Saturday, August 21, 2010

Syracuse: Rep. John Boehner attends fundraiser for Ann Marie Buerkle

House Minority Leader John Boehner

Ann Marie Buerkle for Congress NY 25th District

Ann Marie Buerkle and former Congressman Jim Walsh

photos by Raymond Dague

Ann Marie Buerkle's dilemma: Wedding, fundraiser or both?
The answer: Both!!!

NYS Dems Go After Congressional Hopefuls Chris Gibson, Ann Marie Buerkle
(They must be a bit nervous-they took the time to produce this rather insipid video below)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Devotional: Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual...

Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and the weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazin’ grace. As we glance up, we are astonished to find the eyes of Jesus open with wonder, deep with understanding, and gentle with compassion. ...Brennan Manning image by Alex Proimos

CofE Homosexual priest to 'marry' Nigerian male model

A homosexual Church of England priest has announced plans to "marry" his Nigerian male model boyfriend, who is 40 years his junior.
By Richard Savill
20 Aug 2010

The Rev Colin Coward, 64, a priest at St John the Baptist church in Devizes, Wilts, is to enter into a civil partnership with his boyfriend Bobby Egbele, 25.

The union has caused a stir among Christians because the couple plan a carefully-worded "blessing" service in church after the ceremony.

Mr Coward has also declined to confirm that he will remain celibate following the union, which is a requirement the Church of England asks of its ordained homosexual clergy.

Mr Coward, who lives with his boyfriend in Marston, near Devizes, said he hoped his union would set a “visible example” to other homosexuals within the church.

He said: “My goal is for everyone within the church to feel comfortable with the situation because at the moment the majorityof gay Christians marry secretly. the rest

New Church Body to be Formed for Lutherans in North America

Aug. 19, 2010

Christian Newswire: More than 1,000 Lutherans from throughout North America will gather Aug. 26-27 in suburban Columbus, Ohio, to form a new church body for confessional Lutherans. The annual Convocation of Lutheran CORE will adopt a constitution that will give birth to the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

"The NALC will embody the center of Lutheranism in America. The NALC will uphold confessional principles dear to Lutherans including a commitment to the authority of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions," said the Rev. Mark Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE.

The Convocation will take place at Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, Ohio. A theological conference featuring some of the most significant Lutheran scholars in America will precede the Convocation. "Seeking New Directions for Lutheranism" is the theme of the Aug. 24-26 conference at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Hilliard, Ohio. the rest

A.S.Haley: Is +Bennison Disqualified from Serving Further?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The following correspondence was emailed to me anonymously. I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but it makes for highly interesting reading:

Memorandum to: Mary Kostel, Esq., Special Assistant to the Presiding Bishop for Litigation
From: Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx
Date: August 13, 2010
Re: Problem with Inconsistent Positions in Pennsylvania, San Joaquin and Fort Worth

Attached please find a copy of the Second Amended Original Petition and Third-Party Defendants' Counterclaims we are filing today in the Fort Worth litigation in Tarrant County District Court. One of our summer associates pointed out a potentially harmful inconsistency between the position we are taking in this pleading, and the position the Presiding Bishop is taking with regard to Bishop Bennison in Pennsylvania.

ENS has announced that the judgment of the Court of Review operated to dissolve the inhibition placed upon Bishop Bennison by the Presiding Bishop, and to allow him to resume the duties of his office. (You will recall that the Court of Review, although finding Bishop Bennison guilty of "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy", found that the statute of limitations had run on that offense.) The Presiding Bishop did not try to keep Bishop Bennison from taking up the duties of his office as of August 16, and there has been considerable outcry from the Standing Committee and individual members of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
the rest

Dialogue or domination?

August 20th, 2010
By Chris Sugden
Evangelicals Now
September 2010

From July 30th to August 3rd the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion met in London. The Archbishops of Egypt, West Africa and Ghana were absent as they had resigned because of the Anglican Communion’s failure to exercise any discipline on the flagrant disregard by The Episcopal Church of biblical teaching and decisions of the Communion on admitting those in active same-sex relationships to senior leadership in the church.

At the meeting, a senior lawyer from Malaysia, Dato ( = Sir) Stanley Isaacs proposed that “ The Episcopal Church be separated from the Communion.” This was rejected because it was believed, “Separation would inhibit dialogue on this and other issues among Communion Provinces.”

Dr Philip Turner sees this as more of the same ” TEC’s recent history reveals that it now has a standard way of doing business—one that exposes its pleas for dialogue as disingenuous. What is that way? One makes changes in disputed aspects of the life and order of the church by breaking the rules and then calling for conversation rather than “consequences.” This standard way of doing business carries with it its own very idiosyncratic notion of dialogue–one that, by laying claim to the prophet’s mantle, will not allow the possibility that one could be wrong and one’s opponent right. When TEC acts, TEC acts (according to TEC) in the power of the Holy Spirit; and when TEC speaks, TEC speaks (according to TEC) in the power of the Holy Spirit. To be in opposition, therefore, is to oppose both the Holy Spirit and the justice it is God’s purpose to bring to the world.
the rest at Anglican Mainstream

Should Courts or Ethics Committees Decide “Futile” Care Cases?

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

Longtime readers of SHS and those who have read my books and other writings, know I oppose legalizing futile care theory. Futile care theory would permit bioethics committees or doctors to refuse wanted life-sustaining treatment based on quality of life and/or resource husbanding purposes (as opposed to being physiologically useless).

the rest

And Now: The Stealth Obama Ocean Grab

Michelle Malkin
posted August 20, 2010

It's not enough that the White House is moving to lock up hundreds of millions of acres of land in the name of environmental protection. The Obama administration's neon green radicals are also training their sights on the deep blue seas. The president's grabby-handed bureaucrats have been empowered through executive order to seize unprecedented control from states and localities over "conservation, economic activity, user conflict and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes."

Democrats have tried and failed to pass "comprehensive" federal oceans management legislation five years in a row. The so-called "Oceans 21" bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sam Farr of California, went nowhere fast. Among the top reasons: bipartisan concerns about the economic impact of closing off widespread access to recreational fishing. The bill also would have handed environmentalists another punitive litigation weapon under the guise of "ecosystem management." Instead of accepting defeat, the green lobby simply circumvented the legislative process altogether. the rest

The conservative college student: Politics or Civility?

August 18, 2010
Scott Jaschik

ATLANTA -- The oppressed conservative student is a regular theme in the right's critique of higher education. You know the stories -- mocked for displaying the American flag or a Ronald Reagan bust, shouted down for suggesting that that Iraq war is just, always in fear of earning a low grade for criticizing affirmative action or some other widely held belief among the left-leaning campus majority.

Research presented here Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association affirmed that many conservative students feel that way, but also that many do not -- and that the latter group in fact thrive on the very campuses that tend to be portrayed as hostile to them.

The difference, the research suggests, isn't the relative size of the conservative minority or the commitment level of the more liberal majority. Rather, campus characteristics -- many of them most commonly associated with small liberal arts colleges, and harder to pull off at large universities -- may be the determining factor. In fact, one suggestion from the research that might distress fiscal conservatives is that low student-faculty ratios may contribute far more to the comfort of conservative students than would efforts to promote ideological "balance" on a syllabus or in a department. the rest

The Fatal Formula

Thursday, August 19, 2010 from American Life League's Michael Hichborn detailing how pro-abortion proponents and other murder-minded entities try to dehumanize their victims in the eyes of society at large in order to facilitate their extermination.Found here

Sarah Palin Responds to Emily's List Attacking Pro-Life Women on Abortion

EMILY’s List Ewoks Get An Epic Fail-Sarah Palin Wins Again!
...Sarah Palin was told that she wasn’t a real feminist because she wasn’t pro-life. Women who voted Republican were told that they weren’t real women.
The original feminists, like Susan B. Anthony, were pro-life. They didn’t advocated feminist litmus tests or demand that voting women only vote a certain way. Today’s femisogynists couldn’t be further away from what feminists actually stood for, yet they’ve hijacked the movement and sought to silence strong conservative women...

Anglican Church is broken, says Orombi

By Ephraim Kasozi
Friday, August 20 2010

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, yesterday said the Anglican Church today faces many challenges which have made it dysfunctional.

“What I can tell you is that the Anglican Church is very broken,” Bishop Orombi said.
“It (church) has been torn at its deepest level, and it is a very dysfunctional family of the provincial churches. It is very sad for me to see how far down the church has gone.”
Speaking at the opening of a three-day provincial Assembly in Mukono, the head of the Church of Uganda noted that the church has lost credibility.

He proposed that the Church of Uganda engages church structures at a very minimal level until godly faith and order have been restored. “I can assure you that we have tried as a church to participate in the processes, but they are dominated by western elites, whose main interest is advancing a vision of Anglicanism that we do not know or recognise. We are a voice crying in the wilderness,” he said at the Church’s top assembly that convenes every two years. the rest

Anglican Catholic Primate: 'Christianity is now the most persecuted of all the world’s religions'

Thursday August 19, 2010
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

( - Archbishop John Hepworth, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, celebrated the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia at the end of July.

In his homily, the archbishop said that "Christianity is now the most persecuted of all the world’s religions. In almost one third of the world’s nations it is in some way illegal to be Christian."

Archbishop Hepworth noted that secular humanism has coalesced the enemies of the Christian morality on which Western nations were founded. These have come out in opposition to principles such as the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, and the value of the natural family as the fundamental unit of civilized society.

"The power of secular humanism, in denial that anything exists beyond this life, and in its thirst for material possessions, has made a strange alliance with the enemies of Christianity," the archbishop explained. the rest

Thursday, August 19, 2010

CDC: Salmonella from eggs may have sickened 1,300

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
posted August 19, 2010

The ongoing salmonella outbreak from eggs may have sickened about 1,300 people from May to July, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. Health officials have reports of at least 1,953 cases from May through July 17, a period when there are normally only about 700 cases, says Christopher Braden of the CDC. Many more people have probably become sick with salmonella since then, he said, noting that local health officials first noticed spikes in salmonella as early as April.

The outbreak has been tracked to in-shell eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa, which has recalled 380 million eggs, says Sherri McGarry of the Food and Drug Administration. FDA officials are "on site" at the egg producer to inspect facilities and test for salmonella. Officials haven't yet received the results of those tests, she says. the rest

Eggs affected by the recall are sold under the following brands: Albertson, Boomsma's, Dutch Farms, Farm Fresh, Hillandale, Kemps, Lucerne, Lund, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Shoreland, Sunshine and Trafficanda.

The eggs are in cartons from plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946, with dates ranging from 136 to 225. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with P, then the number. The date follows the plant number. For example: P-1946 223.

Recalled eggs not found in New York so far
Wegmans supermarkets’ egg cartons bear the legend “farm fresh,” but that is a marketing statement, not a brand name, said Evelyn Carter, speaking from the company’s Syracuse office. Wegmans’ eggs are produced in New York and are not part of the Wright County Egg recall, she said.

Shhhh! Abstinence is popular...

Bill Bumpas and Jody Brown

The full results of a national study that favors abstinence education is being withheld from researchers and the public.

The taxpayer-supported survey found that around 70 percent of parents and their teenagers believed that teens should wait until marriage to have sex. Despite release of the study's summary and its highlight at two major public health conferences last year, the Department of Health and Human Services is withholding the full results according to Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Foundation.

"When a researcher [Dr. Lisa Rue] asked the HHS for the full results, she [was told it] is not public information and it has not been released to the public and so you don't have access to it," relates Huber. "[I find that] a little incredulous since it was shared publicly at two different venues."

Huber questions the motivation of the Obama administration, noting that "as of this past fiscal year, President Obama specifically put in his budget a desire to end all funding for abstinence education." the rest

Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim

August 18, 2010

A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined. More than a year and a half into his presidency, a plurality of the public says they do not know what religion Obama follows.

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009. Fully 43% say they do not know what Obama’s religion is. The survey was completed in early August, before Obama’s recent comments about the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center.

The view that Obama is a Muslim is more widespread among his political opponents than among his backers. Roughly a third of conservative Republicans (34%) say Obama is a Muslim, as do 30% of those who disapprove of Obama’s job performance. But even among many of his supporters and allies, less than half now say Obama is a Christian. Among Democrats, for instance, 46% say Obama is a Christian, down from 55% in March 2009. the rest

Charles Bennison, Embattled Episcopal Bishop, Vows To Stay In Office

By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

(RNS) The embattled Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia said he erred in not investigating his brother's sexual abuse of an underage girl 35 years ago, but brushed aside calls for his resignation, saying it is more "interesting" for him to remain in office.

Bishop Charles Bennison was removed from ministry in 2007, when he was charged with "conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy." A church court found him guilty in 2008. But Bennison returned to his Philadelphia office on Monday (Aug. 16) after a church appeals court ruled last month the 10-year statute of limitations on the charge had expired.

Even so, prominent Philadelphia Episcopalians--including the diocese's elected standing committee--said Bennison should resign. the rest

Episcopal bishop intends to stay, despite tensions

Islamic insurgents expel Christian aid groups from southern Somalia

August 18, 2010

Al-Shabaab, an Islamic insurgent group that controls most of southern and central Somalia, has expelled three Christian aid groups from the southern part of the nation. “Acting as missionaries under the guise of humanitarian work, the organizations have been spreading their corrupted ideologies in order to taint the pure creed of the Muslims in Somalia,” Al-Shabaab said in a statement. the rest

Demography and Economic Destiny

Why the global economic crisis is really about old age—and how to encourage prosperous countries to have more children.
By Phillip Longman
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One day in 1999, I went to visit the billionaire financier Peter G. Peterson in his office high above Park Avenue. In those days, Peterson surveyed a city booming with leveraged deals and paper profits that hourly added to his wealth. Yet he was worried about the future. He warned of a world going gray and predicted that the aging population of the industrial world, particularly in Europe, would tank the era of prosperity then being called “the long boom.”

As I quoted him back then in a cover story for U.S. News and World Report: “The scenario I see is that one or more developed countries . . . is going to decide that the political cost of reforming their pension systems is just too high.” When that happens, Peterson continued, “they will try running high deficits — much higher than the limits set by the European Union’s monetary authorities — in an attempt to finance their way out of the problem. When the financial markets wake up to this news, there will be a broad realization that we have a global aging crisis that is going to be unrelenting in its economic consequences.”

At first, the global recession that began in 2008 seemed to have nothing to do with changing demographics. Economists and politicians pointed instead to the excesses of unregulated capitalism. Many thought that the prophesied demographic-driven entitlements crisis was still years away. But today it is becoming more apparent that Peterson was right: Europe’s demographic problems are not only forcing startling cutbacks in the welfare state but also are damaging the Continent’s prospects for sustained growth and economic recovery. Worse, Europe's today is the rest of the world's tomorrow. the rest

What is the way forward? The future belongs to whatever form of human organization manages to produce enough children to avoid both population decline and environmental ruin.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Devotional: It is grace at the beginning...

It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace wondrous grace. By the grace of God I am what I am. Yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me. ...Martyn Lloyd-Jones image by polandeze

Schools claim Lucifer as model and guardian

Bill Bumpas

While a California school district is seeing a boom in interest in a controversial educational philosophy that goes back more than 100 years, at the same time it's fighting a lawsuit over whether the system is legal in public schools.

California's capital city offers two Waldorf-inspired public schools -- John Morse Waldorf Methods School (K-8), and the high school George Washington Carver School of Arts and Sciences. The Sacramento City Unified School District now is facing a trial in federal court on allegations that those schools are religious, making them ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars.

The lawsuit, filed in 1998 by the group People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools, is just now making it to trial after several appeals. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, the president of PLANS uses phrases like "cult-like religious sect" and "new-age religion" to describe the activities at the schools.

Dr. Bruce Shortt, author of The Harsh Truth about Public Schools, explains to OneNewsNow that the Waldorf system is based on a dangerous philosophy called "anthroposophy" from the writings of 19th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. the rest

Steak on a Paper Plate: A Reflection on Worship

By Trevin Wax
Aug 17, 2010

When it comes to the atmosphere of worship services in the next generation, something’s got to give.

More and more churches are focusing on the centrality of the Word in worship. The resurgence of Reformed theology among younger evangelicals, the reestablishment of a rock-solid belief in the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures in the Southern Baptist Convention, the revival of expository preaching… this wave that we’re riding is about to collide with an even bigger wave: the dominance of contemporary worship styles across the U.S. and the world.

For many churches, the biggest requirement for a “worship set” is novelty. We’re aiming for an experience. So we put together a worship service that is more influenced by the latest hits on Christian radio than by theology or history. the rest

Christians need to sense the weight of God’s glory, the truths of God’s Word, the reality of coming judgment, and the gloriousness of God’s grace.

Albert Mohler: “And Then They Are All Mine” — The Real Agenda of Some College Professors

On many campuses, a significant number of faculty members are representatives of what has been called the “adversary culture.” They see their role as political and ideological, and they define their teaching role in these terms. Their agenda is nothing less than to separate students from their Christian beliefs and their intellectual and moral commitments.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There is nothing quite like the start of a new academic year on a college or university campus. Streams of students and faculty return to the timeless patterns of academic life, summoned by the desire for learning and a commitment to teaching. Among the thousands of college students arriving on campuses at this time of year are freshmen, representing the most eager and excited new members of the academic community. The transition from high school to college is one of the most significant seasons of a young person’s life, and the energy and youthfulness they add to the campus is immeasurable and invaluable.

The faculty also return to their calling, and most begin the new year with a sense of satisfaction and eagerness that can almost match that of the incoming freshmen. There is exhilaration in the experience of teaching. One of the greatest privileges offered to a college or university professor is the stewardship of learning and teaching, as well as having influence over the minds and worldviews of young people at one of the most formative periods of life. Most new professors find the experience to be nearly intoxicating, and even the most seasoned professors find the experience of teaching to be both deeply satisfying and personally challenging. The power of a professor in a classroom is immense, and most teachers are deeply committed to their disciplines and their calling. The classroom and the campus are where so many lives are shaped and where minds come alive. What could possibly go wrong? A great deal, as it turns out.

Even as most professors see themselves as stewards of the teaching profession and fellow learners with their students, others see their role in very different terms — as agents of ideological indoctrination. All teaching involves ideology and intellectual commitments. There is no position of authentic objectivity. Every teacher, as well as every student, comes into the classroom with certain intellectual commitments. the rest

Some professors set as their aim the indoctrination of students into their own worldview, and many of these worldviews are both noxious and deeply troubling. A professor who acts as such an agent of indoctrination abuses the stewardship of teaching and the professorial calling, but this abuse is more widespread and dangerous than many students and their parents understand.

The Beginning of the End of the Ground Zero Mosque

A column in a leading Arabic-language daily should lead even liberals to throw in the towel.
BY William Kristol
August 17, 2010

A column (h/t, MEMRI) in the August 16, 2010 London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, director of Al-Arabiya TV and the paper's former editor, “A House of Worship or a Symbol of Destruction?” should mean the end of plans for a mosque near Ground Zero. Mr. Al-Rashid supports President Obama’s stand for the mosque in principle (as he supports Obama-like or even beyond-Obama-like policies with respect to the Middle East). He’s no neocon. But his practical case against building the mosque is irrefutable. It should lead well-meaning liberals to join with us dastardly conservatives (well, it would be too painful for them to join with us—they can simply act in parallel, on their own, while continuing to denounce us) in calling for the organizers to shelve the plans for a mosque at this site. Or will the organizers pull the plug even before their supporters get around to urging them to do so?

Here’s the crux of Mr. Al-Rashid’s argument:

"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district....The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery....[T]he battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle...and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries. Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists who committed their crime in the name of Islam. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place that tomorrow might become a place about which the terrorists and their Muslim followers boast, and which will become a shrine for Islam haters whose aim is to turn the public opinion against Islam.” the rest

A House of Worship or a Symbol of Destruction?

President's sentiments on mosque made clear
"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

Nancy Pelosi calls for investigation of Ground Zero mosque opposition

Obama's Petulant Presidency

By Aaron Goldstein

Remember when Christopher Buckley endorsed Barack Obama? Let's revisit.

The son of the late William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review, wrote in October 2008, "As for Senator Obama: He has exhibited throughout a "first-class temperament."

Yet now nearly nineteen months into Obama's presidency there is scant evidence of that "first-class temperament" to which Buckley refers. If Obama's term in office thus far can be summed up with a single word I would choose petulant. Merriam-Webster defines petulant as "insolent or rude in speech or behavior"; "characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor." This fits Obama to a tee.

President Obama has been petulant towards those who disagree with him. Just days after taking office he told Republican Congressional leaders who objected to his stimulus plan, "I won. I'm the president." At this same meeting he told Republicans, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." the rest

The Incredible, Sinking Obama
President Obama’s high-handedness is causing the public to backhand him in recent polls.

Ailing 9/11 responders slam President Obama
...on Tuesday for sounding off on the Ground Zero mosque while keeping silent on a $7.2 billion health care bill.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Just Two?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
David Mills

Thirty or so years ago, when the homosexualist movement got moving in the Episcopal Church, they argued for giving the “lesgay community” the same opportunity to solemnize their (allegedly) monogamous relationships as heterosexual couples had. The arguments were variations of “God made me this way” and “This is the way I am,” combined with either skepticism about the biblical teaching or reinterpretation of what it actually meant.

Eventually they added bi-sexuals to the list and began speaking of the “lesbigay community.” They continued pressing for the same goals with the same arguments, despite the fact that they now included people who believed that the way God made them did not include monogamy. This showed the logical drive of the sexual liberationist movement, even if the rationalizations lagged well behind the reality.

One argument against homosexual marriage, which we seem to have to keep hammering home, is that if marriage is only a matter of the affections, of the state solemnizing the sexual and communal arrangement people choose, there is no end to the arrangements it must approve. It has no reason to stop with two people, as it has, in many places, done now. the rest

Resisting the ACC’s Growing Power

August 16, 2010
By Mark McCall

Last month the Anglican Consultative Council began operating under a new constitution. One of the four “instruments of Communion,” the ACC was created by the 1968 Lambeth Conference as an advisory council composed of lay, clerical and episcopal representatives of the churches of the Anglican Communion. The four instruments — the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting, and the ACC — have distinct but complementary functions in the life of the Communion.

The ACC usually meets every three years and has consisted of approximately 70 members, almost all of whom are directly appointed by the Communion’s 38 member churches. The membership criteria favor lay participation, and at the last meeting of the ACC the laity formed the largest group. To assure wider representation there are “term limits” restricting members to three meetings. The ACC thus serves as a complement to, but not a replacement for, the other instruments that emphasize the central role of bishops in a Communion that recognizes the historic episcopate as an essential element.

In the 1970s the ACC authorized its standing committee to form a charitable trust in the United Kingdom to manage its U.K. assets “on behalf of” the ACC. The standing committee members became the trustees of this trust. After the Primates’ Meeting was created as the fourth instrument and established its own standing committee, it became the practice of the two standing committees to meet together to help coordinate the two instruments. These joint meetings gave rise to the name “Joint Standing Committee,” but in fact they remained two separate committees and the primates were not trustees for purposes of the U.K. trust. Those matters continued to be addressed by the ACC committee alone. As the Communion has struggled to cope with the crises of the last two decades, various Communion commissions have recommended reform of the ACC and its standing committee. In addition, changes in U.K. law have resulted in legal advice to revise the legal structure of the U.K. charity. The result of these considerations was the recent incorporation of the ACC itself as an English company with the Articles of Association of that company becoming the ACC’s new constitution. the rest

US breast cancer drug decision 'marks start of death panels'

America's health watchdog is considering revoking its approval of the drug Avastin for use on women with advanced breast cancer, leading to accusations that it will mark the start of 'death panel' drug rationing.
By Nick Allen, in Los Angeles and Andrew Hough
16 Aug 2010

A decision to rescind endorsement of the drug would reignite the highly charged debate over US health care reform and how much the state should spend on new and expensive treatments.

Avastin, the world’s best selling cancer drug, is primarily used to treat colon cancer and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for use on women with breast cancer that has spread.

It costs $8,000 (£5,000) a month and is given to about 17,500 women in the US a year. The drug was initially approved after a study found that, by preventing blood flow to tumours, it extended the amount of time until the disease worsened by more than five months. However, two new studies have shown that the drug may not even extend life by an extra month.

The FDA advisory panel has now voted 12-1 to drop the endorsement for breast cancer treatment. The panel unusually cited "effectiveness" grounds for the decision. But it has been claimed that "cost effectiveness" was the real reason ahead of reforms in which the government will extend health insurance to the poorest. the rest

"I fear this is the beginning of a slippery slope leading to more and more rationing under the government takeover of health care that is being forced on the American people."

FDA-approved 'ella' is really an abortion pill

Aug 16, 2010
by Tom Strode

WASHINGTON (BP)--The federal government has approved for sale another pill as an emergency contraceptive, but critics say it actually is an abortion drug.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Aug. 13 the approval of "ella," which it says prevents pregnancy when it is taken within five days after sexual intercourse. Ella, which requires a prescription, functions primarily to restrict or postpone ovulation in a woman, according to the FDA.

Pro-life organizations, however, charge ella can act to eliminate an embryo already implanted in the mother's womb. The newly approved drug is more closely related to RU 486, the abortion drug already sold in the United States, than to currently marketed emergency contraceptives Plan B and Next Choice, pro-lifers say.

Ella is like RU 486, also known as mifepristone, in that it prevents production of the hormone progesterone, destroying the placenta that provides nutrition to the embryo and causing the tiny child's death, according to the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Like the "morning-after" pills Plan B and Next Choice, ella also can block implantation of an embryo in the uterine wall, causing an abortion. the rest

The Stealth Abortion Pill
The so-called “week-after pill” is an abortion drug hidden under the guise of contraception.

Prop 8 Ruling Could Criminalize Christianity, Leaders Warn

Monday, August 16, 2010
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor

An opponent of homosexual marriage prepares a sign Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, outside City Hall in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) ( – Religious leaders warn that if an Aug. 6 ruling by a federal judge on same-sex marriage is upheld, it could wind up putting a gag on Christians speaking out about homosexuality – a gag that a top Southern Baptist leader says his denomination will not accept.

In a 136-page decision barring California’s Proposition 8, which limited marriage to one man and one woman, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker found that “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University Law School and chairman of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, said Walker's finding is shocking, and, if upheld, would have ominous implications for Christians wanting to present the Bible’s position on homosexuality. the rest

'Gay' clergy leads to membership drop

Russ Jones

Another mainline denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is reporting a decline in membership, joining a growing trend in mainline loses.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- the largest Lutheran body in the U.S. -- lost almost 91,000 members and 48 congregations last year (see earlier story). Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, says other mainline denominations, such as the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church, have seen continuous decline as well since the mid 1960s.

In response to the loss in membership, which is accompanied by a nearly three-percent dorp in giving, the ELCA Church Council is revising its remaining 2010 budget as well as restructuring the church-wide organization in 2011. the rest

Obama backtracks over Ground Zero mosque

By Mail Foreign Service
17th August 2010

Friday: 'Let me be clear: As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right ... to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in Lower Manhattan'

Saturday: 'I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there'

Hamas: Muslims 'have to build everywhere' so they can pray like Christians and Jews

Barack Obama has backtracked over his support for plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
The U.S. President was hit by a furious backlash from victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks after he backed the highly controversial plans in a speech on Friday.

The proposed site for the 13-storey building is close to where almost 3,000 people died nine years ago after Muslim hijackers flew two jet airliners into the World Trade Center. the rest

Obama, the one-term president
The problem for Obama is that he appears to have taken seriously all the “change” stuff he promised during his campaign. And he has been unable to make the transition from candidate to president.

Obama boasts of most 'progressive' political triumphs in decades
"We have been able to deliver the most progressive legislative agenda -- one that helps working families -- not just in one generation, maybe two, maybe three," Obama said.

Obama's approval ratings hit new lows
"The president visited Florida's Gulf Coast over the weekend as part of a vacation with his family, while his comments about the construction of a mosque near ground zero in New York City became a much-debated topic in the news media and on the Internet," Gallup reported.

The Economist: Disappointed, down, despondent
WHY, asks a Democrat leading a training session for fellow activists, doesn’t “Yes we can” work as a slogan any more? “Because we haven’t,” a jaded participant responds. Progressives, as bedrock Democrats like to call themselves, are despondent. The election euphoria of 2008, when their party secured heavy majorities in both chambers of Congress and Barack Obama won the presidency with ease, has deflated so rapidly that analysts are now diagnosing on the left an affliction they ascribed to the Republicans back then: an “enthusiasm gap”.

Obama, the Mosque, and Ground Zero
What Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama have done is to undermine the very cause they say they are trying to defend. By implicitly and explicitly siding with Feisal Abdul Rauf’s effort and trying to turn this matter into a false debate about religious freedom, they are sharpening the divisions in our country in a way that is both unnecessary and harmful.

Court halts Calif. gay marriages pending appeal

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
– Mon Aug 16, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the two gay couples that challenged the ban said Monday they would not appeal the panel's decision on the stay to the Supreme Court. the rest

Conservative Christians: It Won't Stop at Gay Marriage
The conservative and religious communities are fighting for the right to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage – rather than allowing legislature or the courts to rule on the issue. At the same time, they are also trying to defend their religious liberties.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Devotional: Holiness...

Holiness--as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it--appeared to me to be of a sweet, calm, pleasant, charming, serene nature, which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, ravishment to the soul; in other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant fruits and flowers, all delightful and undisturbed, enjoying a sweet calm and the gentle vivifying beams of the sun.
...Jonathan Edwards image by Stuart Seeger

An Open Letter to the People of the Diocese of Pennsylvania From the Standing Committee of the Diocese

August 16, 2010

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We write to share our thoughts in response to Bishop Bennison’s publicly stated intention to return and resume his responsibilities as Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. We are grateful for the counsel that many of you have offered. We listened with care to the words spoken by many of you at our Cathedral this past Sunday and are grateful for your prayers. We write to you with humility and conviction...

...We are committed to ensuring the spiritual, emotional and physical safety of all within this Diocese and all whom we seek to serve in the name of Christ. We are committed to serving the weak and most vulnerable in our midst, those who are oppressed, and the children and youth of our Diocese.

We do not believe that Bishop Bennison has the trust of the clergy and lay leaders necessary for him to be an effective pastor and leader of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, nor that he can regain or rebuild the trust that he has lost or broken.

We believe that it would be in the best interest of the Diocese that Bishop Bennison not resume his exercise of authority here.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania:

Mr. Christopher Hart; Ms. Jo Ann Jones, The Reverend Ledlie Laughlin (Member of the Executive Committee); The Reverend Glenn Matis (President of the Standing Committee and member of the Executive Committee), Mr. Norman McCausland; Ms. Arlene McGurk (Secretary of the Standing Committee and member of the Executive Committee); The Reverend Isaac Miller; The Reverend D. Joy Segal; and Ms. D-L. Wormley

Full letter

'Dr Death' calls for assisted suicide for those who are not terminally ill

Elderly people should be allowed to end their lives with the help of a doctor even if they are not terminally ill, according to a new campaign group that claims to have widespread support.
By Martin Beckford
16 Aug 2010

The Society for Old Age Rational Suicide, led by a former GP known as “Dr Death”, says that pensioners should have the human right to declare “enough is enough” and die with dignity.

Dr Michael Irwin says he knows of an elderly English woman who is considering taking her life through Dignitas, the Swiss “suicide clinic”, as she is suffering from progressive arthritis and worsening eyesight.

He believes that many more will want to take the same course of action as Britain’s population ages.

The new group has commissioned a national poll that found 67 per cent of those questioned agreed that very elderly and mentally competent individuals should be allowed to receive a doctor's assistance to die, if they are suffering from health problems but not terminally ill. Only 19 per cent of the 1,009 adults questioned by ICM said they opposed the move while the rest were uncertain. the rest

The Anglican Consultative Council’s Standing Committee: Who Is Janet Trisk?

Sarah Hey at Stand Firm
Monday, August 16, 2010

While it's clear that she is a progressive/revisionist activist of the most extreme, the Sea of Faith Network is certainly a few steps beyond revisionist Anglican activism -- beyond support for non-celibate gay relationships and their affirmation, beyond feminist Marxist liberation theology, beyond manipulation of political processes at ACC meetings, beyond heretical Christology. Other than the Sea of Faith's interest in the use of religion, it would be hard to find a more antithetically religious organization than one that denies the objective existence of God. And just because Janet Trisk has had some book reviews posted on the Sea of Faith Network doesn't mean she's a member of such an interesting, albeit godless, organization. But the shocking fact is that Janet Trisk is a member of the Sea of Faith Network.

Story-don't miss!

A Girl’s Life in the Cyberbubble

Aug 13, 2010
Mary Rose Somarriba

It’s back-to-school time. Soon, girls and boys will be saying goodbye to summer and heading back to the classroom. But we know that doesn’t mean they’ll get to books and learning. Many of today’s kids are heading to the classroom with their Blackberry or iPhone in hand, Facebook account active, and hyper-sexualized clothing on, even at a pre-pubescent age. Suffice it to say, they face some distractions.

Which is why parents, especially parents of teen and pre-teen daughters, should read Girls on the Edge, the latest book by doctor and psychologist Leonard Sax. Sax, also author of Boys Adrift (2009) and Why Gender Matters (2006), sees a lot of distractions keeping girls from healthy development today, and he lists what he finds to be the “four factors driving the new crisis for girls”: issues affecting sexual identity; the “cyberbubble,” including social-networking technologies like texting, sexting, and Facebook; teen obsessions ranging from hyper-competitiveness in school to anorexia and other self-harms; and environmental toxins that bring on premature puberty. the rest
Think of a girl you know between the ages of 13 and 16 on Facebook today. Look at her profile picture: Is she smiling? Chances are, no. Chances are, we see someone who is making an expression that is saucy, or rolling-the-eyes irritated, or simply deer-in-the-headlights stoic, but chances are it’s not a smile. Something’s gotten between the girl and her smile, and, as Sax diagnoses it, it’s self-objectification: “As these girls get hyper-connected with their peers, they get disconnected with themselves.”

Albert Mohler: The Inerrancy of Scripture: The Fifty Years’ War . . . and Counting

We are entering a new phase in the battle over the Bible’s truthfulness and authority. We should at least be thankful for undisguised arguments coming from the opponents of biblical inerrancy, even as we are ready, once again, to make clear where their arguments lead.
Monday, August 16, 2010

Back in 1990, theologian J. I. Packer recounted what he called a “Thirty Years’ War” over the inerrancy of the Bible. He traced his involvement in this war in its American context back to a conference held in Wenham, Massachusetts in 1966, when he confronted some professors from evangelical institutions who “now declined to affirm the full truth of Scripture.” That was nearly fifty years ago, and the war over the truthfulness of the Bible is still not over — not by a long shot.

From time to time, the dust has settled in one arena, only for the battle to erupt in another. In the 1970s, the most visible battles were fought over Fuller Theological Seminary and within the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. By the 1980s, the most heated controversies centered in the Southern Baptist Convention and its seminaries. Throughout this period, the evangelical movement sought to regain its footing on the doctrine. In 1978, a large number of leading evangelicals met and adopted a definitive statement that became known as “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.”

Many thought the battles were over or at least subsiding. Sadly, the debate over the inerrancy of the Bible continues. the rest
image by steve Snodgrass

While asserting that he affirms the historic Christian creeds and “traditional Christian orthodoxy,” Sparks proposes that Jesus made routine errors of fact.

His conclusion: “If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, [and/or] John wrote Scripture without error.”

That is a breath-taking assumption, to say the very least. But, even in its shocking audacity, it serves to reveal the clear logic of the new battle-lines over biblical inerrancy. We now confront open calls to accept and affirm that there are indeed errors in the Bible.

Michelle Malkin: How Obama is locking up our land

August 14, 2010

My column today raises bright red flags about a little-noticed, radical green land grab program underway at the White House called the “Great Outdoors Initiative.” Keep in mind my previous coverage of Obama’s War on the West and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s job destruction. The War on the West is a war on property rights, a war on the economy, and a war on the American way of life. Column here-don't miss! image by Mark Robinson

Have you heard of the “Great Outdoors Initiative”? Chances are, you haven’t. But across the country, White House officials have been meeting quietly with environmental groups to map out government plans for acquiring untold millions of acres of both public and private land. It’s another stealthy power grab through executive order that promises to radically transform the American way of life.

Surprise! Economic Numbers Are 'Worse Than Expected'

August 16, 2010
By Claude Sandroff

The current government employment report is just the most recent example of bad news for the economy expressed in depressing unemployment figures that the wizards in the Washington constantly find either "surprising" or "unexpected." Apparently, a critical member of Barack Obama's economic team, Christina Romer, has been surprised (if not ambushed) once too often by economic reality. Romer, Chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors announced that she was heading back to the UC Berkeley economics department.

Dr. Romer was wrong about every macroeconomic consequence of the $862 billion stimulus she touted. She was wrong about the depth of the recession. And she was wrong in her prediction that if the stimulus were enacted, unemployment would never exceed 8%. Unfortunately, we are now at 9.5% and, much deeper in debt. The massive stimulus program, a centerpiece of the Obama economic plan, was the just the first in a long line of unread, thousand-page bills produced by leftist dreamers.

Failed academic/government economists like Christina Romer, with no private industry experience whatever, surround our equally academic, reality-challenged, president in creating an impenetrable echo chamber of centrally planned government dysfunction. They're all surprised by how their theories fail in the real world because few of them have ever worked in the private economy, and they have no clue how government intrusion in the marketplace burdens the entrepreneur. the rest

The Secret Powers of Time

Food for thought...

A year after denomination accepted gay clergy, some local Lutheran churches appear to be leaving

Sun, 08/15/2010
Lynda Zimmer

The face of Lutheranism in East Central Illinois will change this fall.

Three small-town congregations that have been part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. – for 22 years are switching affiliations.

The dispute pits orthodox, or traditional, ministry against progressive changes.

The trigger point was a vote almost a year ago, at the denomination's biennial national meeting, to open its clergy roster to gay and lesbian ministers who are in committed, same-gender relationships. Previously, homosexual clergy had to remain celibate to stay in the pulpit. the rest

Before the 1988 ELCA merger, Greene of Rantoul remembered:

"Twenty-seven years ago, when I was in the seminary, (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif.), there were two mutually exclusive theologies going on in the ELCA. ... The ELCA was formed to be what it is. Three gay guys I went to school with had this as their agenda. ... I was banished to Illinois. It's a very strange day. I feel more affinity with the Catholics and some Baptists."

Academic Bankruptcy

August 14, 2010

With the academic year about to begin, colleges and universities, as well as students and their parents, are facing an unprecedented financial crisis. What we’ve seen with California’s distinguished state university system — huge cutbacks in spending and a 32 percent rise in tuition — is likely to become the norm at public and private colleges. Government support is being slashed, endowments and charitable giving are down, debts are piling up, expenses are rising and some schools are selling their product for two-thirds of what it costs to produce it. You don’t need an M.B.A. to know this situation is unsustainable.

With unemployment soaring, higher education has never been more important to society or more widely desired. But the collapse of our public education system and the skyrocketing cost of private education threaten to make college unaffordable for millions of young people. If recent trends continue, four years at a top-tier school will cost $330,000 in 2020, $525,000 in 2028 and $785,000 in 2035.

Yet most faculty and administrators refuse to acknowledge this crisis. the rest

3 Out Of 5 Baby Boomers Don't Have Enough For Retirement

AUGUST 15, 2010

America's baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—face a problem that could weigh on the economy for years to come: The longer it takes for the economy to recover, the less money they'll have to spend in retirement.

Policy makers have long worried that Americans aren't saving enough for old age. And lately, current and prospective retirees have been hit on many fronts at once: They have less money, they earn less on what they have, their houses aren't rising in value and the prospect of working longer to make up the shortfall has dimmed significantly in a lousy job market.

"We will have to learn to make do with a lot less in material things," says Gary Snodgrass, a 63-year-old health-care consultant in Placerville, Calif. The financial crisis, he says, slashed his retirement savings 40% and the value of his house by about half.

Banks, home buyers and bond issuers are all benefiting as the U.S. Federal Reserve holds short-term interest rates near zero to support a recovery. But for many of the 36 million Americans who will turn 65 over the next decade—and even for the 45 million who have another decade to go— the resulting low bond yields, combined with a volatile stock market, are making a dire retirement picture look even worse. the rest

Christ Church at center of lawsuit, controversy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The "Mother Church" of Episcopalianism in Georgia has sharp divisions that reflect national trends in that denomination -- and have led to a protracted lawsuit.

There has been unrest in some Episcopal churches and even dioceses across the country because of issues with the national Episcopal Church body including the decision a few years ago allowing openly gay men and women to be ordained. The deep divisions made the Top 10 list of stories for the Religion Newsrwriters Association annual list in 2008.

New congregations have been formed across the country -- including New Life in Christ Anglican Church in Newnan and All Saints Anglican Church in Peachtree City -- that have aligned themselves with more conservative groups. All Saints is aligned with the Anglican Church in North America, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and the American Anglican Council.

Generally, church properties have remained with the congregants who are part of Episcopal Church dioceses affiliated with the national body in New York.

Christ Church in Savannah, however, is an exception -- at least for now. the rest

New sex charges against former choirmaster

Aug 15 2010
Brendan Kennedy
Staff Reporter

Sixteen years after walking out of prison, convicted pedophile and former Anglican choirmaster John Gallienne is facing new sex assault charges.

Gallienne, who pleaded guilty in 1990 to molesting more than a dozen choirboys over the course of 15 years as the popular organist and choirmaster at Kingston’s St. George’s Cathedral, will appear in court next month to face new allegations that he sexually assaulted two more choirboys on multiple occasions between 1978 and 1982.

The alleged victims, now in their late 30s and early 40s, came forward to Kingston Police earlier this year claiming they had been abused by Gallienne between the ages of 8 and 11. the rest

Woman Priest Condemns Court Decision to let Bishop Return

Priests will need to be healers while themselves needing healing, says Ann Grady
By The Rev. Ann Grady
August 12, 2010

The Court of Review, while acknowledging that Charles Bennison was guilty of Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Clergy, overturned the conviction because the statute of limitations had expired.

The victims of the Brothers Bennison were victimized once. Now they've been victimized yet again by the judgment of the Court of Review. Fortunately, John Bennison is no longer a priest. Unfortunately, Charles Bennison is free to once again resume the reigns of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Is it little wonder that those victimized by two priests and a flawed system might wonder if the LORD has not, indeed, fallen asleep? Is it little wonder that those same victims might question that the LORD shall preserve them from all evil and that it is he who shall keep them safe? the rest at Virtueonline