Saturday, July 24, 2010

Canon Chris Sugden, General Synod: Women Bishops


AnglicanTV: Archbishop Duncan: Anglican Insights 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

CANA Council 2010: Friday

July 23, 2010

Raymond and I are attending CANA Council 2010 at Church of the Epiphany, Herndon, Virginia. Below are links to Bp. Minns' and Archbishop Okoh's addresses to the Council and some pictures that Raymond took today and last evening.

Bp. Minns addresses the attendees

Lining up for the New Beginnings Celebration service

Bp. Minns introduces Archbishop Okoh

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

Bishop John Guernsey

Thursday evening service led by Bp. Bena

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rep. Chris Smith to Introduce “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”

Thursday July 22, 2010
By James Tillman

( - Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is planning to introduce the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" on July 29. If passed, this bill would establish as permanent many of the pro-life policies that currently rely on regular congressional re-approval, and which are attached as riders to annual appropriations bills.

"This 'as needed' approach," wrote Rep. Smith in a letter to his colleagues, "usually results in a debate over abortion funding anytime Congress considers health-related legislation."

Smith’s proposed legislation would make permanent the Hyde amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortions through any program funded by the annual Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Act. the rest

Augusta State Univ. to counseling student: change your beliefs or get out

ADF attorneys file suit after university officials require counseling student to abandon her beliefs to get a degree
Thursday, July 22, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, has been told to stop sharing her beliefs with others and that she must change her beliefs in order to graduate from the counseling program.

Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.

“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “Abandoning one’s own religious beliefs should not be a precondition at a public university for obtaining a degree. This type of leftist zero-tolerance policy is in place at far too many universities, and it must stop. Jennifer’s only crime was to have the beliefs that she does.” the rest

Priest Under Fire for Serving Communion to Dog

Thursday July 22, 2010
By Ron Csillag

(RNS) -- The Anglican Church in Canada is dealing with fallout following a published report that a priest gave Communion to a dog.

One congregant has quit St. Peter's Anglican Church in downtown Toronto in protest over the June 27 incident, in which interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea gave Communion to a man and his dog.

The Toronto Star reports that according to those in attendance, it was a spontaneous gesture intended to make both the dog and its owner -- a first-timer at the church -- feel welcome.

Peggy Needham, a lay official who was sitting near the altar, said that when it was when it was time for Communion, the man went up to receive the bread and the wine, with the dog. the rest
Hear the one about the Anglican church and the dog?

This Shepherd can't get communion

Anti-Apartheid Hero Desmond Tutu to Retire

22 July 2010
Scott Bobb

South African anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu says he will retire soon from public life. Tutu, who battled to end apartheid and later to promote peace and reconciliation, announced at a news conference Thursday he would retire from public life October 7th, on his 79th birthday.

He told reporters his schedule of public appearances had grown increasingly punishing. "Instead of growing old gracefully with my family, reading and writing and praying and thinking, too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," said Tutu.

He said from October he would limit his time at the office to one day per week in order to wrap up his many public responsibilities. the rest

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Devotional: Everywhere and always God is with us...

Everywhere and always God is with us, near to us and in us. But we are not always with Him, since we do not remember Him; and because we do not remember Him we allow ourselves many things which we would not permit if we did remember. Take upon yourself this task - to make a habit of such recollection. Make yourself a rule always to be with the Lord, keeping your mind in your heart, and do not let your thoughts wander; as often as they stray, turn them back again and keep them at home in the closet of your heart, and delight in converse with the Lord. ...Theophan image by coolmikeol

Civil Disobedience featuring Dr. Timothy George

Comments at Stand Firm

America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

By Angelo M. Codevilla
The American Spectator
-from the July 2010 - August 2010 issue

As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors' "toxic assets" was the only alternative to the U.S. economy's "systemic collapse." In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets' nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one.

When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term "political class" came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public's understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the "ruling class." And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.
the rest-long, but well worth the read!
Since marriage is the family's fertile seed, government at all levels, along with "mainstream" academics and media, have waged war on it. They legislate, regulate, and exhort in support not of "the family" --meaning married parents raising children -- but rather of "families," meaning mostly households based on something other than marriage.

Gold Coin Sellers Angered by New Tax Law

Amendment Slipped Into Health Care Legislation Would Track, Tax Coin and Bullion Transactions
July 21, 2010

Those already outraged by the president's health care legislation now have a new bone of contention -- a scarcely noticed tack-on provision to the law that puts gold coin buyers and sellers under closer government scrutiny.

The issue is rising to the fore just as gold coin dealers are attracting attention over sales tactics.

Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the scope of Form 1099. Currently, 1099 forms are used to track and report the miscellaneous income associated with services rendered by independent contractors or self-employed individuals. the rest

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, Form 1099s will become a means of reporting to the Internal Revenue Service the purchases of all goods and services by small businesses and self-employed people that exceed $600 during a calendar year. Precious metals such as coins and bullion fall into this category and coin dealers have been among those most rankled by the change.

Methodists Study the Hallmarks of Healthy Churches

Monday July 19, 2010

(RNS) What is the key to a healthy church? United Methodists have paid big bucks to find out.

As the sour economy and aging buildings wreak havoc on church budgets, United Methodists are trying to get ahead of the problem and assess the health of their congregations in a bid to reverse declining fortunes.

The church recently concluded a study of more than 32,000 Methodist congregations across North America, seeking the "key factors impacting vital congregations." The study surveyed everybody from bishops to district superintendents to people in the pews.

Working with New York-based Towers Watson consultants, researchers constructed a "vitality index" to measure each church and concluded "that all kinds of UMC churches are vital -- small, large, across geographies, and church setting." the rest

Report: Christians Unfairly Targeted by UK Hate Laws

Tue, Jul. 20 2010
By Jenna Lyle
Christian Today Reporter

LONDON – Christians in Britain are being unfairly targeted by laws intended to prevent religious hate crimes, a new report from Civitas warns.

The report, "A New Inquisition: Religious Persecution in Britain Today," criticizes the “oppressive oddity” of judicial attempts to regulate religious hatred.

The report was researched and written for the think tank by Jon Davies, former head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Newcastle.

He warns that although the Blasphemy Law was abolished in 2008, it has re-emerged in the guise of the hate laws. the rest
The difficulty in clearly defining when a hate crime has been committed has resulted in confusion and judges have become “surrogate theologians,” essentially establishing a “theocracy by the backdoor.”

Sweden: The Stigma of Being a Housewife

July 20, 2010

STOCKHOLM — When the Swedish journalist Peter Letmark tried to track down a housewife for a series on 21st-century parents in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter recently, he failed.

“Housewives,” he explained, “are a near-extinct species in Sweden. And the few who still do exist don’t really dare to go public with it.”

In neighboring Norway, the Housewives’ Association changed its name to the Women and Family Association as its membership plummeted to 5,000 from 60,000. “The reference to housewife was just too embarrassing,” said the feminist economist Charlotte Koren of the Norwegian Institute of Social Research, a former member and mother of two.

When it is no longer socially acceptable to be a housewife — or homemaker, in modern American parlance — has feminism overshot its objective? the rest
Across the developed world, women who stay home are increasingly seen as old-fashioned and an economic burden to society. If their husbands are rich, they are frequently berated for being lazy; if they are immigrants, for keeping children from learning the language and ways of their host country.

Quinnipiac: Obama Approval Drops To Lowest Point Ever

Independent Voters Turn On President Since Honeymoon
July 21, 2010

A year after President Barack Obama's political honeymoon ended, his job approval rating has dropped to a negative 44 - 48 percent, his worst net score ever, and American voters say by a narrow 39 - 36 percent margin that they would vote for an unnamed Republican rather than President Obama in 2012, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 48 - 43 percent approval for Obama in a May 26 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 57 - 33 percent approval last July, just before the political firestorm created by opposition to his health care plan galvanized political opponents and turned independent voters against him. the rest

WSJ: A Year After Honeymoon Ends, Whites, Men and Independents Desert Obama
It was a year ago this month that President Barack Obama began losing voters. In the 12 months since, he has had legislative victories that appear – especially in the case of health care – to have cost him large amounts of both political capital and political support.

So much for that 'conversation' on race
The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted “national conversation” about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation's subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic.

Instead, the conversation just got dumber...

Bishops in the House of Lords

The Economist
Jul 20th 2010

Audio here

New German study: boys growing up in pious Muslim families are more likely to be violent

Jihad Watch
July 20. 2010

It appears yet again that the more observant and devout one is in Islam, the more likely one is to Misunderstand the Religion of Peace. "A new German study shows that boys growing up in pious Muslim families are more likely to be violent," from the National Secular Society via Muslims Debate, n.d. (thanks to F.P.):

A new German study shows that boys growing up in pious Muslim families are more likely to be violent.

The study, which involved intensive questioning of 45,000 teenagers from 61 towns and regions across the country, was conducted by Christian Pfeiffer of the criminal research institute of Lower Saxony.

Pfeiffer was quick to assure the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he was not a racist or 'Islamophobe' and that, in fact, he had been dismayed by the results of the survey....
the rest

More Baptist pastors adopt bishop title

Backers say promotion helps value leadership
By Lisa Wangsness
Globe Staff / July 19, 2010

The Rev. John M. Borders III approached the pulpit at Morning Star Baptist Church on a recent Sunday wearing his usual suit and tie. He adjusted his glasses, as he often does, and proceeded to deliver to the packed sanctuary a thunderstorm of a sermon on a theme from Revelation: “No more delays!’’

In the pews, some sobbed. Some shouted, “Yes, Lord!’’ Some just breathed, until Borders concluded with a hushed prayer.

The only outward sign that something was different was the new ring on the pastor’s finger, a thick gold ring with a purple stone. It symbolized his recent elevation, in a ceremony in Memphis two weeks before, to the position of bishop. the rest

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Devotional: The Christian often tries to forget his weakness...

The Christian often tries to forget his weakness: God wants us to remember it, to feel it deeply. The Christian wants to conquer his weakness and to be freed from it: God wants us to rest and even rejoice in it. The Christian mourns over his weakness: Christ teaches His servant to say, "I take pleasure in infirmities; most gladly will I glory in my infirmities." The Christian thinks his weakness his greatest hindrance in the life and service of God: God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success. It is our weakness, heartily accepted and continually realized, that gives us our claim and access to the strength of Him who has said, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." ...Andrew Murray image by F. Montino

NASA's WISE Telescope Completes First Survey of the Entire Sky

Returning More Than a Million Images
By Laurie J. Schmidt

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite has just completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth -- returning more than a million images that provide a zoomed-in look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids.

From its orbit several hundred miles above the Earth's polar regions, the spacecraft scans strips of the sky, always staying over the day-night dividing line. Every 11 seconds, an infrared-sensitive digital camera takes a snapshot over the entire sky.

WISE has already observed more than 100,000 known and previously unseen asteroids. Most of these are located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but some are near-Earth objects that pass relatively close to the Earth. The telescope's infrared vision also enables it to detect the glow of brown dwarfs, objects with masses between that of planets and stars, and it can also see the brightest of ultra-luminous infrared galaxies. the rest/image

41st Anniversary Of First Manned Moon Landing‎

Gay Episcopal Bishop Advises UM Church to “Get into Trouble”

Jeff Walton
July 20, 2010

A United Methodist congregation should conduct same-sex marriages despite the possibility of negative consequences, according to Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.

“I’m here to tell you that when you speak about God’s limitless, boundless and unimaginable love, you will get into trouble: I promise you, I know this,” Robinson said to the congregation.

Robinson, the first openly gay partnered bishop in the Episcopal Church, delivered the message during a visit to Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. Robinson both gave a sermon at the invitation of Foundry’s Senior Pastor, Dean Snyder, as well as answered questions from church members during an informal session following the Sunday morning worship services. Robinson’s sermon was part of a month-long “outstanding preacher” series including United Methodist Bishops Woodie White, Hope Morgan Ward and John Schol.

Foundry, a large congregation that traces its roots back to 1814, sits on the prominent row of churches that line 16th Street northwest, leading to the White House. President Clinton and his family regularly attended services at Foundry during his presidency. the rest

The Heritage of Western Civilization

Cardinal George Pell
July 19, 2010

It is a privilege to speak at the launch of the IPA's Foundations of Western Civilisation Program tonight, and I propose to begin my few words on "The Heritage of Western Civilization" by speaking about China. This is not because I believe that China must achieve economic supremacy (twenty years ago we were ascribing that honour to Japan) but because China is a radically different culture, nourished for two thousand years by the teachings of Buddha and Confucius before the destructive barbarism of Mao and the Red Guards; a nation which is now searching for the secrets of Western vitality and for a code or codes to provide decency and social cohesion that is compatible with economic development.

Let me give two examples, admittedly only two straws in an vast cyclone.

In 2002 a group of tourists from the United States visited the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing to hear a talk by a Chinese academic who prefers to remain anonymous. Speaking in the plural for unnamed fellow thinkers, he described their search for what accounted for the pre-eminence, the success of the West all over the world. Their studies ranged widely. Originally they thought the main reason was more powerful guns; then it was Western political systems, before considering the claims of the Western economic system. the rest

Educating Imams in Germany: the Battle for a European Islam

July 18, 2010
By Paul Hockenos

In the snow-swept courtyard of the white-marble Sehitlik Mosque, Berlin's largest Islamic prayer house, the resident imam greets the faithful with handshakes and embraces. A slightly built, cordial man wearing an open parka, Mustafa Aydin is a Turkish civil servant on a four-year posting abroad, as are many of the Islamic preachers in Germany, where the Muslim community is overwhelmingly of Turkish heritage. Aydin understands basic German, which he's been learning, but he communicates with me through a Turkish-to-German interpreter. The services' prayers are in Arabic, he says, but his sermons and chats with congregants—including those born and schooled in Germany—are in the language of their parents' Turkish homeland, and that, he assures me, is perfectly adequate for his parish's needs. "We don't have any problems with Turkish," he says.

In a Germany struggling to come to grips with its burgeoning, four-million-strong Muslim population (about 5 percent of the populace), the use of imams sent from Turkey and other foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia, has come under sustained fire from integration-minded critics. After all, argue some intellectuals, politicos, and other citizens across Germany's political spectrum, including the more moderate currents in the Muslim community, how can the foreign clergy advise believers—many of whom grapple with profound disadvantage in Germany—without mastering the lingua franca and knowing the world they live in? The imams have, in part, been held responsible for Muslims' ghettoization, as well as fundamentalism in some pockets of the country. the rest

Obama Has Spent $23 Million Backing Pro-Abortion Kenya Constitution

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 19, 2010
Washington, DC

( -- A new report issued by the Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reveals the Obama administration has spent over $23 million for activities in Kenya to influence voters there to support a new constitution that would allow virtually unlimited abortions.

The nation currently protects women and unborn children from abortions, but a constitution voters will consider on August 4 would change the historic pro-life laws of the African nation.

Rep. Chris Smith, a key pro-life congressman who is the Ranking Member of the Africa and Global Health Subcommittee, has been working with other lawmakers and the IG’s office to investigate grants the Obama administration has provided to Kenyan groups promoting the Yes vote campaign for the new constitution. the rest

Home-school ban in Sweden forces families to mull leaving

By Michal Elseth
Sunday, July 18, 2010

A small change in Sweden's schooling law is about to make a big difference for Swedish home-schooling families, potentially causing them to flee to other countries or bring cases to international courts to protect religious and parental rights in the socialist country.

The Swedish Liberal Party pushed a new 1,500-page schooling law through last month one paragraph of which will make home schooling as an expression of religion or philosophy effectively impossible for Swedish families, other than in "exceptional circumstances" such as health issues or distance from a public school. The law also severely restricts religious practice in Sweden's "confessional" schools.

Sweden's officials defend the home-school ban, which takes effect next July, saying home schooling is unnecessary since the state provides a "comprehensive and objective" education.

This is exactly the problem, said Christopher Barnekov, director of Scandinavia House in Fort Wayne, Ind., an assistance program for Swedish Lutheran pastors studying in the U.S. the rest

Navy laser roasts incoming drones in mid-air

19 July 2010
by Paul Marks

A video released at the biennial aerospace convention in Farnborough, UK, today, shows a laser mounted on a warship's gun turret obliterating a remotely piloted drone.

Built by Raytheon Missile Systems of Tuscon, Arizona, the 32-kilowatt infrared laser is shown illuminating and heating the wingtip and then the underside of what looks like a radar-seeking drone – until its remote pilot loses control and the aircraft catches fire and plummets into the ocean.

"Three similar drones were also successfully engaged at militarily significant distances by the solid-state laser" in May and June, says Mike Booen, the firm's vice president. "It's a world first over open sea." the rest

Race Card Fraud

Thomas Sowell
posted July 20, 2010

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. But race card fraud is an even bigger problem.

Playing the race card takes many forms. Judge Charles Pickering, a federal judge in Mississippi who defended the civil rights of blacks for years and defied the Ku Klux Klan back when that was dangerous, was depicted as a racist when he was nominated for a federal appellate judgeship.

No one even mistakenly thought he was a racist. The point was simply to discredit him for political reasons-- and it worked.

This year's target is the Tea Party. When leading Democrats, led by a smirking Nancy Pelosi, made their triumphant walk on Capitol Hill, celebrating their passage of a bill in defiance of public opinion, Tea Party members on the scene protested. the rest

Brooklyn: Local Census Officials Instructed Workers to Falsify Questionnaires, Says Inspector General

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
By Edwin Mora

( - The Commerce Department’s Inspector General (IG) has confirmed whistleblower allegations that management at a local Census office in Brooklyn, N.Y., “directed employees to falsify Census questionnaires during” the decennial count’s largest and most expensive operation known as Non-response Follow-Up.

Furthermore, the IG noted that during the Census Bureau’s efforts to re-count the fabricated questionnaires, employees charged with that task “were inferring the number of household residents through improper means.”

“The complaints specifically alleged that the [Brooklyn Northeast local Census office] manager and assistant manager for field operations had directed employees to falsify enumeration questionnaires using information from an Internet database rather than attempting to conduct in-person interviews as required by Census procedures,” Todd Zinser, IG for the Department of Commerce, stated in written testimony prepared for a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday. the rest

Pakistan city tense after 'blaspheming' Christians shot

20 July 2010

Police reinforcements have been called in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad a day after two Christians charged with blasphemy were shot dead outside court.

Clashes broke out in the city, home to a large Christian community, after the brothers were gunned down.

Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid, 24, were accused of writing a pamphlet critical of the Prophet Muhammad; a rights activist said they were framed.

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law carries the death penalty. the rest

Monday, July 19, 2010

Devotional: All the way my Savior leads me...

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.
...Fanny Crosby
by DACphoto

San Joaquin: Churches keeping the faith a year into their divide

Sunday, Jul. 18, 2010
By Sue Nowicki

It's been a year since more than 90 percent of St. Paul's congregation walked away from its $2.3 million property in northeast Modesto to begin Wellspring Anglican Church downtown. The move forestalled a lawsuit by Episcopal Bishop Jerry Lamb to claim the property in the ongoing national dispute between the theologically liberal Episcopal Church and the conservative Anglicans.

Members and leaders of each congregation said they are happy -- Wellspring with its stable congregation and ministries, despite not owning a physical structure, and the small but slowly growing congregation at St. Paul's.

Recent visits to both churches found the congregations using the identical liturgy, from prayers to reponses, and even the same order of worship. the rest

Apologist: Need for New Breed of Young Christian Defenders

Mon, Jul. 19 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Well-known Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza visited a California megachurch on Sunday to equip believers with tools other than "Let me tell you what Jesus has done for me."

While experiential Christianity is a valuable form of testimony, the experience is largely personal and unique, he said, and does little when trying to give a defense of the faith.

D'Souza was invited to address thousands at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., to share the "what" of evangelism. Lead Pastor Greg Laurie is leading the megachurch in a series of messages on sharing one's faith in preparation for the annual Harvest Crusade in Southern California in August. the rest

Growing number of worshipers make themselves at home

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

Megachurch, meet microchurch.

Growing numbers of Coloradans believe the tiny house church, also called a simple church or an organic church, might be the mightier transformer of Christian lives.

A recliner becomes a pulpit. A sofa and some armchairs serve as pews.

Where two or more people are gathered in his name, Jesus said, there he is. House churches range in size from two people to a dozen or slightly more.

Some prefer the name "simple church" because there are congregations that meet at coffee shops, parks or other venues. the rest

OK: Legislator's proposal would ban use of Sharia law

Views differ on whether State Question 755 is necessary.
World Religion Writer

A proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would ban Sharia law in the state court system is either a pre-emptive strike against encroaching Islamic law in the U.S. or an expression of Islamophobia, depending on who you ask.

State Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, authored State Question 755, which requires state courts to rely only on federal and state laws when deciding cases, and forbids courts to consider international law or Sharia law. It will appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Duncan said he proposed the constitutional change because federal judges are increasingly embracing the idea that federal courts should look to international law to settle U.S. cases.
"I find that offensive," he said. the rest

Polygamy is harmful to society, scholar finds

By Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun
July 19, 2010

Increased crime, prostitution and anti-social behaviour. Greater inequality between men and women. Less parental investment in children. And, a general driving down of the age of marriage for all women.

These are some of the harms of polygamy (or more correctly, polygyny, since it is almost always men marrying more than once) that are outlined in a 45-page research paper by noted Canadian scholar Joseph Henrich, filed Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Henrich is uniquely qualified to look at polygamy's harm. He's a member of the departments of economics, psychology and anthropology at the University of British Columbia and holds the Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution. the rest

Nigeria: Anglican Primate Okoh Wants State of Emergency in South-East

Chika Okeke
18 July 2010

Abuja — The Primate of All Nigeria in Anglican Community, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has called on the Federal Government to recognise that the insecurity in South East is beyond the capacity of the state government by declaring state of emergency.

Rev. Okoh gave the indication yesterday while addressing newsmen on the state of the nation at the Episcopal house, Abuja. He enjoined church leaders and communities to put up proposals for the resolution of insecurity in South East adding that the self inflicted wound will take Nigerians ten solid years to recover from the shock.

The clergy frowned at the apparent breakdown of law and order in Aba as criminals virtually shut down social and economic activities in the area through violence, brigandage and kidnapping in quest for money. He emphasized that after forty years of civil war, Nigerians are yet to tow the path of good leadership while corruption and constant crisis have ruined the country. the rest

Church Divinity School of the Pacific: Same-sex Rites Draw $400,000 Grant

The Living Church
July 16, 2010

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific has received a $404,000 grant to help the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music gather and develop rites for blessing same-sex couples. The grant is just over 16 times the $25,000 approved by General Convention for developing such blessing rites.

The money has been granted by the Arcus Foundation, which is based in Kalamazoo, Mich. Arcus describes its mission as achieving “social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes.”

The grant will help pay for a national gathering in March. The SCLM will invite each diocese of the Episcopal Church to send two representatives (one clergy, one laity) who will offer responses to the SCLM’s developing work on the liturgies.

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, who chairs the SCLM, expressed gratitude for the grant in a statement from CDSP, where she is Hodges–Haynes Professor of Liturgics.

“Developing liturgical resources for blessing same-sex unions is a once-in-a-generation charge, and we want to do it well,” she said. “However, the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has fourteen projects during this triennium and a budget of just $25,000 for this project. This generous support to CDSP from the Arcus Foundation provides financial, logistical and intellectual resources that wouldn’t otherwise be available. As a result, we will be able to involve many more people and more perspectives in our work.” the rest

A.S. Haley: Explaining Much, But Not All: New ACC Articles Filed

Monday, July 19, 2010

[UPDATE 07/19/2010: In the post below, I have addressed only how the new articles compare with the ACC's old Constitution and bylaws. I have not touched upon the larger issue, which is how the new articles have been ratified and adopted in the first place. The old Constitution provides in art. 10:

Amendments to this Constitution shall be submitted by the Council to the Constitutional bodies listed under clauses (b), (c) and (d) of the Schedule of Membership and must be ratified by two-thirds of such bodies provided that no amendment shall be made which shall cause the Council to cease to be a charity at law.

However, what we have here is not an amendment to the old Constitution as such, and a continuation of the old charitable entity, but the registration of a brand-new private limited company under British law. In a later post, I will address the very interesting subject of how this new ACC will, apparently, bootstrap itself into existence.] the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

National debate prompts breakup at flagship Episcopal church

By Abe Levy
Express-News Web

In its storied 99-year history, Christ Episcopal Church has fashioned itself into a pillar of orthodox beliefs, Anglican heritage and charismatic fervor for spreading Christian salvation worldwide.

But in recent years, a gut-wrenching question has tested the bonds of this spiritual family.

Should it leave its parent organization, the Episcopal Church, for making unwelcome liberal changes by accepting openly gay and lesbian clergy and modernizing time-honored theology?

One group had enough.

They walked away from the 2,400-member parish in Monte Vista last month to forge a new one — free of potential intrusion from national leadership but one that will meet, at least for a while, in less ideal facilities. the rest

Ex-Lesbian Janet Boynes Tells Moving Story of Conversion

Friday July 16, 2010
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

( - Former lesbian Janet Boynes says that her homosexuality began as it does for many women: as a response to sexual and psychological abuse she suffered as a child.

She was raised by one of her mother's boyfriends, an alcoholic who abused her mother, who in turn showed Boynes little affection. At 12 she was molested by a relative, then an altar boy at her church. She began to suffer an aversion to men, and found that her own sex was more appealing. She also began using drugs.

"I was starting to become more attracted to women," Boynes told CBN in a recent interview. "So many men had hurt me that these women, I thought, were a lot more like me." the rest

Truth & Consequences: Inception movie review

The sci-fi tale Inception boldly explores the concept of reality and the results of rejecting it
Megan Basham
posted July 19, 2010

Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker interested in truth, particularly how it diverges from perception. The theme has played a part in every movie he's made, including Memento, Insomnia, and The Prestige. Even his Batman films delve into the issue. But none of his previous works have been as boldly philosophical in their exploration of truth as his latest, Inception. Through a dazzlingly original sci-fi tale it, like Pilate, asks, what is truth? Can we create it, as many in our postmodern age insist we can? Is what we believe the same as what is true? And what is the source of our ideas, both true and false?

The movie opens to an unspecific time in the future. Cars haven't changed, clothes haven't changed, even cell phones haven't changed. But one important thing has—the government has created a technology that allows people to invade each other's subconscious via their dreams and uncover their innermost secrets. If the invader does it skillfully enough, the dreamer will never know he was there. They call the process extraction. the rest image
Sound like some meaty spiritual themes to chew on? Without a doubt, they are. Even better, the PG-13 Inception avoids anything beyond mild violence and a few profanities, giving parents with sci-fi-loving teens little reason not to see it together. After all, smart, gripping thrillers that make the case that there is absolute truth and that death awaits those who settle for anything less usually only exist in our dreams.

Albert Mohler: Coming to a Doctor’s Office Near You? The New Abortion Strategy

Monday, July 19, 2010

The tragedy of abortion remains one of this nation’s greatest reasons for shame, and the fact that over a million abortions are performed each year is nothing less than horrifying. In light of this tragedy, it is at least encouraging to know that abortion, though an industry of death, is not a growth industry. At least for now.

All that may change if a new movement meets with success. As reported by Emily Bazelon, a new movement seeks to move abortions from abortion clinics to your local hospital, medical school, and physician’s office. In other words, those behind this new movement intend to mainstream abortion as medical practice, and to hide it behind a facade of medical respectability.

Bazelon’s report, “The New Abortion Providers,” appears as the cover story in the July 18, 2010 edition of The New York Times Magazine. As she reports, this new movement is training family physicians and other doctors to perform abortion as a standard part of their medical practice. As the cover of the magazine states, “”They are doctors seeing patients in their offices. They have quietly learned how to terminate pregnancies.” the rest

You Can’t Take the Back Alley Out of Abortion
...With the facts as they are, the article’s optimism for increased abortion acceptance in mainstream America is at best wishful thinking, at worst willful delusion. The publication of the piece can’t help but seem a part of a pro-abortion agenda: trying to prop it up to be a successful, growing industry, supported by most of the public—despite the fact that it isn’t...

Atheists Break Out New Ritual Tool: The Blow-Dryer

Nonbelievers Adopt Provocative Ceremony to Make a Point About Baptism
July 16, 2010

Wielding a blow-dryer, a leading atheist conducted a mass "de-baptism" of fellow non-believers and symbolically dried up the offending waters that were sprinkled on their foreheads as young children.

At the annual American Atheists Convention, one of atheism's premier provocateurs, Edwin Kagin, faced the crowd and raised high a hairdryer labeled "Reason and Truth."(ABC News)
At the annual American Atheists Convention, one of atheism's premier provocateurs, Edwin Kagin, faced the crowd and raised high a hairdryer labeled "Reason and Truth."

Said one woman who travelled from Cincinnati to undergo the de-baptism, "I was baptized Catholic. I don't remember any of it at all." The woman, Cambridge Boxterman, 24, added, "According to my mother I screamed like a banshee, and those are her words, so you can see that even as a young child I didn't want to be baptized. It's not fair. I was born atheist and they were forcing me to become Catholic." the rest image by kitAy

Germany: Lutheran female bishop resigns in pedophile cover-up scandal

Saturday, July 17, 2010
By Martin Barillas

Bishop Maria Jepsen, the first woman to be anointed bishop in the Lutheran Church, resigned on July 16 having recognized that her credibility had been put into doubt, with respect to numerous cases of sexual abuse committed within her church.

Ordained bishop in 1992, Bishop Jepsen transferred Pastor Dieter K. in 1999 to a prison chaplaincy in order to prevent further contact with children. However, according to Der Spiegel, she did not notify anyone of suspicions that the Lutheran pastor had sexually abused minor. Pastor Dieter K. gave religion classes at an institute in Ahrensburgh even while no one at the school had been notified of his record of abuse. the rest

Students, Alumni Rally Behind Illinois Professor Fired for Expressing Catholic Beliefs

By Tess Civantos
July 16, 2010

Faculty and students are rallying behind a University of Illinois professor whom they say was fired simply because of his religious beliefs.

Dr. Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism, was told recently that he could no longer teach in the university's Department of Religion. A student at the university accused Howell of engaging in hate speech when he stated in a class review session that he agreed with the Church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

But Howell refused to leave without a fight, and now he has over 3,100 supporters fighting with him -- via a Facebook group called “Save Dr. Ken.”

“It’s turning into a whole movement for freedom of speech in the classroom,” said senior Tim Fox, a member of the group and former resident at the university’s Catholic student Newman Center. the rest

Diocese of Peoria to meet with university officials over fired professor

Moral of the Obamacare Story: Taxes In, Doctors Out

Sunday, July 18, 2010
William A. Jacobson

There were two important developments recently in the continued unraveling of the Obamacare public relations BS.

First, the Obama administration cemented its legal position that the health care mandate is a tax, which means that Obama is raising taxes on people making less than $250,000 a year contrary to his campaign promise.

Second, the promise that you could keep your doctor is evaporating as health insurers, in a desperate attempt to keep down premiums under the burden of Obamacare requirements, are reformulating their plans by limiting choice of physicians. the rest

An Ugly Preview of ObamaCare
WASHINGTON -- If you want a preview of President Obama's health care "reform," take a look at Massachusetts. In 2006, it enacted a "reform" that became a model for Obama. What's happened since isn't encouraging. The state did the easy part: expanding state-subsidized insurance coverage. It evaded the hard part: controlling costs and ensuring that spending improves people's health. Unfortunately, Obama has done the same.

Russia: Pastor killed by gunman

Friday 16 July 2010

A dynamic Christian pastor has died after being shot in the head as he was leaving church, in what is being seen as a bid to intimidate converts from Islam in the strongly Islamic republic of Dagestan.

Artur Suleimanov (49), himself a convert from Islam, was murdered by a gunman who approached and opened fire as the pastor got into a car outside Hosanna House of Prayer in the capital, Makhachkala, on Thursday 15 July. He died from his wounds in hospital around an hour later. Nobody else was injured in the attack. Pastor Suleimanov leaves behind a wife, Zina, and five children, the youngest of whom is twelve years old.

Mr Suleimanov’s church is one of the largest Protestant churches in Dagestan. In a context where Christians face regular harassment and intimidation, his life had been threatened on several previous occasions. the rest

Nigeria: Eight Christian killed by Muslim Fulani

Crackdown on Christians worsens in Uzbekistan

Rules out at ACC

George Conger
posted July 19, 2010

The following article is from the July 15th edition of the Church of England Newspaper and is posted with permission from its author, George Conger

Observance of the Anglican Consultative Council's bylaws are discretionary, a spokesman for the organization tells The Church of England Newspaper, when they are inconsistent with its political agenda.

ACC spokesman Jan Butter told CEN the future membership rules of the organization which seek to promote gender parity take precedence over its existing rules.

However, the Archbishop of Canterbury's press spokesman tells The Church of England Newspaper, the ACC staff's views are not the final word on the matter, as the appointment of Bishop Ian Douglas and Canon Janet Trisk to the ACC Standing Committee are under legal review.

Weakened by charges of mismanagement following ACC-14 in Jamaica, the credibility and moral integrity of the ACC Standing Committee is now being questioned over the propriety of seating two members whom critics charge are ineligible to serve. the rest

We know more about the Tiger Woods sex scandal than our own president

July 19, 2010
Monty Pelerin

I think it is remarkable that within a week of Tiger Woods crashing his Escalade, the press found every woman with whom Tiger has had an affair. In the last few years, with photos, text messages, recorded phone calls, etc. And, they not only knew the cause of the family fight, but they even knew it was a wedge from his golf bag that his wife used to break out the windows in the Escalade. Not only that, they knew which wedge!

And each and every day, they gave America more updates on his sex-rehab stay, his wife's plans for divorce, and the dates and tournaments he will play in.

Obama has been in office for over a year now, and this same press:
· Still cannot find any of his childhood friends or neighbors,
· Or locate any of Obama's college papers or grades,
· Or how he paid for a Harvard education,
· Or which country issued his visa to travel to Pakistan in the 1980's,
· Or Barry Soretoro or even Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis on racism.
· They just can't seem to find them.
· Yet the public still trusts that same press to give them the whole truth !

Truly remarkable! the rest

Maryland Becomes Second State to Offer Federally Funded Abortions under Obamacare

Friday, July 16, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer

( - Maryland will join Pennsylvania as the second state to use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, according to information released by Maryland’s State Health Insurance Plan.

Maryland will receive $85 million in federal funds for its federally mandated high-risk insurance pool, which will cover abortions. As reported on July 14, Pennsylvania will receive $160 million in federal funds for its high-risk insurance pool, which will also cover abortions.

During the debate over the health-care bill, President Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress, saying: “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." the rest