Saturday, June 12, 2010

Devotional: In worship our relationship with Christ...

In worship our relationship with Christ is established, maintained, and repaired. Christ meets us in our act of celebrating his death and resurrection. In this worship encounter, the Spirit brings us the very real benefits of Christ's death - salvation, healing, comfort, hope, guidance, and assurance. Through this encounter, order and meaning come into our lives. Through worship, a right ordering of God, the world, self, and neighbour is experienced, and the worshiper receives a peace that passes understanding. Simply put, worship is an it-is-well-with-my-soul experience. ...Robert Webber image

World's biggest radiotelescope launched in Netherlands

Scientists in the Netherlands unveiled the largest radiotelescope in the world on Saturday, saying it was capable of detecting faint signals from almost as far back as the Big Bang.
Jun 12 2010

The LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) consists of 25,000 small antennas measuring between 50 centimetres and two metres across, instead of a traditional large dish, said Femke Boekhorst of the Netherlands Radioastronomy Institute.

It is based near the northeastern Dutch town of Assen, but the antennas are spread out across the rest of the Netherlands and also in Germany, Sweden, France and Britain.

"Today we have launched the biggest radiotelescope in the world. When you combine all the antennas you get a giant telescope with a diameter of about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles)," Boekhorst told AFP. the rest

Canada: Oakville Anglican parish home of profound revolution

By Charles Lewis
June 12, 2010

There is nothing that hints at revolution on this suburban road in Oakville, where St. Hilda’s Anglican parish has sat for more than 50 years. No wild signs of protest, no warnings of hell and damnation, and no list of Luther-like demands nailed to the main door — just a not-so-extraordinary church building in the midst of a neighbourhood easily forgotten by those driving through.

Nevertheless, a religious revolution has taken place here as profound as anything seen in modern Christian history.

“I think it’s true what they say, that about every 500 years you need a reformation,” said Paula Valentine, a long-time member of St. Hilda’s. “You need to start to think about what is man made and what is God’s.”

In February, 2008, St. Hilda’s voted to leave the Mother Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and make common cause with a few like-minded Anglican rebels across the country.

After the unanimous vote, Rev. Paul Charbonneau, the parish priest for 16 years, was suddenly struck by what they had done and might lose. “As soon as we had the vote and I went home and cried because it was so moving,” he said. “But the very next day the crap hit the fan and it got real.”

Rev. Charbonneau is a tall lanky man, who likes to wear jeans and a Montreal Canadiens hockey sweater. He slouches in his chair when he speaks and often looks up while forming his answers, which suddenly come rushing out. He is polite, diffident but unflinching in the choice he made.

He is also fully aware of his faults, and those of his fellow Christians. the rest

Polish bishops bar IVF supporters from communion

June 11, 2010
By Jonathan Luxmoore

Warsaw, 11 June (ENI)--Poland's bishops have warned Roman Catholic Church members that they cannot receive Holy Communion if they support in vitro fertilisation, because it is a violation of church law comparable to abortion.

"The church always defends the weakest, especially the totally defenceless, who include conceived children," the Family Council of the bishops' conference had said on 19 May. "Those who kill them, and those who actively participate in this killing or make laws against conceived life, including the life of a child in embryonic state, which is largely destroyed by in vitro procedure, stand in open conflict with the Catholic Church's teaching."

The council's statement was issued amid controversy over plans by the Polish government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk for a new bioethics law that would allow IVF to be funded from the State health budget. the rest

Health-care rules may force some to change coverage, leaked document suggests

By Associated Press
Saturday, June 12, 2010

President Obama said repeatedly during the health-care debate that people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it. But an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to change their health plans under the new law.

In just three years, a majority of workers -- 51 percent -- will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to midrange projections in the draft.

Plans that predate the health-care law are exempt from many, but not all, of its consumer protections. Types of changes could include offering preventive care without co-payments and instituting an appeals process for disputed claims that follows new federal guidelines. The law already requires all health plans to extend coverage to young-adult children until they turn 26. the rest

President attended fundraiser during Gulf memorial service

President Obama was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in California during a May 25 memorial service for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, according to his official schedule.
June 11th, 2010
Abby Livingston

(CNN) - According his official schedule, President Obama did not attend the May 25 memorial service in Jackson, Mississippi for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion because he was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, in San Francisco.

At Thursday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked why Obama did not attend the service. The president's spokesman answered, "I'd have to look at the schedule. I don't know the answer."

CNN examined the president's schedule for that day, and according to it, the president left the White House at 2:55 p.m. EST en route to Andrews Air Force Base for the cross-country flight to the San Francisco fundraiser. the rest

Boy can wear rosary to Schenectady school through Sept. 10, court agrees

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Jim O'Hara
The Post-Standard

Syracuse, NY - A federal judge today approved a lawyers' agreement allowing a Schenectady school student to continue wearing a rosary outside his clothing pending a court hearing in September.

Syracuse lawyer Raymond Dague said the new court oversight was sought after school officials forced 13-year-old Raymond Hosier into two days of detention last week after an earlier court order returning the boy to school.

Share Hosier, a seventh-grade student at Oneida Middle School in Schenectady, was suspended last month after school officials decided he was violating the school's gang-related clothing ban by wearing the rosary beads outside his shirt at school.

The boy contends he wears the rosary as a sign of his Christian faith and in memory of his deceased brother and uncle. the rest

Couch Cushion Architecture

APRIL 21ST, 2010

Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical Analysis

Before we were influenced by Mies van der Rohe or Frank Lloyd Wright, before we had seen the visual delights of Ronchamp, Pompidou Center and the Bauhaus school in Weimar, we were driven by a greater force of design inspiration. More primal and immediate than any of the previously mentioned examples, it was couch cushion architecture that established the basic building blocks of our design logic. Unrepresented and ignored for too long in the architectural industry, today’s post pays respect to the wonders of couch cushion architecture. We’ve rounded up a (mostly) admirable collection of projects, taken from a randomly conducted search on the internet. Join us as we take a critical analysis of the architecture, methods and design philosophies of living room furniture re-appropriation.

Some wonderful design ideas here and here!

h/t First Thoughts-Thirty Three Things

Friday, June 11, 2010

Devotional: We shall not be ashamed of our faith...

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed. Isaiah 54:4

We shall not be ashamed of our faith. Carping critics may assail the Scriptures upon which we ground our belief, but every year the Lord will make it more and more clear that in His Book there is no error, no excess, and no omission. It is no discredit to be a simple believer; the faith which looks alone to Jesus is a crown of honor on any man's head and better than a star on his breast.

We shall not be ashamed of our hope. It shall be even as the Lord has said. We shall be fed, led, blest, and rested. Our Lord will come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended. How we shall glory in the Lord who first gave us lively hope and then gave us that which we hoped for!

We shall not be ashamed of our love. Jesus is to us the altogether lovely, and never, never, shall we have to blush because we have yielded our hearts to Him. The sight of our glorious Well-beloved will justify the most enthusiastic attachment to Him. None will blame the martyrs for dying for Him. When the enemies of Christ are clothed with everlasting contempt, the lovers of Jesus shall find themselves honored by all holy beings, because they chose the reproach of Christ rather than the treasures of Egypt.
...CH Spurgeon image

Gene Robinson, Former Ugandan Bishop Hail Sexuality without Boundaries

Jeff Walton
June 10, 2010

Decrying as “missionaries of hate” U.S. Christians who preach in Africa against homosexual practice, a former bishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda spoke June 8 at a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C.

Christopher Senyonjo was hosted by Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop to be consecrated in the Anglican Communion. Robinson has served as Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) since March. The two spoke about anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda, which they blamed upon U.S. evangelicals. They also called for a broader effort to decriminalize homosexual practices in Africa. Senyonjo’s appearance at CAP was part of a six-week speaking tour of the United States, sponsored by Integrity USA, an unofficial homosexual caucus in the Episcopal Church.

Robinson introduced Senyonjo as “one of my heroes, one of the people I look to.” Senyonjo returned the compliment, affirming that the Holy Spirit was behind greater acceptance of homosexuality in the church.“When you were consecrated, I celebrated,” Senyonjo said of Robinson. “Thank God for you.” the rest

Comet McNaught brighter than expected in June 2010

June 10, 2010
Astronomy Examiner
Paul A. Heckert

Comet McNaught (C/2009 R1) is one of 54 comets discovered by Robert McNaught at Australia's Siding Spring Observatory while conducting a NASA funded search for potentially dangerous near Earth objects. This particular comet, discovered in September 2009, will not come close enough to Earth to present even a potential hazard.

Comet McNaught will however be visible to northern hemisphere observers just before dawn during June 2010. The original brightness predictions suggested that Comet McNaught would be visible only with binoculars or a small telescope.

Recently Comet McNaught has unexpectedly brightened so that it is visible to the naked eye from dark skies. Through June 2010, Comet McNaught will probably continue to brighten in the predawn skies.

Predicting how bright comets will get is notoriously difficult, and comets often defy astronomers' predictions. Because this is Comet McNaught's first orbit close to the Sun from the Oort comet cloud, the predictions are even more difficult than usual. Stargazers will need to get up before dawn to see how bright Comet McNaught becomes. the rest
image-Michael Jäger

Comet in the June Dawn

Angry Anglicans

The clergy of Southwark diocese distance themselves from Bishop Schori’s teaching and presiding in the cathedral
From The Times
June 12, 2010

Sir, We wish to express our concern over the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA), Katherine Jefferts Schori, preaching and presiding at Holy Communion in our cathedral at Southwark tomorrow.

Bishop Schori is well known for her doctrinal statements and practice that are contrary to the teaching of the Bible. She is also well known for initiating many litigations against orthodox congregations within the Episcopal Church and defrocking doctrinally orthodox bishops and clergy, so exacerbating disunity in the Anglican communion. Only recently she defied the instruments of the Anglican communion by reneging on the agreement made by the Episcopal Church to abide by the moratorium regarding the consecration of actively gay and lesbian bishops.

We, the undersigned clergy of Southwark diocese, distance ourselves from Bishop Schori’s teaching and presiding in our cathedral. We seriously question the judgment of those who have not withdrawn their invitation to her after her recent consecration of Mary Glasspool.

Father Francis Gardom
St Stephens, Lewisham

The Rev Stephen Kuhrt
Christ Church, New Malden

The Rev Ray Skinner
St Lawrence, Morden

The Rev Sandy Christie
St Michaels, Blackheath

The Rev Christopher (CJ) Davis
St Nicholas, Tooting

The Rev Ian Gilmour
Holy Redeemer, Streatham Vale

The Rev John Goddard
Morden parish

The Rev Martin Hislop
St Lukes, Kingston-on-Thames

The Rev David Larlee
St Marks, Battersea Rise

The Rev James Paice
St Luke’s Wimbledon Park

The Rev Paul Perkin
St Marks, Battersea Rise

The Rev Dan McGowan
St Martins, Morden

The Rev Precious Omuku
Morden parish

The Rev Les Wells
Morden parish

The Rev Bill Wilson
St Stephen’s, South Lambeth
the rest

Va. high court rules against Anglican breakaway churches, but dispute isn't over

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 11, 2010

Virginia's Supreme Court struck a blow to Anglican conservatives Thursday, ruling against nine congregations who split from the Episcopal Church after a series of doctrinal disputes that culminated with the 2003 installation of an openly gay bishop.

At issue are tens of millions of dollars in church property and symbolic momentum for dueling movements in the Anglican Communion.

The unanimous decision by the five-judge panel dismissing a lower court ruling that favored conservatives is not likely to end the dispute for the nine church properties. The panel simply found that a Civil War-era law governing how property is divided when churches split was wrongly applied to the current dispute. The panel sent the parties back to Fairfax County Circuit Court for a second, parallel case that focuses on who owns the properties. The case is expected to be more complex and messy. the rest

Christianity Today: Virginia Supreme Court Overturns Earlier Anglican Congregations Win

Albert Mohler: The Amazing Technicolor Multifaith Theology School

This move by the Claremont School of Theology illustrates what happens when churches and denominations allow their institutions to embrace theological liberalism. Watch this development carefully. Claremont may be the first multifaith seminary, but it will almost surely not be the last.
Friday, June 11, 2010

The leftward march of liberal Protestantism is hardly news, but on occasion a development arises that serves as something of a parable of that trajectory. Such is the case this week with news from California that the Claremont School of Theology, a school historically related to the United Methodist Church, is transforming itself into a multifaith center for the training of clergy.

In a press conference held on June 9, leaders of the school formally announced the “University Project,” which will involve the addition of programs to train Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis. Programs to train Buddhist and Hindu religious leaders are to be added in the future.

The school’s Board of Trustees voted back in 2008 to inaugurate the program. A statement from the school explains that this vote “set in motion the University Project as a means to rethink classical models of theological education in an effort to promote interreligious cooperation and ethical integrity in the training of religious leaders for a variety of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others.” the rest image

Canada: Anglicans fail to resolve gay-marriage debate

By Tobi Cohen
Canwest News Service
June 10, 2010

The Anglican Church of Canada has failed to put the debate over gay marriage to rest once and for all.

On the second last day of General Synod, a tri-annual gathering of clergy and lay leadership aimed at setting church policy, members essentially agreed to disagree on the fractious issue that's torn the church apart in recent years.

At the end of the day, the church resolved to continue to "engage in theological and scriptural study of human sexuality" and to include the "voices of gays and lesbians" in those discussions.

But after numerous discussions, which were conducted in small groups throughout the nine-day event in Halifax, the church ultimately decided not to make a "legislative decision" on the issue of same-sex unions. the rest

'We Are Totally Unprepared'

Nine years after 9/11, a chilling complacency about WMD attacks.
JUNE 11, 2010

The most important overlooked story of the past few weeks was overlooked because it was not surprising. Also because no one really wants to notice it. The weight of 9/11 and all its implications is so much on our minds that it's never on our mind.

I speak of the report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department, issued in late May, saying the department is not prepared to ensure public safety in the days or weeks after a terrorist attack in which nuclear, biological or chemical weapons are used. The Department of Homeland Security is designated as first federal responder, in a way, in the event of a WMD attack, but every agency in government has a formal, assigned role, and the crucial job of Justice is to manage and coordinate law enforcement and step in if state and local authorities are overwhelmed.

So how would Justice do, almost nine years after the attacks of 9/11? Poorly. "The Department is not prepared to fulfill its role . . . to ensure public safety and security in the event of a WMD incident," says the 61-page report. Justice has yet to assign an entity or individual with clear responsibility for oversight or management of WMD response; it has not catalogued its resources in terms of either personnel or equipment; it does not have written plans or checklists in case of a WMD attack. A deputy assistant attorney general for policy and planning is quoted as saying "it is not clear" who in the department is responsible for handling WMD response. Workers interviewed said the department's operational response program "lacks leadership and oversight." An unidentified Justice Department official was quoted: "We are totally unprepared." He added. "Right now, being totally effective would never happen. Everybody would be winging it." the rest image

Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power

June 10, 2010
by Declan McCullagh

A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.

The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

That emergency authority would allow the federal government to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people," Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats.

Because there are few limits on the president's emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition. the rest

Fur better or worse: postman marries his cat

AFP May 03, 2010

A GERMAN postman has "married" his obese and asthmatic cat, saying he wanted to tie the knot before his pet died.

"Cecilia is such a trusting creature. We cuddle all the time, and she has always slept in my bed," single Uwe Mitzscherlich, 39, told Bild newspaper.

"Our hearts beat as one - it's unique!" the rest

Swedes have more and more animal sex
Animal sex is not illegal in Sweden, and every year between 200 and 300 pets are injured because of sexual assaults.

Life in Those Old Bones

If you're interested in doing mission, there could hardly be a better tool than denominations.
Ed Stetzer

Denominations appear to have fallen on difficult times. Theological controversies over core Christian beliefs have weakened some denominations. Others have succumbed to classic liberalism. A handful of denominations have reaffirmed their commitment to theological orthodoxy, but even many once-growing conservative denominations have experienced difficult days. All in all, membership in 23 of the 25 largest Christian denominations is declining (the exceptions being the Assemblies of God and the Church of God).

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found that the percentage of Americans who self-identify as Christians decreased from 86 percent in a 1990 study to 76 percent in 2008. Much of the loss does seem located in large mainline denominations. At the same time, the ARIS indicated that nondenominational churches have steadily grown since 2001—and that self-identified evangelicals have increased in number. But it seems that denominations have not shared in the growth.

According to many church leaders, denominations are not fading away—they are actually inhibiting growth. I have heard many pastors denounce denominations as hindering more than helping their churches' mission. Others carp at wasteful spending, bureaucratic ineffectiveness, or structural redundancies; these objections seem to have gained adherents in an economic climate of pinching every penny. Loyalty to a denomination has declined and in some cases disappeared. the rest

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Afghanistan: Taliban 'hang 7-year-old boy for spying'

9 June 2010

(AKI): Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy, claiming he was passing information to foreign soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The child's shocking murder took place in the Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district late on Tuesday. The boy, whose name was not immediately known, was abducted from the village of Heratyan, Ahmadi said.


A.S. Haley: Virginia Supreme Court Sends Case Back to Trial Court; California Supreme Court Accepts St. James Case for Review

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lots of legal news to cover today: I shall begin with the news from Virginia.

In a unanimous opinion filed today, five justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia (the others having recused themselves) interpreted Virginia's "division statute", § 57-9 of the Virginia Code, about which I wrote in this earlier post, in such a way as to find that its requirements had not been fully satisfied by the nine dissenting parishes which had withdrawn from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Because they found the statute inapplicable to the situation on the ground in Virginia, they did not reach the arguments made by ECUSA and the Diocese of Virginia that the statute violated the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, as well as the Due Process Clause and the Takings Clause (both applied to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment).

The justices held that the trial court's interpretation of a key term in the statute had been erroneous, and so reversed its decision in favor of the nine parishes which had voted to withdraw from the Diocese and form the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), a branch of CANA ("Convocation of Anglicans in North America") which is affiliated with the (Anglican) Church of Nigeria and with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). They voted to send the case back to Fairfax County Circuit Court for further proceedings in the actions for declaratory relief filed by ECUSA and the Diocese, along with the counterclaims in those actions filed by the CANA congregations.

the rest

Anglican Congregations Disappointed in Virginia Supreme Court Decision

CONTACT: Caitlin Bozell (ext. 119) or
Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004
(via email)

FAIRFAX , Va. (June 10, 2010) – The nine Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) congregations that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia are reviewing today’s Virginia Supreme Court ruling overturning the Fairfax County Circuit Court’s ruling in the case and remanding it back to the Circuit Court for further proceedings. The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia had appealed a ruling in favor of the congregations to the Virginia Supreme Court.

“We are disappointed with today’s ruling and will review it as we consider our options. This is not the final chapter in this matter. The court’s ruling simply involved one of our statutory defenses, and these properties are titled in the name of the congregations’ trustees, not in the name of the Diocese or The Episcopal Church. So we continue to be confident in our legal position as we move forward and will remain steadfast in our effort to defend the historic Christian faith,” said Jim Oakes, chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia, which is the umbrella organization for the nine Anglican congregations.

“As the Virginia Supreme Court's opinion recognizes, there is clearly a division within The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia. Those divisions are a result of the actions of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia to fall out of step with much of Christendom by choosing to redefine and reinterpret Scripture. They chose to sue our congregations when our churches in good conscience could not continue down their path. We are sorry The Episcopal Church has chosen to go its own way. Their choice to be a prodigal church does not give them the right to take our houses of worship with them. The legal proceedings have been an unfortunate distraction from all the good work our churches are doing to advance the mission of Christ. Ultimately, we know that the Lord is in control and our congregations will continue to put our trust in Him, not in secular courts or buildings. Our doors remain open wide to all who wish to worship with us,” Oakes concluded. Anglican District of


Comments at Stand Firm

'Follow the Islamic way to save the world,' Prince Charles urges environmentalists

By Rebecca English
10th June 2010

Prince Charles yesterday urged the world to follow Islamic 'spiritual principles' in order to protect the environment.

In an hour-long speech, the heir to the throne argued that man's destruction of the world was contrary to the scriptures of all religions - but particularly those of Islam.

He said the current 'division' between man and nature had been caused not just by industrialisation, but also by our attitude to the environment - which goes against the grain of 'sacred traditions'. the rest image

Canada: Anti-polygamy case gives rise to all kinds of family forms

By Daphne Bramham,
Vancouver Sun June 9, 2010

Forrest Glen Maridas is a polyamorist who believes that it is her constitutionally guaranteed right to freely express her sexuality in any form that that might take.

Maridas is 34, American and a full-time counsellor at a university, although she's currently on maternity leave. She's lived with Canadian Russell Osborne since May 2005 and he's sponsoring her for immigration as a common-law spouse under the family classification.

the rest

Publishing Company Under Fire for Putting Warning Label on Constitution

By Diane Macedo
June 09, 2010

A small publishing company is under fire after putting warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historical documents.

Wilder Publications warns readers of its reprints of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers, among others, that “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”

The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work." the rest image

Interview with The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon

Jun 9th, 2010

As I mentioned here, my battery ran out in the Canon Kearon Press Conference, so my post was based mostly on memory. Sue Careless from the Anglican Planet kindly gave me her transcription for posting:

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion held a press conference in Halifax on June 7th during the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. Kearon was clarifying the Pentecost Letter which the Archbishop of Canterbury had sent out days earlier. The Letter called on those provinces in the Anglican Communion who had formally broken one of the three moratoria called for by the Windsor Report and the last Lambeth Conference, to have their representatives removed from certain international commissions since there were concerns that they would no longer represent the mind of the Communion. (The moratoria called for were the cessation of: same-sex blessings, the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals, and cross-border interventions.)

Sue Careless attended the press conference for the Anglican Planet and has transcribed a major portion of it below. Interview

Sanctions carried out against US Episcopalians

The Alien in the White House

The distance between the president and the people is beginning to be revealed...
JUNE 9, 2010

The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president's earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill.

There should have been nothing puzzling about his response to anyone who has paid even modest critical attention to Mr. Obama's pronouncements. For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans' leader, a man of them, for them, the nation's voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn't lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason.

Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July. the rest image by kevindooley

A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

The Man Who Would Be King

The Mortal Politician

Is Obama at a Tipping Point?

Pro-Life Women Win Big in Tuesday Primary Elections in California, Nevada

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 9, 2010

Washington, DC ( -- Tuesday's primary elections saw the political landscape in a few states move in the direction of pro-life women and one pro-life organization is delighted by the results. With Carly Fiorina's Senate victory in California and Sharron Angle's in Nevada, pro-life women are now on center stage.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will face Sen. Barbara Boxer, the leader of the pro-abortion forces in the Senate, this November.

Fiorina cruised to an easy victory in the race for the Republican nomination defeating pro-abortion former Rep. Tom Campbell and pro-life state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. She took home 54 percent compared with 26 percent for Campbell and 19 percent for DeVore. the rest

UK: Inmates are converting

Tue, 8 Jun 2010

Prisoners are converting to Islam to gain better food and the protection of fellow Muslims, according to an official report released today.

The document, entitled Muslim Prisoners’ Experiences: A thematic review, follows a poll earlier this week which indicated that many Britons are suspicious of Islam.

Muslim Prisoners’ Experiences, which is written by Dame Ann Owers the Chief Inspector of Prisons, reveals that 30 per cent of the nation’s 10,300 Muslim inmates have taken up the faith whilst in prison. the rest

New Anglican Denomination Seats Diocese In Amesbury

By Sonari Glinton
June 10, 2010

BOSTON — Amesbury is a quintessentially beautiful New England town.

A river passes over rocks and runs through the downtown area, where there’s also a converted mill, an array of restaurants and coffee shops… and now a new cathedral.

On Thursday night, a religious domination called the Anglican Church in North America will hold a mass to proclaim that cathedral, the All Saints Cathedral, as the seat of its New England diocese.

The church’s members broke away from the much larger Episcopal Church of America about a year ago, mainly over the election of an openly gay bishop. All Saints will be the center for the church’s 16 parishes across New England. the rest

California Supreme Court Unanimously Grants Review of St. James Church Petition

California Supreme Court Unanimously Grants Review of St. James Church’s Petition Asking for Right to Pursue Its Property Ownership Case in the Orange County Superior Court
June 9th, 2010

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – June 9, 2010 – In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court agreed today to hear St. James Anglican Church’s appeal that it has a constitutional right to continue its property rights battle against The Episcopal Church. By granting the St. James petition, the Court has acknowledged that this property rights dispute is far from over as the Episcopal Church has claimed, and that the Court must decide whether a defendant can be deprived of its property before it has had the opportunity to defend itself with evidence in a court of law.

St. James petitioned the California Supreme Court following a March opinion by two justices of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Third Division, in which two of three justices interpreted a prior California Supreme Court decision called Episcopal Church Cases as having finally resolved the property dispute between the Episcopal Church and St. James in favor of the Episcopal Church, thus depriving St. James of any opportunity to defend its property with evidence in the Orange County Superior Court.

But a stinging dissent by the Appellate Court’s third justice called the majority’s opinion “revolutionary,” “unprecedented” and “without any basis in law.” Dissenting Justice Fybel said that this was “the only case in the history of California where entry of judgment has been ordered upon overruling a demurrer and denial of an anti-SLAPP motion.” In the opinion, both the Court of Appeal majority and Justice Fybel urged the California Supreme Court to step in and clarify what it meant in its 2009 decision entitled, Episcopal Church Cases. the rest

The California Supreme Court order granting review can be found here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

AnglicanTV: Archbishop Duncan State of the Church


Canadian Church allies with Episcopal Church

Archbishop Hiltz echoes objections to proposed sanctions
Neale Adams Contributing editor
June 04, 2010

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has allied himself with the U.S. Episcopal Church in a dispute with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishop Hiltz repeated some of the objections made by the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, to the Pentecost Letter that Archbishop Rowan Williams sent to the Communion May 28.

Archbishop Williams’ four-page missive concerned the ordination of openly homosexual bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions. In 2004, a majority of the Communion’s Primates (Chief Bishops) decreed that a moratorium was to be placed on these acts, along with cross-border Anglican interventions.

In his letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that those Anglican churches which breach the moratoria “formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops…should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. the rest

UK: Unborn Baby Jesus Poster Campaign Launched by Protestant Consortium

Ads will reach 40 million by Christmas
Wednesday June 9, 2010
By Hilary White

( – As Marie Stopes abortion adverts continue to air this month on Britain’s Channel 4, a poster campaign featuring a picture of the unborn Christ child is being launched by a Protestant group to promote the “divinity and humanity of Christ.”

Advertising executives from the Church of England, Methodist, United Reformed and Baptist churches have banded together to produce the campaign in time for Christmas, saying, “There is no doubt that it will capture people's attention, generate headlines and create countless conversations about the true meaning of Christmas.”

The ads feature a composite of ultrasound pictures of a baby with the addition of a halo. The caption reads, “He’s on His way. Christmas starts with Christ.” the rest image

The latest on California politics and government

June 8, 2010

California's political watchdog agency is proposing to fine the Mormon church $5,539 for contributions to help pass the state's gay-marriage ban two years ago.

Roman Porter, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, said the agency is scheduled to act Thursday on the monetary penalty, which already has been agreed to by the church.

The fine stems from 17 non-monetary contributions totaling $36,928 that were made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within about two weeks of the November 2008 election, an FPPC report said.

The watchdog agency concluded that timely disclosure was not made of the Proposition 8 contributions as required by state elections law.

In a written statement Tuesday, the Mormon church said it had not misrepresented contributions but had erred in timeliness of reporting. the rest

Divorce and Remarriage in “Historic Anglicanism”

by Dr. William Tighe

Marital indiscipline seems to afflict all Western Christian churches and bodies to some degree or other, and even to an extent those in the East (the theory and practice of the Eastern Churches, which rested originally on a basis quite distinct form that of Western Catholics and Protestants, I will not discuss here) as well. Suffice it to say that, on a theoretical level at least, no Christian church or “denomination,” Eastern or Western ever accepted the practice of “divorce” in the modern sense of the term (that is, the dissolution of a valid marriage with one or both of the parties to that dissolved marriage being free to marry again), however much “pastoral compassion” (or “overlooking, deliberately or otherwise, irregular marital unions”) may, especially in the East, have allowed for the toleration of “marriages” of individuals whose spouses had disappeared some considerable time in the past. At the Reformation, however, all of the leading Protestant Reformers embraced the view of Erasmus that there were circumstances in which a valid marriage might be dissolved and the parties to it, or at least the “innocent” party, be allowed to remarry, which meant remarry in church, as in Catholic and Protestant countries alike there was no other form of marriage (beyond “common-law marriage” in a few countries such as Scotland — but this was a form of “marriage” of which the offspring were technically illegitimate, and so lacked clear inheritance rights). Moreover, Protestant church bodies, both Lutheran and Reformed, quickly came to permit divorce, and remarriage after divorce (hereafter termed DaR for short), in a variety of circumstances, among them, for instance, Scotland, where divorce in the modern sense became legally available in 1560, and has remained so ever since. the rest

Copts and marriage: You can't just marry anyone

A secular step in a conservative country
Jun 3rd 2010
The Economist print edition

EGYPT’S laws governing marriage and divorce are a multi-storeyed affair. For the majority of Egyptians, who are Muslim, they are set by sharia law as interpreted by Imam Abu Hanifa, an eighth-century Iraqi scholar who founded one of Sunni Islam’s four jurisprudential schools. For Christians the rules depend on which church you belong to; Protestant evangelicals are more tolerant of divorce than are the Coptic Orthodox, for instance, and Syrian Orthodox regulations stipulate—among other things—that a man may not marry a woman who breastfed him. Jewish family law is divided between Hasidic and Rabbinical Jews, though both provide that a “foul odour” can be grounds for divorce.

The Muslim marriage ceremony is fully legally binding, since a maazoun, a Muslim marriage registrar, is a public servant, but it is generally then also registered as a civil marriage at the justice ministry. But Christians must always register their religious marriage with civil authorities for it to be legal. This has given churches a lot of power: though Christians can get a civil divorce, the church will not remarry them, so the state cannot recognise a new marriage. the rest

Court Order Continues the Right of Student to Wear Rosary

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Contact: Raymond J. Dague, Syracuse, New York
(315) 422-2052

(Syracuse, NY) – The 13-year-old boy who brought suit against the public school where he is attends can continue to wear a Rosary to school through September 10, 2010, according to a stipulated court order which was filed in the United States District Court in Albany today. Attorneys Raymond Dague of Syracuse, New York and Edward White of Ann Arbor, Michigan, both working for the boy on behalf of the American Center for Law and Justice, signed the stipulation along with the lawyer for the Schenectady City School District. Today federal district court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn signed and filed the court order which ratified the stipulation.

The complaint in the federal lawsuit was filed last Tuesday. The complaint sought to let the boy return to class wearing his rosary after he was suspended by the school. In suspending Raymond Hosier, school officials contended that wearing a rosary violated the school district's dress code claiming that the rosary is a gang-related symbol. The school had suspended the boy indefinitely until the court order last week nullified the suspension.

Shortly after the judge ordered the boy’s suspension lifted the last Tuesday, the school took him back but the school put him into lunch-time detention on both Wednesday and Thursday. The stipulated court order signed by the judge today addressed that issue, and provided that the school is “enjoined from ... imposing discipline, including but not limited to detention” on him for wearing his rosary or for going to court to assert his right to do so.

“You have really got to wonder about a school which places a kid on detention on the very day he comes back to school under court order,” said attorney Raymond Dague of Syracuse, one of the attorneys representing 13-year-old Raymond and his mother Chantell Hosier against the school district and the Oneida Middle School where the boy attends. “We are glad that this harassment of him should finally stop, but this school district seems to be extremely hostile to student expression of religious beliefs. I guess they have just not heard of the First Amendment in Schenectady, because the judge’s first court order did not seem to have that much impact on them.”

Hours after the lawsuit was filed last Tuesday challenging the suspension, Albany based federal district court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn signed a court order directing the school to let the boy attend class at the school until a June 11, 2010 court date. Today’s court order postponed the June 11, 2010 hearing and adjourned it to September 8, 2010.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial and asserts that the school's actions violated Raymond's constitutional rights of speech and expression, and free exercise of religion.

The complaint in the case contends that Raymond wears the rosary to express his faith in God and honor the memory of a deceased uncle and a brother who died in an auto accident which Raymond witnessed. The rosary which Raymond now wears is very same rosary which his brother was holding when he died.

Not Like Everyone Else: Same-Sex Couples and Marriage

By: Chuck Colson
May 21, 2010

We’ve warned before that same-sex "marriage" will weaken the foundations of traditional marriage. New research shows us why.

Same-sex couples just want the right to be married like everyone else, or so the argument goes. They call it a civil right. You could hardly find a more innocuous argument, perfectly designed to appeal to all of us who believe in equal rights and fair play.

The only problem is that it’s not true. A significant percentage of same-sex couples do not want to get married “like everyone else.” Many of them want to create a whole new paradigm for marriage that has serious implications for the institution and for the rest of society. the rest

U.S. military: New abortion fight brewing

June 8, 2010

(UPI) -- A new fight is brewing over the issue of abortion, this time involving the U.S. military, lawmakers on both sides of the issue say.

An amendment to a defense policy bill approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee late last month would lift the military's long-established ban on abortions at overseas military hospitals, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., would allow doctors at military hospitals to perform abortions but require women to pay for them upfront and without government funds. the rest

Muslims Order Christians to Leave Village in Pakistan

Thomas Kelly
Compass Direct News
June 9, 2010

KHANEWAL, Pakistan (CDN) — The head of a Muslim village last week ordered 250 Christian families to leave their homes in Khanewal district, Punjab Province, local residents said.

Abdul Sattar Khan, head of village No. 123/10R, Katcha Khoh, and other area Muslim residents ordered the expulsions after Christian residents objected too strenuously to sexual assaults by Muslims on Christian girls and women, said a locally elected Christian official, Emmanuel Masih.

Most of the village's Christian men work in the fields of Muslim land owners, while most of the Christian women and girls work as servants in the homes of Muslim families, said Rasheed Masih, a Christian in the village who added that the impoverished Christians were living in appalling conditions. the rest

Cairo court wants Egyptian men married to Israelis stripped of their citizenship

Stephen Strasburg strikes out 14 in dazzling debut with Nats

Wed Jun 9, 2010

(Reuters) - Stephen Strasburg lived up to his billing in a much-anticipated major league debut with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday as the 2009 top draft pick struck out 14 batters to help his team to a 5-2 victory.

In one of the most talked about Major League Baseball debuts in years, the 21-year-old right-hander retired nine of the first 10 Pittsburgh batters he faced in front of a standing room-only crowd at Nationals Park.

Strasburg, who mixes a high-velocity fastball with good off-speed pitches, allowed just four hits and did not walk a Pittsburgh batter. the rest-check out the slideshow

Anglicans cut Episcopalians from ecumenical bodies

posted June 9, 2010

LONDON — The Anglican Communion has suspended U.S. Episcopalians from serving on ecumenical bodies because of the election of a lesbian as a bishop in California.

The U.S. church opened a rift in the global communion, and within its own ranks, seven years ago by electing a gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire. Conservative African Anglicans have taken a lead in opposing moves in the United States and Canada to promote gays and to bless homosexual relationships.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, had called for a moratorium on appointing homosexuals to leadership positions. He asked for action against the Episcopal Church after the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool was made an assistant bishop of Los Angeles. the rest

Monday, June 07, 2010

Devotional: Faith...

Faith is two empty hands held open to receive all of the Lord.
...Alan Redpath image by Caitlinator

Letters Sent by Kenneth Kearon to TEC Representatives

Letter here

Monday, June 7, 2010

Most of you will have read the recent letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Communion on the subject of Pentecost. Part of that letter addresses the current and ongoing tensions in the Anglican Communion – these tensions cluster around the three moratoria referred to in the Windsor Report.

It was hoped to have held the gracious restraint requested on many occasions by the Instruments of Communion until the Covenant had been considered in-depth by all of the provinces. The Covenant outlines a process whereby major issues before the Communion which affect its common life can be considered properly and appropriately within the community of faith. However, the recent Episcopal election in Los Angeles has created a situation where the Archbishop has been forced to act before the Covenant has been considered by most provinces.

So the Archbishop of Canterbury has made the following proposals in his Pentecost Letter which spell out the consequences of this action:

“I am therefore proposing that, while these tensions remain unresolved, members of such provinces – provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) – should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. I am further proposing that members of such provinces serving on IASCUFO should for the time being have the status only of consultants rather than full members”.

Last Thursday I sent letters to members of the Inter Anglican ecumenical dialogues who are from the Episcopal Church informing them that their membership of these dialogues has been discontinued. In doing so I want to emphasise again as I did in those letters the exceptional service of each and every person to that important work and to acknowledge without exception the enormous contribution each person has made.

I have also written to the person from the Episcopal Church who is a member of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO), withdrawing that person’s membership and inviting her to serve as a Consultant to that body.

I have written to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to ask whether its General Synod or House of Bishops has formally adopted policies that breach the second moratorium in the Windsor Report, authorising public rites of same-sex blessing.

At the same time I have written to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces.

These are the actions which flow immediately from the Archbishop’s Pentecost Letter.

Looking forward, there are two questions in this area which I would like to see addressed: One is the relationship between the actions of a bishop or of a diocese and the responsibilities of a province for those actions – this issue is referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report para 48.

Secondly, to ask the question of whether maintaining within the fellowship of one’s Provincial House of Bishops, a bishop who is exercising episcopal ministry in another province without the expressed permission of that province or the local bishop, constitutes an intervention and is therefore a breach of the third moratorium.

The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon.

Comments at Stand Firm

New start for former Episcopalians

Troubled by host of issues, group takes traditional track in Amesbury
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Globe Correspondent
June 3, 2010

AMESBURY — A group of former Episcopalians who broke away from their denomination because of concern over blessings for homosexual couples, as well as other issues, have chosen a former Catholic church in this mill town on the New Hampshire border as regional headquarters for the more traditional Anglican denomination they are attempting to construct in the United States.

During the week of June 7, about 100 bishops and delegates from across North America will gather here at All Saints Anglican Church for a meeting of the year-old Anglican Church in North America, or ACNA. On the agenda: affirming Amesbury as seat of the New England diocese, home of the region’s bishop and site of the diocese’s cathedral.

Use of Amesbury, with a population of 12,500 and a location 40 miles from Boston, as a diocesan headquarters breaks with a centuries-old tradition of headquartering dioceses in major urban centers.

The cathedral will occupy the building formerly used by Sacred Heart Church, which for decades served as spiritual home to Roman Catholics, many of them French-Canadian mill workers and their descendants. the rest

A reflection on the Pentecost Letter of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

God the Holy Spirit and “being led into all truth”
by Rev. Professor Christopher Seitz
Sunday, June 6th, 2010

The central teaching of Jesus Christ in John’s Gospel concerning the Holy Spirit is found in chapters 14 and 16 of the Fourth Gospel. The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is representative of the view that the Holy Spirit (or “the Spirit”) is responsible for endorsing a new understanding of sexual relationships as appropriate for members of the same gender. The warrant for this view more widely held is John 16: God the Holy Spirit is ‘leading the church into a truth’ the church has not known until now, and continues not to know elsewhere, as God has spoken this to The Episcopal Church (“The Spirit does seem to be saying to many within The Episcopal Church that gay and lesbian persons are God’s good creation, that an aspect of good creation is the possibility of lifelong, faithful partnership, and that such persons may indeed be good and healthy exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones”). This could either be a matter of timing – so technically God the Holy Spirit speaks only one truth on this matter, and so those who have not heard the Holy Spirit will hear the Holy Spirit leading them into new truth eventually (“Above all, it recognizes that the Spirit may be speaking to all of us, in ways that do not at present seem to cohere or agree. It also recognizes what Jesus says about the Spirit to his followers, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” [John 16:12-13]) – or it could be that the Holy Spirit endorses diversity of hearings (“That growing awareness does not deny the reality that many Anglicans and not a few Episcopalians still fervently hold traditional views about human sexuality”) . This latter understanding seeks grounding in the Presiding Bishop’s understanding of the Pentecost event of Acts 2 (“Pentecost is most fundamentally a continuing gift of the Spirit, rather than a limitation or quenching of that Spirit”) as contrasted with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reading of Pentecost as a “single understanding of gospel realities”(as she puts it) in a letter to which she is responding in defense of her own position. the rest

Helen Thomas retires

Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas retires following controversial remarks
Jun 07, 2010

Veteran reporter Helen Thomas, who has covered the White House since the John F. Kennedy administration, is retiring immediately following her controversial statements about Israel, Hearst Newspapers reports.

Thomas, 89. became a columnist for Hearst newspapers after leaving UPI, where she worked for decades. the rest

Helen Thomas' Jews should go 'home to Poland, Germany' comment draws high-powered ire

Conflict between Pentagon and Catholic military chaplains brews over ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

By Paul Conner
The Daily Caller

The archbishop for the U.S. military spoke out for the first time against the effort to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” setting up a possible conflict between Pentagon brass and the 285 Roman Catholic priests who serve on active-duty in the military.

“Those with a homosexual orientation can expect respect and treatment worthy of their human dignity,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Catholic overseer for military chaplains, in a statement released late last week. “However, unions between individuals of the same gender resembling marriage will not be accepted or blessed by Catholic chaplains.”

Broglio was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI two and a half years ago, though it is unclear if the archbishop speaks for the Vatican, which has so far been mum on the issue.
Catholic priests serve an estimated 1.5 million Catholic men and women in the U.S. military, according to the Archdiocese website. the rest

Washington National Cathedral ponders sale of rare books

By Annie Gowen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 5, 2010

Over the past two years, economic hard times have loomed as large at Washington National Cathedral as the Gothic spires that grace the city's skyline.

The cathedral has slashed its budget from $27 to $13 million, outsourcing its gift shop operation and shuttering its popular greenhouse and its continuing education college for clergy. Three rounds of layoffs have reduced the staff from 170 to 70, including, at the end of this month, the cathedral's conservator and the liturgist who oversaw the April memorial service for civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height.

Then news came this week that the cathedral, visited by every U.S. president since Theodore Roosevelt laid its foundation stone in 1907, was considering selling off part of its rare books collection, probably worth millions. Cathedral officials said the potential sale of the books is a separate matter from its ongoing budget difficulties. But they acknowledge that they no longer have the staff and resources to care for such a vast collection, which includes volumes donated by Queen Elizabeth II and Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and a Dutch Bible that was the first written in modern language. the rest

Divorced bishops to be permitted for first time by Church of England

Divorced clergy are to be allowed to become Church of England bishops for the first time in a move which has been condemned by traditionalists.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Religious Affairs Correspondent
06 Jun 2010

Critics described the change in Church rules as "utterly unacceptable" and warned it would undermine the biblical teaching that marriage is for life.

Conservative and liberal bishops have been deeply divided over the issue, which they have been secretly discussing for months.

While Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, supported relaxing the rules, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, is understood to have fiercely argued against a change.
But The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that the change was agreed at a meeting of the House of Bishops in May.

The Church is set to issue a statement announcing the new policy next month after legal advice made clear that there is no obstacle to a divorcee, or a priest married to a divorcee, being consecrated. the rest

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Devotional: Lives with many aims...

Lives with many aims are like water trickling through innumerable streams, none of which are wide enough or deep enough to float the merest cockleshell of a boat. But a life with one purpose is like a mighty river flowing between its banks, bearing to on either side. ...CH Spurgeon image by EduardoDuarte

A beautiful commercial showing prenatal development

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Apple iPad and Pampers have combined to produce the most beautiful life-affirming commercial.
Lovingly produced for expectant parents, it shows prenatal development in its proper context: The youngest members of the Human Family. Unfortunately I fear that when abortion advocates see it they will become enraged and lobby these companies to drop the advertisement. In order for the so-called pro-Choice position to prevail, they must keep the culture ignorant about what the choice is really about. It's losing position.the rest

Protestors to Rally Against Ground Zero Mosque Plans

Sun, Jun. 06 2010
By Lawrence D. Jones
Christian Post Reporter

A protest rally has been scheduled for Sunday afternoon against the proposed construction of a mosque at the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan.

The rally, organized by Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), was set to kick off at noon at the corner of Church Street and Liberty Street and will feature about a dozen speakers, including the family member of a 9/11 victim, a Hindu human rights activist, and a former Muslim.

“Building the Ground Zero mosque is not an issue of religious freedom, but of resisting an effort to insult the victims of 9/11 and to establish a beachhead for political Islam and Islamic supremacism in New York,” SIOA states in its announcement of the rally. the rest

Update: Upwards of Eight Thousand Protest 911 Mega Mosque on D Day!

Michigan Woman Sues, Claims Doctor Forced Abortion After She Said Stop

Caitlin Bruce Claims She Said No; Dr. Abraham Hodari Says it Was Too Late
June 4, 2010

A young Michigan woman who changed her mind about having an abortion while on the doctor's table has accused her doctor of terminating her pregnancy even after she pleaded with him to stop.

A lawsuit filed by 20-year-old Caitlin Bruce against Dr. Abraham Hodari is now winding its way through the Genesee County court system, but the case has raised questions about when an abortion can be stopped.

Bruce said she walked into Hodari's Feminine Health Care Clinic in Flint, Mich., in April 2008, intending to have an abortion. She claims in an interview with she changed her mind, but was pinned down, her mouth covered to muffle her screams, while Hodari forcibly terminated her pregnancy. the rest

UK: The caring killers: Death by night shift

For years, nurses illegally administered morphine and other powerful drugs. Hospital patients died. Now the story can be told.
Nina Lakhani reports
Sunday, 6 June 2010

A showcase hospital that won the Government's highest three-star rating allowed nurses to prescribe illegally and administer powerful drugs which police believe killed three patients and injured many more.

A damning report into "systemic failures" at the Airedale NHS Trust reveals that night nurses at the hospital in Keighley, West Yorkshire, openly gave patients drugs such as morphine intravenously for many years, despite the practice being illegal and against hospital rules.

Nobody has ever faced trial or been struck off as a result. One nurse at the heart of the inquiry, Sister Anne Grigg-Booth, was charged with three murders, one attempted murder and more than a dozen lesser, related charges but died of an overdose in 2005 before the case came to trial. Her death meant the allegations against her were never tested. No motive has ever been suggested for her actions. the rest

Legalizing Euthanasia in Belgium Unleashes Nurses to Do Doctor-Ordered Non Voluntary Killing
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

Belgium has followed the Netherlands in jumping off a vertical moral cliff by embracing legalized euthanasia. The awful consequences that I predicted are now coming to pass; a steady increase in the number of cases, inadequate reporting, and a large percentage of non voluntary euthanasia deaths. Thus, I am anything but surprised by the study I analyze below, which echoes an earlier one reported here at SHS, that nearly as many Belgian euthanasia killings are non voluntary as of those that are voluntary (the concept of “voluntary” in this context being highly problematic, but let’s not deal with that here).

Why might that be? Euthanasia consciousness rests on two intellectual pillers–that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering, and radical individualism in which we all own our bodies and have the absolute right to do what we wish with it, including make it dead. But interestingly, the latter idea–often reduced to that most effective of all soundbites, “choice”–turns out to be far less robust than the acceptance of active killing as a proper method of ending suffering. In other words, once a society accepts killing as the answer to suffering, the request element becomes increasingly less important as doctors assume they are doing what is best for the patient by extinguishing their lives. the rest

Ephraim Radner: Actions Now Have Consequences

June 4, 2010

What should be the ecclesial consequences for Anglican churches that have consciously rejected the “mind of the Communion” during this past decade? Many have waited a long time for Archbishop Rowan Williams to spell out his own views. Since 2007 he has openly talked of the costs involved in going one’s own way, however conscientiously, in opposition to the formally stated teachings of the Communion on the matter of sexual behavior and other key matters of doctrine and discipline. But what costs? The archbishop’s Pentecost letter has now begun the formal process of both laying out and setting in motion these consequences. This alone makes the letter significant.

Until this point, the archbishop has steadfastly followed two tracks in responding to the divisions of the Communion. First, he has formally initiated and supported Communion-based processes of consultation and evaluation leading out of the 2004 Windsor Report. By and large, and based on commonly accepted standards of doctrine and discipline around the Communion, these have consistently pressed for Anglican churches around the world to adopt and enforce moratoria on the consecration of partnered homosexual bishops, on the affirmation and permission of same-sex blessings or marriages, and on the cross-jurisdictional interference of bishops in the dioceses or provinces of another church. Through the Instruments of Communion — the Primates’ Meeting, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Lambeth Conference — as well as through representative commissions like the Windsor Continuation Group, the acceptability of this track has been reiterated over and over. Yet, for all that, there has never really been stable resolution emerging from these repeated requests for moratoria. the rest

As the Sun Awakens, NASA Keeps a Wary Eye on Space Weather

June 4, 2010

Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that's new to human history. To make preparations, authorities in Washington DC are holding a meeting: The Space Weather Enterprise Forum at the National Press Club on June 8th.

Many technologies of the 21st century are vulnerable to solar storms. [more] Richard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division, explains what it's all about:

"The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we're getting together to discuss." the rest image-SOHO

April 16, 2010 — NASA pieced together images to create this amazing video clip, showing about 19 hours of activity.