Saturday, August 13, 2011

Anglican church assumes central role in new diocese

August 13, 2011

When members of St. Bartholomew’s Church in the Town of Tonawanda decided in 2008 to leave the Episcopal Church, they didn’t know for sure where they fit in the larger structure of Anglicanism.

Less than three years later, the parish has become a pivotal congregation within the Anglican Church in North America, a rival to the Episcopal Church that grew from a rift between theological conservatives and liberal Episcopalians over Bible interpretation and the ordination of a gay bishop.

This week, the congregation served as host for a conference of the International Diocese, the new diocese to which it belongs as part of the Anglican Church in North America.

Friday, Bishop Bill Atwood dedicated St. Bartholomew as the diocese’s pro-cathedral, giving the church special significance as the site of the bishop’s chair.

Atwood cited the church’s role as a stabilizing force in organizing the new diocese, which includes congregations in Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, as well as New York State.

“The people here are magnificent,” Atwood said. “It’s a resource place with great people.” the rest

Obama's Iftar guest list omitted attendees with links to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood

August 12, 2011 

But they were there. ISNA has admitted ties to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. "Obama’s Iftar guest list omits controversial attendees," by Neil Munro in the Daily Caller, August 11 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The White House’s published guest list for this year’s Ramadan Iftar dinner was much shorter than previous years’ roster. It excluded the names of several controversial advocates who have attended the event in the past, including some who The Daily Caller can confirm did attend on Wednesday night.

“It was a squeaky clean list,” said Durriya Badani, director of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, an annual event organized by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center and the Qatari government. The guests on the published list are “not controversial at all,” said Badani, whose name is on the list the White House provided to reporters.

“It was a lot more low-key … It was a more intimate event this year,” said Haris Tarin, the Washington director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, whose invitation was kept off the published list. “I have no idea why they didn’t publish [MPAC’s invite] … I’m going to learn about that a little bit more,” he told The Daily Caller.
 the rest

Arab expert: Regime change in Syria will be bad for Christians

By David Kerr
Rome, Italy
Aug 5, 2011

 (CNA).- One of Rome’s leading experts on Christianity in the Arab world says the fall of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria would create a worrying future for Christians in the country.

“If the rebels succeed Syria will become an Islamic country,” said Naman Tarcha, Director of the Bocca della Verita Cultural Center in Rome, to CNA on Aug. 5. The center exists to promote Arab art and culture, particularly that of Arab Christianity.

“Western television seems to suggest that this is a pacifistic revolution but most Christian Syrians know that’s not the case. They see the armed gangs gathering outside the mosque after Friday prayers particularly in cities like Hama,” said Tarcha who himself hails from the city of Aleppo in northern Syria.

His comments come only a day after U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, accused Syrian security forces of having killed some 2,000 people since the anti-government protests against President Assad began in March. She also restated her belief that the Assad regime has lost legitimately. the rest

A 'Christian' Europe Without Christianity

By David Gibson
Religion News Service
posted August 13, 2011

(RNS) Does European Christendom need Christianity to survive?

It may seen an odd question for a religious culture that once stretched from Britain to the Bosphorus, born of a deep and diffuse faith that inspired great cathedrals and monasteries and filled them with believers for centuries.

But when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik killed 77 people in a horrific rampage in Norway last month, he highlighted a novel development in the history of the West: a burgeoning alliance between believers and nonbelievers to promote Europe's Christian identity.

"European Christendom and the cross will be the symbol in which every cultural conservative can unite under in our common defense," Breivik wrote in his rambling 1,500-page manifesto. "It should serve as the uniting symbol for all Europeans whether they are agnostic or atheists." the rest

Evangelical Football Star Tim Tebow Targeted for His Faith?

Sat, Aug. 13 2011
By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post Contributor

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has come under attack from sports analysts for being vocal about the role his Christian faith plays in his National Football League career.

Before his second professional season has even begun, naysayers are questioning his confidence that relies on his Christian beliefs. national columnist Gregg Doyel recently analyzed Tebow’s interview with Denver Post and said the way he equated his love for God in heaven with tangible rewards on earth amounted to blasphemy. The interview was prompted by reports that Tebow might not begin the season as Denver’s starting quarterback. the rest

Anglican Perspective: God's Defense

Week of August 10, 2011

Anglican Unscripted for August 12th, 2011

Kevin and George take you back to 2003 and the ultimate challenge for the Anglican Communion. They also discuss the London Riots and Potter-mania. Our guest Bishop this week is Archbishop Duncan who brings Kevin up to speed on the new Ordinal for the Anglican Church in North America.

Hungary bans Anglicans

August 12, 2011by George Conger

Hungary has introduced a new law governing the registration of religious groups that critics charge discriminates against minority faiths, and strips St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Budapest of its status as a religious organisation.

On 14 July the Hungarian Parliament adopted “The Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Status of Churches, Religions and Religious Communities” Law, by a vote of 254 in favour to 43 opposed.

Introduced on 10 June in Parliament, the proposed legislation would have created three tiers of religious groups, with differing authorities to conduct worship and engage in charitable activities under Hungarian law. Human Rights activists, NGOs and a number of religious leaders objected, arguing, in the words of the Washington think-tank, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, the bill gave Hungary “a tiered system offering an inferior religious status to minority faiths that violates the right to religious freedom and the right to be free from religious discrimination.”

On 12 July the governing Fidesz party with their coalition allies the Christian Democrats amended the bill, eliminating the tier system and recognising 14 religious organisations as Churches. Hungary’s 348 other faiths and denominations were stripped of their legal status as religious organisations and lost their tax exempt status and entitlements to state subsidies. the rest
The 14 denominations that were allowed to retain their registration were the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Lutherans, the Calvinists, select Jewish denominations, the Hungarian Unitarians, the Baptists and the Faith Church.

Among those losing recognition were Hungary’s Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Adventist and reform Jewish congregations, the Salvation Army and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu groups.

Mark Steyn: The New Britannia

Big Government corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically.
August 13, 2011

Here’s another line from my book:

“In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”

Her Majesty’s cowed and craven politically correct constabulary stand around with their riot shields and Robocop gear as young rioters lob concrete through store windows to steal the electronic toys that provide their only non-narcotic or alcoholic amusement. I chanced to be in Piccadilly for the springtime riots when the police failed to stop the mob from smashing the windows of the Ritz and other upscale emporia, so it goes without saying that they wouldn’t lift a finger to protect less prestigious private property from thugs. Some of whom are as young as nine years old. And girls.

Yet a police force all but entirely useless when it comes to preventing crime or maintaining public order has time to police everything else. When Sam Brown observed en passant to a mounted policeman on Cornmarket Street in Oxford, “Do you know your horse is gay?”, he was surrounded within minutes by six officers and a fleet of patrol cars, handcuffed, tossed in the slammer overnight, and fined 80 pounds. Mr. Brown’s “homophobic comments,” explained a spokesmoron for Thames Valley Police, were “not only offensive to the policeman and his horse, but any members of the general public in the area.” The zealous crackdown on Sam Brown’s hippohomophobia has not been replicated in the present disturbances. Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the last two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid.

This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the British welfare regime in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want” to be accomplished by “co-operation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from life’s vicissitudes, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. As I write in my book: “Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity.” The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays, and Muslims. From page 204:

“For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population”. the rest
image by Laura Chamberlain

Friday, August 12, 2011

San Diego attorney pleads guilty in 'baby-selling ring'

August 9, 2011
A prominent San Diego attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to being part of what U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy labeled a "baby-selling ring."

Theresa Erickson, a lawyer specializing in reproductive law, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for allegedly transmitting phony documents to deceive both the San Diego County Superior Court and couples seeking to become parents. Two other people in the alleged ring have also pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, Erickson hired women in San Diego to go to Ukraine to be implanted with embryos created from the sperm and eggs of donors. the rest

Girl in Uganda Loses Use of Legs after Leaving Islam for Christ

Muslim father locked 14-year-old in room with almost no food or water for months.
August 11

(CDN) — A 14-year-old girl in western Uganda is still unable to walk 10 months after her father tortured her for leaving Islam and putting her faith in Christ, according to area Christians.

Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese district, has been hospitalized at Kagando Hospital since October 2010 after neighbors with police help rescued her from her father, Beya Baluku. He was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released, sources said.

Susan and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father after he divorced their mother. In March 2010 an evangelist from Bwera Full Gospel Church spoke at Susan’s school, and she decided to trust Christ for her salvation. the rest
“I heard the message of Christ’s great love of him dying for us to get everlasting peace, and there and then I decided to believe in Christ,” she said from her hospital bed. “After a month, news reached my father that I had converted to Christianity, and that was the beginning of my troubles with him. Our father warned us not to attend church or listen to the gospel message. He even threatened us with a sharp knife that he was ready to kill us in broad daylight in case we converted to Christianity.”

China probes complaints of aphrodisiac pills made from dead babies

by Kathleen Gilbert
Wed Aug 10, 2011

( - Chinese health officials are investigating a report that an unnamed hospital there is selling pills containing the ground-up corpses of babies as an aphrodisiac.

An investigation by South Korea’s SBS TV claimed that a hospital in China sells dead infants and their placenta to a factory that grinds up the corpses, places the material in pill capsules, and sells them to South Korea. The pills are described in South Korean media as “man pills,” or aphrodisiacs.

The SBS TV crew said they purchased the pills and sent one to South Korea’s National Forensic Service, where it was found to contain material that matched human DNA 99.7 percent. Experts reportedly found bits of hair in the capsules, and could even determine the child’s gender.
the rest

Yield to silence and God in front of nature and monasteries, pope says

Silence and the beauty of creation are conditions that “point to meditation and God,” Benedict XVI said in today’s general audience in Castel Gandolfo. From a spiritual perspective, such places “are a basic structure of the world.” Many Spanish-speaking pilgrims will travel with the Pontiff to Madrid for World Youth Day next week.

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI has urged Catholics to visit monasteries and hermitages and yield to silence and the contemplation of nature. The “beauty of creation” and “silence” are conditions that “point to meditation and God”. For him, the “soul, thanks to God, also has its needs”. Thus, “the fact of letting oneself be filled by silence, tasting it, predisposes to prayer”. Prophet Elijah is an example, the pontiff noted. Faced with earthquakes, the wind and fire, Elijah did not hear the voice of God. Instead, he “recognised it in a light breeze”. Hence, “we must learn how to listen” to the Lord, the pope explained.

Monasteries were born within the Christian tradition for this reason. The “places where God speaks are a closed space that is open to heaven,” the theologian pope said. “Silence and the beauty of the places where a monastic community lives reflect the spiritual harmony men try to create,” he added. “From a spiritual point of view, such places of the spirit are a basic structure of the world.” It is not an accident that during the summer and times of rest, “many people visit monasteries”, hermitages, convents founded by great saints “in particularly beautiful places, in valleys, mountains and even on small islands.” the rest

Anglicans find a home in Old Torrance

By Melissa EvansStaff Writer

Four years ago, a small group of former Episcopalians - disheartened with the denomination - huddled in a Torrance living room for church services led by a Nigerian priest.

After the ordination of a gay bishop in 2003, these and other conservative members left the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the historic Anglican Communion. They formed their own churches aligned with Anglican dioceses in Africa that shared their views on biblical teaching.

Now, as the organizational structure of this fledgling Anglican body in the United States takes shape, the local congregations are planting roots in local communities and hiring American priests.

This Sunday, the local Anglican church, Christ Our Savior, will hold services in its first permanent home in Old Torrance. The Rev. Dale Smith, a former Episcopal priest from South Pasadena, has led the church for more than a year. the rest

Wieliczka Salt Mine-An Astounding Subterranean Salt Cathedral

posted August 12, 2011

Deep underground in Poland lies something remarkable but little known outside Eastern Europe. For centuries, miners have extracted salt there, but left behind things quite startling and unique. Take a look at the most unusual salt mine in the world. the rest/more pictures!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Willow Creek pastor clarifies stance on gays

Statement follows cancellation of Starbucks CEO speech at conferenceBy Manya A. Brachear
 August 11, 2011

Amid accusations that Willow Creek Community Church promotes an “anti-gay agenda,” the Rev. Bill Hybels today tried to clear the air by clarifying the church’s views on homosexuality.

“We challenge homosexuals and heterosexuals to live out the sexual ethics taught in Scriptures, which encourage sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage,” said Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek. He added that the Bible prescribes “sexual abstinence and purity for everyone else.”

This week, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Co., canceled his scheduled appearance after a petition posted at asked him to denounce Willow’s views about homosexuality before speaking there.

Earlier this summer, the coffee company clarified that it had “zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind” after an openly gay East Coast barista said he was berated and fired for discussing his personal life.  the rest

Britain's liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value

By Melanie Phillips
 11th August 2011

So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.

The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.

Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age. the rest image
What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies.

The riots remind us that polygamous societies are naturally violent
...When we discuss “fatherlessness” in urban areas what we are talking about, effectively, is polygamy. And countless studies have shown that, the more polygamous a society, the more aggressive its males. Polygamous hunter-gather societies are absurdly violent...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Criminal Group ACORN Awaits Sentencing in Massive Voter Fraud Conspiracy

by Matthew Vadum
posted 8/10/11

After pleading guilty to voter fraud in Las Vegas in April, ACORN will be sentenced Wednesday for participating in a massive conspiracy.

The organized crime syndicate, which used to employ President Obama, may be fined as little as $1,000. Because ACORN, the shell corporation that ran the corrupt ACORN network, is in bankruptcy, it may end up paying nothing at all.

ACORN was convicted of felony-level unlawful compensation for registration of voters. With the full knowledge of upper management, ACORN illegally offered cash bonuses to its voter registration canvassers in a scheme called “Blackjack.” Canvassers received extra money if they hit the magic number of 21 registrations in a day.

Senior ACORN executives Amy Adele Busefink and Christopher Howell Edwards were also convicted for their roles in the scheme. ACORN cared so little about the conspiracy that its voter fraud division, Project Vote, put Busefink in charge of the group’s national get-out-the-vote drive in 2010 while she was under indictment in Nevada. the rest

Documents: ACORN and Project Vote Activity Led to Dramatic Increase in Invalid Colorado Voter Registrations for 2008 and 2010

Ignorance, Stupidity or Connivance?

Walter E. Williams 8/10/11

President Barack Obama has called for a luxury tax on corporate jets as a means to generate revenue to fight federal deficits. The president's economic advisers ought to be fired for not telling him that doing so is unwise and counterproductive. They might have already told him so, only to have the president say, "Look, I know you're right, but I'm exploiting the public's envy of the rich!" Let's look at what happened when Obama's predecessor George H.W. Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and broke his "read my lips" vow not to agree to new taxes.

When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. What actually happened is laid out in a Heartland Institute blog post by Edmund Contoski titled "Economically illiterate Obama, re: Corporate Jets" (7/12/2011).

Within eight months after the change in the law took effect, Viking Yachts, the largest U.S. yacht manufacturer, laid off 1,140 of its 1,400 employees and closed one of its two manufacturing plants. Before it was all over, Viking Yachts was down to 68 employees. In the first year, one-third of U.S. yacht-building companies stopped production, and according to a report by the congressional Joint Economic Committee, the industry lost 7,600 jobs. When it was over, 25,000 workers had lost their jobs building yachts, and 75,000 more jobs were lost in companies that supplied yacht parts and material. Ocean Yachts trimmed its workforce from 350 to 50. Egg Harbor Yachts went from 200 employees to five and later filed for bankruptcy. The U.S., which had been a net exporter of yachts, became a net importer as U.S. companies closed. Jobs shifted to companies in Europe and the Bahamas. The U.S. Treasury collected zero revenue from the sales driven overseas. the rest
Back then, Congress told us that the luxury tax on boats, aircraft and jewelry would raise $31 million in revenue a year. Instead, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing and 1,470 in the aircraft industry, in addition to the thousands destroyed in the yacht industry. Those job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues.

John Stott Memorial Service Sermon by Rev. Canon Dr. J. I. Packer

Found at Anglican1000

Obama to host third Ramadan dinner

By MJ LEE 08/10/11

President Obama will host an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan at the White House Wednesday evening.

Controversy had surrounded last year’s Ramadan dinner at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. – the second one hosted by Obama – when the president expressed his support for a plan to build a mosque near ground zero in New York City.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country,” Obama had said to applause in the room. “And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America.” the rest

The Modern Roman Colosseum: Euthanasia as a Spectator Sport

Rachel Alexander   8/8/2011

Last month, Nikolai Ivanisovich, a 62-year old Russian man with brain cancer, sold the rights to broadcast his euthanasia to, a 24/7 reality TV website. The proceeds were reportedly enough to take care of his surviving family. In June, BBC2 broadcast a documentary showing the suicide of terminally ill Peter Smedley, including his pitiful cries for water that were refused by the doctor.

A disturbing trend has developed over the last few years of broadcasting the suicides of the weak and elderly in society for entertainment. Much of it is due to the glamorization of assisted suicide by a Swiss suicide clinic known as Dignitas. London’s Sky TV broadcast one of the first assisted suicides on TV at Dignitas in 2008 in the documentary “Right to Die?” Located in the beautiful mountains of Zurich, with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony playing in the background at the patient’s request, the clinic provided a false picture of what assisted suicide is really about. In contrast, the BBC2 documentary “Choosing to Die” purposely left out the details of a second terminally ill suicide performed at Dignitas, because the patient took 90 minutes to die, prompting the staff to instruct his mother not to hug him because it was prolonging his life. Euthanasia proponents selectively choose what to show in order to mislead the public. the rest

OHIO: Episcopal Churches split

Splits in Episcopal Church -- both within and from the Diocese -- could predict the future for other denominations
August 02, 2011

Christ Church Episcopal in Hudson split in half 8 years ago when parishioners disagreed on the ramifications of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson's consecration.

Splits within the Episcopal Church continue to play out in Northeast Ohio - in the pews and in the courtroom. And that may forecast what will happen with other denominational churches as theological differences play out. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports on different paths some churches are choosing.

For Christ Church in Hudson, the split came from within. Half the congregation left in 2003 after an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, was ordained in New Hampshire. They set up a new church across town, Holy Trinity Anglican. At the same time, entire congregations of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Akron and St. Luke's in Fairlawn left the Diocese of Ohio. The pastor of St. Luke's, Mike Kraynak says Robinson's ordination was one of several concerns.

"One thing I believe is really tragic is the gay community gets blamed sometimes because it makes headlines -- that this separation is about homosexuality. Our decision to leave the Episcopal Church was really a result of several decades of drifting apart of theological understandings, such as the divinity of Christ, or the nature of salvation..."

The split meant moving St. Luke's spiritual affiliation across the world, first to the Anglican Church of Bolivia, then to Nigeria and eventually to the newly formed Anglican Church of North America.But it wasn't until the breakaways tried to transfer buildings and property as well that the Diocese sued. And now a Cuyahoga County judge has decided -- at least when it comes to the Episcopal church in Ohio - what was in the Diocese stays in the Diocese. the rest

The Priest-Physicist Who Would Marry Science to Religion

John Polkinghorne leads a disparate group of scientists the 
controversial search 
for God 
quantum physics.
by Zeeya Merali
published online July 14, 2011

When he describes his line of work, John Polkinghorne jests, he encounters “more suspicion than a vegetarian butcher.” For the particle physicist turned Anglican priest, dissonance comes with the territory. Science parses the concrete: the structure of the atom and the workings of the brain. Religion confronts the intangible: questions about ethics and the purpose of life. Taken literally, the biblical story of Genesis contradicts modern cosmology and evolutionary biology in full.

Yet 21 years ago, in a move that made many eyes roll, Polkinghorne began working to unite the two sides by seeking a mechanism that would explain how God might act in the physical world. Now that work has met its day of reckoning. At a series of meetings at Oxford University last July and September, timed to celebrate Polkinghorne’s 80th birthday, physicists and theologians presented their answers to the questions he has so relentlessly pursued. Do any physical theories allow room for God to influence human actions and events? And, more controversially, is there any concrete evidence of God’s hand at work in the physical world? the rest
Polkinghorne’s dual identity emerged early. He grew up in a devout Christian family but was always drawn to science, and in graduate school he became a particle physicist because, he explains modestly, he was also “quite good at mathematics.” His scientific pedigree is none too shabby. He worked with Nobel laureate Abdus Salam while earning a doctorate in theoretical physics from Cambridge University, where he later held a professorial chair. One of his students, Brian Josephson, went on to win a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973. Polkinghorne himself joined Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann in research that led to the discovery of the quark, the building block of atoms. But in 1979, after 25 years in the trenches, Polkinghorne decided that his best days in physics were behind him. “I felt I had done my bit for the subject, and I’d go do something else,” he says. That is when he left his academic position to be ordained.

Albert Mohler: Evangelicals and the Gay Moral Revolution

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Christian church has faced no shortage of challenges in its 2,000-year history. But now it’s facing a challenge that is shaking its foundations: homosexuality.

To many onlookers, this seems strange or even tragic. Why can’t Christians just join the revolution?

And make no mistake, it is a moral revolution. As philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University demonstrated in his recent book, “The Honor Code,” moral revolutions generally happen over a long period of time. But this is hardly the case with the shift we’ve witnessed on the question of homosexuality.

In less than a single generation, homosexuality has gone from something almost universally understood to be sinful, to something now declared to be the moral equivalent of heterosexuality—and deserving of both legal protection and public encouragement. Theo Hobson, a British theologian, has argued that this is not just the waning of a taboo. Instead, it is a moral inversion that has left those holding the old morality now accused of nothing less than “moral deficiency.”
the rest image by Michael Price
The liberal churches and denominations have an easy way out of this predicament. They simply accommodate themselves to the new moral reality. By now the pattern is clear: These churches debate the issue, with conservatives arguing to retain the older morality and liberals arguing that the church must adapt to the new one. Eventually, the liberals win and the conservatives lose. Next, the denomination ordains openly gay candidates or decides to bless same-sex unions.

In court, Obama & House attorneys differ over whether kids need a mom & dad

Aug 9, 2011
by Michael Foust

WASHINGTON (BP)--In remarkably different court filings that highlight America's cultural divide on marriage's definition, the U.S. House and the Obama Justice Department have come to opposite conclusions as to whether children need a mother and a father in the home.

At issue is the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law which defines marriage in federal law as between a man and a woman and gives states the option of not recognizing another state's gay "marriages."

In its legal briefs arguing that the law should be upheld, the legal team hired by the U.S. House says DOMA, as it's often called, is naturally tied to procreation and children benefit from having both a mother and father in the home. The Justice Department has discounted the procreation argument and argued that the gender of parents does not matter.

The view that prevails at the Supreme Court -- which has yet to take up the issue -- could determine the future of gay "marriage" in America.
the rest

Dying Harry Potter actress reports “miraculous” recovery after baptism

9th August 2011

‘It was the day after her second operation when I turned to my husband Robert and said 'we have to get her baptised' said Denise.

‘At that point I really thought she was going to die and I wanted to give her the best chance in the next life.

‘We had no idea what we were doing but the hospital were brilliant and organised the whole thing for us in two days.

‘So five days after Lucy was first taken into hospital we were by her bedside saying prayers watching her about to be baptised.

‘Then the moment the priest put holy water on Lucy's head, her arm suddenly moved up. At first I thought she might be having a fit but within 24 hours she was taken off all the life support machines and tubes.

‘It could be she was recovering anyway, but the way it happened, even the nurses said it was a miracle. Full Story

Another miracle story:
 12-year-old boy alive and recovering after drowning in ocean
...By Monday, Ostrander had opened his eyes.

“The doctors just removed Dale’s breathing tube and he is now breathing on his own,” the blog reported. “Also, because of possible damage to the brain they were unsure if he would be able to speak. Minutes after the tube was removed, the doctors told him to cough. Not only did Dale talk back to the doctors, he responded in a full sentence saying, ‘I don’t have to.’ Dale continues to get better by the minute and the doctors are more and more amazed! God is good!”

“Believe me, people are praying all over the states and all over the world,” said Denise Minge, who is maintaining the family’s blog. “God is truly working a miracle! I personally think he’s showing off how powerful he is and proving that he is in control.”

On Tuesday, the boy’s mother, Kirsten Ostrander, reported on the Picture Window blog that her son is “doing miraculously well. He is improving every day, following commands, tracking with his eyes, and even talking some. Please continue to pray as he keeps fighting strong to recover. We appreciate all your prayers.”...

The Anglican and the Evangelicals: Insights from the Sudanese Genocide

By Frederick Clarkson
August 9, 2011

When evangelical activist Brad Phillips told senior members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa about what he had seen and heard during a recent trip to South Kordofan, Sudan, they called an emergency hearing.

The stories of atrocities carried out by Sudanese forces and allied militia have riveted world media attention since mass killings began in early June: house-to-house searches, summary executions, collection of bodies like trash loaded on trucks in bags, the digging and filling of mass graves, bombing of farms and villages, and chasing Nubans with attack helicopters into the Nuba mountains.

Fresh, firsthand accounts are the stuff of which great committee hearings are made.

But as compelling as the testimony was, the hearing made clear that there is no apparent solution. The hearing also brought into sharp focus the religious identities of both the perpetrators and the victims, as well as those of some of the participants in the hearing, and shed light on how those identities informed their perspectives. the rest
Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, the Anglican Bishop of Kadugli, is emerging as the catalytic figure in the public eye. Following the House hearing, he flew to New York to participate in a press conference (his first) and to press the UN Security Council to act. Andudu is unique not only because but for a medical trip to the U.S., he might now be in a mass grave in Kadugli, and not only because he is a refugee bishop, unexpectedly cast onto the international stage—but because he actually represents the people being discussed.

20 Innovative Ways Colleges Are Saving Money

posted August 10, 2011

Tuition rates at colleges and universities are skyrocketing these days. In fact, students around the world have taken to the streets to protest tuition hikes. Clearly, colleges need to find ways to cut back, and after the obvious cuts are made, what’s left? Several colleges have answered this question with innovative ideas that save money, and often have added benefits including student experience and reducing environmental waste. Read on to find out about 20 great programs that colleges have implemented to save money in innovative ways.

1. Cutting land lines
At the University of Washington, they’re cutting their land lines. The school discovered that land lines just weren’t necessary for the communications department (an appropriate department for the cut, we think). Although they kept common area land lines as well as lines for staff, department faculty no longer have their own phones, saving about $1,100 each month, and eliminating the department’s biggest line item.

2. Going trayless
Cafeteria trays lend a festive, institutional flair to school eateries, but many campuses are ditching them altogether and seeing a huge savings. Williams College has cut trays, and estimates a water savings of 14,000 gallons. And although food costs are rising, Rochester Institute of Technology has a 10% lower food bill, attributed to reduced food waste since eliminating trays. An added bonus of going trayless? Students are less likely to pack on the "freshman 15" once they have to choose food carefully instead of loading up.  the rest image

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Jesuit University punishes campus group for dismissing homosexual officer

by Jeremy Kryn Mon Aug 08, 2011

 ( - The Jesuit-run Marquette University has punished a Christian group for dismissing an officer after he revealed himself as a practicing homosexual.

Last Friday, Marquette Political science professor John McAdams blogged about the outrage of the Jesuit run Catholic university initially suspending its InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter. The suspension has now been changed to a probation.

McAdams indicated the suspension was imposed because of the chapter’s dismissal of “an officer who ‘came out’ of the closet as homosexual, said he was involved in a homosexual affair which he would continue”, and made it clear that he disagreed with the organization’s interpretation of Christian teaching about homosexuality.  the rest

Britain Burning: Riots Rattle London, Spread Across U.K.

Aug. 9, 2011

The violence and arson attacks that have rattled north London since the weekend have now moved across all parts of the capital and are spreading on a smaller scale to other British cities, the first time the recent unrest has flared outside the U.K.'s capital.

The wave of rioting now entering its third day was sparked by the shooting death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in the Tottenham section of North London on Thursday. Police have said the man had shot at them first. Angry protesters demonstrated against the fatal shooting in the multi-ethnic neighborhood on Saturday, and the march soon degenerated into chaos.

After spreading across London Monday, violence soon ignited in the British cities of Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.  the rest

Blackberry Website Hacked in Wake of London Riots

London Riots: BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter Used as Weapons
A grisly reality is emerging from the ongoing UK riots that's a broader issue of concern beyond the anarchy, forcing 16,000 police officers to the streets.

Fueled by a restless "underclass" of teenagers, London rioters spreading destruction and chaos over the course of three nights are revealing how the power of today's social media tools can be used in a damaging manner...

Notes from a sunshine funeral

“Uncle Johnnie… a ten talent man ….. stories of whom will delight us through eternity”
...August 8th, 2011
Chris Sugden

Others on this website have covered the main outlines of the funeral today of John Stott. I add a few notes and observations to add further colour.

This was of course a day of sadness and loss, particularly for some. You could hear the choke in the throat in some of those who paid tributes or gave readings.

But the overriding sense was of a gathering of friends, met to honour the grace of God in what His Honour David Turner described as “a ten talent man” who could see what others could not and also could know how to get there. the rest

Christians bid final farewell to Uncle John

A Life That Visibly Changed Others

Researchers: Obamacare cost estimates hide up to $50 billion per year

By Neil Munro

Federal payments required by President Barack Obama’s health care law are being understated by as much as $50 billion per year because official budget forecasts ignore the cost of insuring many employees’ spouses and children, according to a new analysis. The result could cost the U.S. Treasury hundreds of billions of dollars during the first ten years of the new health care law’s implementation.

“The Congressional Budget Office has never done a cost-estimate of this [because] they were expressly told to do their modeling on single [person] coverage,” said Richard Burkhauser in a telephone interview Monday. Burkhauser is an economist who teaches in Cornell University’s department of policy analysis and management. On Monday the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper on the subject that Burkhauser co-authored with colleagues from Cornell and Indiana University.

Employees and employers can use the rules to their own advantage, he said. “A very large number of workers” will be able to apply for federal subsidies, “dramatically increasing the cost” of the law, he said.
the rest

Atheist clergy in Dutch churches

August 6th, 2011

According to a recent news report, one in six clergy in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) and six other denominations is either an atheist or agnostic.

Klaas Hendrikse, who leads a PNK church in Gorinchem, wrote a book called Believing in a Non-Existent God which prompted the denomination to consider removing him.

However, having found that his views were so widely shared amongst clergy in the denomination they decided not to single him out.

In an interview with a BBC reporter, Mr Hendrikse said that "Personally I have no talent for believing in life after death." the rest

Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world

Kids see sex on TV, not the web

Baptist Press
Aug 8, 2011

A new study has a bit of good news and lots of bad news for parents worried that their children are being exposed to sex online.

The good news? Most kids say they aren't exposed to a lot of sexual material on the Internet.

The bad news? Most kids say the opposite about television and music.

As reported in USA Today, between 16 and 25 percent of children say they are exposed to sexual material on the Internet, while 75 percent say they are exposed to it on TV and 69 percent in their music. The data is from a study that will be published in the journal Pediatrics. The director of the study, Michele Ybarra of Internet Solutions for Kids, is conducting a longitudinal study, following a group of about 1,500 kids for six years. the rest

A friend request from the womb? Unborn babies now on Facebook

by Jeremy Kryn
Mon Aug 08, 2011

( – Although they might not know it just yet, the unborn children of Internet-savvy parents across the world are about to get a lot of friend requests.

The developers at Facebook have launched a feature that allows expectant parents to add their unborn child to the “Friends and Family” section of their profiles.

As of July 27, Users of the popular social networking site can now select “Expected: Child” from a drop-down menu of family members.

Sharing the due date is optional with the new functionality, which also publishes an update to the news feed informing parents’ friends of the change in status. the rest image

Selling Organs To Pay For Tuition Stirs Ethical Debate

Aug 8, 2011
by Matt McKinney

London, England -- A debate is raging in the United Kingdom over the prospect of allowing students to sell organs for tuition money.

"We allow them to burden themselves with these debts" to attend college, Dined University's Sue Rabbitt Roff wrote in an article published in the British Medical Journal. "Why can't we allow them to do a very kind and generous thing but also meet their own needs?"

Roff is insisting that a ban on selling the organs be overturned. She figures student could get around $46,000 per kidney, roughly the average annual income in the country. the rest

Monday, August 08, 2011

Devotional: If worship is right...

If worship is right because God is worthy of it, it is also the best of all antidotes to our own self-centredness, the most effective way to "disinfect us of egotism," as one writer put it long ago. In true worship we turn the searchlight of our mind and heart upon God and temporarily forget about our troublesome and usually intrusive selves. We marvel at the beauties and intricacies of God's creation. We "survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died." We are taken up with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...Because we are normally so turned in on ourselves, we will not find this easy. But we have to persevere, since nothing is more right or more important. ...John R. W. Stott
 image by Randy OHC

S&P downgrades Fannie and Freddie, US-backed debt

Daniel Wagner and Martin Crutsinger AP Economics Writers
 August 8, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other agencies linked to long-term U.S. debt.

The agency also lowered the ratings for: farm lenders; long-term U.S. government-backed debt issued by 32 banks and credit unions; and three major clearinghouses, which are used to execute trades of stocks, bonds and options.

All the downgrades were from AAA to AA+, reflecting the same downgrade S&P made of long-term U.S. government debt on Friday.

S&P said the agencies and banks all have debt that is exposed to economic volatility and a further downgrade of long-term U.S. debt. Their creditworthiness hinges on the U.S. government's ability to pay its own creditors. the rest

Governor Kasich Explains How He Did It – Ohio Credit Rating Was Just Upgraded By S&P (Video)

Minnesota Now Paying Scientists to Engage in Human Cloning

by Steven Ertelt

The state of Minnesota is now paying scientists to engage in the grisly practice of human cloning. After the state legislature failed to re-authorize a ban on state funded human cloning during the special session, it is now legal to use taxpayer dollars to create cloned human embryos.

The ban on the use of state taxpayer money had been in place since 2009 and encompassed all forms of human cloning, known also as somatic cell nuclear transfer, whether intended for reproductive or so-called therapeutic purposes. The University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute repeatedly testified during the legislative session against a permanent ban on state funding of human cloning, saying it wanted to leave open its option to clone human life with state funds.  the rest

Small Businesswoman on Obama's Economic Leadership


How does Obama choose which laws to ignore?

PAMELA satellite finds evidence of antimatter belt around Earth

By Mark Brown
08 August 11

Data from the cosmic ray satellite PAMELA has added substantial weight to the theory that the Earth is encircled by a thin band of antimatter.

The satellite, named Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics, was launched in 2006 to study the nature of cosmic rays -- high-energy particles from the Sun and beyond the solar system which barrel into Earth.

When those cosmic rays smash into molecules in the Earth's upper atmosphere, a shower of smaller particles is created. Physicists have assumed that a small number of those resulting particles will be anti-protons.

Most of those will be instantly annihilated when they collide with particles of ordinary matter. But those which don't collide should get trapped in the Earth's torus-shaped Van Allen radiation belt, and form a layer of antimatter in the Earth's atmosphere. the rest/image

Fetal attraction

Aborted babies provide the vast majority of fetal tissue used in American medical research. Demand is high, competition for the tissue is strong, and oversight may be taking a back seat
Daniel James Devine
August 13, 2011

H. Ronald Zielke is a bank director. His institution collected $1.4 million in federal funds last year—but inside, you won't find money. You'll find human tissue.

Zielke's bank is the Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders, hosted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Each year it distributes some 3,000 tissue samples to researchers, collected from donors (average age: 20 to 40 years old) with neurological disorders ranging from autism to Down syndrome to Parkinson's disease. The donors' cellular material will aid researchers looking for treatments for such diseases.

According to the bank's 234-page "Catalog of Available Tissue," updated July 1, it also stores tissue from hundreds of fetuses, including those with chromosomal disorders, anencephaly (a brain malformation)—and many with no disorders at all, marked as "control" tissue and spanning ages 10 to 39 weeks. the rest
But an uncomfortable reality is clear: The overwhelming majority of fetal tissue used for research in the United States is obtained from aborted babies.

South Korea: Stamina pill for Men Made from Dead Babies
A documentary set to air in South Korea tomorrow is alleging that Chinese hospitals are selling aborted babies and stillborn children to a drug company which is grinding them up and selling them as "stamina" pills for men, according to news reports...

Albert Mohler: Between Two Worlds: An Interview with John R. W. Stott

Monday, August 8, 2011

[The funeral for John R. W. Stott, one of the most famous evangelical preachers of the last century, will be held today in London at All Souls Church, Langham Place, where he served with distinction for so many decades of ministry. In honor of John Stott, I here republish an interview I conducted with the great preacher in 1987. The interview was first published in Preaching magazine, for which I was then Associate Editor.]

John R. W. Stott has emerged in the last half of the twentieth century as one of the leading evangelical preachers in the world. His ministry has spanned decades and continents, combining his missionary zeal with the timeless message of the Gospel.

For many years the Rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London, Stott is also the founder and director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. His preaching ministry stands as a model of the effective communication of biblical truth to secular men and women.

Interview here

Chuck Colson: The late John Stott stirred Evangelicals to speak, serve, stand up

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dave Ramsey puts the federal budget and debt into numbers we can understand

August 5, 2011
Popular personal finance personality Dave Ramsey summed it up eloquently and simply: “If the US Government ​was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year and are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing big spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year.”  here

Democrats call for higher taxes....