Saturday, March 17, 2012

You are leaving port...

You are leaving port under sealed orders 
and in a troubled period.
You cannot know whither you are going
or what you are to do.
But why not take the Pilot on board
who knows the nature of your sealed orders
from the outset,
and who will shape your entire voyage accordingly?
He knows the shoals and the sandbanks,
 the rocks and the reefs,
He will steer you safely into that celestial harbor
where your anchor will be cast for eternity.
Let His mighty nail-pierced hands hold the wheel,
 and you will be safe.
 ...Peter Marshall image

1,500 Muslim villagers brandishing swords and knives trap two nuns inside a guesthouse

One hospitalized for breakdown after sword-wielding Muslims converge.
CAIRO, Egypt
March 16, 2012

(CDN) — Two nuns in Upper Egypt faced “unimaginable fear” – with one later hospitalized over the emotional trauma – when 1,500 Muslim villagers brandishing swords and knives trapped them inside a guesthouse last week and threatened to burn them out.

The next day, the assailants frightened children at the school; attendance has since dropped by more than a third.

Accusing the nuns of building a church at the site, the throng on March 4 chanted Islamic slogans as they surrounded the guesthouse of a privately run, public school in the village of Abu Al-Reesh, in Aswan Province. Two nuns, volunteer teachers at Notre Dame Language Schools, barricaded themselves into the school’s guesthouse for about eight hours.

The women were “terrified,” said Magdy Melad, director of the school. the rest
“When we tried to get them out, they refused to let them out, and they wanted to burn them alive in the guesthouse,” Garas said.

Episcopalian (TEC, ECUSA) Lawsuits in the United States

Just found this!

 Other TEC videos here

May the Strength of God pilot us...

File:Saint Patrick (window).jpg
May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord,
 and evermore. Amen.

Prodijig-A different kind of Irish dancing

Four hard truths of health care reform

By: David Nather
March 16, 2012

President Barack Obama promised over and over during the health care debate that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

It turns out that, for a lot of people, that isn’t true.

A Congressional Budget Office report issued this week says that 3 to 5 million people could move from employer-based health care plans to government-based programs as the Affordable Care Act takes effect. And in the worst-case scenario, it could be as many as 20 million.

For Obama, it’s an inconvenient truth at a really inconvenient time — coming less than two weeks before the Supreme Court begins oral arguments on the law and just as the administration touts the law’s early benefits on its second anniversary.

And it’s not the only hard truth Obama and the law’s supporters are facing. No matter what they said about rising health care costs, those costs aren’t actually going to go down under health care reform. The talk about the law paying for itself is just educated guesswork. And people aren’t actually liking the law more as they learn more about it — and some polls show they are just getting more confused.

But it’s Obama’s signature promise — “If you like it, you can keep it” — that’s most likely to get thrown back in his face. Here are the four hard truths of health care reform as the law approaches its March 23 anniversary: Here

The CIA wants to spy on you through your TV...

...Agency director says it will 'transform' surveillance
By Rob Waugh
16 March 2012

When people download a film from Netflix to a flatscreen, or turn on web radio, they could be alerting unwanted watchers to exactly what they are doing and where they are.

Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home - the rise of 'connected' gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people 'bug' their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus.

The CIA claims it will be able to 'read' these devices via the internet - and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home.

Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps - and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells.

The resultant chorus of 'connected' gadgets will be able to be read like a book - and even remote-controlled, according to CIA ... Director David Petraeus, according to a recent report by Wired's 'Danger Room' blog.  the rest

Archbishop reflects on 10 years in office

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dr Rowan Williams has admitted that the conflicts in the Anglican Communion were one of the worst aspects of his time as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The last 10 years have seen serious rifts in the Anglican Communion over homosexuality and the consecration of women bishops.

The US in particular saw the departure of Anglican parishes from the US Episcopal Church after the consecration of its first openly gay bishop in 2003.

In the Church of England, moves to consecrate women bishops led three bishop and several parishes to join an Ordinariate set up by the Roman Catholic Church. the rest

As Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Retires, Speculation Turns to Successor

Get Religion:
Rowan Williams exits Canterbury, round 1

Rowan Williams exists Canterbury, Round 2

Obama Admin OKs Using Aborted Babies’ Brains in Lab Tests

by Steven Ertelt

The Obama administration is getting grief from a pro-life group for approving an experiment using the remains of the bodies of unborn children victimized in abortion for research continues in U.S. laboratories.

Scott Fischbach, the director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life uncovered the information showing a clinical trial approved by the Food and Drug Administration uses brain tissue from aborted unborn babies to treat macular degeneration. StemCells Inc. will inject fetal brain stem cells into the eyes of up to 16 patients to study the cells’ effect on vision.

In its press release announcing the clinical trial, StemCells Inc. was careful to refer to the fetal brain material as “purified human neural stem cell product” or HuCNS-SC cells, rather than “fresh human fetal brain tissue,” a description which can be found elsewhere on its website.

“StemCells Inc. is not using embryonic stem cells. A five-day-old human being at the embryonic stage does not have a brain, but a fetus at 10 or 20 weeks of development with visible fingers, toes and ears has a functioning brain,” said Fischbach. “Developing human beings in the womb are treated simply as raw material for laboratory experimentation by StemCells Inc. and other companies seeking to monetize aborted unborn children.” the rest

Lesbian with kids in Catholic school demands removal of Catechism quote on homosexuality

by Patrick B. Craine
Fri Mar 16, 2012

 ( – A self-proclaimed ‘lesbian’ whose two children attend a Catholic school near Peterborough is demanding that the Peterborough Catholic school board remove a Catechism quote dealing with homosexuality from a school pamphlet. Ann Michelle Tesluk has started an online petition to pressure the board to action and describes her activities as gearing to make the Catholic Church into an “openly gay friendly church.”

The pamphlet in question, however, is controversial from more than one perspective. While quoting the Catechism that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered”, the pamphlet also misrepresents Catholic teaching in numerous ways. The pamphlet calls on schools to highlight homosexual role models and familiarize students with terms like “LGBTQQ” and “two-spirited.” It indicates that Canada legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005 without mentioning that the Church opposes such unions.

Greg Reeves, director of education for the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB), told LifeSiteNews that they have had enough complaints about the pamphlet, called The Colour of Equity, to give the wording a “relook” to see if they can explain the Church’s teaching better. the rest

Friday, March 16, 2012

Earth breaks up, time drops away...

Earth breaks up, time drops away,
In flows heaven, with its new day
Of endless life, when He who trod,
Very man and very God,
This earth in weakness, shame and pain,
Dying the death whose signs remain
Up yonder on the accursed tree,—
Shall come again, no more to be
Of captivity the thrall,
But the one God, All in all,
King of kings, Lord of lords,
As His servant John received the words,
“I died, and live for evermore!”
... Robert Browning art

Review: October Baby

March 16, 2012
by Ed Morrissey

When one hears about a film like October Baby, which deals with the aftermath of a failed abortion and the impact it has on the lives of those affected, certain conclusions about it will emerge before even entering the theater. People will expect it to preach a pro-life message rather than tell a story. The film will manipulate characters so that they are neatly divided between evil and good. Religion will get shoved down the viewers’ throats. All of the loose ends will get tied up in a neat bow. And all of those conclusions will be … wrong.

October Baby tells the story of a young college student, Hannah (Rachel Hendrix), who has had numerous health issues in childhood but emerged as a generally healthy young adult when supported with proper medical care — at least until she collapses during a school play. The subsequent medical tests, and the reading of her private journal by her parents, lead to a clash in which she discovers for the first time that she was adopted, and that she survived an abortion at 24 weeks. Shocked, angry, and lost, Hannah joins her childhood confidante Jason (Jason Burkey) on a quest to find her true identity and some real meaning to her life.

This could have gone the way of a Lifetime movie, or have earnest but second-tier production treatment. Neither happens thanks to expert handling by co-directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, both of whom have a few years under their belts making values-themed entertainment. In fact, both leads appeared in their TV movie/pilot Alumni. The production values in the film are commensurate with theatrical-release drama, certainly on the same level as other romantic dramas for teens. The story itself provides surprises rather than opting for more feel-good resolutions of some conflicts. Religion comes into the story, but much less than one would imagine. the rest

The Catholic Case for Protestant Hymns

Mar 16, 2012
Nathaniel Peters
First Things

Should Catholics sing hymns at Mass? Given the state of Catholic liturgical music, it’s a fair question. In the last century, Catholics exchanged their musical solid food for milk—usually skim and on the edge of going sour. Hymns at Mass are a recent addition to the liturgy. Hymns were used in the daily office, rotating by day or by season, but the Tridentine Mass had chants for particular days—the propers of the Mass—not hymns. Protestant congregations who were departing from medieval practice in other ways introduced hymns into the liturgy itself, and, as many Christians of all kinds acknowledge, Catholic attempts to appropriate and improve on this Protestant modification have not turned out well.

It should not surprise us, therefore, that some Catholics who want to fix church music focus on Gregorian chant and move away from hymns altogether. Others lean more favorably toward hymns, but seek to make sure that they are Catholic hymns. But there are good reasons for Catholics to sing hymns—and Protestant hymns, at that. Even as they strive for excellence in Gregorian chant and other areas of musical renewal, Catholics would do well to remember what good hymns can do and why excellence in hymn-singing should be part of the Catholic liturgical renewal. the rest
For the sake of teaching the faith and living out its catholicity, therefore, Catholics should give serious consideration to good hymnody. Yes, we should resurrect our own treasures that we have discarded. Restore Gregorian chant to its rightful place and ramp up the Latin, by all means.

WSJ: Anglican Leader to Step Down

March 16, 2012

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury who has overseen a turbulent decade as spiritual leader of about 80 million followers of the Anglican faith, said he would step down at the end of the year and take up a new post as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Known for possessing a scholarly and versatile mind, as well as a gift for the common touch, Dr. Williams leaves as the institution faces divisive debates over homosexuality and gender.

For the past decade, Dr. Williams has tried to blend progressive views with Anglican theology and thus adapt the church's doctrine to modern society. For example, the Church of England is nearing a final vote about allowing women to become bishops; Dr. Williams has tried to balance the demands of those who support the idea with those who don't.

In a statement on his web site, Dr. Williams, 61 years old, said it has been an "immense privilege to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury over the past decade, and moving on has not been an easy decision." He didn't explicitly say in his statement why he planned to resign. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury to resign after decade of tumult

The Church of England: Hot and bothered

The rise of evangelicalism is shaking up the established church
The Economist
Mar 10th 2012

EVER since the 18th century, England’s established church has harboured a suspicion of religious enthusiasm. Anglicanism’s cosy ubiquity as a reassuring, if vestigial, presence in every English suburb and village is regarded as a defence against the sort of fanaticism that leads to social or ethnic conflict. But every so often in English church history, compromise and emollience have triggered a countervailing reaction: an upsurge in faith of a more passionate kind. Such a change may be under way now.

As the number of people who are actively committed to the Church of England falls, the proportion of churchgoers who are serious about their faith—and its implications for private and public life—is growing. Peter Brierley, a collector of statistics on faith in Britain, reckons that 40% of Anglicans attend evangelical parishes these days, up from 26% in 1989. That is against a background of overall decline; he thinks the number of regular worshippers in the Church of England will have fallen to 680,000 by 2020, down from about 800,000 now and just under 1m a decade ago. The lukewarm are falling away, leaving the pews to the more fervent.

A handful of big evangelically-minded parishes now exercise huge influence, far beyond their immediate patch. Saint Helen’s in Bishopsgate reaches out to workers in London’s financial district; it has “planted” a dozen new communities in other places, using an American model of religious expansion. Holy Trinity, Brompton has exported a charismatic brand of Christianity via the Alpha course. Meanwhile All Souls in Langham Place, which shares a neighbourhood with department stores, broadcasters and arty bohemians, radiates forth a more sober brand of evangelism. What all these churches have in common is a reluctance to do the Church of England’s traditional job of marrying, baptising or burying people who have no real religious commitment. That is a break with Anglicanism’s familiar role as the undemanding “default mode” of faith for a secular country. the rest

Anglican Perspective: Canterbury to Resign

March 16, 2012
Rev. Canon Phil Ashey

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently announced that he would resign at the end of 2012. Many are asking who his successor will be and when they might be selected. However, Canon Ashey suggests that orthodox Anglicans have a greater issue to deal with.

CBO: ObamaCare Price Tag Shifts from $940 Billion to $1.76 Trillion

By Brian Koenig
Wed, Mar 14, 2012

President Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul is projected to cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, reports the Congressional Budget Office, a hefty sum more than the $940 billion estimated when the healthcare legislation was signed into law. To put it mildly, ObamaCare's projected net worth is far off from its original estimate -- in fact, about $820 billion off.

Backtracking to his September 2009 remarks to a joint session of Congress on healthcare, Obama asserted the following: "Now, add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years -- less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration."

When the final CBO report was released before the law's passage, critics surmised that the actual 10-year cost would far exceed the advertised projections. In other words, the numbers were seemingly obscured through a political ploy devised to jam the legislation through Congress.

"Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation," asserted Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, "the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014." This accounting maneuver allowed analysts to cloak the true cost of ObamaCare, Klein alleged, making the law appear less expensive under the CBO's budget window. the rest

Rowan Williams to step down as Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has announced he is to step down after ten years as he admitted that the row over homosexuality in the Church has been a "major nuisance".
By John-Paul Ford Rojas
16 Mar 2012

Dr Williams, 61, will leave at the end of December to take up a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January. The Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has been informed.

His reign has been plagued by bitter rows over gay clergy and women bishops that have left him struggling to prevent the Church from unravelling.

Explaining his reasons for leaving, Dr Williams admitted that "crisis management" was not his "favourite activity" but denied the rows over homosexuality had "overshadowed everything".

But he said: "It has certainly been a major nuisance. But in every job that you are in there are controversies and conflicts and this one isn't going to go away in a hurry. I can't say that it is a great sense of 'free at last'." the rest image

Archbishop of Canterbury to be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

CNN: Head of Anglican church to step down

NYT: Archbishop of Canterbury to Step Down at End of Year

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“Pro-Choice” Activist: “I Love Abortion,” “Don’t Want it Rare”

by Steven Ertelt

A pro-abortion activist writing at one of the leading pro-abortion websites is admitting what many in the pro-life movement has always known but what leading defenders of abortion refuse to admit. Until now.

Jessica DelBalzo, an activist writer from Flemington, New Jersey who has written for numerous progressive websites, puts her extreme pro-abortion views on display at RH Reality Check, where she candidly admits in a headline, “I Love Abortion: Implying Otherwise Accomplishes Nothing for Women’s Rights.”

“I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to abortion funds. I write about how important it is to make sure that every woman has access to safe, legal abortion services. I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for reproductive freedom. I love abortion,” DelBalzo declares. the rest
As Delbalzo writes, “And I bristle every time a fellow activist uses a trendy catch-phrase or rallying cry meant to placate pro-lifers. The first of these, “Make abortion safe, legal, and rare!” has been used for decades as a call for abortion rights.”

CBO: Health law could cause as many as 20M to lose coverage

By Julian Pecquet

As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama's healthcare reform law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday.

The figure represents the worst-case scenario, CBO says, and the law could just as well increase the number of people with employer-based coverage by 3 million in 2019.

The best estimate, subject to a "tremendous amount of uncertainty," is that about 3 million to 5 million fewer people will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022. the rest

Religious Freedom: It’s Not Just Pakistan and China

Mar 14, 2012
George Weigel

Thirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues; which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop of Kaunas in a free Lithuania in 2012, I would have thought you a bit optimistic. If you had also told me, back then, that there would eventually be serious religious freedom problems in the United States, I would have thought you a bit mad.

But you would have been right on both counts.

To be sure, Americans of conviction and conscience are not under the same threats that made a martyr of Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan a year ago. American believers in biblical religion and its moral teachings do not face the relentless pressure visited upon Chinese Christians who refuse to concede that the Church is a subdivision of the state. But religious freedom is, nonetheless, under assault in these United States. The assault is both cultural and legal. It is shameful that the present administration underwrites the former while being a major actor in the latter. the rest

National Cathedral's preservation needs top $50M

posted March 15, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's where the nation's capital gathers to mourn, to pray and to seek comfort during tragedies. Now the Washington National Cathedral needs help weathering its own financial emergency.

The church has long been a spiritual center for the nation, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors and worshippers each year. It's the burial site of President Woodrow Wilson and for Helen Keller. It's hosted funeral services for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and other presidents. And during ordeals such as the Sept. 11 attacks, it's been a place for interfaith reflection.

But the Episcopal cathedral is facing one of the worst financial binds of its 105-year-old history. An earthquake in August severely damaged its intricate stone work and architecture, with repair costs estimated at $20 million. Aside from that damage, the structure faces $30 million in preexisting preservation needs.

Even before the earthquake, a financial crisis forced the cathedral to slash its operating budget from $27 million to as little as $13 million in recent years and cut paid staff from 170 full-time employees to 70. The church relies heavily on donations to fund its operations. the rest

U.S. homeschoolers wary of Canadian bill

Mar 13, 2012
by Erin Roach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Homeschool defenders in the United States are wary of proposed legislation in Alberta, Canada, that could set a philosophical precedent for government intrusion into what parents are allowed to teach their homeschooled children.

"This is concerning to us because this is the first time we've seen anything like this on North American soil, where a government has actually proposed to include homeschools in a law that would constrain what parents could teach their children or to alternatively require them to teach something in a certain way," Michael Donnelly, staff attorney for the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association, told Baptist Press.

At issue is section 16 of Alberta's proposed Education Act, which states, "All courses or programs of study offered and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act."

In the Education Act, homeschools are considered schools, and the Human Rights Act has been used in Canada to target Christians and conservatives who believe homosexual behavior is wrong. the rest

Stand Firm: The Times They Are A-Changin

Big changes over at Stand Firm-check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baptist Church in Bethlehem Declared Illegitimate By Palestinian Authority

Dexter Van Zile

A week after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an audience of evangelical Protestants from across the world that his government respected the rights of its Christian minorities, officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA) have informed Bethlehem pastor Rev. Naim Khoury that his church lacked the authority to function as a religious institution under the PA.

The church can still gather to pray, for now, but the PA’s decision conveyed on Saturday will have a real impact on the members of First Baptist, which endured numerous bomb attacks during the First Intifada.

“They said that our legitimacy as a church from a governmental point of view is not approved,” said Khoury’s son, Steven, who serves as an assistant pastor at First Baptist. “They said they will not recognize any legal paper work from our church. That includes birth certificates, wedding certificates and death certificates. Children are not even considered to be legitimate if they don’t have recognized paperwork.” the rest

What Marriage Means in Today’s “New Normal”

A detailed look at how working-class adults view marriage and the search for marital love.
by David Lapp and Amber Lapp
March 13, 2012

The New York Times’ recent story that more than half of births to American women under age 30 now occur outside of marriage, and the conversation spurred by Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010, have shifted public gaze to a population largely ignored in the scholarly literature of the past few decades: the 58 percent of Americans with a high school diploma but no college degree—what some might call “working class.”

Nonmarital births have been common among Americans without a high school diploma for at least thirty years: as the 2010 State of Our Unions reports, in 1982 33 percent of births to women without a high school diploma occurred outside of marriage, compared to 13 percent of births to high-school educated women. But in the past thirty years, nonmarital births to high-school educated women surged: in the late 2000s’, 44 percent of births to high-school educated women occurred outside of marriage. (By comparison, only 6 percent of births to college-educated women were outside of marriage.) It is the behavioral changes of this “moderately educated middle”—the 58 percent of high-school educated Americans—that put the “normal” into “the new normal” that the Times describes.

Furthermore, the “new normal” is not driven primarily by an increase in single mothers, but in the number of cohabiting couples: in 1988, 39 percent of high-school educated Americans had cohabited; in the late 2000’s, 68 percent. According to Child Trends, 52 percent of all nonmarital births took place within a cohabiting relationship. Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of nonmarital births to white women took place in cohabiting unions. the rest

Pew: Liberals most intolerant online

March 13, 2012
by Ed Morrissey

It’s a well-known fact that liberals are more tolerant than conservatives or moderates. Superior liberal tolerance is such a fact that they will scream at you if you dare to disagree or debate them, demand that your advertisers bail on you, and pressure the FCC to get you banned from the airwaves. Does that sound like tolerance to you? A new survey from Pew confirms that liberals are the least tolerant of differing opinions, at least on line (emphasis mine):
Politics can be a sensitive subject and a number of SNS [social networking sites] users have decided to block, unfriend, or hide someone because of their politics or posting activities. In all, 18% of social networking site users have taken one of those steps by doing at least one of the following:
  • 10% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because that person posted too frequently about political subjects
  • 9% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics or issues that they disagreed with or found offensive
  • 8% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they argued about political issues on the site with the user or someone the user knows
  • 5% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics that the user worried would offend other friends
  • 4% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they disagreed with something the user posted about politics
Of course, that means that 82% of SNS users have not taken any steps to ignore or disconnect from someone whose views are different – or have not encountered any views that would prompt such a move.
the rest

The New Scar on My Soul

by Anonymous
posted Wed Mar 14, 2012

My soul carries a new scar. The pain is fresh and keen, and I know that while time might see the pain fade, I will never fully recover from what I've seen, and done. For I have failed, intentionally and knowingly, in the first duty of a parent: protecting the lives of two of my children.

My wife and I wanted children; alas, we needed IVF treatment to realize this dream. Several cycles and multiple embryo implantations later, we welcomed our blessing from G-d, who is the light of our lives.

Recently, we tried for another.

"It never rains, but it pours," said the fertility doctor -- of the three embryos that were implanted, all three took. We were faced with the news of triplets. I was shocked, knowing the burden that would entail, but since G-d gave us three, I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to help, manage, and provide.

My wife? Something snapped. She insisted that we do a "selective reduction" from three to one, or else she would have a full abortion. She was adamant. She would not carry three. She would not carry two.

I was presented with a Coventry-esque decision: save one, or save none. I chose the former, though I tried on several occasions to convince her to at least keep twins. I failed. the rest-heartbreaking!

Mysterious Hog Farm Explosions Stump Scientists

By Brandon Keim
March 13, 2012

A strange new growth has emerged from the manure pits of midwestern hog farms. The results are literally explosive.

Since 2009, six farms have blown up after methane trapped in an unidentified, pit-topping foam caught a spark. In the afflicted region, the foam is found in roughly 1 in 4 hog farms.

There’s nothing farmers can do except be very careful. Researchers aren’t even sure what the foam is.

“This has all started in the last four or five years here. We don’t have any idea where it came from or how it got started,” said agricultural engineer Charles Clanton of the University of Minnesota. “Whatever has happened is new.”

A gelatinous goop that resembles melted brown Nerf, the foam captures gases emitted by bacteria living in manure, which on industrial farms gathers in pits beneath barns that may contain several thousand animals. the rest image

A letter from Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is facing execution for apostasy in Iran. He wrote this letter from prison in January 2011, a few months after receiving the written verdict confirming his death sentence. He remains imprisoned in Rasht, under threat of an execution that could happen any time.

"Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

When someone internalizes the revelation of the Truth, he will be willing to share it with others and future generations. We are indebted to the people who, in the past, fought for the Truth, allowing us to have access to this glorious revelation of Jesus Christ. These believers understood the richness and the beauty of the revelation and they were ready to fight in order to pass down the fruit of the revelation.

How can we bear similar fruit for eternal life? It depends on the way we choose. First we have to close our ears to the voice of the darkness as it is written in the first psalm:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1

The second thing is to open our ears to the Voice of the Spirit speaking through the Word of God, as it is written:

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2 the rest

MCJ: Perspective

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brethren, study God's Word diligently...

Brethren, study God's Word diligently for your own edification; and when it has become more to you than your necessary food, sweeter than honey or the honeycomb, it will be impossible for you to speak of it to others, without a glow passing into your words which will betray the delight with which it has inspired your own heart. ...James Stalker image

Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti buried

Eduardo Cavalcanti to be charged with homocide
March 12, 2012
By George Conger

Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife, Miriam, were laid to rest last week at the House of Peace Cemetery in Paulista in Northeastern Brazil, following an emotional funeral service at Emmanuel Anglican Church in Orlinda.

Recife’s two suffragan bishops and 50 members of the clergy participated in the service. Several hundred mourners overflowed the parish church, participants at the 29 Feb 2012 service tell Anglican Ink.

The sole suspect in the slaying of the bishop and his wife, the couple’s 29 year old son remains under police guard in hospital. The police completed their investigation on 1 March and will formerly charge Eduardo Cavalanti with murder once he is released from the hospital. the rest

The Big Hoax

Thomas Sowell
Mar 13, 2012

There have been many frauds of historic proportions -- for example, the financial pyramid scheme for which Charles Ponzi was sent to prison in the 1920s, and for which Franklin D. Roosevelt was praised in the 1930s, when he called it Social Security. In our own times, Bernie Madoff's hoax has made headlines.

But the biggest hoax of the past two generations is still going strong -- namely, the hoax that statistical differences in outcomes for different groups are due to the way other people treat those groups.

The latest example of this hoax is the joint crusade of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice against schools that discipline black males more often than other students. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, this disparity in punishment violates the "promise" of "equity."

Just who made this promise remains unclear, and why equity should mean equal outcomes despite differences in behavior is even more unclear. This crusade by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is only the latest in a long line of fraudulent arguments based on statistics.

If black males get punished more often than Asian American females, does that mean that it is somebody else's fault? That it is impossible that black males are behaving differently from Asian American females? Nobody in his right mind believes that. But that is the unspoken premise, without which the punishment statistics prove nothing about "equity." the rest

Obama Admin Finalizes Rules: $1 Abortions in ObamaCare

by Steven Ertelt

It’s official. The concern pro-life organizations had about the ObamaCare legislation funding abortions has been confirmed, as the Obama administration has issued the final rules on abortion funding governing the controversial health care law.

Nestled within the “individual mandate” in the Obamacare act — that portion of the Act requiring every American to purchase government — approved insurance or pay a penalty — is an “abortion premium mandate.” This mandate requires all persons enrolled in insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium from their own pockets to fund abortion. As a result, many pro-life Americans will have to decide between a plan that violates their consciences by funding abortion, or a plan that may not meet their health needs.

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule regarding establishment of the state health care exchanges required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. the rest

Homosexual activists demand removal of Chick-Fil-A from college campuses

by Christine Dhanagom
Mon Mar 12, 2012

The fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, which has come under attack in the past for the conservative Christian values of its owners, is now fighting homosexual activists who want to see the restaurant kicked off college campuses across the country.

According to a Baptist Press report, the company has been at the center of controversy on at least nine campuses, including Duke University, Northeastern University, and New York University (NYU).

Students who want to see the restaurant kicked off campus or blocked from coming point to its donations to conservative Christian charities as evidence of its “anti-gay” agenda. According to IRS documents, WinShape, a charitable foundation funded by the company, funneled about $2 million to groups such as the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, Focus on the Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council in 2009.

These donations, say NYU freshman Hillary Dworkoski, show that the restaurant is out of sync with her university’s “open and inclusive campus.” the rest

Declaring War on Newborns

The disgrace of medical ethics.
Mar 19, 2012

On the list of the world’s most unnecessary occupations—aromatherapist, golf pro, journalism professor, vice president of the United States​—​that of medical ethicist ranks very high. They are happily employed by pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and other outposts of the vast medical-industrial combine, where their job is to advise the boss to go ahead and do what he was going to do anyway (“Put it on the market!” “Pull the plug on the geezer!”). They also attend conferences where they take turns sitting on panels talking with one another and then sitting in the audience watching panels of other medical ethicists talking with one another. Their professional specialty is the “thought experiment,” which is the best kind of experiment because you don’t have to buy test tubes or leave the office. And sometimes they get jobs at universities, teaching other people to become ethicists. It is a cozy, happy world they live in.

But it was painfully roiled last month, when a pair of medical ethicists took to their profession’s bible, the Journal of Medical Ethics, and published an essay with a misleadingly inconclusive title: “After-birth Abortion: Why should the baby live?” It was a misleading title because the authors believe the answer to the question is: “Beats me.”

Right at the top, the ethicists summarized the point of their article. “What we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” the rest
The information that newborn babies aren’t people is just the beginning. A reader learns that “many non-human animals … are persons” and therefore enjoy a “right to life.” (Such ruminative ruminants, unlike babies, are self-aware enough to know that getting killed will entail a “loss of value.”) The authors don’t tell us which species these “non-human persons” belong to, but it’s safe to say that you don’t want to take a medical ethicist to dinner at Outback.

Another attack targets Nigerian Christians on Sunday

13 March, 2012

Nigeria (MNN) ― It's been another Sunday where the echoes of a bomb shattered another worship service in Nigeria.

Two weeks after a suicide bomb attack by the Islamist sect Boko Haram during a church service left at least three Christians dead, a similar blast during a church service in Jos (Plateau State) on March 11, 2012 killed at least ten people.

Rae Burnett, Africa Director for Christian Aid Mission, says the sect is focused on clearing obstacles from their goal. "Their main emphasis has really been to affect Islamic decision makers who would then force Sharia in Nigeria, and they were trying to put pressure on them."

Compass Direct News reports that the explosion damaged the church's roof, windows, and a portion of a fence surrounding its compound. There were also reports of reprisal attacks, says Burnett. "Some so-called Christian youths did retaliate. There's been a lot of that, actually, in Jos, so it's a serious danger--partially because the government is doing absolutely nothing, because they're afraid themselves and they're not doing anything in all this lawlessness. " the rest

Portland Couple Awarded $2.9M in Wrongful Birth Case; Say They Would Have Aborted Child

By Brittany Smith
 Christian Post Reporter
March 12, 2012

A jury in Portland, Ore., awarded a couple $2.9 million dollars on Friday for the "wrongful birth" of their daughter who has Down syndrome.

Kalanit Levy was born in June of 2007 to Ariel and Deborah Levy, after prenatal testing did not reveal any abnormalities.

The Levys' attorney said Dr. Thomas Jenkins removed maternal tissue – instead of the fetal tissue – from Deborah Levy's womb which resulted in faulty test readings. The suit also faults the medical center for reassuring Deborah Levy that her baby didn't have an extra 21st chromosome.

The couple says they would have had an abortion had the test been done properly and they had known about the Down syndrome. the rest

Wesley J. Smith: Wrongful Birth Lawsuits Should Be Barred
There is no place in a society based on human equality and the sanctity of life for lawsuits that ask juries to determine that a baby was wrongfully born. Such a case just came down in Portland (why am I not surprised), Oregon, where a jury awarded $2.9 million against doctors for failing to properly detect Down syndrome in prenatal tests, hence preventing the parents from aborting...

Church of England condemned as "the last refuge of prejudice"

The Church of England was yesterday condemned as “the last refuge of prejudice” by an openly gay cleric who was forced to stand down as a bishop after it emerged he was homosexual.
13 Mar 2012

Dr Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans, claimed that the Church’s mishandling of the gay issue was at the root of an increasingly secular society.

The 59-year-old was pressured by the Archbishop of Canterbury to stand down as Bishop of Reading following revelations that he was in a gay, but celibate, relationship.

His remarks are likely to further provoke a damaging split within the Church as the Government seeks to launch its consultation on same-sex marriage later this week.

Dr John told The Times: “Exactly the same love and commitment are possible between two people of the same sex as between two people of different sexes, and it is not immediately clear why the Church should regard such a relationship as ethically or spiritually inferior to a heterosexual marriage. the rest

Obamacare and the Joy of Denial of Service

by Keith Koffle
March 12, 2012

I can’t wait for Obamacare. Because I love Catch-22′s.

As those of you who read this blog know, I so enjoy irony. It’s worth sacrificing my health for, honestly.

And I relish wading through bureaucracy, and bravely facing death panels. Sarah Palin never had it more right.

I’m sorry, did I say death panels? I meant to say rationing of care. Sarah, please don’t be so honest.

I got a small taste of my future after I smashed my lower left shin two weeks ago against a lighting fixture that had been placed on the floor during a Saturday night party where wine was served in liberal abundance. the rest

Coffee Is an Essential Benefit Too
Here are some other health-care mandates that government should impose on employers.

US Episcopal Church drafts rites for same-sex unions

by Jonathan Moormann
 The Christian Post
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church has released the first draft of the rites for consecrating same-sex unions, although the final draft probably will not be completed for many years.

In 2009, the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church decided that individual bishops would be allowed to decide whether or not to allow same-sex unions within their bishoprics, rather than outright banning the practice or creating an official rite.

However, the Convention also asked the Commission to draft "theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-gender relationships," which would then be voted on during the 77th General Convention in 2012. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 32

March 12, 2012

Kevin and George discuss a wide range of topics from the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the recent marketing of the Kony Franchise. We also have news from Australia and London with the Ould brothers and Alan Haley talks about the beginning or the end of the Anglican Communion -- You will have to decide!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hawaiian rainbow

March 12, 2012

Here is one of the beautiful rainbows I photographed in Hawaii last week. It was taken following one of the severe storms that passed over the islands and caused no small amount of flooding and other damage.  -PD

Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says European court

Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Government is to argue in a landmark court case.
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
10 Mar 2012

In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross.

It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.

The Government’s position received an angry response last night from prominent figures including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

He accused ministers and the courts of “dictating” to Christians and said it was another example of Christianity becoming sidelined in official life. the rest

The Church of England and Same Sex Marriage

Prime Minister Cameron finds himself at odds with leading figures of the established church.
By Mark Tooley

Two notable retired Church of England bishops have recently spoken forcefully against Britain's possibly legalizing same-sex marriage by 2015.

"This matter is so serious and so important for our nation that we cannot allow this act of cultural and theological vandalism to happen," recently warned former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey in uncharacteristically vivid language. "The government has no mandate from the people to redefine marriage, and that is why we are gathered here today," he told a group called Coalition for Marriage. Carey has also called potentially legalized same sex marriage "one of the greatest political power grabs in history."

Tony Blair's former government legalized British same-sex civil unions in 2004. Prime Minister David Cameron supports a process that would legalize same-sex marriage by 2015 for England and Wales.

"Marriage will only remain the bedrock of society if it is between a man and a woman," Carey has written in a recent op-ed. "The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way." the rest

Dr John Sentamu: Don't force through gay marriage