Welcome to Transfigurations! This blog is intended to serve the orthodox Anglican community and the wider Christian community. We pray that all that is posted here will be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired word of God, speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ, and be an impetus for revival, repentance, prayer and intercession!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Christ is come to be thy Light...
Living — and Dying — Christmas
Christian martyrs among us.
December 23, 2011
An iPad, an Xbox, whatever our most desired shiny object under the Christmas tree on Sunday morning happens to be, is not as precious as the ability to celebrate Christmas freely and openly — with Santa at Macy’s or Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s, as casually or as devoutly as we wish.
Not so for Christians throughout the world this Christmas, and for those who did not live to see the day, precisely because they lived its meaning.
When I see images of a young Virgin Mary in our Christmas Nativity displays this Christmas, I can’t help but think of her “yes,” and that of a young girl in Pakistan who was killed right after we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
Amariah Masih was 18 years old when she was murdered for refusing to give in to a Muslim man’s advances. A Catholic girl from a small village near Faisalabad in the Punjab province of Pakistan, she was on a motorbike fetching drinking water, not available within the village, for her family.
Typically, a rape victim in Pakistan will be imprisoned for unlawful sex and released on the condition that she marry the rapist, explains Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. And since a Christian cannot be married to a Muslim under sharia law, the woman would be forced to convert to Islam.
The homilist at Amariah’s funeral called her “a martyr.” the rest
Christmas Amidst the Rubbish
In Egypt, a community of Coptic Christians may face a time of terrible testing.
The War on Christmas is real, and the atheist barbarians are winning it
Islam to be majority in Europe by the end of the century
December 22, 2011
The Israeli news service YNetNews.com is reporting of an alarming shift in demograpics on the European continent for the remainder of the century.
Sociology professor at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), and member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, Felice Dassetto has published a new book entitled "The Iris and the Crescent."
The author illustrates that Islam is well on it's way to becoming the most practiced belief sysytem in Europe, and will soon eclipse Christianity.
The Italian-born Dassetto asserts that Muslims will comprise the majority of the population of his adopted home of Brussels by 2030. the rest
Christianity May Be Eradicated in Iraq and Afghanistan, Says Chair of U.S. Religious Freedom Commission
By Terence P. Jeffrey
December 22, 2011
(CNSNews.com) - Despite long-term U.S. military occupations aimed at establishing representative governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Christianity now faces the real threat of eradication in those countries because of severe and persistent persecution of Christians there, according to the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Similarly, despite the “Arab Spring” rebellion in Egypt earlier this year, the survival of Christianity is also threatened in that country because of the escalating persecution of Christians. the rest
Novena Anticipates Announcement of the Anglican Ordinariate in the U.S.
By Randy Sly
The American bishops will be adjusting to the presence of the Ordinariate, including clergy, in their geographic regions. They have already become involved by providing the local resources necessary to process former Anglican priests who reside in their diocese toward Holy Orders. Soon, they will also find Ordinariate Parishes, Societies and other groups forming there as well.
The organization of a functioning Ordinariate will also start to take shape. The appointed Ordinary and other leaders who are selected will begin to establish councils, committees and other components necessary for the administration of the new jurisdiction.
In addition, formation will begin for the former clergy who have already been approved to enter candidacy for the priesthood. While the actual process has not been fully unveiled, a great deal of work has been done through St. Mary's Seminary in Houston to support this endeavor. Much of the work will be accomplished through distance learning using the Internet, as the men in formation are spread out across the U.S.
The actually visible presence of the Ordinariate will, of course, be local. Anglican Use Societies, many of whom have already been unofficially meeting for fellowship and worship, will be able to establish a more regular schedule of events. Many of them hope, at some point in the future, to become active Ordinariate parishes.
Some parishes will be probably be established quite early in the process. These will be Anglican Use parishes that are currently based in dioceses but have been given permission by their bishop to come into the Ordinariate. the rest
God descends to re-ascend...
All Ontario teachers will be forced to undergo ‘diversity’ training by 2013
by Patrick B. Craine
Thu Dec 22, 2011
(LifeSiteNews.com) - By 2013 prospective teachers in Ontario will be required to undergo focused training in “sexual orientation” and “gender diversity,” says a cabinet minister in Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.
Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre, told Xtra this week that he is heading a group that over the next year will develop new “diversity” curriculum, which will be mandatory for all new teachers in public and Catholic school boards.
The new training program for teachers will take two years rather than one.
Murray, who serves as the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, says the new teacher curriculum is connected to the government’s Accepting Schools Act, a controversial anti-bullying bill that would impose tougher consequences, including expulsion, for “bullying and hate-motivated actions,” and seeks to require all publicly-funded schools to set up student-run homosexual anti-bullying clubs. the rest
Earthquake Rattles NZ's Christchurch
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011
(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) — A series of strong earthquakes struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.
One person was injured at a city mall and was taken to a hospital, and four people had to be rescued after being trapped by a rock fall, Christchurch police said in a statement. But there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or widespread damage in the city, which is still recovering from a devastating February earthquake that killed 182 people and destroyed much of the downtown area.
The first 5.8-magnitude quake struck Friday afternoon, 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of Christchurch and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Minutes later, a 5.3-magnitude aftershock hit, and about an hour after that, the city was shaken by another 5.8-magnitude temblor. Both aftershocks were less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) deep. the rest
Amazon Builds World’s Fastest Nonexistent Supercomputer
December 23, 2011
The 42nd fastest supercomputer on earth doesn’t exist.
This fall, Amazon built a virtual supercomputer atop its Elastic Compute Cloud — a web service that spins up virtual servers whenever you want them — and this nonexistent mega-machine outraced all but 41 of the world’s real supercomputers.
Yes, beneath Amazon’s virtual supercomputer, there’s real hardware. When all is said and done, it’s a cluster of machines, like any other supercomputer. But that virtual layer means something. This isn’t a supercomputer that Amazon uses for its own purposes. It’s a supercomputer that can be used by anyone.
Amazon is the poster child for the age of cloud computing. Alongside their massive e-tail business, Jeff Bezos and company have built a worldwide network of data centers that gives anyone instant access to all sorts of computing resources, including not only virtual servers but virtual storage and all sorts of other services that can be accessed from any machine on the net. This global infrastructure is so large, it can run one of the fastest supercomputers on earth — even as it’s running thousands upon thousands of other virtual servers for the world’s businesses and developers. the rest image
Legal Settlement: New Jersey’s Pro-Life Nurses Will Not be Forced to Assist with Abortions
by Ben Johnson
Thu Dec 22, 2011
(LifeSiteNews.com) - In a triumph for conscience protections, a New Jersey hospital agreed that nurses will not have to assist with abortions if doing so would violate their moral or religious views.
Twelve nurses filed a lawsuit on October 31 against at the hospital run by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), alleging that the hospital threatened to fire them if they refused to assist in abortions. According to the lawsuit, a supervisor told a nurse in the Same Day Surgery Unit that UMDNJ had “no regard for religious beliefs.”
Forcing a health care professional to participate in an abortion could violate both state and federal law. UMDNJ receives $60 million in federal funding, which protects the consciences of medical staff in some situations. New Jersey state law guarantees, “No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilization.” the rest
Family stopped from forcing Texas teen to have abortion
War Horse: A Modern Epic on the End of Modernity
By Timothy Dalrymple
December 21, 2011
We remember World War 1 as a particularly pointless war. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austrio-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated by a Yugoslav nationalist, and this led to a conflict that conspired, through alliances forged in the previous decades, to put the world’s greatest imperialist powers at war against one another. The “cause” of the war was essentially the relentless expansion of Europe’s imperial powers, and the war erupted when their claims to portions of the world came in conflict.
None of this is shown in the film. Instead we see the sons of England rushing to enlist for the next great adventure, expecting a swift and orderly conflict that would allow them to travel and train and exercise their masculinity. Instead they found themselves mired in a years-long nightmare, and a whole generation was decimated, as the old methods of warfare (like the cavalry charge) ran directly into the new technologies of war, and the result was wholesale slaughter with a swiftness and bullet-filled brutality that the world had never before seen. In the seventeenth century, it took thirty years to kill 4-11 million Europeans. In World War 1, it took 4 years to kill 15-20 million (as many as 65 million if one includes deaths due to the Spanish Flu, which spread through the war).
Moviegoers will find that War Horse reminds them of the best movies they saw when they were growing up. Its story is complicated insofar as it takes the audience through multiple smaller stories in sequence, but it’s a single story line told in a chronological manner. There’s no shifting back and forth in time (as in Pulp Fiction), no backward storytelling (as in Memento), no multi-layered temporal puzzles (as in Inception). There’s also no sardonic narrator (as in Fight Club), no multiplicity of interlocking stories (a la Crash), no clever insertions of text (as in a Guy Ritchie flick) — none of the gimmicks. It’s straightforward storytelling in the midst of gorgeous wide-angle views of the English and French countrysides from a master of the craft who feels no need to attract attention to himself. As uber-producer Kathleen Kennedy told me, it’s the kind of “epic story of hope” that attracted her to movies, a story of family and love and bravery and loyalty that’s cast upon the widest and most dramatic canvas possible. the rest
How Luther went viral
Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation
Dec 17th 2011
IT IS a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions. The protesters’ message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution. The combination of improved publishing technology and social networks is a catalyst for social change where previous efforts had failed.
That’s what happened in the Arab spring. It’s also what happened during the Reformation, nearly 500 years ago, when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day—pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts—and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.
Scholars have long debated the relative importance of printed media, oral transmission and images in rallying popular support for the Reformation. Some have championed the central role of printing, a relatively new technology at the time. Opponents of this view emphasise the importance of preaching and other forms of oral transmission. More recently historians have highlighted the role of media as a means of social signalling and co-ordinating public opinion in the Reformation. the rest
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Christians who are tired of being pushed around in Britain could learn from straight-talking Americans
And does Cameron really mean what he says about standing up for Christian values?
By Francis Phillips
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
It seems that the White House has succumbed to political correctness: apparently it referred to Christmas trees as “Holiday Trees” for the first time this year. It has prompted this response from CBS presenter, Ben Stein, who broadcast his response on the CBS Sunday Morning commentary:
“I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it doesn’t bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful, lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against… It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me… In fact I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.
“I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat…”
I think we need some of Ben Stein’s straight-talking over here, too. There have been too many public incidents in this country where Christians have been pushed around for stating firmly their Christian beliefs; these range from foster parents being discriminated against for upholding Christian moral teaching, B&B owners being hounded for the same reason, and other cases of conscience that have hit the headlines. the rest
Anglican Perspective: The Joy of Christmas
posted December 22, 2011
Rev. Phil Ashey: Humility, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: The Reasons for the Season
Like Jesus, we must come face-to-faceto reconcile with others. Let's be clear: forgiveness is ultimately a solo act. Jesus said that we may have to forgive unrepentant people in utter denial over and over again (see Matthew 18:21-22). We have no right to expect God to forgive us if we cannot forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15).
But reconciliation is always a two-way street. Jesus must have included Peter, his friend who abandoned him, in his first word of forgiveness from the cross. But even though he was forgiven, Peter was unable to carry on the mission until Jesus came face-to-face to reconcile Peter to himself. You see, reconciliation is the restoration of a trust which has been broken. Peter had to hear three times, face-to-face, words that assured him that Jesus' trust in him was restored (John 21:15-19) I believe Jesus asked Peter three times "Do you love me?" in order to help Peter face his sin and betrayal of trust, and the pain that it caused Jesus and the Kingdom. Peter also had to repent - to literally turn in a new direction. He could not go back to "business as usual," to fishing. He had to make a new commitment to a new way of life: "Feed my sheep."
21-Year-Old Man Wakes From Coma Before Doctors Take Organs
by Steven Ertelt
A 21-year-old man has awakened from a coma just hours before doctors were ready to shut off life support and take his organs for donation purposes.
Sam Schmid, an Arizona college student who was thought to be brain dead, recovered from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in October just hours before he was slated to be killed and his organs given to other patients.
The accident took the life of his best friend and college roomate and Schmidâ€™s injuries were thought to be so grievous that a local hospital could not treat him and he was sent to Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Josephâ€™s Medical Center in Phoenix to receive surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm.
As hospital officials began palliative care and talked with his parents about organ donation, Schmid began to hold up two fingers on command and started walking with the aid of a walker. Now, his speech has improved and doctors say he will have a complete recovery.
Utah Supreme Court rules unborn children qualify as minors
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011
By Emiley Morgan, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The state's high court has determined that an unborn child qualifies as a minor child and, therefore, wrongful death lawsuits may be filed on behalf of those who die before birth.
The decision stemmed from a case of a Utah County couple who filed a lawsuit after their child was stillborn in 2006. While the Utah Supreme Court justices did not issue a single majority opinion in the case, four of the five justices, through differing logic, came to the same conclusion.
"Although there is no majority opinion, four members of this court hold that the statute allows an action for the wrongful death of an unborn child," Chief Justice Christine Durham wrote. "The term 'minor child,' as used in the statute, includes an unborn child." the rest
It Looks Like Occupy Wall Street Is Starting A Fight With Trinity Church Now
Julia La Roche
Dec. 22, 2011
Nearly a week after Occupy Wall Street protesters attempted to takeover Duarte Square -- a Trinity Wall Street-owned piece of real estate -- an Episcopal minister in the city received some strange mail.
The mail was sent to the minister's home and it was addressed with his full name (including his middle name and his church title).
In the envelope, there were three superimposed photographs of Occupy Wall Street protesters being arrested at Duarte Square.
The captions on the pictures said, "Jim Cooper's Legacy," "The Trinity Episcopal Church Welcomes You" and "Do not forget the trust you committed to you as a priest of the Church of God," which is from the rite for the Ordination of a Priest in the Book of Common Prayer, p. 534. the rest
Episcopal Diocese wins legal dispute with breakaway church
By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Dec. 21, 2011
A Waukesha County judge has ruled in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee in a dispute over church property taken by an Elm Grove congregation when it broke away over theological differences in 2008.
The decision, by Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis, means members of St. Edmund's Parish who left the Episcopal Church to align with a new, more theologically conservative Anglican province must relinquish all church property and vacate the building at 14625 Watertown Plank Road.
Milwaukee Bishop Steven Miller lauded the decision and said he will begin working with St. Edmund parishioners pushed out by the split in an effort to help rebuild their congregation. the rest
Devotional: Given, not lent...
Obama sends wedding congratulations to gay couple
by Kathleen Gilbert
Wed Dec 21, 2011
(LifeSiteNews.com) - A homosexual couple in New York says they received a formal letter of congratulations on their wedding from President Obama, who in public statements has maintained opposition to redefining marriage.
Matt Katz and Aaron Lafrenz of Brooklyn, New York, were among the first homosexual couples to obtain a marriage license in New York this summer. This week they offered to the media an image of a congratulatory letter signed by Barack Obama and bearing the White House seal that arrived in their mailbox this month.
It reads in part: “Congratulations on this special occasion. Michelle and I hope it is blessed with love, laughter, and happiness. Your union marks the beginning of a lifelong partnership as you share in the joys of your life together.” the rest
Albert Mohler: Kim Jong Il and the danger of deifying leaders
December 20th, 2011
By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN
There are no atheists in dictatorships. The death of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il underlies a basic fact of earthly politics: when a political regime denies any transcendent supernatural reality, it deifies itself.
The communist regime that has been in control of North Korea for over half a century is officially atheistic, following the example of its first protector state, the Soviet Union.
Like the Russian communists, the North Koreans sought to expunge any trace of Christianity or other religious faiths. But make no mistake, this does not mean that the Pyongyang regime did not believe in worship.
To the contrary, the North Korean regime mandated worship, the worship of its own supreme leader.
As Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis explained, North Korea’s founding dictator Kim Il Sung “was allowed to build a Stalinist state, with its own cult of personality centered on himself, at just the time when Khrushchev was condemning such perversions of Marxism-Leninism elsewhere.”
The North Korean cult of personality goes far beyond anything Josef Stalin could have envisioned. Kim Il Sung became known as the Great Leader, the nation’s protector, gifted with supernatural powers.
The Great Leader was said to be able to control the weather with his moods. Kim was credited with saving the North Koreans from “flunkeyism,” or subservience to foreign powers. the rest
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Catholics and Anglicans unite in church-sharing venture
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
An historic joint service involving the Bishops of Plymouth and Truro and local Catholic and Anglican communities took place recently in Padstow, Cornwall.
For many years St Petroc's Parish Church has been used by the Catholic community during the busy summer months because their own church St Saviour and St Petroc could not accommodate everyone who wished to attend Mass.
Since 2010, Catholic and Anglican communities in Padstow have been engaged in discussions regarding the possibility of sharing the parish church. Consensus was reached and a 'Church Sharing Agreement' came into force in November. the rest
Court victory for Quincy in church property dispute
The Episcopal Church is not hierarchical as a matter of law, court finds
December 21, 2011
By George Conger
An Illinois court has dismissed the claim that as a “matter of law” the Episcopal Church is a hierarchical with dioceses being subordinate to the national church, rejecting a motion for summary judgment brought by the national church against the breakaway Diocese of Quincy.
The 16 Dec 2011 decision by Judge Thomas Ortbal of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Adams County, Ill., now sends the dispute between the Diocese of Quincy and the national church and its allies to trial. The court also concluded that even if the church is hierarchical, that would not end the matter because a "neutral principles of law" approach should be applied to resolving the property ownership dispute.
Judge Ortbal’s decision – which cannot be challenged on appeal at this stage of the proceeding without his permission – may well be a legal blow to the national church’s litigation strategy in its fight with other breakaway dioceses as it cuts the legs out from under the national church’s chief legal argument.
While many courts have held that a hierarchical relationship exists between congregations and a diocese, and on the strength of this contention have granted summary judgment in favor of the diocese, the Quincy decision rejects the analogy that a diocese stands in relationship to the national church as a parish does to a diocese.
Anglican Curmudgeon's analysis in case you missed it
Chinese Computer Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber of Commerce
December 21, 2011
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON – A group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of America's top business-lobbying group and gained access to everything stored on its systems, including information about its three million members, according to several people familiar with the matter.
The break-in at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the boldest known infiltrations in what has become a regular confrontation between U.S. companies and Chinese hackers. The complex operation, which involved at least 300 internet addresses, was discovered and quietly shut down in May 2010.
It isn't clear how much of the compromised data was viewed by the hackers. Chamber officials say internal investigators found evidence that hackers had focused on four Chamber employees who worked on Asia policy, and that six weeks of their email had been stolen.
It is possible the hackers had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered, according to two people familiar with the Chamber's internal investigation. the rest
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Whatever else be lost among the years...
A Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Duncan on recent events within the AMIA
“Recent events within the Anglican Mission in the Americas have challenged us all. The vision, however, that governs our fledgling Province remains unchanged: a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.”
20th December, A.D. 2011
Eve of St. Thomas the Apostle
TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA:
Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recent events within the Anglican Mission in the Americas have challenged us all. This letter is a brief report to you all about those events and about our efforts to find a path forward. The present reality is brokenness. The vision, however, that governs our fledgling Province remains unchanged: a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.
The resignation of nine Anglican Mission bishops, including the Bishop Chairman, from the House of Bishops of Rwanda, changed relationships with Rwanda, with fellow bishops and with the Anglican Church in North America. The resigned bishops lost their status in our College of Bishops as a result of their resignation from Rwanda. The Anglican Mission also lost its status as a Ministry Partner, since that status had been predicated on AMiA’s relationship with Rwanda. In addition, confusion and hurt has been created in Rwanda and in North America, and there is much serious work ahead of us.
Representatives of the Anglican Church in North America and of the Pawleys Island leadership met today in Pittsburgh. For the Anglican Church in North America the starting point was the importance of our Provincial relationship with the Province of Rwanda (a sister GAFCON Province) and with His Grace Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, of our relationship with the North American Bishops Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum and all the clergy licensed in Rwanda, and of our relationship to those represented by the Pawleys Island group with whom we were meeting. We, as the Anglican Church in North America, have been deeply connected to all three, and we can only move forward when issues and relationships have been adequately addressed and necessary transitions are in progress.
The agreement from today’s meeting in Pittsburgh was that the Anglican Church in North America is prepared to enter into a process by which our relationship with those who will rally to the Pawleys’ vision and leadership (Anglican Mission in the Americas, Inc.) might be restored to a status like the one existing before the Ministry Partner decision of 2010. All those at the meeting today agreed “that there were no subjects that were not on the table.” For the Anglican Church in North America, these subjects must include leadership, relationships, and jurisdictional participation in a way that is fully Anglican.
We made a partial beginning. Bishops Leonard Riches and Charlie Masters agreed to lead the negotiations from the Anglican Church in North America. Bishops Doc Loomis and TJ Johnston will lead from the AMiA side. There is much about what has happened that will have to be faced. The other part of this beginning will be to come alongside P.E.A.R. and their designated bishops (Barnum and Glenn), clergy, people and parishes in North America as they discern their next steps. The good news is that we know a God who has called us and who is able. [I Thess. 5:24] We are sure that He wants all the pieces back together in an ever-more dynamic, ever-more-submitted, ever-more transformed and transforming North American Church. [John 17]
Keep praying. With God nothing shall be impossible. [Luke 1:37] And besides that, He works all things together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. [Rom. 8:28] Blessed Christmas!
Faithfully in Christ,
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
Egypt women march against army in fury over abuse
SARAH EL DEEB
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
CAIRO (AP) — Around 10,000 women marched through central Cairo demanding Egypt's ruling military step down Tuesday in an unprecedented show of outrage over soldiers who dragged women by the hair and stomped on them, and stripped one half-naked in the street during a fierce crackdown on activists the past week.
The dramatic protest, which grew as the women marched from Tahrir Square through downtown, was fueled by the widely circulated images of abuses of women. Many of the marchers touted the photo of the young woman whose clothes were partially pulled off by troops, baring her down to her blue bra, as she struggled on the ground.
"Tantawi stripped your women naked, come join us," the crowd chanted to passers-by, referring to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council that has ruled Egypt since the Feb. 11 fall of Hosni Mubarak. "The daughters of Egypt are a red line," they chanted.
Even before the protest was over, the military council issued an unusually strong statement of regret for what it called "violations" against women — a quick turnaround after days of dismissing the significance of the abuse. the rest
"The girl dragged around is just like my daughter," said Um Hossam, a 54-year old woman in traditional black dress and a headscarf at Tuesday's march. "I am a free woman, and attacking this woman or killing protesters is just like going after one of my own children."
Trinity Cathedral picks Episcopal affiliation
By Adam Brandolph
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Ending three years of sitting on the fence during a breakup over doctrine, leaders of a historic Downtown church decided to break away from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and affiliate exclusively with the Episcopal Church.
Trinity Cathedral's governing board last week voted 11-7 to withdraw from the more theologically conservative sect, overturning an October 2008 resolution to serve both the Episcopal Church diocese and the Anglican diocese.
"This decision was not made lightly or hastily," the Rev. Catherine M. Brall, provost at the cathedral, said in a letter to members. "Many, if not most, of the comments made during the lengthy time of discussion had been previously raised."
Anglican officials said they were "saddened" by the vote.
"They have chosen to embrace exclusivity, rather than inclusivity," said Robert Duncan, archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America. the rest
Scientists About to “Teach” Terrorists How to Make Deadly Flu?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wesley J. Smith
Are they out of their minds? What was the NIH thinking? The USA funded research into a successful genetic engineering of a deadly strain of bird flu, and now the scientists want to publicly publish key details. From the Independent story:
A deadly strain of bird flu with the potential to infect and kill millions of people has been created in a laboratory by European scientists – who now want to publish full details of how they did it. The discovery has prompted fears within the US Government that the knowledge will fall into the hands of terrorists wanting to use it as a bio-weapon of mass destruction. Some scientists are questioning whether the research should ever have been undertaken in a university laboratory, instead of at a military facility. The US Government is now taking advice on whether the information is too dangerous to be published.
Sorry, advancing scientific information is important, but so is protecting public safety. Just because something can be done scientifically, doesn’t mean it should be. And if it should have been done, that doesn’t mean it the details should be broadcast to the world!
Hopefully it isn’t too late.... the rest
Planned Parenthood requires teen job applicants to attend gay pride parade
by Ben Johnson
Mon Dec 19, 2011
(LifeSiteNews.com) – A New York chapter of Planned Parenthood required teenagers to attend a gay pride parade if they wanted to work for the organization – as part of a program funded by the state’s taxpayers.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood in Albany recruits teens, including minors, as “peer educators” for its STARS (Seriously Talking About Responsible Sex) program.
The STARS program pays the youth $75 every other week to promote Planned Parenthood and its view of sexuality. In an online video, a STARS counselor describes the message the counselors deliver to their peers: “If you choose to have sex, that’s OK. You won’t totally die. So, it’s cool. I like it.”
The organization’s Facebook page tells teens, “When you join us for the clinic, don’t forget to grab a S.T.A.R.S. bag, which includes free male and female condoms, dental dams, lube, instructions for use, and information on services.” STARS employees promote a wide variety of contraceptives, including the IUD, the Ring, condoms, foam, the diaphragm, the birth control pill, and Plan B. In another STARS video a teen counselor tells a worried teen that while the Morning After pill is available in pharmacies, “you can get it at Planned Parenthood for less money, or even free." the rest
Cal Thomas: Death of an atheist
By Cal Thomas
Perhaps not since Madalyn Murray O'Hair and Carl Sagan has there been such an "evangelical" atheist as Christopher Hitchens, the writer and social commentator who died last week after a long and public battle with esophageal cancer.
Hitchens railed against those who believe in God. While an original writer, and smart, there was nothing original about his unbelief. Such views have been expressed since the dawn of humanity.
They have also been answered by some of the wisest people who have ever lived. There is a difference between "smart" and "wise." As that Scripture in which Hitchens disbelieved says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs 9:10)
I have always found atheists to be interesting people because they just may be the world's smallest minority group, one that gets smaller still as its members pass on and meet God face-to-face.
Still, atheists demand physical proof of God's existence, as if they could bring God down and make Him into their image. What kind of God would that be? He would be their equal and, thus, not God at all. the rest
Dutch bishops blamed for “organising” paedophiles
The Dutch Church has been dealt another blow: Prelate Philippe Bär, who has led the diocese of Rotterdam for ten years, has been accused of giving organisational support to a paedophile association
Bishop and leader of a “gang” of paedophiles: the prelate Philippe Bär (who headed the most important diocese in the Netherlands from 1983 and 1993) is suspected of offering organisational support to an association which intended to sexually abuse minors and to take part in such acts.
In 1993, the head of the diocese of Rotterdam suddenly left his post and retired to the Benedictine abbey of Chevetogne in Belgium. In the Netherlands, the Catholic Church is heading deeper into the storm. After the Irish drift, the Netherlands too is seeing a rise in the number of “unfaithful clerics”. First came the shocking conclusions of an independent commission on paedophilia (one out of five children who have come into contact with ecclesiastical institutions have been molested); now, the bishop emeritus of Rotterdam is being accused of sexual abuse. the rest
Former Catholic bishop not a pedophile, court hears
Monday, December 19, 2011
Devotional: He wants to talk to me of His own secrets...
A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population
December 19, 2011
A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread – so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.
A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.2 Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%). the rest-full report/interactive maps
School punishes religious beliefs, student sues
A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Michigan public school student who was punished for telling his teacher he opposes homosexuality.
When his economics teacher, a homosexual activist, specifically asked Daniel Glowacki, a junior at the time, about his feelings on homosexuality, the student responded that as a Catholic, he is offended by the lifestyle. He was then threatened with suspension and ordered to leave the classroom. News of the incident spread nationwide, and Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) accounts that the reaction was rarely positive toward the student.
"A firestorm of protest and vilification of Daniel appeared in the homosexual Internet community, and it ultimately ended in the mother being so upset that she contacted the Thomas More Law Center," Thompson reports. the rest
Some of the most important learning we ever do happens in the womb: science expert
by Ben Johnson
Mon Dec 19, 2011
December 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – What is an unborn child capable of learning? According to scientific journalist Annie Murphy Paul, “some of the most important learning we ever do happens before we’re born, while we’re still in the womb.”
In a recent discussion hosted by TED, Paul said the idea that much of a child’s personality is shaped in utero “is supported by the latest evidence from psychology and biology.”
Paul explores the topic in her new book, Origins, written during her own pregnancy. During her research the former editor of Psychology Today and recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism discovered a field of scientific research that has only come of age in the last ten years. the rest
5,000 Christians Attend Rally to Support Nativity at Texas Courthouse
Sun, Dec. 18 2011
By Napp Nazworth
An estimated 5,000 people showed up for a rally Saturday in Athens, Texas, to support a Nativity display in opposition to an atheist group that had requested the county remove the display.
Nathan Lorick, pastor of First Baptist Church in Malakoff, one of four pastors that helped organize the rally, said in a Sunday interview with The Christian Post that they had hoped that 2,000 or 2,500 would show up. They printed 3,000 flyers for the event, but came up 2,000 short.
“We hoped this would be a statement across the nation that would resonate in the hearts of people, that they would know it's OK to stand up for the faith,” Lorick said, “and maybe that this would spark a movement across the nation and people would rise up in every small town, every metro city and contend for the faith.”
The controversy began when Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a Dec. 1 letter to the county government asking that the Nativity display be removed. the rest
A.S. Haley: ECUSA Denied Summary Judgment in Quincy
Court Finds a Triable Dispute Whether Church Is in Fact "Hierarchical
December 17, 2011
In a ruling released yesterday afternoon by the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Adams County, Illinois, Judge Thomas J. Ortbal denied motions for summary judgment brought by ECUSA and its rump diocese of Quincy, which had intervened to join in ECUSA's counterclaim against certain clergy and laity who held property and funds in trust for the (now missionary) Diocese of Quincy in ACNA.
To my knowledge, this is the first summary judgment motion lost by ECUSA, or by any of its rump dioceses, in their attempts to seize the property of the four dioceses which have thus far realigned with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone and with the Anglican Church in North America ("ACNA").
It is thus very much worth analyzing in detail. As explained at this background page, the realigning Diocese of Quincy had originally filed suit against ECUSA in Adams County Circuit Court when ECUSA, following its by now standard tactics, managed to persuade the Diocese's bank that it should freeze all the funds which the Diocese had on deposit there. This put a crimp in diocesan operations, and has forced the realigning Diocese to relegate itself to missionary status in ACNA. (Meanwhile, the rump diocese has fared no better, and is dependent on continuing subsidies voted by ECUSA's Executive Council to survive, so as to be able to participate in ECUSA's lawsuit. Talk about the hoary offense of champerty!) the rest
Filmed October 2011
Posted December 2011
Surgeons are taught from textbooks which conveniently color-code the types of tissues, but that's not what it looks like in real life -- until now. At TEDMED Quyen Nguyen demonstrates how a molecular marker can make tumors light up in neon green, showing surgeons exactly where to cut.
Savannah: Anglicans move services to nearby church
December 19, 2011
By Dana Clark Felty
The Rev. Marc Robertson compared his congregation’s temporary move to Independent Presbyterian Church to a long visit with grandma.
“Since we don’t have a bed to sleep in, we’re staying at grandma’s for now,” said Robertson, rector at Christ Church Savannah.
Sunday marked the church’s first of many worship services to come at Independent Presbyterian at Bull and Liberty Streets following the the Anglican congregation’s ouster from historic property on Johnson Square.
Christ Church Savannah was forced to leave the majestic Greek Revival building after losing a four-year property dispute with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. the rest