Friday, July 02, 2010

Archbishop Justice Akrofi resigns from the Standing Committee

July 2nd, 2010

The ACC has today announced the resignation of the Archbishop of West Africa from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Justice was the "alternate" from Africa for Archbishop Henry Orombi who has also resigned.

Two new members to be welcomed onto the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion

The forthcoming Standing Committee meeting will welcome two new members from Asia and Africa: Bp Paul Sarker (Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and Bishop of Dhaka) and Revd Canon Janet Trisk of South Africa (Rector of the Parish of St David, Prestbury in Pietermaritzburg, in the Diocese of Natal).

The two new additions and the existing members face a packed agenda for their July meeting that includes reports on finance, mission, the Anglican Relief and Development Alliance, evangelism and church growth, and unity, faith and order including the progress of consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant by the Provinces.

They will also be discussing Standing Committee membership issues including electing a successor to Bp Azad Marshall, Bishop of Iran, and noting the resignations of Archbishops Justice Akrofi and Henry Orombi. the rest

Six Months to Go Until The Largest Tax Hikes in History

From Ryan Ellis
Thursday, July 1, 2010

In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

the rest

Pro-Abortion Group Wants Pregnancy Centers Removed From Internet Directories

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 1, 2010
Washington, DC

(LifeNews.com) -- They say they support choice, but the pro-abortion activists at NARAL want to leave women in unplanned pregnancy situations with one option: abortion. In a letter to its members today, NARAL president Nancy Keenan announced she is asking two Internet directories to remove pregnancy center listings.

If NARAL is successful, that means millions of people who visit the two prominent directories every year will not see listings for pregnancy centers that provide women with abortion alternatives.

"Today, my team sent our letter with more than 59,000 signatures to YellowPages.com and SuperPages.com asking them to remove misleading CPC ads from their sites," Keenan said this afternoon. "But anti-choice CPCs are still blanketing buses, billboards, and even the airwaves with their falsehoods." the rest

Health law risks turning away sick

By Julian Pecquet
07/01/10

The Obama administration has not ruled out turning sick people away from an insurance program created by the new healthcare law to provide coverage for the uninsured.

Critics of the $5 billion high-risk pool program insist it will run out of money before Jan. 1, 2014. That’s when the program sunsets and health plans can no longer discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Administration officials insist they can make changes to the program to ensure it lasts until 2014, and that it may not have to turn away sick people. Officials said the administration could also consider reducing benefits under the program, or redistributing funds between state pools. But they acknowledged turning some people away was also a possibility. the rest

Redefining the First Freedom

More Than Worship
By Chuck Colson
Fri, Jul. 02 2010

For some time now, I’ve been warning you about the various threats to religious freedom. We’ve talked about the gay-rights movement, which insidiously insists that religious believers and organizations bow before the altar of sexual freedom. We’ve talked about the so-called health care reform bill, which does not protect the freedom of conscience of medical practitioners.

But now I’m seeing the threat to religious freedom in its most pernicious and dangerous form ever.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened. In a speech at Georgetown University, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on human rights. Not only did she talk about the right “to love in the way you choose,” (an obvious attempt at making protecting gay rights a top priority for the U.S. government), she also talked about “freedom of worship.”

But she never mentioned freedom of religion. Only freedom of worship. This is a big change.

In the First Amendment, the founders (whose work we celebrate this weekend) wisely ensured that government could not prohibit the “free exercise” of religion. And that means so much more than freedom of worship. It guarantees that we are not restricted to living out our faith in the privacy of our homes or church sanctuaries. It means we are free to exercise our religion-and contend for faith-in every area of life. the rest image

Alone with God

“O God ... your loving-kindness is better than life itself”-Psalm 63:3

Essay by The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner
July 1, 2010

Someone once asked me to visit a woman he knew, who lived alone in her house. So I went to talk to her. “I wish I were dead,” she told me. “I’m just miserable.” “I’ve nothing to do, no place to go. What’s the point?”

“Do you pray?” I asked her.

“I’ve prayed to get out of this place for ages; and God simply doesn’t listen.”

“Do you pray, not for things, but just to be with God?”

“What in the world do you mean be with God?” she asked.

“You know,” I said, “be with God out of love?” the rest-Excellent!
Be with God, out of love … Do we know ourselves to be people who are living with God, fundamentally and really, always and everywhere, so that in fact we are never alone? Prayer inhabits the knowledge that “your loving-kindness is better than life itself,” so that “my soul is content, as with marrow and fatness” (Psalm 63:5). These words speak of eating, of sustenance — of life itself. The Church has always taught that prayer lies at the center of human life itself, and of the Christian vocation in particular. I have failed too often, as a teacher of teenagers and confirmands and new members, by neglecting this reality in favor of teaching about “doctrines” and “ministries” and the rest. But prayer! The prayer that constitutes “being with” the Life of our life, with God, as our marrow and fatness. Speaking to him, face to face — that is necessity.

Episcopal church suffers setback in Fort Worth lawsuit

Wed, Jun. 30, 2010
By MELODY MCDONALD
McClatchy Newspapers

A local group representing the national Episcopal Church has hit a legal snag in its attempt to take control of the property of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

The 2nd Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the group's attorneys, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of "The Corporation and The Fort Worth Diocese," cannot represent those entities because the entities are also associated with Bishop Jack Iker, the defendant in the lawsuit.

The appellate court noted that there is only one corporation and diocese, which both sides are staking claim to.

The opinion, written by Justice Anne Gardner, says that "a corporation cannot sue itself" and that a judge would be "unnecessarily confused by presentations from two opposing factions who claim to be the 'The Corporation' and 'The Fort Worth Diocese.'"

The opinion also says that the work performed by the attorneys, Jonathan Nelson and Kathleen Wells, in the name of the corporation and the diocese should be thrown out but that the attorneys can represent the individuals who hired them. the rest

Thursday, July 01, 2010

UK: "Wear your seatbelt" ad

Devotional: Victory...

Victory has to do with my happiness alone; fruitfulness means happiness for others and is only possible through seeming defeat. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die, else it abideth alone, but if it die it beareth much fruit. It is in the fruit, Jesus says, that the Father is glorified. The Savior's ultimate for His followers is much fruit-not safety, not social security, not ease, not pleasure, not prosperity. ...Frederick Huegel
image by Schnittke

Legal assisted suicide creates 'slippery slope' to doctors killing without consent, expert claims

Legalising assisted suicide creates a “slippery slope” that leads to doctors killing patients without their consent, according to an expert.
By Martin Beckford
01 Jul 2010

Prof David Jones said that if society agrees that it is in some people’s interests for them to end their own lives, it is difficult to resist the logical conclusion that others should be helped to die even if they have not made such a request.

He claimed this situation already exists in the Netherlands, where voluntary euthanasia is legal but where about 500 patients are also killed a year by their doctors without requesting to die.

Prof Jones, director of the centre for bioethics at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, said: “My view is that it will lead from people who have asked to die, to people who cannot ask.” the rest

Virtue in Virtual Gomorrah

Jul 1, 2010
Joe Carter

“The Internet was completely funded by porn,” said Greg Fitzsimmons at the twenty-third annual adult entertainment industry awards. He was only half-joking. The pornography industry drove or boosted many of the web’s most useful innovations—live chat, streaming video, online payment systems—as well as the popularity of fast connections. The Internet (in the guise of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is returning the favor by giving the trade its own top-level domain: .XXX.

Ironically, the move is being opposed by an unlikely alliance of pornographers and religious and family organizations. The former thinks it will ghettoize the business while the latter believes it will legitimize the product. No one thinks the change will limit the distribution of content or make it any less accessible.

Although the practical effect will be negligible, the .XXX domain is a potent symbol and cultural marker for our present condition: Technology now allows the unadventurous to explore temptations once reserved for the bold, and to do so with minimal effort and almost no risk of exposure. Where once the curious had to travel to the seedy sections of the city or meet up with shady sleaze peddler, now they can stay safely in their home and just turn on a television or computer. the rest

Albert Mohler: When Feminism Kills — Abortion As ‘The Lesser Evil’

“If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” That statement, published for all the world to see, perfectly distills the inescapable logic of the abortion rights argument. It is based on a willingness to kill — and on the horrifying audacity to call this killing “the lesser evil.”
Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moral earthquakes, like earthquakes of the geophysical variety, most often occur suddenly and without warning. At one moment, the moral argument is framed in conventional and familiar ways. Just an instant later, all is changed. An article that appears in the June 30, 2010 edition of The Times [London] represents a moral earthquake that resets an entire issue — and that issue is abortion. This chilling essay is hard to read, but impossible to ignore. To read it is to feel the moral ground shift under your feet.

In “Yes, Abortion is Killing. But It’s the Lesser Evil,” writer Antonia Senior acknowledges that an unborn child at any stage is a human life. But she then proceeds to assert that feminism is more important than life, and that, when necessary, women must be willing to kill for the feminist cause even as they are willing to die for it. the rest image

In this essay, published in one of the world’s most venerable newspapers, Antonia Senior goes public with the argument that feminists should just admit that abortion is the killing of a human life, and then they should go on to assert that the right to kill an unborn human life is just the price that must be paid if feminism is to be defended.

50th Catholic parish is closing in Cleveland

By MEGHAN BARR
The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CLEVELAND -- A bell tolled solemnly as a man read the names of the fallen churches like a list of dearly departed saints.

St. Hedwig's, recently sold to a drug rehabilitation agency. St. Andrew's, demolished months ago.

Now joining them is St. Emeric's, an old Hungarian parish, where about 100 parishioners gathered Wednesday to say goodbye. The church is the last of 50 parishes to close its doors, ending a massive downsizing of mostly older, ethnic parishes decreed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland because of falling attendance, a priest shortage and financial problems. the rest

Critics blast Scottish ‘home abortion’ plan

Wed, 30 Jun 2010

Doctors in Scotland are giving women abortion-inducing drugs in hospital before sending them home to have the abortion in a scheme critics have described as “grotesque”.

Before now, women having so-called early medical abortions have been given the drugs and kept in hospital until they are well enough to return home, usually about six hours later.

But under this scheme women are being offered the option of receiving the abortion-inducing drugs and then going straight home. the rest

No condoms for grade schoolers, Mass. schools say

Jun 30, 2010

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (AP) -- The superintendent of a Massachusetts school district is apologizing to parents for what she calls a misunderstanding over a condom availability policy.

Superintendent Beth Singer said in the letter e-mailed Tuesday that the district will clarify that elementary school-age students won't be able to get a condom if they request one from the school nurse.

The Cape Cod Times reports that she wrote it became necessary to revise the wording after it was "so badly understood and misrepresented by the media." the rest

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Liberty

by David French
06/30/2010

Monday, June 28, 2010, was a landmark day for liberty—but not in the way that most conservatives realize. News outlets led with stories of the Supreme Court’s gun rights ruling in McDonald v. Chicago (Matt Drudge even announced the ruling with one of his famous “siren” graphics) and then quickly shifted their attention to Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing. Lost in the shuffle was a second Supreme Court decision, one that contains a line of reasoning that threatens our understanding of what liberty is.

That case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, dealt with a seemingly simple issue: Could a university require a Christian student organization to open its leadership and voting membership to those who disagree with the group’s faith or who refuse to abide by its code of conduct? In other words, could the university require a Christian group to be led by Muslims or by people who disregard biblical commands regarding, for example, sexual behavior.

Common sense would dictate that a group should be able to limit its membership and leadership to those who share the group’s purpose. After all, who ever heard of a Republican group led by Democrats, an African-American group led by white supremacists, or a vegetarian group led by cattle ranchers? But this involved a university, where common sense is always trumped by political correctness, and this particular school (Hastings College of Law in San Francisco) said that each student group had to open its membership and leadership to every student on campus. the rest

The CLS case and the mirage of the “all comers” policy
The high court upheld the “all comers” policy of the University of California at Hastings (San Francisco) that requires every registered student organization to accept any student as a fully participating member, even students who disagree with the goals advocated by the organization...

Supreme Court Decision May Signal Onset of Church Persecution
A 5-4 Supreme Court decision Monday requiring Christian campus groups on public universities to accept gay students as members and leaders may signal the beginning of religious persecution in the U.S., says prayer leader Lou Engle...

Happy Birthday, My Pat!

A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant,she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet nightand provides food for her householdand tasks for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor,and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes herself coverings;her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;she delivers girdles to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:"Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all."Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates.
And she blogs with Godliness!

Proverbs 31 (with a modern suffix added by Raymond)

(Well, thank you, my husband-although you know full well that I fall far short of the Proverbs 31 wife-sigh! love/Pat)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Former Justice Department Lawyer Accuses Holder of Dropping New Black Panther Case for Racial Reasons

June 30, 2010
FOXNews.com

A former Justice Department attorney who quit his job to protest the Obama administration's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of dropping the charges for racially motivated reasons.

J. Christian Adams, now an attorney in Virginia and a conservative blogger, says he and the other Justice Department lawyers working on the case were ordered to dismiss it.

"I mean we were told, 'Drop the charges against the New Black Panther Party,'" Adams told Fox News, adding that political appointees Loretta King, acting head of the civil rights division, and Steve Rosenbaum, an attorney with the division since 2003, ordered the dismissal. the rest

No mosque at Ground Zero



Found here

Joni Eareckson Tada recovering after cancer surgery

Associated Press
6/30/2010

AGOURA HILLS, CA - Christian author and disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada is recovering after undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

A statement from her publicist says Monday's surgery was successful for the 60-year-old Tada, who has been a quadriplegic most of her life.

Her Joni and Friends ministry provides wheelchairs to other disabled people around the world.
The statement quotes Dr. Geoffrey Drew as saying some of Tada's lymph nodes were affected, so she'll need chemotherapy. But he says it's "a highly survivable cancer and we anticipate a positive prognosis."

Tada's ministry associates continue to request prayers for her full recovery. the rest

Hindu militant convicted of Christian's murder in landmark Orissa decision

June 29, 2010

A prominent Hindu-nationalist politician has been convicted of murder in a case stemming from the burst of violence targeted against Christians in the eastern Orissa state.

Manoj Pradhan, a member of the Orissa state legislature representing the ruling BJP party, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for the killing. The decision was a breakthrough for the cause of justice; Pradhan had previously been acquitted of six other murder charges.

In previous trials, witnesses declined to provide compelling testimony against Pradhan, evidently because of threats from other Hindu militants. But a 6-year-old girl gave decisive testimony that she had seen Pradhan kill her parents. the rest

'Twilight' of the West – Films with Demonic Influence?

Tuesday June 29, 2010
By John-Henry Westen
OTTAWA

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Wednesday’s release of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" promises to be a blockbuster success, if last week’s premiere in Los Angeles, where hundreds of fans camped out for days in advance order to get a glimpse, is any indication. The film’s massive popularity comes as no surprise to Canadian novelist and author Michael O’Brien, who analyzes the Twilight series in his latest book. O'Brien argues convincingly that the vampire novel series dangerously twists evil into good and may even be demonically influenced.

Commenting today on the film’s release, O’Brien told LifeSiteNews, “Unprecedented cultural phenomena such as the Twilight series, Harry Potter and Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials series represent a sliding scale of familiarity with evil. It is time for the people of the West to awaken to the fact that we are in the midst of a cultural revolution that is reshaping our understanding of reality itself in powerful ways. It succeeds in this by rewarding us with copious sensual pleasures stimulating the imagination in all the wrong directions.”

In his book, O'Brien points out that the Twilight books have garnered immense popularity, having sold more than 85 million copies and having been translated into 38 languages. The films are now dwarfing these successes. "This, despite the fact they are poorly written teen romances, pulp fiction with a twist of supernatural horror combined with racing hormones and high school boy-girl relationships," writes O’Brien. the rest

TEC Announces Members of Task Force to Create Liturgies for Same-Sex Blessings

Stand Firm
Greg Griffith
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's a source of frustration for me - and no doubt a source of joy for our Worthy Opponents - that no matter how brazen or successful or disruptive they are in advancing their agenda, there seems to be nothing that triggers any sort of pushback from the Beloved Moderates - on whom, like their counterparts in secular political elections, the ultimate outcome of changes such as these rest. But there we are: In about 20 years, the Episcopal Church has gone from a few rogue priests doing gay "marriages" disguised as home blessings, to a task force that in two short years will develop and present for approval by General Convention, liturgies for same-sex blessings.

When I see things like this, I can't help but think of our Beloved Moderates.

Twenty-five years ago, if you had told them that the Episcopal Church would, in their lifetimes, allow rogue priests in faraway parishes to do same-sex blessings disguised as "home blessings," they would have scoffed at you. Yet it happened, and the practice grew. the rest

ENS: SCLM announces task force group leaders

Exposed! Kagan's partial-birth abortion scheme

June 29, 2010
Jill Stanek

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is well-known in pro-life circles to be radically pro-abortion.

For instance, ACOG supports the most heinous of all abortion practices, partial-birth abortion. When in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the partial-birth abortion ban of 2003, ACOG released an indignant statement, which read, in part:

"Today's decision … is shameful and incomprehensible to those of us who have dedicated our lives to caring for women," said Douglas W. Laube, MD, MEd, ACOG president. "It leaves no doubt that women's health in America is perceived as being of little consequence.

"... The Supreme Court's action today, though stunning, in many ways isn't surprising given the current culture in which scientific knowledge frequently takes a back seat to subjective opinion," he added.

How admirable of ACOG to stand on the principle of "scientific knowledge" in the face of "subjective opinion," which overwhelmingly thought sucking the brains and collapsing the skulls of almost-delivered late-term babies was gross.

But as it turns out, ACOG is the grandest of frauds. the rest image

Archbishop seeks prayers ahead of crunch debate on women bishops

by Maria Mackay
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his desire to see women ordained as bishops in the Church of England in a way that does not “violently disrupt” the common life of the Church.

In an address to the Methodist Conference in Portsmouth last night, Dr Rowan Williams asked Methodists to pray for the Church of England ahead of key debates on women bishops in its General Synod in York next week.

He told Conference: “My hope and prayer is that we shall see women ordained as bishops in the Church of England. My hope and prayer is also that we shall do that in a way that does not violently disrupt some of the features of our common life, that we actually lose one another in a sense. the rest

VA hospital may have infected 1,800 veterans with HIV

Patients receiving dental work at a Missouri VA hospital may have been exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 30, 2010

(CNN) -- A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it. the rest

Why Obamanomics Has Failed

Uncertainty about future taxes and regulations is enemy No. 1 of economic growth.
JUNE 30, 2010
By ALLAN H. MELTZER

The administration's stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.

But they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting over the weekend, continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance...

...Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth. the rest

Obama: Our first female president
If Bill Clinton was our first black president, as Toni Morrison once proclaimed, then Barack Obama may be our first woman president.

Barack Obama's Attention Deficit Disorder
So perhaps Obama isn't just our first "black" president but also our first ADD president.

The Obama Formula
Impotence abroad, omnipotence at home.

Wrong Track Distress
Mr. Obama had campaigned on the mantra of change, and that would have been the kind of change that working people could have gotten behind. But it never happened. Job creation was the trump card in the hand held by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but they never played it. And now we’re paying a fearful price.

Mission Valley church leaves ECLA, area churches follow suit

Erica Rodriguez
June 25, 2010

Church members cried, argued and finally, after nine months of dissolving ties with the largestLutheran denomination in the country, the members of Zion Lutheran Church in Mission Valley believe they are home.

"When you have faith, it doesn't mean that things are easy." said Henry Wood, the church council president. "We're taking a step in the direction of what the church once was."

Ninety-five percent of the Zion Lutheran Church voted to sever ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in September, a month after the denomination approved a controversial social statement on same-sex relationships. the rest

Divorce lawyers: Facebook tops in online evidence in court

By Leanne Italie, Associated Press
Posted JUne 30, 2010

Forgot to de-friend your wife on Facebook while posting vacation shots of your mistress? Her divorce lawyer will be thrilled.

Sharing too much on social networks has led to an overabundance of evidence in divorce cases.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81% of its members have used or faced evidence from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites, including YouTube and LinkedIn, over the last five years. the rest

Study: Divorce Spreads Through Social Networks

Divorce in New York: Let them unwed
Breaking up is a bit less hard to do

New evidence points to porn's destructiveness

June 29, 2010
By Barbara F. Hollingsworth

Pornography, now deeply embedded in American culture, is considered in some quarters a harmless private pleasure, but there is new evidence that porn causes psychological damage to those who consume it.

Citing numerous academic studies and her own clinical practice, Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychotherapist and director of the University of Pennsylvania's Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, says that porn meets all the clinical definitions for addiction except that obscene images can never be detoxed from the addict's brain.

"There is no credible evidence to suggest that porn does not in some way damage everybody who looks at it," she told The Washington Examiner at a recent press conference on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Coalition for the War Against Illegal Pornography. the rest
"There's always an escalation process. We don't know what the threshold is, and those with addictive personalities will start it earlier. But I see a lot of people who didn't show any psychological problems before [viewing porn]," she said.

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez: Vast Dangers—Confirmed

First Thinks
June 29, 2010
Hadley Arkes

The Supreme Court convened on Monday in its final session of the term and released its judgments on a number of cases that have drawn deep interest—and stirred high anxiety.

One of the judgments was the case of the Christian Legal Society at the Hastings Law School in California (Christian Legal Society v. Martinez). I wrote on this case in our issue of June/July (“Vast Dangers in a Small Place”), and I regret to report that the outcome turned out to be quite as grievous as the one I anticipated in that piece.

Justice Ginsburg, in her opinion for the majority, makes light of the disabilities that have been saddled on this small group of Christian students. Justice Alito, in his dissenting opinion comes closer to the truth when he remarks on the principle he thinks established in this case: “no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.”
the rest-must read!

But even that sense of things stops decorously short of naming the unlovely facts before us: The way has been prepared now to push Christian groups off the “better” campuses in this country, private or public, and to stamp orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims as illegitimate, with no standing to respectability in the life of their colleges and universities...

...But Ginsburg serenely misses the point: It is not about the money or the use of the bulletin boards and websites. It is about the willingness to withdraw, from Christian groups, their claim to stand as fully legitimate groups in the life of the college, as though there were something faintly noxious about them, something that bars them from the company of people who respect the claims of propriety and reason.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Devotional: Do everything in its own time...

Do everything in its own time; do everything in earnest; if it is worth doing, then do it with all your might. Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man until you have seen his face, who is our light, our all.
...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image by Kelsey

Overstepping Their Boundaries: The Supreme Court Decides What’s Best for Christians

DAVID FRENCH
posted June 29, 2010

Yesterday, June 28, the Supreme Court ruled in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez that a university could require a Christian student group to open its voting membership and leadership to those who disagreed with the group’s statement of faith or refused to abide by its code of conduct. The Court upheld Hastings College of Law’s “all-comers” policy for student groups, a policy that requires each student group on campus to be open to every student. Under such an all-comers policy, Jewish groups would be open to Muslim leadership, African-American groups would be open to white supremacists, and a Prius club would have to be open to Nissan Titan owners like, well, me.

It was hardly surprising to see the Court’s most reliably liberal members (Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Stevens, and Breyer) rule against the Christian group. They often have an expansive view of government power – including when government actions implicate fundamental First Amendment freedoms. And in this case, these justices characterized the Christian Legal Society’s efforts to meet in empty classrooms and to share their faith on campus as nothing more than an effort to enjoy various government benefits.

But four justices are not enough. To fashion a five-vote majority, the Court’s liberal wing had to win over Justice Kennedy.

Unfortunately, they succeeded. Because of the critical importance of Justice Kennedy’s vote, his brief concurring opinion is arguably the most important opinion in the case, and that opinion contains a poison pill for religious liberty. the rest

Kagan’s Abortion Distortion

How the Supreme Court nominee manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion.
June 29, 2010

When President Obama promised in his inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place,” he never explained what that rightful place would be. Documents recently released in connection with the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan suggest an answer: wherever it can best be used to skew political debate and judicial outcomes.

The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method. the rest

George F. Will: More questions for nominee Elena Kagan

How Deep The Father's Love For Us


Fernando Ortega

How the New Healthcare Law Endangers Conscience

by Helen Alvaré
June 29, 2010

The new healthcare law has endangered longstanding protections on conscience. We must act to address them or risk creating a dangerous precedent.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the quandary that nearly prevented the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): federally subsidized abortion. Very little attention, however, has been focused on the status of conscience protection following passage of this lengthy, complicated piece of legislation, despite its being chock-full of new mandates that implicate the consciences of private and institutional providers, patients, and health insurance companies alike. A rare exception was Rob Stein’s piece in the Washington Post, yet even this article spared readers too many important details.

Why is the conscience issue so neglected? One possible reason is that conscience violations are less tangible than the destruction of a living human being. Furthermore, the area of conscience protection has many moving parts, which can be hard to monitor. Conscience protection laws can shield both the religious and moral objector or just the former; they might cover many different forms of involvement (providing, referring, etc.) in one or more services (abortion, euthanasia, birth control, etc.); they could cover one or more sets of actors in the healthcare field (individual providers, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.) against discrimination by one or more authorities (government entities, employers, health plans, etc.). the rest

There are also various theological and philosophical grounds for different conscience claims; these might range from an objection to killing (easy to grasp) to an objection to impairing the normal functioning of the human reproductive system (more difficult for many to grasp in a world awash in birth control). Finally, there is the seemingly insoluble dilemma posed when the demand for legal conscience protection is characterized as a contest between “your right to refuse” and “my right to have.”

NZ Bp. Gray: “But in my cathedral,” he told her, “you can wear your mitre.”

Lloyd Ashton
28 Jun 2010

TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was welcomed at three New Zealand churches yesterday: Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral; St Michael and All Angels in Christchurch – and the tiny chapel at Te Hepara Pai, the Christchurch marae which is the spiritual home of Maori Anglicans in the South Island. the rest

Jefferts Schori preaches on freedom-sermon

Battle over ACC Standing Committee looms

by George Conger
Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Bishop in Iran has quit the Anglican Communion’s ‘Standing Committee’.

Bishop Azad Marshall’s decision to stand down will come as a blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury who has sought to vest an unprecedented degree of authority in the new entity—formed by the merger of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting.

The vote of ‘no confidence’ by yet another leader of the Global South group of Anglican churches serves to isolate Dr. Williams from the conservative and liberal wings of the Communion—diminishing his authority as the political centre collapses from under him. the rest

MCJ

Pagan sect fights town for religious property status

Landmark court battle looms over recognition of the Maetreum of Cybele
By Colin DeVries
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Saturday, June 26, 2010

CATSKILL — After four long years of being denied religious property status, a landmark court battle over a cloister of pagan witches is brewing.

The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, a faction of matriarchal priestesses living in a historic Palenville inn, has filed suit against the Town of Catskill after being denied a religious property tax exemption on their three-acre parcel along Route 23A.

The property has been denied the exemption since 2007, though the Maetreum — which was federally recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) religious organization — was granted the exemption on 2006. the rest

Fertility Center Fined for Giving Patient Wrong Embryos

Mon, Jun 28, 2010

A woman who sought help from a prominent Connecticut fertility center last year received embryos, but they belonged to another woman with the same last name.

The mistake happened in April 2009 at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which will pay a $3,000 fine.

A lab technician only checked the last name on the container with the embryos and pulled the wrong ones from frozen storage, according to the state Department of Public Health. Procedure is to check the medical record number and last four digits of the Social Security number. the rest

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Gay, Diversity Rights Override Religious Freedom

Monday June 28, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C.

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Christian student group does not have the right to restrict its membership to practicing Christians, in a decision Christian rights groups are calling a significant blow to religious freedom.

The court decided 5-4 Monday in the case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez to uphold a California law school’s denial of official recognition of a Christian student group. The Christian group refused to agree to let non-Christians and those engaging in a "sexually immoral lifestyle" to become voting members or leaders.

The case has received national interest as the guidelines, which bar openly-practicing homosexuals from the group, came to be perceived as discrimination against homosexuals. the rest

Supreme Court allows sex-abuse case to proceed against the Vatican

Supreme Court refuses the Vatican's request for dismissal, allowing a priest sex-abuse case in Oregon to proceed against the Holy See. The complaint seeks money damages from the church.
By Warren Richey, Staff writer
June 28, 2010
Washington

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to examine whether an Oregon resident who allegedly was sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager in the 1960s can sue the Vatican for his abuse. The move allows the litigation to move forward toward a trial.

A federal judge and a federal appeals court had ruled earlier that the lawsuit could go forward. Lawyers for the Vatican, also known as the Holy See, asked the high court to take up the case and dismiss it. They argued that the Vatican could not be held legally responsible for alleged criminal acts undertaken by a priest when those illegal acts were unrelated to his work for the Roman Catholic Church. the rest

Muslim prayers every Friday in Belgian Church

Monday, June 21, 2010

While their mosque is being restored, Muslims are being the use of St Lambert in Jumme. Every Friday, the Cross is removed, prayer mats laid and images hidden.

Henri Remy, the 89 year old parish priest rejoices in the dialogue in the spirit of the Council, "We pray to the same God, each in their own way", he says with emphasis. link

Russian Orthodox Church raises fears over pro-gay Protestant Churches

by Brian Hutt
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has told the head of the World Council of Churches of his concerns over the position of some Protestant Churches towards homosexuality.

WCC General Secretary Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met the Patriarch in Moscow today as part of his first visit to the Russian Orthodox Church since taking up office last September.

According to the WCC, Kirill expressed a “serious concern” about some of the challenges facing ecumenical dialogue in view of what he termed the “new positions of some Protestant churches” on several important moral issues, including their understanding of homosexuality.

The Episcopal Church in the USA in particular has pursued a liberal agenda in the last decade, consecrating its first openly gay bishop in 2003 and consecrating its first partnered lesbian bishop this year. The actions have angered traditionalist Anglicans worldwide and met with alarm from other denominations, including the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. the rest

New Christian TV Network Refuses to Ask Viewers for Donations

June 29, 2010

Christian Newswire/ -- DoersTV.com, a new 21-Channel Christian internet television network, has made an unusual decision for a Christian television network. They have decided not to use the fundraising strategies of soliciting viewers for donations, monthly subscriptions, or airing fundraising telethons implored by most Christian TV Networks. They believe those who are presented with the Gospel should receive it free from solicitations.

"I truly believe, as disciples of Jesus Christ, all Christians (especially those in the media) have a responsibility to present the Gospel without cost," Pastor David Wright, CEO of DoersTV.com, said recently. "When Jesus laid the principle of freely you have received, freely you give; I believe He meant it. Everyone should be able to receive the Gospel free of charge. I do realize that there are major expenses involved in running a television network and bills must be paid, however, we must find creative ways to raise these funds without selling the Gospel."

DoersTV.com is not just free for viewers, but also for certain Christian ministries; such as churches and Christian Filmmakers. These organizations see DoersTV.com as a promise land alternative to the expensive broadcasting fees charged by other Christian TV Networks. "God has given me the talent to produce films, but without a way to share it that content is useless," Marty Jean-Louis, founder of My Christian Films, said recently. "DoersTV.com has given me, and many others, a pathway to share the Gospel and our talent with the world." the rest

DOers TV

November

Feel free to use!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Devotional: Joy...

The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prisonhouse, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy - deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy - in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? ...Octavius Winslow
image by Alberto

New Study Denying Fetal Pain Lacks Scientific Basis Pro-Life Groups Say

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 28, 2010
Washington, DC

(LifeNews.com) -- A new study from members of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists lacks a strong scientific basis and ignores the evidence supplies in several previous studies supplied by leading researchers in the field, say pro-life groups who are criticizing the new report.

As LifeNews.com reported last week, the new study, from a Working Party of RCOG, disputes an overwhelming body of evidence that unborn children can feel pain in utero.

The new study claims the nerve connections to the brain are not fully developed to the point at which babies before birth have the ability to feel pain. the rest

Mary Spaulding Balch, a National Right to Life attorney who has overseen the development of legislation in the Unite States informing women of the pain unborn children experience in an abortion, told LifeNews.com that most scientific research says the pain exists.

"An objective expert in neurobiology would be appalled by the stunning lack of scholarship in the RCOG article," she said.

That's because the authors of the article have a pro-abortion bias and include one abortion practitioner, she explained.

"Its authors (predominantly abortion advocates and at least one abortionist) based their claim that unborn children do not experience pain before 24 weeks on the absence of complete nerve connection to the cortex before then," Balch said.

ENS: Presiding bishop experiences manaakitanga – hospitality – of New Zealand province

By Lloyd Ashton,
June 28, 2010

[Anglican Taonga] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori arrived in Auckland on June 25 to begin an informal weeklong visit to the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Jefferts Schori arrived on a day of persistent, heavy rain, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of some 60 people, including archbishops William Brown Turei and David Moxon, who took part in the powhiri -- a Maori welcoming ceremony -- at the College of St. John the Evangelist.

The presiding bishop was clearly among friends who were determined that she should experience manaakitanga -- a Maori word meaning hospitality -- on her arrival in the country.

Moxon said the New Zealand church had benefitted from three decades of Episcopal Church generosity and hospitality. the rest

Priest leaving Episcopal Church in New Haven to follow evangelical calling

Sunday, June 27, 2010
By Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor

NEW HAVEN — For the Rev. Geoffrey Little and his wife, Blanca, it’s time to leave one spiritual home and build a new one.

Today will be the Littles’ last day at St. James Episcopal Church on East Grand Avenue, but they’ll continue to serve the Latino community in Fair Haven and Fair Haven Heights.

This week, they’ll open a new evangelical parish, worshiping in a banquet hall at 229 Grand Ave.

Blanca Little, who has run St. James Christian Academy, will open a new school in the fall, running it out of their home on Lenox Street.

“We’re going to open a new church in Fair Haven,” Geoff Little said. “It’s going to be called All Nations Christian Church and it’s going to be associated with the new Anglican Church of North America.”
the rest-video

Letter from Bp Ian Douglas to Connecticut Diocese:

Dear sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Connecticut:

On June 24th I received a letter from the Rev. Geoffrey A. Little
resigning as Priest-in-Charge of St. James' Church and Church of
the Ascension in New Haven. Geoff has also resigned his orders
in The Episcopal Church.

I have met and talked with Geoff about his decision to leave
The Episcopal Church. Linked here is a statement that Geoff
and I have jointly authored giving further details about his
departure.

While I respect Geoff's decision and accept his resignation, I am
deeply saddened by this turn of events. Geoff has been a good
and faithful priest in the Diocese of Connecticut for close to two
decades. His departure will leave us diminished in our witness
to the Gospel and service to God's mission, particularly among
Spanish-speaking people in New Haven. Geoff is a man of great
integrity who has a profound commitment to discipling all
people, and a passion for mission. I will miss him as a priest of
this Diocese.

There are no immediate plans to change the witness of the
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut at St. James' and Ascension in
New Haven. The future of these churches will be part of a
larger discernment, led by Bishop Ahrens, about how The
Episcopal Church will continue to serve God's mission in New
Haven. Please keep Geoff, his wife Blanca, the people of St.
James' and Ascension, and the Diocese of Connecticut in your
prayers during this transition.

Faithfully,
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Tennessee: St. Andrew's Anglican Church to appeal ruling on property

By Bob Smietana
THE TENNESSEAN
June 27, 2010

Leaders at St. Andrew's Anglican Church left the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee in 2006, but continue to meet at the same church building on Woodmont Boulevard.

The parish holds title to the property, which it bought from the diocese in 1966 for about $15,000.

But the Episcopal Diocese wants the property and sued the breakaway group in November.

Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled in the diocese's favor in April. She cited denominational rules, which say that all parish property is held in trust for local dioceses. the rest

Bishop John Guernsey: A prayer-led life

By Dave Fawcett
June 26, 2010

Listen to the Lord and follow His direction. As the rector of All Saints’ Church in Dale City for almost 29 years, John Guernsey lived by that biblical principle in all aspects of his life.

Whatever issue lay before him, big or small, he consistently offered it up in prayer and then was obedient to the call. Sometimes, the message was clear from the start, other times it meant pressing in for further clarity.

But no matter what was asked, Guernsey said he always served the Lord first and it was his desire to put the Lord’s plans above all else that defined a ministry that had a far-reaching impact for those in his congregation, others in Prince William County and ultimately himself.

On June 13, Guernsey officially stepped down as All Saints’ rector to devote his energies full time to being the bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit in the Anglican Church of North America. The move was prompted after 18 months of searching for a new rector before All Saints’ called the Rev. Dan Morgan in April to take over. the rest

High Court’s Big Ruling For Gun Rights

June 28, 2010
by Lee Ross

In its second major ruling on gun rights in three years, the Supreme Court Monday extended the federally protected right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states. The decision will be hailed by gun rights advocates and comes over the opposition of gun control groups, the city of Chicago and four justices.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the five justice majority saying "the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner."

The ruling builds upon the Court's 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller that invalidated the handgun ban in the nation's capital. More importantly, that decision held that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was a right the Founders specifically delegated to individuals. The justices affirmed that decision and extended its reach to the 50 states. Today's ruling also invalidates Chicago's handgun ban. the rest

Supreme Court extends 2nd Amendment protection to state, local levels

Christian Legal Society Loses in Supreme Court Case

Group must allow leaders who disagree with its statement of faith.
Ted Olsen
6/28/2010

In a 5-4 decision this morning, the Supreme Court said that a California law school can require a Christian group to open its leadership positions to all students, including those who disagree with the group's statement of faith.

However, the majority opinion, issued by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gave some hope to the Christian Legal Society (CLS), which had argued that the University of California's Hastings College of the Law had selectively enforced its "all comers" policy, allowing organizations like the Latino group La Raza, to have rules restricting its leadership but not CLS. Noting that lower courts had not addressed is accusation of selective enforcement (and that the Supreme Court "is not the proper forum to air the issue in the first instance), Ginsburg said the Ninth Circuit Court could consider the argument.

This page will update throughout the day. here

Supreme Court says campus Christian group can't keep gays out and keep college funding

Court: Christian group can't bar gays, get funding

Martinez Ruling: Ninth Circuit Affirmed, but with Remand
David French - ADF Senior Counsel
June 28th, 2010

Supreme Court renders a 5-4 decision against the Christian Legal Society. Justice Ginsburg is still reading from the bench, but here’s the Scotusblog summary:


The Court rules that an “all comers” policy, at least as it exists at the Hastings College of Law, is constitutionally reasonable, taking into account all of the surrounding circumstances. The opinion notes that the lower courts did not address the CLS’s argument that hastings selectively enforces its “all comers” policy. Therefore, the 9th Circuit may consider that argument if, and to the extent that, it has been preserved by CLS. In dealing with the policy, the Court’s opinion notes that it was designed to open eligibility to student organizations given access not only for membership but also for leadership.

Interestingly, rather than resolving the free association issue, the Court seems to have very narrowly decided the case — dealing with an “all-comers policy” that is virtually unique to Hastings. It appears that the Court has left open the core issue that has bedeviled student groups nationwide, the conflict between free association and nondiscrimination policies that prohibit, among other things, discrimination on the basis of religion and sexual orientation.

This is pure first blush assessment; more to come as I read through the opinion. Bottom line: a disappointing decision but one that does not come close to settling core constitutional issues on campus. In fact, it doesn’t even decide this case since it’s remanded for further proceedings. here

Added: Press release from ADF:

Supreme Court: Calif. university’s policy upheld, but school still barred from targeting Christian group
Monday, June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 Monday to uphold an unusual university policy that forces student groups to allow outsiders who disagree with their beliefs to become leaders and voting members. The court confined its opinion to the unique policy and did not address whether nondiscrimination policies in general, which are typical on public university campuses, may require this. The court concluded that public universities may override a religious student group’s right to determine its leadership only if it denies that right to all student groups.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund represented a student chapter of CLS at California’s Hastings College of the Law in the lawsuit, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The suit was filed in 2004 after the law school refused to recognize the chapter because the group requires all of its officers and voting members to agree with its basic Christian beliefs. the rest

A.S. Haley: Behind the News: an Enormous Gamble

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The recent meeting of ECUSA's Executive Council in Maryland has garnered a lot of media attention because of the impromptu visit to it by the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth G. Kearon. Canon Kearon was on vacation at the time he was prevailed upon to attend a question-and-answer session, with all-too-predictable results. The members of the Executive Council asked him questions, but they did not like the answers, and soon stopped listening -- as is evident from all the snide and insulting reports they have since blogged about the encounter, to which I shall not link here.

(Was it worth it, Canon Kearon? Welcome to the club.)

For a look at what really went on at the meeting of the Executive Council, we can take the official press accounts only as a point of departure, and then fill in the gaps. When one takes the effort to do this, the picture that emerges is very different indeed from the one ENS tries to sell you. the rest

The Realism of Religious Freedom

Jun 28, 2010
Joseph Bottum

It’s a small thing, really—the shift of a word, the coining of a new phrase. But the consequences are going to be bad, and the signal it sends of American retreat on human rights comes at a terrible moment.

Think of it this way: If you have “freedom of religion,” you can bring up your children in your faith, hold public processions, and print books. If you have only “freedom of worship” you can pray quietly in your home, as long as it remains out of public sight.

“Freedom of religion” means you can stand on a street corner and proselytize everything from Catholicism to Mormonism to the cult of the sun god Ra. “Freedom of worship” means you can be executed for public conversion away from Islam. Worship is part of religion, but it is one of the least public parts—and thus one of the least involved in actual freedom.

The first signs of national withdrawal from concern about religious liberty came in November, at a memorial service for those slain at Ft. Hood, when President Obama used the phrase “freedom of worship” where more common American political language has always used the phrase “freedom of religion.” the rest

Report: Childlessness at record high in U.S.

Fri Jun 25, 2010

A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that childlessness is at a record high in America. One in five women aged 40 to 44 reported that they've never had children. Meanwhile, just 41 percent of Americans say having children is necessary to a good marriage, compared to 65 percent in 1990.

The study suggests that the two trends may well arise form relaxed social pressure about having kids.

In a striking shift, women with advanced degrees are bucking the no-babies trend, with a higher percentage of them having children than in years past. Though childlessness as a whole is still highest among women with advanced degrees, rates of childlessness among women with masters' degrees decreased by 17 percent since 1994. It also declined by 32 percent for women with professional and doctorate degrees over the same period. Nine percent of all women held advanced degrees in 2008. the rest image

Blogs are growing a lot more slowly. But specialists still thrive

An empire gives way
Blogs are growing a lot more slowly. But specialists still thrive
Jun 24th 2010

ONLINE archaeology can yield surprising results. When John Kelly of Morningside Analytics, a market-research firm, recently pored over data from websites in Indonesia he discovered a “vast field of dead blogs”. Numbering several thousand, they had not been updated since May 2009. Like hastily abandoned cities, they mark the arrival of the Indonesian version of Facebook, the online social network.

Such swathes of digital desert are still rare in the blogosphere. And they should certainly not be taken as evidence that it has started to die. But signs are multiplying that the rate of growth of blogs has slowed in many parts of the world. In some countries growth has even stalled.
the rest
The future for blogs may be special-interest publishing. Mr Kelly’s research shows that blogs tend to be linked within languages and countries, with each language-group in turn containing smaller pockets of densely linked sites. These pockets form around public subjects: politics, law, economics and knowledge professions. Even narrower specialisations emerge around more personal topics that benefit from public advice.

Hundreds of nurses have been punished by other states while maintaining California licenses

Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein
June 28, 2010

The state's Board of Registered Nursing has discovered that some 3,500 of its nurses have been punished for misconduct by other states — hundreds even had their licenses revoked — while maintaining clean licenses in California.

As many as 2,000 of these nurses now will face discipline in California, officials estimate. That's more registered nurses than the state has sanctioned in the last four years combined.

The board's discovery was prompted by a Times/ProPublica investigation last year that found hundreds of instances in which California nurses had been sanctioned elsewhere for sexual abuse, neglect, rampant drug use and criminality but could work freely in California. the rest

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Speaker snubs Church to appoint first black Vicar of Westminster

By Simon Walters and Jonathan Petre
26th June 2010

The Queen was last night dragged into a bitter row over the appointment of a black woman as ­Chaplain to the House of Commons.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has refused to give the job to the candidate picked by the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, who answers to the Queen.

He has chosen instead the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican-born vicar in one of the ­poorest parts of East London. Sources say he objected to appointing ‘another predictable ­middle-aged white man’.

Mr Bercow was so determined to win the power struggle that he has cut the ties between Parliament and the Abbey, where state ­funerals, weddings and coronations take place – effectively splitting the Chaplain’s ­historic role in two. the rest

Oregon Psychiatrist Plans Death with Dignity House