Saturday, July 09, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bishop Dan Herzog!

Bp. Dan Herzog celebrating the Eucharist today on a very special birthday

"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing."
-Psalm 92:12-14

Friday, July 08, 2011

Devotional: "Go back! Back to that upper room.."

"Go back! Back to that upper room; back to your knees; back to searching of heart and habit, thought and life; back to pleading, praying, waiting, till the Spirit of the Lord floods the soul with light, and you are endued with power from on high. Then go forth in the power of Pentecost, and the Christ-life shall be lived, and the works of Christ shall be done. You shall open blind eyes, cleanse foul hearts, break men's fetters, and save men's souls. In the power of the indwelling Spirit, miracles become the commonplace of daily living." ...Samuel Chadwick image

New York archbishop: ‘believers will soon be hauled into court’ for questioning gay ‘marriage’

by Kathleen Gilbert
Fri Jul 08, 2011

( - American Christians may one day find themselves facing legal penalties simply for believing marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, a fate already suffered by believers in other countries, said the leader of America’s most influential Catholic pulpit this week.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York reflected on his blog Thursday on the recent legalization of gay “marriage” in New York, and what repercussions true marriage supporters can expect in the future.

He called it “haunting” that the marriage bill became law on the day Catholics celebrate the feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, “whom King Herod would behead because the saint dared to defend the God-given truth about marriage.” the rest

“If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication, the churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world,” wrote the archbishop.

Runaway Deer in Church

Church of England faces being wiped out, report warns

The Church of England faces being wiped out as a significant national force without an "urgent" campaign to recruit more believers, a report warns.
By Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor
08 Jul 2011

In the last 40 years the number of adult churchgoers has fallen by half while the number of children regularly worshipping in public declined by 80 per cent, the study says.

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, will present findings to the Church's national assembly, the General Synod, in York on Saturday.

Synod members will be urged to vote for a new national drive to recruit more members.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has acknowledged that the Church must devote more energy to increasing the number of regular worshippers over the next five years. the rest

Fees, managerialism and the death of the Church of England

WSJ: Jobs Data Dim Recovery Hopes

JULY 8, 2011

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy barely added jobs for the second month in a row in June and the unemployment rate rose to the highest level this year, adding to concerns the labor market will take years to recover.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 18,000 last month, far fewer than expected, as small gains in the private sector were just enough to outweigh continued government-job losses, the Labor Department said Friday in its survey of employers. Payrolls data for the previous two months were revised down by a total 44,000 to show increases of only 25,000 jobs in May and 217,000 in April.

The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, increased for the third straight month to 9.2% in June from 9.1% in May. It was the highest level since December 2010. There are 14.1 million Americans who would like to work but can't get a job.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast payrolls would rise by 125,000 and the jobless rate would remain steady at 9.1%. the rest

Fathe Alberto's new daytime talk show aims to help people, not exploit personal problems

BY Richard Huff
Friday, July 8th 2011

Father Alberto Cutié knows something about personal problems, and he figures that will come in handy when he hosts a new daytime talk show.

Cutié was a Catholic priest who left the church in 2009 because he fell in love with a woman. Now married and an Episcopal priest in Florida, Cutié figures having gone through his own struggles will help guests and viewers of "Father Albert."

Although he wears his church garb on the air, Cutié vows the show is not about religion. the rest
"Everytime I've been in an interview or had any kind of intervention, I've always done it with my uniform on," he says. "Not because the uniform is central to who I am. The uniform identifies my profession and what I do."

Final Shuttle Launch

  You can stream it at

Education Secretary Advises School Districts on Homosexual Clubs for Students

Friday, July 08, 2011
By Penny Starr

( – Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a “Dear Colleagues” letter on June 14 advising federally funded schools about establishing clubs on campuses, specifically Gay-Straight Alliance clubs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The letter was issued from the department’s Office of Civil Rights for elementary and secondary schools and was sent to all school districts in the United States, according to Jo Ann Webb, spokesperson for the Department of Education (DOE).

Webb said the school districts – the entity that oversees elementary, middle and secondary schools in a specific district in every state – will decide what schools in the district get the guidelines. the rest

‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation

by Rebecca Millette
Tue Jul 05, 2011

( – Last week, Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec woman identified as viable for organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead,” surprised her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her eyes, and began eating.

The 76-year-old woman was hospitalized at the Hospital Sainte Croix de Drummondville for an inflammation of the gums, which required a brief operation. During her recovery, hospital staff gave the elderly woman solid food, which she had been unable to consume in her family home for some time, and left her unattended. Choking on the food, she fell into a coma, after unsuccessful resuscitation.

Medical staff contacted her family, explaining to them that their mother was “brain dead,” with no hope of recovery. Citing Gauron’s eyes as particularly viable, the doctors asked if the family would agree to organ donation.

While supporting the possibility of donation, her shocked family first demanded further medical tests to prove Gauron was really dead.

The next day, the family was astonished to learn that Gauron had awakened. Shortly afterwards, she sat up in bed and ate yogurt. the rest

NY archbishop worried polygamy may be next battle

Thursday, July 7, 2011
 New York

(AP) New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan says he's worried that the next step in the marriage debate will be another redefinition to allow multiple partners and infidelity.

Writing on his blog Thursday, Dolan also lamented the anti-Catholic venom that surfaced in the gay marriage battle, saying he's worried that "believers will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court" for their convictions.  the rest

Ordinariate deemed Anglican enough to be awarded £1m

by Ed Thornton
8 July, 2011

THE Charity Commission has been asked to investigate a grant of £1 million to the Roman Catholic Ordinariate by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us regarding the Con­fraternity of the Blessed Sacra­ment. We are currently considering these to establish whether there is any regulatory role for us.”

The Confraternity, a registered charity, was founded in 1862 to support the Catholic revival in the Church of England. The Charity Commission website states that its charitable objects are “for the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition”.

The present Superior-General, Fr Christopher Pearson, now a priest in the Ordinariate, has reported that, in December, the Ordinary of the Ordinariate, Mgr Keith Newton, then the (Anglican) Bishop of Richborough, approached him “asking whether it was within the remit of the Confraternity to make a financial grant to the proposed Ordinariate”.

The Ordinariate was formally established on 15 January. Shortly afterwards, the trustees of the Confraternity received a formal application for financial assistance to the Ordinariate from Mgr Newton, “to provide for theological teaching, learning and development and the support of priests in the Ordinariate”.

The decision to donate £1 million to the Ordinariate was “unanimously agreed” by trustees at a meeting on 10 February. It was also agreed at the same meeting, “in view of the possibility of such a grant being challenged . . . to seek additional legal advice”. the rest

No Anglican Covenant Coalition names two patron bishops

Two congregations moving forward after split, lawsuit

 Friday, July 8, 2011

Nelson's congregation returned to the West Street building last year after the diocese won its lawsuit against the breakaway group, which changed its name to Grace Anglican and began holding services at Carlsbad Community Church.

Father Joe Rees, the rector of Grace Anglican, said Tuesday that his congregation has held steady at around 250 members ---- roughly the same number that chose to leave the Episcopal Church USA in '06 over doctrinal differences regarding non-celibate gay clergy and biblical authority. The congregation is now affiliated with a new Anglican organization hoping to be recognized by the global Anglican Communion as an alternative to the Episcopal Church, which is the branch of Anglicanism in North America.

"Really, we're not looking behind at all ---- we're just moving ahead, and we don't have any axes to grind," said Rees. "In fact, we're just about to make a move over to a new full-time rental facility in Oceanside, and we're looking forward to that. It'll be completely ours."

The move will mark Grace Anglican's return to Oceanside, as the congregation occupies a rented space near College and Oceanside boulevards. Rees said the church will continue to meet in the front chapel at Carlsbad Community Church until the move to 4055 Oceanside Blvd.

"We've been blessed exceedingly," he said.

As for the smaller congregation that was returned custody of the original Episcopal building last year, Nelson said there is a "very good spirit" a year after its return to the property, which happened on July 4, 2010. the rest

What We Don’t Know about the Persecuted Church

Katherine Britton
Thursday, July 07, 2011

American Christians know astonishingly little about their brothers and sisters overseas, say Dr. Carl Moeller and David Hegg, co-authors of the book The Privilege of Persecution: And Other Things the Global Church Knows That We Don't (Moody). Moeller, who heads up persecution ministry Open Doors USA, says many people believe his job must be depressing because they think he works with needy, third-world believers who live in fear. In an interview with, however, he says nothing could be farther from the truth.

To start with, he says, “the most surprising thing about the persecuted church is its joy.” He can tell story after story of Christians who are excited to live a life of persecution. They don’t enjoy being martyrs, he says; instead, “they do have something those of us in the United States don’t have very often, and that is a deep and intimate reliance on Jesus Christ. The fact that they know Jesus is enough in a practical way is a way that we can gain from them.” the rest

Is Sex Just Like Race?

by Matthew J. Franck
July 8, 2011

Race and sex play qualitatively different roles in our interactions with each other, making sex rationally relevant to our social and political policies in a way that race is not.

After one year as president of the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., John Garvey took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to announce a change in his university’s policy for housing students on campus: a return to all-male and all-female residence halls, and the gradual elimination of mixed-sex buildings. According to the Washington Post, Catholic University first changed to “co-ed” housing over two decades ago and currently houses both sexes in eleven of its seventeen residence halls—though men and women remain in separate floors or wings, unlike the latest fashion of shared suites, bathrooms, and even sleeping quarters at some universities.

President Garvey’s stated reason for separating the sexes into their own buildings, starting with the incoming freshmen in the fall of 2011, is to combat the pattern of binge drinking and “hooking up” among the students, and the consequent risks to body, mind, and soul of these behavior patterns. He made no claim that separate living arrangements would magically cure the ills he diagnosed. But why contribute to the problem when you can at least foster solutions?

It ought to be surprising that Catholic University ever experimented with co-ed housing. But this essay will not be about the University’s decision to reverse course on student residential policy. It will instead be about a revealing remark made by one of the opponents of the decision.  the rest
Banzhaf’s blithe parallel, however, of treating sex just like race is lately a favorite rhetorical turn of the campaign for same-sex marriage.

Suicide in Japan on the rise after Fukushima disaster

Jul 6, 2011
by Lynn Herrmann

Tokyo- Japan’s Fukusima nuclear meltdown, result of a catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and human error, is leading to yet another meltdown of sorts as new data has begun showing the region is experiencing an alarming rise in suicides.

Adding to the country’s woes, an increase of suicides in the Fukushima region since the nuclear meltdown occurred is being reported. Reasons for the suicides range from loss of family members as a result of the tsunami to loss of livelihoods due to radiation contamination to long-term mental health impacts as a result of the nuclear meltdown. the rest

AMIE Website

New AMIE website here

Lambeth Palace statement July 5, 2011

AMIE response

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Silence from 815 on clergy abuse case

July 8, 2011
 by George Conger

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori broke national Church canon law by receiving a Catholic priest with a history of sexual misconduct into the ministry of the Episcopal Church, a leading canon lawyer has concluded.

The Presiding Bishop’s office has refused to respond to questions about her alleged violations of Episcopal Church canon law, stating they do not comment on litigation. However, an investigation by The Church of England Newspaper suggests there is a prima facie case that the Presiding Bishop also violated rules she put in place in the Diocese of Nevada governing clergy sexual misconduct when she received the Rev Bede Parry into the priesthood in 2004.

The Presiding Bishop’s silence and the subsequent uproar comes as the Church’s new disciplinary canons came into effect on July 1, making her liable for ecclesiastical discipline for her actions as Bishop of Nevada. It also raises questions about the fairness of the clergy sexual abuse rules, as the canons presume that change of life and rehabilitation are impossible for those who have committed sexual sins. the rest

Episcopal Church defends top bishop's record in abuse case

Jul 06, 2011
by Lauren Markoe

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse.

Jefferts Schori has remained silent on the matter, which surfaced after an alleged victim filed suit last month against a Benedictine monastery in Missouri where the priest, the Rev. Bede Parry, once lived.

Parry, a former Catholic monk, was ordained as an Episcopal priest in Nevada in 2004, when Jefferts Schori was the local bishop before her 2006 election as presiding bishop.

Her successor in Nevada, Bishop Dan Edwards, said Tuesday (July 5) that a thorough review of church records shows that Jefferts Schori "handled the situation perfectly appropriately." the rest

Rush Limbaugh: They Wouldn’t Care if Casey Anthony Had an Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Washington, DC

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host, focused in on what many pro-life Americans have been thinking in the wake of the decision by a jury to find Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter.

Limbaugh put forward the notion that many pro-abortion Americans wouldn’t be outraged about the verdict and about the death of Casey’s daughter if she had had an abortion instead.

“You know, what I don’t understand about it is they’re [the media] all card-carrying liberals. When does the death of a child bother them? I’ve never seen them get so upset over the death of a child,” Rush Limbaugh said about the Casey Anthony verdict in his monologue on Wednesday.

“If the child had died, what, two years earlier in the womb this woman would be a star. She’d be a hero. And folks, I don’t think that is a cliche to say. And I don’t think it is as cheap attempt at humor. I think that while it may be uncomfortable to hear—one of the reasons it is uncomfortable to hear is that there is an element of truth in it,” Limbaugh added. …

“You people in the media, if you really, really think she is guilty and you want to feel better about this just tell yourselves that she waited a couple of years to get an abortion and then you’ll feel better.”

“Abortion is brutal, [it’s] never characterized that way and the reason it is brutal is because there is an element of truth of it. I just wanted to put it out there. Pure and simple, nothing more.”   the rest

Spain Confronts Decades of Pain Over Lost Babies

July 6, 2011

SEVILLE, Spain — Prodded by grieving parents, Spanish judges are investigating hundreds of charges that infants were abducted and sold for adoption over a 40-year period. What may have begun as political retaliation for leftist families during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco appears to have mutated into a trafficking business in which doctors, nurses and even nuns colluded with criminal networks.

The cases, which could eventually run into the thousands, are jolting a country still shaken by the spoken and unspoken terrors of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War and Franco’s rule. Last week, 78-year-old Concepción Rodrigo Romero joined the rapidly growing ranks of Spanish parents who are turning to the courts to uncover the fates of their babies. the rest
The cases of disappeared infants stretch from 1950 to 1990, continuing well after Franco’s death in 1975. It is not known whether government officials played any role.

Planned Parenthood’s Lawless Policies

Planned Parenthood must account for its disregard for the law if it wishes to retain state funding
by William Saunders
July 7, 2011

But why all the fuss from these state legislatures? Planned Parenthood defines itself as a protector of women’s health and “rights.” Furthermore, public perception of Planned Parenthood tends to be favorable; recent polls by CNN show that many Americans do not currently support defunding the organization.

In part, the abortion business of Planned Parenthood—the nation’s largest abortion provider—is what the “fuss” is about. States simply do not want to subsidize the abortion industry with taxpayer dollars. This is certainly true in Indiana, where the funding restriction does not target Planned Parenthood by name, but prohibits the state from contracting with abortion providers.

An in-depth investigation of Planned Parenthood by Americans United for Life, the nation’s first pro-life public-interest law and policy organization (where I serve as Senior Vice President and Senior Council), demonstrates that abortion is central to Planned Parenthood’s business. The AUL Report, however, uncovers much, much more than just the importance of abortion to Planned Parenthood operations. It reveals Planned Parenthood practices that are irresponsible, dangerous, and fly in the face of the organization’s claims of dedication to women in need of medical services. the rest
Planned Parenthood claims to be a “trusted health care provider,” but the AUL Report clearly shows that there is little to trust about Planned Parenthood. Even so, the Report only scratches the surface. Congress should use its power to investigate Planned Parenthood futher and determine, once and for all, if it deserves our support, our loyalty, and our money. Until Planned Parenthood answers for its behavior, the surprise is not that the people of Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas want to take away their funding, but that Planned Parenthood has not already been stripped of taxpayer dollars throughout the nation. Slowly but surely, Americans will become aware of how little Planned Parenthood deserves our trust, our respect, and our tax dollars. It is time to consider if you really know about Planned Parenthood.

California passes bill mandating pro-gay teaching in schools, no parent opt-out

by Thaddeus Baklinski
Wed Jul 06, 2011

( - A bill requiring public schools to teach the “historical contributions” of homosexual Americans was approved by the California legislature on Tuesday, July 5. The bill also prohibits any school material or instruction that reflects adversely on homosexuality, bisexuality or transgenderism, and prohibits parents from removing children from classes over offensive material.

Bill SB 48 was sponsored by openly homosexual state senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and passed in the Democrat-controlled Assembly by 49-25, with all Democrats voting for the bill and Republicans opposing it. The legislation passed the state Senate in April.

If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, schools would have to introduce the homosexual curriculum after the bill becomes law in January.

“This bill will require California schools to present a more accurate and nuanced view of American history in our social science curriculum by recognizing the accomplishments of groups that are not often recognized,” said Assembly Speaker John Perez, the first openly homosexual speaker of the California Assembly. the rest

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

America's biggest teacher and principal cheating scandal unfolds in Atlanta

At least 178 teachers and principals in Atlanta Public Schools cheated to raise student scores on high-stakes standardized tests, according to a report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer
July 5, 2011

Award-winning gains by Atlanta students were based on widespread cheating by 178 named teachers and principals, said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday. His office released a report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that names 178 teachers and principals – 82 of whom confessed – in what's likely the biggest cheating scandal in US history.

This appears to be the largest of dozens of major cheating scandals, unearthed across the country. The allegations point an ongoing problem for US education, which has developed an ever-increasing dependence on standardized tests.

The report on the Atlanta Public Schools, released Tuesday, indicates a "widespread" conspiracy by teachers, principals and administrators to fix answers on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), punish whistle-blowers, and hide improprieties.

It "confirms our worst fears," says Mayor Kasim Reed. "There is no doubt that systemic cheating occurred on a widespread basis in the school system." The news is “absolutely devastating," said Brenda Muhammad, chairwoman of the Atlanta school board. "It’s our children. You just don’t cheat children.” the rest

Chandler, Horton, Keller on How to Disagree

July 5, 2011

Before the widespread accessibility of the internet, most theological debate moved at the speed of journal publishing, which is to say, slowly. There was a time when perhaps two years would pass before an author would see critical reviews of his or her work. Today, controversial books will be dissected by bloggers and Amazon reviewers before most readers even know the book has been released.

This is just one way the terms of theological debate have changed, according to Michael Horton, who talks in this video with Tim Keller and Matt Chandler about how Christians ought to disagree among ourselves and with other theological opponents. You’ll hear them offer several nuggets of wisdom that all Christians would be wise to follow as they call on us to criticize when possible in the context of relationship and state our opponents’ arguments in a way they would recognize and own. the rest

Dust storm hits Phoenix, limiting visibility

by Matt Haldane
Jul. 5, 2011

A large dust storm rolling through the Phoenix area obscured visibility and created dangerous driving conditions Tuesday evening.

The storm traveled across much of the Valley at 30 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. It originated near Tucson and reached metro Phoenix about 7:30 p.m.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had to shut down about an hour, causing some flight delays. the rest

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Devotional: It is not the quantity of faith...

It is not the quantity of faith, but the quality of faith, that is important. A grain of mustard seed and a pellet of dust are similar in appearance, but the difference is immense. The one has no life burning at the heart of it, while the other contains life as God kindled it. Faith that has in it the principle of life is a faith with God in it. ...FB Meyer image by Laurence Cymet

Father John Corapi Resigns From SOLT

In a July 5 press release, Father Gerard Sheehan, the priest’s superior, outlines multiple violations of Father Corapi’s holy orders and directs him to return to the community.

Father John Corapi has submitted his resignation from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), the Register has learned.

Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest servant of SOLT, said in a press release dated July 5 that the popular priest and speaker has inspired countless thousands of Catholics, “many of whom continue to express their support of him.”

However, Father Sheehan added, “SOLT also recognizes that Father Corapi is now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterizations. It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.”

The press release follows in full:  here

The Anchoress: SOLT and Corapi

GetReligion: Got news? Pedophile Priest? Did Jefferts Schori Know?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A story that has been hotly discussed among my Episcopal and Anglican friends has received, near as I can tell, almost no mainstream media coverage. And I  have no idea why. But it’s been going on long enough that it certainly deserves a “Got news?” post.

It all begins with a sad story in the Kansas City Star by Judy Thomas.

It seems that a former Roman Catholic monk, a Benedictine, who directed a boys choir in Missouri admitted he’d had “inappropriate” sexual relations with members of the group. I’m not really sure what would make for appropriate sexual relations, but there you go. One of the “five or six” members of the choir that Bede Parry admitted being involved with filed a lawsuit against Conception Abbey, alleging that the abbey knew that Parry had abused others but covered it up. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Parry, not a target of the lawsuit, copped immediately and said he feels bad but that most of the “inappropriate sexual contact” was with adult males over 18 and only two were with males aged 16-18.

The twist is that Parry became an Episcopal priest in 2004 and has worked for the past 11 years at All Saints Episcopal Church in … Las Vegas. That’s a strong news hook because that would be in Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s old bishopric.

And so this story is not just about how the Catholic Church handles sex abusers in its midst but the Episcopal Church as well.
 the rest image

Statement from Lambeth Palace on AMIE

Tuesday 5th July 2011

The announcement of the creation an 'Anglican Mission in England' prompts concern for a number of reasons. New mission initiatives are, as such, always good news; and the declared intention of the spokesmen for this new initiative to remain faithful to the structures of the Church of England is welcome.

However, it is not at all clear how the proposed panel of bishops relate to the proper oversight of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. Nor is there any definition of what the issues are that might be thought to justify appeal to such a panel rather than the use of normal procedures. Furthermore, the ordination of three English candidates to the diaconate in Kenya with a view to service in England is problematic. It is not clear what process of recognised scrutiny and formation has taken place and how, in the absence of Letters Dimissory (the relevant formal letters from the sponsoring bishop), they have come to be recommended as candidates for ordination by the authorities of another province.

The issue is one of episcopal collegiality. There needs to be some further discussion of this development between those involved and the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had the opportunity to speak with the Archbishop of Kenya about the situation: the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues are not at all in question, but it seems that there were misunderstandings of the precise requirements of English Canon Law and good practice as regards the recommendation of candidates for ordination and deployment in mission. It is hoped that an early opportunity will be found to clarify what this new initiative seeks to achieve if it is truly to serve God's mission in the most effective and collaborative way. Here

Afghanistan: Muslims behead convert from Islam to Christianity, warn other converts of "dire consequences" for leaving Islam

July 4, 2011
Jihad Watch

"Whoever changes his religion should be executed." Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, said that. Note also that these murderers recited passages from the Qur'an. This is the sort of story that gives the lie to the common claim by Islamic apologists in the West that Islam has no death penalty for apostasy. But where are the human rights organizations on this?

"NEWS ALERT: Afghan Man Beheaded For Faith In Christ," by Marshall Ramsey II for BosNewsLife, July 3:
HERAT PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- Islamic militants in Afghanistan have beheaded what is believed to be a Christian convert and warned other Afghani Christians of "dire consequences" for leaving Islam, after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, BosNewsLife learned Sunday, July 3.A video message obtained by the respected Christian oriented WORLD Magazine shows a man being beheaded by four men claiming to be members of Afghanistan's Taliban group. Abdul Latif, somewhere in his 40's, was recently kidnapped from his village outside of Enjeel, a town south of Herat, the capital of Herat province.
the rest

Diocese of Rio Grande: Settlement at St. Francis

posted July 5, 2011
By David Crowder

The fight over the Westside church on the hill has finally ended.

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande has agreed to settle a 2008 lawsuit that challenged the ownership of St. Francis on the Hill Church.

The settlement means the conservative breakaway Anglican group now occupying the church has to be out by the end of July.

It also means a smaller group of Episcopalians who felt forced out of the church a few years ago will take control of the property, but not its financial assets.

The departing Anglicans have found a new home down the hill, off Mesa Hills, at 470 Eagle Dr., where members will celebrate their first service Aug. 7. They’ll call themselves St. Francis Anglican Church, a name that may change. the rest

Hundreds protest over reports of censorship at ceremonies in Houston National Cemetery

July 4, 2011

Hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators converged on Houston National Cemetery on Independence Day to protest reports of religious censorship at burial services there.

"We felt it was one of the best ways we could have spent this time of the Fourth of July," said Marine veteran Steve Cranston, a 58-year-old pastor from Houston who attended the protest with his wife, Judy, 66. "We feel like it's our duty."

"And I believe the ones who are already buried here would be right with us," his wife said.

The Houston Area Pastor Council planned Monday's protest in support of a federal lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Liberty Institute on behalf of American Legion Post 586, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4, and National Memorial Ladies, a volunteer group that attends burials at the cemetery.

The suit accuses U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials and Houston National Cemetery director Arleen Ocasio of banning members of these groups from invoking the names of "God" or "Jesus" at burials, and forbidding the recitation of religious messages unless the deceased's family submits the text to her for approval. the rest

A.S. Haley: Day of Reckoning-Really?

July 1, 2011

Today, July 1, the changes to ECUSA's disciplinary canons (Title IV) go into effect at the national level. (The text of the new Title IV may be downloaded as a .pdf file.) Let us take the example of the violation of the ordination canons apparently committed by the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori as the Bishop of Nevada in 2004, and use that as a test case to see how the new process would work at the highest level.
the rest

So the main question for Episcopalians this day is: how many of you are genuinely disturbed and upset by Bishop Jefferts Schori's actions in accepting as priest an admitted (but prevaricating) pedophile?


5th July, 2011

The Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion has called on Nigeria to withdraw from the United Nations because according to him the U.N is currently using, and being used by human right bodies, nongovernmental organizations and gay right activists groups to ensure the entrenchment of homosexuality globally.

Most Rev Nicholas .D. Okoh made this call in his welcome address at the formal opening of the Church of Nigeria Human Rights consultation held at Abuja.

In his opinion the role of the UN human rights groups who used that platform to fight for two Malawi boys who got married as homosexuals, is an advancement of homosexual lifestyle and it was time Nigeria pulled out of that organization, in order to protect the moral health of the Nigeria nation. the rest

The Language of Abortion

June 11th, 2011
By Dave Andrusko

As they say, “if I had a dollar for”–in this case every time I’ve written to make fun of the verbal gymnastics that pro-abortionists routinely employ–I’d be rich.

But words on a page or on a computer screen, while effective, have a tough time competing with videos which are able to combine words, images, music, and people interacting. When done imaginatively, they are highly persuasive.

I talked about “Interview with an Unborn Child” yesterday. The 4 minute 16 second-long video is an eerily powerful chronicle, narrated by the doomed unborn child himself, which sends chills up and down your spine.

At the other end of the educational spectrum is “The Language of Abortion,” produced by Signal Hill, a Canadian pro-life group. This 31-second long video uses humor (mixed with the mildest of ridicule) to convey a powerful truth by means of a question—“The language of abortion is confusing. What are we trying to hide?” the rest

British Pakistani Christians protest against blasphemy law

by Amy Shank
Monday, July 4, 2011

The Pakistani Christian community in Britain has led a protest against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The blasphemy laws have been blamed for much of the persecution against Christians in Pakistan and for increasing inter-religious tensions.

Human rights groups say that the blasphemy laws are frequently misused by extremists to level false charges against Christians in order to settle personal scores or seize property or businesses from them.

The protest in central London on Saturday was joined by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, a Pakistani Christian, and Dr Martin Stern, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and former medical student at Peshawar University. the rest

America's Troubling Investment Gap

For the first time in decades, America is on net losing, not attracting, growth capital.
JULY 5, 2011
By David Malpass And Stephen Moore

In June, President Obama celebrated a rare sliver of good economic news: Foreign investment was up 49% last year over 2009. The president says that this boost in capital shipped to the U.S. by international companies or foreign investors leads to more businesses and higher-paying jobs here at home. He's right.

But this isn't the economic success story that the White House is spinning. The real truth of the recession and limping recovery is that for the first time in decades America is, on net, losing, not attracting, growth capital. That may be the single most important explanation for persistently high unemployment and stagnant wages. the rest
Much more worrisome is that Americans are taking their investment dollars abroad at a faster pace than foreigners are bringing capital to these shores.

Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job

Politics Versus Reality

Thomas Sowell

The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on "the rich," is a classic example of talking points versus reality.

Most of those who favor simply raising tax rates on "the rich" -- or who say that we cannot afford to allow the Bush "tax cuts for the rich" to continue -- show not the slightest interest in the history of what has actually happened when tax rates were raised to high levels on "the rich," as compared to what has actually happened when there have been "tax cuts for the rich."

As far as such people are concerned, those questions have already been settled by their talking points. Why confuse the issue by digging into empirical evidence about what has actually happened when one policy or the other was followed?

The political battles about whether to have high tax rates on people in high income brackets or to instead have "tax cuts for the rich" have been fought out in at least four different administrations in the 20th century -- under Presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The empirical facts are there, but they mean nothing if people don't look at them, and instead rely on talking points. the rest

Obama's Misleading Vocabulary

Martyrdom in Nigeria

July 1, 2011
by George Conger

A Christian village in Northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State has been burnt to the ground and its wells poisoned by Muslim militants, the Bishop of Ikara writes.

In an email to Barnabas Aid, Bishop Yusuf Ishaya Janfalan reported that on April 18 approximately 300 armed Muslim militants attacked the village of Ung Karau. As the villagers fled, the mob set fire to the village destroying 183 homes and businesses and the village church.

The attackers also fouled the town well in a bid to drive the inhabitants away. Bishop Janfalan wrote the villagers “were drinking from two wells. But when the mobs arrived they broke their store rooms, carried pepper and poured inside the well. They also poured their clothes, mortars, firewood and all sort of rubbish inside the well. We have stopped the villagers from drinking from the well, as we are suspecting that the mobs poisoned the well.” the rest

Coup de Culture: NYT Pushes Consensual Adultery

Monday, July 4, 2011
Wesley J. Smith
I have noted here on more than one occasion that we are in the midst of a coup de culture that seeks to supplant the Judeo/Christian philosophical underpinning of society with one that combines explicit utilitarianism, open support for hedonistic indulgence, and a “faith” founded neo earth religion/scientism. Thus we have seen increasing advocacy aimed at casting aside self restraint and eradicating “taboos” against individual behaviors ranging from the normalizing of suicide, to promoting the acceptability of sexual extremes such as consensual adult incest, engaging in bestiality, and breaking gender biological roles, e.g., a male writing in Slate about how he tried to manipulate his body into lactatingthe rest

Assemblies of God Growing Faster than U.S. Population

Sat, Jul. 02 2011 By Alex Murashko
Christian Post Reporter

The Assemblies of God, one of the largest Pentecostal denominations, is growing faster than the U.S. population.

AG reported that its U.S. adherents increased four percent in 2010, which is several times higher than the U.S. population growth rate, which is about one percent a year. Adherents of the Assemblies of God USA have surpassed three million followers, 3,030,944 to be exact, in 2010.

This is the largest annual percentage increase since 1983, according to AG records.

In terms of official membership, AG reported a 2.5 percent increase, to 1.75 million members. Attendance at major worship service, water baptism, spirit baptism, and conversions were also up, according to statistics.  the rest

Monday, July 04, 2011

U.S. Senate Chaplain: True Freedom Comes from God

Mon, Jul. 04 2011
 By Ariel R. Rey
Christian Post Contributor

Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, reflected on the true meaning of Independence Day and asked if Americans are “free indeed” during a Sunday sermon.

Black began his sermon by recalling that on July 4, 1776, America declared freedom from Great Britain and democracy was born. As a result, Americans had the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition.

Yet “in spite of the marvelous freedom we have in this great land, there is still slavery in America because people are enslaved by sin, and the word of God declares if you are addicted to sin you are a slave of sin,” said Black in an In Touch Ministries special Independence Day program.

By recognizing that sin still enslaves us and that although we may be socially free we are not spiritually free, Independence Day “is not just a declaration of something that just happened centuries ago, but something that has happened in the here and the now,” he said.
 the rest image by Marc Nozell
He concluded his sermon by summarizing, “Start your discipleship with belief in Jesus. Abide in his word. Don’t be ignorant of your bondage. Avoid false freedom. And come to know him … for if the son has set you free, every day is Independence Day for you, [and you] are free indeed.”

Growing number of churches hiring nurses to motivate the faithful

Growing number of nurses work with churches to promote wellness
July 02, 2011
By Kate Santich
Orlando Sentinel

Going to church may nourish your soul, but until recently it didn't offer much for your cholesterol level or body-mass index.

Now, a growing number of congregations are hiring nurses to help inspire churchgoers to eat better, exercise, manage chronic medical conditions and in general regard their physical bodies as a gift from their creator.

"Health care should not be like a body shop where we just take our vehicle in to be fixed. It's a matter of body, mind — and spirit," said Susan Chase, associate dean for the graduate program at the University of Central Florida College of Nursing. "We have to address all of that in order to prevent disease and help people heal."

With Americans facing an epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, health officials say it makes sense to try to reach them through their houses of worship. the rest

Sunday, July 03, 2011

As a New Dark Age Descends Upon the West

Bill Muehlenberg

The Judeo-Christian worldview was perhaps the most important element in the rise of Western civilisation. Other factors can be mentioned, but without the biblical worldview and its impact, the West as we know it would never have arisen. Many scholars and experts have spoken to this.

As just one example, American sociologist Rodney Stark has written a number of important volumes on these themes. Consider his seminal 2005 volume, The Victory of Reason. In it he says, “The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.” He continues:

“To sum up: the rise of the West was based on four primary victories of reason. The first was the development of faith in progress within Christian theology. The second victory was the way that faith in progress translated into technical and organizational innovations, many of them fostered by monastic estates. The third was that, thanks to Christian theology, reason informed both political philosophy and practice to the extent that responsive states, sustaining a substantial degree of personal freedom, appeared in medieval Europe. The final victory involved the application of reason to commerce, resulting in the development of capitalism within the safe havens provided by responsive states. These were the victories by which the West was won.”

But the obverse of all this is also true. As Christianity goes, so too does Western culture. As we declare war on the very foundations of the West, we should not be surprised to see the West teetering on the brink. We have renounced our Christian heritage and are now surprised to see the whole thing falling to bits. the rest

Church warned of split if it relaxes teaching on gay relationships

The Church of England has opened the door for a more liberal approach to same-sex relationships.02 Jul 2011
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones,
Religious Affairs Correspondent

It will review whether current teaching on homosexuality should be relaxed and also rule on allowing gay clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops.
Leading conservatives warned that the Church would split if the bishops attempt to weaken its policy that active same-sex relationships are wrong.
While liberals argued that the position is untenable at present, they expressed disappointment that the Church announced it would ban gay clergy from becoming bishops until the review is finished next year.

Speaking on behalf of the bishops, the Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, said the Church needed to update its attitude to clergy in civil partnerships from the last statement made in 2005, which did not clarify whether they could be made bishops.  the rest