Friday, October 22, 2010

Fire at Virginia Theological Seminary Chapel in Alexandria

Friday, 22 Oct 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A historic chapel on the grounds of the Episcopal Church's Virginia Theological Seminary has suffered extensive damage in a fire.

Alexandria Fire Department spokesman John North said the fire broke out Friday afternoon and the chapel was fully engulfed in flames when the first crews arrived. He said the final damage is likely to be a "terrible loss."

No injuries were reported and North said it was too early to determine a cause. the rest

It Takes a Long Time to Starve a Severely Disabled Infant to Death by Withdrawing Medically-Supplied Nutrition

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

Tube supplied hydration and nutrition is deemed a medical treatment, like aspirin, surgery, or chemotherapy, and hence, can be denied or withdrawn under the law. Normal receipt of food and water, is not allowed to be withheld when it can be taken, since that isn’t medical treatment. Still, take away either form of sustenance from infants (or adults) and they will die.

A disturbing study has come out about how long it takes to starve an infant to death, I assume by withdrawing tube-supplied sustenance.
the rest
Neonatal survival after withdrawal of artificial hydration and nutrition can last up to 26 days, according to a case series presented here at the 18th International Congress on Palliative Care. Although physical distress is not apparent in the infants, the psychological distress of parents and clinicians builds with the length of survival, said Hal Siden, MD, from Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“These babies live much, much longer than anybody expects. I think that neonatologists and nurses and palliative care clinicians need to be alerted to this,” he said. “The time between withdrawal of feeding and end of life is something that is not predictable, and you need to be cautioned very strongly about that if you are going to do this work.” He presented a series of 5 cases that clinicians at his hospice had overseen over a 5-year period. Two infants had severe neurologic impairment, 2 had severe hypoxic ischemia, and 1 had severe bowel atresia.

Revisions to Title IV Are Bad Law

October 22, 2010
By G. Thomas Graves III

“Every diocese is an independent and sovereign state, held in the unity of the Catholic Church by its episcopate, according to the rule of St. Cyprian.” So said the Rt. Rev. Alexander Charles Garrett, the first Bishop of Dallas, on the occasion of the first convention of the diocese in 1895. “The diocese thus becomes the ecclesiastical unit, a full and perfect integer sufficient of itself for all purposes of growth and development.”

As treasurer of the Diocese of Dallas, and until recently senior lay member of its standing committee, I have observed that the people of this diocese understand and take seriously apostolic succession, and value our place in the Anglican Communion. We also treasure the special polity of the Episcopal Church as defined in its Constitution by our founding fathers in the shadow of our country’s successful war for independence. Bishop Garrett understood this unique polity, describing every diocese as “an independent and sovereign state.”

Similarly, the first dean of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Very Rev. Hudson Stuck, was well versed in the precedents of church history. “For consider that every organized diocese is essentially an independent, autonomous portion of the church, having all that is necessary for a church,” he wrote in 1895. Statements like this were not made to defeat a “national church,” as none existed then on the terms we now see being proposed. They were made out of enthusiasm for spreading the gospel, because Dallas was complete as a diocese and so suited for the challenge. To quote the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, sixth Bishop of Dallas, sovereignty in the context that Stuck and Garrett used it did not mean going it alone. Garrett made this clear when he said that the “fullness of the apostolic power, to which I have referred again and again as the great deposit of authority, resides not in each individual bishop, but in the complete apostolic college. It resides in the whole body of bishops.”  the rest at The Living Church
The revisions to Title IV enacted by General Convention at Anaheim in 2009 turn the principles of the founders of the Diocese of Dallas and those of the entire Episcopal Church on their head.

South Carolina the latest target in the gunsights of the national Episcopal Church

by George Conger
 October 22, 2010

The Diocese of South Carolina synod has revised its bylaws in a bid to protect itself from legal predations from the national Episcopal Church. Meeting on Oct 15, at St Paul’s Church in Summerville, South Carolina adopted six resolutions that ended the diocese’s automatic accession to the national church’s canons.

At the close of its March meeting, Bishop Mark Lawrence prorogued the 219th annual meeting of the diocesan convention, after US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori engaged an attorney to represent the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The diocese requested an explanation for what it saw as an unlawful usurpation of authority by the presiding bishop, and postponed the adjournment of its synod pending a response.

The presiding bishop declined to respond, but as it waited the diocesan leadership began a review of the national church canons enacted at the 2009 General Convention covering clergy discipline.

“What we found was shocking,” Canon Kendall Harmon told Anglican TV, as it “violates due process” and natural justice. the rest

Questions over ACC letter on the Southern Cone raised

Noonan: Tea Party to the Rescue

How the GOP was saved from Bush and the establishment.
OCTOBER 22, 2010

Two central facts give shape to the historic 2010 election. The first is not understood by Republicans, and the second not admitted by Democrats.

The first: the tea party is not a "threat" to the Republican Party, the tea party saved the Republican Party. In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn't remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was. The tea party, with its energy and earnestness, restored the GOP to itself.

In a practical sense, the tea party saved the Republican Party in this cycle by not going third-party. It could have. The broadly based, locally autonomous movement seems to have made a rolling decision, group by group, to take part in Republican primaries and back Republican hopefuls. (According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, four million more Republicans voted in primaries this year than Democrats, the GOP's highest such turnout since 1970. I wonder who those people were?)

Because of this, because they did not go third-party, Nov. 2 is not going to be a disaster for the Republicans, but a triumph.  the rest
 (picture by Raymond Dague)

In two years, a fearful turn in Obama's speeches
The message in Portland in 2008 was hope. The president returns to talk about mistrust and threats...

Albert Mohler: Bankruptcy in the Cathedral

It turns out that Robert Schuller offers the best analysis of this crisis with his own words. “No church has a money problem; churches only have idea problems.” The theological crisis in Garden Grove is far more significant than the financial crisis.
Friday, October 22, 2010

The news that the Crystal Cathedral had filed for bankruptcy protection made for an instant sensation. The church established by Robert Schuller, the very prophet of “Possibility Thinking,” was now forced to seek protection from its creditors, listing $55 million in debt, including a $36 million mortgage.

The Los Angeles Times ran “Cracked Crystal” as a headline. The New York Times reported that the “landmark megachurch” would continue, even as it sought protection from its impatient creditors. From coast to coast, the news traveled fast.

A statement posted on the church’s website dated October 18 was titled, “A New Chapter for the Crystal Cathedral.” It began by stating that recent financial reports “indicate the best cash flow the Ministry has experienced in 10 years.” the rest image by Aaron Logan

Eye robot

Poor eyesight remains one of the main obstacles to letting robots loose among humans. But it is improving, in part by aping natural vision
Oct 21st 2010

ROBOTS are getting smarter and more agile all the time. They disarm bombs, fly combat missions, put together complicated machines, even play football. Why, then, one might ask, are they nowhere to be seen, beyond war zones, factories and technology fairs? One reason is that they themselves cannot see very well. And people are understandably wary of purblind contraptions bumping into them willy-nilly in the street or at home.

All that a camera-equipped computer “sees” is lots of picture elements, or pixels. A pixel is merely a number reflecting how much light has hit a particular part of a sensor. The challenge has been to devise algorithms that can interpret such numbers as scenes composed of different objects in space. This comes naturally to people and, barring certain optical illusions, takes no time at all as well as precious little conscious effort. Yet emulating this feat in computers has proved tough.
the rest image by Bruno Cordioli

Let Family Members of Suicides Kill Themselves Too Says Euthanasia Org Prez

Thursday October 21, 2010
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

( - The leader of Switzerland's leading assisted suicide organization says that he wants family members of patients who commit suicide to have the right to kill themselves also.

Ludwig Minelli, president of the pro-suicide organization "Dignitas," told a Swiss newspaper in a recent interview that "a change in the law is required to give dementia sufferers and their families more opportunities."

"The partner should be allowed to have a prescription for these drugs even when they are not terminally ill. In such cases the partners are often a similar age and one does not want to remain without the other," he added. the rest

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Devotional: Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom

Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion. Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them. Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him. But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind. ...Thomas à Kempis image

Vatican synod sees growing concern over Islam

Vatican City
 Oct 21, 2010

 (CNA/EWTN News).- The need for more interfaith dialogue and greater Christian-Muslim understanding has been a key theme in the month-long meeting of bishops at the Vatican to discuss the Middle East.

The special Synod for Bishops for the Middle East is winding down. It will conclude with a celebration of Mass by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 24.

Participants seem increasingly concerned about the growth of extremist forms of “political Islam” in the region. the rest
Summarizing many of the remarks made by synod delegates, he said there is increasing pressure throughout the region from extremist groups who want to “to impose an Islamic way of life on all citizens, sometimes by violence."

Mich. woman accused of civil rights violation for seeking Christian roommate at church

ADF sends letter to Mich. Dept. of Civil Rights asking that complaint be dismissed immediately
Thursday, October 21, 2010

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When a 31-year-old single woman in Grand Rapids placed an ad for a Christian roommate on her church bulletin board, she had no idea it would result in a civil rights complaint accusing her of illegal housing discrimination.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which represents the woman, sent a letter last week to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights asking that the groundless complaint be immediately dismissed, but the division has not yet offered any response. the rest
The ADF letter explains that the woman “is not a landlord. She does not own a management company. She does not run an apartment complex. She is a single person seeking to have a roommate live with her in her house. She is not prohibited by either federal law or state law from seeking a Christian roommate…. To the extent either law is applied against her to interfere with her right to live with a Christian roommate, such action would be in blatant violation of her First Amendment rights to freedom of association.”

In wake of NPR controversy, Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role

The cable news network signs the analyst to a new three-year contract for nearly $2 million. Meanwhile, conservative figures blast the public radio network for its response to Williams' comments about Muslims.
By Matea Gold
Tribune Washington Bureau
October 21, 2010

Reporting from Washington — As NPR weathered a storm of criticism Thursday for its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams for his comments about Muslims, Fox News moved aggressively to turn the controversy to its advantage by signing Williams to an expanded role at the cable news network.

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on

"Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997," Ailes said in a statement, adding a jab at NPR: “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.”  the rest

Pro-Abort Group Pushes “Blob” Media Images that Hide the Humanity of the Unborn

By Patrick B. Craine
VANCOUVER, British Columbia
 October 20, 2010

( – The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) has recommended a set of photos to the media for abortion-related stories that, according to one pro-life leader, shows the “foolish” lengths to which the abortion lobby will go to hide the humanity of the unborn.

At the same time, the pro-abortion group has admitted that the number of abortions reported by Statistics Canada is lower than the true figure, saying “many” abortion facilities do not report the abortions they commit.

As reported by the blog Big Blue Wave, the ARCC is recommending three pictures to media outlets, two that depict the unborn child’s gestational sac rather than the unborn child himself. The third is a shot of a woman holding a positive pregnancy test.

“It’s a complete denial of reality,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition. “They think they can show a blob and this is what the little baby is. Well, what’s inside there? Is there a heart beating in there?” the rest

Chris Sugden in Cape Town: Lausanne Day 3

Cyber wars at Lausanne Congress
Anglican Mainstream
October 20th, 2010

What is taking place here at Lausanne shows me for all our difficulties why the struggle for faithful orthodox Anglicanism is so important. For Anglicanism takes very seriously the incarnation of Jesus and the incarnate expression of his church in the community.

A big push is taking place for Lausanne to become institutionalised as the Lausanne Movement, and for this to be a primarily internet based activity, linked with social networks such as Facebook and the 600 global sites where we are told 100,000 people are accessing the video presentations.

The communications people seem to have taken over. It is all about the fact of human communication as the essence rather than developing and exploring the depth of the message. The conference is in danger of becoming a conference about the Lausanne Movement rather than about the word entrusted to the church to share. the rest

AnglicanTV: Kevin Kallsen interviews Archbishop Venables

San Joaquin: Appellate judges-Episcopal case 'confusing'

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
By Chris Collins / The Fresno Bee

The appellate justices who will decide whether the U.S. Episcopal Church or the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin owns the diocese's church properties on Wednesday appeared uncertain about the court's authority to rule on the issue.

"We are involved in a very confusing question of power of the church versus power of the court," said 5th District Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Cornell, who repeatedly compared the schism between the two church groups to the Civil War.

Justice James Ardaiz also acknowledged the case was "confusing."

The California Supreme Court already has sided with the national Episcopal Church in a similar property battle involving three breakaway Southern California parishes. But this dispute represents the first time an appellate court has had to decide whether a breakaway group can keep church property and assets if an entire diocese -- not just a parish -- splits from the Episcopal Church. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury moves to flush out Anglicans plotting to defect to Rome

The Archbishop of Canterbury moved last night to counter secret plotting among disaffected Anglicans who are planning to defect to Rome.
By Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor
21 Oct 2010

In a surprise announcement, Dr Rowan Williams said he wanted to establish a new joint group of Roman Catholic and Church of England figures to oversee the conversion process.

The proposed group would be designed to enable smooth and less painful transition for those who want to leave the Church of England to become Roman Catholics in protest at the ordination of women bishops.

It would also bring into the open the negotiations between disaffected Anglicans and the Vatican which have been taking place in secret for months.

Dr Williams’s suggestion came in his first public remarks since a parish in Kent and a London bishop announced their intention to accept the Pope’s offer to convert to Roman Catholicism. the rest

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Multicultural Cult: Part II

Thomas Sowell
posted October 20, 2010

Editors' note: this is part two of a two part column. Part I here 

There was a reason why employers in the middle of the 19th century had signs that said, "No Irish need apply" -- and why employers in the middle of the 20th century no longer had such signs. It was not that employers had changed. The Irish had changed.

The Catholic Church for years worked to bring about such changes among the Irish immigrants and their offspring, just as various religious and secular organizations among the Jews, among blacks and among other groups worked to bring about changes within their respective groups. By and large these efforts paid off. All these groups were advancing, long before there were civil rights laws.

Yet today, attempts to get black or Hispanic youngsters to speak the language of the society around them are decried by multiculturalists. And any attempt to get them to behave according to the cultural norms of the larger society is denounced as "cultural imperialism," if not racism. the rest

Dead Sea scrolls going digital on Internet

 Tue Oct 19, 2010 JERUSALEM

(Reuters) - Scholars and anyone with an Internet connection will be able to take a new look into the Biblical past through an online archive of high-resolution images of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls.

Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the custodian of the scrolls that shed light on the life of Jews and early Christians at the time of Jesus, said on Tuesday it was collaborating with Google's research and development center in Israel to upload digitized images of the entire collection.

Advanced imaging technology will be installed in the IAA's laboratories early next year and high-resolution images of each of the scrolls' 30,000 fragments will be freely accessible on the Internet. The IAA conducted a pilot imaging project in 2008.

"The images will be equal in quality to the actual physical viewing of the scrolls, thus eliminating the need for re-exposure of the Scrolls and allowing their preservation for future generations," the Authority said in a statement. the rest

Albert Mohler: Young Souls in Transition — Emerging Adults and the Church

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“I mean, I have my beliefs in my head,” the young man said. “But I don’t enjoy the whole religious scene. I’m not really into it like some people are. I have my beliefs, I believe that’s the way it is, and the way it should be, and I go to church every once in a while. But it’s kind of low-key.”

Anyone who knows today’s generation of young adults recognizes that language immediately. It is the language of religious detachment and institutional alienation. But, as the careful observer will quickly recognize, it is not the language of hostile alienation or ideological detachment. It is the language that marks a generation of souls in transition.

In the early years of this decade, sociologist Christian Smith (then of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and his colleagues conducted over 3,000 interviews with American adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17. Their massive study of adolescent religion in America was published in 2005 as Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford University Press). That study, now recognized as a landmark in the sociology of religion, found that most American adolescents were not irreligious, did not see themselves in rebellion against their parents, and did not fit the popular designation of the coming religious tenor as being “spiritual but not religious.” the rest image

Chris Sugden in Cape Town: Lausanne Day 2

The worldwide Church in Development and in the Global Anglican Crisis; Chinese Christians prevented from attending
Anglican Mainstream
October 19th, 2010

Four Anglican Archbishops are attending the congress, from Uganda, South East Asia, the Middle East and North America. They hosted a discussion session this afternoon on the Anglican Communion. This dialogue was justified, contributors said, because a similar crisis of faith and teaching would be affecting all the churches globally under pressure from western secular culture. Therefore all the churches of Africa, Asia and Latin America needed to offer support and encouragement to those in the west in the same way that Global South Anglican churches had supported orthodox Anglicans in “the north”.

Archbishop Henry Orombi began by clarifying that the current crisis was about more than the violation of biblical morality: it was about the wholesale revision of the historic Christian faith in which the divinity of Jesus Christ, his bodily resurrection and uniqueness were denied by Anglican leaders in North America.

This had given rise to a crisis of order since nothing had changed despite all the actions taken by the leaders of the Anglican Communion. Full report here

Pope names 24 new cardinals

posted October 20, 2010 (AP)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals Wednesday, putting his mark on the body that will elect his successor and giving a boost to Italian hopes to regain the papacy.

Among the new cardinals are two Americans and prelates from key posts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Benedict said the new "princes of the church" will be formally elevated at a ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20, making the announcement "with joy" at the end of his weekly public audience.

The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Raymond Burke, an American who leads the Vatican's supreme court and has been sharply critical of the U.S. Democratic Party for its support of abortion rights. the rest

Canada: Diocese of Montreal moves toward shared episcopal ministry

By Harvey Shepherd
October 19, 2010
Anglican Journal

Parishes and priests not on board with the openness of the diocese of Montreal and its bishop to the blessing of same-sex unions may get access in the new year to spiritual guidance from a bishop more in tune with their views.

Bishop Barry Clarke told delegates to the annual diocesan synod October 15 that he will make a formal presentation to the diocesan council in January on “shared episcopal ministry.” The proposal would permit parishes to have “episcopal oversight” from a fellow-bishop. He emphasized that this episcopal ministry would be shared with his own.

“This does not mean that I am abdicating my responsibility as the diocesan bishop to those clergy and parishes,” he said in his opening address to the synod. “I emphasize the fact that it is a ‘shared’ ministry with a fellow bishop. This is a pastoral response to a particular need at this time in our church. The clergy and parishes that may be involved in this shared episcopal ministry will still have to meet their full responsibility to live within the canons and the constitution of our diocese and of our church.” the rest

San Joaquin: Battle over diocese goes on

Episcopalians face off against Anglicans in appellate court today Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
By Sue Nowicki

Who is the legitimate bishop in the San Joaquin Diocese, and who owns the diocese's property, including its headquarters in Fresno and parishes from Stockton to Bakersfield?

Those questions are at the heart of the next round in the legal battle between local Episcopalians and Anglicans. The two groups face off today in the 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno.
The justices will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit, filed by Bishop Jerry Lamb against Bishop John-David Schofield.

After an overwhelming vote of its clergy and lay representatives in December 2007, Schofield led the diocese away from the national Episcopal Church and to the temporary oversight of an Anglican archbishop in South America. The Episcopal Church responded by deposing Schofield and installing Lamb as its diocesan bishop. the rest

'No scientific evidence' of gay youth suicide epidemic


Ritch Savin-Williams, professor of developmental psychology and director of Cornell University's Sex and Gender Lab, has said that there is absolutely no scientific evidence of an 'epidemic of gay youth suicide,' or even that gay youth kill themselves more frequently than do straight youth.

Savin-Williams said, "It is important to point out in these moments of grief that there is absolutely no scientific evidence of an 'epidemic of gay youth suicide,' or even that gay youth kill themselves more frequently than do straight youth.

"The recent tragic deaths of several youth who are gay or suspected of being gay are rendered even more tragic because they come at a time when growing up gay has never been better or easier. Today's high school youth endorse same-sex marriage, gays in the military and gay rights. Most believe it is simply wrong to attack someone because of his or her sexuality. Never before has there been a generation more accepting and supportive of sexual diversity," Savin-Williams added. the rest

Charities: Donations fall by record amount for top nonprofits

Charities' donations in 2009 fell 11 percent for the largest 400 US charitable groups.
By Associated Press 
 October 18, 2010

A new ranking of the 400 biggest U.S. charities shows donations dropped by 11 percent overall last year as the Great Recession ended — the worst decline in 20 years since the Chronicle of Philanthropy began keeping a tally.

The Philanthropy 400 report to be released Monday shows such familiar names as the United Way and the Salvation Army, both based near Washington, continue to dominate the ranking, despite the 2009 declines. The survey accounts for $68.6 billion in charitable contributions.

An earlier report by the Giving USA Foundation found overall charitable giving declined 3.6 percent last year. That report included giving to private foundations and to smaller charities, while the Chronicle's survey only includes top charities raising money from the public. the rest

The Face that Changes Everything

By Alliance Defense Fund
Christopher S. Brownwell
Oct 18,2010

With the filing of a lawsuit in the baby Shanice case, the issue of babies born alive after an attempted abortion is once again in the spotlight. In 2006, 18-year-old Sycloria Williams determined that she didn’t have the resources or the maturity to rear a child. After she scheduled the abortion, Williams was given medication to dilate her cervix. She arrived at the clinic the next day. When the doctor failed to show up, Williams delivered a baby girl. At that point, her attorney said, "She came face to face with a human being, and that changed everything."

Williams named her baby girl Shanice. I hope that if everyone who favors abortion comes face to face with a baby Shanice shortly after an attempted abortion, their opinion on abortion would change. Although hopeful, I am not naïve. I know that sin exists and resides in the hearts of people.

What happened next is unforgivable. According to the lawsuit, a clinic worker, not licensed to practice medicine, knocked the baby onto the floor, cut the child’s unclamped umbilical cord, allowing the baby to bleed out. The clinic worker tossed the baby, placenta, and everything else into a biohazard bag and threw it out. An autopsy revealed little Shanice had filled her lungs with air, evidence that she was born alive. the rest

Flying V to start Restoring Honor in America

Right before the Restoring Honor event was about to begin at 10am a flock of geese performed a flyover to get the crowd going.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Devotional: If I find in myself a desire...

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world... Probably earthly pleasures were never made to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same. ...CS Lewis image by Jenny Downing

Rowan Williams: Dialogue for me is recognition of the serious

P. Jacob
October 20, 2010

One of the most significant visits to India by a major religious leader in recent decades is the ongoing 16-day visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. In this extended interview, excerpts of which are being published in two parts in the print edition, the distinguished theologian and scholar discusses issues facing the Anglican Communion of Churches that he leads, the state of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, engagement with Islam and Hinduism, issues that have struck him during the India visit, and himself. The hour-long interview was given to P. Jacob, Senior Associate Editor of The Hindu, at the CSI Centre in Chennai on October 18.

Excerpts: Here

Fissure over women bishops deepens in Church of England

by Jenna Lyle
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The faultline running through the Church of England over women bishops has widened after the Bishop of Fulham’s departure to Rome and the outcome of elections to the Church of England General Synod.

Opponents of women bishops say they have gained ground in the General Synod and estimate that 66 clergy (32.10%) and 77 laity (35.46%) will vote down draft legislation on women bishops unless it is amended to include more provisions for those who in conscience cannot accept women in the episcopate.

Rod Thomas, of orthodox Anglican group Reform said: “Only 34% is needed to block this when it returns from the dioceses. For the first time, it can and will be blocked by both fully elected houses. the rest

ObamaCare will clog system

posted October 19, 2010 
By Marc Siegel

A month ago, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to the president of America's Health Insurance Plans stating that the impact on insurance premiums from "the new consumer protections and increased quality provisions" of the new health reform law "will be minimal ... no more than 1% to 2%." Sebelius warned Karen Ignagni that there would be "zero tolerance" for insurers blaming unjustified premium increases on the new law. Talk about subtle.

Sebelius' threat, though, obscures a larger problem: The new health care law mandates and extends the kind of insurance that breeds overuse, thereby driving up costs and premiums. And here I thought the reform intended to reduce costs.

As the details of this massive government-led health care overhaul begin to trickle out, let me be clear (to borrow the president's go-to phrase): The medical system is about to be overwhelmed because there are no disincentives for overuse. the rest

Muslim Dances on Altar of Catholic Basilica in Florence

by Jim Hoft
 Monday, October 18, 2010

A Muslim man danced on the altar of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy last week. Work on the Basilica began in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.  the rest

The cracks are now showing in the Church of England

A parish in Kent is shifting allegiance to Rome and, with many more likely to follow, Anglicanism is feeling the strain. Tim Ross reports.
By Tim Ross
 19 Oct 2010

 Shortly after eight o'clock one spring morning in 2007, an earthquake struck the parish church of St Peter in Folkestone, bringing down the gable-end of the south transept.

Three years later, the 19th-century church, which opened as a chapel for local fishermen, has caused tremors of its own, becoming the first parish in England to declare its intention to defect to Rome. Within hours of the news emerging last Friday, the Bishop of Fulham announced that he, too, will take up the Pope's offer to join a new structure within the Roman Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans.

The defeat of the Archbishop of Canterbury by supporters of women bishopsSome are now talking openly of an "exodus" from the Anglican Communion next year, with thousands following Folkestone's lead. The Archbishop of Canterbury, from whose back yard the revolt has sprung, can be in little doubt about the seriousness of the threat. the rest

The Multicultural Cult

October 19, 2010
By Thomas Sowell

Somebody eventually had to say it -- and German chancellor Angela Merkel deserves credit for being the one who had the courage to say it out loud. Multiculturalism has "utterly failed."

Multiculturalism is not just a recognition that different groups have different cultures. We all knew that, long before multiculturalism became a cult that has spawned mindless rhapsodies about "diversity," without a speck of evidence to substantiate its supposed benefits.

In Germany, as in other countries in Europe, welcoming millions of foreign workers who insist on remaining foreign has created problems so obvious that only the intelligentsia could fail to see them. It takes a high IQ to evade the obvious.

"We kidded ourselves for a while," Chancellor Merkel said, but now it was clear that the attempt to build a society where people of very different languages and cultures could "live side-by-side" and "enjoy each other" has "failed, utterly failed." the rest

Atheism is becoming the new religion, evangelicals warned

Delegates at the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town urged to uphold biblical truth.
by Maria Mackay
Monday, October 18, 2010

Evangelicals heard the call today to be guardians of the truth in the face of widespread indifference to religion and the “denial” of Scripture within parts of the church.

Carver Yu, President of the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, said that “confusing ideologies” were creating emptiness and alienation among people, while indifference to religion was “tightening its grip”.

He said the recent advertising campaign by Richard Dawkins and other atheists on London buses was a perfect example of the “enthusiastic zeal” with which atheists were campaigning against Christianity and religion.

“Atheism is about to become the new religion,” he said. “Christians must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ fearlessly because he is the way, the truth and the life. Only he can lead us away from the present state of godlessness.” the rest

Chinese Delegates Barred from Travel Send Greetings to Lausanne Congress

The First Freedom: Religious liberty as the foundation of human liberty

Archbishop Chaput delivered the following remarks during a tri-diocesan catechetical congress in Victoria, British Columbia on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16, 2010.

Canadian and American Christians often have trouble understanding the brutality of anti-religious repression or serious religious discrimination. It's not part of our national heritage. But many millions of Christians are now being persecuted or harassed for their faith around the world. We need to pray for them. And we also need to pray for ourselves. Because we're not as securely free as we might like to think.

For decades now, we've been witnessing in our two countries -- and throughout the democratic nations of the West -- a campaign against Christian beliefs. The process clothes itself in the language of progress and secularization. But it has little to do with humanity's moral development. It has a lot to do with kicking Christianity out of the public square.

In an open society, religion can be smothered simply by creating a climate in which religious believers are portrayed as buffoons and hypocrites, or as dangerous eccentrics. Or by setting ground rules of public debate that privilege a supposedly “scientific” outlook, and treat religious beliefs as irrelevant.

Inside the media cocoon of a modern society, popular opinion can be shaped in countless little ways until people come to think of their faith as something they should keep to themselves; and that it’s bad manners to interject their beliefs into the political process. They might also come to think that certain basic Christian teachings are in fact hateful, intolerant and repressive of other people’s freedoms.

And then one morning they find that their faith has compromised itself into apostasy -- and they're living in a society where people act as though God no longer exists.  the rest

I can't help but contrast this essay with this:
Bishop Gene Robinson: "How religion is killing our most vulnerable youth"

Do American public school students and employees sacrifice all religious rights?

Sheryl Young Mon
Oct 18, 2010

In October, a California school principal sued his school district for threatening to terminate him. The reason his contract was threatened? Because he pursued religious activities outside of school on his own time.

According to Alliance Defense Fund Legal News, Foothill Elementary School principal Craig Richter used off-duty hours to appear in a video promoting community prayer. A Goleta Union School Board member saw the video and claimed it was against "separation of church and state" for the principal to do so.

This case is the latest among thousands in which U.S. school officials, legislators and judges have misinterpreted the religious rights of students and school personnel. the rest

David Hacker: Canadian universities continue their purge of pro-life speech by students

Gay Parents More Likely to Have Gay Kids

Paul Kix
AOL News
Oct. 17, 2010

 Walter Schumm knows what he's about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.

When one such researcher, Paul Cameron, published a paper in 2006 arguing that children of gay parents were more likely to be gay themselves, the response from the academic press was virulent, to say nothing of the popular press; the Southern Poverty Law Center, for instance, equated Cameron to a Nazi.

Not all of the vitriol was hyperbolic. Cameron does not tolerate gay people. He believes that "homosexual practice is injurious to society." the rest