Saturday, October 02, 2010

Devotional: Prayer the largest prayers...

Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but for wings! ...Phillips Brooks image

Friday, October 01, 2010

AAC: New "Anglican Perspective" videos



AAC website here

California Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

by Phillip Smith
October 01, 2010

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Thursday signed into law a bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill reduces simple possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Currently, small-time pot possession is "semi-decriminalized" in California. There is no possible jail sentence and a maximum $100 fine. But because possession is a misdemeanor, people caught with pot are "arrested," even if that means only they are served a notice to appear, and they must appear before a court.

That has happened to more than a half million Californians in the last decade, and more than 60,000 last year alone. Every one of them required a court appearance, complete with judge and prosecutor. That costs the cash-strapped state money it desperately needs. the rest

Archbishop Rowan Williams paying historic visit to Zoroastrian Centre

Oct 1 2010
By Ian Proctor

ZOROASTRIANS have welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury to their place of worship in South Harrow in a historic first for the Anglican clergyman.

Dr Rowan Williams arrived at The Zoroastrian Centre in Alexandra Avenue at 1.50pm today and will spent the rest of day learning about the ancient religion, observing prayers and meeting key figures.

He was greeted at the door by female Zoroastrians wearing 'garas', or traditional expensive saris, who slipped a garland over his head and offered him 'mithai', or sweet meats.

Rosewater was sprinkled on the archbishop's hands before Dorab Mistry, the president of The Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, the charity that bought and renovation an art-deco former cinema into The Zoroastrian Centre, introduced their guest to white-clothed and white-hatted 'ervad shahebs', or male priests whose title is hereditary but only to males in the lineage.

Dr Williams met trustees, members of the managing committee, and a few other visitors in the foyer as did the Bishop of Willesden Peter Broadbent. the rest

Wikipedia: Zoroastrianism

Sotheby’s Hosts Blasphemous Art

October 1, 2010
By Susan Brinkmann

The famous New York auction house, Sotheby’s, is hosting an art exhibition celebrating Dante’s “Divine Comedy” that contains a mockery of Christ and profane images of priests.

The Catholic League for Catholic and Civil Rights is reporting that the exhibit, which opens today and runs until Oct. 19, contains some 80 pieces of work dating from antiquity that revolve around Dante’s famous poem.

One item, entitled “The Priest”, by artist George Condo, is described as a “weird 2010 depiction” of a deformed animal’s face resting on the torso of a priest. Another image, by Salvador Dali, called “The Vision of Hell, shows pitchforks and a portrait of the Blessed Mother.

But the most offensive piece is by Martin Kippenberger, Zuerst die Fuesse (Feet First). This work, which first appeared in 1990, substitutes a frog for Jesus on the Cross with the crucified amphibian holding a mug of beer and an egg. the rest

Second attack on NATO convoy in Pakistan

By CHRIS BRUMMITT
October 1, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Assailants in Pakistan launched two separate attacks Friday on vehicles carrying fuel for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing.

A truck driver and his assistant were burned alive in the second attack on a single tanker in the parking lot of a restaurant in southeastern Baluchistan province, said police officer Mohammad Azam. He said "anti-state elements" were behind the attack.

That term could refer to Islamist militants or separatist rebels active in the region.

Earlier Friday, suspected militants torched 27 tankers carrying oil for troops in Afghanistan in Sindh province. the rest

How Stuxnet is Scaring the Tech World Half to Death

A complex computer virus and its imminent threat.
BY Jonathan V. Last
September 30, 2010

The computer worm Stuxnet broke out of the tech underworld and into the mass media this week. It’s an amazing story: Stuxnet has infected roughly 45,000 computers. Sixty percent of these machines happen to be in Iran. Which is odd. What is odder still is that Stuxnet is designed specifically to attack a computer system using software from Siemens which controls industrial facilities such as factories, oil refineries, and oh, by the way, nuclear power plants. As you might imagine, Stuxnet raises big, interesting geo-strategic questions. Did a state design it as an attack on the Iranian nuclear program? Was it a private group of vigilantes? Some combination of the two? Or something else altogether?

But it’s worth pausing to contemplate Stuxnet on its own terms, and understand why the tech nerds were so doomsday-ish about it in the first place. the rest

NYT: In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue

The Lost President and the Found Governor: The Obama-Christie Divide

Friday, October 01, 2010
Hugh Hewitt

Excerpt:
President Obama is very lost, and Velma Hart knew it, and everyone at Wednesday's "backyard townhall" in Iowa knew it as well. I played the president's response to a couple of the questions from his supporters there, and the answers were painful to listen to --rambling, incoherent exercises in chewing up time.

In the course of an hour, the president took five questions, one from the mother of a college grad who supported Obama but cannot find a job and one from a priest who asked the president to describe with specificity what he would do in the next 12 months to help an unemployed father of two teenage boys who had lost his job in manufacturing.

In both cases the ever-clueless president tried to express empathy but ended up talking about himself. He said nothing at great length. It is a sign of how lost he is that he cannot even remember to appear to answer a question. He doesn't seem to know that a "main road" exists much less that he should be looking for it. the rest

Obama's Campaign-Season Christianity

The Death of the Fittest

Why are the healthiest and wealthiest populations failing to reproduce?
By Phillip Longman
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Excerpt:
Yet here is a curious fact we do not dwell upon enough. In today’s world, the best-fed, most prosperous, and seemingly “adapted” people are the least likely to have descendants. This is true even though the comparatively few children of the affluent are generally more likely to survive to adulthood and to be materially advantaged.

As with individuals, so with nations. Indeed, among many of the world’s richest, most industrialized countries, such as Japan and Germany, birthrates have fallen to well below the levels necessarily to prevent ongoing population decline. In the United States, meanwhile, close to one out of five Baby Boomers never had children, and another 17 percent only had one, despite experiencing a higher material standard of living and better health status than any generation in history.

What is going on? It’s strange that Darwin assumed that humans have a natural tendency to overpopulate unless checked by hunger, war, or disease. After all, what today’s demographers call “sub-replacement fertility” is hardly just a phenomenon of modern times. Indeed, it has always been strongly associated with luxury and abundance. the rest

Out of Egypt

Gerald Bray
Date 2010/9/29

On 30 January 2010 Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt announced that he was resigning from the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

The ACC is a little-known body that seeks to co-ordinate the activities of the Anglican Communion, and it wields considerable influence behind the scenes, setting much of the stage (and in effect, the agenda) for the Primates' Meetings, the Lambeth Conference, and so on. Since the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, it is one of the bodies where the continuing presence of American representatives has been questioned, especially by churches from the developing world who see it as a means of disciplining member churches of the Communion that have stepped out of line.

No church has gone farther in that direction than the American Episcopal one, and its continuing participation in the ACC, which includes having Ms Schori, their presiding bishop, on the standing committee, is widely regarded as anomalous (to put it mildly). Many churches have given up on the ACC already and formed their own network of communication, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). The FCA is not an exact parallel to the ACC, because anyone can join it and make a contribution to the ongoing development of orthodox Anglicanism. It may have its faults, but at least nobody can accuse it of being a closed body of church bureaucrats, which is what the ACC all too often appears to be. the rest at Virtueonline image


Bishop Mouneer could easily have camouflaged his resignation [from the ACC] in the way that people often do. He could have pleaded the burdens of office or the dangers of stress and ill health. He might even have said that it was time for someone else to take his place, and pretended that he was stepping down in order to give others a chance. He did none of those things.

Instead, he told the truth. He made it as clear as anyone could that he was leaving because he had been marginalised and because the ACC was drifting inexorably in a liberal direction. Its pleas for a period of 'listening' to other people's points of view were nothing more than a desire to give the Episcopal church enough breathing space within the Anglican Communion to commit further outrages against it. Of course it had always been suspected that the 'listening' was going to be in one direction only.

2011 primates meeting set for Dublin

The Church of England Newspaper
October 1, 2010
posted by George Conger

The Archbishop of Canterbury has published notice that the next meeting of Primates will take place from Jan 25 to 31, 2011 at the Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre in Dublin.

Established in 1978 by Archbishop Donald Coggan as an opportunity for selected primates to meet for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation,” the primates meeting has grown in recent years to include the archbishops, presiding bishops and moderators of the Communion’s 38 provinces, and the Archbishop of York.

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated on Sept 21 that she had received notice of the meeting, and was planning on attending. The primates of the Global South coalition will meet next month and are expected to take up the issue of whether they will attend the gathering. the rest

Three Decades of Forced Abortion...and Counting: China to Continue One-Child Policy

Tuesday September 28, 2010
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
BEIJING

(LifeSiteNews.com) – On Sept. 25, 1980, the Communist Party Central Committee issued a statement saying that "in 30 years, when our current extreme population growth eases, we can then adopt a different population policy.” But while the 30th anniversary of China's coercive one-child policy came and went this past week, the Chinese government has shown no signs of easing the policy, and instead expressed its intent to continue the use of forced abortion and sterilization, with no end in sight.

Chinese state-run media quoted Li Bin, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, saying, “Historical change doesn’t come easily, and I, on behalf of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, extend profound gratitude to all, the people in particular, for their support of the national course.”

"We will continue the one-child policy until at least 2015,'' she said. the rest

Study shows progress with adult stem cells

Sep 30, 2010
By MALCOLM RITTER
AP Science Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Scientists reported more progress Thursday with a method of creating stem cells without using embryos.

The advance in cell reprogramming by researchers in Boston was praised as a more efficient way of turning skin cells into stem cells, a step toward developing new medical treatments. One expert said the new approach might be the first practical way to make such cells for creating new tissue to treat conditions like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

In 2007, when scientists first reported they had reprogrammed skin cells into stem cells, it was hailed as an alternative to getting stem cells from embryos, which are then destroyed. Since then, researchers have been working on fine-tuning the method.

Embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to morph into any type of cell, continue to be controversial. Last month, a U.S. judge cut off federal funding for research with them. (A different court ruled Tuesday that funding could resume while legal arguments proceed.) the rest

Birth control pills appear to remodel brain structure

Women's Brains on Steroids
By Craig H. Kinsley and Elizabeth A. Meyer
September 28, 2010

It seems that weekly we hear about some professional athlete who sullies himself and his sport through abuse of steroids. The melodrama unfolds, careers and statistics are brought low and asterisked, and everyone bemoans another fallen competitor. Yet there are millions of cases of steroid use that occur daily with barely a second thought: Millions of women take birth control pills, blithely unaware that their effects may be subtly seeping into and modulating brain structure and activity.

It is a huge experiment whose resolution will not be known for a while, but a new study in the journal Brain Research demonstrates that the effects are likely to be dramatic. It found that birth control pills have structural effects on regions of the brain that govern higher-order cognitive activities, suggesting that a woman on birth control pills may literally not be herself -- or is herself, on steroids. the rest image

The possibility that an accepted form of chemical contraception has the ability to alter the gross structure of the human brain is a cause for concern, even if the changes seem benign -- for the moment. In any event, women need to have all of the medical and now, neurobiological, information they can use in informing their personal contraceptive decisions. Like the rest of life, and like the steroid choices made by those ballplayers, there are costs and benefits.The benefits are well established; the costs, however, are still coming to light.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Devotional: The first step into fullness is a sense of emptiness...

The first step into fullness is a sense of emptiness, a sense of dissatisfaction with all that I am, a sense of disgust with all that I ever hope to be, a sense of utter frustration, a sense that if anything is going to happen, then God must do it. I must come to Him with a broken heart and hear Him say to me, "A humble and a contrite heart I will not despise." Before God makes you, He breaks you. ...Alan Redpath image by Alejandra Mavroski

Gargling With Salt Water Can Ease Cold Symptoms

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
September 27, 2010

A sore, itchy throat and respiratory congestion are some of the more common symptoms of a cold, and gargling with salt water seems to help for several reasons. A saline solution can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less, said Dr. Philip T. Hagen, editor in chief of the “Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies,” which is due out in October. Dr. Hagen pointed out that gargling also loosens thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat.

In a randomized study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005, researchers recruited almost 400 healthy volunteers and followed them for 60 days during cold and flu season. Some of the subjects were told to gargle three times a day. At the end of the study period, the group that regularly gargled had a nearly 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory tract infections compared with the control group, and when they did get sick, “gargling tended to attenuate bronchial symptoms,” the researchers wrote. the rest image

Australia: 'Divided' Anglicans dodge conflict

Andrew McGowan
September 30, 2010

Diversity is all-too-familiar in the wider Anglican Communion. The Australian Anglican Church is itself an uneasy alliance of dioceses and provinces formed in the colonial era, with distinctive histories and identities whose compatibility has always been limited.

The fragility of these arrangements is never more in evidence than at its General Synods (assemblies). In the relatively recent past, debates over women's ordination in particular, but also over human sexuality, lay presidency and liturgical texts, have seen a specific division emerge between the distinctive form of conservative evangelicalism associated with the Diocese of Sydney, and a broad but vague 'mainstream'. the rest

...Interviewed at the end of the Synod, Jensen described the event as a lost opportunity, and superficial. He may have been right on both counts, but the superficiality means the avoidance of depths where radically different cultures and theologies hold sway. Their exposure and discussion would underscore the idiosyncratic place of the Diocese of Sydney, within the Australian Church and otherwise...

Adult Stem cells used to save woman's leg

Doctors have managed to save a woman's leg after it was broken in a hit-and-run crash, by repairing it with stem cells in a groundbreaking operation.
By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent
30 Sep 2010

Diane Stuttard had her lower left leg broken after being hit by a car while she walked home after a night out in 2001.

Both the tibia and fibula were shattered and she faced having the leg amputated after 11 operations.

However, she then contacted Anan Shetty, a leading orthopaedic surgeon, after seeing a Sky News report about him using stem cells to save the leg of a climber.

During her operation, at the private Spire Alexandra Hospital in Chatham, Kent, stem cells from her bone marrow were taken and mixed with a gel called Surgifill, which trapped the cells against the fracture. Within days they started to form healthy new bone, healing the break. the rest

Wesley J. Smith: Oh Hum, Another Adult Stem Cell Success

The Pro-Life Cover of Time

James M. Kushiner
Touchstone
September 28, 2010

The cover of the October 4, 2010 issue of Time caught my eye a couple of days ago at the Atlanta airport--not the picture but the text: How the first nine months shape the rest of your life

Excuse me, "the rest of your life"? Since when did Time view your life as including the 9 months in the womb? So that's you there in the first trimester? That was your life?

Sometimes headline writers bend a story a bit and don't write lines that are meant to be taken too literally. I know, for I write enough of them myself. So on to the inside text of the article, where influences such as genes, DNA, childhood expereinces and lifestyle choices are cited as typical explanations for our conditions in life. the rest

Read the comments after the article, esp. the George Orwell quote.

I was struck by this comment about the mindset of a woman who wants her baby and one who wants to abort:

"In the moral world of Time a baby is a baby unless the woman doesn't want it to be one, then, no facts may be admitted to prove it otherwise."

I have actually had an abortion discussion end at just that point... "So, what you're telling me is that if two women are carrying 8 week fetuses, and one wants to continue the pregnancy, then she's carrying a baby, and if one wants to terminate, then she's not carrying a baby?" "Yes, that's right." "But either the baby is a baby or it's not a baby. It's exactly the same thing in both instances." "No, it's not." "How can one be a baby and the other not be a baby when they are exactly the same thing?" "Because the woman who is going to terminate doesn't want to continue the pregnancy." "So if I don't want to eat pizza, so I call a pizza an apple, am I eating a pizza or an apple?" "You're not taking this seriously."...

Obama: 'I'm a Christian by choice'

Eighteen per cent of Americans may be convinced their President is a Muslim, but Barack Obama insists he is a Christian.
by Audrey Barrick, Christian Post
Thursday, September 30, 2010

President Barack Obama was forced to open up about his Christian faith on Tuesday when an woman asked him why he was a Christian.

"I'm a Christian by choice," he responded...

..."My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church," he said. the rest

Only about a third of Americans believe the president is a Christian, a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed last month. Last year, nearly half held that perception. Meanwhile, some 18 per cent say Obama is a Muslim and the rest do not know his religion.
FBI Raids Home of Obama Associate & Radical AAAN Leader in Terrorism Sweep

Council of Europe report seeks to curtail conscience rights of health workers

posted Sept. 30 2010

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will vote next week on a report which could drastically weaken freedom of conscience for healthcare professionals across Europe.

The report says that conscientious objection should be limited to doctors and nurses but not to medical institutions like hospitals, that doctors and nurses with an objection to a procedure such as abortion must refer the patient to someone who does not have such an objection, and that in ‘emergencies’ they must carry out the procedures themselves.

The report, entitled “Women's access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection”, also suggests that States should compel health-care providers to perform euthanasia on patients under certain circumstances and that a ‘registry of conscientious objectors’ be created. the rest

Stuxnet 'cyber superweapon' moves to China

posted Sept. 30, 2010

BEIJING — A computer virus dubbed the world's "first cyber superweapon" by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities has found a new target -- China.

The Stuxnet computer worm has wreaked havoc in China, infecting millions of computers around the country, state media reported this week.

Stuxnet is feared by experts around the globe as it can break into computers that control machinery at the heart of industry, allowing an attacker to assume control of critical systems like pumps, motors, alarms and valves.

It could, technically, make factory boilers explode, destroy gas pipelines or even cause a nuclear plant to malfunction. the rest

Midwife Who Saved Hundreds of Newborn Babies from Nazis to be Honored

Wednesday September 29, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine
ROME

(LifeSiteNews.com) – The late Polish midwife Stanislawa Leszczynska will be honoured in a display at the 5th World Prayer Congress for Life in Rome next month for her heroic efforts in saving hundreds of newborn babies from a brutal end at Auschwitz.

Before she arrived at the camp in April 1943, all the newborns of prisoners in the infamous Nazi concentration camp were drowned and allowed to be ripped apart by rats before his or her mother’s eyes.

But, as Matthew M. Anger reports in his article ‘Midwife at Auschwitz’, Leszczynska refused to carry out the Germans’ order to kill the babies – even opposing the infamous Dr. Mengele – and, amazingly, was allowed to carry on unimpeded. the rest image

During Leszczynska’s entire time at the camp, no mother or baby died under her care. Asked by her supervising doctor to report on the death rate, she reported this fact to his astonishment. “Lagerarzt looked at me in disbelief,” she recounts. “Even the most sophisticated German clinics at universities, he said, could not claim such a success rate.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Devotional: The LORD has established his throne in heaven...

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul
Psalm 103: 19-22
image by Faith Goble

Study Finds More Gay Characters on Network TV

The 15th annual "Where We Are on TV" report released Wednesday found that 3.9 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series in the 2010-11 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
By Frazier Moore, Associated Press

New York (AP) - The number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV has risen slightly this season to 23 out of a total of nearly 600 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The 15th annual "Where We Are on TV" report released Wednesday found that 3.9 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series in the 2010-11 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.

That's up from 3 percent in the 2009-10 season. The increase in 2008-09 was 2.6 percent.

Only six of the 23 gay and lesbian characters this season are nonwhite, GLAAD found. the rest

Powerful Earthquakes Strike Eastern Indonesia

September 29, 2010
FoxNews.com

JAKARTA, Indonesia-- A powerful earthquake struck waters off eastern Indonesia early Thursday, just a moment after another quake struck the same region.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but local officials warned the second quake had the potential to trigger a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a quake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck just off the eastern coast of the country. A minute later, a larger quake in the same area with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 was centered 13 miles beneath the ocean floor. the rest

Las Vegas death ray roasts hotel guests

'Solar convergence phenomenon'
By Lester Haines
29th September 2010

Poolside guests at a newly-opened Las Vegas hotel have been enjoying the complex's quick-tan facility - a solar "death ray" with the power to burn flesh and melt plastic.

The architects responsible for the MGM Mirage Vdara underestimated the converging power of the building's concave facade, which concentrates a roasting beam onto the pool area.

Barbecued guest Bill Pintas recounted to ABC his midday experience of the ray, as he exited the pool and settled into his lounge chair. He said: "I'm sitting there in the chair and all of the sudden my hair and the top of my head are burning. I'm rubbing my head and it felt like a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine what it could be."

Pintas quickly found out that taking shelter under an umbrella offered no protection from the intense beam, which burned right through a plastic bag the grilled guest was using to carry newspapers. the rest image

Episcopal Bishops for Open Borders?

Looks like CNY's Bp. Skip Adams is right behind PB Schori :)
The American Spectator
By Mark Tooley
9.29.10

Episcopal Church bishops are always susceptible to caricature, and their recent "pastoral letter" on immigration is no exception. The 2 million member denomination's House of Bishops recently met in Arizona, the troubled front line for immigration controversies. About 60 bishops symbolically met near the Mexican border carrying white crosses representing illegals who had died locally of exposure while trekking through the desert. Later joined by another 60 fellow bishops in Phoenix, they seemingly urged a U.S. policy of virtual open borders.

"Ours is a migratory world in which many people move across borders to escape poverty, hunger, injustice and violence," the bishops observed. "We categorically reject efforts to criminalize undocumented migrants and immigrants, and deplore the separation of families and the unnecessary incarceration of undocumented workers. Since, as we are convinced, it is natural to seek gainful employment to sustain oneself and one's family, we cannot agree that the efforts of undocumented workers to feed and shelter their households through honest labor are criminal."

Later in the bishops' letter they approvingly cite border enforcement against migrating "drug traffickers," "terrorists," and undefined "other criminals." But presumably everybody else in the world has an intrinsic right to move to the U.S. with full access to the social services offered to U.S. citizens. The bishops professed that "inhumane policies directed against undocumented persons (raids, separation of families, denial of health services) are intolerable on religious and humanitarian grounds." Indeed, "our gracious welcome of immigrants, documented or undocumented, is a reflection of God's grace poured out on us and on all." the rest
Like most on the Religious Left, the Episcopal Bishops seem uncomfortable with national sovereignty in the political sphere, just as the Religious Left is often theologically uncomfortable with Christianity's exclusivist truth claims, or the expectation of monogamy in traditional marriage, and the loyalties inherent to traditional families. Their vague political and theological universalism ultimately derides nearly all skeptics as bigots, while envisioning an unlikely and unappealing world without meaningful loyalties. A more traditional Christian understanding of the common good recognizes that universal love is only reached, if at all, incrementally through the particular attachments of family and nation. These Episcopal bishops, busy with desert photo ops and polemical news releases, are anxious to make sweeping utopian claims, without a clear constituency or audience.

ENS: Bishops and spouses visit U.S.-Mexico border

Where is the vigil for Americans killed by illegal aliens?
While the bishops have no problem expressing sorrow for those who have so little respect for this country that their first act here—is to enter illegally, they seem to have no such concern for the thousands of American citizens who have been killed by illegal aliens...

Opponents of women bishops establish new society in Church of England

The new Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda has been met with consternation from supporters of women bishops.
by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anglo-Catholics have established a new society as the Church of England moves closer to consecration of women bishops.

The Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda was launched this week by nine Anglo-Catholic bishops, including the Bishop of Chichester and the Bishop of Gibraltar, as draft legislation on women in the episcopate was sent out for consideration to dioceses this week.

The new society has been founded as an alternative to leaving the Church of England and joining the Catholic Church under the auspices of an Ordinariate offered by Pope Benedict. the rest

Bishops summoned to Rome for abuse crisis talks

By John Cooney
Wednesday September 29 2010

IRELAND'S four senior Catholic churchmen have been summoned to Rome next week to prepare for a special Vatican investigation into the state of the scandal-ridden Irish church.

The unprecedented probe was ordered by Pope Benedict last March in response to the shocking Murphy Report into top level cover-ups of paedophile clerics.

Cardinal Sean Brady will be joined by Archbishops Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly and Michael Neary of Tuam for high-level talks with heads of Vatican congregations.

Last night, Martin Long, the head of the Bishops' Communications Office, confirmed to the Irish Independent that the invitation was issued by the Vatican's Congregation of Bishops. the rest

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Dial A Rotary Phone



Instapundit

(When my youngest son was about 7, he asked, "Mom, will you show me how to use one of those dial phones?" -end of an era, I guess.)

New Cybersecurity Bill Gives Obama ‘Power To Shut Down Companies’

Businesses who don’t follow government orders would be suspended for at least 90 days with no congressional oversight
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An amalgamated cybersecurity bill that lawmakers hope to pass before the end of the year includes new powers which would allow President Obama to shut down not only entire areas of the Internet, but also businesses and industries that fail to comply with government orders following the declaration of a national emergency – increasing fears that the legislation will be abused as a political tool.

The draft bill is a combination of two pieces of legislation originally crafted by Senators Lieberman and Rockefeller. One of the differences between the new bill and the original Lieberman version is that the Internet “kill switch” power has been limited to 90 days without congressional oversight, rather than the original period of four months contained in the Lieberman bill.

In other words, President Obama can issue an emergency declaration that lasts 30 days and he can renew it for a further 60 days before congress can step in to oversee the powers.

The new powers would give Obama a free hand to not only shut down entire areas of the Internet and block all Internet traffic from certain countries, but under the amalgamated bill he would also have the power to completely shut down industries that don’t follow government orders, according to a Reuters summary of the new bill. the rest

Politics Versus Gold

September 28, 2010
By Thomas Sowell

One of the many slick tricks of the Obama administration was to insert a provision in the massive Obamacare legislation regulating people who sell gold. This had nothing to do with medical care but everything to do with sneaking in an extension of the government's power over gold, in a bill too big for most people to read.

Gold has long been a source of frustration for politicians who want to extend their power over the economy. First of all, the gold standard cramped their style because there is only so much money you can print when every dollar bill can be turned in to the government, to be exchanged for the equivalent amount of gold.

When the amount of money the government can print is limited by how much gold the government has, politicians cannot pay off a massive national debt by just printing more money and repaying the owners of government bonds with dollars that are cheaper than the dollars with which the bonds were bought. In other words, politicians cannot cheat people as easily. the rest

...Sneaking a provision on gold purchases and sales into massive legislation that is supposedly about medical care is just one of the many cynical tricks used to circumvent the public's right to know how they are being governed...

UK: Christian man charged with “offending” homosexuals is released

24th September 2010

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has withdrawn its case against a Christian man charged under public order legislation in relation to ‘offence’ caused to homosexuals.

Paul Shaw was charged by Essex Police with a “hate crime” after an election leaflet was distributed in Colchester that called for a review of whether homosexual acts should remain legal.

Two homosexual residents of south-east Colchester complained to police after having found the leaflet on their doorstep.

An extensive investigation followed during which Mr Shaw was arrested, locked in a cell and interrogated, in what he has described as a “hostile and provoking” interview. His flat was also searched and his diaries confiscated. He was subsequently charged with “causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing” under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. the rest

Religion, Journalism, and the New American Orthodoxy

by Charles J. Chaput
September 24, 2010

In an address delivered today before the Religion Newswriters Association, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver commended America’s journalists of religion and challenged them to approach their important work with integrity, fairness, and humility.

Excerpt:
"In contrast, the Christian story now told in mainstream media often seems to be a narrative of decline or fundamentalism, or houses divided against themselves along predictable lines of sex and authority. It’s a narrative of institutions and individuals that—insofar as they stay true to their historic beliefs—act as a backward social force and a menace to the liberty of their fellow citizens.

Freedom of the press clearly includes the right to question the actions and motives of religious figures and institutions. Our constitutional safeguards for the press developed partly in response to efforts by Puritans like Cotton Mather to have editors and publishers tossed into jail for satirizing local pastors and mocking Christian beliefs in their pages.

But freedom doesn’t excuse prejudice or poor handling of serious material, especially people’s religious convictions. What’s new today is the seeming collusion—or at least an active sympathy—between some media organizations and journalists, and political and sexual agendas hostile to traditional Christian beliefs.

When this happens, the results are bad for everybody."

Full essay-excellent!

The Anglican Way

posted September 28, 2010
by Gerald Bray

The English Reformation produced the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion as its foundational documents. Both represent the more Reformed (as opposed to Lutheran) phase of the English reformation, though they are closer to patristic and medieval traditions than most Reformed documents are.

Archbishop Cranmer believed that he had to reform the worship, doctrine, and discipline of the church. The Prayer Book represents reformed worship, and the Articles contain reformed doctrine. Yet Cranmer’s reformed discipline failed to gain parliamentary approval, and that failure was a factor that led to the rise of puritanism. the rest image

Legislated Laryngitis: Silencing the Church

By Chuck Colson
September 23, 2010

It was a voice vote that silenced the voice of the church for generations.

In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was in the middle of a particularly bruising re-election battle. Two nonprofit groups had been especially troublesome to the senator, vocally opposing his candidacy.

So, on a hot summer day in Washington, D.C., Johnson slipped an amendment into the IRS 501(c)(3) code that governs nonprofit organizations in order to restrict their speech -- including the speech of churches. Johnson’s amendment stated that nonprofits could not “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing and distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.”

The penalty for such “participation”? Revocation of their tax-exempt status. the rest image
It’s now time to ask the question: Who decides what the church can and cannot say?

Pentecostal Pastor Beaten, Arrested in India

Tue, Sep. 28 2010
By John Malhotra
Christian Today Reporter

A Pentecostal pastor in the southern Indian state of Karnataka was arrested on charges of forceful conversion on Sunday.

Pastor Shivanda Siddi, 45, was arrested while conducting worship service at Gnanodaya Assemblies of God Church, reported the Global Council of Indian Christians.

According to the advocacy group, about five people belonging to a Hindu extremist organization disrupted the service and began to physically attack the pastor.

"The radicals humiliated the pastor by tearing his clothes and beating him in front of the faithful. After beating the pastor for about half an hour, they called the police at Yellapur station," GCIC reported. the rest

Christians Expelled from Morocco
A human rights organization has learned that two more Christian foreigners have been expelled from Morocco on charges of proselytizing, while other foreign organizations continue to be investigated...

Survey Measures Americans' Knowledge on Religion

Tue, Sep. 28 2010
By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter

Compared to atheists and agnostics, Protestants are less knowledgeable about the teachings, history and figures of major world religions, a new survey reveals.

Out of 32 religious knowledge questions asked by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, atheists and agnostics had on average 20.9 correct answers while Protestants as a whole answered 16 correctly.

Jews and Mormons also scored high with 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively.

When it came to Christianity, however, white evangelical Protestants were among those with the highest levels of knowledge. They scored 7.3 out of 12 on questions related to the Bible and Christianity. Mormons were the only ones to score higher, with 7.9. . the rest

Nevertheless, the survey showed that faithful Americans know little even about their own religion.
Survey: Americans don't know much about religion

Americans are Religiously Illiterate
Did you know that Mother Teresa is Catholic, Maimonides was Jewish, and Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation? Congratulations! You’re more religiously literate than most Americans...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Devotional: Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble...

Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary, joy and delight. They who come to Christ, do not only come to a resting-place after they have been wandering in a wilderness, but they come to a banqueting-house where they may rest, and where they may feast. They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys. ...Jonathan Edwards image

Pope: Church Does Not Work for Numbers and Power



Story

A.S. Haley: The Constitutional Crisis in ECUSA (I)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This will be the start of a new series of posts, to be called The Constitutional Crisis in ECUSA. Recent changes made by General Convention 2009 to the Canons, in combination with some in the Church who want to establish a strong central authority under the Presiding Bishop, and the ego of the current occupant of that office, have pushed ECUSA to the brink of a crisis, from which it cannot emerge unscathed. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has already seized authority over the affairs of the Church which is unprecedented -- and her usurpation of authority to date has for the most part not been challenged, or questioned. Led by its Presiding Bishop, ECUSA is in the middle of being transformed by a small group from within, and the average congregation and their clergy as yet have no awareness of the scope of the changes. It will be the purpose of this series of articles, drawing on previous posts which I shall reference, to lay out the big picture clearly enough for anyone to form their own conclusions from the facts presented.

Here

Report: U.S. to make Internet wiretaps easier

Officials say terrorists, criminals increasingly favor online communications to phones
posted September 27, 2010

WASHINGTON — Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking websites and BlackBerrys, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order. That would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online.
the rest

.."We're talking about lawfully authorized intercepts," said FBI lawyer Valerie E. Caproni. "We're not talking about expanding authority. We're talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security."

+Minns: Pastoral Letter to St George's, Colorado Springs

09-26-10
Below is the text of a pastoral letter from Bishop Martyn Minns to the congregation at St George's Anglican Church in Colorado Springs, delivered in person by CANA Suffragan Bishop Dave Bena on September 26:

* * *

18th Sunday after Pentecost
September 26, 2010

Dear People of God at Saint George’s Anglican Church:

You have been in my prayers as the legal nightmare that you have all endured seems to be coming to a close. While a number of definitive actions have been taken, there are still more decisions to be rendered and hearings to be held; therefore at this juncture it is not appropriate for me to comment on specific legal issues. I am looking forward to my visit next month when I will meet with members of the leadership and legal teams to more fully understand the situation and its likely trajectory.

In the meantime, one thing I can and will say is that my love and respect for Don and Jessie and the leadership of St. George’s has not diminished but rather increased by the way in which you all have conducted yourselves. You have all been examples of God’s grace at work. I am delighted to count you as friends and it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

It is my belief, based upon a thorough investigation of the contested facts, that this entire situation never should have been made the subject of a criminal investigation. I am convinced that if ever there was a situation that underscored the wisdom of our Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount about settling matters out of court (Matthew 5:25– 26), this is it! Millions of dollars have been wasted; lives have been disrupted; reputations destroyed; and the Gospel of Christ obscured by the controversy — and we are still far from reaching a place where we can show the world the power of God’s transforming and reconciling love.

There is still a great deal of healing that must take place, but we serve a God who took a cruel cross and transformed it into a symbol of eternal life. Nothing is impossible with Him! Until then, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” This day and for evermore!

Your brother in Christ,
+Martyn
The Rt. Rev'd Martyn Minns
Missionary Bishop of CANA
Here

Chris Christie ‘Greatest Hits’ Clips

Citizens' Group Helps Uncover Alleged Rampant Voter Fraud in Houston

By Ed Barnes
September 25, 2010
FoxNews.com

When Catherine Engelbrecht and her friends sat down and started talking politics several years ago, they soon agreed that talking wasn’t enough. They wanted to do more. So when the 2008 election came around, “about 50” of her friends volunteered to work at Houston’s polling places.

“What we saw shocked us,” she said. “There was no one checking IDs, judges would vote for people that asked for help. It was fraud, and we watched like deer in the headlights.”

Their shared experience, she says, created “True the Vote,” a citizen-based grassroots organization that began collecting publicly available voting data to prove that what they saw in their day at the polls was, indeed, happening -- and that it was happening everywhere. the rest

Obama Stimulus Made Economic Crisis Worse

By Frederic Tomesco
Sep 25, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration weakened the country’s economy by seeking to foster growth instead of paying down the federal debt, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan.”

“Obama did exactly the opposite of what should have been done,” Taleb said yesterday in Montreal in a speech as part of Canada’s Salon Speakers series. “He surrounded himself with people who exacerbated the problem. You have a person who has cancer and instead of removing the cancer, you give him tranquilizers. When you give tranquilizers to a cancer patient, they feel better but the cancer gets worse.”

Today, Taleb said, “total debt is higher than it was in 2008 and unemployment is worse.” the rest

The Importance of Religious Freedom

Monday, September 27, 2010
R.R. Reno

The Sunday edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer features an op-ed arguing for the importance of religious freedom, not just in the United States, but abroad as well.

The authors, Christian Sahner and Bennett Graham observe that religious freedom plays a fundamental role in the development of a healthy civil society. They write:

Promoting religious liberty has long been sidelined by policymakers as a niche concern, but its importance cannot be understated. The possibility to believe and disbelieve empowers people to think critically for themselves, arriving at a conviction as a matter of choice, as opposed to coercion. A society that respects religious liberty also allows diverse claims of truth to compete beside one another, creating an atmosphere of civil debate, transparency, and respect. the rest

Co-Habitation in America Jumps Up 13 Percent

Sun, Sep. 26 2010
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter

The number of unmarried couples living together rose 13 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year, there are 7.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples living together – up from 6.7 million in 2009, reported the bureau on Thursday. The year before had witnessed a two percent drop after a five percent rise in co-habiting couples between 2007 and 2008.

Demographers say a poor job market is likely a factor in the rise of co-habiting couples in 2010. the rest

Britain hasn’t turned its back on God, says Archbishop

by Charlie Boyd
Sunday, September 26, 2010

As thousands of churches welcome back former churchgoers today, the Archbishop of Canterbury is telling Christians that people still desire for God.

In a message for churches taking part in Back to Church Sunday, Dr Rowan Williams said: “The desire for God is undimmed in Britain. This country has not turned its back on God or spiritual things.

“And the Church of England is here for the whole nation: we are a spiritual home on every street corner. the rest