Saturday, August 06, 2011

Holy Transfiguration: The LORD is King!

The LORD is King;
let the people tremble;
he is enthroned upon the cherubim;
let the earth shake.

The LORD is great in Zion;
he is high above all peoples.

Let them confess his Name,
which is great and awesome;
he is the Holy One.

"O mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob."

Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God
and fall down before his footstool;
he is the Holy One.
-Psalm 99: 1-5

O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  image

The Story of Everything

Five major trends for churches in America

by Thom Rainer
 Monday, June 20, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — Discerning future trends can be difficult if not risky. If we miss a trend, we risk missing opportunities because we had our resources directed elsewhere.

I am thus careful when I do trend projections. I am especially careful when I am projecting trends that will have a direct impact on the churches in America...

Five major trends
Because most of the research that is the basis for these trends was related to American demographics, we must not extend the projections beyond our nation's borders. Nevertheless, it is possible that some of the research could have implications beyond American churches.

1. Our nation will see the emergence of the largest generational mission field in more than a century. According to our current research, the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, will have a very low Christian representation. Our estimates now are that only 15 percent are Christian. With a huge population of nearly 80 million, that means that nearly 70 million young people are not Christians.

2. The dominant attitude of this huge generation toward Christianity will be largely indifferent. Only 13 percent of the Millennials rank any type of spiritual matter as important to their lives. They are not angry at churches and Christians. They simply ignore us because they do not deem us as meaningful or relevant.

3. Senior adult ministries in churches will experience steep declines. As the large Baby Boomer generation moves into their older years, they will resist any suggestion that they are senior adults, no matter how senior they may be. Unfortunately, many churches are slow to adapt to new realities. If they do senior adult ministry the way they've always done it, it will be headed for failure.

4. The large Boomer generation will become more receptive to the gospel. Our data is anecdotal for now, but we are seeing indications that the Boomers may actually become more interested in spiritual matters in general and Christianity specifically. If so, this trend will be counter to other trends where adults tend to become less receptive to the gospel as they age. The Baby Boomers have tried it all and found no joy. They may likely turn to the hope of the gospel.

5. Family will be a key value for both of the large generations. For the Millennials, family is their most important value. Nearly eight out of ten of the Millennials ranked family as the important issue in their lives. They told us that they had healthy relationships with their parents who, for the most part, are Baby Boomers. Some churches say they are family friendly, but few actually demonstrate that value. Churches that reach both of these generations will make significant changes to become the type of churches that foster healthy family relationships. the rest
Trend projecting is a meaningless exercise if it fails to engender action. Ultimately each local church must determine where God is leading the congregation. In the case of the five trends noted here, the opportunities seem significant. May the response of Christians and churches be nothing less than radical obedience.
The inter-generational church

Weaker commitment among born-again Christians, study finds

God has 2 mommies: Jesus, Mary and ... Josephine? It's lesbian Nativity at church

August 04, 2011
By Joe Kovacs

The Bible's account of the night Jesus was born is noted for some well-known characters at the Bethlehem manger, including the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and some shepherds following the instructions of an angel.

The famous wise men were not present, as they showed up later when Jesus was a young child in a house.

And as far as the New Testament indicates, there weren't any lesbians there either.

Now a Christian church in America's heartland is helping redefine the story, as its most-recent living Nativity scene in December featured two women instead of a man and a women starring as Joseph and Mary.

"It's not very groundbreaking at all to use the youngest baby in the congregation to play the role of Jesus. The parents just happened to be two women," said Rev. Linda Butler, pastor of St. Timothy's United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. "They were playing the role of the Holy Family, not necessarily Mary and Joseph. We never referred to the moms as Mary and Joseph. We referred to them as the Holy Family."  the rest

Peggy Noonan: The Power of Bad Ideas

What we've got here is far worse than a failure to communicate.
AUGUST 6, 2011

There was drama at the White House this week when a man tried to hurl himself over the fence. But the Secret Service intervened and talked the president into going back inside and finishing his term.

That's from Conan O'Brien's monologue the other night. It captures the moment pretty well. Mr. Obama's poll numbers continue to fall, his position in the battleground states to deteriorate. From Politico: "Obama emerges from the months-long [debt ceiling] fracas weaker—and facing much deeper and more durable political obstacles—than his own advisers ever imagined." The president seemed to admit as much when he met with supporters at a fund-raiser in Chicago. "When I said 'Change we can believe in,' I didn't say, 'Change we can believe in tomorrow.' Not 'Change we can believe in next week.' We knew this was going to take time." When presidents talk like that, they're saying: This isn't working.

One fact emerged rather starkly during the crisis, and it will likely have implications in the coming year. It is that the president misunderstands himself as a political figure. Specifically, he misunderstands his rhetorical powers. He thinks they are huge. They are not. They are limited. the rest
The debt-ceiling crisis revealed Mr. Obama's speeches as rhetorical kryptonite. It is the substance that repels the listener.
Obama and the Narcissism of Big Differences
...The "philosophical starting point" of today's Democrats, as Mr. Cantor sees it, is that they "believe in a welfare state before they believe in capitalism. They promote economic programs of redistribution to close the gap of the disparity between the classes. That's what they're about: redistributive politics." The Virginian's contempt is obvious in his Tidewater drawl. "The assumption . . . is that there is some kind of perpetual engine of economic prosperity in America that is going to just continue. And therefore they are able to take from those who create and give to those who don't. We just have a fundamentally different view."...

Christians nearly absent in Holy Land

Aug. 04, 2011
By John L Allen Jr.

LONDON -- By now, the threat facing Christianity in its birthplace is depressingly clear. Christians represented 30 percent of British Mandate Palestine in 1948, while today in Israel and the Palestinian Territories they’re 1.25 percent. The Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, warns that the Holy Land risks becoming a “spiritual Disneyland” -- full of glittering rides and attractions, but empty of its indigenous Christian population.

That decline is part of a Christian exodus all across the Middle East, the reasons for which are well-known:
•Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which affects Arab Christians as much as Arab Muslims;
•Lack of economic opportunity;
•Rising Islamic fundamentalism;
•Christians in the area tend to be better-educated and more affluent, and thus stand a better chance of getting out. As one observer says, in the Middle East frustrated Christians emigrate physically, while frustrated Muslims emigrate ideologically.

Yet even when the big picture is familiar, its details still pack emotional punch. the rest

Anglican Unscripted August 5th, 2011

George Conger and Kevin Kallsen bring you back to the "new media" of the 1980's in their "On this day in History" segment. They also discuss the use of analogies and their place in a violent world. Alan Haley discusses some specifics from the court case in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin; and our guest Bishop this week is Bishop Iker from the Diocese of Fort Worth. Bishop Iker brings news from the Fort Worth law suit and the new heat record for DFW.

Anglican Perspective: John Stott

John Stott – a personal appreciation by Michael Lawson, Chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council
August 6th, 2011 

The funeral of the Rev Dr John Stott, CBE will be at All Soul's Langham Place on Monday August 8th at 12.15. Doors open at 1100. No tickets required.

From 1960, John Stott played a key role in founding and chairing the Church of England Evangelical Council. Even in those days he was a leading Evangelical, and had already made a most significant impact for the gospel in his central London ministry at All Souls Langham Place where he had been Rector since 1950, and before that curate since 1945. I am now quite recently privileged to inhabit that same seat as chairman at the CEEC that John once chaired, but our actual personal connection goes back to 1981 when I arrived at All Souls as a curate that Autumn.

I remember at the evening service that October the occasion of my first ever sermon at the church. I did my best, but unfortunately, the sermon was not especially good. Just before the service, and feeling very nervous, I was horrified to discover that the great John Stott, who I had been told would be abroad was actually present. There he was seated on the bench behind me as I meekly walked up to the famous All Souls pulpit ready to display my youthful homiletical inadequacies.  the rest

Friday, August 05, 2011

America dons the victim’s mantle in church wars

by George Conger
August 5, 2011

The murders, beatings and state-sanctioned violence suffered by Anglicans in Harare under the Mugabe regime are akin to the discomforts faced by Episcopalians loyal to the national Church who reside in dioceses that have departed for the Anglican Church in North America.

This summary of the situation in Harare from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came in an August 2 report released by the Episcopal News Service (ENS) summarizing her trip to Central Africa. Her remarks are similar to claims made at the Jamaica meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in 2009. However, in Kingston delegates from the Global South rejected the Presiding Bishop’s attempt to cloak the Episcopal Church with the victim’s mantle, arguing in the United States it was the Episcopal Church who was the aggressor in its legal battles.

In its article on the Presiding Bishop’s July 29-31 visit to Zimbabwe, ENS wrote: “A crippled nation at the mercy of tyrannical leaders, Zimbabwe is home to a persecuted yet resilient community of Anglicans who’ve been victimized, intimidated and run out of their own churches by a state-supported renegade bishop and his allies.

“Yet, despite being excluded from all worship spaces in Harare, ‘the Anglican church is growing, filled with joy, and looking outward’,” Presiding Jefferts Schori told ENS.

The article then quoted the Presiding Bishop as having said: “They have experienced the same kind of thing as congregations in Fort Worth and San Joaquin.” The Church’s press office explained the Presiding Bishop was “referring to attempts by former leaders in those places to take ownership of diocesan property and leave loyal Episcopalians without a spiritual home.”

ACNA clergy contacted by CEN in Fort Worth and San Joaquin expressed displeasure with the analogy drawn by the Presiding Bishop, with one priest noting that situation was actually “quite the reverse.”

“We’re the ones [like the Diocese of Harare] with 90 per cent of the people and are the ones defending ourselves against their attempts to drive us out of our church homes.”

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Suzanne Gill, earlier this year told CEN the picture painted by the national Church was not true to life as Bishop Jack Iker had sought time and again to find a “gracious” way forward. “People wonder from time to time about a mediated settlement. As you know, this was tried and rebuffed,” she said.  the rest

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Marquette IVCF faces suspension for dismissing homosexual officer

August 3, 2011
Marquette University professor John McAdams reported on his blog Tuesday that the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Marquette is threatened with suspension because it dismissed an officer who made clear his intention to not break off a “homosexual affair.”

From McAdam’s Marquette Warrior blog:
It was Mark Belling who first reported this at the very end of his show today, and we’ve been able to confirm some (but not all) of the details.

Apparently, an officer of the Marquette Intervarsity Christian Fellowship came “out of the closet” as gay. He made it quite clear that he disagreed with the organization’s interpretation of Christian teaching about homosexuality (which happens to be essentially identical to Catholic teaching about homosexuality).

He complained to Student Affairs at Marquette, apparently claiming he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.

Belling reported that the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has been suspended at Marquette on the basis of this complaint. According to Vice President for Student Affairs Chris Miller, this isn’t quite accurate. In fact, there was (within the past week) an adjudication of the issue, which upheld the complain of discrimination.

But the organization has not been suspended yet, since they have a right to appeal. The next step in the appeal process will be the Dean of Students, Stephanie Quade, who could, in theory at least, overturn the result of the adjudication. 
He admitted to having a homosexual affair with another male, and made it clear that he did not intend to break it off. He was dismissed as an officer.
the rest

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: When Congregations Leave Their Denominations

Wed, Aug. 03 2011 By Sarah Hamaker

More and more, conservative congregations are choosing to leave liberal denominations. Rarely does the opposite occur with a liberal congregation withdrawing to unite with a more conservative denomination.

“I think conservative Christians generally take their faith seriously,” says Dr. Jeffry Marlett, an associate professor of religious studies at The College of Saint Rose in Ablany, N.Y. “They feel that it’s better to stand by their faith and not become conformed to the ways of the world, which is why you see conservative congregations leaving liberal denominations and not vice versa.”

In December 2006, parishioners of Truro Epsicopal Church in Fairfax, Va., voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC), igniting a hailstorm of controversy. While church leaders pointed to TEC’s gradual shift away from the traditional teachings of TEC on the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the core reasons for the disfellowship, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the election of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003.

“That was our wakeup call,” says Warren Thrasher, executive director of Truro. Starting in 2003 and continuing over the next few years, Truro leaders had a number of meetings with TEC officials in Virginia to resolve the issue of Robinson’s election and its implications for TEC’s teachings on marriage being between one woman and one man. the rest

Barna Examines Trends in Religious Factors over 20 Years

posted August 4, 2011

George Barna, author of the new trends book Futurecast, has just released the first in a series of assessments of how America’s faith has shifted in the past 20 years on 14 religious variables. In the series of briefs, Barna explores not only the aggregate national patterns, but also digs into how matters have changed according to gender, ethnicity, region, generation, and religious segments.

Read part 1: General Trends 
Read part 2: Generational Trends
Read part 3: Gender Differences
Read part 4: Racial/Ethnic Differences
Read part 5: Regional Faith
Read part 6: Faith "Tribes"

69% Say It’s Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The debate over global warming has intensified in recent weeks after a new NASA study was interpreted by skeptics to reveal that global warming is not man-made. While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant disagreement about global warming in the scientific community, most go even further to say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided. the rest

Air Force Suspends Christian-Themed Ethics Training Program Over Bible Passages

By Todd Starnes
August 03, 2011

The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.

The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and used Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.

But the watchdog group, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the course violated the constitutional separation of church and state and filed a complaint last Wednesday on behalf of 31 missile launch officers – both instructors and students.

David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, said the main purpose of the class was to help missile launch officers understand that “what they are embarking on is very difficult and you have to have a certain amount of ethics about what you are doing to do that job.”

He said the class was suspended the same day the complaint was filed.  the rest

Jesus Loves Nukes? Air Force Halts Ethics Course
..."We've got a president with an administration that is very hostile towards religion and has not been very accommodating to religion," he explained....

Modesty Helps Women Be Friends

by Jennifer Fulwiler
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Discussions about the benefits of modesty tend to focus on preserving the dignity of women and respecting men who are seeking chastity. Those are great points, but I think that the impact that it has on relationships among women is a huge benefit that is too often overlooked. The other day I saw a group of Catholic young adult women chatting after a meeting at church. They were about the same age as I was when I worked at that startup, and seeing them brought back memories of that time. In contrast to the culture I remembered, all of these girls looked beautiful and stylish while observing some basic ideas about modesty—and the effect was that there wasn’t that vibe that some of them were trying to be the center of attention with their dress, unlike back in my career days. It made me smile to see how well this system works. For women to embrace modesty is to declare a truce with one another. They can still aim to look nice, but mutual agreement on of reasonable standards of dress draws the boundary lines so that it doesn’t break out into a distracting competition.
 the rest

New H.I.V. Cases Steady Despite Better Treatment

August 3, 2011

Despite years of great progress in treating AIDS, the number of new infections with the virus that causes it has remained stubbornly around 50,000 a year in the United States for a decade, according to new figures released on Wednesday by federal officials.

The American epidemic is still concentrated primarily in gay men, and is growing rapidly worse among young black gay men.

That realization is causing a rift in the AIDS community. Activists say the persistent H.I.V. infection rate proves that the government prevention policy is a flop. Federal officials are on the defensive even as they concede that the epidemic will grow if prevention does not get better, which they know is unlikely while their budgets are being cut.  the rest

New HIV infections up 50 percent in gay black men

US borrowing tops 100% of GDP

posted August 4, 2011

US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country's spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium. the rest

U.S. eats up most of debt limit in one day

Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July

Obama’s Seven Deadly Sins

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Obamacare's most frightening consequences.

posted August 3, 2011

Forces violation of Christian conscience

(Thanks to Georgia for compiling these! -PD)

The Misguided Birth-Control Crusade Continues

August 2, 2011
By Greg Pfundstein

Yesterday’s determination by Kathleen Sebelius’s Department of Health and Human Services that all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as sterilization, are preventative care and should therefore be covered without co-payment or deductible by all insurance plans follows on the heels of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to that effect two weeks ago. It is a decision that vastly expands the federal government’s commitment to promoting the avoidance of pregnancy as a public-policy priority. The government makes this move in the teeth of a mountain of evidence suggesting that its efforts in this regard have been thoroughly counterproductive over the course of the last 30 years.

President Johnson’s fruitless War on Poverty kicked off the nation’s misguided birth-control crusade with grants for “family planning” in 1965. The effort was redoubled in 1970 when, thanks to the efforts of John D. Rockefeller III and George H. W. Bush, Title X of the Public Health Service Act was signed into law by Richard Nixon the day after Christmas. Since 1970, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has tripled to 41 percent. With the help of the Supreme Court with its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, we have also seen the number of abortions spike through the 1980s and reach an equilibrium today at between 1.2 and 1.3 million annually. Both results are at least unexpected from the perspective of a public policy based on the premise that access to contraception will decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies. the rest
While the HHS regulations allows exemptions for institutions whose primary objective is the propagation of religious faith and which are not-for-profit corporations, there are no exceptions made for religious providers of health care or social services, or for individuals of religious faith or philosophical conviction who, as business owners, wish not to provide coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices to their employees, or who, as individuals, purchase insurance independently, and do not wish to contribute to the provision of contraceptives to others. Are the concerns of these individuals of no consequence? Are they to be compelled to act against their conscience? Will not this be yet another incentive for some small businesses to cease offering health insurance to their employees?

ObamaCare's Most Frightening Consequence: Not Enough Doctors

by John Rossomando

ObamaCare’s defenders promised the law would increase patient access to care, but a closer look shows that increased regulations combined with higher demand for health services could cause many physicians to give up practicing medicine.

“You are seeing a change that I haven’t seen in my over 30 years in the practice of medicine,” said Tennessee GOP Rep. Phil Roe, who worked as an OB/GYN before getting into politics. “I think what you are going to see is people going in to see a nurse practitioner, not a medical doctor, as has been the case for decades.”

According to Roe, Medicare will pay doctors less than Medicaid by 2020 should ObamaCare remain in place, which means that doctor who runs a solo practice with three employees and who grosses $300,000 could see a 30% cut in his reimbursements.

Doctor who use approximately half of their gross receipts on paying overhead costs would still have to do so even when their reimbursements are cut. the rest
A November 2010 Physicians Foundation Survey underscored this when it found that 56% of doctors it surveyed anticipate the health care law will diminish the quality of care they can give their patients. A further 40% of physicians said they planned to retire, seek a nonclinical job in the health care field or leave the medical profession altogether.

One Christian's Reflections on the Tragedy in Norway

By The Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi
August 03, 2011

Mr. Breivik is not a Christian—by his own admission. He has said that he does not believe in the Christian faith nor does he attend a Christian church. He does not even consider himself religious. He is, in fact, part of the great secular wave of Europe—people who combine an ardent secularism and a deep nihilism with a fascination for folk tales and cultural myths—in Mr. Breivik's case, the Vikings and Knights Templar. This combination is more about paganism than Christianity, more about secular folk religion than the religion of Jesus.

To put it bluntly, Mr. Breivik is a racist and a bigot who upholds a Scandinavian version of a master race—an ethnocentric superiority that views foreigners, and especially Muslims, as a virus to be eliminated. Whatever else his philosophy may be, it is NOT Christian.

Nor is Mr. Breivik a fundamentalist, if one means a Christian fundamentalist. I know some Christian fundamentalists, and none would ever consider murdering innocent people. The fundamentalists I know, mainly Mennonite, take the Sermon on the Mount literally, and therefore tend to be pacifists who turn the other cheek and seek to love their enemies, even the ones who have done them harm.

In stark contrast, Mr. Breivik believes in murdering his enemies (enemies in his own mind) rather than loving them.

Moreover, fundamentalist or not, no Christian would ever engage in such savage acts of murder. After all, the Bible is plain: “You shall not kill,” which has been interpreted to mean, “You shall not murder.” In other words, the intentional killing of innocent human life is never justifiable.  the rest

A. S. Haley: Making Heresy Pay: ECUSA's Hired Expert

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In each of its multiple lawsuits against departed parishes and dioceses, ECUSA usually files a sworn statement ("affidavit" or "declaration") from Prof. Robert Bruce Mullin, who teaches at its General Theological Seminary in New York. Required discovery disclosures in some of the lawsuits have finally given opponents a handle on the degree of bias which Dr. Mullin brings to his task. Without mincing any words, let me come right to the point:
Over forty months from September 2007 through December 2010, ECUSA has paid Prof. Mullin, over and above his salary at GTS, a total of $672,020.00 in hourly fees. ECUSA has also paid to reimburse him for a further $8,487 in expenses he incurred in his researches, including travel to various locations to have his deposition taken, or to testify at trials.
Let me put that number into some perspective. It represents just over one percent of the $60 million ECUSA has borrowed against its headquarters at 815 Second Avenue in order to stay in business.

There are a number of subsidiary facts revealed by the discovery which are almost as amazing as the accumulated totals themselves:
  • Dr. Mullin has billed ECUSA for over 3,500 hours of work, although no precise total can be stated because he frequently makes errors in totalling his bills, which ECUSA catches only haphazardly.

  • Of his total hours, nearly 40%, or some 1,300 hours alone, has been for research on what he calls just "hierarchy" in his billing statements. (His statements are not detailed as to the work done on any given day. A typical entry will read just "2/04 6h30m hierarchy".)
the rest

The Munchausen President

The Lonely ConservativeAugust 2, 2011

After listening to President Obama speak about the Debt Deal, my mother-in-law sent me and email comparing President Obama to mothers with Munchausen Sydrome by Proxy. Women who suffer from it, or more accurately, whose children suffer under it, do things to make their children sick so they can take them for treatment and dote on them. It’s really pretty twisted and tragic.
The government-run Med Line Plus explains:
The mother may fake symptoms of illness in her child by adding blood to the child’s urine or stool, withholding food, falsifying fevers, secretly giving the child drugs to make the child throw up or have diarrhea, or using other tricks, such as infecting intravenous (given through a vein) lines to make the child appear or become ill.
These children are often hospitalized with groups of symptoms that don’t quite fit any known disease. Frequently, the children are made to suffer through unnecessary tests, surgeries, or other uncomfortable procedures.
The parent is usually very helpful in the hospital setting and is often appreciated by the nursing staff for the care she gives her child. She is often seen as devoted and self-sacrificing, which can make medical professionals unlikely to suspect the diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Her frequent visits unfortunately also make the child accessible to her so that she can induce further symptoms. Changes in the child’s condition are almost never witnessed by hospital staff and almost always occur only in the mother’s presence.
Munchausen syndrome occurs because of psychological problems in the adult, and is generally an attention-seeking behavior. The syndrome can be life-threatening for the child involved.
Okay, one can argue that all politicians have Munchausen. But Obama and the Democrats are the masters. They create crises, then turn around and make all sorts of noise, and garner all sorts of attention, telling us how much they care, and what they will do to make it all better. Like I said, it’s pretty twisted. the rest

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Faith-Based Groups Fear Gay Adoption Penalties

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Recent legislation recognizing same-sex couples in New York and Illinois has reignited the debate over gay adoption.

Many fear faith-based adoption agencies could lose federal funding if they refuse to allow adoption to same-sex couples.

The "Every Child Deserves a Family Act" was first introduced in the House 2009 in support of gay adoption. Now, more than 50 members of the Congress have signed on to the legislation.

The bill would deny funding and licensing to any agency that discriminates based on a couple's "sexual orientation, gender, or marital status." the rest

Obama Administration Mandates Catholic Agencies Cover Early Abortion Drugs and Education

–Leftist Catholics Mum or Supportive
by Matt Bowman
posted August 2, 2011

Today the Obama administration’s pro-abortion HHS Department mandated, as expected, that most employers including most Catholic agencies cover early abortion drugs like “ella” which acts after implantation, and also other abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception. It even forces Christian and pro-life groups to pay for “counseling” in favor of such anti-life activities, even if their mission is to oppose those same ideas. Of course, any Catholic trying to conduct his business with moral integrity will also be forced to cover such embryo-killing and anti-fertility “care” in health insurance.

The administration included a phony “conscience” exception that is so narrow and contradictory that it includes very few pro-life or Catholic agencies, schools, hospitals or the like. Christian social service providers and advocacy organizations by their very nature seek to serve all of society. But the “exception” doesn’t apply to you unless you primarily serve people with your religious beliefs. The Obama administration is forcing entities who serve the poor to kick non-Catholics out on the street if they don’t want to pay for embryo-killing. The Obama administration is forcing Catholic health providers to refuse life-saving treatments to Jews if they don’t want to pay to kill embryos. The Obama administration is forcing Catholic schools educational groups to preach only to the choir and not admit non-Catholics if they don’t want to pay to kill embryos.   the rest

Obama Sends Greetings to Muslims for Ramadan

Monday, August 1st, 2011

President Barack Obama has sent his greetings to Muslims around the world for Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar.

In a statement Monday, the president said Ramadan is a time for deep reflection and sacrifice, and that it also draws families and communities together for prayers and iftars — shared meals that break the daybreak-to-sunset fast.

Mr. Obama wished Muslims a “blessed month” and said he looks forward to hosting an iftar dinner at the White House. the rest

Reminds me of this:
Obama forgoes Easter greeting, but celebrates Muslim holidays

The case against same sex marriage

Whose rights do we value most: those of children or of homosexual adults?
Margaret Somerville
Thursday, 28 July 2011

Many people who oppose extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples do so on religious grounds or because of moral objections to homosexuality. In contrast, my arguments are secularly based and, to the extent that they involve morals and values, they are grounded in ethics, not religion.

Moreover, I oppose discrimination on basis of sexual orientation and believe that civil partnerships, open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, are the most ethical compromise in terms of balancing respect for children’s rights and fulfilling adults’ claims to mutually protect each other, for instance, with respect to inheritance, property rights and so on. Legally recognizing civil partnerships, as has been done, for example, in France and the United Kingdom, also neutralizes any claim – although, as I explain below, I do not agree it is a valid one - that legalizing same-sex marriage is necessary to avoid discrimination. That said, I continue to believe that, in order to maintain respect for children’s human rights, the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman should not be changed to include same-sex couples.

In other words, I am against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and against legalizing same-sex marriage. This is a position that same-sex marriage advocates refuse to acknowledge is possible. One of their strategies for promoting same-sex marriage is to allow only two possibilities: one is either for same-sex marriage and against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or against same-sex marriage and, thereby, necessarily for such discrimination.

My reasons for opposition go to the nature of marriage as the societal institution that institutionalizes, symbolizes and protects the inherently reproductive human relationship which exists between a man and a woman, and, in doing so, establishes children’s human rights with respect to their biological origins and the family structure in which they are reared.

Ethical reasons to give priority to children’s rights over homosexual adults’ claims include that children are the more vulnerable persons and ethics demands that decision making is based on a presumption in favour of the most vulnerable; they cannot give their informed consent to participation in the unprecedented social experiment that same-sex marriage would constitute; and we cannot establish children’s “anticipated consent”, that is, we cannot reasonably assume they would consent to the mode of their coming-into being or family structure, when their conception is other than between a man and a woman. the rest

“Showdown: 4,000 families threaten to leave Toronto Catholic schools over gay equity policy”

Obama admin to mandate contraceptive, sterilization coverage under health care law

by Kathleen Gilbert
Mon Aug 01, 2011

( - Following recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Obama administration announced this morning that insurance plans will be required to cover contraceptives, which include abortion-inducing drugs such as Plan B and Ella, as well as elective sterilizations.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a news release included the drugs as part of an essential “preventive care” package. “Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” she said.

The HHS release notes that “contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” are to be covered, while CNN notes that the preventive mandate will include sterilizations.  the rest

Monday, August 01, 2011

Signs of failure emerging in Obama's poll numbers

By Hugh Hewitt 
Examiner Columnist

Gallup is the gold standard when it comes to approval ratings for presidents, so last week's assessment by the polling company of the president's standing in the public surely shocked the Obama loyalists who thought that the battle over the debt ceiling had allowed their guy to shine.

Certainly he had every chance to make his case to the public, with press conference after press conference and a prime-time speech to boot.

The president wasn't pushed hard by his pals in the press room in the Q&A, and the coverage of the crisis was almost absurdly pro-Obama. But still his numbers plummeted to the lowest level of his rapidly collapsing presidency. the rest

Dehydrating the Cognitively Disabled To Death–The Never Ending Road

Saturday, July 30, 2011
Wesley J. Smith

We dehydrate profound cognitively disabled people to death in the USA–a death that comes slowly over about a two week period, often resultin in tissue cracking and even bleeding. We dress it up in nice clothes by claiming we are merely withdrawing unwanted medical treatment. But when the treatment is basic sustenance, not only are we intentionally causing death, but symbolically, we are saying that the dehydrated person’s life is so unworthy of being lived, we won’t even give them proper food or water.

This approach to severe cognitive disability started with people diagnosed as persistently unconscious, known officially by the pejoratively worded, persistent vegetative state. (No human being is a carrot.) At first, we were assured that such dehydration deaths would be limited to people who are completely unaware, the idea being that there would be no suffering caused. But even if the advocates for dehydration believed their own arguments, it would never stay that way. Humans are logical: Once we agree that medical treatment can be withdrawn–which I support–and that tube-supplied food and water is just another medical treatment like any other–which I don’t support, it should be in its own category–then at some point, it was only a matter of time for actual lack of awareness to have nothing to do with it. the rest
All of this is softening us up for the time we will just lethally inject them.

Opposing the Health Law, Florida Refuses Millions

July 31, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — When it comes to pursuing federal largess, most of the states that oppose the 2010 health care law have refused to let either principle or politics block their paths to the trough. If Washington is doling out dollars, Republican governors and legislators typically figure they might as well get their share.

Then there is Florida. Despite having the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, its second-highest rate of people without insurance and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year, the state has turned away scores of millions of dollars in grants made available under the Affordable Care Act. And it is not pursuing grants worth many millions more.

In recent months, either Gov. Rick Scott’s administration or the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes, curbing child abuse through in-home counseling and strengthening state regulation of health premiums. They have shunned money to help sign up eligible recipients for Medicare, educate teenagers on preventing pregnancy and plan for the health insurance exchanges that the law requires by 2014.  the rest