Saturday, February 11, 2012

Many times we are content with sitting on the sidelines...

Many times we are content with sitting on the sidelines, always hearing about other's lives being changed in huge ways and God being so important in their life. We go to church and hear people talk about what God has been doing in their life. We go to events and conferences that we hope will microwave our Christian maturity to well done. We read books on how other's lives were changed. And that is good enough for us, but deep down inside, we wish we could have that happen in our own life. So we make promises to try harder. We recommit our lives to Jesus. We might begin having devotions more often. But, after a while, the desire dies off and the excitement has turned into duty and we give up. Obedience makes the difference in a life that is sold out for God. It is seeing what God does with our attitude of following what He has in the Bible that brings about change in our hearts and a Christian walk that is on fire. ...Zach Conrad image

The Galileo of Global Warming

February 10, 2012
By Robert Tracinski

I have written before about how the left loves to invoke the example of Galileo in order to present themselves as the great defenders of science against all of those knuckle-dragging religious bigots who don't believe in global warming. But these same people don't understand science very well themselves (remember amateur neurologist Janeane Garofalo lecturing us about the "limbic brain"?), so they end up using Galileo, a man who defied the "consensus" of his day, as a propaganda talking point to enforce the consensus of today.

It occurred to me a while back that there is something worse about this invocation of Galileo, because there is a modern-day equivalent to Galileo, specifically on the issue of global warming—and he's on the other side. In this more civilized age, he is thankfully not threatened with torture or any kind of persecution. But he is a pioneer of new and important scientific truths who is being ignored and vilified because his discoveries run counter to the quasi-religious dogma of our day.

That man is the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who seems to have discovered the most important factor that actually regulates Earth's climate, and who is quietly in the process of proving it.
the rest-Excellent! image
So there you have the rules of the game, as played by the political-scientific establishment. If you have a study that you think backs up the global warming dogma, preface it with a press release drawing wildly speculative conclusions from the data. If you have a study that contradicts the global warming dogma, preface it with a press release declaring that no conclusions can be drawn.

Katharine Jefferts Schori's Abandonment of Traditional Sexual Morality

By Sarah Frances Ives
Special to Virtueonline
February 10, 2012

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori seeks to change the Episcopal Church into multi-faith centers practicing blended spiritualities.

To accomplish this, in her book The Heartbeat of God (Skylight Paths Publishing, 2011), she espouses new interpretations of the Bible, dismisses traditional law on sexual practices, and advocates the end of what she calls the "veneer of righteousness." (pp198). She offers the lofty claim that we will be at "home" if we do this.

Of course if we take away our witness of the Jewish law as well as Christian testimony, we will be in human chaos and nothingness. Let us carefully re-trace her thinking in a context of scholarly research.

Jefferts Schori's Claims
Jefferts Schori does not want a mature, interior righteousness that Jesus fulfills in human hearts but instead a new world where traditional Christian understandings are abandoned. In this book with its many stereotypes and half-truths, one stands out in particular: she misrepresents the role of women in Jewish society. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes, "In Jesus' day, there were no jobs or economic possibilities for poor women without male relatives-except, of course, for 'the oldest profession.'"(pp32) She concludes that the Jewish society was one in which the "widow was kept poor by a religious and political system of exploitation." (pp33) Jefferts Schori presents a skewed perspective on women as forced to sell themselves in prostitution.

What is particularly startling about this pronouncement is that she offers no academic support for her idea. Indeed, I can find no scholar who supports this vision of a society forcing all poor women without male relatives into prostitution. the rest

Sacramento-area churches participate in Evolution Weekend

By Jennifer Garza
Saturday, February 11, 2012

As pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church, the Rev. Betsey Monnot believes in both the word of God and the work of Darwin. This Sunday, her congregation will hear a message about both.

"Belief in one enhances the other," Monnot said.

The pastor studied physics in college and does not believe the theory of evolution contradicts the teachings of her faith. She said the Bible was not intended as a science book but rather is essential for telling "stories that help us understand who we are."

Darwinism – the theory that all life descended from a common ancestor – is a controversial issue in some faith groups, and many religious leaders reject Monnot's views.

This weekend, Monnot's congregation will join hundreds of other churches across the country – including about half a dozen in the Sacramento area – with sermons about the compatibility of science and faith. It's all part of the seventh annual Evolution Weekend, a program by the Clergy Letter Project that promotes science and religion. the rest image

Episcopal Church service to feature Beatles music
...“The Episcopal Church is a welcoming committee for God, not a selection committee,” said Wayne Thomas, a vestry member involved in parish-life activities. “Acceptance, peace and love” are themes in the church and mirrored in Beatles’ songs, he said.

Father Baker said the service “has taken on a life of its own.” He chalked it up “to how the Holy Spirit works.”

The priest added that since so much of The Beatles’ music revolves around love and peace, it’s in harmony with a religious service. “It’s about love and God’s love for us. The church is a physical outpouring of that love,” he said.

Reaching out is what churches are supposed to do, he added. The service, he hopes, will be a “Ticket To Ride” by appealing to a broad range of people. The service might help people realize that God is “Here, There And Everywhere” and a way to “Help!” yourself to an uplifting time...

Health insurers question Obama birth control plan

Fri Feb 10, 2012
By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) - U.S. health insurers said on Friday they feared President Barack Obama had set a new precedent by making them responsible for providing free birth control to employees of religious groups as he sought to defuse an election-year landmine.

Obama on Friday announced the policy shift in an effort to accommodate religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, whose leaders are outraged by a new rule that would have required them to offer free contraceptive coverage to employees.

Instead, the Obama administration ordered insurers to provide workers at religious-affiliated institutions with free family planning if they request it, without involving their employer at all. Insurance industry officials said the abrupt shift raised questions over how that requirement would be implemented.

"We are concerned about the precedent this proposed rule would set," said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's trade group. "As we learn more about how this rule would be operationalized, we will provide comments through the regulatory process." the rest

Immaculate Contraception
An 'accommodation' that makes the birth-control mandate worse.

Obama Contraceptives Mandate Losing Senate Democrats?

Obama Caved to Pressure on Contraception

State AGs threaten to sue over birth-control mandate

By Sam Baker
02/09/12

Three state attorneys general say they’ll sue the Obama administration over its controversial birth-control mandate unless the White House backs down on its own.

“Not only is the proposed contraceptive coverage mandate for religious employers bad policy, it is unconstitutional,” the attorneys general said in a letter to top administration officials Thursday. “It conflicts with the most basic elements of the freedoms of religion, speech and association, as provided under the First Amendment.”

The state officials said that if the White House finalizes the contraception policy, they’re “prepared to vigorously oppose it in court.” The threat came from the attorneys general of Nebraska, Texas and South Carolina. the rest

Alexandria: forced eviction of 62 Coptic families by the Salafis

Muslims in the area of el-Amerya, with the complicity of police and state authorities, set fire to Christian homes and shops, and forced several families to leave the country, under the threat of further violence.
02/09/2012
EGYPT

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The radical Muslims are trying to empty a village near Alexandria of its Coptic population - 62 families, on the basis of unfounded allegations against a Copt. The Copts of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-Amerya) were attacked on Jan. 27 by a crowd of some three thousand Muslims led by Salafi leaders who set fire to the Copts houses and shops. The violence were sparked by the allegations of a barber Muslim Toemah, who claimed that a Coptic tailor of 34, Samy Mourad Guirgis, had "illegal" photos of a Muslim woman on his cell phone. Mourad has denied the charges, and turned himself in to police in fear of his life. The Muslims set fire to his house and his shop, and his whole family was forced to leave the village. Mourad is still under police custody.

Since then there have been three "reconciliation meetings" in the police headquarters in el-Amerya, attended by representatives of the Coptic Church, the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to police, the woman concerned has denied the whole story, and no compromising photos of any kind were found Mourad’s cell phone. But radical Muslims argue that "Muslim honor has been damaged," and at the first meeting, they refused any type of compensation for the Copts who were innocent victims of their violence. the rest

Friday, February 10, 2012

Christian guesthouse owners lose appeal over ban on gay guests

Two Christian guesthouse owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who were ordered to pay damages after refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room lost their appeal today.
10 Feb 2012

The challenge by the Bulls, who run Chymorvah House in Marazion, Cornwall, was rejected by three judges in the Court of Appeal in London.

They had appealed against a conclusion by a judge at Bristol County Court that they acted unlawfully when they turned away Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy in September 2008.

Judge Andrew Rutherford ruled in January last year that the Bulls had breached equality legislation and ordered them to pay the couple a total of £3,600 damages.

The appeal judges heard that the Bulls thought any sex outside marriage was a ''sin'', but denied they had discriminated against Mr Hall and Mr Preddy, from Bristol. the rest

UK: Councils 'should have right to say prayers', says Eric Pickles

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has criticised a ruling at the High Court today that having prayers on council meeting agendas is unlawful, saying that the right to worship is a "fundamental and hard-fought British liberty".
10 Feb 2012

A test case bid to outlaw prayers before local council meetings was won by the National Secular Society and an atheist councillor, Clive Bone.

They challenged the practice of Bideford town council, Devon, of having religious prayers on meeting agendas.

Today Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in London, ruled: ''The saying of prayers as part of the formal meeting of a council is not lawful under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, and there is no statutory power permitting the practice to continue.''

Mr Bone later left the council because of its "refusal to adjust" its prayer policy.  the rest

Let people wear cross with pride, urge bishops

The New Kosovo?

By Srdja Trifkovic
Tuesday, 7 Feb 2012

An Orthodox church was set ablaze in the southwestern part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on January 30. The incident reflects raising tensions between local Christian Slavs and Albanians, more than a decade after an Albanian rebellion brought FYROM to the verge of an ethnic war. It also evokes memories of the early stages of the conflict in Kosovo, in the late 1980s.

The church of St. Nicholas, in the majority Albanian-Muslim village of Labuniste, was two centuries old and housed valuable icons. The arson at Labuniste followed the burning of a Macedonian flag and the raising of Albanian and Islamic banners in the neighboring town of Struga, allegedly in reaction to an incident of “mocking Islam” at a local carnival last month. The town, on the shores of Lake Ohrid, lies at the southern edge of the line of ethnic separation between the two communities. The exact figures are disputed, but Macedonian Slavs account for about two-thirds (1.3 million) and Albanians for 30 percent (600,000) of the republic’s two million people. The latter, 98 percent Muslim, have had a remarkable rate of growth since 1961, when they accounted for only 13 percent of the total. Albanian birthrate has been more than twice that of Slavs for decades.

Following the signing of the NATO-brokered Ohrid Agreement that ended the 2001 Albanian rebellion by the “NLA” (a KLA subsidiary), FYROM has become bi-national and bilingual and the Albanians its second constituent nation. They are guaranteed proportional share of government power and an ethnically-based police force. This has turned FYROM into the weakest state in the Balkans and its de facto ethnic partition has become formalized and internationally guaranteed.

Having secured their dominance along the borders of Albania and Kosovo, the current main thrust of the Albanian ethno-religious encroachment has the country’s capital city as its primary objective. It is a little-known fact that today’s Skopje is effectively as divided as Nicosia or Jerusalem. Once a city quarter becomes majority-Albanian, it is quickly emptied of its Slavic, non-Muslim population. The time-tested technique is to construct a mosque in a mixed area, to broadcast prayer calls at full blast five times a day, and to create the visible and audible impression of dominance that intimidates non-Muslims (the locals call it “sonic cleansing”). the rest

Albert Mohler: What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling

Friday, February 10, 2012

President Obama walked into the White House Press Room today and attempted to pull a political rabbit out of a hat. Faced with an avalanche of mounting opposition to his administration’s mandate that religious employers provide birth control to all employees, the President announced what his staff characterized as a “compromise.” Was it?

After his opening comments, the President stated his new policy:

Today, we’ve reached a decision on how to move forward. Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services -– no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.

The result will be that religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly. Let me repeat: These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services. But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and they’ll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries. the rest
So preventing the birth of a child is classified with the polio vaccine. As Cecile Richards declared, the Obama Administration’s policy “does just that.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Church is to develop a Christian counter-culture....

Instead of always being one of the chief bastions of the social status quo, the Church is to develop a Christian counter-culture with its own distinctive goals, values, standards, and lifestyle, a realistic alternative to the contemporary technocracy which is marked by bondage, materialism, self-centredness, and greed. Christ’s call to obedience is a call to be different, not conformist.

Such a Church—joyful, obedient, loving, and free—will do more than please God: it will attract the world. It is when the Church evidently is the Church, and is living a supernatural life of love by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the world will believe. ...John R. W. Stott image by Steve Coutts

Church of England reaches compromise on women bishops

General Synod puts off split over ordination of female prelates by delaying legislation for fine tuning until final approval in July
Riazat Butt
Wednesday 8 February 2012

The archbishops of Canterbury and York has avoided humiliation in the Church of England's law-making body, the General Synod, by putting off a split over the ordination of women bishops.

The synod voted against measures that would have given traditionalists the legal right to ignore the leadership of women bishops. The proposal by the Manchester diocesan synod would have accepted that parishes opposed to female diocesan bishops could be ministered by male bishops.

But the synod also rejected an attempt by the Southwark diocese in London to ensure bishops press on with legislation to introduce women bishops.

In spite of four days of tortuous debate, the synod agreed that its bishops could instead tinker with legislation that would allow the ordination of women as bishops, before returning it to the synod for final approval in July. If that legislation is passed, women bishops could be ordained in 2014. the rest

Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress

File:Fulmar Flight.JPG
By Shaun Waterman
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s … a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.

The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.

Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well. the rest image

Winter Tightens Icy Grip Across Europe

February 08, 2012

A brutal cold front blamed for hundreds of deaths across Europe is threatening to linger even longer.

High winds whipped across Russia's Krasnodar region Wednesday, churning water in the port city of Novorossiysk, tearing apart buildings and causing some roofs to collapse. Heavy snow also blanketed the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, freezing roads and lakes.

Officials say the death toll across Europe has now climbed to more than 400 people, with new fatalities being reported in central and Eastern Europe. The French news agency said Russian officials on Wednesday raised their death toll to more than 100, with 44 new deaths blamed on the cold since the start of the month.

As parts of Europe issue emergency declarations, forecasters warn it could be several weeks before the vicious cold snap departs. Omar Baddour with the World Meteorological Organization said he expects the sub-zero temperatures to start warming next week. Baddour added it could take until the end of the month for Europe to see a significant change. the rest image by Stefano Contantini

Vanderbilt University: Imposing a Policy to Which it Would Not Submit

This piece was authored by Jeffrey Shafer of the Alliance Defense Fund
February 8, 2012

Excerpt:
Vanderbilt University had a mission that night: to set forth and defend its new institutional outlook and policy. How did the university carry out that objective? Did it leave the decision as to who would speak on its behalf to a referendum vote of its employees? Did it seek out those with strong leadership skills—regardless of their position on the policy in dispute? Did it embrace an “all-comers” policy and authorize anyone who wished to speak on its behalf? Of course not.

Vanderbilt discriminated in assigning those who would represent it at the meeting. The point of the gathering was for the university to persuasively make its case. Its discriminatory selection of speakers was essential to accomplishing that goal. When it comes to its own interests, Vanderbilt carefully adheres to a course that ensures that its mission and purposes are served rather than compromised. At the town hall meeting, its spokesmen carried out their duties in rare form, even offering autobiographical revelations to lend pathos to their assertions, as they demonstrated—often with emotion—their personal embrace of the university’s policy position.

But this is precisely what the university now forbids to religious groups. And this irony was evidently lost on the administration’s “true believers” tasked with defending the university’s creed at the town hall meeting. These officials kept straight faces while explaining to religious groups that they should be pleased to open their leadership to those who don’t believe the faith the groups were formed to propagate. the rest
 image by Dave Connor

‘The single biggest mistake of my entire life’ -a letter from a post-abortive woman

The following unsigned letter was received by a priest friend of mine following a pro-life homily. Her message is a powerful one that deserves to be heard by and shared with all young women and parents in a similar situation. I am happy to share her witness with you:
by Arland Nichols
Wed Feb 08, 2012

Excerpt:
The night before my appointment with the specialist, I vividly remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom crying until I had no tears to cry. I knew what I was about to do was wrong. My heart hurt so badly. I wanted to have the strength to say I would not have the abortion but I was desperate for my parents love and approval again. As I sat there curled up in a ball crying, I physically and very clearly heard a strong yet soft man’s voice in the darkness of my bedroom.

The only words spoken were, “Don’t do it.”

The day of my abortion, both of my parents took me. I was led to a very cold room and given an IV to put me to sleep. I don’t remember anything of the actual abortion itself.

When I woke up, I was told it was over and was given Oreo cookies and orange juice. Immediately I regretted what I had just done. I had 13 long weeks to make this decision and it was suddenly crystal clear that I made the wrong choice but I could no longer go back and undo it. To this day, the abortion is the single biggest mistake of my entire life. My dad carried me out of the building and the details afterwards are very foggy.

Seventeen years later, there has not been a single day go by that I haven’t wondered about the baby whose life was cut short because of a choice. I look at my children now with the knowledge of having robbed them the chance to have an older sibling that they have never even heard about. Knowing I took the only opportunity for the father of the baby to have a child of his own. Living with such mental and emotional distress that not only I, but my husband now has to deal with, and finally, wondering each day if I am truly forgiven and if I will be allowed into heaven after I die.

I can say with 100% conviction that absolutely nothing positive came from my abortion. the rest
(The comments are so very loving! -PD)

Dutch Mobile Euthanasia Clinics Ready to Roll

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Wesley J. Smith

One of the supposed protections of euthanasia is the doctor saying no when, as one example, when killing isn’t warranted. (Doctors also say know if participating in killing of a patient is against conscience, of course). Ditto assisted suicide in Oregon and Washington.

But that has always been a false premise. If a patient’s own doctor says no, just go death doctor shopping. If you go to an assisted suicide/euthanasia advocacy group for a referral, chances are you will get your death wish granted.

And now, in the Netherlands, mobile euthanasia clinics! the rest

The Death (and Life) of Marriage in America

The story we think we know is that the institution of marriage is crumbling and on the brink of oblivion. The real story is much more complicated.
Derek Thompson
Feb 7 2012

National Marriage Week USA kicks off today, and for many people, a national booster movement for marriage could not come any sooner. The recession did a number on American matrimony, as you've surely heard. The collapse in marriage rates is cited as one of the most important symptoms -- or is it a cause? -- of economic malaise for the middle class. But the statistics aren't always what they seem, and the reasons behind marriage's so-called decline aren't all negative.

At first blush, the institution of marriage is crumbling. In 1960, 72% of all adults over 18 were married. By 2010, the number fell to 51%. You can fault the increase in divorces that peaked in the 1970s. Or you could just blame the twentysomethings. The share of married adults 18-29 plunged from from 59% in 1960 to 20% in 2010. Twenty percent!

What on earth is going on with these kids? Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers tried to answer that question (among others) in their fantastic 2007 study "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces."

The simplest summary of their findings is: It's really, really complicated. The full answer for the delay and decline of marriage would touch on birth control technology (which extends courtships by reducing the cost of waiting to get married), liberal divorce laws (which creates "churn" in the labor market by increasing divorces and new marriages), and even washing/drying machines (which both eliminate the need for men to marry lower-earning women to do housework and also free up women to work and study). the rest

Mandatory Abortion Coverage?

Watching for the next step from the Obama administration.
By Richard Doerflinger
February 7, 2012

Advocates of religious freedom were outraged on January 20, when the Obama administration announced it would enforce its new mandate for contraception and sterilization coverage in private health-insurance plans without a meaningful conscience exemption. Even most religious organizations can’t qualify for the rule’s incredibly narrow “religious employer” exception, which will remain unchanged. NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood have said pro-life organizations are wrong to oppose such mandates: After all, they argue, increasing access to contraception (especially “emergency contraception” or “EC”) will reduce abortion, and don’t we all want that?

This argument conveniently ignores studies showing that such access simply doesn’t reduce abortion rates. For example, out of 23 studies on the effects of increased access to ECs, not one study could show a reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions. It also ignores the fact that at least one EC drug covered by the mandate, “Ella,” is a close analogue to the abortion pill RU-486; both drugs can induce abortion weeks into pregnancy.

But the final proof that this mandate was sold using cynical falsehoods has just been unveiled. the rest

Round-up: aftershocks of the Komen shakedown

by Kathleen Gilbert
Tue Feb 07, 2012

- Komen VP for public policy Karen Handel has resigned following the Planned Parenthood dust-up thanks to her having gone on the record as against the abortion organization while a political candidate.

- Twitter and Facebook emerged as the main tools used by Planned Parenthod and allies to drive their talking points to the top of the social media heap, facilitating the extreme pressure placed on Komen in a short time frame. Jill Stanek has a detailed breakdown of Planned Parenthood’s social media blitz.

- On the other hand, the debacle gave air time to the link between abortion and breast cancer, which presidential candidate Rick Santorum pointed out on FOX News on Sunday. (Hormonal birth control pills have also been categorized as a Group 1 “definite” carcinogen by the World Health Organization, alongside asbestos and plutonium, for its increased breast cancer risk.)  the rest

Anglican leader Rowan Williams to visit Pope in Rome this March



2012-02-07

General Synod discussing women bishops compromise bid

8 February 2012

The Church of England's governing General Synod is being urged to accept a compromise over women bishops.

A compromise to try to meet objectors' concerns will be presented by the Manchester Diocesan Synod at a meeting of the Church's ruling council later.

It would give a greater measure of autonomy to male bishops appointed to oversee traditionalist parishes.

But many supporters of women bishops oppose the plans, saying they would make women second-class bishops. the rest

Archbishop warns of ‘disaster’ if assisted suicide is legalised

Parents furious as 13-year-old girls given contraceptive implants at school without their knowledge

-Devices temporarily prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into the blood
-In 2011, 1,700 girls aged 13/14 were fitted with implants
-Under 'patient confidentiality' rules, school staff are banned from seeking permission of parents beforehand
By Sophie Borland
8th February 2012

Girls as young as 13 are being given contraceptive implants at school without their parents’ knowledge.

Nurses insert devices into their arms which temporarily prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into the blood.

Last year 1,700 girls aged 13 and 14 were fitted with implants, while 800 had injections which have the same effect.

The 2010/11 NHS figures also show that 3,200 15-year-old girls were fitted with implants, and 1,700 had injections. the rest

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Rick Santorum raises abortion-breast cancer link

by Ben Johnson
Mon Feb 06, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life leaders say on Sunday, Rick Santorum may have become the first major presidential candidate in history to address the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Asked whether he believed the Susan G. Komen Foundation should fund Planned Parenthood, Santorum replied, “I don’t believe that breast cancer research is advanced by funding an organization where you’ve seen ties to cancer and abortion. So, I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy way of contributing money to further cause of breast cancer.” the rest
Dr. Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York and a director at the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, estimated last year that abortion had led to 300,000 deaths from breast cancer since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision – not counting deaths from abortions that delayed first full term pregnancies.

Breast cancer rates have increased 40 percent since 1973, according to Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.  

A.S. Haley: Ninth Circuit Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The opinion of the Court may be downloaded here (it's 133 pages). Judge Reinhardt (one of the Ninth Circuit's most liberal judges) wrote the majority opinion that holds California's people could not constitutionally take away the designation of "marriage" for same-sex unions once the California Supreme Court had declared that the State could not constitutionally ban them. Judge N. R. Smith dissented from that holding (his opinion begins at page 90 of the download), but concurred with the majority in finding that the proponents of Prop. 8 had standing to appeal, and in holding that Chief District Judge Vaughan Walker did not have to withdraw from the case because he himself is in a same-sex relationship.

It is difficult to stay detached when reading Judge Reinhardt's opinion, because he constantly claims he is sticking to a very narrow ground of decision, while he goes out of his way to make sweeping pronouncements:
By emphasizing Proposition 8's limited effect, we do not mean to minimize the harm that this change in the law caused to same-sex couples and their families. To the contrary, we emphasize the extraordinary significance of the official designation of 'marriage.' That designation is important because 'marriage' is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of 'registered domestic partnership' does not. . . .

There is nothing like assuming the very proposition that is to be decided, eh, Judge Reinhardt? ("'[M]arriage' is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults -- sure.) Why not write: "'[M]arriage' is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between a man and a woman"? Is that because you could not then so easily jump to the conclusion which you assumed in your reasoning? the rest

More than any monarch, Queen Elizabeth II understands the spiritual element of her coronation oath

Christianity is at the centre of her tireless dedication to public service
By Francis Phillips
Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Damian Thompson, editor of the Telegraph blogs, made this online comment yesterday, in tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne: “…I often think that the Queen is the most impressive religious leader in Britain. She says little in public about her Christianity, but what she does say – usually at the end of her Christmas Day broadcast –is powerful in its directness.”

I wholly endorse what he says. Her Majesty, intuitively and skilfully, manages to remain the still centre of the ever-turning Anglican world simply by affirming her faith in Jesus Christ. In her Christmas message last year, quoted by Damian in his post, she stated: “God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families. It can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”

The Queen has met plenty of philosophers and even more generals in her time. With her unique place at the summit of the Establishment, she has had innumerable opportunities to encounter the masters of this world in every walk of life. She knows their place and she knows her own. More than other modern monarchs, I think, she understands the spiritual significance of her coronation oath: a lifelong dedication to her people and her public duties; something to be undertaken with utmost seriousness. the rest

The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World

From one end of the muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Feb 6, 2012

We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.

The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania. In some countries it is governments and their agents that have burned churches and imprisoned parishioners. In others, rebel groups and vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands, murdering Christians and driving them from regions where their roots go back centuries. the rest
In the month of January 2012 alone, Boko Haram was responsible for 54 deaths. In 2011 its members killed at least 510 people and burned down or destroyed more than 350 churches in 10 northern states. They use guns, gasoline bombs, and even machetes, shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) while launching attacks on unsuspecting citizens.

No “Right” to Abortion or Birth Control

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Wesley J. Smith

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker writes about the intimidation tactics wielded by the Left against the Catholic Church with Obama’s Free Birth Control Rule and in the How Dare Komen defund the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood! brouhaha. She starts her column with an unintentionally false assertion. From “Komen, Catholics and the Cost of Conscience:”
Two of the top news stories this week have revolved around reproductive rights, though both raise far more troubling issues than a woman’s right to contraception or abortion.
Parker is writing loosely, but this is an important liberty point: Women don’t have the “right to an abortion,” as in, the constitutional right to obtain it under force of law. Ditto contraception. That would be a positive right to receive the service or procedure. There is, as yet, no such positive right to either Indeed, that is what the fight over medical conscience is all about.

Women do have the right to obtain it if they can find a willing provider–a negative right against state interference with that “choice.” Neither Griswald v. Connecticut, which prevented the state from restricting birth control to married couples (how quaint), nor Roe v. Wade, which prevented the states from criminally punishing abortion in most cases, created positive rights. They created negative rights. the rest

Planned Parenthood's Hostages

The abortion provider uses a vast media and political network to maintain its subsidies from government and private charities.
By ROBERT P. GEORGE AND O. CARTER SNEAD
FEBRUARY 6, 2012

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, an organization dedicated since 1982 to fighting, and one day curing, breast cancer, decided to extricate itself from the culture wars by discontinuing grants to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of abortions. The grants Komen had been making amounted to $650,000 last year, funding some 19 local Planned Parenthood programs that offered manual breast exams but only referrals for mammograms performed elsewhere.

The reality is that Planned Parenthood—with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion—does little in the way of screening for breast cancer. But the organization is very much in the business of selling abortions—more than 300,000 in 2010, according to Planned Parenthood. At an average cost of $500, according to various sources including Planned Parenthood's website, that translates to about $164 million of revenue per year.

So how did Planned Parenthood and its loyal allies in politics and the media react to Komen's efforts to be neutral in the controversy over abortion?

Faced with even the tiniest depletion in the massive river of funds Planned Parenthood receives yearly, the behemoth mobilized its enormous cultural, media, financial and political apparatus to attack the Komen Foundation in the press, on TV and through social media.
the rest

Monday, February 06, 2012

Learn much of the Lord Jesus...

Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. Cry after divine knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding. Seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasure. ...Robert Murray M’Cheyne image

Army Bans Catholic Chaplains from Reading Letter Critical of Obama Policy

Sun Tzu
Feb. 5th 2012

The emerging conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration may have a new front: in the U.S. military itself.

The Catholic Church is fighting mad about an HHS ruling that would have them buy insurance for things they consider sinful–contraception, sterilization and abortion.

All the bishops in the country sent out a letter to be read in their parishes promising that the Church “cannot-and will not-comply with this unjust law.”

Even Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who is in charge of Catholic military chaplains sent out the same letter.

But after he did, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains sent out another communication forbidding Catholic priests to read the letter, in part because it seemed to encourage civil disobedience, and could be read as seditious against the Commander-in-Chief. the rest

The Fallout from Christian Legal Society

Vanderbilt launches an offensive against religious freedom.
By Robert Shibley
February 6, 2012

Since the Supreme Court’s sharply divided and startlingly wrongheaded decision two years ago in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, those concerned about religious liberty on campus have known that the fallout was on its way. At Vanderbilt University, it has arrived — and it’s as bad as anticipated.

In Martinez, the Court determined that public institutions like the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law could require all student groups — even those based on shared belief, such as religious and political organizations — to admit members and even leaders without regard to their beliefs. Groups like the Christian Legal Society (CLS), whose constitution required students to have traditional Christian beliefs (such as in Christ’s bodily resurrection) and morals (no sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage), could be required to remove those provisions from their constitutions and admit “all comers,” or else face “derecognition” and the corresponding loss of access to meeting space and other benefits that all other groups enjoyed. To lack recognition is basically not to exist at all on today’s college campus. the rest
Yes, you just heard the vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University tell students that they shouldn’t let their religious views intrude on their decisionmaking. That their religious beliefs should not guide their day-to-day actions. That people who reject faith in Jesus Christ should be given a chance as leaders of a Christian group (he later adds that Muslim groups must retain leaders who have lost faith in Allah). And to top it off, he uses the fact that as a Catholic, he has no problem with the abortions performed in Vanderbilt’s hospital as an example of what is expected.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 27


02/07/2012

Kevin and George reveal breaking news from the Diocese of Central Florida and Bishop-Elect Brewer. They also clarify an Anglican Ink report on AMiA's Winter Conferences Ordinations. AS Haley discusses the horrible witness TEC is showing the world through the US Legal system. And we discuss the violence in Nigeria and show comments from Archbishop Ben Kwashi from Mere Anglicanism 2012. And there may be some behind the scene footage after the credits again.

Snowboarder Saved By Float Avalanche Airbag


posted Feb. 6, 2012

This footage was caught on January 25th, 2012 in the backcountry near Montezuma. It features Pro Snowboarder Meesh Hytner being caught in a sizeable (~class 3) avalanche and deploying her BCA Float 30 avalanche airbag before taking a long ride.

Anglicans to march in support of women bishops

By Robert Pigott
5 February 2012

Anglican women clergy are to rally in Westminster later at a march supporting plans to introduce women bishops.

The Church of England's ruling body, the General Synod, is to discuss legislation on women bishops this week.

It will consider a proposal that women bishops should accept intervention in their dioceses by male alternatives if called in by traditionalist parishes.

Progressive Anglicans fiercely oppose the plans, claiming it would make women second-class bishops.

They say it would force women to accept measures not imposed on their male counterparts. the rest

Sunday, February 05, 2012

It's takers versus makers and these days the takers are winning

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds
02/04/12

Excerpt:
In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop.

Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote.

But the damage goes deeper. Sykes writes, “In contemporary America, we now have two parallel cultures: An anachronistic culture of independence and responsibility, and the emerging moocher culture.

“We continually draw on the reserves of that older culture, with the unspoken assumption that it will always be there to mooch from and that responsibility and hard work are simply givens. But to sustain deadbeats, others have to pay their bills on time.”

And, after a while, people who pay their bills on time start to feel like suckers. I think we’ve reached that point now:

* People who pay their mortgages - often at considerable personal sacrifice - see others who didn’t bother get special assistance.

* People who took jobs they didn’t particularly want just to pay the bills see others who didn’t getting extended unemployment benefits.

* People who took risks to build their businesses and succeeded see others, who failed, getting bailouts. It rankles at all levels. the rest