Friday, October 29, 2010

Devotional: We believe that God is present everywhere...

091129 choir church festival gm

We believe that God is present everywhere, and the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the good and the bad.... We must therefore consider how we should behave in the sight of Divine Majesty, and as we sing our psalms let us see to it that our mind is in harmony with our voice. ...Benedict of Nursia image

Facts and Questions for the Southern Cone HOB and Standing Committee

AAC Weekly Update
By The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, J.D.
Chief Operating and Development Officer, American Anglican Council

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

The House of Bishops of the Anglican province of the Southern Cone will be meeting this weekend to discuss a variety of matters. Among them will be the unprecedented action by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, purportedly on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Communion, asking Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile to withdraw from the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO).

The bishops of the Southern Cone, gathered with Presiding Bishop Venables, will no doubt address the following questions based on the following facts:  the rest

SOUTH CAROLINA: Bishop removes four priests from ordained ministry

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
October 29, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has removed four priests from ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Kenneth Alexander, the Rev. Anthony Kowbeidu, the Rev. Brian Morgan and the Rev. Steve Wood are four of the five priests on staff at St. Andrew's Church in Mount Pleasant. They were removed on Oct. 21.

Wood, St. Andrew's Church rector, posted a copy of the notice Lawrence sent, as canonically required, to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the ecclesiastical authorities of the Episcopal Church and other officials. The document says that the priests were removed for reasons unrelated to their moral character. the rest

NOONAN: A Little Lady Predicts a Big Win

The Republican tide may even reach the Jersey Shore.
By Peggy Noonan

Well, I think we know where this one’s going. The polls came like waves this week. Independents breaking hard for the GOP, those making under $50,000 going Republican, the party has a 20% lead among college graduates. Gallup says 2010 is looking better than the year of the last great sweep, with 55% of respondents now saying they are Republican or lean Republican. It was 49% in 1994. RealClearPolitics has 222 House seats going to the Republicans, 175 to Democrats, and 38 toss-ups, of which 36 are currently held by the Democrats. The president’s approval numbers remain well below 50%, and Congress’s disapproval numbers above 70%.

Let’s say the polls are pretty correct. If they are, two big facts present themselves. One is that the Obama coalition broke under pressure. We’ll see if they regroup. America turns on a dime, we’re in a time of quick and constant change. But Barack Obama’s lines have been broken. the rest image

Sheep among wolves

Dr. Michael Youssef
10/29/2010

When I escaped from the Middle East more than 40 years ago with only the clothes I was wearing, I had every reason to turn my back on the people who persecuted me. But God changed my heart. And that's why I want to share a key verse that the Lord used to help me understand why I had to love those who hated me.

Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

Jesus did not say, "I want you to domesticate the wolves so you can love them." He did not say, "I want you to speak well of the wolves so that you might befriend them." Or as many in the media and some in the church would say, "I want you to tell others how peaceful the religion of the wolves is." Jesus did not say, "I want you to speak of how wonderful the wolves are." Or "I want you to declare that the wolves are just like sheep, only different."

No. Jesus told us that we must know the price of discipleship. You and I must understand the cost associated with obedience. We must sacrifice in serving Him. In saying so, He challenges us to love the unlovable. But also in this passage, Jesus is pointing the disciples and us to a paradoxical truth that is throughout the Bible; it is a tension between our vulnerability and our invincibility at the same time. It is a tension between our weakness and the strength that is in Him. Tension between the power of a hateful persecutor and the power of a loving and obedient disciple. Tension between the worldly power of the flesh and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.  the rest image

A Crossroads Election

October 29, 2010
By Thomas Sowell

Most elections are about particular policies, particular scandals or particular personalities. But these issues don't mean as much this year-- not because they are not important, but because this election is a crossroads election, one that can decide what path this country will take for many years to come.

Runaway "stimulus" spending, high unemployment and ObamaCare are all legitimate and important issues. It is just that freedom and survival are more important.

For all its sweeping and scary provisions, ObamaCare is not nearly as important as the way it was passed. If legislation can become laws passed without either the public or the Congress knowing what is in those laws, then the fundamental principle of a free, self-governing people is completely undermined. the rest

Krauthammer: The great campaign of 2010
In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who "sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' " Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to go to the polls to exact political revenge on their enemies - presumably, for example, the near-60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.

This from a president who won't even use "enemies" to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America - but the United States of America.

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends - not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution...

The Poor’s Good Marriages

First Things
Oct 28, 2010
David Lapp

In a recent opinion column in The New York Times , Wharton School economist Justin Wolfers noted an important fact in marriage trends—then delivered an analysis more instructive on how to exacerbate the problem than how to solve it. The important fact is that while recent news reports of declining marriage rates among young people 25 to 34 have focused on the recession as an explanation, marriage rates over the past thirty years have been declining, through boom and bust alike, especially among less-educated Americans. Combine that with the fact that less-educated Americans are now more likely to divorce than better-educated Americans, and you have a yawning marriage gap between the college-educated and the non-college-educated.

What contributed to this shift? Wolfers suggests we now have a new marriage model, the “hedonic” model. In contrast to earlier marriages based on “the economic benefits of playing specialized roles,” the new model is based on “shared passions”—or as Wolfers put it in an accompanying Freakonomics blog, on “consumption complementarities.”

This model privileges better-educated Americans, he suggests, because the success of marriage today depends on couples who share the same tastes “in books, hobbies, travel and so on.” Women with less education, he explains, “likely have the least to gain from modern hedonic marriage” because they have the least capacity for consumption. the rest

EEOC probes TV station's firing of Christian weatherman

'Our show was one of the highest rated in the country' 
October 27, 2010
By Brian Fitzpatrick
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A Christian evangelist and former television weatherman has filed a religious discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over his firing by a television station in Norfolk, Va.

Morning weatherman Jon Cash abruptly was fired by NBC affiliate WAVY-TV on Aug. 31, two days after mentioning during a sermon that he was considering leaving broadcasting for full-time ministry when his contract expires next summer.

The EEOC is pursuing an "active investigation," according to Gary C. Byler, legal counsel for Cash. Once the EEOC has completed its investigation, Cash may pursue civil litigation. the rest


Appeals Court to Hear Case of Employees Allegedly Fired for Being “Too Religious”
The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta is set to hear oral arguments Thursday whether a case involving two employees of the Hallmark Corporation who were allegedly fired for being “too religious” should go to trial.

According to the public interest firm Liberty Counsel, Daniel and Sharon Dixon were fired by The Hallmark Companies from managing an apartment complex and evicted from their apartment because they displayed, in the rental office, stained glass artwork with flowers and the phrase “Consider the lilies... Matthew 6:28.”...

When our Children Become Trash

Children Found in Dumpsters in Two Cities
By Deacon Keith Fournier
10/29/2010
Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org/)

There are times when the evil of procured abortion becomes obvious and the Nation is shaken out of its complacency

The remains of Seventeen babies in medical ziplock bags with the names of their mothers labeled on the outside were found in a dumpster at the Womans Choice abortion mill in Lansing. Under current MI law abortion mills can place aborted babies and biohazardous waste in the trash as long as they're dipped in formaldehyde beforehand. Two newborns, placed into plastic bags by their own mothers and then thrown away as trash were also found just this week, miraculously discovered in dumpsters. They are being treated in hospitals. Christians are called to action in a pagan West.  the rest

Beer Distributor's Witch Label Brews Contempt Among Wiccans

By Diane Macedo
October 29, 2010

Just in time for Halloween, there's trouble brewing for a California beer distributor that has gotten into hot water with the nation's wiccan community over an ale called Witch's Wit -- whose label depicts a woman being burned at the stake.

Witch's Wit is one of Port Brewing Company's Lost Abbey beers, which the distributor calls "inspired beers for saints and sinners alike." Each beer sports a label that aims to tell a story about the struggle between good and evil. the rest

President Obama to visit mosque in Indonesia

by KENDRA MARR
10/29/10

President Barack Obama will visit one of the world’s largest mosques when he makes good on a long-delayed promise to visit Indonesia, the island nation where he lived briefly as a child.

The president will visit Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta — the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and the third largest Muslim house of worship in the world — during his swing through the country Nov. 9-10. Islam is the dominant religion in populous Indonesia, making it the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

White House national security aide Ben Rhodes said the visit is standard protocol for Obama, who visited the famed Blue Mosque while on a visit to Turkey shortly after his inauguration. “When he visited Muslim-majority countries as president, he has often visited the most prominent mosques,” Rhodes said. the rest

Obama regulations threaten colleges

Feds shouldn't be involved in schools' accreditation
By Bill Armstrong
The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Within weeks, the federal government, through the Department of Education, will have the regulations in place to control potentially what's taught in our nation's private colleges and universities.

The idea is so startling, and so at odds with the concept of academic freedom and the fundamentals of American liberty, that it's tempting to dismiss it as one of those classic "it cannot happen here" scenarios. But the danger is all too real, and one that I and many of my colleagues believe is the greatest threat to academic freedom in our lifetime.

While this obviously strikes personal alarm in those of us who run private universities and colleges, it should profoundly disturb every American. the rest
Religious and faith-based institutions are especially vulnerable because they are inherently ideological and often countercultural. For example, a Christian university could come under scrutiny for offering a survey on the history of traditional man-woman marriage without giving "equal time" to the other side. It could run afoul of the state for offering courses on intelligent design theory, which is critical of the conventional wisdom on evolution.

Faith Without Reason

Book Review:   The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis
By Robert R. Reilly 
(ISI Books, 240 pages, $26.95)
By Matthew Kenefick

Robert R. Reilly has written a book that may offer the key to both understanding and perhaps defeating the ongoing war of terror against the West. The book is entitled The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis. As Angelo Codevilla's jacket blurb puts it: "Reilly shows what happens to a civilization when it fails to give reason its due. This book teaches and warns. Read it." Paul Eidelberg describes it as "a book surpassing in depth even the best efforts of Bernard Lewis. You will not only be enlightened, but you may also see how the West might prevent a new Dark Ages."...

...In this book Reilly explains "why the restoration of reason to Islam is the only antidote to the spiritual pathology driving young men to attempted terrorist acts."  the rest

'Freeze ovaries for childbirth in later life'

Young women should have small sections of their ovaries frozen so they can avoid problems if they choose to start a family in middle age, a leading surgeon has said.
By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent
28 Oct 2010

The technique could potentially give a 40 year-old the fertility level of someone half her age, said Dr Sherman Silber, who carried out the world's first whole ovary transplant in 2007.

Thin slivers of ovaries containing tens of thousands of eggs can now be surgically removed and frozen indefinitely, a procedure costing about £4,000, Dr Silber said. Removing a one millimetre-thin graft had no effect on a woman's chance of conceiving naturally in the meantime if she so chose, he added. the rest
To date his team in St Louis, Missouri, has removed ovarian grafts from about 140 women. The procedure was developed as a way of preserving the fertility of women who had to undergo cancer treatment. But Dr Silber said increasing numbers of women were coming to him solely because they wanted to delay motherhood. About 60 of the women have had ovarian grafts to fit in with their way of life.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daily vibration may help aging bones stay healthy


October 25, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. – A daily dose of whole body vibration may help reduce the usual bone density loss that occurs with age, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

Twelve weeks of daily, 30-minute sessions in 18-month old male mice — which equate to 55- to 65-year-old humans — appear to forestall the expected annual loss that can result in fractures, disability and death. Dr. Karl H. Wenger, biomedical engineer in the MCG Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine, reported the findings with his colleagues in the journal Bone.

Researchers found vibration improved density around the hip joint with a shift toward higher density in the femur, the long bone of the leg, as well. Hip fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly. the rest image

Liberal Anglicans challenge 'dogmatic' Church of England covenant

Church proposes covenant involving divisive issues like electing openly gay priests or blessing same-sex unions
Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk
Thursday 28 October 2010

Liberal Anglicans today launched a campaign to fight guidelines they claim will make the church "more dogmatic".

Next month the general synod, the governing body of the Church of England, votes on whether to approve a constitution that will define how the communion stays together in the face of divisive issues such as sending clergy to another country without its agreement, electing openly homosexual priests or blessing same-sex unions.

But the groups, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, warn the covenant will "redefine Anglicanism". In full-page adverts, appearing this week in church publications, they say the covenant will make the communion "more dogmatic, inward looking and backward looking".
the rest

More parishes reject Church of England bishops who ordain women priests

The number of parishes that have rebelled against the ordination of women has risen by almost a quarter in the last decade in a sign of the growing split between liberals and conservatives within the Church of England.
By Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor
28 Oct 2010

For the first time, the Church published figures showing which parishes have formally rejected women priests.

The details come as some traditionalists prepare to quit the Anglican family to take up the Pope’s offer of converting to Roman Catholicism in protest at Church moves to ordain women bishops in England for the first time.

About 1,000 out of 13,000 CofE parishes have formally registered their objection to women priests working in their own churches. the rest

Bedbugs Try to Take Over the World, Spotted at UN


Thu, Oct 28, 2010

Now that bedbugs have been spotted at the United Nations building, we can officially say they're trying to take over the world.

This month, the UN found evidence of bedbugs in furniture on the 19th and 20th floors of the Secretariat Building in the 1B area of the Library Building, according to a note sent to United Nations correspondents from the press office this week . The furniture was moved to an unoccupied part of the building for fumigation.

"We continue to follow the expert advice of our exterminator specialist making further tests with the bedbug sniffing dog to more fully assess and manage the problem," the note said.

Bedbugs have invaded the city – infesting everything from movie theaters to department stores, apartments, tourist attractions, hotels, offices and even Carnegie Hall – over the last few months, and the United Nations hasn't escaped their resurgence. But the building's dealt with the bloodsucking critters before. the rest image

A.S. Haley: Bishop Lawrence- How to Do It Right

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina shows every other bishop in the Episcopal Church -- including especially the Presiding Bishop -- how one canonically removes clergy under one's jurisdiction who have departed ECUSA for another province of the Anglican Communion.

One does it by a simple, two-sentence declaration of removal: "Notice is hereby given that on October 21, 2010, acting with the advice and consent of the clerical members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina, I removed N. N. and N. N. from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church. This action was taken for causes which do not affect the moral character of the persons removed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church."

There is no phony or illegal resort to the Abandonment Canon (IV.10); there is no phony pretense of treating some communication from the departing clergy as a "voluntary renunciation of the ordained ministry" which the bishop uses to claim that "N. N. is released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God's Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordinations."  the rest

Montreal proposes ‘shared episcopal ministry’ plan for traditionalists:

October 28, 201
By George Conger

Montreal will launch its own ‘flying bishop’ in 2011 to serve traditionalists opposed to the diocese’s introduction of same-sex unions.

Speaking to the Oct 15 session of the diocesan synod, Bishop Barry Clarke said he will present to the January meeting of the diocesan council a plan for “shared episcopal ministry.”

“This does not mean that I am abdicating my responsibility as the diocesan bishop to those clergy and parishes,” the bishop said in his presidential address to the synod. the rest

Lutheran and Anglican bishops brainstorm solutions to common problems

By Harvey Shepherd Montreal
October 26, 2010

Canadian Lutheran churches appear to be faced with many of the same problems known to Canadian Anglicans.

These include shrinking congregations and an increased interest in weekly eucharist.

According to Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), this is leading Lutherans to look at such measures as the use of ordained pastors as “circuit riders” bringing the eucharist to a number of parishes. Speaking here at the Oct. 22-25 joint meeting of the Anglican House of Bishops and Lutheran Conference of Bishops, she added there has also been pressure to revive a practice of permitting lay people to preside at the sacrament, as some Lutheran churches did at one time.

Bishop Johnson also spoke about joint partnerships between large urban and small rural parishes as well as “locally called” pastors ordained to serve their own parishes with less stringent educational requirements than exist for other pastors. the rest

British think tank: Oregon residents doctor-shop for help with suicide

By Simon Caldwell
10/27/2010
MANCHESTER, England

(CNS) -- A British think tank said a U.S. assisted-suicide law might have created a phenomenon of "doctor-shopping" for physicians willing to ignore safeguards to help healthy people kill themselves.

A report claims that the 1997 Oregon Death With Dignity Act is being abused -- with the help of some physicians -- by people who do not fulfill the criteria of being terminally ill, mentally competent and able to make a free choice.

Called "What is Happening in Oregon?" the report by Living and Dying Well, a group of prominent British medical and legal experts, was sent to British members of Parliament Oct. 25 to counter claims by assisted-suicide campaigners that the Oregon law is a model of effective regulation that should be adopted in the United Kingdom. the rest

Missionary builds flying car, FAA certifies it



Story

Churches Meeting in Non-Traditional Venues


Wednesday October 27, 2010

I've been thinking about the places that new churches meet. More on that in the coming days.

In 2007, we did some research on the best places for churches to meet. Since most established churches have a building, the focus was more on where new churches would meet. I've adapted an article I wrote in 2007 for use today.

First, you have to ask the question, "Will the unchurched visit a church that meets in a non-traditional venue?" Survey results indicate that they will.

To a majority of the population -- and particularly the unchurched -- it doesn't matter. While I was at the Center for Missional Research at the North American Mission Board, we asked 1,200 people if knowing a church meets in a traditional church building would negatively affect their decision to visit or join a church. Nearly three quarters of those surveyed expressed that whether or not the church met in a traditional church building made no difference. (This blog is an adaptation of an article I wrote on the subject while working there.)
the rest-comments are interesting...    image

Obama says his opinion of same-sex marriage is evolving

By Michael O'Brien
10/28/10

President Obama told liberal bloggers on Wednesday that his opinion about same-sex marriage was evolving, and that he thought cultural "trendlines" were heading toward a broader acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Obama, who's been on the record as a proponent of civil unions but an opponent of same-sex marriage, said he wasn't ready to reverse his position, but suggested his position on the issue could "evolve."
 the rest

President Obama denies batch of pardons
White House and Justice Department officials confirmed that Obama has yet to grant any pardons or commutations since taking office...

Radical in the White House
Stanley Kurtz hit an Organizing for America nerve during Barack Obama’s campaign for president. Stanley, a Harvard-educated social anthropologist, is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has written for National Review and National Review Online for over a decade. When he started not only asking questions but digging into Barack Obama’s academic and activist past, the campaign tried to shut him down — literally, organizing a phone slamdown on Chicago radio.

Well, this still is America. And so Stanley has done what he is trained to do — research and present evidence to present a complete picture, in this case of the man who is currently president of the United States. The fruit of that project is a gripping, meticulous new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, which he discusses with me here...

A Referendum on the Redeemer
Barack Obama put the Democrats in the position of forever redeeming a fallen nation rather than leading a great one..

Democratic Party Uses Bible to Attack Indiana Pro-Life Candidate

by Steven Ertelt
Indianapolis, IN
LifeNews.com
10/27/10

For the second time in two days, a state affiliate of the Democratic party is coming under fire for using religion to attack pro-life candidates.

This time, the Indiana Democratic party sent an election piece to voters in Indiana using the Bible and claiming pro-life southern Indiana congressional candidate Todd Young wants to stifle contributions to churches.

The mailer, which features various pictures of churches and worshippers, claims the sales tax plan Young favors would somehow reduce tithing to churches. the rest

Maryland Anglo-Catholics begin the journey home

Brian Saint-Paul
posted October 28, 2010

With Pope Benedict XVI's Anglicanorum Coetibus clearing away the obstacles for Anglicans to reunite with Rome, some Episcopal parishes are doing that very thing. This past Sunday, Baltimore's Mount Calvary Episcopal Church voted to join the Catholic Church, making it the first congregation in Maryland to do so.

The small Anglo Catholic parish at Madison Avenue and Eutaw Street was feeling increasingly alienated from the Episcopal Church as it accepted priests who did not believe in what most of the congregation saw as the foundations of the faith, according to Warren Tanghe, a former Episcopal priest who is now attending St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park and preparing for ordination in the Catholic church….

Tanghe said that while the ordination of gays, lesbians and women has gotten a lot of press attention, he believes that the members of the congregation at Mount Calvary also were upset with other fundamental issues, he said. the rest

Pancreatic cancer, linked to dietary habits, grows slowly - studies





Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and oncology at Hopkins' Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center and colleagues studied genetic mutations using genetic material collected from pancreatic cancer patients who died from the disease and determined the timing of the carcinogenesis. the rest
Although pancreatic cancer is dangerous, the risk for a person to acquire the disease may be reduced by following a healthy lifestyle. Quite some research conducted suggests that dietary habits were linked to pancreatic cancer.

Church of England publishes latest statistics on web

ACNS
October 27, 2010

The Church of England has today published its latest information about parish income and expenditure and trends in ministry numbers in Church Statistics 2008/9. The attendance statistics included were published in February 2010.

This year's statistics include additional information on current areas of interest reflecting the contemporary life of the Church. Information on children and young people’s involvement with the church outside worship has been collected for the second time, so that trends can be identified in future years as more data is collected. Data on numbers of parishes theologically opposed to the ordination of women provide factual information for future debates. the rest

The latest statistics have been added to the Church of England website, alongside attendance statistics published in February here .

Christian Chastity vs Sex in the City: America's Future



Found here
Excellent!  Find the time to listen.

UK: Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys

...ahead of Jack and Harry
By Jack Doyle
28th October 2010

Mohammed has become the most popular name for newborn boys in Britain.

It shot up from third the previous year, overtaking Jack, which had topped the list for the past 14 years but was relegated to third spot.

Olivia topped the list for little girls for the second year in a row, behind Ruby and Chloe.

A total of 7,549 newborns were given 12 variations of the Islamic prophet Mohammed’s name last year, such as Muhammad and Mohammad.  the rest

Jordan Lorence discusses Christian roommate case

Johnny has two mommies – and four dads

As complex families proliferate, the law considers: Can a child have more than two parents?
By Drake Bennett
October 24, 2010

“To an unconventional family.” That’s what Paul, the roguish restaurateur and sperm donor, raises his glass to in this summer’s movie “The Kids Are All Right.” Paul is, he has recently discovered, the biological father of two teenage children, one by each partner in a long-term lesbian couple. Contacted by the kids, he has come into their lives and begun to compete for the affections of various members of the family he unknowingly helped create. Complications — funny, then sad — ensue.

The film’s family is indeed unconventional, but it is not unique. In the age of assisted reproductive technology, the increasing acceptance of same-sex partnerships, and a steady growth in “blended” families, more parents and more children are finding that traditional notions of the nuclear family don’t accurately reflect their lives and relationships. the rest

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Devotional: It is not the mere beholding...

It is not the mere beholding, but the gaze of love and trust that moulds us by silent sympathy into the likeness of His wondrous beauty, who is fairer than the children of men.... Lay your hearts down before Christ. Contemplate Him. Love Him. Think about Him. Let that pure face shine upon heart and spirit...so He will "be formed in you." Spirits that dwell with Christ become Christ-like. ...Alexander MacLaren image

ObamaCare: The Facts On Abortion

Napolitano swears in backer of al-Qaida hero

New member of Advisory Council criticized prosecution of terror financers
October 26, 2010
By Aaron Klein
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has sworn in a member of her agency's Advisory Council who is a strong supporter of the radical Islamist theologian who calls for "war" with the non-Muslim world and whose teachings inspired and continues to govern al-Qaida and Islamic terrorist organizations worldwide.

Mohamed Elibiary, president and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation of Carrollton, Texas, also spoke at a conference that honored the anti-U.S. founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini. Elibiary has strongly criticized the government's persecution of fundraisers for Hamas and is a defender of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR. the rest

A.S. Haley: Cracks at the Top (Part V of "The Constitutional Crisis")

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Now that we have the reports from the third and final day of the meeting in Salt Lake City of ECUSA's Executive Council, we are finally able to fill in the picture of what is going on among the Church's elected and appointed officials. The picture is neither pretty nor reassuring.

Analysis here

Planned Parenthood President: Fewer People Mean Less Government Cost:

Tuesday October 26, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C.,

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The president of Planned Parenthood has argued that the new federal health care reform ought to consider funding all contraception with taxpayer dollars because preventing new children leads to less government expense.

In an appearance on the Bill Press radio show, PP president Cecile Richards said that, although the costs of the federal health care bill already promise to skyrocket out of control, federal officials ought to consider covering birth control a priority because of the "cost savings" benefit of fewer children being born.

"I think it's important, Bill, to understand that unlike some other issues of cost, birth control is one of those issues that actually saves the government money," said Richards. "So an investment in covering birth control actually in the long run is a huge cost savings because women don't have children that they weren't planning on having and all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy. the rest

Court Allows San Fran City Resolution Condemning Catholicism as 'Insulting,' 'Hateful'

Tuesday October 26, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
SAN FRANCISCO

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has shakily allowed to stand a resolution by the city government of San Francisco that lambasted the Vatican as "meddl[ing]" and "insult[ing]" for reaffirming its teaching against homosexual adoption, and which urged Church officials to disobey the Magisterium.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2006 had issued a statement clarifying that Catholic Church agencies, in line with the Church's moral teaching on sexuality, should not hand over children to homosexual couples seeking to adopt. The statement was prompted by Catholic Charities branches in Boston and San Francisco choosing to cooperate with homosexual couples seeking adoption.

As a result, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later that year issued a nonbinding resolution that personally attacked Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and former archbishop of San Francisco, and his directive as "discriminatory and defamatory." the rest

Trio of catastrophes hit Indonesia

Hundreds feared dead after earthquake, tsunami, volcano spew
Richard S. Ehrlich
The Washington Times
 Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BANGKOK | Rescuers struggled Wednesday to reach victims of Indonesia's earthquake, tsunami and volcano in two locations, where at least 113 people drowned along Sumatra island's coastal fault line and 18 more perished on central Java island from spewing Mount Merapi.

"We have 200 body bags on the way, just in case," said Mujiharto, head of the Health Ministry's crisis center, referring to the isolated Mentawai isles, which suffered the twin punches of a magnitude 7.7 undersea earthquake on Monday night, followed by a localized 10-foot-high tsunami. the rest

6,200 Cases of Whooping Cough in California

Published October 27, 2010
Associated Press

The California Department of Public Health says more than 6,200 Californians have been infected with whooping cough in the largest epidemic to strike the state since 1950.

Updated totals released by the department show that as of late Tuesday there were 6,257 cases of whooping cough, an increase of 279 cases from last week.

Ten deaths have been reported, all infants younger than three months. the rest

Synod asks pope to drop restrictions on married Eastern-rite priests

By Cindy Wooden
Oct 25, 2010
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Members of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East formally asked Pope Benedict XVI to change Vatican rules that technically prohibit the Eastern Catholic churches from ordaining married men outside the traditional homeland of their churches.

In one of 44 propositions presented to Pope Benedict Oct. 23, the synod members – the majority of whom were Eastern Catholics – said, “With a view to the pastoral service of our faithful, wherever they are to be found, and to respect the traditions of the Eastern churches, it would be desirable to study the possibility of having married priests outside the patriarchal territory.”

After Latin-rite bishops in North America and other areas told the Vatican that the presence of married Eastern-rite priests was creating confusion among their faithful, the Vatican in 1929 issued an order that prohibited the Eastern churches from ordaining married men in the West and from sending married priests to the West. the rest

Facing the axe: Diocese that has twice as many Muslim worshippers as Anglicans

By Jonathan Petre
24th October 2010

A historic Church of England diocese where Muslim worshippers outnumber Anglican churchgoers by two to one is set to be scrapped.

According to sources, the Dioceses Commission is drawing up proposals to axe the cash-strapped Diocese of Bradford in Yorkshire and merge it with neighbouring Ripon and Leeds.

Some are pressing for both dioceses to be subsumed into the adjoining Diocese of York, to create a ‘superdiocese’ under Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the Church’s second-most powerful leader. the rest

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Devotional: The wind blows where it wishes...


The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

We don't know where the wind comes from or where it goes. But we can and do feel it. And it can wreck old patterns of living. A storm of wind is the same thing as a meeting with the Holy Spirit of God. You don't sit down and negotiate with either: you get blown about or blown up, and in that way you make progress and change. So will the explosion come in Church affairs. The Lord will get fed up with his children's foolishness and will bring about change. It will amount to a spiritual explosion. Paul experienced one. ...Cyril Brooks image

New Novel Brings C.S. Lewis and 'the Inklings' to Life

Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25,2010
Christian Newswire

A fascinating new book from Ignatius Press, "Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel", brings to life the beloved writers C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams, in the context of a mysterious adventure story.

The novel opens in 1940, and American Tom McCord, a 23-year-old aspiring doctoral candidate, is in England researching the historical evidence for the legendary King Arthur. There he meets perky and intuitive Laura Hartman, a fellow American staying with her aunt in Oxford, and the two of them team up for an even more ambitious and dangerous quest.

Aided by the Inklings—that illustrious circle of scholars and writers made famous by its two most prolific members, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien—Tom and Laura begin to suspect that the fabled Spear of Destiny, the lance that pierced the side of Christ on the cross, is hidden somewhere in England. the rest

Ignatius Press       Amazon

Muslim preaches at Oxford college chapel

Tuesday 26th October 2010
By Amanda Williams

TWO religious leaders are claiming an historic first after an Islamic Imam preached at a Christian chapel.

For the first time in Pembroke College’s 500-year history, a Muslim, Dr Taj Hargey – from the Summertown Islamic Congregation in Oxford – was welcomed to deliver a sermon at its chapel.

The service was preceded by the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer traditionally carried out by a man, which was read out by an 11-year-old girl from Marston. the rest

The Irrelevant Churches

Monday, October 25, 2010
By Rev. Michael P. Orsi

Recently, Carl Paladino, New York’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, criticized his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo for bringing his daughters to New York’s Gay Pride Parade. Paladino said, “I don’t think it’s proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I think it’s disgusting.”

The gods of political correctness in both parties quickly savaged Paladino for his remarks. He was labeled homophobic and, of course, intolerant. No one came to his support, not even the state’s religious leaders, although what he said is true.

His own Church (Paladino is a Roman Catholic) responded with a tepid statement through a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York who said, “he hoped that anyone who would address this topic would remember the Church’s teaching that all human persons are to be treated with respect.” the rest
In a former age, bringing children to view lewd public acts, like those presented in the Gay Pride Parade, would be called “corrupting the morals of a minor.” Today, it is called tolerance.

Serving Two Masters: Shariah Law and the Secular State

NYT By STANLEY FISH
October 25, 2010

Excerpt:
The conflict between religious imperatives and the legal obligations one has as a citizen of a secular state — a state that does not take into account the religious affiliations of its citizens when crafting laws — is an old one (Scalia is quoting Reynolds v. United States, 1878); but in recent years it has been felt with increased force as Muslim immigrants to Western secular states evidence a desire to order their affairs, especially domestic affairs, by Shariah law rather than by the supposedly neutral law of a godless liberalism. I say “supposedly” because of the obvious contradiction: how can a law that refuses, on principle, to recognize religious claims be said to be neutral with respect to those claims? Must a devout Muslim (or orthodox Jew or fundamentalist Christian) choose between his or her faith and the letter of the law of the land?

In February 2008, the Right Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, tried in a now-famous lecture to give a nuanced answer to these questions by making what he considered a modest proposal. After asking “what degree of accommodation the laws of the land can and should give to minority communities with their strongly entrenched legal and moral codes,” Williams suggested (and it is a suggestion others had made before him) that in some areas of the law a “supplementary jurisdiction,” deriving from religious law, be recognized by the liberal state, which, rather than either giving up its sovereignty or invoking it peremptorily to still all other voices, agrees to share it in limited areas where “more latitude [would be] given in law to rights and scruples rooted in religious identities.” the rest

Congressional Report Casts Doubt on Constitutionality of Obamacare's Individual Mandate

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
 By Matt Cover

(CNSNews.com) – A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) casts doubt on the two main arguments used by the Obama administration to defend the individual insurance mandate that is the central component of the controversial health “reform” law.

Published on October 15, the CRS report examines the arguments both for and against the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires every American to purchase government-approved health insurance or else pay a fine.

The mandate, to be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, has been challenged as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority in a lawsuit filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. the rest

The Coming Political Tsunami

October 26, 2010
By Ed Koch

I predict a Republican victory of tsunami proportions on November 2nd.

For the last six months in various public forums, I have said that Republicans will take both the House and Senate. Most political observers, citing statistics from various states, continue to say that, while it appears certain that the House will go Republican, there are too few Senate seats in play for a Republican takeover. Further, many pundits state that Democrats will preserve their control of the Senate because the Republican Party has undermined itself by fielding whacko and semi-whacko candidates from the "tea party" wing or otherwise offering inferior candidates, e.g., Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Linda McMahon in Connecticut and Carly Fiorina in California. the rest

President Obama Heads into Midterms at Lowest Approval Rating of Presidency

A.S. Haley: Leeks, Watermelons and Fleshpots of Egypt

Constitutional Crisis in ECUSA - Pt IV
Oct. 24, 2010

Excerpt:
Could the Presiding Bishop here be complaining that she has to work with the full Executive Council? And could that mean that there are some of its members who are currently being less than compliant on accepting the current autocratic situation? If I were a member of the Executive Council, and if I had asked some inconvenient questions about why all the money was being spent on fees that were going to the Chancellor's own former law firm, for results that were middling to poor at best, I might feel as though I were the target of these cryptic remarks.

Full essay

Episcopal parish votes to join Roman Catholic Church

October 25, 2010
By Liz Bowie
The Baltimore Sun

Mount Calvary Episcopal Church in Baltimore on Sunday became the first congregation in Maryland to vote to break ties with the Episcopal Church and take steps to join the Roman Catholic Church.

The small Anglo Catholic parish at Madison Avenue and Eutaw Street was feeling increasingly alienated from the Episcopal Church as it accepted priests who did not believe in what most of the congregation saw as the foundations of the faith, according to Warren Tanghe, a former Episcopal priest who is now attending St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park and preparing for ordination in the Catholic church. Tanghe knows members of the parish, where he has assisted in the past, and said they also were uncomfortable when the church began ordaining women, gays and lesbians.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland issued a statement Monday about the vote, but both the bishop and the rector, the Rev. Jason Catania, declined to be interviewed. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Sean Caine, said the Catholic Church would welcome the congregation. the rest

UAE Court ruling: Men ALLOWED to beat their wives and young children...

...as long as they don't leave any marks.
By Dan Newling
18th October 2010

Husbands are allowed to beat their wives and children - as long as they don’t leave any physical marks, an Islamic court in the United Arab Emirates has ruled.

The astonishing legal ruling gives all husbands and fathers in the ultra-rich Gulf state the 'right to discipline' female family members if they have first attempted reconciliation.

The judgment was made by one of the UAE’s most senior judges, Chief Justic Falah al Hajeri, who made the ruling in the case of a man fined £85 for slapping his wife and kicking his daughter. the rest
(h/t Anglican Mainstream)

Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters

Oct. 24, 2010
By RACHEL ZOLL
AP Religion Writer

Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives, including Voris, has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough.

Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church. the rest
"There's a general sense among many faithful Catholics that no matter how much they write their bishops, no matter how much they go to the pastors, all of these unfaithful things keep getting taught," Voris said. "I think enough Catholics are saying, 'That's it. I've had it.'"

Ex-Muslim: Proposal that Islam is Tolerant is Fallacious, Dangerous

Tue, Oct. 26 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

WASHINGTON – Though most Muslims are tolerant and peace-loving, Islam itself is not a religion of tolerance, a former Muslim asserted.

Well-known activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali made the argument Monday at the National Press Club as security guards stood in the back of the ballroom. An outspoken critic of Islam, Hirsi Ali has been living under a fatwa, a religious ruling or in this case an order to kill, for years.

The Somali native addressed the question "Is Islam a Religion of Tolerance?" to highlight the political dimension of the widely practiced faith. the rest

"That word 'peace,' 'tolerant' is not defined in Islam as you define it in the West," she clarified. "It doesn't mean ceasefire or compromise. That's temporary.


In Islam, the way to achieve peace is through settlement, jihad, and the institution of sharia (Islamic law), she explained.

Obama most 'gay'-friendly president in history

Sam Hananel
Associated Press Writer
10/26/2010

WASHINGTON - Less than halfway through his first term, President Barack Obama has appointed more openly homosexual officials than any other president in history.

Homosexual activists say the estimate of more than 150 appointments so far -- from agency heads and commission members to policy officials and senior staffers -- surpasses the previous high of about 140 reached during two full terms under President Bill Clinton.

"From everything we hear from inside the administration, they wanted this to be part of their efforts at diversity," said Denis Dison, spokesman for the Presidential Appointments Project of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute. the rest

Seeking Promiscuous Heathen Female Roommate

Mike Adams
 posted Oct. 26, 2010

Dear Fair Housing Center of West Michigan,

I am writing to express my concern over a recent civil rights complaint that has been filed against a woman who posted an advertisement at her church last July. Apparently, you were upset that she was seeking a Christian roommate. I came to that conclusion after reading the following in the complaint you recently filed against her: "(The ad) expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths.”

As someone who is preparing to move to Grand Rapids, I am concerned about your complaint. I’m not concerned about the Christian woman. I’m concerned about myself. Let me explain. the rest

In case you missed the story:
Woman charged for posting ad seeking Christian roommate

PAKISTAN - Christians protest chapel violently taken over by Muslims

Agenzia Fides
2010-10-22

A nonviolent protest and an outdoor Mass: this is how Christians in Pakistan intend to raise awareness in the national government and public opinion regarding the case of an illegal occupation of the Christian Chapel at Gordon College in Rawalpindi, located near the Presbyterian University in the same city.

On October 19, the Chapel was illegally occupied by force by a group of over 20 people who broke into the building and shut themselves inside: they are Muslim faithful who, with the support of some local politicians, are claiming ownership of the building, based on records that Christians consider artifacts. The group has occupied the chapel and, according to information sent to Fides, they intend to seize and sell the building to obtain several million rupees.   the rest

Texas Parents Stopped From Forcing Daughter’s Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
 LifeNews.com
 10/23/10

With the help of pro-life attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, a 16-yea-old Texas girl has secured a temporary restraining order preventing her parents from forcing her to have an abortion.

On two occasions, the teenager’s mother literally dragged her to local abortion facilities, including International Healthcare Solutions and Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region, demanding that her daughter take the live of her unborn child.

Though she refused and the child’s father also does not want the baby killed, her parents continued to insist that they will force her to have the abortion. The court’s order prevents that from happening. the rest

Indonesian quake: 23 killed, 167 missing

Oct 26, 2010

Jakarta - The death toll reached 23 and 167 people were missing a day after a powerful earthquake struck off Indonesia's Mentawai islands, triggering a tsunami with waves up to 3 metres high, officials said Tuesday.

The Disaster Management Agency in West Sumatra province said 10 villages on the island chain were hit by a tsunami caused by Monday's 7.2-magnitude quake. the rest

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupts
October 26, 2010
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupted three times on Tuesday emitting searing clouds and volcanic ashes, a volcanologist said...