Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Pope in Westminister Hall

Anglican Mainstream
September 17th, 2010

As a further part of what is clearly a teaching visit, the Pope, having spoken to Scottish Catholics about the Christian life, and before he spoke in Westminster Abbey about Christian unity being founded in faith in Christ who alone has the words of eternal life, spoke to Parliamentarians in Westminster Hall about the ethical foundation for political choices.

The central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these norms, as if they could not be known by non-believers – still less to propose concrete political solutions, which would lie altogether outside the competence of religion – but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles. This “corrective” role of religion vis-à-vis reason is not always welcomed, though, partly because distorted forms of religion, such as sectarianism and fundamentalism, can be seen to create serious social problems themselves. And in their turn, these distortions of religion arise when insufficient attention is given to the purifying and structuring role of reason within religion. It is a two-way process. Without the corrective supplied by religion, though, reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils, not least the totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith – the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief – need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilization.

Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square. I would invite all of you, therefore, within your respective spheres of influence, to seek ways of promoting and encouraging dialogue between faith and reason at every level of national life….. the rest
Full Text of Pope's remarks

“Christ..alone has the words of everlasting life” Pope Benedict in Westminster Abbey

Anglican Head, Pope Stress Desire for Closer Ties

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Sep. 18 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams on Friday welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Lambeth Palace where they discussed unity and the challenges Christians face in culture.

It was the first time in history that a pontiff visited the Archbishop of Canterbury's official London residence.

The Anglican and Roman Catholic heads shared warm words as they expressed their desire to build closer relations.

"As bishops, we are servants of the unity of Christ's people, Christ's one Body," said Williams in his address Friday. "And, meeting as we do as bishops of separated church communities, we must all feel that each of our own ministries is made less by the fact of our dividedness, a very real but imperfect communion."

The historic papal visit comes after a number of Anglicans left the Anglican Communion and joined the Catholic Church. Last year, Pope Benedict invited Anglicans who were discontent with the liberal direction of the global body to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving their Anglican traditions – including married priests. The pope issued an apostolic constitution, providing Vatican guidelines for disaffected Anglicans to enter their fold.
the rest

Church Times: Pope and Dr Williams find accord at Lambeth Palace
IN a historic meeting on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to visit Lambeth Palace. There he addressed the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, as well as diocesan bishops from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope was greeted with a warm round of applause in the Great Hall of the Archbishop’s Library at Lambeth Palace.

After an opening prayer, the Archbishop of Canterbury “recalled with great gratitude” the improved relations between the two churches during the past 50 years...

Joint communiqué concerning the meeting between the Holy Father and the Archbishop of Canterbury

Pope Benedict XVI's sermon at Westminster Cathedral

The full sermon delivered by Pope Benedict XVI during holy mass at London's Westminster Cathedral
Saturday 18 September 2010

Dear friends in Christ,

I greet all of you with the joy in the Lord and I thank you for your warm reception. I am grateful to Archbishop Nichols for his words of welcome on your behalf. Truly, in this meeting of the successor of Peter and the faithful of Britain, "heart speaks unto heart" as we rejoice in the love of Christ and in our common profession of the Catholic faith which comes to us from the apostles.

I am especially happy that our meeting takes place in this cathedral dedicated to the most precious blood, which is the sign of God's redemptive mercy poured out upon the world through the passion, death and resurrection of his son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In a particular way I greet the Archbishop of Canterbury, who honours us by his presence.

The visitor to this cathedral cannot fail to be struck by the great crucifix dominating the nave, which portrays Christ's body, crushed by suffering, overwhelmed by sorrow, the innocent victim whose death has reconciled us with the Father and given us a share in the very life of God. the rest

Here, too, I think of the immense suffering caused by the abuse of children, especially within the church and by her ministers. Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives.

I also acknowledge with you the shame and humiliation which all of us have suffered because of these sins; and I invite you to offer it to the Lord with trust that this chastisement will contribute to the healing of victims, the purification of the church and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people.
The Pope in Parliament and Westminster Abbey: a day that shook the foundations of Britain's Protestant myth

Pope visit: wait for a guest who took time to charm his hosts
It was the first time since the beginning of the church that a pontiff had made a state visit to this island so although Benedict XVI was late for most of his engagements, his lateness was not of the kind that produces irritation.

More videos and pictures

Friday, September 17, 2010

Devotional: Slowly, through all the universe the temple of God is being built...

Slowly, through all the universe the temple of God is being built. And whenever, in any place, a soul by freewilled obedience, catches the fire of God's likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. ...Phillips Brooks image

Repealing the ban on the common light bulb

by Rep. Joe Barton
Thursday, September 16th
By Reps. Joe Barton, Marsha Blackburn and Michael Burgess

On this page two weeks ago, Erick lamented the fact that American factory workers are losing jobs to China as a result of the de facto ban on the incandescent light bulb. Light bulbs seem to be a pretty simple part of our lives today. It gets dark, you flip a switch and presto – light happens. But a law passed by Democrats in 2007 – the Pelosi non-energy energy bill – banned nearly all use of the incandescent light bulb by 2014. the rest image by Thomas Brightbill

Turns out the compact florescent light bulb, or CFLs as they are commonly known, can’t be produced cheaply enough in America so we’ve turned to China, where virtually every CFL is produced.

Pope to Anglicans: Proclaim Uniqueness of Christ

SEPT. 17, 2010

( Christians should not hesitate to proclaim the uniqueness of Christ, Benedict XVI today told the leader of the Anglican Communion. Though Christianity is called to be inclusive, this shouldn't come at the expense of Christian truth, he says.

The Pope made this reflection when he met with Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace this afternoon. The Holy Father is on the second day of his four-day trip to the United Kingdom, which began with an enthusiastic welcome Thursday in Scotland.

Despite talk of Anglican-Catholic tensions during the lead-up to the trip, today's meeting between the two leaders reflected their friendship and common ecumenical commitment.

The Pontiff, in fact, noted his intention not to "speak of the difficulties that the ecumenical path has encountered and continues to encounter." the rest

The Pope puts religion back in the spotlight
Something unexpected is happening during the papal visit to this country: the British public is listening with curiosity and genuine respect to Pope Benedict XVI. Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers recognise that the world's most influential spiritual leader is here to deliver a message not just to Britain but also to an international audience. The Pope is using his presence in one of Europe's most secular countries to reach out to English speakers everywhere. His opinions – expressed in prose of great clarity – are uplifting, challenging or just plain wrong, depending on your point of view. But, contrary to the predictions of many commentators, they are not falling on deaf ears.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, the Pope declared that Britain's pluralist democracy had much in common with Catholic social teaching. Both were concerned with safeguarding "the unique dignity of every human being". Britain had demonstrated its love of freedom by abolishing the slave trade, he said. But, he implied, something had gone wrong: "There are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square." The Pope did not directly apply this criticism to modern Britain, but no one in the distinguished audience of community leaders will have been in any doubt that he was referring to us...

Computers set for quantum leap

By Clive Cookson in Birmingham
September 16 2010

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want.

An early application will be to investigate and design complex molecules, such as new drugs and other materials, that cannot be simulated with ordinary computers. More general consumer applications should follow. the rest image

Scientists develop new 'photonic' chip that could make quantum computers a reality


Ballot Box: More Pro-life Primary Victories in New York

Thursday September 16, 2010
By Peter J. Smith

( – Pro-life candidates (not all of them Tea Partiers) won big Tuesday night in GOP primaries, putting them in competitive or underdog races against pro-abortion challengers in the upcoming November 2 election especially in New York. Here is a look at some of the political landscape for the pro-life movement in the Empire State.

Senate Races: Pro-life Carl Paladino, who won the GOP nomination for New York governor, was not the only Tea Party win to put a pro-life candidate on the state ballot. Pro-life and Tea Party-backed senate candidate Joe DioGuardi beat out his fiscal conservative pro-abortion challengers David Malpass and Bruce Blakeman with 41.6 percent percent of the vote. Malpass came in second with 37.6 percent, followed by Blakeman at 20.7 percent.

DioGuardi served as a GOP Congressional representative from 1985-1988 and has been a certified public accountant for 22 years. DioGuardi also had greater name recognition owing to his daughter Kara being a former judge on the popular TV talent show, American Idol. DioGuardi also received an enthusiastic endorsement from New York State Right to Life for his campaign. the rest

Mass. Middle School Mosque Trip Sparks Controversy After Video Shows Students Praying to Allah

September 17, 2010

A Massachusetts middle school field trip to a local mosque has sparked controversy after a video surfaced showing some students participating in a Muslim prayer service during the visit.

Several parents complained to the school after the video, shot by a parent during the May 27 trip, was made public Wednesday. It shows a five sixth-grade boys kneeling, bowing their heads, and engaging in a prayer ritual at Islamic Society of Boston Community Center, the Boston Globe reported.

Wellesley School Superintendent Bella Wong apologized to parents in a letter Thursday and said that allowing the children to participate in the service was a mistake. the rest

Parental Outrage can Protect Kids from ‘Progressive’ Sex-ed

Buddhist extremists capture, then release 8 Christians

Sep 16, 2010
by Caroline Anderson
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh

(BP)--Buddhist extremists detained eight Chakma Christians, members of a Baptist church in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, for four days in August.

The extremists held the men -- a pastor, church secretary, village leader and five church members -- captive in a Buddhist temple to attempt to force them to return to Buddhism, international Christians Grady and Josette Lindem* reported.

During their captivity, the Buddhist extremists forced the men to adopt a Buddhist lifestyle and worship. The Christian believers had to wear Buddhist robes, shave their heads, bow down before a statue of Buddha and clean the temple, the Lindems said. The extremists threatened the believers with severe beatings and even death if they tried to escape. the rest

Stop Harvesting Organs after ‘Cardiac Death,’ Say MDs

Wednesday September 15, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine
CALGARY, Alberta

( - A group of doctors have called on the medical community to cease harvesting organs from patients whose hearts have stopped pulsating, saying that doctors are misleading families to believe that the patient has died when in fact their loved one is still alive.

The story was featured Wednesday on the cover of Canada's National Post.

“A longstanding tenet of ethical organ donation [is] that the nonliving donor must be irreversibly dead at the time of donation,” explain the eight paediatric intensive care specialists, writing in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

The doctors say that the public’s “underlying assumption” when they agree to donate organs is that “they are giving permission to have their organs removed after they are dead.” the rest

L.A.: $111M in Stimulus Saved Just 55 Jobs

By William Lajeunesse
September 17, 2010

More than a year after Congress approved $800 billion in stimulus funds, the Los Angeles City Controller has released a 40-page report on how the city spent its share, and the results are not living up to expectations.

"I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," said Wendy Greuel, the city's controller. "With our local unemployment rate over 12% we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work."

According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds and created 7 private sector jobs and saved 7 workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million. the rest

Taxpayers Paid At Least $9 Million for Signs Promoting Obama's Economic Stimulus
At a minimum, taxpayers have spent $9.1 million as of July 2010 on signs advertising the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus law, according to federal officials reporting estimates to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.

Church Times: Russians threaten to end dialogue with Anglicans

17 September, 2010

THE Russian Orthodox Church has threatened to withdraw from dialogue with Anglicans because of the “liberalism and relativism” of some Anglican Churches, and the development of women bishops in the Church of England.

In a speech at Lambeth Palace on Thursday of last week, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk attacked the Anglican Church for what he described as “betraying our common witness by departing from traditional Christian values and replacing them by contemporary secular standards”. He urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to resist pressure from liberal Anglicans.

Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, was speaking at the Nikaean Club annual dinner. His prolonged attack on liberalism in the Anglican Church stunned Dr Williams, onlookers said.

In his speech, the text of which was released later by the department for external church relations, the Metropolitan said: “The abyss that exists today divides not so much the Orthodox from the Catholics or the Catholics from the Protestants as it does the ‘traditionalists’ from the ‘liberals’. the rest

Pope to pray with Anglican leader on historic visit

By Gildas le Roux (AFP)
posted Sept. 17, 2010

LONDON — Pope Benedict XVI will hold joint prayers with the leader of the world's Anglicans on Friday in a symbolic act of unity on day two of a historic state visit.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church will also attend a service at London's Westminster Abbey led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and meet with him at Lambeth Palace, the Anglican archbishop's London residence.

It is a day of firsts for the 83-year-old pope: no pontiff has visited Lambeth Palace or visited the historic abbey since the foundation of the Church of England when king Henry VIII broke with Rome in 1534. the rest

U.K. Police Arrest Five for Pope Threat
U.K. police arrested five men in London Friday on suspicion of terrorism during Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the country's capital.

Susan Boyle's dream comes true - singing for Pope Benedict

Harry Reid Dreams Big

Feel free to share!

Malkin: Harry Reid’s illegal alien student bailout
The so-called DREAM Act would create an official path to Democrat voter registration for an estimated 2 million, college-age illegal aliens. Look past the public relations-savvy stories of “undocumented” valedictorians left out in the cold. This is not about protecting “children.” It’s about preserving electoral power through cap-and-gown amnesty...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Best Job Ever

Watch till the end...

2010: Could it become the year of the pro-life woman?

Sep 15, 2010
by Michael Foust

WASHINGTON (BP)--Many political observers already were calling this the "year of the pro-life woman," but Tuesday's primary results added two more pro-life female nominees to a record pro-life lineup that could dramatically reshape the nation's abortion debate this November.

Although no pro-life women currently are in the Senate, the primaries now have produced four pro-life female nominees, all Republicans: California's Carly Fiorina, Nevada's Sharron Angle, New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte and Delaware's Christine O'Donnell. Although O'Donnell begins the general election campaign as an underdog, Fiorina and Angle are running neck-and-neck with their opponents while Ayotte is at least a slight favorite in her race.

The Senate has not had a pro-life female since former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R.-N.C., lost her re-election bid in 2008. All 17 current female senators are pro-choice, including all four Republicans. the rest

BBC live: Pope offers 'hand of friendship' to UK

Papal visit: Thousands gather for Mass in Glasgow

Live coverage: Here

Pope's Recruitment of Anglicans Colors First U.K. Visit

Pope visit: Queen says freedom to worship is at ‘core’ of British society
Freedom of religion is at the heart of British society, the Queen said as she welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Britain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One nation under revolt

By Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen
Op-Ed Contributors
September 14, 2010

First of a three-part series, excerpted from "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is fundamentally remaking our two-party system"

The Tea Party movement has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in recent American political history.

It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties. It is potentially strong enough to elect senators, governors and congressmen. It may even be strong enough to elect the next president of the United States -- time will tell.

But the Tea Party movement has been one of the most derided and minimized and, frankly, most disrespected movements in American history. Yet, despite being systematically ignored, belittled, marginalized, and ostracized by political, academic, and media elites, the Tea Party movement has grown stronger and stronger. the rest image by Justin Ruckman

How Tea Party Organizes Without Leaders
By embracing radical decentralization, tea party activists intend to rewrite the rule book for political organizing...

These Boots are Made for Walking
...Many in the movement and other concerned voters are beginning to strap on their walking boots and get to work...

Big night for tea party
...After a primary season shaped by economic pain and exasperated voters, the grass-roots, anti-establishment movement can claim wins in at least seven GOP Senate races, a handful of Republican gubernatorial contests and dozens of House primary campaigns, and it influenced many others...

Obama's War on America's Seniors

By Peter Ferrara

Seniors citizens probably provided less support for President Obama in the 2008 election than any other voter bloc. That reflects the wisdom of age. But for President Obama, apparently it's payback time, because he is conducting a comprehensive economic assault on America's senior citizens.

First He Trashed Medicare
A Democrat campaign theme this fall is that those scary Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it. But that is not possible, because President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats have already done that, in Obamacare. the rest

You Can't Rule on Personality Alone

The Money of Fools

September 14, 2010
By Thomas Sowell

Seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men's counters, but they are the money of fools.

That is as painfully true today as it was four centuries ago. Using words as vehicles to try to convey your meaning is very different from taking words so literally that the words use you and confuse you.

Take the simple phrase "rent control." If you take these words literally-- as if they were money in the bank-- you get a complete distortion of reality. the rest

Is the person who has spent years in school goofing off, acting up or fighting-- squandering the tens of thousands of dollars that the taxpayers have spent on his education-- supposed to end up with his income aligned with that of the person who spent those same years studying to acquire knowledge and skills that would later be valuable to himself and to society at large?

Patriarch Hilarion addresses Anglican Communion

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
By Spero News

Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations to the Annual Nicean Club Dinner (Lambeth Palace, 9 September 2010)

Your Grace, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests,

At the outset, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to His Grace Archbishop Rowan Williams for inviting me to address the members of the Nicean Club. Your Grace, we highly value your personal contribution to inter-Christian dialogue and your commitment to keep the Anglican Communion unified. We know your love of the Russian Orthodox Church, of its saints and great theologians, of its spiritual tradition. We assure you of our continual support and prayers.

Full address

...Regrettably, it has to be admitted that the Orthodox Church and many in the Anglican Church have today found themselves on the opposite sides of the abyss that divides traditional Christians from Christians of liberal trend.

...We are concerned about the fate of this dialogue. We appreciate the proposal Archbishop Rowan Williams made this year to exclude from the dialogue those Anglican churches which failed to observe the moratorium on the ordination of open homosexuals. But we regard this proposal as not quite sufficient to save the dialogue from an approaching collapse. The dialogue is doomed to closure if the unrestrained liberalization of Christian values continues in many communities of the Anglican world.

...Our Church must sever its relations with those churches and communities that trample on the principles of Christian ethics and traditional morals. Here we uphold a firm stand based on Holy Scripture.

...On behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church I would like to stress that we continue to be fully committed to the dialogue with the Anglican Church and will do our utmost to keep this dialogue going. We do not betray our commitment to the dialogue. However, we feel that many of our Anglican brothers and sisters betray our common witness by departing from traditional Christian values and replacing them by contemporary secular standards. I very much hope that the official position of the Anglican Church on theological, ecclesiological and moral issues will be in tune with the tradition of the Ancient Undivided Church and that the Anglican leadership will not surrender to the pressure coming from liberals.

Controversial Santa Cruz Priest Charged By Church

By Curtis Cartier
Tue, Sep 14, 2010

Under the light of stained glass windows and gas lamps, the Reverend Joel P. Miller delivers his homily on “inviting sinners to the feast of the Lord.” The redwood pews at Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Santa Cruz sit more empty than occupied, but attention is rapt among the 50 or so worshipers as the short, mustachioed priest discusses the importance of forgiveness and of serving the “least among us.”

“In the gospel we’re told that Jesus sits down to eat with sinners and tax collectors. The worst people!” says Miller in a soft and nasal voice as he saunters between the well-worn pews. “So what we see is that Jesus loves people, he loves his neighbors, includes them and embraces them. That’s what we try to do here.”

It’s an appropriate subject for a priest who has made a name in Santa Cruz for his controversial homeless outreach services, which have at times outraged neighbors and city leaders after crowds of homeless people showed up for free dinners and turned the downtown church’s lawn into a party zone. Lately criticism has come from a new direction: within the church itself. In late July, Miller was charged with “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy” by the Episcopal Church in a development that could see Miller suspended or even defrocked. the rest

The White House fights an effort to ease a burden on small business

The 1099 Insurrection
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010

You might not have seen it reported, but the Senate will vote this morning on whether to repeal part of ObamaCare that it passed only months ago. The White House is opposed, but this fight is likely to be the first of many as Americans discover—as Nancy Pelosi once famously predicted—what's in the bill.

The Senate will vote on amendments to the White House small business bill that would rescind an ObamaCare mandate that companies track and submit to the IRS all business-to-business transactions over $600 annually. Democrats tucked the 1099 reporting footnote into the bill to raise an estimated $17.1 billion, part of the effort to claim that ObamaCare reduces the deficit by $100 billion or so.

But this "tax gap" of unreported business income is largely a Beltway myth, and no less than the Treasury Department's National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson says the costs will be "disproportionate as compared with any resulting improvements in tax compliance."

Meanwhile, small businesses are staring in horror toward 2013, when the 1099 mandate will hit more than 30 million of them. Currently businesses only have to tell the IRS the value of services they purchase from vendors and the like. Under the new rules, they'll have to report the value of goods and merchandise they purchase as well, adding vast accounting and paperwork costs. the rest

Practitioner Heads to Jail for Manslaughter, Killed Woman in Failed Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 14, 2010
Hyannis, MA

( -- Massachusetts-based abortion practitioner Rapin Osathanondh was sentenced to six months in prison today after pleading guilty yesterday to the charge of manslaughter in relation to his killing 22-year-old Laura Smith in a failed abortion.

The plea in court from Osathanondh came on the third anniversary of Smith's death.

Smith died in September 2007 at his Women's Health Center abortion business after Osathanondh failed to provide proper medical care after the abortion went awry. the rest

Newly expanded Planned Parenthood office opens in Albany

Syracuse man sues DeWitt over arrest for preaching from sidewalk

Monday, September 13, 2010
John O'Brien / The Post-Standard

A Syracuse man claims in a federal lawsuit that DeWitt police violated his rights to free speech and religion when they arrested him last year for preaching from the sidewalk.

Nicholas Auricchio, 42, sued the town and the police department this week in U.S. District Court over his arrest Sept. 6, 2009, on charges of violating the town noise ordinance.

Auricchio, described in the lawsuit as a “professing Catholic Christian and a traveling evangelist,” was standing on a sidewalk across East Genesee Street from Holy Cross Church at 4:45 p.m. when he started sharing his religious beliefs “in a raised voice,” the lawsuit said. The area is often noisy with passing traffic, the lawsuit said. He did not use any kind of amplifier, the suit said. the rest

Canada: Street preacher files human rights complaint against Calgary

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ACI: Title IV Revisions: Unmasked

Written by: C. Alan Runyan and Mark McCall
Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Alan Runyan is a partner in Speights & Runyan, Beaufort, South Carolina. He has been a practicing trial attorney for 33 years and he is counsel for the Diocese of South Carolina. Mark McCall is a member of the New York bar and former partner of an international law firm where he practiced in the firm’s New York, Washington and Paris offices.

full pdf version with footnotes available for download here


On July 1, 2011 complex, far reaching and polity changing revisions to the disciplinary canon (Title IV) of The Episcopal Church (“TEC”) become effective. The revisions are a product of a multi-year process begun in 2000 whose stated purpose is to change Title IV’s “overly militaristic and rigid application.” The revisions are intended to provide a speedier disciplinary process based on a “reconciliation model”. Commenting on the Task Force’s progress in February 2008, the Chairman stated the revisions place “an emphasis on pastoral resolution” while moving away from a criminal-justice model. “Title IV Resources” made available for Diocesan use on the General Convention website state that the changes “emphasize pastoral care for all” and “reflect more clearly our theology.”

The revisions certainly will change the character of the disciplinary process making the disciplinary landscape appear less formal, speedier and more pastoral. However, these goals mask other very unsettling realities of the new disciplinary process, more suggestive of another pastoral analogy: a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Unmasked, these revisions do not simply change the form of the process in ways that dramatically alter Clergy’s due process but they also make very significant changes to the substantive discipline of Clergy, as well as to the very polity of TEC as it relates to the Dioceses, Bishops Diocesan and the Presiding Bishop. In summary, these revisions:

-remove procedural safeguards for accused Clergy, greatly increase the number and nature of Clergy offenses, broaden the reach of existing offenses, and dramatically allow a Bishop (and -Presiding Bishop infra at 16-18) not only to be involved in the decision to charge Clergy with offenses, but also effectively to control those decisions;
-are an unconstitutional infringement on diocesan authority;
-give unprecedented and unconstitutional authority to the Presiding Bishop;
-were passed without adequate disclosure and debate.

the rest image

...There are few descriptive terms that adequately describe what faces all Clergy next July, regardless of where they fall in the spectrum of church politics. One cannot help but be both simultaneously saddened and angered by the extensive revisions masked with soothing rhetoric like “pastoral reconciliation.” Underneath this veneer lies a disciplinary strategy, which places all Clergy at the mercy of those in power and weakens Diocesan independence. That this has been deliberate is obvious. That communication about the extent of these changes has been less than candid seems obvious unless one believes that the Clergy of the Episcopal Church simply do not care about their future. The deafening silence about these revisions forces us to believe that the sheep’s clothing strategy has been successful...

Sacred Arithmetic

September 10, 2010
By Bobby Neal Winters

Anthony Esolen has written an excellent article for the Touchstone blog about numbers and the mysteries to be encountered therein. Dr. Esolen is a mathematical amateur in the original sense of the word: someone who pursues an activity out of love, not because it is his profession.

I am a professional, and I note that he perceives mysteries that have slipped past many of my colleagues. Numbers are not the straight-forward things they appear. What we teach to preschoolers, what we chide eight-graders for not understanding, contain puzzles as deep as any met by the doctors of the church. the rest image by Thomas Beck
...A baby human is not a fraction of a human, and neither is a handicapped human. We are whole entities than cannot be divided. That is our sacred arithmetic.

9/11 first responder files suit against Ground Zero mosque developers

September 9, 2010

A Sept. 11 first responder filed a $350 million suit against the developers of a proposed cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, calling it a "nuisance," "a terror risk" and "an assault."

The strongly worded suit, which was brought by a former volunteer firefighter from Westchester named Vincent Forras. who helped at the Trade Center site after 9/11, with the assistance of the conservative group Freedom Watch. It charges developer Feisal Abdul Rauf and Park 51, the organization behind the mosque, "are the front persons and in charge of operations for interests tied to terrorism," and "are believers in radical Islam and its jihad against America and American interests."

They’ve strongly denied those allegations.

The suit, which seeks class action status, calls the proposed center "a monument to the jihadist’s victory over American ideals of freedom and democracy, [and] a desecration of the terrible sacrifice made by those innocents attacked." the rest

The Obama Administration and the Treatment of Human Embryos

by The Neuhaus Colloquium
September 13, 2010

An Executive Summary of the Statement of the First Annual Neuhaus Colloquium.

“Until every human being created in the image and likeness of God is protected in law and cared for in life, we shall not weary, we shall not rest. And, in this the great human rights struggle of our time and all times, we shall overcome.” With these words, the late Richard John Neuhaus concluded his last major pro-life address.

Neuhaus was long a civil rights leader, both when it was popular and when it was not. In the early 1970s, he was poised to become the nation’s next great liberal public intellectual—the Reinhold Niebuhr of his generation. He had everything he needed to be not merely accepted but lionized by the liberal establishment: his natural gifts as a thinker, writer, and speaker; his background as an outspoken and prominent civil rights campaigner, indeed, someone who had marched literally arm-in-arm with his friend Martin Luther King; his leadership in founding one of the most visible anti-Vietnam war organizations.

Then something happened: Abortion. Neuhaus opposed abortion for the same reasons he had fought for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. At the root of his thinking was the conviction that human beings, as creatures fashioned in the image and likeness of God, possess a profound, inherent, and equal dignity. This dignity must be respected by all and protected by law. That, so far as Neuhaus was concerned, was not only a biblical mandate but also the bedrock principle of the American constitutional order. the rest-Excellent!

In the name of the American people and with the funds provided by them, the Obama administration has begun to incentivize the exploitation and destruction of human life for scientific research. It has done so without addressing the profound moral issues at stake, without offering a serious argument in defense of its approach, and in spite of the fact that alternatives to the destruction of embryos are emerging in stem-cell science.

Christian School in Kashmir Attacked Over Reported Quran Desecrations

Mon, Sep. 13 2010
By Aaron J. Leichman
Christian Post Reporter

Hundreds of Muslims in the divided region of Kashmir took to the streets Monday night in violent protest over the reported desecration of Qurans in the United States.

Over a dozen people have reportedly died in the clash that ensued between police and protesters, and a Christian private school was set ablaze in the volatile Himalayan region.

While violence and protests in Kashmir have been ongoing since June, Monday’s protests shifted from India’s rule over the disputed region to anti-Quran actions in the United States, where footage was taken of demonstrators tearing out pages from Islam's sacred text over the weekend.

While U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India Timothy J. Roemer said he “strongly condemn[s]” the actions in America as “disrespectful, intolerant, divisive, and unrepresentative of American values,” he also expressed “dismay” over reports of attacks on a church and school in Kashmir and nearby Punjab. the rest

9 women make accusations against former Episcopal leader

Monday, September 13, 2010
The Associated Press

ERIE -- Erie's Episcopal bishop said a total of nine women have come forward to complain of sexual abuse or other unwanted contact by his dead predecessor.

The Rev. Sean Rowe in July said other women were coming forward with similar claims after he announced that former Bishop Ronald Davis had sexually abused four young girls.

Bishop Rowe, in a letter released Sunday, said the number of victims stands at nine and that no new complaints have been received since July.

Davis was the bishop of the diocese from 1974 until 1991; he died in 2007 at age 78. the rest

ENS: NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop reports on more victims of abusive predecessor

Monday, September 13, 2010

LATimes: Obama's electoral coalition is crumbling

The swing voters who turned out in droves to support the president aren't likely to back his party in November. Even core supporters express unhappiness with Democrats.
By James Oliphant and Kathleen Hennessey
September 11, 2010

Reporting from Washington — Nearly two years ago, the political world could only marvel at the breadth of voter support for Barack Obama.

The new president had won over voters once thought to have abandoned his party for good. He'd found new reservoirs of support among groups many thought were tapped out.

He energized a coalition — made up of blacks, women, Latinos, young voters and large numbers of suburbanites — that some believed would keep Democrats in power for years to come.

A scant 20 months later, the Obama coalition is frayed and frazzled. the rest

Hugh Hewitt: Markets have taken the measure of Barack Obama
...Thus no matter how you look at it, and no matter how you do the numbers, the president's two signature legislative "victories" -- the "stimulus" and Obamacare -- are abject failures...

U.S. Poverty on Track to Post Record Gain Under Obama's Watch
The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty...

First, Stop Obama’s Madness
Democrats in Washington, confronting a mammoth tidal wave of angry voters as November approaches, are desperate to change the subject. They know there is little they can say about themselves or their record of governing over the past two years that would not worsen their prospects, so they naturally want to talk about Republicans instead. But they seem uncertain whether the problem with Republicans is that they want to do too little or too much...

The public hates almost everything Congress has done
...The numbers: Bank bailouts, 61 percent disapprove versus 37 percent approve; national health care, 56 percent disapprove versus 39 percent approve; auto bailouts, 56 percent disapprove versus 43 percent approve; stimulus, 52 percent disapprove versus 43 percent approve. Only financial reform, with 61 percent approve versus 37 percent disapprove, is a winner for the representatives and senators seeking re-election...

Big party week for the Obamas and...
Obamas take a break from vacationing to attend two major galas and big reception this week

'Farmers' Almanac' lists Miami as a 'worst weather' city

The Miami Herald
posted Serpt. 13,2010

Ask anyone: Miami's weather is wonderful. Right?

Well, not according to the famed Farmers' Almanac. They've found something terribly wrong with Miami's summers and put it among their "Ten Worst Weather Cities," a list of destinations where the temperatures rise or fall precipitously.

In naming Miami's summers the most unbearable, here's what the almanac said:

"When it comes to sticky, wet, oppressive summer heat, few cities in America can stand up to Miami. Though pleasant to visit during winter months, Miami's subtropical climate becomes excessively hot and humid during the summer months." the rest

...At the other end of the spectrum, the city with the worst winter was Syracuse, N.Y., followed by Duluth, Minn., Casper, Wyo., Cleveland and Detroit...

Our street a couple of winters ago...

Obamacare: Here Comes the Government’s Thuggish Iron Fist

Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

The use of government threats wielded as a thuggish means of coercion and control, not surprising given that the Feds have centralized the nation’s health care financing and delivery systems, have begun. With some reports showing that Obamacare will increase costs rather than “bend the cost curve down” (don’t you hate that hackneyed phrase?), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is warning insurance companies not to blame Obamacare for increased premiums–or else! From the story:

In a two-page letter to industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans on Thursday, Sebelius said insurers have been falsely telling their members that the reforms contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cause premium increases in 2011. Sebelius warned the insurers that the administration will have “zero tolerance” for misinformation. “Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius wrote. HHS will issue a regulation this fall that will order reviews of questionable rate increases by either state or federal officials. Any insurer that shows a record of imposing unjustified rate increases could be frozen out of the federally mandated health insurance exchanges that are scheduled to start operating in 2014, the secretary wrote.
the rest

Gangster Government Stifles Criticism of Obamacare
...But that is not enough for Sebelius and the Obama administration. They want to stamp out negative speech about Obamacare. "Zero tolerance" means they are ready to use the powers of government to threaten economic harm on those who dissent...

Doves, roses mark blessing of Quran at downtown Cathedral

By Stephen Magagnini
The Sacramento Bee
Saturday, Sep. 11, 2010

As 18 doves flew into the skies over the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Saturday night, more than 100 diverse Sacramentans blessed copies of the Quran with roses of love.

Again and again they uttered the refrain, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me" at the entrance to the downtown church framed by white statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. A musician with a white guitar accompanied them. the rest

Representatives of Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, B'hai, Mormon, Sikh, Vedic Druid and Muslim beliefs read scriptures from the great religious texts - including six verses from the Quran calling for all faiths to live in harmony.

Albert Mohler: The War Between Spirituality and Science Is Over

The real question posed by Mooney’s USA Today column is whether Christians possess the discernment to recognize this postmodern mode of spirituality for what it is — unbelief wearing the language of a bland faith.
Monday, September 13, 2010

There are many arenas of cultural and intellectual conflict in the world today, but one of the most controversial of these arenas has disappeared. There is now no conflict between spirituality and science. The war is over, the combatants have gone home, and lilies of peace now decorate the landscape where conflict once raged. Science and spirituality are now at total unperturbed peace.

That paragraph is meaningless, of course, which is entirely the point. Monday’s edition of USA Today features an opinion column by Chris Mooney, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. Mooney sets out to argue that spirituality can serve as a bridge across the science-religion divide.

Mooney is alarmed by the pervasiveness of what he defines as scientific illiteracy among the American public. In his published writings, he associates this “illiteracy” with a “war on science” being fought by anti-evolutionists, those opposed to human embryonic stem cell research, critics of climate change, and assorted others identified as obstacles to scientific advance. Of course, the fact that a large majority of Americans reject evolution only adds fuel to his fire when he cries in his milk over what he can only describe as “illiteracy.” the rest

In its own way, Mooney’s column serves to illustrate the vacuity that marks modern spirituality. There is nothing to it — no beliefs, no God, no morality, no doctrine, no discipleship.

Spirituality in this sense is what is left when Christianity disappears and dissipates. It is the perfect religious mode for the postmodern mind. It requires nothing and promises nothing, but it serves as a substitute for authentic beliefs.

Christian worshippers attacked in Indonesia

By Associated Press Writer
Sept. 12, 2010

BEKASI, Indonesia — Indonesia's president ordered police to hunt down and arrest assailants who stabbed a Christian worshipper in the stomach and beat a minister in the head with a wooden plank as they headed to prayers.

Neither of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

No one claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks. But suspicion immediately fell on Islamic hard-liners who have repeatedly warned members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church against worshipping on a field housing their now-shuttered church.

In recent months, they have thrown shoes and water bottles at the church members, interrupted sermons with chants of "Infidels!" and "Leave Now!" and dumped piles of feces on the land. the rest

African Anglican churches push to break away from Canterbury

By Charles Kazooba
Monday, September 13 2010

The process that will end in the Anglican Church splitting up has begun with the Canterbury - the headquarters of the church - disengaging itself from Africa, Asia and Australia.

African Anglicans are reportedly taking a lead role by mobilising their colleagues in Asia, South America and Australia to come together under the Global South umbrella.

Sources at the August 23-29 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe, Uganda told The EastAfrican that key consultations on the schism were held at the sidelines of the main meeting and would be concluded after engaging members from Asia, South America and Australiad.

The push for a split follows the collapse of reconciliatory talks between Archbishop Williams Rowan of Canterbury and the liberal church leaders in the United States and Canada after the latter snubbed pleas to disown homosexuality. the rest

Pope breaks own rule to beatify Anglican convert

posted September 13,2010

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will break his own rule this weekend when he beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman, the renowned 19th Century Anglican convert who greatly influenced the Roman Catholic Church.

Newman remains a complicated figure within the Anglican church he abandoned, and the pope's glorification of him during a state visit to Britain could unleash new tensions between churches already divided over issues like the ordination of women and gay bishops.

Benedict will move Newman a step closer to possible sainthood when he presides over his beatification Sept. 19, the main reason for his four-day trip. It's the first time Benedict will celebrate a beatification; under his own rules popes don't beatify, only canonize. the rest image