Saturday, January 28, 2012

Anglican congregations moving forward after losing church buildings

By Colette M. Jenkins
January 28, 2012

The Holy Spirit congregation is among five Northeast Ohio parishes that were displaced after a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled that the church properties they occupied belonged to the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio.

The five congregations — Holy Spirit; St. Luke’s, Fairlawn; St. Barnabas, Bay Village; St. Anne in the Fields, Madison; and Church of the Transfiguration, Cleveland — left the Episcopal Church in 2003 and realigned with the Anglican Communion.

The split grew from disagreements over biblical teaching on salvation and other issues, including homosexuality. After the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in 2003, some of the more theologically conservative parishes, including the five in Northeast Ohio, disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church and realigned themselves with Anglican organizations that share their views on issues like homosexuality.

In March 2008, the diocese sued, asking the county court to declare that the property associated with the five parishes belongs to the diocese and the Episcopal Church. Last April, the court ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church and the diocese. Several months later, the Anglican congregations began vacating the buildings.

All five congregations have been taken in by other churches — Church of the Transfiguration worships at a former Methodist building on Martin Luther King Drive in Cleveland; St. Anne’s worships in the youth center at Cornerstone Friends Church in Madison and St. Barnabas, now Christ Church Westshore, has weekday services at Bay Presbyterian Church Westshore and a 10 a.m. Sunday service at Bay High School in Bay Village. the rest

Friday, January 27, 2012

Court: 'Tolerance is a two-way street'

Jody Brown, Charlie Butts, and Bob Kellogg

The Sixth Circuit has ruled in favor of Christian graduate student Julea Ward, who almost three years ago was expelled from a university counseling program for her religious beliefs.

In a strongly worded opinion earlier today, the Sixth U.S. Circuit of Appeals reversed a district court decision in favor of Eastern Michigan University, sending it back for trial along with this message: "A reasonable jury could conclude that Ward's professors ejected her from the counseling program because of hostility toward her speech and faith ...."

As part of her counseling practicum course in early 2009, Ward had been assigned a potential client who was homosexual and was seeking affirmation of that sexual orientation. Because she was unwilling to violate her own religious beliefs in the context of the counseling relationship, Ward was permitted to refer the client to another counselor -- but was told to remain in the counseling program she would have to undergo a "remediation" program that would help her "see the error of her ways."

When Ward refused, a faculty committee dismissed her from the program. In her subsequent lawsuit, a district federal court ruled in favor of EMU -- a ruling that has now been reversed. the rest
"A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree ...," wrote the Sixth Circuit. "Why treat Ward differently? That her conflict arose from religious convictions is not a good answer; that her conflict arose from religious convictions for which the department at times showed little tolerance is a worse answer."

Rescued Hostage Buchanan Sold Her Belongings to Become Missionary

Jan. 25, 2012

Jessica Buchanan, the woman rescued from Somalia bandits by U.S. special forces, is so dedicated to helping others that she sold all of her belongings to become a missionary in Somalia.

Buchanan, 32, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Valley Forge University, a Christian college in Phoenixville, Pa., in 2007. She was a student teacher in Africa before graduating and her romance with the continent began.

"She fell in love with Africa," Rev. Don Meyer, dean of Valley Forge University told the Associated Press. "She could hardly talk about Africa without tears in her eyes." the rest

Survey: Record number of Israeli Jews believe in God

First comprehensive study in a decade also shows that 70 percent of Israelis believe the Jews are the 'Chosen People.'
By Nir Hasson

Fully 80 percent of Israeli Jews believe that God exists - the highest figure found by the Guttman-Avi Chai survey since this review of Israeli-Jewish beliefs began two decades ago.

The latest survey of the "Beliefs, Observance and Values among Israeli Jews" was conducted in 2009 but the results were released only on Thursday, after a detailed analysis had been completed. The two previous surveys were in 1999 and 1991.

The study also found that 70 percent of respondents believe the Jews are the "Chosen People," 65 percent believe the Torah and mitzvot (religious commandments ) are God-given, and 56 percent believe in life after death. the rest

Clergyman jailed for sham marriage scam

An Anglican clergyman who advised the Church of England on how to handle sham marriages has been jailed for two and a half years for conducting dozens of the illegal ceremonies himself.
By John Bingham
26 Jan 2012

The Revd Canon Dr John Magumba married a stream of Nigerian men to EU citizens giving them a “golden ticket” to stay in Britain, a court heard.

At one point he was conducting so many weddings involving foreigners that he was put him in charge of a committee of diocesan working party on how to handle the issue – including how to spot sham relationships, Bolton Crown Court heard.

He "asked no questions" despite a dramatic surge in African men choosing his churches in Greater Manchester to marry Polish, Slovak or Czech women. the rest

Woman set to marry building undeterred by demolition work

Jan 26, 2012

SEATTLE -- Bruised or not, she says she'll marry her beloved building as planned come Sunday.

Babylonia Aivaz's bride-to-be is a 107-year-old warehouse that sits at 10th and Union in the Capitol Hill neighborwood. She has been planning to enter into what she described as "a gay marriage" with the building.

"If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings," said Aivaz, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising. "I'm doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.” the rest
"Yes, I'm in love with a 107 year old building! Yes, ITS A GAY MARRIAGE! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story," she wrote.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A hidden cause of Baltimore's population loss: abortion

City's rate of terminated pregnancies is indicative of a wayward society
January 23, 2012
By Diana Schaub

The decline of marriage, particularly among African-Americans, is all too familiar. Not as well-known is that Maryland has a very high abortion rate (third highest among the states in 2005, the year that the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stopped collecting abortion statistics). The breakdown by jurisdiction reveals that Baltimore City is driving those deadly numbers, and also that the abortion rate among African-American women is at least triple the white rate.

Even for those in favor of legal abortion, the situation should be dismaying. And it certainly represents what Montesquieu termed "a change of customs." For comparison: In 1970, Baltimore City abortion rates for single white and black women stood at 7.43 and 10 respectively (the abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44), with the married women's rates half that. By 2005, the Baltimore rate was 86.2. The National Abortion Rights Action League, which cites that figure, did not provide the African-American rate, but it would be substantially higher.

Lest one think that poverty accounts for this shift, the poverty rate in Baltimore has remained relatively fixed at around 20 percent for decades. The marriage dearth and the abortion deluge among all races are not attributable to material causes as much as moral causes: young women's loss of respect for themselves as the bearers of new life and their resulting willingness to treat abortion as a method of contraception. the rest

Vatican official warns pope of corruption

January 25, 2012

VATICAN CITY — An Italian news program has obtained letters from a top Vatican official to the pope in which he begs not to be transferred after exposing corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts that cost the Holy See millions of euros (dollars).

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano was removed in October as the No. 2 administrator of the Vatican city-state and was named the pope's ambassador to Washington. While the job is highly prestigious, the posting took Vigano far from headquarters and out of the running for the Vatican's top administrative job, which carries with it the rank of cardinal.

The investigative news program "The Untouchables" on the private La7 network broadcast a series of letters Vigano sent Pope Benedict XVI and the secretary of state last year in which he claimed to have exposed corruption and abuse of office in the running of the Vatican's administration. the rest

Steven Spielberg Near Commitment To Direct Moses Epic For Warner Bros

Wednesday January 25, 2012

Steven Spielberg is near to etching in stone with Warner Bros on that biopic portraying the Jewish leader as the warrior to beat all warriors. With a working title of Gods And Kings, what’s envisioned is “a movie like a Braveheart-ish version of the Moses story,” an insider tells me. “Him coming down the river, being adopted, leaving his home, forming an army, and getting the Ten Commandments.” And despite the awesome screen possibilities of the parting of the Red Sea, the movie isn’t being contemplated in 3D. Back in 1956, Paramount release The Ten Commandments in VistaVision to give moviegoers a more spectacular experience of scenes like that. But this film is as far from a remake of the Cecile B. DeMille-directed epic as you can get even though they cover similar ground. Instead Warner Bros wants Speilberg to direct it with the gritty reality of Saving Private Ryan, which is considered a masterpiece redefining battle movies. ”There have been glossy versions of the Moses story but this would be a real warrior story,” an insider tells me.

The studio has wanted Spielberg on the project since last September when he first read the script. (See previous, Warner Bros Goes To The Mountaintop For Moses Epic.) Getting Spielberg seemed a long shot because his deals are always complex and his dance card is always full. Talks intensified, and now insiders tell me the dialogue should consummate by the end of the month. Warner Bros wants to start production sometime in March or April of 2013. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 25

Jan 25, 2012

Yosemite timelapse HD

Yosemite HD from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

Project Yosemite

US Supreme Court backs religious independence in surprise decision

The unanimous decision is a major setback for the Obama Administration.
James S. Cole
Monday, 23 January 2012

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court decided a case filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a teacher against a church-operated grade school in Michigan. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 10-553 (January 11, 2012). (The Slip Opinion, the official pre-publication version of the Court’s decision, is available on-line here.) The Supreme Court's 9-0 decision in favor of the First Amendment is a noteworthy setback to the anti-religious campaign waged by the Obama Administration in the law.

Hosanna-Tabor is a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that "called" Ms Perich to teach in its school. To be “called,” a teacher had to complete eight college-level courses in aspects of Lutheran theology and obtain the approval of the local District of the LCMS. After that training and approval, once a congregation “called” the teacher, the teacher was employed indefinitely and was commissioned as a minister in the church. Duties as a teacher included teaching religion, leading a prayer service in class, and occasionally organizing larger religious services for the entire school. The school also employed “lay” teachers, who were not considered ministers and had year-to-year contracts. the rest

'Do not touch me': the wisdom of Anglican thresholds

By Stephen Hough
January 25th, 2012

This past Sunday I went to Westminster Abbey to attend Evensong, their superb choir conducted by James O'Donnell and accompanied by Robert Quinney. Woven between Thomas Cranmer's matchless words was music of Herbert Howells, William Byrd and a sparkling anthem by Jonathan Dove. If you are visiting London and want a perfect slice of England there's no better place to go.

The Church of England's evening service, adapted after the Reformation from the monastic hour of Vespers, is a wondrous phenomenon. Even the word 'Evensong' is poetic, and it seems to chime in perfect harmony with England's seasons: Autumn's melancholy, early evening light; the merry crackle of Winter frost; Spring's awakening, or the lazy, protracted sun strained through the warmed windows of a Summer afternoon.

Evensong hangs on the wall of English life like a old, familiar cloak passed through the generations. Rich with prayer and Scripture, it is nevertheless totally nonthreatening. It is a service into which all can stumble without censure – a rambling old house where everyone can find some corner to sit and think, to listen with half-attention, trailing a few absentminded fingers of faith or doubt in its passing stream.
 the rest image by Herry Lawford

Child sacrifice in 21st Century America

Jan 25, 2012
George Weigel

The Hebrew Bible is not for the squeamish. And its harshest maledictions are called down upon those who practiced the abomination of child-sacrifice.

Thus the Psalmist:

“They sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons/they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood./Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the harlot in their doings./Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage./… they were rebellious in their purposes, and were brought low because of their iniquity” (Psalm 106:38-40, 43).

And the prophet Ezekiel, delivering the word of the Lord:

“And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?... Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you, and diminished your allotted portion, and delivered you to the greed of your enemies…” (Ezekiel 16:20-21, 27).

Thirty-nine years after Roe v. Wade created an unrestricted abortion license in the United States, and during the week when hundreds of thousands of Americans pray and march for life, all Americans ought to ponder these words—and the kind of country to which Roe v. Wade led. the rest

Detaching biology from marriage and parenthood

Washington State House Judiciary Testimony
January 23, 2012

Church of England attendance decreasing, continuing downward trend

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The latest statistics from the Church of England show a two per cent drop in attendance between 2009 and 2010.

Average Sunday attendance fell from 944,400 in 2009 to 923,700 the following year, continuing the long-term downward trend.

The number of children and young people at weekly services also dropped by two per cent, from 223,000 in 2009 to 218,600 in 2010.

Marriages rose in the Church of England by four per cent, from 52,730 in 2009 to 54,700 in 2010.

It is the biggest increase in marriages in any one year in the last decade and follows the launch of a range of initiatives designed to make marrying in the Church of England easier. the rest

More weddings, but fewer worshippers on average

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

m9 solar flare jan 23
January 24, 2012

Radiation from an immense solar blast hit the Earth Tuesday -- forcing Delta Air Lines to redirect at least half a dozen airplanes that had been routed over the North Pole.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation’s official source of warnings about space weather and its impact on Earth -- issued a geomagnetic storm warning Monday after a satellite witnessed an ultraviolet flash from the massive solar eruption.

There is no risk to people on Earth, Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center told

But as a rare precaution, some polar flights were re-routed to avoid communication lapses and exposing pilots and passengers to excessive radiation.  the rest/image

Solar storm expected to fire up northern lights

House bills promote religion at war memorials

Jan 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Tuesday passed two bills endorsing the use of religious symbols at military memorials. One writes into law the propriety of displaying religious markers at war memorials while the other orders that the Interior Department add to the World War II Memorial in Washington a plaque with Franklin Roosevelt's prayer to the nation on D-Day.

The first bill would codify the existing practice of allowing religious symbols at military monuments established or acquired by the federal government. It was introduced by San Diego Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in response to a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling a year ago that a cross placed on Mount Soledad in nearby La Jolla, Calif., in 1913 was unconstitutional. the rest

Mere Anglicanism 2012: The Rt. Rev'd Mark J. Lawrence

posted January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eternal Father Source of all life and light...

Eternal Father
Source of all life and light
Whose love extends to all people,
All creatures, all things:
Grant us that reverence for life
Which becomes those who believe in you;
Lest we despise it, degrade it
Or come callously to destroy it.
Rather let us save it
secure it, and sanctify it,
After the example of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Robert Runcie image

Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory...

“God’s love does not distinguish between the infant in the mother’s womb or the child or the youth or the adult or the older person. In each one God sees His image and likeness. Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory.” ...Pope Benedict XVI

"Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work." ...Archbishop Charles Chaput image by Richard Topalovich

The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion...

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. " ...Mother Teresa image

India: Sharia Court convicts Anglican priest of blasphemy for baptizing Muslims

January 21, 2012
by George Conger

The All India Christian Council has condemned an indictment issued by a Sharia law court in Kashmir that charges two priests with blasphemy by enticing Muslims to convert to Christianity.

On 11 January 2012 Muslim leaders in the Northern Indian state issued a statement saying that “it was proved beyond doubt that the accused” the vicar of All Saints Church in Srinigar, the Rev Chander Mani Khanna of the Church of North India, “along with other accomplices was luring Muslim people to change their religion.”

A second priest, Fr. Jim Borst, a Roman Catholic missionary who has worked in Kashmir for 46 years, was also charged with converting Muslims to Christianity. the rest

Obama praises ‘fundamental constitutional right’ to abortion

by Patrick B. Craine
Mon Jan 23, 2012

( - Marking the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion.

“I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right,” the president said in a brief statement on Jan. 22nd.

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” he continued. the rest

Obama: Abortion Enables 'Our Daughters' To 'Fulfill Their Dreams'

How to react to a phone going off during your solo

TODAY! Watch ProLifeCon

January 23, 2012

This morning Family Research Council will host its annual event geared for online pro-life activists: ProLifeCon.

ProLifeCon is always a fascinating, fast-paced three hours, packed with great speakers and information specifically for those of us with a passion to spread the message of the sanctity of life through blogging and social media. the rest

Watch here

The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe

by Michael Stokes Paulsen
January 23, 2012

39 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people.

Today, thousands of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are commemorating the thirty-ninth anniversary of a legal and moral monstrosity, Roe v. Wade, and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The two cases, in combination, created an essentially unqualified constitutional right of pregnant women to abortion—the right to kill their children, gestating in their wombs, up to the point of birth. After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.

It is almost too much to contemplate: the prospect that we are living in the midst of, and accepting (to various degrees) one of the greatest human holocausts in history. And so we don’t contemplate it. Instead, we look for ways to deny this grim reality, minimize it, or explain away our complacency—or complicity. the rest
The right created by the Supreme Court in Roe is a constitutional right of some human beings to kill other human beings. I do not mean for my description to be provocative, but simply direct—blunt about facts. One need not presume that the human fetus has a right not to be killed in order to recognize that, as a descriptive matter, Roe creates a right for one class of human beings to kill other human beings.

Tens of Thousands Join West Coast Pro-Life March in San Francisco

Sun, Jan. 22 2012
By Anugrah Kumar

More than 40,000 pro-life activists and supporters participated in the eighth annual Walk for Life West Coast event in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday to celebrate life and proclaim, "Women deserve better than abortion!"

The crowd gathered at Civic Center Plaza in front of the San Francisco City Hall on Saturday morning for an "Info Fair," which featured music, speakers and activities for kids. The march began in the afternoon. The activists walked down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero, filling the length and breadth of the street. the rest

AAC response to Archbishops' report on ACNA

By The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey
Chief Operating and Development Officer, American Anglican Council
posted January 23, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ,

I wish to make a view brief observations about the Report of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England General Synod which was released today and which we have published in this Update. As you will recall, this Report was requested by the CofE General Synod's response to a Private Member's Motion seeking recognition of the ACNA. The American Anglican Council was there at the Synod on behalf of the ACNA, both before and during the debate, to counter misinformation by TEC about the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), and to provide updates on litigation, canonical abuses and the realignment of Anglicanism in North America. Our brief, "TEC: Unjust Episcopal Acts," clearly helped shape the debate.

The Report of the Archbishops is short, and with less clarity than you or I might have desired. But it reflects a particular culture that abhors a "winner-takes-all" outcome, having fought civil and religious wars where such an outcome was only narrowly averted, and with much bloodshed. In that light, here are some important observations about the Archbishops' report that are, on balance, positive for ACNA:

1. The ACNA as an institution was not rejected, as TEC and its proxies no doubt desired. Our Anglican "bona fides" will be subject to review and discussion while the wounds remain fresh from the realignment here in North America. The Archbishops state that the concept of membership in the Anglican Communion is not straightforward (Paragraph 8). Within that declaration, they discuss the role of both the ACC and the assent of 2/3 of the Primates of the Churches already listed in the current schedule of membership as providing a basis for membership. But in contrast to previous statements by ++Canterbury and the Secretary of the Anglican Communion, there is no insistence here upon the ACNA submitting an application to the ACC or following its "schedule" as necessary steps for recognition. I believe this is a significant concession between the lines to those who have challenged the purported authority of the ACC to make such decisions, especially in light of actual precedent where it was recognition by the Primates that gave membership within the Communion.

2. Given the likely wish of TEC to have the ACNA rejected, I believe it is a back-handed compliment to the development of the ACNA as an Anglican Church within the Communion that the Archbishops found it necessary to allay TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada's fears by reaffirming their communion with TEC and ACoC.

3. With respect to the question about the interchangeability of Holy Orders between ACNA and the Church of England, Paragraphs 11 and 21 make clear that the ministers of ACNA stand in exactly the same place in relation to the CofE as other clergy in the Communion.

Of course, this leaves many questions unanswered. If ACNA clergy seek to be licensed in the Church of England under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure of 1967, how will their applications be received? Will they be received and recognized? Or will they be delayed and put off like the clergy validly ordained in the Anglican Church of Kenya for the Anglican Mission in England, who are still waiting? We will be watching carefully to see how evenhandedly the Archbishops proceed, in keeping with the report.

Where then do we go from here? On mission, of course - to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit so that people everywhere (and particularly here in North America) will come to know Christ as Lord and to put their trust in Him as Savior, in the fellowship of the church! the rest

Anglican Church Embraces Working Relationship with Church of England

Church of England General Synod Report Encourages “Open-Ended Engagement”
Posted January 23, 2012

The General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, released a report this week providing further clarity on its working relationship with the Anglican Church in North America, and encouraged an “open-ended engagement with ACNA on the part of the Church of England and the (Anglican) Communion.”

“We are encouraged by the desire of the Church of England to continue to embrace the Anglican Church in North America and remain in solidarity with us as we proclaim the Gospel message and truth as revealed in Scripture in the way it has always been understood in Anglican formularies,” said Archbishop Duncan.

The Church of England General Synod report can be viewed here.

“As we have demonstrated successfully to the GAFCON primates, the Anglican Church in North America remains committed to our growing relationships with Anglican provinces outside of North America. Our biblical orthodoxy and ministries are strengthening our bond to our Anglican brothers and sisters around the globe. We are gratified that we are already in a relationship of full communion with many Anglican Provinces and look forward to expanding that circle.” the rest

Obama administration refuses to change contraception mandate

By Michelle Bauman
Jan 20, 2012

(CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration announced Jan. 20 that it will not expand an exemption for religious groups that object to its requirement for health insurance plans to cover sterilization and contraception – including abortion-causing drugs – free of charge.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a Jan. 20 statement that religious employers who object to providing the coverage will be required to comply with the new law by Aug. 1, 2013, one year later than the initial deadline.

Sebelius noted that “important concerns” had been “raised about religious liberty.”

Those speaking out against the mandate included many Catholic organizations, such as schools, hospitals and social agencies, which serve all people in need, regardless of their religious affiliation. the rest

 "First Time in History Goverment Has Forced Organizations to Buy Product That Violates Conscience"

UK: Ministers ban extra benefits for multiple wives

Ministers are to bring to an end an "absurd" benefits regime which has seen husbands with multiple wives able to claim extra welfare payments.
By Patrick Hennessy
21 Jan 2012

Although bigamy is illegal in Britain, men who married more than one woman in countries where the practice was legal and then brought them to the UK have been allowed for years to receive multiple benefits.

Critics claimed the controversial system meant the state is effectively "recognising" polygamous marriages, of which there are thought to be about a thousand in the UK.

The practice is largely confined to Muslim men, who are permitted under some interpretations of Islamic law to have up to four wives in a harem – as long as they spend equal amounts of time and money on each partner.

The system of paying extra benefits for multiple wives was reviewed under Labour in an exercise involving four separate Whitehall branches – The Treasury, the Department for Work & Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs and the Home Office. the rest

Arrests made over Nigerian bombings that have killed at least 166 people

January 23, 2012
NIGERIAN President Goodluck Jonathan has said that arrests have been made over a wave of attacks in the city of Kano that killed at least 166 people and vowed to hunt down the backers of Islamist group Boko Haram.

"Some arrests have been made. Some died in the process. Some were suicide bombers," Mr Jonathan said in a BBC interview during a visit to Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

"There must be people who are sponsoring them. Terrorists all over the world have their source of income," said Mr Jonathan, whose visit came two days after the coordinated bombings and gunbattles rocked Kano after Friday prayers.

Mr Jonathan is battling with the worst crisis of his rule as the sectarian violence has raised fears of an all-out civil war in Africa's most populous nation and its biggest oil producer. the rest

Nigerian police say four Boko Haram members killed

More churches attacked in Nigeria violence
Two churches and a security checkpoint were attacked in Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan visited the country’s second-largest city Sunday, following the wave of Islamic extremist attacks...

Conservative Presbyterians launch new denomination

By Daniel Burke January 20

Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination on Thursday (Jan. 19), saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is too consumed by internal conflicts and bureaucracy to nurture healthy congregations.

“This ‘new Reformed body’ is intended to foster a new way of being the church, just as traditional, mainline denominations rose to serve in their day,” wrote leaders of the new Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.

More than 2,000 people attended the ECO’s meeting in Orlando, Fla., this week, but a straw poll indicated that most have not yet decided whether to leave the PC(USA), according to the Presbyterian Outlook, an independent magazine. the rest

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Small bird joins bluegrass band

posted January 22, 2012