Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cancer patient’s joy at meeting her life saving stem cell donor

Fri, 9 Dec 2011

A Scottish mother-of-three who had been fighting cancer for 10 years has met the stem cell donor who helped save her life, after discovering he only lived 70 miles away.

Sheena Stanbridge had undergone four cycles of chemotherapy, but with options running out, doctors contacted the Anthony Nolan Trust, a national charity which conducts worldwide searches for stem cell matches.

Doctors said the odds of finding a matching donor were low, and if found they were likely to be thousands of miles away on the other side of the world.

But remarkably Mark Quinn, who lives just 70 miles away, had stem cells which were a perfect match.

Following the treatment, Sheena was able to contact Mark by phone and arrange to meet up. the rest

Russia: Orthodox chapel on nuclear submarine

07 December, 2011
Aleksey Kudenko

The Russian nuclear submarine Aleksandr Nevsky will be fitted with its own Orthodox chapel after the vessel finishes its sea trials. It has become the second nuke-carrying sub equipped with a sanctuary in addition to ballistic missiles.

­The military chapel will allow sailors to attend religious services right on board during the sub’s long missions.

It was donated to the vessel’s crew by the Omophor Fund (omophorion), which brings together both able-bodied and war-wounded veterans who spent their lives serving their motherland and who are continuing that service in the field of social and church charity.

It is the sixth military chapel to be donated by the fund. The other five were installed on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy cruiser Pyotr Veliky, Russian Navy sail training ship Kruzenshtern, guided missile cruiser Moskva, and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine K-433 Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets. the rest
The development of clergy activities in the Russian army has support from the highest level. Some 240 clergy and nine priest positions have appeared in the Russian army in 2011, and by the end of the year the military is expected to fill all the vacancies with representatives from all official religions.

The End of Canterbury

Will the sun set on the Anglican communion?
Dec 19, 2011

The archbishop of Canterbury is going to resign next year. At least that’s the story making the rounds of newspapers in London, and the interesting part is not that the 61-year-old Rowan Williams should be willing to give up another decade in the job. Or even, if the Telegraph is right, that the clergy and his fellow bishops are working to push him out.

No, the interesting news about the looming resignation is how little attention anyone appears to be paying to it. The Church of England just doesn’t seem to matter all that much, fading from the world’s stage only slightly more slowly than the British Empire that planted it across the globe.

Theological consequences will follow the dwindling of Anglican identity—the claim, ever since Queen Elizabeth I, that the Church of England represents the great middle way between Protestantism and Catholicism. Ecclesiological consequences, as well, will follow the end of Anglican unity: the disappearance of a coherent, worldwide denomination, led by the archbishop of Canterbury, for those who hold a certain moderate form of Christian belief.

Christianity will survive in other forms, of course, both theologically and denominationally. In the long run, the great tragedy of the fading of Canterbury and the looming breakup of the Anglican communion may be the geopolitical consequences—fraying the already weak ties between the global South and Western civilization. the rest image

The rise of the African church could have made Canterbury an important player in international relations—not exactly a rival to Rome (Catholicism’s one billion adherents make that unlikely) but at least a second European center with which Africans would have felt a relation and to which they could have looked for intellectual and ecclesial authority.

Instead, hardly anyone notices when the archbishop of Canterbury is about to be replaced and the unity of Anglicanism is about to be shattered.

Should Christians attend public schools?

Written by Marcia Segelstein
December 9, 2011

That’s the question tackled by documentary producer Colin Gunn in his new film, IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America (see the trailer below).

The debate is spelled out right at the beginning of the film by two heavyweights in the world of evangelical Christianity. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes his position clear: “I am convinced that the time has come for Christians to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.” Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham and president of Samaritan’s Purse, is equally clear: “I want to see a child in every public school in America who is trained as a witness for Jesus Christ.”

So should Christians stay and fight from within, or abandon a system they perceive as broken? the rest

Friday, December 09, 2011

Devotional: The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament...

The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament moves straight to the cross of Christ. The whole New Testament is nothing but the portrait of Christ. Let a man seek the true course of his own life in the Word, and inevitably it will land him at the cross, to seek mercy as a perishing sinner in the Saviour's wounds; and let him, starting afresh from this point of departure, seek his true course still farther, and inevitably what he will see will be, rising upon him in the distance, astonishing and enchaining him, but drawing him ever on, the image of perfection in the man Christ Jesus. ...James Stalker image by Dave Ceasar Dela Cruz

Pope taps tablet, lights world's largest Christmas 'tree'

December 8, 2011


In Tough Times, a Boom in Cremations as a Way to Save Money

December 8, 2011

As Toni Kelly battled lymphoma, first with a bone marrow transplant and then with brutal rounds of chemotherapy, she worried obsessively that her four-year struggle would destroy her family’s finances.

Her husband, Doug, refused to consider her pleas to stop pursuing costly therapies. But she knew that after she died, which she did on Sept. 29, there was one way she could keep from adding to the $200,000 in medical debt she would leave behind. Like a growing proportion of Americans, she said she wanted her body to be cremated.

“We did everything we could to cut down other costs, and one of the things Toni said was, ‘Let’s find out how much it costs to be cremated,’ ” Mr. Kelly said. “If there was a way we could save even $500 or $1,000, it didn’t make a difference. Her major thing was not ruining the family.”

All but taboo in the United States 50 years ago, cremation is now chosen over burial in 41 percent of American deaths, up from 15 percent in 1985, according to the Cremation Association of North America. Economics is clearly one of the factors driving that change. the rest

UK: Transgender lessons for pupils aged five: Classes will 'overload children with adult issues', say critics

By Jack Doyle
9th December 2011

Children as young as five could be given lessons on ‘transgender equality’ under Government plans.

Information about transgender people is set to be included in the curriculum for personal, social and health education lessons, which are taught in thousands of primary and secondary schools.

The proposal is part of a Coalition policy programme entitled ‘Advancing transgender equality – a plan for action’, which was published yesterday. the rest

For what it's worth: Death to Pennies

A hospice in the womb

When prenatal diagnosis brings bad news about their child, parents deserve a real choice of paths. Happily, there is a beautiful option available.
Carolyn Moynihan
Friday, 9 December 2011

In a Melbourne maternity hospital last month a very shocking event occurred. A healthy, 32-week-old, wanted, unborn child was killed by a lethal injection when the sonographer performing the procedure mistook the child for its unhealthy twin. When the mistake was realised, the mother had an emergency caesarean section and the sick child was also terminated, according to news reports. The whole tragic episode left the mother traumatised and everybody involved distraught.

And yet, on the face of it this was an entirely avoidable tragedy. The sick baby had been diagnosed with a severe heart defect that would probably lead to its death soon after birth, but that in itself would not pose a danger to the other twin or the mother. A specialist consulted by MercatorNet said that if there was a risk for some other reason, at 32 weeks these babies could have been delivered, with a 99 per cent chance of survival for the healthy baby in intensive care, while nature took its course for the sick baby. An abortion was recommended, it appears, because that is the standard medical approach after such a diagnosis, even in a single pregnancy.

“This story is sad on so many levels. There could have been a better way,” says Amy Kuebelbeck, an award-winning American journalist whose third child had a similar diagnosis and who has written about her experience in a well-received book, Waiting With Gabriel. The “way” she is talking about is that of perinatal hospice, a model of support pioneered by another American, Dr Byron Calhoun, currently vice-chair of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at West Virginia University-Charleston. the rest image

Law Telling Women of Abortion-Suicide Link Back in Court

by Steven Ertelt

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit on Monday agreed to review the only remaining provision of South Dakota’s informed consent law that the court has not already upheld in a failing lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. The provision requires women to be informed of abortion’s documented risk of suicide.

In September, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit upheld the majority of South Dakota’s law, including a requirement that doctors inform pregnant women that they have “an existing relationship” with an “unborn human being.” Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief last year on behalf of several pro-family and pro-life groups. Harold Cassidy, one of nearly 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance, filed the initial appeal to the 8th Circuit on behalf of a group of pregnancy centers that successfully intervened in the suit to protect the interest of women. the rest
“A woman’s right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,” said ADF attorney Steve Aden. “If Planned Parenthood truly cared about the well-being of women, it would not try to prevent them from being informed of the well-documented risk of suicide that accompanies abortion.”

AU: Primate affirms Anglican view: ‘marriage’ is between a man and a woman

by Staff writer

The Anglican Church acknowledges and continues to participate in community discussion about altering marriage laws to recognise same sex partnerships and does so affirming its commitment to the present definition of marriage in the federal Marriage Act.

Anglican Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Brisbane, The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall, said the Church’s position could be seen in the resolutions of recent General Synods (Anglican policy-setting sessions).

He said the most recent General Synod (2010) resolved that “...this General Synod ... expresses its commitment to the present definition of Marriage under Commonwealth Law: that marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” the rest

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Devotional: When the Son of Man cometh...

“When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” If He should now come, would He find it in us? What fruits of faith have we to show? Do we look upon this life only as a short passage to a better? Do we believe that we must suffer with Jesus Christ before we can reign with Him? Do we consider this world as a deceitful appearance, and death as the entrance to true happiness? Do we live by faith? Does it animate us? Do we relish the eternal truths it presents us with? Are we as careful to nourish our souls with those truths as to maintain our bodies with proper diet? Do we accustom ourselves to see all things in the light of faith? Do we correct all our judgments by it? Alas! The greater part of Christians think and act like mere heathens; if we judge (as we justly may) of their faith by their practice, we must conclude they have no faith at all. ...François Fénelon image

Sodom and Gomorrah Excavated

December 7, 2011
by John Bergsma

By far the most interesting session at the recent Society of Biblical Literature Congress in San Francisco was one I wandered into by chance. I am always curious about what is going on in biblical archeology, so one afternoon I decided to skip the dozen or so sessions dedicated to Bakhtinian Decontextualization of Identity Construction in Persian Yehud (I had to tear myself away) and go hear about the excavations at a certain site called "Tall-el-Hammam." I had no idea what I was in for. After about five minutes into the session, I realized that the archeological team assigned to this dig was convinced that they had found the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. After another half-hour, it seemed they had most of the participants convinced as well. The sites fit the geographical and temporal context into which Sodom and Gomorrah are placed in the biblical texts. The cities at the site were suddenly and completely wiped out in the Late Bronze Age, which makes a reasonably good fit with the biblical accounts of Abraham and Lot. The entire presentation was very convincing, but never once did they deal with the "elephant in the room": what caused the sites to be suddenly abandoned? As soon as the session was over, I was the first to raise my hand. "Did you find any arrow heads? Signs of invasion? What happened to them?" The lead archeologist paused for a moment. "I didn't want to go there," he said. Another pause. "I'm preparing material for publication." Pause. "All I want to say 'on camera' is, they appear to have been wiped out in a 'heat event'."

A "heat event"!? What?!

"If you want to know more, I'll talk after the session off the record."

I wish I could divulge what he said to a small group of us clustered around the podium after the session was over, but it would break confidence. We'll have to wait for the official peer-reviewed publications. Story image

Why Sugar Makes Us Sleepy (And Protein Wakes Us Up)

By Jonah Lehrer
December 6, 2011

It’s long been recognized that meals high in protein are both more filling and less exhausting, which is why we’re always being told to snack on almonds and follow the Zone Diet, with its balance of carbs, protein and fat. (This study, for instance, found that protein rich breakfasts significantly improved cognitive performance.) Although the biological mechanism behind this dietary wisdom has always been unclear, that’s beginning to change – we finally understand why consuming protein can be an effective weight loss tool. The answer returns us to orexin.

According to a new paper in Neuron led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, consuming foods high in protein can increase the activity of orexin neurons. This, in turn, leads to increased wakefullness and bodily activity, helping us burn off the calories we just consumed. Furthermore, eating protein in conjunction with glucose – adding almonds to Frosted Flakes, in other words – can inhibit the inhibitory effects of sugar on orexin. The sweetness no longer makes us tired.

The researchers demonstrated this effect in a number of ways. They began in situ, showing that clumps of orexin cells in a petri dish got excited when immersed in a solution of amino acids. (Neighboring cells in the hypothalamus revealed no such effect.) Then, they moved on to in vivo experiments, studying the impact of an egg white slurry of live animals. This protein meal not only increased orexin activity in the brain, but also led to a dramatic surge in locomotor activity, as the animals began scurrying around their cage. The effect persisted for several hours.

The last sequence of experiments explored the impact of different nutrient combinations on the orexin system. Although the scientists assumed that the inhibitory presence of glucose would more than compensate for the excitatory influence of protein, that hypothesis turned out be incorrect. Instead, consuming even a little protein canceled out the curse of sugar, especially when the foods were consumed simultaneously. (When the animals ate protein first, and then swallowed a chaser of glucose, orexin neurons still showed a decrease in activity. So make sure your dessert has some protein in it.) the rest  image by Nagarjun

For Prayer: Virginia Tech on Lockdown Following Shooting Near Campus

By CHRISTINA NG Dec. 8, 2011

Virginia Tech University, the site of the country's worst massacre, is on lockdown today following reports that a police officer has been shot and killed near the campus and the gunman is on the loose.

The school's website reports that a police officer has been shot and the Collegiate Times, the student newspaper that covers Virginia Tech, is reporting that the police officer is dead.

There are reports of a potential second victim. the rest

Harry Morgan, Colonel Potter on ‘M*A*S*H,’ Dies at age 96

Harry Morgan in "M*A*S*H."By MICHAEL POLLAK
December 7, 2011

Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Potter in the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” died on Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96.

In more than 100 movies, Mr. Morgan played Western bad guys, characters with names like Rocky and Shorty, loyal sidekicks, judges, sheriffs, soldiers, thugs and police chiefs.       

On television, he played Officer Bill Gannon with a phlegmatic but light touch to Jack Webb’s always-by-the-book Sgt. Joe Friday in the updated “Dragnet,” from 1967 to 1970. He starred as Pete Porter, a harried husband, in the situation comedy “Pete and Gladys” (1960-62), reprising a role he had played on “December Bride” (1954-59). He was also a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” (1963-64), “Kentucky Jones” (1964-65), “The D.A.” (1971-72), “Hec Ramsey” (1972-74) and “Blacke’s Magic” (1986).

But to many fans he was first and foremost Col. Sherman T. Potter, commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit in Korea. With a wry smile, flat voice and sharp humor, Mr. Morgan played Colonel Potter from 1975 to 1983, when “M*A*S*H” went off the air. He replaced McLean Stevenson , who had quit the series, moving into the role on the strength of his performance as a crazed major general in an early episode.        the rest

New York Union Bosses Living Large on Puerto Rican Vacation

December 8, 2011
By Lonely Conservative

What do labor union bosses and government bureaucrats have in common? They both go on expensive “junkets” to tropical places on someone else’s dime. This time it’s union bosses representing New York municipal workers soaking up the sun and buying $9 beers in Puerto Rico. Must be nice.

According to The New York Post, some of the workers aren’t exactly thrilled that their union dues are funding this little vacation.
As union bosses continued livin’ it up in the Puerto Rican sun yesterday, municipal workers getting soaked by New York’s cold rain were livid that their hard-earned money was funding the leaders’ Caribbean “convention.”

“There goes our union dues!” fumed a furious Local 3 electrician. “They paid for that junket with union dues.”

the rest

HHS says no to over-the-counter morning-after pill

The Associated Press
December 7, 2011

In a surprise move, the nation's health secretary stopped the Plan B morning-after pill from moving onto drugstore shelves next to the condoms, deciding Wednesday that young girls shouldn't be able to buy it on their own.

The Food and Drug Administration was preparing to lift a controversial age limit and make Plan B One-Step the nation's first over-the-counter emergency contraceptive, available for purchase by people of any age without a prescription.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius intervened at the eleventh hour and overruled her own experts.

Plan B instead will remain behind the pharmacy counter, as it is sold today -- available without a prescription only for those 17 and older who show an ID proving their age. the rest

Sebelius' reason: Some girls as young as 11 are physically capable of bearing children, and Plan B's maker didn't prove that younger girls could properly understand how to use this product without guidance from an adult.

Bishop reported to the European Court by concubine priest

An old Dutch priest, who has been living with a woman of the same age for 46 years, wants to take the diocese to court
Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City
December 7, 2011

"I remain a priest, and cohabitant. And I contest the Bishop who has had me removed." These were the comments made by a priest who has been living with a woman for 46 years, and who lost the priesthood two days ago, because he violated (and openly admitted) the obligatory celibacy rule. He is not giving up, however, and promises a legal battle. Father JanPeijnenburg, the elderly Dutch priest who has been defrocked, wants to go even further and take his diocese before the European Court of Human Rights.

Living a "double life" for almost half a century, in his opinion, does not justify the decision of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, on the contrary, the "cohabitant priest” publicly claims the battle undertaken to obtain permission to live with his partner Threes van Dijck (who is also octogenarian). "I will take my case to the European Court of Human Rights", the former pastor announced after recently receiving the letter with which the bishop notified him that he has been suspended from the priesthood because of his refusal to abandon his domestic partner, as the diocesan ordinary officially asked him to do a month ago. The ultimatum expired on 1 December and when the priest refused to choose between sacred love and profane love, the ax immediately dropped on the diocese of Hertogenbosch, the largest in the Netherlands. But the "priest in love" does not want to give up the priesthood. So far, Fr. Jan Peijnenburg has been carrying out his pastoral mission in the city of Eindhoven in the south-east Netherlands, and wants to continue doing so, as if nothing had changed. the rest

Catholic priest vows to fight sacking for living with his girlfriend

Fatwa Permits Mujahideen to Kidnap, Imprison, and Have Sexual Intercourse with Infidel Women

November 30, 2011

On October 28, 2011, the jihadi forum Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad published a fatwa by Sheikh Abu Humam Al-Athari, a member of its shari'a council, in which he unequivocally permits mujahideen to capture the infidels' women and have sexual intercourse with them, even those who are married, on the claim that their marriage bonds to infidels are dissolved as soon as they are taken captive.

Following are the fatwa's main points:

The inquiry in response to which Al-Athari issued the fatwa reads as follows:[1] "Is it permissible for mujahideen in jihad fronts to kidnap the infidels' women and hold them as their captives? What is the ruling regarding a captive in our times? How should they be divided [among the mujahideen]? Is it permissible to imprison [an infidel woman who has been taken captive] in an infidel land, or must she be brought to Dar Al-Islam [the abode of Islam]? How much time must one wait before having sexual intercourse with her, regarding both one who is a virgin and one who is not?"

Al-Athari replies: "There is no doubt that taking the women of the combatant infidels captive – whether they are from Ahl Al-Kitab [i.e., Christians or Jews] or pagans – is permitted according to the shari'a... That being said, it must be done only after [the spoils] has been divided by an imam in Dar Al-Islam; if there is no imam at hand, prisoners may not be taken..." the rest

Nativity scene removed from Montreal-area town hall

By Christine Bouthillier
Dec. 5, 2011

MONTREAL - A posh Montreal suburb has decided to remove a nativity scene and menorah from town hall rather than acquiesce to demands from a Muslim group to erect Islamic religious symbols.

The decision by the Town of Mount Royal upsets a Christian resident who says the town is abandoning an established tradition under pressure from a tiny religious minority.

Town councillors of several different religions unanimously decided to remove the Christian and Jewish items. the rest

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Christian life is not just our own private affair...

The Christian life is not just our own private affair. If we have been born again into God's family, not only has he become our Father but every other Christian believer in the world, whatever his nation or denomination, has become our brother or sister in Christ. But it is no good supposing that membership of the universal Church of Christ is enough; we must belong to some local branch of it. Every Christian's place is in a local church, sharing in its worship, its fellowship, and its witness.
...John R.W. Stott  image by Smythe Richbourg

The US's Education Bubble

December 5, 2011
By Doug Hornig and Alex Daley, Casey Research

In the world of finance, there is always talk of bubbles – mortgage bubbles, tech stock bubbles, junk bond bubbles. But bubbles don’t develop only in financial markets. In recent years, there's been another one quietly inflating, not capturing the attention of most observers.

It's an education bubble – just not the one of student debt that has graced the pages of the New York Times and so many other publications in recent months.

The problem is not that we are overeducating ourselves as many would have you believe. Rather, it’s that we are spending a fortune to undereducate ourselves.

The United States has always been a very educated country. But it is becoming less and less so, especially in the areas that matter to our individual and collective economic futures. Our undereducation begins with a stubbornly high dropout rate among secondary education students. About a quarter of those who begin high school don't finish.

In an educational system where graduation from high school at a minimum level often means no grasp of mathematics beyond basic arithmetic, no training in basic personal finance, and no marketable professional skills, this is an obvious problem We can and should do more to prepare high school graduates for the world they now live in. the rest
Not only are foreigners attending our schools in record numbers, they are far more apt to pursue high-level degrees than US students. Foreign students constitute 2.5% of bachelor's degree students, 10% of graduate students, and 33% of doctoral candidates.

Leaving Rwanda: Breakaway Anglicans Break Away Again

Dispute between African bishops and Anglican Mission in the Americas prompts U.S. leadership to leave body.
Bobby Ross Jr.
Christianity Today

An 11-year-old denomination that has prided itself on its submission to majority-world leadership broke away from that leadership Monday. Amid a dispute over authority, bishops in the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMIA) resigned from their positions in the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

More than a decade ago, the association of churches launched as an alternative to the Episcopal Church. In 2000, Emmanuel Kolini, the archbishop of Rwanda, and Moses Tay, the archbishop of Singapore, ordained two Americans—Charles Murphy and John Rogers Jr.—as missionary bishops to the United States. The maverick bishops' assignment: to promote orthodox teaching and practice in the wake of infighting among American church members over sexual ethics.

Under the oversight of the Church of Rwanda, the South Carolina-based AMIA has grown to more than 150 congregations in the United States and Canada, with 100-plus additional church plants and mission endeavors in the works, AMIA spokeswoman Cynthia Brust said. the rest


Lawmakers Blast Administration For Calling Fort Hood Massacre 'Workplace Violence'

December 07, 2011

Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation's Armed Forces at home.

During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam. the rest
The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, said the military has become a "direct target of violent Islamist extremism" within the United States.

Anglican Perspective: Matthew 18

December 7, 2011

Recently, some Episcopal Church leaders requested a meeting with the bishop of South Carolina. They claim to be using the guiding principals found in Matthew 18 for dealing with conflict within the church however they overlooked an important step. This week, Canon Ashey examines the text of Matthew 18 and how we can possibly win our brothers over when in conflict with them.

Christmas Flash Mob - Merrily On High

posted December 7, 2011

The beautiful voices of the American Festival Chorus recently stunned shoppers on Black Friday with a Christmas flash mob of the holiday classic song Merrily On High.

A.S. Haley: In the School for Hypocrites

December 7, 2011

Scene: In a classroom of the College for Bishops. A teacher is just finishing his lecture to the assembled Bishops, who are all from Province IV of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

David Booth Beers: . . . And so that is pretty much what I have to tell you. As your guest lecturer today, I have introduced to you, the bishops of Province IV, both the newest and the oldest among you -- [pauses and waves at the Bishop of Southeast Florida] hi, Leo -- the exciting new world of the revamped Title IV Canons of the Episcopal Church, with a special emphasis on what the changes mean for diocesan bishops. I will now be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Bishop in front row (raises hand): You said that we are now all operating under the new Title IV of the Canons, which went into effect last July 1, but what about the Diocese of South Carolina? Mark Lawrence isn't here -- but I heard that they objected to the new Title IV taking effect in their diocese.

David Booth Beers: Yes, we (that is, Mary Kostel and I) are looking into that as I speak. Suffice it to say that his position is not going to fly. So long as Bishop Lawrence and his Diocese are Episcopalian -- and one of the points we stress in the courts is that, although people may decide to leave the Church, dioceses never can -- they are equally subject to the canons approved by General Convention.  the rest

Province IV Bishops Seek a Meeting with South Carolina Bp. Lawrence

NASA's Voyager spacecraft explores solar system's edge

Dec. 5, 2011

A long-running NASA spacecraft that’s been exploring the fringes of the solar system has entered new territory.

The space agency said Monday the Voyager 1 spacecraft is in a new region of the solar system that’s different than what it’s been studying the past five years.

New evidence presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco shows Voyager 1 has reached a point where the sun has little influence.

Voyager 1 still has a little ways to go before it leaves the solar system and enters interstellar space — or the space between stars. the rest


“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

Pearl Harbor's 70th anniversary remembered in US

Survivors of Pearl Harbor Attack to be Laid to Rest at Ships

Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary Celebrated With Somber Ceremony ...

Facebook Flaw Means Anyone Can See Private Photos

December 06, 2011

A surprising security hole in Facebook allows almost anyone to see pictures marked as private, an online forum revealed late Monday.

Even pictures supposedly kept hidden from uninvited eyes by Facebook’s privacy controls aren’t safe, reported one user of a popular bodybuilding forum  in a post entitled “I teach you how to view private Facebook photos.”

Facebook appears to have acted quickly to eliminate the end-run around privacy controls, after word of the exploit spread across the Internet. It wasn’t long before one online miscreant uploaded private pictures of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself -- evidence that the hack worked, he said. the rest

Atheist Leader Complains About U.S. Troops Praying Together Before Combat Mission

By Pete Winn
December 5, 2011

( - The man pushing to get the military to install “atheist chaplains” in the armed forces told government-subsidized National Public Radio that military officers should not be praying with their men before going out on missions.

Jason Torpy, president of the Military Atheists and Free Thinkers Association, told “All Things Considered” over the weekend about an incident in 2003 or 2004, in which his commander gathered his team together to pray before the Army unit deployed -- rather than make preparations for the mission. the rest
Torpy said his commander was “dishonoring” his command by praying, which he said was a "religious wedge."

Sperm donor children speak out

by Christine Dhanagom
Mon Dec 05, 2011

There are only four things Alana Stewart knows about her father: he has blonde hair, blue eyes, a college degree, and his assigned number at the sperm bank where he sold half of Alana’s genetic code is 81.

She is one of an estimated 30,000 – 60,000 children conceived each year in the United States through sperm donation. A former egg donor herself, Alana is now a vocal critic of the practice, which she calls “the violent act of buying and selling a child.”

Her story, featured in the upcoming documentary Anonymous Father’s Day, is becoming more and more common. Many of the children conceived through sperm donation are now adults, and some of them are speaking out against the practice that brought them into existence. the rest

Macy's: 'transgenders' trumps religious beliefs

Charlie Butts

Macy's is accused of firing an employee who objected to allowing a cross-dresser to use women's dressing rooms in one of its stores.

Natalie Johnson observed a man exiting a women's dressing room in one of San Antonio's several Macy's stores and politely told him he could not re-enter because it was for the exclusive use of women. Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow the male customer -- who was wearing make-up and girl's clothing -- angrily responded that he was a "female."

"Then [he] contacted the management and said that this was an LGBT-friendly store," the attorney explains. "And to Natalie Johnson's surprise, management took the customer's position and affirmed that it is an LGBT-friendly store and said that according to their policy, 'transgendered' people can change in any dressing room they want." the rest

Queen's role as head of Church of England 'may no longer be appropriate'

The Queen’s role as head of the Church of England may no longer be “appropriate” following changes to the law of succession, a group of MPs has suggested.
By Rowena Mason
06 Dec 2011

Reforms agreed earlier this year by Commonwealth countries would create a potential conflict of interest because they allow a monarch to marry a Roman Catholic, said a parliamentary committee.

It said that if a future heir to the throne were raised as a Catholic, there would be an “obvious difficulty” in that person becoming head of the Anglican Church on their succession.

Under current laws, the Queen is required to “join in communion” with the Church of England and take on the role of Supreme Governor, promoting Anglicanism in Britain.

The report, by the political and constitutional reform committee, said: “The scenario does beg the question of whether it remains appropriate for the monarch to be required to be in communion with the Church of England. the rest

U.K.: Gang of Muslim women who savagely beat non-Muslim woman let off because "they weren't used to drinking because they're Muslims"

By Andy Dolan and Katherine Faulkner
6th December 2011

A gang of Muslim women who attacked a passer-by in a city centre walked free from court after a judge heard they were ‘not used to being drunk’ because of their religion.

The group – three sisters and a cousin – allegedly screamed ‘kill the white slag’ as they set upon Rhea Page as she waited for a taxi with her boyfriend. the rest

Mobile euthanasia teams being considered by Dutch government

Plans to introduce mobile medical teams that can euthanise people in their own homes are being considered by the Dutch government.
By Simon Caldwell
06 Dec 2011

The teams of doctors and nurses would be sent out from a clinic following a referral from the patient's doctor.

The proposals were disclosed by Edith Schippers, the health minister.

In a written answer to questions from Christian Union MPs she said that mobile units "for patients who meet the criteria for euthanasia but whose doctors are unwilling to carry it out" was worthy of consideration.

"If the patient thinks it desirable, the doctor can refer him or her to a mobile team or clinic," the minister wrote.  the rest

AMiA bishops break with Rwanda

Chuck Murphy says the AMiA is doing a 'new thing' and ready to go out on its own
December 6, 2011
By George Conger

Bishop Chuck Murphy has rejected the godly admonition of Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje and he and the members of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) House of Bishops have broken with the Church of Rwanda.

In a letter dated 5 Dec 2011, Bishop Murphy and the AMiA House of Bishops announced that the Lord “is now doing” a “new thing” and that its bishops had decided to reject the discipline and oversight of Anglican Church of Rwanda .

Whether the clergy and congregations of the AMiA will follow their bishops into schism and out of the Anglican Communion is not known at this time. However by this second secession in eleven years along with the adoption of a distinct Roman Catholic ecclesiology and sacramental theology, the AMiA appears to have given up its claim of being Anglican in order to follow its leader, Bishop Murphy.

In his letter to Archbishop Rwaje, Bishop Murphy reminded the Rwandan leader that there was “no covenant from the Anglican Mission to the Province” of Rwanda, nor did the Rwandan canons contain a “canonical mandate” for the erection of the AMiA. Since its inception, the only links the AMiA had with Rwanda was the “personal relationship” between Bishop Murphy and the Archbishop of Rwanda, and the “voluntary submission to the Canons and Constitution of Rwanda by the Anglican Mission and its clergy as renewed annually at each year’s AMiA Winter Conference in the renewal of ordination vows." the rest

Resignation letter

Stand Firm        Titusonenine         Anglicans Ablaze

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Over 20,000 Sign Petition Over Banned Bibles at Military Hospital

By Brittany Smith
Tue, Dec. 06 2011

The Family Research Council issued a petition Monday over a ban on Bibles and religious materials at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Although Walter Reed, the military’s largest hospital for military personnel and veterans, says it lifted the ban on Friday after Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) gave a speech criticizing the move on the House floor, FRC says it’s not convinced.

FRC sent out an Action Alert stating, “While we're glad that hospital officials are working on changing the policy, the change has yet to be implemented. Given the recent track record of the Obama Administration's disrespect for religious liberty in the military, nothing is certain. We need your help to show military leaders that the American people will not stand for Bible bans such as the one at Walter Reed. the rest

Cello Wars

Monday, December 05, 2011

Anglican Unscripted Episode 20

December 5, 2011

Kevin and George discuss the very latest news from the Province of Rwanda and its relationship with AMiA. They also talk about interpreting Church Canons and the miracle from the Diocese of South Carolina. Peter Ould discusses the dirty little secret of the Church of England -- don't worry, we have the same secret here in America. And, finally AS Haley talks about another Bishop being deposed last week.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Alarming rise of Muslim 'honour attacks' in the UK as police reveal thousands were carried out last year

by Daily Mail Reporter
3rd December 2011

Nearly 3,000 so-called honour attacks were recorded by police in Britain last year, new research has revealed.

According to figures obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro), at least 2,823 incidents of 'honour-based' violence took place, with the highest number recorded in London.

The charity said the statistics fail to provide the full picture of the levels of 'honour' violence in the UK , but are the best national estimate so far.

The data, taken from from 39 out of 52 UK forces, was released following a freedom of information request by Ikwro. the rest