Saturday, April 09, 2011

Cool Japanese cell phone ad



A wooden ball plays Bach’s Cantata 147 in a forest just by rolling down a track designed by Kenjiro Matsuo. (h/t First Things)

Music Linked to Depression in Teens, Study Finds

April 05, 2011
 FoxNews.com

Teenagers who spend more time listening to music are more likely to suffer from depression than kids who opt to spend their time reading, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study.

The study, which involved 106 participants, adds to the growing evidence that media exposure is linked to emotional health. Over a two-month period, researchers called the participants as many dozens of times and asked them to report what types of media they were using including television, music, video games, Internet, magazines and books.

And what they found was that the adolescents who spent the majority of their time listening to music were 8.3 times more likely to be depressed. On the other hand, those who read books the most were one-tenth as likely to be depressed. the rest image by wmbreedveld

Planned Parenthood Did One Abortion Every 95 Seconds

—As Many in One Year as Live In Cincinnati
Friday, April 08, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) - Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions in the United States in 2009, according to a fact sheet the group published last month.

That is about as many as the 333,012 people who lived in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 332,278 abortions Planned Parenthood performed over the 365 days of 2009 equals an average of 910 lives terminated per day--or about 38 per hour, or one every 95 seconds. the rest

Friday, April 08, 2011

Schumer: Senate Will ‘Never, Never, Never’ Defund Planned Parenthood

Friday, April 08, 2011
By Eric Scheiner

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed yesterday that the provision to defund Planned Parenthood that passed the House earlier this year is “never, never, never going to pass the Senate.”

Schumer made the remarks Thursday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at a “Stand Up for Women’s Health” rally sponsored by the National Organization for Women, NARAL and Planned Parenthood. the rest

“The dangerous, ideological cuts to Planned Parenthood that passed the House are never, never, never going to pass the Senate," said Schumer. "Let me repeat that, so all those who want to stomp on women’s health and women’s rights can hear us loud and clear. The dangerous, ideological cuts to Planned Parenthood that passed the House are never, never, never going to pass the Senate.” -Schumer
Planned Parenthood spent more than $1 million electing Democrats last cycle

Schumer Seeks to Place Shutdown Blame on Boehner

Schumer likens conservatives to a flea

I've never forgotten this:
Dec. 2009: Schumer Reportedly Calls Flight Attendant Obscenity Over Cell Phone Rule

Albert Mohler: What He Wanted All Along: The Real Scandal of Pastor Terry Jones

Friday, April 8, 2011

The case of Florida pastor Terry Jones presents Christians with an easy judgment but a difficult dilemma. This publicity-seeking pastor of a tiny congregation deserves to be condemned in every way for his act of putting the Qur’an “on trial” and for then burning a copy in a staged act of inflammatory showmanship. The judgment is the easy part. The difficult dimension of this is the fact that even our condemnation gives this pastor what he most desires — public attention.

The murderous gangs of Muslims who responded days later by murdering United Nations personnel and sending death and fear into the streets in Afghanistan were sadly predictable, as was the fact that Pastor Jones’ actions would have international repercussions. The condemnation of his actions by Gen. David Petraeus was swift and appropriate. We can only wish that the general had condemned the violence in Afghanistan with even greater urgency.

Pastor Jones and his church incited a riot and put human lives in jeopardy. There is no excuse for theatrics as a substitute for Gospel ministry. the rest
Christians are not called to burn the books of other religions. We are not called to publicity stunts that put lives at risk and subvert the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Such actions deserve only the most severe condemnation. But even the condemnation serves its purpose — to gain publicity.

Episcopal Church aging and out of touch survey finds

 April 8, 2011
by George Conger
The leadership of the Episcopal Church is out of touch and unrepresentative of its membership, a report published by the national church’s statistics office reveals.

A paper released last month by the church’s department for Congregational and Diocesan Ministries finds the membership of the national church is evenly divided along theological grounds, and also offers a snapshot of the denomination’s health.

Based upon responses received from 837 Episcopal parishes the findings paint a picture of an aging and divided church.

Over half, 52.4 per cent, of the congregations are small, with an average worship attendance of less than 70 people with the median parish having 66 persons at Sunday worship in 2009, a decline of 15 per cent since the fight over the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.  the rest
Some 89 per cent of Episcopal congregations reported having conflicts or disagreements in the last five years, with “ordination of gay priests or bishops” cited as the “most frequently mentioned source of conflict.” This rate of conflict within the church is down somewhat from the rate of 93 per cent in 2005 and 90 per cent in 2008. However, of congregations that had serious conflict: 93 per cent saw members leave the church, 50 per cent saw members withhold funds, and 26 per cent saw staff turnover.

Episcopal Church: This Good Friday, let’s celebrate Earth Day

By Chris Moody
The Daily Caller
04/07/2011

While Christians worldwide meditate upon the crucifixion of their savior this Good Friday, the Episcopal Church has suggested that the faithful also reflect upon whether they’re doing their part to reduce C02 emissions.

Two of the world’s holiest religious holidays are set to fall on April 22 this year — Good Friday for Christians and Earth Day for environmentalists — and some religious leaders are preparing their flocks to celebrate both.

The Episcopal Church’s office of Economic and Environmental Affairs released a statement urging followers to stay mindful of global warming, recycling and reducing carbon dioxide emissions while celebrating the ancient Christian holiday in 2011.

“This year Earth Day falls within Holy Week, specifically on Good Friday, a profound coincidence,” said Mike Schut, a church spokesman. “To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is ‘very good,’ is holy. When we fully recognize that, our actions just may begin to create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life.” the rest

MCJ: MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Archbishop of Nigeria proposes facilities for Nigerian Anglicans in the UK

April 8th, 2011
Anglican Mainstream

A delegation of Nigerian archbishops including the Primate of the Anglican Province of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, told the Archbishop of Canterbury that he needs to allow Nigerians in the UK to worship "the Nigeria way" in abandoned Church buildings or allow them a scheduled time in parish churches where they could express themselves unreservedly in worship.

In a recent visit to Lambeth Palace, the Nigerian Primate appealed to Dr. Rowan Williams arguing that there was an "unceasing and intense bleeding of our young executive Anglicans moving over to the New Generation Churches due to what they describe as 'cold' worship style."

Archbishop Okoh said his request was viewed positively by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England. "The Archbishop requested that we put our proposal in writing. He assured us that it is a practical proposal." the rest

Judge who struck down Prop 8 confirms he's gay

The Associated Press
04/07/11

The federal judge who struck down California's gay marriage ban has confirmed longtime rumors that he's gay, but said his sexuality was irrelevant in deciding the landmark case.

Speaking for the first time about the case since retiring from the bench in February, former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said he never considered recusing himself from deciding the constitutionality of Proposition 8 because of his sexual orientation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"If you thought a judge's sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that's a very slippery slope," Walker told reporters Wednesday.

"I don't think it's relevant," he said. the rest

Abortion Advocates Threaten Pro-Lifers, Slash Tires in Violence

by Steven Ertelt
Chicago, IL
LifeNews.com
4/6/11

Abortion activists protested a weekend event honoring pro-life advocate Joe Schiedler of the Pro-Life Action League and the protests involved more than just holding signs or chanting – they included violence.
Shortly after the event, pro-abortion stalwarts slashed the tires of three pro-life advocates and another abortion advocate threatened more violence against him. As posted on the Chicago Independent Media Center website, one pro-abortion person wrote:

On the night of April 2nd, shortly after the pro choice demo against Joe Scheidler, another attack from pro-choice militants was carried out against him and his followers. Three cars of pro-life activists had their tires slashed….Aside from wanting Joe to remove that Indiana Jones [deleted] lookin hat, we hope, and will see to it, that his punk-a** receives constant and aggressive confrontation until he quits the ridiculous anti-choice bull****. Those who attempt to take away ones freedom deserve it not for themselves.

Thomas Peters of Catholic Vote saw the post and responded to it and the violent attitude, saying, “Some pro-abortion activists have completely crossed the line into physical intimidation and acts of violence.” the rest


Joe Scheidler, one of the leading pioneers of the pro-life movement in America, received a hero's welcome in downtown Chicago Saturday April 2, 2011, as a group of pro-life youths gathered to show their support. Mr. Scheidler was in town for a tribute being held in his honor that was co-sponsored by Pro-life organizations from around the country. Scheidler is a huge celebrity among young pro-life activists. The young crowd was especially energized when a small group of pro-abortion demonstrators showed up to protest Mr. Scheidler's defense of human life.


Pro-life flash mob takes the Culture of Life to the streets! On April 2, pro-life youth, joined by many bystanders, celebrated from the "Magnificent Mile" to Millennium Park, witnessing to the culture of life with contagious exuberance and joy.

Billboard company rejects pro-life ad for “shocking, unsettling” baby photo


Apr.08, 2011
Jill Stanek

Earlier this week Jivin J posted a news blurb that on its surface seemed ridiculous and impossible. There had to be more to the story.

JJ reported that CBS Outdoor billboard company rejected an ad sponsored by New Jersey pro-life group Life Education Council, because the ad included the photo of a baby. the rest

“Baby picture”? A billboard company was rejecting a pro-life ad because of a baby photo – a born baby photo? I had to check. Like I said, there had to be more to the story.

Church in China to Risk Worshipping in Park

Evicted from one site and denied others, unregistered congregation resorts to open air
Fri, Apr. 08 2011
By Compass Direct News

One of the largest unregistered Protestant churches in Beijing plans to risk arrest by worshipping in the open air this Sunday after eviction from the restaurant where they have met for the past year.

The owner of the Old Story Club restaurant issued repeated requests for the Shouwang Church to find another worship venue, and authorities have pressured other prospective landlords to close their facilities to the 1,000-member congregation, sources said. Unwilling to subject themselves to the controls and restrictions of the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the congregation has held three services each Sunday in the restaurant for more than a year.

Church members have said they are not opposed to the government and are not politically active, but they fear authorities could find their open-air worship threatening. the rest

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The vast field of debris from Japan earthquake and tsunami that's floating towards U.S. West Coast



By Daily Mail Reporter
7th April 2011

A vast field of debris, swept out to sea following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, is floating towards the U.S. West Coast, it emerged today.

More than 200,000 buildings were washed out by the enormous waves that followed the 9.0 quake on March 11.

There have been reports of cars, tractor-trailers, capsized ships and even whole houses bobbing around in open water.  the rest

'Pundit' prof vindicated

Bill Bumpas and Jody Brown
OneNewsNow
4/7/2011

Attorneys for a Christian professor in North Carolina are celebrating a decision handed down by an appellate court, calling it a victory for academic freedom.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys argued that criminology professor Mike Adams was unconstitutionally denied a promotion at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington because school officials were hostile to the political views he delivered in his columns and speeches.

A lower court had ruled against Dr. Adams, saying his comments on matters of public concern constituted "official" speech as part of his job duties as a criminology professor at UNC-Wilmington -- and therefore were not protected by the First Amendment. But now the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that Adams' writings and speeches are protected by the First Amendment, and that if Adams winds up winning his case against the university, school officials could be held personally liable for damages. the rest
"No individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment," wrote the court. "Adams' columns addressed topics such as academic freedom, civil rights, campus culture, sex, feminism, abortion, homosexuality, religion, and morality. Such topics plainly touched on issues of public, rather than private, concern."

Breaking: 7.4 magnitude Japan quake

Warning covers northeastern coast still reeling from last month's disaster
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
2011-04-07

TOKYO — Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.

The Japan meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to one meter (3.2 feet). The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month's tsunami.

Japan's NHK public television said those in areas where the tsunami warnings were issued should evacuate to higher ground.

Thursday's quake was 7.4-magnitude and hit 25 miles under the water, officials said. It struck off Japan's eastern coast about 60 miles from Sendai and 90 miles from Fukushima. It was about 215 miles from Tokyo, where buildings shoot for about a minute. the rest

Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits off Japan coast

Markets Swoon After New Japan Quake, Tsunami Alert.

Update: USGS: No Tsunami Alert for West Coast After Japan Quake

Unrecycled new light bulbs release mercury into the environment

By Suzanne Bohan
April 7, 2011
Reporting from Walnut Creek, Calif. —

The nation's accelerating shift from incandescent lighting to a new generation of energy-efficient bulbs is raising an environmental concern: the release of tons of mercury every year.

The most popular new bulb — the compact fluorescent light bulb, or CFL — accounts for a quarter of new bulb sales. Each contains up to 5 milligrams of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that's on the worst-offending list of environmental contaminants.

Demand for CFL bulbs is growing as government mandates for energy-efficient lighting take effect, yet only about 2% of residential consumers and one-third of businesses recycle the new bulbs, according to the Assn. of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers. the rest
Energy-efficient CFLs are increasingly popular but few people recycle the bulbs. As a result, U.S. landfills are releasing more than 4 tons of mercury annually into the atmosphere and storm water runoff, a study says.

ACORN Pleads Guilty to Voter Registration Fraud in Nevada

By Eric Shawn
April 06, 2011

The defunct political advocacy group ACORN has pleaded guilty to one count of an election law violation in Las Vegas, Nevada.

ACORN attorney Lisa Rasmussen told Fox News that a plea agreement was worked out with the state attorney general. The violation was for unlawfully providing compensation for registering voters based on the total number of people registered. Sentencing for the organization is set for Aug. 10, and the potential fine is a maximum of $5,000.

ACORN itself was named as a criminal defendant in the case for allegedly running an illegal voter registration scheme called "21," or "Blackjack," which paid ACORN workersarned bonuses based on the number of voters they registered in Nevada during the 2008 election.

This is the only case in the country in which ACORN itself was named as a felony defendant. The organization, a one-time community-based activist group, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after dozens of its workers allegedly committed voter fraud in cases that led to numerous convictions. the rest

EARTHQUAKE DEMOGRAPHICS

Steyn on the World
Tuesday, 05 April 2011

‘Why is there no looting in Japan?” wondered a headline in the Daily Telegraph. So did a lot of other folks. Various answers were posited:

The Japanese are a highly civilized people — which would have been news to the 22 British watchkeepers on the island of Tarawa who were tied to trees, beheaded, set alight, and tossed in a pit less than 70 years ago.

Alternatively, Japan enjoys the benefits of being an ethnically homogeneous society — which didn’t prevent the ethnically homogeneous West Country of Britain from being wracked by widespread thievery during the floods of 2007.

Most analysts overlooked the most obvious factor: Looting is a young man’s game, and the Japanese are too old. They’re the oldest society on earth. They have a world-record life expectancy — nearly 87 for women. A quarter of the population is over 65 — and an ever growing chunk is way over. In 1963, Japan had 153 centenarians; by 2010, it had 40,399; by 2020, the figure is projected to be just under 130,000. This isn’t a demographic one would expect to see hurling their walkers through the Radio Shack window and staggering out under a brand new karaoke machine only to keel over from a massive stroke before they’ve made it through the first eight bars of “I Will Survive.” the rest  image

Missionary says emotional stress in Japan taking its toll

By Bob Allen
Monday, April 04, 2011

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (ABP) – Three weeks after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami hit northeast Japan, transportation had opened up to allow some aid to flow into affected areas but gasoline shortages and fear of radiation from a damaged nuclear power plant were taking their emotional toll, an American Baptist missionary reported April 1.

“The emotional strain can be easily overlooked,” missionary John Armagost wrote in an update on the International Ministries website. Armagost, who works with children and youth ministries in several Japanese churches, said Baptists there are working to help meet basic needs like food, water and shelter.
He said one pastor told him that food is slowly appearing in stores, but lines are long. People wait four or five hours for heating kerosene, and gasoline had not yet been restored. “People are getting tense and rundown,” the pastor said, as people spend so much time searching for daily necessities. the rest

Abortion, Environmental Regulation are Priorities for Obama in Seeking Budget Compromise

Tuesday, April 05, 2011
By Fred Lucas
Washington (CNSNews.com) – President Obama said Tuesday he would not sign a budget agreement to keep the government running that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There can be some negotiation about composition,” Obama told reporters shortly after discussions with congressional leaders on the budget.

“What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion, to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties. That’s what the legislature is for, to have those arguments, but not stuff it all into one budget bill.” the rest

Planned Parenthood’s millions still missing

Politifact and GAO fall short in accounting for abortion giant’s $1.3 billion from Uncle Sam
By Rita Diller
The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last June, we broke the story titled “Planned Parenthood’s missing millions” that focused on $1.3 billion of government money received by Planned Parenthood from 2003 to 2008, which was left unaccounted for when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the expenditures of federal funds by the abortion giant.

Our question to Planned Parenthood was: Where are those missing millions?

The Florida-based political “fact checker” Politifact joined with Planned Parenthood in a March 25 report headlined “Planned Parenthood funding: Did the GAO really find millions missing?” It attempted to exonerate the abortion giant’s lack of transparency in accounting for the large amounts of federal taxpayer money it received. However, they succeeded only in raising more questions.

To its credit, Politifact acknowledged the numbers in my June 2010 opinion article for The Washington Times are correct: Planned Parenthood’s annual reports show more than $2 billion in government income between 2003 and 2008. The GAO report could account for the expenditure of only $657 million of that amount, relying on information provided by Planned Parenthood in its own Single Audit Act reports. That leaves a huge question mark over the remaining $1.3 billion.
the rest

Abp. Diarmuid Martin's Admission: No Remorse on Part of Most Abusers

Wednesday, April 06, 2011
James Martin, S.J.

In a blunt lecture on Monday at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin made what to my mind is a stunning admission about the sexual abuse crisis in the church: With perhaps "two exceptions" he has "not encountered a real and unconditional admission of guilt and responsibility on the part of priest offenders" in his diocese. That is, the abusive priests in his diocese, with only a few exceptions, do not seem remorseful.

A few years ago I participated in a panel discussion at a New York City teaching hospital, with several psychologists and psychiatrists, on the abuse crisis. (I was more or less the token Catholic priest, asked to speak to the crisis not from a psychological but an ecclesial point of view.) One psychologist offered a riveting presentation in which he stated that the two most common attributes of an abuser are narcissism and grandiosity. The narcissist, as he explained it, does not see the other person's needs as at all important; only he (or she) needs to be gratified, and only his (or her) needs matter. The grandiose person, in these cases, is often the "Pied Piper" around whom gather many children and whom parents feel comfortable leaving their child with. I remembered the psychologist's observations when I read Archbishop Martin's lecture. Apparently, the narcissistic traits impinge on remorse as well.

Statistics are too often offender-focussed. We have to set out from the standpoint that the person who was at the epicentre of abuse was not the priest, but the victim, a child. A restorative justice approach would have to re-orient the way we draw up not just our statistics but our pastoral care. One victim constantly reminds me that the stern words of Jesus in Saint Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 18:6) about the “great millstone” to be fastened around the neck of anyone who becomes a stumbling block for the “little ones”, are quickly followed (Mt 18:12) by the teaching on the Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find the one who has been lost.

This victim reminds me that it is the lost child, the molested child who should be at the centre of our attention. The Church should be actively seeking out victims to embrace them with the healing power of Jesus Christ. Certainly so many victims are left with the impression that they are being “dealt with” rather than being sought after and reached out to with priority care. Victims rarely feel that they are been given priority over the ninety-nine. the rest

Read the full text here

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Devotional: God does not judge the condition or quality of His church...

God does not judge the condition or quality of His church by how good the meetings are on Sunday morning, but by how good the people are on Monday morning. The main calling of our life is more than just knowing the truth-it is having that truth become our life. ...Rick Joyner image by Vic Nanda

Archbishop Duncan Recounts “Miracle in Jericho”


Cross captured in video of Holy Land pilgrimage
March 30, 2011

Brothers and Sisters,

When 80 pilgrims accompanied me to the Holy Land recently, I shared with them about the great loss God’s people have sustained by failing to “get Scripture by heart.” Scripture memorization was a major part of the spirituality of every age before our own.
At Jericho, looking toward the Mount of the Temptations, near where the incident must have happened, one of our pilgrims recited Mark 10:46-52. The camera was facing into the setting sun. (Perhaps only the audio would be successful?)

What God gave us—the video is undoctored—is something many have described as another “Miracle in Jericho.” The Lord’s blessing on this public exercise in Scripture memorization turned out to be far more than any of us could have imagined or can credibly explain. The cameraman saw no cross as he made the recording. The next story told by Mark is the entry into Jerusalem leading to Jesus’ crucifixion.

ACNA website

A Really Inconvenient Truth


Yes, China is a threat.
Apr 11, 2011
By JOSEPH A. BOSCO

Did James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, utter an inconvenient truth last month when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that China presents the greatest “mortal threat” to the United States?

Several committee members were aghast at Clapper’s observation that China and Russia have the actual ability and the potential intention to attack the continental United States with nuclear weapons.

Asked whether any country intended to pose such a threat to the United States, he responded that China did. The stunned senators pressed the DNI to soften his stark judgments and dispel any impression that either China or Russia presently contemplates such drastic action. After a confusing colloquy, Clapper gave ground and said he was describing only those countries’ capabilities, not their intentions, barely mollifying the agitated committee members.

But his initial statement clearly meant that he was weighing both capabilities and intent, and his judgment stands up to analysis.
the rest

Russia easily surpasses China in both the number and range of ballistic missiles that can reach any part of the continental United States. China’s far smaller arsenal can target only the U.S. West Coast.
Cardinal Zen: Situation in China "couldn't be worse"

Canadian Healthcare Meltdown: Don’t Come to ER!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Wesley J. Smith

The ERs in London, Ontario are so strained, people with serious medical issues are being urged not to come. From the story:

Patients in the London area are being told to think twice about whether their problem really merits an ER visit. The London Health Science’s Centre emergency departments are “extraordinarily busy”, with both University and Victoria hospitals experiencing high patient loads. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of our patients and we will continue to maintain high quality patient care under these circumstances,” the LHSC said in a release. “It is also our priority that the most critically ill are seen in a timely manner.” People with non-life threatening emergencies are asked to go to their family doctor or walk-in clinic… the rest
Canada rations care by restricting access to required care. There is an 18+ week wait for serious surgery and weeks, perhaps months, for necessary diagnostic scans–even for those suffering serious symptoms. And now, London’s ER/Urgent care system is in meltdown. This is what happens in single payer systems when money grows tight.

Despite Challenges, Nat'l Day of Prayer Set for May

 Tuesday, April 05, 2011
 Organizers of the National Day of Prayer are encouraging the nation's governors to ignore threats by anti-religion opponents and observe this year's day of prayer, scheduled for May 5.

They say they're not concerned an appellate court will uphold a challenge brought by the The Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The group of atheists and agnostics say it's not the government's business to tell people to pray -- even though throughout U.S. history, presidents have issued proclamations calling on Americans to seek God's wisdom and blessing. the rest

Christian evangelist faces death penalty in Saudi Arabia

An Eritrean Christian is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia after being arrested for sharing his faith with Muslims.
Monday 04 April 2011

Mussie Eyob was detained by the authorities at a mosque in Saudi's second largest city, Jeddah, on 12 February. He had gone there to meet and talk with local Muslims after speaking about Christianity at the Eritrean Embassy for three days. Eyob was arrested for preaching to Muslims, an offence that carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

Eyob, who was initially assumed to have mental health problems, was examined by doctors, who confirmed that he is fit for trial and sentencing. He was then transferred to the notorious high-security Briman Prison. His family are very concerned for his welfare there.
the rest

Albert Mohler: The Only Game in Town? Richard Dawkins and the Limits of Reason

Dawkins really believes (or at least really claims) that those who disagree with him are insane, deluded, intellectually perverse, and unintelligent.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Evolution by natural selection is “the only game in town, the greatest show on Earth,” asserts Richard Dawkins. We have come to expect claims like this from Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most famous defender of Darwinian evolution alive today. Unlike many intellectuals, Dawkins manages to stay singularly focused and on message. He is the planet’s foremost evangelist for evolution, and he is absolutely certain that the evolutionary worldview is indeed “the only game in town.” He is clearly frustrated that so many dwellers of the Earth refuse to accept his message.

In The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Dawkins sets out to present his most compelling case for evolution. He is — make no mistake — an ardent enthusiast for his argument. Seldom do we read a book written with such fervor and certitude, with an amazing amount of condescension and anger added to the mix, as well.

“Evolution is a fact,” he asserts. “Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust.” the rest
“Evolution is a fact,” he [Dawkins] asserts. “Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust.”

Virginia measure highlights battle over gays’ adopting

Even church-related agencies couldn’t discriminate
By Cheryl Wetzstein
The Washington Times
Monday, April 4, 2011

A “sleeper measure” that would prevent Virginia child-welfare agencies from considering sexual orientation or religion in their placements has drawn hundreds of complaints — and the attention of an outraged Republican state lawmaker.

The clash is one of a number taking place across the country even as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are preparing a push to make such gay anti-discrimination policies the law of the land.

“Your state government is in the final stages of adopting regulations that would compel state-licensed private and church-run adoption agencies to place children for adoption or foster care with homosexual couples or individuals,” Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall said in a newsletter to constituents on his website. the rest

UK: Christian couple urge Derby City Council to reconsider their foster application

'Gay' activism -- the antagonist in culture war
A pro-family activist in California contends the state has one of the most aggressive groups of lawmakers in the U.S. pushing for legitimization of open homosexuality...

Illinois Pharmacists Win Key Victory on Morning After Pill

by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC
LifeNews.com
 4/5/11

The American Center for Law and Justice today secured a sweeping victory for pro-life pharmacy owners in Illinois after a legal battle lasting six years.

A state court in Illinois issued a decision striking down a state law that compels pharmacy owners to dispense Plan B and other forms of emergency contraception, even if doing so violates their religious or moral beliefs.

In August 2009, a state judge granted the ACLJ’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case of two pharmacy owners, Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog in the case of Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich. The case went to trial in March 2010 and a decision today by Judge John W. Belz of the circuit court sitting in Springfield declared that the state law violates the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act, the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.   the rest

Obama’s energetic war on the young

Naive college kids don’t realize that big-government servitude awaits
By Robert Knight
The Washington Times
Friday, April 1, 2011

Excerpt:
The real and tragic irony is that Mr. Obama is most popular among the people on whom he is inflicting the most damage. They voted for him in higher numbers than any other age demographic because he was “cool.” And what did they get for this?

Students and parents seeking to borrow for college are now denied a private option, with Uncle Sam taking over all federally backed student loans courtesy of sleight of hand in the Obamacare bill.

The Department of Education is harassing for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix and Strayer University, which provide useful courses for prospective employees, particularly young people without a standard college degree. the rest image

Time Mag Editor: Koran Is ‘Directly The Word of God,’ Bible Just a Book ‘Written By Man’

by Warner Todd Huston
Apr 5th 2011

In another example of a sort-of cultural suicide where western media types assume that all Muslims are blameless – while all Americans are at fault in this clash of civilizations between Islamism and the West – we have a recent episode of MSNBC’s Hardball with one-time Democratic operative Chuck Todd standing-in for host Chris Matthews.

Todd was discussing the riots in Afghanistan sparked by Islamist ire over the burning of a Koran by a Florida pastor. During the interview Todd and a guest stated that the Christian Bible was just a book written by men while the Koran was the “direct word of God.” The two implied that this excuses Muslims from murdering people over the book burning.

In the segment Time Magazine’s World Editor Bobby Ghosh told Chuck Todd that the riots and murders perpetrated by Muslims in Afghanistan were obviously understandable because the Koran is apparently more holy than the Christian Bible. Ghosh averred that it’s important to “keep in mind” that the Koran is “not the same as the Bible to Christians.” Why, you might ask? Why it’s because the Koran is “directly the word of God.” On the other hand, the Bible is just a book “written by men.”  the rest

Father Albert Cutie to discuss Catholic celibacy requirement

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

UK: PARENTS’ FURY AT SEX LESSONS IN THE SCOUTS

Family campaigners called the new rules “completely inappropriate” for the Scouting movement
Tuesday April 5,2011
By Sarah O’Grady
Social Affairs Correspondent

SCOUTS in their mid-teens will be able to ask their leaders any questions they like about sex from today, but angry family experts last night attacked the new policy.

More than 35,000 boys and girls in the Explorer Scouts group, from 14 to 18, will also be given information about abortion, condoms and sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.

However, family campaigners called the new rules “completely inappropriate” for the Scouting movement.

Patricia Morgan, writer and campaigner for parental rights, said: “Local Scout groups are not the right environment for even more sexualisation of our children. the rest

Congress makes first major dent in health care law

By Stephen Dinan The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Congress on Tuesday passed the first major changes to last year’s health care law, undoing both a burdensome paperwork requirement for small businesses and rewriting part of the way the health exchange subsidies are paid for.

The changes are complex and don’t affect the fundamental operations of the health law, but Republicans said they are symbolic nonetheless because they mark the first repeals of significant provisions from Democrats’ key achievement under President Obama.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday with strong bipartisan support, 87-12, and goes to Mr. Obama, who will face a big test over whether to sign it. He has said he wants to repeal the paperwork requirement, but the administration has objected to rewriting the way subsides in the exchange are funded, arguing it may make people less enthusiastic about joining. the rest

Texas ACNA Parish Breathes Spirit Life into Cambodia Church Plant

image
Parish Mission Partnership Already Bearing Fruit
April 4, 2011

A thirteen hour time difference, over 9,000 miles, and the International dateline separate St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Texas from a new church plant in Cambodia’s province of Pursat.

That kind of distance might make a direct partnership between Cambodia and Texas seem nearly inconceivable, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, St. Vincent’s put up half the funds necessary to make the new church plant a reality and has sent teams over to work directly on the project.

The unique relationship between St. Vincent’s in the Diocese of Fort Worth and the Pursat church is one of many that exist within the Anglican Church in North America. Each partnership is a living testament to the Anglican Church’s commitment to mission, to evangelism, to our Anglican brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe, and to planting new, Gospel-centered churches. the rest

Getting married? Have it your way, says Church of England


Apr 05, 2011
By Cathy Lynn Grossman
USA TODAY

Just weeks before the royal wedding of Will and Kate, the Church of England has a new video on its wedding website. You can wed at a magnificent church as easy as ordering a fast food burger -- your way. And you don't even have to be Christian.

A new video on the CofE's official wedding website, YourChurchWedding.org kicks off with a woman priest (controversial with conservative Anglicans but who's raining on the parade) talking about how you pretty much don't even have to be Christian. (No mention on whether you have to be male/female, however). Neither need you be British(although it means extra paperwork)

Happy customers wax poetic about how church staff were willing to help with all the arrangements right down to the car parking. Why bother with renting a hall or a garden when you can step right in to any fabulous stained-glass historic church with almost no pre-requisites (well, maybe you might have to attend church a few Sundays in advance but no biggie.)

And it's all pretty much whatever you want including no need to promise to "obey." the rest

Paul Ryan’s promise: We will cut spending



Story

Fetal pain bills sweep across US: Pro-aborts afraid to challenge

Apr.04, 2011
Jill Stanek

Leading up to last year’s passage in Nebraska of a law banning abortion after 20 gestational weeks because preborn babies feel pain by that age, pro-aborts claimed it was “flatly unconstitutional,” and they would challenge it in court.

But they didn’t.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act breaks new legal ground. It confronts prior US Supreme Court decisions that only at viability can laws be passed to stop abortion, and it also contains no health exception, also a prior SC mandate. the rest image

...I spoke this morning with National Right to Life’s State Legislative Director, attorney Mary Balch, the architect of the fetal pain law, who gave me a run-down of the action…

Alabama: On the floor of the House; not yet presented in the Senate
Idaho: Passed the Senate; 3rd reading in the House today; Gov. Otter has said he will sign but time running out for this session
Indiana: Thought was dead but resurrected 5 days ago; imperfect version passed House; will try to fix in the Senate but time running out for this session
Iowa: Passed House; working the bill in the Senate
Oklahoma: Passed the House; on the floor of the Senate – anticipating a vote any day; should become law
Massachusetts: Has been introduced...

Evangelicals ‘deeply concerned’ by violence in Ivory Coast

 As United Nations and French forces move in on Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, the World Evangelical Alliance is calling upon Christians to pray for the country “during this extremely difficult time”.
by Brian Hutt
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The organisation, which represents 600 million evangelicals around the world, said it was “deeply concerned” by the violence, loss of life and humanitarian crisis.

In a statement, it called for the cessation of hostilities and the protection of all civilians caught up in the conflict.

It urged the “orderly” transition of political power in respect of the outcome of the recent presidential election. the rest


Tens of Thousands Seek Safety at Salesian Compound After Massacre in Ivory Coast

'Clock is ticking' for refugees fleeing Ivory Coast
Aid organizations are warning of an impending humanitarian crisis for tens of thousands of refugees who have arrived in Liberia after fleeing violence in Ivory Coast.

International aid agency Oxfam says more than 100,000 people have crossed the border from Ivory Coast to Liberia and are living in dire conditions in jungle villages...

Ivory Coast Leader Cornered After U.N. and France Strike
The United Nations and France went on the offensive Monday against Ivory Coast’s strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, striking targets at his residence, his offices and two of his military bases in a significant escalation of the international intervention into the political crisis engulfing the nation...

Obama, the god that failed

obamamessiah
April 05, 2011
By Paul Kengor

As someone who has studied, taught, and written about the Middle East for years, I'm the first to concede that President Obama has a tough task. What would I do about Libya if I were president? How about Egypt?

I'm not exactly sure. The situations are complex, with too many daunting unknowns. Chief among them, who, or what, precisely, is behind the opposition? Would a Gaddafi or Mubarak be replaced by Muslim democrats or theocrats, by an Ayatollah, by a Hamas, by a Hamid Karzai, by a Saddam or Sadat, or perhaps by the first Thomas Jefferson in the Arab world?

Of course, my personal struggle with the complexities doesn't matter much. I'm not president. Obama is. And alas, it's here, with Barack Obama as commander-in-chief, that the left once again has failed itself and America in the process.

The left pinned its hopes and dreams on Barack Obama. He wasn't merely another politician, he was post-modern, post-racial, post-cultural, post-political. We were told Obama didn't need political experience. His international upbringing, his multi-national background, his inherent diversity and multiculturalism, his youthful hopping and groping from country to country, culture to culture, faith to faith, through Islam, Buddhism, asceticism, Christianity, Augustine, Aquinas, Graham Greene, Nietzsche, Rev. Wright, and whatever else -- heaped atop his overflowing innate brilliance -- would beget a new breed of political man, a supreme decision-maker worthy of the most vexing challenges. He was no George W. Bush; he was the anti-Bush.
the rest  image
There's a distinct intellectual vacuity among the American left. I'm reminded of a Reagan quote regarding the distant-left cousins of liberals: "Marxist-Leninist thought," Reagan informed, "is an empty cupboard."
Obama to Have Tough Time Regaining Grassroots Support, Says Christian Group

Monday, April 04, 2011

Devotional: There is a place...

File:Sunset at Varkala Beach Kerala India.jpg
There is a place where thou canst touch the eyes
Of blinded men to instant, perfect sight;
There is a place where thou canst say, “Arise”
To dying captives, bound in chains of night;
There is a place where thou canst reach the store
Of hoarded gold and free it for the Lord;
There is a place–upon some distant shore–
Where thou canst send the worker and the Word.
Where is that secret place–dost thou ask, “Where?”
O soul, it is the secret place of prayer!
...Alfred Lord Tennyson image

Canadian Paediatric approves the dehydration of infants who may not be otherwise dying

by Alex Schadenberg
Mon Apr 04, 2011

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canadian Paediatric Society - bioethics committee, released a statement on April 1 concerning the withholding and withdrawing of artificial nutrition and hydration.

The statement is similar to the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Both statements approve the withholding or withdrawing of nutrition and hydration (fluids and food) from infants who may not be dying.

The Canadian statement allows euthanasia by dehydration (slow euthanasia) of infants with cognitive or other disabilities based on a “quality of life” assessment and with consent. the rest

Exposing the Planned Parenthood business model

By Abby Johnson
04/04/11

Myths about Planned Parenthood are spreading like grassfire. Thanks to a perfect storm of events, the abortion provider is scrambling to cauterize the biggest PR hit it has ever sustained. November’s election of an overwhelmingly pro-life Congress, revelation of numerous violations by its staff and repeated calls for its defunding by social and fiscal conservatives alike have put Planned Parenthood’s lifeblood on the line.

Planned Parenthood’s bottom line is numbers. And, with abortion as its primary money-maker, that means implementing a quota. I know this is true because I worked at one of their Texas clinics for 8 years, two as the clinic director.

Though 98 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services to pregnant women are abortion, Planned Parenthood and its political allies have sworn up and down that taxpayer dollars do not to pay for abortion. But of course they do. Planned Parenthood gets one-third of its entire budget from taxpayer funding and performed more than 650,000 abortions between 2008 and 2009. An abortion is expensive. Its cost includes pay for the doctor, supporting medical staff, their health benefits packages and malpractice insurance. As clinic director, I saw how money affiliate clinics receive from several sources is combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services. the rest

It also claims to help reduce the number of abortions. Not only is this not what Planned Parenthood actually accomplishes, but its goal couldn’t be more opposite. As a Planned Parenthood clinic manager, I was directed to double the number of abortions our clinic performed in order to drive up revenue. In keeping, Planned Parenthood headquarters recently issued a directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013.

Thousands of children’s educations saved at U.S. Supreme Court

ADF attorneys win Arizona parental-choice-in-education case
Monday, April 04, 2011

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a huge victory for proponents of parental choice in education Monday. The high court agreed 5–4 with the arguments of Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against an Arizona program that promotes school choice. The program, like others across the country, allows state residents to claim a tax credit for donations to private organizations that provide scholarships to private schools.

The court dismissed the suit saying that the ACLU’s clients--taxpayers who don’t like the program--didn’t have any legal standing to sue over someone else’s private donations. ADF represented the only party to make this argument to the court. The decision creates a national precedent that will prevent similar legal attacks in the future.

“Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes. The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.” the rest

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be tried at Guantánamo Bay

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the September 11 attacks, will be tried by a military court at Guantánamo Bay rather than a civilian court, in a major policy reversal by the Barack Obama administration.
 By Alex Spillius
 Washington
 Apr 2011

The Justice Department announced that plans had been dropped to transfer Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused conspirators to New York, after protests by local police and politicians about cost and security risks.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said: "The president's primary concern is that the accused perpetrators of that terrible attack on the American people are brought to justice as fairly as possible and as swiftly as possible."

The move will disappoint the president's liberal supporters and human rights groups, who have condemned him for renewing the judicial terror policies of George W Bush. the rest

In abrupt reversal, 9/11 suspects to get Guantánamo military tribunals

U.S. Gov't Spent More Than Eight Times Its Monthly Revenue


Monday, April 04, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Treasury has released a final statement for the month of March that demonstrates that financial madness has gripped the federal government.

During the month, according to the Treasury, the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds (including $62.011 to individuals and $3.887 to businesses) thus netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March.

At the same, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion. When the $65.898 billion in tax refunds is deducted from that, the Treasury paid a net of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses for March. the rest

Pittsburgh: Court denies Anglican diocese appeal on property

Monday, April 04, 2011
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

State Commonwealth Court has denied a request for a rehearing from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is seeking to overturn a 2009 ruling by Allegheny County Judge Joseph James awarding all of its central assets to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The diocesan rivalry stems from the October 2008 convention at which the majority of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted to leave the national Episcopal Church. According to an earlier series of court decisions and stipulations, the ownership of parish property is to be negotiated. At least two parishes that left the Episcopal Church have already reached agreements with the Episcopal diocese.

A spokesman for the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh said that its leaders intend to appeal the March 29 decision, but that the appeal will not stop parish property negotiations. the rest

Live human heart grown in lab using [adult] stem cells

By David Derbyshire
4th April 2011

Scientists are growing human hearts in laboratories, offering hope for millions of cardiac patients.

American researchers believe the artificial organs could start beating within weeks.

The experiment is a major step towards the first ‘grow-your-own’ heart, and could pave the way for livers, lungs or kidneys to be made to order.

The organs were created by removing muscle cells from donor organs to leave behind tough hearts of connective tissue.

Researchers then injected stem cells which multiplied and grew around the structure, eventually turning into healthy heart cells. the rest

Pro-Abortion Activists Cover Up Pro-Life Billboards in Chicago

by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC
LifeNews.com
 4/4/11

 Pro-abortion activists in Chicago have covered up a group of billboards a pro-life organization put up around the city last week to draw attention to how abortion destroys human life and targets African-Americans.

Life Always, the organization behind New York City’s controversial “Dangerous Place” billboard last month — taken down by Lamar advertising after complaints from pro-abortion activists — initiated another campaign, this time in Obama’s hometown. The new campaign includes an image of the president.

The billboard states: “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.” The image of Obama faces the capitalized word “leader,” and readers are directed to visit  http://www.thatsabortion.com for more information.

However, abortion activists are not happy with the choice of the pro-life group to educate about protecting human life and a group calling itself “social workers and community members,” is claiming responsibility for censoring the ads. The unnamed group claims the ads are disrespectful and do not represent the views of Chicago residents and so they “wanted to replace the negative, condemning message with a positive one,” according to the Chicago Tribune. the rest

Virginia Gov. strikes abortion coverage from ObamaCare health exchange

by Peter Smith
Fri Apr 01, 2011
RICHMOND

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has amended a bill passed by the General Assembly to prohibit abortion coverage from being offered by health insurance plans hosted by the state’s new health exchange.

The General Assembly had sent to McDonnell’s desk for his approval a measure that would create a state health exchange for qualified health plans by 2014 as mandated by the new national health care reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The changes proposed by McDonnell ban insurance companies participating in the exchange from offering abortion as a covered benefit, except in situations of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother. the rest

MASSACRE: MUSLIM TROOPS SLAUGHTER 1,000 CHRISTIANS IN IVORY COAST

by Jim Hoft
Sunday, April 3, 2011

At least 1,000 Christians were slaughtered this week in at the Salesian Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus mission in Duekoue, Ivory Coast by Muslim troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara. The state-run media has been slow to report the story.

At least 1,000 Christians were slaughtered this week in at the Salesian Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus mission in Duekoue, Ivory Coast by Muslim troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara. The state-run media has been slow to report the story. the rest

Massacre of 800 to 1000 Catholics in Ivory Coast most likely work of Islamists

Slaughter in Ivory Coast


Ivory Coast's besieged city of Abidjan braces for impending attack

Half of Latest Crop of Obamacare Waivers Are to Unions

What are friends for?
by Jim Hoft
04/03/2011

The Obama Administration has now granted over 1,000 health care waivers. Half of the latest 129 waivers went to unions.

Jamie Durpree at the AJC reported:

The Obama Administration has rolled out another 129 waivers to one provision of the new health reform law, with almost half of those new exemptions going to various union groups. The extra waivers bring the total to 1,168...

...The waivers now cover almost three million Americans, but the feds argue that is "less than 2 percent of all Americans who have private health insurance.

Almost half of the new round of waivers were given to union health benefit programs, a fact that is sure spur new complaints from health law critics in the Congress, who see these waivers as evidence that the Obama health plan is flawed. the rest

Former NHS director dies after operation is cancelled four times at her own hospital

By Daily Mail Reporter
31st March 2011

A former NHS director died after waiting for nine months for an operation - at her own hospital.

Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.

Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust - the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors. the rest

UK: Anglicans prepare for a dive in the dark

Mark Greaves meets the brave members of an Anglo-Catholic parish in Kent who are preparing to cross the Tiber together in Holy Week
By Mark Greaves
Monday, 4 April 2011

At an Anglican theological college in Oxford two 25-year-olds were sitting by a computer. They had the Vatican website up and were clicking “refresh”. They had an inkling that a document was being published that day. Eventually, the words “Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus” popped up on screen. They clicked on it and read, for the first time, the details of Pope Benedict XVI’s historic offer to Anglicans.

The document was issued on November 4 2009. Then, the two young men – Daniel Lloyd and James Bradley – were studying to become Anglican priests. Two weeks ago they joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. They are the only Anglican deacons – they were ordained last year – to do so. And they will both be putting themselves forward for the priesthood.

James Bradley, a bright, sincere and rather priestly guy, is with a group in Sevenoaks, Kent. There are 39 of them, all from St John the Baptist Anglo-Catholic parish. They range from a woman in her 80s to newlyweds and teenagers. Many of them have worshipped at St John’s all their lives; they were baptised or married or have family buried there. Yet they are willing to give it all up because they feel that this is what they need to do. the rest

Episcopal diocese, parishes consider church property issues

By Richard Robbins
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, April 4, 2011

The Pittsburgh Episcopal diocese and 41 breakaway Anglican parishes scattered throughout Western Pennsylvania are ready to discuss their financial differences.

"At this point, negotiations are the way forward," said Bishop William Ilgenfritz of St. Mary's, the Anglican parish in Charleroi, which is waiting for the Episcopal diocese to set a starting date for talks.

Negotiations over property issues are expected to take place on a parish-by-parish basis, church leaders said, although it's not clear when negotiations will begin.

The split in the Pittsburgh diocese developed over disagreements involving biblical teaching on salvation and other issues, including homosexuality. The diocese called a special convention after the election of V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Clergy and lay members of the Pittsburgh diocese voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to cut ties with the theologically liberal national church. the rest
In February, Episcopal Bishop Kenneth Price Jr. invited the individual Anglican parishes to "contact me to begin a conversation seeking an amicable resolution" of property issues.

For the 24 parishes whose church building titles are held by the Episcopal diocese, the negotiations will revolve around the buildings themselves. The remaining parishes have bank accounts and other property, such as sound systems and office equipment, that could figure in reaching a financial arrangement with the Episcopal diocese.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Canada: Shared national office gets mixed reviews

By Marites N. Sison
staff writer
posted April 3, 2011

The idea of a shared national office, possibly located in Ottawa, for the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), is receiving mixed reviews from respective executive councils. In fact, said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada may need to “step back” and consider more carefully the benefits of a shared national office.

He was speaking at the first joint meeting here, from Mar. 31-Apr.3, of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) and the ELCIC’s National Church Council (NCC).

At present, the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada is in Toronto; the ELCIC is headquartered in Winnipeg.

The idea of establishing a shared national office, which originated with the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, was based on thinking that moving to Ottawa might allow the churches to directly engage with the federal government on issues of mutual concern, particularly social justice. “We can engage government with our current structures; we don’t need a translocation of staff,” was the response of one table group following discussion. the rest

More Than 1,000 Mexicans Leave Catholic Church Daily, Expert Says

By Julian Rodriguez Marin
poste April 3, 2010

MEXICO CITY – More than 1,000 Mexicans left the Catholic Church every day over the last decade, adding up to some 4 million fallen-away Catholics between 2000 and 2010, sociologist and historian Roberto Blancarte told Efe.

Blancarte, one of the nation’s outstanding specialists on religious subjects, said that one of the main conclusions to be drawn from the 2010 census is that Mexico is no longer a predominantly Catholic country and has become a nation of religious pluralism.

According to figures from the census taken last year, out of a total 112 million Mexicans, 92.9 million are Catholics, 14.1 million belong to Protestant Christian denominations, and a lower number are devotees of Islam, Judaism and various oriental doctrines.

One of the principal novelties is that 5.2 million say they profess no religion – to the question about their religious beliefs, they answered “no religion. the rest

Is this the first ever portrait of Jesus?

The incredible story of 70 ancient books hidden in a cave for nearly 2,000 years
By Nick Pryer
3rd April 2011

The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns.

The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts.

If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him. the rest