. Phil Ashey, AAC Chief Operating Officer and practicing attorney, authored the paper at the request of several members of the Church of England's General Synod in preparation for their vote regarding the nature of their relationship with the Anglican Church in North America. On February 4, Mr. Simon Sarmiento, member of the Church of England and founder of the blog Thinking Anglicans, published a rebuttal of what he called “factual inaccuracies” in the AAC’s paper. Mr. Sarmiento is not an attorney and admitted to having the help of, among others, The Episcopal Church’s lead lawyer, David Booth Beers, and the Presiding Bishop’s Special Council for property litigation, Mary E. Kostel.

Mr. Sarmiento’s full paper is located here.

The following is a reply to Sarmiento’s assertions of factual inaccuracies. here

The Balance of Faith and Politics

Powerful storm bears down on East Coast

David Morgan
Fri Feb 5, 2010

Reuters - A powerful winter storm closed in on the U.S. mid-Atlantic on Friday, threatening record snowfalls and unseasonably cold temperatures in a region heavily dependent on home heating oil and natural gas supplies.

Forecasts calling for around 2 feet of snow and near-blizzard conditions from Virginia to southern New Jersey prompted U.S. government offices in the Washington area to close their doors four hours early.

Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia each declared snow emergencies. The declarations allow states to activate emergency agencies including the National Guard to help prepare for the wintry onslaught and cope with its aftermath. the rest

TEC Distributes ‘Talking Points’ in Advance of CoE Debate Over Communion with ACNA

Stand Firm
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Greg Griffith

We're hearing reports that Katharine Schori has arrived in England, presumably to monitor and influence to the extent she can the debate in the Synod which begins Monday. Now today we have this email from Neva Rae Fox, sent through the bishops' listserv run by the Episcopal Church (not the HoB/D, but a separate list for bishops only): Here


Anglican Archbishop Calls for New Executive Leadership

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010

The Anglican Communion should reshuffle its executive leadership, said a conservative archbishop who has resigned from the body citing its failure to challenge liberal developments in two Western national churches.

He pointed out that Western churches have been smothering opposition to their acceptance of homosexuality from churches they are financially supporting by threatening to withdraw that aid.

“The current ACC and SCAC (the executive body of the Anglican Communion) should resign,” said The Most Reverend Dr Mouneer H Anis, who leads the physically largest and most diverse Anglican province. the rest

An English Ladymass: Medieval Chant and Polyphony

Just lovely! h/t The Anchoress

Queens girl hauled out of school in handcuffs after getting caught doodling on desk

BY Rachel Monahan
Friday, February 5th 2010

A 12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense - doodling her name on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned.

Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words on her desk Monday while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, she said.

"I love my friends Abby and Faith," the girl wrote, adding the phrases "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face. the rest

Two Churches Forced to Close in Indonesia

Fri, Feb. 05 2010
By Compass Direct News
Samuel Rionaldo

JAKARTA, Indonesia (Compass Direct News) – Local governments have ordered the closure of two churches on Indonesia’s Java island.

Under pressure from Islamist groups, authorities ordered Christian Baptist Church in Sepatan, Tangerang district, Banten Province to cease services. In Pondok Timur, near Bekasi in West Java, officials abruptly closed the Huria Christian Protestant Batak Church (HKBP) after delaying a building permit for four years. the rest

Albert Mohler: Masculinity in a Can, Fight Club at Church, and the Crisis of Manhood

February 05, 2010

You do not have to look far to find evidence of the fact that males are in trouble in these confused and confusing times. On the university campuses, women undergraduate students outnumber young men by a clear margin -- 60% to 40%. A frightening percentage of young males are or have been behind bars, and the vast majority of young men are delaying their assumption of adult roles and responsibilities until well into their twenties or early thirties.

A crisis of fatherlessness marks the lives of millions of boys and young men, with boys growing up without fathers in the home now comprising a majority within some ethic groups and urban populations. At almost every grade level, boys are performing below girls, and are often left behind as girls go on to more advanced levels of learning. Then, adding insult to injury, reports from scientists indicate that both sperm counts and testosterone levels are falling among some boys and men -- blamed on anything from hormone supplements in the food chain to chemical contamination of ground water. the rest

The Senate Doctors Show 2/4/10

World's oldest monastery restored

Friday, 5 February 2010

Egypt has completed the restoration of reputedly the world's oldest Christian monastery, called Saint Anthony's.

The monastery is believed to be 1,600 years old. The government-sponsored restoration project cost over $14m (£8.9m) and took more than eight years.

The monastery is a popular site for Coptic Christian pilgrims.

The restoration comes soon after Egypt's worst incident of sectarian violence in a decade, when six Copts were shot dead on Christmas Eve. the rest

Ancient monastery's restoration hailed as symbol of interfaith peace in Egypt

North Korea to Free American Missionary

Country Announced it Would Release Robert Park, Who Was Detained for Illegally Crossing Border from China
SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 4, 2010

(AP) North Korea announced Friday that it will free an American missionary detained on Christmas Day for illegally crossing the border from China. Robert Park, of Tucson, Arizona, slipped across the frozen Tumen River from China into the North carrying letters calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to close the country's notoriously brutal prison camps and to step down from power, rights activists in Seoul said. the rest

Best View Yet of Pluto Shows Rapidly Changing Surface

By Alexis Madrigal
February 4, 2010

After more than four years of processing on 20 hand-built computers, the best views ever captured of Pluto are now available.


Tim Tebow Closes National Prayer Breakfast in Prayer, But Obama Leaves

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 4, 2010

Washington, DC ( -- The following is the text and video of pro-life college football player Tim Tebow closing the national prayer breakfast in prayer. Tebow appeared at the event in an ironic contrast to pro-abortion President Barack Obama as the nation awaits a Super Bowl story about how his mother spared him from abortion. the rest

Choosing Tebow

ELCA Presiding Bishop, Delegation Meet Archbishop of Canterbury

February 4, 2010

LONDON (ELCA) -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson met with Dr. Rowan D. Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, in a private hour-long meeting Feb. 4 at Lambeth Palace here. After the meeting Hanson said the two discussed strengthening Anglican-Lutheran relationships, challenges each leader faces within his own communions, the proposed "Anglican Covenant" to deepen internal church relationships, global environmental issues, Christian-Muslim relationships, and mutual concern for conflicts in places such as Sudan and the Middle East.

Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop and president of the Lutheran World Federation, is leading an official delegation of 12 ELCA leaders on a two-week ecumenical journey to visit world church leaders. The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition.

The meeting with Williams, leader of the world Anglican Communion, was the first major meeting for the ELCA delegation. the rest

Utah Episcopalians spell out what they want in new bishop

By Kristen Moulton
The Salt Lake Tribune

Among other attributes, she or he must have found grace in personal failure, an experience that can make one a better leader, Tendick says. "We're hoping the applicants have dealt with failure in a way that has helped them to grow and learn."

One's response to failure also can be a barometer of humility, which undergirds many of the other attributes Episcopalians are looking for in a leader, he says.

Among those listed are: a love for sharing the story of Jesus Christ and embracing the guidance of the Holy Spirit; compassion; integrity; communication skills; welcoming of diversity; experience with rural and remote populations; and a willingness to learn about Western and LDS cultures. the rest

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Devotional: To pray is to let God into our lives...

To pray is to let God into our lives. He knocks and seeks admittance, not only in the solemn hours of secret prayer. He knocks in the midst of your daily work, your daily struggles, your daily grind. That is when you need Him most. ...O. Hallesby image

Catholic Pro-Life Group Presents President Bush Award for Opposing Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 4, 2010

Washington, DC ( -- A national Catholic business group is slated to present an award to former President George W. Bush tonight honoring him for his lengthy record combating abortions during his administration. The event will also see Legatus honoring Cardinal Francis George and hearing from Newt Gingrich.

Bush will receive the prestigious Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award because Legatus says Bush was consistent in his promotion of the pro-life ethic as president.

"You could argue that he was the most pro-life president in our lifetime," the group's executive director, John Hunt, told Zenit today.

"He is very deserving, and since he is coming to us, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to tell him in a very specific and tangible way how appreciative we are," Hunt added.

Hunt also told Zenit that Bush was very statesmanlike in hosting Pope Benedict XVI in Washington in April 2008. President Bush's respectful time with the Catholic Church leader "was something for all Catholics to be so proud of, proud of their country for having honored His Holiness in the way President Bush did." the rest image

DUIN: 'Baptism in the Holy Spirit'

Thursday, February 4, 2010
By Julia Duin

Nearly 50 years ago, an Episcopal priest shocked his listeners during a Palm Sunday sermon at St. Mark's Church in Van Nuys, Calif. On April 3, 1960, the Rev. Dennis Bennett announced he had received a personal Pentecost or "baptism in the Holy Spirit;" an infusion of spiritual power that brought with it the gift of speaking in tongues.

His congregation took the news calmly but some of his fellow clergy and vestry members did not, and Mr. Bennett resigned that very day. His story hit the local media, then Time and Newsweek, then national TV. A sympathetic Episcopal bishop invited him to pastor a dying church in the Seattle suburb of Ballard and in short order St. Luke's/Ballard was turned around, eventually attracting guests from around the world to its famous Friday night meetings. the rest

Evil Tax Cuts & Humpty Words

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Anchoress

Nothing means anything, anymore. Words truly are “just words,” now, and in this Looking-Glass Administration, words mean exactly what Obama says they mean at any given moment. They will mean something else, in five minutes.


How an ecstatic movement failed: book review

By Julia Duin

Reviewed by George Conger
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In the early 1960s, the Christian charismatic renewal movement of signs and wonders made the jump into the "mainline" - and Julia Duin, religion editor of The Washington Times, deftly chronicles its meteoric rise and collapse in the Episcopal Church, focusing on the saga of the Rev. Graham Pulkingham and Houston's Church of the Redeemer.

Ms. Duin's "Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community" is both a frightening and fascinating look at the glory days of the renewal movement that, at its height, gave meaning to the lives of thousands, but eventually collapsed in a welter of sexual, financial and theological misconduct - or to use that wonderful but seldom used word: heresy.

Two decades in the making, and based upon 182 face-to-face interviews and an intimate knowledge of the people and passions at play, Ms. Duin's book is a cautionary tale. For those touched by the charismatic renewal, it will reawaken memories of the passion and enthusiasm of the heady days when it seemed the power of God was made manifest. the rest


A Blizzard of Climate Scandals

Feb 4, 2010
Thomas Sieger Derr

First came Climategate. Hacked e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at Englands University of East Anglia (UEA) showed that CRU researchers were defending the thesis that humans are causing global warming by suppressing contrary evidence, trying to keep opposing viewpoints from being published in scientific journals, and dishing up private insults to skeptics. The East Anglia CRU is one of three major sources of world temperature data; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the UN relies heavily on it. Thus, the scandal is serious. When an Australian scientist sought access to CRU data under the Freedom of Information Act, CRU director Dr. Phil Jones stiff-armed him, telling him that he had twenty-five years of work invested in his data set and wouldnt share it with anyone who intended to find fault with it. Then, as pressure to disclose the data mounted, the CRU announced that the raw data had been destroyed, leaving only interpreted figures. The claimed temperature trends (ever upward) cannot be verified. the rest image

Theologian: Most Christians Infected with Prosperity Gospel

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Most professing Christians in America are infected with at least some measure of the health and wealth gospel, said one theologian.

That is, believers have no concept of a love and a joy that does not eliminate hardship and heartache, Sam Storms of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City said at a pastors conference this week.

"For most professing believers if God is love He must promise to minimize my struggles and maximize my pleasure," he lamented. Many believe it's their spiritual birthright to experience comfort and prosperity and that it's God divine obligation to provide it. the rest

First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Says St. Paul Was Condemning Homosexual Acts by Heterosexuals

Thursday, February 04, 2010
By Karen Schuberg

( – In a section of his New Testament letter to the Romans (1:22-27) dealing with God’s admonitions against same-sex relations, St. Paul was actually writing about heterosexuals who engage in same-sex acts and not homosexuals, said the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church.

the rest-unless you're just tired of this nonsense

I like the comment at the bottom of the page:
"To say St. Paul Was Condemning Homosexual Acts by Heterosexuals, not Homosexual Acts by Homosexuals is quite a novel interpretation and reach in logic. Is it the act or the label that defines the behavior? These words 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual' didn't exist in St. Paul's time."

Archbishop of York claims tolerance in UK has 'negative virtue'

Tolerance has become a “negative virtue” in Britain as important but contentious subjects are no longer discussed, according to the Archbishop of York.
By Martin Beckford
04 Feb 2010

Dr John Sentamu warned that differences over areas such as immigration and funding of public services are just being “thrust into the margins” where they “fester” rather than being talked about openly.

He claimed the Government is trying to “remove religion from public life” in the name of tolerance, and force people to keep their faith behind closed doors.

The Archbishop, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, also echoed Pope Benedict XVI’s criticism of the Equality Bill this week as an "unjust" restriction on religious freedom. the rest

Spanish government course teaches sex can be practiced with 'girl, boy or animal'

Madrid, Spain
Feb 3, 2010

(CNA).- Parent organizations in Spain are fiercely protesting the curriculum of the Socialist government’s required education course, “Education for the Citizenry,” after it was revealed that in one Spanish city, students are being taught that sex can be freely practiced, even with animals.

According to the organization “Professionals for Ethics,” third grade students in Cordoba, located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, are using course material stating that “nature has given us sex so we can use it with another girl, with a boy or with an animal.” Parents groups say the material indoctrinates children and camouflages an agenda that is pro-homosexual and critical of moral norms and values. the rest

Egypt Christians call for right to build churches

February 3, 2010

CAIRO—Egyptian activists have protested in front of parliament and called for legislation giving Christians equal rights as Muslims to build houses of worship.

The demonstrators, both Muslim and Christian, were also protesting Wednesday against the sectarian strains in the country, particularly in light of a Christmas Eve slaying of six Copts and a Muslim guard outside a church in southern Egypt.

The government has maintained that sectarian harmony reigns in Egypt and said the Jan. 6 attack had no religious dimension. the rest


February 3, 2010

Wiccans and pagans at the Air Force Academy have a worship area on campus made up of stones set in a circle. Recently, someone placed a wooden cross at this site. The reaction of the Academy was boilerplate. Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is contacting members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee:

If I visited a Grotto on a college campus and saw a symbol of some other religion there, I would complain. But if that was all there was to it, I would not treat the incident as an example of hate speech. By comparison, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould did just that when the cross was found at the pagan site. “We absolutely will not stand for this type of destructive behavior,” he said. the rest

Suicide of the West

Will America follow Europe into anomie and atheism?
By Theodore Dalrymple
March 10, 2010 Issue
American Conservative

The secularization of Europe is hardly a secret. Religion’s long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no longer, and hardly even a murmur. In France, the oldest daughter of the Church, fewer than 5 percent of the population attend Mass regularly. The English national church has long been an object of derision, and the current Archbishop of Canterbury succeeds in uniting the substance and appearance of foolishness and unworldliness not with sanctity, but with sanctimony. In Wales, where nonconformist Christianity was the dominant cultural influence, most of the chapels have been converted into residences by interior decorators. Vast outpourings of pietistic writings molder on the shelves of secondhand booksellers, which themselves are closing down daily. In the Netherlands, some elements of the religious pillarization of the state remain: state-funded television channels are still allotted to Protestants and Catholics respectively. But while the shell exists, the substance is gone.

the rest-excellent!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Judge issues order detailing assets of Episcopal, Anglican dioceses

Wednesday, February 03, 2010
By Ann Rodgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph James has issued an order detailing which assets are among the centrally held properties that he earlier awarded to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh rather than to the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which broke from the Episcopal Church in 2008.

The order, issued Friday, doesn't apply to parish property, which is to be negotiated later. Leaders of the Anglican diocese had earlier said that they would appeal the October decision. The Rev. Mary Hays, canon to the ordinary of the Anglican diocese, said the appeal can be filed now that this order has been issued.

The original diocese split when a majority of clergy and laity at its 2008 convention voted to leave the Episcopal Church over theological differences. Prior to the split, some parishes now in the 28-parish Episcopal diocese sued for the property of the 57-parish Anglican diocese. The funds have been frozen by financial institutions until the litigation is resolved. the rest

American Anglican Council Tracks Episcopal Church's Canonical Abuse Plight of Orthodox Anglicans

by David Virtue

ATLANTA, GA: The American Anglican Council today made public an accounting of how The Episcopal Church (TEC) has spent millions of dollars in over 50 lawsuits, deposed or inhibited 12 bishops and more than 400 other clergy and violated its own canons numerous times. The paper, titled "The Episcopal Church: Overbearing and Unjust Episcopal Acts," chronicles each of these subjects and a number of other abuses or injustices committed against faithful Anglicans in the U.S.

"The Episcopal Church is systematically targeting, intimidating, suing, and ultimately persecuting orthodox Anglicans throughout the U.S." said the Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, President and CEO of the American Anglican Council. "This paper illustrates the lengths to which TEC leaders will go to silence the voices of orthodox Christians in the Anglican Communion - Anglicans whose only offense was to stand for the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and Anglican Communion teaching."
the rest

AAC paper here-must read!

Muslim chaplain 'smuggled' box-cutter blades into jail

February 3, 2010

A city Department of Correction Muslim chaplain who served 14 years in prison for murder and robbery was arrested today for carrying three utility blades and a pair of scissors into a lower Manhattan jail — the latest in a series of black eyes for that facility, authorities said.

The chaplain, Zulqarnain Abdu-Shahid, had the utility blades and scissors in his duffel bag when he arrived at the Manhattan Detention Complex in the morning, according to the city Department of Investigation. the rest

Study: 56% of Young Adults in a New Sexual Relationship Infected with HPV

Wednesday February 3, 2010
By John-Henry Westen

( - If ever there was a reason for parents to warn their teens off sexual encounters before marriage, a recent study has found it. The groundbreaking study of couples found more than half (56 per cent) of young adults in a new sexual relationship were infected with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV, a virus which condoms cannot protect against, is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Of those infected with HPV, nearly half (44 per cent) were infected with an HPV type that causes cancer. the rest

Obama Adviser: Pope Benedict XVI Is 'Hurting People in the Name of Jesus'

Wednesday, February 03, 2010
By Karen Schuberg

( – Harry Knox, who serves on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is standing by a statement he made last March that Pope Benedict XVI is “hurting people in the name of Jesus.”

When asked on Tuesday whether he still holds that view that the pope "is hurting people in the name of Jesus," Knox said, “I do.” the rest

Mich. Pastors File Suit Against Expanded Hate Crimes Law

Wed, Feb. 03 2010
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter

Four Christians on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the recently enacted Hate Crimes Prevention Act, arguing that it seeks to criminalize deeply held religious beliefs that are in opposition to homosexuality.

The new law, the lawsuit contends, "is an effort to eradicate religious beliefs opposing the homosexual agenda from the marketplace of ideas by demonizing, vilifying, and criminalizing such beliefs as a matter of federal law and policy."

The 27-page long complaint was submitted by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan and Pastors Levon Yuille, James Combs, and Rene B. Ouellette, who are also based in Michigan. It names U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., as the defendant. the rest

Church stays with ELCA; pastor quits

By Keith Uhlig
Wausau Daily Herald
February 3, 2010

Buffeted by turbulence surrounding the issue of gay clergy, members of First English Lutheran Church in Wausau have voted to stay affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

But the church's pastor, the Rev. Scott Mann, will resign, effective Friday. Mann said he disagreed with the ELCA's decision last year to allow people in lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as pastors and other leaders. The resolutions, passed at the 2009 National Churchwide Assembly, also allowed individual congregations to make their own choices on the matter.

Mann said he's forming a new Lutheran congregation in the area with others who reject the ELCA decision.

"At the moment, we've been meeting at the Labor Temple on Sunday afternoon," he said. the rest

Patients in 'vegetative' state can think and communicate

Patients left in a “vegetative” state after suffering devastating brain damage are able to understand and communicate, groundbreaking research suggests.
By Richard Alleyne and Martin Beckford
03 Feb 2010

Experts using brain scans have discovered for the first time that the victims, who show no outward signs of awareness, can not only comprehend what people are saying to them but also answer simple questions.

They were able to give yes or no responses to simple biographical questions.

The unlocking of this “inner voice” has astounded doctors and has dramatic implications for thousands of life and death decisions over patients trapped in what is known as a persistent vegetative state (PVS).

It means around one in five PVS patients may be able to communicate. the rest

Pelosi Air

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Liquid glass: the spray-on scientific revelation

Liquid glass, a revolutionary invisible non-toxic spray that protects against everything from bacteria to UV radiation, could soon be used on a vast range of products.
By Nick Collins
01 Feb 2010

The spray, which is harmless to the environment, can be used to protect against disease, guard vineyards against fungal threats and coat the nose cones of high-speed trains, it has been claimed.

The versatile spray, which forms an easy-clean coating one millionth of a millimetre thick – 500 times thinner than a human hair – can be applied to virtually any surface to protect it against water, dirt, bacteria, heat and UV radiation.

It is hoped that liquid glass, a compound of almost pure silicon dioxide, could soon replace a variety of cleaning products which are harmful to the environment, leaving our world coated in an invisible, wipe-clean sheen.

The spray forms a water-resistant layer, meaning it can be cleaned using only water. Trials by food-processing companies showed that sterile surfaces covered with a film of liquid glass were equally clean after a rinse with hot water as after their usual treatment with strong bleach. the rest

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

Spray-on miracle could revolutionise manufacturing

Religious Left Form Alternative to Nat'l Prayer Breakfast

Tue, Feb. 02 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Pro-gay activists and church leaders are touting an alternative "inclusive" prayer event to this year's National Prayer Breakfast.

Called "The American Prayer Hour," the event on Feb. 4 is being held in protest of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Organizers claim that the "secretive fundamentalist organization" – The Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family – behind the annual National Prayer Breakfast is directly tied to the bill. the rest

The Presentation

The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. Ezekiel 43: 4-5

"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. Malachi 3: 1-4

Marist Poll: Nearly Half of NYS Voters Think Economy Is Worsening

February 2, 2010
by Marist Poll

Pessimism about New York State’s economy continues to grow. Almost half of registered voters statewide — 49% — believe the economy is getting worse while 11% say it is improving. 40% think the economy is staying about the same.

Compared with Marist’s November 2009 survey, more voters now say the state’s economic situation is on the decline. At that time, 39% thought the economy was deteriorating while 15% said it was improving. 46% thought the economy was still in a steady state. In September, 29% thought the economy was taking a turn for the worse, 19% reported it was improving, and a majority — 52% — said it was status quo.

the rest

New five day morning-after pill causes alarm

Monday, 1 February 2010

A new morning-after pill designed to be taken up to five days after sex has been heavily criticised by pro-life and family values groups.

Critics have warned that the new drug, known as Ellaone, is an “abortive agent” which terminates early-stage pregnancies.

There are also concerns that the five-day pill will encourage casual sexual relationships. the rest

Christian opposition (again) credited with defeat of Hawaii gay unions bill

Feb 1, 2010
by Michael Foust

HONOLULU (BP)--A same-sex civil unions bill in Hawaii likely is dead for the year after the Democratic-controlled House bowed to pressure from Christian conservatives and voted to table the measure.

It's the second year in a row that opposition from religious conservatives has helped defeat the bill. the rest

Pope criticised for attack on UK Equality Bill

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Pope has faced a backlash after urging Catholic bishops in England and Wales to fight the UK's Equality Bill with "missionary zeal".

Pope Benedict XVI said the bill - which could end the right of the Church to ban gay people from senior positions - "violates natural law". the rest

Pope Benedict XVI attacks Labour’s ‘unjust’ equality laws ahead of UK visit
His strongly-worded intervention in British politics comes after leaders of both the Roman Catholic Church and Church of England clashed with Labour over its flagship Equality Bill, which they fear will make them admit homosexuals to the priesthood or face prosecution for discriminating against them.

Pope's remarks: full text

Jews Flee Swedish Town in Wake of Anti-Semitism

by Avi Yellin
February 2, '10

( Violent anti-Semitism has become increasingly commonplace in Sweden’s southern city of Malmö, leading many Jewish residents to leave out of fear for their safety. “Threats against Jews have increased steadily in Malmö in recent years and many young Jewish families are choosing to leave the city,” said Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö.

Last year, 79 crimes against Jewish residents were reported to the Malmö police, roughly double the number reported in 2008. In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have been repeatedly defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed last January during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Many Jewish residents of Malmö feel that local anti-Jewish sentiment is linked with negative attitudes towards Israel. the rest

Zimbabwe Anglicans still shut out of churches

by Lillian Kwon
Christian Post
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anglicans in Zimbabwe who have been shut out of church buildings are protesting against police harassment.

On Sunday, some 4,000 gathered for an open air prayer. For the past two years, the worshippers have been forced to hold services outside as they have been denied entry into churches. They have also suffered disruptions during church services from the police. the rest

Archbishop Sentamu hits out at campaign for mercy killings

by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Archbishop of York has condemned a campaign to legalise mercy killings that he feels is being driven by celebrities without any regard for Parliament and the will of the “silent majority”.

Dr John Sentamu’s comments came just days after a YouGov poll for The Telegraph found that more than four out of five people believed the law should be amended so that relatives would be allowed to help terminally ill relatives die without facing prosecution. Another poll carried out by ComRes for BBC1’s Panorama programme, found 73 per cent thought family or friends should not face prosecution for helping a loved one to die. the rest

Groundbreaking Study Proves Abstinence Education Works

Feb. 1 2010

Christian Newswire-A new study released today shows that abstinence education is highly effective in reducing sexual activity among youth. It also showed contraceptive sex ed programs to be ineffective.

The decrease is noteworthy; the study followed students a full two years after completion of the abstinence class. One third of students showed a decrease in sexual activity, compared with those who didn't participate in the class. Whereas, condom-promoting programs didn't affect youth behavior at all. Students in these programs showed no reduction in sexual activity and no increase in contraceptive use.
the rest


Turning abortion into an online game show

By Kathleen Parker
Sunday, January 31, 2010

At first glance, bump-the-show sounds like a reasonable response to "Bump," the show -- a new, faux-reality Web-based docudrama featuring actors trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

Think Jerry Springer meets Oprah meets "American Idol" meets Dr. Oz meets . . . America's conscience. For the decision to abort or not to abort is up to you, dear audience. the rest

Show Lets Viewers Decide If 'Reality Stars' Get Abortions
The "Bump" was conceived after President Obama's commencement address at Note Dame University last year where he said he wanted "to find ways to communicate about a workable solution to the problem of unintended pregnancies."

New Vile Lib Game Show: Viewers Pick Who Gets the Abortion
It ought to be a great hit with the progressives. After all, this is part of their history.A new online Game Show-Docudrama will allow viewers to vote for which cast member gets to have an abortion… Unreal. The show follows three actresses pretending to have unwanted pregnancies. Viewers decide who gets to have the abortion.

Neo-Pagans Get Worship Circle at Air Force Academy

Monday, February 01, 2010
By Joseph Abrams

Witches, Druids and pagans rejoice! The Air Force Academy in Colorado is about to recognize its first Wiccan prayer circle, a Stonehenge on the Rockies that will serve as an outdoor place of worship for the academy's neo-pagans.

Wiccan cadets and officers on the Colorado Springs base have been convening for over a decade, but the school will officially dedicate a newly built circle of stones on about March 10, putting the outdoor sanctuary on an equal footing with the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist chapels on the base. the rest

Early draft of the Constitution found in Philadelphia

Tue, Feb. 2, 2010
By Edward Colimore
Inquirer Staff Writer

Researcher Lorianne Updike Toler was intrigued by the centuries-old document at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

On the back of a treasured draft of the U.S. Constitution was a truncated version of the same document, starting with the familiar words: "We The People. . . ."

They had been scribbled upside down by one of the Constitution's framers, James Wilson, in the summer of 1787. The cursive continued, then abruptly stopped, as if pages were missing. the rest

Monday, February 01, 2010

Devotional: The invasion of the Church by the world...

The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-centered Church can never evangelize the world.
...John R. Mott image by silent shot

CANA Briefs Filed in Virginia Supreme Court Today

From: Stand Firm
February 1, 2010

PDF files: Here and here.

Catholics Reel as a Diocese Whittles Its Parishes

January 29, 2010

ELEANOR MEDANY remembers when South Jersey was in thrall to Roman Catholicism. There was a church every mile, or so it seemed, and priests were as common as Chevrolets. Churches like her own, Most Holy Redeemer, were built by parishioners who showed up, hammer in hand, and who hosted countless spaghetti fests and tea bag sales to buy the kneelers and the windows.

That was in 1958. As the years passed, Most Holy Redeemer took root in this town about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. The congregation grew fast, and in 1961, members built a school behind their unassuming church to educate their children in the faith.

But next month, Most Holy Redeemer Parish will offer its final Sunday Mass. After that, the building will go mostly unused, reflecting an era of dwindling churchgoers and vanishing priests. the rest

CANA to Celebrate Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola’s Primacy

(via email)
posted February 1, 2010

Archbishop Peter J. Akinola’s primacy in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will come to a conclusion on March 25, 2010. To honor his service, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is hosting a Festal Eucharist at Truro Church in Fairfax , Va. , on February 10, 2010. The event will give Anglicans in the U.S. the opportunity to thank Archbishop Akinola for his service and selfless ministry.

Those participating in the celebration include CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns, Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America , Presiding Bishop Leonard Riches of the Reformed Episcopal Church, Canon John Yates of The Falls Church, and many others.

About Archbishop Akinola
As a priest, Archbishop Akinola came to the U.S. in the 1980s to do post-graduate work at Virginia Theological Seminary ("VTS" in Alexandria , Va. ), where he conducted focused study on Paul Tillich. In 1993, VTS honored Akinola with a Doctorate of Divinity. He was elected Primate and Metropolitan of the Church of Nigeria in 2000.

The Archbishop was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people who have the “clout” and “power” to move the world both in 2006 and 2007. Writing about him for this honor in Time, Saddleback Church Founder Rick Warren said, “Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian church, namely that the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern.”

WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm ET

WHERE: Truro Church Main Sanctuary, 10520 Main Street, Fairfax, Va. 22030

CONTACT: To RSVP or for more information, please contact Megan Franko (ext. 148), Kelly Oliver (ext. 140), or Caitlin Bozell (ext. 119), at (703) 683-5004.

ENS: Judge orders property returned to Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
February 01, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] A judge has told the organization headed by former bishop Robert Duncan that claims to have withdrawn from the Episcopal Church in 2008 that it must turn over control of the Diocese of Pittsburgh's assets.

In a Jan. 29 order County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James accepted as accurate an inventory of diocesan property submitted by a "special master" he had appointed earlier and told Duncan's organization it must transfer the assets.

The inventory includes $22 million in cash, cash equivalents, receivables, and investments including about $2.5 million in pooled parish investments and real estate and other real property. the rest

A.S. Haley: Pittsburgh Church Assets Thrown into Chaos

C.A. Reverses Ruling Giving Local [Presb.] Churches Control of Property

Monday, February 1, 2010
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer

The Third District Court of Appeal on Friday reversed a ruling allowing two Sacramento-area Presbyterian churches to take their property with them as they left the national church.

The court held in an unpublished opinion that the trust in which the local churches held property for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. could only be revoked by amending the national church’s constitution, not through amendments to the local churches’ articles of incorporation.

The First Presbyterian Church of Roseville and Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church sued the national church in March 2007 to quiet title in the property shortly before voting to leave and affiliate with the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Placer Superior Court Commissioner Margaret Wells granted the local churches summary judgment, ruling that they revoked any trust in which property was held for the national church by amending their articles of incorporation. the rest

Bp. Mouneer: Talks Prompted Resignation

The Living Church
February 1, 2010

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, who has resigned his position on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, told The Living Church that discussions at the committee’s meeting in December 2009 are what prompted his resignation from the committee.

“I had been in communication before the meeting that I needed to discuss the participation of the Episcopal Church on the standing committee. I found some resistance to this,” said Bishop Mouneer, who is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. the rest

Anglicans are a 'blessing for the entire Church,' states Pope Benedict

Vatican City
Feb 1, 2010

(CNA)- Pope Benedict once again commented on the theme of Anglican-Catholic relations, this time as he met with Welsh and English bishops at the Vatican on Monday. During their meeting Pope Benedict confirmed the importance of his recent Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus."

The Holy Father welcomed bishops from England and Wales in audience on Monday morning in the Consistory Room of the Apostolic Palace as they complete their “ad Limina” visit.

After encouraging the bishops' important work in the areas of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, given the "varied demographic profile" of their flocks, Pope Benedict added, "I would ask you to be generous in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus,' so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church." the rest

Albert Mohler: Hijacking the Brain — How Pornography Works

Monday, February 01, 2010

We are fast becoming the pornographic society. Over the course of the last decade, explicitly sexual images have crept into advertising, marketing, and virtually every niche of American life. This ambient pornography is now almost everywhere, from the local shopping mall to prime-time television.

By some estimations, the production and sale of explicit pornography now represents the seventh-largest industry in America. New videos and internet pages are produced each week, with the digital revolution bringing a host of new delivery systems. Every new digital platform becomes a marketing opportunity for the pornography industry. the rest

Switzerland to hold referendum on lawyers for animals

Switzerland will hold a referendum next month on whether domesticated animals should have the right to be represented by lawyers in court.
31 Jan 2010

The country recently changed its constitution to ensure the protection of the "dignity" of plant life and passed a law last year guaranteeing rights for all creatures - from guinea pigs to goldfish.

If Swiss voters approve the referendum in March, every canton in the country will be obliged to appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of pets and barnyard animals in order to protect them from abuse. the rest

An Unquiet Nation

Audio ecologist Gordon Hempton talks about America's vanishing quiet spaces, and how our lives can be helped by listening to the silence.
By Julia Baird
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jan 28, 2010

Silence is something you assume you will always be able to find if you need it. All you have to do is drive far enough in the right direction, trek through quiet fields or woods, or dive into the sea's belly. For true silence is not noiselessness. As audio ecologist Gordon Hempton defines it, silence is "the complete absence of all audible mechanical vibrations, leaving only the sounds of nature at her most natural. Silence is the presence of everything, undisturbed."

And silence, Hempton believes, is rapidly disappearing, even in the most remote places. He says there are fewer than a dozen places of silence—areas "where natural silence reigns over many square miles"—remaining in America, and none in Europe. In his book, One Square Inch of Silence: One Man's Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World, written with John Grossman, Hempton argues that silence—a precious, underrated commodity—is facing extinction. Over the past three decades Hempton has circled the earth three times, recording sound on every continent except Antarctica: butterfly wings fluttering, coyotes singing, snow melting, waterfalls crashing, traffic clanging, birds singing. His work has been used in film soundtracks, videogames, and museums. the rest image by brian

Minnesota wind turbines won’t work in cold weather

January 30, 2010
by Ed Morrissey

Minnesota invested itself in alternative energy sources years ago, and so the revelation that the state spent $3.3 million on eleven wind turbines hardly qualifies as news. However, the fact that they don’t work in cold weather does. KSTP reports that none of the wind turbines work, prompting the Twin Cities ABC affiliate to dub them “no-spin zones.” the rest image

How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes

By Chris Suellentrop
January 25, 2010

Just before he reached the end zone, with 17 seconds remaining, Stokley cut right at 90 degrees and ran across the field. Six seconds drained off the clock before, at last, he meandered across the goal line to score the winning touchdown. For certain football fans, the excitement of a last-minute comeback now commingled with the shock of the familiar: It’s hard to think of a better example of a professional athlete doing something so obviously inspired by the tactics of videogame football. When I caught up with Stokley by telephone a few weeks later, I asked him point-blank: “Is that something out of a videogame?” “It definitely is,” Stokley said. “I think everybody who’s played those games has done that” — run around the field for a while at the end of the game to shave a few precious seconds off the clock. Stokley said he had performed that maneuver in a videogame “probably hundreds of times” before doing it in a real NFL game. “I don’t know if subconsciously it made me do it or not,” he said. the rest

UK: Police warn of Jihad training for children

Some young children in Britain are being indoctrinated to hate non-Muslims and champion a holy war, according to a new documentary.
01 Feb 2010

''No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training,'' states one document recovered by police from the North West's Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) during raids.

CTU officers, interviewed by the BBC's Inside Out team for a special programme, show the document and a film they recovered of two children aged about three and six playing with a pistol and Kalashnikov rifle. the rest

"Kill Jews" papers distributed in Brooklyn

Older Adults Need Less Sleep

Monday, February 01, 2010

How much sleep we need is largely a mystery, and sleep seems tougher to come by as we age. Many studies — often funded by the pharmaceutical industry — have suggested that we're all sleep-deprived zombies, risking our health for lack of shut-eye.

But new research in the U.K. confirms previous indications that older people need less sleep. It also suggests that variations in sleep hours needed are normal and healthy — so long as one is not overly sleepy during the day.

"Healthy aging appears to be associated with reductions in the sleep duration and depth required to maintain daytime alertness," the scientists said in a statement. the rest

Pope Benedict confirms first papal UK visit since 1982

Monday, 1 February 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed he will visit the UK later this year.

The pontiff spoke of the plan for his first apostolic visit in an address to Catholic bishops of England and Wales at the end of their pilgrimage to Rome.

The Pope said he "constantly remembers" Catholics of England and Wales "in his prayers" and "holds them in his heart". the rest

Bishop Chane to retire after lackluster tenure

Chane concedes funding, growth problems over 9 years
February 1, 2010
By Julia Duin

Washington Episcopal Bishop John B. Chane's announcement that he expects to retire in the fall of 2011 wraps up nine years at the helm of a diocese he acknowledged had not grown or prospered during his tenure.

"I call for this election not because of any health reasons, or because I am burned out or bored," Bishop Chane, 65, told about 325 people Saturday at the annual diocesan convention at the Washington Cathedral. "I don't know how any bishop could ever be bored serving this diocese. It's a very lively place.

"I love what I do and I deeply love this diocese. When the time actually comes to turn over the crozier to another, it will be a very emotional time for me." the rest image

Hundreds of Quakes Are Rattling Yellowstone

January 31, 2010

DENVER — In the last two weeks, more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park’s strange and volatile geology on alert. the rest

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: What Shall We Do with the Convert Clergy?

The Anglican Ordinariate may well help to solve the vocations crisis.These priests will also be authorized to celebrate Mass according to the Latin rite.
By Fr Dwight Longenecker

GREENVILLE (Catholic Online) - Some time ago I attended a conference for Catholic priests. As a married, former Anglican priest, I felt honored and humbled to be numbered among them. The topic of our conference was the vocations crisis, and I could not help but notice that I was one of the younger priests, and I am in my early fifties. It is not enough to look forward and say that in a few years we will have a crisis in vocations.

We already have a crisis in vocations. Where will we get the priests we need to serve the American church? One of the solutions is to bring priests in from other countries. Already priests are helping us from Africa, India, Poland and South America. But is it really fair to take priests from the developing world? In his book Future Church, John Allen points out that while the seminaries are full in countries like Nigeria, they still are not producing enough priests for the exploding Catholic population in their own country. the rest

The Anglican Communion Covenant: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc.
Sunday, January 31st, 2010
The Reverend Canon Professor Christopher Seitz
The Reverend Dr. Philip Turner
The Reverend Dr. Ephraim Radner
Mark McCall, Esq.

We have learned today from Bishop Mouneer Anis that he has submitted his resignation from the former joint standing committee. Following so closely the release in December of the final text of the Anglican Communion Covenant, this resignation underscores the extent to which the Anglican Communion is at a major crossroads. At this decisive moment, however, substantial doubts have been expressed both publicly by Bishop Mouneer and privately by others as to whether this committee, now the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, is the appropriate body to coordinate the implementation of the Covenant. These concerns point to the steps that we believe are necessary to restore the Communion so badly damaged by actions in North America over the last decade. In what follows, we seek first to outline the current structural challenges to the Covenant’s initial implementation. This will involve some important, if technical, analysis. Only then, however, can we make clear what, in our mind, these necessary steps for implementation are. the rest

Bishop Mouneer Anis' letter of resignation from the Standard Committee of the AC