Saturday, March 27, 2010

Devotional: So lowly doth the Savior ride...

So lowly doth the Savior ride
A paltry borrowed beast,
Nor pomp, nor show, nor lofty pride,
Nor boast above the least.

His scepter is His kindliness,
His grandeur is His grace,
His royalty is holiness,
And love is in His face.

’Tis thus the great Messiah came
To break the tyrants’ will,
To heal the people of their shame,
And nobleness instill.

Ride on, O King, ride on Your way,
While men of low degree
Exalt and usher in the day
Of peace we long to see.
...Al­mer Pen­ne­well image

Friday, March 26, 2010

Devotional: We need to learn this secret of the burning heart...

"Did not our heart burn within us?" Luke 24:32

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, the fires are kindled, we have wonderful visions, then we have to learn to keep the secret of the burning heart that will go through anything. It is the dull, bald, dreary, commonplace day, with commonplace duties and people, that kills the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus. ...Oswald Chambers image by prakhar

The Episcopal Church, Wiccans, and the Divine Feminine

Written by Marcia Segelstein
March 26, 2010

I suppose nothing The Episcopal Church does should shock me any more. Nonetheless, it does.

In this holiest of Christian seasons, on the evening before Passion Sunday, the Cathedral of All Souls Episcopal Church in Asheville, N.C., hosted an event in its parish hall for an organization called The Mother Grove Goddess Temple. The purpose of the event? To celebrate the spring equinox of course. Wait, you say, that’s not Christian, that’s pagan. But there’s more. According to Mother Grove’s website, its mission “is to create and maintain a permanent sanctuary where people of all faith traditions may openly and safely celebrate the Divine Feminine.” According to Byron Ballard, a Wiccan priestess and a member of the temple, Mother Grove “isn’t a Wiccan group, though some of us are Wiccans.” Just in case you were wondering, Ballard goes on to explain that “Wiccans may also refer to themselves as witches.” the rest

S. Korean navy ship sinks in waters near N. Korea

Mar 26, 2010

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Military officials say a South Korean navy ship has sunk off an island not far from North Korea.

An official with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said early Saturday that the ship sank some four hours after it began taking on water. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy.

The official said at least 58 of the 104 crew members have been rescued. There was no immediate confirmation of casualties. A rescue operation was still under way. the rest

Global stocks slip on Korean ship, bonds rise

Texas Town Furious Over Play's 'Gay' Christ

March 25, 2010
By Joseph Abrams

Residents of Stephenville, Texas, say they're furious that a local university will allow the performance of a play in which a gay Jesus shares a kiss with Judas and marries two apostles in a same-sex ceremony.

A college student's production of a play in which Jesus is portrayed as the "King of Queers" has outraged residents in a Texas town that fancies itself the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Just in time for Easter, Tarleton State University is playing host to a student performance of Terrence McNally's 1998 play, "Corpus Christi," which depicts a gay Jesus performing a same-sex wedding for two of his apostles.

And though Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in the traditional biblical narrative, his character (called Joshua) in the play shows Judas the full extent of his love, kissing the son of perdition at Pontius Pilate High School's senior prom. the rest

Bad Medicine

Mar 26, 2010
Joseph Bottum

A kind of exhaustion always settles in, murky and miasmatic, after battle. The nation’s conservatives foresaw the apocalypse if the Democrats’ plan for health-care reform passed, and on Sunday—yesterday, as I write—it did pass. The world didn’t end. The people didn’t rise up in rage. Furious lightning didn’t descend from the heavens to smash the apostate Capitol into rubble.

Of course, watching the ring of applause and self-congratulation around the podium in the House of Representatives, one could see that the nation’s Democrats were also thinking of the apocalypse—albeit, in happier terms. But, on Monday morning, the Rapture didn’t come, either, and the stony places of the earth didn’t blossom with sudden flowers. Despite the left’s predictions, the rise of the oceans didn’t slow, and the planet didn’t heal, and the lame didn’t walk, and the blind didn’t see.

Instead of falling—or rising, if the left proves correct—on the great wave of Armageddon, we must wait, in this trough of exhaustion, to learn what happens next. Our apocalypse is a slow one; it smothers us in whimpers. And here on Monday morning, all that remains is a sense of the impending. Something is slowly coming, something is slouching toward us. the rest

Obamacare: Inexplicable Failure to Relieve Doctor Shortage

WH Spokesman Admits Abortion Exec. Order Merely "Reiterates" Law

The Civil War History of Obamacare
The new slaves will be young, working Americans, especially those aged 30 to 50, forced to pay the crushing debt created by this massive new entitlement program.

Chicago Does Socialism
I could go on and on, but again the pattern is clear. Each time Obama prevaricates, we grant him an exemption because of his lofty rhetoric about bipartisanship and his soothing words about unity. Only later do we notice that in retrospect each untruth is part of a pattern of dissimulation within just a single year of governance. Obama has proven so far that in fact one can fool a lot of the people a lot of the time.

CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.

The headline above provides the exact amount of outstanding public debt as of Tuesday, according to the latest available figures from the U.S. Treasury. By the time you read this, that figure will have increased by $17,338,324,977.

Personal Income Drops Across the Country
Personal income in 42 states fell in 2009, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Muslims Allegedly Murder Pakistani Christian with Axe Blows

Compass Direct News
March 24, 2010

(CDN) — Six Muslims in Khanewal district, southern Punjab Province, killed a Christian with multiple axe blows for refusing to convert to Islam this month, according to family and police sources.

The six men had threatened to kill 36-year-old Rasheed Masih unless he converted to Islam when they grew resentful of his potato business succeeding beyond their own, according to Masih's younger brother Munir Asi and a local clergyman. The rival merchants allegedly killed him after luring him to their farmhouse on March 9, leaving him on a roadside near Kothi Nand Singh village in the wee hours of the next day. the rest

Albert Mohler: A Roommate is a Roommate? — Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

The rise of co-ed dorms is the inevitable result of a breakdown in all rationality about sex, gender, and sexuality. In this case, the movement is being pushed by activists who are all too clear about their agenda.
Friday, March 26, 2010

Kayla Eland and Lindon Pronto are roommates at Pitzer College in California. They, along with students at a growing number of colleges and universities, are pioneering a new trend — coed roommates.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Eland and Pronto “are not a couple and neither is gay.” The paper adds, “They are just compatible roommates in a new, sometimes controversial, dormitory option known as gender-neutral housing that is gaining support at some colleges in California and across the nation.”

The rise of co-ed dorms is the inevitable result of a breakdown in all rationality about sex, gender, and sexuality. In this case, the movement is being pushed by activists who are all too clear about their agenda. the rest

Installation of Archbishop Okoh

Anglican Mainstream
March 25th, 2010
By Chris Sugden, in Abuja

The service lasted just under four hours and was worth every minute! Had it been on a weekend, there would have been “an explosion of numbers” a bishop sitting next to me said. The installation had to be held at the smaller Anglican Cathedral of the Advent as that is where the Bishop’s chair in which Archbishop Okoh was to be seated is placed, rather than at the much larger Ecumenical Cathedral. So to contain numbers the ceremony was held on a weekday. As it was there must have been over two thousand inside the building with an overflow outside.

The service was classical Anglican in words and music. A well-trained cathedral choir led the congregation who needed no encouragement to sing our heads off. “Faith of our Fathers”. “The Church’s One Foundation”, “Christ is made the sure foundation”, “To God be the Glory”, mingled with Parry’s Anthem “I was Glad”, and Handel’s “Zadok the Priest”.

Were the choirs specially assembled and trained we asked? No, we were told: “In our diocese [another one] all the boys know these off by heart. They are sung at all the ordinations.“ The one hundred and seventy one bishops of the Church of Nigeria, including those exercising oversight through CANA in the USA, were present. the rest

CBN: Episcopal Diocese (CNY) Sells Church Building to Muslims

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York recently sold the former home of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y. to a Muslim awareness group.

The facility was sold to the Muslim group for $50,000 - considerably less than the assessed value of $386,000.

The move comes after the diocese filed a lawsuit against the Good Shepherd congregation to retain the facility when the church's members left the Episcopal Church of North America. the rest/video

Fulcrum: Where do we go from here?

posted March 26, 2010

The bishops and Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church (USA) have consented to the election of Mary Glasspool as bishop suffragan in the diocese of Los Angeles. That consent sadly confirms that TEC is determined to ignore all the repeated appeals of the wider Communion and, in the closing words of The Windsor Report, ‘walk apart’.

Since that report in 2004, it has been clear that the moratorium on same-sex blessings was being ignored in a significant number of dioceses, despite assurances otherwise. It has, however, been possible to claim that TEC was strictly adhering to the Communion’s repeated requests for a moratorium on “the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges”. Such a claim is now impossible. We are now indisputably in a radically new situation. TEC as a body has determinedly, perhaps irrevocably, chosen autonomy over “communion with autonomy and accountability”.

It is important that this is not simply a matter of disagreement about biblical interpretation and sexual ethics although these are central and important. It is now very clearly also a fundamental matter of truth-telling and trust. In September 2007, at the Primates’ request and after meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, TEC bishops confirmed they would “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion”. They made clear that “non-celibate gay and lesbian persons” were among such candidates.

When asked recently how they could therefore now proceed to confirm Mary Glasspool in the light of that assurance, one TEC bishop said this simply expressed where the bishops were in 2007 and they may be somewhere different now. At least where they are now is crystal clear. Both moratoria have been rejected. In addition, TEC is pursuing legal actions, with widespread concern its leadership intends aggressive action against the diocese of South Carolina which upholds the Communion’s teaching. the rest

A.S. Haley: Spirit of St. Paul Alive and Well in S. Carolina

RE: Stand Firm: All Saints, SC: “long standing litigation involving…national Episcopal Church has ended”

The Curmudgeon
Thursday, March 25, 2010

At that point, the decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court will become the the law in South Carolina: the Dennis Canon will be everywhere and forever ineffective, within the borders of that State, to create any kind of trust interest in any Episcopal parish in favor of either the Diocese of South Carolina -- or the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, for that matter. The Dennis Canon will, in short, be dead in South Carolina.

This fact of life will have several repercussions for the current witch hunt which the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA has been conducting against the Right Reverend Mark Lawrence and his Diocese. In the first place, it will completely remove, as the grounds for any charges of "abandonment of the communion of this Church", Bishop Lawrence's and his Diocese's failure to join in ECUSA's brief in support of the petitioning parish. For if ECUSA was unwilling to file its own petition within the prescribed time limits, so as to preserve its rights, then the Diocese can scarcely be faulted for failing to file a brief in support of the parish's petition by the required deadline -- since ECUSA's failure left the parish in complete control of the proceedings to seek review.

But the second and even more important repercussion will be that ECUSA's strategy of "take no prisoners" will have been rendered completely ineffective within the State of South Carolina (and its two Dioceses). Such a strategy depends entirely for its success upon the upholding of the Dennis Canon as having created a valid trust, and the South Carolina Supreme Court has unequivocally held that the Dennis Canon accomplishes no such purpose. From the date the petition for review is dismissed by the Supreme Court Clerk, ECUSA and its Presiding Bishop will be powerless to threaten parishes in the State with any sanctions for leaving, or realigning.

And finally, this end result will emasculate (in South Carolina, at least) ECUSA's outlandish claim to be a "second Church" in the State, separate and apart from the two Dioceses themselves. ECUSA and 815 will be unable thereafter to bring about a different result in any court in the State by citing the Dennis Canon. (Of course, as this commenter expresses, hope always springs eternal.) the rest

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Devotional: What if thou hadst committed the sins of a thousand?

What if thou hadst committed the sins of a thousand? What if thou hadst committed the sins of a million worlds? Christ's righteousness will cover, Christ's blood will cleanse thee from the guilt of all. ...George Whitefield image

CANA Thanks Akinola for His 10 Years as the Primate of the Church of Nigeria

March 25, 2010
(via email)

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) offered congratulations to the outgoing Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, on the completion of his ten-year term. During his tenure, the Church of Nigeria grew from 76 dioceses to 161, and doubled active membership from 10 million to 20 million — unprecedented growth for any province of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Akinola founded CANA in 2005.

“Through courage and pastoral leadership, Archbishop Akinola has set a path forward for CANA and the worldwide Anglican Communion to stand firm in the good news of Jesus the Christ,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

“It has been my lot to serve this Church under God as Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate at the beginning and in the first decade of the twenty first century,” said Archbishop Akinola. “It has been a most challenging time for our faith. With general goodwill on the part of all our people and the loyal cooperation and active support of the Church’s leadership team, we have tried to reposition the church to be steadfast in facing and dealing with some of the challenges.”

“Locally and globally our church is able to champion the cause of orthodoxy, uphold and proclaim the unfettered gospel of salvation insisting uncompromisingly on the adequacy and supremacy of the word of God, written. We have contended for the faith. But I must admit that the battle is not over. Not yet.

“We thank God for the presentation of the Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh as the new Primate of our Church. We believe God’s hand is upon him to shepherd us diligently to follow the Lord Jesus, the Christ who is the one true foundation of the Church, which He bought with His blood.”

A short video tribute for Akinola, entitled “Archbishop Peter Akinola: As For Me and My House” is available on YouTube here.

New Anglican Primate Assumes Office

New Anglican primate restates ban on same-sex marriage

Castro calls US health-care reform bill "a miracle"

Thursday March 25, 2010
HAVANA (AP) -- It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago. the rest

"It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence ... the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago," Castro wrote.

An Atheist Meets the Masters of the Universe

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Peter Foges

Dr. Jeremy George, senior consultant in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at London University’s Middlesex Hospital, was on duty one fine May afternoon in 1988. It was a day like any other. At around 3 p.m., an elderly patient was admitted with pneumonia.

When the young doctor saw this “crumpled heap in a corner of the private wing,” as he later put it, he instantly recognized “it” as Professor Sir Alfred Jules Ayer, also known as A.J. Ayer (or “Freddie” to his friends), the former Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford, and Britain’s most eminent philosopher.

“He was very pleased that somebody knew who he was,“ said Dr. George, who spoke about the event for first time more than a decade later to the English playwright William Cash. “He looked very blue. His oxygen level was virtually incompatible with life.” the rest

Albert Mohler: God, Sex, and “Christianity Lite”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A news report from Washington, D.C. tells the story of vestigial Christianity unhinged from biblical authority. Religion News Service [RNS] reports that many pastors in the nation’s capital are struggling with just how they can go about the wedding of same-sex couples now that gay marriage is legal in the District of Columbia.

“As gay rights spread through civil society, an increasing number of clergy are…caught by conflicting loyalties, forced to choose between church law and civil law in pastoring to their gay and lesbian congregants,” the news service reports.

Amy Butler, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, is one minister who plans to move ahead with same-sex weddings. Of her colleagues caught between church policy and the same intention, she says: “My heart breaks for them because they do not know what to do.” the rest

Episcopal Theologians Detail Both Sides of Gay Debate

Thu, Mar. 25 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

A panel of theologians in The Episcopal Church released on Wednesday a draft document on the divisive issue of same-sex relationships, detailing the positions of the "traditionalists" and the "liberals."

The 95-page paper does not serve as a statement but is a response to the call for The Episcopal Church "to treat the controversy theologically," according to Dr. Ellen Charry, editor of the document and associate professor of historical and systematic theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

"Same-Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church" was drafted by the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops – a panel of eight who were evenly divided between traditionalists and liberals. Though they were requested to draw up one paper, the theologians have offered two, representing both sides of the debate. They determined early on that it was not possible to present one paper on the subject, said Bishop Paul Lambert of the Diocese of Dallas. the rest

Child sex abuse by US Catholic clergy down sharply: study

Mar 23 2010

Pay-outs by the US Roman Catholic church for child abuse cases involving clergy members fell to a six-year low last year but remained in the nine-figure range, an annual US report tracking clergy sex abuse of minors said Tuesday.

Nearly 400 new, credible allegations of clergy sex abuse were reported in 2009, said the report, which comes as the Roman Catholic church struggles to deal with thousands of alleged sex offenses by clerics against children in Europe and South America. the rest

Is this the face of Jesus Christ?

Figure of crucified man on Shroud comes to life
March 24, 2010
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

The world will have an extraordinary opportunity to look upon an undistorted, never-before-seen, moving 3-D portrait of a man who many think is the crucified Jesus Christ.

In just one week, graphic experts will bring to life an imprint on the holy relic known as the Shroud of Turin, believed by millions to be the burial shroud of Christ. the rest

Your Medical Records Aren't Secure

The president says electronic systems will reduce costs and improve quality, but they could undermine good care if people are afraid to confide in their doctors.
MARCH 23, 2010

I learned about the lack of health privacy when I hung out my shingle as a psychiatrist. Patients asked if I could keep their records private if they paid for care themselves. They had lost jobs or reputations because what they said in the doctor's office didn't always stay in the doctor's office. That was 35 years ago, in the age of paper. In today's digital world the problem has only grown worse.

A patient's sensitive information should not be shared without his consent. But this is not the case now, as the country moves toward a system of electronic medical records. the rest

The privacy of an electronic health record cannot be restored once the contents are sold or otherwise disclosed. Every person and family is only one expensive diagnosis, one prescription, or one lab test away from generations of discrimination.

Religious freedom does not require complete secularization, archbishop tells UN

Geneva, Switzerland
Mar 24, 2010

(CNA).- The leader of the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations in Geneva has advocated a form of religious freedom that does not require “complete secularization” but sees religion as a “bridge” to human rights. He also criticized laws against “defamation” as vague and open to abuse targeting religious minorities.

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, addressed the Human Rights Council on Monday. His remarks responded to the follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration. the rest

“Increasing instances of ridiculing religion, of lack of respect for religious personalities and symbols, of discrimination and killings of followers of minority religions, and a generalized negative consideration of religion in the public arena damage peaceful coexistence and hurt the feelings of considerable segments of the human family,” he explained.

Both sides of abortion issue quick to dismiss order

By Mimi Hall
posted March 25, 2010

WASHINGTON — Both sides in the abortion debate came to a rare agreement on Wednesday: The executive order on abortion signed by President Obama, they said, was basically meaningless.

"A transparent political fig leaf," according to the National Right to Life Committee's Douglas Johnson.

"A symbolic gesture," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. the rest

Health care law signals end of US empire, end of Western Christian empire as a system?

Obama spokesman gets testy with press on Obama's abortion executive order

Can pro-lifers ever support Democrats again?

Rasmussen: 55% Favor Repeal of Health Care Bill

CNN, Huffington Post Urge Violence against Republicans

Syphilis Soars in U.K., Thanks to Facebook

Cases of syphilis have increased four-fold in Britain's Facebook capital as users meet up for unprotected sex, it was revealed yesterday.
March 24, 2010
The Sun

Cases of syphilis have increased four-fold in Britain's Facebook capital as users meet up for unprotected sex, it was revealed yesterday.

Figures released last month showed that people in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside were 25 per cent more likely to log on regularly.

And an NHS trust chief said Facebook and similar sites were to blame for a shocking rise in cases of potentially-lethal syphilis in the region. the rest

The Annunciation

The God whom earth and sea and sky
Adore and laud and magnify,
Whose might they own, Whose praise they tell,
In Mary's womb vouchsafed to dwell.

How blessed that Mother, in whose shrine
The world's Creator, Lord divine,
Whose hand contains the earth and sky,
Once deigned, as in His ark, to lie.

Blessed in the message Gabriel brought,
Blessed by the work the Spirit wrought;
From whom the great Desire of earth
Took human flesh and human birth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost for evermore.
... For­tu­na­tus

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Obamaklatura

The president aims to make America more equal--and some Americans more equal than others..
MARCH 24, 2010

David Leonhardt of the New York Times--last seen (we are not exaggerating) touting National Socialism as a model for economic policy --is on more conventional ground today in praising ObamaCare as "the federal government's biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago"... the rest

Remember when Sen. Obama told "Joe the Plumber" he wanted to "spread the wealth around"? This might have been the most revealing moment in the campaign--and the mainstream media responded by investigating and vilifying the man who had the temerity to confront the candidate with a question.

Fissure within Church

March 24th, 2010
By George Wesolek

The American Catholic Church is fractured and splintering with a deep ideological divide separating the camps. This is not news. But what had been common knowledge in Church circles in private conversations is now in the headlines of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

This has come about because of the intense national debate about health care reform. The American Catholic bishops don’t like the bill (the Senate version) in its present form because it expands abortion coverage, does not cover immigrants, and does not offer enough conscience protections.

Recently, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) both came out publicly in support of the Senate version of the bill. Some of their comments even went so far as to characterize the bishops’ stand, especially on abortion, as “false.” So now we have some nuns accusing the bishops of lying about abortion. Are you shocked? Don’t be because this has been going on for a long time.

For years, most of the leadership of the LCWR and the Catholic hospitals (most of which are owned by these very same LCWR leaders) have been advancing a view of Catholic social teaching that reflects a vision that they learned in the 60s and 70s – a tired feminism that distorts the role of women and has at its center the freedom of women to “choose” to kill the infants in their womb if they so desire. the rest

Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion

Mar 23, 2010

SEATTLE -- The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter's abortion during school hours.

The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as "Jill," says the clinic kept the information "confidential."

When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy. the rest

Egyptian State Security Demolishes Anglican Church, Assaults Pastor

By Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) -- An Anglican Church pastor and his wife were assaulted by Security agents in Luxor on March 18, 2010, in order to evacuate them by force from their home and demolish Church property. Out of the nearly 3000 sq. meters of buildings attached to the Church, only the 400 sq. meter prayer hall was left standing.

Pastor Mahrous Karam of the Anglican Church in Luxor, 721 km from Cairo, said that the Church was still in negotiations with the Luxor authorities the day before regarding a replacement for the community center building which lies within the Church's compound, and was told the authorities were still considering their options. Early next morning, a 500-man force of Central Security and State Security blocked all roads leading to the Church compound, forced their way in and broke into the pastor's residence, dragging the family out by force.

In an effort to save the buildings from demolition, the Pastor sat on the fence of the Church compound, to prevent the demolition work, but was beaten and dragged away, reported Katiba Tibia News. the rest

No Obamacare for Obama

Democrats exempt themselves from socialist medicine
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

President Obama declared that the new health care law "is going to be affecting every American family." Except his own, of course.

The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well. A weasel-worded definition of "staff" includes only the members' personal staff in the new system; the committee staff that drafted the legislation opted themselves out. Because they were more familiar with the contents of the law than anyone in the country, it says a lot that they carved out their own special loophole. Anyway, the law is intended to affect "ordinary Americans," according to Vice President Joe Biden (who - being a heartbeat away from the presidency - also is not covered), not Washington insiders. the rest

The Real Cost of Health Care Legislation
Because the evidence of spending projections for health care legislation passes tell a simple and unchanging story. The projections never come close to capturing the magnitude of spending that actually occurs. They prove to be wildly off the mark compared to real-life expenditures.

Dingell: It will take a while for ObamaCare to “control the people”
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) defended the ObamaCare bill on WJR’s Paul W. Smith show yesterday when the host wondered why Democrats wait until 2014 to stop people from dying through lack of universal health care coverage. Dingell tells Smith that it takes a lot of hard work and preparation to create a system that will “control the people.” Freudian slip?

'It's Just Going To Be Like Christmas'

Obamacare: Breaking the Financial Backs of the States
One way or the other, I think the odds are fairly good that Obamacare–the current monstrosity–will not stand. To make that happen, it should be hit from every conceivable angle: political, legal, and financial (a new Congress refusing to fund the new bureaucracies, for example). Do that, and I think in the end major portions of this law–not all of it–will fall.

The Social Costs of Pornography

by P. Langdale Hough
March 23, 2010

The neuroscience of pornography consumption is revealed by empirical studies. Some studies show that pornography use undermines marital and other intimate relationships of its users, can make men sexually incompetent with a real partner, and for some can lead to growing attractions to images and behaviors of a “hard-core” nature. Women not only face new expectations of sexual behavior, they also are confronted with increased chances of divorce, infidelity, and less happy marriages. Children, adolescent boys in particular, are more inclined to violence, aggression and sexual coercion of peers, are more susceptible to sexual coercion by peers and adults. Adolescent girls are more inclined to tolerate emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Finally, while much research needs to be done in this area, it appears that pornography continues to be a factor in human trafficking for sexual exploitation. In summary, pornography has social costs for these involved at the primary level (consumers and producers, be they men, women or children) and secondary level (usually women and children).

These findings, more fully explored in A Statement of Findings and Recommendations and its associated research, are deeply troubling. The diverse group of scholars who signed the document agrees that a change in public expectation and information about the social costs of pornography consumption–partly modeled on the successful campaign against tobacco of the last five decades–is needed. the rest

Islamic clerics in Yemen oppose child bride ban

Mon Mar 22 2010
Ahmed Al-Haj,Hadeel Al-Shalchi
The Associated Press

SAN’A, YEMEN—Some of Yemen's most influential Islamic leaders, including one the U.S. says mentored Osama bin Laden, have declared supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates.

The religious decree, issued Sunday, deeply imperils efforts to salvage legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry.

The practice is widespread in Yemen and has been particularly hard to discourage in part because of the country's gripping poverty — bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars are especially difficult for poor families to pass up. the rest

German Homeschooling Family Seeks Asylum in Canada

Tuesday March 23, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario

( – A German homeschooling family is seeking asylum in Canada after fleeing their native country due to persecution, reports the Globe and Mail.

The family will make their plea on Tuesday in a closed hearing before the Alberta Immigration and Refugee board. They say that they would be persecuted in Germany for homeschooling, based on the German law that forbids homeschooling with little exception. Parents who violate the law have faced hefty fines, as well as imprisonment and state seizure of their children. the rest

Christian genocide in Myanmar continues to be ignored

22 March, 2010

Myanmar (MNN) ― The Karen people of Burma have been fighting for independence for over 60 years. Far from gaining freedom, though, the Karen people have instead become the victims of massive genocide.

Many of the Karen people are Christians, and it has become apparent that the ethnic cleansing taking place at the hands of the Burmese government is a direct attack against Christians. Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders says once the military has finished off the Christians, they will likely move on to Buddhists.

"We could see, in the next couple of months or a year, a huge genocide of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people slaughtered, because the government wants to present this image that everybody in Burma is supportive of the military government; that is not true," says Klein. "The only ones that support it are the military." the rest

Judge rules against lesbian teen in prom flap

Mar 23, 2010
Associated Press Writer

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge says he won't force a Mississippi school district to hold a prom canceled after a lesbian student asked to bring her girlfriend.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued in U.S. District Court to force the Itawamba County school district to sponsor the prom and allow Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. the rest

Reform needed

(Feel free to use!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Devotional: Thy mansion is the Christian’s heart...

Thy mansion is the Christian’s heart,
O Lord, Thy dwelling-place secure!
Bid the unruly throng depart,
And leave the consecrated door.

Devoted as it is to Thee,
A thievish swarm frequents the place;
They steal away my joys from me,
And rob my Savior of His praise.

There too a sharp designing trade
Sin, Satan, and the world, maintain;
Nor cease to press me, and persuade,
To part with ease and purchase pain.

I know them, and I hate their din,
Am weary of the bustling crowd;
But while their voice is heard within,
I cannot serve Thee as I would.

O! for the joy Thy presence gives,
What peace shall reign when Thou art here!
Thy presence makes this den of thieves,
A calm delightful house of prayer.

And if Thou make Thy temple thine,
Yet, self-abased, will I adore;
The gold and silver are not mine,
I give Thee what was Thine before.
...William Cowper

Study: Last Supper paintings supersize the food

AP Medical Writer
Tue Mar 23, 2010

The food in famous paintings of the meal has grown by biblical proportions over the last millennium, researchers report in a medical journal Tuesday.

Using a computer, they compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus Christ and his disciples at their final meal before his death.

If art imitates life, we're in trouble, the researchers conclude. The size of the main dish grew 69 percent; the size of the plate, 66 percent, and the bread, 23 percent, between the years 1000 and 2000. the rest

A 360 View of the Holy Sepulchre

Amazing! h/t The Anchoress

'Family Guy' stages 'Terri Schiavo: The Musical' for Laughs

By Colleen Raezler
Mon, 03/22/2010

Seth MacFarlane marked the five-year-anniversary of Terri Schiavo's court-ordered death by staging a preschool musical about it in his crass FOX cartoon, "Family Guy."

MacFarlane denied Schiavo human dignity in the March 21 episode by referring to her in lyrics sung by cartoon preschoolers as "the most expensive plant you'll ever see" and a "vegetable," and noted "her mashed potato brains."

The child who played the role of Schiavo's husband, Michael, ultimately concluded, "There's only one solution, it's in the Constitution, we've got to pull the plug." the rest

Jill Stanek has the video here-Warning! it is horrible! I couldn't watch more than a couple of minutes...

Five Years Later, Terri Schiavo Mocked on FOX Prime Time‎ - Christian News Wire

Crossing the line
“My family was astonished at the cruelty and bigotry towards our beloved sister” Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler said. “and all disabled people that we witnessed in this show. My first thought was how this attempt at satire must have been enormously difficult and painful for my mother.

“After further thought, I realized that using my deceased sister as fodder for satire also validates what our family has been saying for many years. There is growing, deep-rooted prejudice against people with brain injuries and other cognitive disabilities. This sort of bare-faced bigotry is dehumanizing to those with disabilities and cruel to those who work tirelessly to ensure that people with disabilities are provided the proper care, protection and respect. People are not vegetables.”

Welcome to Cowgate

Meat, dairy diet not tied to global warming: Report finds claims flawed
By Jennifer Harper
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forget all that indecorous talk of animal flatulence, cow burps, vegetarianism and global warming. Welcome to Cowgate.

Lower consumption of meat and dairy products will not have a major impact in combating global warming — despite persistent claims that link such diets to more greenhouse gases. So says a report presented Monday before the American Chemical Society.

It is the bovine version of Climategate, complete with faulty science and noisy activists with big agendas. the rest image by WorldTourer2010

What's the Point of Prom?

Kelly Boggs
Baptist Press

The prom has come a long way since its days as an event designed to instill social graces. Long gone are the days when a gymnasium decorated with crepe paper would suffice as a venue. A nice suit and dress no longer cut it in today's prom fashion environment and attempting to spike the punch has become passé.

Today's prom venues are ballrooms at posh hotels. Teens spend hundreds of dollars, some even thousands, on dresses, tuxedos and limousines. While alcohol and sex are not recognized as official prom agenda items, they have nevertheless become part and parcel of the experience.

Some irresponsible parents even spend big money on after-the-prom escapades, securing hotel rooms for their teens to frolic in, un-chaperoned. A few even provide alcohol. the rest image

India: In Karnataka, Christians Face 1,000 Attacks in 500 Days

Vishal Arora
Compass Direct News
March 23, 2010

NEW DELHI (CDN) — Christians in Karnataka state are under an unprecedented wave of Christian persecution, having faced more than 1,000 attacks in 500 days, according to an independent investigation by a former judge of the Karnataka High Court.

The spate began on Sept. 14, 2008, when at least 12 churches were attacked in one day in Karnataka's Mangalore city, in Dakshina Kannada district, said Justice Michael Saldanha, former judge of the Karnataka High Court. the rest

Over 1000 Anti-Christian Attacks In Indian State, report BosNewsLife

Pakistani Christian dies following fiery attack by Muslims

UK: Christians oppose move to allow civil partnerships in places of worship

by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More than 6,000 Christians have signed a petition calling on the Government to drop a controversial clause in the Equality Bill to allow churches to conduct civil partnership ceremonies in places of worship.

The petition will be handed to Secretary of State Harriet Harman by Christian Concern For Our Nation.

It calls on the Government to “listen to the large proportion of the electorate who perceive the Government’s acceptance of this amendment as a further attempt to progress so-called ‘equality’ today, while ultimately compromising tomorrow’s religious ‘freedom’”. the rest

The Right Not To Be Offended: The Supreme Court And Religion

John W. Whitehead
Attorney and author
March 22, 2010

In an attempt to avoid offending anyone, America's public schools have increasingly adopted a zero tolerance attitude towards religious expression. The courts have not helped, allowing schools the discretion to let an offended minority control a cowed majority. Such politically correct thinking has resulted in a host of inane actions, from the Easter Bunny being renamed "Peter Rabbit" to Christmas Concerts being dubbed "Winter" Concerts and some schools even outlaw the colors red and green, saying they're Christmas colors. And now, simply because someone is offended by the title, students cannot play music that has no words and is performed with no religious intent.

What school officials and the courts fail to understand is that by sanitizing the schools of anything remotely related to religion, they are not only silencing an entire segment of the population; they are also contributing to a cultural wasteland bereft of a rich heritage of Western art, music and literature -- all of which, at one time or another, has been greatly influenced by religion. the rest

Growing churches butt heads with city planners

Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/21/2010

Growing churches and their home communities sometimes find themselves at an uncomfortable crossroads, where the demands of a burgeoning congregation conflict mightily with local land-use rules. Colorado churches, backed by a powerful federal law, have been bold in making their case for expansion, with some arguing that plans for bigger, better church campuses trump planning maps.

But when churches clash with communities over how much square footage is truly needed for worship and education, the cost can be high — personally, politically and to the government pocketbook.

Churches say they are chafing under severe land-development restrictions and the demands of their growing congregations. the rest

Monday, March 22, 2010

Devotional: He only asks thee to yield thyself to Him...

He only asks thee to yield thyself to Him, that He may work in thee to will and to do by His own mighty power. Thy part is to yield thyself, His part is to work; and never, never will He give thee any command which is not accompanied by ample power to obey it. Take no thought for the morrow in this matter; but abandon thyself with a generous trust to thy loving Lord, who has promised never to call His own sheep out into any path without Himself going before them to make the way easy and safe. Take each little step as He makes it plain to thee. Bring all thy life in each of its details to Him to regulate and guide. Follow gladly and quickly the sweet suggestions of His Spirit in thy soul. And day by day thou wilt find Him bringing thee more and more into conformity with His will in all things; moulding thee and fashioning thee, as thou art able to bear it, into a vessel unto His honour, sanctified and meet for His use, and fitted to every good work. ...Hannah Whitall Smith image

Trinity Professor Joins Rio Grande Slate

March 22, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Leander Harding of Trinity School for Ministry has joined the slate of nominees to become the ninth bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Harding is Trinity’s dean of church relations and seminary advancement and associate professor of pastoral theology.

The diocese, which encompasses New Mexico and the southwestern corner of Texas, announced Harding’s nomination by petition on March 20. The electing convention will convene April 24.
the rest

Court: NY Can Annul Civil Unions Despite No Law to Grant Them

Judge rules Empire State has power to annul Vermont civil union
Sat, Mar 20, 2010

Gays and lesbians can't get married in New York, but they can get an annulment.

A midlevel state appeals court has ruled that even though New York doesn't have a civil union law, its courts do have the power to annul a same-sex union made in another state. the rest

Opponents of gay marriage ban must release memos

Mar 22, 2010
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Civil rights groups that campaigned against California's same-sex marriage ban must surrender some of their internal campaign memos and e-mails to lawyers for the other side, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker said sponsors of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative targeting gay marriage, were entitled to the information as evidence in their defense against a lawsuit challenging the ban.

Walker's decision upholds a previous ruling by a federal magistrate. the rest

ACORN Closing in Wake of Scandal

Monday, March 22, 2010

CHICAGO — The once mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid falling revenues — six months after video footage emerged showing some of its workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

"It's really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activist that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need," ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.

Several of its largest affiliates, including ACORN New York and ACORN California, broke away this year and changed their names in a bid to ditch the tarnished image of their parent organization and restore revenue that ran dry in the wake of the video scandal. the rest

Grassley says health care reform should apply to President Obama, top administration officials

March 22, 2010

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today said he will offer an amendment during Senate debate on the health care reconciliation bill this week to apply the reform legislation to the President, Vice President, cabinet members and top White House staff.

“It’s pretty unbelieveable that the President and his closest advisors remain untouched by the reforms they pushed for the rest of the country. In other words, President Obama’s health care reform won’t apply to President Obama,” Grassley said. “Last December, the effort to apply any new law to administration political leaders was rejected by the Senate Majority Leader. But there’s no justification for the double standard, and I’ll continue to work to establish fairness.”

The Senate legislation passed last night by the House of Representatives includes an amendment Grassley sponsored and got adopted by the Finance Committee last fall to have members of Congress and their staffs get their health insurance through the same health insurance exchanges where health plans for the general public would be available. During the closed-door negotiations on the bill late last year, the Senate Majority Leader carved out Senate committee and leadership staff from this requirement. the rest

WSJ: What's in the Bill

The House's historic mistake

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., was right Sunday night when he hailed looming approval of an unprecedented expansion of the federal government's health care role as "an historic moment." Yet the House also made history by taking that giant step without a single Republican vote. Regardless of your opinion on how to cure what's ailing our nation's medical system, that lack of bipartisanship sends a disturbing signal about how deeply our nation is divided -- and assures that this debate is far from over.

Our opinion remains that while major health care changes are needed, Obama-Care is a counterproductive regulatory behemoth that will impose devastating new financial burdens on both the private and public sectors. the rest

Planned Parenthood: Healthcare passage will "significantly increase access to reproductive health care"; exec order "a symbolic gesture"

CMA Physicians: Without Strong Conscience Protections, Bill Imperils Poor Patients

Joni Eareckson Tada: Health Care Bill Concerns

Dems' celebration may be short

Albert Mohler: Can Christian Organizations Remain Christian in a “Tolerant” Age?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Can a Christian organization remain Christian in a culture of postmodern "tolerance?" That question is the focus of a case soon to come before the U. S. Supreme Court.

Like most colleges and universities around the nation, the University of California Hastings College of Law recognizes certain student organizations within the life of the school. Until recently, the Christian Legal Society had been one of those groups. But, controversy arose about five years ago, when leaders of the CLS chapter at Hastings asserted the national policy of the organization, which states: "In view of the clear dictates of Scripture, unrepentant participation in and advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle is inconsistent with an affirmation of the Statement of Faith." the rest

The case pitting the Hastings College of Law against the Christian Legal Society presents the nation -- and its highest court -- with an inescapable question: Are Christian organizations to be allowed to remain Christian, or must they all morph into secularized associations?

Must the Christian Legal Society surrender its biblical convictions in order to remain a recognized campus organization? Does religious liberty now stop at the law school door?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First fallout: Pro-life group strips Stupak of "Defender of Life" award

March 21, 2010

In response to Rep. Bart Stupak's announcement that he and other self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

"This Wednesday night is our 3rd annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country."... the rest

The GOP 3 Year Pledge
Like you, I watched with disgust and dismay as the Democrats in the House of Representatives joined hands, jumped off the cliff, and saddled the next several generations of Americans with trillions of dollars of new debt, and ensured that unless defeated in court, or defunded by future Congresses, the American health care system, the greatest such system in the world, will never again be as great as it is today.

Like you, I am shaking with anger that the Democratic Party did not listen to their constituents. In fact, Democratic leadership was defiant enough this morning, they stuck their collective thumb in the eye of the protesters gathered at the Capitol, walking the gauntlet from the Cannon office building to the House of Representatives as though the Obamacare vote is some modern day civil rights march. Make no mistake about it. For the last 15 months, the health care debate has never been about rights, it has never been about coverage, and it has never been about reducing cost. Obamacare is solely about the government’s acquisition of power, and to exercise control over a facet of life in which every American will have to participate sooner or later.

Dan Maffei CNY-aye

Schlafly: Health Care Vote Set to Expose the Myth of the 'Pro-Life Democrat'

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: New Anglican Nightmare

Friday, March 19, 2010

This week the Episcopal Church officially affirmed the election of Mary Glasspool the openly Lesbian bishop in Los Angeles. Not content with this horror a story emerges of the actions of the Episcopal Church towards traditionalist congregations. You can read the story at Midwest Conservative Journal. Be warned that some of this indignant bloggers's language is a bit salty, but the story really is pretty horrific.

I'm not sure I have all the details right, but more of the story of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binhamton NY is told here. It seems that an Episcopal congregation which was traditional and thriving wanted to pull out of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal authorities kicked them out of the building, instituted a lawsuit to claim all property and won. This included the sudden eviction of the pastor his wife and four children from the rectory. The congregation offered to buy the building from the Episcopal diocese and even offered three times over the assessed value. The Episcopalian hierarchy wouldn't budge. They got them out, including a clause that the building could never be sold to any group for Anglican style worship. the rest

Congressman Paul Ryan talks about health care

U.S. Bishops’ final plea to Congressmen: Do not pass pro-abortion health care bill

Obamacare: Passage Will Mark New Low in Political Ruthlessness
"President Obama will never recover the good will he had when elected. He has shown himself to be an arrogant, and in some ways lazy, leader who could have attained bi partisan reform had he opened the process in the beginning and crafted a middle ground plan utilizing ideas from both sides of the political spectrum. Instead, he left the details of this important legislation to others and allowed this debacle to develop. Yes, he will go down in history as the president who gained a form of universal coverage, but I don’t think that system will be so corrupt and unmanageable it will not redound to his benefit.

Speaker Pelosi has proved herself as ruthless and mendacious as they come. And Senator Reid continually embarrassed himself.

Well, time to go. This is a sad day. The window was open for real problem solving after Obama’s election. Instead of targeted reform, we have created a huge new power structure in the federal government that leaves no one happy. And it ain’t over yet. "

Rep. Paul Ryan Destroys Liberal Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in Obamacare Debate