Friday, November 19, 2010

Devotional: The tests of life are to make, not break us...


The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose if we flinch or rebel. ...Maltbie D. Babcock image

Citing crime, Dutch may crack down on marijuana tourism

Nov 19, 2010
 by Michael Foust

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (BP)--Acknowledging that marijuana decriminalization has led to an increase in crime and societal problems, the new Netherlands conservative-leaning government wants to crack down on drug tourism by limiting marijuana sales in so-called "coffee shops" to Dutch residents.

The proposal was outlined weeks ago when the coalition government detailed its goals but is getting more attention now because Ivo Opstelten, the government's minister of security and justice, said the government is serious about the proposal.

Millions of tourists from all over Europe come to the Netherlands each year to smoke pot, which is relatively cheap at the coffee shops, or marijuana cafes. There are hundreds of such shops in Amsterdam and elsewhere. the rest image by Adrian Sampson

The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church


More than in previous generations, 20- and 30- somethings are abandoning the faith. Why?
Drew Dyck
11/19/2010

Excerpt:
So 20- and 30-somethings are leaving—but why? When I ask church people, I receive some variation of this answer: moral compromise. A teenage girl goes off to college and starts to party. A young man moves in with his girlfriend. Soon the conflict between belief and behavior becomes unbearable. Tired of dealing with a guilty conscience and unwilling to abandon their sinful lifestyles, they drop their Christian commitment. They may cite intellectual skepticism or disappointments with the church, but these are smokescreens designed to hide the reason. "They change their creed to match their deeds," as my parents would say.

I think there's some truth to this—more than most young leavers would care to admit. The Christian life is hard to sustain in the face of so many temptations. Over the past year, I've conducted in-depth interviews with scores of ex-Christians. Only two were honest enough to cite moral compromise as the primary reason for their departures. Many experienced intellectual crises that seemed to conveniently coincide with the adoption of a lifestyle that fell outside the bounds of Christian morality. the rest image by Les Chatfield

Surprise at a Comet Visited by NASA: A Snowstorm


By KENNETH CHANG
November 18, 2010

A peanut-shaped comet was spewing hundreds of tons of fluffy ice chunks every second as a NASA spacecraft swung by it two weeks ago.

“To me, this whole thing looks like a snow globe that you’ve simply just shaken,” Peter H. Schultz, a Brown University professor working on the mission, said Thursday during a news conference.

The Deep Impact spacecraft passed within 435 miles of Comet Hartley 2 two weeks ago, producing a series of photographs that showed bright jets coming off a rough surface.

What fascinated the mission scientists most was that the chunks of water ice in the jets were not being lifted off the surface by the force of water vapor heated by the sun, but rather by jets of carbon dioxide. This was the first time that such carbon dioxide jets had been observed at a comet. the rest

CAPA primates respond to Canterbury’s call

 The Church of England Newspaper  November 18, 2010
by George Conger

The African primates of the Anglican Communion have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury, offering their counsel on the format and agenda of the forthcoming primates meeting in Dublin.

Meeting at the ACK guest house in Nairobi from Nov 8-9, the primates or representatives from 12 African provinces along with the Primate of Southeast Asia, Archbishop John Chew of Singapore, met in private session to discuss issues of African and international concern.

At the close of the meeting, a letter to Dr. Williams was prepared, responding to his Oct 7 letter suggesting that a regime of facilitated small group meetings be instituted in place of the traditional format of the primates meeting, in light of the threatened boycott of the gathering. the rest

U.S. Secret Service Sting Nabs Man who Hacked into Federal Reserve Computers

Feds Say Busted Malaysian Man Stole Over 400,000 Credit Card Numbers
By JACK CLOHERTY, PIERRE THOMAS, and JASON RYAN
WASHINGTON Nov. 19, 2010

A U.S. Secret Service undercover sting has apparently netted a big fish from the ocean of computer crime.

He is charged with hacking into the supposedly secure computer system at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and penetrating servers used by defense contractors and major corporations, potentially giving him access to sensitive national security information.

All of this, while sitting at home in Malaysia. Secret Service sources describe Poo as a "big fish," an "extremely sophisticated and dangerous computer hacker." the rest

Vitamin D deficit doubles risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks

14-Nov-2010
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Low levels of vitamin D, the essential nutrient obtained from milk, fortified cereals and exposure to sunlight, doubles the risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks, according to a new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death, killing more than 140,000 Americans annually and temporarily or permanently disabling over half a million when there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.

Researchers say their findings, to be presented Nov. 15 at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, back up evidence from earlier work at Johns Hopkins linking vitamin D deficiency to higher rates of death, heart disease and peripheral artery disease in adults. the rest

Pastor on trial for witnessing to Muslims

Russ Jones OneNewsNow
11/19/2010

A pastor in Wichita, Kansas, heads to court today to defend himself against charges involving his efforts to witness for Christ outside a mosque.

Pastor Mark Holick says the incident in late August occurred as members of the Islamic Society of Wichita were marking the holy month of Ramadan. Police were called when Islamists witnessed Holick and 13 others handing out packets that included the Gospel of John, the Book of Romans in English and Arabic, and a DVD with testimonies of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity.

Holick claims he was basically ignored by the arresting officer. "I asked him, 'What am I being charged with?' -- and he wouldn't answer me," the pastor tells OneNewsNow. "And I asked him a second time and I asked him a third time...and neither time would he even respond to me." the rest

Krauthammer: Don't touch my junk

Don't Touch my Junk Shirt
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 19, 2010

Excerpt:
...And now three months later, the newest airport hero arrives. His genius was not innovation in getting out, but deconstructing the entire process of getting in. John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security's newest brainstorm - the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett's, warning the agent not to "touch my junk."

Not quite the 18th-century elegance of "Don't Tread on Me," but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.

Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare - get out of my doctor's examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don't touch my junk, Google - Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon...the rest  image

Putin gets a puppy



Story

Aggressive Homosexual Ideology Silencing Christians: Senior Cardinal

Thursday November 18, 2010
By Hilary White
ROME

(LifeSiteNews.com) – An “aggressive ideology,” a behavioral theory of “complete debauchery,” is loose in the world, and appears to be winning against the traditional Christian culture of the west, said Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

The cleric made the remarks in a book of memoirs, titled “The Inconvenient Memoirs,” which has been republished and launched today in Rome with an additional section on the dangers of the homosexualist ideology.

In these “shattered” times, the cardinal said, the new ideologies have resulted in an “intellectual blindness” and in the silencing of Christians who are intimidated by persecution by homosexuals and their ideological accomplices. the rest
But in the end, the cardinal wrote, the Church will not be defeated: “We are with the Lord of History.”

Benedict XVI receives the Anglican Primate Rowan Williams at the Vatican



Churches lose their vicars as Anglicans "jump ship" for Rome, warns Rowan Williams
Dr Williams acknowledged that traditionalists who cannot accept Church of England plans to ordain women bishops were in “considerable confusion and distress”.

But the Pope’s offer to accommodate disaffected Anglicans would leave the Church with “practical challenges” as vicars resign and churches lose worshippers, he said...

Archbishop says defections will cause challenges for the Church

Church Times: Toronto same-sex blessings rile conservatives

19 November, 2010

GUIDELINES for clergy considering requests by same-sex couples for blessings have been issued for the An­glican diocese of Toronto.

The guidelines state that they are a pastoral response to committed gay and lesbian couples, and “not an authorized rite of the Anglican dio­cese of Toronto”. This distinction is important, since the introduction of a rite would invite censure from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office.

The College of Bishops acknow­ledges that the guidelines might strain the “gracious restraint” called for in the 2004 Windsor report, which included moratoria on ap­point­ing someone in a same-sex relationship as a bishop, authorising same-sex blessings, and intervening in another province.

Breaching these moratoria has earned sanctions for both the Epis­copal Church in the US, in which a lesbian bishop was con­secrated in Los Angeles, and the Province of the Southern Cone, which has extended its oversight to conservative dioceses and parishes in the US and Canada. the rest

San Joaquin: Episcopal dispute sent back to Fresno Co. court

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
The Fresno Bee Share

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 rest

A.S. Haley: Translating the Appellate Decision in the San Joaquin Case
...In short, 815's strategy of claiming the property of a departing Diocese because it is somehow "hierarchical" today went down to defeat in Fresno. How the Presiding Bishop and her attorneys react to this decision will speak volumes for their intentions to keep relying on that strategy to win cases in the secular courts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rutgers Prof: Having Lots of Kids is Like Littering

by Pat Archbold
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stop. Stop right now. Don’t try to convince yourself that these people are some sort of outlier. This view of life and of motherhood is increasingly prevalent. How else do you explain the slow-motion demographic suicide occurring in the West?

What am I talking about? Rutgers University Professor Helen Fisher, of the Center for Human Evolution Studies has written for Oprah Magazine and today was on the Joy Behar show talking about women making the choice to be childless. She described having lots of children as littering. But truly that barely rises to the surface as the most offensive thing in this panel discussion from hell. the rest

The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families

November 18, 2010
Executive Summary

The transformative trends of the past 50 years that have led to a sharp decline in marriage and a rise of new family forms have been shaped by attitudes and behaviors that differ by class, age and race, according to a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey, conducted in association with TIME magazine, and complemented by an analysis of demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

A new "marriage gap" in the United States is increasingly aligned with a growing income gap.

Marriage, while declining among all groups, remains the norm for adults with a college education and good income but is now markedly less prevalent among those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. the rest

Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete

Obama administration flooding Peru with millions of condoms

Thursday November 18, 2010
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
LIMA

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Obama administration is helping to flood Peru with over 18,000,000 condoms through the USAID program, according to two of Peru's most important Catholic bishops.

"It shames me terribly that the Ministry of Health is promoting this massive distribution of condoms with the support of USAID because it encourages the irresponsible exercise of sexuality, above all among our young people," said José Antonio Eguren, Archbishop of Piura and President of the Episcopal Commission on the Family, Infancy, and Defense of Life, in a written statement published on the Archdiocesan website.

"Sexuality cannot be reduced merely to the genitals, to an irresponsible sexual act, separated completely from its procreative intention and from its natural and rightful place, which is marriage," Erugen wrote. He added that "we should reject this type of policy that promotes a culture that trivializes human sexuality." the rest

N.J. Pastor Tells Church Leaders to Get Off Facebook

Thu, Nov. 18 2010
By Audrey Barric
Christian Post Reporter

A New Jersey pastor is requiring all married church officials to delete their Facebook accounts in the wake of increasing marital troubles in his church.

The Rev. Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church told The Associated Press that he has been in extended counseling with many couples because of problems posed by Facebook – namely a spouse connecting with an old flame.

"What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great," he told AP.

Church leaders have until Sunday to permanently sign off Facebook or resign from their positions. Miller also plans to delete his account this weekend. the rest

Dr Rowan Williams: Ordinariate ‘may be prophetic’

By Staff Reporter
Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said he would “praise God” for the Ordinariate if it helps people appreciate the Anglican patrimony.

Speaking to Vatican Radio in Rome, Dr Williams was asked about Pope Benedict XVI’s description of the Ordinariate as a “prophetic gesture”.

He said: “Well, I think if the Ordinariate helps people evaluate Anglican legacy or patrimony, well and good, I’m happy to praise God for it. I don’t see it as an aggressive act, meant to destabilise the relations of the Churches, and it remains to be seen just how large a movement we’re talking about.”

Asked again whether he thought it was prophetic, he said: “Maybe yes, in the sense that here is the Roman Catholic Church saying there are ways of being Christian in the western Church which are not restricted by historic Roman Catholic identity – that’s something we can talk about.” the rest

TSA Hit With Lawsuits As Revolt Explodes

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The TSA has been hit with a number of lawsuits as the revolt against Big Sis, naked body scanners, and invasive groping measures explodes, with one case involving a woman who had her blouse pulled down in full public view by TSA goons who then proceeded to laugh and joke about her exposed breasts.

Nationwide outrage against the TSA is not only bringing to light new cases of airport abuse, it’s throwing fresh attention on previous incidents that have been going on for years.

One of the most disturbing, which is subject to an ongoing lawsuit, involved a 21-year-old college student from Amarillo Texas. The woman was passing through security at Corpus Christi airport on May 29 2008 when she was subjected to “extended search procedures” by the TSA. the rest



RON PAUL: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...
November 17, 2010

State Department Issues 2010 Report On International Religious Freedom

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Religion Clause

Yesterday the U.S. State Department released its 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom.
The annual report to Congress is mandated by Section 102 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998...

..The report surveys the status of religious freedom separately for every country around the world (except for the U.S. itself). The Executive Summary  highlights 27 countries in which there have been noteworthy developments, either positive or negative. It reports on U.S. efforts to promote religious freedom in the 8 countries the State Department has formally designated as "Countries of Particular Concern." (See prior posting.) However the Report did not update these designations. Secretary Posner, though, said that a new list will be forthcoming "in the next couple of months." the rest-go here for more links

US allies under fire in religious freedom report
The U.S. State Department released its 2010 International Religious Freedom Report on Nov. 17. Several of the nation's closest strategic and commercial partners came in for criticism, including some that were designated as “countries of particular concern” for their religious repression...

Bush’s Embryonic Stem Cell Decision from Decision Points

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

I just read President Bush’s chapter in his new book on how he came to his ESCR funding policy. It was very interesting, particularly since I was tangentially engaged in the effort to impact the policy–and later, repeatedly defended his decision.

The ESCR issue was the first major Bush controversy, beginning shortly after he took office when he rescinded President Clinton’s stem cell funding executive order, then about to take effect–which was close to what Obama followed eight years later–and announced that he was going to undertake a period of contemplation and consultation. I strived (from afar) to influence his thinking by writing articles in conservative journals–apparently with some success. In talking at the time to people who were much closer to and more directly involved in the situation, I had the sense that the president was deeply conflicted. the rest

6-Year-Old Killed in Latest Attack against Christians in Iraq

Wed, Nov. 17 2010
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter

A six-year-old girl and her Christian father were killed in a northern city in Iraq Tuesday, joining the dozens of believers that have been targeted by Muslim extremists in recent weeks.

The two were killed by a car bomb explosion in Mosul, which has a large Assyrian Christian population, local police said, according to CNN. Just the night before, gunmen barged into a home also in Mosul and killed two Christian men in their living room.

This week’s attacks only further confirm to Assyrian Christians that they are not safe in Iraq, not even in their own living room. On Oct. 31, gunmen orchestrated the most deadly attack against the Assyrian Christian community since Islamic extremists began targeting them in 2003. A total of 68 people, according to the latest figure, were killed during the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation, Baghdad’s main Catholic Church. Among those that died were three Catholic priests, with one passing away at the hospital. the rest

Anglican and Orthodox leaders celebrate ecumenical journey

Vatican Radio
18/11/2010

The legacy of the past half century of dialogue between the different Christian denominations and the future direction of the ecumenical journey were under the spotlight here in the Vatican last night. Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams and Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas joined past and present members of the Pontifical council for Christian Unity for a celebration recalling the founding of their original Secretariat by Pope John XXIII in 1960 in preparation for the Second Vatican Council.

Drawing inspiration from New Testament texts, Dr Williams spoke of the three dimensions of unity – with Christ, with each other and with the apostolic tradition – which can underpin a new phase of ecumenical dialogue. Urging his listeners not to lose sight of the ‘Ut Unum Sint agenda’, he called for shared reflection on the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and, above all, on Eucharistic theology which he said has ‘worn thin’ in many Christian communities. the rest

Truth or Conviction: questions over the Anglican Communion Covenant

November 18th, 2010
Anglican Mainstream
Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden
Many primates have indicated that they cannot support the Covenant in its present form. The African Primates said in Entebbe in August : “We realise the need for further improvement of the Covenant in order to be an effective tool for unity and mutual accountability.”

In April the Global South meeting said: “We are currently reviewing the proposed Covenant to find ways to strengthen it in order for it to fulfill its purpose. For example, we believe that all those who adopt the Covenant must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10. Meanwhile we recognize that the Primates Meeting, being responsible for Faith and Order, should be the body to oversee the Covenant in its implementation, not the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.”

Why the reticence? the rest
The current Covenant process interminably delays judgement and leaves little hope of discipline and thus of consistency. We are left in a permanent state of dialogue and conversation. This has practical implications at parish level when churches have to decide how to relate to same-sex couples requesting blessing and bringing surrogate children for baptism. If the covenant process in the Communion becomes the state of affairs in the Church of England, its practices could be so contradictory that chaos would result. Endless appeal could be made to conviction, openness, listening and time while practices and actions continue which go against the teaching of the church whether in a parish or whole diocese.

Anglican Perspective: Canadian Anglicans Lose Property



Here-AAC website

Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses appeal

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Devotional: The prevailing idea seems to be...

The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best.  ...Arthur W. Pink image by Josh Pesavento

German church allows gay pastors to live with partners

Nov 16, 2010 by Niels Sorrells

BERLIN (RNS) Gay and lesbian Lutheran ministers in the conservative German state of Bavaria may live with their partners in parish parsonages, but only if they enter into a state-sanctioned civil union.

Although the move may seem bold for what is generally considered one of Germany's most traditional states, Bishop Johannes Friedrich of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria said it was no great departure from existing policies.

He noted that the church had already welcomed openly gay ministers and same-sex unions. "We had only left out that a couple could live in a civil union in the parsonage," he said.

To abide by the ruling, gay or lesbian ministers must receive a church blessing for their union and enter into a civil union officially recognized by government officials. the rest

A.S. Haley: Changing the Constitution: Final Approval in 1901


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Excerpt:
The Church's governing structures, therefore, are structures of delegated powers. They may exercise only the powers granted to them in the Constitution -- and no others. This is why the latest changes to Title IV of the Canons are unconstitutional: they grant the diocesan bishops, and the Presiding Bishop in particular, wide-ranging powers of discipline over the clergy which violate the reserved powers of the dioceses themselves. And this is also why the Episcopal Church is not a hierarchical church, from a national point of view -- because General Convention has absolutely no power over individual dioceses, and cannot order them to do anything. General Convention, on the few days it meets every three years, is nothing more than a collection of the dioceses assembled for the purposes of deciding upon a common plan, budget and mission for the next three years. It is the dioceses themselves -- whose existence is continuous -- which must carry out the plan, budget and mission thus collectively decided upon, and ideally the bureaucracy at 815 exists only to assist the dioceses in that ongoing function.

Under a series of recent Presiding Bishops, however, 815 has taken on a life and power of its own -- and under our current Presiding Bishop, that office itself has assumed powers never dreamed of by the founders. There is an ongoing conspiracy among the bishops of the Church to allow Katharine Jefferts Schori to assert those unprecedented powers, and it has led to a deterioration in relationships among the several dioceses. It has also brought the Church to the brink of a constitutional crisis, which will become most evident after next July, if the Presiding Bishop and other bishops begin to wield the arbitrary powers granted to them under the new Title IV provisions.

It is time for the bishops to pause on their way to the edge of the cliff, and to look back at the Church's history before they decide to plunge over the precipice. If they will only do so now, there remains time to pull back, and to resume the more moderate path laid out for them by those who wrote the Constitution in 1789, and by those who revised it in 1901. The Church must remain true to its founding principles, or it will no longer be the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. image by Darwin Bell

Full essay here

LifeChurch.tv: YouVersion Bible App Users Grow to 10.7 Million

Wed, Nov. 17 2010
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter

Leaders of one of the top 10 largest churches in America announced Tuesday that the Bible app YouVersion has surpassed all expectations and now has 10.7 million users.

YouVersion began as a simple and small dream to make the Bible more accessible and get the younger generation to be more Bible literate. Leaders of Oklahoma-based LifeChurch.tv launched the smartphone app in 2008 with the hope that it would have 60,000 to 80,000 users over the course of a year.

But in three years, YouVersion has exploded to be one of the world’s most popular apps with over 10 million users. Every 2.8 seconds someone new installs the app and during that same period 12 other people are using it to read the Bible. the rest

November roses

On November 13th Raymond took this picture of the last spray of roses in our garden.  One or two late blooms is not unusual so late in the season, but this abundance really is a blessing to enjoy and a reminder that spring will come again.  -PD

Archbishop to meet with Pope after wave of conversions

posted November 17, 2010
(AFP)

VATICAN CITY — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's Anglicans, will meet Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, following the conversion to Catholicism of five Church of England bishops.

"It's a private meeting. When he travels to Rome he tends to have an audience with the pope. It's not unusual," Marie Papworth, a press official for Williams in London, told AFP on Wednesday.

Williams took part in a Vatican-hosted conference on Christian unity on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Five Church of England bishops this month announced they would convert to Catholicism under an offer from Benedict to welcome Anglicans disaffected by moves to ordinate women and homosexual clergy. the rest

The Left's delusion over Islam is baffling to Middle Eastern Christians

By Ed West 
November 17th, 2010

Two more Christians murdered in Iraq on Monday night and another three yesterday, as the community is driven to extinction.

And on the Today programme earlier this week there was yet another segment about this persecuted minority, perhaps suggesting that the media are waking up to what many Iraqis themselves call “genocide” (the word, incidentally, was coined in 1936 after a previous massacre of Iraqi Christians).

However the Left largely remains in denial about the situation faced by Middle Eastern Christians, despite widespread evidence by various human rights organisation.  the rest

What frustrates so many Iraqi Christians is that they look to the European Left, defender of minorities and of liberal democrats, to protect them, and are met with a wall of apathy. Why do people care about Palestinians and not us, someone asked me at the demonstration last week. Because it doesn’t fit into some convenient narrative?

For Obama, a global rebuke

Mistakes on a foreign trade deal and U.S. currency undermine global trust that the U.S. can lead the way out of this recession.
 By The Denver Post
11/17/2010

President Obama meant to repair our nation's reputation on the world stage but instead received a stinging rebuke at last week's Group of 20 meeting in Seoul.

The end result could mean that many trading partners will begin tossing up barriers to our exports. And if protectionism supplants cooperation worldwide, our global economy is in serious trouble.

Normally, it would seem like this would be a good time for Obama to redouble his efforts to illustrate to the world that the United States is open for business and is a protector of a free and open marketplace. But it was, in part, his actions that prompted the G20 stalemate.

World leaders are no longer won over by Obama just being Obama. The novelty has worn off. the rest

New York Times Columnist Says Death Panels Needed to Fix Economy

by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC
LifeNews.com
11/15/10

When former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin warned about the potential for “death panels” under ObamaCare that would make life and death medical decisions for patients, she was scoffed at and dismissed as off base.

Now, an economist who is a columnist for the New York Times says death panels may be needed as a solution to fix the troubled economy.

Paul Krugman appeared on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” during a roundtable discussion about the economy and the recent conclusions from the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission.

Krugman said the death panels won’t come into play now but would down the road. the rest

Religion Offers No Break on Airport Screening, TSA Says

November 16, 2010
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Security Administration says airline passengers won't get out of body imaging screening or pat-downs based on their religious beliefs.

TSA chief John Pistole told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that passengers who refuse to go through a full-body scanner machine and reject a pat-down won't be allowed to board, even if they turned down the in-depth screening for religious reasons.

"That person is not going to get on an airplane," Pistole said in response to a question from Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., on whether the TSA would provide exemptions for passengers whose religious beliefs do not allow them to go through a physically revealing body scan or be touched by screeners. the rest



(h/t Instapundit)

Budget cuts stop Phoenix man from getting new liver

by Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Nov. 17, 2010
The Arizona Republic

A Laveen liver-disease patient missed his opportunity for an organ transplant Tuesday, becoming the most dire example yet of an Arizonan denied life-saving medical care because of budget cuts to the state's health-care system for the poor.

Francisco Felix, 32, was in the hospital ready to receive a liver that was donated to him late Monday night. But the liver went to another recipient Tuesday morning because he couldn't find $200,000 overnight to pay for the liver transplant, one of seven kinds of transplant surgery the state stopped covering Oct. 1.

Felix was the first liver-transplant patient known to be affected, but is not likely to be the last. the rest

Health coverage at risk for working poor in Pa.

B.C. Court of Appeal upholds church property decision

By Leigh Anne Williams
Staff Writer

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has dismissed appeals of a November 2009 Supreme Court of British Columbia decision. The decision had ruled that the Anglican diocese of New Westminster should retain possession of four church properties in the Vancouver area.

The legal dispute arose after four congregations voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada to affiliate with the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). The disagreement was focused on the issue of same-sex blessings, which have been performed in some parishes in the diocese of New Westminster for several years. Churches in ANiC do not allow the blessing of same-sex relationships.

“Obviously, we are deeply disappointed by this decision which is currently being reviewed by our legal counsel,” said Cheryl Chang, special counsel for the ANiC. “We are awaiting their advice before any discussion about an appeal can take place. The congregations have always said that if they are forced to choose between their buildings and their faith, they will choose their faith. That position remains unchanged.” the rest


BC Anglican priests have to move -- but not before Christmas
By Douglas Todd and Lori Culbert
Vancouver Sun
November 17, 2010

Neither side in a long, bitter war over Anglican Church property in Vancouver and Abbotsford expects any Christmas services will have to be moved elsewhere this December.

But Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham began moving Tuesday to replace the dissident priests at four congregations that have failed to obtain legal control of Anglican Church properties valued at more than $20 million.

Since the conservative priests have already resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada to work for a breakaway Anglican organization, the diocese said in a statement, those clergy "will need to continue their ministry in other locations."  the rest

"While it is sad to have to contemplate leaving our church home for a diocese that has no need for the building, we consider it an honour to stand for orthodoxy."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Devotional: Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts...


Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts that cannot be dragged down by false loves; give us courageous hearts that cannot be worn down by trouble; give us righteous hearts that cannot be sidetracked by unholy or unworthy goals. Give to us also, our Lord and God, understanding to know You, wisdom to recognize You, and a faithfulness that will bring us to see You face to face. ...Thomas a Kempis image by Peter Rowley

An ecological blind spot

Contraceptives are polluting women's bodies and the environment, but who cares?
Cristina Alarcon
Monday, 15 November 2010

There is a huge effort today to protect the physical environment from the unintended effects of human activity. We have international agreements and national policies to reduce global warming by curbing excess carbon, produced as human beings pursue their material wellbeing.

On a smaller scale, we each do our best to turn off the taps, turn down the lights, use public transport, cut down on the fumes, recycle, recycle, and definitely not flush any medicines down the sink – especially not the brain-altering or endocrine-disrupting kind. Yes, we are constantly seeking ways to reduce air and water pollution, and in Canada, the Environment Act even allows citizens to bring civil action when the government is not enforcing environmental laws.

But in spite of all our efforts, there are tell-tale signs that a particular type of pollutant, the endocrine disruptor, is wreaking havoc on our ecosystems. And as the world’s rivers are in a crisis of ominous proportions, we are witnessing the alarming effects wrought by estrogenic substances on aquatic life. Feminized male fish that lay eggs and/or have lost their reproductive abilities have been found near waste water effluent areas. the rest
How many women know that in 2005 the World Health Organisation classified the contraceptive pill as a Group I carcinogen because of proven links with breast and some other cancers? Do they know that sex hormones can compromise the immune system?

Thirty Studies in Five Years Show Abortion Hurts Women’s Mental Health
...For abortion providers to offer an unbiased and valid synopsis of the scientific literature on increased risks of abortion, the information must include depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as suicide ideation and behaviors...

'Coming out' assembly concerns parents

Bill Bumpas
OneNewsNow
11/16/2010

A pro-family group is outraged that a high school in Massachusetts allowed an event on campus at which seven teachers spoke about how they "came out" as homosexuals.

Brian Camenker, president of MassResistance!, tells OneNewsNow a concerned mother first alerted his group of the panel discussion that took place at Concord-Carlisle High School in late October during which seven teachers shared their "coming out" stories and encouraged the reported standing-only audience to do the same.

"They also said that if kids want to discuss their homosexual issues, that their parents will not be informed of anything -- that it's completely private," Camenker reports. "And this was one of the things that really bothered this mother, that...if kids are involved with a dangerous and deadly behavior, the school isn't even going to tell their parents that it's going on." the rest

Muslims torch Christian homes in southern Egypt

Rumors of intimate relationships between young Copts and Muslims inciting attacks.
By The Associated Press
16.11.10

Muslims set fire overnight to at least 10 houses belonging to Coptic Christians in a village in southern Egypt over rumors that a Christian resident had an affair with a Muslim girl, security officials said Tuesday.

The officials said security forces have sealed off the village of al-Nawahid, in Qena province some 465 kilometers south of Cairo, to prevent the violence from spreading to neighboring towns. They said several people were arrested.  the rest

Pro-Life Groups Hold Reception for New Members of Congress

by Steven Ertelt Washington, DC
LifeNews.com
11/16/10

Top pro-life advocates pressed the flesh with pro-life incoming members of Congress last night at a reception and encouraged them to remain firm in their resolve to oppose abortion and abortion funding.

The Susan B. Anthony List co-sponsored the event and its president Marjorie Dannenfelser says she was excited to meet with the new pro-life lawmakers.

“I am going to personally ask each of them to support our major legislative push to end federal funding of abortion,” she said beforehand. “I plan on showing them all the signatures and comments from our Stop Abortion Funding petition to encourage them to passionately support our effort.” the rest

Charlie Rangel found guilty of 11 ethics violations

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) was found guilty Tuesday of breaking 11 separate congressional rules related to his personal finances and fundraising efforts for a New York college.

The eight-lawmaker subcommittee that handled the trial - which reached a unanimous verdict on 10 of the counts - now sends the case to the full ethics committee for the equivalent of sentencing. Potential punishments include a formal reprimand or censure, with each of those punishments needing to be ratified by a vote on the House floor. Expulsion is also a possible remedy but considered highly unlikely.  the rest

Multiplying mommies and daddies

Before we redefine legal “parenthood” we need to know how this affects the best interests of children.
 James S. Cole
Monday, 15 November 2010

Recently the issues surrounding same-sex relationships in which children are involved have expanded from whether two persons of the same sex can be legally both mother and father to whether or not legal parenthood can include more than two persons.

In 2007, courts in several jurisdictions ruled that three persons could be legal parents of one child. In one of the cases, a lesbian couple separated in the course of raising two children who were conceived in the 1990s using donor sperm from a friend of one of the couple. The biological father continued to visit from time to time as a father, however, and he contributed voluntarily to the support of his children. When the lesbian couple broke up, custody was put in issue between the women, and child support was put in issue for the two noncustodial persons in the arrangement. The Pennsylvania appellate court ruled that in the circumstances, the trial court correctly found the birth mother was better fit for primary custody than her ex-partner. It further ruled that the father and ex-partner should have visitation rights and that the father and the ex-partner were obligated to pay child support. The best interests of the children would be furthered by this result, the Court wrote. the rest

Hajj pilgrims chant "Death to America," "Death to Israel"

Anti-US and anti-Zionist slogans begins in Arafat desert
2010/11/15

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The pilgrims chanted anti-US and anti-Zionist slogans during the ceremony also attended by the Supreme Leader's representative for Hajj affairs, Hojatoleslam Ali Qazi-Asgar.

'God is the Greatest', 'Death to Israel', and 'Death to America', were among slogans chanted by the masses in unison as they gathered in the Desert of Arafat, 20 kms (12 miles) from Mecca, for a day of prayer and meditation.  the rest

Many Rally To Support Boy's Flag Display


11/15/2010
DENAIR, Calif.

A 13-year-old Stanislaus County boy at the center of a flag controversy got a big show of support Monday as many people rallied to his side.

Cody Alicea was earlier told by Denair Middle School officials that he could not ride to school with a U.S. flag on his bike. The story has gained national attention, from Rush Limbaugh to the Drudge Report.

Story

Voluntary Extinction-America's One Child Policy?

By Chuck Colson
November 12, 2010

What has the Chinese government discovered about its population control efforts? And why are Americans voluntarily adopting a one-child policy?

According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the Chinese government “has been considering options for relaxing” its infamous “one-child” policy.

While economic realities are forcing the Chinese to rethink that disastrous and cruel policy, many Americans seem to be voluntarily adopting a one-child policy of their own. the rest
Absent a shift in cultural attitudes, the United States will eventually face the demographic realities that Japan, Western Europe, and sooner rather than later, China are facing. These societies will have fewer workers to support an increasing number of elderly.

Moderate/pro-life Democrat to challenge Pelosi as minority leader

Monday November 15, 2010
By Matthew Anderson
WASHINGTON, D.C.

 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” yesterday morning, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina announced that he plans to run against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader if Pelosi refuses to step down. Shuler, who is going into his third term, has an 85% positive voting rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

On CNN yesterday, Shuler said that it was time for the Democrats to become more moderate. According to Shuler, the results of the recent midterm elections, in which Democrats lost control of the House and lost seats in the Senate, were an indictment of the radical policies of Nancy Pelosi. the rest

Albert Mohler: On Exorcism and Exorcists: An Evangelical View

We should respect the power of the Devil and his demons, but never fear them. We do not need a rite of exorcism, only the name of Jesus. We are not given a priesthood of exorcists — for every believer is armed with the full promise of the Gospel, united with Christ by faith, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Monday, November 15, 2010

A flurry of media attention was directed in recent days to a meeting on exorcism organized by Roman Catholic bishops. The meeting, held in Baltimore, drew fifty bishops and sixty priests who learned how to discern if an individual is truly possessed by a demon and how to conduct an exorcism when needed.

Rachel Zoll of The Associated Press reported that the program of the meeting was intended to “outline the scriptural basis of evil, instruct clergy on evaluating whether a person is truly possessed, and review the prayers and rituals that comprise an exorcism.”

Major media reported two different angles on the story, with some, such as Zoll, outlining the lack of enthusiasm among American Catholics for the rite and others, such as Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times, explaining that the handful of priests now qualified to be exorcists are “overwhelmed with requests from people who fear they are possessed by the Devil.” the rest

More than 100 Catholic bishops and priests gathered in Baltimore this weekend for a two-day conference on exorcism

A record 690,923 foreign students attended colleges and universities in the United States last year

Mass. a top destination in surge of foreign students to US
By Akilah Johnson
Globe Staff / November 16, 2010

Massachusetts is home to more international college students than all but three other states, according to a report released yesterday that also found foreign student enrollment at American universities is at an all-time high.

Boston University is among the 10 American universities with the highest number of foreign students, and Harvard, Northeastern, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst also have large numbers of students from overseas.

“The demand for higher education is rising around the world, and it’s rising particularly in countries that have a growing middle class: China, India, Brazil,’’ said Mike Armini, senior vice president of external affairs for Northeastern. “You have a huge middle class emerging out of China, and they’re looking for higher education. There’s a consensus that the American system is second to none.’’ the rest

Houston: A mosque building boom

Muslim community leaders say plans for new facilities are a response to demand
By ZAIN SHAUK
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Nov. 16, 2010

Forty years ago, the thought of granite counter tops, marble floors and indoor basketball gyms at Houston mosques seemed unthinkable.

But after decades of growth, the Muslim community is expanding and building new facilities at an unprecedented pace, with features and amenities that rival five-star hotels, leaders say.

Multimillion-dollar plans for major mosque expansions and constructions are moving forward throughout the Houston area, coming on the heels of recently finished developments. the rest
Siddiqui said there are more than 100 Muslim prayer spaces in the greater Houston area and there is a need for more.

Pot smoking changes teens' brains, study shows

By Elizabeth Lopatto
Bloomberg News Service
11/16/2010

Smoking marijuana regularly before the age of 16 causes changes in the brain that can impair a young person's ability to focus, learn from mistakes and think abstractly, according to a Harvard study.

On brain scans, the youngest pot smokers showed activation in regions of the brain that was not seen in those who started smoking after age 16, suggesting early exposure to marijuana causes neural changes, researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital found. Early and habitual users performed more poorly on tests of cognitive functions, including mental flexibility.

Research on how marijuana changes a developing brain is important because marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S., said study author Staci Gruber, director of the cognitive and clinical neuroimaging core at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Almost 16 percent of eighth-graders have tried marijuana, and that number rises to 42 percent by 12th grade, a 2009 study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found. the rest

Hospital care fatal for some Medicare patients

By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
posted November 16, 2010

An estimated 15,000 Medicare patients die each month in part because of care they receive in the hospital, says a government study released today.

The study is the first of its kind aimed at understanding "adverse events" in hospitals — essentially, any medical care that causes harm to a patient, according to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.

Patients in the study, a nationally representative sample that focused on 780 Medicare patients discharged from hospitals in October 2008, suffered such problems as bed sores, infections and excessive bleeding from blood-thinning drugs, the report found. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality called the results "alarming."

"Reducing the incidence of adverse events in hospitals is a critical component of efforts to improve patient safety and quality care" in the U.S., the inspector general wrote. the rest
"We spend two pennies trying to deliver safe health care for every dollar we spent trying to develop new genes and new drugs," Pronovost said. "We have to invest in the science of health care delivery."

NEW YORK: Diocesan bishop, suffragan announce future plans

By ENS staff,
November 15, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of New York Bishop Mark S. Sisk called Nov. 13 for the election of a bishop coadjutor who will eventually succeed him.

Speaking during the New York diocese's 234th annual convention at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Sisk said the election will take place Oct 29, 2011.

New York Bishop Suffragan Catherine Roskam also told the convention that she will retire on Jan. 1, 2012. the rest

Pope Benedict Goes HD!

By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2010) -- For those having trouble seeing God this Christmas amid the holiday's sometimes crass shopping frenzy, the Vatican is helping out by launching a High-Definition mobile unit that will broadcast the Pope's messages in crystal-clear HD.

That's according to an article by the Associated Press.

For the first time, the Pope's masses, audiences and trips will be transmitted in high-def. That means that if one of those wacky Christmas Eve rope-jumpers tries to get at the Pope again, you'll be able to see it before it happens. (And hopefully so will the Vatican's security team, watching for the first time on HD security cameras.)
 the rest

Monday, November 15, 2010

Devotional: As a sound may dislodge an avalanche...


As a sound may dislodge an avalanche, so the prayer of faith sets in motion the power of God. ...Mrs. Charles E. Cowman image

UK: Men entering priesthood on the increase

The numbers of men entering English seminaries to become Catholic priests have hit a ten year high.
By Peter Hutchison
15 Nov 2010

A total of 56 men began training for the priesthood in September this year, the National Office of Vocation said. That was up on the 49 who started the process to become priests in 2009.

The rise coincided with the four-day visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain.

Catholic leaders put the rise in applicants down to outreach programmes which were leading young men to ask questions about what was important in life to them. the rest

Canada: Conservative Anglicans have no right to four church properties-B.C. Appeal Court

By Douglas Todd
15 Nov 2010
Dissident conservative Anglicans in Vancouver and Abbotsford have no right to hold onto four church properties valued at more than $20 million, the B.C. Appeal Court ruled today.

As a result of the decision, more than 1,000 Anglicans who oppose same-sex blessings and reject the authority of Vancouver-area Bishop Michael Ingham will likely be expected to vacate their historic church buildings.

Dismissing the main argument in a costly appeal by the conservative Anglican congregations, Justice Mary Newbury said the dissidents “cannot in my respectful decision remove themselves from their diocesan structures and retain the right to use properties that are held for purposes of Anglican ministry in Canada.”

The B.C. Appeal Court decision, which has hinged on disagreement over whether to bless homosexual unions and how to interpret the Bible, is the culmination of a theological and legal war that exploded in the Vancouver-area diocese in the mid-1990s. the rest

Anglican Network in Canada NEWS RELEASE
BC Court of Appeal dismisses appeal
15 November 2010

Vancouver, BC – In a decision released today, the BC Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by four Anglican Network in Canada churches in the Vancouver area. The four parishes – St John’s (Vancouver), St Matthews (Abbotsford), Good Shepherd (Vancouver), and St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver) – had appealed a November 25, 2009 decision of Mr Justice Stephen Kelleher awarding beneficial ownership of church properties to the Diocese of New Westminster in the case involving the split in the Anglican Church. The Diocese of New Westminster’s counter appeal of Mr Justice Kelleher’s decision granting a sizeable bequest to the ANiC congregation of the Church of the Good Shepherd was also dismissed.

The appeals were heard in the B.C. Court of Appeal September 13-16, 2010, before Madam Justice Nicole Garson, Mr Justice P D Lowry and Madam Justice Mary Newbury.

Obviously, we are deeply disappointed by this decision which is currently being reviewed by our legal counsel,” said Cheryl Chang, Special Counsel for the Anglican Network in Canada. “We are awaiting their advice before any discussion about an appeal can take place. The congregations have always said that if they are forced to choose between their buildings and their faith, they will choose their faith. That position remains unchanged.” Here

Uruguay votes to transfer to another Province

Anglican Communion News Service
PostNovember 15, 2010

From The Rt Rev Frank Lyons, Bishop of Bolivia

One week after a proposal to allow dioceses to individually permit women's ordination to the priesthood was turned down by the Tenth Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone, the Diocese of Uruguay has voted to seek another jurisdiction with which to share its ministry.

The vote in the Province had been by a specific request of the Diocese of Uruguay and sought to allow a diocesan option in the matter, rather than Provincial wide adoption, so that the diocese could proceed to minister within a very difficult agnostic milieu. Uruguay felt that after a nine year hiatus since the last vote for approval, a patient wait would be rewarded. That was not the result and so the Uruguayan Synod took this measure to move away from the Province.

The extraordinary diocesan Synod was held November 12 in the capital city of Montevideo and the motion to quit the Province was proposed by the Diocesan Council and passed with a simple majority vote in orders according to the Uruguayan canonical process. Bishop Miguel Tamayo then informed the Primate, Hector 'Tito' Zavala, Bishop of Chile, the other Bishops and the Executive Council.

The diocese requests that permission for transfer from the Province take place within the year and that if this is not possible an appeal would be made to the Anglican Consultative Council to arrange for oversight, following Provincial canons. Uruguay has been a diocese within the Southern Cone since its formation in 1988. here

Vatican publishes Pope Benedict's 'Verbum Domini'


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's latest apostolic exhortation, 'Verbum Domini' was published by the Vatican on 11 November 2010. In the document, the Holy Father highlights the importance of the Word of God in living our personal vocations. The word of God, he said: "calls each one of us personally, revealing that life itself is a vocation from God."

The document draws from the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from October 5-26, 2008. The assembly reflected on the theme: "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." link

Verbum Domini-pdf

Dutch Euthanasia: General Practioners Do Most of the Killing

Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

Bioedge linked to a story about how Dutch euthanasia statistics are going up–fast. Not surprising, but those statistics aren’t very useful in the end because doctors follow the law or don’t, report euthanasia or don’t: It doesn’t matter much since nothing meaningful is ever done when the laws are broken. As one study (Henk Jochemsen and John Keown, Journal of Medical Ethics, 1999; 25: 16-21) put it so aptly, Dutch euthanasia is “beyond effective control.” Everything else is just PR in the end. the rest
This is the sickening truth about Dutch euthanasia. It isn’t a last resort. It may be done even without the best forms of medicine being made available to the patient, or perhaps even discussed with him. Those countries that have not yet swallowed the hemlock ignore the reality of the Dutch experience at their own peril.

Disney’s Christian Past and Tangled Present


Nov 15, 2010
Mary Ellen Kelly

In Tangled, the Walt Disney Company’s new animated, feature-length, 3-D adaptation of “Rapunzel,” critic Armond White finds, sadly, that the story of the girl with the very long locks not only “has been amped up from the morality tale told by the Brothers Grimm into a typically overactive Disney concoction of cute humans, comic animals, and one-dimensional villains,” but also that the film’s “hyped-up story line . . . gives evidence that cultural standards have undergone a drastic change” in the decades since Walt Disney first set out to charm both children and adults with his animated retellings of fairy tales. the rest

Megamind



"Megamind' review at World Magazine
...Packed into this funny and engaging story we find a lesson on redemption. Megamind, who thought stealing all the artwork in the museum and painting his name all over town would be satisfying, finds he cares more about the respect of one woman than the subjugation of Metro City. Maybe he never really wanted to be bad after all. Maybe he can change...

White House Hands Out 111 Obamacare Waivers



Malkin: Waiver-mania! The ever-expanding Obamacare escapee list
Let us briefly review the rapidly growing rolls of companies, unions, and states bursting out of the Obamacare escape hatch...

Kill It, Don’t Treat It

Hillary's Troubling Silence

by Reza Aslan

Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction, its members targeted by al Qaeda attacks and fleeing abroad. But Hillary Clinton, the one person who could force the Iraq government to act, is keeping her mouth shut.

A full-scale genocide is under way in Iraq: a well-planned, well-financed, deliberate plot to cleanse the country of its Christian citizens. And thus far, neither the Iraqi government nor the United States is doing anything to stop it.

On Wednesday, al Qaeda militants launch a synchronized bombing attack on 11 Christian communities throughout Iraq, killing six and wounding more than 30. That attack followed on the heels of the ghastly assault last month on Christian worshippers attending a service at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, in which 58 people were brutally murdered and another 60 wounded. the rest
Americans of all faiths must band together and pressure the State Department to do something about the wanton murder of Iraqi Christians before there are no more Christians in Iraq to protect.

Path, a new social network, limits users to 50 friends

The photo-centric service, built for smart phones, is designed to help users share information only with people they trust. It launches Monday.
By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
November 15, 2010

Evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar has a famous theory that the number of people with whom one can maintain a close relationship is limited to 150 by the size of the neocortex, the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language.

The Internet has made it quicker and easier to connect with far-flung acquaintances, but Dunbar says it's impossible to overcome that basic brain programming.
With high rollers on Facebook boasting up to 5,000 "friends," digital friendship has become increasingly indiscriminate. And that keeps some people from feeling comfortable sharing the more intimate details of their lives.

That's the motivation behind Path, a San Francisco company that is offering a more exclusive social network. Path, whose service launches Monday, bills itself instead as a "personal network." the rest

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The tragedy of Iraq’s Christians is that it does not interest anyone, Chaldean Catholic says

November 12, 2010 By Asia News

Birmingham – “There is now a real danger that Christians in the Middle East, and in Iraq in particular, of being exterminated, due to both persecution and large-scale emigration,” this according to Dr Joseph Seferta, an Iraqi-born Chaldean Catholic living in Birmingham, Britain, where he is a member of the Commission for Inter-faith Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. He gave an exclusive interview to AsiaNews about the difficult situation Christians face in Iraq and across the Middle East. Here it is.

“I belong to the Chaldean Catholic Church, which makes up the majority of Christians in Iraq. Others include Assyrians, as well Syrian, Armenian and Byzantine Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox. Christians under Saddam Hussein totalled some one million, but now only half that number remains in the country, the rest having fled and are living as refugees, particularly in Syria and Jordan.

The atrocity committed by Muslim fanatics, which resulted in dozens of Syrian Catholics dead and dozens of others wounded, was a big blow to the struggling Christian minority. It has been followed by other assassinations of Christians in their homes and shops. All these fanatics (known by various names) in the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries, are bent on imposing Shari'a and running Islamic states that have no place for Christians in them. the rest

Much Violence ahead of Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

Sun, Nov. 14 2010
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter

This year marks the most violence against the Christian community leading up to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church within the past seven years, said an advocate for persecuted Christians.
“I would say candidly that in my whole tenure at Open Doors this is a year when more is taking place on the weekend of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church than at any other time,” said Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA.

This Sunday marks the 15th year of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – one of the largest prayer events in the world. Half a million churches in 150 countries are expected to participate in the event.  the rest

Same-sex Blessings, Toronto, and the Anglican Communion

Written by Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner
Saturday, November 13th, 2010

The Bishop of Toronto recently issued a set of “Pastoral Guidelines for the Blessing of Same-Gender Commitments”. Some of the basic theological contradictions and destructive pastoral confusions involved in these guidelines have been pointedly disclosed by Catherine Sider Hamilton and F. Dean Mercer (see their “Response”, posted on the ACI website on November 9, 2010). In what follows I want to address a particular matter: where does the issuing of these Guidelines now place the Diocese of Toronto with respect to the Anglican Communion?

This question arises, obviously, because only recently and on the basis of a long string of official declarations by various Communion councils and groups – including the so-called Instruments of Communion – the formal adoption of rites of same-sex blessing has been declared to be incompatible with Communion teaching and discipline. In May of this year, representatives from The Episcopal Church (USA) were asked to withdraw from Communion groups dealing with matters of faith and order just on the basis of The Episcopal Church’s rejection of Communion teaching on matters of same-sexuality, including widespread and formally authorized use of such blessings. Since this requested withdrawal was viewed as a precedent, one must wonder if and how the new Toronto Guidelines might affect the diocese’s, and perhaps the Anglican Church of Canada’s standing on similar Communion councils. the rest

Renewal group 'convenient target' for Episcopal Church

Russ Jones   OneNewsNow
 11/13/2010

A liberal mainline denomination is blaming a conservative watchdog group in Washington, DC, for its decline in membership.

The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) says it is under attack from the Episcopal Church Diocese of New York. The General Convention of that diocese said in a statement it will consider a resolution to "assess the threat to religious freedom posed by the activities of the IRD and related groups."

Mark Tooley, president of IRD, said the United Methodist Church along with the Presbyterian Church USA may join in an investigation concerning the supposed upheaval caused by his organization. "Some activist liberals in the New York diocese are looking for a mysterious hobgoblin to blame for the situation," he summarizes, "and the IRD is a convenient target for them." the rest