Saturday, July 02, 2011

Chris Tomlin and The Passion Band - All My Fountains

Ivory Coast: Muslims crucify Christian brothers

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter." -- Qur'an 5:33

It looks as if these brothers' apparent support for the Christian Gbagbo over the Muslim Ouattara constituted "waging war against Allah and His Messenger."

"Brothers crucified by Ouattara forces in Ivory Coast," from Barnabas Aid, June 8 (thanks to Marty):
Two peasant brothers were brutally crucified on “the example of Christ” as forces loyal to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara continue to target perceived supporters of his ousted Christian predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo.Raphael Aka Kouame died of his injuries; incredibly his younger brother, Kouassi Privat Kacou, survived the ordeal. The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes on 29 May.

the rest

Friday, July 01, 2011

Something Missing From Our Fourth of July Celebrations

File:Declaration independence.jpg
Alan Sears

It was such a curious omission. Last September, in a speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama was taking his audience on a quick tour of early U.S. history when he referenced a line from the Declaration of Independence, whose 135th anniversary we will celebrate next week.
“Long before America was even an idea,” he said, “this land of plenty was home to many peoples – to British and French, to Dutch and Spanish, to Mexican, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land. We didn’t always get along. But over the centuries, what eventually bound us together – what made us all Americans – was not a matter of blood. It wasn’t a matter of birth. It was faith and fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’ endowed with certain inalienable rights: life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That’s what makes us unique,” he said. “That’s what makes us strong. The ability to recognize our common humanity.”

Notice anything missing? The actual Declaration reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As I said, it’s a curious omission. And a troubling one, especially since it seems to be a patternthe rest image

Harvard: July 4th Parades Are Right-Wing

Paul Bedard
June 30, 2011

Democratic political candidates can skip this weekend's July 4th parades. A new Harvard University study finds that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.

"Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation's political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party," said the report from Harvard. [See political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]

"The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam. [Enjoy political cartoons about President Obama.]

Their findings also suggest that Democrats gain nothing from July 4th parades, likely a shocking result for all the Democratic politicians who march in them. the rest image

Nun holds world record: 84 years in the cloister

She Entered the Convent the Day Benedict XVI Was Born
JUNE 30, 2011

( - She entered the Cistercian Buenafuente del Sistal Convent the day that Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) was born, and today Sister Teresa is 103 years old and the world's record holder for having lived the longest as a cloistered nun.

After 84 years as a cloistered nun, Sister Teresa says that the greatest gift she has received has been prayer: "Without it, one cannot sustain oneself. I never cease repeating: 'Thank you, forgive. Thank you, forgive.'"

The nun is one of 10 cloistered nuns profiled in the Spanish-language book "¿Qué hace una chica como tú en un sitio como éste?" (What's a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?). In the book, author Jesús Garcia brings to light the secluded world of cloistered nuns by getting to know what life is like behind the grail, and what inspired them to join. the rest
Sister Teresa says that she is very happy and does not desire anything from the outside world. "It’s a grace from God," she says. "I know that many won’t understand my way of living, but I don’t understand any other."

Church of England bishops to review teaching on homosexuality

By Associated Press
Friday, July 1, 2011

LONDON — Church of England bishops say they have temporarily barred priests in civil partnerships from being appointed as bishops.

The statement Friday from the House of Bishops said a review of civil relationships would be completed next year and a broader review of the church’s attitude toward homosexuals is to be published in 2013.

The Right Rev. Graham James, the bishop of Norwich, says bishops have devoted little time to the issues of homosexuality since they issued a statement in 2005, though deep disagreements the issue have strained the global Anglican Communion. the rest

Can a creedless denomination make it another 50 years?

Jun 29, 2011
by Daniel Burke

BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology.

Laurel Mendes explained that religious doctrine had been duly scrubbed from the hymns in the congregation's Sunday program.

But Mendes, a neo-pagan lay member who led the service, feared that a reference to God in "Once to Every Soul and Nation" might upset the humanists in the pews.

"I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable by reciting something that might be considered a profession of faith," said Mendes, 52, after the service. "We did say `God,' which you don't often hear in our most politically correct hymns."

Welcome to a typical Sunday in the anything-but-typical Unitarian Universalist Association, a liberal religious movement with a proud history of welcoming all seekers of truth -- as long as it's spelled with a lowercase "t."
Dramatic readings from the biography of 20th-century labor leader John L. Lewis? Sure. An altar crowded with Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and Jewish symbols? Absolutely. God-talk? Umm, well...the rest   MCJ

Episcopal church brings Beatles to Mass

The Psalm 100 Boy

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Devotional: Fear not the storm...

I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me, he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest, tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven. ...CH Spurgeon image

UK Chief Rabbi: Equality laws leading to new Mayflower exodus

New equality laws are forcing religious people to flee the country because they are being denied the freedom to live in accordance with their beliefs, the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has warned.By Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor
30 Jun 2011
The Orthodox Jewish leader claimed that anti-discrimination policies had fuelled an “erosion of religious liberty" in Britain that was leading to a new “Mayflower”, a reference to the flight of the persecuted Pilgrim Fathers to America in the 17th century.

His comments follow growing alarm from leading religious figures over the increasing influence of equality laws. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has called on the Prime Minister to review equality legislation amid concerns that religious freedoms and Britain’s Christian heritage are under threat.

Speaking to the House of Commons public administration select committee, Lord Sacks said there was "no doubt'' numbers of religious believers in Britain were "extraordinarily'' low.
He continued: “I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty. the rest

Top gay blog laments: ‘WE ALWAYS LOSE’ when voters decide on marriage

by Kathleen Gilbert
Wed Jun 29, 2011

 ( - A prominent online gay publication has admitted the existence of a little-known but persistent obstacle to legalizing same-sex “marriage”: American voters.

A post on the Queerty blog Monday concluded that President Obama’s silence on gay “marriage” results from a recognition that most American voters oppose it.

“Even LGBT organizers agree that they’d rather pass marriage equality by legislature than at the ballot because at the ballot WE ALWAYS LOSE,” wrote Queerty’s Daniel Villarreal.

“People who oppose the ballot also like saying that if America voted on interracial marriage in the 60s, that still might be illegal too. But is that really our only defense against the ballot argument?” he continued. “If so, it’s no wonder that Obama hasn’t articulated a reason to support marriage that doesn’t fly in the face of the democratic process that had denied us our rights.” the rest

Not Archbishop Dolan's Finest Hour

June 29, 2011
By Rod Dreher

It is not terribly surprising that gay marriage advocates won a decisive legislative victory in New York state last week. After all, New York is one of the nation's most socially liberal states, and could be expected to be on the vanguard of the steadily rising trend toward legalizing same-sex marriage. What is startling, at least in theory, is that they triumphed without much of a fight from the Roman Catholic Church.

The New York Times called the church's passivity "befuddling to gay-rights advocates." New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan didn't travel to the state capitol to lobby against the bill, but rather made his strongest statement against it on a call-in radio program. In 2009, after assuming the office once held by the politically potent Cardinals Francis Spellman and John O'Connor, Dolan told reporters that he wouldn't "shy away" from the gay marriage battle. But in the end, Dolan, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, did little more than run the flag of Catholic teaching up the familiar flagpole. His heart clearly wasn't in the fight.

The archbishop was undoubtedly correct to describe the pro-gay forces as "very strong" and "well-financed" -- but what is the Archdiocese of New York, chopped liver? Though greatly diminished in power from the glory days of Cardinal Spellman, there is no bully pulpit like the one Dolan has. Given the razor-thin margin of victory for the pro-gay side, it's entirely possible, even likely, that a fully engaged Archbishop Dolan could have won this round for his side. the rest

ENS: Disciplinary Board for Bishops formed for new Title IV canons


 An 18-member Disciplinary Board for Bishops has been established as required by the revised version of the Episcopal Church's canons on clergy discipline, which go into effect July 1.
The board consists of 10 bishops, four clergy and four lay members. Eight of the bishops were elected by the House of Bishops at the group's March meeting; two were later appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori when vacancies occurred, according to a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs. 

The clergy and lay members were appointed by President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson for an interim basis until the House of Deputies can elect regular members at the next meeting of General Convention in 2012.

The members and their dioceses are:

Bishop Ian T. Douglas of Connecticut; Victor Feliberty-Ruberte of Puerto Rico; Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick of Hawaii; Suffragan Bishop Dena Harrison of Texas; Christopher Hayes of California; Retired Bishop Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina; Bishop Herman Hollerith of Southern Virginia; Bishop J. Scott Mayer of Northwest Texas; the Rev. Marjorie Menaul of Central Pennsylvania; Josephine Powell of Michigan; the Rev. Jesus Reyes of El Camino Real; Diane Sammons of Newark; Bishop Thomas Shaw of Massachusetts; the Rev. Canon Angela Shepherd of Maryland; Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester; the Rev. Robert Two Bulls Jr. of Los Angeles; Bishop James Waggoner of Spokane and Bishop Catherine Waynick of Indianapolis.

The board is called for in Canon IV: 17: 3, which says in part that the members will have "original jurisdiction over matters of discipline of bishops" and will "hear bishops' appeals from imposition of restrictions on ministry or placement on administrative leave."  the rest

Lawsuit charges US Presiding Bishop knowingly ordained a paedophile

June 29, 2011
by George Conger

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has declined to respond to questions concerning her ordination to the priesthood of a paedophile. Her silence has prompted questions from liberals and conservatives in the church about what she knew of the Rev. Bede Parry’s confessed abuse of boys, and when she knew it.

Last week Fr. Parry resigned as an assistant priest on the staff of All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas. On June 23 he was named as a sexual predator in a lawsuit filed by a Missouri man against Conception Abbey, a Roman Catholic monastery and seminary in Missouri.

Fr. Parry admitted he had abused the victim in 1987 in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Kansas City Star, but told both newspapers he had not reoffended since that time.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court in Missouri, alleges that Parry joined the Benedictine order in 1973, leaving the abbey from 1979 to 1982 to study at St. John’s University School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota. Upon his return to the abbey, Br. Parry was appointed secretary to the abbot and director of the choir. In 1983 he was ordained to the priesthood. the rest

However, he told the Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori of the 1987 incident when he applied to be received as priest in the Episcopal Church in 2002.

In an interview with The Star, Fr. Parry stated the allegations in the lawsuit were true. “When I left Conception Abbey in ’87, it was for sexual misconduct,” he said. “But that was all that was ever said or known.”

After serving as music director for two years at All Saints, Parry said he noticed “they needed clergy, and I felt called. I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me. And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

A.S. Haley: Troubling Questions Raised by Bishop's Acceptance of Child Molester to Be Priest
A recent lawsuit filed in Missouri over child molestation and abuse charges against a Catholic monastery there contains allegations which, if proved, raise troubling questions about the conduct of ECUSA's Presiding Bishop when she was the Bishop of Nevada from 2000 until her election to the national post in 2006. The lawsuit alleges that one of the abbey's Benedictine monks, Bede Parry, molested the plaintiff and several other young men over a five-year period between 1982 and 1987 while they sang in the Abbey Choir, of which Parry was the director. (See this news release for a link to download a .pdf of the petition - h/t: Pageantmaster.) When the facts of the abuse came out in 1987, Parry left the monastery for a course of treatment, and then used his position as a Catholic priest to work at a variety of Catholic and Lutheran parishes in the southwest.

In 2000, Parry apparently applied to join another Catholic monastery, and underwent psychological testing and evaluation. "The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors," the lawsuit alleges. Instead of joining the monastery, Parry was hired as the music director at All Saints Episcopal Church, in Las Vegas, where Jefferts Schori was the diocesan. (She did not need to be consulted about his hiring, and Parry now says that he did not disclose the test results to the clergy at All Saints.)........

Census: More children call a grandparent's house home

Census data reveal a surprising growth spurt in the lives of U.S. kids
June 30, 2011

There's plenty of energy at Dorothy Martin's house these days — three grandchildren ages 6 and younger make sure of that - but she doesn't put up with chaos.

"I'm old school," Martin said about raising three of her grandchildren. "I do know you have to change, but I believe in discipline, in having kids be kids. Everything has to be consistent."

That has been her goal since taking in granddaughters Ji'Bri Brown-Martin, now 6, and Che'Lyse Brown-Martin, 5, in 2008. Another granddaughter, 2-year-old Na'Rya Brown, joined the household soon after she was born.

New statistics released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Martin and her grandchildren have plenty of company. the rest

NRO: Unmade in New York

We were told that same-sex marriage was necessary for meeting couples’ concrete needs. Now, we’re told that that was all wrong.
June 29, 2011

Not providing formal governmental recognition of two people’s relationship doesn’t amount to denigrating them. Male-female and same-sex unions may have inherently different structures, norms, and social roles and purposes. Imposing marital norms on same-sex unions, where they make less sense, may well be unfair. There are good reasons to keep marriage separate, in law and culture, from other romantic arrangements.

Yet every one of these points had been made as recently as the day the bill passed. Not in National Review, but in the New York Times. Not by a traditional supporter of marriage, but by a liberal proponent of redefining it. Not by social conservatives—but by Katherine Franke, a lesbian left-winger who is director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. In other words, these points are agreeable even to some who would trade the 2,300-year-old intellectual tradition originating with Plato and Aristotle for the 60-year-old liberationist ideology descended from Hefner and Kinsey.

Though they supported its passage, you see, Franke and her partner will not seek a marriage license under the new law. They fear that in practice it might force them to be legally married in order to hold on to shared employment benefits and social respectability. They want to keep their domestic partnership, which gives them “greater freedom” than “the one-size-fits-all rules of marriage”—the freedom to form relationships that “far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow, legal definition of marriage.”

Franke leaves out just how these relationships “far exceed” marriage, perhaps not trusting her readers to see them as improvements after all. But then the Times had already divulged the empirically supported “open secret” about how often partners in same-sex civil marriages expressly reject sexual exclusivity.

For years, we were told that same-sex marriage was necessary for meeting couples’ concrete needs. Then, that it could and should be used to make same-sex couples live by marital norms. More recently, that relationship recognition was necessary for equal personal dignity. Now Katherine Franke, on the day that same-sex marriage passes in New York, tells us that that was all wrong. the rest

U.S. recognizes Muslim Brotherhood


The U.S. has decided to formally resume contact with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group - which does not recognize Israel – in a move that could further alienate some Jewish voters already skeptical of President Barack Obama, it was reported.

One senior U.S. official said the Brotherhood’s rise in political prominence after the forced departure of former President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year makes the American contact necessary.

“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing… It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency,” said the official, who confirmed the news to Reuters on condition of anonymity.  the rest

Federal Appeals Court Panel Upholds Obamacare Against Lawsuit

by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC

A federal appeals court upheld the Obamacare health care law that pro-life groups opposed because of abortion funding and rationing concerns, though the lawsuit is not either of the two premier lawsuits filed by Florida, Virginia and other states.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the individual mandate contained in the 2010 health care law on a 2-1 vote. The ruling claims Congress has the power to force individuals to buy health insurance under its authority to regulate interstate commerce — the main argument the Obama administration has been using to defend the law against the multiple lawsuits organizations, lawmakers and states have filed.

“We find that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause,” the court wrote. the rest

Sixth Circuit Upholds Obamacare by Blurring Its Logic

Obama's Health Care Law Battle Nears Supreme Court

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Only Pair of Matching Singing Bird Pistols, Attributed to Frères Rochat

Larger video here

Sold for $5.8 Million

UK: Iran conducting secret ballistic missile tests alongside public military maneuvers

By Associated Press
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LONDON — Britain’s foreign secretary says Iran has conducted covert tests of ballistic missiles alongside a 10-day program of public military maneuvers.

William Hague told the House of Commons on Wednesday that there had been secret experiments with missiles and rocket launchers.

Iran is conducting 10 days of war games in an apparent show of strength to the West and on Tuesday fired 14 missiles in public tests.

Britain believes Tehran has conducted at least three secret tests of medium-range ballistic missiles since October. the rest

Houston VA accused of censoring religious speech

June 28, 2011

Local veterans and volunteer groups accuse Department of Veterans Affairs officials of censoring religious speech — including the word "God" - at Houston National Cemetery.

In one example cited in documents filed this week in federal court, cemetery director Arleen Ocasio reportedly told volunteers with the National Memorial Ladies that they had to stop telling families "God bless you" at funerals and that they had to remove the words "God bless" from condolence cards.

"It's just unfair that somebody would ask us to take God out of our vocabulary," said Cheryl Whitfield, founder of Houston National Memorial Ladies.

"I could've kept my mouth shut and let things happen, but when it comes to standing up for your belief in God and giving comfort to the families, I don't want to regret not saying anything," Whitfield said. "We all had to stand up for what we believe in."

The new allegations of "religious hostility" by VA and cemetery officials follow on the heels of a controversy over Pastor Scott Rainey's prayer in Jesus' name at a Memorial Day service in the cemetery. the rest

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Euthanasia on the rise in Holland: now being applied to patients with dementia

by Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
Mon Jun 27, 2011

( - Euthanasia is on the rise in the Netherlands, and it is taking an even uglier turn than many would have expected.

Cases of euthanasia have risen from 2,500 in 2009 to 2,700 in 2010; but even more shocking, last year 21 persons suffering from the early stages of dementia, but who were otherwise in good health, were euthanized. All of these 21 “mercy killings” were subsequently approved by the official euthanasia follow-up commission.

This 2010 annual report on euthanasia has yet to be published, but key figures were released by the official news channel, NOS, last Saturday.

The program on NOS told the story of 63-year-old Guusje de Koning, one of the “beneficiaries” of euthanasia last year. In a video shot by de Koning’s husband four days before the 63-year-old woman’s death, and aired on the television station, she explains her choice to be killed to her two children.  the rest

Two CNY religious leaders on homosexual marriage

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Post-Standard

"Priests who participate in a same-sex wedding would go against the teaching of the church, said Bishop Robert Cunningham, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

“We would have to take appropriate action at that time,” he said.

By contrast, Bishop Skip Adams, who leads the Central New York Episcopal diocese, sent a letter Monday freeing priests to perform the ceremonies.

“They are free to use their own discretion in their pastoral responsibilities in their own parishes,” Adams said.

The decision does not require any Episcopal priest in the diocese — an area that includes nearly 100 churches from the St. Lawrence River, south to the Pennsylvania border, east to Rome and west almost to Geneva — to perform same-sex marriages." Full story

Same Bishop who sold Church of the Good Shepherd to Muslims (MCJ)
...Think about that for a minute – The Episcopal Church put an active Christian parish out of their traditional home because that parish believes homosexual practice is a sin… and instead sold it to a faith that believes homosexual practice deserves death...

Illusions of Equality

Jun 28, 2011
Elizabeth Scalia

About 15 years ago a new Catholic parish was erecting its single-building church and social center. The pastor asked the religious sister who acted as Director of Religious Education to choose the tiles for the parish center’s bathrooms. The gentleman’s bathroom was outfitted in a rather pretty shade of gray with darker accents. The ladies room, however, startled everyone who entered it; gazing into the mirrors at their bilious reflections, woman after woman grimaced and asked “who on earth decided on spicy-mustard yellow?”

Complete to a shade—with brown accents, no less—the lavatory quickly became known as the “vomitory,” and Sister Decorator made a sincere apology for the Jaundice Surprise. “I thought pink or rose would be too feminine, too Barbie, and the yellow would be less stereotypical,” she explained.

This was consistent with Sister’s feminist conscience, which had earlier caused conflict when she tried to introduce inclusive language to the Gloria, because “some people have issue with their fathers, and this makes it difficult for them to recognize God-as-Father.” Her intention was to wipe out any and all “feminine social constructs” while simultaneously inserting feminine perspectives or downgrading the masculine, wherever she could. There was a staggering incoherence to her efforts: femininity was bad, but women were good; men were alright but masculinity was a horror, except when a woman could achieve equality with masculine constructs. Equality was the highest good.

Sister was a good person; she was very kind and a hard worker, but she was so obsessed with notions of equality that she lost her ability to see people as anything but types and categories. At a ministry thank-you dinner, we shared a table and, emboldened by wine, I suggested her version of the Gloria was insensitive to many: “You’re right that some people have issues with their earthly fathers,” I said, “but it’s for that very reason that we want to hear about—and need to know—our Heavenly Father. When you take that from us, we have nothing—no earthly father, no heavenly one, either.”

The astonished sister answered that she had never heard such an idea before, and that she was sure I must represent a very small minority, and as interesting as she thought my sentiments, she was certain that the larger society was better served by gender-free prayer. Language mattered: it made us all equal before God and God equally accessible to all of us. the rest-excellent! image

AMA adopts policy supporting same-sex marriage

27 Jun 2011

The American Medical Association today adopted a new policy in support of same-sex marriage, saying that excluding sa,e-sex couples from legal marriage recognition is discriminatory and that the AMA supports relationship recognition as a means of addressing health disparities and that gay and lesbian couples and their families face.

H-65.973 Health Care Disparities in Same-Sex Partner Households, adopted today by the AMA, declares: “Our American Medical Association: (1) recognizes that denying civil marriage based on sexual orientation is discriminatory and imposes harmful stigma on gay and lesbian individuals and couples and their families; (2) recognizes that exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households; (3) will work to reduce health care disparities among members of same-sex households including minor children; and (4) will support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.” the rest
The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists already support marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Texas to defund Planned Parenthood


The Texas Legislature approved a bill Monday that would both compel the state to push the Obama administration to convert Texas’s Medicaid program into a block grant and defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

The omnibus health bill also includes a number of other controversial provisions, including plans to save $400 million over the next year by increasing the use of Medicaid managed care. the rest

New Hampshire Scraps $1.8M in Planned Parenthood Tax Funding

Wisconsin Budget Defunds Planned Parenthood

  ...North Carolina

Cancer Surges In Body Scanner Operators; TSA Launches Cover-Up

Paul Joseph Watson
June 28, 2011

Fearful of provoking further public resistance to naked airport body scanners, the TSA has been caught covering up a surge in cases of TSA workers developing cancer as a result of their close proximity to radiation-firing devices, perhaps the most shocking revelation to emerge from the latest FOIA documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

After Union representatives in Boston discovered a “cancer cluster” amongst TSA workers linked with radiation from the body scanners, the TSA sought to downplay the matter and refused to issue employees with dosimeters to measure levels of exposure.

The documents indicate how, “A large number of workers have been falling victim to cancer, strokes and heart disease.”

“The Department, rather than acting on it, or explaining its position seems to have just dismissed. I don’t think that’s the way most other agencies would have acted in a similar situation if they were confronted with that question,” EPIC’s Marc Rotenberg said.

the rest

Bishop Salmon to Lead Nashotah House

June 27, 2011

The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., is the new dean and president of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, and will arrive on campus in mid-August.

Bishop Salmon, a member of Nashotah’s board of trustees since 1993 and its chairman since 1996, said the board elected him in late May, when it announced the resignation of the Very Rev. Robert S. Munday.

Dean Munday’s resignation takes effect June 30, but he will remain on Nashotah’s faculty as research professor of theology and mission. He was dean and president of Nashotah House for 10 years.

Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina from 1990 to 2007, will leave his current position as rector of All Saints Church, Chevy Chase, Md. He told The Living Church that he expects to arrive at the seminary by Aug. 23. the rest

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census

NYT interactive map-very cool!

Human Life Begins at Conception, Federal Court Rules

Monday, 27 June 2011
Jennifer LeClaire News

A federal court on Friday handed down an order that temporarily suspends a provision of an Indiana law that defunds abortionist organizations like Planned Parenthood. That's the bad news.

The good news is the order also upheld a key provision that requires women to be informed that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.”

Specifically, the order explained that “the language crafted by the legislature in this provision supports a finding that the mandated statement refers exclusively to a growing organism that is a member of the Homo sapiens species.”

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless. Abortionists have done this by telling women that a pre-born baby is just a batch of cells instead of what he or she actually is: a human being. This law ends that deception in Indiana,” says Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “All the court did was recognize the indisputable fact that a biological human life begins at conception. It is false to say anything else.” the rest  image by Ed Uthman

What the religious exemptions in N.Y.'s 'gay marriage' law do and don't cover

Jun 27, 2011
by Michael Foust

(BP)--Religious exemption language that was part of a successful "gay marriage" bill in New York addresses a handful of religious liberty concerns but ignores a large number of other religious conflicts, says an attorney familiar with the issue.

The religious exemption language was critical to getting a handful of Republican senators -- four total -- to support the bill, allowing it to pass, 33-29.

The issue of religious liberty has been at the forefront of conservative concerns about "gay marriage." After it was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, Catholic Charities chose to get out of adoptions instead of being forced to place children in same-sex homes. While the language might prevent that from happening in New York, Alliance Defense Fund attorney Austin R. Nimocks says, it would not protect a husband-and-wife photography team from state action if they declined to take pictures at a same-sex "wedding." It also would do nothing to prevent the teaching of "gay marriage" in New York schools. Alliance Defense Fund is a legal organization that fights for religious liberty.

Following is a partial transcript of an interview with Nimocks: the rest

Nuclear regulator visits second Nebraska plant on Missouri

By Michael Avok
Mon Jun 27, 2011

(Reuters) - A two-day tour of two Nebraska nuclear power plants surrounded by a swollen Missouri River has generated a regional and national buzz, but relatively little concern from local residents.

In Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, five miles south of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, many people weren't even aware that Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko was checking on the plant's flood protections.

"I think there's something going on at the plant," said a woman working the counter at the local gas station, which also sells food. "All the sheriff's guys are up there. If you want to rob the bank, today would be the day." the rest

Cardinal sees 'no theological obstacle' to women priests

by John L Allen Jr Jun. 27, 2011

Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, a veteran European prelate at one point considered a contender for the papacy, reportedly has said there’s “no fundamental theological obstacle” to the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic church.

According to the text of an interview with a legal publication in Portugal called Oa, Policarpo said that women’s ordination will happen only “when God wants it,” although not in our lifetimes, and that now is not the time to raise the question.

“Theologically there is no fundamental obstacle,” Policarpo was quoted as saying. “We could say there’s a tradition, because it’s never been done.”

“There’s a fundamental equality among all the members of the church,” the cardinal said. “The problem lies in a strong tradition, which comes from Jesus and from the fact that the churches of the Reformation conceded the priesthood to women." the rest

GAFCON launches new Anglican mission society

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) has announced the launch of a new society to provide support to orthodox Anglicans within the Church of England.

According to GAFCON, the Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) is "dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting".

GAFCON said the society was "determined to stay within the Church of England" and work "as closely as possible" with its institutions.

AMIE is aimed at providing an effective structure that would allow orthodox Anglicans to remain within the Church of England rather than leave it, as some have chosen to do. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Empire State’s Moral Revolution: New York State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Last Friday was a sad day for marriage and, if the advocates of same-sex marriage are right, it was also a sign of things to come.
Monday, June 27, 2011

The legal, social, moral, and political maps of America were redefined last Friday night as the New York State Senate voted 33-29 to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The State Assembly had already approved the measure, leaving the Republican-controlled Senate the last battleground on the marriage issue. Shortly after the Senate approved the measure, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. It will take effect in July, thirty days after the Governor’s signature was affixed.

It will be difficult to exaggerate the impact of New York’s move to legalize same-sex marriage. The statistics tell part of the story. New York State becomes the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, but its population is greater than that of the other five combined. When same-sex marriage is legal in New York next month, fully one in every nine Americans will live in a state or jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal. By any measure, this is a massive development in the nation’s legal and moral life. the rest
One crucial aspect of the New York development is the fact that same-sex marriage was legalized by legislation, and not by order of a court. Eventually, an unusual coalition led by the Governor Andrew Cuomo and major Republican donors pushed the measure through the Senate, even though Republicans had prevented even a vote on such a measure in recent years. As dusk set in Albany on Friday, the fate of marriage appeared to rest on one Republican senator, whose crucial vote would determine the margin for or against the chamber taking the vote. In the end, the measure reached the floor, where it passed by a four-vote margin.

Dying Woman Undergoes Additional TSA Security Screening, Says Family

An elderly woman in the late-stages of leukemia was forced to undergo 45 minutes of additional screenings last Saturday when she tried to board a flight out of Northwest Florida Regional Airport, her daughter told

...But when Reppert made it to the check-in line, Transportation Security Association agents singled her out because she was in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs require other security measures to be employed since they don’t go through metal detectors.

“So they brought my mom to the side, and two agents just started patting her,” Reppert said. “Eventually they found something that appeared to be hard and they said could be a concealed weapon.”

She said two female agents wheeled her mom into a private room where they performed a more thorough inspection, and found that Reppert was wearing a Depend adult diaper.

“It was hard because the underwear was bunched up,” Weber said, adding that she was not in the room as her mother was patted.

After 45 minutes, the mother and daughter were given two options: either don't fly, or lose the Depend. The women chose the latter.  the rest

U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors

June 26, 2011

WASHINGTON — Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates. the rest

Ottawa: Church followers find a new home

The former congregation of St. Alban's church leaves behind its historic roots after a bitter battle with the Anglican Diocese, Kelly Patterson reports
By Kelly Patterson
Ottawa Citizen
June 27, 2011

It was a historic moment in Ottawa as a subdued crowd of about 300 filed out of St. Alban's Anglican Church on King Edward Avenue on Sunday, leaving behind a place where some have roots going back to Confederation.

Founded in 1865, the church where Sir John A. Macdonald worshipped has been in the spotlight ever since a showdown over samesex marriage and other issues led the congregation of St. Alban's to leave the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and, after a bitter battle, the building they have called home for 146 years.

"This is kind of historic. We're in a new era," said Sheila Lang, 79, as her grandchildren - the seventh generation of her family to attend the church - played in the reception hall of the Ottawa Little Theatre, where the congregation, now called the Church of the Messiah, will meet until it finds a permanent home. Meanwhile, the diocese will establish a new congregation at St. Alban's, with a relaunch planned for Friday. the rest

More Anglicans Ordained into Catholic Church

Mon, Jun. 27 2011 By Daniel Blake
Christian Post Contributor

Three more former Anglican priests have been ordained into the Roman Catholic Church at the weekend.

The latest priests to turn their backs on the Anglican Communion and join the specially established Catholic Ordinariate are Father David Elliott, of Reading, Berks, Father Jonathan Redvers Harris, of the Isle of Wight and Father Graham Smith, of Christchurch, Dorset. the rest

Preschool Bans Use of Words 'Him' and 'Her'

Associated Press
June 26, 2011

STOCKHOLM (AP) — At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward. the rest
Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

160 Million and Counting

June 26, 2011

In 1990, the economist Amartya Sen published an essay in The New York Review of Books with a bombshell title: “More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing.” His subject was the wildly off-kilter sex ratios in India, China and elsewhere in the developing world. To explain the numbers, Sen invoked the “neglect” of third-world women, citing disparities in health care, nutrition and education. He also noted that under China’s one-child policy, “some evidence exists of female infanticide.”

The essay did not mention abortion.

Twenty years later, the number of “missing” women has risen to more than 160 million, and a journalist named Mara Hvistendahl has given us a much more complete picture of what’s happened. Her book is called “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.” As the title suggests, Hvistendahl argues that most of the missing females weren’t victims of neglect. They were selected out of existence, by ultrasound technology and second-trimester abortion.

The spread of sex-selective abortion is often framed as a simple case of modern science being abused by patriarchal, misogynistic cultures. Patriarchy is certainly part of the story, but as Hvistendahl points out, the reality is more complicated — and more depressing. the rest

Thus far, female empowerment often seems to have led to more sex selection, not less.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Anglican Report with George Conger and Kevin Kallsen